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Far out : rovings retold Butler, William Francis, Sir, 1838-1910 1880

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Array     
FAR   OUT:
ROVINGS   RETOLD.  FAR   OUT:
ROVINGS RETOLD.
BY
LIEUT.-COL. W. F. BUTLER, C.B.
AUTHOR OF "THE GREAT LONE  LAND," "THE WILD
NORTH  LAND," ETC., ETC.
 for wide expand
Beneath the wan stars and descending moon,
Islanded seas, blue mountains, mighty streams,
Dim tracts and vast, robed in the lustrous gloom
Of leaden-coloured even, and fiery hills
Mingling their flames with twilight on the verge
Of the remote horizon.
Shelley
LONDON:
Wm.  ISBISTER,  limited,
56, LUDGATE HILL,
1880.  CONTENTS.
FAOE
Introductory Chapter  vii
A Dog and His Doings :
I.   .  i
II  20
A  Journey   of  a   Dog  and   a   Man   from   Cariboo  to
California :
1  68
II  84
III  101
IV.   .       §  121
The Yosemite Valley  137
Afghanistan and the Afghans  158
The Zulus  175
South Africa:
1  193
II  220
III  239
IV  255
A Plea for the Peasant  283
A Trip to Cyprus:
1  3"
II  329
III  347
IV  368  INTRODUCTORY  CHAPTER.
f HAVE been told that an introductory chapter is
necessary ere the scattered papers of travel
which are here brought together can be taken from
the lower region of magazine literature, in which they
have hitherto had existence, and, with a title bestowed
upon them, be elevated or | shelved" into the upper
world of books.
I feel convinced, however, that no amount of preface, introductory chapter, or other preparatory preamble could succeed in imparting topographical
sequence or literary unity to rambles, the theatres
of which have lain so far removed from each other.
To group together such separated scenes as the
pine-woods and snow-sheeted lakes of the regions of
the Hudson's Bay fur-trade with the treeless plains
of Natal and the Dutch Kepublics, would be a task
beyond even the focussing faculty of my old fishing
friend, John Burns, of Derry-cluny. Burns was
frequently  in  the   habit of  expatiating upon   the Vlll
FAR  OUT.
advantages of climate enjoyed by those who breathed
the air of his native river bank, whose salmon
pools and streams he knew so well. On one occasion when I had succeeded in dragging my bones out
of the Gold Coast, less many stone weight of their
normal covering, the old fisherman came to see me.
There was, he said, only one thing necessary to insure perfect restoration to health and strength. It
was to sit every day upon the battlement of a bridge
over his river, and to breathe the air that blew down
from the Glen of Aherlow.
I Had not Father Maher, the Coadjutor, been to
Eome, Asia Minor, and them northern parts, and
didn't he give it up, for goodness, to the air on
Ballycarron Bridge ?" This "isothermal line" of my
poor old friend comes back now to me when I try
to bind together Shasta and Athabasca, and them
I southern parts" of Africa; but unless my readers
can be induced to adopt some such method of geographical grouping, and to make a "bee line" across the
globe, these divergent paths of "Far Out" travel
must still remain sundered by space of seas.
Taking the papers in the order in which they were
written, that of South Africa comes first. Of the paper
itself I will only remark that, although a wild storm of
conflict has swept over South Africa since that date,
I find no cause to alter a single opinion or reverse
a judgment then expressed.   A recent well-known
sssssSKKS!SSS<SM!WSSS«Kra?KHSnss5 INTRODUCTORY.
IX
traveller visiting the Diamond Fields thought he had
discovered in the fact of black labour there given to
white employers the key to the pacific solution of the
great difficulties between race. To my mind the great
pit at Kimberley had an exactly opposite tendency.
It brought to South Africa the white race of gold-
seekers ; it brought to Kimberley the black race of
gun-seekers. Greed and passion on the one hand;
arms and ammunition on the other; the spark could
not be distant.
Who rightly gauged the situation can best be answered by the host of little wars, which in four years
have cost the empire about nine millions sterling.
As it has fallen to my lot in life to have seen a good
deal of native races in different parts of our vast'
empire, I may here devote a few words to this question of native war:—a question which, if the moral
matter contained in it should in these days be looked
upon as old-fashioned and out of date, may at least
claim notice from the fact of the " big bill" which
usually follows a " little war."
One of the effects of living in what is called a
rapid age is, that although we have multiplied our
sources of information on all subjects almost beyond
computation, our time and opportunities of studying
those sources of information have not increased.
People have no leisure now to inquire into an injustice.   Men grow quickly tired of the whole subject. X
FAR OUT.
They do not want the trouble of sifting or weighing
a question; the novelty, even of an unjust war, soon
wears off, and the readers of daily papers become
more intent upon getting rid of a worry, that has
bored themselves, than of redressing some wrong
that has been inflicted upon others.
"There is nothing more easy," said a veteran Cape
statesman to the writer, " than to get up a war in
South Africa. If I had only known that the Government wanted such things, I could have given them
a score of Kaffir wars in my time."
He spoke the soberest truth. A wild or semi-wild
man is always ready to fight if wrong be put upon
him. It is the only method of obtaining redress or
vengeance that he knows of. He has no means of
separating the acts of irresponsible white men from
the government under which they live. The only
government he( can understand is that personal rule
which makes the chief and the subject alike answerable ; and hence every trader carries with him, in his
dealings with natives, the character of the nation to
which he belongs. Yet wherever I have gone, among
wild or semi-wild men, I have found one idea prevalent
in the minds of white men trading with natives.
That idea was that it was perfectly fair and legitimate
to cheat the wild man in every possible way.
One hundred years ago it was considered right to
cheat the black man out of his liberty and to sell INTRODUCTORY.
XI
him as a slave. To-day it is the natural habit of
thought to cheat the black man out of his land or
out of his cattle. In the coast region of Natal the
coin known as a florin is called among the natives
"a Scotch half-crown." The reason of the title is
simple. A few years ago an enterprising North-
Briton went to trade with the natives in that part
of the country. He did not barter—he paid cash for
what he bought. Curiously enough he always tendered
half-crowns in payment. Months later the natives
found that their half-crowns were worth only two
shillings each; and since that time the florin, along
the coast, bears the name of "Scotchman." Instances
of a similar kind could be multiplied, until the reader
would be tired of their iteration.
As the widest rivers have their sources in rills, so
have our wars frequently their beginnings in the
state of petty theft and retaliation thus produced.
A native is cheated in trade; he discovers the fraud,
and later on commits a theft in retaliation. Instantly the Colony rings with the outrage. The news
is quickly taken up by that large class of idler, loafer,
transport-rider, trader—persons to whom war brings a
harvest of gold, and with whom, in all parts of the
world, war will ever be popular. The position becomes
what is called "strained," and then there is only
needed a Governor, hungry for the addition of letters
to his name, to let loose the tide and begin a little Xll
FAR  OUT.
war, which costs Great Britain four hundred or five
hundred pounds for every negro shot.
Here is the history of a little war, the bill for
which still remains to be paid. A " commando " was
sent out against a chief, who had given trouble on
the frontier. It is easy to mistake the cattle and
women belonging to one black man, for the cattle and
women belonging to another. The wives and property of the recalcitrant negro could not be found, but
a " commando " is not the kind of expedition to return empty-handed from a campaign, so the women
and cattle of another black man or tribe were triumphantly seized. • As those people had lived on terms
of perfect amity with the white man, it may be supposed the seizure caused astonishment. The men of
the tribe fell, without hesitation, upon the nearest
white man they could find—an old trader—and killed
him and his sons. War was of course declared, to
punish this unprovoked murder, and the little conflict
thus inaugurated cost Great Britain a quarter of a
million sterling. I have no hesitation in saying
that five-sixths of our African wars, and a still larger
proportion of the Indian wars in America, have their
beginnings in wrongs done in the first instance by
white men upon natives.
To the incoming settler the land of his adoption
is essentially a new land. There may have been
people in it for twenty centuries before he came to
»s§§^ INTRODUCTORY.
Xlll
it; but their rights to possession are not perceptible
to him. His title to land in the country often consists in the fact of his voyage out, and in the other
fact that he never had any land in his own country.
It is curious how easy it is to transfer to a fresh
soil the seed of an injustice. Denied the possession
of the soil in his old home; the first thought of the
immigrant in the land of his adoption is to deny to
others the right to exist. Too often, having had only
the right to labour for others allowed him in England,
he eagerly adopts the idea that labour is the natural
inheritance of the black man. So it is ever in the
world. The man Jbeaten and bullied in his youth will
beat and bully when his opportunity arrives—the
servant is ever the hardest taskmaster. " There
is," says Balzac, "nothing more terrible than the
•vengeance of the shopkeeper." Thus the frontier
between civilisation and the wilds finds ever arrayed
along it, whether the scene be the, backwoods of
Canada, the Dakotan boundary, or the outlying
"veldt" in the Transvaal, representatives of the two
races least likely to agree together—the white man
who has never had a servant, and the black man
who has never known a master.
I recollect once spending a couple of days in the
pursuit of a bear in a western Canadian forest. I
had as guide a white trader, a man from a neighbouring forest settlement.    We chanced to meet one XIV
FAR  OUT.
day a solitary Indian hunter.   My companion shook
his fist and cursed aloud at him.
I What harm has he done you ?" I asked.
"Harm?" answered the man; "he'll never stop
until he has killed that bear. I wouldn't leave a
red-skin in the land if I had my way."
"But the bear is as much his property as it is
ours," I said. "Probably for twenty generations
back the red ancestors of that poor devil have
hunted bears in this forest." What cared my
guide ? He was quite as ready to put down the
"red-skin" as though the scene had been an English
Petty Sessions Court, the Indian had been a rabbit
poacher, and he himself the presiding magistrate.
In the Sierra Nevadas, in California, I had once the
good fortune of meeting the late Mr. Boss Browne,
for years an Indian Government Commissioner.
From him I heard the history of the origin of the
Apachee War, which has so long been waged in the
deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. "When the
first coach line was put through Arizona," said my
informant, "the Indians were at complete peace with
us; they watched the horses at the ranches, they
were employed in the stables, and did the work of
the road cheerfully and well. All went smoothly for
some time until there came upon the line a certain
Mr. King. This gentleman was not at all pleased
with   the  peaceable   manner   in   which   the   busi- INTRODUCTORY.
XV
ness was proceeding. The Indians were doing the
work cheaply; the stations were supplied at small
cost; no money could be made out of such a set
of inoffensive people. King determined to change
all this, and to make the country fit for an American
speculator to live in. His mode of procedure
was very simple. Hard by the ranche at which
he dwelt there was an old fort of the Mexican times,
whose adhoby battlements were weed-grown and
ruined. Within some crumbling bastion there lay
an old iron carronade, rusting amid the nettles. This
forgotten relic of Spanish dominion was the instrument by which Mr. King was to effect the change he
wished for. He brought the gun out of the ruins,
he scraped the mud from the muzzle, cleared the
vent-hole, and squibbed off some loose powder to see
that all was right within the bore. Then he placed
the gun in a neighbouring thicket, mounted upon two
trunks of timber, and with its muzzle just hidden
within the edge of brushwood. Down that muzzle
he put a bag of gunpowder, and on top of the powder
he placed several handfuls of leaden bullets—twelve
to the pound. When he had completed the priming
of his piece he laid the sight of the gun upon the
centre of a little depression in the ground that lay
about one hundred and fifty yards distant; then, to
keep the gun in its place, he put another log of timber
across it.   All this done, he quietly covered up his ord- XVI
FAR  OUT.
nance with a sheet, and went his way. An hour later
he issued invitations among the Indians for a feast on
the morrow. He would kill three oxen; there would be
three fires, at which the oxen would be roasted, and
then there would be a great feed and much jollity.
The oxen were killed, the fires made, the guests were
not wanting. About mid-day the following day there
were over two hundred Apachees busily engaged in
roasting meat at three large fires. The fires stood in
a single line in a slight hollow, the floor of which was
level, and which level was continued to a small
thicket distant from it about one hundred and fifty
yards.
I When the feast was at its height, and the Indians
were thickly grouped around the fires, roasting, eating,
running back to roast, and then to eat again, Mr.
. King quietly left the crowd and sauntered up into the
, thicket. No one minded him I every one was too eager
at the feast. All at once the roar of an explosion
burst out from the thicket, and then—there is no
need to tell the rest; dead and mangled Indians lay
thick in the hollow. No one knew what had happened;
but when, later on, other Indians flocked wildly to the
scene, they found two-thirds of their comrades dead
or dying, a score or more wounded with different
degrees of severity, and some twelve or more untouched, but utterly dazed and stupified at the catastrophe.   They could only point to the thicket; the iron
n^^raB INTRODUCTORY.
XV11
carronade told the rest. It was found lying some
distance back in the wood, flung there by the force of
its own recoil. A black mark along the ground
showed where a train of gunpowder had been laid to
the vent. Of Mr. King.there was no trace; he was
already far away towards the nearest fort. But from
that day to the present the Indians have been ceaselessly on the war trail, and over the sandy wastes of
Arizona and New Mexico many a site is marked to-day
with the stone, or cross, which tells the traveller that
a white man there met his end at the hands of an
Apachee."
It may be easily supposed that, when the stage of
actual conflict has been reached, the mode of warfare
springing from such a condition of society is utterly
destitute of any of those rules which civilisation
endeavours to impose upon strife. There is literally
no line drawn in the savagery of war with the native.
There is no " belt," in reality or in metaphor, beneath
which it is unfair to hit a black man. Between the
Irish wars of Elizabeth's captains and the wars waged
against the natives in South Africa there is only the
difference of breechloaders, and rifled ordnance; civilisation is alone traceable in the greater range of the
projectile or the increased power of the explosive.
The old methods of destruction are as much in favour
as ever, but.they are left to the nimbler feet or more
active hands of our Fingo or Basuto allies.
A XV111
FAR  OUT.
It would be unfair to our colonial brethren to suppose that they are responsible for -fche savagery of acts-
done by what are termed " irregular corps " in native-
wars. In the ranks of many of those regiments the
concentrated rascality from half the states of Europe
will be found. Here is a little picture from a corps raised
for service in one- of the recent South African wars.
When visiting his sentries at night, the Commanding Officer was in the habit of taking round with
him an orderly, who carried a lantern. There was,
of course, nothing unusual in this fact; but the-
method of the inspection had best be told in the
officer's own words. "I knew my blackguards wanted
to shoot me," he said, " so, as I walked along the line
of sentries, I took care to keep the fellow with the
lantern on my right or left-hand side. When challenged, I would call out, and then jump quickly to
one side, so that if the rascal on sentry fired, he-
would have aimed at the light and missed me."
And yet it is to men such as this corps was-
composed of that the nation freely pays six times a
higher rate of daily wage than it gives to the trained
troops of its regular army. Often, when I have seen
the wild extravagance that characterises our " little
•wars," and looked at the rabble brought together, to
harry some miserable negro and his tribe—
' to chase
Through rocks, where monkeys seemed a nobler race,
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSB! INTRODUCTORY.
XIX
I have not known whom to pity most, the black man,
hunted out of his land and life, or the white ratepayer at home," whose pocket was being so freely
bled.
Let no man imagine either that for our own troops
these wars have in them even the common attribute
of "schooling." Sorry schools these to learn the
steadiness, the discipline, or the morale, which would
meet in a fair field of European fight the Pomeranian battalions, or the men who crossed the Balkans
in mid-winter. " May it never be my fate," said, to
the writer of these pages, one whose experience of
troops in war ranged over every campaign of the last
thirty years in all parts of the globe, " to find myself
on a European battle-field with an army trained in a
South African campaign." He was right. The cave-
smokers of Algeria made but a sorry show when pitted
against sterner stuff than Kabyle fugitives: yet Algeria
.was not the only part of Africa where cave-smoking
warfare was widely practised, and where science
coolly blew helpless women and children into atoms
in the burrows to which they had fled in terror.
Let us quit this subject. If this were soldiering, it
would indeed be only a sorry trade.
When the present Afghan war was in its initiative
stages, we ventured to express a doubt upon thefavourite
theory of the "forward school," that the Afghans
had only to be freely shot, plundered, and otherwise XX
FAR OUT.
knocked about, to become our fast and firm allies, and
to hate the Bussians with something of the discriminating fervour of a London music-hall audience. As
the best method of stating these views we had recourse to the past history of the Afghan people, and
of our own relations towards them, concluding the
attempt to prove the moral of the moment, by the
lesson of the past, with these words: " Twenty millions
of money! twenty thousand human lives! three
times that number of camels and horses lost! a
name hated throughout the length and breadth of
this mountain land—such were the results accruing
to us from three years' wandering in search of a
scientific frontier."
Whether history has since repeated itself to almost
every syllable of the above sentence we must let our
readers determine. Meantime I will leave these subjects and turn to other lands which are filled with
brighter sights and softer sounds—with the echo of
the wilderness, the ring of dog-bells over snowy
solitudes, the plash of canoe-paddle in quiet waters;
with sights of suns setting over measureless meadows,
of moons glistering upon snow-sheeted lakes, of the
weird lights of the north flashing above motionless
pine-trees—sights and sounds of all that varied north
land which through time and distance wears ever unchanged its memories of lonely beauty.
Of the dog, whose fortunes had so close a connection
3&S68S93S5SS&SG INTRODUCTORY.
XXI
with mine own through many scenes of winter travel,
there remain a few words to be written.
It may be remembered that in the spring of 1873
his career as a hauling dog ceased, and that in the
autumn of the same year he became a dog of civilisation, if not of progress. Henceforth life was to be to
him a time of rest and food. The collar and the moose-
skin trace could only visit him in troubled dreams.
No more the. early call to harness in the savage cold
of the dark morning would break upon his sleeping
ear as he lay deep beneath the falling snow. No more
the long day tugging at the collar, the mid-day halt,
the frozen white fish for supper, the shivering bivouac
under the pine-trees—all was changed, his work
was over; and, like some old veteran of a hundred
fights in the seclusion of his club, thenceforth he
could lay down his body for himself and the law for
his friends, and beguile the tedium of time in the
pursuit of small game, or devote himself to pastimes
which would recall earlier scenes of life in the great
northern wilderness. As time went on that aversion
which he had demonstrated towards cats on his first
introduction to civilisation deepened into a-more lasting animosity. Perhaps they seemed to him a link
that bound him to older enmities—enmities to the
lynx and the marten, the beaver and the otter, the pursuit of which had in bygone times so often caused him
moments of excitement; for how often had I seen him XX11
FAR  OUT.
baffled by . a. marten up a pine-tree, or intensely
puzzled by the sudden disappearance of a fisher into
a burrow, down which he would intrude his head as
far as it was possible for it to go, while his great body
drew in deep respirations of sand, and air, as though
he would, draw the animal from his earth by mere
strength of inhalation. Frequently too was he noticed
to indulge in hole-digging of a desultory description,
the object whereof was not apparent. It may have been
that the old dog was affected at the memory of the
many caches he had made during his life of travel—
those never revisited hiding-places of superfluous food
scattered along his ten thousand miles of winter
work; and perhaps a vague idea possessed him that,
burrowing at random, he might find some long-hidden
treasure of moose-leg, white fish, or buffalo-bone. It
is impossible to say whether he was happy or not, for
happiness in dogs, as well as in their masters, is a
quantity that cannot always be measured by the weight
or value of their creature comforts. Dog comfort he
undoubtedly possessed—dog comfort of the bed and
the bone; but who shall say that there came not now
and again to his brain old memories of cozy camps on
pine islets in great frozen lakes, of mid-day halts by
snow-drifts where the red and golden willows glistened
in the winter's sun, of old antagonists and fellow-
haulers, of the hosts of Muskeymotes, Cariboos, Tete-
Noirs, Kuskytayatimoos, that had been boon com- INTRODUCTORY.
XX111
panions, or fierce rivals, to him in the fur forts of the
north ? Glimpses, too, of idle moments in those faraway forts of the great wilderness when he bayed the
Northern Lights that flashed and flickered over the
pine-tops on the opposite shore, or answered back at
intervals the lonely howl of some wandering wolf
against the clear cut sky-line of a moonlit prairie hill.
Once again dog and master were destined to meet.
Three years had passed since they parted on the
Atlantic shore of North America. Since that time the
world had changed much with both of them. Ease
and age had bowed the sharp head, bent the broad
back, uncurlea. the bushy tail, and slouched the
springy gait of the once unequalled Esquimaux. Toil
and the fever of the African forest had left their trace
upon the man. It had been night when they had
parted; it was also night when they met again. For
a moment the old dog seemed to be puzzled; he had
been roused from sleep to meet the new comer, but
when his ear caught voice and words that had been so
familiar to him, memories of the old time seemed to
come back, for the bent tail wagged, the lip curled,
into the laugh, and the well-remembered whimper of
satisfaction sounded again—echoes of old companionship of camp and trail in a far-off world.
Two years more and echoes, if such they were,
ceased. In the summer of 1878, Cerf Vola the Untiring
made his last camp on the shore of life.   His grave is  FAR  OUT:
ROVINGS   RETOLD,
A DOG AND HIS DOINGS.
I.
"jHAB out, in that portion of the grim Laurentian
wilderness of North America which stretches its
iron belt between the more recent formation of the
Bay of Hudson and the valley of the Mackenzie
Biver, there lies a sheet of water named Deer's Lake
by the old English fur-traders, who first reached its
shores from the estuary of the Churchill Biver.
It is essentially a lonely place; the rocky shores,
broken into deep and quiet bays, hold a vegetation
of fir and spruce trees, dwarf, rigid, and of dark
sombre hue. The waves beat in monotonous cadence
against the bare rocks which mark the "points" or
capes between the deep indentations of the shores; and
the bays are often filled with long growing reeds and
B ¥\
f !'
m\
2 FAR  OUT.
waving grasses,' through which the wind makes ceaseless moan, as early autumn follows with rapid footsteps the September sun.
In summer, short though it be, there are sights to
be seen on this lake, filled with that rare beauty only
to be found where the rain and the sun have together
and alone woven the covering of the earth; for in
summer there falls upon these hills the strange, unwonted beauty of saffron sunsets, lengthening out the
shadows of dark pine-trees on water so still that the
ripple from a wild duck's breast steals far over the
surface, and gently rocks the shadowed image of
the shore, and waves the motionless pine-branch on
the cliff, and dies in the water-worn hollows of the
old grey rocks with an echo just audible in the
great stillness of the scene; then, too, as the light
of evening deepens, and the western end of some long
arm of the lake yet lives in the strange contrast of
dark rigid tree-tops, outlined against a lustrous afterglow, there sounds over lake and shore a cry, the
vivid distinctness of which startles the echoes deep
into the bosom of the woods. It is the wail of the
loon—a wild and lonely call that tells the shy moose
in his willow lair he may rise and seek his mate;
that calls the dark-furred otter from his haunt
beneath the rock to his nightly toil of fishing in
the quiet pools where the fish glance like silver
arrows in the moonlight ; that signals to the grey
owl that his time has come, too, to flit amid the dusky
shadows ; that tells wild beast and wild bird they A  DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS.
Q
may set forth for feast, or love, or war, safe under
the cover of the night, in their great home of the
wilderness.
On the south shore of this lake there stands a
small trading-house or "fort" of the Hudson Bay
Company. It is the usual type of structure common
throughout the fur country of the great north. Log-
house and picket-fence, trading-store, and hut for
half-breed .servants, all alike built from the wood of
the straight fir-tree, roofed with logs, covered with
the bark of junipers, and made secure from the
searching winds of winter by mud and moss stuffed
tightly between the interstices of the logs.
In winter, house, fence, and hut lie deep drifted,
amid snow piled high by storm; in summer, dogs
stretch in lazy delight upon the sloping pathway
between the picket-fence and the lake shore. A boat
lies updrawn upon the beach; an Indian birch-bark
canoe, turned downwards upon its face, lies near it.
Far out upon the lake another canoe, a speck on the
water, is seen coming from the further shore with
some Indian family intent on trade; and around,
over the palisades and roof-tops, in endless lines,
the motionless and rigid pine-trees stand dark and
changeless.
In fact, this fort at Deer's Lake differs not from a
hundred other forts scattered over this great northern
wilderness. Its aspect, life, people, boats, canoes,
surroundings, are all the same; everything is alike
here  as  elsewhere: everything, save one item, and
b 2 FAR  OUT.
1
I
that one item is an important one—it is the dog.
The dogs of Deer's Lake differ from other dogs in
most of the forts of the great northern land.
Dogs, it is true, are fond of differing all the world
over; but on this point of difference between dogs
at Deer's Lake and dogs elsewhere in the north
there is a notable distinction, and it is this—that
while the dogs at the many fur forts further inland,
the trading forts scattered over the vast basins of
the Saskatchewan, Peace, and Athabasca Bivers, are
a poor and wolf-like breed, those at Deer's Lake are
remarkable for possessing a strength, size, and symmetry, a uniformity of colour and characteristic,
stamping them at once as a distinct species which
has developed into that perfection always attained
by Nature when in the wild state she moulds her
creatures to their own wants and purposes. The dogs
are, in fact, of Esquimaux breed, a species of which it
will be necessary to say a few words.
Around the wide circle of the Arctic Sea, on all
northern shores of Europe, Asia, and America, that
extraordinary race of human beings known as Esquimaux possess a breed of dogs unequalled for the value
of the assistance they afford to their human masters.
The Arab has his horse, the Indian his- canoe, the
Libyan his camel; but in the dog the dwarfed and
hardy races of the frozen north possess an auxiliary
more constant, more untiring, more useful, than any
other thing of animate or inanimate nature the wide
world over. A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
From northern Norway, along the cold slopes of
Lapland and the White Sea, far into that unknown
region where Bussia's north-east cape stands the
nearest continental outpost to the pole upon the earth;
down along the wintry shores of the Lena and the'
wild Yakoutsk waste, to the Straits of Behring; and,
again, into the regions of North America by the
mouths of the three great rivers which seek the
Arctic Ocean, until, sweeping around the wide Bay of
Hudson, the line crosses to Greenland and ends on the
east coast of that desolate island—all around the
immense circle of this northern shore-line there is
found a breed of dogs, differing in size, it is true, but
closely identical in shape, habit, and characteristic.
When the scattered tribes of Esquimaux move east
or west along the shores of their lonely realms, when
the spring-time tells them to quit their snow-houses,
and to set out upon their dreary quests of fishing, while
yet the ice gives safe and ready means of travel; when
early winter, closing in the dusky darkness upon the
short summer, sends them again to their huts, the
dog is ever there to haul his. load of dried fish or
musk-ox meat, of oily blubber or skin, of drift-wood
or dried moss; of walrus-bone for spear-heads; of
all the curious craft of kettle, axe, knife, arrow-head,
and tent, which the Esquimaux fashions from the few
rude materials flung to him by the sea, or grudgingly
yielded by the inhospitable shore.
Deep-chested, broad-backed, long-woolled, clean-
legged, sharp-nosed, pointed-eared, bright-eyed, with 6
FAR  OUT.
fi
tail close curled over back, in token of an everlasting
good humour towards man and of fierce resentment
to all outside dogs, the Esquimaux dog stands of his
species the only animal which gives to his master the
twofold service of horse and dog.
The lake called Deer's Lake, of which we have
already spoken, is not many marches distant from the
west shore of Hudson's Bay. Indians descending the
Beayer or Churchill Biver can easily reach the fort
which stands at its mouth, in the summer; and in
winter, when the .cariboo are plentiful along the belt
of woods lying between Lake Athabasca and Hudson's
Bay, stray parties of Indians move at times back and
forward from Deer's Lake to Fort Churchill. Thus
there has arisen an intercourse between the two
stations, and as Fort Churchill is the most southerly
point to which the Esquimaux come on the shores of
the bay, it has fallen out that the dogs bartered by
the Esquimaux have been carried inland to the post
of Deer's Lake, and that around the palisades and
huts of that remote establishment the burly forms
and upraised tails of these best and truest Arctic
travellers are to be seen.
Nearly a dozen years ago from this present time
an event occurred at this post of Deer's Lake which,
although it received neither comment nor chronicle at
the moment, is still worthy of a passing notice in
this record. It was only the birth of a dog. Beyond
the fact that the event took place at the time I have
indicated, little more is known;  indeed, it may be A DOG AND  HIS DOINGS.
admitted that even that fact would for ever have
remained in the limbo of unrecorded history, if circumstances had not occurred in the after-life of this
dog which gave prominence to his earlier existence.
It may, however, be safely presumed that the earlier
stages of puppyhoqd were passed by this dog in
conditions of unusual felicity. Doubtless- the year
was one of plenty, so far as white fish in the lake was
concerned, or the herds of reindeer were unusually
numerous in the neighbouring woods; and doubtless,
too, the mother of this dog was of a free and generous
nature, who grudged not to her progeny a share in
spoil of bone, or in the feast that followed the return
of the lake-boat from the nets—an event usually
watched with anxious* eyes by the whole pack of dogs
at a northern fur fort, who welcome with hilarious
howl the grating of the keel upon the beach, sure
prelude to a rich feast, if the night's yield has been
propitious.
Thrown a chance wanderer in some of these remote
and lonely posts in this wilderness of the north, it
has often been my occupation to watch the habits of
these dogs in the idle hour's of their lives. Their
fights and mutual jealousies, their impertinent intrusion into the provision- sheds, their wolf-like howls
when the earliest streak of dawn glimmered over the
eastern hills, their joy when released from harness,
their sorrow when about to be placed in it, have often
filled up the moments of a day spent in one of those
remote spots. 8
FAR  OUT.
I remember once, at the fort called St. John's, on
the Upper Peace Biver, being witness to a strange
conflict between the instincts of a dam to her whelps
and the cravings of her own hungry nature. She
had become, by some fortunate chance, the possessor
of a large bone; this she had carried to a place of
safety under my window, followed by her family of
four puppies, just verging from the age of toddling to
that of toothsome tendencies. The mother's gaunt
sides and staring bones showed that the progeny were
no easy burden to her, and their rounded'and chubby
figures contrasted strongly with her angular outline.
Nevertheless, the four youthful haulers seemed to
be of opinion that it was wiser for them to claim a
share in the bone now under discussion than to await
a future moment when its sustenance might be derived
second-hand from their maternal relative. They
growled and tugged at the bone almost in the mouth
of their hungry nurse, and rolled over each other and
over the bone in a mixture of infantile ferocity and
feebleness most laughable to look at. The expression
of their mother's face was one of hungry perplexity.
Here was a clear case of injustice on the part of the
offspring: they still looked to her for support, and yet
they also sought to share her support—this precious
bone; nay, they even presumed upon her feelings to
rush in and take it by force, knowing that from her
alone could they secure it without being severely
bitten. Her only resource was in flight: raising the
bone in her mouth, she tried to get away from her A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
9
family to eat it alone; but they invariably toddled
after her to renew again their importunities. A
bright idea seemed suddenly to strike the brain of
one of the puppies: he relinquished his attempts at
the bone and devoted himself to his more legitimate
province of deriving nourishment from his mother;
but I could not determine whether this manoeuvre
was only a ruse to detain her for the benefit of his
three brethren yet struggling for the bone, or simply
an effort to improve the occasion with reference to a
I square meal" on his own account.
Arguing from these and similar scenes witnessed
among dogs generally in the north, and having regard
to the excellent proportion attained by the dog whose
history began at Deer's Lake, I can safely aver that
his mother must have been of a free and generous
nature to him in his early youth. But whatever
may have been the conditions of that earlier life, it
must suffice for us to know that four winters of hauling and four summers of repose had passed over him
ere fate determined that the name of the dog and his
doings should fall upon the ear of the big outside
world.
It was the winter of 1871.
For three months the great northern forest had
lain prone beneath snow, ice, and bitter cold. Many
a storm had swept over the immense waste, piling the
dry snow into huge drifts by the banks of frozen
rivers; silting up willow islands, covering the wreck
of fallen vegetation in the dark pine woods, and 10
FAR  OUT.
moaning away into endless space over lake, and plain,
and forest.
The scene is in the neighbourhood of the fur fort
called Cumberland, on the shore of Pine Island Lake,
near the lower Saskatchewan Biver. It is the hour of.
sunrise. Along the white bed of a tortuous river, fast
frozen beneath five feet of ice, and deep drifted in
snow, came three dog-trains; twelve dogs in all.'
Four men accompany or follow these trains in the
rapid stride and long swing of snow-shoe walking.
The bells upon the dog-harness ring and jangle clearly
in the keen frosty air, for the thermometer is standing
at some twenty-five degrees below zero. A white
steam rises from the breaths of dogs and men, and
great icicles hang on the beards of the travellers, whose
fur caps are frosted over with ice dust fine as flour.
The pace is about four and a half miles an hour,
and its rapid movement has done more to make the
blood course freely through their bodies than capote
or mittaine or fur-cap could ever achieve on such a
morning. Suddenly, from a bend in the river channel, there became visible on the left shore a solitary
Indian wigwam ; a thin column of smoke issues from
the opening in the pointed roof, a dog barks vigorously toward the new comers from the bank in front;
all at once the train dogs quicken their pace to a sharp
trot, the men break into a run, and in a few minutes
the sledges are abreast of the wigwam; then the
leading dogs make a wild lurch to leave the river and
ascend the bank, with a view to a rest, and perhaps A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
11
to a spell out of harness; but that is not to be, and
a loud and stern word of command from the leading
driver makes them crouch together in the dry yielding
snow in the centre of the river.
The three men ascend the river bank and enter, one
by one, on their hands and knees, the low opening of
the Indian wigwam. The scene inside is a curious
one. Through the opening in the roof the light comes
fully in; a fire is burning on the ground in the centre ;
its smoke, only half escaping through the aperture
above, hangs in the upper part of the tent, and it is
only by sitting on the ground that one can escape its
influence and see-with ease and comfort. At the
further side of the fire from the doorway sits an old
withered, wrinkled Indian, who scarcely regards the
new-comers, but continues to sing a low, monotonous
song; a young woman and two children are squatted-
near.
The new-comers sit on some dried rushes around
the fire; the old man, having shaken hands with them
one by one, continues his dirge. The leader of the
party asks his followers what the old man is singing
about. " About the death-of his son," they reply.
I His son, this woman's husband, and the father of
these two children died here two days since; and last
night a dog-train came from the fort (Cumberland),
and took the body away for burial in the graveyard
there."
"And the man, who was he ? What did he die of ?"
asked the leader of the party. 12
FAR  OUT.
" He was a French half-breed who had adopted the
Indian life, and he lived here in this wigwam, hunting
for the family. He died of cold caught in chasing a
black fox, which had carried away one of his traps.
He was a good hunter."
The story of this man's life and death was soon
told; meantime the Indian continued his song.
I What is he singing ? "
I He says that he is old and cannot hunt; that his
support has gone from him; that it would be better if
he went too."
A few minutes later the party left the wigwam and
continued their journey along the frozen river. There
was now a trail on the ice, and the dogs followed it
with rapid steps. Soon the river opened upon a
large lake; the sleds bounded briskly over the hard
drifted surface of the snow, which bore the trace of
a recent dog-train upon it; then there appeared, far
off in front, the misty outline of buildings grouped
together on the dim opposite shore of the lake.
Quicker went the dogs, faster beat and clanged the
bells, until, leaving the ice, the dogs dragged their
loads into an irregular open space surrounded by
wooden houses, in the centre of which other dogs and
men stood watching the new-comers.
Prominent amongst the dogs a large burly-figured,
bushy-tailed animal at once caught the eye; he appeared to be intent upon combining two almost
impossible lines of conduct in one and the same
moment; namely, to ingratiate himself into the good
s^ssssss^^ A  DOG  AND   HIS   DOINGS.
13
graces of the men of the party just come, and to
intimidate by a series of quick but ferocious " asides "
the new dogs. Thus he presented a singular contrast
of solicitude and swagger; the upturned tail wagged to
man and shook menace to beast almost at the same
instant; the face by turns glared and grimaced, and
the ground was trod by a sort of light springy motion,
which indicated a desire to give his paw to anybody
who might take the trouble to ask for it, or to show
his jaw to any and every dog who looked in his
direction.
There have been ingenious German artists who
have succeeded in, producing similar effects in the
portraits of some of their great national heroes.
Looked at from one side, the picture presents to the
beholder the graceful outline of a ballet-dancer, or of
a rustic maiden; regarded from the front, the lowering lineaments of Bismarck, the wrinkled ferocity of
Moltke, or the Mosaic ramrodism of the German
Emperor's face and figure strike grimly upon the eye.
This, however, must be what is termed " high art"—
in the case of the bushy-tailed dog at Cumberland
Fort it can only be regarded as low nature. But to
proceed.
The general appearance of this dog and his grotesque goings on quickly caught the eye of the leader
of the party, and inquiries followed as to his name
and ownership j these were soon answered. The dog
was of pure Husky breed; he was born at Deer's
Lake, three hundred miles further norths his owner 14
FAR  OUT.
was one Isbister, a well-known trapper and traveller
over a wide extent of country; he was but just returned from bearing his part in hauling the dead body
of Joe Miller from the Indian wigwam; his name was
Cerf Volant, or the Flying Deer.
Thus at Cumberland, on Pine Island Lake, was
first introduced to the writer of these pages an
animal destined hereafter to fill a prominent part in
long and varied scenes of toil and travel. And now,
having brought to a point of contact at the fur fort
called Cumberland the life of this dog and of his
future owner, it will be better for the smoothness of
the narrative, and the truer weaving together of two
threads of life, to continue our story in the personal
pronoun.
I became the possessor of Cerf Volant. He was
the "foregoer," or leader, of three other dogs, who
bore the names of Tigre, Muskeymote, and Cariboo;
the first a good and trusty hauler, the two others
wild and shaggy dogs, of savage disposition and unkempt aspect.
The financial 'operation which resulted in transferring these dogs to my possession was of a nature
to surpass all other operations of the kind ever
known in the north—in other words, more money
was on this occasion asked and given for this train
of four dogs than the oldest inhabitant had ever
remembered in similar transactions ; but had that
sum been three times what it was, and had that
triple amount been demanded for the single "fore-
NWWWWWWK A  DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS.
goer," Cerf Volant, exclusive of his three comrades,
it would still have been an eligible investment, to be
repaid afterwards with the interest of an amount of
true and faithful service impossible to over-estimate.
The long journey, which had begun three months
earlier, was, at the time we write of, drawing to a
close. Five hundred miles yet remained to be
traversed ere the point from which I had started
in October would be again reached, and this distance,
lying as it did for the most part over vast stretches
of frozen lake, promised to be traversible without
greater difficulty than that of cold and hardship; for
over these large lakes the very force and violence
of the winds have made the mere labour of travel
comparatively easy. The snow closely packed upon
the ice forms a hardened surface, upon which the
snow-shoe leaves but scant impression, and the dogs
and sleds run lightly over the smooth and dazzling
highway which cold and storm have laid across the
vast spaces of these inland seas.
It was the 31st of January when I set out with my
new train for this last stage of five hundred miles.
The cold was very great; the country as desolate as
frozen swamp, spreading in endless succession for
eighty miles' distance, could make it; but the story
of that journey has been already told in another
place, and its introduction here is only necessary
in order to carry on the history of the "foregoing"
dog into times and through events which have found,
no record. 16
FAR  OUT.
Twenty days passed away; the marsh and the
lakes had been crossed. There had been days of
bitter blast, and nights of still, cold rigour, and cosy
camps on islands drifted deep in snow, where the tall
pine-tree stood to shadow back the glow of the fire
lit beneath it, and to shelter the wayfarers whose
passing footsteps had broken, for one short night,
the quiet of these lonely isles.
