BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

A sportsman's Eden Phillipps-Wolley, Clive 1888

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0221948.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0221948-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0221948-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0221948-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0221948-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0221948-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0221948-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Late British Vice-Consul at Kertch,
Publishers in (Drirmu-j) to S).er #taj*stj) the Quart.
1888.  CONTENTS.
A Montreal hotel—The journey out—Sea-sickness—The St.
Lawrence —Montreal in winter—A queer dentist—Base-ball     1
Plattsburg—Hotel life—Lakes George and Champlain—A
thousand islands—Fort William Henry hotel—A lake-side
walk—The   scenery—Fishing—Glen   Falls—The   races —
Shamus  O'Brien—Luggage charges — Saratoga — A night
' walk  .       ...   16
Lawn-tennis—Ottawa, or ' Lumber-town'—The Parliament
Buildings—Ottawa gay, and sleeping—Pioneer life—Scenes
from the Pullman—Nipissing—Through Trapper Land—
Ojibbeway redskins—The forests—An ' improver P—Cartier
to Heron Bay—Angling—Winnipeg lands—Saskatchewan—
Climbing the Rockies—Across the Selkirks—A returning
emigrant—Women's rights—' Through still waters'—Victoria   - 28
Princetown—Sport—Vancouver—At Hope—A Si wash postman
— Hope society—Outfit—Estimates—'Along the track'—
Fly-fishing—Hope Mountains—Grouse—Face to face with a
grizzly—A sensational predicament—A victory—Local game
stories -----------46 VI
Pack-train travelling—Incomparable foliage—An adventure—
Camping in the dark—A bad half-hour—Tracking truants—
Similkameen — Ranching —Packing trade — Mule-trains—
\ Washing for gold'—A policeman's career—A pioneer's home
—Indian bear-stories—A capital drive—Nine-mile Creek—
Want of cultivation—Potato patches and graveyards—A
cactus joke—Another camp -------
Camp of the winds—Little Tommy—' Caching' luggage—A
derelict brandy-bottle—Sporting irregularities — Four big-
: horn—A climb—Cold   and   snow—A miserable night—A
whisky stimulant—A bad Indian—Our servants' dignities   -
Following deer—Views from camp—A deceptive rifle—Toma's
first English—Mountain rams—Another miss-fire—Taking
to a Winchester—' Pumping in lead'—A rest      -
A stranger making ' parritch'—Jack rabbits and ' fool hens'—
Dinner at Bighorn Camp—Impudent robber-birds—A newcomer—Naval whisky—A band of wolves—A lost opportunity  97
In search of sheep—A broken-winded horse—Gralloching—
The wolverine—Rattling of rifles—The first ram—A three-
mile race—The rejoicing afterwards 104
The Dead Forest—A surprise—Full of mule-deer—A big buck
—A lynx-trap—Freezing weather—A break-neck canter—
Another good day—Deer-fat—Unsought shots—An appeal
for mercy—A scalp-lock or a wig ?       -       -       -. " - 111 CONTENTS.
Waves of purple peaks—Toma's hesitation—A basket of trout
—On a bad road—The lazy savage—Dragging the horses uphill—The bleakest camp—A strange find—Great white sterns
—Toma's hot pursuit—' Rams fighting'—A large bighorn—
Anight of fete—Two lost beasts—A day's snow—All whiteness—Toma's precautions—More rains—Snow-draped forests
—Turning to home     --------
The moose and the white sheep—An Indian ' sweat-horse'—
The character of the Indians—Plentiful goats—Toma's exertions—Sighting a goat—The ' man-sheep'—A dead goat
bleating—An omen—The Indian terrified and tired    -       - 132
A scare—Ravages of bears—The boat for Westminster—A
frozen bath at 4 a.m.—A horse-owner's career—The scorn of
beggary—Good-bye to old Mr. S.—Large breeds of cattle—
Tempting rise of trout—A little wading—Sinking in a quicksand—A rueful spectacle—A river fight in difficulties—Brilliant trout—Fourteen Mile House—Free whisky—Riding
through darkness and rain—A fagged-out mare—A dead
stop — In the lurch—A welcome recovery — Arrival in
shelter 143
Wild beasts and wild men—Princetown—Old Quilltasket—
Law in British Columbia—Indifferent Christians—Polygamy
—Getting whisky—Traits of civilization—How the Indians
live—A seventh husband—Opinion about the ladies—The
women hardly known from the men    -       - "     -       -       - 152
Indian fairy-tales—In cow-market—About Tumisco—His
adventures—The story of Kee-Kee-Was—The story of Sour-
grub—Scuse, from Loo-loo-hoo-loo—Smothering invalids—
Funeral feasts—A child's 'wake'—Waste of goods—The fear
of ghosts—Paying debts of the deceased      - 158 LETTER XVI.
Farewell, Shamus—Perusing a guide-book—Amusing illustrations—From Saratoga to the Blue Mountains—On the coach
—A change in the programme—Entered for ' hounding'—
The necessaries—Posted out—Interesting work—The plan
of operations—How the hounds behave—An Ayrshire reminiscence—Lee Harris the angler—Daubing his boat with
molasses—The Adirondacks—Want of close-times
Life in Victoria—The Celestials—Fashions and amusements—
Invitations—Description of the town—A naval officer's experience with a panther—Looking for a house—A boating
picnic—Salmon-fishing—Game-finding in the forest—The
atmosphere of Victoria        -------
On the Canadian Pacific—A conductor's warning—An Irish
omnibus-driver—Rumours of moose—The first time without
sun—' No-matter-where'—A Canadian Whiteley's—A courtly
manager—Plenty of credit—No bad debts—Arrival of Jocko
—A cart expedition—Jocko's life—Lumberers—Small farms
■—Dense woods—A French Canadian trapper—Darkness and
the camp—A last look into the forest—Going moose-hunting
—A miracle of beauty—Blondin-like exertions—Jocko's
perseverance—Disappointment—Seven miles from camp—A
tiring day—Alarmed by wolves—' No-matter-where ' better
than Brighton     --------- 191
Story of two moose-heads—How they were obtained—Plenty
of snow—White-tail tracks—On the scent of a bull moose—
An ideal scene—Lean meat and hunting—The value of fat
—Rewarded at last—One of Nature's first-born—A second
day's wanderings—A fusillade—Dead beat—Two bulls
brought low—Moose-hunting for legislators—One more day
—A major's amusing story -       -       -       -       -       .       -215 CONTENTS.
Resume of game laws—These laws criticised—Plea for cooperative legislation—The buffalo—His extermination—
Table of close-times for game—Ditto for fish and fur-bearing
beasts—Pheasants—The traffic in trophies—Old methods of
destruction—Explanation of the tables—Proposal for national
park—Amendments in game laws—Leave-taking -       -       - 231
Canadian and London air—A contrast—The professions in the
colony—Emigration—Ready employment for good labour—
Work and wages—Female labour in great demand—Chinese
cooks—Cost of food—Interesting facts—Conclusion   -       .- 248  -~^5B-~>
12, King's Bench Walk.
Dear Reader,
I am advised that you "will require an
explanation of the form, in which these reminiscences of an autumn in Canada are offered to
you, I have before written in the ordinary
form, one chapter following another in the order
in which the incidents chronicled in each chapter
occurred, and all written by the same hand. Now
if I were a Chinaman, writing for possible Chinese
emigrants, this would be all as it should be. A
Chinese emigration is always, I believe, an emigration of bachelors. They never take their better
halves with them- Englishmen rarely leave those
better halves behind. A Chinaman goes to
sojourn for a few years, devoured all the time
by a yearning for the ancestral graveyard, and FT
determined at all costs, dead or alive, to return
to China. An Englishman not only takes his
wife with him when he emigrates, but generally
goes to stay. This being so, I felt it my duty
to write for both sexes, and as I have very little
knowledge of what ladies like, I took my wife
with me, and have incorporated her letters to a
girl-friend in the same book with letters of mine
to a brother limb of the law in England.
There may be, I hope, a few letters from
others of our party, who separated from us at
one point or another in our journey across
America. If they keep their promises and
write, I shall give you the benefit of their experiences, warning you that in all cases, though I
am responsible for all literary sins within these
covers, the writer of each letter is responsible
for the opinions therein expressed.
It was at the end of the last London season that
our little party got together and booked for
Montreal by the Dominion Line. The tennis-
lawns of Montgomeryshire had grown brown and
dry, and drier and more parched were the bodies
and brains of the husbands and brothers in
London, to whom certain Montgomeryshire
ladies suggested an autumn in Canada.
The papers had been full of rumours of the
great new line which Russia is threatening- to build across Siberia to the Pacific ; of reports of
the great new line which the British have built
across their Siberia from Montreal to Vancouver.
It is an interesting race, this race of the
Teuton and the Slav for the Pacific, and we all
wanted to see as much of our share of the course
as possible' before all this new North-West of ours
shall have become trite and commonplace as a
London suburb. We knew that the same causes
had been at work driving each of these great
colonizing nations forward to the same great
peaceful ocean; that religious persecution had
driven the English to New England, the Russian
to the Caucasus and Siberia; gold had enticed
the Russian to the Ourals, gold had attracted
the Briton to British Columbia ; that the
Hudson Bay trappers had followed beaver and
marten ever further and further west, while his
Cossack rival had followed the fur-bearing beast
ever further and further to the east; we had
grown interested in this march of rival nations
towards a common goal, led as they are by
descendants from the same old sea-king stock,
whether through Rurik, or our William the
Conqueror; and, stirred possibly by some tiny
leaven of the old wandering blood, which is
every Englishman's inheritance, we gave ready
ear   to  the persuasions of our fair. friends, and XIV
were so amply rewarded, that I dare to hope
even these poor sketches of our wanderings may
be interesting to those who have not vet had
time to look at England's great North-West for
themselves, or to take toll of the big game of
Canada before it has all been driven out and
replaced by j bleating idiotic sheep' and lowing
I have added to the story of our wanderings a
few words' (or my wife has for me) about British
Columbia as a land to live in, for I hear, on
trustworthy authority, that there are more
English gentlemen (retired soldiers and others)
asking for information about our most western
towns in America this year than ever before,
and almost every number of the Field which I
take up contains some inquiry with regard to
British Columbia. Whether Vancouver, the
town, or Victoria, the capital of Vancouver
Island, becomes the nucleus of the English
population on our Pacific coast, it seems to me
that the degree of England's influence on the
Pacific depends a great deal upon the class of
emigrants we send out there now, and if there is
added to the great mass of English muscle and
energy which the mines must attract in the next
few years a proportion of the more polished
elements of English society, I venture to think INTRODUCTION.
it will be well for British Columbia, well for the
emigrants, and well for England.
Others have written carefully of Canada, town
by town; of her great line (the Canadian
Pacific Railway), step by step ; I only offer you
a coup d'ceil of the country as a whole, as you
might see it if you could spare time yourself to
flit through it this autumn. If you like the
sketch I give you, take my advice ; go and see
the original for yourself.
Typical Hotel, Montreal,
Sept. 6, 1887.
Dear Lena,
At last I have a few minutes in which
to rest and write to you. The long dinner with
its many courses of quaintly-named dishes is over,
and the men of our party have gone off, they
say, to smoke; but I shrewdly suspect their
search is rather for those stimulants which the
Yankees deny them at dinner, than for the innocent cigarette.
This should be the cosiest hour of the day,
but here nothing is cosy; it is all too big and
bare and brassy. How can one settle down in a
tea-gown and slippers in a room with only big
furniture in it (no knick-knacks), bare walls, no
fire, and not even a fireplace ?    The whole hotel
is, to my mind, something between a palace and a
prison, gorgeous as the one and stiff and chilling
as the other. It seems impossible to give the
rooms that air of comfort peculiarly dear to a
woman's heart; but in sober truth there is
nothing feminine about them. Why, if I ring
for a chambermaid, I am answered by a bellboy. An American hotel may be the ideal hotel
of business men, who love places studded with
electric knobs and hung with telephones, but it
is not suited to the cat-like comfort-loving nature
of our sex.
You guessed, I suppose, from my recent silence
that I had won the day with | ce cher mari' of
mine, and persuaded him to take me with him
on his wild-goose chase to America. By the
way, I fancy there is a letter wrong there ; the
animal we are to pursue spells its name with an
j m ' and not with a I g,' and Lena dear, ' we '
are to pursue it; you, perhaps, don't take in all
that this means at first, but you will by-and-by.
It means that I am to follow this monster of
mine through pine-forests and snowy wastes,
cook his food and clean his rifle, and, as he says,
' make myself generally useful,' instead of fooling
the dollars away in the towns. At first, of
course, I felt inclined to resist. Even in politics
they always have an opposition, and married life LETTER I.
requires more to enliven it than even politics.
Eventually we agreed to a peace with honour, of
which the terms were, for me, a visit to all the
chief towns of Canada, including Victoria, in
British Columbia, and a week on Lakes George
and Champlain, America's great holiday resorts,
and a peep at Saratoga, After that I agreed to
sink into the squaw and camp out. You may
think I was mad to undertake so much. At any
rate, you will look on me as the pioneer of my
sex in this wild life. Not at all so, little woman.
Even I, in my limited knowledge of the great
world, have heard of one Englishwoman who has
followed the colonel, her husband, over Himalayan snows and through the deep jungles of the
Terai to see specimens of almost all the shyest
and fiercest of India's great beasts of forest and
mountain fall to his rifle, while another English
lady even now camps annually on the peaks of
frosty Caucasus.
Up to the present, you will observe from the
post-mark, we have only got to Montreal, and have
hardly learned to walk with comfort on terra firma.
It was the very end of August before I could
tear my lord and master (?) away from those dim
and cobwebbed chambers in which he and his
law-books dwell,
We started at night, as people going on a long
1—2 01
journey always should do, making sure of a long
day for final preparations, and a quiet comfortable
dinner before making the plunge. Even at the
outset, the contrasts were striking. One moment
you were rattling along beneath the thousand
lamps of London, through all the stir and noise
of its many wheels and million voices, and as it
were the next, the panting of the engine was the
only sound you heard as you glided through
newly-shorn harvest-fields, calm and still, and
white with the dew of dawn.
Here and there my husband pointed out the
vanishing brown wings of a \ covey of partridges
which our train had frightened off the line, and
then we pulled up suddenly at Liverpool.
This is one of the most uncomfortable stages
of the journey;. you arrive at Liverpool too
early. If after long seeking you find an hotel, it
is in deshabille still. The chambermaids in curlpapers are on the stairs, and the waiter looks as
if he had only just been roused from a sleep
beneath the table. If you visit the ship in which
you are to sail, you will find her, too, in curlpapers and the chief steward in an execrable
temper. Poor fellow ! he has confidently counted
on seeing none of the passengers for at least another four hours, and his nerves are not yet
braced for receiving them. \ IP>*^P>P
In spite of the unfavourable conditions in which
I generally see it, I like Liverpool. It is an
amphibious town, and one of uncertain nationality.
Its language and manners seem to me to savour
.almost as strongly of America as its atmosphere
does of tarred ropes and salt water, and there is
a freshness and vigour about it which seems to
me more full of hope and energy than the atmosphere of any ordinary English town.
But enough of Liverpool. Come on board
and   be   introduced   to   our   fellow-passengers,
■ homing ' Canadians for the most part, who have
been loyally celebrating Her Most Gracious
Majesty's jubilee in England. Mr. O'Brien, the
irreverent Hibernian of  our party, calls   them
■ Jubilee Yanks.' Don't be disappointed, dear ;
I really am not going to be even a little bit
.spiteful about our pretty cousins, for I am fain to
confess that they won my heart almost as entirely
as they did my husband's.
But not just at first, Lena, for charity (let
alone love) is a somewhat difficult virtue to cultivate on board ship towards the young women
whose jaunty red hats, blue eyes, and saucy
moods have enslaved and carried off the men,
whose whole time should be devoted to the
arrangement of your wraps and the carriage of
your  beef-tea.     They have   not   yet  forgotten, A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
these fair ' Canucks,' many of the wiles of their
great-grandmammas, nor lost any of that pretty
art of coquetry which those worthy dames imported from la belle France in the seventeenth
century. ' Irish mavourneens with French manners,' one of the men called them ; but though
he may have been a judge of mavourneens, his
knowledge of French, at least Canadian French,
appeared to us at Quebec somewhat limited.
My dear, Madame F., the old French governess
at the school where you an'd I were taught, could
not herself make those cabmen of Montreal understand either French or English. To return
to the ladies ; don't imagine that you will win
your way to their hearts by reminding them
of any French blood which may be in their
veins. On the contrary, if you intend to carry
their affections by storm, mistake them for wanderers, like yourself, from the old country. You
will soon find that they are more English than
the English, and that they ] want in the worst
way' to persuade you that Canada has no accent
and no odd little idioms in her English, and they
will ' go hopping mad' if you dare to disagree
with them.
If you read your Queen conscientiously, you
will find two queries often repeated with regard
to sea-voyages.-    In various   keys   the  wail  is ■*«-
repeated, but the burden is always the same :
j How shall I avoid sea-sickness, and what must
I wear at dinner ?' The second question won't
bother you much at first, Lena ; believe me, you
won't risk an entry into the big salon, where the
stewards wobble unsteadily, and the soup descends
in a torrent on your shoulders for the first four
days. After that, if you come down to dinner
you will find nothing more needed than a morning-
frock with pretty lace fichus and ribbons.
As for sea-sickness, you cannot avoid it.
None of the remedies appear to me to be of any
good; but whatever you do, avoid sodium. I
don't know that sodium is anyone's patent, so I
attack it boldly, with no fear of an action for libel
before my eyes. It is an innocent-looking little
white powder, which in our case was brought on
board by a singularly benevolent-looking little
lady, who had been taking it steadily for weeks
beforehand. The coffin which the ship's carpenter built for that little lady was fortunately
not wanted, but she deserved it.
My husband and I chose the St. Lawrence
route to Canada, chiefly because it is advertised
as the shortest route in open water. So I suppose it is, but the St. Lawrence is no duck-pond,
and quite capable of being rough at times.
As to the scenery, I was a little disappointed, A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
but you will say that I have seen too much, and
am biased. At Rimouski, the first place at which
we touched after leaving Moville, we put a few
passengers ashore, losing them and ourselves in a
dense fog.
Out of the fog, we steamed slowly up a fair
•broad water-way between two low, gray walls of
rock, hard and bare, looking more like the teeth
.of a trap than the banks of a river.
Behind these ice-worn rocks lie low, level
lands, stretching back unbroken to the horizon,
•and so flat that the trees appear to rise from the
river-bed. Scores of white cottages straggle in
a disorderly way along the banks, not in separate
hamlets, but in one long irregular line. There
.appear to be no big houses, and no factories.
Such as they are now, the white houses have
been for generations, and will be for generations
to come. The people who inhabit them care not
for great things, but are content to remain men
■of low estate.
There was something in the still, broad waterway, level lands, and green stretches of wildfowl haunted rush and sedges, which, as we drew
near Montreal, reminded me of Holland, and a
big, broad-sailed boat (the sail absurdly too big
for the boat), bearing down upon us through
the evening haze, strengthened the impression. LETTER I.
Montreal, they say, is an island, but I did not
notice this as we drew in to harbour. A mass
of spires and lofty buildings seemed to rise from
the water, while behind them lay the low hill
which bears the proud title of Mount Royal.
It is a pretty town from the water; most
towns so seen are ; but when you land at the
wharf it is just as if you had travelled only from
one dock at Liverpool to another. The same
smell of tar and ropes ; the same nautical shouting
and confusion ; the same blending of Yankee and
Britisher, only here there is a third element,
more noisy than either—-the French.
You'notice, dear, I have gone by the grim old
citadel of Quebec without a word. I did so on
purpose. One of our many invitations from
Canadian friends on board is one to stay at
Quebec on our way home and see the .town and
■town life in winter. This we mean to do, so that
you will hear all about Quebec in due season.
Of course all Canada should be seen in winter
—at least the towns, and especially Montreal,
when its glorious ice-palace gleams outside with
frosty diamonds, and inside glows with human
life and colour : when sleigh-bells make music in
the air, and you feel you are in the very home of
dear old Father Christmas, in the ' land of free
frolic and winter revelry. HI
Summer in Montreal, they say, is too hot for
anything but salamanders ; but now, in early
autumn, the temperature is perfect, the Weather
Mount Royal is thickly wooded, and just now
its woods are bright with colours which would
put to shame an English flower-garden.
We wandered up it to-day, discovering a large
colony of beautiful little bungalows and cottages,
nestling among the woods from base to summit.
The woodwork and roofs of these cottages are
painted in the most gorgeous colours ; but colouring which would be offensive elsewhere is here
lost sight of in summer and autumn in the bril-
liance of the surrounding foliage, and in winter
stands out a pleasing relief from, and contrast to,
the white monotony of the snow.
Most .of the cottages are empty, and we met
scarcely a soul in the park. The Montrealers
are away in the big hotels of Saratoga, in the
cockneyfied sporting-grounds of the Adirondacks,*
or more wisely in the seclusion of Nepigon and
her sister lakes.
From the top of the Mount you get a fine
view of the rich flat country round the town, if
you are not too hot to enjoy it. And, indeed, it
was hot. At home we connect Canada in our
minds with   blizzards  and   frost-bite,   and   here ■M
were we in September, on the highest point in
Montreal, gasping for heat. Even the chipmunks were too hot to chatter, and the water-
barrel, with its little tin pannikin, put out on the
grass by some benevolent citizen, looked (and
was) as dry as a husband's homily on tidiness.
There must be some very wealthy people here
amongst the 250,000 who make up the population, for the houses are, some of them, quite
magnificent stone structures, with smart grass-
plots and ornamental trees round them. As the
owners and their servants are away or asleep this
hot afternoon, the trees and grass-plots are alive
with robins, j Robins,' Lena ! I'll trouble you !
birds, my dear, about as big as domestic fowls,
with big red waistcoats and heavy gait, about as
much like our smart little birds as a Scotch cook
is like a French maid.
After i doing' the Mount, we walked down
Notre Dame Street and along the lines of the
tramcars, to the country outside Montreal. :
But what are the shops like ? I hear you ask.
Well, dear, there are only two kinds here which
would interest you, and if you had such a husband
as mine you would not be able to see much of
them. What a hurry men always are in when a
bonnet-shop is anywhere near ■! I have seen
my better-half   almost  steeplechasing   over the 12
perambulators in  High  Street,   Kensington,   in
his desire to avoid John Barker's pretty windows.
The confectioners and the furriers are the shops
par excellence in Canada; and as about half of
the shops in the main streets belong to one or
other of these classes, we have little to complain
of. Red foxtail boas, and a silvery moonlit sort
of fur, which they call grizzly bear, are amongst
the prettiest exhibits in the furriers' windows;
and a box of what the natives call ' mallows,' sent
to you by this post, will convey some idea of the
confectioner's skill to your palate.
The men chaff us in a superior kind of way
about our taste for sweets, but they forget the
beam in their own mouths. I mean the cigar.
Don't you think it is simply that to suck something is a necessity of the race ? Both sexes
start level on thumbs; in later life consoling
themselves with sugar or tobacco, according to
sex. The result in both cases is the same—toothache ; and this brings me naturally to a physical
trait in our Canadian cousins which is as noticeable as any—I mean their ' golden' smiles.
' A beaux dents femme n'etait jamais laide,'
you know; but when all nature's pearls are set
in gold, how can a woman's smile be anything
but bewitching? Really some of the girls you
meet carry quite a small fortune in their mouths. LETTER I.
Tempted by them, I visited a f dental doctor,'
and for the first time passed an hour in one of
those terrible chairs peculiar to dentists' surgeries,
without suffering any pain worth complaining of.
j Shall I stop it with gold or composition, miss V
inquires the tormentor. [ Which do you recommend, doctor ?' j Oh, please yourself; it's your
funeral, not mine,' was the queer retort.
From the main street we wandered out by the
tram-lines into the suburbs, passing on our way
through a poor quarter, where almost all the
inhabitants were French. It seems to me that
two-thirds of the population of Montreal is
French, and quite three-fourths of the wealth
English. Along the river's bank, for quite four
miles outside the town, a long line of villas takes
up every available building site, the gardens
running down to the river's brim.
Hospitals and lunatic asylums abound, and
(much more interesting) there is a great dairy-
farm doing a capital business, ■ run,' like most of
the milk business of Montreal, by Englishmen.
But I must cut my rambles in pen and ink short,
Lena, for here are the men anxious to arrange
about a visit to j the kennels,' and a base-ball
match to-morrow.
Fancy, my dear, an English club, a racquet
court, and the kennels of a well-managed pack of 14
foxhounds, all perfectly in keeping with the life
that surrounds them, on the very spot where,
three hundred years ago, clustered the teepees of
the red men of Hochelaga !
Your wandering crony,
J. P. W.
P.S.—I have just come back from the baseball match, and am not much impressed by the
game (which is difficult to understand) or the
play. Though unable to judge of it as a whole,
I could not help noticing that the fielding was
infamous. Catches, my dear, which a village
team would have secured were missed over and
over again by these jj champions,' and no one
seemed surprised. I am told that the long
winter, and sodden condition of the ground when
the thaw sets in, ruin any cricket-ground which
is attempted near Montreal; but even if this
were not so, I doubt if our Canadian cousins
have, the same genius for cricket as those other
cousins of ours in the antipodes. The worst
trait, my husband says, both of Canadian and
Yankee character, is the want of enthusiasm for
games which require physical exertion. Almost
all the base-ball players, for instance, are professionals, and there is a very serious cash competition for the services of any exceptionally good LETTER L
man, while betting on the various teams runs
very high. Amateurs are rare in the extreme—
at least, so we were informed by a Canadian
gentleman with whom we travelled. Ah, well;
I expect the fact is that the ardent spirits who
could find no better battlefield than the cricket-
ground if they were at home in England are in
Canada measuring their strength against the wild
woods of untamed nature, and winning, not a
match, but a livelihood by the work of their own
hands, knocking down trees with a girth of thirty
feet instead of hitting sixes to leg. i6
Sept. 15, 1887.
Dear Lena,
We have been having what our American friends would call a very breezy time of it
since I last wrote to you. The men at one time
got quite ' out of hand,' and at Plattsburg poor
Mrs. W.'s popularity as guide went down a long
way below par. Now I am glad to say it is up
again to some fabulous point to which my knowledge of Stock Exchange terms cannot attain.
Forgive me these phrases, Lena, but what can
you expect of a woman who has been living in
hotels in which the favourite lounge is like the
waiting-room of some gorgeous railway-station,
with a bookstall, telegraph office, and j the latest
Stock reports' all within reach of her rocking-
chair ? Now that I am beginning to get used to
the ways of this very New World, I am immensely interested, and would gladly stay longer, LETTER II.
but the first plunge into it is rather like your
first   plunge   in   the   sea;   it leaves  you gasp
On the way from Montreal to Lake George,
the traveller must stay at Plattsburg, whence
the boat starts up the lake next morning
at a terribly early hour. Hotel life does not
suit men, my dear, and ten days on a steamer is
the worst possible prelude to it. They smoke
too many cigars and get thirsty too often, the
result being what they call ' liver.' Our three
I lords of creation ' had been very good until they
got to Plattsburg.     There they broke down.
It was a very pretty hotel we stayed at,, but;
there was nothing to do but to sit in a row in rocking-chairs and rock. At supper-time (our dinner)
the waiting was infamous ; that duty being performed by women. I heard my husband declare
that Shamus O'Brien was the only one who could
get attended to, and he only because he had such
an Irish way of putting his arm round the waitresses' waists. j No apollinaris, no soda, . no
whisky, nothing to eat except pickles, and
nothing to eat them with except dessert-knives
which would not cut butter ; a sufficiency of
nothing except iced water, electric lights, and
brass spittoons as large as Lake Ontario.' So the
men grumbled, and  when to  console myself I
2 J.il:
picked up an American paper (The Doctor, July
1st, 1887) and read there that one of the contributors considered his compatriots ' much less
than half baked, so infernally and eternally crude,'
I felt inclined to agree with him, and to long for
the more mellow manners and greater comfort
(without the glare) of the old country.
All American hotels seem to me mere hothouse productions, 'forced,' so to speak, until
they have all the outward marks of the last
degree of civilized excellence, without any of the
thousand and one little things which come of
slow growth and a century's experience, and are
so essential to one's comfort. But I will stop
grumbling if I can, for as in fancy I step with
you on board the great lake steamer, to begin
our journey down Lakes George and Champlain,
scenes of real beauty open out all round us, and
if only man were less and nature more, if the
great saloon, ' finished in black walnut and butternut,', were a little less noisy than the parrot-house
at the ' Zoo,' I could be content almost to sail
for ever on those silver waters, studded with isles
innumerable, wooded to the very water with dark
pine and silver-white birch-trees. I have never
read what other people say of these lakes (more
shame to me, perhaps), but they strike me as
being   the   cockney   camping-grounds    of   New LETTER II.
York, just as the Thames' banks in summer are
the dwelling-place of the nomadic Londoner.
■ I said that there are a thousand islands, but
on each of them is a camp. On most of them it
is a permanent camp. At the head of the lake
it is an Indian wigwam which has grown into
the Fort William Henry Hotel, a palatial barracks over a hundred yards in length. Over all
the lake the same phenomenon is taking place in
different stages of completion. Here the encampment is only a little white tent, which
gleams prettily amongst the island greenery. On
the next island the tent has given place to a
temporary shanty of wood, more comfortable,
perhaps, but less picturesque ; and so the forms
of men's shells grow and vary from tent to castle,
from chalet to pagoda, but everywhere the
pagoda, with red roof and coloured walls, predominates ; white boats, red-rimmed, dart out
from, or lie idle in, the bays of every islet; every
island creek is bridged by white Chinese bridges.
At one landing-stage a chorus of picnicking
damsels in white tam-o'-shanters come down and
spell the name of their camp as a part song for
the edification of our passengers ; at the next
point a gay party lounges in front of a new hotel,
whose trim lawns and red gravelled walks look
out of harmony with the silver lake which Feni-
2—2 20
more Cooper sang so sweetly, and on which you
listen rather for the war-whoop of the Mohican
than the everlasting ' toot' of the steam launch.
You know, Lena, that I am a thorough rustic,
that I hold that the coaching meet is almost the
only really pretty sight. in London, and that I
am condemned to dwell with a husband whose
tastes are purely barbaric, so you will take my
descriptions with the necessary grain of salt. To
do the j lakes' justice they are very, very beautiful,
very bright with colour; the local guide-book
says ' the tree-tops blush with bunting ; shores
put on a flannelly hue, and shadowy points
blossom out in duck and dimity.' And the
guide-book is right; but what I should like to
see just once is the lakes at rest, with only the
colour of their autumn woods to brighten them :
only the blue smoke of a wigwam fire to suggest
man's, presence, and only the cry of the fish-
hawk, or the splash of the rising trout, to break
the stillness.
We were tired when we got to the hotel, and
glad to rest in its vast piazza, supported by a
grove of Corinthian columns, until it was time to
dine, and felt hope spring again within us as we
noticed the number of tennis costumes about the
grounds. But we were doomed to disappointment.    The American youth wears 'blazers,' it LETTER II.
is true, and there are tennis-courts, but we never
saw anyone playing upon them, Or indeed doing
anything else more energetic than the smoking
of cigarettes and drinking of cocktails*
The Americans work so hard, I suppose, that
they have no energy left to play. Rock, rock,
rock! went the scores of chairs all day, slowly
and sleepily—like the roll of the Pacific, said one
of the men ; but the boats lay idle* No one rode
the saddle-horses, and those who went for a drive
only went to be driven.
At one of the last lake-stations we astonished
our American friends by announcing our intention of landing and walking the rest of the way
round the shore to the great hotel. It was a
nine-mile walk, and a walk well worth taking,
though the road was six inches deep in sand,
making every mile worth two for training purposes, so my husband said. Golden rods and
single sunflowers, with a host of other blossoms,
of which I do not know the names, mingled with
the great ferns by the roadside. Houses, with
well-kept lawns and ornamental flower-gardens,
alternated with bits of forest or apple-orchards,
whose rosy fruit hung temptingly by the wayside. On the lake side of the road every patch
of land was either built on or showed some sign
of being reclaimed, if it was but a land-agent's 22
placard of ' a valuable building lot, with a lake
view.' The hotel was chiefly peopled by ladies ;
the male element appeared to have migrated,
and the women seemed so wearied that they had
taken (some of them) to cultivating the dramatic
talents of the. negro waiters, a troupe of whom
had recently delighted the guests with recitations
and scenes from Shakespeare.
These negroes display, I believe, considerable
talent, and a great desire to push themselves in
life, some even (here again I speak from hearsay)
having been educated at Harvard University.
A nigger Othello might pass muster, but Lena !
imagine Hamlet done in black !
About the second day our men had tried the
fishing, discovered that the trout in the streams
were neither as numerous nor as large as the^gay
little fellows in our Welsh brooks, that a pickerel
is only a diminutive 'Jack,' and in spite, of a
bucket of cockroaches, to be impaled alive, had
failed to obtain a specimen of the famous black
bass. So my husband threatened Rocky Mountains ; and even Mr. L., always amiable and
pontented, hinted at a visit to the Adirondacks.
Ireland came gallantly to the rescue. Lena,
if you ever travel, make a note of this.    Forget
your Baedeker if you like ; your purse if your
husband is with you; your music if you reaUy LETTER II.
don't want to sing; but don't forget to take an
Irishman ' along.' They may be a very disreputable lot politically—I believe they are (I'd give
them Home Rule if I had one for a husband)—
but as travelling companions they have no equal.
Our Irishman had discovered, whilst teaching his
compatriot, the bar-tender, how to make a Manhattan cocktail, that there were races about to
take place at Glen Falls that afternoon. In ten
minutes he had organized a party to attend them,
and I am bound to admit that he took at any
rate all the prettiest bonnets about the hotel with
him. That was a merry afternoon. Glen Falls
is a town of exceedingly pretty houses, peeping
out from very wooded streets, and most of its
ten thousand inhabitants were at the races that
day. The races themselves astonished me. In
every one of them there were 'wheels.' No
riding, all driving : and such driving! Two
large, light wheels ran close against the horse's
©    '        © ©
quarters, and over a little board, supported by
the wheels, lay the horse's swish tail, on which
sat the jockey. At first I thought I was watching driving-races between tailed men ; later on I
© ©
discovered to whom the tails belonged. All that
afternoon the fun was fast and furious, Ireland
versus America being a very pretty match in the
matter  of wit.     Poor   Mr.   O'Brien!   I   really •24
thought his enterprising little companion had
completely silenced even him at lunch; for in
a pause we all heard this terrible sentence:
' Misther O'Brien,' mimicking his brogue to the
life, ' maybe if your mouth wasn't so full I'd be
better able to hear what you are whispering in
my ear.' Poor O'Brien was very hungry, and
very talkative, but, nothing daunted, he replied :
' Sure, lady, it's only my heart that's in my
mouth'when I'm talking to you.' What followed,
history does not record, but surely Mr. Shamus's
whisperings deserved a hearing after that.
However, even race meetings would not induce
7 ©
our restless ones to remain at Lake George, where
they said you had to pay two shillings for the
privilege of bathing in the lake, and the same
sum for every article brought up for you from
the boat to the hotel. When we landed and
walked on to the hotel in the first instance, one of
our party left a hand-bag behind him, which he
declares was unfortunately open. The contents
came out, and were carried up separately at two
shillings apiece, by the steamboat people, who
have a right to deliver your things (and charge
for so doing) if you are not present to instruct
the hotel porters to take charge of them for you.
The hotel proprietor was very good about this
charge, and did what he could, but of course he LETTER II.
was helpless and blameless in the matter. For
the future we determined nothing should part us
from our luggage, and when, a day or two later,
we arrived at Saratoga, it was very amusing to
©     ' v ©
see the men clinging like bulldogs to their heavy
bags and our bonnet-boxes, and resisting all the
importunities of the hotel porters, who were
anxious to relieve them of their loads, and would
not have charged a cent for so doing.
I dare say you will be disappointed, but I am
not going to tell you much about Saratoga. I
don't like it, and I am tired of fault-finding. I
am sure I shall find lots to admire in America,
and I like its kindly, genial people immensely ;
but I do not like its big hotels, with their publicity, noise, and discomfort, and the hotels have
been getting bigger and more unpleasant all the
way from Quebec, until they come to a climax
in Saratoga.
