line separating Alaska from Canada runs very close to Cape Muzon.
This area at that time was quite important. It was uncertain
whether the boundary touched the Cape. British, Canadian and
U. S. parties made investigations there. It was reported that
a Canadian party was buried under tons of earth, in a landslide
which covered their camp, which was nearer the Cape than the
site chosen by the "Gedney" party. In addition to extensive
triangulation, certain topographic surveys were required.
point in this survey was Mt. Muzon, the summit of the ridge
running from Cape Muzon, the south end of Dall Island and the
northwest point of Dixon Entrance. The Cape forms the western
shore of a small open bay known as McLeod's Bay, at the head
of which lived Mr. McLeod and his family. We camped on the western
shore of this bay, near the beach. The mountain was heavily
timbered with large hemlock, spruce, and red and yellow cedar.
The triangulation station was on the summit, to which a trail
was blazed. The ascent was comparatively easy, our usual rate
being about 1000 feet per hour. We started at 7 a.m. each day.
The cook remained in camp, the same cook we had at Lazaroo.
He wasn't quite good enough yet for the Exec to haul him back
for duty aboard ship. Mr. McLeod generally accompanied us to
the summit. Our observing was over long distances, that to the
Canadian side being forty or more miles in length. Frequent
banks of fog swept in from the Pacific, obscuring distant stations,
and twenty-eight ascents were made before the work was completed.
We generally left the summit about 6 p.m. McLeod would leave
an hour earlier and when we reached camp, we would find that
he had prepared a nice tasty deer mulligan or a roast or perhaps
halibut or salmon. From nearby Daykoo Inlet, a well protected
anchorage for small craft, but with limited swinging room, we
obtained succulent Dungeness crabs and a nearby sandy beach
furnished excellent razor clams. Under McLeod's tutelage our
Japanese boy developed into a good cook.
well versed in Indian legends and lore. He did considerable
prospecting, traveling in a manner which would open the eyes
of the amateur prospector or hunter. His tent, when traveling,
consisted of two sheets of heavy muslin, stretched in the form
of a lean-to and separated by about two inches. His equipment
consisted of a gun, ammunition, compass, matches, a small sack
of flour, a side of bacon, some coffee, sugar and canned milk,
a little salt and pepper, some cooking utensils, and a few minor
items. All could be back packed without much inconvenience.
However, a canoe was generally his means of transportation.
During the fall and winter the sun was obscured most of the
time so directions could not be determined from that body. While
he carried a pocket compass, he said he generally could get
the direction from moss on the trees, that it grew heavier on
the southeast side, as the rain and warm winds came from that
direction. I was never able to confirm this.
evening all was quiet at the camp in the shadows of the tall
cedars and hemlocks. Driftwood was plentiful and we sat around
the beach fire. As twilight fell, two loons usually flew overhead
homeward bound, giving as they passed that eerie cry so different
from other calls. There was little conversation. The failing
twilight, the distant mountains, the deep purple shadows, the
white foam on the distant rocks, were conducive to silence,
to create a feeling of smallness in one of nature's grand settings.
Later in the evening McLeod would give a wolf call which shortly
after would have faint answers from the distant hills. Later
calls would have more distinct responses. About 10 p.m. McLeod
would leave for his home about one-half mile away. Often in
the morning we would find wolf prints in the vicinity of the
camp. However, the animals never touched anything.
to Mr. McLeod that occasionally when we slept on the ground
small field mice of an inquisitive nature would crawl over us.
He said that an ideal bed could be made from cedar branches,
laid flat; that several layers make a nice smelling, dry, springy
bed, around which should be placed a ring or enclosure of short
spruce branches; that the field mice did not like the spruce
leaves, about one inch long, which project like stickers. These
they do not like to cross.
that deer were excellent swimmers as we frequently saw them
swimming from one island to another. McLeod claimed that the
wolf could not swim or if he could, did not like it, as he never
saw one in the water. He stated that a pack of wolves would
spread across an island or neck of land, commence howling and
start a drive to the water. The deer running ahead, finally
would be forced to take to the water. If there was another island
nearby, the deer, of course, would be safe, but generally they
were driven to a point where conditions were not so good. The
wolves would wait on shore, back away until the exhausted animal
was forced to return. Then the wolves would grab and kill it.
an Indian village about eight miles up Kaigani Straits. McLeod
informed me that one of the Chiefs from this village, while
paddling in his canoe close to shore, saw a wolf bring down
a deer. The wolf trotted off, calling the pack. The Indian paddled
quietly to the point, pulled the carcass into his canoe, and
then withdrew close inshore under overhanging shrubbery, where
he could observe without being seen. The wolf returned, followed
by the pack. He went to the spot where the carcass had been,
smelled the blood and then ran around sniffing in a worried
manner. The others came up, smelled the spot, sniffed the blood
on the single wolf and immediately proceeded to attack him.
Apparently they suspected a double cross.
me that he had a good sized dog, a cross between a beagle and
bull dog. He was a courageous fighter with the pluck of the
bull dog and the cunning of the hound. Returning from a prospecting
trip he found the ground near the house torn up and saw some
scattered hair and what looked like blood splashes. He heard
a whining from the hollow in a tree where he saw his dog. Wolves
had attacked the dog, who got into the hollow where he could
be attacked head-on by only one wolf at a time. He held his
own, but apparently thought that enough was enough, as he kept
pretty close to home whenever he heard a wolf howl.
a number of mining claims in the hills back from the shore.
Two tunnels, each about six by eight feet and 200 feet deep,
entered these claims. The tunnels were in heavily wooded country
and were not visible from the shore. He wanted to know if I
could locate the tunnels. This was not much of a job. A lantern
was hung at each entrance and from distant triangulation stations
observations were made at night. The distances, latitudes, longitudes
and elevations were got in a very short time. The elevations
were 97 and 405 feet and the average slope of the hill there
was twenty-seven degrees. He wanted to know the cost. I told
him that it would be figured out during the winter in Seattle.
He had other ideas. He wanted to know if a regular land surveyor
would have to come from Ketchikan, calling for launch hire,
launch crew, surveying crew, clearing a line through timber
and underbrush, running a traverse and levels. I helped him
figure the cost. He didn't want any cheap job. Well, his mulligan
stews and roasts in camp were "tops," so reciprocity was in
order. After completing our work in that section I never saw
McLeod again. He was a friendly and lovable character, the type
of pioneer who was and never will be again.
I mentioned the incident to a party in Ketchikan. He smiled
and said, "The Canny Scot thought it might be counted as part
of his assessment work and he didn't want any cheap job." If
so, it was all perfectly legal as I did the work at night on
my own time. I was informed that his claims were quite extensive
and that he had been offered a good price for his interests
which he did not accept as adequate. The price of copper then
was high and labor costs relatively low. Prospectors frequently
locate property and in trying to evaluate a sale price fail
to take into consideration development and transportation costs
and the speculative risks inherent in estimating the extent
and quality of the mineral content.
was drawing to a close and after making several small detached
surveys, the party headed for Seattle. Dr. Mahone had been doing
rough work, back packing and mountain climbing often under wet
and disagreeable conditions. After a particularly nasty trip
he remarked, "The Coast Survey doesn't need a doctor; a mule
is what is wanted." A Swede sailor boy standing by said, "Doctor,
jackass much better." I snickered. Doc said, "Tom, I think that
might be a dirty dig." Doc left at the end of the season to
enter private practice. He had very little medical work during
the season, having only two surgical operations, cleaning a
mallard duck and dissecting the Canadian goose he shot on Duke
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