Pierre's father cuts his thumb off with an ax because he was doing Pierre's job. Pierre feels guilty so he decides to enroll as a voyageur because his father can't anymore. Pierre has to leave behind his home, his family, and the girl he likes, Celeste.
After leaving St. Annes, Pierre feels guilty because his dad was supposed to be out there, not him. He gets along with most of the people, but some don't like him. Pierre is homesick because he misses his family and Celeste. His muscles are very sore, and the blisters on his hands hurt a lot.
During the rapids, La Londe got out of the canoe and tried moving a rock that was in the way of the canoe. While pushing the rock, the blade of his paddle broke, thus getting the title "The Broken Blade". After a while of hard work La Londe finally got the rock out of the way, but he lost his footing and got pulled down the river.