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B.C. 1887 : a ramble in British Columbia : with map and 75 illustrations from sketches and photographs… Lees, J. A. (James Arthur), 1852-; Clutterbuck, Walter J. 1888

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Array  
THE UNIVERSITY OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA
LIBRARY  
BALLANTYNE,   HANSON  AND  CO.
EDINBURGH AND LONDON     B. C. 1887
A RAMBLE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
BY
J. A. LEES and W. J. CLUTTERBUCK
AUTHORS OF "THREE IN NORWAY"
ttjj iftflap: atttf 75 Hlttstrattons ixzm &ftetcljts anto pfjotograpf)*
LONDON
LONGMANS,    GREEN,    AND    CO.
AND NEW YORK : 15 EAST 16* STREET
1888
A // rights reserved  " To any person who has all his senses about him a quiet walk
along not more than ten or twelve miles of road a day is the
most amusing of all travelling. ... If advancing thus slowly
after some days we approach any more interesting scenery,
every yard of the changeful ground becomes precious and
piquant; and the continual increase of hope and of surrounding
beauty affords one of the most exquisite enjoyments possible to
the healthy mind ; besides that real knowledge is acquired of
whatever it is the object of travelling to learn, and a certain
sublimity given to all places, so attained, by the true sense of
the spaces of earth that separate them."—Rtiskin.
"Reading makes us intelligent and learn about things we
would otherwise hear nothing.
" It is pleasant to recapitulate stories to persons who probably
have not had the opportunity of reading them, and it therefore
passes many a dreary hour away and makes many a person
renew his happiness by hoping for such a favourable end as
some characters as are described in the book."—English as she
is taught.  CONTENTS
CHAP.
PAGE
INTRODUCTION
I
I.  THE ATLANTIC
■        7
II.  THE ST.   LAWRENCE
■     l6
III.  MANNERS AND  CUSTOMS
B 24
IV.  PREPARATIONS
11
V.   BY STEAMER.
jj-42
VI.  THE C.P.R.      .
1 5°
VII.  THE  ROCKIES
163
VIII.  B. C	
1 68
IX.   MOSQUITO  CAMP   .
1 76
X.  CANYON  CREEK     .
1 9I
XI.  THE COLUMBIA      .
198
XII.  THE SINCLAIR  PASS
.    106
XIII.   MUTTON           ...
118
XIV. THE KOOTENAY     .
130
XV.  THE INDIAN RISING
145
XVI.  CHARR   ....
161
XVII.  CANOEING
■  175
XVIII.  SKOOKUMCHUCK   .
189
XIX.  CRANBROOK .
203
XX. LAKE MOOYIE        ,
<
211 via
Contents.
CHAP.
PAGE
XXI.
PACKING	
225
XXII.
ON  THE TRAMP     ....
•              •               •       238
XXIII.
ELK  RIVER	
.       254
XXIV.
THE SOUTH  FORK
.       266
XXV.
BREAD AND  HONEY
•       279
XXVI.
BACK AGAIN            ....
•                                      293
XXVII.
OPENING  OF THE LODGE      .
.       302
XXVIII.
THE MOOYIE TRAIL
•     5l2>
XXIX.
YANKEE DOODLE ....
.     322
XXX.
MUD	
"3 "5 1
555
XXXI.
THE FLATBOWS      ....
•    342
XXXII.
DICK  FRY'S	
Sill 1 • 352
XXXIII.
THE N.P.R	
. 362
XXXIV.
THE PACIFIC            ....
. 372
XXXV.
EASTWARD  HO !     .
.   .  . 382 INTRODUCTION.
WHO.
The wise men, we are told, came from the East, a fact
which is conspicuously apparent to any traveller in
those counties which are reached from Liverpool
Street Station. Whither they have gone is another
matter not so easily decided, but it seems to be very
natural to suppose that they went to the West.
Through countless ages the same process has been
going on, and still the wiser ones of our own time
year by year betake themselves to those regions
which, in the words of an eminent divine, are
" bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the
west by the Setting Sun, on the north by the Aurora
Borealis, and on the south by the Day of Judgment."
Thus it came about that the writers, seeing no other
chance of commending their wisdom to a too censorious
world, determined to try a ramble in the mountains
of British Columbia.
But for the benefit of those who may have scanned1
the pages of Three in Norway (and survived), it must
be confessed that a slight change has taken place.
John—good luck to him—is married and settled ; the
Skipper unmarried but settled—in his determination
to remain so; and Esau married but unsettled, and-
searching for a place to settle in, in which quest the
A Introduction.
Skipper volunteered to assist him. A third companion neither married nor settled was deemed necessary, and a very suitable one was found in Esau's
younger brother, who will be known throughout the
following pages as " Cardie," while Esau himself reappears as "Jim," a title which he considers more
appropriate to his present domesticated condition.
Our only reason for using these names is that as they
happen to belong to their reputed owners, it saves us
the trouble of inventing others.
Cardie is long, dark, and good-looking : he lives
absolutely alone in a log-cabin 10,000 feet above sea-
level in the Rocky Mountains, accompanied only by a
silver (?) mine rejoicing in the appropriate title of the
" Micawber." As the silver has not yet " turned up,"
he was easily persuaded to make one of the party.
Jim and the Skipper are, we hope, sufficiently well-
known already.
WHY.
Our object in exploring this little known country
was to test its capabilities as a home for some of the
public-school and university young men who, in this
overcrowded old England of ours, every year find
themselves more de trop. What are they and their
wives, the English country girls, to do ? The Girton
and Newnham young ladies are of course a sufficiency
unto themselves (and even more than that to most
other people), but what of the not unimportant majority ? They cannot dig—that handicraft having under
the new Slade Professor been eliminated, we believe,
from the academic course,—their soul is distinctly
unfettered  to  an   office stool; the Arts, the Profes- Introduction.
sions, and the Services are all I Full inside," while in
that indefinite article the Stage the " Free List is
Entirely Suspended," and even on the Turf the supply
of welshers always seems in excess of the demand.
Emigration is the one hope left, and from all the
information we could obtain in England, the region
selected seemed likely to provide the necessary attractions for this class of colonists.
WHERE.
A glance at the map will reveal a curious fact in
the physical geography of our only Pacific province.
Almost the whole of the south-eastern portion is
occupied by three parallel ranges of high mountains—■
the Rockies on the east, further west the Selkirks,
and still further the Gold Range. It is only in the
valleys, which in some parts attain to the dignity of
plains between these ranges, that any room can be
found for a man to live and plant domestic animals
and vegetables, without being in danger of falling off
a ledge or slipping into a mountain torrent.
Close to the intersection of lat. 50° and long. 116°
is the Upper Columbia Lake, the head waters of the
mighty river of that name, which flows out of the lake
in a northerly direction. It will be seen that another
river, the Kootenay. which rises in the Rockies north
of this point, almost runs into the same lake, the
strip of land which separates them being in fact little
more than a mile m width. Having avoided that
premature termination to his career, the Kootenay
continues his southerly course across the border into
Montana and Idaho.     There, apparently not thinking -~:t&dfeiMi
■WWjWjWI [JIMMHJHJB4IBT
Introduction.
so much of Republican institutions as those who
have not tried them are apt to do, he takes a sudden
turn northwards, and again becomes a British river
shortly before flowing in placid grandeur into the
great Kootenay Lake. In the meantime the Columbia,
repenting of the precipitate behaviour which led her
to turn her back on the Kootenay in the giddy days
of her youth, has about lat. 52° made an equally
sudden turn to the south, and arrived so close to
the Kootenay that it is an easy matter for the latter
to simply rush into the arms of his long-lost love ;
after which they no doubt live happily ever afterwards. The result of this coquettish separation and
subsequent reunion is that the land on which the
Selkirks stand would be an island but for the narrow
isthmus close to the Columbia Lake already spoken
of. The guiding principle of our wanderings was
the exploration of as much of this river-girt region
as could be accomplished during the autumn months.
HOW.
The reader is now in possession of all the knowledge that we had while on this side of the Atlantic.
If with us he will struggle to the Pacific, he will
obtain various additional pieces of information, the
value of which he is at liberty to estimate for himself. We say at once, however, that the seeker after
sporting adventures and nothing else will be disappointed. Rifles and rods were necessarily taken,
but their use was almost strictly confined to providing food, there being no time in the five months
that were spent on   the  expedition which  could be Introduction.
devoted to " the chase" pure and simple. Another
and more selfish motive (but one which will, we hope,
commend itself to many readers) for the absence
of much hunting lore is this :—The country abounds
with game of various kinds, but except in the winter
it is extremely difficult to find places where any
sport can be obtained. We did in our wanderings
find out a little about such spots, but knowledge so
hardly won is too precious for publication, and—we
hope to make use of it ourselves in the near future.
Voila tout.
We ought to say that nearly all of the birds whose
portraits are given are careful pen and ink copies of
Audubon's beautiful plates. To him and to the artist
who drew them we hereby express our thanks.
||||ia|Hj what. Jt|i!fWmmW^im
And now all explanations being made, the story
of the Three and all that they did, and a great deal
that they didn't, and even more also, will be found set
forth in the succeeding pages.
WHIRROO! y^pup j^gijii.ip' |yu4,.y»j. H*fwp CHAPTER I.
THE  A TLANTIC.
Things looked very promising for a successful start,
when, on Wednesday the 27th of July, this note was
received from the Skipper :•—
I Tuesday.
$ Dear Jim,—I shall leave here to-morrow for Liverpool, so as to be in good time for the steamer on
Friday. Wire if you want me to get anything.—
Yours ever, Skipper."
Any indication of where | here I might be was
carefully omitted, and as the Sardinian with our
berths secured was timed to sail on Thursday afternoon, this missive was productive of much disquietude.
Frantic telegrams were hastily despatched to every
address which had ever been known to act as a home
for the Skipper during his comet-like visits to the
British Isles; but no answers having come to any of
them, it was with a sinking heart that Jim approached
the landing stage at Liverpool, about mid-day on
Thursday the 28th. Mournfully he boarded the
tender, and at once stumbled over a huge pile of what
the Skipper imagines to be absolutely necessary personal luggage.
And then the recriminations commenced which will mmmm>- •        ■teWMWum
ym
8
The Atlantic.
by any one who has undertaken a like expedition be
understood to have continued (with brief intervals for
refreshments) during the next five months. These
encounters, by the way, always terminate with the
satisfactory and cogent piece of argument, li Oh yes, I
know; but then you're different." However, a mutual
desire to reserve our most telling rhetoric for really
great emergencies smoothed matters to some extent,
and we were driven into an alliance offensive and
defensive against the common foe—the dock porter.
He, worthy soul, having during your wrangle with
the cabman captured and carried off every scrap of
your possessions, graciously informs you that the
charge for each article transferred is One Shilling.
This he announces with the assured air of one
protected in a hazardous calling by a special act of
Parliament. Your indebtedness for the porterage of
rug, umbrella, sketch-book, fishing-rod, and cigar-case
is therefore the same as that for the five huge commercial sample boxes which two cranes and a lighter
are with difficulty swinging on to the tender.
Having compounded with this fiend for a sum at
which rate we calculate his income to be about ^"2000
a year, and thereby acquired a knowledge of three
distinct novelties in the art of blasphemy, we soon
stood on the deck of what it is usual to call the good
ship Sardinian.
It may as well be said at once that in these days
of improved transatlantic communication the Allan
Line is an anachronism ; but if this word is libellous,
we apologise, and substitute one that is not. For
their own sake, as well as in the interests of the
mother-country and the great  colony between which
mmm
m The Atlantic.
they form the most important connecting link, the
Allan people ought to bestir themselves. Why should
they not get their fleet up to the same standard of
modern excellence as that of all the great lines steaming between Great Britain and the United States ?
It is probably not too much to say that the inferiority
of the Canadian service is accountable for a large
proportion of the preference which is still shown by
emigrants for the Republic as their future home.
Happily we have reason to believe that the
enterprise which has given Canada her splendid
railway is not to stop there, but that we are shortly
to see established a line of swift steamers inferior
to none on the ocean in point of accommodation, and
superior to even the swiftest of the present wonders
in point of speed. We may therefore confidently look
forwrard to seeing at no distant date the journey
between Liverpool and Vancouver City, the furthest
point by land of the Dominion, performed in absolute
ease and comfort in io-i- days.
It cannot be too often pointed out that with a fast
Atlantic service the saving by this route over all
others (the Suez Canal, the Cape, and Cape Horn) to
any point east of Singapore is immense. At a low
estimate it will be between England and Sydney two
days, Brisbane four or five, Hong-kong two, Shanghai
a week, and between England and Japan nearly three
weeks. And not only is the actual distance to all
these places much shortened, but the climate throughout is temperate, the land journey is over British
territory, and the sea courses are direct and free from
the dangers of coasting navigation.
Having had our little grumble at the Allan Line, TO
The Atlantic.
which, we trust, as the nurses say, will be a warning
to them, we admit that the Sardinian is a good,
comfortable sea-boat, and makes her thirteen knots
or so with considerable regularity. The state-rooms
are badly lighted and not remarkable for smartness
or convenience; the attendance on passengers is not
good, the supply of stewards being apparently hardly
adequate; but she shines nobly in the commissariat
department.
While lying at Moville we studied the intricacies
of this question, the times of the various meals being
a very important—in fact, the only important—matter
on shipboard. We elicited from the steward that
breakfast was at 8.30, but that most of the passengers
took a cup of tea or so and a handful of biscuits
or some such trifle in their cabins before turning
out; luncheon, with soup, hot meat, and pudding,
&c, at 1 ; dinner at 5 ; tea, with hot buttered toast
and jam, at 7 ; I and," he went on with glee at the
growing look of horror on our faces, f supper is served
hot at 9."
Well did Horace exclaim, " Illi robur et aes triplex
circum pectus erat." Surely that man was fashioned
like unto a three-hooped oaken barrel who first went
to sea.
And how did one of us who shall be nameless bear
his part in the conflict ? Simply by meanly lying in
his berth for two days and taking no food at all,
unless half a pint of champagne may fairly be so-
called. Having thus on the third day got a handicap
of ten meals in his favour, he naturally was able to
eat twice as much as every one else for the remainder
of the voyage, and to traitorously scoff at any one who The Atlantic.
suggested that feeding-time came round with perhaps
unnecessary frequency.
Life on the Atlantic is a dull performance, and it
is singular to note how very scarce are the amusing
episodes, and how very amusing those that occur
appear at the time to be. The passengers, with few
exceptions, were uninteresting, but we had a few
shining ones revolving among us. The greatest of
these was a Cambridge professor of the very highest
celebrity,  who   knew   everything   and   divers  other
r&r/ti    rou.%  'repeat*
fittS  QUI . Jk'iltU- . __        ,    .
Then   yeu must'if  Com* &, Mis en£ f <v Slitk !
matters. Before we were two days out he had taken
charge of the entire ship from truck to kelson, and
from the captain down to the Irish baby, and very
well he did it—for a Cambridge man.
Then we had among the steerage passengers an
irrepressible Frenchman in a blue blouse, who before
we were clear of the Mersey invaded the sacred soil
of the saloon deck. At him went the third officer,
" Parlez vous Francais ?" (with an unimpeachable
accent).     Frenchman, with the most affable of smiles, I 2
The Atlantic.
" Mais oui, M'sieu."     " Then (" then " is delicious) you
mustn't come to this end of the deck."
Nor must there be forgotten the dear old bespectacled and chinabowlpiped German, who seemed to be
generally lost in profound meditation, and was never
able to find his way to the cabin where he and a
friend were lodged. Shortly before Jim became convalescent this worthy Teuton appeared one day in the
\\\ \%faF1///,-*
~7~ /
-/ /
A Terrible Apparition.
doorway of our state-room, and after gazing at him
in stolid bewilderment for a couple of minutes, remarked, " Ach ! Dot aind't you." We regret to say
that the untruthful answer he received was, Ki No, it
ain't; " but perhaps the trials of sea-sickness are a fair
excuse for bad temper.
Another individual who became of some importance
to us was bringing over to Canada for free distribution
samples of Edwards' Dessicated (or Dissipated) Soup. The Atlantic.
*3
We are not quite sure what dessicated means, and
certainly-a large number of packages were dissipated
before we arrived, so we do not commit ourselves to
either word. We were presented with half a dozen
small tins of the stuff, and found it about the best
portable soup we have tried.
Then there was an exceedingly knowing gentleman
of uncertain nationality who informed us in confidence
that he was " not exactly of any profession, something
between a solicitor and a broker," but who struck us
as being much more likely to be between two policemen. And we had several members of the Canadian
rifle team returning from Wimbledon, good, quiet
fellows, with an insatiable appetite for deck quoits
and mild poker; two ladies and several other members
of the more selfish sex; a well-known member of the
Canadian Bar; and some schoolboys going home for
the holidays, who, with the last-named Q.C. and a
navy man on special service, were the best company
on board.
Nothing very exciting occurred. We had the
usual fleet of icebergs in and about the Straits of
Belleisle; very beautiful some of them were under a
brilliant moon, with their white gleaming snowy
slopes and sharp blue pinnacles wherever the bare ice
could be seen. The announcement of these caused
the whole company to clothe their eyes with telescopes,
the naked eye being insufficiently powerful to discern
the coldness which is an iceberg's most prominent
characteristic. And how the man with the longest
teles-cope lied as to what he could see on the most
remote berg ! A few whales and petrels served to
break   the monotony of the constant dining,  and  a H
The Atlantic.
strong enough breeze sprang up in the Gulf of St.
Lawrence to keep our decks awash and make landsmen again of some of the passengers, who during
the mild weather of the Atlantic had developed into
the jackest of jack-tars.
At last came the customary misery without which
no North Atlantic voyage would be complete. The
enemy had threatened all along the banks of Newfoundland, now lying in light smoky wreaths all
round us, and anon lifting in patches under the gleams
of a dazzling sun for a few minutes, only to shut
down in greater density for a like period, and then
perhaps without any warning or apparent reason to
vanish as if by magic. Right in the mouth of the
river there swooped down upon us the coldest, densest,
drizzling sea-fog that can be imagined, which, with
the smoke from our own funnels, made the atmosphere
something akin to that enjoyed by travellers on the
Underground Railway, and left the decks and everything on them in the filthiest condition of black slime.
Is there a more weird, dispiriting, and God-forsaken
sound in the world than the perpetually recurring
wail of a great ship's steam-whistle ? We only know of
one, and that is the miserable though half defiant yell
of that Ishmaelite the coyote. Fortunately Providence
has ordained that where the coyote is there the
steam-whistle cannot be, for anything more suggestive
of the lamentation of lost souls in Sheol cannot be
imagined. And through it all we could only pace
the slippery deck and grumble, first at the half-speed
and then the stopped engines, and picture to ourselves
our friends at home, probably lying on the grass
under the green lime-trees, while we who brave the The Atlantic.
F
raging seas have to submit to this scene of desolation and utter loneliness, surrounded by misty immensity. Occasionally came the evidence of the
existence of other mortals in the despairing cry of
another steamer in like pitiable plight, and then the
fateful rattle, rattle, bang of the cable, and the change
from that awful whistle to the still more exasperating
ding, ding, ding, ding, ding of the bell, and we were
informed that we were anchored for that indefinite
period " till the fog clears." (    *6    )
CHAPTER II.
THE ST. LAWRENCE.
»'?
Most things have an end, and by noon on the 6th of
August we were, with our pilot at the masthead—for
the fog only lay for a few feet above the water—
slowly steaming with frequent pauses up the mighty
river, losing many of our passengers at Rimouski,
where the mail tender meets the steamer, and the
inter-colonial railway is available for any one to whom
a few hours are of importance.
The weather kept improving, and soon the wooded
southern bank of the St. Lawrence was plainly visible,
and the air was laden with the delicious scent of the
pine forests, while the eye was charmed and rested
after the weary waste of waters by the ever varying
and ever harmonious green and grey of the distant
hills, and the spotlessly white dwellings of the French
Canadian settlers along the shores. Howbeit, we are
told that much enchantment is lent to the view, and
that it is more pleasing to every sense to contemplate
these inviting-looking cottages from afar than to form
a closer acquaintance with them and their inhabitants,
human and otherwise.
Everything except the forests is whitewashed, and
a school of whales which accompanied us about this
period   seemed to have undergone the same   opera- The St. Lawrence.
17
tion, but we can only speak to their appearance, and
it is possible that the silvery gleam of their tummies
in the water is due to some other cause.
Having prepared ourselves for our experiences in
America by a strict course of Fennimore Cooper,
Mayne Reid, arid Mark Twain, we knew all about
H buffler bulls," n bars " and il catamounts," " shooting-
irons " and " pill-pumps," and were carefully on the
watch against the well-worn traveller's tales with
which the native of foreign parts is wont to delude
the unwary. It was therefore no surprise to us to
hear the pilot enlarging upon a " bar" that he had
shot a day or two before, and all the lead that it had
taken to do it. We smiled incredulously and disputed it not, but when he presently announced that
he thought the mist had cleared enough for him to
shoot the "bar" again, and we perceived nothing but
the same wide expanse of river, without so much as
a bottle-cork for a " bar " to hide behind, we felt that
he was deceiving us. It was only when we saw a
couple of leadsmen in the chains, and heard the cry
of 7, 6^, 6, 5i|-, 5^-, and then suddenly 8, 10, 14,
that we realised that the " bar" was the one at the
bottom of the river.
Life is too short to bother with precautions against
those miscreants who deem it entertaining to entrap
their fellow mortals. When we were in the middle
of the gulf, and the nearest coast was 200 miles away,
a Yankee quietly remarked, f Wal, I guess we are quite
close to land now; it ain't more than three-quarter of
a mile away nohow." Personally we took no interest
in facts of this nature, so were content to sit and
believe, but many excited travellers dashed out of the
B S2S£
t8
The St. Lawrence.
m\ i
smoking room to have a look at the long hoped for
continent. They presently came back in the worst of
tempers, and said that the charts and other authorities
all declared it to be at least 200 miles away, and there
was certainly none in sight. Then said the champion
seller, | Wal, I didn't say the shore ; I guess there's
land right under us not three-quarter of a mile away."
These ancient impositions ought to be posted up in a
conspicuous place on every ship by order of the Board
of Trade, and any one practising them should be
made to walk the plank.
The last part of the voyage was as charming as the
prelude to it was wretched. We left the fog to drearily
linger far behind us, and instead we had that rarity
in a Canadian summer, a cloud-flecked sky, giving
additional beauty to the scene by the shadows which
alternated with the most glorious sunshine over the
rippling water, rocky islands, and steep fir-clad banks.
The whole of the river, after it becomes narrow
enough for its shores to be seen, is exceedingly
beautiful with its constant succession of lovely
islands, which, now when the grass has just been
cut in patches, have a most vividly green undergrowth,
and the most perfect background of hills looking
marvellously blue in the evening light, with here and
there a waif of mist still flitting across them. Onde
by a curious effect of mirage a piece of the river was
seen high up the hillside, looking so like a lake that
it was difficult to realise the absurdity of a lake tilted
on one side sufficiently for us to see its surface from
below.'
At last we passed on the north bank the splendid
falls of Montmorenci, and soon afterwards came into The St. Lawrence.
19
full view of one of the three most grandly situated
cities in the world—Quebec. Edinburgh surely deserves a place among them, but who will agree as to
the third out of Athens, Constantinople, Genoa, Salzburg, Granada, and a host of others ? By the time that
the big ship had made a circle under the frowning
Heights of Abraham, and was lying alongside the
wharf at Point Levis, night had come on, and the
city was outlined from citadel to water's edge with
twinkling stars of electric light, reflected and multi-i.
plied to our feet by the ripples of the restless river.
Here we lay all night, and here again we had cause
to be dissatisfied with the Allan management. Just
before arriving at Quebec we were told that all luggage
would be landed there, and that any one who wished
to go on to Montreal would have to watch the landing,
and prevent his or her property leaving the ship.
All this might have been arranged with the greatest
ease during the last two days when we were doing
nothing in the river, or even provided for by a notice
to that effect and careful stowing at Liverpool, but
nothing of the sort had been attempted. Late at
night, by the light of a miserable ship's lantern at
each of the two hatches, the work of hoisting the
baggage out began, while frantic passengers stood
helplessly round and clawed at their belongings,
not unfrequently getting a heavy trunk dropped on
their toes, and being reviled for it by the slaves of
the capstan.
One lady who was travelling by herself was naturally unable to attend to two hatches about thirty
yards apart at once, so we volunteered to look out
on her behalf.     Of course our  only chance was to 20
The St. Lawrence.
E-.
H
!( 1 [
' ■    ■
stop everything which bore the least resemblance to
her baggage, as hastily described; the result was that
when the last package had been swung on shore>
there was to be seen on the deck at each hatch a
heterogeneous pile as big as a haystack, which we
confidently asserted to be " Miss C.'s portmanteaus,"
and as luck would have it she did ultimately succeed
in unearthing from the depths of this loot all of her
trunks save one, a kind of a low one-roomec] cottage
on wheels, which ladies take about and imagine to be
a bonnet-box, or some such necessity of existence,
This we afterwards heard she ultimately recovered at
Winnipeg, as it was abundantly addressed, and simply
could not be lost. Even the man who lost the big
drum would have had no chance with it.
We fared about the same, losing in the darkness
and confusion one of our most cherished packages, a
box full of the best photographic plates, which of
course could not be replaced here, though we were
lucky enough to get very fair substitutes. This box
turned up at Toronto five months afterwards, just in
time to give us all the trouble of passing it through
the Custom House at Montreal and Liverpool, so
naturally we are still annoyed at the Allan people and
their want of method.
Quebec has been described and re-described ad
nauseam. We do not intend to add to its literature,
but Ichabod may be written on its walls, if, as the
apostles of Free Trade teach us, commercial prosperity
is the only test of greatness and the only goal for a
nation's ambition. In vain did hostile armies encamp
against her and pour out blood and treasure to bring
her into subjection, but what the guns of the French The St. Lawrence.
2 r
and the devotion of Arnold failed to do, the steam-
dredger and that potent engine trades unionism have
accomplished. The pre-eminence of Quebec is a
thing of the past, for there is now a low-water
channel of twenty-five (soon to be twenty-seven) feet
clear up the river to Montreal, While the struggle
between the two cities was going on, and Quebec was
still a formidable rival in many branches of the
shipping trade, the final coup was given by her own
dock-labourers, who one day took it into their sapient
heads to decree that no man should work under a
price that seemed good to them in their wisdom.
They were not troubled in the execution of their
edict; this sword thrown into the balance turned the
scale against Quebec; the shipowners then and there
forsook her, and Montreal is now beyond question the
port of Canada. At the time we lay at Point Levis
there was but one solitary barque in the harbour, and
we' were told that this is now quite an ordinary state
of affairs there.
Early on Sunday morning we were once more
under way, and enjoyed the rare delight of a daylight
cruise up the river—as a rule this run is made in the
night-time—passing numerous places large and small,
all with a tidy and prosperous appearance about them,
and getting a very good view of the magnificent waterway, with here and there the mild excitement of a
passing steamer or a quaint old-world boat, Argo-like
in rig, and with a perfectly flat bow like the end of a
barrel, strange contrast to the modern fleet of dredgers
moored in some obstinate reach of shallows. The
course is buoyed or marked with long poles the whole
.way.     One cannot but admire the pluck which has 12
The St. Lawrence.
carried out this splendid enterprise—pluck which
will, we hope, be sufficient to place Canada in the
front rank of nations, if not actually at the head of
them.
It being Sunday, we had service of a mixed Church
of England and Free Kirk character. The captain
had particularly impressed upon us all that on no
account  must  we  miss  seeing  the  town   of Three
On. thz SLausence: near Que6e.(
Rivers. Owing to the difficulties encountered by
our worthy I meenister'' in fusing the two services
together, he had only just arrived at " sixthly and
lastly/' when the whistle warned us that the town
was in sight. And then did the resource and politeness of the captain rise to the occasion most nobly;
the saloon door suddenly opened, and in came a
long string of seamen whom the thoughtful commander had sent, so that if as he expected the congre- The St. Lawrence.
gation proper rushed out of church to look at Three
Rivers, the preacher might not. feel slighted, but
would still have a room full of eager listeners to
pound away at. Original, and, like all great ideas,
simple, was it not ? t ,
(  iH
CHAPTER III.
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
v\l
The tale of the river has been as much and as well
told as that of Quebec ; and of Montreal we have
nothing new to add : its great Cathedral of Notre
Dame and still greater copy of St. Peter's, its Tubular
Bridge and docks, its Windsor Hotel and its mountain, are all well known to the world, and our stay
there was of the briefest. We had just time to
hustle through a particularly obliging custom-house,
part with all the last faithful remnants of our once
large party, and jump into a sleeping car on the
Canadian Pacific (or C.P.R., as it is always called
out here) bound for Toronto, where we expected to
get whatever we needed for our up country journey.
The cars on this line are as near perfection as skill,
taste, and money can make them; we have not seen
anything approaching them for comfort on the
American continent, and of course Europe is out
of the running altogether in the matter of railway
travelling. To understand what an enormous amount
of discomfort it is possible to secure by a lavish
expenditure of time and cash, it is unnecessary to
do more than travel in the best wagon-lits that
France and Spain can boast, from Calais down to
Irun   and   Cadiz,   or    by   the   mail   from   Paris   to Manners' and -Customs.
2|
Brindisi. Such a journey is about as fit to be compared with one on the C.P.R, as the speed and
luxury of an ancient mail-coach with that of the
Irish mail of our own time. Suffice it to say that
this great railway has been written up, puffed, advertised, and belauded in the most extravagant terms, and
yet it is really doubtful whether one single word in
excess of its deserts has been or could be said. The
only evil fate that could befall it would be a feeling
that enough had been done for glory, but with the
men at present at its head there is little fear of any
lotus-eating. The C.P.R. will go on as it has begun,
and we hope prosper as it deserves to do.
The above paragraph owes much of its inspiration
to the fact that when we tumbled into the train in
an extremely dishevelled and hungry condition about
eight o'clock at night, Jim discovered that I lunches
are served hot on board the cars," and in about five
minutes he was seated at a table, on which the whole
of the fare mentioned on the bill was arranged before
him. The Skipper had haughtily retired to the smoking room, and did not know what was going on until
he had finished a cigar and spoilt his appetite for
fpod, and it was beautiful to hear his lofty remarks
on the vulgarity of eating in a train, and the imprudence of people who ate scrambled eggs and Welsh
rarebits just before bed-time—all very improving and
moral, but somehow reminding the hearer of the Fox
and Grapes too much to make any lasting impression
upon him. . Then the evil-doer turned in and slept
the sleep of the unjust until breakfast-time, when
he arose like a giant and shouted for more. The
poor Skipper meanwhile having been informed by a 26
Manners and Customs.
courteous stranger in the smoking car that this was
a " sudden " train, was unable to sleep a wink either
from pondering over the suddenness of the travelling,
or from want of food.
Ottawa was passed about midnight, and breakfast-
time next morning found us in the Queen's Hotel at
Toronto, a most comfortable place. Jim had only
just had breakfast in the train, but meanly making as
his excuse those ten lost meals on the first two days
of the Atlantic, insisted on eating another in the
hotel before commencing our real work, which was to
begin here.
Most instructors of the people seem to take it for
granted that every one knows all about American hotels,
but as this knowledge cannot really be universal, we
propose to enlighten the ignorant, and the learned
may skip this part.
In those which prevail at places of any size, both
in the States and Canada, you enter by a large hall,
bounded at one end by a long counter, behind which
are the clerks and other authorities. These are very
great swells indeed, and smoke cigars and chew toothpicks with such a lordly air that you probably fear to
address them, and moreover it is very little use to do
so. You take your turn with the other arrivals to
write your name in a book of fate which is called the
Register, and against this the clerk writes your destiny
by the number of a room, hands you a key with that
number on it, and leaves you to find the room as best
you can. The most satisfactory method is to keep
asking every one you meet, which, though annoying to
them, is on the whole less trying to yourself than
wandering up and down miles of passages for a day \
Manners and Customs. 2 7
or two, and camping out on the stairs. There is no
place in most of them where you can sit with any
comfort, as the corresponding apartment to an English
coffee-room is used only for meals, so that you have
to spend your indoor time in the hall among the
smoke and spittoons, unless you go up to the I parlour,"
which is either empty and fireless, or else tenanted by
half a dozen ladies in full talking array.
The meals are at set hours, generally breakfast 8
to 10, lunch or rather dinner 1 .to 2.30, supper 5 to 8.
The man of thrifty mind usually attends them all,
as he will have to pay for them whether he eats them
or not, the charge for board and lodging varying
from 8s. a day up to about 25s., according to the
standing of the hotel. An enormous variety of dishes
is provided, and you are at liberty to partake of them
all if you like, and are young enough to do so. A
breakfast carte of the Queen's Hotel will give some
idea of the usual fare, the supper being still more
elaborate.
Fruit and Marmalade.
Fish.—Fresh herrings;  broiled fresh fish I  salt mackerel;
Loch Fyne herrings I fish balls I  finnan haddie; salt
codfish with crearm
Oysters.—Raw; stewed; fried.
Broiled.—St. Louis ham; mutton chops; kidneys; sirloin
steak; English breakfast bacon ; veal cutlets ; calf liver
and bacon; pork chops; beefsteak and onions; tripe;
Glasgow beef ham.
Pigs' Feet.
Stewed.—Kidneys ; corned beef hash ; chicken.
Fried.—Veal cutlets breaded ; calf s liver; tripe; sausage.
Potatoes.—Fried; Lyonnaise; saute; baked; stewed.
u 28
Manners and Customs.
Eggs.—Boiled ; .fried; scrambled; poached; plain omelette;
stirred omelette with parsley ; omelette with ham.
Bread.—French rolls ; Graham bread ; white bread ; corn
bread; dry and dipped toast; Graham rolls; hominy;
Irish oatmeal; griddle cakes ; maple syrup.
English breakfast tea; coffee ; green tea; chocolate.
But if you happen to arrive at the hotel late at
night or between any of the fixed meal-times, you
can get nothing to eat until the next one comes round,
which is distressing to the last degree. There is
generally a cigar-cum-newspaper-and-novel shop, a
barber's, and a bar in the hall or somewhere near it,
which in wet weather is convenient.
When leaving, you pay your bill at the counter in
the hall, and are not pestered for tips by the waiters ;
but if you wish to get any attention from these
coloured gentlemen, it is advisable to commence your
career by the presentation of a dollar, as they do not
understand the English custom of tipping after favours
received. On the whole, however, there is not the
same necessity for this as in England, as the white
men, with very few exceptions, will not take money,
though they are not too proud to allow you to stand
drinks.
The American village hotel is a very different
institution : its cheerlessness can hardly be imagined.
There is only one public room, which is generally full
of roughs, in the spaces between the spittoons. It
has a stove in the middle, and smells unpleasantly if
wind proof; but if, as more usually happens, its walls
are largely composed of cracks held apart by logs,
the draughts whistle through the apartment with aii
intensity unknown to good stay-at-home people-^. Even w
Maimers'and Customs.
if you are lucky enough to get within reach of the stove,
the only chance of keeping your circulation unfrozen
is to warm one side at a time, while the other one
rapidly drops below zero.
The lowest depth of all is reached in the " saloon "
of  the western  "city'   or   miner's  camp.     This   is
k iw m
4 v
20 nc(es  froTA everywlitre.
simply a drinking-shop, where very ardent liquids are
dispensed at a price which one would suppose would
rapidly lead to fortune. No doubt it would do so,
were it not for the proprietor being compelled to drink
so much of his own merchandise as a guarantee of 1
Iff
!,>
II
Hiil '
EL-t
30 Manners and Customs.
good faith, that his constitution always % caves in " just
before affluence is attained. A saloon seems to be
the very first need of any civilised community out
West; in fact we passed one place which consisted
entirely of a saloon, the rest being left to the imagination. In this instance the building was a log-cabin
about eight feet wide by ten long, and more than the
whole of its facade was occupied by a board on which
an ambitious painter had over-reached himself in
endeavouring to instruct the world in the very largest
type. The termination of the word was consequently
somewhat inglorious and unworthy of the spirited
beginning.
It is at such places that most of the rows commence
which occasionally chase away the ennui of a backwoods life.
One of these, alluded to by the journals of the place
as I Another shoot on," came under our notice in the
most interesting way on a previous journey. We
were disturbed from our peaceful slumbers by the
report of pistol shots about two in the morning, and
found that a certain saloon keeper called Dave (we
don't print his other name, as he is quite capable of
coming over to scalp the publisher of this work) had
had an altercation with his next-door neighbour,another
gentleman in the saloon profession. Mr. Dave was
in his tamer moments a most agreeable and desirable
companion, and had been extremely civil to us, but his
spirit could not brook restraint, and during the night
his annoyance had developed to such a degree of
wrath that he felt it incumbent on him to point out to
his opponent the error of his ways. This he did by
taking a revolver in each hand, and having broken in
II-it
si ill Manners and Customs.
the door and windows of his neighbour's house, fired
off all the barrels of both pistols at the unfortunate
man and his bar tender. Being luckily in a somewhat
advanced stage of intoxication, he produced little effect
by this; so going back to his own abode, he reloaded
and fired at the house, as being easier to hit than two
dodging men, until he was tired. Next he again
entered the house, and in the most affable manner
pounded his adversary's head with the butt of a
revolver, and smashed all the smashable furniture to
show the impartiality of his feelings, after which he
departed with the same perfect absence of ceremony.
When next morning we looked at the house, which
was exactly opposite our hotel, its front was pretty well
covered with bullet-marks and holes; and its unfortunate owner's face, or what could be seen of it for
the towel in which it was huddled up, was considerably
battered. One of Dave's men who had assisted in the
Q racket" had been arrested, but the public deemed it
more discreet to leave Dave himself alone in his then
agreeable humour. We were told not to suffer any
anxiety, as it was already pretty well understood that
the witnesses would be all right (for Dave), and that
nothing particular would come of it.
The manners and customs of these wild communities are strange indeed. In the same place (North
Platte, Nebraska) we went to hear the trial of a man
who had shot another one through his own door,
while the poor fellow was sitting with his wife and
family. The prisoner's counsel was addressing the
court for the defence when we entered. He struck
us as being a very able advocate, but his appearance
was scarcely dignified.     He was dressed in a brown Hi \
Manners and Customs.
if
I
if-:'5
PI
shooting coat with a velvet collar, and he Wore no
collar or tie : he had a quid of tobacco in his cheek,
and kept spitting on the floor between his sentences,
which were delivered in a most impressive and sonorous tone. Many spectators were seated round about
the court: all who were not smoking were chewing
and spitting anywhere about the floor—a habit which
goes further to render a Britisher's life miserable in
America than all their other customs put together—
and most of them had their feet on the backs of the
row of chairs in front of them. A notice was posted
on the wall requesting gentlemen § to pocket the
stumps of their cigars and not throw them on the
flooring." The part of the room devoted to business
was railed off from the rest, much after the fashion of
a chancel in a small church, and within this rail the
jury were lolling about in what the Skipper called an
extremely degagee and decoltee manner. There was
no question of the guilt of the prisoner—in fact his
counsel in defending him began by. assuming enough
against him to get him penal servitude for life; but
the upshot of it all was that as usual he got off scot
free.
We did not chance upon anything of the kind
during our stay in British Columbia, but are told that
justice there is a very different thing from our experience of it in the States, and that any one indulging
in the luxury of shooting a fellow creature is almost
as likely to test the strength of a rope as he would be
in England. PREPARA TIONS.
All this time we are forgetting Toronto; but our
stay there was short. If the reader will kindly
imagine two days of really hard shopping—groceries,
cartridges, a tent, fur-rugs, and blankets being the
most important requisites—he will get a pretty accurate idea of what we saw of the town. It is, however, a first-rate one as towns over here go, barring
its mud, which appears to be composed of Portland
cement and glue in equal proportions. It would,
according to our notions, be an improvement to the
appearance of the streets if a glimpse of the sky were
here and there allowed to be caught through the fabric
of electric wires which pervade the atmosphere. The
very sparrows have given up trying to fly, and now
cautiously walk about from place to place on the network like Wainratta.
One evening we boated upon the lake and crossed
over to an island—I The Island," in fact—which is
opposite the town, where dancing, singing, and high
jinks and junketings generally seemed to go on with
great spirit. But as Mr. Burne Jones says, I How
they vex the soul." They did ours, for we lost no
less than two shillings in trying to perform an
absurdly   easy   feat  which   we   have   never seen   at o
4
Preparations.
1
English festivities of a like nature. A table is
marked out with many circles about six inches in
diameter, as closely as they can be drawn. The player
is provided with half a dozen metal discs of the same
size as the circles, and all he has to do—a ridiculous
all—is to cover up one, only one, and any one out of
all those circles with his six metal discs, throwing them
from about a yard away. When other trades fail, we
know a certainty now, which is to be a proprietor of
one of these unhallowed boards. We suppose there is
not a more impossible thing to do in this wide world
than to obstruct the view of even half one of those
magic rings;  and yet it seems so easy.
Toronto is characteristically English as compared
with the utterly French Ouebec and the Anglo-
Frenchness of Montreal. It is a nice place to stay
at: there is plenty of society more nearly approaching
to that of home than as far as we know any other
Canadian city can boast, though any traveller knows
what a wast difference there really is between the
social composition of England and that of even the
closest imitation, not always, however, in favour of
England. There is tennis and boating in summer,
and in winter ice boating, snow-shoeing, tobogganing,
and all the well-known sports which we associate with
the name of the Dominion.
Jarvis Street is one of the very prettiest roadways
in the world : an avenue of well-to-do dwelling houses
all standing back a long way from the road, with the
sweetest of English gardens and lawns in front, no
two houses being alike, and all vying with each other
in quaintness and picturesqueness of design. On a
blazing day, such as was now making life almost in- Preparations,
supportable and very thirsty, it was a real treat to
walk down this shady street for a mile or so, and
gaze at the refreshing green lawns and bright flowerbeds, from among which often came the tinkling plash
of a little fountain, while from lattice and verandah
dense masses of cool feathery climbing plants hung in
festoons, lighted up here and there by brilliant clusters
of blossom.
Nor must we omit the important fact that they have—
or had—a pack of foxhounds. A good many years ago
we were here during the season, and hearing that a
hunt was to take place, we went forth to the chase,
let it be whispered only, in a I shay." The meet
was fixed for 3.30, to suit the convenience of business
men, and was at the only real public-house that we
ever saw in Canada, with a real signboard swinging
in the breeze—a most unique specimen, for here
every pothouse calls itself an I hotel," and most of
the first-rate hotels are dignified by the title of
I house." There were about thirty horsemen, and
a few other shays had come like us to see the fun..
There are no bad horses in Canada, and though those
at the meet were not hunters, they were a very neat
and shapely, lot of good-looking hacks : but the men,
ah me! Tautz and Lock would have torn their hair
with envy and despair; and the fancy-free methods
of equitation of some of them were indeed a. wild
weird sight. The master was correctly costumed in
pink, and riding a bay horse lately imported from
Ireland. And now we must confess that the object
of pursuit was not invariably a fox, but whenjit was
a fox, then he was brought in a bag, as the lateness
of the hour gave no time for drawing coverts, or any II!
subterfuges and interludes of that nature. On this
occasion the more humble red herring was, we believe,
the quarry we were after.
Another difficulty in carrying out the sport in old
country fashion is the form of fences peculiar to the
country. They are composed of several heights of
huge split rails, and present insurmountable obstacles
to any jumping horse. We think the object of their
existence must be to prevent any creature getting
over them—unlike our English fences, which we believe to be constructed entirely for the maintenance
of gaps, for there can be no question that the day
which sees the last fence will also witness the extinction of that great institution the gap. Therefore
the sportsmen who run the drag take care to remove
a certain number of the rails of each fence they cross,
so that every jump is made of a legitimate and convenient elevation—in fact, not too much obstacle, but
just obstacle enough.
Soon after we arrived on the scene, an agreeable
old gentleman of sportsmanlike appearance came up
and entered into a description of the whole proposed
run for our benefit. We soon discovered that he
imagined we were two direct descendants of Pom-
ponius Ego, and were out here for the special purpose
of describing for an English newspaper a run of the
Toronto Hounds. The Daily News of all papers we
believe it was ! It was of course useless to deny it:
he politely assented, but continued in his description
of all the principal performers, and kept close to our
carriage all the afternoon, so that we might always be
in the best place for observing the chase. This benevolent intention we regret to say caused considerable
1 ill-feeling between him and our driver, who imagined
he knew quite as much about the matter as his self-
appointed mentor.
