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From Euston to Klondike : the narrative of a journey through British Columbia and the North-west territory… Price, Julius M. (Julius Mendes), -1924 1898

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Array     FEOM EUSTON  TO KLONDIKE   the summit of the CHILC00T PASS, [See page 85, FEOM EUSTÔN TO KLONDIKE
THE NARRATIVE OF
A JOURNEY THROUGH BRITISH COLUMBIA
AND THE NORTH-WEST TERRITORY
IN THE SUMMER OF 1898
JULIUS  M.  PRICE, RR.G.S.
SFECIAL ARTIST-CORREiSPONDENT OP THE " ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS "
ATJTHOR OF  " FROM THE ARCTIC OCEAN TO THE YELLOW SEA "
"THE LAND OF GOLD," ETC.
WITH   MAP AND   ILLUSTRATIONS   FROM   SKETCHES   BY
THE   AUTHOR
AND   PHOTOGRAPHS
LONDON
SAMPSON  LOW, MABSTON &  COMPANY
LIMITED
$>t. ©unstan's l^'ouse
Fetter Lane, Fleet Stbeet, E.C.
1898 /S■S, -/£■?-
is
{iow's Popular Library of Travel and Adventure.
Uniform crown 8w. volumes% fully Illustrated, bound in cloth,
Half-a-Crown each.
Ten Years' Captivity in the Mahdi's Camp, 1882-18$2.
From the Original. Manuscripts of Father Joseph Ohrwal^er.
By Colonel F. R. Wingate, R.A.   Also Limited Edition at
6d., just published.
HOW I Found Livingstone. -Including Four Months' Residence
with Dr. Livingstone.   By Henry M. Stanley.
The Cruise of the  * Falcon.'    A Voyage to South America
in a Thirty-ton Yacht.    By E. F. Knight.
The Great Lone Land.   A Record of Travel and Adventure in
North and West America.   By Gen. Sir W. F. Butler, K.C.B.
Men, Mines, and Animals'in South Africa.    By Lord
Randolph Churchill.
The River Congo.     From the Mouth to Bdldbd.    By H. H.
Johnston, C.M.G.
Clear Round!   Seeds pf Story from other Countries; a Chronicle
of L nks and Rivets.in this World's Girdle. By E. A. Gordon.
The Cruise Of H.M.S. * Challenger.' Scenes in-Many Lands,
Voyages over Many Seas. By W. J. J. Spry, R.N., F.R.G.S.
Through Masai Land.    A Journey of Exploration among the
Snow-clad Volcanic Mountains and Strange Tribes of fcastern
Kquatorial Africa.   By Joseph Thomson.
The Wild North Land.   By Gen. Sir Wm. F. Butler, K.C.B.
Coomassie.    The Story of the Campaign in Africa,  1873-74.
'   By H. M. Stanley, M.P.
Magdala.   The Story of the Abyssinian Campaign of 1866-67.
By H. M. Stanley, M.P.
Hausaland.    By Rev. C. H. Roèinson, M.A.
Two Kings of Uganda.   By Rev. R. P. Ashe, "M.A.
Two  Roving  Englishmen   in   Greece.   I By Isabel J.
Armstrong.
HOW I Shot My Bears ; or, Two Years' Camp Life in Kpllu
and Lahoul.    By Mrs. R. H. Tyacke.
On the Indian Hills : Coffee Planting in Southern India.   By
Edwin Letter Arnold.
On Horseback through Asia Minor. By Col. Fred Burnaby.
London :
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANY, Limits,
St. Dunstan's House, Fetter Lane, E.C. NOTE
I AM indebted to the proprietors of the Illustrated
London Neivs for their kind permission to re-
produce in this work the sketches and drawings
I made for them whilst on my journey, a great*
many of which have already appeared in that
paper ; and also for the use of the text accompanying them, which has formed in a measure the
basis of my book.  CONTENTS
CHAPTER  I.
LONDON TO  ROSSLAND.
The Canadian Pacific Railway—Revelstoke—Steamboat
journey on the Arrow Lakes from Arrowhead to
Robson—Trail Creek—The Columbia and Western
Railway to Rossland—An exciting experience .
CHAPTER II.
ROSSLAND.
First impressions of the " Camp "—The local Fire Brigade
—The "lions " of Rossland—Red Mountain mines :
the Le Roi, War Eagle, Centre Star, Columbia
and Kootenay, Josie, and Nickel Plate—The British
America Corporation—Governor Macintosh—A visit
to the Centre Star Mine—The Rossland ore—Cost of
working—An excursion to Sophie Mountain    .
13
CHAPTER III.
ROSSLAND TO SPOKANE.
Halcyon hot springs—The sanitarium—Local faith in the
Halcyon waters—Pathetic incident—An impressive CONTENTS
PAGE
burial—The town of Nelson—Visit to the Hall Mines'
smelter—Nelson to Spokane—A typical Western
township   .        . .        .        .        •        .32
CHAPTER IV.
SPOKANE TO VANCOUVER.
A landslide—Destruction of Northport—A curious incident
on the line—Slocan city—Sport in the Slocan district
—Silverton—Sandon—An interesting trip—Sandon
to Vancouver     .        .-jflf '.        .        . 4§£t        .      40
CHAPTER V.
VANCOUVER TO  SKAGUAY.
Preparations for my journey to the Klondike—My canoe
—List of baggage and stores—The steamship Tartar
—From Vancouver to Fort Wrangel—A stroll round
the town—The Indian village—The " Opera House "
—Wrangel to Skaguay—Utter lawlessness of the
district—"Soapy Smith" and his gang—A tragic
ending to a disgraceful state of affairs     .       ".
54
CHAPTER  VI.
FROM SKAGUAY TO THE SUMMIT OF THE CHJLCOOT PASS.
Skaguay to Dyea—Dyea to Canyon City—The Trail—*
Our travelling companions—Canyon City—Sheep
Camp—The Chilcoot Pass Aerial Tramway—The
ascent of the Chilcoot Pass—Impressions of the
scenery—The summit—The North-West Mounted
Police Camp      .        .        .        .        .        .        .76 CONTENTS
CHAPTER VIL
THE  SUMMIT OF THE  CHILCOOT PASS TO LINDERMAN.
Inspector Belcher of the North-West Mounted Police—
An amusing incident—Lakes Crater, Long, and Deep
—" Happy Camp "—An awkward adventure on Deep
Lake—A sledge ride—The Alaska sledge-dog—From
Deep Lake to Linderman     .        .        .   |§t-.
89
CHAPTER VIII.
LINDERMAN AND. BENNETT.
The "hotel" at Linderman—First experience of a bunk-
* house—Boat-building—A wonderful scene—The coup
oVceil Linderman—From Linderman to Bennett—
Bennett—Shooting the rapids—Arrival of our baggage—Our Jap cook—Packing the canoe—The start
for Dawson .        .        .
103
CHAPTER  IX.
LAKE BENNETT TO LAKE MARSH.
An exciting race—The J. B. Goddard—Lake Tagish
Police Camp—Captain Strickland—A gang of murderers—Miners' licences—Afternoon scene on Lake
Marsh—First experience of the Alaska mosquitoes—
A dismal camping-ground   *.
121
CHAPTER X.
FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY.
The Canon and White Horse Tramway—Miles Canoir
Rapids—The White Horse Rapide—Lake Lebarge— CONTENTS
A bath under difficulties—Curious fishing experience
—Weather-bound—Forty Mile River—The commencement of the Yukon—Forest fires—Animal and
bird life on the Yukon—The Five Finger Rapids—
The Rink Rapids—Our daily life on the Yukon—A
curious incident—Nearing our goal—Dawson at last
134
CHAPTER  XI.
DAWSON CITY.
First impressions—Inspector and Mrs. Constantine—The
main street—Dawson City—Famine prices—Menu of
a little dinner—The Bank of British North America
—The prospects of the Klondike district—Market
value of gold—The royalty question—Interview with
Major Walsh 162
CHAPTER XII.
dawson city (continued) A VISIT TO BONANZA AND ELDORADO.
The Klondike River—Lousetown—The trail to the creeks
—The halfwa^ house—Harris has an unpleasant
accident—-A good Samaritan—A "wash-up" on
Bonanza—The modus operandi—" Discovery " and
other claims—" Si wash " George—The Forks—Eldorado—Gold-stealing—Chat with Justice McGuire—
Sunday in Dawson—Return to the creeks—Staking
a claim—The N.A.T. and T. Co.   ? #$t        . ,      .189
CHAPTER XIII.
DAWSON   CITY TO  ST. MICHAELS.
Farewell to Dawson City—The Charles H. Hamilton—
Our   passengers—Our  freight—Native   pilots—The CONTENTS
Porteus B. Weare—Fort Cudahy—Wooding-up—
The Yukon; Flats—Circle City—Stranded—Rampart
City—Fort Weare—An awkward accident—The-
Bella — Captain Hanson — A Masonic funeral — A
native canoe—Holy Cross Mission—Russian Mission
—Arrival at St. Michaels     .....
220
CHAPTER  XIV.
ST. MICHAELS.
Arrival of the Hamilton—The wharf—The hotel—A
good Samaritan—Fort St. Michaels—Relics' of the
past—Boat-building—The United States officials at
St. Michaels—Revenue cruiser Bear—The native
settlement T'satsumi—A visit to the Unaleet tribe—
Delay in getting away from St. Michaels—The s.s.
Roanoke — Advice to intending emigrants — St.
Michaels to the Aleutian Islands, Dutch. Harbour,
Unalashka, and Seattle 257
APPENDIX A.
Regulations governing Placer Mining in the Provisional
District of Yukon        . Mr .        .        . .SSÊS^    273
APPENDIX  B.
Regulations governing the issue of leases to dredge for
minerals in the beds of .rivers in, the Provisional
District of Yukon .        .        .        .        .,
288
Index
293  LIST   OF   ILLUSTRATIONS
The Summit op the Chilcoot Pass ^pl •        Frontispiece
One of the Arrow Lake Steamebs       .        .      -JÉË" ..       8
Rossland.   Le Roi Mine on Hill at Back    .        ,        ..14
The Le Roi Mine. 18
Taking Stores to the Camp.   A Sketch on the Road to
Sophie Mountain  25
The Landslide       .        ...      . 41
Slocan City . 45
The Main Street, Sandon, 1896 , .       .     /Jilt    .       .     48
The Main Street, Sandon, 1898.   Pack Train about to
start for the Mines      .... 49
A Pack Train going to the Mines, Sandon .       .52
The Schooner, "Héra" 62
Coast Scene near Wbangel 64
Totem Pole, Indian Grave-yard, Wrangel   ...     65
Skaguay     .       ;|h    .     69
Dyea .       .       .       .        .        .       .       .        .76
On the Road to Canyon City       .   &%      .       .       .80
Looking up the Chilcoot Pass.   Showing Aerial Tbam-
line on Top ^?M^^^-'  •     ^5
Chilcoot Pass, seen prom Crater Lake *"*     . .     91
Linderman     .       .       .       .   v 1Q2
Interior  op the Linderman Bunk-house, and one op
the Lady Lodgers j 105
boat-building, llnderman     .       .       .       .       .       .   109
Bennett        .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .114
The Rapids between Linderman and Bennett     .       .116
Group op Murderers, Police Camp, Tagish  .       .       .127 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Miner's Licence     .       .        .   .IgjB
On Lake Marsh     *f r* n .
On Lake Marsh    ....
Loading the Canoe on the Tramway
The Miles Canon Rapids
Shooting the White Hobse Rapids
My Canoe and Party on the Yukon
A Typical Yukon Boat
The River Front, Dawson City
River Front, Dawson   .
Street Scene, Dawson City
Street Scene, Dawson City
Sketch in the Bank
Major Walsh
A Wash-up on Bonanza
Eldorado Creek, looking towards French Gulch
Outside the Post-office, Police Camp,  Dawson  City.
My Canoe in Foreground
Arrival of War News, Dawson City
The   Whabf,  Dawson   City,  with   Stèamebs   "C.   H
Hamilton" and "Porteus B. Weare
Departure of the "Hamilton"
The Crowd to see us off.   Dawson City
Joaquin Miller, the "Poet of the Siebbas."   A Sketch
on Board the "Hamilton"  jWÈk:.
On Boabd the "Hamilton."   Some op oub Passengebs
Fobt Weabe .        .        .:illf;/....     v%^^
A Wood Station on the Yukon    .     .-.        .        . '
A "Cache"	
Seattle 	
PAGE
128
129
131
135
137
139
157
161
163
167
169
173
177
185
199
202
211
214
219
223
225
228
233
"244
249
265
272
MAP.
Map of Klondike Goldfbelds
To face   272 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
CHAPTER I.
LONDON  TO  ROSSLAND.
The Canadian Pacific Railwa^—Revelstoke—Steamboat journey
on the Arrow Lakes from Arrowhead to Robson—Trail
Creek—The Columbia and Western Railway to Rossland—
An exciting experience.
"Well, I don't envy y ou. your journey," was the
invariable remark when I mentioned to'any one
in London that I was about to start for Klondike.
Nor was I altogether surprised, for I must confess
that the mere name raised up in my mind visions
of all the fearful hardships and dangers that are
supposed to be inseparable from such a journey
as I was about to undertake to those far-off Arctic
solitudes, in whose, gloomy fastnesses Nature has
apparently made her storehouse.of gold.     ,   .-|§8§Qtj 2 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
Once my journey decided upon, I settled to
leave England early in the year, so as to leave
myself ample time, whilst crossing Canada, to pay
flying visits to the various new mining camps and
mushroom towns of the West. Profiting by previous experience, I determined not to^ purchase
an elaborate outfit in England, but confined myself
to a few indispensable articles which cannot well
be procured out of the Old Country. The bulk
of my kit could be got in Vancouver.
I was to be* accompanied by an old friend and
cousin of mine, Lionel Harris, who was the representative of the Financial News of London.
From Liverpool to New York on the Campania,
a few days' stay at the palatial Waldorf Astoria,
then on *to Canada by the Delaware and Hudson
Railway, is as delightfully luxurious a trip as may
well be imagined. Doubtless, to have crossed
the Atlantic by an old cargo steamer would have
been a fitter preparation for a rough journey to
the far North*-West ; still, the good things of the
world are not to be despised or avoided when they
can be obtained, and we found ourselves in Montreal,
none the worse or the less keen for our prospective
r LONDON TO B08SLAND 3
expedition from having taken the most comfortable means of getting there.
The journey across Canada by the Canadian
Pacific Railway has been so often described as to
be comparatively familiar to the English reader—
to whom, thanks to rapid transit and cheap
literature, the world is becoming every day more
and more, as it were, an open book. A war of
rates was being vigorously waged between the
Canadian Pacific Railway and the Grand Trunk
Railway at the time of my trip, in consequence of
the rush to the Pacific seaboard of prospectors and
miners en route for the new Eldorado. So acute
was the competition at the moment that through
fares to Vancouver were reduced nearly one-half,
and there was a probability of still further
reductions. " It is an ill wind," etc., and certainly
the poor passengers did not suffer by the dispute
between the two companies on this occasion.
The courtesy of the officials of the Canadian
Pacific Railway is proverbial, so I was scarcely
surprised when Mr. McNicoll, the General Manager
of the Passenger Department, informed me that
he proposed personally to make me out a sketch^ mu
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
plan of a route which would carry us over the
principal points of interest on the line, enabling
me to break my journey anywhere I chose, also
to provide me with a permit which would enable
us to ride on engines and freight trains; in fact,
I was to have the run of the line in all directions,
till the end of our journey. Thus provided, the
journey could not fail to prove interesting.
The season was an exceptionally late one, and,
although we were in the month of April, the
ground was covered with snow, and lakes and
rivers still held fast in the icy grip of the Canadian
winter—rin remarkable contrast to the genial
spring-like weather experienced in New York a
few days previously. No breath, however, of the
icy-cold outer atmosphere reaches the interior of
the luxuriously warmed drawing-room cars, where
rugs and overcoats are positively superfluities.
Oh, would that those responsible for the management of our home railways would take a leaf from
the book of foreign railway travel, and look just
a little more after the comfort of their passengers,
so that in mid-winter one would not be frozen, and
in the summer almost roasted!    But it takes so LONDON TO ROSSLAND
long to upset old-fashioned, conservative (or rather
unprogressive) 'ideas, and, up to the present, our
Canadian brothers and American cousins are miles
ahead of us in the matter of comfort on the iron
road.
Life on these long-distance trains resembles, in
many respects, that on. an ocean steamer, and, if
one is fortunate in finding congenial travelling
companions, the time passes very pleasantly. We
were exceptionally lucky on this occasion. The
Canadian Pacific Railway line passes through so
few towns of any importance, and such sparsely
populated districts in comparison to the United
States route to the Pacific Coast, that the entire
interest centres in the surrounding scenery, and
certainly there is nothing in the world to rival
that of the Rockies or the Selkirks. I of course
availed myself of my permit to ride on the engine,
and we had a novel and interesting experience
through the most mountainous portion of the
journey, so the time passed agreeably till the first
stage of our tour was reached.
To reach the mining camps and towns of Trail
Creek and the West-Kootenay, one leaves the main 6 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
line of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Revelstoke,
a little railway town picturesquely situated on the
Columbia River, 2527 miles from Montreal. After
five consecutive days and nights on the train, the
temptation to break one's journey for a few hours
was irresistible, and a day was spent very pleasantly rambling amongst quaint log-built cottages,
which reminded one not a little of some far-away
Swiss village. Revelstoke, though yet in its
infancy, is growing very rapidly, and the past
two years have seen the greater portion of its
town lots treble themselves in value. At the
present time building operations are in full swing,
roads have been laid out, and where, until quite
recently, was dense forest, promises shortly to
become a busy and prosperous town. This sudden
activity is due in a large measure to the decision
of the Canadian Pacific Railway to make Revelstoke one of their big divisional points in the
place of Donald, the present headquarters of the
mountain division of the railway.
Doubtless, the transference of the big repair
shops with their large staff of workmen will considerably help to put a new lease of life into the LONDON TO ROSSLAND
place, for Revelstoke has hitherto not gone ahead
very fast, notwithstanding the promise of its
neighbouring mining camps at Big Bend and
Lardeau, and its holding the key, as it were, to the
trade with the Kootenay District.
We were timed to leave for Rossland at eight
o'clock the following morning, but our start was
delayed over two hours in consequence of a landslide some miles down the main line. These slides
are of common occurrence during the early spring
as the snow begins to melt, but beyond making the
trains a few hours late (also a very common
occurrence), they are seldom of dangerous magnitude. A few willing hands from the train/with
shovels, soon shift the obstruction. The trip to
Rossland, though only some 250 miles from this
point, occupied practically a whole day, for on
this particular occasion it took us sixteen hours
to accomplish the journej^.
A short branch line runs from Revelstoke to
Arrowhead, where one embanks on a river steamer
for. Robson, the next point—a run of an hour and
a half. Here the Columbia River widens into a
series of broad expanses of water which are known 8 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
as the Arrow Lakes. The scenery is beautiful
in the extreme, the precipitous mountains, dense
pine forests, and, above all, the intense aspect
of solitude, help to complete a scene which
is thoroughly characteristic of the wilds of
the North-West.    A couple of roomy, stern-wheel
one of-the arrow lake steamers.
steamers, belonging to - the Canadian Pacific
Railway, make daily journeys from Arrowhead to
Robson, calling on the way at several small
hamlets and stations, all of which bear the usual
curious resemblance to Switzerland, and which helps
so considerably to  heighten  the picturesqueness
I LONDON TO ROSSLAND 9
of the country. The method of embarking or
landing passengers is primitive. The steamer is
run ashore, and a plank put out from the bows.
Nothing could be quicker or more simple, as the
water, quite close to the bank, is of great depth,
and the shore falls away so. abruptly as to form
almost a natural quay. The feeding, as well as
the sleeping, accommodation on these boats is excellent, and, given fine weather, the trip is a most
enjoyable one.
Robson was reached late at night, two huge
electric searchlights in our bows serving rather to
accentuate the surrounding darkness than illumine
it. Here the Canadian Pacific Railway system
ends at present, the remaining portion of the
journey to Rossland being accomplished in two
sections, a broad and a narrow gauge of the
Columbia and Western Railway. (At the time of
writing I learn that this short line has been
acquired by the Canadian Pacific Railway.) The
broad gauge runs as far as Trail Creek, the smelting centre of the West Kootenay District, a little
village that may one day become an important
township, if its big smelter and surrounding mines 10
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
turn out as expected. Leaving Trail, the narrow-
gauge line to Rossland mounts rapidly to an
altitude of 1500 feet by a series of gradients,
which must be seen to be believed. So steep are
most of them that, when returning from Rossland,
no steam is necessary at any part of the run—a
distance of 15 miles. The line passes through some
magnificent mountain scenery. * It was originally
constructed to carry ore from the Kootenay mines
to the smelter, till, with the growth of Rossland, a
passenger traffic sprang up. An opportunity then
presenting itself to purchase, at a knock-out figure,
the private cars of the late Brigham Young, of
Mormon fame, which had been in use many years
on his Utah Railway, the erstwhile steam tramway
, blossomed out into an extension of the Columbia
and Western Railway, and is, now paying handsomely. The permanent way, which is as roughly
laid as possible, continually offers a variety of
sensations more or less exciting, and' numberless
are the stories told of hairbreadth escapes of its
one train.
We  were   already  over   three   hours   late   on
leaving  Trail, so there was but little chance  of LONDON TO ROSSLAND
11
making up any lost time. Any hope we might
have had of arriving at our destination even with
no further delay was soon dispelled, for we had
not proceeded many miles when there was a series
of sharp bumps, and the train suddenly came to a
standstill. There was a long period of suspense,
during which we were all looking at each other,
wondering what had happened, when the conductor passed through the carriage, remarking
casually, as he did so, that a large mass of rock
had fallen across the line ahead of us, and that
we should be forced to remain where.we were till
it was removed. This looked cheerful for our
chances of getting to our destination during the
night. There was nothing, however, to be done but
accept the situation philosophically as an incident
of railway travelling in the far West. Our fellow-
passengers apparently thought nothing of what
was evidently an ordinary occurrence, and of one
accord composed themselves to sleep away the
time. On going out on the platform of the car, one
could see nothing, so dark was the night, and there
was no possibility of descending, for where the train
had  stopped was  apparently a precipice  on one 12
FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
side and a high cliff on the other, and deep snow
everywhere. The roaring sound of a torrent many
hundred feet below, together with the short panting of the escaping steam from the engine, which
echoed and re-echoed in the mountains, made up
a weird impression not easily forgotten. I went
back into the carriage, and, stretched on some
rugs, soon fell into a deep sleep, from which I was
suddenly awakened by a loud report. It was a
charge of dynamite the conductor and engine-
driver had exploded in the mass of rock barring
our passage. The operation was successful, for,
after a short delay, we began at last to proceed
cautiously, for the line was evidently strewn with
pieces of rock, and for a short distance the cars
heaved and rolled to such an extent that we all
looked at each other anxiously, almost expecting
to find ourselves being precipitated down the
ravine. It was the most unique fifteen-mile railway journey I ever made, and it was certainly
with no feeling of regret that we at length saw
the welcome lights of Rossland ahead of us. CHAPTER  IL
ROSSLAND.
First impressions of the " Camp "—The local Fire Brigade—The
"lions" of Rossland—Red Mountain Mines : the Le Roi,
"War Eagle, Centre Star, Columbia and Kootenay, Josie,
and Nickel Plate—The British America Corporation—
Governor Macintosh—A visit to the Centre Star Mine—
The Rossland ore—Cost of working—An excursion to
Sophie Mountain.
Though barely three years old, there are probably
few towns (even out in the far West, where the
genus " mushroom-city " has its existence) that can
show such marvellously rapid growth for so short
a space of time as Rossland. It has been said that
in laying out the plans for an American town-site,
apparently the first things that are considered
after clearing the ground, and even before starting building operations, are the electric lighting
arrangements,, tramway lines, and telephone wires.
In this respect, perhaps,  Rossland has not quite FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
followed the stereotyped example of its predecessors—possibly because it is in Canada, not the
United States, and also that the town-site, when
it was first located, became, unfortunately for it,
the scene of a land boom which was not in any
ROSSLAND.     LE ROI MÎNE ON  HILL AT BACK.
way justified by surroundings conditions at the
time. There must always exist a certain raison
d'être for the coming into existence of one of these
mushroom towns, and Rossland depends for hers on
neighbouring mines, which, should they turn out ROSSLAND 15
as is expected, will make her the principal centre
of the Kootenay Gold Fields. Till, however, these
mines are "proved," there is nothing but pure
speculation to warrant a big rise in the value of
town lots in a town which can scarcely be said to
exist. It was such a premature land boom that
this place passed through some three years ago,
with the inevitable result; and it has taken the
town over two years to recover from its evil
effects.
Rossland is a good specimen of the mining
camps of British Columbia, and though not yet
quite so " rapid " as many a place its equal in
size across the American side of the boundary,
is a hustling little town, all things considered.
Although it was three o'clock in the morning when
we arrived, the whole place seemed to be as wide
awake as though it had been six in the evening.
Bars, saloons, and supper-rooms were still open,
and apparently doing a flourishing trade, whilst
along the principal streets every shop had its
electric lights full on. It was a striking and unexpected transition from the tedious railway
journey.    We got comfortable rooms at the Allan 16
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
House Hotel, and were not unthankful to learn
that even at that advanced hour of the night,
we could, if we so desired it, partake of "lunch"
before going to bed. (Oh, these delightful
Americanisms !)   .
The Camp on a bright spring morning, with its
background of snow-capped mountains towering
above its picturesque streets, is certainly a very
cheerful-looking place, and presents a certain busy
and flourishing appearance that seems to augur
well for the immediate future. I may here explain
that the word " camp " out in these parts is an
elastic term which may be used to convey several
meanings ; in fact, anything in the way of a mining
settlement, from a, single log-built | shack " to
an old-established town of several thousand
inhabitants.
As is the case in all these new towns, wood
is exclusively employed for building purposes at
Rossland. Considering the enormous risk of fire,
one is somewhat surprised at this, in a country
where stone is so easily obtainable. I may add
here, incidentally, that the fire brigade in these
parts is almost always composed of volunteers, and ROSSLAND
17
in connection with this, it is of interest to mention
that not a single house in any of the wooden
towns I visited was insured, as no insurance
company will take the risk. Large fire-proof
cellars are excavated in several parts of the town,
and at the slightest fear of a big conflagration
valuables and papers are hurriedly stored in them.
As may be imagined, the actual attractions of so
new a place as Rossland were soon exhausted. A
stroll up the principal street, a visit to the inevi-
j table club (without which institution no settlement
of Englishmen is ever complete), and a cocktail at
the principal saloon, finished all the actual town
had to show. At night amusement was still more
Curtailed, as there was no theatre (there was one of
a sort, but it was not open at the time of my
visit), and social life resolved itself into card-
playing at the club, or a chat at a friend's
bungalow.
The real "lions" of Rossland are its big mines
on the hill just outside the town. Several of them
are already beyond the initial stage, and have
settled down into steady dividend-paying concerns,
into  which  the  element of uncertainty that  we IE
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
usually associate with a mining venture scarcely
- enters. The most successful of these mines are
situated on what is known locally as the Red
Mountain, and, judging from the developments up
to the present time, this Red Mountain welLdeserves
THE LE .ROI MINE.
an appellation which has a metallic ring aboutit,
for it appears to be almost a mountain of mineral
wealth—gold, silver, and copper, in combination
with sulphides, etc.,. are there in such huge
quantities that, in many instances, tunnelling or Tl
ROSSLAND 19
shafting has to be made through what is practically solid metal. Amongst so many big undertakings it is somewhat invidious to choose, but
up to the present the famous Le Roi Mine is
admittedly the finest of its class in the country,»
and, judging alone from the enormous j sums its
fortunate shareholders have already received in
dividends, this is probably the case. Up to the
present date the Le Roi has paid $800,000 in
dividends, of which $400,000 were paid in 1897.
The War Eagle, another famous mine adjoining
the Le Roi, has paid over $187,000. And there are
other mines on the same side of the mountain,
amongst which are the Columbia and Kootenay,
Centre Star, Josie, and Nickel Plate, that will,
when more advanced, run the Le Roi output very;
closely, for their ore chutes are also immensely
rich. Rossland is distinctly not a poor man's
camp. Every inch, as it were, of shafting or tunnelling has to be accounted for by hard work and
expense, which practically excludes the small purse.
The actual prospector, therefore, can do but little
more than prove his location to be a fair prospect,
and, if he has no means, trust to his luck for some 20
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
capitalist to take it off his hands and make a mine
out of it. It therefore nearly always happens
that what are noW rich properties were originally
bought as prospects for a mere song, and gradually
changed owners as development progressed, until
they reached the rich American or English
syndicate. This has been more especially
noticeable in Rossland, where, owing in a great
measure to the recent advent in the camp of the
British America Corporation, with its huge capital
and with Lord Dufferin at its head, a revival of
energy all along the line is apparent. Claims
that had been abandoned owing to lack of funds
have been suddenly taken up again, prospecting
in the neighbouring districts has been actively
prosecuted, and everything points to an era of
prosperity for the town, and this time on a
solid basis.
To the Hon. C. H. Macintosh, Governor of the
North-West Territories, who has recently joined
the directorate, is undoubtedly also due a great
irieasure of the popularity and success that have
followed in the wake of the British America
corporation.    There   is   but  little   doubt   that  a 1
ROSSLAND 21
strong personality, or rather individuality, has an
appreciable effect on all big undertakings,' and
Rossland, therefore, in the opinion of most people
here, will be largely indebted to the popular
governor for any measure of future prosperity.
I had looked forward to paying a visit to the Le
Roi mine, but unfortunately an accident had just
happened in one of the lower levels, several yards
of shafting having collapsed, so no visitors were
allowed. I therefore had to content myself With
an inspection of one of the next best mines—the
Centre Star—thanks to the courtesy of one of the
principal owners, Mr. Oliver Durant, a charming
gentleman, who showed us through the workings,
and explained everything with all the delight of a
father proud of his child's prowess. The mine is
situate at the foot of the mountain a little lower
down than the War Eagle and Le Roi, and tunnelling to the extent of several thousand feet has
been done. Although not so interesting, from an
outsider's point of view, as a mine where free gold
is visible, this was a good object-lesson in the art
of mining in the Kootenay, and gave one an idea
of what has been done on the adjoining properties, 22
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
which are still more advanced. Imagine a tunnel
cut through solid metal, and some conception may
be formed of the work.that has to be done and
the obstacles overcome before these Kootenay
mines can even be considered in their initial stage.
In a narrative that is purely descriptive, statistics
are superfluous, but at this point a few will be of
interest for the purposes of comparison. As far as
I could make out, the Rossland ore, which is what
is known as a refractory ore, consists principally of
sulphides of various metals ; of these pyrrhotite, or
I magnetic iron pyrites, is by far the most-abundant.
The pyrrhotite contains gold and silver in varying
quantities, gold ranging from traces up to several
ounces to the ton, and the silver from traces to
four or -five ounces to the ton. Taking the gross
value of the ore roughly at $25, from this must
be deducted working expenses—viz. mining and
putting on railway $5 per ton, freight and treatment at $7.50 per ton, leaving a net profit of
$12.50 per ton, thus showing that fifty per cent,
of the ore value is swallowed up in expenses. It
will, therefore, be seen that no mine in the
Kootenay can be worked with any measure  of ROSSLAND
financial success unless provided with the strongest
sinews of war, in the shape of a large amount of
ready capital, in which event it is a case of jnoney;
making money.
; Unless one was personally interested in mining
there was; but little to tempt one to pay more
than a flying visit to Rossland, where almost the
sole topic of conversation from morning till night is
"ledges" or "ore shoots," and picturesque subjects
for one's pen or pencil almost non-existent, as may
be imagined. I was not sorry, therefore, when an
opportunity offered for an excursion to a neighr
bouring camp in a district known as Sophie
Mountain. Although only some ten miles distant,
a range of snow-covered mountains, 6000 feet
high, had to be crossed, so the trip promised to be
an interesting and novel one.
An early start was made one fine morning. We
were a party of four, mounted on the lively little
horses known out here as " cayuses," and were
soon galloping merrily along the muddy track
leading from the town.     Snow had disappeared
' from the valley, and all looked bright and springlike,   but  as   we  ascended  the scene gradually 24 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
changed, and we found ourselves returning to
winter, till at last deep snow surrounded us on
all sides. The trail, meanwhile, became so steep
that the journey was becoming very interesting,
not to say exciting—now along the very verge of
a precipice on frozen snow, where the slightest
mistake of our horses would mean catastrophe;
then through dense pine forests looking black and
sepulchral in contrast to the dead white of the
snow, and with here and there the well-defined
trail of a mountain lion or bear to arouse one's
sporting instincts. At some places the narrow
track became so steep that it was wonderful how
our horses kept their foothold on the treacherous
surface. It certainly was perilous work, and we
all had narrow escapes from serious accident. The
ascent to the summit seemed interminable, and the
worst part had yet to come. The going up was
bad, but the descent on the other side was ten
times worse. To ride was impossible, so it meant
leading the horses the whole way down, with the
risk of them falling on one at any awkward place.
