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BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Canadian camp life Herring, Frances E. 1900

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a      Canadian Camp Life
Frances E.  Herring
T. Fisher Unwin
II Paternoster Buildings
Chapter I. .
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V..
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
.     125
Chapter X..
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.      |
-     154
Chapter XIII.
Chapter XIV.
Chapter XV.
Chapter XVI.     |
Chapter XVII.
Chapter XVI11.
Chapter XIX.
Clearing Fires, South Westminster
Wagon Road around  Bluff—Railway
Tunnel through it
Northern Indians in Their Shell-embroidered Blankets
An Old Squaw	
Indians camped at the Cannery Buildings
Cannery Tug collecting Fish (25,000
Haying on Delta Lands
Indians   making   Canoe  from   Tree
Trunk .....
To face page   16
mmaSmm  Canadian Camp Life
Everyone will remember what unusually cold
weather we had in the winter of 1892 and 1893 >
more especially as such weather is not expected
by us, and our houses are not built, as a rule, to
keep out extreme cold or heat.    The winter was
followed by an equally unpropitious spring, cold
and rainy.   People who got through the severities
of winter with very little inconvenience found
the prolonged damp and cold of spring more
than they could endure, and many fell victims
to that most erratic disease, La Grip.    Indeed,
it seemed as if any complication that puzzled
A Canadian Camp Life
the doctors was set down as 'Grip/ and then
everyone was satisfied that a wise solution had
been arrived at; the doctor's reputation was
saved, and the patient felt prepared for any
phase of suffering that might present itself.
Among its victims was our \ little mother/
and so serious a form did it take, that we sat
with closed blinds and silent house waiting for
'the turn,' which both doctor and professional
nurse seemed to feel was most likely to be fatal.
Even her two small darlings had to be sent from
home for fear any sudden noise should disturb
the poor weak heart, and stop its beating for
I saw her cover the bedclothes feebly over
her ears as Josie was taking them away to the
convent, and when I mentioned it after her
recovery, she said gently, and with a little quiver
in her voice, j Yes, dear, I was afraid to hear the
little footsteps leave the house, for I knew it
was likely I should never listen to them again
in this world/
The doctor said that La Grip had been
followed by nervous prostration, and if we
could  manage it anyhow, as soon as the fine Canadian Camp Life
weather set in, we had better look for a quiet
place in one of the salt-water bays with which
our coast abounds, whether on the mainland or
one of the numerous islands was of little consequence, so long as the bay was shallow
enough to leave the sand bare at low tide; for
when it had slowly made its way back, there
would be delightfully warm bathing.
One of the objections to that delightful
exercise here is that the water is too cold,
not only for comfort, but the shock is too great
for weak people, especially if there is any
affection of the heart.
Accordingly, we set out in quest of a place
not too far from Westminster. Vancouver,
we decided, we knew all by heart, for it is
our sister city, and we ride or drive, go by
electric tram or C.P.R. train, backwards and
forwards all the time. Boundary Bay, everyone said, was exactly the place we wanted ;
so dad and I drove over there—at least we
thought we did.
We crossed Fraser by the steam ferry
Surrey, and drove up and up over a road
that tried our axles exceedingly; through the Canadian Camp Life
thickly-wooded country, where only a few farms
had been cleared for miles, and several of these
had been abandoned. One, we noticed, was
fenced with nicely planed pickets, and had a
park-like carriage gate, with a small one on
either side for pedestrians. But brush and
young trees were growing up over garden and
path, and a large barn was falling to decay.
There were even the remains of a chicken
* Isn't it strange there's no house here,
daddy?1 .f£.
\ Well, it would be, only don't you see it has
been burned down ; these are the charred ruins.
His driving seat gave him the advantage of me,
and,standing up, I caught sight of some blackened
* I wonder if he's waiting for | another remittance from home " ?'
* Likely ; he would do better to go out to the
fishing; this is the "big year," and he could easily
earn six to eight hundred dollars during the
11 can't help wondering if some of those
dudish, white-handed farmers wouldn't be better
"•mfe'" Canadian Camp Life
working for themselves, instead of sitting down
smoking away their precious time, when perhaps
their mothers and sisters have to go short of
many things to keep these dear pets in
' Right, my girl, but you must remember, " as
the twig is bent the tree will grow," and I haven't
the least doubt most of them will find some
stout - hearted Canadian or Colonial girl to
continue the process of petting and spoiling.'
* While they sit down and take the credit;
spare me, please!'
j Well, I'm sure he was an Englishman, for no
one else spends so much in new places, or tries
to make a real old-fashioned home-like place
right out of the " forest primeval."'
j May his shadow never grow less, dad.'
We   jogged   along,  chatting  and   laughing,
getting bespattered with mud in some of the
holes, or ran into stumps occasionally when we
tried to drive round them, for, as dad said,' It
wouldn't be right for the road contractor to cut
two inches more off a fallen tree than his tender
called for.'
■_____■ Canadian Camp Life
We now came to a deserted bouse of some
pretensions on one side of the road; the
fence was broken down, the currant bushes in
the garden running wild; the front door had
been burst open, disclosing a staircase, and the
windows were all boarded up.
On the other side was a log cabin, with
clean white muslin curtains at its smalj windows,
many acres of cleared land, partly in crop with
oats, turnips and potatoes, a large strawberry
bed, and some very fine vegetables. Some of
the land was quite clear from brush and stumps,
although rather uneven; in that more newly
cleared the crops were growing between the
large stumps. A lad of about eighteen, with a
pair of oxen, was hauling trees, which had been
sawn in lengths of some ten or twelve feet, into
piles for burning, so each year added to their
acreage for cropping. The sunshine flooded all,
and the sheltering forest of pine and cedar stood
round as if to protect the daring intruders who
had hewn for themselves a home from its solid
depths. The cheerful tinkle of cow-bells in the
distance gave evidence that dairying was not
neglected. Canadian Camp Life
j There's a woman here,' said dad, confidently,
as he surveyed the pleasant scene,' and a thrifty
one, too.'
'You never seem to think anything could
succeed without a woman in it!'
j Neither would it,' he returned with the same
confidence. 'A man without a wife is like a
mariner tossing at sea without a rudder.   Every
wind catches him, and turns him this way and
that; when he has a good wife, he has anchor
and ballast and rudder.'
I She boxes the compass, too, I suppose/ I
said saucily, for you see father and mother and
us two elder girls (we are twins, by the way) are
all quite (chummy'; and when the I two boys/
as we call our brothers, come home from Mr
Gill's to spend the long summer vacation, we
shall have more chums, for they are sixteen and
eighteen respectively.
1 Perhaps she boxes the mariner/ said he,
laughing, as we bumped into a hole which
seemed to have no solid bottom, and took all
his driving powers to flounder out of. He
never did seem to notice these places till we
were struggling in them. Canadian Camp Life
j I'm going to interview these people and see
if we are on the right road.'
f How can we be on the wrong, daddy, seeing
there is but one ?'
'Oh, well, there was that rather unused-
looking trail, and I want to see what these
people are like. A bonny, cheerful-looking
woman '11 come to the door, see if she
He gave the reins to me, passed into the
place by a rustic, home-made gate, and standing
under the little verandah over which a honeysuckle was trained, of which any number grow
wild in the woods, rapped smartly on the door
and awaited results.
First a dog or two rushed round and barked
at him, but seeming to understand he was
neither a Chinaman, an Indian, nor a tramp,
refrained from doing anything worse.
A boy put his head out of a little trap-like
window in the side of the cabin and took a calm
survey of me and the team.    Then a tall, old
man, with a yellow sou'-wester put on hind side
before to keep the sun out of his eyes, came
cautiously out, looked at me and examined the
8 Canadian Camp Life
horses, then stepped softly round the house to
the front door, which probably opened only
from the inside, and that on great occasions, or
perhaps it didn't open at all.
Dad was looking the other way, possibly
watching for the I bonny, cheerful' face of the
woman to appear at the window under the vine-
covered verandah. So the farmer surveyed the
intruder's back whilst he surveyed the window;
and I don't know how long they would have
remained in this ludicrous position had I not
felt how ridiculous it was and laughed outright.
Daddy turned and looked at me, the old man
chuckled apologetically, and the two men were
face to face.
\ Ah! how d'ye do ?' said dad, recovering
himself. \ Can you tell me if I'm on the right
road for Boundary Bay ?'
\ That jis' depends on which parten the bay
ye want to git tue !' admitted the old man.
11 don't know that it matters which part so
long as we get there/ said father, rather unwisely
as it turned out. j We just want to get to the
nearest part.'
'Jis' so; well, then, about tue mile below, on Canadian Camp Life
this yere road, you'll come tue a finger-pos'; it's
gotten three fingers on to it, an' one p'ints tue
Blaine on the lef han', one tue Ladner's on the
right han', and t'other tue Wes'minister, thet's
where yer come frum ?'
| That's where we came from.'
'Prettybad road,ain't it?' and he looked over
our mud-bespattered vehicle.
' Pretty bad. How far is it to the bay from
here ?'
' Oh! frum twelve tue sixteen mile, 'pends on
which way yer go/ and he went maundering on
about Blaine and Ladner's and the red barn in
his slow fashion. Now we all talk at a great
rate, and father never can stand to listen to anyone drawling out their words as if they had to
hoist them up from their toes ; so, thinking he'd
trust to the finger-post and the chance of meeting someone else, he jumped in and gathered up
the reins for a start. I was afraid I should get
no information about this ranch in the woods, so
I said, ' You have a nice place here; how long
have you been making it?'
' Nigh on seventeen year. Yis, it's a nice
place; the boys is gittin' mighty useful, an' then
IO Canadian Camp Life
Mear hes a good deery, an'—' but the horses
were plunging.
' Just a minute, dad/ I pleaded.
'You've lost your neighbours on the other
side, I see.'
' Oh, yis; they come in an' made a big
spudge; goin' to hev a health horspital there,
an' the woman called herself a " lady doctor," or
summit, but they couldn't make it stick; ef
they'd a set down tue the land now they'd a ben
alright, but it teks time, it teks time.'
' And plenty of hard work, and your land does
you credit.'
' It due that, me an' Mear an' the boys.'
Dad had given the horses a sly touch with the
whip, and they were impatient to be off, and I
heard ' vegetables, butter, strarberry patch, and
Wes'minister/ coming on the gentle zephyer as
we started off; and I saw, too, the bonny,cheerful face of the woman dad had predicted coming
out from the side-door. A big clean apron
enveloped her ample person, and a warm sealskin cap covered her head ; the latter article had
evidently been put on in a hurry.
' There she is, daddy/ I said in a low voice,
ii Canadian Camp Life
and he just turned in time to take off his hat to
her with as much reverence as he would have
given to a duchess.
' I told you/ he said triumphantly; ' you see for
yourself such a man would have been "nowhere "
I had to acknowledge he was right in this
instance, and as we were descending the other
side of what dad called the ' Hog's back/ upon a
better road, although by no means an even one,
I could do little but keep my seat, and watch for
the finger-post.
Daddy interviewed a man who was unhitching
a novel-looking team from as novel a looking
Three horses of different sizes and colours
were harnessed abreast to the wagon which had
been ' fixed up' to carry gravel for road-making.
This man advised us to take the road to
Ladner's, whilst I distinctly remembered 'the-old-
man-of-the-sou'-wester' saying,' Ef yer want tue
git theer, the nighest way is tue the lef, thru
Elgin.' However, this man spoke up more
briskly, so dad took his advice and the road to
the right.   We were soon descending a very steep
12 Canadian Camp Life
grade, through a heavy belt of timber, the road
being apparently cut out of a hill of gravel, many
of the stones were quite large, and nearly all
smooth and water-worn. Deep ruts had been
worn by the drags used upon the wheels of the
gravel carts, and sometimes one side of your
vehicle would be uncomfortably low, then the
other, and one horse would be walking a foot or
more below the other. As we used no brake, all
we could do was to drive as carefully as possible.
Near the bottom was a little clearing, and a
cabin of one room. We turned a bend, and lo!
the face of the country was changed as if by
magic. It was like the lifting of a curtain which
had hidden the scene beyond. Miles upon miles
of prairie or delta land, divided into fields by
ditches, wide sloughs with driftwood lying on
their banks, which, by the size of the logs and
their water-worn appearance, must have been
brought there during a flood.
Some fields in barley or oats, some in long
grass, promising abundance of hay;  some too
wet and swampy for anything, the water lying
dismally in every hole and hollow.   Others again
which had been under-drained, dad said, afforded
immmmmmmmmmmmi Canadian Camp Life
pasturage for hundreds of cattle and horses. I
must say the cattle had a far finer and sleeker
appearance than the horses, which were rather
j scrubby.' There were only a few sheep here
and there, it being too damp for them.
At intervals were cheerful-looking, well-built
farmhouses, with some truly colossal barns, and
a few orchards of from ten to fifteen years'
The road was rather narrow, but raised some
two feet above the level, the softest places being
corduroyed, and covered with plenty of gravel.
Otherwise, one could imagine how the soft, black
loamy land would let you down to unknown
depths during the rainy season.
We found it a little difficult at times to pass
the wide gravel wagons with their three horses
abreast, which somehow put me in mind of the
chariot scene in Ben Hur> for all they were so
rough and rude, and their drivers bespattered
with mud. But it was such easy driving after
our experiences on the higher ground, and gave
us so much time to look around us.
The higher road seemed built to avoid  the
heaviest timber, or the worst grades, and wound
14 Canadian Camp Life
in and out accordingly, but there was nothing
to obstruct these lower ones, and they were
made in straight lines. You kept going, and
going, and going ! Oh! theinterminableness of
them! Looking back, you seemed to have
made no progress; looking ahead, the end
appeared no nearer. Other roads branched at
right angles, and stretched their weary lengths
to scenes unknown to us, over the ever-
lengthening flats.
' Can we get to Boundary Bay by this road ? j
finally inquired dad of a man on horseback,
who was driving a band of beautiful cattle.
We had seen him and his cattle in the distance
like specks long before we could make out what
they were.
' Oh, yes, keep right on till you come to a
house with a red barn ; it's the only painted barn
hereabouts, so you can't miss it; turn up that
road, and half-a-mile ahead you'll strike the
We thanked him and continued on our seemingly endless way.   We found some relief now,
for the land on either side had been cleared
from what daddy called  'a scrub pine' and
J5 Canadian Camp Life
small Douglas fir; a fringe of these had been
left on either side, and formed a pretty avenue,
hiding the long lines of ditches, which were
not cheerful objects, filled as they were with
surface drainage, and green with 'frog
A big man on a small horse now passed us,
and we made further inquiries of him, but he
seemed to know little of the country, or else he
resented the presence of strangers in his vicinity.
He gave us no information, and we could see
his poor little beast bobbing away ahead of us
for a long, long distance.
The red barn at last! what a relief. A
youth of whom we inquired corroborated the
herder's information, adding,' If you don't care
to cross the sands, you'd better keep right on to
Ladner's, but it's six miles further.'
We decided to take the near cut, for the
smell caused by the hot sun on the black mud
of the ditches had made me feel sick, and the
horses were tired.
In about ten minutes we came to a dyke,
where the road ended abruptly. Piles of driftwood of all sizes, from immense logs to nicely-
cut stove wood lengths, and broken shingles lay
piled up by it. Wheel marks ran in every
direction over the sands, passing over the dyke
which had here been beaten almost even with
the road.
Was this the much-vaunted Boundary Bay ?
this desolate-looking place ! Daddy viewed it
' I don't think this is a very cheerful place to
bring mammy to, do you, Bess ? Sand! I
should think there was sand enough! Why,
it's three miles if it's a foot to where the water
is! We'll follow these wheel marks and
We started, but the horses sank knee deep in
the soft sand at the edge, and I was too nervous
and tired to stand the strain; so I begged of
him to return to solid ground, tie the horses to
the buggy wheels till they were cool enough to
feed, and, in the meantime, I would boil my
camp kettle, make tea, and we could have
This we did, and whilst Bob and Jerry ate
their oats  and  rested, we set out on foot to
explore the bay.    We walked fully two miles
B 17 Canadian Camp Life
out, and seemed to be about half-way to the
water that tossed and sparkled in the sunshine,
tantalisingly beyond our reach, for we could see
the tide was coming in, and thought it best to
Huge monsters of the forest, thrown up by
flood tides, lay partially buried in the sands,
their bare arms stretched towards heaven like
lost spirits seeking a mercy which they could
never obtain, doomed to bleach and whiten in
the suns of summer, and shiver as the blasts of
winter sent the white surf thundering and
foaming around them.
Cockle shells were there as big and round as
tea-cups, emptied by the flocks of crows which
cawed and circled overhead; fish hawks making
a 'bee line' for the incoming waters, and here
and there solitary cranes standing silently in
the lagoons left by the last ebb tide; beside
immense clam shells, as big as ordinary saucers,
made a scene of desolation, neither the brightly-
shining sun nor the sparkling waters could
dispel. In the distance could be discerned a
belt of timber,  with  the bare bluff of Point
Roberts as a background.   Looking round, you
18 Canadian Camp Life
could see a farmhouse peeping out here and
there over the dyke, or out from among the
rather (for us) small timber. Several farm
wagons seemed to be making aimless excursions over the sands, occasionally stopping and
hoisting something up and taking it along—we
were too far off to see what. We waited till one
of them came our way. We had some idea of
contrabrand goods hidden away, but the solution was very simple, the man had been collecting cedar logs of a suitable length to split for
fence rails. This was the general wood yard
for all the ranches for miles around; all they
had to do was to come and select their sticks
and take them away. There would be a fresh
deposit at the next spring tides, when much of
the land overflows, but the water leaves in
ample time for cropping.
We turned homeward with the humiliated
feeling one experiences after a defeat of any
kind, and were at the ferry only just in time to
catch the last boat. There we met a party of
English friends who had been spending the
summer in Westminster, and who had  crossed
the river with their horses for a scamper along
19 Canadian Camp Life
the Yale road, which is exceptionally good for
some miles up.
' Well, well!' exclaimed Mrs Wentworth, as
we brought our bespattered team on board.
' You've succeeded in finding plenty of mud.
Where have you been ?'
I told her all about it, and how disappointed
we were after our hard day's driving.
' Oh, but it takes us new people to tell you
" old inhabitants " where your good places are.
My dear child, there's Boundary Bay and
Boundary Bay, there's so much of it. You
didn't find the right part. I was coming to see
you last night to ask you to camp near us, but
some people came in and prevented me. We
took our horses down to Ladner's on the
Transfer> got full instructions there, rode over
and located a most delightful spot. It's on the
American side, and we've been investing in
stars and stripes galore, so as to have one floating over every tent, you know. We came across
an old settler there, who told us the Indian
name for the place (it's a United States military
reserve now) is Chil-tin-um.   It was given to the
place in this way.   Many hundreds of years ago,
20 Canadian Camp Life
so the legend says, a large party of Indians
were crossing the Gulf of Georgia in their war
canoes, a gale of wind blew them out of their
regular course, and then a fog settled down
upon them. Still they kept paddling on, till
the chiefs canoe, to his surprise, grated upon a
sandy beach, whilst he had supposed himself out
in deep water, making for some point on what
is now Vancouver Island. One by one the
other canoes found themselves in a like position,
so the chief stepped ashore, and said " Chil-tin-
um," because he couldn't see it!—that is the
meaning of the word. They found such
treasures of cockles and clams that they visited
the place every year in hundreds, held their
great "Clambake" carnivals, caught, smoked,
and dried their supply of salmon for the winter,
and then returned to their inland " illehees" or
houses. The immense mounds of calcined
shells, upon which maples, said to be from one
thousand to fifteen hundred years old, are growing, give evidence of the numbers of Indians
who used to come, and of the centuries ago
when these revelries were held. The old man,
who, by the way, has an Indian wife, told us that
21 Canadian Camp Life
during a storm one of the oldest of these trees .
was blown down last winter, and the skeleton of
a man with arms and legs outstretched was exposed under its roots, which had been buried in
the mound of calcined shells before the giant
maple had been planted. He was of opinion
that the man had been a chief, or someone of
note, and the Indians, among other ceremonies,
had planted the maple over him. They took
no care of the bones, and of course exposure
to the weather soon sent them back to their
original dust.' She was talking away in her
bright and animated fashion, when our ugly,
doubled-ended ferry boat bumped into its floating
wharf, and we almost fell into each other's arms.
Mr Wentworth led the horses on shore, and
she sprang lightly into the saddle from his hand,
exclaiming as she went,' If Josie and you come
in to-night, I'll tell you all about it.'
She had such a lithe young figure and youthful face, but her hair was almost white, and
showed in marked contrast to her great, dark,
nervous eyes, and her habit and riding hat of
black. But Josie and I were greatly in love
with her.
22 1
Canadian Camp Life
We went that night, and after hearing ' all
about it/ and telling the little mother, we decided to be guided by Mrs Wentworth's
choice, and set about our camping preparations.
'   . '   " - . '    .   :—j CHAPTER   II
We laid in a great stock of everything needful
for good living, and Josie and I made a special
trip to Vancouver to secure an extra heavy
duck tent of good make for mammy; we had
to be very careful of her yet.
Daddy made fun of us and said we would be
sure to make a mess of it; and Charley said, as
we started, in his matter-of-fact way, ' Get a
surveyor's tent of not less than six ounce
That gave us something to   go upon, and
putting the  'cubs' (as  our college-bred boys
had dubbed our darling little blue-eyed Maud
and the petted ' Brown Bobby') upon the front
seat of the phaeton, Josie gathered up the reins
and we started  merrily off.   An hour and a
half s  easy driving found us at the end of our
twelve miles' journey, and by the door of the
24 Canadian Camp Life
special sail and tent-maker who had been
recommended to us.
We entered with a great air of ' knowing all
about it* and accosted the tall, slim, meek-
looking individual who rose up, spectacles on
nose, from a sewing machine, amidst what
looked to us like hopeless chaos. He had the
appearance of having always chosen the shady
side of the street and the draughty seat at the
stove. He assumed the blandest of wintry
smiles, and looked solemnly impressed when we
talked of an engineer's tent, a surveyor's tent, a
cook tent, and four, six, and eight ounce filling.
The truth was we had only been entrusted
with twenty-five dollars to make our purchases,
and by the time we had looked over his list we
found we should need that for one we had
made up our minds at once we must get for
the little mother.
We made him pull down his tents and unroll
them on the floor, and we went down on our
knees and inspected seams and patches, the
sail-maker going along beside us on his knees,
showing  and   explaining the uses and   good
qualities of each.
iljrl- iUl
Canadian Camp Life
The one we had chosen, he told us sadly, was
not intended for sale; it was only made with so
much care because he intended it for renting
out, and he would not abate a dollar upon it;
but he would throw in a pretty tepee in very
dark and very light green stripes, which would
make an admirable sleeping tent for the two
boys, for five dollars, instead of seven and a half.
By sitting round and counting our money
under his melancholy gaze, and pretending we
would have nothing to do with the bargain, we
got poles for both tent and tepee thrown in, he
meantime interjecting the history of his life
with grim satisfaction at its cheerlessness.
A sick wife, whose value he had never fully
appreciated till she was gone; his daughter,
who was still so inexperienced as to take
without a protest any meat the butcher might
sell her, and who fed him on chops and steaks
instead of the 'made dishes' her mother had
prepared for him.
c I suppose your daughter wrote out this list/
said Josie, who had been studying it over, and
noticed  the  unformed  hand in  which  it  was
■ J-.M    1 n-WUU.1».' Canadian Camp Life
'Oh, no/ and the wintay smile took on a
gleam of sunshine,' my boy did that, my son j
he's a good lad. Why, last winter he'd say,
"Now, father, don't you go down to the shop
till I've been gone half-an-hour, and I'll have
it all warm and nice for you"; he did it all
winter, too. He's always doing something to
help me out. Why, when he looks in the books
and sees so many bills that ain't paid, and me
so short of money, he says, " Hadn't we aughter
make out some bills, father. I'll take 'em
round."    He's a comfort, he is.'
j Indeed he is/ I said,' and you'll have a good
partner by-and-by.'
' Well/ interposed Josie,' are we to have those
poles or not ?'
' Oh, I s'pose you'll have to get the poles too,
miss/ he admitted reluctantly, 'for I can't let
the ready cash go by.'
jj Pack up tents and poles, and send them
to the station at once! \ she returned
briskly. 'Make out your bill and we'll pay
Aside to me she said,' I have some money of
my own here/ for I was wondering where the
■■■-- -■■■■y •nii
Canadian Camp Life
other two and a half was to come from, or if
the doleful sail-maker would give us credit for
the amount.
We got some water for Bob, the horse we
always drove, as he was 'kinder' than Jerry,
and were soon on our way back.
All we needed now was a dining tent, which
would have to be used as sitting tent too, when
we had to remain inside if it rained. We
decided to get for that sixty yards of cheap
unbleached calico, and sew it into an immense
sheet, making the seams short way of it, and
only filling in one end.
In the evening dad strolled into our ' cubby
hole/ as he calls the little place where we keep
our sewing machine and sit to work. It is a
wee place, to be sure, with just room enough for
the machine a table for cutting out, which is
fastened to the wall by hinges, and can be letdown out of the way when not required; a
shelf for our pieces, and some pegs for finished
work; these, with a covered stand for cottons,
tapes, needles, and so on, complete its furnishings, not forgetting, of course, two or three
28 Canadian Camp Life
Mammy and the little ones had retired for
the night, and the boys were fidgeting about
the dining-room, not exactly knowing what to
do with themselves, for there was no room for
them, unless they consented to be ' put on the
shelf/ the suggestion of which from Josie they
resented with becoming dignity. But there
was always room for daddy, and he squeezed
his chair into a corner, and stowed away his
long legs under the folds of the tent upon
which we were working.
After seriously watching us stitch, stitch,
stitch away for a time, he took his pipe out of
his mouth and asked,' Do you girls remember
Yan Yansen, who used to cook for my camp in
the Rockies ?'
'That's nearly fifteen years ago, just before
we came to Westminster; you don't expect us
to be ancient enough to go that far back, do
Dad only laughed, and continued,' You know
he had the bluest of blue eyes, and one of them
had a comical " cast" in it; you can't tell by
looking at him if he's  making fun of you  or
29 Canadian Camp Life
' Oh, yes, I remember; he had the towiest of
tow-coloured heads, too.'
' That's the very one, Jo; I thought you were
ancient enough for that. Well, he came into
the office to-day to say " good-bye "; he says in
his quaint Norwegian way, " Mine farder ees
got too oldt to roon mid de blace, an' I yoost
go an' roon mid him an5 de blace. I sold mine
ranch for ten tousan' dollar, an' I vamoos. I go
back mid de monies."'
' Where was his ranch ?'
' At Mud Bay; just across from where we are
to pitch our tents, only another part of
Boundary Bay in fact, on the British side.
