Accordingly, leaving the bed of the stream at the very point where it thundered down, we began crawling along one of those sloping ledges until it carried us to within a few feet of another that inclined downwards at a still sharper angle, and upon which, by assisting each other we managed to alight in safety.
'Something in this sort of style,' he replied, and at the same moment to my horror he slipped sideways off the rocks and, as I then thought, by good fortune merely, alighted among the spreading branches of a species of palm tree, that shooting its hardy roots along a ledge below, curved its trunk upwards into the air, and presented a thick mass of foliage about twenty feet below the spot where we had thus suddenly been brought to a standstill.
The next morning, in spite of our debility and the agony of hunger under which we were now suffering, though neither of us confessed to the fact, we struggled along our dismal and still difficult and dangerous path, cheered by the hope of soon catching a glimpse of the valley before us, and towards evening the voice of a cataract which had for some time sounded like a low deep bass to the music of the smaller waterfalls, broke upon our ears in still louder tones, and assured us that we were approaching its vicinity.
Being able to reinforce and supply it amply by sea, he would push his interior posts in every direction up the rivers and along
the coast; supplying the natives at a lower rate, and thus gradually obliging the Northwest Company to give up the competition, relinquish New Caledonia, and retire to the other side of the mountains.
Indeed, all California, extending along the Pacific Ocean from latitude 19 30' to 42 north, is represented as one of the most fertile and beautiful regions in North America.
There are several excellent ports along this coast.
Its inhabitants, themselves, are but little aware of its real riches; they have not enterprise sufficient to acquaint themselves with a vast interior that lies almost a terra incognita; nor have they the skill and industry to cultivate properly the fertile tracts along the coast; nor to prosecute that foreign commerce which brings all the resources of a country into profitable action.
I slunk along an- other piece further, then listened again; and so on, and so on.
So I took my paddle and slid out from shore just a step or two, and then let the canoe drop along down amongst the shadows.
I talked along, but he only set there and looked at me; never said nothing.
"I see a light a-comin' roun' de p'int bymeby, so I wade' in en shove' a log ahead o' me en swum more'n half way acrost de river, en got in 'mongst de drift- wood, en kep' my head down low, en kinder swum agin de current tell de raff come along. Den I swum to de stern uv it en tuck a-holt.
Some young birds come along, flying a yard or two at a time and lighting.