Of course Saratoga is what Bath was, and
what some people say Bath is going to be again,
that is, a place to drink waters in, to gamble,
flirt, and spend money in, and therefore the.
gayest, wickedest, most amusing place on earth.
I don't know whether America is old enough to
have the gout: at any rate, she has no lack of
curative springs. There is hardly anything, Lena,
which you  can  find in  the chemists' shops  at home, which you cannot take ' naturally ' in one
or other of the waters of Saratoga. Take my
advice, dear—a little champagne of a good brand
is better, and does you more good than any of
But, after all, the best of Saratoga was a
certain evening walk we took when we arrived.
The road (I don't know its name) led out of
town, was very, very broad, and all along each
side of it ran a line of pretty detached bungalows
(that is what I should call them, at least), low
houses, with fanciful roofs and irregular outlines,
with large porches, smothered with flowers, and
standing, as often as not, in unfenced gardens
reaching down to the trottoirs. All the windows
were ablaze with light; pretty pictures of squire
and dame, of girls singing at pianos, of all the
phases of home life, glanced past as you walked
along—too public for your eyes to avoid them,
too private for your good taste to allow you to
dwell upon them. The night was so beautiful,
the light so bright, the tree-frogs even so musical
in the trees, that the only thing like it which I
remember is the opening scene in Mrs. Praed's
novel, ' Moloch.' I am sorry I ever saw Saratoga
by daylight, for, in my case, daylight brought
disenchantment. And now, Lena, good-bye. Our
party has just broken up.    Even Mr. Shamus's iWHWI
eloquence could not keep us together any longer.
It was a sad scene when, in our private room, he
produced from somewhere in his Gladstone-bag a
bottle of ' rale old Irish whisky,' and with this
and his native blarney tried to keep the men
together for another day. But it was no good.
Mr. L. will go to the Adirondacks to shoot a
stag, which my husband says he will never see
except in guide-book pictures; and my husband
is off to the Rockies or the Cascades, or somewhere, where people don't wear collars, where
people don't need dollars, and, above all, where
there are no hotels.
Thine, 'etc. 28
British Columbia*
Dear Lena,
It is almost impossible to believe that
I am not dreaming. Sitting by the open window,
the drowsy summer air comes in off the sea and
fans my forehead ; from the lawn outside I can
hear, ' Well played,' ' Love thirty,' ' Deuce,' and
other scraps of tennis jargon from lips of English men and women. In fancy I can see the
gray stone walls of your old English rectory and
its wreaths of blue clematis ; but if I open my
eyes, they look, it is true, across green tennis-
lawns and past English players, but the skies are
bluer than those skies of Gloucestershire ever
were ; instead of the Cotswold hills are the snow
caps of the Olympian mountains, the houses
round me are of timber instead of stone, and just
beyond are pine-forests, in which the trees are
so vast that a single one of them contains
almost as much timber as stands in an English
The room I am in is full of English trifles,
the things which seem to grow round a woman :
delicate ornaments, frames and photograph-
albums, full of honest English faces ; but if I
ring the- bell, a pig-tailed Chinaman in a profusion of beautifully white linen will respond (at
his leisure) to my summons, to remind me that I
am on the very Western brink of the world,
with 6,000 miles between you and me.
You know how we wandered about until we
got to Ottawa, for I wrote you all the news of
my travels up to that date. Let me pick up the
thread of my wanderings at that fair city which
has already had three names at least, none of
which seem, to my mind, to fit it. Neither
Bytown, nor Hole in the Woods, nor Ottawa,
should it be called if I could have my way, but
just simply Lumber-town, because it is the capital
of Canada, and lumber has made Canada ; because
it lies in the heart of a lumber district; because
lumbering (next to legislating) is its principal
business ; its waters are red with dust from the
lumber-mills ; its streets are full of the lumbermen ; its air is full of the scent of lumber fresh
sawn, and standing on the terrace of its really
beautiful Parliament Buildings, you look across a
broad river, the high-road of millions of logs from
the central lakes, on  to  acres  and acres, nay, 3°
miles on miles of timber-yards, piled high with
planks and boarding ready for export. It is
wonderful, standing beside the falls, to see the
logs come shooting down the slides prepared for
them. Up stream you get a glimpse of heavy
waters gliding on to the brink of that caldron
© ©
into which they eventually rush, waters gliding
down from distant woods, whose fringes of birch
and maple you can just see : down stream the
spires and buttresses of Parliament Buildings, from
their overhanging cliff, are mirrored in the waters.
©       © '
On one side the bridge on which you stand are
the falls, on the other the saw-mills. At the
foot of each mill is a pool, into which one after
another the logs come swimming down, after their
many weeks' journey through wood and waste.
Standing there waiting for them are two or three
men with big gaffs in their hands. Selecting a
log, they strike their gaffs into it, drag it to the
foot of a little ladder, attach a hook to it, a wheel
grates and goes round, and the dead tree slides
up the ladder, passes through the jaws of certain
great steel instruments, and in three minutes is
ready cut and trimmed humdrum everyday
12-inch boarding. A cent a foot for the pine
that has grown a hundred years in God's free air
and sunlight; listened to the throbbing of the
breezes in its branches, to the roar of the  falls LETTER III.
below, or the live thunder among the mountain
peaks. I felt sorry as I looked, and almost angry
that the pine's majestic beauty should be sacrificed and turned to such humble uses.
Ottawa, I believe, is gay enough in its season ;
it   looks bright even in   the dead  time during
o ©
which we visited it ; but, of course, when the
House is not sitting, OttawTa sleeps. The little
town (for she has only 40,000 inhabitants as yet)
has a very English tone about her, and is right
«/ © * ©
loyal to the sovereign who gave her her preeminence among Canadian pities.
Even the flowers round Parliament Buildings
were so trained in this year of Jubilee as to spell
with their blossoms a loyal greeting to our Queen.
On leaving Ottawa we settled down steadily to a
week's railway travelling, more or less. ' No more
stoppages ' between this and Vancouver was our
watch-word. My husband was tired of hotel
life and pining for barbarism. All men, Lena,
revert quite naturally to barbarism, and I honestly
believe, were it not for our benign influence and
the necessity of providing payment for milliners'
bills, etc., a great many of them would even
sacrifice their clubs for the supreme pleasure of
working with their hands in the open air rather
than indoors with their heads. And really, seen
from a comfortable Pullman car, this war of man 32
with Nature in her very wildest moods looks
wonderfully noble and attractive. I would myself much rather be a slave and have someone
to look after my comforts and be responsible for
my daily bread; but for anyone who loves
absolute freedom and is strong enough to survive
in such a state, earning allhe wants by his own
unaided exertions, this pioneer life in America
must be perfect. I don't wonder at the pioneers
holding their heads high ; at their little boys,
hardly old enough to play marbles, carrying six-
shooters and talking like men ; for though you are
not making a fortune, it is something to feel that
the house you live in, you built; if it wants repairing, you or the boys must repair it (no
plumbers or carpenters to send for here) ; the
fields you till, you reclaimed ; the bread you eat,
you grew ; and that though from your doorway
to the sky-line -there is no neighbour's house,
though the prairie stretches like a vast untenanted ocean round your tiny cottage, you are
in yourself strong enough to live there, unaided,
self-supporting, ' boss of your own show,' as they
quaintly phrase it.
On leaving Ottawa the C. P. R. has at first
to force its way through a land of dense forests
and lakes. Inside the Pullman car all is luxury;
outside is Nature in her most rugged mood,   The
cars are on cradle springs, and rock evenly as
they rush along the line. Lying in a cosy bed,
I drew up the blind of the window which ran
beside my pillow, and as I dozed away looked
out upon the wild Canadian night. The tall
telegraph-poles, just noticeable here and there
amongst the forest trees, were (in those first few
hours en route) the only things beyond the line
to remind me that man and nature had yet met
in the districts we were traversing. Forests
rugged, gray, and stunted, swept through at no
distant date by fires ; streams fighting for a passage through the rocks, or crawling sluggishly
through the muskeg (peat); night mists rising'
from river and lake, and a long pennon of our
smoke floating over all in the moonlight—these
were the things I saw as I lay dozing, or which
wove themselves into my dreams, while the airbrake  sighed,  and  the  engine screamed like  a
© * ©
banshee, flying through the night from Ottawa
to Nipissing. An inviting outlook, perhaps, for
the hunter, angler, lumberer, or miner, but surely
there is no room here for the settler. No
human courage, I thought, could tame this wilderness; but I was wrong. Daylight showed me
towns where men seemed busier than they are
at home, where houses were being built out of
the trees just felled to make room for them ;
1 wm
where everyone seemed, if I may coin a phrase,
to be working a quicker stroke than in the old
country. How.they earn their bread I cannot
tell ; but I suppose this region between Ottawa
and Lake Nipissing owes more to the saw-mill
than to the plough ; at any rate, no one seemed to
have time to go about informing the world that
S they'd got no work to do, and Eng-i-land, poor
old Eng-i-land, is agoing down the 'ill,' as I heard
the men doing at home before I left.    All the
first day we were whirled at about the rate of
twenty miles an hour through trapper-land, where
until lately the only sign of civilization was at
some Hudson Bay Company's post, whose agents
gathered together year by year the fur harvest
of the red men—hunters who, after a long summer
7 ©
of idleness, used to turn out into the woods in
winter, with the thermometer sometimes forty
degrees below zero, and earn by their hard work,
abstinence, and exposure some 1,300 dollars
apiece to spend in. many-coloured blankets for
their squaws, and whisky, when they could get it,
for themselves. We saw a few of the redskins
at the stations—painted beauties of the Ojibbe-
way persuasion, engaged in earnest endeavours to
pass off cows'-horns neatly polished as horns of
the buffalo of the plains. It is quaint to see two
or three of these women wrapped in red and mmmm
yellow blankets, their faces coloured as brightly
as their blankets, feathers in their hair, and a
papoose on their back, followed by a squalid,
washed-out-looking chief in an old stove-pipe hat,
coat, and pantaloons, shuffling along in boots very
much down at heeh
You must not expect me to take you along the
line and describe every place as it occurred, or
even every district. The people in the cars were
far too interesting to allow of my making notes,
and I can only give you some sort of general
picture from memory. My impression is, that
for two days we traversed forests stunted by cold
or withered by fires, amongst which the ground-
maples and dog-wood glowed with colour, repeated every now and then on huge boulders of
gneiss and granite. Here, in spite of nature, we
came now and again upon a spot whereon the
railway navvy's hut had remained and grown to
a poor cottage, round which long strips of half-
cleared land and a hundred or two of charred
stumps marked the first step in the founding of
a new town. Further on we came upon a town
of newly-built frame-houses, looking somewhat
drearily out of blindless windows into the forest
round them. Hard bronzed men, axes in hand,
blue-frocked Chinamen, and an Indian or two,
were at work still building the young city.    A
3—2 36
girl alighted here from the train, fresh from the
comparative civilization of some town of five
years' older growth. Her dress showed she had
just come from the great world. A pair of white
silk gloves reached to her elbows, and (Heaven
forgive her !) she wore an ' improver.' But the
gentleman in flannel shirt and cowboy hat, with
enormous moustaches and eyes which must have
come from Ireland, was not appalled even by the
dress-improver, but just dropped his axe, removed
his pipe, and received the wanderer into his
sinewy brown arms with an energy discomposing,
I fancy, to the improver, but satisfactory to its
happy possessor.
This was the second stage. The navvy's hut
had become the centre of a small town ; one
man's pluck and labour had drawn others round
him, and springing, in a few years, from the
same small source may rise a Chicago or a Vancouver. Who can tell ? Mushrooms do not
grow as fast for their size as these Western
Then we plunged into the region of lakes.
First we came upon a little one, Lake Nipissing !
Look at it in the map. Compared to Lake
Superior, it is as a grain of barley to the bowl of
a table-spoon. But Nipissing is 90 miles by 20.
Not such a drop in the ocean, after all. —-rimm
Round and about these lakes the line turns,
skirting their shores, which may teem with game,
but certainly are very scantily peopled by man.
For 300 miles from Cartier to Heron Bay,
the forests belong to the deer, the lakes to the
fish alone. Man has hardly yet explored this
section of country, unless it be some wandering
redskin or daring white hunter.
What a land this is for an angler !    All along
© ©
the line lie tiny lakes like gems among the timber.
1/ © ©
On half of them probably no birch-bark canoe has
ever floated—no fly ever been thrown. There is
always a mystery and romance about fishing new
water, you are so uncertain as to what the
shadowy bays among the weeds may contain.
But here all.the charm is doubled. If we could
have done it, my husband and I would dearly
have liked to stay at one of these pools, and
match the supple strength of an ' Ogden' against
the rush of the monsters which dwell in the
shadow of those pines.
Several times during the journey good ' takes'
of fish were put on board the train by men who
make a business of supplying the dining-cars.
The trout they offered for sale ran from three to
twelve pounds, and were excellent eating.
Among these Canadian lakes you cannot help
feeling that it is not far to the Arctic regions of 38
Hudson's Bay. Everything is so solemn, almost
sad. Looking back upon Lake George from the
shores of Lake Superior, the contrast between
the tawdry gaiety of the one—its big hotels,
painted pagodas, gay boats, and everlasting steam-
whistle—and the grandeur of the other's loneliness is very striking. From the lakes we emerged
through woods growing hourly more sparse and
dwarfed, upon the black, damp-looking lands
round Winnipeg. At first, they tell me, these
lands were thought too wet and heavy to be
valuable ; now they find that only such lands as
these   will   hold   sufficient   moisture through  a
summer drought. During the boom, an acre
near Winnipeg sold at from 50 to 100 dollars,
and the result of these prices is seen on all sides.
There are pastures, but very little stock; farmers,
but comparatively little farming. That, at any
rate, was our impression, though Winnipeg people,
after their wonderful growth from a village to a
o ©
people of 30,000 strong in-five years, are not all
inclined to admit that this is so. Others, though,
will tell you that those who hold land have
beggared themselves to buy it in the hope of a
rise, and are now paying rates and taxes on it
out of their other sources of income rather than
let it go at a loss.
From   Winnipeg westwards the landscape is LETTER III.
an unbroken sea of silky yellow grass or arable
land. A few white farms far off the line, or a
clump of hay-ricks, may now and again break
the level of the horizon ; but the land seems to
have no feature but immensity, no character save
loneliness. What it lacks in outline, Nature has
made up to it in colour. Golden sunlight seems
to dwell forever in the soft prairie grasses curtseying in endless ripples before the prevailing wind.
The round, small lakes at which the buffalo
used to water are bluer than amethyst in the
sun ; here and there the alkali round some larger
pond glistens like burnished silver, and as we
look forward along the perfectly straight pathway
of the line, a great red sun conies down in glowing splendour, touches the white cottage of the
pioneer, and decks its meanness with golden
purple, and sinks in a flood of colour right between the rails. In the morning we are by the
Saskatchewan at Medicine Hat. There is wilder
scenery beyond, but none which struck me as
being ruder. Surely here Nature must have
made her first essay, flat mud, yellow and uncovered with herbage, rolling as far as the eye
can see under yellow^ sunlight. A monotonous
river and a few Indian teepees alone vary the
outlook for half a day.
The next day we passed through the land of
i— 40
the cattle kings ; passed Calgary ; wTere visited by
the North-West police—as smart men, my dear,
and as soldierly, as any who carry sword or musket
—and then began to climb the Rockies.   It is just
as well that some parts of the journey are done
at night, for if there were any people with nerves
on board, the views, however picturesque, would
be  too much   for them.     Trestle  bridges over
canons of infinite depth sound very well, but it
makes your hair stand on end to look at them.
Railway trains which appear to curl round the
edge of precipices on one wheel, the other being
over an abyss, are interesting when you are not
in them.    At first I was decidedly nervous.     By-
and-by this wore off, and I enjoyed sitting on the
step behind the last compartment, one foot dangling over the edge of a precipice, at the foot of
which a mighty river boiled along unheard, or
forests of great trees were dwarfed into insignificant larch plantations.    Upwards, ever upwards,
we went, getting slower and slower until the top
was reached, and we were fairly in wonderland,
passing along a frozen plateau through an avenue
of snow-capped peaks.     ' Surely these are  not
the highest peaks we shall see ?' I asked, pointing
to Mount Stephen, a grand cluster of sharp peaks,
but not   near  enough to .heaven for my  ideal
monarch of the Rockies. LETTER III.
'You forget, madame, you're 5,800 feet above
sea-level yourself at the present moment.'
I apologized and acknowledged that that was
an enormous height for a railway line to attain
to, but I rather agreed with my husband's growl :
' That only makes it about 13,500 feet altogether,
and I don't call that much of a mountain.'
Having traversed the Rockies, we crossed the
Selkirks—a far wilder-looking chain than the first,
swooped down into the flat country again, knocked
the inside out of our engine against a boulder on
© ©
the track, had a car or two run off the line, but,
thanks to the excellent air-brakes, and a clever
and watchful pilot, came to no worse harm than
a few hours' delay ; were then, in recognition of
our valour, turned into a ' special,' which ran at
an increased rate of speed over places which would
have shaken less seasoned nerves, almost ran into
a splendid stag on the line above the Thompson,
and then stopped outside a tunnel while the line
was relaid, and a trestle bridge repaired which
connected two short tunnels in the cliff overhanging that grand river. But for this stoppage,
due to the vigilance of the line-watcher, wTe
should have taken a header of several hundred
feet into the river. After this the lands grew
level and more level, the timber thicker and ever
larger and larger, until   we were  amongst the A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
giant pines of the Pacific coast at the newest
of new towns, Vancouver. Thence a pleasant
eight hours by steamer through still waters, set
with hundreds of pine-grown islands, and enlivened by a surprising number of peculiarly
familiar whales, brought us to the haven of rest
7 ©
from which I am dating this letter. Altogether
the journey can have no parallel, Lena, in the
world. Made when we made it, in the cars you
suffer neither from heat nor from cold. Your
only regret is that the scenery outside is so
superb, that you cannot devote enough attention
to your fellow-passengers, and your fellow-
passengers so amusing that they distract your
attention from the scenery. One of my friends
en route was a lady from Washington Territory,
going back after a visit to Lower Canada.
Years and years  ago she had been one of the
V ©
passengers in an ' emigrant train' (of waggons
drawn by mules) across the country of the
Blackfeet, a land in which she guessed 'your
back hair generally felt pretty loose.' She had
come to Washington Territory when quite voung
(before it was a territory, I believe, if anywhere
in America is ever as young as that), ' to grow
up with the country.' And she had grown up
with it, but her ideas were somewhat conservative (and I thought sensible) for all that.    Three LETTER III.
years back she told me they enfranchised the
women of Washington Territory, and now they
were trying to disfranchise them again, ' and I
hope,' said ' my friend, ' that they'll succeed.
Why, now they make us do all manner of things ;
sit on juries in all sorts of cases, however bad
they are, along with the men. Some of the
women like it; I don't. If you've got a child
two years old or under, you are exempt from
serving; but very few claim their exemption.
You see, women get three dollars a day for
serving, and some of them like a law court
better than a theayter, and bring their baby
along rather than stay away. I was called on
the Chinese riot case, but the marshal, who
found me cleaning the kitchen-floor, let me off
Some of the people on board were charmingly
simple and unaffected, knowing very little of the
old world—men and women who had been so
busy all their lives making a new world, that
they had had no time to look back at the old.
Others were so widely travelled and deeply read
that no land seemed untrodden, no book unread
by them. Domestic life in your own little house
in England, with your own little cares and your
own snug pleasures, is very comfortable, Lena ;
but just now I feel as if it were all very small. 44
I believe half of us want shaking up and sending
out to these new lands which are our beautiful
birthright. If it. was not that we feared our
friends would find the cause of our emigration
in home failure, how many of us would have
been off long ago to the land of promise ! You
must come with us another year to this world of
giants : look for yourself on these last desolate
fastnesses of Nature, assailed by the coming of
man, where, though we no longer build our tower
of Babel to the sky, we drive our steam-horses
to the mountain's top ; see it as I see it now
again in memory, snow on the ground, mist in
the night air, through which, from the boulder-
strewn mountain-side, rise tall stiff pines and
dark funereal hemlocks. Silence reigns, and the
bear and wild big-eyed mountain beast are alone
in the forest and the night.
But the moonbeams fall on other tracks than
the bear's in the snow. Straight as a bird's
flight runs the narrow trail, straight from east
to west it runs, and the moonlight glistens on
* © ©
the iron rails. Anon a wild shriek wakes the
echoes, weird and long drawn and full of agony,
wilder than the wolf's howl, more weird and shrill
than scream of panther or redskin on the warpath. Through the mist a vast bulk approaches,
like the body of some great serpent.    A beast of LETTER III.
iron drags it from in front, a beast of yet larger
size propels it from behind. Like the Cyclops,
each beast has one vast red eye in his forehead ;
his hot breath reddens the surrounding gloom ;
©   © *
the throbs of his great heart break the stillness
as he labours with his mighty load ; the Sisyphus
of the Canadian Pacific is enduring his ever-recurring  toil : frightening   the   red  deer   in   his
© g © ©
couch, and leaving behind him no trace but one
long plume of smoke trailing down the night
Ah, I think I had better stop. If I go on
thinking of that journey I shall begin to write
poetry, or commit some other atrocity against
which you will very rightly rebel.
Au revoir.
Sept., 1887.
Dear Pat,
Forgive me for disappointing you. This
huge letter is not from -a solicitor, and, in spite
of the blue envelope, has nothing to do with law.
No letter, I think, ever travelled between points
so different "as the starting-point and goal of this
one. Here, thank God, is barbarism and fresh
air. and sunlight; with you civilization, and, I
suppose, fog ; though really, what with Mrs. C.'s
objection to window-cleaning, and the mole which
the benchers have builded between us and the
tennis-courts, the question of fog or sunshine is
not one which need interest us much.
Hurl those musty law-books across the
chambers, and for ten minutes try to imagine
that you are with your chum in British
' Four cock pheasants, four grouse, ten quail; f
total, eighteen head—not bad for Victoria, eh,
my boy ?' quoth Charlie V, a week ago, as he
unloaded himself before his admiring wife and
myself in the back kitchen, while the smug little
V ©
Chinaman said a savage but silent swear at the
mess Charlie was making.
' You had much better stay here with your
wife, and come up duck-shooting later on, instead
of going all the way to the Ashinola country,' he
continued : and for a moment, when I thought
* ©
of the terrible crowd who had gone before and
were coming after me, I almost consented to
remain, for Charlie's ways are seductive, and his
cooking distinctly excellent.
I had come about 6,000 miles to try a country
of which I had heard four vears ago, and on
arrival was told that there wTere two parties of
Americans already ' in,' that others had preceded them and come out, that at least one
party of Englishmen were making their way to
my happy hunting-grounds from a point further
east, and the greater part of the officers of
H.M.'s Navy intended to follow shortly.
Things certainly did not look promising, but
some people hate to change their plans, and I
am of this sort; so that dinner over, and the last
cigar smoked, I belted on my smaller impedimenta, shouldered my rifle, put my tent in a cab, A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
and at 1 a.m. was on board the boat for Vancouver. Here I divested myself of that badge
of civilization, a collar, wound a comforter round
my neck, and prepared to settle down to the
enjoyments of barbarism. But I was not free
yet. A friend arrived, and begged ere the boat
started to be allowed to introduce two brother
sportsmen. Good fellows they were, too ; but
why brother sportsmen ? Surely there is no one
to whom you feel less fraternally inclined than to
' that other fellow' who happens to be going to
shoot at the very spot you had marked for yourself at the very moment at which you mean to
visit it.
Of course, these two ' brothers' were going to
/ © O
the Ashinola country, but luckily by another and,
it seemed to me, slower route. I parted with
them at Hope, a station not ill-named as far as
we were concerned, for as our train rushed
towards it we saw a young black bear scuttle
off the ' track' into the forest, a sight which we
7 ©
accepted as a good omen for our trip. At Hope
a wooden shed and platform stand alone beside
the rails ; around. is forest; below, a broad bend
of the Frazer River; beyond, an amphitheatre of
mountains, grim and forbidding, sparsely clothed
with the gray stems of pines, blasted by fire or
frost; while on the other side the river a few LETTER IV.
wooden houses peer out timidly from the edge of
the timber.
I was the only passenger who alighted at
Hope. For a moment the great engine drew
up. Friends bundled my tent and belongings
out after me, gave me a farewell grip of the
hand, the engine whistled and hurried off into
the forest, leaving me alone on the wrong side of
the river. The last glimpse of civilization was
the tail-board of the train, as it swung round a
rocky bluff, with a certain old soldier-lord upon
it, bare-headed, wTaving a cheery adieu to me, his
chance acquaintance. May Canada never see a
worse sample of our army than that keen, kindly
sportsman ! When I turned round, the nearest
approach to a human being in sight was a Siwash
postman. A little pantomime, in which the
leading parts were taken respectively by a 5 0 cent
piece and my luggage, then ensued. At the end
of it the Siwash shouldered my baggage, and
pocketed my 50 cent piece, and anon paddled
me across the broad Frazer to the town, his fare
sitting humbly at the bottom of the canoe, and
carefully tying the rifle to the seat in case of
Before leaving Victoria, I had telegraphed to
Mr. Wardle, the local magistrate at Hope, to
get me, if possible, horses.and guides.    On arrival
4 5°
I found Mr. Wardle, a stalwart Anglo-Saxon, in
his shirt-sleeves, proprietor and manager of the
large store which supplies the inhabitants of a
hundred miles of mountain and forest with all
they want, from photographs to flour.
The canoe ground against the shingle; we
stepped out into the middle of the grand
promenade of Hope, dropped our bundles in
front of W.'s store, said ' how do ye do' to the
crowd of seven collected to meet us, and were at
once in the heart of Hope society and fashion.
In another ten minutes my guide arrived, a tall,
gaunt, white man of many summers, named S.,
together with his half-breed son, my future cook.
Long practice in camping - out expedited our
arrangements considerably, and by nightfall
stores were bought, horses secured, wages contracted for, and even some of our bales packed.
' Start to-morrow at ten sharp,' were the last
words at parting that night; and in spite of the
nods and winks of his neighbours, jealous at S.'s
luck in getting the job, the old man was not
drunk next day, his horses were not missing, and
we were only two hours late in starting.     If you
© V
want things  done promptly on the march, you
must not loaf yourself, but bear a hand and urge
on all preparations to the very last in person.
See everything ' fixed,' and then no last glasses ! LETTER IV.
Swing yourself into your saddle and ride on ; the
men may dwell five minutes, but if they see the
' boss' has gone they will soon follow. And so
I found it, for hardly had I lost sight of Hope
and entered the forest, when I heard the trot of
my baggage - animals, and the jangling of the
leader's bells. In all my other shooting or
exploring expeditions, I have travelled light
and gone hungry. On this occasion I was
determined to ' do ' myself well. For the benefit
of any who want to know how to arrive at similar
comfort en route to their shooting-grounds, I
offer the details of my equipment. I am bound
to confess I look upon my outfit as luxurious
in the extreme, but as a party of Americans
preceded me, with a squadron of baggage-
horses bearing ' light groceries/ including champagne and a mahogany night-commode, my own
seemed to the guide of Spartan simplicity by
With me I had a man and a boy, three horses
for packing, and three for myself and the men to
ride; two tents (a big one for them, and a little
one for me), two axes, two frying-pans, a teapot,
together with stores, of which I annex a list. It
is Mr. W.'s bill, and gives a fair idea of stores
necessary for .four people for a month, and the
cost thereof.
4—2 52
1 sack flour, $1 63 c.
6 cans yeast powder, 25 c.
241b. spice roll bacon, 18 c.
2 tins 31b. lard, 50 c.
251b. granulated sugar, 10 c.   .
2 2lb. tins coffee, 75 c.
2 lb. tea, 50 c.
1 can pepper, 25 c.; 2 sacks salt, 20
3 packets matches, 25 c. .
1 bottle Worcester sauce, 40 c.
101b. onions, 7J c.  .
101b. beans, 5c.
61b. dried apples, 18 c.    .
2 packets tobacco, 50 c.   .
1 axe, $1 50 c.
3 bottle sweet oil, 25 c.   .
4 flour sacks, 40 c.; 2 yards berlass
2 grain sacks, 30 c..
1 pair gloves, $ 1
50 c
S   c.
$21 33
It was September 25th when I rode out of
Hope on my buckskin pony, the maples and other
shrubs glowing like red embers with autumnal
colour from among ruinous gray boulders or
the cool shadow of the pines. The cedars
were alternately red and green, their needles
dying slowly ere they fell, while here and there
a mammoth pine reared its two hundred feet of
height towards heaven, ending more often than
not in a dead-white branchless spire.
Along the track there was absolute silence,
*g ■■■ ■'■
except for the chatter of a chipmunk, saucily regarding us from the end of a hollow log, or the
call of a crested grouse, flirting its tail in air as
it strutted unconcernedly out of our way. Once
only we met a man, type of the men who have
peopled these wildernesses, a tall, fair-bearded
giant, in dark blue flannel shirt and canvas
trousers, striding along, rifle in hand. As capr
tain of a lumberers' camp he had saved a little
money, and was now returning from a walk of
nearly two hundred miles, taken alone without
blankets, through mountain and forest, for the
purpose of finding a bit of country fit for a ranche
for himself and two other Scotchmen, his brothers.
Sometimes, of course, he came across Indians or
a pack-train ; as often as not he met neither ;
and then, putting on the coat he had carried all
day, he lit a fire and slept wherever he felt inclined to rest, sleeping as happily by the roadside
as the Londoner in his hotel. Our halting-place
the first night was at the ' fourteen-mile' house, a
rough log cabin, kept by a white man of solitary
tastes and sanguine temperament. Sanguine he
must have been, for he only charged us two shillings per head ; except packers he hardly had a.
dozen guests per annum, and he expected to make
his hotel pay ! Down below the cabin was a
swamp ; low land untimbered, with a few sal-lal A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
bushes about it, and through it dawdled the
slowest of streams—a stream, however, whose
waters were clear and pure in spite of the milky
blue colour which spoke of their glacial origin.
This stream, they told me, contained trout, though
they had not been rising lately. The first cast
in one of the pale blue pools showed me that
•there were fish there worth having and willing
© ©
to be had. As the flies went out over the first
pale blue pool, its surface wTas troubled, and as
they lit, two great trout came half-way out of
the "water for them, felt the steel in their lip,
and, before I had recovered from my surprise,
had smashed my trace, and carried off two very
old lake-trout flies to the bottom. I lost two
more old Norwegian flies which had long lain
rotting in my book before I took the hint that
good fish, however simple and confiding, require
good tackle, and in accordance with that sound
theory, selected a reliable new fly from the scratch
lot which I had put up before starting, and settled
seriously to my work. The wild salmo fontinalis
of the cascades may smash the gut and make
light of flies bought years ago in some shop at
Bergen or Trondhjem, but an alder of Ogden's
make is another matter. I admit I am an enthusiast, and pig-headed about that fly, but I
have reason to be.    When the green drake is on LETTER IV.
on our own chalk-streams, and the fish are almost
too dainty to take the natural fly, let the light
wings of a big Fairford alder go by, and you
have him. In the still evening, when the big
fish feed in the Calm broad waters, sink and draw
your alder gently towards you, and just as it
nears your feet, a mighty rush will set your heart
throbbing and your reel screaming. So it was
here. In a moment I was into a big fellow, and,
ye gods ! how he fought! how savagely he headed
for an unpromising looking stake, whose broken
end rose from the other side of the pool ! But
the gut held, and at last I piloted him safely
through   the   sunken   logs   and    boughs   which
© o ©
fringed the edge of the pool, and knocked him
on the head, first of two dozen, whose rosy sides
glistened that evening on the pebbles behind me.
At last one fellow, whose quiet rises had long
drawn my attention, broke the top of my rod,
tied me round the stake which had imperilled
every fish I had hooked, and broke the only
alder but one in my possession. So I carried
my spoils up to the hut, and shared their bright
yellow flesh with certain young Englishmen who
had just arrived from the country whither I was
wending my way. With them was an old trapper
named Chance, who had learnt the country- as a
gold-miner and prospector, and had just piloted A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
them out from the mountains, amongst which
they appeared to have had no sport, and to have
been lost. But they were philosophers, ' could
not expect anything better the first time,' admitted that they had shot badly, and altogether
took their bad luck in a way which augured well
for their success should they ever try again. The
one thing that stuck in their throats was that in
the last ten miles they had been walking with
Chance ahead of their train, without their rifles,
when, of course, they met a black bear sunning
herself on the trail. When she saw them she
moved off very leisurely to the woods, while they
went back for their shooting-irons, old Chance
going on slowly. On their way to rejoin him
they met Chance, very anxious indeed to see
them again, having run up against a ' bald-faced '
grizzly directly after they left him. Being
anxious to go by, he shouted and threw a ' rock'
at the bear, who came down on all fours, and
trotted quietly towards the trapper, rather in a
spirit of careless inquiry than of anger. As
Chance put it, ' When I saw him climb down,
you bet I climbed up and put for camp,' where
he arrived scared and out of breath. I don't
know whether the Englishmen with Chance quite
believed his story, but I frankly confess I did
not; and when he advised me to climb a tree if I LETTER IV.
met a ' bald-faced 'un,' I was sorely afraid I
should never have a chance of following his
advice. However, I started next morning some
time before my men on the young buckskin mare
which old S. said was a good one, but not
bridle-wise (i.e., broke), in the hope that perchance, if I kept out of earshot of the bells of the
pack-train, I might at least meet skymaquist (the
black bear), even if his cousin kheelounha (the
grizzly) should not honour me with an interview.
The trail through the Hope Mountains leads
through heavily-timbered gorges, at the bottom
of which run mountain-streams, while above you
rise the peaks towards which climb dense forests
of cedar and pine.
At first I trotted along a good level road
through a low wood of young timber, through
which the morning sun shone cheerily. From
time to time my horse and I even indulged in a
canter from pure good spirits, and to get away
from the bells. Here and there we passed old
camping-grounds, where packers or cattle-men
had made a night of it.
Grouse flustered up among the trees by the
roadside ; the stream below glittered as it ran,
the snow on one high peak gleamed like silver in
the sky, and the sun glowed through the maple-
leaves as if they were red wine. A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
Anon we entered a gulch, leading ever lower
and lower down the canon. The trees closed
over us, the sun was shut out, and with it light
and colour. The change was very marked. The
silence seemed oppressive, there wTas no stir of
animal life, and both my spirits and the horse's
became distinctly chastened. Men are like children,
and horses like both : their courage rises in the
sunlight and ebbs in the dark.    The road at last
took a turn under a steep moraine, on whose
gray side the frosts and damps of midnight
seemed to hang from ' everlasting to everlasting,'
O © ©'
while round it fire and ice slide had worked grim
chaos among the old pine-trees. We were distinctly depressed here, my horse and I, when
suddenly the only ray of sunlight which had ever
invaded this ' dark profound ' struck on a brown
mass in ■ the path in front of us, not ten paces
from Buckskin's nose. Silently it rose upright,
making (as far as I could hear) no sound at all.