And now it was all over ! I had got back again to
house and fireside, bed and board. True, it was only
four months since I had left these adjuncts of civilisation, but time in those matters has only a relative
significance, and distance had so lengthened out the
vista of these hundred and twenty days that it
seemed half a lifetime had been spent in the
wilderness.
I took up my quarters in an unoccupied house
lying about six miles from Fort Garry, in order to
quickly complete some official reports relative to my
journey. I had as attendant an old pensioner; as
companions my four dogs.
The pensioner dwelt in the kitchen, the dogs occupied a large stable. I had the rest of the house to
myself. When not suffering from a too liberal allowance of Hudson's Bay rum, the pensioner was wont
to devote his leisure moments in the evening to endeavouring to elucidate, with my assistance, some
problems that perplexed him.
He had quitted the army and left England before
the era of the introduction of electricity, and "them A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
IT
themagruffs," as he used to term the telegraph, was
ever a fruitful source of conversation with him. For
the rest, he cooked for me and for the dogs, kept my
fire alight, and fulfilled that truest of all services by
leaving me to myself as often as I pleased. At times
I gave the dogs a run over the snow, or put them in
harness and ran them to the Fort for exercise or
business.
But even the border civilisation of the Bed Biver
Settlement had many temptations for Cerf Volant
and his comrades. There were some farmsteads in
the neighbourhood of my house, and ducks and
turkeys and a cock were things as completely beyond
the comprehensions of my team as the telegraph had
been puzzling to my attendant; with this difference,
however—that while the old soldier lost his head over
the mystery of the electric wire, the cock and his
companions invariably lost their heads to my team's
inability to comprehend their true functions in
civilisation.
More than once was the mid-day scamper up the
roadway in front of my house attended with wild
' scenes of flutter and confusion in straw-yard and byre
into which my dogs had penetrated, and more than
once were my repeated calls by name of each dog
answered by the reappearance of these " missing
links" between civilisation and savagery in a state of
hilarious joy over the capture and decapitation of
these puzzling poultry.
At last the time came to quit the settlement for
o 18
FAR OUT.
other and larger scenes of civilisation, into which the
dogs could not go.
A Hudson's Bay officer about to start for Norway
House, on the north shore of Lake Winnepeg, became
the purchaser of the team and cariole, and Cerf Volant
passed from my possession to resume his old place in
a Hudson's Bay fort. I parted from the dog with
keen regret: he stood alone among his comrades not
only as a hauler but as a friend. The work of our
lives is the real test of our natures. Any man can be
jolly or good-tempered at his dinner, or during his
leisure moments : but if the daily routine of his work
leaves no frown upon his nature, if his heart does not
close or harden beneath the hourly hammering of his
toil, then you may swear there lurks no cranny of
discontent in his being—there is no nook of selfishness in his heart. So was it with this dog. He
alone was ever jolly at his post; he hauled through
all the hours of a long day without slack of collar
trace or stint of effort: but the ear was ever ready to
turn responsive to a kindly call, the tail to wag a welcome within the tight-drawn traces of bis toil; and
when the evening came, and the collar was laid aside,
and the last strap unbuckled, not fighter did he shake
from him the dry powdery snow than the vestiges of
his long day's work.
Companion in the camp, faithful servant during
the day—what more could man desire ?
The day of departure came.   I drove through the
single street of Winnepeg village on my way south. A  DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS.
19
At the entrance to the town, at the spot where, on the
night of my first arrival eight months earlier, I had
parted from my guide, to pursue alone the way to the
friendly Indian settlement, I saw my dog-train coming
at a brisk pace along the frozen road. Cerf Volant
was leading, a half-breed driver ran behind the sled.
I Cerf Volant, old dog ! " I called out. He turned in
his harness at the well-known voice, there was a
crack of the half-breed's whip like a pistol shot, and
the dog, realising that a mighty change had passed
over his life and fortunes, bent his head to the collar
and trotted on bravely towards the north. The last
link of the lone spaces was gone! A   YEAB and a half had passed away.
The reality of the wilderness had become a
dream. Idealised by distance and separation—the
camp, the lonely meadow, the dim pine woods, the
snow-capped mountains, the mighty hush of nature
as the great solitude sank at sunset into the sleep of
night—all had come back to me in a thousand scenes
of memory; and in the midst of the rush and roar of
a great city, I had seen, as though in another world,
the long vista of unnumbered meadows lying at the
gateway of the sunset. I had heard the voice of lonely
lakes and pines that whispered into the ear of night
the melody of unmade music.
I would go back to it again. Why not ? Is there
anything on earth better than this wilderness? Is
there aught in this short life of ours with less of that
pleasure which is sure to turn to pain ? with less of
those things which are sweet while we toil towards
them, and bitter when they lie behind us on the road
of life ? The gold of this wilderness is nature's own ;
ring it, change it, spend it, hoard it, there lies not in
its millions or in its fractions one atom of alloy.
P^^n^nws^ A  DOG  AND  HIS   DOINGS.
21
There is no mountain too lofty to find a frame in the
mind's eye of the wanderer; there is no flower too
lowly to fill with its fragrance the winter garden of
his memory.
I got back to the old scenes again. It was the early
autumn; the oak woods along the Bed Biver shores
were beginning to yellow under the breath of the
north wind; the mosquitoes were all gone; the wild
ducks were settling on the prairie pools and the reedy
"sloughs" of half-dried water-courses; the grouse
were beginning to "pack"; the warm balmy days
were followed by fresh cold nights; and the prairies,
basking in the mellow sunshine of September, stretched
in unbroken line from the oak woods of the river to
the distant verge of the western horizon.
About a hundred and fifty miles south of Fort
Garry there stood, on the Bed Biver bank, a small
Hudson Bay post in the territory of Dakota. The
wave of immigration had in my absence flowed fast
over this fertile valley of the Bed Biver, and the huts
and shanties of settlers "were now dotted along the
trail that led north towards British territory; the
great hungry tide from overcharged Europe was, in
fact, eating deeper into the lone land, and month by
month the wilderness was losing ground before its
sharp and restless surge. But the wilderness had sent
its best and truest representative to meet and greet
me on the very shore of its lost dominion.
As I drove to the door of the Hudson Bay post,
accompanied by a friend who had brought two large 22
FAR  OUT.
Scotch deer-hounds from England, a huge bushy-tailed
dog came charging full tilt upon the new comers. He
was followed by three other animals with tails upraised
in various forms of fight; the charge was sharp and
decisive. The dog of Scotland was ignominiously
overthrown, and as he lay extended upon his back
I beheld, standing over him with legs firmly planted
on all sides of the prostrate foe, and tail shaking
unutterable defiance, almost at the back of his
own head, the burly form of the unconquered Cerf
Volant.
It was a strange coincidence. On the day of my
departure I had left him travelling north into distant
regions; on the day of my return I found him at the
extreme southern limit of Hudson's Bay possession.
But changes had come upon the rest of the train.
Tigre and Muskeymote had gone to the land where all
dogs go. Cariboo yet remained, and two other dogs,
Spanker and Pony, had taken their places in the
vacant traces of my old train. Nor was Cariboo long
to remain; when the time arrived for my departure
towards northern regions he too had hauled himself
out of life, and Cerf Volant alone remained to link
the journey which I was now beginning with the past
scenes of former travel.
As I have said, the story of this second journey has,
like that of its predecessors, been already told. It
will suffice now to broadly enumerate the distances
traversed and the work done by this dog ere, passing
once again from the wilderness, I introduce my old
hSSsKkSsSSsSs^ S A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
23
friend to the waters of the Pacific, and to the scenes
and customs of a new civilisation.
I was now entering the wilderness with no very
fixed purpose. Beyond the north and west of my
previous wandering there lay a vast region; it was
iny intention to hold steadily to the north-west, and
come out—chance would only determine where. The
autumn was yet long enough to carry me across the
region of prairie to the southern limit of the subarctic forest: within that forest the horse could not
penetrate; it is the land of the snow-shoe and dog-sled
in winter, of the canoe in summer. I reckoned upon
the winter snow to carry me nearly to the Pacific ; if
not, the canoe against the current must do the rest.
Perhaps as to this plan the reader may ask two
questions—Why, in going towards the Pacific Ocean,
should the current be against you ? And why did you
select the rigorous winter season for crossing these
northern latitudes ?
To answer one question is partly to answer both.
The great river systems of the north have their sources
at the Pacific side of the Bocky Mountains, not in
that range, but in the Coast or Cascade range, which
follows the general line of the Pacific shore. Their
various tributary streams unite their waters into two
main channels, which pierce the Bocky Mountains in
two great passes, and flow out into the Silurian plain
lying east of the range, to finally join the Mackenzie
Biver, flowing into the Arctic Ocean.
In winter these rivers form vast frozen highways, 24
FAR  OUT.
along which dogs and men can travel with rapidity;
and in summer, the rushing currents, swollen by the
melting snows of three mountain ranges, limit the
canoe rate of travel to slow and tedious toil. But in
addition to this there is another reason why winter
affords, so far as rapid travel is concerned, the easiest
time for piercing these northern solitudes. In summer it is not possible to travel through the forest;
innumerable swamps, unbridged rivers, quantities of
fallen timber, lakes without number, are everywhere
to be found, and the longest defcour by water is
generally more expeditious than the shortest line by
land; but in the winter the snow has covered the
tangled wreck of brute and fallen forest, the frost
has bound fast as iron the widest swamp or muskeg,
and river, lake, and rapid lie hushed under many
feet of solid ice. True, the cold is then intense, but
cold had been tried before, dog travel was a certainty,
and to cross in winter the vast region of this northern
forest had in it the charm that ever attends the attainment of perfect freedom to wander where you will.
And now for the means of crossing it—the Husky
dog, Cerf Volant, who all this time has been menacing
the prostrate form of his Scotch antagonist with an
animosity worthy of several condensed generations of
Lords Warden of the English marches. The removal
of this bushy-tailed Hotspur from the fallen Douglas
was accomplished, however, without difficulty, and it
is pleasing to record that, so far as welcome by tail,
salutation by bark, and general recognition by ear,
M$^w^ A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
25
eye, and paw were concerned, bis demeanour towards
me left nothing to be desired. As eighteen months
earlier I had left Cumberland on the Saskatchewan
with this dog and his followers, so now again I quitted
the post of Frog Point, on the Bed Biver, once more
his owner. Two other dogs also accompanied me;
Pony, a dog much given to dodges and perverseness,
and Spanker, a Husky of hauling powers but peevish
proclivities, the memory of whose tail, removed in
early youth, seemed still to rankle in the recesses of
his mind.
It is needless now to dwell on the time that followed. How, for .six hundred miles, the dogs ran
light across the prairies to my hut at the Forks of the
Saskatchewan; how, when the winter deepened, the
time for their toil came, and the daily work of preparation for piercing the northern forest went on; then
the long journey began. For sixty-four days, through
wood and waste, along endless stretches of frozen
river, over the ice of unknown lakes, the untiring dog
held his way. The deep Green Lake, the icy Lac Isle
a la Crosse, the long ridge of Methy, the valley of the
Clearwater, the great Lake Athabasca, the steep
shores that overlook the winding channels of the
Peace Biver, saw, one by one, the bushy tail and
downbent head of the dauntless hauler; and, night
after night, the camp fires along this stretch of fifteen
hundred miles shed their fight upon the Untiring, and
beheld him as faithful and as jolly as when we had
quitted my log-hut at the Forks of the Saskatchewan. 26
FAR  OUT.
So long continued had been his toil, and so bravely
had he borne his part by frozen flood and over icy
field, that I had long since conferred upon him the
sobriquet of "the Untiring." I had also cut his
original name into the shorter one of Cerf Vola—a
change which, whatever may have been its origin,
seemed mightily to please the principal party concerned in it, and to afford him so much satisfaction
that its reiteration in camp or during off-work moments generally caused him to indulge in a series of
jocular howls, accompanied by boisterous flounderings
in the snow, most comical to look at. I have reason
to believe that the jocularity of this noise arose from
a method which I had adopted of impressing the new
name more vividly upon his memory by presenting
him, at the moment of its utterance, with a portion
of white fish or of pemmican. The intimate connection existing between the stomach and the brain
is. a well-known physical fact; but the advantages
arising from utilising that connection as a means of
imparting instruction to the youthful mind has not,
so far as I am aware, been yet adopted in the educational system of the country.    But to proceed.
This laughing howl, if I might so call it, had about
it an expression of face irresistibly ridiculous. When
a dog cries with pain, he does so with both sides of
his mouth; but when he laughs it is only one side
that he calls into play. This peculiar expression of
one-sided mirth was indulged in by Cerf Vola on all
occasions when he considered that he had claims A  DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS.
27
upon society, which society, in the shape of my little
party, was slow to recognise. When the day's march
was at an end, should any delay occur in removing
him from harness, his laugh was instantly heard,
from the traces of his train, and if his white fish had
been smaller than usual, or there existed an acute
craving for a moose bone or stray scrap of pemmican,
or any of those unused odds and ends which the great
dog world instinctively recognises as its perquisite,
then the Untiring was wont to curl his upper lip into
a smile, and to pour forth a whimper of universal
satisfaction with everybody in general.
Sixty-three days .passed away. I stood some fifteen
hundred miles from the starting point at the Forks of the
Saskatchewan; prairie, forest, lake, muskeg, and river
reach had drifted away into the sleep of the wilderness. It was midnight over the deep-sunk channel of
the Upper Peace Biver; there was no need of moon
or star to show the river track, for its white frozen
channel lay broadly marked between the dark overhanging banks, now nearly clear of snow. I was
alone with one Indian. During the last ten days we
had travelled only at night, the surface of the ice was
then only firm enough to bear the weight of dogs and
men. But the snow surface, although hard at night,
was frozen, by the action of the cold upon the thaw
of the previous day, into honeycombed projections
which hurt the feet of the dogs and of their drivers as
they toiled along over it. We had stopped our march
for the midnight halt and cup of tea; the dogs lay 28
FAR  OUT.
crouched within their traces, in that happy power of
forgetfulness which, whatever may be their trouble,
enables them to sink at any moment into the oblivion
of sleep and rest.
I How far now, Kalder ? " I asked.
I Not far.    Five hours more."
Fifteen miles out of fifteen hundred should seem a
short distance, and yet it did not to me that night. I
was tired, heart and soul, of snow-shoe.
I Let us go on, it will be the sooner over."
• Bousing up the sleeping dogs, we went on for the
last time. They were loth to quit their snow beds.
What knew they that the end of the long journey was
so nigh? In that at least we had the advantage.
The Untiring, still leading, ran very lame. He was
booted on both fore feet; but even boots could not
save him from the sharp glass-like ice.
A misty dawn broke over the scene. Great ridges
bare of snow loomed up around us; the rushing of
many rills from the shores, and the noise of the river
beneath could be heard at intervals; the surface snow
and ice grew soft and slushy, and at every step we
sank through the yielding footing.
Poor old dog ! thin, worn, and lame; his woolly
hair no longer able to hide the sharp angles of shoulder and hip bones; with neck frayed by constant
friction of collar and moose-skin traces ; with tail no
longer curled over back, but hanging in a kind of sad
slant behind him; nevertheless, gamely tugging at
trace and collar—thus he drew nigh his last halt.
WMWn\\TO\>v>w\m. A  DOG  AND   HIS   DOINGS.
29
It was the 8th of April. Behind us lay that great
plain of northern North America, which stretches
from the Bay of Hudson to the Bocky Mountains; in
front rose a range of snow-clad hills. We had reached
the western bounds of the great plain, and at the little
fort of St. John's dogs and men might lie down to rest.
We did lie down to rest for some days, but Cerf
Vola got up much sooner than his master; in fact,
when three days had passed, he was so fit for further
exploration that he insisted upon setting out, on his
own account, for an additional fifty miles on the river
during the middle of the fourth night after our arrival.
Of this, however, more anon.
It must suffice now to know that for ten or twelve
days I lived the life of the northern fur fort. I wrote
notes of travel, read a stray Californian paper (it was
eight months old), watched the dogs, looked at the
river, noted the daily advance of spring on willow
thicket and birchen copse, and at night heard the
fireside story of chase, love, war, or adventure in the
great northern land.
What if here I tell a story of these northern wilds,
one told to me on a dark night of drift and storm at
the pine fire of a Hudson's Bay log-house ?
THE   DOG-DBXVEB S   STORY.
A region of intense desolation is the northern
coast of North America. The night of the Arctic
winter lies heavily upon it, crushing out all sense
or sound of life for long months together. 30
FAR  OUT.
Berg, floe, and pack upon the sea join frozen
hands with a dreary waste of drifted snow upon the
land, and low-lying cape and ice-piled shore lie in a
chaos of desolation, where nought marks the hidden
line between earth and water, save when some ice-
crusted rock or tempest-beat boulder lifts its head
above the lonely waste.
Summer comes to this dreary region, but only as a
fleeting visitor. By midsummer the snow has vanished from the shore; the ice has loosened in the
rivers, long channels of blue open sea lie between the
vast fields and floes of ice. On the undulating surface
of the ground mosses and short grass appear; but
the iron grasp of winter is never wholly loosed from
the land, and even in the long day of July, which
knows no sunset, scarcely a foot beneath the surface
the earth remains bound in an eternity of frost. Yet
this short fleeting summer brings to this northern
land a host of strange visitors. From the far distant
pine forests of the Great Slave Lake, from the nearer,
but still remote woods of dwarf firs and spectral junipers which fringe the shores of the Great Bear Lake,
and from the yet farther off region where the crystal
Athabasca lies amid its Laurentian wilds, there
come great herds of reindeer trooping thither on their
summer quest. Here along the northern sea, in this
short summer which is one long day, the great herds
bring forth their young. Here, too, birds in endless
numbers come to nest and to increase; the wild swan,
the wavy, the goose, the great crane, meet in a com-
»SSS5KSKfiKBN®MKSS«SSS5SK^^
Wa»HMM>' A  DOG AND   HIS  DOINGS.
31
mon feeling of peace and security, and, safe at last
from the universal enemy, man, make their nests
along the margins of low-set pools and peaty swamps,
filling the long silent air with voice and life and motion.
But this season is a fleeting one. Ere September
has reached its close wild storms of snow and sleet
sweep the Arctic twilight; the waves freeze as they
lave the wintry shore, the grass rustles dry and dead,
the reindeer vanish from the scene, and in many a
long waving V-shaped line the wild birds sail southward from a silent shore.
The only portion of this immense shore line which
can be known to man is that which lies near the
mouth of the Biver Mackenzie. To the east and to
the west of this river there stretches away a line of
coast which has once or twice been looked upon by
human eyes only to relapse again into endless loneliness. Franklin, Back, Bichardson, Simpson, and Bae
have seen those endless capes and low-sunk rocks flit
by them as the little boats which carried their fortunes
glided, for the first and last time, along these lonely
shores. These men, it is true, one by one at different
times linked together the separate pieces of coast until
at length from east to west, from Baffin's Bay to
Behring's Strait, a single shore line was given to
North America; but with that knowledge the work
ended. The explorers went and came, all save one
hapless lot, and the curtain which their courage and
labour had for a moment raised sank again for ever
over the north coast line of North America. 32
FAR  OUT.
There is but one highway, if it may be so called, by
which this remote and most desolate region can be
reached from the outside world. That highway is the
Mackenzie Biver, the largest save one, the vastest in
volume save none, in the continent of North America.-
But that highway to the north coast is itself remote
and distant; its farthest feeders, though they lie fully
two thousand five hundred miles far in the interior
continent, are difficult of access. To reach them requires long and arduous labour; and even at their
sources the traveller stands in a wilderness so remote
that a thousand miles of savagery lie between him
and the first echo of civilisation.
Down the great stream of the Mackenzie the desolation deepens on the land. The shores become more
destitute of human and animal life; the scenery
expands into a vaster and a loftier loneliness; between
huge silent shores a majestic volume of water rolls
steadily into the north, no boat upon its bosom, no
stir of life upon its banks, save when, at long, long
intervals, the birch canoe of some wandering Indian
glides under the shadow of the forest shores, or the
solitary boat bound for the fur fort on the lake breasts
up the lonely stream. And this is only in summer.
In winter, deep beneath high-piled ice and crusted
snow lies the mighty river, its shores wrapped in
drift, its leagues of forest standing dim and motionless, their tapering tops cutting jagged cones against
the early twilight; no sound across its broad bosom
save the owl-hoot, or the crack and rent of ice; no
SSSiSSSStMMKMNVTO^vi^v™™™™. ,,,,■,■ A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
33
vestige of man upon the snow; no shadow of bird in
the low-set sunshine of the mid-winter mid-day.
Yet the great river is not altogether devoid of
human existence. Man has sought even this friendless region in pursuit of trade; behind these river
shores stretch hundreds of leagues of muskeg, forest,
waste, lake, and wilderness, where the sable, the otter,
and the fox roam through the long winter. Here and
there, at scarce intervals, by shore of lake or bank of
river, stand grouped together a few wigwams of Indian
hunters, and, far down the great river, in the last
thousand miles of its course, two solitary groups of
wooden houses, the forts of the Fur Company, give
shelter to some half a dozen men, the sole white
denizens of this mighty waste.
Twenty years from this present time, in the most
remote post of this northern land, an old man lay sick
unto death. He was the bourgeois, or master of the
place, a Scotchman from the Isles. He had lived his
life in the north, and had played his part in the toil
and travel of the wilderness, and had faced the drift
of Arctic storm, and the gloom of the northern winter
for full thirty years. Death's stoutest captains, Cold
and Hunger, had often waged war against him, and
put him to sore strait in far-away scenes of winter
forest and ice-piled lake and pathless solitude; but
now Death himself had come and laid his iron grasp
upon him, even in his own comfortable log-fort,
against the fireside of which cold was powerless, and
into whose provision-store hunger could not enter.
D 34
FAR  OUT.
The time was the long winter. The birds had sailed
south from the Arctic shore; the ice had bridged
further across the wide river; the earth had wrapped
itself in a deeper cloak of snow; the drift of storm
blew daily fiercer across the long reach of pine-
bordered stream; the wail of swaying pines smote
the ear in more monotonous cadence; darkness was
on the outside world of wilderness—Death stood in
the inner circle of the fur fort.
It was a night of wild drift and storm. The wind
seemed to knock loudly for admission at every doorway
and window frame of the log-huts, and the wide,hearths,
blazing with pine-logs, sent back a defiant roar at the
storm without, and burned fiercer as each gust shook
the framework houses and died away in the moaning
depths of the vast outside forest. Seated around
these blazing fires, the little garrison of the fort spent
that November night in long discussion; for Ba'tiste,
the French half-breed, and Paradis, the old Canadian
postmaster, and Samuel Henderson, the Swampy
Indian of questionable civilisation, had many things
to say and much platitude to utter ere, in the language
of the law courts, Death had passed his final sentence
on their old master.
Paradis in particular seemed imbued with the
necessities of the occasion. He talked and smoked
incessantly; he gave utterance to many profound
sentiments, all more or less tending to prove that
death was an event which must come sooner or later
in the life of every man, whether he was engaged in A  DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS
35
ago.
the fur trade or in other pursuits; but at the same
time it was to be gathered, from the general drift of
the old postmaster's harangue, that he considered
Death had, with a wise discrimination, selected the
circle of his friends for earlier visitation, and had left
him, Paradis, for a remote and by no means certain
"future. Ba'tiste sat a ready listener to his superior's
logic, and the Swampy smoked with such placid
persistency that it was evident he regarded the occasion as one not to be lost sight of for the display of
his ruling passion, tobacco, in the supreme moment
of his master's life.
While thus these three men passed the long night
in platitudes and pipe-filling, the scene in the sick
man's room had developed into its final phase. As
the night wore towards the dawn he had called to his
bedside his clerk, a young Scotchman from the Lewis,
a distant kinsman of his own, and had put this
question to him: "Do you know the graveyard on
the island at Fort Simpson?"
"Yes; I know it well," answered the clerk.
£ Give me your word," went on the sick man,
I that you'll take my body to that graveyard, and lay
it by the side of the boy I buried there twenty years
"It's many a long day's journey from here,"
answered the clerk, " and the track is a rough one
over the ice in the early winter."
"Yes, it is," replied the old fur-hunter; "but you
are my own kith and kin, boy, and you'll do it for a
d 2 36
FAR  OUT.
dying man? Promise me you'll do it, and I'll die
happy." The clerk gave the promise asked for, and
the sick man's fingers closed on his hands as he did
•so. It was nearing the daylight hour; the storm had
sunk into the strange hush of dawn; over the tree-tops
to the east the blue cold light of winter was faintly
spreading into a broader band of light. The old
hunter's eyes had been closed for some minutes;
suddenly he opened them widely; the glimmer of
the daylight through the small window-panes struck
upon his fading sight. " Daylight! " he said, in a
kind of hoarse whisper, " daylight already ! Get the
snow-shoes ready, boy."
"Beady for what?" asked the clerk, stooping
down to catch the dying words.
I Beady for the road—for me. See, it's daylight,
boy, and the road is long; it's time to start." He
said no more, and ere the sun had touched the pine-
tops to the east, the old fur-hunter had put out upon
that dim sea whose waves for ever sob against the
shores of the Unknown Land.
The promise was to be kept. Ere mid-day had
come the little fort was. busy making preparations for
the long funeral of its dead master. Dogs, harness,
and snow-shoes were looked to and got ready; the
dead body, wrapped in canvas, was placed upon a
narrow sled, another sled was filled with blankets,-
provisions, and other requisites for a three weeks'-
journey. Eight dogs were selected for the work, and
by evening all was ready for the long lonely tramp. A  DOG  AND' HIS  DOINGS.
37
And in truth it would be difficult to imagine a more
desolate undertaking than the one which now lay before the young Scotch clerk and his French-Canadian
companion. For six hundred miles there lay this
lonely, silent, frozen river; along reach after reach
the solemn-standing pines bordered the high o'er-
hanging banks; so stark and stiff and devoid of life
was the great solitude around that it might well have
seemed to these two voyageurs as though they were
to be travellers through a world as dead as the lifeless
clay they carried with them.
It is needless now to dwell upon the days and
nights that followed their departure from the fort.
At times there came wild storms, before whose breath
the dry snow flew in blinding tempests ; at times the
sun shone brightly upon the dazzling surface of river,
and shore, and snow-laden pine-tree, and at night
there came the weird lights of the north to spread the
vast vault above with myriad shafts of many-coloured
light, and to fill the silent waste of earth and heaven
with the mute music of these wondrous streamers.
Wonderful are these winter nights in the north,
when the glory of the aurora is abroad in the
heavens, filling from horizon to zenith the dark dome
of night; for it seems then as though stars and sky
sent down a dew of rainbow radiance to touch the lofty
shores and solemn standing pines, and to cast upon
the silent reaches of frozen river and the dim waste of
ice-piled lake that weird light whose essence still lies
hid from science in the unreached caverns of the north. 38
FAR   OUT.
It was the seventh evening of the journey. The
lonely funeral had completed at sunset about a third
of its long distance. The camping hour found it, as
usual, near the base of the high overhanging shore of
the Mackenzie Biver. By means of landslips or summer water channels seeking the main river this high
bank was generally easy of ascent when the camping
hour came; and as dogs going to camp will haul with
ease over hills and through thickets which would
appear utterly impracticable to them at other
moments, there had been no great difficulty on the
previous nights in reaching this upper level for
purposes of shelter, fuel, and camp-making.
On the evening we speak of, however, the bank
hung steeply over the river, and when the moment
came for giving the dogs the well-known word for
camping, all their most frantic efforts were useless to
drag to the summit the heavy sled which carried the
dead body of the fur-hunter. The Frenchman's sled
bearing provisions, now lightened in weight by the
consumption of eight dogs and two men for so many
days, ran without any difficulty to the top of the
steep ascent; but voice, and whip, and push of pole
from behind, and freely lavished imprecation upon,
or adjuration to, each particular dog, failed altogether
to carry the other sled even half-way to the summit.
Meanwhile precious moments of daylight were
ebbing fast ; camp-making in the dark on such a
night as this would be a long and difficult toil.
What was to be done?   Better take the dogs from A DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS.
39
their traces, and leave the sled upon the ice of the
river until the daylight would again cause the march
to be resumed. This course was resolved upon.
What evil could befall the dead? In the vast solitude that lay around, in the merciless rigour of the
cold towards living man, lay the safety of the dead
one; so the dogs were unloosed from their burden,
and leaving the sled and its load upon the river, the
men and dogs climbed the steep bank and disap-.
peared into the forest.
It was a night of extreme cold, and the shelter of
the snow-laden pines was grateful, for other shelter
there was none. The winter camps in the north
know neither hut nor tent. The fire in the open
forest, the blanket laid upon the chopped pine-brush
bed, are all the voyageur requires for his nightly
camp. The snow may fall, the tempest shake the
lofty pines, or from a still grey sky the cold may
come with its intensest rigour, until the trees snap
like pistol-shots, and the smoke clings to the ground,
unable to ascend into a colder atmosphere; but all
the same the ground gives a bed, the sky a roof, to
the traveller in the north.
The upper bank of the river was level, but the rage
of many a tempest had laid low the outer trees, and
the men had to penetrate some distance before the
forest became open enough to allow of a good camp
being made. Then the old routine went on; the
snow was cleared from the ground with the snow-
shoes, used like shovels ; dry trees were felled for 40
FAR OUT.
fuel, a fire lighted, shavings were cut from a dry
branch to quicker kindle the larger wood; the provision sled was emptied of its load of blankets, kettles,
and food, and the harness arranged for use in the.
dim light of the morning.
All these preparations for the camp took some time
to complete, and darkness had fallen on the forest ere
the work of tree-cutting had been finished.
The Canadian's strong strokes were Btill sounding
through the silent waste. The Scotch clerk had filled
the copper kettle with snow, and was in the act of
placing it upon the rising fire. All at once he stopped,
laid his kettle upon the ground, and rose to his feet
in the attitude of a man who hears some unexpected
voice suddenly call to him.
" Gaudet," he said to his companion, " did you
speak ? "
The Canadian was only a few paces distant. " I
said nothing," he answered. " What did you hear ? "
, But ere the other could reply, there passed through
the forest, as distinctly as human voice could utter
the sound, the single word Marche I—a word often
used in the daily toil of dog-driving, but uttered now
in a tone of deep suppressed suffering, filled with a
kind of helpless agony, and yet terribly familiar in
accent and in meaning, though altogether inconsistent
with the time, the place, and the solitude.
" There are Indians on the river," said the Canadian,
hastily; " they are forcing their dogs up the bank to
pur camp." A  DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS.
41
The other man did not answer, for a thought had
possession of his brain that paralysed the power of
speech, and froze back into his heart the very current
of his life. The voice that uttered the well-known word
Was no strange one to him; it was the voice of his old
master, of the man whose dead body he was bearing
to the grave.
Ere the Canadian could again speak there came, a
third time repeated, the slowly uttered word; and
again it seemed like the wail of some lost creature
sinking 'neath a nocturnal sea, and vainly struggling
to free itself from some overpowering fate. The
Canadian moved quickly towards his companion, the
fire, as he entered the circle of light, showing the
terror that had suddenly come to him. He, too, had
caught the accent, and recognised in the sound the
voice of the dead fur-hunter. Nor were the men the
only evidences of the reality of this spoken sound; the
dogs had half risen from their lairs in the snow, and
with ears erect, and heads pointed to the river, they
seemed to look for the approach of some one from the
outside solitude.
Thus, in the full light of the fire, now rapidly
illumining the dusky twilight of the snow and of the
forest, the two travellers stood in the attitude of men
who, face to face with the evidence of their senses,
feel the creepings of that indefinable fear, which lies
in the faintest breathing of that vast shadowy world
beyond the narrow circle of our little fives.
But whatever be the enemy, or whatever be the fear 42
FAR  OUT.
that oppresses the mind of man, it is easier to go and
meet it than to stand still. Instinctively the two men
moved towards the river, through the tangled wreck
of fallen forest, passing the bordering outwork of overthrown pines. They gained the edge of the high hank,
and looked out over the great river. Vague and vast
it lay beneath them. The shades of night had closed
over it, but the white light of the snow still showed
the broad expanse, and revealed in dim outline the
hummocks and ice-hills of the central channel. But
the men had little thought of ice or snow or river
channel; with anxious eyes they peered into the dusky
light, and tried to scan the sled that held the dead.
Below, on the ice, just as it had been left, it lay
dark against the white ground of the snow, and close
beside it crouched a black form that seemed to move
at times along it. In the intense silence of the
solitude a low noise could be distinctly heard. It
was the noise of the gnawing of teeth, a crunching
sound.
The two men on the upper bank were no novices in
the sights or sounds of the wilderness. Indistinct as
was the light, faint as was the sound, they recognised
at once the presence of a large wolverine, whose sawlike teeth were busily engaged in cutting the lines
that bound to its narrow bier the dead body of their
old master.
Startled by the voices on the shore, the wolverine
vanished in a long slouching gallop into the ice of the
central river.   So far the page was easy to read; but A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
43
the weird word that had called them to the bank in
time to save from the ravages of this wild animal the
dead body which the dying fur-hunter had so earnestly
prayed might rest beside his son,—there was no
sound in the life of the wilderness, no sight in all the
wide range of forest, lake, or river, to cast light or
clue upon its strange significance.
With the eight dogs formed into one team, and by
dint of sheer strength of men and dogs working together, the dead body was brought up the steep bank
from the river, and placed in its old position in the
camp. There was no trace of fear in the hearts and
minds of the travellers now. If the lonely word had
been a voice from the shadowy world of death, it had
spoken with a purport easily to be read by the living
human sense.
The journey was resumed on the morrow. On the
twelfth day the half-way post of Fort Norman was
reached. At this station the travellers expected to
find fresh dogs and supplies to carry them to their
destination; but the dogs belonging to the fort were
absent on a long trading expedition, and supplies in
the store were so scarce that little more than half
rations could be spared for the long journey still
before the party. On again along the endless track ;
still the same silent, frozen wilderness; the shore
lined by the rigid standing pines; the long river
reaches swept by bitter storm, or lying prone under
the quiet cold of a starlight morning. Now and again
a wolf or a wolverine crossed the track in front, or 44
FAR  OUT.
dogged the footsteps.of the. funeral party from a long
distance behind.
As the miles went on the dogs became daily more
reduced. Starvation never works with man or beast
so fiercely as when it has cold and toil to help it at
the task; and now, as the stock of white fish grew
smaller day by day, and the evening dog-ration was
reduced from a single fish to half a fish, and then to
less, the gaunt sides of the dogs sank deeper in, the
sharp bones rose higher out through the long coats of
hair that could not hide the skeletons beneath. Still
the teams toiled on.
No other animal loves more dearly.than the dog
his daily food, and goes to greater lengths and resorts
to such strange devices to procure it; but no other
animal can starve so well either, can go on, day after
day, without letting the hunger in his stomach eat
into his heart and brain, and paralyse -the power of
work. In the great northern waste it has occasionally fallen out that dogs have gone seven days and
nights without food, and drawn a sled in some shape
or other all that weary time.
Now, as the days went by and the ration grew less
and less, the trains began to show that first prompting
of starvation-fierceness—they quarrelled with each
other at all times when it was possible to do so, and
at night, when the hour of their scanty meal came,
they fought savagely for the pittance of fish, and their
sharp teeth snapped, as with the spring of steel the
jaws struck together in their wolf -like bitings-
M»SMffMi\Vfflm.V A DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
45
At last the journey drew near a close. The twentieth night, the last but one, found them camped
some twenty miles short of Fort Simpson. By the
morrow's sunset the funeral would be over, the dead
man would have reached his resting-place. The camp
was made as usual in the wooded shore; in view of
an early start long before daybreak, the men soon
lay down to sleep. The last morsel of food had
been flung to the starving dogs; it had not been
a drop in the desert of .their hunger; they roamed
through the snow in restless pain; at last, all was
quiet.
It was about the middle of the night when there
seemed suddenly to echo through the forest a sharp
cry. Both the travellers sprang hastily from their
deer-skin coverings; the fire had burned out, but the
moonlight on the snow made surrounding objects
plainly visible. They were alone in the camp, the
dogs were not in their places, the dead body had also
disappeared. " It was the same voice again," said
the Scotchman. " I heard it in my sleep. The dogs
have carried away the body into the forest." As the
men listened, half uprisen from their robes, the sound
of snarling and snapping of teeth came from the
depths of the wood beyond where they lay. To
plunge into the snow, and follow the trail took them
but a short time, and soon a spot was reached where
in fancied safety the hungry pack were busily engaged
in rending to pieces the covering of the dead body;
they had already torn it from the sled, and nothing 46
FAR OUT.
but the marble substance of the frozen flesh had saved
it from destruction.
Driving away the maddened beasts with difficulty,
the two men brought back the body to the camp.
The night yet wanted many hours of daylight, but
the men were in no mood for sleep. Putting together
their few remaining things, they harnessed up the
lean and starving dogs, and set out on their last
stage. It was a long hard march, and many a time
the whips fell heavily upon the wretched teams; but
at length the snow-roofed houses of the fort arose in
the great waste of solitude, and safe at last from
ravage of wild beast or starving dog lay the body
of the old hunter.
And now, what say we of this strange word, thus
spoken twice in the silence of the night ? Nothing.
The light that human reason would cast upon such
things is after all but a rushlight set in a vaster
wilderness than even this immeasurable waste of the
north. Told to me by the chief actor in that long
funeral tramp, I am content to leave the explanation
of the story to other hands.
The world is made up of men who are ready to
believe anything, and men who are ready to deny
everything. Alas! how little the breezes of denial or
of asseveration can ruffle the great ocean of death!
In the vast sea that lies outside this life, the echoes of
disbelief or of credence are lost ere they quit our
shores. Yet from that dim ocean stray sounds are
sometimes   borne   inland,   and   from   the   endless
K^SSX?WN«NSff?SSeK«OSS>!K0CM^?^wxva; A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
47
surges of Eternity, waifs, such as this warning word,
are cast ever and anon upon the sands of time.
But let no one doubt the faith' of the man whose
word has been my evidence. For many a wintry
mile of travel he had been my sole companion. If
man has a right to place trust in the spoken word of
another man, I have a right to put faith' and trust in
the story of this lonely dog-drive, as it was told to me
one night on Lac Vers, by the Scotch clerk of bygone
days, now himself a veteran fur-hunter of the north.
We must go back to Cerf Vola.
We left him pursuing an independent course, of his
own free-will and pleasure, westward towards the
Bocky Mountains from the fort called St. John's.
This strange proceeding on his part occurred in this
wise.
About the fourth day of my sojourn at St. John's it
was decided to send forward to the mountain portage,
which lay fifty or sixty miles further west, some bags
of moose pemmican, destined for my use. In the canoe
journey which it was my intention to pursue after
crossing the eastern or outer range of the Bocky
Mountains. From St. John's to this outer range I
was to use horses for transport. Being heartily tired
of the heavy labour of the snow-shoes, I was glad to
have again a prospect of saddle work; and although
the country was not yet quite free of snow, and the
brooks and streams were filled to overflowing by the
rapid thaw, still I felt that any difficulty was to be 48
FAR  OUT.
preferred to that toil over the frozen river, alternately
sinking in the slush of wet snow, or cutting one's feet
over the knife-like edges of the midnight ice. It
became necessary, therefore, to send forward, while
the river was yet frozen, the heavy portion of the
supplies for the trans-mountain portion of my onward
journey. An Iroquois Indian, well-known for his
great power of snow-shoe travel, was sent in charge
of these things ; for the ice had now become broken
and unsound in many places, and none but experienced feet could venture safely upon it.