His wife and the boys ran the dairy and
looked after the cattle, whilst he and his
eldest son took a boat and a net and went
fishing every summer. The net they used to
make amongst them, a new one every winter,
and that's no small piece of work, for it's
some four hundred and fifty feet long, by eighty
* The boat costs another seventy-five dollars,
but they were actual settlers, and  of course
always obtained a license.    Good  years they
30 Canadian Camp Life
cleared seven or eight hundred dollars, poor
years not more than two or three.
'They came out to Toronto some eighteen
years ago, and he worked around a bit at
anything he could do. Then the survey party
for the C.P.R. were started and he went" cookee,"
or cook's assistant, for sixteen dollars a month.
His party got as far as Winnipeg, and there they
were paid off, with the option of returning at
the company's expense, or receiving forty
dollars extra.
'" Now, I vos standin' around in Vinnipegs," he
said, " an' I see dere vos blenty vorks an' goot
pay; so I takes de forty dollar, an' vone
hoonded as vos coom to me for vages, an'
I yoost keep five dollar mineself, an' I sends
all de udder to mine vife in Toronto.
'" One day a man cooms ridin' oop to vere me
an' some udders vos stan', an' he say, 'Any
you mans vant to vork ?'
'" We say,' Yah, ve vant to vork.'
'"' How many man ?'
'"' Oh, me, an' four or five Canagens.'
'"' You not von Canagen ? j
'"' Oh, no!   I von Norvegian, but I can vork !'
: — " ■ B! tS5Sj?5-Sj I
Canadian Camp Life
'"' Vat can you vork at ?'
'"' I'm a cookee, ef yer vants von, or I can
vork at any ting. Vere you vant us go?
Yoost say.'
'"'Tu de Rocky Mountain, on de survey,
an' you can go cookee at forty dollars a
mont'/ and he hires all de udders at good
'" Veil, in dat camp a Vrenchman an' his vife
vos do de cookin', an' dey get von hoonded
dollars a mont'. I say to mineself, forty dollars
is pootty goot, but von hoonded is more goot.
I vatch dese beoples an' see how dey makes de
bread, an' de pie, an' de cake, an' all dem
'" So I chop de vood, an' make de fires, an' do
all de chores, but I vatch dem pootty close all
de same. Von day Vrenchy he get sick, he
couldn't get oop, an' he say,' Vot I doos now ?
all dem meals to cook, an' mine vife can't do it all/
' I He lay in de bunk in de cook-house, an' I
say,' Oh, nebber you min', I von cook man, I
know all de bishness!!
'"'You?' he say.
' I j Yah, me/ I says,' dat mine drade.'
32 Canadian Camp Life
' | So he lay dere an' vatch me make de pie,
an' de cake, an' de tings. I got me along goot
dat day; but den de bread vos go an' roon out.
I see dat voman set it all de times, but I vos not
quite sure how it vos doon. I fotch de yeas',
an' set dat spoonge, an' den I get me to bed.
Sleep? Oh, no, I not sleep. Ying! I vos
scare dat bread not rise; for den it bust me
all my hoonded dollars a mont'. I got oop
vonce, it not rise; twice, it rise leetle; dree
dimes, it vos rise oop gran'. Dat vos two mid
de clock, an' I not get me to bed any more. I
knead dat bread an' I bake him; it vos goot,
goot! an' mine fortune vos made.
'" Ven Vrenchy got veil, he all de times say,
'You make dat breads, Yan/ an' he let me
help do de cookin'.
'" Von days I chops de voods, an' hear you say
to Vrenchy, 'Mine cook ees gone, an' vot I do,
ve moos eat ? \
'" So he take an' show you mine bread, an' mine
cake, an' mine tings I make for Vrenchy, an' he
say,' My man he make dese tings, he von goot
cookes.'    I vent back mit you; an' dere vos de
meeschief to pay, for dat cookman vot you had
C 33
J j *i-55*.1
Canadian Camp Life
vos von Irish voman, an' de dirt an' de grease
vos in everyting. De maggots yoost grawl in
de cracks of dat tables. Den I took an axe an*
chop dem tops away, an' I got me a vagon an'
fotch clean new boords, an' I clean an' scroob
an' I got me along alright. Me, mid two mans,
ve put oot five hoonded meals ebery day, not
countin' all the stragglers vot coom in to eat.
I vork for you in dat camp seventeen mont's,
an' ven I coom to Vestminster, I get dat nice
leetle seventeen hunded dollars to draw mid the
bank. Den I fotch mine vamilies, an' ve varm,
an' feesh, and vorks at eberytings, an' now I got
me here mit you to say ' Good-byes! ""
The two boys had stood one on either side of
the door during this recital, and when he had
finished they clapped him and said,' Well done,
dad; it was worth while being a cook in the
' It was that; but come on, girls, and let's have
some music and a game of cards. You've
worked long enough for one day, surely.'
' We've finished our tent, anyway, and that's a
comfort/ said Josie.
34 tAl
OUR preparations were now complete,  so the
goods were all hauled down to the Canadian
Pacific Navigation Company's wharf, and sent
to Ladner's Landing, daddy and the boys going
with them so as to have everything set up and
ready for Josie and me to put in the finishing
touches a day or two later.
What a lovely beach!   The sands were shining
in the sun, the water sparkling beyond, for the
tide was out.    Nice clean sand, with only a
margin of barnacles and stones ; we could easily
have a pathway cleared through these.    Lots of
driftwood   piled above the shingle, most of it
cedar, and cut in nice short stove lengths, for
it came from the shingle mills over at Blaine,
and had been washed up by the high winter
tides.    There were none of those ugly monsters
lying half-buried in the sand that I disliked so
in Canadian Camp Life
much. The beach here rises some ten feet
above the level of the tidal sands; it is still
sand, but covered with a growth of sour grass
and other weeds which hold it together somewhat, and runs back from one hundred to one
hundred and fifty feet on a level, till it is met
by a lovely forest of pine, cedar and cotton
wood, but no maples just at our encampment.
The bay stretched something in the shape of
a horseshoe, and mostly encircled by forest,
except where clearings had been made for farming or fruit-growing purposes.
Right opposite to us was Blaine, its white
buildings visible across the twelve miles of sand
and water.
Beyond, in the blue distance, stretched the
Cascades upon the coast, and behind them the
Rockies, wave   upon  wave, peak   upon  peak,
their snow-capped   turrets   and   dark  caverns
looking   like   a   raging   sea which  had   been
suddenly petrified during a storm.    The hoary
head of Mount Baker rose in majestic silence,
dominating all; and near him (as it seemed to
us), the Four Sisters, with the many jagged
peaks and snow-filled crevices of the Olympics,
M Canadian Camp Life
That first night the setting sun sent a fiery
red glow over crevice and peak, which, as Josie
and I gazed in awestricken silence upon it,
changed to rose and deep yellow, fading to
a purple veil of loveliness, whilst from the
departing monarch of the day the rosy rays
shot up once more, like an immense halo
around the head of a saint.
Next day father returned to town, and the
day after he came back, bringing the little
mother and the bairnies. How tired, and worn,
and white she looked ! We hurried to give her
a refreshing cup of her favourite tea, a kind we
buy from the Chinese, done up in little pasteboard bottles covered with lead paper. It is
very pale, almost straw-coloured when made, but
very nice. When I bought the first bottle upon
the recommendation of the Chinese merchant, he
volunteered the information as to the right way
to make it. In his insinuating Asiatic tone and
manner, he said, holding the bottle or package
of tea in his hand, and emphasising what he said
by gently tapping it with his long, claw-like nails
—a sign, by the way, that they are above the
necessity of labour,—' You take fresh cold water,
!!.■'■' P-Il
Canadian Camp Life
make it just come to boil; then you take teapot,
put little hot water to make it warm, put in one
small spoon tea for one person' (a great emphasis
on the second syllable, and all the prepositions
spoken with slow difficulty), 'let it stand two
minutes, then pour it out.    You like cream and
sugar, Chinaman think that spoil it*    Then, he
handed me the package.    I thanked him and
followed his directions, and a delicious cup of
tea was the result.
Mammy drank her tea, and then lay down to
rest in the curtained-off end of the tent we had
bargained for, and where we had made a sanctum
for her.    It was such a pretty little nook, for all
the washstand was a water-washed log of wood
about two and a half feet high and some three
feet through, round which we had tacked a piece
of bright cheap muslin.    The toilet table was
another of these logs treated in the same way.
But, what do you think? we had forgotten to
put in a looking-glass!    Daddy laughed heartily
at the bare idea of two girls, each twenty-two
years of age, who could commit such an appalling
Charley had got his first rifle and was off to
38 Canadian Camp Life
shoot grouse for mammy, as there are no game
laws on this side of the line. Frank had the
boat and was out with a trolling-hook. He
didn't know what he intended to catch—anything
that would bite, I suppose; but we know better
than to trust to the rifle of one, or the fish-hook
of the other, and dinner was merrily under way
in the cook tent, with our old and tried Chinaman Ke Tan in charge, who, in white shirtlike coat, apron, and high, white, cork-soled
shoes, was as silently and solemnly engaged
as if he had been in the convenient kitchen
at home.
' Maudie, here's your new tin pail and your
sand shovel, and here's yours, Bobby. I'll take
off your shoes and stockings and you can go and
dig in the sands, can't you? while we're all
They came joyfully with me, and I carried
each over the barnacled stones at the edge, and
left them digging away in great glee.
There were so many things to be arranged
and settled to make our encampment cosy and
nice that for a time we thought no more of the
I ml
3SS5 Canadian Camp Life
j Where are the children, Bessie ?' came from a
sleepy voice behind the curtain. ' I don't hear
I I'll go and see, mother/ I returned, and set
out at once, expecting to find them where I had
left them. Instead of which the tide was coming
in, was already in all the deeper places on the
sands, and their two little white bonnets and
pinafores were away in the distance, apparently
still running from the shore as fast as they
could go.
I didn't wait an instant, but dashing over the
sands and through the first lagoon, which already
reached my ankles, I gathered up my skirts and
ran in breathless haste. The next lagoon was
nearly to my knees, and I seemed as far off as
ever from the children.
I looked round in helpless terror for Frank
and the boat, too much alarmed to scream ; but
he was off in another direction, more inland. I
turned to the shore in my despair, and saw a
buggy and a stout pair of horses making towards
me at full gallop. I waited ; in it was seated a
broad-set, sturdy man, his blue eyes looking
earnest and troubled, and beside him a baby girl
40 Canadian Camp Life
of three or so, also with the same earnest blue
eyes, but they were untroubled, whilst a mass of
dark hair was being blown across her face, for
the wind seemed to freshen as the tide came in.
I took all this in at a glance—in acute suffering
ones wits seem to grow keen ; and he appeared
to have taken in the situation in which I was
placed, for he handed out to me the baby, saying,
' Take care of Dolly, and I'll fetch those children
if possible! I
It was no time for ceremony; I clutched the
child, and he gave whip and lines to the horses,
which splashed the spray even now above the
I turned in an agony to see if my darlings
had realised their danger, and could just see
the two little forms clinging to each other on
the only piece of sand left above the incoming
waves, which were rolling quickly in, flecked
everywhere with white caps.
' Tome on s'ore, papa's horses tan svim/ said
the baby voice of the little girl I held. Recovering myself, I waded ashore, the water now
reaching my knees even  at the edge of the
41 Canadian Camp Life
As I stood there straining my eyes over the
tossing waters, someone came quietly to my
side. I was afraid to look lest it should be
the little mother, and my thoughtlessness might
be answerable for the lives of three, even four,
for by the stranger's look I felt assured he
would bring them with him or perish in the
A sigh of relief from my companion recalled
me, and mother, who was looking through a
field-glass, said,' Thank God ! just in time; he's
picked them up.'
Now came the chase back! Could he make
it ? Our hearts seemed to stand still as we saw
the horses were already swimming, and still so
far from shore. But they struggled nobly, and
their driver knew the sands better than we did.
He made for the nearest shore, some distance
below us. We could see they plunged less,
and then they were galloping only hock
I looked at mother; there was no sign of
fainting, only her eyes were strained upon the
incoming horses.   They had reached the stones
of the beach, and were coming more slowly to
42   Canadian Camp Life
where we stood. I had held Dolly closely to
me; the little head drooped upon my shoulder
and the child slept.
Papa's horses could swim, and with papa
behind them this small creature's confidence
allowed her to sleep peacefully.
They had reached us now, man and children,
horses and buggy, all drenched. The stranger
leaped to the ground to lift out the little ones;
and mother, seizing his hand, cried, 'Thank
God!' then kneeling down, kissed the hand
she held.
Quickly raising her up, he said, ' It's nothing,
madam; I assure you I ran very little risk ;
and luckily I was just in time to catch these
young explorers before they were taken off
their feet/
Mother wrapped the sleeping Dolly in the
shawl she took from her own shoulders, and
taking her tenderly from me, he got in and
drove his exhausted horses slowly away, saying
he must go and attend to them, but would
call again by-and-by, if we would allow him,
and see how the children were getting on.
How we hugged those two youngsters and
Mr and Mrs Wentworth, with their camping outfit, arrived to-day, and all hands were
busily employed in helping them to ' fix up/
' What an extremely flexible expression that
is/ said Mr Wentworth; ' you " fix up " the tent,
you " fix up " your hair, you " fix up " the house,
you "fix up" the horse, you "fix up" an old
dress, you " fix up" dinner, you " fix up"
matches matrimonial; if you break a cook
stove, a wagon, a hair brush, or a brooch, you
send them to someone to " fix up," and I have
a very strong suspicion, that for dinner-parties,
balls, operas, and the like, you " fix up" yourselves.' He got near the entrance to the tent
before he reached the end of his tirade, for Mrs
Wentworth had her hands full of tin cake plates
and baking dishes she was unpacking, and they
went rattling after him as he fled in haste.
45 Canadian Camp Life
The tinkle of a little bell announced dinner in
our camp. Ke Tan was quite proud of his
dining tent, although when he first arrived on
a wagon load of his cooking utensils and stores
for the pantry, and the tents came into view, he
said to the boys in a tone of disgust,' What for!
Good house, garden, town; come here! Allee
same Siwash.
' Oh! come catch 'em salt water, Ke Tan/
'Plenty salt water Bancouber, Bitoria—
good hotel/
' Well this is Chil-tin-um, it's not Vancouver
nor Victoria/ He shrugged his shoulders, astonished at our lack of good taste, and went to work
to make the best of existing circumstances.
The immense sheet we had run together was
stretched over a frame of poles which dad and
the boys cut out of the woods; they weighted
it on each side with heavier poles upon which
sand was packed;  one end was filled with a
smaller sheet, and at the other two very large
old curtains of cretonne, lined with Turkey red,
were hung, and looped gracefully back, giving
quite an air of comfort; a coal oil lamp with an
amber shade was swung from the ridge pole,
46 Canadian Camp Life
and Josie's guitar and Charley's violin, with a
pile of music, lay upon a side-table.
Ke Tan was contemplating with much satisfaction a sideboard he had ' fixed up' from a
packing case, opening and shutting the doors
that we might see and admire his neatly-constructed shelves below, whilst above a curtained
box held glass, china, and a plain set of dishes
for dinner service.
A cosy rocker for mother, and several plain
wooden chairs completed the furniture; for, be
it known, the long dining-table had its legs
firmly set in the soil, its top being plained
boards nailed on, and the seats on either side
were of the same make and material, only
covered with a piece of striped carpet.
Mrs Le Ford, this soup is delicious, something
like oyster, only much richer. These little rings
in it puzzle me/
Mr Wentworth had travelled in many
countries, and thought he had tasted everything
under the sun. Mrs Wentworth looked inquiringly at me, and mother laughed and said,
'Tell them what it is and how you came
by it/ •      %,
I ' Canadian Camp Life
' We were busy " fixing up " the tents yesterday,
when a hideous-looking old squaw came along
with a basket on her back, slung from her
forehead by a band, you know, as they always
carry things, and I asked her what she had
there. She turned partly round, smiling almost
from ear to ear and showing all her toothless
gums, intimated I was to go and see. I lifted
up the ferns that covered the basket, and saw
the most immense cockles! the shells being fully
five inches in circumference.
'" Hyas clush!" (very good), she said in the
slow, soft way they have. But the cockles
looked too big, I thought, and hesitated to buy
them. Ke Tan came out from his cook tent
and looked at them too.
'"Heap good! soup, chowder!" he remarked
in his laconic way. So I bought them ; this is
the soup, we are to have the chowder for lunch
'I wonder how he made it. I should like
Susan to make some/ said Mrs Wentworth.
' Susan, indeed!  she never makes  anything
twice alike; you'll never educate   her   as   to
quantities/     Mrs   Wentworth's   antipathy   to
48 Canadian Camp Life
Oriental help was a standing joke with her
husband. She kept a cook and housemaid, and
had to put out her washing, and use baker's
bread, whereas Ke Tan did everything but the
dusting and tidying for our large family.
'These monster cockles were laid in fresh
water over night in order to remove the sand
This morning they were opened and slowly
stewed six or seven hours; then the soup is
made exactly as you make oyster—the long
stewing accounts for its richness/
Ke Tan was bringing in a juicy roast of beef,
and mammy remarked quietly, ' Our hunters
went out, but as they brought in neither fish
nor game, we must be content with plain roast
' It's a fine cut, too, mammy, and just to my
mind/ remarked daddy, cheerfully, as he carved
The boys looked somewhat sheepish, and I
went on to tell about the squaw and the cockles.
'After I had concluded my bargain for the
cockles, the Indian woman asked for "chuck,"
water, you know, Mrs Wentworth. She drank
deeply and handed me back the  tin  dipper,
D 49 Canadian Camp Life
1   1
after throwing out what few drops remained,
and I stood looking after her as she went toil-
fully over the loose sand, when I heard a small
voice come from "somewhere," "Say! Bethie,
where's de Inan?"
'"Gone! Where are you, Bobby?" I looked
round the sleeping tent, whence the voice
appeared to come. There, from under the skirt
of your grand dressing-table, mammy, came his
white, tousled head. " I sink dat's a bad Inan;
don't you, Beth ? " he remarked solemnly, as he
emerged; and then added after a thoughtful
pause, " Hers got no teefs, but her moufs
orful big—her migh'n't bite mine head off."'
Everyone laughed, and the sleepy brown eyes
of the rogue looked wonderingly at us. ' Ise
so seepy, Dosie/ he said presently, and Josie took
the small couple off to bed; but they wouldn't
be left in their noveL surroundings, and Josie's
sweet voice formed a pleasant accompaniment
to our cheerful dinner as she sung them to
' What do you say to taking our coffee round
the camp fire, mammy ?   You must light it, you
know, it's all ready.    Then I'll wheel your chair
50 Canadian Camp Life
out under the awning/ said dad, in his happy
It was soon blazing cheerfully, and we were
seated in its pleasant glow, when a man came
upon horseback, holding a child in one arm.
His foot was put through the stirrup strap, and
the little one comfortably seated on his knee.
We recognised at once our hero of the day
before. He stopped in the light of the fire, and
mother went swiftly forward to welcome him,
inviting him to come and take coffee with
He laughingly dismounted, and Dolly, looking
round, made straight for me, and climbed into
my lap.
' Here's a chair, papa, tome an' sit here, dis is
my mamma/ and she settled herself for a cosy
sleep. I looked at him and smiled, and I
thought he seemed slightly confused, but the
reason never occurred to me.
' Mrs Le Ford/ said mother, introducing herself, and waited for him to give his name.
' Tom, old boy! can it be you ?    Where have
you been this last four years ?    You disappeared,
and we could find no trace of you!' exclaimed
5i '•Ir
Canadian Camp Life
Mr Wentworth, going up to him and seizing
both his hands.
' I travelled for a while, then I bought " The
Flats "—and—here I am. But I'm heartily glad
to see you, Wentworth. Here's Dora, too/
and he shook hands with Mrs Wentworth like
an old friend. ' Won't you present me to your
friends ?'
With her ready tact, she quickly perceived he
didn't wish to be questioned. 'Let me present
my cousin, Tom Templeton! My very dear
friends, Mr and Mrs Le Ford, the Misses Le
Ford, Charley and Frank, and some baby Le
Fords. I believe you'll have to wait until tomorrow before you can see, as they have just
j Oh, no!' said mother,' it was to the baby Le
Fords Mr Templeton introduced himself just in
time to save them from drowning/ and she cast
a grateful look towards him.
' Then my own cousin is the hero of the hour
with all this encampment, for it has been hard
to get a word about anything else in edgeways
than the narrow escape of their darlings, mingled
with high praises of you and your horses, and
52 Canadian Camp Life
the delightful confidence displayed in you and
them by wee Dolly/
Dropping her bantering tone, and looking
very earnestly at him, 'Who is Dolly?'
' She's my baby daughter/
Mrs Wentworth came over to kiss her. Looking up at him again, she asked, ' Did you call
her Dolly from—from—' she didn't finish the
sentence, but looked inquiringly at him.
'Yes/ he returned gravely, 'from your
Then the eyes of Mr Wentworth and Mr
Templeton met, and Mr Wentworth said,' Come,
Tom, and help me just pile these goods in the
tent in case of rain/
'Let Dolly sleep with Maudie/ suggested
mother as the two men were leaving.
' Will you sleep with Maudie ?' asked Mr
Templeton, taking the child in his arms and
kissing her. ' Papa will come and fetch you in
the morning/
She gave a sleepy assent, and Mrs Wentworth
and I took her to the tent and disposed of her
comfortably for the night; mother followed us
in.    Charley had taken up his violin and was
W Canadian Camp Life
playing some sweet, plaintive music, whilst Mrs
Wentworth told us of her long-lost cousin.
'We were brought up together like brother
and sister, as my parents had both died in India.
I came home to my uncle, and Tom was just
such a tot as Dolly is now. I was eight years
older. When he was nineteen and I twenty-
seven, Mr Wentworth came and took up a small
estate near us that had been left him by a
relative; and, naturally, we soon became acquainted, and, it seemed to me, just as naturally
fell in love with each other.
' Tom was away at Cambridge when the engagement was announced, and he wrote in a
most aggrieved tone of the injustice done him,
as he had supposed his father's wish, which was
that he and I should marry, would be carried
' I felt as if I was doing wrong myself, and
when, after our marriage, my own little Dolly
died' (her voice quivered, and mother leant over
and kissed her),'it seemed like a judgment upon
me.   What with fretting for my darling, and
feeling that I had treated my kind old uncle
badly, I came to the verge of insanity.   Added
54 Canadian Camp Life
to this, was the fact that Tom, after performing
some wild escapades, disappeared.
'Travel far and wide was prescribed for me
as my only chance. This was four years ago;
now we've found him here, his wild spirit held
in check by this wee mite. I wonder where
her mother is?'
' Where's my mamma ?' came from the sleepy
Dolly. Mrs Wentworth, hungry with mother-
love, went up and bent over her.
' Not you/ she said decidedly, and looking
at me, ' You!' I went and sat beside her,
stroking her hair and face till she slept. Then
I followed the elder ladies out.
Mr Wentworth and Mr Templeton soon
afterwards returned, and Josie brought out
her guitar and sang some of daddy's favourites
whilst he and mammie and Mr and Mrs Wentworth played a rubber at whist, looking bright
and pleasant sitting inside the dining tent, under
the amber rays shed from the lamp above. I
was knitting socks for daddy, whilst the two
boys and Mr Templeton discussed the possibilities of the country and its probable future.
But they  soon  came   down   from  their   lofty
55 II i
Canadian Camp Life
flights to horses, fishing and shooting, and a party
for the latter sport was arranged for the morrow.
'Why, mammy, you're holding out splendidly/ daddy was saying to her. 'We shall
have you " bossing " us all in good shape soon/
We were all round the camp fire now, and
Josie struck 'Auld Lang Syne/ which we all
sang to her accompaniment, assisted by the
quiet lap of the waves upon the pebbly beach
and the sighing of the wind in the trees
behind us.
It was eleven o'clock when we said 'Goodnight' and retired to our several tents.
'Girls! girls!' came nervously from behind
mother's curtain in the night, 'what is that?
Are you awake?'
'Only rain, mother. Doesn't it seem funny
to be so near it? It feels like sleeping under
a big umbrella/
' Do you think it can come in ?'
'Oh, no/ we assured her. But we had
to acknowledge it had a weird effect upon us.
' Well, see that the children are covered up/
she   returned, and   the   unusual   patter   soon
lulled us off to sleep again.
j Cockling ! Cockling! Girls, come on! we're
all going! Come on, mammy, too. Daddy says
I'm to carry your camp-chair for you !' and Frank
rushed in like a small cyclone to the sleeping
tent as Josie and I were arranging it. He
had neither shoes nor stockings on, and was
rushing out again pell-mell, when Josie and I
quickly stretched a blanket across in front of
him, and into it he tumbled, then we rolled him
over and over on the ground.
' Pretty well done, girls!' said daddy, looking
in and laughing, 'but don't smother him, we
want him to carry the sack for cockles, don't
you see; you can have it out with him when
we get back/
Frank emerged, looking somewhat tumbled
and crestfallen.
57 Canadian Camp Life
' We had to capture him, you know, dad, to
try and find out what he came to say. It
was something about cockles, and girls, and
mammey, and a camp-chair.'
' The water's a long way out this morning;
so come on, everybody, we'll get our own
' I'll stay and mind the camp and the
children; besides, Mr Templeton might come
while we are away/
'Oh, he's here, and going too; he says
there's lots of time before the tide turns.
We'll carry your camp-chair, mammy, and
when you're tired you can sit down and look
'Isn't it dreadfully hot, though?'
' Up here it is just like an oven in these
tents, but there's a fine breeze on the sands.'
Everything was wrapped in a pinkish, purple
haze, that showed the mountains in the distance
as through a veil, only Mount Baker's snowy
crown stood out white and clear above it.
| A sure sign of fine weather that, isn't it ?'
I   asked of Mr Templeton, pointing it out to
. Canadian Camp Life
' I'm sure I don't know/ he said, looking
quizzically at me. 'I'm no weather judge in
this part of the world/
'The young ladies at the Point told me,
whenever they wanted fine weather for an excursion, the first thing on rising in the morning
they looked for Mount Baker's head. If it rose
white and glistening above the clouds, no
matter how dark it was below, they were sure
of a fine day; but if clouds wrapped his crown
about, they knew it would rain before night/
' You see/ he returned, ' everything depends
upon the weather. When the rain pours down
in that determined, never-to-stop way it has
here, it is just as well to make up one's mind to
be amused or busy at home.'
' Don't you go out in the rain, then ? Why
we never stay home for that. Josie is a schoolteacher, and rides three miles out of town every
day, no matter what the weather may be/
'Oh, yes,  I   know   you  natives ignore  the
rain, and  make out it's perfectly delightful to
be paddling through it, as if you were ducks.
I wonder Nature doesn't come to the rescue and
provide you all with webbed feet!'
59 Canadian Camp Life
'Webbed feet! indeed/ laughed daddy, who
now came up with the little mother; ' these
creatures will all go home with webbed hands
as well if we don't watch them; they spend
every spare minute in the water. Look at that
head, will you ?' and he raised a mass of my
hair, which was hanging down my back. ' I
don't think it's ever been dry since we came/
Now, Josie and I were strikingly alike in form
and feature, but she had the fair, fluffy hair and
blue eyes, which mother had inherited from her
German forbears, whilst mine were like daddy's,
decidedly dark.