Several times I missed the trail, and found myself
floundering, up to my chin almost, in the soft snow, TAKING STORES TO THE  CAMP.     A  SKETCH ON THE  ROAD TO
SOPHIE MOUNTAIN.  ROSSLAND
fully expecting to find my horse plunging in on
top of me, as I pulled myself out by means of thé
stirrup-leathers. To the snow succeeded a sticky
semi-liquid mud, which was if anything more
difficult to get through. If we had not ;been
hampered with our horses, we should have had
much less trouble. As it was, it certainly was an
ill-timed expedition. We at length reached the
camp, and without mishap, luckily.
Two log-built cottages constituted the camp, and
in a very few minutes, considering our visit was
quite unexpected, we were sitting down to a hot
#hd well-cooked dinner served by a cook resplendent in a white apron and cap, and everything as
clean as one could have found anywhere under
similar conditions. Every mine in the country, it
may be here mentioned, has its' own •" boarding-
house," where the_men take their meals at regular
hours. The food is prepared by a cook and
assistant, specially engaged /or the work. A fixed
charge of $1 per day is made all through British
Columbia, and all miners and employees are
bound by their agreement to take their meals
here.    In some cases, no doubt, where the mine is 28
FROM EUSTON  TO  KLONDIKE
situate near a town, the management make money
by this arrangement, but where, as at Sophie
Mountain, provisions have to be brought a considerable distance, a loss ensues. There is, however, one indisputable advantage for the men—
they are certain of hot, clean, and well-cooked
meals during the day, and under such conditions
they must be in better health and more equal
to their work than if they are "pigging it" by
themselves, as is the case in most mining camps.
At some of the mines they board as many as
a hundred and fifty men, and there are several
cooks and assistants. The salary of these cooks
averages from $45 per month up, and for this
they are expected to be adepts at pastry, cakes,
etc., as well as ordinary cooking, for the miners
get fastidious, and expect something tasty for
their dollar.
We spent a portion of the afternoon visiting
the Victory and Triumph and Velvet Mines,
both of which, though at present little more
than good prospects, are considered very promising, and may one day make a big place of the
district.     The   Velvet  was   the   most  advanced, ROSSLAND
29
and had her hoisting engine going merrily.
The Victory - Triumph is at present merely a
tunnel a few hundred feet deep into the side of
the mountain some hundreds of feet above the
Velvet.
The evening was delightfully warm, and in the
valley there was not a trace of snow or mud, so we
strolled about under the shadow of the big pines
in the genial sunlight, till at last clouds of huge
mosquitoes forced us to beat a retreat—a foretaste
of summer in these regions with a vengeance. We
had accepted the kindly offer of the manager of
the Velvet to spend the night at his cottage.
The accommodations were certainly rough, but,
after the fatigues of the day, we were not difficult
to satisfy, and could dispense with feather beds
and such luxuries.
Rain fell heavily during the night, and we woke
in the morning to learn that the track would be
almost impassable. As we had made no arrangements for remaining away any length of time,
there was nothing for it but to get back to Rossland as quickly as possible, so, with anything but
cheerful anticipations, based upon our recollections 30 FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
of the previous day, we decided to make a start
immediately after breakfast.    Bain in the valley
meant, of course, heavy snow up on the mountains,
and as we proceeded, we found, agreeably to our
surprise, that this had had the effect of somewhat
improving the trail rather than otherwise.   Riding
our horses was, however, out of the question, so
we decided to drive them in front of us, this being
less risky than leading them.    We thus proceeded
cautiously, picking our way step by step, but not
without  some   nasty falls  at times.     The view
from the summit over ranges of snow-clad mountains was wonderfully beautiful, and almost compensated   one   for   the    fatigue   of   the    climb.
Curiously enough, no rain had fallen on the Rossland slope of the mountains,  so  we made rapid
progress when once below the snow-line, till at
last, mud-stained from head to foot, we galloped
up the main street of the town, luckily none the
worse for our extremely unpleasant twenty-four
hours' experience.
A few days after this I received an invitation to join Governor Macintosh and a party of
friends who were about to make a trip to some %
ROSSLAND
31
places of interest in the neighbourhood. It promised to be a delightful excursion, so, having
by this time finished my visit to Rossland, I
gladly availed myself of so pleasant an excuse
to get away. 32
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
CHAPTER III.
ROSSLAND  TO  SPOKANE.
Halcyon hot springs — The sanitarium—Local faith in the
Halcyon waters—Pathetic incident—An impressive burial
—The town of Nelson—Visit to the Hall Mines' smelter-
Nelson to Spokane—A typical Western township.
Our principal idea in leaving. Rossland was that
our excursion was to be entirely a pleasure one,
and we certainly carried out the programme to the
very letter, for from the moment of our departure
we never had a dull moment, and were as jolly a
party as could well have been imagined. It had
been so arranged that-, if time permitted, we
should prolong the trip as far as Spokane, a smart
little town in the United States, just over the
border.
Halcyon Springs, a new sanitarium on the
Arrow Lakes, was our first halting-place. A night
had to be passed in one of the boats I have already ROSSLAND   TO SPOKANE 33
described, and very comfortable did we find the
accommodation. At Halcyon are medicinal hot
springs, which are said to possess wonderful
properties for all diseases of the kidneys and
bladder. A big and picturesque hotel, with baths
and all the usual appliances of a hydropathic
establishment, is being erected on the shore of the
lake, and everything got ready for a large influx
of visitors and patients.
We were the guests of the doctor in charge, and
he used every endeavour to make our short visit
an enjoyable one^ The place, I may mention, is
run by the inevitable syndicate, as every venture
nowadays appears to be. There were already a
few patients, although the place was s.till in a very
unfinished condition, these hot springs being well
known in British Columbia; in fact, for many
years past, and long before the present owners had
taken the place, pilgrimages were made from all
parts to Halcyon. Up on the hillside, where the
limpid water bubbles out of the rocks and forms
a deep hot pool, are still to be seen two primitive
log huts that constituted the hotel and bath-house
of the sanitarium in days gone by,
D 34
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
Extraordinary   faith   is  placed   in   this  water,
and in connection with this, a pathetic incident
occurred  during our visit.    A  sick man arrived
by the morning boat.    Although  evidently very.
ill,   he   managed   to   walk   unaided   up   to   the
doctor's consulting-room;  he was  in  so weak  a
state that he could scarcely make himself understood.    He explained that he was feeling rather
"seedy/' and had thought that a few days of the
water  treatment  would put  him all right.    The
doctor on examining him found, to his astonishment, that he was in the last stage of acute pneumonia, and might die at any moment.    Within
four hours the end came, without any one having
been able even to ascertain what his name was
or where he came from.    He was buried the next
evening at sunset, his grave being dug  on the
mountain side.     I   havre  seldom   seen   anything
more impressive in its simplicity than this funeral.
There was no clergyman, and as no one knew the
burial service, the unknown man was lowered into
his grave without a prayer or word of farewell*
We all doffed our caps and stood in silent groups
as the shovelfuls of earth fell with measured thuds "1
ROSSLAND   TO SPOKANE 35
on the rough coffin, then slowly made our way
down again-^-most of us doubtless the while
pondering over the strange vagaries of fate.
From Halcyon Springs we went by boat and
train to Nelson, a picturesque little town on the
Kootenay River, which has grown rapidly during
the past year. A few hours were well spent
visiting the big smelter of the Hall Mines.
Having followed tne operation of extracting the
ore from the mine, it was here interesting to
watch the various processes by which the gold
and silver are separated from the baser metals
with which they are so intimately associated in
the Kootenay mines. Every car-load of ore
tendered at the smelter is sampled and assayed
before the Smelting Company purchase it. The
sampling of several tons of ore is an art in itself,
and an experienced staff of men is employed at all
smelters for this sole purpose.
The ore, as it is delivered from the mine, is
spread on an iron floor and thoroughly mixed,
then it is piled in a circular heap and divided into
four quarters ; three of these are taken away and
stored, the remainder is again thoroughly mixed 36 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
and quartered ; three of these are removed, and the
operation repeated several times, until the quarter
becomes so small that it can be conveniently
handled on a specially constructed table, where
it is pounded and rubbed into a fine powder,
which, in its turn, is also mixed and quartered till
only a small amount remains, which is consequently
an accurate sample of the entire car-load. This
sample is divided into two portions, one of which
is sealed up and handed to the owner, the other
is passed through the assay test, and an approximate value of the ore per ton thus arrived at.
Sample car-loads of ore are frequently sent to
the smelter from distant and undeveloped mines
at considerable expense ; and it is at times, I learnt,
most amusing the exaggerated ideas the owners
have of the value of their property. I was shown
a heap of stuff that had been sent by an old
prospector, who was convinced that he had at last
struck his lucky star. For he was certain his
precious car-load would run at least $1000 to the
ton. When he was informed that the assay barely
returned $8, his indignation knew no bounds, and,
although he had been present at all the operations, ROSSLAND  TO  SPOKANE
he went about telling every one that he had been
swindled ! Meanwhile the heap of ore lay waiting
another assay.
It is a ten hours' railway journey from Nelson
to Spokane, Washington, U.S.A., but this counts
as only a short run in these parts, so, as one of
our friends lived there and wished to show us the
hospitality of his " home," we decided to make the
trip there. We certainly were repaid for our
decision, for not only was the journey a most
interesting one, giving glimpses of river scenery
along the mighty Columbia, which for grandeur
I have never seen surpassed, but Spokane itself
was well worth the visit. It is a typical American
western town of some 40,000 inhabitants, with
the tall buildings, cable cars, network of overhead wires, and, in fact, all that goes to make
up that indefinable "something," which is so
characteristic of the hurry and bustle and energy
of the States. Apart from this business aspect,
in the outskirts of the town, in sylvan surroundings that reminded one of the Old Country, are
many evidences of wealth in the way of country
houses of astonishing artistic beauty.    All these 88
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
beautiful "homes" are the work of a local
architect of great talent, and almost every conceivable form of architecture and style is represented, from the old English farmhouse, nestling
in trees and surrounded by old-time flower
gardens, to the modern French château with its
terraced parterres. The effect, though obtained
in almost all instances by means of wood, is
most delightful and original. I was so charmed
that I sought the architect with a view to his
designing something of the sort for myself in
England.
At Spokane are the famous falls of the.Spokane
River, a magnificent scene, though somewhat
marred, for, with the usual American ingenuity,
the grand torrent is utilized to supply motor power
and electric light for the entire town. Spokane
struck me as being a lively enough little place
to live in. Like in all Western "camps," life
seems to be passed either in business or gambling,
and there is every opportunity for both, the latter
more especially. Saloons, where faro, poker, klon-
dike, or roulette can be played night or day without intermission, abound all over the place, and ROSSLAND   TO  SPOKANE
39
there are stories of big fortunes having been lost
in them (I never heard of anything fabulous
being won). Apart, however, from these blots,
there are several good hotels and restaurants, an
: excellent theatre (Melba was* singing there at the
time), smart newspapers, and delightful society. I
spent a few days very pleasantly, and was not a
little sorry when the time arrived to return to
British Columbia and continue my journey towards
the North. 40
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
CHAPTER IV.
SPOKANE  TO  VANCOUVER.
A landslide—Destruction of Northport—A curious incident on
the line—Slocan city—Sport in the Slocan district—
Silverton—Sandon—An interesting trip—Sandon to Vancouver.
Our party broke up at Spokane, as most of us
were going different ways. I had decided to continue my journey to Vancouver through the
Slocan district, where were many places of
interest well worth a visit, so I had to return to
Nelson. My return journey was marked by a
characteristic incident—a big landslide had occurred
only a few hours previously, and completely
blocked the line in a particularly dangerous part,
along the top of a high embankment on the river
side. Our train ran as close j up to it as was
deemed safe, the passengers alighted and climbed SPOKANE TO   VANCOUVER
41
over the fallen masses of rock and earth, the
baggage was carried across, and we all whiled
away the time as best we 'could whilst waiting for
the relief train, which would be sent to enable
us to continue our journey.    A big gang of men,
THE landslide.
meanwhile,   was   vigorously  attacking   the   slide,
but it looked like a heavy task removing it.
The little frontier town of Northport had been
totally destroyed by fire some three days previously, and When we passed through it the entire
population   was    living    in    hastily   improvised 42
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
shelters—a singularly curious scene. Although the
ruins were still smouldering, lumber was being
rapidly unloaded, and in several instances new
houses and shops were already started—dogged
energy, thoroughly characteristic of the Anglo-
Saxon. Some little distance further, the train
suddenly pulled up as we were running alongside
a swift mountain stream. A group of men was
waiting on the line, holding something, dripping
wet and uncanny looking, on a sort of improvised
stretcher made of branches. We learned that a
man had been drowned here an hour previously,
and his body had just been recovered. His mates
wished to send it to the nearest town, so it was
put in one of the baggage cars ; the men*climbed
in with it, and off we started again.
From Nelson to the Slocan Lake is a branch of
the Canadian Pacific Railway. The line again
follows the banks of the seemingly ever-present
Columbia River, and passed quite close to the
famous Bonnington Falls and rapids, through
magnificent scenery. These falls (or rather an infinitesimal drop from them) are being utilized Jby
a company for the electric lighting of Rossland, SPOKANE TO   VANCOUVER
some fifteen miles distant, and a big power-house
is being erected.
A curious incident occurred as we were going at
a good rate, the track being level, with the forest
on either side. Two horses had strayed on the line,
and frightened at the unearthly shrieking of our
engine's double whistle, galloped madly up the
permanent way in front of us. Without slackening
speed, and with our whistle blowing continuously,
we continued on for several miles, the horses
meanwhile going strong, and the engine-driver
evidently expecting them to leave the track and
get into the forest. This, however, they had not
the instinct to do, and both were becoming visibly
fatigued. The excitement on the train was great.
Suddenly, as we were gradually coming up with
them, down they both fell. They had fallen
through a trestle bridgé, and had become jammed
right across the line. The train pulled up, and
we all expected to find them seriously injured,
if not killed; but, curiously enough, they were
scarcely scratched, though, of course, absolutely
helpless in their strange position. Luckily there
were  some   men   working   close   by,   and   there 44
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
was a supply of rope handy, so it was merely a
question of how long it would take to get them
extricated and hauled off the line. After some
difficulty, this was accomplished, and we were once
more able to proceed. We were only an hour late,
but this did not deter the conductor of the train
from trying his new Winchester rifle from the
window of one of the cars, and stopping the engine
while he ran back to have a shot at a fine eagle
we had passed. (Time was made for slaves, not
for trains on a branch line of the Canadian Pacific
Railway !)
In spite of its portentous name, Slocan City is
but an insignificant little town that has not, up to
the present, fulfilled the promise of its birth. It is
picturesquely situated at the head of the lake, and
may yet turn out a place of some importance, if
the mining claims in the immediate neighbourhood
do any good.
Here may be said to commence the zone of
galena, or silver-lead, which has made the fame of
the Slocan district.
A roomy, stern-wheel steamer, belonging to the
Canadian Pacific Railway, plies on the Slocan lake SPOKANE  TO   VANCOUVER
45
and connects the Sandon and Nakusp lines with the
Nelson and Slocan branch. It is a pleasant trip
of about three hours. jj The water, which is
intensely blue and of enormous depth, the high
mountains rising precipitously on either side, give
SLOCAN CITY.
this comparatively small lake a more impressive
aspect than the Arrow Lakes. The fishing here is,
I learned, excellent, big trout being frequently
caught. Every kind of suitable fly or artificial bait
can be purchased in Slocan Chty.    I was shown 46
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
a marvellously light and ingenious steel rod which
almost tempted me to break «my journey for a day.
A lot of sport for a rifle or gun can be obtained
round the lake, big game being reputed more
plentiful here than in any other part of British
Columbia. In fact, the grizzlies abound to such an
extent, in the spring, that prospectors have actually
been driven out of their camps at times by the
brutes—one place in particular, called Wilson
Creek, having a specially bad reputation for this.
I was told a eurious story about a miner in one
of the neighbouring mountains, where he and a
mate were working a prospecting tunnel. He was
returning to work one day, and had got some
distance in the tunnel, when he heard footsteps
close behind him. Thinking it was his friend, he
paid no attention for the moment ; when, receiving
no reply to a question he put, he turned round and
discovered to his horror that a huge bear was
following him. To throw pick, shovel, and everything handy at the brute whilst yelling lustily was
the impulse of the moment. At the unexpected
reception the bear stood up, and in so doing struck
its head sharply against the top of the tunnel, at SPOKANE TO  VANCOUVER
47
which, with a growl of rage and pain, it turned
round and quickly disappeared.
-We stopped over at a little place called Silverton,
near which are some good silver-lead mines, having
a wish to visit the famous " Galena Farm," a Aline
recently brought out in England with a huge
capital, and in which I am somewhat unfortunately
interested.
I thought I might as well, whilst so near, have
a look at my property. I spent the night in a
really comfortable hotel considering the size of the
place, the evening being enlivened by a series of
free fights amongst a crowd of miners in the bar,
which considerably helped to pass away the time.
We took the next day's boat for Roseberry, a town
site at the end of the lake, where rail is taken for
Sandon.
The town site, though located and cleared some
little time back, has not been taken up as yet, and
presented a dreary appearance—a "hotel," store,
and one well-built dwelling-house constituted the
entire town ! It was a particularly interesting
trip up to Sandon, although I was beginning to
get pretty well satiated with scenery by this time, 48
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
The line has  the   steepest   gradients   I   believe
possible, ûve per cent, in many places, necessitating
the placing of locomotives in the rear of the train.
Of the many places I visited in British Columbia,
THE  MAIN   STREET,. SANDON,   1896.
Sandon was undoubtedly the most pleasing from
an artistic point of view. In fact, I do not
remember ever having seen a quainter place. It is
built some 3000 feet up, in a narrow gulch not
300 yards in width, and is positively hemmed in by
the sides of the high mountains,  which have all SPOKANE TO  VANCOUVER
49
the appearance of overhanging it. Its one steep,
narrow street reminds one so completely of
Switzerland, that it is almost astonishing to find
English   names   written   over   the   shops.     This
THE  MAIN  STREET,   SANDON,   1898.     PACK TRAIN  ABOUT TO  START
FOR  THE   MINES.
wonderful little town dates back only three
I years. At the time of the boom in silver-lead,
the extraordinary output of the Slocan mines
attracted unusual attention, and Sandon was
started and built up, in spite of almost insuperable
E 50 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
difficulties, in an incredibly short space of time.
The fortunate locator of the enormously valuable
town site, a Mr. J. M. Harris, who is also a big
shareholder in the Reco Mine close by, told me
he was laughed at when he asked a friend to
give him half the recording fee, of a few dollars,
for the location, and so share it with him. He
therefore paid the whole amount himself. It is
impossible to estimate at the present moment what
this half share would have been worth. It goes
without saying that the prosperity of a mining
town depends entirely on the success of the mines
on which it lives, so to speak. Such being the
case, the future of Sandon appears assured. It is
said that one can actually see from the town, and
within a short distance, mines that have paid a
bigger sum in dividends than all the gold and
copper mines of British Columbia put together.
This sounds a bold statement, but when one learns
that over a million dollars was paid in 1897, it
seems more credible.
Amongst the richest of these mines may be
enumerated the Payne, Reco, Idaho, and Slocan
Star,  all of  which are  quite close to the town. SPOKANE TO  VANCOUVER
51
Snow was, however, still deep on the trails leading
to them, so I was unable to pay any of them a
visit, and my time was limited unfortunately ; but
results proved more than anything I could have
been shown in thé mines themselves. This is distinctly I a poor man's country " as compared to the
Kootenay, most of the big Slocan mines having
paid their way from the very first day they were
opened up. In fact, it is said a child could dig the
ore out in most places.
I was informed that the bill for blasting-powder
in the district was curiously small in comparison
to other parts of the country. In spite of the
depreciation of silver, and the fact that the
Government imposes a fairly heavy tax on both
silver and lead here, exceedingly handsome profits
are made out of the Sandon mines, and it is stated
they could be worked to pay well even were silver
to still further fall in valuç. As befits so rich a
town, Sandon is well provided with hotels. At
the one I put up at, the Goodenough, I had a
room that, for comfort and furniture, quite
equalled the one I occupied at the Waldorf-Astoria
in New York.    It was incredible that barely three 52
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
years back this was all virgin forest. A good clubhouse provides social comforts, whilst a music-
hall, run on the usual " mining-camp " line, helps
to while away the evening, if the numerous
gambling   houses    do    not    constitute   sufficient
*<.
A PACK TRAIN GOING TO  THE  MINES,   SANDON.
attraction. Taking, it altogether, I regretted that
time did not allow me to remain longer in this
interesting place; but I had a big programme to
get through, so had to hurry away.
From   Sandon   to   Vancouver   was,   with   the SPOKANE TO  VANCOUVER
53
exception of a short run over a line from Roseberry
to Nakusp, on the Arrow Lake, familiar ground.
It merely meant returning to Bevelstoke, via
Arrowhead, and thus completing the big circle of
my tour round the Kootenay. From Revelstoke
to Vancouver is a run of about sixteen hours over
the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway. 54 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
CHAPTER V.
VANCOUVER TO SKAGUAY.
Preparations for my journey to the Klondike—My canoe—List
of baggage and stores—The steamship Tartar—From Vancouver to Fort Wrangel—A stroll round the town—The
Indian village—The "Opera House"—Wrangel to Skaguay—Utter lawlessness of the district—" Soapy Smith "
and his gang—A tragic ending to a disgraceful state of
affairs.-
Vancouver being practically the starting-point
for the Klondike, all my preparations for ' the
arduous journey before us had to be made here.
This of course necessitated a somewhat long stay,
for information had to be obtained as to the best
route for getting to Dawson City, transport, food
and equipment, together with the host of minor
details that are inseparable from an expedition
into a comparatively unknown region. After due
cogitation and discussions with men who knew the
country, I decided to go by what is known as the VANCOUVER  TO  SKAGUAY
55
Dyea route, being not a little influenced in this
decision by -the fact that the Canadian Pacific
Railway are running a service of two fine liners
between Vancouver and Skaguay. The temptation to enjoy the comforts of civilization up to
the very last moment was too great to be resisted.
My projected route would therefore be as follows
—Vancouver to Skaguay; thence to Dyea, a
distance of some six miles by a small steamer I
learned plied between the two places ; from Dyea
on foot through the mountains, and. across
the Chilcoot Pass to the head of Lake Linderman, a distance of 24 miles. From Linderman
the 570 miles of waterway to Dawson City begins,
a waterway which is beset with dangers and
difficulties almost the whole way. This has to
be accomplished by boat, and provisions and complete camp equipment have to be taken with one,
as, of course, nothing whatever can be purchased
en route. At Dawson, after visiting the mines, I
proposed to catch, if possible, the first river-steamer
to St. Michael's connecting with ocean liner for
San Francisco.
The question of my boat for the long journey 56
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
from the Lakes to Dawson City was one that
involved much deliberation. The usual method is
to construct one at Lake Linderman—where lumber
mills are now in operation and. timber for the
purpose of boat-building obtainable—but this place
in unskilled hands necessitates much delay, so I
eventually decided that as we were to travel
" light," I would take a large canoe with me from
Vancouver, and chance getting it safely to the
lake. For the sum of $100 I purchased what is
known as a " Strickland," a fairly big and roomy
boat, that, I was assured, would carry easily four
men and a ton of baggage. This struck me as a
bold statement, since her dimensions were only
20 feet by 4 feet, and 2 feet deep ; but it eventually
turned out to be true, as will be shown later.
Included in the price of the canoe were a pair of
sculls, three paddles, two poles, a mast and lateen-
sail with bamboo gaffs, brass adjustable rowlocks,
and a quantity of rope, together with tow, resin,
and odd pieces of thin board to make good any
damages. When quite complete and in readiness
to be shipped on the ocean steamer, The News—
I   had   thus   christened   her — looked   a   very VANCOUVER  TO SKAGUAY
57
serviceable craft indeed, and attracted no little
attention and comment.
Now came the more serious question of baggage
and provisions, for however much one may think
out one's plans beforehand, it is naturally
impossible when starting on a journey, through
what is almost terra incognita, to be at all certain
that they will work out as arranged. It was
necessary to be prepared for any emergency that
might arise. I therefore decided to enlist the
advice and services of some " old-timer," who knew
the country, and who would act as courier, guide,
and general adviser, and was lucky in finding a
gentleman who was desirous of returning to the
Klondike, and would, in return for his transportation and a moderate sum in cash, act for us in
the various capacities above enumerated. This
arrangement turned out very well, and Boss
proved himself very resourceful and willing during
the journey.
My party now consisted of three, and provisions
for at least two months had to be taken. As a
matter of fact, a police edict had been issued, in
which it was announced that no person would be 58
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
permitted to cross the boundary unless provided
with at least two years' supplies, this extreme
measure being taken in view of the distress caused
in Dawson last winter in consequence of the large
influx of people and the dearth of provisions.
Thanks, however, to many letters of introduction
with which I was provided, I anticipated no
difficulty on this score, more especially as it would
be known that mine was to be a flying trip only.
A prolonged visit to the extensive stores of the
Hudson Bay Company fixed us up with everything that I had been advised to take, and which,
combined with our own personal baggage, was
just about as much as the canoe would carry. The
list may be of interest, so I give it (there was
1600 lbs. weight in all)—
150 lbs-
. flour.
30 „
bacon.
30 „
beans.
17  1
ham.
20  I
dried beef.
50 1
dried fruits
10 „
rice.
20 „
sugar.
10 „
coffee.
10 „
butter.
5 lbs. tea.
5 „   salt.
3 „   baking powder.
2 doz. small tins sardines.
2   „   canned   meat,    pudding, etc.
4 jars jam.
2 doz. tins milk.
1   „   soups (dried).
1   „   maggis bouillon. VANCOUVER   TO  SKAGUAY
59
1 doz. bovril rations.
1 gallon keg Hudson Bay rum.
1 bottle old brandy.
10 x 12 light canvas tent.
Cooking utensils.
1 gross matches.
Tin   dutch   oven  for  baking
bread.
1 gold pan.
1 shovel.
1 pick.    .
lsaw.
1 hammer.
1 axe.
Nails.
Canvas bath, bucket, and basin.
Burroughs and Wellcome Medicine Case, containing various
drugs in tabloid form.
2 Wolseley valises with cork
mattresses and camel-hair
sleeping-bags.
Mosquito curtains and head
dresses—" Hills " mosquito
lotion.
Waterproof ground sheet.
2 suits of clothes with Norfolk
jackets—one rough tweed,
the other Gabardine.
3 Jaeger flannel shirts apiece.
Jaeger flannel underclothing.
Gauntlet mosquito gloves.
1 pair brown field boots each.
1   I   rubber wading boots.
1 „   ordinary rough shooting.
2 pocket filters.
1 12-bore gun and cartridges.
A Kodak camera.
A fishing-rod with tackle, comprising flies, spoon-bait, landing-net, etc.
Plenty of spare pipes, and 5
lbs. tobacco in tins.
Whilst, besides all these articles, the many • small
items, without which no Englishman considers it
possible to travel (however short a distance),
helped to make up what I ventured to consider a
very complete outfit ; and it was satisfactory to
find, on the completion of the journey, that we had
not brought any too much, whilst where we had a
surplus, as was the case with flour, beans, dried 60
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
fruit, etc., we disposed of them easily at very
handsome profit. It will be noted that our
principal item of food was the national dish of
the country, the homely bacon and beans. I was
fortunate in getting all my preparations completed
in time to catch the Tartar, as the attractions of
Vancouver had soon been exhausted, and I was
anxious to push on with jny journey.
At the last moment I was recipient of the two
following invitations, which eventually proved of
great value. One was from the Chilcoot Aerial
Tramway Company, who courteously offered me
the free use of their line for the transportation of
my canoe and baggage from Dyea to Lake Linderman, with a prior right of way to enable me to get
through ahead of anything that might be waiting
at their depot ; the other was from the management
of a line of steamers which were being constructed
on Lake Bennett, and were intended to ply between
that point and Dawson City. It was not certain
at the time, so the management explained to me,
whether the steamers would be ready on my
arrival at Lake Bennett. If any one of them was,
L was  offered  transportation  for my party and VANCOUVER   TO  SKAGUAY 61
baggage the entire length of their route. As may
be imagined, both of these invitations were invaluable, as will be seen later. Owing to the steamboat line not being in readiness, I was only able to
avail myself of the " Tramway " pass. These two
invitations were, however, sufficient to prove to me
the amount of energy and capital which is being
expended in order to make the route I had decided
to go by the most popular one.
The distance from Vancouver to Skaguay is 906
miles, the time occupied on the trip being usually
a little over four days, which includes a stay of
a few hours at Victoria. For small steamers, the
route taken is most delightful, passing through
narrow fjords and close to numberless islands, the
water the whole way being so sheltered as to be
always as calm as a mill-pond. Our vessel, being
of high tonnage, was forced to take the open sea
route a great part of the way. Luckily, there was
a dead calm, and the time passed very pleasantly.
We were a very small but select crowd, and all
bound for the capital of the new Eldorado.
The steamship Tartar, which, together with her
sister ship the Athenian, has been purchased by 62
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
the Canadian Pacific Railway from the Union Line,
is the once famous mail-boat on the Cape Line.
It seems a strange irony of fate that this fine
liner, which has carried so many South African
millionaires and passed through so many vicissi-
the schooner "hera."
tudés, should end thus on this dreary Arctic coast
route, and we were all agreed that she is far too
good for the work. However, the accommodation
was all that could be desired, so it was hardly fair
to find fault. The voyage was uneventful, except
that we passed a schooner becalmed and short of VANCOUVER  TO SKAGUAY
63
provisions, and which turned out to be the Hera,
over two months overdue at Seattle and long given
up as lost. We gave them some beef, etc., and left
them still whistling for the breeze that would not
come to waft them home.
The coast scenery began to change noticeably
after passing Vancouver Island, and differed
considerably from what we had got almost
accustomed to in British Columbia. Low ranges
of snow-capped rocky mountains rising almost
precipitously from the shore gave that indefinable
impression of sadness which.I have noticed as one
of the prevailing features 'of far-away northern
latitudes. The sea, too, appeared to suddenly
abound in strange creatures. It was as though we
had passed some unmarked zone and entered the
region of whales, sun-fish, bottle-nose sharks, and
what not.
We stopped for a few hours the third day out at
Fort Wrangel, a little American town close to the
mouth of the Sitkine river, and which has grown
during the past few months from an insignificant
Indian fishing village into what may turn out to
be a place of some considerable importance, should 64
FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
the Sitkine river route to the Klondike turn out
as is claimed for it. After what appeared to be
much unnecessary delay, during which all light
for sketching or photography had gone, we were
permitted  by  the customs  officers  to  land   and
COAST SCENE NEAR WRANGEL.
have a look round. The visit was an interesting
one, for,Wrangel is the quaintest place imaginable. Although the hastily built wooden booths
and shops run up by speculative Yankee traders
give the place to.a great extent the appearance
of a fair, there were still many parts where the VANCOUVER  TO SKAGUAY
65
Indian village appeared in its primitive condition
and where the houses, built on piles, extend over
the muddy flat a great distance, with numerous
.rough canoes drawn up on the beach around.
TOTEM POLE,   INDIAN GRAVE-YARD,  WRANGEL.
A curious feature of the place is the " Totem "
poles which abound in the native quarter. These
"poles" are enormous trunks of trees carved with
the most fantastic designs—human heads, goblins,
F 66 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
birds, animals, etc.—and showing a sentiment of
proportion and a sort of weird talent that is
thoroughly in keeping with this strange place.
Many Indians sat at the doors of their houses
smoking stolidly, and eying us with absolute
indifference as we wandered round and did the ;
sights. One wonders what they must think of
their solitude so rudely disturbed by this sudden
inrush of " pale faces," which, as it were, threatens
their very existence in these parts.
Wrangel, of course, presents all the usual
features of a new American town, utter lawlessness
being its principal characteristic. Shooting was of
frequent occurrence and passed unchecked, and,
judging from the ill-favoured looking ruffians one
saw hanging about the numerous gambling saloons,
it was easy to imagine what would happen if one
fell into their hands. On remarking this to one
of our companions from the ship—we had gone
in a big party—he informed us that Wrangel
was "not in it" with Skaguay, which had the
unenviable reputation of containing the biggest
crowd of "toughs" on American soil.
Still, Wrangel was not without its amusing side, VANCOUVER  TO SKAGUAY
67
as we found out when we visited its "Opera
House "—a canvas-covered frame-shanty in a
back block, and where a sort of music-hall entertainment was in progress. The place was constructed with " boxes " on the upper floor, where
between the turns, the fair (or otherwise) I artistes "
congregated. Our appearance created no little
commotion amongst them, for it was evidently
regarded as an influx of business, and we were
immediately escorted to the | best box " by quite
a bevy of songstresses and dancers of various ages,
though mostly on the shady side of thirty. The
ladies at these shows get a percentage on all
drinks sold through their endeavours, so it may be
imagined we were not suffering from thirst whilst
in the establishment. The appearance of the
auditorium certainly did not recall memories of
anything one had seen anywhere before. It was
evidently not a | big night," for the audience was
not a full one, and several gentlemen in the stalls
were lying fast asleep full length on the floor,
whilst others in the boxes sat in their shirt-sleeves
and with their legs dangling over the edge, and
otherwise   enjoying   themselves   in   their   own 6â
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
individual way, regardless of what is prudishly
called propriety in England. There was no attempt
at scenery, and the performances were particularly feeble, so we soon tired of it, in spite of the
blandishments of the fair houris surrounding us,
and made our way back to the Tartar, which was
due to sail in the early hours of the morning.
