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[p. 30] British vessels of war may come or not come, with the chances in favor of their coming, when they would gobble up the fort. If they do not come, the Pacific Co. may keep their posts and their goods. A strict guard is kept in the fort to avoid surprise. At the same time McTavish being short of provisions is supplied by McDougall.’1

Still McTavish fences for time, and it was not until McDougall made ready his boats and threatened to move inland up the Williamette River did McTavish agree to the sale.

Meanwhile Hunt, in the Hawaiian islands, had bought the brig Pedlar for $10,000, hoping to be able to rescue some of the property. He embarked for Fort Astoria, where he arrived only to learn of its transfer to the North West Co. He expressed great dissatisfaction with the sale, and after a short stay directed his course for Sitka. On the way he fell in with two United States vessels hiding from British cruisers. While there the Pedlar was seized by the Russians on a charge of selling powder to the natives but was released for lack of evidence.2

The British cruisers arrived before Fort Astoria with great expectations of booty, and great was their disappointment when they found their prize had slipped through their fingers by transfer to British subjects.

Hunt, in the Pedlar, took on board a few Americans who had not joined the North West Co. and preferred a sea voyage to the overland trip and sailed for New York. He is said to have reached his destination after a tedious voyage. One event of the voyage was the brig's capture at San Luis Obispo by a Spanish vessel. The charge of smuggling could not be substantiated and she was released. The story told at the investigation was that she had entered San Luis because she mistook her captor for a Russian ship to which a part of her


1 H. H. Bancroft. ‘History of the Pacific States.’

2 Peter Conly. ‘Early Northern Pacific Voyages.’

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