National Geographic : 1963 Sep
Rusty flintlock muskets con trast with a flint spearhead (on hat). Both were in use when voyageurs paddled the wilder ness rivers. Salvagers hold a clay pipestem from Scotland and a block of flint found in the Granite River. Lost and Found: Tools of the Voyageurs' Trade Axheads, ice chisels, brass ket tles, and barbed spearpoint recovered from streams are identified at the Minnesota His torical Society in St. Paul. The Society's director, Russell W. Fridley (top), and museum cu rator Alan R. Woolworth ex amine the collection. on the lonely banks of the Basswood River. Had it happened that way 150 to 200 years before? Did that precious cargo still lie be neath the rushing water.? Below us, four divers, resembling denizens of some distant planet with their face masks, air tanks, and orange-and-black suits, darted among the rocks. I followed the trails of air bubbles that marked their progress. Powerful currents, treacherous undertows, and whirl pools clutched at them as they combed every crevice, every niche. "These chaps are good," Dr. Davis said. "They've got to be, what with continually 416 shifting currents, boulders, and the possibil ity of entanglements with submerged trees and stumps, or a foot getting caught in crev ices in the bedrock. There's always the danger, too, of something going wrong with their out fits-a stuck valve, a loose connection. Notice that they never work alone. When visibility is bad, they keep in touch by tapping signals on their air tanks." Soon the divers began to concentrate on a dark, foam-laced whirlpool toward the base of the rapids where the water was from 8 to 12 feet deep. If the North canoe crashed as I had imagined, that was the place to search.