It was midnight when the Indian started from St.
John's with a single sled and four dogs; when
morning came, Cerf Vola was not to be found,
Spanker had also vanished. Either from a mistaken
idea that the Bocky Mountains were places sacred to
an indiscrimate distribution among dogs generally of
pemmican and other eondiments, or from some ever-
to-be-unknown reason, set deep in the recesses of
their own minds, these two dogs had set out as
amateur travellers as wildly intent upon getting at
once into the snowy hills as though they had just
been elected members of an Alpine Club.
As the day that followed their departure wore on,
their absence began to assume a new and more
painful phase. The clerk in charge of the fort came
to me with forebodings of evil.
I There had been poison spread along the trail for
wolves near Hudson's Hope by Charette, the master
of that place," he said.    " Two of his dogs, following A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
49
loose as those of mine had done, had fallen victims to
it only a couple of months earlier." Here was news !
For Spanker, I frankly admit, I did not care one pin.
It had been always impossible to open friendly relations with that suspicious hauler. It is true that
even had he been so minded, he could not have
wagged his tail to his best friend, for the simple
reason, as I have before stated, that he had no tail to
wag; but, nevertheless, even had that appendage been
left intact by the guardian of his youth, his disposition was of such a nature as to have precluded the
possibility of his ever holding out the tail of friendship
to any man.    So much for Spanker the Suspicious.
But it would not be easy to estimate in the coinage
of words the value I placed upon Cerf Vola; enough
to say, that not for all the costly furs ever gathered
into the forts of the Peace Biver would I have heard
the-*news that my old and faithful hauler had fallen a
victim to Charette's poison.
It was useless to indulge in any anticipatory threats
of vengeance against Charette; useless, too, to devise
schemes of safety. If the harm was to be, nothing
could now help it. The inevitable has at least the
single charm about it of not asking our interference
one way or another.
So the days passed by, and at last a fair soft
morning came to breathe upon the great steep hills
that rose around St. John's, and to call forth from
their bare bosoms the long-pent sweetness of the
spring.    Still sullen in his bed lay the great river,
E 50
FAR  OUT.
loth to rise and shake himself from the sleep of
winter. Looking west from the gate of the little fort,
the eye followed the river to its first curve, where
dipping behind a thicket-lined shore, the great
V-shaped channel became hidden from view.
Bound this turn there suddenly appeared two dogsy
then a train of dogs running light, and then an Indian
following with rapid step. The signal was given, and
the inmates of the fort flocked out upon the river
bank. A glance along the river sufficed to assure me
of the Untiring's safety; he led the way with upraised
tail, some distance in advance of the harnessed dogs,
apparently thinking that his presence in that position
was of as much importance to the general welfare of
the procession as though he had been some time-
honoured city official in the leading ranks of a lord
mayor's show.
I left St. John's as the month of April was drawing
to a close, and by the 1st of May was well within the
outer range of the Bocky Mountains.
Cerf Vola, released from all bondage, but still
imbued with a belief that he was somehow or other
furthering the progress of the party, performed pro^
digies of supererogatory toil in front of the horses.
Where the grand stream of the Peace Biver emerges
from the eastern face of the mountains there is a
steep and rugged hill, whose frontlet of sandstone rock
commands a vast view of snow-clad peak on one side,
and upon the other a range of interminable plain, so
extensive that even in the mistless atmosphere of this to
MMWMW
A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
51
lofty land the eye1 is lost in distance. One clear
afternoon in the end of April I stood upon this lofty
summit, to scan the land I had left behind, and to try
and pierce the mountain range which I was about to
enter.
The ascent had been toilsome; but to the Untiring,
who accompanied me, its effects were only visible in
increased rapidity of respiration. I am not in a
position to state what were his precise sentiments
with regard to the magnificent panorama of hill and
plain that lay on all sides around us, or whether his"
prolonged gaze back towards the vast plain over
which we had travelled, and that suddenly suspended
respiration which a dog indulges in during moments
of deep thought, had any reference to several caches
which he had formed at various times along the trail,
when by chance the supply of moose meat had been
unusually abundant, and the perplexing question had
arisen to him of how to dispose of his surplus ration.
Many a time had I seen him depart slyly from
camp with a large bone or lump of meat in his mouth
into the recesses of the neighbouring forest, and,
after an interval of some minutes, reappear again
from a different direction, with a pre-occupied air, as
though he had been engaged in deep researches into
the nature and various botanical virtues of pine and
birch trees.
He appeared perfectly oblivious, however, of the
fact that his outward track was always traceable on
the snow, and although the precise spot wherein lay
' e 2 52
FAR  OUT.
his cache was usually so trampled over by feet and
pushed by nose as to be difficult to determine to the-'
eye of man, still I have little doubt that all his craft
of cache -making was utterly useless to delude for a
moment any wolf or wolverine, even of the meanest
mental capacity, who dogged or prowled our track.
Perhaps, as the Untiring now looked from this
lofty standpoint over the immense waste of pine and
prairie land, the vision of these never-to-be-revisited
caches arose to his memory; for, doubtless, they had
been made with a view to a return journey at some
future period, and it is not at all unlikely that, on the
summit of this outlying spur of the Bocky Mountains,
the fact first dawned upon this dog that never more
was he to see these northern wilds. Be that as it
may, having caught sight, far below, of the smoke of
our camp, he appeared all at once to determine that,
as the old camps were irrevocably lost to him, there
was nothing to be done but to make the most of the
new ones; and he began a precipitate descent of the
mountain in the direction of our halting-place for the
coming night.
When, a couple of hours later on, I reached this
camp, I found him watching the preparations for
supper with-a resigned and cheerful countenance.
On the 1st of May I launched a large canoe,
hollowed from the trunk of a cotton-wood tree, on the
swift waters of the Peace Biver, at the western or
upper end of the canon which the river forms as it
breaks through the outer mountain barrier, and set A  DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS.
out to force up against the rapid stream deeper into
the snow-clad hills. I had a crew of three men.
Cerf Vola lay in the bottom of the canoe.
For some days our upward passage was attended
by constant danger from the huge masses of ice, some
of them tons in weight, that came whirling down the
impetuous current; at other times we had to struggle
hard beneath the shadow of impending cliffs of shore
ice, whose sides, yielding to action of air and water,
formed so many miniature avalanches always ready
to slide down into the river.
It was a completely new life to the dog. He lay in
the bottom of the canoe at my feet, unable to persuade himself by any process of dog thought that he
had a share in the locomotion of the boat; he saw
the shore drift slowly by, and whenever an opportunity offered he showed unmistakable symptoms of
preference for the land; but on the whole he sat a
quiet spectator of these new scenes, and under the
■combined influences of rest, genial atmosphere, and
good food became rapidly rotund and philosophic.
As the days wore on, and the quick coming spring
brought more signs of bird and beast upon, the river-
shore, it appeared to strike him that somehow or
another he had a right to develop sporting characteristics. Is it not a similar idea which occurs to the
retired man of business, who, when the season of his
toil has passed, becomes a hunter of many semi-wild
things on moor, or river-side, or mountain ?
' However that may be, the Untiring's success as a 54
FAR  OUT.
sporting dog was not commensurate with his ambition.
The partridge scarcely ceased their "drumming" to
elude his* pursuit, the wild duck looked at him as an
impostor of the bear or beaver species, the geese
walked in dignified indifference across the sand-bars
as he approached their feeding grounds, and the blue
grouse had the impertinence to fly into the nearest
tree and look down with inquisitive calmness at his
vociferated barkings. But one fine day there came a
great piece of sport to the dog. It occurred in this
way.
From our camp, on the north shore, I had set out
to climb the steep grassy hills that rose one above
the other until, gradually merging into higher mountains, they became part of the snows and rocks that
dwelt for ever there. I had walked for some hours,
and crossed a wide extent of ground, when suddenly
there sounded in a neighbouring thicket of dry dead
trees, the wrecks of a former fire, a noise as of some
wild beast moving through the bushes. Looking in
the direction from whence the noise came, I saw
standing about ninety yards distant from me a large
moose, who seemed from the manner in which he
regarded me not to have fully made up his mind what
I was. Quick as thought I threw open the barrel of
my breechloader, withdrew from one barrel the cartridge case of grouse shot, and replaced it by one
holding a round bullet, well backed by a heavy charge
of powder. Then, raising the gun, I gave the moose
the new charge.   I heard the ball strike with that dull mm
A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
55
thud which ever tells the ear that the eye has truly
marked its distance; and then, out from the thicket
at the further side, I saw the huge ungainly animal
trot with a heavy limp, and disappear beyond a neighbouring hill-crest.' To dash through the thicket of
brule and gaze down the valley beyond took me only
a short time; but from the crest no moose was visible,
nor did the opposite ridge of hill up which he must go
show anything of his presence. Down the hillside,
however, the stones and grass bore many traces of
his presence, showing that the bullet had taken effect;
and it was easy to follow the trail into the valley by
the blood-stained willows, against which the deer had
brushed his path.
While I still followed the trail the shades of evening began to close over the great hills. The camp by
the river shore lay a long way off. True, it was all
downhill; but the gorges were steep and rough. It
was better to head for camp ere the darkness had
come fully down. Giving up the pursuit I struck
into a narrow winding glen, and descending with
rapid footstep, soon saw the glimmer of my camp fire
below me in the dusk.
Becounting my story to Kalder, I found that trusty
henchman only faintly sharing the sanguine view
which I took regarding our chance of finding on the
morrow the wounded moose. This doubt on his part
arose, however, from the general disbelief entertained
by all Indians and half-Indians in the power of a
white man, unaided,  to kill a moose—a disbelief 56
FAR  OUT.
founded upon the practical proof of ages of experience.
Mine, however, had been a solitary chance. I had
come all at once upon a moose, without any of that
long toil of stalk and stealth, of trail and track, of
which alone the wild man is master.
Explaining all this to my henchman, I proposed
that we should in the morning ascend the steep ridges
again, and striking the trail at the point where I had
left it off on the approa h of night, follow it deeper
into the hills. Accordingly, early next day I set out
with Kalder. The Untiring was brought, to fairly test
his claim to be considered a dog of sport, and after an
hour's steep climb the little party reached the ground.
Deep sunken into the soft clay of the valley where I
had left it lay the trail of the moose; and ere Kalder's
quick eye had followed it many yards, the bloodstained willows had set at rest his lingering doubts.
We followed the track through many rough and
tangled places, and reached at last a spot where the
moose had lain down to rest. Here the Untiring, who
up to this period had contented himself with deep and
long-drawn inhalations from the ground, suddenly
broke from our restraining influences and precipitated
himself into a neighbouring thicket. There was a
loud rustling noise, a breaking of branches, followed
by the reappearance of the dog of sport, and the disappearance of the moose at the other side of the
thicket. It is painful to have to place upon record
that so deep'were the feelings of disgust with which
Kalder listened to this annihilation of his hopes of A  DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS.
57
stealing unnoticed upon the moose, that neither his
mother tongue of Cree nor his mixed father tongues of-
French and Scotch were at all voluminous or varied
enough in their imprecatory powers to express his
Overburdened sentiments.
We now continued our rapid chase through tangled
brakes and thorny thicket. At last, on the summit of
a steep ridge, the quick eye of Kalder caught sight of
the quarry looking back a moment at his pursuers;
up the hill we pressed, over it and down the valley
We tore, and at last by the edge of a small glen stood
the moose, his long course ended.
What a time it was for Cerf Vola! He made caches
in many places, he ate a great deal, then made a cache
and returned to eat again. Finally, when the moment
came to descend towards our camp, he had two large
marrow-bones tied across his back, and waddled down
the mountain a picture of perplexed satiety.
On again, up the great river into the heart of the
mountains, until they rose before us in huge masses,
on whose rent sides spring had already begun to build
nests of bright green birch tops amid the dark masses
of unchanging pines, and on whose splintered pinnacles of snow the sun marked the dial of the day with
slow-revolving finger as he passed from east to west
across their glorious summits. Mornings, mid-days;
evenings—how filled with beauty they were! How
saturated with the freshness of the spring seemed
every particle of this old earth ! From all things
there came welling forth the hidden sweetness of 58
FAR OUT.
I
flowers not yet burst to life, of leaves upon whose
early freshness summer had not yet set even a semblance of maturity, nature's first symptom of decay.
Over the grey rocks, on the old pine-trees, up the great,
gaunt hills, spring was creeping, scattering youth
and perfume as it went. Even the shingly shallows
of the river were filled with life; for tiny birds
fluttered from stone to stone, dipping their heads into
the cool water, and casting jets of silvery spray
over their glistening wings.
Bare beauty of earth, when thus in hidden valleys
thou claspest to thy bosom the season thou hast so
long dreamt of—this spring of blue sky, of odorous
winds, of golden sunshine! Man, toiling for gold or,
bread in distant cities, knows little of thy beauty or
of thy freshness; but everything else living feels in its
heart's core thy wondrous power. Around thy union
flowers shed their fragrance, birds sing their sweetest,
cold frost changes to silvery dew, rain becomes a
bridal veil of gentlest shower, and as thou turnest
from the sleep of winter to kiss the lips of returning
spring, a thousand tongues of bird and brook pour
forth over hill and valley a ceaseless song of gladness.
The middle of May had come. We had passed
through the Bocky Mountains, quitted the main stream
of the Peace Biver, and entered the impetuous torrent
of the Ominica, to find ourselves brought at last to
bay by the rapids and whirlpools of the Black Canon.
For three days we had waged a struggle, that began
soon after daylight to end only at dusk, with the two A  DOG .AND  HIS  DOINGS.
59
miles of foaming rapid which, caged in by the dark
prison walls of the canon, forbade our upward progress.
It seemed as though the steep walls of rock overhanging the torrent, and the mass of water pouring
through the dark defile, had, amidst their own wild
war, agreed to combine their rival forces against us,
the new-comers, and to threaten our cotton-wood
canoe with frequent destruction. From our camp at
the upward end of the canon we had descended daily
to the toil of dragging the canoe over the rapids and
along the rocky walls of the fissure. These rapids
were like so many steps, one above the other, and at
the foot of each step there was usually a back eddy in
the current in which it had been possible to moor the
boat after each day's labour. Many mishaps had
befallen us, but each evening had witnessed some
advance made, until at last nothing but the uppermost rapid, a fierce and angry-looking wave, lay
between us and the quiet waters that stretohed eastward of the canon.
I know no work which tells more quickly against
the nerve and spirit of man than such toil as it was
now our lot to wage against rock and water in this
deep and narrow fissure; for, when the dead things
which we call water and rock become suddenly quickened into life, there is apparent to man a helplessness
such as he feels before no other enemy. His strongest
strength is weak in the grasp of the thousand horsepower of this torrent; his best gun, his truest rifle, 60
FAR  OUT.
his craft of eye or arm, avail him nothing in conflict
with this enemy. Instinctively the mind realises all
this, and as the rapid dashes around him, and the
rocks tremble, and the dark canon walls echo with
the reverberating roar of the sullen waters, the man
who strives against this enemy feels cowed by a
combat in which all the dead weight of enraged
nature seems bent to crush him.
We had been working for some time along the
western shore of the canon, and had reached the last
step of the ascent, when an event occurred which
threatened to put a final period to my onward progress. It was nothing less than the breaking away
of our boat as we were straining every nerve to drag
her up the fall of water, and her disappearance from
our gaze down the wild torrent of the canon. When
the last vestige of the canoe had vanished from us, as
we stood crowding the point of rock which commanded a mile of the dark canon, the full gravity
of the situation burst wholly upon us. Our camp and
all our supplies lay at the other side of the river, in
charge of the Untiring. A rough raft, however, would
carry us over in some shape or other, but at our camp
we were full seventy miles distant from the point
to which we were tending—the mining outpost of
Germansen, on the Ominica.
Seventy miles is not a long way to walk on ordinary
level or on mountain land, but seventy miles through
the dense forest of north British Columbia is a
distance sufficient to appal the stoutest pedestrian. A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
61
Fallen timber, deep water-courses, tangled thickets,
almost perpendicular valleys, and three mountain
streams swollen into rushing rivers by the thaw of
snow, lay before us; and to carry on our backs through
such a country provisions for twelve days, together
with blankets, kettles, axes, and all the paraphernalia
of camp life in the wilderness, was an undertaking so ■
serious as to make even the hardy Kalder and the
scarcely less daring Jacques doubtful of the result.
To one member of the party alone would the journey
have appeared easy of execution. The Untiring
would no doubt have joyfully reverted to the use of
his own stout legs in preference to all our work of pole,
paddle, or towing-line; even his ten days' provisions
would have been a welcome load to him, for it would
have been perfectly feasible to stow them, not upon
his back, but in his stomach. But to us, who possessed neither his carrying capacity nor his easy
method of passing obstacles of tree or water, the task
of crossing these seventy miles would have been
widely different. It was therefore with feelings of
keen delight that I listened next morning to the
Frenchman's voice hailing us from across ,the river
that his search had been successful (he had gone
down the river bank in the hope of finding the canoe
stranded on some of the many islands in the stream),
and that our boat lay athwart a small island some
five miles below the mouth of the canon.
We set to work at once upon our side of the river
to build a raft at the lower end of the canon; the raft 62
FAR  OUT.
finished, we embarked and pushed out into the
stream. Cerf Vola, who had spent the last few days
in blissful repose in our camp, was now brought forth,
and crouching low between two logs, seemed to fully
realise the necessity of keeping quiet as the unwieldy
craft swayed and jerked from side to side in its rapid
•descent of the river.
We reached the island, found our lost boat, made a
hearty dinner off the moose meat that lay uninjured
in the bottom, baled out the craft, dried in the warm'
sun. the things that had got wet, and set out again for
the stubborn canon. After so many reverses and so
much good fortune, surely we must conquer this last
, obstacle. But the time lost had been precious; the
hourly increasing heat of the mid-day sun was causing
the river to rise with rapidity, and the vast volume of
water now rushing through the pent chasm of the
canon was indeed formidable to look at. I have,
told the story of our failure on the following day
to cross above the central rapid; of how, carried
like a cork down that central rapid of the canon, we
had escaped destruction by a hair-breadth; of how,
holding discussion at the foot of the fall, we had
finally determined to abandon the canon altogether,
and seek by a southern branch of the Peace Biver an
escape from this wilderness of rock and forest, into
the southern lands of British Columbia; and how,
when this resolve had been taken, we had broken up
our camp and carried back to the canoe all the baggage, to set out * with heavy hearts upon what seemed A  DOG  AND  HIS  DOINGS.
63
a hopeless journey. Issuing from the mouth of the
canon, strange objects on the shore caught our sight.
Of all the strange sights in the wilderness there is
nothing so strange as man—strange not only to the
wild things, but to man himself. Nor is it difficult to
comprehend why it should be so. If a bear were to
escape from a menagerie and perambulate a crowded
street, he would doubtless be vastly astonished at the
cabs, and the men, and the omnibuses; but it is by
no means improbable that he would be still more
vastly astonished if he were to meet another bear perambulating there too. So is it when we reverse the
cases. When.one has lived long in the solitude, a
moose or a buffalo gladdens the eye; but if one wants
excitement it is fully experienced when the vision of
the human animal strikes the wanderer's sight. There
was no man now on the south shore of the Ominica,
but there were traces of man. There was a camp, and
it was the camp of a white man—a glance told that;
coloured blankets, a huge pair of miner's boots, some
bags of flour (greatest luxury of the wilds), a couple
of fresh beaver-skins, the bodies of two young beavers.
We put in at once to shore, and each member of the
crew, following the bent of his particular genius, went
straight to the item that had most interest for
him. Kalder attached himself to the beaver-skins,
the English miner to the flour, Jacques made for the
miner's boots, and the Untiring prostrated himself
before the beavers in an attitude of profound expectation. 64
FAR  OUT.
Jacques was the first to speak.
"It's Pete Toy," he said, after a pause, during
which he had been steadfastly regarding the large
nails in the soles. "There's nary another foot on
the Ominica that could fill a boot like that," he
added, flinging down the immense seven-leaguers in
intense admiration. " He's left his canoe above the
canon," he went on, "and he's going to drop her
down empty when he's done portaging his load
here."
i Jacques was right; all this wealth of bacon, beans,
beaver, boot, and blanket, belonged to Pete Toy, the
best-known miner that ever drove shovel into sand-bar
on all the wide rivers of Columbia, from the Big Bend
of the Fraser to the uttermost tributary of the Liard
And soon came Pete himself upon the scene, carrying
another load of good things through the forest to his
camp below the canon from his canoe above it.
Jacques and he were old friends, and we were soon
all good ones.
But Pete Toy, once of Cornwall, now of Columbia,
was not a man to make friendship a business of
empty words and hungry questions. The social rule
that lays down the law of not speaking with one's
mouth full was changed in his mind to another rule
more fitted to the wilderness, namely, that a man
should not speak with his stomach empty; and.while
he plied his questions as to our strange presence in
this land, he plied too all his tact of cook and waiter
to lay before us the delicacies of his provision bags— A  DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS.
to give us, in fact, the first good meal we had had for
many months.
Then came the time for talk. I heard from Pete
many an item of interest regarding river and mountain
in the unknown country to the north, all gathered
during the long years he had lived and roamed among
the rivers of this mountain land; for no Indian was
a better hand at craft of canoe or toil of snow-shoe
than this great Cornish miner, who had long shaken
the dust of civilisation from his feet, nor left behind
with it his kind and generous nature. I heard too of
his early life in far-away Cornwall, and of his hopes
in the future to see again the home he had quitted
twenty years before. -
"Yes," he said, "many a night when I sit alone
before the fire in my hut down at the Forks of the
Peace and Parsnip rivers, I see the old place and the
old couple again."
"And you're going back to England?" he said to
me, when the time of parting came; | you're really
going to see the old land! Maybe you'd go to Cornwall,
too ? Well, if you should meet an old couple of the^
name of Toy down there, just say to them that you
saw their son Pete, him as left them twenty years
ago, out on the Ominica, and that they were as fresh
in his mind as the day he saw them last."
I had with me then but few things of any use to
any man; nothing that could measure the respect
which I, who knew the dangers of the life he followed,
.held him in.
F 66
FAR  OUT.
The man who thinks you can offer this class of
gold-miner gold knows little of such nature's; but I
took from my stock a coat that had often kept me
warm in the bitter days and nights of the past winter,
and asked him to accept it.
| As payment for the darned thing I gave you ? "
he asked, his face flushing at the thought.
I No, as a token of your meeting a single stranger
in the wilderness, and of your being kind to him—
that's all."
Poor Pete Toy! we parted at the canon mouth, he
to take our boat that could not go up, we to take his
that he feared to bring down, the rush of water. We
carried all our goods to the west end of the Black
Canon, loaded them in the new canoe, and went our
way.
Just one year later, in this same fresh month of
May, a solitary canoe was found floating bottom
upwards in the ever-seething eddies below the Black
Canon; there was no trace of man or camp on forest,
shore, or river. Never again was Pete Toy seen.
His lonely hut at the Forks stands locked and
tenantless, and only when the gloomy canon tells
its secrets, and the treacherous whirlpools of the
Ominica give up their dead, will the last fight fought
by this dauntless heart with untamed nature be ever
known.
He had literally laid his feast for us upon the site
of his own death scene. The pines that stand at the
gateway of the Black Canon are old and stately trees. A  DOG AND  HIS  DOINGS.
67
For hundreds of years they have watched the wild
rush of water pour through that narrow passage, and
it may be that their unseen eyes, looking so far back
into the past, have caught the weird power of the old
seers of pine-clad Scandinavia, and see in misty outline the coming time.
Beneath their shade that evening camped Pete Toy,
his mind still running upon the home thoughts our
presence had evoked. Perhaps, while later on he
slept by the scene of that long sleep so soon to
come, the old trees swaying in the night wind bent
down to gently whisper "Never" into the home-
dream of his memory.
•f 2 A JOURNEY  OF A DOG  AND A MAN
FROM CARIBOO TO CALIFORNIA.
"I T was summer in the forest and yet Quesnelle was
not amiable. Its mood was even gloomy. Like
many other communities in the world, that of Quesnelle existed solely upon gold; but the fact of their
lives being dependent upon the precious metal was,
perhaps, more thoroughly brought home to the everyday denizens of Quesnelle than it is to those of many
more important and world-famous cities.
Standing on the high bank which overhung the
broad, swift-rolling Frazer, and looking full into the
face of Quesnelle, even a stranger could quickly realise
the fact of the city's being out of sorts. Fully half of
its wooden houses showed unmistakable signs of un-
occupation; the boards of verandahs were loose and
broken; grass grew vigorously before the doorways ;
broken windows, or windows which would have been
windows if old doors had not been nailed across them, Ifctfl
HW
;sies^.h3&^:
A JOURNEY OF  A  DOG  AND  A  MAN.
69
stared blankly at one along the front of the single
street which constituted the city. Even the two
or three saloons in respective possession of Mr.
William Davron, native of Ireland; Mr. Steve
Knightly, native of New Brunswick; and Mr. Hank
Fake, native of one of the New England States, had
about them individually and collectively an air of
perfect repose and meditative loneliness quite out of
keeping with the festive character usually pervading
such establishments.
Yes; although it was summer in the forest, and
earth and air seemed filled with the freshness of leaf
and the perfume of flower; although birds sang and
streams rippled, Quesnelle took small heed of such
things, looking buried in a "mid-winter of discontent." So it is all the world over, in other cities,
big and little, besides Quesnelle. Golden sunshine,
scent of early summer, freshness of first leaf, and
perfume of June rose are dead things to the gold-
hunter in a Californian or Columbian mining city,
quite as much as they are to the pleasure-seeker in
the gayest of Europe's capitals. It is not only " on
the desert air" that nature wastes her sweetness; her
most lavish extravagance is that which is spent upon
man when gold and pleasure mark the goal towards,
which he toils.
The morning had worn to mid-day. The sun hung
full over the broad channel of the Frazer, and yet
Quesnelle showed no symptoms of rousing itself from
the apathy of the earlier forenoon.   Once or twice, 70
FAR  OUT.
indeed, Mr. William Davron came forth from his
saloon towards the high river bank, and leisurely
scanned the farther shore of the majestic river, and
the red dusty track which led from it, curving up the
steep outer hill until it was lost in the great green
forest. But on these occasions Mr. Davron beheld
nothing to call forth from his usually loquacious lips
anything more expressive of his emotions than a
wreath of blue grey smoke from a very indifferent
cigar, and he had re-entered his. saloon for the third
time ere there occurred aught on the farther shore to
justify his continued survey of that portion of the
landscape.
But at last, when there was no watcher on the high
bank, there did appear on the farther side of the river
some sign of life and movement. Down the hill
along the light streak of curving pathway, which
showed plainly here and there among the green
underbush of the forest clearing, which sprang up
when the older giants had been levelled, there arose a
cloud of dust which trailed away behind into a finer
vapour. At the head of the cloud appeared a small
group of horsemen, moving at a sharp canter along the
steep incline. The road wound in curves along the
hillside, sometimes dipping out of sight and reappearing again, until it at last reached the level valley at
the base; and it was difficult to tell the exact number
of the party until the nearer and more level land had
been attained, so frequently did the little group become lost to view behind the clumps of brushwood. ■MiMiii
MM
A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.
But, as the horsemen came cantering up to the
farther shore of the river, their numbers and possible
condition in life became the subject of much comment
among the little group of citizens, who, called suddenly from their wooden houses by the news of
" Strangers a-coming," had assembled on the high
bank in front of Quesnelle.
" Blow me, if I can make out much of 'em! " emphatically observed Mr. Davron, as he dropped from
his eye the hand which had held a much-used binocular to that optic. " Thar's Bufus an' his Injun
among them; an' thar's a boy from the camp—for
he's got camp fixins with him; but thar's a long-
legged chap an' a big dog thar that beats me blind
altogether. The man is in leather, as though he came
from across the mountains, an' the dog is a coyote or
a wolf, with a tail just stretched over his back like a
darned chip-monk.   Blow me, if I know what he is!"
Now a man who has a binocular to his eye is more
or less a person of authority among other men who
do not possess that article; but Mr. Davron maintained always a certain degree of authority among
the inhabitants of Quesnelle, and was considered by
them to be, with or without a binocular, a very far-
seeing person indeed, whose opinion should not be
lightly gainsaid in any matter concerning man or
beast.
It is easy to imagine, then, that when Mr. Davron
declared in curt and forcible language his utter
inability to resolve the nebulous character of the FAR  OUT.
party on the opposite shore, his hearers should have
experienced considerable excitement. Strangers from
the north were, at this season of the year, rare exceptions.
Beyond Quesnelle, towards the north,, there lay a
huge wilderness—pine-forest, lake, mountain, rushing
river—a vast expense of untamed nature, where the
wind and the torrent revelled in loneliness, and made
music night and day in pine-branch and rock-rapid.
In this great solitude stretching to the north Quesnelle was an advanced post of civilisation, an outlying
picket of that vast army of man which is ever engaged
upon the conquest of the wilderness.
It was here at Quesnelle that the ways of civilised
wheel-travel ended, and the rude work of pack-saddle
began. Here was the last hotel, the last group of
houses, the last post-office—all rude and rough and
simple in their ways, but still tangible proofs of the
reality of civilised man existing as a community.
Beyond the Frazer Biver, on the other hand, the
wilderness reigned supreme. There the traveller
carried his blanket bed, ate his dinner upon the
ground, slept at night under his tent, swam his horse
across the brooks and rivers, and conformed to the
ways of the wilds in all things. So far it would seem
as though both armies had halted here at this broad
river and looked across the swift waters, the one
afraid to advance deeper into the wilds, the other loth
to retire from such a vantage point.    And so it was.
During nearly fourteen years the city of Quesnelle A  JOURNEY  OF   A  DOG  AND  A MAN.
73
had stood on the east shore of the Frazer, without
gaining one inch of territory from its savage antagonist ; nay, even there were symptoms apparent
to a close observer that seemed to reverse the usual
experience of such things, and to foreshadow a retreat
on the part of civilisation from the advanced post
which it had taken up. Of these symptoms we have
already spoken. Grass was in the street; wooden
boards hung over the windows; soon, perhaps, the
trees would spring again from that earth which ever
rejoices in a chance of relapsing into savagery, despite
all man's complacent ideas of the improvement of his
husbandry. Little by little the hold which Quesnelle
had placed upon the forest empire seemed to be
loosening; bit by bit each spring seemed to win back
something of the lost dominion. The reason was
easy to find. Quesnelle lived upon a fact which was
rapidly becoming a fiction. That fact was a gold
mine, lying in the midst of mountains some fifty
miles east of where the city stood.
The story of this mine had been a curious onev
Not that it differed from the stories of a hundred other
gold mines scattered over the vast continent of West
America, in aught save in the excessive richness and
abundance of the find, which made the name of
Cariboo a magic sound to every miner along the
Pacific slope. Here, at Cariboo, the original find
had been, as elsewhere, the result of stray attempts
at following up the sand-bar workings of the channel
of the Frazer along the smaller affluents of the main 74
FAR  OUT.
river. But when once the precious metal had been
struck along the rocky ledges of the creeks of Cariboo,
the news went forth to the south of such a wondrous
yield of gold that thousands and tens of thousands
hurried to the scene.
That scene lay a long way off from even a remote
civilisation. Four hundred miles farther south the
Frazer Biver entered the sea in a deep inlet but little
known to aught save a few adventurous fur-traders,
who, for more than half a century, had contrived to
keep to themselves the secrets of the wild and savage
but most picturesque land which to-day bears the
name of British Columbia. Many rugged mountain
chains crossed the country at either side of the deep
channel of the Frazer. At several points these mountains seemed to have flung themselves boldly across
the impetuous river, which, in turn, had eaten its
way deep into the very hearts of the hills, until rock
and rapid, cliff and cataract, lay buried from human
vision far down in gloomy canons, from which the
wild din of ceaseless strife came floating up along
the tops of jagged pine-trees, whose heads, stretching
out from splintered ledge and rocky cleft, craned far
over the abyss.
But men who seek for gold are not to be kept back
by obstacles of this kind. They came with canoes
that could only ascend from the sea to the rapids;
they came with pack-mules and saddle-horses that
had to scramble over mountains and swim torrents;
men trudged on foot, carrying on their bent backs A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG  AND  A MAN
75
pick and shovel, axe and tent. Weak men came, who,
if the gold had lain within a day's march of the sea,
had not physical strength to make a common living
by their toil; but the real gold-miner was there in a
vast majority. That man, so different from all other
men—made from a hundred' varying nationalities, but
still uniform in his type, whether his cradle had been
rocked in an Irish cabin, or his mother had swung
him as an infant from the saddle peak of a Mexican
mustang—reckless, daring, generous, free of purse
and ready with life—the most desperate soldier ever
sent forth by civilisation to conquer savagery.
In this wooden " city " called Quesnelle, on the east
bank of the Frazer Biver, these men first planted
their outpost settlement, for here the road to that rich
mine called Cariboo quitted the banks of the Frazer
Biver and struck inland into the hills.
On the wonders of Cariboo it is needless here to
enlarge. They lie outside the real purpose of our
story, and they would well merit a separate paper for
themselves; for how could justice be done in the
scant measure of a chance paragraph to that hero
among miners who in one season dug from the ledges
of the little creek two mule loads of solid gold ? or
that other hero who, at the bar of the principal saloon
of this same city of Quesnelle, was so dissatisfied with
his personal appearance as it was reflected in the
large mirror at the back of the " mint juleps " and
the I brandy smashes " and other innumerable slings,
fixins, and cocktails, that he indignantly sent a large ; ||{ |
76
FAR  OUT.
handful of gold twenty-dollar eagles flying into the'
offending reflector, and laconically requested the bar
manager to take the reckoning and retain the change ?
Or again, how could we tell the story of that hapless
youth who upon arrival at the creek set his stockings,
like nets, in the stream, under the belief that in the
morning he would find them filled with gold nuggets ?
Besides, all these are things of a long dead past
compared with the time at which our story opens.
Cariboo still held rich store of precious metals, but it
lay deep down in the white quartz reef, many hundred
feet below the surface, where machinery alone could
reach it, and where even the dauntless spirit of toil
of the individual miner was powerless to carry him.
The "placer" diggings had, in fact, been worked
out, and only capital working through companies
could now reach the gold of Cariboo.
But the individual miner was not the man to accept
quietly the fact that Cariboo had, in his own language, become I played out," without some attempt
at seeking fresh fields and pastures new in the vast
solitudes of rock and forest lying to the north and
west of his favourite find.
One by one all the countless creeks and streams that
flow from the height of land between the headwaters
of the Frazer and the Peace Bivers were diligently
examined by small parties of adventurers, who some^
times spent a whole summer season in thus exploring
the wild and savage solitude that lay locked among
that labyrinth of hills, where the misty peaks of the ■^KSSSBSM
A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG  AND  A  MAN.
77
Bald Mountains touch upon one side the coast or Cascade Bange, and on the other almost join hands with
the rugged masses of the Bocky Mountains. Time
after time these wandering " prospectors " returned to
the outskirts of civilisation from a fruitless search; but
either the next season found them again ready to dare
some new enterprise, or fresh men were there to take
their places in the arduous and unprofitable toil. At
last a tangible success seemed to reward these persistent efforts. A party of explorers discovered in the
bed of a small stream, which fell into the Ominica
Biver, on the north side of the Bald Mountains, gold
in considerable quantity. Quickly ran the news of
this new find along the Pacific shore of North America.
The restless stream of gold-seekers began to flow
towards the spot; wild and rough as was the path
thither, hundreds of men succeeded in pushing
through. The summer season was a short one in
this northern latitude. Caught by the frost in their
return journey, some of the adventurers paid with
their lives the penalty of their rashness; but another
summer found a still larger crowd hurrying to the
Ominica. Then the tide began to ebb, the gold was
getting scarce in the gravel ledges. Ominica, like its
richer predecessor, Cariboo, was getting " played out";
the rush grew fainter and fainter, and the city of
Quesnelle, which had flared once more into a thriving
state upon the windfall of this second find, began to
sink again into despondency and discontent.
It was to this northern camp in the Ominica that FAR  OUT.
the trail of which we have just spoken led; and as
it was the early summer season when men sought
these northern wilds, the advent of strangers coming
to Quesnelle along the trail from the north was an
event sufficient to cause the inhabitants of the now
declining city considerable excitement, and many were
the speculations among the group on the river side
as to the strange man and stranger dog described by
Mr. Davron. Meanwhile the rapid rate at which the
party on the opposite shore travelled had brought
them to the bank of the river..
Dismounting from their horses, they had soon
taken their places in a small "dug-out" canoe, which
seemed but ill suited to carry so many men across
the broad river now rolling along in the full majesty
of its early summer level, bearing to the Pacific the
vast harvests which thousands of snowy hills had
gathered from the skies during the long months of
the preceding winter. As the little boat gained the
centre of the river, the group of watchers on the shore
no longer looked to Mr. Davron's binocular for information ; each one strove for himself to unravel the
mysterious natures of the man in skins and the dog
with the bushy tail; but it was difficult to make much
of them in the crowded state in which they lay huddled,
together, the dog apparently stretched across the man
for the safer trimming of the tiny craft.
The canoe touched the shore, and the people it
carried began to disembark. First came the big dog.
He appeared in no way to realise the fact that he was A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND A MAN.
79
at last approaching a centre of civilisation. The
wooden houses in a row, the three saloons, the group
of citizens on the river-bank, all these varied adjuncts
of civilisation caused him no emotion. He did not
appear even to notice the surprised looks with which
the inhabitants regarded him, but rapidly ascending
the shingle bank he precipitated himself with great
violence towards a very small dog, who, perceiving
that he was about to be attacked by an antagonist of
strange mien and powerful proportions, fled howling
in an opposite direction.
Then, seemingly satisfied with this assertion of
superiority, the large animal returned to the river-
shore, and took up a position on the bank overlooking
the disembarkation, with the tip of his tail so elevated
that it would appear as though that appendage had
become thoroughly imbued with a lofty contempt of
civilisation and its ways.
Meanwhile the disembarkation of the men in the
boat went on, and soon the entire party stood
grouped upon the left bank of the river, some
In animated conversation with the citizens, others
standing aloof in the restraint of strangers only just
arrived.
But in such places as Quesnelle the forms of
introduction are not based upon the rigid rules of
older organised communities. Ere many minutes
had elapsed, dog and man had taken their places
among the broken miners, the miners who had yet
to be broken, among the store-keepers, bar-keepers, 80
FAR  OUT.
it
hotel-keepers, and the sundry other householders and
citizens. Ensconced in the hotel—a large wooden
building, that consisted of one immense room, and a
number of small adjoining dens; a building which in
the early days of Quesnelle had attained to very
remarkable celebrity as a " hurdy-house," gambling
saloon, and general demoralisation domicile, but
which in the degenerate days of our story had
sunken to very respectable limits—the dog and his
master soon made acquaintance with many worthy
representatives of "the saloon and mining interest in
the extreme north of the Pacific slope. Many were
the curious comments bestowed upon the strange dog,
and varied were the animals who were supposed to
have had an influence direct or remote upon the
contour of his head, the bushiness of his tail, or
the woolly nature of his coat. The bear, the wolf,
the coyote, were all credited with a relationship more
or less remarkable, as the speaker's opinion led to
each or to all of these quadrupeds as sharers in the
ancestry of this honest old hauling dog, who now, his
long toil over, had settled down to the simple role of
friend and travelling companion. But while, with
legs high poised upon the iron stove in the centre of
the big room, many miners thus discussed the merits
of the new animal, and conjectured his probable
descent from a variety of wild and savage beasts,
the object of their solicitude began to display certain
tendencies which have always been associated with
the civilised dog in all  countries and  among all *mm
A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A  MAN.
