Saturday, February 28, 2015


I'm here. I'm really here. At the mouth of the Columbia, and standing at the gates of Fort Astoria. For me, right now, it's 1811, and Lisette Laval Harmon is about to walk through that palisade gate to greet my old friend David Thompson, who has just arrived from Fort William on his first descent of the Columbia. He has yet to draw the famous David Thompson map that hangs in the Great Hall of NWC headquarters, where five years from now Lisette and Daniel will be married. It's all about to happen, the War of 1812, MacDonald's betrayal of Astor and Hunt, the fall of the Pacific Fur Company, the merger of the NWC and the HBC, Lisette's Journey back to Vermont, leaving her sister femmes du pays Charlotte Thompson and Marie Dorion in the pays d'en haut. It's all about to happen, and here I am, talking to my old friends in the fur trade.