Don't they say that sea water spoils a lady's
hair?' asked Mr Templeton, looking at the
heavy mass as it fell from dad's hand.
' Oh, we've always wetted ours whenever we
went in for a swim/ I said carelessly.
' Then it must be decidedly a beautifier/ he
returned, looking admiringly from my head to
' I suppose it comes from  mother's German
ancestry.    I've always noticed what heavy heads
of hair the Ger—' began Josie, with an air of
1 knowing all about it'—when—
60   Canadian Camp Life
Daddy said solemnly, taking off his hat, and
displaying his big bald crown,' Josie, Josie, don't
forget the admixture of Anglo-Canadian ancestry you derive from your pater, and give
those great nations credit for some of your
flowing locks.'
We all laughed at this, and some of us started
at a run down to the sands. There were some
three miles of it, clean and bright, lying
before us.
The little ones stopped after they had passed
the twenty feet or so of loose stones and had
their shoes and stockings taken off, so as to run
through all the little lagoons of water and
splash everyone within reach.
'Why don't you girls take your shoes and
stockings off to-day? You did yesterday/
shouted Frank.
We looked at each other, and Josie called
back, 'Because we don't want to, young
'Oh!  I  know it's because Mr Templeton's
here, and you don't want him to see your—'
corns, he was going to say, but Josie ran after
him with hands full of sand, and daddy took
61 Canadian Camp Life
Maudie's tin pail and chased through the
shallow water after him, showering him with
Charley was marching soberly along with
Mr Templeton, carrying a shovel and sack for
the cockles.
' Where shall we go for cockles, I wonder ?'
said someone.
' Don't you see those Indian women in the
distance ? I expect, if we make our way over
to them, we shall get a practical lesson/ suggested dad.
Over we went accordingly, and after seating
the little mother comfortably in her camp-chair
upon a high and dry piece of sand, we proceeded
to erect over her a Japanese umbrella of brilliant
hues, the long handle of which we drove into
the sand, leaving her cool and free to enjoy the
gentle breeze blowing up from the Gulf of
Georgia. This had been Frank's idea, and he
had himself been to the Chinese store where
such things are kept, made the bargain, and
paid for it from his own savings; now he
danced in glee round it and his mother, shouting and  gesticulating  like a  wild thing.     A
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shower of sand aimed squarely between his
shoulders brought him down to things terrestrial,
and he scampered off to interview the busy
The two younger ones took up their already
filled baskets, put the strap across their foreheads, and trudged off, with rather uncomplimentary remarks regarding our inquisitiveness,
it seemed, for though we couldn't catch what
they said, their gestures were significant. The
third, an old squaw, still went silently on with
her hunt for cockles. We all waded up to her,
ankle deep in water, and looked on, whilst
Frank plied her with questions in Chinook,
English, and a few words of Indian jargon which
he happened to know. She made no reply for
a time.
' Try her in French/ suggested Charley.
This time she nodded her head and smiled.
So he tried Chinook again.
' Halo comtux Chinook!' she said sadly.
' How do you know where the cockles are ?'
he queried again in English.
' Halo comtux Englees !' she returned in the
same sad tone. Canadian Camp Life
' Try her in Greek, Charley/ said he, disgusted;
' she'll say/ and he mimicked her tone and
manner, ' Halo comtux Gleek!' and he flung
himself off with a laugh and a splash to look
for better sport.
All this time she kept steadily treading
around in the water, apparently feeling with her
naked toes, for whenever she stooped she always
came up again with a cockle in her thin brown
hand. We were all watching her, and didn't
notice that Mr and Mrs Wentworth had joined
Mrs Wentworth addressed her in a soft
language I didn't know; and the squaw smiled
from ear to ear as she answered, but still her
voice had that gentle, sad intonation. She had
filled her basket, and slinging it from across her
forehead as the younger ones had done, she
went slowly and somewhat painfully after them.
' Poor thing ! no rest from labour in old age;
although I daresay, according to actual years,
she ought to be in her prime.    They break
down so early these Indian women, their lives
are so hard, and they're so much exposed to all
weathers, then, too—'
64 Canadian Camp Life
' Why, dad, aren't you getting sentimental ? '
laughed Josie.
I Only common, everyday facts, my girl/ and
turning to Mr Templeton, he said,' Why, man,
I've seen them in the fishing season, when
money was plentiful, going round with velvet
dresses, and great thick blanket shawls, of
brilliant colours, over their heads ; then, in the
winter, shivering around in somebody's old
cotton wrapper. Perhaps a tilliceun (friend)
had gone off with their clothes, or their good (?)
man had gambled them away ; but they seldom
complain. Come day, go day, with them,
they're like a lot of improvident children/
' But these women/ I said, ' especially the
younger ones, were sensibly dressed, in plain,
clean cotton, and the great bright plaid of it
seemed to suit them ; although the make of it,
of course, was atrocious.'
' A straight piece for the waist, holes for the
sleeves, which, by the way/ remarked Josie,' did
you notice, were very full, and gathered in at
the shoulder and wrist ?'
' They're half-breed Spanish girls, and married
to Spanish fishermen, as the elder squaw was,
E 65 Canadian Camp Life
she told me, but he was drowned, and she lives
with them. They have been instructed in sewing by the sisters of one of the missions, and in
religion by the missionary priests. Didn't you
notice their rosary ?'
We had; and then we stood discussing the
work of civilisation among the Indians, and the
work of the different churches.
'Well/ said daddy, 'there were martyrs of
old, and there always will be to the end in some
way or other; but the lingering martyrdom of
educated men, and sometimes women, who bury
themselves alive, giving up their entire existence
to the improvement of these people, and actually
living amongst them, as I know Christian priests
and clergy of all denominations do, are suffering
more tediously, and to better advantage in many
respects, than those who went to a sudden, if
painful, death/
' You must have had a bad time of it, then,
dad/ said the serious and usually silent Charley,
' when you were on those long survey trips of
yours, for you hadn't the consolation of a high
' Don't you think so, my lad ?' he returned,
66 Canadian Camp Life
with more seriousness than we generally saw in
him. ' I think I had a very high purpose in
view, as I was working for the comfortable
support of my wife and family; and, for an
ordinary mortal, that was enough/
' I beg your pardon, sir, so it was/ and
he raised his hat to father and mother
'Well, well/ said Josie, coming up flushed
and glowing from a chase after Frank, 'you
look like a solemn assembly, judge, jury, witnesses and all, ready to sentence some poor
creature to the gallows or penitentiary. All
you need is just what is coming to us, over the
sands, in that most uncomfortable-looking wood
We turned andflooked in the direction from
whence came the rattle of harness and a certain
low rumble from the loosened boards. Hoofs
and wheels, of course, were silent as they came
on over the sands.
There was one of our young and popular
clergymen from Westminster accompanied by a
newly-arrived Chinese missionary, whose zeal
was  great, and his hopes of  converting the
-■■.■ rtxaemaa I
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Celestials high, for he had opened a night
school and had more pupils than he knew
what to do with. They would sit patiently
while he discoursed of Christianity in broken
English to suit their understanding, for he knew
nothing of their language, till their patience
could bear no more, when some individual,
bolder than the rest, would rise and say respectfully, ' Vely good talkee, heap likee; now lead
(read) em book ay ?' Then they would wtfrk
industriously as long as he would keep them.
The driver of the wagon stopped by mammy's
brilliant umbrella, and Mr Wilbert alighted with
a bound that sent the clerical coat-tails flying in
anything but a solemn fashion, whilst his wideawake hat alighted ahead of him at her feet.
' Mr Wilbert/ she said, rising, with a pleased
air, ' I'm so glad to see you ; I hope you are
going to remain till Saturday/
' Can you put up with me till then ? Here's
Mr Strange, too/ he continued, as the serious
little missionary came up, and in his impressive
manner greeted her.
' If you will put up with the small tepee, just
large  enough to accommodate two cots, and
68 Canadian Camp Life
where you/ turning to Mr Wilbert, 'can only
stand upright near the centre pole, I can. I
don't know that you need go on Saturday, Mr
Strange. I know Mr Wilbert must be in Westminster for Sunday/
'Thank you very much, Mrs Le Ford; I'm
afraid I must return with the driver and take
the afternoon boat from Ladner's, for my
Chinese class will be sure to assemble to-night
and I must not fail them for any pleasure of
my own.'
' There's no afternoon boat to-day, Mr Strange;
the Transfer only goes back to-morrow and
takes the Victoria passengers on to Westminster
to save the long delay they would experience
while the through boat delivers freight at the
many canneries along the Fraser/ said Charley,
in his precise way.
The driver confirmed this statement, and Mr
Strange appealed to Mr Wilbert, who was
swinging the three little ones in the air, by turn,
splashing water on Frank, telling father the
latest politics and informing us girls that Lottie
Smith was to be married to her rich but somewhat aged lover next week, and what a glorious
69 Canadian Camp Life
affair it was to be, and how they were to live
happy ever after amidst parties and balls, and
operas and receptions, and 'At Homes/ not
omitting handsome donations to the church.
'Don't you think she's a wise girl, Josie?
Won't you go and do likewise ?' he asked
teasingly. She flushed scarlet, for we all knew
she had had just such an offer of marriage only
a few weeks before.
\ No, I won't! If I can't marry a man out of
pure regard, let him be rich or poor, I shall
remain a "lady bachelor" and earn my own
living. I believe in working women/ she returned, with her head high in the air and her
bright blue eyes sparkling.
Frank broke in upon our heroics with ' Come,
Mr Wilbert, let's get some cockles; the tide'll be
coming in and we sha'n't get any/
Mr Wilbert looked quizzically at Frank's
naked feet and then at his own clerical extremities.
'Go on, girls, and sit down by mammy/
urged Frank,' and then no one'll mind taking
off their shoes and stockings.     I haven't got
half-a-dozen cockles yet.'
70 Canadian Camp Life
Dad's shoes and stockings were already off,
and he was tramping away in the sand as the
squaw had done. 'Ah! Eureka!' he shouted
as he stooped and picked up an enormous
cockle. ' The squaw was feeling for them with
her toes, that's how she came to pick one up
every time she stooped; they're from two to four
inches under the sand !'
Frank dashed into the water and we went
and sat down by mammy's chair. Mrs Wentworth was knitting some pretty lace and talking
in that bright, entertaining way she had; we sat
idly and listened, scooping holes and building
little mounds with our hands.
The three children were wet to their necks
trying to follow the men, who had all gone in
for cockles, whilst the clerical coat-tails of Mr
Wilbert were being hung on to by one or more
of the youngsters, and were getting decidedly
' Here, Maudie/ said Mr Wilbert, taking off
his coat, 'go and lay this down by mammy's
chair; there's a good little woman.'
She started off in high  glee at  being big
enough to be so employed, but Master Bobby
7i Canadian Camp Life
felt himself left out and started in pursuit of his
sister. The consequence of which was that the
children and coat had to be fished out of the
lagoon in a dripping condition.
Meantime Frank, finding the cockle bag grow
heavier and heavier without any great effort on
his own part, made excursions where the water
was deeper, and waded through the crab grass.
All at once he gave a most unearthly yell and
went down on his back, kicking up his heels in
the air. This showed us the cause of the trouble,
for fastened by its big claw upon one of his toes
was a crab some six or seven inches in length.
Up he came again, sputtering and gasping.
Charley was at the rescue before anyone else
seemed to realise what had happened. He
carried the cockle bag in one hand and a stick
in the other; dropping Frank's foot into the
bag he prised off the crab with his stick, thus
releasing Frank and securing a fine crab.
Poor Frank was pale with fright, he couldn't
think what had got hold of him:    Mother's soft
handkerchief was tied round his foot and he
soon forgot all in fresh exploits of mischief.
Mr   Strange was  still   consulting with the
72 Canadian Camp Life
driver and mother as to what he was to do
when Mr Wilbert called to the driver, 'Sam,
take these ladies and children up to camp and
feed your horses. You can't come to a decision
on an enjpty stomach, Strange, and the tide has
turned some time ago/
So we all got into the wood wagon, stowed
our dripping children, the coat and the cockles
' somewhere/ and went lumbering up to camp.
\ How in the world did those two men stand this
over that broken piece of corduroy road from
Ladner's ?' said Mrs Wentworth as well as she
could speak for the jolting we were getting ; for
the driver went off with a crack of the whip
and a flourish of his reins, starting the horses
at full gallop.
HALF-AN-HOUR later, when the men all strolled
into the dining tent, someone said, 'Where's
Mr Wilbert ?' A pair of broad grey shoulders
turned round, and Mr Wilbert's voice said,
' Why, here he is!'
'Well, well/ said Charley, quietly, 'there is
something in dress after all. Really, you look
like a sporting character in that Norfolk suit of
Mr Wentworth's/ .
' Didn't I always tell you/ said Josie, saucily,
' that Mr Wilbert had such expressive coat-tails;
now   you   see   what   I   meant.      They sway
solemnly when he walks up the church;  they
flutter merrily when he's going to tie some poor
creature up in "the bonds of matrimony"; they
have a protective sway when he's going to a
74 Canadian Camp Life
christening; an important flap when he's been
distributing the crumbs which fall from a church
" At Home "; but when he gets gracefully down
from a carriage you all know they stand out in
a circle around him and his hat alights first/
'Josie, Josie/ said mother, 'I'm ashamed of
you ; your tongue runs away with you.'
j Oh! that's nothing/ he returned with mock
humility, 'to what I often have to endure.
Don't lessen my self-mortification in the least,
my dear madam. I'm delighted that such an
observant young lady should correct my faults
and show me my absurdities/
It was a merry lunch; fun and laughter was
the order of the day till Mr Strange began to
worry again about getting back to Westminster.
' You could ride, you know/ suggested Charley,
who thought nothing of a twenty-mile ride.
' Me!   On horseback!' he said with a horrified
air, and his light grey eyes grew large as he
looked round at us all through his glasses.    \ I
should make a worse exhibition of myself than
John Gilpin did, and I suspect the road would
nowhere be barred by turnpike gates, but the
brute would carry me straight into that beauti-
75 Canadian Camp Life
ful Fraser of yours. I really don't know how
you ladies ride these half-broken, half-Indian
' Nothing like use/ laughed Mrs Wentworth.
' I think it the most delightful riding in the
world, notwithstanding I have followed the
Kennel worth Pack that" cast off" from Bosworth
Hall on the first of November, commencing the
delightful Leicestershire " meets." All the tricks
and antics of these animals are so amusing.'
'Especially/ said her husband, slyly, 'when
they double themselves neck and heels for a
glorious bucking escapade, or back down
'Oh! I don't bargain for that. I must say
when they start to " buck" I leave them to it,
and let them amuse themselves by splitting the
girths of my saddle and flinging it off instead
of me; and as to backing down hill, that's
the one thing which completely unnerves
me. Don't you remember, Claude, that time
we rode to Vancouver by the new road, coming
back by the old Hastings road ?'
Mr Wentworth said he did.    Turning to us
she continued:  ' You know, after passing the
76 Canadian Camp Life
Hastings Hotel you make an abrupt turn and
go up a rather steep hill ?'
We all knew the place well, it made such a
good ride of twenty-five miles in a circuit, and
we often took it.
' Coming down that hill, if there was no bend,
you'd go straight into the Tulet/
' Of course/ we returned, all attention.
' The horse I rode was an exceptionally handsome fellow, standing fifteen and a-half hands
high. Indeed, as we passed the hotel slowly, a
man, who had the appearance of an ostler,
said, I Don't she look like a horsefly stuck up
there ? " to which the other had coolly assented,
although I was looking straight at him. The
" power of the human eye " was lost on him, poor
' I hadn't been long in the country then, and
knew nothing from experience of " bucking " or
I balking."   As I said, we passed the hotel and
turned to go uphill.   Two men who were boring
rocks for blasting below the bluff, ran out and
called to us to " hurry up" as they had just
lighted a fuse.   Turning round in our saddles
as we went, we saw them both run to a place
! y;
fjftm '^Tr^^^^_r_r'^jn^~r^rT;-^rt^Z--£-S-gta_agBeq
y r~
1 [j]
Canadian Camp Life
of safety, and almost immediately Big Ben
planted his fore feet slightly apart and wouldn't
move a step.
' I whipped him, then he reared and tried to
turn back. I resolutely kept his head uphill,
and he as resolutely backed himself down in
spite of the whip and spur I used rather freely.
Claude rode up and tried a cut or two of his
own whip across his flanks; Big Ben winced,
but kept slowly backing down.
' He was so tall I couldn't very well jump ; in
fact, it never occurred to me, as I intended to
conquer him. But we were getting dangerously
near the edge of the bluff, which drops from
thirty to forty feet sheer, and is covered at the
bottom by broken rocks and jagged boulders.
Claude jumped from Pet, intending to seize the
reins, lift me down, and let Big Ben go over
alone if he was fully determined to break his
'The   men  shouted   and  gesticulated  from
behind their cover, and the blast went off with
a tremendous bang!   Whether a piece of rock
struck him, or the sudden explosion startled
him so that he forgot his purpose, we never
78 Canadian Camp Life
knew, but he bounded forward as Claude
reached for my reins. It was well I was still
seated firmly in my saddle, for he never waited
to draw breath till we were going up the long
hill, where I have heard you say your much-
respected pioneer, Dr Black, was killed. He
went up hill and down dale, over broken
corduroy and through water holes with never
a stumble, and I seemed to be expending my
strength in vain, although  I lashed the reins
jj » t_>
around my pommel and put on the curb/
' I felt it was rather a narrow escape/ said
Mr Wentworth, seriously, 'and blamed myself
greatly for not having ridden him more myself
before I allowed Dora to mount him. However, his price was one hundred and forty dollars,
and as I hadn't paid for him I simply sent him
I Yes, and we heard of him working in one of
the six-horse stages that run from Ashcroft to
' How long is that ago ?' inquired daddy.
' About four months/
' Well, last March I had business in the upper
country   and a horse of that description was
79 Canadian Camp Life
going round a bluff, harnessed in with five
others to our sleigh, when he began to balk.
The mountain rose inaccessibly on one side
of us, the Fraser was tumbling and foaming
among rocks and boulders five or six hundred
feet below us on the other. Our road was
built out on trestles, and was only just wide
enough for the one team. The passengers sat
still, waiting to see what the driver would do,
for a false step or two would land us all into
eternity. People don't say much at these times,
and we all had the greatest faith in our driver.
He spoke to the horses ; the five seemed perfectly
aware of their own peril and ours, only this big,
handsome fellow was obstreperous. Taking out
his revolver, Bill aimed for the animal's ear, and
the horse, which had the inside of the road, fell
without a struggle, leaning against the mountain
' That was a cool shot/ said Charley, admiringly. V
' It was that. Some of the passengers got
out, cut the traces, led his companion forward,
and tumbled him  over the   precipice,   where
those whose nerves were steady enough might
v Canadian Camp Life
look over and see his carcase buffeted about in
the surging waters below, looking no bigger than
a jack-rabbit. The other horses were hitched
together, the odd one going on ahead, and all
danger for the present was over/
' Well!' said Mr Wentworth, drawing a deep
breath, ' I'm greatly relieved, for I've always
thought I did a selfish thing in sending that
horse back for the sake of that paltry one
hundred and forty dollars. I ought to have
shot him myself/
During all this time poor Mr Strange was
fidgeting and looking at his watch, and coughing, much to the delight of Mr Wilbert and
Josie. As soon as there was a pause he spoke
out. ' But, my dear madam, how am I to keep
my engagement for to-night? Those poor
Celestials of mine'—and his face took on a
sad smile.
' Will be delighted to have two ladies of the
Cathedral Women's Auxiliary to take your place,
my dear fellow. They'll have less " singsong,"
no " talkee, talkee," and " heap much spellum,"
which will be more to their liking/
' I'm  afraid/ he  returned sadly, for he was
F igi
yy Canadian Camp Life
very sincere, 'I shall make but slow progress
with them.'
' They only come to you/ said Charley, with
a youth's thoughtlessness, but with his practical
way of looking at things, 'because you teach
them free of cost and they are anxious to learn
English; it helps them as cooks and household
helps of various kinds/
'That is a very dreadful way to look at
it, and rather cynical in one so young/
'Nevertheless, it's very true/ returned Mrs
Wentworth, warmly, for Charley was a great
favourite of hers; 'and what is more, their
ancestors were good and consistent Confucians
when yours and mine dressed themselves tastefully in woad; and they'll be Confucians still
when Christianity has taken on another form
to suit the evolutions of time/
He held up his hands  and  looked  at her
through  his   glasses  in perfect  horror.     The
boys  took   the   opportunity   of  slipping   out
and joining the three babies; and whilst our
elders   discoursed   learnedly of heredity   and
other subjects that didn't  interest  Josie and
me, we followed.
82 Canadian Camp Life
Mr Strange forgot for a time his hurry to
be off and his perplexity at finding no public
means of transit. It must strike those people
rather forcibly, who come from older countries,
and have been used to trains and steamboats
at all hours, and almost to any place, to find
communication possible only every few days,
or even weeks.
In the meantime the teamster had fed and
rested his horses, refreshed himself amply,
although he had an idea that something a
little stronger than tea or coffee would have
improved things, made the round of all the
camps, taken orders for the following morning
for the regular boat to Westminster, and was
delighted at having booked passengers enough
to load his team. He wanted to know if the
' missionary man' was going back or not: and
Mr Wilbert came and gave him a telegram
to the Secretary of the W. A., asking them
to take charge of the Chinese class till Saturday. So the mind of Mr Strange was eased,
but his conscience reproached him. When Ke
Tan came in to clear off the lunch-table, he
recognised him as one of his ' boys/    He went
w to him and shook hands; here was a chance
for individual effort, and he was left to make
the most of it.
Mammy retired to her tent to rest, and we all
strolled along the beach, waiting for the water
to come up a little more, when we would put
the children in for their paddle and then go in
Josie always went down with mother when she
took her dip; and then, whilst she assisted her
to dress, I made a cup of tea in what we called
her 'little old maid's teapot/ It was a small
blue and white affair with a handle like a saucepan on one side, and the spout near it, holding
about two small cups full.
Whilst making this tea I remarked to Ke
Tan, 'We go horsee to-moller, allee same
' Yes ?    You likee chicken pie ?'
| Heap muchee, Ke Tan; you savee ketchem
' Oh! s'pose Charley, he takem Bob, go lauch,
catchem  tree   chicken,  two roll  butter,  hi-yu
milik, two, tree dozen egg;  me makem cake/
85 Canadian Camp Life
' Alright! I'll see you ketchem dese tings; I
go send 'em Frank/
' Oh, no! Flank he no good; he blakem
egg, spillem milik/
' Alright! I ketchem/ I knew Charley would
be swimming and paddling for the next hour or
two with the men-folks, and if my picnic
basket was to be well filled to-morrow I must
have these things at once.
I carried in the little mother's tea and was
greeted by Josie with ' Better hurry up, Bessie,
if we are to get our swim, for the tide is coming
in very fast; the wind is with it, and the men
will soon be out/
' But what can I do ? Ke Tan wants chickens,
eggs, butter and milk brought from one of the
ranches. He says Frank will break the eggs
and spill the milk; and if he doesn't get these
things pretty soon he won't trouble himself to
make anything, and we shall have to do with
canned goods and bought cake/
'That wouldn't be nice, would it?    I know
Frank would just as soon escape the swim, for
the elders are rather unmerciful to him when
they catch him in the water, and pay him off for
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his pranks when they have the chance. I'll ask
him to catch and hitch up Bob whilst we get a
dip, and then we'll bundle all the youngsters in
and go ourselves. It will take an hour to drag
through that loose sandy road, and mammy can
rest in peace, for we shall have the children
We acted upon that suggestion, and after our
dip, our wet hair hanging over our shoulders, we
turned our backs upon the sparkling waters, the
shining sands and the happy shouts of laughter
from the dozens of bathers; each camp, as a
rule, going in in a cluster.
The last thing we saw as we left the beach
being a ring of merry girls, almost children,
dancing in the water, at the same time keeping
' a weather eye' on a boat coming their way.
In it was seated a youth home for his summer
vacation.    He wore a becoming suit of blue and
white, his hair was  plastered  down upon  his
lofty brow, and he was rowing himself out to
deeper water in order to swim back before the
admiring gaze of his 'sisters, his cousins and
his aunts.'    His head was bowed as if in deep
thought; no doubt his great mind was groping
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in the dark and unopened recesses of his vast
cranium, seeking the solution of some deep
question in theology, algebra, geometry, or
deliberating on the suitability of his last new
On he came, apparently oblivious of the
merry group; they unclasped hands in one
place, when lo! he had propelled himself
within their magic circle. Screaming and
laughing they seized upon his boat and overturned it, and the last we saw of its dripping
occupant, he was wading off amidst a shower of
spray and shouts of laughter, rather ignomini-
ously hauling his boat with him.
We didn't light our camp fire after dinner,
this being the signal that we were 'not at
home/ for the moonlight was flooding bay and
shore, woodland and mountain, so we decided
to have, as Mr Wilbert suggested, ' A long
pull, and a strong pull, and a pull all
Mammy was very tired, so she and the little
ones were left snugly in bed.
' Bring your guitar, Josie/ said someone;
and then Mr Wilbert assisted her into the boat.
HSF**? Canadian Camp Life I
I followed, and we seated ourselves one on
either side of Mrs Wentworth.
Mr Wentworth seated himself with Charley
and Frank in the bow; Mr Wilbert, who had
rowed in the Oxford, and Mr Templeton in the
Cambridge teams, took the oars; daddy pushed
us off, and then he and Mr Strange returned to
the dining tent for a smoke and a chat, as
daddy wouldn't leave mother and the children
alone, and Mr Strange ' never ventured on the
water except in a case of necessity/ No
wonder, poor man, when he had suffered on the
smooth river trip to Ladner's, and even an
ordinary drive made him 'sea-sick/
We pulled out some distance before anyone
spoke; then Mr Templeton said, 'Give us one
of your Spanish serenades, Dora, won't you ? '
Without a word she took the guitar from
Josie's lap; j her husband was watching, delighted to see she acquiesced, for she had never
sung to harp or guitar since the loss of her
baby, and he was glad to see her coming to a
healthier frame of mind. She touched a few
chords in introduction, and then, in the sweetest,
most liquid contralto we had ever heard, she
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poured forth song after song in Spanish and
Italian; and then, it seemed by way of breaking
the spell which entranced us, she ended up with
a bright little French chanson that set all our
feet moving, and the rowers dipped their oars
again and merrily kept time.
As we stepped ashore Mr Strange met us
with the remark, ' You gave us some divine
music, Miss Josie/
'Oh, no/ said Josie, rather bitterly, 'that's
where we colonial girls are at a loss; the higher
accomplishments are out of our reach. It was
Mrs   Wentworth   you   heard,   and   wasn't   it
lovely ?'