The hounds went right away for a quarter of an
hour's sharp burst at the start, then there was a
short check, and amid frantic excitement they went
off at score again : our old friend, after galloping
madly up and down the road for some time, and
quarrelling with our driver till we were nearly dead
of suppressed merriment, selected a spot where he
had ascertained the drag had crossed and the fences,
were reduced to a practicable condition. Then presently we were gratified by the sight of the whole
field, who, led by the master in a most masterly
manner, leaped into the road with an air which showed
that they felt that the eyes of England (as represented
by two Daily News reporters) were upon them.
And then as a fitting climax, the first whip jumped
off his horse and handed round his hat to the
spectators in the carriages, as who should say, H Now
don't that beat a circus ? But vou don't see all that
for nothing, you know."
We drove home much impressed by the sport of
Canada known as I foxhunting," and wishing that the
Daily News myth had had a solid foundation, for truly
the experience was well worthy of a penny-a-liner's
attention.
Doubtless things have changed much since those
days; they have a knack of doing most things well
in Canada now.
One noticeable feature everywhere is the absence
of mongrel dogs; dogs are plentiful enough, but
almost without exception seem to be exceedingly well' 38
Preparations
\
T
bred English types. Setters are the commonest,
Irish, Gordons, and Laveracks ; pointers fairly numerous, mostly the old liver and white; spaniels we saw
of several kinds, the Irish water spaniel and Sussex
being the most popular; and a few terriers, retrievers,
and collies, but not a bad bred dog among the lot.
And this is a pretty good illustration of the modern.
Canadian method. They believe in their country, and
think that any money spent now in pushing her to
the front will be a safe and before long paying investment.
It is a pity that all English Prime Ministers are
not compelled to visit our colonies, and thus get to
understand for themselves the strength of the love
for the old country, which, like some of our native
trees, seems to flourish in the new soil with a vigour
unknown at home. We did not come out to ,talk
politics, but could not help hearing the opinion of
many Canadians ; and the intensely loyal and patriotic
feeling common to all classes would surprise our
"Perish India" school of politicians. We did meet
one specimen of-the "Down with heverythink" and
" Rightly struggling to be free " type, but we do not
know whether even this man's opinions were the
same when he was sober, for we only saw him twice.
To us who know the devoted reverence with which
Mr. Gladstone is still regarded by numbers of his
fellow countrymen, it was strange to notice his universal unpopularity (to use a mild term) here. The
desertion of Gordon seems to be the unforgivable
offence which has aroused and kept alive so long the
indignation of a warm-hearted people, in curious contrast to the apparently slight effect it had at home. Preparations.
.$
We came on a lonely hunter in the heart of the
Rockies who was what they call | ripping and cussing
around " in a very excited state, and we found he had
only just heard the story of the Egyptian Expedition
from one of the voyageurs who took the boats up the
Nile. He wanted to know what England had done
about it, and why somebody responsible hadn't been
hanged ; but as we could not enlighten him on these
points, we fear he is still in the same unpleasant state
of mind.
Art is the great agency for refining and subduing
fugged natures. We are not quite sure that we
were the first discoverers of this truth, but it was
irresistibly borne in upon us at the Queen's Hotel.
On the walls of the entrance hall were many paintings, exceeding fine and large, and of surpassing
interest. A Yankee, who, like us, was reposing after
the fatigues of luncheon, suddenly got up and critically surveyed one of these pictures with an admiring
eye. Then he stuck both his hands as far as possible
into his pockets, and pushing the inevitable quid over
into his left cheek, turned to the Skipper and said,
" That, sir, is a remarkably fine work." The Skipper
not venturing to disagree, he continued, I Jest observe
the light in the top of that lighthouse ; looks nat'ral now,
don't it ? Wal, if that ain't high art, I'm beat." After
this, he gravely retired, and whistled softly to himself;
and as we watched him gazing vacantly at his boots,
we felt that the light from that painted beacon had
penetrated his very soul, and in conjunction with the
contemplation of the blacking, filled his troubled
breast with a calm which the quid alone had failed
to induce.     And  he returned to the consumption of 4o
Preparations.
'• .1
his tenth " whisky sour " with a placid joy hitherto
unknown to him.
The system of checking baggage, though we by no
means regard it as an unalloyed blessing, is certainly
carried to great perfection. Each piece has attached
to it by a strap a disc of brass with a number on it
and the name of the station to which it is consigned,
while the owner is provided with a corresponding
disc, on production of which the property will be
delivered up to him at his destination. At many of
the good hotels you can check your baggage to
another hotel say iooo miles away, and thus remove
all thought and anxiety on its account from your
mind till you find it safely reposing in your next
bedroom. The only inconvenience that this causes
is that you cannot get at your property anywhere
between the two ends of the checked journey, but
a man soon learns to obviate this by packing all that
he can possibly need in one bag, and taking that
"right along on the cars."
There is nevertheless another really terrible objection to the American management of baggage : it
is that only trunks which are constituted of about
the same durability as a burglar-proof safe have any
chance of surviving even one journey. It is a solid
fact that a new leather portmanteau is sometimes
reduced to a mere shapeless mass of pulp and rivets
in about iooo miles, if changed fairly frequently from
one line or even from one baggage-car to another.
The men who look after this part of the business
hurl things about in the most light-hearted and
unsparing way, and we think the check system is to
some extent responsible for their conduct.     No man Preparations.
with a heart could behave so were he surrounded by
the appealing and agonised faces of portmanteau proprietors, as he necessarily would be if travellers were
obliged to keep an eye on their belongings. Moreover those travellers would be willing to give untold
largesse rather than see their beloved treasures catapulted about exactly as if they had been intended by
nature for destructive missiles. (      42      )
lip I
CHAPTER   V.
BY STEAMER.
One advantage of travelling in Canada is that so many
of the people one meets hail from the " old country "
■—as Canadians and also Americans almost always
call the British Isles—and very often it happens that
just as some small but vexatious delay has arisen,
there comes to the rescue a total stranger, who, in
some extraordinary way, knows all about you at
home. Our baggage difficulties were smoothed in
the first place by a most obliging permit from the
C.P.R. to carry as English travellers just twice
what we were entitled to. Later at Toronto Station
when there was absolutely no time to get it all
through, the baggage master suddenly discovered
that the Skipper and he came from near the same
obscure village in Wiltshire,—a place which they
both fondly imagined to be a town,—and in a
moment all the vast pile was checked and safely
deposited in the car. This was a great piece of luck,
as this official, though in reality one of the most good-
natured of mortals, is a perfect terror to late arrivals,
and if he had been obdurate we must have lost three
days' time in waiting for the next steamer.
There are two routes during the summer by which
it is possible to get from Montreal to the West, and By Steamer.
the C.P.R. give passengers the choice. One is through
Ottawa to Toronto, and thence to Owen Sound on
Lake Huron, where a steamer twice a week awaits
the train and carries its freight, animate and inanimate,
up to the western shore of Lake Superior, meeting
the main line again at Port Arthur. The other is all
railroad along the northern shores of the lakes, and
takes about a day less to do, but is naturally much
hotter and dustier and more generally unpleasant in
summer than   the steamer route.     In winter there is
A  C.P.R. Lake Steamer.
no choice, as the lakes are ice-bound from about the
end of November till the general breaking up at the
end of spring. Time was not of the utmost importance
to us, so we chose the lakes, and never regretted the
decision.
A few hours easily passed in a comfortable Pullman took us to Owen Sound, where to our surprise
quite a huge steamer of oceanic appearance was
ready to receive us. This was the Alberta, about
2000 tons register; she and her sister the Athabasca ■■   nm
H
ri
44
By Steamer.
have been built on the Clyde specially for this service,
and are as good specimens of the modern floating
hotel as it has been our lot to see. The design is
rather curious according to European ideas, the whole
of the upper deck being roofed in and made into one
huge saloon. The state-rooms are all along the sides
of the saloon, each with a large window, but the saloon
itself can therefore only be lighted from the top.
Running round the structure, i.e. between the staterooms and bulwarks, is a narrow passage which
might fairly be called a verandah, but there is no
deck at all in our sense of the word, except a very
small one right in the bows where the forecastle
ought to be, and a still smaller one aft. The roof of the
saloon holds the boats and what little rigging there
is, but is not available for walking purposes, so you
must either promenade inside the saloon where you
can see nothing, or sit outside, for the verandah is too
narrow for two persons to walk abreast. The wheel-
house and bridge are perched on the forward end of
the saloon. Inside the rooms are large and beautifully clean and comfortable, the saloon as luxuriously
fitted as any one could desire, the whole ship lavishly
lighted by electricity, and the food really excellent.
At the risk of being supposed to think of nothing
else, we give a dinner menu; and then after one
luncheon later on we will refrain from tormenting
the reader with glimpses of that Paradise which he
is not allowed to enter. Please to observe the lovely
mixture of English and (culinary) French. S.S. Alfcrta, Aug. nth.
Soup.—Purde of Peas a l'Anglaise.
Fish.—Lake Superior white fish, with matelotte sauce.
Boiled.—Sugar-cured ham; chicken ; parsley sauce.
Boast. — Loin of mutton—onion sauce; sirloin of beef;
ox-heart—mushrooms; spring lamb—new peas.
Cold Meats.—Roast beef; beef tongue; corned beef; ham.
Entrees.—Apricot fritters; Glace au Rhum ; salmis of spring
duck; veal cotelettes ; Saute a la Napolitaine.
Salad.—Sliced tomatoes ; German salad.
Vegetables.—-Mashed and new potatoes; new cabbage; new
beets ; string beans—cream sauce; new green peas.
Pastry.—Blueberry pie; lemon pie ; cabinet pudding;
wine sauce; Madeira jelly.
Dessert.—Water melons; English walnuts; almonds; filberts ; bananas; figs; oranges; jelly cake; raisins ;
sponge cake; fruit cake.
The charge for this and every other meal on the
C.P.R. is three shillings; and though of course no
one wants to eat three such meals a day, it must be
confessed that you can get your money's worth at
each of them, if you give your mind to it, regardless
of the consequences.
The engine-room on this boat contains the most
gorgeous and dazzling aggregation of pipes and
cylinders that we ever beheld. Even the Skipper,
who hates mechanism of any description, was so
entranced by their beauties that he spent most of
his time in gazing at them. Apparently they keep
three or four extra hands employed in nothing but
polishing and burnishing, till the engines look much
more like the jewels of Aladdin's enchanted cavern I
f
i ? i
sr
Bit     &
46
By Steamer.
than the sober hard-working slaves who transport
him and his palace from place to place. The pace
is nothing extraordinary, about twelve or fourteen
miles an hour, but the vessel is more free from unpleasant vibration than any we have travelled in;
up in the saloon the revolutions of the screw were
absolutely imperceptible unless one took considerable
pains to detect them.
Again we had what they call here a " streak' of
good luck. Watching from the verandah the shipping
of our goods and chattels, we were horrified to see
that the faithless grocer in Toronto—may dogs devour
his grandfather's beard—had packed our most precious
supplies in a rotten box, and the whole thing only just
survived the perils of the gangway, and collapsed, a
mere rope-bound collection of atoms, on the lower deck.
A stern refusal met our entreaties to be allowed to
repack it : it was checked, and must not be touched
'till it reached Golden City, 2000 miles away; its
chances of doing so in that condition being absolutely
worthless. Once more our good genius sent a friend
in the nick of time, this time a Lancashire man, who
had charge of the hold ; and aided by him we soon
had all our stuff (excellent Biblical word this) securely
repacked in an unbreakable cask with which he provided us.
This episode served to wile away a good portion of
the time, which otherwise would have passed somewhat
slowly. Although this ought to be the hottest time
of 3^ear, it was on these lakes undoubtedly very cold,
and also inclined to be drizzly. For the first day
nothing could be seen owing to a chilly Scotch mist
which obscured the glorious views which we are told By -Steamer.
are to be enjoyed in favourable weather. In the
early morning we left the lake and steamed along the
Garden River, passing a good many Indian lodges
of the familiar conical shape on the banks, their
sides apparently formed of mats or large sheets of
bark.
We had a Despicable Person on board who devoted
his time and presumably his brains to the manufacture
of wit, as thus—" You're on Lake Superior now."
Polite Stranger.—" Pardon me, sir, you are mistaken ;
this is Lake Huron." The D. P.—j Yes ; I only
said  Huron  is a superior lake."    Polite Stranger
"D " ; Mm       %<-r*       I       ffW
In due course we arrived at Saulte St. Marie, which
is pronounced Soo, and indeed is now pretty commonly
spelt and alluded to as "the Soo." Here is the junction
between the two great lakes, and as there is a considerable difference in their levels, a lock has been
constructed which is said to be the largest in the
world, and is certainly a very fine specimen of what
modern engineering can do in that branch of its work.
It is on the American side, and is the only place at
which Canada is still dependent on her great neighbour
for assistance in transferring her commodities from
end to end of her domains. Here the missing link is
to be supplied by a new canal and lock on the
Canadian side, the works of which were in progress as
we passed.
One way and another it took about an hour to get
the Alberta through the lock, and we amused ourselves
on land during this period of inaction. The great
sport of the locality seemed to be running the rapids
in  canoes, or rather sitting in  canoes while  Indians, 48
By Steamer.
with what looked like a highly manufactured excitement, yelled their way down the turbulent stream ;
but there was no time for indulging in this game even
if we had wished to do so, so we were content to watch
the self-conscious air with which the heroes who
braved these perils came to shore, and the evident
relief with which they left their frail vessels.
Another object of interest to the traveller was a
board surmounting a house on the American side, and
bearing the legend,
1    BJB0AT SUPPLIES.
a combination of thrift and accuracy very pleasing to
contemplate.
Close to the lock the fishermen who make their
living here have built some ponds in the bed of the
river, allowing the water to run through ; and here for
pieces of money they stir up with long poles for your
benefit divers monsters of the vasty deep, sturgeon,
white fish, and lake trout being the varieties that we
noticed. High up the river, just at the head of the
rapids, were visible the piers of the new railway which
was to connect with the C.P.R. at Sudbury, and from
which great things are expected in the way of trade
from the corn-growing States of America and the
rich mining country through which it passes. These
piers had in several cases risen only just above their
foundations; but we believe the first train ran across
the new bridge within six months of our passing the
Saulte.
At this moment the D. P. was again to the front
with his ill-starred buffoonery. His difficulty was
this :  I If Saulte spelt Su, and aye spelt i, and sighed T
By Steamer.
49
spelt cide, why didn't saulteayesighed spell suicide ? "
To decide that any man who would jest on the orthography of the English tongue was an outcast unfit to
live was the work of a moment: with one yell of
hatred his fellow passengers sprang at his throat, and
his mangled corpse is now fattening the fishes of this
very superior lake. " Justifiable foolicide " was the
way the jury spelt it.
D (    5o    )
Ml
ll
CHAPTER VI.
THE C.P.R.
We arrived at Port Arthur, the modern successor of
the ancient Fort William, which stood a few miles
away, about mid-day. It is uninteresting except
from the usual standpoint of commercial prosperity :
probably it has a future as the lake port for all the
country to the westward ; but the wandering stranger
finds little to delight him therein. Howrbeit we
bought there two buckets—not the largest stable
buckets, but still fair-sized pails—of strawberry and
raspberry jam, and in the shop windows we gazed
with veneration at glittering specimens of ore, and with
delight at certain creatures which Jim asserted to be
porcupigs, stuffed out of all recognition of themselves
or their relations.
After this we wrandered about the forest primeval
above the town, or more correctly the site of the
forest primeval, for the thing itself has almost without
exception been burnt down in every part of the
country, and the preseut forests are of modern
growth and struggling with many disadvantages.
Here we found rasbberries, currants, and strawberries in profusion, and felt very pleased with ourselves when, having eaten our fill, we could lie on the
sunny bank and gaze out over the foam-flecked sur- The C.P.R.
5
face of the lake to where the dark mass of Thunder
Cape reared itself in the distance. In this healthful
and intellectual pursuit we chased the happy hours
away until the arrival of the train which was to bear
us westward for the next three days. This was
timed to take place at 15.10 (i.e. ten minutes past
three, for from Port Arthur the time is reckoned on
the twenty-four hour system), and the C.P.R. reputation for punctuality was well sustained.
It was strange to see a resident drive up to the
station on a very light kind of bogie running on the
u /ia?u/-,
car
C.P.R
Che*//;
railway lines and propelled by a hand-lever, accompanied by two huge black Newfoundlands. He did not
seem to consider his appearance in any way remarkable, but it distinctly was, as he came gliding along
the track on his uncanny machine, with long black
coat-tails flapping in the breeze, and an incongruous
solemnity pervading his countenance.
We had intended to give a long and graphic description of the scenery and other accessories of this
railway journey, because although it has been already
done and even overdone by lots of travellers, still we II 1
f
5 2
The C.P.R.
felt that we were the boys to do it better than any of
them. Just before we left Toronto the C.P.R. agent
presented us with a bundle of what we took to be
tracts, but soon discovered to be the literature of the
railway, and one of these has taken all the conceit
out of us. We shall at the right time make a quotation from it which will be enough to show the hopelessness of any attempt at competition in the art of
fine writing. Suffice it therefore to say that we saw
and did what every one else sees and does on this
part of the road, which being interpreted means we
ate and drank, smoked and slept, played cribbage
and other games of skill, sketched, wrote and gazed
out of the window, and then did it all over again. It
is curious that one should not be bored to death by
this routine, but somehow one is not. Travelling on
a main line like this is very comfortable if you are
willing to pay the extra price for a seat in the Pullman car, costing roughly about ten shillings a day,
for which you get practically a double seat and a
large bed (on the C.P.R. a very large bed indeed).
Travellers by the English Pullman sleeping cars,
which are built to go through our old-fashioned
tunnels, have no idea of the comfort of these American
berths. We as a rule take what is called a section,
i.e. the two double seats facing each other, so that we
can if we wish have a table between us, and at night
this section makes up into two berths one above the
other.
The negro porter who looks after this car is, we
fancy, a bit of a wag. Before you can get a place
allotted you have to produce your railway ticket, and
he gives you a slip of paper stamped in a variegated The C.P.R.
JO
fashion, which is the voucher for your seat. We
saw a traveller who did not comprehend this system
holding his slip up and asking, " What the dooce is
this for ? " " Dat," said the porter, " dat's the certificate of youah berth." For a brief moment we hoped
to see a real row, but these porters are all cast in the
chucker-out mould, and the other man concluded to
let it slide. Some time afterwards we guessed he
had grasped the fact that there are two words pronounced birth, for we saw him in amicable converse
with the object of his anger.
In old days the upper berth was not thought so
good as the lower, because of the dust and draught
from the ventilators; but all annoyance from this
cause is obviated by the construction of the present
cars, the ventilators being provided with gauze
screens and placed high up in the roof. The windows
are very large, and all have double glasses, which
assist an even temperature and keep out dust. At
one end of the car is a smoking-room, bath-room, and
lavatory for us; and the ladies are equally well provided for at the other end, though we believe they
have no smoking-room. Probably there is a bonnet-
shop or confectioner's there instead, but we did not
look. There is a stove with hot-water pipes which
heat every part of the car; and this is to our notion
almost a nuisance, as they are much too fond of
getting the temperature up to somewhere about the
seventies, and if, as on our return journey, the thermometer outside stands at 35° below zero, the change
of ioo° or so whenever you leave the car for a
moment is sufficient to kill most people on the spot,
and gave us colds to which during the whole of our i
1
1'
£:
54
The C.P.R.
wanderings   through   snow  and   rain  we  were  quite
impervious.
Every now and then a man comes aboard and
walks up and down selling books and papers, and
another one hawks fruit. The latter is an excellent
institution, as the fruit is always good and cheap, but
the bookseller is naturally not as interesting as one of
Mr. W. H. Smith's emporia (we are nothing if not
classical). Moreover he tempts you by dilating on
the charms of the newest of his wares in a kind
of disinterested manner, and in the middle of his
harangue he affects to be called away, leaving the
book, the plot of which he was describing with fervid
eloquence, lying by your side. He does not come
back until you are turning over page 74, where " Lord
Marmaduke seized one ruffian by the heels, and using
his quivering corpse as a bludgeon, was in the very
act of scattering the brains of his cowardly assailants
to the four winds of heaven, when an agonised shriek
rang wildly through the welkin, and from the postern
rushed the Ladye Ethelreda pursued by a sheriff's
officer "     At  this thrilling  moment you   become
slowly aware that he has been again by your side for
some unknown period, and feel compelled to pay a
dollar for that startling narrative, not because you
care two cents what happened to the Ladye Ethelreda,
but because you would feel mean if you acquired so
much of her history gratis.
If you choose not to travel in a Pullman, you are
hardly as comfortable as in a good third-class carriage
at home, as there is only one car for all sorts and
conditions of men, and that is inclined to be dirty and
draughty.    The CP.R. have however put on a capital The C.P.R.
55
" colonist's car," in which very good berths are provided at a low charge, and which appeared to be
clean and comfortable, and will no doubt be a great
boon to the large number of emigrants going West.
The line on leaving Port Arthur runs for many
miles along the valley of the Kaministiquia, a most
charming and trouty looking river; and we longed to
get out and commence operations there, especially
when a party of young Canadians were seen at one
of the stations welcoming a canoe which was handed
out to th6m from our baggage car. But we had no
days to spare for frivolity, so controlled our feelings,
though we spent a good deal of time out on the
platform at the end of the car, whence we could
see all the inviting rapids and pools of the lovely
stream.
A traveller with a great fund of information pointed
out to us a dismal swamp with a history. An engine
and tender had run off the line and been so completely swallowed up there that when next morning he
went to look at the marsh there was not a trace of
injury outwardly apparent, though, as he plaintively
added, " he knew it had a tender inside."
We passed dozens of little stations, all pretty much
of one pattern, the only place of any importance being
Rat Portage, which we left in the small hours of the
morning, and at breakfast-time next day w7ere at
Winnipeg.
This city is famous, as the children's geography
books say, for the largest and best blueberries we
ever saw. It has other points of interest, details of
which may be culled from the various guide-books
which infest the traveller.     It certainly is a surprising 56
The C.P.R.
place, as there appears to be no very adequate reason
for its existence, but it is distinctly there, and all
there. Judging from its present progress there is
hardly any limit to what it may in another ten years'
time have reached in size and importance, for beyond
question it must be the focus for all the converging
railways, many of them already in existence, and
many more projected, which will carry the produce
of the enormous fertile region surrounding it.
Leaving Winnipeg, we come to the prairie lands,
not, however, so absolutely flat and uninteresting as we
find them later on. Farms are plentifully scattered
along each side of the track, and the soil looks as if
it needed the very slightest provocation to grow anything. In fact they say any one who has corns need
only walk across a field once to ensure a plentiful
grain crop, but it is so difficult to know how much
to believe of what one hears.
Once in a while there come clanking through the
train a couple of the scarlet-coated North-West
Mounted Police, nominally in search of intoxicating
drinks, which are contraband all through the provinces
into which the old North-West Territory has been
divided. They draw these covers, however, in a very
perfunctory way, and it is easy to see that their
hearts are not in this part of their duties, which
is hardly to be wondered at, for they are much too
fine and soldierly a set of men to be employed on the
somewhat undignified task of opening old ladies' reticules and smelling at bottles labelled " Lavender
Water." They are really soldiers in everything but
the name, and soldiers of whom any nation might
well be proud.     The Irish Constabulary are the only The C.P.R.
5/
7
body of men we can think of equalling them in
physique and general appearance. Most of them
are old country ,men, English, Irish, and Scotch, and
no doubt " gallant little Wales " sends a contingent,
though we did not happen to meet a Welshman
among them. A good number are French Canadians,
with a sprinkling of Swedes and Norwegians; and
not a few are younger sons whom red tape has lost
to our own army. The force is only about a thousand
strong, but that number is found sufficient at present
for preserving order in the vast country over which
they rule. Their reputation acts most powerfully as
a moral check on any attempt at disorder, for malcontents can never be sure what such men as these
are not capable of if the occasion arise. We travelled
some distance with Colonel Herchmer (whose name we
trust is correctly spelt), who has the chief command
of this little army, and very pleasant companions he
and a young English subaltern were ; indeed the same
may be said of all its members whom we met.
Late at night we passed, without seeing anything of
it, Regina, the capital of Assiniboia, and by daylight
next day were speeding along an ocean-like expanse
of yellow prairie, which rolled away for ever in illimitable billows of grass-grown wilderness. Standing on
the aft platform of the train, the two rails gleaming
out from under our feet could be seen absolutely
straight behind us and gradually approaching each
other, till they merged into one silver wire far away
on the blue horizon. The soil all along this portion
of the route is so elastic and the line so straight and
level that the train goes humming along without jar
or vibration,  and the  sensation in these  cars,  with JSBm ■■      BHBBBi
5
8
The C.P.R.
if i
j" S   !
I1'
their six-wheeled bogies and well arranged springs,
is more like what one imagines flying to be than
a mere matter-of-fact railway journey.
At long intervals we passed lakes, their shores
covered with brilliant crimson, which we took to
be some kind of water-weed, set off by an equally
startling band of white alkali. On and round about
all these lakes water-fowl of various kinds swarmed ;
at least five species of ducks, two of geese, gulls,
pelicans, and a few avocets, lots of greenshank, and
a close imitation of Kentish plover. Twice only we
saw antelope, which we were told are often to be seen
in great numbers close to the railroad.
This part of the journey ought to have been pretty
dull, but did not seem so. We had been rejoined at
Winnipeg by Miss C, with her rescued cottage, and
this invaluable building had been proved to contain
a wonderful collection of home-made cakes and other
delicacies, with which we made merry in defiance of
the N. W. Police. The dining cars which were
attached to the train for our meals were also most
interesting; and here—as said the undergraduate
who was asked what he knew of John the Baptist,
" it would not be amiss to give a list of the kings of
Israel and Jud—" that is, of the fare provided for
our lunch.
Oyster Soup.
Fish.—Boiled  salmon  trout; egg sauce.
Boiled leg of mutton; caper sauce; boiled ham; braized
turkey; cranberry sauce; roast beef; baked potatoes;
roast lamb; mint sauce; boiled chicken and bacon.
Entries.—Salmis of duck; scalloped oysters; pork cutlets;
tomato sauce. The C.P.R.
59
Boiled and mashed potatoes;  string beans;  green peas ;
stewed tomatoes; mashed turnips; green corn; beets.
Salad; water biscuits; Stilton cheese.
Pastry.—Jam roll pudding;  peach tart; sandwich pastry;
compote of pears; wine jelly.
Green tea; black English breakfast tea ; chocolate; coffee ;
apples ; oranges ; nuts; raisins | figs ; prunes.
Soon   after- midday   Medicine   Hat   was   reached,
and  there was  some alteration  in   the time-table  to
be  effected,  the  result  of which was  that we were
.allowed  to get out of the  train  and  play  for  three
Medecine. Hat      C.P.R.       /£ <2u.?.
or four hours. Here the South Saskatchewan is
crossed by a fine bridge : the station is crowded with
specimens of the noble red man offering articles of
vertu, in the shape of bead ornaments and buffalo
horns nicely polished and neatly bound together with
a bit of skin. The skin, by the way, is not that of
the buffalo, for with the exception of one or two
herds which survive in much the same way as the
Chillingham cattle, this animal is extinct; and with
the extinction of the buffalo the raison d'etre of the :  ■
1 I
B
60
The C.P.R.
noble red man has also disappeared. Many of the
passengers wandered over the town, which consists
largely of churches of different denominations : one
church to every score or so of inhabitants seems to
be about the least number they can get on with.
Others of us gathered flowers on the prairie, and led
a peaceful arcadian existence. Presently, as is the
custom here, without any preliminary whistling or
warning, the train moved off, and it was sweet to see
the frantic travellers lowering sprint records in the
most surprising and entertaining manner, as they
rushed at their retreating dwelling. The last man
to believe that it was really going and not only
shunting was the Skipper, but when he did grasp
the situation, the way in which he girded up his loins
and fled along the track, with his coat-tails streaming
in the wind, and all the people on the platform in
ecstasies of pleasure at so ludicrous a sight, was very
gratifying. He managed just to clutch the iron rail,
and was hauled in by the conductor in a rather
exhausted condition.
Railway lines and streets are very much mixed in
this country : it is, we understand, the birthright of
every man to walk or drive all over every track
wherever he may choose, so it is often difficult to
know whether you are in a street with railway lines
running down it, or on a railroad along which people
are driving and walking. At one place—we forget
where—a length of street was roofed over, and right
and left, instead of the shops which we had noticed
a few yards previously, were doors labelled " Baggage
Room," " Ticket Office," and so on, so that we became
:aware that this was a station; and then a few yards The C.P.R.
61
further it had imperceptibly glided into a street again,
and once more shop windows feasted our eyes.
This was one of the most perfect days of our
journey. The line after crossing the river at Medicine
Hat climbs on to another plateau, and for the rest of
the afternoon we sped on through one vast unbroken
tract of prairie land, with only the water-tanks and
windmill pumps which supply them to break the
monotony of the view. Close to the line were long
rows of peculiar fences, which are placed there to
prevent the drifting of the snow during the blizzards,
which sweep across the shelterless flats in winter.
On the rolling hummocks at either side could be seen
innumerable gophers, a kind of small ground squirrel,
and occasionally large hawks of the harrier tribe,
which no doubt prey upon the gophers and the rattlesnakes, which are another addition to the attractions of
this unattractive country.
Near one station we noticed a slightly raised turf
mound and wooden cross, evidently marking a recently
made grave, and our conductor gave us its history.
The poor fellow who lies there was one of the men
who attend to the pumps, and living as he did on this
vast solitude, many miles from the next station, he
fell ill in his hut and died, without any one noticing
his non - appearance as the daily train went by.
Several days afterwards the tank was found to be
short of water, which led to inquir}', and his dead body
was discovered and laid to rest where we saw that
little cross. The utter loneliness of such a life and
death is terrible to think of: if this huge wilderness
can be such a picture of desolation in the summer, one
shudders  to  even imagine it lying through the long HI
1
62
The C.P.R.
winter months shrouded in one far-stretching robe of
white.
Just before dark we noticed some little excitement
at one of these tiny stopping places, and a man came
up to the car with a lynx which he and his collie
had managed to kill. It was a miserable, half-starved
looking beast, but had some nasty teeth, with which the
poor collie's ears and head had made acquaintance.
And then the flaming sun went down over such a
wild scene of glowing yellow plains as can never be
effaced from our memories; and as the darkness set
in, we could see in the far distance the ruddy glare of
prairie fires in several places, though this night being
calm, there was not that raging tempest of flame which
is occasioned when there is any wind.
This is the great cattle ranching country of the
North-West, said to be for climatic reasons superior
to the more southern ranges in the United States. It
is very rapidly filling up, and no doubt the completion
of the railway by the branch lines which will soon be
spread over .the whole region, will quickly lead to the
utilisation of the whole of these natural pastures.
I 63
CHAPTER   VII.
THE ROCKIES.
We were too late to get a glimpse of the Rockies
before going to bed, but in the early morning of the
14th August we woke to find that we had passed
Calgary, the capital of Alberta, in the night, and were
now running at a good pace up a fairly steep incline,
with the Bow River hurrying down from the mountains
alongside of our track, while already some splendid
peaks, whose jagged summits were crowned with snow,
were frowning above us.
Some writer quoted in the C.P.R. time-table says,
apropos of such a moment as this : " Our coarse natures
cannot at first appreciate the exquisite aerial grace of
that solitary peak, that seems on its way to Heaven."
We are thankful to say that our natures are not so
dreadfully coarse as this would imply, and we were
able, even at 4.30 in the morning, with no sustenance
but a little chocolate, to take a keen delight in these
splendid mountains. Their grandeur is no doubt
much more striking from the three days' preparation
of flat vastness which the traveller has undergone.
But neither words nor pencil can picture the true
glories of the scene. If the reader wishes for descriptions, they are to be found in plenty, and written
with a skill to which we cannot aspire.     But none of 64
The Rockies.
them can give the sense of freedom, the exhilarating
atmosphere, the scent of the pine forests', the glancing
and splashing of the torrent, the' glow of the rising
sun, and the thousand and one adjuncts that go to
make up enjoyment, and without which the most lovely
prospect imaginable is but a poor thing.
There is only one way by which any real idea of
these treasures of nature can be obtained, and that is
to go yourself, and for healthful pleasure it is open to
doubt whether there is any earthly employment in
which your time could be more profitably occupied.
The Bow River is followed for many miles, and
then with a sudden turn to the west we are in the
heart of the great glaciers and ravines of the main
range. We have long since passed Canmore, with its
guardian pillars of conglomerate, the witches, so they
say, who tried, and for centuries successfully, to keep
at bay the white man's magic. But their time came,
their spells at last availed them naught, and there at
the rocky gateway they stand, petrified monuments,
in eternal protest against the desecration of their
ancient sanctuary by the snorting locomotive.
Banff is left on one side, with its medicinal springs
and modern palace of an hotel, and still our engine
goes panting and groaning its way upwards, till at
length we come to a placid little lake, whose waters
supply some small portion of the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans, and stop in the Kicking Horse Pass at
Stephen, 5290 feet above sea-level.
There is a short delay while our engines are being
looked to and their fastenings examined, and then
we start on the downward run. No. 144, our front
engine,  has a huge pair of elk antlers surrounding his head-light, about as incongruous an ornament as
could be imagined, and coupled to our hindmost car
comes thundering a giant of close upon 200 tons, so
that we feel that we are as safe from a too rapid
descent as strength can make us. The view is magnificent, the trees already more luxuriant in foliage
than on the bleaker eastern slope, and the rapidly increasing Kicking Horse River dancing madly along by
our side in its tortuous and rocky channel.
Breakfast at Field—where a chalet-like hotel has
been built by the company—was a pleasant break
in the excitement of the run; and then for the last
time we took our stand on the platform for the few
remaining miles of our railway journey. Soon No.
144 (our monster had left us at Field) pulled up, and
it was seen that a landslip had blocked a tunnel just
ahead of us. A road had been built round a projecting spur of the tunneled rock, overhanging the
angry river, but the corner was so sharp that it was
impossible to get round with both the coupling
chains fastened, and the halt was made for the purpose of unhooking those next to the outside of the
curve. This done, we crept very gingerly round, the
general impression that it gave one being that the
engine would come and walk in at the back of the
last car if it were not careful. But we accomplished
it, passed a few small stations, and at last, at nine in
the morning of August 16th, stopped at no less a place
than Golden City. But before leaving the train, we
must quote from the book already mentioned the
gloriously inspired passage which refers to the spot.
" Here another surprise awaits. The train, escaped
from the canyon walls, rushes at full speed  along the
E 66
ii -
11
■t'!
llll
£L     ■ V''
IM1
■£*».]&**. Jh..,^
The Rockies.
base of a ridge which confronts it on the right, until
it swings around its foot towards the north. Then
springs into view a magnificent sierra lifted high
against the azure sky: it is the Selkirk range of
mountains, \oiiy, rock-ribbed, and glacial: their base
is hidden behind massive folds of foot-hills looking
almost black beneath the mantle of spruce which
sweeps far up the sides of even the central cones,
intercepted here and there by jutting crags, cut from
top to bottom in long lanes mowed year after year
by the avalanches, and capped by a chain of summits
from whose turrets winter never retreats. And when
the afternoon sun is dropping slowly towards it, and
the mists of the great valley have risen into light
clouds that fleecily veil the cold peaks, they swim in
a radiant warmth and glory of colour that suggests
Asgard, the celestial city of Scandinavian story, whose
foundations were laid on the icy pillars of those far
northern mountains where the Vikings worshipped."
To which we can only add—"You bet."
We are not going to compete with this word artist,
but it is nice to know that such things can be written,
and comforting to have them -by one as a solace to
one's mind when disturbed by the more unpoetical
events of ordinary life.
In another minute we were left lamenting the comforts of the train on the platform of Golden City Station,
surrounded by our numerous possessions and—horresco
referens—a bloodthirsty horde of mosquitoes.
To our inquiries for Cardie the stationmaster reported no such person to have landed, and he had
heard nothing of our canoes which three weeks ago
had  been  sent  off from  Peterborough,  Ontario,  the T
The Rockies.
67
birthplace of the modern Canadian canoe. This was
all very depressing, for without Cardie we could not
start, and without our canoes we could do nothing
here. There was nothing for it but to carry our
belongings over to the Queen's Hotel and await in
patient torment the course of events. I ''&&■       '*!5f-w!|p^s*£!l3s
(    68    )
W I    ,;
1 11
J 1
CHAPTER VIII.
£. C.
The Queen's Hotel has a fine ring about it, and in
fact it is a fine place—so much so, that if it were much
finer you could not see it at all. It consists of a low
badly built log cabin, which hereabouts they call a
" shack." It has a bar, a kitchen, a room with a bagatelle board in it, a feeding-room, and three tiny bedrooms with barely space for bed and wash-stand, but
quite a number of draughts. It was, however, all very
clean, and as far as such a place could be, comfortable,
and Mrs. Green was an excellent cook. We found
on the table in the sitting-room a sedately bound
volume of considerable bulk, entitled " Reveries of a
Bachelor," new edition. This implied a neatly veiled
compliment to married men, for the book was
nothing but an ingenious dodge for evading the
N. W. drink regulations, a secret spring which was
revealed to us by the landlord disclosing the neck of
a whisky bottle most artfully concealed within the
leaves. However, lots of books have worse things
than this in them.
We wandered about the " suburbs' all day, and
made divers discoveries. Item : That the waters of the
Columbia, into which the Kicking Horse flows a
couple of miles beyond the station, were too " riley "
ft B. C.
69
(British Columbian word meaning stained with snow)
to allow of any fishing. Item : That the said suburbs
consisted chiefly of brush and swamp, and were the
lair of millions of mosquitoes. Item : That Golden
City, or " Golden," as it is invariably called, contained
one or two good fellows, but was on the whole one of
the most pitiful places on the earth.
Since  the  early   days   of   mining   discoveries   we
imagine this city went steadily backwards, until the
C.P.R. put life once more into its sinking frame.
Now he would be a bold man who would deny that
the future has great possibilities for it, for the
Columbia valley above here is undoubtedly one of the
favoured districts of the province, and is being rapidly
settled. The river is navigable from its source down
to Golden, but only a few miles below, and consequently
any goods destined for the upper valley are brought [
I 1
Iff
!
7
o
B.  C
here by the railway for transfer to the boats and two
steamers which already ply on the river. The Provincial Government is also making a waggon-road
along the valley to the lakes which form the headwaters, and on from there down the Kootenay, so
that the settlers are not wholly dependent on the
navigation, which of course is often interrupted by
frost, floods, and low water; and it will not be very
long before the iron horse will find his way across
the beautiful parks which fringe the river bank, and
destroy at one fell stroke the occupation of boats,
pack-trains, and waggons, and to some extent even
of the steamers.
There is a freedom and heartiness about these
British Columbian folk (we shall in future adopt the
custom of the country and use only the letters B. C.)
which is very captivating to the sophisticated and
conventional mind. The first friend we made was a
little girl aged about five, who seemed to be living
independently of her relations. She said her name
was Miss Jenny Lorena Wells, which seems a good
deal for one so young; and she imparted many
details concerning the life and habits of her doll.
Then our landlord was exceedingly hospitable and
agreeable. We asked by way of conversation what
was the name of the mountain straight opposite his
door, a peak so striking in its rugged magnificence
that in Switzerland they would have two railways
and a dozen hotels planted on it. With princely
generosity he replied, "You can call it what you
darn like : every outfit that comes along gives it a
new name, and I'll be shot if I can remember what
the last one was."     It was gratifying to reflect that
I we were now an "outfit," but we could not at  that
time think of an appropriate title for the mountain.
The east-bound train came in about 17 o'clock;
and having nothing better to do, we strolled up to
the station to see it pass, when to our astonishment
we detected in a youth of fashionable exterior, surrounded by a bevy of sorrowing but high-born
maidens, our long-lost and little expected Cardie. It
had taken him just a month of driving and training
to get here from his eyrie in the Colorado mountains,
and it was an extraordinary coincidence that after all
the delays and minor calamities we had suffered, we
should have thus managed to reach our goal on the
same day.
Cardie soon put us right on several points of
speech, e.g. we found that "truck" is the great and
universal word for any emergency. I Is all that
truck yours ? What sort of truck have you got in
it for cold ' weather ? Yes, that 45.90 Winchester
isn't bad truck to have around for a grizzly. Well,
I should put it all on a truck and wheel it to the hotel.'
These are the sentences with which we should begin
a B. C. Ollendorf. The only other necessary piece of
knowledge is " How to use (What's the matter' in
500 different ways, by one who has been there.
I What's the matter with some supper ? What's the
matter with the bread ? (i.e. Please pass it). What's
the matter with skipping out of this first thing in the
Any one who will devote his mind to the
morning
? "
study of these far-reaching productions of the Anglo-
American tongue will find that the opportunities for
their application are endless ; in fact we now § have
them in our houses and use no other." /
1 1'
11 ii
Mil
72
B. C.
With this newly acquired brilliancy there was no,
longer any difficulty in christening our mountain peak,
and the world will be good enough to take notice that
now and for all time it is to be known as the " What's-
the-Matter-horn."
The canoes not having arrived, we decided to go
for a ramble of three or four days to see what the
country was like, and as there was no room in the
Queen's for our " truck," we hired a small shack in
which we stored all the more sumptuous portions of
our apparel and various other things which we did
not need to take with us. That finished, we lunched
on the Duchess (the larger of the two Columbia
steamers) with the captain, Mr. Armstrong, who was
in all ways most obliging. His craft presented a
somewhat decrepit appearance, as about a fortnight
before our arrival she had been wrecked in the
Columbia with a full cargo and some passengers.
They had managed to fish her up again out of about
fourteen feet of water, and she was now in steaming
order, but all her fittings and former smartness had
gone where other good things go. Her general
aspect, in fact, was that of an old canal-boat into
which a travelling gipsy's van had been hastily
crammed without regard to its position or safety.
One most valuable thing had, however, been saved
from the general ruin, Sam, the Chinese cook : the
best cook we " struck " (Anglice—fell in with) on the
mainland of B. C. Here we met also another of the
N. W. Police officers, and altogether enjoyed ourselves, for the mosquito seemed unable to exist on
the Duchess, though he flourished everywhere else.
The   general   good-fellowship   and   freedom   from ^
<1 1   1
if
nit B. C.
73
ceremony are not without their drawbacks. Within
ten minutes of our arrival at Golden, half a dozen
total strangers had pressed us to drink, and we
thought " What a nice place." We began to doubt the
advantages of it when another total stranger adorned
with two lovely black eyes dashed into the shack this
evening while we were packing. In the same hearty
and informal manner he immediately assailed Cardie
and Jim with a selected assortment of the worst epithets'
yet coined, and challenged them both to mortal combat.
We at last persuaded him to go and fight another man,
who, we assured him, was thirsting for his blood, and at
a late hour that evening were rejoiced to see him relieved
of his lethal weapons by the community at large. This
man, when sober, was a nice enough fellow, but the
drink supplied in these western towns is as a rule bad
enough to make even a dog behave disgracefully, let
alone a man.
We discussed here with the authorities what it
would be advisable to do whenever (and if ever) the
canoes should turn up. We were uncertain whether
to go down the Columbia northwards to what is called
the Big Bend, or go up it to its source, and crossing
the narrow strip of land, paddle down the Kootenay,
our own inclination being for the former course. The
experts said—I Oh yes, you can get round the Big
Bend ; one or two canoes have done it all right, but
on an average they lose one man out of each party
that goes down. You see the rapids are bad, and it is
long odds against every one getting down safely."
We talked it over, and made up our minds to go,
as we all thought one man out of three would never
be missed ;   but we soon found there was   an  irre- I  I
:
74
B. C.
concilable difference of opinion between us as to
which that one was, no less than three names being
suggested. So we gave up the Big Bend, and finally
decided to go up the river as soon as the canoes
arrived, and in the meantime to try a little hunt.
On the morning of August 17th, we started in the
Duchess, which was bound for the lake at the headwaters known as Lake Windermere, intending to get
out of her at the first promising spot. Our progress
was very slow at first, as this part of the river is
rapid, and the old stern-wheeler did not make more
than \\ miles an hour past the banks, though she
was good for eight or nine through the water.
