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Lost in the Barrens
Transcript of Lost in the Barrens
by Farley Mowat
Farley Mowat (1921 - ....)
Author of 42 books (17 million copies)
Grew up in Belleville, Ontario
One of Canada's Best Known & Most Read Authors
Jamie's parents died. His uncle, Angus Macnair was the only relative. He sent his nephew to a boarding school for 7 yrs but then ran out of money to pay for it due to a collapse in the Fur Trade Industry in Canada's Far North. Angus brought Jamie to The Pas and his home. Cree Indians were neighbors and friends (Alphonse Meewasin was their leader). Jamie and Awasin (his son) became good friends at the age of about 16.
Alphonse & Angus go to The Pas to sell their pelts. They leave Awasin in charge. Denikazi, the leader of Idthen Edeli (a band of the Chipeweyans of the north), informed Awasin of the “Deer Eaters” who were starving and needed help. They didn’t have a good year for white foxes and therefore couldn’t sell the pelts for ammunition to kill the deer. Jamie and Awasin plan to travel to see for themselves (with ammunition).
Jamie & Awasin paddled with Denikazi’s tribe to the “Deer Eaters” to the north. They found that the people were in need. They then decided to move further north with the “Deer Eaters” to hunt in the barrenlands. The barrenlands were protected by the Eskimo. Jamie and Awasin were invited because they had a good 30.-30. They expected to be away for about 2 weeks.
Jamie & Awasin paddle for a number of days with Denikazi and his men. They expected to see the deer but have not yet been able to connect. Denikazi made the boys a fresh white fish to encourage them and nourish them for the tough times ahead. They encounter several difficult rapids. They portage often. The trees are getting more sparse.
In this chapter:
Denikazi prays a lot but the deer don't come. Jamie & Awasin are left with a few of Denikazi’s younger men to wait for the deer while Denikazi takes a hunting party futher north into Eskimo lands. Jamie & Awasin hunt a few partridge locally and Jamie tries to convince Awasin to visit the Great Stone House to the north. Awasin says “NO!”
In this chapter:
Jamie convinces Awasin to go to the Stone House. They leave a note saying that they will be back in 2 days. They paddle some rapids and eventually come upon an open area with fish ducks. They successfully were able to hunt one by following chasing it until it was exhausted.
Ravens are called "Deer Brothers" because they tend to follow larger herds of the caribou. The boys traveled across the lake to see if they could find the "Stone House". They rigged a 'sail' and it worked. It brought them to the end of the lake quickly and into a river where they went over a violent waterfall and struggled for their lives.
The canoe was now wrecked and Awasin tried to keep upbeat. But, they were long from the killing grounds and were deep into Eskimo country. No fire, no food and no canoe were tough! Jamie's leg was hurt from the accident. Awasin caught the woodchucks for food and some ground squirrels. A mile downstream, they could see something that looked like "The Great Stone House".
They used a fire drill to create a fire and cooked and ate the ground squirrel. They saw three kayaks full of Eskimos and were terrified enough to try to hide out at the stone house. Meanwhile, the two hunters of Awasin’s tribe tried to locate the boys but the gave up when they too came upon Eskimos and they retreated at once. The boys were hungry and Awasin caught a 40-pound trout! They ate and smoked the remaining steaks but became quite depressed that they would have a hard time with no rescuers or way of getting back to safety.
Jamie and Awasin find a sword, dagger, helmet and a shield in a crevasse of the Stone House. They decide that they must head west to see if they can find Denikazi. It is their best chance for survival since they will likely never be able to walk south in time to meet up with Denikazi's men.
The caribou have arrived. Jamie's leg was still hurt so he couldn't go on a hunt with Awasin. Awasin killed a caribou and they ate happily. They then continued West to intercept Denikazi. They found the river that Denizaki would likely come down and they camped close by. Denikazi and his men paddled down that very river while the boys slept that night. Their fire was out....