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Jack, the young canoeman ; an eastern boy's voyage in a Chinook canoe Grinnell, George Bird, 1849-1938 1906

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An Eastern Boys Voyage in a
Chinook Canoe
Author of "Jack in the Rockies,"   "Jack the Young Ranchman,"
*' Jack Among the Indians," " Pawnee Hero Stories,' * " Black-
foot Lodge Tales," "The Story of the Indian,"
" The Indian of To-day," etc.
And by Half-tone Engravings of
PUBLISHERS Copyright, 1906, by
Frederick A. Stokes Company
All Rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America PREFACE
The mountains which border the British Columbia
coast between the mouth of the Frazer River and the
southeastern point of Alaska are still unknown to the
world at large. Few people have sailed up the wonderful fiords, which, as great water-floored canyons,
run back forty or fifty miles into the interior. Fewer
still have penetrated by land into the mountains where
there are neither roads nor trails, and where progress on foot is barred by a thousand insurmountable
Since the time that Jack Danvers made his voyage
in a Chinook canoe along this beautiful coast, it has
not greatly changed. The mountains still abound in
game, the sea in fish; the scenery is as beautiful as
it was then; and over the waters, dancing blue beneath
the brilliant sky, or black under the heavy rain clouds,
the Indian still paddles his high-prowed canoe.  CONTENTS
Chapter Page
I. Victoria, V. I  n
II. How  Jack   and   Hugh   Came   to   British
Columbia  22
III. A Mysterious Water Monster     .... 31
IV. The Cobbler Naturalist of Burrard Inlet 40
V.  An Unexpected Bear  53
VI.  Of Indians in Armor  68
VII. Seammux in Danger  78
VIII. The Coast Indians and their Ways ... 91
IX.  Preparation for the Voyage  103
X. The Start  in
XI. Food from the Sea  124
XII. The Island Deer  135
XIII. An Adventure of the Cassiar ..... 147
XIV. Bute Inlet  158
XV. The Work that Glaciers Do  172
XVI.  A Mother's Courage  189  ILLUSTRATIONS
As the deer bounded up the bank, Jack fired   Frontispiece
Here they wear white men's clothes, including shoes and hats    .    .    .     Facing Page   92
When they  saw the canoe they all
stopped and began to stare at it   .
An Indian salmon weir ....   ...
234  Jack the Young Canoeman
" Say, Hugh, what is that Indian doing in that
canoe? I thought at first that he was paddling, but
he does n't seem to move, and that does n't look like
a paddle that he has in his hand."
" To tell you the truth, son, I don't know what he
is doing. This business here on the salt water puzzles
me, and everything is strange and queer. This ain't
like the prairie, nor these ain't like any mountains that
I 've ever seen. I am beginning at the bottom and
have got to learn everything. But about that Indian
in the canoe, you can see that the boat does n't move;
and you can see, too, if you look sharp, that he's
anchored. Don't you see that taut line reaching down
into the water? "
" That's so," said Jack; " he surely is anchored, but
he works his arms just as if he were paddling. I am
going to ask this man over here."
Jack walked over to a sailor who stood leaning
against the rail of the deck on which they were sitting,
and who was looking over the water, and said to him:
" Will you tell me, sir, what that Indian is doing in
the canoe over there? "
The man turned his head and looked in the direction
in which Jack was pointing, and said: " Yes, I can tell
you what he is doing; he is fishing. Don't you see
that every stroke he makes he is bringing up some
herrings ? " 12        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
" No, I don't see it, and I will be much obliged to
you if you will describe to me how he is fishing."
" Of course I will," said the man. " You see his
canoe is anchored there in that deep water, just this
side of that point around which the tide runs strong.
At this season of the year the herrings gather in big
schools in that eddy there. Of course we don't know
just how they lie, but they must be mighty thick together. That thing the Indian has in his hand is a
pole about a dozen feet long, flattened on the sides,
and maybe a couple of inches across in its widest part.
The flattening makes the pole sort of oval shaped, if
you should saw through it; and each of the narrow
edges of the pole is studded with a row of sharp nails,
about an inch or two apart. These nails are firmly
driven into the wood and the points that stick out for
about an inch are very sharp. The nails run for about
one half the length of the pole. The Indian, sitting
in his canoe and holding the upper part of the pole in
his two hands, as you see, just as he would hold a
paddle, sweeps the end of it, that has the nails in,
through the water, using just the same motion that he
does in paddling. The herrings down there are so
thick that every time he passes the pole vertically
through the water it strikes the bodies of three or four
of the fish with force enough to drive the nails into
them; and as the man continues the stroke they are
pushed ahead of the pole. When the stroke is finished
and the end of the pole brought out of the water, the
fish are still sticking on the nails. Then, you will see,
if you watch him, he brings the nailed end of the pole
in over the canoe, taps the pole on the canoe, and the
fish drop off into the bottom of the boat. Don't you
see the white shiny specks on the pole every time he
makes a stroke? "
" Yes," said Jack, " of course I see them, but that
is a new way of fishing to me, and I never should VICTORIA, V. I. 13
have guessed what he was trying to do. I should think
it would take a long time to get fish enough for a
mess in that way."
" Don't you believe it," said the sailor; " one of
those fellows may get a bushel or two of fish in two
or three hours. Just you watch the pole as one brings
it up and see how many fish he gets to a stroke,'and
then figure how many strokes he makes to a minute."
Jack watched for a few minutes and saw that at
every sweep of the pole two or half a dozen fish were
brought up and knocked loose so as to fall into the
canoe, and he made up his mind that after all this was
a quick and easy way of fishing.
In the meantime Hugh had strolled up and was
listening to their talk, but without making any
Presently Jack said to the sailor: " We are not near
enough to make a very good guess at the size of those
fish; how big are they ? "
" Oh," said the sailor, " they are not very big, maybe
not more than four or six inches long, but there are
lots of them, as you can see. They catch oolichans in
that way too, when they are here, but they have gone
now. We only have them during the month of May,
but then they gather in certain places and there are
worlds of them. The Indians catch them, and the
white folks catch them; in fact, for a little while
pretty nearly everybody lives on oolichans. They
are mighty good eating, I can tell you, and besides
those eaten fresh, lots of them are smoked and salted.
The Indians don't save many of them. What they
don't eat fresh they use to make oil with, for the
oolichan is an awful fat fish and you can get lots of
oil out of them. They are so fat, that after they have
been dried you can light them at one end and they
will burn just like a candle. I expect that is the
reason that sometimes they are called candle-fish/' i4        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
" Say, friend," said Hugh, " you ain't joking, are
"No," said the man, "I ain't joking; that's just
the way it is, like I tell you."
" Well, no offence," said Hugh. | Where I come
from, in the mountains and in the cattle country, sometimes the boys, when a stranger comes around, sort of
josh him in a good-natured way, and tell tall stories
just to see how much he will believe. I did n't know
that maybe you had such a custom as that out here."
" No, sir," said the sailor, " we don't do anything
like that here. We suppose that people ask us questions
about the country because they want to know how
things really are, and we tell them just what the facts
" Well," said Hugh, 1 it seems to me, from what I
have seen, that the facts are strange enough here, and
it would n't be necessary for you to stretch them a
mite to astonish folks."
Soon after this Hugh and Jack went back to the
place where they had been sitting, in the shelter of the
deck cabin, and sat there looking over the beautiful
view that was stretched out before them. Neither
said very much. Both were impressed by the beauty
of the scene and the novelty of their surroundings;
for neither of them had ever seen anything like it
" I tell you, son," said Hugh, " this here is a wonderful country to me, and I never saw anything to
match it. You see it's the first time that I ever got
down to the edge of the salt water. I don't know
what to make of it all. Everything is different; the
mountains and timber, the people, the animals, and
the birds. And as for fish — why! I never supposed
there was any place in the world where fish were as
plenty as they are here."
" Yes," said Jack, " it's surely a wonderful country. VICTORIA, V. I.
There is something new to look at every minute; and
it's all just as different as can be from anything I
ever saw before. I was talking to one of the passengers here a little while ago and he told me that
these Indians here live almost altogether on fish. They
dig clams and catch mussels and catch the salmon and
the herrings and those little fish this sailor was talking
about; and they kill seals and porpoises and even
whales. It's all mighty strange, but does n't it show
just how people fit themselves to the conditions that
surround them? Now, suppose you take one of the
Blackfeet, turn him loose on his horse at the edge of
the water, and how do you think he would go to work
to get his next meal? Why, he would starve to
" He surely would," said Hugh. " Don't you know,
that the things these Indians here eat would be sort
of poison to the Blackfeet ? It is against their medicine
to eat fish or most anything that lives in the water.
They think those things are not fit to eat, and many of
them would starve before they would even touch them."
The vessel ploughed its way through the strait with
the land rising high on the right and lower on the
left-hand side. Both coasts were rock-bound, and the
heavy swell dashed against the shore great waves,
whose foam flew high into the air. Away to the south
rose high rough mountains, their summits white with
snow. To the north the land rose gently, and green
fields, dotted here and there with white houses, stretched
away for miles.    Beyond were hills, forest-clad.
The travellers were busy looking in all directions at
the beautiful prospect spread before them. Suddenly,
not far from the ship, a great head rose above the
water, remaining there for a moment looking at the
boat. Jack saw it and called out to his companion:
" O Hugh! that must be a sea-lion or a fur seal! It's
bigger than the seals that I have seen on the coast of i6        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
Maine." After a moment the head disappeared beneath the water. But in a few moments several other
heads were seen; and these seals, less timid than the
first, swam along not far from the boat, showing their
great bodies partly out of the water, and sometimes, in
chasing one another, jumping high into the air. Further along, the boat startled from the surface of the
water a group of black birds. Less in size than ducks,
they flew swiftly along, close to the water's surface.
Jack could see that on the shoulders of each bird was
a round spot of white, while the legs were coral-red.
" There is a new bird to me, Hugh, and I bet it is to
you, too. That must be one of the birds they call
guillemots. They live up in the North and breed on
the ledges of the rock.   I have read about them often."
" Well," said Hugh, " there's surely plenty to see
here; and I would n't be surprised if you and I travelled around all the time with our mouths open, just
because we are too surprised to remember to shut
All this time the boat was moving swiftly along.
Toward afternoon she rounded a sharp point of rocks;
and, proceeding up a narrow channel, the buildings of
the town of Victoria were soon seen in the distance.
Hugh said:
" That must be our landing place, son. I '11 be glad
to get ashore and stretch my legs. I take it, this here
land that we are coming to is an island, and very likely
there won't be a horse in the place. We '11 have to
do all of our travelling a-foot, or in one of these
cranky canoes, and I haven't much of a notion of
getting into one of them. I '11 be a good deal like you
were the first time you got on a horse — afraid I '11
fall off; and yet I don't know as they '11 be any harder
to ride in than the birch canoes I used to travel in up
in the North."
Victoria, where our travellers landed that afternoon, VICTORIA, V. I.
was a charming, quiet town of six or seven thousand
inhabitants, situated on the extreme southeastern point
of Vancouver Island. For many years after its settlement it had been nothing more than the Hudson's Bay
fort and trading post, with a few dwellings occupied
by those employed there. But the discovery of gold in
small quantities on the Frazer River in 1857, and
later on at the placer mines on the Quesnelle and at
Caribou, made a great change in the prospects of the
place. Word of the new diggings travelled fast and
soon reached California, causing a world of excitement
among the mining population of that State, then ripe
for a fresh move. A rush took place, and all those
who travelled toward the new mines in British Columbia passed by the drowsy old Hudson's Bay fort,
where hitherto the only event of the year had been the
arrival of the ship from England with the mail. Now
the fort was startled by the coming of twenty thousand miners, who pitched their tents about it and
founded Victoria. Buildings sprang up and trade was
attracted. Every one going to the mines or coming
from them passed through the town and paid its
tribute, and high hopes were entertained of its future
importance. People who lived there began to call it
" the emporium of commerce," the metropolis of the
northwest coast of America." But, unfortunately for
Victoria, the mines, which caused this excitement soon
ceased to pay; and the town's commerce fell off. It
did not fulfil the promises of its early youth, and its
growth has since been slow. Now, however, there
was a prospect of speedy communication with the rest
of the world; for during the summer when our travellers reached there, the Canadian Pacific Railroad
was being built and the loyal inhabitants of Victoria
were again anticipating that the place would become
a great city — "a second San Francisco." There was
reason for their hopes.   While the railroad could not 18        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
directly reach Victoria, its terminus on the mainland
would be within easy reach of the Island City, and
would give Vancouver Island a market for its products.
Its trade at that time was little or nothing, for the
goods sent to the United States had to pay a heavy
duty, which left little margin for profit.
Hugh and Jack spent several days at Victoria. The
country was picturesque and attractive, and the roads
good. They took long walks into the country to the
Gorge and to Cedar Hill, from which a beautiful view
of the city could be obtained. The panorama included
also a view of the Straits of Fuca, the Gulf of Georgia
with its hundreds of islands, and the mainland, rough
with mountain peaks, among which, rising above all,
stood Mt. Baker, calm and white, a snow-clad monarch.
While they remained in the town they lived literally
on the fat of the land. Victoria boasted one of the
best hotels in the world; not a pretentious structure,
but one where everything that was good to eat, in
abundance, well cooked and well served, was furnished.
There were fish of many sorts, — salmon and sea bass,
herring and oolichans, oysters and clams, crabs, game,
delicious vegetables, and abundance of fruit.
Mr. Sturgis had given to Hugh a letter to an
acquaintance of his in Victoria, and one day Hugh and
Jack called on Mr. MacTavish. He was an old Hudson Bay man, who, after retiring from the service of
the Company had come to Victoria to live. He had
a delightful family, and a charming house, full of a
multitude of interesting curiosities, picked up during
his long service in the North. Of these, one of the
most interesting was a complete set of dinner dishes,
carved out of black slate by the Haida Indians of the
North. While the figures exhibited on these were
conventional in form and of Indian type, the carving
was so remarkably good that it was hard for Hugh
and Jack to believe that the work was Indian.   Neither VICTORIA, V. I.
had ever seen anything done by Indians more artistic
than the ordinary painted skins of the plains' Tribes;
and when they saw such delicate, beautifully carved
work, often inlaid with the white teeth or fragments
of bones of animals, it was hard for them to understand how it all could have been done by native
Mr. MacTavish told them much about the life of
the island, — the fishing and hunting. He said that
at that very time, during the month of July, the salt
waters of the Straits and of the Gulf of Georgia
abounded with salmon, which were readily taken by
trolling; and when thus taken, on a light rod, furnished
fine sport. Many of the brooks of the island, too,
afforded excellent trout fishing.