The Columbia depends for its supply on the melting
snow, and this was about coming to an end ; the.
water therefore was falling rapidly, and leaving on
either side huge marshy lagoons known as sloughs
(pronounced sloo). These seemed to offer great
attractions to enormous flocks of geese, ducks, and
plover, while here and there the white wings of a
swan might be seen reflected in the perfectly still
waters. The banks of the river are for the most part
densely wooded, except where one of these backwaters
occurs, and in such places it is often impossible for the
inexperienced to detect the true course, there being
frequently so many different channels, and these so
wide, that there is no perceptible stream in any of
them. Skilfully steered, the Duchess found her way
through the devious passages, every turn disclosing
new beauties, as the two glorious ranges, the Rockies
on our left hand (the east) and the Selkirks on the
right, became visible above the high wooded bluffs
which in many parts overhang the river.    Forest fires were burning on all sides, but only making their
existence known by a light blue haze, which filled
the air and gave just that atmosphere to the view
which in a dry mountain climate is so often wanting,
and on this perfect day not one thing was lacking to
complete our happiness.
Alas, earthly happiness seldom lasts long. We
passed the place where the poor Duchess went
down, and a little higher up, at a spot where the
forest grew more densely than anywhere else, the
steamer ran her nose into the bank, and we and our
" truck " were bundled on shore. Five minutes later
she was a mere puffing speck in the distance, while
we were being literally eaten by the most awful
mosquitoes it has ever been our lot to meet—or
be meat for. (    76    )
<
R
CHAPTER IX.
l^^M MOSQUITO   CAMP.
The only information we could get about this place,
which was known as Canyon Creek, was that goats
(the mountain white goat) abounded high up the
Selkirks, and that there was a hunting trail from this
spot which would lead us up into their country. The
ground near the landing was slightly swampy, as a
small stream (called in this country a creek) here
found its way into the river, and all among the trees
was a perfect network of numberless smaller rills.
The forest was dark, and composed of enormously tall
trees, chiefly spruce, hemlock, and cottonwood, with
a dense undergrowth of willow, cranberry, raspberry
and mosquitoes. We soon found the trail, a very
faint and feeble specimen of one, but marked conspicuously by fairly frequent blazes (axe-cuts removing a broad piece of bark) on the trees ; so satisfied
that all was right, we shouldered our burdens and
walked along it, making at best very slow progress,
and soon finding that the trail grew ever worse
under foot and more difficult to follow. At last
it was impossible to see any more blazes on the
trees, and the trail itself had become a thing of
naught.
Jim, who even at such a time as this could not refrain from what he imagined to be wit, was on
ahead making out the track, and after vainly searching
for any further sign of it, he pointed to the last axe
mark that could be discerned on a huge cottonwood,
and opined that " it had run up that tree and apparently gone to blazes." If the scoundrel who chopped
those delusive signals on the bark is undergoing even
a small percentage of the fate to which our anathemas
condemned him, we can only say he must be having
a pretty warm time of it. And yet perchance he
was not wicked but only unfortunate, and had merely
blazed these trees in trying to find his own way to
the apocryphal trail: showing, however, more discretion than we did by turning back when he had
struggled in vain to this point.
We, unlike our imaginary predecessor, having come
so far, were unwilling to return to the river to see
if there might not be another trail on the other side
of the creek, so guiding our course by the sun, which
could just be seen through the tree-tops, we took
turns at chopping our way through the forest towards
the still distant rising ground at the foot of the
Selkirks. Two hours of this, during which we advanced
perhaps half a mile, was sufficient, with the torture
that we were suffering all the time from our winged
foes, to utterly exhaust us, for the forest in many
places had been burnt, and here the fallen trees lay
piled over each other in a terribly complicated manner,
while in the unburnt portions it was if anything more
difficult to force a way through the tangled thicket of
brush and swamp. Many of the prostrate trunks
were so large that one might just as well attempt to
walk over a park wall as to surmount them, laden as IN
HM
78
Mosquito Camp.
we were, and they looked about as long as Welbeck
Street, so that going round them was no small undertaking. All this, however, would have been a mere
matter of time, but when in addition we had to repel
the attacks of countless millions of mosquitoes the
case was very different; and through it all remember
the thermometer stood at about 90° in the shade, with
'' Never saw such a chap: always spoiling everything by wanting
to $0 back /"
never a breath of wind to alleviate our sufferings from
the heat.
People at home read of sandflies, Cingalese leeches,
stinging ants, mosquitoes, and the like, and the fashion
is to treat all such matters more or less as jokes, and
to affect merriment at the idea of getting well bitten
by any of them, but the truth is that there is no
misery on earth equal to a really bad attack of these
demons. We all thought we had seen mosquitoes
before, in Norway, in  India, and in  the  States, but until now we knew nothing—absolutely nothing—
of the. concentrated essence of torture that they are
capable of inflicting, when you invade their real
home.
Some writer lately has been advocating the claims
of the stinging ants as the worst evil that can befall
a man. ' For us they may come, and bring also their
sisters and their cousins ; we still uphold the mosquito
as facile princeps.
Every step we took kicked up a veritable cloud of
new assailants, and though in expectation of their
attacks we had come provided with large pieces of
gauze which were put over our hats and tucked in
under our coats, the protection was soon worthless,
for we found that the swarms of insects upon the
veils prevented both sight and breathing. We were
obliged when moving to take them off, only replacing
them whenever exhausted nature could stand the agony
no longer and we stopped to rest for a few moments,
lighting a fire whenever we did so, and getting a
brief respite in the choking fumes of the smouldering
wood.
It speaks volumes for the spirit which ever animated
our poet that he should have chosen one of these brief
halts to compose an Ode, which, had it been completed, would, we feel sure, have conferred undying
immortality upon him. Even in its unfinished condition we have no hesitation in presenting it to the
world. 8o
Mosquito Camp.
(i) ODE TO THE MOSQUITO.
A  FRAGMENT.
Recitative.
On other poets here I place my veto,
Be mine alone to sing the dashed mosquito :
Aria.
Thou airy sprite, child of the shady grove,
Faithful companion wheresoe'er we rove,
Together have we roamed the wide world through,
And thou alone of all its hosts art true (2).
On Afric's shores, on India's coral strand,
The first to meet us in this Northern land :
The last to leave us as its shores recede,
O ghostly gimlet, "treu und fest" (3) indeed.
E'en as a watchful mother bends above
Her babe, and croons a lullaby of love,
So thou, whene'er our nightly couch we seek,
HoVrest aloft, a "phantom—with a beak" (4).
And with thy sweet small soul-entrancing song,
Thou'It charm our wakeful ear the whole night long ;
When pain and anguish chance to wring the brow,
No wife so constant at our side as thou (5).
But unlike woman, in our hours of ease,
Thoitrt not uncertain, coy, or hard to please ;
Content to dwell upon the merest speck
Of ear or nose, or small expanse of neck.
(1). We owe him a good deal more  than this,  but fear he will
never be paid.
(2). Yes, and he bleeds one like a true host.
(3). Note by Printer.    Is this word fest or pest ?.
Author.    Fest; comparative, fester.
(4).' A beak,  alas!   who never gives him six weeks without  the
option of a fine.
(5). Note by the Skipper.    And if the pain and anguish we forget,
He'll bring 'em with him when he comes, you bet.
11
fj !
®  82
Mosquito Camp.
1
To show the difficulties under which the minstrel
laboured, we give the remaining verses in fac-simile
from his note-book, embellished as they are by the
bodies of the slain.   The last stanza was left unfinished,
for the subject-matter became too obtrusive  in their
attentions,  and   the divine afflatus once gone could
never   be recalled.     Jim  had   an   idea   that   it was
intended to run thus :—
dwell
At Helsingfors, or some such far-off spot*
Where other people live, and we do not.
But though we insert these lines, it is only too easy to
perceive that they are not of equal merit with the
preceding ones, and the true poetic climax is, we fear,
irretrievably lost.
At last finding a place where the tall gaunt stems
of the burnt forest gave a little more chance of light
and air, we cleared a very uncomfortable patch just
big enough for the tent, cooked some bacon and made
tea, and then huddled under our blankets as the only
possible asylum from the ever-increasing levies of our
relentless enemies. For as the sun went down a new
and more formidable variety came upon the scene : in
fact we soon found that each period of the day had its
own particular detachment, every new one appearing
to be more insatiable than the last. Unfortunately the
arrival of a fresh contingent did not induce those
already on the spot to desist from their labours.
It was an awful time. Sleep was out of the question,
for apart from the nervous state in which the ceaseless " ping " of the hovering pests keeps their victims,
* A mosquito always lives on a spot, and if there does not happen
to be one when he arrive?, he soon makes one. iMtmm
mm
»•■
Mosquito Camp.
H
and the actual aching pain of the old bites, the night
was so oppressively close and sultry that to keep a
blanket over one's head for long was an impossibility ;
and on the other hand it was only by this protection,
that the enemy could be kept at bay.
When we arose in the very early morning, we all
felt that another day of the same sort would be
unendurable, and something to better our condition
must be done at once. Cardie wanted to know
l< what's the matter with skipping out on a raft back
to Golden ? " % You see," he said, I if you walk, you'll
have to leave nearly all your things here till we can
come back for them ; but if you go down on a raft, you
go down with all your truck." We thought it highly
probable that if we attempted the navigation of the
Columbia on such a raft as could be made under these
harrowing circumstances, we should "go down with
all our truck ; " but the ignominy of such a speedy
return was not to be thought of. The Skipper
grumbled out that | he never saw such a fellow ; comes
out for a few days' pleasure, and is always wanting to
go home." Jim likewise objected to beating a retreat,
because, when fetching water from one of the shallow
streams which trickled' through the forest, he had
noticed so many tracks of bears in the soft soil that
he believed I there must be a goodish covey of them
somewhere around."
At last it was decided to wander out and if possible
strike the trail, which we still felt sure must be somewhere near us up the mountain, while Cardie I guessed
he could weather it" with the assistance of many fires
until the return of the explorers.
We had not left camp a quarter of a mile behind us 84
Mosquito Camp.
when Jim suddenly stopped and pointed to a tree about
seventy yards from us, and there, just visible above
the thick brush, with his fore-legs clasped round the
trunk, was a full-grown black bear. He was the
wrong side of the tree, and nothing but his head and
paws could be seen; moreover we were at this time
walking on the top of a kind of scaffolding composed
■ i
"Just visible above the thick brush."
of a huge pile of fallen trees about ten feet above the
ground, which made shooting almost impossible, as
the recoil would probably have knocked us off our
slippery perch. Jim, who was in front, had only taken
a small bore Winchester for birds and other small
game, which was by no means the sort of weapon one
would choose for carrying on a discussion with a bear; and the Skipper, who had a heavy rifle, was in such
a position that he could not fire. We tried to get
forward to a place where the ground would give a
decent chance of a shot, and managed to reach a
fairly open bit not more than forty-five yards from
him. Jim was in the act of putting up his rifle, when
the bear, who had been watching us with uneasy
curiosity, shown by repeated movements of his head,
suddenly gave a frightened kind of snort, and before
either of us had time to shoot, dodged behind the
tree and slid rapidly to the ground, his claws scoring
the bark as he went. He was out of sight in an
instant in the solid mass of tangled scrub below, and
though we could hear him for some little time crashing through the bushes in his flight, and wrathfully
despatched a bullet after him, one might as well have
fired at the moon. There was nothing for it, after
cordially laying all the blame on each other that really
ought to have been attributed to the bear, but to go
on our way, as we did, very disconsolate, still consumed
by the villainous mosquito, and more down on our luck
than ever.   •
In Sweden and Norway it is well known that to
speak of the animal as a I bear I will render hopeless
any attempt to secure him. He must always be
alluded to in hyperbolical metaphor; as I Old Fur-
jacket," or I The Wise One," or the I Disturber; "
and if we had neglected this important rule, we
should have known that we deserved our fate. But
nothing of the sort had happened. We had merely
pointed respectfully at the I old one in the fur
cloak," and feel sure that we are guiltless in the
matter.
i 86
ff
Mosquito Camp.
We wandered through the brush about an hour
longer, and at last did get to some perceptibly rising
ground, where the matted tangle of raspberries and
thimble-berries came to something like an end, and
walking was less of a gymnastic exercise. Here,
led by the sound of rushing waters, we soon stood
on the bank of a beautiful ice-cold creek, and following
it up a short distance suddenly came upon a ruined
log hut and a trail going past it: this we followed,
and in another half mile found ourselves at the foot
of a very steep hill, down which came tumbling over
rocky steps the water which supplied all the little
streamlets of our forest.
There was a large pool at the foot of the fall, and
close to this a fairly good log cabin and other evidences of human work. A weir had been constructed
across the outlet of the pool by the simple process of
felling all the trees across it that were within reach,
and filling up all interstices with their branches, the
result of this engineering being that the water no
longer ran in the ancient bed of Canyon Creek, but
Was diverted over the surface of the land. This
being very even in its contour, had not presented any
particularly favourable channel, and consequently the
torrent was running, as we have seen, deviously, and
reaching the Columbia by a multitude of small rivulets. The object of this diversion was of course to
search for gold in the bed of the creek thus laid dry,
and we supposed that this had long since been done
to whatever extent the miners had thought profitable,
for there seemed to have been no one about the place
for some considerable time. The stream near the
weir was very rapid,  clear  as   crystal,  cold   as  ice,
u Mosquito Camp.
87
about fifteen yards wide, and in the deepest places
not quite up to the Skipper's neck.
There were plenty of trees lying across it, so that
it seemed an easy task to go over and up the trail
which we now saw zig-zagging up the almost perpendicular hill beyond. So we gaily essayed the passage,
which Jim accomplished safely ; but just as the Skipper
was stepping off his bridge on to the bank the treacherous bark gave way (this is the worst danger in
walking on fallen trees), and with a mighty splash he
and his rifle went into the deepest hole in the creek.
He thought it best to get out at once, but too late to
save his watch, which he opened, and found that the
escapement had floated round to the back of the mainspring and so jammed the gadget that the chunker-
block would not work. But we were equal to the
emergency, and in two minutes had frizzled all the
water out of the works by unscrewing the large lens
of the binocular and using it as a burning glass. It
had a wonderful effect, and with a little coaxing the
watch began to go ; then we hung it on a tree with
the mechanism still exposed to the rays of the sun,
and went on our way rejoicing.
In a few minutes more we were on the top of the
hill, and without a mosquito near us. Thankfully we
wended our way upwards along a quite easily followed
trail, and at length came to a camping-ground, among
splendid timber close to the edge of the canyon, which
by this time had widened out to a large ravine about
400 to 500 feet in depth, twice as much in width, and
with sides so precipitous as to utterly forbid any
attempt to get down them, while far beneath the
torrent foamed and roared in headlong descent.     This F
ill
llli
'88
Mosquito Camp.
looked so promising a halting-place that we turned
back quite pleased with ourselves, and very quickly
made the return journey to the miner's cabin; then
instead of retracing our steps to Mosquito Camp, we
still followed the trail downwards, confident that it
must lead to our landing-place on the Columbia,
which we afterwards found to be the case. On this
occasion, however, we only kept to it until we imagined by our roughly taken bearings that we- were
opposite the camp, and then striking off at right
angles we were delighted to find that we had made a
wonderfully correct shot, and were within a quarter of
a mile of our last night's quarters.
All was now hurry to get away, and we had packed
everything except the tent, when suddenly overhead
came the boom of thunder, and the big drops began
to fall. Flash followed flash in quick succession as
the storm drew nearer, and then far up the mountain
side we heard, like the rapid cracks of a whip, crash,
crash, crash, CRASH, louder and louder, the most
startling and terrifying sound, for it needed no one
to tell us that these were trees going down before
what must be an awful hurricane, apparently sweeping straight down upon us, and mowing a path as it
came.
This was a pleasant situation. We were surrounded
by straight dead stems of mighty trees, varying from
150 to 200 feet in height, the ground so thickly bestrewn and tangled with trunks and logs and underwood that to move two yards quickly in any direction
was an absolute impossibility, even if there would be
the slightest hope of successfully dodging such trees
on clear ground ; and nearer and nearer every moment Mosquito Camp.
89
came the sharp rattling crack and roar of the falling
timber. There seemed only one chance of safety,
which was to creep under the biggest prostrate trunk
that we could find, and hope for the best. This Jim
and Cardie promptly did, " trembling," as the latter
afterwards graphically expressed it, " from limb to
limb." The Skipper said, " Who's afraid ? I but got
under a log nevertheless. Another moment and the
merest puff of air came, just enough to send a shiver
through the leaves of the quaking asp, and with that
puff close to us on our right we saw tree after tree of
the burnt forest slowly lean forward and without a
bend or resistance of any kind come to the ground
with earth-shaking crash, those that struck on high
raised piles of former victims breaking into huge
splintered fragments.
And then for the first time we realised, not at all
to our comfort, that no storm was needed to level
these tremendous sticks of charcoal: the fact is, as
we afterwards found, that wind is one of the rarest
occurrences in this part of the country, and from
this time throughout the autumn and winter it may
practically be said that dead calm is the normal condition. The trees in a burnt forest remain upright,
not because they have any hold in the ground, for
their roots rot almost immediately after a fire, but
because being for the most part absolutely straight
and perpendicular, there is no inducement for them
to fall. And so they stand until the first breath of
wind comes, and then they go down before it like
ninepins, just as we had seen.
We are now glad to have been witnesses of the
sight,   but   the   half-minute   during   which   it   went 90
Mosquito Camp.
on was about the most unpleasant month we ever
spent. The breeze seemed to pass about forty yards
to one side of us, and clearing its course to the
river left us, and to our immense gratification returned
no more.
When we felt convinced it was all over, and the
return of the momentarily dispersed mosquitoes brought
the same murderous thoughts to our hearts and the
same unkind words about them to our lips which
the ninepin trees had banished, we told Cardie of
our discoveries and adventures. He was greatly
interested in the bear part of the story, as this black
bear was a novelty to him, the grizzly being the bear
of his mountain home. He wanted to know what it
looked like, and after much thought Jim gave utterance
to the comprehensive information—" Well, he looked
exactly like a great bear" (accent on the bear).
When pressed for a little more description of the
animal he could only add— " He looked just as if he
wanted a bun." (    9i    )
CHAPTER X,
CANYON  CREEK,
The thunderstorm passed, and we then cut a trail
through the dripping wood across to the newly
discovered one, and before night-fall were up at the
log cabin near the foot of the fall. The tent we
decided to be unnecessary, as the nights seemed to
our surprise to be warm, and we had a waggon-sheet
with us which could be made into a very serviceable
tent in case of rain. We had a most festive meal up
there, for we had shot several squirrels, which make
excellent curried rabbit, and the respite from being
worried had given us time to bake, so that for the
first time since we left the Duchess we were all
good-tempered and even agreeable. We found in
the cabin a pack of cards, and at first meditated a
regular night of it at Whist and Prussian Bank and
Grab and other intellectual games. Unfortunately
several cards were missing—in fact, to speak truthfully, they were all missing except two queens of
diamonds and the four of clubs, and none of us couldv
remember any good game which only needed those
three.
That night we slept almost undisturbed, for the
more open ground and the coldness of the mountain
torrent made a sort of draught which annoyed the i
1
92
Canyon Creek.
mosquito, and prevented him from hunting with any
degree of pleasure. We found by the tracks that
a bear had passed within forty yards of the cabin
during the night, but could not find him.
The next day was spent in the very hard work of
dragging all our truck up that vertical hill, but we
felt repaid for our toil when at night we pitched our
camp on the very edge of the mighty canyon. There
the roar of the glacier torrent came up as a soothing
murmur to mingle with the tiny music of the fir
branches, as their needles trembled in the motionless
air, while the twittering of the mountain Chickadee
(a little titmouse) and the angry chatter of Ajidaumo
were the only other sounds to be heard.
Very jolly it was to lie there that first night and
think of the horrors we had endured in the mosquito
haunted shores far below us, and to watch the twinkling stars—more brilliant than we ever see them in
our murky atmosphere—and the gleam of the rushing
waters so white in the starlight. Those restless
mortals, Jim and Cardie, must add to the enjoyment
of this peaceful time by making a huge fire of trees,
and when one of these had become thoroughly well
lighted from end to end they would lever it to the
edge of the canyon, and with a- wild yell send it
hurtling down the precipice. Such a firework would
make the fortune of a Crystal Palace. The blazing
log went twisting and writhing like a fiery snake,
gaining in speed at every yard of its descent; and
as it sprang from ledge to ledge, at each bound or
somersault a glowing shower of sparks flew off, more
brilliant every moment as the velocity of its flight
fanned  the  flaming  brands,   until  at  last  with   one
tl Canyon Creek.
splendid leap it whizzed like a rocket over the last
cliff and plunged into the seething waters. Ah well,
it was a pleasant, careless night, and we made the
most of it, little knowing how short a time it
would last.
About midnight we all awoke with a start as a
blinding flash of lightning illumined with a ghastly
glare every stick and stone in the vast gulf of the
canyon, and in a few minutes we were crouching for
shelter under the waggon-sheet, rather scared with the
excessive nearness and blueness of the lightning.
Cardie, in his usual picturesque language, next
morning asserted that it was i as blue as a wimberry
and as thick as a bed-post;" and if that is not word
painting, we don't know what is.
The storm did not last long—Columbian storms
never do, according to our experience—and we were
soon comfortably at rest again, with the thunder only
growling at longer and longer intervals far above us
in the rocky heights of the Selkirks. We found the
waggon-sheet so good and easily fixed that from this
time we abandoned the tent altogether, and when we
used any covering at all, which in the first two months
was seldom, we were content to rig up this sheet.
All it needed in this country, where we invariably
camped- among trees, was a couple of poles tied
together near their tops, like an X with two long
legs. In the fork reposed one end of a ridge-pole,
the other end being usually lashed to a tree, and the
sheet was just thrown over this ridge and pegged
down along its sides. At the Canyon Camp we slept
for greater safety from the mosquito with our heads
on  the very edge of the precipice,   thus   getting   a 94
Canyon Creek.
ni
Hi
in n ii
II Ii
I 1 Is 1 In :
t  11
draught up from the ravine which was sufficient on
this occasion to keep the tormentors aloof.
An unfortunate bat formed our acquaintance at this
camp in a manner most unpleasant to himself. We
happened to light our fire over a little hole in the
ground which proved to be his den, and in a few
seconds the luckless inmate fled out squeaking most
dismally and hung himself up on the nearest tree. We
think, however, he was more frightened than hurt.
The next day, a very long one, was spent in
searching for the as yet invisible goats, and we made
two discoveries: In spite of all our trouble we were
still on the wrong side of the canyon, and could not
get into that part of the mountains at which we had
aimed; and worse than this, other human beings had
lately been over the same ground. Goats undoubtedly
had recently been plentiful on this tract, as every
rough juniper or projecting branch was matted with
their long white hair, but we could find no fresh
tracks, and began to think of turning back. We
afterwards found out that a party of Austrians had
actually been up this same trail less than a month
before, and had had fair sport there, the natural
result being of course the departure of the surviving
goats from the persecuted region.
And now a new terror was added to us. The
mosquitoes had either followed us up from the lower
ground, or else a new kind had been developed, and
here on this high and open cliff we found ourselves
surrounded by, if possible, a worse plague than
before. The night was sultry, but there was no
help for it; our only chance of getting any rest
was smoke, and we built a huge horseshoe of fire The Horse-shoe Fire: Canyon Camp.
Page 94.
1 il 111
i
^^ Canyon Creek.
95
beginning and ending at the edge of the canyon, thus
enclosing the camp in a fortress impenetrable truly
to the winged foe, but raising the temperature to a
barely endurable height. This was the last straw,
and in the morning we were all up and swearing—
that is-to say, breakfasting—at a very early hour,
unanimous (for probably the only time in five
months) in agreeing that flight was necessary. One
day's work on the down-trail was more than equal to
what occupied two long ones in the ascent, and about
the middle of the afternoon we were once more on
the banks of the Columbia. There we prepared to
commit ourselves and all our truck to a raft, death
by drowning or any other means being vastly preferable to being eaten alive.
The first thing to do was of course to light a fire
and make tea, which occupied ten minutes. Just as
the first cup was poured out the Skipper suddenly
said " listen," and over the mangled plum-pudding
which did duty for his face came a look of too-good-
to-be-true astonishment. Dead silence for a moment,
broken only by the ever-present "ping" of the mosquito and the sound of a human slap, and then
distinctly came to our ears the unmistakable puff, puff,
puff—puff of the Duchess. In another moment she
appeared round the bend labouring her tardy way
against the rapid stream. It seemed impossible after
these three awful days that we should have been
lucky enough to meet with such precision a boat that
only passed about twice a week, and made no pretence
of being punctual to within forty-eight hours, but it
was the fact nevertheless. In another ten minutes
we   were  once  more  on  her  hospitable  deck,   sur- I
bit Iff
96
Canyon Creek.
rounded by all sorts of luxuries, and with not so
much as a house-fly to remind us of the purgatory we
had left.     Best luck of all, our canoes were on board,
The "Duchess.
having arrived at Golden the evening before, so now
we had not a care in the world, and could go on
up the Columbia with the lightest of hearts.
A| Canyon Creek.
97
Night came on, and when it got too dark to run
any longer with safety the Duchess was just tied up
to the bank. All her cabins and fittings being still
scattered about at the bottom of the river and on the
banks several miles below, each man selected what he
considered a comfortable spot and went to sleep; Jim
and Cardie in the body of a waggon which was being
taken up the river, while the Skipper shared a corner
with a black retriever and a red Indian somewhere
among the cordwood which served as fuel for the
steamer.
G (    98    )
CHAPTER XI.
THE   COLUMBIA.
Fill!
With the first morning light we were away once more,
and this day for the first  time unworried  enough to
enjoy the lovely weather and the ever-varying beauties
which at each bend of the river were presented to us.
At first the  shores   retained  the densely  wooded
Bluffs on the Cohimbia River.
character which had hitherto distinguished them, but
soon this was changed for high bluffs with small scattered clumps and isolated trees dotted about here and
there in a manner unknown to landscape gardeners.
■99NHE£: The* Columbia.
99
The soil, where visible, was a pale yellowish mixture
of sand and clay, sufficiently stiff in places to form
cliffs which even at a short distance had a wonderful
likeness to ruined architecture.
Ospreys abounded along the river, their nests
being most conspicuous objects, as they were very
large and invariably placed at the extreme top of a
bare dead tree, one overhanging the river just above
the funnel of the steamer.     Ducks and geese literally
v^1#;> -If
.-T_- ;«s*J*  £5^%r/ws jb*T'*
<&m
isMm
SS£5«
i^^ZSj
1    -"fei-^-^i-f^
^fev-l.
Ospreys Nest, Columbia River.
swarmed, not a few on the river itself, but many
more on the sloughs which branched out from it on
both sides. Everywhere the belted kingfisher glanced
and flashed in the sun, and along the shores ran and
whistled the livelong day sandpipers innumerable.
Occasionally we had a little mild excitement in the
navigation of the boat through a particularly tortuous
channel, which in more than one instance ended in the
failure of the rudder to keep her head to the swift II
IOO
The Columbia.
current; and at such times there was an ignominious
stoppage with our nose in the bank, and a great deal
of poling and the sort of language which is the inseparable accompaniment of all nautical manoeuvres.
On one broad reach a mink was seen in midstream
swimming across the river, and the captain, with a
sportsmanlike spirit beyond all praise, undertook to
run it down with the swift and elegant Duchess,
a proceeding somewhat akin to setting an elephant
to catch black beetles in the back kitchen. All hands
joined in this enterprise with great alacrity, and
clustered in the bows with sticks, chunks of wood,
and a landing net. The result was that in about
thirty seconds the "minx," as Cardie called it, had
dived and disappeared for ever, and the steamer having carried away a large portion of British Columbia,
had docked herself in a primeval forest, her decks
littered with the ruins of fir-trees, under which lay the
Indian, two of the crew, and Jim, all considerably
flattened out.
The next episode was the appearance of a raft
bearing down on us, containing three very hungry
looking men. They told us they had been lumbering
up in the woods, and in some way they had run
short of supplies, and were doing their best to get
down to Golden, or anywhere where they could find
some food. Their raft was beautifully made of logs,
held together by three cross pieces which were dovetailed into them, a method of construction only practicable by the aid of a saw. This tool, with their
axes, a rifle, and a very little bedding, was all they
had with them. They hailed us as deliverers, and
were soon luxuriating in Sam's plentiful fare, while
Jfrw "■* **
A Koote?iay Indian A.B. ss. "Duchess."
Page 100. I! '* The Columbia.
101
their raft continued its voyage down the river.     They
did not look comfortable on board that frail craft, and
I Thinks we to ourselves, here's a lesson to we,
They're just but a picture of what we might be ; |
and of what, but for our luck I meeting the steamer,
we should without doubt have been about this time.
At times we pulled up at a pile of cordwood on
the bank and spent half an hour in refilling our decks
with the stacks of fuel necessary for our progress, for
.■■•:■.y..?€:''r»- /   '      Ji\m/%   & '™"■(■, -^■-'''■'J^-jr^
&\
&!«*
PSf**?
x^t^^f
Oh   /tu. Co turn h'a      2/^Clu.o.
these wood-burning furnaces have an alarming rate of
consumption. At one such place a ranchman came
down and mentioned that he had a letter to send in
the morning by the returning boat, and would just
stick it out over the river on a long pole to be caught
as she flew past, a novelty in postal collection.
Among our passengers was one of those curious
vagabond Englishmen whom one meets in every part 102
The Columbia.
I
1
iff*
III
of the world, always quiet, nice fellows, ready to do
any one a good turn, and yet never materially prosperous, though often working hard enough to make
a dozen fortunes. This one was a miner, and a particularly good specimen he seemed to be. He had
evidently run through the regular degrees of comparison "mine, minor, minus," and yet was as cheery
as if everything always went well with him, and very
hopeful about the success of a new find of ore he had
recently made up in the mountains. He had been
out of England twenty-five years, and had never in
that time met any one who could tell him anything
of home. Finding that Jim knew something of his
native place, a little village just a tandem drive from
Oxford, he was very pleased to have a talk with us.
We trust his mine turned out all he expected, and that
the unlucky wanderer has " struck it rich'' at last.
It soon became a race against time whether we
should get to Windermere this day or not. The
river for a mile or two below the outlet of the lake
is very shallow, its bottom consisting of huge gravel
beds, the spawning ground for most of the Columbia
salmon, and at this late period of the year it can
only be navigated during daylight. The chief difficulty (and this is not a traveller's tale) is caused by
the immense numbers of fish heaping up the gravel
in the manner familiar to any one who has watched
their habits in the old country, thus constantly
making changes in the channel. This, when a few
inches more or less are of importance, necessitates the
utmost watchfulness and care in making the passage,
the course being often altered many yards between
one voyage and the next. 'The Columbia.
103
And so it was that up to the time of our arrival at
the salmon beds no one knew whether the captain
would attempt to get through. He determined to try
it, and with men and poles ready in the bows we
began to creep up between the gravel banks which in
many places showed above the surface. The river
here   had   at   length   lost   the   muddy   snow-stained
j£.\!8^,    '«  i
The Captain of the "Duchess."
character which had marred its beauty hitherto. It
was now quite clear, and through the swirl and ripple
of its crystal waters we could see the great salmon in
numbers slowly moving away from the disturbing
steamboat.     Darker and darker it grew, till we began 1 %•$%
io4
The Columbia.
to fear that a halt would be inevitable. Still the
captain held on, while we in a cluster behind him
peered into the blackness and wondered why the
dickens he was such a donkey as to pretend he could
see anything, but at last with a " Who-whoop " and a
snatch of song he let us know that the highest gravel
bed was past, and we were safe on the lake.
Here we had still five miles to go, and it was now
so dark that the sides of the lake looked no blacker
than the rest of it, but the course was straight and
the water deep, and he said if he only had a compass
he could go on. This was soon provided, a pocket
one being placed on the deck, while a candle in a
tumbler with a hat behind it made a very passable
binnacle.
Presently some one pointed to a light straight
ahead : very small and bright it looked, like a clear
blaze at an immense distance. We steered for this
light a long time and it 'never came perceptibly nearer,
and we wTere all gazing at it and guessing how many
miles away it was, when suddenly the Duchess
stopped, and the light resolved itself into a naked
candle which a man was holding above his head on
the shore of the lake close to a little hut. Such
a beacon is all that is necessary on these calm summer
nights. Thus ended our voyage in the Duchess, as
pleasant an experience as any used-up man need ask
for, and now began our real work.
Early on the morning of August 23rd nearly all
the cargo was landed with the greatest possible
speed, every minute being of the utmost importance
with the river falling so rapidly. Indeed it so happened that this was the last voyage for the season
lii The Columbia.
m
on which the Duchess was able to get through the
spawning beds and into the lake, though she continued to run up the river (each time to a lower point
than the last) for several more trips.
Our present errand was to deposit stores for the
police contingent at this little log hut, where three
of them were quartered. That finished, we steamed
back a few miles to Windermere, where Cardie and
Jim, with the canoes and a pocketful of money, were
landed to purchase or hire a couple of horses for
a little expedition in the mountains. The Skipper,
with our other belongings, went on in the steamer
to a place known as Lewis's ranch, which we say
is about fifteen miles down the river. Lewis stoutly
maintains it is only twelve, but we think we have
said the last word on the subject now, unless he
writes a book to uphold his view; and if he does,
we are prepared in a later edition to put on another
two miles. (    to6    )
I
!
.
CHAPTER XII.
THE  SINCLAIR  PASS.
Horses in this country are cheap, but that did not
spare us any of the rascally formalities which in the
old country are inseparable from the noble art of
horse dealing. Consequently it was five o'clock
before, as the romances say, " two weary travellers
might have been seen wending their way across the
dusty slopes of the parklike pastures surrounding
the city of Windermere. The steed of the foremost
wayfarer was of a strawberry roan hue, and it was
apparent that some forty summers had calmed the
fretful spirit which at some remote age had doubtless
animated the heart and heels of this venerable and
still handsome quadruped. That which the second
bestrode, or, to speak more accurately, urged before
him by frequent strokes of a stave and language of
considerable intensity, was of a dull brown complexion,
and his beauty was of a unique type, being varied,
though not impaired, by one blind eye and one of
defective vision. He was further distinguished by a
foreleg on which the foot below the fetlock had been
twisted almost entirely backwards and never replaced,
and a general ungainliness and appearance of hopeless
idiocy, tempered by resignation, which his subsequent
behaviour in no way belied." The Sinclair Pass.
107
These treasures we had acquired, after listening to
enough falsehood to have successfully floated half a
dozen limited companies, for the respective sums of
£$ 1 os. and £5, those prices including a good lariat
(or raw-hide rope) and the loan of a pack saddle. The
roan, whom we afterwards found to be a sterling good
horse on the whole, accompanied us for the rest of
our travels. The brown, who was without exception
the most awful wreck ever seen, turned out simply
invaluable for our present purposes, owing chiefly
to the various disabilities under which he laboured,
and which in the difficult country we were going into
effectually prevented his annoying us in any way.
It was amusing to hear the various horse owners
in their studied indifference so long as we were still
undecided as to which should obtain our custom,
for there was no lack of material to select from. At
Windermere an hotel had just been started, which
at once became the centre of all commercial transactions, and thither came—quite by accident—many
steeds and their masters as soon as a possible purchase was noised abroad.
But soon after the selection was made, and the
money and horses had changed hands, one benevolent
individual meeting Cardie casually mentioned that
"he didn't want to make trouble, but that brown
horse is reckoned to be the one that was stolen
from Jake, and Jake allows he's going to let daylight through any one he catches with him." Another
disinterested stranger commenced, "Hello; why, you've
got the old roan, hev you ? I I Why, do you know
any good of him ? " " Oh no ; nothin' partic'lar. My
grandfather used to have that hoss dowrn in Montamia ; io8
The Sinclair Pass.
Mi
he was a reg'lar old timer. Oh, you'll find what that
hoss don't know of devilment ain't wuth knowing."
This perpetual "Why, you've got the old roan,"
became such an annoyance to us that we were glad
indeed to turn our backs on Windermere and all
its prophets of evil, and at last get fairly on our way
to Lewis's ranch.
That roan horse proved to be by far the most
widely known fact in B. C. : we never met any one
who did not say he had owned him ; and when at
last we fell in with an old old man who discovered a
brand which he said denoted that he himself had
possessed him as a foal some forty years before, we
felt proud indeed of our acquisition.
We had intended if possible to pick up an Indian
or two, or even a decent white man, to accompany us,
and act as hewers of wood and drawers of water, and
possibly, to some extent, as guides, but we soon found
that no white man at all suitable was forthcoming.
At last some one advised us to apply to a half-breed
named Baptiste. This worthy introduced Jim to a
young Shu swap, a mere boy, of unpleasant physiognomy, who calmly demanded three dollars a day for
himself and two for his horse, a flimsy creature all
nerves and viciousness. As we felt sure that the
whole of the man's time would be occupied in catching
his horse, and the whole of the horse's time in trying
to dislodge his master, we had not much trouble in
deciding to manage without such doubtful aid. But
we hope the worthy people at home who send out moral
pocket-handkerchiefs to these interesting savages will
reflect that men who refuse to work under £1 a day
and their food (horses and horse feed cost practically The Sinclair Pass.
109
nothing here), are perhaps not such fit objects of
sympathy as some of their fellow creatures who have
the disadvantage of a white skin.
The fact is, the noble red man has been overestimated. We approached the subject without any
prejudice—if anything with a slight predisposition to
be pleased with him—and on the whole cannot truthfully recommend him.
The very name of "noble red man" is throughout
delusive. To begin with, he is not noble; his impassive dignity and austere reserve are pure inventions
—in fact one of his most amiable characteristics is a
tendency to play practical jokes and to be intensely
amused at trifles, and the only reserve we noticed was
the " Indian Reserve " marked on the maps. He is not
red—at least we don't think he is ; but he has so many
layers of dirt on him that though in the summer time
he has very little clothing to cover his geology, still
we cannot swear that our vision has ever penetrated
his stratification down to the real skin : what we have
seen is a smoky kind of tan colour. And, finally, about
half the time he is not a man, for as the women all
ride on both sides of a horse at once, and are if
possible plainer, and in other respects more like them
in every way than the men, who on earth is to express
any decided opinion about it ? So we are annoyed at
the Indians, and this demand of five dollars a day at
once decided us to become our own guides during the
whole of our stay in B. C, and put up with the little
loss of time that would naturally be the result of
dispensing with all assistance.
The   path  followed   by Jim and Cardie led them
along the river, where Shuswaps and a few Kootenay I IO
The Sinclair Pass.
El III
'If
h)
«
• fici :
Indians were busily engaged in spearing the spawning
salmon; across the Reserve, the best land in this part
of the valley, dotted with cabins and lodges; past a
ranch Where a kindly English greeting received them;
over creeks, and up and down interminable dusty
pastures, with occasional attempts at irrigation ; but
it was late at night before they caught sight of the
blazing fire which the Skipper had kept up for their
guidance on a high park-like bluff overhanging the
Columbia. There that wretched individual was found
in a state of collapse from the awful way in which
he had been baited all day by relentless hordes of
mosquitoes, which here actually seemed to be worse
even than in the forest. Tent-pitching, bread-making,
and the higher branches of cookery had all been
found hopeless, and our only resource was to make a
hurried meal of Edwards's Desolated (or is it Decimated ?) soup, and roll ourselves up in the blankets
spread without preparation of any kind on the parched-
up grass. A man does not trouble to cut fir branches
or erect shelters when he is being punctured and
poisoned to distraction. And oh ! the relief when for
the first time the bright moon seemed to bring a touch
of frost with her, and we could uncover our faces and
drink in the cool fresh air, free from the hateful insects
which had so persistently tormented us.
It was the 24th of August when we left Lewis's
ranch, rejoicing in the possession of a cow-bell which
he kindly lent us, and began the ascent of the Sinclair
Pass. Near its mouth some men were constructing
a government waggon-road, intended to connect Golden
with the head waters of the Columbia, and to be
produced   onwards in  a southerly direction  to  Wild The Sinclair Pass.
Horse; possibly at no distant date still further. It
will in any case be of immense advantage to the whole
Columbia and Kootenay basins.
We asked fhe first of these toilers if he knew
anything about a trail through the pass, and were
promptly told there was one on each side of the creek,
which we could at rare intervals discern far below us
in a rocky and thickly wooded gully ; that they were
equally good ; and we could take which we liked. Our
evil genius prompted us to try the right hand, and
after struggling about a mile through obstructions of
every kind, which increased every moment, we perceived that Ananias was a mere amateur by the side
of our informant. With great difficulty we transferred
our cortege to the left hand of the ravine, where we
found a decent trail, and a man who told us that there
never was or could have been one on the other-side.
This trick of misleading the unwary traveller is
one of the Columbian idiosyncrasies. By a few well
directed inquiries you can lay in a greater store of
misinformation - in this country than anywhere else in
the world, not excepting the West of Scotland or the
South of Ireland. As far as we can make out it
arises not from any wish to cause trouble, but from a
reluctance to confess ignorance on the subject under
discussion. We advise travellers to be very sceptical
as to the answers they may receive, and to ask as few
questions as possible.
The Sinclair Pass is very picturesque, with its creek
of ice-cold limpid water hurrying down from the most
westerly range of the Rockies, fringed and in most
places hidden by the masses of pines and firs, and in
some places birches and giant cedars, which abound i^m
TI2
The Sinclair Pass.
throughout its length. The luxuriance of the various
underwoods, buck-brush, wild roses, and berries of
many kinds, the never-failing shimmer of the white-
leaved quaking asp, and the multitude of wild flowers,
are in their way equally beautiful. Being no botanists,
we call these flowers marigolds, chrysanthemums, sunflowers, and michaelmas daisies, and they have the
merit of looking like what we call them even if they
are not. A short distance from the entrance of the
pass a huge wall of the most brilliant red rock is
reared far above the forest on either side, narrowing
the ravine until it appears impossible for the trail to
find its way between the columns of this stupendous
gateway. We had just attained to the base of the
wall when a very threatening sky warned us to
penetrate no further on this day. Here level ground
had ceased to exist : some at an angle of 35° or
thereabouts was the best that could be found, and
before the drenching thunderstorm broke over us we
had rigged up the waggon-sheet on this steep slope
as a protection for the night. In a very short time
everything was comfortably settled, and we were
peacefully enjoying a good supper in spite of the
pelting rain.
The difficulties of the sloping ground were overcome
by pegging four parallel rows of logs across the floor
of the " tent" at distances of about 30 inches from
each other, thus converting the sheltered portion into
practically three steps or berths, with a difference in
level at each succeeding step of about 9 inches. A
very little removal of the soil from the higher to the
lower portion of each berth made a flat foundation for
a bed, of which the logs formed the sides, not only.
mm The Sinclair Pass.
U3
preventing the sleeper from rolling down on to the
man in the berth below, but adding greatly to the
warmth by keeping the clothes tightly tucked in. A
layer of spruce branches completed the arrangements
for an absolutely luxurious sleeping apartment.
The only real drawback to this camp was the
difficulty of getting water; but after the Skipper had
fallen down  to  the river twice, he took  an axe and
Camping under difficulties: the Sinclair Pass.
soon constructed a kind of half ladder, half incline,
up which it was possible to drag a small allowance
without any serious danger to life or limb, And
here, let it be noted with a very red letter, the
mosquito ceased to trouble, and the weary were at
rest.
The history of our journey through the pass would
be one long recital of difficulties and dangers from the
badness of the trail, which was about as demoralised
H ir4
The Sinclair Pass.
a one as could be imagined. It was made, we believe,
about twenty-five years ago by a surveying party, and
since then has been used once a year by a party of
Stony Indians who have been accustomed to cross the
range by its help for the purpose of trading with their
cousins on this side. Indians never take any trouble
to make a trail more passable than is barely necessary
for their immediate wants, preferring always to circumvent a fallen tree rather than cut through it. The
reader will therefore have to strain his imagination to
its utmost limits to form any idea of the present state
of a road which never was more than a tangled and
precipitous track, and which has been steadily increasing its barricades of fallen timber for a quarter
of a century.
At one time we were cautiously winding round the
face of the wonderful red rock already spoken of, at
another after a sharp descent across its scattered
fragments we reached the very bottom of the canyon,
where the steep cliffs rose sheer on either side and
seemed almost to meet far above our heads, their
frowning crags and fir-clad ledges shutting out the
light of day, while the trail, uncertain of its course,
crossed and recrossed the rapid foam-flecked torrent.
In such a place it was that our brown horse
thought fit to pause for meditation at a moment when
he was up to the girths in the middle of the stream,
while his miserable masters were disconsolately
perched around on trees which spanned the ravine
and were used as bridges whenever a crossing
became necessary. It was good to hearken to the
objurgations on the one hand and the blandishments
on the other, all addressed  to this unworthy animal, and the thrill of agony which involuntarily pervaded
the remarks of both sides whenever any movement
of the steed denoted a half-formed desire to repose
his wearied frame in the cooling waters of the creek,
all laden as he was with our flour, tea, and clothing,
valued at that moment at about fifteen shillings per
pound.
