Jonathan Banner: [narrating] Hearing news of an armed force near the border, I was sent by the Hudson's Bay Company to investigate. I decided to ask these soldiers a few questions. My companions were a Cree chief named Cavendish and a trapper named Jean Lebouef, who took a dim view of my questioning an entire army.
Lt. Zebulon Pike: See here, Banner, have you been in this territory long?
Jonathan Banner: Just a week or so. I, uh...
Lt. Zebulon Pike: No no, I mean you Hudson's Bay men.
Jonathan Banner: Oh, um, fifteen years.
Lt. Zebulon Pike: Fifteen years!
Jonathan Banner: Something the matter?
Lt. Zebulon Pike: Mr. Banner, I was sent in command of an expeditionary army and when you lead an expedition for five months through considerable hardship, through what you honestly believe is wild unexplored territory, and then suddenly you find...
Jonathan Banner: Sorry about that, Lieutenant. Of course, we just trade here.
Lt. Zebulon Pike: My instructions are from Congress and my superior officers are as follows: One, to follow up the Mississippi River to its source.
Jonathan Banner: Oh, well, that...
Lt. Zebulon Pike: And two, to establish friendly relations with the Indian tribes and three, to locate that line due west of Lake of the Woods to where it intersects the Mississippi River which, according to the Treaty of 1783, establishes the border between the United States and Canada and there, sir, to plant the American flag.
Jonathan Banner: Mmm.
Lt. Zebulon Pike: Why do you say, "Mmm", Mr. Banner?
Jonathan Banner: Well, you say a line drawn due west from Lake of the Woods.
Lt. Zebulon Pike: Yes - to where it intersects the Mississippi.
Jonathan Banner: Well, Lake of the Woods you know, that's 120 miles further north.
Lt. Zebulon Pike: I'm aware of that, Banner. Does it make any difference?
Jonathan Banner: It wouldn't, only you see the Mississippi...
Lt. Zebulon Pike: Yes?
Jonathan Banner: The Mississippi starts right here.
Jonathan Banner: I can't help what it says in the treaty. There's this lake basin here; half a hundred muddy brooks flow into it. Take your pick, but this is where the river starts.
Lt. Zebulon Pike: You know, I was afraid of something like this.
Jonathan Banner: Well, I guess it's just one of those days.