About Victoria there were found, he said, two
species of grouse, — the ruffed grouse and the blue
grouse. The California quail had been introduced
and seemed to be increasing, but sportsmen did not
care much for it, because it did not lie well to a dog,
but ran when alarmed and took to the thickest brush,
where it was impossible to shoot it. In the autumn
ducks and geese occurred in great numbers; and, on
the whole, shooting was good. Their host also told
them there was a considerable variety of big game.
Deer were abundant within a few miles of Victoria;
and it was not uncommon for people, starting out in
the evening, to drive into the country and return the
next night with several. There were some places
where still-hunting could be successfully followed; but
in most cases it was necessary to use hounds to drive
the deer to the water, for the timber was so thick, and
the underbrush and ferns so dense and tangled, that
it was impossible to travel through the forests without
making a great deal of noise.
Their entertainer astonished Hugh and Jack by
telling than that further north on the island, in the 20        JACK THE  YOUNG CANOEMAN
neighborhood of Comox, elk were to be found. They
were not abundant, he said, and were hard to approach
on account of the character of the forest; but they
were certainly there. Bears and panthers were everywhere quite abundant. Sooke, a village about twenty
miles from Victoria, was a great place for bears.
Many of those killed were black or cinnamon; but
it was reported that there were also grizzlies at Sooke.
The panthers were little hunted, except in places where
farmers had flocks or herds to protect. They lived
principally on the deer, which were very abundant.
There were a few wolves, but except in winter they
were seldom seen.
Mr. MacTavish had a good knowledge of natural
history; and he had much to say to Jack, who was
interested in the subject, about the curious forms of
life found in the surrounding waters. When he
heard that Jack and Hugh had come up there to spend
a month travelling among the islands, he told them
that the best thing that they could do would be to
go over to the mainland, and there make the acquaintance of Jack Fannin, a cobbler, living on Burrard Inlet,
as he knew more about the birds and mammals of the
Province than any other man.
" Fannin is the man for you," said Mr. MacTavish,
" and you should see him before you make up your
minds to do anything. He will give you the best
advice possible; and perhaps you can even get him to
go with you. That would be a great thing; it would
add enormously to your pleasure, and would save you
many delays. And as he has mined, hunted, canoed,
and chopped logs over much of the coast, he knows it
as well as any one."
Our friends spent a long, delightful afternoon with
Mr. MacTavish, and when they spoke of returning
to their hotel he would not let them go, but kept them
with him for the evening meal.    They walked back VICTORIA, V. I.
through the clear, cool moonlight to Victoria, and
before they had reached there had agreed that they
would go by the first steamer to New Westminster
to hunt up Mr. Fannin.
The next day when they told Mr. MacTavish of
their decision, he congratulated them on their good
judgment and gave them a letter to a friend in New
Westminster, who would take care of them and see
that they lost no time in finding the man they wanted.
The hospitality and kindness shown the two Americans by Mr. MacTavish was typical of the treatment
they received everywhere in British Columbia. People
there, they found, had time to enjoy life. They did
not rush about, after the headlong American fashion,
but took things quietly and easily. The stores were
opened about nine or ten in the morning, and at
twelve they were closed. The shop-keepers went home
to lunch, appearing again and reopening their places
about two o'clock; keeping them open until four or
five in the afternoon. Then their day's work was over
and they closed up for the night CHAPTER  II
Two days later Hugh and Jack started by steamer
for the town of New Westminster, near the mouth of
the Fraser River, on the mainland. The trip was one
of great beauty, for the boat wound its way here and
there amid the many islands of the gulf; and as each
one was passed a new vista of beauty burst on the
view. And, while the two travellers are sitting on
the steamer's deck, admiring the wonderful scenery
opening on all sides, wondering at the new birds and
animals which appeared, and talking over the possibilities for their summer trip, it may be explained
how it came to pass that these two friends found themselves so far from their homes and from the high,
dry plains where the summers of the three previous
years had been passed by both.
It was six months before — to be exact, it was on
Christmas Day — that the thought of the trip to British Columbia had first been broached. Mr. Sturgis,
Jack's uncle, had come back from the ranch and was
spending the winter with Jack's father and mother at
the house on Thirty-Eighth Street; and it was while
they were sitting at dessert during their Christmas
dinner that Mr. Sturgis had announced that during
the next summer it would be necessary for him to go
out to British Columbia to inspect a mine in which he
was interested, and had proposed that Jack should go
with him.
For three years past Jack had spent the summer on
the western plains.   Ill health had been the first cause BRITISH COLUMBIA 23
of his going out to Swiftwater Ranch, where he had
learned to ride, to hunt big game, and to live the life
of a ranchman. So greatly had he been benefited by
this trip, that the next summer he was permitted to
return to the ranch. Then he and old Hugh Johnson
had travelled north, across the lonely, buffalo-dotted
plains, until they had come to the country of the
Piegan Blackfeet, where they had spent the summer
in the Indian camp, and Jack had seen much of
Indian life — of its charms and its dangers. He returned at length down the Missouri River to the railroad, and so back to his home in New York for the
winter's schooling. The third year, still in Hugh's
company, he had gone up the Missouri River; and
starting southwest from Fort Benton, had gone through
the Yellowstone Park and back to the ranch, having a
great deal of shooting and fishing and not a little of
In this out-door life, in knocking about with Hugh
Johnson and with other people who had been brought
up to take care of themselves, Jack had learned many
lessons of the plains and the mountains. He had
picked up a great store of the lore of the prairies,
could find his way about, even though there might be
neither road nor landmarks to guide him; and, under
Hugh's tuition, had become a good prairie man. He
had also become very fond of the West; and when
his uncle suggested that he should go with him to
British Columbia, he was delighted at the thought of
the trip. Being a boy of good sense, he said nothing
when the suggestion was made, but watched the faces
of his father and mother, to see how they felt about it.
" British Columbia seems a long way off, does n't it,
George ? " said Mr. Danvers to his brother-in-law.
" Yes," said Jack's mother, " it seems a terribly
long way off. I have been badly enough frightened
these last three years, when Jack went out into a 24        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
country full of cowboys and Indians and wild animals;
and I always let him go with the feeling that I shall
never see him again. Certainly the plains are far
enough away for him. British Columbia must be
more than twice as far, and I don't feel as if I could
think of that."
" You and Mary have hit it exactly," said Mr.
Sturgis. " You both say it seems a long way off, but
in practice it is no further off than where Jack has been
before, and, indeed, it is not nearly so far. British
Columbia is at least within reach of the rest of the
world by steam communication and also by telegraph.
You can learn in a very short time what is happening
in British Columbia, but when Jack was out on the
plains, between my ranch and Fort Benton, he was
practically as far off as he would have been in Central
Africa. The distance of British Columbia is all in
imagination. The country is one that we hear very
little of, and for that reason we think it far away, but
it is not so. Now, I would like to have Jack go with
me. I don't mean that I want to take him up into the
mountains to have him spend his days loafing around
a mine while I am working; but I thought — if you
feel like letting him go with me — we would have
Hugh Johnson join us at the railroad, all go on together to British Columbia, and let Hugh and Jack
take a hunt or a canoe trip along the coast, while I
go back to my mine in Washington Territory. I shall
be there a month or six weeks, and after I have
done my work and they have made their trip, we
could meet and come across overland and home by
the new railroad that's being built north from
the Union Pacific to the mining regions of Montana
When Jack heard this fascinating plan he had to
hold hard to his chair to keep still; and he could n't
help drawing in his breath with a sort of whistle, BRITISH COLUMBIA 25
making a slight noise, so that his father looked at him
and laughed a little.
" You both know," continued Mr. Sturgis, " what
these western trips have done for Jack, and yet,
really, I am not quite sure that you do know; I am
not quite sure that you remember what a wee little
bit of a white shrimp he was when he first went out
to the ranch; how he changed during that summer,
and how, when we came back in the autumn, you,
Mary, hardly knew the boy. See how he has grown,
squared up — what a picture of health he is! You
don't know — and perhaps I don't either, altogether;
except so far as I have been told by Hugh Johnson,
what a change has taken place in the boy's character.
He has developed mentally as much as he has physically. He has gained balance, self-reliance; is sensible
beyond his years in all matters that pertain to the outdoor life, and is already, in many essentials, a man
and a good companion, so far as his strength goes, in
any situation where hard work, judgment, coolness,
and discretion are required. All this means a great
deal, more perhaps than any of us quite understand.
If the boy had never gone west, he might have had
a greater share of book learning, might have been
further advanced toward entering college; but also, he
might have been dead, and certainly he would have
been very different in appearance from what he is now.
You two had better think over the question of this trip.
It will mean for the boy another summer spent out
of doors, in surroundings that are wholly new to him.
The life will be one of hard work whether they make
a canoe trip, or a hunt; and it certainly will do him
good. Then, of course, it will give him a great deal
of pleasure, will enlarge his ideas, and will be, in all
respects, helpful to him. Now, think it over, and when
you are ready we will talk it over again."
During the months of the winter, the subject had 26        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
often been brought up. Jack, when he was consulted,
was, of course, eager to go, doubly so after he
had learned that his uncle proposed to take Hugh
Johnson along. At last his parents consented to his
In the spring Mr. Sturgis went west to the ranch,
as was his custom, and arrangements were made for
Jack to come west over the Union Pacific Railroad
as soon as school had closed.
On the appointed day, the train bearing Jack drew
up at the little station nearest to Mr. Sturgis's ranch,
and Jack's uncle and Hugh Johnson stepped on board
the train, while Jack waved an enthusiastic greeting
to Joe, who sat in the wagon that had brought them
from the ranch.
Then the three travellers sped on westward, plunging through the Wasatch Mountains, and at length
reached the Great Salt Lake Basin. They stopped for
a day at Salt Lake City, interesting for its beauty, its
surroundings of great mountains, and its wonderful
lake. Jack had a swim in Salt Lake, and though he
had been warned about it, experienced a curious sensation in swimming in its waters, it being impossible
for him to sink. He swam about, or stood upright
with his whole head out of the water, but found that
diving was very difficult. Then, as he began to dry
off, after coming out of the water, it was curious to
feel his skin become rough with a crust of salt which
had to be washed off with fresh water before he could
As they were going back to the city on the railroad
Jack said to his uncle: " I wish you would tell me,
Uncle George, why this lake is so salt. Of course I
have heard you say that it has no outlet and that the
rivers which flow into it are constantly bringing down
a little salt in solution, which, in the course of many
ages has become concentrated in the lake; but is that BRITISH COLUMBIA
the whole story?   It doesn't seem to me enough to
account for it all."
$ It is n't. Jack; you are quite right about that. The
Salt Lake Basin, of which the Great Salt Lake now
occupies but a comparatively small portion, is simply
the bed of another far older and grander sheet of water
that was once here, which the geologists called Lake
Bonneville. If you take the trouble to look along the
mountains while we are here you can see, at various
levels, the terraces which indicate the height, on the
mountains, of the waters of that inland sea at different
periods. You will see, and in fact you can see from
here," and he pointed toward the mountains, "these
terraces running straight along the mountain sides,
hundreds of feet above the level of the plain. Now,
Lake Bonneville was far larger than any body of water
that now exists on this continent. Its outlet was to
the northwest, in Idaho, toward Snake River; and it
extended southward for several hundred miles. At
last a time came, when, by the elevation of the land,
this outlet was cut off, and we had a body of water
without any outlet. Gradually evaporation, working
for centuries, dried up this lake, and now all that remains of it is the Salt Lake, in which we have just
been swimming. In that water is concentrated much
of all of the salt and soda that was in the greater lake,
as well as much of that brought down by the streams
during the ages that have passed since the old outlet
closed up. Even Salt Lake is believed to be steadily
growing smaller, drying up, and the flats around its
border are now so full of salt and of alkali of one
kind and another that they are wholly infertile and
cannot be farmed.
" The Mormons have made out of the valley of the
lake, however, a perfect garden spot. Once it was a
sage desert, as barren as anything that you have ever
been over, more so perhaps.    Now you can see for 28        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
yourself what grows here, — wheat, rye, barley, oats,
green stretches of graceful corn, great patches of
potatoes, orchards and hay fields; and to me it seems
more like one of the farming States east of the Missouri than it does like a sage desert."
1 Well, that is mighty interesting, Uncle George,
and I am glad to hear it. I sometimes think that I
would like mighty well to study geology. It seems as
if the history of the earth we 're living on ought to be
as interesting a subject as one could take up."
From Salt Lake the travellers hurried west, and
before very long found themselves at San Francisco.
From there a steamer took them north along the rough
and dangerous coasts of California, Oregon, and
Washington to the Strait of Fuca and Puget Sound,
where Mr. Sturgis left them; and finally to Victoria.
Before the three parted, it had been decided that Jack
and Hugh should get a canoe and some Indians and
make a trip through the Gulf of Georgia; and returning, should meet Mr. Sturgis in Tacoma, Washington, whence they would return to the East.
It was almost sun-down, when the steamer which
bore Jack and Hugh approached the wharf at New
Westminster. After they had entered the mouth of
the Fraser River the ride had still been very interesting, for on either side of the steamer appeared at
intervals great barn-like wooden buildings, which some
of the passengers on board explained were salmon
canning factories. Loitering about these were a few
Chinamen, apparently attached to the factories; but
not many people were about, for as yet the salmon had
not begun to run.
As the boat drew up to the wharf, a good many people from the town sat, awaiting its landing. Among
these, Hugh and Jack noticed a tall, well-built man,
who seemed to keep his eyes constantly fixed on them.
At last he bowed< and waved his hand? to which sahi' BRITISH COLUMBIA 29
tation they responded. They wondered who it could
be, for they did not know that Mr. MacTavish had telegraphed to Mr. James to look out for the travellers on
this boat. As soon as the gang-plank was run out,
Mr. James boarded the vessel, and coming up to them
introduced himself. He took them to the hotel; and,
seeing that they had comfortable rooms, left them
there, saying that he would come back a little later
and take them up to spend the evening at his house.