Again leaving the watercourse, we climbed up
and up, until high above the big trees and dense
undergrowth of the valley we wound our way along
sparsely timbered hillsides, the track composed of
hard loose shingle something of the nature of road
metal. In these places the difficulty of maintaining
a footing was perhaps not lessened by the knowledge that one false step would hurl horse or man
down some hundreds of feet into the gloomy canyon
far below, with every prospect of remaining there.
Once indeed the roan horse caught his pack against
a tree on the upper side, knocking himself clean off
his legs; but it chanced just where this happened
there grew a good-sized pine which received his
whole weight, and fortunately was able to support
it until with a scramble he managed to recover himself and regain the path. Often long halts were
made until a way could be chopped through or round
a newly made block, and still more often our better
judgment went to the wall, and an obviously risky
passage was attempted to save trouble, meeting in
most cases with better luck than it deserved.
At last at an awkward drop in the path,, the brown
horse, which was being led by Jim, came down on
the top of his head, and was with difficulty withheld
from   rolling  down the  precipice until we  got   him n6
The Sinclair Pass.
free from the pack and succeeded in propping him
on his feet again. This animal was what they call
in B. C. a " balky " horse, which means that he was
shy of encountering any perilous obstacles until he
had thoroughly inquired into their nature. As his
right eye had prematurely paid the debt to nature,
he had considerable difficulty in examining any matter
of interest on that side. Whenever he imagined that
danger awaited him, he would stop and solemnly
twist his head round until his nose pointed over
the saddle, thus ingeniously bringing his sounder
eye to bear on the object of his fears. In this
attitude he presented a grotesque appearance, and
we think when frequently performed the operation
made him giddy; anyhow it was during such an
inspection of the drop before him that the accident
happened.
Cardie, who had charge of the roan, and was im-
med/iately behind, had an unsparing flow of language
in condemnation of Jim's carelessness, which he said
was wholly accountable for the misfortune. The
latter, who never submitted calmly to correction,
whether deserved or not, retaliated in a spirited
manner, so that for a few minutes the welkin rang
with the most unchristian sentiments, uttered in tones
adapted for conversation with a man at the other side
of the canyon. Just however as Cardie was remarking how he should have approached that drop, the
discussion was abruptly terminated by the roan
toppling forward into the small of the orator's back,
whence he cannoned into a mass of raspberry bushes.
Here he luckily stuck fast until the pack could be
rescued, when   by main   force  we  pulled  him  back  'I lit
ft,
lu on to the path,  Cardie not being heard to analyse
the exact causes of the disaster.
All these little episodes took time, and we had not
reached the highest point of the pass when it became
necessary to stop. A camp was made on a beautiful
little sandy beach, just at the junction of two creeks
which from this point flowed down to the Columbia
as the one river whose course we had followed so
far. In the fork between the streams towered a
magnificent mountain, of which, however, only the
lower ridges could be seen from this position, and
on either side the banks were covered with beautiful
firs. Here also was a profusion of raspberries, and
a blue berry not unlike a large wimberry, but growing
on a bush often several feet in height; this is known
as the Service or Si wash (the latter word meaning
Indian) berry, or the Sasketoon, and is good. (    n8    )
i1
!■:■
CHAPTER XIII.
MUTTON.
This camp proved an uncommonly cold one, and had
the further disadvantage of having no horse feed
nearer than about a mile away. A very early rising
revealed the fact that the roan had " skipped out"
from the grass where he was tethered, and made off
homewards. Cardie went after him, with instructions
to bring him back if he had to follow him to the
Pacific ; the Skipper climbed up the opposite mountain with a rifle; and Jim conducted various domestic
affairs, such as baking, washing, and clothes mending,
to a successful termination.
Cardie captured the wicked old roan about three
miles from home—a piece of good fortune we had
hardly hoped for; and consequently he and Jim were
able to strike camp and get away over a much better
trail before eleven o'clock. This day was so fine, and
everything went so prosperously, that the site of an
old Indian camp which was reached about one o'clock
seemed too soon to stop, and as usual no other place
presented itself for several miles. About four we
crossed and left behind us the creek, now dwindled
to a small brook, and soon afterwards passed what
we rightly guessed to be the watershed, and in a few Mutton
.
more minutes came to a little lake out of which ran a
good-sized brook, hound like us for the Kootenay.
This lake was the most extraordinary green colour,
with just a tinge of blue, and through its wonderfully
transparent waters could be seen every stick and
stone at the bottom, with a few aquatic plants rising
to the surface. Swimming placidly about in every
part of the lake were numbers of small fishes, which
we next day found to be of remarkable excellence.
The scene was one never to be forgotten, the fairy-
like pool with its emerald mirror of unruffled water
reflecting the lovely forest which rose from its shores
in one unbroken mass of foliage, till it reached the
stern lines of the rocky summits, capped by the
dazzling snow. The shore was thickly fringed with
wild rose trees, and the dark forest on this side
carpeted with velvety green moss and the small
currant-like leaf of a red berry, which we found nowhere in Canada except here, but remembered well
as one of our familiar friends in Norway.
From the lake onward the trail became very bad ; the
steep hillside over which it travelled had been visited
by a severe storm at some recent date, and trees lay
piled across the path in dozens. In many places the
only course open to us lay down the bed of the rapidly
growing stream which danced along by our side.
And then the forest changed again, and we reached a
tract where no big trees grew, though prostrate trunks
of ancient giants of the grove were plentiful enough.
Here the forest-fire had left its baleful mark, in the
charred and twisted stems of a young pine-wood.
All the trees were about one size, from four to six
inches   in   diameter,   and   the   fire  seemed   to   have I 20
Mutton.
occurred at some time when the sap was well up in
the young bark : this being at any rate our way of
accounting for the extraordinary shapes into which
the lifeless poles were twisted and distorted as though
writhing in helpless agony.
We passed through several similar parts at various
times, and very unpleasant facts in our travels they
always were. After five minutes' walk through such
trees we were as black as colliers ; the labour was
terrific, as the hooped stems were interlaced and
plaited in cork-screw-like coils of wood as springy as
whalebone and as tough as steel wire, so tough that
it was impossible to break and very troublesome even
to cut it with an axe. To add the last drawback, it
would not burn—except on a roaring fire of other
wood, although to all appearance perfectly dry.
HowTever, one could see daylight and get a glorious
view of the snowy peaks around through the bare
and blackened bones of this skeleton forest, and the
ground at any rate had recovered and even received
a new beauty from the effects of the all-devouring
flames. As far as the eye could reach it was one
feathery mass of pink with the blossom of the flowering willow, interspersed wTith patches of an enormous
columbine, graceful in its foliage as a maiden-hair
fern. The horses, we found, considered these plants
to be food; so, not without misgivings as to what they
would think on the morrow, we unpacked and turned
them loose to revel in the bounteous store provided,
and by night-fall were comfortably housed in the
Black Camp.
Into the midst of this peaceful scene strode the
Skipper  in   a simply fiendish temper,  because  after Mutton.
121
wandering all over the Rocky Mountains all day he
had descended to the last halting-place, the Cold Camp,
expecting tea, only to find himself deserted. It was
obvious to the meanest capacity that he must have
spent his ten miles of solitary travel in inventing new
abusive epithets and terms of reproach, some of which
did him the utmost discredit.
His mouth was finally stopped with much food, and
after a period of distant coolness he told his story
thus :—
" Directly after I crossed the creek I came on a
very fresh track of a large sheep which had been down
to the water and returned up the mountain by a faint
trail, no doubt made by himself and his relations. I
thought I might as well go the same way, but it was
an awful climb for the first two hours, through pine-
trees and a good deal of undergrowth. At the end
of that time I had accomplished the first ridge, belt,
or whatever you like to call it, and now came a series
of undulating mounds on which the timber had all been
blown down. This was not quite so steep as the first
piece, which was as nearly vertical as any hill could
with self-respect be, but the travelling was on the
whole worse, and in this part my sheep tracks disappeared. At last I got to timber-line, and from this
point upwards the mountain was bare of everything
except rocks, and in sheltered nooks a few stunted
clumps of pinons and juniper, huddled together to keep
some little warmth in their dejected bodies. All this
time I saw nothing living except the inevitable woodpecker and a jack-rabbit, and kept crawding up more
and more discontentedly till I reached the top of the
mountain.     I don't mean to say I got to the absolute nr\
II
I
12 2
Mutton.
top, because of course you know there is no top
to a big hill like tMs—there is always another top
a little topper than the one you are on ; but still I
was on a very decent top, and felt contemptuous of all
the lower tops.     I ate a lot of berries "	
" Eno is the best antidote," interrupted Cardie.
The  Skipper heeded not " first, a very noble
supply of lovely coral-like beads about the size of a black
currant, but the most beautiful colour ever seen ; they
were juicy, but not remarkable for flavour. The leaf
was a darkish dull sage green, about the shape and
roughness of a primrose leaf, but not so large. Then
there were plenty of wimberries or blueberries, and
another berry which seemed to grow on blueberry stems,
and which I call the red blueberry. This was green
before it was ready to eat, and a dark dull crimson when
it was ripe, and it was just as good as a blueberry ; but
the green ones, well, all I can say is you had better not
eat these red blueberries while they are green. All
about here there were lots of sheep tracks, and many
of them very fresh, and at last I chose a line which
they seemed to favour, and began cautiously to descend,
with my eyes as wide open as possible.
"Soon I came into the neck of a kind of shallow
gully running steeply down the mountain, in which
was a good deal of grass and that fern-like herb which
you north country folk call sheep's-grass; I shouldn't
wonder if it is as popular with the wild sheep as the
tame. Likewise there were many wild vetches, which
I expect vetched them exceedingly. Anyhow, they
seemed to like this valley, and there, sixty yards away,
staring straight at me, was the father of all sheep, a
grand  old  ram.    He was much annoyed at me  for
SHNR Mutton. 123
coming down to disturb him—at lunch, I think—but
hadn't quite made up his mind how to resent it when
I fired at him, and though I had an easy shot, and was
sure he was hit, he turned and bolted over the hill,
and was out of sight in an instant. It was awfully
steep there, but I gingerly followed his track towards
a hopeless precipice, and just when I had become resigned to his loss, suddenly came on his corpse lying
on the very edge of the rocks, and stone dead."
" So unusual in a corpse, you know," murmured
Jim. }-y :':^->t
The Skipper flowed on—" I had lost my knife, and
had nothing to tie him up with."
" No, of course you hadn't," burst out Cardie, who
is always in a state of fury on this question, the all
important one of whether a man can expect any luck
if he goes out prepared with all necessaries for dealing
with a slaughtered victim. "I do think you are the
biggest etc. etc. etc."
The Skipper peacefully ambled along—I So I
skinned him with my pocket-knife, and wrapped up
his tongue and some liver and fat in the skin, then
strapped it all up with my glass strap, and chucked it
down the precipice, as I dare not attempt to carry it
down. Well, it took me half an hour to get down
myself, and I nearly broke my neck seven times, and I
couldn't find the skin at the bottom."
" Of course" began Cardie again at the top of
his voice, and the Skipper mildly concluded—
" I gave it up, and struggled home through more
precipices and more logs and bogs and hooped trees
than you fellows ever saw or dreamt of, and here I
am dead beat;  and  I say, Cardie,  I  should  like to
m i
II
124
Mutton.
know what you'd have done to get that sheep's head
off if you had lost your knife."
" I should have shot it off," said Cardie with great
promptitude.
" Oh, well, it would have fallen over the cliff if you
had."    And once more the camp was hushed in sleep.
We stayed here two days, and caught heaps and
heaps of the little charr out of the green lake. They
were all of one size, about five to the pound, and quite
lovely in their colouring. Naturally the Skipper
persisted in calling them trout; because, as he sagely
remarked, " they are speckled and, rise at a fly,
therefore they are trout from my point of view."
Cardie and Jim hunted over the highest mountain, but
found it destitute of game, and of almost everything
else, being entirely composed above timber-line of the
hardest, barest, and ruggedest rocks ever seen, varied
only by occasional snow-drifts. One thing it could
produce, and that was views. On the one side we
could see the Kootenay river winding along the valley
like a marvellous greeny blue ribbon ; on the other
the far away peaks and glaciers of those splendid
mountains, finer even than the Rockies—the Selkirks,
a noble background to the smiling Columbia valley,
which lay spread out like a map, every slough and backwater clearly shown, to all appearance at our feet.
The absence of game induced us on the second
day to fetch in some mutton from the old ram, whose
body we calculated to be lying about twelve miles
away. Accordingly, early on a Sunday morning, we—
that is, Jim and the Skipper—set out with rifle and
hatchet, walked back to the Cold Camp, where we
picked up a piece of bacon and a  candle end, and Mutton.
125
then crossed the creek and began to climb the mountain on the sheep-trail.
The first thing that occurred was the Skipper's knife,
which was lying where it had been jerked out of its
sheath by a jump from a fallen tree. The next was
a glimpse of a brownish body leaping through the
brush for a moment before disappearing in a small
valley, and " deer " was whispered as rifles were made
ready. But on reaching the edge of the valley and
looking down we could make out two mounted Indians
followed by a young foal, which was the animal we
had seen, and to our disgust, as they came nearer, we
perceived that hanging over the saddles were the
quarters of a large sheep, and, most ominous sign, no
skin. Two big dogs of the usual half wolfish Indian
breed accompanied them, and the inference was obvious:
these wretched poachers on our domain, as we had
fondly thought it to be, had with their vile hounds
discovered our sheep, and were bearing him off in
triumph. The thought was not to be borne, and the
Skipper startled one of them badly by suddenly rushing
down the hill to them (for until then they had not
seen us), while Jim stood at the top ready for the
shooting to commence. The Indians and the sheep
were put through a careful examination, but without
any satisfactory conclusion being arrived at. They
declared vehemently that a third Indian was following
with the skin ; and the Skipper said he could not
swear to the sheep, which looked smaller than he had
thought his to be, but of course it must be the same.
So we reluctantly let them depart, and with the most
uncharitable feelings again turned our faces to the hill.
Higher and higher we went till we came to the line of I
1
1
!
1 26
Mutton
valleys in one of Which it was that the sheep had been
killed, and here with immense anger we came on the
tracks of the Indian horses. But we kept on, and after
great difficulty in crossing some of the ravines which
cut deeply into the mountain side, came at last to the
place, and there to our astonishment and delight was
the carcase of our sheep, untouched by Indians, but
minus one quarter, which had been devoured by a
wolverene. The head was quite unharmed, and no
wonder that the Skipper was unwilling to speak to
the identity of the Indians' prey, for his sheep was
very much larger, a particularly fine specimen. The
horns, which were very perfect and symmetrical,
measured 33!- inches from base to tip along the outer
curve, and were i6|- inches in circumference at the
base, though the latter figure is liable to some reduction for shrinkage in comparing it with that of other
well-known specimens, the largest in the British
Museum being 16J. Together, aided by the ropes
we had brought, we managed to drag the dismembered
body to a place where we could work in safety. We
guessed the weight of the head to be 70 lbs., and a
long time was occupied in cleaning it and getting it
packed on the Skipper's back, while Jim was laden
with about 50 lbs. of a hind quarter and the kidneys
and remains of the liver.
And then began the homeward journey, which we
had carefully mapped out by observation to save a
matter of four or five miles of country. The success
of this new route was marvellous. We got down
without difficulty over the smoothest and least encumbered ground yet seen; it was nearly all loose red
shale, very much like the burnt spoil-banks common Mutton.
in colliery districts, dotted with scanty herbage. This
shale was also plentifully tramped with sheep tracks,
which indicated that wre had chanced upon their
favourite road up and down the mountain.
Everything wrent most swimmingly till we reached
a little creek which ran into our own, and between
which and the trail we knew there was only about
half a mile of ground ;  but a half mile through which
Jjtinomo name m Pattern     Q-tutnt rotest.    %o c2u/
wTe had not been able to plan any particular passage.
We rested at the creek for a little, and ate raspberries,
and gathered a stalking-glass case full of service-
berries, and in great spirits commenced that little half
mile. It was a burnt plantation of hop-poles, and if
the most censorious critic of this book may be
condemned to walk through them just once, we shall
be satisfied, whatever he may have said.     About two f: !
128
Mutton.
I 1
is
1
hours after entering it, we struggled out on to the
trail, black from head to foot, cut, scratched, bruised,
clothes torn, limbs racked, tempers unspeakable, and
parched with thirst from the fine charcoal dust with
which at every movement the air was filled. A mile
more we toiled along the trail, and lo, in the centre of
a beautiful little green plot which had once been used
as an Indian camp was our faithful roan, and near
him the pack-saddle, a fire neatly laid and only wanting
a match, water drawn, bread provided, and all the
appliances for a supper. All these Cardie, for want of
anything worse to do, had thoughtfully brought down
from the camp six miles or so ahead.
How we enjoyed that meal, rather too much in fact,
for the sun had set before we had packed everything
on the horse, and were with renewed vigour urging
him along the trail, rejoicing in the luxury of nothing
to carry, after being twelve hours on our legs.
Probably no horse and men ever w7ent so fast over
that path before or since ; but in spite of all our speed
we could only manage to reach the little lake before
absolute darkness had set in. We had still nearly
two miles to go over a trail here so indistinct that
even in the daytime it was only followed with difficulty.
Two minutes after entering the bad part we were
hopelessly tangled, and knew that to keep on the path
was an impossibility, and to reach camp without
keeping on it was another impossibility of a deeper
dye, so there seemed nothing for it but to stop where
we were and wish for day. But just as we reluctantly made up our minds to this, Jim suggested that
we should put to the test the much vaunted sagacity
of that noble animal the horse.     So we placed a noose Mutton.
129
round the neck of the roan, wherewith, if needful, to
choke him, whacked him, and committed ourselves to
his guidance. It was so dark that often the horse
two yards in front was a mere sound, and would but
for the rope have got away from us, while the path
itself was always invisible, and the trees across it only
discovered by the aid of a staff or a shin. He went
along as fast as we could walk, with his nose down to
the ground, as if smelling the road out like a dog,
and made not a halt or a blunder until the light of the
camp fire and Cardie's cheery holloa told us that our
labours for this day were ended.
Never any more do we scoff at the intelligence of
the horse, which really does seem to be a fact, and not
a poetic fancy, like the filial affection of the phoenix,
and the sympathetic grief of the crocodile.
And the memory of the supper we had that night
will dwell in our hearts for aye.
Menu.
Fish.—18 Charr.
Entrees.
Kidneys \
T . I de Mouton du Montagne.
Liver       ( &
Marrow )
Joint.—Bifteck au Bighorn Sauvage.
Peasoup. i3°
'
Hi
II
hill lit
ill
CHAPTER   XIV.
THE KOOTENAY
The burnt patch was not of great extent, and the
next region we came into was one of damp soil,
favouring the growth of enormous trees, with underwood of gooseberries and currants, and a most reprehensible path. One stretch there was where we left
the little brook, now quite a brawling torrent, and
climbed up on to the shoulder of the lower range of
hills, and then down a rapid descent into a gloomy
forest of huge dark pines. There no squirrel leaped
or voice of bird was heard, the sodden moss-grown
soil lay unmarked by hoof or paw, and the unnatural
stillness of the air depressed the spirits, and made us
all thankful to reach a high steep bank, down which
we made a last hurried plunge to a flat grassy terrace
about ioo feet above the Kootenay river. The poor
horses, deprived of grass for so many days, ate till
we feared for their safety, and we in a really comfortable camp at last, with lots of mutton, and a
river at our feet, were no less pleased than they.
With regard to that mutton, we will just say that
it was pre-eminently the very best meat that sinful
man ever tasted, and we find it to be an admitted
fact, contrary to what one would expect, that though
all wild sheep are good, the old rams are the best. The Kootenay.
131
This Kootenay valley is a lovely spot, perhaps
rather awful in its lonely grandeur, but with pleasant
companions not a bad place to stay in. We found
on a flat sandy beach below us, bordered with pebbles
and covered with sage-scrub in which resided numerous grouse, the poles of several old Indian lodges or
" tepees." Near the river was the framework of a
boat apparently of white man's design, ingeniously
constructed of bent fir branches tied together at their
joints by the fibrous roots of the tree. Hidden in
the brush we discovered also two rough paddles. We
conjectured that this framework was used for crossing
the stream by the aid of a temporary covering of
canvas or skin, and it was obvious from a number
of blazed trees on the opposite bank of the river that
the trail continued its course on the other side. The
stream, which was here about 70 yards wide, ran
very fast, and there was a bad rapid immediately
below our camp, in which no sort of boat or swimmer
could live. We determined to build a raft so far up
the stream as to ensure a crossing being made without
risk of these rapids.
As soon as this triumph of naval architecture was
completed, Jim and the Skipper, armed with two poles,
essayed the perilous passage.
It was an anxious moment as the raft, after swinging gently once round the whirlpool in which it was
launched, felt the suck of the stream, and with a little
assistance from the poles began the actual crossing.
It took us just three seconds to realise that poling
was impossible, for the crazy craft would not stand
the strain of any forcing against stream, but showed
signs   of  going   down   by   the   head   whenever   we 132
1
P.i !
S
The Kootenay.
attempted to get a purchase against the rapidly
deepening bottom, and with one accord we commenced
paddling instead with our unwieldy poles. The result
was that when in a very damp and exhausted condition
we reached the further shore, we were a good deal
nearer to the rapid than was pleasant.
The forest across the river was totally different
from the gloomy wood of the western bank, full of
life, with squirrels, white-winged crossbills, and jays
in great numbers. It was delightful to climb through
it and up the steep mountain sides, up, up to the
desolate crags where trees are not, where nothing but
the sparse grass grows among the cliffs, and no track
is found but that of the wild sheep. In the dense
timber we found for the first time the spoor of elk
(Wapiti), but too late to follow them that evening, and
we returned by the friendly raft.
Before we could make another voyage it was
necessary to take the ship up the river, further away
from the rapid. Against such a stream this was no
easy matter, but it was accomplished by the united
wisdom of the party.
Jim flourishing a thick stick, and mounted on the
brown, who was for this occasion only provided with
a breast-band and traces terminating in a tow-rope,
waded up the side of the current, while the Skipper
assisted on the raft with a pole, and Cardie on the
bank by occasional hauling, and perpetual shouting
and " cussing around permiscuous." Finally we
arrived at what was agreed to be a sufficient distance
up stream, and Jim having with great skill dismounted on to the raft, bestowed on his unhappy steed
(in token of dismissal)  a whack of such heartiness   that he immediately fell off into about three feet of
water. He climbed on again, and abused the Skipper
for the occurrence in such a ruffianly manner, that the
latter, who for a wonder felt innocent, replied :—
■
si
&
c?
I
m
V
c>
1
5?
-<j
A
*
&
m r34
The Kootenay.
At this camp we hunted and fished right merrily,
for the water, which when we first arrived was too
" riley' for fishing, had now fined down, and the
river produced those beautiful silvery crisp-fleshed
trout which seem peculiar to snow-fed waters. The
last time we crossed, our ferry boat lay so near to
the rapids that we felt certain the return would lead
to trouble; but Cardie shouted that he would bring
the rocket apparatus, and with that we had to be
content. And so it was that before we were within
twenty yards of the shore, we felt the gliding dip
which marks the commencement of the run, and in
a moment were tossing in all the turmoil of the
battle between rock and river. But Cardie was
all ready with the lariat, and his first throw sent
the line straight between us. A few seconds more,
and the raft under his vigorous pull grounded near
the land, broke away once, and grounded again more
securely, in water shallow enough for us to get
ashore with the firearms and rod, which for safety
had been lashed to it. Then we freed the ropes
which bound the old thing together, and so our trusty
ark departed in five pieces on a voyage of its own,
and was speedily swallowed up in the turbulent
eddies of the headstrong river.
The eastern bank of the Kootenay is difficult
ground to traverse; from it rises another (the
middle) range of the Rockies, finer in some respects
than the western group we had already passed, and
just now splendid in robes of newly fallen snow,
which reached far down the seamed and riven sides,
and at sunset were lighted up with the most glorious The Kootenay.
135
ruddy glow long after the valley below was buried
in the gloom of night.
We do not propose to take the reader any further
through the story of this part of our journey. Suffice
it to say that it was with great regret that we turned
our back on the Kootenay river, where we had spent
such a quiet untroubled time, and once more braved
the 'discomforts of the Sinclair Pass. Time had run
on until we had almost exhausted the supply of
flour with which we had originally intended to follow
the river down to another pass, and so cross the
range to Windermere. Without ample provisions
this plan over unknown country was not to be
thought of; but our experience of the Sinclair
enabled us to make the return journey through it
in a greatly reduced time.
The horses were loth to leave their pleasant
pastures, and the roan signified his displeasure by
falling down in a thoroughly forlorn manner about
a quarter of a mile from camp.. We got him up and
repacked pretty soon; but in another hundred yards
he went down again, and lay there the picture of
helpless prostration. Then it was that a memory
of those words, " What that hoss don't know ain't
wuth knowing," came over us, and our pity and
anxiety ceased.     We cut large sticks, and the roan
began
to  take  an  interest   in  life  once  more;   we
approached him, and he struggled to rise; we raised
the sticks, and he got up; we brought them down,
and he did a " best on record " to the top of the hill,
and never tried that little game on again.
We went  much  faster  than  when   covering  the
same  ground before;   lunched at   the   Black   Camp, 136
The Kootenay.
where, instead of unloading,  we propped the packs
by a couple of crutches at each  side, thus relieving
A Kootenay Tndian and his Lodge.
the   horse of all weight on his back;  and in good
time stopped at the little green pasture,  where the The Kootenay.
poles of two Indian lodges still stood, ready for the
next comers.
For the benefit of any one to whom the shape of
these lodges is a novelty we will here describe them.
From ten to twenty poles are used for each " tepee,
sixteen being about the best number. These are
straight and nicely trimmed, about two inches in
diameter at the foot, one inch at the top, and fifteen
feet long. Four (or sometimes three) are joined
together about a foot from their top by a loose band
of twisted withy, and are then set up in a conical
form, the base of the cone being about fifteen or
sixteen feet in diameter. The remaining poles are
simply laid in the forks of the original four to complete the framework, their lower ends being about
three feet apart, and as nearly in a true circle as
can be managed. Over the framework is stretched
the canvas, which is now almost invariably used
as a covering by the Indians, though still in some
few places may be seen tepees of bark or skin. It
is provided at the top with two ears, one at each side
of the opening which serves at the bottom as a door,
at the top as a chimney, the space between these
two necessary holes into a house being fastened
up with wooden skewers. Hence the well-known
Indian nursery rhyme—
a
This little Injun maid
Was very much afraid
That her lovers would come to woo her,
So she crept into her tepee
As soon as she felt sleepy,
And fastened up the door with a skewer
and   very   skewerly   it  is   believed   she  fastened   it. i
138
The Kootenay.
The smoke from the fire in the centre of the lodge as
a rule goes out properly, but if any difficulty should
arise on this score, it can generally be dealt with by
a little manipulation of the two ears, which are each
provided with a pole, and together act as a cowl.
We can only say further that a tepee is the very best
movable dwelling yet devised by the wit of man.
The Skipper stayed a couple of hours to fish in
the Emerald Lake, and presently arrived with a huge
bag full of the finny prey. Asking the way to the
water, he was told by Jim, who was busy cooking:
" Go in at the front door of that lodge, and out at
the back, and you'll find a trail"—a direction which
suffered somewhat in lucidity from the fact that the
sixteen poles were all exactly alike. This made
it a little difficult to discern which two constituted
the door. " Is it far ? " the Skipper wanted to know.
" Oh, just get on the trail, and keep stopping till I
tell you to go on," was the satisfactory answer.
Jim, when his mind is occupied with Irish stew, is
a truly exasperating person.
The trees round this place were of exceptional
beauty. The last fire seemed to have occurred about
twenty years ago, and the present forest showed
wonderful health and vigour of growth. "It seems
sad," as Cardie moralised, " to think that all these
millions of beautiful firs should have grown up and
spent twenty years of their life just in order to provide
this one for our sleeping-logs; so wasteful, isn't it ?
I don't see that we can possibly do anything with alL
the rest. I guess they'll go on living for another year
or two, and then comes a fire, and away they all go
into the Ewigkeit."    Thus musing, he drove the axe The Kootenay.
into the side of a Douglas fir, that would have been
simply priceless on a lawn at home, muttering that
"it was lumbering up the camp, and its stump would
make a good kitchen dresser" {i.e., a chopping block
convenient for the dismembering of squirrels and the
beheading of charr), and with a few strokes brought it
crashing to the ground.
We met in the course of this Sinclair expedition
three different kinds of grouse. One frequented the
mountains about timber-line; this was a large dull-
coloured bird, which Cardie declared to be the same
as the Blue Grouse or Timber Grouse of Colorado ; but
which is more correctly, we believe, the Dusky Grouse
(Dendragapus Obscurus). Above it is a dull mottled
grey; underneath a bluish slaty grey;.tail black,
with a grey band at the tip ; total length about
20 inches; weight about 3 lbs. These, from the
larder point of view, we considered excellent chicken,
but inferior as game. They, like most of the other
grouse in this country, fled into trees on being disturbed, and there sat while the wily hunter adjusted
his sights and got a fly out of his eye, seldom going
quite away until after the discharge of the rifle.
It will give some idea of the excessive steepness
of the mountains to tell of the first of these grouse
which fell a prey to Jim. He had just reached the
very top of a sharp knife-edge which made the actual
backbone of the range, when he spied the head of a
bird poked out from behind a rock a few yards ahead.
To blow this object into smithereens was, as the
novelists say, " the work of a moment; I but on looking over the ridge for the body, nothing but a patch
of blood and feathers was visible, many feet below. II
111 I
140
7 he Kootenay.
Ten minutes' cautious climbing, and another peep over,
and lo ! another patch of blood and feathers more feet
below ; and so on and on he was led from ledge to
ledge, always expecting the next one to hold" the
victim, and getting more and more determined to
secure it. To make a long story short, that bird fell
more than a quarter of a mile : the slayer was standing
on the western side of the Rockies, yet the slain was
Si*
The Canadian Grouse (Dendragapus Canadensis).
picked up in the eastern valley, and the pursuit of the
headless corpse occupied so much time that nothing
remained for the hunter but to climb down the rest of
the mountain and go home.
Another bird first seen here was the Fool Hen, or
Canadian Grouse. The cock in full plumage is an
exceedingly handsome bird. Above, black mottled
with grey; breast, a rich black with clear white tips to
some of the feathers, as is often seen in a red grouse; a wonderfully vivid scarlet comb over the eye; and a
black tail. The hen is not so gorgeous, not unlike a
grey hen. Size rather under that of the red grouse;
say about as large as a Scotch hen-bird.
The popular name for this fowl is well-merited.
As a rule you don't see him, but if you stumble
upon him, he flies to the nearest tree and stands
there until something happens to him. The Skipper
brought some home one day which he had encountered while on the look-out for sheep. These
were on the ground at a distance of about 12 yards
when he discovered them, and there they remained.
So he began to shoot at them, and at each shot
moved a yard or two nearer; till at length losing
patience at not being able to hit them, he picked up
some stones, and with their assistance soon exterminated the brood.
When he came home and we pointed out to him
that his rifle had the 200 yards sight up, his remarks
were unimproving.
The Fool Hen is the best Canadian grouse we are
acquainted with, though that is not the verdict of his
own countrymen. His flesh is of two colours, like that
of the red grouse, and he more nearly approaches that
inimitable bird in flavour than do any of the other
transatlantic counterfeits.
One other we saw among the open scrub on the
banks of the Kootenay. This was one of the sharp-
tailed grouse, probably the Columbian variety; a
greyish bird with irregular V-like markings of varying shades of brown and a little black : its feet
feathered with pale brown. This was just the size
of a red grouse, but only chicken to the epicure. Two days' travelling saw us once more on the
bluff near Lewis's ranch above the Columbia River,
reduced to our last bake of flour, and all our other
provisions exhausted. At the very moment of our
arrival there came faintly over the water the familiar
puff, puff, puff—puff of our good genius the Duchess,
and in a few minutes she had run her nose into the
mud below us. Jim was quickly on board and
loading his pockets with milk, tomatoes, salt, and
other luxuries; besides getting our first English
mail, and writing a lavish order for more stores to be
brought up on the steamer's next trip. And then she
was gone, and instead of her panting came the
equally familiar " ping " of that diabolical being from
whom we had so long been free, the never to be
sufficiently execrated mosquito.
The country here is as different from that we had
left as if they were a thousand miles apart. There
we had rain—though never very much at a time —
every day. But here everything was parched and
dusty, just as we had left it, and after the brilliant
verdure of the other valley, not by any means
inviting. Never shall we forget the toil of fetching
water up that nearly perpendicular bluff, ankle-deep
as it was in dry sandy loam. We knotted all our
ropes together, making a line almost long enough to
reach the water, and when a man had filled his tins,
he fastened the end to his waist, and was hauled
bodily up by the fellows on the top.
It was almost worth while to have endured the
miseries of the night in order to see the effect of
the rising sun on the Selkirks far across the river. The Kootenay.
H
As the highest peak caught the first gleam it
shone out with a wonderful glowing red above the
cold white mists which encircled it. Then one after
the other the lower ridges kindled, and rock and
glacier blushed and glittered as the bright beams
crept further and further down the vast expanse,
throwing into deeper shadow the dark clefts and
making more prominent the jutting crags, until the
flat hazy sheet of dulness that a few minutes before
was spread before us shone out into a picture radiant
with a glorious wealth of colour; and the artist
himself, whose magic touch had performed this
miracle before our eyes, peeped down on us from
the top of the Rockies. Only one thing that we
have seen can be compared with this first glow of
the sun on the Selkirk range, and that is the
lingering light of his rays on the Rockies as he
sinks behind the western mountains. Yet with that,
beautiful beyond words though it is, there is a feeling
somewhat akin to sadness which is absent from the
morning hour.
Not that our mornings do not very frequently
commence with a good deal of sadness; at least if
wickedness and evil tempers are really as certain to
produce unhappiness, as the copy-books assure us they
are. Personally we incline to the belief that "the truly
good are not happy, and the truly happy are not good."
Anyhow it is not wise to say a word to any one of
our party before breakfast, least of all to Jim, who is
specially prone to jump down the throat of the foolhardy
person who does so. Therefore we all look at the view
and mutter  to ourselves until  nature has refreshed ! I
144
The Kootenay
herself with a frugal meal, until, in fact, each man
has eaten enough for all three; and then, and not till
then, our conversation is filled with gems of poetic
fancy, and " friendly " does not approach to being an
adequate description of it. (    145    )
CHAPTER XV.
THE INDIAN RISING.
On the evening of September 4th we passed a little
ranch on our way to Windermere, where two men in
a very advanced stage of intoxication were shooting
with a rifle at some object, which from the diversity
of aim exhibited we supposed to be the Rocky
Mountains. They met us with entreaties to go no
further, as the Indians had risen and were massacring
all the white folk in the country. Two Kootenays
had been arrested for murder some time back, and
having been brought to Windermere to be tried, the
rest of the tribe had taken this means of expressing
their hatred of litigation.
A little questioning elicited the admission that the
Indians had not actually risen yet, but were all
assembled round Windermere, and would undoubtedly
break out on the morrow. A possible revolution
had no terrors for us equal to certain starvation
and a very fair chance of getting shot if we stayed
within range of our informants, so we pressed on
for Windermere, Flour, and Bacon. One word
only passed between us in this thrilling moment:
" Will you volunteer for active service if there
really is a rising ? " " No, by George ! I I Noble
fellow,  no more will  I,"    And with wars,  alarums,
~*m I if
146
The Indian Rising,
and excursions thus encompassing us we arrived
at the hotel, and once more had chairs to sit
upon. The Indian rising we found to have had a
very slight foundation: the two Kootenays had
really been arrested and tried, but as they were
acquitted, any rescue would have been a work of
supererogation.     As a matter of fact none had been
H ^-^r «gdpSliife
IpfplWBljflS
The Government House—Lake Windermere.
planned, but somehow the rumour had got about,
and whisky and fright had done the rest.
At the hotel we " boarded" to save trouble for
a day or two, sleeping at night, whenever the
mosquitoes were troublesome, in the Government
House, which Mr. Vowell, the Gold Commissioner,
had kindly put at our disposal, and on the ground
outside whenever they ceased to molest us.
We  drew  the  canoes  from  the  brush  in  which The Indian Rising.
H7
they had been hidden, and a very jolly lazy time
we spent during the days that we were obliged to
stay here waiting for our expected stores. We
paddled a good deal, and bathed " some" (for this
lake alone of the B. C. waters was pleasantly warm),
and fished with fair success for the white-fish and
squaw-fish   which   abound   in   it.     The  latter  name
The Kitchen— Windermere Store.
is not flattering either to the fish or the squaws,
but really it is difficult to say which has most
cause to grumble : we can only state that this fish
is the ugliest it has been our lot to meet, and is
said to taste worse than it looks, which we simply
don't believe. They ran up to about 8 lbs. in weight,
and took a minnow freely, in fact they took two
of our  best  Devons freely home where they lived, 148
The Indian Rising.
IIIf:
h
Ml
III
Til!
but they would not rise to fly. The white-fish
also took a minnow, but were not so large, and
having very small mouths, were much better caught
with a small dry fly. They afforded excellent practice for casting, and were by no means too easy to
capture. On the lake were always ducks of several
kinds, some grebes, and an occasional flock of geese;
but as we were supplied with food from the hotel,
they did not come within the scope of our operations.
The city of Windermere consisted of the hotel,
with two rooms, a kitchen, and a loft; the store, with
two rooms; and the Government House, with four
and a cellar. All were newly built, the last mentioned
one being barely finished, and at present guiltless of
chimneys. The other two were inhabited, but in a
very primitive and unkempt state; and the cooking
of the store was at this time conducted in a rather
picturesque open-air kitchen.
It hardly seems likely ever to become a very great
place, but no doubt for some few years it will
advance rapidly—as long, in fact, as the good ground
round about is big enough for new-comers. The
supply of this is—as everywhere else in.B. C.—strictly
limited, and this cause and this alone will, we fancy,
prevent any great influx of settlers. In every other
respect Windermere is naturally a charming spot,
the lake and its surroundings lovely, and the communication, now that the new road is being pushed
through, quite good enough.
Our stores at last arrived in one of the flat-
bottomed boats known as " bateaux," which carry on
the water traffic after the river has fallen too low for
the steamers.     These boats are from 30 to 40 feet in The Indian Rising.
149
length, and carry a wonderful amount of stuff with
very light draft. They are manned by two, three,
or four of a crew, who have a very hard—though
•nm
m
111*
I
A Columbia River "Bateau."
lucrative—time of it during their short season. This
one had been plying continuously up and down the
lake   and   a  few miles of river for three  days   and
—^ 'I-
III
I i
fc
i^o
The Indian Rising.
nights. The men had two hours' rest at the lower
end of each trip, but no change of crew, so no
wonder that the poor fellows looked pretty nearly
played out. They were a cheery, good-tempered lot,
too, and excellent company at dinner, for which they
snatched a hurried quarter of an hour.
The cook at the hotel, who was amusing when he
had any time to speak—which was seldom—told us
that he had been with the Austrians who went up
Canyon Creek after the goats. He said that one of
them snipped off with a pair of scissors the proboscis
of a mosquito, just when the creature had inserted it
to the depth of about half an inch into the back of
his hand, " and," he continued, " you bet your life
you never saw such a scared mosquito as that. He
just sat there and sucked and sucked away, and got
worse and worse bothered, because the more he
sucked the more   he didn't get anything "   but
here he had to hurry away, and we lost the remainder
of the veracious narrative.
Here also we met a man who explained to us that
it was no wonder we saw so little game in the
Sinclair Pass, for the Stony Indians had passed
through only a month before, and of course had
scared away everything they did not kill. He added
that they were never going through again on account
of the hardships they endured, but that was little
consolation to us.     We, as the poet sings—
u
Loathe the poor Indian, whose untutored mind
Leads him to kill whatever he can find," &c.
A party of Shuswaps came to the hotel while we
were there, and to see the start of the cavalcade was
.. tl The Indian Rising
'Si
as good as a circus. All the horses seemed to be in
the most fidgety state of nervousness. All had to be
blindfolded to commence with ; then there was such a
scuffling and rearing and squealing before the riders
could mount, which they did from the off-side, each
armed with a square stumpy piece of wood furnished
with three thongs like boot-laces for a whip. Then
the bandages were removed, and with wild yells
the party vanished in a cloud of dust of their own
raising, with ropes trailing along the ground behind
them, and as much fuss and parade and general
fictitious excitement as a band of Frenchmen will
make when a-hunting they do go.
We had been unable to get either a bridle or a
saddle for our future journey. But having tools with
us, Cardie soon manufactured a very good pack-
saddle of a slightly modified shape, which enabled us
at a pinch to use it for riding by strapping a rug
over it. A greater difficulty was the bit, as there
was not a scrap of iron of any kind to be had for love
or money. Jim at last devised one by carefully
rolling up the metal of an old tomato-can in a tight
coil, and this when soldered along the joint, and its
ends bored out to receive two rings, was a complete
success. The latter he fashioned out of some strong
brass wire which was included in our stores, making
the joint with a long splice and solder. Leather and
rivets we had with us, and the rest of the head-piece,
was easily finished.
The cook was greatly interested in these proceedings, and wanted to know—"Where did you
fellows learn to tinker ? Darn me if any one in this
country can do it like you."    We explained to him 152
The Indian Rising.
*
that our public schools and universities now taught
nothing else, that tinking had in fact superseded
thinking among all classes and professions, and that
our grandest old statesman was the greatest living
exponent of the art.
Thus newly equipped, the roan horse and a light
pack set out with Cardie on the morning of September 9th, along the trail towards the upper end of
the lake. The lamented brown we had re-sold to his
late master at a depreciation of five dollars.
The Skipper and Jim, with heavily laden canoes,
were to reach the same destination by water; the
understanding being that we should "meet at the
first place on the river where the trail came near it."
The reader, we hope, understands that there are two
Columbia lakes, connected by about twelve miles of
river. Windermere is situated on the eastern shore,
about five miles from each end of the lower lake.
We trust that last sentence will satisfy those
hypercritical people who object to such descriptions
as " the middle, or half way down, or up, or along,
or midway of, the lower lake."
Such a lovely morning it was as we gently paddled
over the placid surface of the lake, calling at one
ranch, where the owner presented us with some
capital potatoes, and doing a little fishing and shooting as we went along. The climate tends to produce
a slight haze very frequently in summer, and the
numberless forest fires no doubt increase the dimness of the atmosphere, so that generally the distant
scenery has that shadowy unsubstantial appearance
which gives a charm lacking in those regions where the
air is free from vapour, and mountains at fifty miles
II
.UP'Wi  — are as hard and clearly defined as the nearest bits of
landscape. This was an especially hazy day, and the
lake looked interminable as on all sides it melted into
the air without any line of demarcation between
them ; but the distance was not great, and about midday we reached the last rushy bay where the little
Police store-hut was situated, while behind it could
be seen the white tents of the few men quartered
there, and horses grazing on the hill above.
The river ran in at the western corner of the bay,
The Northern Phalarope {Phalaropus lobatus).
and thither we directed the canoes. The inflow was
bordered by enormous reed-beds, round which swam
and flew many hundreds of what the Americans call
mud-hens {i.e., coots), and a fair sprinkling of duck.
Here also, alternately swimming, flying, and, as it
were, running on the water, was a small flock of
Phalarope ; the Northern (lobatus) kind as we judged
from its scalloped toes.
Above the rushes soared a bald eagle, which Jim
asserted to prey upon the mud-hens, and he wanted
•to know " what well-known lady of title that eagle .^iSHKi
mmaami
fj/p*-   ,**m
154
The Indian Rising,
<3
II
resembled ? Why, can't you see, the noble Bird ate
Coots." But his canoe did not capsize, and still we
paddled on.
We had now penetrated far up the river, which was
broad, shallow, and ran at a fair pace; but the higher
we went, the narrower and swifter it became, and the
denser and wilder grew the vegetation on the banks.
When we were nearly two miles from the lake, we
perceived that we must give up all hope of meeting
Cardie on the river, and turned back to the Police
Camp, where we expected to find him waiting for us.
By this time evening had come on, and it was too
late to do anything except camp. We spent the rest
of the evening with one of the Police and the well-
known traveller and hunter Baillie-Grohman, who was
on his way to conduct the canal-cutting between the
upper lake and Kootenay river.
