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In the pathless west with soldiers, pioneers, miners and savages Herring, Frances E. 1904

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Illustrated.   Crown 8vo, cloth, 6s.
| This brightly written and entertaining book is an account of
the experiences and adventures of a family camping out for the
summer on the shores of Boundry Bay, on the British Columbia
littoral, otherwise on the * Coast,' which is short for Pacific
Coast."—Daily Chronicle.   ■
" This is a charming book, written in a fresh, unconventional,
unsophisticated style, quite free from affectation, and full of
interesting and picturesque, though not unduly florid, passages
of word-painting and description. Mrs. Prances Herring wields
so fresh and vigorous a pen that other work, whether quasi-
fiction or in essay or travel form, may be expected from her.
' Canadian Camp Life' is too good to be * a first and last appearance ' on her part."—County Gentleman.
White,   Yellow,   and   Brown*
Fully Illustrated.   Crown 8vo, cloth, 6s.
" Mrs. Herring has the gift of picturesque description, and the
parts of her book dealing with the Chinese and the Indians are
particularly interesting and vivid."—Queen.
Romance and reality are happily blended in Mrs. Frances E.
The romance is provided by the love affairs of
three young couples in that far-off can tie of the King's dominions,
and by a story of domestic interest enlivened from time to time
with adventures incident to life in the Far West. The reality is
found in the wonderfully life-like pictures of the strange peoples
of these parts. Mrs. Herring has an observant eye and a graphic
" A book which is delightful enough to be closed with regret."
Author of
PATERNOSTER SQUARE.   MCMIV (All rights reserved.)
m t
There "should be a Preface to my book," the critics
say, but as I never read those of other people I am
afraid mine will scarcely be "according to rule."
In the first place, The Soldiers Gazette and Cape
Horn Chronicle, from which I have quoted freely, was
loaned to me by Colonel Wolfenden, of Victoria.
Many of the Pioneers have passed away, but not the
memory of them.
All I tell of the Indian life, careless in some respects
as it is, cruel in others, can be verified by those who
care to write to any of the Indian Agencies or Missionaries along the Coast.  CONTENTS
Crossing the Line "—A pilot fish—Novel tobacco-pouches
" Without leave"       . . .16
The " Thames Citizen "—Abstract of progress—Christmas on the
South Pacific Ocean—Suet—A dance on "the roof of a
house"—Holding up their coat-tails.
Arrival at the Falklands—The one-eyed pilot—Herrings—Geese
—On shore—Unlimited everything—No soft "tommy"—
No potatoes—A clock in his stomach—Hospitality of the
islanders—" Huthlicaut's braw Weddin' 0"—Sammy and
Van Buster—The last round up        ... .
Again afloat—Death amidst storm and stress—Anchor chain on
the rampage—A burial at sea—A child alone—Washed
overboard—Washed back      .....
Juan Fernandez—Mutiny on board—Valparaiso—Beauty and
crinoline—A Greaser crew—Arrival in Esquimalt—Longest
trip of Her Majesty's forces on record . . .42 Vlll
First detachment—Hudson Bay Fort at Langley—His Grace the
present Duke of Argyll as a pioneer—Miners in rebellion—
The notorious Ned McGowan—Thirty red-coats and three
hundred marines brought out—Eight thousand miners
quelled—Begbie justice .....
Fishing with buckets for Royal Engineers—The price of bricks—
The Princess Louise in a pioneer house—Observations and
observers—First wedding in camp—Difficulties in providing
trousseau—The "Loving Cup "—Coming of the Robert Low
—Her cargo of girls—Giving the city a name—Dispute
settled by Her Most Gracious Majesty selecting the name—
Hotels—Theatres—Rob Roy with a Cockney accent—A
display of loyalty—The cornet and its fiendishness—The
charm which cured     ......
Che-chacos (new-comers) peculiar outfits for the mines—The
lucky ones—Fools and their money—The craft of a Jewish
firm—Biters bitten—The mystery of the lost gold—Dredging
the Fraser       . . . . , . .72
Billy again—Van Buster—Bear in camp—Mrs. Middleton " puts
on style"—And what came of it—Sunday's parade—
Marriageable girls—The boys of the "Wild and Woolly IX
West"—In the  Transvaal—An   Indian   squaw's love
Tragedy—" Whose fault was it ? "—Indian squaw returns
to her tribe     . . . . . . .80
The courting of Marguerite—"Old maids" at eighteen—Married
in haste—No repentance—Royal Engineers disband—Farewell military! . . . . . . .93
The mystery of Merton—Plenty and famine—A night of fun—
The descendant of the gallant King Charles II. and Lady
Castlemaine—Pitched too high—Singing every one out—
"Chief of the Dunghill"—The scion of a lordly house—
Clothes or gin—Fortune smiles—But the lady declines—
Exeunt for ever ...... 100
Billings' fatherly kindness—Warning from another world—
Foiled — "Simple people" — Billy taken by Northern
Indians ....... 113
Billings decamps—The " Lovely Sally"—" Old Blowhard " and
his trials—A chieverie—" There's an uproar in  . 120 CONTENTS
Oolachans—Fugitives from tribal justice—Captives—Execution
—Bee-lee and his songs—Chuck-chuck, the hunchback—
The dangerous narrows—New camping ground        . . 135
Brothers of St. Louis—Sisters of St. Ann—Wife-hunter tries to
abduct a " Sister " from the Convent—The Captain goes in
search of Marthe Ann—Locked within the Convent—A crazy
man and a French " Sister "—Explanations and an offer    . 147
War canoes of the Northern Indians—How they are used—A
lying-in—A proposal for " Forest Lily "—The Grizzly and
the lost hunters—War-war in the lodge of Wa-huks-guin-
ala-you—Salmon—Clams—Spawn—Black bears—A mascot
—Going north . . . . . . 156
The " Hyack " Fire Brigade and its officers—The ladies had a
grievance—Chief of himself and a night-watchman—No
redress—A squaw dance-house—An old miner's counsel—
The wisdom of Solomon—Turn on the hose, and wash them
out      . . . . . . . .171
Making a Medicine Man among the Northern Indians—A child
eaten in cold blood—Four things to overcome : himself, the CONTENTS
forestj fire, and water—Great Councillor—Prophet and
soothsayer of the tribe—Squaw beaten to death—Indian
treatment of small-pox . . . . . 179
Chuck-chuck and Bee-lee—The ambition of Kwaw-kewlth—
Superstitious practices—The community house—A game
of guessing—Lasts for two days and nights—Winter
quarters—The " kequeally "-house    .... 188
"A pig in a poke "—A crowded equipage—A ranch hewn out of
the solid forest—Bears and pigs—Honey—Sympathy (?)—A
mountain stream—A ride in the dark . . . 196
Indians return to their Illehees—Trouble—Forest Lily and Blue
Bird abducted—Forest Lily brings Blue Bird back to ranch-
a-rie insane—The squaw's impassioned address to the Chief
exonerating the klootchmen (girls)—Young Grizzly swears
the Indian oath of revenge before the Chief Wa-huks-gum-
ala-you and the lodge of braves—Forest Lily plunges into
the "Path of Light"—" Would not live to be a reproach "
—War dance—White men massacred—Sloop burned—Goods
cached—Were the Indians to blame ? . . .
Building  winter  kequeally-houses—Peace and plenty—Kwaw-
kewlth at work—Hunting and fishing—Stories by the pine- Xll
knot fires—All times alike to the Indians—Bee-lee and
Chuck-chuck happy—Hai-dah proud and content—Work
and amusement in the kequeally-houses       . . . 217
Kwaw-kewlth'S cruel treachery—Death of the young northern
Chief—He-he watches and waits in vain—Dressing the skin
of a polar bear—An early spring-r-The fever epidemic—
The good Chief Wa-huks-gum-ala-you dies by Indian poison
—Kwaw-kewlth demands He-he in marriage, and would be
Chief—Wasted by witchcraft—Drive stakes through the man
to send away the evil spirit—One man goes Weh-ti-ko—A
carnival of cruelty      ......
Chuck-chuck and Bee-lee accused of bewitching the tribes—
He-he's subtlety—She escapes with her mother—The
talking paper of the white men—Chuck-chuck tortured and
buried alive—His resurrection defeats the ends of Kwaw-
kewlth—All the tribe leave the place for good—Bee-lee alone
—Rescued       ......
233 List of Illustrations
life CITY"     I ' -
" A merry heart goes all the day."
There had been more than the usual excitement and
tffcir in the barracks at Gravesend. A person would
wonder why. For the detachment, according to the
1 Naval and Military Intelligence," consisted of " 2
Officers, 1 Staff Assistant-Surgeon, 118 Non-commissioned Officers and Men, 81 women and 34 children,
the whole under the command of Captain H. R. Luard,
Troops leaving for the scene of the Indian Mutiny,
going with set lips and stern faces, knowing all they
left, but nothing of whom or what they would meet again
in this world, created less stir than this little knot of
people who were now preparing to leave England, but
not for 'the front.'
No! Amidst all the turmoil of war, and the horrors
of wholesale slaughter, the fever of gain had broken out 2 IN THE PATHLESS WEST
in a very far-off colony, which, till now, had been overrun by Indians, with whom the Hudson Bay Company
had carried on an extensive trade in furs. Here, gold
had been "struck" in rich quantities. "Poor man's
diggings 1 they are called, where every man with a
pan and a rocker can gain or lose, according to the
richness or poverty of his claim or his ability to
work it.
Placer mining, which paid fifty dollars for a day's
rocking, was anything but uncommon, and the news
of it flew fast and far, till sixty thousand miners had
flocked in from the United States, Australia, and, in
fact, the world over.
The law-abiding citizen was not in excess among
these hardy adventurers. The laws and regulations
which had been ample for the sway of the Hudson Bay
Company over the Western Savages were powerless now,
when the tents of these thousands were hastily pitched
on the banks of the Fraser, somewhere near the present
town of New Westminster, and they proceeded to
administer their several codes of "miners' law."
The country was then known as New Caledonia, but
the name was changed to British Columbia, and for
more than a quarter of a century later it is safe to
assert that ninety-nine people out of a hundred would
look at you if you mentioned the name, and say
vaguely, "British Columbia?—where is that?"
The barracks, as we saw, were unusually excited, for
this little band of men with their families had volunteered for the far-off service, where they were to meet IN THE  PATHLESS WEST 3
the Red Savage in his war-paint and feathers, his cruel
tortures and his stealthy onslaughts.
To open warfare they were callous enough, but to
meet these people of whom so little was known and so
much surmised, had the element of romance, of adventure in it, and they felt justified in allowing themselves
to grow even excited.
As the detachment marched out to the lively music
of their band, a little boy, dressed in a brown alpaca
suit, having a diagonal band with large white buttons
across it, and wearing a straw hat, ran to the side of a
surly-looking man whose dark brows beetled over his
bilious-looking eyes, and handed him his gloves, clean
and nice to put on. He took them, looked sulkily at
the little fellow, and, as the officer's attention was engaged elsewhere, slashed the child across the eyes with
them. Some of the onlookers called him ugly names,
but the boy gulped back the tears, and marched along
beside the company, carrying a little basket his mother
had given him of handy comforts for the first few days
of sea-sickness. She was an experienced traveller, having
been born in the Bermudas, and since then generally
out on some foreign station. The man we noticed was
her third husband, the boy the son of her second. She
was a neat little body, evidently the senior of this man,
and as evidently in delicate health.
Gravesend, so accustomed to the departure of troops,
also came out, and the streets were thronged as the
little band passed through.
In the hold of the ship a number of fixed bunks had 4
been put up for the accommodation of the families, like
shelves one above the other, and here the women taxed
their ingenuity to gain something like privacy.
Captain Marsh had provided the company with paper,
&c, by which they might establish a weekly newspaper.
This made its first appearance amidst a flourish of
trumpets on November 6, 1858, as the great event of
an eventful year, although such things as the "Relief
of Lucknow and Cawnpore, the suppression of the Indian
Mutiny, the completion of the Persian and Chinese wars,
the extension of telegraphic communication, the appearance of the comet, the marriage of the Princess Royal,
the Queen's visit to Cherbourg, &c, &c," had all transpired the same year. It was called the Emigrant
Soldiers' Gazette and Cape Horn Chronicle, and was
presented to the "citizens' written by hand. This
marvellous production came out every Saturday night,
and all hands, officers, ladies, children, and soldiers
assembled on the poop to hear it read by Lieutenant
Palmer. " Great was the dressing and primping to go
and hear it—just like going to a theatre at home," said
one of the participants, talking of it years after.
The E. S. G. and C. H. C. of November 20, 1858,
speaking of the reason for sending these men, says:
"It at once occurred to Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton,
the Colonial Minister, that great advantage would accrue
to the Colony could a body of men be sent out possessed
at once of military and scientific acquirements, inasmuch
as, while in their military capacity they could give all
the   necessary  support   to   Governor   Douglas,   their
mechanical and scientific labours would contribute in
a most important degree to the improvement and
colonisation of the country. For such a body he
turned to the Corps of Royal Engineers, where the
Gall for volunteers was speedily responded to, and the
Times shortly afterwards, speaking of this Corps with
reference to the present expedition, said, in a leading
article on the subject, 'Whenever Her Majesty's Government want a body of skilful, intelligent, and industrious
mechanics to perform any task requiring peculiar judgment, energy, and accuracy, such as the arrangement
of a Great Exhibition, the execution of an accurate
National Survey, and so on, or even the construction
of houses, roads, and bridges, in a new Colony, they
have only to turn to the Corps of Royal Engineers and
they find all the material they want.'
" Considering, therefore, the circumstances attendant
on the despatch of the expedition, there appears no
doubt that we have been selected for a duty of trust
and importance, and that on our exertions much depends.
The Corps looks to us, Her Majesty's Government looks
to us, and the Country looks to us, and all expect great
things from us. Let us not disappoint, but show ourselves sensible of the honour conferred upon us, and
endeavour to prove ourselves worthy of the same: Let
us each in our various capacities do our best to aid this
work, and let us fdlfil cheerfully and contentedly the
duties we may be called upon to perform, and above all
things remember and stick to the words of the old motto
—' Ubique quo fas et gloria ducunt.' "
111 It
So much for what the editor says. The following
contribution to the E. S. G. and C. H. G. speaks
for what the people themselves mean to do.
| We are bound for the land where the swift rapids flow,
Where the mountains soar high, and are crested with snow,
Where the bufflo roams free, in the soft sunny shade,
And the bold forest stretches o'er valley and glade.
Then, hurrah! for Columbia, Columbia the fair,
For the pear, and the plum, and the apple are there;
And who shall dare say that we'll ever repine,
As we laugh, dance, and sing o'er the fruit of the vine?
We are bound for the land where all nature roams free,
By the Fraser's bold flood rolling down to the sea;
Where the red savage yells his " war whoop " o'er the plain,
In his mantle of skin, of the brute he has slain.
Chorus—Then, hurrah! &c.
We are bound for the land where the cataracts roar,
Where we'll spear the sweet salmon as upwards they soar;
When the bright dancing sunbeams awaken the morn,
We'll bring down with our rifle the Elk and Bighorn, j
Chorus—Then, hurrah! &c.
Though my muse sings of comforts and joys that are there,
There are dangers, but none we're not willing to dare;
And though perils surround us as upward we go,
Still upward we'll climb to those regions of snow.
Chorus—Then, hurrah! &c.
We'll teach the red savage the use of the spade,
And his ploughshare shall turn the rich mould of the glade;
And his anvil shall ring, tho' his visage looks grave,
As we tell of Old England the free and the brave.
Chorus—Then, hurrah! <fec." IN THE PATHLESS WEST 7
This was set to the tune of "Bonny Dundee," and
many a night sent its rousing tones and its stirring
chorus over the waters of old Ocean.
But the editor had a hard time of it to suit everybody,
where all had access to his office, Starboard Front
Cabin, Thames City. " A friend of mine," he says,
" who has an universal contempt for poetry and poets in
general, was engaged one day in an animated argument
with me on this subject, and after putting down the
whole race of poets as thorough humbugs, and ridiculing
the slight deviations in grammatical construction, order,
&c, which we all know necessarily exist in poetry, gave
me the following lines, composed by himself, as illustrative of his idea of the sort of humbug produced by
poets in general. Whether they are humbug or not I
leave my readers to decide.
" * As I have seen on Alps recumbent height
The storm-fed lion pulverise the light;
So have I seen an enigmatic bat
Fly through the zenith in a slip-shod hat.
Down where wild mountains roll th' imperial barge,
Gave to great Hancock's men peculiar charge;
To drive full tilt against subjunctive mood,
And fatten padlocks on antarctic food.' " CHAPTER II
It is an old and a very true saying that ' Time and
tide wait for no man.'
" Years roll on and anniversaries come round in
regular succession, with no possibility of their progress
being stayed by any human effort. The 5th of November has passed, a day which we cannot refrain from
briefly noticing, famous as it is for the miraculous
preservation of a King, Court, and Parliament from
destruction by a gang of desperate conspirators in the
year 1605. In all countries, and in none more so than
our own, the various events of which anniversaries are
celebrated are brought vividly to our remembrance by
the observance of old forms and customs, j Yesterday,
for instance, in England, in every town or village
capable of producing a few dozen small boys, might
have been seen grotesque figures, supposed to represent the conspirator, Guy Fawkes, carried about
triumphantly, hatless, bootless, coatless, or otherwise,
according to the peculiar tastes of the boys in question.
Whether the image represents the pope, a cardinal, a
soldier, a sailor, an old clothes-man, or even Calcraft
himself, it is all the same to the boys provided the Guy
(we cannot call him Guy Fawkes) looks as horrible a
miscreant as possible, their great end and object being
after carrying him about all the morning, subject during
the exhibition to be kicked, cuffed, pelted, and sometimes even decapitated, in a manner that defies description, to bear him off and make a final end of him the
same night in a large bonfire, yelling and screaming
with exultation at the just punishment inflicted on so
atrocious a conspirator.    So much for Guy Fawkes.
" Since the year 1854, however, we have other great
cause to remember this anniversary, for it was on the
5th of November in that year that England's heroes
fought so manfully and successfully in the valley of Inker-
man, to support the honour and glory of their country.
Let the memory of the brave fellows who fell on that
day be honoured among us, and may we ever continue
to respect, honour, and value those who remain, and
at all times let us keep in mind that if we have cause to
remember with thankfulness the preservation of King
James I. and his Parliament on the 5th of November,
1605, we have equal cause for thankfulness to that
Providence which gave success to our arms, and for
gratitude and respect to the brave heroes who fought
and bled in their country's cause at Inkerman on the
5th of November, 1854."—E. S. G. and C. H. C.
There were those listening to this article whose hair
was beginning to whiten in the service of their country,
and who had been all through the Russian campaign.
One of them, Sergeant McMurphy, was a quiet man of
medium stature, but erect and military in every move, 10 IN THE PATHLESS WEST
not a favourite either, for his discipline was very strict,
not to say austere. He had never been courtmartialled
or in the guard-house once, and couldn't " see what the
young fellows wanted, getting put in there."
It being a festive occasion, he wore his medals, seven
of them: one for " long service and good conduct" ; the
clasp and medal for Sebastopol; one from the Turkish
Government; another " Balaklava"; the Cape of
Good Hope; " Inkerman " ; and a small bronze medal
from the Emperor of the French.
The men talked of old times, of narrow escapes, of
comrades cut off or disabled, and the women and
children lingered on deck, loath to go below till
" Lights out " sounded.
"Mac," as he was called, seldom spoke of his past,
but a young fellow whose good conduct had won the
Sergeant's regard, asked him why the Emperor of the
French had given him a medal.
"Mac" took his pipe from his mouth, and in his
quiet, unruffled manner, said—
" It was just this way. I was working in the
trenches, laying a mine towards the Redan. The
Russians were firing from their forts in front of us,
when I looked over the earthworks and saw a man of
the 90ths, who had been on my party, wounded and
lying exposed to the Russian guns. ' I can't stand
that,' I says to Dave Simpson, 'I'm going to fetch
him in.'
" 'You'll get killed,' he says.
" I can't help it.   If I do get killed  and you go
home, tell the wife the last word I spoke was her name.
He glanced somewhat shyly at the fine, large-built
woman who sat near him on a coil of rope, with a small
child leaning upon her knees.
" I went out. The Russian guns were firing and the
man was heavy, more than my own weight. I got him
on my knee first; shots were raining all around us.
Then between lifting and dragging I got him inside the
works. Such a shout as went up all along our line I
never shall forget. General Simpson, he came and
said, 'It was well done.' Captain Wolseley, of the
90ths, at that time attached to the Royal Engineers,
came up too, and said, ' I know that man, don't I ? -
" ' One of your men, sir,' I said.
"'By Jove! so it is,' and he called the man by
name, for he knew every man under his charge.
' You'll hear of this again.    What's your name ?'
" I told him; and, sure enough, I did hear again, for
the Queen sent me three pounds, I got special mention,
and this medal from the Emperor."
" Did you ever get wounded, Sergeant ? "
"Never had blood drawn on me. I was standing
behind the rockwork of a fortification when a cannon-
ball knocked down the wall, and gave me such a blow
on the head I went down with it, but," with a shake of
his head and a smile, " up and at it, up and at it, no
time to stop and think there.
" I felt rather low-spirited the night before the taking
of the Redan, sitting in the trenches and thinking
of the missus there."    The wife turned an approving
glance upon him from her bright, dark eyes as she sat
with her strong arms folded over the broad expanse of
clean brown holland apron. He nodded to her and
continued, " So I got one of the candles we used to
make in camp, just fat run into a little box with a piece
of rag twisted in for a wick, and set to work to write
and tell her what was to be done to-morrow, and "
" Yes! " she interrupted, " a nice letter it was too.
He said if he fell to-morrow, I was to be sure the last
thought would be for the little ones (we had two then)
and me. I was very near my confinement with my
eldest daughter, and it was troubling him if I should
get through all right. He told me to be sure and bring
Johnny, that's our eldest son, up to do his duty, and
he'd fight his best to-morrow, whatever happened, for
his Queen and his country. I was in Woolwich at that
time, and we had an old aunt who used to go out
nursing among the Court ladies. She was very good to
me then, and used to send me ten shillings most weeks;
and very fond of John she was, and thought he didn't
write half often enough. She liked to get his letters,
she said; they ' made her feel so bad!'
" Just when this letter came to me she was nursing
Lady Emily Seymour with her eighth baby. She wrote
and sent me some money, and complained John hadn't
written to her. So I just took this letter of his and sent
it right to her.
"When she walked into the sick-room her ladyship
saw she'd been crying, and said, ' What is it, Nurse
Henry ?   You've been crying—what's the matter ? ' IN THE PATHLESS WEST
" She told her ladyship she'd had a letter from her
nephew, written in the trenches before the Redan;
such a nice letter he'd written to his wife, but she was
afraid he'd never come out of that battle alive; and
began to cry again.
" ' Let me see the letter, Nurse, I'm sure his wife
won't mind.' So after a little reluctance the old lady
gave it to her. She read it and she said, ' I shall keep
this, nurse, and show it to the Colonel when he comes
home. He's going to a Drawing Room to-morrow, and
he'll give it to Her Majesty.' Aunt, she was quite
alarmed at this, but the lady was firm, and the letter
reached the hand of the Queen. She in turn read it,"
and the Sergeant's wife brightened and expanded,
" Then Her Majesty said, ' This is a brave soldier and
a good husband;' that's what the Queen herself said;
and that wasn't all, either, for she gave the letter to
her secretary and told him to send me five pounds.
' The poor woman will want some nourishment after her
confinement,' she said. Her Most Gracious Majesty
thought of nourishment for me ! I've had two children
before, and no one had troubled themselves about
' nourishment!'
"When that money came to me I felt so proud and
rich. Much as I needed it, the good words of Her
Majesty were more to me!"
All attention was now given to a powerful bass voice
which floated out over the hot ocean. According to the
E. S. G. and C. H. C. it was " a song written and
sung by Corporal John Brown, of the Grenadier Guards, my J
when the men got some drink for the first time at
Balaklava, September 28, 1854. Printed afterwards in
Blackwood'$ Magazine."
" Come all you gallant British hearts, that love the red and blue,
And drink the health of those brave lads who made the Russians
Then fill the glass and let it pass, three times three and one more,
For the twentieth of September, eighteen hundred fifty-four.
We sailed from Kalamita Bay and soon we made the coast,
Determined we would do our best, in spite of brag or boast;
We sprung to land upon the strand, and slept on Russia's shore,
On the fourteenth of September, eighteen hundred fifty-four.
We marched along until we came upon the Alma's banks,
We halted just beneath their lines to breathe and close our ranks.
' Advance,' we heard, and at the word across the brook we bore
On the twentieth of September, eighteen hundred fifty-four.
We clambered through their clustering grapes, then came the
battle's brunt,
Our officers all cheered us on, our colours waved in front;
There fighting well full many fell, alas ! to rise no more,
On the twentieth of September, eighteen hundred fifty-four.
The French they had the right that day and flanked the Russian
Whilst full upon their front they saw the British bayonets shine;
We gave three cheers, which stunned their ears amidst the cannon's
On the twentieth of September, eighteen hundred fifty-four.
A picnic party Mentschikof. had asked to share the fun,
The ladies came at twelve o'clock to see the battle won;
They found the day too hot to stay, and the Prince felt rather sore,
On the twentieth of September, eighteen hundred fifty-four.
For when he called his carriage up the French came up likewise,
And so he took French leave at once and left them to the prize;
The Chasseurs took his pocket-book, the Zouaves they sacked his
On the twentieth of September, eighteen hundred fifty-four.
A letter to Old Nick they found, and this was what it said,
' To meet their bravest men, my Liege, your Russians do not
But devils them, not mortal men, the Russian General swore,
Drove them off the heights of Alma in September, fifty-four.
Here's a health to noble Raglan, to Campbell and to Brown,
And to all the gallant Frenchmen who share that day's renown,
Whilst we displayed the black cockade, and they the tri-colour,
The Russian hue was black and blue in September, fifty-four.
One more toast we must drink to-night, your glasses take in hand,
And here around the festive board in solemn silence stand,
Before we part let each true heart drink to those no more,
Who fought their fight on Alma's height in September, fifty-four.
And now God bless our Gracious Queen and all her royal race,
And may her boys become her joys, still keep the foremost place,
For in the van each Englishman oft saw their sires of yore,
Brave Cambridge showed the royal road in September, fifty-four."
A few minutes later the bugle sounded " Lights out,"
and every one went below. CHAPTER IH
I Conundrum.—Why is the visitor we expect at the Equator like a
man looking for the philosopher's stone ?
"Answeb.—Because he is a seeking (sea-king) what never was."
—E. S. G. and C. H. C.
Onward plunged the good ship, straining and groaning.
They were now in the torrid zones, sometimes becalmed
for days, sweltering between decks, broiling above. The
men had to parade with necks and feet bare. The band
ceased to practise in the afternoons, and instead played
during the long, light evenings; even then the heat
made their instruments sound so flat that the bandmaster fretted and fumed in the hot night-air. All over
the decks were the women, in every stage of wifehood
and motherhood; the children only were irrepressible,
and had to have their fun. Extra lime-juice was served
One hardship they felt, and that was that the potatoes
began to be stinted. There were plenty on board, but
these were expected to last the whole voyage. A water-
tanls;, somewhere near the " Dovecot"—as the married
people's quarters were called—being empty, it was
thought best to fill it with the  precious vegetable.
Accordingly a bulkhead in this tank was opened, and
the sailors proceeded to carry the large English sacks of
these coveted dainties through the Dovecot before the
longing eyes of the women and children. At last a big
North Country woman could stand it no longer, and as
several men were passing through she stepped up behind
the last man and ripped a hole in his sack with a long,
sharp carving-knife. Those in front could only hear a
spill, and imagined the sack of one of their mates had
given way. She moved quickly from lust to first with
the same big carving-knife and the same deft cut, and
before either of the sailors had reached the tank the
contents of every sack were scattered over the quarters,
and ere you could say "Jack," much less "Robinson,"
thirty-one women and thirty-three children had gone
down on all-fours and gathered up every potato, stowing
them away in their bunks, boxes, and trunks for future
use. The men who had carried the tubers could neither
of them call the other " smut," for they were all " in
the same box," so they looked at each other, scratched
their heads, threw the ripped and empty sacks into the
tank, and departed. What could the poor men do
among so many doves and dovelings ? Many were the
cookings they had when they could get on the good side
of the coloured gentleman who presided over the caboose
to let them boil their pots and have their private
Sharks now began to appear in the waters round them,
attended by the pretty little pilot fish, about as large as
a herring, their backs alternately barred transversely
3 18
with bands of brown and azure. The men would bait
great hooks and fish over the bulwarks for the sharks,
when they declared they saw two of the pilot fish direct a
shark's attention to the baited hook; whilst on another
occasion four of these small attendants on the ugly
monsters as carefully tried to prevent their huge companion from taking the tempting morsel. When, yielding at last to his voracious appetite, he swallowed bait
and hook and was being hauled up, one of the little fish
clung to his side as long as he was able.
One day they got a porpoise on board, and there was
a great time, the men sticking it with their swords, and
it fighting back. But no one cared for the eating of it,
so they let the porpoises alone after that.
What was most prized was the albatross, which, after
taking the baited hook, would come flopping and fighting
over the bulkhead, and there remain, powerless to get
away, as the great stretch of their wings made it impossible for them to take flight from a solid substance like
the deck of a ship. They tried to tame one of them,
but it was without effect. The men used to take the
padded air cushions from their feet after they were
killed, dry and dress them for tobacco pouches; and
excellent ones they made; some of them are still in
Here's an item from the E. S. G. and C. H. C. of
November 27th: " This morning a flying-fish flew on
board about 4 o'clock a.m.; after considerable struggling he was eventually caught by the second officer on
board and put into a bucket to keep fresh, but unfor-
tunately he was nabbed by the cat by way of breakfast
about 8 a.m."
Later on we shall have the obituary of this same cat
to write. At present graver events portend, for notice
has been given of a royal visitant, and much flutter and
many quakings are the consequence.
In the Gazette of November 20th the following notice
had appeared under the head of Advertisements :—
" Great Attraction !
" The manager of the above Theatre has the honour
to announce to the inhabitants of the City that he has,
with considerable difficulty and immense expense, succeeded in securing the valuable services of the following
histrionic artists, viz.:—
Charles Sinnett.
Geo. Eaton.
John Meade.
Charles Derham.
Henry J. Benny.
Wm. A. Franklin.
James B. Landers.
James TurnbuU.
James H. Elliott.
James Digby.
" The Theatre has undergone considerable alterations,
and every attention has been paid to the comfort and
convenience of the audience. The scenery, dresses, and
properties are entirely new and of a first-class description.
" On Wednesday, the 24th instant, will be produced
for the first time at this Theatre that laughable and
interesting Farce by G. Almar, entitled— IN THE PATHLESS WEST
' Crossing the Line ; or, Crowded Houses.'
Wouverman von Broom
Wouter von Broom
Bluffenburg ..
von Brent
Estelle de Burgh
Pomona Vondertviller
Leader of the Orchestra
A Boat Builder
A Pilot
A Workman ,.
A Sailor
A Lawyer
Ward of Wouverman   H. J. Benny.
An Oyster Girl        ..    J. Mead.
C. Derham.
C. Sinnett.
G. Eaton.
J. H. Elliott.
J. Turnbull.
William Haines.
During the evening several songs and dances will
be contributed. E___r Doors open at 6.30 p.m., performance to commence at 7 o'clock precisely.
"Alfred R. Howse, Manager."
At the appointed time Old Neptune came aboard.
He looked pretty rough, with rope beard and tarpaulin
clothes, and a great three-pronged pitchfork in his hand,
as he came over the side quite real like. The rest of
the company were with him, carrying a pail of hot tar,
a big brush, hoop-iron razors, and a bag of feathers.
Mrs. Neptune had a queer-looking baby along too, and
she didn't know very well what to do with it.
They had a tarpaulin of salt water on the poop, and sat
up in front of it like judge and jury. The soldiers were
brought one by one and put on trial. If they could
prove they had crossed the line before, they were
allowed to go. If not, well, they were tarred, feathered,
scraped, seized upon by the officers of Neptune's Court
by their arms and legs, and thrown over into the tarpaulin of water. IN THE PATHLESS WEST
Such shouting, running, and hiding as there were,
you would have thought they were going to be killed.
They even went into the forbidden ground of the Dovecot,
and hung on to the gowns of the women. But it
wasn't any good, they all had to take the barbering and
the bath. Some of them, who bowed to the inevitable
with a good grace, sang—
" Cheer up, my lively lads,
We'll all get shaved together."
The E. S. G. and C. H. C. of the following week thus
speaks of the performance: " 'All the world's a stage,
the men and women merely players ' and 'playgoers,'
if one might venture to add a single word to anything
written by the great Shakespeare, and, as some excuse
for the liberty we have taken, we would beg to allude to
the opening of the theatrical season on Wednesday
evening last, when the superb scenery and fine acting
were only equalled by the gratification and approval
loudly evinced by a delighted audience in all parts of
the house. It is our glory and pride as Englishmen on
all occasions to place the fair sex foremost, and we
accordingly commence by noticing the two bright stars
who have risen in the theatrical firmament, Miss Bridget
Meade and Miss Mary Benny, both of whom, by their
quiet ease and elegance oh the stage, and by the propriety of their diction, gave great promise of future
excellence." The Editor goes on with his eulogy as
though the twain had really been of the gentler sex. 22 IN THE PATHLESS WEST
Then he gives the sterner sex, as the sterner sex, their
due, and the manager speaks his piece, a—
" There is not one of us who does not love
At night to search the clear calm skies above,
To watch the light clouds drifting o'er the moon,
And wait for stars we know are coming soon.
And is there one of us who does not cast
Across the magic line we have just passed,
In the deep night when lights are bugled out,
A thought on England, fogs, and ' London stout,'
The shrimps, the prawns, the winkles of the shores
Of that dear land an Englishman adores ?
And don't we now and then besides remember
The plays that we have gone to in November,
The little stalls that decorate the streets,
Containing oysters, pettitoes and sweets ?
And these delights, are they for ever o'er ?
Shall crowds no longer crowd the playhouse door ?
Yes; be it known we've entered on the line
Theatrical, great talents here combine
To reproduce the play of Wednesday morning,
When Neptune, after Tuesday evening's warning,
Called with his wife and officers of state,
Whose shirts had collars of the latest date,
Collars so shapely that they well might be
The envy of that swell, Lieutenant P	
Then all men bent in awe at Neptune's rule,
Save some brought forward like great boys to school,
And Hughy Price,* who kept his legs below,
And trembled at his ' Sadder's ' overthrow.