Two or three hours later the three were climbing the
road, on their way to Mr. James's house which was
situated among the stumps of the ancient forest, which
still stood in the suburbs of the town. Here they spent
a delightful evening, and before they parted for the
night it was arranged that the next morning Mr.
Hughes should take Jack out for a little hunt, and try
and show him one of the deer of the country.
" We don't hunt here," said Mr. James, " as you
do back in the States, because we cannot. If it were
practicable, I should prefer, as I should think most
people would, to go out and take up a deer's track,
follow him until I got within range and then, if I
could, kill him; but that is impossible in the forests
we have here. The trees grow over three hundred
feet in height; there is much fallen timber in the
woods, and the logs are from four to ten feet thick.
Besides that, the great precipitation produces such a
heavy undergrowth that it is impossible to go through
it noiselessly. Therefore, if we want deer we are
obliged here, to run the game into the water with
dogs, and kill them there. It is not a sport that I
greatly esteem, but at least we can kill an occasional
deer when we want venison."
" I should like very much to see it done once, Mr.
James," said Jack, " as most of my hunting has been
done in running buffalo, or finding my game and
crawling up to it; and I have been taught that was the 30
most sportsmanlike way to do it. Yet, at the same time,
it is easy to see that it cannot be done in a country such
as you describe."
" Well," said Hugh, " I guess I '11 let you two go and
do your hunting to-morrow morning alone. I don't
think that it's worth while for me to go and see a deer
shot over in the water. Maybe I '11 get up and walk
out there with you, though. I 'd like to stretch my
legs after having been in that boat for so many days."
Before they parted, then, it was agreed that Hugh
and Jack should present themselves at Mr. James's
house next morning as near to four o'clock as possible,
when they would start to hunt for a deer near Mirror
It was still black night when Hugh and Jack arrived at Mr. James's, about four o'clock the next
morning. He was waiting for them, and, seated on
the floor near the stove in the dining-room where he
had been eating his breakfast, was an Indian, whom
he introduced as Squawitch —" The Sturgeon," as
Mr. James explained.
By the time they had left the house the eastern sky
had begun to pale, and day was at hand. It promised
to be a perfect one. The sky was cloudless and no fog
obscured the view. In the east, above the jagged
and broken summits of the Pitt River Mountains, the
stars were disappearing. The sky was beginning to
grow gray and then to flush and glow, each instant
becoming brighter. They walked at a brisk pace,
at first climbing the hill and then passing along
the level lands of the plateau. The three white men
walked side by side in advance, and behind them
came the Indian, leading three splendid hounds, which
from time to time tugged at their chains or whimpered
as some scent from the forest met their nostrils. The
air was cool, fresh, and exhilarating. A gentle breeze
just moved the branches of the great trees, which were
far larger than any Hugh or Jack had ever seen.
From the recesses of the tangled forests came the
sweet balsamic odors of firs and cedars, mingled with
the faint damp smell of decaying vegetation, so characteristic of the forest in all climates. To Ja^k and
Hugh all the trees and all the plants were new.   They 32        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
wondered at the vast size and height of the tree trunks,
admired the maples with their large leaves, the thick
tangle of underbrush, and beneath all the great ferns,
higher than a man's head. They were passing between high walls of foliage, extending far above
them on either side. Above was a narrow strip of
blue sky and before them the yellow road. Multitudes
of bright bits of color appeared along the roadside.
The fireweed, familiar everywhere in the mountains,
shone like a tongue of flame against a background of
green. Here and there, in wet springy places, the
foxglove nodded its tall spikes of red or white blooms;
and besides this there were many other flowers, all
beautiful, but not known by name to the travellers.
One beautiful white low-growing flower attracted
Jack's attention, and he dropped on his knees to examine it, declaring that it must be some sort of dogwood, so closely did it resemble — except in size —
the ordinary white flowering dogwood of the Eastern
States. There were also berries of many colors, and
in great abundance. Many of these Mr. James named
for them as they passed along; salmon berries, red
or yellow, blackberries, green and red, and blueberries
of several kinds; the purple salal, the velvet berry, the
scarlet and as yet unripe panicles of the elder, and the
brilliant fruit of the umbrella plant were all there, and
were constantly inviting them to stop and admire their
To Mr. James, who had lived in the country for
many years, these sights were commonplace. To
Hugh and Jack they were all remarkable and each
one seemed to demand an explanation. But there was
no time for that. Mr. James and the Indian had set
their hearts on getting a deer, and it was necessary
to step briskly to reach the hunting grounds before the
sun had dried off the moisture and " killed " the scent-
They walked so fast that there was little opportunity A MYSTERIOUS  WATER MONSTER     33
for conversation. Nevertheless, Jack found time to ask
some questions.
" I can see, Mr. James," Jack said, " by looking
into this timber, how impossible it would be to hunt
here in the way in which we do in the Eastern States
or on the plains. In the first place, the underbrush
is so thick that one could not see any distance; and, in
the second place, it would be impossible to go along
without making so much noise that the deer would hear
" That's precisely the fact," said Mr. James, " and
therefore, as I told you last night, the only way in
which we can get deer here is by putting dogs on the
track. There are many places on the islands of the
Gulf, where the country is open enough so that one
can hunt on foot quietly, as we used to do where I
lived back in Canada, with a good prospect of getting
an occasional shot, but that cannot be done here. Then,
too, there are plenty of places along the coast where
the deer come down from the mountains to feed on the
grass near the edge of the salt' water, or to eat the
dulse, — a sort of seaweed thrown up by the sea, — and
where they can be shot from a canoe. The Indians
kill a great many in this way; but, except in winter,
when they are driven down from the mountains by the
heavy snows, that is not a method that is very certain."
"If we make a canoe trip along the coast, as we
were talking of doing, there might be a chance of
getting deer along the shore, then ? " queried Jack.
" Yes, you are very likely to do that," said Mr.
James, " and quite likely, also, to see a bear in such
a situation; for the bears often come down to the
shore there, to feed on the seaweed, or to go along
the beach hunting for fish or food of any kind that
may have been thrown up by the sea. Almost all the
animals in this country, certainly all carnivorous animals, depend more or less on the beach for their 34        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
living; and often in the morning, if you go along the
shore, you will see the tracks of bears, foxes, wolves,
deer, and perhaps two or three other species of animals
that have gone along during the night. The beach is
a pretty good hunting ground; and if you make your
proposed trip you will find, all along, trails leading
down from the hills to the water."
For some little time Hugh had been walking behind the others, by the side of the Indian, and trying
to talk to him in sign language; but, though occasionally the Indian seemed to comprehend his gestures, it
was evident that he was not a sign talker. Presently
Hugh spoke to Mr. James, and said: " I like these
dogs you have here, Mr. James; they remind me of
the hounds we used to run foxes down in Kentucky
when I was a boy. Two of them are as handsome
hounds as I ever saw; and the other one, while not so
good a hound, looks as if he were smart enough to
keep up his end of the running all the time."
" You have hit it exactly, Mr. Johnson," said their
owner. " Each of these dogs has its good points,
Captain and Dinah are pretty nearly perfect to look
at. Captain has the best nose of any hound I ever saw,
and a voice like a trumpet. Dinah's nose is not quite
so good as Captain's, but she is considerably faster.
Wallace, as you say, does not look much like a hound,
but he is fast and the very best fighter in the lot, and he
is smart enough to know a good part of the time which
way the deer is going, and to cut in ahead of the others
and take the trail; and often he catches the deer
alone. He is a great fighter; and if he once gets hold
of a deer, he will surely kill it. I had the dogs out on
one of the inlets last year, and was in a canoe on the
water, myself, and I saw Wallace overtake a deer,
running along a narrow ledge on the face of the cliff,
sixty feet above the water. Wallace caught up with
the deer, grabbed him and threw him off the cliff. A MYSTERIOUS  WATER MONSTER    35
He did n't let go, and the two fell into the water below.
I have always thought that Wallace would have been
killed if I had not been there in the canoe to come up
and kill the deer."
" Well," said Hugh, " I suppose it's because I used
to see so much of them when I was a youngster, but
there 's no sort of dog I like so well as a hound. The
long muzzle, and those great long flapping ears and sad
eyes always go right to my heart. If I ever have a
place of my own and can afford it, I will surely have
two or three good hounds; not to hunt with, but just
for company."
" Yes," said Mr. James, " they are mighty nice dogs,
hounds are; but for myself, I like any kind of a dog.
Just at present I have none except these three. But I
want to get a good bird dog; and I can tell you that
is something hard to get in this country."
By this time the sun was up and the brisk walk
was making all hands wipe the perspiration from their
brows. Presently they came to a little trail off to
the left of the road, and here they paused; while
Mr. James said a few words in the Chinook jargon
to the Indian, who, with the dogs, disappeared in the
" Now," said Mr. James, " we are only a little way
from the lake, and I have sent the Indian off to start
the dogs. We may as well walk down to where the
canoe is and wait for him there."
"Well, son," said Hugh, "you go on with Mr.
James and kill that deer if you can. I reckon I '11
walk on a little farther along this road, and look at
these trees and flowers; and then I '11 turn around
and go back to the town. I don't care much about
looking on while you folks kill that deer. I 'd rather
look at this timber, and smell the scents that come
out of it, and see these posies that seem to be growing
everywhere.   If you don't strike me on the road on 36        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
your way back, why, I '11 be at the hotel when you
get there."
" Do just what you wish, Mr. Johnson," said Mr.
James; " but I 'd like to have you come, if you feel
like it. There's plenty of room for three in the
canoe, and we can leave the Indian on shore, and do
our own paddling."
" No," said Hugh, " I guess I '11 have more fun
looking at all these strange things around me than I
would have if I went in the canoe. Jack will be safe
with you, and we'll meet again later in the day."
" Yes," said Mr. James, " of course we will. I want
to have you come up and take dinner with me at noon;
and then in the afternoon we will go over to Burrard
Inlet and see Fannin. You will like him. He is one
of the finest fellows in the world, and it will be a
great thing for you if you can get him to go with you
pn your trip."
" Oh! I hope we can!" cried Jack; while Hugh
said: " I hope so too." Then they parted, and Mr.
James and Jack plunged into the forest while Hugh
walked briskly off along the road. A few minutes'
walk brought them to the border of a beautiful little
lake in the woods, surrounded on all sides by the high
forest. On its shores they sat down; and while Mr.
James lit his pipe he talked and told Jack something
about this sheet of water.
" We call it Mirror Lake," said he, " and on a
morning like this you can easily see how well the name
fits it, for everything is reflected in the smooth water.
It is always a good place to get a deer, for scarcely
anybody hunts here. The Indians never by any chance
go on it. They think that down under the water there
lives what they call a selallicum — that means a supernatural monster. Just what sort of a creature this
is the Indians do not seem to know; but it is some
kind of an evil spirit that lives at the bottom of the A MYSTERIOUS  WATER MONSTER     37
lake; and when anybody goes out on the water in a
canoe this monster rises to the surface, upsets the
canoe, and swallows the people that are in it. The
belief in this monster is held by all the Indians. They
won't go out on the lake. They won't even go near
its margin when they are gathering berries. They
think that I am a fool for daring to go out on it;
and they say that some day the monster will rise
and surely get me." Pausing a moment, the speaker
" One time, when I was hunting on the lake I was
careless in the canoe and upset, and my gun sank to
the bottom, and, of course, I never got it again. The
Indians hearing of this told me that the selallicum
had given me a warning not to come on the lake
again, and that I had better respect this warning.
There is only one Indian in the whole country who
will go out on the lake, and that is Squawitch here.
He is an old friend of mine, and has lots of confidence
in me. But even he will never enter a canoe except in
my company. I don't know just how he reasons about
the matter; whether he thinks that I have some strong
medicine which enables me to defy this monster or
not; but he has been hunting here with me many
times and is always ready to go again. This morning,
though, he told me that an Indian had seen the selallicum on the lake within two or three weeks."
Mr. James paused to refill his pipe, and as they sat
there for a moment silent, suddenly the faint cry of the
hounds was heard in the distance, and Mr. James
said: " There! hear that?   That's Captain.   Listen! "
Presently the shriller cry of Dinah made itself heard,
and as they sat listening to the cry of the hounds, which
gradually grew more and more faint, Squawitch parted
the bushes near them, and, walking along a log toward
the water, drew from the low brush a canoe and two
paddles.   He stepped into the canoe, pushed it ashore, 38        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
and signing Mr. James and Jack to step in, took his
seat in the stern. Mr. James took the bow paddle and
Jack seated himself amidship, Then, with a stroke or
two of the paddles, the canoe shot out of the little cove
on to the unruffled surface of Mirror Lake.
Certainly it well deserved its name! Only a few
hundred yards in width and less than a mile long, it
was surrounded on all sides by a superb forest of
gigantic firs. Along its margin grew a narrow border
of grass or low willows, separating the border from
the dark forest; and beyond that border a fringe of
lily pads floated motionless on the surface of the water.
The little strip of grass, the tall green trees, and the
blue sky above were so perfectly reflected in the clear
water that Jack could hardly tell where the reflection
ended and the vegetation began. Shut in on all sides
by the vast untouched forests, the lake lay there like
a great eye that gazed steadfastly and unwinkingly at
the sky which it mirrored. The light breeze had fallen
as the sun rose, and there was now not the slightest
motion on the water .j The stillness was unbroken for a
time, and they sat listening for the cry of the hounds.
The different inhabitants of the lake and forest, plying their usual vocations, soon began to reveal to the
boy from the East glimpses of their life history.
An old mother golden-eyed duck led her brood of
half a dozen from among some low willows and began
to teach them how to procure their food; calling to
them now and then in low lisping tones, to which the
little ones responded with soft peeping cries. At one
side of the lake a little pine squirrel was gathering
his winter store of green fir cones, which he cut from
the tree and dropped to the ground with a great deal
of noise. So great in fact was the noise, that when it
first began Jack was sorely tempted to ask Mr. James
what it was; but by listening he made out the cause
for himself, and so was glad that he had not inquired. A MYSTERIOUS WATER MONSTER     39
Suddenly over the tops of the bordering trees a pair
of superb white-headed eagles flew silently across the
lake, the hindermost seeming to strive to overtake the
one in advance. But when this happened the foremost
bird, without closing his wings, swung over on his
back, thrust out his talons threateningly toward his
pursuer, and then turned over again, flew onward and
out of sight. A little later two loons settled in the
water not far from the canoe and began to call on each
other with loud mournful cries. It was useless now
to listen for the hounds, for the loons made so much
noise that nothing else could be heard; but at length
they took wing and disappeared.
