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A cruise in the Pacific. From the log of a naval officer. In two volumes. Vol. II 1860

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Array       A CRFISE IN THE PACIFIC.
FROM THE LOG
ov
A NAVAL OFFICER
EDITED BY
CAPT.   FENTON   AYLMER,
IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. II.
LONDON:
HURST AND BLACKETT,  PUBLISHERS,
SUCCESSORS TO HENRY COLBURN,
13;   GREAT  MARLBOROUGH   STREET.
1860.
The right of Translation is reserved.  A YEAR'S CRU
THE PACIFIC
CHAPTER I.
" And thou wilt pray for me—I know thou wilt—
Thou'lt lift thy eyes
Eull of sweet tears into the darkened skies,
And plead for me with Heaven."
MOO&E.
We put in at Lahina next, on the island
of Mawkee or Maui. This is, by many people, considered the most picturesque of the
group. The town itself is large and straggling, extending nearly two miles along the
bay, but possessing only one street, and very
VOL.   II. B
mmmmmmmimmM 2
LAH1NA.
few public buildings, none of which can
boast any beauty.
The old palace ranks first in importance,
then the fort, which is, like that of Honolulu,
only of use to fire salutes from, next, the
churches, and one or two hospitals. There
are a number of places called victualling-
houses, and these bear a very low character,
and subsist principally by fleecing " Jacks"
who come ashore after a long voyage.
The harbour is one of the best; you require no pilot, and when in are as safe from
wind or sea as if on land. I have been in
this harbour as quiet as in my bed at home,
while the winds and waves were holding bat-
tie outside the bar, with noise enough to wake
the dead; at other times the leaves of the
plantain and palm, torn off by the tempest,
were cracking against our masts and rigging
like pistol shots.
The gales, though frequent, are easily prepared for, as they come at regular times, and
always from the same point.    The neighbour- NATURAL  PRODUCTIONS.
8
hood is entirely overrun with the indigo plant,
in the first instance planted by the missionaries,
but having found a congenial climate and soil,
and from being totally neglected, has become
a perfect weed, and threatens to cover the
whole island, to the exclusion of every other
product.
The taro root is not so much cultivated as
in some of the other islands. The landscape
is very pretty, the hills rising behind the town
and forming a magnificent background, varied
by every passing cloud, and encircled by the
everlasting green of the forest, whose brightness and verdure never fade.
I have said that the immorality of the
natives exceeds belief. Child-murder was
common long after the date of the missionaries' arrival. Every sickly infant was
buried.
The hero of the following story, one of those
shining lights we now and then meet with, even
amidst the darkest scenes in the world, was destined to share this fate, as, when born, he was
b 2
r~ CHILD   BURIED   ALIVE.
so weak, small, and sickly, that his mother determined to rid herself of the trouble and pain
she would incur in rearing him, and for this
purpose, adopted the licensed custom of burying the child.
Seeking out a quiet spot, she laid him
down, while, with her hands, she scooped out
his little grave. Herein she laid him, and
covering him up with grass and sand, left
him to die, happy to escape the trouble of his
cries.
There was, however, another and far different fate in store for the sickly infant, and
He, in whose eyes a sparrow cannot fall to the
ground without being known, had marked out
a glorious and triumphant career for it; and
strength was given to the infant to cast off
the slight covering. Its cries reached the
ears of another woman, a poor, stricken mother, whose only child had just breathed its
last in her arms. She heard the shrill cry of
the deserted little one, she looked at the little
creature, cold and lifeless in her arms, whose HIS   RESCUE.
voice was silent in her ears for ever, and then
up at the clear blue sky.
Still the voice came to her, and believing,
in her simplicity, that the gods had sent her
another baby in the place of him they had
taken, she followed in the direction of the
sound, and there lay the little one, just the
age of him she mourned. Lifting him from
the earth, she placed her own child in the
grave, and putting the new found one to her
breast, thanked the gods for their gift.
Hastening home, she carefully tended the
child, and brought him up for four years,
when she, too, died, and the child was again
cast upon the world \ this time wjth no such
good luck as before. The people who had
kept silence for his mother's sake now scrupled not to taunt the little deformed creature,
and turned away from him with superstitious
horror, calling him an offspring of the Evil
Spirit.
For weeks the neglected, starving child
stayed in the hut his mother had inhabited, 6
HIS  WANDERINGS.
hiding away when he saw people coming,
knowing well the reception he would meet
with if he shewed himself. He was, as I
said, only four years old at this time; so even
this circumstance bespeaks the force of his intellect, which could so early judge of danger,
or good and evil,
Days and weeks passed by, and the hut fell
in ruins round the cold hearth, and the child,
already almost on the same level as the wild
beasts, took refuge in the woods, where he
wandered about naked, eating the wild roots
and berries, and sleeping under rocks or in
holes of the earth.
Years went by, but he only increased in
ugliness and deformity, and, moreover, was
covered with disease and sores, such as only
this unfortunate nation appears subject to.
It is not much to be wondered at that in
this degraded position he should become even
as the brutes that perish, and desperately
wicked, exceeding even the most renowned in
his evil ways. PAUIKI. /
I have said before that the dances of the
islanders were of such an evil tendency as to
oblige the first missionaries to insist upon
their suppression. One of these, named the
Hula Hula, was considered, even among themselves, as being too shocking to perform, except on special occasions, and then under
cover of night, in caves, or dark groves.
It was in this Pauiki most excelled, and
great was the fame of his deeds; so great
that it reached the ears of the King and
Queen, in those days, as deeply sunk in
wickedness as their poorest subjects.
Pauiki received an order to visit the Court,
and, when seen, their Majesties were so muGh
delighted by his grotesque figure and witty
answers that they retained him about their
persons, much in the same light dwarfs and
jesters were kept about our own Court in
earlier days.
Years went on, the dwarf became of great
renown, and even ruled the monarch himself;
indeed, nothing was or could be done without o
MISSIONS   AT  KAILUE.
his will and sanction, and everything was done
that could be to exalt and raise him in men's
eves, and this as a reward for his great and
shocking wickedness.
The first authorized mission reached Kailue
in 1820, and after working and prospering
for some time, attracted the notice of the
King and Queen, in both of whose hearts
a desire to inquire into the truth of the
new God was awakened, so much so that
they set off to the station where some of
the missionaries were established, to hear for
themselves. Of course the Court went with
their Majesties, and with it Pauiki. Here he
heard and reviled the Holy Word, and here,
too, he fell desperately sick; at last his sickness was pronounced a malignant fever, and
all fled from him except those whose orders
were to drive him forth into the forest away
from the presence of men.
What strange and painful reflections must
have risen in the poor sick wretch's heart,
as he crawled forth beneath  the  sheltering PAUIKI S  SUFFERINGS.
9
trees, driven like a dog from hm master's
presence, forsaken by all who had so lately
called him their friend, and sought his companionship. None to speak a word of comfort, or soothe the terrible pains that wrung
the bitter tears from his eyes. The very
beasts of the forest passed him by, as if
afraid to touch such an evil morsel; and sick
even to weariness of life, he twice attempted
to put an end to it, but each time was prevented by what seemed a trivial occurrence,
but was in reality the hand of God restraining
him.    There were greater things before him.
After a few days' suffering, he managed
to build a small shelter of green boughs, and
covered it with leaves; into this he crawled
and lay down, hoping to die.
While lying there, his thoughts were continually drawn to the words he had heard
spoken by the strange preachers, and some
even he repeated to himself, wondering what
they could mean.
Involuntarily, he used to repeat such sen- 10
THE NATIVE  TEACHER.
tences, or even words, as he remembered,
aloud, stringing them together the best way
he could.
Day followed day, he grew weaker and
more helpless, his little store of bread-fruit,
which he had taken into the hut, was gone,
and he had no strength to search for more.
A day passed without food or water, and
all night he lay looking at the quiet stars
and wondering whether there really was a
second life such as the preachers told of.
Another day broke, rolled on, and closed.
Surely, he thought, this is the last, and felt
glad to think it was so near, and first of all
in his thoughts rose a glad feeling that he
would know whether the missionaries told
the truth or not, and, thinking thus, he
again repeated some of their sayings.
It happened that at this moment a native,
who had been converted and made a teacher
by the missionaries, was passing. The sad
tones of the voice reached his ears; he recognized it as  the voice of pabi, and, thinking A   HORRIBLE   SIGHT.
11
he might be useful, he drew nearer. As he
approached the hut the words became audible,
and to his great surprise he heard the words
of Scripture spoken in his native tongue.
After listening, and almost doubting the
accuracy of his own understanding, he stooped
and looked under the green boughs—he started
back. Could that frightful being stretched
upon the ground He a living, breathing creature; a man even such as he was, and,
as it appeared, a Christian?—he dare not
think so. But, while uncertain, the voice
spoke again, and again he stooped and
gazed; it was quite true, the horrible, ghastly
lips moved, and suddenly the bloodshot eyes
turned full upon him.
Then the voice changed, and he was addressed in the most horrible language that
tongue could invent, and bid to go away
and leave the dying in peace.
Praying to God to direct him, he listened
until the sufferer seemed exhausted, and then,
creeping in, knglt beside him, and gazed com- 12
THE   GOOD   SAMARITAN.
passionately upon the poor wretch  now too
weak even to speak to him.
With kind words and gentle actions he
sought to alleviate his pain, raising up and
placing a pillow of fresh grass under his
head, while he sought pure water, and bathed
his limbs, pouring a few drops between his
parched and sore lips. There was a gleam
of light in the eyes as they gazed up in his,
and when the tongue spoke it was with some
simple words of thanks.
"Who are you, friend?" asked the good
Samaritan, " I heard you speaking Holy words ;
are you one of us ?"
"I am Pauiki, the Queen's friend," muttered the sick man with a last remnant of
pride.
The stranger started back. He knew
Pauiki by reputation, and shuddered to
think of being so near him; but then the
words of Scripture—what could they mean?
—again he spoke :
"Pauiki,  why  did I hear you speaking CONVERSION   OF  PAUIKI.
13
the words spoken by the good white teachers ?
Were you mocking them at the door of
death?"
" No, I was wondering if they spoke true,
and glad to think I would so soon find it
out."
The stranger fell upon: his knees, and
thanked God that he had brought him there;
then, sitting down, he told Pauiki all the
teachers had said to him, and the good things
they had taught him, repeating a great many
texts and hymns as he thus spoke.
One or two of these came like familiar
music upon Pauiki's ear, and he soon forgot
his pain and distress in listening. When the
other had done, Pauiki told him this, and
begged him to come again. This request
was easily granted, and day after day the
comforter sat by the sick man's bed until
he had, by God's mercy, converted him from
the greatest of sinners into one of God's own
children, one ready to take up the cross and
follow him. 14
ATTENDANCE   AT  SCHOOL.
While this change was being wrought in
Pauiki's mind, an equally great one was going
on in his body, which, purified by his long
illness, was becoming whole and free from
disease; and, as strength returned, he felt a
new vigour in every limb. One thing only
never improved, and that was the dreadful
pain in his eyes, so that he could not look
for many minutes at an object without suffer
ing.
At last he was able to walk, and accompanied his friend to a neighbouring hut, from
thence to a missionary station, where he heard
the word of God. Day after day he attended
the prayer-meetings, and finding he could
not do enough without being able to read,
he asked and obtained permission to attend
the church school ; here among little children,
he sat poring over his lesson until a disease
affecting his eyes became so much increased
that he lost his sight altogether.
Now, indeed, his condition might be
imagined most  deplorable,  but Pauiki had HIS   BAPTISM.
15
found the only true peace, and learnt to be
thankful under any circumstances, and to acknowledge that all is for the best.
Nothing daunted by the want of sight,
he committed to memory verse after verse,
and, gradually, whole books of the New
Testament and Psalms, getting friends to
read them to him; and to such an extent
did his memory carry him that I was told
he never required a verse to be read more
than twice, sometimes only once.
Satisfied with his devotion to their cause,
the missionaries baptized him by the name
of Bartimeus, and shortly afterwards ordained
him a Minister of the Word. I have been
told that his eloquence was almost superhuman, and the pathos with which He dwelt
on the sins and temptations which beset us
on every side, and into which our weakness
leads us, the most touching thing one could
imagine.
Hundreds of his countrymen flocked to
Lear him., and hundreds went away believing. 16
NATIVE  GAMES.
The missionaries saw, with surprise and delight, how his words affected his countrymen,
when their own passed away unnoticed. The
secret was simple enough; Bartimeus spoke
to them in the imagery of their own wild
language. Mowers, birds, and even the elements served as illustrations, and brought
his parables before his hearers' senses. Men
listened and wondered; he spoke from a
full and enthusiastic heart, and great was
his reward.
Such was the life of this extraordinary man,
and, as such, a lesson to all, both to take
home to ourselves^ and apply to those we
deem of a lower place in the human race than
ourselves.
It was on this island I first saw the native
game of bowls, and another very much resembling that which we know as quoits.
The first is performed by several men, champions from each tribe, and the bowl is a round
whetstone, about a pound weight, beautifully
polished and glazed.    Quoits are the favourite CARVED   ORNAMENTS.
17
amusement, and are made of a flat oblong
piece of polished slate. They display great
skill at this game, and are delighted when
they beat (which they generally do) an Englishman.
Talking of glazing, I ought to have mentioned that they have a method of glazing the
native tappa, and making it have much the
same appearance as oil-cloth. I tried to obtain one of these, but did not succeed, partly
from the hasty visit we paid, and partly because very few of the natives possess them.
All. the Sandwich Islanders display great
ingenuity in their handiwork, and when one
remembers the fact that their instruments
consist of a sharp stone or shell, it is perfectly
astonishing to notice the pretty carved ornaments they contrive to adorn themselves with,
in the shape of necklaces and armlets, while
their spears are covered by grotesque representations of war and hunting, though from
the fact of there being no wild animals except
hogs and dogs, it becomes an interesting en-
VOL.   II. C
// 18
GROTESQUE  PICTURES.
quiry as to where or how they obtain an idea
of the creatures they take so much pleasure in
representing. If you ask them, they only
shake their heads, and say they do not know,
that their grandfathers drew them, and so do
they. 19
CHAPTER II.
As they drew nigh the land which now was seen
Unequal in its aspect here and there,
They felt the freshness of its growing green,
That waved in forest tops and smoothed the air."
BYEON.
Owhthie, or Hawaii, is the largest of the
group, is very fertile, and under the management of the largest number of farmers. Of
these, the greatest number are Dutchmen.
We anchored in Byron's Bay at sunset.
This consists of a reef of coral rocks, about
half a mile broad, through one part of which
there is a channel three-quarters of a mile
wide. On one side of the harbour, the mountains, of which the mighty volcano of Manna
Kea, or, as it is sometimes called, Killawaya,
forms the principal, rise in a gradual slope,
c 2 DAWN   OE   DAY.
while, to the south and east, they form a perpendicular bluff. From our anchorage I
counted seven streams, averaging about two
7 o    o
hundred feet in width, all falling over this
cliff, and forming pretty waterfalls, whose
murmur made the night musical, and, with
the dancing moonlight, helped to while away
my midnight watch.
The first dawn of day, in such a climate and
harbour, is always the most delightful hour of
the day, and, fully appreciating it, I was always on deck ready to pay my bow to the
god of day.    And certainly, on this morning,
I was well rewarded for my early hours, and,
as the rosy curtain was furled in the dark
blue  sky of night,   and,  borne by  unseen
hands,   gathered   out  of   sight,  leaving  the
golden field to greet the god, I thought no
wonder the Persians worshipped the sun. I was
well nigh inclined myself, but only gave it a
blessing as the source of health and wealth to
mankind.
Giadually,  the  bright tints left the sky AN   EXCURSION.
21
lingered awhile upon the mountains, just
kissed the low grounds with a morning greeting, and passed away.
Then came the hour of landing. I had
leave, not for one day only; no, lucky fellow,
I was to cross the island, and meet the ship
at Karakakooa Bay, seeing, by this means,
the volcano, and most interesting portion of
the island.
I was accompanied by one of the lieutenants, the chaplain, and assistant-surgeon.
We hired a couple of guides at Hilo, and
supplying ourselves with as much provision
as we deemed necessary to carry, set off on
our journey—little anticipating the enterprise
we were so lightly undertaking, though I, for
one, after it was over, knew the meaning of
the Captain's laugh, as he said:
"Oh, yes, see the crater, by all means!
Fine sight, fine sight!    I've been there."
So have I now, and don't advise any one
to undertake such an expedition in a hurry,
and with guides to carry grub. Our first night 22
A  NATIVE  HUT.
was spent in a native hut—and such a hut!
The open air would have been paradise in
comparison, and I would gladly have had
recourse to it, had it not rained in torrents
the whole night, and made a shelter absolutely
necessary. Thus we had to sit or lie it out
the best way we could; rather a difficult
matter, for many reasons.
First and foremost, the hut was full of
smoke, and choking with the smell of the natives ; the floor was crawling with fleas, and, in
a few seconds there was not a spot upon my
poor body they had not attacked. In vain I
rubbed, and tumbled, sat up, and lay down
again; the brutes grew even more and more
insatiable; and, almost frantic, I got up and
rushed into the open air. A regular deluge*was
pouring down. I was wet to the skin in three
minutes, and my tormentors were either put
to flight or drowned ; it mattered little which.
Suffice it they had gone; and with my dripping armour, I succeeded in getting repose
for the remainder of the night. UNCLEANLINESS.
23
The inhabitants do not indulge in much
washing, and to the neglect of this is attributed
a great proportion of the disgusting diseases
which are so prevalent. Besides this, they keep
their huts and food in such a deplorable state of
filth that it was no wonder to me when I
heard of and saw the state of the people
themselves.
They offered us taro and pai for breakfast,
but we could not touch it—and, content with
a biscuit and cocoa-nut each, we proceeded,
leaving a small quantity of tobacco as payment for our night's lodging.
The country was beautiful on every side;
forests of acacias perfumed the air, bending
over our pathway, and shedding their flowery
showers upon our heads, the stems and lower
branches affording support to numberless
creepers; the tree-fern, too, mingled its feathery beauty. Flowers of every hue painted
the green sward, which, in many places, was
perfectly scarlet with the mountain-strawberry,
and whole acres of raspberry trees hung loaded 24
ASCENT  OF  A  MOUNTAIN.
i
with fruit. Upon these we breakfasted, the
doctor all the time telling us we were sure to
get cholera, but, nevertheless, helping himself
as well as the best of us.
At first, everything about our journey
looked easy and prosperous, and we hastened
on, laughing at the forebodings of some far-
sighted friends, who, though never going anywhere, act upon Sheridan's well-known advice,
who, when a friend grumbled about not being
able to go to see some particular place, answered :
" Oh, think you've seen it, and say so."
Looking at the smooth mountain, I had
laughed at difficulty, and was now about
to experience that of the ascent.
When we began to ascend the mountain,
the scenery changed perceptibly at every
stoppage, while the track (road there was
none) grew worse and worse. The occasional
glimpse of a wild dog or bull enlivened the
scene—-of both there are large numbers, particularly the latter,  which do not scruple to WILD   DOGS.
25
attack you if you come in their way or cross
them.
Wild dogs were so numerous a year or
two ago that the government began to poison
them; it was well they did so, as the dogs,
by killing almost every calf that was dropped,
would, if left, have in the end exterminated
the cattle.
We had a pretty narrow escape from one
of these ourselves ; just as we were turning
a rather sharp rock, we had barely time to
clamber up a bank, when an enormous bull
rushed down with about twenty dogs yelling
and screeching at his heels. His head was
well down, and his horns pointed forward j
nothing could have saved me if I had been
a moment later, and as I held on to my
horse's neck (we were almost perpendicular) I could not but feel something like a
shudder. However, there was no time for
thought; a loud shout made me start,
and thinking something had happened to
one of the party following, I dashed round 26
EXCITING CONTEST.
the rock, just in time to see the bull rising
to his feet, with half a dozen dogs clinging:
to his neck and throat; but, exciting as
such a scene was, there was another to me
still more so, for just below the bank, and
caught between two trees, hung the doctor's
horse, struggling horribly in his death agony.
He had been regularly embowelled, having, in
trying to avoid the bull, gone too near the side
of the path. The bull seemed at first inclined
to pass, but suddenly turning, plunged his
horns into the horse's stomach; the sudden
stop and shock upset them both, and in
trying to extricate himself, the bull rolled
half over the embankment, but the horse
alone fell, whilst the other recovered his
feet, only, however, to meet fresh danger—his
mortal enemies were upon him, clinging like
bees. In vain he stamped and tossed his head,-
dripping with the blood of the poor horse,
the dogs held gallantly on, themselves maddened by the taste of this very blood.
A minute  or two passed—I could stand DOGS  AND  BULL.
27
it no longer; I saw, too, Gordon, the lieutenant, clutching his revolver, and mine was
in my hand—I held it up, he nodded, and
we both fired. The bull looked steadily at
us for a moment, then, as if he had forgotten
the dogs, down he came. Bang went the
barrels, and this time with better effect; he
stopped short, wavered for a minute, tried
to turn, and then stumbled and fell. There
was a general rush of the dogs, their sharp
teeth, were buried in his hide, while the hot
breath was still gushing like jets of steam
from his nostrils. It was a horrid sight, one I
sickened at as I gazed with a sort of fascination, wishing I had anything with which to put
the bull out of agony, and yet fearing the dogs,
which, if disturbed, might prove even more
dangerous than the larger animal. While wishing, I saw Gordon break down a large branch,
and wrap a cloak round his left arm, in the
hand of which he held a long Guacho knife,
one I knew he had won as a bet from a
great Buenos-Ayrean hunter.    I   saw it all 28
DISPERSION   OF  THE   DOGS.
in an instant—he was going to stab the bull;
jumping down, I too got a branch, and with
my cloak as shield was at his side. I had
no knife except a large pocket one; this might,
however, help me if the dogs proved dangerous.
We charged together, and Gordon plunged
his knife into the poor beast; he had profited
by his South American hunting, and knew
the spot to strike right well. Now, however,
came the difficulty: the dogs had not moved
from their meal, only looking up with glaring
eyes, and shewing the blood-stained fangs
as they saw us approach. Then down came
the branch, with all the power of Gordon's
arm; one brute curled over with a broken
back,  and two  more  slunk howling   away.
My stroke was not so true, but still it told:
•/ 7 7
and now the chaplain and guides came to
our aid, all similarly armed; Gordon all the
while laying about him as if threshing corn.
We had a sharp fight, but came off victorious,
killing four  dogs,   and putting  the rest to A  LAUGH   AT   THE  D0CT0U.
29
flight, though, as they went down the bank,
they soon fell upon the carcass of the horse,
and, I daresay, thought themselves great fools
to fight for one beast when another as good
lay within a few yards.
After resting for a minute or two, we suddenly remembered the doctor, and began to
grow anxious as to his fate; an anxiety that
was soon relieved by his appearance in
proprid persond.
He had watched the fight, but had enough
of it at the beginning, and warily remained
out of sight, thinking prudence the better
part of valour. After enjoying a good laugh
at his expense, we set about cutting a steak
for supper from the bull, but soon gave it up
to the natives, who had not the same sort of
stomachs as we had, and seemed to enjoy the
work as much as we disliked it.
Evening was again coming on, and our
proposed quarters for the night were still
some way up the mountain. So on we went,
at as good a pace as the path would permit;
KM 30
NIGHT  ON  THE   MOUNTAIN.
by no means a fast one. Huge blocks of lava
barricaded our passage at every hundred
yards, while the sharp stones cut the horses'
legs and hoofs unmercifully. Poor beasts!
we were to leave them at the foot of the last
ascent, as it is impossible to ride further. In
fact, it then becomes as much as a man can
accomplish with the help of both hands and
feet.
But I must not anticipate. Daylight, as I
said, was fading away; but we had the prospect of a full moon in an hour after dark, so,
by waiting a short time, we might continue
our journey to the cave.
The'last streak of daylight was soon gone;
an intense darkness, like a black veil, fell upon
the earth, and not a single object was visible;
not even our horses' heads, although we sat holding the bridles, and even stroking their faces.
All was dark, and, for a time, silent; then the
air became filled with the dismal howls of the
wild dogs and other nocturnal animals. I
never heard such wild, ghost-like sounds; my MOONLIGHT.
31
blood curdled,  and I almost felt my hair
rising like poor Hamlet's.
In the midst of my cogitations, the lieutenant began a capital imitation of Kean in
Hamlet, and kept us listening until a faint
glow began to brighten the horizon, gradually
increasing until the full-orbed moon herself
sailed forth, and took possession of her hea-
venly throne. The green leaves sparkled, and
grew silvery beneath her smile; bright stars
sprang out to welcome her, and we, poor
earthbound mortals, mounted our horses, and
continued our way, reaching a level plain in a
short time, over which we proceeded a little
quicker, although the beds of soft sand, into
which our horses sank, distressed them much,
and it was with difficulty we urged them to
struggle on to the welcome cave.
Here we found a party of natives already
assembled; the only good thing in this surprise beiug that a fire was lighted, and, con*
sequently, we could cook our supper more
speedily than we might otherwise have done. 32
BIRD-CATCHERS.
The natives who had taken shelter here
were bird-catchers, and were collecting little
birds, from which the two bright golden fea-
thers are taken, which the women weave
into wreaths, and even cloaks. The bird is
about the size of a blackbird, and under each
wing is found the single golden feather sa
highly prized. These pretty little birds were
found in enormous numbers. But although
the demand for them has been considerably
lessened since the introduction of European
fashions, thev seem to be dying out, and, like
the inhabitants themselves, will soon be a
thing of the past.
The native party watched our preparations
for supper with great interest, and greedily
devoured the remnants. Observing which, we
made them a present of the rest of our beef,
and retiring into a corner to sleep, had the
satisfaction of seeing them roasting and eating
it with great signs of gratification, and, in
O C? tJ
return, being presented with a bunch of the
valued feathers. THE   CRATER.
33
At day-break we were again en route, and
scrambling up the uneven sides of the volcano
itself; now climbing down into a wide chasm,
to get up the other side as best we could; now
making a frantic leap over a narrow crack,
down which a false step would have sent us
from this world in double quick time; now
slipping, or half smothered with some treacherous mass of lava which looked so firm that,
trusting to it, we threw our whole weight
forward, when smash, crash, and back we
went, buried under a cloud of dust and pieces
of rock !
Still our goal was nearing; the crater towered
before us, and with a couple of hours more
puffing and blowing we stood upon the brink,
and looked down into what I had never fully
realized, a sea of liquid everlasting fire.
I thought of Milton's description of Hell, and
Gordon quoted the " Course of Time." Truly it
was awful and sublime in the extreme. The
crater is of an oblong form, three and a half
miles in length, by twenty and a half in width.
VOL.   II. D 34
THE   GODDESS   PELEE.
It is in this volcano the famous goddess
Pelee is said to reign, and scarcely will the
natives approach its brink, fearful of incurring
her displeasure; and now, as we skirted along
the edge, our guide (the other had taken back
our horses to Pilo) shrank fearfully back,
trembling violently when we approached close
to the liquid fire itself.
What struck me as the most peculiar feature in the whole scene were two cones which
rose black and high like chimneys in the midst
of the boiling flood; from these the lava rushes
forth, flowing over their sides; at other
times, large masses of rock are ejected, and
I have read several admirable descriptions by
those who have been lucky enough to witness
an eruption, which I was not.
We had not time to stay all night, much
as we desired to do so; but after collecting
a few specimens of the lava hot from the crater,
we bid it farewell and began our descent,
and after some hard work reached a little
cluster of huts called, if I remember right, WHYHOHINO.
35
Keiva. Here we met with great kindness, and
got a capital supper, with the great comfort
of something like a bed upon which to rest
our bruised and aching limbs.
It was nearly noon next day ere we mustered courage to set out on our walk to the
missionary station of Whyhohino; the cool
sea breezes however somewhat refreshed us,
and by the help of stout hearts and sticks we
marched on. The road soon brought us to
the sea-shore, and now our interest was
awakened, as numerous native villages
brightened the way, and we were constantly
greeted by the ringing laugh of welcome and
the usual salutations. Occasionally a bevy of
girls would join in, their long dark hair interwoven with flowers, their loose blue dresses
shewing their beautiful figures something like
the famous Norah Creena. These accompanied
us for a mile or two, laughing all the way,
and trying to make us understand what they
wished to say—a vain endeavour, and I dare
say no great loss to us, for though picturesque
D   2 36
KAILILI.
objects in their light dress and active movements, the morals of the fair ones do not
permit much scrutiny.
Whyhohino is a small and scattered hamlet,
surrounded by trees of a stunted growth, and
by no means a very prepossessing spot.   Here
we again rested for the night, and heard many
a traveller's tale from our kind host. We also got
an introduction to a brother-labourer at Kailili,
our next station, besides the loan of a couple of
horses, which we were to ride by turns. This
was a great help, and many were the thanks the
good man received, not loud but deep.   Reaching Kailili, we sent back the horses by our guide,
paid him his demand, and hired a boat to make
the rest of the journey by this easy mode of
transit. This we accomplished in an incredibly
short time,   meeting with  no rebuffs from
wind or tide, and running along in splendid
style.
Much to our delight, we sighted the good
old just rounding into Karakakooa Bay
from the south,   as we  did ditto from the KARAKAKOOA  BAT.
37
north. We had done our work beautifully,
and had a day to spare. Many were the congratulations we received, although some of
the hands professed to doubt our having ever
reached the crater, until we pulled out our relics
and convinced them by ocular demonstration.
Karakakooa Bay is world-known, and has been
painted both in colours and writing so often
that there is nothing left to say. It has its own
sacred memory, particularly to a sailor, and the
spot where Cook fell is hallowed to us all;
even the natives seem to hold it in a sort of
awe, and bend their heads as they pass the
spot. Wonderful stories are told of the fatal
affray, and the subsequent fate of the Lono
(Cook's name on the Island).
While at Karakakooa Bay, I had many opportunities of seeing the habits of the natives,
and was even present at a truly primitive
feast, given in honour of some great day or
other.
The people began to gather at sunrise, men,
women, and children, each bringing^something '
38
NATIVE   FESTIVAL.
towards the picnic. The meeting place was a
pretty dell between two enormous arms of the
mountain. Nothing could exceed the picturesque beauty of the spot; it was entirely
enclosed by hills, lined with trees and flowers,
through which sparkling streams found their
way to join the rivulet flowing down the
valley.
It was a strange sight. The groups of
savages of every shade and colour, and shape
of dress, all light-hearted, laughing and
dancing, waiting for the business of eating,
which part of the ceremony was also in preparation ; and as I had a fair chance of seeing
their mode of roasting I shall here describe
it. A hole is first dug, in which a large fire
of branches is lighted, and kept replenished
until the earth beneath and for some way
round is quite hot; the embers are then cleared
away, and a pig, rolled and tied up in plantain leaves, is laid in the oven, a covering of
sods is put over it, and it is then left to roast
or steam, one side  being roasted, the other ROAST  PORK.
39
steamed. Sometimes, when they are in a hurry,
as in the present case, another fire is lighted
upon the top, and at a certain time (the cooks
knowing from experience the moment) the fire
is pulled aside, the sods removed, and the piggy
opened out to view, his fragrant smell saluting
the nostrils of the hungry watchers, who crowd
round to see all they can of it.
Then the signal is given, and they all squat
down in circles, wonderfully small considering
that a whole pig is laid in the middle of each.
My shipmates and I had a porker presented
to us, and being provided with plates, knives,
and forks of our own, we cut off a portion,
much to the distress of our hospitable hosts,
who could not understand why we did not
take it all, and nearly forgot to eat it themselves, so great was their wonder on seeing
the use we made of our knives, &c.
As soon as the bones of the pigs had been
completely picked, poi was placed before the
company. This we looked at, but found it
impossible to eat, for it neither looked tempting, 40
INTOXICATING  DRINK.
nor were the accounts written of its preparation at all inviting. The way the natives
eat it is by dipping a finger in, turning it
quickly round, and bringing it back to the
mouth well covered with a thick coating of
the dirty white paste which composes the
mixture. The operation reminded me of
sundry forays upon the larder, and assaults
upon a certain Alderney cow's milk, of
whose cream the dairy maid was wont
to boast, " That it wad hold a penny-piece."
After an extraordinary consumption of poi,
sweet potatoes, and bread-fruit, and, as Mr.
Weller feelingly remarked, " a wizable swelling" of a certain portion of the human frame
divine, large calabashes of liquor were
handed round,—at first only tasted, but soon
drunk by the men.
This liquor is, as every one knows, prepared
by chewing a root to a state of pulp, when
they spit it out into a cocoa-nut shell and set
it by to ferment.
It acts more upon the bodily strength than ENGLISH   CREDULITY.
41
upon the mind, for those who drink it soon
become powerless, although they retain their
senses, unless taking a large quantity. This
drink is said to be an infallible cure for rheumatism for those who will drink it.
The natives soon discovered the believing
capacity of the English, and have become such
inveterate romancers, that I must warn any
unfortunate traveller against crediting anything
he hears. The natives are cunning enough
to watch the gathering expression of wonder
upon the stranger's face, and draw upon their
imagination accordingly.