At last perhaps our curtain we may raise,
And, when it drops, we hope for some small praise ;
Meanwhile we make no promises but these,
That we will do our very best to please,
And trust to frighten no one by our story,
As Neptune did by kissing Fanny Morey."
  W. H.
* Hughy Price was a tailor. CHAPTER IV
The citizens to rest have gone,
The modn wanes on our lea,
The fresh'ning breeze with cheerful tone,
Sweeps o'er the dark-blue sea.
The dolphin leaps from wave to wave,
In phosphorescence bright,
The flying-fish himself to save,
Eludes his foe by flight.
Our gallant ship with clipper stern,
Ploughs through the moonlight sea,
But England still is loved by them
Who now repose in thee.
And though they travel o'er the main,
Their thoughts revert to home ;
Take courage then, my merry men,
Wherever you may roam.
Bold chanticleer with loud, clear voice,
Proclaims the approaching dawn,
The gold-tinged clouds bid all rejoice,
And hail the smiling morn.
Predicate of our future joys,
In our far-distant land,
Arouse you then, my merry boys,
And lend a helping hand.
Time heavy hangs, the day seems long,
Yet jovial we can be,
To-night we have our round of song,
All join in harmony.
To-night we read our own Gazette,
When gathered in a ring,
To-night on equal terms all meet,
With heart and voice to sing.
We have no store, no sordid wealth,
Though we may see the day,
But social intercourse and health
Will cheer us on our way.
As brethren we will still remain,
And jovial we will be,
Then let us all, my merry men,
In unity agree."
E. S. G. and C. H. C, December 18, 1858, " Thames City:'
There was little more of interest, but much more of
the monotony, which began to pall upon the "Citizens."
They had their weekly readings, their weekly theatricals,
their daily music, when the weather permitted; but the
women grew querulous and got along less amicably
together, the children were more troublesome, and
Sapper Woods, who sat patiently and carved dolls and
horses of wondrous symmetry out of stray pieces of wood,
found them less easy to please.    The weather was be-
coming boisterous, Christmas was coming on, and headwinds stayed their course. They had hoped to spend
that happy season on terra firma, and they stood in
disconsolate groups and studied, for that week, the
E. S. G. and C. H. C.
During the Past Week.
Miles Eun.
12th ..
..   40°38'S.
....   47°50'W.  .
.. S.E. 100 m.
13th  ..
..   42°15'S.
....   47°47'W. .
... S JE. 88 m.
14th  ..
..  44°28'S.
,...   48°35'W. .
.. S.b.W.£W.139m.
15th  .
..  45°11'S.
....  48°55'W. ..
.. S.b.W£W.46m.
16th  ..
..  46°27'S.
....  49°40'W. .
... S.S.W. 82m.
17th ..
..   47°57'S.
....   50°53'W.  ..
.. S.b.W. 91m.
18th  .
...  48°33' S.
....  51°08'W. .
... S.JW. 96m.
To-day at noon Port William bore S.S.W., 332 miles.
" We were happy to hear yesterday morning that the
Commanding Officer had at length issued an order that
of late has been much wished for, viz., that we are not
for the present to be required to show feet at the
morning parades. The certainty that our as yet tender
'understandings' would for many a day have to be
exposed to a somewhat uncongenial climate, and that,
like young bears, all our troubles are before us, has
no doubt induced him to allow us to preserve our extremities from the frosty blasts of the South Atlantic"
But Christmas brought its charms. To be sure, there
was no suet for the plum-puddings, but an ingenuous
soul thought of soaking out the salt from fat pork and
chopping that up to do duty in place of the missing 26
article. Their thoughts reverted to home and friends,
of course, but the commissariat department put out its
best efforts, and they had a jolly time. Plum-pudding,
extra grog, snapdragon for the children, music and
songs for the elders, and a dance for all. The letter of
an Irishman to his mamma will best tell us of this.
After sundry other things he says :—
" But I suppose you will be wantin' to know how I
passed the Christmas. Well, I must begin by tellin'
ye that the divil a thimbleful of whiskey crossed me
lips, nor as much as the claw of a goose; though by
the same token we had a very good dinner, an' as much
grog as was good for us; an' in the evenin' we had
what they call a ball. Och ! may I niver! if that
wasn't a ball! It was exactly like dancin' on the slant
of a housetop. I'm thinkin' if you just had a peep at
us you'd scarcely have thought we were in our sinses.
I thried me hand at a jig, but no sooner did I lift me
leg than I put it down agin two or three yards off, an'
thryin' a bit of a twurl I was landed in the lap of a lady
that was restin' herself. Toords the ind of the fun we
had the kissin' dance, I think they call it; we all stood
round in a ring, and one of the ladies came curtseyin'
round, somethin' like the pet horse in a circus, wid a
bolsther before her, till she stopped and kneeled down
before some wan she liked, and then he'd kneel down
on the bolsther before her, an' then—but I'll tell ye no
more about it, except that wan came up to me an' put
the bolsther down, when jist as I was sayin' to meself,
' Divil mind ye, Pat, but yer the lucky man afther all,' mar
she snatched up the bolsther an' away she pranced. I
didn't care at any rate to have much to do with thim
(betune me an' you), for they were so mighty feared of a
Row that they wor holdin' up the tails of aach ithers
ooats for fear of threadd*' on them. I've no more to
say this time, mother, except that Judy an' I had some
words about some shuet, but she's behaved herself purty
will since. Hopin' this'll find yerself an' the pig well
an' thrivin',
" I remain, your jutiful son,
" Sap Green."
*■■ I"!
Four days later they hove in sight of Stanley Harbour,
Port William, where the pilot who put out to meet them
looked as if he might be the " Ancient Mariner," so
wrinkled, withered, and weather-beaten was he, and so
worn and aged were his sea-going togs. One eye he
had lost in his fight with the elements, the other was
cocked into the corner as if trying to look round the
" Horn." v| '1
When he had taken us into Stanley Harbour a Consul
came to meet us in a small boat, and was hailed over
the side by some of the citizens anxious to know how
many herrings he had with him. They wanted to begin
their dissipations at once, and were greatly disappointed
that he was only in an official capacity.
There was not much delay, however, in the arrival of
the first bumboat, laden with wild geese of an enormous
size and plenty of fresh vegetables, but no soft tommy
and no potatoes.
A dark, tall, Spanish-looking man was in charge of
the geese. He bestrode his merchandise for safe keeping. He seemed surprised to see so many red-coats,
and was astonished at the swarm of women and children
who surrounded him. But his very caution put an idea
into the heads of the young fellows, who never lost an opportunity of bringing in their fun. Whilst the Spaniard
was bargaining and haggling with those in front of him,
making change and pocketing his cash, some one behind
drew a goose from the pile, and handing it back, others
passed it on; several in this way descended the hatch
out of sight, till, looking down at his diminishing wares,
he saw a head disappearing, and, turning quickly, comprehended the joke which was being played upon him.
He raised a great fuss, but he might have saved himself
the trouble, for the men paid for them, delighted to get
the change of diet.
They had geese galore, a thumping Ghristmas dinner,
and a dance afterwards, in which many of the islanders
joined. They didn?t have to perform with the floor at
an angle either, but they had a " real good time," such
music as theirs being a grand treat to the visitors.
On shore they kept Dean's Store busy; " Butter's,
Cyprian's, and Rudd's " had cause to remember the
detachment. A watchmaker's shop attracted the attention of the children, for in the window stood the image
of a man with a clock in his stomach. Here they would
stand in crowds and wonder many things as the automaton nodded away at them.
The quiet of the staid little old-fashioned place was
broken, but alas ! for great expectations, there were
neither soft tommy nor potatoes to be had. Quiet it
must have been in every respect, for it took only one
old man to act as guardian of the peace, and his name
n> 30
of 1 constable " was to save appearances more than for
Now red coats, smart petticoats, and jaunty bonnets
made the grim place lively. The unusual, in the shape
of women and children, touched the hearts of the lonely
islanders, and they opened their doors in the most hospitable manner, and many were the cosy teas our women
sat at and talked and talked and talked to their heart's
content. One comfort—they could say what they liked
about each other and raise no racket, for they would be
miles away round the stormy Horn before these people
had time to compare notes.
Many were the bonnets and dresses they fixed up too
for their hostesses, and many a day were they worn and
admired, and reminiscences of the bright faces and
cheerful sayings of the visitors called up.
Some wandered to the penguinary, where acres of
land were laid in regular streets of penguin habitations,
and where the queer birds with their gay plumage, little
finny wings, and legs set far back, marched and countermarched by thousands in an almost upright position,
" like soldiers on parade."
There were a pair of king penguins on the Governor's
lawn, who looked at each other as if trying to get up a
conversation, but nothing did they find to say. All had
been said that could be thought of, and nothing new
had occurred till this astonishing rush of people came
up from the ocean, who patted their heads, stroked their
soft breasts, and admired them till even a penguin's
vanity was satisfied. IN THE PATHLESS WEST
Fancy took others to stretch their legs in exploring
the island. These saw the wonderful " river of stones."
They climbed the bleak and barren mountains, they
searched in vain for trees, they visited the lighthouse
keeper, and overpowered him with the torrent of their
words, for he had been silent so long that he had almost
forgotten what to say.
Colonel Moody, who was to take charge of the
detachment in British Columbia, had once been
Governor of these islands, and several of the men had
been here with him, so the whole community felt as if
they had suddenly come into a legacy of friends, and
they couldn't do too much for them in the way of
homelv entertainment.
A Mr. Huthlicaut (pronounced " Hulicaw") was contemplating marriage; in fact, this same contemplation
had lasted for some years, and might even have continued for ever had not this lively crowd arrived and
given him the prospect of a " braw weddin'." He
finished his contemplation business, and hurried up his
preparations. The bride-to-be was nothing loth, for
here were willing hands with ready shears to cut her
wedding dress out of any material she might choose, and
from any pattern she would prefer.
Being well fixed, Mr. Huthlicaut gave carte blanche
to the willing workers, who were only too glad to get
into a house with a truly * kitchen again. They turned
up their skirts in front, pinned them behind, hunted out
some blue checked aprons with large bibs, and strings
* Real. 32
half-way down, with which they tied all snug and taut.
Then they went to work with mops and brooms; they
scoured and scrubbed and cleaned, till " Old Huli'
hardly knew his own house. Others made haggis and
Irish stews, cakes and pasties, soups and stuffings,
sauces, gravies and salads, puffs and tarts, and I don't
know what all, soft tommy not excepted. They skewered
up roasts, and made such glorious waste it did their
very souls good. We will let the " Muse " of the City
tell of the wedding. Corporal Sinnett sang it to them
afterwards when they were again on " salt horse one
day, salt pork the next, and hard tack all the time," till
their mouths watered, and they wished they had had
only "the crumbs that once they threw away."
I'll sing ye, lads, a Falkland sang,
Wi' thumpin' chorus loud and lang,
I'll tell ye o' the gleesome thrang,
At Huthlicaut's brau weddin' 0.
The first that cam' was Geordie Cann,
Then Osment too and Wolfenden,
Wi' Jock McMurphy, Dick Bridgeman,
Cam' skippin' to the weddin' 0.
There Beauty's smiles baith blithe an' brau,
Wad grace a palace, cot, or ha',
Fair dimpled cheeks wi'out a flau,
At Huthlicaut's brau weddin' 0.
There was Morey too and Rogerson,
An' Lindsay cam' to join the fun,
An' Smith cam' ere the feast begun,
At Huthlicaut's brau weddin' 0. IN THE PATHLESS WEST
There was Normansell and blithe Woodcock,
An' Launders cam' to join the flock,
An' Sinnett wi' his dirty smock,
Gid faith ! he marred that weddin' 0.
There was short wee Flux and tall Whitmore,
0' rantin' blades some twa threescore,
Muhro and Digby, Hand an' Soar,
Cam' all to join the weddin' 0.
There was White, R.A., and \ brudder ' Yates,
The bairns that ha' the brimfiu' pates,
An' Howell climerin' oure the gates,
Was no behint the weddin' 0.
There was Noble too an'' Major ' Green,
Alexander, Baker, and Jock Linn,
An' Liddell too, tho' scarcely seen, —
Gin modest at that weddin' 0.
There was Harvey, Murray, Hume an' Scales,
An' Maynard too wha' mak's the pails,
An' Haynes was there wha never fails
To be at sic a weddin' 0.
There was tailor Walsh an' tailor Reid,
An' tailor Hughes an' wee Jock Meade,
An' Layman faith 1 enjoyed the feed
At Huthlicaut's brau weddin' O.
There was Derham, Franklin, Frost an' Mills,
An' Shannon o' the whiskey stills,
' An' Shannon fra' far Limerick's hills,
Cam' loupin' to the weddin' 0.
Argyle from i Brum' an' Mould from Hants,
An' Cockney Wood, wi' oilskin pants,
The town was deaned wi' songs an' rants,
At Huthlicaut's brau weddin' 0.
There was Foster, Conroy, Haig, an' Jones,
Rab Stephens too wi' giant bones,
Ye'd laugh to hear the tables' groans
At Huthlicaut's brau weddin' 0. I
Wi' haggises an' fine cail soups,
Wi' brandy, wines, an' mint-juleps,
Wi' gid brown ale full mony stoups
At Huthlicaut's brau weddin' 0.
Wi' ham, an' beef, an' mutton too,
Wi' Athol brose an' Irish stew,
Wi' pies an' pasties not a few,
At Huthlicaut's brau weddin' O.
Wi' livers too, an' hearts an' lights,
Losh ! how they stared to see sic sights,
But all set to an' crammed their kites
At Huthlicaut's brau weddin' 0.
An' then they drank to groom an' bride,
Scotch whiskey flowed like ocean tide,
Auld Hu'li' blushed wi' joyous pride,
The bride was fain to redden too.
Said yan wha kenned her fra her birth,
' May she be fruitfu' as the earth,
An' may each little son o' mirth
Be followed by anither 0.'
Says he, ' My bairnes shall dare the seas,
An' brave the battle an' the breeze,
Be true as steel, should heaven please
To bless this gleesome weddin' 0
> •>
As a last deal they tried to exchange two big sheep,
Sammy and Van Buster, who had vegetated in ■' Long
Boat Square " till now, for two fat Falkland sheep, but
it wouldn't work, so Sammy and Van Buster continued
on the trip with the detachment, Van Buster in particular greatly soured in his temper by the loss of the
greenstuff he had enjoyed in Stanley Harbour.
A corporal's guard went on shore and hunted up the IN THE PATHLESS WEST
laggards, bringing a boat-load of beings as inanimate
in appearance as the sacks of potatoes they couldn't
get. Ropes and pulleys were fastened round them,
they were hoisted on board and given over to their
friends, who hustled them to bed " to sleep it off,"
the officers meanwhile being engaged in diligently
"looking another way." J J.
But all things come to an end, and these good people
had to stow themselves away again in their cubby-holes
and prepare to face the blasts of Cape Horn, for which,
however, this stay on land had fortified them.
Sitting on deck you saw the little vessel creep up,
up, up the green mountain-wave till she reached its
summit, then, as you looked around, you saw, had
you only known it, a good^ representation of the sea
of mountains in British Columbia to which you journeyed. The ship, so small in proportion to the giants
she encountered, would hesitate for a few minutes on
the summit, then down, down, down, till you were in a
valley of green waters, and you wondered how it was
that the on-coming wave failed to engulf the frail bark.
Quick breathing and hasty footsteps arouse you, and
the coloured cook flies past, the big mate after him with
a marling-spike in his hand. He gained on the panting
darkey, till the latter seeing a coil of rope leaped into
it, and the pursuer passed on, searching in vain for his
victim. This same mate was no favourite on board, so
although many eyes had seen the hiding-place no one
These waves were considered a comparative calm,
and people were allowed on deck. But soon the
heavens darkened, the rain, sleet, and snow came
blinding down, the wind howled in the rigging, it
made the masts bend like switches, every stitch of
sail that had not been already furled was torn to
shreds, and it set everything moving that was not
lashed down. The hatches were battened down, and
between-decks the women sat with their children clinging
to their gowns; the men stood near their own; rations
were passed as best they could be; no hot tea or coffee
could be made. But the storm increased, all had to get
themselves to their bunks, and some had to be lashed
in—they hadn't the strength to hold on.
In the midst of this the word was passed that a
woman had been taken ill, for her hour had come.
0 God! in such a scene as this! The hatches were
raised for the doctor to come down, and with him came
a wave of ocean, and many were wet as well as cold.
Men carried her to the hospital as best they could,
where she was lashed to a cot, and amidst the turmoil
of the elements a young life was ushered into this
world, and then two lives went out. The surly man
we noticed before was left to his own devices, which
were, at present, to get all the grog he could from his
neighbours and kick his stepson whenever the child
ventured near him.
Mrs. Middleton, who had been the only one his
mother had "neighboured' with, took charge of him.
She had left one of about his age in England with a 38
married sister who had no children. As she and
Middleton had married when he was on furlough
"without leave," of course she had had to support
herself. So she had been at her sister's when the
little one arrived, and nothing would induce the good
woman to let her foster-child go out among the Red
The storm seemed to increase in violence, and there
lay two still forms lashed to a cot, ready for burial as
soon as the hatches could be raised with safety. Billy
crept in on all fours to look at them whenever he got
a chance; it made him feel less desolate. This night,
as all was in darkness, long after "lights out," a tremendous crash was heard, a ripping and rending of
board from nail, that made every heart quail. Women
screamed, children shrieked, men shouted—they all
thought the side of the ship had smashed in, and
they waited to feel the ice-cold water pouring over
and choking them as they lay in the darkness and
helplessness of between-decks.
But crash ! crash !! crash!!! and then the rattle of
a heavy chain could be distinguished. There were men
there who had passed through such scenes and who even
here, when the terror of the women and children almost
unmanned them, still waited to catch at any straw. It
occurred to these men like a flash that the anchor chain
was boxed up in the married men's quarters; that it
had probably broken away, causing the rending noise
heard; that the calamity had not yet been consummated, but that a few minutes of such heavy work as
the chain was doing would crush the sides of any ship.
One of them lit a candle from his private store with
a steady hand, sprang from his bunk at the risk of
having his brains dashed out, and shouted to others
to "come and hang on." A lively scene ensued. Men
were leaping, dodging, shouting, clinging. The hammocks of the single men were swaying from side to side
like the wooden swing-boats at a fair, their occupants
dropping out on all sides and staggering, crawling,
stumbling to the rescue. Soon twoscore men were
clinging to that chain, and the present danger was
past. They held on, too, till it was so securely boxed
there was little likelihood of its repeating its promenade.
For two days more the hatches remained battened
down, then in a lull, amidst waves running mountains
high, all were assembled in the biting blast. The two
bodies were arranged on a plank over the ship's side,
and amidst a solemn silence of voices some of the
beautiful Burial Service was read. There was a
grating slide, a splash, a wild cry from a lonely child,
and—" Rest for the weary."
Poor little Billy crept away to the dog-kennel unnoticed, and clasping his arms around the neck of one
of his canine friends he cried himself to sleep. The
other one lay near him and kept him warm.
The storm rose again, the hatches were battened as
before, and only the unconscious child was left on
Whew!   how   the wind   shrieked,   the   good   ship 40
groaned, and the subdued and saddened " Citizens
below clung to their berths. Some of them had got
to care little whether the ship stayed up or went down
so long as this terrible storm in the darkness and
horror of between-decks came to an end and they were
again at peace, even if it were at the bottom of old
Now the pair of dogs were thoroughbreds, and were
coming out on consignment, so they were provided with
a good watertight kennel well lashed to the deck; but
the late storms had loosened these lashings, and a
sea struck the good little ship with such force that
she shivered from stem to stern like a living thing. As
it left it carried kennel, dogs, and sleeping child with
it. The progress of the ship had been stayed by the
shock, and she stood almost on her beam ends, so when
that wave returned it brought back the kennel, one dog,
and the child, his arms still around its neck, his tear-
stained little face still pillowed on the shaggy coat.
The kennel was jammed in in such a way that there
was no danger of its moving again.
"My God!" ejaculated the big, burly mate, who
had watched the return of the kennel, and had looked,
never expecting to find anything inside, "It's the poor
little chap whose mother was buried last night, and one
dog." He looked over the bulwarks as he stood, and
there was the other dog uselessly battling amidst the
waves for his life and heading towards the ship. Poor
The hatches could not be opened, so he took the IN THE PATHLESS WEST
dripping child to the Captain and asked what he was
to do with him, telling him of the almost incredible
incident just related. " Take him to the missus,"
he said, and he looked at the boy with longing eyes,
for he loved children, but never a child had he_ Tfi'
■. i,
The storms of the Cape safely passed, plenty of hot tea
and coffee, cooked meals again, with as much fresh meat
and vegetables as they could eat (for the supplies laid in
at Stanley Harbour had kept well enough through the
cold weather they had encountered) made the married
people appreciate the blessings of finer weather, and
allowed the single ones to go on with their music and
their theatricals, their songs and their pranks generally.
They had passed the vicinity of Juan Fernandez, and
its history had been related by the E. S. G.and C. H. C.}
eliciting the facts with regard to it that wild horses,
goats, dogs, and cats are abundant there; that plenty of
fruits, vegetables, and cabbages grow wild, and that at
this time one Chilian family formed its sole inhabitants;
and they claimed the best and readiest stream for water ;
the island being about twelve miles long and six broad.
The weather was growing warm again, the glorious
sunshine settled once more all day long on the decks,
children swarmed up from below like butterflies and
flowers in summer, the only sick man on board being
the chief contributor to the E. S. G. and C. H. C, who
suffered from an attack of the mumps, " a malady which
interferes with the faculties in general, those concerned
with the science of eating and drinking more especially.
We trust, however, shortly to see him again in his
accustomed place, not only on Saturday evenings, but
on others also, when with his hands in his breeches
pockets, a short pipe in his mouth, and a Glengarry cap
on his head, he will appear as before, in deep conference
with Sapper Scales, the recognised master of the
ceremonies, respecting the order for the dances of the
The warm weather did not agree with all on board
the City, however. Poor Sammy and Van Buster
developed " tick " to such an alarming degree that they
were doomed to go overboard. Sammy was too far
gone, but some of the men begged Van Buster off; his
choleric temper had endeared him to them, and they
resolved to treat him to a tobacco bath. For this
purpose they levied a subscription of this precious
commodity, and Van Buster came through the ordeal
in better health and worse temper than before, to their
entire satisfaction. What the goat was to the Welsh
regiment he became to them, and never horned sheep
throve before as did our friend Van Buster.
All serene, everything going as "merry as a marriage
bell," peace and security reigned _on the City, when
out blazed the bugle " To arms ! " Every man seized
his carbine or his sword, whichever came first, and up
the hatchways they came tumbling over each other from
below, in every kind of undress.
The women and children between-decks made no out- \k
cry, only held themselves in readiness for anything, and
waited, listening.    The general idea was: Pirates!
There was a rush and a scramble on deck, but not a
shot was fired. Looking from the portholes they saw
all the boats lowered in a jiffy.
"We are sinking," they said quietly, and they put
what money they had into their bosoms, donned their
best and most durable clothes, and were prepared to
leave the ship when called, and in the order given.
The cause was simple enough. The steward had
used his keys and his liberty among the stores to allow
the crew an unlimited supply of rum. The consequence
was that they felt far too inflated to submit to Captain
Glover and his officers. So they held council of war
among themselves, elected a captain and officers, and
proceeded to inform the present officers that their
services were no longer required, and that they must
leave the ship to them, and abdicate quietly or be shot.
The fat nigger cook and others of the new reign were
in the Captain's cabin, giving their ultimatum, when the
bugle-call dumfounded them. In their haste to be
great, they seemed to have forgotten the presence of the
military, or if not, it was only to think they would
Their fright somewhat sobered them, and they began
to realise things were not quite their own way. The
soldiers appeared at the cabin door, drawn swords in
their hands, discipline in their gait, determination in
their eyes. Those who had so valiantly held up the
lone Captain made a bolt for the portholes—only the IN THE PATHLESS WEST
nigger was too fat to get through, and there he stuck
fast, till hauled out by the heels, and, comfortably
arranged in irons, he was placed below for safe keeping.
The rest were dropping from bowsprit and mizzen
chains into the boats or into the water as the case might
be. So many scrambled into one boat near the bow
that it sunk and left them struggling in the water, from
whence our men fished them out, and sent them in
graceful anklets and wristlets of iron to keep the cook
Men were found from among the detachment who
could follow the directions of Captain Glover and his
able officers. The ship's course was turned towards
Valparaiso, from which port we were only about one
day's sail. This was an unintentional digression, as
the Chilians were then in rebellion. But the Captain
must have a new crew, and by the same token the
idiotic mutineers must get their deserts.
It took four days to have them tried, condemned, and
imprisoned, and to ship a new crew of Mexicans.
The detachment was not allowed on shore, but
bumboats came out with plenty of soft tommy, potatoes,
vegetables, fruits, poultry, eggs, and what not. As none
were allowed on board, the bartering went on over the
City bulwarks, old clothes disappearing like magic,
and baskets of edibles taking their places.
The officers of the Commissariat, Dr. Seidle, and
those needed for the trial of the mutineers, went on
shore, and one of them says: "Nearly everything
except fruit and articles of diet is very expensive, and IN THE PATHLESS WEST
dollars fly about as shillings do in England, but everybody seems rich, and all, more especially the Chilians,
dress in the most expensive manner. The ladies, both
Chilian, Spanish, and French, are many of them very
beautiful, but there are few to be seen, as, owing to the
disturbed state of the country, most of them had either
shut themselves up or gone to their country residences.
The crinoline is something awful. Regent Street can
produee nothing like it, and we would advise any
gentleman who may have the good fortune in future to
meet one of these fair walking balloons, to get well to
the windward of her, unless he wants his eyes filled
with an amount of dust that is anything but satisfactory.
The carriages are wonderful affairs made to hold four,
but affording an almost certain prospect of at least two
out of the four being pitched out at an early stage of the
journey. They are drawn by two horses, who dash
them along at a fearful pace over ditches, and stones,
and lumps, and holes, and shake you up like the pea
inside a tin rattle."
The Mexicans proved good seamen, and the voyage
was made without further mishap. The detachment
and its belongings disembarked at Esquimalt Harbour
in the last week of March, 1859, with the satisfaction
of having performed the longest trip ever undertaken by
any of the forces of Her Most Gracious Majesty.
' A ship once sailed on a voyage long,
With sixscore soldiers stout and strong, Ph
With married women thirty-one,
Thirty-four children plump and young.
October the 9th they came on board,
October the 10th the Pilot roared,
• All hands up-anchor!' and off they go,
To the tune of the sailors ' ho heigh ho !'
Gravesend behind, soon came the Nore,
The Downs at last, but not before
October the 17th, fifty-eight,
On a Sunday night and terribly late,
Did the good Thames City weigh once more,
And down the Channel foam and roar.
So they sailed along did this goodly crew,
Some sick, some seedy, some white, some blue ;
By and by, however, they all got right;
A paper they had each Saturday night,
Afterwards songs in the moon's pale light;
And oft they would dwell on their prospects bright
In Columbia land, their destination,
With its mines of gold for the English nation.
Christmas Day they spent at sea,
And made themselves jolly as jolly could be.
Three days after they made the land,
And soon the Pilot's steady hand
Steered them straight into Stanley Port,
For fear they should ere long run short
Of water—15 days spent here,
Where provisions of all sorts were horribly dear.
Heigh, heigh, ho! they're off again
To the horrible cold and the pelting rain,
And the winds, and the sea, and every ill
Of Cape Horn's dreary regions, till
In 40° South the weather became
Mild and fine and jolly again.
Four days then in Valparaiso,
Where, it's quite true, though I'm sorry to say so,
They can't find anything better to do
Than squabble and kick up a hullabaloo.
Off again on St. Valentine's Day ;
They crossed the Equator, so they say,
1 m
On the 6th of March, and, doubt it who may,
No one got drunk on St. Patrick's day.
At length a chap, said to be witty,
Thought he would write a farewell ditty,
So when 17,000 miles they'd run,
And all were happy and full of fun,
He determined to pay his farewell debt
To the dying Emigrant Soldiers' Gazette.
And, when scarce 500 miles from harbour,
Thus commenced his long palaver:—
Farewell to the cold and freezing blast,
The bursting sail and quivering mast:
While foam-capp'd waves defy the gale,
We'll snugly sip our foam-capped ale.
- Farewell' head winds' and ' quarter breezes,'
Each puff may come from whence it pleases;
Farewell to Cape Horn's cold and wet,
Farewell the tropics' sun and sweat,
Farewell the fok'sle, waist, and poop,
Farewell thick biscuit and thin pea soup,
Farewell the suet, grog, and junk,
One was weak, the others stunk.
Farewell to the hencoop and lonely duck,
Farewell to Long-boat Square and muck,
Farewell to Laundry Lane and Galleys,
We'll cook our grub in glades and valleys.
Farewell to sheets, and spars, and sails,
Farewell to dolphins, sharks, and whales,
Farewell to the rigging, farewell to the decks,
Farewell to the hatch where we nigh broke our necks,
Farewell to the Dovecot, farewell to the bugs,
And the noises that every night sound in our lugs.
Farewell to the cabin, farewell to the goose,
Farewell to the pantry, and steward's caboose,
Farewell to the hammooks, farewell to the clews,
Farewell to the would-be Irish stews,
Farewell to cockroaches and thieving cats,
And a long farewell to those horrible rats
That screech and quarrel every night,
And make one shudder and feel in a fright. IN THE PATHLESS WEST 49
Farewell to parades with bared necks and feet,
Farewell to the lime-juice that's hardly sweet,
Farewell to the water of rusty hue,
Farewell to the * Abstract of Progress' too;
Farewell to our everlasting view
Of cloudy sky and ocean blue.
Farewell to the Petrel's warning note,
Farewell to our dreary life afloat;
I've three good hearty farewells yet,
Farewell to the Emigrant Soldiers1 Gazette,
A long farewell to the old Thames City,
Farewell at last to my farewell ditty."
The first detachment of Royal Engineers left England
on September 2, 1858, on board the steamer La Plata,
under the command of Captain Parsons. On this
occasion Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton went on board the
steamer when she was off Cowes and addressed the
men at some length, impressing on them the interest
he felt in their welfare and how much the ultimate
success of the new colony depended on the exertions
of themselves and their comrades.
This detachment went at once to Fort Langley, some
twenty-five or thirty miles up the Fraser, and where the
Government already had under construction a church,
a parsonage, a courthouse, and a jail.
A Hudson Bay trading post was already in existence
here. The "Fort" consisted of a stockade some
twenty feet high, built from timbers squared with an
axe, sunk some feet into the ground and well braced
within.   A wooden bastion frowned from each corner,
provided with eyeholes for spying the country or shooting,
as the case required. This enclosure could be secured
by a heavy gate of the same material as the walls of
the stockade, and all was safe from the attack of
Indians, even if they came in large bands, so long
as they were kept at a distance sufficient to prevent
them firing the stockade or throwing brands into the
This was easily done, for the Indians were only
provided with the old-fashioned flintlocks; the Hudson
Bay Company imported no other for sale, and the price
of these was so high that only the most expert hunters
could obtain them. Any hunter aspiring to the possession of one of these muskets had to bring the skins of
mink, martin, beaver, and bear, and place his skins flat
on the ground. The factor brought out the coveted
"musket" and stood it beside the pile of furs. When
these reached the level of its muzzle the flintlock was
the Indian's proud possession, the pile of skins the
profitable investment of the Company.
Within the stockade stood a long, low, log building
for the stores, with a small, square window and a very
strong door. A general building served the white employees, some clap-board shacks were occupied by men
who had taken to themselves "maids of the forest,"
lawfully or unlawfully as the case might be ; from these
latter swarmed the brown, pretty, chubby, round-eyed
half-breed children, their movements little hampered by
clothing. Last, but not least, was a comfortable one-
story log-house, with a nice verandah in front, where 52
_.  1
resided the Hudson Bay factor in charge, and his
progeny of the same colour and breed swarmed with
the rest.
His Grace the present Duke of Argyll will remember
this house, after the stockade had been removed, for it
happened when he was  Governor-General of Canada
that upon one of his hunting expeditions he slept here.
The factor of that time was living alone, merely keeping
a store for the Hudson Bay Company and selling off its
valuable land.    On hearing that he was to have so
distinguished a visitor he proceeded to make preparations in his  own peculiar way.    He applied to his
neighbours to  supply whatever  he felt was  missing
from his own establishment.    Amongst other things
he considered a feather bed a necessity, so he asked
the wife of an old employee for the loan of hers.    She
sent it up with clean  sheets and  other necessaries,
thinking the factor capable of making it up, as she was
busy cooking for the expected guest as well as she knew
how.    The factor made up the bed, and very comfortable it looked to the tired hunter when he sought his
couch that night.    But alas for the hollowness of things
in general and of that bed in particular!   No sooner
had His Excellency tried its soft downiness than he
became conscious of some hard lines beneath him.    But
" needs must," so he went to sleep, to wake up after a
while, stretched like a herring on a gridiron; the feather
bed had slipped down between the far-apart wooden
slats upon which the moony old factor had laid it with
no sub-mattress for support!
But we must return to the earlier times. The
detachment were not long left in idleness. There was
wild excitement over the great gold discoveries, and
miners came by thousands into the country, principally
from California. All kinds of steamboats and sailing
craft were put on the route from San Francisco to
Victoria to accommodate the crowds of miners and
prospectors. Among the motley crowd was the
notorious Ned McGowan, murderer, robber, gambler,
and general all-round tough, who had joined the general
exit in order to flee from the vengeance of the Vigilantes,
who were hot on his trail, and he knew his neck would
pay the price of his many crimes if they caught
Ned wanted a good location, but he did not want the
trouble of looking for it, so he and several choice spirits
of his own wandered round the bars below Yale. They
found what they wanted on Murderer's Bar, just below
Fort Yale, which was situated some seventy miles up
the river at the head of navigation.
Here they found an Irishman hard at work panning
outsold at the rate of from five to fifteen dollars a day.
It was in the fall, when the water was at its lowest,
and the prospects, of course, were richest.
They stood round and watched Mike for a while.
Then Ned remarked, quite casually, that he thought
Dooley had more land than he needed, and they intended
to turn in and help. Dooley did not need any help, and
told them so. They threatened him in various ways,
but Dooley held his own, finally saying to them, " This
si 54
is my claim. I've recorded it; it belongs to me by law,
and—God save the Quane ! "
"Just say that again," returned the bully, " and I'll
have you buried alive ! "
" God save the Quane ! " said the plucky little Irishman, without any hesitation, as he looked the giant
outlaw in the eye.
"Dig a trench, and bury the blasted beggar!" was
the order given, and Ned wandered off looking for
other claims and to see what he could do with their
The men bound Dooley hand and foot and proceeded
to dig a deep trench in the sand, Dooley meanwhile
looking calmly on. When it was deep enough to suit
them they threw Dooley in and began to cover
him up.