The I Bobby," as Jim irreverently termed the
soldier, was just as smart a young fellow as need be,
one of  those whom  our   infern  we mean   our
highly organised competitive system annually shuts
out of our own army. He had been unable to pass
out of Sandhurst, and being really keen, had enlisted
here, and was doing uncommonly well. He told us
how he had been put to guard the two Indians who
had been brought down for trial, having passed the
night with one of them chained to his leg, which he
naturally did not much care for, but in most respects
was enjoying his present life amazingly.
The other Police were very obliging, but neither
they nor any one else could tell us much about the
river between the two lakes, which was variously
stated to be anything between four and twenty-four
■ s The Indian Rising.
J55
miles long. They suggested that we should send our
baggage up by the waggon-road which the Government
have made, for the rapids were said to be almost
impassable even to an empty canoe. We were very
glad to take advantage of this, and accordingly next
morning before daylight we put everything except
guns, rods, axes, and ropes into a waggon which was
transporting their stores.
The Skipper having discovered that the lark does
not flourish in these regions, is always boasting that
he rises with that  overrated bird.     He did not see
American Coot [Fulica Americana").
any larks when we had to turn out at this unearthly
hour, especially when he became aware that a musk-
rat had been playing the fool in his canoe all night,
and had scattered it full of bits of rush and sticks
and other debris. But all this was speedily rectified,
and soon after seven o'clock we once more began the
ascent of the river. The mouth of it was simply
black with countless multitudes of coots, and as we
turned the corner of the reed-bed and came suddenly
upon them, they rose with one accord, making the
most prodigious and almost terrifying sound that we
ever heard produced by birds, more like the roar of 156
The Indian Rising,
a mighty hurricane than anything: else to which we
can compare it.
At first the ascent was easy enough, not requiring
any propelling power except paddles; but soon these
became insufficient, and we had to land and manufacture a couple of poles for each canoe; and so by
slow degrees we forced our way up the now rapid
and perpetually winding stream, shut in on all sides
by thick woods and huge rushy marshes, the home of
geese and ducks innumerable. About noon we came
out into a sheet of water about a mile long, which
rejoiced in the euphonious title of Mud Lake, and
deserved it; for though the water was clear enough,
the bottom was a deep tenacious sediment from the
river. Here for the first time since we came into
the country a strong wind was blowing: we don't
suppose for a moment that there was any elsewhere,
but as a wind is the most troublesome thing that a
canoe can have to deal with, we naturally were not
surprised to get it. By hard paddling we got across,
having a little bit of consolation in seeing that one
of these much-vaunted Indians, a little ahead of us,
was making even worse weather of it than we, though
to be sure his "dug-out" was such as Noah might
have employed as a dingey to the Ark whenever the
hippopotamus wanted to go ashore. Where the
upper length of river ran into Mud Lake we found a
small colony of these natives, looking very damp and
uncomfortable, in an amphibious kind of dwelling.
Just above this, at the first turn in the river, a
splendid eagle-owl flew out of a tree right over our
heads, and forty yards in front of us perched on a
low branch directly overhanging the stream, where he awaited our coming with a very angry look, elevating
and depressing his horns, and giving us as good a
view of him as could be wished. He was a grand
specimen, but we had no chance of being able to
carry skins along with us, and cartridges were too
precious to be used on any but eatable birds, of
which we had already accumulated a number sufficient for our wants, so we allowed him to go in
peace.
Now began the really tough work of the voyage.
The river had become a rushing torrent, blocked in
all directions with snags and barricades of fallen
trees, and the next six hours were spent in overcoming these obstacles by the means most suitable
for each new device of the enemy. To those who
believe in the direct intervention of the Devil, the
condition of this river is a matter of easy explanation,
but as in these days it has become the fashion to
treat Beelzebub as a kind of Mrs. Harris, and to
assert that " there ain't no such person," we are
afraid to state positively that he had spent a fortnight
or so on those last four miles. But we think he had.
We had plenty of towing line, but the banks were
so thickly overgrown with all manner of brushwood
that any attempt to walk on them was hopeless,
and in many places even landing was impossible.
Paddling was almost useless, and' poling very slow
and unremunerative work. In more than one place
we were obliged both together in the water to lift
the canoes bodily over opposing logs. Once we came
to such a rapid place that the passage was only
accomplished by Jim—who had nothing on but a
shirt   and   belt,   and   found   even   that   superfluous "I
:l    i
158
The Indian Rising.
clothing—towing from the middle of the stream, while
the Skipper wielded a pole. Even then, in spite of all
our care, they shipped a good deal of water from the
rapidity with which it raced past, as by sheer strength
they were hauled through the waves.
The Lulie proved a better boat for this work than
the Hope, from her superior size, and consequently
was generally a long way ahead, waiting at impossible places for the Skipper to arrive.     The latter on
Between the Columbia Lakes.    10th Sept.
one occasion coming quietly round a bend of the
river, found Jim engaged in what he was pleased to
call " salmon-fishing." Armed with his light single-
handed trout-rod (which, however, was provided with
100 yards of line), he was nearly waist-deep in the
chilly stream endeavouring to capture one of the
diseased-looking monsters with which the river was
populated, every shallow and gravel-bed holding
them in  numbers,  while the bodies of those which The Indian Rising.
159
had met an untimely death were scattered along its
shores. And once more does the mention of this
add to our grievances against the Indian. He
without scruple of conscience goes forth with torch
and spear and gaily slaughters as many fish as may
seem good to him, while the poor white man who
has been properly brought up is constrained by his
better feelings to angle in an orthodox manner, and
consequently to catch nothing.
Here by the way is a picture of Jim's  " fly," the
Salmon <Ly
only one we believe by which the Columbia salmon
can be allured, as they do not rise at the more
ordinary European patterns. We are told, however,
that they take a minnow or spoon in and near the
salt water, that is to say, 600 miles below this spot.
The swiftness of the current prevented Jim from
being successful in his dastardly design, though what
in the world would have happened to him and his
rod if perchance the fish had been hooked is and will
remain a dark and deadly mystery, and what earthly i6o
The Indian Rising.
1 i
use we could have made of the miserable mangy
creature if by accident he had been landed is an
even darker and deadlier one.
In ioi hours from the start, nearly all of which
had been pretty hard work, we were rejoiced by the
sight of the old roan standing on a high bluff near
the river, and immediately afterwards Cardie and the
tents came into view. Then the river settled down
to a sedate four miles an hour, and we knew that our
toils were over for that day at least. In a few more
minutes we were at our own camp fire, where surely
never did wild duck and bacon taste more delicious ;
for all this day a few biscuits had been our only food,
the provisions being with the heavy baggage which
the waggon had safely deposited with Cardie.   (    i6i*   )
CHAPTER XVI.
CHARR.
This camp was   an   especially nice  place.     A little
rain having fallen, the small tent and sheet were both
pitched on the extreme edge of a high grassy mound
immediately over the river.     Behind   us was  a fair
stretch of undulating grass, with trees scattered  here
and  there in the  park-like manner characteristic  of
the country, and  beyond them rose a steep wooded
range, the first step of the Rockies, which  here were
very near to us, and looked particularly fine, covered
as  they were with   new snow down  to timber-line.
About half a mile to the south lay the Upper Columbia
Lake, with  the river meandering from it to our feet
through  beds of rushes.     All the further side of the
stream was occupied   by flat marshy meadows   and
sloughs,  and at intervals clumps of dark green fir-
trees, or bright green and yellow birches, with just a
sprinkling of   scarlet from  the   twro  or   three frosty
nights we   have already had,  the whole   forming   a
broad level valley of luxuriant growth.     Beyond this
a   couple   of  miles   away rose the  foot-hills of  the
Selkirk range, and far back the dim outline of their
snow-crowned summits.
Not far from the camp on our side of the river we}
discovered a rich potato-mine, in which we worked a
L l62
Charr.
short time with gratifying success. Hard by was a
ranch known as Geary's, the name being also applied
to the landing at our feet, which was the end of the
waggon-road and the point of departure for the
bateau which was plying upon the upper lake. Geary
himself came to see us, and encouraged our labours
in the " mine," which turned out to be " his." We
thus secured some of the best and largest potatoes
ever seen, reminding one of those which used to
flourish at Evans's in the time of Paddy Green, when
we were merry boys together. From him we learnt
with great satisfaction that our canoes were the first
to find their way up the rapids, though not the first
to attempt it. " They all play out over that," was
his comment on the question.
A short way up the mountain was a spot known
as the Hot Springs, where two natural basins
contained clear running water at about 90° and 120°
Fahr. We were exhorted by the habitues to try
the effect of a bathe, which we were assured was a
novel and charming experience. One man told us
he found the most fascinating way was to soak a short
time in the 90° spring, then plunge into the ice-cold
water of a little creek hard by, and finish up with the
120°. " Great Scott, and you live to tell the tale?"
"Well," he admitted, "I only tried it once, and certainly I did feel pretty bad for a week, and to tell
the truth I have never been free from rheumatism
since. But just try it now ; you never felt anything
like it, &c. &c."
This anxiety for the rest of mankind to share in
one's own misfortunes is of course not peculiar to
B. C.    We seem to have read of something like it in Charr.
16
o
^Esop's Fables; and "the most disgraceful thing I
ever read, do look," " I never smelt anything so nasty,
just smell,,} are sounds we have heard in our happy
English homes : but it certainly is as rife here as
anywhere else.
The two romancers who apprised us of the Indian
rising were very enthusiastic about the merits of a
mineral spring they had discovered, which they said
must be "very valuable." On inquiry we learnt that
its value consisted in killing every creature less hardy
than a grizzly bear that ventured to taste of it. The
ground near it they declared was always strewn with
the bodies of birds and beasts, whose craving for
patent medicines had thus hurried them into the
Hereafter; and they were convinced that if only we
would get some capitalists to take an interest in the
matter, and make a business of bottling and exporting the water, that there was a large fortune in it.
Perhaps they were right. "Aqua Borgia: from the
natural spring, B. C.—3 s. 6d. per dozen—a charming
present for mothers-in-law, tax collectors, and itinerant
wine-merchants," would probably for a time command,
a ready sale.
Birds were very plentiful here : the large Canada
Goose, and a smaller one with a white collar, which
we took to be the Black Brant, Mergansers, Mallard,
Greenwinged Teal, Black Duck, Buffle-headed Duck,
Wilson's Snipe, and Long-billed Dowitchers, were all
common ; while in the daytime we had the song of
the Western wren, and at evening the graceful flight
of the Whip-poor-Wills to entertain us.
Under these circumstances we enjoyed life very
much,   and  our  menus  began   to rival those of the 164
Charr.
C.P.R. One night we had Coot-stew, with a tin
of Dislocated soup added to improve its flavour.
This the Skipper called Potage du Bal. " That's
wrong," remarked Jim innocently ; " I shot them with
the scatter-gun." " I call it Potage du Bal," explained the Skipper with pride, " because it tastes
of Coot and tinny." And when Cardie complained
that this jesting on the mud-hen was becoming mud-
henous, it was felt by all that, coute que coute, it must
be stopped.
But revenons a nos mud-hens.     We are always
Whip-poor- Will [Antrostomus vociferus).
very strong on the theory that everything, however
lowly or objectionable, has a great and useful purpose
in the economy of nature, even embracing in this
catholic faith wasps and green-fly: the use of wasps
being, as we are instructed, to consume the greenfly, and the use of the green-fly presumably to afford
food for wasps. Consequently we are confident that
there is—somewhere—a destiny also for the coot.
But the reader will do well to take our word for it,
that if Nature intended this bald and benevolent
bird for soup, she unaccountably omitted some of
the most important ingredients, and introduced others: Charr.
165
more suitable for the production of soap. Merganser
soup, which graced our table on the following day,
is a very different thing, and altogether laudable,
though one would hardly expect any great, results
from the employment of that fowl as an article of
food.
Menu.—Sept. \2tJ1.
Potage.—Merganser.
Fish.—Charr.
Entries.—A little more Charr, please.
Removes.—I say, Cardie, I wish you'd fry another or two
of those Charr.
Dessert.—Chorus.—By George, I never tasted anything
like those Charr.
These Charr were discovered the first day of our
stay here. They frequented the river from about
200 yards above the landing up to the lake, and
appeared to be identical with the great Scandinavian
charr, running in size from 1 to about 20 lbs.—we
saw one over the latter weight, though without
catching him. They were beyond all question the
best fish-food that man may hope for in this wicked
world, unless we except that rare delicacy, burbots
livers.
We may mention here that we subsequently found
a river where these fish reached a much greater size
—in fact an Englishman, in whose word we could
implicitly trust, and who had fished it for many
years, told us he had caught them there up to 80
lbs. in weight. We have not the smallest intention
of letting  the reader  into  the secret of that  river 166
Charr.
but we thought he would be pleased to hear of its
existence.
A minnow, or still better a spoon, seemed to be
what they chiefly fed upon, though we got a few,
and also some lovely silver trout, with a rosy tinge
on the belly, with fly. They took the bait more with
the deliberation of a salmon than the dash of a trout;
their subsequent behaviour on the whole rather resembled that of the former fish; and they furnished
as good sport as any one could desire.
The first day Jim alone fished a couple of hours,
getting eight with the loss of two minnows. While
one of these, a two and a half pounder, was being
hauled in, another of about 12 lbs. made a rush at
him : unquestionably it is necessary to use a very
big bait for the big fish. The angler came home
rather disconsolate, and would tell us the story of
how he didn't catch the greatest fish of all:—•
"You see, after I lost the first minnow I was
nervous about the other one, so I put on a stronger
trace, and just under the cliff up there I hooked a
regular monster. I can't tell how big he was, but
he made a whirl in the water like a whale when he's
iiarpooned, don't you know."
" I wonder he didn't break your painter," sneered
the envious Skipper.
"Well, you see, the anchor dragged a bit, or it
would have broken," went on the historian, in perfect
good faith.
" Oh ! and what did you do then ? "
"Do! Why, I just hung on all I knew how, and
he took out 5° yards of line at the first run, and then
he kept getting more and more, till I only had the Charr.
■'167
last few turns left on the reel, and of course it was
simply a question of who could pull hardest. He
must have been down about opposite here," continued Jim, gazing pensively at the cliff at least 200
yards away along the winding river—" yes ; the line
would do that easily. Just when I made sure something would go, he came back a bit, and there, as
Uncle Remus says, ' up and down we had it, 'sputing
and contending.' At last I got him up within 30
yards of the canoe, and began to think it was all
right. You'd have lost him long before then, Skipper,
with your wretched ideas on the subject of playing
a fish}' I     .       .lj|| •     ^^^p §|
The Skipper not being ready with any appropriate
remark, merely glared, and the narrator proceeded.
" I suppose he'd been on about twenty minutes, and
I heard a splashing behind, and saw the bateau
coming down the river. I thought what a piece of
luck it was to get a l gallery' in this desolate place
just at the moment when I should gaff this big fish,
and I began to feel uncommonly pleased with myself:
you'd have had side enough on to upset the boat if it
had been you, Skipper. The men wrere all watching
eagerly as the bateau went by, and I was trying to
look as if I caught twenty-pounders—he was all that
—every da}' ; and whether it was the boat that scared
him or what   I don't know, but he made a terrific
fun, took out every scrap of line, and bang went
twa-and-saxpence ; trace cut against a rock close to
the minnow. What ? No, I didn't say a word—at
least, I mean nothing to what you fellows would have
said.     But just wait till to-morrow."
Accordingly in the morning the Skipper and Jim 168
Charr.
went in one canoe to take turns at fishing and gaffing.
Landing nets were too cumbrous to be taken with us,
-and we always used a miniature gaff made out of a
largest size salmon hook, with a little temper taken out
of it, and nearly all the barb removed. This when
lashed to a small stick made a very useful and portable
weapon, and with it fish even as small as a pound in
weight could quite easily be landed.
We had a pretty good morning, but of course
wrangled the whole time, Jim declaring that fine
tackle and careful working were as essential to the
capture of these denizens of the deep as of any other;
while the Skipper, who had produced some huge
Phantoms and the coarsest of traces, with which he
had been wont to ensnare the great lake trout in
Finland, as stoutly maintained that their only fault
was excessive delicacy, and that the more floppierly
you threw the bait, the more it would catch. Each
one in turn took a hand at spinning, and commenced,
" Now I'll show you the way I should fish this pool;
of course I  may be quite wrong, but still -&c."
We both caught the same number of fish, so the
point is still undecided. But as we saw a man from
Geary's going fishing with a clothes-line and the bowl
of a gravy-spoon tied to it just above a grapnel, the
weight of evidence seems to be on the side of the
Skipper.
It is probably unnecessary to state that the united
efforts of the pair succeeded in losing the best charr,
which must have weighed at least 12 lbs. He was
for a wonder very lightly hooked, and seeing this, we
made a shot at him before he was ready to come on
board, with the usual result. Charr.
169
The biggest we actually landed were several of
between 5 and 6 lbs., the best just failing to pull
down the scale at the latter figure; but these on
the light trout rods, which were our only weapons,
proved quite ' sufficiently troublesome. They are
strong, game fish, and fight hard for life; and as the
river is very full of snags and sharp rocks that have
fallen  from  the  cliff above,   they  have  rather  more
"Missed him, by thunder!    Well of all—
own    Why the dooce didn t you     What on earth you
thought any idiot," 6r*c. &*c. &"c.
My good fool, it's entirely your
»   / should have
than a fair chance. As regards appearance, their
disproportionately big head and long body are not
prepossessing, but on the other hand their colouring
is beautiful: the dark striped and spotted greenish
hue of the upper portions, and the lovely reddish
orange shading into clear white of the lower, is perhaps more striking than anything their cousins can
boast of. They have this further recommendation,
that the bigger they are the better they are, which is I
170
Charr.
by no means the case with the trout. Their flesh was
a light pink, and " nyum nyum' but faintly expresses
its quality.
A morning's fishing in one canoe was as much as
we could stand without coming to open war ; arid in
the afternoon we again went out in the Hope and
Lulie, Jim taking the higher reach, and the Skipper
the part nearest to the camp.    The method adopted
Kerblinkity-blunk,
was to have a rope running through the ring at the
bow of the canoe, and tied to this a fairly big stone to
serve as an anchor. When we wished to change our
position we had only to haul on this rope until the
stone left the ground, and as soon as the boat had
drifted far enough again "let go the anchor."
Standing up to spin in these cranky craft is not
the easiest thing in the world, and the weather, which Charr.
171
was decidedly stormy, had now begun to favour us
with sudden gusts of cold northerly wind and rain.
One of these squalls swooped down upon Jim unawares
and wafted him clean out of the canoe into the river—
so clean, in fact, that though he had time to throw
the rod into her, the Lulie never shipped a drop of
water. It was bitterly cold, and not pleasant to discover after he had landed on the rushy shore that the
canoe being peacefully anchored in mid-stream, there
was nothing for it but to behave like the swan in the
■poem :—
" The swan swam over the river ; swim, swan, swim !
The swan swam back again : well swam, swan ! i
Which accordingly had to be done.    His ancient and
trusty hat had
Sailed into the fiery sunset,
Sailed into the purple vapours,
Sailed into the dusk of evening ;
And its owner from the margin
Watched it floating, rising, sinking,
Till its ragged brim seemed lifted
High into that sea of splendour,
Till it sank into the vapours.
Like the new moon slowly, slowly,
Sinking in the purple distance.
And he said, " Farewell for ever,"
Said, I Farewell, O Hat in water."
And the forests dark and lonely,
Moved through all their depths of darkness,
Sighed, " Farewell, O Hat in water."
And the waves upon the margin,
Rising, rippling on the pebbles,.
Sobbed, " Farewell, O Hat in water."
And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
From her haunts among the fenlands,
Screamed, " Farewell, O Hat in water." 11?
if
172
Char
r.
Thus departed Jim's old head-gear,
In the glory of the sunset,
In the purple mists of evening,
To the regions of the South wind,
Of the South wind Shawondasee,
To the Islands of the Blessed
To the kingdom of Ponemah,
To the land of the Hereafter.
As a few minutes later, dripping, and adorned with
water-weeds, he passed the Skipper, the latter, who
was then struggling with a great charr, was observed
to smile and chuckle in a superior though undemonstrative manner. This malicious enjoyment of his
friend's misfortune was not to go unpunished, for he
not only lost that fish, which he solemnly declared—
and even believed—to be over 20 lbs. in weight, but
never hooked another that day.
At evening we walked up to Geary's ranch,
which he " runs "as a kind of hotel for the few
travellers who pass this way. Conspicuous on the
wall of the only room was the jawbone of a horse,
with the word NO on one side of it and HERE on
the other, a quaint conceit which in the interests of
truth might be adopted in most of our English gunrooms and smoking-rooms.
There we found Baillie-Grohman, seriously ill, lying
in a makeshift bed on the floor, and did our best to
doctor him. Whether Jim's plan of presenting a
couple of 5 lb* charr to a man who could take
nothing but chlorodyne and gruel was likely to result
in any very startling cure was open to doubt; but as
his men managed to get him away to Windermere,
where luckily a real medicine-man met him, we had
not an opportunity of seeing our efforts successful. Charr.
73
Suffice it to say that either we or that other doctor
did restore him to health ; and as we had the first shot
at him, we think we ought to have the credit of it.
We had another patient here to practise upon;
one of the Police, who piteously begged for pills.
We knew enough of the healing art to be sure that
he might just as well swallow flat-irons ; but to show
our sympathy we at last presented him with half a
dozen blue pills, extra size, 40° above proof, each of
them about equal to a Jacob's explosive bullet in
strength. And next morning early he sent word that
they had done him no good, and would we please
give him a few more.
Just at bed-time a low howl which seemed to come
from far away up the lake was wafted to our ears,
and Cardie, who teaches us many things that we (and
for the matter of that, he) never knew before, said,
" There, that's the first coyote I've heard in this
country." Very much interested, we listened intently,
and in a few minutes it burst forth again, this time
obviously nearer. But when at the third cry we
perceived that the coyote had accurately picked up the
air and even the words of " Oh what a surprise," and
was coming down the river in a bateau, our faith in
Cardie as an instructor of youth went down to zero.
We had brought out from England a tin box full
of home-made gingerbread as a present for that spoilt
boy from his ancestral cook. On the way out we
opened it to see whether they were keeping all right,
and found they were, but that they were a little too
sweet. At Golden we delivered the box, carefully
retied with that intricate system of " grannies I so
dear to the female soul, and Cardie, who opened it II:! i
174
Charr.
with avidity, said, " What a rum thing she didn't pack
this box full." So we said it was funny, but the
shaking they had had would account for it, and if they
hadn't been so sweet they would have shaken down
still more. Each day we have been out they have
become less sweet, and the allowance served out has
grown larger; and when the last of them went at
the Charr Camp, we felt indeed that a blight had
come over our young lives, and that henceforth the
world would be a dull place. There can be little
question that gingerbreads in two or more large,
boxes are an absolute necessity for camping, as the
best safeguard against fevers, broken limbs, and suchlike calamities, from all of which we enjoyed immunity. (    i75    )
CHAPTER   XVII.
CANOEING.
The north wind which blew Jim into the river was
so favourable for the voyage  up   the  lake  that  we
agreed to leave this pleasant place.     Naturally in the
night it changed;  and  by the time that  Cardie with
the horse had started along the trail which skirts the
eastern shore, and  the canoes had  cast off from  the
landing, there was a perfect gale from the south right
in our teeth.     We stopped a couple of hours to fish
in   the   favoured   reach,   getting   two   big   fish   and
several between  3  and  5  lbs., and   one  good   trout
When at last we emerged  from the rushes on to the
open lake,  the sea was running mountains—twenty
inches   at  least—high,   and   it  required   the   utmost
care and hard work to keep the canoes head to wind
and avoid swamping.     With their   heavy loads the
freeboard   was   reduced   to   four   inches,   and   their
wonderful natural  buoyancy  to   a   great   extent destroyed.     Every now and then we shipped a big sea
over the  bows;  but our waterproof sheets were so;
placed over all the baggage, and  secured with their
edges overhanging the gunwale, that very little water
stayed in the boats.    The labour, however, was terrible,
and  by four o'clock we had only progressed about a
mile and   a  half,  and were tired to death.     So we 176
C
anoeznp'.
1
landed in a sheltered bay, baked, and cooked a supper;
and opined that the close of day would allay the
tempest and bring peace to these troubled waves.
Sure enough, as the red sun sank to rest behind the
Selkirks, the wind stopped with a jerk, as if by the
application of an atmospheric break, and by half past
six we were once more afloat, and urging the canoes
over the surface of the lake, still heaving and tossing
with its late angry passions, but without a breath of
air to oppose our passage. This was simply delightful ; the smooth even rocking of the canoes as
they swiftly rode over the glassy billows being such a
relief from the inch by inch struggle we had so lately
been engaged in, when often our utmost strength
could do no more than hold our own, while furious
squall after squall, all wet with flying spume and froth,
swept down upon us in quick succession.
Night came on apace, and long before we had been
able to make out with certainty where the real end of
the lake might be, we were left in darkness to reach
it as best we could. We took our bearings for what
we supposed to be our destination while it was still
light, and soon the stars came out, and laying our
course by them we went steadily on. After about two
hours we suddenly caught sight of a tiny bright spark
a little to the left of the point we had been steering
for, and knew that this must be the beacon which it
had been settled Cardie was to display for us after
nightfall. It looked a very long way off, and now
against us, tired as we were, once more the wind
began to rise. The ominous plash of the surf against
the unseen rocky shore, and the uncanny feeling of
the   cold   reeds   waving   across   our   faces   as   we Canoeing.
n7
occasionally passed over shallows, made this part of
the voyage anything but pleasant. And now to
increase our discomfort the beacon light, which had
never seemed to get appreciably larger, grew fainter
and fainter, until at last it altogether disappeared ;
and again the big rollers began to break over the
bows into the canoes. We had almost made up our
minds  to   attempt  a landing,  and   camp   on   the   in-
Thz Beacon— Upper Columbia Lake.
hospitable shore whose shadowy outline loomed above
us ; but first tried signals of distress by firing off the
double-barrel. Almost immediately in answer the fire
flared up again, and this time so large that we could see
we had not much further to go. Another half hour of
hard work brought us into smooth water, and on a
pebbly beach we drew up the canoes, and heard
Cardie's hail close above our heads. In a few more
minutes we were cosily supping in a perfectly sheltered
M Canoeing.
little   nook,   under some fine   pine-trees which  grew
on a steep bank at the south-eastern corner of the
lake.
It was very soothing to lie comfortably under our
waggon-sheet and listen to the angry roar of the
hurricane as it hurtled through the branches of the
•big pines with ever-increasing strength, shaking
them to their very roots. And it was pleasant to
reflect that if we had been ten minutes later we
should probably at this moment have been shivering
among the bare rocks of that desolate shore, or else
with the canoes smashed, and our goods, and possibly
ourselves, at the bottom of this mighty ocean.
Altogether we consider we got out of this piece of
folly better than we deserved.
Cardie was away early, with instructions to find the
landing-place of the bateau, where we expected to see
aN trail which would take us across the flat to the
Kootenay river. That found, he was to build a sleigh
on which to transport the canoes in the manner we
had proved to be so convenient in Norway. We
followed, coasting along the low rush-grown shore
towards the south-western corner, keeping a bright
look-out for any channel which had any appearance of
being used. We soon became aware that this marshy
waste of rushes, grass, willows, and water swarmed
with every sort of moisture-loving bird, from geese
down to sand-pipers. All the commoner ducks were
plentiful, though wild, while the snipe and dowitchers
were so tame as to be uninteresting. By quietly
cruising along the little tortuous channels which
intersected the land in all directions we were able to
get all the shooting we needed. Canoeing.
179
We spent more time over this fascinating spot than
we had to spare ; but at last the Skipper refused to
issue any more ammunition, and we began to paddle
up what' we guessed to be the arm leading to the
landing. More than a mile we followed this delusive
stream, remarkable for the numerous springs which
everywhere gushed up from crater-like basins at the
bottom, while round them grew the most beautiful
and luxuriant water-weeds ever seen, their delicate
filigree-work of many-hued leaves and tendrils ail-
clearly defined in the limpid water. And then we
rounded a corner beyond which, the channel was not,
and with the usual recriminations turned back again
to the lake.
Right in the corner we at last came on another
opening which looked promising, and though before
we arrived at the end it had become very unpromising
indeed, it did eventually turn out to be the right one,
and before sunset we rejoined Cardie at the landing-
place.
On the bank was reposing the emblem of modern
progress, a steam-boiler, destined for the saw-mill
which was to cut the lumber for the building of
Kootenay City, which future metropolis at that
moment consisted of a single one-roomed cabin.
Cardie had finished a first-rate sleigh, with two
birchwood runners, cross-pieces, and diagonals, all
firmly rabbeted and nailed together, and in a short
time we had started with one canoe, the other and
some of the baggage being packed together under a
sheet against the impending rain. Somebody propounded the theory that if you want a horse to drag
anything, the more weight you put on his back the f
'
180
Canoeing,
easier his work will be; consequently the way that
unfortunate roan had truck piled on to him was just
sinful.
The flat is about a mile and a half across along
the trail, quite level, and composed of rich black
soil, which no doubt at some time was a portion of
the lake-bed. At the side nearest to the Kootenay
river we came for the first time into the region of
the Yellow Pine (Pinus ponderosd). These splendid
trees grow in open order, the ground underneath
them almost clear of everything except grass and
small creeping berries. Their trunks, branchless for
half their height, are covered with deeply indented
rough bark of a rich reddish brown colour, the lines
of the dark cracks which score their sides giving
them a singularly striking appearance. Shaded by a
group of these majestic pines we pitched our tent at
evening close to the Kootenay river, here growm into
at least twice the size of the turbulent stream we
had known it at the end of the Sinclair Pass. It
was to some extent sobered down from the headstrong folly of its early career, but still running at
a great pace, with the ceaseless sound of the distant rapid making itself heard—or felt—it is difficult
to know which is the right word.
On   the   flat   were   camped   under  the   command
of O ,  a rare  good  fellow, whose acquaintance
we had already made, several men, working on the
various undertakings which were intended to make
communication between the Columbia and Kootenay
possible. The canal was to start from the channel
up which we came, and join the Kootenay somewhere
near where  we  were  camped,  and  the saw-mill,  a Canoeing,
181
store, and other buildings were to be hurried on as
fast as possible. A bridge was also being built over
the Kootenay, for which purpose the noble pines
were being ruthlessly sacrificed, and altogether there
seemed every prospect of nature being very much
" improved " in a short time.
Cardie, O , and his  brother were  looking at
the dead birds, when Jim, pulling a dishevelled
dowitcher out of his pocket, asked whether they
supposed that might be a Solitary Snipe. .[He
hadn't at that time the smallest notion of what it
was himself] So they looked it carefully over,
and the verdict was, " Yes, that's a Solitary Snipe all
right; you see, it has only got its young feathers
yet, &c, &c." " Because," proceeded the naturalist,
" I suppose it is characteristic of the Solitary Snipe
that you always kill three at a shot." And it then
came out—for Jim was too proud (!) of his performance to keep it to himself—that this unprincipled
person had been stalking the unfortunate birds and
shooting them on the ground. He had killed fifteen
in five consecutive shots, in which, however, he did
to some extent redeem his character by a skilful
right and left flying, which resulted in three to each
barrel. The scarcity of cartridges will, we hope,
be accepted as a good excuse for this outrage : it
makes one acquainted with strange methods of procuring game.
Early next day Cardie and the Skipper took the
sleigh for the Hope and balance of our baggage,
while Jim departed to his beloved marshes for further
researches among the birds. He came back very
discontented, because the average had dropped from 182
Canoeing.
three to two head of game for every cartridge
expended ; but as a new delicacy was added to the
bag, in the shape of a lot of golden plover, we did
not see much cause for grumbling. Oh for a week
on that flat with an unlimited supply of eights and a
retrieving spaniel. We had nothing but fives—as
the best all round shot—and had to be very economical
with them.
Across Canal Flat—the Camp on the Kootenay.
The long-billed dowitchers are very much like a
large snipe, of a pale cinnamon colour, spotted and
irregularly marked with dusky tints, the upper parts
being duller and darker than the lower, with a good
deal of white about the tail. They frequented the
sides of the little pools and runnels in groups of half a
dozen or so, wading also deep in the water, for which
their legs and bill, slightly longer than those of a snipe, Canoeing.
183
were well adapted. In flight they were not so snipey
as the genuine article, and had an unlucky (for
themselves) habit of closing up into a compact clump
at the first turn, of which the pot-hunter was not
slow to take advantage. The Wilson's snipe were
very numerous, and nearly always got up singly or in
couples, affording shooting, that was simply ideal: they
seemed to differ very slightly from the European variety.
The same may be said of the plover, which, however,
for young birds, were more plentifully speckled w7ith
gold than our own.
Wilson's Snipe {Gallinago delicata).
All of these birds were excellent, but the English-
American language has no words to do justice to the
last named. We can only ask in the inspired idiom
which comes nearest to expressing the tenderest
feelings of our inmost soul, " What's the matter with
the golden plover ? " and echo—with more sense than
she usually exhibits—answers " Love her."
We saw here in the big trees on the banks of the
Kootenay the olive-backed thrush, the only time that
we have met with it in our journey.
Cardie had a wish  to look at a gold-mine which i liimmMTw^^^b
■■HHMKI
ijuwsmuasBm
184
Canoeing.
litll
some English people had started on a stream known
as Findlay Creek, a few miles from here. Accordingly
we arranged to meet at Skookumchuck Creek (" the
stream of the rapid torrent").
On the morning of September 17th he departed on
the roan, while we set out in the canoes down the river.
It was bitterly cold at first : our water-can had three-
quarters of an inch of ice in it when we awoke, but
soon the sun shone out bravely, and by the time we
started one could not wish for a more perfect day.
And everything else was in keeping with the weather,
as if for once the wand of an enchanter had been at
work to give us a dream of unalloyed happiness.
How the hours flew as without a care in the world,
revelling in the intoxication of the rapid movement
through the bracing air, we rushed and glided over
deep and shallow, past island and forest, cliff and
sand and shingly shore. Every bend disclosed new
beauties, new risks, new excitements, as snags and
rocks raced past us, and foam-flecked water hurried by
our side, or the crested surf with sudden flash leapt
at us as we darted by. A turn of the river, and lo !
■the noise and turmoil past, we would be quietly
floating in some deep dark pool, with only a gentle
murmur to remind us of the rapids left behind, its
placid water reflecting the grey rocks and drooping
branches of the bending pines. Short were the
periods of calm : another bend, and the river would be
hurrying with swirl and eddy past a piled up mass
of shattered timber which the fierce floods of early
summer had with resistless force carried down, ever
increasing in bulk, until at last the channel itself had
been blocked, and the impatient torrent compelled to Canoeing,
18
carve a new way for itself to right and left of the huge
barrier. Then as we plunged through such a cleft,
the leaning trees, half their support already gone,
meeting above our heads, again would come the
music of the rapid, the spray, and foam, and ever
deepening roar, and in another moment, every nerve
tingling with excitement, and every muscle straining at
the paddle, we would feel the startled dip and quiver
of the canoes as they flew into the very midst of the
seething, hissing, dance of waters.     So  the livelong
Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon).
day we raced and shouted and laughed from sheer
high spirits ; and when at evening we landed on the
bank of a little river which we guessed to be Skookum-
chuck, we felt that one more surfeit of delight must
be counted with the past, and that never again could
we know the joy of a first run down the Kootenay
river.
Only one regret we have, and that is for the
reader: the photographs which during a brief halt
for lunch and fishing the  Skipper took of some of ! i
iii
186
Canoeing.
the unequalled scenery we passed were unfortunately
spoilt. We can only give a portrait of the bird most
constantly seen on American rivers, the Belted Kingfisher.
It took us 3^ hours (exclusive of stoppages) to get
down to Skookumchuck, the distance being by land
sixteen miles, by river we guessed it at over twenty.
In one length we supposed that we covered ten miles
within the hour, without using our paddles more than
enough for steerage way. Often as we silently and
swiftly darted round some projecting bluff, we were in
the middle of a flock of duck before they were aware
of our presence; and on one of the huge timber
jams which* so often occurred we passed close to a
wolverene, which, before a rifle could be grasped,
plunged hastily among the logs and disappeared,
though the speed at which we were going was a
sufficient protection for him. Speaking generally,
the river was not as dangerous as we had been led
to believe, though of course it is not one that an
inexperienced or timid voyageiir could attempt with
safety. We heard that a few weeks before a bateau
laden with provisions had tried to run it and been
wrecked, though without loss of life, and we had
been entreated not to go down except with the help
of some man who knew the channels. But our own
impression is that with a bright look-out and no
special bad luck any one who thoroughly understands
the management of his boat ought to do it safely.
There are no rapids that we consider really hazardous
jw regard to frre perils by water, i.e., from bad
eddies or waves big enough to swamp a boat. The
real  risk is  from snags, which are  very  numeroUsr Canoeing.
18
and in spite of the utmost care cannot always be
guarded against; from these we had not a few
narrow escapes. There are some bad rocks which,
however, are more easily avoided, and several places
where there is great difficulty iir steering clear of
overhanging trees. These are specially bad because
xhough they are perfectly easily seen, the set of the
stream is often so strongly towards and under them,
that only the quickest co-operation of eye and hand
will avert a disaster, whereas in cases of submerged
obstacles the stream itself at the last moment always
has a tendency to sheer away from the danger.
The high steep mountains which up at the flat
had hemmed us in had on the western side gradually
receded, until at Skookumchuck they were so far
away as to be almost invisible, the range on that
bank being now only low forest-clad hills of undulating outline. On the east the Rockies were still
near, and looking back towards the Columbia one
conical peak in particular shone out all white, the
most conspicuous object in the lovely landscape.
The forest on the western shore (to which, on
account of Cardie, we were tied) had been burnt
down near the creek, and no nice place for a camp
was immediately to be found, so to save time we slept
this night on the shingle-bed at the mouth of the creek
in a sandy hollow a few yards wide. It was bitterly -
cold, and in the morning a dismal change had come
over this inconstant climate; dark misty clouds enveloped us, and after a terrific thunderstorm, the
weather settled down to a mfserable ch-Tzzfe
We spent a long and weary day cutting a trail
through the tangled  mass of burnt  trees and  dense III II
188
Canoeing.
scrub to a little open glade about a hundred yards
back from the river, and some distance further down
it. There at last we pitched both the small tent
and the waggon-sheet (the large tent it has already
been explained was sent back to Golden after the
one night in Canyon Creek), and became once more
comfortable householders, leaving a flag-pole and note
for Cardie at the mouth of the creek. (    i89*   )
CHAPTER   XVIII.
SKOOKUMCHUCK
The creek we soon found to be a much better fishing
place than the river, in whose cold snow-stained
water the trout either do not exist in plenty, or
have some peculiarity of habits which makes them
useless to the angler. We have caught few, and
those only small, in the Kootenay; but in the creeks
which run into it—well, the less we say the more
chance of being believed. Wandering a mile or
so up this I stream of the rapid torrent" we came
upon a beautiful grassy prairie on its south bank,
surrounded by and dotted at intervals with clumps
of splendid pines, a spot at which one involuntarily
looked round for the stately mansion which such
a park must in some sheltered bay of trees contain.
Sure enough there was a trail, and presently a
bridge, burnt and half destroyed, but still spanning
the creek; and on the other side two little huts also
much dilapidated, but bearing traces of having been
inhabited, though not very recently. The Skipper
was unfortunate in taking a length of water not
favourable to fly fishing, and though he brought
home a fair bag, he had nothing special to relate.
Jim  happened upon  a reach not far below the huts which he declared to be just a wonder, and this is
his account of it.
"It was a lovely long dark pool, with overhanging cliffs and trees on the other side; big
rocks with black-looking turn-holes, and bits of
falls among them, every stone making exactly the
place you could swear to as holding, a trout. I'll
bet there were more in that length than in the
whole of the Thames."
" I suppose you put on a minnow ?" interrupted
the Skipper.
" Well, I did at first, so as to make sure of
getting a breakfast, but it was only a- little one. It
got three beautiful game fish in the first three throws.
Then I thought this was a wicked shame."
" So it was; how you can be such a brute with-
your education," growled the Skipper.
" Well, I watched the river a bit, and saw there
was a fish rising within reach, so I put on a lovely
' string of bugs'—a perfect Joseph cast—and he
wouldn't look at it. As soon as I was sure he
must have seen the coat—the cast I mean—of many
colours, and had no use for it, I looked about and
caught a regular deuce of a stone fly—you never
saw such a stone fly in your life—about two inches
long, and as fat as a cockchafer, and sent it
floating down on a bare hook. It hadn't gone a
yard before two great trout simply whooping with
excitement came right out of the water at it, and
of course I jerked it away in a fright, and caught
neither of them. However, the fly was all right,
so I sent him down again, and that time one of
them got him, but missed the hook, which I expect. If  Skookumchuck,
191
was  a  bit  small.
This   seemed   good
enough,   so
I put on a fine cast, and my own <' beetle,' which
I firmly believe to be the best fly ever invented.
(The angling reader already knows so much more
than we can tell him, that we feel sure a description
of the " Beetle " would have no interest for him, and
reluctantly refrain from inserting it.) "I waited for
a rise, and then sent this fly dry to the place, and
in an instant was fighting with a good fish, which
with the fine tackle and heavy water gave plenty of
trouble before I could land him. The stone I was on
was very awkward, and I lost several fish in trying to
gaff them, but it was about the only place where you
could get a dry fly out, because of the bushes. I
never saw such a pool for fish : they kept rising, and
I believe I hooked every one that rose."
"Yes, they must have been pretty easy, or you
wouldn't have got them," commented the Skipper.
" Oh, you're jealous ! besides, as it happens they
were awfully hard to catch, neither of you fellows
would have got any "—this with great complacency ;,
and he went on :—
" I was there a little over an hour, and got as many
as I could carry without moving a yard, and did you ever
see a better lot than these ? " So saying, he turned
out a bag of spotted brown trout with a very old-
country look about them, as different in colour from
the silver beauties of the Kootenay as the water of the
clear Scotch-looking creek is from the slightly opaque
greeny blue of the river. The smallest was just over
a pound, and they were fat and well liking; and well
liked when they came out of the frying-pan.
While coming back along the creek Jim thought he IS
ym^B
IQ2
Skookumchuck.
If
heard a hail, and listening intently was sure he could
distinguish Cardie's voice loudly uplifted. So he
shouted back, and after a time got a real reply. Presently that unhappy wight appeared on the opposite
bank with the roan horse, both looking bored to death,
and exceedingly pleased to once more luxuriate in free
and open pasturage.
Poor Cardie had had a tough time of it coming
down from his visit to the gold mine, where, however,
he had enjoyed himself very much. The only directions he had for findingSkookumchuck began "Directly
you cross the creek "    So he travelled a whole day
in the rain before he came to any creek at all, and at
night camped in the heart of the dense dripping forest.
He could not even keep a fire going satisfactorily;
had very little food; no drink; and the cheery sound
of the hooting owls was his only solace. To-day he
started very early, and as it chanced struck the crossing just when Jim was there, otherwise he would have
missed our tent, and gone on a long way to a place where
he would once more have found a trail and a note on
it from us. But what his brother imagined to be a
shout was really only the exhortation necessary for
the guidance of the impenitent roan, who whenever
the going is bad makes such a perverse beast of himself
that as Mr. Ruskin says, " The mountains are voiceful
with perpetual rebuke," and nothing short of the very
loudest anathemas has any effect on his pigheadedness.
It is a remarkable and melancholy fact, but certainly
seems to be universally true, that the open-air life in
a mountainous country conduces to the practice of
loud swearing. Everything in nature is on such
a magnificent and  stupendous scale that we suppose Skookumchuck.
193
ordinary talk is felt to be out of keeping and inadequate for the expression of one's ideas. This crude
thought has been so ably dealt with by the great
writer just mentioned, that we venture to make use
of his felicitous words :—
" Much of the apparently harmful influences of hills
on the religion of the world is nothing else than their
general gift of exciting the poetical and inventive
faculties in peculiarly solemn tones of mind." (Just so;
any one hearing a discussion between the roan and his
master would admit—at a distance of three-quarters
of a mile—that the tones were I peculiarly solemn.")