Buckskin simply sat down, her forelegs stuck
straight out and her ears pricked, frozen with
fright. Like a stage demon the grizzly had risen
from the path in front of us without warning of
any sort, and, for a moment, I considered the
question of flight, and the improbability of anyone in my little world at home being any the
wiser if I bolted.    However, it was easier to get
© gmr^9>
off and shoot, so I dismounted, put my arm
through the bridle, and prepared to take a
solemn pot-shot at the old rascal who was
stopping the Queen's highway, standing up, right
on end, in the orthodox fashion of the storybooks. This, I confess, astonished me, for having
shot a good many bears ' of sorts,' and having
never seen one do this before, I had until that
moment thought grizzly's uprightness a good
deal overrated. But my deliberate movements
were too much for ' old Ephraim,' who promptly
came down from his post of observation, and
before I had time to fire, gave one quick lurch,
and was gone into the bush, as quickly and as
silently as if he had been only a British bunny
caught sitting in the sunlight on a woodland ride
at home ; and all that was left of him was a little
column of yellow dust curling up into the ray of
sunlight in which he had been dozing. Not
being young enough to attempt to follow the
bear into the thicket (having once, long ago,
nearly lost my life by such folly), there was
nothing to be  done but to get back into the
© o
saddle, whence I could see over the little jungle,
wait for my pack-train, and watch for a chance
of a shot in case the bear should try to break
away. By-and-by, after what seemed an age, I
heard the  bells of my laggard train, and  saw 6o
them file out one by one from the timber on the
way to where I stood. A low whistle sent their
heads up, and a few hurried words explained the
state of affairs to old S., who was to keep the
train at his end of the thicket, and, if possible,
turn the bear in my direction. The first shout
roused the bear, who strolled out on to the
moraine opposite to me with the greatest nonchalance, and was, I think, going to sit down to
have a better look at us, when a bullet from my
express caught him in the ribs and rolled him
over. I was on the horns of a regular dilemma
when the bear broke covert. If I dismounted
I could not see to shoot over the bushes, whereas,
if I fired from the saddle, S. warned me that the
young mare was not 'bridle-wise,' not used to
having shots fired, and would buck me down the
canon to eternity. Reflecting that, at any rate,
if bucked into eternity I should at least be safe
from the bear, I dropped the bridle on the mare's
neck, and turning round in the saddle, took a
good steady shot at him. The moment he felt
the lead he dropped, and then came round with
a snarl which sounded like mischief. But the
gallant little mare stood firm as a rock, enabling
me to put another bullet in, which frustrated any
amiable intentions our friend may have had, and
The men gave a
compelled him to lie down. cheer at the result of the two shots, and we
watched a little anxiously while the bear stretched
his strong fore-arms in his last throes. As he
did so, a hollow growl or groan sounded in the
thicket behind us, eliciting from my old guide a
horrified exclamation of ' My God ! there's the
old one,' whilst for one moment I feared there
would be a general stampede from what was
really only the last effort in ventriloquism of a
dying bear. But the men stood, and next
moment we were laughing over the odd illusion,
while cautiously forcing our way through the
brake and up the moraine to our quarry. There
was a good deal of stoning done, to make ' quite,
quite sure' that he was dead ; and then we skinned
him, and set up his naked carcass as a warning
to his tribe, and an advertisement to other
travellers of our success. As we tugged away
at his skin, old S. gave a little lecture on natural
7 ©
history as known in the Hope Mountains, pointing  out,  amongst other things, that when dis-
© I © O     j
turbed by me the bear had been taking a
breakfast of white-willow berries, as an aperient
before turning  in for the winter, now close at
© |
hand. According to S., the bears are in the
habit of going through a regular course of medi-
© © © O
cine,   ending with large   doses   of dead   rotten
7 © ©
wood, taken to  stop and  counteract the effect 62
of the willow-berries, just before hybernation
actually begins. I tell these stories because I
think local traditions of the habits of game are
always worth listening to, even if you cannot
believe in all of them.
Good-bye;   the  packs are fixed, S.'s pipe is
lighted, and the train is moving off along the
© ' © ©
trail, while Buckskin is tugging at her tether and
7 ©©       ©
looking unutterable things at me, because I do
not invite her to join the march.
Thine, etc.,
Alison's Ranche.
Dear Pat,
Travelling with a pack-train is very
monotonous work, especially when your time is
limited, and a land full of great game, and therefore great possibilities of happiness, is before you.
It seems so ridiculous that the pack-animals
should not be able to do more than three miles
an hour ; so exasperating to see your men sitting
half asleep in their saddles ; to see some obstinate
brute of a pony calmly stopping the train in a
narrow place to nibble leisurely at the sparse
herbage, conscious of your inability to get at him.
But there are worse things  than these.     It is
afternoon, and you have ridden on very slowly,
determined to be quiet and endure the inevitable,
and enjoy the scenery. The year has as many
ways of dying as men have. Here the year's
death is a red one. Caught by the first chill of
winter in the full foliage of summer, the leaves, A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
instead of shrivelling and dropping one by one
in a sobbing November wind, burst into a crimson
glory, more beautiful in death than they were in
spring-time. There are no colours on the artist's
palette in which to paint the autumn foliage on
the Hope Mountains ; no words in the Anglo-
Saxon language in which to describe them. The
crimson of port wine against the light; the glow
of sunlit windows by Albert Dtirer ; the red glow
of embers in a frosty night—all these pale beside
the burning October bushes on the mountain-side,
lit by a late September sun, and vividly contrasted
with the sombre pines and gray ruins with which
they are surrounded. Of all these bushes the
brightest is the crimson sumach, but maple and
dog-wood and a score of others display the purest,
most transparent tints of every hue, from golden
rreen to royal purple. Summer dies here with a
smile, under clear skies which seem to bring
heaven very near, and then a wild wind sweeps
off the leaves at a coup, the snow falls thick and
heavy, covering all with its beautiful white
wreaths, and the year is dead, by a beautiful
' sudden death,' dead before it has got old and
feeble, sere and yellow, and the onlookers are
spared the dull yellow fogs, and the agony of
tears through which an English summer lingers to
its grave.    Dreaming of these things, and pray- LETTER V.
ing, perhaps unconsciously, that you may die the
death of the Canadian summer, while the blood
is still hot in your veins, with no long sick-bed
prelude, you have unconsciously got far ahead of
your train, though your pace has been the
natural walk of your pony. The bells are out
of earshot, and you rein up and wait on a little
bare patch by the river's bank. A quarter of an
hour passes by and you are tired of noting the
old camping-ground on which a generation of
packers has made its dampers, drawn the water
for its tea, and contentedly eaten its beans and
bacon; tired of scrutinizing the bear-tracks in the
river-bed, and frustrating your pony's attempts to
roll, when suddenly a storm of oaths and a furious
clattering of hoofs bursts on your astonished ear,
and the lean figure of old S., in his shirt-sleeves,
not smoking, dashes through the pines in pursuit
of that etc., etc.'d Buckskin, who appears to be
proceeding entirely on his forefeet like a performing dog. Between us, S. and myself stop, the
buckskin. S. has him by the head. I clear
out. How the old man holds on I can't conceive.    Long habit has something to do with it.
© ©
No one but a packer could live with that cayouse
five minutes. I can find no corner safe from his
heels. The brute appears in danger of parting
at his girths, so madly does he lash out.    At
last old S. is off his legs, and here comes Buckskin, his nose on the ground, and his heels like
twin comets flashing furiously all over the place.
How we ever stopped the brute I forget, but when
we did he had utterly worn himself out as well
as S. and myself, while his load was scattered
in quiet corners, down steep banks, and in thick
bushes along the trail for a mile and a half from
the point at which he stood shaking all over, the
sweat running off him, and his two captors too
dead beat to swear.
Whilst we wearily hunted for the wreckage of
what had once been a neat pack, the sun began
to sink behind the ridge, and when old S. had
given the last vicious tug to the diamond hitch
which bound the pack again to the saddle,
seven miles lay between us and our camp, and
barely an hour of daylight remained. And all
this because the smell of the fresh bear-skin had
been a little too much for the pony's nerves.
Nor was the weary ride in the dusk the end of
our trouble. Though we camped in the dark we
had failed to make our point, and the place at
which we set up our tent was a bare patch amid
the pines, a long way above the level of the
river, amongst the great boulders of which the
hapless beasts had to be turned out to look for
their supper.    At all times a bad camp, it was HHHBI
now (late in the season) worse than ever. Not
a blade of any green thing, not a root of any
hard scrubby weed offered even a bite sufficient
to tempt a goat or a jackass, and it was with
much misgiving that we set up logs and brush to
bar as far as possible the escape of our pack
animals from the cheerless quarters to which we
were obliged to consign them.    Then  ensued a
© ©
bad half-hour in which three men expended
much patience and many lucifers in hopeless
search for a dry tree to chop down, a kettle to
get water in, or a level place to pitch the tent
on. It is poor fun camping after dark on an old
much-used site, where all the dry wood has been
used, and we found it so. No one seemed sorry
when the chattering of the robber-birds made
us open our eyes to the pale pinks and blues of
an early morning sky, and the necessity of hunting ' them horses.'
After an hour's absence the old man came
back without them, croaking dismally. ' They
had gone back to Hope, and we would have to
follow them, or on to the bunch-grass of the
Ashinola, and then they were as good as lost to
us,' he guessed; but then we did not guess: we
knew by this time that our old friend wras no
Mark Tapley, so we left him to chop wood while
Charlie and I tracked the truants.    And a rare
5—2 68
chase we had, along that bare river-bed, through
woodfalls and thick scrub, always thinking we
heard the bell just ahead of us, only to find that
it was nothing more than the tinkling of a brook
amongst the stones which had misled us.    The
sun was a good half-way up the heavens before
Charlie's quick eyes descried the wanderers,
standing stock-still amongst gray logs and
boulders, looking sullenly in our direction, worn-
out, poor beasts! in a night-long search for supper.
It was no easy work getting the horses out of
the maze of fallen timber in which they had
involved themselves; but if you give him time
an unloaded cayouse will scramble over anything,
and once on the level track I drove them home
at a run which left the young half-breed panting
half a mile behind. That day we wound slowly
up and up by endless zigzags to the highest
point of the ridge, and had the infinite pleasure
of seeing the hills begin to fall away, until we
could almost fancy we looked down upon a level
sea of prairie and the broad, sparkling waters of
the Similkameen. But that was still a long day's
journey off, a day during which the trail wound
through wide park-like lands, clothed with excellent grass, and thickly studded with handsome
groups of bull-pine, while huge log fences suggested  here and  there   that  wild  though the LETTER V.
country looked, wandering members of the great
Anglo-Saxon family had nevertheless, even here,
marked out what they were pleased to call their
property with bounds and limits. Now and
again we came upon great corrals of high-piled
logs, and once upon a log-hut, of the roughest
and most primitive fashion, but labelled, none the
less, Similkameen Hotel. True, no one was in,
and the door was locked; but three pairs of
antlers, amongst the pressed meat-tins and other
rubbish round the hut, showed by their freshness
that someone had been there very recently. A
more perfect country for deer to winter in I
never saw, with ample food in the sun-dried
grasses, and shelter in the deep hollows, and
amongst the clumps of great trees. And its
looks do not belie it, for the man who lives at
the closed hotel, of which I just spoke, met me
afterwards, and told me that last winter he shot
ninety-four deer himself, though he did not
reckon himself much of a shot (and he was right
there), and did not trouble after them much.
'What did you do with them ?' I asked. ' Well,
I eat some little, and fed my hogs on the rest!'
From the crest of the ridge to the Ashinola the
horses were in clover, and soon became something
better than mere anatomical studies. On the
summit we found good feed, deep, rich grasses, 70
and a strong heathery growth, through which
dark burns crept slowly. Here, hot and weary,
I threw myself down, gave my mare, Dolly
Buckskin, her head, and watched the jolly little
beast revel in the sweet grasses. Poor dumb
pack-horses ! how we cursed them in the morning!
but who would not wander if sent supperless to bed?
Like the horses, we were beginning to tire of the
rations of the road, beans and bacon and damper,
and to speculate on what good things we should
find at Alison's store on the Similkameen.
As. we jogged sleepily along about mid-day a
distant roaring far up the glens caught my ear
from time to time and puzzled me. Gradually
the sounds got clearer, and I recognised the
lowing of cattle. Shuttleworth, too, heard it,
and came galloping to the front. ' That's E.'s
cattle coming, squire ; we shall have to clear off
the track and keep quiet.' Nearer and nearer
came the beasts, while we sat still and silent in
a clump of trees well off the track. Everything
on this trail must give way to the cattle. By-
and-by a bearded man in his shirt-sleeves came
along on a good-looking nag, closely followed by
two or three beasts, while little groups of three
and four forced their way, lowing and playing
through the bush by the side of the trail. The
man  kept  speaking  from  time  to time to the LETTER V.
beasts as if encouraging and reassuring them by
the sound of his voice. By-and-by he sighted
our party, and recognising S., asked him to give
some message for him at Alison's. The unfortunate S. seized the opportunity to ask if one of
the drovers could take our bearskin back to
Hope, and was promptly overwhelmed by a flow
of strong language, rich and varied in quality,
for his folly, as if the beasts knew his infernal
voice ! Did he want to scare the whole band
back to the Ashinola ? So difficult is it to ,get
these beasts to ' drive' quietly through this
timbered country that everyone has to treat
them with as much consideration as if they were
royal personages, instead of good-looking beasts
with a good deal of Hereford and shorthorn
blood in them, being driven by their owner (a
man worth several thousands a year) to Hope for
shipment to market. Ten to twelve miles a day
is all the cattle will do ; the distance they come
is about 100 miles, and a drive of this kind has
to be made from the ranche in question once a
fortnight all through summer. So that ranching
is not all beer and skittles. The cattle and the
pack-trains in the early, fall use the trail so much
that you rarely see game en route, even if your
bell  is not going, but at other times  deer are
© ©'
plentiful enough. m
Packing is one of the principal trades in these
remote districts, and many men, whites as well
as redskins, live by it in the summer months,
carrying provisions for the winter and stock-in-
trade to the different ranches and stores up
country. On our road we met pack-trains of all
sorts, mules and greasers, a redskin chief and his
cayouses, and even a train of Chinese Johnnies
in sky-blue combinations and pig-tails. It is a
lazy life, suited to the redskin and the Mexican, who begin the day with an hour's work
hard enough to be pleasant in the cool of the
morning, lashing on the multitudinous packages.
As each beast is fixed, and his head-rope neatly
coiled and fastened, he gets a gentle kick in the
barrel as a hint to clear out, and moves off for a
quiet browse until the rest are ready. By-and-
by the last is 'fixed,' and then for an hour the
pack-train moves lazily along, the men shouting
from time to time and smoking incessantly. At
the end of an hour the horses' barrels have grown
a trifle smaller, and in spite of all the hauling at
the ropes in the morning, some of the packs have
shifted a bit. So a halt is called, and the backsliders among the packs readjusted, the train
starts again, and probably gets through its day's
journey of ten miles without further interruption.
At four the train stops, the packs are taken off, LETTER V.
the horses turned loose to look after themselves,
the men begin baking and frying their bacon,
and at dark the camp is asleep. For this work
packers get nothing when going out ' light,' and,
at present rates, three cents a pound and ' grub
themselves' when loaded. The distances covered
vary from 100 to 150 miles, and they will pack
anything, from flour to furniture. Mule-trains
belonging to Mexican greasers do about ten or
twelve miles a day, while Indians and their ponies
do nearly double. A horse's load is from 200
to 300 lbs., and as a rule two men and a cook
with twenty horses compose the ' outfit.' Late
in the afternoon we came upon another class of
workers, sitting beside the trail where it ran close
to the river's edge, through a deep sandy soil.
A group, these, of quiet, inoffensive-looking little
fellows in blue, with rather ragged-looking pigtails, eating their wretched daily ration of rice
under a lean-to shelter of bark. All about them
were little holes and pits in the sand, as if
they had meditated burrowing away from the
rough white men who revile and molest them.
On being civilly addressed in pigeon English by
my guide, they huddled together like sheep, and
though they smiled upon us benignly, refused to
enter into conversation. Perhaps they could not
understand   S.'s   pigeon   English.     I   confess   I ■MM
could not. ' Washing for gold, that's their little
game, and they thought you wanted to collect
the tax ; that's why they would not talk,' said S. ;
adding, ' if we had been after the tax, we would
soon have got them to tip up, though.' ' How
so, S. V ' Why, squire, we should have just
taken the biggest Johnny and tied him up by his
pig-tail to a bough of the handiest tree, and the
gold would have come out before his hair did.'
Hard this, I thought, on the ingenuous Johnny ;
but S. had been a local policeman, and knew John
Chinaman well, and told me that some of the
most cruel murders he had ever heard of had
been committed by Celestials. What had S. not
been—this gray old man, with good manners
and universal knowledge, who quoted ' Horace'
correctly, quoted, too, from the Greek Testament,
wrote distinctly passable verses for local newspapers, was well up in military history, and
cooked my bacon and beans as well as he talked
Thompson River Indian, or Similkameen ? I
used to sit over the camp fire and wonder at the
old man's memory, as he talked of what he had
learnt at ' the shop' in the days before he got
his commission as a ' gunner,' before, too, he lost
all he was worth, and more, on the racecourse,
and came out here to marry a Thompson River
Indian woman, rear a dusky brood, drive a pack- LETTER V.
train, or run through the long months of winter
on snow-shoes  through the wildest districts as
Government postman. I suppose some of my
readers will throw up their hands and pity this
man, who might have done what the world calls
well in the old country ; and the only parson I
met who knew him spoke slightingly of the old
man because he lived with and kept to the squaw
whose children were his children. Those who
feel sorry for him may spare their pity, and the
parson remember that a marriage may be an
honestly performed contract, though not sanctioned in his little church ; for old S. is as jolly
as a sandboy, would not go back to civilization if
he could, and as he has just had a little money
left him, will probably end his days in all the
comfort he cares for, in a snug ranche up country.
Sober as a man need be, kindly and honest, old
S. is a gentleman all over, and though sometimes a trifle slow and very despondent, so that
he and I quarrelled hotly at times, a kinder
fellow never handled an axe or smoked a quarter
of a pound of tobacco daily.
As you near the Similkameen River the miles
vary in a way perplexing to the last degree.
One mile ridden dreamily at a foot's pace is got
over in thirteen minutes ; the next, over equally
d ground, ridden also at a walk, takes half an 76
hour. The fact is that the surveyor has not got
as far as this along the trail, and the mile-marks
have been the result of extremely casual guesswork among the natives.    But at last a broad
blue river between bold mud-bluffs smiles up at
you as you ride through the bull-pines of the last
upland, and in another half-hour the river is
forded, and we are at Alison's, a large single
house, built by the pioneers who dwell in it,
fenced about with rough snake-fences, and surrounded by three or four little log - cabins, in
which Chinamen or Indians dwell. Alison's is a
good sample of a pioneer's home, the centre of
a large but thinly peopled district. Upon the
bluff opposite you can just see a few yards of
snake-fencing. If you rode up to it, and then
followed it round, you would find I don't know
how many miles of it enclosing thousands of
acres of grazing-land, the pioneer's principal
wealth. By-and-by that may be as valuable as
land at home; at present it is only good to
graze the bands of cayouses which belong to the
station. The house itself is mostly devoted to
the purposes of a store, in which the boys or
their mother will serve you or the Indians with
sugar, blankets, or anything else you want.
Outside, at the moment at which our train
comes up, three of the boys (one about eighteen, LETTER V.
and the others little fellows ten years youno-er, I
should think) are busy roofing a log-hut with
shingles, and doing their work smartly and well.
When they have made the hut weather-proof, it
is to be used as a school-house, and someone
(I did not clearly gather who) was pledged to
send them a schoolmaster now and again to teach
the station children to read and write. That bit
of a boy, who looks hardly old enough for trousers,
will, when our horses are unloaded, catch and
saddle a pony for himself out of the band in the
corral, and then drive our beasts off to the
meadow for the night, and bring them in again
©        7 © ©
next morning.    What with' taking care of the
© ©
store, fencing fresh lands, breaking horses, building, etc., there is always plenty to do in the
summer for all of them; and in the winter there
are deer to be shot, and the young ones at least
while away the long evenings with story-telling,
the mother collecting the wild fairy legends of
the Indians, and dressing them in familiar language
for her children. The Indians themselves are
excellent story-tellers ; one old fellow whom I met
at Alison's telling me a bear-story with such
vivid pantomime, that though ' kheelounhaI
(grizzly) was the only word of his language
which I. knew, I had no difficulty in following
him.    Bear-stories  were  rather  the   fashion in the Similkameen district when I was there last
year, two Indians having been killed in the
neighbourhood by grizzlies within the month.
There was near Alison's one noted bear-hunter,
whom I was very anxious to obtain as a guide,
but unfortunately he was away. This man had
lost two brothers, killed by bears, and pursued a
regular vendetta against the whole family of
grizzly in consequence. It is not every Indian
hunter who hunts bears, and those who do make
a business of it, and they only, have any idea
where to look for bruin, who is about as difficult
to find, except. by chance, as any beast of the
chase I know. After all, old S.'s bear-story was
the best I heard ; I don't vouch for its truth.
Let the responsibility rest on the old man's
shoulders. He and (let us say) Seth Davis were
packing together in spring through the Hope
mountains. It was very early morning, and the
horses had strayed. Seth and the old man were
out looking for them. The horses they had lost
were eleven in number, and by-and-by Seth made
them out in the gray dawn, feeding on the slope
of a hill half a mile away. To get to this the
two men had to cross a canon and scramble up
a very steep bank immediately overlooking the
place where the horses were feeding. Very
much out of breath and out of temper, the two LETTER V.
scrambled up the bank, and Seth looked over.
Only for a moment, though; then with a serious
white face he turned and whispered to the old
man : ' S., we don't want them horses !' ' Don't
want 'em ! Why, aren't they ours ?' ' No,' said
Seth, ' I guess they aren't our horses ; they're
bars, blarst 'em ! grizzly bars ; let's git !' And
the two old packers ' got' in a peculiarly rapid
and stealthy manner as far as possible from the
family party of eleven grizzlies, which Seth had
mistaken for the pack animals.
At Alison's the first real difficulty met me ;
all the Indians were either away ' packing,' or at
a potlatch (i.e., tribal ' drunk'), and no guides
seemed likely to be forthcoming, unless it might
be a certain Tintinamous Whisht, a gentleman of
whom old S. had a very poor opinion. However, I was not to be daunted ; if the worst came
to the worst, I thought I could do without an
Indian, and the sight of a splendid mule-deer's
head, killed last ' snow' by Edie Alison, encouraged me to proceed. The head referred to
spanned 2 feet 4^- inches, inside measurement,
and numbered twenty-six good points.
On the day on which I reached Alison's we
made a capital drive of 27 miles, and though
hoarse and tired from the part I had taken in
the day's proceedings, I was well satisfied when we unsaddled at the ' Nine Mile Creek '—where
an Irishman and his half-breed wife dispense
hospitality to the pack animals, at the somewhat
exorbitant charge of 50 cents apiece for a graze,
or 1 dollar apiece for a feed. However, it was
no good grumbling, so we paid the money, or
rather gave a cheque for it upon Wardle's, and
then got the woman to cook us some supper. I
think I never came across a more miserable little
home ; the scenery stern, the place remote, our
hostess sulky and forbidding; the only servant the
most abjectly melancholy of Chinamen, who lived
in a ruinous wet old tent at the back of the
house, where were two bald, lonely, unkempt-
looking patches of ground set round with white
boulders, within which last year were buried the
woman's first family—her husband and little child.
The second husband of this lady landowner is
indeed a daring son of old Erin, and I wish him
luck. What astonishes the traveller here is,
that neither white nor Indian seems to do any
cultivation. All the labour is spent on fencing,
and when that is accomplished nothing more
seems to be attempted, so that really all the
settlers rely upon are these rough pastures for
their cattle and horses. Once only I came across
a potato patch ; and when, later on, the Admiral's
.party arrived,  I heard of an energetic ranche- LETTER V.
owner whose home was supplied with vegetables
of his own growing, and apples which California
could not beat.
And now my six-days' travel drew to an end,
and the valley of the Ashinola came in sight.
Two villages, named in recognition of their
industrial achievements the Potato Ranches, were
passed, with their heavy log-huts all empty, all
shut, glaring at the passers-by through little new
glass windows, which looked oddly out of place in
these wilds. Once we passed a graveyard, surrounded with new wooden palisades, and dominated by a tall cross of rough-hewn wood, which
looked as earnest and real as the piety of the
Catholic fathers who give their lives and wear
out their educated minds in teaching these remote
tribes of redskins.
Once, too, we passed another tomb of another
kind, a simple white tent, with the door open
and a flag flying, in which some chief was camping,
waiting until nature and the elements of air and
water should resolve his body again into the dust
from which he came.
Over long stretches of arid steppe-like land we
passed, on which land-turtles and porcupines and
a few grouse are found, and on which I discovered,
© J
to my sorrow, that a peculiarly thorny species of
cactus grows abundantly.    These pests are about
6 82
as large as pigeons' eggs, and grow in clumps,
which, being of the same colour as the ground,
are invisible. One of old S.'s jokes for many
a day, I doubt not, will be to describe how ' the
Squire,' as he used to call me, stepped on his
first cactus, and then, holding the injured moccasin
in the air for him to extract the thorny trouble,
plumped inadvertently down upon anything but
a bed of roses. To have what I once heard the
present Home Secretary describe, in the Nisi
Prius Court at Birmingham, as ' that cushion
which kindly Nature has provided for tired humanity' converted, at a moment's notice, into a
'pin-cushion,' is a little more than any man born
of woman can endure in silence; and I fear the
more S. laughed the more I ejaculated, and deeper
and deeper the iron entered into, my soul. When
at last we camped at the forks of the river, the
sky was full of rain ; clouds were round the peaks ;
no Indians were said to be in the village : it was
.©       7
only by digging out a site for our bed, inches
deep in the soil, that we could escape the
ubiquitous cactus; and altogether the barometer
of man and nature was decidedly ' stormy.'
Camp of the Winds.
Dear Pat,
When I finished my last letter, we were
all sitting miserably disconsolate in Cactus Camp,
the heavy rain-clouds threatening to drown us,
and no news of a guide for the morrow. The
only Indian in the village was sitting in his
miserable hut watching his little daughter die,
© © '
because there was no medical aid in reach, and
his small stock of remedies had long since failed
before the dread disease of which she lay dying.
While the stars were still in the sky, old S.
saddled his horse and rode -away; and at about
nine he came riding back, with a quaint little
figure on a flea-bitten gray by his side. In
another minute the first gleam of returning sunlight entered the camp along with my trusty
' gunner' and his captive, the typical Indian,
whose name was ' Tommy'—Toma, his friends
and relations call him—and if he is not a chief, he
6—2 84
is the brother-in-law of one ; but as you contemplate the little fellow in his blue canvas shirt, penny
straw hat, and gray Yankee trousers frayed into
a fringe round the ankles of his moccasins—as
you look at his brown dog-like eyes and merry
Mongolian little face, you forget the chieftain,
and instinctively christen him ' Tommy.' Tommy
was to me a revelation. Anything less like
Fenimore Cooper's dignified savage I have never
seen. From his dry, withered and hairless features
he might have been any age ; from the eager
animation  of his manner he might have been
sixteen or a Frenchman,    The Ashinola tongue
lends itself naturally to acting. When Tommy
began to talk, his voice was somewhere far away
down in the blue-shirt region; by-and-by it
ascended, and his utterance grew rapid, his words
short and close-clipped until he came to a very
big superlative, and then his eyes grew wide, and
he lingered whole seconds over the word, like an
Australian doing a ' cooey.' Unfortunately for
me, his noble relative, ' Ashinola John,' had told
him that the Englishman was in straits, and that
he could charge accordingly. As I liked the
look of the fellow, I yielded in part to his extortions, and in an hour's time we had cached our
superfluous baggage, and were on the way to
the sheep-grounds.    Where we cached our goods. f^m
was by the main highway of the district, and
' cached' by no means expresses what we did
with them, for there was no attempt at concealment, the things merely being put up in trees to
be more or less out of the' way of vermin. And
yet the untutored redskin and low-class Mexican
' greaser ' will leave them untouched, though he
needs them more than the tramp who would
certainly remove them if left by an English
roadside. The highest trial of honesty I ever
saw out West was on my way back from the
Ashinola. A bar (of timber) crossed the main
trail near an empty corral. Anyone coming
along the trail must stop and dismount to remove
the bar, and, doing so, come face to face with a
small glass bottle, labelled ' best French brandy,'
and apparently full of that excellent cordial. It
had obviously been put there for someone expected shortly on the trail, and as the thermometer was very low and the sleet very bitter,
I confess I had to look very earnestly in another
direction to avoid the temptation offered by
that neat little flask of bright amber fluid.
Whilst Tommy made his final preparations, I
got old S. to supply me with a dozen or so of
the most useful words in my hunter's dialect,
which I proceeded to study. In cruising about
the world after big game, you acquire the most 86
wonderfully polyglot vocabulary of hunting terms,
which at critical moments are apt to get mixed.
The patois of Switzerland, Little Russian, Lesghin
Tartar, German, Georgian, French, Chinook, I
have had to converse in all in turn; but I find
that in emergencies I always revert to Russian,
and for a moment feel dazed at the Indians'
stupidity in not understanding me.
At about 9.30 we took to the hills, electing
the right-hand side of the valley as we were informed that Tintinamous Whisht knew the other
side best, and meant to take the Admiral's party
in there. Though first on the ground, I hardly
thought it fair to take my pick, as the other
party had already made their arrangements ; and
perhaps I may here be allowed to say that I
think  it would be  an  excellent thing if there
were some code of rules for the conduct of men
who shoot big game all over the world, as binding amongst Englishmen and gentlemen as the
rules which govern the actions of the same class
in India. There I believe I am right in saying
that no man would dream of intruding on the
valley occupied by another party without obtaining permission from the first-comers. Of course,
where there are no such rules, ' Devil take the
hindmost!' becomes everyone's motto, and operates
injuriously to all. LETTER VI.
We had hardly cleared the first low benches of
beautiful golden grass, when we sighted four bighorn, low down on the hills across the river, feeding, indeed, just along the topof the little moraines
which formed the very foot of the hill-face.
Tommy and I at once left S. and the boy to
signal to us any change in the bighorns' position,
and then scrambled down and forded the river
again, under cover of a small thicket of trees,
amongst which Tommy left his steeple-crowned
hat and most of his clothes, whilst I left all I
could spare. The climb up the moraine was very
good training for what was to come in the next
three weeks, and seemed to impress my guide
favourably as to my powers of silent progression;
but, of course, when we had skirted innumerable
moraines, we found the sheep had gone, and on
signalling only discovered that our ' flag-waggers'
had gone placidly to sleep. The spot on which
we left them was both mossy and sunny.
For the rest of the day we rode or led our
animals from one ' bench' to another, scrambling
up stony little ravines and long slopes of slippery
grass, and anon diving into thinly-timbered hollows or basins, in which everything—shelter, the
finest of grass, and water—combined to make a
very paradise for game. As yet there were not
many tracks in these hollows and on the beautiful 88
yellow grass slopes ; but Toma told me that
when the snows of November have driven deer
and sheep from the heights, these lower ranges
are alive with game. Towards noon rain began
to fall, mixed at times with little ' flurries ' of
snow driven by. a bitter north-easter, so that
when Toma suddenly dropped out of his saddle,
and slithered downhill on his hams, although I
followed him with all promptitude, I felt far too
frozen to find my trigger, and was not in the
least surprised at a couple of misses right and
left at sheep at about 300 yards. Toma wiped
the snow off the seat of his trousers with a sigh,
but said nothing, and I confess to a feeling of
depression as I watched all those juicy mutton
chops    careering    away   downhill.       Everyone
seemed a little sad about it ; even old S. d d
his son, and his son took it out in d ing the
unhappy horses. Whilst so amused they unfortunately ran into a little band of mule-deer, and
sent our haunch of venison ' in posse ' galloping
after our chops. We camped that night by a
tiny grove of hemlocks at the head of a little bay
amongst the hills, in which some execrable bird,
described by the Indian as between a hawk and
an owl, was screeching aloud for rain. The snow
lay here and there in little drifts, and two or
three great blue grouse, frightened by us or dis- LETTER VL
lodged by the wind, whirled from tree to tree as
we came up. It was a miserable night, with the
eternal beans and bacon only to console us for
the chances we had missed, while the wind
roared amongst the hemlocks, and, when the
darkness set in, tore long. streamers of fire from
the logs, carrying flames and heat away together
into the darkness. A whole tree seemed to burn
out in* no time, and the even chop-chop of the
axe seemed likely to last all night. The bitterness of that night was worthy of an English
May. The wind cut through flannel waistcoat and
chamois vest, through four ' four-point blankets'
and other odds and ends as if they had been
muslin. The snow and sleet and darkness had it
air their own way, and the wind almost blew our
fire bodily away; and yet through it all, there
sat Tommy outside the tents, with his socks and
moccasins in his hands, warming his bare toes
before the fire, not even condescending to put on
the ragged old overcoat which he had carried
behind his saddle all day. From time to time
he gave a little cough, or pretended to button his
buttonless canvas shirt round, his neck ; and when
in pity I offered him a tin pannikin of whisky
and hot tea to warm him he seemed quite hurt,
and assured me that ' he didn't care to eat after
meals.'    Whether that meant that  I ought to 9°
have offered him the whisky sooner I didn't
know (or care), so I swallowed it myself, and
turned in on great boughs, which the ' boy ' had
© © * 9/
found less trouble to provide than the proper
' brush,' and which very soon found out every
soft spot on my hide, and made to themselves
others where none previously existed.
I soon discovered next morning why Tintin-
amous Whisht was a ' bad Indian.' All night
long Tommy had been chopping logs and making
up the fire ; when I woke he was cooking, and
was wanted to find the horses, whilst the ' boy'
and his father did the ' superintending' part of
the game. This, I suppose, is the natural in"
stinct of the white, to make his darker brother
do the work ; but a little animated conversation
between S. and myself set matters straight and
put Toma in good temper again. If you would
have success in your shooting and no squabbles
in camp, make this a rule of the chase : keep your
hunter for hunting only, and let your other men
fully understand that he is not the ' odd man ' to
do everyone's bidding. A first-rate man, if he is
benighted with you, will work for your comfort
like a slave, but considers all work except hunting beneath his dignity on ordinary occasions.
Bighorn Camp.
My learned Friend,
Day after day to follow the deer in any
weather, no matter what winds buffet you, so
that they blow pure and full of health from
heaven and the hill-tops, is the keenest physical
enjoyment I have ever tasted; but you might
find it far from enjoyable to follow my wanderings day by day on paper, so I will skim the
cream of my three weeks for you, and present my
experiences in small doses.
The camp which we made our headquarters
was far above the hemlock-grove, at the very
head of a little gully, running up to a stern crest
of rock, which looked almost like an extinct
volcano. Our tents were pitched on opposite
sides of the great fire, and surrounded by a
thick clump of small pines, from which the gray
squirrels hung head downwards all day long,
vituperating us with the  energy and endurance A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
of an American alarum. Down below the knoll
on which our tents stood ran a tiny brook, from
which we drew our water-supplies; and on the
far side of it was a great grassy bluff, running up
to the volcano, along the sharp edge of which we
often saw, in the early gray of morning, deer and
sheep outlined against the sky. Down the stream
on either side were patches of pine-trees and a
little dead forest full of fallen timber, which
seemed the most favoured haunt of mule-deer in
the whole neighbourhood. In camp were strewn
on the ground or hung on the trees half a dozen
© ©
noble rams' heads, decayed and weather-beaten,
but suggestive trophies, nevertheless, of the sport
the redskins had enjoyed last fall. All round and
below us were great rolling yellow sheep-downs,
cut up by gullies and canons, but covered everywhere with beautiful sun-dried hay.
These downs stretched right up to the foot of
the bare crags which formed the crest of the
ridge, ran out in some directions in a succession
of benches until they rolled right down to the
river below, but, on the other side, came to an
abrupt end at the edge of steep and precipitous
black rocks, sparsely covered with sweet-smelling
juniper-bushes, and here and there in less steep
places with larger trees. The favourite haunt of
the sheep seemed to be on the very edge of these ■PPB
downs above the cliffs, to which they betook
themselves at the least symptom of danger,
setting the stones rattling down in volleys as
they scampered headlong over places which
looked hardly safe for a man without a rope.
On my first day I think I drained the cup of
disappointment to the very dregs, and as my
fortune has mended steadily ever since, I cannot
help feeling that Ill-luck on that day spent her
malice upon me. We had hardly left camp, when
we made out on the downs below us four mule-
deer lying with their heads uphill. At first, to
me, they looked only like great gray rocks, but
when (having turned our horses loose) we had
gone a mile or so, and Toma invited me to peer
over a little knoll, I saw through the tall bents
the   great   erect  ears  of three   hinds  and   the
spreading antlers of a buck, not sixty yards
from me. Slowly the hinds rose, one by one
—not winding us, but restless and suspicious.
Then at last the buck rose, too, and I knew
to a hair's breadth where the bullet should
strike him. But the hammer fell with a sharp
click, and no report followed. The deer, only
half startled, trotted away for fifty yards and
then stood again. Trying to keep my temper, I
fired as steadily as before, and again the confounded rifle played me false, and either the deer saw me as I pushed the useless weapon from me,
or heard the second click and were frightened,
for away they went at best speed, the first barrel
of my spare rifle missing fire like its fellow. -
Toma spoke English then for the first and
only time I ever heard him, although I believe
my old guide was right in saying that he understood and could speak it a little if he chose.
j Gun no good ; haiyu no good,' he muttered,
and I agreed even with the quaint superlative
' haiyu ' (anglice, ' very ').