' Never mind the " higher accomplishments,"
little girl/ said Mr Wilbert in a low tone, as he
drew her hand through his arm and led her
off, whilst we were surprised to see our little
' spit-fire' so submissive for once.
Mrs Wentworth put her arm round my waist
as I stood looking after them. ' Weren't they
rude ?' she asked in a bantering tone. \ We shall
have some news soon, and Mr Wilbert will
endanger his popularity by entering the Society
of Benedicts!'
swan**-. ■.      ; s!ssr-sa_%....-—1,_'-,.-,.-.-.-'_-_^-.- Canadian Camp Life
'I — I — don't know what to think ! First
your singing like an angel, and then those two
going off like that—I can't lose Josie—' And,
overwrought and tired, I began to cry.
She turned off from the other and called
out to Mr Templeton, who was coming in
search of us, that we would return presently.
We walked along the beach in silence, and I
got myself in hand, then we returned. She
went to the entrance of our sleeping tent with
me, and there we met Josie, looking very subdued, but happy.
She kissed Mrs Wentworth. ' Forgive me!'
she whispered. ' I felt such a little ignoramus
beside you; and I did want to be something
better for his sake/
' It's all settled then, is it, dear ?' she returned
tenderly. ' Then I wish you all the happiness
that can fall to two such whole - hearted
Next morning we were astir by times; even
then Mr Templeton was there before we had
finished breakfast, with two horses and a dear
little pony.
' Don't you  think your mother  might  ride
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this little fellow, Miss Bessie, and go with us ?
I can vouch for his steadiness and reliability, for
he belongs to a good-natured old pioneer, who
frequently goes home on the little creature's
back fast asleep; but it makes no difference
to Billy, for he picks his way with the greatest
care, and knows every soft place that has to be
I went up and stroked his neck and rubbed
his nose. ' Isn't he a dear little fellow/ I said,
' with his soft, intelligent eyes ? Come and look
at this pony, mother! You can ride him, and
we can all go. Everyone says it's simply impossible to drive/
Presently we set out, and all the rest of the
campers turned out to wave handkerchiefs to us
and wish us a pleasant day.
We had six horses between us, but then
there were the three babies, who certainly
would have objected to be left behind.
We gave Josie and Mr Wilbert the two best
horses, and as they rode off ahead, Josie looked
so sweet in her dark green riding-habit and the
little jockey   cap perched  on   her fair, fluffy
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All the rest of us rode as we were, in our
camping dresses of   dark cotton.     Only one
horse remained for the men-folks to ride in turn,
and Charley and  Frank  started  out together
upon it.      Dolly  was  seated on   Mrs Went-
worth's lap, Maudie sat behind me and held on
to my waist, Bobby decided to walk' wis de big
mans/ and trudged bravely along.    Daddy and
Mr Wentworth carried one basket on a stick
between them, Mr Templeton and Mr Strange
carried the other.
We wended our way slowly up the bluff, till
about half a mile from camp we came upon the
outlet of a small but never-failing mountain
stream, which supplied all the camps with the
purest and coldest of water.     It gushed out
from under a pile of the  fallen giants of the
forest which lay crossed  and tumbled  in  all
directions.    Someone had inserted a little spout
of   bark, and   here   each  comer had to wait
patiently whilst   the other  filled   his   or  her
bucket    This was generally a clean coal-oil can,
arranged with a handle through which a stick
was passed, and carried by two persons.    It was
surprising  how many young couples  found it
93 Canadian Camp Life
necessary to fetch water ' for ma' in the
pleasant gloaming, and what a long time they
had to wait for their turn, and how obliging
they were, sometimes sitting round on the logs
and allowing quite a number of matter-of-fact
kind of people to step in ahead of them!
Ah ! well, it is pleasant to sit till the stars come
out and discuss poetry and art with a nice,
intelligent companion.
Several of the campers were here to-day with
some of those useful cans boiling over a fire
made in a hole in the ground. They were
'doing the washing' in company, as it was
easier to bring the clothes to the water than it
was to take the water to the clothes; consequently every bush and briar boasted some
article of wearing apparel or household (tent-
hold) use hung out to dry, and there was some
difficulty in getting my horse by them.
Mammy's little Billy took no notice of them;
but presently from the bush, and amidst the
laughter of the ' washers/ crawled Frank. The
boys' horse had shied unexpectedly, and he
was thrown into a bushy hollow. These had
broken   his fall, and   he  came out with   the
94 Canadian Camp Life
comical expression he always wore when he
had had the worst of it. Charley had succeeded in bringing his horse back, and came
apprehensive that Frank was hurt.
His horse was one of those hard-mouthed
creatures that showed the white all round his
eyes, and dad had said, before they started,
' Look out for him, boys ; you'll find him ugly!'
Mr Strange for once threw his cares to the
winds; indeed, who could feel the worries of
life when the sea breeze fanned his cheeks, the
sunlight filtered through the rustling leaves,
and the resinous scent of the pines was so
delicious, with every now and then the faint
sweetness of the wild honeysuckle that climbed
thirty or forty feet, entwining the forest trees.
The road was very steep here and very
uneven. Daddy came to mother's side and
said, 'How are you making out, mammy?
Getting tired? If you are, we'll go back and
take the youngsters.'
'No, dear, I'm  not tired, but won't Bobby
come up behind me ?    I think those little fat
legs must be very tired/
He consented reluctantly to be hoisted up,
95 and Billy stepped more carefully than ever
with his added burden. We came upon a very
wet place, quite swampy, in fact, almost on the
top of the bluff, and mammy drew rein, looking
helplessly at us.
'Let him pick his own way, Mrs Le Ford/
said Mr Templeton, reassuringly, as he came
up; 'he knows the road better than any of
She laid the reins on his neck and told him
to go on. He crossed to the opposite, and
what looked to us the worse side of the road,
and stepping steadily upon the most solid
places, trying the more treacherous before
trusting his weight to them, he carried his
burden over without a plunge. Mrs Wentworth and I followed, making our horses step
in the same places. Charley's horse floundered
around, but Frank had taken the precaution
to get down, for he could see quite a likelihood
of his taking a seat in the bog, and he preferred
to trust to his own feet.
The descent on the   opposite side   of  the
bluff was  rather steep,  but the view of  the
Gulf of Georgia, the numerous islands lying in
96 Canadian Camp Life
it, and the mountains beyond, was simply
magnificent, and gave one a sense of the unlimited, with a feeling of awe for the Greatness
and Power of the Creator of all this, and of
thankfulness for being allowed to enjoy its
On the flats between us and the sparkling,
restless waters stood the house of a rancher,
built quaintly of shingles, near the beach.
There were some acres of cultivatable land,
and some of it was planted, but the whole
place had a go-as-you-please air about it
which made it jar upon its surroundings.
A sloop lay on its side upon the beach; and
when we sent Frank to inquire the way to
Light House Point, a youth came out, followed
by a seafaring-looking man, and took a good
survey of us. The youth made out from
Frank that we were only 'campers' before he
answered any questions. Then he said,' Keep
right on tell yer come to a putty good-lookin'
house, an' ast agen/
We inquired if they had seen  a lady and
gentleman   pass on   horseback.     ' No!'   they
said, and that was  all  we could get out   of
G 97 Canadian Camp Life
them. So perforce we had to make our way
to the 'putty good-lookin' house' as best we
could. Frank was again sent as messenger.
This time he had to climb a great pile of
brushwood, which had been cut and piled to
keep some cows in a very wet-looking meadow.
A troop of little children followed a very
tall lady out, and a very pretty girl with
handsome, large, dark eyes and auburn hair
came up to us. She had a small, pretty figure,
and we were told she was an Icelander, but
she spoke excellent English.
'You should have taken the beach road
from the last house/ she said. ' If you don't
want to turn back, the best thing you can
do is to tie up your horses and walk through
the forest. There's no real trail, only a line
blazed out, and you must look out for the
marks all the way or you may get lost/
She recognised Mr Templeton as the gentleman from 'The Flats/ and asked him if he
had never been to Light House Point before.
'Only by boat/ he returned, raising his hat
and smiling down upon the brisk, pretty little
98 Canadian Camp Life
'What are we to do with the basket?'
inquired daddy. 'Don't you think we had
better go back, mammy, and camp at the foot
of the bluff for to-day ?'
' Oh, no! we shall soon be there now, and
Josie and Mr Wilbert are on ahead.'
'Well, come on, then/ said dad, lifting her
down,' and follow me, everybody, for I expect
I'm the most experienced woodsman here/
So off we started, single file, except for the
three little ones, who were carried by the boys
part of the time.
' Maudie, you must get down and walk/
said Charley, very decidedly. ' I shall go and
fetch Billy, so mother can ride when we get
through this thicket/
' Oh! my dear boy, you'll break the poor
little fellow's legs, and I wouldn't have him
hurt for anything/ But Charley was gone,
and I noticed, as we crept under logs whose
thickness rose above our heads, climbed over
others, or made our way through brush and
undergrowth, she frequently looked back to see
if her boy and the little horse were coming.
At last, tired and heated,  we   came upon
99 Canadian Camp Life
what we had been told we should if we followed
the young girl's directions, namely, a road in
course of construction, and upon the other
side of it a house.
We all sat down in the open space to rest, when
lo! looking through the rough fence, were two
little mites, hardly as big as ours, holding the
handle of a small ' express wagon/ in which
was snugly tucked a darling little fat baby,
looking at us all with its wondering baby gaze.
A lady came out as mother and Mrs Wentworth passed into the garden ; she invited us
all into the house. § Only us three women-folks
and the children accepted the invitation. The
house was built of huge logs, the walls were
very low and had been finished by cedar shakes,
which let in the light here and there. But the
floor was carpeted, there were some comfortable chairs, an open organ with plenty of
music piled near, and a great many books and
The pines and cedars reared their mighty
heads from two to four hundred feet, standing
so close together that they had only branched
out near their tops.    They formed a dense wall
IOO Canadian Camp Life
of dark green round the little clearing of an
acre or two, in which stood the dwelling.
Flowers were planted and blooming in profusion ; vegetables, fruit trees and bushes filled
the clearing. The sun could only have penetrated to the ground for a short time each
day, until this road had been 'logged out/
showing a clear line of sky from north to
south, and, as it were, taking down the wall
of impenetrable greenness from one side of
the clearing.
The lady of the house, a very handsome
brunette, her hair cut short and curling all over
her head, the children, the house, all showed
the greatest refinement, and mother and Mrs
Wentworth seemed loath to leave her. She
promised to call at our camp, if possible, but
the three babies made it difficult for her to go
When at last we said good-bye and rejoined
the rest of our party, Charley had arrived, and
in some way had managed to bring all the
horses with him.
' However did you get through with them,
Charley ?'
1 I Canadian Camp Life
'Why, they are better woodsmen than we
are, and can climb like goats, and led me out
by an easier way than you came.'
Mother was very glad to mount Billy again
and, as we had a comparatively good road,
and only to look out for and avoid the sharp
stumps caused by cutting down the smaller
trees and brush, we soon found ourselves at
Light House Point, when, lo and behold!
upon a bluff at the edge of the forest stood a
pretty hotel with the legend written up—
' Meals, 25 cents/
We looked at our baskets and at the clean,
bright landlady, who soon boiled us a large
kettle of water, and never did the refreshing
cup of tea taste nicer to thirsty travellers than
it did to us. The landlady set for us a clean
table, and we did ample justice to Ke Tan's
good things.
Mother went and had a good rest; the little
ones laid their heads in Mrs Wentworth's lap
and mine and went to sleep as we sat under
the pine trees, from which the lower branches
had been cut near the house, and watched for
Josie and  Mr Wilbert to appear.    This they
102 Canadian Camp Life
finally did, from a direction opposite to the one
from which we expected them.
' Why, which way did you truants come ?'
exclaimed Mrs Wentworth.
' Oh! we were here an hour ago and had
lunch, then we went up to see the monument/
'What monument, child?'
' It's about a mile through the woods from
here, but the last part has only a very indistinct trail, and we had to leave our horses
and make our way through on foot/
'Was it worth the trouble?' asked Mrs
Wentworth, doubtfully.
' As a work of art, decidedly not, for it was
only huge blocks of granite supporting a square
pillar upon which was engraved the names of
the English and American members of the
International Survey party.'
' And marks the boundaries of the two great
nations who are so much one in blood and
principle/ said Mr Wilbert.
' Some day we shall see them all under one
government/ said Mrs  Wentworth, looking at
11 3?.\S
Canadian Camp Life
' What a grand Republic that will be!' returned he, seriously, pretending to understand
that as her meaning.
' Or Monarchy!' she retorted quickly.
We all laughed, and began to talk upon other
subjects, for daddy always teased Mrs Wentworth upon this point, and she as invariably
took him in earnest
The men and boys went and inspected the
barns, and the horses and cattle belonging to the
ranches scattered along the flats near the beach.
These farmers combine fishing with ranching,
and make a very good living. Some of the
sloops which they use for deep sea fishing were
drawn up on the beach, and they were casting
their nets from small boats near shore, catching
salmon for the canneries.
We womenfolks sat round under the shade
of the pines and  chatted  with the landlady.
Presently Mr Brewer, the owner of this quarter
section, came up from the beach on horseback.
He had passed the allotted threescore and ten,
but his blue eyes were bright, his step firm, and
his  seat in the saddle as steady as a young
104 ■■Mil in
Q Canadian Camp Life
' Don't you find it very bleak here in the
winter ?' we asked.
' Bless yer! no. We get the mild winds from
the Gulf Stream, and it's never as cold as it is
on the other side of the mountain/
While we stood talking he pointed out the
smoke of a steamer in the distance. By the
help of a glass we made her out to be one of
the Empresses that ply between the Orient and
Vancouver.    She was now inbound.
When we were ready to return, the old man
mounted his horse and insisted upon acting as
guide back over the flats.
Mr Wilbert and Josie, who came out that
way, had come across some rather bad bog holes.
Bobby stood looking up at the old man as he
mounted his tall bay mare. ' Come along, young
man/ he said, stooping from his stirrup, and
picking up the rather astonished boy. He
placed his own foot in the strap just above the
stirrup, as we had seen Mr Templeton do, seated
the child on his knee and started off.
Seven horses in procession! Daddy was
riding the one Mr Wilbert had taken out, and
kept along with Mr Brewer.
-J&L Canadian Camp Life
The meadows we crossed at first were covered
with a coarse grass, upon which a great number
of horses and cattle were feeding. This gradually became more soft and yielding, and daddy
waited back for mother and little Billy to come
She was trying to guide him over what appeared to be the more solid places, but he sank
to his knees several times, and she was getting
'What are we amongst?' called out Mrs
Wentworth. ' Claude, do gather some of this
green stuff and let me look at it. Why, it is
samphire! Exactly the same as that which
grows upon the marshes of the Wash, on the
east coast of England. Don't you remember
the people there used to boil and eat it with
vinegar and pepper, and it tastes something like
spinach would treated in the same way, only it
leaves a little woody stem, and spinach doesn't.'
'Guess wed better gather some. It's so
English, you know/ laughed daddy, throwing
himself out of the saddle and suiting the action
to the word.
' It's the first time I've seen it since we were in
106 Canadian Camp Life
Norfolk and Lincolnshire/ continued Mrs Wentworth. ' The fishermen's wives and children
used to walk all the way from Lynn, dragging and pushing little handcarts, a distance of
fully nine miles, and gather samphire to hawk
round the streets. Then, Claude, don't you remember seeing them go along with a basket full
of it balanced upon their heads, singing out in
voices that resounded along the monotonous-
looking, quiet streets of private residences, "Long
green sam-fire," through their noses/ And she
mimicked the tones of the fishwomen.
It was new to us, and we determined t© try
some ; so we filled one of the lunch baskets, and
as ' the boys' trudged along with it between
them, Mrs Wentworth added, ' I'm sure you'll
like it, and it will taste of " home " to me/
How deliciously the   cool   breeze   from the
water blew over us as we made our way to the
low-lying   gravelly    point,   which   was   Light
House Point itself.    Little Billy, the reins laid
upon his neck, stepped cautiously along, trying
the tufts of samphire before trusting his weight
to them ; he never went in over his fetlocks,
whilst everyone else's horse, Mr Brewer's ex-
107 1. '
Canadian Camp Life
cepted, was always putting one foot or other
into a hole or a yielding piece of sand.
We were now upon the gravelly beach, and
able to look round us without fear of our horses
' going out of sight/ as daddy said. The bluff
rose green and precipitous on our left, the
waters sparkled and gurgled on our right, our
backs were towards the setting sun, and the cool
breeze fanned all. But it was very tiring for
those who had to walk, for the sand and gravel
was loose, and slid away from under their feet
at every step, and they took turns in riding the
two horses. Even Mr Strange allowed himself
to be hoisted upon the quieter of the two, and
clung shudderingly to its mane, lying almost
flat over the English saddle of his horse.
{ J
' I What thing upon its back had got
Did wonder more and more/'
whispered Josie to me, for the creature was
getting very uneasy, no doubt thinking he was
carrying home the carcase of a deer, after a
hunting expedition; and very few horses will do
that unless blindfolded. Whilst we were watching him,   he threw up his head, humped his
108 Canadian Camp Life
back, and had evidently made up his mind to
' buck' whatever it might be off. But the
English saddle-girths wouldn't stand much of
that; they burst, and down rolled the poor
man, saddle and all, into the loose sand, where
he lay motionless till the others came up.
' Am I killed ?' he inquired in a sepulchral
voice, without turning his head.
They assured him he still 'cumbered the
' Kicked ?' still lying still.
' Not scratched; but you ought to have to
carry the saddle, seeing your horse has gone on,
and the saddle will have to follow.'
' Carry the saddle! I'd carry a dozen saddles,
but I'll never mount a horse again, at least one
of these half-Indian ponies/
Tying the stirrups together, the saddle was
slung across dad's shoulders, and Mr Strange,
tired as he was, was only too thankful to walk.
Presently we came to ' Go-as-you-please'
ranch, as Mrs Wentworth called it; and, passing along in front instead of behind it as we
had done before, were soon upon the trail over
the bluff.
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If the sun had brought out the resinous perfumes of pine and cedar, and the sweetness of
the honeysuckle and other wild flowers, the
dewy evening was still more delicious, and we
chatted in subdued tones as we drank in its
I saw that Bobby had fallen asleep, and must
be a heavy weight upon the old man's arm, and
wanted to take a turn with him myself, for I
was riding a man's Mexican saddle with my
knee over the horn, and that gives you a very
secure seat.
' Bless you! no, my dear young lady, I could
carry two of 'em/ And I believe he could. He
stayed to a late dinner with us, and, when he
went off on his return with a string of horses,
amongst them Billy, the children set up a perfect howl of disapproval.
' Billy's my little horse, an' I dest let mammy
ride him, an' now de mans is taken him away!'
The other two joined in chorus, and were only
quieted when their tired heads were laid upon
their pillows, and  Josie sang them  to sleep.
As we sat talking round the camp fire, in that
languid,   contented   way people   have   whose
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nerves are at rest from many hours spent in the
bright sunshine and sweet, fresh air, someone
said the fish traps would be opened to-morrow
morning about five o'clock, as the water would
be at its lowest then.
' Let's go and see it/ suggested Mr Wilbert;
'we shall have a novel experience/
So we arranged that Mrs Wentworth, Josie
and I would be ready to accompany Mr
Templeton and Mr Wilbert at that time.
When I awoke next morning Josie was standing with the tent opening drawn a little apart,
and gazing out in wrapt attention. I rose and
joined her, and we both stood in silent awe and
admiration. The sun, like a globe of transparent amber, was just coming over the
mountains, and tingeing the snowy crown of
Mount Baker, and the chains of peaks and
crests which stretched away from him, with
gold ; the sands below were wrapped in a grey
stillness, and the waves in the distance, tossing
restlessly, gave out no sparkle.
We watched his majesty as he slowly revealed himself, and extended his golden veil of
light down, down, revealing dark crevices, deep
ravines, ragged chasms and silvery lines which
we knew to be torrents dashing and foaming
down the sides of those mighty mountains fed
112 Canadian Camp Life
from glaciers of immemorial antiquity, till
everything was flooded with his brightness.
We dressed hastily and joining Mrs Wentworth, started to walk to Point Roberts over
the sands. When we arrived the courteous
proprietor received us very kindly, and gave us
a seat in his steam tug, the Yarno, which was
ready, with a string of scows attached, to go
out and bring in the haul.
Seated upon her bow, on coils of ropes and
empty barrels, we steamed along a line of poles
driven into the sands by means of a pile driver.
These were placed about twenty feet apart, and
on them was stretched one continuous fish net
for a distance of three quarters of a mile. This
was called ' The Lead ' and terminated in \ The
Heart/ at the apex of which was the only outlet,
and through this fish found their way into ' The
Pot/ which was an immense bag net, supported
by many piles, and kept from closing at the top
by other horizontal poles fastened between the
perpendicular ones, and which had no opening.
' De feesh dey coom oop de channel/ said the
captain, putting his head out of the wheel-house
window,' skirting de land all de vays, an' tastin'
H 113 ■;.
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for de Fraser Ribber water.    Dey tink dey find
him ven it ees only des Bay.     Dey svim all
round,  an' ven dey strike des net, dey keep
along, dey   can't   go   oonder,   'cause   eet  ees
fastened to de bottoms, an' den dey get into de
heart; dey svim on round, for dey never turns
back, an' dey find de leetle opening, an' dey's in
de pot.    But dey not mooch find deir vays out
any moor.     An' de nex' ting dey gets into
blenty people's pots/   With a laugh at his own
wit, he went off to attend to the placing of the
scows in position.
The trap was like a huge basin filled with
fish, leaping and springing, and bulging out the
net on all sides.    The tug steamed alongside,
and a lad stepped from it on to the cross poles,
holding   on  by a second line of cross  poles
above the   net.      He  made his  way   to   the
opening of' The Pot' from ' The Heart/ which,
by drawing up a rope and fastening it, cut off
all means  of egress.    Then, returning to the
point from which he had  started,  and where
the scows were waiting, each manned by four
or five stalwart fishermen, mostly Norwegians,
encased   from   head  to  foot  in   garments   of
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oilskin, some black, some yellow, he undid
another rope, lowering the net sufficiently
for one scow to enter; a few fish escaped as
he did so, but he soon drew up the rope again
and refastened it.
The scow was now in the midst of the surging, silvery mass, the men, all standing on one
side, slightly tilted the scow, and they began
hauling up the net by its meshes. The scow
itself formed a barrier below, and the squirming,
shining mass, fighting for life, gradually raised
above the water, came flapping and sliding
round the men. When that lot was mostly
secured, they hauled in the net again, and so on,
until the men stood waist deep in the slippery,
silver mass ; indeed, you could scarcely distinguish them from the fish, so covered were
they with shining scales.
The lad   who had   manipulated  the   ropes
amused himself by standing on   the   highest
parts of the scow, and with a stick, into which
was driven an iron hook, he threw out flounders,
crabs, skate   and  many other kinds   of  fish.
There was one spring salmon, a splendid fellow,
weighing, they said, some sixty pounds, who
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had lost his way, and come in with the Sockeyes,
which only weigh from  five to eight pounds
The scow being now full, the net was again
lowered, and it passed out, another taking its
place. The tug went off with the loaded scow
and us to the Cannery, one man remaining in it
to throw up the fish upon the wharf, where
another stood ready, check book in hand, to
count them.
1 How many fish do you think you've got
there, captain ?' asked Mr Wilbert.
'Veil! I reckon deres sometings like fifteen
hoonded in de scow, likely deres atween five
an' seex tousand in de feesh trap. Goin' out
agen?'   he  asked   as   we were   nearing   the
I No, thank you, captain; I think the ladies
have seen enough, haven't you?'
We said we had. Josie was white with
' What's the matter, Josie ? did it upset you ?'
inquired Mr Wilbert.
' I hate death in any form ; and to think we
higher animals have to commit such wholesale
116 Canadian Camp Life
slaughter to keep our vile bodies together is
' Nevertheless, I've seen you eating a salmon
cutlet with great relish/
' Yes, I know; but I think I shall never eat
salmon again without remembering how hard
those fish fought for their liberty/
' And, when once in the toils, did you notice
how few escaped ?' added Mr Wilbert.
We were in fine trim for breakfast, and did
ample justice to the porridge, chops and eggs,
corn meal cake and coffee Ke Tan set before
us. All the poetry, and all the sentimentality
vanished before our ferocious appetites. We
had scarcely finished when some little figures
in pink flannelette came rushing and shouting in, and we had to carry them off to be
bathed and dressed.
Josie and  Mr Wilbert took a canter over
the sands, mother and father went for a drive,
as you  could go  almost anywhere, the only
quicksand being about a mile below, between
our camp and Point Roberts, quite near the
This was Friday, and Mr Wilbert had to
■>=* ■* ii: tort.,   ,; ;■-- Canadian Camp Life
return to Westminster on Saturday afternoon,
so some of our neighbours came over to ask
if he would hold service that evening, and
it was arranged that our dining tent, which
measured twenty by fourteen feet, should be
ready for those who wished to come, by half-
past seven.
Mr Wilbert looked out the hymns he thought
appropriate, and Charley was pressed into the
service as accompanist, the violin being the
only suitable instrument we had.
By a little after seven our friends and
neighbours were there in such force, not only
Episcopalians, but Methodists, Presbyterians
and Baptists, that the tent was wholly inadequate, and the service was held in the
open air. The men soon rolled up logs
enough from the beach for seats, the camp
fire of drift wood, with its flames of many
hues, gave light enough to read the hymns
by; and this handful of people raised their
voices in prayer and praise to the Maker of
the Universe, the Creator of this vast temple.
Oh! how insignificant we were!
Mr   Wilbert   stood  with   his   back   to   the
118 Canadian Camp Life
lighted tent, the ladies and children occupied
the logs around the fire, groups of men and
boys formed the background, sending up a grand
anthem into the blue, star-spangled vault above.
After Mr Wilbert's impressive sermon, the
'Old Hundred/ to the- accompaniment of
some three violins which were kindly brought
over, was sung as heartily as ever that grand
old hymn has been; meanwhile the tide had
risen, and gently lapped upon the beach, and
the wind sighed in the pine tops.
Many stayed and talked for an hour or
more, and Mr Wilbert and Josie, escaping
from the many congratulations, took a quiet
stroll along the shore, for the moon was
just making its appearance over the mountain
crags, showing them out like dark phantoms,
and flooding everything below with its silvery
light.    ;
I  was sitting on the pebbly beach   alone,
resting,   for   I   had had  a  tiring   day.     My
little charges were snugly sleeping, whilst   I
sat watching the figures of Mr Wilbert and
Josie,   as   they   meandered   here   and    there,
following the water line.
119 Canadian Camp Life
Without looking round I became conscious
of a 'presence' near me, and thinking it was
Frank up to some of his tricks, I said, ' Don't
tease me to-night, Frank, I'm so tired; come
and sit here on the log and be good for
Someone came and sat on the log, but it
wasn't Frank, and I rose hastily to leave.
