XX~.- ._- -? - V .. -. r - -' - , *?r *-
The geographical position of Chippeweyan having been deter-
mined, it was to be made our starting point, and from here we would
have to carry our whole season's supplies. During our brief stay
at the Fort, the opportunity for rating the chronometer was taken
advantage of; and what we considered a stroke of good fortune was
that, through the kind efforts of Dr. McKay, the Company's agent
in charge of the post, we secured the services of a native Chippewey-
a: ;i ' an Indian, named Moberly, who claimed to know the country for a
'~ l*.I' ~hundred miles or more to the north-east of Lake Athabasca, into which
we were proposing to travel. The assistance of such a man to act as
our guide could not fail to be of great value to our party. He would
be able to save us much time through knowing the trails, by taking
us straight to the portages and in finding the best camping places.
Of course, Indian-like, he had to be advanced a month's wages in
goods from the store. Then he required an assistant to accompany
him in his canoe, and finally he wanted an increase in wages. In
consideration of the advantages which we hoped to derive from him
as an escort, these matters were finally arranged to his liking; and
on the morning of the 2oth of June, with our little fleet of four canoes
all well loaded, and a good-bye to civilization and all its formalities,
we hoisted our sails-having a fair breeze-and set out on the tra-
verse of the north shore of the lake.
Distances were measured with the " log," and when landings were
made, courses were taken with the prismatic compass, though occas-
ionally they were taken with the fluid compass without going ashore.
As frequently as possible, without entailing too much delay, the solar
instrument was set up, the magnetic variation determined, and rounds
of angles taken. Thus a continual check was kept upon the magnetic
Latitude observations were taken every day when the sun could
be seen at noon, or the stars at night; and from time to time, at
initial points on our route, observations were taken for longitude.
When portages were met with, measurements were made by pacing,
and on river work the distances were estimated by the time occupied
in making them. As our general course on all river work was nearly
north, the proper correction for each day's work was known from
the determinations of our latitude, and with a little practice very close
approximations, even on the streams, were found to be obtainable.
Thus, briefly stated, is the outline of the system of survey adopted
On the 2gth instant we reached Fond-du-lac, a winter outpost of
the Hudson Bay Company. It was now deserted by all but an Indian
family, who appeared to be in a very destitute condition.
From here to the eastward, a distance of fifty miles farther, the
lake is quite narrow, having much the appearance of a broad river.
It is only from one to five miles in width, and across on the south
shore could be seen a large group of Indian tepees. Here, it was
found, was the dome of our guide, and to it, of course, we all had to
go. Our own canoes were not landed, but Moberly went ashore and