However, the morning was early still, and we
could now see little groups of hinds sauntering
off towards the timber in several directions, so
that we did not despair of adding fresh meat to
our menu of bacon and beans before dinner-time.
Our next stalk that morning was for better game
than deer—to wit, for two grand old mountain-
rams, which we had made out with my glasses,
lying down in a sunny little corrie, very sheltered
from the wind, no doubt, and comfortable, but
dangerously easy to approach. When at last I
raised myself and looked over the ridge, the first
bighorn I had ever been near was certainly not
forty yards from- me, standing up and looking
away from me over the recumbent form of his
fellow. Two splendid beasts they were, with
finely-curled, heavy horns, and coats so dark that LETTER VII.
with dew and   sunshine  on them they looked
almost purple. . And again my  express, which
had served me so well with only two miss-fires
before that morning in ten years' work, missed
fire,   and   set  the   bighorns   going   best   pace
downhill.    As they went, I snatched the spare
rifle from Toma, a common Winchester repeater,
and knocked over the hindmost ram at the gallop.
Unfortunately I hit him too far back, so that he
recovered himself, and, as the hillside was bare
and stony, my hunter could not track him except
by the blood, which soon ceased.    Let me have
done with the story of that good rifle's  delinquencies at once.    Sometimes it went off, oftener
it would not, until, at last, I lost confidence in it
to such an extent that /missed even if the rifle did
not miss fire.     The last evil turn it did me was
one morning  on the broken face  of the cliffs.
We  had both rifles with us, but when' Toma.
whispered ' Bears,' I forgave my old friend, and
put my trust in her again.     Two black bears,
huge big fellows, with glossy black coats, were
scuttling up the bank through the yellow birches,
their fat sides shaking as they ran.   Both barrels
missed fire again, and by the time I had got hold
of the Winchester the bears had disappeared.
From that date, though the Winchester had.
lost   its   back-sight,  I used   it exclusively, and learnt to like it (though it only cost 40 dollars)
as well as my high-priced express. The worst of
a repeater is, that there is always such a temptation to (as the Yankees say) ' pump in lead as
long as you can see the durned critter.' This
seems to me an argument against the adoption of
repeaters by our troops. They will certainly cost
us a great deal in ammunition, and lead to loose
shooting.   But a Winchester well handled is an
accurate little weapon ; and I met a gentleman
this year out West, who really could knock the
heads off at least four grouse out of six, at from
twenty to fifty yards with his repeater, and not
ruffle a feather below the neck. That first day
in the hills was a Saturday, and it had certainly
been a ' dies irse,' On the Sunday following I
gave men and horses a rest, as I always like to
do, and looked forward keenly to the morrow's
hunt on the ridge above. Unfortunately, towards
noon rifle-shots began to re-echo about the hills,
and down below on .the next ' bench' we could
see some horses picketed, and the blue smoke
curling from some other fellow's camp-fire. Then
there was sorrow in Bighorn Camp, and S., lighting his twenty-seventh pipe that day, got on his.
old cayouse, and went down to spy out the land
and see what manner of men these might be. LETTER VIII.
Bighorn Camp.
Dear Pat,
Six thousand miles by road and rail and
ocean steamers, added to six days through mountain forests, in which even mining engineers and
Indians are scarce, should suffice even in these
miserable days of over-population and over-civilization to ensure the traveller solitude which the
ring of no other man's rifle should break.    And
yet on my second day in camp there were white
men's horses down below on the next ' bench' of
grass, and white men's rifles were making the
cliffs rattle above .my eyry. As my old hunter
came back without any very definite report, I
rode down on the Monday evening to interview
the enemy in person, my heart swelling with a
just wrath. As I rode down the brae, I was
aware of a person beyond the brook, who, with
his back turned, appeared to be deep in some
culinary operation,     I did not know then, but I
7 98
have discovered since, that he was making
' parritch.' I believe he must have come from
far Dundee for the sole purpose of making
porridge, as only a Scotchman could under any
circumstances. Certainly, if he will forgive me
for saying so, I don't think he was much
enamoured of big game shooting. His friend
was coming down the opposite bank at the moment,
leading a tired horse—a horse, I should say, very
justly tired with carrying the fourteen stone of
young bone and muscle which walked beside it
and tried to disguise its nationality in a cowboy's
hat and shirt. Reader, have you seen two bull
terriers with their backs up, their tails high in
air, walk round and round each other with
the angry sniff which being translated means,
' Now then, who's going to begin' ?
7 © © O
If one is very much bigger than the other,
they probably fight. If they are a really good
match, they probably trot off amicably together
and find a little dog -to worry. We trotted off
together. My new friends had not come in from
the same side of the country as myself, and when
they camped were absolutely ignorant of my presence, but with a courtesy beyond all praise
offered at once to clear out, if I claimed a prior
right to the ground, and considered there was
not  room  for  three  rifles  at the same  time. LETTER VIII.
Naturally, we tossed as to whether they should
dine with me or I with them, and agreed to draw
for choice of beats day by day.
That night old S. and 'the boy' were in
great form. The Scotchmen had only got Indians
to look after them; the old gunner would show
them how things were done in a white man's
Charlie (the boy) had had a successful day's
sport amongst the rabbits and grouse, our
neighbours, who shared the little clump of trees
in which we lived. Like the son of Jesse, he
used only pebbles from the brook ; but the stupid
jack rabbits which he tracked in the snow sat
still until he hit them ; and the ' fool hens,' as
they call the big grouse here, are more stupid
than the rabbits. I well remember one fool
hen, who stolidly sat out a bombardment of at
least half an hour, on one of the top branches of
a pine, until Mr. W.,. my Indian, and myself had
used up all the stones we could find in a radius
of 200 yards. We hit her twice before the
Indian brought her down, but though the bough
on which she sat was struck scores of times, she
would not fly. On another occasion, I remember
pursuing one of these birds amongst the pine-
woods with a stick When I threw it she flew,
and of course I missed ; but at last she allowed
7—2 IOO
me to knock her down with a good straight cut.
These grouse are the most preternaturally stupid
animals I ever saw, but cooked they are excellent.
A dinner at Bighorn Camp, Ashinola, is not a
very ceremonious affair. My guests rode up at
seven, and my men spread the seat of honour (a
red blanket) on the windward side of the fire,
under the lea of the tent. The Indians sat
opposite. I think they rather enjoy the pungent
smoke of a wood-fire. Outside, the dark pines
sheltered us from the wind, with whose voice a
wolfs howl was blended from time to time, as a
whiff of the savoury roast reached his nostrils.
Within the charmed circle of the firelight, all
was bright and cheery. Two old whisky-cases,
which held our stores, served for tables. The
billies and rifle-barrels gave back the gleams of
the blazing logs, while the bright red blankets inside my tent made a bright and cosy ' interior.'
And so we sang our songs, smoked our pipes,
and pledged one another in libations of whisky
and tea, while the men indulged in the luxuries
of' packers' jam ' (i.e., brown sugar and bacon-fat),
ribs roasted in the embers, and cigarettes of
chopped ' pigtail' and newspaper.
That night we parted in good fellowship, and
promised, as our guests prepared to face the perils
of a homeward journey by as rough a road as LETTER VIII.
'diners-out'   ever trod,  to join camps on   the
morrow on the lower ground.
This arrangement worked admirably, and. whilst
W. and myself shot to our hearts' content, H.
thoroughly mastered the art of porridge-making.
But things were going too well to last. On
Sunday we all lay on our oars and planned a
great expedition for the morrow, or smoked and
threw each other's boots at the great black-capped
robber-birds, who not only stole the mutton
hanging on the trees round the camp, but actually
came and stole from our very plates. About
mid-day we sat up as if galvanized, and made the
same remark in chorus. It was not quite a
welcome, I fear, though the cause of it was the
advent of another Englishman, the forerunner of
a part of the Admiral's party, under the leadership of a Canadian gentleman named C. To be
just, the new-comer was ready to go at once and
give place to the first settlers ; but the gentleman who belonged to the country, Mr. C,
had other views. He asked us to come in and
have a pipe ' next door ' after dinner ; next door
being where he had camped about fifty yards
from us. We wTent. He was a jolly good fellow,
and the naval whisky was excellent; but as for
making room for anybody on earth, our new friend
declared it might be all right in the old country, 102
but it would not do here. ' Where were we
going to shoot next .day ?' Thinking at least he
would, if we told him, avoid our beat, I suggested
the top ground. ' Ah ! that's just where .we
are going,' and C.'s face simply rippled with
laughter. If anyone ever enjoyed ' pulling
another man's leg,' C. enjoyed that luxury on the
first night we met.    My Scotch friends smoked
© v
in silence. There appeared to be no precedents
for a case of this kind, and no one could quarrel
with a man so full of innocent mirth, and absolutely unconscious of the enormity of his offence.
' Look here !' suggested C. ; ' I've promised
these gentlemen that they shall get sheep, and
they shall. What do you say to our making a
drive all together ? You have not done much good
so far, and if the sheep are there, as you say
they are, we are bound to get some, if we send
our Indians round to drive.' I did not like the
idea, but it was the only thing to do ; so I consented, fully determined that after the drive the
great gathering of sportsmen at Bighorn Camp
should be less by one. Of that drive I'll tell
you in my next letter, if I ever survive to write
another ; and I candidly confess that the idea of
all these riflemen together, round the topmost
crag, with a frightened ram dodging from one to
the other, is to my mind suggestive of more risk to the hunters than to the ram. The camp
altogether is sad to-night. My young Scotch
friend W.  met a small  band  of the big black
wolves which have been molesting our horses
lately, and unfortunately found them, as some
men find the rabbits at home, quite a foot too
short for shooting. So he is sad over misused
opportunities, while I sadly think of the morrow.
The laugh is on the other side our camp fire to
Yours gloomily,
C. P. W.
*.»• io4
Bighorn Camp.
Dear Pat,
We had not been very successful until
the arrival of Mr. C.'s party; in that C. was
perfectly well informed. The Scotchmen had,
I think, got one small sheep and a hind for
meat, whilst I had secured two stags, two small
rams, and a very fine old ewe, with horns almost
as big as a young ram's.
But we had been learning our ground, and
were very bitter at being robbed of our reward.
There was not a ragged cliff whose face W. and
myself had not climbed, scrambling over moraines,
up dizzy little sheep-paths, on inclines which tried
the wind and wore out moccasins and indiarubber
soles at the rate of three pairs a week, and all
only to discover that the chief asylum of the
sheep was in the crags at the top, from which,
when disturbed, they descended and scattered
through   the   lower   canons   and   through   the LETTER IX.
timber. For the last four days we had gradually
been working the sheep back to the heights, and
now others were going to reap the reward of our
toil. However, it could not be helped, so at
about 7 a.m. we mustered in force. The command of the expedition was offered to me, but
was declined on the score that I did not know
anything of sheep-driving. So C. sent out his
men, and he and I rode off together.
' Now, my dear fellow, I don't care for a shot;
I've shot scores of sheep ; if we see any, you take
the first crack at them,' said my companion ; and
my heart went out to him for his self-denial. I
had left Polly, my buckskin mare, in camp, as
she was a bit stale from over-work, and had
taken out instead a big, rather well-bred looking
screw, bought by old S. at the Alison ranch
for 2 0 dollars. The screw moved under me with
a fine free stride, which is wofully wanting in
the native cayouse, and I really thought if there
was any galloping to be done that day, my horse
was the horse to do it. Captain S. and the rest
of the guns took the right-hand side of the crags ;
C and myself went down wind to the left. At
the very outset Captain S., who was a little in
advance of his party, came face to face with a
splendid mule-deer buck, which, from the reports
of those who saw him, I take to have been bigger io6
than my big buck or any killed during the
expedition. The foolish beast stood broadside
on at fifty paces, and with a rare self-denial,
worthy of a good sportsman, Captain S. let him
go without firing at him, rather than risk disturbing the nobler game we were in search of.
© ©
Now, looking back, I can only regret that the
buck's head was not added to my friend's trophies,
for immediately afterwards C.  and I sighted a
J ©
band of small ewes on the bare slopes to the left
of the ' crater.' To my surprise C. at once
began to ride hard. To my remark that there
were no good heads amongst them, I got no
answer ; and as C.'s object was evident, I joined
in the chase, determined that if the law of the
day was to be ' Shoot at everything, and devil
take the hindmost,' I would do my best not to
occupy that invidious position. Alas! as the
horses faced the incline, I felt my screw's powers
fade away, until the swinging stride slackened to
a walk, and a hideous roaring informed me that
my poor beast was broken-winded. So C. got
in first; the foolish ewes, getting thoroughly
confused and standing in a bunch, huddled together as stupidly as if they had been domestic
Shropshire downs, whilst' the native' dismounted
and ' pumped lead into them' at about 100 yards'
range.    When I came up he had secured three, LETTER IX.
and was having them gralloched. I should have
felt happier if the Indian had killed them before
he and his master began gralloching. As no
amount of philosophy could make a man on a
broken-winded horse genial under such circumstances as these, I fear poor C. found my congratulations somewhat wanting in warmth, and,
to my delight, betook himself to the top ground,
he and his Indian riding away in full view along
the ridge. However, the rifles now were ringing
out in all directions, and as I had kept Toma
with me, I felt there was still a chance of getting
a shot at some beast which my friends might
miss. The top ground at the crater is a succession of little circular hollows, filled up in places
with large round ponds; here and there are
stunted forests, or rather spinnies, of pines, contorted and dwarfed by cold and the barrenness of
the soil in which they grow. Here once Toma
■and I had watched a wolverine, apparently
hunting in the snow; and though the sly beast,
the trapper's worst enemy, is rarely seen in broad
daylight, we let him go. Here, too, we stalked
and spared the biggest mule-deer buck I ever
saw, principally because, in spite of his size, he
carried no antlers.
But now the rattle of rifles was echoing amongst
these mountain sanctuaries, and we down below mm
amongst the cliffs watched the gullies eagerly for
anything which might attempt to descend and
seek shelter in the forest of pines beyond. Now
and again we saw some one ride along the skyline at the top, and once I tried two long shots
at a couple of rams working their way down wind
along the cliff-face.     This turned them, and sent
them over the top, where I believe they passed
Captain S. at a fairly long range, and at a good
pace. But S. had taken up a position where he
was out of sight, and kept cool and quiet, biding
his time, so that when the leading ram passed
him he turned him over with perhaps the best
shot fired that day. At last my turn came.
There was a rattle of stones in one of the main
gullies leading from the crater, and five old rams
came galloping down for the forest. They were
making so much noise themselves that it mattered
little that my Indian and I bumped and slipped
about, now on our feet, now on our backs, in our
frantic endeavours to get to a point from which
they must pass within range of us. At last they
saw us, threw up their noble heads, planted their
fore-feet with an impatient stamp, and stood at
gaze. It was only for a moment, and my hand
rattled on the stones as I rested my rifle for the
shot; but every bullet has its course fore-ordained,
so in spite of my shaking aim, the leading ram fell LETTER IX.
over with a crash as I fired, and another fell
in his tracks as they dashed away in headlong
flight. It was a weary while before Toma and I
overhauled even my first ram, and he took three
more shots to finish him and bring him to bay;
but I.was as thoroughly beaten by the chase over
the cliffs as if I had run a three-mile race ; my
knees began to fail me, and the perspiration (lean
though I was) blinded me. As for the other
ram, though the blood-track was plain enough at
first, I was too tired to follow, but gave Toma
the rifle, and lying down on a point from which I
felt too weak to descend in safety, left him to
find and finish the beast for me. However, I
think Toma was very nearly blown; at any rate,
my second ram was never found, and I had to be
content with the first, whose measurements were
14 inches round the butt and 28-^ inches in
length round the  outside  curve  of the horns.
Both horns were a little broken at the points.
Though only a seven-year-old ram, and though a
good head, it was neither unusually large nor
symmetrical. The total bag that day was three
sheep and three rams, the latter killed, one by
Captain S., one by my Scotch friend Mr. W.,
and one by myself.
That night there was much rejoicing in camp;
trifling   disagreements   were   forgotten;   it was I
conceded that C.'s plan had at any rate • the
merit of success, and, however angry one might
feel with him when he crossed you on the hillside, it was impossible to resist his cheery good-
fellowship when the day was over. Still, my
next letter will not be from Bighorn Camp.
Yours truly,
The Dead Forest.
Dear Pat,
Practically this letter was written in the
dead-wood forest at the top of the downs, where
all the little rills which water the camps and run
down to swell the volume of the Similkameen
have their origin in a bleak, swampy moss.    Fire
has, at some time, swept through the forest, and
left the dead trees standing grim and gray, flakes
of dark   moss   draping   them   in  very funereal
fashion,  so that one  involuntarily feels  chilled,
and wishes that Nature would be considerate and
bury her  dead, replacing the gaunt trunks with
younger trees and greener.     In this forest I lay,
note-book   in   hand, stretched   along   a   smooth
fallen trunk about which' the  sunlight played>
writing my record of the week, while Toma tried
in vain to track a dying buck which we had seen
fall twice before he entered the timber.    As I
lay there unmoving, two great ravens came from warn
some peak above, and lighting On dead trees hard
by, discussed in harsh, angry notes what manner
of thing I might be. ' Dead ! is he' dead V they
kept questioning ; but though they came sailing
down very near, they could not quite make up
their minds. Brutes ! I should like to have
resolved their doubts with a bullet. Still lying
there, I heard the leaves move, and looking down
a vista amongst the pines I saw two great-eared
hinds looking at me. I should think they stood
for full ten minutes—it seemed hours to me, my
muscles ached so with the effort to remain abso-'
lutely quiet. Presently they were satisfied, and
walked daintily out of sight, followed immediately
by a handsome buck, tossing his branching antlers
as if he had led the van and dared the risk,
instead of sending his meek mates in front to see
if all was safe for him. I had killed as fine, if
not a finer stag of his race.    The sunlight was
o ©
very sweet, and I enjoyed the silence, so, though
my hand crept towards my rifle, I let him go
unhurt. This forest seems full of mule-deer.
In the morning all the highest of the downs are
alive with them, in big bands ; but that is only
whilst the light is still gray and the day young.
As soon as it is broad daylight they all vanish,
creeping away into dark moss-carpeted woods,
still and damp, in which your foot sinks ankle- LETTER X.
deep, without a sound. Next to that prince of
deer, the ' wapiti,' the mule-deer is the biggest
of his family in America—as big, I should say,
almost as an ordinary Scotch red-deer. He is a
handsome beast, with a face boldly blazed with
patches of black and white upon russet-brown or
gray. His ears are the most noticeable things
about him. I have just measured the ears on
the head of a buck shot by me, and I find that
from the root to the tip they measure ten inches.
This is almost as long as the animal's face, from
a point between the horns to the tip of his
The biggest buck which I have had the good
©© o
fortune to secure has a span of nearly two feet
from antler to antler, ten large well-developed
points, and a heavy beam five and a half inches
in circumference. This is, of course, not an exceptionally good head ; but I think it is above
the average of the mule-deer on the Similkameen.
We had known this stag for a week before we
got him, his favourite haunt being just below our
camp, amongst some fallen timber, in which it
was almost an impossibility to approach him unheard. Three or four times, when creeping over
the logs, we saw a pair of great ears listening on
another bank, then half a dozen hinds would trot
quickly through   the   timber,  followed  by this
8 114
let him go
lordly beast, so heavy with good feeding that we
wondered to see him clear the great logs in his
way. Once, when stalking a band of bighorn
rams, he rose quietly from his lair in front of us,
and we could see his fat sides shake as he trotted
But he did not disturb the rams, so we
At last his time came. Meat was
wanted in camp, and we were going to shoot a
distant hill-top. When the even chop, chop of
the old man's axe awoke me, the country was
wrapped in a gray, smoky mist which hung about
all day, and the trees were silvered with frost.
S. was working hard, but complaining bitterly,
according to his wont, as he explained to the boy
that the stars had left the sky, and the boss
would soon want his breakfast. Then there was
a short mental struggle with the desire to remain
curled up in one's blankets, whilst the growing
fire warmed and lit the inside of the tent—a
struggle soon over, and followed by an heroic
wash almost deserving of the dignity of a ' tub.'
The bottle of sweet-oil for the rifles which stood
by my bedside had frozen hard in the night, and
a pack of wolves, whose howlings we had heard,
had stampeded our horses. By the tracks they
must have driven the poor beasts almost through
the camp-fire, whither they had come for succour ;
but the night was too dark for the Indian to see LETTER X.
either wolves or horses when the noise woke him,
and the fire had almost died out. Since the
wolves, there had been another visitor in camp, a
lynx, whose tracks came almost up to the tents.
We arranged a trap for him, and then went out
to   look   for our horses.    Having   found   them
none the worse for their scare, Toma and I
saddled . our ' hunters' and rode off over the
downs, on which the snow lay in considerable
patches. There was nothing I feared so much in
my Similkameen experiences as these early morning rides with the frost on the grass, and many
a mile I tramped rather than ride over the
break-neck slopes, covered with long slippery herbage, on which even the Indian's gray could never
keep its footing. We used to progress in a succession of slides and slitherings, and it required
experience to enable you to trust to your ca-
youse's recovering his footing when you felt that
he had three legs in the air and the other was
slipping. On foot and in moccasins, I could not
keep my feet without a stick, and yet, after a
week's practice, Dolly and I would join Toma
and the gray in a break-neck canter merely to
warm our blood.
On this particular morning, on the next bluff
to our own, we sighted the big buck and six
hinds leisurely feeding back to cover.    The cover
8—2 n6
was half a mile away, and the deer, having seen
us, moved off towards it at a smart trot. Toma
made signs to me to follow him, and next moment
we were over the ridge out of sight of our quarry,
and galloping ' ventre a terre' over a horribly
slippery slope, in the endeavour to cut the buck
off before he could reach the wood. As we came
over the ridge we saw we were just too late, his
stern disappearing amongst the timber as we
came in sight.    The snow was falling, and as we
© ©7
hardly anticipated work so near camp, I still wore
a macintosh; my feet were, as usual, in moccasins.
Without a word, Toma rode full gallop into the
timber, threw himself from his horse and dashed
downhill over logs whose sharp and ragged limbs
caught and tore my flying macintosh, and over
stakes and flints which almost made me howl as
I trod upon them. But in spite of all we held
on at best pace for half a mile, and then we
caught sight of the buck, rather blown with his
recent exertions, lazily lurching over the fallen
timber, while the hinds were far on ahead. It
was a fluky shot I fired, for I was at least as
blown as the buck, though in better condition;
but it brought him up all standing for a moment,
and gave me a chance of rolling him head over
heels with the second barrel before he had recovered from his surprise.    I never saw a fatter LETTER X.
beast in my life, and my little redskin was enthusiastic over the piles of white fat which he
collected from the entrails and back of my first
mule-deer. To the Indians this fat for winter use
is the most valuable part of the game. When we
brought his head into camp, old S. recognised
him as the buck which he had met, face to face
' at fifty yards, sir, close to camp, just whenever
I didn't happen to have anything but the axe
handy.' Since shooting the Big buck, I have
killed others, and might have killed many, a day
never passing without, at least, one shot at a
mule-deer buck presenting itself unsought; but
I contented myself with the three best heads I
saw, shooting two of them ' on the jump' in
thick timber, of which they are far too fond to
make them ever unpleasantly popular with the
orthodox deer-stalker.
If others visit these shooting-grounds, or any
other deer-frequented ranges near Indian villages,
it would be kind to deal death sparingly among
these creatures which supply the native with food
and foot-gear, and afford him, now that he may
neither scalp nor steal horses, the only amusement
which makes his too civilized life worth living.
Even now, in this glorious climate, Pat, I cannot
help feeling  that if I were free  to choose  I'd n8
rather wear a scalp-lock than a wig, rather steal
horses than prosecute others for stealing them,
rather be a barbarian than a barrister.
Yours truly,
' The Sheep-trimmed Downs.'
My sympathetic Friend,
You will easily understand that after the
drive stalking was a thing hardly worth considering. The rams might be anywhere, but were
less likely to be in the open country than anywhere else. The Indians always have stories of
inaccessible crags to which the wily bighorn
retires in times of persecution, but I have never
yet been able to find these fastnesses, though I
have always made a point of getting to the top
of any country in which I happened to be
camped. They talk, too, of the old beasts with
the mythical heads, measuring eighteen or twenty
inches round the butt, and curling twice against
the brow, dwelling in some remote peaks, and.
only coming down in the rutting season to woo
and make war, or in the depth of winter, when
all the heights are buried in snow, and even a
mountain sheep cannot live far above the level 120
of the prairie. It may be that the big rams
retire to the more remote ranges, to which even
the Indians do not know the way, or to which,
if they do, they will not guide a stranger ; but
for the most part, where disturbed, I think the
rams hide in the timber or in the precipitous
canons below the feeding-grounds. Here it is a
hopeless task to seek them, and a mere fluke if
you succeed in finding them. My Scotch friends
had gone the day after the drive, and I lay at
my pony's feet with my boy Toma looking across
the sea of peaks, with which we were almost on
a level. I never met the man yet who was so
good a fellow that I would not rather have his
room than his company in a shooting-camp. At
any rate, if two are company, more than two are
too many. I confess this is an unlovely trait in
my character, but it is there ; and as I looked over
the waves of purple peaks, crowned with masses
of ragged black cloud, and'lit here and there by
a ray of autumn sunlight, I sighed for solitude.
As I looked, the sun touched a great rounded
shoulder of the mountain far away at the back
of the first range beyond the river, a shoulder bare
of pine woods, far above the timber, and in the
sunlight looking smooth and golden with rich dry
Toma, do you see that peak, beyond where LETTER XI.
the Admiral is shooting on the other side, beyond
where Mr. C. ' (another solitaire) ' has his camp,
right back amongst the mountains ?'
' Nawitka, yes,' replied the boy, stopping in
his occupation of adorning his old straw hat with
the feathers of grouse and a stray eagle's feather
he had found.
' Well; did you ever shoot there ?'
' No ; never.'
' Could you find your way there ?'
' No ; I don't think so.'
Toma evidently did not want to go.
.'Well, Toma,' I concluded, in a tone of decision, ' come along back to camp to get ready ;
we will go down to the river to-night and camp
there ; to-morrow we will try to get to that
That night we camped by the river, wherein,
to my utter surprise, bitterly cold though it was,
my little Indian bathed bodily. Of course I
followed so good an example ; and caught a nice
basket of trout afterwards, with a hazel pole for
a rod. I could see a big spotted fellow lying in
the clear still water behind a great boulder, and
tried to tempt him with a wonderful scarlet
worm of india-rubber, which I bought long ago,
•and have carried unused for many a year. The
ridiculous thing nearly gave that trout a fit, and 122
a subsequent offer of raw venison failed to console
him. So, in spite of the unfitness of my hazel
wand for such work, I had to try and throw a
fly. Flop it came on the water, and the trout
almost bolted again. But the second time he
stayed to look at this new lure, and, like many
a more civilized fish, he found its charms irresistible. So we added a dish of trout that night
to the luxurious dinner of grouse and venison
and hot cake, which already awaited us ; and next
morning, ' bright and early,' as the Yankees say,
we struck camp, and began our climb towards
our new shooting-ground. We had not gone half
a mile before I found that, though it had not
7 ©
been used that year, there was a trail to my peak,
and this was not the first time that Toma had
travelled it. Indeed, after a time, he confessed
that he had hunted there before, ten years ago,
but that the road was very bad for horses, and.
there were not many sheep there. It certainly
was a villainous road, and so steep that it had,
almost all of it, to be done on foot. Even ' the
boy,' who used to anger me beyond endurance by
the stubborn laziness with which he stuck to his
poor devil of a pony in any circumstances, rather
than use his own legs, had, on this occasion, to
get off and walk. It almost consoled me for my
own weariness to see, for the first time, my cook LETTER XL
tramping like his master. The difficulty of the
trail sufficiently accounted for the rarity of the
natives' visits to this particular peak, as my experience of the Ashinola Indian is, that where he
cannot hunt on horseback he does not care to
hunt at all.     The noble savage can do as much
hard work as anyone, but will avoid it always if
he can. By noon we had scrambled up the last
step in the ladder which led to my land of
promise, and my moccasins were hanging about
my feet in rags, so that I had to rely on old S.'s
good nature, who gave me his last pair, and
submitted for the rest of our trip to the misery
of wearing a good-looking pair of knee-boots, of
which he was inordinately proud at starting.
As we dragged our horses after us up the last
moraine, from which we looked on the downs
beyond, Toma sank with a low whistle to the
ground. Lying there behind him, we rested, and
watched six splendid rams feed slowly to the top
of the ridge and disappear. Then we hurried on
through a piece of ' brule' to where, above a
patch of boggy gray moss, in which a little
water stood in pools, a patch of burnt timber
afforded just sufficient shelter to hide our tents
from the game on the great bare snow-patched
sheep-walk above. The camp was the bleakest
I ever looked upon, but we left old S. to do his 124
best for us, hobbled and turned the horses loose,
and then climbed the slope of red-gold grass on
foot, going down wind until we crossed the saddle,
/  © ©
and then turning up along the upper edge of the
timber, where the grass began and the trees
ceased. Here was the very home and haunt of
the mountain sheep. Thick pine-forests stretched
away below us, growing thinner as they neared
the downs. Along the boundary-line between
the two were rocky moss-covered ledges, overgrown with a strong heather-like plant. On.these
ledges, and amongst this heathery growth, we
found scores of warm, wind-proof lairs or forms
in which the sheep had been wont to take their
siestas. Here, too, we found a rusty hunting-
knife which some former visitor had dropped.
Not five minutes before, Toma had been regretting that he had left his knife behind. Now
his face beamed as he put the rusted blade
through his belt. ' I thought,' said the superstitious little fellow, 'that crackling in the fire
7 ©
this morning meant a roast; now ' (tapping the
knife) ' I know.'    Here a crashing of boughs in-
/ © ©
terrupted us, and crouching down, we peered
through the scattered pines into the green darkness beyond, where, after a moment, we caught
the quick flicker of gray bodies passing through
the ^timber.      ' Only mowitz'   (deer), muttered LETTER XL
Toma, rising and going on. The noise in the
timber had drawn my companion's keen eyes
downhill, so that it was lucky that I was not
trusting to him entirely, or I should not have
caught a glimpse of two great white sterns on a
little plateau above us before it was too late.
To clutch the little fellow in front of me by the
waist-belt and drag blue shirt and tall grass-hat
unceremoniously in a heap to the ground was
the work of instinct.
To the indignant protest of his face, two
fingers held up, and the whispered words, ' Sheep,
hyas sheep, selokwha hyas !' (Very, very big
ones) was sufficient answer, and next moment
you could see the very soles of his moccasins
trembling with excitement as he lay peering
through  the   heather at the  six rams we had
seen earlier in the morning, feeding now in happy
ignorance of their danger.
Toma is a splendid little Indian, not one of your
lazy red-skinned louts who care only for the
dollars and the ' broil' in the embers when the
day's work is done, but a keen little sportsman,
eager for blood as a terrier, and full of sympathy
for another's keenness. But this time I meant
to do the whole thing myself. I had found the
rams, and I meant to stalk them and kill them
in my own way, or lose them altogether.    So I mM>
persuaded Toma to lie down while I crept and
crawled slowly, yard by yard, over the terribly
bare ground between me and them.     Once I lay
down to rest, and, looking back, I could see the
little chap, his keen face strained my way, like a
hound held in leash  when he winds  the  deer.
Such stalks as these, such beating of heart and
bating of breath,  take a week out of a man's
life in five minutes perhaps; but what gambler's
excitement could equal them ?    At last I reached
a fringe of heather, and allowed myself the first
glance  at my game   since   I   had   caught that
momentary   glimpse   of them   before   I   pulled
down my guide.    There they were, six of them,
all good  rams, some  feeding,  some  with   their
heads up, and, furthest from me of all, the master
of the band, his feet planted on a little butte
150 yards away, looking fixedly in my direction,
his beautiful dark face and snow-white muzzle,
his curling horns and broad chest, standing out
bravely against the sky.     The  others were all
nearer, all easier shots, but I never saw so graceful a head before as ' the master's ;'  and as I
pushed   the   rifle   slowly  through   the   grass,  I
swore   to   have   him or none.    Bravo!   as the
smoke curled up, he pitched forward on his head,
and springing to my feet as his mates rushed by,
I rolled over another good ram, who, however, LETTER XI.
picked himself up, and with the rest dived down
below the crest of the bluff. The shots could
not have taken more than a few moments, but
as the smoke of the second shot still clung- to
the Winchester's muzzle, Toma snatched it from
my hand and dashed off in pursuit. It was good
going over the down, but I could no more catch
Toma than he could catch my wounded ram.
This was unlucky, for as I stood to breathe on
the top of the cliff I saw the five pass in single
file across the face of it, about 150 feet below
me. Had I had my rifle I could have secured
my wounded beast and another. As it was, I
watched them out of sight, and then went to look
for my Indian. Bits of him strewed the hillside
—here a coat, there a straw hat. By-and-by I
came upon him, with his head tied up in a
handkerchief, gazing down into a deep horseshoe-
shaped canon, of which the crags on which we
were formed a side. All round the cliffs rose
sheer and high, and right at the bottom was a
©     ' ©
tiny prairie, through which a considerable stream
ran, rising in a small, brightly blue lake, gleaming
like a turquoise from among the burnt timber.
As we gazed we heard at intervals a dull hollow
shock echo up the gorge. ' Rams fighting,' whispered Toma, and directed my gaze to the bottom
of the canon, where, by the brook, stood ten rams 128
in a circle, their heads all turned inwards, while
from time to time two of them rushed together,
and caused the sound we heard, horn shocking
heavily against horn. We watched them for
some time, and then followed my wounded ram,
which we found on the face of the cliffs, spent
and dying. My bullet, meant as a coup de grace,
brought him to life again, but after a blind
charge downhill he lay apparently dead about
200 yards below me. On getting down to him
he rose again and went off.best pace downhill,
with me after him, until he suddenly dropped
clean out of sight, and by throwing myself flat
upon my back I just saved myself from following
him over a precipice quite high enough to have
finished my career.
Having scalped him, Toma and I went back
to our first ' kill,' which we found where I fired
at him, covered already with a gray frost, and
looking as big as a pony on the hillside. My
bullet had caught him full in the middle of the
chest, and he had dropped dead at once, with a
head of something like white clover still held in
the side of his mouth, as a groom holds a straw.
I measured him as he lay, and found him from
the root of the tail to the nape of the neck 3 feet
6 inches, while his girth was 3 feet 9 inches, and
his approximate  height at the shoulder 3  feet LETTER XI.
2 inches. The bighorns of the Cascades appear
to me to differ in one point somewhat from the
bighorn of Montana, these latter having their
horns curled closer, and lying much flatter against
their heads than is the fashion with their Cascade
That night was a night of fete in my lonely
camp, and ' the gunner' made what he called a
' north-west fire,' on which whole trees lay and
flared out in the mountain - wind; but when
morning broke the fire was hidden in snow;
what Toma called ' smoke' wrapped everything
in its heavy folds, so that nothing was visible to
us fifty yards from our tents; the little pine-
trees were bowed down with the weight of the
snowflakes; two of our pack-animals could not
be found, and when we lit our camp-fire again,
the rest of the poor beasts came and stood round
it, with their heads down and their tails to the
wind. All day the air was thick with winter's
swarming white bees, and all day we sat cowering
idly in our wet snow-piled tents. Poor Toma
looked so pitiable in his one blue canvas shirt
that I had to give him one of my own flannel
garments, whose somewhat gaudy colouring had
won his simple heart.
One more backward glance at the best sheep-
country I ever saw, and I will smother my sighs
9 13°
and set my head for Temple, E.C., the shadowy
side of my life.
It is the morning after the snow, and as bright
as yesterday it was dim. The two lost pack-
horses have been found, and already my redskin
and I are half-way up the bluff above the peat
bog. Looking down at our little gray tents
among the bare burnt pine-poles, we give an
involuntary shudder, and wonder how we ever
lived out yesterday's storm. Looking up, our
eyes are dazzled with the sun's laugh upon the
snow, with the glitter and the flashing of the
millions of diamonds on the great white cone
above - us, up which we creep ever so slowly.