Skaguay was reached some four and twenty
hours later. The harbour is quite enclosed
between high hills, and can scarcely be seen from
the outside. The town itself is built on a good
flat site some short distance back, and is connected
with the landing-stage by several very long
wooden piers. It presented a very picturesque
and animated appearance the morning of our
arrival, as several steamers were unloading and
many people were about. Work on the wharves
and piers was evidently being diligently prosecuted,
and everything being put in readiness for the
railway which is shortly to be started. The town
itself is a typical specimen of what the American
can do in record time. In fact, if is difficult to
realize that it is barely four months old. The
streets are well graded, sidewalks laid, and it has VANCOUVER   TO  SKAGUAY
69
the telephone and electric lighting. It has every
indication of becoming an important business
centre in the near future.
I was told a story in connection with the town
site which is interesting, if only as serving to
prove the lawlessness  of these  far-away corners
of the great United States and the apparent
apathy in Washington of the officials connected
with their administration. It appears the present
town site was staked and located by one William
Moore some ten years ago. All the necessary steps
were taken to ensure his rightful tenure ; surveys
were  made,  the  improvements, and, in  fact,  all FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
done that the law demands, as is proved by the
fact that documents to this effect exist in triplicate
and are registered at Sitka and Washington. In
spite of all these precautions, no sooner did the
town site of Skaguay show signs of becoming really
a town of some importance than a band of land
pirates arrived, headed by a noted scoundrel na»med
Soapy Smith, and actually seized the entire
property of Mr. Moore, together with all buildings,
etc. These thieves then actually started a town
council, of which they constituted themselves
members, laid out the town, sold lots, and dealt
with the ground as though it was really theirs.
It seems well nigh incredible that such a state
of affairs could be possible under United States
Government, but so it is. Moore has, of course,
placed the matter in the hands of competent
lawyers, and all the documents were, together
with counsels' opinion, shown to me. Up to the
present, however, nothing has resulted, and, with
the roguery and corruption in the place, it seems
doubtful how soon it will be settled, or what the
result will be in either case. It goes without
saying that the property,  which comprises  160 VANCOUVER  TO SKAGUAY
71
acres; is at the present of great and growing value.
Moore himself estimates it at $500,000.
This is but one instance of the lawlessness
prevailing in Skaguay, where, up to the present,
no attempt at enforcing law" or order has been
made. Strangers are frequently held up in broad
daylight and openly robbed, and a foul murder
of a woman had taken place the night before our
arrival, and the murderer, who was known, was
walking about the place unmolested. Half the
Americans we spoke with made no secret of their
regret that the town was not under the English
.flag, because then they would be sure their property
would be protected from the ruffians hanging round
the neighbourhood.
Since writing the above, I learn from a San
Francisco paper that vigorous measures have been
taken to end this disgraceful state of affairs.
The gang of ruffians, which had been practically holding Skaguay under a sort of reign of
terror, has been effectually broken up, and the
leader, Soapy Smith, has paid with his life for his
many crimes. The killing of this arch-desperado
occurred at  an indignation meeting held by the 72
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
law-abiding portion to discuss the latest act of
lawlessness of the band—a returned Klondiker
having been % held up " and robbed of some $4000.
Soapy Smith, on hearing of this meeting, became
mad with rage, and rushed down to the wharf,
where it was being held, positively armed to the
teeth, thinking to overawe the crowd as usual.
But he was out of his reckoning at last. He was
met by an old enemy of his, one Frank Reid.
Some free shooting immediately ensued, during
which both men were hit. Smith was killed
instantly, while Reid lingered in the hospital for
about two weeks, when he died. Immediately,
after the affray there was a "round up" in the
middle of the main street. A vigilance committee
was formed to enforce law and order; then the
entire town\was surrounded by determined citizens
armed with rifles, and a regular " man hunt " was
started to capture every one of the Soapy Smith
gang, alive or dead. This was successfully accomplished, and in a short time not one of the blackguards was at large in the place.
Many curious and almost incredible facts have
since transpired as to the methods of Smith and VANCOUVER   TO SKAGUAY
73
his gang. It appears that his favourite scheme
was to put up bogus business premises in different
parts of the town. The usual signs and insignia
of trade gave to these places an air of respectability and genuineness whidh was calculated to
completely deceive the new-comer. Some of
these buildings would be called " Information
Bureaux," others "Pack-train Offices," "Cut-rate
Ticket Offices for Dawson," and so forth. Whatever they were* it goes without saying that the
advantages offered were greater than at the actual
business houses of the town. On the arrival of a
steamer, Smith would detail certain of his gang
to be on the wharf to pick out likely " pigeons "
amongst the new arrivals. In fact, so cleverly
planned was this conspiracy of thieves, that often
there would be one or two members of the gang
on board who had made the trip to Victoria and
back with the sole object of' making acquaintances
amongst the unsuspecting passengers. (Such an
incident actually happened on the Tartar.) Once
on shore, the victim would, of course, be easily
induced by his newly found friends to give the
preference to one of the so-called bureaux, if he 74
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
had freight to pack or required information as to
route, etc. Once in the office and surrounded by
the gang, Soapy Smith, who was from all accounts
as smooth-tongued and plausible a villain as
possible, would conduct negotiations. Then when
all was arranged, a small deposit would be asked
for—as a sign of good faith, "just to prove that
the business would not be given elsewhere."
As the unsuspecting victim took out his pocket-
book or purse, one of the gang would snatch it
from him. Immediately one of the bystanders
would pretend to get very indignant, and swear
he would not stand by and see a man robbed.
A scuffle would ensue, in the course of which
the unfortunate victim would be | accidentally "
knocked down, and perhaps severely injured, and
by the time he had recovered himself, the man
who had robbed him of course had got away.
This sort of thing took place time after time in
broad daylight, and as the entire town, as I have
described, was practically in the possession of
this gang, no redress whatever was possible, the
United States Government not having deemed
it necessary to take steps to represent law and VANCOUVER   TO SKAGUAY
75
order in the place. At last, however, flesh and
blood would stand it no longer, and the citizens
have accomplished what their Government should
have done for them. From the latest information
it #appears that the town was under military rule,
a detachment of United States troops under Captain Yeatman having tardily, though opportunely,
arrived on the scene. Skaguay, which is practically the gate to the Klondike, may therefore
now have a chance of becoming a prosperous and
peaceful town. CHAPTER VI.
FROM SKAGUAY TO THE SUMMIT OF THE
CHILCOOT PASS.
Skaguay to Dyea—Dyea to Canyon City—The Trail—Our
travelling companions—Canyon City—Sheep Camp—The
Chilcoot Pass Aerial Tramway—The ascent of the Chilcoot
Pass—Impressions of the scenery—The summit—The
North-West Mounted Police camp.
We only remained long enough to get our baggage
through the customs, then took the ferry boat for
Dyea, six   miles   distant,   a  pleasant   little  run FROM SKAGUAY TO  THE CHILCOOT PASS    77
through lake-like scenery into a completely landlocked bay on which stands the town. The water
is so shallow that carts come some distance into
the water, and back right up against the boat that
lands passengers from the ferry. Dyea consists of
one long, dusty, straggling street of wooden and
canvas shanties, and is nearly two miles in length.
It can boast of a fairly good hotel for a place of
its description ; in fact, it is reputed the best north
of Victoria. We were not long afterwards in
realizing that this was no fictitious reputation, and
often had occasion to wish for even its meagre
comforts. There was some unexpected delay in
getting our things over from Skaguay, so I
decided, rather than/waste time in this uninteresting place, to go on ahead with Harris, and
leave Boss behind to follow up with the canoe
and baggage. The Chilcoot Aerial Tramway,
though not starting until Canyon City, some seven
miles further on, practically commences at Dyea,
as the company takes over goods here and
includes in their charges portage by waggon the
intervening distance. I therefore felt we were
running no undue risk in leaving our equipment 78
FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
to follow. Quite an organized line of waggonettes
and other vehicles run from Dyea to the foot of
the mountains at Canyon City, thus saving what
would have proved a very tedious and irksome
walk, as we soon discovered. For the sum of one
dollar we got seats in quite a smart trap, with
good cushions and springs, and an awning to
protect one from the almost tropical sun.
We started at 9 a.m., our two game horses dashing through the long street of the town in blissful
ignorance of the tough journey in store for them.
We had two fellow-passengers, a middle-aged man
and a Jewish youth of about eighteen. Both, as
it turned out, were characters in their way.
Travelling makes strange bed-fellows, and probably
nowhere more so than here. Mr. Hart, the older
of the two, was an undertaker by profession, about
to start a branch establishment at Dawson City ;
and the youth was making his way to the
same place, with three big piles of American
newspapers of more or less recent date, which, he
informed us, he hoped to sell by degrees on the
way, and so pay his expenses " and perhaps a bit
besides."   This sounded a big proposition till we FROM SKAGUAY TO  THE CHILCOOT PASS    79
learned that he charged fifty cents a copy ! Fancy
paying two shillings for an out-of-date newspaper !
Yet they were greedily snapped up by different
inn-keepers as we went along. We eventually
lost sight of the youngster as he plodded after
us, later on in the mountains, but, to our no little
astonishment, he turned up smiling one morning,
a month after, in Dawson ! We eventually ran
across him again working his passage home to
America on board the steamer, having sold all his
papers, paid his way, and with $250 in his pocket,
as he proudly told me ! That boy ought to get on
in the world.
But to return to our journey. The road, after
leaving Dyea, passed through a broad, smiling
valley, that looked very beautiful in the glory of
its spring verdure in the bright morning sunlight.
By degrees, however, we realized that the
idiosyncrasies of the "road"*would debar us in a
measure from enjoying the scenery as we should
have wished to, for in a short while we were
travelling over a rocky track that could not, by
the wildest stretch of the imagination, be denominated a I road."   Our light vehicle, which was quite 80
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
unfitted for such work (it came direct from the
streets of Victoria, I learned), rocked and heaved
about from boulder to boulder, till one expected at
any moment something or all would give way, we
the while clinging as though for dear life to the
ON THE ROAD TO CANYON CITY.
backs of the seats, and bracing ourselves with our
knees so as not to be thrown out. Nor was this
the worst, for we shortly reached a wide shallow
stream, which we afterwards had to continually
ford and re-ford, the water in many places rising
as high as the floor of the carriage, and rushing FROM SKAGUAY TO  THE  CHILCOOT PASS     81
past at such a speed as to threaten to overturn us
as we rose and fell over the rocky bottom. It
would have been fairly amusing had it not been
for the idea of getting the contents of one's sketching-bag and kodak ruined. These seven miles
certainly appeared the longest drive I ever made,
and it was with no slight feelings of relief that I
learned we had at length reached our destination,
though I saw no signs of a city anywhere.
Canyon City is the high-sounding appellation of
a small collection of rough wooden shanties and
tents. The indiscriminate use of the word " city "
out in the far West is very misleading till one gets
used to it. Then one never expects to find much
more than a primitive village, and is seldom disappointed. We drove up to " Canyon City " Hotel,
a hut somewhat larger than the others, where we
proposed to "lunch" before continuing our journey
on foot towards the pass. It may be imagined our
repast was not an extravagant one, though the
price charged for the unappetizing food put before
us would have paid for a nice little déjeuner at
many a London restaurant. This, however, it may
be mentioned in parenthesis, was but the beginning
G 82
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
of a rising scale of exorbitant charges that culminated with great éclat on the Klondike. We had
found our undertaker fellow-traveller quite a
genial fellow, and an old inhabitant of the district
to boot, so as he was going our way and was
agreeable to moderate his | old-timer " pace to
our "tenderfoot" gait, we arranged to proceed
together. To this happy arrangement was doubt-,
less due the excellent distance we covered that
afternoon and evening.
Our next halting-place was Sheep Camp,
another little mountain camp-station. It was a
pretty stiff up and down climb, with much mud in
places, but we did it in good time. The Aerial
Tramway ran alongside the trail most of the way,
so we had an opportunity of admiring its wonderfully ingenious workmanship, whilst not a little
regretting that human freight could not be taken
by it. An aerial tramway isca steel moving cable,
hung on trestles: on this cable run at intervals
"buckets," slung by means of grooved wheels ;
these buckets carry the freight. By this means a
portage is established that is not in any way
affected   by   the   conditions    of  the   ground   it FROM SKAGUAY TO  THE CHILCOOT PASS     83
traverses, its sole inconvenience being that the
line of buckets has occasionally a knack of
sticking in awkward places, often high up in midair when crossing ravines or valleys, and thus
causing long delays. It will, therefore, be understood how it is passengers cannot be taken by this
method. By a curious coincidence we reached
Sheep Camp just as our canoe, slung between two
buckets, passed majestically through. As ill luck
would have it, the kodak was not handy, as it
would have made a most novel snapshot.
Leaving Sheep Camp, the trail led along a
mountain-valley full of huge rocks, over which one
had to climb and scramble as best one could. It
was like the seashore, though fortunately not
. slippery. We were nearing the dreaded Chilcoot
Pass, and snow now began to show around us as
we slowly ascended. Almost imperceptibly we
entered the realms of winter, and very soon had
lost all trace of vegetation. Snow-clad mountains
towered around* their precipitous sides crowned
by enormous glaciers that appeared to threaten
destruction at any moment, whilst looming ahead,
and looking almost perpendicular as one saw it 04 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
foreshortened by its acute perspective, was the
dreaded summit of which so much has been
written and said during the past year. At the
foot of t the steep ascent a huge snow-slide almost
blocked the way, the narrow trail being actually
cut through it. This was the scene of the awful
disaster in the early spring of this year when so
many pilgrims to the new Eldorado were suddenly
overwhelmed, and perished under its icy pall.
The scene and its association was undoubtedly a
weirdly impressive one, and kept one awestruck
for some minutes. Here in those times, when
everything had x to be packed over the summit by
Indians at so much per lb., was a huge weighing-
machine, which gave the place the name of " the
Scales," an appellation that has stuck to it since,
though the actual scales have since disappeared.
From the Scales to the summit of the pass is
not a great distance, probably not more than a
thousand yards, but, owing to its terrific angle, is
about as fatiguing a climb as could well be
imagined. Without exaggeration I should say the
angle must be about 45°. A thin rope-line has
been fixed to posts the greater part of the way to FROM SKAGUAY TO  THE CHILCOOT PASS     85
enable the carriers to pull themselves up the series
of steep steps in the deep snow that have been
formed by the thousands of persons who have
passed this way during the last twelve months. I
personally  was  very glad  to  make  use  of this
" LOOKING UP THE CHILCOOT PASS.     SHOWING AERIAL TRAMLINE ON TOP.
welcome, though icy-cold, safeguard, for I am
subject to vertigo, and a false step or sudden look
down the abyss .behind me might have resulted in
serious mishap. By dint of stolid plodding, with
an occasional pause to take breath, we reached the 86 FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
summit in about half an hour from leaving the
Scales, and were glad to avail ourselves of some
rocks on comparatively level ground to have a rest
and look round.
The view was simply magnificent, and I have
rarely seen anything- to equal, and certainly never
anything to surpass it. Where the sun had just
set the sky was a blazing glory of red, which
gradually merged into tender opalescent tints
till on the opposite horizon it finally merged into
the most delicate grey-blue, against which the
distant snow-clad peaks stood out in faint relief.
At our feet, spread like some vast panorama
against a background of mountain peaks, and
stretching far away till lost in the gathering
twilight of the valley, lay the Chilcoot Pass,
looking strangely quiet and deserted, save for an
occasional speck here and there that betokened
some other pilgrims slowly making their way
towards the summit and his possibly golden goal.
How small and insignificant as seen at this'heio-ht
and in comparison to these glorious mountains,
like one's poor little human ambitions as compared
with the infinity of time ! FROM SKAGUAY TO  THE CHILCOOT PASS    87
This deserted aspect of the pass was the more
remarkable, for only a few short weeks previously,
from all accounts, it had been as animated a scene
.as possible, no less than 22,000 people having
gone across the summit during the winter in a
continuous stream, the whole valley being crowded
with tents and rough shelters. This mountain
solitude must have then presented the appearance of some vast winter fair, with stoves, saloons,
and, in fact, everything to tempt the new arrivals
to part with their ready money. The American
I shellman," the prototype of our English thimble-
rigger and three-card sharpers, were here (and,
in fact, all along the American side of the trail)
in their hundreds, and many a foolish youth
found himself completely fleeced of his little all,
and forced to turn back before he had actually
started, as it were. It is with no little feeling of
legitimate pride that one learns that once across
the summit, which marks the frontier line
between Alaska and the British North-West
Territories, not any of these rascals dared show
their tricks, except at a risk they did not as a
rule care to run, for such curs have no backbone, FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
and they knew they were on British territory,
and that even the meanest of their victims was
under the protection of the handful of North-
West Mounted Police encamped just beyond the
line. The ragged old Union Jack, waving above
the half-dozen wretched tents in this far-away
British outpost, was doubtless a glad sight•*to
both English and American alike, for it betokened
law and order and bad business for all who might
attempt to defy it. (    89    )
CHAPTER VIL
THE   SUMMIT   OF   THE   CHILCOOT   PASS  TO
LINDERMAN.
Inspector Belcher of the North-West Mounted Police—An
amusing incident-^-Lakes Crater, Long, and Deep—" Happy
Camp "—An awkward adventure on Deep Lake—A sledge
ride—The Alaska sledge-dog—From Deep Lake to Linder-
We were undoubtedly very fortunate in getting
such delightful weather at the summit, for it is
more usual, I believe, to get dense mists, which
completely block out the magnificent view. I had
a letter of introduction to Inspector Belcher, the
officer in command of the police detachment here,
so we stopped at his quarters for a few minutes'
rest and a chat. Every one passing this way from
the American side has to stop here while his
baggage is examined, the North-West Mounted
Police acting as the Dominion Customs officials 90
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
at this point. All duties charged are paid to
them, a very big sum having been thus collected
during the rush. It may be mentioned that
the North - West Mounted Police collect the
customs at all the principal points along the
line. We found Inspector Belcher "at home,"
if a rough canvas shanty can be so called,
and he expressed himself delighted to see us,
accentuating his cordial reception by producing
almost immediately a big jar of Canadian
whisky, and making us help ourselves liberally
to keep out the cold. What a delightfully constituted temperament to be able to retain such
good humour (I was almost saying " spirits ")
when forced to live in such an awful spot as
this bleak summit of a mountain pass in faraway Alaska ! I envied him when I remembered
how little it takes to make most of us grumble
when in the midst of comfort and plenty. I
had decided to push on without delay, and, if
we could manage it, reach Lake Linderman before
morning. The bracing air of the mountains
acted like a strong tonic, and one felt curiously
less fatigued  than  one  would  have  done   after CHILCOOT PASS TO LINDERMAN
such an arduous Walk in a different climate. So,
after a short rest, we bade good-bye to our genial
host, and started off, feeling much refreshed,
and at a good swinging pace, downhill towards
the lake,
seas^pjM
CHILCOOT PASS,  SEEN  FROM CRATER LAKE.
The jj snow and ice on the other side of the
summit proved but a foretaste of what we had
in store for us for the next six miles. It was as
though one had been suddenly transported to the
heart of Siberia in the middle of winter.    At the r
92 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
foot of the declivity we were descending lay a
large lake, still held hard and fast in the icy grasp
of the Arctic winter, whilst near and far as eye
could reach its snowy pall stretched unbroken till
lost in shadowy distance. Close by a man was
vainly struggling with a sled heavily packed with
goods. On the steep hillside the sled kept overturning time after time in the deep snow as he
attempted to guide it down the course. Taking
compassion on his helplessness, we helped him
adjust it several times, when suddenly it started
off unexpectedly as I was holding on behind, and
down the hill we both went at a breakneck pace,
the man vainly trying to act as a brake in front,
whilst I was dragged along on my stomach,
endeavouring the while to check the speed with
the toes of my boots. The finale may be imagined.
At the foot of the hill the sled completely overturned, the man and I being thrown by the
impetus into a drift of snow, where we both
laughed heartily at this unexpected bit of tobogganing. Harris and Hart meanwhile had
been coming along more soberly, and soon rejoined me.
ill CHILCOOT PASS  TO LINDERMAN 93
The track lay across the lake, or rather along
the middle of it, and was well defined on the
thick ice by the footsteps of the many men and
animals that had traversed it. Whilst crossing
we passed some men packing goods on sledges
with sails fixed to them, presenting a curious
effect in the distance of boats sailing across.
There was a stiffish breeze blowing, so they were
getting along pretty well, though constantly delayed by their sleds overturning, as they had
no outriggers to them. We had now three lakes,
named Crater, Long, and Deep, to cross, six
long miles on the ice all the way. It was well
on into the early hours of the morning and
freezing hard, with a biting cold wind that
seemed to get through into one's very marrow,
for we were absolutely unprepared for this
sudden transition from genial spring temperature to arctic cold, and had 'f not even gloves or
overcoats with us. There was nothing for it but
to walk as fast as possible to keep ourselves
from freezing entirely, when we fortunately met
some people who gave us the joyful intelligence
that we were close to a "restaurant."    Oh, the i
94
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
visions the mere word raised! So we hurried on
faster than ever, and soon were rewarded by
the sight of a dim light ahead on the far bank
of the lake. We naturally hesitated a few
minutes before leaving the beaten track to cross
unknown ice, but the temptation of something
hot and cheering proved irresistible, so through
the deep snow we plunged. The place appeared
much further than it really was, for in the
distance and the darkness it gave the impression somehow of a big, well-built place. Imagine
our disappointment to find only a tent lighted
dimly by a candle. Inside was a long sort of
counter spread with iron cups and plates, and
behind it a man was standing over a wretched
little stove making coffee. The aspect was
wretched in the extreme, the thin tent merely
serving to keep out the wind, not the cold. We
were, however, glad to get even a cup of so-called
coffee, for it was at any rate hot, and to a certain
extent comforting. This and a slice or two of
coarse bread and butter, and a plate of tinned
beef, made up a supper that was perhaps more
filling than satisfying, but as even this was more CHILCOOT PASS  TO LINDERMAN
95
than we had expected to find on* the way, we
could not grumble.
I had a talk with the man meanwhile, and
learned the place was called "Happy Camp ; "
that he had his wife and youngest children with
him in an adjoining tent. They had come into
the country during the winter, and, provided he
could make enough money on the way, his idea
was to get up to Dawson. But, unfortunately,
there was not much to be made where he then
was.' It cost too much to get his supplies, wood
alone being five cents a pound! One wondered
at the strange fascination of gold that it could
reconcile a man, and, for the matter of that, his
wife also, to come and eke out a miserable
existence in such an awful place as this, on the
mere chance of perhaps some day satisfying their
avaricious desires, and also» so far make them
forget their natural instincts as to bring children
with them to share their awful hardships. Our
meal was not dear considering all things, and
can have left him but little profit after paying
expenses*
We hurried on as soon as possible, Hart leading 96
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
the way, and taking what he evidently thought
a short cut across the ice to the track. Unfortunately, however, Harris, who was following him,
did not trouble to follow exactly in his footsteps,
with the result that we suddenly heard a loud
exclamation, and he disappeared up to his waist
through a rotten piece of ice. Fortunately he
managed to scramble out with nothing worse
than getting his leg3 wet,'the thickness of the
ice preventing him from going deeper into the
water. There was nothing for it but to grin and
bear it as a bit of ill luck incidental to such a
journey.
Both Crater and Long Lakes were still frozen
hard, and showed no signs of breaking-up, but Deep
Lake had already begun to crack some days before,
I had been informed. We reached the foot of it as
day was dawning, to find that matters were somewhat worse than we had feared, for all along the
shore the ice had opened out and large pools
of water were forming. The track still, however,
was used, for we could see sledges crossing on the
centre of the lake. Neither Harris nor I had any
desire to get unnecessarily wet, and so we told CHILCOOT PASS  TO LINDERMAN
97
Hart; but he was for pushing on as quickly as
possible, so argued that if sledges could get across
we could, and at any rate he intended to try, as it
was only 3J miles to Linderman, and he was ready
for bed. We followed him to the edge of the
ï water to see how he would get across to the dry
ice, and intending to follow if he did not get
very wet. The water was only on the surface
and he managed to get through a short distance
without much difficulty ; then seeing a tree-
trunk lying on the surface near him, he made for
that as a next move as the water was getting
deeper. Just as he reached it and was in the
act of stepping on to it, the ice under him gave
way, and he went into the water backwards,
getting completely drenched. It was luckily
not more than three feet deep, so he got out
easily and on to the trunk ; 'then without hesitation, and evidently regardless of what might
happen next, he plunged and squelched through
the rotten ice till he reached the track and
scrambled on to it. Standing there dripping wet
in the freezing air of the early dawn, with no
means   whatever  of  drying  his  soaked  clothes,
•      H *M
98 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
he looked a pitiable object, and we both felt
heartily sorry for him. He called out to us to
follow him, that it was "nothing;" but we did
not feel like taking a cold bath just then, and
told him so, whereupon he said that he intended
hurrying across «as quickly as possible so as not
to catch cold standing about, and laughingly
adding he would meet us at Linderman, he
strode quickly off.
We looked at each other wondering what was
the best thing to do. The situation was an unpleasant one. We had been walking with scarcely
any rest since two o'clock the previous day, twelve
good hours, and here we were stranded at daybreak at a place where all was snow and ice, and
not a sign of any other trail to our destination
but the one across' the lake, and not a soul in sight
to direct us. Harris, whose teeth were chattering
with the cold, his legs not being dry yet, was all
this while muttering something about it " not being
good enough," and naming the fabulous sums he
would have given to be back in his luxurious
chambers in Down Street, Piccadilly, when sud*
denly Providence came to our rescue in the shape CHILCOOT PASS TO LINDERMAN
99
of two men with dog - sledges. They were
"freighters," and immediately an idea occurred
to me, and, going up to the leader, I asked
him if he would put us both across the lake
on the sledges for a consideration. After looking
at the ice for a few minutes, he replied that if it
could be done he would. Both he and his mate
went forward and cautiously probed the rotten
ice and water, then fetching axes from the
sledges, they went and cut down some small
trees near, and made a sort of impromptu corduroy road across the wet part, whilst avoiding
as much as possible the deeper water. Then one
sledge went across first to test the work, the
dogs going very gingerly indeed, and taking
ridiculously careful steps. They knew what they
were about evidently, and what it meant to
have a heavy sledge sink whilst they were harnessed to it. However, it got across safely, so
the man told us to sit on the next one and
he would take us across the lake for a dollar,
and over we went without further incident. It
was certainly very cold sitting in the cramped
position necessary for keeping one's balance on a 100
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
dog-sledge, but it gave us a few minutes' welcome
rest.
The dogs were of all sorts and conditions, from
the Indian dog of the country to the ordinary
mongrel retriever, most of them in splendid condition, and with shoulders wonderfully developed
from constant pulling. Poor brutes ! they got little
but kicks and blows in return for their hard work,
for, as a rule, their owners treat them with
ferocious cruelty, when they fancy they are lagging.
Yet in spite of all they are gentle and affectionate
brutes, except amongst themselves, for when not
working they seem to live for fighting. It was no
great distance across the lake, and we soon reached
the opposite bank. The ice had not broken here,
so we got ashore without further mishap, and
hurried along the trail again, hoping to make our
destination in a very short -time, as we both
felt an unconquerable feeling of fatigue coming
over us, and which was difficult to sha\e off,
a sort of impulse to lie down and sleep anywhere. But there was nothing for it but to plod
steadily on.
The track, after leaving the lake, appeared to CHILCOOT PASS TO LINDERMAN       101
our tired feet to become worse and worse, at one
time deep snow, then rock after rock, over which
we had to clamber, Harris meanwhile becoming
more and more unconsciously humorous with
fatigue, if such a condition is physically possible,
and was evidently mad with himself for being
here at all. At length this muttering to himself
resulted in his offering as high as £50 if he were
only in bed in the "hotel" at Linderman. Poor
chap, his hopes were destined to be rudely
shattered when we eventually reached the so-called
I hotel ; " but of this anon.
Why the last two miles of a journey to a place
one does not know always appear the longest is
inexplicable. In our case they apparently trebled
themselves, and, although we were lucky in
meeting two genial fellows who were going our
way, the distance from Deep Lake to Linderman
seemed to us considerably undermeasured. At
last, on reaching the top of a long hill, there
lay stretched at our feet, though some distance
below, a large placid sheet of water, looking
like a huge piece of rose-coloured silk spread
between   the   mountains.    At the  point  nearest 102
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
us on a promontory of flat shore was a huge
conglomeration of white tents, looking like a
flock of seagulls on a distant beach, This was
Linderman.
1
LINDERMAN. (    103    )
CHAPTER VIII.
LINDERMAN AND BENNETT.
The " hotel " at Linderman—First experience of a bunk-house
—^Boat-building—A wonderful scene—The coup d'odl Linderman—From Linderman to Bennett—Bennett—Shooting
the rapids—Arrival of our baggage—Our Jap cook-
Packing the canoe—The start for Dawson.
Dotted in and about the tents and along the
shore were numerous strange-looking yellow
objects. As we got nearer these took definite
shapes, and I saw they were boats in various
stages of construction. It certainly was a curious
and withal weird sight, this sleeping city of tents,
for at least 10,000 people must have been
encamped there. Many hopes lay dormant in
that confused mass of white canvas. How many
were to be realized ?
A somewhat steep climb downhill brought us
into the town itself.    All was deserted.    It was 104 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
half-past three in the morning, and at that early
hour Jew sensible people are about even at Linderman. Without delay we set about looking for the
| Hotel Linderman" to which our friends of the road
had directed us. After a little trouble we found
it, a fairly large log cabin, but in vain we knocked
and hammered at the door ; there was no response.
They must have heard us, for we made enough
noise to wake up the whole place. Then we tried
another place opposite, a sort of big tent structure
with a high-sounding name written over the door.
Again without success. We looked at each other
wondering what to do. This was something we
had certainly not bargained for. Just then a man
came along, and, on my explaining our predicament, he volunteered to take us somewhere where
we could get beds, and led us round to the back
entrance of another canvas house called the
" Dawson Hotel," and, knocking at the door, it was
soon opened by a sleepy-looking, half-awakened
individual, who said he had luckily just room for
us. So in we went, delighted to be so near really
going to bed at last; but our joy was soon over
when we saw the interior. LINDERMAN AND BENNETT
105
It was a very large place, and down the centre
and reaching up to the slant of the roof was a -big
structure with four double sections of four tiers
of bunks, these bunks being formed by canvas
stretched from side to side.    Along one side was
INTERIOR OF THE  LINDERMAN BUNK-HOUSE,  AND ONE  OF THE
LADY' LODGERS.
another half section, making in all forty-eight
sleeping-places, all of which were occupied except
the two we had just secured. In one corner of
this bunk-room was the kitchen, or rather a place
where cooking went on, and alongside it three or 106 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
four iron basins on a narrow shelf represented the
toilet accommodation. Beyond the kitchen was
the dining-room, with a sort of high counter like
one sees in the cheapest workmen's eating-houses
in England. Over the filthy floor round the bunks
were scattered boots in all stages of wear, whilst on
the woodwork hung dirty garments that would
have in most cases reflected discredit on an average
coal-heaver in London. I did not dare to catch
Harris's eye for a moment, for I knew what he
would say; but I will confess that in all my
varied experiences of roughing it all over the
world, I never struck anything so utterly repellent
as this Linderman bunk-house. I learned afterwards it was perhaps a shade better than -the
average of these places, and which are the sole
hotels of the country at present.
It was no time for making compliments, so there
was nothing for it but to turn in, as the proprietor
was evidently anxious to get back to his bed, and
was waiting for his money for the night's
accommodation. So we paid him the fifty cents
each he asked, and in return got two doubtful-
looking blankets apiece.    To climb up and throw LINDERMAN AND BENNETT
107
ourselves into our bunks without troubling even
to undress was the work of a few seconds, so tired
were we, and almost instantly we were in the land
of sleep.
The sun was high up when we woke, so we had
the place nearly to ourselves, most of the lodgers
being away at their various vocations. We had a
sort of a " lick and a promise " wash, for the towels
were on a par with the rest of the establishment,
and it was impossible to get others even by paying
for them. The proprietor, in fact, seemed annoyed
and surprised at my suggesting they were not
quite so clean as they ought to be, mentioning
somewhat testily that I was the first of his lodgers
to complain, and adding, as though to convince me
of the injustice of my demand, that over thirty
people had already used them.
After a rough breakfast,» we strolled round the
town. I certainly was prepared for a busy scene,
but certainly nothing to equal what was before me.
It almost baffles description. All along the shore
and to some distance up the side hills, boat-building was being carried on with quite feverish
activity, and the sound of a steam saw-mill, whip- 108 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
saws, and hammering and planing, resounded on all
sides. Boats there were in all imaginable shapes
and sizes, from big unwieldy barges to tiny craft
that reminded one of the paper boat dear to childhood. It was, indeed, a wonderful sight. Many
of the boats were being constructed with great
skill, and were evidently the production of practical boat-builders, whilst others were little better
than flat open boxes fitted with thwarts and
thole-pins. There was a remarkable resemblance
between the boats, as though they were mostly
built on one stock pattern. Curiously enough,
not a single one had a rudder, nor do I remember
seeing one anywhere on the journey.