Now that silence had again fallen over the lake, the
cry of hounds could be heard once more, though far
off and very faint. At length the sound came nearer
and nearer, passing the west end of the lake, and again
grew fainter and at last was lost.
Mr. James had just said with an air of disappointment that he feared the deer had taken water in
Burnaby Lake, when Jack heard the Indian speak in
suppressed but very emphatic tones to his companion.
Following the direction of their eyes, Jack saw something slowly moving through the water at the other
end of the lake. What it was he could not tell. Certainly it did not look like anything that he had ever
seen before. As much as anything, however, it resembled a wooden box two or three feet square, floating on the surface of the water; but, of course, a box
would not be found in such a situation, and would not
move. Jack took it for granted that it was a deer,
because he could not think of any other living thing
likely to be in that place at that time. There was one
man in the canoe, however, who evidently did not
think that it was a deer, and was very much excited
about it.   That was the Indian. L
As soon as the moving object appeared Mr. James
had dipped his paddle into the water and given a hasty
stroke. The Indian did not move, but in a low voice
said to Mr. James in the Chinook jargon: " What is
that there in the water ?"
"The deer," said Mr. James; "paddle!"
" No," said Squawitch, " it is not the deer, it is the
monster. Yes, it is a true monster. We must go to
the shore at once, or we shall all be killed." And he
dipped his paddle into the water as if to turn the
canoe to the shore.
" Keep still," said Mr. James. " I tell you it is the
deer." And then, the moving object having by this
time turned well out into the lake, he added: " Mam-
mo ok" (pull). Giving a powerful stroke with his
paddle, the canoe shot forward toward the mysterious
thing. Jack was listening to what was said, but did
not understand the spoken words. He could see, however, that there was a difference of opinion between
his companions as to what should be done. He thought
he noticed, too, that the first few strokes given by the
Indian were weak and did little to force the canoe
forward; but if they were not strong they were at
least noiseless. Meantime, with all his eyes, Jack was
watching the mysterious object; and as the canoe
advanced toward it the mystery explained itself in a
very simple way, and the Indian's fears were calmed.
They could soon make out a fine buck swimming
slowly through the water, and could see that about his THE COBBLER NATURALIST
horns were twined some long sprays of fern, which
overshadowed his head, and, falling down behind the
horns, trailed through the water. The reflection cast
by this mass of green, and the ripple of the water
behind and on each side of the swimming animal, made
the object vague and indefinite, and the whole was
further blurred by the reflection of the trees near the
margin of the lake. So, until they had come close to
it, it was hard to tell what it was, and its mysterious
appearance was, naturally enough, very alarming to
one who was prepared to see something supernatural.
The Indian believed thoroughly in the existence of the
selallicum in this lake, and, seeing in the water something unlike anything that he had ever beheld before,
at once concluded that the monster had appeared.
The slender canoe flew swiftly over the water and
rapidly drew near the deer, which had not yet seen
them, but was swimming quietly along, no doubt tired
by its long run. Jack, not burdened with a paddle,
and having nothing to do but hold his rifle, studied the
creature as they drew near, and saw that it bore a fine
pair of horns, still in the velvet.
The canoe was within twenty yards of the deer
before the animal saw them. When he did so, he at
once turned toward the shore, and swam rapidly —
almost as fast as the canoe went. Just before he
reached the land, Mr. James said to Jack: " Now be
ready, and kill him as he leaves the water."
Jack rose carefully to his knees, put a cartridge in
his rifle and, as the deer bounded up the bank, fired.
The shot broke the deer's neck, and it fell on the
bank just at the edge of the water.
When he saw it fall Jack felt sorry that he had shot.
Though there was sweet music in the bay of the hounds
as they ran, interest in watching for the deer, hope as
the cry of the dogs grew louder, anxiety lest the quarry
had turned aside and gone away as the baying grew 42        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
fainter, and some excitement in paddling after the
animal, yet he did not like this method of hunting.
After the deer had taken to the water and the boat
had approached it, it seemed as if the animal had no
chance, and Jack lost pleasure in the shot, because he
had too much time to think about it. The struggle
that the deer made to reach the shore excited his sympathies, and now he regretted the shot that he had
fired. On the other hand, it was easy to see, as Mr.
James had pointed out, that in such a land as this still-
hunting was impossible.
The deer having been secured, the task of transporting it to town was left to the Indian, who would drag
or carry it out to the road and wait there for the stage
which would come in during the morning.
Mr. James and Jack started on foot for New Westminster, and when they had nearly reached there they
overtook Hugh, who had had his walk and was now
going back to breakfast. But little was said as to the
killing of the deer, beyond the fact that one had been
secured; and just before they reached Mr. James's
house the latter said to them: " Now, gentlemen, if
you feel like it, let us take the stage this afternoon
and go over to Burrard Inlet, where you can make
Fannin's acquaintance and see what you can do with
him. I am anxious to have you meet him, for he is one
of the salt of the earth. No man in the Province
knows so much about its birds and mammals as he,
and no man can show you and tell you so many interesting things about them. He is an untrained naturalist, but a most keen observer. Then, too, he is a great
hunter, and one of the finest shots in the Province. I
will not say that he never misses, but he misses very
seldom. Now, can you be ready to start on the stage
at two o'clock? It will pick us up at my house after
dinner; and it might be well for you to leave word
at the hotel that we want three seats this afternoon. THE COBBLER NATURALIST 43
It's not likely that the stage will be crowded, but it's
no trouble to order the seats in advance. We will go
over to the inlet and spend twenty-four hours there,
and you will, no doubt, see a good many interesting
things, and can then make up your minds about your
plans for the future." Before there was time givei-
to reply, Mr. James asked: " Have either of you evei
seen white goats ? "
" Hugh has, Mr. James," replied Jack, " but I never
have. I have been in the mountains quite near them,
but I have never seen one, much less had a shot."
" Well," said Mr. James, " there are plenty in the
mountains of Burrard Inlet, and if all goes well you
may see some before you are a week older. You will
find hunting the goats very different from paddling
up to a deer in the water and killing him just as he
climbs the bank to get to shore."
Hugh and Jack now left Mr. James, agreeing to be
at his house about noon for dinner. They had only
made a few steps after saying good-bye when Jack
turned around and ran back to ask Mr. James what
they should take with them to Burrard Inlet: would
they need their blankets ? " No," said Mr. James, " if
you stop at the little settlement of Hastings where
Fannin lives you will not need anything except your
guns, as there is quite a good plain hotel there; but
if you should go off to camp in the mountains, of
course it would be well to have your beds with you.
I think perhaps I would leave word to have them
strapped on to the stage when it starts, and then you
will be safe whatever happens."
Hugh and Jack hurried back to town, but were too
late to get any breakfast at the hotel. However, they
got a bite at a restaurant, and then walked about the
streets to see whatever sights there were until it was
time to go to Mr. James's home. They ordered the
seats in the stage, and saw that their beds and bags
were put aboard. Then down at the water's edge they
looked at the wharves and at the salmon canneries, and
thus whiled away the morning.
Shortly before midday they returned to Mr. James's
house, where they had a delightful dinner, and a little
while afterward took the stage.
To pass swiftly along over the level yellow road
that they had traversed on foot in the morning was
very delightful. The drive was not a long one, only
nine miles, and the stage drew in to Hastings in the
middle of the afternoon. Here Mr. Fannin was found
in the little cobbler-shop, where he spent his bachelor
existence, surrounded by old shoes and new, rolls of
leather, the tools of his trade, bear and wolf skins,
stuffed birds, and a multitude of natural history specimens. Jack thought it one of the most interesting
places that he had ever been in. Mr. Fannin was
kindness itself, and was much interested in the talk of
the proposed canoe trip. But before that had been
long discussed, Jack was asking questions about the
skins of many birds that he had never before seen,
but about most of which he had read and knew of by
pictures. There were specimens of the beautiful little
harlequin duck, whose varied plumage gives it its
name; of the black oyster catcher; of several species of
gulls; of guillemots; of a number of shore birds, which
were new to him, and many birds' eggs which he had
never seen before.
Mr. Fannin was a great talker and a man with a
keen sense of humor. If in any incident there was
anything funny, his fancy was likely to seize upon it.
As the four sat on the grass on the high bank overlooking the inlet, Mr. Fannin pointed across the water
to some low unpainted houses standing among the
timber and said: " There is an Indian village over
there, and I must send somebody over to get Seam-
mux to come across to-morrow morning to go with us THE COBBLER NATURALIST
to the head of the North Arm. I want to have you
see the country up there, and it is possible that from
the river you may be able to see some white goats on
top of the hills. If you have never seen these animals
you will see them now, for you will never have a better
As they sat there Jack saw, not far off and up the
Arm, a fish-hawk dropping through the air to seize
a fish. He touched Mr. Fannin and pointed. They
both watched the beautiful bird until it struck the
water with a splash that sent the spray high in the air
about it.
" Now watch," said Mr. Fannin, " and you may see
an eagle rob that osprey. That's a common sight here;
it is always a beautiful one; but perhaps you have seen
it in other places? "
" No," said Jack, " I never have, although I have
read about it often. By Jove," he added, " there is the
eagle now! " and they saw a white-headed eagle flying
low and swiftly up the inlet. The osprey had already
risen to a considerable height with his fish, and had
started to fly off with it over the woods. But as soon
as he caught sight of the eagle he began to rise in
spiral flight higher and higher, while the eagle followed him in wider circles. Soon it was seen that the
eagle was rapidly gaining upon the fish-hawk, and at
last had risen above it and had made one or two darts
at it. The fish-hawk seemed to avoid these attacks
easily, but perhaps they made it nervous, and presently
it dropped its prey. Shining like a bar of silver, the
fish fell, and was carried off by the wind diagonally
to one side in a long slant. But as soon as it fell the
eagle half closed its wings, fell after it, overtook it
before it had fallen half way to the water, grasped
the fish in its own great talons, and, spreading its
wings, bore the prey off to a tall tree on the mountain
" That was a wonderful sight," said Jack. " I would
not have missed it for anything. I feel as if I should
remember that for a very long time."
" Yes," said Mr. Fannin, " I believe you will; it is
something worth remembering."
" So it is," said Hugh; " it's one of the finest sights
I ever saw. Who would have thought that that eagle
could drop as fast as the fish did, that he could direct
himself so as to catch his prey, and that, after falling
like that, he could stop. There's a whole lot of mighty
wonderful things to be seen out here. It beats my
time altogether."
" Is there any chance of our getting a shot at anything to-morrow morning, when we go up the North
Arm, Mr. Fannin ?" asked Jack.
"Of course I can't tell about that," said he, " but I
should certainly take my gun along, if I were you.
I always take mine whenever I go out. On the islands
up there in the inlet there are plenty of deer; and it's
possible that you might get a shot at a deer any time,
while there 's a bare chance that a goat might come
down to the valley and you might get a shot at him.
Have you shot much with the rifle?"
" Well," said Jack, " I have shot a little. I have
killed the prairie game back on the plains, and a few
mountain sheep; and I have run buffalo and killed
two or three bears."
" Then you 've had quite a little experience, and I
suppose you 're a pretty good shot."
" No," said Jack, " I don't think I am much of a
shot, but I am pretty patient about waiting around
and trying to get the shot I want."
"Ha!" said Mr. Fannin, "that sounds as if you
had learned to hunt with the Indians, or at all events
with some good hunter."
" Well," said Jack, " I have hunted some with
Indians; but the man who taught me whatever I know THE COBBLER NATURALIST 47
about hunting is sitting with us now — and that is
I Well," said Hugh, " you took to it mighty natural,
son. There are lots of people that have had a heap more
experience than you have and can't come near you for
a hunter."
" Well," said Fannin, " I crossed the plains from
Canada in 1861, and of course I did some hunting on
the way; but ever since that time I 've lived here in
the Province, where there's plenty of rough, thick
timber, and where much of the hunting is done at short
range. There 's a great deal of game here, though
not of many sorts, — mostly deer and bear, and, high
up in the mountains, goats. Farther inland there are
sheep, and still beyond that, elk; and then there are
elk on Vancouver Island, but I have never seen any
of them.
" The bears are plenty, and they make themselves
very much at home. It's only a few days since that
one of them came out of the woods just back of the
hotel and went to the hog-pen and took a pig and
walked off with it into the forest. The bear got his
pig and nobody ever got him.
" A year or two ago something of that kind happened, and with it one of the funniest things I ever
saw. A bear came out and took a pig and went off
with it, and an Irishman, working on the place, saw it
go. He picked up an axe and ran down to call me.
I grabbed my rifle and we both started running into
the timber where the bear had disappeared. We could
still hear the squealing of the pig. We had n't got
far into the woods before we came upon an immense
tree-trunk lying on the ground, which we had to climb
over. It was six or eight feet high, and the Irishman
got there a little bit ahead of me. Having nothing
to carry but his axe, he climbed over first and jumped
down on the other side.   I was slower in getting uj^ 48        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
and when I got on top of the trunk and was just
about to jump down, I saw in front of me and walking
toward me on its hind legs a big bear. The Irishman
was standing under me, backed up against the tree
trunk, his hands at his sides and his axe lying at his
feet, while the bear was stepping up to him as if he
wanted to shake hands. The Irishman was too frightened to yell or do anything. He just backed up
against the tree hard. Of course I saw all this at a
glance, and I began to laugh so that I could hardly
get my gun to my shoulder. But, by the time that the
bear was within five or six steps of the Irishman, I
realized that something had to be done; and I fired
and killed the bear.
" It took that Irishman about an hour to recover
from his scare, and it seemed to me that he didn't
get his color back for three or four days."
After a little while the party went into the hotel
and had their supper and then returned to Fannin's
shop. Here, before it grew dark, they saw approaching a tall, oldish, stoop-shouldered man, who walked
with a slight halt in his gait. Said Fannin: " Oh!
here comes old Meigs. I am glad you are going to
meet him. He is an American, an old prospector, who
has spent all of his life mining down in Arizona. He
got a slight stroke of paralysis three or four years ago.