'Pray excuse me, Miss Bessie/ said the
voice of Mr Templeton; ' I know you always
run away if I come anywhere near; but do
stop this once, and let me ease my mind by
giving you my confidence. If you wish to
avoid me then, I shall obey the mandate.'
I sat down feeling uneasy. We knew so
little of him, yet we owed so much to him.
He sat some time in a silence I felt powerless
to break. At length he said in a quiet tone,
'You already know I am Dora Wentworth's
cousin; we were brought up together like
brother and sister, and it was my father's
wish, when I had taken my degree, that we
should marry.
'Shortly   before   that time arrived he was
thrown  from   his   horse   and   fatally injured.
120 Canadian Camp Life
Dora would hear of no marriage within two
years of his death; in fact, I knew it was
as much to put off the evil day as anything,
hoping that in the meantime I might change
my mind. I didn't change my mind, but
Mr Wentworth came into a small estate in
our neighbourhood, and Dora and he became
acquainted. He was a member of her own
church, and you know she is a Roman Catholic,
and as good and consistent a Christian as ever
I assented warmly to that, and he continued:
' When she wrote and told me once for all that
we could only be as we had always been,
and that she had accepted Mr Wentworth, I
wrote her a wild letter, upbraiding her with
fickleness, and telling her my ruin would be
upon her head.
'I went abroad and travelled far and near,
until, in wandering through the Rockies, I
contracted a very severe attack of mountain
fever. I was at that time staying with a man
who called himself a rancher, but he was more
hunter and trapper than anything else. His
half-breed daughter   nursed   me   through, for
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Canadian Camp Life
she had a good knowledge of Indian remedies
and we were scores of miles from any doctor.
She had been educated in a convent, and was
as innocent and unsophisticated as a young
fawn. She had only returned to her father's
dreary abode a few weeks before my hunting
expedition took me there, and was always
pining for her schoolmates, and longing for
a talk with Sister Agnes or Sister
' After I was strong enough to travel by easy
stages on horseback, that being the only means
of travel, to the C.P.R., and make my way back
to civilisation, I wanted to pay them, and, with
my Indian guide, go on my way.
'" What are you going to do about Nanette ? "
the rancher asked abruptly. I looked at
Nanette; her face was buried in her arms, and
she was sobbing convulsively.
'" Don't leave me here with him," she sobbed,
" I'll be your slave, anything, only take me with
'The thought of marriage had not entered
my mind, and I felt rather dazed and confused,
so I went out and wandered round, thinking
~*-Wmmm  ...
i-ifciir Canadian Camp Life
and pondering over what I ought to do. In
the course of a few days a priest came by on
his way to one of the inland missions. I allowed
him to marry us, and we left immediately for
the lower country. Nanette was good and true,
and I have never regretted my hasty marriage.
I bought this ranch and we led a very peaceful
life till after the birth of Dolly, when Nanette
showed signs of rapid consumption, the disease
which carries off so many of her people. I took
her down to Lower California, and all was done
that medical skill and money could to make her
last days easy, but she died in six weeks.
' I returned with my baby girl, and have spent
most of my time in caring for her, as I feared
my housekeeper had little love for children.
Now you see how I came to be the Hermit of
the Flats!'
'Dolly is a dear little pet and well repays
your care/ I said, scarcely knowing what to say.
' Indeed she does.   Dora knows all this, but
I made her promise to let me tell you myself.
If you feel you can be friends with me, I shall
remain; if you despise me, I shall leave Dolly
with Dora and go my way again alone/
123 Canadian Camp Life
'You must think we are very uncharitable
people if we could despise you. I—I hope you'll
stay and let us help you out with Dolly. I'm
sure you're a great favourite with mother; and
we all think so much of you for saving the
children/ He smiled rather grimly, and the
situation was becoming unbearable, when
Frank came rushing over to say Mrs Wentworth was going to sing, didn't we want to
hear her.
Mr Templeton took my hand and said,' Then
I am to stay ?'
' Yes, please!' I returned without realising I
was committing myself to anything.
si_5__. Saturday always brought an air of bustle and
expectation into the camps, as that afternoon
the business men came down to spend Sunday,
and there was an extra return boat from
Ladner's; so Mr Strange and Mr Wilbert were
driven over by Charley, who, to our surprise,
brought back Lottie Smith and her sister.
' We are so glad to get away from the muddle
of preparation, and came to spend a quiet
Sunday with you/
I But where's Mr Baggs ?' inquired Josie, who
seemed to imagine her friend would feel the
absence of her betrothed, especially as so little
time intervened before the wedding.
With a toss of her pretty head and a wave of
her neatly-gloved hand, she said impatiently,
'Oh! he's on his way. I couldn't be allowed
even a day to myself!' w.
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We looked at each other, and Lottie and her
sister laughed. ' Do you think I'm marrying for
love, you noodles? You know we have only
papa's salary to depend on (unless his debts
might bring something), and if anything
happened to him, we would have to get our
own living. And what could we work at?
It isn't everyone can be a school teacher/ and
she glanced at Josie, 'and earn fifty dollars a
month all to themselves. Work! Pshaw !!'
and she looked at the delicate white hands from
which she was pettishly pulling her gloves;
' anything is better than work! Let's go and
see your mother; she's in love with her
husband yet, I suppose. It must be rather
wearying to keep that kind of thing up so
I went and made tea for them, Josie helped
them off with their linen dusters, and they looked
charming in their boating costumes of navy
blue serge with cream vests and trimmings;
we felt quite shabby beside them.
Mr Templeton came up on horseback as we
sat under the awning taking our tea, and, of
course, mother offered him a cup.
126 Canadian Camp Life
' Where's Dolly ?' he asked as he threw himself from the saddle. ' I didn't catch sight of
those youngsters as I came along/
'They're digging holes in the sand, and
making castles and moats under Frank's direction/ said Josie.
Mother introduced the newcomers, and
Amelia Smith made herself very entertaining.
When they strolled off with Josie, he said,
' Those seem very bright girls/
'Yes, they are brought up to please/ she
returned, unconscious of her own satire. ' Miss
Smith is to be married on Tuesday, and she
has come to spend a quiet Sunday with us.
It's very nice of her and her sister, at such a
I carried away the tea things, and followed
the others. |||
'Who's that fine-looking man, Bessie? He
seems quite taken with you ; but I shall " set
my cap" at him.    I give you fair warning/
'Suppose he's already a married man/ I
returned.   She made a droll face, and said,—
' Oh! if he is, I shall break my heart, for it's
a case of " love at first sight" with me/
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Canadian Camp Life
' Well, he's a widower/ I returned somewhat
ungraciously, for I felt convinced she knew
all about him; and I went off to prepare the
little ones for their swim.
'Jealous! Ay?' I heard her say as I
' Why should she be ? Mr Templeton is Mrs
Wentworth's cousin/ said Josie.
'Oh! then he probably belongs to the
English aristocracy, and there might be a
title in the background. I shall'—but I heard
no more, and felt glad to be away from their
gay banter. It was evident they had not yet
heard of Josie's engagement, and I knew they
would not from her.
As I brought the three little ones out in
their bathing suits, Mr Templeton was waiting
for us, and Dolly rushed into his arms, giving
her little imperative orders to be carried over
the stones.
| Papa was waiting to carry all you little
monkeys over the stones/ he said, returning
her kisses.
'We isn't monkeys/ said Bobby, looking up
with an offended air, as he strutted along in
128 Canadian Camp Life
the tights he was so proud of, because they
were the same as the 'big mans had/
1 How's that ?' holding Dolly to one side,
and looking down at Bobby.
' 'Tause we hasn't dot no tails.' We laughed
at his decisive manner ; and I went and sat
upon a log that was stranded just above the
pebbles, while Mr Templeton carried the
children over the rough stones and barnacles,
then he came and seated himself beside me
to watch their antics in the shallow water.
Amelia Smith soon joinedJS us and began
rattling on in her usual style.
He answered her seriously at first, but she
soon challenged him to row her to Point
'Will you come, Miss Bessie?' he asked,
turning to me.
' I have too much to do, thank you; and
it's time the children were out of the water,
and Josie will have to help mother with her
'Well,  well,   what   a   business   you  people
make of it all/ she laughed.   ' I propose that
Mr Templeton  takes   Lottie   and me out of
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your way. The water is high enough to float
the boats now, and Lottie's time of liberty is
' Who says my time of liberty is short ?
My emancipation has just arrived/ cried Lottie,
gaily, coming up with Mr Baggs.
I left them arranging for a boat ride, and
I knew Mr Templeton would have to join
them. 'What business was that of mine?' I
asked myself, feeling annoyed that it troubled
me at all. I was only a little grey moth, and
they were brilliant butterflies, as mammy had
said, * brought up to please.' A good marriage,
that is, one which would put them in a good
position socially, was their end and aim in life.
Then Amelia had had some ten years' more
experience in the world than I had, and knew
perfectly well the power of her pretty ways
and fine appearance. I had often heard them
say jestingly, 'If you can get a husband that
you like, my dear, who is well off, too, why,
so much the better. If not, just take the one
that can keep you best/
Two of their sisters had already married men
in  good positions   and were   known   as   gay
130 Canadian Camp Life
society women, leaders of the younger matrons.
Now, Lottie was making the best match of
either, financially, and her brothers -in - law
would look to Mr Baggs to help them 'tide
over' the dull times. If he didn't they would
simply 'make an assignment/ having previously taken care of their own interests, and
start afresh. Of course, many of the struggling class who wished to do right would suffer,
but ... ' How uncharitable I am !' I said to
myself as I dressed the children and prepared
for my own dip. But I strove in vain to put
away the thought of them. Josie was so full
of her own affairs that, for once, my preoccupation had escaped her. I knew it was
for no love of us they had paid us this unaccountable visit; it was for some pleasure
or profit of their own. Mrs Wentworth had
always carefully avoided them, and I knew if
she could have been pressed into the ' show'
next Tuesday, wearing some of her magnificent old lace and jewellery, they would have
been more than content. 'Especially if her
well-to-do   cousin   was   with   her/   suggested
some hitherto unaroused fiend within me.
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Throwing my dark blanket cloak around
me I carried in mammy's tea. 'What is the
matter, dear ?' she inquired kindly.
j1 think I'm a little tired, mammy, and my
head aches/
' Well, your bath will refresh you/
It did, for we joined a party of ladies and
children, danced and floated, swam and dived,
splashed and choked, till someone proposed a
game of leap-frog.
' Now, look out!' called two ladies of splendid
stature and great weight, for it was a standing
joke that when they came in the water rose
perceptibly.    ' We're coming in; you'll all be
taken  off your feet.'    One threw herself upon
her back, and with a graceful motion of the
arms floated towards us ; the other supported
her young daughter with one hand, so the child
could swim out.    They joined in the sport.    It
was now the turn of the larger of the sisters to
stoop for the others to jump.   All had passed
easily and run on ahead but one young lady
who was not very tall, who, in her efforts to
succeed, forced the head of the lady under the
now rising water, so that when she had at last
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wriggled herself over, and the stooping lady
was allowed to rise, she was almost suffocated.
As we resumed our cloaks at the water's
edge we noticed a party of Saturday people
coming down in bathing trim. Amongst them,
a young lady and her lover. She had a lifebelt round her, placed quite below the waist;
it never occurred to any of us that she would
enter the water with it in that position. But
when we were half way to our dressing tent we
heard a most fearful scream, and looking round
saw the venturesome damsel, some twenty feet
from shore, floating head down, and her black
stockings kicking frantically in the air. The
scream, of course, had come from one of her
companions, and the young man, rushing in,
soon placed his lady-love 'right side up with
care/ It seemed she had waded in till the
water reached her waist, and then, confident in
the support of her life-belt, had boldly struck
out, when, naturally, the wrongly-placed lifebelt had sent her head down. She was taken
back to her friend's tent, and after recovering
sufficient breath declared that, as this was the
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first time she had ever been in the saltwater,
she was sure it would be the last, for she was
certain her lungs were permanently injured by
the amount of sea water she had involuntarily
When. we emerged from our dressing tent
Charley was standing, telescope in hand, intently gazing at a long line of black smoke out
in the Gulf. The smoke was so dense, you had
to look quite closely to see that it came from
the funnels of two separate steamboats, which
appeared to be very near each other.
' What are they doing, Charley ?' asked
'Well, as far as I can judge, it's a revenue
cutter of Uncle Sam's chasing a tug. And, by
Jove! the chase is pretty close. If she overhauls the tug before she makes the next three
or four hundred yards, it's a gone case for
the tug/
We stood by him whilst he made running
comments on the movements of the two boats.
He fairly held his breath, and then exclaimed,
' The cutter tried to throw a line over her, but
seems to have missed !    If the tug passes that
134  CHAPTER   X
Sunday morning broke clear and calm, and
when Mr Templeton drove up in a double rig
and proposed to take Mrs Wentworth and Josie
and me to church at Ladner's, we hailed the
idea with pleasure and instantly prepared to
accompany him.
Daddy assumed the charge of the little ones,
and we saw him and Mr Wentworth, with
the three happy mites, starting for a long stroll
on the sands.
As we drove by ' The Flats' we came upon
Lottie and Amelia with Mr Baggs.
' Oh! you mean people/ cried Lottie, gaily,
' to be going off so happily without us ! Why,
we've been making an early call upon you, Mr
' Very kind of you, I'm sure;  but we must
not wait or we shall be late for church/ and
'"SI Canadian Camp Life
raising his hat he drove on. Amelia gave me a
very black look, which Mr Templeton noticed,
for he said,' That young lady seems to have a
grim temper of her own/
' I suppose she thought I might have given
up my seat to her as she is a visitor, and I was
just going to propose it as you drove on/
'Exactly what I thought, and I was selfish
enough not to allow you to spoil my morning's
pleasure/ I looked up at him as he spoke, and
the grave earnestness with which he met my
glance somehow sent a thrill of pleasure through
me that brought the colour over neck and brow;
and I was content to sit and listen to the cheerful
conversation of the others.
This was  our  first trip  to   Ladner's   from
Boundary Bay; we had only seen it from the
steamboat in going to and from Victoria.    The
first two miles of road was through loose sand,
which skirted the bay, till we came to a pretty
grove of maples, rather stunted, and very much
knotted and gnarled by their exposure to the
winds from the Gulf.     Here Mr  Templeton
showed us that the road branched to the right
and left, and we could either take the one to the
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right and cross some three miles of tidal sands,
or the one to the left, which was the wagon road.
We preferred the wagon road, as the tide had
gone out during the night, leaving the sand high
and dry for some hours, consequently the wheels
would sink somewhat; when we returned the
water would almost, perhaps quite, reach our
wheels, and the sand would then be quite firm,
scarcely leaving any impression.
At the turn was a small schoolhouse, open
and ready for a service given by a Presbyterian
minister every three weeks. Some men were
already sitting on the steps, waiting, smoking
and talking. On the opposite side a tiny house,
covered entirely with shingles, a large barn and
cattle-sheds standing near it. Mr Templeton
said this was the abode of a bachelor whose
occupation was the raising of choice horses and
Still along the flats, with heavy crops of oats
on either side almost ready for cutting, then up
a short, steep hill, and we are travelling over a
road raised by casting up a rather deep ditch on
either side, putting corduroy on the top of this,
then gravel.    It was densely wooded with heavy
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timber, and had a heavy undergrowth of brush.
In the dryer spots were huge cedars, firs and
We knew the abrupt rise of the neck of land,
which runs from Point Roberts on the American
to Englishman's Bluff on the Canadian side, was
to our left, and that the trend of the road into
which we had turned was away from it, but the
dense forest shut out all view, and the jolting
of the corduroy gave us quite enough to do to
keep our seats; the few times anyone essayed
to give their opinions, the words came with
such a jerk, they waited for a more favourable
After over a mile of this we came to a somewhat open space, where a green and grassy road
branched from either side, and Mr Templeton
said they led to farms through the forest.
Here stood a team in which were several large
barrels drawn up to a box-like structure some
twenty feet square, in the centre of which was
an iron pump with a wooden trough placed from
it to one of the barrels, and a boy was pumping
away vigorously.
' Isn't that a strange proceeding, Mr Templeton,
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in a country like this where the very ditches are
full of water ?' asked Josie.
' I suppose it does appear so to you, but on
some of the lowest-lying ranches the water is
too " brack " for the horses and cattle, and they
have to carry all their water for horses, cattle
and dairying purposes from this spring. The
experiment has been tried of boring some
two hundred feet, in hope of striking a good
spring, but to no purpose/
'I should think, in time, they would extend the Westminster water-works here and
bring the delicious water from that mountain
lake, the Coquitlam, where Westminster brings
its supply from/ suggested Mrs Wentworth.
' I suppose it could be done; but how far is
that from Westminster? You see/ he said,
turning to me, ' I have been very little in
Westminster, as I always went to Victoria on
any business I might have; and, by the
way, Dora, I know some very nice people
' So do 1/ she said, laughing. ' It seems so
strange we never ran across each other till I
came here "to camp/" Canadian Camp Life
We drew to one side, and a water-cart, like
an immense box on wheels, passed us, bound
for the pump.
'That must take a deal of time/ remarked
Mrs Wentworth.
' So it does; and in some measure accounts
for the little dairying that is done here. Cattle
and horses are raised instead/
'And explains to me what has always been
a mystery—that so much butter and cheese
should be imported, with such a grazing
country as this of the Delta, which ought to
raise tons of both for export/
We now emerged from the timber, and Mrs
Wentworth exclaimed, 'Why, this is just like
the Cambridgeshire Fens; miles and miles of
fields, divided by ditches, and as level as a
table 1
Here and there were farmhouses, neatly
painted, some surrounded by orchards of many
years' growth, others newly built and standing
in the fields with no attempt at flower or fruit
garden. One was a scene of desolation and
told its own tale. The water-barrels were falling to pieces for want of moisture; the badly-
im' ffi
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built shed or two had a tumbledown hitch to
them; the reaper, the wagon, a sulky, and
some broken machinery were left here and
there; no attempt at sheltering them had been
made. The house had stood for years without
a morsel of paint, and was almost black with
weather stains. The few blinds in the windows
had once been white and were twitched this
way and that, most uncomfortably awry, and,
to crown all, some empty pint-and-a-half bottles
decorated the largest window.
Some of the farmhouses were both handsome and substantial, and belonged mostly to
men who ' had grown up with the country/
We came to a well-kept vegetable garden of
some eight or ten acres in extent. It was
planted with peas, beans, cabbages, cauliflowers
and roots of all kinds, laid out in lines of great
exactness, and scarcely a weed to be seen;
everything properly hoed or tied up, as the
case might be.
'This   is  a   Chinaman's   garden,  I'm   sure/
exclaimed Josie,' only it's strange his hut isn't
built where  he  can  watch  his  cabbages  and
cauliflowers grow.'
142, Canadian Camp Life
' I'm happy to tell you, Miss Josie, that a
white man owns that, and always finds a ready
market in Victoria, Vancouver and Westminster/
'That is good to hear, for I'm sure if
white men would only spend the time, and
take the trouble Chinamen do, they would be
even more successful, as they understand the
climate better/
But we forgot the vegetable garden, for now
stretched acres and acres of a nursery for fruit
trees, currant and gooseberry bushes, flowers,
seeds and shrubs, evidently worked upon the
most intelligent of plans.
' Ah!' said Mr Templeton,' that's an institution we're all proud of out here; and it would
be well worth your time, Dora, to come and
go over it some time. Look at the acres
of strawberry plants. The fruit is shipped
away by tons, not only in the Province, but
to the I other side." Some day the great fruitgrowing possibilities of this country will be
fully recognised, and with our shipping facilities
for   the  Orient, the Occident and  the   great
North-west, we shall form the " fruit garden of
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Canada," as one of the delegation of Yorkshire
farmers prophesied/
' It seems to me you ought to be essentially
a dairying province—at least round here. But
I noticed, Tom, you have a very large orchard
of young trees planted out round your place/
'Well, you see, Dora, with the abundant
crop of hay I can raise at little trouble and
expense, I could combine dairying with fruit-
raising, and I need never spend a winter here
unless I choose. I could leave my stock with
a reliable man and go where I pleased. Nicer
summer weather can't be found than in British
Columbia on the Pacific Coast. But if a man
hasn't capital to start with, you see, it would
be a work of time and patience, and would at
least take from fifteen to twenty years to accomplish what I have done in four. But anyone with the requisite patience and industry
need never be afraid ; he will be sure to succeed.
I have some thirty acres in orchard, mostly
solid apples that will stand travel either by
rail or water, and prunes. I intend, if things
turn out all right, to plant thirty acres more
this fall.'
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Canadian Camp Life
' Fall! indeed! Have you forgotten you're
an Englishman as well as a Colonist ?'
' No! Dora, I certainly haven't, but somehow
one gradually acquires these colloquial phrases/
The road was still somewhat narrow and
planked over; the ditches seemed extra wide
and deep, and I was thankful we met no
teams, for it seemed as if one or other must
have tumbled into these uncomfortable-looking
receptacles, over which the ends of the heavy
planking protruded in irregular lengths, sometimes indeed hidden by small brush or reeds,
but still there to entrap the unwary.
We passed a blacksmith's shop, a sawmill
and a cannery, an Indian camp, and came to a
large public wharf and freight sheds, built upon
piles over the muddy bank of the Fraser, which
is very wide here.
Ladner's consisted of two streets running at
right angles to the water, connected by several
short cross streets. There was a very large
store from which one might purchase anything
in the. shape of dry goods, groceries, hardware,
crockery or feed; several smaller stores, one
well-filled tin shop; two butchers' shops, each
K 145 If
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with a notice tacked up outside that the store
would be open only at certain hours daily; a
baker's shop standing quite back from the
street, and approached by a two-plank footway,
displaying some very nice-looking bread, and
the tuneful notes of a well-handled violin came
from within; two hotels, besides some private
residences of very pretty design built back from
the street, with well-kept lawns and flower
borders, and an abundance of gaily-flowering
There were many vacant lots, of course,
and the gardens surrounding some of the
residences occupied several lots, so there was
no crowding of buildings; but our eyes, being
accustomed to the hillside streets of Westminster, wearied of the dead level of everything.
After service we returned by the other road,
which was far superior to the one by which we
had come. It was part of the same interminable highway upon which daddy and I had
come in search of Boundary Bay. We soon
came to the  Red  Barn  and  turned into the
planked road.
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' You will see the sands presently, Miss Bessie,
that you thought so desolate - looking, or at
least part of them/ said Mr Templeton,J for the
water seems up pretty high, and we may have
to retrace our steps/
We drove over the broken dyke down to the
soft-looking sand. Along the edge it was very
yielding, but Mr Templeton drove where the
broken shingles and cedar chips were the
thickest, and we were soon bowling merrily
along, the waters of the incoming tide reaching our wheels just as we came in sight of the
grove of stunted maples.
We were in splendid condition for a good
lunch, and were somewhat disconcerted to find
Ke Tan gone, daddy setting the lunch-table,
bringing out everything eatable he could find
and placing it for our benefit; whilst, coat off
and sleeves rolled up, Charley was making a
tremendous fire in order to boil a small teakettle of water.
But there were our visitors to be provided for.
We knew that Mrs Wentworth had returned to
' The Flats' with her cousin and would probably
remain  there till after the departure of  the
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||| I
■ Hi
' il
Smiths, as she was determined not to become
acquainted with her ' pet aversions/ and we had
been duly warned not to escort them to her
camp, as she would most certainly be ' Not at
I set the table and we made a good showing
with canned tongue and corned beef cut
daintily, a nice salad, and some tea and cocoa,
with a glass dish of Bartlet pears, canned, of
Our visitors drove away directly after lunch
in a handsome new carriage drawn by a fine
pair of grey horses. This formed part of
Lottie's future ' establishment/ They stepped
into it with a languid air of having done their
duty over-much in lunching off canned goods
and putting up with the discomforts of camp
life—or, was it a sense of failure?
After dinner, while we talked quietly round
the camp fire, Charley's violin sent forth sweet,
sacred sounds from the lighted tent. Then we
sang softly several old and beloved hymns;
peace and calm fell upon our very souls, and we
retired to rest feeling God was very near.
It seemed, after our departure for the Landing,
that mammy, sitting under the awning quietly
reading to herself the Psalms and lessons for
the day, had noticed an air of alarm and expectancy among the camps. Groups from the
English side were making long, gossipy visits
while on their way to and from the mountain
spring, but no one stopped to talk with her;
they even appeared to avoid our camp, which
was unusual.*
At last daddy and Mr Wentworth strolled
back with the children and a lad from an adjoining camp ran up to dad and thrust a piece
of paper into his hand. He looked idly at it
and saw that it contained these words: ' Send
your Chinaman away. You have been informed
on, and the officers will be after him as soon
as the  tide is  high enough/    Daddy looked
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upon it as a good joke someone was playing
on him, and took no notice of the warning.
He showed it to the little mother, who went
and joined one of the expectant groups who
were watching developments. They ceased
talking as she came up, and soon dispersed,
some of them showing quite a surliness.
She espied an elderly man she knew, who
was here with his grandchildren, and going to
the log upon which he was seated sat down
beside him.
'Do you think, Mr West, there's anything
in the report that my Chinaman is likely to
be seized and deported ?'
He held a ship's glass in his hand, and he
turned his blue eyes upon her, drawn so close
together   that   the grey,  curly lashes   almost
touched, as he said, 'Take this glass, madam,
and  look across at that cutter.    She's  doing
something   besides   watching   the   tug   throw
thousands   of  bad   fish overboard   that we'll
get the full benefit of next tide.    Didn't you
notice   everybody   carrying   their   row   boats
across   the    border,    and    the   wagons    and
horses coming back quicker than they went?
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And I guess, too, if the camps are seized, and
they can be, for no one has reported to the
Customs as I can hear of, the campers'll lay
the blame to you for bringing of your Chinaman along/
Mammy adjusted the glass and looked
towards the cutter. A boat was alongside and
men were getting into it.
'What are they doing?' asked Mr West.
She told him.
'Yes, and they'll be right here in fifteen
minutes or less/
This explained the sullen avoidance of the
morning, and she said to him,' You think, then,
Mr West, it would be safer to. send away the
Chinaman before they arrive?'
' I have nothing to say in the matter, mind/
he returned, again scrutinising her through
his lashes, ' but he'll be took and sent to
China if he's caught here/
Mammy returned to our camp and entered
the cook tent; as she went in she encountered
another Chinaman from the other side coming
out.    Ke Tan was as white as his yellow skin
would allow him to become.
151 Canadian Camp Life
'You savee nis Melicanman he come, takee
'Me savee/ he returned, as he hurried with his
dishes and put his bread in a good place to rise.