We spent three days in the bay, and then
returned to Honolulu, where we found the
steamer waiting, with the very unexpected
order to cruise up as far as Petropaulovski,
look in at the Amoor, from thence proceed
to Vancouver's and there wait further orders.
There was much discussion as to the
cause of such a strange order, and one man
who had been on the station during the
Russian war, and had gone exactly the same 42
DEPARTURE.
route, horrified us all by his dismal accounts.
There was nothing for it, however—to hear
was to obey ; so after laying in a store of fresh
provisions at Honolulu, we weighed anchor;
and amidst the discharge of guns and waving of
handkerchiefs we set off upon our weary voyage to the snowy regions, I, for one, with great
reluctance. But such is a sailor's fate ; he is
not only at the mercy of wind and tide, but
of a pitiless Board, who are often more capricious still. 43
CHAPTER III.
" Oh ! the whale is free of the boundless sea,
He lives for a thousand years,
He sinks to rest on the billow's breast,
Nor the roughest tempest fears.
" The howling blast as it rushes past
Is music to lull him to sleep,
And he scatters the spray in his boisterous play,
As he dashes through the deep."
whaler's song.
Most of us were heartily tired of hearing
the by no mfeans euphonious name of Petro-
paulovski, and many and various were the
changes thereon rung by the sailors, all gra-
dually subsiding into Pollyovsky.
We all thought it a great bore to go so far
at such a late season of the year, and by no
means relished such a roundabout way of
reaching our winter quarters at Vancouver's ;
besides,  as  the  voyage from the Sandwich Ill I
itfiEil
44
CHANGE   OF  WEATHER.
Isles would run to nearly a month, we should
just look in at the place, and go off again on an
equally long voyage to our destination. Moreover, the chance of being delayed by stormy
weather was by no means cheering. This,
added to the length of time during which we
should receive no home tidings, was not calculated to put us in good humour; and we
all started with very unwilling hearts.
At first, the weather was pretty fair; then
there was a change. The thermometer fell,
foggy nights set in, and, for a week, we were
all shivering with cold, blowing our noses,
and grumbliug about ear-aches. I believe I
was almost the only man who escaped the
latter tiresome complaint, and, saving a slight
touch of ague, had nothing to put me out in
the cold way.
As we were now getting into the very
home of whales, everyone was on the lookout, anxious to be first to sight the monster.
Scarcely any conversation went down except
about whales and whalers; how  they were WHALES.
45
caught and cut up, the dangers of their pursuit,
&c, each man telling a different story or quoting a different authority.
At last, one bright, sunny afternoon, the
welcome shout was heard, and, in imitation of
the true sporting phrase, the words, " There
she blows !" were echoed through the ship.
Then came a general rush, everyone asking,
" Where ? where ?"
" There to windward, Sir."
" But how many ?"
" Three, Sir, at present."
And in a short space the gentlemen were
visible to all, going so rapidly that it was evident they would soon pass us pretty close.
On they came, their great carcasses well
out of the water, now and then going down,
and coming up again to spout, their black
skins glittering in the sunshine.
Suddenly, they were alongside, and we
could see them distinctly; and very ugly
brutes they were. Their enormous mouths
were closely shut, their lower lip folding over 46
A  DEAD  WHALE.
the upper one. I saw them go down, one by
one, with the force of a battering-ram, raising
their tails high in the air, as if to give them
impetus. They never went down except
singly, and took it in regular turns.
Two of them, from their appearance and solicitude for each other, we settled must be
mother and child, as it is well known that,
until arrived at maturity, the cub seldom
leaves its mother.
Just at dusk they parted from us, and it
was two days or more before we saw ^another, and that was a dead one, round which
millions of sea-birds and sharks were holding
carousal.
It being an almost dead calm when we
sighted the body, we sent off a boat to make
an inspection, and a few of the fellows, whose
olfactory nerves were none of the most delicate, volunteered, for the sake of the shooting.
The whale was tolerably far-gone, and exhaling a frightful stench, while the great
over-eaten sharks sailed about, almost on the THE   ALBATROSS.
47
surface of the water, looking at the boat with
suspicious glances. One great brute, rather
more voracious than his fellows, made a dash
at the boat, and got a sharp reminder over
the nose as thanks.
Several fine large albatrosses were shot,
and it was now, for the first time, 1 had my
attention drawn to a singular formation in the
skull of this bird, namely, a narrow cavity
just above the eye, which, I believe, acts as a
reservoir in which the oil used to dress their
feathers is retained. When first caught,
nearly all birds of this class vomit a disagreeable sort of oily matter, much as the weasel
tries to ward off an attack by emitting a pungent effluvia.
The surgeon told me, on my expressing
some wonder as to the power of using this defence, that he had noticed the same formation
years before, but hoped some one who understood ornithology would take it up some day.
Some account of the manner in which
whalers set about their work, will, I think, 48
ANTIQUITY  OF  WHALE   FISHING.
be interesting, and fill up the tedium of this
account of a long voyage.
The taking of whales would seem to be a
much older institution than many of us are
aware of, there being records of it as far back
as the time of King Alfred; and mention
therein is made of a certain valiant knight,
who, amongst his numerous deeds of prowess,
reckoned that of having been one of six who
had killed sixty whales in two days.
In the earliest times of which we can hear
anything of the North-west Indians, Norwe-
gians, or Esquimaux, they were in the habit
of using the fat and oil as food; and the inhabitants of the Bay of Biscay have, from
time immemorial, considered the whale's
tongue as their greatest delicacy.
In the middle of the seventeenth century,
the Dutch had carried whaling to great perfection, and had established a settlement at
Smeeromberg, only eleven degrees from the
North Pole, besides several others at convenient places.    At each of these villages, they CREW   OE  A  WHALER.
49
erected store-houses, boiling and pressing vats
to manufacture the oil; an operation now
carried on, on board the ship itself.
The Americans next took up the ball, and
rumours reaching Europe of their great success, the governments of England and France
fitted out several whalers, and, in 1788, England had the honour of opening the Pacific to
the sperm fishery.
The crew of a whaler are not engaged on
the ordinary hire principle, but each man has
a per-centage upon what fish are taken ; thus,
every one has an equal share in risks and
profit. And assuredly there is risk, greater
than any one who has not seen the monarch
of the deep in his natural freedom can possibly imagine; and scarcely a year passes
without numberless fatal accidents.
As soon as a whale is observed by the look-
out at the mast-head, three boats are launched
immediately, everything being kept in perfect
order, and placed in the boat beforehand.
The crew is also ready told off, and everyone
VOL.   II. E 50
A   CAPSIZE.
is in the greatest excitement. Off they go,
pulling with right good will, watching in*
tently the movements of the whale.
If what is called a right one, he flukes, that
is to say, lifts his tail, as we noticed our
friends doing, and dives.    As soon as he goes
©7 ©
down, the boats scatter widfe to watch his return. And now each man is breathless, every,
nerve strained; the whale may appear any
where, at any moment, and their first intimation may be by being heaved high in the
air, or capsized by his coming alongside.
A capsize is, however, but lightly thought
of, as every man forming a whaler's crew
learns to swim, as part of his education, and
can keep afloat for hours, waiting until the
other boats can find time to pick him up.
A more serious accident, however, often happens, and that is, when coming up near, a
whale flukes right on the top of them; in
this case, the men seldom all escape, and
many a gallant fellow goes down stunned, or
with a broken limb. THE   HARPOON.
51
When the whale is up again, the leading
boat creeps up within range, and the chief
officer stands ready in the bow, harpoon in
hand. Whiz goes the deadly weapon, and, if
a lucky hit, it is the only blow necessary ; and
the result is instantly known by the colour of
the spout; if bloody, there is no need of another stroke.
Now, however, the real danger begins, and,
though mortally wounded, the monster struggles long with death, and after floundering
about on the surface for a time, goes down
below, and makes a run for it.
The line attached to the harpoon acts as a
tug line, and the little boat spins along, sometimes even under the water for a moment \
presently, the whale tires a little, and
rises to breathe, the rope is quickly hauled in,
and recoiled in the tubs, ready for another
run.
If the first blow has been deep enough, unless a very old and strong fish, he does not
often try a second run; but if he shews fight
e 2 I
I
52
THE   " ELURRT."
again, generally another boat comes up, and
another deadly anchor drinks his life-blood.
His death-struggle, or "flurry," soon fol-
Co     * J *
lows, and as soon as there is a symptom of
this, the boats run back as far as their lines
permit, and wait until life is extinct.
This " flurry' must be a terrific sight, for
I have heard men say that the ocean, for
miles round, was like the top of a boiling
caldron, the water being one mass of blood
and foam.
As soon as he turns on his back, all is over,
and nothing remains but the satisfaction of
cutting him up • unless, as sometimes happens,
he goes down; in which case the boats must
be cut away, and lose both lines and fish.
The carcass is hauled alongside the ship
and secured by a thick chain, the reeve blocks
always kept ready are made straight, and the
cutting in tackle arranged; steps are put over
the side and secured, down which two or three
men descend, each having a belt or rope
across his chest in case of slipping, an accident DISSECTION   OE  A  WHALE.
53
probable enough, and by no means pleasant,
seeing that hundreds of sharks appear directly
a whale is killed, and make rushes at the
morsels which are broken off in cutting up,
nay, often at the men themselves if they go too
near water-mark.
The cutters use long-handled spades, and
the work begins bv dissecting the enormous
lips ; as soon as one side is detached, hooks are
fastened to it and it is hoisted up ; as it rises
the men slit round by the jaw-bone; and the
whole lip is thus raised and stowed away in
the hold.
Next come the fore fins, then the upper lip,
then the jaw, in which lies the article known as
whalebone; after that the throat, tongue, and
lower jaw. This is the most difficult operation
of all, there being such an enormous weight
of fat attached to the root of the tongue that
the tackling will frequently give way and the
whole be lost.
Stripping off the blubber is easy work; it
is hoisted in long slices, and cut into smaller 54
EXTRACTION   OF  THE   OIL.
pieces on reaching the deck; there is a room
or compartment devoted to this part, called
the blubber-room.
All this work occupies a great deal of time,
and during the interval millions of birds have
appeared to claim their share, and cluster on
every part of the carcass, screaming and fighting for the chips of blubber, eager for every
morsel, and glutting themselves while they
can, as they all seem to know by instinct that
the instant the last piece of blubber is off,
down will go the skeleton to the bottom like
lead, and the sharks have it all their own
way. Some whales yield, nearly three hundred
barrels of oil, and the state of the ship during
the boiling, &c, may be better imagined than
©'      7      j ©
described. All the work is done on board, and
at sea; thus there is no loss of time, and as the
flesh, after the oil is extracted, acts as fuel, there
is no need of carrying any of the latter.    The
ignorance of this most useful fact was verv
© j
probably the principal reason why the earlier
whalers always ran for the nearest port and
■aaaaBwaftM— • r    ■■■ WHALE  FOOD.
00
landed the blubber to be prepared on shore,
it being obviously impossible to carry fuel
enough for such work. The portion of the
deck upon which the furnace is placed, is
thickly bricked over and kept cool by pumping water, and as soon as the last barrel of
oil is filled, a regular cleaning up takes place,
and everything is thoroughly scrubbed and
put in order for another cruise.
It is inside the upper jaw of the whale that
the whalebone lies, and answers during its
owner's life-time as a sort of strainer; it
resembles slabs laid edgeways in the mouth,
and is covered with something like coarse hair,
in which the curious little animals forming its
principal food are entrapped. These are a kind
of small shrimp, the form of which is only discovered by looking at them with a magnifying
glass, as in reality they resemble a very minute
drop of blood, and when floating on the surface are dead and clotted together in thou-
©
sands ; they go by the name of " right whale
food," but are properly of the medusae tribe.
BHBES 56
A
a
>>
SCHOOL     OF  WHALES.
When a whale is feedi
he
his moutl
is leemng, ne opens nis nioutn,
and keeping it so, rushes through a shoal of
these creatures, doubling up his lip when he
thinks he has got enough.    I saw one or two
at their dinner, and was very much amused
by the exercise they took—going right ahead
for some time,   then back, then forward or
round for about two hours, when I suppose
they had satisfied their appetites.
As we drew near the goal of our vovage,
the whales increased in number, and a day
or two before we sighted land, I witnessed
a   wonderful  exhibition,   namely   a   regular
" school" of whales playing upon the surface
of the ocean \ rolling and tumbling about like
' © ©
so many kittens, sometimes jumping clear out
of the water, and coming down like thunder,
the whole ocean giving me a good idea of
©      © ©
what an eruption from the bottom of the sea
would appear, when mighty rocks were thrown
up, but to fall back into the water again.
It is extraordinary the height a whale can
throw himself above the water, and when we UNPLEASANT  PROSPECT.
57
first caught sight of the lively group I could
scarcely believe my eyes.
But I must leave the whales to their sports,
and tell of ourselves. We were within one
hundred and seventy miles of the port of
Petropaulovski, with the pleasant prospect of
entering the bay at day-break next morning.
The weather was now intensely cold, and
the prospect of even a week at the port anything but agreeable; besides, a chance of having
to winter there was held out by the growlers,
and kept us in a continual state of feverish
dread. I had no fancy for sledges or ice, and
as I had been dreaming of the mild climate,
sunny shores, and pleasant society of Vancouver's and Valparaiso, from which place the
wide wintry Pacific now divided us, every
moment seemed an age, and the very idea of
staying at Petropaulovski made me shudder.
The water was now covered with birds of
every size, many of which I had never seen. We
had splendid pistol practice, and I made a
great collection of skins, which unluckily were n*
11
I
58
MOUNTAINS   OF  KAMTSCHATKA.
TV
he th
er-
ome.
several decrees,
ru
dest roved on their passage h
mometer  suddenly rose
that we on night-watch began to look a little
more cheerfully at things, but alas ! the wind
changed too and
©">
dead
teeth,
cam<
When we first sigtitea trie wmte-coverea
mountains of Kamtschatka they were absolutely bathed in fire, which gradually altered in
shade as old Sol opened his eye upon the
world around us. The breeze too fell, and for
a couple of hours we lay like a log upon the
water, witnessing, by way of compensation, one
of the most beautiful sunrises I could have
imagined; as the red light cleared away and
the sun ruled triumphant, a light breeze sprang
up and we were gliding triumphantly through
the narrow entrance or gut.
©
High land rises on either hand, and on the
right is the light-house and small fortification,
once I believe considered pretty strong, though
it proved a mere myth during the war,
and has never regained its eclat.
The sail up the bay gave us a glimpse of NATURAL   DOCK.
59
some splendid scenery, wild, bold, and striking : the right side being one continuous range
of heights, and the left much softer and lower.
At the head of the bay where the Awatski river
flows in, there is a different appearance in the
country, which is low, and the river runs for
some distance very shoal, so much so, that
only flat-bottomed boats can reach the mouth,
close to which stands the village.
Almost facing the entrance is the mouth
of the inner harbour, quite a natural dock,
formed by a couple of mounds called the Saddle.
These run parallel with the beach ; a low sand
spit running at right angles to them leaves a
clear and deep narrow entrance. Along the
Saddle are several batteries corresponding with
others along the bay, and ships lying close
behind the sand-spit would, in action, be
completely protected from being hulled
near the water-line, and also have the advantage of such shot as fell short striking the
sand-bank, and thus either passing over them
or remaining embedded.
© t ■
• J if
60
VOLCANO   OF  AVATSKI.
The village here is called Valovski, and is
a small fishing place, with some government
iron buildings, and one church. A lake, famous as the resort of wild ducks, lies at the
back of the village.
Between this point and the light-house at
the mouth of the harbour, you see the mighty
volcano of Avatski, towering to the heavens,
sending forth incessant clouds, of smoke and
flame, while streams of boiling lava well over
its sides. This sight is grand and awe-inspiring at night, as it sheds its radiance across the
bay.
There is a low range of mountains between
©
the water and volcano, the whole of which lay
white under the heel of winter; and I was
told that, even in summer, the inland face of
these hills is covered with snow.
The harbour is full of fish, and during
June and July immense numbers of salmon
and herrings are taken, many of the former
being of an incredible size, some upwards of
seventy pounds. PETROPAULOVSKI.
61
When H.M.S. 'Monarch' was there, ditring
the war, a friend of mine told me they caught
quantities of both, and one salmon weighed
seventy-five pounds ; while, in one haul, the
net came in, broken in many places by the
enormous weight; and, on another occasion,
they could not get the net in, and were
obliged to underrun it, that is to say, pull
up the under string and lower the upper, and thus capsize the cargo. Even in
this case, they destroyed thousands, and for
days the bay was covered with their dead
bodies.
The town of Petropaulovski lies about
seven miles from the bay, delightfully sheltered on all sides. There is a Greek church
near the Government House; the barracks
are good and large. The Government buildings are all roofed in with iron, and painted
bright red \ the sides are made of logs, laid
over each other, and filled in with moss and
grass.
A great portion of the town consists of the 6
SLEDGING  SEASON
huts*of the Kamtschatdales, and is very dirty
and poor; the yourts, as the winter huts are
called, looking little better than heaps of earth.
They are sunk down beneath the surface, like
w
those of several Indian nations to whom I shall
have to allude. There are two memorial pillars
erected by the Russian Government, one to
La Perouse, the second to Behring; the first
is a metal obelisk, the second, a wooden imitation.
When we arrived, the sledging season was
iust commencing, and I soon had the offer of
an excursion in one to try what I thought
of it.
The sledge itself is lone and light, with the
seat not more than eighteen inches from the
ground. It is very uncomfortable to sit
in, particularly in such a shower of hail as I was
honoured with. You are exposed to the full
force of the blast, as there is not the slightest
shelter or protection against wind or weather.
The least projection or obstacle upsets the
sledge, and you suddenly find yourself plung-
KJ mt w w m% C# DOGS   OF  KAMTSCHATKA.
63
ing about in the snow, while, possibly enough,
the dogs continue their gallop, perfectly regardless of the driver's shouts.
The dogs are fine animals, and I thought
very interesting. They stand rather over
twenty-three inches in height, often twenty-
five, have a pointed muzzle, pricked ears, and
broad, sagacious head; the body is low, and
admirably adapted for work and exposure,
being protected by long hair, and a thick,
warm undergrowth of dun-coloured wool.
They seem indigenous to the country, and are
found wild among the hills, in  which  state
© *
their habits are identical with those of the wolf,
an animal they closely resemble in appearance.
The dog sleeps during the day, and can,
it is asserted, see better   at night.    He has
the most singular voice I ever heard, something between the  howl of a wolf and the
©
bark of a dog, a horribly unearthly sound,
ringing   through   the   stillness  of   a   clear,
O      © © 7
frosty night, and echoed by the rocks, which, I
1
TRAINS   OE   DOGS.
when laden with snow, give a strange, smothered answer back.
Trains of dogs vary from seven to eleven
and fifteen, and are kept by everyone. They
are tied singly, or in pairs, to stakes, in the
sledging season, but in summer are permitted
to range about and find for themselves.    Then
©
they subsist principally upon fish, which they
catch as easily as an otter dees. They evince
a strong sense of enjoyment at the approach
of winter, welcoming the first fall of snow
with ev^ry demonstration of canine delight.
Perhaps this is instinct, telling them of the
shelter and food afforded in return for their
light work, as their owners now take care to
feed them; except only on a journey, when
the idea prevails that they work better when
kept on short commons, and I was told they
would perform journeys of three or four weeks'
duration upon fare scarcely sufficient to keep
them from starvation.
The teams are always uneven in number,
from the reason that the most  trustworthy UNRULY  DOGS.
65
dog is placed singly in the van as leader, and
guides all the rest, obeying, from custom and
training, his driver's slightest word. They
go at a tremendous rate, and over everything;
up and down hill; it seems all one to them.
Sometimes they become unruly, and take
the law into their own hands ; and this is almost invariably the case when they scent
a herd of deer. Then, nothing will restrain them; off they go in hot pursuit, giving
the unlucky traveller an excursion he little
anticipated, or, sometimes, leave him rolling
helplessly in the snow, to scramble, if he can,
to some sheltering hut.
My journey was only of a few hours' duration, and yet my back ached for days after,
while from the swift passage through the air
laden with keen frost, the skin peeled off my
nose and cheeks, nor could I sleep at night
on account of the smarting and pains. A cure,
however, was effected next day, by the application of a coating of veritable bear's grease, the
possession of which was obtained in this wise.
VOL.   II. F I
66
A  STARTLING  INTRODUCTION.
Some of the fellows spied a bear stealing
about on the mountain side, and immediately
got leave to land and try their luck. After a
couple of hours' hard walking, partly through
and partly over snow, they reached the spot
\yhere Master Bruin had been promenading,
and were deliberately rounding the ascent,
which was rather steep, wfhen, from a bank
above, they were greeted by a regular avalanche of snow, in the midst of which, and while
busy shaking their eyes and necks free, down
slid the bear, right in among them. Rather
startling, to say the least of it!
I imagine he had got as great a fright as
they did, or would not have turned tail so
ignobly as he did, making a violent and very
insane effort to jump up the cliff again—an
effort ending in a second fall. This time the
party were ready wdth a warm reception, and
four or five rifle balls crashed into his shaggy
carcass.    One  of them  piercing  his   heart,
he fell over without  a   struggle.    Poor fel-
©©
low, he proved acceptable in every way, par- A  FAST  VOYAGE.
67
ticularly to me, in the shape of cold cream,
and I suffered no more from the wind and
hail.
This was the only bear we killed, or indeed
saw. Perhaps they are driven down by the
storms from their mountain retreat later in
the year; at any rate we heard marvellous accounts of them from other ships, and were
scarcely believed when we said we bad only
seen one.
After ten days at Petropaulovski, we
bid it a long farewell, and with cheery hearts
set sail for Vancouver's. Even the breezes
seemed to rejoice that they had got us on the
wing again, and never failed us all the long
voyage, which I believe was one of the fastest
ever performed, and during which we only
used our steam three or four times, and that
only to keep us under weigh.
F !
68
CHAPTER IV.
" Waters to their resting place serene
Came freshening and reflecting all the scene,
(A mirror in the depth of flowery shelves),
So sweet a spot of earth you might, I ween,
Have guessed some congregation of the elves
To sport by summer moons had shaped it for themselves."
GER.TE.UDE  OF  WYOMING.
We had, as I said before, a glorious passage
from Petropaulovski, and passed just within
sight of Queen Charlotte's Island, only near
enough, as it was remarked, to " swear we had
seen it, and tell everything we liked about it.'5
Next to this came the cluster of islands, or,
more properly speaking, rocks, lying at the
extreme northern point of Vancouver's, named
after Beresford and Scott, and then we sight-
ed the green mountains of the island itself,
delighting our eyes by gazing on the refreshing  green, which looked,   to  my   sea-worn VICTORIA.
69
vision, brighter, richer, and fairer than aught
I had ever seen before.
Towards evening we were off Nootka,
with a very heavy sea running in upon a high
rock-bound coast; so that, the wind freshening,
we kept well out, and lay to waiting until
daylight, to make our way down, entering the
straits of Juan de Puca next day at seven
o'clock, p.m. the snowy crown of Mount
Olympus glowing red with the parting touch
of old Sol, and Becher Head rising on
the left. As we ran round and cast
anchor in the little harbour of Victoria, we
felt inclined to call Olympus the monarch of
mountains, and Vancouver's the most charming spot on earth.
Victoria is like all new towns, very white
and straggling, very formal and uncomfortable,
but with the happy prospect of being beautiful at some future day, having, as it has, all
the natural advantage of situation, climate, and
material, with a luxuriant vegetation to give
it additional beauty. 70
INSPECTION   OF  THE   ISLAND.
The situation has been admirably chosen,
and from the slope to the bay there is no need
of drainage, nature taking that work in her
own hands. The harbour runs inland some
distance, and is spanned at the town by a
fine bridge, which forms the means of communication with the interior.
Such was the town and harbour, and such
the first object that greeted us with returning
daylight. Then followed a telescopic inspection
of the country; we took in fields of grain,
some bending ripe and ready, others cut and
standing in those dear old English " stooks,"
among which I've had many a game at
Hide and Seek, and behind which I've often
lain hid to get aTshot at a blackcock late in
the season. Next to these came real turnip
drills, and sheep penned in among them,
reminding me forcibly that partridges were
found in Vancouver's, and that the game laws
did not extend to this portion of our domi-
nions. Moreover, to enhance our happiness,
it was now September, and it was something to ESQUIMAULT.
71
think that we too might bag our partridges,
even as those at home were doing; and revel
in fancy among the home preserves.
Forests of oak and pine softened the distance, and clothed the mountains, which from
this point tower up far inland, and seem to
mingle with the skies.
Although the harbour of Esquimault was *
to be our anchorage, we remained a couple of
days at Victoria, and then performed the rest
of our voyage.
Esquimault is just round the headland upon
which the fort is erected. The entrance is high
and rocky, almost blocked up by an island,
which, though rendering navigation a little
troublesome at times, yet, with a fair, wind
and good pilot, is the cause of no danger; and
once over the bar you enter a lovely sheet
of water, reminding you strongly of Loch
Katrine, and just as calm, though without
the pretty islands that people the latter.
Inside it is all plain sailing; you glide along
for seven miles (up to the head), passing grey 72
ENCHANTING   SCENE.
I II
rocky headlands, and glittering little bays,
the scenes of peace and enjoyment. The latter
feeling is indeed predominant, and gladly, indeed, do we welcome such a spot after such
a long weary voyage. How enchanting this
scene must be to those who, having come
direct round the Horn, reach such a haven,
and feel there is peace in the world !
There being about eight fathoms close up to
the shore, ships of all sizes can anchor, almost touching the land, and the whole surface
of the harbour was alive with boats of every
shape, some rowed by native fishermen,
others by girls, clad in scanty bark petticoats,
and painted to the eyes with a sort of red clay.
The admiral, being a thorough-going old
7        © ©   ©     ©
sailor, made a close inspection of us, and
pronounced us in capital order; for the present
we were to remain where we were, but from
some hints let fall by the captain, reports
began to steal about that we should not stay
very long; so we determined to make the best of
our time.    Vancouver's is every day becoming
. L  I ~^^ DISCOVERY   OF  VANCOUVER S.
73
a place of greater interest, and people at
home are thinking more favourably of this
pretty island; considering all this, I hope
I shall not be looked upon as a bore, if I
endeavour to satisfy my enquiring friends, and
tell them all I know, saw, or heard about the
place.
Great and many have been the changes
wrought in this island, and at this point,
and before I say anything of its present state,
a few words about its discovery and prospects
will be useful in opening out what is to
come.
The discovery was long disputed by the
Spaniards, and as little was really known of
this portion of the American Western coast,
the merit was not much valued, and saving
now and then when by chance recalled, neither
England nor Spain troubled themselves about
the honour.
In 1776, the British Parliament, seized with
an enterprising spirit, offered the magnificent
reward of £20,000 to whoever would discover W&L
H }
74
CAPTAIN   COOK S  VISIT.
a means of water communication between the
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Captain Cook, already famous from his
second voyage round the world, volunteered
to command the expedition, provided only the
Government furnished him with two good
ships, and permitted him to select his own
officers, and superintend in person the outfitting of his little squadron.
He visited Nootka Bay, and supposed it to
be on the mainland of North America, and
concluding a little hastily that his bearings
must be correct, left the island and ran across
to the Sandwich Islands. Here he lost his life ;
but on the return of the ships to England,
with the exact and clearly stated logs kept by
the Commander, as well .as many specimens
of the produce of those parts of the globe, as
yet unknown, the whole continent became in-
terested. Russia sent her ablest navigators to
the far off region, and other countries added
their mite.
At this time,  the English  trade  on  the DISCOVERIES  IN  THE  PACIFIC.
75
Pacific was appropriated by large mercantile
corporations. Having their rights secured by
Act of Parliament, these companies bore the
respective titles of the South Sea and East
India Companies. The discoveries made by the
first company along the west coast of America
were of the utmost value; Dixon, the captain
of a vessel belonging to another society, came
upon and named Queen Charlotte Islands,
and the passage directly north immortalized
his name.
In 1788, some ships chartered by the
Bengal firm and accompanied by Captain
Douglas, commanding the * Iphigenia,' ran up
the straits of Juan de Puca, and took formal
possession in the King of England's name.
Still the existence of an island was unknown,
inasmuch as in one account of this voyage
it is said:—
" In the channels of this Archipelago (Juan
de Fuca) there are islands of ice, which we
may venture to say never have been formed
on the western side of America, which pos- 76
VOYAGE OF VANCOUVER.
sesses a mild and moderate climate, so that
their existence cannot be reconciled to any
other idea than that they received their formation in the eastern seas, and have drifted by
tides and currents through the passage for
whose existence we are contending."
This opinion, suiting exactly the ideas of
Government and merchants, was eagerly"
seized upon, as people readily believe what
they earnestly wish. The matter was allowed
to rest, until the voyage of Vancouver in 1792.
He entered into the Straits of de Fuca, and,
after what was then considered a dangerous
and marvellous voyage, settled all doubts, and
banished all hopes of the desired passage.
The strait was only one dividing a large and
fertile island from the continent.
The disappointment occasioned by Vancouver's intelligence damped his reception in
England, and the dangers he had encountered
were hastily glossed over, no one caring to look
the bad news in the face, by bringing him
prominently before the public. FOUNDATION   OF   VICTORIA.
77
Early in the spring of 1843, the Hudson's
Bay Company established a settlement on the
island, landing Mr. Finlayson with forty men
under his charge, thus founding Victoria.
His small settlement remained in much its
original state until 1849, when the whole island
was granted to the Company, under condition
that in five years they would have prepared
it by settlement for colonization. Such is an
outline of the history of Vancouver's. The productions consist of coal, timber and furs;
and every sort of grain that has yet been
tried, appears to flourish with luxuriance,
the heavy night dews keeping it fresh,
even when no rain falls for weeks and
sometimes months.
The climate is one of the most delightful
you can imagine, no extremes, rather resembling weather in the south of England, but
with a much shorter winter; November
and December being the only months you
can term stormy, though in January there
are   slight    frosts.     Vegetation   begins    in 11
111
78
CLIMATE.
February, and during March and April is
encouraged by regular showers.
After this comes the dry month, though
everything depends upon the dews. During the
months of June, July, and August (the height
of summer), the thermometer rises sometimes
as high as 92°, but that only happens occasionally, the mean temperature being from 60° to
80°. The autumn months are troubled by dense
fogs, and to this cause may be attributed the
occasional failure of the crops, the heat not
being sufficient to overcome the excessive
damp.
In such a climate as this, when even the
hottest day in summer is refreshed by cool
breezes passing over the snowy range of
Olympus, one can well imagine there is small
occasion for doctors, and it is affirmed no one
dies except of old age, or by an accident.
Even since the influx of diggers and the
consequent increase of vice, sickness and
death are so rare that a case of either causes
quite a commotion, and the doctors are all by ORIGIN   OF  THE  ISLAND.
79
the ears, there is a regular race who is to be
in at the death.
The origin of the island from volcanic
birth cannot be doubted by any one who has
made a journey inland, and examined the
surface of the rocks.
The centre of the island is mountainous, but
has been only partially explored, and most of
our information rests upon reports of Indians,
who it is well known are the greatest liars
unhung. A company has been formed to do
their best in finding out the capabilities of
the island, and to their report, when it shall
be brought before the public, we simple log
writers must bow.
The soil of Vancouver's consists of three
kinds, a rich vegetable deposit of a dark coloured soil, next a clay-loam, and thirdly sand; but
in speaking of the capabilities of such a country
I do not think I can do better than quote an
authenticated letter from a practical man,
and one which will, I doubt not, make more
impression than a sailor's opinion. Believing 80
EMIGRANT S   LETTER.
such to be the case I shall give the letter
verbatim.
"We arrived here  on the 4th of August,
and found everything better than we expected.
I got work the day after I arrived; I went
about   the town looking at the  men work-
©
ing, and enquired of them how long they had
been in business, and found that most of them
had only been at work here from three to six
weeks; I then came to the conclusion that I
would make one of their number, and take
work for myself.
I accordingly got a small set of tools, rented
© j © ?
a house, got a stove with all cooking utensils,
got a bed; made a table, and benches, and
took the berth of a first steward, and bottle-
washer. I next went to work by the day and
fitted up a store at a place where my son is
stopping; I got four dollars a day. I then
took a carpenter from London in with me.
We took a small job at sixty-seven dollars,
and finished it in nine and a half days; we HOUSE-BUILDING.
81
then took a house to build for a minister for
two hundred dollars.   We have been at it five
days, and it will take about two weeks yet to
finish it.
" Last Thursday, Mr. Clarke, from Owen
Sound, and myself took a job from the Hudson's
Bay Company. Mr. Clarke has been getting
timber out for them all summer, at four dollars a
day; he recommended me to them,  as one
who could do what work they wished to have
done. It is to put in the timber and posts,
frame  a  roof  and make  it ready,   lay  the
floors and put in the windows ;  the windows
with their frames are sent out from England
©
all ready to put in. I take out the sash, number them, and afterwards put them in; the
flooring is all machine dressed, and ready to
lay. There are four doors to make; the place
is at the harbour, and is a warehouse. We are
to get nineteen hundred and fifty dollars for
it; the work could be done in Owen Sound
for six hundred dollars.
