About eight miles above the mouth of the Wallamot the little squadron arrived at Vancouver's Point, so called in honor of that celebrated voyager by his lieutenant (Broughton) when he explored the river.
From Point Vancouver the river turned towards the northeast, and became more contracted and rapid, with occasional islands and frequent sand-banks.
About thirty miles above Point Vancouver the mountains again approach on both sides of the river, which is bordered by stupendous precipices, covered with the fir and the white cedar, and enlivened occasionally by beautiful cascades leaping from a great height, and sending up wreaths of vapor.
The turbulence and rapidity of the current continually augmenting as they advanced, gave the voyagers intimation that they were approaching the great obstructions of the river, and at length they arrived at Strawberry Island, so called by Lewis and Clarke, which lies at the foot of the first rapid.
About two and a half miles below this the river expands into a wide basin, seemingly dammed up by a perpendicular ridge of black rock.
These they procure at the trading post of the American Fur Company, on Marias River, where they traffic their peltries for arms, ammunition, clothing, and trinkets.
The bands infesting the Wind River Mountains and the country adjacent at the time of which we are treating, were Gros Ventres of the Prairies, which are not to be confounded with Gros Ventres of the Missouri, who keep about the lower part of that river, and are friendly to the white men.
Under the general name of Blackfeet are comprehended several tribes: such as the Surcies, the Peagans, the Blood Indians, and the Gros Ventres of the Prairies: who roam about the southern branches of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, together with some other tribes further north.
The moment that Virginia Maxon felt the waters close above her head she struck out beneath the surface for the shore upon the opposite side to that toward which she had dived into the river.
Up the river a few yards she caught the phosphorescent gleam of water upon the prahu's paddles as they brought her to a sudden stop in obedience to Ninaka's command.
Again and again she could have sworn that she felt some huge, slimy body sweep beneath her in the mysterious waters of this unknown river.
Already she could hear the increasing roar of the river as it rushed, wild and tumultuous, through the entrance to the narrow gorge below her.
I don't know why it should be, but everybody is always so exceptionally irritable on the river.
She was naturally of the sweetest and gentlest disposition imaginable, but on the river it was quite awful to hear her.
The air of the river has a demoralising effect upon one's temper, and this it is, I suppose, which causes even barge men to be sometimes rude to one another, and to use language which, no doubt, in their calmer moments they regret.