'No washem dishee, you takem blanket, go
udder side, bime by me send Frank take you
steamboat—you go mind em house, garden,
Westminster, makem jam, jelly—send me clean
clo's, bread, cake, pie, every week/
All this time he was washing his dishes as
fast as he could, and from an air opening
in the tent watching the approaching boat
from the revenue cutter. He put them away
quickly but calmly, rolled up his blankets and
tied them, put on the clothes he wore when
going out, and just as calmly, but very quickly,
took the short path through the woods to the
Canadian side as the officers came over the
sands which lay between the water and our
Their information must have been pretty
correct, for they went right up to the tent
Ke Tan had occupied, and where Charley
sat, book in hand, calmly reading.
' Where's your Chinaman ?' asked one.
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I He was here a short time ago ?' queried
II have nothing to say about him, gentlemen/
returned Charley, quietly.
' Will you come with us to search the other
' If you like/ and he rose slowly; ' but perhaps
you had better search this one first/
' Oh, we've seen all that's to be seen here!'
they returned, so there was nothing for it but
to lead the way.
As he passed the trail through the woods
he caught sight of Ke Tan leaping the serpentine fence that divided him from British soil,
and felt greatly relieved. If the officers saw
him they made no sign, but they really
appeared not to. After a very thorough but
respectful search they made a tour of the
beach; of course, all the row boats were ' over
the border/ Then, to the relief of the alarmed
campers, who were all outside their tents like
bees round their hives, watching every movement of these dreaded officials, the men returned   to the boat marked  U.  S.   Customs,
and rowed away.
During the night the bay had been churned
into foam by one of those sudden and dangerous wind storms which are likely to sweep
down upon it at any time, and all the men
and boys had been out at short notice tightening their ropes and bracing the tents. One
unfortunate camp was blown flat, carrying
stove-pipe, crockery ware, tin pans and provisions into a conglomerate mass, and the
inmates crept from under their canvas with
more celerity than elegance, and sought shelter
with their more fortunate neighbours.
This was always a rather doleful day in the
camps. The wagons and different vehicles had
been round at half-past five to take back the
business men to the steamboat at Ladner's,
and the women and children, disturbed early
to  prepare a hasty  breakfast  for  them,  were Canadian Camp Life
somewhat dishevelled and forlorn-looking; the
men-folks seemed to have taken the fun and
jollity away with them.
Daddy cooked breakfast, Charley collected
and split the wood, Frank was detailed to wash
the pots and dishes, whilst Josie and I set
about our usual work besides taking charge
of the dining tent. When we had finished and
returned to the cook tent, Frank was still
wrestling with his department, eyeing the
unwiped and sticky pile with an air of
martyred resignation that was too much for
our gravity, and we laughed in chorus at his
wet and disordered appearance till the tears
came into his eyes. ' You wouldn't laugh, girls,
if you'd got it to do. I can't get the grease off
these things, and the porridge sticks to the
bottom of the pot like it was made there!'
'So it was, laddie/ said Josie, cheerfully, as
she tied on a big apron  and took  down   a
second dish pan, which she filled with boiling
water, and soon had them in a shining pile.
Poor Frank, feeling greatly relieved, stepped
round    in    an    alarmingly     lively     manner,
and Josie called to him,  j Look   out,  Frank,
S_SS!_____^W»W)!S_ 3W*- ill
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or you'll   walk  through  the   walls   and   take
the shelving with you.'
Josie and I decided to prepare everything
for dinner as far as we could. I sat down
with a dish of peas to shell; Josie was just
beginning to scrape some new potatoes when
dad came in with an armful of nicely-cut
stove wood.
'Put down that knife, Joe!' he exclaimed.
' I won't have your fingers all stained up
with those things; nice they'll look on that
guitar of yours, won't they? Charley!' he
shouted, and a figure, daintily gotten up in
a light summer suit and white tie, raised
itself, book in hand, from among the drift
logs, and taking its straw hat from over its
eyes said lazily, 'Yes, dad!'
' Come here; I want you!' He strolled
leisurely over.
'Just scrape those potatoes for the girls; I
won't have their hands all stained up and you
boys lying around doing nothing/
Charley looked at his well-groomed hands
and carefully-kept nails. Now it was a standing joke with us the time he spent daily over
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this part of his toilet, and we were regarding
him, as sisters will, with a somewhat unpitying
and quizzical air.
'They'll stain, will they?' Then, noticing
our lack of sympathy, ' Oh! yes. I know
you girls are bubbling over at a fellow's misfortunes; but I'll fix the "taters/"
He took the dish, touched the 'taters'
gingerly to see how tight the skins were on;
then looking round be espied a clean coarse
towel. This he took in his hands, dipped each
newly dug potato in water, gave it a twist or
two in the cloth and had them all done 'in
no time/
' You didn't get ahead of me that time, girls/
he remarked triumphantly as he went off to
his sleeping tent to inspect his hands and remove any spot that might have chanced upon
Daddy took the youngsters down for their
dip, but poor Maudie soon came running out
with the skeletons of fish clinging to her bathing dress, round her ankles, and tangled in her
long, fair hair. The other two soon followed,
begging to be dressed.
j57 m
" ' Water's up, girls!' said dad, putting in his
head. ' Don't you hurry yourselves for half-an-
hour; we can all wait awhile if dinner isn't
in time/
We had mammy's tea ready, and he took
it from our hands and carried it to her himself.
As we dressed more quietly than usual we
heard daddy say, for canvas walls are light,
' Those girls ought to marry twin brothers; I
don't know what they'll do apart!'
' Yes; but how we shall miss them! I
dread to think of it/ returned the little mother
in a tearful voice.
Josie looked at me; and then, in her impetuous way, rushed into mammy and declared
she would stay with her always.
Mother cried  a   little and patted  the   fair
head of  Josie as she knelt in  front of her.
' My   darling!'   she said, ' the Bible tells  us
"A  man  must leave his  father and   mother,
and cleave unto his wife," and that rule works
both ways.    What would a lonely old age be
to me without your father and all you children ?
I tell you a woman has fulfilled her highest
158 Canadian Camp Life
destiny—at least, I'm old-fashioned enough to
think so—when she has retained the confidence
and regard of a good man for near a quarter
of a century. No amount of success in other
ways could ever content the inner heart of a
true woman or compensate to her for the
home life/
Daddy took an arm of each, and pretended
to march us out, and we were soon splashing
and laughing, swimming and floating with the
merriest But the decaying fish were very unpleasant, touching us in unexpected places,
the broken pieces clinging to us, and the very
water was redolent of them. However, by
going out a piece we escaped the worst of
it, although an oiliness was upon the surface, and we all came out quicker than
We hadn't noticed the figure of an Indian
painfully making its way along the beach
and groping among the drift wood with a
long staff till we were coming out, chattering and laughing. Then the Indian stood
still and appeared to be listening intently.
'Who dat talk?  dat Josie, Bessie?'    Then,
*j"' Hiii --WB-BflBBBgBBI
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Canadian Camp Life
as we remained silent a few moments, he
called excitedly, ' Josie! Bessie!'
' It's Douglas Billy!' said Josie; ' but he's
'Yes, Douglas Billy.    I get blind one time.'
We took him up to the cook tent and told
him to wait for us. Then whilst we prepared
dinner he told us in mixed Chinook and English
his history for the past three years.
He had worked in camp for daddy when he
was out with survey parties at different times,
and all one winter in town for us, instead, as
the Indians generally do, of going up to their
reservation for the winter.
'Dat was good time I stop all one snow in
town, s'pose I not clatterwar (go to) Douglas I
not lose my eye/
' How did you get blind, Billy ?'
He made us understand that the winter he
worked for us and the summer following he
saved his wages. When he went up to Douglas
he was pretty well supplied with clothing, provisions and money. He bought lumber and
built himself a cabin, then  he looked  round
for a 'klootchman' (wife).
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He found one he thought he liked, and
making presents to her father and mother,
married her in the Indian way; that is, with
the understanding that if he didn't like her, or
they couldn't agree, she was to be sent back
and his presents of blankets and clothing returned to him.
She proved to be a pilton (fool), and he
didn't like her, but was so glad to be rid of
her he never asked for the return of his
That was a rather disastrous matrimonial
beginning. Now Billy was a good and simple-
minded member of the Roman Catholic Church,
and you never saw him take a meal without
going through the proper ceremony of grace;
and when the chimes of the angelus rang
through the city, from the sonorous bell of the
Indian church there, he would stop his work,
take off his hat, drop on his knees and say his
angelus with the utmost earnestness; so in his
matrimonial difficulty he went to the priest,
who married him to a stout, strong Indian girl
of  his own tribe from  one of their mission
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Canadian Camp Life
But Billy was not satisfied this time, for his
second wife was somewhat of a virago, and if
Billy displeased her she could and did give him
' a good thrashing/ Now Billy could whip the
first and foolish wife himself, and he didn't like
to have the tables turned on him.
He tried to get Jenny to go to the priest with
him and get unmarried; but she wouldn't go.
So he went himself and told him that the wife
he had given him was hiyu salix (very bad
tempered); that she whipped him and pulled
out his hair. Then she had her lame grandmother, and her great aunt and all her cousins
to live in his house till there was no room for
him, and he had to go and camp out under a
big umbrella we had given him.
This state of affairs he considered highly unsatisfactory, and he thought these quite sufficient grounds to get unmarried. He shrugged
his shoulders and spread out his hands in deprecation as he said, 'La Pleat say, "Skookum"
(strongly) "married; not could unmarry; you
must bear it."' If he refused to keep his
wife and provide for her he would be put in
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' But how did you get blind, Billy ?'
It seemed one time his wife's relatives were
there in force, all females and young children,
and Jenny ordered him out to hunt for game
of some kind. The snow was very deep that
year,' half way up the tall pines/ he said. He
lost his way and wandered about he couldn't
tell for how long. When he at last found his
way back without any game Jenny was highly
indignant, and asked him how he thought he
was going to keep the papoose which had put
in an appearance during his absence.
'Man?' (i.e.y boy) we asked laconically.
'Klootchman' (girl), he returned as shortly,
with an air of deep disgust.
But his eyesight seemed  affected, and   he
realised he was getting snow-blind.     Had he
used the native remedies he would have been
all right, but instead, he went to some reputed
' doctor/ who gave the poor fellow an ointment
that ' burned/    He went back to the doctor
and told him what effect it had upon his eyes,
but he said that was all right; it was a sign
the medicine was good.    So Billy persevered
in the use of it till he could only see a glimmer
163 of light, and that was how he was at the present
His matrimonial troubles didn't end here.
Last summer, during the fishing season, his
wife eloped with a Japanese fisherman, leaving
him and the old grandmother in charge of
baby number one and an infant a few weeks
At first he felt very glad, he said, for he
would get no more whippings, and his hair
would be allowed to grow; but he found he
could do nothing with the children, especially
the baby, and when she returned in a more
humble frame of mind to take up her abode
with him, he let her stay 'for the sake of the
children/ he said with a resigned air. 'Man
halo comtux papoose' (A man doesn't know
what to do with children).
The priest gave Jenny a wafer to make
her better, but she soon got worse than ever,
and it didn't improve her temper in the
'Ax/ he said, breaking in upon the recital
of his woes, ' give me ax.'     He had located
the  cook   stove and the wood pile, and by
164 Canadian Camp Life
listening knew the fire had burnt low- So
he groped carefully out, cut up some wood
fine and soon made up the fire. Whilst he
was at it dad entered with another armful.
Frank had discreetly disappeared and Charley
was playing some delightfully soft and plaintive
music on his violin.
Daddy started back as he saw the wreck of
his faithful Billy.
' Ah! boss, dat you ?' he asked, as he stood
up with beaming face and outstretched hands.
'Why, Billy! what's happened to you?'
Dad heard with indignation the story of the
doctor's stuff, and said very emphatically he
' would like to wring that fellow's neck/ Billy
felt quite comforted, and stayed round till after
dinner, which meal we put upon the table at
seven instead of six o'clock, but everybody said
our clam soup was delicious and our chickens
cooked to a turn.
Billy and dad piled up a delightful camp fire
of drift logs whilst Josie and I brought round
the coffee.
We sat by the fire that night with only our
own family party, for Mr and Mrs Wentworth
P were still at ' The Flats/ as Mr Templeton was
preparing to harvest his hay. While we sat
there, Mr Templeton rode over to inquire for
Dolly, who flatly refused to go back with
Dad had not returned to town, so Charley and
he rowed over to the tug to see what was the
matter, and Captain Sorrel came back with
them and stayed to dinner. He was a short,
stoutly-built Englishman, with grizzled hair and
beard; but his grey eyes were bright and keen,
and it was easy to see he was the man for an
emergency. Over our coffee he told us about
his late dilemma, and we heard the history of
the chase we had witnessed a few mornings
\ My tug was chartered by one of the Fraser
River Canneries to cruise among their Indian
fishermen, collect, and carry their catch, to save
'Now, the forty-ninth parallel is easy enough
seen on a map, but where it passes through
Point Roberts, amongst forest and brush and
stumps, it ain't so easy to keep track of it.
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'I was most up to old Brewer's place, that
hotel on the other side of Light House Point,
and still collecting fish; for, as you know,
there's no restriction on the Indians; they can
fish just where they want to. An Italian fisherman hailed alongside, and a rather dudey-
lookin' man got on board. I didn't think
anything of that, for we often pick up all sorts
and sizes and nationalities, and give them a lift
as far as we're goin'. Sometimes it's them
book-writin' and newspaper fellows, sometimes
it's smugglers, and sometimes it's folks tryin' to
see if the laws on one side ain't easier to get
over than they are on the other.
'This one walked straight up to me like he
owned the boat and me too, and I felt riled.
" Hullo, captain!" he says, " what you dewin' in
these waters?" I knew his tongue for an
American cousin right off. I took a good look
ashore to see where I was; I'd drifted over the
line. I looked at Petro, for I'd often done him
a good turn, and he began to protest his ignorance as to who his passenger was; but my
mate, big Helgeson, bundled him over into his
boat in quick time.    " I'll chook dis fellar over-
168 Canadian Camp Life
boord yoost so veil if you say de vord, boss!'
he said to me. I shook my head, and he gave
me a wink and went below. I soon heard him
firing up, and I knew Helgeson was getting on
more than the regulation steam. I knew I
must gain time, and was wondering what I'd
say to my man, when he says again, " What are
yer dewin' in these waters ? " It struck me I'd
better play I hadn't much savey; so I looked
as silly as I could, and says, "Doin'? doin'
nothin'!" He looked at me in disgust. " Wall!
I guess I kin tell yer. You're takin' fish in
yer Uncle Sam's waters! That's what yer're
dewin', and I kin tek yer boat! Where's yer
flag ?   Lower yer flag!"
' | Flag!" I said, and I took off my hat and
scratched my head as if to help me to think,
'"Don't know what a flag is, I guess, dew
'"What the"'—he looked at mammy and
us girls, and said—'"the mischief have you
got   to   do with   my   flag?   Who   are   you,
anyway ?"
'"I'm a new Customs officer, that's who  I
169 Canadian Camp Life
am!"    I looked him over, but could  see no
'" Show me your authority!" I says.
'" My authority's on the revenue cutter, and
she's round the Point!    But yew'll dew; yew're
pickin' up, ain't yer ?    I'd advise yew tew order
up full steam ahead for Blaine."
' I was going to keep him parleying over the
authority business, when I heard two taps
under my feet, and I knew Helgeson was
'" What's that ? " he asked, quick as a dart
'" Spirits rappin'; or else it's rats," I says/
' He looks at me, and he says, " Air you goin'
tew give the word ?" I would have gone back,
but I was cut off that way by the tug that had
brought out the officer. Now, I knew the cutter,
and I knew my tug, and how many feet of
water they both drew; besides that, I knew
every boulder and rock about Point Roberts,
and I started so near inshore it made me shiver
for fear she'd strike bottom, and have to wait
for the tide, for then we'd be boarded and lost.
We started in slow time, and soon came on
the cutter standing on and off in deeper water.
Ill 170 Canadian Camp Life
We were abreast of each other off the Cannery
Point, but I had the advantage of being nearer
the forty-ninth parallel, and I smelt a strong
odour of burnt fat bacon. "Cookin' lunch
below, I guess; yew air great eaters, yew
English!" sneered the officer. I didn't say
anything, for I guessed Helgeson had stuffed
the side of fat bacon we had on board into the
furnace, to make her fire up good.
'" Keep her out, man !" says my new boss.
"Yew'll run her aground presently."
j" Let me alone, cousin," I says, " I've navigated these waters while you was in long
' I kept my weather eye on the cutter and
saw she thought it was time   I  changed  my
course.    I did, but away from her, and made a
bold run for the line, win or lose!    Helgeson
clapped on all steam, and my man didn't take
in the situation for fully two minutes, for I was
pretending to skirt a big boulder; by that time
I'd got my start.    The cutter was in full chase,
and when she threw out the line it was nip and
tuck with us.    The second line my Customs
officer caught, and  ordered the  Si wash deck
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i! III
hand to help him wind round the capstan. But
instead of giving it a second twist, he threw it
off, and as our visitor was holding on he went
with it. The cutter had to back water or
drown her own man; by that time our anchor
was down in Canadian waters and we were
Charley and Frank were greatly excited over
the recital. Throwing up their hats in the air
they shouted, ' Hurrah for Canada! Canada
for ever!!'
' Well, but I'm an Englishman/ quietly observed the captain.
' All the same, captain ; and you've got some
young Canadians at home in Westminster/
' Ay! I have that, lads, and they're as proud
of being Canadians as you are/
We looked at dad and laughed. ' Oh!
"all's fair in love and war," you know/ he
' But how about the bacon ?' I asked. ' Did
they put it in the furnace?'
'They did that, and they sat  the Siwash
fireman on the safety valve to  keep it  down
and increase the pressure of steam/
172 Canadian Camp Life
' But if the boiler had blown up ?' said
mother, looking horrified.
j It would have been no worse for him than
us; we should never have known what struck
us, and we could only lose the boat whichever
way it was/ We laughed at his easy way of
looking at it. 'Our man seemed none the
worse for his wetting/ continued the captain,
' for we saw him on deck watching us for three
or four days. After that, of course, our fish
was no good, and we had to throw them overboard. I'm sorry if they've annoyed you; we
couldn't stand them any longer, and we didn't
put out to sea. It was a pity, too, for we had
some fifteen thousand aboard, and our cannery
was running short/
' Well, well/ says daddy,' have another cup of
coffee after that, captain, then the youngsters'll
give us some music whilst we have a game of
'Can you play cribbage? I used to play
it with my mother and father and my eldest
sister when I was a boy/
So a game of cribbage it was, with me for
fourth.      But   when   Josie   sang   'The    Ivy
173 Green/ in honour of our English visitor, he
forgot to count, and, putting his hand, hard
with honest toil, over his eyes, let fall a
tear or two, for it had been 'his mother's
Breakfast over with its usual calm and
quiet, the gentle breeze from the sands
whispering in the tree tops, our hammocks
swung below, with dad and the boys off to
j The Flats/ we promised ourselves a long
day of rest.
Charley was to sit in state and drive the
mowing machine; for, strange to say, though
so many idle men were standing round the
Delta, professedly waiting for 'fish/ and in
the meantime sponging upon the Indians in
their ranch-a-ries, sufficient hands for the
harvesting could not be obtained.
One    stalwart    white    man,    when    asked
by  Mr Templeton if he would like to  work
for two dollars and  a quarter a day,  asked
surlily, ' What at ?'   When told, ' Cocking and
i75 carting hay/ replied impudently, ' Not much,
sonny. I'll run yer reaper for that; but I'll
cock and cart hay for no man living.'
This was no solitary instance; and as it
was hard to tell the loafer from the man who
was really waiting for the run of fish, the
magistrates decided to take no action till the
run commenced in the river, which is later
than at Point Roberts, then either jail or
fine the tramp element, for the Delta should
be no abiding-place for those who would not
So, to make hay while the sun shone, all
our men-folks had departed; Mrs Wentworth
had taken Susan and was diligently looking
after the inner man for her cousin and his
hands, and we, as I said, promised ourselves
a day of utter repose, which, sooth to say,
threatened to be rather lone and dreary.
The rattle of Billy's dishes and pans came
from   the   cook   tent, whilst   he   crooned   to
himself a monotonous Indian ditty, when, of
a sudden, our repose was rudely broken in upon
by a volley of abuse in a woman's angry tones,
accompanied by blows and the clatter of tin
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pans, all  heightened  by a perfect  chorus  of
baby voices in different keys of terror.
Mammy looked up from her hammock in
grave alarm; Josie and I sprang out and ran
to see what was the matter.
There was poor Billy, who weighed some
ninety-five pounds, in the hands of an Indian
woman who must have weighed fully two
hundred, for her short, squat figure was about
three or four times as broad as ' good proportions' would have suggested. She was
pounding the unfortunate and unresisting
Billy with a vine maple stick, giving vent to
cries of anger and disgust in a deep, guttural
voice meanwhile.
The papoose basket was propped up by
Billy's pile of cut wood, and on either side
stood a small Indian girl, boch mere babies,
whilst at a short distance, crouched upon her
heels, sat Billy's aunt-in-law, uttering grunts
of approval every time the stick descended
upon her male relative by marriage.
When we appeared upon the scene she held
her stick in abeyance and gave us to understand in Chinook and broken English that she
M 177 Canadian Camp Life
had supposed Billy was cutting reeds for her
and her female relatives to make mats with
during the winter. She suspected Billy was
deceiving her, and had traced him up, to poor
Billy's sorrow and her aunt's satisfaction. She
further informed us that if her sitcum-man
(half a man), with an air of great disdain, was
going to work for us in the summer we could
keep him in the winter. She had only brought
him with her to help paddle and gather reeds,
or she would have left him to hoe the potato
patch and look after the chickens at Douglas
Lake, instead of her grandmother, who, she
added, with a withering look at poor Billy,
was more skookum (stronger) than he was.
Billy winced under the expression of her
scorn, but wisely kept silence. She took up
her papoose basket, slung it across her forehead,
ordered her aunt to take charge of the two
small girls, and prepared to depart
Mammy had appeared by this time and
stood near the crestfallen Billy, who, however,
showed himself to have some knowledge of
feminine humanity and its weaknesses, for he
whispered to her,' S'pose potlatch hyas cloosh
178   Canadian Camp Life
ictas nica klootchman ?' (Will you give my
woman some good clothes?) She took the
hint at once and, passing along the back of
her sleeping tent, intercepted the old aunt and
the children. Jenny had strode angrily off and
was some distance ahead.
' Nica potlatch ictas tenas klootchmen' (I'll
give clothes for the little girls), said mother to
the old woman, who eyed her dubiously for a
moment, and then called a word or two in the
tribal language to Jenny. She seated herself
upon heels, drew her knees up to her chin,
clasped her brown and withered hands around
them, and patiently awaited developments.
Jenny seated herself where she had stopped
and, without looking our way, likewise waited.
Billy chuckled to himself at the success
of his strategy, and disappeared into the
cook tent, listening intently for the next
Mammy came out with some small garments.
The old squaw  looked  them over and shook
her head, saying they were ' Halo cloosh' (not
good), intimating she expected something bright
and pretty.    Finally two flannelette nightgowns
179 Canadian Camp Life
of deep pink, with frills at the neck and wrists,
took her fancy, and though they reached to
the toes of her small charges, she put them on
at once with evident satisfaction. She bundled
up the other things and prepared to follow
her niece, when she noticed the straw hats on
our youngsters, and gave us to understand she
would like some for hers. So we gave them
each a straw hat of Charley's and Frank's, and
they were going off in triumph when Jenny
herself came up and signified her approval.
She also admired mammy's morning wrapper,
and when we offered her one of like make but
brighter colour, she was won over completely,
and showed us how she could set a piece in
down the back and enlarge the fronts to fit
her. She was very clean and neat in her
appearance, as were her children, and her
black hair shone with bear's grease as it hung
in two heavy plaits, tied together at the ends,
down her back; a pale green silk handkerchief
was tied round her head, which made her look
extremely dark, and somehow emphasised the
very decided 'cast' she had in one eye.    She
looked rather longingly at the children's hats,
180 Canadian Camp Life
so Josie went and brought out an old one of
her own, upon which she had hastily arranged
a pink sash of Maudie's. The hat was one
of those that come out with a big scoop in
front, but had scarcely any brim at the back.
Josie had pinned the ribbon in a big bow
at the back, bringing it plain round the front.
Jenny took it, looked it all over, and decided
that the pink bow should be in front, so she
put it on hind side before and trudged off
with the pink bow standing up over her brown
face, which was still surrounded by the green
handkerchief, the long front hanging down
her back, and almost touching the papoose
She was reconciled to herself and to Billy,
for she called back to him in the tribal language
quite pleasantly; and he said she was satisfied,
especially as she found Billy was to get fifteen
dollars a month whilst he worked for us. So
our somewhat troubled domestic affairs once
more settled themselves on an even footing.
All our haymakers and Mrs Wentworth came
over for coffee that evening, and after the dusk
had  fallen,   and we   were thinking of saying
(«i ; '
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| good-night/ we heard a clatter of hoofs, as
they came over the beach wood, and presently
up rode two girls with their brothers, in breathless haste. The tide was very low, and they
had ridden right across the sands from a farm
four miles distant, and could only stay a few
minutes, or they would have to return by the
road, which would make it more than twice as
We had gone to school with them in Westminster, but had lost sight of them almost entirely since. Mrs Wentworth was greatly taken
with Edna Cracow, the elder of the sisters. She
had grown into a woman of grand proportions,
and sat her horse in fine style. Her skin was
as white, and her flesh looked as solid, as marble,
the flush of health was in her cheeks and
sparkled in her dark eyes, whilst her magnificent hair, as black as fright, had fallen in her
hasty ride, and swept the flanks of her Indian
They acknowledged the introduction to Mr
and Mrs Wentworth with grave courtesy, still
seated upon their horses (in ordinary dress, of
course),   but    rather    pointedly    avoided   Mr
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Templeton, till daddy, taking the rein of
Edna's horse, faced her round and introduced
them, saying they had been such near neighbours he supposed the ceremony was unnecessary. She gave him the most haughty and
distant recognition, they all said ' good-night'
almost immediately, and scampered off over the
sands for home.
'What have you done to those young
ladies, Tom? They don't seem to be very
' I'm sure I don't know, Dora; they always
treated Annette with great coolness, and, of
course, I haven't sought them out since/
P A clique! here in the backwoods/ laughed
Mrs Wentworth. ' I should have thought where
people, especially women, were so scarce, they
would be thankful to come across a fellow-
creature and use their poor tongues! How
lonely you must have been, Tom, when the
rain was pouring down in torrents in these
flats, and the wind sweeping everything to
' It never occurred to me to feel lonely.    You
see I had Dolly, and she kept me pretty well
.'!:;,. I Canadian Camp Life
occupied. But I must say, since you and your
friends came, I have felt intolerably lonely when
I had to be up at " The Flats," for even Dolly
has forsaken me.'
' We won't leave you here!' protested Mrs
Wentworth. 'You must return to town with
' Yes/ said her husband,' or we will stay with
him till some suitable person has been found to
look after the place and cattle.'