The lumber for all this building was brought
from the neighbouring hills, and could be purchased all ready cut in planks, if the men could
afford it and did not feel equal to cutting up the
trunks themselves with whip-saws. There were
also professional boat-builders who would build
one a boat outright. In fact, they had several
ready for sale at fairly reasonable prices considering, and even these were considerably reduced in consequence of competition.    I saw well- BOAT-BUILDING,  LINDERMAN»  LINDERMAN AND BENNETT
111
built boats capable of holding three or four
men, and two tons of provisions, etc., for $75.
They could not have cost much less to build.
Apart from these home-made craft, there were
Peterborough and Strickland canoes, steel boats
built in sections, collapsible boats, punts, and, in
fact, almost anything fit for the long river journey,
on sale all along the principal thoroughfare. The
animation of the scene can be more easily
imagined than described.
The crowds of people were as remarkable as
their surroundings. All the nations of the world
seemed represented, and it was quite a Babel of
tongues to be heard. The costumes were most
picturesque and of the most varied colours and
descriptions. Many women were to be seen elbowing their way through the throng of swarthy-
bearded men, several of these ladies even in this
rough camp making some instinctive attempt at
coquettish display, although the coarse, uncouth
costume necessary for the rough trip did not as a
rule lend itself to graceful styles. I saw .one very
pretty girl with a straw hat and veil, yellow oiïV
skin coat cut to fit her figure, blue overall short 112 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
skirt and high-top boots, and brown kid gloves,
-who looked as though dressed for some scene from
an opera comique. These splashes of colour
helped considerably to give animation to . the
curious coup d'ceil, which Was still further heightened by the numerous pack trains of horses, mules,
and donkeys constantly passing through.
Our baggage got delayed at the summit in
consequence of some slight breakdown on the
aerial tram-line, so I decided to wait its arrival
here before proceeding further. There were several
nice fellows in the place whom we had met before,
and in their genial society we managed not a
little to forget the discomfort of our lodgings and
the coarseness of the food. In this far-away and
wild region, it was impossible to judge of men by
their outward garb, for the rough clothing and the
unshaven beard not unseldom hid the university
graduate or old-country gentleman, and in their
pleasant company many an hour that would
otherwise have but tediously passed, slipped away
unnoticed midst intelligent mirth and witty
repartee.
After a couple of days' delay, Boss turned up LINDERMAN AND BENNETT 113
with the welcome intelligence that the canoe and
the baggage were well on the way to Linderman,
so, as their arrival was only the question of a few
hours, I thought we might as well run over to
Lake Bennett and have a look round there, and
get some information as to the state of river, etc.,
for our actual start was to be made from Bennett.
A small iron steamer had just started running
from Linderman, and for the moderate sum of $1
each landed us at the foot of the lake, whence a
walk of half a mile over the narrow tongue of land
dividing the two lakes brought us to the town
of Bennett. It was my first trip on the lake, and
I was surprised to see the whole way that on both
shores were numerous camps where boat-building
was being energetically prosecuted. Bennett, if
anything, presented a still busier appearance than
Linderman. It was a far larger place, and showing
indications of a possible permanency in the shape
of several large log-built cabins. The Skaguay
trail via the White Pass ends here, so this is a sort
of junction where the two incoming crowds meet.
The place presented almost identical features, both
being tent towns  with boat-building everywhere,
-J 114
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
the animation being increased by the presence of
many big waggons splendidly horsed, which were
constantly passing heavily laden with goods newly
arrived on the trail. On the shore of the lake
several large and powerful stern-Wheel passenger
steamers were being rapidly put together, the
different parts" having been sent up in sections.
Many steam ^saw-mills were hard at work. The
beachv was packed^ several deep with boats heavily
laden and ready to start, their sails already spread, LINDERMAN AND BENNETT
Flags were gaily flying from hundreds of mastheads, and in the bright sunlight the scene thus
presented was one never to be forgotten. Certainly
the world will never see its like again. In the
town of tents itself, one could find almost everything
—hot baths, barbers' shops, restaurants, drinking
saloons ; whilst in the main thoroughfares, mining-
agents, land-agents, solicitors, doctors, dentists,
company promoters, rubbed elbows with unkempt
and dirty Indian packers, brawny, bearded miners,
and eager, newly-arrived fortune-seekers, all on
their way to their golden shrine in far-off
Klondike.  g*sÊ^/     §8??J
I had a letter of introduction to the representative of one of the Lake Bennett steamboat companies, and this gentleman courteously permitted
us to camp in his store tentj so we made up a sort
of cosy corner in it with mattresses belonging to
the steamer being built, and felt we were in clover
after our experiences in the Linderman bunk-
house. There was little to do in Bennett once one
had exhausted the novelty of watching the,boatbuilding, the campers, and the varied life of the
tent  town;     I  was   anxiously looking;  for   the
J 116
FROM EUSTON  TO  KLONDIKE
arrival of our canoe and baggage in order to get
away as quickly as possible. Any unforeseen
delay on such a journey as this renders it doubly-
trying.
The principal  source of amusement for those
who happened to have any time on their hands
THE RAPIDS BETWEEN LINDERMAN AND  BENNETT.
was to watch boats shooting the rapids that
connect Lake Linderman with La*ke Bennett.
The current is a very swift one, and there are
several awkward rocks about midway, so it
requires a certain amount of nerve and skilled LINDERMAN AND BENNETT
117
handling to take a boat through safely. The
water is not deep enough to endanger life, but in
case of an accident the boat stands every chance
of being smashed up, as several wrecks along the
shore below the rapids testify. There is a good
portage between the lakes, so it struck me as
foolhardy any one thus running the unnecessary
risk of losing all his belongings and his boat
besides at the very outset of the journey. Still,
there were many who daily did so, much to the
edification of the onlookers and the many amateur
photographers of the camp. On the high ground
near by is a simple grave surrounded by a wooden
fence. It is the last resting-place of a man who
may be said to have been followed by persistent
ill luck. Starting from Seattle eighteen months
ago on his way to Dawson,» he happened to be on
an ill-fated steamer that got wrecked on its way up.
He got ashore safely, but lost all his belongings.
He returned to Seattle, got a fresh outfit, and
managed to get as far as Linderman. There he
built a boat, but was foolish enough to risk running
the rapids. His boat was wrecked, and he again
found himself minus  everything.  . To most men 118 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
these two reverses would have proved fatal ; not so
with him. Though much depressed, he managed
to get funds together, and, returning to the coast,
came back shortly with yet another equipment,
bought a boat this time, was either foolhardy
or obstinate enough to again attempt these same
rapids, and by an extraordinary fatality again was
totally wrecked. The following day he was found
to have committed suicide on the bank close by.
Departures became more and more frequent as
time wore on. One day alone nearly eight
hundred boats started, presenting a remarkable
appearance as of a big fleet sailing away across
the lake. We became more impatient at our
enforced delay. All comes to him who waits, and
at last, to our relief, Boss turned up, and with
him on a waggon the canoe and all the baggage,
the canoe looking not a bit the worse for her long
land journey, and scarcely showing a scratch. I
decided to start the following morning. We had
a pleasant farewell evening with several good
fellows who were starting a few days later, and
when we eventually returned to our store-tent, the
sun was already above the horizon. LINDERMAN AND BENNETT
119
It took some little time to arrange and pack the
canoe; 1600 lbs. is a fair load for a small boat at
any time. Still, we found that when all was in
and we three also, she had fully ten inches of free
board. Going into the town for the last time to
make some trifling purchases, I^heard of a little
Jap from one of the restaurants, 'who would come
to Dawson with me and do our cooking on the
way in return for his passage and food. Knowing
how little space we could dispose of, I would not
give a reply till t had seen him, but when I saw
a little chap about four feet six inches high and
not weighing more than seven stone, I decided at
once to give him a passage on his own terms, on
the sole condition that his baggage was in proportion to his dimensions. With Boss our guide,
and Frank our Japanese cook, we were indeed
travelling en princes, if such a condition is possible in a canoe.
At last we got away, curiously enough just at
the moment that one of the big passenger steamers
was launched. Into the water it grided majestically and without attracting more attention than
our   own   departure,  and   that   was   not   much. 120 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
People in Bennett were far too occupied with their
own affairs to look at such trifles. The weather
was lovely, the sun blazing in a cloudless sky,
and not a breath of air stirring. The placid,
unruffled surface of the lake reflected the snowcapped mountains as in a mirror. We were a
bit cramped and hampered with the baggage at
first, but soon settled down and made ourselves
comfortable. I took the sculls and started rowing,
and was delighted to find how easily and lightly
the canoe went. ( 121 )
CHAPTER IX.
LAKE BENNETT TO LAKE MARSH.
An exciting race—The J. B. Goddard—Lake Tagish Police
Camp—Captain Strickland—A gang of murderers—Miners'
licences—Afternoon scene on Lake Marsh—First experience of the Alaska mosquitoes—A dismal camping-
ground.
Many boats surrounded us as we quickly proceeded and caught up with them one by one,
the lumbering, awkwardly built craft having no
chance against our well-constructed canoe, with
Boss deftly steering with a paddle. In the far
distance, some miles ahead, we could distinctly
hear the measured thump of the pistons of a small
stern-wheel steamer towing two big barges. I
rowed steadily on for some time, till suddenly
Harris remarked that he thought we were
gradually catching her up. This put an idea into
my head, a  sort of recollection  of- the  Thames.
m 122
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
II
The heat was intense, and to exert one's self in
the middle of the day struck me as being idiotic
and unnecessary. Why not catch up the steamer
and ask her to give us a tow? I said nothing,
but put all my strength into my rowing, and for
the next hour worked like a nigger. Now I was
undoubtedly slowly but surely gaining on my goal.
But «it was terribly slow work, and the shortest
rest made one lose a lot of ground. In vain did
the others endeavour to persuade me give in. I
knew what it meant if we could catch her.. For
three solid hours I rowed with all my strength,
gaining perhaps at the rate of one foot in six, till
at last we got within three hundred yards. Then
Frank begged to be allowed to take the sculls. I
was nearly done after so prolonged a spurt, as may
be imagined, so, as there was no difficulty in our
changing seats, I consented, and he started off like
a little Samson, and very soon we were abreast
of the steamer.
After some little difficulty, as she had two large
lighters full of sheep on either side of her, and
there was a strong undercurrent running round
them, we managed to hook on, half a dozen men LAKE BENNETT TO LAKE MARSH      123
on board looking on stolidly, but offering no assistance. I jumped aboard and made my way to thex
captain, who was steering, and asked him if we
might hang on for a little while. He demurred at
first, saying he was already late, but eventually
consented. So we made fast; and had lunch, which
we enjoyed immensely, since we were losing no
time. Afterwards Harris and I, armed with a flask
of wfiisky and some big cigars, went up and had
a long chat with the captain, which ended in
our becoming so friendly that he gave us permission to remain in tow as far as he was going,
which turned out to be Lake Tagish, some fifty
odd miles on. This was a splendid lift, and I
felt well rewarded for my obstinacy in catching
him up. Ipfe--.
Although not making un excessive speed, as
may be imagined, the J". B. Goddard kept pounding
along at a good steady pace, which was safer for
our heavily laden canoe than if she had been a fast
boat. The sheep she was carrying—for apart from
the lighters her hold was also full—were destined
for Dawson. They had been brought in over the
Skaguay trail, and were to remain, at Tagish for 124 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
a few days, to give them a chance of recovering
from the effects of their long journey before
proceeding any further. Their owner, who was
on board, hoped ^ to make a big profit on them, but
the risk was very great necessarily.
We did not reach Tagish till past midnight, and
at this time we were beginning to get Very cold
and cramped after sitting so long in the canoe. ~A.
strong wind had sprung up, and the spray from
the wheel was thoroughly wetting everything. We
had had no opportunity of getting anything solid
to eat since lunch, as we did not want to cast
loose in order to go ashore and cook. The " lift "
we were getting was far too precious and well
worth any attendant discomfort, so by the time we
reached the steamer's destination we were simply
starved with hunger and cold. We had come
exactly 56 miles, not so bad for the first day.
Tagish is a station of the North-West Mounted
Police on the river of that name, which extends
from Tagish to Marsh Lake. I had a letter to
the officer in charge, Captain Strickland, so had
decided to stop over and present it. Moreover, it
was here we   were to get, our miners'  licences. LAKE BENNETT TO LAKE MARSH      125
The daylight, as we were gradually getting further.
north, had continued increasing, and there was
now but a little twilight, but no night. It was
broad daylight when we landed at about 1 a.m.,
and set the boy to work to light a fire and get us
some hot coffee while we put up the tent. It was
not an ideal camping-ground, but we were too
sleepy to waste time choosing another, and, after
a hasty supper, turned in without delay. Next
morning we went up to the police camp to see
Captain Strickland.
The station consisted of half a dozen log-built
cabins, and was also the office of the district gold
commissioner and customs officer, Captain Strickland representing all these vocations. We spent
the whole morning on the place, which was
crowded with people waiting to get licences, and
were shown four Indian prisoners who were in
custody on a charge of murdering a prospector
some months ago. It appeared that the murdered
man and a friend were proceeding leisurely down
the river in their boat when they were suddenly
fired upon from the bank by the prisoners. One
of the men fell overboard riddled with bullets, but 126 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
his friend, though severely wounded, escaped as
though by a miracle, and managed to reach a
neighbouring camp and give the news. Immediately a party of six miners set out on the
tracks of the Indians* and followed them for
nearly six hundred miles, when at last they came
up with them as they rejoined their tribe. These
brave men then actually held up the entire tribe
for several days, whilst they sent one of their
number to the nearest police camp to get
assistance to arrest the murderers. "This was
eventually done, and the four wretches brought
back here to be tried. They then confessed to
their crime, saying they did it to get the food in the
boat. That they will be hanged is only a matter
of time. They were brought out of their cell for
us to take a photograph "of them—four ordinary
looking natives chained together hand and foot
to a very heavy iron anvil, which, whenever they
moved, had to be carried between them, a very
necessary precaution considering their prison was
only a log cabin. They appeared quite unconcerned at their position, and apparently treated
the affair with the utmost indifference,   '^43 1
LAKE BENNETT TO LAKE MARSH     127
We got our miners' licences here, which gave us
the right to seek for gold anywhere in the Dominion
and North-West Territories for a period of one
year from date for the sum of $10 each. As we
should soon be in the gold-bearing district, we both
GROUP OF MURDERERS,  POLICE CAMP,  TAGISH.
felt we might have a chance vof staking out a couple
of claims. We also had to get our boat registered
here, the number we got being something in the
third thousand. We got away after dinner and
just as a good favourable breeze sprang up, so
we hoisted our sail and bowled along merrily in  I   LAKE BENNETT TO LAKE MARSH     129
of at least ten knots, the canoe behaving beautifully,
and we were passing every boat. There must have
been many hundreds, and all had their sails up ;
and in the genial warmth of the afternoon sun,
with the rippling blue water around, the effect
was that of a big regatta, more especially as all the
occupants of the boats appeared as gay and light-
ON LAKE  MARSH.
hearted as though bent on a pleasure cruise.
Evening was on us by the time we had got across
the lake, and the wind dropped as we entered the
Lewis River.
Mosquitoes, from which pests we had hitherto
been remarkably free, now put in an appearance,
and caused us considerable annoyance.    Mosquito-
K 130 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
net head-dresses came into general requisition on
all sides, the effect produced in many instances
being most curious and not a little weird,
especially when black gauze was used. We had
some of " Hill's " mosquito lotion, with which we
spread our faces and necks and hands. It is an
unpleasant oily mixture, which, is, however, only
efficacious against a few mosquitoes, but is without
effect against the myriads in these regions.
Standing or sitting in the smoke of a " smudge,"
i.e. fire made of green leaves, is the only real
remedy.
Camps were being pitched all along the river
banks, and I noticed so many men fishing that I got
out my rod and line and tried my luck for a couple
of hours, but without success. We took supper on
the boat as we drifted along, and when towards
midnight We decided to halt for the night, the cold
air had fortunately driven all the mosquitoes away
for the moment. Our camping-ground was as
dismal a spot as could well be imagined, being at
the corner of a burnt-out forest. All was dead and
black. Gaunt and twisted charcoal skeletons of
fine trees   swayed  and creaked   drearily in   the   LAKE BENNETT TO LAKE MARSH     133
night breeze; even the very grass and moss
had been destroyed by the ruthless element, and
there was no sign of life anywhere. We should
have moved further on, but it was so late, and
this was at any rate dry, so we decided to make
the best of it. FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
CHAPTER X.
FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON  CITY.
The Canon and White Horse Tramway—Miles Canon Rapids
—The White Horse Rapids—Lake Lebarge—A bath
under difficulties—Curious fishing experience—Weatherbound—Forty Mile River—The commencement of the
Yukon—Forest fires—Animal and bird life on the Yukon
—The Five Finger Rapids—The Rink Rapids—Our daily
life on the Yukon--A curious incident—Nearing our goal
—Dawson at last.
The river from this point became gradually very
swift. We were approaching the Miles Canon and
White Horse Rapids, places marked as "very
dangerous " in the maps. As we neared them we
saw many boats moored.along the- banks, their
occupants preferring to walk on ahead and have a
good look before "taking any chances," as the
saying is in these parts. A couple of miles before
the actual rapids begin there is a portage some
5\ miles in length, over which boats and baggage FROM LAKE MARSH   TO DAWSON CITY 135
can be transported. A pole tramway with horse
traction has recently been laid along it by the
Canon and White Horse Rapids Tramway
Company ; and for a comparatively small amount
considering, all risk can thus be avoided.    Many,
LOADING THE CANOE ON THE TRAMWAY.
however, whether through love of excitement, or
more probably to save money, prefer to run the
rapids, with the inevitable result that thirteen
lives have been lost here this year alone. How
many in previous years will never be known.
That both these places are extremely dangerous 136 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
and not worth the risk of losing one's outfit, and
perhaps one's life also, is indisputable. There
were many pilots about who, for the sum of $10,
would undertake to run one's boat through, but
as they would not guarantee to do so and not ship
any water, I decided to avail myself of a courteous
invitation given to me by the representative of the
tramway company, to permit them to transport
my canoe and baggage. This meant of course
unloading everything, but there were lots of
willing hands to assist; and in a few minutes the
canoe and all our belongings were safely packed on
one of the trolleys and started off, whilst we
walked round by the riverside to have a look at
the rapids.
Miles Canon, as the first of them is called, is a
deep, narrow gorge, about 600 yards in length,
through which the river rushes at a terrific pace, a
mass of foaming, swirling water, and with an awe-
inspiring, roaring sound which is heard a long way
off. There were quite a number of people waiting
to see boats come along, so we sat down and
watched for a few moments. We saw several good-
size ones go through, and although they certainly FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY  137
did so without accident, I felt I should not have
cared to do it in our canoe. Several empty boats
passed, and they appeared to run less risk of being
smashed against the sides of the canon than when
THE MILES CANON RAPIDS.
there were occupants in them to steer their
course. They were picked up loVer down after
passing the other rapids. There is a swift but
comparatively quiet stretch of river between this 138
FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
and the White Horse Rapids, though about midway, and right on the centre of the stream, there
is a treacherous sort of gravel bar round which
the current rushes madly. As we passed, a large
raft with six men and two horses on board ran
aground here, and got stuck hard and fast. How,
if ever, they -got off, I don t know, as there was no
means of reaching them from the shore, and those
coming down in boats could not possibly stop
except at. great risk. Let's hope they got off
safely.
As we gradually left the roar of the canon
behind us, we equally gradually heard ahead
another, even greater, sound of rushing waters.
This was the dreaded White Horse Rapids, of
which one had heard and read so much. At first
sight it does not impress so much as the canon,
as the river here runs through rocky banks, which
though steep, are not formidable. The actual
rapids are nearly a mile in; length, in one part
the river plunging through a narrow passage of
rocks, over wMch. there is a very steep fall of
several feet. This is the most dangerous part,
and at the  point, on our arrival, was  gathered   FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY  141
quite an audience to watch the boats come down,
waiting possibly for something to happen, though
had an accident occurred, not a soul could have
done anything but look on, as no help was possible.
All the principal points of vantage were crowded,
and I saw many women ; the ubiquitous photographer by the dozen of course,—for .where is he
not in these last days of the nineteenth century ?
Oh, Kodak, Kodak, What have we done that even
in these far-away Northern solitudes one cannot
escape thy demon eye ! Nothing in the nature
of an accident occurred whilst we were looking
on, although there were one or two narrow shaves.
I learned, though, that an amateur photographer,
a few days -before, had been lucky enough (sic)
to get a snapshot of a boat that had overturned
and two men who were drowning! I know the
gentleman's name, but will not mention it, trusting
that if he ever reads these lines he will send me
a copy of the photograph in question, as I am a
great admirer of presence of mind.
The canoe had been waiting for us some time
when we reached the tramway, and we found all
in readiness to load again.    I had an interesting 142 FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
chat with Mr. Norman Macauley, the manager of
the tramway. He told me that the line had only
taken 18 men 21 days to lay; that they had 23
horses in work constantly, and that the charge
for portage was 3 cents per lb. ; men's wages were
$8 per day of 10 hours, with overtime paid extra
at same rate. " People were beginning to realize,"
he said, "that the cost of portage was cheaper
than the risk of losing their boats."
The river below the rapids is quite respectable
again, and is almost a quiet stream, though for
some little distance bars appear now and then*
and one has to be careful how one steers. At
last, however, it settles down into a good steady
stream, and we have nothing further, to trouble
us for many miles ahead. The scenery now became
very grand, the banks in many places being of
great height, and often consisted of a sort of loose
gravel, which kept continually falling into the
river with a movement like quicksand. Where
these cliffs were formed of harder substance,
maybe sandstone, thousands of martins had built
their nests in the very face of the rock, and
formed a very pretty sight  as they kept flying FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY  143
in and out of them. So, gently paddling down
the stream, and taking it Very leisurely and
enjoying it immensely, we at length reached Lake
Lebarge, the largest and last of the lakes we had
to cross. Seen from the river it appeared like
a sea, for one was looking down its entire length
of thirty-two miles, so the opposite shores were
of course not visible. Evening was on us and it
was a dead calm, so we decided to row a short
distance out and camp on the shore at some
convenient spot.
We had two sets of visitors that night, one
being almost as troublesome as the other, Indians
from a neighbouring village and mosquitoes,
though fortunately there were not so many of the
former as the latter, or we should have had to shift
our quarters at once. Barring these slight annoyances, our camping-ground was a pleasant one, on
a level stretch of grass quite close to the lake.
After supper I got out my canvas bath and had a
good hot tub, though the pleasure of it was somewhat marred by having to take it in the smoke of
the fire that Frank kept going all the time with
green twigs within a foot or so of me, to keep off 144 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
the myriads of winged pests that hovered around
outside the fumes, possibly on the chance of
getting *a good supper off me. It was a curious
fact that these Arctic mosquitoes never seemed
to rest, unless it came on cold suddenly or a
strong wind blew. Day and night they. were ever
on the alert, and although Harris and I covered
our hands and faces with oil lotion till we both
looked as if we had been varnished, the beasts
would still buzz around trying to find an unprotected place, and, failing that, would actually
bite through our thick clothes. Our gauze headdresses and gauntlet gloves were only useful when
we were not working.
It was a lovely morning when we started next
day to cross the lake, though a light breeze soon
sprung up against us. I got out my fishing-tackle,
and soon had a big spoon-bait spinning merrily in
our wake. The lake being reputed full of trout,
no rod was necessary, only à good strong line
fastened somewhere to the boat and a landing-net
handy. There is no "playing" these uneducated
fish ; only brute strength is required to pull them
in ; it is a case of which is the stronger, the fish or FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY  145
the line. The breeze meanwhile was steadily
increasing in force, a bad sign so early in the
morning, as a big sea would soon spring up if it
lasted long. I took the sculls and paddled along
quietly for some miles, Harris meanwhile reading,
to us Nansen's " Farthest North " to while away
the time, and with the fishing-line twisted round
his ankle to feel if any fish took a fancy to my
bait. At last we reached a big island some
distance out, and here struck the wind with a
vengeance. There was no use attempting to go
any further till it abated, for we should have been
swamped, so we decided to lay up in a little
sheltered bay close by. Just as we were turning
towards it, Harris called out to me to stop rowing,
as our fishing-line had got caught in a snag or
something and was cutting his foot, and then he
started pulling it in, when, to his and our astonishment, he found he had caught a nice 7-lb. trout.
The landing-net was handy* and we quickly had
our captive aboard, and were naturally delighted
with so palatable an addition to our dinner menu.
The wind blew quite a gale all that afternoon, so
there- was no  chance  of  getting   away.    These
L 146 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE   .
sudden wind-storms are of frequent occurrence on
Lake Lebarge, and boats are sometimes hung up
for days at a time.
We slept all the afternoon so as to be ready for a
move as soon as the wind dropped. This happened
about ten o'clock that night, when it dropped
almost as quickly as it had sprung up. So-off
we started, and rowed all night without a stop.
It grew very cold towards morning, though not
a breath of air was stirring, and the surface of
the vast lake looked like glass. We gave up all
conversation after the first two, hours—we were
all too occupied with our work. Harris was sculling, Frank and I at the paddles, and Boss steering.
We only had one idea—to get across before any
more wind should spring up. It seemed as though-
the lake would never end, for although we only
had about twenty-five miles to go, the water was
without a bit of current and absolutely dead. At
length, towards three .o'clock, we reached the end,
and all felt so cold and numbed that it was decided to pull up to the shore, and make some
hot coffee and have a sleep for a couple of hours.
The sun was, of course, well up by now, so our FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY 147
friends  the  mosquitoes  were  waiting to  receive
us as usual.
From Lake Lebarge our route was down a dangerous river known as the Forty Mile, where the
current is very swift, and many partly submerged
rocks bar the passage. Numerous wrecks along
the bank testify to the treacherous nature of the
waterway. Many fatal accidents will occur at this
river, as it is not even marked as " dangerous " on
any maps I have seen. The rocks crop up so
unexpectedly that a boat is almost on them before
the steersman can steer clear. We passed several
parties of men busily engaged spreading out their
baggage and provisions on the bank in the sun to
dry, thus proving the narrow escapes they had had.
We fortunately got along without accident, Boss
steering very cautiously. The current was tremendous, and we raced along at a rate of at least.
eight miles an hour, catching up boat after boat.
It was curious how, after the usual greetings had
been exchanged, always the first question asked
was, I What is the latest news ? How are they
getting on in Cuba ? " or, " Is it true that England
has declared war with France ? "    Unfortunately 148 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
we knew about as much as they did of the doings
of the outside world. In this wilderness, news,
weeks old, is greedily swallowed, and I have seen
$2 given for an old newspaper that had been
knocking around for a month. One is indeed out
of the world up here.     |ÉÉfi
The Thirty Mile River may be said to be -the
beginning of the mighty Yukon, for, although it
is given several different names in parts, it is
virtually but one and the same river that issues
from Lake Lebarge and empties itself into the
Behring Sea 2549 miles away. Fed at intervals
in the course of its long route by several almost
equally grand rivers—amongst others the Hoot-
linqua, Pelly, Stewart, Indian,, and Tanana—
this immense waterway may be said to constitute the main artery of the entire breadth of
the British North-West Territories and Alaska,
and to drain this vast stretch of continent from
the Taku Mountains to its north-eastern seaboard.
It was just about here that a column of smoke
beyond the hills ahead of us attracted my attention. It arose from a forest on fire, and was
the outpost, as it were, of the many that were FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY 149
following it, foi* for days after this scarcely an hour
passed without one of these conflagrations being
visible. In fact, on one occasion we appeared to
be passing through a positive zone of fire, and for
two whole days smoke obscured the sky to such
* an extent as to give the impression of a dense fog,
through whic{i the sun, completely denuded of its
rays, shone a deep dull red. All this immense and
irretrievable amount of destruction of fine timber
is, without any doubt whatever, caused by the
thousands of prospectors and others who have
passed this way since the beginning of summer.
They stop to camp or cook a meal, light a fire, and,
when they have done, off they go, leaving the
glowing embers on the ground, where the slightest
breeze blows them amongst the dry moss; and in
an incredibly short time a big blaze ensues, which
spreads from tree to treq with a rapidity that
must be seen to be believed, and which never stops
until it has completely burnt itself out. • All this
wilful destruction might have been avoided had these
vandals had the consideration to throw a bucket •
of water over their fire when leaving. It is no
exaggeration to state that when we passed through 150    FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
in June the whole country was.ablaze from the
banks of the river to the very summits of the
highest hills, where was timber to burn, and I feel
much inclined to add that in my opinion, if there
is no heavy rain to check these fires, there will
be scarcely a particle of timber left growing in the •
country in a year's time.
The landscape where the devouring element has
not yet reached looks so peaceful and beautiful in
its spring mantle of delicate green and brilliant
flowers, that it makes one positively feel sad to
realize the rough' awakening that so surely awaits
it after its long winter sleep. That anything can
be done to put a stop to the culpable negligence
that causes all this destruction is extremely
doubtful with the small force of police in the
district. There is, I believe, a law in Canada
making it a penal offence, punishable by fifteen
years' imprisonment, for any one convicted of
setting fire to a forest ; but how is a conviction to
be obtained ?
We had a bit of excitement one evenina- as we
were crossing the river at a particularly wild part,
and  where  the  current   was   very swift.     Boss FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY  151
suddenly called out to mé to get my gun ; there
was a moose swimming across the stream. But
my gun was in the bottom of the canoe securely
packed away in its case, and, as it turned out,
luckily so, for, in spite of both he and Harris
. begging me to hurry up, something in the look of
the so-called moose made me a bit doubtful. As
we got nearer my doubts were fully justified, for
the swimming animal turned out to be only a big
snag, which somehow, even when quite close, took
the exact form of a moose, even to the horns, the
water pouring past giving it every appearance of
moving.
Mentioning this incident reminds me how little
animal life there is in these vast solitudes. At
Bennett one day there was great excitement,
some one having caught sight of a bear on the*
side of the mountain near the town. Some men
started off after it with rifles, but of course did
not see it again. I saw some squirrels, and also
once a beaver swimming in the river, these being
the only four-footed wild creatures I can remember seeing. Among the feathered tribes,
curiously enough, there were a great many sea- 152 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
gulls about, looking very much out of place
indeed, so far from their native element. There
appeared to be plenty of small birds; in fact, the
forest often sounded quite like an aviary when
we were encamped. Linnets, chaffinches, yellow-
hammers, robins, and jackdaws hopping from
bough to bough and chirruping or singing merrily,
helped to send one's thoughts back to far-away
England, and made one frequently feel very
home-sick, and wishing that this was some quiet
back-water on the dear old Thames. A gun
out here, when on a flying trip, is an absolute
useless superfluity, and one never has any use
for it.
At length we reached the Five Finger Rapids,
the last but one of the places marked as
" dangerous " on our maps. Boss assured us that
from what he had heard he could take us through
easily; but, following the example of others who
reached the place at the same time as we did,
I considered it advisable to have a look around
beforehand.
The Five Finger Rapids are caused by three
huge  masses, or  rather bluffs, of rock  standing FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY  153
out right in the middle of the stieam, which is
extremely wide just here. The swift current, thus
suddenly divided, rushes through the narrow
passages with terrific force, and presenting a wild
scene that is in my mind, if anything, more
impressive than either Miles Canon or White
Horse. Only one of these passages, that on the
right bank going down, is practicable; the other
two, though being much wider, are full of
submerged rocks, which make their navigation
extremely dangerous. Many seagulls were flying
round the rocks, and added considerably to the
general effect.
Without a moment's hesitation I came to the
conclusion that I would prefer not to entrust the
steering of the canoe to an inexperienced man like
Boss, and, as there were several pilots about,
arranged with one of them to take her through
for the sum of $5. He would, however, have only
one person besides himself in the boat to manage
the sculls. So as Boss was anxious to go, and
neither Harris nor I were anxious for a wetting,
I let him do so. We went up on to the nearest
bluff overhanging the rapids to see the canoe go by. 154 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
After a little delay caused by our pilot re-arranging the packing of the baggage and covering it
up, they came along at a tremendous rate, swinging
round almost in the swirling water as they entered
the narrow channel. About halfway through a
wave hit the nose of the canoe, and completely
drenched Boss, besides shipping a quantity of
water. We hurried along, and about a half mile
down found them safely landed, though Boss was
very wet and, as ill luck would have it, my
baggage was soaked through. We elected to
camp on the spot, and lighted a big fire to
dry my things. Everything in the bags had
got completely saturated, and it took hours to
get them right. Fortunately my blankets had
escaped.
We made an early start the following morning,
and just as we were setting off were surprised to
see a large boat with several men in it come
through on the far side of the rapids. A few
minutes later a smaller boat floated down, also on
the same side of the river, bottom upwards. Some
men passing close to us at that moment told us
that the larger boat, though it had got through FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY   155
safely, was half full of water, and had only escaped
being smashed up by a-miracle almost. The
smaller boat, in which had been one man of the
same party, had been overturned, and its occupant
drowned without any one being able to do anything to save him ; in fact, he had not been seen
since. This naturally cast somewhat of a gloom
over us all. We did not delay, however. There
were still the x Rink Rapids to pass, and then
all our troubles would be over. Five miles'
rowing brought us within hearing of the roaring
of the water over the rocks.