" I am offered the work of two light-houses,
VOL.   II. G 82
CANADIANS.
as soon as we get this done; it will take me
about four months. I believe I am one of the
exceptions, there are plenty running idle, and
I have offered many Canadians a job, but they
will not work unless they get four dollars a
dav, and have not a tool in the world to work
j7
with, and will remain idle sooner than go to
work for less wages.
" Two men arrived yesterday from Toronto;
they have travelled through from the head of
Lake Superior to this place. The country
through which they came, is, they say, as fine
as they have ever seen, fine open land with
large prairies and fine soil. The country is open
enough to travel with horses to the Bocky
Mountains; these they can descend very
easily.
" The men looked pretty well used up, but
I got a job for them, and cheered them a
little.
" Our town is about as large as Owen
Sound, but is built more compactly. There
are about one hundred and fifty stores and CANDIDATES   FOR  OFFICE.
83
groceries, one hundred taverns and restaurants, and doctors and lawyers by the
dozen.
"I am ashamed of Cariada. The streets
are thronged with young Canadians, who
come out here with a fine suit of clothes on,
with some great recommendation, and are all
trying to get some easy berth, and put
some poor fellow out of office. These poor
fellows here, perhaps, have remonstrated
a little with their tyrant masters, and get
kicked out now, while others crawl in that are
too lazy to work. There is no use any man
coming here, unless he is willing and able to
work; he must take hold for himself, and not
stand about complaining.
" There is one drawback here, and that is
the   Government.    Our  Governor is  a tool
for a party opposed to the settlement of the
colony.   In the next place, the Americans are
reaping   a  great  harvest; everything comes
through their hands well-sifted.    You  over
©
in Canada sit contending about straws, and
g 2 84
ROADS.
the Americans are running away with the
commercial interests of all British America.
Let the Canadian Government set to work,
and make some sort of road to connect their
present water communication direct to the
Fraser Biver, and more than twenty thousand
would annually travel there in preference to
risking the dangers of going round the
Isthmus of Panama, and suffering the imposition of foreigners. If a direct communication
from Toronto to the Fraser Biver were made, it
would do Canada more good than all the
stock-jobbing humbug of the two provinces of
Upper and Lower Canada.
| There is no difficult undertaking; the
roads to be made between one water-communication and another are level and easy made,
and most of the way a good level country.
There is also one drawback here among the
miners ; they have no roads to get their provisions up, without costing them their profits.
" Every miner can make from three to five
m
dollars a day,   at almost  any place on the CLIMATE  AND   PRODUCTIONS,
85
Fraser, but the bad living disheartens them;
and when they hear that the wages at other
places are better, they leave them, and roam
from place to place until their little means
are gone. Then they curse the country, and
go away dissatisfied. But let them come
here, with their minds made up that everything is not smooth, and they will not be
disappointed.
"I believe that the climate here is good,
though different from Canada. It commences to rain about January, and rains good
and strong until March.    The farmers then
©
commence their spring work. Everything
gets a good start before dry weather sets in,
and eventually comes to perfection. The dry
weather begins about the middle of June, and
lasts to September, with the exception of two
or three showers. The wheat here is better
than in California; the head is larger, the
grain more plump. It stands out from the
stalk like small peas. One day, I pulled
several heads in the Governor's  field,  and 32
86
FRUITS  AND   GRAIN.
found they averaged from sixty-five to seventy-
three to the head. The wheat weighs from
sixty-five to sixty-seven pounds to the bushel.
Barley is equally good. The same with oats
and potatoes; these cannot be beat anywhere.
Corn is good. Apples, plums, pears,
peaches, and cherries do well here. Apples
will bear in four years, plums in three. Vegetables grow all winter, such as beets, carrots, and turnips. Cabbages are poor, owing
to the dry weather, but many are setting out
their winter cabbages now. They keep growing all winter, and many of the flowers are
now (September) budding out. Cattle and
sheep feed out all winter.
" The grain stands out more than two
months ripe on the stalks, or in stacks; many
are busy taking in their grain. We had a
smart shower here on the 20th of September;
this is the first worth mentioning since we
came here. The farmers talk of beginning
ploughing next month.    They plough  and CATTLE  AND   PROVISIONS.
8
sow wheat all through October and Novem-
©
ber. Any farmer who could come here, then
have his wife and children at a future day, if
he had just enough to start, and is industrious, will do, and could make two thousand
dollars per annum.
" Hordes are worth from two hundred to
three hundred dollars; oxen, one hundred to
one hundred and fifty dollars; cows, from
fifty to seventy dollars; sheep, from eight to
fifteen dollars ; hogs, not so dear. Butter is
now worth from fifty to seventy-five cents a
pound, cheese the same, milk, fifty cents a
gallon, lard eleven cents, mutton and beef,
twenty-five cents. The air here is so pure that
beef and mutton can hang in the butchers'
stalls for months ! and not spoil, or get flyblown.   The same with fish.
" The Indians cut open the fish, and hang
them up in the sun, and they will get dry and
not smell the least tainted. They put no salt
on them. We buy them, and soak them overnight, and fry them, and you cannot tell them 88
EIGHT  BETWEEN   NATIVE  TRIBES.
from fresh fish; but if you cover them down,
they will spoil directly. Fishing companies
would pay well; there are none here. Governor Douglass has sent away all the Queen
Charlotte Island Indians, and the others are
too lazy to work; so nothing is done.
" The two tribes were always at war, fight-
ing and killing each other, and for that reason
the strangers were sent away.
p They had a fight here one Sunday, and
seven of the Queen Charlotte Indians were
killed. It is great fun to see them fight.
When they had their last fight, the whites
went to look on, and the Indians came running, and wanted them to keep back for fear
the balls would hit them. They killed one of
the squaws, and flung her in the bay, and she
has been floating about there for more than a
iponth. I went and talked to the Indians
about it, and some of them went with me,
and wanted to see if she was any relation,
meaning their tribe, as I learned by a Frenchman ; but she was not their relation, so they A   CANDIDATE   FOR  ELECTION.
89
went away, and she is floating there yet, as
far as I know.
" The white men kick the Indians about like
dogs, and the more they kick them the better
they are liked.
"Our election comes off next week; there
is a darkey coming out to run. I hope he
will; it will cut some of the big men here, as
he is sure to run in. There are many coloured men, and all wealthy, and have votes.
The Americans will throw in their weight to
©
the darkey, and I believe he will get in."
The letter winds up by some family affairs,
among which is the statement that the child,
which was always sickly in Owen Sound, is
now as blooming as a rose, and has not had a
day's ill health since his arrival. l!
90
CHAPTER V.
" And man tho5 he beareth the brand of sin,
And the flesh and the devil have bound him,
Hath a spirit within to old Eden akin,
Only nurture up Eden around him."
GERALD  MASSEY.
The centre of the Island of Vancouver is
very mountainous, and, apparently, impracticable for general cultivation. But there has
been very little examination into its advantages, beyond the outside range of mountains,
and, from what I heard, it appears to me that
the settlers, in reality, know about as much of
what sort of country lies beyond that boundary as the inhabitants of the Cape   know CAPABILITIES "OP  THE   ISLAND.
91
about the interior of Africa. All the interest
that is taken is in cutting wood, and the hills
produce magnificent timber, and a great
quantity is exported to California, and even,
lately, to Europe, as masts and spars for
ship-building. The best grown wood has,
as yet, been found in the vicinity of Fort
Rupert.
The soil of the island is of three descriptions ; the first, a rich vegetable deposit; the
second, clay-loam; and the third, sand. These
distinctions are easily humoured by a good
practical farmer, and, with proper management and a very moderate outlay, the soil
yields excellent crops of wheat, barley, oats,
peas, beans, turnips, potatoes, &c. All kinds
of green cropping flourish magnificently, and
clover grows wild in most parts, often to a
great height, and producing two and three
full crops of hay in the year. All our English
garden roots assume a better form out here,
and I never saw such celery and seakale as
was common on every table. 92
CAPITAL   OP  VANCOUVER.
The importance of the colony has been
much enhanced by the discovery of coal, and
a new impetus has been given to trade by the
advent of numerous coasting vessels. A great
quantity of the coal is transported to San
Francisco, where it sells well, and amply repays the working, freightage, &c, bringing
twenty-eight dollars per ton.
The capital of the Island is Victoria,
founded by the Hudson's Bay Company, and is situated on a small harbour
of its own, within six miles of Esquimault, one of the best harbours in the
world. Public conveyances run regularly to
and fro between the landing place and
town.
There is a plain of seven square miles
round the town, and about three hundred and
fifty acres of open land, with a great extent
of scrubby woodland, very easily cleared
and made available for cultivation, particularly by adopting the Indian method of
burning. CALIPORNIAN   GAMING HOUSES.
93
As soon as the frosts, setting in up in the interior of Columbia, force the niggers to give
up their work, they begin to congregate at
Victoria, bringing with them their riches,
which they are so anxious to get rid of,
that, finding they cannot do so quickly
enough here, they go off to California and
spend them in San Francisco.
The last work I read upon Californian gaming houses, was one called the " Old and New
World,'5 and it contained an admirable description of both San Francisco and Australia,
with very particular descriptions of the sort of
places in which miners like to spend their
money; and as I do not pretend, in this account of mine, to say anything exciting/ or
mention a subject of which our sisters might not
read, I shall leave more enterprising readers
to search out authors who enter into such
particulars, and to make their own. conclusions.
At the date at which I send this account
to the press, there has been such a rapid pro- ■ ill
94
IMPROVEMENT OE THE EMIGRANTS.
i*_ "V-Tr.
gress in the moral government and conduct
of the emigrants, that the Judge states I that,
in 1859, there was not one murder, not one
attempted murder, not one duel, and but one
assault with a deadly weapon in the British
territory."
Certainly, the result is wonderful, and more
so when we are aware that the police force
never exceeds twenty men, that every digger
is armed, and that these men are such as
have been considered, heretofore, the most
lawless reprobates in the world.
The greatest drawback, at the present time,
is not the moral government, but the want of
inducement held out to men with empty or
slender purses, and strong hearts, to go out
and take up the waste land, at a lower rate
than that which Government now demands
for it.
From all my own experience shewed me of
the land itself, the general features of the
country, and, also, the publicly expressed opinion of men who have lived for years in the GOLD   FIELDS   OF  VANCOUVER.
95
colony, and watched over its gradual development, I am convinced that there could not be
found a more eligible and more desirable spot
for emigration.
There is now no doubt that the gold field is
of a higher character than that of California,
infinitely more easily worked, and although
there are a couple or so of months in
which working is prevented by frost, snow,
and winter-floods, still, in spite of this,
more gold is realized, and what is technically called a " pile" is, usually, of better
quality.
Some of the successful diggers establish
themselves in small stores, or buy land; many
more, however, go away. These last are
usually men who have been " digging " before
in California, and, finding they cannot spend
their gains as quickly as they have been accustomed to do, they go back to San Francisco, and come again in spring without a
penny in the world.
Of   course,   a   great   deal   of  the  gold IF
«ji —»■■ u ■ ■  — i rrr*l
96
PROGRESS   OF   THE   COLONY.
remains in circulation in Victoria, and a
marked and rapid improvement is the result;
while confidence in the colony and its progress is daily becoming more apparent, and
men who have been laying by money to return home with, are now beginning to invest
it in land, and settling down permanently in
the colony, confident in the security of their
adopted land.
The reports of gold being found in the interior of Vancouver's Island have set a new
spirit of enterprise afloat, and an expedition
will visit the portions as yet unknown, and
report as to their capabilities. Thus we shall
soon have a scientific account of what lies
open to us in that part.
Since the opening of the Panama railway,
the journey to Vancouver's and the coast has
been immensely facilitated iu point of time,
and, where time is money, of course, in ex-
' m
pense. So great was the rush at first, that,
during the first four years of its working,
one hundred and twenty-one thousand eight PASSAGE   TO    VANCOUVER.
97
hundred and twenty passengers, thirty-four
millions worth of gold, and nearly six millions worth of silver were carried across. All
the silver for England; and although a portion of the gold went to New York, it would
almost all, eventually, find its way to England.
The length of passage from England to
Vancouver's varied from five to six months
round the Horn. Now, by Panama, the aver-
age passage is forty days \ while, from New
York, it is reduced to twenty-three days, and
steamers ply regularly between New York,
New Orleans, Southampton, London, Liverpool, &c, &c, being met on the Pacific
side by steamers from California, and
those towns of wealth enough to furnish a
vessel plying along the Mexican, Chilian, and
Peruvian coasts.
When, however, the central route, direct
across our territory from Canada, is established, which, I have no doubt, it soon will
be, we shall  think  of   a   trip to   see   our
VOL.  II. H 1^
111 £
SSpl
1
98
INDIAN   POPULATION
relations at the other side of the world
much in the light we talk of going to Italy
now.
The Indian population of Vancouver's has
been roughly estimated at seventeen thousand.
These are subdivided into tribes, the most
powerful of which inhabit the west coast.
These are Clayoquets, and though avoiding
close contact with Europeans, they are staunch
and faithful allies. On the north and east
coasts, the Camex and Yakletah tribes are our
inveterate enemies, vying in hostility with the
Nootkas.
One would naturally suppose tribes continually at war with each other must be brave.
But this is not the case; the tribes are cowardly and deceitful in their wars, and only
guilty of cruelty and dogged courage when
driven to it.
Since the colonization of the Island, wars
have become less frequent, and as the Indians
amalgamate with the settlers, all such distinc-
tion of tribe will be forgotten. SLAVERY.
99
The progress of religion, too, under such
guidance as that of the good Bishop now
wisely chosen and sent in authority, will do
much to improve the natives. At present, the
body of the natives have no religion, and
are, singularly without an idea of divine
power.
Slavery, in its worst form, is common
among the Indians, and the poor slave, taken
in war, or caught straying from his own tribe,
becomes, solely and entirely, the property of
his master, who has the right to kill, mutilate,
or punish him in any way his passions direct.
Some of them own a number of slaves, and
with such it was no uncommon boast that
they   could sacrifice   five   or  six   to their
gods.
The natives are, bv no means, a handsome
race, and bear a strong resemblance to the
North American Indians, having the same
high cheek-bones, long nose, wide mouth, and
low, flat forehead. Their manner of living
and food brings on the appearances of old
TT   9,
xl    6) WjWit iii'itir"
■ ■ <«*»
*****
100
FLATTENING  THE  HEAD.
age prematurely, and some of them look
absolutely hideous, their scanty clothing
exposing every limb. Indeed, I could not
endure seeing some of the old women, and
often, in my rides, shut my eyes in desperation.
Another thing which adds to their ugliness,
is the custom which prevails of flattening their
heads, from which they derive the general appellation of " Flat-heads."    The operation begins almost directly a child is born.    A prepared board is ready, and upon this the little
creature is laid, its head being bound across
by two leather bands, which are passed back
and forward through slits in the upper part of
the frame.    This bandage is very seldom re-
moved, and then but for a second or two,
until   eighteen   months   or two years  have
elapsed, when the head has received a sufficient direction to make it grow in the proper
form.
I think the pressure produces a stupor, as
no sign of pain is evinced, except upon the A  LONG-HEADED    NATIVE.
101
temporary removal of the band, when the little
sufferer's cries are so piteous that the mother
is glad to replace the strap.
Strange as it may seem, this extraordinary
self-wrought deformity does not at all affect
the intellect, and far from these people being
the semi-idiots I really expected, I was soon
brought to a different conclusion by being
cleverly cheated by one of the flattest-headed
gentlemen I had met with; and upon mentioning my surprise to some settlers, I found-
the natives are considered particularly sharp
and long-headed in more wavs than one.
Moreover, that they live clear-headed to a
great age.
Each tribe forms a separate village, which
they enclose by a fence or palisade of young
fir trees, cut into stakes, and placed side by
side, having twigs or thin branches interlaced
through and through. The huts themselves
are from twenty to thirty feet square, built of
whole trees, with a larger one at the entrance,
in the bowl of which a hole, large enough to
**~. 102
GAMBLING  AND   SUICIDE.
act as a doorway, is cut; at the top of this an
image is carved, generally that of a man. In
some villages the houses differ. The one I
am describing was the first I saw, and by far
the most picturesque.
Gambling and racing are their chief amuse-
ments, and I had many opportunities of seeing both.
They ride well, and will stake their last
possession upon the success of a favourite
horse. Unfortunately, gambling has grown
to such a passion that, when the player has
lost his all, he generally finishes his cares by
committing suicide. This last appears an infallible resource in any difficulty, and, a few
days after our arrival, was brought prominently before us by one of the men finding
the dead bodies of two native women, both in
a small thick wood.
It appeared they were the wives of a great
chief, and being jealous of each other, hit upon
this way of settling the question, strangely MARRIAGE  LAWS.
103
enough choosing the same day and wood to
do it in.
Happening to meet the bereaved widower a
short time subsequent, I began condoling with
him upon his loss, when the old reprobate
grinned, and holding up five fingers, intimated
he had already supplied the loss, and with interest.
Their marriage laws are, simply, that when
a man sees a girl who pleases him, he goes to
her parents, and says how much he can give
for her. If enough, she is taken to his hut.
Any number of wives is permitted, and it is
looked upon as a sign of wealth to possess
several. All the hard work falls to their
share, but, in turn, they manage to leave
it to the slaves, and lead a pretty easy
life. iffl   I
Their food consists of fish, deer's flesh, and
cama roots, the last being to them what the
potato is to Ireland, and bearing a close resemblance to it in substance, though also partaking slightly of the taste and appearance of an »
104
WILD   ANIMALS.
onion. The name of Esquimault is derived
from this root, and signifies a " place for
gathering cam as."
Of the wild animals on the Island, bears
are the most numerous. Panthers are disappearing, yet they are frequently met with;
and just before our arrival one had been shot
near Victoria by a little boy. He, with his
brother, got a gun, and went out without any one knowing; by chance a panther
came upon them, and he shot it dead—
I daresay much to his own astonishment.
I had several adventures with them; but
I shall speak of my hunting in the next
chapter.
There were, and still are, in some parts,
large herds of deer, the elk being the best for
food, and at the same time most difficult to
get at. The wolves are fast vanishing, as is
always the case where civilization advances,
and, except in winter, you seldom hear of
them doing any mischief. Dogs are numberless, both in private and wild life, one pecu- BIRDS   AND   FISH.
105
liarly long-haired kind being bred for the sake
of their fur, which is interwoven with frayed
bark for blankets.
Of birds there are several; the finest I
came across was something like a black-cock,
but with a long peculiar cry more resembling
a screech-owl. Partridges stay near the cultivated ground, and afford capital sport. I
have read of snipe, and certainly saw one,,
but everybody talked of him as a little
wonder.
Fishing is the principal occupation of the
natives, and no wonder, for the whole coast
teems with cod, salmon, sturgeon, &c. Herrings
come in shoals, and their spawn is considered
a national delicacy. The native method of
gathering it deserves record. Finding that the
fish seek out sunny water, and prefer anything bright to spawn upon, they fasten green
boughs along the bed of the stream, and as
soon as a shoal of spawning herrings has
passed over, the boughs are lifted up, the
spawn, with which they are thickly covered, 106
FLOATING   A   WHALB.
is wiped off into a reservoir, and then run dry,
when it is rolled into balls, and laid aside for
festive occasions.
Sometimes a whale is blown ashore, and in
this, too, the ingenuity of the natives dis-
plays itself. They actually float the whale,
managing it in this wise. To a barbed spearhead they first attach a long rope, generally
sea-weed, then a bladder of seal-skin filled
with air, lastly, a stalk, which is quite loose,
and easily withdrawn.    As soon as the whale
w
is seen, they assemble all their force and set
off, and having stuck him all over with these
bladders, they wait for the rising tide, and
then, by the help of it and their united efforts,
haul the monster over the bar, he being able
to do little in self-defence, owing to the impossibility of his getting down into any depth
of water.
A whale is a great prize, particularly as the
blubber forms one of their favourite articles of
food, and has a place at every feast.
I have now told enough of the general fea-  10S
CHAPTER VI.
" Powder, wadding, dog and gun,
I never shall forget the fun
We had when going a shooting."
My first day's sporting in Vancouver's is
impressed very forcibly on my mind, more, however, from the predominance of disagreeable
and disappointing casualties than anything of
a particularly delightful nature. Two friends
of mine, both capital fellows, and, by their
own account, first-rate shots, accompanied
me; and on this memorable occasion we
started at daybreak, fully equipped. MORNING  WALK.
109
The dog that accompanied us was fated to be
a very Snarley-yow, a regular fiend of the genus
canine. We had purchased him in Victoria
with a splendid character, and being a personable animal in outward show, we had some
ground to expect better things of him; thinking, too, that though he might have faults, he
would still be a dog, and help us a little.
We had a lovely morning walk, through a
country reminding me strongly of Devonshire,
excepting only, of course, the new and strange
foliage, and the warm, clear feeling in the air,
which came laden with perfume over the ripe
corn-fields. Now and then we met a party of
reapers, many of them laughing and joking in
the full rich brogue of Old Ireland, while
others were plainly from beyond the Tweed,
and every line in their freckled faces, and
tone in their slow, deliberate voices, spoke of
the Lowlands of Old Scotland. Each party
gave us I good" morning, some adding a word
for " luck," and some touching their caps.
Encounters such as this made us almost !   r
110
INVITATION   TO   BREAKFAST.
fancy ourselves in England, nor was the delusion lessened by being hailed by a stout old
gentleman, standing at the door of a thorough
English rick-yard, and who, after claiming us
as countrymen, gave us an invitation to go in
to breakfast at his house, which we had just
admired in passing.
Of course we accepted, stipulating only to
be allowed to move on directly after, as
our leave was for the day only ; a request he
agreed to, if his daughters would let us.
He promised to show us a covey in a field
close at hand. The word sounded so English
and homelike, that I, for one, felt inclined to
shake hands over again with the old gentleman;
but as he had his buried in his pockets, I only
grinned and looked amiable, following our
new friend through a pretty garden, filled
with familiar flowers, evidently tended with
great care, and sending forth their richest
perfume on the morning air.
The house itself struck me as the perfection
of a place.    It was all on one storey, with a A  KIND   WELCOME.
Ill
broad verandah all round, up which roses
and honeysuckles clustered, all glittering with
dew, and into which, immediately before us,
opened two large French windows—displaying,
at one, a group of girls, at the other, a breakfast table, glittering with bright plate and
china, the dear old-fashioned silver urn steaming and spluttering in the middle.
I was at home in a moment; and nobody
could have looked at the three fair sisters,
whose kind smiles and bright eyes now gave
us a welcome, without loving them; and most
gratefully did we accept their breakfast, and
tell them all the news we knew, which, heaven
knows, was little enough, and which, I believe, was really stale to them, as I noticed a
quick glance and suppressed smile now and
then.
After breakfast, our host kept his word, and
after giving us an open invitation to return
whenever we could, hurried us off to the turnip field in which lay the covey. Our dog,
whom we had, pro tern.,  christened Ponto, ii
112
FLUSHING  A  COVET.
being the nearest approach to the cognomen
given us by his late owner, followed close at
our heels, looking exceedingly frightened, nor
could our most earnest persuasions induce
him to range the turnips.
" Never mind," said our friend, " I always
7 7 j
range for myself; pointers are scarce in the
colony."
Taking his advice, we scattered, and presently flushed a covey of fourteen birds, three
of which fell, and subsequently, on following
the covey, two more; when, finding they were
the only ones he was sure of on his land, we
left the remainder, and saying farewell, continued our journey.
The scenery now underwent a great change.
The road suddenly stopped and became a mere
track through scrubby underwood, with, here
and there, a large pine towering high above
its humbler brethren. As the ground rose,
this underwood gave place to larger trees,
and by the time we had got about half a mile
up the base, we were surrounded by a splen- FOREST   SCENERY.
113
did forest, enormous trunks marshalled all
around, often bare of branches for thirty feet.
Here and there a gleam of sunshine penetrated
through the rich canopy above, formed by the
interlaced branches; but this small ray made
the sombre darkness only more visible. Now
and. then it would brighten a spot of black
moss, changing it as if by magic into a glittering emerald, now circling round a rough
old trunk, then fluttering coquettishly about a
tender young sapling. Squirrels were the
only living thing visible, and hopped about in
all directions, scarcely caring to move out of
our way.
The effect was enchanting; the most unro-
mantic mind in the world must have owned
the influence. As for us, although by no means
given to anything of the kind, we walked on
in charmed silence, only finding our tongues
when we reached an open swamp, and
saw we might look out for game.
Following the farmer's advice, we divided,
VOL.   II. I 114
SUDDEN   ALARM.
each making a semi-circle, and at the given
signal stretching into the swamp.
After some discussion the dog was left to
my charge, no one appearing to place much
dependence upon his abilities after the example we had already witnessed in the turnip
field. When my companions left me, I sat
down upon a fallen tree to await the promised
signal, with Ponto at my feet. Suddenly
a terrible cry rang through the forest; I
sprang up, thinking it was the voice of one
of my friends, and fearful some dreadful
calamity had occurred ; but I listened in vain,
all was silent, and still as death—then hark !
again thrilled the fearful yell, and my heart
seemed to stand still. There could be no doubt
it was a human shriek, such a one as is only
wrung forth by mortal agony; cold drops
stood upon my forehead as I debated what
I ought to do, and strange as it was, I could
not make up my mind from which direction the
sound came. And as both my friends had
gone in opposite directions, I thought if I ran THE  MYSTERY  CLEARED   UP.
115
one way on chance of its being the right
one, I would naturally enough miss what
might be the scene of danger; so there seemed
nothing but to wait, prepared to act upon the
next alarm. I was still standing with every
nerve on the stretch, when a sudden crashing
through the bushes made me whirl round—it
was Harry Maitland, pale as a ghost, his
jacket hanging round him in rags, and his
uncovered hair flying in the wind.
" Good God, Fitz, what is it ?—are you
safe?" he gasped, holding his hand pressed
to his side.
" Yes, yes, it must be Peter," I exclaimed,
and not daring to put off an instant, I went
off as fast as I could in the way the third of
our party, commonly called Peter, had taken. I
had not gone a hundred yards when the shriek
sounded again, this time close beside me,
and strangely enough the mystery was
solved. Ponto made a dash into the thickest
part of the bush, and up rose a large bird,
uttering, in   rapid   and unmistakable   rota-
i 2 M
116
GROUSE.
tion, the sounds which had caused so much
alarm.
Very much relieved, and yet slightly vexed
at being so easily deceived, I put up my gun
and knocked over the cause of our alarm. We
subsequently found the bird to be one named
the Tetrao Obscurus, and somewhat resembling the common grouse, though larger and
of a palish blue plumage with a yellow throat,
round which hangs a loose skin, which it
seems is the means whereby he utters his
discordant note. Many people call this bird
the grouse of Vancouver's, and certainly when
well kept and dressed as such, he resembles
it in flavour, and would make a good substi-
tute.
When Harry recovered his breath, we
turned back together, heartily laughing at
our fright, and both with a strong idea of
having made rather an absurd exhibition of
ourselves.
On regaining my post, I seated myself, and
Harry proceeded to his destination. I sat for PETERS  WHISTLE.
117
about a quarter of an hour, and then heard
Peter's well-known whistle, signifying that he at
least was ready to enter the swamp. Oh ! how
much that cheery whistle would have relieved
my mind a few minutes ago! Now, so changed
was I that I felt rather provoked, and I believe
my feelings were shared by Harry, as he
let the whistle be repeated twice or thrice
before he vouchsafed an answer, and then it
was in a sulky defiant tone I understood the
meaning of.
Having whistled mv recognition of the
double signal, I plunged into the swamp, by no
means an easy place to travel in, particularly
as the long, rank grass grew high over my
head, and presented an almost impassable
barrier in its thick hard stems. On I went,
however, crashing, perspiring and eager to get
a glimpse of anything living, with all the
time a painful sensation that, if my friends
got at all excited, they might possibly enough
forget my proximity and send a stray shot
or two into mv unfortunate carcass.   All this .
118
TOIL   AND   PLEASURE.
was certainly a little trying to a fellow's temper,
particularly when large thistles and wondrous
thorns are piercing you on every side, and the
cactus is warning you to look out for unknown
enemies.    It  was dreadfully  hot, too, not a
j        7      j
breath of air finding its way into this island
of the forest, while the rays of the midday
sun beat down upon us without any mercy,
awakening into life and activity myriads of
little black flies that sting most unmercifully,
and buzz about your head, eyes, and face
in a terribly annoying way. On I toiled,
making very little progress, though with inconceivable exertion. A partridge sprang up
and fell to my gun, but what use was it
looking for him ? I tried, it is true, but soon
saw it was only waste of time, and finding
the grass getting finer and more easy to push
through, I hurried forward, gaining an open
part where the long weeds gave place to
native clover, studded with raspberry and
currant bushes—the first laden with fine
fruit of a delightful flavour. Of course I helped UNEXPECTED   RENCONTRE.
119
myself, and ate as many as I felt inclined,
happy enough to find anything so delicious,
and which in my present state of heat appeared perfect nectar. I had forgotten everything except the tempting bunches hanging
over my head, and was in the act of reaching
up for another, when 1 was recalled to my
senses by a couple of loud shouts, followed
closely by the bang of four barrels in rapid
succession.
" By Jove, they're getting sport," I exclaimed as I darted off in the direction whence came
the sounds of combat; and was hurrying on at
my best, when a great brown bear met me
full in the face, knocked me completely over,
and left me lying with ten thousand stars
dancing before my eyes, and an unpleasant
apprehension that the gentleman might be
waiting to see if I was done for before giving
me a second salutation. This fear was dispelled
by the timely appearance of my friends, flushed and eager with excitement, and both rifles
ready in their hands. 120
SHOTS  AT  A  BEAR.
Seeing me, they came to a dead stop, but I
soon relieved their fear by jumping up and
shouting I was all right, though a bear had
knocked me over.
" Yes, yes," they exclaimed, " but where is
he?" «fc
" All right, my boys, follow me;" and picking
up my rifle, nothing loath to have revenge
for my overthrow, I started off in pursuit.
We came upon Master Bruin just at the
edge of the thickest part of the swamp, where
the reeds were thick and strong; here he
turned at bay, and I must own looked as formidable a customer as one would wish to see.
Ponto now shewed himself a good ally, and
came gallantly to our assistance, occupying the
bear's attention while we gave him a broadside.
Every bullet told; up he got on his hind
legs, made a beautiful attempt to walk towards us, but, receiving a couple of balls in
his chest, rolled over and lay kicking and
groaning, evidently giving up the ghost. We
kept at a respectful distance, quite content with A  RAFT  FOR  BRUIN.
121
our exploit, while Peter executed a sort of
impromptu war dance (quite oblivious that he
had been appointed lieutenant the day before).
After taking an incredibly long time to die,
the bear's struggles ceased, and we saw he
was breathless. Then we ventured to draw near,
measure, examine, and rejoice over our prize,
rather an unexpected one for fellows going
out partridge-shooting.
Our next business was to get him down to
Victoria, or at all events into safe custody for
the night.
First of all we collected all the twine, or
anything in the shape of it we could
muster, and then gathering branches, constructed a rough sort of raft or sledge. Then
we had to get the carcass dragged through
the intervening ground and grass to the edge of
the forest, where the raft lay, a by no means
easy operation, and which occupied us fully
an hour with good hard work, and no resting. First we had to trample down a road; then,
that done, drag the carcass over it.   Our per- 122
STUCK  FAST.
severance won the day, and we had our re-
ward in seeing him stretched safe, and skin
whole, upon our primitive raft.
As long as we were in the forest we got
on swimmingly, but on reaching the rougher
and opener ground our task became an impossibility. The raft stuck fast, upset, ran over us,
or, indeed, any way but the right way ; and
at last seeing it was utterly impracticable, we
gave it up, and leaving Peter in charge,
Maitland and I set off to bring help.
This we found at a little rough cottage,
inhabited by an English sailor and his native
wife ; they listened to us with great eagerness,
and immediately brought out an old horse to
carry the bear down.
There seemed no hut of any kind near this,
and yet before we got half way back to our
bear, we were joined by a dozen natives, all
anxious to see him, and counting us perfect
heroes.
We, though nothing loath for a moderate
share of praise, had some difficulty to bear our RECEPTION   ON  BOARD.
123
laurels with proper humility. Ponto appeared
to enjoy it even more than we did, trotting
alongside, and carrying his tail in the most
absurdly triumphant manner.
Our entree on board was unexceptionable ;
great and general was the rush of eager enquirers, and the conquest of bears became the
one subject of conversation of young and old.
The next day he was skinned and decapitated ; one ham was presented to our Captain,
and the other graced a feast given especially
in his honour, being pronounced by all " most
excellent."
The rumour as to our intended departure
was gradually assuming more form, so, finding
I had best take time by the forelock, I proposed to four friends to get leave for twelve
days, and by clubbing our resources together,
engage a good boat and competent crew, and
start on our expedition.