When we reach the top we see how local the
snowstorm has been. Round us all is white, .but
away to the west, line upon line the blue ridges
run, without a flake of snow upon them. From
the nearest a great feather of mist floats out into
the clear sky, like the smoke from some mighty
fire. All else is clear and sharply outlined. On
the sunny side the ridge we feel there is no time
so good for man as a winter morning, but cross
the top and leave the sunlight, and you will see
Winter without his smile. The diamonds are all
dead, their lights gone out; no colour glows in
the gray air; Nature is without life-blood, cold,
bitter, unbeautiful.    Even in the sun that day LETTER XL
we had to turn down the ear-flaps of our shooting-
caps, and Toma showed that he felt the bitter
wind by tying a fag-end of rope tighter and
tighter round the waist of his old coat. The
snow was cut up in all directions by the wandering sheep and deer, but somehow wTe missed them
on that last day, though once I stood within
200 yards of a band of rams, standing in serried
rank, heads all level and still as stones, staring at
me; but I did not see them in time, and when
Toma's frantic gesticulations called my attention
to them, they vanished into the timber, on the
edge of which they were standing, before I could
fire. I killed a big buck for his antlers and his
haunch, in a glade of the forest, fairy-like in its
snow-draped beauty; and then we struck the
tents, and carrying our trophies with us, sought
the low country again. My head is now turned
for home, but, as you may well guess, I shall
dwell as much as may be on the journey. If I
get any more sport you shall hear of it.
Yours truly,
C. P. w.
9—2 132
The Potato Ranche.
My dear Pat,
There are two beasts in America which
are not of to-day,  whose forms   have   nothing
homely about them, who dwell in such wild solitudes   and  are   so  weirdly monstrous   in   their
outlines that they seem to be the births of fairyland,  or, at least, the  last relics  of an  earlier
creation, when herds of gigantic mammoths pastured on the desolate tundras of Siberia, and the
elephant and the cave-dweller lived at Maidenhead.    I mean, of course, the moose, which wanders  along   Canada's  chain  of lakes   from the
Arctic to the St. Lawrence, and that quaint white
beast, • between a   poodle   and a buffalo, which
haunts some few remote mountain-tops in the
north-west, and to which naturalists (recently introduced to it) have given the high-sounding title
of' haploceros montana.'
English sportsmen call it the Rocky Mountain LETTER XII.
goat; natives in the Cascades call it ' the white
sheep ;' naturalists, out of pure perversity, I suppose, call it an antelope, the antelope being the
lightest and most graceful, while the ' haploceros'
is the heaviest of beasts; and after all, it looks
much more like a little white buffalo, only
clumsier, with its back rising in a heavy hump,
and its shaggy white beard and coat, the latter
hanging in wide frills to its ankles. The horns
are bent back slightly, and are about twice as
heavy as a chamois', but not hooked like that
little beast's. The horns on my best goat's head
(which I think a very good one) are between
five and a half and six inches in circumference at
the base, and the longest of them is nearly nine
and a half inches in length. Behind each horn is
a black leathery orifice like a false ear, and in
this I found a deposit like musk, and certainly
as strong in scent.    Each orifice contained about
as much of this deposit as would equal a small
bean in size. Is this useless, or might it not be
a substitute for the precious little pod extracted
from the musk-deer of India ?
An excellent photograph of the beast, from a
negative, I believe, in the possession of Mr.
Baillie Grohman (who has been almost a godfather to this goat, if not its actual discoverer),
has long lain in my portfolio, and now, having mumm
seen a good deal of the original, I can commend
it as being a wonderfully faithful portrait.
On my way back from the sheep-grounds, I
camped one night on an old Indian camping-
ground in a narrow valley over which tall hills
and mountain-peaks impended. The Indians had
left for the moment, but their traces were round
us on all sides, in the bare poles which once supported their tents, and on which now, in trustful
fashion, were hung little bags of deer's hide, containing Heaven knows what. Paint, perhaps, to
adorn themselves, or the dried galls of beasts to
use as drugs. A few frying-pans, too (with holes
in them), lay around, and innumerable feet of
deer, showing plainly on what the tribe had lived.
A stream which ran through the camp had been
dammed, hardly as neatly as if beavers had been
the engineers, and there were traces of a native
laundry and bathing-house. Small beds of dry
brush showed where each chief had lain, and by
the bank of the river at some distance was a low
mud hovel, in shape like a bee-hive, with a hole
facing the water just big enough for a man to
crawl through. This, my guide told me, was an
Indian ' sweat-house ' (the word sounds ill, but it
is good English), a native form of the institution
known in different countries as Turkish or Russian baths.    Like the Russians, the Indians are LETTER XII.
in the habit of rushing from their frying-pan into
the cold water or snow outside, hence the invariable position of these huts on the river-banks.
The Indians on the Ashinola, at any rate, are a
cleanly people, especially on their hunting expeditions, before starting upon which they indulge
in most wholesale ablutions, and  during which
* ©
they are rude enough to insist upon the ladies of
their party sleeping in little wigwams or shelters
by themselves. But I am off the line.. White
goats, not redskins, should be the subjects of this
letter, and it was because a colony of white goats
was said to dwell in these peaks that we camped
at this particular spot; an old Indian camping-
ground on ordinary occasions being a thing rather
to avoid than to seek. The goat is very local in
its distribution, and keeps a good deal apart from
all other beasts, living in the most barren moun-
tain-tops, where, though it finds something to
browse upon, no grass tempts sheep or deer to
share its solitude.
Its skin only sells for $1*50 at the Hudson
Bay agencies in the North-West, and its
flesh is so unappetizing that even an Ashinola
Indian won't eat it. So when three or four
years ago (and Toma was sure it was not longer
than that) two white goats appeared from no one
knew where, on the sheer cliff opposite, no great 136
efforts were made to kill them. In that neighbourhood the animal had never been seen before.
The oldest inhabitant had never heard of a goat
on these hunting-grounds, and though in the
second year a few were killed by the young
braves out of curiosity, and as a lesson in natural
history, after that no one meddled with them,
the braves not caring about goat's-flesh, and,
unlike the braves of the civilized world, being
quite content with the ' scent' with which Nature
had endowed them. So the goats increased and
multiplied, and when I pitched my tent at the
potato ranch on the evening of October 18 th
or 19th (I forget which), I was assured that the
hill behind me was full of bearded billies and
their   dames.     It was   starlight when we   rose
next morning, and as we sat by the camp-fire
breakfasting and watching the light of a new day
spread over the precipitous face of rock opposite
to us, Toma and myself exclaimed simultaneously
in various languages : ' By Jove, there is one !'
and when the glasses were brought to bear, we
found that not one but three of the beasts we
sought were slowly browsing across what looked
to us a sheer wall of rock. Old S. was for immediate pursuit. Toma and I dissented, long
experience having taught us both that when you
can see a beast from your camp-fire, the odds are LETTER XII.
that that beast has seen your camp, and will be
peculiarly wide awake all day. So we finished
our breakfast and rode our long-suffering ponies
along the first bluffs which led up to the heights
on which we expected to find our game. But
even these first bluffs were so steep that the
ponies lowered their wise heads to inspect every
stone on which they trod, and even then slipped
so badly on the steep sidling hill, that for fear
lest we should be precipitated horse and man into
the foaming mountain-torrent, whose course the
yellow aspens marked below, we very soon
picketed our steeds and walked. ' Lunch, tyee ?'
questioned Toma ; but the ' tyee' (i.e., chief) did
not like the look of the steep sugar-loaf above
him, and wisely decided to put the lunch in his
pocket to be eaten (if at all) at the top. Thigh-
deep we waded through the swirling waters of
the burn, and then began to work our way in a
steep zigzag uphill. Toma was in splendid form,
and his pace undeniable. I knew I had only this
one day left to kill my goat in, so that I dare
not remonstrate ; but I prayed earnestly that
Toma might slip or drop something, if only to
gain a moment's breathing-space. Thrice only
the little man paused in that heart-breaking
climb, and then it was on some vantage-point
from which he expected an extended view of the sides of our hill or its neighbours. He might
look for goats ; I did not want to see any.
With a sigh I sank at his feet the moment he
paused, larding the lean earth with a torrent of
heavy drops from my brow. Perhaps each pause
lasted three minutes, and then at it we went
again, as if we were climbing some corkscrewwhose
end was beyond the clouds. At the third pause
Toma's face lit up, and four fingers held aloft
gave me the first hint of the presence of a like
number of goats still some distance above them.
By-and-by Toma took me by the arm, and
pointed to the very highest ledge of the rocks
which crowned our hill, whereon, with his family
between him and the approaching danger, lay ' a
big man-sheep 1 fast asleep. Then all fatigue was
forgotten, and fear—fear lest we should be unable
to come within shot—took its place. To avoid the
she-goats, we were obliged to descend a little and
then come up the opposite side, and so over the
crest to our quarry. Even with the hill between
us we had to walk warilv, and this on those
perpendicular slopes added greatly to our difficulties. All the timber round us (of which there
was a good deal) had been burnt in comparatively
recent times, and the sharp-pointed pine-boughs
barred our path or caught in our clothes and
stayed our progress.    If we laid a hand on them LETTER XII.
to move them from our way, they were so brittle
that they snapped with a report which sounded
to us loud enough to rouse Rip van Winkle from
his hundred years of slumber. Then there were
the fool-hens. When we wanted one for the pot,
there was always a difficulty in finding it; but
when found it would sit immovable, whilst every
stone in the country was hurled at it. Now
there seemed to be a fool-hen in every tree, and
though we crept past them like shadows, the
great birds would whirl out of the pines as noisily
as a rising covey at home. It seemed as if we
never could reach the top undiscovered, when a
low ' hist!' from Toma turned me into stone.
Not thirty yards in front of me was a grayish
mass, hard to distinguish clearly, for running right
across it was the stem of a fallen pine from
behind which this strange figure had risen. I
could see the horns and the great hump, could
just make out the quarters, and under the log I
could see the beast's legs, but I could see no vital
spot to fire at. For a couple of minutes we stood
equally immovable, the goat and I, and then,
slowly raising my rifle, I waited. My movement stirred him, and for a moment I got an
indifferent glimpse of his shoulder, and, as I supposed, planted the bullet in the right place. At
any rate, he fell to the shot, though he picked 140
himself up again and scrambled off through the
timber, never showing me again enough to fire at.
Hurrying breathlessly after him, we almost ran
into him in the next 200 yards, and this time, as
I had a clear view of his shaggy bulk, I dropped
him, dead beyond all doubt. To our surprise,
we found this was not my wounded goat, but
another ; so, leaving him, we climbed on up to the
crest, looking over which we found the first great
' man-sheep,' as Toma called him, whose siesta we
watched from below, stretching himself and listening as if uncertain whence the sound of my shots
had come. He was a magnificently white and
bearded patriarch, and I was sufficiently annoyed
when he rose after my first shot and went off
along the cliff's face as if nothing had happened.
And now followed a strange chase. The goat
was on a narrow ledge and going leisurely. I
could not get to him unseen, and would not give
him up. My only chance was to follow him on
to the ledge, where, if he looked back, he. must
see me. For some time he did not look back,
but sauntered along not a bit lame, but quite
unconcerned. I could have shot him at any
moment, but not so as to kill him neatly, his
ragged quarters being all I could see of him. I
was beginning to dislike the line of country which
seemed to him sufficiently easy for a wounded LETTER XII.
goat, and in my struggles to keep my feet some
pebbles rolled more noisily than usual down the
ravine. This attracted his attention, and he
turned his head over his shoulder and stared at
me stolidly for quite half a minute, wondering
apparently what I was and what on earth I
wanted,   but  not   afraid.    After   looking  long
O ©
enough to begin to get eerie notions into my head,
I managed to get a steady shot at this uncanny
white beast, who was certainly not forty yards
from me all the time ; and a bullet not far from
the root of his ear sent him toppling into a
land where all doubts cease.
I could have bagged more goats had I wanted
©© ©
to, as there were at least a dozen of them, male
and female, about the craggy point on which we
were, and every ledge had been their lair at
some time or another ; but I was sick of the stupid
brutes, and satisfied with two great graybeards
I had already bagged. My first goat, hit, I fancy,
too far back, betook himself to a place to die,
where I could not follow, though Toma promised
himself his skin, after he should have left my
service on the morrow. I don't know whether
he ever got the skin, but I fancy not, as my
little friend got a scare that day which will keep
him from those mountains for some time. He
had left his knife in camp, so that he and my 142
half-breed cook had to return again that night
to skin the two he-goats I had bagged. As they
skinned the last and largest, they had to turn
him over on his other side, when, dead though he
was—he bleated ! Toma was nearly beside himself with fright, and the half-breed had to finish
the skinning, Toma declaring that it was an omen,
and portended all manner of grisly terrors in the
near future. Poor little Toma ! I hope the storm
of misfortune passed you by as scatheless as it
passed me, and that by this time you believe that
it was only the wind escaping from the dead
beast, and not a spirit voice, which you heard.
That night Toma lay by the fire, for the first
time dead beat. My last pair of tennis-shoes
were soleless, my last moccasins in shreds, and
when I suggested 'Just one day more in the
hills,' Toma shook his head, saying, ' No ! Indian
tired; Indian can't go any more ; must go home
and rest.'     Au re voir, Pat.
C. P. w.
Hope, B.C.
Dear Pat,
The Rocky Mountain goats of the
potato ranch afforded me my last day's sport
in the Similkameen country, for though I tried
exceedingly hard to secure a guide to the haunts
of those grizzlies who were reputed to dwell on
' the summit,' I failed in my endeavour, partly
because most of the best men were away.'packing ' or ' trapping,' and partly because all the
native hunters of the district were suffering from
the effects of a scare caused by the death of a
Hope Indian, killed outright by one of these
brutes, and the death of another Indian near
Penticton, who had been disembowelled and left
by a bear which he had found feeding upon the
carcass of a deer shot in the early morning. The
poor fellow lingered for three or four days, but
succumbed eventually to his wounds, and the
grizzly, though badly wounded, managed to escape 144
the party of revenge which pursued him. At
the Alison ranch no hunters could be found, so
that I had to be content with my single interview with old Ephraim, and determined, if possible, to get to Hope in time to catch the boat
for Westminster. That sounds rather homely,
does it not? and brings the embankment and
muddy Father Thames vividly before the mind's
eye ; but the road from Princetown to Hope is
not quite so easy to travel as that from the
Temple to Westminster, and I was assured that
if I compassed the distance in two days, it would
be as much as I could possibly do, even without
pack-horses. We camped one night at ' the summit,' i.e., at the top of the ridge which shuts off
the Similkameen country from Hope and the
Fraser. Here every year Winter sets up his first
blockade, and already the first snow had fallen,
and the little burn was hard frozen, when at
4 a.m. I went to it for my morning tub. At
breakfast we had a guest, a white man whom we
passed the night before driving a couple of
draught oxen slowly over the mountains. He
was a strange instance of the waifs and strays
you meet out West. Apparently a fairly well-
educated man of thirty-five or so, he had gone in
to the Similkameen country in the harvest-time
with a well-bred American horse, which he had
mi *m
bought at some point far east of Hope. The
horse (a stallion) had'been his stock-in-trade, and
with him he had tramped hundreds of miles by
mountain trails, forcing his way, self-reliant and
alone, into all sorts of remote corners in which
white settlers had taken up patches of prairie
land. Finally, he had disposed of his horse at a
good price, made some money in the harvest-
fields, invested part of it in the handsome pair of
oxen he was driving when we met him, and was
now on his way to some point at which he expected to dispose of them at a profit. What he
made by his year's work could not have amounted
to very much, but it was an independent wandering life, and that seemed to satisfy him.
In my two visits to the American continent,
I have met Englishmen (educated men, too) doing
everything to earn a living, from ' toting a handsaw ' (i.e., travelling as carpenters) to ' tending a
bar;' everything, that is, except begging, a pro
fession foreign to the bracing climate of the
It was very, very early in the morning when I
left my camp on my last day in the mountains.
It had taken us nearly three days to reach that
point from Hope on the way out, and I was bent
on reaching Hope that night. There was very
little risk of mistaking the trail; but as I bade
I i^6
good-bye to old S., he shook his hoary head, and
expressed a conviction that I should certainly get
no farther than the fourteen-mile house. That
was the last glimpse I had of the old man, in his
shirt-sleeves, slowly arranging a diamond hitch on
one of the pack-animals, and, smoking the eternal
meerschaum, dignified leisurely, and (as usual)
airily clad, although the snow was on the ground,
and the snows of time upon his head. Though
no one will ever succeed in making him hurry, I
© «/ 7
very much doubt if anyone will ever find a better,
more considerate, or kindlier old man to ' boss
an outfit to those hunting-grounds.' Of course I
rode at my pony's best pace along the lonely
road, over which a threatening winter sky was
hanging, while all the beauty of crimson foliage
and sunlight had vanished and made room for
Nature's most wintry frown. Those Hope
Mountains are just such as should grow a fine
crop of supernatural horrors, and the Indian
legends show that their looks do not belie them.
In another letter I will gather together what
© ©
creepy stories I know, and introduce you to the
beings who people the shadowland of this chaotic
On the Similkameen side of the summit we
had met large breeds of cattle, untended by men,
led only by their instinct, wandering home to the LETTER XIII.
prairies from their summer pastures on the uplands, where now frost and snow were gradually
asserting themselves. On the Hope side there
were no cattle, nothing but forest and gray rock,
without browsing for a jackass, and oftentimes
the ever-climbing track wound over mere heaps
of sharp-edged stones, rendered more grizzly by
a crop of burnt pine-stumps. At noon I passed
through a lower and warmer belt, where a
heavy storm of warm rain made the trout rise
splendidly in a broad still bend of milky blue
water which came temptingly near my path.
Unfortunately I had the relics of my rod tied
to my saddle, my reel and a couple of flies were
in my pocket. A strong-minded man would
have resisted the temptation and ridden on. To
resist temptation means sometimes to miss a
chance, and in this instance I felt sure that my
charmer who rose so softly under the willows
could not weigh less than three pounds. So I
dismounted, tied my broken rod together, and
soon had two or three good fish out on the bank.
But with a broken top I could not reach the big
one. There was, however, on the other side of
a tributary of the main stream a point from
which I could cover my fish. To reach it I
must wade through the smaller stream. This,
however, meant getting wet to the waist, so, rod
*■' 148
in hand, I mounted my trusty Rosinante and
tried to ride her through. Never had I a worse
journey. First, the rod was hard to manage,
and the poor beast did not like the deep water,
and then I found that my steed was sinking in a
quicksand. It was no time to hesitate. Away
went the rod, and after a severe struggle through
treacherous sand and deep water, I just managed
to regain terra firma wet to the neck, and after a
© a
very bad five minutes got my horse out, after
seeing him flounder, as I thought, hopelessly,
with the water well over the saddle. Poor old
beast, wet and muddy and hungry, she looked a
very rueful spectacle ; and I did not feel much
more cheerful myself, but that trout was still
rising, rising, too, now that the last few drops of
the shower were pattering off the boughs with a
demonstrative ' flop ' which no fisherman could
resist. So being wet, I just waded in, and as
the fly lit, an angry swirl in the still water
marked a good fish's rush, and away went the
line down stream as if it never meant to return.
Of course my top joint broke again in every
place at which it had been mended, while the
butt came away from the second joint. Never
did a man fight a fish at a greater disadvantage.
My reel was practically separated from my rod,
and my rod was in bits.    But the line was sound mm
and the fish not very unreasonable, so that after
five or six minutes he came sailing up to my
feet a great bar of crimson. I hardly, knew what
I had got hold of, for though a salmo fontinalis
is very brilliant, I had never seen anything like
this before, a fish red all over as the leaf of a
sugar maple in September. I have learnt since,
however, that all the big trout of the Skagit (of
which the stream I was fishing is a tributary)
are of this brilliant hue. In spite of his colour,
he was a true trout, and hung at my saddle-bow?
I should think, a good four pounds, the best fish
I ever caught in America. The rod lies somewhere amongst the bushes by the burn-side,
buried as it were on the field of victory. There
was not enough of it whole to make it worth
further carriage. The rain came down after this
and kindly veiled the miseries and regrets of my
horse and myself, even affording consolation in
the thought that the prudent man would have
been as wet as the rash one. Dripping and
hungry we reached the fourteen-mile house, where
horse and man were well fed, the man appreciating  the wisdom  of the American host who
gives a glass of whisky (as a prelude to dinner)
to every guest who pays for a meal at his
It wanted but an hour and a half at most to i5°
darkness, when my horse and I took the road
again ; but to an English mind fourteen miles
seems such a little way, that in spite of warning
I started cheerily enough. Of course it was
dark before I got much more than half-way, in
spite of the efforts I made to make the most of
the pale shadows of twilight. After them came
dense darkness and rain which seemed to sweep
along the track in sheets. I could not see my
horse's head, much less the narrow trail. Later
on, even the horse went wrong. I had for an
hour past left the direction entirely to her, hoping
she would forgive my sins in the past and not
precipitate me headlong from any of the little
toy bridges we had to pass into the roaring
torrents below. But it was a shock to my nerves
when I heard her crashing amongst the brush,
felt that she was wandering from side to side,
and then that she had stopped, dead ! If she
could not find the way, I certainly could not; so
I just sat still until she chose to try again, while
a fine little brook rose somewhere near the nape
of my neck, bubbled merrily down my spine, and
rushed out in twin torrents over my boots.
After a pause, poor old Rosinante gave a groan
and tried again, appearing to me actually to feel
the ground with her nose as she went, her endeavours being rewarded nearly an hour later by LETTER XIII.
a glimpse of the lights of Hope. We gained the
shelter of the town late last night, and I shall
manage to catch the steamer this morning.
Yours ever,
C. P. W. 152
My dear Patrick,
It seems somewhat irreverent to describe the men who people a country last in order
except for the local spirits and devils whom they
fear if they do not still worship them. That,
however, is what I propose to do, and I apologize
for it by confessing that to me the wild beasts
are more interesting than the wild men, and certainly more numerous. The Indians in the narrow valley to which my wanderings were confined
are not of the same race, I believe, as the
Thompson River Indians ; but are the representatives of a tribe of redskins from the Pacific
.Coast, who, having forced their way in to the
hunting-fields beyond the Hope ridge, during the
summer months, got snowed in, and, retreat
having been cut off, managed to hold their own
against their neighbours. Such particulars as
I have managed to glean concerning them and
their superstitions I owe to Mrs. Alison of Pen-
li 111 LETTER XIV.
ticton, whose nursery, if it has not all the advantages of home, possesses such means of whiling
away the winter evenings as compensate for any
children's pleasures which the young Alisons
may lose. For at Princetown, ' when the cold
north winds blow, and the long howling of the
wolves is heard amidst the snow,' when the ribs
of the lordly buck which the boys shot in the
morning are roasting on the embers, the door
opens quietly, and soft-footed old Quilltasket
comes in, his brown eyes bright and keen, and
his short square figure clothed in deer-skins and
fur, his old wrinkled brown face looking quainter
* ©      J.
than ever in the flickering firelight.    He is the
© ©
historian of his tribe, an historian who tells his
legends, not in dead written words, but in lively
speech illustrated by appropriate action. From him
and others of his tribe Mrs. Alison has collected all
that seems to be known of the Similkameen clan.
Unlike the Indians of Oregon and Washington
territory, the Indians of British Columbia generally appear to have always been peaceful and
law-abiding. This is due, say the white settlers,
to the fact that even-handed justice has always
been administered in British Columbia between
white men and red ; and in corroboration of this,
I remember to have heard grumblings amongst
the white men, to the effect that a ' darned Injun 154
could do jist what he pleased, and no one ever
said nothin' to him.' That was the view possibly
of a squatter, who only looked upon Indians as
natural encumbrances to the land. In spite of
the Roman Catholic priests, who live amongst
them and have won their respect, the Indians
make but indifferent Christians still. Some of
them bury their dead in the graveyards under
the cross, others bury them where they can from
time to time dig them up to join with the living
in a wild and ghostly drinking bout. Very
emotional, the half-civilized redskins join heartily
in all the services of the church, especially in any
Service of Song, and they even have amongst
them men who undertake the daily duties of the
priest, ring the prayer-bell and have prayers, in
the absence of that minister. But the Indian
leaves his Christianity behind him in church;
marries as many wives as he chooses, though he
is gradually becoming sufficiently civilized to
think one enough at a time, ' trades' them whenever an opportunity offers for others more attractive, or for more useful possessions, such as
horses or saddles, gambles to a very great extent,
lies as much as he thinks profitable to him, and
gets drunk whenever he gets a chance. Unfortunately, in spite of the stringent,laws of Canada,
I was told over and over again that the Indians LETTER XIV.
' can get all the whisky they want, and do get
it.' Even in a single village of Indians you will
see individuals in every stage of civilization, the
old people preferring to adhere to the customs of
their childhood, though nothing pleases them
better than to see the younger members of their
tribe aping the whites in house and habits and
maimer of living. In one encampment, by a
broad stream among the cotton-woods, you will
see half the people living in the old-fashioned
' tuper' (a circular frame of poles, hung over
with rush-mats of native make), while the men
of this generation have fine white tents of canvas,
bought from the stores of Hope, or Yale, or
Westminster. In front of the tupers you will
find the old people lying on deer-mats in the sun,
with extremely little on, smoking pipes of their
own make, of a dark green stone; old men and
women, not only smoking themselves, but indulging their little boys and girls in a whiff
whenever they appear deserving of special favour.
Under a pine-tree just outside the camp is a
group of gamblers, three boys and an older man,
in nothing but a pair of deer-skin pants. This
group has been sitting by the fire since the
night before, gambling for the boys' wages, which
before long will be carried away in the pockets of
the deer-skin pants to buy whisky. 156
A more pleasing sight is the smart white tent
on the top of the river-bank, inside which are
beds of bear-skins, covered with good blankets,
and even clean white sheets, while woman's love
of colour has asserted itself in smart quilts,
prettily pieced together from remnants of various
bright-hued calicoes.    A foot  from the door a
canvas tablecloth is spread, though the only table
is mother earth, and upon this stands the pride
of the woman's heart, a gaily-coloured little china
tea-service. On the fire hard by sputters the
morning meal of beans and bacon, the tea simmers
in the bright tin pot, and a greedy-eyed little
papoose tied up to a stick is propped against the
tent watching the progress of breakfast. By-
and-by the chickens attack the frying-pan, or
the dog knocks the papoose off his perch, and
up comes mamma from the river, where she has
been making her toilette, her black hair in long
braids gleaming with drops from the river, and
her whole person looking bright and clean. Young
as she is, the gentleman in black broad-cloth,
with a silver watch in his pocket, of which he is
inordinately proud, is her seventh husband, the
other six having parted with her for various considerations, or having exchanged her for more
serviceable helpmates.
A lady's estimate of the Indian women of this LETTER XIV.
tribe is, that though not pretty, their faces are
pleasing, their figures perfect, if it were not that
they are a little square-shouldered, and their
hands and feet exquisitely small and shapely.
Being shy or unobservant, this traveller is bound
to admit that he never saw an Indian lady whom
he  could  distinguish  from   her   male   relatives.
Certainly all he saw wore blankets of brilliant
colours in much the same fashion, and sat astride
their horses with masculine firmness and freedom.
But then, Pat, you know I would rather face a
crocodile than meet a ladies' school, or any other
Yours truly,
Dear Pat,
I promised you some Indian fairy-tales.
The following is the best that I can do for you.
Half the legends which do duty as history among
the red-men of the Similkameen have for their
hero the Tumisco ; a chief of the tribe which
dwells near Princetown, and the immediate predecessor and father of the reigning potentate,
In-cow-market.     It was through In-cow-market
that the stories reached my friend Mrs. Alison,
who handed them on to me ; and upon In-cow-
market's head be the shame if they are false, and
the glory if they have in them some of the wild
poetry of that stern country from whence they
came. I read them first by the flames of my
huge camp-fire upon ' the summit,' and wove
them into their present shape as I rode in solitude and darkness under the tall gray pines, on
that night of storm described in my last letter.
It may be that I have thus rolled many legends wan
into one, and condensed the lives and adventures
of several chiefs into a type of the race. If so,
forgive me, red heroes; the stage on which I have
to make you dance is but a small one.
Like all the men of his race, Tumisco was a
mighty hunter. Upon him his aged parents
might count with certainty for food and game to
make their old hearts glad. Never in all the
years did Tumisco let his parents lie down
hungry. The deer and the sheep died before his
arrows ; and even the white goat died, that its
horns might tip the bow of hard mountain-
spruce carried by the chief when, stripped to his
smooth red skin, he crept nearer and nearer to
Callomeha, the great grizzly bear, until he could
hear his breathing and watch the flank of the
monster heaving evenly in sleep. Then Tu-
misco's arrow flashed through the air, and
Callomeha died to make beds of soft fur for the
stranger-guests of Tumisco. It was upon the
mountain Chippaco, the cloud-bearer, that Tumisco had one evening slain a she-bear.    It was
too late to return to the camp, so the chief slept
in the yet warm hide of his victim, his good
horse tethered beside him, and the bear's-meat
piled high between horse and man to protect it
from the fierce wolves of the mountain.
Dark and grim were the mountain shadows,
1 ""•"«—«
and the pale moonlight was weird and sad, while
the wolves' howling and the winds were the
chief's lullaby. But, born to such scenes and
used to such music, Tumisco slept. At midnight
he woke, roused by the loud snorting of his horse
Nehoggets.    With one wild bound that gallant
©© c*
beast snapped his reata, and clearing his master's
recumbent form, fled with the speed of the night
wind. Tumisco listened. Beside him was a
sound as of the tearing and rending of flesh, and
between him and the moonlight stood, gigantic
and terrible, Soni-appoo, the Spirit of Evil, feeding on the fresh bear's-meat.    Tumisco's cheek
blanched for the first time since childhood, and,
shrinking closer into his bloody bear's-hide,
he trembled lest the wild beating of his heart
should draw the fiend's attention to him. Then
Tumisco felt a mist rise round him, and his
heart died, and all became a blank. When the
morning sun rose life returned, and the chief
sought his people, and together the whole clan
scoured the mountain to find and slay Soni-
appoo. There they found him stretched in
slumber, his great arms spread among the pine-
trees, his huge black face turned with closed
eyes towards the sun, his breathing laboured and
loud. In. silence the warriors surrounded the
oLemon, and bound him with ropes and reatas; LETTER XV.
flight upon flight, thick as hail in winter, flew
the arrows, when the great Soni-appoo yawned
and awoke. As he stretched his hairy limbs,
ropes snapped like dry grass ; the arrows fell
idly back from his iron hide; and as he rose,
those daring ones who clung to his long silky
black locks were lifted up half as high as the
pines, and, as the demon shook his head, fell
feebly back to earth. With a laugh of scorn
Soni-appoo turned, not deigning to crush the
pigmies at his feet, and hid himself in a
thunder-cloud, in which the terrorrstricken Indians heard his laugh die away among the crags
of Chippaco.
It is well to hunt the deer in the open, or in
the sunny glades when the morning is fresh and
young; but the shadows of the tall peaks, and
the caverns at their feet, hold terrible shapes
towards   evening.     The   children   of the   tribe
remember the story of Kee-kee-was, father of
Tumisco, and shiver as they dabble in the little
trout-stream, where, years ago, he set his fish-
traps. In the winter the brook is a raging
torrent; but when summer has reduced it to a
noisy silver thread, it is full of bright trout.
Here, day after day, Kee-kee-was caught enough
trout for his whole tribe, until suddenly the run
seemed to cease, the traps were  empty.    Kee-
11 l62
kee-was suspected foul play, and lay out all one
moonlight night to watch. Towards morning he
heard a loud shrieking whistle, like the sound of
the north wind. Nearer and nearer it came, and
now he heard a tramp of feet which shook the
solid earth on which he lay, while a suffocating
smell of garlic filled the air. Too terror-stricken
to move, he lay until a great hand seized him
and lifted him up and up until he opened his
eyes on a level with a great face, whose jaws
dropped open and emitted a laugh loud as a
thunder-clap. But the big man was kindly, and
his eyes gentle. Stooping, he took up Kee-kee-
was' blanket, rolled him up in it, and then,
putting the unfortunate fisherman in the bosom
of his shirt, filled a basket with trout from the
traps, and strode away towards a cave among
the peaks, whistling like a winter storm as he
went. In the cave was another big man, just in
from hunting, two fat does hanging from his belt
©7 ©       ©
as grouse hang from the belt of an Indian.
For days Kee-kee-was lived, tied by the leg, in
the giants' cave, kindly treated and fed by them,
but deafened by the thunder of their conversation, and choked with the odour of their cave.
Huge as they were, they cried if a fish-bone
pricked them, and towards one another these
bearded white-skinned monsters were gentle and
loving as women. At last Kee-kee-was escaped,
and now, when the traps are empty, no man sits
up for the poachers.
It would take too long to tell you the story of
' Sour-grub,' the snake-like chief who stole the
good horse Nehoggets, and by treachery imprisoned the fire-god in his pipe, and of how
Tumisco released the fire-spirit, and by his aid
recovered Nehoggets, and in a storm of vivid light-
©© ' ©
ning turned Sour-grub and all his men into those
ruinous rocks which lie about in the valley; it
would take too long, too, to tell of the gambler
brother of Tumisco, who sat up all night with
the devil and played for all he owned and lost it
all and his life—so we pass on from daylight to
darkness, from the chief's life to his death. A
dreary wail rises from the valleys ; it swells
louder and louder, and the voices of Nature
mourn in chorus. The pine-trees creak in the
wind, the river moans betwreen its hollow banks,
the night - owls flitting by hoot to the wolf
howling on the mountain-side. What is it
Shnena, the night-owl, calls from the gloomy
wood to his mate, who sits watching on the
tallest pole of Tumisco's tent ? ' Poom pa!
poom, poom !' he says; and his mate makes
answer : ' Poom pa ! poom, poom !' (I come for
you, I come for you !)
Round Tumisco's lodge the Indians are singing
a low, sad chaunt. Their chief, strong as the
bear, wise as the wolverine, is going out, whither
his father went, into the darkness and the silence.
By-and-by his sister, that wise woman Connue-
tatio, comes out from the lodge, and bids the warriors bring the Pinto mare, her brother's favourite
war-horse ; bids them tie her colt and set the
mare free, saddled and bridled with the chief's
war-saddle, and it shall be, if the mare travel up
the valley towards the sunrise, their chief shall
live ; but if towards the sunset, then shall
Tumisco surely die. Kiwas, the chief's friend,
leads the mare forth. For a moment she faces
the sunrise, and then slowly turns down the
valley and follows the darkness.
The  night wears  on, and   one  comes  riding
© 7 ©
through the night, riding a steed whose breath
is like white smoke in the gloom. It is Scuse,
the mighty doctor, from Loo-loo-hoo-loo, the
hollow land; Scuse, who chased the spirit of
the waters, thinking he chased a deer, until in a
valley like Eden, sweet with the scent of syringas,
and fresh with springing water and cool, deep
mosses, he came upon the great Gemmo-gemmo-
hesus, the friend of man, wrhose bat-like wings
perpetually fanned and beat the air, from whose
brow the broad antlers rose above a face like the LETTER XV.
face of man but for the covering of deer's-hide,
and the great kindly eyes in which neither anger
nor cruelty dwell.
With Gemmo-gemmo-hesus (the Spirit of the
Waters) Scuse dwelt, while two moons waxed and
waned, until he had learnt all the arts of healing,
and the kindly spirit set him free to go back and
help his brother man.
Now Scuse comes hurrying through the night
to fight and wrestle with the evil spirit which
was destroying Tumisco. At the bidding of the
medicine-man the warriors pile high the pine-
logs, whose bright flames banish the gloom and
light up the darkness. Then from outside the
circle of the firelight comes a thing like nothing
known on earth. It has the beak of an eagle,
the claws of a bear; round its body is the hide
of a buffalo ; round its neck is a necklet of dried
toads, while its girdle is the skin of a snake. It
is Scuse in his armour—Scuse, who will peck out
the eyes of the evil one with the eagle's beak,
tear him with the claws of a bear, and make him
writhe with the poison of toad and rattlesnake.
Singing and dancing in the firelight, Scuse tempts
the evil spirit to the fray. At last he prevails.
The devil leaves Tumisco ; the chief sits upright,
and watches whilst the medicine-man and the
spirit wrestle together for his life.      Little by little the doctor's efforts fail, his breath grows
faster and more faint, the hand of the devil is at
his throat, he shrieks and falls in a swoon,
mastered. As he falls, Tumisco's strength fades,
he lies back in bed, and his eyes grow dim.
