Sources of the River: Tracking David Thompson Across Western North America
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In this true story of adventure, author Jack Nisbet re-creates the life and times of David Thompson-surveyor, mapmaker, and fur trader. As Nisbet tracks the explorer's trail across the modern landscape, he interweaves his own observations with Thompson's historical writings, creating a lively, finely paced narrative.
EAGLES p. 51: Rocky Mountain House: Dempsey, History of Rocky Mountain House; MacDonald, “Aspects of the Life and Work.” Rocky Mountain House is a National Historic Site that has undergone an extensive renovation for the David Thompson Bicentennial. p. 53: fur trade canoes: Jennings, Canoe; Morse, Fur Trade Routes. p. 55: tribes in vicinity of Rocky Mountain House: Arima, Blackfeet and Palefaces; Dempsey, Indians of Alberta. Retracing of DT’s routes in Alberta: McCart, On the Road. p.
protection and safety” & “After our canoes were laden”: Ross, Adventures, 115. p. 219: “Down came the mast, sail, and rigging”: ibid, 116. p. 221: Bridge of the Gods myth: Clark, “Bridge of the Gods.” p. 224: Coxe “was looked upon by Mr. Thompson”: Ross, Adventures, 126. p. 226: “what did we see waving triumphantly” & “saying that Koo Koo Sint”: ibid, 139. p. 227–28: “bold adventurous amazons”: ibid, 153. CHAPTER 10: ROOM TO FEED AO Notebook 30 p. 231: “intending by this arrangement”:
whatever he administered did not help. Sitting around the campfire with the rest of the men, the Rook called his wife to him. He took a sharp flint and sliced open a vein in her forearm, “she assisting him with great good Will.” In front of the astonished furmen, he drew a cup of her blood into a wooden bowl and drank it down. “While I was considering from whence so savage an Action could arise, one of our Men with Indignation exclaimed to our Guide, I have eaten & smoked with thee, but
brethren beside him broke into cheers. While the old man calmly lit a cigarette, the line opposite him launched into their song, and the winds blew through another many-leafed tree. Behind the stick game was a marketplace of exotic booths. The crowd in the dusty pathways moved slowly, stopping to examine strips of leather, little cylinders of colored beads, trays of jewelry. A bunch of boys gathered around a hide seller to rub their hands along a black skunk pelt hanging from a pole, then moved
might be bearing fruit on the nuclear reserve. We were hoping for a wild, frothy ride across the shoal, but the height of the water had reduced Coyote Rapids to a riffle, and we glided through with only a few burbles to waver our bow. “Those who are true shall pass through the earth,” chanted Willie. “So spoke Smohalla.” Next we entered waters where some years before James and Willie had fished for salmon at night. For the rest of the afternoon Willie would spot a certain gravel bar or swirl of