Having ascertained all we could relative to
our route, and the best manner of behaving
to the tribes we were likely to meet, we set 124
SAILING  EXPEDITION.
sail up the Gulf of Georgia, intending, if possible, to get round the island. Of course, a
doubtful achievement, and dependent entirely
upon wind and tide, besides our success or
temptations in the sporting line.
Everything promised well; we got a first
rate crew, and a wonderful Yankee hunter,
settler or adventurer, whichever you like to call
him, as our guide. The first day's run up to the
Cowitchen river was splendid—wind, tide,
everything in our favour; we only looked in at
the mouth of the river, and took our first rest
just off the new coal district, appropriately
named Newcastle Island.
Naniamo harbour is very secure, has a good
anchorage in every part, and is pretty well
sheltered. There is a prodigious tidal rise,
usually twelve feet, sometimes as much as
fifteen. When we entered, the harbour was
full of small coaling vessels from San Fran-
cisco, Panama, &c.
We could not at that time in the evening
distinguish much of the country, so contented APPEARANCE OE THE COUNTRY.
125
ourselves with making the most of our chance
and seeing the town itself, which is well
worth the visit, being a flourishing, well
regulated little place with some three hundred
inhabitants, a good school, and clean, comfortable houses.
Here we heard great accounts of the deer
to be found in the neighbourhood, and were
tempted to go off upon a couple of days'
hunting up the country—the boat coasting up
to meet us at Valdez Inlet. Next morning
our Yankee guide was on the qui vive at daybreak, kicking up a frightful noise, and just
as the sun's first kiss crimsoned the grey skies,
we started upon our expedition.
For some distance the country was flat,
sandy, and without much inducement for the
agriculturist; but after going on a while, we
got into a rich, well covered prairie, prettily
undulating, and with all the appearance of
making good land. Here we saw and bagged
O   O Do
a good many partridges, also a few native
grouse, and our bags were pretty full before 126
CENTRE   OF   THF,   ISLAND.
the shrubs and trees began to warn of the
mountain range. Very soon we were fairly
in for it, climbing up precipitous grey rocks,
pushing through forests, and occasionally
jumping a deep gully or fissure, the remnant
of the fierce commotions that had occurred at
the island's birth.
The centre of the island is, as I before said,
one mountainous mass, the sharp pinnacles
towering one behind another in wild confusion. You go on ascending and descending,
it is all one, waves of mountains rise all round
you, some clad in rich green foliage, others
bare as when they first sprang from their
ocean bed; in some places you unexpectedly
stumble upon a little luxuriant plain or valley
perfectly painted with flowers, alive with
squirrels and woodpeckers, a complete oasis
in this strange unknown wilderness.
After travelling for about four hours, we
reached an Indian village, where our guide
informed us we were sure to hear whether
there was a herd of deer near or not, as these INDIAN   VILLAGE.
127
Indians deal regularly with Naniamo, often
bringing as many as sixteen head down at a
time.
The village was a collection of log huts,
different in some measure from those I saw
near Victoria. They hollow out a part of the
ground to the depth of three or four feet;
round this, upon the surface of the ground,
they pile cedar logs, well fastened together
with bark ropes and sea-weed; the roof is
formed of planks, supported by a whole tree
crossing the hut as a beam, these planks being
so firmly packed together that they effectually
resist the rain. The entrance is low and narrow,
and the door itself a cedar log.
The interior of the huts is close and
warm; they are usually large enough to contain two, three, or even four families, who
creep in and pack themselves in the most
amicable manner for their winter rest; and so
averse are they to moving that, unless obliged,
they will not go out for weeks together.
When I tried to sit in one comparatively airy RE.
128
NATIVE   HUTS.
and empty, I was obliged to rush out, the
smell was so intolerable. What, then must be
the state of the atmosphere in mid-winter,
particularly as the roofs are completely strung
with lines and cross-lines of dried fish, principally salmon, which, with camas, forms their
winter stock of provisions.
The salmon are very nice when well dried
and properly preserved^; but the Indians prefer them nearly putrid, and actually bury
them before eating. '
As it was still warm weather, very few of
the natives had donned their winter garments,
consisting of a blanket manufactured by themselves from various things: one, the most
costly, of a native flax; another of bark and
dog's hair; a third of goose-skin; and the last,
and most common, of fibre taken from the
soft inner bark of the fir-tree.
When the goose-skin mats are clean and
new, they are very pretty, but, unfortunately,
they fill with vermin, and it is no uncommon
thing with the natives, when at a loss for con- CHIEF S   RESIDENCE.
129
versation, to begin hunting either their
friends', or their own cloaks, frequently conveying them to their mouths.
In summer, the natives dispense with the
blankets, the women wearing a short petticoat
of cedar bark, the men seldom anything, or,
at most, a bark tail in front, reaching from the
waist to the knees. Tattooing is in great repute,
and a mark of distinction. They do not wear
many ornaments, and such as they have are
almost entirely of native manufacture, made
of shells, teeth, and wood.
Immediately on our arrival, we were invited
to the chief's residence, where we found the
great man seated in due state upon the usual
heap of mats, and surrounded by his warriors
and wives. After our presentation in due form,
we seated ourselves according to their ideas of
respect. Then we smoked awhile, and tried
to partake of a calabash of pounded camas,
which was carried to each, and duly tasted.
Next came a dish of half-cooked meat, but
what I could not make out.    This portion of
VOL.   II. K 130
MERRY-MAKING.
Wt
H
the ceremony over, we were commanded to
tell the reason why we had come so far, and
what we were going to do.
Having cleared up this mystery, our host
became very energetic, and speaking in pretty
good English, promised to shew us deer if we
would stay in his village the next day, that
being already fixed as a great feast, in honour
of the final ceremony in the election of a
doctor or medicine-man.
Of course we consented, and our doing so
gave general satisfaction. An impromptu
merry-making was organized for that night,
and we had thus an opportunity of seeing a
good deal of their habits and characters.
Their dances are like those of almost all
uncivilized nations, merely absurd positions
diversified by hideous shrieks and howls.
Then followed games of various kinds; one
very much resembling nine pins was the favourite, and was kept up all night, the players
betting wildly on the chances of each stroke,
and seeming to forget everything else in their GAMBLING.
131
excitement. Long after we had retired into
the hut given up for our use, my dreams were
broken by wild yells of disappointment uttered
by the gamblers; and when the sun again
shone, some of them were still playing.
k 2 :
132
CHAPTER VII.
" Clad in all their richest raiment,
Robes of fur and belts of wampnm,
Splendid with their paint and plumage,
Beautiful with beads and tassels."
HIAWATHA.
There had evidently been a great gathering from other villages during the night, as
the enclosure or palisade was now entirely
filled, all dressed and painted in their holiday
fashion; the women redolent with salmon oil,
their long black hair actually dripping with it.
Large fires were already lighted, round which
clustered slaves laden with calabashes and
bundles of provisions, while heads of well
decayed   salmon   lay   temptingly   arranged, INSTALLATION   OE  A  MEDICINE-MAN.   133
emitting an intensely disgusting effluvium, as
the heat of the increasing fires reached them.
The principal attraction appeared to be a
solitary hut, round which the crowd gathered
at a certain distance. This, we were soon informed, was the place in which the medicineman lay asleep, and in which he had been
shut up without food, water, or lights for
three days.
Presently, the chief appeared, leading a
body of the oldest medicine-men; the crowd
gave way on either side, and not a sound was
heard as they approached the mysterious hut.
For a few seconds he stood at the entrance,
then signing to the doctors, they pulled out
the log in the door-way, and rushed in.
There was a thrill of excitement, every one
breathing hard and pressing forward; then
horrible yells were heard inside, and two of
the medicine-men came out, tearing their hair,
and cutting themselves with shells ; next came
two more, bearing what I thought a dead
body. 134
STRANGE   CEREMONY.
#*;n
The moment this was seen, a demoniacal
yell burst from every throat, and numbers of
the people began imitating the gestures of the
medicine-men, tearing wildly at their flesh
until the blood gushed in streams.
Meantime, the body was carried to a pool
of water, and laid down; it was then rubbed
and beat in a most unmerciful manner. Suddenly, the man I had imagined dead sprang
up. He had been acting part of the ceremony, and the proper moment having come,
burst free from his tormentors, and disappeared in a thick wood a few hundred yards
away.
Here he remained for about an hour, and
returned at the end of that time entirely altered in appearance, his naked body having
been daubed with grease, and then sprinkled
with goose down, which, adhering to the
grease, gave him a most extraordinary appearance.
The instant he was observed, the medicinemen advanced to  meet  him;  but  avoiding DRAMATIC   REPRESENTATION.
135
them, he walked into the hut, and carried
forth, one by one, articles of apparel, cooking
utensils, and ornaments jj these he distributed
among the tribe, accepting, in return, a peculiarly coloured blanket, a large rattle, and a
helmet made of feathers and hair. I The rattle
especially is a badge of office.
He was now fairly installed as a medicineman, and the ceremony being concluded, the
feast began. This was just what one might
expect, a scene of gluttony and excess, ending
in a strange attempt at dramatic representation, which, being of an entirely new character, amused me very much.
We were conducted into the chief's hut to
see this performance, and found everything
arranged with wonderful exactness, a curtain formed of blankets fastened together
being suspended across one end to hide the
dressing-room. The seats for the audience
were piles of mats, and every inch of ground
was soon covered by eager spectators.
Then, all being ready, a strange noise was 136
CURIOUS   EXHIBITION.
heard behind the curtain, and after an interval
of scratching and growling, the chief clothed
in panther skins rushed out, and began running
round and round, growling and gnashing his
teeth; having thoroughly impressed his subjects with his ferocious appearance in this guise,
he retired, and re-appeared as a bear; then
as the rising sun. The appearance of this was
imitated by an ingeniously made mask, which
was formed of stiffened hair spreading out
like the rays of the sun, and moved by means
of a string at the back. This scene lasted a
long time. He then finally retired, and
took his seat beside us ; and other men of the
tribe took their places on the stage, and gave
us a representation of a jealous husband, a
love scene, and finally a fight between a wolf
and a chief.
It was a curious exhibition, and introduced,
on this occasion, entirely out of courtesy to
us; and one we acknowledged by presenting
the chief with a few cigars and a gaily
coloured china pipe.   The latter pleased him SLATE  PIPES.
137
immensely ; he handed it round and round for
inspection, every one breaking forth into great
delight, and comparing it with what in our
eyes was much more curious, their own
slate pipes. Of these I obtained one to bring
home ; it is about a foot long, and formed out
of a thin slab of common writing slate, beautifully polished, and carved into grotesque
figures, standing, lying, or walking along
the tube. The bowl is very small, generally
the head of a figure hollowed out, and the
mouth-piece frequently a reed inserted into
the tube, as of course the labour of holding
such a heavy pipe must rather deteriorate from
the gratification of imbibing the fragrant
weed.
" This some affirme, yet yield I not to that,
'Twill make a fat man leane, a leane one fat,
But this I'm sure (hows'ere it be they meane)
That many whiffes will make a fat man leane."
Tobacco seems to be the great link between
all men, and the pipe soothes away half the
the  difficulties  in  life, both   among  naked 138
FUNERAL   CUSTOMS.
savages and the most civilized of men. I am a
perfectly unprejudiced judge, and don't smoke,
but everybody must feel for those who like
it, I suppose.
But to return to our Indians, who certainly
deserve a few more words before parting.
During this visit, short as it was, I gained a
good deal of information as to the habits and
peculiarities of these people, which I shall insert here. When one of them dies, his body is
laid upon a raised platform or couch, erected in
the middle of his lodge. Here it is left for nine
days, to be seen and visited by the tribe;
upon the tenth the funeral pile is erected,
and a great gathering of friendly tribes and
families takes place. The corpse is laid
upon the top of the pile, the wife or wives
of the deceased, lying alongside; here she
must remain until the presiding medicineman permits her to rise, which permission is
seldom accorded until she is terribly burnt.
Even now her trials are not over; she must
collect some of the oily matter which exudes TAKING  A  WIEE.
139
from the burning flesh, and rub it over her
own body, and if the limbs (as is frequently the
case) of the body contract from the heat,
it is her duty to keep them straight, and all
this in a blazing fire of gum-wood. Should
the wretched woman get through all this
alive, she has to collect any remnants of
charred bones, and tying them in a bundle
carry them upon her back, day and night, for
three years, at the end of which time she is
free to take a second husband—a trial I should
scarcely imagine likely to find many brave
enough to attempt.
A chief generally has a great feast when
he takes a wife, and the more he has, the
better pleased are his people; one or two
wives, however, are looked upon as head, and
share the fate of their lord and master.
There is no such thing as medical remedy
except by incantations and absurd ceremonies,
some of them too horrible to describe. As
an example, I shall give one, though I must
premise  a   very mild   one.     The case was r jTT^jf
'rCTT^
TTi/^T^Ii     * 1 I
ail    i
140
A ROUGH REMEDY.
one of fever, which, being looked upon as a
spirit, is treated accordingly; the medicineman, seizing the affected part with his teeth,
biting the piece out, and devouring the same,
amidst the shrieks and gesticulations of those
around. The poor patient must not, however,
cry out, or the cure is ineffectual, and the
spirit will return immediately. If the sufferer
lingers on, the trial is repeated, when frequently enough he dies from the pain and
excitement.
The natives are naturally polite and courteous, and take a pleasure in shewing their
native customs to strangers; the chief always
calling you brother as a mark of kindness,
and feeding you with the most tempting
morsels, picked out and presented with his
fingers.
But let us continue our adventures; the
promise made by our host to shew us where
the deer lay was gladly kept, and starting
early we had a good long day before us.
He took us off towards the north-west, and DEER-HUNTING.
141
after a difficult and tedious walk over some
of the wildest ground I ever crossed, we
reached a glade environed by high rocks,
but glowing with the richest foliage; in this
he said we were sure to find a herd. The
certainty with which he spoke gave us
confidence, and we pushed on, forgetting our
fatigue in the momentary expectation of sighting the deer.
The chief himself led the way, rifle in hand,
now suddenly making our hearts bound with
anxiety, now lowering our hopes by shouting
in a peculiar way, in fact calling the deer,
to ask where they had hidden.
We had almost reached the head of the
glade, when he suddenly stopped in the very
middle of a yell, and throwing himself down
listened attentively ; presently he glanced back
at us, and whispered,
f They have spoken and are coming.'
In spite of the absurdity of such a proceeding, there was something so impressive in his '■
142
HERD   OF  DEER.
face and voice, that we believed him at once
and crouched down waiting for his orders.
" Back, hide," he whispered, and we crept
in behind some rocks, scarcely venturing to
breathe; the wind, such as it was, came right
down the valley, and thus prevented the deer
getting notice of our vicinity. On they came,
a herd of fourteen or fifteen fine full grown
elk, the leader carrying his magnificent
antlers well back, his full eye and distended
nostril being plainly visible, as they were close
before us. When some chance noise alarmed
him, he stopped, struck his foot passionately
upon the grass, and snorted; then he wheeled
round and dashed up the steep bank, followed
by the terrified herd.
Poor fellow, his days were numbered—he
fell at the first shot; two more shared his fate,
the others getting off. Much to my chagrin
I could claim no share in this day's good
sport, my rifle missing fire in both barrels j
and as we saw no more large game, I had not an
II SHELTER  FOR  THE  NIGHT.
143
opportunity of making up for my misfortune.
We parted from the friendly chief with
many acknowledgments of his kindness,
carrying with us only a portion of one of the
deer to serve as supper, for we were obliged to
sleep on the hills, the distance to the boat
being still very considerable. Nor was this
precaution thrown away, as after toiling for
several hours we were obliged to stop dead
beat, even our eccentric Yankee guide saying,
he " guessed he was considerably used up,"
although he insisted upon us proceeding, and
pretended to look sulky when he could not
move us.
After a rest, we set about finding a shelter
for the night, and our guide, who, as soon as
he saw we had made up our minds to act
for ourselves, regained his good nature, soon
constructed a truly sylvan bower by piling
up branches beside an overhanging rock;
and I can assure my reader I never wish for
a more delicious couch than I slept upon that 144
SUNRISE.
:   ffff-i j
night, composed as it was of sweet fresh
grass, and covered in by a canopy of green
leaves.
In the morning we were again on our way,
invigorated and refreshed by our rest, and
ready for any amount of fatigue. The sunrises
in this part are magnificent. The sky is generally one flood of golden or crimson light,
with a few heavy clouds hanging as if sus-
pended mid-air; a soft hazy vapour rises from
the trees, and as if touched by a magic hand
' Jo
everything starts into life in an instant, gentle
breezes sweep through the forest, the leaves
7 Clap their little hands with glee,"
and songs, or, rather as they seemed to me,
D   7 ' J 7
hymns of praise, rose from numberless birds, all
sweet (for what bird ever uttered a really
discordant note ?) to welcome in another day.
From the top of the hill we first reached, we
looked down upon a rocky valley bounded on
the opposite side by high mountains, which
our guide told us, ran down to the sea, coming VIEW  FROM   THE  MOUNTAINS.
145
down in steep precipices, and in other places
leaving wide reaches covered with loose sand;
this range ended abruptly close to Valdez
Inlet, leaving a wide prairie, beyond which
again rose the first of that range forming a
barrier along the east coast, terminating in
the wild headland of Cape Scott. These mountains present a formidable coastwork and
have given rise to the prevailing notion that
this division of Vancouver's is totally unfit
for cultivation, an idea wholly unfounded, as
the interior has never been explored.
Upon gaining the top of the last range of
mountains, we looked directly down upon the
Gulf of Georgia, Valdez lying to the left.
At the foot of the mountains, lay a pretty
little lake through which runs the proposed communication between the Gulf and
Barclay Sound already extending a good way
by the Allerni Canal. Several boats lay in the
inlet, one of which we concluded to be ours,
and in consideration of having already spent
two whole days  of our leave, we deemed it
v 5
VOL.   II. L 146
COMOZ   INDIANS.
jrS
advisable to get on our way as fast as we
could.
We found our crew strangely impressed
with the idea that we had met with an untimely end somewhere in the hills; and
having made no secret of their fears, they
had roused the little settlement to a general
excitement, so that we were received almost
as a miracle, and welcomed in the most
enthusiastic manner, rather, I believe, disappointing our amiable friends by coming in
such perfect safety.
There is a large village of Comoz Indians
close to the Inlet, but, to all appearance, not
differing in any material point from those we
had met with, so I shall leave them to profit
by my former description, and continue our
cruise.
At Point Holmes we landed, and had a
walk after small game. There is a good deal
of open prairie here, principally growing wild
clover and camas, just the sort of land, settlers
look out for, sheltered from all bad winds, CONUEMA  PEAK.
147
and possessing a ready water communication
with Victoria and Frazer's River.
We filled our bag with partridges, and were
soon again running up the coast, with a fresh
wind and our crew pulling heartily.
The coast is very pretty, with soft rich
plains extending inland for some way, and up
to the base of the great range, behind which
we could see the snowy crest of Conuema
Peak towering in majestic grandeur. I felt
a strong temptation to pay this Pacific monarch a visit, which project was looked upon as
a symptom of madness by my companions.
Night was setting in as we reached Cape
Mudge (I wonder why it got such an ugly
name), and finding the passage for some distance further must be taken with the tide, we
were compelled to wait until midnight, when
we started again—the tide obviating the
necessity of oars, and thereby resting our
crew sufficiently to enable us to reach the
mouth of the Salmon River next day.
I have said nothing about the fine of coast 148
RIVERS.
ii
we have just passed, simply because there is
nothing whatever to say of it; it is a dense
mass of mountains, their steep sides thickly
covered by dark pine forests. The passage we
had just run so speedily is considered impassable for large sailing ships, though light
steamers can coast along in safety, and small
traders often effect the passage with equal
luck, facing even this danger to save the time
occupied in going round the island.
There are very few rivers in Vancouver's,
the only ones we remarked, in running up the
east shore, being the Cowitchen, the little
stream flowing from the lake near Valdez Inlet,
and the Salmon River, a large fine stream, the
source of which has not been explored. It
flows down a valley, where there is a peculiar
bend or break in the mountain range, each
end curving inland and running up into the
interior. The mouth of this river is a favourite
rendezvous of the natives during the fishing
season, which begins pretty regularly in
October, and  was  now just opened.     The
*E FISHING.
149
banks were covered with tents or leafy houses:,
and perfectly alive with little black children,
running about in every direction, as free and
unincumbered as nature made them, giving
you the idea of a gigantic ant hill.
Their usual mode of fishing is with a long
'stick and hook, which they drag through the
water, and what we call " gaff" the fish. Another method more in vogue, and, I believe,
borrowed from the Columbian Indians, is a
trap, formed by driving tall stakes into the
bed of the stream at certain intervals, between which are twined branches of trees to
prevent the fish escaping. Two holes only
are left, and into these are fitted the mouths of
funnel-shaped baskets, two or three in a
length; as soon as these are full of salmon,
they are drawn ashore, and either exported
and sold to traders, or prepared for winter use,
in the following way.
They are split down the back, laid open,
the bone, stomach, &c, taken out, the fish
wiped dry with grass, then laid into a large 150
SALMON-FISHERS.
tub, and well covered with salt. Here they
remain until they become sufficiently firm.
The water which has gathered round them is
boiled, and when they have been repacked in
another barrel, is poured over them in a boiling state; the bung hole of this barrel is
all they leave open, and round it they raise
a ridge of clay to collect and save the oil they
prize so much, which rises to the top. This oil
is the favourite perfume of the native ladies,
and is carefully preserved for future use.
During the spawning season, a great many
fish are destroyed merely for the sake of the
roe, which is esteemed one of the greatest
delicacies eaten in the kingdom, and is used
perfectly rancid, forming a horrible repast.
It was great fun watching the native
salmon fishers. Their excitement and loud
shouts when they caught a large fish, and
yells of laughter when an unguarded move-
ment capsized a boat, and sent her crew and
fish back into the water were most amusing.
Many   of the  salmon were enormous, from FOREST  TREES.
151
thirty to forty pounds weight, and, when
cooked, most delicious.
We went some distance up the river in our
boat, and landed in search of deer, having
been told there were a great many in the
vicinity.
We toiled manfully all day, walking our
legs off, as people say, and after all saw only
three deer, of which one of us (not I) shot
one, wounding another. In* spite, however, of
our disappointment on this head, I think
none of us regretted our hard day, for certainly in no part of the world could we have
met with a prettier or more varied ramble.
In parts were the larger forest trees, mostly
of the fir tribe, but diversified by cedar, oak,
white maple, and the beautiful arbutus, not
forgetting the tree fern, of which our English
plant is, as I think I have before said, the
miniature.
Wherever the sun is permitted to penetrate
the dark depths of the primeval forest, myriads
of flowering plants and gay creepers spring
IT" 152
SQUIRRELS.
up to court its smile, and the latter, clinging
and twining themselves from branch to branch,
form festoons of beauty it would be difficult
to give a true idea of in writing,  Along these
festoons numbers of little brown squirrels hop,
delighted with the swinging to and fro of
their floral ropes,  now stopping to peer at
you with their comical,   old-fashioned looks,
now vanishing like spirits, to appear, immediately after, upon a branch at the very top of
some tree.    I believe many of the settlers look
upon them as fair game, and shoot them at
once, but I would just as soon have thought of
shooting and eating a monkey as one of my
merry little friends.
During our walk, we came upon many
strange and interesting geological forms. In
some places great blocks of granite lay poised
on each other as smooth and correct as if just
chiseled, or a great mass of green stone, resembling malachite, would start out as if
breaking from its tomb in the dark grey
rock. GEOLOGY   OF  VANCOUVER.
153
But a truce to geology, I know nothing
of the science, and shall leave it to be described
by older and wiser men; and I daresay some
of those great authorities of whom we hear
so much will, some day soon, give us their
opinions on the geology of this interesting
island.
At day-break, a boy reached us from the
chaplain, whom we had left at Vancouver's,
with a message telling us our ship had unexpectedly gone round the island to settle a
native insurrection, and we had to join as
soon as possible. 154
CHAPTER VIH.
" Their high mettled steeds, well nsed to such things,
Jump their dykes, walls and hedges as if they had wings."
BT7HTING SONG.
The rumour which had reached us was
perfectly correct, and just as we came in
sight of the entrance to Esquimault, we had
the satisfaction of seeing our ocean home
getting quietly towed out—very pleasant,
was it not, after giving up our leave! The
only thing now remaining was to put the
best face on the matter, and find out if any
orders had been left. We found there had,
to the effect that we were to follow as quickly
as possible. SUPERSTITION.
155
This was easier said than done, the journey,
though but a few miles by land, being a stiff
one in a boat (our only mode of travelling).
The very unpromising account of the journey
given us at Esquimault decided us upon
going across to Victoria, and finding out
from some of the government people the best
way of proceeding. So, paying off our crew,
we hired a sort of spring cart, and made our
way to Government House. There everything
was in a ferment; the Governor had accompanied the ship, and settlers were coming in
from places bordering on the disaffected tribes,
fearful of sharing the fate of the man who had
been already murdered. But to explain the whole
outbreak, I must allude to a prevailing superstition, and that is, that a great man can only
die by the special malignancy of one who has
power with the Evil Spirit. To all white men
this power is attributed, and, naturally enough,
they become objects of fear and suspicion, and
upon them is frequently visited the untimely
death of a favourite warrior.    In the present 156
MURDER   OF   A   SETTLER.
instance, a wealthy farmer had been ruthlessly
murdered, and the Governor, finding every
demand to deliver up the assassin treated
with contempt, and learning, moreover, that
there was a bad feeling, amounting to a desire
for actual hostilities, prevailing along the
western coast, decided upon at once establishing an understanding upon the subject, and
demonstrating his authority.
O v
The part of the coast nearest the headquarters of the tribe was called the Gap,
about thirty miles up to the westward, and
it was to this point we were to make our way.
After a great deal of difficulty, we sue-
ceeded in hiring a boat, with a native and his
wife to paddle us up, our movements being
hastened by the report brought in by a farmer,
that the natives had gathered in great force
and were determined to attack our men. No
time was to be lost, and we set off late in the
evening.
Although both wind and tide were in our
favour, and we availed ourselves of the double
■ i- r-f-. i. * i-■-  ■ CONFERENCE  WITH   THE  INDIANS.     157
work of oars and sail, so strong was the current
against us that we were six hours in making
the last three miles ; and on getting alongside
before daybreak, we narrowly escaped being
fired upon. When we did make them understand who we were and had got aboard, I
found my cabin in the possession of a friend,
and had to serve a process of ejectment.
Next morning we were told off for a landing
party, and encamped on each side of a hill,
on the only clear ground in sight of the ship,
this being a necessary precaution when dealing with savages. A deputation was then
sent off to the Indian chief, who with his warriors had assembled at a village some fifteen
miles off. Here there was a conference ; we
insisted upon the guilty man being given up
to justice, and explained to them that any
act of violence would be visited upon the
whole tribe.
Although they listened to all that was said
with respect and decorum, they had evidently
no intention to accede to the request, and as 158
EXECUTION   OF  THE  ASSASSIN.
the speaker grew warm, they seemed to be
amused, and taking no pains to conceal their
mirth, they laughed in his face, and told him
I he might catch him if he could."
After a long talk there was an equally long
silence, then a private conference, and finally
they came round and announced they would
give the murderer up, if we gave what they
considered proper payment. This was in reality
what the Governor expected. He was quite
prepared to offer a handsome equivalent, and
the bargain was soon completed by an agreement on their part to bring the man down to
the ship next day and carry back with them
the blood money. So this formidable matter
ended; they came down faithfully to promise,
the man was hung in their presence, and
the prized blankets, fish-hooks, &c, &c, liberally distributed, with which the treacherous
wretches departed in great glee.
In this instance, I saw the operation of
powdering with grease and goose-down again, BARCLAY  SOUND.
159
the poor wretch who was hung being covered
thus to meet his fate.
Not feeling quite confident of the further
observance of the treaty, we made a cruise
up as far as Nootka Sound, and then looked
in on our way back to see what they were
doing.
Barclay Sound, which we put into on our
way, is a lovely spot, and sheltered by
rocky islets, up to the very shores of which
you can sail in deep water. Some of the
islands are inhabited by native families who
subsist by fishing. The country round Barclay is rough and wild, covered with brushwood,   and   I should imagine a good game
country, and favourable to a farmer who did
j7
not expect to find his ground ready made;
a feeling, I imagine, rather prevalent among
the emigrants who seek Vancouver's, and
consequently the bad reports sent home.
Clayoquot Sound, or harbour, comes
next. A bar runs across the mouth of the
harbour, upon which a heavy sea breaks at *l
160
C1AYOQUOT  INDIANS.
all times; but once over it, you have open
ground before you, and good shelter. One
arm of the harbour runs a long way inland,
and makes the journey across the island a
great deal shorter. The country here belongs
to the Clayoquot Indians, a large and powerful
tribe, with kindly feelings towards the traders.
Here we remained a couple of days, being invited to a feast by the Chief.
The Governor was very eager to accept
the chance of seeing more of these people,
and acquiesced.
The feast was a great affair, held from day-
light to daylight, and consisted principally in
consuming an enormous amount of whale's
blubber, salmon, &cv &c. One of their
dances merits description; it is known as the
| medicine-mask dance," and is performed on
special occasions by the medicine-men, taking
its name from the masks worn by the performers. These masks are made of a light wood,
carefully painted in brilliant colours, and stuck
all over with gay feathers.    The dancers are
ESBW HIDEOUS   DISFIGUREMENT.
161
dressed in coloured blankets, and have their
rattles in their hands. Thus equipped, they
form a circle, and go round and round to a
slow humming noise (something like a whole
swarm of bees), changing occasionally into
what they are pleased to designate a song.
This dance is by no means amusing after the
first novelty is over, and becomes horribly
tiresome when continued until the dancers
one by one drop down exhausted. Gambling
of course was in high repute, and continued
all night.
These Jndians are all flatheads, and one
or two tribes indulge in another, and, I
think, even more hideous disfigurement, in the
shape of a wedge of bone, which is inserted
into the under lip when young, the aperture
being gradually enlarged, so as to permit apiece
of wood three inches in circumference to be
placed in it, the size denoting the dignity of
the wearer. The Babine Indians, on the mainland, were, it is said, the originators of this
practice.    Some of the dandies of the male
VOL.   II.
M 162
NOOTKA.
If
sex wear nose rings, upon which is put a sheD,
or glass bead, if they are fortunate enough
to possess a large enough one. From Clayo-
quot harbour to Nootka a very high sea runs,
and, except in mild weather, renders it dangerous to go too near the coast. The country,
though bounded by steep rocks, is to all
appearance flat for some distance, and covered
with a richly-coloured wood.
I have before alluded to the fact of Cook's
visit to Nootka, which boasts of being the
first portion of Vancouver's discovered; and the
settlers here delight in calling Victoria a new
station, speaking of its progress in a patronizing way, and utterly ignoring their own in-
significance. By comparison, Nootka, in fact, is
the mere shadow of a settlement, and principally in the hands of the Indians, a tribe by
no means the most amiable, and rather
inimical to settlers. In most of their characteristics they closely resemble their brethren,
the only outward distinction being a darker
complexion, and a peculiar fashion they have
nwu
mmm *e
CRUISE  ON  THE  WEST  COAST.
163
of inlaying the upper lip with coloured glass
beads, which being passed under the surface
skin, and shewing plainly through, give them
a very odd though by no means ugly appearance.
The surrounding country has been represented by some people as producing coal,
but experiments prove the fallacy of this assertion ; it does, however, grow good timber,
and with a little care will, I am confident,
amply reward agriculturists.
A year or two ago, numbers of whales were
taken at this point, but lately they have
diminished considerably, owing to the war
carried on against them by the whaling companies ; the same native method of catching
them as I have described as being followed
out on the eastern coast, prevails here.
I cannot say our cruise up the west coast
was very interesting, perhaps because we were
under orders, or still more probably because
the novelty had worn off. The weather, too, was
changing, fogs were clouding the sunny shores,
m 2 164
VICTORIA.
I
and for the present the pleasures of society at
Victoria had more charms for us, so that we
were nothing loath to find ourselves on the
way back.
The Indians at the Gap were all quiet again,
and looked very different fellows when they came
down to welcome us, having dispensed with
their ferocious war paints, and laid aside their
magical caps; altogether looking as jolly and
happy individuals as you could expect to see.
This time we came to anchor in the harbour
of Victoria, and were next day inundated with
visitors and invitations. Picnics, balls, dances,
were the order of the day, and the blue
jackets had everything their own way.
We rode, danced, and made love to our hearts
content, and began to think even Valparaiso
dull compared to our present quarters.
Among other methods to draw people
together, and pass their time in pleasant company, hurdle races were planned, and great
was the excitement that followed.
The naval officers had the entire manage- HURDLE  RACES.
165
ment, and some of us were in every race. I
was one of the stewards, and appointed to
select the ground, which was a difficult matter
enough, and cost a good deal of rambling
about, and no small disputing among ourselves for a time. Indeed the thing was nearly
knocked on the head, some of those who were
most eager at first, giving in, and beginning to
talk of a cricket match instead; while we plucky
ones said the cricket might follow, but for the
present the difficulties must be overcome
somehow. And perseverance gained the day;
the ground was chosen and staked off, and
the hurdles made.