" What do you say now ? " they inquired.
" God save the Quane ! "
They covered him to his neck and asked, "Will you
say that again? "
Dooley spat the sand from his mouth and promptly
replied, " God save the Quane ! "
The leader returned; only Dooley's mouth and eyes
could be seen. McGowan knelt down, and looking
into the pit, asked exultingly, " Now what do you
say?" ;§.
" God save the Quane! " came as doggedly, if less
distinctly, from the little hole in the sand.
"Oh, pull the beggar out and let him go ! " said Ned.
Not that he was merciful or even manly enough to IN THE PATHLESS WEST
admire the little Irishman's courage, but Judge Begbie,
for so long the terror of the evildoers and rough border
element that naturally flocked to the mines, had established himself and his court at Yale.
As winter was coming on, Ned McGowan and his
gang camped at Hill's Bar, opposite Yale, and prepared
to spend the winter, mining the Bar whenever weather
The Judge appointed tax-collectors, and ordered that
all miners should pay a license fee of five dollars and
take out a miner's certificate before being allowed to
mine. The tax-collector went over to Ned McGowan's
camp and demanded the license fees. The miners
refused to pay; tbe collector showed his authority and
insisted. McGowan, hearing a disturbance, came up to
see what was the matter. On being told, he deliberately
spat in the collector's face, following up the insult by a
sounding slap. This was the signal for a general
assault, and the collector had to run for his life, nor
did he escape until he had been pretty roughly handled
by the mob.
When it was reported to the Judge that the law had
been thus defied he immediately despatched a canoe
with some Indians and a trusty messenger to what is
now New Westminster, the latter going on to Victoria
by steamer.
He reported the whole matter to Governor Dunglas,
who called his cabinet together. After due consideration it was decided to send the messenger at once with
instructions to Captain Grant to go forward next day
— !'*
with his thirty men fully armed from Fort Langley per
steamer to Yale. Instructions were also sent to H.M.S.
Tribune, then lying in Esquimalt Harbour, to proceed
up the Fraser River as far as possible. She anchored
at the mouth, being of heavy draught. Her large steam
launch and a number of boats were got out. In these
three hundred marines with two brass cannon were
rushed up the river and encamped at Fort Hope, some
fifteen miles below Fort Yale. Here the two cannon
were set up to command the river, which here narrows
to a rocky gorge.
In the meantime Captains Grant and Parsons had
received their instructions and gone on ahead of the
marines, having issued sixty rounds of cartridges for
rifles and twenty-six rounds of ball for Colt's revolvers
to each man.
The captains and their men, after a trip of one and a
half days on a river steamer, going up against the strong
current, arrived at a place called Emory's Bar, about
three miles below Yale. Here the little band of redcoats disembarked without molestation, although all the
men at Yale had received word of their coming, and
were expecting them. In Yale and vicinity were
camped some eight thousand miners—the great disturber, Ned McGowan, making his boast that,
as soon as the red-coats arrived he and his gang
would tar and feather the lot and throw them into
the Fraser.
After landing, our men were drawn up in line (a very
thin red line), and Captain Grant addressed them, telling -+_
1  I
f**1 _s!
(_; ?r
them his orders were to proceed to the miners' camps
three miles above and arrest the notorious outlaw, Ned
McGowan. If the miners resisted the arrest, a conflict
would ensue, and he advised them to keep up their
courage, stand together, and never give up till the last
round had been fired.
The men signified their intention of following this
advice by giving three ringing British cheers, such as
the surrounding mountain heights had never heard
before, and the order was given to march. After
following a trail through the forest for about an hour
single file, they suddenly emerged upon a clearing,
from which could be seen in a line on the bluff above
the river hundreds of miners' shacks, camps, and tents.
They were greeted with rounds of cheering from the
Captain Grant immediately halted his men and drew
them up in line, not knowing if this meant welcome or
defiance. After standing thus for a short time, several
of the leaders came down to within speaking distance
of the stationary red-coats; the Captain advanced
to meet them, when they asked him "what he
wanted." He said they had " come to arrest Ned
They told him his man was not on this side of the
river, that his camp was on the other side, higher up,
where about five thousand men were camped with him.
They said most of the men on this side were Cornish
miners, and if they could be of any use they would
assist the military.
I lj|__;   I.
Captain Grant then ordered his men forward, and
they marched right through the miners' camp to the
Hudson Bay Fort at the upper end, close to a little
square shack which did duty as courthouse. The men
were filed into the large general room, or employees'
quarters, at the fort, which was constructed on the same
plan as the one at Fort Langley, and kept " under arms'
all day.
Judge Begbie issued a summons, calling on Ned
McGowan to appear at the courthouse on a charge of
common assault, and sent a constable over to his camp
to serve it. All waited in anxious expectation of the
result, but, to the surprise of all, in about an hour the
constable appeared, accompanied by the redoubtable
Ned McGowan.
When Ned received the summons he knew that his
game of bluff was up, for the British law was backed by
the red-coats in Yale—how many he did not know, but
he was aware that three hundred marines cut off his
retreat below, and there was no escape above Yale, for
the trails and mountain passes were blocked with snow,
and other ways out there were none. So he meekly
appeared before Judge Begbie in the little square courthouse in answer to the summons, and the judge fined
him twenty-five dollars for common assault, and told
him he only wished he could deal more harshly with
him. Ned pulled out his purse and paid the fine, but
he returned to his camp sore and angry, for it was the
only time his authority had been successfully disputed.
When the collector next  presented himself in the
redoubtable's camp the miners paid their licenses with
no more ado.
The Royal Engineers and the Marines returned to
their respective stations without having fired a shot,
and the unflinching judge continued to administer the
law to its utmost limits, without fear or favour. 1 For my old grandmother used to say,
I Friday is such an unlucky day.' "
On Good Friday, 185_^ the whole of the Cape Horn
detachment, bag and baggage, came up the Fraser in
the steamer Eliza Anderson, past the present site of
New Westminster, and on to Langley, where they
occupied the buildings already erected by the Government.
But their stay here was short, for Colonel Moody had
seen the beautiful stretch of river coming down almost
due south; then, with a sudden bend, it widens out and
runs in a westerly direction for some two miles or more,
leaving a lake-like expansion of water below the finely
wooded slopes.
A large flat, several square miles in extent upon the
south branch of the river, was first selected, and here,
upon piles, a Custom House was built. But one spring
freshet convinced all concerned that this location was
untenable, as the whole proposed town-site was under
water for several weeks.
The final survey was made on the north, or present
site, and almost a mile up from it a military camp was
established. To this the women and children of the
detachment, under a guard, were brought down from
Langley in schooners, which was somewhat dangerous,
as the contending currents carried these craft into the
bush on the banks and the eddies and whirlpools of the
centre, and the wind only filled the sails at uncertain
intervals. Thus, when they came near to a newly-
erected jetty built below the camp, and to which boats
and canoes were moored, it being a handy landing-place
and something new to the inhabitants, the first schooner
came on with too much headway, crashed it in, piled
boats and canoes in a promiscuous heap on shore, and
precipitated the expectant husbands and fathers of its
occupants into the water. The women screamed at
first, but the harder-headed ones got buckets attached
to ropes and threw them overboard, hanging on to their
burdens like grim death till relieved by stronger but not
more willing hands. Tents had already been set up
and allotted, and in these they passed six months of the
finest summer weather any one need wish to camp in.
School, hospital, stores, church—everything was under
canvas, the only brick structure in this part of the world
being an arsenal not many feet square, built upon the
hillside, with an iron door and roof, for which the
bricks had been brought from England and cost something like twelve and a half cents apiece by the time
they were in the hands of the bricklayer, whose wages
varied from five to seven and a half dollars per day.
Even brick chimneys were scarce in those days.
— 62
But "many hands make light work." The pit-
sawyers cut up the logs brought in by the axe-men;
the planers, the carpenters, and all the trades represented by the men were soon at work, and by winter
there were snug quarters for every one.
The married people's quarters stood in groups of
three; each contained two rooms, and in one of these
was the luxury of a brick open hearth, with an unlimited
supply of wood for the fetching.
A house had been built for the Colonel and his
numerous family, one or two smaller ones for married
officers, a school which was also used for church, likewise a chaplain's residence, where the Governor-General
(the present Duke of Argyll) and Her Royal Highness
the Princess Louise stayed for a while during their
progress through our far-away part of the world many
years later. Her Royal Highness astonished some
of the would-be great ladies of these parts by her
utter simplicity of manner, as they had expected the
royal lady to " put on more French and frills than they
did " ; but all who came near her loved her for her own
sake and her dear and royal mother's.
To go back to older times, besides themselves there
were not a dozen white women in the country. The
more industrious ones could get two dollars apiece for
making white shirts, and twenty-five cents for washing
and ironing them.
A schoolmistress was provided from among the
daughters of the Royal Engineers, also a meteorological
recorder from the same fruitful source.   His instruments IN THE PATHLESS WEST
were set up near the school, and the camp noticed that
it seemed quite necessary that he should wend his way
up the hill to record the wind and weather just at the
identical time the schoolmistress wended her way up to
school. They farther observed that his respectful salutations were at first received with scorn, but finally
elicited a gracious acknowledgment; then that they
walked up together, talking as they went. After a
while it became necessary for the young man to make
his observations four times a day, and these accorded
exactly with the going and coming of the school teacher.
This young man, Mr. Smith, having received the education of a chemist and druggist before joining the corps,
was appointed officer in charge of the newly-made
hospital, with comfortable quarters, and what was to
hinder him from taking to himself a wife ? Many looked
jealously on, but Smith was the lucky one, and the date
for the first wedding in camp was set.
The bride-to-be found some difficulty in obtaining a
white bonnet. There was only one in town, which was
much too large for her and very old-fashioned, but she
had no choice. Of white kid gloves there were several
pairs to choose from, but the smallest to be had were
about three sizes too large, as a 1xve would have fitted
the little woman's hand. Her fine dark eyes looked
very handsome under the big white bonnet—at least
many there thought so; and the gloves, after all, were
not of much consequence; their size made them go on
and off easily.
The officers determined to give them a good send-off,
so they met the young couple at the hospital on their
return from church with music and military honours.
Going in to the wedding breakfast, they insisted upon
mixing the " loving cup "in a basin from the bridal
chamber, and from this article every one present was
expected to follow the bride in taking a sip.
But this country of male creatures was broken in
upon, for the Robert Law arrived in Victoria with its
precious consignment of women and girls, ostensibly for
sewing, service, and so on. Several even went as
private governesses, and when it was found that the
children knew more than their teacher, the mistress took
her place, whilst she relieved the lady of the house in
the kitchen.
Many were married within the month, others were
more cautious, or more ambitious, and waited longer. A
few went ill, as they would have done had they not come
out to a new country, and many were the happy homes
Anxious glances were cast by well got-up swains,
as they came to the mainland on the crowded steamers,
to fill different positions, and you needed to be polite to
your servant, for maybe next month she would have
married into officialdom, whilst you were only in the
mercantile line; some ladies went so far as to take them
out calling with them in the embryo city, which as yet
lacked a name.
Victoria had already taken the much-coveted one of our
late beloved Queen; so the citizens and the military met
to discuss the knotty question, and feeling ran riot oyer
Queensborough or Queenborough. At length the dispute
took on party feeling, and this little handful of aspiring
Britons referred the matter to the Queen herself, who,
with her usual tact, and insight into affairs, chose
neither, but every one was happy in her most gracious
selection of " New Westminster." They dubbed them-
selves accordingly members of the Royal City, and were
proud of having derived their name from the greatest and
best of Queens.
Now that the Royal City had received its name, the
first street was constructed upon the banks of the river;
wooden shacks were built, each owner making his plank
sidewalk in front of his own place at the height which
suited him, the street accordingly going up or down a
step or two in the most unexpected places, so that you
had to watch"your progress, or make an exhibition of
yourself, especially in frosty weather; even in the wet, it
was hard on the skirts of the ladies. After dark it was
a work of art to navigate one's self among these pitfalls,
for there were no street lamps, so all was total darkness
when the stores had closed. The flitting shadows from
lanterns carried in the hands of pedestrians quivered
here and there like " will-o-the-wisps," and you sought
your lantern after an entertainment as you would your
overcoat, and many were the searchings of heart over the
missing ones, for those who had neglected to bring their
own seldom hesitated to borrow their neighbour's without leave or license.
Out in front of these stores piles were driven, and then
were covered with heavy planking and served both as
6 66
wharf and street, the river, of course, being the great
highway of traffic. Boats built for the Gulf trade could
not surmount the rapids of the Fraser, which required
boats of greater steam pressure, propelled by large
wheels at the back; even then at a riffle just above
Fort Hope the passengers had to be put ashore, huge
tow-lines carried forward, and placed around stumps,
when crew and passengers would have to hold on to
every inch made by the engines till she was over the
riffle, and then walk for several miles to Emory's Landing before it was possible to get on board again; and
mind, you had to pay ten dollars passage money to Yale,
one dollar for every meal on board, and one dollar for a
bed, sleeping three in a state-room, in a little bit of a bed
you could not turn round in. It took a day and a night
to go up against the currents, and you only reached Yale
on the afternoon of the second day when you had made
a quick trip; when the nights were dark or stormy it
would be necessary to tie up till daylight before attempting the upper reaches of the river. Coming down with
steam and current only occupied seven or eight hours,
according to the way-places called at.
Steamboats left Victoria in the morning, landing at
New Westminster some time in the afternoon, therefore
the crowds of miners coming in had to stay overnight at
the latter place, which necessitated the building of
hotels, and incidentally a squaw dance-house and other
places of amusement for the passing throng. One hotel-
keeper, more enterprising than the rest, added a theatre,
in the shape of an extended wooden shack, at the back IN THE PATHLESS WEST
of his hotel. Here our old friends of the City sometimes delighted crowded houses. " Rob Roy ' was in
their repertoire, and Rob himself made a splendid showing in his kilts, but no amount of coaching could
eliminate the early habit of his speech, and it was
comical to hear the doughty Scot going through his part,
letter-perfect as it was, with the accent of Bow Bells;
whilst it was always doubtful if Helen McGregor could
be kept sufficiently sober to come in at the finish and
do her sword scene safely, even if she did not finish up
by falling over her victim, Helen being of the male
Apropos of this particular theatre, a company of
actors, landing from no one knew where at Port Moody,
the extreme head of Burrard Inlet, walked in over the
Indian trail, carrying on their heads and backs the paraphernalia and dresses of their craft. Here they played for
three or four months, every night in the week except
Sunday, to "No standing-room left," a dollar a seat
being the price of admission to any part of the house.
" Come early and take your choice " was the rule,
although a few seats were always reserved in front, in
case any gentleman was so fortunate as to accompany a
lady there. One night Governor Douglas and suite, the
officers from camp, and those from a man-o'-war lying in
the river, were to be present. It being some special gala
day, they were all in uniform, and the front seats of the
house had been reserved for them.
Of course the bar of this hotel was well patronised on
these occasions, the drawer or box used as a till requiring
1 68
two men to carry it out after the performance, for
from six to nine hundred dollars in silver was there
collected. Upon this occasion, one of the actors came
out and announced, "I am the King! " No sooner
had the words left his lips than an excited individual arose directly behind the seats of officialdom,
and waving his long arms like a windmill demanded,
in stentorian tones, "How dare you, sir! How dare you
make such a statement in the presence of Her Most
Gracious Majesty's representative, and in the face of
her naval and military officers and their attaches! How
dare you, I say! They and we, all very well know Her
Most Gracious Majesty the Queen still sits upon the
throne of England, and ' long may she reign!' "
His sentiment was applauded to the echo, but kind
friends persuaded the man out to take another drink
upon it, which effectually settled his oratorical powers
for that night.
The leading woman was not in her first youth, and
one night when she was playing " The Lady of Lyons,"
in the most pathetic part, when all was silence, "Liverpool Jack " made inquiries as to her pretty hair, which
changed the tragedy to farce, and brought down the
house. Scarcely a night passed but something occurred
which was not on the programme.
The music was supplied by the military band, and
our old friends pocketed five dollars a night each, for
music was precious and the musicians held themselves
high, the cornetist especially, and he was a fine player.
One of the duties of the regimental band was to play
outside the officers' mess while they dined. No one
appreciates the luxury of music like those who live
amidst the unbroken stillness of these vast forests, where
for days together there is not even a whisper in the
pines or a rustle among the giant maples, where even
the birds are " seen but not heard." The stillness
pierces the very veins and heart, so that if a stick cracks
or a squirrel calls it sets you in a quiver. Music
breaks this spell of isolation, and when the officers sat
and listened to the old familiar airs of " home," it was
next door to being there; indeed all the camp was the
better for it.
But alas for the frailty of man! The besetting
sin of this cornetist was a perpetual thirst, which tea
and coffee were powerless to quench. So it frequently
happened that he awoke in the log guard-house by
the river and was arraigned before his officers. Light
sentences were imposed if possible so as not to disturb the musical arrangements, and many a time were
the officers' eyes wholly closed to his faults. But all
to no purpose; he transgressed to such an extent
that his stripes were removed, and he was imprisoned
in the guard-house long enough to sober him
The officers sat down to dinner with a sigh of relief,
for Mr. Cornetist was to be on hand again, and it must
be confessed that music without the air is hardly inspiriting. All went well till a cornet solo came on,
when, of all the unearthly sounds the instrument sent
forth, nothing had been heard like it!    The harder the 70
man blew, and the more he seemed to try, the more
discordant the sounds it emitted.
The officer in charge sent out to know what was the
matter. The incorrigible replied he did not know, but
it had got out of tune while he was locked up. Days
passed and still no improvement. Soon a grand ball was
to be given, and they could neither buy a cornet nor
obtain the services of another player nearer than Hong
Kong in one direction and San Francisco in the other,
unless H.M. flagship happened into port, which was
very unlikely.
Preparations went on for the ball; the barracks being
the only available room in the country for such an affair,
it was duly cleaned and decorated by the men. The
floor could scarcely be said to be faultless, for it was
made from hand-sawn boards, which had been likewise
planed by hand, but " When you can't do as you would,
do as you can." Everything was in readiness, the
ladies from far and near were coming, and curious
conjectures were hazarded as to the make-up and behaviour of some of the girls from off the Robert Low,
who had already married into the official circle.
The cornet-player remained incorrigible, and his
instrument behaved in the most fiendish manner.
What was to be done ? One of the officers remarked
that he thought if the man's stripes were returned the
instrument might act better. It simply refused to send
forth its sweet strains in the hands of an ordinary
So they had the man brought before them, repri-
_*■*►.   *-""*Jr IN THE PATHLESS WEST
manded him soundly, read him a long lecture on the
evil of his ways (all of which fell from him like water
off a duck's back), and then ordered the return of his
All waited expectantly for the mess dinner, and
watched the player as he swaggered through the camp,
glorious in the restored honours, which his instrument
seemed to share, for it looked as good as new. All went
well, the cornet couldn't have behaved better. It must
have felt relieved too, for the handkerchief which had
so materially interfered with its dulcet strains had been
removed. ;*
Every morning the up-river boats whistled their early
start, and the miners and " would-be" miners daily
thronged their decks. Some of them took along the
most incongruous articles in their outfits, such as
feather-beds and pillows, picks and shovels with stained
and polished handles, and so on.
One lot came ashore with three forty-gallon casks of
water. Victoria was then a free port and New Westminster a port of entry.* So here they were met by the
Customs' officers, who demanded to know the contents
of these casks. When met with the reply, " Water,"
they laughed, for they supposed these men were trying
to smuggle in something stronger. It was duly tested,
and proved not only to be water, but the polly-woggy
article provided at the time by that name in Victoria.
The laugh was great against the Che-chacos (newcomers) who had been so easily imposed upon by a wag
* A dollar per head was paid here for every person arriving, but
it was collected by the Steamboat Company as part of the fare,
and then handed to the Customs authorities by them, thus saving
much friction, for most people paid duty on themselves without
knowing it.
as to think it necessary to pay freight on water to the
Fraser, where it was to be had for the dipping.
After the motley crowds left each morning the Royal
City dreamed away its day till the time for the arrival of
the afternoon boats, when all again was bustle and confusion, and every merchant and clerk rushed to the
landing to see and comment upon the new arrivals.
As fall came on the ingress became less, and the
fortunate ones came down with their lucky bags. Nice
use some of them made of their riches, too. They kept
the squaw dance-houses going, smashed bar mirrors with
handfuls of twenty-dollar pieces, and showed most conclusively in many ways the truth of the old adage, " A
fool and his money is soon parted."
The gold mined urthe upper country was usually sent
out by means of the Express Companies. When in very
large quantities the " gold escort" formed from the
Royal Engineers took charge of it, and saw it safely
through, for several "hold-ups" had occurred, and it
was necessary to take precautions for its safe transit.
A royalty or duty was exacted by the Imperial
Government on all gold exported. That shipped by
the Express Companies had to be accompanied by a
certificate or invoice showing the quantity of gold, its
value, and the owner's name. On this certificate the
gold was passed and duty collected.
About this time a number of Jews came out to the
country with the purpose of buying and shipping out
A great deal of grumbling was heard on all sides about 74
1 f|?
lit 11
the Government's exacting a duty on the poor miner's
hard-earned gold; they forgot the law and order which
prevailed, the safety of life and property, and the general
protection which was afforded by that Government, and
for which it had to pay.
None complained more loudly and bitterly than this
firm of Jews every time the duty was exacted.
After a more than usually stormy scene with these
men in the office of the Express Company, the President,
Vice-President, and Secretary were left alone, and
the President remarked, "These Jews make more fuss
over this duty business than any one else, notwithstanding they invariably cheat ' the poor miner,' both in
weight and value when buying their gold." Then,
without any apparent connection with what he had been
saying, after thinking for a few minutes he asked,
" Well, boys, how would you like to make a fortune ? "
" That's an impossibility," returned the others, " in
our present position." "But," said the Vice-President,
and a far-away look came into his blue eyes, "if I
had a fortune I'd be off to my wife and family in the
old home, and live at my ease for the remainder of my
life." lj|
" If I had a fortune—only a small one," said the
Secretary, "I'd be off to California so fast it would
make your head swim; marry a pretty little girl I know
of, and settle down in an orange grove."
" Well, yes, as you say," returned the President,
" these are flights of fancy, and under existing circumstances impossible; but I think, if you will listen to IN THE PATHLESS WEST
me, and do what I tell you, they may become
a reality. All I want you to do is to follow
my instructions, and ask no questions." This being
agreed, the business of the office went on without interruption.
During the past two months there had been an
unusually good " clean up " among all the mines, and the
Jews were extra busy going from camp to camp, buying
up all they could. From this the President knew there
would soon be a large quantity of gold to ship out, so
one day he called all the Jews together in his office for a
conference. He told them the Company expected to
ship large amounts of gold presently and were taking
extra precautions for the care of it, and as this would
probably be the last output of the season before navigation closed on the Fraser, urged them to buy as
largely as possible, for it would be cheaper in proportion
to ship out a large than a small quantity. He told them
at the same time that he had been thinking over the
question of duty, to which they had so much objection,
and could suggest a scheme by which they could get
their gold through the Customs much cheaper.
1 Heretofore you have been making out your Customs'
clearance bills at full value ; in the future make them
out at 40 or 50 per cent, less, and you will have only
half the royalty to pay."
These men, eager to make a dollar in any way they
could, listened to his suggestion with approval, and
when their next shipments were ready the gold was
invoiced  at 40 per cent, of its face value, and  the 76
Express Company gave them receipts in accordance with
their invoices.
After the Express Company had carried this gold six
hundred miles by stage, they reached the head of navigation, whence it was transferred nearly a hundred more
to where it had to pass the Customs.
Now, after the Jews had deposited their gold in the
upper country the President had two large bags made
exactly like theirs, and filled them to the same weight.
Then calling the Secretary he told him to see that the
Express and all the gold bags were aboard the steamer
fifteen minutes before she left, and to remain in charge
of them till he came aboard.
To the Vice-President he explained the scheme fully,
and instructed him to wait till the last minute, and when
he saw the steamer about to pull out he was to take the
sham bags, rush down to her, and attempt to throw
them on board in such a way that they would surely fall
into the river.
The Vice-President did as directed, rushed to the
river's edge, only to find that the steamer had started,
and the plank was already drawn in. Urged on by the
President, who was on board, he attempted to throw the
bags on to the steamer, when both of them fell splash!
into the boiling river.
The President and the Jews, who were also on board,
were in consternation. The fears of >the latter, however, were quieted by the President, who assured them
that every dollar would have to be made good by the
Company.     When the steamer arrived at the coast the IN THE PATHLESS WEST
one weekly paper was full of the great loss of gold and
the carelessness of the Express Company. This being
one of its favourite themes, the most was made of it
that could be; and when one comes to think there was no
telegraphic communication with the outside world, and
very little of interest passing on the inside that was not
public property, one wonders what the editor found to
fill up his columns with, especially as all "news" was
at least between two and three months old. There was
a standing joke that when he ran out of copy he invariably enlarged upon " the state of Europe," which was a
perfectly safe theme, seeing no one could contradict
Subsequently the Company published an " Extra,"
stating that they would make the loss good, and that
the owners of the gold would all be paid in full.
Owing to the great furor made by the shippers of the
gold, a request was sent to the Admiral at Esquimalt
for the services of a diver, who after considerable delay
arrived, and was taken to the scene of the disaster. A
strong cable had been stretched across the river to mark
the place where the bags of gold had disappeared.
Diligent search was made for two weeks by the diver
and others, but to no purpose; the current being so swift,
the bags had either been carried away or torn to pieces
over the rocks at the bottom, for just above this landing
is a narrow canon, which confines all the waters of the
mighty Fraser between rocks which rise perpendicularly
hundreds of feet, and are worn bare and smooth by its
action.   Standing near the brink it is impossible to hear 78
a shout at your ear—the thunder of the rushing, tumbling waters is so great.
After everything had been done to recover the bags
without success, the Jews called at the Express Office
and demanded their money, according to the promise of
the President. He told them all to go to the Secretary
and present their certificates, which would be duly
" Oh ! yes, my dear Mr. President, but you know that
this certificate calls for only 40 per cent, of the
amount shipped. Do just please come to the Secretary
and explain this matter to him, that we may get the full
But the President was inexorable, and would admit
nothing but the face-value of the certificates, and the
shippers, having no recourse, had to be satisfied with
what their paper called for.
Some time after, when the storm had blown over,
there was a meeting of three persons in the President's office, in which gold bags and scales figured
very conspicuously, and three equal shares were made
The Secretary, who had been doing some figuring,
exclaimed, " Well, who would have thought it ? Now
for my little girl and the orange grove! "
" Talk about flights of fancy! " rejoined the Vice-
President. " But there's no imagination about the
weight of this parcel. Now for home and family, and
Merry Old England! Tell us what you intend doing,
Mr. President, when we leave."
' r.
"I've made up my mind to Joint-Stock this Company and sell out. Then I shall organise a gold-
dredging concern and go and hunt for those bags of
gold you so carelessly dropped into the Fraser river,
Mr. Vice-President."
■ Hill
I    __-   ^    !_
Van Buster was still the pet of the single men. Not
that he was the only one. They had undertaken to
raise a cub in the way he should go, and very proud
of the performance they were, for did it not reflect
credit upon them, showing how much better they would
be able to bring up and train children of their own,
than the Benedicts of the Corps had proved themselves ?
Bruin certainly thrived; he followed his masters within
the sacred precincts of the camp, where the foot of an
Indian had never trod, that is, since it had become a
camp. They had to stay outside the pickets, or in
their canoes at its foot, and wait for the women to
come down and barter old clothes, extra rations, and
so on, for fish, baskets, mats, or curios. Happy was
the Indian who possessed a regimental red coat, for
he was the envy of his tribe. It is a question even if
his life was safe should a stronger than he desire it.
But Bruin fell from grace, and signed his own death
warrant. Leaving his usual beat near the barracks, he
wandered off to the married men's quarters. A little
child was seated on a doorstep with a fat puppy in its
chubby arms.   Bruin saw them both, and  seizing on
.a-if^.^.. -   IN THE PATHLESS WEST 81
the puppy, tore it to pieces and commenced eating it
up. The child screamed and ran to the rescue of its
favourite, but, fortunately for it, the bear had been
missed and followed, a bullet in its ear saved it from
turning its attention to the child, as it would undoubtedly have done, once having tasted the blood of
the puppy.
Van Buster's rival thus disposed of, he was again
their only pride. They washed and combed him, and
he roamed the camp at his own sweet will, taking
vengeance on the small boys for the indignities heaped
on him by his masters.
The Commissariat being at the foot of the hill by
O _"
the river, one at least from every family had to wend
his way thither for the daily rations; this of course
fell to the small boys as a rule, and Van Buster was
always on hand when they returned. He knew when
three o'clock in the afternoon came as well as they
did. Avoiding the groups, he would single out some
lonely urchin, and, suddenly appearing before him on
the uphill path, would shake his head and wait to
see if any toll was offered him. If not, he butted
the child in the stomach, and if he dropped his sack
in falling, Van Buster would shake it out, and make
off with a loaf of bread to a safe place. Here he would
stand and munch it, thus giving the rest an opportunity
to get home unmolested.
Billy was still with Mrs. Middleton, and of course
it fell to him to fetch their rations and his own. Being
but a little fellow among the sturdy camp boys, he was
r.^&e&x&m gspg
usually to be found alone. After getting into trouble
a time or two, Billy hit on a plan of his own. There
was generally a slice or two of bread to make weight.
These he took out before climbing the hill, and when
Van Buster appeared he would eke out his bread a
piece at a time. Thus the two would proceed uphill,
Billy walking backwards, the sack over his shoulder,
about as much as he could carry, Van Buster following,
and making demonstrations of vengeance if the bread
showed signs of giving out before the officers' quarters
were reached. He seldom went higher than that, for
if he ventured too near the married men's quarters he
was likely to encounter women with brooms in their
hands, tin buckets with or without water in them, and
other things he did not approve of. Here Billy would
throw his last crust, and run as fast as his load would
let him, Van Buster looking belligerently after him, till
it seemed to occur to him that there might be other
lads coming up with rations from whom he might either
beg or steal, and he would return in search of them.
Billy being the only child in the Middleton household, it was one of his duties to go out in the woods
and keep the house supplied with fuel. This was
rather hard on him, for if the supply threatened to
run out, he was sent out without any breakfast, and
not allowed any until the good woman had as much
as she considered necessary. He would go uphill,
select his tree, cut and roll it to the bottom, and from
thence, in smaller sections, to Mrs. Middleton's quarters.
Many a morning, indeed many a day, was thus used up,
to Billy's great regret, when he should have been at
Unfortunately for Middleton he was in the band,
which often kept him out late, and when he would
come home, if something on the supper-table left ready
Iset for him, did not suit him, he would sweep the tablecloth and all it contained into the open hearth.
After seeing the wonderful white bonnet at the
wedding, he desired his wife to get one for herself.
She preferred going with nothing on her head in the
_r o        o o
summer-time, that is, round the camp, and in the
winter her favourite head-gear was a woollen hood she
had knitted for herself, tied down over her ears. This
had been well enough on board ship, but Middleton
was earning lots of money with his music, and he did
not see why his wife shouldn't " put on style," like the
Willing to please him, she journeyed to " town," as
the few shacks along the water front were called, and
bought a marvellous creation in which red and pink
roses figured conspicuously. Middleton thought this
perfection, and was delighted to be seen walking out
beside it.
The Theatre Royal, so successfully begun on board
the Thames City, was continued here with even
greater success. People were glad to get any kind
of entertainment, especially when accompanied by good
music. Thus the Theatrical Company had soon realised
sufficient to put themselves up a nice little theatre,
in one end of which was a comfortable reading-room, f
containing quite a number of books, and all the newest
papers from "Home" might be read there at leisure.
These were seldom more than three months old, and as
rarely less.
Middleton had been playing at this theatre one
night, and came home "half-seas-over," just enough
to make him want somebody to step on his coat-tails
and have a good row. Throwing the supper into the
fire to-night, and smashing the crockery, although
rather an expensive game then, was not sufficient fun;
he looked round for something more fetching—this was
too old a trick, and elicited no remonstrance from his
long-suffering wife.
She had just come in from the performance ahead of
him, and hung her magnificent bonnet on the wall.
This he espied, made a rush for it, and—oh, glorious !
Mrs. Middleton tried to save it. She was, as we said
before, a big, powerful woman. A struggle ensued for
possession of the brilliant article. Both tugged at it,
and, of course, both succeeded in getting a share.
When the wife saw it was no good wrestling for it,
she sat down to get her breath, and then gave him a
piece of her mind.
This entertainment so delighted him that he sought
to prolong it. Diving into his pockets he brought out
a handful of sovereigns and threw them into the fire
after the supper, the crockery, and the fragments of
But Mrs. Middleton had passed the climax of
endurance, and took no notice of the action;  so, re-
penting him of the last act, he was fain to grope in
the ashes for the recovery of the coin. When he
had got through this somewhat undignified proceeding, he saw the teapot, still unbroken, standing
under the dog-irons. He searched out a basin from
among the debris that could be made to hold something,
and took a good drink of the overdrawn decoction.
This, and the coming of a shivering dawn, made him
sober enough to be miserable, and he crept into bed,
where his wife was snugly ensconced, oblivious of her
troubles. Next morning they took their breakfast from
the pots and pans as best they could, pending a visit
to town to procure more.
Ugly white ware was shipped out here in those
days, but it was expensive. Ordinary plates cost from
twenty-five to fifty cents each; plain quart basins,
fifty cents; a medium-sized meat dish, two dollars;
a soup tureen, when such a luxury was obtainable,
cost five dollars if the earthenware ladle had reached
the Colony unbroken.
Sunday was quite a gala day in the little town, for
then the military, splendid in their red coats, shining
boots, and bright buttons, paraded to church, headed by
their band, and all the citizens came out to see them,
and enjoy the music. Indians by the hundred stood
around, mostly wrapped in blankets and without anything on their feet—they far outnumbered the little
band of whites.
Up the hill, into the little wooden church marched
the soldiers, followed by the rest of the congregation, w
for few entered until they had seen the sight of the
day. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. John
Sheepshanks, the present Bishop of Norwich, who lived
in a little log cabin near by.
It was great to watch the young married women
and the marriageable girls come mincing in, tossing
their heads at every measured step, screwing their
mouths into a "prunes and prism" expression, and
putting on " French and frills " generally.
Yet one of these latter young creatures, from fourteen
to seventeen years of age, would perhaps by another
Sunday be wending her way over mountain and prairie
on horseback to the home of a well-to-do husband,
whose acquaintance had been made within the week,
and who had journeyed down with the express purpose
of taking back a white wife.