" Their terror leads into devotional casts of thought,
their beauty and wildness prompt the invention at the
same time" (they do, they do; the poetical novelty
of some of Cardie's remarks is surprising), I and
where the mind is not gifted with stern reasoning
powers ... it is sure to mingle the invention with
his creed." (That's exactly what he does ; the description is accurate to a dot—or dash.) " Strictly
speaking, we ought to consider the superstitions of
the hills, universally, as a form of poetry, regretting
only that men have not yet learned how to distinguish
poetry." . . . (There it is in a nutshell: if men
would only look upon all this mountain-bred efflorescence of nervous English as I a form of poetry," all
would be well; but alas, they "have not yet learned
how to distinguish poetry" from profanity, which,
considering the language used by modern poets, is
perhaps hardly surprising.)
The readers of Mark Twain and Bret Harte are
familiar with the fervent imagery of speech (usually
denoted by blank spaces) with which the miners of
N II
I !I
194
Skookumchuek.
the Sierras are credited, and the general impression
derived from such works is that their heroes must be
an awfully wicked lot. No such thing. It is only
their way, and the mountain air and scenery are
responsible for it. Take our own case, for instance.
At home we are all sorts of respectable things, such
as churchwardens, bookmakers, sons-in-law to rural
deans, &c, and don't use fifteen shillings' worth of
wicked swear words in a year. But put us out here
in B. C. (and we don't need to be much put out
either), and the language we habitually use at the
top of our voices would disgrace a meeting of
teetotallers. The curious thing is that we are not
ashamed of it, mean nothing by it, and pay no
attention to it, so we are convinced the blame rests
with those " centres of imaginative energy " the mountains, and are happy.
We went down the river about a mile one morning
to drive a little island which looked promising for
game, and as luck would have it, just missed getting
a bear and a deer which were on it, and should, if
they had behaved according to the rules, have come
to the guns. These deer (the White-tail) seemed to
be very numerous about here, and indeed all along
the Kootenay Valley.
The great black woodpecker was frequently seen
near this camp ; and here too we first fell in with the
Ruffed Grouse, a very handsome bird about the size
of black game, and with a beautiful ruff of feathers
of varying hue (often glossy greenish black) standing out from his neck. Above, his colours were
darkish browns and greys slightly mixed with
white; below,   buff,   brown,   and   white; tail   rusty Skookumchuck.
195
grey, with small faint bars and a broad dark band
near its end. This bird henceforth was the most
common and useful to us of all we met. The
Canadians esteem him very highly as the best grouse
they possess, but our opinion is " different." He
has a noble expanse of white-fleshed bosom, which
looks very nice, but we failed to distinguish any
superior flavour to that of the aged garden fowl
of Great Britain. True, we never gave him a fair
chance, as we generally ate him within two or three
days of his demise,  and  always skinned  instead  of
Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus).
plucking  him, which  does not  tend  to improve  the
delicacy of any  bird;  but we treated  all   our other
game in the same way, and think the Fool-hen much
superior.
The Ruffed Grouse has a habit of sitting on trees
or fallen logs, and by a peculiar drumming of the
wings raising such a racket as to scare folk who
hear it for the first time and do not know what
it is—the noise being very deep and far-reaching,
more like the sound of a distant threshing-machine,
or the  " fearfulness  and   trembling"  stop  on  a  big I~
organ, than anything we can think of. It is altogether
a most ghostly sound, beginning slowfy, with long
intervals between the beats of the wing, and gradually
increasing in speed until the thuds succeed each
other in a rapid continuous roll. His recognised
name is now, we believe, Bonasa umbellus; but
being widely spread, with slight local variations, over
a large part of Canada and America, the Ruffed
Grouse has become known under several other designations.
For instance, one scientific traveller of not very
recent date puts him down as " Tetrao Phasianellus—
the Grouse, Pheasant, or Partridge." We venture
to alter the Latin title to Phasianellimus, for there is
certainly I very little pheasant" about him, and to
add to the English ones " Teal, Kestrel, or Cock
Robin ;" and now we think this bird is as extensively
named as any biped not a member of a Royal
family has any right to be. We can only suppose
this Scientist was too much occupied with the intricacies of the diamond hitch, or the difficulties of
baking, to find any time for looking out the Latin
for I ruff," or possibly the dictionary had fallen over
a precipice with a pack-horse. At the same time
we cannot too strongly protest against the cowardly
outrage this lavish distribution of titles inflicts on an
inoffensive fowl. I Grouse, Pheasant, or Partridge "
forsooth ! just imagine a wretched creature having
three shooting seasons in one year. We presume
they begin gunning for him on the 12th of August,
shoot him a little more on September 1st, and kill
him finally and fatally dead on the 1st of October.
True, he also gets three close times ; but as these  ill
ON
M
I
^S
r s Skookumehuck.
197
seem to overlap the open to some extent, it is
doubtful if they would mitigate the severity of his
treatment.
The Skipper wanted to know what he should do
with the birds he was preparing for food, and was
told to " make the old ones into soup."
"How the deuce am I to tell which are the old
ones ? "
I Why, hold 'em up by the bill of course, stupid."
(N.B.—The amount of head which remains on a
bird after a .45 bullet has struck it is so insignificant
that the meanest man would not trouble to bring it
home, even if he could find it.)
The river from this point downwards is much less
rapid and turbulent, and our voyage between Skookumehuck and Mather's ranch, where there is a small ferry,
was uneventful. It was only diversified by occasional
volleys of rifle shots at flocks of geese, as discoursing
with their usual volubility they streamed over our
heads. The numbers of water-fowl visible about
some flat marshes opposite the ranch induced Jim to
suggest a halt. Of course this was strenuously
opposed by the Skipper, and only decided after ten
minutes of anything but amity by the aid of a toss-up,
which said "Stop."
A wonderful place was that swamp for water-fowl :
teal, widgeon, and mallard, geese and brant, dowitchers,
snipe, and plover all swarmed, and we picked up on
the shore of the river a small bird, name unknowm,
which was more like a Little Stint than anything else,
possibly a Peep. Just as we finished breakfasting in
the cold white mist which enveloped the hard frozen
flat, an Indian galloped up, and picketing his horse,
is >
198
Skookumchuck.
came and stood by our fire. It was difficult to say
whether ugliness or cold and hunger predominated
in his face. We gave him the remains of our breakfast, which were neither plentiful nor good, for here
as a matter of duty we were disposing of a dreadful
ham which had been sent up from Golden City instead
of the I Best Breakfast Bacon " we had ordered.
We will remark for the benefit of future travellers
that they can acquire more bad food at a higher price
at Golden than at any other city of our acquaintance.
So it is possible that this Indian did not really
enjoy his food ; but still he sat there for half an hour,
and ate all the ham, and half a loaf, and lots of lard,
and some fish, and some Golden City coffee (!) made of
beans—and not the best beans either—in which the
sugar was so thick that it was positively plastic; and
then, so please you, he just walked to his horse and
got on it and rode away. And we are ready to make
oath that he never nodded or even looked at us or
did anything in the world which could be intended or
taken as being meant to express thanks. And yet
the good missionary-loving folk at home are shocked
to hear that the prevailing sentiment throughout this
enlightened continent is " Darn all Injuns anyhow."
These people we know will have plenty to urge on
his behalf. They will say he felt unwell, which is
not unlikely, from the way he ate ; but good gracious,
is gluttony to be an excuse for ingratitude ? They
will say that he has never had the advantages of a
Christian education; and that will be wrong, for all
the Indians in this part of B. C. are Roman Catholics.
Probably they may go so far as to say that our
moroseness  and want  of sparkling  conversation  at Skookumchnck,
199
7 a.m. in a freezing fog were sufficient to quench any
attempt at society manners; and that is not the
reason either, for there is more to come. A little
lower down the river we came to a place where there
was a small pine-bark canoe drawn up on one side,
and an Indian on a horse at the other. By this time
the sun was up, gloriously up, and we were overflowing with the milk of human kindness, so when
the Indian hailed us and pointed at the canoe, Jim
politely paddled to him, took him on board, and at no
slight trouble to himself ferried him across.
This time there was no want of brilliancy in our
talk, for Jim chatted most pleasantly to him all the
time, asking him among other things, " Had he
observed that the mud-hens which frequented the
river, in spite of the numerous materials ready for
them, used only two sorts of reeds in the construction
of their nests ?" And the Indian inquiring what
kinds those" might be, was told, I Straight ones and
crooked ones," a right merry quip highly provocative
of mirth and good-fellowship. Furthermore, he was
informed it was a " fine day for the race." And that
Indian behaved even as the other : he just stepped
ashore, and never deigned to give another look to
either of us. We understand that as a matter of
fact they have no word expressing in any way the
idea of gratitude.
No ; we fear the Indian, if he ever really was noble,
has much deteriorated, and it is enough to make one
feel some sympathy for Mr. Labouchere in his attacks
on the House of Lords when one sees the demeanour
of this hereditary nobility.
The few months we spent in this country were of 200
Skookumchuck.
I
course not enough to allow us to form a very confident
opinion on the "Land Question," but we give our ideas
for what they are worth. In the first place, the Indians
have not in any sense of the word owned much of the
land that is worth owning, any more than a white
man who has camped and passed on can be said to
own the spot whereon he may have pitched his tent.
Such places surely are open to any one, red or white,
who chooses to settle there. On the other hand, many
places there are which have been owned and lived on
by Indians in a perfectly regular manner, and we
believe that the Government has paid very little
attention to facts of this kind, but treating all the
land as Crown land, has in many instances sold such
plots to white settlers. They have given the Indians,
it is true, certain reserves, but these often inadequate
in amount, and selected without much regard to the
feelings of the allottees as to position or quality.
At present the question has not reached a very
critical stage, because in these newly settled places
the red men so disproportionately outnumber the
whites, that the former have not thought it worth
while to resort to violence, and the latter have found
it the best policy to give no excuse for it. But even
'this peace-at-any-price, secured by such means as
exemption from game laws, lower prices for commodities, ferriage, and the like, and a general disposition to stand from an Indian behaviour which
from a white man would be instantly resented, has
its drawbacks. Under it they have grown to have
•a wonderful opinion of themselves, and already the
whites are beginning to growl under the yoke of self-
restraint  towards  a  race  they really despise.     Our Skookumchuck.
201
impression is that as the whites get more numerous
they will get less careful not to tread on the corns of
the natives, and from the scarcity of good land the
squeezing of the latter, which has already begun, will
before long arrive at a crisis. Then we shall have the
old story :—-
" What's the matter with you ? "
" Oh, please, sir, I stole a man's farm, and now he
is coming back with a lot of his pals, and going to
'kill me."     ^^^Hl^^R |
" Well, you deserve to be killed ! "
" Please, sir, it was an Indian I stole it from."
H   " Oh, well, I'll call out the army."     S;       ifl^E
After the first unfortunate squeezers have been
scalped, and a ridiculous expedition has been massacred according to the established routine in these
matters, the Indians will be ruthlessly put down, the
survivors placed on reserves they don't like, and the
fire-water, missionaries, and other civilising influences
of the pale-faces will do the rest of their deadly work.
We only hope this forecast and our notions generally
are altogether wrong. It would be a grievous pity if we
are right, for considered as Indians, these inland races
of B. C. seemed to be of exceptionally good quality.
Many of them, the men especially, are of fine physique,
and good looking, and we have seen a few girls (as we
supposed, though they might have been boys, heaven
knows) also distinctly comely ; and they are, though
independent to a fault, not usually unpleasant neighbours. Some of them will work, and even work
fairly steadily, and they are considerably more honest
than ordinary whites, though perhaps that is not an
ambitious standard. ^r**
202
Skookumchuck.
Altogether, to sum up in the Skipper's words, they
are the most painful savages; they believe in Christianity, and have only one wife, plait their hair in a
manner lovely to behold, and lead most homely and
tame lives; all of which is exactly the contrary to
what he considers the correct conduct for his copper-
coloured brethren.
We will add that in our probably worse than useless opinion the threatened catastrophe could still be
averted by giving the Indians really good reserves of
sufficient size to keep their stock, though we suspect
that this would account for a great deal more of the
sparsely scattered good land than the Government
have any intention of thus sacrificing. After that,
sternly suppress at whatever cost any invasion of
rights by either red man or white. The present
system, to our uninformed intelligence, looks rather
like alternately encouraging the settlers to crowd the
Indians, and anon timorously bullying them whenever
the crowded ones begin to look nasty.  I
:9$i&
ro
O
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IP
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s^>
i
^3
§5
"SO
3
Ni 203
CHAPTER   XIX.
CR AN BROOK.
The great Indian question being disposed of, we will
resume our voyage down the Kootenay.
We now began to get into more like a settled
country—occasionally even a fence was seen, and in
one place cows. On the hillside far away to the left
was a pack train wending its way towards the Police
Camp, which we knew to lie a few miles ahead of us
—a picturesque sight, with its curiously caparisoned
horses and mules clearly cut against the sky in their
long drawn out procession. When near to our destination we stopped to take a photograph, and at that
time there came up the river, which here was beginning to increase in speed, a boat poled by two
men, whom we found to be a Swede and a Norwegian.
These men were making their living by rafting lumber
down to the great city of Galbraith's Ferry, and looked
as if the life suited them.
We shot down the last remaining two miles of our
present voyage at a speed entered in the diary as
"less than no time" (probably inaccurate), finishing
up with a glorious bit of really fast though quite
straightforward water, and about noon landed at the
ferry just   opposite  the mouth  of St.   Mary's river. 1
204
Cranbrook.
There is a steep ascent from the ferry-boat landing
up to the store at the top, and there we found a
number of Indians and Police, and the heterogeneous
particles which go to make up a pack-train. Nor
must we omit mention of Mrs. Clark, the first white
woman we have seen since we left Golden more than
a month ago, and one of the noble three who at
present represent the sex in the few hundreds of
miles which this valley contains.
We proposed to leave the river at this point for
a short time, while we made an inland expedition
to Cranbrook, a place about twelve miles away
belonging to Colonel Baker, who had most kindly
asked us to stay there, although he himself and his
son would both be away. The latter we met at the
Police Camp here, and had the invitation repeated by
him. This camp was the headquarters of the contingent
of N. W. Police now serving in B. C, numbering about
seventy men, and four or five officers. The whole
place was neatly laid out in military order, with
mess-tent, farrier's shed, haystacks, kitchens, &c, all
complete, on a high plateau between the Kootenay
and a creek known as " Wild Horse " running into it
on the eastern side. At present all were under
canvas, but the men were occupied in erecting
uncommonly good buildings to serve as winter
quarters, and also as a fort in case of the much
talked-of Indian rising; these were all in a very
advanced state. It took us about four hours to
obtain a horse and pack-saddle to carry the small
amount of luggage necessary for our visit. The rest
was taken into the store, and the canoes, which we
were assured might be safely left because of the awe Cranbrook.
205
inspired by the Police in the bosoms of evil-doers,
were laid in the bushes on the river bank.
About 5 p.m. we, in company with a fellow named
Richmond, who had come down from Cranbrook, left
the Ferry. Five minutes later a goose which was
fastened to the pack came untied, and dangling under
the horse's belly, scared him so that he stampeded.
We never expected to see a bit of our possessions
again; but Richmond being mounted, managed in a
short distance to head him, and with nothing worse
than the gun getting filled with mud, we resumed
our march.
This bolting of a pack-horse is often a very serious
affair, as it may end in leaving you in a wilderness
without food or raiment; but it is to a disinterested
outsider a very ludicrous sight. We saw it done
up at Canal Flat by a horse packed with the entire
property of a man who had come to work there.
Something startled the beast and it began to kick,
then the pack came loose, and some part of it got
among his feet, and m a moment the terrified creature
was off at top speed through the tangled forest,
kicking furiously all the time, and at every bound a
coat or a tin can or a blanket went spinning through
the air, or got wrapped round his legs and was in
little pieces before you could say Jack Robinson. In
such wise did he depart from our view, leaving his
sorrowing owner to follow forlornly in his track, and
collect as much of the debris as had any appearance
of utility about it;  and very little that was.
The trail to Cranbrook lies at first through low
flats covered with birch, dog-willow, and other small
scrub.     Leaving  these  it mounts   a   steep hill  and 206
Cranbrook.
comes into a land of alternate prairie and forest, in
which the tamarack, a gigantic larch, forms a striking
feature. And what a walk it was; the light of the
setting sun glowing on those wonderful red-barked
trees, making more glorious by the contrast with their
long dark shadows the brilliantly lighted glades of
yellow grass, and tinting with the same ruddy hue the
foliage which half concealed their stately pillars, its
delicate needles already turning into gold under the
Midas-touch of King Frost. On the distant ridge the
.dark pines shone resplendent, transfigured into trees of
flame; and behind them the greatest marvel of all—
the sky. That no words of ours could attempt to
describe; a Turner's brush would fail to give a faint
idea of it, so exquisite were the changes from flaming
yellow to scarlet, through every shade of orange and
crimson, dying awray at last with a dull brick-red
fading into purple and growing darker and darker, till
the pale light of a young moon came to help us on our
way, gleaming over the white-edged ponds of alkali
water which lay along our path, and peopling the forest
with mysterious forms as it shone on the weird
blackened stumps of trees which still stood here and
there to remind us of some devastating fire.
At last came a light in the distance, an Indian
camp-fire; two miles of a huge grass plain, known as
Joseph's Prairie; and the barking of dogs, the neighing
of horses, and the dim outline of a confused huddle-
ment of buildings; a door thrown open and a huge
cheery English fire-place and welcome instead of an
evil-smelling, talc-windowed American stove and a
register-book, and we were safe at Cranbrook.
And that night we ate a dinner fit for the gods : a Cranbrook.
207
square meal we had nearly said, but it was more —
it was octagonal—drank real whisky and water, and
went to sleep in real beds.
Cardie arrived next day, having fallen in with a
party of what they call hereabouts Tyees (great chiefs),
which in this instance consisted of very great swells
indeed, no less than certain of the Ministry who were
here on the Indian Question, and with whom he
camped last night.
Time will not permit us to tell of all the kindness
we received at Cranbrook, nor of the Camberwell
Beauties which are the common garden butterfly there,
nor of how Richmond hooked a great fish in the St.
Mary's river, and will in future use waxed twine for
lashing his gaff on to its handle, nor of the night we
spent when the Tyees themselves arrived, a night
which we imagined to have been devoted to a kettle-
competition, but were never sure whether that was
the object of all the narrators of wonders by sea and
land. We present a couple of sample stories, and the
reader may judge for himself of the nature of all.
OF THE SAGACITY OF THE DOG.
" Yes, he was a wonderfully well-trained dog; he
knew as much as a Christian, and would do any mortal
thing I told him. I remember one night some one
left the door open, and I said, I Shot, shut the door.'
So he went and banged it to; but the latch wouldn't
catch, and it flew open again. I told him again to
shut it, and the same thing happened, so I said very
angrily, I Now, shut that Door !' And he bounced
up from the rug where he had laid himself down and 2o8
Cranbrook
■
just stood up against the door to keep it closed, turned
the key with his teeth, and then threw it down close
to me, with  a look  that  said  as  plainly as words,
\ There, d  you, I hope that'll satisfy you.'    By
heavens it's just the solid truth and divil a word of a
lie I'm telling you."
|j CONCERNING THE TENACITY OF LIFE IN
|| I      THE GROUSE-BIRD.       Kg |§j
" Oh, they are wonderfully tenacious of life. I was
out once, and began by missing several. So I determined I would kill the next one anyhow; and
presently I saw one up in a tree, and I thought I
wouldn't give the beggar a chance by aiming at his
head, but just hit him right in the middle. So I made
a careful shot at his breast (I had that old Enfield carbine with a bullet about as big as a walnut), and I'm
blessed if he didn't fly right away as happy as could
be. I couldn't make it out; but just as I was walking
off I caught sight of a fresh wing lying under the
tree, so I knew the old carbine had been straight on
after all. But it seemed extraordinary a bird could fly
like that with only one wing. However, I had seen
him do it, so I set off again, and in a couple of yards
came on a grouse's breast lying on the ground all
bloody. I thought this even more wonderful; but of
course he didn't need his breast to fly with, and as
he had left it I might as well take it along for my
breakfast. Just then I glanced up and saw a couple
of legs hanging on a branch : this seemed to explain
the matter to some extent, for naturally if his legs
were shot off he couldn't perch any longer and would Cranbrook
209
have to fly ; but dash it all, when on the other side of
the tree I picked up a newly severed head, the thing
did look almost impossible.     It just shows how hard
The " Captain"—Cranbrook.
they are to kill, unless you account for it by saying
there was another bird close to the one I shot at and
it was that that I had seen fly.away."
o 2IO
Cranbrook.
Ah, well, it was a merry night, and if all our recollections on it were not strictly accurate there was
no harm intended or done, and may we have many
more of the same sort with equally good fellows.
Cranbrook is a large farm, the apple of Colonel
Baker's eye, and certainly the most go-ahead place
we have seen in the country, but we have doubts
whether the climate is as suitable for agriculture as
for stock-raising, as we understand it is subject to
late frosts. This, however, can only be determined
by actual experience over a certain number of years,
so we offer no opinion on it; we can only say that
this region at the time of our visit was absolutely
delightful as a dwelling-place.
About the most striking object here was an old
Chinaman who kept what he called an Hotel for his
fellow heathen on the outskirts of the farm buildings.
This individual had the most whimsical wizened old
caricature of a face imaginable; he rejoiced in the
name of " the Captain," having attained that rank,
and it was whispered even the higher one of Admiral
of the Fleet, on a pirate junk in his giddy youth.
From this honourable post he was advanced to the
still higher one of Lord High Executioner to the
Cousin of the Sun and Moon (fact), but having at
length tired of the ceremonial dignity of his exalted
station, he had—discreetly, as some evil speakers hinted
—emigrated to B. C. He was at present engaged
in the somewhat less exciting career of hotelkeeper,
washerwoman, and dairymaid, though the first two of
these professions when the customers won't pay, and
the last when the butter won't come, are not without
their thrilling moments. (       211       )
CHAPTER   XX.
LAKE MOOYIE.
From the Captain we replenished our almost empty
butter tins, this being the first chance we have had
since leaving Golden, for the few settlers who keep
cowts seem as a rule not to extract any milk from
them. On the 27th of September we set out with
Richmond and three horses on a little hunting trip
we proposed to make near the Mooyie Lakes, which
lie about fourteen miles nearly south of Cranbrook.
The order of our procession was somewhat straggling,
Richmond riding on ahead, while the brothers, who
happened to be on speaking terms, brought up the
rear together. When they had covered a couple of
miles, they came up with the Skipper, whose horse
had stampeded through the wood and pulled the pack
to pieces before he was caught. Both were furious
at the Skipper for allowing it, and the latter, conscious
of guilt, was, for a wonder, contrite : so when Cardie
announced that he had put the medicine - chest
(sponge-bag containing pills, diachylon-plaster, and a
patent double magnum flask of the best brandy) and
his own mackintosh on that pack, and that they were
lost, we all with one accord commenced to track that
horse in his capricious wanderings among trees and
swamps.    Finding nothing, we finished by marching 212
Lake Mooyie.
ill \
and counter-marching over about 2000 acres in a
solemn row, exactly as if we were beating for cock;
for there was no more of that brandy nearer than
Justerini's. After two hours of this, during which
the vials of wrath for future outpouring on the
Skipper's head were filled to the brim, we were
obliged to desist; the unfortunate cause vainly
hoping to appease Cardie by presenting him with his
own mackintosh, a much better one than the lost
treasure. True, he perhaps a little spoilt the gift by
being heard to mutter that " after this it would be
ridiculous to talk of the rain falling alike on the just
and the unjust, for the unjust would have the mackintosh belonging to the just." To add to our annoyance,
a little fox-terrier which, had been carefully locked
up to prevent him coming with us had by some
means got out and now appeared upon the scene.
Quite in accordance with what we are accustomed
to expect, while we were despondently wandering
about and our rifles were all reposing by the side of
the trail, this evil-minded dog produced a deer from
somewhere, which he proceeded to hunt up and down
the forest in the midst of us. But we will not dwell
on our woes, which are what every traveller knows
to be his portion in these unhappy hunting-grounds.
It goes without saying that when after all this
delay we arrived at a little prairie where some tepee-
poles advised us to camp, and the waterproof covering was taken off the pack on Cardies horse, there,
snugly reposing, were the medicine-chest and mackintosh !    And then there was a hum in the hive.
The next day we stopped at the head of the upper
Mooyie lake, only a very short journey,' as we were Lake Mooyie.
213
out for pleasure* not business, and moreover Richmond
had to spend all the morning in riding home with
that execrable terrier dog. |0
Here we were annoyed at breakfast by a. gang of
Indians with horses, dogs, and squaws all complete,
dashing through our camp in the most tumultuous
and untamed manner, every horse going in a different
track from all the rest, each creature selecting a new
Lake Mooyie.
teacup or loaf or piece of bacon to tread on, and
raising as much dust and confusion as if they were
coming back from the Derby.
The Indians of this part are a different tribe from
those near Windermere, who are mostly Shuswaps ;
these being Kootenays (now often called Upper
Kootenays to distinguish them from those who live
on the Lower Kootenay, the latter, however, being
more  correctly Flatbows).    They are a rather   fine 1
214
Lake Mooyie.
race; and their clothes beautiful in the extreme.
They generally commence with a soft grey felt hat,
from which the crown has been removed to allow
their black hair adorned with three feathers to
flourish in the breeze; this is surrounded by a
brilliant red or blue ribbon; then comes a nondescript flannel shirt, and lastly a kind of trousers
(though that is not quite an accurate description
of the garment according to British ideas). These
"bags" are made very wide, of the most flaming
parti-coloured blanket that money will buy, and with
a broad scalloped fringe all down the place where the
seam ought to be. Lastly, a pair of beautifully ornamented mocassins. In this guise, and with a belt
full of cartridges, the Last of the Kootenays mounts
a horse, wraps himself up in another gorgeous blanket,
and with a Winchester rifle and a war-whoop careers
around the country in a state of complete self-complacency, followed by a retinue such as the one which
made hay of our camp.
The anger of the Skipper at this behaviour was
assuaged by the appearance at the end of the rabble
of a really good-looking girl, who, he declared, smiled
sweetly upon him, and brought rest to his perturbed
spirit. It is quite certain she scowled darkly upon
the rest of us, and we don't believe for a minute she
did anything different to the Skipper, but it pleased
him to think she did, poor fellow, so we let it pass.
«'■ ■.       (Jim.
Signed < Cardie.
I Richmond.
P.S.—We also think she was a boy.
This lake contained many trout and  some charr, r
H
0/1
"S
■^
^  Lake Mooyie.
215
though not of incredible size (1^ lbs. was about the
limit of those that found a welcome at our hospitable board), and in the woods the ruffed grouse
were abundant, while their sharp-tailed cousins were
sufficiently numerous in the various open bits along
which the trail passed. There is no camping-ground
from the top end of the higher lake to the bottom of
the lower, except a poor place at the junction of the
two, so we went straight on to the end of the second,
where the trail crosses the river by a bridge, and
here we decided to stop. Cardie, who was on aheadj
selected the site, which was not quite in the most
open spot, with the object of having the water handy.
When Jim arrived, he, according to his custom towards
anything he has not had the bossing of, began to
criticise. "What on earth made you put the tent in
such a cramped hole as this ? " Cardie's only reply
was, I You don't call this cramped surely ? Why, you
must have slept in rooms in London not nearly as big
as this," gazing vaguely round at the whole of British
Columbia. And here ended the lovely fine weather
which had lately favoured us, a contingency for which
we had become prepared by the sight of the most
beautiful auroras for the last few nights lighting up
the northern heavens; generally in our experience
followed by uncertain weather.
Our first day was cold and wet, with great wreaths
of mist hanging low about the surrounding mountains, and everything looking gloomy in the extreme.
It rained so persistently that Richmond and Jim
thought they might as well get wet on the mountain
as down in the valley, and climbing up the steep
slopes on the western side were soon lost to sight 2l6
Lake Mooyie.
among the   dripping  trees.     Jim's  story  at  evening
was this :—
| We found the going very bad, burnt and fallen
timber and thick buck-brush, willows and birches, but
far above us we could see through the shifting mists
some slopes covered with patches of grass and trees
that looked likely, and made for them. I never saw
signs of game much fewrer in any place, and began to
II
Cariboo /
disbelieve in the existence of the cariboo that they
said the forests were stiff with hereabouts, but we did
at last come to some tracks only a day old, and
presently arrived at our promised land. Here we
found Douglas firs, with a dense undergrowth of
service-berries and flowering willow, and occasional
large patches of raspberries and thimble-berries,
through  which   ran  so   many trails  made   by bears Lake Mooyie.
217
when feeding on them, that Richmond said we must
have got into somebody's preserves (Bear preserves,
not Raspberry). These plots were not of great extent, but alternated with similar ones of dead birch
trees, the latter being very thick and difficult to
traverse. Presently in following a very fresh-looking
trail I saw a hoof sticking out from behind a log,
and there we found the remains of a cariboo which
X Brer Bar' had been ^feasting upon some time
before. This made us still more hopeful, and we
went on with extra care; and I can tell you it
wanted care to avoid falling on those slippery
barkless trees, all wet and slimy with this infernal
rain." (Jim being now a respectable married man,
seldom says anything much worse than this with his
lips, but in his heart he still occasionally uses expressions that the rest of us would never even have
thought of.)
"And so in spite of all our endeavours we did
sometimes slip and make a little noise, and I expect
startled the deer, for while we were in one of the
birch plots I suddenly caught sight of the tail and
hindquarter of a cariboo—all the rest of him was
hidden by. the trees—and almost at the same time
was nearly certain I glimpsed another coming out of
the thick firwood just behind him. I showTed the tail
to Richmond, and there we stood waiting for something to happen. It was pretty evident they had
heard us and come out into the birches with the
intention of bolting, but hadn't seen or winded us,
as of course we were working up wind. They were
about 150 yards away across a slight hollow, and any
attempt at stalking was out of the question.     So we ml
218
Lake Mooyie.
1 1
waited and waited, and at last the deer made up his
mind and ran forward and rather away from us, and
I got just the worst kind of a snap-shot at him, but
most likely the bullet went into one of these blasted *
birches. Anyhow it didn't go into him. Richmond
said he had buck-fever, though he didn't look as if
he had, and there was never another chance. The
front deer was out of sight in an instant, and the
other we only just saw as we turned into the firs."
Richmond mournfully shook his head. " We ought
to have run at them," he lamented.
" Run at them ? "
" Yes ; and grunted;" and for the rest of the evening
at intervals he was heard murmuring " Run at them,"
and then practising hideous groans which he imagined
to resemble the grunting of the cariboo, but which we
at first took for earthquakes and afterwards for tummy-
aches.
" Then," proceeded Jim, " in following them we
got separated, and I was scared at the mist, which
kept getting worse, and began to look for Richmond
instead of for cariboo. By George ! I thought he was
lost. I knewr he had no compass, and pictured myself
hunting for him all over these dissolute hills until I
dropped from fatigue, and I never was more pleased
than to hear him shooting at a blue grouse half way
down the next valley. Where are my dry things ; call
this pleasure indeed?" and so miserably ended that day.
It seems that the Indians do actually, if they can get
near a band of cariboo, " run at them and grunt; " and
that this behaviour so surprises and bewilders the deluded creatures (as well it might) that they run foolishly
* It was a burnt forest.    (J.) Lake Mooyie.
219
hither and thither until they are all killed. None of
our party have ever practised this mode of hunting,
so we can say nothing for or against it. We should
hardly recommend it to any white man unless he can
grunt less appallingly than Richmond.
We fancy it is pretty generally admitted now that
the cariboo cannot be distinguished from the European
reindeer except by the superior size to which they
attain. Their antlers have the same characteristic
"plough " coming from one side only in front of the
face, the same long bare growth between the I brow I I
and the top points, and the same peculiarity of being
common to both male and female. Considered as a
sport, this American method of poking about in woods
or lying in wait as the Indians do is not to be compared with the pursuit of the Scandinavian reindeer,
which is in our judgment the very finest stalking that
can be had.
The weather of next day was quite as bad, except
that it " let up " just long enough in the morning to
tempt the Skipper and Jim out, both on the west of
the lake, but on different ground from that tried
yesterday. The latter was home first with nothing to
relate, but the Skipper did not come in till late, and
then bore as much of a yearling mule-deer as he could
carry.     His account was very short.
I It took me all the morning to get to the top of the
range, and I was very tired and cross because 1 had
seen nothing living nor any signs of life. So I rested
there, and then turned to come home another way,
when in a little burnt hollow two young black-tailed
deer"  'Slfl      fp
" Mule deer, my dear donkey," interrupted Cardie. 3
yw-
2 20
Lake Mooyie.
" Well, they're what they call black-tailed deer in
these parts anyhow, so they are black-tails from my
point of view."
" I tell you there ain't any real black-tails here, but
go on."
"They just jumped up and scooted; and then I
suppose they had never seen a white man before, for
they stopped to look at me."
" That proves they were mule-deer," put in the
scoffer ;  " they thought you were a relation."
"So I fired at this one: he ran about twenty
yards and dropped down dead; and then I didn't
see the use of shooting the other, so let him go."
" After you had fired all your magazine empty at
him," commented the unbeliever.
The Skipper scorned to reply, and proceeded.
" Well, then, it began to snow, and the wind got up,
and the trees began to snap like carrots." ,
" Yes, by George ! they did that round me, and
scared me to death," said Jim. " I just crudled in
a hole under a rock till they had stopped. Didn't
they scare you ? I
I Not a bit," said the valiant Skipper; " there
weren't any where I was—I said I saw them snapping off, but they were about five hundred feet below
me.     I didn't care a tinker s cuss for them."
" One gust sent a dozen of them over close to me,
and broke a great big one in two about half way
up.     I can  tell you I  don't want  any more of it in
mine
V
And, to say truth, it is one of the most terri^
fying things possible to be caught out -in such a
time.     It seemed as if the weight of the snow which Lake Mooyie.
221
was driven against the trees, and stuck to them in
great masses, had something to do with the manner
in which many of them were broken short off, instead
of being uprooted as in Canyon Creek.
Again at this camp we were astounded one night
by a thunderous roar, the origin of which we never
really knew, but believed that it must have been
simply a huge flight of ducks getting off the water,
for there were no mountains here capable of producing avalanches; and only these two solutions
occurred to us.
Horse feed ran short, and we could find no more—
our own provisions were likewise getting low—so on
the third day we again set off for Cranbrook, the
Skipper taking the western side of the lake on the
way, and Jim the eastern. We stopped for the night
on an open grassy flat called Peavine, about a mile
and a half beyond the higher lake, and -long after
dark the Skipper had not come in. When at last,
guided by our fire, he did arrive, he was a truly sorry
spectacle—wet through, pockets and rifle full of mud
and sand, face scratched, clothes torn—in a word, the
most dilapidated and dishevelled wreck conceivable;
and for this the nature of the country (coupled with
his own obstinacy for going there) was responsible,
for he firmly protested that he had seen no public-
houses, neither had he been engaged in a political
discussion with a Separatist. He crossed in the
dark several " navigable harms of the sea" at the
upper end of the lake, and in one of them found
himself up to the armpits before he could reach the
bank.
With great forethought  he  had  taken Jim's rifle 222
Lake Mooyie.
H
instead of his own, and the latter seemed to be quite
put out when next morning he took it to shoot a
couple of grouse that were blinking in a tree overhead and found that it would neither open nor shut,
and was " a mass of shingle and cement" (Jimesque
euphemism for sand and mud). To complete the tale
of his misfortunes, he had seen no living thing during
his walk, except a skunk and a snake.
At Peavine we discovered—as usual after the event
— how unlucky it was that we should have come
down the Mooyie trail (which is really a good hunting
country) just at this time. All the Indians living round
the Roman Catholic Mission on St. Mary's River had
gone through only a week before on their way to
Sandpoint, a place about 120 miles away, to buy
winter provisions, and they had hunted the place
to death. Jim composed what he called an epitaph
upon it:—
" In vain for sport we wander on,
Of game we are bereft;
There's nothing right till Injun's gone,
And then there's nothing left."
About twenty of these Indians were now on their
way back home again. They had apparently taken all
their horses with them, and each mare being followed
by her foal, there was an enormous herd feeding on
the coarse grass of the flat this evening. The breaking up of the camp next morning was one of the most
picturesque sights that have occurred during our
rambles. As a matter of colouring only the effect was
wonderful: the dull washed-out brown of the grass
and the brighter hue of the willow scrub both set off
by the white tepees, their tops again toned down by ^
<N
-'     -^
N
•  Si
2% \'
P4
1>(   >
«
i*< \
0,  Lake Mooyie.
223
smoke into the yellow and brown which were the
keynote of the whole harmony. Behind was the
brilliant yellow of the quaking asps and the duller
gold of the tamaracks, backed in their turn by the
dark green of the furthest spruce grove, and the
brownish   greys   and   neutral   tints   of   the   distant
hills. I    |g|       H       JilMi     >
We must mention, as it happened here, our solitary
instance of gratitude in an Indian. Cardie helped a
small boy to carry in a log of wood which was too
heavy for him ; and that evening his father, who
chanced to be the chief, came to supper with us, and
brought a great load of fire-wood for our use. He
also warned us against the dogs which pervaded the
camp; and not without cause, for the one thing we
did leave out, a small tin of dripping, was promptly
carried off, and brought back to us in a very battered
state in the morning by another redskin.
We were greeted at Cranbrook by the cheering
intelligence that in the immortal words of Ballyhooley
" the Polis were behaving most onruly," and that
they, our own familiar friends, under whose fostering
care we had with such confidence left our beautiful
Hope and Lulie, had basely betrayed their trust, and
three of them had deserted in our canoes. We were
also informed that the authorities were going to arrest
us for " a haiding and abetting" by supplying the
means of desertion, which seemed to be the ne plus
ultra of insult and injury.
We were expecting certain letters of some importance, and the mail-carrier, a particularly good
specimen of a sturdy Canadian, arrived to-day on
horseback, two other horses loaded with mails being
1 1) I \
i 1 •
: :
11
1'
224
Lake Mooyie.
w
m
driven or led by him over the 180 miles which
stretch between here and Golden. Cranbrook,. though
•itself a real Queen Victoria's post-office, only sends
and receives letters once a fortnight during the
summer, and once a month in winter. No wonder
that letters for this country are addressed B. C.
However, if they go on as energetically as they have
begun, it seems likely that in the near future they
will be entitled to date A. D., or perhaps even a
little ahead of that.
When next day we arrived at the Ferry, we found
that the first part at any rate of the ominous rumour
was strictly true; but of the last the only sign was
that we were invited to a bounteous repast at the
mess, which, as we had eaten an enormous dinner
just half an hour before, was somewhat of a trial, but
we did it all right, such is the invigorating influence
of the climate. The officer in command sent off a
couple of men to follow the canoes down to the Line
(the U.S. boundary, for which, of course, the deserters had made), and find out where they were and
what chance there was of recovering them, and that
was all that could be done. The Line was sixty-five
miles distant, and we could only sit down and wait
for the return of the messengers. (      225      )
CHAPTER XXI.
PA CKING.
The next few days were not very jolly, for we were
obliged to remain near home so as to be ready for
all events. Our camp was on a bare bleak flat,
high above the river, so that fetching water was a
labour; and there was an abundant supply of cold
wind, with intervals of snow and rain. We may
say here that the amount of these commodities that
fell during our expedition was much greater than
we had been led to expect, the weather being about
as wet on the whole as in our own favoured island,
and so capricious as to completely justify the well-
known distinction that " climate lasts all the time,
and weather only a few days." Every one we met
assured us that this was an entirely abnormal and
exceptional year, and from the dry nature of the
soil and general characteristics of the country we
should imagine this to be the fact. About this time
people began to tell us that after a week more of
cold and wet the Indian summer would arrive, and
then we should have " quite a time." Cardie used
every morning to gaze at the snow creeping lower
and lower down the Rockies, and . say, " Boys ! we
shall have to den up here if we don't look out"
(Cardie treats us as if we also were bears); and then
^mm 226
Packing.
consolingly, " but I guess we'll get out in the thaws
next spring anyhow. We can weather it all right
here with plenty of mits and mocassins." Mits and
mocassins are Cardie's delight; he buys a pair of
each on every possible occasion, and has got a huge
bag which he will carry round with him, and which
we believe to contain nothing in the world except
"Darwin's Origin of Species" and a lot of mocassins
and mits.
We could not spare the time to go hunting, but
fished with fair results in the St. Mary's River. The
Roman Catholic Mission on that stream is a disappointing place. It is of considerable antiquity
(by Canadian standard), and might easily by this
time have acquired a venerable moss-grown air of
monastic repose. But nothing of the sort has happened.
It is merely a squalid, untidy collection of mudded
wooden hovels, with nothing venerable or restful about
them; or if there is, it is hidden by the dirt.
On our (the eastern) side of the Kootenay, situated
on the Wild Horse Creek, is the town of the same
name, about five miles back in the mountains. Once,
in the early days of the gold-rush, this place contained as many as 20,000 inhabitants. That was
the time when at the Ferry flour sold at four shillings
a pound, and the toll for crossing the river was £l—
the dearest bit of transport in the world we imagine,
amounting to about threepence a yard. And on the
bank, we are told, men camped night after night
waiting for their turn to cross, and fighting for it
even to the death. Now, Wild Horse is sadly shorn
of its former glory, but there are still several hundred
miners there, including a large number of the inevi- Pack
ving.
227
table Chinamen, who always step into the white
man's deserted diggings, and manage to make small
fortunes where their predecessors could not earn a
living.
Between us and this town stood the Police
Hospital, in which at this time several of the army
were down with some kind of fever which they seemed
to   have   brought   with   them   from   the   north-west
* WJwMd:-
Our Pantry.    Galbraith's Ferry.
(for B. C. is at present as nearly free from all
disease as it is possible for any place to be), and
later we learnt that three if not more of them
died there.
We made a very elaborate larder and pantry out
of some spruces and bits of drift-wood, and in
various other ways beautified the camp; but the
time passed very slowly, though Richmond came
down to cheer us up and lived with us two or three
^HC 228
Packing.
days. On the fourth the Police scouts came back,
and announced that they had just reached the canoes
in time. Those villainous deserters had turned them
adrift after reaching the Line, and a band of stone-
broke gambling Indians had captured them, and were
just about to depart when our men arrived on the
scene and rescued them. They were now safely
deposited with "a lady" who had a ranch about
seventy miles away. It was some little consolation
to hear that these miscreants had all been upset,
one canoe twice; and that one of the men was.all
but drowned, and was in a very decrepit state in
consequence.
And now our ill luck came to an end for a time.
Mr. Phillipps, the Indian agent, arrived, and hearing
of our plight, most kindly lent us a couple of horses
and pack-gear to enable us to get down to where
the Lulie and Hope were lying, at a place known as
Tobacco Plains. There we should find a store to
replenish our exhausted stock of provisions, and
thence should have the choice of two trails leading
southwards, which would in another hundred miles
or so bring us to a railway.
On the ioth of October, the weather having at
last settled its differences with some other weather,
leaving the Rockies a marvel of glistening peaks and
pinnacles, we once more resumed our journey. Our
course lay through the Police Camp, where quite a
levee was held to wish us good luck, down a steep
bluff into the bed of the Wild Horse Creek. Leaving this tumbled untidy flat of enormous beds of
shingle, among which in many channels the stream
rambled about, the colour of macadamised road mud Packing.
229
from the gold-washing up above, we breasted the
further bank, and were glad to see the last of the
Ferry, where, though we had received nothing but
kindness, we could hardly be said to have enjoyed
ourselves.
As from this time our operations were chiefly
conducted by the aid of pack horses, we will try to
describe something of the methods adopted. Most
people have heard of the Diamond Hitch ; and some
few know how to make it. Those who do not shall
first read what Mr. Lord in his " Naturalist in British
Columbia" has to say on the matter, after which
they shall please themselves about reading what
we say.
I To describe the manner of (putting on I a load
and properly lashing it when on is impossible | (that
appears to settle the matter, doesn't it ?) "A month's
daily practice is insufficient to make an apt scholar a
moderately good packer. One may watch the mode
of fastening the load with a riata for a year twice a
day, and be no more able to do it at the twelvemonth's end than- the flute could be learned by
looking at another blow and finger it; hence written
description would be useless." This seems to discount the value of our information considerably, but
we are going to try all the same.
Take two men, one horse or mule, one pack-saddle,
one lash-rope (which Mr. Lord calls riata), two or
three packages, one mantle or covering for the whole.
The lash-rope is from thirty to forty feet long,
terminating   at    one   end    in   a   synch *   (girth)   of
* We have seen this word spelt also "cinch;" but it is not to be
found in either shape in the dictionary. 230
Packing.
ordinary size, the end of which remote from the
lash-rope is furnished with a large smooth wooden
hook, in which a rope can run easily. The lash-rope
and synch are shown at the bottom of the sketch.