The entries were numberless. Every one
owning a horse came forward, quite convinced they had a first-rate chance of winning
the tempting prize, and upon the eventful
day the ground was literally crowded, not
only by the beauty and fashion, the horses
and horsemen, of the island, but by troops of
natives, dressed in their gayest costume, who
appeared early in the day.   The first match 166
NAVAL  JOCKEYS.
came off with great eclat; one horse got over
the fences, but the other ten went through
them beautifully, the first making a gap,
through which the others faithfully followed.
The second race now began. This was to
be the volunteer one. Twenty horses being
brought forward by their respective owners, to
be ridden by any one coining forward at the
moment, half-a-dozen naval men made their
bows in silk jackets of various colours. The
horse which fell to my share was a great raw-
boned beast, fresh from the Columbian prairies. He had legs and bones enough, but
not a word could I learn as to whether he
had ever jumped; in fact, I became doubtful
as to his having been even ridden, from the
way he winced when I got into the saddle.
There was nothing for it, however, but to do
my best; and this I had several inducements to
do, first and foremost that I was the champion
of the North in the mess, and so must ride
for the honour of my county.
My hopes rose a little when I found, on a WINNING A  HEAT.
167
preliminary canter, he could gallop, and I began to feel, if I had moderate luck, I might
do the thing.
Bang went the signal, a big gun, and off
we went, slap-dash at the first fence, a good
thick cactus hedge. My charger tried to run
through it, but got such a scratching that he
flew a couple of feet higher than every fence
afterwards. I had no power over him more
than keeping him straight. He took the lead
almost directly.
Looking back once or twice, I saw the field
scrambling along, tumbling over the fences
pell-mell, a messmate of my own and a
man from the flag-ship leading the mob, and
their horses beginning to see that they could
jump, soon stole up, and we had it all to ourselves for a way. Then the flag-officer's
horse (the favourite) balked a fence, and threw
out my friend's excellent grey. My horse,
who had his head down, never turned an inch,
and the heat was ours ; my friend coming in
second, the flag a bad third. 168
A  CLOSE  RACE.
After twenty minutes' rest, and no end of
talk and ices, the second heat came off.
Two of us went at the cactus-hedge abreast,
and kept neck and neck for a short time. Then
the other horse strained himself and left me
alone, and I thought I had it all my own way;
but my messmate had learnt his horse's power
in the first heat, and came up with me at this
point; on we went, as closely matched as
possible, and took the last rail side by side.
The rival horse barely recovered himself, and
that only by his rider's capital management.
We had then a close race over the flat, my
horse winning by a neck.
The proprietor of the horse I had ridden
came up to me in a furious rage, telling me he
meant me to ride the horse quietly, and not to
win that race, but the next, and that he had lost
his money in consequence. I told him I rode
for my own gratification, not his, and could
judge of a horse's powers for myself. Then
presenting him with the spurs, I said I knew
he intended me to ride for the next race too,
ism RETURNING  THANKS.
169
but that I did not mean to do so. He then
altered his tone, and made many polite
speeches, none of which reached my heart.
By great good luck I had kept up the credit of
id did
chance
my county,
of disgracing it.
After the races were over, we had a splendid dinner given 'by the Hudson's Bay officers, everything being done in first-rate style,
and with great taste. It was rather a trying occasion for me, on account of my health, as
winner of the great race, being proposed, in
acknowledgment of which I stood up, and
presently sat down again covered with confusion, and amid the cheers and laughter of the
party.
A day or two subsequently, when our
fun was at its height, the melancholy news
came that we were to go over to the Erazer
River, and wait until the diggers were all
down.
Great lamentations followed; but duty before pleasure.   And after all, we should have \
170
DEPARTURE FROM VANCOUVER.
a chance of seeing the very heart of the
colony; and this, to my idea, rather lessened
the pain of leaving our pleasant quarters at
Vancouver's. 171
CHAPTER   IX.
" To the west, to the west,
To the land of the free,
Where the mighty Missouri
Runs down to the sea."
Eort Langlet, the lowest port of the
Hudson's Bay Company, lies on the left bank
of Erazer's River, and is about twenty-five
miles from the entrance. It took us a long
time running up as we did under sail, the
current being very strong, and dead against
us. We found pretty good anchorage off the
Fort, and were soon beset with boats, many
of them full of miners, waiting for a chance of
getting down to Victoria.
The town consists of a number of streets 172
FRAZERS  BIVER.
built at right angles to each other, well paved
in some parts, but utterly neglected in others,
a neglect which is all the more inexcusable as
the whole district is full of good stone.
There are very few shops, except eating and
drinking-booths, at this season reaping their
full benefit, and doing a first-rate trade in
relieving the fortunate diggers of their gains.
The country round the Eort is flat, rich, and
a capital agricultural district, only wanting
men who have a little capital to start them,
strong arms, and some knowledge of the
nature and rotation of cropping.
Erazer's River, rising in the Rocky Mountains, receives a tributary from Stuart Lake
at Eort George, and from thence to Fort
Langley is continually increased by large and
small streams, gradually attaining an important size; indeed it is now fully understood
that ships of considerable tonnage can safely
proceed as far as Fort Hope, fully seventy miles
higher up than was supposed. A steamer might
readily ply up and down, and find it pay well GOLD  DIGGERS.
173
too, as the diggers are always in a hurry; first,
in ascending, to get to their destination and
reap the golden harvest before them—secondly,
in descending, to be able to spend what they
have gathered. At the time we arrived, the
town was full of them, the bad weather
having set in rather sooner than was antici-
pated. Men were arriving every day from
the different rivers, some with immense gain,
all with something.
I was by no means edified by the specimens
I saw of the digging fraternity, many of
whom looked thorough-going ruffians, and up
to any sort of villainy. The first day I spent
on shore I saw enough of them to cool any
desire for further intercourse, and I was heartily glad to join a friend on an expedition up
the river, thereby escaping the necessity of
meeting the only men we could see, and at
the same time getting an opportunity of
making use of our own eyes, and adding a
few pages to my diary, already grown to a
formidable volume. 174
GOLD  DISTRICT.
I
The gold district, properly so called, begins
at Fort Hope, where we rested the first
night, and found we could purchase nothing
but bad potatoes and dried salmon, with
the most atrocious fire-water, called by
courtesy rum—more poisonous stuff I never
tasted. The boatmen were not, however, of
the same opinion, and drank it like water,
finishing our share as well as their own,
and laying in an incredible supply for the
journey.
Our private catering consisted of tea, biscuits, and dried beef; to this we added dried
salmon for the men, and having made the
enquiries we deemed necessary for our route,
we left the Fort gladly enough.
We proposed making our encampment at
the junction of the Thompson and Frazer's
Rivers, but, before reaching this, we had to
make the portage of the Falls, up which ships
cannot go, and boats require to be dragged
by a towing rope, or if light are carried along
the mountain path.    The first difficulty we EVERGREEN   FOREST.
175
experienced was a short way above Fort Yale,
where, from the precipitous nature of the
rocks on either side, the body of the stream
is compressed in a much smaller space, and
rushes down with incredible force, bearing
every thing before it. Instead of wasting
our time by towing up, we took the advice of
our boatmen, and landing, divided the
weight the best way we could, and made a
portage.
During our walk, we had a good view of the
surrounding country, and had we been able
to spare time, nothing I should have liked
better than to ramble off with my gun, and
try what was to be found in the thick woods
stretching on either side.
In this country the principal woods are all
evergreen; fir, pine, cedar, cypress, &c, &c.
Even in the depth of what is here called
winter, you see no leafless woods, or brown
autumnal tints; all, and every where, bright
rich green—I think even richer in winter than
in summer, the November fogs freshening up 176
LAND  FOR  FARMERS.
the foliage after the dry heat of the midsummer months, and giving every withered blade
and leaf a new vigour.
The whole of the country lying on this side
of the Cascade Mountains is open to the
enterprising farmer, and under the present
laws of the colonial parliament, any British
subject may take possession of one hundred
and fifty acres of unclaimed and unsurveyed
land (except the mining parts, or those given
up to the Indians) ; and all he has to do is to
record his claim before a magistrate, with a
plan or description of the land, paying a fee
of eight shillings. When the land is surveyed
by government, he acquires full title for himself and heirs by the further payment of ten
shillings per acre ; or, if before this survey is
effected, he so chooses, he can sell his land
and guarantee the purchaser's full title, &c.
To judge from the appearance of the
country, it certainly possesses advantages I
never saw elsewhere, and offers great induce-
m*
ments to a small capitalist.
ILILk
Mil GOLD.
177
would amply repay a small outlay, which
owing to the nature of the country might
be very small at first, whole prairies lying
absolutely ready for the fire plough, while
sheltering forests with splendid timber,
and abundance of good stone, would render
building and fencing a very simple matter—indeed in some places it is difficult to
divest oneself of the idea that some long
forgotten race have farmed the same rich
plains.
Above the Falls, gold is found in every
direction, and we continually came upon
traces of the diggers. A large party of Indians
were scattered about, picking up anything
left or forgotten by the diggers; and finding
O J Do * O
them inclined to be friendly, we accepted
their invitation to accompany them to their
temporary village.
Our ready acceptance appeared to please
them immensely, and a man was sent off
at his best pace to announce our approach,
and notify the honour to their chief, whose
VOL.   M. N 178
INDIAN   CHIEF S  LODGE.
*
authority they held in great reverence. Our
stoppage at the Falls had taken up so much
of our time that the shades of evening were
threatening ere we reached the village, and
the fires looked particularly inviting in the
dim foggy twilight.
The village, was just like those on Vancouver's, excepting only the numbers of horses
picketed in every direction, which signified
their sense of our approach by loud neighing
long before the dogs barked.
They had made active preparation for us,
and we were conducted to the chief's lodge
immediately. Here we found the great man
waiting, surrounded by his warriors and his
favourite wives, forming a background of
dark beauty.
The picture was both wild and striking;
the lodge, a very large one, was only lighted
by a wood fire in the middle, which was
replenished now and then by grease, or
a kind of gum. Round this crouched the
natives  in  every  describable attitude,  their NATIVE   COSTUME.
179
eager faces, dark eyes, and sparkling white
teeth lighted up by the fitful firelight, while,
when an extra flash sprang up, you caught
a glimpse of the ladies of the harem, many
of whom were half-caste girls, and very
pretty.
All the Indians present were dressed in their
ornaments, and some painted, while the chief
and some others wore high helmet-looking
caps of gay feathers, painted and worked with
beads or shells, and one or two of them
had bunches of bright feathers stuck in the
hair at the top of their heads; others had
gaily dyed blankets. Altogether there was
colour enough for an artist's eye, and certainly
variety of expression enough to employ the
pencil for many an hour.
I let my friend try his powers in conversation, while I made use of my eyes. Fred
found the chief knew a little English, having
traded with the trappers for a long time;
and when we were at fault for a word,
he  seemed to know exactly how to supply
N   ?■
AJ 180
INDIAN   SUPPER.
its  place by a sign   or look, both equally
expressive.
He first told us he was delighted to receive
and honour an Englishman, and if we would
stay with him for a while, would shew us
how to kill bears and wolves; but hearing
that we must go on at daybreak he seemed
disappointed, and tried hard to persuade us
to change our plans.
Supper was soon presented, in the shape
of boiled salmon and dried deer meat, both,
luckily, pretty fresh; and as their mode of
cooking on hot stones keeps in the juice
and renders the meat soft and delightful,
we made a capital meal, finishing off by
some of our own tea. This latter beverage
the chief had tasted before, and liked amazingly, particularly when a little brandy was
added; and I should be afraid to state the
number of times we replenished our tin
tea-pot. Very few of those who tasted it came
back, and so the chief had it all his own
way—the   others   uttering   exclamations   of
m> A  SATISFACTORY   SUBSTITUTION.       181
astonishment as cup after cup disappeared
down his throat. Seeing how much he liked
it, we presented him with a small packet and
a little sugar, both of which were, in our
hearing, set apart for the chief's own consumption, and after being carefully enclosed
in two or three papers were hung up at the
roof.
The chief now tried hard to make me give
him a little silver flask I had; but this I
would not do, so we sent to the boat for
an empty soda-water bottle, which seemed
to give equal pleasure.
After the tea-drinking part of the ceremony
was over, the medicine-men recited some
wonderfully long histories, during which Fred
began to snore. The chief, seeing he was
asleep, with a politeness I was quite unprepared for, broke up the meeting, motioning
the singers to retire. One by one they all
rose and departed noiselessly, looking, to my
half-sleeping senses, like figures in a dream.
At last, only the chief and I remained with 182
SALMON   FISHING.
Fred. His Highness then rolled himself in
his blanket, and, pointing to Fred, signified we
ought to follow his example, and very soon
added the music of his nasal organ to that of
Fred's, beating him hollow, for I must say I
never heard anyone snore so loud or keep it
up so long as he did. Accustomed as I was
to noises of all descriptions on board Her
Majesty's frigate, it was nearly daylight before I could go to sleep.
Daylight saw us again en route. The
banks of the river are, during the salmon
running season, completely crowded by Indians in pursuit of the fish; and multitudes
are caught and dried for winter stores, not,
however, in the same way the Vancouver
Indians follow, as, in this case, the fish are
dried in the sun, not packed in tubs. Sometimes they are smoked; and these will keep
for years, only requiring to be steeped for
five or six hours previous to cooking.
At a place called Spuzzum, about six miles
higher up, we crossed the river, and coasted
mm HARDSHIPS   OF   THE  DIGGERS.
1S3
up to the Forks. The country now wore a
different aspect; the woods became thinner,
and the grass shorter and less rank; the undulations of the ground, and the pretty,
park-like groups of trees, made you think you
were in Old England.
These plains were formerly visited by herds
of buffaloes, but of late years they have been
scarcely seen, and now only appear on the
prairies bordering the Columbia River, and
much higher up than the mining districts.
On our way up, we met several parties of
diggers toiling down, many of them without
boots or shoes, or hardly any clothing whatever, at least half of them being clothed in
Indian blankets, cut in rude imitation of a
coat, having, they told me, cut up both coats
and shirts to patch their trousers. Yet, in
spite of all their hardships and short fare,
they were a fine, healthy, hearty lot of fellows,
and here, on the wild prairie, and removed
from the temptations of civilized life, as jolly
companions as I've chanced to meet. I
9
S:  h 1
184
A  RISING STATION.
I could scarcely believe my eyes when I
was accosted by some of them three weeks
afterwards on our return to Victoria; and the
change quite explains the fact that, so long as
the magistrates can keep up their authority in
the towns, there will be no need of strict
supervision in the outlying places, where men
are hard at work and cannot get drink.
Our expedition puzzled some of the miners
very "much, and they tried hard to convince
us we should only have to get back again as
fast as we could, or be starved out, and looked
perfectly incredulous when we assured them
we were going to have a look at the country.
About noon, we arrived at our destination.
I believe the exact distance from Fort Langley
to the Forks may be one hundred and sixty
miles.
This station is rising in importance, and
will, I doubt not, some day not far distant,
be a flourishing city, and the depot of an
agricultural community. Nature holds out
her hand, and says, as plainly as a splendid BRITISH   COLUMBIA.
185
climate and good soil can do, " Come and try
me.
j>
Perhaps a word or two as to the capabilities
of British Columbia (New Caledonia) as a
settler's home may not come amiss; at any
rate, I could not refer to the subject at a more
fitting place than here, in the very heart of the
country, as yet so little known to the emigrating public, and, to my idea, the very gem
of a farming district.
In the first place, the climate is favourable,
with an equal temperature; in summer, cooled
by northerly breezes, and in winter, softened
by south and south-west winds. Snow seldom
remains more than seven or eight days on the
ground, and the rains are never so heavy as
to cause inconvenience. Spring shews her
smiles in April, and in July and August
summer is at its height.
The land is first-rate, and while it presents
none of those difficulties in clearing which
damp a settler's hopes among the backwoods
of Canada, it has only to be turned over to 186
CANADIAN   FARMER S  LETTER.
I'I
bring forth an average crop of any grain you
choose to put into it. Taking it in comparison
with Canada, I think there can be little doubt
as to its superior advantages; and to back my
opinion, I shall give that of a near relative,
an experienced and long-resident Canadian
farmer. Writing to me on the subject, he
says:—
" I shall give you what information I can,
and as for myself, I think there is no
comparison between this country (Canada)
and British Columbia and Vancouver's. My
reason is founded upon these facts. Here
we have six months of dead winter—on the
other side, from two to three. Here, in November, the grass is killed by the frost, and
you must stall-feed your cattle—there they can
run out all winter, and only require a little
extra feeding or shelter for a night occasionally. Here, as early as November, the ground
is too hard to plough—there you can go on
much the same as our midland counties in AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS.
England. Here, our crops of grain average
per acre, wheat fifteen bushels, barley twenty
bushels, oats twenty, peas twenty, potatoes
one hundred, rye fifteen. Turnips do well
occasionally, but the open season being so
limited, it does not pay to sow much, so many
extra hands being required to hoe them.
"The main objection to the Canadian climate is the short time permitted to a farmer
wherein to provide food for his stock.
p. To make our manner of proceeding clearer
to you, I shall take the course of our summer,
beginning with April, when, in a fair season,
the frost is out of the ground about the
15th, and winter over.
" Now the busy time begins, repairing
fences, ploughing grass land, then ploughing
for seed. Oats, barley, and peas must be in by
the first week in May, potatoes and turnips by
the first week in June, and during the interval
(generally a month) the haymaking begins.
You must plough your summer fallow, and
get through it all somehow before July, as 188
CANADIAN  CLIMATE.
after the first you have the hay season; and
then, scarcely giving you time to recover your
breath, comes the wheat harvest, then oats
and peas, all of which must be sown before
the beginning of September, the fall wheat
having to be in the ground by the sixth, a
week earlier or later making a wide difference
in your return next season. After all this
hurry, you generally find half your corn still
out, even after the wheat is up and green; so
that September is gone with ploughing, and
the store bills falling due, you must set to
work raising the money to meet them; and
thus October is taken up threshing and
getting grain to market; and then comes
frost and winter. Yet great as our hurry has
been, of course one aright save much, if able
* O '
to afford to hire enough men; but few farmers
can give the high wages they demand.
" Everything is done in a hurry. The very
summer seems in a hurry to get away from
us; and it is this hurry that prevents the
grain coming to perfection, while, if you wish ADVANTAGES   OF  COLUMBIA.
189
to save all your crops, you have to pay away
your profits in hiring labourers.
" The changes of the weather, too, are very
sudden, one or two days intensely hot, the
next dry and cold, so that I have seen crops
looking green and unripe, almost shaking
two days after.
" Another disadvantage a man taking un-
cleared ground has to contend with, is the large
timber covering the ground, which it will cost
him from £.2 10s. to £3 per acre to cut down,
burn off, and fence; and even after this you
have to plough round the stumps for about ten
seasons, as they are almost the only things that
do not hurry themselves to rot out of your way.
" Now I have given you a picture of this
side of the continent, we shall turn to the west.
In many of the districts of New Caledonia,
j 7
Vancouver's, &c, you can take up an open
prairie, and a fire clears off the rough, while
the ashes form a capital insect-destroying
manure; you have wood and stone at your
right hand, and abundance of time and good
^^p ii -
190
ENGLISH   CROPS.
weather in the cropping season. Harvest
comes just at the right time, when you can
put all your strength to it, and there is no
need of anxiety about getting it in, or your
cattle starving in winter. All your English
crops thrive, and many tropical plants seem
even to improve there; fruits ripen beautifully, I believe; in short, everything seems to
bespeak prosperity and comfort, with what to
us farmers is the greatest comfort of all, the
certainty that industry and care will enable us
to lay by for our old age, and furnish our
children with the wherewithal to brighten
their first start in a life of independence.'
TV
39
M
From this letter, it would seem the western
coast has many advantages over Canada, particularly to a poor man, and it is for such that
one ought to look to the advantages of emi-
gration. A man with a fortune can go, and if
he likes thrive anywhere, while others do his
work; but when a man's property consists of
a few hundreds, or sometimes, after his pas- A   SETTLER S   HOME.
191
sage is paid, not even that, it becomes a great
matter to him to seek out a place where he
can work for himself, and, with the help of his
family, save hired labour. 192
CHAPTER  X.
'*' What a scene were here/ he cried,
For princely pomp or churchman's pride,
On this bold brow a lordly tower,
In that soft vale a lady's bower.
<F V Sfc 9H
How blythely might the bugle horn,
Chide on the lake the lingerine: morn.'"
SCOTT.
Much as I should have liked to pursue my
way to Fort St. James, the present depot of
the Columbian colony,. I had no time to do so,
our leave being too short to admit of it; so I
was obliged to rest content with what I could
gather from men who had been there. The
Fort is the northmost station of the Hudson's
Bay Company, and is situated at the south
end of Lake Stuart, which is a lovely piece
§>f water, surrounded by scenery pronounced BURIAL-GROUND.
193
to be unsurpassed by any in the world; the
climate is even milder than near the coast,
and the communication by water easy and
cheap.
Intending to try what we could do with our
guns on our way down the river, we only
stayed pa day and night at the Forks, and
started down stream, making excursions into
the country at any likely places. Game
seemed scarce, and we saw neither bears,
wolves, nor deer ; perhaps the passing up and
down of the miners had frightened them
further inland. Be this as it might, we saw
nothing of them, and the only thing worth
mentioning on our first day's journey back,
was eui Indian burial-ground.
It was situated in a pretty grove of trees;
the long, coarse grass had been pulled up by
the roots, and a close turf had sprung up in
its place, whether artificially or by accident I
know not. The belt of forest on either side
was of dark pine trees, which threw a sombre
shadow over the resting places of the natives,*
VOL.   II. o 194
DISPOSAL   OF   THE  DEAD.
giving the ground a peculiarly solemn and
funereal appearance.
" We watch o'er the rest of those we love best,
And shade each lowly bed,
While nightly we weep in sorrow so deep,
• Hopes from the living fled."
Every separate body is laid in a^ canoe,
richly carved, and either raised from the
ground upon wood supports placed upon a
rock, or hung from the branch of a tree, a
precaution taken to prevent them being torn by
wild beasts. They have a method of embalming
dead bodies by baking them some time, and
then rubbing them with a decoction made from
various herbs, the recipe for which they keep
a great secret. In and round each canoe are
placed articles for the use of the deceased in
the future life, and all the cooking utensils
are carefully broken or pierced to prevent
them being a temptation to robbers. All that
the dead have possessed in the way of ornaments, trinkets, &c, are hung upon them. In
some   instances,   even   the mouth   is  filled MOUNTAIN  BIVOUAC.
195
with rings, beads, and shells. Some of the
bodies were much more elaborately dressed
than others, and showed symptoms of recent
care, which spoke strongly for the affectionate
disposition of the people. Although in
life their women are treated as inferior creatures, they share honours and distinctions
with the greatest chiefs after death, and
one of the most richly adorned canoes I saw
was that of a woman.
Our first night on the route was dark and
foggy, and the spot we chose for our bivouac,
a little way up the mountain from the regular
track, was in the most sheltered nook we
could find, with a rocky background overhung
with fern trees, and protected in front by
a thick belt of wood, through which we
were compelled to force our way, in order to
reach the spot we had chosen.
After lighting a fire and cooking some
birds we had shot, we rolled ourselves in our
blankets, and feeling quite secure, fell fast
asleep—at least, I  believe  the  others  did.
o 2 196
NOCTURNAL  ADVENTURE.
I  lay awake for   a time listening to the
v G
melancholy moaning of the light wind through
J G © O
the trees, and the hollow roll of the river.
Not another sound broke the silence, and the
thick darkness seemed actually to hang upon
one and oppress the senses.
At last I too slept, how long I know not,
but I was awoke by a choking nightmare,
and found myself gagged and bound, unable
1/ O     GO *
to move or speak, and had the satisfaction of
witnessing the same process served upon the
rest of the party. Presently we were all staring
at each other in blank dismay: while our four
assailants, as blackguard-looking villains as
one could meet with, rifled our pockets, ate
and drank all they could lay hands on, and
then swore we were U all damned cheats, that
they had tracked us for diggers, and that to
pay us off we might stay where we were till
doomsday."
So saying, they took themselves off, leaving
us in a pleasant frame of mind.
At daybreak, benumbed and half dead with DESPERATE   GANG.
197
damp and cold, one of the men got his gag
off, and halloed to some purpose, bringing
another party to our assistance. Speedily
we were all staggering to our legs again, and
almost inarticulately, from the pain inflicted
by the gags, giving an account of the whole
proceeding. It seemed the gang who had
come upon us bore a truly terrible character;
and we might consider ourselves uncommonly
lucky to have got off so easily, as they seldom
left a party without a few throats slit, and
seemed to think nothing of knocking a man
on the head.
Numbers of the returning miners had
fallen into their hands and been eased of
their wealth, while many who resisted had
been knocked over, or never heard of again.
This gang continued their depredations
until winter fairly set in, and then, gathering
their wealth together, divided it and set off
for different places, travelling one by one
through Victoria, where they succeeded in
escaping discovery, by shaving and dressing 198
SHOOTING  THE  FALLS.
themselves. One, I believe, went home to
England with something like twenty thousand
pounds, bought a place, and is in society;
another crossed to America; a third was taken
up and executed in Victoria for stabbing a
woman in a drunken row; and the fourth, I
believe, spent his money, and went back
to the diggings like an honest man. Suck
was the history of the gang, and such their
end.
I was minus a few shillings, a pretty ring,
and my dear little flask ; while my friend lost
his watch, more money, and a pocket-book
with some invaluable keepsakes in it.
After our nocturnal adventure, we had no
sort of excitement except one or two capsizes
out of the boat on our way down, but spent
a very jolly time with the men who had picked
us up, and who proved capital travelling companions.
In going down we did not take the trouble
to make a portage, but took the usual Indian
plan   of   shooting   the   falls.    This   perfor- INDIAN   HORSEMANSHIP.
199
mance consists in getting the canoe well into
the centre of the stream, and then, by dint of
ballasting and steering, keeping her head
straight, and letting the current bear her
along, Difficult and dangerous as it appears, the boatmen and Indians are so fearless and expert, that accidents very rarely
happen, and then seldom beyond a good
wetting.
After rejoining the ship at Eort Langley,
we lay there for about a fortnight, during
which our only amusement was in riding and
duck-shooting.
All the Indians are fond of horses, and ride
well without any saddle, and only a strip of
hide twisted round the horse's nose to act as
bridle. They take off even the slight clothing
they usually wear, and appear perfectly naked.
The horses all run out on the prairies, and
when a fresh one is required, it is caught
with the lasso. As soon as the Indian can
get up to the prostrate animal, he gets on
his back, unwinds or cuts the lasso, and rides 00
WILD   HORSE  HUNTS.
the horse until he has subdued his fury, and
brought him to own his master.
We often accompanied the Indians upon
their wild horse hunts, and had many a
break-neck gallop after them, and often great
fun. Altogether it was a wild, exciting sport,
particularly as they always took a few loose
but thoroughlv trained old horses to attract
G       tl
the wild ones; and it was wonderful to see
the way in which these would scour the
plains and come back at the slightest call
or whistle, always bringing a companion, or
sometimes a whole herd within reach.
Another sport in which we joined is,
I Relieve, peculiar to the Pacific Coast
Indians, and consists in wild calf hunting.
The proper season for this is when the
wild calves separate from their mothers; but
in some cases it is followed as a pastime,
and then the calves are the produce of tame
mothers,  and are turned loose and goaded
. * G
to desperation. The hunters gallop up to
them in their flight, and watching an oppor-
an WILD   CALF  HUNTING.
201
tunity, seize the upturned tail and throw the
animal heels over head, when, stunned and
helpless, it is at the mercy of the butcher.
In the proper season, the Indians go up
the country to plains frequented by buffaloes,
and are accompanied by their whole families
with bag and baggage.
It would seem that when the buffalo
cows wish to wean their progeny, they secure
the co-operation of the bulls, who, placing
the cows in front, form a guard between
them and the calves, which are unmercifully
butted if they attempt to trespass beyond
the space allotted to them.
To separate the calves from the main '
body is the first work of the hunters, and
this they accomplish by dividing their
party, one giving chase to the whole herd,
while the second party, from their intimate
knowledge of the habits of wild animals,
can station themselves in ambush at the
place where fatigue will oblige the younger
animals to lag  behind,  when  the   hunters fir
202
SPORT WITH TAME CALVES.
drop in between them, and oblige them to
turn aside from their course. They are then
enclosed like a flock of sheep, and driven
quite in another direction, and so far off as
to prevent the herd hearing them, in which
case a charge has been known to take place,
the infuriated cows fighting gallantlv for
their young.
As soon as the calves are by themselves
the great fun begins, and hundreds are soon
capsized and sprawling or dead upon the
ground.
Wishing very much to see before leaving
Port Langley a calf-hunt, we persuaded the
Indians to shew us a sample in the manner
I before mentioned, with tame calves, and
great fun we had, most of us getting a roll
when we attempted the tail experiment.
After this expedition, the Indians consented to try their luck upon some plains
down towards the Columbia, where, though
the season was early, there might be a herd;
and as we promised   to   pay  them well in
k
w HUNTING-PAIITY.
203
either case, we got a good party, and made
them leave their wives, &c. behind, taking
only enough for a quick journey, and their
best horses.
Our party was rather a large one, and
certainly jolly; it consisted of five officers
from the ship, a couple of gentlemen diggers,
a couple of Yankee anything-you-likes, and
three settlers, the latter old hands at the sport.
We were soon on capital terms, and our
evenings were enlivened by song, jest, and
story; some marvellous enough, and certainly numerous enough to fill a book, the
Yankees eclipsing us all in their account of
their adventures both by sea and land.
On the morning of the third day from our
start, we reached the first ground where
the beasts were likely to be found, and here a
party was sent on ahead to keep a look-out,
while the rest of us divided and took separate
routes down each side of the hill.
The valley I was in was rich and beautiful, studded   with   fine   old trees, and en- 204
BUFFALO  TRAIL.
livened by a rippling brook, dancing along
amidst flowers and sunshine. As we progressed cautiously along the banks, I could
see fish of some sort shooting about, or
rising to the surface and splashing back
with a gleam like lightning.    Presently one
G GO J
of the advance party met us, with the intelligence that they had come on a recent trail,
and that though too late to inspect it that
O J.
evening, we might do so next day. Great was
our excitement, and we novices expected to see
a shaggy head appear at every turn of the
pathway; but nothing of the kind happened,
and night closed in without a sign of the
beasts. Usually, at this season, the nights
draw in damp, cold, and foggy; this, however, was mild and clear, a happy change from
the preceding one, when we had shivered
round a blazing fire, and spent the night wishing for the morning.
That night, wondrous tales of buffaloes were
told round our camp fire, and if half were
true, I am sure any   member of the party NIGHT ENCAMPMENT.
205
ought to be ever after looked upon as a perfect hero. I listened, half believing, half
doubting, and yet too much excited by
the prospects of the morrow, to be very
incredulous. At last feeling sleep to be necessary, each lay down in whatever spot looked
most tempting, and settled himself to his
repose.
The night was, as I have said, clear and warm;
a bright starlight sky stretched overhead, and
G G J '
the pretty little crescent moon sailed along
the horizon, just showing light enough to
make the stars close beside her look pale and
cold. The fires burnt red and low, and each
was surrounded by a strange-looking circle of
upturned feet. Now and then the bark of a
prairie dog, or the long howl of a wolf, was
heard in the still air.
I lay awake, listening with an irrepressible
intensity to these wild sounds, until, with my
nerves thrilling with an undefined awe, I got
up, and turning up the valley walked on in
the quiet night.    A turn soon shut out the 206
PICTURESQUE  SCENE.
gleam of the fires, and left me, to all intents
and purposes, alone in the plains.
I stood awhile gazing up to the glitttering
sky, and listening for any chance sound.
Nothing, however, but the voice of the prairie
struck my ear; so, grasping my rifle, I went on,
and presently reached the open plain, over
which thrilled the wind. I stood and listened,
trying to make out the landscape. Upon my
left rose a hill, and towards this I turned, and
was soon stumbling up it, feeling all was right
so long as I was ascending. I had not climbed
G O
far, when I obtained a full view of our camp
fires, and very picturesque they looked, some,
recently replenished with gummy pine logs,
sending their forked tongues high in the air,
G GO*
others shedding a dim, dark red glimmer,
brightening now and then as they were
fanned by a breath of wind. Content that I
was safe enough while within hail, I continued
G *
my ascent, and was soon upon a little table
land forming the top. Here I sat down, and
looked at the dim view round me, my im- HERD   OF   BUFFALOES.
agination filling up the indefinite outline.
Gradually I grew sleepy, and rolling myself
up, lay down under the shelter of a large stone,
and was soon fast asleep.
I fear the reader has been expecting my
walk to end in some adventure. I regret very
much nothing extraordinary happened, but I
assure you a good sleep was to my unro-
mantic ideas the most sensible termination to
my walk, as well as preparation for the fatigues of the next day.