We pulled up under the bank a little distance
below, and, getting out, walked Up to see what we
had to do. The rapids consisted of a sort of wide
tumbling bay, formed by a ledge of rocks extending
almost across the entire width of the river. On
the right hand is a quiet bit of very swift current,
which, with ordinary care, can be navigated
without any special risk by cool-headed men. I
thought it best not to have all of us in the boat,
so asked Harris to walk on with Frank whilst
Boss and I took the boat through, he steering, I
rowing.    This we did with the utmost ease and 156 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
without a moment's anxiety, and rejoined the others
a little distance further on.
Our course to Dawson was now all clear sailing.
We had passed all troublesome places, and there
was nothing before us but steady quiet sculling to
land us in due time at the golden city. Although
we had been making very good time considering
the many inevitable delays, I began to find the
journey growing just a little bit monotonous.
Scenery palls on one after a time, more especially
when it is always the same day after day, mile
after mile; and there certainly is not much variety
on the mighty Yukon, where nothing is ever seen
to break the eternal monotony of the solemn pines
or the silent grandeur of the mountains ; for even
the' occasional encampments of prospectors bear
the strongest family resemblance to one another,
and could not be said to improve the landscape
from an artistic point of view. The grand solitudes of distant lands, where the sun rises and
sets with deadly monotony on a never-varying
scene, are to my mind far less impressive than the
beauty of some homely moorland in close touch
with  civilization, where   Nature's mood   is   less FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY  157
stern and repellent. Maybe the rough life and
coarse fare of the pioneer deter one from looking
on such scenes from the standpoint of an artist.
The days passed in a sort of unvarying routine.
We generally broke up camp at eight o'clock in
MY CANOE AND PARTY ON THE YUKON,
the morning, and then we would take it in turns
to scull, sticking at it generally for at least three
hours, the others reading, smoking, sleeping, or fishing to while away the time. At midday we would
stop for dinner, landing at some convenient spot,
Frank lighting a small fire, and preparing coffee 158 FROM EUSTON  TO KLONDIKE
or soup. Then another long spell till close on
midnight, as we generally had something ready in
the canoe for supper, so as not to lose time ; then
fixing up camp again, and bed—a healthy enough
existence, no doubt, but certainly not wildly
exciting, as may be imagined.
A curious incident occurred one day as we were
passing through a very wide part of the river,
where numerous islands cut up the broad stream
to such an extent that the actual banks were
scarcely visible. It was midday, and the sun
blazing with tropical intensity out of a cloudless
sky, when suddenly we heard the voice of a man
hailing us from the bank of an island ahead. Our
surprise may be imagined, for there was no boat
near him, and we could not imagine how he had
managed to get where he was. Still, he was
evidently calling for help, so we made for the
spot, when, to our still further astonishment, we
saw he had his kit-bag with him. Before we
could get close up, in accents of urgent entreaty
he called out to ask us to take him over to the
opposite shore, or anywhere away from this island,
as he was being eaten  alive by the mosquitoes. FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY  159
By this time we had got near enough to distinguish
his face, which was a sight to be remembered, for
it was puffed and swelled by the voracious attacks
of the insects to such an extent that his features
were scarcely discernible. He must have been
suffering acute agony. Of course we proposed
taking him off, but, unfortunately for him, the
Fates were against it. The river was extremely
rapid at this point—in fact, so much so, that we
had the greatest difficulty in getting the canoe
anywhere near where the unfortunate man was
standing, whilst, to add to his ill-luck, just below
us was a seething mass of water, indicating partly
submerged rocks. It was an extremely dangerous
place to endeavour to land, and, after several futile
attempts, we found ourselves being carried away
from the island by the force of the current, and
with no chance of ascending» the turbulent stream
again. So we had reluctantly to abandon the
fellow to his chance of getting off on one of the
many boats following us. Although we often
talked this incident over, we could never decide
who or what this man was to get abandoned thus
in this terrible position.    I was inclined to think m
160 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
he had made himself objectionable to his boat-
mates, and, in order to get rid of him, they had
"marooned" him here—a terrible revenge as it
turned out.
We were all anxiously counting the hours it
would now take us to reach our journey's end,
for signs were everywhere apparent that we had
reached the famous gold-bearing belt of country—
Fort Selkirk, at the mouth of the Pelly River,
where there has recently been a rush; Stewart
River, which is spoken of as immensely rich ;
Indian River; gradually the prospector's tent
became more and more frequently visible and
often in large camps. On one occasion we saw
two men busily engaged "washing" on the shore,
so we landed, and they showed us quite a respectable sample of the precious metal they had just
obtained. We were now approaching well-known
creeks and islands—Monte Cristo, Baker Creek,
and others too numerous to mention, where
active work had scarcely yet been commenced,
but where good prospects had been located ; everything indicated that our long and arduous boat
journey was nearly finished.    At last, on turning FROM LAKE MARSH TO DAWSON CITY  161
a high bluff that had hidden from our view a
big bend in the river, Boss exclaimed quietly,
"There is Dawson City;" and we saw it spread
out before us, not more than a few hundred yards
distant, a huge town of white tents and log cabins,
whilst in front of it, and all along the river bank
for some distance, hundreds of boats were moored
three and four deep. The goal for which we had
travelled 9000 miles was reached at last.
<P
A TYPICAL YUKON BOAT. If
162 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
CHAPTER XL
DAWSON   CITY.
First impressions—Inspector and- Mrs. Constantine—The main
street—Dawson City—Famine prices—Menu of a little
dinner—The Bank of British North America—The prospects of the Klondike district—Market value of gold—The
royalty question—Interview with Major Walsh.
Try- and picture to yourself a% wide flat stretch
of marshy ground, with a background of high hills,
on the shore of a mighty river rushing swiftly by ;
and cover this shore with as many tents of all shapes
and sizes as your imagination can picture. In
the water' and along the beach facing these tents
place hundreds of the roughest of wooden boats and
of all imaginable builds, some afloat, others drawn
up on the shingle. Then draw further on your
imagination, and see a big and motley crowd of
men and women and children, in all sorts and
conditions  of garb,  round and about  the  tents, DAWSON CITY
boats, and everywhere; and above all a blazing
sun, and plenty of dust blown about by a persistent wind,—and you have Dawson, the golden
city, as it appeared to me as I landed on the
14th of June, 1898.
THE RIVER FRONT,   DAWSON CITY.
It is said that first impressions are the truest
and the most lasting. In this instance, however, I
feel that such was not the case, for the real impression of Dawson was only gained after a prolonged
visit and a close inspection of the place. At the
time of my arrival the, town was in such a growing, FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
or rather embryo stage, that there were no hotels
or inns worthy of the name, so I decided to live in
the tent for the few days we should remain before
leaving for the mines. Our first care, therefore, was
to find a suitable camping-ground. This was no
easy matter, the whole place being simply packed
with tents and log huts as far as the eye could
reach, and we had to remember that we only had
ourselves to transport the baggage and provisions,
so the nearer the canoe the better. At this
juncture I suddenly bethought me of a letter
of introduction I had to Inspector Constantine
of the North-West Mounted Police. We had
fortunately managed to push our way through
the pack of boats, and moored the canoe directly
in front of the Government enclosure, from which
the Union Jack waved gaily, and by a still further
bit of luck, I found on inquiry of the policeman
on duty at the gate that the inspector was in.
I therefore sent in my card with the letter of
introduction, and was immediately received by a
middle-aged gentleman of military appearance,
who courteously informed me that he would be
delighted to do anything that lay in his power to DAWSON CITY
165
render our stay in Dawson agreeable ; and suiting
his action to the words, he put on his hat, and took
me round to a secluded spot behind the barrack
square, where he said we could camp. This was
delightful, and put us out of our difficulty at once.
Then, as if to add to our good fortune^ several
policemen off duty volunteered to help carry our
things up from the canoe, no light task had we
been forced to do it ourselves. A very short time,
therefore, after we arrived,1 saw us installed in our
camp, and with all our belongings around us.
Almost before we were unpacked, up came the
genial inspector to insist, he said, on behalf of Mrs.
Constantine, on Harris and me dining with them
that evening. We would perhaps have preferred
" pigging it " in the tent as usual, as we were not
prepared for paying visits after our ten days on the
trail, but his invitation was so cordial that I felt
constrained to accept it. We had a delightful
evening, Mrs. Constantine—who, by the way, enjoys
the enviable reputation of being the most popular
woman in Dawson—telling us a heap of interesting
incidents of her life on the gold-fields. The dinner
did not detain us late, and we got away a little 166
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
after ten, and got everything comfortable in camp
before turning in.
We had a stroll down towards the town early in
the morning, for the police barracks are situated a
little away from the centre. The road along the
water front was crowded with people strolling
about looking at the new arrivals in the boats,
and presented a curiously holiday-like appearance,
very unlike Bennett and Linderman, where every
one seemed to have no time for anything but his
preparations for the journey before him. Here^
the long river journey was an accomplished fact,
and the old miner and the newest of new-comers .
rubbed shoulders in the big and ever-increasing
throng of eager gold hunters. On the main street,
which is a continuation of the river front, the
scene was even more animated, and almost baffles
description. On all sides big buildings were being
erected with feverish rapidity; the sound of
hammering and sawing was to be heard everywhere, and the roadway was encumbered with
rough timber, planks, ladders, and all the paraphernalia of the carpenter and builder. Harris
and I stood and looked on in amazement.     We   DAWSON CITY
169
had both expected a great deal from all we had
heard and read, but the extraordinary scene of
bustle and activity certainly outdid all that one
. could have even looked for. Here was a big city
growing before our very eyes.     It recalled one of
STREET SCENE,  DAWSON CITY.
those street scenes that have become so popular
at recent exhibitions, only this was before the
opening ceremony, and they were hurrying up so
as to get finished in time !
The footway was blocked to such an extent with
men walking, or standing about, or sitting on the 170 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
piles of timber, that it was with difficulty we could
get along. Many very smartly-dressed women were
to be seen, looking indeed strangely out of keeping
in such surroundings, for the men were absolutely
the roughest, raggedest, and most unkempt lot I
have seen anywhere before, or am likely ever to
see again. There was a certain picturesqueness
about their dirt though, as there is, for instance, in
the squalor of the Italian beggar, and with their
long boots, faded yellow flannel coats, and slouch
hats, they added considerably to the^ stage-like
effect of the whole scene. As one gradually
worked one's way through this big crowd and
caught scraps here and there of the conversation,
one realized that all these rough, dirty-looking
fellows were not what they outwardly appeared,
and that this was not entirely a gathering of
roughs or I hobos," but a cosmopolitan assemblage,
and was of all nations of the earth, attracted
hither by the mighty ring of the Klondike gold ;
and whilst I was in Dawson I had ample opportunities for verifying this impression.
As we strolled along, wonderstruck at all we
saw, Harris suggested our getting a long-needed DAWSON CITY
171
shave. There were plenty of barbers' shops, so
we walked into one that looked a little less rough
than the others; even at that it would have
disgraced the meanest street in the East End of
London, and the occupants of the half-dozen
chairs looked like dock labourers. I was surprised to notice, whilst waiting my turn, that
when a man went to pay the proprietor for what
he had had, he produced a little bag of gold-dust,
and the requisite quantity was weighed out in
payment, scales being kept for the purpose; no
actual money changed hands. Having had my
modest shave, I asked what there was to pay,
and was told $1. Harris had been shaved and
had his hair brushed up also, so his lot came
to $1.50. Fancy paying six shillings for a shave
and brush up, and a dirty one at that! There
was a notice up to the effect that hot baths were
obtainable here, so I asked casually what they
charged, and was informed their charges were
$2.50 for a bath, $1.50 for hair-cutting, $1.50
for a shampoo, and $1 for a shave. I at once
realized that unless I struck a gold-mine without delay, my modest purse Would not suffice to ii
172 FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
keep me long in the most ordinary necessaries of
life. Yet all these apparently poverty-stricken
men paid these exorbitant charges without a
murmur. Of course this strikes a new-comer
more forcibly than it does an old-timer, for everything is on the same exorbitant basis—food,
wages, house rent, etc. A few examples will be of
interest.
When we were in Dawson (June, 1898) a square
meal, consisting of bacon and beans, or sometimes fresh moose-steaks, tea and bread and-Jbutter,
cost $2.50, and all drinks or cigars in the different
saloons 50 cents each. One wondered how the
ordinary individual, not a gold-mine owner, could
pay such prices, till we learned that carpenters got
paid as much as $25 and $30 per day, cooks $15,
and ordinary workmen $10. The dollar was
practically the lowest negotiable sum, and very
little could be bought even for that, for everything
had to be packed into the country, and over the
trail, and down the river, or on the ice, so one cannot be surprised at the prices asked for the most
ordinary things. House rent (if the most ramshackle canvas structures can be so denominated) DAWSON CITY
173
was astoundingly high considering how young
the place was. Small shanties on the main street
fetched $200 per month; a "Restaurant" (i.e.
canvas 40 X 25) $35 per day ; provisions were, of
course,  in  proportion,   though   prices   have  gone
STREET SCENE,  DAWSON CITY.
down considerably since the arrival of many boats
with supplies. Some phenomenal prices were
still given for luxuries " not easily obtainable."
Amongst others, eggs fetched $3 a dozen ; lemons
$6 and bananas $12 a dozen; ten head of oxen
fetched $7500, and retailed $2 per -lb.    Of course FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
there was an immense amount of money or gold-
dust in the town, otherwise these prices could
never be kept up, for they appeared quite out of
proportion in most cases, as, for instance, why
should lemons have cost 50 cents apiece, whilst
bananas were $1 ? Nothing seemed in ratio.
What, however, did such trifles matter to a man
who was taking thousands of dollars' worth of
gold a day out of his claim ? Many such men
would come into the town from the creeks after
an absence of perhaps some weeks, bringing with
them a bag of " dust " to spend. When it was all
gone, back they would go. Meanwhile no extravagance was too great for them as long as the
"dust" lasted. To the "checharka" (i.e. newcomer) it was little less than appalling to watch
these men spend their gold, either in gambling
or in drinking in the saloons. When paying for
drinks, they would fling their bags on the counter,
and let the man who was serving them weigh out
what was owing, never even troubling to look how
much he took, this probably being considered " bad
form." As the scales were perhaps at the other
end of the room, one can imagine the opportunities DAWSON CITY
175
thus afforded for petty pilfering. A few grains
from every bag would not be noticed, and would
soon amount to a respectable sum.
' There are two or three music-halls in Dawson,
with some pretty artistes engaged especially and
brought from Seattle, and on the evening of the
opening of the first of these halls, there Was a big
crowd of the richest claim holders. From all
accounts, it was a great night, and champagne
(Mumm's extra dry) was flowing all the time
at $40 per pint bottle ! All the lady artistes at
these mining-camp " opera houses " receive a big
commission on drinks sold through their introduction. One can, therefore, guess what a nice sum
the prettiest and most popular girl must have
made on the champagne she sold on this occasion.
The menu o|;/a4ittle dinner given whilst I was
in Dawson _u4|p;(Sie of the gold kings may be of
interest. .'llfSJ IBSI
Two portions of fricassée of canned chicken.
Two moose-steaks.
One rum omelette (made with, crystallized eggs).
One pint bottle of champagne.
The bill came to $30—roughly, £6. 176
FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
But to sum it up, this total disregard of money
is soon comprehensible. These men, most of them,
came to the country without a cent; the money
they squander represents but so much "dust;'?
they fill their bags with it, have what they
consider a good time, and, when it is all gone,
return to their claim for more, if they have it.
When the currency of the country become notes
or gold coinage, it will be very different, for then
they will be able to note, if they care to, what
they spend. At present the Dawson trader makes
his fortune out of the "old-timer," not the newcomer, who, as a rule, counts every dollar he
spends, while comparing in his mind Dawson
prices with those of the place he hails from.
I had an interesting hour at the Bank of British
North America one morning watching several men
selling the result of their season's wash-up; the
bank, by the way, only consisted of a canvas tent
structure. The gold was brought in in large
leather bags, each one weighing about as much as
a man could carry. Each of these was emptied
into a big copper scoop, and put on a large pair
of scales, and weighed carefully to a grain.    A P^^PS|^^fe
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BpWÉjf^  DAWSON CITY
179
stranger to the country, walking in suddenly,
would have never believed that these big heaps
of metal were each thousands of dollars' worth of
gold, or that the owners of all these sacks of
wealth were the rough, dirty-looking men lolling
over the counter. The various claims were busy
finishing their work for the season, and the banks
had their hands full. The manager told us that
he had taken over $250,000 worth of gold that day
alone. When the various banks close for the day,
the gold is sent to the barracks, and is kept under
an armed guard all night—a necessary precaution
since there were scarcely any iron safes yet in
Dawson, and all the houses built either of wood or
canvas.
All the gold brought in from the creeks is
not, however, sold to the banks ; the two large
stores of the North American Transportation and
Trading Company, known locally as the N.A.T.
and T. Co., and the Alaska Commercial Company,
known as the A.C. Co., take charge of a considerable amount for their customers. At one of these
stores I was shown safes, huge boxes, and other
receptacles packed with the familiar leather gold* FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
bags, each bag bearing the owner's name, the
weight of contents, and date of delivery, many
of these bags being of enormous weight.
Whether or not the Yukon district ever fulfils
the prognostications of marvellous wealth as
prophesied by Mr. Ogilvie and others, it is not
my province to discuss in a narrative that is
purely descriptive. This much, however, I feel
bound to say—that before I came to the country
I was told by people who had been there that I
would see gold brought down from^fehe creeks in
amounts that would make me open my eyes, and I
smiled. Well, I did see this in Dawson, and even
more than I ever could have imagined possible.
The old saying that one swallow does not make a
summer of course holds good up here also, so it
would be absurd to assume that the entire region
is a mass of gold-bearing gravel because some parts
have proved marvellously rich. That there is an
immense amount of gold in the Klondike district
is /indisputable, but whether it will be found
pretty generally distributed or only in patches,
and therefore fall to the luck of only a favoured
few,  time alone  will prove.    It would be  both DAWSON. CITY
181
unfair to the country and misleading to the public
to attempt to give any decided opinion either way
at present, for the whole district is only just
now being prospected. Rich .finds are continu^
ally occurring, in what were hitherto considered
impossible places, and.by the time this goes to
press many places up to the present unheard of
will have suddenly come to the front.
It may be of interest to mention whilst on the
subject the method for disposing of gold-dust and
nuggets. The banks and stores buy it of the
miners at a fixed rate—$14 per ounce. Out of
this they deduct four per cent,, to cover exchange,
assay charges, freight, and insurance, and they
give drafts for the balance on any place the
men wish. Should the gold assay more than $14,
the difference is paid without further deduction
to the miner. These charges strike one as reasonable and fair enough as against what the men
were forced to pay last year before the banks
came here, and the two stores had it all their own
way. I have heard of eighteen per cent, being
charged for a bill of exchange. These, however,
are not the only charges levelled on the fortunate FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
prospector, for there is a royalty of ten per cent,
charged by the Government on the gross returns
of every claim. This is no doubt a very big and
irksome tax on a new country, and is causing an
enormous amount of bad feeling, and, to a very
great extent, justly sogggg
I went very carefully into the pros and cons
of this question, which appears sufficiently serious
to retard the progress of these new fields unless
it is speedily and judiciously revised. The^ men
contend that such a tax will practically mean
closing down many mines next year, the possible
profit being too doubtful to balance the certain
risk. On the other hand, the Government says,
"We have gone to the great expense of bringing
police into the country, establishing stations, and
generally affording you complete protection for
your life and property. We have thus induced
banks to establish branches in the country. We
have introduced a mail service, and are about to
spend money on trails to the various creeks, etc.
All this must be paid for, and, if so, by who
else but those who are taking wealth from the
country ? | DAWSON CITY
183
This struck me as all very well, but still the
fact remains that a ten per cent, royalty on
gross returns was excessive. The increase of
revenue to the Budget of the Dominion Government this year will be enormous from the usual
resources alone. When it is remembered how
many thousands of people have come into the
country, the number of miners' licences issued at
$10 each, and the claims that will be recorded at
the fee of $15, the sum derived from these sources
of increased income alone should be sufficient to
defray any extra expenses that may be incurred
through sending police from what is practically
one part of the dominion to another, and the
cost of laying out new trails (which had not yet
even been started). There can be no doubt, in
my mind, that thus unwisely hampering a young
country can but have two effects—firstly, that of
seriously retarding its progress ; and secondly, of
inciting people to use their utmost ingenuity to
evade what they rightly or wrongly consider an
unjust impost. It is estimated that the revenue
of England is the loser by millions every year
through   people   making   false   income   returns.
J 184
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
What, therefore, will it be in this far-away
region where the law is only represented by a
handful of police and the American boundary line
but a few miles distant down the river? The
reply is obvious.
Mentioning the police, reminds me of an interesting chat I had with Major Walsh, the governor
of the Yukon district. The major is undoubtedly
the right man in the right place up here. The
renown of his deeds of daring in the days of
Indian fighting on the frontier, his well-earned
reputation for marvellous nerve and pluck, going
a long way towards making him popular in this
wild mining camp. The next best thing to being
loved, perhaps, is to be feared, and in the case of
Major Walsh it is an admixture of both. In either
case, it is pretty wrell known by now that he is a
man to stand no nonsense. His camp on the hillside above the town is a specimen of cleanliness
and order, and a great contrast to the filthy and
slovenly conglomeration of shanties below. In
fact, it represented the man himself, for the major
generally managed to look smarter and cleaner
than any other man in Dawson City.    Although DAWSON CITY
185
always in  mufti, he wore  the   indelible stamp
and bearing of an English officer and gentleman.
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Hi
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He received me with a cordiality that put me
at once at my ease, and submitted to my cross-
examination, whilst   I   made  a   sketch   of  him 186 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
meanwhile, with  an  affability and frankness  of
manner that much impressed me.
"Do you think that the output of gold this
year from the Yukon will be disappointing?" was
my first question. | Well, I will tell you," he replied, " that exaggerated reports have undoubtedly
been sent out, and outsiders who have been
guided by these reports may feel some disappointment, but those inside will not only not be disappointed, but rather the reverse. There has been
some little surprise that Lower Bonanza has not
yet fulfilled expectations, but Eldorado will quite
come up to all hopes." In reply to my question
as to whether the authorities anticipated much
smuggling of gold across the boundary in consequence of the ten per cent, royalty, the major
smiled in a "knowing" way, but declined to
discuss this subject. "And how about law and
order in the district ? " § We have here in
Dawson as tough a crowd as in any mining camp
anywhere. Yet, although we have only sixty
police, the place is as quiet and well-behaved as
many a city away East. I don't thank people
for being orderly ; it is simply the flag they are DAWSON CITY
under that covers them, and the knowledge of
what they may expect if they don't behave themselves. You will be doubtless surprised to learn,"
he added, " that at the present moment we know
there is quite a gang of American card-sharpers
and * shell-game ' men in Dawson. They know we
are watching them, so dare not try any of their
tricks." "If they did?" "Well, we shall make
an example of the first one we catch," replied
the major, grimly.
" And with reference to the labour question.
Is the market becoming overstocked, in your
opinion ? " " It would hardly appear so, judging
from the price paid to-day for labour, which still
remains $1 per hour of a working day of ten
hours." "But this enormous influx of people, in
view of the fact that everything is located for
miles around, what will they do ? Have the
authorities considered that side of the question,
the great question that so exercises the minds of
our officials at home—the question of the nnem-
ployed ? " I They will have either to hunt up a
new territory or leave the country. They won't
be able  to remain here.    The great majority of FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
new-comers forget, in their eagerness to get here,
that this is a comparatively old camp, and has
been staked out long ago. They might as well
go to New York and expect to be able to stake
out a lot on Broadway," replied the major, with
unexpected humour, as he rose to greet a visitor.
"Just one question in conclusion, Major Walsh,"
I said, buttonholing him. "Do you consider the
Yukon a good field for the capitalist ? " " If wise
selection is made of the properties, I think that
with cheap food and cheap labour we have the
richest camp in the world. What we want
though is railway, telegraph, and good steamboat communication. We cannot afford to pay
$15 a day for mining labour; that is absolutely
impossible. As far as the capitalist is concerned,
I would not advise one dollar being put into any
property without the closest investigation," (    189
CHAPTER XII.
Dawson city (continued)—A visit to bonanza
AND ELDORADO.
The Klondike River—Lousetown—The trail to the creeks—
The halfway house—Harris has an unpleasant accident—
A good Samaritan—A ft wash-up " in Bonanza—The modus
operandi — " Discovery " and other claims — " Siwash "
George—The Forks—Eldorado—Gold stealing—Chat with
Justice McGuire—Sunday in Dawson—Return to the creeks
—Staking a claim—The N. A.T. and T. Co.
Hearing and seeing so much of gold, I was, of
course, most anxious to go out to these wonderful
creeks, and see for myself how all this wealth was
obtained, so as soon as possible took advantage
of an opportunity to go out with Palmer of the
New York Press, who had already been up the
trail. The distance from Dawson to the nearest
mines on Bonanza Creek is about nine miles,
but the really famous working does not commence
until some six miles further on, where Eldorado FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
Creek joins the Bonanza. The only way to get
out to the mines is on foot. The trip can be
made on horseback at an exorbitant charge, but
it is a very tedious and unpleasant way of travelling, as the trail does not allow of any but a
walking pace the whole way. We decided to
follow the example qf the "old-timers," and do
the walk at night, it being far too hot to travel
when the sun is up at this time of the year. It
will, of course, be remembered that there is no
real night in these latitudes in June, the sun not
setting till eleven o'clock, and, after a couple of
hours of twilight, rising again about two. Men
who do the trip constantly, reckon to get out to
Eldorado in four hours, but when the trail is in
bad condition a little longer.
Before starting we were told we should find it
pretty bad ; and pretty bad it was—in fact, I don't
think I ever did a more fatiguing walk in my life.
The first part was not very rough, and lured us
in the belief that we were merely out for a pleasant
stroll through shady Woods and by the side of a
rippling stream, but we were soon undeceived !
The Klondike River, that made the fame, as it A   VISIT TO BONANZA  AND ELDORADO  191
were, of the whole of the Yukon district, divides
the camp of Dawson into two unequal sections,
the larger one being Dawson City. These sections
are connected by a frail suspension bridge, for the
privilege of crossing which a nominal charge of
50 cents per head is made. The smaller portion
is known by the unpoetic cognomen of Lousetown,
and is a dirty little place, half mining camp and
half Indian village, either half dirtier than the
whole, if that is possible. The Klondike River is
here a wide brawling stream of fine clear water,
rushing down in a five-mile current to empty
itself into the muddy Yukon" Its name is said
to be derived from an old Indian word "Troan-
duik," signifying " plenty fish/' this being a
favourite fishing ground^of the natives, salmon and
grayling abounding at certain seasons. Though
giving its name to the whole country, curiously
enough there are no mines àt all, so far, along its
banks, though it is all staked out for miles—no
gold having yet been found in paying quantities,
in spite of " colour " being discovered everywhere.
The wealth of the Klondike apparently lies in
its network of tributary creeks, such as Bonanza, 192 FROM EUSTON  TO  KLONDIKE
Hunker, and again their tributaries, and exhausts
itself before reaching the main stream. The stories
told of the manner in which the discovery of this
fabulously rich region was first made, are now so
varied that it is almost impossible to get at the
exact facts, more especially as the actual locator
of the first claim was an old Yukon prospector, by
name George McCormack, whose stories of vast
hidden wealth had always been more or less
dubiously received by his brother miners. I will
not, therefore, narrate any of the time-worn
anecdotes which somehow seem to attach themselves almost naturally to all.fresh discoveries of
gold anywhere, but will continue the narrative of
my trip to the creeks.
Leaving Lousetown, the trail skirts the Bonanza
Creek, which joins the Klondike close by its mouth.
The walking here was easy enough, and would not
have been unpleasant buji for the mosquitoes, that
simply swarmed in the long rank grass and vegetation along the banks. It is a curious and remarkable circumstance that whilst the country round
Dawson and all the way along the rivers and
creeks are infested with these pests, not a single A   VISIT TO BONANZA  AND ELDORADO 193
one is to be found in the town itself. This is hard
to explain, and I could find no one who could
give any reasonable solution of so extraordinary a
fact. It is, however, one of the few things that
help to make life there bearable, for once outside
the radius of the tents life becomes a burden and
misery.
But to return to the trail. In a short time it
began to get rocky, then muddy, then both, till
at last it could scarcely, even by a stretch of the
imagination, be considered even that, for after this
point words fail to convey any idea of what that
walk to the creeks meant. In many parts of the
route it was positively a case of floundering through
black squelching mud for miles, till one wondered
whether one would get through and save one's
boots. To the mud would probably succeed a
long tract of deep wet moss,, into which one sank
till the water reached knee high ; or perhaps there
would be a slight variety, and there would be huge
rocks to clamber over, till one's ankles ached with
the continual wrenching they got.
About half way was a sort of wayside inn, a big
log cabin  called the Bonanza Hotel, where hot FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
supper could be obtained. We, of course, stopped
here to refresh the inner man and have a rest,
for the walk had already fatigued us, and we had
a good bit yet to do. The remaining half of
the journey was even worse than the first, for,
in addition to the mud and the rocks and other
impedimenta, we had to cross Bonanza Creek
several times, and by bridges more often than not
consisting only of single trees laid from bank to
bank—easy enough for an old hand or a tight-rope
walker, but a feat not in my line. I managed
somehow to negotiate most of them in a more or
less graceful manner. Harris, however, was not so
fortunate, although he was far less awkward than
I. He was the last to cross a single pole at a
comparatively narrow part, when suddenly we
heard a splash, and, looking round, saw that he had
somehow managed to slip off, and was floundering
up to his waist in the icy-cold waters. He was, of
course, soon out, but wet through to the skin.
Here was a pretty predicament. It was nearly one
o'clock in the morning and beginning to freeze
hard, as it always does out here during the small
hours, not a house near, and seven miles at least to A   VISIT TO BONANZA AND ELDORADO   195
do yet. We decided to push on as fast as we
could, so as to prevent Harris from taking cold, if
possible.    So off we started at a racing pace.
The next bridge proved too much for my nerves,
more especially after the accident I had just
witnessed. I tried hard to walk it, but had. to
give in, and sit down and slide across somehow—
not a dignified performance, I must confess ; still, I
got over safely, though much to the astonishment
and amusement of an old miner who chanced to
come along just as I was in the middle. Our
companion having suddenly remembered that he
knew some one on a neighbouring claim, we made
straight for it in the hopes of finding him at his
cabin—sure that if he were he would let Harris
warm himself by his fire, and lend him something
to put on whilst his own things were drying. We
were not far off', fortunately, and by the greatest
good luck found him in, though in bed. On learning what had happened, he was up in an instant,
lighting a fire and preparing coffee, and, before we
had time to turn around almost, Harris was out of
his soaking clothes and rubbing himself down with
a good rough towel—not a moment too soon either, 196 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
for his breeches and boots were coated with ice,
and beginning to freeze hard. All this had been
dorfe so quickly that our companions had scarcely
had time to introduce us to the good-hearted
fellow we had thus rudely disturbed, and who was
taking all this trouble for us. We learned he was
an American named Voss, that he was the owner
of the claim we were on, and was one of the
successful men of the creek. Here was another
instance of the rough exterior of the miner disguising the born gentleman. Had we been in an
English country house instead of the uncouth log
cabin, we could not have received a more genial
welcome. After a good hot cup of coffee, we
insisted on our host returning to his bed, for it was
scarcely three o'clock, and making ourselves as.
comfortable as we could on rugs in different parts
of the cabin, we slept soundly till close on eight
o'clock. When we woke, it was a lovely morning,
the sun shining brilliantly, and making the poor
^cabin look quite cheerful and homely. A good
breakfast was awaiting us. The appetizing smell
of coffee and the bacon cooking on the stove outside was almost worth the tougji walk to enjoy. A   VISIT TO BONANZA  AND ELDORADO   197
We had, I am sure, but one thought in our minds
as we sat dowji to the excellent meal, and that was
that Voss was a jolly good fellow, and it is a pity
there are not many more like him.
We spent the whole day on the claim. The
wash-up was in progress, and as the method is
the same on all claims on the creeks, it could.
be observed equally well here as elsewhere. The
result might, perhaps, not be so phenomenal as
some, for the claim is not considered one of the
richest, but it would doubtless show what a good
average was. It is not, I believe, generally known
that these placer claims of the Klondike region can
only be worked in the winter months—that is to
say, what is known as the " pay-gravel " is excavated when the ground is frozen ; then a hole is
sunk till this gravel is reached, usually some ten to
fifteen feét, sometimes less. This is accomplished
by thawing the ground by means of fire, digging
out as much as has been thawed, and repeating
this process again and again every day all through
the winter. Of course there are exceptions to this,
some ground not being frozen at all, but this is
rare.    When the  sun returns, and  the  creek is 193 FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
released from its icy mantle, then the washing of
the big heap of gold-bearing gravel conimences, and
usually lasts till the end of July. This is called
the wash-up, and an experienced miner can tell
beforehand almost to $1000 what the result will .
be.   A fortune may be the reward, or a blank com-
.paratively, for though there is gold everywhere, all
claims are not Bonanzas.  .4HËj|
The washing,, or rather sluicing, process is accomplished by conveying water from the creek at a
higher level than the claim, by means of what is
known as a "flume," a sort of small wooden
aqueduct that runs into a large wooden trough
called the sluice-box.    By giading this "flume," a
. certain velocity of water is obtained, so that it
passes through the sluice-box with sufficient force
to thoroughly wash and disintegrate the gravel as
it is thrown in, as shown in my sketch. The gold,
by reason of its specific gravity, sinks to the
bottom, and the refuse is carried away by the
stream,. There are usually three of these sluice-
boxes or troughs of different sizes, with movable
battens at the bottom, which help to catch the
gold.    On very rich claims the troughs are cleaned   A   VISIT TO BONANZA AND ELDORADO   201
out every two hours, but on this claim only once
in ten hours, at the end of the day-shift.