81
peoples. He showed a decided preference for the
kitchen over any othfcr apartment in the hotel; he
developed a spirit of marked antagonism to, and an
uncalled for ferocity against, a large black cat; he
became so enamoured of a Chinaman, who fulfilled
the functions of cook in the establishment, that it
was matter of fear lest the American portion of the
community might entertain towards him, by reason
of that friendship, those feelings of acute detestation
which, from the high moral standpoint of republican
equality and brotherhood towards all men, they have
so frequently manifested against hard-working Chinese
of every class. He showed symptoms of recommencing a study of poultry, a predilection for which he
had years before exhibited in a now distant sphere.
It was no unusual pastime for him to spend hours
lying in front of a hen-coop, absorbed in the contemplation of the habits and customs of fowls in
general, and of a large rooster in particular. Nor
was it only in his inward, or mental nature, that this
dog seemed to be impressed with the social distinctions
and eivilised customs with which he now found himself brought into contact. His outward form also
underwent a change. He grew visibly larger. Under
the influence of the genial summer warmth he began
to dispense with quantities of the long hair and thick
wool in which, on the approach of the previous winter,
he had so completely muffled himself.
At night he sojourned underneath his owner's bed,
in one of the small wooden dens called rooms already
G 82 FAR  OUT.
mentioned, which was situated directly over the hotel
kitchen ; and from the extraordinary manner in which
he became aware of what was transpiring beneath in
all matters connected with meals, cooking, and culinary prospects generally, there was reason to suppose
that he could see as far through a deal board as the
majority of mortals. The dog, in fact, was having
an easy, idle time of it, and he was making the most
of it. There was ample reason why he should do so.
Six months earlier he had started from the shores of
Lake Winnepeg, and his own stout legs had carried
him to this Frazer Biver across two thousand miles
of snow-clad wilderness. All that long distance had
lain within the realm yet unconquered from the forest
and the prairie, and as here at Quesnelle the Frazer
marked the boundaries of the rival powers, so here at
Quesnelle the two rovers of the wilds, dog and man,
passed out of the solitude and entered once more the
regions of civilised life.
It will be our lot to follow their wanderings along
the Pacific shore of North America, through lands
which, if they do not contain anything that is absolutely new, are still none of them old enough to have
become familiar, even in name, to the ear of the great
outside world. Lands of tall and stately pine forests,
of broad and swift-rushing rivers, of meadows backed
by lofty peaks, whose crests hold aloft into blue midsummer skies the snow cast upon them by many a
winter's storm.
Here at Quesnelle we are in the centre of British A JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.
83
Columbia. Our course will lie nearly due south,
along the water system of the Frazer to its mouth at
New Westminster, then over the boundary line into
the territory of Washington. Southward still, over
the Columbia river into Oregon; then up the valley of
the beautiful Willamette until the Siskyou range rises
before us, and the Madrono begins to perfume the soft
air of the Californian night. Over the Siskyou, and
down into the valley where sparkling Sacramento has
its cradle, and thence around the base of solitary
Shasta into the sunlight of California. It is the 8th
of June; there lie one thousand miles before us ere
the Golden Gate of San Francisco is gained.
The man's baggage was not large—a small handbag held it all. Here, at Quesnelle, he parted from
many old friends. An iron cup and saucer, sacred to
the memories of hot delicious tea-drinks in icy bivouacs;
a copper kettle, black with the smoke of a thousand
camp fires, and dinted with blow of tree stump and sled
upset; blankets burnt and scorched by pine-wood
sparks on many a freezing night in far-away Athabasca—all these tokens of the silent tract were given
away to other wanderers, whose steps were about to
lead back again into the northern solitude. " Come,
old dog," said the man, " it is time to start.'* The.
man shouldered his pack, the dog shook out his
bushy tail to the wind, and the travellers began their
new journey. rpHE first sixty miles lay down the rapid rolling
Frazer, now at the full tide of its early summer
volume. Swiftly along the majestic river sped a
small steamer, the current doubling the rate of speed,
until the shores flitted past at railroad pace in the
shadows of the June twilight.
Deep down in a gigantic fissure the river lay, twelve
hundred feet below the summit of the rolling plateau
on either side ; so steep the western cliff that darkness
began to gather over the water, while yet the upper
level caught the sunset's glow from across the wide
Chilcotin plains, and pine-trees on the edge stood
clearly out against the sky—solitary sentinels,
keeping watch over the darkening channel.
It was almost night when the little boat drew
underneath the high overhanging eastern shore, and
made fast to a rude wooden staging. A few wooden
houses stood on a narrow ledge of low ground between
the cliff and the river—the stream named the houses
—and at Soda Creek that night dog and man found
lodging and entertainment.
The summer dawn was creeping down the great hill A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.
85
to the east next morning as Mr. Jack Hamilton took
the reins of his six-horse coach, and pulled his team
together to begin the long ascent that led from the
wooden hotel up the east shore of the Frazer. An
hour's slow work, and the coach stood twelve hundred
feet above the river on the summit of the plateau.
A fresh, fair summer morning, with summer mists
rising from dewy hollows, and summer scents coming
out from pine woods, and summer flowers along the
smooth unfenced road that wound away over hill and
valley, by glade and ridge, through wood and open,
away over the mountain plateau of central British
Columbia, three thousand feet above the sea level.
On the box seat sat the man, and in the boot beneath the seat sat the dog. A free pass or ticket had
been presented to the dog by the coach agent at
Quesnelle, but the proverb which bears testimony to
the difference between taking a horse to the water
and making him drink therein was strikingly exemplified in the matter of this dog and the boot of the box
seat. It was one thing to have a free pass for the
boot, and another thing to induce the dog to put a
foot into this boot. Many expedients were tried, but
they were all attended with difficulty. To poise the
bulky form of the Esquimaux upon the fore-wheel of
the coach, preparatory to lifting him still higher, was
no easy matter, but it was simple work compared to
that of lifting him six feet further into his seat.
Fortunately Mr. Jack Hamilton proved a stage
driver of a most obliging disposition.   Ever ready to 86
FAR  OUT.
lend his neighbours a hand, he did so on this occasion
by hauling the dog chain from above. Thus propelled
from below by his owner, and hauled from above
by the driver, the dog was placed securely in his
seat by an intermediate process much resembling
hanging.
The American stage coach on the Pacific slope is a
long flat-roofed vehicle, carrying outside passengers
only on the box seat. At the back of the coach there
is a framework for holding baggage, which forms a
kind of intermediate step between the roof and the
ground. Sometimes it became possible to utilise this
baggage platform as a means of hauling the reluctant
animal into his place; but whether the ascent was
made through Mr. Jack Hamilton kindly consenting
to play the part of Calcraft, or whether the end was
attained by other devices, the result was the same,
namely, a fixed dislike and persistent reluctance on
the part of the dog to the occupation of the boot.
Ever from between his owner's legs he looked ruefully down at the road, as though he would infinitely
have preferred toiling along on his own account. No,
doubt his look accurately told his thoughts; but six
horses, changing every twenty miles, would soon have
left him far behind; and although, given his own
time, the seventy miles of the coach's daily run
would have been covered by the dog on foot, still he
would have taken all the day and half the night
to do it.
The great waggon road which connects the mining SS»
A JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.
87
regions of Cariboo with the navigable portion of the
lower Frazer, is a wonderful result of enterprise
undertaken in the early days of Columbian prosperity.
Throughout its long course of three hundred miles it
crosses a wild and rugged land, pierces the great
range of the Cascade Mountains, is carried along the
edge of immense precipices overhanging the canons
of the Frazer Biver, until, emerging at the village of
Yale, it lands its travellers at the gateway of the
Pacific.
Along this great road we now held our way, from
the first streak of a still frosty dawn until the sun
was beginning to get low over the hilltops to the
west.
A vast region this British Columbia—hill, lake,
river, and mountain succeeding each other day after
day; pine forests full of odour, and sighing with
breezes that had already waved through nameless
regions of forest. At times the coach wound slowly
up some curving incline through varied woods of fir
and maple, until gaining a ridge summit bare of
trees, the eye of the traveller on the box seat could
roam over many a far away mile of forest-tops, and
farther still catch the jagged line of snowy peaks that
marked the mountain land where Frazer, and Columbia, and Thompson had their close-linked sources.
And once there opened out close to the road a strange
freak of nature—a great cleft in the earth surface, a
dK-
y
&
j.
huge chasm as abrupt as though a superhuman sword r^/V
had buried itself deep in the earth and cut asunder
AS
cK 88
FAR  OUT.
the crust of the world. The coach road had to make
a sharp detour to avoid this fissure. Pulling up at
the south side, where the road ran close to the edge
of the chasm, Mr. Jack Hamilton informed his passengers that they might alight from the coach for a
closer survey of this scene.
It was worthy of a halt. A few paces from the
roadway the earth dipped suddenly down to a great
depth; trees clustered close to the chasm's edge, but
the sides were far too steep for growth of any kind,
and the layers of red and dark rock alternated with
each other in horizontal streaks that made the farther
side look as though it had been painted with the
favourite lines of some rude Indian decoration.
As far as this great rent in the earth was visible,
looking towards the east, it seemed to widen and
deepen as it went; but there was little time for examination, for Mr. Jack Hamilton and his six horses
were impatient to be moving, and the coach and its
freight were soon rolling swiftly south to the city of
Clinton.
Clinton stood in a broad valley, under a bright,
June sun. An affluent of the Bonaparte, here near
its source, flowed through the village city over beds of
glistening shingle; but a recent flood had washed
away its gravelly banks and strewn the single street
with wreck of wooden house and debris of stone and
sand, making it no easy matter for the coach to
work its way to the door of the hotel, over the great
piles of rubbish. A JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.
89
At last the heavy vehicle pulled up at the door,
which was literally packed with figures. Two large
mule trains had arrived at Clinton on their way up-
country from the sea, and mule drivers, packmen,
freighters, and miners thronged the little street. The
dark-faced Mexican with broad sombrero was there,
the yellow-skinned Chinaman with hair descending
from the poll, the sallow Yankee with hair tuft
sprouting from the chin; extremes of old and new
world craft and cunning here met with the cordiality
of a common hatred. The miner, diffident and shy,
but with the diffidence of determination and the shyness bred by long intervals of solitude, was here, too,
on his upward road to try his luck at some northern
digging. Eagerly this flood-tide met the ebb-stream
of our coach-load and asked for news of former friend
or comrade now delving at Germansen or Ominica, at
Cariboo or Cottonwood. Every one seemed to know
everybody. The distances might be vast, the country *^
might be rugged, the trails difficult to travel, but all
the same there was not a Pete or a Dave, a Steve or
a Bill, in farthest camp along the affluents of the
Peace Biver, whose name was not a household word ^/
in the hotel at Clinton.
Despite its vast area and its rugged surface, British
Columbia, so far as settlement and civilisation were
concerned, was nothing but a long waggon road with! |
a gold mine at one end and a seaport at the othery i
One or two smaller offshoots, branching away to mines
more or less played out, had this great waggon road, 90
FAR  OUT.
but they were at long intervals apart, and were suitable only for the saddle and the pack-horse.
Up and down this road travelled every year the
entire population ; or if there remained at Soda Creek
or at Quesnelle a few of the less fortunate gold-seekers,
whose finds did not permit their wintering so far
south as Victoria, the capital, nevertheless their more
fortunate friends seemed still to hold them in lively
remembrance, and to have known Pete at the Ominica
was to have a claim upon the acquaintance of Dave
at Clinton. 1 The boys ain't a bad lot," remarked
Mr. Hamilton to his box fare, as, holding his horses
well in hand, he rattled briskly down the incline that
led to Clinton, i There's some of 'em as wouldn't wash
two cents the bucket, an' there's more that has the
metal thick enough on the bed-rock of their naturs."
Mr. Hamilton was right. These I boys " called
gold-miners are the cream of the working men. They
are the natural successors of that race of fur-hunters
and trappers who, fifty years ago, made Missouri their
base for the exploration of that vast region which then
lay in pathless solitude to the waves of the Pacific
Ocean. Beekless in their modes of hunting and trapping, these men quickly destroyed or drove away the
wild animals that roved the plains; but when the furs
were gone the gold came in, and where one had tried
the wild life of the trapper, a hundred flocked to work
the pick and shovel in the wild glens and valleys of
the Pacific slope.
In the bar-room of the hotel at Clinton, the box- -"T-
mmmm
A  JOURNEY  OE  A  DOG  AND  A MAN.
91
fare traveller and the dog sat and watched the coming
and going of all these units of Western life. The long
June evening was beginning to grow monotonous ;
the stove, the many spittoons, .the bar-keeper, the
brightly coloured stimulants, had been studied individually and collectively; the art decorations had been
closely examined, and had ceased to afford gratification to the eye. An engraving of the Federal General
Hooker, i Fighting Joe," as he was affectionately
termed, whose brief term of command was chiefly
made illustrious by an order of the day in which he
congratulated himself upon being called to the head
of "the finest army,on the planet," an order which
was almost immediately followed by a most ignominious defeat—" Fighting Joe " now looked fiercely
from, above the bar, in close proximity to another
print in which a dog was represented stretched upon
his back, while beneath an inscription informed the
drinking public that " poor Trust" was not only dead,
but that bad pay had killed him.
Deeper in the glasses and the lemons and the
juleps, there was observable to a closer scrutiny a
photograph of a frightened-looking volunteer soldier,
who mournfully regarded a large sabre to which fate
had apparently hopelessly secured him. All these
things had been duly conned over and apathetically
dismissed, when an event occurred which gave immediate relief to the ennui of the community. The
figure of a man appeared suddenly at the open doorway.    | Bismarck has  got out! " he exclaimed in 92
FAR   OUT.
hasty accents; and then in more forcible language'
than it is possible to repeat, he continued, " Gone,
clane gone, I tell ye! " Had it been possible for any
of those lately arrived by the coach to have accepted
in quiescence this announcement of the great chancellor's flight or freedom, such equanimity must have
soon disappeared before the fierce excitement which
at once became manifest in the persons of the older
inhabitants. The bar-keeper instantly suspended his
operations in manipulating the coloured stimulants,
and acting either by virtue of his high office as barkeeper, or of some collateral right of special constable
and justice of the peace, he exclaimed, I Bismarck is
out, boys ! Twenty-five dollars to the man who
catches him! "
This liberal offer, following closely on the heels of the
exciting news just received, caused a wild rush of the
assembled citizens to the doorway, and the dog and
man following .in the wake of the throng, soon found
themselves taking a keen interest in the pursuit of
the chancellor.
It may have been that the capture was regarded by
the citizens as a public duty, or it may have been
that, in the minds of many, a lingering hope yet dwelt
that twenty-five dollars would go some little way
towards reanimating the prostrate form of Trust, so
far as that faithful creature had reference to their
individual accounts for drink and stimulants supplied
in the bar-keeper's ledger. Such hypothesis would at
least be doubtful. A JOURNEY OF  A  DOG  AND   A MAN.
93
At any rate, volunteers for the office of I running
in " the chancellor were as numerous as though the
drinking-score had been in a Southern German or
Hanoverian inn, and the absconding native had been
the chancellor himself; for alas ! the fugitive was
the great conspirator only in name.
The Clinton Bismarck was in fact a Chilcotin
Indian, who, for some infraction of Columbian law,
had been incarcerated in a neighbouring log-hut.
It appeared that the conditions of prison discipline
had been of a cheap and novel kind. Bismarck was
allowed to take exercise and air upon one stipulation,
that he would perform the duties of jailer and turnkey upon himself, and that, moreover, he would
employ his hours of exereise in repairing the public
roads of Clinton. For some time he had regularly
responded to this .arrangement by letting himself out,/
watching himself when he was out, and ceasing tol
superintend himself only when he had again locked
himself in. But unfortunately for the permanent--1
success of this simple and inexpensive mode of
prison discipline, Bismarck, as we have seen,
.failed to comply with the latter portion of the programme, and on the day of the arrival of the coach
he turned his face to his native hills and his back
upon Clinton.
The wide semicircle of hills surrounding Clinton to
the north and west looked very beautiful as the long
shadows of the June evening fell from the lofty
1 sugar " pines that dotted their swelling sides, and 94
FAR  OUT.
marked lengthening lines upon many a mile of silent
peaceful landscape.
I Poor Bismarck! " said the box-seat passenger to
himself, as he looked from the motley group of citizens to the lonely hills. " May the pine-brush be thy
bed to-night."
When the coach rolled away a little after daybreak
next morning, leaving Clinton lying in the mists of
the Bonaparte, the Chilcotin's cage was yet empty,
and the dog Trust lay still upon his back.
Boiling along a high ridge of land which overlooked
the valley of the Bonaparte Biver, the coach held' its
southern way towards the great mountain mass
through whose centre the Frazer Biver cleaves its
course to the sea. No height of hilltop, no depth of
valley seemed able to set at rest in the brain of the
dog the idea that his proper function was to haul and
not to be hauled; indeed, judging from the persistent
manner in which he continued to regard the road and
not the country through which it led, it might have
been apparent that he meditated a descent from the
boot whenever opportunity might offer; but unfortunately, a word of prohibition was deemed sufficient
preventive in view of the distance that intervened
between the boot and the ground.
All at once, however, without any premonitory
symptoms, he thrust himself suddenly from the boot
and precipitated his great body outward into space.
So far as the mere fact of getting out of the boot was
concerned, the success of this attempt was complete. !<**u
A  JOURNEY  OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN. 95
In very much less time than the narrative of this exploit has taken, the dog had reached the ground, but
countermarching his body in the descent, his head,
when that descent was accomplished, was where his
tail should have been—next the wheels. The coach
was a heavy one, it carried its full complement of
passengers. To suppose that one of its wheels
could roll over any portion of the dog's body, and
leave that portion intact, would have been to suppose
an apparent impossibility. Mr. Hamilton, handling
his six horses with dexterity, stopped the coach ere it
had run its length, but not before the near fore-wheel
had jerked over the outstretched paw of the lately
landed dog. But the stout leg that had tramped
through the long journey of the past winter had in it
sinews and muscles able to bear without breaking the
ponderous load that had now rolled over its wrist, and
when the man had reached the ground and taken hold
of the damaged leg, which the dog held high in air,
the loud howl of agony sank quickly to a lower key.
So it is with all true-natured dogs when hurt has
come to them, if the maimed or broken limb be but
held by a human hand? the cry soon sinks to a
whimper under the touch which tells him that human
sympathy has joined hands with him in his suffering.
Beinstated in the boot, and made secure from a repetition of sensation headers, the dog passed through
the remainder of his Columbian coach journey without incident of danger; but the great canons of the
Thompson and Frazer rivers, which the waggon road 96
FAR  OUT.
pierces in the last seventy miles of its course, and
the stupendous masses of rock frowning over the
narrow ledge upon which the track is carried, apparently failed to remove from his mind the sense of
injustice under which he deemed himself suffering
in not being allowed to add his dog might to the
locomotion of the coach ; and still with mournful eye
he looked steadily out from his seat upon the letter
bags, a wiser, a sadder, but an unconvinced animal.
In a deep and narrow valley, close to the junction
of the Thompson with the Frazer Biver, stands the
little town of Lytton, once a famous point when the
big sand-bars of the Frazer held their thousands of
miners, now "brooding in the ruins of its life," a
dreary wooden village fast lapsing.into decay; for
the sand-bars have long ceased to yield gold, and
Mariner's and Forster's and Fargo and Boston bars
no more hold their camps and shanties.
Melancholy enough looked Lytton as the coach
drew up by the hotel door, having run its eighty-three
miles in ten hours. The hotel had some peculiarities
of construction that made it different from any
hostelry which the box fare had ever sojourned at.
It was a long, low, wooden building, containing many
small dens built over a clear rushing stream of water.
The wooden floor was old and in places broken, and
through the shrivelled planks the water could be seen
as it rippled along, filling the den with pleasant murmur ; but these peculiarities were only observable to
the box fare when, late in the evening, he had returned A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.
97
from a ramble to find all his fellow-passengers retired
for the night, and the hotel-keeper waiting his arrival
with a light in one hand and a large black bottle in
the other. A steady flow of language more or less
irreverent, and an unsteady method of pursuing a
line as he walked in front of the box fare along the
occupied dens, clearly indicated that the hotel proprietor had at least taken the cork out of his bottle ;
but it was only upon arrival in the den which was to
hold the dog and the man until morning that the
proprietor allowed his feelings their fullest flow, and
evinced a desire to carry a spirit of animated discussion far into the night. Questions connected with the
division of political power in Lytton- (about twelve
houses showed signs of permanent occupation), matters bearing upon finance, Indian statistics, and consolidation of the colony with the United States, were
touched upon in such a thoroughly exhaustive manner
that the dog was soon sound asleep, and the box fare
looked drowsily from his trestle-bed at the garrulous
proprietor, who, seated on a vacant bed, continued to
pom* forth stimulants for himself and_ statistics for
his sleepy,guest. At length the black bottle became
silent, the hotel-keeper shuffled.off to his den, and
nothing broke the stillness of the night save the ripple
of running water under the thin pine boards of the
crazy building, and the long-drawn respirations of
the dog under the trestle-bed.
Soon again the daylight broke.    In the matter of
getting up, dogs have decidedly the better of their
H 98
FAR  OUT.
masters. Look at a man at the moment of his
waking, and nine times out of ten you see a poor
creature gaping, puzzled, and perplexed—not quite
certain whether he is in the middle of last week or
the beginning of the next; but a dog rises from sleep,
stretches himself on the points of his toes, wags his
tail, and is instantly at home with the new morning.
Out from underneath the trestle-bed, fresh and ready
for the road, stepped the dog as daybreak struggled in
through the tiny den window, while with many a
lingering wish for one hour more, the master prepared
himself for the journey. This day was to be the last
of the coach travel, for at the village of Yale steam
would again take up the running and carry the coach
load to the sea.
So the coach rolled away from Lytton, and winding
up a curving ascent, entered the canons of the
Cascades.
Gloomy spots are these canons of the Cascades on
the coach road to the sea. A narrow ledge cut out of
the rock, smooth as a table edge, holds in mid-air the
heavy coach and its six-horse team; no fence, no
parapet breaks the sheer descent into the horrid
chasm; six hundred feet beneath the river roars in
unseen tumult, and above the rugged mountain
topples black against the sky.
No creeping pace is this at which these horses
round these dizzy ledges, no hugging of the rock, but
full and free the leaders gallop at the curves, facing
boldly to the very verge of the precipice ere they. •Bau,
aw*
SSSSS5SSS
A JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.
99
sweep round these yawning i points." Eight miles in
the hour along the smooth rock cuttings Mr. Jack
Hamilton steers his team, with foot hard set on brake
as the big coach thunders down some slope, and the
pine-tops beneath seem to be flying along the canon
edge. The box fare feels inclined to lean away from
the edge, so close at hand, but he feels too that Mr.
Hamilton has an eye on him as well as on his team,
and he takes it as naturally as though a lifetime of
nightmares had made him thoroughly conversant with
the whole science of ledge galloping. Mr. Hamilton
even finds time to enlarge upon the past history of
the road, and among- his anecdotes there figures one
which tells how once a coach did go over the precipice.
I And there wasn't," he adds, " no, there wasn't," he
continues, " as much of horse, or driver, or passenger,
or coach, ever picked up as a coroner could get a
fee on."
But if it was nervous work driving when the coast
was clear, much worse did it seem when a waggon
with eight or ten pairs of mules had to be passed on
the narrow ledge.
At such times the law of the road gave Mr. Hamilton
the outside place, and from the tire of his outer wheels
to the edge of the cliff scarce eight inches would intervene, yet was there no leading of leaders by men
on foot. Gently by the perilous edge the coach would
move until clear of the obstacle, and then away along
the ledge again.
The bad places had all been safely passed, Yale lay
h 2
\\
w^ 100
FAR  OUT.
but a few miles distant, Mr. Hamilton's foot was pressing firmly against the lever of the brake as the coach
rolled swiftly down a long incline, one of the last ere
the level river valley was finally reached. All at once
the iron bar broke from the driver's foot, the heavy
vehicle, released from control, drove forward upon the
wheelers, and Mr. Hamilton with difficulty retained
his seat in the shock of the unlooked-for catastrophe.
But he was equal to the emergency. He pulled himself
and his team together in an instant; then he whipped
his leaders, and held on down the long incline; the
pace grew faster and faster, the inside passengers,
knowing nothing of the accident, and deeming that
the usual " trot for the avenue " had been changed into
a wild gallop to that destination, cheered lustily.
At the foot of the hill the coach was pulled up.
Mr. Hamilton handed the ribbons to the box fare, and,
descending, surveyed the brake. " Clean gone," he
said, remounting. " Guess we'd 'ave bin clean gone
too, if it 'ad happened back at Chinaman's Bluff or
Jackass Mountain."    Then he drove into Yale.
vxarraa.vciiiai.-u III.
A LARGE dog lived at Yale. The fame of his
savagery was known far. up the coach road
towards Clinton, and steamboat men were cognizant
of it seawards nearly unto New Westminster. The
dog belonged to a German Jew, who, having passed
through the several grades of dealing approximating
to pedlar, had finally blossomed into a general ^
merchant, owner of many stores in Columbian settlements. The traditional unpopularity attaching to
members of the Jewish persuasion found no exception
in Yale; indeed, it is worthy of note that in no part
of the civilised world is that unpopularity more
strikingly observable than in these mountain towns
and settlements of North America—a fact from
which it might possibly be imagined that Christian
feeling, in these remote places, had attained to that
pitch of fervour known in the old feudal times in
■Germany, when a baron, whose family duties or
bodily afflictions rendered service in the Holy Land
impossible, condoned his inability to wage war against
the Saracen by grilling the first Jew he could catch in
the lower apartments of his residence.     But as in
')/
/ 102
FAR  OUT.
these old times the Jew clung to the baron, notwithstanding the grill-room above mentioned, so now
he clings to the miner, and close follows the
"prospector," despite the ill-concealed animosity of
these adventurers.
Now the Jew's dog at Yale was a sharer in the
unpopularity of his master. "Love me, love my dog"
here found its converse, and dark looks were often
turned upon the mastiff because of dark thoughts
given to the mastiff's master. Among the many
items of information which Mr. Hamilton had ready
to dispense among the crowd that greeted him on his
arrival at Yale, there figured prominently in the
catalogue the fact that he had on this occasion
brought in the boot an animal of surpassing
savagery—an animal in whose physical and mental
nature many wild and sanguinary beasts had united
their several individual traits of ferocity for, apparently, the sole purpose of annihilating the Jew's dog.
"Yes, Bill, you bet—I've got a dawg here,"
exclaimed Mr. Hamilton, soon after the coach drew
up, "that ain't a-going to flirt when he fights another
dawg. He means business, he does. Got his eddi-
cation among the Bocky Mountain coyotes, he did,
and afterwards served his time among the Booshian
American bars." Then in a stage (coach) whisper,
" If thar should be a dawg hereabouts, Bill, whose
life you was thinking of insuring, I'd just complete
the policy before this Booshian American animal in
the boot gets out, that's all." mmmmm
A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.      103
It will be only necessary to remark that before the
unconscious object of these sanguinary sentiments
found himself free to perambulate the single street
of Yale, the Jew's dog had been safely secured by his
anxious master.
A night's delay at Yale, and dog and man were
again on the move. Through a deep mountain gorge
the Frazer sweeps from its long-held southern course,
and, some few miles south of Yale, bends west to meet
the ocean. It is not easy to imagine a grander gateway than that through which the dark tide, so long
-vexed against cliff and torn in canon, prepares to seek
here, in profound peace, the vast grave of the sea. It
may have been that the conditions of light and shade
were singularly fortunate on the morning when the
little steamboat ploughed her way from Yale to New
Westminster, passing out at Hope between the
gigantic portals of the Cascades, into the smoother
waters of the tidal river.
The morning had been one soft summer rain; the
lofty hills were draped in dense wreaths of white
curling vapour; the rain fell straight through a pulseless atmosphere; but at Hope the rain ceased, great
shafts of light shot through the masses of cloud, and
the slow-curling eddies of billowy vapour began to
uncoil from crag and pinnacle of lofty mountains.
Then, as sunbeams streamed athwart the gorge, the
eye caught for a moment the jagged outline of a
mountain mass upreared against a rainbow; a
spectral pine-tree stood far up the mountain, pin- 104
FAR  OUT.
nacled against some rift of light; but so quick the
veil of vapour opened and closed that no glance could
mark where cloudland ended or mountain peak began.
Enormous masses of inky cloud still rolled overhead,
breaking into fantastic forms, through which the deep-
blue sky was seen in loopholes of light; and above the
shifting scene of light and shadow, high over the wide
waters of the sullen river, a vivid rainbow threw its
arch across the gloomy gorge. From beneath this
magnificent scene of mountain, river, cloud, sun, and
sky, the steamboat sped, hissing and splashing as
though it felt bound to call special attention to the
marvels of civilisation and of man as personified in its
own little self. Yet the attempt was a failure; it simply
looked like a small insect crawling from the mouth
of some mammoth cavern, the sides of which were
mountains, and whose roof no eye could reach.
The city of New Westminster stands some few miles
from the mouth of the Frazer Biver, and not far from
the American boundary line, the forty-ninth parallel of
north latitude. Mountain ranges are in sight all
round upon the land side, and looking seaward over
the low forest that fringes the Frazer delta the eye
catches the hilltops of Vancouver's Island rising
beyond the isle-studded Strait of Georgia. The
name of New Westminster was not more ambitious
than the outlooks and aspirations of the city in its
earlier days had been. Nor was it wholly unreasonable, either, that its founders and early settlers should
.have allowed themselves fullest scope for transmuting, A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG  AND  A MAN.       105
in the alchemy of fancy, their wooden houses into
merchant palaces, and picturing their rude wharves
filled with the products of many far-away lands in
times not distant, when New Westminster was to
become the great Northern Pacific port. For did not
that veritable El Dorado, Cariboo, lie back beyond
these circling hills, and might there not be fifty other
Cariboos lying still to be discovered in all that wild
region of rock, forest, and mountain, whose rills,
lakes, and fountains drained here by the wooden
piles of the infant city ? It was even so : the watershed of the Frazer might well promise to hold within
its immense area riches sufficient to dwarf the boldest
calculation of the most sanguine pioneer settler whose
store stood by the tide-way of the great river. But
the fellow of Cariboo was never found, and New
Westminster still stands a city of unfulfilled expectations, looking wistfully up the broad Frazer
for a repetition of the golden harvest it had once
enjoyed.
,In a comfortable wooden hotel the dog and the man
spent three days of rest and plenty. If the gold is
slow to come down the river, the silvery salmon is
quick to ascend the stream. In myriads that never
cease he goes by to begin his toilsome journey up the
rapids and whirlpools to the far-away lakes that lie
in the wilderness north of Quesnelle. Pink as a June
rose, with snow-white " curd " laid between the leaves,
the king of fish is here in size, shape, and flavour
equal in every way to his Atlantic cousin.   In one 106
FAR  OUT.
respect only does he differ; he is a more sensible
.fish. No gaudy fly, twist it as man may, no king
crow feather, no golden pheasant, no summer duck
or African bustard will ever tempt him to lift his
nose above the surface. The spear and the net work
fell havoc in his crowded ranks through all the long
course of his journey from the sea to his rest-place in
Stuart's Lake or Tatla, Sushwap, or Nichaco; but to
the allurements of the fly he is absolutely blind.
At New Westminster, then, the dog and the man
spent three days of sleep and salmon cutlets. For
the sum of two shillings a twenty-four pound, fresh
salmon could be purchased. During his experience
of life from Hudson's Bay to the Pacific, the dog had
tasted many kinds of fish. He had sported when a
pup with the delicate white fish of Deer's Lake. He
had feasted upon the sturgeon of the Saskatchewan,
the jack-fish of the Missinnippi, and the delicious
butter-fish of the Bed Biver, but he had never tasted
salmon until here at New Westminster he consumed
cutlet after cutlet.
The boards dividing the small sleeping-rooms of
the hotel were thin and knot-holed. Speech was
plainly audible from one room to another. The man
was sometimes in the habit of carrying on conversation
with the dog in the early summer morning. The
language used by the man was a mysterious tongue
known only to the dog; the replies given by the dog
were of the nature of tail-wag, ear-lift, and eye-wink.
One morning, during  cutlet time,  an American mmwm
A JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.       107
approached the man. " Stranger," he said, 11
guess I heard you talking Esquimo this morning."
It would have been unfair to have undeceived him;
so the Esquimaux dialect was admitted. " Queer
langidge that Esquimo," he went on. "Mighty
queer langidge." " With a knowledge of the Esquimo tongue," continued the man, " and some
acquaintance with the Athabascan language, dog-
driving becomes quite easy." " I never druv dogs,"
replied the American, "but I've druv most other
druvable things, and I found the langidge thatjbad
most cussing in it the best for the purpose. Guess
now, Esquimo is pretty good in thalrEne.
Three days passed and it was time to move. It
was a dark, still, summer day; the isles of the Strait
of Georgia lay in a waveless water, bearing record in
their Spanish names of that great dominion which
once stretched throughout one hundred degrees of
coast-line along the Pacific shore—all gone now,
from southmost Patagonia to here, where the rival
Britisher and Yankee squabble over northmost San
Juan.
And now the steamboat's course, coming through
the Cordova Channel, was turned towards the west,
and rounding the south-east point of Vancouver Island,
a grand panorama burst suddenly into sight—the Bay
of Victoria, the Strait of Juan de Fuca backed by the
snow-clad range of the Olympian mountains. The
clouds had vanished, the sun was bright overhead;
the blue sea sparkled along the bay-indented shore of 108
FAR OUT.
Vancouver, and the oak forest above the line of rocks
rippled in the full sheen of midsummer glory.
There may be spots on the earth to which summer
comes in brighter dress and greater freshness than it
does to this south coast of Vancouver; but these spots
must be difficult to find. It is not the hot summer of
more southern lands; it is a summer in which the oak
and the honeysuckle play their parts; where the
young shoots of the fir, and the chrysalis-like husks
of the budding birch scatter balmy odours on the air ;
where the mornings and the evenings have in them the
■ crystal freshness of spring water, and the mid-day
sun is tempered by a soft breeze from the Pacific
rippling the waves along the blue Strait of Juan de
Fuca.
But in one particular Victoria excelled any other
spot in which the dog and the man had yet sojourned.
It was in its humming-birds. Numerous as butterflies
they fluttered round the honeysuckle-hung porches of
the wooden cottages, and far in the forest depth they
held summer holiday under the deeper-toned hum of
the colossal pine-trees.
It was the 26th of June when the two travellers set
out from the pleasant city of Victoria on their southern way towards California. Midnight had gone over
the Bay of Victoria when the steamboat quitted her
moorings. When morning dawned she was steaming
into Puget Sound, that deep landlocked bay which
stretches so far into the north shore of Washington
territory.    So numerous are the capes and promon-
<Wfpay^viy^\\\\xvt^xw«\v^vAxxv A JOURNEY OF   A  DOG  AND  A MAN.      109
tories of this sound, so deep the indentations of water
lying between them, that two thousand miles of coast
lie within that narrow entrance—two thousand miles
of shore, densely forested with pine-trees of colossal
size; so deep the water that vessels lie broadside
touching the shore, lashed to the trunks of the great
pines. Above the tree-tops immense mountain peaks
lift aloft six thousand feet of snow that never melts.
Grandest of all, Mount Banier stands a mighty
mountain block, fourteen thousand feet above the
sound level.
All day the little boat sped on its way, dodging in
and out of the intricate inlets, touching here and
there to land merchandise or to take on board wood
fuel, and whistling loud and long among the forest
isles and shores. Sometimes the sound opened out
into wide expanses of clear, deep water; at other
times the channels were narrow, filled with strong
currents, and winding amid isles and shore; but all
through the long summer day the traveller had cause
to marvel at the natural wealth of this strange ocean
inlet, and to think with bitter feelings of how a stroke
of an official pen had sufficed to rob England of this
fair birthright, and to write off under the name of
Oregon all this wealth of forest, sea, and mountain
from the dominion roll of England. "A country
never destined to be of any practical value"—thus
they had written of this territory, thus they had described this land. What must not the empire be that
can afford to lose such realms and yet remain an 110
FAR  OUT.
empire!   Perhaps that is the least annoying way of
looking at it.
After all, it is possible to measure greatness as
well by loss as by gain. Ordinary captains have
been judged by their victories: it was only a Napoleon
of whom it could be asked, " What could he not dare
with the Beresina and Leipsic behind him?" To-day
there are single trees growing on the shore of Puget's
Sound worth in England eight hundred pounds.
While the steamboat stopped at her ports of call
the travellers strolled on shore or watched the coming
and going of dogs and men. At anlace called Seattle
a crowd gathered around the dog; and one small boy,
believing that the strange animal was the herald of a
travelling menagerie, inquired eagerly when the whole
show was to arrive. Various surmises were again
expressed as to parentage and descent; but a large
seafaring man put an end to the discussion by remarking that the animal "was quite a Booshian
dawg," and that he (the sailor) had fallen in with
similar " dawgs " in Alaska, all of Bussian extraction.
The tide in the sound rises high and ebbs low. At
some of the stopping-places it was curious to watch-
the antics of certain crows, whose livelihood was-
gained from the rocks left bare by the low water.
Around the base of the wooden piles upon which the
landing-stages were built mussels thickly clustered;
detaching these with their bills, the crows would
ascend some thirty or forty yards into the air, then
dropping the shell-fish on to the rock, they would *Mm
A  JOURNEY  OF  A  DOG  AND  A  MAN.        Ill
swoop after it to catch the fish detached by the fall
from the shattered shell.
It was dark when the boat reached Olympia, the
last and most southern port on Puget's Sound. Here
at the Pacific Hotel the travellers found board and rest
until the first streak of dawn called them again to the
road. This time it was coach again—coach without
the box seat for the man or the boot for the dog:
without any seat at all, in fact. All the places had
been taken, and nothing remained but the roof of the
vehicle for the accommodation of the pair; so roof it
had to be. Another passenger, also relegated to the
roof, kindly lent a hand at the work of getting the
reluctant animal into position. An iron rail running
round the roof afforded means of lashing the dog at
two sides, and also offered the means of "holding on"
to the men. Fortunately the distance to Tenino was
only fifteen miles, and at Tenino the railway would
carry the passengers southwards on their roads.
Ascending a steep road by the side of the Cowlitz
Biver, at a point where a pretty waterfall had enabled
a speculator to erect a saw-mill at the expense of the
scenery, the coach entered a forest of enormous trees.
So huge were the trunks of these giants that it did
not pay to cut them down, save in close proximity to
water-carriage. The trees that had been felled by the
roadside still showed stumps eight and ten feet above
the ground, at which height a platform had been
erected in order to afford the woodman a lesser
distance to cut through. m
FAR  OUT.
This magnificent forest was succeeded by an open
space, a prairie composed of innumerable little hillocks all of the same size and shape. These mimic
mounds were covered with grass; but the spaces
between them showed stones and gravel on the surface.