Anon the medicine-man rises from his swoon,
and confesses that he is vanquished. Tumisco
must die at sunset next day ; there is no more
hope. Connuetatio assents ; ' there is no more
hope ; Tumisco dies at sunset.'
So the young warriors are bidden to mount
and ride hard east, and west, and south, and
north, to bring in the guests to the funeral feast.
7 © ©
The warriors go out, and nowT the long day dawns,
and grows warm, and begins to grow old. It
is near sunset. Scuse has said Tumisco dies at
sunset. Connuetatio, his sister, has said it. The
sun is low down, and still the chief lives. It is
not meet to watch his last struggles.     Throw a
buffalo robe over his head. Yet another and
another ! What, does he still breathe and
struggle ? Pile on, then, more rugs ! So ! Ah,
the sun is down. Lift the robes ! The chief
Tumisco  is dead!    As  the  shades of   evening
fall, the women cut off their long tresses and
blacken their faces, that their faces may reflect
the gloom of their hearts. From far and near,
guests come in to the funeral feast.     Huge bon- LETTER XV.
fires are lighted, and the dead man in all his
finery is laid out amongst the guests, who feast
and make merry while his portion is given to the
flames to devour, along with the gifts which his
neighbours bring to the dead. In the darkness, the
chief's horses are led round and round his corpse.
His sisters make presents from among them to
his nearest friends ; the rest are driven out into
the murky midnight pursued by the assembled
warriors, lassoes in hand. What each captures
is his to have and to hold. At dawn the guests
dig a deep grave, and lay therein gifts and robes,
and last of all their chief, his bow and arrows at
his feet, his knife in his hand. Then they cover
him from sight, and pile high the stones above
him, that the wolf and the coyotes may not disturb the sleep of the mighty hunter. Here for
three years Tumisco rests in peace—the dead
have no place among the living—the snows fall
and melt into his grave, and he is forgotten. At
the end of three years there is a whispering in
the village: women hide their heads, strong chiefs
shudder for fear. Orola, the young brave, saw
it last night—saw the tall gaunt thing rise from
the grave of the buried chief; heard its sighs
and lamentations ; saw it go whirling and whirling down the valley, fire and smoke coming from
its jaws, its grave-clothes fluttering on. the night- 168
wind. His heart fluttered like a snared bird and
stood still. When it began to beat again, the
thing was gone.    Now it is at the sister's lodge
© © *-'
that there is a tapping, which is not the tapping
of the woodpecker—a rustling that is not the
wood-rat, looking for his food. At length they
can stand these visitations no longer. Scuse, the
medicine-man, is sent for. With charms and
songs he entices the uneasy spirit to a mat, draws
him thither, and binds him upon it with a mighty
spell. Then he cross-examines the spirit of the
chief, and finds that Tumisco is discontented because he is forgotten; his sisters have ceased to
mourn for him, other men ride his horses, his
dogs follow other men to the chase ; moreover, no
funeral feast has lately been held in his honour,
and his grave-clothes are musty and mouldy with
This Scuse looks upon as a well-founded
cause of complaint. The spirit is released, and
Scuse and the sisters convene a meeting of the
tribes to hold a merry-making with the dead, who
is disinterred,   each Indian lifting a bone, whilst
© 7
their mouths and nostrils are stuffed with
sweet-smelling grass. The bones are laid in a
new sheet. The old grave-clothes are burned.
Gifts ■ are presented to the chief; like scaloolas
(or carrion birds), the   warriors dance   and flit
«i —r ---11
round the grave in the night season, and until
morning, dawns carouse madly with the corpse.
Then at last they lay the poor bones to rest in
their deep dark house of silence, where neither
howl of gray wolf nor sneaking coyote can disturb the chieftain's sleep. Far away, four days'
journey from his village, they believe that Tumisco
burns his solitary fire on the lonely camping-
grounds of the Hereafter.
So goes the legend of Tumisco and his fellows,
when In-cow-market is the story-teller, and the
legend gives a very faithful picture of the death,
at any rate, of an Indian chief in the Cascades.
It is not in every case that the relatives choke
out the last struggling sighs with blankets and
o©        © ©
buffalo robes, but it is undoubtedly true that, if
the Indians want to move their camp, and an invalid whose life is despaired of is inconveniently
long in dying, his friends smother him.
The funeral feasts of which the legend tells are
costly ceremonies, as you may judge from the
following facts in connection with a recent ' wake '
at Princetown. The deceased was only a child,
but the guests were nearly 100, and the feast
lasted two nights.    Each night at sunset a beast
© o
was slain, and at sunrise not an ounce of flesh
was left. One hundred pounds of flour, half a
sack of rice, dried apples, peaches, etc., were also BH
bought and consumed in the two nights, together
with twenty yards of white calico, and several
whole ' pieces ' of coloured material, half of which
was burnt as an offering to the dead, and the
other half distributed among the mourners.
The waste of goods at these wakes and fetes is
very great, and the fear of ghosts among the
Indians is carried to the most ridiculous extent;
but 'it has one excellent result: the debts of the
dead are never left unpaid.
Yours truly,
Stone Buildings,
Dear C,
If I write this my humble confession
in the meekest of spirits, let that suffice. I confess that the Adirondacks are a fraud ; don't write
in reply that ' you told me so.' When you tore
yourself away from the fading frivolities of Saratoga, we all began to get uneasy and make ready
for flight.     ' Shamus' was  the  first to go.     I
© ©
took him down to the station, and with him
endeavoured to persuade some one of a score of
railway officials to put a couple of portmanteaus
on the train. We had omitted some formality
in   registering  the   baggage,   so these worthies
© © ©G    ©    '
stood at ease with folded arms and smiled at the
agonies of the passenger they were paid to assist.
My last glimpse of Shamus showed him standing
on the foot-board of his car, clutching the end of
a gigantic portmanteau with convulsive energy. 172
Whether eventually he managed to pull his possessions inside, or was forced to let go, I never
heard. The porters were still smiling and standing at ease when I left the station.     On the fol-
lowing day I booked myself for Blue Mountain,
by the Adirondack railroad and stage-coach,
equipped for conquest, whether on the lake or in
the woods. What time I had to spare I whiled
away by perusing the most fascinating of guidebooks, bound in imitation birch bark, and illustrated with glimpses of a sylvan paradise such
as I have never dared to dream of even in my
most sanguine moods. In its pages I saw the
happy hunter at one moment triumphant over
the antlered monarch of the woods, at the next
bowed down beneath a burden of fish which (if
the angler was a man of average height) must
have measured about three feet six inches apiece,
and, again, oh, happy fate ! issuing from between
the tall stems of the hemlocks, he finds the fairest
of Transatlantic   Circes, swinging  in her ham-
7 O       ©
mock, and waiting for him as Tennyson's lady
waited in old time for the fairy prince. Instinctively my fingers played with my moustache, and
I wondered, would she, when I found her, have
so many dollars that I might dwell for ever in
sight of the Blue Mountain, and never see Stone
Buildings any more.    Well, I never found her, mmm
and if finding her meant a life in the Adirondacks,
I am glad I didn't.    From Saratoga to the Blue
© ©
Mountain is a twelve hours' journey, most of it
along   the   banks  of the  Hudson River.    The
scenery, of course, is delightful, though marred,
to my mind, in no small degree by the hosts of
blanched and weather-beaten pine-logs which lie
stranded on the shores, shoals, and rocks of the
river,  much as  you saw them   at   Glen   Falls,
though, of course, in smaller numbers.    When a
flood   comes   they   will   start   afresh   upon   the
journey  they  commenced   last  spring,   until, at
Glen Falls, they are caught in the floating boom,
and told off according to the trade-mark on their
butts, into the partitions assigned to their respective owners.    At the railway terminus a stagecoach with   six   horses   met us,  followed by a
number   of buck-board   traps   for   those  whose
destinations were close at hand.    Almost before
I had realized what the next stage of the journey
was to be, I heard the cry of ' All aboard,' and
the coach dashed away at full speed.    Luckily I
was just in time ; but it does not do to linger
much in changing carriages if you don't mean to
be left behind in America.     On the coach I had
the luck to meet two young Americans going in,
like myself,   to shoot  deer.     They were really
good  fellows, and, like all their race, hospitable 174
and kindly disposed to the strangers. By their
invitation I joined their party, and that the more
readily as I was informed that in the sport of
hounding, the stronger the party the better its
chances of success. Their guide, Dick Birch,
reputed the best in the locality, joined us on the
second day, and reported the country full of
sportsmen and very much shot out. His report
caused a change in our programme. Instead of
going to Blue Mountain, we stopped at Cedar
River, picking up two more guides on the
I confess I was not sorry to sit down by the
porch of the Cedar River inn with mine host,
and watch the coach bump out of sight, while we
puffed the cool tobacco-smoke and listened to his
yarns of a monster brown bear that had recently
smashed the traps of the lumberers and roused
the woods with his growling. Personally I am
of opinion that it would not be worth anyone's
while to go to the Adirondacks for bear, although
at Walkley's. dam our guides said that they came
across fresh tracks. The covert is too dense to
get at the bears without dogs, and the guides
know too well the value of their hounds to let
them follow such dangerous quarry as Master
Bruin generally proves himself. ' Hounding ' is
the universal form of sport in the Adirondacks, LETTER XVI.
and it was to this that I was entered at dawn
next morning. If you observe carefully, you will
find that your true American hates exercise,
hence the popularity of hounding and duck-shooting.    You would not find him enthusiastic about
deer-stalking or partridge-shooting on our Montgomeryshire hills in November.
There are three things necessary for hounding :
guides who know the deer-runs, and the places at
which they generally take to the water ; hounds
who will stick to their quarry all day long if
necessary, and deer. We had both the first
requisites, excellent guides and good hounds ; but
I don't think deer were abundant. As soon as
the sun was up, we followed our guides into the
timber. Where the big trees still stood the
going was good enough, but where the lumberers
had felled the big timber, the brush was so thick
as to make progress both difficult and painful.
Two guides came with the guns to post them,
and one (the tracker) took the hounds away in
another direction. One of us was posted by a
river, another on a run by the river, and a third
in a boat on a lake. Our instructions were to
stand or sit, and even smoke if we chose ; but on
no account to change our positions whilst the
deer was afoot. I vow that I carried out the
guide's instructions to the letter, for a bird mis-
© 176
took me for a log and perched for some seconds
on my shoulder.
But no deer came my way ; indeed, I may as
well confess at once that, though I tried Cedar
River twice and went on to Walkley's dam, I
never saw a live deer in the Adirondacks. Two
were killed by our party ; one by the Doctor,
and one by Dick Birch, the guide, the first being
an exceptionally fine beast, weighing 220 lb.
when gralloched.
The hounds are the only interesting element
in this form of sport, and it is well worth while
to watch them work. The one tracker takes all
the hounds, and visits the feeding-grounds of the
deer until he finds a fresh track leading to the
spot in which the stag has couched for the day.
If the dogs own to the track, the man slips a
single hound and goes on. More than one dog
is never slipped upon the same track, and no dog
is slipped on a fawn's track, partly because the
game is not worth the candle, but more because
a fawn, by circling round and round over the
same ground, so stains it as to utterly baffle the
hound. When once the deer is roused, the chase
lasts on an average about a couple of hours, and
to. be successful your hound must not only be
staunch and utterly self-reliant, but swift to boot;
for if the stag is not well bustled he will go clean LETTER XVI.
away from the home waters, on which the guns
are posted, to some distant lake, upon which
probably some other party are at work, and be
killed by them. We lost two stags in this way.
Only one of our hounds showed any breeding,
,and he was only a half-bred one, and certainly
not the best of the pack. But in spite of their
want of breeding their performances are wonderful. After an hour's dodging close to home, the
deer wTould often give the hound a straight run
© ©
of some fourteen miles before taking to the water,
after which the hound would try along the bank
for a little while to make sure that the stag had
not come out again, and then take up his own
tracks, and run heel until he came to the place
at which the tracker had started him; here he
would take up his master's track and follow it
until he found him to once more be ready for
work. I remember in Ayrshire a celebrated
hound named Woodman, belonging to Mr. Malcolm, of Poltalloch, which stuck to a roe-deer
over a ringing run of fourteen miles, bringing the
roe back to be shot at the point at which it was
roused, and this was rightly thought an unusually
fine performance; but it would be only an ordinary
day's work for one of these under-bred Yankee
deer-hounds. It seems to me that the excellence
of these hounds, and the self-reliance and close
12 ■*!
hunting developed in them, is a strong argument
in favour of letting hounds alone as much as
possible. Having failed to kill my deer, and
having made sure that the Circe in a hammock
was only a phantom created by the ardent
imagination of the young man who wrote  the
© %J ©
guide-book, I betook myself seriously to fishing,
more especially as the camp was getting so
ravenous that our host's cow was within an ace
of being sacrificed.
There is a professional angler, named Lee
Harris, who spends a good part of his year
within hail of Fort William Henry Hotel, on
Lake George.     Of all those who angle for black
© ©
bass with grasshoppers, for pickerel or lake-trout
with ' shiners,' or in any other manner for any
other fish, Lee Harris is facile princeps. To
him I went for instruction, and as his plumes
had been a good deal ruffled lately by the advent
of a rival Izaak Walton from Australia, I found
him extremely communicative. Unfortunately it
was the old story. ' When I first came here,'
Lee Harris said, 'there were more fish in the
lakes than Dick Birch will tell you there were
deer in the forests when he first came along.
But it's not worth your while putting them
things together now,' pointing to my pile of rods.
' There are a few pickerel (jack you call 'em in LETTER XVI.
the old country), and some splendid twenty-pound
lake-trout still; but these lie very deep in the
lakes, and you don't get many of them. Why,
when I first came along, if we wanted a few
trout, we did not bother with flies, nor yet with
shiners, but just rowed our boat out on to the
lake and daubed her sides with molasses. " What
was that for ?" you say. Wal, you see, no
sooner was the molasses on than the flies came
in thousands, and the trout in hundreds after
the flies, and in such a tarnation hurry that they
jumped clar over the flies into the boat. The
trouble was not to catch a boatload of trout in
them days, but to get ashore before the fish sank
you. Ye-es, there were fish in the lakes then,
you bet!'
And so there may have been, but there are
very few now, in spite of the assertions of the
guide-books to the contrary. The lakes still
gleam like opals among the fiery reds of the
maple, the gold of the birch, and the bronze of
the oak; still mirror on their surface the tall
spiral forms of pine and hemlock; their beauty
may still make your eye brighten and your heart
throb ; but no monsters (or but very few) still
dwell in them to bend your rod and wake the
merry music of your reel. The Adirondacks
(forests and lakes alike) are a wonderful instance
12—2 i8o
of what the passion for sport, uncontrolled by
proper laws as to close-time and similar matters,
can achieve in the way of destruction in a country
but recently teeming with game. It is true that
there is now an association formed for the protection of the fish and the enforcement of the
game-laws, but it must be many years yet before
these waters begin to recover themselves.
Except for their beauty and their sweet health-
giving breezes, I wish I had taken your advice
and never seen the Adirondacks.
Yours, etc.
Victoria, B.C.
Sept., 1887.
Dear Lina,
If you have' had my husband's letters
forwarded to you by Mr.  E., you must know
what he has been doing for the last three weeks.
I  flatter myself that you would a great deal
rather know what I have been about.     ' I want
you to  stay at Victoria,' my  husband said  on
leaving me, ' and see if you think it would be
a pleasant place for you to live in.'    I have been
obeying   him   to   the   letter,   and .1   find   that
Victoria, with no  household worries, would be
charming ; and Victoria, even if you had to keep
house, would be decidedly bearable if you were
lucky enough to get a good  Chinaman.    Life
here for a woman depends, my dear, a good deal
upon   the   Chinese,  and   your   reputation  as  a
mistress   in   Chinatown   is   one   of your   most
valuable possessions.    If you are lucky, and treat A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
your Celestial well, he seems to me to be a
treasure beyond price. As a matter of fact, you
have to pay him thirty to forty dollars a month
as cook, housemaid, and buttons. He is all three,
and will do any odd jobs, such as gardening or
wood-cutting, as well. He may pass his evenings in the consumption of opium, in playing
shocking games of chance, or in eating nameless
horrors, but when he comes to your house in the
morning he looks fresh and clean as a new print-
dress. He is not confidential like some English
cooks, not talkative even, and if he were, you
could not understand him ; but he is generally
good-tempered, and infinitely better in the
kitchen than nine out of ten of the so-called
' good plain cooks? you get at home. But' John'
has his little faults like the rest of us, and the
most painful of them all is a habit he has of
leaving you without warning, not waiting even
for arrears of pay in some cases. My own impression is, that he is sharp enough to have
noticed how necessary he is as a domestic to the
white people of B.C., and to have noticed, too,
that though the number of his people in Victoria
has decreased, a fresh class of white servants has
not yet arisen to take the place of the Chinamen.
It is a terrible thing to feel that if you lose
your   temper with  him, though   his   face   may LETTER XVII.
remain utterly unmoved during the storm,
when morning comes you may find your household ' brownie' gone, never to return ; and what
is more, if this happens often, you will find very
considerable difficulty in replacing him. Of course,
Lina, life is very different here to life at home.
Here you may meet one of your tradesmen in
society, half an hour after he has served you
from behind the counter. He makes his money
by trade, and is not ashamed to own it, in this
point only differing from some we meet at home.
There is no promenade here, no Row to drive in,
no great shops to flaunt the latest fashions in
your face, but the Victorians stand on their
dignity for all that. My husband thought a
pair of very smart knickerbockers, which were
good enough for our own country town, would
be good enough for the ' high? in Victoria. I
believe more than one member of the club
suggested to him that these garments were not
Do . ©
the thing to wear in the fashionable parts of the
town. As to amusements, we are better off than
you would be in any country town at home. I
do not count dinner-parties. Those are masculine joys. Women know too much about the
preparations for them. But, in addition to
dinners, I have had three invitations to dances,
four picnics, a theatre, and any number of tennis- 184
parties during my three weeks' sojourn in Victoria.
So that I have not been such a very desolate
and forlorn person in my husband's absence.
All through the summer a stream of English
visitors keeps passing through the town, bringing
memories of, and messages from, home to the
I wish I could sketch, that I might be saved
a description of Victoria ; but I cannot, so you
must have it in pen and ink. The houses are
most of them of wood, gabled, and painted white,
detached, of course, and for the most part surrounded by pretty gardens, some of which are
very gay with flowers. At the top of the town
is the cathedral, and from that point the houses
run down to the blue waters of the Straits of
San Juan de Fuca. Behind our house lies a
beautiful park-like expanse, unenclosed, but reserved as a public recreation-ground. From the
edge of it you can look, across the waters to the
snow peaks of the Olympian range ; and if you
turn away from them and the water you see that
the forest hedges in the town. To give vou an
idea of the way in which extremes meet here,
and how near the forest is to the centre of
Government, let me tell you what occurred last
week to one of the officers of the flag-ship
stationed here.     He was  on shore  somewhere w
near Esquimalt, the great harbour of Vancouver
Island, not four miles from the Lieutenant-
Governor's official residence, and less from the
General Post Office, when his spaniel was
knocked head over heels by a panther or mountain Hon. Captain S. had no gun, neither had
he any intention of letting his dog be mauled by
the great yellow cat before him, so, like a gallant
sailor, he ' went for ' that panther with his walking-stick. The panther, not caring to come to
close quarters with her Majesty's navy, ' sheered
off' (I think that sounds right for a naval engage-
\ © ©    O
ment, doesn't it, Lina ?), and left the dog and his
master to return to their ship in peace. The odd
part of the story is, that not only did Captain S.
get a gun, come back, and find and kill his assailant, but that the same Captain S. saw another
panther the same week rolling in the dust of the
road near the harbour.
So you see that though we have most of the
luxuries of civilization, we have not quite banished the aborigines of the country from our
With a view to settling here, I have been
looking at some of the houses for sale on the
island. Here, as elsewhere, you have to pay for
position. James Bay is the place for official
residences, I suppose ; Nob's Hill is the Kensing- i86
ton of Vancouver Island, and there, I am told,
the present Premier, Mr. Dunsmuir, is about to
build himself a palace. The house I looked at
to-day was a specimen of the best to be found in
the island. It was built on a stone foundation,
the rest of the building being of wood. It
seemed solidly and strongly put together, stood
close to a main road in about an acre of ground,
and was very prettily gabled and finished externally. There were stables, built on a raised
platform, in which, I confess, I could hardly fancy
that an English hunter could make himself com-
fortable. There were sheds and barns, and a
washhouse, whilst in the house itself there was
certainly ample accommodation for a moderate-
sized family (e.g., father and mother and four
children, with servants), and a spare room. The
floors were parquetted, the walls furnished with
a handsome carved dado ; in the reception-rooms
there were handsome carved mantel-shelves with
framed mirrors above them, and every room was
finished in the very best taste and style. The
price asked for this house was about £1,500. I
don't pretend that all the houses in Victoria are
built in similar style. This had been built to
order; but you may form some idea of the cost
of purchasing a house out here, and the value you
would get for your money, from what I have told
Ml tmm
you. But, my dear, you are not married yet, so what
do you want with houses ? Let me take you out
for a picnic instead, and show you the prettiest
side of British Columbian life. It is to be a
boating picnic up one of the ' arms' (water-ways)
which run up from the Straits into the interior
of the island. Some of our male friends are
coming to row us up to camp and shoot whilst
we sketch and prepare a meal of some sort.
Almost as soon as we leave the wharf, the men
get out their ' spoons ' and let them spin behind
the boats as we row slowly up the ■ arm, whose
still waters gleam unbroken save for the rise of
trout or salmon, or the trail of some duck which
scuttles away over the surface as we approach.
Here and there bits of red rock crop up on either
bank, and on either bank the forest of pine and
cedar rises gently from the water's edge.
An enormous number of salmon is caught in
these waters every year; but on the day of
which I am thinking we caught nothing (save
' crabs ') until lunch-time. The men had left us
on landing, and we could hear their guns from
time to time in the distance. Tired of doing
nothing,  and incited to  effort by the constant
©/ V
rises of two or three salmon in the little bay in
which we were, my friend and I took to the boat
again and fished hard for a quarter of an hour. i88
If a fish won't bite in that time, what can you
expect, my dear ? Of course we began talking.
The fisherwoman let her spoon trail overboard,
and to prevent the line following it, whipped one
end of the line round her own ankle. I don't
know where our thoughts had wandered to ; but
I know it was very far from fish and fishing,
when my companion was suddenly jerked into
the bottom of the boat, and at the same moment
a great salmon sprang out of the water some
yards behind us. For a moment I could not
understand what was the matter, until I saw the
salmon jump again, and my fair friend's foot
being jerked about in a manner which at once
suggested that the question between her and the
salmon was simply, ' Must I come in, or will you
come out V Luckily two of the hooks on the
spoon gave way, and I don't think my friend was
sorry to regain her freedom, though in doing so
she lost her fish and broke her tackle. By-and-
by the men came back, not too well laden with
game, but very full of excuses. The covert, they
say, is too thick and birds scarce. They had a
few pheasants and grouse, and some quail. My
husband was particularly indignant with the quail,
handsome little fellows, with a big dark crest
upon their heads. It seems that the moment
you move them they are off in a cloud to the LETTER XVII.
densest covert they can find. He managed to
mark one covey into a fairly open spot amongst
the timber, and followed them. As he tells the
story, he got a brace from somewhere when he
next put them up, and then one after another he
caught glimpses of birds just disappearing amongst
the tree-tops in the distance. He could hear
them on the wing all the time ; but though he
kept his eye carefully on the fern, he never saw
one rise from it. At last he saw one whirl out
of a little pine-tree, and on looking closer saw
another perched there watching him. One after
another he put the birds out of the trees, in whose
branches they had lodged, and came home vowing
that the most uncivilized things in America were
the grouse, who sat in tree-tops until you stoned
them to death, and the quail, who behaved more
like tomtits than game-birds. Whatever their
shortcomings may have been, the calls of the
scattered bevy made very sweet music as we
rowed leisurely home towards- nightfall to where
the harbour lights were already gleaming on the
quiet wave. There is no use in denying that
the atmosphere of Victoria is peaceful and restful
in the extreme. It is not only the dreamy
languor of the night to which I am looking back
which has impressed me ; not only the stillness
of  San Juan's  waters,   or the  shadows of the 190
gigantic Douglas pines ; there is something else
besides all this which makes Victoria essentially
a place for rest. Some day it may be as bustling
as Chicago or Liverpool, when its coal-mines•
shall have been developed, and their dependent
manufactories established; but it will be an outrage to Nature if it is so, for if ever there was
© /
a haven of rest designed by the Creator upon
earth for weary brains and tired bodies to refresh
themselves in before they go hence and are no
more seen, it is beautiful Victoria. If only my
husband would give up the world and all its
pomps and vanities, I would be only too glad to
live out the rest of my life in this land of sunshine and sea-breezes, doing all I could to tempt
my friends at home to come and share my happy
lot, and amongst those friends, you first, dear
Yours, etc.,
Jennie P. W. /!
Dec, 1887.
My Dear Pat,
It is Longfellow, I think, who asks:
' How canst thou walk in these streets, who hast trod the green
turf of the prairies ?
How canst thou breathe in this air, who hast breathed the
sweet air of the mountains V
Looking with the dyspeptic eye of the body
upon the dense yellow fog and filthy slush of the
streets of London, and looking fondly back with
the eye of memory to the crystal clear skies
which hang over Canada, this is a natural question to ask, a difficult one to answer.
Perhaps it is best to avoid the question. Here
we do not walk, we crawl; we don't breathe, we
Ah, well, let me close my physical eyes and
open the eyes of memory.
It   is   November,  and   a   great   train   comes 192
tearing along the Canadian Pacific Railway line.
© © ■    v
It has travelled some thousands of miles through
forest and lake-land, has been delayed by a
trifling accident, by which two freight-trains
have knocked one another into match-wood, and
now is tearing along at unwonted speed through
the night to make up lost time.
Most of the passengers in the Pullman have
sought their sleeping-berths, but two, a lady and
her husband, are standing about, parcels in hand,
apparently waiting for something to happen. She
looks sadly sleepy, and half inclined to cry. By-
and-by the conductor conies through on his tour
of inspection. ' Say, are you really going to
get off the cars at N. ?' he asks. ' What! you
are ! Waal, I guess you'll strike it pretty rough.
Yes, sir, you'll strike it pretty rocky. Train
stops ninety seconds, and maybe you had better
take a lucifer with you to light yourself a fire on
the prairie ;' with which encouraging remarks he
passes on. Soon a bell begins to toll sadly,
and the train slows down a little to pass through
a town of very green-looking wooden houses.
There is a sigh from the air-brake, and for a
breathing-space the cars pause at a platform.
The two travellers jump out, and their home for
the last few days rushes away and is lost in the
darkness of night.    There is a small crowd on LETTER XVIII.
the platform, and, thank Heaven ! an omnibus of
sorts. The pair (myself and wife) enter the 'bus
and are driven away, feeling thankful that the
guard's lucifer has not been needed. It is too
dark to notice much, but that there is a very
nipping and an eager air about to-night, before
we draw up with a jerk at our inn. The driver
dismounts, hands out the lady, and calls for his
wife to come and look after her, in the broadest
Whilst the lady is inspecting our quarters for
the night, Mr. McNamara persuades me to ' thry
a dhrink,' and applies himself to the discovery of
my motives in visiting ' No-matter-where.'
' Is it the gould they've been finding lately
you'll be wanting to see, sorr ?'
■ No, McNamara,' I reply; ' I can't afford to
look at gold-mines ; I've come to try to get a
moose.    Are there any hereabouts ?'
' Any moose, is it ? I do assure you, sorr,
that I just wonder we weren't jostled by them
as we came to the hotel,' replies the truthful
Such reports are all very well at night, but in
the  morning facts" have to be faced  and  dealt
with. A law has been passed prohibiting the
slaughter of moose altogether in one half the
neighbourhood,  and   the   local   Indian  hunters,
© 7
13 194
having given up all hope of the advent of white
hunters for this season, have gone off to their
winter shooting-grounds some hundreds of miles
back in the forests.
For almost the first time that I remember in
Canada there is no sun shining. The town is
only six years old, and its site very imperfectly
cleared. The hotel itself rises from a rough
boulder-strewn building-lot, not yet made level;
the wooden trottoirs rise a couple of feet
above the thoroughfares, in which only so much
ground is cleared as is actually needed for traffic ;
boulders and tree-stumps still cumber the ground,
and through all sweeps a broad gray river, sheeted
in mist, and fringed near the town with a long
line of red canoes beached for the year.
Low hills, covered with hard wood, abut on
the river; and wooded hills and timber-limits
stretch far away on all sides.
The day looks dim and gray, the river lifeless
and desolate, the hills forbidding ; the sun has a
thick haze round it, and there is promise of snow
in the air. In the few shop-windows nothing is
to be seen except furs and sealskin moccasins.
A cart in the yard is being taken off its wheels
and being mounted on ' runners.'
The last leaves of autumn have fallen; the
sugar-maple has lost its gold and crimson, and LETTER XVIII.
stands out now, stark and grim, in its nakedness
against the sky.
A wind tears through the new wood houses,
and the whole six-year-old town feels without
the sun as cheerless as a camp without a fire, or
life without hope. ' No-matter-where' is waiting'
for the winter. To-day, and under such circumstances, one requires consolation. It is a difficult
article to obtain, but there is a store here at
which you can get most things—a Canadian
Whiteley's, the store, of the Hudson Bay Company. There we are met by a courtly gray-
haired old gentleman, ready to assist us in
everything, one of a class which has wielded for
good immense power amongst the North American
Indians, and which even up to to-day holds the
affection of the red man by treating him with
invariable loyalty and good faith. To this gentleman every Indian in his neighbourhood is known,
and most of them obey him like children. His
best hunters, he tells us, are away; but there is
one man who may do, a quondam lumberer, now
busy with carpenter's work in the town. A boy
goes for Jocko, while we inspect the store, in
which are laid out all the real necessaries and
most of the comforts of life—moccasins worked
with flowers for the house, rough sealskin moccasins for the show, scarlet blankets for cloaks or
13—2 —mm
bed-covering, sides of bacon, guns, knives, and a
few prettily-worked Indian trinkets. In a loft
above the store are piles of mink and marten
skins, beaver and fox skins, hides of moose and
cariboo, though as yet the winter's hunt has
hardly begun.
Nothing could be higher than the character
© ©
Mr. gives his Indian friends.      It seems
that each hunter has his own particular range,
and it is a point of honour among them not to
poach each other's preserves. Hunger, of course,
has no law, so that a redskin who is hungry
allows himself to kill a beaver upon a neighbour's
' shoot;' but having done so and eaten the beaver,
he is bound to keep the skin, and at the yearly
delivery of pelts to the Hudson Bay Company,
he hands over the skin, neatly wrapped in birch-
bark, to the factor, and requests that he will put
it to So-and-so's credit.     Every year Mr.	
has to make note of several such transactions.
Credit is given to the Indians by the company
sometimes for more than a year, and such things
as bad debts do not occur in the company's books.
In a few minutes Jocko arrives, a short, square-
built half-breed of forty or thereabouts, dressed
in European clothes, and an abominable ' bowler'
hat. His feet only wear the natural Indian
dress ; moccasins are about the last of the com- Mi
forts of backwoods life which the half-breed
yields to civilization. Jocko smiles all over his
face at us, and shakes hands.
' Do you think, Jocko, you could find this
gentleman a moose ?'
' I think so, maybe,' replies Jocko ; ' but who
is to do my work ?'
' Oh, I'll manage that for you,' replies our
friend the factor; ' I'll get Charlie Bonamie to
do it for you.'
' All right,' replies Jocko.
' When can you start ?'
' To-morrow morning, I guess; but I must
take Frank with me; he's a good boy, and can
cook fine 1'
And so it is arranged that we start on the
morrow in the early morning, with Jocko as
hunter, Frank as cook, and cart and outfit supplied by our friends of the Hudson Bay Company.
Now as to stores ! For once Mrs. W. does
not do the shopping. No doubt she can order
the dinner and lay in stores for a week, at home
in Kensington; but this is another matter, and
© 7
so I confer with the factor, and make my own
list, many years' experience having taught me
exactly what I want for such work.
'Whatever you do, don't forget the baking-
powder, Worcester sauce, or onions.' ' All right, sir : but won't you take a few little
© * 7 v
luxuries for the lady ?' replies the clerk.
' No ; I want her to really rough it.'
Madame laughs, and the man thinks we are
' Put in salt pork instead of bacon for us,' says
Jocko; ' bacon is no use in camp.'
' Why. not, Jocko ?' I ask.
' It isn't fat enough;   you want fat for cold
©        *      v
weather and hard work.'
Of course I make-no demur. The pork is the
cheapest, and I am quite ready to consult my
men's tastes.
Next morning, at ten, an extremely smart
cart on wheels sta.nds before the store, loaded
with rugs and buffalo robes, and drawn by two
strong horses.
The lady has come up to the scratch gallantly,
arrayed in scarlet tam-o'-shanter, short skirts,
stout boots, and overshoes to keep out the snow.
Instead of the gigantic trunks which generally
accompany her, one little hand-bag holds all her
clothes and toilette necessaries for a week. All
mine are knotted up in a handkerchief. A case
like a large hat-box contains a pail, and in that
pail, ingeniously fitted, are pots and kettles,
frying-pans, knives, billies, and all the kitchen
utensils necessary for comfort round a camp-fire.
There is one box of provisions, and another (a
very, modest little fellow) full of bitter beer, and
one (just one) bottle of whisky in case of—well,
let us say cholera.
In spite of my desire to let my wife see a
genuine specimen of camping out, it seems to me
that our expedition is going to be as comfortable
as an English picnic. A cheer for the lady, a
waving of hats, and off we go, a French Canadian
© 7 ©    7
driving, and our two Indians tucked in behind.
All round ' No-matter-where' are lumber limits,
2*.e., tracts of forest taken up and owned or leased
by different individuals who, every fall, send
gangs of axe-men into their limits to hew down
the harvest of oak and pine. For sixteen years
Jocko had been a lumberman, vowing every year
that the hardships of the life were too great, and
that he could earn more money in the towns for
lighter work ; but every fall when the gang
gathered together and prepared to move off to
the great log shanties for the winter, the old
fascination drew him after them, and once more
in bright tuque of blue or red, axe on shoulder,
and pipe between his teeth, he marched off with
the merry singing crew of stalwart fellows for the
^ t/ ©       ©
forest. Even now that he had given it up,
Jocko hankered after the old life. How many
of us professional men in London, if we. could be 200
altogether free to choose, would not for a season
© 7
straighten our backs and swing a woodman's axe
© c
in preference to driving a scraping quill along the
foolscap !
The men when lumbering live in gangs in
great wooden shanties in the depths of the forests
and in the midst of their work. Each shanty
has its cook and its store-chest, from which each
man purchases his week's provisions, his weekly
bill being deducted from his weekly wage. Round
the interior of the shanty (which is built of rough
logs) are bunks arranged tier above tier, and in
the centre burns a huge fire.     The men begin
© ©
work early, and go back early to the shanty.
They are able to work fairly near each other,
and in the bright and bracing atmosphere blithe
songs mingle with the ring of the axe. At night
the shanty is their club. Together they dine
and smoke, play cards, spin yarns, and sing. On
Sundays there is no work to do, so some loaf,
others hunt or fish, or add to their earnings by
setting traps for otter, mink, or beaver, and
visiting those set last week. This sort of thing
lasts until the spring, and then the Worst half of the
lumberer's work begins. Logs have to be hauled,
rafts made and floated down stream to the mills
at Ottawa and elsewhere, and in the miserable
thaw the lumberer is wet to his waist half a LETTER XVIII.
dozen times a day. Still, hard exercise keeps the
men ' fit' and well, and sixteen years of the work
had not bent Jocko's shoulders or dimmed his
brown dog-like eyes. A dollar a day is about
the wage paid now to lumbermen in the limits
in Ontario and Quebec. But I am wandering
away from the track along which our horses are
taking us at about five miles an hour to such a
shanty as I have described, situated in a limit
which has been deserted for some three or four
The pace at which we travel is a bad one, but
the country is a very Arabia Petrea outside the
town, and it really requires steering to get safely
through the boulders. Besides, the roads are
made worse by snow which fell nine days ago,
not deep enough for sleighing, but quite deep
enough to make driving on wheels peculiarly slow
Here and there by the river's bank a small
farm has been hewm out of the forest. These
farms are fine instances of what Mr. Pell, in an
able article in this year's Journal of the Chamber
of Agriculture, calls the making of the land.