It was a most interesting moment when, towards
six in the afternoon, the clean-up for the day
commenced. As the accumulated small sand and
gravel at the bottom of the troughs was gradually
cleaned away, gold could be seen freely, mostly
fine and flaky, but with small nuggets here and
there, till at last there was quite a respectable heap
in the iron pan in which it was collected. About
200 ounces for ten hours' washing was the result,
not phenomenal perhaps, but a^good representative
average probably.
One of the principal difficulties the claims have
to contend against up here is the water question.
It stands to reason that in the summer small
creeks like Bonanza and Eldorado do not contain
an unlimited supply of water. Every one at
wash-up time naturally wants all he can get, so
the entire creek is taken up by flumes, the newcomer but standing little chance of getting in
except by an arrangement with old claim-holders.
Of course a lot of water is lost thus, as the flumes
have been placed anyhow, till the whole bed of FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
the stream is a complete network of them. In
the spring, when the snow melts on the hills
and the creeks become roaring torrents, there is
of course always the risk of all these frail aque*
ducts being washed away. ^ÉÊÉ
We had a stroll up to Eldorado in the evening,
ELDORADO CREEK,  LOOKING TOWARDS FRENCH GULCH.
the valley presenting a still busier scene as the
older claims were approached. It may be mentioned that claims are not named here as in
other countries, but numbered—No. 1 being the
one on which the gold on that particular creek was
first found;  the numbers then run "above" and A   VISIT TO BONANZA AND ELDORADO 203
1 below " I discovery," as it is called. " Discovery
claims '-' are not allowed on any but ,gulch claims ;
not on the tributary streams of the parent discovery creek. On these the numbers start from
the mouth of the stream. There are four classes
of claims—gulch, bench, hill, and quartz. Gulch
claims are of 250 feet run and from rim to rim,
i.e. bank to bank. " Discovery " claims are double
this. Bench claims are those on the bank above
the creek, i.e. from the rim, and are considerably
larger, being 250 feet long and 1000 feet deep,
provided the hill does not extend more than 1000
feet back, in which case hill claims would be
staked, these being 250 feet square. Quartz claims
are 1500 by 600 feet, that is, 1500 along the lode.
Guleh claims have prior Water rights on their
own claims, but before fixing the flumes this
question is generally settled by the inspector
acting for the Gold Commissioner. It is usual to
work claims from the lower stake and up stream.
This is to prevent " tailings " from becoming
cumbersome. Bench or hill claims will have to
use pumps to get their water. The ground is
leased by the Government to the miners for one 204 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
year certain, subject to all charges by it. As the
mining regulations have been frequently changed
during the past year, I commend this fact to those
intending to prospect in this locality. It may also
be added that all disputes are settled by the Gold
Commissioner.*
The discovery on Bonanza Creek, as already
stated, was made in July, 1896, by George McCor-
mack, an Irishman, who is known locally as
"Siwash George," in consequence of his having
married an Indian squaw. He displays a good
deal of energy and method in the working of his
double' claim (which, by the way, is reputed to be
very^rich), and has a steam pump to carry water to
his sluice-boxes. Above Discovery are the richest
claims on Bonanza, so far, whilst all on Eldorado
up to 36 appear to be, up to the present, the
richest discovered in the country. It is, however
invidious to make any distinction, for many outlying places are gradually being proved, as, for
instance, Hunker, Sulphur, Dominion, and French
Gulch, which may turn out in their turn of
immense wealth.
* See Appendix. A   VISIT TO BONANZA .AND ELDORADO   205
The great obstacle to developing at any excessive
distance from Dawson, which is practically the
base of supplies, is the difficulty and expense of
getting provisions out. On French Gulch, for
example, they were paying as high as 50 cents
per pound to get food packed out to the claims.
It wants a very long purse to contend against
such charges when a claim is only in the prospective stage, and over and above this the miners
have to be paid $1.50 per hour.
At the junction of Bonanza and Eldorado is
a village called Forks, which can boast of the
most expensive hotel I have ever put up in.. It
is in reality but a bunk-house, somewhat similar
to the one I described at Linderman, except that
it is log-built, and has an upper story. For the
use of a bunk and two blankets for the night they
charged $2, and all meals $3.50—and badly cooked
and filthily served even at that. In other words,
it cost, roughly, £3 per day to stop here, and this
without counting drinks, which cost $1 each. I
fancy that even in the historic days of Kimberley
these prices could not be equalled.
We were unfortunate in our visit to Eldorado, 206
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
for most of the rich claims had just finished their
wash-up, and the others were stopped through
lack of water. We saw, however, enough to prove
to us that the place is teeming (if one can use th#
word) with gold—for those lucky enough to find it.
It may appear incredible, but I was shown bags
of gold which were used as pillows in their owner's
cabins. The individual of envious turn of mind
would indeed have a bad time up here. And
what about thieving, will doubtless be asked ? In
this mining-camp, as in others in different parts of
the world, considering how easy it would be to
break the Eighth Commandment, there are very
few instances of it. There may be occasionally
some petty pilfering, but even that is rare. The
risk is too great, for in a mining-camp the gold-
thief would be treated as summarily as the horse*
stealer on the prairies. Here there is also the
police to count with. There was one ease-whilst
• I was in Dawson. A man had made off with two
big bags of dust. He was followed, and soon
caught, after a desperate resistance. At his trial,
thinking he would get off more easily, he pleaded
guilty, and gave information as to where he had A   VISIT TO' BONANZA AND ELDORADO  207
concealed one of the bags. The judge, however,
decided to make an example of him, more especially
as he had seriously injured one of his captors, so
he was sentenced to five years' hard labour. Even
after his sentence he evidently still thought to get
off a bit, so he then gave information as to the
whereabouts of the other bag, which was also
recovered, but his sentence was unchanged. He
would serve his time at the penal station of Fort
Cudahy on the Yukon River.
Mentioning this incident reminds me of an
extremely interesting conversation I had one day
with the Hon. Mr. Justice McGuire, one of the
judges of the Supreme Court of the North-West
Territories, who was sent out in the spring of last
year to organize the judicial district of the Yukon.
" The Canadian Government," he told me, " has
been particularly anxious to provide for the maintenance of peace and order in their gold-fields of
the Yukon. Life and property must be made safe.
When the news first arrived of the discovery of
gold in the tributaries of the Yukon, it was not
anticipated there would be such a tremendous
rush from  all parts  of the world.     It did not,
I 208 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
therefore, seem then necessary to establish regular
courts, but they provided several justices of the
peace. A small force of the North-West Mounted
Police, twenty men, was sent in 1895, in charge of
Captain Constantine, an experienced, efficient, and
popular officer, who was in addition given the
powers of two justices of the peace. Captain
Constantine first established a police post at Forty
Mile, which was then the centre of mining activity.
Subsequently, on the discovery of the wonderful
gold-fields of Bonanza and Eldorado, he moved to
Dawson, the new town which sprang into existence in 1897. The majority of the—first miners
were American citizens drawn chiefly from the
adjacent diggings in Alaska. These were* none
too well disposed towards the Union Jack or
Canadian officials, but they soon learned that they
had to deal with a determined and courageous,
officer in command of men able and willing to
enforce the law. It was not long, therefore, before
the miners learned, or were taught, to respect the
Canadian rule, and to obey the law as administered
by the police and the magistrates. The self-
elected 'courts' which the American miners had A   VISIT TO BONANZA AND ELDORADO   209
brought in with them were ignored by the police.
For a time these ' courts ' tried to decide civil
and other disputes, and the titles to mines, but
Captain Constantine preferred that these matters
should be dealt with by him, and soon the miners'
courts ceased to exist.
"In 1897, when thousands began pouring into
Dawson, the Government recognized that the time
had arrived for the presence of a Court of General,
Civil, and Criminal Jurisdiction, and there is now
a regularly organized Court at Dawson, fully
equipped, and having all the powers of the High
Court of Justice in England. Several prisoners
were there in custody awaiting trial, one for stealing about $20,000 in gold dust, another for stealing
a quantity of food from the cabin of some miners,
their winter supply- Here were two typical
crimes. Gold dust must frequently be left exposed to being stolen, and, like stealing horses
in Montana, required that the punishment should
be exemplary. Food was also a thing that was
necessarily exposed to theft, and there being then
a threatened famine, the crime of taking it, and
leaving its owner to the risk of starvation, was
P 210 FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
obviously a very serious matter. Both these
cases were visited with the heaviest sentences the
law permitted, namely, ûve years' hard labour.
" Crimes of violence are all but unknown in
Dawson and its vicinity, where no one carries a
knife or pistol except for* strictly legitimate
purposes. The most serious offences against the
person with which the Court has had to deal
have been common assaults where no weapon has
been used. New-comers, who have been accustomed to mining-camps in other countries, are
surprised at the quiet and order which prevails.
In my opinion," added the judge in conclusion,
"by day or night one can walk the streets of
Dawson with greater safety than one could the
Thames embankment."
On our way back to Dawsbn, we passed a train
of pack-horses and men escorted by two policemen
on foot. As the animals did not appear to be
loaded, I inquired what it meant, and learned
that it was gold from a wash-up. Each horse
carried about two hundredweight in leather bags,
which looked quite insignificant of course in size
in proportion to their weight. 'A   VISIT TO BONANZA  AND ELDORADO 211
We had decided to leave the golden city for
St. Michaels at the mouth of the river by the first
steamer going down. It was pretty generally
known that it would be a real " treasure ship," as a
large amount of gold was to be sent out by her,
OUTSIDE  THE POST-OFFICE,  POLICE CAMP,   DAWSON CITY.
MY-CANOE  IN FOREGROUND.
and many successful miners were also going by
her. It had immediately occurred to me on learning this that the journey under such conditions
could not fail to be an interesting one, so we went
to book our passages. To our no little astonishment, we found the elerk not inclined to take bur 212 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
money. He was not sure whether there would be
room, and asking if we were miners, and a lot of
other, what appeared to us, irrelevant questions.
Fortunately, a friend well-known in the town
introduced us formally, and then the difficulty
ended; and for $300 each we got tickets for the
river-steamer, and then on to Seattle by ocean-
liner connecting at St. Michaels. We afterwards
learned the reason of this mystery. In consequence of the enormous quantity of gold being
taken by the boats, it had been determined only
to sell tickets to persons known to the officials,
as rumours had been floating about that a well-
organized attempt was to be made to get hold
of the precious cargo. As it was, we were told
that no move would be made from St. Michaels
till the war news had been ascertained, so as to
run no risk of falling into the hands of a Spanish
privateer. The boat we were to go down the river
in had not yet arrived from her winter quarters,
so we had several days to spare yet, and we made
full use of them to thoroughly inspect Dawson.
It was Sunday  when  we  got back from  the
creeks, and  I  was immensely impressed by the A   VISIT TO BONANZA  AND ELDORADO   213
manner this day was observed in this rough camp. •
From midnight on Saturday till midnight Sunday
not a stroke of work is allowed, not a saloon is
permitted to open, and no drink whatever may be
sold. The result is that this is a day of rest in
every sense of the word, and after the hustle and
bustle of the week, the calm that reigns over the
vast camp is very soothing and refreshing. I
could not help contrasting in my mind this state
of affairs with what holds in Western Australia,
where work in the mines and everywhere goes on
without interruption day and night from week
end to week end, and thus gives a man no
chance whatever of a day to himself.
One of the two churches in Dawson had been
burnt down just before my arrival, but the Church
of England had a building which, I "believe, was
usually well attended. I was much disgusted and
surprised to learn what a shamefully mean salary
the minister receives. In a place like Dawson,
where even the humblest workman can earn $1
per hour, and where even the barest necessities
of life are at starvation prices, as must be known
by now in England, it will hardly be believed FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
that this gentleman is the recipient of the munificent sum of $700 per annum ! It would be
interesting to know on what basis this stipend was
fixed. Charity, that cardinal virtue, is brought
to a high pitch here—far more so indeed than in
ARRIVAL OF.WAR NEWS,  DAWSON  CITif.
many a place I could mention inside the borders
of civilization. Perhaps it is the rough life of
these Arctic solitudes that helps 4o soften men's
hearts; but whatever the cause, the fact remains
that up in these gold-fields more is done genuinely
arid spontaneously, and without  hankering   after A   VISIT TO BONANZA AND ELDORADO 215
reclame, to help those in trouble. If a man gets
frost-bitten and disabled, a fund is started to help
get him home with some dollars in his pocket ; or
perhaps money is required by the hospital,—then,
maybe, a newspaper reading of some event of
interest is given, with substantial financial results
as a certainty. Apart from these and many
similar proofs of genuine sympathy with the distressed, most of the rich miners give $50 per annum
towards supporting the hospital. It will be seen,
therefore, that given good local government, Dawson
has in it the right sort of "grit" to work on,
which is no unimportant detail.
One morning, whilst strolling around, we met an
acquaintance, who startled us by asking if we had
staked out a claim yet. We were taken aback for
the moment, as we had never given the subject a
thought. However, once started the idea took
root, more especially as the Hamilton had not
yet arrived. But where could we find a suitable
location, since from all accounts everything worth
the name was staked out for miles around.. Our
luck was in the ascendant though, for, discussing
the subject with a friend, an old-timer who knew 216 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
the country by heart, he at once said that he
thought he could help us if we cared to undertake
another trip to Bonanza. This was not particularly tempting, another wearisome walk of 32
miles; still we had nothing, to do, so we decided
to go. So be gave us a letter to a friend, telling
him that if certain claims, staked last year, but
not recorded, were still without an owner, to put
us on to them. By still further good luck, We
managed to get the loan of two riding-horses, so
made a comparatively easy trip, though it was
somewhat fatiguing going at a walking-pace the
whole way, and having to be continually looking
after our steeds. One had to be continually on
one's guard against their slipping or stumbling on
the treacherous trail. We spent the night at the
hotel at the Forks, and started out early to inspect
the ground, which was in a splendid position on the
" bench " close to the creek. It seemed extraordinary
such a site could have been overlooked, but probably, since all this ground has the reputation of
being long since located, no prospector looks here.
Having obtained full particulars as to the ground
and what to do, our task seemed perfectly easy ; A   VISIT TO BONANZA AND ELDORADO   217
but we were a bit too sanguine, for, after working
hard for several hours, taking difficult measure-1
ments and cutting stakes, we discovered that we
had located somebody else's ground. A few
further instructions, however, put us on the right
track, and, aided by our morning's experience, we
complied with the requirements of the law, and
in thoroughly workman-like style. Cutting and
placing the required stakes, i.e. posts^ about four
feet high with two facets cut on the upper part ;
then with a long tape-measure, kindly lent us
by the friend we had our introduction to, we
measured out two claims of 250 by 1000 feet
each, placing three posts to mark their front line.
On these posts we wrote the necessary inscription,
viz. on the facet looking up stream, " I claim 250
feet up stream for mining purposes,—Julius M.
Price, No. 50,232, June 21, 1898;" and on the
facet looking up hill, 11 claim 1000 feet up hill
for mining purposes," etc. »No stakes are necessary
to mark the 1000-feet line, and, as the two claims
adjoined, three stakes were of course sufficient to
mark the front line, the centre one doing duty for
two.^ Although no prospecting had been done on 218 FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
this ground, the adjoining properties had been
proved and said to be very rich, whilst the ground
all round contained the finest claims on the creeks ;
in fact, we were in the very thick'of it, so felt we
had reason to be satisfied with our morning's work,
in spite of our having badly blistered our hands
with the axe (as might have been expected). All
that remained was to pay our $15 apiece and get
the claim duly recorded, and we were the lessees
for one year.
On our return to Dawson we found the Hamilton
had arrived, and was announced to sail on a certain
day, and we were simple enough to believe it ; but
we did not know then the methods on which the
two principal companies of Dawson owning the
steamboats did their business. It mattered not to
them a straw the convenience cf their passengers,
so long as it suited their own purpose, to start a
week even after the advertised time ; there was
nothing to say and no possibility of redress.
The Hamilton is owned by the North American
Trading and Transportation Company, and is represented in Dawson by a managing-director, one
Healy.    This gentleman certainly did not go out A   VISIT TO  BONANZA  AND  ELDORADO  219
of his way to make himself either obliging or
agreeable to his passengers, as we soon found.
Meanwhile we were kicking our heels waiting
for something really definite to be announced as
to our departure, realizing the while the old saying
THE WHARF,   DAWSON CITY,   WITH STEAMERS  " C.  H.  HAMILTON" AND
"PORTEUS B.  WEARE."
about certain places in Africa, that the difficulty
is not so much getting to them as getting out
of them. At last—and all comes to him who waits
—we got notice to get our baggage on board. The
Hamilton was really about to start. 220 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
CHAPTER XIII.
DAWSON  CITY TO  ST.  MICHAELS.
Farewell to Dawson City—The Charles H. Hamilton—bm
passengers—Our freight—Native pilots—The Porteus B.
Weare—Fort Cudahy—Wooding-up—The Yukon Flats—
Circle City—Stranded—Rampart City—Fort Weare—An
awkward accident — The Bella — Captain Hanson — A
Masonic funeral—A native canoe—Holy Cross Mission—
Russian Mission—Arrival at St. Michaels.
It may be imagined that it was with a feeling
of relief that we got the intimation that the
Hamilton was ready to start on her down river
journey, for the many postponements of her departure had kept us in a continual state of
uncertainty of one's movements, and effectually
prevented our going far from the landing-stage, in
case she should suddenly get under way. Even
when we had got our baggage safely on board, and
she was apparently announced to definitely start at
five o'clock on the same afternoon, for some reason DAWSON CITY TO^T. MICHAELS      221
or other (or probably no other reason than vacillation of purpose) the actual start was not made till
^mlp| j^l@è|twenty-four hours had stilpfurther been
wasted. It certainly required a vast amount of
patience to put up with these annoyances. Fortunately for those who will be coming out next year,
the British America Corporation will be here by
then ; and with their big capital, backed up by
sound business enterprise, will ta?Ëè=the wind out of
the sails of the two effete companies that up till
now have apparently controlled, the destinies of
Dawson and on lower Yukon River.
The (g&irles H. Hamilton is the largest steamer
that at present plies on the river. Although some
300 feet in length, she only draws 32 inches of water.
She is the usual stern-wheel build, and has staterooms to accommodate sixty-six passengers. These
rooms open on to a long dining-hall occupying the
entire centre of the vessel. A sort of verandah
running outside this forms a long narrow promenade round the vessel. When not overcrowded
and no untoward incidents occur, a trip down the
river on the Hamilton should be rather a pleasant
excursion.    On the occasion I am, however, about 222
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
to describe, it was exactly the reverse. The greed
of the «company Owning her had caused them to
crowd a hundred more passengers on board than
she was constructed to carry, with the result they
had to sleep where best they could, on the floor
of the cabin or deck, in the hold, anywhere. Considering the fare had been doubled since last year,
and $300 had been charged for all tickets, this
overcrowding was little short of disgraceful. This
was but one of the many discomforts of what
turned out a very-tedious and prolonged journey. .
It had been arranged that the Porteus B. Weare,
another steamer belonging to the same company as
the Hamilton, should follow us down the river at a
short interval, so that, should either of us unfortunately get aground, one could help the other. The
amount of gold the Hamilton was rumoured to be
taking down varied from 4 to 4J tons, representing
an approximate value of $1,200,000, this being the
largest amount any insurance company would take
risk on for one vessel, so I was informed. The remainder of the output for the year, which was said
to be about 13 tons, would be sent on other ships
as opportunity would offer.    The amount of the DEPARTURE OF THE  "HAMILTON,  DAWSON CITY TO  ST: MICHAELS      225
precious metal being sent on the Weare did not
transpire. There was an immense* crowd assembled,
both on the steamer itself, the landing-stage, and
the banks, to see us start, the Hamilton being the
first steamer out this year doubtless helping to
| M
THE  CROWD  TO  SEE US  OFF.     DAWSON CITY.
make the event a sort of half-holiday. At last the
final handshakes were given*, the gangway drawn
in, and cables shipped, and, amidst the screaming
of steam whistles and the loud cheering of the
crowd, the Hay$iltons huge paddles began to
slowly revolve, and we were under way.
Q . 226 FROM EUSTON  TO  KLONDIKE
Looking on that big crowd as the shore gradually
receded, I found myself thinking of many a similar
scene I had witnessed in other parts of the world.
A farewell is always impressive, but in this
instance it struck me as being more particularly
so—for, how many of these rough men speeding
us on our journey but would have willingly
changed places with us ? Aye, and possiblyxhave
given up their doubtful chances of fortune in this
dreary land to have been leaving it as we were.
A hard and comfortless life was in store for most
of them, arid they had probably already begun to
realize it—too late, however.
A stroll round our crowded deck revealed as
heterogeneous a lot of passengers as could well be
imagined. Taking them in ât a glance, the casual
observer would have unhesitatingly put them all
down as absolutely poverty-stricken. The rough
garb of the prospector is neither elegant nor well-
fitting when new; after months of hard wear in
all weathers, it is usually in such a condition that
the meanest of rag-pickers would reject it with
scorn. Picture to yourself, then, a hundred unshaven, unkempt men attired not only thus, but DAWSON CITY TO ST.  MICHAELS      227
also in all sorts and conditions of the oldest and
dirtiest clothes of all possible shapes and cuts,
from greasy frock-coats and tweed morning-coats
to the mud-stained fustian jacket of the labourer ;
put on these men boots of every conceivable shape
and mis-shape, from old Indian moccasins and
miners' top-boots down to the worn-out and filthy
boot of the tramp; cover their heads with every
form of hat you have ever seen, whilst letting the
usual greasy slouch felt sombrero of the American
"hobo" predominate,—and you will form but a
faint idea of the majority of the passengers of the
Hamilton, all of whom had paid $300 for their
passage to Seattle.
There were a score or so of a better-dressed
class of passengers* — a few doctors, solicitors,
company promoters, newspaper correspondents and
artists, returning from their arduous journey by
ice or river to the Klondike, and prominent
amongst these unflagging sons of the pen and
, pencil, Joaquin Miller, the famous "poet of the
Sierras," representing the New York Journal,
in attire of startling eccentricity; also several
ladies   and   one   Russian   priest;   but   all   these w
JOAQUIN MILLER,  THE  "POET OF THE SIERRAS."      A SKETCH
ON BOARD THE  "HAMILTON," DAWSON CITY TO  ST.  MICHAELS      229
only served to accentuate the apparent squalor
of the rest. Of course, it must not be concluded
from this that the better-dressed were necessarily
the lucky ones going out with their " pile," or
vice versa. As a matter of fact, as I soon learned,
it was impossible to gauge from their appearance
what these men really Were, rich or poor, though
one was not long in realizing that our enormously
valuable consignment of gold-dust was not owned
by many of those on board, and that really but
few of these rough-looking men were better than
ordinary labourers. They had evidently managed
out of the $15 a day- wages to save a few hundred
dollars, sufficient to pay their passage and get
them back to their homes, not much the richer for
their terribly hard experiences, and in many cases
thoroughly broken up in health besides.
Naturally there were a few really successful
, and wealthy men amongst us ; but they were
generally " old-timers " with big interests in the
country, who were in many cases taking a holiday,
whilst a partner remained behind to look after
the claim ; and many of these men who were the
poorest-looking on board were said to have big 230 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
quantities of gold about them. All had fearful
tales of suffering during the Arctic winter to
narrate, whilst the hacking cough, haggard look,
and scurvied limbs helped more to corroborate this
than any doctor's report could have done ; in fact,
as I soon found out, we had so many invalids on
board that the Hamilton reminded me of a ship
conveying the wounded away after some big
engagement, whilst the gold in her hold represented
the honours of war won by the lucky few.
The Hamilton was on her maiden-trip almost,
this being the first time she had got as far as
Dawson. Launched at St. Michaels last year, it
had been intended to bring her up the river for
the winter, but owing to the usual procrastination,
she could not be got higher than a little creek
a few hundred miles from the sea, and had to
winter there, and for nine months had remained
icebound. As compared with the rough accom- I
modation of Dawson, she appeared almost palatial
in her appointments at first. This impression,
however, quickly wore off. Our first meal on
board struck us all as not being quite up to the
mark   considering   what  we  had  paid   for   our DAWSON CITY  TO  ST.  MICHAELS      231
passage. The second was worse, and after that
no mere description can convey any idea of the
horrible-looking stuff placed before us at " meal "
times. Tinned food, of course, we expected, since
no fresh meat was procurable at Dawson in
sufficient quantities to provision so large a vessel
as the Hamilton, but there is tinned food and
tinned food. Whilst to make matters even worse,
the purser announced that he feared our provisions,
bad as they were, would not be sufficient to go
round freely till we reached Circle City or Fort
Yukon some distance ahead, and took on fresh
supplies, as the company had shipped one hundred
more passengers than they had provided him with
food for. The indignation of all the men. knew
no bounds, and had the managing-director of the
N.A.T. and T. Co. been on board, I fear he would
have spent the worst moment of his life. This was
indeed a pleasant commencement to the voyage !
The distance from Dawson to the mouth of the
river is 1815 miles, and to St. Michaels Island on
the coast 80 miles further. The journey is usually
accomplished in six days, but there are so many
dangerous sandbars that it is almost impossible to 232 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
reckon on any definite time within a day,or two.
In a river so peculiarly unsuited for navigation
as the Yukon, one had to consider it a lucky thing
getting through at all, apart from any loss of time.
For many years past the Hudton Bay Company
and the Alaska Commercial Company have been
running small stern-wheel steamers between Fort
Yukon and the sea, and seldom has a season passed
without accident. The only pilots are natives, as
the river has been but roughly surveyed, and all
these men have their particular sections of river.
The great» obstacle to navigation of the Yukon
is the fact that the different sandbanks, bars, etc,
are continually shifting, being no two years in the
same position. This extremely serious drawback
can only be overcome by using vessels of the
lightest possible draught.
We proceeded down stream at a good speed, and
reached our first point of call, Fort Cudahy, forty
miles below Dawson, in about three hours. Only
a short stop was made here, just long enough to
land two policemen with a prisoner in irons for the
penitentiary, this station being the convict settlement for the Yukon district.   DAWSON CITY TO ST.  MICHAELS      235
The mosquitoes here were terrible, so we were
not sorry to get away. In midstream these pests
did not bother us, the cool wind and the movement of the vessel keeping them away ; but at
many of the places the boat called at it was almost
impossible to land ; so ferocious and determined
were their attacks that even one's veil and gloves
appeared to have little or no effect. |
We had not proceeded far after leaving Fort
Cudahy when we realized what is the principal
cause of all the wearisome delays on this river—
stopping for wood.     No   matter   how well the
• engines were doing or if wood had only been taken
on an hour before, if we happened to reach a place
where there were a few piles of it for sale cheap,
in we would go, and several more hours would be
wasted. Doubtless a lot of fuel is required, but,
at the rate we took it on, the furnaces must have
simply devoured it. All along the banks at
intervals were to be seen big piles of wood, ready
cut in the requisite lengths for sale, at so much
. per " cord," i.e. a stack measuring 4 by 4 by 8 feet,
the prices varying according to the timber around.
All these wood stations were simply hot-beds of 236 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
mosquitoes, which immediately took possession of
the entire ship, and held it whilst we were alongside the bank.
Towards evening, the second day out, we
reached a part of the river much dreaded by
pilots, called the Yukon Flats. Here the river
widens into an immense expanse of water fully
thirty miles from shore to shore, and is full of
islands and shoals to such an extent that it must
be a matter of great difficulty distinguishing the
main stream from the numberless backwaters.
Our next stopping-point was -Circle City, and we
were getting on well in spite of having to go dead%
slow and sound almost every foot we advanced.
Right ahead of us we could plainly see the town.
We should reach it in about ten minutes, when
suddenly the engines were rapidly reversed, and
the ship was turned and began to slowly stem the
stream again. The main channel was blocked by
quite a new sandbar, we learned, and our pilot
would have to look for another passage by which
to get through. It seemed a pity having to waste
so much time going back again when we could
have easily found a channel that would have taken DAWSON CITY  TO  ST. MICHAELS      237
us past Circle City ; but it appeared that this, is a
boundary station of the United States Customs, so
it is absolutely imperative on all vessels going
down stream to call here and show their papers.
It took two solid hours getting through, and it was
quite late by the time we got moored.
Circle City is on the boundary, line between the
British North-West Territories and Alaska, and is
so named from its position just on the edge of the
Arctic Circle. It is a large straggling log-built
village, very Russian in appearance. Before the
rush to the Klondike it was quite a large settlement, but it was now almost deserted, and most
of the cabins empty. There are gold-mines in the
interior some fifty miles distant, which have been
worked îoy many years past, but with no very
startling results.
I learned that the difficulties and hardships that
have to be gone through to reach these workings
almost surpass belief. The region to be traversed
is but one vast swamp on which mosquitoes breed
in myriads ; in fact, so terrible are the sufferings
these awful insects inflict on the prospector that
stories are told of big stout-hearted men rolling in 238 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
the wet mud in their agony to escape from their
tormentors. Along the river bank in front of the
town were smoky fires—" smudges," as they are
called out here—over which men with thick veils
over their heads were standing •right in the smoke,
to get away from the mosquitoes. A large supply
of tinned food was taken on board here from a
store belonging to the steamboat company, and,
what with one thing and another, there was a
delay of more than two hours. We had ample
time to see what there was to see of the town, but,
apart from the two principal stores, a couple of
dilapidated saloons, and a disused "opera house,"
there was nothing to keep one from remaining
on board. It was close on midnight when we got
under way again. The sun was still above the
horizon, there was just a slight breeze blowing,
and it was so delightfully warm that it almost
seemed a pity to go to bed at alL
We were now all congratulating ourselves that
we had passed the worst of the flats, and should
reach Fort Yukon the following day, and then it
would be all clear sailing, as the river is deep all
the way down after this.    At four o'clock in the
I DAWSON CITY TO  ST. MICHAELS      239
morning a dull, grating, ominous sound woke me
up with a start. It did not take long to realize
what had happened. We had got aground. I
hastily put on my overcoat and ran on deck.
.Many of the passengers were already there, giving
vent to their annoyance at what might prove a very
serious delay. On all sides we heard expressions
of disgust at the bad way the boat had been
handled, for she had not run on a sandbar, but
absolutely ashore on an island standing well out
in the main channel. There was apparently no
excuse for such bungling. No time was lost in
rigging up a contrivance for pushing the boat off
the gravel bed in which she lay, but with no
success. She could not be got to budge an inch,
although there were ten feet of water within a few
yards of us. The whole day passed in futile
-endeavours to extricate ourselves from the predicament we were in. During the evening the men
managed to get a heavy line firmly fixed to an
island close by, and by means of the steam capstan
tried to haul our stern round, but still with no
success. Most of us went to bed that night with
gloomy misgivings.    Visions of wintering on the 240 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE...
Yukon rose in my mind, and I lay tossing from
side to side for a long while before I at last fell
asleep.
I woke up the next morning to find the
Hamilton still aground, although the men had
been hard at work all night trying to move her.
The whole morning was again spent in trying
various devices to shift us. After dinner a new
arrangement was fixed up, and then the men were
given a couple of hours of well-earned rest, so as to
be fresh for a combined effort of all forces towards
evening. Every one was on deck to watch the
result when the work was resumed, and there was
much suppressed excitement. The ropes creaked
and strained and looked like breaking; then, as
the engine started, suddenly there was a shout,
" She's moving ! " from those who were taking
sights along the banks, from the deck ; then
another long pause as the. steam capstan puffed
and spluttered as the cable slipped from it; then
another big shout of joy as we all. heard the dull
sound of a heavy body dragging over gravel, and
knew for certain that we were free this time.
Then slowly and majestically the Hamilton swung DAWSON CITY TO  ST.  MICHAELS      241
round on the current, her bows gradually sliding off
the bank, and leaving a mighty trail of yellow mud
on the surface of the water. We .were afloat once
more after thirty-six hours of delay and mishap
that might easily have proved very serious indeed.
We anchored in midstream whilst the men hauled
in the line, and everything was being made snug
again. Then we proceeded again; this time very
cautiously, as the river was full of banks and bars.
I learned afterwards that the accident had been
caused simply by the hesitation of the pilot as to
which of two channels to take ; whilst he hesitated
the swift current decided, and landed the Hamilton
on the tail of an island he was trying to steer
clear of.
The Porteus B. Weare caught us up as we were
getting under way, so we proceeded in company—
a good plan for both of us as it turned out. We
had .several narrow escapes of "grounding again,
churning up the mud in most exciting fashion on
one or two occasions, but fortunately got through
without further incident, and reached Fort Yukon
that evening. It came on to rain heavily, and
that and the mosquitoes prevented any prolonged
R 242
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
excursion on shore. The place appeared the usual
sort of uninteresting native encampment, so there
was nothing much to attract one from the shelter
of the ship.