Generally, of course, these men were no strangers to
the community, being cattle-men, judges, men holding
Government positions, wealthy traders, and so on.
Many of these girls never visited the coast again until
after the advent of the C. P. R., which made their place
of residence easy of access, say only one or two hundred
miles on horseback to the nearest station.
Others were the happy mothers of large, healthy
families, the very backbone of a new country. Their
sons and grandsons bestrode a horse so early that their
legs grew with a bend in sympathy with the animal.
Some of the latter have proved their mettle in the cause
of their beloved country on the veldt and kopjes of
South Africa, laying down their sturdy lives if need be,
using their quick and practical wits when emergencies
arose. They were the pets of the Gordon Highlanders,
who hailed them with delight as " Oure lads!' One
of these men, as he lay wounded before Paardeberg,
asked a boy of ours if he had been under fire before.
Upon receiving a reply in the negative, the canny Scot
said with admiration, " A'rm prood o' ye, laddie ! prood
o' ye!' The Canadian boys were sent into action
under the wing, as it were, of these braw Scotchmen,
but it was more than the practised veterans could do
to hold them in hand. They were unable to comprehend the restraints of the Regulars, and more than
once in forage or sortie, when called to account, the
Gordons had to admit, "It was the Canadians, Sir!"
They could lassoo a calf, or run down a goose, and
many was the little sack of provender they divided up
among their half-famished comrad
KJiSLi. Cull OQ .
One night all
they had after a hard day's run was a tea-tablet the
officer in command gave out from his own little store,
and he had nothing else himself. Now one of our
boys (I could give his name) had a little flour in his
saddle-bags, and another had a chicken, I can't say
from where. They were big, strong lads, and possessed
appetites that corresponded. They made a smothered
fire in a way of their own, cooked their chicken and
some "joe-patties," as they called little cakes of flour
and water, which they wrapped in leaves and baked in
the ashes. The action of their commanding officer in
sharing his little all with his men touched their hearts:
*t_J* 7
they picked out the two cleanest "joe-patties," cut off 88
I (111 I
the choicest part of the chicken, and carried it to him.
He ate it thankfully, and asked no questions. These are
only a very few of the things they tell us now we have
them back, or I should say, " some of them back."
I think I must tell one thing more. The son of a
farmer went with Baden-Powell's mounted police. His
father died unexpectedly, and the mother needed her
boy, for he then would have to be the stay of the family,
and run the ranch. Application was made for his
return, and he was to come home with a wounded
comrade. In the meantime a fight ensued; the men
followed hot on the trail of the flying Boers. A Boer
man and a boy hid in some brush, and Timlick saw his
opportunity to make a capture. He and two others
followed them in, when both held up their hands.
Timlick, afraid the two others might shoot without
noticing this, turned his head and shouted, " For God's
sake, boys, don't shoot, they've got their hands up!'
As he turned to say this, the younger Boer shot our lad
through the lungs. Every rifle was levelled on the two,
for others had ridden up, and the officer in charge was
only just in time to dash them up and save the lives of
the cowards who killed the generous young fellow after
he had spared them. Tenderly they carried him to
camp, but though he lingered a few days his case
was hopeless, and he knew it. The time arrived
that his comrade, George McArthur, should leave
for home. He was forbidden an interview, the doctor
was so anxious to give the lad every chance. But
Timlick wanted  to  send   a  special   message   to  his II
mother, so McArthur crept under the back of the
hospital tent, and took it. The very day he arrived
here, he set out again for the ranch to deliver it.
What it was he told to none but that sorrowing mother.
Lords of the forest and stream, hunting in the
mountains, navigating on lakes where the sudden storm
arises and nothing but a frail canoe stands between
them and eternity, shooting the rapids, rounding up
herds of cattle, breaking in refractory horses, dealing
with the Indians, in such places are they born, among
such scenes cradled!   What do they know of Discipline?
But all were not so happy in these hasty marriages.
Sometimes they found an Indian or half-bred " wife "
ahead of them when they arrived in their new home,
with a large family of children calling the bridegroom
" father." The deposed and wronged woman would
then generally return to her tribe. Sometimes she
remained on the same ranch, and helped the white wife
and her children. In the case of which I now speak,
the white man was a very finely set-up specimen of
manhood. His hair was fair and curly, his eyes blue,
a blonde moustache hung heavy on his lip. He had
taken to himself a half-breed "wife"—at least she so
considered herself—and there were some children
toddling round, so fair it was hard to tell if there
was any Indian in them. He came down on business,
and fell in with a young woman who behaved very
graciously to him. This was all that was necessary
as a rule, for an offer would follow. She was aware
of his " entanglement," but resolved to " have him." 90
j II
They were married, and by easy stages journeyed
home, for the bride had always looked upon herself as
" delicate." When the half-breed and her family were
relegated to her Indian mother's hut, she said nothing,
but professed friendship for her rival. She made herself
so indispensable to the " delicate " white woman that
she was freely admitted at all times and seasons. How
her heart burned with jealousy her former lord never
knew, for she still possessed herself in silence. Only
the Indian mother was in her secret. The man had
expected a scene, and was well pleased to find Marie
"so sensible." She never sought to speak with him
alone, but gave all her attention to the ailing, complaining wife, for whom he was beginning to feel less
The white woman's great remedy for all the ills of
life, and without which " she couldn't live" was
Seidlitz Powders. She always had a tin box of them
on her dressing-table.
Being the only white woman for many miles around,
other men came to call on her, and amongst them
the half-breed girl noticed one who paid assiduous and
secret court. Her own heart told her he was preferred;
but her closest surveillance could detect no wrong.
She and her mother had a plan, but they waited awhile.
Perhaps the white woman would go with the other man
after all, and things would right themselves. They
watched their hated rival, and found that no transgression was likely to relieve them of her presence.
They returned to their former idea.
The Indians in those days knew the different properties of herbs, roots, and berries. From one of these
the Indian mother made a white powder, which looked
exactly Hke that in the larger Seidlitz paper. This
they placed in one of the papers, and watched daily
to see when their victim would choose this one.
Several days passed, they saw her drink her Seidlitz,
make a face and shudder after it, but the fatal draught
yet remained untouched.
One morning the husband awoke with a severe headache—something new to his experience—and his wife
prescribed her favourite remedy. Instead of ridiculing
the idea, as Marie and her mother had always heard
him do, he consented. She got up and mixed it for
him, and he drained the cooling draught. But alas !
this time it was the poisoned package she had all
unwittingly prepared. No doctor could be procured
nearer than the coast. Marie and her mother applied
what remedies they could, but their potion had worked
only too well, and in less than an hour he died in
fearful agony, protesting that he had been poisoned, and
that his wife had done it.
Marie waited to see if the widow would marry the
man who had paid her so much attention. She
evidently thought she would—such things happened in
those days; but he experienced such a revulsion of
feeling towards her that he never willingly went near her
again. He had been told, of course, that her unfortunate
husband had accused her of poisoning him, and the
vanity of the man told him that she had done it so as 92
to be able to marry him; that, though she had paused
at the seventh commandment, she had not hesitated at
the sixth. Others only looked upon it as the raving of a
man delirious with pain. Being a young and well-to-do
widow she soon married again.
The discarded Marie, what did she do? She had
held the head of the man she loved through his last
agonies, and showed no sign ; but with some of his fair
hair in her bosom, she returned to her tribe, accompanied by her children and her mother, for by the
tribal laws of the Indians a woman's children belong
to the tribe from which she came, and in case of the
death or desertion of her husband, the tribe are responsible for their upbringing. Here she married the
young chief. Can any one wonder that under Marie's
tuition her children grew up to hate the white man, and
still more the white woman, or that more than one of
them expiated their crimes upon the scaffold ? Whose
fault was it ? CHAPTER XII
If a young man asked a girl to go to a ball with him it
was tantamount to a proposal. One of our merchants
in town had a very pretty daughter, and many were the
suitors she had. According to her own account it was
"Patriarch" This; "Van Winkle" That, and the
" Wandering Jew " the other. She was hard to please,
she thought.
The younger men, who had little but themselves to
offer, were not the favourites with these young girls, who
looked upon the mature age of eighteen as "Old-
A dapper little man from up-country, had established
for himself a trading post, built a log house, cultivated a
piece of garden, and amongst other things found he was
making money. Turning his back upon the tempting
bulk of some half-breed girls, his neighbours—at least
they were only forty miles away, and occasionally
came to his place "shopping"—he came to the coast
with the avowed purpose of taking a wife back with
He saw the merchant's daughter when he was in
93 94
buying goods, and he made up his mind the pretty
fair-haired Marguerite would just suit him. He paid
assiduous court to her, and was to be found by her side
morning, noon, and night. The grumpy old father looked
on disapprovingly. He knew nothing of this young
man, he said, and Marguerite could find some one better
off and nearer at hand; he didn't approve of this going
miles and miles away, nobody knew where. Trading
posts were uncertain things ; if travel turned in another
direction, where would his trading post be? and so
But Marguerite still smiled upon his suit. She even
promised to accompany him to a ball in the barracks,
and he had bought an engagement ring, giving a big
price for a poor article. With this in his vest pocket he
called for Marguerite, who thought he looked more than
grand in a black velvet English smoking-jacket. He
felt equal to anything, and nothing less than the
The girl's mother was away, and the father refused
point-blank to let her go, threatening to lock her up if
she so much as attempted to dress. He knew very well
she would never go among the other girls unless she
had on her best " togs."
Mr. Wills came several times that evening to see
if her father would not change his mind. When asked
for the last time, the old man replied, " I'll take all
your orders, young man, and make all I can out of you,
but Marguerite stays home."
Marguerite cried a little; she had expected to figure
as a prospective bride that night, for she and others
knew about the ring. But she soon dried her eyes and
went to bed, thinking that perhaps after all she might
do better, as her father had said.
Wills went to the ball alone, and a whisper went
round that he had been disappointed. He stood in the
group of men near the door, who always attended these
affairs, but never joined in the throng. He was looking
round for a likely wife. A dark, quiet girl of about
seventeen seemed not to attract very much attention, so
he went and asked her to dance. She knew who he
was and why he had come to town, had watched his
courtship of Marguerite as the rest had done, and
felt surprised to see him there without her. He danced
with her several times, she showed pleasure at his
marked attention. Then he proposed, and was there
and then accepted. He got out his ring, the girl held
up her finger, refusing to take off her glove, as she
had no intention of hiding the fact that she, the
somewhat neglected one, was the prospective bride of
the evening. The ring shone outside the glove, and all
the girls knew she was the favoured one, and would
be married before the week was out. She made him a
good wife too, being somewhat masterful, which fitted in
well with his more easy-going nature.
The mining now began to attract fewer people into
the country. Many of course had settled in the colony
for good, but there was less going and coming. There
were amongst the white citizens a few grumblers and
agitators.    These raised the  question  of doing away
jt 96
iff i
with the military, as part of the  expense had to be
borne by the Colony.
These men had engineered roads and bridges over
mountain passes, across canons, round the precipitous
sides of mountains, building out the road in more than
one place where the traveller looked down into the depths,
hundreds of feet below, straight from the seat of a stage
coach, to the churning waters of Father Fraser as he
thundered his way through chasms too narrow for his
easy transit, and too full of immense boulders to let him
pass in peace.
Each summer had seen them going up the river in
their own batteaux, for construction, survey, safety of
the miner and his gold, of the hardy settler and his
family; They had found the Indians, though numerous, so far harmless, for they understood the justice
with which they were treated by the Government. It
was only in individual cases and for personal wrongs that
they had secretly or otherwise taken the law into their
own hands. Even now the humanising influence of the
Roman Catholic Church had begun to exert its sway
among them, and priests were found living with some of
the tribes, teaching them many things, both spiritual
and temporal.
There might be some seven hundred of a population
in the Royal City, if you included a few Kanakas from
the Sandwich Islands, and a floating population of
Indians who came and went as the spirit moved
The Royal Engineers and their families now num-
_-».-r---^-_,M||||- IN THE PATHLESS WEST
bered nearly four hundred all told, and the revenue
these brought to the infant community never entered
into the calculations of the disaffected ones.
The Royal Engineers were disbanded; they were
allowed the choice of going home and finishing their
term, or they could remain and receive 160 acres of
land free and unencumbered, wherever they chose to
select it, with an honourable discharge.
To a very few this option was denied; these were the
incorrigibles, and they were sent home to be dealt with
according to Army regulations.
Most of the married men remained; many of them
had wealthy sons-in-law by this time and grandchildren
born in the colony, although they were still in their
prime themselves. The camp indeed had added bravely
to its numbers.
A farewell dinner was given to the officers by the
civil officials, toasts were drunk, and songs sung. The
stern Chief Justice, the terror of thousands, had mellowed with his dinner, and when called upon for a
toast insisted upon singing a song instead. They
all tried to dissuade him from this, as he only knew
one song, which had neither beginning nor end, and
kept to no particular key nor tune. However, sing he
did, and kept it up for an hour, but no one paid any
One of the officers of the Volunteers, a very hot-
tempered man, had his glass filled with the rest for a
toast, when a wag near him dropped a goodly dose of
salt into it.   He had taken quite a drink before he
8 r
noticed this, when he roared to the waiter to change
his glass. The same thing happened again, and then
he started to thrash the coloured waiter, who protested
his innocence, and again changed the glass. The third
dose of salt was more than he could stand. Drawing
his sword he began whirling it around his head,
threatening to annihilate the "whole gang." Then
there was a scatteration; those who could not dodge
under the table climbed over it. The Judge tried to
get to his feet and deliver sentence on the evildoers.
In the midst of the hubbub some one turned out the
lights, and when they had perforce to remain quiet till
these were again lighted, they had forgotten the fracas.
Those who could said " Goodbye," those who could not
remained where they were till taken charge of by their
At the camp a large party had been given at the
barracks by those who remained to those who were
returning home, at which all the women and children
were present. They danced and sang to their hearts'
content; sent messages and presents home, not forgetting "Old Huthlicaut" and his wife of the Falkland Island, nor the "Ancient Mariner" of Stanley
A Scotchwoman sung "Will he no come back
again?" and many an eye was wet.
They were to be up betimes in the morning, for they
had their bag and baggage to carry on their heads and
backs to Port Moody over the Indian trail, where a
sailing-vessel awaited them.   As the little band filed  -hi/
With so large a floating population passing through,
naturally some remained as permanent citizens. One
man, who called himself Merton, was found resident in
an abandoned shack near the water. Whether he had
come from up or down the river, as a miner or a tourist,
he never said, being particularly reticent regarding
himself. His speech was that of a gentleman, though
his clothes, at this time, were those of a tramp.
He worked and patched round the dilapidated shack,
and raised a little verandah in front from driftwood ; he
even set up a fence—not as a mechanic would have done
it, but it seemed to suit him, and he had the using of it.
He fished for his own use, picked up for fuel the logs
which were washed ashore, and in so much resembled
the Indians, his immediate neighbours. He was tall of
stature, finely built, rather dark, and decidedly handsome. Yet, if you looked right into his eyes, perhaps
there was something lacking. You did not feel sure
about it though, because when you addressed him upon
any general topic he seemed very well informed, and his
manner forbade familiarity.
Could you have seen inside his shack you would have
known him for a Briton, and one accustomed to buy,
not make, what he needed. One contrivance, though,
was unique. He had taken a round block of wood for a
seat, but finding it somewhat tiresome to remain in an
upright position all the time, had conceived the brilliant
idea of taking an old shovel he had picked up, nailing
the handle on to the back of his sitting block, with the
concave side forward, so that it just caught below his
shoulders, and formed a comfortable support. A larger
block did duty as table. A bunk had already been
nailed up against the wall, or most likely he would just
have slept on the earthen floor of the cabin. He made
a little fire outside to cook his fish; and this, with a
little bread he bought in town, appeared to be all his
diet. Thus for two months he lived his solitary
Then he paid daily visits to the post-office, a little
wooden building on the upper or hill side of the second
street, which had begun to appear, just back of that on
the water front. The hill rises so abruptly here that
to reach it the seeker of " Mail" must have had some
fifty wooden steps to climb. To the postmaster he
whispered another name, and after several days an
official-looking letter was handed out to him.
Next morning he went on the steamer to Victoria,
and was gone perhaps two weeks. He returned in a
nicely fitting tailor-made suit, top hat, overcoat, patent-
leather shoes, kid gloves, and good linen. These he
laid aside, and resumed his former way of living when
he assumed his old clothing. V
Things seldom remain a mystery long in a small
community. It leaked out that he had been met at the
principal hotel in Victoria, " living like a lord," spending money on all the toadies who gathered round him
as though there was no end to his resources.
Before quite exhausting these, however, he seemed to
have called a halt, ordered his bill, paid, tipped the
waiter liberally, and asked for a carriage to be in
waiting for him in time for the New Westminster boat
in the morning. So the " cat was out of the bag," and
he was one of our first remittance men.
He provided himself with a little sheet-iron cookstove,
such as miners use, and some blankets, go he was
comparatively comfortable this time. He also bought
other articles besides bread, such as meat, tea and
sugar, coffee and candles. But he allowed no intimacy,
and no one penetrated the sacred precincts of his
The Indians camped near, but they never molested
him. When he would sit by the hour smoking and
watching them dress skins, they accepted his tobacco
and respected his silence.
No one so far had discovered his weak point, and the
wags watching him of course wanted to break through
the barrier of his reserve, and see if there was not some
fun to be had.
Three months later another official document was
handed to him, and again he repaired to Victoria.
This time he returned evidently out of money. He
had been " cleaned out " in the hands of some sharks. IN THE PATHLESS WEST
People feared that he would starve, and in a community which knew not what want meant this would
have been a double disgrace. He bought nothing in
town, "fish straight" being his only food. Some of
those interested in him persuaded an elderly minister to
go and see him. Rather dubious of what his reception
might be, he went, and found himself received as if he
were making a call in Hyde Park. This somewhat
disconcerted the old man, and he managed to invite
Mr. Merton to become a member of his choir.
Then the floodgates were opened. He hummed
snatches from "Faust," "Fra Diavolo," "Elijah," of
which the good minister knew nothing. Promptly on
time he repaired to the church for practice, was
formally introduced to the choir, and then going up
he leaned gracefully on the front of the organ
(harmonium) and requested the young lady who
presided there to play this, that, and the other, taxing
her somewhat limited ability and the patience of the
waiting choir, who, like the instrumentalists of the City,
held themselves high. He had, however, demonstrated
that he possessed a fine voice, and knew a great deal
more about music than they did, for they needed to sing
a tune or a part over a number of times so as to " catch
it," whilst he held a Hymnal before him and sang
whatever took his fancy, at sight. Anyway, his weak
point had been discovered, and formed the topic of
discussion and speculation for the next few days.
A merchant with whom he had dealt met him out
walking next  day, and  suggested that he would  be ■ p
pleased to give the gentleman credit until his remittance
arrived, if it would be any convenience to him. He
considered for a while, then he thanked the man, and
signified his intention of favouring him with an order.
The Rifle Volunteers, reinforced by any of the Royal
Engineers who remained near enough to join, had
agitated until they got a Drill Shed built. A room
forty by sixty was then considered a magnificent affair,
although the floor was somewhat rough, and the inside
unlined, being literally a shed. It covered all the lot
appropriated to it by Government. But they must add
a stage or have no place of amusement. So subscriptions were raised, a portion of the adjoining lot
leased, and a lean-to built along the end of the Drill
Shed, with a little low room in the eaves on either side
for dressing-rooms. Here they had a theatre and
place of general amusement, for the one at the camp
had been destroyed by fire, and the citizens were hungry
for another.
About this time a musical nigger came to town, and
started to organise a minstrel show. A committee
waited upon Mr. Merton and invited him to join. He
demurred at being blackened up to sing minstrel songs,
but he would contribute something from one of the
operas if they liked.   With this they had to be satisfied.
All the old camp hands that could be scared up * were
in it. In town, at this time, was a descendant of
Charles II. and Lady Castlemaine, whose musical
abilities had not yet been tested.    This young man
* Looked up.
prided himself upon his remarkable likeness to his royal
ancestor, which was scarcely flattering to his royal
progenitor, as a maidservant had dropped him out of
an upper window in his infancy, thereby causing one
shoulder to be higher than the other, while a mishap to
one leg had left the knee stiff; and whether he was born
with a fixed stare in one eye, while the other roamed hither
and thither at its own sweet will, or whether that was
also caused by some untoward disaster, we never heard.
His musical education had certainly not been
neglected, for his governess had tried her best to teach
him, supplemented by the efforts of his grandmother,
who had had him tied to a post several times and
whipped, to see if the musical sounds then emitted
might be retained for everyday use and common
The Drill Shed had been made with two large doors
upon the street end, for upon the disbanding of the
Royal Engineers their two large cannon had been
presented to the city, and of course these, on their
gun-carriages, had to be trundled out on all great
occasions to be paraded in company with the hand fire-
engine and the hose-cart, backed up by the dignity of
a ladder long enough to reach the top brick of any
chimney in town, except the new two-story Colonial
Hotel on Columbia Street. With a long rope to each
of these, shouldered by fifty or sixty willing male
inhabitants, and pushed behind by as many more as
could put a hand on anywhere, they made an imposing
show. 106
This interesting ceremony was performed when
General Sherman came over the mountains by the Hope
trail. The cannon belched powder in great shape, even
throwing a ball or two over the river to do him honour.
This so impressed an Indian chief, also from the other
side, that he went to the Volunteers and made overtures
of purchase. They assured him the General was the
man to go to. So the Chief, in dead earnest, applied to
him. Of course the General took in the joke, and
proceeded to turn it upon the enterprising Indian.
Looking him over, the General remarked, " If I sell
you these cannon, you will kill my soldiers with them."
" Ha - - lo ! Mammook, mamalush soldier couper
stick.    Big guns, mamalush cowboy."
The Chief put a long accent on the first syllable.
These people give expression by emphasis, as we should
by using adjectives. For instance, you might wish to
ask an Indian if he had come from far or near. He
would use the same word for either, only with a different
emphasis. You would say "Si - yah, mica illehee? '
(Where is your home?) If it was quite near he would
say carelessly and quickly, " Oh ! Si - yah." (Oh!
quite near.) If it was, say, hundreds of miles up the
coast, he would wave his hands and nod his head,
saying, " Si
yah.''    (Very far off.)
So with the ambitious Chief, who would be the owner
of big guns. The literal translation of what he said
would be, "I can kill soldiers with a club, the big guns
are to kill cowboys," but the emphasis used made it,
" Oh !   soldiers, they are easy to kill, a club is good
enough for that. But the cowboys, I can't get near
enough to kill.   I need big guns for them."
The night of the show arrived, and, as was expected,
the Drill Shed was packed to the doors. To make the
place feel like a truly theayter the promoters had even
raised a kind of gallery for the young men by the two
big doors, which were, as we said, only opened on State
occasions, a small one having been made for general
use, as also for the sake of warmth. For the Drill
Shed was seldom too warm, even when several iron
box stoves were kept well supplied with wood, for not
only was it unlined, but unceiled. Thus every precaution must be taken to make it comfortable for the
ladies, or they would stay away, then where would
be the glory of the performance ? The impromptu
gallery was crowded. The singers came with more or
less acceptance. Merton was encored, and was ready
with something fresh every time. The pianist tried
to "put in" an accompaniment each time. Merton's
eyes were closed, but his face expressed agony. At
last he opened his eyes abruptly, and politely requested
that the accompaniment might be omitted. This
utterly delighted the audience, who seemed determined
to see how long he could be kept going without repeating
himself. But they got tired of hearing him, for one
thing, and of laughing for another, with no sign of
fatigue on his part.
They had another celebrity to hear. His repertoire
was somewhat scanty, for all he had been able to master,
and that in his own way entirely, was " Ella Rhie."
H Ii
I If     I
So delighted were the audience with the efforts of
royalty's descendant, that they clapped him out over
and over again. At each appearance he began at
the first word and went religiously through, the only
thing being that, regardless of accompaniment or key,
he started a note or two higher at every fresh effort.
They wanted to see how long he could keep this up.
When he had got so high that his voice broke in
a squeal, the climax was received with laughter and
the stamping of many feet, and the representative of
royalty and the Castlemaines then bowed himself off,
a complete success in musical circles, much to his
own surprise.
This gave some of the others a chance to exhibit
their powers, so the nigger came on. No need of
burnt cork had he or of a woolly wig. He sang " Keep
in de middle ob de road." The young men in the
" gallery " braced their shoulders against the big doors,
put their hands deep in their pants' pockets, stretched
out their legs, and prepared to hear the nig.
But this was a night for fun, such as had not been
theirs since the destruction of the Camp Theatre Royal.
The big doors opened outward, and were held in place
by an iron bar. Some one crept under the "gallery,"
pulled down the bolt, so as to let the youths slide out
into the street, just as the nigger was lustily shouting
I Keep in de middle ob de road." This broke up the
meeting, but all went home satisfied that they had
had more than their money's worth of fun.
Whenever Merton appeared to sing in public after IN THE PATHLESS WEST
this, he was always received with rounds of applause,
which he always received as compliments. He sang
at a bachelor-gathering once, and, as usual, closed
his eyes tight till he reached the last note. After
Merton was well started the leader of mischief rose,
put his finger on his lip, and tip-toed out. The rest
took the hint and followed. Going to the curtainless
windows they peeped in to see what the result would be
when he got through. Hearing no applause as he
gave the final note, he opened his eyes and looked
round upon the empty benches. He shook himself,
rubbed his eyes, and looked again. He was in the
Drill Shed sure enough, and the lamps were burning,
but the seats were empty. He took out his watch,
looked at it, listened to be sure it was going, shook it.
His watch must be wrong, and he had sung everybody
out. He lingered for awhile hoping some one would
put in an appearance. This they had no intention
of doing. So muttering something about " bad form "—
whether applied to himself or his vanished auditors
was doubtful—he took his hat and went home, and the
young men had the grace to let him go without
discovering their trick.
He seemed to find out that although there was no
bank here, he could get his quarterly allowance by
express. It was no mean amount either. So the
next quarter found him wearing good clothes and
keeping his rendezvous at the hotel under the care
of the sporty Frenchman.
All the dandies in the vicinity gathered round him, _r
not excepting the scion of a lordly house who lived upon
a ranch and called himself the husband of a stout
one-eyed klootchman (squaw) and the father of a
numerous half-breed progeny, who would have fared
but ill for the necessaries of life in the shape of salmon
and potatoes, had she not fished for the one and planted
the other. It is told of them that once when his allowance arrived, the Indian wife had complained that
she had no clothes for herself or the children, and
some must be bought this time before the general
"gin-up" of the pair commenced, as it invariably did
upon the appearance of the money. Words ran high.
Then the hopeful scion fetched the squaw's clothes
and threw them on the burning hearth. She in retaliation burned his, so the gin had to give place to clothing
for once. Yet this man, had he filled the position
in life for which he had been educated, might have been
a bishop in the Anglican Church. There was sufficient
influence behind him for it, but for a failing, a weakness,
a besetting sin, a disease, & mania—call it what you will,
its one name is destruction.
Merton entertained royally until the bill reached
a certain amount. Then he paid, asking for no items,
and retired to his cabin till the next amount should
He never recognised the guests of his affluence when
once he had retired to his cabin; but he patronised
the merchant who had offered him credit in his time
of distress, and was careful to pay him before he
entered upon his brief spell of hospitality.
Six months went by and no remittance came. Then
the postmaster handed him out another legal-looking
document, He paid his debts, retired to his cabin,
lived on almost nothing, and refused to go and sing,
even in the choir, although assured that there was no
tenor to take his place. This was perfectly true, but it
failed to have any effect on him.
He was noticed going to the slaughter-house and
getting the heads, tails, feet, and so on, which in those
days were thrown away, not being considered worth
the trouble of cleaning for use, except by the Indians.
He cleaned tripe, took it to the merchant who had
befriended him, and left it there for sale. In this
way, and by dressing skins as he had seen the Indians
do, he made sufficient to buy a little flour, tea, and
The Indians now gave him a name of their own,
which literally translated means " Chief of the Dunghill."
For several years he existed in this way, then more
legal documents arrived, and without a word he left
for Victoria.
He returned for a brief spell, put up at the " Colonial,"
but failed to recognise those who would have gathered
round him.
He paid the merchant many times more than he owed,
and when the good man remonstrated, mentioned a
sum of money as being his which made the man's hair
stand on end.
He went to one of the resident Royal Engineers,
and proposed to him  for the hand of his daughter, 112
promising " settlements " which few could have resisted.
But the girl refused. Would she marry the " Chief
of the Dunghill " ? Not much! To do her justice,
she had not the most remote idea of what such wealth
as his could make her mistress of.
He and his money did not wait long for some one to
appropriate them. A pretty actress in Victoria was
soon Mrs. Merton, or whatever the legal name may
have been, and they were heard of in our belated papers
as cutting a wide swathe in New York and 'Frisco,
but as far as we knew they never crossed over to
mi When   the   Royal   Engineers
were disbanded the
Middletons were among those who returned to the
Old Country, so Billy lost his protector. Had certain
letters and papers lying in an old trunk of his mother's
only been brought to light, Billy's early struggles would
have ended, and a happy return to a pleasant home and
loving friends would have been his. But his stepfather jealously guarded them, the only wonder being
that he did not destroy them. Possibly he had some
idea of making a demand upon the child's relatives,
should anything happen to him. Anyway there the
letter lay addressed to Mrs. Hilyard. It begged her, if
the child of George was living, to send him to the
writer, who signed himself "Jon. Hilyard." It also
offered her a home until she wished to make other
arrangements. She had had the letter read to her, and
could repeat every word. But it had arrived too late;
for she had already played out another little romance of
her own since her second widowhood. George Hilyard
had a friend among the privates, a man of education
and refinement.    Together they read Virgil, Rousseau,
George   Sand,   and   others,
the   original.     They
113 114
studied Shakespeare, and solaced themselves with the
Womanlike, she had taken the constant visits of her
husband's friend to herself, for the end had been
written on poor Hilyard's face for many months.
Through her knowledge of Army ways, and the favour
she stood in with the Colonel's daughters, she managed
to obtain every palliation possible for her husband in his
weakened condition. If climate could have saved him,
what more salubrious than the shores of Corfu ? But
the very sea-air seemed too much for him ; and the rosy
youth who had taken his morning plunge in cold, fresh
water now shrank from contact with the warm waters of
the Mediterranean.    At twenty-four he passed away.
The friend saw to all the arrangements as far as he
could, and visited the little bereaved family as often
as decorum would allow, till he discovered with something like a shock that he was expected to take his
friend's place, and this within a few months of his
Being ordered to the island of Zante, he there took a
pretty, child-like Italian girl to wife. This so incensed
the widow, that in a fit of pique she entered unwisely
upon her third matrimonial venture, which resulted as
we have seen.
It had been she who had persuaded her third husband
to volunteer for a foreign station, after their return from
Corfu upon the demolition of the Grecian forts. There
was generally better pay and a superior social standing
to  be had,  and  she feared that some of Hilyard's IN THE PATHLESS WEST
relations   might   claim   the   boy, to whom she   was
But Billings, when the discomforts of the voyage, or
the excess of drink made him surly, always visited his
displeasure upon Billy, if he could find him, upon her if
the child kept out of his way.
When she knew she must die, she had said something
to Mrs. Middleton about some papers and sending the
boy to his own people; but the Yorkshirewoman was
not quick at taking an idea, and the allusion and
entreaty passed out of her mind.
Although the man said nothing about the papers, he
accepted the guardianship of Billy. He was a good
carpenter, and soon obtained all the work he could do
at four dollars per day.
But it was only a case of " more work, more gin," for
the man went to the little hut every night in a state of
intoxication. Right thankful was poor Billy when he
had reached such a stage that he would fall upon his
bed in a stupor. Billy would then cover him up, and
go to sleep himself with a good prospect of remaining at
peace till morning, when a kick or a cuff would start
him up at dawn with an order for tea.
Lucky for Billy if the fire burned briskly and the tea
was on hand in time to suit the bully. Breakfast was
the only meal he took in the shack, and little he needed
after his night's carousal.
On his quarrelsome nights the child had a hard time
of it, and many a moniing he awoke bruised and sore
from the beating he had received overnight. IN THE PATHLESS WEST
There was only one advantage in this life to Billy's
way of thinking; and that was, he could go to school
every day and study all the time he had to spare from
his few household duties.
As Billings ate his two principal meals at an hotel,
he was filled with plenty, and it seldom occurred to him
to inquire if there was anything in the house for Billy.
The boy would earn a little here and there doing
odd things; but he was anxious to learn, for he
realised how much easier it would be for him to earn
a living if he could read and write and do a little
" figuring," as he called it, than with his small
strength in hard work. He could buy three whole
salmon for a quarter then, or the Indians would give
him a young sturgeon. These he salted, and many a
time a piece of this fish, sometimes with a crust left
from Billings' breakfast, sometimes without, formed his
only meal during the day. But he fastened it up into
a neat package so that the other children should see
he had a lunch as well as they, though he managed to
go off alone to eat it.
One night he was sitting near the stove, and by
the light from its open door trying to get the " tables "
into his head. Every now and then he would look
anxiously around to see that all the orders of his stepfather had been carried out. The floor was clean,
plenty of wood inside, kindling for morning, a good fire,
the kettle on for hot grog. He was wondering in what
condition Billings would come home.
Presently he started and looked towards  the  small IN THE PATHLESS WEST
bunk he had nailed for himself. Surely from it came
the sound of someone sobbing bitterly. He had heard
his mother cry like that. He got up mechanically
to go and see, when he distinctly heard the word
" Willoughby! " spoken in his mother's voice. None
but she had called him that.
He stood rooted to the spot, clutching his precious
slate and books in his arms. The uncertain step 01
Billings was heard on the two-plank side-walk leading to
the shack. Still he stared at the corner where his bunk
was fixed. Suddenly he saw a light there, gradually
growing brighter. He wanted to wait and see if his
mother would appear to him, although he felt a strong
impression that he ought to run from the place.
But the same voice cried beseechingly, "Willoughby !"
and a force not his own made him rush from the one
entrance to the hut as Billings lifted the wooden latch
to enter.
That his sudden exit had upset the unsteady man, he
never knew, nor that Billings went shouting round
threatening to kill him, if only he could get his hands
on him.
With the impelling force to run came also the
thought of a woman still living in her old camp quarters.
Some of them laughed at her. She was too simple—or
shall we say honest ?—to assume a position she knew
nothing of. She had taken insult without resentment,
had avoided quarrelling with her neighbours by never
repeating what she heard. By staying at home and
minding her children and her own affairs she had made w
the little home happy for her soldier-man, who, like his
wife, was neither musician nor actor. Surely they were
both " simple." She had found time to do some sewing
and mending for the motherless lad, and she had said,
when she saw him going sadly off with his little bundle
on his back to live with Billings, " If he gets too bad to
ye, come an' stay wi' us. I'll put ye down in some
These words flashed across him as he ran, and, if he
had only known it, ran for his life. To her he turned
his steps, following the shorter way by the river, and
through the Indian encampments.