He came up here and is living in a little cabin just
below. He is a good fellow and has seen a great deal
of western life." As Meigs joined the group Fannin
introduced the strangers, and they were soon all talking together.
" I am glad Meigs came," said Fannin, " because
he reminds me of something that happened last year
that I want to tell you about. Two years ago a man
who lived about here thought that he would raise some
sheep. He didn't have money enough to get many,
but he got half a dozen ewes and a ram, and turned THE COBBLER NATURALIST 49
them out to pick up their living along the shore and
in the timber. They did very well for a while. But
presently, when the man started to look them up, he
found that there was one missing, and then another,
and then the old ram disappeared. We never knew
just what got them, but we suspected bears and wolves;
and one day, going through the timber, I found the
skeleton of a sheep, and another day the skeleton of
another. About a year ago I took my rifle and went
out for a little walk in the timber. I went a mile or
two and didn't see anything, and then came back
nearly to the road here. I climbed up on a stump and
sat there for a while, listening to the birds and watching them. Presently, in a trail that passed close to
that stump, I saw the three sheep going along towards
the road. I paid no particular attention to them, but
after they had passed I got down from the stump,
walked out to the trail, and started for the road myself. I could see the sheep not very far ahead of me,
and, as they were feeding along and I was walking
briskly, I got pretty close to them before they reached
the road. They had almost got to it, and I was not
far behind them, when suddenly a bear charged out
of the timber, into the trail, and tried to grab one of
the sheep. They rushed around a little crook in the
trail, and the bear after them, before I could cock my
rifle and put it to my shoulder. I started after them
as hard as I could go, thinking that if the bear followed the sheep into the road I would surely get a
good shot at him and would probably kill him. I
rushed out into the road, and almost into the arms of
Meigs here, who had been walking away from the
inlet; but the sheep and the bear had disappeared.
I said to Meigs: ' Hello, Meigs! What are you doing
here ?' He raised his hand to keep me from speaking,
took a step or two forward, shaded his eyes with his
hand, and looked up the trail by which I had just
come out from the timber. I could not understand
what was the matter with him, and presently I said in
a low voice: ' What is the matter with you; what do
you see ?'
" ' I am just trying to see,' he answered, ' what in
thunder is the next thing that will come along that
" He had been taking a little walk along the road
and got just opposite the trail, you see, when suddenly the sheep rushed out, and then the bear, and
then I came — all going as hard as we could go. It
must have been a funny sight."
" It was," said Meigs, " and for a minute I thought
I was crazy and seeing things that did not exist."
" Tell them about the morning that the wolf chased
you," said Fannin.
" Well," said Meigs, as he pushed down the tobacco
in his pipe and pulled on it two or three times, to get
it going well, " that was quite a scare for me. Of
course I knew that the wolves were not dangerous in
the country I came from, but I did n't know about
them here. Winter before last a wolf came down to the
inlet and stopped right near here. We used to hear
him howling often, and I always believed that he
killed that old ram that Fannin has been talking about.
I set a trap for him two or Jhree times, but he would
not go near it. One morning, just at daylight, I heard
him howling close above the cabin. I jumped out of
my blankets, grabbed my gun, and stepped out to see
if I could get a shot. I could not see him from the
door, and I hurried up the trail, about thirty steps
from the door of the cabin, to where the trail made a
little bend. My rifle was an old-fashioned Spencer
carbine. I don't know whether any of you men ever
saw one ? " and he looked around the circle inquiringly.
" Go ahead," said Hugh, " I know them. They miss
fire half the time, and the other half they are just as THE COBBLER NATURALIST
likely to shoot around the corner as they are to shoot
straight ahead."
" Yes," said Meigs, " you have used one, I guess."
" Well," he continued, " when I got to the bend in
that trail and looked around, there was the wolf a short
hundred yards off, with his fore feet on a log, and his
head toward me, just beginning to howl. I dropped
down on one knee and drew a bead on his breast and
pulled the trigger. The cartridge exploded, and if
you '11 believe me, when the smoke drifted away I
could see that ball from that old Spencer carbine corkscrewing toward the wolf as though it was never going
to get there. In the meantime the wolf had jumped
from the log on which it was standing and started
toward me. I turned round and ran for the cabin.
When I was ten or fifteen feet from the door the
string of my drawers broke, and they fell down around
my ankles and shackled me, so that I could n't run.
I had to come down on my hands and knees and
scramble the rest of the way on all fours. When I got
inside the cabin and slammed the door and looked
back through a crack, of course the wolf was out of
" Fannin thinks that this is a pretty good joke on
me, and maybe it is."
When Hugh and Jack had finished laughing over
Meigs's adventure, Jack began to ask Fannin about
the Indians that lived along the inlet.
"Like most of the Siwashes about here," said Fannin, " they are fish-eating people; though, of course,
they kill a good many deer and some few white goats.
Their main dependence, however, is the salmon, of
which, at the proper season of the year, they catch and
dry great numbers."
" I suppose," said Jack, " that they have lost a good
many of their primitive ways, have they not ? "
"Yes," said Fannin, "they are changing rapidly. 52        JACK THE YOUN£ CANOEMAN
yet within a short time I have seen them use the fire-
sticks to kindle a fire. That does not look as if they
were changing rapidly, does it?"
" No," said Jack, " I should say not. I should
think they would use matches, or if not matches, at
least flint and steel."
" So they do," said Fannin, " for many purposes,
but for some others they use the fire-sticks. And
that reminds me," he continued, " of Dick Griffin's
joke about fire-sticks. He had been chopping logs at
quite a distance from camp, and one day had to leave
his job to come down to the main camp to get some
grub. He started rather late, and when he had got
half way it came on to rain and blow and get dark.
He landed and spent the night in the timber, with
nothing to eat, and with no fire, for he had left his
matches behind, or they got wet or something. It
was still raining when he got to the camp the next
morning, and two or three men were standing around
the fire. Dick paddled in, took his canoe out of the
water, walked up to the fire, and after the men had
exchanged a few words with him, he said abruptly:
* Boys, have you ever seen the Indians make a fire by
rubbing two sticks together?' They all said 'Yes.'
' Well,' said Dick, * I would like to know how long it
takes them to do it. I know it can't be done in one
night, for I spent all last night in trying to make a
fire in just that way.' "
The rest of the evening was spent in pleasant conversation, and many a story was told. Before they
parted for the night Fannin said that he had arranged
to have a little steamer take them up the inlet the
next morning to the mouth of the river flowing into
the North Arm, from which they would have a good
view of the surrounding mountains. CHAPTER V
By eight o'clock the next morning the party had
embarked on the tiny steamer " Senator " on their way
up Burrard Inlet. The little craft carried them swiftly
along past the Indian village on the north bank, past
wooded hills and low grassy points, past rough granite
mountain faces, where the few scattering trees found
scarcely earth enough to support them, and were forced
to drive their roots deep down into the crevices of the
rocks, until, six miles above Hastings, the boat turned
sharply to the left and up the North Arm of the inlet.
Here the hills on either side were nearer together and
appeared higher and more rugged. Their summits
were capped with snow, which, in many of the gorges
and ravines, extended far down toward the water's
edge. The steep rock faces were covered with a harsh
brown moss, which, except when wet, gives an excellent
foothold to the climber. Where the mountains were
not too steep, and soil was not utterly wanting, there
was a dense forest of Douglas firs and cedars, some
of the timber being very large. The various shades
of green of the different trees gave a variety to the
aspect of the forest, as a whole, which had almost
the effect of cloud shadows, and added greatly to the
beauty of the scene. Jack and Hugh did not weary
in watching the constantly changing view. Now and
then the round head of a seal emerged from the quiet
waters, looked for a moment at the boat and then disappeared. Little groups of water birds, disturbed in
their fishing or their resting, rose on wing and flew 54        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
up or down the inlet. From the shores and mountains
on either side, birds, large and small, were constantly
flying across the inlet; and now and then a great fish
sprang from the water, and fell back with a splash
which could be heard.
" I tell you, Hugh," said Jack, " we '11 have things
enough to talk about if we ever get back to the ranch
and tell the cow-punchers there what we have seen on
this trip."
" You 're dead right, son; they never imagined anything like this any more than I ever did; and what's
more, we won't be able to tell it to them so that they
can understand what it is like. That's the worst of
going off and seeing things, — that when you go back
you can't make other people see as you saw, or have
the same feelings that you had when you took them
in with your eyes."
" Yes," said Jack, " talk is a pretty poor thing compared with seeing anything for yourself."
" Now, look at those waterfalls { " said Hugh. " Do
you suppose it would be possible to tell anybody about
those things so that they could really understand how
they look? "
" No," said Jack, " I do not believe anybody could
do that."
Down almost every slope within their view, and
constantly changing as the boat's position changed,
poured beautiful cascades, some of which deserved the
title of waterfall. Though now they carried but little
water, their wide beds of naked rock showed that in
the spring and early summer, when the snows were
melting, they must be mighty torrents, sweeping everything before them with resistless power. Even now
they were very beautiful, and their delicate streams,
stretching like white threads far up the mountain sides,
could scarcely be distinguished in the distance frorrii
. the lines of snow in the ravines;  though, with the AN UNEXPECTED  BEAR 55
glasses, the leaping, wavering motion of the water
could be discerned which distinguished the white hurrying flood from the unmoving snowdrift.
They had passed up the Arm and were just rounding a little point and beginning to get a view of some
low grassy meadows running up from the water's
edge, when Hugh suddenly said to Jack: " Son, I believe that's a bear in that grass "; and Jack, bringing
his eyes down to the meadow's level, saw a small black
object moving about in the grass. Whatever it was,
it had not yet seen the steamer. Jack rushed into the
cabin where Fannin and Mr. James were talking to
the Indian Seammux and, grasping his rifle, said:
" Mr. Fannin, I believe there is a bear out on the
shore." In a moment all were looking at the animal,
and there was now no doubt as to what it was. Fannin stepped around to the pilot house and asked the
captain to steer close to the shore, and also to see that
the boat made as little noise as possible. They rapidly crept up toward the bear; but long before they
had come within rifle-shot the animal saw them, stood
up, looked for a moment or two, and then, turning
about, bolted through the grass and disappeared in
the forest.
" Well," said Jack to Mr. Fannin, " that beats anything yet. I believe if anybody had been in a canoe
and paddled along quietly, that bear would never have
noticed him, and he might have got within gunshot."
" Yes," said Mr. Fannin, " of course he might.
That's just what I 've told you. It's quite possible
that you will see something of that kind more than
once before you get back."
About twelve miles from where the North Arm
leaves the main inlet, the Arm ends in the narrow
valley of the Salmon River. Here the boat anchored,
and here, after some little discussion, it was determined that Jack, Mr. Fannin, and the Indian should 56        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
take the latter's canoe and- go a short distance up the
river to see whether a glimpse might not be had of the
goats that dwelt on the summit of the mountains on
the west side.
In the meantime Mr. James jointed his rod and
set out to try to catch some trout; while Hugh
said that he would go with Mr. James and watch the
The Indian's canoe was light, low, and slender, and
when its three occupants were seated it was low in
the water. Mr. Fannin had with him his rifle and his
shot-gun; the rifle, perhaps, being carried out of compliment to Jack, while the shot-gun was his constant
companion, for he never knew at what moment he
might not see some strange bird.
They had gone but a short distance up the river
when it became necessary for Mr. Fannin and Jack
to land and walk along the gravel bars, for the water
in the rapids was so shoal that the loaded canoe could
not ascend. When the swift water was reached, the
Indian laid down his paddle, took up his pole, and,
standing in the stern of the canoe, prepared to drive
the craft up the stream against the turbulent current.
Quietly pushing it along until he had almost reached
the rushing water, he set his pole firmly against the
bottom, and leaning back against it, sent the light
craft fifteen or twenty feet up the stream, and then,
before its way had ceased, recovered his pole and again
set it against the stones of the bottom. Standing as
he did in the stern, the nose of the canoe rose high
above the water; and, as it rushed forward, reminded
Jack of the head of some sea monster, whose lower
jaw was buried beneath the surface. No matter how
furiously the water rushed, boiled, and bubbled on
either side, the light craft held perfectly straight,
moved regularly forward until, when the rapids had
been passed, Fannin and Jack stepped aboard once AN UNEXPECTED  BEAR 57
more and the paddles were resumed, only to be laid
aside for the pole when another rapid was reached.
Here Jack saw, and was delighted to see, some
familiar friends of the Rocky Mountains, — the little
dippers or water ouzels. On every little stretch of
still water one or more would be started, flying from
rock to rock and bobbing comically at each point where
they alighted. Many of the birds were young ones, not
long from the nest, and were quite without fear, permitting a very close approach before they would fly.
A number of broods of harlequin ducks were startled,
some of them quite large and able to fly, while others
seemed to be newly hatched. Whatever their age,
they seemed well able to take care of themselves, and
could always keep ahead of the canoe until at last
they disappeared from sight around some bend and
were not seen again. Everywhere along the stream
grew the salmon berry bushes, laden with mature or
ripening fruit. The bushes, in their manner of growth
and in their berries, reminded Jack of the eastern blackberries, but the ripe fruit was either red or yellow or
black, all these colors growing on the same bush.
As they passed on up the stream, the white men
sometimes on the gravel bar and again in the canoe,
they saw no other animal life except the ravens and
eagles, which now and then flew over them, going up
and down the valley. At one point were tracks where
a bear had crossed the stream, and at another some
old deer tracks.
At length, about two miles from the mouth of the
river, on a long gravel bar, where the river was wide
and a good view could be had of the summits of
the mountains, they landed to try to see some white
goats. The guns, which had been lying in the canoe,
were wet from the water which had been shipped in
the passage up the rapids, and Jack and Mr. Fannin
took them out to dry.   Mr. Fannin held his down to 58        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
drain and then set them up against a pile of driftwood to dry. Jack wiped the water from his rifle as
well as he could, and walked along with it in his hand.