Perhaps the happy settler only gave in the first
instance a pound an acre for his land ; but by the
time he has felled the trees upon it, cleared the
stumps and rocks out of it, built the fences upon 202
it, protected it from floods, drained it, built upon
it houses and barns, the amount of money and
muscle, the years of his life and his children's,
will represent an accumulated capital sunk in the
soil worth more than the seven to sixteen shillings
per acre at which land in the provinces of Ontario
and Quebec is now let. But the pioneer's
reward ' is in the race he runs, not in the prize,'
and as we drive past we envy the sturdy fellow
his strong health, open-air work, manly labour,
and that pleasure which comes of creating, and
seeing the home of your own creation grow be-
© V ©
neath your hands. They are quaint homes, some
of those inside the heavy snake fences of rough
logs, built of heavy pine stems, well fitted and
filled in with mud or mortar, roofed with wooden
slates, and painted sometimes in the most brilliant
of colours, as if the inhabitants had rebelled
against the eternal white of winter, and the green
gloom of the summer woods. One little shanty
was called the Maison Dor6e, and was gabled all
over, had dormer-windows put in wherever there
was room for one, and was painted a bright
yellow. Before we had been on our way two
hours, the Indians and our driver wanted to
lunch. No one else did ; but I suppose they
were sick of the bitter wind, which cut our ears
almost off, in spite of the flaps of our deer-stalkers,
-■i 1
so we all bundled out, lit fires, and cooked bacon
by the road-side. After wasting an hour and a
half in this way, we again started, our lame horse
(he had a stiff leg, result of a fracture in youth)
almost running away with us. At about four
we left the road, which for the last half-mile had
been very bad, and turned into the forest. A
drive of 100 yards sufficed for everyone, except
the driver and my wife, over the forest road, and
as the driver candidly remarked, it did not seem
likely that any of their bones would be left in the
proper places by nightfall. First on one wheel,
then on another, the unfortunate trap careered
through snow and ruts, over logs and rocks,
sometimes leaping a little brook, at others stopping for a fallen tree to be cut out of the way.
Except for the noise we made and the chattering of some squirrels alarmed at our arrival,
intense silence reigned in the woods.     The track
we were following was one which had been suffi-
ciently cleared for the lumberers in times past to
haul the logs along to the river ; but it had
never been meant for a trap with springs. At
last one side of the trap tilted up, there was a
sharp metallic snap, and a spring had gone. To
my surprise, though the driver grumbled a good
deal, he mended the spring with a small log and
some straps and proceeded.     I quite expected to hear him talk of turning back and giving up the
road as impracticable. This was explained afterwards. The trap belonged not to the driver, as
I supposed, but to our friend the Hudson Bay
The woods were so dense and still, and game-
tracks so frequent, though most of them old,
that I ran on ahead of the cart until the sound
of its misfortunes reached me no more, and then
strode on, silently watching and listening, in the
. hope that my eyes might be gladdened by the sight
of some of those mysterious forest beasts whose
tracks were all round me. At last there was a
regular soft footfall on the snow, and, at a turn
of the road, I stood face to face with a French
Canadian trapper coming out from an inspection
of his traps. It was his coat we had passed
earlier in the day, tossed casually in the snow by
the roadside. It had been there, my Indian
said, two or three days, and he seemed in nowise
surprised, except when I asked him if it was safe
there. ' Safe ! of course! why .should it not be V
I wondered a little whether my friend Jocko
would find it wise to leave a good coat for a
couple of days by an English Wayside, but said
In another hour darkness was upon us, and
the men wanted to camp.
' Is this the point from which you meant to
start hunting, Jocko ?' I asked.
' No ; but I guess we can't go any further
' How far is the log-hut ?'
' Three miles, I guess.'
' Very well, then, go on until we get there,' I
The men grumbled, but one man must always
be master, and it is good to teach your men at
first that if they waste time by the way, they must
make it up after hours. And now the road led
over a regular boom, up to which we had to
bring the horses with a rush.    We had built a
gradually rising platform in front of it, and somehow or other the trap got over; but meanwhile
our leader Jocko had disappeared in the dim
thickets. It was hard to follow him, but we did
it somehow—the wife very silent and a little
frightened, the driver desperately savage, and
horses ' played out.'
At last a point of light gleamed ahead of us,
and we could hear the ring of an axe, and in
another minute we pulled up between two rough
log-huts, one the stable, the other the shanty.
There was not much to choose between them ;
but the shanty, built of rough logs, had a hearth
and   shelves   for  sleeping-bunks,   and was  soon 2o6
full of the red glow of a good wood fire and the
© O
savoury smell of cooking.
The shanty had not been used for three years,
so that we were not afraid of finding our sleeping
quarters too lively; but for all that we turned
out the crisp dry brush which the lumberers had
used for bedding, and sent it leaping and roaring
in great, glad tongues of flame out through the
big square hole in the roof to the frosty sky we
could see above. Things went well and merrily
that night, and even ' the lady' seemed fairly
comfortable, and even useful, until, when all else
was still save the Indians' snoring by the hearth,
a long, wailing howl sounded very near the door
©' © «/
of the hut. Then—but I will be generous. A
wolf's howl is an eerie sound to those who have
never heard it before, and until you know the
beast, it does seem . reasonable to wish to have
the door barred between him and your bedside.
What a change comes over the scene between
that last look into the  forest at night before
turning in and the first glimpse on waking !
Then, as you stood in the doorway, your hut
glowed a point of vivid crimson in the night.
Every frosted fern or birch bough within a dozen
yards of its glow was hung with glittering rubies,
while further in the forest the  cold moonlight
glittered on frosty  emeralds,  or sparkled   back LETTER XVIII.
from the pure white snow. Then the sky was
of deep, deep blue steel, set with points of cold
fire. Now the sky has paled, and hangs red and
pale blue over a forest of silver filigree, pine
and birch and stream all bound in fetters of
Early rising does not appear to be essential in
moose-hunting, for it is 7.30 before Jocko has
finished packing up his little blue handkerchief
full of necessaries—matches, a knife, some bread,
a piece of the fattest pork he can find, etc., all
neatly stowed away in a bundle not too big to go
inside a large stove-pipe hat. On our feet are
long sealskin moccasins, reputed waterproof, and
reaching to the knee. Over these are the redoubtable red canvas overalls, warranted to wear
a year, and excellent for the woods. Our hands
are covered first with woollen gloves, and then
with fingerless gloves of deerskin, for it appears
that in the work before us ordinary gloves are
soon worn out. I should advise any who imitate
me in this sport to have their gloves soled. The
silence of the forest seems to. have settled on
Jocko early. As soon as he has completed his
preparations, he begins to speak in whispers.
When he leaves the hut he becomes dumb. For
a few hundred yards we swing along down the
path, then we turn into a kind of timber-yard of 208
fallen giants, and come to a gully with a frozen
stream below. Here we crawl along a pole, and
I thank my stars that Jocko requires all his
attention to keep his own equilibrium, and can't
see what a funk I am in. However, we are over,
and don't stop to blow. Jocko, I find, never
does stop. As we rise the hill the morning
breaks upon us, a miracle of beauty. It seems
as though a million fairy spears, gem-tipped and
silver-hafted, were levelled at us, and along their
levelled points comes the sun in a blaze of
splendour ; or it is a sea of molten silver set in
the dark-green pines, with here and there a
gaunt trunk, blackened by fire or blasted by
frost, rising stark and stern from it like the mast
of a wreck.
Whatever it is, Jocko is wading through  it
' © ©
waist-deep, and I follow him, the scales of frost
rustling down crisp and dry from "the big marsh-
tea-bushes and the birch-boughs. For a good
hour we fought our way through the frosted
brush, and climbed over the  snow-covered logs,
©    7
or, Blondin-like, walked along them. In moccasins it is easy enough, but I should be sorry to
try it in boots. Here and there we got glimpses
of the marshes, low-lying tracts without trees,
covered entirely with the Indian marsh-tea,
looking a soft dove-colour in the distance.    Close LETTER XVIII.
to it is an oval-leafed shrub, the upper surface
a glossy dark green, and the under surface presenting a yellow, furred appearance. It makes a
very good drink, and is supposed to have valuable medicinal qualities.
At last Jocko stooped and pointed to a track,
such a track as only a moose could make, of
such a size as could only be tolerated in Canada,
about six tracks being sufficient for an acre.
' Three days old,' muttered Jocko, and though
the track led straight away into likely-looking
country, where tracking was easy and going
good, he turned off sharp to the right, and once
more led me a weary dance over logs and pitfalls until I was too tired to lift a leg. Half a
dozen times during the day we came to places
where the moose had lain on the tops of the
hard-wood hills, or upon droppings as large as
plums, composed entirely of sawdust. What a
digestion a moose must have, whose most delicate food appears to be withies! Here and
there we saw deer-tracks, but no tracks of bear ;
and, indeed, but for moose, there seemed very
little game in this day's beat, and the latest
moose track we had seen was (so Jocko said)
three days old. So we sat down on a log, which
we partially thawed during lunch, and ate our
bacon in silence.    Suddenly Jocko's eyes glisten,
14 2IO
his jaws remain rigidly apart, the last mouthful
unswallowed, and somewhere far back in the
bushes I hear, a movement. Very faint at first,
but suddenly Jocko grips my arm and points.
I can see nothing. Yes, now—I can't. For
one moment I caught a glimpse of a brown form
on the jump. I think I had a glimpse of a
long white fur, and though I did snap at my
first white-tail buck, I don't consider it worth
while to go and look if there is blood  on  his
trail. I am conscious of having fired somewhere
in his direction, and that is about all.
There are no birds, no life anywhere. Whatever is in the forest (and you can't help feeling that
it is full of live beasts) is endowed with ghostlike silence of tread, and the power of remaining invisible. But now, as evening falls, Jocko
seems to have given up the moose, and is keenly
studying the exceptionally large heart like slot
of a white-tail buck. We are in a hollow, and
round us are low hills covered with hard-wood
and fallen timber. The edges are clearly defined
against the frosty sky, and what is that on the
very crest of one of them ? Surely it is a great
buck, though his back is straight and rigid as the
pine butts lying round him. As he has seen us
it is hopeless to try to get nearer; Jocko shakes
his head as I raise my rifle, but I take no notice. mmm
Up to his shoulder I come, and then raise the
sight till I am clear of him altogether. It is
flukey shooting, but what am I to do with a
rifle only sighted for 250 yards, and a buck
looking at me from double the distance ? As the
sharp report rings out, the rigid form at graze on
the hilltop bounds high in air, just touches with
his knees a huge pine-log in front of him, and
apparently plunges head-first into space. ' Our
meat; that's good,' says Jocko; 'come on after the
other,' and starts at a run in an opposite direction
to that in which my buck is lying. At first I
follow, but when he pauses, find time to whisper :
' What are we after, Jocko ? was there another
big buck ?' ' No, this not a buck, this she-deer,'
replies Jocko. ' Oh, hang you !' I pant out indignantly; 'come along, and make sure of my buck.'
Jocko hankers after more meat, but obeys.
Arrived at the crest of the hill there is a place
where a buck stood and stamped ; there is a huge
log to clear, which he must have jumped, seven
honest feet, and on the other side there is the
mark of his fall, head first in the snow, and that
is all. No, stay ; about a quarter of a mile off on
a barren hill, my wounded beast is limping along
about half as fast as I could, run at my.best.
For a moment I feel that I must imbrue my
hands in the blood of the noble savage, but I
14—2 212
refrain, the more readily as at that moment he
is some considerable distance out of reach, going
like a winner of the Grand National over all sorts
of impediments which speedily stop that noble
animal. By dint of using my hands more than
my feet, I follow him for about half an hour.
Then I see the stag standing, looking back at me
about 150 yards off. I am sobbing like a broken-
winded cab-horse after breasting Highgate Hill.
© ©    o
I miss him like a man, both barrels. Jocko says
nothing ; he does more ; he runs again and I try to
follow him. The dusk is turning into dark. I
cannot possibly go another hundred yards. But
the stag is getting done too. That first shot hit
him in the shoulder, and just as I am about to
drop from sheer exhaustion he lurches heavily,
stumbles, recovers himself, and then comes down
with a crash—dead, but game to the last gasp.
Jocko and I lay and panted beside him in the
snow, and then, having skinned him and admired
his branching antlers—really fine antlers for a
white tail, and the strange long white fud from
which he takes his name—I ask how far it is back
to camp. ' Maybe seven miles,' says Jocko, and
maybe he.was not exaggerating. I know the
moon was up, and I had got tired even of looking
forward to the luxuries of hot mutton and whisky
toddy before he announced that it was only three LETTER XVIII.
more miles to camp. ' We'll be in in an hour, I
guess, if we keep this pace up, but there is some
bad travelling ahead,' said my guide, puffing away
at his pipe. ' Bad travelling ahead !' I wondered
what he considered the fallen timber, half hidden
in snow and rendered doubly trappy by the half-
light through which we had been travelling ever
© © ©
since dusk.
All at once a report woke the night echoes,
and then another. ' What the devil is that,
Jocko !' I ask. Jocko looks surprised for a
moment, and then answers, ' Guess your girl got
frightened ; shooting to let you know where the
camp is ; better answer.' I have six cartridges
left with me and only twenty more in camp, so
somewhat grudgingly I comply. At once my
reply is answered, and as I don't respond more
shooting ensues. ' Confound them, Jocko, they'll
use up all my ammunition.' ' Never mind, just
one more shot,' says the Indian. And so it went
on, until about half my ammunition had been expended, and we could hear an eldritch scream
made by the Indian Frank, from the bluff above
us. A quarter of an hour afterwards we stumbled over the doorstep into the glow of the firelight, and when wre saw the magnificent repast
spread for us, and listened to the raptures poured
out over the stag's head we hung on the beams, 214
we forgave the camp-followers, whose noisy
solicitude for our welfare must have frightened
all the moose in the province.
The day's work for those in camp had not
been a dull one, nor, as far as we could judge by
the beds of fresh pine-brush and the dish of
trout, an unprofitable one. That night, our
buffalo-rug covered as tired and happy a couple
as any out of Paradise ; nor was it until the long
howling of an old gray wolf, not far from our
door, awoke the lady, that she felt either fear or
7 J '
discomfort in this somewhat savage nest.    How-
ever, like most wild beasts, wolves fear men even
when asleep more than men fear them, and being
a sensible woman, Mrs. P. W. accepted my assurances on this subject, and for the rest of her
stay in our log shanty, rather looked forward to
the wolfs serenade as part of the programme of
the beautiful forest nights.
You should see, Pat, if you cannot induce your
wife to try a Canadian lumberer's hut for a change.
v ©
No-matter-where is  better worth  visiting than
Brighton, not more dangerous, and less expensive.
Yours truly,
C. P. W.
Dear Pat,
You ask me for the story of those great
ungainly antlers which you saw cumbering my
little London house. They were moose-heads,
my boy ; antlers which I obtained at No-matter-
where last autumn, when my wife was camping
with me.
You must come with me in fancy to the rough
log-hut, amongst the pines, and imagine that it is
early morning on the last day but one of my
stay in the forest. We have been in nearly a
week, and until now, for nine days in fact, the
thin carpet of snow in the forest has remained
unchanged.     It was written all over with records
of the wanderings of the tall red deer, but during
all those days the snow has been crisp and hard,
the air dry, and the skies bright.
Every footfall, however light the moccasined
foot which made it, crackled noisily among crisply 2l6
frozen moss and leaves, or broke with a sharp
crunch through some thin crust of ice. Yesterday there was no snow at all in many places, so
that tracking for any considerable distance was out
of the question. Up till this morning no luck has
befallen us in our moose-hunting, though we have
worked steadily from dawn to dusk for four days.
The morning of this, the fifth day, is breaking,
and the corner of my buffalo robe has got up.
There is no doubt about that, for the morning
air, keen as a wolf's tooth, has got in and set me
A soft footfall stealing about the shanty mixes
somehow with my waking dreams; by-and-by a
thin flame flickers up from the hearth, and a bevy
of red sparks rushes up through the great chimney
into the gray sky.
A change has come since yesterday. The sky
has lost its crystalline quality, and when a minute
later Jocko opens the door and goes out with the
chopper, a glimpse through the open doorway
confirms my waking impression that something
has happened in the night. There is no longer
that crispness of light and sound which was the
bane and the beauty of yesterday.
The friendly red flame flickers up again, and,
encouraged by it, I slip out and stand for a
minute, bare-footed and shivering, by the hearth.
sal wmmm
Jocko   enters,   with   a   huge
shoulder, and there is a smile in his big brown
' We've got the snow now,' he says,' and plenty
of him.' The change is explained. Outside everything is soft and white. There is a soft, heavy
look in the gray of the morning sky ; the ground
is soft with six inches of piled snowflakes ; heavy
and soft they hang upon the balsams ; carpet the
ground, and cling in patches even to the grim
trunks, still standing gaunt and black amongst
the brule.
The old records are blotted out, and a clean
page of forest history lies open before us. If
ever a day promised well for the moose-hunter, it
is to-day, and our spirits rise at the thought.
Fearlessly we tackle the tin bucket, in spite of
its thin coating of ice, and splash about vigorously on the wood-pile in the corner, which serves
for our dressing-room.
The coffee-pot simmers merrily, the bacon
hisses an unnecessary invitation to breakfast, and
even the damp moccasins, hanging from the
clothes-line by the fire, are put on almost without a shudder. Madame alone remains proof
against the voice of hope, curled up and content
now that she has all the buffalo robe to herself.
At seven Jocko and myself steal out from the 2l8
fire-lit shadows into the stillness of the new
On the trail the snow is nearly a foot deep,
and I am glad to follow in my guide's footsteps
through the drifts. Here and there we step on
an unseen log or boulder, and sit down with little
© |
ceremony and less comfort, the snow driving up
coat and shirt-sleeves, and freezing where it
touches the warm flesh.
So far there is not even the track of a squirrel
on the path, and it is not until we reach the
' crik' that we come across the first wolf's trail.
The ice may bear his gaunt carcass, but we
have to cut down a couple of small trees with
which to make some sort of a bridge before we
attempt to cross over.
For  six miles we held along the main lum-
berers' trail, passing some other deserted shanties
en route, round which a jungle of raspberry-canes
has grown up. Inside upon the walls are great
hazel hoops for stretching the skins of beavers, a
trap or two, and an axe-head. These belong to
Jocko, and have been here since last winter.
' Not a bad bear,' is the first remark Jocko has
made since leaving our camp-fire, and, looking in
the direction in which he is pointing, I see the
bark torn from a great tree, some nine feet or
more from the ground.     Here, probably, Bruin LETTER XIX.
(a black one) has been digging his claws in, and
stretching himself after a square meal of raspberries. Half a dozen times before eight o'clock
we came upon ' white-tail' tracks, leading always
into the thickest of the balsam-woods. They
look very fresh and tempting; but we are not
after white-tail to-day. Just as the hands of my
watch point to 8 a.m., my Indian and I stop
simultaneously, and my heart begins to go several
beats per minute faster than it has done hitherto,
for there, right across the track, are the great
hoof-prints of a bull moose, fresh, of course, for
the snow has hardly ceased falling. Without a
word, Jocko turns into the hard-wood, and for
an hour neither of us speaks, but both plod on,
following yard for yard where the bull has gone.
Every moment I expected to see the great spreading palms of his antlers or his huge misshapen
bulk moving slowly before us, nibbling the tender
© v 7 O
tops of birch or willow.
From the top of every hard-wood hill we look
to see him lying down, a brown mass, in the snow,
resting after his night's tramp. But no. One
hard-wood hill after another is climbed and left
behind ; one belt of balsam after another penetrated and passed through, and still the great
tracks lead on, with no sign of resting or weariness.    At last Jocko stops and draws down the 220
end of a tall sapling, still bleeding from the teeth
of the bull. Turning to me, he speaks (to my
horror) above his breath : ' He has been here
about two hours ago, and he's travelling to find
the rest; if we find him, we shall find them all.'
So then, Jocko is expecting to come across a
gang of moose; I only hope he may be right,
though one, if he is big enough, would do for me.
© * © ©     7
At any rate, from the tone in which my careful
Jocko speaks, it is evident that he does not
think our senses need be kept on the strain any
longer just at present, so, though we keep going,
we ease down a little and look about us. In
front of us is a tree whose scratched bark and
broken twigs show (Jocko says) where our beast
has rubbed his horns. Further on the deep
furrow-like track of an otter going down to the
© ©
marsh catches the old trapper's eye, and I see him
making careful mental notes of the very numerous
signs of marten on the outskirts of the balsam
patches. At one moment we pass through a
long thin wood of birches, whose every tip bears
marks, old or fresh, of the teeth of the moose ;
at another we pause to look at a hole in the
ground where the white-tail has been pawing up
a bulb. Our quarry is taking us now in a line
parallel to the main line of marshes round which
the hard-wood hills gather, and which may be a LETTER XIX.
part, for all I know, of that great chain which
stretches from the St. Lawrence to the Great
Bear Lake in the far North-West.    Along this
chain of lakes, ' some of them as large as European kingdoms,' the moose still wanders in large
gangs, and will wander, in spite of the lumberer's
axe and the hunter's rifle, for many a year to
come.     The  only wonder is  that man manages
%} ©
ever to come across the great beast in his forest
It is about three o'clock when the track leads
into a very heavy grove of balsam, floored with
dwarf hemlock and the tea-bush. Here the snow
is tremendously deep, almost knee-deep in places,
and the heavy wreaths on the dark balsams half
smother us as they fall.
Here, indeed, is an ideal home for the old-
fashioned King Christmas of the fairy tales of
our boyhood. Our moose seems to have been as
much enamoured of the scene as we are, for his
track wanders in and out, backwards and forwards, in the most aimless and wearying fashion.
In a little snowfield among the balsams he has
indulged in a pas seul, springing from side to
side in huge bounds, and generally having a good
romp round. But even here we can get no
glimpse of brown hide or branching horns, and
still the trail leads on, until we debouch on the *m\
most perfectly ideal lake of the woods, frost-
bound, snow-clad, set in dark solemn pines as in
a frame, through which the red glow of evening
forces its way into the twilight of the woods.
Here the moose has found his mates, and here,
thoroughly tired, we lunch at about 3.30, having
been   going   without   snow-shoes   since   7   a.m.
© ©
Never before did I realize the value of fat.
Tired, and in the severe cold, my stomach loathed
even the comparatively lean breakfast-bacon in
my pocket, and craved for the solid fat in Jocko's
brown fist.
' Indian right, you see ; lean meat no good for
©        7   *J 7 ©
hunting, all very well in town ; but salt bad.
Indians never had colds before they used to eat
salt,' he muttered, pecking away with a stick at
the ice beneath his feet to get a drink. Still as
the woods seem, and empty of bird life, we had
not stood five minutes eating our hurried lunch
before there was a twitter in the branches above
us, and looking up, I saw we were observed by
half a dozen pairs of bright hungry eyes belonging
J- O ©    v d ©        ©
to blue-tits and golden-crested wrens. No doubt
they did well on our crumbs when we had gone.
Poor little mites ! they seemed so tiny to be out
alone in the snow in those great gloomy woods.
Having found the moose, Jocko proposed to
return, but to this I could not consent.    To-day LETTER XIX.
was ours still, I argued ; but who knew what
surface ice, sudden thaw, or fresh snowfall tomorrow might bring ? No, Jocko ; on, on, my
friend; even a moose cannot travel for ever without resting. We soon found this was so, for in the
deep woods round the lake, two or three knolls
bore traces of the mid-day siestas, here of one,
there of a gang, of the great bulls. Unfortunately we found, too, that some of the beasts
had got our wind and gone. In these balsam
labyrinths, the moose seemed all round us, and it
was impossible to avoid alarming some of them.
With the obstinacy of my race, I insisted on
sticking to the bull whose track I had first struck
at 8 a.m., and as luck would have it, at about
5 p.m. I was rewarded. Creeping wearily to the
top of a knoll, I saw him standing below me in
the twilight, still as a stone, so still that it
seemed almost incredible that the great creature
which must have been moving within a couple of
hundred yards of me was really flesh and blood,
and not some monstrous forest shadow. There
is only one beast in the world which shares with
the moose that weird and old-world look which
is so peculiar to him, that rough, striking, though
uncouth outline of figure which suggests that he
and the Rocky Mountain goat are two of Nature's
first-born, made in the days when the gray world 224
was young, before Nature had time to do more
than put force into her models, ere yet she had
leisure to smooth down their outlines.
There was a flash, a sharp report, a huge form
dead on the snow, and the latest invention of
man, a 450 express, had killed one of Nature's
first-born, and after all, wThen we came alongside,
the head was so poor that but for the dim light
and the distance, even after my nine hours' chase,
I would gladly have spared my bull to roam on
many a day through lake-land and pine-forest.
I think Jocko said it was nine miles home
rrom the point at which I killed my first moose ;
but to me it seemed as if hardly two hours
elapsed before it was again dawn and we were
again on the war-path. There was a grand old
bull amongst the gang I had tracked yesterday,
and I meant to have one good head as reward
for the long days I had spent amongst the snows.
I won't recount our second day's wanderings
amongst dark balsams and by frozen lakes—
favourite fighting-groUnds of the moose in the
earty autumn—but hurry on to late afternoon.
We are amongst the balsams. Jocko's face is quite
drawn with excitement.     I am trembling with
fatigue. Suddenly he stops, carefully dusts the
lock and hammers of my rifle, which he has been
carrying for some time past, and then, though he LETTER XIX.
absolutely has not spoken all day, lays his finger
on his lips, and, crouching like a cat, creeps on.
For quite a quarter of an hour we steal silent as
shadows through the  snow, and then he stops,
his  eyes  ablaze with  excitement, but his figure
rigid.     Slowly he stretches out and passes me
the rifle, and signs to me to look across the gully.
Two hundred yards away in the big trees a great
brown form is moving slowly.     I get glimpses of
his body, but cannot see his head.     ' Shoot, shoot
that one,' whispers Jocko.     ' Shoot, or they'll be
gone.'    I only see one, and only a small patch of
him from time to time between  the  pine-stems.
However, I fire.     ' No, no ; there, there he is
now,' whispers  Jocko, and again I fire at what
looks like my beast, going at a trot through the
timber.     The smoke hangs, and as Jocko clutches
my arm and points to a brown patch standing
still between two pines, I fire again, as he whispers
hoarsely,  ' Steady,   don't hurry ; he won't give
you another chance.'    As I fire, Jocko snatches
the rifle from my hand and goes off at best pace
across   the valley.    Another   miss,   I   suppose
(though why, as I am a fair shot at any rate, I
cannot guess), and with my blood up, fatigue
forgotten, follow at my Indian's flying heels.
For half an hour, it seems to me, we run and
stumble on.    What does the fool expect, I wonder.
15 226
The moose, if I have missed him, won't stop again
between this and the Arctic Circle after such
a fusilade. But I recanted my thoughts as they
passed through my brain, for there, like great
statues of stones in the middle of the snowy
path, with heads turned to see what we were
who followed them, stood three bull moose, the
pine-boughs and snow-wreaths over them, and
the dim depths of the forest beyond. The one
next me was the big bull of the gang, and my
heart longed for the grand antlers which looked
so gigantic against the white background.    ' Take
o o © ©
the front one, he isn't wounded, and you will get
the three,' whispered the murderous Jocko.
Taking no notice of him, I fired at rny bull. The
hammer fell with a click, but no report followed.
Miss fire ! Again—and this time my bull drops
dead in his tracks. As yet I have not moved,
and the other two, bewildered, stand and gaze
back over their great quarters at us. ' Fire
again, fire again !' Jocko almost shrieks in my ear.
' See you damned first, Jocko,' I reply in very
good English, and dropping my rifle, I throw up
my hands with a yell, and have the pleasure of
seeing the two great beasts crash through the
forest with bounds which, though clumsy, cover
a great deal of ground, and soon take them out
of sight. LETTER XIX.
Jocko was very wrath, and, standing looking
at the grand head thrown back on the snow, the
huge horns looking black against their background, I didn't care how angry he was.
If only I could have brought my moose of
yesterday back to life and sent him after his
fellows, I should have been quite happy, although
I was dead beat, and had ten miles through the
snow between me and my dinner. After gral-
loching my beast, Jocko, still grumbling at my
suicidal folly in not firing, rose to return. Imagine
my disgust, when I heard him console himself
thus : ' Ah, well, there's the other two bulls safe
enough anyways.' And I am sorry to say he
was quite right. My first two shots had been as
clean as if made at a target, and though moving
©        7 © ©
through thick timber at 2 0 0 yards, the two bulls
lay there dropped dead in their tracks, each with
a bullet behind his shoulder.
I make no boast  of the shooting, though to
©' ©
shoot a moose  moving through timber at that
© ©
distance is not so easy as the size of the beast
would lead you to believe. They were good
young heads and well worth keeping, but I would
have given a good deal to have missed them, and
so avoided an unwarrantable slaughter and unwitting breach of the game-laws of the country.
Those who have shot moose in these dense forest
15—2 221
and know how little of the beast you sometimes
see, and how the smoke hangs in certain conditions of atmosphere, will believe my story and
forgive my mistake.     Of course, to Mr. Jocko,
© v
meat was meat, and each carcase was worth
about 25 dollars to him. This accounts for his.
action in the matter, and it is easy to see how
such excellent hunters and shameless butchers as
he mav and will, if not carefully watched, destroy
vast quantities of Canadian big-game.
For moose to shelter in from the wild winds
and bitter cold, those deep balsam woods, with
their mounds and hollows, their barricades of
fallen lop, and drowning depths of soft white
snow, may be well enough; but for the weary
hunter ten miles from home, with the moon just
beginning to show palely in the sky, they are a
very Slough of Despond.
All day Jocko and I had been too careful to
talk; now we were too tired to do so. In the
woods it is small wonder if men become taciturn.
A vacation spent moose-hunting in a Canadian
forest might be a pleasant relief and wholesome
discipline for some of the more loquacious amongst
our legislators.
To-night, luckily, we had no need to worry
ourselves about the nervousness of those in camp,
for my wife had already gone back to No-matter- LETTER XIX.
where, leaving me for 'just one more day.' And it
was well it was so, for when we stood by the ' half-
mile crik,' the moon was well up and the night
well advanced. To cross the ' crik,' which was
forty or fifty feet wide, we had felled some small
trees and made with them a platform over the
ice, which swayed unpleasantly as the trees bent
under Jocko's weight. As I crossed after him
the principal tree smashed in the middle, and
before I knew where I was, I was up to my
armpits in the icy flood. A cat could not have
got out quicker than I did, but for a moment
I felt as if the chill had stopped my heart
beating. Tired as I was, Jocko and I raced
over the logs and snow between the creek and
the shanty until, utterly exhausted, I threw myself down by the blazing logs, and let the boy
divest me of what remained of my hard-frozen
Next morning I walked back to the town,
starting at early dawn and getting in about 3 p.m.,
as quaint a sight as any hunter ever presented.
The overalls, which were originally of stout red
canvas, consisted now of a waistbelt, short gaiters
with fringed edges—the connection between the
© ©
aforesaid points being maintained by an exceedingly choice pair of flannel pyjamas of the
brightest cerulean blue.     It speaks volumes for the primitive simplicity of the place that no one
seemed to notice the odd costume much.
The tracks by the wayside upon the freshly-
fallen snow were very interesting, as showing how,
in spite of the houses, and the hunters who
dwelt in them, game still abounded at their very
threshold. I tracked one buck along the road
past three log cabins, two of which were tenanted.
He must, in the early morning, have passed within
a few feet of one of the houses. Within a mile of
the town, two more deer had crossed the main-road
two or three times about sunrise. Of course
these were all white-tail, whose quiet skulking
habits enable them to live in comparative safety
in timber, however close to a town. ' Hounding t
alone is likely to destroy or drive away these
pretty beasts, and ' hounding'—i.e., hunting with
dogs, which drive the deer to a gunner stationed
on the runway or deer's path—is in many provinces wisely prohibited by law.
Let me finish this letter with a story of one
of my predecessors which should be a warning
to critics of works of art. The Major had slain
his moose. He had slain many a great beast
beforehand had a fair right to consider himself a
judge in matters connected with natural history.
Fresh from the forest he walked into the Hudson
Bay Company's store, and was warmly welcomed LETTER XIX.
by his friend the agent. As he stood, he noticed
in the passage leading to the outside yard a young
moose set up.
' Hullo ! where did you get that moose from V
he asked.
" Oh, one of the Indians brought him in.
What do you think of him ?' replied the agent.
' Well, he is pretty well set up, well filled out,
and carries his head in a natural way enough ;
but, you know, he is much too high in the quarters
for a moose. That's where you fellows always
make a mistake.'
' Do you think so, Major V grinned the agent,
and turning to the moose,' Hi, Jack !' he shouted ;
' come and apologize for yourself!'
The great beast, a yearling bull, lifted his
head, woke from his day-dream, and shambled up
to his master 9 Beware, Pat, how you criticise
my trophies after that!
Yours truly,
C. P. W. 232
Dear Reader,
Since I have decided to publish these
letters, it has been suggested to me that, as a
thank-offering for the good sport which I enjoyed last year, and as an atonement for that act
of poaching which I hope I recorded with becoming sorrow, I should attempt to draw up a
short resume of the game-laws of the different
provinces of Canada as they stand at present.
It may be that this has already.been done by
someone better qualified to do it than myself. If
it has, I can only say that the number of men
who apply to me for information on these subjects proves that my predecessor's work is not
as much read as it deserves to be. Moreover,
the game-laws of Canada change as rapidly as
the face of the country, and already what was
allowed last autumn has been prohibited by this
year's law.
Sometimes it is the entire disappearance of a
game beast which causes an alteration in the
law; sometimes it is the advent of a comparatively dense population in a country where,
a few years ago, the only means of support for
the casual wanderer was the slaughter of game
in season or out of season. Whatever the cause,
the fact remains that even the Fish and Game
Club of Montreal is not thoroughly posted up to
date in the game-laws of the different provinces
of Canada. I don't want to libel my countrymen, but I think it is true, as a general rule,
that they are possessed with the idea that there
are no game-laws out of England.
This, of course, is a very grievous error. The
Canadians and Americans, for instance, are far
too near akin to us to let their best field-sports
perish without a struggle to preserve them.
For awhile they have been so busy making a
new world and building up a new people, that
they have somewhat overlooked such minor
matters as the protection of wild beasts in a
country which they found almost too full of
them. But the extinction of one species of great
game, and the ominous decrease in the numbers
of several other species, has thoroughly awakened
our cousins to the necessity for protection.
America as a whole (Canada and the United 234
States) is following rapidly in the footsteps of
older states. Because it is in the nature of man
generally to be improvident, to cull the pleasure
of the present greedily, without due regard for
the probable needs of the future, it has been
found necessary in all civilized countries to impose certain restrictions, in the nature of game-
laws, upon the rights of the individual.
In Great Britain these laws concern themselves
with two matters—the protection of the public
against the recklessness of the individual in destroying game at improper seasons, or by inexpedient methods; and the protection of the
private rights of individuals with respect to game,
by the infliction of a penalty for game trespass in
excess of the penalty for simple trespass to land.
In Canada (and, I believe, in the States) the
law is content, as a rule, to disregard private
rights in these matters, and to busy itself only
with the protection of the interests of the public
by the imposition of a close time.
I say ' as a rule' advisedly, for in Manitoba,
at any rate, the rights of the landowner or of
the occupier in game, on his own land, are protected by the infliction of a penalty for trespass
in pursuit of it; and the fishing rights of riparian
owners in certain Canadian rivers are also admitted by the law. LETTER XX.
After wading through the statutes of the
different provinces, it will only seem natural that
I should add my voice to the voices of those
who are already pleading for co-operative legislation, not only between the different states in the
Union and the different provinces of the Dominion, but also between the Union as a whole
and the Dominion as a whole, with regard to
close times for American fur, fin, and feather,
and also for a simplified code of laws in respect
to game.
It is surely absurd that there should be such
difference between the close times of different
adjoining provinces as to make it lawful, for
instance, to kill a snipe a month earlier on one
side of a river than on the other.