This plain was some miles in extent, and far as the
eye could reach to the left the cone-shaped mounds
were visible. What could their origin have been?
The passenger on the roof was of opinion that the
I Ingines " had had something to say to them; but
many indications negatived the supposition that they
had been the work, of man.
The gentleman on the roof beguiled the 'tedium of
the way with efforts to enlighten the man traveller on
the social and political aspect of the Pacific States.
On the question of Chinamen and Chinese labour he
was particularly explicit. I You'll see," he said, after
a forcible exposition of the wrongs inflicted on white
labour, and civilisation generally, by celestial competition, I you'll see the biggest mutinize agen them
Chinamen that ever you seed in your life." The
man-traveller made bold to ask this youthful republican if he was a native of this Pacific slope, whose
rights against Asiatics he was prepared so forcibly
to protect. I No," he answered, j I was born in
Vermont; but father and mother come from Wolverhampton in the old country. Father was a wheelwright there."
So the wanderer will discover, all the earth over, the
most intolerant tyrant will invariably be found abroad mmm
A  JOURNEY  OF  A  DOG  AND  A MAN.       113
among the men who at home were loudest in their
assertion of the equality of all men.
Winding again through the forest, the coach soon
approached the neighbourhood of Tenino. Here stood
a strange object—a railway locomotive and a train of
carriages. From here to Kalama, a distance of sixty-
four miles, the iron horse would bear the travellers on
their way. Never before had the dog beheld anything
so formidable; indeed, the jolting on the roof of the
coach had but ill-prepared his nervous system for the
successive shocks he was now to experience at the
hands of civilisation, and it was only by a liberal
administration of cold water that his composure was
somewhat restored.
Five hours by rail brought the travellers to the
banks of a large river. The mile or more that lay
between its banks was not space enough to hold the
vast volume of water rolling towards the west, and
all the alluvial valley on either side lay deep in floods.
Here was the Oregon of the old Spaniards, the
Columbia of to-day. A little more than one hundred
years from the present time it was still a race between
England and Spain for the dominion of North America.
That Spanish ships had fully explored the coast of
the Pacific as far as the northern end of what is now
called Vancouver's Island, no reasonable man can
to-day doubt; but at that time it was convenient to
deny or to ignore such discoveries, and to send out
expeditions of rediscovery, whose work was to claim
a coast line or a river estuary long before known to 114
FAR OUT.
the followers of Columbus. Thus the Oregon Biver of
the Spanish geographers was lost sight of towards the
close of the eighteenth century, and brought again to
life in 1792 as the Columbia. This time, however, it
was a skipper sailing from Boston Bay who played
the part of rediscovery, and claimed for the Bepublic,
still-in its teens, i the great river of the West." It
would be easy to show how hollow was the ground
upon which the claim of the United States was
founded. The men whose names still live in the
rivers and mountains of the North Pacific slope,
Findlay, Frazer, Thompson, built their fur forts far
down this great river in the closing years of the
century, and were in actual occupation of Oregon ere
the pioneers of American enterprise in the west had
crossed the Missouri.
But all this has long passed from the sphere of
discovery, and the story of Oregon has gone into
the limbo of lost empires, better there to be left
buried.
On, up the broad river to the junction of the
Willamette, and thence along the latter stream to
the good city of Portland, the capital of the State of
Oregon. .Built upon a broad level stretching from
the left bank of the Willamette, the city of Portland
stands second only to San Francisco in size and
importance among the cities of the Pacific slope.
From high ground, as yet only partially built over,
lying about a mile from the great river, a grand view
is to be seen.    Beyond the town and the river, and [mmmm
A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG  AND  A MAN.       115
at the back of the wide Willamette Valley, the snowy
mass of Mount St. Helens rises twelve thousand feet
above a bright green forest; yet another of those
wondrous volcanic' peaks set as sentinels along the
Pacific coast, beginning far away to the north at St.
Elias, and ending two hundred miles south of Portland
at glowing Shasta; some still smouldering, their fires
but lately burnt low; others cold and silent; all, clad in
everlasting whiteness; all, lifting their immense cones
from out of a vast sea of tree-tops. Over the valley of
the Columbia and the Willamette Mounts St. Helens
and Hood keep watch; at their base lies many a fair
mile qf country—meadow, copse, forest, and open
glade. A winter not too cold, a summer fresh and
bracing; peaks like Switzerland, pastures like Somerset ; pines such as only Oregon can equal. Already
Portland, set amid all this wealth of nature, rushes
towards prosperity ; and yet it is of this region that
the infallible leader of the fourth estate in England
pronounced only thirty years ago the following sapient
opinion: " The Oregon Territory is really valueless
to England and to America. The only use of it to
America would be to make it an addition to territories already far too large for good government or
even for civilisation. The emigrants to Oregon must
pass through thousands of miles of unoccupied land,
with a soil and climate far better than they will find
on the shores of the Pacific. And when they get
there, what will be the social state of a few thousand
families scattered through a territory more than six
i 2
/ w
mt
116
FAR  OUT.
times as large as England and three thousand miles
from the seat of government ? They will mix with
the Indians, and sink into a degraded race of half-
caste barbarians. If she could obtain sovereignty
over the whole of the lands west of the Bocky Mountains to-morrow, every wise American statesman
must wish that the next day they should sink into
the sea."
It was sunset when the two travellers wended their
homeward way from the ridge from whose summit a
single glance can read a bitter refutation to the
opinion above stated; but the scent of white clover
blossom, from the town lots which had yet to be built
upon, was too sweet to permit even stupidity to be
irritating. It was Sunday evening, and many people
were abroad in the streets. Here and there groups
of Chinese sat at open doorsteps, or stood chatting at
street corners. Much of the neatness and regularity
of the town, still more of the advanced state of civilisation in Oregon, had been due to this peaceful invasion of the yellow-skinned Asiatic race. The level
roads, the wharves, the railways, the neatly finished
woodwork of doorways and window-frames, all had
been the fruits of the Chinaman's love of toil; yet
was he hated here as elsewhere along this coast—
victimised, ill-treated, and oppressed by the modern
disciple of freedom, whose aspirations for equality
have reference only to a set of beings above him in
the social scale.
On the day previous to this a Chinese youth, who A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.
had stolen an apple from a street stall, had received
imprisonment for twenty days for the offence. It
was not the mob alone who could play the tyrant.
In.this matter the utter absence of any prejudice of
nationality on the part of the dog-traveller was very
noticeable. He showed every indication indeed
of cultivating friendly relations with the hated
foreigner whenever he encountered him in the street.
Did this spring from some long-forgotten time when
some bushy-tailed ancestor had dwelt in the wild
Yakoutsk waste, and had there known the Tartar
races whose sons to-day hold empire in Mongolian
realms ? Or was it because of the more practical but
less Darwinistic reason that every cook encountered
by this dog since his advent to civilisation had been a
Chinaman ?    Science alone can decide.
Crossing the Willamette Biver next morning, and
taking their places in a railway car, the travellers
continued their southern journey.
The line lay up the valley of Willamette. As the
morning drew towards mid-day, the clouds gathered
away into the mountains, and the broad country
lying at either side of the road spread out its corn
and fruit, its trees and flowers beneath the summer
sun. By orchards which drooped with fruit, by forests
whose flowering shrubs filled the underbush, through
wide, far-reaching green meadows, over prairies where
great herds of cattle stood, and troops of horses galloped in a vain race against the steam-horse, they
held on through a long summer's day.   Now and 118
FAR  OUT.
again the line crossed some sparkling snow-fed river,
and oftentimes, at the end of some long vista of plain
or cultivated ground, a snow-clad peak of the Cascades
rose towering aloft—the single Mount Jefferson, the
triple-peaked Sisters, or nameless ridges whose pine-
clad sides and icy summits guarded this "happy
valley " of the Willamette.
Evening found the travellers at Boseburg, the end
of the railway. Here a coach was to continue the
journey for three hundred miles, until the railway
system of the Sacramento valley would be reached at
Bedding. Before the door of a wooden building a
coach stood ready for the road. The express agent,
the driver, the clerk of the way-bill, and the numerous
other loafing functionaries who form such an important feature in road transport in the Western States,
were present either inside the building or at its door ;
an inner room contained supper for the passengers,
who were duly admonished to look alive over the
melancholy meal. Meantime the loafing community
held debate among themselves upon the amount
which should be charged upon the dog's passage to
more southern lands. Various propositions were put
forth and negatived for charging half fare, full fare,
and no fare. At length the clerk of the way-bill
spoke with the decision natural to his high and important office. I Charge him as extra baggage," said
this sagacious functionary. The small hand-bag carried by the man was now placed in the scale, and the
dog was induced to take his seat beside it, but no A JOURNEY  OF  A  DOG  AND  A  MAN.      119
sooner did the side on which he sat begin to swing to
the adjustment of the weights than he was out on the
ground again. Finally, the matter was arranged to
the satisfaction of all parties : the bag weighed twenty
pounds, the dog eighty; as the passengers were
permitted to carry sixty pounds, forty was charged to
the dog, and eight dollars duly registered against
him. These matters having been settled, dog and
man took their places on the box seat, and at eight
o'clock on the evening of the 30th of June, the coach
rolled slowly away from the village of Boseburg.
Darkness came down on the hills of Southern
Oregon, and all the long night through the coach
jolted along a road of intolerable roughness. Every
twenty miles or so a stop was made to change horses,
or take in some scanty mail-bag. Dreary and drowsy
work it was, as the small hours were told off by the
stars rising above or sinking beneath the dim circle
of the hills. Day broke early; then, in the misty
light, the coach stopped for breakfast. It was a
mockery after such a night. "To be well shaken
before taken " might avail for the medicine- bottle;
but the recipe was utterly futile when applied to the
bad coffee, the greasy meat, and the damp bread of
the Oregon wayside inn. Fain would the traveller
have stayed his course and lain down to rest his
aching bones and head; but the inn looked hopelessly
uninviting, and the journey was resumed m the
chance of going farther and faring better.
As mid-day drew near the hope of finding rest and FAR OUT.
comfort became stronger. A place called Bock Point
was frequently named by the driver as being remarkable for cleanliness and good living. The scenery,
too, began to change; a peculiar red tinge became
visible in the soil; great trees stood by themselves at
intervals along the road; the sky grew to a more
intense blue. At last the road passed a gorge between
hills, and came in sight of a river running towards
the west. "The Bogue Biver," said the driver.
"And yon," he continued, pointing with his whip to
a neat white house that stood on the left of the road,
" is Bock Point Hotel."
Had the traveller even been less sick and sore than
he was, he would still have welcomed the pleasant
aspect of the place. Two lofty stone-pines stood by
the roadside close to the house ; a clear river ran in
many curves through a valley in which patches of
ripest wheat were set amid green groves of maple and
madrono. Dark-leaved evergreen oaks grew by the
road, hanging thick with large bunches of mistletoe.
Here and there bright red bits of hill stood out amid
the green trees and golden corn; over all the sun
was bright, the sky intensely blue. mm
IV
A T Bock Point the man and the dog called a halt
for the day, and the coach rolled away on its
southern road, leaving the valley of the Bogue Biver
in perfect peace. After the sixteen hours' jolting
which the travellers had undergone since quitting
Boseburg, the complete rest and unbroken quiet of
this lovely spot were grateful to both man and beast.
Never was afternoon siesta more needed, never
was it more enjoyed, than on that bright 1st of July
when the tired man and the dozing dog idled away
the warm hours of the summer's day in the roadside
inn at Bock Point.
The western sun was beginning to get low on the
red and green hills when a knock at the bedroom door
caused the still sleepy travellers to start from their
recumbent attitudes. The door opened, and the head
of the hotel proprietor appeared.
i I ain't a man that bears any animosity agin
dawgs," he said, "but that dawg won't agree with
that carpet, and I'm bound to go for the carpet and
not for the dawg."
The reasoning was sound. 122
FAR  OUT.
1 The dog," replied the traveller, " is an old and
valued friend; he has not yet been denied admission
into his owner's room by any hotel proprietors in
Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia; nevertheless, if you think he injures your furniture I shall
remove him, but his removal must be conditional
upon a safe place, under lock and key, being provided
for him in your farm buildings when the night has
come." So much being said, the two travellers set
forth upon an evening ramble ere the sun had gone
down beneath the quiet hills.
It was one of those evenings, so perfect in colour
and temperature, that fortunately for man they eome
but seldom to him in life, else the leaving of such a
world would be all too terrible to think of. Strolling
along the road the travellers stopped beneath the
shadows of some tall stone-pines that grew by the
wayside, in order to cast a fly upon the quiet stream
of conversation which two denizens of the valley were
maintaining. The theme was of Indian war. The
remnant of a tribe, called Modocs, numbering about
forty souls, had entrenched themselves amid lava
beds some eighty miles farther east, and from thence
had bidden defiance to some forty odd millions of
white inhabitants of the United States. The forty
odd millions in the United States had responded by
moving up several battalions of troops, some batteries
of artillery, and much military store. The fight had
lasted three months; but the Modocs no longer held
their lava burrows, and the valley of Bogue Biver had wm
A JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A  MAN.
123
to deplore the loss (upon brisk commissariat demand)
of its farm produce, and exciting topics of conversation for its evening hours. As the traveller now stood
listening to this wayside dialogue, he gathered many
items of intelligence that threw light upon obscure
points of Indian war. He found, for instance, that
oats had advanced in price from thirty cents the
bushel to one dollar in the valley, and that so long as
these prices could be maintained war was rather a
popular pastime to the peaceful inhabitants of the
place.
As, however, this southern road will, in a day or
two, carry the travellers nearer to the scene of conflict,
the story of Modoc "war" must remain untold until
Shasta is in sight.
Back through the long summer twilight to the inn,
to find the preparations for the secure lodgment of
the dog fully completed. Fear had evidently been
the ruling passion that had dictated the arrangements in question—fear either that the dog would
break loose in the night and devour quantities of farm
produce, or else that he would turn the tide of his
ferocity upon the human inmates of the hotel. The
hotel-keeper, armed with two large keys, led the way
towards a log-built barn. The dog was securely
fastened to a beam, the two doors were locked, and
the keys handed over to the man, who received them
with a solemnity eminently impressive.
"He looks dangerous, he do," said the native of
Oregon to the man, as, casting a last look through 124
FAR  OUT.
the bars, the chained animal was dimly observable
within.
■ He has never been separated from me like this,"
gloomily replied the man. 11 cannot answer for
what he may do during the night. Which side of the
house do you sleep?" he inquired, as if a thought had
just struck him.
"On the near side," answered the innkeeper. "Me
and my old woman are on the ground floor, next
the kitchen."
"It doesn't much matter," went on the man, "we
are sure to hear him if he is getting out."
In this assertion he only spoke a portion of the
truth. The dog didn't get out; he remained in all
night, but far and near he was heard all the same.
It was a bright moonlight night, the air was very
fresh, the odours of the trees very sweet, but all the
same, Bogue Biver valley echoed with unceasing
howls. The man's bedroom was situated at the side
farthest from the barn, so that the lamentations of the
captive fell muffled upon his sleepy ear. What was
the effect upon the inmates on the nearer side
morning alone could reveal.
Descending to breakfast next morning, the man
inquired of the | old woman " how her husband had
fared.
"He was tuck very bad in the night," she answered.
"We sent off the waggon to Jacksonville for the
doctor, but he hasn't come yet."
Under all these circumstances a continuation of A  JOURNEY  OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.       125
the journey became advisable, and a little after midday the travellers quitted Bock Point for the Siskyou
and California.
It was a glowing July afternoon as the coach, now
rolling along a good gravel road, held its way up the
Bogue Biver valley to the city of Jacksonville.
Although built of wood, Jacksonville was more
addicted to masonry than any town the travellers
had yet reached. The Fourth of July, now close at
hand, promised to call forth some remarkable demonstrations from the masonic body of the city, as set
forth in a printed programme posted in the hotel
bar-room. According to this document, a national
procession was to form at nine a.m. on the day in
question. The grand Captain of the Host, a person of
the name of Babcock, the Grand Principal Sojourner,
a citizen named Shirtfill, the Bearer of Beauseant,
represented by a gentleman rejoicing in the name of
Biles, and the Guardian of the Temple, whose name
has not been recorded, were severally and collectively
to promote the interests of this remarkable "function"
in a manner consistent with the high and mysterious
titles borne by them in masonic life. Gentlemen
bearing the names of Nolan, Niel, Kasper Kubli, and
Nol Sachs were also to take a prominent part in the
demonstration as orator, reader, and marshals of the
day; while two orders of red men, together with
thirty-eight young women representing the States of
the Union, were to proceed on vehicles, on horse, and
foot, to the rendezvous  at Bylie's  Grove, there to FAR OUT.
celebrate, in becoming spirit, the Ninety-seventh
Anniversary of American Independence.
Two days later, as the travellers were descending
the Sacramento valley, many wobegone Guardians
of Temples, Bearers of Beauseant, Principal Sojourners, and Chief Citizens Were to be seen in different
degrees of dilapidated sickliness along the stations of
the Oregon and Californian railroad; but that was the
day after the glorious " Fourth," and to-day, at Jacksonville, the Kasper Kublis, and the Nol Sachs, and
the rest of the heroes have their drams and their
headaches all before them.
Speeding along the upper valley of the Bogue Biver,
the coach drew near the Siskyou range as the summer
day began to grow dim. A long ascent wound up the
hillside. The night fell, a brilliant moon rose over
the scene, myriad scented things flung out perfume
on the soft night air, the red stems of the madrono
laurel glistened in the yellow light, the sheen of dew
on blossom sparkled along the roadside. At length
the crest was .gained. Below, far stretching to the
south, lost in a dreamy haze of moonlight, lay
California the beautiful. The moon had risen high
in the blue heaven, and under her lustrous light
Shasta's cold white cone rose like a gigantic iceberg
above the dim pine sea beneath.
On through the night. At a wayside stable about
midnight there was a change of drivers, and there
mounted the box D. M. Cawley, of Yreka, Cal. He
was friendly with the man-traveller at once, he had «u
A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.       127
a dozen kind words for the dog, he had a hundred
anecdotes to tell of road and State, of Indians and
settlers. The moon set, and darkness was on all the
land; there was just light enough to see that wild,
bleak hills lay all around, and that the coach road
had, at turns, steep slopes that dropped down into the
darkness on one side and rose up into the hill upon
the other. At length a black quick-flowing river lay
across the road—it was the Klamath Biver. The
coach and its four horses were ferried across upon a
crazy raft, swinging to a cable from bank to bank.
It was after crossing this river that Mr. Cawlev
began a narrative of the " Modoc war," as the fight
made by some few/starving Indian men and women
fifty miles higher up this Klamath Biver was known
to the American people. It would not be easy to put
into the original words the story of that war as the
traveller here heard it from the lips of the stage-coach
driver. Enough to say that no man had better
opportunities of arriving at .the truth than had this
driver, whose knowledge of the district and its people
—settler and savage—went back to times ere Cali-
fornian roads began.
They were the scant remnant of a once powerful
tribe. For generations deep beyond the coming of the
white man, their fathers had dwelt around the base
of Shasta—Shasta, the monarch mountain of the
United States. Over a sea of pine-trees which offer
a ceaseless melody around his feet, Shasta lifts his
lonely head into unclouded skies; he stands alone, a 128
FAR  OUT.
mighty, solitary mountain—not a crest amid countless
peaks, but a single colossal cone, whose base springs
from a circumference of sixty miles, whose summit
lifts the light of its everlasting whiteness fourteen
thousand four hundred feet above the sea-level.
Shasta, or " the Whiteness," they had named him ;
for wherever their tents were pitched, through the
immense pine-trees, the sheen of his white splendour
fell upon them as the glory of their home-land.
At the north side of Shasta there was a poor and
arid region. The lava torrent had scorched from it
verdure, and the sage bush alone grew upon the salt-
encrusted soil. This region was given to the Modoc
tribe as their reserved ground. They at first occupied
a reserved tract on the Klamath Biver, under treaty
with the United States; but incoming settlers hungered for this land, and the Modocs were moved by
force info the wretched region just spoken of. It was
a poor and arid waste. The people starved. The
streams were without fish, the sage bush sheltered no
deer, the Modocs killed and ate their horses for food,
and then they, starved.
One night they passed the line of posts set to mark
the new reserve, and moved back into their old region
along the stream, which they had named the Lost
Biver. There were those amongst them who as boys
had roved the entire country within sight of Shasta's
lofty head, and found no mortal to dispute their right
to it, for from the Pacific the land was theirs; and
now, when they had killed their horses and their dogs A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG AND  A MAN.       129
for food, the hungry band moved back into their old
lost home, as the hunted hare will turn to seek her
birthplace with the last effort of her strength, to die
there.
Then came the usual Government officials of the
United States, of many different degrees; and then,
from Yreka, Portland, and San Francisco, soldiers
and militia moved up to the Lost Biver.
Let us do these Government officials and United
States soldiers justice. They do not want wars with
the Indians. Like the petty savage wars of England,
the fight is too unequal, its real causes too apparent to
enlist the sympathies of the soldier. But behind wars
of this class lie contracts, large demands for produce
of land, increased expenditure and better prospect of
robbing the State—all of which considerations go far
to make war a popular pastime with the civilian and
colonial mind. So it was determined that if the
Modocs did not return to their barren reservation
there would be war. The Modocs would not give up
their old home, and the war began.
It would take long to tell how these few Modoc men
and women held the wild lava beds by the Klamath
lakes, from early spring to midsummer, against many
hundred regular soldiers. "When we have killed
each three white men," said the Modoc chief, " then,
we will die satisfied."
They began by killing the United States' commissioners at-a parley; for from the first the contest,
to the Indians,, was a hopeless one, and to kill and
K 130
FAR  OUT.
be killed was all they sought for. Meantime, very
famous dispatches emanated from the generals commanding the United States' troops. Day after day
accounts came of places stormed and Indians killed.
Announcements in the newspapers appeared in which
the strange names of the Modoc chiefs were seen in
large capitals. Scar-faced Charley, Curly-headed
Doctor, Boston Charley, Hooker Jim, and Bogus
Charley—names bestowed on these poor wretches by
the mingled ruffianism and civilisation of America—
became prominent headings all over the States. Of
course the slaughter among the Modocs was reported
as very great. On one occasion a vigorous cannonade
had resulted in the destruction of the Curly-headed
Doctor; again, Steamboat Frank was disposed of by
a cavalry charge; and finally, after a bombardment
of the lava beds of several hours' duration, Bogus
Charley's hat was picked up—a fact which pointed to
the natural conclusion that the body of Bogus had
been utterly blown into imperceptible fragments.
But the crowning triumph of this Modoc war was
the fact of a new strategical phrase having arisen
from it.
One fine morning two companies of United States'
soldiers had advanced to storm some outlying position
held by the Indians. The Modocs opened fire.
a The companies, thrown into confusion," wrote the
general, "received orders to retire; they obeyed,
but' failing to halt, &c, the field was abandoned to
the enemy."    Failing to halt!  the good old man- A JOURNEY OF  A  DOG  AND  A MAN.      131
ceuvre of "running away " never appeared in garb so
delicate. To all future commanders in these warlike
days the phrase should prove an invaluable addition
to the dictionary of defeat. The Modoc war was over.
Two mountain batteries, two regiments of infantry,
many battalions of volunteers, had at length succeeded in cutting the Modocs off from water, and had
thus compelled their surrender through thirst. But
this had not been effected until four Modoc Indians
had been induced, by large promises, to desert their
comrades and reveal the hidden spring to the enemy.
Out of the lava beds, which they had held for three
months, in spite of overwhelming forces, there
marched fifteen men and forty-five women. The
prisoners were sent down to Fort Klamath in waggons,
bound hand and foot.    This is what followed.
A company of Oregon volunteers waylaid one of
the waggons on the road, cut the traces, ordered the
small escort to alight, and deliberately shot the four
handcuffed Indians as they sat in the waggon. The
caitiffs who dared not face these wretched Modocs
free, thus butchered them, bound and helpless.
The Anglo-Saxon race has never been remarkable
for magnanimity towards a fallen foe. " Strike well
these English," said Duke William, on the morning of
Hastings, to his Normans; "show no weakness towards these English, for they will have no pity for
you. Neither the coward for running well, nor the
bold man for fighting well, will be better liked by the
any
English
u i   will any be  more  spared on either
k U 132
FAR  OUT.
account." It has mattered little through history
whether the foe was civilised or savage, or man or
woman. The character given by Duke William has
been verified throughout succeeding ages. For the
two bravest women that ever stood in the path of our
conquest we had nothing to offer but the stake and
the infamy of shameful words.. An English general
spurns with his foot the dead body of the only African
king who, whatever were his faults, was a soldier
every inch of him; and three years ago a captive
Zulu chief, brought prisoner through Natal, is spat
upon, bound and helpless as the Modocs were, by the
Anglo-Saxon colonist of the period. To return to the
Modoc story.
They hanged the chief and his few remaining comrades : they met their end bravely. The day before
the execution, Jack, the chief, was asked if he had
anything to say. "I have nothing to say. Tomorrow I am to die; but already my Indian heart is
dead and cold, and all I ask is that Lizzie, my wife,
may be allowed to sit beside me."
He might die contented. The last Modocs went
from the shadow of Shasta ; but they had sent three
times the number of enemies into the deeper shade of
death.
A dawn full of weird lights, of many-hued bars of
clouds stretched horizontally along the eastern sky",
of white vapours clinging to stream courses over a
vast plain, and above the vapours sharp serrated
cones rise to view, and still high above the cones one A  JOURNEY OF  A  DOG  AND  A MAN.
±QQ
66
grand mountain mass rears up into the pale green
sky. A complete change had taken place in the
character of the scenery and the land. The road lay
across a level plain, covered with sage bush. Numbers of long-eared rabbits were to be seen hopping in
and out of the low cover. In many places great heaps
of gravel were visible—traces of gold-miner's labour
in the days when first California was a magic name
to the gold-seeker. But the one centre of sight was
Shasta. Cold, white, and grand he rose to the southeast, holding aloft to many a long mile of the Pacific
coast the signal of the sunrise.
At one hundred and one miles from Bock Point, a
distance covered in eighteen and a half hours, the
coach stopped for breakfast. The village was called
Butteville. A stream of clear cold water, fed from
Shasta's snow, ran by the little inn, and along it
oleanders clustered thickly. The travellers, tired by
the long night's journey, would fain have called here
another halt, for independently of fatigue and sleepiness, at Butteville abided their good friend, D. M.
Gawley, of Yreka, Cal. But ere that worthy driver
had relinquished the reins to a successor, he had confided to the man a piece of advice as to lodgment.
"The next stage," he said, "is Sisson's. It's the
coolest and best place on the line; right afore it is
Shasta; all around it is forest. Sisson will treat
you both well. Do ye know," went on the traveller's
friend, "that dawg has come it kind on me. I'd like
to know how that dawg got on in 'Frisco, I would; and 134
FAR  OUT.
if ye 'd have a spare minute, and just drop a line to
D. M. Cawley, Yreka, California, I'd be glad to get it."
Some few miles south of Butteville the road began
to ascend; soon it entered a deep and lofty pine forest,
a forest differing entirely from the pine woods of
Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia. Colossal
trees stood at distances apart from each other, their
lower trunks bare of branches to a height sufficient to
allow a man on horseback to ride beneath; their tops
tapering from one hundred and fifty to two hundred
feet above the ground; their middle distance filled with
dusky-leaved branches, through which the summer
sun could not penetrate, and amid which a ceaseless
murmur of soft winds sounded far away music night
and day.
Beneath this glorious forest there was no gloom.
The sandy soil showed bright amidst many a creeping
plant; the morning sun shot down his rays here and
there between the lofty trees, and fell on the massive
trunks of dull red Douglass and darker-stemmed
" sugar " pine. Through openings to the left Shasta
. was constantly visible.
It was yet two hours of mid-day when, amid a small
glade in this great forest, Sisson's Hotel was seen by
the roadside, standing full in front of Shasta, whose
snow-white crown and colossal bulk rose from endless
waves of tree-top.
A place of rest was Sisson's. Ice-cool water trickled
along its little garden; from the gigantic pines soft
murmurs and sweet odours came, and, as the long immmm
A  JOURNEY OF  A DOG  AND  A MAN.
135
summer day stole on into the west, such lights glowed
on Shasta's splintered shoulders that the man-traveller, rousing himself from rest, looked out of the little
window of his room and could not go to sleep again.
The heat had been great, but it was eminently a
bearable heat. The ground whereon Sisson's stood
was three thousand seven hundred feet above sea-
level ; the snow upon the last four thousand feet of
Shasta's mass made cool, at least to the eye, the
clear bright atmosphere. Beneath the pines dark
shadows slowly moved with the changing sun.
It was a rare good time for the dog; he squatted in
the clear cold water-rills. He was an object of
solicitude on the part of Sisson; but this feeling of
friendship was traceable to the proximity of another
large dog dwelling in the house of Sisson's rival, an
innkeeper close by, and it was perceivable that Sisson
regarded the newly arrived animal in the light of a
possible annihilator of the beast across the road.
Evening came; the sun went down. Shasta seemed
close at hand, every rock on his brown sides, each
fissure far up amid his snow stood out distinct amid
an atmosphere that 'had no trace of cloud or mist to
mar its intense clearness. Twilight came; the sheen
of Shasta's snow still glowed in the purple light; a
low wind swept the lofty pine-tops; the hand of the
night was stirring the old music of the earth, and the
grand Californian forest was murmuring its melody
at the feet of Shasta.
The snow that lies upon the crest of Shasta is as AM
m
136
FAR  OUT.
old as earth itself;  nor yet more youthful is that
forest mantle spread around the giant's feet/
Here, since time began, the pine-tops have bent
their lofty heads, the west wind has sung the Vesper
Hymn at sunset, and back through all the ages, ere
even the red man came, the crest of Shasta, wondrous
church-tower of God, has flung its sunrise glory
around six hundred miles of horizon.
SSNSNNSSiffiSSSSSTONiSSSSOKMSS
";;:-^ THE YOSEMITE VALLEY.
HTHEY have written much about it; they have
painted and photographed it many times. They
have made roads and bridle-paths to it, built hotels
and drinking saloons in it, brought the cosmopolite
cockney to it, excursioned to it, picnicked in it,
scraped names upon its rocks, levied tolls by its
waterfalls, sung "Hail! Columbia" beneath the
shadows of its precipices, swallowed " smashes " and
" slings I under its pine-trees; outraged, desecrated,
and profaned it, but still it stands an unmatched
monument hewn by ice and fire from the very earth
itself.
So far as man civilised is concerned, its story has
been a short one. When the gold had all been taken
from the "placer" diggings of Tuolumne and Mariposa,
the miner began to turn the surface of the earth for
other gold than that nugget wealth he had previously
sought on bed-rock and in water-ledge. The yellow
wheaten harvest, the golden ripeness of the Indian
corn, began to colour the level expanses that spread
at the foot hills of the Sierra Nevada; and as the
mining camps lessened amid the hills, the farmstead «m
FAR OUT.
and the  stock ranche grew more numerous  on the
lower land.
But, close by the edge of the foot-hills in Tuolumne
and Mariposa, there occurred ever and anon certain
drawbacks to farmers' prosperity. Ladians descended
from the sierras, and swept cattle and horses from
the ranches into the hills. When daylight revealed
these depredations a hot pursuit usually began.
Eagerly the trail was followed into the hills. Then,
higher up, through winding glens and along the
banks of torrents, into the sierras it led; sometimes
a tired horse or a dying ox was overtaken, then the
trail led still deeper into the tangled fastnesses of the
mountains, until, in wild labyrinths of rock, precipice,
and forest, it invariably ended—no man could tell
where. In two or three days' time the party of
pursuit would emerge from the sierras with provisions all exhausted, and with bruised or torn
limbs.
Still the depredations went on. At last a party of
farmers met together for a pursuit, and swore among
themselves to stick to the trail, wherever it led, until
their cattle had been recovered. They followed the
old line through the foot-hills, up the rugged glens-
into the mountains. Tangled brake, steep precipices,
places of indescribable ruggedness were passed; the
trail seemed to lead everywhere at once. The place
was a deep gloomy ravine, at the bottom of which
a mountain torrent roared along an unseen course.
Following up the valley, the path became lost amid THE  YOSEMITE  VALLEY.
139
gigantic boulders. Climbing with difficulty the rock
sides of this valley, the pursuers found themselves on
a broken plateau, thickly forested. Wandering on, in
the hope of again recovering the lost trail, they came
all at once upon the edge of a vast depression. The
oldest mountain climber among them had never seen
such a sight.
Straight down beneath, how many thousand feet
no man could guess, lay a fair and lovely land. It
was not a valley. Its sides were perfectly steep,
presenting to the eye, at the opposite side, a wall-like
face of sheer dark-grey rock. It was not a chasm,
because the floor appeared as a perfect level, carpeted
with bright green grass, upon the surface of which
stately pine-trees grew at intervals. Glen, valley,
canon, cirque, chasm—it was none of these things.
It was a picture of a new and wondrous world, deep
sunken beneath a rim of stupendous rock.
In many curves, bending from the farther wall, and
lost to view under the nearer one on which the party
stood, but emerging again into sight near the centre
of the space, was seen a clear and beautiful river.
As the men crowded along the edge of the precipice that inclosed this wonderful fairy region, fresh
marvels broke upon their sight. They saw many
cataracts falling into the valley from great heights;
some rolling over the opposing edges in vast volumes
of water that broke into innumerable jets of spray, as
they descended into the mid distance beneath; others
making successive bounds from basin to basin as they M."i.!B!
wmmm
MMH
iOSt
140
FAR  OUT.
pitched headlong down; others again chafing into
tiniest threads of vapour ere their long descent was
done.
But to the rough farmers there was a sight even
more wonderful than precipices or cataract or crystal
river. Below, in the green meadow, they beheld their
lost cattle and their stolen horses, appearing as specs
of life in the immense distance beneath, but still
clearly discernible in an atmosphere of intense clearness. Into this fairy land there must be means of
entrance, this great rock wall must possess a door.
They set to work eagerly to look for it; they followed
the edge, and frequently essayed a descent, but everywhere they met the same sheer cliff..
Night came. They encamped on the summit, and
with morning began again the work of exploration.
They followed water-courses that flowed towards the
precipice; but these ended in perpendicular falls of
water that made the men dizzy to look down. Another
night passed. Next day brought better fortune ;
they had now followed the precipice many miles along
its edge. Fresh marvels had opened beneath them as
they went, but in the absence of a means of entering
the valley its wonders of scenery were little thought
of. At last they reached a spot where the abrupt
rock gave place to a descent shelving enough to give
root and sustenance to a growth of pine-trees. Down
this shelving bank they managed to travel for about
a thousand feet; then the scarped rock was again
met with.   Descending through a kind of causeway
SSNWSSSKKSSSSKSSKSSKNSSK^
n^wwiniiiniin THE  YOSEMITE  VALLEY.
141
opening, cut by a water-course in this wall, they
reached again a less abrupt escarpment, and finally,
after many hours of excessive toil, found themselves
on the floor of the valley.
Not far from where they entered, a cascade of
immense height plunged in three great leaps down
the wall of rock. Days afterwards, when these men
had got back to the settlements, and were retailing to
their friends the marvellous region they had visited,
this cascade formed a chief topic of the story. " It
falls," said one of the explorers, "one thousand feet."
The neighbours shook their heads. One thousand
feet! Impossible. Gauged since by actual measurement, this waterfall has been found to be two thousand
six hundred feet in height. Perhaps this fact is as
good a method of estimating the real nature of the
Yosemite Valley as any other that can be stated.
What is called the " vulgar estimate" of height
or distance does not usually err on the side of
depreciation. Waves in storm are said to be mountains high when they are only twenty feet, but this
mountain wall was only reckoned at a third of its real
height by the men who first gazed from beneath at
its edge, clear cut, against the sky of California.
There was a farmer listening to this story who
thought to himself deeply over the marvels of the
place. "A waterfall," said he, "one thousand feet
from top to bottom! Niagara is but one hundred and
sixty feet, and yet tens of thousands of visitors flock
to see it.    I will go to the foot of the fall that is one 142
FAR  OUT.
thousand feet high, and if I find there is such a thing,
I will build there a hotel and make a fortune."
He was true to his word. Opposite the great fall
of the Yosemite this farmer set his stakes and pitched
his tent; and to-day, out of all the rest-houses,
hotels, inns, restaurants, and places of entertainment
for beast and man in the wonderful valley, that of
Farmer Hutchings holds its own.
But to return to the party of explorers. They found
their stolen cattle and horses resting quietly under the
shade of the lofty pine-trees, and chewing the cud of
contentment by the crystal waters of the serpentine
river whose banks were deep in grass and flowers.
They found, too, some scattered bands of red men,
who offered but a feeble resistance to the incomers,
preferring to seek safety in the steep rocks of unnumbered I kloofs " and caverns that fringed the waterfalls, and lay piled beneath the precipices.
And thus, after long centuries of seclusion, this
most wonderful secret spot of nature was revealed to
the eyes of the tame man. Ever since the earth
began, the sun and the eaglehad gazed into its great
depths. The roving red man had pitched his lodge in
its hidden meadows; the grizzly had made it his
favourite home ; but henceforth all was to be changed.
The loafer, the lying guide, the man of the mint
julep, the man with the camera obscura, the man
with the unwashed hands and the diamond breastpin, the English tourist in anxious uncertainty as to
the identity of some particular waterfall, the man THE  YOSEMITE  VALLEY.
143
going to Japan, the man with the paper-collar, the
man who has been in the Holy Land, the male and
female tourist of every degree—all are to eat, sleep,
gallop, gossip, and guzzle in it.
The old Indian names of rock and waterfall are to
give place to " Caps of Liberty," | Bridal Veils," and
" Boyal Arches," and through the murmur of waters,
and within the roar of cataracts, petroleum, shoddy,
and Saratoga will ride, rampant and unabashed.
And yet they cannot spoil it. It defies even the united
efforts of the British traveller and the Yankee tourist.
Man in the Yosemite is no bigger than an infant in
St. Peter's at Borne. He can crawl over the pavement,
but the walls and the dome are beyond his reach.
All day long we have been working on into the
range of the Sierra Nevada from the railway station at
Merced. The coach-load is a big one, and fairly represents Californian society—a Britisher who is on his
way round the world, evidently put out at not finding
that his Club has been sent on just one day ahead of
him; another Englishman, who is on his way from
Japan, and is taking copious notes with a view to the
publication of a work entitled " From Nangasaki to
Niagara;" a Frenchman who is somewhat disheartened
at discovering that his much-prized English is perfectly useless to convey or receive tangible thought in
America; two Chinamen, silent, reserved, but good-
humoured; an Irish-American, long resident in
Asia. 144
FAR  OUT.
With many twists and bends the road climbs the
wooded foot-hills, and as the sunset hour draws near
the height attained can be measured by the vast
range of vision backwards over the San Joaquin Valley, and in the cool breeze that comes rippling along
the glen-sides of the leafy foot-hills. It grows dusk
as we reach the last stage for the day, a long, low,
wooden building, with tiny bedrooms opening off-a
verandah running the entire length of the house;
clean, cool beds in the little rooms, and cold water to
wash away the hot, red dust of the San Joaquin, that
enemy that hung so persistently upon our flying
traces all through the long summer day.
When the evening meal is over the passengers
group together in the verandah, and conversation becomes brisk. The Irish American has had wide
experience. He has been American consul at Zanzibar, American ambassador at Pekin; he has seen
something of life in most of the States of the Union,
and the years have left him many a story to tell the
travellers to-night.
