Pierre has to leave with the voyageurs, to be the only source of income his family has. It would have been his father's job like normal, but his father got injured while cutting wood, chopping his thumb off, making him unable to paddle the canoes. In his place, Pierre goes.
How about the island?
Pierre is doing pretty well. He gets along with most of the men, just the occasional teasing, same as anyone, except Beloit. He constantly makes fun of Pierre's blistered, swollen, and pained hands, and sore muscles, plus an endless list of other things. Pierre really wishes he could go back to the comfort of his classroom, and home with his family.
Pierre's brigade took to the rapids, and I'm guessing they regret it. One turn too soon, ended up getting them stuck on a rock, about to get hit by another canoe. La Londe sacrifices himself to get the canoe unstuck, and they are unable to find more then his broken oar, before they have to leave.
In attempt to save twenty-seven miles, they go to cut across a bay, and get caught in a horrible storm. The canoe ends up cracking and water begins pooling at the bottom, but luckily, they find a safe island to stay at. Unfortunately they have to stay for a few days, making all of them restless.
Pierre is both excited and nervous once they reach the point of Grand Portage. He sees many disturbing things, but he also gets a feel of what the trade is like. He meets the Ojibwe chief, Mukwa, who is an old friend of Charbonneau and La Londe's, and his daughter, Kennewah, who he takes quite the liking to. Over all Pierre really enjoys his time with the brigade.
Pierre returns to Lachine with the others in the brigade. The trip home seemed to drag on and on, leaving Pierre homesick, but when he got home it was worth it to see him family again. I think Pierre is going to go to school while he can, until trading season begins again, and then go, so that he can learn to be a clerk after he graduates, but continue to be a canoe man.