Besides the absurdity of such laws, they defeat
each other by throwing difficulties in the way of
the successful prosecution of those who break
them. Further on are set out in tables the close
times for big game in the different provinces and
territories of Canada respectively.
Where no close time is accorded to any particular animal, it is either because it is accounted
vermin, or is not supposed to exist in the province under consideration, so that these tables
may afford a glimpse of the natural history of
each province as well as a notice of the measure of .236
protection given to its wild denizens. All penalties
of a pecuniary nature inflicted by the game-laws
are paid in whole or in part to the prosecutor,
whether an individual or a society. This is very
necessary, as the protection of game throughout
Canada is mainly due to the energy of certain
clubs of sportsmen, whose expenses are somewhat
lightened by the receipt of such fines.
Canada labours under many disadvantages in
her attempt to protect- her great game ; but the
greatest of all her difficulties arises from the fact
that the Indian still exists, and is not amenable
to all the laws as the white man is. Because, in
times past, he depended on hunting for his existence, the redskin is still allowed to kill in
season and out of season, so long as, ' by reasonable presumption, the game so killed may be
deemed for the immediate and personal use of
the Indians who kill it, and not for sale or
barter.' I believe, however, that this exemption
of the Indian from the operation of the law is
being daily curtailed.
There is one beast of whom no mention is
made in the game-laws of any of the provinces.
I mean, of course, the buffalo. It is commonly
reported that this beast, which ten years ago
still existed in vast herds, is now as extinct as
the great auk.     This, in spite of the evidence of LETTER XX.
men who ought to know, is a mistake. In the
autumn of last year I had certain and reliable
information of a herd of about eighty not many
days' journey from Medicine Hut, and of another
smaller bunch in another part of the country.
In addition to this, there were three heads exhibited in a naturalist's window in London this
spring; the buffaloes themselves having been
slain last autumn by a couple of young English-
«/ J- */ © ©
men, just down from Oxford.
Some sportsman, without reproach himself,
will probably feel inclined to inveigh bitterly
against the men who secured these trophies.
Undoubtedly the buffalo should be preserved,
and he who slays more than one specimen deserves all the reproaches which can be heaped
upon him ; but, brother sportsman, don't you
feel inclined to pray with me, ' Lead me not into
temptation' ? Do you think that if you or I met
a lonely bull, even if he was the last of his race,
or nearly so, we should spare him ? I believe you
or I would only take one if we came across a
herd of a thousand; but I know that, lawfully
or unlawfully, I should feel terribly tempted to
kill 'just one.'
From the reports current in British Columbia,
I have not the smallest doubt but that there are
still plenty of buffaloes in the Peace River country, 238
and a notice appeared very recently in the Evening Standard, to the effect that a herd a hundred
strong had been found in a remote part of Texas,
and that an expedition had been sent out to
drive this herd into a certain enclosure for
One of the results of the extermination of the
buffalo appears to be that a fierce war is now
being waged upon his kinsman, the musk ox ; for
in Montreal and Quebec nowadays, the rug
which adorns the sleigh, and was always wont to
be a buffalo robe, is now musk ox. A more
serious result, so some of the North-West men
allege, is that the water-holes at which the herds
drank are now drying up; while the water-fowl,
which used to come in thousands, now scarcely
come in tens. The tramping hoofs of the buffaloes used to cake the bottoms of these pools,
which now crack, so that water leaks away. LETTER XX.
O       w
CQ   3
.2        &
12     CQ
s ^
fc0" o
O   |
1     °
1    O    1      |     1      1
O      .+5
1       HJ
1      ^_1         1            i            1            1
n 3
&   s
= « s = r,d
£    •
fc       ^
B •*
Pi       Pi
o rH oM     Ih
<«        CO
3       *»
©        ©
© © © ©      ~
CQ       CQ
3cot3cq     <j
<J      5
po- O
°   i
1   Q   1   «
n ps
4-»       +J
4J                1
I4S   1   o
o H
g        rH
ft1"]  ft'"'       rH
^        r-C
©         ©
-^ £$-*^ ,Q   *>>  s
O o O q        e3
d       "
t>»       >»
5v5 R'iSt'S
fa        fa
fcfafcf*,        g
r^       ^
© i—1  O <-H        "^
'-,        i-f
_. jj _. ^j     "■"     ~
x c>^ ©   "A  **
bb   „43
r : ; ; ;
©/*,   ©f-s          ©
^j   Q>
r2^'2         CQ
-!      CQ
j,,^, o
'S-SE-S      Q
° m   1
1   O
O         O             4S
^4 rH   H. rH        _.
-r»    '
O        "**
Pl    .   Pl    .        g
^ a"
^     5>*
=    =   =    =   =
»^l^  4
"            f*H
h_, h                  O
O        tH
O rH   o                       cq
•73    ~ ~Q
rtf   d>T^     ^    ^       4^
Q.     «
©        P
©   P   ©                        P<
'd    -*d
IS^S               . CQ
—  m
"t>     o
t- O >                    -
o+> o           '  R
1      1     1
1   O        1
1      I     I     1     1      1
1? r?
o      4->
1 -M        1
1      1      .     1      1      >
£3    *"*
p^,_, Pi                 rH
o    "*©
Izi    fa
©    "
J-<         »©
iO                »o      ,
O        r-t
O       rH
(M        CO
1 1
©         O ©
CQ            SCQ
O +J     i       i       i
o    S
Pl      ■"!
o        ■** o     v?
1      I     1
' +3       ■
1  1^ 1 h2 1
"I ~ s|"
3    J^
^,         ^        rH „i
iO        iO
o      t
O         O
rH            r-i
S"SS ="&""' =
1 \B
z :ti = =-S
3     o
g       «,
>S >     So
o_g 0
O               43
P<      "-1
Pi1"1 ft    t"4
hj   - d
+3 c5+3   -is cj   -
«<h rJ ^*
"     " -4      "     n f^
o      o
o <o o     o 2
£   p
fcnfiiZi      Si-5
,C3                  t-3
rH          grH         rf
a &
fl^fl^rt*5        J1*
Pi   =
Pl   "   =
•£3     £>
■P      CQ
©           Q
l^f'g o | o
1  i 1
|   O         |
1   lo          I
*o rH *o Pf1-1      ^
o   -ij
04 0J=^       ,Q
rP     "
r*>   ^   «
£S    iS
O   '03    '    '   "   ,'
: o   :
:  :   :  :   : k
ta      ^_                H
a  ; !«  -  ■  . o
:&  :
w   : 0   *
Pi   ■ 0
§ g § i
Pi  O O  £
o J o t
3 '5M- -H:s
E B g Eh S to «
5 ai s « w p, &4
pi s
K g J
SR j O ft p
P £ 5 v-
'o 8 O *i -1 ° **
o ■«< *^
< <1 <! O J J
2 D ij
J Pi t>
S  Efl  H ^ l" k^
fa fa C&Q CQES-OcQCQEhP5^!^ 240
1      1
1    1
>.  e3
»"3    M_
p. 0
H 43
|      |
j    |
to *-
4^   e3'
©  S
.-. 0
i2  >'
3  0
oS      "
0 A
O    4^
rH     rH
©•   ^
Z  0
43         ^
f-H       ~
~   ->■
.      O
• a
i a
•  fc
pj _
a 0?
|  9
M   ~
O   P
fa £
02 CQ
8 3
1   1   1   1   1   1   1   1
01 'J.
rH            *            rH   rH
>          :>'     •
H3      SO      :   n   ^
8    *    £8
0   1   s 0 1 i .
c?    "=3     =>» c?
1—t                                 r-t
rH                                     I-H                    .     rH
t>                                       >         .
43      £0       "43       ^O-*3
0     ^     0     ^ 0
O           -S             O           3   £
r**-r-J       -&-rJ^»
S     5*    S      p> S
j?; i
125 £
^                       rH             rH    rH
fc                          fc               fc    r?
^          42   1 4343
rH              rH    '",
<3            S       S <]
t$»      -      ~      ~      -      ~      ~      «
1   1   1   1 -2   1   1   1
All other fur-bearing animals, such as bears
(grizzly, cinnamon, and black), panthers, wolves,
lynxes, foxes, skunks, etc., are not protected,
being expected, as Mr. Whitcher says of the
bear in his report on the Banff National Park,
generally to protect themselves.
Besides the knowledge of close times, conveyed, I hope, by the foregoing tables, the
English sportsman should remember that in some
of the provinces he must procure a license to
f sport' at all.
Non-residents in Quebec are expected to take
out a license to hunt, the cost of which is
20 dollars. The omission to take out such a
license may be punished .by the infliction of a
fine of 40 dollars. This applies also to New
The annual license for non-residents in Nova
Scotia is 30 dollars.
A license must be taken out in Ontario, though
I am unable to ascertain the cost of it.
These licenses are obtainable from the Commissioner of Crown Lands.
In Manitoba, the North-West, and British
Columbia, licenses are still unnecessary; but
here, too, there are wise regulations which it
would be suicidal on the part of English sports-
For   example,   in   Manitoba,
men   to   neglect A SPORTSMAN'S EDEN.
wildfowl may only be killed with an honest
shoulder-gun; batteries, swivel-guns, and punt-
guns, are abominations to Manitoba.
In a speech lately reported, it was asserted
that pheasants were now very numerous in Vancouver. This is hardly the case. There are
pheasants there, and they are doing fairly well,
but want a great deal of protection, and it would
be well if the clauses of the game-law which
make it an offence to kill hens at any season, or
purchase pheasants of either sex, were more
strictly enforced.
An immense amount of harm to the interests
of true sportsmen in America is being done by
the traffic in trophies. I alluded to this in a
former book on shooting on the American
continent (' Trottings of a Tenderfoot'). That
was written four years ago, and I spoke there
rather of the States than of Canada. The trade
in heads has, I think, increased, and the damage
done by the Stony Indians round Calgary, employed, I was told, by a white man who blends
the professions j of Methodist minister and skalla-
wag' (i.e., skin-hunter) in one person, is enormous.
Indians, unfortunately, as I before stated, are
not, as a rule, bound by the game-laws which
bind the white man; and far from'regarding a
natural close-time, a favourite dish with them is LETTER XX.
the body of an unborn fawn taken from its dead
There are times, in early spring, when any
fool can kill the half-starved mountain-sheep and
goats, or even bears; a time when, any loafer is
active enough to kill the hind, heavy with young;
but men who do these thing's should not be en-
couraged by.the money of those who would hang
trophies on their walls that their friends may
think them Nimrods.
In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and
Quebec, a limit has been put to the number of
head which each hunter may kill per annum.
In Nova Scotia no one man may kill more
than two moose and four cariboo in each season.
In this province the use of a dog in hunting
moose or cariboo is punishable by a fine of
25 dollars.
In New Brunswick a more liberal allowance
of game is made for each man, to wit, three
moose, five cariboo, and five deer.
Here, too, deer - hunting with dogs is prohibited.
In Quebec two moose, two cariboo, three deer,
was the largest bag allowed per man per annum
until the close of 1886; but I understand that
no more female moose are to be killed until
further notice ;   and the report was current in
the province in the autumn of 1887 that the
killing of any moose (bull or cow) until 1890
was illegal. Up to the date of writing this I
have been unable to get any definite information
on this point.
Two of the most fatal methods of destroying game in the lumber-region used to be by
hounding' and by snaring moose. Both are
illegal now, and in Ontario, as the close-time
endures until October 1st, it would seem that
' calling' could no longer be successfully practised
by those who wish to abide by the law.
Moose are snared by means of a springe
attached to a strong young tree by the side of
one of their most frequented paths. Caught by
the leg in this springe, they are hoisted almost
off their legs by the tree, which their struggles
have released from its bent position, and spend
days perhaps of helpless misery until the poacher
despatches them with a bullet from a safe
This noble beast falls an easy prey, too, when
[ yarded ;' that is to say, when, having chosen his
winter quarters, he has collected all his clan
together in a kind of fold trampled out of the
deep snow. Seventeen were killed on one day
in the winter of 1886, by one Indian, who came
across them under these conditions.     He did not LETTER XX.
even attempt to sell the greater portion of the
Some of the terms in the foregoing tables are
a little misleading, and require explanation.
The Canadian partridge is the ruffed grouse.
There is no true partridge in Canada.
Pekan and fisher are two names for the same
beast, Mustela Pennantii.
Sable and marten are synonymous terms.
Some idea of the strong inclination of the
Canadians of to-day to protect their beasts of
chase may be derived from a perusal of the proposal to establish a National Park at Banff,
somewhat similar to the American Yellowstone
National Park.
The site was explored and reported on last
year by Mr. Whitcher for the Dominion Government, and his recommendation is that an area of
some twenty-five square miles should be set apart
as a breeding-ground and asylum for all manner
of harmless or useful beasts, birds, and fishes,
such animals only to be destroyed as he considers
noxious to the others to be protected.
Fish are to be bred, and birds and fish imported.
Rice to make a shelter for wildfowl is to replace
poorer covert, and belts of timber as a hiding-
place for the hinds heavy with young are to be at
once an ornament and a useful adjunct to tho park. 246
It will take time to repair the ravages of the
miner's giant powder and the Stony Indian's
Winchester repeater; but if energy and wisely-
spent money will attain these ends, no doubt our
cousins over the water will attain them.
I cannot conclude this chapter without a word
of hearty thanks to Mr. Just, the librarian of the
London Agency of the Dominion of Canada, and
the gentlemen of the Fish and Game Club, and
Star newspaper, of Montreal, for the efforts they
Tiave made to help me in collecting the materials
for this little sketch.
P.S.—Since preparing these pages for press,
I have had my attention called to a short note,
by Colonel Ridout, in one of the May numbers
of the Field, in which it is stated that certain
important amendments of the game-laws have
just been made by the Ontario Legislature. I
feel certain that that gallant officer will have no
objection to my availing myself of his information
so as to bring my notes j up' to date.
It seems deer may only be killed from
October 15th to November 20th. No one
person may Mil more than five deer in the same
season. The shooting of moose -is absolutely
prohibited until 1895, and until that date no
person,   unless   he   has   resided   at   least   three
months  in   Ontario, and   is in possession of a
license, may kill any deer or other game.
May I, in parting from my reader, express a
hope that he will, if. he goes to Canada for sport,
pay the same regard to Canadian game-laws
which he would expect a Canadian to pay to our
laws ? and if he does so, may he be as successful
as his obedient servant,
The Author of these Letters. POSTSCRIPT.
London, 1888.
Dear Readee,
I cannot help adding a postscript to
these letters, begotten of observation  of those
7 ©
things which are occurring round me in England
as I write. A London spring is dreary enough
in all conscience, for those whose business compels them to pass night and morning along the
streets between the West and the East, or
through the mephitic vapours of the underground
railway between those poles of London life. But
when the traveller has but just returned from
the bright pure climate of Canada; when at
every other turn he meets stalwart navvies with
their hands in their pockets, proclaiming in dreary
sing-song that their families are starving, and
that they have got no work to do,. then, indeed,
the March fogs look sadder than ever, and the
bitter east wind overcomes even the most buoyant spirits with its churchyard chill. POSTSCRIPT.
It is at such times as these that the superb
love of fatherland, or inexplicable inertness of the
human race, strikes the spectator with full force.
That professional men stay in England is comprehensible enough. Such a climate as ours at
this season of the year naturally produces ample
employment for the doctor and the lawyer. No
constitution, however strong, could resist the east
wind of a British spring for many years after the
cooling of boyhood's blood ; no temper, however
sweet, remain unimpaired by its attacks, j Liver '
and the litigious temperament thrive naturally in
our sweet London spring-tide. Besides all this,
professional men are not in great demand abroad.
In Canada, for example, the professions are just
as crowded as they are at home. But with the
labourer it is different. If he has nothing to do
here, there is enough for him to do across the
7 ©
Atlantic if he is willing and able to do it.    If he
is neither willing nor able, or unwilling or unable,
then, of course, he will be as useless and unpaid
and unhappy there as here. For my part, I
cannot help thinking that some kinds of paupers
are best cured, like biliousness, by a course of
starvation. It is true that on April 27 last
the Canadian Government discontinued the system of assisted passages for English immigrants,
and that there is an outcry at present in Canada 25°
against the constant influx of British and other
paupers. But the only paupers objected to by
Canada are those who insist on remaining paupers,
who insist on living on charity, and will not or
cannot work. It must be remembered that it
costs less to get to Canada than to any other
English colony, and that, in spite of this fact,
Canada has continued to offer assisted passages
to English immigrants after every other colony
except New Zealand has ceased to do so ; and
New Zealand only assists those who can show
that they will arrive in their new home with
money sufficient for their support at the outset.
If a man cannot by some means acquire the tiny
sum of four pounds, sufficient to pay his own
passage to Canada, he is hardly likely, argue the
Canadians, to have sufficient [ grit' to ensure
success in a new country.
But listen to what Sir Matthew Begbie, our
Chief Justice in British Columbia, a man of long
and real experience in the country, said in 1885,
when answering questions before the Commission
on the Chinese Question, j I never heard,' he
said, I of any person, white, black, or yellow, who
had labour to sell that was worth buying who
could not in this province find a ready employer.
But in order to get remunerative employment
here or anywhere else in the world, a man must POSTSCRIPT.
be able to do remunerative work. The misery is
that many men who profess to be willing to turn
their hands to anything, know nothing to which
they can usefully turn their hands. The normal
rate of wages is five shillings for Chinamen, and
jn Victoria eight shillings for white men. Below
that rate, no white man, even if penniless and
starving, is willing to engage upon any work or
service whatever. Skilled artisans, carpenters,
masons, blacksmiths, ask from twelve to twenty
shillings a day. Board is advertised at many
hotels at sixteen shillings a week, so I suppose
eight shillings a day is remunerative to the workman,' etc.
This was written, of course, in 18 85—written
by a man whom his worst enemy could not
accuse of trying to advertise British Columbia,
or striving to induce immigration by sanguine
representations of the benefits to be obtained by
the incomers, and by a man, moreover, who knows
and has known. British Columbia since the very
early days as few others know or have known it.
That, at least, is his reputation in the island which
is his home. When Sir Matthew wrote the
above, British Columbians were beginning to
tremble at the competition of cheap Chinese
labour. In the recent Budget speech, the
Finance   Minister   of   British    Columbia   said : 252
1 Three years ago there were 16,000 Chinamen
in British Columbia, now there are only 8,000 ;'
but ' 10,000 whites were added to the population
in 18 87.'
The effect of the last three years upon the
rate of wages in British Columbia has not been,
as far as I can see, very material. There is an
increasimg white population, and an increasing
demand for certain kinds of labour. There are
fewer Chinamen, and those who are there get
white men's wages, and thoroughly earn them.
But of them I should like to say a word later on.
Farm-labourers' wages appear still to be about
two dollars a day, or eight shillings. Even a
man or boy to assist in a I camp outfit' as cook
or general help wants two dollars and his food.
As miners, farm-labourers, carpenters, plumbers,
or experts in any kind of manual labour, Englishmen will find lots of work to do, and good pay
for doing it. As clerks and office-seekers they
will find that they are not wanted.
Travelling as I did from one end of Canada
to the other, I picked up some information as to
work and wages all along my route. Here are
some of the facts collected :
At Halifax, a town which in November should
bring his home very vividly before the emigrant
from London, as being dirtier, more foggv, and
O ' ©©■/ 7 POSTSCRIPT.
therefore more home-like than any other town
out of the United Kingdom, the average wage
for a labourer without board is five shillings a
day. This is for unskilled labour. A gardener
without board gets six shillings a day, and the
plainest of plain cooks twenty-two pounds a year,
and an unlimited choice of mistresses.
In Ottawa I interviewed a gardener, whose
wages, he told me, were thirty-six shillings a
week, whilst his work was of the very simplest
description. His five-roomed cottage cost him
seven shillings a week, and he was able to buy
the best beef-steak at sixpence a pound. But
the Ottawa gardener deprecated the idea of living
in another man's house. Out of his savings he
had bought a small plot of land in the town, and
in his spare time had built upon it, principally
with his own hands, a home for himself and his
wife, whose labours as a laundress added another
thirty shillings a month to the family income.
In Winnipeg, the most go-ahead of all Canadian towns, with a climate pleasant and bracing,
in spite of the extremes registered by the
thermometer, both in summer and winter, farm-
labourers' wages are a trifle higher than in
Halifax. Miners' wages are a little higher than
farm-labourers', and any kind of a cook is worth
at least twenty-five pounds a year and her board. 254
In Olympia, a new town of the States, upon
Puget Sound, a large employer of labour told me
that he paid his farm-labourers thirty-five dollars
a month without board, and that labourers experienced no difficulty in finding work at that
rate of wages all the year round. In Olympia
a cottage may be rented at one pound a month,
and a water-rate of eight shillings a month, all
other rates and taxes being paid by the landlord,
while the people who have no property, though
they pay no taxes, have the advantage of first-
rate free schools.
As to female labour, generally speaking, it is
in great demand and highly paid throughout
Canada. Even in England, I have cause to
know that competent cooks and respectable parlour-maids  are   more   often sought than found,
© *
What the daughters of the working-classes are
doing when their fathers and brothers say that
they are starving for want of work it is difficult
to conceive. It cannot be very hard for a woman
to learn to cook or wait at table, and yet look at
the number of advertisements for women who
can do these things in every daily paper.
The lucky Victorians have found a substitute
for cook and parlour-maid in the versatile Chinaman. They grumble at him, of course; but
what they would do without him, no man  can POSTSCRIPT.
guess. Docile, clean, ready to work, and. able to
do anything that a woman can, the universal
employment of them as domestic servants, at a
high rate of wages, proves the esteem in which they
are held. As cooks, I can testify of my own knowledge to their excellency. I have had experience
(and pretty frequent experience) of three different
Chinese cooks in private houses during my wanderings out West. I can honestly say that I
never had a cook in England fit to hold a candle
to any one of the three. But high rates of
wages will not greatly help the workman if the
price of the necessaries of life is so high as to
swallow up all he earns. In Victoria food is undeniably cheap ; that is to say, bread and meat,
the absolute necessaries of life, with fish and fruit,
are cheap ; but groceries, coal, and clothing are
dear. I think my wife computed that living in
the best way in which you can live in Victoria
would cost about as much as such living would
do in England. Thanks to a friend before re--
ferred to, I am able to give some accurate figures
regarding the cost of labourers' food in the neigh-
bourhood of Olympia, and I fancy that little difference would be found to exist between the cost
of living there  and   in Vancouver   Island.    A
farm-labourer's  board is calculated at 35 cents
per diem (say Is. 5-^d.), while in the lumberers* 256
camps the men can be boarded for a little less,
331 cents a day being the allowance for food per
man, though these men, doing hard work in the
keen open air, have giants' appetites to satisfy
and giants' muscles to maintain.     Of course the
food is plain ; boiled beef sometimes, bacon more
often, beans, brown sugar, bread, and maple
syrup—these are the principal items in the lumberer's bill of fare ; but the quality of this simple
food must be good, and the quantity unstinted,
or there will soon be grumbling in the shanties.
Apropos of lumbering, it is fair to remind
emigrants, attracted by this most fascinating of
all forms of physical labour, that the lumberer is
not employed all the year round, so that a man
taking to the axe for a livelihood must be prepared to work at some other employment during
those months in which the gangs are out of the
timber limits.
One more word, and I have done with the
emigrant labourer. The Commission which sat
on the .Chinese Question in British Columbia,
brought to light incidentally a few facts of
interest to our unemployed. There were unemployed in England before the date of that Commission, just as there are now. I believe there is
work in Canada, and handsome wages for English
© ©
muscle and  English energy, just as there was
then. What our unemployed did then, let us
hope their successors will not do now. Then
they allowed the little yellow Chinamen to get
the work and take the money away with them ;
they let Chinamen build the railways, reclaim
the marshes, till the fields and vineyards of a land
which should have been the English labourers'
inheritance. On the Central Pacific Railway
alone four-fifths of the labour was done by
Chinese. On the Southern Pacific Railway,
again Chinese took the work which Englishmen
should have done, and this through no want of
patriotism on the part of the employers of labour,
or any niggardliness in the matter of pay. On
the contrary, the builders of these lines were
prejudiced strongly in favour of white labour,
and had a strong disinclination to employ Chinamen. Over and over again they advertised for
white labourers, but could not get them, and
those they obtained allowed themselves, through
drink and want of steadiness, to be beaten by
the Chinese; for no one who knows them can
believe that the Chinaman has yet been born
who could beat a Cornish miner at his own work.
And yet the gang of Chinamen beat the gang of
Cornish.miners in the rock-cutting in the summit
tunnel of the Central Pacific Railway line, according to the  evidence given by Mr.  Crocker in
1885. The wages earned by white navvies on
these two works were about 45 dollars a month
and board. There is lots of work still to be
had in British Columbia for strong and willing
men, though much of the land has already been
reclaimed, and most of the great lines have been
There is another class to which British
Columbia holds out great inducements—the
men, I mean, of small capital or limited incomes,
the ruined landlords and soldiers, of whom England considers that she has no longer any need.
To these latter British Columbia is specially
kind. I dare say I am insufficiently informed,
but I know of no other country to-day in which
retired officers, formerly in her Majesty's Service,
are offered free grants of land as they are in
British Columbia.
To a subaltern of seven years' service, British
Columbia offers 200 acres of land as a free grant;
to field officers of twenty-five years' service, she
offers 600 acres. As a home the world cannot
offer anything better than Vancouver's Island to
my mind, save for those luxuries and advantages
of society, amusement, and education, which in
the nature of things can only be obtained in
crowded centres. As to the society, it is made
up largely in Victoria of the same sort of people POSTSCRIPT.
whom you would meet in English country towns,
with the addition of a large body of naval officers
on duty at Esquimalt, and a resident bar.
As to education, there is certainly some room
for improvement; but the English gentleman
who elects to reside at Victoria should be able
to save enough money to send his boy home to
one of our English public schools when the lad
is old enough for it; for if you cannot make
money as rapidly in Vancouver as you can in
the States—a point which I do not concede,
though I do not feel prepared to argue it—at
least you can live happily on a small income, and
save more than you would make elsewhere. There
are no very rich people on the island, no very big
entertainments, no rivalry between the squire and
the plutocrat, the parson and the squire. If
tennis and music, a few dances every year,
gardening, and boating, with a lovely home
amongst English neighbours, will satisfy a lady,
she can be happy at Victoria ; if not, she had
better stay at home. If splendid fishing, poor
rough-shooting, big-game-shooting,  within  two
© ©7 ©    © *—j
or three days of home, will satisfy her husband,
and if they can no longer live as they have been
accustomed to do in the old country, and make
both ends meet, whilst putting by something for
the children, let them take tickets by the Allan
17—2 Line to Quebec (£10 10s. each for saloon accommodation), and thence to Victoria, Vancouver's
Island, by the Canadian Pacific, .the cost of
this part of the journey being at present only
£15 8s. 3d. each for first-class passengers. To
this fare, however, must be added the cost of
living on the train, which you may reckon at
75 cents a meal, the meals being served in the
dining-saloon. Two meals a day are about as
much as the ordinary digestion can compass,
though a luncheon-basket to console you at midday, or whenever the dining-car is not available,
is a very necessary adjunct to a perfect travelling
equipment. Of course these rules as to food do
not apply to anti-tobacconists or teetotalers. I
presume a double allowance of the food-supply
should meet their requirements. There is one
other expense for which allowance must be made,
i.e., the sleeping-compartment, without which, to
my mind, the trans-continental journey would be,
for a lady, intolerable. The cost of a double
berth is about 12 s. a day, and for this travellers
get not only a comfortable couch at night, but a
couch or arm-chair by the window during the
If I have forgotten anything, gentle reader,
which you or your husband want to know, forgive me, and accept this advice as my amende POSTSCRIPT.
honorable. The Canadian Agency is close to
your favourite haunt (of course I mean the
Army and Navy Stores), and should you invade
the library of that establishment, you will find
all the information you can possibly require about
British Columbia, and, unless my experience has
been unique, more courtesy and kindness than in
any public office in London.
Your obedient servant,
C. P. W.
BURY, Lord High Chancellor of England. By Thomas
Arthur Nash, Barrister-at-Law. In 2 vols., demy 8vo.,
with two portraits, 30s.
Volume of [ My Life and Reminiscences.' By W.
P. Frith, R.A.    In demy 8vo., with portrait, 15s.
CRAFT SHELLEY. From Family Papers not
hitherto published, in the possession of Sir Percy
Shelley. By Mrs. Julian Marshall. In 2 vols., crown
8vo., with portrait, 24s.
Literary Chronicle of Half a Century. By John C.
Francis.    In 2 vols., crown 8vo., with two portraits,
SOPHIA OF HANOVER. From the German, by
Mrs. Leighton.    In 2 vols., crown 8vo., 21s.
THE HORSE: and How to Breed and Rear Him.    The
horse—Dray-horse—Pony, etc. By William Day,
author of ' The Race-horse in Training,' etc. In demy
O'Meara, Body-Surgeon to the Emperor. | A New
Edition, with copious notes and other additions, and
embellished by several coloured plates, portraits, and
woodcuts.    In 2 vols., demy 8vo., 30s. HH
from the Earliest Times to the Period of its Decline.
An abridgment for the use of Colleges and Schools.
By C. Bryans and F. J. R. Hendy.    In crown 8vo.,
7s. 6d. II; I        r
OUR RARER BIRDS. By Charles Dixon, author of
'Rural Bird Life.' With numerous illustrations by
Charles Whymper.    In demy 8vo., 10s. 6d. LIST OF FORTHCOMING WORKS.
SPORTSMAN'S EDEN. A Season's Shooting in
Upper Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver. By
Clive Phillipps-Wolley, author of ' Sport in the Crimea
and Caucasus,' etc. In demy 8vo., ios. 6d.
and Saladin. By Walter Besant, M.A., and E. H.
Palmer, M.A., late Professor of Arabic, Cambridge.    A
large crown 8vo.
A New Edition.    In one
New and Revised Edition.
map and woodcuts, 7s. 6d.
ROOTS: A Plea for Tolerance
LETTERS FROM MAJORCA.    By Charles W. Wood,
F.R.G.S.,  author   of \ Through  Holland.'     In demy
8vo., with nearly one hundred illustrations, 16s.
French of Madame C. Coignet, by Fanny Twemlow.
In demy 8vo., with portrait.
the Hon. Lewis Wingfield, author of ' Lady Grizel.'
In 2 vols., crown 8vo., 21s.
the Rev. J. G. Wood, author of ' Common Objects of
the  Sea-shore,'  etc.     In  demy 8vo.,  with numerous
RURAL ITALY.    An Agricultural Survey of the Present
Condition of the Italian Peninsula and Sicily.    By W.
Nelthorpe Beauclerk, late of Her Britannic Majesty's
Embassy at Rome.    In demy 8vo., 9s.
By James John Hissey, author of ' On the Box-seat,'
etc.    In demy 8vo., with map and numerous illustrations from sketches by the author.
OUR IRON ROADS.    Their History, Construction, and
Administration.    By Frederick S. Williams, author of
' The Rise and Progress of the Midland Railway.'    A
New Edition.    In demy 8vo., 8s. 6d.
THE MIDLAND RAILWAY:  Its Rise and Progress.
By Frederick S. Williams, author of ' Our Iron Roads,'
etc.    A New Edition.    In crown 8vo., with numerous
illustrations, 6s.
{publishers in ©riitmtB to gfcr <Jftajearn the Queen. PRESENTATION   BOOKS
CHARLES LAMB. Edited by Percy Fitzgerald. In Six Volumes.
Crown 8vo. Illustrated with 50 Full-page Plates in Half-tone. Cloth,
gilt extra.    Published £3, 3s.    Offered at £1, 10s.
LIFE OF BEAU BRUMMELL. By Captain Jesse. With 20 Coloured
Illustrations. Two Volumes. Royal 8vo. Cloth, gilt extra. Published
£2, 2s.    Offered at £1, 4s.
Ctjst, M.A.(Oxon.). With Photogravure Portrait and 70 Full-page
Illustrations. Two Volumes. Demy 8vo. Gilt tops, cloth gilt extra.
Published £1, 15s.    Offered at £1, Is.
THE DEVIL ON TWO STICKS. By Rene le Sage. New Edition,
with an Introduction by Arthur Symons and Six Full-page Drawings
by Philip Hagreen. One Volume. Cloth, gilt extra. Published
£1, Us. 6d.    Offered at 17s. 6d.
THE STORY OF NELL GWYN. Related and Collected by Peter
Cunningham, F.S.H. A New Edition, with an Introduction by John
Drinkwater. Illustrated with 40 Plates, etc. One Volume. Royal 8vo.
Published £1, Is.    Offered at 12s. 6d.
By Giovanni Boccaccio.   Revised from the
with an Introduction by Edward Hutton.
only English Translation,
One Volume.    Royal 8vo.    Published £1, lis. 6d.    Offered at 17s. 6d.
with Appendix. By G. T. Crook. 29 Engraved Plates. Five Volumes.
Royal 8vo.    Published £6, 6s.    Offered at £3, 7s. 6d.
by Oliver H. G. Leigh. Illustrated. Two Volumes. Royal 8vo.
Published £3, 3s.    Offered at £1, 15s.
THE WORKS OF TOBIAS SMOLLETT. Edited by George Saintsbury,
and illustrated with Engravings by George Cruikshank. In Twelve
Volumes. Small 8vo. Limited to 2000 copies. Published £3, 12s.
Offered at £2, 2s.
THE NOVELS OF HENRY FIELDING. Edited by George Saints-
bury. Illustrated by George Cruikshank. In Twelve Volumes. Small
8vo.     Limited to 2000 copies.    Published £3, 12s.    Offered at £2, 2s.
Browne M D. Illustrated by George Cruikshank. In Four Volumes.
Small 8vo.    Limited to 2000 copies.    Published £1, 4s.    Offered at 15s.
Notes and 10 Photogravures.    Two Volumes.    Royal 8vo.    Published
£3, 3s.    Offered at £1, 15s.
All these Books are obtainable from
The First Edition, 1791, reprinted verbatim wi+h the Appendix " The
Principal Corrections and Additions," 1793. Illustrated with 20 Photogravure Etchings, 50 Half-tone Plates and a Facsimile Letter. Preface
by Clement K. Shorter. Three Volumes. Royal 8vo. Published
£3, 13s. 6d.    Offered at £2, 2s.
Adlington. Edited with an Introduction by F. J. Harvey Darton.
Illustrated. One Volume. Royal 8vo. Published £1, Is. Offered at
12s. 6d.
THE HISTORY OF DON QUIXOTE. Translated by Thomas Shelton
and a new Preface by F. J. Harvey Darton. With 22 Engraved Plates.
Two Volumes.    Royal 8vo.    Published £3, 3s.    Offered at £1, 15s.
Behn ; with an Introduction and the Original 20 Plates and 2 Engraved
Titles. Re-engraved. One Volume. Royal 8vo. Published £1, lis. 6d.
Offered at 17s. 6d.
From the authentic text of Roux de Lincy, with an Essay by Professor
Saintsbury, M.A. 73 Plates on Japanese Vellum and 150 Head- and
Tail-pieces. Five Volumes. Royal 8vo. Published £6, 6s. Offered at
£3s, 7s. 6d.
THE WORKS OF FRANCIS RABELAIS. Translated into English,
1653. niustrated with 100 Full-page Plates and numerous Decorations
by W. Heath Robinson. Two Volumes. Royal 8vo. Published £3, 3s.
Offered at £1, 15s.
niustrated with 15 Plates on Japanese Vellum after the Original Drawings
by Louis Chalon. Two Volumes. Royal 8vo. Published £3, 3s. Offered
at £1, 15s.
ROYAL LOVERS AND MISTRESSES. The Romance of Crowned and
Uncrowned Kings and Queens of Europe. By Angelo S. Rappoport.
With 6 Hlustrations in Photogravure and 13 other Engravings. One
Volume.    Royal 8vo.    Published £1, lis. 6d.    Offered at 17s. 6d.
Edited by Thomas Moore, niustrated with 32 Portraits from Contemporary Sources. One Volume. Royal 8vo. Published £2, 2s. Offered
at £1, 2s. 6d.
THE COMPLETE ANGLER. By Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton.
Edited by John Major. New Edition, with 8 Original Etchings on
Japan Vellum and 74 Wood Engravings. One Volume. Royal 8vo.
Published £1, Is.    Offered at 12s. 6d.
All these Books are obtainable from
Booksellers ■


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items