The Chinese question, that burning one along the
Pacific coast, is foremost on the list. 1 You treat the
Chinese shamefully," says a traveller. " When I was
in San Francisco a small boy belonging to the hotel
used to look after my clothes and wait upon me. All
one Sunday he was absent; late at night he presented
himself before me. ' You have been away ?' I said
to him. ' Yes,' he replied, ' I had a bully day to-day.
I first went to see the general buried; then I went to
Sg?5Sg»SW^SMW^'a^^\\\\\v»y THE  YOSEMITE  VALLEY.
145
the Chinese town, and threw bricks at the Chinamen
all the afternoon.' | Did not the police stop you ?'
I asked in my simplicity, j The police stop me!'
replied the juvenile, in a tone of half-contemptuous
pity for my ignorance, j I guess they'd heave bricks
at the Yellow-skins as soon as I would.' And yet,"
continued the traveller, " your public men dare not
make a stand against this monstrous tyranny of the
mob. One evening I was at the house of a professional gentleman in San Francisco. I spoke of
Chinese emigration. His drawing-room door stood
open. Bising from his chair, he closed the door
carefully, and said to me, JI tell you what it is, sir :
we better-class people could not live, here at all if it
were not for these poor Chinamen they so bitterly
revile.'"
The Irish American follows. " Our people," he
says, I dislike the Chinese for other reasons besides
their interference with the labour market. They take
our money, but they do not become Americans ; they
have nothing in common with us; they refuse our
civilisation and reject our institutions."
" In other words," replies the first speaker, 1 you
hate them because they are the only race under the
sun who utterly triumph over you. The Spaniard
and the Swede, the Frank and the Teuton, the Celt
and the Saxon, all merge their national types into
your social and political systems; even the Negro
becomes a Yankee; the Bed Indians disappear wholly
before you; but this Asiatic, older than any, retains
l 146
FAR  OUT.
unchanged the essence of his national life. He defies
your power of assimilation, he uses you for his own
ends; he builds roads, bridges, railways, wharves,
but you cannot induce him to go this ' ticket' or
that ' ticket' at your State elections. Greely and
Grant are unknown quantities to him; nevertheless
he knows the difference between a greenback and a
I shin-plaster,' and can beat you at a game of euchre
or 'fives up.' He can live in comfort where you
would die in misery, He takes your gold and gives you
labour, but nothing more; in his secret heart he
despises you. His heart and soul long for his own
land again; and if in life he is not to see it, in death
he is still to rest there. He is, in fine, the one
human unit who utterly defies you, and you hate him
because he is so."
Never before had such a view of the hated Chinaman been put before the mental gaze of an American.
It was positively appalling in its novel audacity. The
Frenchmen were delighted.
When the American had retired for the night one
of the Frenchmen said—" Is it not curious—he is the
first American whose English we can fully understand ? " | Ah, yes," replied the traveller, j he is an
Irishman, and he has lived in China for many years."
The explanation was accepted.
Next morning the coach carried its load deeper into
the mountains, and before mid-day reached another
resting point seven thousand feet above the sea-level.
Here the coach stopped, ponies were in waiting, and THE  YOSEMITE  VALLEY.
14"
those of the passengers who wished to visit the I big
trees " that day set out for a further six miles through
the forest.
Here, at an elevation varying between six and nine
thousand feet, this hoary monarch of the great forest
has sat throned through thousands of years.
This Californian forest reaches here its most magnificent proportions; not only are the "big trees"
giants themselves, but far and near other pines almost
as gigantic shadow the rolling sides of these beautiful
Sierras; high above, between the far-reaching tree-
tops, glimpses of bluest sky are seen. On the ground
the horses' knees brush away the blossoms of the
azaleas that cluster thickly along the pathway. There
is no dust here, neither is there gloom; all is freshness, sense of health, sense of the ever-recurring life
of nature.
Under yon hoary giant that has stood since Borne
was founded grows some tender fern of last week's
shower—blooms some bright flower whose life is but
a summer.
On, beneath the great trees, the ponies amble in
single file, and at last there is seen, a little way ahead,
a dark russet tree-trunk, of girth surpassing anything
we have yet come to. Assuredly a big tree, but is it
one of the " big trees " ? So many giants have stood
along the pathway that we hesitate ere we call out
to those who follow, "Here they are." Yes, it is the
first of the big trees, and others follow at short
intervals.    Still it is difficult to take in all at once
l 2 6ft
148'
FAR OUT.
the real vastness of these great red tree-trunks. It is
only when we come to one fallen giant, and, dismounting, go up his side by a ladder, and walk the
broad pathway of his upper surface, along a space
wide enough for four men to walk abreast upon, that
we realise the true nature of these gigantic pines.
The "Fallen Monarch," they have named him. Almost
every big tree has now its title—not always so apt as
in the case of this prostrate giant. The political
heroes of the Democratic or Bepublican parties in the
Pacific slope, as well as the wider-known celebrities
of the central government at Washington, have given
names to these grand old trees, names terribly discordant with the scene. Bufus B. Crooks appears
upon a brass plate on one tree; a little farther on,
Colonel S. P. B. Scott is cut in a marble tablet hung
against another; then President Grant, Longfellow,
Stanton, and Mrs. Stanton meet the eye; the name of
Cobb appears upon a seventh tree, and finally George
Washington crowns the lot. We pass them all, and
reach at last a wonderfully old tree—he bears the
name of | Grizzly Giant." The guide tells us that
he is two hundred and fifty feet in height; but that is
only half what he must once have been, for bis head
and shoulders are gone, and no trace of them remains
upon the surrounding ground. At a height of ninety
feet above the ground there is a single branch which
is eighteen feet in circumference ; the tree itself,
measured at two feet above the ground, is ninety feet
around it.    There are lumps and knobs encrusted THE YOSEMITE  VALLEY.
149
upon its bark as large as good-sized trees each of
them. How pleasant it would be if the man who is
bound for Japan would proceed there, if the man
going round the world would continue his circum-
exploration, if the guide and the rest of them would
simply go away and leave us here alone to camp under
this old giant, as we used to camp far away in the
frozen North! Then we might look at him all to
ourselves; then, perhaps, as the starlight was stealing
over the Sierras, and huge trunks were growing dim
in the lessening light, he, this wonder, might whisper
forth his vast unutterable music; but now the trail of
the tourist is over it all, the chicken-bone of yesterday's picnic lies amid the cones that hold the seeds of
thirty centuries, and Time, in his thousands of years,
as an American writer has put it, "looking down
from the summit of this tree," is annihilated by the
glance which the aforesaid tourist casts back into the
tree-top.
From the foot of the Grizzly Giant we wander off
to other big trees set along our return pathway.
There is Pluto's Chimney, a vast ruined trunk, within
the hollows of which a rider can turn his horse without touching the wood that is around him on every
side, save the archway through which he entered;
and there are many other old veterans more or less
desecrated by that terrible civiliser, the Anglo-Saxon
Yankee; for, be it ever remembered, that the highest
extreme of American snobbishness is but the Anglo-
Saxon vulgarity run to seed, precisely as the extreme 150
FAR OUT.
of British solidity and perseverance is found in
the matchless energy and restless sharpness of the
Yankee.
To cut here on this big tree the name of Bufus
B. Crooks, in marble, is but the highest development
of that cockney instinct which induces John Jones to
carve his name on a bench in Bichmond Park. If
English travellers in America would but realise the
great fact that America is only a semi-tropic England,
minus the Norman Conquest, the germs of many
curious expressions and apparently singular customs
might be looked for nearer home.
Back to the comfortable wooden hotel for food and
rest, and away again on pony-back early next morning
for the Yosemite Valley. Three hours' easy riding
carries us to another wooden shanty, where food
awaits man and beast. All around is pine forest,
but no dense, gloomy labyrinthine wood. Forest of
stately trees growing at intervals, forest of brooks
and streams, where water fills deep pools amid rocks
and flashes over grey boulders of granite, and catches
sunbeams that come slanting amid pine-tops; forest of
spicy odours, of sweet scent, of the freshness of Summer Sierra, eight thousand feet above the sea-level.
But, as we ride along in the early summer afternoon through this undulating forest, there suddenly
bursts upon us a sight unlike anything we have ever
seen, unlike anything we are ever likely to see again
until fate turns our steps towards the Valley of the
Yosemite. THE  YOSEMITE  TALLEY.
151
If the ground had opened suddenly before our
ponies' heads the change could not have been more
abrupt. All at once the trees in front vanish, the
earth dips down into an abyss, and' we find ourselves
in a blaze of noonday light, grouped upon a bare rock,
which, projecting out into space, has beneath it at
one sweep of the eye the whole Yosemite. The
Americans have named the rock Inspiration Point.
It is an unfortunate title; the Bock of Silence would
be a fitter name for it. The inspiration that prompts
the reiterated utterance of "Oh, how beautiful!"
I Oh, ain't it elegant! " 1 Did you ever ? " I Ain't
it romantic, now ? " is not exactly the form of inspiration here needed; but it is, nevertheless, the one the
wanderer will most likely discover among his inspired
fellow-travellers, if he ventures to enter this valley in
the company of his fellow-beings.
It is not easy to get nowadays to any of the beautiful spots of the civilised earth alone. In America,
wherever the steamboat plies on the river, or the
deep whistle of the iron-horse is heard, there the
traveller has to take his scenery as he does his dinner
—in company, Fortunately, once inside the magic
circle of the rock wall of the Yosemite, one is free to
wander alone through its countless aisles. This vast
cathedral has, in fact, innumerable side chapels and
cloisters, through which one can escape from the
particular group or body of tourists to which a cruel
fate, in the shape of a hotel captain or director of
tourists, has consigned him. 152
FAR  OUT.
But to return to Inspiration Point. Standing on
the rock, and looking towards the north-east, the
traveller, ordinary or inspired, sees as follows: A
deep chasm or rent-like hollow, running about eleven
miles amid nearly perpendicular mountains. Bight
in front, looking across this chasm, there stands a
mighty rock, a single front of solid granite, smooth
almost to polish. The top of this rock lies nearly level
with the top of the rock on which he stands, the base
rests amid green grass and dark pines far away below;
from base to summit is three thousand one hundred
feet. This is the " Tutuckanuba," or " Chief of the
Valley" of the Indians, the "Capitan" of the white
man. But measurements and names are useless to
convey to the mind any fixed conception of this scene.
The countless rocks that rise around the green cool-
looking vale beneath have about them a strange
aspect of solidity which no other mountains that we
know of possess; they are rentless, jointless, un-
splintered. Wherever ruin has come to them it has
been in earthquake shape, cleaving at one single
stroke some mighty cliff asunder, as a knife might
sever an apple in twain, but leaving the sundered portions intact and unbroken. Looking up along the line
of the southern rim, the great Half Dome is seen. Six
thousand feet he towers above the valley, ten thousand
above the sea. Its bald crown is as smooth as a
skull, save for one solitary oak-tree, which has. never
yet been reached by man : but some vast -shock has
cut down the frontlet sheer into the valley,  and, [mwmt
THE  YOSEMITE  VALLEY.
153
steepest among all the steep sides of the Yosemite is
the smooth face of this seamless rock. The effect of
this entirety of rock, this smooth-polished surface of
mountain, is striking in the extreme. It gives to
these precipices a sense of greatness beyond even
their own vast proportions; they are not, in fact,
mountains, they are single rocks. El Capitan is but
three thousand one hundred feet, but it is three
thousand one hundred feet of solid single rock.
The "Ma-tu" of the Indians, " Cap of Liberty" of
the Americans, is another of these wonderful rocks ;
four thousand six hundred feet he rises sheer from
the Nevada Fall, smooth, seamless, and glistening.!
But it is time to begin our descent into the valley.
It is a continuous zigzag. The ponies know it well;
it looks nasty in scores of places, but the sure-footed
beasts go steadily down. The descent is so steep
that it takes less time to accomplish it than we could
have supposed when looking at the valley from
above.
We are on the level ground again, and push out
from the base of the cliff into the more open meadow-
land.
The evening is coming on. We hurry along a level,
sandy track; around us are pine-trees, flowers, and
ever-recurring vistas of water, clear, green, sparkling ;
a noise of falling water fills the air; the sunlight is
streaming across the valley high above our head.
We are in the shadow as we ride ; but it is not sun
or shadow, stream or waterfall, pine-tree or azalea- ■p
am
154
FAR  OUT.
blossom that we care to look at: it is the rocks.
They rapt our gaze when we saw them from above,
They do so ten times more strongly now—Cathedral,
Sentinel, Three Brothers, El Capitan, Domes, Bam-
parts, call them what you will, they rise around us
clear cut against the blue Californian sky, filling with
the mystery of their grandeur the earth and heaven.
But it is not to its rocks that the Yosemite owes
its greatest beauty. When that first party of exploration returned to tell the settlers in Mariposa of the
wonderful valley which they had discovered, they spoke
of a waterfall having a height of one thousand feet.
It had in reality a height of two thousand six
hundred and thirty-four feet, and yet that fall was
only one among many. There are but few spots in
the entire valley from which the eye cannot discern
the sheen of water falling perpendicularly great distances, none in which the ear does not catch the roar
or the murmur of cataract or rill. Go and look at
the Bridal Veil (Pohono of the Indians): nine hundred
and forty feet it casts its waters from a smooth ledge
into a bouquet of pine-tops. " Spirit of the Evil
Wind " the red men called it; for when its roar filled
the lower valley the hot wind of the plains was blowing into the valley.
Go again to the Vernal, the Piwyack, or Wild
Water of the Indians: you forget the Pohono in the
newer loveliness of this broad sheet of snow, which in
most exquisite curve drops three hundred and fifty
feet.    Then ride on higher up again: all at once you •*M
THE  YOSEMITE  VALLEY,
155
are face to face with the Nevada Fall. It is seven
hundred feet. Close beside it, steep as the face of a
wall, there rises up a single solid rock which is three
thousand eight hundred feet above the edge of the fall;
the Cap of Liberty it is called. Can we put before the
reader even a faint idea of this scene ? From a sheer,
clean, seamless rock, seven hundred feet above the spectator's head, a great body of water leaps out into space.
Instantly it has taken the spring, innumerable bouquets
of white lilies, jets of snowlike water, cast themselves
forward from the mass, lengthening out into rockets of
snow as they quicken then: descent. At the left edge
of the fall the rock is continued on more than three
thousand feet into the sky. Bear in mind that this
rock is not a mountain receding at even a steep angle
from its base. It looks as directly over the foot of the
fall as the cross of St. Paul's is over the pavement of
the churchyard.
If the spectator feels inclined to doubt the narrowness of the base upon which this enormous rock
stands, he has only to look around him to see a tangible proof of its closeness to him. There is a
wooden shanty or rest-house standing not far from
the foot of the fall. Some few years since a slight
tremor shook the towering rock, and massive splinters
fell crashing among the pine-tops. One went like a
thunderbolt clean through the wooden house: the
others are to be seen lying thickly about.
Bend back your head to the full limits of the neck
and look up at the Cap.   It is very far above;   a MB
FAR  OUT.
cloud sails down from the blue sky, touches it, clings
a moment to it, and then trails away into space;
there is not a trace of mist to hide one particle of the
rock, the sunlight falls full upon it, and you mark
many whitish specks far away near the summit.
What are they ? They are the spots from whence the
earthquake cast its bolts. Thousands of tons of rock
have come down from these white specks. The Bock
Cap of Liberty has shown the earthquake lurking
beneath it, and the tourist of the time has been almost
as astonished as some idlers of the earth when, from
beneath the Phrygian cap, the human earthquake
called Bevolution has thundered amid their ranks.
One item regarding the Nevada Fall deserves to be
recorded. Some years back there stood on the very
lip of the fall a single rock, which divided the water as
it rolled over the edge into two portions; one contained by far the greater volume of water, the other
was but a tiny stream which joined the main fall ere
half the long descent was done. The single dark rock
thus hanging, as it were, on the edge of the abyss,
added not a little to the great beauty of the scene.
But such was not the opinion of the State Commissioners who preside over the destinies of this valley,
so long watched over by the eagles and by the sun. To
these worthy men this single rock offered a chance
not to be neglected of improving nature. Will it be
credited that masons were engaged, a scaffolding was
stretched over the smaller channel to the rock, a shaft
was bored in it, dynamite did the rest; and in the special accounts of the State of California there
appeared in the charges for maintaining the Yosemite
the following item, " To repairing the Nevada Fall."
Thinking of all these things, as here we stand at
the foot of the "repaired" fall; looking at the repairer in the full tide of his holiday offensiveness, and
then glancing aloft at the grim giant Cap, set high
above our world, one feels inclined to say, " Some day
thy thunderbolts will avenge the outrage." AFGHANISTAN AND THE AFGHANS.
TT7EST of the quivering plains of thp middle Indus,
where the five rivers of the Punjaub meet in
one common channel, there is seen a great mountain
range, whose peaks prolong a broken outline along the
horizon far into the north and into the south. When
the sun sinks behind this mountain, in the days preceding the beginning of the cool season, masses of
fantastic-shaped clouds are frequently seen piled above
and beyond the loftiest peaks of the range, as though
they reflected in the heavens a sea of billowy mountain
set beneath them upon the earth. Yet the most fantastic images built by the evening vapours in the
high atmosphere beyond the Sulimani range are not
more rugged in outline, or more singularly interwoven
in mass and form, than are the stern features of the
land that lies beneath them. In fact, this range of
the Sulimani marks one of the most abrupt transitions
from level plain to rugged mountain that the surface
of the globe presents to us—India, the land of plains,
upon one side ; Afghanistan, the realm of mountains,
on the other. AFGHANISTAN.
159
Amid the confused mass of mountains extending
from the edge of the Indus valley to the deserts of
Khorassan and the valley of Oxus, it is no easy
task to follow out even the simple physical law which
makes the snow-fed rivulet seek the ocean. With the
exception of the small stream of the Kurum, the
great range of the Sulimani sends forth no river, large
or small, to find the ocean. Boughly speaking, what
Switzerland is to Europe, Afghanistan is to Asia; with
this difference-, however, that more than half the
valleys of the latter country are of the same altitude
as the Engadine, that lakes are almost unknown, and
that the snow-fall is lighter. Time has wrought but
little change in the lines of communication through
this mass of mountains. As they existed in the days
of Alexander the Great, and Mahomed of Ghizni, so
are they to-day—rough, stony tracks, frequently following the beds of torrents, crossing mountain passes
at high altitudes, passing beneath the shadows of
stupendous precipices, or piercing desert wastes girt
round with gloomy hills. Yet the broad features of
their course and distance are easy to comprehend. If
we imagine a huge capital letter H, we shall have a
fair idea of the general plan of the two great highroads and the connecting cross-road that have existed
in Afghanistan since the earliest time. Place at the
top of the left-hand line of the letter the city of
Herat, at the base of the same line the city of Shika*
poor; at the top of the right line the city of Balkh,
at the 'base the city of Peshawar; put Kandahar, at MHHBH
FAR  OUT.
the point where the central connecting line intersects
the left arm; place the fortress of Ghizni in the centre
of this connecting line, and let Cabul mark its point
of intersection with the right-hand line of the letter,
and a rough idea of the main roads of Afghanistan,
and of the position of the chief towns on the frontier
and within the country, will be formed. The distances,
however, between these points are great; the left-hand
line is seven hundred miles, the right hand five
hundred and sixty, the centre three hundred and
twenty. Between these long lines all is mountain,
savage solitude, gloomy valley, and rock-bound fastness. There are, it is true, other routes through the
country besides those above mentioned, and there is a
line by the valley of the Kurum, through the Sulimani
range, but the practicability of all of these routes for
the passage of troops has yet to be proved feasible.
Essentially a wild, stern land, a land filled with the
shadows of dark mountains, echoing with the roar of
tempest through impending passes; a land to which
the changing seasons carry all the vast variety
that lies between the snow-flake and the almond blossom ; a land loved by its people through every vicissitude of its history, and clung to with a desperate
tenacity which now dates back through one thousand
years of recorded time. Of this people we shall say
something.
For ages, stretching back into most remote traditions, a wild race has made its home in this lofty land.
Greek conquest, Tartar horde, cloud of Khorassan mm
AFGHANISTAN.
horsemen have swept by turns through those arid
hills. All the wild spirits of two thousand years of
Asiatic conquest have passed and repassed amid those
stony glens and gloomy valleys, stamping each in
turn upon the fierce Highland clans some quality of
freedom, some faculty of fighting power. And ever
as the tides of war and conquest ebbed and flowed
around the lofty shores of those giant mountains,
there was left, stranded in glen or fastness, some
waif or stray of all that wild Toorkman torrent, which
rolled its farthest limits to the walls of Vienna. Here,
in these hills, Islam early built for itself one of its
most redoubtable strongholds. About ninety years
before William of Normandy invaded England, a renowned conqueror built himself a city and fortress
upon a group of steep scarped rocks, set eight thousand
feet above ocean-level. From here he spread his
empire until it touched the Caspian upon one side and
reached the Indian Ocean on the other. Amid the
swift-recurring revolutions of Central Asia the wide
dominion of Mahomed of Ghizni soon fell to pieces;
Seljuk and Toorkman, Persian and Moghul swept by
to transient empire and to final ruin; but, when the
torrent had passed, these Afghan races—wild shepherds, hardy husbandmen, and reckless warriors—
again sprang to independent life, and held their
mountain homes on the old tenure of clanship:
1 content," as their proverb runs, "with discord, war,-
and bloodshed, but never content with a master."
Fierce, fanatical, and revengeful, loving gold with
M INI
162
FAR  OUT.
passionate rapacity, hospitable to strangers  and to
the poor, untamable to tyrants, the Afghans are today as they have been for a thousand years, stained
by many crimes, but distinguished above all nations
and peoples by a love of freedom and of country as
fierce and lofty as the mountains that surround them.
And thus through time Afghan history has ever been
the same.    Often overrun, but never conquered, the
race which Mahomed of Ghizni led forth to conquest
through   the   four  great   gateways   of  Afghanistan
has retained through  every varying phase of nine
hundred   years of   strife   the  characteristics of its
origin.    Nay, farther off still, beyond every fragment
of authentic history, hidden away in most remote
antiquity,  a glimpse  comes to us  of  the  strange
nature of these mountaineers.    It was among these
savage solitudes that the Greeks placed the Titan
whose indomitable will Jove himself could not subdue.    Here   on one  of the   icy crags   of  Bactria,
Prometheus lay bound for ages, and still, where the
great range of the Hindoo Koosh sinks down to meet
the valley of the Oxus, a vast mountain cavern is
called in Sanscrit lore the Cave of Prometheus.
So much for the past; let us now look upon the
later and present aspect of this eyrie and its eagles..
About the year 1824, a young Afghan chief, named.
Dost Mahomed Khan, held possession of Ghizni and
its surrounding fastness. The Dooranee kingdom
was a prey to civil strife; the chiefs of Cabul
were in open revolt against Ullah Khan;    a dozen AFGHANISTAN.
163
different leaders strove for pre-eminence in Kandahar, Herat, and Cabul, and each, gathering around
him some portipn of the roving spirits of the
land, carried devastating war from Herat to Jellalabad.
One day a caravan passing from Bokhara to India
encamped beneath the walls of Ghizni. The caravan
was reported to be rich in gold. That metal was
scarce in the coffers of Dost Mahomed, in the rock
fortress above. Why not replenish the exhausted
treasury from the treasure-bags of the passing merchants ? The question was eagerly asked in the citadel
from whose battlements the fighting followers of the
young chief looked down upon the travellers' camp.
It was not proposed to take the money by force of
arms; to borrow was the expression used on the occasion. So the word "to horse" was given, and the
Dost and his armed train sallied out from the citadel
to draw a bill at sight upon the travellers beneath.
Suddenly, as the armed band rode down the rocky
way, the leader reined in his charger, and turning to
his followers he said, | Brothers, what are we going to
do ? God knows whether these poor merchants will
ever receive payment of the gold we are about to take
from them as a loan. But what are we to do with the
money when we get it ? Shall we buy dominion with
the plunder of the unfortunate ? God forbid ! Victory
is of God, and He conferreth glory and power upon
those whom He will cherish. If so, it is better that
we pass by this temptation of the devil, and wait for
what heaven has to send us.     Patience
M
though a 164
FAR OUT.
bitter plant, produces sweet fruit." Having spoken,
he turned his horse's head and passed back towards
the citadel. It was the afternoon hour of quiet. On
an eminence by the roadside he alighted. Beneath
for many a mile stretched a long valley, and at times
the eye could catch the dry sand wmdings of the
track to Cabul. As the Dost and his people looked
over the scene, they marked the figure of a solitary
horseman approaching Ghizni. He proved to be the
bearer of strange tidings. There had been a revolution
at the capital, and this solitary messenger carried an
offer to Dost Mahomed of the sovereignty of Cabul.
Dost Mahomed Khan bent his head in prayer. I God
is great," he cried. "Behold how dominion is His
gift. Blessed be the light of His name! Mount and
away to Cabul!"
Ten years passed away. They were years of peace
and quietude in Afghanistan such as the land had
long been a stranger to. The wild roving chieftain
developed traits of character little dreamt of by the
turbulent factions whose voices had given him power.
This mountain land, which for thirty years had known
but little of the restraints of law, became the only
state in Central Asia where the strong arm of
authority kept free the roads, sheltered the traveller,
and protected the weak. So marked was the contrast
between Afghanistan and the neighbouring States that,
according to Captain Burnes, the reputation of Dost
Mahomed was made known to a traveller long before
he entered the country, and he adds, " No one better AFGHANISTAN.
165
merits the high character he has attained." "The
justice of this chief," he writes again, "affords a
constant theme of praise to all classes. The peasant
rejoices in the absence of tyranny, the citizen in the
safety of his home and the strict municipal regulations
regarding weights and measures, the merchant at the
equity of his decisions and the protection of his property, and the soldiers at the regular manner in
which their debts are discharged. A man in power
can have no higher praise." But an evil time was
drawing nigh. In 1834, while Dost Mahomed was
engaged at Kandahar in opposing Shah Shujah, who
had invaded Afghanistan by the Bolan Pass, a crafty
old tiger misnamed Bungeet, or the Lion, Prince of the
Punjaub, crossed the Indus and seized upon the
Afghan city of Peshawar. It was the old story of
Harold attacked by Tostig in the north, and William of
Normandy in the south. The Dost having crushed one
enemy at Kandahar, swept back to rescue Peshawar
from the other. Issuing from the Khyber Pass he
appeared before Peshawar with fifty thousand wild
and fanatical followers; but the old ruler of Lahore
knew too well the power of gold among the chiefs
whose undisciplined warriors formed the army of Dost
Mahomed. An envoy was sent to the Afghan camp,
and so well was the work of bribery and intrigue carried
on that, ere the day of his arrival had closed in night,
ten thousand of the invading troops had deserted, and
when morning dawned the entire army of horse and
foot was in full retreat into the mountain fastness. 166
FAR  OUT.
Peshawar remained to Bungeet, but its loss rankled
deeply in the mind of the Afghan ruler, and he eagerly
looked forward to its restoration. Here in this retention of Peshawar by the Sikh chief lies the key-note
of the Afghan question of forty years ago. It will be
necessary to bear it in mind in order to justly estimate
the quarrel so soon to break out. Two years after
this date, in 1836, an English traveller appeared at
Cabul upon an ostensible mission of commerce and
amity. Beneath the guise of commerce there lurked
conquest, beneath the friendship annexation. It is
impossible to read the history of this mission of
Captain Burnes, and of the events preceding the
outbreak of hostility between England and Afghanistan, without seeing in them a flagrant disregard of
justice, of good faith, and of honour. That Dost
Mahomed was a ruler with whom it was safe to
conclude a treaty of friendship, and that his views
were favourably disposed towards alliance with
us, there cannot be the shadow of doubt. The
published dispatches of Captain Burnes clearly
prove it. Nevertheless, in the face of many written
statements of his envoy, Lord Auckland states, in
his celebrated Simla manifesto, in 1838, "that the
Barukzye chiefs, from their disunion and unpopularity,
were ill-fitted under any circumstances to be useful
allies to the British Government, and to aid us in
our just and necessary measures of defence." On
only one point in these negotiations was the Ameer
inflexible.   It was Peshawar.   Practically we might AFGHANISTAN.
167
do what we liked with him if we would only make
Bungeet Singh surrender the city which four years
before he had reft from Afghanistan in the hour of
her trouble. This demand for the restitution of
stolen property Lord Auckland terms "an unreasonable pretension, and one inconsistent with justice."
In another portion of this forgotten but once famous
document, the attempt of the Ameer to recover in
.1834 his lost possession is called " an unprovoked
attack on the territory of our ancient ally, the
Maharajah Bungeet Singh." But enough of this
wretched double-dealing; let us pass on to the active
operations that followed.
Of the two great roads leading from India into
Afghanistan only one lay open to us in 1838, when
the army of the Indus was set in motion for the
conquest of the kingdom of Cabul. Through the Bolan
Pass enormous columns of combatants and non-combatants poured on towards Kandahar. Endless trains
of camels toiled along the rocky tracks. There was no
opposition—nothing to dispute the passage save the
arid nature of the soil. Nearly forty thousand camels
perished on this dreary road. Kandahar opened its
gates in April, 1839, and Shah Shujah took up his
quarters in the old palace of the Dooranee kings.
The whole of Western Afghanistan had accepted the
new order of things with scarcely a semblance of
opposition. Never had presages of disaster been more
utterly falsified. Never had prophecies of success
been more thoroughly fulfilled.   Two months' delay, "■"*■■ ' •
Mi
168
FAR  OUT.
\ m
and the army moved out of Kandahar for a final
advance upon Ghizni and Cabul. It was now midsummer, but the mornings were deliciously cool, for
the long winding columns had climbed six thousand
feet above the sea-level, and the road was still
ascending as it led on to Ghizni. Within the old
rock fortress some two or three thousand Afghans still
clung to the crumbling fortunes of Dost Mahomed, but
even in this small garrison desertion was numerous;
and when the army drew up before the citadel on the
22nd of July, every detail of the defence was known to
the British general. A single gateway, that leading
to Cabul, had been left unblocked by masonry. Under
cover of darkness the army moved round the fortress
and took up a position on the west or Cabul side. An
hour before daybreak on the 23rd of July, a small
party of sappers crept forward to the gate and laid bags
of powder beneath the archway. The train was soon
fired, the massive gate disappeared, the walls crashed
inwards, and amid smoke and flame the stormers
rushed into the fortress. Half an hour's fighting
decided the fate of Ghizni. There is a story still told
among the men of the 13th Begiment which deserves
record. Amid the confusion following the explosion
of the gunpowder, one of the engineers, passing back
by the spot where the assaulting columns stood
awaiting the word to advance, was accosted by the
officer commanding as to the result of the explosion.
"The passage was choked with fallen masonry; the
forlorn hope could not force it."    Turning to the AFGHANISTAN,
bugler at his elbow the leader ordered the "retire"
to be sounded. The bugler, Luke White, was
one of those stray peasant waifs which destiny
flings to nations as though to point a satire upon
then theories of high-bred heroism. " The 13th,"
answered the boy, " don't know the j retire.' " He
sounded the " advance," and the regiment moved on
to the attack. With the capture of Ghizni the
campaign, so far as fighting was concerned, began
and ended.
The Ameer, indeed, advanced from Cabul to meet
the invaders of his kingdom as they pressed on towards
his capital, but his troops fell from him like leaves
from a dying tree. In the valley of Muedan he
resolved to make a last stand against his enemies.
With the Koran raised in his hand, he rode among his
faithless followers, calling upon them to make one final
effort against the invader and the infidel. "You have
eaten my salt," he said, " for thirteen years. Since it
is plain that you are resolved to seek a new master,
grant me but one favour in return for that long period
of kindness. Enable me to die with honour. Stand
by the brother of Futteh Khan while he executes one
charge against the cavalry of those Feringee dogs. In
that outset he will fall; then go and make your terms
with the new chief." Strange are the ways of destiny.
Had his dastard followers but risen to the enthusiasm
of their leader's words, his fate was for ever sealed—
the cause of Dost Mahomed would have perished at
Muedan, but in the great book it was ruled that this 170
FAR  OUT.
dark day of defeat and desertion should be the midnight of his disaster. Henceforth there would be
many hours of darkness, but they would all be shortening towards the dawn.
Over the wild pass of Bamian, Dost Mahomed
passed, a fugitive, to the Uzbegs of Kunduz. A couple
of thousand devoted adherents still clung to his ruined
fortunes. To add to his overwhelming misfortunes, a
favourite son was borne along with difficulty in the
rapid flight, fainting with fever. The deserters to the
British camp had carried these particulars of the last
scenes of the Ameer's reign, and they found ready
comment in the diaries of the day. The boldest and
most turbulent of the Ameer's sons was sinking from
disease. Akbar Khan would never again trouble the
British cause in Afghanistan. So ran the prophecies.
Just two years later the name of Akbar Khan had
become a terror throughout the land, and all that
remained of British power in Cabul lay at -the mercy
of this dying chief. Shah Shujah entered Cabul in
triumph. He wore on his garments and sword-girdle
many of the precious gems which his ancestor Ahmed
Shah carried away from the camp of Nadir Shah after
the murder of the Persian conqueror at Meshed. But
one great gem was conspicuous by its absence—the
famous "Mountain of Light," the Kohinoor, was not
there. The legacy of sorrow which it had carried to
its owners through three hundred years clung now in
this hour of apparent triumph to the old Shah Shujah,
but the stone itself had been lately surrendered by him 1
AFGHANISTAN.
171
to Bungeet Singh, the Sikh ruler of Lahore. And
now the work was over. The curtain had fallen upon
the last act, the lights were being turned off, and the
crowd pressed out in all haste to get away. If it had
been so easy to conquer Afghanistan, the retention of
the country must be a matter of still greater facility;
so, at least, said the men who spoke with the seriousness of responsibility, and it must be allowed they
were as. good in deed as in opinion. Ere winter had
come only two regiments of European infantry
remained in Afghanistan. Two years passed away.
Low ominous growls of rebellious thunder sounded at
times amid the stern hills. Now it was the Ghilzies
around Ghizni; now the Khyberees between Jellalabad
and Peshawar; anon the Uzbegs threatened the
passes of the Hindoo Koosh. Soon deeds of sudden
assassination startled the cantonments of Cabul or
Kandahar. But though every month revealed some
new instance of that old Afghan nature whose un-
tamableness had been a proverb over Asia for six
centuries, no warning could be seen by the doomed
men who in the daily routine of cantonment life
pursued the easy round of Indian military existence.
English ladies made their homes in Cabul, the band
played, the evening ride was taken without the city-
walls, the life of mess and parade went on as though
the Union Jack had waved above the Bala Hissa for
half a century.
All at  once the storm broke.     The   envoy, the
political agent, the general commanding the troops, mwm
172
FAR  OUT.
and many other heads of departments awoke one
morning to find Cabul in revolt. To extreme confidence succeeded complete paralysis. From Bamian
to Jellalabad, from Ghizni to Herat, the tribes had
risen, content to let their mutual animosities rest
awhile in the unwonted sensation of unity against the
common enemy. Then began one of the most miserable chapters of British history. The winter had
already placed his foot upon the hilltops, and was
daily drawing nearer to the doomed garrison of Cabul.
From glen and valley, in numbers that hourly became
stronger, bands of fierce men poured forth to the holy
war. There were men of gigantic form, and savage,
though majestic mien—men who carried the sword
and shield of the days of Timour, and others who
bore the matchlock and rifle of more modern war; and
to give point and direction to all this mass of ferocity
there appeared on the scene that same son of Dost
Mahomed, Akbar Khan, whose crippled state two
years before had been a calculated factor among the
chances of his father's capture.
But more fatal than hostile foeman or rigour of
winter in this alpine land was the indecision of
character and faltering purpose of the British leaders.
It is needless to dwell upon the miserable scenes that
marked the closing weeks of the year 1841—the
.capture of the commissariat stores, the assassination
of the envoy, MacNaughten, the final treaty of evacuation. On one point, however, the. assassination of the
envoy, we may say, that although it is clear that the AFGHANISTAN.
173
deed was committed by Akbar Khan, it is also evident
that it was not premeditated. To obtain possession
of the envoy, and to use that possession as a hostage
for the fulfilment of certain conditions, was the real
object aimed at by the Afghan leaders. Had murder
been meant it is evident that no attempt at capture
was necessary; but the unfortunate envoy strenuously
resisted, and in the struggle that ensued between him
and Akbar Khan, met his death.
On the morning of the 6th of January the retreat
from Cabul began. Four thousand five hundred
fighting men and three times that number of followers
turned their faces towards India, beginning the most
disastrous movement recorded in English history.
This retreat lasted seven days, and measured in
distance about fifty-five miles. In those seven days
every horror that human misery counts in its catalogue was enacted. The enemy and the elements were
alike pitiless. Through driving snow and bitter blast
the long column wound its way between stupendous
cliffs, from any vantage point of which the juzails of
the Afghans poured destruction. The night closed
over the fearful scene, but the dark hours did their
work more silently, though not less surely, than the
daylight. Seven mornings dawned upon masses of
men frozen as they lay—grim bivouacs of death. At
length there were no more to die. Of all these thousands one solitary man passed out from the terrible
defile of JugduUock—he was all that remained of the
army of Cabul. 174
FAR  OUT.
The spring of the following year saw two armies
again marching into Afghanistan, along the two great
highways. Their work was to relieve beleaguered
garrisons in Kandahar and Cabul, to avenge and to
retire. The garrisons were relieved. For nine hundred years Mahomed of Ghizni had lain at rest in the
mausoleum at Bioza. His tomb was rifled of its gates
—in what manner this act of vandalism revenged the
disasters of the Khurd Cabul is not apparent—and
then the armies marched away, leaving Afghanistan
to the Afghans. Twenty millions of money! twenty
thousand human lives! three times that number of
camels and horses lost! a name hated throughout the
length and breadth of the mountain land—such were
the results accruing to us from three years' wandering
in search of a scientific frontier.
Mi rjTEE.vast disjointed dominion which upon the maps
of the world bears the colour and the cognomen of
British colonial territory has ever had strange methods of making its existence known to the mother
country. For many successive years various portions
of it will lie in a kind of moral and political torpor,
giving forth to the far-away home land only the
feeblest evidences of existence. Life, indeed, will at
such times be very far from being extinct in these
quiet dependencies. Ships will sail to and fro between
the great maritime centres of commerce and distant
ports in the southern hemisphere, all the work of life
—the buying and selling, the birthing and the burying—will be carried on there; but beyond some
chance allusion in the column of a newspaper to a
change of ministry, to the appointment of a new
governor., or to the state of trade, that world, which
calls itself "the world," passes along its road utterly
ignoring the existence of entire colonies, and serenely
unconscious of political or territorial divisions whose
superficial area would measure ten times that of Great
Britain. 176
FAR  OUT.
All at once, however, "the world" rouses up to a
wonderful greed for knowledge upon some particular
spot which has been British territory for half a century, but which Britons have never bothered their
heads about. Some colony has suddenly spoken. A
black king, whose name nobody ever 'heard of, has
suddenly crossed a river, whose name nobody could
ever remember, at the head of thirty thousand of his
soldiers, whom nobody knew anything about. The
excitement instantly becomes intense. Everybody
has something to say about this black king, his thirty
thousand soldiers, and the river which he has crossed.
