small Indian tribes scattered along the banks, and usually kept on good terms with them, presenting their chiefs with trinkets of various kinds, and treating them for the first time to a taste of fire-water, the terrible curse of their race ever since. In return he was well received when he visited the bark wigwams, his hosts holding feasts for him, where the dishes included not only wild fowl, but also fat dogs, killed by the squaws, and skinned with mussel shells. The Indians, who had made some progress in the ruder arts of agriculture, brought to the ship quantities of corn, beans, and pumpkins from the great heaps drying beside their villages; and their fields, yielding so freely to even their poor tillage, bore witness to the fertility of the soil. Hudson had to be constantly on his guard against his new-found friends; and once he was attacked by a party of hostile warriors whom he beat off, killing several of their number. However, what far outweighed such danger in the gain-greedy eyes of the trade-loving adventurers, was the fact that they saw in the possession of the Indians great stores of rich furs; for the merchants of Europe prized furs as they did silks, spices, ivory, and precious metals.
Having reached the head of navigation the Half-Moon turned her bluff bows southward, and drifted down stream with the rapid current until she once more reached the bay. The