Place the saddled horse between the two men, one
of whom has the lash-rope. Simultaneously the men
lift and hang or bind on to the saddle at each side
the packs, which ought (and this is very important)
to be of equal weight. If there is a third it is put
on the top in the most convenient form according to cir-
The Diamond Hitch.
cumstances. (N.B.—It is in the difficulty of adjusting
packs to the best advantage under continually varying
conditions that the- true art of packing lies, and this
can be met by nothing but incessant practice and
experience.) Cover all with the mantle (generally
a strong waterproof sheet) to protect it from the
elements.
Now let the near-side man throw the loose end of
the lash-rope diagonally across the pack from the
front   of the  near-side to  the  back of the off-side, Packing.
2Dl
leaving a yard or two of the end hanging over at the
back. Then pass the synch under the horse's belly,
the off-man receiving it and holding it with the hook
just coming below the bottom of the pack point outwards. Now pass that portion of the lash-rope
attached to the synch over the pack in a bight
(crossing the piece first mentioned); this the off-man
receives, places in the hook at B, and draws taut,
the near-man also hauling the slack to D from the
hook upwards. Now keeping the length B D taut
in the left hand, with the right hand turn back at D
the rope first placed on the pack, so that it encircles
the near half of the pack in a loop D C, pulling down
in front at D and up at C. The off-man standing
behind the horse then hauls at the end of the rope
first placed on the pack until this loop is tight, and
the rope is pulled into a sharp angle at D. Now the
off-man turns his rope sharply back at E towards the
head of the horse, but before hauling tucks the end
under the rope A F E B at F. He then hauls tight
from E to the front and so encircles the off-side of
the pack in a loop like the other, pulling down at the
front and up at the back until the near-man can give
a final haul to the tucked end, making the angle F.
Fasten off at the most convenient place, generally by
taking it down to the synch along F C.
Thunder ! it certainly does look a little complicated,
but that's how it's done, and the reader may be consoled by knowing that understanding it is simply
nothing to doing it. And if he will reflect that we
had to hitch and unhitch three awkwardly shaped
packs of miscellaneous materials in this manner every
day, generally twice a day, sometimes three times, he >'
I
will cease to wonder, that sweetness of temper was
not our prevailing characteristic.
Other hitches there are of less fame than this,
notably the " Squaw Hitch," a comparatively simple
affair, which we found very useful with our smaller
packs in the Sinclair Pass. Then there is the
" Hudson Bay Wind," which we never tried, but
which we are informed consists of winding a few
score of yards of rope round pack and horse, as if
you were putting splints on a broken arm. This
sounds effective, as one fails to see how the horse and
pack could part company, but it also gives one the
idea of possible discomfort to the animal. The great
beauty of the " Diamond Hitch " consists in the fact
that as you tauten up each new angle where the
ropes cross it also puts a further strain on the other
angles, so that the final haul, which is generally
accomplished by placing the foot against the horse
and pulling with might and main, makes the ropes
tight enough to play music on. The effective pattern
of the mesh-like binding can be seen in the sketch,
and the last merit is that to take it off it is only
necessary to pull out the end at K, when by simply
unhooking the bight at B the whole of the lashing is
free and lifts off at once.
So much did this daily worry prey upon our minds
that we had thoughts at one time of bringing out this
great work as a shilling dreadful, under the name
of "The Diamond Itch: a Bond Street Mystery."
"The Squaw Hitch; or Annals of the Divorce
Court," is another title which we feel sure> would
attract the reading public; and " The Hudson Bay
Wind; or the Frozen Cyclone," contains in itself all Packing.
233
the elements of a successful story of Arctic adventure.
We beg to state that all these titles are registered or
patented, or whatever the legal process may be : To
infringe which will be forgery.    V.R.
Stories of the difficulties of packing and the ludicrous
mishaps caused by incompetency meet one at every
turn in a country where practically all the traffic is
carried on by this means, for between Galbraith's
Ferry and the South, West, and East, for 150 miles
in every direction, there is nothing in the shape of a
road, but only the narrow track on which one horse
at a time can thread his way through the interminable
forest.
One of the Tyees told us that in his younger
days he and another man were reduced to absolute
despair by their bad luck in this respect; do what
they would they could not get the trick of keeping
the pack together and on the horse's back, and the
many accidents which occurred in consequence were
gradually depriving them of everything they possessed
in the wide world, including their peace of mind.
And at last one morning, when things had gone
more than usually wrong, and they were meditating
suicide, they chanced on a traveller who knew all
about it, and him they induced to pack their one
remaining horse properly. . This he did, and with
restored happiness they marched forward that day,
and at night they reasoned thus: "We have only
two more days to travel, and it is better that one
horse should be miserable than that two men should
cut their throats ; let us then leave the pack on him
and go without food or change of clothing rather than
once more have our things scattered to the winds of ^ffi9 ■.n^^ww—w
234
Packing.
heaven." So they tethered the horse to a tree, all
tightly lashed and diamond hitched as he was, and
the first gleams of morning light shone upon a woeful
scene. For behold that perfidious animal.had slept
upon the kettle until the same was flat even as a
plate, and had burst open the flour sack and rolled
himself in the contents thereof, so that whereas
he had gone to bed bay, so now he was white like
unto a miller; moreover he had tied the lash-rope
in divers knots around his legs, and the rest of the
pack he had scattered quadriviously and utterly
dispersed, save such things as the skunks and other
evil beasts had chawed up. And what happened
next deponent sayeth not.
It is most distressing to see the backs of almost
all the pack animals in the country; hardly any of
them are free from huge raws, and the poor things
must suffer terribly. A sore once started has
scarcely any chance of recovering, for men cannot
or will not give the necessary time and trouble to
attend to it and so arrange the packs as not to bear
on it. None of the horses that we used during our
travels were sound in this respect, but by great care
we cured all that we had for any length of time,
with the exception of the old roan, who seemed to be
unalterable in every way.
The two horses Phillipps lent us were both white,
one being slightly flea-bitten : and to him was allotted
the name of Spot; the other one beings called Plain,
because—well, we don't wish to say anything unkind,
but he was plain. Spot was slightly addicted to
kicking, and to demonstrate this peculiarity to the
world   at  large   his   tail  had been  cut   in   the   form Packing
^o:>
of a tooth-brush, which led to that name also being
bestowed upon him. The third horse was our (R)own,
whom when we were all good-tempered, was affectionately addressed as " Roany ; " in more adverse circumstances he was known as " the roan ; fi and when still
greater misery supervened as " that roan." Ordinarily
he was called "that fill-in-according-to-fancy roan."
Spot was a conceited horse, probably because he
alone of the party never lost his tooth-brush ; he always
thought he knew better than any one; you couldn't
teach him anything, and the worst of it was that
Plain backed him up, and thought there was no one
in the world like him. We argued it out with the
thickest sticks we could cut, we reasoned with him
and tried to persuade him with rope ends and axe-
handles, but no, he persisted in thinking that Toothbrush was always entirely right, and we entirely wrong.
Nevertheless on the whole we loved old Plain, and
even this defect of his showed the staunchness and
single-mindedness of his character.
Spot always led the way, and was most amusing if
our Own tried to pass him. He would crowd his
competitor off the path into a tree or over a precipice
in the most light-hearted way sooner than lose his
place.
Once fairly off, we got along well, and presently
passed a ranch, to the owner of which we had been
asked to deliver a message. But when the Skipper
arrived within a quarter of a mile or so of the house,
he became aware that a skunk must be sharing the
habitation, and getting considerably more than his
fair share too. So we departed hurriedly, and a few
miles further on met the co-tenant out hunting.     He I .?
, >
236
Packing.
told us that they had quarrelled last night, and he
had succeeded in shooting his unwelcome partner,
which comforted us greatly, as until then we had
imagined that it was the skunk who had done the
killing. We suppose if any one enters that ranch this
winter, his friends will know it until quite late in the
spring.
Not Acid Carbolic, or Chloride of Lime,
Or the worst disinfectant that's known at this time,
Not even a stink-pot from Chinaman's junk
Has got the least chance of outsmelling that skunk.
You may break, you may shatter the ranch if you will,
But the scent that arose there will cling to it still.
The survivor advised us to try the next bit of
prairie for chicken, saying it was an uncommonly good
place. Finally, on our asking what sport he had had,
replied that he had seen nothing but a big black wolf,
which, however, had eluded him, and with that we
parted.
No one made any comment, and we walked on,
pondering over these things in our minds, and
presently some one said 1 About that wolf," and we
all laughed in our nasty unpleasant way. If by this
laugh we did him an injustice, we are very sorry ; but
somehow it seemed to have struck us all that this
particular Big Black Wolf was an animal that only
appeared to tender feet, ~'\ and must be classed with
the Big Black Bull of our childhood, which used to
meet us in the lane when it was going home to be
milked, and frightened our young lives out.
And when we came to the prairie and looked at it,
* A tenderfoot = Griffin, Johnny Raw, Greenhorn, Freshman, &c. and even tried a little of it, and came to the conclusion
that there neither was, nor since the summer had
been, one single chicken on it, we became confirmed in
our incredulity. So meeting a man soon afterwards
who was going to the ranch, we sent word by him
that it just swarmed with birds (which was true;
they were blue-birds), in the hope that the owner of
Skunk Hall would spend the rest of the autumn
tramping up and down it with dog and gun. 238
CHAPTER   XXII.
ON THE TRAMP.
We stopped for the night on a level prairie near
the Kootenay, which has here settled down to respectable behaviour, though it has a relapse further
on. We had made about twelve miles without any
trouble, for the weather was delightful,' the packs
behaved well, and altogether things went happily.
At our camp was a big fallen tree which was so
conveniently placed for baking that we made an extra
quantity of bread.
We now bake in a manner somewhat different
from our old method, which consisted in placing the
dough in a frying-pan with a lid over it, then putting
the pan on red-hot embers and heaping some more
on to the lid.
This used to make excellent bread if care was
taken, but especially in rough weather or in sunlight
the difficulty of regulating evenly the top and bottom
heat almost always caused one side to be more or less
burnt, and we have now adopted the more usual
Canadian plan
The fire is made if possible against the side of a
big log, other smaller pieces being often placed at
right angles, the object being to get as much heat
thrown  downwards from a  glowing surface as pos- On the Tramp.
239
sible. The dough is mixed with baking powder in
the ordinary way (for in a constantly moving camp
making yeast is too much trouble). Then we flour
or grease the two frying-pans, place a flattish round
loaf in each, and with a short stick prop up the
handles of the frying-pans at such an angle as to
expose the loaf to the fire, without being so steep as
to let it slide out.
We also usually place a few embers behind the
pan. In a very few minutes the loaves should be
turned, both round sideways and upside down, and
this turning has to be frequently repeated till they
have risen and are sufficiently hard to keep their
shape. Then we take them out of the pans (which
are thus free for another couple of loaves), and continue the baking by propping them round the fire
with sticks, and turning when required. In this way
we have a constant succession of loaves following
each other every ten minutes, and in three-quarters
of an hour can finish enough for two days.
The description of it would hardly lead one to
expect good bread, but it is a fact that the very best
bread that it is possible to make with baking powder
can be baked in this way, which is fortunate, as we
are all decidedly dainty in the matter of bread. One
great advantage of this country from our point of
view is the wonderfully good flour; the Winnipeg
flour which we bought at the Ferry is as perfect a
production as can be hoped for in this vale of tears.
We consider ourselves competent judges, and have
compared it with the best American brands to the
disadvantage of the latter.
One of our favourite luxuries is the tortilla (pro- ■
240
On the Tramp.
nounced torteea). . This is the recipe. Make ordinary
dough as for bread. Plant a stick in the ground near
the fire at an angle of about 25° or 30°. Have
another small clean stick ready, and a frying-pan
of lard or butter heated as hot as possible short
of burning it. Take a piece of dough the size of a
small hen's egg, flatten it between the hands, and
making a hole in the centre, quickly work it out into
a flat ring of about two inches inside diameter. Drop
it flat in the grease (the pan, of course, is kept on the
fire), which should easily cover it, turn it almost
immediately, and in a few seconds it will be cooked.
When of a light brown colour, fish it out with your
little stick, and hang it on the slanting one. If the
grease is the right heat, the cooking of one tortilla will
occupy just the same time as the forming of the next,
and so the process goes merrily on until the slanting
stick is full of lovely crisp crumpety rings, which are
hailed with joy by your companions when they come
in tired and hungry.
Another excellent dish which made a frequent
appearance at our meals was Pigjeree, a mixture of
bacon boiled until quite tender and chopped small
with boiled rice, seasoned with pepper, &c, and
warmed up together in a frying-pan until the rice
began to brown, the bacon grease being sufficient to
prevent it sticking and burning.
The frying-pan is often scoffed at as the resource
of a bad and ignorant cook, but it is wonderful
how much can be done with it, and in fact how few
other cooking utensils are really necessary. We
finished by the mercy of Providence—for we fully
expected it would finish  us—all the so-called coffee On the Tramp.
241
which we bought at Golden. Since then we have
had green coffee of the very best kind which we
"struck" at the Ferry. This we roast every day
or every other day in our two frying-pans, merely
stirring or continuously shaking the pan for the ten
minutes or so required, and we flatter ourselves that
our coffee is very good indeed, which places it high
above that of any London hotel with which we are
acquainted.
Our tea is exceptional, being some that we had
brought from Ceylon on purpose for this expedition,
Cingalese tea being either the best there is or else
better than that. Altogether it is a delusion to suppose that camping necessarily means roughing it. Of
course there are times when things go wrong and
make life unpleasant for a season, but with fellows
who understand their work and are willing to "rustle "
these periods ought never to be of long duration, not
more than enough to make the " smoothing " doubly
pleasant as soon as the " roughing " is past.
The second day we went leisurely along the trail
southward, still favoured by the weather, and traversing
a magnificent country. It is hard to say how much
of this is still unoccupied, for the fertile patches are
often hidden far away from the trail in the forest, but
all along this portion of the Kootenay valley down to
the boundary there are still many unsettled plots of
prairie land to be found.
For English gentlemen with small capital who do
not wish or expect to make fortunes, we fancy there is
still plenty of room here. They could with moderate
industry live comfortably (though not luxuriously) in a
healthy climate, with the Union Jack over their heads,
Q 242
On the Tramp.
and the Queen's writs and taxes so to speak on their
doorstep ; a fish in the river, a joint on the mountain,
and game in the forest all ready for every man's
dinner; and three acres and a cow in the back-garden ;
in fact with all the surroundings which we are taught
to believe necessary for a happy existence.
The great drawback (if it is a drawback) is, of
course, inaccessibility; but every year removes some
portion of that objection, and some fine day the locomotive will find its way here, and then those who
preceded it will have their reward. Who knows how
soon that day will come ?
Among other attractions of this pleasant land is
the curious fact that though the mosquito is decidedly
plentiful, yet there are no fleas, bugs, or poisonous
snakes. The harmless necessary earthworm is also
conspicuous by his absence, though how the dickybirds and farmers, fishermen and Darwinians get on
without him is more than we can tell. We met once
upon a time an aged Indian who related to us the
native tradition accounting for this state of things.
As we could not understand a word he said, and
most of our readers would probably fare no better if
we printed his story in his own tongue, we have had
it translated at immense expense, and here it is :—
HYAS CUMTAX KLIMINAWIT.
You shall hear how Hiawatha
Came into the Rocky Mountains,
Came to place upon the mountains
All the kinds of birds and insects,
All the bats, the beasts and fishes,
All the reptiles- and red herrings, On the Tra7np.
243
When as yet the rocks and forests,
And the a&r, the lakes, and rivers
Were devoid o£ living creatures,
Simply were " To let, Unfurnished."
In a wicker-cage he carried
Birds of many sorts and sfees,
And whenever he thought proper
He would open wide the doorway,
And let out a winged creature.
First Keneu, the great war-eagle,
And the grouse, the Mushkodasa,
And the other well-known dickies,
Which are printed in due order
In the long Vocabulary,
Excellent Vocabulary,
To the Song of Hiawatha.
Leading strings had Hiawatha,
Leading strings to all the creatures
Which on four feet walked behind him,
Quadrupeds the learned call them,
So the great professors call them.
When he reached a piece of country
Suitable for any creature,
He would loose the proper beast there,
Let him loose into the country.
He had brought a bowl of fishes,
In a crystal bowl the fishes.
As he came to any streamlet,
Any kind of running water,
Any pool or lake or river,
He would throw into the water
One or two of all his fishes.
First the pike, the Maskenozha,
And the sturgeon, Mishe Nahma,
And the Ugudwash, etcetera;
They whose names appear in order
In that same Vocabulary
Which already has been mentioned,
Once already has been mentioned.
In a wooden box he carried
All the miscellaneous creatures. 244
On the Tramp.
Bats and reptiles and red herrings,
Any that he wasn't quite sure
Which division ought to have them,
What their scientific class was.
All the insects he had sorted,
Placed in paper bags the insects,
In one bag the Norfolk Howards,
In one bag the fleas, the Jumpers,
And Suggema, the mosquitoes,
In another bag he carried.
Just when starting Hiawatha
Found he hadn't got the earthworms,
Had no room for any earthworms :
Filled were all his great-coat pockets,
Filled his fishing-bag and fly-book,
Filled his mocassins and matchbox,
No place left for any earthworms
But the mouth of Hiawatha.
Thus he wandered in the mountains,
Silently throughout the mountains,
Making no remarks whatever
As he journeyed through the country,
Peopling all the streams and forests,
With the birds and beasts and fishes,
And the other creatures mentioned
In the same Vocabulary
To which in some former verses
We already have alluded.
As he journeyed Hiawatha
Came into the Western Province
Which is called Columbia (British) ;
Quite impossible the name is
To insert in any metre
In its proper form and order :
B. C. all its natives call it,
B. C. is the way we write it.
To the mountains then of B. C.
Hiawatha brought his creatures,
Creatures peopling all the mountains.
First he loosed the Mushkodasa,
Mahng the loon, the wild-goose Wawa, On the Tramp.
24S
Mama, Kah-gah-gee, Shuh-shuh-gah,
And the other cockyollies
Named in the Vocabulary
To the Song of Hiawatha.
Then he loosed Ahdeek the reindeer,
And the squirrel, Ajidaumo,
And the great bear, Mishe Mokwa,
And Ahmeek, the king of beavers,
And the mountain ram, the Bighorn,
And a lot of other beasties
For whose names we must refer you,
Most reluctantly refer you,
J J 7
To the same Vocabulary,
For there isn't much more paper,
And the Printer's so bad-tempered,
Yes, his temper's simply awful.
All the creatures as he freed them
Skipped and frisked about the mountain,
Gambolled all about the mountain,
But the mountain ram, the Bighorn,
Took a very mean advantage
J o
When he saw that Hiawatha
Was employed with other matters,
Not attending to the Bighorn :
Swift he came at Hiawatha,
Butted him with both his big horns,
Just below his manly bosom
In the middle of his waistcoat,
Of his best embroidered waistcoat.
Not a word said Hiawatha,
But he sat down very quickly,
With one little gasp and guggle :
Sat down with a sickly spasm
On a paper bag of insects,
On a busted bag of skeeters.
And Suggema, the mosquitoes,
Left the paper bag in fragments,
Scooted off into the forests,
Went rejoicing to the forests,
To the forests dark and gloomy
Of the Western Province B. C. Every blooming last mosquito
Went into the B. C. forests,
None were left for Hiawatha
To set free in other countries.
But the bugs, the Norfolk Howards,
And the fleas, the Merry Jumpers,
And the rattlesnakes, the reptiles,
Still were kept by Hiawatha :
None of them he loosed in B. C,
Took them all away from B. C,
Saying, " There's enough already,
Misery enough and cussing.
*=>>
Both of scratching and of cussing,
With Suggema the mosquito,
With that darned ding-blamed mosquito."
What became of all the earthworms ?
No one knows where all the earthworms
Went in that distracting moment,
When so quickly Hiawatha
Sat down with a gasp and guggle,
With a choking gasp and guggle.
That's the reason why the earthworms
Are the only pleasant creatures
That are never found in B. C. ;
That is why their names are missing
From that same Vocabulary,
Most complete Vocabulary
To the Song of Hiawatha.
Soon after starting we came to Bull River, a swift
stream about four feet deep, and at present in a
shrunken channel of about thirty yards wide. This
mountain torrent has—like all the other tributaries of
the Kootenay except the gold-washing Wild Horse—
the most beautifully transparent cold water imaginable;
every stone at the bottom as clearly defined as if through
a sheet of plate-glass, deceiving one into the belief that
it is not more than eighteen inches in depth. The Skipper did not think the horses could manage
to carry us in addition to their heavy packs, so
took off the two pairs of trousers, which he now
habitually wore, and tying his clothes round his neck,
waded through. He came out perfectly numb on the
other side, and with his legs looking thinner, if possible,
than when they went in. The other two " got on the
'oss, and said, my eyes, 'e's a 'oss and 'e must go,"
and kneeling behind the pack with rifles and sticks,
urged the unfortunate animals across. An agonised
howl went up from the Skipper as he saw old Plain's
pack, containing the camera, lurch into the water at
one corner. What a relief it was when we immediately overhauled the pack to find that the least
treasured of all our possessions, the soap, was the
only thing that had suffered. Little should we have
recked in these cold days if it had swum bodily
down the river and fed the fishes which abound
therein.
These big trout would be certain to try it, for some
of them eat things which one would hardly suppose to
be naturally intended for their food. For instance,
we have found their insides just as full of mice as
an old barn—common domestic mice, not watershrews
or young voles, or any deception of that kind. Now,
how on earth—or in water—did these two creatures,
the trout and the mouse, manage to meet ? Does
the trout climb out on to the bank and scour the
fields and sit patiently outside holes for the mouse;
or does the mouse come and scull about the river
and go fishing for tittlebats, and thus fall a prey
to the trout ? We have never seen either of these
manoeuvres going on, but something of the sort must 248
On the Tramp.
'.'il
happen to account for the numbers of great fish that
seem to subsist chiefly on mice.
A few miles further on we came to a solitary miner
camping near a little forest creek of very good water.
This ran at the end of a beautiful open glade along
the side of a dense willow patch, in which the ruffed
grouse were very plentiful. He was much pleased to
see us, because, for some reason, he was afraid of
the Indians; and as he seemed a very quiet, decent
sort of fellow, we stopped there, and saw him safe off
on his lonely wanderings next morning.
He told us, among other things, that he was once
gold-hunting in Bull River, by a method called, we
believe, "bed-rock" mining. This consists in damming
or diverting a river, or portion of one—which in a
big stream like Bull can only be done by erecting
wing-dams in various places—thus laying dry some
of the channel. The gold lies in quite large pieces,
as big as a sovereign or more, in the cracks and
crannies at the bottom, and a successful damming
operation often pays well. There was, he said, a
large colony of miners there, and all were busy at
their work, when suddenly, without any warning, the
river ceased to run, and the whole watercourse was
laid bare. They all plunged into it, and for a few
minutes worked with feverish excitement, picking up
more gold in that time than ordinarily they would
have secured by many weeks of labour. And then
the uncanniness of the thing struck them, and seized
with panic, they all rushed out of the river-bed, and
began hastily to move their tents and belongings,
which were close to the bank, on to higher ground.
Only one man  dared  to return into the bottom, and he simply walked up -the course of the stream, picking up gold as he went, till he reached a ravine in
the mountains. There he found that a huge snow-
slide had come down and blocked the river; and so
enormous was the quantity of snow that it actually
held up that tremendous volume of water for eight
hours, in which time, as our miner said, if they had
only had pluck enough, every man of them could have
made his fortune.
The next stream we crossed was Sand Creek, about
eighteen miles from Bull River, and though not quite
so large, equally beautiful. The latter was noticeable
for its pines, but at Sand Creek the striking feature
was a large patch of the most splendid tamaracks we
had yet seen. We fear it is impossible to give any
real idea of the beauty of these magnificent red-barked
larches, their symmetrically tapered trunks bare for
half their growth, and above that branching with
graceful tracery of dull gold : their shape reminding
one of some lovely cathedral spire, as in their stately
height they mount towards heaven. We saw some
of these giants lying on the ground, and estimated
them all to be more than 200 feet high, the highest
probably 220.
Here occurred a slight fracas with Plain, and the
man who had not been exasperated beyond endurance
interposed with, § What on earth's the use of licking
that horse ; you don't think you'll teach him any sense,
do you ? "
" Teach him sense, indeed ? No, a steam thrashing-
machine couldn't."
" Then why do you go on doing it ? I
"Well,  if you  must   know,   I'm   hammering  him tii'i
just for my own  satisfaction."     And he looked; as if
he was.
We had a wonderful camp a mile beyond Sand
Creek, on a little grassy knoll perched above an expanse of flat brown meadows, through which a duck
abounding creek slowly meandered. The outlook
was west, and here B. C. fairly outdid herself in the
sunset. In the centre the most vivid yellow ochrey
tint, which gradually merged through marvellous shades
of green into the blue black of the upper sky. As
the night crept on, the yellow faded, to be replaced
by duller orange, till it once more brightened out into
a rosy pink, which spread and spread with evergrowing waves of colour until the whole sky glowed,
and across it floated clouds that looked as black as
ink, edged with the most vivid blood-red crimson.
Close to this halting-place we began to look for a
trail which turns to the east and leads to a bridge
over the next big river, Elk. The main trail goes
straight on and crosses by a ford near its mouth.
We were lucky enough to find this junction without
difficulty, and for many miles walked through a
glorious country of open forests with patches of
underwood here and there, but for the most part as
clear and well-grassed as an English park. The eye
never wearied of these aisles and cloisters of nature's
building, varied every now and then by the placid
surface of a rushy lake, on whose bosom numbers of
coots, pochards, and grebes were amusing themselves,
while the soft shores bore witness to the nightly
visits of deer in plenty.
One more stream, Rock Creek, was passed, in which
all the horses had narrow escapes from  foundering, IIP *
On the Tramp.
251
and after leaving it the trail kept rising pretty evenly,
crossed a high bare bluff which could never have had
any water on it except rain, and yet for some unexplained reason bore the greenest grass and wild
flax we had seen in the country, and at last we stood
on a bleak plateau. The roar of Elk River came
faintly up from the canyon below us, and not a trace
was left of the path we had followed so long.
We separated and hunted for it, and at last a shout
from the Skipper brought us all to a precipitous corner
of the hill, where just in the last place we should
have expected to find it our perfidious track was
again seen. It astonished us, after being actually in
sight of Elk, to have to go so far as that trail led us,
but we noticed that it kept bearing to the left until
we had almost described a circle, and after three miles
we pulled up within two hundred yards of where we
had been a good hour before. The extraordinary
thing about this is that there is no obstacle or indication that there ever has been one, and the present
state of things is much as though one walked all
round a Q in order to get to the end of the tail.
" Thus," as the Skipper mused, I are the wisest (i.e.,
we) sometimes fooled."
What the circular trail was ever made for is a
mystery, and will remain so as far as we are concerned.
We were satisfied to be here at last, a quarter of a mile
above the bridge, on the north bank of Elk River,
while below us the torrent thundered its impetuous
way between the huge boulders and walls of rock
which checked and kept within bounds its wild dark
waters.
Elk is by far the largest and in every way the >
1
252
On the Tramp.
most interesting of the many streams we have passed.
Just where we were camped and for several miles below
it plunges down a succession of ledges and falls that
look as if they had been quarried and blasted out of
the solid rock, so straight and sheer and clean cut
are the sides of its channel. Up above it widens out
into a comparatively peaceful stream, quite navigable
for canoes, and holding out attractions of all kinds to
the hunter and traveller.
The great glory of B. C, more even than in its
forests, is in the number and beauty of its rivers and
springs. We have suffered many miseries of one
kind or another, but never the crowning one of want
of water. We wonder if it ever occurs to any of
those overbearing fanatics, the self-styled "temperance " (!) advocates at home, that the chief reason
why whisky and beer are so milch more popular as
beverages than water is because they are so much
nicer to drink. If Elk River could be turned loose in
Hyde Park, we would guarantee it should reduce the
drink bill more in a week than all their pet nostrums
of plunder and tyranny will if ever they are given a
trial. It is simply a matter of human likes and dislikes. The public drink beer because it tastes better
than water j and this not because the beer is very
good, for it usually isn't, but because the water is
very bad.
Take one of us as an instance (modesty conceals his
name); he drinks out here nothing except water, and
very little else at home in the country. But for about
seven years of Oxford and London life he never
touched it, simply because in those places the flat,
cloudy, tepid mixture facetiously called water is about On the Tramp.
253
as much   like the real' thing as  a  bottle of corked
gooseberry is like champagne.
We have not the smallest hope that anything said
by such unregenerate persons as we are will have
the smallest effect on a man who imagines total
abstinence to be a virtue, but it relieves our minds to
say it. And if after this we ever see a teetotaller
spending money to give his fellow-creatures pure cold
water instead of subscribing to societies for depriving
them by force of their beer, we shall feel we have not
lived in vain. (    254    )
CHAPTER XXIII.
ELK RIVER.
We stopped at this Elk River Camp several days,
hunting, fishing, and generally enjoying ourselves.
One morning we came on the tracks of an exceeding
great and savage grizzly, so great that Jim announced
"as the father of a family he didn't feel justified in
going after such a bear as that." Cardie said "he
didn't want any of it in his, he hadn't any use for
grizzlies, and what's the matter with going in the
opposite direction." So the Skipper alone went in
pursuit; and when the sun went down, and dark
night came on, and still he had not returned, we
became confident that he must have been unlucky
enough to overtake that bear. But we kept a good
fire going, and about nine o'clock he struggled
back to camp, very tired of course, but having
managed to keep out of the way of his quarry
all day.
There were many of these creatures near here;
the woods down by the river being full of the
tracks made by the black ones, and the mountains,
especially on the high ridges just below the actual
peaks, showing quite as many indications of the
presence of grizzlies in the holes and upturned stones
which seem to occupy most of their time.    Without Elk River.
255
dogs it is almost hopeless to go after the black bears,
as they are very shy and keen of scent, and being
of course much better able to get about through the
brush than a man, they will not tree for him. Dogs,
however, make them climb directly, and thus give
the hunter every chance. Once Jim was quite close
to one which he could hear very busily breaking
the bushes, but he could not get a sight of it, not
being liquid enough to get through the sieve-like
forest with sufficient speed.
We had  to contend   with   the  same   difficulty   as
regards  the  deer;   and speaking broadly,  the early
autumn is not the best time for white men to hunt
unassisted by dogs or Indians who know the "licks'
and other likely places.
At Elk River we first saw a new and supremely
effective Rnstrument for the torture of the hunter,
which may be called a "phoenix forest." This
consists of the first growth of young larches coming
up after an ancient grove has been destroyed by fire,
and it is probably the very worst of all the varied
iniquities we have met with. The young trees,
about the size and thickness of a coach whip, grow
as close together as the stalks in a field of corn.
All among their legs are scattered the bodies of
their defunct and prostrate parents. The latter you
cannot see, so dense is the youthful crowd, but you
feel them very acutely across your shins. The
loose yellow needles drop into your mouth, eyes,
and pockets, and down your back, and into your
boots, and oh dear! what a misery it all is. You
are fain at the twentieth tumble in five yards to
lie down and cry in helpless despair.     It took over 2^6
Elk River.
an hour to get through a tract of this sort which
we guessed to be only a quarter of a mile in
length.
One morning an Indian came galloping up on a
good-looking horse, and producing a letter, gave us
to understand by signs that he did not know the way
to where it was addressed.
We have not mentioned hitherto that none of the
Indians wTe have met speak any English, though
we have suspected several of understanding it; but
they are wonderful at making their ideas intelligible by signs, an art which is little known or
appreciated by Europeans, but very interesting when
reduced to a science, as it seems to be among the
redskins.
We knew the man for whom the letter was intended, and that he was at a place about forty miles
away, but of course as regards the road thither
our minds were as blank as the messenger's own.
But did that deter us ? not for a moment. We
have not been three months in this country without
learning that absolute ignorance on any subject is
no reason for not imparting the widest information
on it to any inquirer. So with the utmost confidence
we instructed that Indian in the way he should go,
and ever after lived in daily dread that he would
return with a wild tribe of painted warriors, and
with war-whoops and tomahawks scalp us for having
made a fool of him. However, we sent him through
such an awful country that we thought there was
really little chance of his arriving anywhere, and
almost none of getting back again, and this reflection
mitigated our fears considerably.     It sounds rather Elk River.
257
absurd that three white men, absolute strangers to
the whole country, should be applied to for local
information by one of its natives, but it may serve
to show how extremely small and incomplete is any
knowledge of these wild untrodden tracts, and how
great are still the opportunities for any enterprising
young fellow to find for himself a desirable spot for
settlement.
The result of all our hard work and the healthy
open-air existence we have so long enjoyed is that
we are all in the height of health and spirits, and the
robustness of our appetite is amazing, though as we
are all in the same boat we do not comment on it in
the manner which would be natural to us in England.
The promptitude with which at any hour of the day
we respond to the cook's cry of I Now all you
primeolifers, food's ready 11 would, we are sure,
gratify those of our relatives who at home are always
finding fault with us for being late for dinner. Jim
was by way of being an invalid when he came out,
and stated that he was dieting himself with great,
strictness under a set of rules laid down by his
medical adviser. For a long time we vainly endeavoured to detect from his behaviour what those
rules might be, but we have at last discovered them—
"Eat whatever you fancy, it is the only safe guide;
drink whatever you like, so long as it is the best.
Do both every time you get the chance." This
seems to be the long sought for Guide to Health,
and its very simplicity ought, we think, to commend
it to a simple public.
The   old   tables   of  weights   and   measures have
become  to  some  extent obsolete under our present
R
i
*■■ 258
Elk River.
Ill
11 *
w
conditions of life, and we append below the altered
scale that we find more in accordance with facts.
A sip = one breakfast cup and a half.
A morsel more = two platesful.
Well, just the tiniest taste = \ lb.
A mouthful = six cubic inches.
Twenty yards (after dinner) = one mile.
A ton = what I have to carry.
A trifle = what those other fellows bring along.
The fish that got away = i stone.
The one that was landed = f lb.
We were a little late here for the best fishing, the
big fish having begun to go up into the high ground
for spawning, but we had no difficulty in catching all
we wanted.
This, however, was no light matter in the absence
of much other food. We kept a careful account of
the consumption of trout and charr during the five
days we stayed here, and found that in that time we
disposed of just 51 lbs. (weighed before cleaning).
We made it a rule not to waste any, and, of course,
tried to catch the small trout in preference to the
larger.
Considered as sport the fishing here was a failure,
for angling even for three-pounders ceases to be
exciting when you have only to throw a fly into the
water anyhow in order to secure a fish. It was so
•demoralising that at last we would not land a trout
hooked on the dropper until one had taken the tail
fly, and very interesting it was to see them in this
clear water swimming about after the fly as it dragged
behind the already captured victim, and often taking Elk River.
259
it and rejecting it several times before getting actually
hooked. One rod in an hour and five minutes caught
in about ioo yards of river 20^- lbs., which weight
might probably have been doubled by using larger
flies and casting in the places suitable for larger fish.
How circumstances alter cases (this observation
copyrighted). In the old country one would dream
of such an impossible catch for the rest of one's life.
Here the only comment was, " Now, then, where are
those fish ? What a time you've been. What! do
you mean to say these are the smallest you could
get ? Well, you'll have to have them fidded; it's
your own fault."
On Elk River the American Dipper was very
numerous, in plumage more sombre than his European
brother, whose white shirt-front is decidedly prettier,
but his note and behaviour carrying one's recollections
back to many an English stream,
Just above the place where the trail makes a
sudden plunge down to the bridge is a little contrivance used as a sort of Turkish bath by the
Indians in case of sickness. This consists of a
circular dome-shaped cage of bent willow wands,
tied together wherever they come in contact with
each other. When in use a small pool of water
is made in the centre, and the whole cage having
been covered in with mats or skins, the patient
creeps in, and a friend keeps him supplied with
hot stones from a fire outside. These being dropped
into the water no doubt make a very effective vapour
bath. We have passed many of these sweat-houses
at various places, no large camping-ground being
without one or more of them.
mmmmmm 260
Elk River.
Elk Bridge itself is a very fine piece of work, when
we consider the enormous difficulties of carrying out
any kind of engineering in a remote wilderness like
this, and the fact that all the operations had to be
conducted from one side only. The span is about
sixty-five feet, and we guess it to be a little more
than that above the seething abyss of dark whirlpools and headlong cataracts squeezed into the
narrow gorge below. There is not a particle of
iron used in its construction, but the strength of
the fabric is undeniable, and has recently been proved
in a rather sensational manner.
A white man and Indian were driving a herd of
cattle along the trail, and at the bridge the animals
not unnaturally became " balky" and refused to
cross. At last the drover lost patience and determined to take one over by force, hoping the rest
would then follow. So he roped a young bull, and
riding his horse on to the bridge, attempted to drag
it after him. The bull, seized with panic, rushed
at the protecting rail and leaped over, and the rope
did not break. Before the rider had time to dismount
or even to think, the horse was dragged by the
weight of the hanging beast up against the railing,
and for a moment held there. In. that moment
the Indian leaped forward and with a blow of his
knife severed the lariat, and man and horse were
safe, while the battered corpse of the unfortunate
bull was whirled away down the dark river never to
be seen again.
From the southern end of the bridge the trail rises
up the steep mountain side by a series of zigzags
scratched   into   the  face   of  the   crumbling  shingly d
Elk Bridge.
Page 260
mmm 3 Elk River.
261
-soil, so narrow and slippery for this length that
one false step would send the unwary traveller in
broken pieces on to the smooth flat terrace of rock
at the foot. But as Phillipps, who engineered this
bridge and path, pointed out to us, in that case
the " truck " would be recovered, whereas if he went
into the river there would be nothing left to pay
legacy duties on, though to be sure the funeral
expenses would be nil. We could not but admire
the forethought which had thus provided for every
-contingency.
Our menus at this camp were, as usual in settled
quarters, rather elaborate. We give that for 16th
October.
Soup.
Fried charr.
Fish.
Fried trout.
Entrees.
Jugged snowshoe and squirrel I curried grouse, pheasant,
or partridge, &c.    (No room for full title.)
Legumes.
Crusoe's   island  bread;   potatoes;   onions;   strawberry
jam; coffee.
The Snowshoe is an animal perhaps unknown to
some of our readers. He is the largest kind of
alpine hare, with the most lovely bluish white fluffy
fur, and lives on the snowy slopes at the tops of the
mountains.
We measured the hind foot of quite a young one, 262
Elk River.
iN
and found it to be five inches from side to side—
that is, from the point of toe No. I to that of No. 4
when spread out, or in other words it would exactly
cover the back of this book, each toe being about
two inches long. He seems to be of an amiable
and confiding disposition, and sits at a short distance
to be shot at with all the complacency in life.
The bread a la Crusoe was not materially different
from the ordinary staff of life, but received this name
because Cardie, baking one evening in the dark,
managed to tread on most of the loaves, and consequently they were impressed with the footprint
.of a savage—not of course the whole of the foot,
because the frying-pan being only eighteen inches
in diameter, our loaves are limited to that size, but
still enough for purposes of recognition.
The onions had been a most welcome present
from Mrs. Clark, and being our only vegetables
available for soup, we were very niggardly with them.
They were seldom used except for that purpose, or
for that merest scrap which placed inside a grouse
so much improves his flavour. (This remark, by
the way, applies equally to the red grouse, a thing
not universally known.) Moreover the Skipper objected to their use as a vegetable, because, as he
said, " there's such a lot of arriere pensee about
an onion."
Cardie, having more leisure in this settled abode
than usual, has been making a grand inspection of
his clothes, and is now rehabilitated in garments
which compared with his former ones may be called
lovely. He has the blue trousers of the country,
which cost six shillings a pair,  and make the  un- EUZaBBEIHiaB
HBk^KTH^^K HHHiHH
Elk River.
263
fortunate wearer colder than being without, as they
keep off nothing except sunshine. It is obvious to
the most careless observer at a distance of many
feet that his number is 34.32, for these mysterious
figures are conspicuously placarded on the waistband ; but whether they refer to the different lengths
of the two legs, or the probable age of the wearer,
or the number of days he may expect them to last,
we are unable to say. The great advantage of these
blue pantaloons, in addition to their surpassing
beauty, is that they fall to pieces as soon as you get
tired of them—or a little before. That, however,
does not prevent either Cardie or the Skipper from
wearing them long afterwards, for they are quite as
warm when in rags as in their perfect state, and
appearance goes for nothing. Cardie's attire is
continued by an old blue flannel shirt, not tucked
into the trousers in the manner which we understand
to be usual in England, but hanging outside like
the garb of an ancient Greek, and secured round
the waist by a piece of rope. When the Skipper
expressed doubts as to the utility of this rope, he
explained it by saying, I Well, you see, it's so draughty
in this tent that I must wear something to protect
my liver." He seldom wears any hat, though he
generally carries one tucked into his waist-rope for
the purpose of fanning the fire when required. And
his costume is completed by a huge pair of boots
which not only really were made by himself, but look
every inch of it.
We had received an enormous mail at Cranbrook,
including a lot of newspapers about a month old,
and we keep steadily working through these when-
1
•VP 264
Elk River
ever we have any time. This seldom happens, as
the man who stays in camp has his hands pretty
full of baking, washing, and cooking all day, and the
others do not get back till night. After dark reading
is a delusion and a snare, even the best camp fire
giving a miserable, unsteady light; and though we
have candles, it is too cold to sit in the little tent,
and too draughty under the waggon-sheet, which is
pitched in front of the fire.
, Cardie enlarges on the interesting topics gleaned
from these papers in a somewhat bewildering and
inconsequent manner. For instance, one day the
burning of the City of Montreal led to a discussion
on the horrors of a fire at sea, which lasted till we
went to sleep. In the morning he as usual got up
first to light the fire, which having done, he returned
to the waggon-sheet and said, " Yes, undoubtedly a
theatre is the worst place." We had thrown every
throwable article at him before we realised that he
was continuing last night's debate, and a feud had
been established.
This day Cardie took Spot as a saddle horse, and
went out exploring with a view to future operations.
JHe got a snap-shot at a mule-deer a few miles from
camp, but missed it owing to the thick timber.
The Skipper climbed up a mountain lying to the
east of the camp, whence, among other things, he
looked down on the most lovely blue lake lying in a
cleft on the opposite mountain, without visible inlet or
outlet, like a lost turquoise, a lake which he afterwards climbed to and fished, but fruitlessly. He
found in the new snow many tracks of sheep, and
also those of a good grizzly.     After pursuing all day m.
Elk River.
265
he was obliged to stop at last in a terribly precipitous
country, where for a long time he was shut in at the
bottom of a rocky gorge, out of which he only succeeded in finding a way just at sunset. Strictly
speaking, a man ought not to go out in this wild
country by himself, for in spite of all precautions
an accident may happen, and a broken leg or even
a badly sprained ankle is practically as fatal and a
good deal more painful than a broken neck ; at least
we imagine so : we have never tried the latter. However, we have so little time for hunting that we do
not like to waste any of it 03^ going in couples, so
our plan is to take separate beats, giving the man
in camp as good an idea of the proposed direction
as possible.
•HPW (266    )
CHAPTER XXIV.
THE  SOUTH FORK.
From Cardie's report of the land lying to the south of
the river, we were all anxious to spend a few days in
that direction. We packed the horses and were just
on the point of departure, when the weather began to
look so extra threatening that we simply dare not go.
So the tents were again pitched and we waited for
the morrow, very thankful that we had done so when
the cold dark clouds which had shrouded everything
in gloom burst upon us in a furious sleet storm.
When next morning we really did start, the sun was
shining, and everything looked gay and cheerful.
Jim had with great difficulty been dissuaded from
shooting at a lot of widgeon which he found in a pool
up the river; it would have been useless in that place
to have slaughtered the whole flock, as the slain must
almost certainly have been carried away down the
stream. This morning he spotted a large flight of
green-winged teal just below the camp, and by careful
stalking got into such a position that he managed to
secure two, though three others, alas, were hurried
over the falls and lost to us for ever.
Picture the despair of the hapless hunter who has
shot three of the most lovely fat teal ever seen as he The South Fork.