' Stay as long as you can, both of you; for
I'm afraid old Satan will take many a gallop
over the sandy short Cut, and make his sixteen
miles to town and back in a day, especially if
my wayward Dolly insists upon accompanying
' Oh! she'll do that, you may be sure. But
we shall look for you every Saturday to
Monday, and as many times during the week
as old Satan can stand the trip/
' Who's " old Satan " ?' inquired Josie.
' Oh! he's an individual whose acquaintance
I've made during the last few days at "The
Flats."    He's not very handsome, being a rusty
black,   and he shows   his teeth and rolls his
rfe-S-S. Canadian Camp Life
eyes when I go near him and try to make
friends, which is decidedly uncomfortable/
' He stands on four legs, I suppose ?' said
Charley, quietly.
' Of course. I don't know what Tom took a
fancy to him for. His temper seems more
ugly than he is/
' He's an up-country horse; half hunter and
half native. I must say he has a way of carrying his head and showing his teeth, which
makes him look anything but amiable; though
for swiftness and endurance, I never saw his
equal, whilst his gait is as easy as sitting in
a rocking-chair, and tires a person no more,
especially if anything makes him angry ; then
he steps like a cat and flings his head about
till his rider is covered with foam. A spur
makes him perfectly furious; he will stand on
his hind legs and refuse to move. He was
doing that with an Indian rider when I first
made his acquaintance. Another passed up
a pint-and-a-half bottle of water, with which
the rider struck him between the ears, breaking the bottle and spilling its contents over
his head.    This so astonished  him  he came
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down, and didn't try standing up in the same
way for some time. But whenever he has a
fit of that kind the best way is to bring another
horse alongside at a gallop; when he sees
he has been passed, he gathers himself up
and springs forward, and if you are not aware
of him, he'll "jockey" off the rider from the
other horse in passing. That is a trick the
up-country Indians taught him, too/
' I should like to ride him, Mr Templeton/
said Josie.    ' Will you let me ?'
Mother gave a quick glance at Mr Templeton,
who caught it and, smiling in his quiet way,
shook his head, and told her he wouldn't like to
take the responsibility of putting a lady on him.
' Though/ he added, ' a lady did ride him, and
on a Mexican saddle, too.'
' Do tell us about it/ said Charley, scenting a
' It was when I was hunting on the plateaus
of the Rockies, I came upon a cattle ranch
owned by a white man. His wife was a half-
breed from the Red River, tall and lithe, very
dark, but still handsome, and she was a splendid
horsewoman.    She didn't ride as you ladies do,
186 Canadian Camp Life
but, throwing a blanket upon a Mexican saddle,
or over the bare back of the horse, it mattered
little to her, she would spring from the ground
upon its back, draw the loose ends of the
blanket back, catching it firmly under her
knees, would ride any horse that a man could,
and some that many men would hesitate to
mount In this way she and her two elder
daughters helped to round up the cattle and
horses far more dexterously than the white
lord and master could do; for he was a heavy
man, and they always gave him a more reliable
horse than theirs, and they knew the tempers
and the different tricks of each, as a person does
those of his intimate friends or relatives.
' When I arrived they were just bringing in a
band of cattle and horses for the lower country,
and the rather stylish son of a well-to-do city
butcher was assisting in the operation. One of
the horses had been very hard to lasso, and
then no one could mount him. A stalwart
young Indian at last succeeded, and tried to
start him, but he bucked so—that is, you know,
Dora, jumping stiff-legged, first hind and then
fore, but still standing in  the same place, till
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the blood spurted from the nose, ears and eyes
of the young man, and he was forcibly taken
'The elder daughter had stood watching all
this, and she made a bet with the " city man':
to ride that horse if he would ride it after her.
He felt perfectly safe in accepting the challenge.
Several men, Indian, white and mixed, tried to
climb into the saddle, but the horse whirled in
a circle, and only one Indian succeeded, when
the creature stood up on his hind legs, and it
was then the bottle of water was broken over
his head.
' The young lady held a white handkerchief
in her hand, which she had been twisting and
twirling for some time.    "Antone,"   she said
to the  Indian,  who had  been taken  off  the
horse,  and  was  rather sulky in  consequence,
untie young  Satan  the moment  I'm on his
back."    He ran forward as  Miss  Pauline did,
and before we realised  what had   happened,
she   had   bound   her   handkerchief  over   the
horse's  eyes, leaped  into  the saddle, Antone
had cut Satan  loose, and  Miss  Pauline was
careering over the valley on the animal, which
_g_rirr rr—- Canadian Camp Life
was as much astonished as we were. She
brought him back and he was retied before
the handkerchief was removed.
'Now it was the city man's turn. He was
a fine rider; besides, he was fully convinced
that what Miss Pauline could do would
scarcely be beyond him. So Antone was
again commissioned to cut Satan loose. But
the city man's bandage left one of the horse's
eyes staring wildly out, and the moment he
was cut loose he made for the lake, and
plunging over the bank, left the discomfited,
young man struggling in the water, whence,
as Miss Pauline said, " They fished him out,"
amidst the delighted applause of all present.
Satan swam out as soon as his burden was
gone, and, with saddle and bridle on his
mane, and tail erect, galloped off at mad
speed, and soon disappeared in a hollow.
Antone and another Indian followed him to
secure the trappings. I made them an offer
for the horse if they would bring him back,
which they did; and amongst us we broke
him in, but Antone taught him that jockeying trick, which I suppose he'll never forget/
The men and boys were still engaged helping
to get in the crops at 'The Flats/ The hay
being all housed, they proceeded to harvest
the oats; so we were still left very much to
our own devices and Billy's ministrations.
Of course we had to set and clear tables
and do any cooking that was necessary, but
we were very glad of Billy for all the rough
Josie and I spent the morning in the cook tent
making coffee cakes for the evening and some
fruit pies for our own dinner; whilst Billy
washed all the dishes, cut wood, piled up drift
logs for the evening's camp-fire, fetched water
and so on.
We were working rather silently for us when
Billy took from an inner pocket a package very
carefully wrapped in several layers of rag.    We
^tt Canadian Camp Life
watched to see what treasure would emerge,
when he held up a pretty curl of hair, almost
white, and side by side with it one of darker
' What's that, Billy ?' I asked.
'O, dis twin baby hair/ His English was
fast coming back to him ; he seemed almost to
have forgotten it at first.
' Your hair and Josie's/
' My hair and Josie's !    How did you get it ?'
' Long time ago.    I cut it off one time/
'But why?' |t
' You not salix ?' (angry) he asked with an air
of great deprecation.
' No/ said Josie, ' go on and tell us what you
wanted it for, and why you kept it so long/
' Not many twins Ind'ans have. Plenty grisly
bears up Douglas Lake; dey come down de
mountain, ketch fish. Grisly bears very bad,
dey kill lots Ind'ans. Some time dey come
down, de hair all over one inch long; round dey
neck like big collar, five inch long, it stand out
all round ; den you see him come, you run very
quick, dey's mad den and dey kill you sure.   But
s'pose you got twin child's hair, you take some
191 Canadian Camp Life
and blow it to dat bear, he not hurt you, twin
child and grisly bear all de same, dey tillicums'
(friends). ' Ind'ans say, bime by twin child die,
den he grisly bear/
'Well, I'm sure you're welcome to the hair,
Billy, especially if it will help to save your
Then he went on to tell us bear stories, but as
he got excited he mixed up his English with
Chinook and some tribal words, but in substance
one story was: His wife's aunt was out in the
woods getting berries ; the poor old creature,
being very lame, helped herself along by means
of a good stout staff. She heard some dry
sticks cracking in the bushes, and saw, not
far from her, a grisly bear, getting berries
She was dreadfully frightened, and thought
she would be killed in a few minutes, for the
bear was looking angrily at her.    She had on
the remains of one of Billy's old felt hats, that
is, it was minus the brim.   She took it off, put
it on the end of her staff, and when his bearship
came for her open-mouthed, she thrust it down
his throat as far as she could, and while he was
gS-SS Canadian Camp Life
getting over his astonishment at the unusual
reception accorded him, and was trying to get it
out, she ran away as fast as she could.
'Did you ever meet a bear when you were
alone, Billy, and had no rifle?'
' Oh, yes, I meet one bear, half-breed grisly he
was.    Papa grisly, mamma black ; oh dey very
cross.    One time I go ketch trout.    I was walk
through a trail, and one dese bears, he stand
right up 'gin one tree.    I not did see him till
I stand right in  front him.'    Here he took a
piece of bone from his pocket about six inches
long and two wide, sharpened at both ends.   He
said the Indians carried these with them if they
had neither gun  nor knife.    When  the bear
lowered itself, and came towards him with its
jaws wide open, he planted it fairly in its mouth
near the root of the tongue.    You must mind
and place it straight up and down, or it will fall
out, merely scratching the creature, and then
you had  better 'hyack clattawa/    He placed
a very long accent on the ' hyack' to give it
emphasis;   (' hyack/ quick;   ' clattawa/ to go).
They are seldom able to remove it, and die from
rage and starvation.
N 193
i     ■ >*"!##■#** ..-_«***».■, ■■ Canadian Camp Life
' You got away that time, Billy/
' Oh, yes, dat times I get away; I go home ;
I not wait for any fish!' After a pause he
asked,' You see pant'er any times ?'
' Yes/ returned Josie, ' I did—about two
miles out of town, when I was riding alone on
the Pitt River road. They all laughed at me,
and said I had seen a deerhound, and taken it
for a panther. It was a red brown, and whitish
' Had he long tail ?' inquired Billy, with
' Yes, a long tail curled over his back when
I first saw him, and he stood and watched me
as I came along. I knew it was no good to
turn back, for he could have caught me if he
had a mind, and I expected to meet dad and
Charley at every turn. So I kept the horse—
he hadn't seen it—walking steadily on; then it
put down its tail and went slowly into the
bush. I caught up the skirt of my habit for
fear it should leap out as I passed, and
galloped by as hard as I could go. When dad
and Charley came back with me I showed them
the place, and they beat the bush for it; but
In *94
k»&»j Canadian Camp Life
no one else saw it. I am sure it was a
panther, for it was just like the one that is
stuffed in the Public Library/ She threw a
defiant look at me, for we had all thought her
'You see him alright/ returned Billy, confidently. ' I see dem out dere plenty time. Dey
stop in bush, not come on road much. Dat
kind be brown, one kind in de mountain be not
brown, he got spots, he not come down much.
O long tail he got He jump on Ind'an out de
trees, he wind dat tail round de Ind'an's neck;
choke him. Some time he down by river, he
put dat tail in de water, he ketch fish; twenty,
thirty pound sturgeon/
' Do you think that's true, Billy ?'
11 not see him, but Ind'ans say so/ He
bustled away with his dishes for a while, then
he chuckled to himself.
'What now, Billy? What are you laughing
' Oh ! yes, I laugh; s'pose I tell you, you not
get mad ?'
' Oh, no !' we said.
' All de Ind'ans up at Douglas are Cat'olics,
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good Cat'olics. One time, white missionary
man, some more church, he come up, and he
say he like preach to de Ind'ans. One man
comtux' (understood or knew) ' Englis'; so de
minister he talk to dat man, and dat man he
tell de Ind'ans what de preacher say.
' When all de Ind'ans come, de preacher
stand up under big pine tree, he hold up
he's arms dis a way'—and he held up his arms
with the palms of his hands turned towards us
—' den he say," Tenase man couper hyas stick!"
De Ind'an he tell de odders in our language, de
preacher say, "Little boys dat live in de big
' I suppose he meant to say/ returned Josie,
taking the minister's part, 'Children of the
' I not know/ said Billy, indifferently. ' But
de Ind'ans look at one odder, and dey say,
"We not little boys, and we live in de house,
we not live in de bigs trees! Dat preacher
man t'ink we birds ? " Dey get salix. " Ugh !
he potlam"' (drunk) 'dey say, and dey go 'way
home, and leaf dat man stand under de big
pine tree, and he not preach any more/
196 Canadian Camp Life
' I should think not; but he meant well,
' I not know what he mean, dat what he say/
and the matter-of-fact Billy proceeded to mend
his fire. Our cooking was done, so we left
him to open cockles for soup and went our
ways to read and rest.
Dear! dear! dear! how the time did hang
on our hands with dad and the boys away and
no Mrs Wentworth in camp!
We sat round under our tent awning, waiting
for the tide to come up sufficiently to give
the little ones their dip and take our own;
when, looking up from our lazy reading and
lazier work, we saw quite a group of people
approaching, Edna and Mary Cracow being
the only ones we knew.
A tall, broad, fair man, a pretty little rather
feeble-looking woman, evidently the wife of, the
big man, for he helped her carefully over the
logs and through the sand, which was getting
cut up by wagon wheels, and was almost as
loose and difficult to walk upon as that near
the shore.
There were several youths; and another fair
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man, younger and very nice-looking, followed
with two pairs of oars over his shoulders and
the rowlocks in his hands.
Edna, in her stately way, introduced the
strangers as Mr and Mrs Milton Bowes, Masters
Jack and Washington Bowes, and Mr de Quincy.
We duly seated them round upon our stump
and drift-log 'sofas/'divans' and 'easy-chairs/
as we had named the different camp seats,
which dad and the boys had arranged for convenience under and near the awning, bringing
out a 'rocker' for Mrs Milton Bowes by
mammy. These ladies soon discovered their
maladies had taken much the same form, and
discussed in earnest whispers their several
conditions, leaving us to entertain the others.
This we could do well enough, with the
exception of the big man, who was very silent,
but kept his eyes restlessly searching into
everything, under and around every object, as
if he expected to unearth some mystery.
I undertook to find out something about
him and his object in coming to us; then,
without taking any notice of what I had been
saying, he introduced the subject of our China-
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man, and the trouble we had had over him.
' Oh! we were so sorry any trouble of the kind
should have occurred/ said Mrs Milton Bowes,
breaking off suddenly from the recital of her
bodily ills, 'but it really was not Mr Milton
Bowes's fault at all/
We were rather puzzled to know why it
should be, when Mr Milton Bowes raised the
lapel of his coat and showed the insignia of
his office—' U. S. Customs/
'You, Mrs Le Ford/ he said slowly and
impressively,' were formally charged with having
smuggled a Chinaman into the United States;
and that, you are aware, is such a serious offence
against the constitution of our land of liberty,
that we had to take notice of it. We knew
you had him here, of course, for we always
keep posted/
I wondered if he thought there was anything else about our camp he wanted to get
posted upon. Mary Cracow proposed we
should all take a swim as soon as the water
was high enough, and give their shoes a chance
to dry, as they had only been able to bring
their boat into the deepest lagoon or slough,
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and had waded through the others to shore,
leaving their brother with the boat to bring
it in as the tide rose.
' The water is warmer here than on our side/
she said, addressing Mrs Milton Bowes, 'and
perhaps you might venture in too/
So Mrs Milton Bowes was persuaded to go
in with mammy and the children. After they
were duly in the water, Mr Milton Bowes made
his appearance in very abbreviated bathing costume, saying he 'was afraid his wife might
get nervous, as she suffered from heart disease,
and he must look after her.' Poor mother
hardly knew what to do; she had been so
particular that we should take our dip with
only the ladies of the camping parties; and
here was this great, red lobster of a man
swimming and diving, and showing off his
aquatic powers as well as he could for the
shallowness of the water, ' just to give my
wife confidence, that's all, she's so awful
He asked mammy to take the other hand of
Mrs Milton Bowes and help him lead her out
some distance, and there he recommenced his
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gymnastics. Mammy then excused herself,
and making her way to shore, wrapped her
blanket cloak around her, hurried to the
tepee and dressed herself.
We had dressed our young people by this
time, and all us girls prepared for our swim.
We went quite up on the English side, to
be out of the way of Mr de Quincy and the
young Bowes, when lo! we had scarcely gotten
well wet before splash! came one, two, three
swimmers; and there were all three young
men showing off their gymnastic powers
around us, and offering to give us a good
lesson in swimming.
Mr de Quincy seemed quite surprised that
we were not greatly flattered by his attentions.
Edna, in her splendid stature and scornful
grace, tried hard to offend him and make him
go away; but he took it as a splendid joke
on her part, as he said, 'We had taken so
much trouble to get out of sight of the old
folks/ He seemed to think we were quite a
study in womankind, and stayed right by us.
We kept out in deep water as long as possible;   but finally we had to wade to shore,
'_r^tTT^-'.V-"1" "-~"iT5U--Sgs-"j"' TWTFTB^ Canadian Camp Life
don our cloaks, and escape with what grace
we could to the tepee.
We had just served the tea when the young
men put in their appearance, but, as it so often
happens, if an extra number of people come
in unexpectedly you are likely to be short of
some essential. In this case poor Billy had
overturned the milk and there was very little
left. As we had no one to send we had decided
to do with condensed, as more would be sent
in from ' The Flats' when the boys came home
in the evening. But neither Mr de Quincy
nor Bobby liked condensed milk, and Mr de
Quincy said he would take his tea without.
Bobby sat next him with all that had been
saved in his little cup, and each time Mr de
Quincy's cup was replenished he helped himself to the little fellow's milk. Edna was boiling over with indignation and made signs to
look at him.
'I sink you orful gweedy mans/ burst out
Bobby at last; ' you dwinked all my
We   didn't   feel   quite   at   ease   with   our
visitors, and when Charley came driving over
202   Canadian Camp Life
the boundary with our double team I felt the
climax was reached.
' Nice team that;!' remarked Mr Milton
Bowes, eyeing it critically. 'Just come from
the Canadian side; I wonder where it's
Of course it came right up to us ; and Josie,
rising and making a profound courtesy, said,
' Mr Milton Bowes, officer of the U.S. Customs,
I make formal report to you of our team and
goods brought in from the Canadian side, but
only for our own use and consumption/
He laughed rather grimly and watched
Charley unload the week's provisions of bread,
cake, pie and so on which he had been to
Ladner's and received from town by the steamboat. A bundle of mail matter was laid
upon a seat, and Mr Milton Bowes went and
stood over it, giving it a slight push that he
might the more easily read the addresses and
note the post-marks. There was quite a lot of
mail matter, and several very official-looking
documents addressed to dad. ' Your father is
in the employ of the Canadian Government, I
see/ he remarked tentatively.
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' Here, Bessie/ said Charley, handing out a
two-gallon milk can. ' Mrs Wentworth sent you
some milk ; and she says they'll all be here for
coffee to-night/    That was good news.
' Here, Mr Customs Officer, are contraband
pies, cakes, bread and so on/ began Josie,
' made by a contraband Chinaman.'
' Sir!' put in Charley, in his quiet way,' and
here's a chicken pie that Uncle Sam and all
our dear cousins would appreciate, I'm sure/
and he handed out the article in question very
' Come over to luncheon to-morrow/ said
mammy, 'and help us eat it/
Mr Milton Bowes said he would if not prevented by business. Then they made their
adieux and departed.
' What are they prowling round here for, I
wonder?' asked Charley, as soon as he joined
us after seeing the ladies to their boat.    ' There's
something in  the wind, I'd lay you anything.
I shall go to the Cracow ranch to-morrow and
try   to   find   out.      Will   you    go   with   me,
I promised; then we had a hasty dinner and
204 Canadian Camp Life
prepared to receive our welcome guests for the
' May I came in ?' called a pleasant voice,
and a lady from a neighbouring camp put in
her head.
' Come along, of course/ said several voices.
' I only want to give a message; we have
some young people from town to-morrow for
just one night, and we want to give them a
' On the sand ?' inquired Charley.
' The weeds and grass aren't so broken up by
us, and I think we can manage very well. We
want all your young people to come, Mrs Le
Ford, and we would like to get the young
ladies from Cracows', they're such nice girls ;
and you see all our visitors are young men/
' I'll take your message in the morning/
said Charley, with more promptitude than he
usually displayed.
' That's all I wanted/ said our visitor. ' Goodbye!' and away she went.
After we had taken coffee, Charley and
Frank decided to go fishing; they tried to
get Mr Templeton to join them, but he said
he would 'rather remain with the ladies/
There was no 'beating around the bush'
with him; he always spoke out, whatever his
opinions were. Undoubtedly he had often
given offence by this directness of speech,
for many of his neighbours were 'self-made
men/ and given to the idea that their dollars
should save them from contradiction, certainly
from opposition of any kind. They had run
in grooves of their own so many years, till,
as dad said, 'They had worn them too deep
even to climb out upon the plane of other
As we sat sometimes   chatting,  sometimes
listening   to   what the  men   said   over   their
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Canadian Camp Life
cigars, sometimes silent, as people who are
very familiar, and who understand each other
pretty well feel at liberty to do, we were
startled by the sudden appearance of the
two boys, Charley white and shivering, and
Frank looking perfectly dazed. They just
beckoned to Josie and disappeared. Fortunately mother was looking in another direction
and listening to what Mrs Wentworth was
saying. She, so full of tact, saw something
was wrong, and that we did not want the
little mother to know. So she excused herself on the score of tiredness. Daddy, still
unconscious that anything was amiss, went
to the sleeping tent, and lighted the candle,
which had been arranged by Charley upon
the glass of an old clock face, swung from
the ridge pole by very fine wire. This
arrangement made no shadows upon our
canvas walls, and the candle-holder being of
glass allowed the light to fall below.
The boys went to their tepee, changed
their wet clothes, and repaired to the cook
tent, where Billy sat on his heels by a good
fire.     The   kettle   was    boiling,    and    Josie
207 Canadian Camp Life
quickly made them a large cup of cocoa
each. The rest of the party congregated in
the cook tent, anxious to know what had
happened. Then the boys told us of the
dreadful tragedy which they had witnessed,
and in which they had been actors.
They were quietly fishing, with that intense stillness filling the vastness around
only broken by the casting of a line, the
splash of a fish, or a few whispered words
of their own, when they heard the rumble
of wheels in the distance, which, coming
nearer and nearer, resolved itself into a
farm wagon filled with laughing girls; a
man's voice being occasionally heard speaking to the horses.
He drove down to the beach, and then
the girls disappeared; but you could tell
where each group was preparing for a dip
by the sounds of laughter and merry chattering which came from the 'bush/
Soon they were splashing and jumping
around in the water, making rings of phosphorescent light, which were plainly discernible, as the moon had not yet risen,  though
208 Canadian Camp Life
the tide was coming in very fast. There
had been 'a half tide' that evening, so the
sands had remained under water.
' Look here! girls, don't go out too far,
or you'll drop into the channel; one man
can hardly be expected to scoop you all out,'
called the voice of the man. Then again, a
second or two later, ' Minnie! Where are
you?' A merry laugh came from the bather
who had ventured out the farthest. Instantly
following the laugh a pair of white arms
were thrown above the water, and then disappeared as their owner gave an agonised
The young man almost as quickly disappeared in the same spot, whilst the frightened
girls stood huddled together, clinging to each
other in speechless terror.
The seconds seemed minutes, the minutes
like hours, still no one rose to the surface.
Charley began to throw off his clothes, and
Frank without a word rowed for the place.
As they approached a figure burst from the
group of girls and plunged in where the others
had   disappeared.     The boys' boat was now
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almost over the fateful spot, and Charley let
himself over the side, still clinging to the boat,
and with his usual coolness sparing himself for
the final effort, when the figure rose to the
surface, and he had just time to grasp the long
plait of hair that floated towards him. Frank
backed water slightly and, leaning over the
side, reached down to the object she grasped
desperately round the neck. It was the apparently lifeless body of the young man.
Charley had drawn the girl towards him with
one hand, and she still had strength enough
left to cling to the side of the boat, when he
suggested it to her, whilst he held the young
man, and Frank pulled gently out of the channel.
Frank said he remembered looking up and
seeing the moon as it showed itself above the
dark mountains, then down at the white faces
above the water, which was still in darkness, and
it made him shudder, for he felt as if he was
rowing a string of. corpses to shore.
The young girl pulled herself together with
a great effort. ' She was very brave/ said
Charley, with white and trembling lips, as he
sipped his hot cocoa; 'she didn't faint or cry,
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but went to work on the young man, who was her
brother, and amongst us we brought him round/
'"Minnie?" he inquired feebly as soon as he
could speak.
'" Oh, Fred! I pulled hard at her too, but I
couldn't get her up; I had to come up with
you; I had no more strength left," she said,
' He was fully conscious by this time, and,
staggering to his feet, made for the channel,
and was in before anyone realised what he
was doing. Frank recovered himself first/ We
all gave him a look of approval, and daddy,
laying his hand on the lad's shoulder, said,—
' Oh! Frank's all right!' The tears came
into the eyes of the tired, overwrought little
fellow, and Charley continued,—
' Yes, he ran for the boat, and when I got in
he seized the sturgeon line we had taken with
us and began to fasten it firmly to one of my
arms. I tried to shake him off, but he said,
and his teeth were chattering, "If you are
drowned, what will mammy say ? " It was done
while he spoke, and we pulled out once more.
None of the girls had recovered their wits yet
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except the sister, and she and Frank pulled
whilst I got ready to jump.
' I distinctly felt the two bodies on the sandy
bottom. The girl was tightly clasped in the
arms of the young man, but I couldn't move
them. Then I lost consciousness, and Frank
pulled me to the surface/
' Yes,' said Frank,' a canoe came along with
a couple of Indians in it, and I asked them to
try and bring up the man and woman who were
down there. One of them said he would if I'd
give him two-and-a-half. I told him to try and
he should have five dollars if he got them both.
He dived, and the other helped to haul Charley
ashore. Before Charley quite came round the
Indian had swam out and told me ' a salalicum'
(ghost) was holding them down, and he would
have nothing to do with it. But I promised
him ten dollars; I shall have to pay him, you
know, dad/ he said, looking doubtfully at his
' He shall be paid/ returned dad; ' you could
do nothing else, and you did right.' Frank
seemed relieved, and continued, 'I promised
him ten dollars if he'd go down and fetch them
212 Canadian Camp Life
up, or fasten a sturgeon line on them. He
went and stuck a big sturgeon hook in the
clothing of each of them, and after a good bit
of gentle pulling they came to the surface. I
was so frightened when the two white faces
showed themselves close together that I let
go my oars; but the young lady pulled ashore
herself. By that time Charley was pretty much
himself again.
' All the girls had dressed themselves except
the sister, so we took the two bodies and laid
them in the wagon. One Indian was sent for
a doctor, and the other drove the team; the
girls walking sadly by the side. The poor
sister had only her wet bathing dress on, and
Charley put his coat on her shoulders.
' We would have liked to see them home, but
we were afraid mammy might get alarmed, and
poor Charley was pretty well done out, so we
got home as best we could.'
The tired boys were glad to seek their
sleeping tent, but the rest of us stayed up
quite late, too upset to think of sleep.
Next morning,  as  mammy  took her early
cup of tea, daddy told her how bravely her
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sons had behaved. She was very thankful
for their safe return, and said she would like
to go and see the people herself, and find out
if any assistance was needed. They took the
double team, and Charley drove them round
by the road.