The three had gone about forty yards from the canoe
when Mr. Fannin and the Indian stopped and began
carefully to look over the hills above them. Jack
looked too, but saw nothing and walked on toward
the upper end of the bar, where there was a huge drift-
log, which he mounted to get a wider view. As he
did so he looked back at the others and saw Seammux
suddenly point across the river and speak eagerly to
his companion. At the same time Mr. Fannin turned
toward Jack and beckoned with his hand. Jack
thought that possibly a deer had shown itself in the
brush and jumped from his perch on the log to run
toward the others. The stones under his feet seemed
to make a tremendously loud clatter as he ran; and,
forgetting that the roar of the water would drown
any noise that he might make, he feared that the
game, whatever it might be, would hear him and run
off into the brush.
He was still fifty yards from the other two when
Fannin again turned toward him and raised his hand
with a warning gesture. Just as he did so there
walked out from behind a bush into Jack's view a
good-sized bear. As he started to run Jack had slipped
a cartridge into his rifle, and, as soon as the animal
appeared, he dropped on one knee and prepared to fire.
The bear, however, was quite unconscious of the presence of man, and Jack waited for a moment in the
hope that the animal would stand still; for, with two
persons looking on, he was anxious not to miss. The
bear was about one hundred yards off, and there
would be no excuse for a failure. It was gathering
berries, and its attention was concentrated on that occupation. Where the fruit hung low the bear reached
up its head like a cow picking apples from a tree, and, AN UNEXPECTED  BEAR 59
winding its long tongue about the stem, stripped the
berries and leaves from it. Again it would stand up
on its hind legs and, reaching the high branches with
its forepaws, pull them down within reach of its mouth.
Two or three times Jack was on the point of pulling-
the trigger, but he waited for a better opportunity,
which came at last. The bear dropped on all fours
and for an instant stood still, with head slightly raised,
facing Jack, who fired at the white spot on the beast's
breast. Just as the trigger was pulled the bear began
to rear up for some berries; but, at the crack of the
rifle, he whirled about and lumbered off into the brush.
A moment later Jack had run up to Mr. Fannin and
asked: " Did I hit him ? " Neither could tell, and
Mr. Fannin sent Seammux to bring the canoe up to
where they were standing, so that they might cross
over to look for the trail.
In a few moments the canoe came up, and in a
moment more they had crossed over and reached the
opposite bank. Mr. Fannin and Jack climbed up the
steep bank and ran to the point where the bear had
disappeared, while Seammux, taking time only to
secure the canoe, followed. They had not gone two
yards into* the bushes when Jack saw a broad leaf
covered with blood, and then thick drops — a plain
trail running into the timber. By this time Seammux
was with them, and they pressed forward on the trail.
Once they overran it for a moment, but a low call
from the Indian told them that he had found it; and,
as they overtook him, he stopped with an exclamation,
and pointed. There, a few yards away, lay the bear
curled up on his side, his paws over his nose. They
looked for a moment, but he did not move, and then,
holding his gun in readiness, Jack walked around
behind and gave the back a sharp push. The animal
was quite dead, the ball having pierced the white spot
and gone through the vitals. 60        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
Though it looked much smaller dead than it had
when living, and though the distance to the river bank
was short, it took some time to drag the bear out to
the river, and then to lower it into the canoe.
A little more time was devoted to studying the tops
of the mountains for goats; then, as the sun was
getting low, they stepped into the canoe, turned the
vessel's prow down stream, and were soon hurrying
merrily along over the dancing waters toward the
river's mouth.
Jack, to whom this method of journeying was new,
found it very exhilarating to fly down the rapids,
dashing by the bank at almost railroad speed, the
Indian now and then giving a stroke of the paddle
to keep the canoe straight, or sometimes to alter her
course when a threatening rock appeared above the
water. The rapids, that had been surmounted with
much difficulty on the way up the stream, now disappeared behind them almost as soon as they were
reached. It took but a short time to gain the mouth
of the river, and the canoe was soon alongside the
There everything was ready for a start. The bear
in the canoe gave those on the steamer a surprise, and
they were much gratified at the success of the short
Just as the steamer was about to start, Seammux
spoke and pointed toward the top of one of the mountains on the north side of the Arm, where two very
minute white spots were seen on the mountain top.
When the glasses had been brought to bear and the
specks had been watched for some little time, it
appeared quite certain that they were white goats.
Although they were so distant that no motion could be
detected, it soon became apparent that these white
specks gradually changed their positions, both with
regard to each other and to surrounding objects.   The AN UNEXPECTED BEAR
day was too far spent to allow any further investigation of them to be made, but as the boat started on its
way down the North Arm, Mr. Fannin assured Jack
that at last he had seen a couple of white goats.
" If you want to see these animals at home," said
Mr. Fannin, " the best thing we can do is to come
back here and climb those mountains to where they
live, and then we can see them and very likely get one
or two. You are in no great hurry, I fancy, and you
would not mind spending a day or two in camping on
the top of these hills. We '11 think it over and make
up our minds about it to-night or to-morrow."
" Nothing would suit me better than just such a trip
as you suggest, Mr. Fannin, and we can talk it over
and decide about it to-night, as you say."
If it had been pleasant coming up the Arm and
the inlet, it was not less so on the way down. The
bird life was as abundant as it had been in the morning. Jack and Mr. Fannin went to the bow and
watched the creatures busy at their feeding.
" Tell me something about that black bird with the
white shoulders, Mr. Fannin. I suppose it is one of
the guillemots, is it not? " asked Jack.
" Yes. That's the pigeon guillemot," said Mr.
Fannin; "a very abundant bird here, found everywhere
on the salt water. It's more plentiful in the Gulf of
Georgia than it is up here in the inlet, but it's plenty
enough everywhere. They breed on many of the
islands, rearing their young in the rocks. They are
industrious little birds, as you see, and are constantly
diving for food. They eat a crustacean which looks to
me a good deal like the crawfish that I used to see
back East; and if you watch, you will see that many
of these birds which fly by the vessel are carrying this
crustacean in their bills. That means, I suppose, that
by this time of the year the young are getting big
enough to help themselves.   I believe that when they 62        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
are very young, though, the old ones swallow the food,
which, after it has been partly digested, is disgorged
into the mouths of the young ones."
" There seem to be some ducks over there near the
shore, can you tell what those are at this distance,
Mr. Fannin?" asked Jack.
Mr. Fannin looked through the glasses and then
replied: " Yes, those are harlequin ducks. Take the
glasses and look at them. Their plumage is easily
recognized even at this distance. They breed here on
the islands, I am told, though I have never found a
nest. The Indians say that they are very much more
abundant on the river than they are down here on the
salt water. I have never seen a nest, and don't even
know where they breed, whether in the grass, or in
holes in the rocks, or in the trees. Of course, you
know that there are some ducks that build in the holes
in the trees?"
" Oh, yes," replied Jack. " Quite a number of them,
though I have never found a duck's nest in a tree; and
I feel that I should be a good deal surprised if I did
find one."
All along the inlet eagles, ospreys, and crows fairly
swarmed, brought there by the abundance of the fish,
which offer food to all of them. Salmon and many
other sorts of good fish run up the Arm, while the
dog-fish — a small shark — is everywhere. There is
no reason why a fish-eating bird should starve here;
and, besides the fish, the crows and ravens find abundant food along the shore in the various sorts of shellfish that are everywhere abundant.
A little later, as the two were sitting on the deck in
front of the pilot house, enjoying the warm sun, the
Indian Seammux came up, and, squatting down beside
them, began to talk in Chinook to Mr. Fannin. After
he had spoken for a few moments Mr. Fannin answered him, and, turning to Jack? said: " Here is AN  UNEXPECTED BEAR 63
something that maybe will interest you. Seammux is
telling me a story about a selallicum that used to live
in the North Arm of the inlet, and in old times killed
many Indians. This monster must have been of great
size. It was peculiar in form, too, being shaped like
two fishes, whose bodies were joined together at the
tail. It used to lie stretched across the mouth of the
North Arm, just beneath the surface of the water, one
of its heads reaching across to the other shore. Whenever a canoe attempted to pass up the Arm, the monster
would wait until the vessel was directly over its body
and then would rise to the surface and upset the canoe,
and devour the occupants. That is all that he has told
me so far."
He spoke to Seammux, who replied at considerable
length, and Mr. Fannin interpreted again. " ' In this
way,' he says, i the monster killed many Indians, for
the North Arm was a great hunting place, and fish
and game and berries abounded along the river, so
that the people had to go there to get them for food.
At last, the loss of life caused by the monster became
so terrible, that the Squamisht Indians had lost nearly
half their people; and now no one dared to go up
the Arm, so that the people feared that they would
" * In one of the villages there was a young man
who had seen the misfortune of his people and pitied
them. He felt so sorry for them that he at last determined that he would sacrifice himself for his race by
killing this monster, even though it cost him his life.
One day he went to his family and bade them good-
by, saying that he was going away and should not
be back for a long time. That day he went into the
mountains and did not return again. In the mountains he fasted for many days, and prayed to the
spirits, and at length one night when he was getting
very weak, he dreamed that a large white goat stood 64        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
near him as he slept and spoke to him, for a long time,
telling him to take courage and advising him what he
should do. The next day the young man went farther
into the mountains and gathered certain roots and
herbs, and after he had dried them and pounded them
into powder, he mixed them with some sacred oil, and
rubbed the mixture over his whole body, leaving no
part of his skin untouched. Then he walked down
the mountains to the shore of the inlet, and dived
into the water. For five, years he lived in the water,
scarcely ever coming out on shore; and in all these
five years he never spoke to a man. He became so
much at home in the water that he could swim faster
than a seal or a salmon, and at the end of that time
his spiritual power was so strong that he could call
up to him the fishes or the seals and lift them into the
" \ Now he was ready to fight the monster. He took
with him two spears, one in each hand; swam to the
mouth of the North Arm, dived under the monster,
and thrust the spears into it. Then there was a fierce
and terrible fight; but at length the battle ended, and
the monster was dead. The young man was badly
wounded, and expected to die. He floated on the surface of the water, like a dead salmon. As he lay
there on the water, he heard the sound of a paddle,
and soon a canoe came by him, and in the canoe sat
his brother. The two recognized each other, and the
brother lifted the wounded man into the canoe and
took him to the shore. The wounded man said to
him: " My brother, take me up into the mountains
and gather there certain roots and herbs. These you
must dry and then cook a little. Then pound them
into a fine powder, mix them with oil of the medicine-
fish, and rub this oil all over me, leaving no part of my
body untouched." The brother did so, and immediately the young man rose from the ground, and walked AN UNEXPECTED BEAR
about, sound and whole. Then the two brothers
walked home to the village, and since that time, the
monster has not been seen on the North Arm.' "
"That's a good story, Mr. Fannin, a bully
story," said Jack. " I wish, though, that I knew
enough about the language to get along without an
" Why, if you are willing to give a little attention
and thought to the matter, you can learn this Chinook
jargon easily enough. There is no grammar to bother
you, and I am sure that you will pick it up very
" I must try and do so," replied Jack, " if I am going
to stay in this country."
That night a council was held in Mr. Fannin's shop,
and the plans of the two Americans were discussed at
length. After a good deal of talking, Mr. Fannin
agreed to accompany them on their canoe trip. He
would go back with them to Victoria when they were
ready, and prepare for the voyage. All hands were
gratified at this decision.
" But now," said Fannin, " before you leave here, I
think that you had better go up to the head of the
North Arm and make a hunt there for goats. Of
course, there's a probability that you may have plenty
of hunting, on the trip, and there is also a probability
that you may have no hunting at all. We may have
good weather and favorable winds, in which case
everything will run as smoothly as possible. We may
have almost continuous rains, and head winds, and in
that case we shall have to work very hard at the paddles all day long, to make any progress at all. I am
like most other people. I always think that any short
trip that I am going to take will turn out well — a good
deal better than I had anticipated; but I have travelled
in canoes so much about the shores of this Province,
that I know perfectly well that we shall meet with 66        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
many difficulties and delays. I do not look for any
" If you feel like making a hunt here I will get
Seammux and another Indian and two canoes, and
we can go up the Arm, to where we were to-day,
climb the mountains, camp there for a couple of nights,
have a hunt, come back here, take the stage for Westminster, and from there go to Victoria. By doing
this, as I said before, you will be sure of at least one
hunt. On the trip you will be pretty sure to kill something, perhaps enough to satisfy you as to white goats.
What do you say? "
" Well, sir," said Hugh, " I am getting to be a little
old to climb mountains, but at the same time I should
like to go up to the top of those that we saw to-day.
I don't care so much about the hunting, but I would
like to go up where I could see off a little way. Almost ever since I left the ranch we 've been in the timber, or else in big towns, shut in so that I have n't had
any chance to use my eyes. I 'm not used to that, and
I would like to have a big view once more. What do
you say, son ? " he added, turning to Jack.
" Tell me, Mr. Fannin," said Jack, " what game will
we be likely to see on top of those mountains ? "
" Well," said Fannin, " I never have hunted there.
I can only tell you what the Indians say. They report
goats as plenty. They say that there are some bears;
and they describe good-sized birds, which I think must
be ptarmigan. At all events they speak of them as
birds about as big as the grouse we have down here,
but as turning white in winter. This of course fits the
ptarmigan. I don't know whether they are the willow
ptarmigan or the white-tail ptarmigan. I should be
delighted if they proved to be the latter. Besides that,
there may be all sorts of rare northern birds up there.
You see, it's pretty high up, quite above the timber
line, according to what the Indians tell." AN UNEXPECTED BEAR
" Well," said Jack, " that sounds mighty nice, and I
vote in favor of going, if Hugh thinks best."
" I say ' go,' " said Hugh. " Now what does Mr.
James say? " he added, turning to the latter gentleman
who sat silent, smoking his pipe.
" Mr. James says," said that gentleman, " that he
wishes with all his heart that he could go with you, and
was not obliged to return to-morrow to New Westminster. By bad luck I have business there which cannot be put off; and so, I must return on the stage.
You others had better stay here and make your hunt,
and then when you come back you can tell me about
So it was decided. The next morning Mr. James
took the stage for town, while Fannin, Hugh, and Jack
began to get Indians, canoes, and provisions together,
for their camping trip in the mountains. OF INDIANS IN ARMOR
The next morning was a busy one for all hands. A
messenger had been sent across the Inlet to summon
Seammux and another Indian, and Mr. Fannin's
camp outfit was brought down from the loft, got together and cleaned; and provisions were bought. By
the middle of the day, Seammux, and an Indian named
Sillicum, had crossed the Inlet, and anchored their
canoes close to the shore. Then the blankets, the food,
and the mess kit were carried down and stowed in the
boat, and by that time it was noon. Immediately after
the midday meal the party set out.