26
7
watches them swinging slowly round and round in a
torpid whirlpool for about a quarter of an hour, while
he vainly throws several cart-loads of stones intended
to make waves beyond them. It is curious, by the
way, to note the tendency of such stones to fall on
the wrong side of the object of solicitude. Then just
when victory and teal soup are within his grasp,
those beloved birds, on which his best cartridges and
trouser-knees have been expended, drift within the
seductive influence of the omnivorous torrent, and in
a moment that teal soup, diluted by the whole volume
of Elk River, has disappeared down a roaring cataract
and is swallowed up. It was a sight to make strong
men shudder and women teal—quail, we mean; but
we bore it nobly, though who shall say what silent
agonies our manly mien concealed in this the trying
moment of our lives. (N.B.—We should like some
good pious relations to see—and hear—the Skipper's
notion of silent agony.)
Let it pass, 'tis but a memory, and we will resume
the journey to the South Fork of Elk River. This
is a river running into Elk from the south at right
angles to it, about six miles below the bridge : we
were proposing to follow it up to some handsome
mountains visible a few miles nearer its source.
We crossed the bridge and made the ascent of the
zigzag path without mishap, finding at the top a trail
to the left which leads eastward into the Crow's-nest
Pass of the Rockies, and one to the right which goes
west and south down the Kootenay, crossing: the
South Fork close to its junction with Elk.
This is a very fine bit of country. We were up
high on the hillside for a long way, and then had a
*■ 268
The South Fork.
swift descent to a flattish terrace above the turbulent
waters of Elk, fighting their impatient way along the
bottom of the ravine far below. At last we came
to a "jumping off" place, and here the trail turned
sharply down to the right towards the ford. This,
however, was not our proposed route at present. We
unpacked and carefully " cached " the greater part of
our goods in a dense thicket. Jim began to say
that a bank was the right place to " cache " anything
in, but we checked him. Then, with stuff sufficient
for a few days, we turned to the left along a faint
old-time trail, climbed up a steep hill, and were soon
on a high table-land with our faces set towards the
valley of the South Fork.
That night we found ourselves down in a beautiful
camp close to the swift-flowing merry little river, so
much more inviting in appearance than its savage
self-willed big brother. A huge pile of terraces
sheltered us from the cold wind, and above them
towered a stupendous giant of a mountain. Across
the river was a glorious range, not quite so lofty or
precipitous, but very beautiful, with the dark green of
its fir-clad slopes set off by golden tamaracks dotted
here and there among the evergreens, and half way
up a broad yellow band of the same trees looking as
if they had been placed there by design, as a royal
belt for their monarch.
What fish that river held ! very different from the
lazy monsters of Elk; these were bright as silver,
game to the last, and in perfect condition. There was
only one drawback, which was that after one had
fished three or four pools there was nothing for it but
to go home, for even our powers of assimilating fish- The South Fork.
269
food have their limits, in spite of its brain-producing
qualities.
And what noble fires we had ! this being the first
place where we struck red cedar, the best wood of all
for burning, unless we except pin on, which is as
good, and in some respects better. On the whole
we should say a combination of the two is the acme
of perfection in fire-building ;  the pifion (pronounced
The South Fork of Elk River.
pinyon) giving the perpetual cheery blaze, and the
cedar the crisp crackling glow and warmth and
delicious scent.
Round such a fire under the mighty pines we
sat at night, with the pleasant ripple of the water
sounding in our ears, and the breeze gently rustling
in the dark branches above us, as happy as men
ever can be, hardly caring even for what weather the
morrow might bring forth.
wmmmm 2 70
The South Fork.
Our poor horses we fear did not think so highly of
the South Fork as their masters; and in the morning
Cardie, who had appointed himself Equerry-in-Chief,
came down from the cold, scantily grassed plateau on
which they were left with the news that the roan
had " skipped out" and must be followed. He therefore went in pursuit, while the Skipper and Jim toiled
up that very large and steep mountain which overhung the camp. When at nightfall they wearily
trudged back into camp, having had adventures
enough of the precipice and neck-breaking class to
satisfy any one, but without seeing any signs of life,
things did not look so rose-tinted as the previous
evening's cedar fire had made them. Snow was by
that time falling heavily on the tops of the mountains,
making the effect of the moonlit summits wonderfully lovely from the artistic point of view, but not
encouraging to the scantily provisioned hunter.
The Skipper's most thrilling anecdote only amounted
to this : that eight blue grouse had suddenly darted
out of one small bush with such stir and confusion
that for a brief space he imagined the top of the
mountain to have split asunder and a geyser to have
burst forth. Jim romanced greatly upon a fearful
watercourse which he had followed down the mountain,
coming in one place to a drop of twenty feet or so,
down which he prepared to descend by the aid of a dead
fir-tree which leaned from below into the face of the
cliff. Just before committing himself to it he thought
it his duty—noble disinterested fellow—to his wife
to test its strength, so dropped a lump of rock on to
its middle. The deceitful fir at once collapsed, which
he took as an omen, and gave up any attempt to get The South Fork.
271
down. Making a slow and difficult detour, he found
that all further progress down the watercourse was
barred a little lower by an absolutely impassable
precipice, so that even if he had survived the fall
from the tree he could neither have got back again
nor out of the ravine by any other means.
The moral of which is that careful attention should
be paid to omens ; and that if a ladder breaks by its
own weight it is an omen that it will not bear yours.
We learn also that all good husbands should take the
greatest care of themselves, and live on the best of
everything, and enjoy themselves as much as possible,
for the sake of their wives.
The next day was one that to the merest child
would have portended a bad change in the weather;
the snow continued to fall, and though not in sufficient
weight to spoil the fishing, made all ascent of the
mountains impossible. Added to this, the non-success
of our hunting had hastened the disappearance of the
stores in a very unpleasant degree, and a Cabinet
Council decided the following important points :—
1st. That we had food (without counting what we
might kill) for three days only.
2nd. That as we did not know anything about
the trail to Tobacco Plains (except that it was the
most difficult and dangerous one in the country), we
should be in a tight place if it snowed.
3rd. That it was going to snow like the very
everything.
4th. That we had better skip out first thing in the
morning—if we could.
When at sunset the mountain side was illuminated
with a most uncanny theatrical-looking green glare,
mm 272
The South Fork.
we were prepared for something very dire in the
shape of weather. The horses also seemed unhappy
and were not eating, so we brought them down
into the timber, and made everything ready for an
early start.
It was still snowing fitfully when long before daylight we packed and climbed up on to the terraces,
The Road (I) from the South Fork.
and the night had been so bitterly cold that we were
fortunately able to fill one of our largest cans with
solidly frozen fids of cleaned trout. As we gained
the higher ground a most bitter south-east wind
was blowing, driving the hard dusty snow in sharp
particles against our faces and into every part of our
clothing, but luckily not allowing it to lie sufficiently
to obscure the trail.     Up aboye the air was one haze   The South Fork.
273
of whirling dimness, and the mountains and forest
were already thickly powdered with white.
This plateau boasts one of the most extraordinary
bits of road (?) we have fallen in with—or down on.
The forest, which there may be described as light
telegraph pole size, has been burnt and then blown
down across the trail, and as all the trees are raised
a foot or two from the ground, it makes progress
very irksome, especially for the horses. Twice we
counted the number of poles across the path in a
distance of twenty yards, and in each case there were
just thirty-three.
The horses are wonderfully clever in stepping over
these obstructions : they do not hesitate at anything
not high enough to touch the girths, dragging
their hind legs over quite placidly; at a higher
obstacle they stop and throw themselves over by a
double-action jump, in which the hind-feet only
leave the ground when the fore-feet touch it on the
other side.
We found our " cache" untouched, and with as
little delay as possible hurried down the steep and
sharply twisting path to the ford. The place for
entering the water was obvious enough, but the exit
on the other side was by no means so apparent: all
we could do was to trust in Spot and commit ourselves to the deep. The Skipper had no scruples
about breaking the horse's back on this occasion.
Perched behind the pack he led the way across, and
with many lurches and flounderings we happily came
out safe on the other side. Down in the valley
there was hardly any snow; if there had been more
this history might have ended here, for we had great
s 74
The South Fork.
difficulty in finding the continuation of the trail, and
none of the horses assisted us in the least.
We should of course have corked up the story
of our adventures up to this point in an Eno's Salt
bottle, and posted it in Elk River in the manner
authorised by all desert island literature; but we
feel sure no reader could have taken pleasure in it,
had he known that the writers having successively
eaten Spot, Plain, that Roan, and each other, were
now lying under a full-grown avalanche at the mouth
of the South Fork.
When at last the path was found, we went forward
at speed, stopping only for a few minutes to finish
the last tin of jam. Soon the track once more began
to ascend, and brought us to a flat ledge several
hundred feet above Elk River, along which we went
westward for a mile, grumbling according to our
habit at the prodigious lies we had heard as to the
dangers of this guileless pathway.
Suddenly, however, it turned- straight at the
mountain-side, and began to climb it by a series of
the very steepest and most slippery zigzags. All
the horses refused to face the difficulty, and for a
few minutes we and they had what the newspapers
would call an
Animated Debate.-
Extraordinary Scenes.
Suspension of Mr. Plain (by a lariat).
Arrest of the O'Roan (on the edge of a precipice). The South Fork.
275
The final result being the tearing of some huge holes
in the mantles, and the application of the closure by
an enormous majority of thick sticks.
During the next three hours we enjoyed sufficient
thrills to satisfy the most fastidious sensation-monger.
At every bend there was trouble in turning the
horses, who, poor things, were so nervous that they
really dare not alter their course. Sometimes to
look downwards at the places we had come across
was even more trying than the actual transit. The
old roan was peculiarly aggravating, for instead of
walking round a bend, he would always try to
change the direction of his progress by twisting his
hind-legs off the track, a device which on a dozen
occasions nearly sent him headlong into Elk, tearing
along so far below as to be unheard and almost
unseen.
Many times we had to stop while Cardie and Jim
with the axes chopped a way through some tree
which lay too high to be stepped over, or cut down
one of those which, standing above the trail, projected
far enough to catch the pack and endanger the horses'
foothold on the narrow ledge. Once we were delayed
for a long time while all hands worked to dislodge
a huge rock, which, slipping, had blocked the path ;
and at last sent it leaping madly down the precipitous
incline. And ever as we worked our way slowly
upwards the snow fell faster and faster, and the path
grew more slippery and difficult to see.
At last the steep ascent accomplished, we stood
on the shoulder of the mountain, once more on
comparatively flat ground, but at such a height that;
we were  quite  in   the  mists of driving  snow, and 276
The South Fork.
exposed to a wind which seemed to go through and
through us, now that we were for the first time facing
it. The trail along the top was quite hidden, but we
were enabled to keep on it by the blazes which along
this length were cut on the trees. We saw that at
some recent date the path, which used to creep round
the shoulder at a lower level, had been carried away
by a land-slide, and the present one being newly
made over the top had necessitated this clear marking,
which, as there was none elsewhere, seemed specially
to favour us.
We hurried on, men, horses, and packs alike thickly
covered with the same white powder, which penetrated
and clung to everything around us, making the arched
branches a sight that, even in that remarkably unpleasant time, we could not fail to wonder at and
admire. But it was with a feeling of relief that we
once more came to a downward grade in the path,
and the bleak wind-swept ridge as we descended
began to keep off to some extent the bitter cold of
the storm. Down we went by a track which at other
times would have seemed one to be treated cautiously,
but in our present frame of mind, and by comparison
with the ascent on the other side, was hastily tumbled
down with the scantest of ceremony. Soon we were
out of the snow again, only enough falling on the
low ground to give a kind of frosted appearance to
everything without obscuring the path; and about
three o'clock we reached an old Indian camp under
the shelter of some great tamaracks, whose yellow
spines under the fury of the tempest strewed the
ground with cloth of gold.
Experience warned  us   never to  pass  an Indian The South Fork.
277
camp in the afternoon, for it is certain to be in the
best situation within a few miles; so as quickly as
possible we pitched the tent, lighted a big fire, and
prepared supper. The cold by this time was intense.
What it really was we cannot say : a tiny thermometer
on the back of the aneroid only marked seventeen
degrees of frost, but the wind seemed to chill the
very marrow in our bones. The mop which we use
for rinsing the crockery (or to speak more correctly,
the enamellery), and which always hangs on the X>*
was frozen stiff at about two feet from a roaring fire;
while the fish, butter, and worst of all the bread, were
most untractable from the same cause.
The very coffee in our cups froze before we had
drunk more than half of it. [This is a fact; but
possibly some caviller may be found to dispute it,
and to ask why if we drank the first half before it
froze, we did not drink the other half as well. To
such we reply that it was too hot when first poured
out]
The wind, instead of dropping, seemed to get
stronger and more piercing as the night came on.
We put the tent over the waggon-sheet, and then
cutting down several fir-trees, with their branches
made a " brush corral" all round the windward side
of the camp, blocking up our doorway with a dense
mass of the same cover. Protected in this way from
the worst cold, and with every stitch of clothing
on, we passed the night much more happily than
in the morning had seemed likely.     We were dread-
i.e., the two sticks which placed in that form support the pole on
which the kettle hangs.
HI
-_*-<ta3i fully sorry for the poor horses, for whom we had
had no time to make any shelter; but they seemed
to have found something of the sort for themselves, and were all right, but very hungry, in the
morning. (    279    )
CHAPTER XXV.
BREAD  AND HONEY.
The brook from which we drew our water here is
one of those delusive streams in which if a man trusts
for guidance he will "get left." It runs about ioo
yards from the camp in a little hollow in which
flourishes a dense growth of willows. Jim went with
the gun along this belt to try for a grouse; and
making a half circle in the wood, turned, as he
thought, to strike the watercourse at right angles,
and follow it back to camp. After a time he began
to feel sure from the distance walked and the slope
of the ground that something was wrong, and knowing the true direction of the camp turned towards
it, and after a short time came to the brook—which
he had never crossed—on the side opposite to his
starting-place. This seemed so extraordinary that he
followed it downwards and saw that in a couple of
hundred yards it gradually diminished from a big
rapid stream to a tiny trickle, and at last softly and
suddenly vanished away into probably some loose
stratum of gravel. There was no visible gulf for it
to plunge into, and not the slightest trace of damp
ground or moisture-loving plants further along the
hollow.
This capricious climate,  which, while we crossed
.•
wm
3S 280
Bread and Honey.
Elk Mountain, was behaving like the " Bounding
Bandit of the Bosphorus," was so gentle the next
morning that a child might have played with it.
The thermometer was still down among the teens,
but the wind had ceased, the snow only lay in a few
shady nooks, and a brilliant sun and cloudless sky
accompanied us on our way to Tobacco Plains.
The trail, though it is one very little used,
was in the absence of snow easily enough distinguished, and without any misgivings we pushed along
through a country more beautiful and inviting on
the whole than any we had seen, and in which the
open prairie patches succeeded each other at shorter
intervals.
We passed also this day a grove of tamaracks
which we thought to be considerably larger even than
the giants of Sand Creek. In fact, as some miscreant
remarked, " these larches are the larchest we have
seen." One of them, a veritable King of the Mountains,
had been struck by lightning, and now stood a ruined
monument of former greatness amidst the shivered
fragments of his own branches : the top of the trunk
had been broken off at what we guessed to be 200
feet from the ground, and its diameter there seemed
to be equal to the base of a good English larch.
None of his brethren approached to this one in size,
but all were higher than the broken stem of the
monarch.
In the afternoon we came to the junction of our
trail with the main one along the Kootenay valley, to
which we had once more returned, and soon afterwards came out of the forest region into big rolling
grass-covered   plains,   with    a   few   trees    scattered Bread and Honey.
281
irregularly about them, and occasionally a hollow in
which lay almost concealed from view the rush-
grown waters of a prairie lake. Still no house was
visible—the last inhabited place we had seen being
Skunk Ranch thirteen days ago — and we finally
stopped for the night at one of these lakes, in a
charming sheltered little hollow under a clump of
pines.
It was pretty to see a large flock of snow-birds
Snow Birds.
which we passed in this part of the trail. They
were playing in the drifts which lay here and there,
much as sparrows play in the dusty road, burrowing in it and throwing it over themselves with the
greatest enjoyment.
A curious feature of the earlier frosts in this
country seems to be their powerlessness over water.
The last three da}^s would in England have given us
»««■« if
282
Bread and Honey.
ice four inches thick, but here only shallow brooks
and ponds seem to freeze at all. This lake, though
not a large one, had a margin a few yards wide all
round it of ice that would bear, but the middle remained
open, though the water in our largest can was turned
out in a solid block a foot thick.
While at supper a solitary chortling was heard
overhead, and down came a goose into our lake, which
made itself comfortable at the other end. At night
when the moon was up, the Skipper and Jim having
nothing better to do, announced that they were going
to shoot that goose; so after the usual freely expressed contempt for each other's notions as to how
it should be done, they agreed on a Plan of Campaign
and set out.
It is needless to say that they did not shoot that
goose brave boys, as the wary • fowl fled away discreetly at a place which neither of these pundits had
mentioned as a possible means of escape; but the
Skipper, who was driving, made such a fiendish row
that the horses stampeded, and the rest of the night
was spent in scampering in pursuit under the moonlight until the errant beasts were once more safely
tethered.
We had arrived so near to the home of Spot and
Plain that we dare not let them go free on this occasion. On the whole, however, we have had exceptionally little trouble on this score. Many people go
out hunting on the mountains and hunt hardly anything but horses and trails all the time ; but we have
been lucky in the roan, who is too ancient to care for
frivolous wanderings, and has only gone off twice;
Spot we have tethered, except in specially good feed \ Bread and Honey.
283
and Plain would not think of leaving his guide and
friend.
Three miles on the following morning brought us
to the brow of a steepish hill, below which we could
see a large collection of wooden houses surrounded
by fields with cattle and horses, while a quarter of a
mile be}7ond them ran the International Line. In a
few minutes more we were down at Phillipps' ranch,
and receiving a hearty welcome from him and Norbury,
a young Englishman whom we had met up at the
Ferry. The first thing any white man does in this
country is to set before you a meal of the very best
his house contains, and our present host was no
exception to the rule.
That finished, Jim on a horse, and (oh joy !) an
English saddle lent by Phillipps, and with another
horse in tow, went, as he proudly said, I into the
United States' to a store about six miles away.
There we hoped to replace the substance we had
wasted in the more or less riotous living of the
last month.
The others made a day of washing, mending, and
general renovation of themselves and their possessions
—a sort of day reminding one of the Persian feast
mentioned by Herodotus under the name of I Tycta,
or, in the Greek, ' perfect,' for then only the king
washes his head with soap."
We have among other treasures two articles which
hang on the X of our kettle-pole. Strictly speaking
they are dish clouts, and pretty poor clouts at that.
That, however, is not the name we give them, neither
are they known as dusters, or even towels. We call
them   "napkins,"  as   though   they  were  white   and
*
mm hi
284
Bread and Honey.
shining things. One of them never was anything
better than a piece of a cotton bag; but the other
really was a proper glass cloth, and had a beautiful
pattern woven on it in red checks ; this, however,
has long been merged in a neutral tint of brownish
hue which neither the feast of Tycta nor anything
else seems able to remove. Moreover, both these
napkins, from arduous use and their proximity to
the fire, had become full of holes, for whenever a
spark alighted on them, from extreme dryness and
greasiness they immediately caught fire and burnt
like an oil-well. In this emergency Cardie was
appealed to, the Skipper saying as he showed his
fingers, between which hung the unclean rags of
the serviettes, " These are no longer any use," and
out of his enormous bag Cardie with much hesitation produced two beautiful new napkins. So when
he was fast asleep we turned out that sack, which
until then we had supposed to contain nothing but
mits and mocassins, and found all sorts of things,
but especially quantities of shirts, all spotlessly clean,
but all in rags. Why Cardie never thinks of wearing
them we do not know, but imagine it is from the
difficulty of deciding which are shirts, which paper
collars, and which canvas trousers, for all his garments
are so much alike in their raggedness that nothing
but a memoria technica would do it. Whenever he
did change his shirt he always took it off in decimal
fractions, a bit at a time, and these we used to collect
and put on the camp-fire just before we came away.
The general blackness and griminess of all our
clothes has of course sensibly increased since the
coldness   of   the  weather   prevented   any   extended Bread and Honey.
washing operations. The burnt forests in which we
have so frequently sojourned are very bad for pretty
coloured attire, so much so in fact that one of
the Skipper's chief causes of gratification in his
blue trousers has departed. He used always to be
saying, " How nice it is to wear bags you can
wipe your pen on," but he has had to stop that
practice because the ink makes a mark that looks
like chalk on the all-pervading darkness of his nether
garments, and he is afraid of being taken for a billiard
sharper.
Talking of ink, how curious is the property this
liquid possesses of being able to run up hills. That
ink rises above its own level may be ascertained
by a simple experiment. Take a perfectly clean
pen and penholder, and after writing with it for
a quarter of an hour or less you will find that the
height to which the ink has already raised itself out
of the nib is accurately marked on your thumb
and second finger. If you are a very careful
writer, and stop ' between the sentences to think,
it will probably reach the level of your mouth and
trouser-pockets,   and   spread   over  your   collar   and
tie, and any one who smokes while writing will
find that his pipe is covered with it. The inkpot also contributes several facts interesting to
scientific observers. An ink-pot is always empty
because it always upsets itself over your best waistcoat and your latest sketch directly it has been
filled; and yet there is always a penful of ink in
one of the corners—ink that would be good useful
stuff were it not for the bits of blotting paper and
small sticks and portions of steel pens from which
DRV
mmmmmm
HHR 286
Bread and Honey.
few ink-pots are free. It is supposed that most
species of ink-pot absorb these articles or else
have the power of propagating them, for no human
being is such an idiot as to put them in, and yet
they are always there. There is no fluid so utterly
subversive of Christianity and destructive of all good
resolutions. Who can refrain from profanity expressed or implied when this devil's cauldron known
as the inkstand tips itself over a letter which has
taken an hour to write ? And again when you are
filling it up, what more exasperating than to find
that a couple of drops cause it to overflow and
send a saucerful all over your hand and best tablecloth ? Without doubt those are happiest who use
pencils altogether and never tamper with ink, and
our advice to the young is to eschew the unholy
compound and not play with it. As surely as
they touch the glittering blackness which lurks
beneath the lid, so surely will they get themselves
or some one else into trouble.
Jim came back from the store with 100 lbs. of
flour, three tins of honey, and the cheering intelligence that there was no other food to be had
for love or money : all the bacon in the country,
all the tea, coffee, and jam was eaten up, and the
storekeeper had gone off to the railway a hundred
miles away to buy more.
Then Phillipps informed us that though the canoes
were all right and on the river a few miles away,
that he strongly advised us not to go in them, for-
the river, which here on account of its speed remained unfrozen, would probably be ice-bound
eighty miles lower down, where it became a torpid Bread and Honey
stream. If we should chance to find it in that
state when we arrived there we could neither go
down, nor return up, nor get across by land, as
there was no trail within reach of the river, and
no one living there from whom we could buy horses.
So that there seemed a good prospect of a miserable
end to us and our travels. He urged us to get
back to Galbraith's Ferry, where there certainly
was food, and thence by Cranbrook down the Mooyie
Pass to Bonner's'Ferry (now more generally known
as Dick Fry's), and so out to a station on the
Northern Pacific Railway.
We were very much averse to this scheme because
of the large amount of old ground it involved, but
there seemed no help for it, for we had not food
enough to go south from here by land, so we finally
agreed to adopt his plan, the more readily because he
himself with Norbury and a pack-train would be
starting for the Ferry in the morning.
This important point settled, a pack-train became a
necessity, and here again our host came to the rescue,
and in a few minutes we became the owners of three
horses at a price which we only refrain from mentioning lest he should be pestered to death by importunate buyers at the same figure. This was friendliness indeed, for the man who won't do his dearest
chum over a horse-deal in the old country is, we fear,
very rare and curious, and is quite certain to have his
will disputed.
Only the canoes remained to be dealt with, and
that difficulty was easily arranged. Phillipps would
be able to obtain them from " the lady" who now
had charge of them, and would take care of them for 288
Bread and Honey.
us, so that now we had nothing to do but to go to
bed in the house provided for us, and start on the
return journey in the morning.
With regard to the above-mentioned lady a romance
might be written, had we the space of a three-volume
novel, the impudence of a society journal, and a light-
hearted fearlessness of actions for libel which unfortunately we do not possess. As, however, we did not
have the pleasure of meeting her, we will only say that
we heard she was a little—just the merest trifle—inclined to be strong-minded; and if she does not like
that, we unreservedly withdraw it, and substitute anything she does like. And now we hope we are safe
through that.
Our new pack-train was composed of old Plain
(now called, in honour of his late master, " Tobacco
Plain "), a new Spot (so named because he has a kind
of blister upon his otherwise comely bay hide), and a
Sorrel Nag which we bought chiefly for riding purposes. Our Own of course we still have; but old
Spot, whose real name we find to be Pappa (Grandfather), was so dear to his owner on account of his
toothbrush tail, extreme wisdom, and a capacity for
remaining fat on starvation diet, that he would not
part with him.
The journey to the Ferry was not particularly
exciting. We camped each night wherever the pack-
train halted, making twenty-two miles on the longest
day, and sixty in three days, leaving about five miles
for the fourth. Plain tried to drown himself in Elk
River, no doubt in despair at his approaching separation from Spot senior. He calmly walked out of
his way into one of the deepest pools in the river; Bread and Honey.
289
but being fortunately loaded with  the least important
of our packs, no harm was done.
The necessity we are under of walking in long Indian
file leads to some curious results when any conversation
is carried on. We are all too idle and too much occupied to turn round, so any man who has anything to
say simply shouts it straight into the air, leaving his
followers to catch as much as they can.     Thus whet
Northern Raven.
Jim began in a voice like a fog-horn, " If we had gone
down the river we should have skinned our whole
face on it," the Skipper interrupted, " You speak in
such a whisper I can't hear you." Then came, in an
earth-shaking yell, " If we had gone down the river,
we should have pinned our whole faith on it," &c.
The  night we slept   about  three   miles   north of
Elk, we were for the first time really badly off for
t 290
Bread and Honey.
food, for our iced fish were finished at Tobacco Plains ;
the bacon gave out two days before; the dissipated
soup had been dissipated indeed; we had no grouse
left, and were disagreeably surprised to see none along
the trail, for this spell of frost seemed to have sent
them all into the interior of the forest, and the only
evidence of bird-life was the hoarse cry of the ravens,
which were very numerous hereabouts. A couple of
squirrels was all that we shot in that sixty-five miles;
and other meat, except about 2 lbs. of salt pork, we
had none. Our food for the three days consisted
of bread and honey; and though we seemed to thrive
on it, we never felt as if we had had anything to eat
all the time.
The intense cold continued until we arrived at the
Ferry, but every night we had a great treat, which
we used to take in turns when the labours of our
own camp were ended. This was to go across to
our friends, who had an Indian lodge for a tent, and Bread and Honey.
291
there exchange the cold, draughty, lightless waggon-
sheet which was our own protection for the warm,
bright, comfortable house in which they lived. Very
jolly it was to lie on the rugs, deftly placed all round
the cheerful fire, and watch the smoke ascending, not
only from that, but from our own pipes, through the
dark opening above, while story after story was told
Co - ok- ok -yoA-yoA~y<?ur-i/ow-ym-(JOt£ !
of hunting, trapping, and the various wild adventures
of life among the Indians. " How I wish that life
was all after dinner," as the Skipper said; " what a
nice mellow world this would be."
On this journey we rose and breakfasted long
before daybreak, so as to be packed and ready for
starting with the morning light. Our frugal lunch of
bread  and  honey was  the only meal  eaten   in   the
mm 292
Bread and Honey.
daytime, for before our camp was put in order and
supper cooked night had again overtaken us. Those
evenings in the lodge will always be remembered by
us with pleasure, no less keen from the contrast with
the return to the waggon-sheet, where we could only
hurry into bed and get to sleep as soon as the despairing yells of the coyotes and wolves howling at
—or for—the moon would allow us to do so.
The warmth of our habitation is by the way not
increased by the fact that the Skipper refuses to
block up either end of the canvas, because, forsooth 1
his doctor tells him "it is healthy to sleep with the
window open." (    293    )
CHAPTER  XXVI.
BACK AGAIN.
A curious story was told of a dromedary, which
with several of its brethren was once introduced into
this country by an enterprising packer in the early
rush for gold. This genius having noticed that the
ship of the desert was of a registered tonnage equal
to about four mules, with hardly as much original sin
as one, commenced a very profitable career with his
novel pack-train. Unfortunately his fellow-packers
conceived a prejudice against his invention, for the
evident reason that if persisted in mules and horses
would become a drug in the market. This prejudice
they demonstrated by shooting at him and his dromedaries whenever they saw them, a course of action
which speedily resulted in the survival of one, doubtless the fittest, which happened to be a dromedary.
This wise beast thereupon took to its heels, and disappeared in the forest, and the packers had rest for
many years.
At the end of that time a hunter one day met an
animal the like whereof he had never set eyes on,
so grisly, grim and shaggy was its appearance, so
humped its back and long its legs; but as it used
these latter away from and not towards him, he pur-
mmmm 94
Back Again.
sued after it. And then the story of the derelict ship
occurred to him, and he shouted after it, " Couchez !
cochon ! Sacre nom d'un pipe ! Morbleu !' and the
other endearing epithets wherewith its defunct master,
a French Canadian, was wont to caress it. And the
strange creature lay down, waited for him to mount
between its humps, and carried him triumphant to
Tobacco Plains, where for many years it laboured as
a beast of burden, and was finally eaten one day when
people were hungry. It had provided itself in this
cold climate with a coat of marvellous warmth, and
was altogether so changed from its original appearance as to be practically a new development of
species.
Another interesting topic was the wolverene and
its Idiosyncrasies. This animal, it appears, is so suspicious of the schemes of its enemies that the only
way to catch it is to put a trap without any bait or
concealment in the unlikeliest place for it to come.
Then lay any amount of snares, and lures, and
cunningly concealed ambushes everywhere else. The
wolverene will be so awfully pleased with his own
smartness in detecting and avoiding these devices
that he will march straight into the one prepared for
him.
One we were told of which came down a chimney
and played the common or garden fool in a man's
hut. He was going away for a few days, so set a heavy
trap in the fireplace, which, however, he omitted to
secure. A neighbour next day hearing diabolical
noises in the hut, went and peeped through a chink
in the door, and there saw what he supposed to be
the  Devil,   a  fearsome being all  glaring   eyes   and Back Again.
shaggy hair. The house appeared to have had a
company of fiends playing Rugby football in it, if one
could imagine demons so devoid of common sense as
to engage in that pastime. Everything movable was
smashed and torn into flinders, and the whole place,
including his Satanic majesty, covered thickly with
flour. The discoverer, being a courageous man, commenced shooting at the infernal visitant through the
chinks, and at last succeeded in killing him ; and then
the door being opened a wolverene with a steel trap
on his leg was disclosed to view, the general jamboree in which everything was embraced being the
result of the owner's carelessness in leaving the trap
unfastened. There was not one single thing, it was
said, left in that cabin that had not been smashed,
upset, or rent in pieces by the infuriated animal in
its efforts to escape, the trap being too heavy for it to
return up the chimney.
Among other things we learnt one night a new
method of cooking a ruffed grouse, the only one that
fell a prey to the hunter on the journey. This seemed
to present so many points of novelty that we hasten
to explain the process to the public.
We sat round the fire, six in number, and one
commenced operations by plucking the grouse and
sticking it on a long skewer which was fixed in the
ground so that it leant a little over the fire. Thus it
was roasted for about half an hour, when somebody
woke up and said, " I think I should put a scrap of
onion in it." So another took four or five onions and
crammed them with difficulty into the interior of the
bird. Then the roasting proceeded for a space, and
another said, " I should turn it like this," whereupon
Jmw
otp« he turned it upside down, and the onions rolled out
upon the carpet—grass that is—and were placed upon
the fire, and their perfume was grateful. Then
another searcher after truth said solemnly, " I think—
and I have not scamped the thinking—that it ought
to be split." And it was split, and again the roasting
went on. Finally an impatient one said, " Let's finish
that d—d rooster in the morning," and it was placed
outside the lodge to cool. While there a wanderer
trod upon it and rolled it in the sand, which abounded
in that place; and in the morning being frozen
harder than a rock, it was divided with difficulty and
a hatchet, and fried; and with one voice the people
cried out " .Delicious."
We arrived once more at the Ferry about midday
on the 28th of October; and there the Skipper and
Jim stayed to buy provisions, while Cardie with three
horses crossed the river to make a camp a few miles
further on. The other two commenced by a lunch—
ironically so-called—-which lasted about two hours,
and at which they ate all the food they didn't have
during the last four days. Then flour, dried apples,
and jam having been obtained from the store, and a
huge piece of beef from the Camp, all of which
foraging took up much time, a start was made by
moonlight along the Cranbrook trail. %M
We have forgotten to mention that one day while
coming up from Tobacco Plains two men in a hurry
passed us on horseback; and an hour or two afterwards came three others in a greater hurry, and said
that the first two were deserters, who in the absence
of canoes are now obliged to ride all the way to the
ine.    At   the   Police  Camp we learnt the  rank and I
Back Again.
297
occupation of these various fugitives. There is quite
a Snark-hunting ring about it.
The crew was complete : it included a Boots,
A maker of Bonnets and Hoods,
A Barrister brought to arrange their disputes,
And a Broker to value their goods—
were the lines which occurred to us when we heard
that—
The Builder went first, and the Butcher in boots
A canoe with the Baker did share,
And now there have followed the Bugler (who toots),
And the Barber (who cuts off their hair).
The result is that the completion of the winter
quarters has been much delayed, the bread is by no
means satisfactory, the present bugle-call gives forth
an uncertain sound, and the men do not look quite so
smart as formerly, but no doubt a very short time
will set right these little deficiencies.
Poor Cardie, starving in a camp close to the first
Alkali lake, was rejoined about seven o'clock. He
welcome^ with warmth the beef and other luxuries,
including even his companions.: Jim was nearly
dead with cold, for we had not been able to buy any
ropes at the Ferry—those that Phillipps had lent us
had of course returned with him; and so the only
way of carrying the things on the Sorrel Nag was
to tie two bags together, hang them over his back,
and sit on them to keep them there. " The curious
thing," as the rider said, " is that while it has frozen
me, it seems to have made the nag quite hot."
We have tried various experiments with tea, for
instance mixing it with curry powder, which happened
wsm
mm once when an accident to the pack burst the tin containing that delicacy, and for a time we had curried
everything, including hairbrushes, butter, shirts, and
jam. But at this camp we had a surpassing nastiness
in the shape of Alkali tea, for the lake as it chanced
was the most thoroughly impregnated of all those
which lie along the trail. However, it seemed to be
harmless in the homoeopathic doses which we took"
of it.
Every one at the Ferry had told us that the
weather was going to change, and congratulated us
on our great luck because now the Indian Summer
was coming. Accordingly that night the beautiful
clear weather, cold though it was, came to an end,
and in the morning we awoke to the accompaniment
of a dank November drizzle. Several different kinds
of temper, none of them worthy to be classed higher
than " indifferent," were at once produced, and aided
by these we arrived at Cranbrook, set up our tent a
short distance from the house, and were.once more
most hospitably received.
This being the easiest day we have had it was
natural that Cardie should remark—
" I shall feel awfully tired to-morrow/'
" Why on earth to-morrow ? "
"Well, because I always feel tired the day after."
" Mercy on us, the day after what ? "
" Well, don't you know, I mean I always feel tired
when I get up."
And this is a fair specimen of the brilliancy of our
conversation after our hard week's work.
We had suffered so much inconvenience from the
want   of   proper   packing   appliances   that  we  were
i Back Again.
determined to make good all deficiencies now, if
the expenditure of a little time and trouble would
enable us to do so. We spent therefore two days
of hard work in completing an outfit for all our
horses. One old pack-saddle we were lucky enough
to obtain at Tobacco Plains, and another was given
to us at Cranbrook, both of which a little tinkering
converted into thoroughly serviceable articles. We
bought one lash-rope here, made another one by
splicing together several odd lengths, and a third by
twisting up the tow-lines of our deserted canoes.
Rings for the synches Cardie soon made at the
Cranbrook forge, while Jim was busy with the
construction, out of some strong sacks bought for the
purpose, of the synches themselves, and also of the
wooden hooks for their ends.
The " Captain " provided some raw hide, invaluable
for lacing together the various trappings of the saddles,
lashing the hooks to the synches, and for stirrup
leathers and laddigoes (the spelling of the latter
word may be wrong, but the pronunciation is correct:
a laddigoe is the long leather thong about an inch
and a half wide which takes the place of the strap
and buckle of an English girth). Of great assistance
in all these works were the copper rivets and washers,
of which we had brought a plentiful supply, and
which all travellers ought to carry in every wild
country.
Two " parfleches | also had to be devised for the
more troublesome miscellaneous camp-kit that would
not make up into convenient packs, and these were
at last contrived out of some strong sackcloth and
rawhide loops.     A real parfleche is merely a hide, 300
Back Again.
with holes punched all round its edges, into which
all your small oddments are bundled, and laced up
by a thong through the holes, making a square kind
of leather bag, which is then hung by loops on to the
horns of the pack-saddle. Two of these had been
lent to us by Phillipps for our journey to Tobacco
Plains, but he could not spare them altogether, and
something of the kind was necessary for such things
as cooking utensils, tools, bacon, and a tin of golden
syrup which the Skipper had acquired as a poor
substitute for our departed honey.
We should strongly advise any one who comes to
this country with the idea of looking about in it to
bring with him an English saddle (or if he prefer it a
Mexican one), and whatever pack-saddles, ropes, and
other gear he may intend to use. Horses can easily
be obtained in any quantity and at moderate prices,
but equipments, according to our experience, could
not be had for money, to say nothing about love.
Whatever trouble and delay we suffered came from
this cause, which a very little outlay in civilised
regions would have prevented had we known as
much—or as little—as we are now imparting to
the reader.
Mexican saddles are a very expensive luxury,
though in buying one you certainly get a good deal
for your money. They cost from £\2 to £14, and
are enormous masses of leather, with the high
pummel in front and the raised croup behind which
compel you to ride in a standing rather than sitting
position. They are undoubtedly very good and convenient for their own purposes out here, but we fail
to see  that  on  the whole  they are  superior to  an Back Again.
301
English saddle in any way, and for comfort they
cannot be compared to it—at least not from the
point of view of a man accustomed to our pattern.
We have seen English saddles slightly modified to
suit colonial requirements—i.e., with a pummel for the
lariat, and dees to carry the various accoutrements
customary to the Mexican; but not having tried these
inventions, cannot say anything either for or against
them, beyond the general axiom that all combination
dodges are "pizen." (    SO2    )
CHAPTER  XXVII.
OPENING OF THE LODGE.
The Skipper was very busy with the camera during
our short stay, and was continually bursting into
camp in a towering passion because " the Captain,"
whose remarkable lineaments we particularly wished
to preserve, would time after time in the middle of
the fatal four seconds suddenly change his position,
wreath his countenance in engaging smiles, and
remark, " You makee wantee melluk butter all samee,
five dollahs," or some equally sapient observation, so
that after all the trouble only a poor presentment
was obtained. There was also an Indian lodge hard
by inhabited by a Kootenay and a really good-looking
squaw, whose portrait was ardently coveted.
It was pretty to see the photographic party, consisting of H. Baker, the Skipper, and Norbury—who
having put on a clean collar fancied himself irresistible—dancing round the tepee into which the coy
beauty had retired, peeping through the doorway
opening, and adjuring her in the most persuasive
terms in their vocabulary to come forth and be taken.
Jim, as a married man, expressed strong disapproval
of the whole proceeding, and chuckled immensely
when the husband arrived unexpectedly on the scene,
and the photographers began to look for flowers and Opening of the Lodge.
3U3
butterflies, and talk to the dog. He however proved
much more amenable to their blandishments than his
spouse, and not suspecting, as her unerring feminine
instinct no doubt had warned her, what a fearful guy
these plausible ruffians would make of him, suffered
himself and his tepee to be victimised,* and was, we
regret to say, rather uncomplimentary to his better half
for her want of pluck.
It will give a good idea of the impracticability of the
H, M. Custom House.    Cranbrook, B. C.
country when we say that although Cranbrook is
about eighty miles distant from the U. S. line, the
Custom-House for the Mooyie trail is situated here.
Probably there is not enough demand for | free trade I
to make smuggling a sufficiently profitable business:
still as far as we can learn it is not attempted
owing to the great difficulty, amounting almost to
impossibility, of getting across the country by any
way except the recognised trail, in spite of the dis-
* See Illustration, p. 136.
f,f. o
04
Opening of the Lodge.
tance to be traversed before reaching H.M. Custom-
House.
The one drawback to our enjoyment was caused by
the pigs, which, being loose about the place, were continually foraging round our camp if ever we left it unguarded for five minutes. At night they would want
to see the time by the Waterbury watch which the
Skipper kept under his "pillow''—as he calls the assortment of boots and fishing tackle on which he rests
his weary head—its position being loudly proclaimed
by its all-pervading tick. But by strict attention we
avoided any harm from their curiosity.
The last evening was a singularly beautiful one.
Prominent in the foreground was the Indian, with
his clothes brilliant enough to make an Englishwoman shudder, but somehow harmonising well
with the creamy tepee, shading off as it does into
smoky brown at the top. Then the very blue
smoke against the dark green firs beyond, and in
the far distance the Rockies, pink-tinged on their
snowy summits from the last rays of the sun, and below
the darker range looking like a deep blue cloud ;
below that again a real cloud of pure white hanging
over the valley of the Kootenay; nearer the pine
and tamaracks; and lastly the cultivated fields on
the prairie—making a picture in which even the
ugly old wooden buildings had a beauty of their own,
not altogether unassociated in our minds with the
good dinners we had enjoyed in them.
We left Cranbrook, with its blazing fires and
jolly evenings in the best of company, on the 1st
of November; the Scotch mist having at last come
to   an   end,   and the   Indian Summer,  as every one
s Opening of the Lodge.
305
assured us, "just agoing to begin." Our new pack^
train worked admirably, but we made a very short
day, stopping at the little prairie where our former
camp had been made, on account of its good horse
feed.
That evening there was made the sensible observation of the whole trip, an occurrence equally
remarkable and important to our happiness during
the following days. We were lamenting the evenings
no more to be ours in that lodge on the way up from
Tobacco Plains. Said Cardie, "Why not make a
lodge instead of talking so much of its advantages ? I
And so greatly were we struck by the excellence of
the idea that no one so much as observed " Donkey."
There was the framework of an old Indian tepee
still standing at this place, so that correct dimensions
were easily procured, and accordingly next morning
the work was begun. Two of the horses, yearning
for the flesh-pots of Cranbrook, had " skipped out,"
and it seemed appropriate that the Skipper should
skip after them.
Jim constructed a yard measure, and after a few
minutes' measuring of the old lodge, and what he
called " getting out specifications " on the back of an
envelope, he announced his opinion as to the size
and shape of the canvas required.
Cardie in the meantime by an ingenious adaptation of the Differential Calculus and some abstruse
logarithms had succeeded in arriving at exactly the
same figure; and an examination of the tent and
waggon-sheet proved that we had just enough
material for the required purpose.
All  that   day, which  luckily was   beautifully  fine
u
lliJ ■
, 3o6
Opening of the Lodge.
though cold, we worked hard, measuring, cutting out,
and sewing, no less than twenty-two yards of strong
stitching being required; but at evening a lodge
of the very best construction, with ears, sockets on
them for the chimney poles, and doorway pro-
vided> with double-breasted flaps and tapes for
closing it, silk-lined throughout, and finished with
all modern improvements, price six guineas, was
reared on the little prairie; and. at night we sat
round a fire rejoicing in the warmth and light, while
the keen frost outside only made our present lot the
more delightful.
It was rather startling to see in letters of blood
the word J. L. appear on the side of the tent,
illuminated for the first time by the blazing fire
within. It was in vain for Cardie to protest that
he remembered thus marking the waggon-sheet with
red paint. But after a time we reflected that even
if the tent did belong to Jael, none of us were
Sisera, and we need not pay any attention to the
ominous characters.
One of our greatest grievances since the short
days and long nights set in has been the difficulty
of doing anything, however simple, after dark. We
have carried candles, but their use has been very
unsatisfactory, for in our open waggon-sheet there
was always more or less of a draught, and the tent
was too small and stuffy for more than one person
to use it at once, besides being very cold. But a
tepee, removes all these objections at once. In the
first place, from its conical shape, there is so much
reflected light from the fire, that with that alone
reading and writing are perfectly easy ;  but to make
l^i IfllfliKilall
ill j
(9&r Lodge
(With sides throzvii back to show the interior).
Page 306  Opening of the Lodge.
\oj
the interior luxurious we generally have a candle
as well; and thus all household duties become easy
of performance. The pitching and taking down