The dawn of a spring morning was breaking. A
party of Indians in big northern canoes were setting
out. A young buck was just pushing out the third
canoe before taking his own place. A squaw spoke
a word or two to him. He turned, caught the flying
white boy, set him in the canoe by the squaw, jumped
in and they were off.
Billy was too worn to care much where he went. He
was too much used to the Indians to feel any fear of
them, so he asked in Chinook—
" Car mica clattawa? "    (Where are you going ?)
" Clattawa nica illehee ! " she replied. (I am going
home.) On looking at the squaw he remembered she
had tried to entice him to go with her before, by
offering him some sticks of red and white peppermint
candy. So he settled himself in the bottom of the
canoe, and was soon sound asleep. The klootchman
grunted her approval of his good sense, and covered him HAI-DAH.
With Under-lip Ornament of Ivory
To face page 118.
r—— % I
When Billings awoke from his drunken sleep, he
shouted as usual for his tea; but no little frightened
boy leaped from the bunk in the corner, and he went
savagely over to drag him out by the hair.
Finding no one there, and that the bed had not been
used, the proceedings of the night before began to dawn
upon his dulled brain. Whether he had hurt the boy
or not, he was unable to remember. He certainly
thought he must have done, or surely the child would
have been in his bed.    What had he done ?
He walked around the shack and called. Then some
idea of having gone home with a sharp knife in
his hand occurred to him, and of his intention then
having been to kill the boy : for, once on the inside
with the door locked, there would have been no escape,
as the one small window was set in the wall and
He remembered falling, too, and supposed there must
have been a struggle. There lay the knife, and surely
it had blood upon it. He shuddered, it was only when
he was drunk, or suffering from the effects of drink, that
he was so cruel.    Yet most likely this shudder was for
himself, for he had seen what Begbie justice meant, and
he knew his own neck would answer for it should it be
found that he had murdered his stepson. There were
even those of his own ilk who had heard him threaten
to do so. If they could make money easily by " giving
him away," he knew how quickly they would do it.
The whistles of the up-river boats were blowing.
Hastily throwing some clothes into the trunk of his late
wife, he took what money he had, locked up the shack,
which was no one's property in particular, and was soon
steaming up river to the " diggings."
This trunk was a curious affair which had been made
in the Bermudas, and which had gone with Mrs.
Billings pretty well the world over. He had taken her
few papers, amongst them those relating to Billy, laid
them in this trunk, and covered it again with a second
bottom; they could scarcely have been better hidden.
The embryo city wagged along in its " Sleepy-
Hollow " way. It had settled down to the fact that
with the Royal Engineers had gone much of its support,
as the Home Government had disbursed large sums of
money through them.
Now they had a Governor of their own who occupied
the house which had been built for Colonel Moody.
Here gay scenes were enacted. All the merchants and
hotel- or saloon-keepers' wives who aspired to be in the
Government House set had to be provided with a private
dwelling away from the place of business.
What heart-burnings there were because Mrs. Butcher
had a better house, or put on more " French and frills " 122
ill 1
than Mrs. Baker. Perhaps Mrs. Saloon-keeper could
afford to keep a better table than Mrs. Candlestick-
maker, and used wine at her entertainments; whereas
Mrs. General-store had to do her own work, whilst one
and all eschewed the responsibility of writing notes of
invitation, and sent around messages instead. Mrs.
Seymour must also have noticed that the majority of her
acceptances, &c, were in men's handwriting, signed by
a woman's name.
Some women are quick to imitate; until some of these
opened their lips, you would almost have taken them
for ladies; whilst others could never be shaken out of
their original rut. They were what they had been, and
lived at the back of husbands' places of business, letting
the world jog along as it would ; they had comfort and
plenty, and they asked no more.
Columbia Street, with its width of ninety-nine feet,
and its one-story shacks on either side, looked like the
temporary towns that spring up before a great race
comes off, only much smaller. Its length, including
vacant lots, only extended over some three or_ four
blocks of sixty-six feet frontage. Like Front Street,
every one built his side-walk to suit the height of his
own floor. So you went up and down, down and up,
several steps here, or one deep step there, which made
it difficult to walk.
Each merchant unpacked his goods in front of his
store, leaving the packing-cases, crates, and straw
scattered over the street before his own special holding,
and very proud was he if the pile was large, for then his IN THE PATHLESS WEST 123
friends and foes could see for themselves how great was
his business, and what large quantities of goods he had
to import.
Hours were easy, business came as it pleased, for
there was only a limited amount to be done; old hands
laughed when new men came in and began fussily to
advertise and push themselves, for they knew that the
stock of Mr. Pusher would soon be all on his books, and
as no one ever thought of calling for their bills except
in two or three years, the poor man would be " bust'
and gone long before it was necessary to think of paying
One merchant on Columbia Street went by the name
of Captain Blowhard. He was a man of immense
stature and great strength, but from some injury to his
arms he had given up going to sea.
This man possessed the luxury of a white housekeeper
—a most unusual treasure in those days. Sally was not
a very prepossessing personage. She was of medium
height, rather fair, had lost most of her front teeth,
hated, persons of her own sex, spoke cockney English,
and had come to the country in some capacity on board
a sailing vessel.
She would settle down to housekeeping, get everything spick and span, keep the Captain within bounds,
and all would be going lovely, when bang! went law,
order, and decency to the four winds, everything was
forgotten, for the charming Sally was having one of
her periodical " spells." If her bottle ran dry, and the
Captain refused to fetch another, she would arise in 124
her wrath, her nightgown, and her flannel petticoat,
walk out into the street and get it for herself.
But Sally had two admirers, and these men strove
for the honour of her hand, her heart, and her housekeeping.
Old "Doc" was tall and gaunt, with a quick blue eye
and a plausible tongue, withal a man of fair education.
He first set up to doctor horses, but this was hardly
profitable, for when a cayuse was broken down, it was
generally turned loose to die or get better as the case
might be. Ten dollars was soon gone in doctoring, and
the same amount would buy another, the only objection
being that it might break a few bones before it was
usable. With the horses committed to his care he was
generally very successful. The Indians found him out,
and they liked his strong medicines, and stronger lotions,
blue pill and black draught, ammonia and turpentine,
anything that bit well, and left its after-effects.
The Indians were by this time beginning to suffer
from contact with the whites, and what between scrofula
and whiskey were often pitiable objects to behold.
They cannot stand sickness of any kind, and have
been known, when an epidemic of small-pox or scarlatina
was raging among them, to jump into the cold waters
of lake or river while the fever was at its height. * Their
childishness makes them very hard to deal with in cases
of this kind, and whole tribes will be almost cut off in
a few weeks.
Just below the town in the middle of the river stands
an island, still called Doc's Island, and many is the IN THE PATHLESS WEST
canoeload of Redskins who have gone there to consult
the old man, for they surely felt his ministrations.
Doc had resolved to cheer his loneliness, and take to
himself Mistress Sally, making her queen of all she
surveyed on his island, from the one-roomed log hut to
the shores of the mighty Fraser, which flowed all round
his domain.
Captain Blowhard didn't believe in losing his housekeeper, and the two had a lively time when "Doc'
called to pay his respects.
But sweet Sally took a hand in this herself, and
settled matters by marrying a third man, named Graham,
who resided in a shack on the back of a lot near the
premises of the doughty Captain.
The wags of the town, having nothing better to do,
kept an eye on these proceedings, and when the blushing
bride retired to her rosy bower in the shack, they were
all ready to give her the honour of a grand chiverie:
which proceeding consists in collecting all the tin pots,
pans, tin horns, drums, anything that will make a noise,
and on the stroke of midnight opening up the din
suddenly upon the pleasing young couple. Surrounding
the abode of Cupid, at a given signal they all sounded
their instruments of welcome, with shouts of joy, making
a deafening noise, much to their own delight and
Graham's chagrin. The latter stood it for a few
minutes, then he suddenly opened the door and fired
a shot-gun into the crowd.
Fortunately he was too much excited to take good
aim, and the shots passed over their heads;   but he 126
made a splendid mark as he stood in the lighted
doorway hastily reloading; for rotten eggs, apples,
and cabbage-stumps found their way into his dwelling
in great abundance, knocking gun, powder, and shot
from his hands, and making him generally unpleasant
as well as uncomfortable.
So he shut the door to do his loading; the crowd
waited till the door began to open again, fired the volley
they had ready, and then retired to a safe distance, and
awoke the echoes for at least two hours. So he had to
" grin and abear it."
The lovely Sally lay all unconscious of the honour
done her and of the gallant defence of her lord and
master, for she had been celebrating pretty freely.
Captain Blowhard felt so badly the loss of her ministrations that he drank himself sick, and the " sparring
Doctor" was called in to his relief, and a good-natured
ex-Royal Engineer was installed as nurse.
It was a feature of these hardy pioneers that they
never allowed any of their chums to be without assistance
in sickness.
| Rattle his bones over the stones
He's only a pauper whom nobody owns "
was no motto of theirs, and when a stranger died you
would see a long line of followers behind the wood
waggon, the vehicle which had to be used for all, as
it carried the unknown remains to their last resting-
The medicine, a soothing draught,  arrived for the IN THE PATHLESS WEST 127
mikguided Captain, and "Joe" proceeded to administer
it. He mixed according to directions, held it carefully
out of the Captain's reach, and asked—
" See this medicine, Captain ? "
"I see it," growled that worthy, " but I ain't a-goin'
to take no doctor's stuff, an' you can jist chuck it out."
"J say you've got to take it," persisted Joe, who,
true to discipline, would have administered bottle, cork,
label, paper and string as well, if the doctor had so
An altercation followed which would have exhausted
most well men, but poor Captain Blowhard couldn't
chuck the good-natured Joe out, and as it was a matter
of strength the Captain was deftly thrown upon his
back. When he protested with his usual vigour of
speech, a large cork was thrust between his teeth, and
the medicine promptly poured down his throat. He
gasped and sputtered, but the deed was done, and as
the draught likewise performed its allotted office, he
awoke in his usual degree of sanity.
Captain Blowhard knew of his nickname, but he was
very far from liking it. If any of the wags could get
a "Che-chaco' to go in and address him seriously
by that name, they were perfectly sure negotiations
would proceed no farther, and waited somewhere in
the vicinity of the door to see the unsuspecting offender
make a flying leap into the street.
A festival of some kind was being promoted by the
ladies of the Anglican Church in their unavailing efforts
to get sufficient money to build a suitable tower for the 128
bells so kindly sent out by the Baroness Burdeit-
Coutts—a sister chime to the Westminster bells of
London, England.
Nothing more beautiful could be conceived than to
walk by the rushing and magnificent Fraser, the moon
making paths of light on its sparkling waters, the scent
of pine, cedar, and wild flowers in the air, and listen to
the chiming of these bells from the hillside above you,
to hear them echo and re-echo from mountain and
valley, a continuance of sweet sounds dying in the
distance, and ever reverberating from above.
Our friend, the descendant of the gallant Charles,
volunteered his services for the sale of tickets. He
went into the " Liverpool Arms " near by, sold tickets
to the proprietor, a man who never was known to take
a drink behind his own bar with any one, although he
had amassed quite a fortune by what he served out to
others. This man, generally very grave in his
demeanour, was willing to have a joke at the Captain's
expense; so he advised Mr. "Che-chaco' to "go
in to my friend, Captain Blowhard. You will be sure
to sell tickets there, as Blowhard is a philanthropic
kind of a fellow, and terribly ' gone ' on the ladies."
The seller of tickets, delighted with the success he
was having, took his cue, and tripped into Blowhard's
Rubbing his hands, he commenced, " Your friend
next door, tells me, Captain Blowhard—■—"
"What's that?" asked the Captain, in an ominous
Che-chaco thought the Captain must be deaf himself,
he spoke so loudly, so he raised his own voice, " Your
friend next door, Captain Blowhard "
He never got any farther, for the Captain made a run
at him with a vociferous " Git out o' this! " and poor
Che-chaco was sprawling in the street, wondering what
had happened to him and why he saw stars.
The Captain bought out the bankrupt stock of two
men who had pushed business till they were in turn
"pushed," and made a flying visit to their uncle across
the border.
The ladies, of course, went to look for bargains,
bankrupt stocks in those days being a curiosity, for
though the people were few and far between, money
was in nowise scarce.
The wife of a steamboat man, whom for convenience
we Will call Mrs. Leighton, was there among the rest,
and noticed an old woman come in with her grandson.
" What do you want ?' the Captain asked ungraciously.
She wanted some stockings for the child. He handed
downrwhat he thought would fit the boy. The old lady
was somewhat dubious about his ability in the matter,
but the good man was in his usual state of ferment, so
she held her tongue, and when his back was turned she
tried one of them on. He caught her in the act, and
when the old lady timidly remarked that they were too
large, he caught the stockings out of her hand, and said
in his fog-horn voice, " Who the devil do you think'll
want them stockin's after your grandson's stinkin' feet
'a been in 'em?   Git out o' this!"   He couldn't very
10 Ii
.; fri;
. ..'
well throw the old woman into the street, so he flung
the child's shoes and stockings, and the old woman
didn't wait for any more ceremony, but followed them,
the child holding on to her skirts and bellowing with all
his might; the Captain's dulcet tones had upset his
delicate nerves.
Mrs. Leighton, meanwhile, was patiently waiting to
see some silks for dresses, which was a luxury the ladies
could seldom indulge in, for the simple reason that such
goods were seldom included in the stock of the general
He let her wait, and went to a man who was
examining some ready-made clothes. The Captain had
shown more than his usual amount of patience with
this man, that is, he had taken some half-dozen suits
down and shown them to him. The man simply looked
at them, apparently not in a hurry to make a selection,
and waited for more.
The wrath of the Captain was rising, but he walked
to the lady, and throwing down two pieces of silk before
her, returned to the man, who was still waiting to see
more suits, and had scarcely opened his mouth.
The Captain held up a pair of pants before the man,
and said in what were his mild tones, although you
might have heard him a block off, " Now just look here,
my man, here's a pair of pants, seven dollars and a half.
Do you want them ? "
"No ! " returned the man, looking somewhat
The Captain held up a coat to view.    " Here's a coat.
Ten dollars.    Do you want that?"    With every word
his voice increased in volume.
" No! " replied the man, beginning to look puzzled.
"Well! here's another coat, eight dollars. Do you
want that ? "    The storm was working up.
" No ! " said the man again.
The last shred of the Captain's patience was nearly
worn out. He hastily selected a vest, and dangling it
before the nose of the customer, he vociferated, " Here's
a vest, two dollars and a half.    Do you want that ? "
" No ! " said the man, and was about to explain what
he did want, but the Captain had reached tempest pitch.
He rushed at the man, roaring, " Then git out o'
this!! ' he raised his foot, with the man on it, and
precipitated him into the street.
The lady looking at the silks began to wish she had
not come bargain-hunting, especially as the silks shown
her were of gaudy colours and impossible plaids.
When he came to her she ventured to tell him she
wanted a nice brown or quaker grey. He told her he
hadn't any that he knew of, and if those didn't suit
She hastily broke in, and laying her hand upon the
least showy one, although the plaid was enormous, being
of pale lavender and light brown, crossed with bars of
black four inches wide, said she would take that one.
As she left the shop carrying her unwelcome bargain,
for no delivery boys were thought of then, she heard him
say, while he put into his till some forty dollars, " The
only sensible person I've had in the store to-day." 132
A squaw-man, with one of his half-breed offspring, was
awaiting his turn to be served, and as time was no
object in those days, for no one seemed to have much to
do, and the Captain was engaged with one of his own ilk,
talking of the sea, the man set the child on the top
of a barrel of black molasses and patiently awaited the
merchant-captain's pleasure.
Walking to the window, his hands in his pockets, he
proceeded to take in the exciting view, which consisted
of several vacant lots, a chemist's shop with the assistant outside trying a horse; a cobbler at work upon his
last, with a group of gossiping loungers around him; a
saloon-keeper or two sunning themselves and watching
some stray cows as they cropped the grass from the sides
of the street, and then tried if old country straw from
the packing-cases wouldn't be sweeter.
The butcher's cart went dashing by at its usually
exciting speed ; the child stood up to see it—a crash, a
howl, and a sputtering gasp closed the captain's reminiscences, and he rushed for the child; but the father was
ahead of him, and was hauling out the sticky youngster.
They held the child over the barrel and scraped as much
back into it again as they could, then parent and child
were hurried into the street in an atmosphere which was
blue with anathemas.
This way of doing things naturally affected his
business, and trade fell off. He had an idea that
men of his own craft were the only people who had
any sense, so he waylaid Captain Leighton on his
way up from his boat, and, much to the latter's astonish-
ment, invited him in to have a glass of grog and a
All went well, and they exchanged yarns, enjoying
them afresh, till Blowhard complained of the dulness of
trade. The Captain had his own idea of the reason why,
since his wife had told him what occurred when she
had bought her impossible silk, which, all made and
ready to wear, was laid snugly away, but fell so far short
of being " quakerish " that the good lady had never
summoned up courage to wear it. Blowhard asked
Leighton's advice as to whether it would not be better
for him to remove his stock to Yale; he thought the
place would be more in his line.
" I couldn't advise you to go there, for the Oppen
Brothers have just been selling out a big stock below
cost, and when you'd paid all expenses of shipping,
getting a new place, and so on, I am sure you'd be loser
in the transaction."
They had been smoking and talking so calmly before
that Captain Leighton was surprised to see Blowhard
lay down his pipe and start for him with his accustomed
roar of "Git out o' this!" But he "got" before
Blowhard reached him.
When there was an auction Blowhard was the
auctioneer, and the room would generally be crowded to
see the fan. Supposed bidders would be jumping out of
windows or running ifor doors to get away from the
muscular auctioneer, who vociferated for bids or
But business became more and more slack, so he 134 IN THE PATHLESS WEST |
moved to Victoria, whence, after more or less success,
he departed to return no more.
Going  up-river one   day, a  passenger  at  Captain
Leighton's table remarked to him as they talked, "!
guess there's an uproar in hell just now.!
" Why ? " inquired the Captain.
" Old Blowhard is dead." CHAPTER XVI
" Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And tune his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither;
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather."
Billy sat up and rubbed his eyes, wondering why
Billings had not called for his tea. He met the steady
gaze of the stout squaw, who patted his yellow locks
and smiled. Truth to tell, he was very like her own
half-breed son, only that his slrin was fairer and his
face smaller. She had been the wife of a fair-haired
trapper; had been married with the consent of the
tribe, and her "man' had hunted and trapped with
the foremost braves, till consumption wore him away,
as it almost invariably does the most rugged white
man who marries or lives with a squaw.
There were several daughters of this marriage, and
but one left unmarried. The pnly son lay with his
father in the Indian burying ground, with   grotesque
135 136
images carved from wood standing guard over their
graves, while the rotting utensils, their clothes, the gun
of the man, and the playthings of the boy, were disposed
under the mouldering canopy of the blankets which had
been used by them in life. The same all-consuming disease, which is still rife among those of mixed blood, had
carried them both off—or so they supposed. Under
the blanket stretched over the lad's grave—"the boy
with the yellow hah"—was a little table, rudely made,
after the pattern of the whites, and round it were laid,
touching each other, a ring of silver coins—dollars,
half-dollars, and quarters. For several years this
offering had lain there, but not a coin had been
touched. It is even doubtful if anyone had put his
head inside the blanket tepee since it had been
raised by the sorrowing mother. The Indians do not
care for the company of their dead tillicums (friends),
and when the squaws have wailed themselves voiceless over them, consider it only necessary to look
forward to meeting them in the happy hunting grounds
beyond the Setting Sun.
In this same burying ground was a weird reminder to
any one who could stoop so low as to rob the silent dead.
Across a grave lay a skeleton with the weather-worn
tatters of a white man's garb upon its distorted limbs.
Driven through it was a stake of stout wood, and here
the despoiler of graves had met his death at the hands
of the incensed Indians who had caught him in the act.
He, too, had been a squaw-man, but he was no hunter or
trapper—he lay about his camp, and the squaw had to   IN THE PATHLESS WEST
work for him. There is no man so despised among the
tribes as a man of this sort. When they went south, or
to a trading post, he always had money for drink, which
aroused their suspicions, and they watched him. How
long and how patiently they can do this none but
themselves know.
These northern Indians used to be very clever at
carving in wood, stone, metal, and ivory, and as we have
seen, it was their custom to bury the treasures of
their dead with them, that they might have the pleasure
of using them in the life to which they had passed
" beyond the Setting Sun." The articles to be obtained
were very valuable, such as carved bracelets of silver
or gold, necklaces of shells curiously wrought, nose
rings, and lip extenders of ivory. For the latter two
slits were cut in the upper or under lip, and the ivory
ornament inserted.
The squaw was pleased with Billy; he was small, and
weak, and yellow-haired, like her darling. Squaws love
fair hair, and the blue-eyed, fair-haired white man is to
them as a being from a higher world. The boy seemed
quite content to sit round with her, fetch wood and
water, build her fire and cook her food, which was of
the best and in plenty, for she was the daughter of the
Chief Wa-huks-gum-ala-you, and not nearly so old in
years as a person might think by looking at her, for
these women fade early, as indeed most women born in
this part of the world appear to do, of whatever race.
Billy had held on to his books and slate when he fled
from the vengeance of Billings.    Over these he pored ft
till he knew them by heart; he had even learned his
tables—a task he had before despaired of.
Many a night around the camp fire he recited to
the braves in English, and some of the lads began to
speak it after him, for they are quick to catch sounds,
even when they don't know their meaning.
Two of the canoes had gone off the day after they
camped here, manned by the bucks only, who looked
stern and angry as they went.
The squaws, children, and older men cut vine maples
about two inches through. These they peeled, and on
one side for about two feet from the end they bored
holes with a redhot spike.
They made a charcoal from some of this wood, which
is almost as hard as the English oak, but only grows to
the thickness of saplings. Cutting up the thinner parts
into three-inch lengths, they covered one end of the
pieces with live coals, and piled over these wet moss, dead
wood, and green leaves.
When the six-foot stick was ready bored, they
poured water over the smouldering fires, and then
taking out the short pieces with the charred and
hardened ends, they sharpened and fitted them into
the holes bored into the larger sticks, till they looked
like huge, old-fashioned curling combs, with long, black,
sharp teeth.
While the men and boys had been thus employed, the
squaws, old and young, had prepared long pieces of the
supple vine maple, not thicker than your little finger;
these they peeled and dried, laying them in bundles.
Soon came seagulls in white clouds, and the men,
looking out, said, " Oolachans charco ! " (The oolachans
have come.)
The one canoe left them was pushed out; a buck at
the bow, another in the stern, four others on either side
held, as they pushed off, the newly made comb-like
rakes in their hands.
A silvery mass of fish was passing along just under the
water; so thick were they that hundreds, nay thousands,
and tens of thousands were crowded up on the beaches,
the sand bars, and the small islands, where they were
pounced upon by the myriads of gulls.
Into this surging mass went the canoe, the eight men
dipped their rakes, raised them quickly, and, throwing
their contents into the canoe, dipped again.
In less than an hour the carved head of the grey wolf
on the high prow of the big war canoe turned to land,
the men waist deep in the silver beauties. They
stretched themselves to rest and dry out in the sun
whilst the busy squaws filled their large grass-made
baskets with the delicate little fish, about six inches in
The papooses, their baskets propped up against a log,
blinked their great black eyes as they looked wonderingly
on, some crying, some crowing with glee; but in this
they suited themselves, their mothers had other and
more important matters on hand.
These oolachans are the "candle fish" of travellers.
So full of oil are they, that when dried you can light
them, and they will serve in the place of candles.    Of ft
course they create a fishy odour, but of this fact the
Indians are either oblivious or careless.
Many more canoeloads were brought in, and the
squaws took the delicate little fish, too fragile to be
strung by the gills, and, interlacing them in the supple
vine maples they had prepared, dried them in the sun
upon cross poles put up for that purpose. The oil
which dripped from them was caught and kept for
future use.
One thing Billy could do, and of that the Indians
never tired. He had a sweet, childish voice and a quick
ear, and could sing many of the songs he had heard in
camp, and to the tune of others, where he had not
caught the words, he had set some of the poetry in his
reading-book. Added to this two or three " action
songs " he had learned in the Infant department of the
military schools in England, made him very popular
with the community, who, one and all, were more like
grown-up children than men and women, and followed
in the action songs, singing the tune without the words
in high glee. The deep-chested bass notes of the men,
the shrill tones of the squaws, and the sweet voices of
the papooses mingled in pleasant harmony.
They were thus harmlessly engaged one night when
the distant beat of paddles was heard by a lad lying
with his ear to the earth. Always one or other was
thus listening for the approach of friend or foe. The
lad leaped to his feet; in an instant all was silence and
the fire was smothered.
They listened again, when some one said, " They are IN THE PATHLESS WEST
coming, and bring them ! " Instantly pitch-wood was
heaped on the fire, and soon after two canoes grated
upon the beach. Two bound figures were taken out,
one from each canoe. The cords which held them had
been made from the inner bark of the cedar which grows
above the snow-line. It is almost as strong as wire
The men withdrew for a hyas war-war (big talk),
then the two captives were taken away bound into the
forest back of them. Here the tom-toms were beaten,
axes were ringing, pine-trees full of gum were cut and
brought to where two tall pines without leaf or branch
stood, within six feet of each other, in a natural clearing. Here the logs were cleverly piled, so that they
would crackle and roar, and the black smoke from the
pitch-pines would ascend to the blue sky above before
the match had been applied five minutes.
Looking round for the bound captives, you hear a few
words spoken from above the piled-up pine-wood, and
glancing up you see one figure bound to each tree by
deer-thongs above the pyre.
The voice you first hear is that of the fine-looking
young buck. " Are you sorry you went with me? " he
asks, as he turns to look at his companion. She cannot
turn her head, for it is bound to the tree by the long
black tresses of her hair, but she replies, " I would
rather die with you, than live with him ! " indicating a
man who was even now applying the pine torch beneath
Soon amidst the rattle of the tom-toms, the screams
-gj 142
and taunts of the squaws, the crackle and roar of the
flames, the heads of the two figures behind the veil of
black smoke, fell upon their breasts, and not long after
two charred bodies dropped into the blazing sea of fire,
and were seen no more.
The men were not very well satisfied, for the young
buck had refused to answer any questions, had not
opened his lips since his capture—he was so angry with
himself to have been caught off his guard, and bound
without having struck a single blow. The men wanted
to have him put to the torture to make him speak,
but Wa-huks-gum-ala-you had refused. He had known
that these two young people loved each other; but in
his absence the young squaw had been forced into a
marriage with the cruel Medicine Man Kwaw-kewlth,
whose brutality had killed several of his squaws. Her
parents had taken his presents, and given him the
unwilling girl. Had Wa-huks-gum-ala-you been there,
he would not have allowed it. But they had broken the
tribal law of morality, and together they had suffered the
All this time some of the old squaws had been
preparing a feast of oolachans for the returned and
successful bucks. They wanted Bee-lee, as they called
him, to sing to them, when they had eaten to repletion.
He, all unconscious of the fearful tragedy just enacted,
was awakened from his sleep to come and do their
bidding. He sang his little songs, and they, as
gleefully as ever, joined in. They had only carried out
the vengeance of their tribal law upon those who had IN THE PATHLESS WEST
broken its precepts, and their consciences acquitted
The following day was spent in lounging idleness.
One lad, a hunchback, who didn't seem to belong
to any one in particular, had taken a great fancy
to Bee-lee, and for hours they pored together over the
books and slate.
Chuck-chuck was an apt pupil, and a sweet singer.
Bee-lee had never known such happy days since his
mother died. No work so hard that it made his young
shoulders stoop, and stunted his growth. No fear of
being beaten or dragged by the hair of his head from
sleep to be cuffed around by a drunken ruffian. He was
now ten years of age, not taller than most children
at seven, whilst some of the Indian children of four
were bigger than he, and much heavier.
These people, sitting in their canoes, their long arms
reaching out to paddle, had the appearance of large fine
people. Their heads were large, their faces enormous,
cheek bones high, foreheads low, their skin a tawny
brown, merging into chocolate colour as they grew older.
Their hair was black and coarse, in the case of the men
standing out from just below the ears in a thick moplike profusion. The squaws' was scarcely as thick, was
allowed to grow long, was plastered with bear's grease,
and was plaited in two long braids down their back. If
a squaw's " man" died she had to cut her hair as
short as that of the men.
When these people stood up, you were very much
disappointed in their height,  as their legs were dis- 144
proportionately short, giving them somewhat of an
elfish appearance.
No special work was required of Bee-lee, his recitations and songs at the camp fire being considered
sufficient. Chuck-chuck had constituted himself bodyguard and assistant both to Bee-lee and the squaw,
Hai-dah. Bee-lee felt far from strong. He would lie
for hours sleeping in the pine forests, or by the seashore, while the others were at work or play. No
one interfered with him, he came and went as he
pleased, only when you saw Bee-lee, you might be
sure Chuck-chuck was not far off.
After their rest the whole community were up and
off betimes, still going north. The canoes, large as
they were, had all they could carry, which probably
accounted for the hasty execution of the two captives.
Their own purpose in going so far south as the Fraser
had been only to get these erring ones, as any breach of
morality, whether by married or single, was always
punished by both burning together at the stake. There
was no discrimination, no mercy. This accomplished,
it was quite possible the tribe might never again go
so far south, and of course Bee-lee would grow up as
one of them; as indeed it was intended he should.
Hai-dah's daughters had been in demand among the
young Chiefs of neighbouring tribes. One, the youngest,
was left, and the squaw intended that Bee-lee should
marry her, and succeed Wa-huks-gum-ala-you as Chief
of the tribe. Of this honour he was ignorant. The
marriageable age being twelve to sixteen, there would   IN THE PATHLESS WEST
not be long to wait, but He-he (the Laughing One)
had already views of her own upon the subject, having
reached the mature age of twelve, though neither she
nor her mother knew her age—they have no idea how
many " snows " they have lived.
Paddling still north, they would beach their canoes
and camp each night, cook supper and prepare food to
last next day. One day they were going along as usual,
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you, his daughter, Bee-lee, and Chuck-
chuck, passengers in the first canoe, when it quivered
from stem to stern under the combined force of the
rushing water and the impelling paddles. Without the
passing of a word, the canoe shot aside into a cave, the
others followed, and soon the water was eddying by in
angry swirls.
Chuck-chuck took Bee-lee up to a promontory overlooking the waters, which were churning their way
through a narrow passage not more than two thousand
feet across. Chuck-chuck clapped his hands and
danced in wild glee at the uproar. The waters seemed
to come down from above the narrows, and up from
below, running with great velocity. Here they met
and, rushing together, formed irregular columns of
water forty feet in height. Therein the giants of the
forest were lifted and whirled, tossed hither and thither,
like featherweights in a maelstrom.
"We can't go through that! " said Bee-lee, looking
down at the foaming, surging, resistless flood.
"Oh! by and by, by and by, all still," replied
11 146
;  hj :
They returned to the camp with a basket of berries
they had picked, red, ripe, and round as peas. These
are always welcome in the summer-time to these flesh-
and fish-eating people; they will go many, many miles
to get them. Other children came in with like
quantities, which were soon disposed of.
Seated round a calabash cut out from hard wood, with
the head of the grey wolf carved upon it, each family,
dipping from the same dish, helped themselves with
wooden spoons made from the same hard wood, and
most of them bearing the carven head of the wolf.
They all ate heartily, and slept for an hour or two after
it. Then Chuck-chuck and Bee-lee came down from
their coign of vantage above to say that the narrows
were passable, being safe only at certain stages of the
They next entered a beautiful inlet, where the
mountains rose precipitously, almost from the waters
themselves. Passing up it, they camped on the banks
of a river flowing into it. The oolachan catch, some
flour, and so on, brought from the south were then
loaded upon two canoes and sent on to their winter
The city had now reached such a stage that schools
were a crying necessity. The Roman Catholics came
in and established St. Louis College; near it was built
a palace for their bishop. These were small structures
of wood, but the school, as conducted by the Brothers
of Sv. Louis and superintended by Father Horris, a
bright and genial priest, was quite a boon to the
Already several attempts had been made to establish a
public school, and as many teachers had given it up in
despair, for they were unable to keep ahead of their
Following the example of the Brothers of St. Louis,
came the Sisters of St. Ann. They bought a beautiful
site at the highest point of the hill overlooking the
river, where the grassy sward sloped down to its high
banks, and only a few maple-trees stood here and there
in park-like order. From its windows the entire view
of the river from bend to bend lay before you. Here
they built a two-story convent and surrounded it with
high wooden walls.
They were soon busily occupied with the daughters of
147 148
the settlers. As many boarders as they could take,
both white and mixed^ came from the upper country,
and day scholars swarmed in the newly made grounds.
Those who wished were exempted from religious
exercises—indeed the Protestant children were greatly
in the majority.
No sad recluses were these Sisters. Under many
a Convent garb you saw faces of great beauty, as well as
some possessing less physical charm, but all seemed
bright, busy, and cheerful. So accustomed was the
little community to their quiet, unobtrusive presence
that they created no undue observation as they passed
along with their lines of pupils. As soon as they were
seen in the distance an admiring crowd of men, young
and not young, would gather to see them go by. Sister
Mary Pracede had charge of them for many years, and
vigilant she must have been, for only one runaway match
occurred, and then it was under difficulties.
Once an enterprising wife-hunter thought to abduct
one of the Sisters, but she left the marks of her nails so
prominently on his face that he was easily identified
and punished as he deserved.
After that a Brother always lived upon the premises
as protector, but he was very deaf.
Several of the Sisters could only speak French, but
were anxious to learn English as soon as possible,
Sister Mary Jo-jo particularly. She said to the girls one
day, " Now, when I make one meestake in ze Anglish,
you come and ' scratch' me." In her efforts she had
substituted " scratch " for " correct," and the girls were, IN THE PATHLESS WEST
of course, delighted. School was one long frolic to them,
the majority seeming to try and see how little they
could manage to learn. Among the frolicsome ones
was Martha Ann, or Marthe Ann, as she was usually
called, the only and idolised child of Captain Leighton
and his good wife, whom we have seen buying her
impossible silk dress from the late Captain Blowhard,
Back of the Convent of St. Ann stretched the original
forest, with only a trail or two here and there. Hidden
amongst the trees stood, for those times, a perfect
mansion. It consisted of a one-story house spreading
over much ground, for from a central hall opened six
good large rooms, besides pantries and so on. The
man who had built it was looked upon as a crank
for going so far from the main street, and before the
advent of the Sisters it was as lonely as if your abode
were on the side of a mountain. Unfortunately his
family took diphtheria, I think it was, and two of them
died. Being of the Roman Catholic Church they
burned many candles around their dead as they lay
in state, but they never drew the blinds, and people
came up from town to look in from the outside.
