Journal I : Expedition to Glacier Bay, Alaska, Summer 1890

September 17th

Still no steamer. Hope deferred waketh the heart sick. How glad I would be [to] see the steamer. We eat with the men; the cook is chinese, who makes excellent breads, and speaks English, but the raw materials are of a very poor quality. This morning I did some trading with the Indians, I bought a number of bone and wooden spoons and traded off one of our lanterns. I went with the Siwash to his log hut. Inside was a fire on the [MS illegible] in the middle of the floor, and around on blankets were squatted four or five women, squatted making baskets or engaged in other things, and a couple of dirty children[.] The sides of the house were piled with old boxes, old Russian trunks etc, containing the wealth of the household. Several old Russian muzzle loading guns also hung on the wall. Poles were placed across the house about six feet from the floor and fish were drying on them. A hole in the middle of the roof let the smoke of the fire exit. I was invited to sit down by the fire and then the various articles they thought I would want were brought out on[e] at a time, and a price twice too high was set on them. After two hours sitting and talking, I finally got about three spent about three dollars, and obtained various bone and wooden spoons and an adze which they use to hollow out their canoes and to make boards with. I was glad to see the inside of a Siwash home, but equally glad to get out of it. Yesterday the "Chinook", the little steamer here arrived from Noonah with 1800 salmon, this morning she went back again for more. An Indian arrived here yesterday saying he had seen the steamer going from Juneau to Sitka. That accounts for her being so late; she will stop here after leaving Sitka.

It seems that Mr. Johnston did not make any special bargain with the Siwash. Tak-quokette, who brought us down from Camp Muir, besides the numbers. Yesterday he dressed up in an old blue naval officer's coat and came bringing his letters of recommendation with him, to receive his pay. I gave him $15, which was quite sufficient, considering that we did all the rowing down to this place. He was very well satisfied and asked for a recommendation, which I wrote for him. Later in the afternoon he brought back the $15 on the counter of the store where I was sitting and said it was not enough; he wanted $20. I put the money in my pocket and have said nothing more about it. His relatives had evidently put him up to it. Two of the men here, the store-keeper and the superintendent of the fishing seem quite intelligent. The founder is an Englishman, speaks correctly, has traveled a great deal, and seems to have read considerably. I have had many interesting conversations with him.

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