The chill air which comes just before sunrise roused me, and getting up, I took the
bearings of my situation. Almost the first
thing that met my gaze was a dark mass
moving slowly across the light-coloured prairie
grass; it was still too distant to distinguish
more than a compact body, but whatever it was
it was drawing nearer. I strained my eyes until
every thing danced before me, and at last grew
convinced it could be nothing but the herd
of buffaloes of which we were in pursuit.
Having arrived at this conclusion, I did not 208
GENERAL  EXCITEMENT.
tarry to look, more than to make sure of the
direction they were taking, and then ran down
the hill as fast as I could, and astonished
my friends at their breakfast by my breathless
haste. Very soon, however, my excitement
was thrown completely in the shade, the Indians whooping, yelling and jumping about
like maniacs, while my friends were tighten-
* v G
ing their girths and begging to be off.
The Indians now sent forward a scout, who,
returning, told us that the herd, having evidently been turned, were now making for the
upper plains, and as they must pass through
the valley, our best plan was to conceal
ourselves amongst the brushwood until they
entered, and then charge upon them.
Our horses now began to shew symptoms
that they too knew of the approaching herd,
and stood with dilated nostrils and quivering nerves, just as you see an eager hunter
at the cover side. Some of them were soon
covered with white foam. It was truly an
exciting moment,   and  one   which  tried   a BUFFALO   HUNT.
209
man's patience not a little. In the first place
we were obliged to remain perfectly still; in
the second a turn and projection in the valley hid the entrance, so that the buffaloes
must be actually below us before we could
see them.
There was an Indian or two stationed
upon rocks commanding a view, and presently a long shrill whistle denoted the expected approach. We crouched back, when,
just as ill luck would have it, a breeze
sprung up, and blowing straight past us,
carried our scent to the bulls, and almost
immediately after a signal was shouted, telling us they had turned. Not a moment was to
be lost, down we dashed (our horses as eager
as ourselves) along the valley, and into the
open ground.
The buffaloes were scattered about in every
direction in evident confusion, and uncertain
which way to turn. Eor *a minute I felt as
one in a dream, and was more than half inclined to turn and put a safer distance be-
VOL.  II. p 210
CAPSIZING  CALVES.
tween myself and the ugly-looking cattle
careering about before me, their strong necks
and thick fore-quarters giving uncomfortable
ideas as to what one might expect in a personal encounter.
The Indians, meanwhile, dashed in among
77 o
the animals, and singling out a body of calves,
began their capsizing business. Rifle shots
and loud shouts added to the confusion, and
after several attempts to keep together,
some more enterprising animal broke the
spell and led the way over the plain ; and as
oar especial object was to procure veal, we
confined our attention to the calves.
Next day, some of the hunting party guided
us home, while others remained to cut up and
dry the meat.
I have little more to say of the Fort, and
that little I shall confine to an account of the
Indians.
I was present at one of their greatest
feasts, one given in honour of the election of
a chief—a ceremony meriting a description. ELECTION   OF   A   CHIEF.
211
It would appear that when a chief becomes
too old or feeble to govern his tribe, a meeting is held to elect a younger one ; nor is it
by any means certain that a son or even relative of the deposed chief will be chosen—the
election depending entirely upon the favour of
particular signs, ruled and guided by the pretended magic of the medicine-men. Whoever is chosen is perfectly secure of finding
obedient servants and the ready approval of
every one, none daring to dispute the choice
of a meclicine-man.
Immediately upon the man selected becoming aware of his good fortune, he retires
into the woods for a certain time to commune
with the good spirit, who is supposed to come
on purpose to instruct him in the best method
of governing the people and fulfilling the
trust reposed in him.
During the time of seclusion, the tribe are
in a state of great excitement, and like an
army without a general, few venturing upon
even hunting  expeditions, lest, by any evil
p 2 219,
nJ X fj
VOLUNTARY   SECLUSION.
chance, they should see the chief, in which
case death is their certain fate. This superstition is so strong, that even though the
fortunate man may have been alone, and
" though seeing unseen," he voluntarily comes
forward and gives himself up, lest, haply,
some unnatural fate should meet him direct
from the Good Spirit whom he is supposed
to have offended. If, on the other hand, he
is seen by the chief, that worthy is compelled,
by the same superstition, to execute him on
the spot.
The duration of this voluntary seclusion depends upon the man's health and strength, his
food being always exhausted many days before
he returns ; and when he does make his appearance, he is a hideous object, unwashed, emaciated, torn with wild shrubs, and his bloodshot eyes glaring with the fire of insanity.
He comes back at the dead of night, when
all are at rest and unsuspicious, and the first
notice of his return is his appearance in a
lodge, not through the door-way, but by tear- mi
HORRIBLE   REPAST.
213
ing away a portion of the roof, through
which he scrambles down, and seizing one of
the inmates with his teeth, tears off a mouthful of flesh, which he swallows. He then goes
to repeat the same scene at another and another hut, until perfectly exhausted, and in a
measure intoxicated by his horrible feast, he
falls down in a sort of trance, in which state
he may continue some days, eating nothing,
and unconscious of everything.
The poor wretches who have contributed to
the chiefs repast must bear their agony in
silence, merely stopping the bleeding by the
application of eagle-down or a plaister of pine
gum. The wounds sometimes heal, but more
frequently mortify and end in death, a consummation looked upon as rather a happy result, and leading the sufferers directly to the
regions of the blest. Indeed, so great is the
credit with which such scars are looked upon,
that many of the young Indians make artificial
scars, and pretend they have been thus favoured by the chief. ■
SSI 1 •
S1  ii
214
STRANGE  CUSTOM.
These Indians have a strange custom in
regard to the dead, somewhat resembling the
Irish wake. As soon as a man is dead,
invitations are sent to his friends, &c. The
bearer intrusted with these invitations, stalks*
into a hut, utters the chief's name, in a loud
commanding voice, and sprinkles the inmates
with goose-down. There being no lodge sufficiently large to contain the number of guests,
one is erected for the occasion. As the company assemble, they place themselves in rows,
sitting cross-legged upon mats; and up and
down these rows the eatables are piled at
regular intervals. These consist of bear,
buffalo, beaver, salmon, blubber, and berries
of various kinds, mixed, many of them, together, and are served upon calabashes or
carved wooden plates. The more refined
guests eat with a wooden spoon, the nearest
relatives of the deceased chief acting as
hosts, even bearing round the dishes, presenting them with a polite request to eat, and
pressing any reluctant visitor -with great hos- RETURN   TO  VICTORIA.
215
pitality, a favourite expression being " Eat
and fill yourself—do not hesitate, there is
more to come."
After eating as much as they can, the
sports of the evening commence with singing
and dancing ; in which, however, having eaten
so much beforehand, few are able to do much.
After this generally follows a theatrical display,
just like those of their Vancouver neighbours;
the whole affair ending in a general exchange
of gifts, and a long farewell song.
I cannot say I was sorry to leave Eort
Langley. The idea of getting back to our
friends at Victoria was very pleasant, and as
we looked upon the pretty shores of Esquimault again, I felt quite as if we were going
home; and, certainly, the welcome we received
did not fall short of what we had expected,
the orders for our return having become
known as soon as they were issued, and before we knew anything of them ourselves. 216
tt
CHAPTER XI.
This holly by the cottage eave,
To-night ungatherM shall it stand.
We live within the stranger's land,
And strangely falls our Christmas eve."
EN" MEMOBIAM.
Our return to Vancouver's was celebrated
by a ball given by the bachelors of the island;
rather a touching mark of their generous disposition, and one we duly appreciated, seeing
that before the event was notified, we voted
them the greatest bores we knew, but now,
acknowledging how much we had wronged
them, we henceforth swore by the jolly bachelors of Victoria. BACHELOR S   BALL.
217
The ball went off capitally, the room was
decorated with green branches and flowers,
while numberless arbours were ingeniously
contrived for the sole and only purpose of
love-making. The Union Jack was plentifully displayed in our honour, and the ship's
band took their turn at waltzes, polkas, &c,
distinguishing themselves greatly, and all get-
ting very drunk before the last quadrille.
One of our fellows, who had acted as bandmaster during the voyage, was in great wrath,
and, in his endeavours to keep the men quiet,
got so much excited himself, that more than
one person gave him credit for being in the
same state as his unruly men.
After the ball was over, some of us accompanied our friends to their homes, and danced
till daylight, getting a cup of coffee and a
furtive peep at our partners in the morning
light, before we parted.
Winter was now at the full, and Christmas
being nigh at hand, there seemed a general
wish to make it as much like an English one 218
HOME  RECOLLECTIONS.
as possible, and by wearing bright colours, and
making large fires, keep up the remembrance
of dear Old England. At night every one danced and played Christmas games ; and at last,
when a real shower of snow fell, how we enjoyed
it, every one turning out to walk, the ladies with
gay petticoats and strong boots, the counterpart of those we had left at home. Ah! little
some of them knew how even this familiar
sight cheered our hearts, and gave a spirit to
our letters, or how astonished their sisters
over the water were when they heard of it
—as, like many more absurdities of the like
kind, those in a civilized country, like England,
imagine any one living in a new colony must
be a semi-barbarian. I can only say, let them
go out and see.
On the first day of the snow, I walked out
to the country to pay a visit to a family I had
just received an introduction to, and found
the mother and two daughters out on the
balcony, well shawled, and enjoying the snow.
While we stood chatting and watching the
.— ENGLISH   WINTERS.
219
flakes floating about in the still air, as if reluctant to touch the earth, the sky grew darker
and the landscape so white that you might easily
fancy yourself in Old England again. So
thought I, and so said my hostess, and forthwith launched into a description of the winters she had seen in the north of England,
when the roads for miles were impassable, and
dinner parties were compelled to be guests for
days, or trust to a cart and four strong horses
to drag them through ; and when the windows
O G        7
were piled up, only admitting a ray of light—-
how, too, in her girlhood, she had ridden out
duck-shooting with her father, carrying the
game-bag over her crutch, and holding his
horse while he stalked a flight of wild ducks;
then the gallop home through the snow, with
tingling nerves, and how the well-filled bag was
spread out on the hall table for her mother's
approval, where the welcome blaze of fire-light
seemed doubly bright after the blue sky and
piercing night air.
As she went on, I listened intently.    She 220
ENGLISH   HOSTESS.
spoke of my own country, and I felt myself
back in years gone by—years of hopes never
again to be fulfilled, and of happiness which
still throws its light over what is now. I
looked in my hostess's face as it glowed with
the memories she was recalling, and could not
help wondering why she had left so much that
she loved and prized to come to such a far-off
land. The enigma was explained, for almost
immediately after her husband and two sons
entered; and then very soon I saw and heard
why she had left England, and saw, too, that
with such devotion as existed between herself and her noble husband, the world she
sought was by his side; and though familiar
objects were cherished for the sake of a joyous
girlhood when no worldly care had broken
into her happy home, the matron's lot
was incomparably better, nobler, and happier.
She told me her story afterwards, and a few
words will tell it again; and as an example of
what may be done, I think it will be useful
here.    For years after her marriage, she and MERRY   CHRISTMAS.
221
her husband had struggled on through many
difficulties, poverty, sickness, and the misconception of friends; and then seeing nothing
but disappointment before themselves and
children, they boldly decided upon trying the
New World. Eor a time, like many other persons of their station in a new colony, they had
many privations to endure, but they overcame
all by love and mutual trust. Health and
wealth came day by day, and, when I saw
them, they were settled on their own land in
a pretty house, built by themselves partly.
Their eldest son was fighting his way to distinction in the Queen's service, and the two
younger ones were still with them, one preparing to go into the navy, the other determined to stay with his father. Such might
be the lot of any settlers who were determined
to make a home for themselves.
I have already said it was Christmas time,
and the very mention brings thoughts of mirth
and jollity, dear old merry Christmas, season
of good fellowship and kindness, when stran- ENGLISH   MAIL,
gers become friends, and friends grow warmer
than ever. Last Christmas I had spent at
home, surrounded by loving brothers and sisters, and with a parent's voice to wish me
God-speed and a merry New Year. This, I
was thousands of miles away, in body, but I
well knew the sailor son was not forgotten,
G *
and that my absence left a solitary place in
their mirth. I believe every man on board
thought as much of home and its associations
as I did, and this very thought made them
more sociable and pleasanter companions
than ever.   Thus all was good-humour, and
G '
I never remember a jollier Christmas than
that spent at Vancouver's.
Every one had an engagement for Christmas night. But, like all other joys, Christmas
passed away, and almost one of the first
things to warn us of the lapse of time was
the  English  mail,   bringing   the  Christmas
O ' DO
letters from home. With it, also, I heard of my
appointment to a ship only then on her way
out.    This was welcome news, for although I CALLUM   INDIANS.
223
liked the old ship, I should now have a better
chance of promotion, and with common good
luck might soon call myself Captain.
By a little favour from my commanding
officer, and a letter from home to the kind
old admiral, I got leave to wait the arrival of
my new ship, and quit the old one as soon
as I liked. So I was soon in lodgings in
Victoria, surrounded by my little belongings,
and with at least a month at my disposal,
leaving me time, if properly managed, to see
something of the often written of Columbia
river. Winter is the only season the route
by the Columbia, and across the Rocky Moun-
tains is practicable. The road is partly
along the bed of the river, and must be taken
when its higher waters and its numerous tri-
butaries are frozen; as soon as spring melts
the icy bands, the river fills, and the road
becomes impassable.
While making arrangements for my journey,
I paid several visits to the Indians near Victoria.    The largest village is that inhabited by
DO J 224
OLTMPIA.
the Cailum Indians, and as I heard they were
first-rate boatmen, I saw a good deal of them
in my search after a crew. They flatten the
head,-and like all tribes following this hideous
custom consider themselves as various tribes
of the same nation, however much they differ
in language or manners.
After some deliberation, I decided upon
going to Olympia, on Admiralty Inlet, and
then find my way to Fort Vancouver's across
the country. Having settled this programme,
I hired my crew, got in my stock, and was
soon off on my solitary travels.
Our  voyage  over  to   the   mainland  was
J    o
somewhat rough, but the Indians managed
famously, and we encamped safe and sound on
the shores of Admiralty Inlet, at the settlement called Olympia. Here I found I could
procure horses and guides to go to the Cowlitz River, down which we could take a boat to
the Fort. The first part of our journey was
through as fine a country as I could wish to
see; well wooded and watered, with a short INDIAN   ENCAMPMENT.
225
rich looking grass, and just the sort of undulations to make a landscape picturesque,
while Olympus towered in the distance
veiled in eternal snow. Large herds of semi-
wild cattle were feeding on the plains, and
sometimes when we came upon one unexpectedly, it looked inclined to have a tournament
with us, a piece of amusement I by no means
relished—as these beasts were much larger
than buffaloes, and very ugly-looking customers to an indifferently mounted man.
We saw several Indian encampments, and
reached one just at sunset, where we found a
hearty welcome, and a great many more symptoms of civilization than I had ever met with
before amongst the Indians—a circumstance, I
suppose, accounted for by the frequent passing to and fro of Europeans, many traces of
whose presence and gratitude we found
remaining in various domestic comforts.
Nearly all the warriors belonging to this tribe
had some memento of their white friends, and,
generally speaking, the women wore  cotton
VOL.  II. Q
!-,(. 226
DIFFICULT  ROUTE.
petticoats, many of home manufacture, made
from the wool of the sheep running wild
upon the neighbouring plains. These Indians are flat-heads, and seem to live a
quiet happy life, and leave all their hard work
to their slaves, of whom they possess a great
number, and treat very kindly.
Upon the banks of the Nasguilly River is a
large farming establishment, belonging to a
company called the Puget's Sound Company,
and very useful in supplying a great quantity
of corn and potatoes to Vancouver's, at less
expense than almost any other station. From
thence to the Cowlitz River the route is
generally supposed to be rather difficult, but I
found the Indians capital guides, and perhaps,
owing to the season of the year, I was exempted from many of the dangers which have
filled the adventures of many travellers.
Early in winter, and when the frosts have
set in, the ground merely cements over, and
a bottomless depth of mud is left below; as
winter advances, the crust grows thicker, and APPEARANCE  OF  THE   COUNTRY.
227
you can pass over it with perfect ease; while,
on the other hand, if you wait until the frosts
are breaking, the surface is again softened, and
though passable, becomes very dangerous.
After passing Mud Mountains, we arrived
at Cowlitz Farm, belonging to the Hudson's
Bay Company, and inhabited by a number of
steady-going settlers, who have succeeded in
bringing the country to a state of high cultivation. Wheat is very good, and is raised in
large quantities for exportation. The Indians
are hospitable, and very friendly to the English. I only stayed a few hours, just long
enough to hire a boat's crew to take me to
Fort Vancouver's, and intending to sleep on
board, I started at once.
I was awake at day break, and gazed
with delight upon the picturesque banks of
the river, along which we were going at a good
pace, the men having engaged, for a certain
amount of extra pay, to land me at the Fort in
less than forty-eight hours.
Immense forests of pine  trees clothe the
Q 5
a ■-
■BB
II
DEER   CHASED  BY  WOLVES.
228
banks of the Cowlitz, some of them the
largest I have ever seen, their grey moss-
covered trunks rising like pillars in some old
cathedral. On an island I saw an Indian
burial-ground, but had not time to land, and
cared less to do so, as to all appearance the
spot was precisely similar to those I had seen
before.
The only thing of any real interest was a
chase after a wounded deer, which we witnessed. We were going quietly up the
river, when a deer was observed galloping along the bank; presently we made out
that he was closely followed by a small
troop of wolves, who were evidently gaining
upon him, and with my telescope I could see
the flakes of foam flying from his lips, while
the distended nostril and eye plainly bespoke
a long and severe chase; the wolves themselves came along with drooping tails, and
their tongues hanging far out. After watch-
ing him for a minute or two, I saw him
approach a bend of the river; a precipice lay THE PURSUERS BAFFLED.
229
immediately in his path, and at the base
ran the stream. He never paused, and
whether it was merely from fear, or that he
actually could not stop, he bounded straight
over, and fell into the river some ninety feet
below the surface ground. He disappeared
entirely for a second, then rose a little way
down, and made for the opposite shore.
Meanwhile, his pursuers, baffled by his
sudden disappearance, stood upon the top of
the rock ; but gaining sight of him as he rose,
in an instant they scrambled down. The pause,
however, slight as it was, and the force of the
stream, had placed a considerable distance between them and their anticipated prey. The
instant they took to the water, my rifle was at
my shoulder, two shots rang in the air, and a
couple of the rascals turned over with a howl,
and floating down, dead, effectually stopped
their comrades, who besides now caught sight
of our boat, and turning tail, were soon
scrambling up the bank, at even a faster pace
than they came down.    I gave them a parting ■SI
mmm
%m
THE   COLUMBIA.
benediction, and sent off one of them howling
a by no means musical song. The poor stag
had got to shore, and was trotting off towards
the plains, apparently instinctively aware that,
for once, man had proved a useful ally.
Next morning the Columbia opened full
upon us, and a splendid sight it is, too wide,
however, to see its full beauty, but you can
imagine what is hid from you by looking at
the bank nearest. A whole fleet might have
sailed abreast up the stately stream. We
toiled and pulled against the current, and soon
lost sight of either bank, nor did we catch a
glimpse of the right until nearly within sight
of our destination, which we reached just at
daybreak, the boatmen accomplishing their
promise in a couple of hours over the prescribed time. They all got gloriously drunk
that day, and gave me such a name for liberality in the Fort, that I was actually beset by
boatmen with offers of service for my passage
up, all stating a sum doubled, if not trebled,
through  the representations of my late crew. FORT  VANCOUVER.
231
Directly upon my arrival, I went on board
H.M.S. to see some old friends, and
persuade some one to join me in my trip, not
much relishing having only Indian companions
all the time. I found I had just hit the right
time, as two men had been anxiously waiting
a chance of a shooting excursion, and hailed my
plan with great delight. Our arrangements
were, however, to be made, and seeing that a
boat and crew were required, and great care
necessary in the selection of the latter, we
could not calculate upon getting off under a
couple of days. Meantime, I dined on board,
and made a very jolly excursion into the
country on horseback, besides seeing all that
was to be seen of the Fort.
It appears that Fort Vancouver was
one of the earliest and largest stations of
the Hudson's Bay Company. It is well and
strongly built with fortifications of pickets,
protected in various parts by guns, and with
a volunteer police.
It is under the charge of a Governor placed
f V, 232
VOYAGEURS.
there by the Bay Company, and is apparently
well and carefully managed.
The voyageurs, or men who act as boatmen,
form quite a separate community outside the
walls of the Fort, and when I went with my
friends to get a crew, I was almost deafened by the confusion of tongues—Chinooks,
Chinamen, Crees, Sandwich Islands, &c, &c,
all shouting, one against the other, the merits of
their boats, and different charges—rather a
hopeless case to distinguish good from bad;
but by dint of a few recommendations we at
last succeeded in selecting a crew who afterwards turned out to be, one a Hawaian, two
Yankees, and the others half breeds peculiar
to the place. The last were decidedly the
best; they are a fine strong set of fellows,
brought up on the river, and possessing a
perfect knowledge of its many dangers and
changes, and added to this, the coolest courage I ever witnessed.
We had to pay a portion of their wages in
advance, and every one of them got drunk WILD   CATTLE.
233
within an hour afterwards, bothering us considerably by asserting that they could not by
any human possibility start next day; but
seeing that we had determined, and finding
the Governor was our friend, they all appeared at the rendezvous in time, the Indians perfectly sober, though I cannot ay so much
for our Yankees.
Before leaving the Fort, I should like to tell
my reader a few particulars of the neighbourhood into which, as I said, I made one excursion. The country is rich and well
wooded with oak, pine, &c, many of the
trees attaining an enormous bulk; these forests are infested by herds of wild cattle,
whose progenitors were originally brought
from California, and allowed to run wild for
several years, until they became so numerous
that, like those in the Sandwich Islands, they
were obliged to be driven to the plains and
hills; and it is by no means safe to ramble far
into the forest, particularly during the calving
season, as ten to one you are greeted by a
M ■EBESS
234
INDIAN  TRIBES.
sharp reminder from an irate old cow, and
your ambition to be at the top of the tree
gratified in a manner more expeditious than
agreeable.
Most of the neighbouring Indian tribes are
Chinooks, with a sprinkling of a race called
Klickatals, and again all are flat-heads..
They areta very good sort of people, not
addicted to any great vice except drunkenness, and are inclined to imitate the Europeans in every way. They live peaceably,
and are gradually becoming industrious, although naturally one of the laziest races in
the world; in fact, so lazy that they will
often suffer great privations rather than take
the trouble to bring fish, &c, to exchange or
sell to the settlers. They possess very few
comforts compared to some of the tribes.
Their favourite blanket is made of rat-skin,
and is very soft and warm, folding round like
a piece of velvet.
During the storing season, that is to say,
while they are engaged laying in a supply of NATIVE  VILLAGES.
235
fish, &c, for the winter, they live in a sort of
tent much resembling our gipsy encampments, but covered with pretty green rush
mats, instead of old blankets or quilting, such
as you see among some of the gipsies. In
winter thev return to their villages and settle
down, three and four families in each lodge,
where they endure a state of heat and dirt it
is impossible to describe.
Many accounts had reached me of their
dirty habits, but really, when I saw them
at the very season in which I had a chance of
judging fairly, I thought them dirtier even
than I had imagined they would be.
When we entered the village, I saw no one
moving, but presently a head was popped out
of a lodge, then a greasy, sleepy-looking Chinook appeared, redolent of putrid fish, and
shining with natural oil. Then ten or a
dozen more shewed themselves, and one or
two invited me into a lodge.
I put my head in, determined to see all I
could, but I assure the reader I drew it back CURIOUS  PIPE.
quickly enough, and have often puzzled myself since as to how it was possible for any
XT J
being to live in such an atmosphere—an atmosphere that combined all the dreary horrors of
the Black Hole of Calcutta with the concentrated essence of every evil perfume in existence. My friends did not venture upon the
like experiment, and laughed heartily at my
wry face.
I obtained a curious specimen of a pipe
from one of these Indians. It was a long
tube, the stem covered with eagle-skin, and a
sort of outwork or fan of goose-wing feathers
stuck together, and supported by a small rod,
the whole gaily coloured and decorated with
beads.
I believe it had been stolen. As to this however I made no enquiry, but paid the price
demanded, too much delighted at possessing
such a trophy to ask questions. But the
Governor assured me he had often attempted
to bribe the Indians to sell these pipes, and
been refused with the greatest horror—every WILD  HORSES.
237
one of them showing that to commit such an
act was little less than sacrilege.
These Indians, like the others I had seen,
are all fond of racing and gambling. They
follow much the same method as I have described in my chapter on the Frazer, and
turn their horses loose on the plains during
the cold season. The trouble they have to
catch them again is incredible, as the animals
mix up with wild herds, and travel a great
distance, getting just as wild as their new
companions.
I believe the Indian often travels for a
month before falling in with a herd, and then
he just lassoes them, indiscriminately taking
the first that comes, which he mounts, and
rides until the animal is worn out, and owns
his victor's power by obeying him afterwards.
He is then kindly treated, and taught to obey
the voice rather than the bridle, which is
only a leathern thong, and not calculated to
be very useful.
I saw one Indian horse, that obeyed the 238
IMPROVEMENT   OF   THE   BREED.
slightest movement of this accompanied bv
the voice, grow perfectly savage when a light
English bridle was put into his mouth, and after
trying for half-an-hour to throw his rider, bolt
with him at a headlong gallop. The Indian
only stopped him by leaning forward and
slipping off the bridle, when, after letting the
horse gallop a little further, he spoke to him,
and he stopped as quiet as a lamb.
Their horses are rough, fiery little beasts,
and can gallop very fast, though, I should
think, not equal to long endurance. The
breed is improving now by the introduction
of some better horses from America; and I
heard of one enterprising settler who had got
a couple of sires over from England, and sent
one to the Columbian settlement, so that the
breed will soon improve, and a change take
place in the description of horse.
I heard my friends talk a great deal of the
amusement they had during the calf-hunting
season, and rather astonished them by an account of my experience in that way.    In fact, SPORTS  AND  ADVENTURES.
239
when I went on telling them of my various
exploits, and, I assure the reader, not drawing
a long bow by any means, they began to look
upon me as a perfect Nimrod.
I had had so many opportunities of going
on shore and amusing myself, that I really
had more adventures than most of us sailors
can boast of, and can look back upon numberless little sports too trivial to mention, but
each having a charm of its own when mixed
up with friends I may never meet again.
God bless them all I 240
CHAPTER XII.
" The desert gave him visions wild
Snch as might suit a spectre's child,
Where with black cliffs the torrents toil,
He watched the wheeling eddies boil.'5
SCOTT.
We had certainly some difficulty in managing a portion of our crew, but on the whole
they behaved as well as we could expect, and
worked hard enough to let us encamp about
eight miles up the river, at a pretty and wild
spot, the name of which I unfortunately forgot to write clown. The river, even at this
distance, above one hundred miles from the
mouth, is about half a mile wide, and contains
an enormous body of water, flowing clown in
a strong but as yet unbroken stream, although THE  PRAIRIE.
241
our journey next day brought us to the first
of the rapids, or cascades, as they are called;
here we encamped for the night, and after
listening to the yarns of our boatmen, each
G J 7
picked out a nice spot, and wrapping ourselves in
our rugs, we lay down beneath the blue canopy
of a heaven almost as bright as an English
G G
twilight, and even at this season putting me
in mind of a home midsummer night.
A little later in the spring, I have been told
that the plains are absolutely blue with the
flowers of the wappataa, and the air heavy with
their sweetness; even now the scene was
lovely in the extreme, romantic and impressive withal. The sweet low wind that, un-
felt to you, breathes over the wild prairie,
sings a song of its own—one I have often felt
O G
and listened to with every pulse thrilling, and
my heart stirring irresistibly to memories of
other days ; a strange effect this same desert
song has, in thus carrying you far away to
utterly dissimilar places and events. There
must be some magic in it, I am sure, for I
VOL.  n. R DANGER  FROM   A  RATTLESNAKE.
have heard many who have listened to it say
that they felt as if compelled to think of sthe
sweetest and happiest days of their lives,
and that if a train of melancholy reminiscences
awoke, the song became merely a sad moaning sound. I lay awake long, and only after
some hours fell asleep.
I had just lost consciousness of being awake,
when a terrific yell from one of my com-
panions brought me to my feet with a jump.
I found him pale and trembling, in a dreadful fright, and it was some moments before he
could speak articulately, but at last it came
out that he had been awaked by a rattlesnake
crawling over his face. While we were
trying to convince him he was not bitten,
the boatmen seized lighted brands from
the fire, and hunted about for the trespasser, which I began to suspect was the
effect of a dream. At last a shout from
the men proved he was found, and running up to the spot, I saw the snake get
his death-blow as cleverly as anything I ever CASCADE  INDIANS.
243
witnessed; one of the Indians catching him
across his back with a stroke from a long lithe
twig, just as he was about to spring.
The ugly brute tumbled back, with his
spine fractured, but even then hissing out
his wrath, and rattling with impotent fury.
I could not but shudder as I saw the reptile
wriggling and spitting, shooting out his black
forked tongue, and opening his jaws to an
extent I could not have believed possible,
while his eyes were absolutely glowing with
rage; truly my friend had a* narrow escape,
and none of us could account for the animal
not biting him.
Rattlesnakes are very numerous about the
the banks of the Columbia, and this adventure
considerably lessened the delightful enjoyment
of sleeping in the open air, and the prospect
of a starry canopy.
The Cascade Indians, who came in the
morning to help us up the rapids, were very
merry fellows, and invited us to their village,
5 on. I have
r 2
where   some races were goin 244
HORSE-RACING.
before mentioned the partiality of all those
tribes who possess horses for racing, and seen
something of it, but this was quite a Derby
compared to the others.
On reaching the village, we found everything in full force, and that the meeting was
O ' G
held in honour of the anniversary of a great
victory, the whole being finished up by their
favourite war-dance. Visitors were pouring
in, and the whole village presented an amusing
and lively scene, the chief himself condescend-
j 7
ing to welcome us, telling us he had been on
board a man-of-war, which he   pronounced
<(
manawaa.
)>
The race-course lay about a mile from the
village, and was alive with horses, fine little
beasts, eager for the race, and keeping up a
continual skirmishing, shrieking, kicking, and
rushing about and at each other in the most
outrageous manner. At length the first race
came off; at least forty horses started, and
then such a row began, everyone shouting the
name of his favourite, and offering bets about INDIAN  WAR-DANCE.
245
their chance of winning in the most scientific
way.
Race followed race in quick succession,
until all the horses had been feed or lost, the
latter amusing termination happening several
times, when, mad with excitement, a horse took
to the plains, and finding he had lost all command, the rider quietly slipped off over the
tail, and let the steed go whither he pleased.
Some of the races were admirably contested,
and all most amusing, and as the Indians ride
well, there was often great interest in the
trials; I only noticed one upset, and he got
so ummercifully laughed at, that I doubt if he
ever showed face on the ground again.
The famous war-dance was the stupidest
thing I ever saw, and consisted in about
twenty men, painted and plumed, walking
round and round in a circle, sometimes stamping with one foot, and all the time keeping up
a most mournful chant, which I was told was
a recital of the names, deeds, and deaths of
the   great warriors   engaged  in   the   battle 246
THE   CASCADES.
whose memory they were celebrating. The
only thing I ever heard at all like it was the
drone of the bagpipes, and I must say I
think the Indians afforded quite as musical
an entertainment as one I have heard praised
in the land of cakes.
Without waiting to regale ourselves upon
the refreshments offered, we divided a few
cigars (always a welcome gift to these smoke-
adoring Indians) and took our departure, anxious to get on our journey.
The portage of the Cascades occupied us all
next day. The falls are very fine, and the
river, confined between enormous rocks, leaps
and rushes past with a roar like thunder; the
footpath, in some places running over the
rocky wall, actually trembled with the force of
the water. I saw some curious caverns on the
opposite side, worn out by the floods, and
into which the water rushed with a loud roar.
At other places, natural bridges and tunnels
were formed, making the whole one of the most
picturesque and sublime   scenes I had ever THE   KETTLE   FALLS.
247
seen, and I could fancy what it must have
beeu when the summer floods rolled down.
Our men grumbled a little when, on reaching the head of the portage, we announced
our determination to proceed without loss of
time; but we found a round or two of rum a
certain panacea, and, after duly administering
the same, got under weigh again, and accomplished a run of ten or twelve miles
before we encamped again. This part of the
river, during the fishing season in July, is
much frequented by Indians, and an almost
incredible number of salmon are taken. We
stayed all night here, and continued our way
at daybreak, reaching the foot of the Kettle
Falls at midnight.
These falls are among the most extraordinary in the world, deriving their name of
Kettle, or Chaudiere, from the numberless
caldron-like holes worn by the constant friction
of the torrent on the hard rock—within these
the water whirls round with terrific force,
as in a boiling kettle.     The sight of  such 248
SHOOTING  THE  RAPIDS
a body of water tumbling about in a state of
J G
turmoil and confusion is truly awful, particularly when the imagination peoples the air
with the spirits of the many unfortunates who
have found a watery grave beneath the wild
current.