After all was over the parents moved to another
part of the country, but the house was left to go to
wrack and ruin, for every one declared that the place
was haunted, and that on dark nights if you dared to
look in at this particular window you would see the two
coffins side by side surrounded by candles, and
hear the chanting of masses from the lips of invisible
priests. 150
That was all very well, for it saved the premises
from the vandalism of the whites, but the fruit trees
were coming on—little trees not much taller than a
man bearing to such an extent that the branches broke
with their weight. There were tangled growths of
flowers and creepers, hop vines and honeysuckles
entwined themselves over the back verandah, yellow
jasmine and roses tried to do the same for the front;
altogether it formed a very pretty wilderness within
the forest, and Mrs. Leighton and her mother, Mrs.
Mar,* thought so one day when they happened upon it.
Marthe Ann was of an age to go to school, but
they demurred at sending her so far alone. Here was
just the opportunity; haunts or no haunts, they would
ask the good-natured Captain to buy and restore
this property. Neither of the ladies cared to be too
closely surrounded by neighbours; they were from Kent,
in Old England, and for the sake of the flowers were
willing to have the ghosts thrown in.
The Captain blustered and declared that it was too
far from the steamboat landing, that half the time
he would be unable to get up home, that as soon
as he had got everything fixed a ghost would appear
to them, or they would imagine it did, and there
would be an end to the whole thing.
As the ladies remained firm, there was nothing for
him to do but to open up negotiations for the property.
This was so easily accomplished that the Captain's
first bid was taken, and his family cosily settled there
inside of a month. ^*rt__*   ■-"
(By permission of Messrs. Edwards Bros., Vancouver).   Copyright.
To fact pciiji' 151. iAi
One of the Indians employed on the boat brought his
whole family down, and they camped in the forest
near by, so as to be handy for Mrs. Leighton to employ
in house or garden. Marthe Ann was of a happy
disposition, and these Indians called her the He-he
klootchman (Laughing Girl). They were sorry for Mrs.
Leighton that she had no son, so they cleaned up
one of their own boys and brought him to her to know
if she would not like to adopt him. She was horrified
at the very idea, as he would bring so much undesirable
company with him. But she compromised the matter
by having him to work for her all the time, giving him
the Captain's old clothes, and letting him eat in the
woodshed. This satisfied them, and each papoose
that was born into the family received one of their
names, beginning, of course, with Marthe Ann. In
the winter they all went up to their tribal reservation,
but they offered to leave Moose-Moose with Mrs.
Leighton if she would let him sleep in the house,
as the woodshed was by now well stocked for winter
use. She told them that she could get along till the
spring alone she thought, but that they were to come
back then.
Whenever the Captain came home his first words
were, "Well, old woman, where's Marthe Ann?"
This day he was told rather sharply, I' Over at the
Convent, as usual! "
He thought it was time she was home, and started
over after her. He entered the garden by a gate
in   the   high   wall;   it   closed   behind   him   with  a
tffl _? nfiwW]
/ i   ■
bang,  and could   only be  opened again   by Brother
" Marthe Ann!" roared the Captain, turning his
head in the direction whence he heard a babel of
tongues. No response. "Marthe Ann ! " he repeated,
still louder. This time the voice had penetrated the
open windows of the Convent and was heard above
the voices of the girls.
Instantly there was silence. A man's voice within
the sacred precincts ! They heard it again. The girls
fled, the Sisters were afraid to go out to him, Brother
Michael was calmly sleeping, but Marthe Ann recognised
the voice, and knew her father had carried out his
oft-repeated threat of fetching her, so she slipped away,
out at the front gate, which she snapped after her,
and sped away home.
The Captain called a time or two again, but the
silence made him uncomfortable, and he thought he
would go home. He returned to the gate by which
he had entered; it was locked. He went all round
by the walls; there was only one more gate, but that
was as unyielding as the other. He marched up the
steps to the front door. Just out of sight was a newly
arrived French Sister, who had been up to their chapel
in the roof to arrange some flowers, and knew nothing
of the panic  below.
"Marthe Ann!" shouted the Captain into the
sounding   hall, at   the top  of his voice.
The startled Sister gave him one look, and ran back-
up the stairs.
" Like a flock of geese! " soliloquised the Captain.
" How am I to get off this sand-bar I'd like to know.
Got to find a pilot somewhere; guess I'd better go up
to the wheel-house." Suiting the action to the word,
he stamped up the bare white stairs, shouting " Marthe
Ann!" He thought he heard steps every now and
then, but never a soul did he see. On he kept, up
some narrow steps which led into the bell-tower.
" Guess this is the pilot-house," he remarked, trying
to look round in the semi-darkness, when he was
startled by the clang of the bell almost in his ear.
Taking a step backwards he lost his balance and
fell down the narrow stairway to the first landing.
The poor Sister was in a pitiable state of fright; she
thought a crazy man had broken into the Convent,
had warned some of those she had seen, and then
gone on to ring the bell for help, but alas for her!
the lunatic was at her heels, and she clanged away
with a will-
Brother Michael awoke with a start, hobbled into
the Convent, and as he could see no one went on up
to the turret. Marthe Ann and her mother were
over in time to hear a vociferous " Marthe Ann! " and
to see the meeting of the deaf Brother and the
Brother Michael's hat came off as he addressed the
irate Captain in his most conciliatory tones, asking
what   he   could   have   the   pleasure   of   doing   for
"Do for me? " shouted the Captain; "why, let me
■oee 154
out of this man-trap ! I guess the girls are safe enough
in here; but if ever I get out o' this, Marthe Ann can
stay here and be hanged for all me! "
" Captain! " puffed his wife, as she reached the top
stair of the landing, " what are you raising the neighbourhood for, and scaring the poor Sisters and the girls
out of their wits ? Marthe Ann has been home ever
so long! "
"I only want to raise out o' this, that's all. I
steamed in easy enough, but when I come to turn her
nose for home, never an outlet was there. I couldn't
'a been seen in the broad daylight lowering my jib over
the wall, yer see, old woman, or the whole town would 'a
had the laugh of me !
Come and see the Sisters, and set it all right,"
she insisted. He followed her, perfectly satisfied she
could pilot him all right. Opening a door into the
chapel, there were the Sisters and the girls all cowering away from the crazy man, never thinking it was the
Captain, whom they most of them knew, but taking it
for granted that Sister Mary Lucine knew a lunatic
when she saw one.
As soon as Marthe Ann and her mother heard the
bell, they knew the whole Convent was alarmed, and
hurried over to set things right.
"Well!" apologised the Captain, "I'm real sorry I
scared you all so, I was only trying to make Marthe
Ann show her colours. But I'll tell you what I'll do;
jest as soon as you Sisters '11 give the girls a holiday,
I'll take you a trip on the Marthe Ann.    I can engage  nBaBB-HBB
These war canoes are from fifty to sixty feet long, and
some six feet across at the widest part; made from a
single stick of cedar, specially braced with many
thwarts, and hardened within by fire and smoke.
There are no seats in them, those who paddle and
steer kneel, the rest sit flat in the bottom, even the
children and dogs know how necessary it is to keep
perfectly still. Whatever danger they may be in, no
one moves, everything is left to the braves in charge,
and it is astonishing through what seas and over what
rapids they will guide these frail keelless craft, scarcely
shipping any water. Should water come in at any time
a squaw picks up a cedar-bark bailer and quietly scoops
up all the water she can ; what she is unable to dip out,
they just sit in and make no complaint. To make this
bailer, a piece of cedar bark about four inches wide is
taken; six inches of the centre is left, the ends being
carried up on either side and crossed over at the top
upon a piece of wood to form a handle; a few little
pegs are inserted in the wide part which forms the
bailer at either side, so as to turn the sides up slightly
and  at the same time keep the bark from  stringing
apart. In bailing they never disturb the equilibrium
of the canoe, only the arms move as if on a pivot, whilst
the body remains rigid.
As soon as the canoes touched the shore all the
braves took their hunting-knives and two or three
flint-lock muskets, and went off to hunt moose or
Before starting out each head of a family broke off a
handful of spruce boughs and threw them with apparent
carelessness upon the ground as they passed on their
As soon as the squaws had unloaded the canoes
several of the oldest of them pushed off and fished for
mountain trout, using spawn for bait, with deer sinews
as line.
The children scattered to pick berries in watertight
baskets woven from grass over the green roots of cedar,
which are very pliable, and at the same time extremely
durable. In these they boiled their meat or fish by
standing in a heated hole in which hot ashes had been
placed and covered with wet moss, occasionally dropping
in a hot stone to accelerate the process. Several had
iron pots, but these were not as yet looked upon with
any degree of favour. No one knew what spirit of evil
might lurk in these utensils of the white men, nor
what curse might be held over them through the
influence contained in these pots of an unknown
The squaws carried their papoose baskets up the slope
to the drier land above.    They looked round in a casual !  -
kind of way, and each deposited her papoose, or, failing
this, whatever she had brought, by a particular bunch of
spruce boughs, which never failed to be those thrown
down by her own particular lord and master, for by this
he had indicated where his lordship wished his own particular tent to be raised.
You might notice that a squaw took an empty papoose
basket and the soft deerskin used to swathe the limbs
of her offspring. She said a word or two to another
squaw and left a young child in her charge; then she
disappeared into the woods, and about two hours afterwards returned, the strap of her papoose basket across
her forehead, and a fine male child calmly sleeping
at her back. She deposited the newly arrived son
in the tent she had raised before setting out, and continued the preparations for the return of her lord.
At sundown, when the bucks arrived in camp, everything was in readiness for their reception. Plenty of
trout had been cooked on sticks before the fires. A
goodly supply of the roots of a large fern which looks
and tastes something like parsnips, had been boiled.
Then there were the delicious berries, a beautiful blue
with a soft bloom upon them, or the same red berries
which we have seen before, all about the size of
Each family gathered round its own basket or calabash, and helped themselves as they felt inclined. The
first choice was given to the buck, who, as a sign of
his favour, would give to his favourite wife, child, or
guest a piece he considered as good as his own. THE  PAPOOSES  WAILED  FROM  THEIR  BASKETS.
To face page 159.  IN THE PATHLESS WEST
Many were the heartburnings thus caused, when the
more industrious squaw saw the tit-bits going to her
Very few of the men took more than one wife, and
more seldom still did they take more than one upon an
expedition of this kind. So, as a rule, harmony reigned.
Each squaw only looked after her own progeny, neither
would she trust them to another wife, however friendly
they might be in general, for her children were her
crown of glory, her hold upon her liege lord, her passport to consideration—and might not her rival do away
with them if left to her care ? So each family had to
accompany its particular head, or the men would have to
carry dried meat or fish, sleep in the open, and suffer
many discomforts if their squaws were not on hand to
do all these things for them.
The young squaw who had come in with her papoose
basket said nothing to her lord upon his arrival, but
when he came out of his tent to where the squaw and
a tenase klootchman (female child) awaited him at their
calabash, he handed his squaw a better piece of trout
than his own, for now he was the proud father of a man
child, and she was happy. Had he been again disappointed, she would probably have been beaten.
The camp fires blazed on the banks of the river.
The hunters lay around, smoked their pipes and talked.
The Squaws attended to their duties. But the air was
heavy, not a sound came from the forest, not a leaf
moved, not a blade of grass waved. The papoose
wailed fretfully from its basket; even the swings rigged IN THE PATHLESS WEST
up by the girls, which were kept moving in unison with
the soft tones of their lullaby, failed of their effect.
These swings for the papoose baskets are made by
stripping a vine maple of its boughs if it grows conveniently ; if not, one is cut, the butt-end driven into
the ground and bent over; the papoose basket is then
swung from it by thongs of deerskin, or ropes of cedar
bark. Often a half-naked urchin will lie upon his
back and gently move it up and down with his
Lightning flashed over peak and chasm, river and
valley, in lurid sheets; lower and nearer it came. The
air was stifling. Then peal upon peal of thunder broke
upon the stillness. Each family withdrew to its own
tepee, and presently rain came down in torrents; but
the skin tents kept all within dry, and the small ditch
scraped around each carried off the water.
The children hid their heads and slept for very fear.
Several of the hunters gathered in the tent of Wa-huks-
gum-ala-you and told of legend and experience.
The Thunder God, said one, dwells in the mountains
above the snow-line, he never comes below it. If ever
he is seen by an Indian, that Indian dies soon after.
One Indian only lived to tell what he saw. He was a
mighty hunter of the grizzly, so of course his game was
only found in the regions of perpetual snow.
One day he was following the tracks of an immense
bear. He knew its size by the print of its feet, he
knew it was a grizzly by a few hairs left in passing
under a fallen tree; he knew its height, for the hairs IN THE PATHLESS WEST
were from its back, and the log was four feet from the
ground; he knew the direction it had taken by the print
of its paws; he knew also that it was an old bear, for it
had lost a tooth, which he could tell by examining a
bear or skunk cabbage it had cropped in passing, and he
knew it had passed but a few minutes ahead of him by
the freshness of its spoor.
So absorbed was he in his pursuit that the condition
of the weather had escaped his attention, until a black
cloud seemed almost upon him. He looked up shivering
with cold. What was his horror when he saw, not a
cloud, as he had thought, but a creature the size of a
small mountain, with a head fifty times the size of
a moose. On either side was a marvellous eye, each
being many eyes in one, they stood out in bunches, and
from them the fire streamed in lurid sheets. When he
moved his head the forked lightning shot out and
withered everything it touched, setting the pitch-pines
on fire.
When he opened his mouth, six grizzlies would not
have filled it, and each tooth was as big as a man. He
lashed out in all directions with his red tongue; then
deer, birds, and mountain goats were drawn towards
him without the power to fly, and went down to his
capacious maw as they were ; even elk and moose were
as mice to him.
When he roared the very mountains trembled, and
the thunder reached the world of men.
With one sweep of his tail he tore down whole forests.
One push from his horns made the avalanche roll down
M-jfB 162
the mountainside, and hundreds of goats came leaping
up to get above it and were swallowed by the Thunder
With his two forelegs he tore up the mountainside
and stood it up on high. He is angry now. The white
men can't tell what it is, but we know. Is not his
likeness carved upon the canoe of the Nootkas ?
The men sat and smoked in silence when the storyteller had finished.
The skin curtain at the entrance was pushed aside,
and a fine, strong lad entered, and waited the pleasure
of the Chief to address him. He had not yet attained
to the social eminence of a visitor to the Chief's lodge;
he had yet to earn this elevation by his deeds.
The braves smoked on for some time, taking no
notice of the intruder. The youth made a gesture of
appeal to Wa-huks-gum-ala-you, who after a while
signed to him to come forward.
The Chief looked at him, saw he was agitated, and
waited for him to calm down—his young men must not
be squaws. The lad exerted his self-control, and receiving permission to speak, said in a perfectly steady
voice, " My father and my brother Tcliick have not
yet returned from the hunt, and their squaws are
The Chief smoked on in silence for a few minutes,
then taking his pipe from his mouth he inquired of
those sitting with him what they thought.
Still smoking on, almost as though they had not heard,
they sat, till the oldest of them replied, " No doubt they IN THE PATHLESS WEST
had lost their way, had made fire, and were sleeping."
The others agreed that this was so, and appeared to
dismiss the subject.
Yet the youth lingered. When again given permission to speak, he said, " Till now I have no hunting-
knife, I only help the squaws. If the Chief Wa-huks-
gum-ala-you will give me a hunting-knife, I will go and
search for my father and my brother, and if any harm
has happened to them I will bring word to the great
Chief!" I
Again silence reigned. This lad was young to stand
in with the hunters; for when he had secured this right,
he was likewise entitled to set up his own lodge, and
take to himself a squaw.
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you now put a question which
seemed outside the present quest, but which he knew
lay behind it. " Who is the young squaw you would
do this for?" | '(■ .p§|
"It is the Forest Lily, daughter of Un-ke-ke! He
turned as he spoke and looked at a fine specimen of
tribal strength who sat on his heels upon the right of
Un-ke-ke showed no surprise; but this was a serious
matter to him, the Forest Lily being the last of his
children left. One had died as a hunter in the embrace
of a grizzly, another was drowned by the parting of a
canoe whilst on an expedition, and with him had gone
ten other young men of the tribe. Yet another son had
been the victim of witchcraft—that is, he had gradually
faded away.    He thought sadly of all this as he smoked L Vfk
and looked at the lad who would take from him his only
one. As he looked his features relaxed, for the lad
was good to look upon, and he could recall instances
of his kindness towards the Forest Lily, and of her
preference for him.
" Suppose before morning they come home all right ?'
he asked.
" I will return the knife and wait."
" Should you meet the Thunder God ? "
" I shall have no fear."
The Chief removed his pipe. " If he brings back his
father and brother, dead or alive, will you give to him
your daughter, Un-ke-ke ? "
"I will."
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you handed the young man his
coveted hunting-knife, and he went swiftly out.
No more was seen of him for several days, then he
came into camp with the skin of an enormous grizzly on
his shoulders, and went straight to the tent of the Chief.
As it was after the evening meal, the hunters were
assembled there. He waited, as before, for permission
to advance. This was accorded almost immediately,
for he carried his passport to the company of the
hunters. Still he lingered near the entrance, for
although he had brought the skin, his was not the glory
of killing its owner.
At the second bidding he came into the light of the
fire, and faced Wa-huks-gum-ala-you.
"Do you bring any news of your father and
" I bring news." This was said slowly and very
sadly. They all smoked for some time before he was
desired to speak. When the signal was given, the
young man, standing outside the circle, said, "When
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you gave me this hunting-knife, I
started immediately to look for my father and Tcliick.
While the sun was yet young, I was far up the
mountain. As I knew not which way to go, I cut
the divining rod. It pointed still up. When the sun
was high, I rested awhile. Still the rod pointed up,
and I followed. At night I built a fire and waited for
the daylight. Still the rod pointed up the mountain,
and I climbed on. Here I came upon their trail in the
snow-line. It was easy to follow then. I could see by
the tracks and the hair upon the trees and brush that
they were following a grizzly. I called; only the echoes
came back. Then I looked again. The trail was three
days old. I made haste to catch up with them. Soon
I came through the brush into a clearing." He paused
quite a time here, and silence reigned in the tent.
" There I saw my father and Tcliick lying near the
grizzly. I went to them. My father had fired his
musket at the bear. The ball had passed through its
heart. But the grizzly dies hard. My father was fifty
feet away, reloading. The grizzly came to him, and
knocked the musket out of his hand. It took my
father in the embrace of death. Tcliick ran up and
buried his hunting-knife in the heart of the grizzly.
The bear struck Tcliick on the head with his paw. My
brother's head was broken in.  All three died together."
MM 166
Others   had  silently   gathered as   the young man
talked.   Now a long and respectful pause was made.
Then the Chief said, " Grizzly, you have done well!'
He turned and looked at Un-ke-ke.
" The Forest Lily shall be the wife of the Grizzly
before the snow flies ! "
The young man whose name for the future in their
own language would mean " Tracker of the Grizzly,"
sat down at the foot of the hunters' lodge and Wa-huks-
gum-ala-you passed him a pipe.
These pipes are beautifully carved from a black stone,
which, however, is very light in weight. The head of
some animal, the name-creature of their especial tribe
or family, forms the bowl. The stem can be removed
for cleaning, those which have a curve in them being
held in greater esteem. Some were inlaid with gold,
silver, copper, shell, or ivory. The eyes of the
animal represented were made of garnets or small
The wail of women, crying for their dead, rose on the
still night-air. Well may they wail! Their lot is hard
enough while their lords are alive, but some consideration has to be shown them, especially if he is a good
hunter, for all benefit by his prowess, as they live in
community and have all worldly goods in common.
When her "man" is dead, the squaw has a hard time
of it, she has to work for son or daughter, friend or foe,
as desired. The older and more feeble she grows, the
more ridicule she excites; and the less work she can
accomplish, the less is she desired in any wigwam.
The young and strong have neither use nor pity for the
aged and decrepit.
They would commence softly with the voice of but
one woman, then the mournful strain would rise in
cadence and increase in volume till it thrilled the very
nerves of the listeners. Thus the wails of sorrow
awoke the echoes till nearly dawn, then, wearied out,
they slept.
Poor Billy stole away, it reminded him too forcibly of
a plank over the side of a storm-tossed vessel, and the
plunge of two still figures. He knew it was not well
that these people should see him cry. Chuck-chuck
found him, and insisted it was better to read, boys
should have no tears or they would never make great
warriors or hunters.
The reason for camping at this river now became
apparent. Forked sticks were cut, vine-maple poles,
which grow so close together that they will reach the
height of forty to sixty feet, and not be as thick as your
wrist, varying but little in thickness from butt to top,
were laid in piles, ready for the first run of the Sockeye
salmon. Soon they made their appearance, struggling
up against the stream. They had been hesitating for
some days in the salt water, gradually tasting the fresh
until they should become accustomed to it.
After the thunderstorm they came on in millions.
The men only needed to stand in the water and scoop
them up in nets made by the squaws from the fine roots
of the cedar and spruce.
The salmon were cleaned, split  and boned by the 168
squaws and children, who hung them in long lines to
dry in the sun. Some of these lines were thickly overlaid and surrounded by green bush and a smoke was
made under them by covering live coals with damp
moss, rotten wood, and earth.
The children, especially the young klootchmen,
gathered berries, dug roots both for food and the
weaving of baskets, nets, mats, and so on. The old
squaws gathered medicinal roots, of which they
possessed a somewhat dangerous knowledge. Others
obtained colours for their more fantastic work, or for
their faces upon holiday occasions, of red and blue.
These were from berries as well as roots.
The young klootchmen also minded the papooses,
built fires, fetched loads of fuel on their backs, held in
place by a woven band of grass across their foreheads.
These loads a donkey might have objected to, but
strength was the best passport to favour, and they
showed   the   young bucks   what   they   were   capable
Before the tide eame in, canoeloads of squaws and
children would paddle out to the mouth of the bay, and
scatter over the exposed sand. Standing up would be
the necks of immense clams parching for the incoming
tide. As soon as touched they would descend out of
sight, then busy hands would scoop away with sticks or
wooden shovels, boys on their knees eager for sport
scraping away with both hands, and throwing up the
sand as a dog would with his fore-feet. About two feet
down, sometimes more, they would come upon a large, IN THE PATHLESS WEST
almost black shell, as big as a breakfast saucer, then up
it would come with a great resistance of suction, and
the squaws would cut the big mussels with their sharp
knives, emptying the contents of the shell into their
ever-handy baskets. These were taken back to camp
and feasted upon to their hearts' content; the rest being
strung on sticks about a yard long, were dried or
smoked, as the salmon were, and kept for use as money
to be exchanged for furs and other commodities
with the inland tribes, who consider them a great
They gathered fish spawn from the little brooks and
streams running into the river. This they preserved on
sticks and leaves as they did the clams, and for the
same purpose.
Meanwhile they ate to repletion of all these things,
and the smell of fish and smoke emanated from their
persons and their clothing till the more timid black
bears could resist the temptation no longer, and came
down from their mountain fastnesses to feast too.
They paid dearly for their temerity, for many were
the skins this tribe secured.
Bee-lee's protectress, Hai-dah, smiled approvingly
upon him, for had he not proved a mascot to her
people. Every field they had so far taken had been
left to them alone. Sometimes the hunting and fishing
grounds had to be contested at the cost of many braves,
and perhaps the whole outfit went into slavery to the
captors. But plenty smiled upon them for the coming
" snow." 170
Preparations were being made to go still farther
north, and Bee-lee could see no likelihood of his return
to civilisation. This scarcely troubled him, for he was
growing in stature and in health as he had never done
The young assistant in the military hospital in the
camp, whose wedding we have recorded, was among the
Royal Engineers who remained in the country. He set
up in the drug trade, and his sign, a big pestle and
mortar cut out of tin, half as big as the front of the
shop, bore upon its surface the words " Pioneer Drug
Store." tt|' . . fj
It was built upon the south side of Columbia Street,
consequently there was some twenty-five feet of space
beneath, which was utilised as a stable, for this man
had the true Britisher's love for horses, and as the
public race-track was directly in front of his establishment, even along the principal street, for the sole
reason that it was the only piece of road in the country
which could boast of evenness in any degree, why
should he not indulge in bucking bronchos and kicking
cayuses ?
He and his assistant had lots of time, for it was a
healthy locality, and but for the high prices charged his
profession would scarcely have brought him a living; as
it was—well, he had time and money to spare.
At the  back  of  his   store,  up   many steps   from
7 ' I  M   ■
Front Street, lived his family, who generally preferred
meandering in and out by way of the store to climbing
or descending from the private entrance. Once the
children, playing house under the counter, started a fire
in a stove they had manufactured from a salve tin, and
nearly succeeded in ending the existence of the Pioneer
Drug Store.
Other pioneers had their stores, bake-shops, and
hotels along this street, and the more sensible of the
women resided right there with the business. They
might fall out on principle occasionally, just for
variety's sake, but they were all agreed upon one
subject, and that was voted not only a nuisance, but
a general menace to public morality.
Now when this happens in a pioneer town, and the
ladies complain, they generally expect a quick response.
In this instance, however, greed conquered, and the
complaint of the ladies was " taken and filed for future
The Chief of Police, being the " whole business '
(except for a night-watchman, who went round calling
the hours and telling you what kind of a night it was),
had a half-interest in the nuisance. Husbands and
fathers could see there was no use in appealing to him.
They didn't care to report him to Judge Begbie either,
as they might have done—it was better not to make an
enemy of him.
So they took the law into their own hands in such a
manner as to escape its vengeance.
The grievance consisted in a " Squaw Dance-House,"
built a little back from, but still on a level with,
Columbia Street. It had its entrances and exits on
both streets. Being on a level with Columbia Street,
it was naturally many feet above Front Street—quite
on stilts, as it were.
As soon as eight or half-past struck, the music of a
fiddle or two and the tramp of many feet began. Later
on the shouts of drunken men and the screams of
squaws in a like condition made night hideous. Each
man paid fifty cents for a dance, and had to "stand
drinks' at the bar for himself and his dusky partner
after each.
A strange miner going in one night, went to one of
these "maids of the forest" and intimated his desire
for the pleasure of a dance with her. She eyed him
with scorn and remarked, "Halo introduce." Accordingly he had to hunt up some one who would do him
the favour. " Allow me to introduce ' Supple Jack ' to
the lovely Kitty Bunches," was quite sufficient, and the
fair creature would lounge in the arms of ' Supple Jack'
for as many dances as he chose, and all the drinks he
pleased to pay for.
Now this embryo town of shacks must perforce have
a " Fire Brigade." This was composed of all the
principal men in town, it being considered quite an
honour to be allowed to join.
They called themselves " Hyacks," from a Chinook
word meaning "quick" or "hurry." They possessed
a real fire engine, with hose-cart and ladder. The
engine had long bars on either side; as many as could 174
get a hold upon these, when occasion required, or they
practised for the benefit of the onlookers, pumped for
their Kves.
They had a two-story "Fire Hall" which was
ostentatiously labelled " No. 1," and was also situated
upon Columbia Street, as everything which a-spired to
importance was expected to be. This Hall had a room
above, measuring perhaps twenty by thirty, and here the
hottest politics were discussed. They made resolutions,
seconded them, moved amendments, carried them, or
"snowed" them under, as the case might be. Some
men's resolutions had to be sat down upon all the time
by common consent. Others always expected theirs to
be carried.
From this Hall of Wisdom emanated ultimatums to
the "Home Government," and resolutions only the
British Houses of Parliament might annul.
A fire-bell hung here too; certainly it had fallen
from the turret of the little wooden church when it
was burned down, and had got cracked; but what of
that ? All the more discordant were the sounds it gave
out when the clapper was pulled from side to side by
two ropes attached to it, in quick and flurried strokes.
There was quite an art in ringing this bell—young men
prided themselves upon their proficiency in it.
Nevertheless, when this fell sound echoed over the
river and along the wooden streets, every one was up in
a jiffy.
The Captain of the Brigade, the Chief Engineer, the
Assistant   Engineer,   hose   men   according   to   their IN THE PATHLESS WEST
number, the hook and ladder men according to theirs,
all put in a prompt appearance, prepared to shine.
They gave orders, issued commands, bellowed through a
tin trumpet, and got in each other's way generally.
The Sages sat in Star Chamber Caucus one night; as
usual the " nuisance " was the general topic. Whilst
the riot of the Dance-House disturbed the repose of
propriety, a white-haired miner rose and uttered two
sentences, " Ring the fire-bell, and drown them out!'
"A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse."
They nodded to each other. The Fire Captain said
significantly, " At one o'clock." They nodded again,
and went in a bundle to " take a drink upon it," highly
delighted with this Solomon-like solution of the knotty
A few minutes before one o'clock a few men might
be seen standing around with such studied carelessness,
any one with half an eye might have seen they meant
mischief, and a City policeman would have challenged
them forthwith. But the Chief of himself never spied
them; if he had it would have been all the same, for
were they not some of the little city's best men?
No; the conscientious guardian of the peace was
busy at that moment counting his share of the nightly
receipts, which were more than good, the place was
simply coining money, for a number of strange miners
were in town, hastening to throw away their hardly
earned gold. jp
The young men of the place never frequented the
Squaw Dance-House—it meant social ostracism to be
seen there. Ill 176
The fun waxed fast and furious. Bad whiskey flowed
like water at a price unobtainable in any other way for
the best Scotch or Irish.
The Chief of Police sat with the proprietor and took
a snug toddy from a bottle of their own. No bar stuff
for them!
Suddenly above the revel struck the sound of the fire-
bell. The proprietor hurried into the Dance-House, and
warned the fiddlers to keep on and make as much
racket as they could. He was comfortably convinced
his establishment was safe; but if his crowd rushed
out to the fire, why his further gains for that night
went with them. So the fiddlers fiddled, and the
dancers stamped and shouted.
The Hyacks turned out in great force. There was
a camp of Indians in the Swamp at the lower end
of town from whence these squaws were drawn. Their
desire for strong drink had made them forgetful of the
old-time tribal laws of morality, which still obtained
in the north. These Indians knew the sound of the
fire-bell, they also knew that at such times beer was
brought in bucketfuls, and that if they worked on
the pumps of the hand engine they would come in for a
Men, hatless and coatless, ran from all directions.
Neither engine nor hose-cart was fitted to be drawn by
horses. A long, thick rope was attached to the centre
of each, men and boys rushed, took this over their
shoulders and waited the word to start.
"Where's the fire? " they shouted. IN THE PATHLESS WEST
The Dance-House ! " yelled the Captain through
his trumpet. Away they went with a whoop! down
the declivity to Front Street, barely escaping the
Light burned brightly in the doomed Dance-House.
Quickly the hose was dipped in the Fraser, excited men
raced up the steps which led from Front Street to
the back of the Hall. The hand engine was pumping
The "nozzle men" were in the secret; they directed
their instrument against one window, then the other.
Old Father Fraser had no stint of ice-cold water, and
when the chilly stream struck the half-demented
dancers, it mowed them down in heaps.
The workers below pumped till the perspiration
poured down like rain from white men and red alike.
Buckets of beer were brought, and you would see the
Indians holding on to the brakes with one hand, and
reaching out behind with the other for a dipper of
" Pump away, boys ! " yelled the Captain through his
trumpet from above. The Chief Engineer urged them
from below. Nothing loth they pumped, and did it
with such a will that the drenched dancers crept out
by way of Columbia Street, wondering what was the
matter. They pumped until the Dance-House and bar
were a total wreck.
Whilst all this was going on the practical joker was
at work. Procuring brandy, he emptied a whole bottle
of it into each bucket of beer.
Soon the " high-toned " official was swearing eternal
friendship with the half-naked savage, who, with red
eyes, cared nothing for friendship ; it was drink he
wanted, and he took all he could get. Staid, fathers
of families were throwing their hats in the air and
executing plantation dances.
Indians and white men rolled from the brakes underneath the engine which had done such good work, in
happy ignorance of the proprieties for which some of
them were such sticklers. Others had linked arms
with Indians, half-breeds, friends or foes, and went
marching up and down singing, " We won't go home
till morning! " at the top of their voices.
A prominent Roman Catholic stood tall and lank
upon a dry goods box and harangued the crowd, ending
every sentence with, " Will the Canayjens build the
raylrod ?   Naw ! jabers naw! ! "
He was answered from another eminence by Dutch
Bill, a rabid Orangeman, who asked his opponent
impertinent questions about the time Tommy Winch
expected to spend in Purgatory; whilst their friends
stood between the belligerents to interfere if they
attempted to fight for their opinions. But they
both got down quite satisfied with their own efforts
at oratory and the applause they had received, and to
the astonishment of all cordially shook hands over it.
Dawn looked out on pandemonium let loose. Kwaw-eewlth, the Indian whom we have seen fire the
funeral pyre of his squaw and her lover, was not a full-
blooded member of Wa-huks-gum-ala-you's tribe. His
father had been a fugitive from the cruel Blackfeet
nation, who had taken to himself a squaw of this tribe.
After several years' absence she had returned and reported that her " man's " people had captured, tortured,
and killed him, taking with them as slaves the two
elder boys of her family. She had been absent at the
time of his capture, with this papoose slung in his
basket on her back, and they had thus escaped. As
according to Indian law the children belong to the
tribe of their mother, she had returned with him. She
was not unkindly treated, for she had relatives who took
her and the child in, but it was noticed as years went by
that whoever incurred the enmity of Bil-bil was sure to
die, sometimes slowly, sometimes by quick and terrible
agonies. Finally an epidemic of small-pox broke out
among them which threatened to decimate the whole
tribe. Their treatment of this fell disease was somewhat unique.
When the spots were becoming red upon one of the IN THE PATHLESS WEST
braves and the fever was high, he had jumped into the
water, which all along this coast, whether of sea, gulf,
river, or stream, is intensely cold, being fed from glaciers
or snow-capped mountains, and chilled by floating icebergs. The spots of course disappeared, and the Indians
came to the conclusion that this man had conquered the
evil spirit by which he had been attacked ; for, although
he died, no more small-pox showed itself upon him.
Consequently this became the favourite treatment, and
when the sufferers were too weak to take it of their own
volition, their friends would do the favour for them.
Many of the latter, as may be supposed, never came
to the surface again.
When those who were old, or had no near relatives
who cared for them were stricken, they were carried out
into the forest, and there left to die, that the tribe might
be spared the trouble of burying them.