Mr. Fannin had proposed that he and Jack should go
in the small canoe with the lighter load, and that Hugh
should go in the canoe with the two Indians, who,
being stronger and far more used to paddling than the
white men, could move along at a better rate.
" You and I," said Fannin, " although our canoe is
smaller and lighter, will have a good deal harder time
in getting along than the Indians. I suppose that you
have never paddled much, and I haven't either, for a
number of years. But now that you are going to
make a canoe trip you must learn to paddle and must
be able to do your share of the work."
" Of course I have paddled some," said Jack, " in a
birch-bark canoe, but I have never done much of it."
" No," said Fannin, " I suppose you have just
paddled around a few miles for the fun of the thing,
but you will find that if you undertake to paddle here
for hours, or for a whole day, that it gets to be pretty
tiresome work before the sun has set ■* OF INDIANS IN ARMOR 69
" Yes," said Jack, " I should think it would be tiresome. Quite different from riding a horse along over
the prairie."
Mr. Fannin turned to Hugh, saying: " Mr. Johnson, it won't be necessary for you to paddle at all,
unless you feel like doing so. The Indians will do all
that. They are both good canoemen, and all you will
have to do is to sit in the boat and smoke your pipe."
" Well," said Hugh, " I can certainly do that without
much trouble. On the other hand, I think it might
be well to take along another paddle for me, in case we
are in water that is running strongly against us."
Another paddle having been secured, they stepped
on board the canoes, pushed off, and were soon on
their way up the inlet.
The tide was running strongly in from the sea and
for an hour or two their progress was very good. At
first Jack was a little awkward with his paddle, for the
canoe was wider than any that he had ever seen before ; and he was thus obliged to paddle with straighter
arms. Mr. Fannin told him not to pay any attention at
present to the direction of the canoe, but to leave all
that to the stern paddle, which he, himself, wielded.
So Jack paddled steadily on one side of the canoe, but
kept his eyes straight ahead and watched the direction toward which the bow pointed. They reached
the North Arm, and turning north, followed the westerly bank, and about six o'clock reached and passed
up by the island just below the head of the Arm. Here
Fannin spoke to the Indians, and after some little talk
they turned toward the shore; and, when the bank was
reached, unloaded their canoes, and prepared their
camp. The top of the bank was four or five feet above
the water's level, and the soil was quite dry.
Mr. Fannin, looking carefully about for a camp,
chose a somewhat elevated spot; and explained to
the Indians where the fire should be made and the 70        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
beds placed. The Indians each took an axe, went into
the woods and presently returned, dragging a number
of poles, two of which had crotched ends, and were
already sharpened at the bottom. These were driven
into the soil so that the crotches stood about six feet
from the ground. Between these crotches a pole was
laid, and, resting on this pole, and running down to
the ground at a low angle, were a dozen or twenty other
poles, the whole forming the sloping roof of what was
to-be a brush leanto. Then the Indians went off again
and presently returned with armfuls of cedar boughs
with which they proceeded to thatch this roof, laying
the butts up and the points down. It was not long
before they had a thatched shelter, which would shed
a pretty heavy rain. In the meantime, Mr. Fannin
had kindled a fire, in front of the shelter and Hugh
and Jack had brought in a good pile of wood. It was
not easy here to find good fire-wood, however. So
great is the prevalence of rain and fog in these coast
forests that all the fallen tree trunks seemed to Jack
too wet to burn. However, Hugh took an axe and began to cut and split some rather large logs, that, after
the outer spongy layer of moist rotten wood had been
passed, were found to be perfectly sound and dry.
The Indians now began to cook the evening meal of
fried bacon, fried potatoes, and coffee; while the others
brought the blankets from the canoes and spread their
beds under the leanto so that their feet would be towards the fire. By the time this had been done, Seammux announced that the food was ready, and before
long the members of the party were sitting about the
fire, highly enjoying their meal. After they had eaten,
Jack said: " I see, Mr. Fannin, that you have brought
your shot-gun along, this time, just as you did yesterday, when we came out here. Do you carry it with
you everywhere ? "
"No," said Fannin, "not everywhere; but I gener- OF INDIANS  IN ARMOR 71
ally mean to have it with me whenever I go any great
distance from home, and am so fixed that I can carry it
and a few shells. Of course, I often go out hunting
just to get meat, and then I leave the shot-gun at home;
but when I go out hunting for pleasure, and especially
when I go into a new country, I always try to carry it;
for one never knows when he may see a new bird, or
at all events a bird that he cannot recognize. I would
rather get hold of a bird that I 've never seen before,
than kill almost any game that can be found in the
country. Of course, if I were up in Vancouver Island
in the country where the elk range, I would not carry
the shot-gun, because I would want to get an elk more
than any bird that I should be likely to see. A good
many of those elk have been killed, of course, but I
don't know that any of them have ever fallen into the
hands of a naturalist; and we none of us know what
they are. They may be the same elk that are found on
the plains and in the Rocky Mountains, or they may be
something quite different. I should like to be the man
to bring out a skin of one of those animals and to have
it compared with the elk that we know so well. I
have seen two or three heads of the Island elk, and
to me they don't look like the elk of the East, but it's
a long time since I saw an eastern elk, and maybe I
have forgotten just how it looks."
" Are those elk plenty ? " asked Jack. " Mr. James
spoke about them, but he didn't seem to know much
more than the fact that there were elk up on the Island,
back of Comox."
" No one knows much about them," replied Fannin.
" They live in the thick timber, high up on the mountains, and mainly on the western slope. The Indians
kill them sometimes, and bring in the skins and sell
them, but not often. Most of the skins they use to
make clothing of, or else for ceremonial robes, or for
armor." 72        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
" Armor ?" queried Jack; " that is something new
to me. I never knew that Indians wore armor. They
have shields, of course; and I 've seen plenty of these;
and a very good protection they are, for they will stop
an arrow, and are likely to turn a ball from an old-
fashioned trade gun.   Is n't that so, Hugh? "
" Yes, son," replied Hugh, " that's all true enough;
but Indians do wear armor sometimes; or, at least,
there are stories told of their wearing armor, but it
was always something that they had got from the white
men, and not anything that they had made themselves."
" Why, how 's that, Hugh ? That's something that
you never told me, and I don't think I ever heard the
Indians speak about it."
I Maybe not," said Hugh, thoughtfully. " When
I come to think of it, I don't believe the Blackfeet ever
had-anything of that kind; but the Pawnees did, and
so did the Cheyennes and the Arapahoes. I will have
to tell you that story some time."
" Tell it now," said Fannin; and Jack added: " Yes,
tell it now, Hugh."
" Well," said Hugh, " it's quite a long story, but
I '11 tell it to you if you like. But before I begin I '11
tell you how I first heard about this armor. Way
back, more than twenty years ago, I used to hear the
Pawnees talk about an iron shirt that they had. They
talked about it pretty freely, but I never got to see it.
As near as I could tell, it was something to be worn on
the body; perhaps hung around the neck and tied
around the waist and under the arms. In other words,
it did n't cover up the whole body, but was something
like a breastplate, — something that would just protect a man's breast and belly if he were shot at or cut
at from the front.
" Years after that, when with the Cheyennes, I heard
about a shirt, an iron shirt, that they had; and when
they talked about it, as they often did, I found out that OF INDIANS IN ARMOR 73
this shirt that the Pawnees had they had captured from
the Cheyennes, who once owned that and a lot more
things like it; in fact, a regular suit of iron clothes.
There was a cap made of steel, with a kind of a mask
that let down in front over the face; and a sort of a
cape from behind that covered the neck. There was
a coat that covered the whole body and the upper part
of the arms, and laced up on one side; while there was
a pair of leggings that covered the legs from the waist
down to the ankles. According to the Cheyenne's tell,
the man that had this suit of clothes on could stand up
and let people shoot at him all day long and he never
would be hurt. But they said that these clothes were
so powerful heavy that they were very hard to wear;
that a man dressed up in them could hardly mount his
horse, and that if he tumbled off and fell down, it was
all that he could do to get on his legs again. For this
reason they never wore the whole suit of clothes; but
they would take a part of it and wear it into battle,
and of course the man who wore it could go right into
the thick of the shooting, and the arrows and the bullets
would not hurt him at all, unless he happened to be
hit on some part of his body that was not covered.
"Now, I think it was along about 1852 that the
Cheyennes and the Pawnees had a big fight on Republican River. A big war party of Cheyennes, Sioux, and
Apaches, Kiowas and Comanches had gone out to kill
all the Pawnees; they were going to wipe the Pawnees
off the earth. They found the Pawnees hunting
buffalo on the Republican River, and attacked them,
and they had a big fight, in which quite a number were
killed on both sides, and among them a lot of the
bravest of the Cheyennes. A big chief, 'Touching
the Cloud,' wore a part of this iron clothing — only
the leggings, they say, spread out over the breast. He
had been very brave, and the Pawnees hadn't been
able to hit him at all.   During the fight he charged on 74        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
a single Pawnee, who ran away. The Pawnee and
Touching the Cloud were both mounted, and Touching
the Cloud, who, notwithstanding his armor, was n't taking any chances, rode up on the right-hand side of the
Pawnee to strike him. Of course you can understand,
that coming up on the right-hand side the Pawnee
could not turn around on his horse far enough to shoot
back with his bow; whereas, if the Cheyenne had ridden up on the left-hand side, the Pawnee could have
turned around, and, pulling the bowstring with his
right hand, could shoot at the Cheyenne. But as bad
luck would have it, this Pawnee that Touching the
Cloud was going to strike was a left-handed man; so
just as the Cheyenne was going to strike him he
whirled around on his horse and shot an arrow which,
more by good luck than skill, I reckon, struck the
Cheyenne in the right eye and went through his
" That about ended the fight, and the Cheyennes and
their party went off licked.
" That was one of the biggest misfortunes that the
Cheyennes ever had, for Touching the Cloud was a
brave warrior, a wise man, and one of the handsomest
among the Cheyennes. He had been the orator for the
Cheyennes at the Horse Creek Treaty in 1851; and
later had gone to Washington; and then, soon after
his return, was killed, as I tell you."
" Well," said Fannin, " that's an interesting story,
and that Indian was certainly in mighty hard luck. I
guess it was fated that he should die."
" Well, Hugh," remarked Jack, " that's one of the
best stories I ever heard, and it's queer that you never
told it to me before. I guess there are lots of interesting things that you have seen and know that you have
never let me hear about."
" Maybe there are, son; but it does seem to me that
I 've done a heap of talking since I 've known you; OF INDIANS  IN ARMOR
more maybe than I 've done in a good many years
" But where did this armor come from, Hugh ?"
asked Jack.
" Well, I was going to come to that. You see, after
Touching the Cloud was killed, the Pawnees captured
the armor that he had, and have kept it ever since. The
rest of the clothes the Cheyennes had a few years ago.
I don't know what has become of them.
" I asked particularly where these clothes came from,
and the story the Cheyennes tell is something like this:
A good many years ago, I don't know whether it was
fifty or a hundred years, one of them Mexicans that
used to come up trading from the South brought this
suit of clothes with him, packed in a box. After he
had been trading for a while in the Arapahoe and
Cheyenne camps, he opened the box one day and took
out these iron clothes, and showed them to the Indians.
Pretty soon there were two or three of them that came
to understand that an arrow or a bullet could not go
through these clothes, and then they wanted to trade
for them; but the Mexican let on that he did n't want
to sell them, and packed them again in the box and put
them away. You see, the Mexican could count on getting a big price for these things, for the Indian who
owned them could figure on being a pretty big man.
In the first place, he would be safe in going into battle;
and in the second place, he could do such brave things
that he 'd get up an almighty big name for himself
right away; and in the third place, all the tribes that
he went to war against, would soon learn that he could
not be hurt in battle and would think that he had some
powerful medicine or helper, and so they would always
run away when he was with a party that attacked them.
So the possession of these iron clothes would make a
man famous for bravery, and that is the thing of all
others that Indians are eager for.   Well, the upshot 76        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
of it was that these Indians began bidding against each
other for the iron clothes; and at last an Arapahoe
gave the Mexican three or four buffalo horses for
them, and got them. After a little while, however,
he found out that there were some things about the
suit that made it a less desirable piece of property than
he had supposed; and when a Cheyenne offered him
a great price for it, he sold it to him; and so it passed
from hand to hand, parts of it often being worn in
battle, and always, or almost always protecting the
wearer from any harm. That's all I know about the
iron shirt. I expect it was one of those old coats of
mail which the Spaniards used to wear in early days
when they first came to America."
Hugh stopped, refilled his pipe, which had gone out
while he was talking, leaned over and took up a coal
out of the ashes and deftly applied it to the bowl of the
pipe; and then, after getting the tobacco well alight,
turned to Fannin and said: " Now tell us, friend, about
this armor that your Indians out here use."
" Well," said Fannin, " this armor is not of white
man's make. The Indians fix it up themselves. They
make long shirts of elk-skin, and sew into them straight
pieces of wood, sometimes round, and as thick as your
finger, sometimes flat and a little wider than a common
lath. The elk-skin and the wood make an armor that
will stop an arrow or a knife thrust. It's a pretty
clumsy article of clothing, and an Indian who wears
one of these coats of mail can't get around very easily;
but he 's pretty well protected, and I guess feels a whole
lot braver with such a shirt on than he would feel if he
were naked."
" I guess he does," said Hugh. " It's curious the
way they worked that thing out for themselves. Now,
I can remember when I first came out on the plains that
sometimes the trappers, if they were in a bad place and
surrounded, used to wear shirts of the skins of two OF INDIANS IN ARMOR
black-tail deer, — one in front and one behind and tied
under the arms. They said that those skins, when
wet, would turn an arrow. I wonder if they got that
from the Indians ?   I would n't be a mite surprised.
" I have heard, too," he added, " that there are some
other Indians that use armor of this kind; and that
the Pueblo Indians that live down South in Arizona
and New Mexico use a sort of basket work to protect
themselves in war. Somebody told me once, but I can't
remember who it was, that some of the Southwest
people wore shirts lined with cotton that would stop an
arrow; and I know for sure that some of the plains'
Indians wadded their shields with buffalo hair or with
feathers, which also helped to stop the arrows. I expect
likely there 's a good deal more of this armor business
than we know anything about. For all I know, maybe
there have been books written about it."