In coming down the river, the boatmen
" shoot the rapids/' and it requires great skill
and presence of mind to escape destruction.
Numberless accidents have occurred, but I
must say these maybe alwavs attributed to the
inexperience of young boatmen, or the fears of
XT J ^o *
the passengers getting the better of their confidence in the crew, and leading them to
attempt to assist or act for themselves; once a
boat swerves, or becomes in the slightest
degree unmanageable, there is no hope for
her.
Human power cannot resist the force of
water, though human skill can do much,
if feir and direct means are used. Thus year
after year the same sad tales are told, and
year after  year   the boatmen pass up and THE  DALLES;
249
down the river as fearlessly as if on the bosom
of a lake.
At the Kettle Falls, the Columbia descends
upwards of eighty feet; the noise of a great
body of water falling such a height is deafening,
and at a distance strongly resembles the roar
of artillery.
Our next stage was the Dalles, which I
thought even more sublime than anything I
had seen before, as the river is hemmed in by
enormous solid rocks, looking as if they had
been torn asunder by the press of water;
through this pass or channel the river pours,
forming immense whirlpools in which trees
are driven out of sight, and on appearing again
are twisted and rent by the irresistible power
of the torrent, and sometimes entirely stripped
of their branches, they float down to the calm
water.
We landed again here, and towed the boat
by a line, rather a difficult matter, as every
now and then a sudden jerk of the current
would almost wrench the rope out of our am
250
PINE   FORESTS.
i
hands. The country here seemed infested
with rattlesnakes, and I am sure I must have
seen or heard twenty  during my walk.    It
J o J
is by no means pleasant to see these gentle-
V I <s
men, and know that an unwary step may
bring one open-mouthed at you.
After ascending the river a little further, we
halted again. The features of the country,
which had for the last few days been rugged
J GO
and bare, began to change, and large forests
f- o o    * o
filled the landscape, composed mostly of pines,
whose bulk attracted us so much as to induce
me to measure them. While so engaged, we
sank up to our knees in the remains of the
decayed spirals lying think below every tree,
and emitting such a pungent cloud of dust
o * o
that we began sneezing as if we had been in-
o o
haling the strongest snuff.
G O
We were keeping up a by no means harmonious chorus, when a stranger appeared on
the scene in the shape of a large dark-coloured
wolf. His siesta must have been disturbed
by our emotion, but without waiting to gratify WOLF-HUNT.
251
his curiosity, he made off with his tail between his legs in the most ignoble manner,
looking first over one shoulder, then the other,
with a peculiarly ugly snarl. We had left our
rifles in the boat, so could do no damage ; but
loath to lose the chance, we gave chase, and
had a glorious run over the open, losing our
game in a thick little underbush of a prickly
sort of shrub resembling the famous waitabit
thorns of the African deserts, through which
he bolted like a shot.
We had, however, done one thing, namely,
marked our game, and leaving my companions
to keep watch, I, as the best runner, set off
to bring up dogs, men, and guns. I had great
difficulty in finding my way to the boat, and
still greater to guide the men to the spot
where the others were waiting. Indeed, had
it not been for one of the dogs striking the
foot of the wolf, and thus running him, we
might have looked all day. When we did
reach it, my friends were up a tree, having
had rather a close view of the wolfs visage 252
THE   GAME  IN   COVER.
through the cover, and thinking prudence the
better part of valour, wisely took refuge in an
oak.
The cover in which the game lav was of an
oval form, and though very dense, not large;
so we posted ourselves at various points, and
sent in the dogs to beat. They hunted about
for some time, keeping us in great excitement,
with rifles to the shoulder, and fingers trembling on the trigger.    Still, strange to say,
O Do ' o J7
they had not found or bolted the gentleman,
and misgivings about his being still there
began to damp our enthusiasm. Suddenly,
yelp, yelp, howl, howl, burst from the middle
of the bush.
f Be ready !" shouted Charley.
On went the row, and such a yelling, barking, and uproar surely never perplexed mortal
man.
What could be the matter? Wolves are
generally such cowardly brutes that we could
hardly believe what seemed pretty evident,
namely, that he was fighting the dogs. DESPERATE  FIGHT.
253
But the noise continuing, and no sign of
dog or wolf shewing, we determined to get in
and see what was going on. So with a good
deal of pushing, tearing, and scratching, in
spite of torn trowsers (our only ones), we
reached the scene of action, and then the
mystery broke upon us.
The beast had taken refuge in a cave, at
the mouth of which the dogs kept up their
deafening chorus, jumping about half frantic,
while inside the wolf sat, his tail crushed up
against the furthest corner, and his eyes
glowing like burning coals in the semi-
darkness.
Seeing our approach, one of the dogs, a
large, powerful animal, something of the Cuba
breed, dashed in and grappled with the wolf,
thus preventing us shooting him, which we
might easily have done before, but now dare
not attempt, in case of wounding the dog.
I never saw such a struggle as that which
followed. The wolf was the largest, but the
dog, having made the attack, had got a good a —
254
DEATH   OF  THE  WOLF.
hold on his neck, and never relaxed it for a
moment, while the other, growling and snapping, threw himself into every imaginable position, now rearing himself on his hind legs,
now down on his back and stomach, in the
vain effort to shake off his adversary, who
kept his hold until he had choked his enemy.
Then with a satisfied shake, he let him fall
dead, and, lying quietly down, he began
licking his own numerous wounds, as if he had
done the most ordinary thing in the world.
Of course, we gave him three cheers, and
bathed him with our best brandy, even the
boatmen volunteering to contribute from their
leathern rum bottles.
The wolf was an immense old fellow, and
his grinders spoke of many a long year, being
worn down nearly to the gum, while his tusks
J G 3
were the largest I ever saw. Indeed, you may
judge of the size from the fact that I got one
made into an erasing-knife handle, and the
other I saw afterwards used as a shawl-brooch,
on the smooth surface of which, one of my DENSE   THICKETS.
255
friends had engraved a miniature picture
of the fight. The head and skin we
carried off as trophies of this memorable
combat.
We now reached a part of the Columbia
where it widens out to a great extent, and
goes by the name of the Lakes. Several
days were occupied in passing up these, and in
landing now and then to have a shot at birds,
either upon some of the many pretty islands
or on the mainland. Still nothing particular occurred, and when we reached the regular
river part again, we found the banks so densely wooded that it was impossible to land, so
ran on nearly two days looking for an opening
in the thicket of rushes and water-plants,
which, after the forest ended, closed up into
the very stream itself. On we went, cramped and
tired enough with sitting in such a little boat,
looking eagerly for a place to stretch our legs,
which, however, we did not find until we reached
the Great Battiere, where, once on terra firma,
we were in no hurry to embark again, and hear- 256
CARRABOO DEER.
ing there were often large numbers of carraboos
G O
in the neighbourhood, we pitched our tent?,
i. e., four or six posts, over which we spread
rush mats, bought from the Indians.
Our search after the carraboo deer proved
unsuccessful the first day: that is to say, we saw
none in the flesh, though we came across plentiful traces of their existence, and were in consequence quite content to take our chance and
wait a day or two, setting off next morning in
the direction of the hills, which rose in the distance, one towering over the other, until they
' G 7 J
seemed to mingle with the sky.
Our path lay across a plain covered with
loose sand, and tall coarse grass, so strong
and brittle as to scratch us like thorns, fatiguing us excessively while it lasted, which'
fortunately it did not do all day, giving
place first to a bare sandy desert, and then to
a short green turf upon which we trod with
the most unalloyed delight, thinking it the
J G ' O
most luxurious carpet in the world.
After toiling on at least nine miles without
Tv3£sfc__ STALKING.
257
seeing any game, the change in the plain
(breaking up into sudden rises, valleys, and
rocks) gave us hope, and most carefully did
we ascend every hillock, scarcely daring to
tread lest we should alarm the timid carra-
boos.
At last we caught sight of a herd, a long
way off it is true, but that was nothing, as
we could take greater precautions now, knowing where to find them; so off we went,
getting down wind until we reached the point
from which we had calculated on stalking
them. This we set about in the most approved
manner, now on our hands and knees, now
on our backs, and then stomachs; sometimes
running across a little ravine, and then, not
being quite sure of our distance, or whether
they had moved, taking about half an hour to
steal up the next rising, and almost choking
ourselves by suppressing our breathing, lest
we should alarm them, and growing doubly
'DO «>
anxious after every disappointment.
I was now leading, and having propelled
VOL.   II.
s 258
A  PEACEFUL  HERD.
myself to the top of a hill, was peeping
through a bush. Ah! there they were at
last, a glorious herd, and within eighty yards
of us, perfectly happy, and unsuspicious of
danger, some feeding, some stretched on the
grass, all in peaceful security. We had three
rifles, so each picked off his deer, and crack
went the pieces • one of the animals bounded
in the air and fell, while the others disappeared like a flash of lightning; however we
were certain one was hit, and slipping the
dogs we gave chase.    After a long run, we
DO G '
caught a glimpse of them just disappearing;
one was left far behind, with the two dogs close
on his haunches* We had a good view of this
hunt, and at last the satisfaction of seeiug him
pulled down; but long ere we could get up, the
dogs had mangled him so completely, that he
D O 1 J *
was of no use, and we returned to the body
we had left, where we meant to make our
bivouac for the night.
The sun was setting behind a range of snowy
D D «/
mountains, all bathed in the richest purple
<*»• NIGHT  BIVOUAC
259
and darkest blue I ever beheld, while the sky
above resembled a magnificent crimson and
gold canopy, in the centre of which hung the
round and fiery sun.
I gazed in awe and delight, until down
dropt the sun, and gradually twilight drew its
pale blue veil over the glow, while softly night
began her reign, reminding me of Longfellow's
sweet hymn.
I heard the trailing garments of the night,
Sweep through her marble halls —
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light,
"From the celestial walls.
I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o'er me from above,
The calm majestic presence of the night,
As of the one I love.
I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold sweet chimes
That fill the haunted chambers of the night,
Like some old poet's rhymes.
Erom the cool cisterns of the midnight air,
My spirit drank repose,
s 2 •
260 LONGFELLOW.
The fountain of perpetual peace flows there,
Prom those deep cisterns flows.
Oh! holy night, from thee I learn to bear,
What man has borne before,
Thou layest thy fingers on the lips of care,
And they complain no more.
Peace, peace, Orestes-like I breathe this prayer,
Descend with broad-winged flight,
The welcome, the thrice prayed for, the most fair,
The best beloved night.
I have given the whole of this beautiful
hymn, for although I would fain believe every
one knows it, still a good thing, and such a
good thing, cannot be   too   often  repeated.
Longfellow   must   have   wandered   and   bivouacked in the wide and splendid prairies of
his native land, to talk so feelingly of the
night; and his words rung in my ears as I
watched the moon treading her silvery way,
crowned  with her diadem of stars, and the
wondrous voice of the desert awoke the sweet
sad melody that breathes on the air like the
tone of a distant organ, or the faint echo of
the angel choir.
D VISIT   FROM   A  BEAR.
261
I know not the cause of this phenomenon of
which I have been speaking, or whether it is
the change in the atmosphere occasioned by
the sudden transition from heat to cold; be it
what it may, the noise exists, and travellers in
the high latitudes, as well as on the plains of
America and Africa, can corroborate my statement, and recall the strange effect never to be
forgotten. It is as if nature had awaked to
praise God, and send forth her thousand voices
in adoring welcome.
We had a flying visit from a bear in the
night, and were aroused to a knowledge of his
companionship by his making his supper off
the head of the carraboo, which he had
cracked. After taking the edge off his appetite by eating the tongue and lips, he was
sucking out the brains, making, thereby, a
most unearthly noise, which effectually put an
end to our slumbers, and thereby to his repast.
I had never heard a similar noise before, so,
for the life of me, could not make out what it
was.    But the Indians knew it, and kicked 262
RAPIDS   OF  THE   DEAD.
up such a row that the bear decamped, and
though we turned out the dogs, and searched
for a couple of hours, we saw nothing of him.
This was a great disappointment, and more so
in the end, as we did not come across another
during this journey.
Next clay, we reached the Rapids of the
Dead, so called from a sad legend of death
connected with them. Here we remained a
day, hunting carraboos, which were in great
numbers, but kept well out of reach, and gave
us some trouble in getting within shot.
The Rocky Mountains, with their eternal
crown of snow, had now been visible some
days, and every mile we advanced became
more clear and beautiful, changing continually
in their tinting, from the chilly blue peculiar
to such scenery to a fight rosy pink, while
sometimes a bank of dark clouds would divide
the mountains, suffering their crests only to
appear, like white islets in a dark water.
We were now fast approaching the end of
our journey.    The last rapids were left be- TEMPEST   IN   THE   FOREST.
263
hind. The river, at this point, makes long
bends, twisting to and fro in a curious manner. The navigation of it would have taken
us much more time than we could afford to
lose, so we set about hiring horses, and went
across the prairie, which was covered, in some
places, about a foot deep with snow.
We had good guides, and first-rate little
horses, so spun along over the smooth ground
at a good pace. This plain was thickly dotted
with clumps of trees, and away in front of us,
belting round a white mountain, lay a dark
forest, which, we were informed, we must
reaoh before night in order to gain shelter.
Certainly, the snowy prairie had few inducements to offer in the way of a good lodging,
so we put our hearts to it, and succeeded in getting to the wood at dusk. And it was lucky for
us we did. The night set in cold and stormy,
the wind howling a regular tempest through
the upper branches of the great trees, and I
could hear the slender tops of the pines
groaning and cracking as it swept past. ROMANTIC  ENCAMPMENT.
But with all this wild tempest above, we
were snug and warm, having secured a spot
where the thickly interlaced branches of the
evergreen pine not only kept away the wind,
but served as a regular roof, high over which
O ' G
the snow collected and formed a second covering.    The ground below was thickly covered
O G v
with the same kind of bed of dry spirals I
have mentioned before, and when we had
collected a heap of the driest, formed a deli-
ciously soft couch.
The cones of the firs set up a bright, clear
blaze, and lighting up the trunks of those
trees nearest and the warm red ground beneath, gave a most romantic air to our encampment.
After a first-rate supper off some fresh
meat we had brought from the last station,
we retired to our couches to try to sleep.
I say try, for really it was by no means easy
to divert one's thoughts from the wild scene
the blading fire displayed, while the roar of
tho wind, accompanied as it was by so many NIGHT  IN   THE  FOREST.
265
strange sounds, was of itself enough to drive
away any symptom of rest.
I do not think I closed my eyes all night,
but, spell-bound by the whole scene, lay
awake, weaving wonderful tales, and watching
the picturesque figures of our guides as they
moved about, replenishing the fire, looking
after the horses, or sitting half asleep round
the blaze, while the fight danced on the gay
plumes that crowned their heads. Strange
noises filled the air: now the crash of a
branch, breaking beneath its load of snow,
now the sharp crack of a pine-top, or the
shriek and groan made by two large limbs of a
tree rubbing together. With all these sounds
combined, the reader may easily imagine
sleep was banished; and we were still awake
when the grey dawn stole over the scene,
giving it a new and even more mysterious
aspect.
Oh! how I wished I could paint that
strange struggle between the morning light
and the bright gleam of the fir cones, which, 266
1
1
SNOW-STORM.
it is well known, from the resin they contain,
burn almost like tar.
When daylight did come, we found there
was a heavy fall of snow j walking to the
edge of the forest, we watched the great
feathery flakes floating down,  dancing their
y o 7 g
peculiar wild measures in the still air, for at
dawn the wind fell as if stifled by the thick-
coming snow. To continue our route was
utterly impossible: indeed we might congratu-
J XT ' GO
late ourselves upon our good fortune in getting to a safe shelter, and as these storms
never last long, a day's delay was all we had
to fear—and really it was worth it, to see this
feature in the wild scenery of prairie life.
We wandered a long way up in the forest
in search of game, and got a brace of beauti-
G * D
ful pheasant-plumaged birds, which I found
were  here  called  wild turkeys.    These   we
if
roasted for supper and found capital eating.
Towards mid-day the snow ceased, but the
Indians assured us it would begin again; and
GO'
even our own experience of the state of the BREAKING  TREES.
267
sky told us it might be so. Added to this was
the impossibility of reaching another really
secure shelter unless we made an early, or, as
they call it, a " sun-rise" start, so we consented to stay, and before dark the fall of
snow began thicker than ever. This night I
slept, but was awakened at least twenty times
by the thundering crash of breaking trees,
and was in no small alarm lest one of the
branches over my head should by any
mischance follow this . lead, in which case,
if I escaped the blow, I might enjoy the
pleasure of being suffocated; but sleep got
the better of my fear, and after every start
I turned over and was soon oblivious to
every thing, and calmly unconscious in the
luxury of sleep.
The snow ceased during the night, and the
blue sky giving us every prospect of a favourable journey, our guides roused us at dawn to
get under weigh; nothing loath, we ate our
breakfast off the broiled remains of our supper, and a strong cup of coffee, and mount-
i 268
A  HALF-WAT   STATION.
ing, were soon on the outskirts of the forest.
Here a splendid scene broke upon us, the
wide boundless prairie, with its bed of snow,
just tinged along the horizon by a gleam of
crimson light which gradually stole along, and,
G C J G* '
as the sun rose again, faded away, leaving a
pale, cold, hazy blue.
The snow lay fresh and glittering around
J GO
us, every particle sparkling like diamonds in
the sunlight. On we went, the horses, fresh
from the day's repose, going gaily along, snorting as they struck up clouds of the powdery
snow, and now and then plunging into a
hollow filled all over with snow, and almost
burying both themselves and riders. We had
no mischance, and reached our destination that
night, this time a cave in a steep hill, known
to the Indians as a sort of half-way station. 1
269
CHAPTER XIII.
" Those vast walls
Have pinnacled in clonds their snowy scalps,
And throned Eternity in icy halls
Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls
The avalanche, the thunderbolt of snow,
All that expands the spirit, yet appals,
Gather around the summits as to show
How earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below."
BYRON.
Our resting-place that night was only one
day's journey from the Grand Cote, but such
a journey ! It consisted of a systematic crossing
and recrossing of the river, until I really believed my legs were frozen; at any rate, every
bit of clothes I had on was stiff with ice, for
as they became wet from the splashing in the
fords, the damp froze until they became as stiff
as a board.
Our first view  of  the Grand  Cote was THE   GRAND   COTE.
under sunset, and nothing could have been
more sublime; a dark purple cloud lay encircling the summit, the base was in cold dim
shadow,   while a mid-line of   bright golden
' GO
sunshine ran across, intersected here and
there by the blue of a shadow caused by the
inequalities of the surface.
Looking up as we did upon this stupendous mass of trackless snow, the barrier
between the two sides of America seemed
utterly insurmountable, and it would indeed be
so but for the gorge worn by the waters of the
Columbia, which from the spot we reached
was not in view.
We went on a few miles amidst many difficulties, and in the most intensely  cold air I
ever  felt,   until we reached the bed of the-
river, and leading our horses down, got under
W G 7    O
the  shelter of a large overhanging rock for
G O        G
the night, from which point the ascent was
to begin next day.
The river point is here a mighty rushing
torrent, struggling to escape from the pressure
«■■■ PARTY OF VOYAGEURS.
271
above, and chafing against the rocks that rise
7 GO
to impede its progress until white with fury.
I amused myself until supper time in watching
the strife of the waters, and in vain looked
upwards for any sign of a road or passage.
Just as we had discussed our evening meal,
which, though not a very luxurious one, with
appetites such as ours, was very acceptable, we
heard sounds of human voices, and presently
a whole party of voyageurs were in sight,
greeting us with loud shouts and welcome.
These men had just crossed the gorge of
the mountain, having come from Canada,
St. Lawrence being their starting point, from
which they had proceeded up by the Red River
country, and finally in almost a direct line
to the Athabasca, a river flowing from the
same source as the Columbia, but in the
opposite direction, and finally losing itself in
Lake Winnipeg. The voyageurs were chiefly
men who had travelled the route for years, but
among them, and taking advantage of their
knowledge and escort, were two or three settlers,
!| ■-J M
272        committee's punch bowiu
and a Presbyterian missionary, all of whom
spoke enthusiastically of the country they had
J. w ww
passed before reaching the Rocky Mountains,
and agreed that the route thence from Canada
was not only practicable but easy, and presented   few   engineering   difficulties:   their
O (J *
greatest trial had been crossing the mountain
chain, and if that  could be in any manner
lessened, they seemed confident that the way
7      j j
was the most practicable, as well as the most
direct.
We spent a very iolly night with them, and
X w     w w ^_- J
parted in the hope of getting back in time to
join them in running down the Columbia. At
sunrise we began the ascent, and twenty hours
hard work brought us to a small deep lake,
completely embosomed in the mountain, which
some regard as the source of the Columbia.
The lake, though not large, is of such depth
as to lead to the belief that it occupies the
mouth of an old volcano. It goes by the
name of the Committee's Punch-bowL though
for what  reason I  never discovered.     The ATTRACTIVE spot.
27a
water, which was obtained by breaking the
ice, was so cool and clear that it sparkled
like champagne when poured from glass to
glass, and I drank cup after cup, thinking I
could never have too much of such nectar.
We passed the night by the lake, which is
about three quarters of a mile round, under
shelter of the rocks; and though we had
suffered much previously from the piercing cold,
we were not at all inconvenienced by it during
our sleep, and woke in the morning, with the
sun shining down upon us, warm and radiant.
It was in vain to propose returning—even
though my month had only two clays to run.
I knew I could take a little law, and trust to
a few kind words dropt by the Admiral,
about my miscalculating the length of time
the journey would occupy. How could we
tear ourselves away from such a spot, whence,
by ascending a pinnacle, we could look
upon the eastern and western worlds of
America spread limitless before us ? So again
we stayed all day, clambering about, picking
VOL.   II. T
lil DESCENT  OF  THE   COTE.
up relics to carry home, and after a second
night, bid a reluctant farewell, and began our
descent of the Cote. This was much more
simple than the ascent, and only occupied
twelve hours, but with an infinity of falls, slips,
and consequent bruises, so that we were glad
enough to go to sleep and rest our weary
limbs, leaving the start homewards for another
day.
All that night I dreamt of avalanches and
glaciers, of slipping down immeasurable mountains, and finding myself engulfed in snow, or
imprisoned in some ice-bound dungeon—an
accident by no means improbable in the descent, and one that, I was told, had frequently
happened. 275
1
CHAPTER  XIV.
"This noblest beast of chase, that vainly doth but fear,
Some bank or quickset finds, to which his haunch opposed,
He turns upon his foes, that soon have aim inclosed."
MICHAEL DKAYTON.
The next day we reached the last encampment, and found all on the qui vive about a
herd of buffaloes, which the Indians had tracked
for several days, and now reported only ten
miles off. Buffaloes are not so common on
the west side of the Rocky Mountains, or in the
Columbian district, as they were, and the
present herd was said to be unusually large,
besides being at a season they do not generally appear here; so that the excitement was
proportionally great, and the preparations on
the best scale the means of the place per-
t 2
fl
I 276
HERD   OF  BUFFALOES.
mitted.    We hired horses, and, delighted to
7 7 O
have an opportunity of joining such an expedition, set off with them at an early hour
in the morning; the Indians armed with
spears, bows, and some few of them proudly
flourishing rifles.
After a gallop of some two hours, we came
up with the scouts, and heard that the buffaloes were iust a short way in advance, lving
unsuspiciously behind a rising ground and hill.
The Indians, from their experience, were
deputed to lead the way, and I, for one,
got close to an old wise-looking fellow, whose
D G 7
beautiful riding and skill in managing a fiery
little brute of a horse had earlier attracted my
admiration, and as he spoke pretty good
English, I found I had made a lucky hit in
my choice.
When we got to the top of the hill, and
looked upon the plain completely covered with
buffaloes, I was almost inclined to turn tail
and get off, the herd I had seen before
being nothing compared to this.  A long wide EXCITING   SCENE.
277
valley was literally covered with them, the
snow being trodden into a soft dark mud,
with which they themselves were covered,
presenting a most ferocious aspect. I
was looking pretty calmly over the plain,
when a great shaggy brute jumped up
almost at my feet; he had lain hid by a bush
up to this time, and I suppose had been wandering in dreams, as, generally speaking, their
hearing is particularly quick, indeed so much
so that the Indians affirm they have an
attendant spirit, who watches the approach of
a human enemy, and warns them accordingly.
The plain was soon a scene of great confusion, for directly we made our appearance,
the animals began rushing together, seemingly
O GO' o  «/
too much afraid to charge one way or another, their indecision being increased by the
Indians galloping to and fro with loud shouts,
now and then letting an arrow whistle in
amongst the frightened creatures—a piece of
amusement I did not see the object of, but Wk
£
r^jg
>ios    i
HI
278
CHARGE   OF  BUFFALOES.
which I found out was only to attract attention and surprise us, the Indians being very
conceited fellows, and considerably jealous of an
Englishman's rifle and cool calculation, so that
they are delighted to take an opportunity of
showing us what they can do.
After a time there was a slight pause, and
the horses ceased their career, seeing an approaching danger we amateurs knew nothing
$bout, namely, that the herd were going to
charge upon us. Suddenly, and as if driven
by a thunderbolt, the mass faced about, and
before I could almost see what they were
about, they were down upon us, with a rush
like the roar of a torrent. I had only time
to wonder what was to be done, when my old
friend seized my horse's rein, and laying his
bow sharply across his flanks, off we went in
the very front of the herd. Eor a time 1
held my breath, and when I turned to look
behind me, the whole danger was plain.
We were not twenty yards before a line of
buffaloes   at  least   a   quarter of a mile   in —. -_.*-— ■-   J jl ai
w
IMMINENT  PERIL.
279
width, and almost as much in depth. On
they came at a steady, never-varying gallop,
their heads almost touching the ground, and
the steam gushing from their red nostrils.
On they came, regular as a charge of cavalry.
Our situation was by no means agreeable; a
false step, a check in our speed, and we should
loe overwhelmed.
Nothing was to be seen of my friends, and
I had little time to think as we tore along,
our gallant little horses, aware of their danger,
soon putting a wider space between themselves
and pursuers.
A steep hill with a rocky front rose before
us, and pointing to it, my guide signified it
was our only chance of safety; and for this we
stretched along, and gaining its base, threw
our reins on the horses' necks, and let them
scramble up, which they did by true instinct,
facing about when they reached the top.
The dark living wave, which was even then
below us, dividing into two streams, passed'
round our harbour of refuge.    I think I never 280
TRODDEN   TO  DEATH.
heaved such a sigh of relief before, and felt it
was truly a marvellously near gallop for our
lives.
When the last buffalo had passed, we saw
the rest of the party following up, "to all appearance safe, and so they turned out to be
all but one, and he, poor fellow, we found a
mangled, trodden   mass,   barely  discernible
G ' * v
from the horse he had ridden. We rode
after the herd for more than two hours, and
brought down six fine full-grown bulls, and
as many cows; then night coming on, and
the danger of the carcasses being attacked by
the wolves, which always, but especially in
winter, travel in the wake of a herd of buffaloes,
we determined to secure those we had shot,
and leave the rest to the chance of running up
to them next day. We succeeded in getting
the carcasses dragged into two lots, and
divided our forces to watch over them,
picketing our horses close beside them on one
side, and lighting a fire on both sides to warn
off the hungry animals. SURROUNDED BY  WOLVES.
281
After supper off a fresh-cut steak, dressed
in the manner my friend Eranks had taught
me, and pronounced excellent by the whole
party, we lay down, leaving two to act as sentinels to be relieved at midnight.
I volunteered for the second watch, so lay
down to get my sleep out, and, from habit,
was soon in the land of dreams, and riding
my life and death race over again.
I must have slept pretty soundly, for the
report of a rifle was the first thing that disturbed me, and when I started up I had the
satisfaction of hearing a chorus of howls; the
same long shrill howl which you can never
forget, or mistake, if once heard. We were
evidently surrounded by a troop of wolves, and
to judge by the shots from the other little encampment, were not solus in our enjoyment.
We were now all on the alert, and seeing that
hunger had made the brutes desperate, we
agreed to stay up and keep our own.
Eor hours the wild howling continued, and
delay making the animals more eager, I could
If
I 282
DESPERATE   ANIMALS.
see their ugly faces and glittering eyes glowering all round, and assisted in several broadsides, which sent them howling and snarling
away for a few minutes. Then back they
came, and, to judge from the row they kicked
up, must have eaten and quarrelled over the
remains of their defunct comrades. As they
began to breathe the morning air, they grew
braver in their desperation, and two actually
crept forward, and choosing an unguarded
spot, reached the beef, but getting sight of
them, they soon paid for their stolen march
with their lives.
At daylight the brutes left us, and slunk
away heaven knows where, but I daresay not
far off, as, by instinct, they know the Indians
only carry off the best pieces of the flesh, and
that all the rest would eventually fall to their
share.
We did not remain to see the cutting-up
operation, but, with an Indian to guide us,
galloped back to the station, and began our
voyage down the river. COLVILLE.
283
•"
Our next halting-place, worthy of mention,
was Colville, which, in coming up, we had
passed, intending to change onr quarters as
we returned, and thus see more of the
places.
Colville is situated a short way above the
Kettle Ealls, standing in a prairie environed
by mountains, a perfect oasis of fertility.
There is a flourishing little settlement, and
not far off, one or two mission stations. The
Indians are of a tribe called Spokan, and, I believe, many have become Christians, and lead
an orderly agricultural life. Another tribe,
whose name I do not know, have a large village a few miles below the English settlement,
and build pretty, fantastic-looking huts, upon
something like the foundation of some of the
domiciles in the Marquesas ; namely, a well-
boarded platform raised upon strong posts.
The sides of the hut are wood; these and the
top are covered with a thick layer of matting.
These Indians are sometimes called the
Salmon Indians, from their skill in fishing, as 284
ROUTE  TO   THE  DIGGINGS.
well as a right of fishery which they assume,
levying a sort of tax, in the shape of blankets
and mats, from stranger tribes, who come to
fish in the water they lay claim to.
We got on at a splendid rate until we reached
Fort Okonagan, and again rested.    It is from
O ' G
this fort that the Columbian route to the gold
country strikes off, and the passage of
miners has given it somewhat the character
of the stations I have described on the
Frazer.
The trail for the diggings ascends the Okonagan River partly, though it does not confine
itself to the bed of the stream, its course being
so serpentine that considerable time would be
thrown away in following its windings. Reaching a stretch of fine, rich, and easily-cultivated
country, called the Similk-a-meen, here you
find splendid pasturage, the best, it is said, in
the district of Columbia. Crossing from here,
Nicholas Lake is the next point, and from
thence, Thompson's River, one of the veins of
the gold district, is easily reached. GRANDE  COULEE.
285
1
Many miners have lately chosen this route,
and, eventually, it will, I have no doubt, be
the means of inducing emigrants to take up
the rich and prolific land their Maker has
prepared for them, particularly as the means
of transit are likely to become so much
quicker and easier. Steam navigation has
already reached the Walla Walla, a no impossible distance below Eort Okonagan, and
efforts, which must be successful if well carried out, are going on to bring it still nearer.
' o        o o
A short way from Eort Okonagan is the far-
famed and wonderful Grande Coulee, through
which a portion of the overland route to
Walla Walla lies. After making due enquiry
as to the chance of either catching a returning
O D
boat or hiring one, we decided upon going
through this pass, and paying off our crew,
find our way down as best we could, and as
quickly too, time being a great object.
Already, strictly speaking, our leave was over;
but we all had the assurance that a week or
ten days would do us no harm.
-II
I 286
THE  PRIESTS  RAPIDS.
The Grand Coulee is a deep ravine, more
like the bed of a torrent than anything else,
if - O •»
and is fully one hundred miles in length; it
is walled on either side by enormous perpendicular cliffs, and, once in the beautiful valley
at the bottom, vou must continue your course,
as there are very few places from which you
could gain the upper ground. We spent two
nights in this strange wild pass, encamping in
the most romantic spots you could imagine,
and on the third reached the Priest's Rapids \
from whence to Walla Walla it was all plain
sailing, and one day and night's journey
brought us down. Here we came to a stop, for
O X *
there were no boats, one which was expected
not having arrived, and when she did come,
she had to remain several days. Thus we were
compelled to hire again, and were considerably
out of pocket, as the men, seeing what we
were, knew that if we were in a hurry, it
was proof that our leave was up, and therefore
made the most exorbitant charges, which we,
having no alternative, were obliged to consent to. QUICK  PASSAGE.
287
The distance to the Dalles is one hundred
and thirty miles, and this they bound themselves to accomplish in three full days, giving
us six hours on shore at night if we wished
it. Their boat was one of the prettiest and
swiftest I have seen, and sped along with the
current, oars and sail too being used when the
' D
wind was in our favour. We reached the Dalles
just one hour within their time, thus making an
almost unheard-of quick passage, and bringing us in time to catch the steamer for Portland, into which we tumbled out of breath
with our race, but doomed to be still more so,
for if we told our adventures once, I am sure
we did so twenty times in the first day, people
being quite voracious in their curiosity.
