A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Cauldron Linn

The Intellectual Property Attorney went over the Agreement from the Hong Kong agent, and had some good advice. He said some things were nits, some things were worth haggling over, and a couple things were BIGGEES (He, of course, used proper Legalese). The upshot being that after the agent and I discussed things, the biggest of the biggees was, for her, not negotiable, so I am still without an agent. But, it was fun while it lasted. And I'm very grateful I had an expert go over everything for me!

However, I do have exciting news! For those of you in the Tri-Cities area, Barnes & Noble at Columbia Center Mall is hosting me for a book signing this coming Saturday between 1 & 3 pm. I've even been told there will be cookies!! So come by and say hi ;-)

(If you aren't in the local area, and can't buy your copy of Madame Dorion: Her Journey to the Oregon Country from Barnes & Noble, please consider buying your copy from this link: http://www.sandhpublishing.com/Madame_Dorion.html and if you would like it signed, please contact me through this blog or my Face Book page https://www.facebook.com/MadameDorion.)

"It's always a pleasure when an author chooses an obscure but very real historical figure to dramatize for readers. Good's prose is smooth, and her approach to this tale of a native woman making her way--with kids in tow!--through a difficult historical period is unique. It's essentially an epistolary form, a bit of a stretch, since as Good herself acknowledges, Marie Dorion probably could neither read nor write, but Good makes it work. Highly recommended for a personal and intimate look at a woman's life in a period of exploration. –LM"

Once the voyageurs were down Henry's Fork and onto the Snake River, they began to realize the Snake was like no river they had ever canoed before. It was deep, fast, and full of rapids. Some they could negotiate in their canoes, most had to be portaged around. There were also falls from a few feet in height to several feet in height. Finally, the river widened and smoothed out, and it was once again a pleasure to paddle – and again they were sure they would soon be on the Columbia River, and it would be an easy journey to Fort Astoria.

The weather was colder, windier, and wetter. When they had to portage, it cut down on their distance travelled. When they saw people, the people ran away from them. White men were frightening, and even though they saw Marie and the two boys, they feared.

On the 27th of October 1811, it rained all day. They were wet and cold, but the river widened and ran swift and smooth. Hunt told them they made 40 miles that day. If the rest of the river was as good as this, they would soon be in the warmth of Fort Astoria, and Marie would have her baby in relative comfort with women to help.

The next day, they passed through more rapids, shallow, and not bad. Then, without warning, the river narrowed into a gorge at times less than 40 feet wide and shot through this gorge, and down a 25-foot drop, into a whirlpool below, the Cauldron Linn. Four canoes and many of their supplies were lost, and one life, Mr. Antoine Clappine, before the others could stop.*

What went through Marie's mind? Where was the gentle river? What had she gotten her boys into? They were cold, wet, had no way to get close enough to game to shoot any so they were hungry. Sometimes someone would get some beaver, which fed them a little.

After a few days of reconnoitering the river from both banks, it was decided to split the group into smaller groups, and each group would find their own way to Fort Astoria. Pierre, Marie, and the boys stayed on the north bank with Hunt, and about half the men. Mr. Crooks took a large portion and went along the south bank. A few other went off on their own, each thinking they had a better chance of finding friendly Indians in a smaller group, and of surviving in a smaller group, than the others.

They had no canoes, no horses, no way for the hunters to get closes enough to what game they saw to shoot it. It was a bleak end to such a promising month. Everyone must have been angry, hurt, hungry, disappointed—but none so much as Marie.

*See a video of Cauldron Linn on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3v_57EYjp0 . I tried to find it on the road trip, but could find no signs leading to it. I believe the canoes in the video are not dugouts.

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