The illustrated papers immediately produce the very
blackest pictures of this black king, the magazines
have articles minutely describing the interior economy
of his household, the number of his wives, and the
habits and customs of his court. His fathers and his
grandfathers, personages whom he himself may be
said to possess indefinite ideas about, are reproduced
in colours of lasting enmity to mankind in general'
and to Britons in particular. What is called I the
popular mind " of the nation is educated into such a
becoming frenzy of hostility against black kings as a
principle, that the holders of spades and clubs at the
evening rubber are half inclined to forget to call
honours ere the trump has been turned. It does not
matter much whether the black king has crossed the
river into our territory in attempted rectification of
some wrong which he has suffered at our hands, or
whether we have crossed the river into his territory
J THE ZULUS.
177
upon the clearest and most conclusive testimony that
his property and that of his subjects would be vastly
benefited by being transferred to our hands.
If any person should attempt to enter into the justice of the cause of quarrel before this "devout consummation" had been arrived at, cries of unpatriotic
conduct are quickly raised. I Shoot first and try
afterwards " becomes the rule. While the black king's
dealings towards us are weighed and measured by the
strictest code of civilised law and usage existing be-
tween modern states, our relations towards him are
exempted from similar test rules, and the answer is
ever ready for those who would preach the doctrine of
a universal justice between man and man, of the impossibility of applying to savage communities the rules
and maxims of ordinary life.
Thus to-day in South Africa the stream of our empire rolls on by the same methods and the same laws:
that propelled it two centuries ago in North America,
with this difference however: First, that in South
Africa we are working up into a vast continent peopled
by tens of millions of negroes, while our progress in*
North America was across a sparsely peopled land..
Second, that while in America what we call the keynote of settlement, i.e., the land grant to a settler, was
struck at the modest figure of two hundred acres, in
South Africa it has been fixed at twenty times that
figure, and four thousand acres made the minimum
amount of land upon which the pioneer of civilisation
will begin his work.   In these two differences lie most
N .mvm
178
FAR  OUT.
of the difficulties that beset our work in South Africa.
While on the one hand our settlers spread themselves
farther and farther out in defenceless isolation from
each other, peopling a territory as large as France
with a population of a tenth-rate English town, the
natives driven back into more compact masses outside
our frontiers, or rapidly increasing in their locations
within our own limits, are always disposed to try,
after certain lapses of time, the chances of war against
us. Nothing is more natural than that they should
do so. Whatever may be the abstract justice of our
laws, and the blessings of peace and security resulting
from their application, it is impossible to prevent the
intercourse between the white settlers and the aboriginal native from being one which is subject to
frequent instances of manifest injustice. The brutal
but heedless blow struck by the driver of a post-cart
at some wayside wondering black man; the license of
some diamond digger who, frequently a runaway from
the restraints of law in his own home, would deny to
the black man every vestige of human right; the
inevitable greed for the possession of huge areas of
land existing in the minds of all South Africans, and
the consequent temptations to indulge in annexation
—all these produce in the native mind a deep and
widespread feeling of antagonism and resentment
which every now and again finds expression in open
conflict.
It will occur to many readers to ask how it was that
the vast force which they have lately read of as obey- THE  ZULUS.
179
ing the orders of the Zulu king could have been able
.to maintain themselves, in a land divided from our
territory by the breadth of a river fordable in hundreds
of places, without making their presence such a
menace to our farmers as must, years ago, have caused
conflict between them and us ? Men may fairly ask
how came it that this army of disciplined savages
should have remained all this time at perfect peace
with us, yet that the moment we declare war against
them" they show themselves strong enough to inflict
upon our troops the greatest reverse sustained by us
during the present generation ? Let us see if we can
reply to that question.
Fifty years from the present time Chaka, the first
great king of the Zulus, died at the hands of his
subjects near the banks of the Lower Tugela river, in
the present colony of Natal. As he fell covered with
spears he uttered words which still live in the memory
of the Zulu nation: " You think you will rule this land
when I am gone; but behind you I see the white man
coming, and he will be the king." Six years after
these words were spoken the white man came. He
came trooping in long lines of lumbering waggons
down the steep sides of the Drakensberg Hills, and,
making his laagers along the broad valley of the
Upper Tugela,'he called Natal his home. These men
were Dutchmen from the Cape Colony who, dissatisfied
with English law, had wandered forth to seek their
fortunes in the wilderness. Before a year had passed
they were at war with the Zulus.   For years, with
n 2 m%
180
FAR  OUT.
varying fortune, this war went on—now it was the
Zulus who carried death and destruction among the
laagers, anon it was the Dutchman who fought his
way into the Zulu kraals, and laid in ashes the chief
stronghold of the Zulu power. While all this went on
another band of white men had established themselves
on the coast of Natal, close by the Zulu kingdom.
These people had come as friends of the Zulus, and
not the least important link in the chain of friendship
that bound together the successor of Chaka and the
sea-coast colony was the knowledge that the white
men who had crossed the Drakensberg and those who
had pitched their tents by the surf-beaten shore were
at enmity with each other. It would take long to tell
the varying phases of that enmity between Englishman and Dutchman which made the early history of
Natal one of conflict between these rival races.
Enough for us to show that to the Zulu mind there
was ever apparent but one real enemy—the Dutch
Boer. It was against this foe that for thirty years
the military instinct which Chaka had first fostered
was sustained by Panda and by Cetewayo. In a form,
that grew as it was fed, the earth-hunger of the
Dutch settlers had gone on from year to year with
more insatiable desire. Boer dominion had spread,.
itself out farther into the northern wilderness, lapping
round the Zulu kingdom on the west, and threatening
its existence on the north towards Delagoa Bay. This
republic) which numbered eight thousand families,
and possessed a territory larger than France, was, THE  ZULUS.
181
year by year, annexing, seizing, and confiscating some
r new slice of territory, driving back into remoter wilds
Basuto or Batlapin, and pushing its frontier nearer
to the tropic line.    There had been encroachments
made, too, on the side of Zululand; but these had
never been enforced by arms.   The beacon line, which
the Transvaal Dutch claimed as their boundary on the
Zulu frontier, remained a disputed territory, because
both Zulu and Boer understood that England would
not tolerate hostilities on her Natal frontiers.   Eng-
land was, in fact, to the Zulu his great hope against
Dutch aggression.    When the regiments mustered
around the king's kraal for the annual training, the
imaginary enemy against whom their evolutions were
directed was on the western and not upon the southern
frontier.    If any rumour of Boer incursion reached
the king's kraal at Udine, messengers were dispatched
forthwith to acquaint "Somseu" (the  Secretary of
Native   Affairs   in   Natal),  and to  ask  advice   and
assistance from the English.    The boundary line of
the Tugela was, as we have said, only a narrow river,
easily forded in the dry season in a hundred different
places; yet for twenty years the sheep and cattle of
the Natal farmers were as safe from  Zulu raid or
theft as though the farms had lain along the valley of
the Thames.    Six years have not yet passed since
an English governor  of Natal  camped night after
night for twenty days in succession along the Buffalo
and   Tugela   boundaries   of   Zululand   without   a
single armed man as escort, and with most of the mam
182
FAR  OUT.
work of  camp  and transport  carried  on by  Zulu
hands.
Whence, then, came the change that has succeeded
in transforming this state of friendly feeling into one
of dire hostility and war ? The answer is not far to
seek. For thirty years the emigrating Dutch had
acted as a buffer between us and the native races. By
the annexation of the Transvaal Bepublic we removed
that buffer, and placed ourselves face to face with the
black man along seven hundred miles of frontier.
Nay, we did more than that. We stepped at once
into the possession of a legacy of contention, aggression, and injustice, from which it was almost impossible
to escape, save by the exercise of a calm control, a
clear and impartial judgment, and the employment of
just and able instruments in our dealings with the
frontier races. Not only did our annexation of the
Transvaal expose us to a vast variety of difficulties with
natives which heretofore we had been secure from,
but it placed us in that position of difficulty at a moment when circumstances outside our control had
carried the whole question of the relationship between
black and white to a state of tension filled with the
gravest outlooks.
Twelve years ago the discovery of precious stones
and minerals in large quantities in the upper plateau
of South Africa brought to the colonies of Natal and
the Cape a new race of adventurers. The miner, the
digger, the prospector—all those wild waifs and strays
that the great game of gold brings together, flocked THE  ZULUS. 183
into this upland country, and, began to work beneath
a sun, and under conditions of life, more than ever
prone to set alight the ever easily fanned flame of
passion and avarice. To the great pit where lay the
rich shining stones flocked also many thousands of
black men. From far-away tropic regions beyond the
Limpopo, from nearer Basuto mountains, from Zulu-
land and Kaffirland, came bands of twenty tribes,
whose common brotherhood had been lost ages ago,
amid wars and wanderings of times before the white
man came. As, month by month, the great pit grew
deeper at the delving of these countless negroes,
deeper, too, grew the hostile feelings of the rival races
—black and white. The great war of capital against
labour had here added to it the older strife of colour
against colour. In this vast school-room at Kimberley
the prizes given were rifles and ammunition; the
lesson taught was identity of interest against a common foe. Here, first of all, the black man learned
that all white men were one against him, and that he,
through his many subdivisions, was one against the
white man. And he learned this lesson, too, at the
hands of men, many of whom were turbulent and
desperate, and some of whom he saw in armed hostility to English law and in open defiance of English
government.
This view is not new to us. Six years ago, after
visiting the diamond-pit at Kimberley, we recorded
the opinion that the result of the coining together of
the black races  at the diamond-fields, and of the 184
FAR OUT.
distribution of arms and ammunition amongst them
as wages for work, must produce war between the
white and black races. It has been computed that
more than four hundred thousand stand of arms,
principally rifles, with ammunition, passed into possession of black men at the diamond fields. But
more dangerous even than these arms and munitions
of war has been the knowledge of which we have
spoken, and the lessons of lawless opinion and defiance of authority imbibed at the same time.
Thus it will easily be understood how, at the moment of our annexation of the Transvaal, we were
brought face to face with the culminated results of
many circumstances, all of which tended to a war of
races. But the question may be -asked, with regard
to the particular war in which we were lately engaged,
"How came it that the annexation of the Transvaal
caused a radical change in our policy towards the
Zulus, seeing that before that annexation our frontiers
were conterminous with those of the Zulus along one
hundred and fifty miles of territory?^ To this it may
be answered that the annexation not only doubled our
frontier adjoining Zululand, but it put us in all the
.inimical positions previously held by the Dutch, and
made an escape from the vicious policy of our predecessors a matter requiring the utmost tact and
caution.
We will not here enter into the question whether
either of these attributes has been observable in the
conduct of our dealings with the native races, or THE  ZULUS.
185
whether the annexation of the Dutch republic was not
a necessary consequence of the error which, in 1854,
permitted the formation of foreign states beyond our
frontiers. While holding for ourselves that the annexation was premature, and was entered upon in
opposition to the opinions of the majority of the
respectable inhabitants of the State, we nevertheless
are of opinion that, notwithstanding that annexation,
hostilities could have been avoided both in the Transvaal and in Zululand, and that it was possible to
have inaugurated a line of policy towards the Zulus
and other tribes which would have fostered the gradual disintegration of the dangerous elements of that
power, and produced the final disappearance of tribal
influence from the natives of South Africa.
Although the discipline and strength of the Zulu
army has lately been made terribly apparent to
Englishmen, its power is nothing new to the colonists
of Natal. No one that has ever seen a Zulu regiment
march, or heard the deep, terrible note of the Zulu
war-step, could fail to realise the fact that the power
which comes from numbers moving with one will and
from one impulse was here existing to an extent but
rarely seen even among civilised races. It has been
usual for modern writers to trace the history of organisation among the Zulus to the time of Chaka; but
there are strong reasons for believing that the institutions of Chaka were but the revivals of far earlier
customs, and that we have to seek in the first records
of African discovery south of the equator for the origin 186
FAR  OUT.
of the warlike habits of the people whom to-day we
call Zulus.
Four hundred years from the present time a great
wave of black men swept southward towards the Cape
of Good Hope from the vast interior highlands of
equatorial Africa. At times the waves surged east till
they touched the early Portuguese kingdom of Quilli-
mane on the one hand, and west until they reached
that of Angola and Congo .upon the other. At each
side the story was the same. The Gaigas, as this
torrent was called, earried death and destruction
wherever they went. They moved under rigid rules
of martial law, their captains and common soldiers
were trained under a terrible discipline, their bravery
was undoubted, their ferocity struck terror even into
the other cruel races with whom they came in contact.
The narratives of the- Portuguese missionaries of
the fifteenth century are filled with their ravages and
conquests. A countryman of ours, by name Battel, a
sailor, joined this conquering people, fought under
their king, and became a leader among them. From
his narrative most of our knowledge of them is
derived. We know that, after ravaging during many
years the frontiers of Angola and Benguela, they
passed south towards the Cape of Good Hope, and
then for nearly two hundred years they are lost sight
of. In the vast wildernesses of the Orange Biver, in
the glens and fastnesses of the Amatola, Maluti; and
Drakensberg Mountains, the human wave that had
begun its course where the green Soudan merged into THE  ZULUS.
187
the grey Sahara, sunk at last to comparative quiet,
-and settled down to pastoral life over all that great
wilderness of beauty which is to-day South Africa.
That this human wave, which probably was first set
in motion by the Arab conquests in North Africa
during the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries, drove
out the aboriginal races of Southern Africa—the
Bushman and the Hottentots—there cannot be a
doubt; and there is every reason to suppose that the
wide human family known to us to-day under the
appellation Kaffir—a name given by the Arab traders,
and adopted from them by the Portuguese settlers at
the Mozambique—that family, broken into its many
subdivisions of Gaika, Galega, Khosa, Zulu, &c,
dates its descent and inherits its characteristics of
courage from the torrent which so long rolled its
troubled course along the great central highland of
the continent. The military organisation and the
iron discipline introduced by Chaka into the Zulu
nation were but revivals of the laws and institutions
of which Battel tells us.
Of this military organisation it has been fairly
said that it was impossible it could have gone on in
close proximity to our Natal frontier without producing, sooner or later, an inevitable conflict with us.
This view would be undoubtedly correct if the organisation of the nation into regiments had been founded
upon any principle more lasting than the king's will;
but the despotism of the Zulu monarch was of all
despotisms the most exposed to the danger of over-- 188
FAR  OUT.
throw from revolt within itself. Chaka, and his
successor, Dingaan, were both assassinated by their
rebellious subjects. Cetewayo and his brother Urn-
bulazi long waged deadly war upon each other;
and only a few years from the present time the waters
of the Lower Tugela were black with thousands of
Zulus killed in a bloody battle between the two great
sections of the army.
The elements of the destruction of Zulu power lay
in Zululand itself, and another policy might long since
have freed the people from the tyranny of the military
system and broken the power of the chiefs from the
Pongola to the Kei. It was not followed. Steadily
through past years we have continued to uphold the
principle of chieftainship. How much wiser would it
have been had we adopted the communal system of
the village, dividing the land in our. native locations
by villages or kraals, instead of by tribes! From this
the transition to individual proprietorship of land
would have been an easy one, the introduction of
civilised habits, to say nothing of religion and
morality, would have been possible, and the chance
might still have been open to us of solving that
inscrutable problem—the raising of this vast, fallen
African race to light and hope.
And now let us look back at a page of well-nigh
forgotten history. At the door of England lies the
memory of a great sin. Three hundred years from
the present time an English ship bore to the continent of America from that of Africa the first cargo of THE  ZULUS.
189
slaves ever taken from that dismal shore. During two
.entire centuries that terrible trade was prosecuted by
English capital and English enterprise to a far greater
degree than by the efforts of any other nation.* Could
the long catalogue of horrors that filled the continent
of Africa with blood, and strewed the tropic ocean with
corpses, be unfolded to-day, the nation might well
stand aghast at the awful spectacle of human misery
wrought by the "enterprise" of bygone Bristol and
the "energy" of early Liverpool. Over the dreary
surf-beaten shore, between the feverish forest and the
yellow sand, there rise to-day along the pestilential
West Coast of Africa huge bastioned castles, lonely
and untenanted. Their work has long since vanished;
their guns lie overturned, the gates are rusty, their
vast vaults are empty; but still they stand the white
monuments of a mighty crime, bearing testimony to
the sea and to the land of a gigantic injustice. In
these vast tombs the living dead were buried until the
slave-ship was ready in the offing. There was the land-
gate and the sea-gate. As the rusty land-gate swung
in upon its hinges, home, kith, and kin closed with it;
as the sea-gate opened towards the ship, toil, the lash,
and death coiled closer around the negro's heart.
All these long centuries of crime are still unpaid
for. The slaves set free by us fifty years ago were
not a thousandth part of those we had enslaved.
Yet the account is still open, and the wrong done by
* In the year 1788, 120,000 Africans were taken from the coast as
slaves by Europeans ; of which half were in British ships. inrurn
FAR  OUT.
us during all these years in West Africa can yet be
righted in the future of the southern continent. This,
then, is the question which Englishmen have a right
to ask: "What have you done with this people?
Have you taught them nothing better through all
these years than to exchange their assegais for rifles ?
Do you dare to tell us that in this land, which is
larger than France, Spain, and Germany put together,
there is not room for three hundred thousand white
men and a million and a half of blacks ? and can all
your teaching, preaching, and civilisation evolve
nothing better for this African than a target for
your bullets?"
Notwithstanding the wide gulf which we fancy lies
between us and this black man, he is singularly like
us. He will cry if you stick a pin into him, he will
be thankful for a gift, he will resent an injury, he will
weep for the loss of a wife or child, he will fight for
his homeland—he can even die for what he believes
to be the right. And mark you .this vast difference
between him and the other aboriginal races with
whom your spirit of colonisation has brought you
into contact: he does not die out before us. He
asserts the fact of his existence amid our civilisation.
He increases upon every side. While the work of
colonisation has been going on for more than two
centuries, the black race to the white is still as six
to one. Here, in South Africa, lies our chance of
undoing the wrong done by Europe to the Libyan
race in the past;   here lies our  sole hope  of ever |l H
THE  ZULUS.
191
shedding into this vast, dark continent the lights of
faith and justice. Let us not imagine that by trade
"these precious gifts can be carried into the dim
interior. The first principle of trade with the savage,
whether it be trade in human heads or cocoa-nuts, is
to outwit him. During four hundred - years we have
traded with the Gold Coast and with the Gambia,
yet within a rifle-shot of the shore the fetish is
rampant, the savage instinct is untamed. In South
Africa the European constitution nourishes beside the
negro. There it is possible to teach without death
closing the schoolmaster's book ere the lesson has
been learnt; there precept and example can go hand
in hand together; there the limit is large enough for
ten millions instead of two millions; there the capabilities of future extension are vast as the continent itself.
Ages ago, along the lofty plateau of the central
continent, the hordes of savages pressed southward
from the equator, darkening and devastating as they
went. That same road now lies open for the reflex
flood of light and truth. How is that tide to be set
in motion ? Not by wide-sweeping annexation, by
trade in ruin and rifles, by | commando " warfare,
not even by zealous though missionary enterprise
alone. But it may be done by other and gentler
means. It may be done by lighting, even within
sight of Cape Town, or of Port Elizabeth, or of
Durban, a ray that has never yet been lighted in the
black man's mind—the idea that he may be made an
independent unit in a civilised community; the idea m*m
FAR  OUT.
that he will be protected against all injustice, whether
from black man or from white; the idea that liberty
does not mean idleness, and that the schoolmaster
has a claim upon his little ones that cannot be overlooked; the idea that his toil, given for many centuries
to the world at large, must now at last be given to
himself; the idea that service of arm to his chief, or
of muscle to his master, must be changed to service
of mind and body for his one wife and for his children.
These rays, once lighted, can never be put out.
Northward, year by year, they will travel into regions
where never yet the white man's foot has rested.
1 Good Hope "—thus they named this lofty sea-girt
promontory far down in the Southern Ocean. It rests
with England in the future to fulfil the aspiration of
those brave Portuguese sailors whose eyes first looked
upon that rugged frontlet. Surely it is a brave and
noble toil, and well worthy of our nation's manhood.
If from the wretched  scenes lately enacted, and
from the selfishness and strife which culminated in
this most deplorable of our Kaffir wars, there arises
in the minds of Englishmen a fervent resolve to
attempt a new beginning, then may even our past
Sin itself be found
A cloudy porch that opens on the sun.
Note.—The writer of these pages is fully aware that the idea of
breaking the tribal system, and establishing individual ownership in
property, has been frequently advocated in the past, particularly by Sir i
George Grey, but its adoption has never been even attempted. The
outlay necessary to start the machinery which might effect the change
has always been refused, and while thousands have been deemed too great
an expenditure in the cause of humanity and progress, millions have been
freely lavished on the old, hopeless lines of punishment and repression. SOUTH  AFRICA.
T^AB up in the mountains of South Africa, where
the peaks of the Drakensberg and the ridges of
the Malutis attain their loftiest level, there lies a
region but little known even to the people who dwell
in its vicinity.
It is a land of jagged peaks and scarped precipices,
of torrents and rocks, of secluded valleys, and great
wind-swept hills. Snow rests for many months in
the year upon its rugged hilltops; grass grows rank
and green in its many valleys. A thousand crystal
streams flash over rocky ledge, and ripple through
pebble-paved channels, and, all the year round there
is a sense of freshness in the air, for the breeze that
sweeps the land blows over peaks set ten thousand
feet above the sea-line.
This in Africa—that land of heat and sun, of
swamp and forest? Yes, even in Africa lies the region
just pictured; this Switzerland of South Africa,
mountain Basutoland.
The clouds which the Indian Ocean sends to South
o neato
194
FAR  OUT.
Africa linger over this region of mountain peak, and
shed their showers upon it through the months of
summer; but in winter the skies are clear, the sun
shines over the land, and the clouds which occasionally gather upon the peaks float away, leaving them
clothed in dazzling snow, and seamed with ice-crusted
cataracts.
Many rivers have then sources in this mountain
region, and east, west, north, and south streams flow
forth from it into a lower set land. Streams of small
size and of large, streams which soon swell into
mighty rivers, and become yellow and muddy as they
roll towards far-separated oceans, forgetting the pure
traditions of their birth among the snow-hills, in the
turmoil of maturer life.
Looked at from its many sides, Basutoland presents
always to the traveller a sight filled with a sense of
freshness and of pleasure. Prom whatever point he
regards it, he must ever look up to it; east or west,
north or south, it first rises before him in the outline
of a stupendous mountain, whose summits yield to
the eye, long wearied of the leaden level of interminable plain, that cool draught which is fresh as water
to a thirsty wanderer in a desert land.
But if from all sides it is grateful to the eye, from
the east side it is something more; spread beneath it
to the east lies a fair and fruitful land, a land whose
highest level is fully four thousand feet lower down,
and whose plains and hills lie outlaid at his feet, like
a vast sea beneath a lofty shore. SOUTH  AFRICA.
195
This land of lower level is Natal; where Natal ends
on the west, Basutoland begins on the east, and
begins in a line so abrupt, so rugged, so scarped into
precipice, and turret, and pinnacle, that it would
seem as though nature had upraised a mighty wall of
rock to mark for ever her line of separation between
the mountain called Basutoland, and the meadow
called Natal.
There are not many sights in South Africa which
linger longer in the traveller's mind than that which
can be seen almost every morning from the eastern
ridge of Basutoland—the Drakensberg.
It is sunrise over Natal, up from the haze which
hangs over the Indian sea—the haze which has
turned to varying green, and gold, and crimson, as he
drew nearer to the surface—comes the great blood-
red sun, flashing on the rent pinnacles of the mountain wall while yet the region far below is wrapped in
purple mist. No towns, no hamlets, no homesteads
stud the vast plain beneath; but scores of rivers
wind through great grass-covered valleys, and from
their unseen beds, long rifts of snow-white vapour
float upward towards the growing light, and wreathe
themselves along the feet of hills, and cling to kloof,
and catch upon their upmost billows the light in
which they are so soon to die. And as the light
grows stronger, and the flying remnants of night,
prisoned at the base of the great cliffs, are killed by
the shafts which the day flings into "krance" and
cavern, there lies spread before the eye a vast succes-
o 2 196
FAR OUT.
sion of hill and valley, table-topped mountain, gleaming river—all green with grass—dew-freshened, and
silent.    This is Natal.
Far away, beyond afi, a vague blank upon the
horizon, the unseen sea is felt by the sight, where, at
the furthest verge of vision, the Indian Ocean sleeps
in space.
But there is another sight which the traveller sees
just before nightfall, when from the meadow of
Natal he looks up to the lofty ridge of Basutoland.
The day has done its work; the sun has gone down
behind the great western barrier; turret, dome, and
rent mountain pinnacle are clear cut in snow and
purple against the green and saffron curtain of the
sunset; the wall of rock is dark at its base, indistinct in its centre, sharp and lustrous along its
serrated summit; the night gathers at its feet; the
day lingers around its head; there is a shade of untold beauty in the sky, a green, such as one sometimes sees in Sevres, and which I have never seen in
sunset save in Natal. The night deepens, and the
light dies but long after nightfall, that glorious light
still lives in the western sky, and the unnumbered
peaks, and jagged spires, and pinnacled turrets of
the Drakensberg stand in lofty loneliness as though
guarding the slow retreat of day into some far-off
world.
This great range of the Drakensberg, called by the
natives Kathalama, runs nearly north and south
along the west frontier of Natal; but near the twenty- SOUTH AFRICA.
197
ninth parallel of south latitude, its direction changes
suddenly from north to west, and culminates in a
vast mountain mass, known as the Mont aux Sources,
from which many subsidiary ranges and innumerable
streams descend into the surrounding countries. If
one can imagine a large letter A laid with its apex to
the north, the right-hand arm would form the Drakensberg, the apex flattened out would be the Mont
aux Sources, and the left arm would be the Maluti
range. Between the arms of the range are several
minor ranges and clusters of mountain, a great sea of
peaks ; and from the Mont aux Sources, flowing from
a labyrinth of cliff and cataract, springs the Orange
Biver and its many tributaries.
Three other large rivers rise in this impenetrable
fastness, the "Wilge, or south fork of the Vaal, the
Caledon, or north fork of the Orange, and the Tugela,
the principal river of Natal. These many rivers flow
from the Mont aux Sources, south, east, north, and west;
the Orange, as we have said, springing from between
the arms of the letter A, the Drakensberg and the
Malutis; the Caledon having its source outside the
Maluti range, and between it and the lower range of
the Bhode Berg; the "Wilge Biver rising on the north
face of the Mont aux Sources, and flowing down into
the Orange Free State to join the diamond-famous
Vaal; and the Tugela, which, also waking from the
same bed, leaps suddenly from its cradle on the summit of the Mont aux Sources down the perpendicular
verge of the Drakensberg, as though, overjoyed to aaw
198
FAR OUT.
turn its steps to the fair region of Natal, it cared little
for the three thousand feet of ledge that lay beneath
it and that green meadow land. All these rivers carry
to the Atlantic or Indian seas the tribute which the
mountain monarchs send to the ocean from which
they once rose.
So far for the rivers and the mountains of the land.
Now for the people who have made their dwellings in
this lofty region.
Many years ago, when the present century was in
its cradle, a young Zulu warrior came riding from the
south along the base of the Drakensberg. He held a
northern course. He was accompanied, or rather
carried, by an animal never before seen in the land;
at times he appeared to the astonished eyes of the
beholders as a portion of this animal, at other times
he was separated from it.
The young Zulu was a long-banished exile returning to his home on the Tugela from a far southern
land; the strange animal he bestrode'was a horse, the
first of its kind ever seen in these great wastes of
South Africa; but he brought with him from the
white man's home other and far greater secrets than
the strange animal that carried him—he brought the
idea of unity where there had been disunion, of discipline and combination where all had been petty tribal
war and internecine confusion, of the strength which
lies in organised numbers against the weakness of the
individual. He had seen the regular soldiers of the
white man, had caught in a vague way the outline of SOUTH  AFRICA.
199
their organisation, and now, as he sought, after a
lapse of years, his Umtetwa people, it was with the
hope of moulding the scattered power of his tribe after
the manner of the white soldiery in the infant colony
to the south, and he succeeded.
His people received him as their chief, named him
Dingiswayo, or " The Wanderer," and listened to his
counsel and his plans.
Soon the youth of the Umtetwa were formed into
bodies, fighting under distinct chiefs, and subject to
the will of one man, Dingiswayo. This army of the
Umtetwa was not a mere plaything in the hands of its
chief, and ere a year had passed, the neighbouring
tribes had felt the power of the new organisation ;
small tribes became incorporated with or subject to
the Umtetwa, and many restless spirits among the
young men of the country beyond the Tugela joined
the army of Dingiswayo, to push their fortunes in the
new field which he had opened to them.
Among the adventurous spirits thus drawn to the
service of the "Wanderer, there was one of no ordinary
genius. Chaka, the son of Senzangakona, chief of a
small tributary tribe called Zulus, entered as a common soldier into one of the regiments of Dingiswayo.
His bravery soon pointed him out for leadership; he
learnt the lesson of organisation and discipline even
to greater effect than had his master; and when his
time of chieftainship had come, a new power had
dawned among the scattered tribes of South-Eastern
Africa. -a
200
FAR  OUT.
Some time about 1814, Chaka began his career of
conquest. Everything went down before him. He
changed the mode of fighting in the field—of movement in the campaign. To throw the assagai was
forbidden: a shorter-handed weapon was instituted,
and it was to be struck into the enemy, not cast at
him from a distance. | Wait until you see the whites
of the enemy's eyes, and then strike hard," was the
order of the Zulu chief. His spirit was caught by his
soldiers, and they closed with their enemies only to
conquer.
An immense territory soon owned the dominion of
the chief of the Zulus, but he conquered only to
desolate and to kill. From the far Limpopo to the
southern St. John, from the Indian Ocean to where
men now dig diamonds by the swift-running Vaal—
all that portion of Africa lay prostrate at Chaka's feet.
The lower countries were a vast .waste; famine, pestilence, and death had swept the land; and only in
remote glen, or wooded kloof, or impenetrable fastness.
could be found a remnant of the desolated tribes.
It was in the year 1828 that the conqueror's career
came to a close. He was assassinated by some of his
own people at his kraal south of the Lower Tugela.
Seeing his end inevitable, he cried out to his murderers, I Ye think when I am gone that ye shall rule
this land; but behind ye I see a white man coming
from the south, and he and his shall be your masters."
As he spoke they struck him with their assagais,
and the greatest conqueror of Zululand was no more. SOUTH  AFRICA.
201
The scattered tribes that had been unable to oppose
the Zulu chief had withdrawn into remote countries.
One powerful band, attacked in the open country, had
retreated along the Vaal, and by the fastnesses of the
Drakensberg, into what is now called Basutoland.
They were without cohesion. A dozen chiefs claimed
their obedience, and it was only the rugged land and
the natural defences of their new home which enabled
them to preserve even a shadow of their power.
About the time of Chaka's death there arose, in
this Basuto nation, a man differing in every respect
from the Zulu conqueror. He was a shrewd observer,
apt in council, held peculiar views about the white
man's dominion, and had more faith in the power of
the tongue than in that of the assagai; yet he was a
brave and skilful soldier. The name of this man was
Moshesh. From a petty chief he soon became a
powerful leader, and ten years after the death of
Chaka he was the acknowledged paramount of all
Basutoland, and had moulded together into one
nation all the tribes which dwelt around the Mont
aux Sources, and along the upper waters of the
Caledon.
At the period we speak of, this region of Basutoland,
the great level now called the Orange Free State, and
the meadow of Natal, were all unknown to the white
man. A few travellers or hunters had penetrated
north of the Orange Biver, but the great mountain
fastness had resisted all attempts to pierce its
mysteries; and nothing of Natal, save its half-tropic 202
FAR  OUT.
shore-line, was known to the outside world. A vast
unmeasured solitude was this land beyond all the
Orange Biver. From the rising of the sun until its
going down, the traveller beheld an endless plain.
At times a flat-topped hill rose abruptly from the
level; loose rocks of sand or trap cumbered the
base; the sides were scarped, or steep and overhanging near the summit; and upon the top a
perfectly level table surface was cut clearly against
the sky line. Perchance the hillside held a straggling
growth of bush. For the rest—hill and level, plain
and precipice—were clothed in a short green grass in
summer, a dry brick-coloured clay in winter; but at all
times it was a land of life.
Across the endless plain, upon the table-topped
hill, in the dry dust-coloured valley, there moved
and grazed and galloped innumerable herds of wild
animals. Springbok and blessbok, wilderbeeste and
hartebeeste, eland and quagga, roamed in countless
numbers; and the traveller saw when the sun shone
over the land the light reflected upon the glistening
sides or striped foreheads of tens of thousands of graceful antelopes, careering in circles round the track, or
stopping in their prancing gallop to gaze in wonder
at the stranger's presence.
But at length the great wastes north of Orange
Biver began to know a change.
About forty years ago there came in long succession
from the south a vast troop of waggons; men rode
on horseback by the waggons; twenty coupled oxen SOUTH  AFRICA.
203
drew each ponderous load; there were fully nine
hundred waggons, and across the dusty plains crept
the monstrous cavalcade.
It passed slowly on. Some tarried here, some
there, others wandered on further into the wilds.
There is a tall mountain which stands out by itself
in this great plain. It is rugged and lofty, and can
be seen from a great distance; fifty miles away it
still seems near at hand. Is is called Tha-banchu,
or the Hill of Night. Near this dark hill many of the
new-comers halted. They were white men, who had
long dwelt in the regions to the south, and they now
sought this northern waste, not because their own
lands were becoming over-peopled, or because fresh
arrivals pressed them from without, but from a
restless longing to escape from law and civilised
restraint, and to establish themselves in a kind of
patriarchal freedom in the remote interior. They
had but a faint idea of the geography of the earth,
and not a few among them looked upon this migration
as a counterpart to the exodus of the Israelites of old,
and had some dim expectation of finding a Promised
Land beyond the deserts of the treeless Karoo.
Some halted within sight of the Hill of Night, others
^pressed on to the north and east. Moshesh held many
parleys with them as their slow lumbering waggons
jolted along the plains of what is to-day the Orange
Free State; but he did nothing to oppose their progress,
and they passed along his rugged frontier to where
the ridge of the Drakensberg breaks down from the 204
FAR  OUT.
Mont aux Sources, and a steep decline leads into the
pastures of Natal.
They reached the ridge, and looked down upon the
fair land below. It was a sight which woke even in
the dull nature of the Dutch onlooker a sense of
enthusiasm. Here was their promised land, here was
their possession. Slowly the long cavalcade wound
down the steep descent, and took possession of Natal.
Moshesh had built his kraal at the base, and upon
the summit of one of these innumerable flat-topped
hills called table mountains of Basutoland; the hill
was named Thaba Bossiou, or the Dark Mountain. It
stood some six miles from the Caledon Biver. Twenty
miles to the east, the great range of the Malutis rose
in dark blue masses; around them lay a perfect network of table mountains, deep winding valleys, abrupt
sandstone precipices, and every variety of intermixed
hill and kloof, vale and ridge.
Moshesh's name had widened out over a broad area
of fame; many tribes of Griquas, Amonquanis, and
Zulus had tried the strength of the Basuto nation, and
felt the power of the crafty chief who dwelt in Thaba
Bossiou. Once, a large horde of Griquas (Dutch half-
breeds), attacked the mountain kraal under a certain
Hendrick Hendricks, and of his doughty followers not
one escaped. Again, Palarita led the Amathlubi tribe
into Basutoland, and left his bones and theirs to
whiten the hills of the Caledon.
But Moshesh was crafty in his victories. He kept
to his mountain fastnesses; repelled all attacks upon SOUTH AFRICA.
205
his territory, and took counsel from a few foreign
missionaries who had sought his country.
Time went on. The Dutch were not to have quiet
possession of Natal. Chaka was long dead; but a
tyrant almost as cruel, though with but half his
cleverness, reigned in his stead.
At the base of the Drakensberg, amidst the kloofs
and glens of the Upper Tugela and its tributaries,
there dwelt a chief named Sikkunellya. This chief
had made a foray into Zululand, and carried off
cattle from the people of Dingaan, the murderer and
successor of Chaka. The Dutch restored the captured
cattle to the Zulu chief, and asked in return for a
cession of Natal. The request was acceded to. It is
easy to give away that which is not ours, and all
Natal was given by the tyrant's murderer to the newcomers—all Natal from the Tugela to the Umzimkulu,
from the Drakensberg to the Indian Sea.
At the king's kraal by Umkinglove this cession was
made. Dingaan placed his sign-manual to the document, and the Dutch leaders Maritz and Betief affixed
their signatures in due form. It may be presumed
that this later operation was one of no little difficulty
to the Dutch commanders; for to these modern
Israelites a pen was a stranger weapon than a gun ;
but somehow or other the names were affixed and the
Dutch commanders prepared to withdraw.
At evening there arose a great uproar in the camp;
there was a cry of treason through the Dutch laager; FAR  OUT.
thousands of naked Zulus crowded among the waggons ; there were random shots and fierce shouts, and
much stabbing and glint of assagais, and when daylight dawned again, Betief and his comrades all lay
weltering in their blood.
It would be long to tell of the scenes that followed;
how the Zulus swept down into Natal upon the scattered laagers of the Dutch by the swift-running
Tugela and the Bushman Bivers; how these brave
savages rushed the laager by the Bushman Biver
drift, and carried such destruction through the camps,
that to-day an immense tract of country bears the
name of "Weenan," or the place of weeping; and
then, how the Dutchman rallied and bore back the
savage tribe, and in a great battle by the Blood Biver
destroyed the king's kraal, and broke the power of the
Zulu tribe.
But while all this wild work went on in the lower
country, along the base of the Drakensberg, up aloft
In Basutoland the crafty ichief Moshesh held quiet
possession of his glens and table-topped ridges. Five
years earlier a small group of white men from a
distant country had come to Basutoland. They came
to teach, not to fight; they were French missionaries.
Moshesh received them with favour. He gave them
land in many parts of the country. Hard by bis own
stronghold of Thaba Bossiou they built a mission
station of great beauty: it was in a valley between
two steep rugged table-hills; a stream ran below it ;
great cliffs of basaltic rock stood like sentinels around SOUTH  AFRICA.
207
it, and in spring the scent of almond blossoms filled
the air and the thatched eaves were white with jessa-
J mine flowers.
But Moshesh, though he encouraged the missionaries, and counselled his people to attend their
teaching, did not himself adopt their faith. "He
was too old to change; the young people might
learn; but for him it would not do." So has it been
in these times of ours all the world over. The days
have passed when savage kings and chiefs adopt the
cross at the teaching of the missionary, and with
Xavier that power which penetrated the hearts of
peoples, and changed kings and nations, seems to
have vanished from the earth.
But though Moshesh took small heed of the teachings of the Frenchmen in spiritual matters, in temporal ones he gave full attention to them. Beware
of war; resist when attacked ; make friends with the
white man: these were the chief tenets of the worldly
creed they taught him, and under such teaching
Moshesh grew in power, and Basutoland became rich
and prosperous.
But a great danger soon began to menace Basutoland. The wave of the white man's domination
was beginning to surge against the mountain fastness
of the Mont aux Sources. South Africa had not a
white population equal to a third-rate English town ;
nevertheless, an area as large as Germany was found
too small to hold these fifty thousand white men, and
the  thin but restless  stream  was   already beating mWB*M9M
208
FAR  OUT.
against the remote regions of the Malutis, and flowing
away to the mighty wilderness where the Vaal washed
from its gravelly shores in summer floods the yet
unknown shining stones called diamonds.