Now, as all diseases are the work of some evil spirit,
suspicion pointed to Bil-bil. She was accused of having
given them over into its power, and something must be
done to abate the evil. So they took the poor old squaw,
and by the instructions of their Medicine Man, whose
incantations had proved of no avail, bound her to a tree,
and shot poisoned arrows into her till she bristled like a
porcupine. Then, fearful that she might die with too
little suffering, they lighted under her a slow fire, and
as her cries of agony rent the air, they felt a kind of
religious satisfaction in the deed which should free the
tribe alike of visible and invisible evil.
Young Kwaw-kewlth saw all this from a distance, IN THE PATHLESS WEST
and although he had no affection for the mother who
could no longer work, it had its effect upon the hard and
cruel nature which he had inherited from the tribe of his
father, whose characteristics were very pronounced in
the lad.
As may be surmised, he was scarcely a favourite,
but his courage and agility soon won him distinction
even against men's will, and the right had to be accorded
him of setting up his own lodge. He presented the
parents of the klootchman he chose with many presents
of skins, moose and deer meat, fish and seal, and
he provided a great feast at his nuptials from the
product of his own hunting and fishing. But the
girl evinced her reluctance to him, and any love he
might have felt gave way to the savage satisfaction
of mere possession. He knew that when he was away
upon his hunting and fishing expeditions his squaw,
instead of abiding in his illehee sought that of her
people, and when he had arrived, as he always did,
unexpectedly, no fire was upon his own hearth, and
he had to seek her in the illehee of her father, whither
much of his hard-earned spoils had to be carried,
for the man was consumptive, and little inclined to
brave the elements on behalf of his family. Naturally,
when he had to draw from the store of the commonwealth, the choicest parts were not for him.
But Kwaw-kewlth possessed himself in patience,
for an event was toward, and if his position in the
tribe was strengthened by the accession of a son, he
might yet attain his ambition,   which   was   nothing
less than to become the Medicine Man of the tribe,
and second to none but the Chief himself, who had
no son to follow him—but he had a daughter, Hai-dah.
If Kwaw-kewlth could attain a high degree, that is,
if he could accomplish more of suffering than any
of his predecessors—and traditions of these men and
what they had endured went far back into the myths of
the past—he would be entitled to more than one squaw,
and his aspiration for the hand of Hai-dah would be
within his acquired privileges. This much accomplished,
the Chieftainship could follow whenever occasion or
desire suited, for he possessed the knowledge his mother
had brought back with her of the subtle poison, but
he had also the cunning to cover his tracks whenever
an appeal had been made by him to its potent
The expected child arrived—a son. So far so good.
But Hai-dah was growing, was of a marriageable age
in fact, and he must hasten his preparations, for a
white hunter had appeared among them. He was taller
than the men of the tribe, his hair was very red, his
face spotted with freckles. He possessed better firearms than they had, was strong and active, never
missed his mark when he fired, and, more than this,
he sang in a big, deep voice, which charmed his hearers,
and all the tribe were at his feet. It must be now
or never, Kwaw-kewlth told himself.
He went alone into the mountains, and for many
days he ate the raw flesh of the wolf and drank its
blood, to fortify himself for the ordeal he intended IN THE PATHLESS WEST
to undergo. Then he appeared, red-eyed, before Wa-
huks-gum-ala-you, and asked and obtained permission
to be made a Medicine Man.
This meant a great time of excitement for the whole
tribe. Their own Medicine Man, who was growing
old, invited those of the friendly tribes to come and
assist in the initiation. All the braves from far
and near assembled for the feasting and dancing which
would follow, as well as to witness the endurance of
the aspirant for medical and tribal honours; for if
Kwaw-kewlth flinched not, his would be the voice
in the war-wars (councils) of the Chief which must
be heard, to him they would have to defer as to any
expedition of pleasure, profit, or vengeance. He would
be both soothsayer and prophet.
The first principle in the inauguration rites would
be the " conquest of himself," which must be accomplished by fasting alone and unarmed in the forest.
This would at the same time show his power over
the land, the trees, and the beasts which roamed wild
in its wooded glades.
All the tribe and their visitors assembled to see
him leave by a special trail, by which, after his ordeal
of fasting, he must return.
There he remained for seven days and nights,
starving himself into subjugation to himself. For
the first two or three days the whole ranch-a-rie went
about their several occupations much as usual. After
that, if a squaw or a boy had to go out on an errand,
they kept a sharp look-out up the trail by which Kwaw-
kewlth might be expected to return at any moment.
The reason for this was that it was necessary for
the brave to seize whatever living thing he met, upon
his entrance to the ranch-a-rie, tear it in pieces with
his naked hands, and devour it, blood and all. It
mattered not if it were man, woman, child, dog, or
other animal. Should he meet a man whose strength
proved greater than his own, and be conquered,
there was nothing left for him but utter and dire
When upon the seventh day, mad with hunger, his
naked body torn and bleeding, he burst like a maniac
from the trail, he almost stumbled over a toddling
papoose, who had escaped from his mother, all oblivious
of danger. Why should he fear ? was not this man
his father ?
Seizing the frightened mite by the heels, he raised it
in mid-air, rent it in twain, and devoured parts of it
ravenously, the mother, meanwhile, loudly bewailing
the carelessness which had made her lose sight of
it for a moment, knowing full well that she would
suffer for it later.
No signs of astonishment or horror were shown,
but Kwaw-kewlth having thus refreshed himself, he
was led by the Chiefs and Medicine Men into the
community house, where the beating of tom-toms,
the rattle of the sticks upon the cedar board, and the
monotonous chant were kept up during the whole
night, only ceasing when the ordeal of fire was applied
to Kwaw-kewlth; then silence profound   reigned,   so
■ - UMI libJIMu,.
iw-wii _*_-5j*i. 1%*** ™m*imq*mmm!pmQi_ IN THE PATHLESS WEST
that a siffh or a groan could have been heard by the
assembled multitude. But he never flinched, and
they could but admire the iron nerve of the man,
and his stolid endurance.    He had overcome "fire."
When morning broke the whole tribe gathered
by the riverside, and Kwaw-kewlth, in a transport
of fanatical zeal, came forth, rushed into the water
and remained below almost two minutes in its icy
embrace. They began to look questioningly at each
other. Would he ever come up ? Yes, there appeared
his face above the water. Chiefs and Medicine Men
were in canoes to witness his performance and pass
judgment upon his " power over the water." They
looked at him; he was perfectly conscious when he
came up. He had conquered the waters—that was
Kwaw-kewlth was drawn to shore, set on high,
feasted and feted. From henceforth he was the greatest
Medicine Man of the nation, for none had outdone him
in the power of suffering, from henceforth they must
look to him for immunity from the spirits of evil,
whether in the form of sickness, famine, destruction,
or death.
Yet in his very hour of triumph bitterness filled
his soul, love had given way to ambition, and his
firstborn, who could so have strengthened his hand, had
fallen a. victim to himself. All the great dances of
the tribe were gone through, all their mummeries were
performed ; presents were showered upon him; but
where was the prattler who should have welcomed him 186
in his lodge, the being who was part of himself? There
were plenty of squaws he could beat into submission,
but would such another boy be his? He scowled in
the impotence of his rage, and the assembled people
thought the more of him that he sat with folded arms
and watchful eyes, taking heed of all that passed,
but standing aloof from the frivolities or the excitements of those around him.
He openly proposed for the hand of Hai-dah—a
son by her would more than fill the place of the other,
he told himself—but he was not at peace within.
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you, replied, after a fitting pause,
that she was already betrothed to Sandy, the white
hunter with the hair of gold and the spotted face.
Enraged and disappointed in what should have
been his " moment of success," he retired to the lodge,
where his cowering squaw awaited him; and no one
was surprised to hear blows, screams, and groans
proceed from it, or to find a few days later that she
was dead.
The good Chief Wa-huks-gum-ala-you remembered
these things, but he dared show no regret, or the braves
would have accused him of the unpardonable sin of
growing old, and the scarcely less heinous one of
"having the heart of a squaw."
Kwaw-kewlth was well aware that Wa-huks-gum-ala-
you approved of him but little, and had the Chief been
less ably backed than he was by Sandy, he would have
fallen a victim to the illicit knowledge of the Medicine
Man.    As it was, Kwaw-kewlth possessed himself in  '•«
Chuck-chuck loved Bee-lee better than he loved himself. His father and brothers had died in a struggle
with a hostile tribe. His mother, with the usual
brutality or indifference of these people towards the
weak, had been simply worked to death, leaving him
a helpless child, who grew deformed, whether from
ill-treatment or naturally he never knew.
Now, the fair-haired Bee-lee loved him, and the
regard Chuck-chuck felt for him was more adoration
than ordinary love.
Bee-lee had taught him to read the English in his
precious books; in fact, he knew every word by heart;
his memory was simply wonderful.
This was all very well for Hai-dah to know. Likewise
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you smiled at it. He was inclined to
be more lenient than some of his braves approved of,
and what pleased Hai-dah suited him.
But Kwaw-kewlth, who had no mercy for himself or
others, hated the lad. When he had applied the torch
to the funeral pyre of his last squaw, and she had died
with a laugh on her lips, he had come nearer loving her,
in his own fierce way, than he had with any living creature
since the child who had been sacrificed to his ambition.
It had never occurred to Hai-dah that the taking off
her " man " Sandy and her son had been by the agency
of this man; but so it was. He could use the fatal
secret in small quantities and at long intervals, when its
effects, like consumption, gradually sapped the vital
energies, or in larger doses, when it doubled up its
victim in cramp-like pains.
Chuck-chuck often wandered away with Bee-lee, and
in some sheltered nook they would build a fire and
pursue their studies. They would carry back to the
ranch-a-rie bunches of gumstick or baskets of delicious
honey taken from the hollow stump of some old tree.
These things Chuck-chuck seemed to know how to find
by instinct. Had they needed an excuse this would
have been sufficient to account for their absence, but
Hai-dah never allowed any special task to be required
of Bee-lee.
Kwaw-kewlth was not satisfied; he was always on the
watch for some charge against the lads. He followed
them in his stealthy way, and heard them reciting to
the hoary trees with their festoons of hanging moss, or
singing to the grand forest. Sometimes he would
manage to have an unsuspecting member of the tribe
with him, when he would shake his head ominously at
the scene before him, but make no remark. He intended to work all this up against them as evidence
of witchcraft, and they, all unwittingly, were lending
themselves to his scheme. IN THE PATHLESS WEST
One of the superstitions of these people, and they
have many, is this. If you have a grudge against
another, you secure a piece of the clothing he or she
wears, better still a few hairs or even a scrap of fingernail. Then you dig up the thigh-bone of man, or
woman, according to the sex of your enemy. In this
you make a crack sufficiently large to hold whatever of
theirs you have obtained. Then you bind it up with
thongs of deer-hide, and seal all securely with spruce
gum. You then prepare this bone for burial as you
would the person you wish to injure, holding over it
certain ceremonies, charms, and incantations.
Should you desire your enemy to die the lingering
death of consumption—a disease particularly dreaded by
the Indians—you merely leave it, and as the article contained in the bone slowly decays, the life of your enemy
will as gradually fade away.
But if a speedy death be what you prefer, you bury
the bone only a little way beneath the surface, and build
over it a fire. The more quickly you wish your enemy to
die the fiercer vou make the fire, when it is believed the
person represented will suffer all the agonies of burning,
and his or her life die out as the last fragment of the
bone and its contents crumble to ashes.
Seeing Chuck-chuck and Bee-lee with a fire in the
woods, and hearing them recite in the white man's
language, he came to the conclusion that this was the
purport of their going, and that Chuck-chuck would find
out more potent incantations and stronger charms than
This meant the utter annihilation of his ambitions.
He could calmly fire the funeral pyre of his young
squaw, only regretting that more torture could not be
applied because, forsooth, Wa-huks-gum-ala-you had
the heart of a squaw. That had been a small thing.
There were plenty of squaws he could beat into submission, and He-he, the fair half-breed betrothed by her
mother to Bee-lee, was one of them. This magic power
of his was possessed by no other in the tribe, and he
would hold it at any cost. He might even have to wait
till Wa-huks-gum-ala-you's death, for all the people
loved him, and it would be worse than useless to stand
out against the Chief alone. So he waited with the
patience of his race.
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you was fully aware of Kwaw-
kewlth's treachery, and had he passed sentence upon him
would have saved the tribe much trouhle. Several times
he had remarked to his daughter, " Kwaw-kewlth is a
lynx, he creeps along on his belly, his eyes are sharp,
his ears are*, keen ; we must watch him. He means no
good to Bee-lee and Chuck-chuck, he is afraid they
know too much for him."
But Hai-dah cared not for the Medicine Man. Was
not her father the Chief? Neither did she scruple to
show her dislike whenever he ventured near. For she
suspected him still of aspiring to the honour of her
hand! He ! an Indian, when her husband had been a
white man with yellow hair! She would stay in the
lodge with her father, and for many years be head of the
tribe with him.    Did she not know somewhat of the 192
white man's language ? It sounded different in many
respects to Bee-lee's, for he would say, "I don't know!'
whereas her man Sandy would have said, " A dinna
ken! " Likely Bee-lee was only a boy yet, and his
speech would improve. Still she was satisfied with
Bee-lee, and loved him in her own way.
Passing still north, they stopped at an Indian village,
where they were received with every mark of friendliness.
When they went on shore a great community house
built of logs was put at their disposal.
The Chief and Hai-dah went to the lodge of Moos-
toos, where Bee-lee was a curiosity, and Hai-dah was
proud of the impression he made. Chuck-chuck and
he sang as they sat around the camp fires, and all was
contentment and peace, notwithstanding Kwaw-kewlth
whispered his fear that there might be a charm or a
curse in the white men's words which they were unable
to understand. He also said he had seen them bury the
bone at their last stopping-place, and hinted darkly that
he knew to whom the buried hair belonged, and that the
charm had already begun to work. It was easy to see
that Tenase Fox had a bad cough, and an experienced
eye could safely prophesy that the first touch of cold
would be all that the young man would know of the
coming winter. They appeared to take no notice of his
words, but he was satisfied that they had so much as
listened to him. Thus he prepared his ground, knowing
full well that later the seed would grow.
A great tribal game was got up in their honour.
The   young men   of Wa-huks-gum-ala-you,  and the IN THE PATHLESS WEST
young men of Moos-toos were seated in lines facing each
other, man for man. Before each line was placed a
board of split cedar, raised several inches above the
ground. They held a stick in each hand. At either
end of the line were lads with tom-toms, which are
made from green hide stretched over sticks of vine
maple bent into a circle and secured by thongs. These
were beaten with sticks something like our drumsticks,
only bigger.
Those sitting around sang a monotonous refrain,
keeping time on the cedar boards with their sticks, the
tom-toms adding volume to the sound.
Then Wa-huks-gum-ala-you came forward and laid
a musket in the space between the cedar boards.
Moos-toos, who was a young man and the husband of
one of Hai-dah's daughters, laid down two muskets.
Grey Wolf* added the skin of a black bear. Moos-
toos brought seal-skins. Then Wa-huks-gum-ala-you,
amidst general admiration, laid down the skin of the
grizzly, telling in impassioned words its history of
death and daring.
Nothing more was considered necessary, and- the
game of guessing began. The visitors were given the
first chance.
Twenty sticks were stuck in the ground. Two pieces
of ivory, about three inches long, one all white, the
other white with black rings upon it, were given to
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you's men. A chosen buck manipulated them, passing them under a blanket which was
* Wa-huks-gum-ala-you.
upon his knees, behind his back, over his head, and so
on, changing them round. The sticks and the tom-toms
of their own side kept time to the refrain they were
chanting. The opposite side sat silent and still, watching
the passing of the guessing sticks. Then the man
holding the sticks would stop, and, amidst a solemn
silence, some one of Moos-toos' bucks would guess in
which hand was the ringed stick of ivory.
If he was right the sticks were thrown over to him.
One of the twenty counting sticks was placed to the
credit of the winners, and their side did the manipulation of the ivories, the chanting, and tapping. If they
failed to guess correctly, then the young men of Wa-
huks-gum-ala-you had made a count to their credit, and
were entitled to another guess.
So they would continue till all the sticks had been
passed to the credit of one side. Of course they would
be won back and forth many times, the game sometimes
continuing for weeks, and the excitement running high.
The goods and winter supplies of whole villages would
thus be gambled away.
The game never stops when once it has started until
it is won. Relays of bucks take the places of those
tired out. Two days and nights this game lasted, and
then Wa-huks-gum-ala-you's bucks held the twenty
sticks, and all the articles lying between the lines were
passed over to them.
It was noticeable that most of the successful guessing
had been done by Kwaw-kewlth, neither had he
eaten or slept during the game.    They finished up with a dance, when none danced longer or shouted
louder than he. This, he knew, gave him a strong
hold on the younger backs, and whatever he said
now was listened to, if not with favour, at least with
The prows of the heavily laden canoes were now
turned across the gulf, and they made for their winter
quarters and the rest of the tribe. CHAPTER XXII
Mabthe Ann, in close consultation with her special
school friend Lena Hopkins, was declaring, " Yes, I will
go with you to spend the week's holiday we're to have
while the Sisters go to the Indian celebration at the
Mission. I don't care what mummer says. Popper '11
be away on the boat, and I'll jest keep on talkin' and
talkin' and talkin', till she'll put up her hands and say,
' There, there! Marthe Ann, don't say another word;
you'll drive me crazy! You can go if your father doesn't
object,'" and she mimicked her mother's precise style
of talking, the tone of voice, and the gestures.
" Marthe Ann ! " said a Sister, who had entered
softly, unseen of the girls, "how many times am I to
remind you of your g's ? "
" Yes, Sister Mary Beatrice, ' Gee up and gee whoa.'
I want to go to Lena's for the holiday, instead of
up and down the river with popper. I'm real sick
of the steamboat."
" You know I don't approve of it either. The
steamboat is no place for a girl; you rove up and
down the river too much." IN THE PATHLESS WEST
"I'll tell mummer what you say, Sister, and then
she'll be sure and let me go with Lena."
" No, don't; I'll go over myself and try to get her
"You always were a dear, good Sister!" asserted
Marthe Ann, as she gave her a bear's hug, which somewhat disarranged the black veil which hung away from
the white bands across her forehead, and over the clean,
starched cap.    The Sister smiled as she readjusted her
garments, and Marthe Ann waltzed out of the room in
high glee.
Lena's mother was the widow of one of the first
settlers. She lived on a ranch some twelve miles from
town. Now Lena knew her time at school would be but
short, for though the vegetables, milk, and butter from
the ranch were eagerly bought up, and the profits were
good, there were younger sisters to get a turn, and
brothers to be assisted in taking up their " claims,"
beside the wages of a hired man; so she worked with
a vim, perfectly hungry for knowledge.
She was as great a contrast to Marthe Ann in this as
she was personally, for Marthe Ann seemed to try and
see how little she could possibly manage to get into
her head.
Lena was frail-looking, with great dark, nervous eyes,
whilst Marthe Ann was tall and strong, with auburn hair
and grey-blue eyes, which were always looking for fun,
and leading their owner into mischief.
Of course Mrs. Leighton had to give her consent
to the visit or there would have been no peace, for rl
Marthe Ann possessed the power of attrition in no
small degree.
Monday morning found the two girls on Front Street
with a wood waggon, which they had loaded with
groceries, and so on. It was the only kind of wheeled
carriage to be obtained, and had brought in a load of
potatoes from Mrs. Hopkins, which had been exchanged
for groceries.
Lena had a married sister in town, so for Mrs. Trent
the waggon was sent, while the girls waited somewhat
impatiently, for the up-country boat had already turned
the bend in the river, and Marthe Ann knew that if her
father landed before she got started there would be no
visit to the ranch for her.
As they waited, an old farm-hand of Mrs. Hopkins's
rowed up to the river front with a crate of little pigs for
the butcher. Lena had always been a favourite of his,
and as she particularly admired one of the litter, a pert
little fellow, spotted all over, the man exclaimed, " You
shall have him, Lena! "
Suiting the action to the word, he handed Mr. Spotty
out, squealing lustily. The waggon came up with Mrs.
Trent and her baby; the girls jumped in. The man
got a flour-sack from the grocer, and put in the restless
pig, but no string was to be had to tie it up, and the
steamboat, with Marthe Ann's father at the wheel, was
getting very near the wharf; so he put the pig in by the
girls' feet, lifted a Siwash boy, who was standing near
taking in the performance, seated him on the mouth of
the sack, and the equipage drove off. IN THE PATHLESS WEST
They had a keg of ale to take in farther on, and here
they expected to get a rope to tie piggie in. As soon
as they stopped for the keg of ale the Siwash boy
jumped down and ran away—he evidently thought they
intended to kidnap him—so out came piggie, delighted
to regain his liberty. He galloped and grunted and
bolted here and there, with spasmodic efforts that
threatened to outlast the patience and breath of his
At last he ran into a restaurant kitchen and began
rooting amongst a pile of plates on the floor. Here
he was captured, and this time tied in his bag, and the
waggon with its load moved on.
The Captain had been too busy landing his boat to
notice the " confloption," as Marthe Ann called it, on
the shore, and only looked down from his glass house
over the wheel in time to see the driver whipping up his
horses and disappearing round a corner.
The Captain spied Marthe Ann, who kissed her
hand and waved her hat at him, but the driver, who had
received his instructions, played deaf to the Captain's
orders to stop, and away they lumbered merrily.
As the Captain entered his house his first words
were, " Say, old woman, that Marthe Ann's a 'crowdin'
out a hog and a barrel o' beer from Hopkins's wood
waggon, and I guess that driver '11 have enough to do
to steer clear of the mud-holes and stumps as far as the
So he had; for the road had only been "brushed"
out, that is, the big trees had been cut and enough of w
the stumps grubbed out to allow of a waggon passing in
and out along it. The brush had only been cut, and, of
course, grew up again directly, leaving only the wheel-
ruts and the horse-tracks clear,
Several roughly constructed bridges over ravines or
streams had to be crossed, with approaches of corduroy,
that is, logs cut of about equal thickness and laid across
the road, close together, and held in place by pegs of
wood driven through them, or only by other logs laid
upon the ends on either side, sometimes fastened down,
sometimes not. If any of these slip apart, and the
hoofs of the horses go through, it is easy to see what
will follow. Horses seem to have unpleasant memories
of this kind of road, and will tread very gingerly,
planting each foot firmly on top of a log. Others,
again, will refuse to cross at all, when the driver has
to get down, put his coat over their eyes, and lead them
across. Many horses get their legs broken on roads of
this kind, and they are fully aware of the risk they
In the best parts of the road the trees met overhead,
and the brush growing up between the two-horse tracks
rustled on pole, axles, and whipple-tree as the waggon
passed along.
"Look out!" shouted the driver, and the next
instant one front wheel was over its hub in a mud-hole,
and the horses were plunging. He had been talking
to Mrs. Trent, and not watching his road as he
Mrs.   Trent   screamed,   and catching hold of the IN THE PATHLESS WEST
waggon, let go her baby, which slid down between the
horses and the waggon, lodging in the mud.
Both girls jumped instantly, and the driver was at his
horses' heads in one leap. Lena bounded under the
waggon, seized the long white skirt of the baby and
drew it out at the back. Then they breathed once
more, for baby was none the worse, except for mud.
" What is that? Piggie out again! " exclaimed Mrs.
Trent. Yes, and there were Marthe Ann's long legs
striding over brush and log in pursuit. Presently there
was a squeal and then a smothered grunting. Marthe
Ann had fallen over brush and pig, and lay there, with
him securely under her, till the driver, who had drawn
his horses beyond the mud-hole, came up and carried
him back to his sack, where he was too securely tied to
escape again.
The ranch itself lay nearly a mile from the road, in
the forest primeval, and to it only a trail for horses had
been cut. So when they reached the spreading cedar,
where the driver sheltered his waggon, they perforce
Here they loaded the stuff upon the two horses, the
driver went off with one, Lena led the other, Mrs.
Trent came next with her poor muddy baby, and
Marthe Ann brought up the rear with piggie squealing
and scuffling in his sack. Lena said she didn't know
which made most noise, piggie or Marthe Ann, who was
in danger of letting him go, she laughed so at the comic
procession ahead of her and the obstreperous pig she
They now came where they thought they could make
Trent's logging camp people hear them, so they set up
a great yelling. Presently Mr. Trent emerged from the
bush near by, where he had evidently been in waiting.
But to tease them he declared he had not hurried
himself, for he had taken them for a band of Siwashes
by the noise they made.
Mrs. Trent was highly indignant, and declared her
intention of at once returning to town, and taking the
baby with her, if that was all he thought of them.
This called his attention to the bedraggled condition
of his son and heir, and he rated the driver roundly for
his carelessness.
As you emerged from the thick green timber you
found yourself looking down upon a clearing, literally
chopped out of the solid forest. The blackened stumps
were left, and between these were cultivated corn, beans,
potatoes, cabbages and other garden stuff. A zigzag
fence encircled three sides of the cultivated portion, the
fourth needed no fence, for a stream clear as crystal
rippled by, and over this the party crossed by means of
two large trees which had been cut in clearing so as to
fall across the stream and form a bridge. They had
been rolled close together, but as they were of a
different thickness and had no central supports, they
swayed considerably as you crossed, making a very
uncertain footing.    All around was the dense forest.
Mr. Trent carried over the precious baby, but Marthe
Ann hung on to her pigling, determined to deliver it to
Mrs. Hopkins only, who was highly delighted with her IN THE PATHLESS WEST
present, and started to talk as if it was a great relief to
wag her tongue. Nor did she stop to inquire if any
one noticed what she was saying, or to answer what was
said to her; the stored-up commodity which had been
accumulating for months poured forth in a resistless
The house was a long, low building made of hand-
hewn logs and covered with " shakes," which are made
from cedar logs sawn in four-foot lengths and split to
any thickness you require. The house proper consisted
of three rooms, a good-sized one in the centre which
was dining-room, parlour, and general sitting-room; small
rooms at each end of this were used as bedrooms, whilst
a long lean-to at the back made from these same useful
shakes formed a convenient kitchen.
The hired man and the boys had a room in the barn,
which with all the outhouses was made also of shakes.
The parlour, for everyday use, was innocent of
carpet, but to-day, upon the bringing home of her
first grandchild, Mrs. Hopkins had laid the carpet.
A tiny organ stood in one corner, upon it lay a
There was neither plaster nor wall-paper in those
days, so the walls of the parlour had been covered with
gaily printed cotton neatly tacked over the logs, and
very cosy it looked, its homeliness enhanced by the
pretty brackets and little shelves Lena had learned to
make at the Convent.
The hired man was a fairly well-educated young
Englishman, and he sat down with the rest to a good 1
-* \I      5   P--.T
supper of boiled leg of pork, potatoes and cabbage, with
a dessert of apple-pie and coffee. Every one's appetite
was keen, and their digestions were good, so harmony
reigned, and Mrs. Hopkins had the talking all to herself
for a while.
After supper the cattle were disposed of for the
night, that is, the cows were milked and turned
outside the enclosure, to feed or wander till morning as they felt like doing. The calves had to be
housed or the cougars would get them, and the pigs
were likewise secured from the depredations of the
black bears, who could never resist the temptation of
a pig for supper if once they heard the music of its voice.
All being secure for the night, the hired man took up
the violin, Lena sat down to the organ, a younger sister
made music on a comb, a brother beat time on a tin
dish pan, whilst Marthe Ann and an older brother of
Lena's started to foot a Scotch reel.
The young man's apparel was only held up by one
button back and one front. Of course Marthe Ann
noticed this, and laughed to see him occasionally
remembering it too, and carefully holding his garments
for fear of accident. She didn't know the steps, but AI
did, so she watched him and followed whatever he did,
varying her programme slightly by sometimes daintily
raising one side of her dress and then the other, as she
had seen represented in pictures.
They were dancing, twisting, turning, shouting, and
snapping their fingers, to the delight of the audience, the
musicians were sawing, blowing, banging, grinding away,
when Marthe Ann tripped over the carpet, which had
been rolled away, for economy's sake, under the table.
She was unable to recover her balance, and over went
the table, carrying with it the one lamp the establishment afforded.
Amidst much laughter and fun they lighted candles
and went to bed. The kyote,* the wild cats, and the
cougars cried in the forest, a black bear, more daring
than usual, walked round a pig-pen; but they heeded
none of these things, the sleep of health was theirs.
The tribe of Coquitlam Indians were within half a mile
of them, but the widow and her goods were never
Next morning Marthe Ann, who had slept with Mrs.
Hopkins, heard that lady moving long before daylight,
so, notl-ing loth, she moved too. They called the man
and boys, got breakfast, and then, at the first peep of
dawn, set out through the wet underbrush with a couple
of tin buckets.
They clambered over and under logs, till at last
Mrs. Hopkins stopped to listen. They heard a little
buzzing; Mrs. Hopkins went behind a stump, then,
beckoning mysteriously to Marthe Ann, proceeded to
chip out a few pieces of wood. It proved to be the
mere shell of a tree-trunk, lying prone. She took one
of the buckets, held it under the cut, and it was soon
full of honey.
"I thought so," she whispered. "I've been stargazing
up after the honey, and here it is right down here; I
* Wild dog. Hi
knew all these bees didn't stop around here for nothing.
Old Wicks—there's his cabin," she continued, in a loud
whisper, pointing across the stream, " said he'd sell me
a honey-tree for five dollars. I guess he would, on my
own land, too. This is one on you, old fellow!, Guess
I'll sell you honey, and other people too !"
They returned, wet to the waist, but happy, with a
bucket of honey apiece. Ten dollars did the good
woman make out of her find, beside a plentiful supply
for home consumption. Right heartily they ate of
griddle-cakes and honey, and the ranch was paradise
to Marthe Ann.
Marthe Ann's father was never happy if she was long
out of his sight. So when his boat returned from her
next trip he could stand it no longer. He borrowed the
butcher's cart and sent a neighbour's lad out to fetch
her home. If the little stream which meandered
through the ranch had been big enough to take his
boat, doubtless he would have steamed after her
Arrived at the ranch, the youth unhitched his horse
and prepared for a long day's fishing, for the
Coquitlam river offered such sport as, even then, was
hard to equal. Fortifying himself with a good dinner
he set out. But the stream is clear, and as you gaze
into its treacherous depths you have little idea of its
volume, deceptively rippling, sparkling and gurgling as
it goes. Many is the unwary swimmer it has borne to
its icy bottom and left entangled in the jams of logs and
brush which accumulate only to be washed into the IN THE PATHLESS WEST
Fraser when a sudden freshet swells its waters. Six or
seven miles up the mountainside it takes its rise in a
glacier-fed lake of the same name, where the Coquitlam
tribe of Indians hunt the bear and the mountain goat.
In the same mountains these Indians find a bear which
they say is hi - - - yu salix (very very angry). It is a
cross between the grizzly and the cinnamon, and very
dangerous. Some of these Coquitlams have been
scratched and torn almost beyond recognition by them
—you would wonder how a human being could recover,
and be such a mass of scars. Many, of course, were
killed by them, but they take these things as they do
anything else that befalls, and make little outcry.
Chief Greg-waw was at this time over the tribe.
Supper-time arrived, and still no Charley. Mr. Trent
became uneasy. " Come boys," he said to the rest,
"no supper for you just now; get some ropes; I'm afraid
the idiot has been taking a bath ; if he has that is the
last of him, poor " but here he paused, for the youth
himself just then put in his appearance. Instantly his
tone of concern changed to one of anger. Seizing
Charley by the shoulders he shook him vigorously,
exclaiming, " You young devil, where have you been all
this while, scaring everybody out of their wits? Go
and hitch up this minute ; never a bite of supper do you
get in this house to-night! "
Charley sheepishly showed his long string of trout,
but was ordered to harness up " like lightning," and get
off home.
Now the difficulties of driving with a one-horse rig I*
were far greater than with two; as, when the wheels
of the latter were in the ordinary ruts, the horse was
_/ *
stumbling over the brush which had grown up in the
centre. If, on the other hand, your horse elected, as he
generally would, to walk in one of the tracks, then the
cart-wheels were wobbling amongst the brush, and you
occasionally found yourself brought up short by a
stump, for only sufficient of these unwieldy things were
taken out by the road contractor for a careful driver to
make his way through.
Marthe Ann went very reluctantly, for the night
would soon close in, and they had still to walk through
the forest to the tree-carthouse.
Fairly on their way, Charley had time to feel scared,
so, to keep up his own courage, he related to Marthe
Ann all the tales of highway robbery and murder he
could think of, not forgetting bears and bad Injuns.
Poor Marthe Ann, generally so overflowing with life
and spirits, cowered close to Charley, watching the
white flecks of moonlight which filtered through the
trees, expecting every moment to hear some one shout
" Stand and deliver!" and to feel the cold steel of a
pistol at her head whilst she fumbled for her valuables.
Quite a distance out of town a dark figure was seen
swinging towards them at a great rate. Charley was
for jumping out, hiding in the bush, and letting the
horse and cart go on alone. But Marthe Ann had
by this time got a glint of the figure as it passed a
patch of light. " I'll do nothing of the kind," she
cried.    " You're a real coward, Charley! "  CHAPTER XXIII
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you and his party arrived in their
own ranch-a-rie, and should have been met by a regular
demonstration, but the squaws came down to the
beach and received them almost in silence. The
braves remained in the lodges. The Chief asked no
questions. Young Grizzly, as if feeling the trouble
within him, looked from one to the other. Catching
the eye of Forest Lily's mother, he seemed to ask a
silent question, and received a sad reply.
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you repaired to his own lodge, the
braves gathered round him, and without lighting the
fire, they all sat down in silence for a while.
Then a squaw came in and made an impassioned
speech. She told of the coming of a sloop containing
eight white men. They were on their way north to
catch seal; they had camped for a few days on the
beach, because some of them were sick. They had
given water to the Indians which had burned as they
drank it, and made them crazy. When they went away
they had taken Forest Lily and Blue Bird with them.
These klootchmen (girls)  had never touched their
wizard water, but had been  out with  others in the
cranberry marshes gathering berries for the winter
supply. They had scorned the vile white men. Each
loved a brave of the tribe, and was waiting for him to be
able to set up his own lodge.
These men had watched the squaws and the klootchmen go off for berries. Then they had stolen these
two, and taken them away with them.
The squaws did not know if the klootchmen had been
eaten by the bears that came after the berries, or had
fallen into a crevass. They had hunted high and low
for them, and as the young men had come in from their
different expeditions of hunting or fishing, they had also
gone to look. But they found them not, no trace was
discovered, no sign of bears having had a struggle with
any one.
Still they hoped, for Grey Dove had gone off with
another brave, and left her husband. Wa-huks-gum-
ala-you had found and punished them, even though they
had fled to the illehees of the fat Fish-eaters on the
Great River of the South, where the white people dwell
Two nights ago they had all heard a great crying, and
going out had found Blue Bird sitting by Forest Lily,
crying, crying! Forest Lily had taken a boat from the
sloop of the white men, and had brought home Blue
Bird and herself. She would have done it before, only
that she was watched all the time.