We stopped later at night for wood, and had an
excellent opportunity for observing the midnight
sun, as we were now well inside the Arctic Circle.
Most of the passengers remained on deck to
watch the unusual scene. Something happened
to the Weare's boilers, so there was another
tedious delay next day whilst the engineer
patched them up. At last we got under way
again, and continued so for some hours without
a stop. The scenery on either bank was very
beautiful just here, and looked still more so in the
calm evening "air—flat, undulating plains covered
with , low bushes interspersed with small spruce,
the whole backed up by distant mountain ranges,
and over all the indescribable aspect of absolute
solitude. We had several good musicians aboard,
and after supper a little group of us would often
get together in some quiet corner of the deck, and
accompanied by mandolin and guitar, would while
away the  evening hours, singing  old  songs and DAWSON CITY  TO  ST. MICHAELS      243
choruses we all knew well, but which lost nothing
by being repeated softly over and over again in
the quiet reaches of that mighty river as the banks
passed quickly by like some huge panorama.
Five days out from Dawson we reached Rampart
City, a rising mining-camp at the mouth of the
Minouk River, where some rich finds of gold have
recently been made. It was only 3.30 a.m. when
we arrived, a little too early to commence sightseeing Moreover, the entire place could be seen
from our deck, so after a last glimpse of what
looked like the usual style of rough mining-camp
of the Yukon, we got back to bed again for a few
hours more sleep. When we awoke at about 6,30
we found the steamer still at anchor, but about to
start, and learned that it had been decided to give
our consort, the Porteus B. Weare, three hours'
start, as she could not otherwise keep up with
us. Just before we left a poor fellow was carried
on board. Both his feet had been frostbitten
during the winter, and he had quite lost the use
of them. He was going out of the country to
get them operated on, though from all accounts
it appeared there was no chance of saving them 244 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
from  amputation, as  necrosis   of   the   bone   had
set in.
Our next stop was at a place called Fort Weare,
some hours further on. This is another of. the old
Hudson Bay stations and a large native encampment.    Here we found the John J. Healy, another
FORT WEARE.
of the N.A.T. and T. Co. steamers, just arrived
from St. Michaels. The Weare was also here, so
there was quite a brave show of steamers. Naturally there was a long delay, which gave us ample
time to roughly inspect the station. For an Indian
encampment  it was  very picturesque, and   well DAWSON CITY TO ST. MICHAELS      245
repaid a visit. Bark canoes appeared to be the
principal industry of the place, of beautiful proportions and the frailest construction. One could
buy a brand-new one for $10. The banks were
covered with them, and, had it not been for the
difficulty of getting it to England, I should have
felt tempted to buy one to use on the Thames.
We got away at about two o'clock this time,
followed by the Weare, most fortunately as it
turned out. We proceeded down stream at a
capital pace without a hitch until nearly six
o'clock, when suddenly we were startled by a
loud report and a shock that nearly threw us all
off our feet. _ Almost instantly the engines stopped
dead. Every one looked round, scared for a
moment ; then there was an excited rush to ascertain what had happened, as the whole stern of the
vessel had suddenly dropped several feet, and it
looked as if we were sinking. The* cause of the
alarming noise was soon ascertained. One of the
main supports, known as the "hog chains," of
the upper structure of the Hamilton had snapped
in two places, throwing the machinery out of line,
and rendering it useless, and at the same time 246 FROM EUSTON  TO KLONDIKE
breaking down the entire afterpart of the ship in
consequence of the sudden strain put on it ; whilst
to add to the gravity of the situation, at any
moment the other chain might also give way
under its double tension, in which case nothing
could save the hull from breaking in two. Here
was a pretty predicament, 750 miles from our
destination, and the Hamilton an absolute wreck ;
for we at once realized that even if she could be
held together, she was now little better than a big
raft, as her engines could not be used again. The
Weare, meanwhile, in answer to our signals of
urgent distress, only hauled up alongside the bank
a couple of miles back. Again and again was the
whistle sounded, While the firemen below were
rapidly putting out the fires of the boilers and
blowing off steam. It was certainly exciting.
The river here was at least a mile wide, yet the
Weare made no sign of coming to our assistance.
What could it mean ? " They must surely know
something serious had happened to us or we
should not be signalling so persistently," we were
all exclaiming. At last a small boat was seen
approaching from her.    Then it dawned on us that DAWSON CITY TO  ST.  MICHAELS
247
the captain, a person named Weare, who also represented the company, might perhaps be frightened
to bring his ship too close, in case it might be that
the Hamilton had been seized by an organized
band of thieves, and that our signals were simply
a ruse to  get the  Weare alongside.    And so it
proved, for the mate who was in charge of the
small boat, and who would not come on board, said
his orders were to return and report what had
happened.    We therefore had to wait whilst they
pulled up stream and actually got quite up to their
ship before they came to our assistance, although at
any moment the Hamilton might have broken up
completely.    With provoking slowness the Weare
gradually got alongside, and made fast.   Then a
sort of temporary support was rigged   up with
heavy steel cables, though the whole of the superstructure had given way so much that this did
little more than slightly take off the strain from
the other parts.    Then a, consultation took place
between those in command of the two ships as to
the best thing to be done.
Mr. Weare, representing the company, and as such
having naturally no thought but for his own skin, 248 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
was for towing us ashore, and leaving us to fix up
the Hamilton as best we could. To this brutal
and heartless course our captain, a fine fellow, who
knew what leaving us behind meant, would not
agree for a moment, insisting on our sticking to
the Weare and she sticking to us as previously
arranged. Mr. Weare, fortunately probably for
him, gave in when he saw that he could not evade
what was only too clearly his duty, and consented
to take the Hamilton in tow. There is no doubt
about it that had he attempted to get his vessel
clear of ours, there would have happened* something he would never have forgotten, for there
Were many determined men on the Hamilton, and
their blood was fairly up at his unmanly behaviour
since our misfortune. The two vessels were then
securely lashed together, and we proceeded again,
very slowly, of course, in comparison to our recent
speed; but still it was moving forward towards
our destination, and that was something to be
thankful for.
The next morning, as we were " wooding up,"
The Bella—a boat belonging to the Alaska Commercial Company, also bound for St. Michaels— DAWSON CITY  TO  ST.  MICHAELS      249
caught us up, and stopped to take on wood alongside. She was pushing a huge lighter full of
passengers. It was fitted up with a sort of big
marquee, in which we learnt was sleeping and cabin
accommodation for nearly two hundred people.
Captain Hanson, who was in command, undertook
A WOOD STATION ON THE YUKON.
to send a tug from St. Michaels to meet us before
we reached the mouth of the river, so as to help us
through our troubles. Moreover, he was reported
to have behaved in a very manly way on hearing
wha£ a plight the Hamilton was in. Calling his
passengers together, he informed  them of what '250        ^FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
had happened, and then said, " Boys, I know you
are all overcrowded as it is, but a bad accident has
occurred on the Hamilton, and her people are in
danger of being left behind. It is my duty to help
them by taking them all on board the Bella, even
if it means only standing-room for the rest of the
journey. If I feel I ought to do this, shall I be
following out your wishes ? " With one accord all
the passengers endorsed this generous speech with
a hearty " Aye, aye." As it turned out, fortunately
there was no necessity to take advantage of these
kindly feelings towards us.
As there was a swift current for some distance,
we now made good progress considering, and no
incident occurred to mar our progress for the next
twenty-four hours. Then one of the passengers
on board the Weare died of typhoid pneumonia.
He had been ailing for some time past, and was
an invalid when brought on board, but he was
expected to pull through. It was decided to
bury him the following day. There being no,
clergyman on board, a notice was stuck up on
the two ships that evening to the effect that " The
Freemasons on board the   Weare and Hamilton DAWSON CITY  TO  ST.  MICHAELS      251
will bury Brother Hertz at Nulato on July 1st
with Masonic Honours." The funeral took place
the following day close to an Indian encampment, and was of a most impressive character, as
may be imagined, and the more especially coming
as it did on the top, as it were, of our recent
misfortune.
On our arrival at the little station of Anvik, we
were met by quite a small fleet of native canoes,
their -Jbcupants having a quantity of fish for sale.
This turned out to be what is known as | dog "
salmon, and our purser purchased a number of them
for the use of the ship ; but they proved poor eating,
and scarcely better than the canned food. There
was a very pretty little village here, in the midst
of which was a picturesque wooden church and
vicarage standing by on a well-kept green lawn.
This is one of the stations of the London Missionary
Society, I believe. The curio fever broke out
amongst many of us here, and anything at all
uncommon or artistic was speedily bought up. In
fact, there was quite a keen competition for boat
paddles and the like.
I had my first and only experience on one of the 252 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
native canoes here, and never remember getting
into a more cranky craft. It was like being in a
boat made of brown paper ; I was afraid I should
put my boot through it. It looked so simple an
operation to just step in and sit down on the
matting at the bottom, back to back with the
man who did the paddling, that I thought nothing
of it till we were well started and a mosquito
settled on my ear. I was just putting my hand up
to annihilate it, when the Indian gave an exclamation of terror, for this movement of mine had
put the boat out of equilibrium, and the water
instantly rushed over the side, and I found I was
sitting in several inches of water. The Indian
grumbled something that I took to mean that I
had better not move in that reckless manner again,
but I wanted no telling. The mosquitoes took all
they wanted for the remainder of that trip. I
scarcely dared to move my eyelids.
That afternoon we touched at a place called
Holy Cross Mission. It appeared to be the
prettiest of any of the numerous stations we had
yet seen; but we only stopped long enough to drop
a passenger, and then hurried on.    The place is DAWSON CITY TO ST.  MICHAELS      253
a Catholic mission station, and is in charge of a
group of | sisters." There is a convent school here,"
and the school-girls came down to see us arrive.:
Very neat and clean they looked in a sort of
uniform costume, though perhaps not quite so
picturesque as the dirty Indian attire. There
appeared to be laid-out gardens and quite well-
built cottages. Altogether the little place had a
very flourishing appearance, and we were all sorry
at being unable to visit it.
The next morning I woke up to find we were
stopping at a little village called Russian Mission.
Here we were to leave our Russian priest. It was
a very cold morning, and not later than three
o'clock, but the place looked so quaint from the
window of my cabin that I got into my clothes, and
went ashore with my sketch-book. I was amply
repaid for so doing, as the place was wonderfully
quaint, and a typical Russian village, reminding me
not a little of somç village on the Yenesei. This
was the first place we had touched at that retained
any of its old Russian characteristics. The wooden
church, with its green cupolas, standing in the
midst of the old-fashioned wooden  hovels, might- 254 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
have been a bit of Siberia, so typically like was
it.    It was a very chilly morning, and as I made
a sketch I could not help wishing that the resem-r
blance had been carried a little further, and that
there were a post-station or inn where some comforting vodka or hot   Borstch  soup  could have
been obtained.    Unfortunately, Alaska is not the
land of such luxuries !    Once past Russian Mission
we could begin to consider ourselves as getting
well within touch of the delta of the mighty river.
Another of our invalid passengers died that day,
a German lady from Dawson, who had been suffering from a complication of diseases,  any one of
which would have sufficed to kill her soon.    She
had been  very  ill all   the  time  on   board,  her
case being rendered still more painful by the fact
that she was going  down alone with her young
baby, which, by the way, was the first white baby
born  on the Yukon,  her husband remaining   in
Dawson.    She was buried the next morning at a
place called Andreafski.    It struck one as particularly pathetic, these people dying and being buried
so far away from home and friends, alone, as it were,
in this dismal land.    We were fortunate in having DAWSON CITY  TO  ST. MICHAELS      255
two doctors on board the boats, so everything was,
done to alleviate their sufferings, though on such
a journey as this the hardships must have been
fearfully trying, and hardly calculated to. help
them towards recovery. We still had two more
very sick people with us, but it was hoped they
would hold out till we reached St. Michaels, where
better nursing could be obtained.
As we gradually neared the sea—and on all sides
were evidences of the approaching completion of
our eventful voyage—the spirits of all on board
rose in proportion, for there was not a soul
amongst us who was not heartily sick of these
interminable river-banks; and When at last the
trees disappeared, to be succeeded by the low
tundra of the delta, delight was on all faces. At
a place called Kutlip, some nine miles from the
actual sea, and which consisted of a single house
on the bare plain, occupied by a Russian trader,
we met a small steamer, the John G. Barr, that
had been sent across by Captain Hanson of The
Bella to meet us, so we were well in the straight
for home now.
It is not considered advisable to make the eighty- 256 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
mile run up the coast in these flat-bottomed boats
except if the sea be perfectly calm and there is no
sign of wind. We were, however, very fortunate
for once, and it was a dead calm. The disabled
Hamilton, moored securely between the Weare
and the Barr, therefore ran no risk, though we
had to stop a few hours, a few miles up the coast,
whilst a slight breeze blew itself out, the time
meanwhile being pleasantly passed visiting a
little fishing-village close by. We saw here for
the first time the cânoes called kyaks, which are
made of walrus hide, and are almost familiar to
one from Dr. Nansen's famous book. From here
was only a run of a few miles to St. Michaels, but
we were not to accomplish this without one final
incident to complete this uncanny journey—
another passenger died just as we came in sight
of our destination. The Hamilton was exactly
six days overdue. (    257    )
CHAPTER XIV.
ST.  MICHAELS.
Arrival of the Hamilton—The wharf—The hotel—A good
Samaritan—Fort St. Michaels—Relics of the past—Boat-
huilding—The United States officials at St. Michaels—
Revenue cruiser Bear—The native settlement T'satsiimi—
A visit to the Unaleet tribe—Delay in getting away from
St. Michaels—The s.s. Roanoke—Advice to intending
emigrants—St. Michaels to the Aleutian Islands, Dutch
Harbour, Unalashka, and Seattle.
The arrival of the disabled Hamilton caused quite
a stir in the roadstead, and the air resounded with
the screeching of sirens of big steamers and the
shrill whistling of smaller craft, tyiis being the
true Yankee form of marine welcome. The effect
produced, though weird, was cheerful and gladden- j
ing in the extreme, for it betokened one's return
to civilization after the long and tedious journey
just accomplished.    One must have gone through 258
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
perils and hardships to thoroughly appreciate the
delightful sensation of such a moment.
The quay towards which we were slowly making
our way appeared to be crowded with people, a
somewhat surprising circumstance to me, since
I knew that St. Michaels is not a large place, and
ours was the first steamer out from Dawson. On
getting closer, however, one soon realized that it
was the ingoing " rush " to the Klondike we were
meeting—people who were on their way to Dawson
by the route we had come out. The curiosity they
displayed to see us and learn our news was only
equalled by our own, for we were returning, as it
were, to the world, and all that had been happening during the past three months was àS a sealed
book to us. Long before the ships were moored to
the wharf a busy fire of cross questions was taking
place—as to how the Klondike was turning out,
the result of the war between America and Spain,
how much gold we had on board, and so forth.
Although we were still some ten days' journey
from actual civilization in the shape of telegraphic
communication, it may be imagined how eagerly
news, even  of   such   comparatively recent  date, ST. MICHAELS
259
was swallowed up. At last we got on shore, and
with difficulty made our way sjowly through as
motley a crowd as I have ever seen. Had it not
been for the rough background one might have
thought one's self on some landing-stage in the
old country. The majority of the bystanders
had not yet got into what may be termed the
" roughing-it " stage, when collars and other such
impedimenta of a luxurious age are discarded,
so they presented a marked contrast to the
dirty and unkempt passengers of the Hamilton.
Close by the wharf was a large wooden building,
in appearance a cut between a quarantine station
and a store. This was the hotel of the North
American Transportation and Trading Company,
recently erected to accommodate those who could
afford the luxury whilst waiting for the river-
steamers which were to take them to Dawson
City. It was as mongrel an affair as the
throng on the landing-stage. In the entrance-hall
well-dressed men and women rubbed shoulders
withjsome of the roughest-looking beings iinagin-
-able, and were lounging in wicker chairs, or standing
about in groups laughing and chatting gaily, whilst 260
FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
from an open window came the sound of a
piano and a wojpan's voice singing a well-known
air. The inner hall, or lobby, which, as in all
American hotels, was the office and waiting-room
combined, was so crowded that we could only with
great difficulty elbow our way through to the
dining-room and " restaurant," to which we almost
naturally turned our steps, the prospect of a good
meal proving irresistible.
To our no little disappointment we learned
that the kitchen was "eaten out," several ships
having just arrived, and in consequence there
hadjbeen a big rush for the supper which had just
finished. It was past ten o'clock, and we were
nearly famished. We looked at each other in dismay, for the prospect of going to bed hungry was
not inviting. We were a party of six, nearly all
newspaper correspondents, so it meant a big meal
we were looking for. Our good luck was in the
ascendant though, for the hotel clerk, a real good
Samaritan, came to our assistance, and sent us to a
friend, an official living close by, who had charge
of the boarding-house of the employees of the company.    Needless to add that he turned out to be ST.  MICHAELS
261
one of those good-hearted fellows one meets so
often when out in the wilds, and he not only saved
us all from imminent starvation, but actually refused to accept any payment for his trouble.
What a delicious supper that was, or rather how
delicious it appeared at the time after the awful
food on the Hamilton! To mark our sense of
gratitude, before leaving we each presented our
host with a little Klondike nugget as a souvenir
of the occasion.
We learned the next morning that the ocean
steamer, on which we were to continue our journey
to Seattle, had only just arrived, and as she had
a very heavy cargo to discharge, there would be
a delay in her sailing. We therefore had to
remain in our quarters on the Hamilton for a
few days. This was provoking, though I personally was not ; sorry of a chance to visit the
island.
St. Michaels—or, as it was formerly called,
Fort St. Michael or Michaelovski Redoubt—is
now nothing more than a trading-station, a base
of supplies, as it were, of the two principal
companies that up   to   the   present   control   the 262 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
trade of the Yukon region, namely, the Alaska
Commercial Company and the .North American
Transportation and Trading Company. It-was
established as a Russian trading-post and fort in
1833 by one Michael Tebenkoff, an officer of the
Russian-American Company. It is interesting to
note that all the servants of this defunct company were Siberian convicts, and had the place
continued in the hands of the Russians, it would
doubtless have developed into a penal station.
Remains of an old wooden palisade are still to be
seen, though only a few rusty and antiquated
cannon are left to recall the Muscovite occupation
before the place passed into the hands of Uncle
Sam. Apart from these warlike relics, there is
still the picturesque little Greek church, with
its inevitable green cupola, and also a row of
old log-built cottages of unmistakable Russian
appearance, now occupied by the Alaska Commercial Company, which are in striking contrast to
the painfully new stores and other buildings put
up recently to meet the exigencies of the rush to
the Klondike. A few Russian merchants still live
in the settlement, though their numbers are yearly ST.   MICHAELS
263
decreasing. They naturally cannot compete with
Yankee bustle and enterprise. A camp, formed by
new arrivals by the steamers, has gradually grown
up around the old fort, but, owing to stringent
police regulations, is restricted to a certain area,
beyond which no tents are allowed. Boat-building
is being somewhat actively carried on, and at the
time of my visit there were several large stern-
wheel river-boats on the stocks, and within
measurable distance of being completed in time
for this season's work. The timber and machinery
for these craft is brought out direct from America,
and merely put together here. Of course the
principal drawback to St. Michaels ever becoming
a harbour of any importance, should the Klondike
become a permanent gold-field, lies in the fact
that it is practically only open to trade during the
four months when the Behring Sea is free from
ice. Under such conditions its growth cannot
possibly be extensive. The government of the
United States is here represented by a small
detachment of infantry, whose duties also comprise police and custom-house work. During the
summer months a three-masted Dundee  whaler, 264 FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
resuscitated   under   the   high-sounding   name   of
• United States Revenue Cruiser Bear, looks after
the maritime  interests  of Uncle   Sam   in these
far-away waters.
There is a large native village named T'satsumi
near the settlement, which amply repays a visit,
and a few hours may be easily spent wandering
round its quaint though dirty precincts..._, At
certain times of the year the place is crowded, the
natives doing a good trade with the skippers of the
many ships that make St. Michaels a port of call
on their way North. These aborigines are of a
tribe named I Unaleet," which is one of the great
family of Eskimos, to whom they naturally bear
a great resemblance, though somewhat bigger in
stature. Of equally filthy, habits and of exceptional repulsiveness of feature, it is at first puzzling
to distinguish between the sexes, for both dress in
the same loose-fitting, reindeer-skin garments ; and
as the men, like all their race, are smooth-faced,
there is scarcely anything in their outward appearance to help distinguish the gentleman from the
lady, except perhaps that the latter usually does
the greater part of the work.    The village, with ST, MICHAELS
265
its huts built of the whitened and water-worn logs .
brought down to the sea by the mighty Yukon, is
very picturesque.    " Caches," i.e. small storehouses
built high up from the ground on long wooden legs,
to keep provisions, etc., from the attentions of the
dogs, are to be seen everywhere, and of the most
grotesque shapes. The beach was covered with
boats, from the large walrus-skin " bidarra," which
will carry easily forty people, to the diminutive sealskin-covered " kyak," which conjured up 266    FROM EUSTON TO KLONDIKE
reminiscences in one's mind of Nansen's famous
journey. In and about these craft were " curios "
that would have gladdened the heart of a collector, though the natives are not at all eager
to dispose of them to strangers—spears, harpoons,
bows and arrows, etc. Primitive as these weapons
may appear, in the hands of a skilful and intrepid
man they are from all accounts very deadly ; and
the Unaleet in his frail boat does not hesitate to
attack even so formidable a quarry as the beluga,
or white whale.
A couple of days Sufficed to see all there was
to see at St. Michaels, and we were soon beginning to grumble at the delay in "getting on."
The cargo of the Roanoke seemed interminable,
more especially since the arrangements for unloading or loading were of the most primitive
character, and the ship was lying fully a mile
from the wharf owing to the shallowness of
the bay.
We could, however, console ourselves with the
thought that we were no worse off than others in
this " land of delay," where time, except to those
eager to move on,  appears  to be of no  special ST.   MICHAELS 267
importance ; for there were several hundred people
waiting to start on the up-river journey, and who
had been kept fooling around for weeks, and this
in spite of the assurances made to them before
leaving that .the river - steamers would be in
readiness on their arrival at St. Michaels.
. After all I have seen on my journey to and
from the Klondike, I am forced to the conclu sion,
and give it as my deliberate opinion, that it would
be well for all who intend making this inevitably
comfortless journey not to pay the slightest heed
to the alluring promises held out in pamphlets and
prospectuses issued by transportation companies,
for if any reliance is placed in such promises the
disillusion is certain to be all the more acute.
It is one thing making arrangements in some big
office in, say, Seattle or San Francisco, for one's
passage, etc., to the gold-fields, it is quite another
matter when one finds one's self stranded out in
the wilds miles from anywhere, without any possibility of redress, and quite at the mercy of some
unprincipled agent of the company one bought
one's ticket from. I was present at St. Michaels on
one occasion when some miners, who had actually 268 FROM EUSTON  TO  KLONDIKE
paid for " first-class " passage from Dawson City to
Seattle, were given " steerage " on board the ocean
steamer, as the ship was full. Tickets had knowingly been sold for more passengers than could possibly be accommodated. Naturally the men were
loud in their protests at not getting what they had
paid for, their spokesman in particular waxing very
wroth, whereat the agent of the company, a big,
bullying sort of fellow, came from an inner office
and in most insolent tones told the men that if
they did not like it they could do the-other thing,
or words to that effect, adding that if they chose
to go to law about it when they got to Seattle, it
was a matter of complete indifference to him—the
company had lots of similar lawsuits in view, and
one more or less would make no difference. What
could the men do ? It goes without saying that
once back safely in the States, most of them would
be far too pleased to find themselves home again
without bothering about lawsuits, whilst the others
were probably not in a position to afford such a
luxury as law.
However, to resume my narrative, at last, and
to our no little relief, we found ourselves on board ST.  MICHAELS
269
the Roanoke, and, although this only meant a
change of quarters, it looked like moving on nearer
our destination. Two more days' delay, and at
last we were really off, and it was probably with
no feeling of regret that any of us looked back at
the inhospitable coast of Alaska, as it rapidly
vanished in the mist astern.
It is usually a ten days' run from St. Michaels
to Seattle-Tacomo, but, owing to the many uncertainties, in the shape of fog and drift-ice, in
,the Behring Sea, no definite time can be relied
upon. A very big détour northward has to be
made on leaving the roadstead of St. Michaels, in
consequence of the shallowness of the water round
the delta of the Yukon, and several hundred miles
have to be circumnavigated before the ship can be
headed straight for her destination. We were all
so delighted to find ourselves fairly under way
that this trifling detail did not affect us much.
The steamship Boanoke is one of- a fleet of smart
vessels that ply between New York and Norfolk
Island, and in her day, when ten and twelve knots
an hour was considered big speed, was doubtless a
greyhound of her class ; now, however, she is very 270
FROM EUSTON TO  KLONDIKE
antiquated and slow, and, in spite of a brave show
of white paint, is quite out of date. She may, I
suppose, be considered good enough for the St,
Michaels' trade. We were of course crowded
together like herrings in a barrel, as may be
imagined, yet, although there was a good deal of
grumbling and jealousy at first—for every one of
course expected to have the best cabin to himself—
after a few hours out the men settled down
quietly, and apparently forgot their grievances
against the company. A somewhat welcome stop
for a couple of days to coal at Dutch Harbour, a
trading-station in the Aleutian Islands, helped
considerably to break the monotony of the ten
days' tedious journey. We naturally availed ourselves of the opportunity to explore the islands,
the scenery of which reminded one much of
Scotland. I learned that there is excellent fishing
to be got on the inland lakes and streams, and also
some good wild-fowl shooting. There are two
trading-stations in the islands belonging to the
Alaska Commercial Company, and the North
American Commercial Company. One of these
stations is at Dutch Harbour, where there is a fine ST.  MICHAELS
271
landlocked bay and excellent anchorage, and the
other on an adjoining island called Unalashka.
At the latter place is a picturesque little town of
unmistakable Russian origin. All / the vessels of
the American whaling and sealing fleet make
Dutch Harbour their head-quarters.
The voyage from the Aleutian Islands was
uneventful—an alternation of fog and sunshine,
which is so characteristic of these regions in
summer time—then a delightful run up Puget
Sound to the picturesquely situated city of Seattle,
where a vast concourse of people, attracted by the
news of our arrival, crowded every available coign
of vantage on the quays and landing-stage to
welcome us back, and to gaze with reverence,
not unmixed probably with envy, on our ragged
and travel-stained passengers as they came across
the gangway, shouldering their kit-bags, which,
rumour had stated, were full of nuggets from
far-away Klondike.
As we sat that evening in a luxurious restaurant
over our coffee and cigars, after the excellent
dinner we had been so long looking forward
to,   I   turned   to   Harris   and   asked   him   if  he 272
FROM EUSTON  TO  KLONDIKE
would care to go through all our recent discomforts again. " Not much ! " was his laconic
reply, and I felt that these words echoed my own
sentiments.   APPENDIX   A
REGULATIONS GOVERNING PLACER MINING
IN THE PROVISIONAL DISTRICT OF YUKON, NORTH-WEST TERRITORIES.
(Approved by Order in Council of 18th January, 1898.)
INTERPRETATION.
" Free miner " shall mean a male or female over the
age of eighteen, hut not under that age, or joint stock
company, named in, and lawfully possessed of, a valid
existing free miner's certificate, and no other.
" Legal post " shall mean a stake standing not less
than four feet above the ground and flatted on two
sides for at least one foot from the top. Both sides so
flatted shall measure at least four inches across the
face. It shall also mean any stump or tree cut off and
flatted or faced to the above height and size.
" Close season " shall mean the period of the year
during which placer mining is generally suspended.
The period to be fixed by the Mining Recorder in
whose district the claim is situated. 274 APPENDIX   A
| Mineral " shall include all minerals whatsoever
other than coal.
" Joint stock company " shall mean any company
incorporated for mining purposes under a Canadian
charter or licensed by the Government of Canada.
"Mining Recorder" shall mean the official appointed
by the Gold^ Commissioner to record applications and
grant entries for claims in the Mining Divisions into
which the Commissioner may divide the Yukon
District.
FREE  MINERS  AND. THEIR  PRIVILEGES.
1. Every person over, hut not under eighteen years
of age, and every joint stock company, shall be entitled
to all the rights and privileges of a free miner, under
these regulations and under the regulations governing
quartz mining, and shall he considered a free miner
upon taking out a free miner's certificate. A free
miner's certificate issued to a joint stock company shall
be issued in its corporate name. A free miner's
certificate shall not be transferable.
2. A free miner's certificate may be granted for one
year to run from the date thereof or from the
expiration of the applicant's then existing certificate,
upon the payment thereof of the sum of $10.00, unless
the certificate is to be issued in favour of a joint stock
company, in which case the fee shall be $50.00 for
a company having a nominal capital of $100,000 or
less,  and for a company having a  nominal  capita APPENDIX   A 275
exceeding $100,000, the fee shall be $100.00. Only
one person or joint stock company shall be named in
. the certificate.
3. A free miner's certificate shall be on the following
form :—
DOMINION OF  CANADA.
FREE  MINER'S   CERTIFICATE.
(Non-transferable.)
Date ..,...,  No....	
Valid for one year only.
This is to certify that .*..*. of	
has paid me this day the sum of .and is
entitled to all the rights and privileges of a free miner,
under any mining regulations of the  Government of
Canada, for one year from the day of	
18	
This certificate shall also grant to the holder thereof
the privilege of fishing and shooting, subject to the
provisions of any Act which has been passed, or which
may hereafter be passed for the protection of game and
fish; also the privilege of cutting timber for actual
necessities, for building houses, boats, and for general
mining operations ; such timber, however, to be for the
exclusive use of the miner himself, but such permission
shall not extend to timber which may have been heretofore or which may hereafter be granted to other
persons or corporations. 276
APPENDIX A
4. Free miner's certificates may be obtained by
applicants in person at the Department of the Interior,
Ottawa, or from the agents of Dominion Lands at
Winnipeg, Manitoba; Calgary, Edmonton, Prince
Albert, in the North-West Territories ; Kamloops and
New Westminster, in the Province of British Columbia;
at Dawson City in the Yukon District; also from
agents of the Government at Vancouver and Victoria,
B.C., and at other places which may from time to time
be named by the Minister of the Interior.
5. If any person or joint stock company shall apply
for a free miner's certificate at the agent's office during
his absence, and shall leave the fee required by these
regulations with the officer or other person in charge
of said office, he or it shall be entitled to have such
certificate from the date of such application ; and any
free miner shall at any time be entitled to obtain a free
miner's certificate, commencing to run from the expiration of his then existing free miner's certificate, provided that when he applies for such certificate he shall
produce to the agent, or in case of his absence shall
leave with the officer or other person in charge of the
agent's office, such existing certificate.
6. If any free miner's certificate be accidentally
destroyed or lost, the owner thereof may, on payment
of a fee of two dollars, bave a true copy of it, signed by
the agent, or other person by whom or out of whose
office the original was issued. Every such copy shall
be marked " Substituted Certificate ; " and unless some APPENDIX   A 277
material irregularity be shown in respect thereof, every
original or substituted free miner's certificate shall be
evidence of all matters therein contained.
7. No person or joint stock company will be recognized as having any right or interest in or to any placer
claim, quartz claim, mining lease, bed-rock flume grant,
or any minerals in any ground comprised therein, or
in or to any water right, mining ditch, drain, tunnel,
or flume, unless he or it and every person in his or
its employment shall have a free miner's certificate
unexpired. And on the expiration of a free miner's
certificate the owner thereof shall absolutely forfeit all
his rights and interest in or to any placer claim, mining
lease, bed-rock flume grant, and any minerals in any
ground comprised therein, and in or to any and every
water right, mining ditch, drain, tunnel, or flume,
which may he held or claimed by such owner of such
expired free miner's certificate, unless such owner shall,
on or before the day following the expiration of such
certificate, obtain a new free miner's certificate. Provided, nevertheless, that should any co-owner fail to
keep up his free miner's certificate, such failure shall
not cause a forfeiture or act as. an abandonment of the
claim, but the interest of the co-ôwner who shall fail to
keep up his free miner's certificate shall, ipso facto, be
and become vested in his co-owners, pro rata, according
sto their former interests ; provided, nevertheless, that
a shareholder in a joint stock company need not be a
free  miner, and, though  not a free  miner, shall  be 27 8 APPENDIX   A
entitled to buy, sell, hold, or dispose of  any shares
therein.       §ÉK
8. Every free miner shall, during the continuance of
his certificate, but not longer, have the right to enter,
locate, prospect, and mine for gold and other minerals
upon any lands in the Yukon District, whether vested
in the Crown or otherwise, except upon Government
reservations for town sites, land which is occupied by
any building, and any land falling within the curtilage
of any dwelling house, and any land lawfully occupied
for placer mining purposes, and also Indian reservations.
9. Previous to any entry being made upon lands
lawfully occupied, such free miner shall give adequate
security, to the satisfaction of the Mining Recorder,
for any loss or damage which may be caused by such
entry ; and after such entry he shall make full compensation to the occupant or owner of such lands for
any loss or damage which may be caused by reason of
such entry ; such compensation, in case of dispute, to
be determined by a court Having jurisdiction in mining
disputes, with or without a jury.
NATURE  AND   SIZE   OF  CLAIMS.
10. A creek or gulch claim shall be 250 feet long,
measured in the general direction of the creek or gulch.