The passengers were a strange lot, men of
every nation and character, from the quiet missionary to the reckless spendthrift, who,
having devoured his fortune in the mother
country, had been sent out to seek another
in the new Eldorado. Such gentlemen seldom
fulfil the hopes of their anxious friends ; they m*m
*jWBr
1
F-J-gt-^j
288
ADVENTURERS.
cannot stand the hard work; and if thev do
try the " diggins," generally fall into a state
of low fever from exposure, or by living upon
the abominable spirit that is here called brandy
or rum, bring on delirium tremens, and are
heard of no more.
Many never go to the gold country at all,
and sink into the most depraved habits and
misery in the different towns. My opinion
is that if a man has not sense to direct his
ways at home, the colonies are the worst
place to send him to. He must here exercise
either greater powers of cunning, and a certain kind of cleverness, or by the upright
honesty of his heart and actions defeat the
roguery every one has at first to contend with.
There is no medium, and in such places it is
every rnan for himself; and he must be either
an honest man, or give up all ideas of even
appearing as such. Yet people must not
judge of Vancouver's and New Caledonia by
the same standard as California. In the former,
the gold discoveries have followed the coloni- AGRICULTURAL  OCCUPATION.
289
zation, and are looked upon as a concomitant
part, and moreover good order and justice
were already rooted and prepared to meet and
counteract the accompanying evils of an
influx of gold-seekers. The colony is essentially agricultural, and such in spite of the
mining fever will it remain.
When I got back to Victoria, I found my
old ship gone, and as yet no intelligence of
the new; so, although I had exceeded my
proposed absence by nearly three wreeks, no
annoyance came of it, and I had a full week
longer to enjoy myself on shore, and see still
more of the surrounding country, which was
now beginning to wear a spring-like aspect.
There farmers were all head-over-ears in business, and every idle man in the place could
obtain employment and good wages if he
liked, and several ship-loads of emigrants
were instantly engaged, and must have
thought they had arrived at the very goal of
their dreams; as when once a good workman
is set agoing, if he keeps steady at it, and is
VOL.  II. u
I- 290
CHARGE   FOB  WASHING.
not puffed up by the first smile of Dame
Fortune, he may go on earning first-rate
wages, and in a few years set up on his own
account.
They tell me washermen and women make
the most money, nor do I doubt it, taking
into consideration the fabulous price they
charge for washing. A mid's pocket money
goes but a small way when he pays ten or
twelve shillings a dozen for washing; these
amiable votaries of the tub actually having
J G
the audacity to make this charge, and if you
do not want to do your washing for yourself,
you must pay your money and wear clean
clothes, which really now cost more to be
made clean than they did in their fresh new
beauty.    Coloured flannel is the only thing a
v v G
fellow can afford to wear, and we poor sailors
have only a chance of wearing it in plain
togs, so that it is really no joke to feel you
are putting on a crown's worth of clothing
every full dress white day—and winter is a
happy season, for then the blue inexpressibles
are in force. 291
i
«s
CHAPTER XV.
He lay asleep and cumbrous
On the summit of the mountains,
Like a rock with masses on it,
Spotted brown and grey with mosses,
Silently he stole upon him."
LONGFELLOW.
Once comfortably established in my lodgings in Victoria, I cannot say I had any
strong desire to hear of the arrival of my
new ship ; and as if to humour me, she met
with bad weather off Callao, and was detained
there for something like three weeks, leaving
me to kick my heels and enjoy my shore life
since my trip up the Columbia. I had become a perfect hero of renown, and more
than once saw my name and adventures figuring in paragraphs in the  Victoria Gazette.
v 2
it mrwrnm
ZSKS*
292
PUT  INTO  THE   SHADOW.
Parties bent on hunting excursions came to
consult me as to the necessary equipment for
the journey; I soon began almost to wish I
had not gone, and was getting out of patience
altogether, when the return of an exploring
party from a long and tedious but deeply
interesting survey of Queen Charlotte's Island and the north-west coast of British
Columbia put me into the shadow, and most
thankfully did I make my farewell bow to the
public, a duty, I am sorry to say, I shall have
to perform very shortly, though with much
greater regret than in the instance which
brought the above remark forth.
But to return to Victoria. The expedition
whose opportune arrival soon set the colony
in a blaze, and speculators racking their
brains as to the best mode of letting in the
public, had really prospected or surveyed
Queen Charlotte's Island, whence, instead of
finding the quantities of gold reported,
they brought back intelligence that it was
exhausted,   and not worth   the  expense of GOLD   IN  THE  NAAS  RIVER.
293
working; but if some little disappointment
was caused by this, it was amply compensated
for by the descriptions they gave of the plains
lying upon the shores of the Naas river, where,
amidst rich and beautiful scenery,   the tra-
j 7
vellers discovered gold at every step, so that
both to the settler and digger this new district
held forth its arms, and only waited to be
claimed.
The way to get at it was the only question,
and that could not long remain in doubt, at
least I should fancy not, where there were
hundreds of strong eager spirits ready to face
any difficulty in pursuit of their great end—
gold.
The weather was now magnificent, and the
promise of summer all one could wish; the
town was full of miners en route for the diggings, and every few days brought an influx
of new faces, some back from their winter's
dissipation at San Erancisco, where, like the
Prodigal Son, "they had spent all they had,"
and were now coming back to their parent
ii Ill     ■! I   ! II I  II
m
&
1
i     1
H 1
%9em
Tfe-a:
ii
294
ARRIVAL  OF  EMIGRANT   SHIPS.
tree again to see if they could lay in another store : and others from beyond the sea,
with fresh pink and white faces, and well
cut, decent clothing.
Whenever I could hear of the arrival of an
emigrant ship, I went down to watch the disembarkation, and many a lively example of
first impressions did I store up. I had seen
the arrival of the same class of ship and
passengers both at Melbourne and Sydney,
but in neither place did I observe faces
radiant with such evident hopefulness as
at Victoria. It was fine weather, and the
scenery round Esquimault is, as I have before
said, very lovely. More than this perhaps,
the ship is received by Englishmen, who greet
the strangers in the English tongue; not the
abominable slang whieh has sprung up in our
older colonies. The greater proportion of the
emigrants were Irish, and many of the old
hands came from the same little island, and,
like all their countrymen, possess a strong bond
of brotherhood.    The greetings were often of PROVIDENT   YOUNG WOMEN.
295
the most ludicrous description, and the welcome embraces worthy of our inimitable John
Leech.
Many of the poor people landed with their
fortune on their backs, in the shape of a suit
of clothes; some, a very few, had neat little
deal boxes, containing a fresh kit; others, but
still fewer, a little store of "rale golden
guineas,'3 stiched up in their belt, or, in the
case of the women, fastened into the lining of
their stays. Most of the young women had
found sweethearts on the way out, and the
lucky ones, with the valuable stays, were soon
united to the long-headed swains  who gave
G G
them the protection of their arms in return
for the little fortune wherewith to start in the
world. Yet, with or without money, the clean
cotton dresses and bright faces made their
own way, and none of them need want situations and work if they were willing to be
industrious.
Of course in such a place as Victoria,
crammed as it then was with perhaps the most m
1
296
PROTECTION   OP   SERVANTS.
dissipated and reckless set of men on earth,
there was no lack of temptation to the new
comers; but I was glad to see the clergymen, and many of the ladies, too, coming
boldly forward, and giving their protection
and advice gratuitously, until each girl should
find a situation to suit her. It would be well
if ladies at home took a little more heed to
extend their care beyond the servant's hall,
and would think of the words, " Lead us not
into temptation," as applicable in a slightly
varied form, " Let others not fall into temptation"—" a word in time, will often save a life
of crime.'*
When the news of my new ship having
come to grief reached me, I determined to
have another excursion inland, and began looking about for a companion and guide. I went
into the drinking booths of an evening, and,
after treating the men, got them to talk of
their former lives; but for two or three days
my search was unsuccessful, and I was just
coming to think this plan of mine a very bad A   STRANGE   CHARACTER.
297
one, when I fell in with one of the queerest
characters I have ever had the luck to come
across, in the person of a Yankee, a long-limbed,
lanthorn-jawed Kentuckian, with a twang
like a bow-string, and a vocabulary, when
excited, that sometimes nearly cracked his own
jaws, and for a day or two proved perfectly
unintelligible to me. Luckily this peculiarity
only blazed forth when he was either drunk or
pugnacious. At all times, however, he was
slightly cracked, and it was this very thing, or
rather hearing him recount its cause, that
decided me on making him my companion.
His appearance struck me directly I entered
the room, where, knowing what I was looking
out for, the landlord managed to bring to-
' DO
gether any fellows he thought at all likely.
|f I've got your man, Sir," he whispered, f| but
I'll let you find him out yourself. What'll you
take to drink, Master ?'3 These last words were
said in his loudest shop voice, and as usual I
turned to my neighbours, and making a polite
bow, said I would stand them all round, if
i 298
A  YANKEE  SALUTATION.
each man would sing out for a glass of his
G G
favourite beverage.    A general cheer, and a
GO
whole host of complimentary things followed
my speech, but above all sounded a harsh,
clear voice.
" Thank ye, stranger, I guess you warn't
y    * o     ' cj y
bred in a pig-sty. Here's my hand on't,
and I drink yer damned good health."
y o
With this, the Yankee strode up, and after
nearly knocking me down with a slap on the
back, seized my hand, and wrung it in one of
his horny paws until the water started into
my eyes.
The landlord, coming up with a tumbler of
liquor, of some unknown name, my enthusiastic
friend " guessed I was none o' them infarnal
diggers P   and hearing I was a naval officer,
DO * O '
drank the health of the British navy,  and
w   *
swore he'd stand a go all round to drink my
D y
health.
This elicited fresh applause, and very soon
the fun grew fast and furious.    Songs became
o o
the order of the night, and out of deference to THE  LONDON  VOCALIST.
299
my presence were more decorous than usual.
One man, as rough-looking a subject as you
could well see, sang " Auld lang syne" with a
truth and pathos I shall never forget.
I could not believe my eyes at first, that the
rich, mellow strain I was listening to came
out of the grim, hairy mouth of the ill-countenanced man before me. My curiosity was
roused, and under pretence of lighting a cigar,
I went up to the table, and asked the landlord
who he was. To my amazement, I heard the
name of one whose powers of song had often
Charmed the musical world at home; I had
heard him in London, and witnessed his triumph there. Little did I imagine I should
find him in such company.
When I got back to my seat he was gone,
and I never saw him again.
"I can't electrify ye like that chap," my
Yankee friend was saying, "but I can and
wull tell ye a story that'll make yer hair
stand on end considerably more; that's to
say, if the stranger is agreeable." 4P11.
300
THE  YANKEE S   HISTORY.
" Yes, certainly," said I, " if it's a hunting
story."
" Sartin o' that, stranger, it is a hunting
story, and now I'll begin—but guess you'd
better liccor, it's pretty startlin' for young
hands."
After the necessary liquoring process had
been gone through, the Yankee stretched his
long legs to their utmost length, squirted a
small fountain of tobacco juice right between
my legs, and thus commenced :—
"Wall, ye see, I war raised in old Kentucky. Mayhap, you've never travelled thar.
It's a darned fine country; I guess this ain't
its equal, though running as near neck an'
neck as any I ever saw. Wall, there is a
saying in our family that every third son will
be either a hunter or a thief. Now 1 don't
calculate on the latter being a very praiseworthy trade, and as I happened to be the
third son, I tuk to the woods, but as a perli-
minary step, I made acquentence with the
Redskins, for I  take it our folk hev gone LIVING IN   THE   WOODS.
301
considerable the wrong way in that pint. It
isn't likely we'll make frins o' the critters if
we treat 'em no better nor varmin, or not so
good; for a white chap '11 buy the hide o' varmin, and sometimes come down han'some,
too, but he'll give nothin' for a Redskin.
" Hevin made up wi' them, I tuk to them
in arnest, an' found them considerable clever
chaps at huntin', with a heap more knowledge o' the ways o' the animals than any
o' the pale-faces I'd had the fortin to jump
with.
" Wi' them I got uncommon 'cute, and war
called Long-shot, fur, ye see, I could send a
bullet into a buffalo's eye at an uncommon
long distance, and never failed; if I shot I killed.
And the Ingins soon fun' that out—they
ain't slow, I guess, an' a sight better comrades than a deal o' them that looks down on
them.
" Once in the woods, a chap rarely takes on
with quieter life again, he feels smothered like
in a house;   so  I stays in the woods, and 302
DEPARTURE  FOR THE  WEST.
hevin' finished my edication with the Redskins, I sets off to try my own luck.
" I don't mean to tell ye the story o' my
life, but only that I got a name in the woods,
and the bison came to know on it; even the
panthers and bars knew me, an' began to fight
shy, keepin' well out o' reach. So, seein' I
was too well known in them parts to git my
livin', I takes tracks for the north, and after
setting up my mark there pretty considerable,
I heerd them tellin' tremendious stories o' the
West. Guess I was flabbergasted, an' no
mistake, when I heerd sensible men talk o'
picking up gold by handfuls. That war
better than shootin', and had somethin' nigh
akin to thievin'—so might do for me.
" Not hevin' much luggage to pack—fur
ye see, stranger, I carried my traps on my
back—I set off fur the West, taking tracks
fur the Rocky Mountains, an' keepin' as nigh
due west from Lake Superior. Hevin' gone
down to Montreal to git a new revolver, I got
pretty well laughed at, I can tell ye, when CROSSING  THE   COUNTRY.
303
they found out what I was bent on, and
plenty good advice. That's tarnation cheap,
stranger, pr'aps you've found that; guess I
hev. Plenty o' that, particlar from yer
near kin.
" Wall, I laughed, and shoulderin' my rifle,
' D ' J 7
off I tuk, and a previous long track I had, an'
no mistake; it jest tuk me a year and two
months to cross the country. But then I had
my pleasure fur it, and an almighty lot of
huntin'. It's out o' my power to enumerate
the beasts I killed, fur I never missed, an' as
I said, when I hit I killed. Bars I began to
think little of, an' jest shot or not as my fancy
tuk me. They always ran away; jist one
look in my face, an' off they'd go, a-tryin' to
put thar tails between thar legs, and many a
good larf they've giv me.
" Wall, stranger, I got to this wonderful
land, an' crossed to Victoria, an' after a time,
got sick o' street life, and pretty considerable
slack in the money line. It war a bad time
fur the mines, they said, so I hit upon the 304
THE WOODS  AGAIN.
woods, and began to feel myself again when
I lay down with my head upon a bunch o'
grass, and the night breezes a-whistling round
me.
I In Victoria they had told me o' the wild
beasts, but I looked upon them as twisters,
and guessed I could walk into them a few
when I got back.
"Fust night I slept splendiferous, and
dreamt o' the prairies across the mountains.
Second night t'war much the same; but I
had seen none o' the beasts they told of.
But, thinks I, thar's a change in the prospect,
I'm getting on to the hills ; so here goes fur
DO * D
luck.
"That day I shot a couple of deer, and
dragged one down to a spring, nigh which I
intended to camp for the night. Hevin' cut
up the buck, and eaten my supper, I left him
lyin', and crept up a rock to get out o' the way,
feelin' pretty sarten that if thar war any wild
beasts within a mile, they'd pay me a visit
afore daylight.    I warn't  much  out o' my A  BEAR  AT  SUPPER.
305
reckonin', I guess, fur pretty sharp arter the
sun hid his old red face I heerd the growl of
a panthar, not a mile off, thin a Bremendious
row. Ay, thinks I, you've fallen upon t'other
deer, and when ye've filled yer bellies thar,
I may look fur ye here.
"While I was meditatin', the moon lifts
up her eyes, and gradually I got to see the
ground round the spring. Presently the bushes
on the bank to the left began movin', and thin
out walks   a bar,  the   biggest  bar   I iver
' GO
see; up he gets on his hind legs, an' after
smoothin' his whiskers an' lookin' about, he
walks up to the carcass and begins his sup-
per—eatin' the dainty morsels, an' sittin' up
now and thin to enjoy himself.
" I niver saw sich a fellow, he war as big
as a bison bull—an' thinks I how I'll estonish
the Victori' chaps.
" The old fellow wasnst to hev it all to
himself, fur presently a couple o' panthars
kum up, and claims thar share ; with that, an'
before  I  was  awar,  the bar gives a growl
VOL.  II,
x ■■■
306
SQUABBLING  PANTHERS.
an' walks off, hevin' dined pretty considerable, an' left me cursin' myself fur not
securin' him. The panthars now gethered
up, fightin' an' squabblin' like mad; detar-
mined to let off my rifle, I put a bullet
into a couple of thim, right an' left—with
that off goes the rest j an' I fell asleep, an'
slep till daylight, whin I proceeds to take
off the hides an' secure the left fore paw as
a witness—all the while keepin' a sharp look
out for the bar, hevin' no knowledge of thar
manners in Vancouver's. W hin I hed skin'd
the panthars and washed off the blood, I
spreads the hides out fur to dry a bit, an'
took tracks after the bar, but t'war no manner of use, he was gone; an' feelin' sartin'
the pop o' my rifle would keep him clar o'
that spot for a day or two, I rolled up the
skins, and put my best foot forrad.
" I hed good luck that day, killin' a small
she bar, an' a couple more deer—the road
wasn't easy travellin', an' now and thin I
hed well nigh to turn back, from the ugly
G » O   ■/ HARD   TRAVELLING.
307
ravines that came in the way, Night found
me on the edge o' one o' these, and at a
mighty loss, neither water or shelter convenient. Wall, stranger, what would you hev
done ? Guess you'd ha' stayed whar ye war till
daylight; but I didn't. Being sartin o' finding
water at the bottom o' the gully afore me, I
commenced descending sometimes gettin'
along a tree, then droppin' down a rock, then
slippin' all the time. I thought I hard a queer
noise behind me, fur all the world as if somebody was coming after; if I stopped, the
noise stopped—if I wint on, so did it. I ain't
superstitious, stranger, but it ain't pleasant,
I can tell yer, to think thar's summut
arter ye in a dark night, an' gettin' down
into a pit as dark as hell—but still I persevered.
" I hard water, an'* my tongue was gettin'
too big fur my mouth with thirst, so, on I
goes, an' gits to the bottom, steppin' bang
into a pool of water. Down I sits, and laps
up a bellyful.    Wall, while I was there, the
x 2
j «s»
308
A  BEAR AT  CLOSE  QUARTERS.
moon comes over the openin' an' shews her
face in the water, but alongside thar shewed
another face. It war the big bar—thar he
war, jist behind me, lookin' at his ugly fiz
in the same reflector.
" Tell ye, stranger, 'twar rather queer. I
niver heerd o' a bar trackin' ye befor, 'twarnt
like natur' somehow; so I gets into something mighty like a shake, an' began to wish
o g     y i O'
I'd staid up the bank.
" But I could not hold my head to the water
any longer, so I up, hoi din' my rifle convenient, an' facin' round, looked fur the bar
jist in time to catch a glimpse o' him slippin'
up the bank. He war shy it seemed, so setting my back agin a tree, I made up my mind
to wait. Somehow I got sleepy, an' suppose
I must ha' dropped off a bit, fur I was waked
by a grunt pretty nigh, an' lookin' up, saw the
bar on his hind legs slap afore me—'twar but
a sight, but one that set my pulses tingling.
He war sich a whopper—there war scarcely
room fur my rifle to rise, he war so near; but A  ROUGH   SWEETHEART.
309
bang went both barrels into his breast, an' next
moment his arms were round me, and I was
pantin' like a porpoise in his hug. I knew
he war wounded, fur the blood was spoutin'
out in my face, an' if I could hold out long
enough, I might see him out yet, but it war
tight work, an' no mistake ; 'twarn't a beauty
hug, stranger, a big bar's rayther a rough
sweetheart. Wall, I gets pretty well bio wed,
then in my struggles gets my knife and gives
y OD D «/ O
the beggar a dig in the belly, which made
him roar like mad; then I gives another, and
as bad luck hed it, my knife broke slap off
the handle, an' thar I war, at his marcy, jist
as helpless as an unborn babe. 'Twarn't a great
chance of life, but I didn't give in; getting
up my hands to his throat, I held on, but that
war as nothin.' Thin I squeezed myself down
and kicked like mad; that only made the
beggar worser, an' as I kicked he hugged till
the breath war out o' me, an' I suppose I'd
fainted clean off, fur when I begin to think
agin it war broad daylight, an' I was lyin' ■■■■■
m
■UPr
ai
9
310
A   LONG   SPELL.
pretty warm, regilarZi/ covered up with the
bar, who war stone dead.
" I guess though, whan I cum to try an'
move, it war not so easy. The pains in my
body war considerable, so I lay still a bit, jist
to think as it war. Thin I tries to exfrocate
myself, an' gits out o' his arms, but I war
crushed into a jelly, an' one o' my arms broke
clean across, an' thar war an almighty sing-
in' goin' on in my ears, an' queer lights a-
dancin' all round me. Thinks I, I'm done
for, an' no mistake, but before I give in I'll
hev' a luk at the bar, so I goes up, fur I could
not see him fur the lights. By Gor! he war
a big un, sich a won I niver saw; but then I
grew sick agin, and hed jist time to creep
under a ledge o' rock whin I goes off agin.
" This time I s'pose I had a long spell, for
when I comes round I was as thin as a lath,
and uncommon hungry; and thar lay the big
bar almost eaten; 'twas singular, stranger,
how I'd got off that lot. Wall, thinks I,
there's nothing else, so I crawls to the bar^ END   OE  THE   YANKEE S   STORY.
311
and gets a mouthful o' the flesh, nasty half
rotten stuff it war; but beggars mustn't be
choosers, so I eats, and crawls back, and sleeps,
then wakes up a bit refreshed, and looks at
my rifle, ready to hev a shy at the animals
that would come at night. As good luck would
hev it, the first animal I see war an In gin J so
I hollared, and he looked a while, then scampered off, an' I thought I was in as great a
fix as afore; but I warn't meant to die in that
way it seems, for back comes the Ingin with
five or six more, an' claps their hands, making all sorts o' faces at the bar. Then they
comes to me, an' carries me off to their camp,
whar I stayed till I got well agin, which war
a precious long spell, and somehow I han't
ever been like myself agin."
Such was my new acquaintance's story, and
as it proved him the man for me, without further words I broached the subject; he agreed,
and arranged to come to my rooms next
morning. Next day, punctual to a minute,
up came my new friend;   he had a beautiful
!l' I 312
ENGAGEMENT  OF A   GUIDE.
rifle in his hand, and a strong-haired, wiry
terrier close at his heels. Cap in hand, he
stood bowing at the door, waiting my invitation to enter, which when I had given, and he
had accepted, his first glance was at my gun-
case and rifle, &c, which I had prepared for
inspection, then at the various trophies of my
hunting expeditions; these, with a feeling I
daresay some of my readers can understand, I
had laid out to the best advantage. I saw a
little sparkle of fight flash into his eyes as he
glanced round, and a very small smile steal to
the corners of his mouth, but he said nothing,
except to guess I'd made good use of my
time, which I assured him I always tried to do,
and proposed that he should look to the fittings
of my gun, and make out a route for us.
This he did, amusing me very much by his
criticisms and strange ideas of what he considered sportsman-like, at the same time shewing such a complete knowledge of the whole
thing, that I could not but consider myself
one of the luckiest men alive to have come PHIL S  ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
313
across him. So effectually did he plan and
arrange everything, that we were on our way
next morning at daylight.
D •/      O
Our first halting place was the Cowitchen
River, the banks of which we then followed
for some distance, striking off for the mountains on the third day. The weather was
now so warm that we could sleep without
any fire, and we managed to cook and carry
enough for a couple of days at a time. We had
not much sport for the first few days, but this,
Phil my Yankee guide, accounted for by the
fact that the animals retired further from the
settlements at that season, and that we should
have to get into the heart of the trails before
we fell in with the larger beasts.
Partridges we saw in great numbers, besides
lots of small birds and squirrels ; loath as I
was to kill the latter, 1 was often glad to make
my supper off a couple, and first-rate eating
they proved. Amongst other accomplishments, Phil was a first-rate cook, and many a
savoury mouthful did he prepare during our 314
A   FLATTERING  WELCOME.
trip. As yet we had only chanced upon stray
Indians, but presently we came upon a large
village, which Phil told me belonged to the
tribe that had taken such good care of him
after his fight with the " big bar;" and if I
had had the slightest doubt in the veracity of
his tale before, I could not now, for no sooner
did the fact of his arrival become known than
the natives flocked up to him with every expression of welcome and delight—the chief
himself calling him his great brother, and.
giving him one of the royal lodges as his
abode.
Under his auspices, I received a very flattering welcome, and was soon seated cheek by
jowl with the old king himself, who, hearing I
was what he called a " warrior" of the Queen's,
began to grow tremendously inquisitive about
all we did at home, and how the big guns
could fire so far; he had, it seems, witnessed
our ships exercising, and shewed me a cannon
ball he had picked up at what he considered
a marvellous distance from the ship. USEFUL  TO   COOK.
315
I suspect my Yankee friend had some private attraction in this camp, as I saw nothing
of him all night, and next morning observed a
pretty little Indian maiden keeping close
beside him, watching his every movement
with her large swimming eyes—now and then
getting a whispered word of acknowledgment
from Phil, that made the pearly teeth visible,
and sometimes elicited a peal of laughter.
Taking it upon myself to rally Master Phil,
he very coolly told me she was his wife when
he came there, and that she was " considerable fond of him."
Seeing this state of things, I began to fear
O G    7 O
my chance of moving forward was small,
when, to my surprise, up came Phil, rifle in
hand, and announced himself ready for the
start. I asked how he could tear himself
away from his pretty wife, and got for answer
intelligence that put me out a little, namely, that
the lady was to accompany us, and as Phil said
she would be " very useful to cook," I could
make no objections.    Thus strengthened, we 316
A  PANTHERS  HIDE.
! Ij
set off, and I really believe the dark-eyed
beauty brought us luck, as that very night
Phil shot a panther, who, attracted by the
remains of our supper, came too close to the
nuptial couch, and got the contents of the pet
rifle.
The panther had a beautiful skin, as glossy
and soft as a race-horse's, and very easily preserved ; which part of the business the Indian
girl performed during our absence next day,
giving me the hide as a couch that very
night.
During our walk next day we saw several
deer, and shot two, though we only succeeded
in securing one, the other jumping down one
of the deep fissures, of which there are so
many along the mountain sides.
As we were wending our way back, Phil
suddenly stopped me, and pointing to a tree
right ahead, bid me look. I did so, and
soon made out a panther stretched along a
thick branch, evidently watching something,
and ready for his spring. PANTHER  AND   DEER.
317
We were down wind from him, and the
mossy ground did not give any warning of
our footsteps. So intent upon his prey was
the animal, he had not noticed our approach.
Seeing this, we stood back, and hiding behind
two trees, watched the event.
Presently, a couple of deer trotted down
the glade, now and then stopping to crop a
few fresh leaves, perfectly unsuspicious of
danger. As they approached the fatal tree,
they separated, and one only, the buck, came
near enough. Then, uttering a roar that
made the woods ring, down dropt the panther, his teeth across the backbone of the
buck, his whole weight clinging to and bearing down the unfortunate animal. There was
a short but sharp struggle, as the panther was
a small one of his kind, and evidently young,
while the deer was a fine old stag, with a
splendid pair of antlers, in the present instance of no use.
As soon as the victory was complete, and
before the conqueror had time to tear his prey
I 318
BLOCKADING   A   BEAR.
much, crack went Phil's unerring piece, and
with a growl of agony and surprise the panther rolled over, gave one or two quivering
kicks, and died even in the arms of Victory.
We only saw three bears on our journey,
killing two, and losing the third, through my
gun missing fire.
One of the bears was a very queer fellow.
We came upon him in daylight, sunning himself on a sandy bank near a stream. Catching sight of us almost as quickly as we did
of him, he made for a cave close at hand.
Here we blockaded him for an hour, trying
to get him out by sending in the terrier.
This not answering our purpose, Phil proposed our going in and shooting him where
he was, assuring me that, as he had not shewn
fight before, he would not muster pluck now.
So, trusting to him, I followed.
The cavern was so dark that for a  few
seconds (very long ones they seemed to me).
I could see nothing but a black mass ; then,
as my eyes grew accustomed to it, 1 could WAITING  TO   BE   SHOT.
319
distinguish a large cave, at one corner of
which sat the bear, erect on his hind legs,
and his fore-paws folded cross ways over his
face.
I remembered Phil telling me this was a
favourite trick with them, and could scarcely
help laughing at the great clumsy beast, with
his sheepish-looking face, sitting waiting to
be shot—an end soon put to him by the
Yankee, who never missed an opportunity of
shedding blood, and, sooth to say, sometimes
provoked me a little by shooting without
giving me a turn.
We had now been five days out after leaving the Indian camp, and going through some
very hard work. My time would be up by
the date of our return, so, with some difficulty
and in spite of most imploring glances from
the "'little wife," I prevailed on Phil to leave
his sylvan bower, and begin marching homewards.
We left the wife with her tribe, and were
again under weigh for Victoria.    But at this
O D 320
PHIL  AS  NURSE.
period of our journey, I was unlucky enough
to catch a violent cold, and only reached the
' w
town in time to get a roof over my head, be-
C? w
fore I was down with a regular attack of
fever, and had the satisfaction of keeping my
bed for a fortnight, during the whole of which
G        * G
time Phil never left me, attending me night
7 o c
and day with as much gentleness as a woman.
* G
When I recovered, the first thing I was
told was that my ship had arrived. The
second, that I ought to get sick leave and go
home, as the ship was to lie in the Gulf of
California most of the summer, a climate by
no means the thing to restore me to health.
I had the choice given me, and decided on
G f,
joining, willing to risk anything rather than
j o' g y o
give up my chance of promotion.
I soon got round when once over the fever,
and, thanks to my good nurse, had a shorter
spell of it altogether than I might have ex-
pected. I joined a couple of days before the
ship was to sail for San Erancisco, and had a
warm  and kindly welcome from   my   new
n* MY   JOURNAL.
321
messmates, many of whom had already visited
me in my lodgings.
During the last week of my recovery, I
amused myself looking up my journal, and
finding I had a goodly portion ready, I determined to send it home in ship-shape, leaving
its fate in the hands of an old friend, on
whose judgment I could depend, as to what
to leave, and what to take away.
I shall not say, as so many writers of travels do, that this was never intended to meet
the public eye, for the fact is, I meant it to
do so all along, and if it possesses little in-
t *est for that public, they must just be merciful, and give me credit for, at least, trying
to please them, and remember they are trusting to my eyes, not their own, and that our
sights as well as ideas may be rather different.
It is very hard to say farewell, dear reader,
in any case, but more so when you meet with
patient kind friends; the only consolation is,
if we like each other, we need not say farewell
VOL.   II, Y FAREWELL   TO   THE  READER.
for ever. A sailor's fife is a roving life, and
the wonders and beauty of God's world inexhaustible, so that, if " my friends and countrymen lend me their ears," I shall possibly find
something more to make a book of at a
future day.
And so, most patient friends, Good night.
I feel I must tear myself away, experiencing
most truly that saying,
" Good night is such sweet sorrow,
That I could say good night until to-morrow."
TBE   END.
LONDON
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YOL, I.—SAM SLICK'S HATTJRE AND
ILLUSTRATED BY LEECH.
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VOL. II.—JOHN
EL
UFA
GENTLEMAN.
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VOL. III.—THE CRESCENT AND THE CROSS.
BY ELIOT WAKBURTON.
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VOL. IV
NATHALIE.   BY JULIA XAVANAGH.
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f*OE OTHEB VOLUMES SEE NEXT PAGE.], HURST AND BLACKETT'S STANDARD LIBRARY
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VOL. V.—A WOMAN'S THOUGHTS ABOUT WOMEN.
BY THE AUTHOR OF « JOHN HALIFAX, GENTLEMAN."
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BY THE AUTHOR OF " MRS:MARGARET MAITLAND
»»
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AND MODERN INSTANCES.
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VOL. VIIL—CARDINAL WISEMAN'S RECOLLECTIONS
OE THE LAST POUR POPES.      2
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VOL. IX.—A LIFE FOR A LIFE.
BY THE AUTHOR OF " JOHN HALIFAX, GENTLEMAN."
" We are always glad to mention Miss Muloch. She writes from her own convictions,
and she has the power not only to conceive clearly what it is that she wishes to say, but
to express it in language effective and vigorous. In 'A life for a Life' she is fortunate
in a good subject, and she has produced a work of strong effect. The reader having
read the book through for the story, will be apt (if he be of our persuasion) to return
and read again many pages and passages with greater pleasure than on a first perusal.
The wholebook is replete with a graceful, tender delicacy; and, in addition to its other
merits, it is written in good, careful English."—Aihenaum.
VOL. X.—THE OLD COURT SUBURB.
BY LEIGH HUNT.   {May 1.)
* A delightful book. A work that will be welcome to all readers, and most welcome
to those who have a love for the best kinds of reading."—Examiner.
** A more agreeable and entertaining book has not been published since Boswell produced his reminiscences of Johnson."—Observer.
.HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS, 13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.
^    

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