They could not now become the squaws of their
braves, neither would they live to be a mocking among
their tribe. 212
The white men had beaten Blue Bird and knocked
out one of her eyes. She was now under the protection
of the Great Spirit, for to him her soul had already
gone, although her poor broken body was still in life.
The Forest Lily had been the property of but one
man, the Chief, but she was filled with the evil spirit
of the white man's sickness, and her soul wished to
go to the Great Spirit beyond the Setting Sun. She
had brought home Blue Bird for the tribe to care for,
and to pray the braves of her people not to have the
hearts of old squaws, but to meet these men, who would
pass down in a few days with their skins, which were
many, and avenge their wrongs. She only waited to
hear that they would do this, and then, when the sun
set that night she would leap into the waters where
they were kissed by his rays and depart.
The squaw waited. The men sat in gloomy silence.
At last young Grizzly caught the eye of the Chief,
and received permission to speak.   Rising, he said—
" Forest Lily was to have been my squaw before the
snow flew around us, for I had won my hunting-knife.
Now she goes to the Great Spirit. That is right. For
me, my name is not now Grizzly for naught. As I
tracked my father and brother, and brought away the
skin of their slayer, so will I follow these men. If I
bring them not here, and if I return not myself, know
that I am still on their trail, or have gone to the land
beyond the Setting Sun." Then he raised his arm, and
swore the solemn oath of revenge in the lodge of his
Chief, Wa-huks-gum-ala-you. IN THE PATHLESS WEST
The warriors left the lodge in silence, only the Chief
and the young man remained.
" You have spoken well, my son, but be very wary.
These white men despise us, and have no respect for
our women. If you kill these vile dogs of men, and
they catch you, they will hang you by the neck. But
go and prosper, should you be taken by them and
hanged, die like an Indian! Here is a musket. The
squaws have dug plenty of lead and silver for bullets.
When do you go ? "
" After the war-dance to-night! "
As the sun was setting a small canoe pushed out,
in it were Forest Lily and her mother; the former
standing, the latter paddling. As they reached midstream the sun kissed the waters, and a golden path
seemed to stretch from the canoe to it. The tribe
were gathered in silence. Forest Lily raised her arms
above her head, as in the act of diving. There was a
plunge, and the sparkling waters closed over her untimely grave.
Young Grizzly had stood with folded arms apart,
watching her. Then as she disappeared he turned
to the forest, and was seen no more till he joined
the others, as they whirled and shouted, beat their
tom-toms, sang their battle songs, and gave their war-
Scarcely recognisable even to their friends were they, for
one side of each one's face was painted blue and the other
red, with diagonal, horizontal, or perpendicular stripes
of white.    The thick hair of each was gathered up and
1 {
tied by deer-thongs on the crown, where it bristled and
waved with every movement of the brave; in it were
stuck the quills of the eagle, and dangling down were
the tails of wolves. Each wore a wolfskin on his
shoulders, some of these being fringed with the tails
of the same animal, whilst others were covered with
these flapping objects as well as fringed, which made the
dancers look evasive and ghost-like in the uncertain
light of the fire. Till midnight the hubbub was kept
up. Then the braves went each to his lodge, washed
off the paint, put away the feathers, and stored the wolfskins for future use. They were going after white men,
and must not make their intention apparent.
Before the dawn broke, three canoeloads of warriors
were on their way, with scarce the sound of a paddle,
and the traducers of their people were doomed.
The squaws had provided plenty of dried fish and
jerked meat for their consumption. Forest Lily had
given minute directions as to the course these white
men would take, and on this line two canoes always
They paddled patiently for four days and nights,
keeping a certain channel in view, through which the
sloop must pass.
Then young Grizzly, who never seemed to sleep,
put his ear near the water ; raising his hand he pointed
to the shore, near the opening of the channel they had
Noiselessly they paddled in. Not far had they to go, or
long to wait.    The white men were quarrelling amongst   IN THE PATHLESS WEST
themselves, two of them were fighting. So much noise
did they make, and so little regard did they pay to
a possible surprise, that the Indians had surrounded
them, while the white men were all unconscious of the
vicinity of an enemy.
Young Grizzly recognised the man described as
having been the owner of Forest Lily. The musket
of each brave covered his man, the rest stood in
readiness in case of a possible misfire: there was no
such thing as missing their mark. The cry of a
night-hawk rang out on the air; the white men heard
but heeded it not. This had been the signal agreed
upon. The volley was fired, and each brave's victim lay
where he had sat or stood when the cry of Night Hawk
had gone forth.
They waited a few minutes, nothing stirred, then
they entered the camp and counted the men. There
were eight.    They felt secure—every one was dead.
Young Grizzly wanted everything of theirs destroyed,
but the older braves' counsel prevailed. All the valuable
skins were collected, everything cached, the sloop fired
and turned into the stream. Then they sent eight
fiery arrows into the air, which were immediately
answered by those on the look-out from the ranch-a-rie,
for they knew their braves had accomplished the work
they had undertaken.
After waiting a while at the ranch-a-rie to see if more
signals were given to denote that any of their tribe had
been killed, and receiving none, they proceeded to telegraph to the victorious braves the news that a party of 216
friendly Indians had arrived to pay them a visit, and
that a grand Pottach was toward. So they took as much
of the spoils of the white men with them as they
could carry to grace the feast, and make presents to
the friendly visitors.
Young Grizzly sat sullenly in the bow of the foremost
canoe, grasping in his hand the musket of vengeance.
He spoke to none. The sun was setting as they entered
their own inlet. Suddenly rising as they crossed the
path of light, he stood up, and raising the musket in
his two hands, he plunged as Forest Lily had done, and
who shall say but that he is in the happy hunting
grounds with her beyond the Setting Sun?
The festivities ended, and their visitors gone,* the
winter "dugouts" were made ready for occupation.
These were holes dug down some ten feet or more into
the earth, by the squaws and lads of the tribe. That
of the Chief was perhaps forty feet square, the bottom
nicely levelled off; a raised bench of earth and rocks had
been left around the sides ; not perfectly symmetrical, of
course, was any of the work. The heavy Fall rains had
made pools of those not already enclosed.
In the kequeally-house (underground house) of the
Chief, perhaps twenty-five persons would spend the
winter, six weeks of which would be overshadowed by
the long Arctic night.
These holes were not dug afresh every year; some
of them were only re-covered by the skin tents, and no
attention whatever was paid to cleanliness, other than
that caused by bailing out the water accumulated in
those left uncovered too long.
* A Wolf Dance was performed during the stay of the friendly tribe,
but as a description of this particular dance is given in " Among the
Bed, White, Yellow, and Brown People of British Columbia " by the
same author, it is omitted here.
217 218
But Hai-dah had been the wife of a white trapper
who had despised dirt and vermin, and accordingly she
saw that the dwelling of her father was thoroughly
scraped and cleaned each year when they left it, and
before entering for the winter green boughs of the cedar
were thickly interlaced on wall and bench before the
skins and blankets were hung around, for no vermin
will lodge where the smell of the cedar penetrates.
The trunk of an immense tree in which notches have
been cut is securely planted near the centre of the floor,
smaller saplings meet at the top of it, where they
are fastened, the other ends resting on the earth around
the hole, thus forming a support for the roof. These
are strongly bound together at the apex by means of
green roots, thongs and cedar rope, for should this give
way the whole roof structure would fall in upon those
beneath. On these poles is first placed the skin tent
covering, with other skins and blankets, then more green
boughs of spruce and cedar, then a covering of moss, all
held in place with a little earth, till the snow comes
and fills every interstice, keeping everything snug and
Thus an Indian village, or ranch-a-rie, during this
season, looks like a succession of mounds, with numerous
well-trodden paths leading hither and thither.
The apex we have noted is not covered in ; thus the
ends of the poles stand up bare above the dwelling, and
from hence escapes the smoke of the fire which is made
in a hole some four feet square, and about one foot in
The notched trunk of the tree planted near the centre
just out of reach of the fire, forms the means of ingress
and egress for all the dwellers of the kequeally.*
The skin- and blanket-covered walls and benches give
an air of comfort, as the fire flickers up for general use,
or is brightened by pine knots for the gatherings of the
braves in the kequeally of the Chief. Not that every
one's day and night began and ended at the same time
during the six weeks or so of darkness, for each one
seemed to sleep or wake, work or eat as nature prompted,
the count of day or night not entering into any one's
calculation. Still, of course, those whose privilege it
was to visit the home of the Chief had to follow the
time set by Hai-dah, the time for evening and to
gather round the fire being as she ordered, and after the
third meal, whenever that might fall.
The general winter supplies were all stored in the
community house, and from this stock they all helped
themselves. Sufficient for present use was always kept
in the kequeally-house to keep thawed out, and it was
the general thing for one big stout squaw or another to
be cooking something over the ever-present fire during
any hour of the day or night.
The hunters passed out, and returned with fresh fish,
otter, or seal, sometimes with moose or bear meat, for
these men knew where and how to hunt their quarry.
The wisdom, the natural selection, or the instinct of
the bear makes him choose his winter quarters in caves
or hollow trees near the tops of outstanding precipices.
* Kequeally—pronounced keek-willy. 220
Here he will select his den, carry into it plenty of
dry grass for a comfortable bed, and curl himself up
cosily for his winter sleep, knowing that he is secure
from avalanche or landslide. From these retreats the
hardy Indian hunter will sometimes rouse his bearship,
bringing in his carcase as fat as a Yorkshire pig, and his
skin in its furry prime.
Bee-lee had been provided with a suit of clothes
made from a red blanket, the fit and make of which
Hai-dah thought perfection, for had she not designed
it from the tattered garments of the lad, which no
longer served either the purposes of decency or
warmth ?
Many a time the two lads sung and recited, the
reiterations never seeming to pall upon their auditors.
You might hear coming from many a snow-covered
kequeally the tunes of the white men which they had
learned from Bee-lee and sang to words of their own.
The Medicine Man grew more and more morose. He
had so ill-used the new squaw he had taken that Wa-
huks-gum-ala-you allowed her to return to her mother,
which was in itself a severe measure and a public
reprimand. His feats of the summer appeared to
have been forgotten, and his bid for power but little
likely of success. But he possessed himself in silence,
and remained away from the ranch-a-rie for weeks at
a time.
As we had anticipated, Tenase Fox died, withered
away with consumption as soon as the cold rains of
Fall set in, even before the snow fell.   Kwaw-kewlth IN THE PATHLESS WEST
had whispered what he had seen the two boys doing
with the fire, and their witchcrafts over in the island
where they had gone for fish and berries, hinting that
Tenase Fox had been their intended victim, and though
he, Kwaw-kewlth, had used his best incantations night
after night in the forest, those of the white man
as taught to Chuck-chuck by Bee-lee were more
potent, and he had been unable to break the power
of the evil spirit into whose power these lads had
given Tenase Fox.
But the people were full, plenty reigned, they cared
not for the fate of Tenase Fox. What was he to
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you even? Certainly nothing to
them. So they spent their care-free winter in their
own careless way.
The old men carved bracelets from the gold and silver
coins of the white man, and cut nose-rings and lip-
extenders of ivory which they had obtained from still
more northern tribes in barter for sticks of clams and
spawn. Some carved wolf-heads for the high prows
of their big canoes; or they fashioned calabashes from
hard wood and decorated the edges with shell inlaid,
others cut figures from a species of black stone which
is easily worked but durable.
The women wove mats from the inner bark of
the cedar, alternating squares and lines of different
shades. They also wove blankets of a very heavy
texture from the hair-like wool of the mountain goat.
They made grass hats, baskets, and other things,
while the coming braves  stood  round and   eyed  the 222
klootchmen they intended to take to their own lodge
as soon as they had won their way to distinction.
They dressed deer-hides till they were as soft as
the finest Welsh flannel, others made them into
garments. Hai-dah, and some of the more expert,
embroidered moccasins which had been made by others,
in pretty patterns of bead-work.
Among the spoils of the schooner were some novels;
these Bee-lee read and Chuck-chuck translated, whilst
others retailed the stories in every kequeally. Bee-lee
and Chuck-chuck were very happy, no task was too
hard for the latter, no labour a trouble so long as Bee-lee
was there, and he made himself very essential to the
comfort of Hai-dah. Bee-lee grew in stature and in
strength. Hai-dah was proud of her protege, for such
would have been her own boy had he lived, she told
herself, and she would yet see him the husband of
her daughter He-he and Chief of her tribe. CHAPTER XXV
About this time Kwaw-kewlth came in from one of
his lonely hunting expeditions, bringing with him not
only a good supply of fresh moose and bear meat but
the skin of an unusually large polar bear in fine condition.
Up the smoke apertures swarmed the Indians of all
ages and sizes, in all stages of dress and undress,
mostly dragging a skin or a blanket up with them,
for very little clothing was needed in these winter
illehees. There stood Kwaw-kewlth, his dog team
laden with spoils, pretending it was nothing, but
swelling with pride, for the bearskin was the admiration
of the ranch-a-rie. No one else, not even the Chief,
possessed a dog team.
Publicly he presented the magnificent skin to Wa-
huks-gum-ala-you, who hesitated for an instant; but
the best of everything was his due, and he accepted
it somewhat ungraciously. Then *he waited, for he
knew what the next request would be.
" Will the great Chief Wa-huks-gum-ala-you restore
to me my squaw, Kitimaat? "
"Will the Lynx treat her kindly?"
" Even as the other braves and hunters of Wa-huks-
gum-ala-you treat theirs."
" The mother of Kitimaat must also descend to your
illehee with her—for is not her man dead ? "
" Even as the great Chief sayeth," returned Kwaw-
kewlth, with a scowl which boded ill.
" Should I again order her release from you, she
shall return no more."
Kwaw-kewlth acquiesced, but rage was in his heart,
and even then the doom of the good Wa-huks-gum-
ala-you was sealed; for the Lynx, as the Chief sometimes called him, was fingering a small bag of deerskin
which contained the subtle poison which had rid him
of more than one whom he had considered his enemy.
That night a feast was held in the illehee of Kwaw-
kewlth, and he ingratiated himself with all who would
come and be his guests. A few days later a son was
born to him. This probability he had foreseen, and
therefore had returned in time to claim Kitimaat before
the event, otherwise the Chief could have adopted it
as his own had he so wished, or it could have been
brought up as a waif and stray of the tribe, no one's
special care and the slave of any who required its
Kwaw-kewlth had been on his homeward trip,
and was casting in his mind as to what present he
might propitiate his Chief with, when he had come
across two young braves of a friendly tribe, on their
way to Wa-huks-gum-ala-you to present the big white
skin we have seen,  and petition him for the hand of IN THE PATHLESS WEST
the half-breed He-he in marriage for the younger. He
had journeyed with them for some days, then it had
occurred to him that this skin was just what he
Now he not only possessed but he understood the
working of a revolver, which, could it have told its tale,
would have been found to have been the property
of Sandy, the husband of Hai-dah, which she had
laid with him in his grave for use in the happy
hunting grounds whither he had gone. All unsuspicious of evil the two young braves had started
out on their last day's journey to the illehee of the
friendly Chief, not unexpected by. He-he, for she and
the young man had met during the summer, when he
had told her of his determination, and she was nothing
loth. Yet though she watched for his coming she
gave no inkling to her mother, who had been absent
in the south at the time of their meeting. She trusted
to the impression the lad himself would make upon
Wa-huks-gum-ala-you. There was no young man of
her tribe to equal him, for although he belonged to
the same nation his people were more inland, and
lacked, to their advantage, the unusually long arms,
heavy body, and short legs of the coast tribe, who
almost lived in a sitting posture, either in their canoes
in  summer or their illehees in winter.
Kwaw-kewlth had not journeyed many days with
the braves before he was fully convinced of the purport
of this visit. He knew that once the marriage of
this young man, who was a nephew of Wa-huks-gum-
16 226
ala-you, and He-he was consummated, the Chief would
proclaim him as his hereditary successor. Then where
would his own aspirations be ? He fingered the
revolver as it lay within its case, and eyed the young
men as they drove their dog team. There was no
pity in his cruel heart, only a fear that he might
misfire. As the twilight of their last day's journey
was fading away, and two or three hours would bring
them to their destination, he raised the fatal weapon,
two shots rang out, and two braves fell without a word.
Then another shot or two sent after the galloping
dog teams brought down the leaders, and he was in
possession of all the presents intended for Wa-huks-
gum-ala-you and He-he. These he cached for future
use, taking only the skin of the polar bear for a
peace-offering, that he might regain his squaw in time
should the expected progeny prove to be male.
The skin had not been dressed, for the braves had made
the capture on their way out. So it was taken in hand by
the klootchmen in the Chief's illehee. It was spread—fur
downwards—over a large, smooth rock, and all the pieces
of flesh were carefully picked off as they thawed, then it was
saturated with bear's grease, and with other smooth stones
the maidens rubbed in the grease until it was as soft as
a lady's glove. In the absence of He-he it was turned
over, when an arrow-head, beautifully carved from the
hardest flint rock, was found embedded in its ear. They
all knew from what tribe the arrow-head had come, and
the Chief's suspicions were aroused, but he enjoined
silence on the finders.   He intended to send a friendly
deputation to these people as soon as the waters were
free of ice, for his own tribe seldom travelled far except
by canoe, whereas the other tribe made their longest
journeys over the ice and snow with dog teams. So
delay favoured the designs of Kwaw-kewlth, who was
determined to strike for power or death as soon as the
illehees were deserted in the opening spring.
He had but little time to wait; spring came early,
and with a sudden thaw the water poured into the
illehees, and all had to camp on higher ground.
Naturally there were many severe colds, and a kind
of fever or malaria seized upon the people who had left
the overheated illehees for the newly erected tepees
which, while reeking with water, were set up on the
sodden earth, upon which they generally spread their
skins and blankets with nothing to raise them off it.
The rapidly melting snows poured down the mountainsides in resistless torrents, cataracts foamed and
sparkled, the sun shone out warm and strong; then
the sudden blizzard raged, and everything was frozen
solid for two weeks. They sought refuge in the community house, and again comfort of a crowded sort
During this period many of the small, ill-clothed
children died, as did the papooses who had only known
the hot, dry air of the illehee. Among the latter was
the hope and pride of Kwaw-kewlth. He who had
never grieved for friend or foe, mother or squaw, grieved
bitterly for this ehild.    It " was himself," he said.
But Kwaw-kewlth must be prompt.   He used the 228
fatal means at his disposal, and one awful night the
good Chief was doubled up in terrible cramps, and
before morning had passed away.
Great was the lamentation, and loud the mourning
over him. In his grave they placed his choicest skins,
blankets, and weapons, and over it they placed his
largest war canoe, upon which was carved a magnificent
wolf's head.
Now was Kwaw-kewlth's time. Taking several of the
more superstitious and cruel of the tribe, he explained
to them the witchcrafts he had seen performed by
Chuck-chuck and Bee-lee, accusing them of having
caused, not only the slow taking off of Tenase Fox, the
unusual leakage of the tepees, and the fevers and deaths
which followed, but also the sudden and terrible death
of Wa-huks-gum-ala-you. He took them to a place
where the thigh-bone of a man was found buried, and
all but consumed by fire. This he declared he had discovered only the morning after the Chief's death, and,
of course, too late to avert disaster.
Childlike, and easily deceived, they believed him.
Still he enjoined secrecy on them for the present, and
advised them to keep a watch upon the actions of the
lads. He knew that the forests would soon resound with
their songs and recitations as the weather improved;
that they would build big fires, as they had done before,
when all who saw them would believe Kwaw-kewlth's
accusation of witchcraft, and witchcraft of such a
degree that the Medicine Men of the Indians would be
unable to overcome while these boys were allowed to
live, for Bee-lee had taught Chuck-chuck the incantations of the white men.
Kwaw-kewlth now openly demanded the hand of
He-he in marriage, to the indignation of Hai-dah, who
had always looked upon him as an abject, though hopeless, suitor of her own, forgetting that the early decay of
the women of her people had already set its seal of age
upon her.
He-he had been told of the incident of the arrowhead, and had come to her own conclusion upon the
subject, which was not far from the correct one. So
she begged of her mother, while there was yet time, to
take a canoe and several of the young men she could
depend upon and go to the ranch-a-rie of her sister, the
wife of Moos-toos, where they might at least be protected
from Kwaw-kewlth until her grandfather's people had
come to their senses. Anyway, Moos-toos would have
a voice in their councils, and in the choosing of a new
Chief—and would it not be Tenac-teeck, his brother,
who wanted to marry her last summer ?
Hai-dah thought his counsel good, and prepared to
abandon Bee-lee to the tender mercies of Kwaw-kewlth,
and depart as soon as opportunity offered to the ranch-
a-rie of Moos-toos.
Kwaw-kewlth was very insistent, but He-he showed
much strategy, and put him off without arousing his
An event now occurred which gave He-he the time
she needed, for the float-ice was still too dangerous for
an attempt to cross to the islands. 230
Some young men from a neighbouring ranch-a-rie
came in with the news that twelve of their people had
slowly wasted and died during the past winter. Terrible
witchcraft must have been at work, which their own
Medicine Men had not only been unable to overcome,
but could not even trace, so subtle had been the evil
spirit which had worked its will among them. The
young men, therefore, had come to ask Kwaw-kewlth to
come with them, join his incantations with theirs, and
break the evil influence which possessed their tribe.
He replied cautiously, that he feared he would have
as little power as they if a certain boy of his own tribe,
who understood the potent charms of the white man's
God, once knew what he was going for, and had time to
hoo-doo him before he left. So they left mysteriously
and at once. On the way he told them of all the evil
done by Bee-lee and Chuck-chuck, and of his own
powerlessness to arrest their all too potent charms.
When Kwaw-kewlth reached the tepee of the sick
man, son of the Chief, he saw at once that the case
was identical with that of Tenase Fox, viz., consumption.
They put forth all their efforts, they filled the lodge
with relays of braves, who squatted upon their heels and
chanted, beating the tom-toms and rattling the cedar
sticks. Then they would grow excited, leap on high,
gesticulate, shout, clap their hands, burn different things,
and cut themselves with knives and flints.
This they kept up for days, neither giving nourishment
to the sufferer nor allowing him to close his eyes in   IN THE PATHLESS WEST
sleep; for then the evil spirit would regain its hold
upon him.
As a last resort, they took him out to the dismantled
community house, fastened upon him different charms
and amulets, and cutting an incision above each breast,
they inserted hooks attached to ropes of cedar, which
were placed in the hands of assistants, and carried into
the rafters of the house. They expected by this means
to draw the evil spirit or spirits out from the incisions,
and thus set the young man free. The result was what
might have been anticipated, and the young man died.
Then a perfect frenzy seized upon them. They
howled, they cut themselves, they fasted, till one man
became possessed of the evil spirit which had just left
the son of the Chief. It did not make him sick, but
gave him the desire to bite pieces of flesh from his living
companions, and eat it. He seized a dog, rent it limb
from limb, scattering its blood over the maddened crowd.
He killed a klootchman, and devoured some of her flesh.
He had gone Weh-ti-ko (cannibal).
To prevent further atrocities the strong men seized
and bound him with thongs and ropes of cedar. But
still he wriggled himself all over the ground, and they
concluded stronger means must be taken; for his eyes
gleamed in the darkness like those of the cougar and
the wild cat.
The Medicine Men, urged by Kwaw-kewlth, said that
stakes must be driven through his body. This was
difficult under the circumstances, so they struck him
on the head and stunned him.    This kept him still 232
long enough for the first stake to be driven near his
heart. They drove another through his stomach, and
then, as he tore up the earth with his hands, they
chopped them off.
There was little the evil spirit could do now but
leave him, which after a slight struggle it did.
Then they drove more stakes into him, and bound the
body securely lest he might come to life, as the evil
spirit had been so strong in him and might return.
Kwaw-kewlth now returned in savage triumph, and
many of the men of this tribe with him, as did their
Chief Medicine Man, Entominahoo. CHAPTER XXVI
Abbived at the ranch-a-rie of the late Wa-huks-gum-
ala-you, Kwaw-kewlth and Entominahoo accused Chuck-
chuck and Bee-lee before the tribesmen of having
bewitched both ranch-a-ries and having caused all the
ills which had befallen them from the wasting away of
Tenase Fox to the death of Wa-huks-gum-ala-you and
the young Chief, by using the incantations of the white
man as taught by Bee-lee from his war-war (talking)
paper, and for which the Indian Doctors had no
There was only one way by which all might be saved,
and that was to torture the boys until the evil spirit had
left them, and then seek fresh hunting grounds, as these
would henceforth be under the curse.
Chuck-chuck was at once taken out to the forest,
where Bee-lee had already gone to get pine knots for
Hai-dah and He-he, who had already been made to feel
the fall in their tribal position. Kwaw-kewlth, the
stealthy, knew that their restoration to the head of
things social among the squaws would be the strongest
inducement to make them subservient to his will,
"when he had gained the Chieftainship."    But he
233 234
reckoned without the  Scotch   blood of  the hitherto
laughing He-he.    She was not easy to conquer.
Bee-lee saw them coming with poor Chuck-chuck,
and knew it meant trouble; he had never seen the tribe
in such a state of excitement. What was the use of
his trying to do anything against forty or fifty incensed
warriors and hunters. He could only hide and hope to
be able to do something for his friend after they had
left, as he thought they would in all probability beat or
torture him, then bind him to a tree and leave him to
the mercy of the wolves, whilst they made a hasty
retreat, as was invariably their custom after one of
these executions, lest the evil spirit leaving the tortured body of the condemned should take possession
of another one of the tribe.
They stripped Chuck-chuck and bound him to a tree.
Bee-lee was in hopes they would now leave him, as
some of them seemed to counsel; but, urged on by
Kwaw-kewlth, they made him a target for many arrows,
and as each one struck and the poor boy writhed they
gloated over the hard time the evil spirit was having.
Some wanted to put an arrow or a bullet into his heart
and end it all, but this the Medicine Men, Kwaw-kewlth
and Entominahoo, would not allow, declaring that all
their work would then have been in vain.
They made the men dig a hole, unbind the writhing
Chuck-chuck from the tree, secure him firmly with
thongs, prepare him as for burial, and, alive, lower him
into his grave, and fill it in.
By the time this had been done they   had had   a
surfeit of cruelty, and remembering they were hungry
they sought their lodges or those of their friends.
Bee-lee now lost no time, but dug away at the new
earth as fast as his trembling hands would let him.
Uncovering first the face of Chuck-chuck, he gave him
air. The boy's eyes were rolling in agony. Bee-lee
quickly undid the thongs which fastened him, and then,
after lying as if dead for some minutes, he rose, passed
the sorrowful Bee-lee without seeing him, and sped
straight to the lodges of his people.
Here he caused the greatest consternation, for the
whole tribe came to the conclusion that the evil spirit
which possessed the boy was stronger than death.
Kwaw-kewlth and Entominahoo looked on the event
as the final blow to their power. They had failed!
What could be worse? Kwaw-kewlth was the first
to recover himself, and advised an instant capture, but
no one seconded him. Entominahoo cowered in abject
fear. The braves looked on in gloomy awe. But
Chuck-chuck ran straight ahead of him; never swerving
for camp fire or lodge; he seemed, in his small, deformed
body, to possess the strength of ten braves. They
watched him pass through the fire without any apparent
pain, all the dark, horrified eyes of his tribe followed
him as he climbed straight to the brow of the precipice
above them, then over and over he whirled till he was
dashed to atoms below.
The visitors waited for no ceremonious leavetaking.
The whole tribe began to make preparations for departure. 236
At this juncture Kwaw-kewlth came with the information that Hai-dah and her daughter He-he had
departed in one of the late Chief's war canoes, with a
dozen young men, and were even now on their way to
the ranch-a-rie of Moos-toos. He called for volunteers
to bring them back, but no response was made. He
urged them to find and torture the white boy Bee-lee,
telling them that if this was done the safety of the
tribe would be assured, and they could return to their
kequeally-houses for the winter, instead of having to
dig out more. But they laughed at him, asking where
his power had gone when two boys were stronger
than two Medicine Men! He knew nothing could reinstate him with his tribe, so he seized upon the
cowering Entominahoo, and together they pushed off
in pursuit of Hai-dah and her people, followed by
the jeers of the tribesmen, the taunts of the squaws,
and the derision of the youngsters. Striking right out
across the open sea so as to intercept them as they
crossed, Kwaw-kewlth intended to use his revolver on
the young men and then take the squaws whithersoever
he would.
The young braves with Hai-dah and He-he had
hugged the coast, so as to make their crossing at the
narrowest part of the gulf. This was well, for a storm
of wind and sleet came up, which lasted for a day
and a night, whilst they lay hidden in a sheltered cove,
always on the alert for a surprise.
When the sea had calmed down somewhat, they made
a start, paddling several miles back along the coast IN THE PATHLESS WEST
before crossing, as they found themselves farther south
than they had intended, for twelve paddles and an
experienced hand like Hai-dah's at the stern to steer
soon cover many miles of water.
Paddling cautiously, with a sharp look-out on sea and
shore, they espied an upturned canoe. They had no
need to stop and examine it to know its owner. A
peculiar knot-hole was all they needed to see in order
to know that they had been pursued by Kwaw-kewlth,
and that he had perished; otherwise they would now be
in his hands, had his numbers or his strategy been
greater than theirs. So far they felt safe, and almost
inclined to return, only that they understand each other
so well, and felt certain that after all the late occurrences
at the ranch-a-rie it would be deserted, and that the
people, for the present, would come over after them to
the camping grounds of Moos-toos. So they crossed
over to prepare that tribe for the coming of their
Bee-lee had been in hiding near enough to hear the
counsel of Kwaw-kewlth with regard to himself, and had
come near betraying his whereabouts, for he knew that no
mercy would be shown him if caught, and that the cruel
Medicine Man would try to reinstate himself in the
confidence of his tribe by using all the atrocities he
could command, for he was raging and fuming over the
sudden undoing of what had cost him so many years of
craft and cruelty. Not that he regretted the latter,
except in the case of Chuck-chuck, for had he killed
him, he told himself, all would have been well.   In his
__s1 238
own mind he had not the least doubt that Bee-lee
had been at last instrumental in his undoing, and that
in the moment of success. Had he lived there would
have been no escape for Bee-lee, and the lad knew it.
After darkness had set in he crept to the tent of
Hai-dah, secured a bag of dried meat and a good knife,
and betook himself to the forest. He made his way to
a cave on the coast where Chuck-chuck and he had
often played white man's house, studied, and been
happy.       I
Next day he saw the canoes of Wa-huks-gum-ala-
you's people pass quite near, and knew they had left, at
least for the summer, and from the numbers and the
aspect of the laden canoes he judged the whole tribe
were going over to Moos-toos' ranch-a-rie for a war-war,
and to choose another Chief, who, from what Chuck-
chuck had told him, would be Tanac-teeck, the brother
of Moos-toos and grandson of Wa-huks-gum-ala-you.
He was now secure and could fish and make a fire as
he chose. Had he known it, there was not the slightest
fear that any of them would return, for they had come
to the conclusion, as they had neither seen nor heard
anything of him since the death of Chuck-chuck, that
he had been an evil spirit who had taken its departure
with the boy who had been his friend and companion,
but that at any time they might expect to find him
hovering near the spot where Chuck-chuck was dashed
to pieces, ready to charm any unwary Indian with his
songs and stories, and then to take possession of him
for the ill-luck of his tribe, and the destruction of his IN THE PATHLESS WEST
erstwhile friend. Many a year would pass before any of
that tribe would set its foot on this particular spot again,
for the story of its horrors and its evil genius would
grow in the relation of it, till, bad as it was in reality,
the fable which would grow out of it would far outdo it
in ghostly terrors.
One day Bee-lee paid a visit to the deserted ranch-a-
rie, to see if perchance some one might not be left
behind, for his loneliness was becoming unbearable.
But no such happy chance had fallen out for him, every
old crone and cripple had been taken along.
Of course he knew nothing of Kwaw-kewlth's death,
and he had made up his mind that if the relentless Medicine Man made his appearance he would either jump into
the rapids or leap from the same precipice whence poor
Chuck-chuck had ended his agonies. How he longed
for his friend! It is quite possible that had he been
spared to him Bee-lee would never have cared to return
to civilisation.
In one of his wanderings along the beach he came
upon the upturned canoe of Kwaw-kewlth. " If Chuck-
chuck were here, he could tell me what this means," he
said to himself. " Anyway, I can get fish and meat
enough to last several days, and then try to get somewhere—but where ?    Well, I will wait awhile."
He started to fish and prepare a supply for he knew
not what. One day as he sat silently fishing, rather far
from land, he heard the sound of a steamer's screws.
He paddled towards the sound with all speed, and made
signals to the seamen to stop.   At first they took no 11)
notice, thinking he was only a little Siwash boy, waving
to them as they passed, until he came within dangerous
propinquity and hailed them in English.
Then, noting his yellow hair, they slowed down and
took him aboard. He had forgotten what a forlorn-
looking object he must be, dressed in fragments of red
blanket, and skins, till he saw himself in a mirror, then
he broke down and cried and laughed by turns, till it
was hard to know if he was sane or not.
Like good-hearted seamen they fed him first, then
they let him have the luxury of hot water, soap, and
towels, after which he appeared many shades lighter
than when he came on board. They threw his old rags
and skins overboard, and hunted up all the smallest
" duds " they could find, and Bee-lee felt like Billy
After they had heard his story, they remembered that
his stepfather had been under arrest upon suspicion of
foul play, but had been released as there was insufficient
Billy made the round of the Hudson Bay coast Forts,
as the steamer was collecting furs, sealskins, and fish
oils, and leaving winter supplies for those in charge, as
well as goods for trading.
Billy arrived in town in the best of health, with a few
dollars in his pocket, which his handy and obliging ways
had earned for him on board. He started out to look
for work right away, feeling quite able to support
himself for the future.
Pioneer Women of the West
Author of " Canadian Camp Life," " In the Pathless
West," " Among the People of British Columbia,"
" A Pioneer Marriage in Alabama," "A Trip
Round Ruget Sound," &c, dc, dtc.
In "Pioneer Women of the West," the Author tells
of the trials and triumphs, perils and perseverance,
the strength and, alas, the weaknesses of her sex in a
country where white women were few and far between.
It has its pathos and its humour, as life will have,
and such tragedies as could only occur in the wilds
of this Western Slope.
.e West
(Will Follow Shobtly).
This is a narrative of gold-mining and engineering
adventures as far back as 1858; when the Red Indians
had seen only the white men of the Hudson Bay
Company, and the Pioneer Missionaries of the Roman
Catholic Church.
LONDON :   T.   FISHER   UNWIN.   _____  ->> -<-
V ■ .'■■ ■--*'?


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