The boundaries of the claim which run in the general
direction of the creek or gulch shall be lines along bed
or rim rock three feet higher than the rim or edge of APPENDIX   A 279
the creek, or the lowest general level of the gulch
within the claim, so drawn or marked as to be at every
point three feet above the rim or edge of the creek or
the lowest general level of the gulch, opposite to it at
right angles to the general direction of the claim for
its length, but such boundaries shall not in any case
exceed 1000 feet on each side of the centre of the
stream or gulch.
11. If the boundaries be less than 100 feet apart
horizontally, they shall be lines traced along bed or
rim rock 100 feet apart horizontally, following as
nearly as practicable the direction of the valley for the
length of the claim.
12. A river claim shall be situated only on one side
of the river, and shall not exceed 250 feet in length,
measured in the general direction of the river. The
other boundary of the claim which runs in the general
direction of the river shall be lines along bed or rim
rock three feet higher than the rim or edge of the river
within the claim so drawn or marked as to be at every
point three feet above the rim or edge of the river
opposite to it at right angles to the general direction of
the claim for its length, but such boundaries shall not
in any case be less than 250 feet, or exceed a distance
of 1000 feet from low water mark of the river.
13. A "hill claim" shall not exceed 250 feet in
length, drawn parallel to the main direction of the
stream or ravine on which it fronts. Parallel lines
drawn from each end of the base line at right angles 280
APPENDIX   A
thereto, and running to the summit of the hill (provided the distance does not exceed 1000 feet), shall
constitute the end boundaries of the claim.
14. All other placer claims shall be 250 feet square.
15. Every placer claim shall be as nearly as possible
rectangular in form, and marked by two legal posts
firmly fixed in the ground. The line between the two
posts shall be well cut out so that one post may, if the
nature of the surface will permit, be seen from the other.
The flatted side of each post shall face the claim, and on
each post shall be written on the side facing the claim,
a legible notice stating the name or number of the
claim, or both if possible, its length in feet, the date
when staked, and the full Christian and surname of
the locator.
16. Every alternate ten claims shall be reserved for
the Government of Canada. That is to say, when a
claim is located, the discoverer's claim and nine additional claims adjoining each other, and numbered
consecutively, will be. open for registration. Then
the next ten claims of 250 feet each will be reserved
for the Government, and so on. The alternate group
of claims reserved for the Crown shall be disposed of
in such manner as may be decided by the Minister of
the Interior.
17. The penalty for trespassing upon a claim reserved
for the Crown shall be immediate cancellation by the
Mining Recorder of any entry or entries which the
•person  trespassing may have  obtained,  whether by APPENDIX   A 281
original entry or purchase, for a mining claim, arid
the refusal by the Mining Recorder of the acceptance
of any application which the person trespassing may at
any time make for a claim. In addition to such
penalty, the Mounted Police, upon a requisition from
the Mining Recorder to that effect, shall take the
necessary steps to eject the trespasser.
18. In defining the size of claims, they shall be
measured horizontally, irrespective of inequalities on
the surface of the ground.
19. If any free miner or party of free miners discover
a new mine, and such discovery shall be established to
the satisfaction of the Mining Recorder, creek, river,
or hill, claims of the following size shall be allowed,
namely—
To one discoverer, one claim, 500 feet in length.
To a party of two discoverers, two claims, amounting
together to 1000 feet in length.
To each member of a party beyond two in number, a
claim of the ordinary size only.
20. A new stratum of auriferous earth or gravel
situated in a locality where the claims have been
abandoned shall for this purpose be deemed a new
mine, although the same locality shall have been
previously worked at a different level.
21. The forms of application for a grant for placer
mining, and the grant of the same, shall be those
contained in Forms " H " and " I " of the schedule.   -
22. A  claim  shall  be recorded   with  the   Mining 282 APPENDIX   A
Recorder in whose district it is situated, within ten
days after the location thereof, if it is located within
ten miles of the Mining Recorder's office. One extra
day shall be allowed for every additional ten miles or
fraction thereof.
23. In the event of the claim being more than one
hundred miles from a Recorder's office, and situated
where other claims are being located, the free miners,
not less than five in number, are authorized to meet
and appoint one of their number a " Free Miners' Recorder," who shall act in that capacity until a Mining
Recorder is appointed by the Gold Commissioner.
24. The " Free .Miners' Recorder " shall, at the
earliest possible date after his appointment, notify the
nearest Government Mining Recorder thereof, and
upon the arrival of the Government Mining Recorder,
he shall deliver to him his records and the fees
received for recording the claims. The Government
Mining Recorder shall then grant to each free miner
whose name appears in the records, an entry for his
claim on Form " I " of the regulations, provided an
application has been made by him in accordance with
Form i H | thereof. The entry to date from the time
the I Free Miners' Recorder " recorded the application.
25. If the "Free Miners' Recorder" fails within
three months to notify the nearest Government Mining
Recorder of his appointment, the claims which he may
have recorded will be cancelled.
26. During the absence of the Mining. Recorder from I
APPENDIX   À 283
his office, the entry for a claim may be granted by any
person whom he may appoint to perform his duties in
his absence.
27. Entry shall not be granted for a claim which
has not been, staked by the applicant in person in the
manner specified in these regulations. An affidavit
that the claim was staked out by the applicant shall be
embodied in Form " H " of the schedule.
28. An entry fee of $15.00 shall be charged the first
year, and an annual fee of $15.00 for each of the
following years. This provision shall apply to claims
for which entries have already been granted.
29. A statement of the entries granted and fees
collected shall be rendered by the Mining Recorder to
the Gold Commissioner at least every three months,
which shall be accompanied by the amount collected.
30. A royalty of ten per cent, on the gold mined
shall be levied and collected on the gross output of
each claim. The royalty may be paid at banking
offices to be established under the auspices of the
Government of Canada, or to the Gold Commissioner,
or to any Mining Recorder authorized by him. The
sum of $2500.00 shall be, deducted from the gross
annual output of a claim when estimating the amount
upon which royalty is to be calculated, but this
exemption shall not be allowed unless the royalty is paid
at a, banking office or to the Gold Commissioner or
Mining Recorder. When the royalty is paid monthly
or at  longer  periods,  the deduction  shall be   made 284
APPENDIX   A
ratable on the basis of $2500.00 per annum for the
claim. If not paid to the bank, Gold Commissioner,
or Mining Recorder, it shall be collected by the customs
officials or police officers when the miner passes the
posts established at the boundary of a district. Suôh
royalty to form part of the consolidated revenue, and
to be accounted for by the officers who collect the same
in due course. The time and manner in which such
royalty shall be collected shall be provided for -by
regulations to be made by the Gold Commissioner.
31. Default in payment of such royalty, if continued
for ten days after notice has been posted on the claim
in respect of which it is demanded, or in the vicinity
of such claim, by the Gold Commissioner or his agent,
shall be followed by cancellation of the claim. Any
attempt to defraud the Crown by withholding any
part of the revenue thus provided for, by making false
statements of the amount taken out, shall be punished
by cancellation of the claim in respect of which fraud
or false statements have been committed or made. In
respect to the facts as to suck fraud or false statements
or non-payment of royalty, the decision of I the Gold.
Commissioner shall be final.
32. After the recording of a claim the removal of
a^gy post by the holder thereof, or by any person acting
in his behalf for the purpose of changing the boundaries
of his claim, shall act as a forfeiture of the claim. »•
33. The entry of every holder of a grant for placer
mining must b9 renewed and his receipt relinquished ;
APPENDIX   A 285
and replaced every year, the entry fee being paid each
time.
34. The holder of a creek, gulch, or river claim may,
within sixty days after staking out the claim, obtain
an entry for a hill claim adjoining it, by paying to
the Mining Recorder the sum of $100.00. This permission shall also be given to the holder of a creek,
gulch, or river claim obtained under former regulations,
provided that the hill claim is available at the time
an application is made therefor.
35. No miner shall receive a grant of more than one
mining claim in a mining district, the boundaries of
which shall be defined by the Mining Recorder, but the
same miner may also hold a hill claim, acquired by him
under these regulations in connection with a creek,
gulch, or river claim, and any number of claims by
purchase; and any number of miners may unite to
work their claims in common, upon such terms as
they may arrange, provided such agreement is registered with the Mining Recorder and a fee of $5.00
paid for each registration.
36. Any free miner or miners may sell, mortgage,
or dispose of his or their claims, provided such disposal be registered with, and a fee of $2.00 paid to
the Mining Recorder, who shall thereupon give the
assignee a certificate in the Form " J " in the schedule.
37.^ Every free miner shall, during the continuance
of his grant, have the exclusive right of entry upon his
own claim for the miner-like working thereof, and the 286
APPENDIX   A
construction of a residence thereon, and shall be
entitled exclusively to all the proceeds realized therefrom, upon which, however, the royalty prescribed by
these regulations shall be payable ; provided that the
Mining Recorder may grant to the holders of other
claims such right of entry thereon as may be absolutely
necessary for the working of their claims, upon such
terms as may to him seem reasonable. He may also
grant permits to miners to cut timber thereon for their
own use.
38. Every free miner shall be entitled to the use of
so much of the water naturally flowing through or past
his claim, and not already lawfully appropriated, as
shall, in the opinion of the Mining Recorder, be necessary for the due working thereof, and shall be entitled
to drain his own claim free of charge.
39. A claim shall he deemed to be abandoned and
open to occupation and entry by any person when the
same shall have remained unworked on working days,
excepting during the close season, by the grantee
thereof or by some person or persons on his behalf for
the space of seventy-two hours,* unless sickness or
other reasonable cause be shown to the satisfaction
of the Mining Recorder, or unless the grantee is
absent on leave given by the Mining Recorder,
and the Mining Recorder, upon obtaining evidence
satisfactory to   himself,   that  this  provision  is  not
* " Seventy-two hours " mean three consecutive days of
twenty-four hours each. APPENDIX  A 287
being complied with, may cancel the entry given for
a claim.
40. If any cases arise for which no provision is made
in these regulations, the provisions of the regulations
governing the disposal of mineral lands other than
coal lands, approved by His Excellency the Governor
in Council on the 9 th of November; 1889, or such
other regulations as may be substituted therefor, shall
apply, j APPENDIX   B
REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE ISSUE OF
LEASES TO DREDGE FOR MINERALS IN
THE BEDS OF RIVERS IN THE PROVISIONAL DISTRICT OF YUKON, NORTHWEST  TERRITORIES.
(Approved of by Order in Council No. 125, of the 18th
January, 1898.) S|R?
The following regulations are adopted for the issue
of leases to persons or companies who have obtained a
free miner's certificate in accordance with the provisions of the regulations governing placer mining in
the Provisional District of Yukon, to dredge for
minerals other than coal in the submerged beds or bars
of rivers in the Provisional District of Yukon, in the
North-west Territories :—
1. The lessee shall be given the exclusive right to
subaqueous mining and dredging for all minerals with
the exception of coal in and along an unbroken extent
of five miles of a river following its sinuosities, to be APPENDIX   B 289
measured down the middle thereof, and to be described,
by the lessee in such manner as to be easily traced
on the ground; and although the lessee may also
obtain as many as five other leases, each for an unbroken extent of five miles of a river, so measured
and described, no more than six such leases will be
issued in favour of an individual or company, so that
the maximum extent of river in and along which any
individual or company shall be given the exclusive
right above mentioned, shall under no circumstances
exceed thirty miles. The lease shall provide for the
survey of the leasehold under instructions from the
Surveyor General, and for the filing of the returns of
survey in the Department of the Interior within one
year from the date of the lease.
2. The lease shall be for a term of twenty years, at
the end of which time all rights vested in or which
may be claimed by the lessee under his lease, are to
cease and determine. The lease may be renewable,
however, from time to time thereafter in the discretion
of the Minister of the Interior.
3. The lessee's right of mining and dredging shall
be confined to the submerged beds or bars in the river
below water mark, that boundary to be fixed by its
position on the first day of August in the year of the
date of the lease.
4 The lease shall be subject to the rights of all
persons who have received or who may receive entries
for claims under the Placer Mining Regulations.
IT 290 APPENDIX   B
5. The lessee shall have at least one dredge in
operation upon the five miles of river leased to him,
within two seasons from the date of his lease, and if,
during one season when operations can be carried on,
he fails to efficiently work the same to the satisfaction
of the Minister of the Interior, the lease shall become
null and void unless the Minister of the Interior shall
otherwise decide. Provided that when any company
or individual has obtained more than one lease, one
dredge for each fifteen miles or portion thereof shall
be held to be compliance with this regulation.
6. The lessee shall pay a rental of $100.00 per annum
for each mile of river so leased to him. The lessee
shall also pay to the Crown a royalty of ten per
centum on the output in excess of $15,000.00, as shown
by sworn returns to be furnished monthly by the lessee
to the Gold Commissioner daring the period that
dredging operations are being carried on ; such royalty,
if any, to be paid with each return.
7. The lessee who is the holder of more than one
lease shall be entitled to the exemption as to royalty
provided for by the next preceding regulation to the
extent of $15,000.00 for each five mile's of river for
which he is the holder of a lease ; but the lessee under
one lease shall not be entitled to the exemption as to
royalty provided by the next two preceding regulations, where the dredge or dredges used by him
have been used in dredging by another lessee, or in
any case in respect of more than thirty miles. *att
APPENDIX   B 291
8. The lessee shall be permitted to cut free of all
dues, on any land belonging to the Crown, such timber
as may be necessary for the purposes of his lease, but
such permission sfyall not extend to timber which
may have been heretofore or may hereafter be granted
to other persons or corporations.
9. The lessee shall not interfere in any way with
the general right of the public to use the river in
which he may be permitted to dredge, for navigation
or other purposes; the free navigation of the river
shall not be impeded by the deposit of tailings in such
manner as to form bars or banks in the channel
thereof, and the current or stream shall not be
obstructed in any material degree by the accumulation of such deposits.
10. The lease shall provide that any person who has
received or may receive entry under the Placer Mining
Regulations shall be entitled to run tailings into the
river at any point thereon, and to construct all works
which may be necessary for properly operating and
working his claim. Provided that it shall not be lawful for such person to construct a wing-dam within one
thousand feet from the place where any dredge is
being operated, nor to obstruct or interfere in any way
with the operation of any dredge.
11. The lease shall reserve {all roads, ways, bridges,
drains and other public works, and all improvements
now existing, or which may hereafter be made, in,
upon or under any part of the river, and the power to 292 APPENDIX   B
enter and construct the same, and shall provide that
the lessee shall not damage or obstruct any public
ways, drains, bridges, works and improvements now or
hereafter to be made upon, in, over, through or under
the river ; and that he will substantially bridge or cover
and protect all the cuts, flumes, ditches and sluices,
and all pits and dangerous places at all points where
they may be crossed by a public highway or frequented
path or trail, to the satisfaction of the Minister of
the Interior.
12. That the lessee, his executors, administrators or
assigns shall not nor will assign, transfer or sublet
the demised premises, or any part thereof, without the
consent in writing of the Minister first had and obtained. INDEX
Aêrial tramway to Chilcoot,
Belcher, Inspector, 89, 90
60, 61, 77, 82, 85,112
Bella, s.s., 248-250, 255
Alaska Commercial Co., 179,
Beluga (white whale), 266
262;   steamers of,  on the
Bench claims, 203
Yukon River, 232, 248
Bennett, Lake, 60, 113-116
Aleutian Islands, 270, 271
 ; town of, 113-116, 120
Andreafeki, place called, 254
bear seen at, 151
Anvik, station of, 251
"Bidarra" (boat), 265
Arctic mosquitoes, 144
Big Bend, mining camp, 7
Arrowhead, 7, 53
Bird-life in the Yukon terri
Arrow Lakes, 7, 8, 45; Hal
tory, 152
cyon springs on the, 32-35
" Boarding-house," in a mining
Athenian, s.s., 61
camp, 27, 28
Boat-building;  at  Lake Lin
Baker Creek, 160
derman, 56,107-111 ; at St.
Bank of British North America,
Michaels, 263
branch of, at Dawson City,
Bonanza Creek, 189,191,192 ;
176-179
gold-fields of, 194,208; work-                       \ |
\   Barbers'   shops   at   Dawson
ing claims on the, 197-202 ;   %^M
City, 171
the water question, 201 ; the
Bark canoes of the Indians,
discoverer of gold on, 204 ;
245, 251, 252
^second trip to the, 216-218   j
Barr, s.s., 255, 256
Bonanza Hotel, near Dawson
Bear, U.S. revenue cruiser, 264
City, 193, 194
Bears in British Columbia, 46 ;
Bonnington Falls and rapids, 42
a hear seen at Bennett, 151
. British America Corporation,
Beaver, a, 151
1      20,221
. ■ • 294
INDEX
British Columbia, mining camps
in, 15-17, 21-30 ; horses in,
23, 24; boarding-houses in,
27, 28; hot springs in, 33,
34 ; hears in, 46
" Caches " (store-houses), 265
Campania, s.s., 2
I Camps " (mining) in British
Columbia, 15-17, 38
Canadian Government, royalty
due to, on gross returns of
every claim, .182-184, 283,
284 ; and the maintenance
of peace and order in the
Yukon gold-fields, 207-210;
claims reserved for the, 280,
281
    Pacific   Railway,   3-6;
steamers of, on the Arrow
Lakes, 8, 9; a branch of,
. from Nelson, 42-44; from
Revelstoke. to Vancouver,
53 ; liners of, from Vancouver to Skaguay, 55, 61,
62
Canoes, called the "Strickland," 56, 119, 120; of the
Indians, 245, 251, 252;
. 1 kyaks," 256, 265, 266
Canon and White Horse Rapids
Tramways, 135, 141,142
Canyon City, 77, 78, 81
Catholic Mission Station on the
Yukon River, 252, 253
| Cayuses | (horses) in British
Columbia, 23, 24
Centre  Star Mine,  Rossland,
19 ; visit to the, 21-23
Charles H. Hamilton, s.s.   See
Hamilton
Chilcoot Aerial Tramway Co.,
60, 61, 77, 82, 112
Chilcoot Pass, the, 55, 83-91
Churches in Dawson City, 213-
215
Circle City, 231, 236-238
Claim, method of working a,
in the Klondike district, 197-
206 ;   staking  out   a,    on
Bonanza   Creek,  215-218;
nature and size of, 278-287
"Clean up," the, on Bonanza
claims, 201
I Close season," 273
Columbia and Kootenay Mine,
19
  and Western   Railway,
9,10
 River, 6, 7, 37, 42
Constantine, Captain, 164,165,
208, 209
 , Mrs., 165
Convict   settlement   of   Fort
Cudahy, 207, 232
" Courts " of the miners. 208,
209
Crater Lake, 91-93, 96
Crime in the Klondike mining
district, 209, 210
Dawson City, distress in, last
winter, 58; arrival at, 161;
first impressions of, 162-164: INDEX
295
North-West Mounted Police
stationed at, 164, 165, 208,
209, 211; river front and
main street of, 166-170 ;
barbers' shops in, 171 ; cost
of living at, 172-174, 176 ;
music-halls in, 175; menu
of dinner given in, 175 ;
branch of the Bank of
British North America at,
176-179 ; interview with Major Walsh of, 184-188; mines
near, 189,190 ; the Klondike
River at, 191 ; case of gold-
thieving in, 206, 207; Court
at, 209 ; crimes and their punishment in, 209, 210; Sunday in, 212,213 ; churches in,
213-215 ; the wharf at, 219 ;
farewell to, 225, 226, 230
" Dawson Hotel," Linderman,
104-107
Deep take, 93, 96-101
Delaware  and Hudson Railway, 2
Dinner menu in Dawson City,
175
Discovery, rich claims above,
on Bonanza Creek, 204
" Discovery claims," 203
" Dog "salmon, 251
Dominion Creek, 204
Donald, town of, 6
Dredging for minerals in the
beds   of  rivers  in Yukon
District ; regulations governing the, 288-290
Dufferin, Lord, head of the
British America Corporation, 20
Durant, Mr. Oliver, of the
Centre Star Mine, 21-23
Dutch Harbour, 270, 271
Dyea route, the, 55
 , town of, 76, 77 ; hotel
at, 77; journey from, to
Canyon City, 78-81
Eldorado Creek, 189, 190;
gold-fields of, 201,608: visit
to claims on, 202, 205, 206
Eldorado gold-mine, 186
Eskimos, 264
Falls of the Spokane River,
38
Financial News, London, 2
Fire brigade at Rossland, 16,
17
Fires in the forest, 148-150
Fish in the Klondike River,
191
Fishing, in Slocan Lake, 45 ;
on  Lake  Marsh,  130;   in
Lake Lebarge, 144,145
Five Finger Rapids, 152-155
» Flume," a, 198, 201, 202
Food, theft oÇin the Klondike
mining district, 209, 210
4 Forest fires, 148-150
Forks,   village   called,   205 ;
hotel at, 216
Fort Cudahy, penal station of,
207, 232 296
INDEX
Fort Selkirk, 160
 St. Michael, 261
 Weare, 244
 Wrangel, 63-68; Indians
at, 65, 66; Opera House
at, 67, 68
 Yukon, 231, 238, 241
Forty Mile, police post at, 208
 Biver, 147
Frank (Japanese cook), 119
| Free miner," 273
Free miners and their privileges, 274-278, 286
French Gulch, 204, 205
Frostbite, case of, 243, 244
Galena (silver lead), in the
Slocan district, 44, 47, 49-
52
" Galena Farm " mine, 47
Goddard, s.s., 123, 124
Gold   Commissioner,   the,  of
the Klondike district, 203,
204, and Appendix
Gold-dust, method of disposing
of, at  Dawsôn City,  181.
thefts of, 206, 207, 209, 210
 mining, in the Klondike
district, method of, 197-206 ;
the Canadian   Government
and   the   maintenance   of
peace and  order in, 207-
210 ; near Circle City, 237 ;
at Rampart City, 243
Goodenough Hotel at Sandon,
51
Government royalty on gross
returns of every claim, 182-
184
Grand Trunk Railway, 3
"Gulch claims," 203, 278,279
Halcyon springs, 32-35
Hall Mines, the, 35
Hamilton, s.s., at Dawson City,
215,  218-231;   voyage  of,
down the Yukon River, 231-
257, 261 ; accident to, 245-
256
Hanson, Captain, 249,250,255
HappyCamp,restaurant called,
93-95 %$Ê$.
Harris, Mr. Lionel W., 2,77,92,
95-100, 121, 123, 144, 146,
153,165,170,194,195,271
Hart, Mr., 78, 92, 95, 96
Healy, Mr., 218
Healy, s.s., 244
Hera, schooner, 62, 63
Hertz, Mr., death of, 250, 251
Hill claims, 203, 279, 280
Holy   Cross   Mission,   place
called, 252, 253
Hootlinqua River, 148
Horses on the railway line, 43,
44
Hot-springs at Halcyon, 32-35
House-rent at Dawson City,
172, 173
Hudson   Bay Co., stores of,
at    Vancouver,    58,   59;
steamers of, on the Yukon
River, 232
Hunker Creek, 192, 204 INDEX                                  297
Idaho Mine, Sandon, 50
Kootenay River, 35
Hhtstrated London News, the :
Kutlip, place called, 255
see" Introductory Note
Kyaks, canoes called", 256,265,
Indian encampment at Fort
266
Weare, 244, 245
Indian natives, and the Klon
dike River, 191
Labour question in Klondike,
     prisoners    at   Tagish
Major Walsh and the, 187,
station, 125-127
188
|— River, 148, 160
Lake Bennett, 60, 113, 114
      "totem"     poles    at
Lake Lebarge, 143-148
Wrangel, 65, 66
 Linderman, 55, 90, 101,
Indians, at Lake Lebarge, 143 ;
1031 boat-building at,  56,
canoes   of the,   245,   251,
107-111; hotel at, 104
252, 256
 Marsh, 124, 128, 129
 Tagish, 123, 124
1 Joint stock company," 273,
Landslips   on  the  Canadian-
276, 277
Pacific   Railway,   7;   near
Josie Mine, Rossland, 19
Nelson, 40, 41
Lardeau, mining camp, 7
Klondike    gold-fields,   180;
Lawlessness in Skaguay, 70-
list of stores required for the,
74
58, 59 ; Government royalty
Lebarge, Lake, 143-148
on gross returns of every
I Legal post," 273
claim in,  182-184; placer
Le Roi Mine, Rossland, 18-21
claims   of   the,   197 ;   the
Lewis River, 129, 134
Canadian Government and
Linderman bunk-liouse, 104-
the  maintenance  of peace
107
and.orderin,207-210; advice
 , Lake, 55, 90, 101-103 ;                WÊl
to  intending emigrants to,
boat-building at, 56,  107-
267,  268; regulations go
111 ; hotel at, 104
verning placing mining, 273-
Living,  cost   of,  in   Dawson
287
City, 172-174
 River, 190, 191 ; creeks
London   Missionary   Society,
of the, 191, 192
station   of  the,  at  Anvik,
Kootenay, mining district, 7,
251
. 15, 21-23, 35, 53
Long Lake, 93, 96 298
INDEX
Lousetown (part of Dawson
City), 191, 192
Lower Bonanza gold-mine, 186
Macatjley, Mr. Norman, 142
McCormack,     George^     discoverer of gold on Bonanza
Creek, 192, 204
McGuire, the Hon. Mr. Justice,
conversation with, 207-210
Macintosh, the Hon.   C.  H.,
Governor of the North-West
Territories, 20, 21, 30
McNicoll, Mr., 3
"Marooned" on an island in
the Yukon River, 158-160
Marsh, Lake, 124, 128-133
Michaelovski Redoubt, 261
Midnight sun, glimpse of the,
242
Miles Canon Rapid, 134, 136,
137
Miller, Joaquin (" the poet of
the Sierras"), 227, 228
Miner and a bear, story of,
46,47
Miners' " Courts," 208, 209
Miners'licence, 124-128, 275
Mines round Rossland, 17-30
Mining    camps    in    British
Columbia, 15-17, 21-30, 38
" Mining -Recorder," 274
Minouk River, 243
Monte Cristo Island, 160
Montreal, 2
Moore, Win., stakes the site of
Skaguay, 69-71
Mosquitoes, 129,130, 143,144,
158,192,193,235-238,241,
252
Music-halls in Dawson City,
175
Nakusp, 53
Nelson, town of, 35-37, 40
News, The, canoe called, 56
New York Journal, 227
Nickel Plate Mine of Rossland,
19
North American Trading and
Transportation Co., 179,218,
244, 259, 262
Northport, town of, destroyed
by fire, 41, 42
North-West  mounted police
at the ChilcootPass, 88-90
station at Tagish, 124-127
at Dawson, 164, 165, 186,
187;   first  batch   sent   to
Klondike in 1895, 208, 209
OoiLvrE, Mr., 180
" Opera House" at Wrangel,
67,68
Ore; from Rossland Mines, 22,
23; from the Hall Mines,
35-37
Pack-horses, train of, carryr
ing gold-dust, near Dawson,
210
Palmer, Mr., of the Neio York
Press, 189 INDEX
299
Payne Mine, Sandon, 50
Pelly River, 148, 160
Penal station of Fort Cudahy,
207, 232
Pilots, at Miles Canon Rapid,
136 ; on the Yukon River,
232,236,241
Placer claims of the Klondike
region, 197; rules governing, 273-287
| Poet of the Sierras," the. See
Miller, J.  '
Police, North-West' Mounted,
at the Chilcoot Pass, 88-90 ;
station at Tagish, 124-127 ;
at Dawson, 164, 165, 186,
187 ; first batch sent to
Klondike in 1895, 208, 209
Portsus B. Weare, s.s. See
Weare
Puget Sound, 271
Quartz claims, 203
Railway rates, war of, 3
Rampart City, 243
Rapids between Lakes Linderman and Bennett, 116-118
Reco Mine, near Sandon, 50
Red Mountain, Rossland, 18
Regulations governing placer
mining in the Yukon district, 273-287
Reid, Frank, and "Soapy
Smith," 72
"Restaurant" called Happy
Camp, 93-95
Revelstoke, town of, 6, 7
Rink Rapids, 155
River claim, 279
Roanoke, s.s., 266, 269
Robson, town of, 7-9
Rock, fall of, on railway to
Rossland, 11, 12
Rocky Mountains, scenery of,
5
Roseberry, town of, 47, 53
Rossland, 7, 53 ; railway to,
9-12 ; rapid growth of, 13-
15 ; a good specimen of the
mining camps in British
Columbia, 15, 16 ; wood
used for buildings* in, 16 :
fire brigade in, 16, 17; description of, 17; visit to big
mines near, 17-30; departure from, 32 ; electric light
in, 42, 43
Royalty due to Canadian Government, on gross returns
of every claim, 182-184,283,
284
Russian-American Co., 262
Russian Mission, village called,
253,254
Russian villages, 237,253, 271
St, Michaels, 211, 212, 258,
261-266, 269
St. Michaels Island, distance
from Dawson City, 231
Saloons in SpoHane, 38
Sandbanks, etc., in the Yukon
River, 232, 2B6 300
INDEX
Sandon, town of, 47-52 ; mines
around, 49-52 ; hotel at, 51
Sanitarium at Halcyon
Springs, 32-34
"Scales, The," near Chilcoot
Pass, 84
Sea-gulls, 151, 152
Seattle, city of, 212, 268, 271,
272
Selkirk Mountains, 5 ]
Sheep-camp, 82, 83
Silver-lead mines in the Slocan district, 44, 47, 49-52
Silverton, place called, 47
Sitkine River, 63, 64 g
" Siwash George." See McCor •
mack, G.
Skaguay, 55, 61, 66; arrival
at, 68 ; the site of, 69-71 ;
lawlessness in, 71-75
Slocan City, 44, 45
  district, 40 ;  silver-lead
mines-in the, 44-52
 Lake, 42, U, 45
 Star Mine, Sandon, 50
Smelter of the Hall Mines, 35,
36
" Smith, Soapy," scoundrel
named, at Skaguay, 70-74
"Smudges" (smoky fires), 238
Sophie Mountain, mining camp
near, visit to, 23-30
Spokane River, falls of the, 38
 , town of, trip to, 32-40
Squirrels, 151
Staking out a claim on Bonanza Creek, 215-218.
Steamers on the Arrow Lakes,
8,9
Stewart River, 148, 160
Stores, list of, required for the
Klondike gold-fields, 58, 59
Strickland, Captain, 124, 125
" Strickland " canoe, 56, ÎÏ9,
120
Sulphur Creek, 204
Tagish, Lake, 123, 124
Taku Mountains, 148
Tanana River, 148
Tartar, s.s., 60, 61, 68, 73
Tebenkoff, Michael, 262
Thieving   in    the   Klondike
mining district, 206, 207,209
Thirty Mile River, 148, 150
Timber, destruction-ef, through
fire, 148-150
" Totem " poles, Wrangel, 65
Trail Creek, mining camp, 5,
9,10
Tramway, aerial, to Chilcoot,
60, 61, 77, 82, 85, 112
Tramway of the Canon and
White Horse Rapids, 135,
141, 142
" Troanduik,"   Indian   word,
191
Trout fishing in Lake Lebarge,
144, 145
T'satsumi, village named, 264
Unalaska Island, 271
"Unaleet," tribe named, 264-
266 INDEX
301
Vancouver, 52-61
 Island, 63
Velvet Mine, Sophie Mountain, 28, 29
Victoria, 61
Victory and Triumph Mine,
Sophie Mountain, 28, 29
Voss, American named, 196,
197
Waldorf Astoria, hotel in
New York, 2
Walsh, Major, 184-186 ; interview with, 186-188
War Eagle Mine, Rossland, 19,
21
"Wash-up," the, on Bonanza
claims, 198-202
Water question, in the Klondike mining district, 201
Weare, Captain, 247, 248
Weare, s.s., 219, 222? 225,
241-248, 250, 256
West Kootenay, mining district, 5, 9, 10
White Horse Rapid, 134,138-
141
Wilson Creek, grizzlies at,
46
Wind-storms on Lake Lebarge, 146
Wood stations on the Yukon
River, 235, 249
Wrangel, Fort, 63-68 ; Indians
at, 65, 66 ;  opera house at,
67, 68
Young, Brigham ; railway cars
of, 10
Yukon Flats (part of the Yukon
River), 236, 238
 gold district, 180 ; Government royalty on gross
returns of every claim in,
182-184 ; Major Walsh on,
188 ; the Canadian Government and the maintenance
of peace and order in, 207-
210; regulations governing
placer mining in the Provisional District of, 273-287 ;
regulations governing the
issue of leases to dredge for
minerals in the beds of
rivers of, 288-290
 River, commencement of
the, 148, 150, 156-158;.
" marooned " on an island
in the, 158-160; penal
station of Fort Cudahy on,
207; voyage of the s.s.
Hamilton up the, 225-257 ;
delta of the, 269 LOUDON :
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.  m iah A\ *ï
,i. v***
#i ^
PURCHASED Si jj
FROMMLaaaSaa*^
*%
Hl3_
ish
$98
5S—
bttr^ Qu^rrt/SjQé^)   —
Place of Purchase.
Price /Lb/	
Later Catalogued Prices
i  MAP OF THE KLONDIKE GOLDFIELDS, TO ACCOMPANY "FROM BOSTON TO KLONDIKE," BY JULIUS § PRICE, F.R.G.S.
W.fe A K. Johnston. E&n burgh kloucLcm..
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