It was a very melancholy affair; the young
man had been out a little over a year, getting
his ranch in order and a snug little house
built. Then the aunt, who had brought up
the brother and sister, came out with the
young lady to whom her nephew had been
engaged. This was only three weeks ago,
when the marriage had taken place. Now,
heart-broken, she said she would go right back
to Toronto as soon as the inquest was over and
take the bodies of the bride and bridegroom for
interment near her. That her dear niece, who
had accompanied her, had been spared was a
matter of great thankfulness.
Charley, with a manliness we had scarcely
given him credit for, made all necessary arrangements for them, staying right there till
all was settled and the bereaved  aunt started
on  her sad journey eastward.    The poor girl
Our provisions were running short, so Frank
and I started for the Cannery Store to get a
supply. Charley had to pass the Cracow
ranch,    so    he    could    leave    his    promised
As we passed our neighbour's camp we saw
the ladies busy making cakes, the men and
boys rolling logs for an immense bonfire,
reserving the larger ones for seats. They
were bound to give the young people 'a
good time/
The tide was too high for us to walk along
by the sands, so we took a path through the
forest for part of the way,  till  hindered  by
the abrupt bluff, when we had to walk on the
loose shingle and sand ; and with the morning
sun pouring down  upon you  it  was a warm
walk, and very tiring.
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A spring bubbled out at the foot of the
cliff, and here several Indians were at work
hollowing out canoes. Patiently, chip by chip,
using the white man's chisel and hammer, they
work until sufficient has been cut away.
Then they smooth it up inside and out,
placing stout sticks across to brace it open as
wide as possible. Building a fire, they turn
the canoe upside down over it, and, as the
heat expands it, they place other and longer
sticks across, till by this simple process the
canoe is made fully half as wide again. They
then paint them, having first carefully filled
every knot hole. The Northern Indians invariably fit in a high prow with the head of
an animal or bird carved at its extremity,
which represents the tribe to which the owner
As we proceeded we came upon sheds and
shacks, tents and awnings of every conceivable shape, size and material. The women,
mostly the elder squaws, were cutting, drying
and smoking salmon, which they would carry
into the interior, and up into the north as far
as  Neutka   Sound.      Under temporary sheds
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covered with bark hung lines upon lines of
fish, and sticks about three feet long, upon
which clams were strung, were interspersed.
These latter are considered a great delicacy
by the interior Indians, who will barter valuable skins for them. A slow fire is built upon
the ground in the centre of these open sheds,
which sends out sufficient smoke to cure the
fish and clams. No salt is used, and the
smell is anything but pleasant during the
Children, half naked, were running, crying,
laughing and playing everywhere, as children
the world over do, civilised or savage. Those
from the north revelling in the hot sun and
the warm water, swimming and paddling
round like aquatic animals.
A number of very large canoes, brought down
by the northern tribes, were drawn high upon
the   beach   and   carefully  covered   from    the
sun   by blankets,   mats   and   green   boughs;
some of them capable   of holding fifty men.
We were   standing by   one which had   only
just been brought in, apparently, for it was yet
uncovered,   when    a   decently-dressed    young
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Indian came up to us and said in very good
English, 'That canoe is very large!'
' Yes! very large ; how many men will it
hold?' f f'%
' Sixty, quite easy/
' You speak very good English/ I said;
' where did you come from ?'
' New Metlakatla. I know you. Don't you
remember the Indian Paul? I dug your
garden; and one time I hear you playing
hymns on the organ. I came in and showed
you my hymn-book with the music, and asked
you to play one what I like very much ?'
' Why, yes, Paul! I am very pleased to see
you again/ and I shook hands very cordially
with him. ' You must come and see mother.
She has been sick, and we are camping near
the boundary line for her to get the salt-water
bathing. You moved to New Metlakatla with
Mr Duncan, did you, Paul ?'
' I am glad you remember me, but I am
sorry   the   mother   has  been   sick,  and   shall
come   to  see   her   as   soon   as   I   can.    The
bathing will  surely  do her  much  good/    He
spoke very   slowly  and   distinctly, answering
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each phrase of mine in order. 'Yes! I went
to New Metlakatla with Mr Duncan; but
some of the Indians not feel at home there,
and they go back. I am married now, but
I left my wife and two children up North.
Not good for Indian women, good Indian
women, round a cannery/
' Good-bye, Paul! Come and see us soon;
we may not stay much longer/
'What was he saying about Mettle-kettle?'
asked Frank.
' Metlakatla! A missionary went up with
his family and resided among the Indians of
that place from twenty to twenty-five years.
He taught them agriculture, weaving, housebuilding and many of the comforts and arts
of civilisation, and their whole condition was
materially improved. Then that part of the
coast was included in a new diocese which was
created, and the new bishop thought Mr
Duncan had attended too much to the
temporal welfare of the Indians, as far as I
could understand, and not enough to dogma.
Anyway, the majority of the tribe  supported
their old benefactor, and a religious feud was
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the result, ending in the followers of the
missionary accompanying him to a reserve on
the American side. But, as Charley said,
many of them don't feel at home there, and
the climate isS very severe, more so than
their old home, so many have returned.
Under Mr Duncan they had had a kind of
industrial school system, with workshops,
I think a sawmill, looms, and so on.'
'What was he saying about hymns?'
'I remember the incident so well; you
were a very little fellow at the time. We
had an Indian digging and housing the
potatoes. Mammy sat in the dining-room
darning stockings, and you know my little
organ is there, and I was softly playing
some | Moody and Sankey " hymn tunes. The
door opened, and Paul walked in; he stood
a minute or two and listened, then he drew
up a chair behind me, sat down and began
to sing, reading the words from a book of
his own. 1" That is very pretty," he said, when
I had played it through. " I not hear that
one before." Then he took my book and
turning to another page asked me if I could
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play it, showing me his book at the same
time, which had the full score. Not only
that, he could read the music at sight and
sing by it. Mammy and I were surprised
at his reading the words, much more the
music. We knew he was not a Roman
Catholic Indian, or he would scarcely have
known anything of revival hymn-books. Then
he told us all about Mr Duncan's schools,
his music classes during their long, cold
winters, and all the good and practical work
that was going so silently on in the far
North. He thought the city Indians were
very wicked, and he told us as soon as he
could save money enough he was 'going back
While I was telling Frank all this we were
stumbling along over the rough shingle, and
carefully watching our footsteps, for dead fish,
cast from the traps, were lying in the sun,
filling the air with putrefaction.
The beach widened out as we went to
perhaps half a mile at low tide; at high water
it reached the very foot of the cliff, covering
the sand and shingle to a depth of several feet,
222 Canadian Camp Life
making it impossible to pass on foot, for the
cliff rose perpendicularly, a wall of earth, huge
boulders and gravel, to a height of some three
hundred feet, without a blade of grass or the
scrubbiest plant upon its great bare expanse.
After passing this point, where the water was
now within a few feet of the cliff, the beach
rose higher, the mountain came down in a steep
slope, but was covered by magnificent maples,
with a few cedars here and there. Drawn up
here were fishing-boats, small schooners and
many craft of a nondescript pattern.
Mr Milton Bowes met us as we stepped upon
the cannery wharf, and escorting us silently
along, pointed down the open hold of a sloop
which was elaborately fitted up with an arrangement of bottles of various kinds, colours and
sizes. ' Seized!' he murmured, as he tapped
the lapel of his coat which hid the fatal badge
upon which was the inscription 'U.S. Customs.'
' What were they doing ?' inquired Frank.
'Selling liquor to Indians/ he returned
dryly, and betook himself off.
Frank and I went over the cannery, which
was quite new, and very clean.   At the outer
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wharf were fishermen delivering their catch;
tallymen counting them as they came up, in
order to check the books kept by the fishermen. But very few fishermen are employed
round the canneries, which use fish traps, their
services not being required. Most of those,
waiting to deliver their fish to-day were Indians,
and they were working by contract one of the
tallymen told us.
In a very large building Indian women were
washing and cutting the newly-caught fish,
which was then conveyed in trucks, with open
slatted bottoms, to its several baths of fresh and
salt water, passed on to other Indian women
and white boys, who placed the pieces neatly
in the tins, weighed them, and again passed
them on to Chinamen, who fitted the covers on
deftly and quickly, when the cans were conveyed in trays to a line of Chinamen, who stood
round the walls of the building, placed on a
groove, over which an endless belt passed, which
distributed them to these men, who soldered
them and passed them on again to others, who
collected them, and placed them in huge trays
of iron, ready for the  steaming process, which
224 Canadian Camp Life
was very carefully watched over by responsible white men, as if this part was carelessly performed the whole pack would be
These trays were placed in the steam chests,
where, under a certain amount of pressure, they
remained for a specified time, when they were
transferred to another steam chest, after which
they were tested by a Chinaman, who punctured
each can. If the steam and moisture flew up
in a little stream it was all right, and the
puncture was quickly soldered. If there was
no response to the puncture the can of fish
was thrown on one side; there had been a
leak in it somewhere. The trays were then
dipped in a strong bath of hot lye water,
which cleansed them completely from grease
or smell of fish. They were then set away
to cool and wait the final bath of varnish
before being labelled. These two latter
processes, however, would wait until the rush
of the pack was over, when the fish would
be boxed for export.
But the overpowering smell of fish, fish, fish
everywhere,   the   hissing   of   steam,   and   the
p 225 Canadian Camp Life
clang of machinery soon sent us about our own
business at the cannery store.
When we came out we were met by Mr
de Quincy, and almost directly after we
stumbled across Mr and Mrs Milton Bowes
in company with the courteous proprietor of
the cannery, who invited us to his house for
lunch. Here we met the rest of the Milton
Bowes family, including a pretty little girl of
ten, who seemed as loath to hear herself speak
as her father was.
We had met the family of our host in town
and felt quite at home with them. Indeed,
before lunch was over the whole party, including some young ladies who were visiting there,
decided to accompany us back for a dip in the
warmer water near our camp.
It was quite likely our friendly neighbours
in camp would invite them all to stay for the
dance, in which case they would all take dinner
with us, and I began to wonder as to the state
of our larder.
I confided my doubts to Frank, who suggested
we should go back to the cannery store and add
to our purchase some canned corn beef, tongue,
226 Canadian Camp Life
pears and peaches. This we did, getting also
a goodly-sized box of soda crackers.
'If you don't hurry up/ said Mr Milton
Bowes, 'you'll have to wade ashore at your
'Are you going with us?'
'Yes.    I've done enough for one day.'
As many as could crowd in were stowed
away in the commodious U.S. Customs boat,
which was taken charge of by Mr Milton Bowes
and Mr de Quincy, who appeared to be expert
oarsmen. A fishing-boat, redolent of its
occupation, carried the rest.
As we came near camp two men ran down to
a large fishing-boat which had not been there
when we left. They rushed through the deeper
water to their waists, and commenced hauling
frantically at it, apparently intending to get it
across the line before we reached them.
But the tide was running out and the sand
was showing in bars, where the boat stuck, in
spite of all their efforts.
'What are you   fellows   at?'   inquired   Mr
Milton Bowes, sternly.
' Nothing, sir!'
227 Canadian Camp Life
'Looks likely!' he returned in his slow, dry
way. 'Seems to me you're trying to get that
boat to the other side!'
The men looked at each other but said never
a word.
'Well! what is it?' as they continued to
stare and say nothing.
' Isn't that a U.S. Customs boat ?' asked one,
pointing to the boat in which we were seated.
' Yes it is; but,   it! do you think I go
cruising after boats with a pack of helpless
women and children along? What do you
take me for? I ain't looking for campers'
The men seemed greatly relieved; but our
loaded boat, keel bottom as it was, had grounded
in the slough between the sandbars, and we
would have to wait at least half-an-hour before
we could get to shore; even then we should
have to wade in our shoes and stockings.
Mr Milton Bowes took in the situation.    He
looked at the boat by which the men were
still standing, their hands upon its sides, as if
to defend  their   property.     They seemed to
have an idea, too, for  one said, ' Ours is a
228 Canadian Camp Life
flat-bottomed boat and we could get the ladies
and children to shore dry shod if some of you
will help us to get this boat back into the
Out jumped Mr de Quincy, Frank and Jack,
and the boat was soon floating in a slough
which nearly reached the shore; anyway, the
sand was dry beyond. Still there was some
distance between the two boats. We looked at
each other and felt somewhat uncomfortable.
Mr Bowes waded up, his little wife stood on
the seat and he picked her up in his arms
with as much ease and tenderness as if she
had been a baby.
I am  somewhat ' chuncky/ as Charley calls
it, in the  uncomplimentary way one  expects
from near relatives, and I was afraid to trust
myself   to   either   of   the   lads,   so   I   made
up   my mind to wade   through   rather   than
Mr de Quincy should  carry me.     I knew I
should shudder if he laid his hand on me.    I
never shuddered if Mr Templeton helped me up
or down from my horse, or his hand touched
mine, and he was neither so   young nor so
handsome as Mr de Quincy, who was making
229 Canadian Camp Life
right towards me in his insolent, self-satisfied
way, that made me tingle with irritation, when
the nasal tones of Mr Milton  Bowes's voice
said at my elbow, 'Now, if you'll trust to
me I'll contract to spurt you over the course/
I stood up and was carried as easily as
his wife had been. ' You got in ahead of me/
drawled Mr de Quincy.
' Can get in ahead of you every time/ Mr
Milton Bowes returned, somewhat significantly.
Mr de Quincy said nothing, but his look was
It turned out that the large, flat-bottomed
fishing-boat had brought some of the party
of young men for our neighbours' camp
round Point Roberts from New Westminster,
which is at all times a risky trip. Sudden
squalls or fogs are apt to arise, and then a
good schooner has all she can do to make
it, even with the best of management.
These young men had had a pretty rough
time of it. Half their number had waded
and swam ashore, and were now making
their way across country, with only a compass to guide them;    however, they   arrived
230 Canadian Camp Life
in a somewhat torn and bedraggled condition
during the afternoon, much to the relief of
their friends, who feared some of them might
not have reached the shore in safety.
As I had anticipated, our visitors were
considered a welcome addition to the dance,
and had been promptly invited to remain
for it. Now, in a camping outfit people
seldom overload themselves with crockery,
so our guests had to use all sorts, sizes
and descriptions of plate, dish, cup or glass
that presented itself. Mr Milton Bowes almost hid his rubicund face every time he
raised his china bowl to drink his tea; one
of the young ladies from the Point ate a
preserved peach very daintily from a meat
dish, and so on. Everyone seemed to enjoy
the helter-skelter meal, making the most of
the ridiculous side in order to please the
Billy was kept busily washing up. 'Dem
peoples drinks plenty tea/ he remarked, as
he made a third kettleful.
'There   are   plenty   of  people, Billy/  said
Josie, who was getting a dish of crackers.
231 Canadian Camp Life
'Oh! yes, I not mind/ he returned obiig-
'That contraband Chinaman of yours/ remarked Mr Milton Bowes, sententiously, as he
held his plate for a second help of chicken
pie, ' is a good hand at this kind of thing,
Mrs Le Ford. When you get another consignment across the border I wish you'd let us
know!' H|
j There is a certain flavour about contraband
articles, you see, sir/ said Mr de Quincy,
The big man looked keenly at him, but Mr
de Quincy was chasing a small piece of
canned pear round a soup plate with a
tablespoon, too much engrossed by the
pursuit to pay any attention to the more
insignificant affairs of life. CHAPTER  XVIII
The moon would not rise till late, and the
daylight was beginning to fade; our little ones
were in bed, but we made no bonfire to-night,
as we would not be ' At Home/ and mammy
wished to retire early. Mr and Mrs Milton
Bowes had already departed, with Jack and
Mr de Quincy, to bring back the boat for the
return of some of their party.
The fiddle was beginning to scrape, so we
made an extra toilet with honeysuckles; and
a bouquet which had been given us at the
Point was divided up to increase our general
splendour. Then we sallied forth in a body,
and the ball commenced as soon as we arrived,
for they had only been waiting for some more
The fiddler mounted on an old barrel turned
on end and gave us  the 'Original  Lancers/
233 I
Canadian Camp Life
He played with his eyes closed in ecstatic
oblivion of his surroundings, and sang out
the figures to the tune of whatever happened
to make the figure. The more enthusiastic he
became, the more he swayed from side to
side, the louder he sang out the figures and
the harder he stamped one foot to the time.
This was all very well till he got to the fourth
figure; when, after playing the first few bars,
he stopped his swaying motion, his stamping
foot, and opened his eyes in astonishment.
He had forgotten the figure! He made several
unsuccessful attempts, the dancers each time
beginning over again, but each time coming
to a sudden stop when he reached the same
bar. At the fourth failure he stamped his
foot in a towering rage and said something
rather strong under his breath. The weatherworn barrel was not proof against so much
ill-timed energy, its head dropped inside, and
there was Sandy and his violin neatly boxed
up. fr Some of the young men lifted it from
over him, then they went to work and arranged
a platform  upon a wood wagon, and Sandy
was soon playing away at a lively old-time
==»?--=«a_t--^:. ---_—__•---_.
Utmm Canadian Camp Life
polka. Each time he tried the lancers the
fourth figure slipped from his memory; so
they agreed to leave out the offending figure
and just go on with the fifth. No one thought
of proposing to do it for him, as he had come
all the way from Vancouver on purpose to
play for his young friends, never dreaming
anyone else could handle the violin if he gave
it up, for he prided himself greatly upon his
musical abilities, and many a mining camp
and cattle ranch had resounded to his merry
strains. He kept splendid time, playing Scotch
reels, Irish jigs and old - fashioned country
dances that did a person good to listen
I was sitting rather back, out of the glare
of the camp fire, watching the effect of its
leaping flames upon the dark pines and
thick maples which formed a fitting background to the merry revellers, dancing away
under difficulties, and extracting all the more
fun out of it in consequence, when a voice
near me said,—
'Wouldn't you like to have this waltz with
me, Bessie ?'
235 Canadian Camp Life
' No, I wouldn't, Mr de Quincy, or whatever
your name may be/ I returned rudely, for I
was annoyed at his easy familiarity; ' I prefer
sitting here alone!
' Oh, just as you like!' he returned, and to
my relief went and asked someone else. I
noticed he was no favourite, despite his handsome looks and fine figure.
' You shouldn't sit so far from the others
alone, Miss Bessie/ said the voice of Mr
Templeton, coming from out the darkness.
Evidently I had not been alone.
' Do you know who that is, Mr Templeton ? We can't make out if he is staying
round on business of his own, if he belongs
to Mr Milton Bowes's party, or if he is a
detective watching both sides. Edna Cracow
and her sister say he comes in at all sorts
of unexpected times, and always with apparent
openness of purpose, but he never can be betrayed into making any statement with regard
to himself/
' I think I saw him here several winters
ago with a   party presumably on  a hunting
expedition.    They   killed   two   or   three   fine
236 Canadian Camp Life
bears and shot some deer, leaving their camp,
which was pitched in a very sheltered nook,
alone for days together. Afterwards we heard
that thirty-five thousand dollars' worth of opium
had been smuggled over the border and successfully gotten away with. From examining
the place after they broke up camp, it was
seen where the sods had been carefully taken
up and as carefully replaced. I think he's
here on his own account, and that Mr Milton
Bowes is watching your camp for contraband
' Our camp!' I exclaimed in indignation,
'and pretending to be so friendly. I wonder he's not afraid our salt will choke
'Oh, that's nothing! He only considers
it extra "smart." But, according to my way
of thinking, he's just one camp out/
'Not here?' ' . . -#-
' Oh, no!   in   the   other   direction.    But   a
person living on   the border   must   learn   to
keep a still tongue.    It is no business of ours
to interfere.    As  Mr de  Quincy is following
the  other one's  false scent, he   can't   under-
237 Canadian Camp Life
stand if you people are friends or foes. He
keeps up the detective idea, which has somehow gotten about, of course; he may be one,
and Mr Milton Bowes isn't sure if he's being
"shadowed" by his department/
' But if Mr de Quincy is in with the
smugglers, how is it he doesn't know their
camp ?'
'You see, Miss Bessie, he isn't in with
either; and they are as careful to hide their
work from him as from the U.S. Customs.
When he finds out who is in this affair he'll
go to them and tell them he knows all about
their little transaction, and in his detective
capacity he will give them up to justice, unless they divide up with him.'
' Not even " honour among thieves." Well,
I always had a most unaccountable dislike of
I said nothing more and resolved to keep
my own counsel as to what had passed. Of
course I would have to tell Josie, but then
she was only the same as myself.
' I'm afraid,  Miss Bessie, you won't dance
with me if I ask you.'
238 Canadian Camp Life
' You didn't ask me!'
'May I have the pleasure?' he asked with
all the courtesy of the ball-room, as he rose
and stood before me. I took the proffered
arm, and somehow that waltz was very
' I thought you said you wouldn't dance/
said Mr de Quincy, in his lazy, insolent
' I said I wouldn't with you/ I returned
somewhat unwisely. He turned with a very
ugly expression upon his handsome countenance and faced Mr Templeton. The two men
eyed each other steadily for a second or two.
Then Mr de Quincy, laughing insolently, remarked, ' Oh! that's it, is it ? I sha'n't interfere
with you!'
\ It would be no good if you did/ I returned
hastily, only thinking of the unaccountable dislike I felt for this handsome young man, and
not considering it implied anything further.
Before another word could be spoken Mr
Templeton had turned away with me, and he
treated me with great reserve for the rest of the
evening.    I  felt rather miserable;   but it was
239 Canadian Camp Life
twelve o'clock, and tea and coffee, sandwiches
and cake were handed round in liberal supply.
Then the party from the Point embarked for
home, and the young men from the city sang
with fine effect, as soon as they had pushed them
off,' Good-bye, ladies/
Those in the boats took up the strain upon
the water, answering back. But I was out of
sorts with fine effects to-night, and under cover
of the general good-byes I hurried to the camp
and hid myself in the sleeping tent I had
gone down so many degrees in my own
estimation I could not bear to see anyone.
I told Josie all about it when she came in,
and that relieved me greatly; but I was ill at
Strange to say, Mr de Quincy disappeared
as suddenly as he had come upon the scene,
and to my relief we saw him no more.
' Oh ! Bessie! Josie! do wake up!' came
in tones of alarm from behind mammy's
'All right, mammy/ called daddy's cheerful
voice, ' it will soon be over/ He came in and
lit the candle that the lightning might appear
less vivid.
Josie   and   I   turned   sleepily as a perfect
cannonade of thunder broke over our heads,
followed by a sound like the heavy discharge of
musketry.    Of course we had  never heard a
heavy discharge of musketry, but it was all of
one hundred times as much noise, and of the
same description as when our Rifle Volunteers
discharge their volleys at noon upon the Queen's
It was rather appalling out there, so near the
Q 241 Canadian Camp Life
woods; the wind had risen to a perfect hurricane, and the short, choppy waves of the bay
were lashed to fury.
We looked out of the tent; no boat could
possibly live in such water. The sheet
lightnings played among the dark forest
trees, and the forked arrows of flame seemed
to dart into the mountains, making momentary
illuminations of peak and chasm, crag and
A long and terrific scream from the camp
below made us shiver as the rain poured in
torrents and sprayed through our tent although
we had a stout weather sheet stretched above
We were all up and dressed, and daddy
called, ' Cover up your beds, boys, and come in
here or you'll get drenched/
Charley came out of the darkness from below;
he had been to investigate the cause of the
scream.    It seemed that one of our neighbours
had been watching the lightning, as we had,
but their tent was pitched under a magnificent
maple, which stood out from the forest alone
but lovely.     We had often  envied them   its
242 Canadian Camp Life
grateful shade. Now it was rent and riven, and
had fallen right across their ' general purpose'
tent, as they called their store and cooking
apartment. In falling, one immense limb had
taken the sleeping tent with it, and a branch as
big as an ordinary tree lay stretched along the
aisle which divided their line of camp beds, the
smaller branches literally binding the sleepers to
their places.
The young lady who had risen to watch the
grand effect of the lightning had at the same
time received a shock which affected her eyesight ; but a young doctor, who had been
among the visitors of the night before, said it
would not be permanent,
The ladies and children from the wrecked
tent crowded into ours, and there we sat
huddled together, waiting until the tempest
should have exhausted itself, which it did as
daylight was breaking, and we saw the sun
rising in splendour over the mountain-tops,
his light filtering through the dark and
angry clouds below, while above the line of
the tempest all was calm and bright.
The  team  from  'The   Flats'   arrived, our
BSBSB Canadian Camp Life
own was harnessed up, some valises of dry
clothing hastily put together, and we escaped
to the solid shelter of a house. Meanwhile,
our neighbours were very glad to take possession of our encampment, for, thanks to the
knowledge gained by dad in his engineering
expeditions, our tents remained as firm as ever;
the rain had only tightened the numerous
ropes, by which all was securely pinned to
Mother Earth. W:/
The heat of summer was over and mammy
declared nothing would induce her to go into
camp again. So we all stayed a few days with
Mrs Wentworth; and as soon as our neighbours' camp was put in order, the boys were
to break up ours and return the stuff to
I felt shy and uncomfortable with Mr
Templeton, and begged mammy to let me go
home ahead of the others and see that the
house was ready and that the bottling and
preserving of fruit for winter use was not being
Josie said she would go too, and we decided
to ride over the road by way of  the  sands,
siESStiiEiSS ' .NHI|H|M Canadian Camp Life
with Charley as escort. But when the time
came for our departure, four horses were
brought round to the front door. Mr Templeton
helped Josie to mount first, Charley vaulted into
his saddle, and away they scampered on
Mr Templeton excused himself for 'one
moment'; there was something he wished to
take with him. Mammy and Mrs Wentworth
hovered about me with more than their usual
solicitude. When I was mounted I wanted
to catch up with the others.
! I thought you were a merciful young lady,
Miss Bessie/ Mr Templeton said in his
quizzical way. I looked inquiringly at iiim.
' You know you should take your horse easy
for the first mile or two when you have a
long distance to go, and then you can take
him in at the end of your journey almost as
fresh as when you started/
'Josie and Charley seem to have forgotten
that/ I returned uneasily. But he soon began
to talk so pleasantly of English country life,
and of his travels in distant lands, that I got
quite at my ease.
245 Canadian Camp Life
When we crossed the Fraser on the steam
ferry Surrey, an hour later than Josie and
Charley, I wore on my hand the engagement
ring he had returned to fetch ; having made
up his mind to settle the matter one way or
the other on the trip to town. Had he been
refused, he had left Dolly in the charge of
Mrs Wentworth, intending again to go forth
a wanderer. Daddy and mammy had given
their consent should I be willing to accept
him. I had been so quiet all through the
to me, trying time, that they were uncertain as
to the state of my feelings.
When the Wentworths returned to town,
mammy and Mrs Wentworth had great consultations, and many mysterious garments were
brought out and the patterns taken surreptitiously. They were, however, of very small
clothes, which were hastily bundled out of the
way whenever us girls made an unexpected
visit to the sewing-room. We decided they
were certainly not for Dolly.
On the twenty-sixth of October Josie and
I sat on the bottom step of the stairs, our
arms entwined around each other, contemplat-
246  lU^Ufll..*-WW!!J_.*~'


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