The Dutch Boers who had crossed the Orange
Biver proceeded to establish themselves as an independent community among the wildebeestes and the
blessboks; there were no Englishmen in that part of
the world, and the establishment of a Dutch republic
met with no opposition at our hands. Those of the
Dutch, however, who crossed the Berg, and went down
into Natal, met with different treatment.
Far away by the Indian Sea, at the port of Natal, a
small English settlement had taken root. After
defeating the Zulu king and destroying his kraal in
the upper country, the Dutch adventurers had drawn
nearer to the sea—to Araby or Jerusalem or the
Jordan, as they fondly imagined. All at once they
found themselves face to face with the English settle-
ment. "Curse these Englishmen!" doubtless cried
the Boers; "here they are safely settled in Jerusalem
before us." Still, there was peace between the rival
settlers for a time, and, in the face of the common
enemy, war would have been dangerous.
But after the victory over the Zulus things changed.
The Dutch attacked the English settlement, and for a
time had matters their own way. Beaten by superior
numbers the English commander shut himself up in a
hastily built fort, composed verses to the Southern SOUTH  AFRICA.
209
Cross, and bid defiance to the Boers. Months passed
away; help came to the British camp from Cape
"Colony; the Dutch were beaten back; they moved
into, the upper country again, and more than half then
number recrossed the Berg to seek for Araby in other
lands. Natal was English; but by a fatal error the
line of British boundary stopped at the Drakensberg; no claim was made to the great plains north of
the Orange Biver—no claim, at least, for six years
after.
In 1847 a man was appointed to the governorship
of Cape Colony who, whatever might be his other
qualities, knew the true policy of England in the wilds.
There was to be no boundary to English possession
in South Africa, save such as ocean set. Boers might
migrate here or there; but whenever the time should
come that English civilisation reached the confines of
the country in which they had settled, then, too, had
come the time for the establishment of British
dominion in that land whether Boer, or Basuto, or
Bosjisman reigned or roamed in it. South Africa was
British by every right of conquest and privilege of
possession. The Dutch, dissatisfied with our abolition
of slavery, might "trek" where they pleased, but they
must still remain British subjects, by the self-same
law which made the Mormons citizens of the United
States after they had placed sixteen hundred miles
of wilderness between them and the last outpost of
Yankeedom.
In 1847 there arrived at the Cape of Good Hope a
p 210
FAR  OUT.
new governor; he had been a dashing leader of
dashing men. British power, as represented by a few
squadrons of British cavalry, was, in his eyes, irresistible. Dutch Boers setting up a republic of their own
beyond the Orange Biver—the thing was absurd to the
last degree. "Forward the Cape Corps. March away
the Bifle Brigade. Weil soon see who is to be the
ruler in South Africa."
So across the wilds of the Karoo, and up to the
banks of the Orange Biver, went a small force of
regular troops. Some little distance north of the
river, a " commando " of Boers had taken its post
amidst rocks and stone-covered hills nigh a place
called Boomplatz.
The victor of Aliwal, brave to rashness, rides
forward in advance of the little army. Shots ring
out from the rocks, a few of the staff fall, an escort
of Cape mounted men run away; but the brave old
chief reins in his charger where he is, and cursing the
runaways, calls out to the Bifles to advance. They
come up at the double, spread out into the hills, and
move straight up against the rocks. Suddenly the
puffs of smoke cease. "This is not a proper way to
fight," say the Boers; "we came prepared to lie here
quietly for a few hours among the rocks, and here
these fellows come running up to us as if they were
our friends."
So, in order to escape being shaken by the hand or
perhaps by the throat, the Dutchmen scramble into
their saddles in yonder hollow, midst the hills, and SOUTH   AFRICA.
211
gaUop away to northern wilds, their brave leader, one
Prsetorius by name, never drawing rein until sixty
miles lay between him and the Boomplatz.
The Orange Bepublic was no more. Moshesh
heard with joy, up in his mountain, the tidings of
Boomplatz, and he marched out from the hills, with
his army, to greet the English Governor, and to show
his respect for the Queen's authority.
They met at Winburg. It was a novel sight. The
Basuto army numbered about five thousand men,
mostly mounted on shaggy or wiry ponies. Sir Harry
Smith was in high spirits. " Moshesh was his friend
and brother," he said. § The Basutos and the English would ever be friends."
The English general called out in his deep voice,
whether there was any trooper in the ranks who could
perform the sword-exercise in front of the line, for
the edification of the Basutos. A trooper rode out and
began to cut and thrust about his horse's ears. Sir
Harry waved him back with a gesture of disdain.
Another essayed the feat; again the old general cried
out, I That is not the sword-exercise."
At last, an Irish soldier rode to the front; he cut
and thrust, and whirled and slashed, and jerked
about in his saddle in such a frantic manner, that the
Basutos roared with delight, and Sir Harry Smith
declared his satisfaction. Then came some cavalry
manoeuvres, and finally the review was over.
It was now Moshesh's turn. He attempted a
eharge; but a great part of his cavalry was suddenly
p 2 212
FAR  OUT.
transformed into infantry by the simple process'of
being sent flying over their horses' heads. The horse
was still a new-comer in Basutoland, and the monkeylike seat which now cannot be shaken, had not then
been attained.
A war-dance wound up the day. The whole Basuto
army danced like demons, Moshesh capering at their
head. At one period the excitement became so intense that it is said the old general caught the infection, and, seizing Moshesh in his arms, danced
round and round with him.
Moshesh went back to his mountains. The English
governor pursued his way to the Drakensberg. On
the ridge overlooking Natal he met the Boers in
council. They were flying with their flocks and herds
from Natal, to escape from the British government
once more: Araby and the Promised Land were to be
sought somewhere else.
It would have been better for Natal if the English
governor had allowed the Boers to seek fresh fields
and pastures new.
To make the earth a waste and to call it a farm is
the first rule of Dutch agricultural practice in South
Africa, Six thousand acres are still known as " a
small farm "—no fence, no tree, no shrub, no sign of
agriculture breaks the terrible monotony of an up-
country Dutch holding : far as eye can reach there is
but a wilderness unmarked by man.
In the council on the top of the Drakensberg, Sir
Harry Smith offered to the flying Dutchmen the most SOUTH  AFRICA.
213
liberal grants of land in Natal. In many cases these
grants were accepted, the Boers resumed their former
places; the system of vast farms became perpetuated
in a country whose conditions of soil and climate were
in perfect keeping with a system of small agricultural
holdings, and the opportunity was for ever lost of
planting on the African continent the germs of the
only European settlement which can ever ripen into a
prosperous civilisation.
Time went on. A new governor was sent to the
Cape; war, fierce war, had broken out among the
Kaffir tribes of the Kei river. Moshesh kept to his
mountains; but ever and anon the Boers, who had
settled in the plains, cut off some slice of Basuto
territory, ran the survey lines of farms further towards
the Caledon, and set up beacons nearer to the blue
Malutis-.
Then there came raids upon cattle, horses disappeared from the farms : the Basuto said it was but
fair retaliation; the Boers called it unprovoked robbery.
Following the affair of Boomplatz came the establishment of British government north of the Orange
Biver. An English resident dwelt at Bloemfontein, a
small garrison occupied the fort. The resident took
the views of the farmers, got together some tribes of
Barralongs and Bechuans, and moved against Moshesh. The Bechuans and Barralongs made a poor
fight: Moshesh was the victor, but he knew better
than to push his advantage against the British. 214
FAR  OUT.
Towards the middle of 1852 the war on the Kei was
over, and the English governor, Sir George Cathcart,
bethought him of a new move. He ordered the assembly of a field force on the Orange Biver in the
month of November of that year, and, crossing the
river early in December, moved along the right bank
of the Caledon. He had with him the finest force
ever seen in South Africa—a regiment of lancers, a
battery of artillery, and four regiments of light
infantry.
About mid-December the little army reached Platt-
berg, on the Caledon; a few miles across the river
lay the mountain fastnesses of Thaba Bossiou, and
from the ridge of Plattberg could be seen the hills and
rocks of Basutoland stretching from the river side to
the Malutis.
On the 19th of December Moshesh came to the
English camp in considerable alarm. The interview
between him and the British commander was a
curious one. Cathcart demanded ten thousand head
of cattle and a large number of horses as a fine for
the misdeeds of the Basutos. Moshesh expostulated,
declared the number was out of all reason, begged for
time, spoke parable after parable, dealt in metaphor
by the hour; but all to little purpose. "Peace is
like the rain that makes the grass grow," he said,
I war is the hot wind that burns it up."
At last, finding neither metaphor nor entreaty of
any avail to prevent the lessening of the fine imposed
upon him, he asked the General what would happen SOUTH  AFRICA.
215
if the whole number were not forthcoming on the
third day. " In that case I will go and take them,"
was the reply. " War is bad," answered Moshesh ;
"but even a beaten dog will bite." Then he went
back to bis mountain.
The 20th of December came. At daybreak the
army moved from its camp at Plattberg, crossed" the
flooded Caledon on pontoons, and held its way towards Thaba Bossiou. It was a dull overcast morning : now and again the vapour broke into rifts, and
between them could be seen the steep sides of cliffs
hanging abruptly over winding valleys, and at times,
perched on some craggy point, a Basuto scout was
visible, keenly watching from his shaggy pony the
moving column beneath ; all else was quiet.
From the centre of the valley through which the
column marched a large hill rose abruptly before the
troops, and stood like a great island in a stream,
the valley separating at its base and throwing out
arms on either side. The hill that rose between these
branching valleys was high and table-topped; its
sides, scarped into perpendicular " krances " near the
summit, sloped down at a steep angle near the base,
where lay piled together a debris of crag and boulder,
long since ruined and shattered from the rock frontlet
above.
The hill was called the Berea. At the spot where
the gorge or valley divided into branches, Cathcart
divided his little army too. The lancers followed
the valley to the left; the infantry took the hill of m
216
FAR   OUT.
the Berea in front; the artillery, the general and his
staff, and half a battalion of foot, kept along the valley
to the right.
It was a strange disposal of the little army. The
valleys along which the wings moved diverged further
and further apart — mist, fog, crag, and precipice
intercepted the view; nothing could be seen of the
table-topped hill save its scarped sides and rugged
." krances" ; troops in the valley could render no
assistance to troops on the hill; nor was it possible
to communicate from one valley to another, except by
a long circle round the base of the Berea. It is difficult to climb these table mountains, but it is ten
times more difficult to come down them again; for
the rugged path which zig-zags through the cliffs
can be traced from beneath, but is altogether lost
from above.
On the summit of the Berea Hill Moshesh had
collected together a vast number of cattle and horses;
these the cavalry had orders to capture. Through a
rough and broken incline, which wound through rocks
and shingle, the lancers reached the top of the Berea.
On all sides there spread around them a level expanse
of sward, upon which Basutos galloped to and fro
endeavouring to urge to greater haste huge droves of
cattle. The lancers rode in among the cattle; the
Basutos fled into the fog. For a time all went well ;
but the work of cattle-driving was not a military
manoeuvre much in practice among the cavalry, and
the troopers riding to and fro soon became detached SOUTH  AFRICA.
217
into broken parties of a few men lost in a'maze of
terrified animals.
All at once through the fog there came a dense
mass of Basutos riding down upon the scattered
troopers. The cattle broke in every direction—in vain
the lancers tried to rally; from rock and crevice,
from the sharp edge of the precipice where the flat-
topped hill dipped all at once out of sight, the shaggy
ponies and their naked riders came sweeping through
the wreaths of mist—the right, the left, the north,
and the south had all become to the English soldier a
hopeless puzzle; some fought singly against many
foes; others, endeavouring to reach the main body,
became only further separated from it; others, pent
between their enemies and the wall-like precipice
edge, boldly charged into the Basutos. In a few moments a score of the finest cavalry in the world had
been killed, their horses taken, their gay trappings
torn off, and then was there seen the singular sight
of these monkey-like negroes, arrayed in scarlet coat
and leather over-all, flourishing bright-pennoned
lances aloft as they galloped hither and thither over
the table-land of the Berea Hill.
While this wretched scene was being enacted on the
left, the centre column of infantry pushed its way up
the precipice and gained a footing on the summit. A
mounted staff-officer was with them. Biding some
distance in advance of the front of the column, he
thought he discerned in the fog. the helmets and
pennons of the lancers.    Galloping up to them, he 218
FAR  OUT.
suddenly'found himself surrounded by Basutos dressed
in cavalry uniform. Faunce is said to have surrendered his sword, and asked for a few minutes' grace
before his death. Some hesitation appears to have
been felt by the Basutos at the final moment. There
were those among the savages who would have spared
the life of the prisoner; but while some clamoured
for his life and others sought to preserve it, news
came that the white soldiers had killed Basuto women
at the base of the Berea Hill, and these tidings decided
the captive's fate.    He was killed on the spot.
The day wore to a close. Cathcart spent many an
anxious moment. Dark clouds of Basuto horsemen
hovered around the English army. At length the
infantry descended from the hill; the clouds of horsemen seemed to increase. For a moment, it is said,
the English general deemed himself lost. "Let us
die like English soldiers," he exclaimed to some of
his staff.
" Die! " exclaimed the fiery-spirited Eyre, who had
just arrived, maddened by the result of the day.
I Give me leave, sir, and I will soon answer for this
black rabble."
But night was already closing; and as the daylight
darkened over Thaba Bossiou, the Basutos drew off
into the mountains.
Next morning Cathcart withdrew his forces to his
original camp on the Caledon. The troops were wild
to avenge the disasters of the Berea. Such an army
foiled by such a foe!   They must advance again and «
SOUTH  AFRICA.
219
storm Thaba Bossiou. But ere the morning wore
away, messengers came from Moshesh. That crafty
chief knew well what would be the result of his transient victory. His soldiers might deck themselves
with the lancer trophies, but the triumph would be
short-lived if he did not at once make peace ; so, with
many protestations of submission, the old chief offered
cattle and horses to the General he had beaten but
the previous day, and besought the clemency and
forbearance of the vanquished.
It was a sagacious move. Moshesh blazoned forth
his triumph far and near to Kaffir, Zulu, and
Bechuana; for many a day the lancers' pennons
flew gaily above some Basuto kraal, tokens of Basuto
victory over the white man. But by his crafty submission Moshesh saved his kingdom from destruction;
and if to-day there is a native state called Basutoland
in South Africa, it is because the old chief knew how
to build a bridge for a baffled foe and to pay him
handsomely for crossing it.
This battle on the Berea Hill was fought in December, 1852. Ere a second December had passed the
old English general had fallen on a far-off Crimean
field, and the hill named I Cathcart's," in memory of
him, was furrowed deep with the graves of England's
bravest sons who had died " like English soldiers." II.
A N evil day was drawing nigh for British interests
-^ in South Africa. The Orange Biver sovereignty
was to be given up. British troops, flag, and government were to withdraw from it, and a boundary was
to be set to a dominion in whose possible future
might even then have been read, in legible letters, a
realisation of that old name given two hundred years
before by the Portuguese discoverer, the " Good
Hope I of a great empire set in the lonely ocean
beneath the Southern Cross.
It is easy to be wise after the event, to say what
should have been, to picture what might have been,
to point where empire has been lost and chance
misused; but in this case of Orange sovereignty
abandonment, such wisdom could have been gathered
then quite as easily as it can be gleaned now. Nay,
even nature taught the lesson better then than she
does to-day. At that time, far as the eye could reach,
the vast plain of the Free State was a shifting scene
of light-limbed antelopes, and millions of wild animals
drew rich sustenance from that grass so green in
summer, so brown and sere under the winter's sun. SOUTH  AFRICA.
221
"It is a desert," writes one English governor in
1852 or 1853. "It is richer than any part of
Australia," writes another, just four years later. Yes,
it was a desert in the sense that man was a stranger
there, that .no fence crossed the land, no homestead
was to be seen. It was a desert such as the rover
poet Pringle loved to sing of as he wandered at will
through its solitudes. Here is a picture of this
desert as he painted it:—
Afar in the desert I love to ride,
With the silent bush-boy alone by my side.
Away, away, from the dwellings of men,
By the wild deers' haunt, and the buffaloes' glen;
By valleys remote, where the oribi plays,
Where the gnoo, the gazelle, and tbe hartebeeste graze,
And the gemsbok and eland unheeded recline,
By the skirts of grey forest o'ergrown with wild vine,
And the elephant browses at peace in his wood,
And the river-horse gambols unscared by the flood,
And the mighty rhinoceros wallows at will
In the " vley" where the wild ass is drinking his fill.
True, there was one real desert in it, a region where
water was scarce and grass was scant, a spot looking
over which the traveller might exclaim, | This is
worthless." Yet even there, in the centre of that
waste of red, brick-dust plain, one day a herd-boy
caught the gleam of a pebble that sparkled like a
star, and now on that spot twelve thousand men
are digging deep into the earth in the richest diamond
mine the world has seen.
There is nothing worthless under the sun; if the 222
FAR  OUT.
wealth of nature lies not on the surface, it is only
because she has hidden it in her bosom.
In 1854 the abandonment of the Orange Biver,
sovereignty was consummated. The story of that
abandonment, as it is told to-day in the Orange Free
State, is pitiable enough. It is said that the majority
of the inhabitants were hostile to the change. Many
settlers had established themselves in the territory,
and British power had taken root. The more turbulent
Boer had fled into wilds more remote. Settlements
were springing up.
All'at once the scene was changed. A commission
arrived from England to surrender the sovereignty
to the Dutch. For a long time no one would accept
the surrender. Meetings opposing it were held; resolutions were adopted declaring the unalterable
attachment of the inhabitants to the English flag:
petitions were presented, but they all mattered little;
the act had been already decided on, and it was to be
done one way or another.
At last a party was got together willing to receive
over the territory. They were obscure individuals;
but on paper their names, when finally inscribed,
looked formidable enough. It is widely asserted
to-day in the Free State that this risky feat of penmanship was only achieved by the Boers after a
liberal offer of English gold, "to defray the expenses
of the transfer," had been made to them by the
British authorities.
At length the deed was ratified.    The birthright of SOUTH   AFRICA.
223
Britain in this southern world was signed away, and
a document was launched into life which, as time
goes on, becomes more vividly injurious to English
interests, and year by year grows into a more fatal
instrument against British power in South Africa,
following out but too truly the law which gives to
political error no final resting-place. Let us run
rapidly over the succeeding twenty years.
The Free State grew. Another large republic arose
still farther off to the north. Where the Free State
ended at the south shore of the Vaal Biver, the Transvaal Dutch Bepublic began on the north shore, and
ended no man could tell where. One ambitious President fixed the northern boundary at the Crocodile
Biver, another said it must be at the Limpopo,
another would claim the Zambesi, the tropic of Capricorn, or the Equator. If the natives objected, a "commando " soon settled matters. A commando was
merely a new name for an old thing. It was war
without any of the usages or restraints which civilisation has imposed on war. It meant night surprise,
destruction of crops and cattle, no prisoners, cave-
smoking, killing of women, &c.
Here is Lord Stanley's opinion of "commandoes":
" They are frequently undertaken," he writes, "as a
means of gratifying the cupidity or vengeance of the
Dutch or English farmers; and further, they are
marked by the most atrocious disregard of human life."
But further off, towards the remote north,  they tJtai
224
FAR  OUT.
meant more than this. There was in the Transvaal
an institution called " apprenticeship." Young negro
children, without parents, could be apprenticed to
farmers for a term of years. Orphans are not more
numerous in the neighbourhood of the Limpopo than
they are in other parts of the world; but when orphans are at a premium, it becomes possible to improve upon nature, and to make them to order. It
rests upon authority not to be disputed that women
were butchered at their kraals in the north of the
Transvaal Bepublic but a few years ago, for the sole
purpose of enabling their murderers to carry away
orphans to Pretoria, the capital of the republic.
All this is very horrible, and many men reading it
in South Africa will perhaps exclaim against the
writer for here placing it on record; but it is better
that these dark things should be brought face to face
with the light of day—better for us in England, as
well as for our cousins in South Africa; for, strong as
we imagine to be our sense of justice, of honour, or of
courage, it is well for us to know that it all rests upon
a frail foundation, and for those in savage lands to
realise that, no matter how remote may be the region
wherein these dark deeds are done, there will come a
time when, even to the short-seeing eye of man, they
will be laid bare.
But to return to the Orange Free State and our
mountain Basutoland.
Some years after the withdrawal of British power
from the north of the Orange Biver, war broke out SOUTH AFRICA.
225
between the Boers and the Basutos. The conflict
ended favourably for the natives. The Dutch farmers
could with difficulty be held together; as yet the infant
republic lacked the spirit of nationality or of cohesion,
and Moshesh proved fully a match for his white
enemies.
Peace was made, leaving matters much as they had
been before the struggle.
DO
In 1866 war broke out afresh. A new President,
had assumed the direction of the Free State Government. He was a man trained under the influence of
British institutions, although a thorough representative of Dutch traditions. His energy and determination soon made themselves apparent. The Basuto
war was carried on with vigour. Hitherto the table-
topped fastnesses south of the Caledon had been
deemed impregnable. In 1867 Makwai's mountain
was attacked and taken, and soon after Tandtgiesberg
was carried and the chief Pushili killed.
The following year saw the Boers in possession
of Qumi, the mountain stronghold of Letsia, Mo-
shesh's favourite son; and the same year beheld the
celebrated Thaba Bossiou, Moshesh's mountain, invested by his enemy. The fight around this rugged
hill was long and varied. Several times the Dutch
attempted to storm the steep stronghold, and as often
were they forced to relinquish the assault. Englishmen mustered strong in the Dutch army, and English
breechloading rifles, and Armstrong and Whitworth
guns, were plentiful too.
Q mslmt
226
FAR  OUT.
The Free State complained bitterly that we aided
the Basutos with arms and ammunition, and sympathy; but every rifle fired at Thaba Bossiou, and
every shell flung on the rocky ledge where old Moshesh battled bravely against his foes, came from an
English arsenal or an English factory; and when,
once, a Boer column did make a temporary landing
on the scarped ledge by the summit of the beleaguered
rock, it was an English officer who led them on,
fighting for hours alone upon the ledge from which
his followers had retreated. If our sympathy went
with the Basutos, something more practical than
sympathy was given to the Dutch.
Thaba Bossiou was never taken. Beduced to direst
famine, shelled and shot at, the rocky ledge still held
out; and before famine could complete its work,
British intervention saved the mountain State. Basutoland was declared British territory, Moshesh was
taken under the protection of the English flag, and
the Free State was told to stay its hands. It was full
time for our intervention. More than two thousand
Basutos had fallen; all the cattle, horses, waggons,
ploughs, even clothes belonging to the natives, had
been destroyed; the kraals had been utterly demolished; the wretched women and children and old.
men had crowded into dark and loathsome caverns in
the rocky hills, where, bereft of food and covering,
they perished miserably from fever, cold, and famine.
Of course there were loud denunciations from the
Dutch for this saving from utter annihilation of the SOUTH  AFRICA.
227
remnant of their foes. They had already annexed the
greater portion of the fertile valleys north of the
Caledon; they hungered still for the rugged hills and
steep glens which lay between the Caledon and the
blue Maluti Mountains; and to-day, through the
Free State, one often hears, heading the catalogue of
crimes recounted against England in South Africa,
her merciful preservation of old Moshesh and his
mountaineers from the rapacious destruction of the
Dutch Boers.
In the foregoing pages we have sketched the history
of this native mountain State, not because of any
importance to-day attaching to its existence, or of any
influence which it exercises upon the communities
surrounding it, but because it is, geographically
speaking, the keystone of the South African structure,
the fountain-head of its water system, the summit of
its surface; and as from the Alps one looks down
upon France, Italy, and Germany, and by a single
turn of the head takes mental grasp of half Europe,
so this rugged land of peaks has beneath and around
it a sweep of horizon which embodies almost at a
glance the entire topography of South Africa.
To catch from mere description the outline of a
continent, to see mountains and rivers, plains and
valleys, as they lie in the vast inanity of nature—to
behold that wonderful view over the outspread earth
which the eagle sees when he is a speck in heaven,
that "bird's-eye view" which we so often speak of Bt-m
228
FAR  OUT.
but so seldom realise—this, perhaps, is the most
difficult task the reader has to learn from the writer;
for it is a lesson hard enough for the man who has
himself looked upon the land which he would fain portray; and it is also a lesson without knowledge of
which all other knowledge of the people or policy of
distant lands is unfinished and incomplete.
In the preceding pages we have looked, as it were,
from a lofty height, upon that part of South Africa
which contains to a greater extent than any other
portion what may be called the future of the continent.
Coal, iron, gold, diamonds—these are great treasures ; and these lie locked beneath the' lands we
have just surveyed, to an extent the knowledge of
which is still in its crude commencement.
There is an angle of the meadow which we call
Natal, where four States all meet together at one
point. Through a vast rolling plain many streams
and rivers run eastward from the Drakensberg; a few
ostriches still stretch their long necks above the
hill horizon to watch the passing traveller on his way;
the oribi bounds from the yellow grass before the
horse's gallop; a herd of hartebeeste watch warily
from afar at waggon or rider. The place is called
the Newcastle Flat. It is well named, for frequently
one sees, when the yellow clay has been washed and
cut into deep channels by summer floods, huge dark
seams of rock-like coal thrust up between layers of
trap and sandstone lying but a few feet from the surface.   It is  a curious  sight.   Here, unworked, un- SOUTH  AFRICA.
229
heeded, unborn, lies a mighty future; this is the
great coal-bed of South Africa. As the rider now
draws bridle by one of these breaks in the yellow'
clay, he "sees only the great stretch of plain, the wild
deer on the hilltop, the sun going down blood-red
through the smoke of distant grass-fires; he hears
nothing but the rustle of wind through waving grass,
and the drip of water down the sandstone channel;
and, as he looks upon the quiet wilderness, there
crosses his mind a vision of great factories; of tall
chimneys pouring forth dark streams of smoke,
blurring the sunlight and blotting the sky; of men
and women, and children, from whose faces the light
of heaven has also been blotted out and blurred; of
the flare of gas on pallid cheek, and the roll of steam
along iron road, when, in the fulness of time, this
dark deep seam shall be followed into the bowels of
the earth, and flung forth to feed the furnaces of the
world's toil.
We have already spoken of the diamonds of the
Vaal Biver. We will now endeavour to place before
the reader an image of the gigantic pit in whose
depths ten thousand men are delving deeper year by
year.
We have said before that the Vaal and Orange
Bivers, both springing from the range of the Drakensberg, approach each other some three hundred miles
from their sources, and joining their waters in the
midst of a vast plain of brick-coloured clay, on which
the thorny mimosa  grows, gnarled and stunted, in 230
FAR  OUT.
scattered clumps, pours westward a constantly
decreasing volume through the sands of Damara and
the arid plains of the Kalaharri Desert.
In the angle formed by the two rivers, at about
eighty miles from their point of junction, a strange
scene rises suddenly before the traveller's eye.
la the middle of a great plain—a plain so vast that
its hills and undulations, its trap eruptions, "kopjes,"
and salt-pans are all merged by distance into a
uniform sense of level—there is seen an immense
assemblage of huts and houses, tents and flag-staffs.
High above roof or flag-pole a huge, irregular mound
of earth rises from tthe centre of this city on the
plain, and as the traveller approaches the city he sees
that it is built around the base of this great mound,
which shelves down at that steep angle which is
formed by the labour of the navvy-mound builder
working from a higher level.
Without design or order, the huts and tents rise
confusedly on every side; corrugated iron and canvas
are the materials from which dwelling-house, church,
drinking-saloon, store, and shed have been built. The
city of Kimberley, or Colesberg, or New Bush, as it is
variously named, is a city of tin and tent. But if
the materials with which man has built this town in
the desert be simple, the builder-man has been compound enough. Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and
Australasia have all sent their representatives to
Kimberley. The African.delves in the mine; the representatives from the rest of the world buy, sell, and SOUTH  AFRICA.
231
drink, in the town. When the water deepens in the
-great pit the two first avocations are considerably
curtailed, and in their places are substituted politics.
Two great factions then appear in the city of diamonds ; they are " loyal men " and " rebels."
On the latter side one finds the usual curious combination; there is the German malcontent, there is
the English malcontent, there is the Irish malcontent,
and, in addition to these units of European disaffection,
there is also found here the malcontent of Natal.
First take the Teutonic upholder of liberty. He
has two prefixes to his name—Captain and Von. It
is needless to say that he possesses only that claim to
either title that arises from almost unlimited capability of consuming beer and tobacco. He has a popular reputation, however, for having seen service, and
there are certain hints thrown out by his immediate
friends of his being closely connected with Von
Moltke, whose portrait (taken from an illustrated
paper) is hung conspicuously in his tin house.
Captain Von Drinckhishfils commands a following
of about forty men; they are all Germans, and have,
like their leader, acquired, rightly or wrongly, a reputation for arms; some are Bavarians, some are Saxons,
some are pure Prussians; all are imbued with a high
spirit of independence, discordant wind instruments,
strong waters, and tobacco. They do not wash much,
and whether in the mine or in the glass, hold water in
low estimation.
Von Drinckhishfils and his company are reported 232
FAR  OUT.
to have shown considerable military knowledge at a
recent rescue of a "rebel""storekeeper from the hands
of four constables who were conveying him to jail,
on which occasion they took up a strategic position
in an extinct diamond pit, a position which was as
menacing to the four representatives of tyrannical
oppression as it was secure from any stray bullet
which might happen to be abroad.
The English malcontent is quite another kind of
being; his antagonism to the government at the
fields is based chiefly on opposition to the principle
of universal equality of black and white men. He is
of that type peculiar to* the middle and lower class
Anglo-Saxon, whose ideas of universal equality have
reference only to a set of beings above them in the
social scale, and who would substitute repressive
superiority whenever the sentiment affects a lower or
a differently coloured race of men.
He takes his stand, he will tell you, upon the inalienable right of every born Briton to make, frame,
and adjust his own law, and as he individually has
not made, framed, or adjusted the law by which
native Africans are graciously permitted to dig on
African soil for African diamonds on their own
account, he is determined to resist to the utmost such
a manifest injustice.
And now, having glanced at some of the human
dwellers at the base of the great mound of Colesberg,
let us ascend the steep bank itself, and gaze at the
curious scene which opens before us.
A big pit! at top twelve acres of superficial size, SOUTH  AFRICA.
29'
66
two hundred feet deep at its deepest, its floor cut into
innumerable squares, its sides falling steep from a
clear cut edge. Around that edge rise, tier over tier,
three rows of wooden platforms, from which wheels
and pulleys, and iron ropes run downwards into the
yawning abyss below. Thick as black men can swarm,
on these wooden platforms stand nearly naked negroes,
working wheel and pulley, bucket and rope. Looking
down into the pit one sees thousands of wire ropes
crossing and recrossing each other, stretched " taut "
from I the claim" beneath to the platform above.
There are six hundred whole claims in this mighty
pit; but claims have been split into> halves, quarters,
eighths, and even sixteenths.  ■
Down below black figures, dwarfed by distance, are
digging, picking, and filling into leather buckets a
dark bluish clay, half stone, half marl; when the
bucket fills, a signal to the men on the platform
above is given from beneath, the wheels fly round,
and along the wire rope runs the load of " diamond -
iferous " clay to the pit edge aloft.
Beyond all attefnpt at number are these ropes and
lines of wire; buckets come and go along them with
puzzling rapidity. A mighty whirr of wheels fills the
immense arena; a vast human hum floats up from
ten thousand throats. Such a sight must the great
tower by the Babylonian stream have presented; but
assuredly nowhere else could the eye have taken at a
single glance such an accumulation of labour, all
tending to one toil and one effort.
Let the man be who he may; let him have seen all 234
FAR  OUT.
the world holds best worth seeing in the work of
man, old or new; let him have grown tired of wonders
by land and sea; still we will venture to assert that, as
he climbs the side of this clay mound, and looks from
the edge of the bordering rock into the Colesberg
"kopje," he will stand for a moment riveted to the
spot, in the first impulse of a new astonishment.
But there are many questions which the reader
will require answered, ere he can see even faintly the
pit and its mode of work. How is the dividing line
kept between claim and claim? Where is the clay
put that is taken out of the pit? How are the
diamonds extracted from the clay ? Is the clay all of
this bluish marl-like description ? How are the sides
of the pit kept from falling in? These, and many
more questions, will arise to the reader's mind as he
scans what we have written.
The pit sides are cut steeply down. Nature has
faced them for the most part with a lining of rock.
This lining, called " the reef," forms the boundary of
the diamond mine: one foot outside that boundary
reef there are no diamonds. At times the reef hangs
dangerously over the pit, and then it has to be taken
down, and the edge sloped off at a greater angle.
For a great'depth now the work has been carried
through nothing but this blue marl-like clay, but it
was not always so. At first the soil was a reddish
gravel; it was rich in diamonds. All at once the red
gravel gave place to yellow clay. Men said, " There
will be no more precious stones, the red gravel is all SOUTH  AFRICA.
235
gone;" but men, as they often are, were wrong, and
the diamonds went on as before. At last the bluish
soft rock was reached; again the wise people said,
"Now there is an end to diamond digging." But
diamond digging went on in the bluish marl rock, as
it had gone on in the other clays and gravels.
When this clay, or rock, or gravel' is brought to the
surface, it can no longer be piled, as of yore, around
the edge of the great pit; there is no room now, and
already the heap is high and vast enough. So
hundreds of horses are employed in carting away the
diamondiferous soil, and placing it in various parts of
the great surrounding plain. Here the action of sun,
and air, and cold night soon causes the half-solid
mass to disintegrate, and then, when it has softened,
begins the work of washing.
To pick out the precious stones was for years noi
easy matter; the apparatus was rude and incomplete,
and many a valuable gem slipped through and was
lost in the debris clay. Now all that is changed, a
closer scrutiny is possible; and so perfect has become
the means of sifting, that the old debris of former
years is being worked over again, and many a rich
gem taken from its vast accumulation.
People will naturally ask, "Must there not be great
robberies practised in this immense pit ? " The answer is unquestionably "Yes "; but let us not run away
with the matter all at once. These frequent pilferings
of stones are the chief causes of the white man's antipathy to his black labourer at the fields; but when- 236
FAR  OUT.
ever we have heard the negro denounced for his
diamond-stealing, it has always occurred to us to ask
our righteous white friend, | How do you think you
would fare if you employed twenty white men instead
of these twenty Zulus or Bechuanas ? Do you think
the pilfering would cease ? Not a bit of it; it would
be ten times greater." We unhesitatingly state our
opinion that if the present system of diamond-digging
were attempted with the ordinary white labour of the
world, be that labour British, German, or American,
it would be simply impossible to continue it, so wholesale would be the stealing. It is only with the black
man that there is left sufficient honesty to permit the
continuance of profitable digging.
The term "digger," as it is frequently used at
Kimberley, is a delusive one. In the papers, over the
doors of shops, in political placards, one sees the
"digger"prominently put forward. There are "digger associations," "digger saloons," "digger meetings," even " digger drinks," but the real digger is
the negro. The proprietor of the claim is no more
a digger, in the American or Australian sense of
the term, than an English railroad contractor is a
navvy.
Some years ago, when the diamond excitement was
at its highest point, an English illustrated journal
published a view of the fields. In the background of
this picture many negroes were at work, picking and
grubbing in the earth; in the foreground there stood
the figure of a white man with an umbrella over his SOUTH  AFRICA.
237
head; he was busily engaged in kicking a large
negro; both parties seem dissatisfied with the occupation. Matters have changed since then. The
competition for negro work is now very great, and
masters have to be more careful how they. kick.
" Give a dog a bad name and hang him," says the
proverb. Give a master a bad name and his work
hangs, is a patent truth in South Africa.
It is curious to note what a strange variety of opinions one hears throughout the country relative to
black labour. I He [the negro] is the laziest brute
on earth," one man will tell you. 11 can get as
much labour as I want," will confide to you the next
comer.
To-day, in the Free State, it is almost impossible to
obtain labour on a Dutch farm. Go a few miles off,
to an English holding, and you will find labour sufficient and to spare.
We do not mean to assert that the negro works for
the sake of work. Who does, the wide world over ?
But we do say that in Natal, in' the Orange Free
State, and at the diamond fields, labour can be obtained by those who go about it in the right spirit.
In South Africa no white man works. There are
white artisans and skilled workmen, it is true, but
they are at enormous wage. They make more in a
week than many London office men make in a month.
At the diamond fields they obtain £2 per diem, and
in Natal £1 or more; but the white labourer, pure
and simple—the man with the  shovel, the stone- »  —
238
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breaker, Hodge in a smock and with a hedge-clipper
—does not exist. There is no hiding the fact that
labour is at a discount; some will tell you it is because of the climate, but in America we have seen
white labour carried on unceasingly, under conditions
of heat and exposure more trying than those of South
Africa. The real cause is to be found in the fact that
black labour is possible to obtain.
What the black man does in this matter his white
cousin must not do. " The nobility of labour " ceases
to bear patent when the African has to be raised to
the peerage through it, and the "long pedigree of
toil I becomes considerably shortened when its tree
has its root in the I midriff" of the negro. rFO revert to the question of diamond-stealing at
the fields.
Let us think for a moment how facile is the theft.
Peter, good Christian Kaffir, Nehemiah, excellent
Basuto, Manyougootoosoo, pure original Kaffir, or
Whatdooyoocoolum, admirable Corrana, are at work,
individually and collectively, in claim No. 555, belonging to the firm of White, Mann, & Co. All at once
a small bright stone sparkles in the clay, close to the
great outspread foot of Whatdooyoocoolum or Nehemiah. The respected members of the firm of White,
Mann, & Co. are absent. White is lunching at the
Craven Club, Mann has gone to look for Namaqua
partridges towards the Vaal Biver, the Co. is at his
usual post in black letters in the mining register.
Well, then, what happens ? Only this. Whatdooyoocoolum places for a moment his great toe upon the
little gem, and a moment later quietly transfers the
brilliant pebble into his mouth, or under his wool,
where it rests safe and sound until the evening has
come, and up from the vast pit stream countless
negroes to scatter for the night over the dusky plain. 240
FAR  OUT.
And now for the market where this stolen diamond
finds sale—that is white. The black man does the
stealing, but it is the white man who generally gets
the stolen gem. Sometimes the stolen stones are
not disposed of at the fields, but are taken back into
the interior by the returning negro. ■ The chief
Lo-Benguela dwells far away by the water of the,
Limpopo. When he gave permission to fifty of his
young men to visit the diamond fields as labourers,
he stipulated that, in addition to every man bringing
back a rifle and twelve pounds of ammunition, they
were also to give him one diamond each man.
Six or eight months later forty-eight men trudge
homeward al,ong the weary road which leads to the
Limpopo; a bucket falling from the reef edge of the
pit settled for this world the account of No. 49 ;
50 had his thick head split in a row with the
Amakosae Kaffirs, so forty-eight go back to their
northern kraals, carrying forty-eight muskets, a
goodly store of ammunition, some red rugs, and forty-
eight bright little stones carefully hidden away.
When they arrive at their destination they hand
over the forty-eight diamonds to the chief Lo-Benguela,
who drops them into a little .earthern vessel in which
many others already lie snugly; and every now and
again he takes the earthen cup between his hands,
and shakes it until the stones rattle and glisten, and
then he says, " See ! this is easy to carry. In a day
I can walk a long way with this. Not so with lands
or rivers.   I cannot carry the