" Well," said Fannin, " we ought to get an early
start to-morrow morning if we are going to go up to
the head of the Arm and climb the mountains. I guess
we 'd better turn in."
" I reckon we had," said Hugh; while Jack said:
" I 'm not a bit sleepy, and I wish you 'd both go ahead
and tell some more Indian stories."
" Too late now," said Fannin. " I guess we '11 have
plenty of time for Indian stories a little later;" and
before long they had all turned into their blankets. CHAPTER VII
They were early astir the next morning. It took
but a little while to get breakfast, and to load the
canoes, which were soon on their way up the North
Arm. By noon they had reached a point at the foot
of the large island near its head, above which rose the
great bare peak which they had seen two or three days
ago, and on which lay a large bank of snow. Here
they landed. They unloaded the canoes, and, taking
them out of the water, carried them a little distance
into the forest and covered them with branches. Then
the blankets and provisions were made up into back
loads, and, the Indians bearing most of the burdens,
the party set out to climb the mountain. It was a
long, steep clamber, and it was not until five and a
half hours later that they reached the border of the
timber, from which the unwooded summit rose still
Seammux advised making camp on the edge of the
timber, declaring that a camp-fire made higher up on
the mountains, where the goats ranged and fed, would
be likely to frighten them; and before camp was made
and supper cooked and eaten, darkness settled down,
so that there was no opportunity that night of seeing
anything in the hunting grounds. The climb had been
a difficult one, and especially hard on the white men,
whose muscles were unused to this sort of exercise.
There was no disposition for conversation, and all
hands sought their blankets soon after the meal was
The next morning they were up by daylight; and
after breakfast, leaving the timber behind them, started
toward the summit, passing up a beautiful grassy
swale, toward the higher land. It was absolutely still,
except for the occasional call of a gray jay in the timber
or the chatter of a flock of cross-bills.
Just before they reached the summit a dense fog
settled down over the mountains and at once cut off
every distant view. The air was cool, the fog heavy
and wet, and, as it was useless to travel through this
obscurity, they halted and sat about waiting for the
air to clear. As they sat there, impatiently hoping that
the mist would clear away, suddenly out of the fog,
and close by them flew two birds, which looked to
Jack like cedar birds, but cedar birds bigger than he
had ever seen before.
" Bohemian Waxwings," said Fannin, as he grasped
his shot-gun. He rose to his feet to follow them,
when the older Indian spoke to him warningly, and
after an exchange of a few sentences Fannin sat down
" What is it, Mr. Fannin? " asked Jack. " Are you
going to try to get them ? "
" No," said Fannin; " I wanted to, but Seammux
here says if I fire a shot it will scare the goats, and we
shall not see one to-day. I don't believe it; but on the
other hand, I don't know half as much about goats as
the Indian does; and as we came up here to get goats,
I am not going to do anything that might interfere
with our getting them."
" Of course I don't know anything about goats,"
said Jack; " but I 've heard that they are very gentle
and not easily disturbed by noise. That's what the
Indians have told me, but of course we can't tell how
true it is."
" Yes," said Hugh, " the Blackfeet and Kutenais all
say that you can fire many shots at a goat; and others, 80        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
not far off, within easy ear-shot of the firing, will pay
no attention to the noise."
" Well," said Fannin, " we came up here to get
goats, and those are what we must try for."
It was nearly noon when a light breeze began to
blow, and the fog seemed to grow thinner; and a little
later, without the least warning, the great bank of fog
which had hung over the mountains rolled away, and
the sun burst forth from a cloudless sky. They could
now see that they were on the crest of a mountain ridge
that separated the valley of the North Arm of Burrard
Inlet and Salmon River from that of Seymour Creek
to the west. The divide they were on was broken and
uneven, made up of sharp ridges, deep ravines, and
rounded, smooth and sometimes almost level stretches.
Everywhere on the high divide, except on the tops of
the rocky ridges, the ground was covered with heather,
soft and yielding under foot, yet good to walk over.
As they moved along the ridge, they could see at almost
every step fresh signs of goats. None were in sight,
but this meant nothing; for although the country was
open and the eye could cover miles of territory, in any
direction, yet the ground was so broken that goats
might be anywhere close to them and still be out of
After a little while Seammux left the party and
started down the side of the ridge toward Seymour
Creek; but he had hardly gone two hundred yards
when he dropped to the ground, clambered up a short
distance toward them, and made signs for them to
"There," said Fannin, " Seammux sees something;
I hope it's in a place where we can get to it."
" I hope so," said Jack, " and that it's not too far
down the hill. Anything that we kill down there of
course has got to be carried up again."
" Well," said Hugh, " the easiest way to find out SEAMMUX IN DANGER
where it is, is to go down to the Indian; but go carefully ; this plant under foot is mighty slippery, and you
don't want to fall down and break your gun or knock
off the sights."
They scrambled down to the Indian, who, as they
approached, made signs for them to be cautious. When
they had reached him, he pointed to the top of the bank
below him, and they advanced to look over it, supposing that they might see goats, three or four hundred
yards away, that would have to be carefully stalked.
But instead of that, when they peered cautiously over
it, there were four of the white beasts placidly feeding
on the hillside, within thirty yards of them. The curious
animals stood knee-deep in the heather, and seemed to
be carefully picking out certain plants which grew here
and there among it. Their horns were sharp, shining
black, and directed a little backward; and on each
chin was a beard, reminding one of that of a buffalo,
and easily explaining the common name " goat " given
to them. The animals seemed so unsuspicious that
Fannin hardly felt like firing at them; but to Jack,
who had never before killed a goat, no such thought
occurred. He was anxious to secure his animal. There
were four shots, for the young Indian, Sillicum, carried
a musket, though Seammux had none; and it was but
a moment before the four goats lay stretched on the
mountain side.
" Well," said Jack, as they stood over the animals
which the Indians were now preparing to skin, " that
is about the simplest piece of hunting that I ever did.
These goats don't seem to be much more suspicious
than so many buffalo."
" No," said Hugh, " they are certainly gentle beasts,
and that's just what I 've always heard about them
from the Indians."
" Well," said Jack, " now that I have killed one goat,
I don't feel as if I cared very much to kill any more." 82        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
" No," said Mr. Fannin, " there 's not much sport
in it. You must remember that these goats are scarcely
ever disturbed, for no white men ever come here to
hunt; and I don't believe the Indians come once in
five years. It's very possible that these goats never
saw a man and never heard a shot before to-day."
By this time the Indians had dragged three of the
goats to a level spot, where they could work, and then
went off to bring the fourth one. Seammux had just
seized it by the hind leg to pull it up to this level place,
when suddenly the goat came to life, sprang to its feet,
and began to run down the hill, dragging Seammux
after it. The Indian was plucky and would not let go,
and his companion hurried to his aid. The ground
grew more and more steep, and presently the Indian
and the goat fell and began to roll over. Fannin, fearing lest Seammux might get a bad fall, shouted:
" Kloshe nannitch (Look out), Seammux." Seammux
loosened his hold of the goat, and tried to stop himself
by grasping at the grass and weeds; but his momentum
was too great. The goat continued to roll down the
hill, and disappeared from sight; and Seammux, rolling after the goat, also disappeared.
" I am afraid he may have had a bad fall," said Fannin, as he started running down the hill toward where
the Indian had vanished. Sillicum had seated himself
on the ground at the top of the steep place, and was
slowly hitching himself down toward what seemed to
be the edge of a cliff. Hugh and Jack were close behind Fannin. When they reached the top of the steep
place, which was only fifteen or twenty feet high, Hugh
said: " Hold on here; I '11 anchor myself to this little
tree, and reach my gun down; and you, Fannin, let
yourself down by it as far as you can, and reach your
gun down, and Jack can get to the edge. He's the
lightest of the lot."
" Will he be sure to hold on? " inquired Fannin. SEAMMUX  IN DANGER 83
" Yes," said Hugh. " Don't bother about Jack,
he '11 do it." It took but a moment for Hugh to pass
his arm around the tree; and, holding his rifle by the
muzzle, he stretched it down the slope, and Fannin
quickly passed down. Grasping the rifle above the
stock, he reached his gun down nearly to the edge of
the slope. Jack quickly scrambled down beside them,
and, holding on by Fannin's gun, at last found himself
on the edge of the sheer cliff; and looking over, he saw,
but a few feet below him, caught in the top of a fir tree
that grew in a crevice of the rock, Seammux, looking
anxiously up at him. Below him there was a fall of
a hundred feet or more, and on the rocks, at the bottom
of the cliff, lay the carcase of the goat.
" Hurrah! " said Jack. " Hold on, Seammux, we '11
get you up all right! " Then he called back to Hugh
and Fannin: " He's caught in a small tree, not more
than ten feet below where I am, but I can't reach him.
If we get a rope we '11 have him out of that in two
" All right," said Fannin, " that's easily done. Sillicum and I will go back to the camp and fetch the
guys on the tent, and any other rope that's there. It's
only a little way, and we '11 be back in fifteen minutes.
What sort of footing have you, Jack ? "
" Perfectly good," said Jack; " there's a lot of
gravel and broken stone here, on which there is no
danger of slipping.   I could stay here for a week."
" Well," said Hugh, " make a safe place before you
let go Fannin's gun; and then stop there in sight of the
Indian.   It will make him feel easier, that way."
Jack stamped out a place where he could stand and
even sit, and spoke a few words to Seammux, though
the latter, of course, did not understand what he was
Fannin called out to the Indian, in a loud voice, telling him that they were going for a rope and would 84        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
soon have him out of his trouble. Seammux shouted
back. Fannin and Sillicum climbed up the steep hill;
and, leaving their guns behind them, started on a trot
for the camp.
To those who were watching at the edge of the
cliff, they seemed gone a long time, but it was really
only fifteen or twenty minutes before they came back
again, each carrying a coil of rope.
" Good! " said Hugh. " I 'm glad you 've got back.
It seemed a long time to us watching here, and a good
deal longer to Seammux. How much rope have you
got ? Why, that's bully! There's forty feet in one of
those coils, and as the rope is a little light, we '11 just
double it."
He knotted one end of each coil about the little
tree, to which he had been holding; and, tossing the
other ends to Jack, said: " Now, son, double this rope
and then throw it over the Indian, and tell him to put
it under his arms. How 's the edge of that rock there ?
Is it sharp and likely to cut the rope, or does the soil
and grass overhang it ? "
Jack knotted the rope, and called back, saying: " No,
there 's no sharp edge to be seen; the earth and the
grass run right out to the edge of the cliff and seem
to overhang a little."
" Very well," said Hugh. " Pass the rope to the
Indian, and then tell us when you are ready for us to
begin to pull up."
Jack called to Seammux and made a sign that he was
going to throw the rope to him. Then tossing it out,
it passed over the Indian's head and one shoulder, and
was caught on one of his arms. Jack motioned to
Seammux how to fix the rope, and he did so; and then
the men above took in all the slack, so that the rope
was taut. Then Seammux slowly and carefully began
to turn around in the tough bending tree that held him,
and to work in toward the face of the cliff; and the SEAMMUX IN DANGER
men above began slowly to haul in on the rope. There
was a moment or two of anxiety, while the rope at the
edge of the cliff could be seen to swing and twist a
little; and then the hand and arm of the Indian appeared above the cliff, and presently the head. In a
moment more he lay with his breast on its edge, clutching the weeds and grass with a vise-like grasp. After
a moment's rest, he wriggled on and raised himself;
and, helped by the rope, in another moment he stood
beside Jack, unharmed, but panting hard.
" Now, son," said Hugh, " take hold of that rope
and come up here." Jack did so, and was immediately
followed by Seammux. All climbed up to a level place
and threw themselves on the ground, Seammux still
panting from his exertion, and the others greatly
relieved that the danger was over.
" Well, friend," said Fannin in Chinook, addressing the Indian, " you wanted that goat so badly, why
did you go only part way with him; why did n't you
keep on to the bottom ? "
" Ha! " said Seammux. " I didn't want the goat.
I thought that I could keep him from having a bad fall,
but I held on too long. I could n't stop him, and when
I wanted to stop myself, I could n't do that, either."
" Well," said Fannin, " you 're a lucky man. You
must have a powerful helper who caused you to roll
over the cliff just where that small tree stuck out."
" You speak truth," said Seammux. " I shall make
a sacrifice to that person when I get back to my house."
After resting a little, they climbed farther up the
hill to where the three goats lay, and the Indians began to skin them. They were the first goats that Jack
had seen, and he was much interested in examining
them. He wondered at the short, sharp, shiny horns,
and the short, strong legs, the great hoofs with their
soft pad-like cushions on the soles; and the great dew
daws, which were worn and rounded, showing that 86        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
they were of use to the animal in climbing up and down
the hills. Hugh pointed out to him a curious gland
close behind the base of the horn; and when he smelled
of it, as advised to do, he was almost overpowered by
the strong odor of musk that came from it.
" Well now, son," said Hugh, " is there no animal
that these goats remind you of ? "
" There's one," said Jack, " and I thought of it
when I was pulling the trigger.
" They remind me a good lot of the buffalo. Look
at the hump on the back, the low hind quarters, the
legs with the long hair down to the knees, the shaggy
coat and beard. These are all things that suggest
buffalo, yet I suppose this animal here is not closely
related to the buffalo. In fact, I am sure they are not;
because my uncle has told me that they were antelope;
but I am sure they look more like buffalo than they do
like the antelope we see down on the prairie."
" You are right," said Hugh. " They look to me a
good deal more like buffalo than antelope; but then
Mr. Sturgis has talked to me about antelope, too;
and he says that this antelope that we have here on the
plains, is n't a regular antelope, but is a kind of an
animal by itself, that has n't got any close relations
anywhere else in the world. He says that the real
antelopes are found mostly in Europe and Asia and
Africa, and that these here goats are the only regular
antelope that we 've got in America."
" Yes," said Jack, " that's so; that's just what he
has told me, and I expect he knows."
" I reckon he does, son," said Hugh.
" Yes," said Fannin, " that's all gospel, I expect.
I don't know much about these things myself, except
what I 've read in books, but I have read just that."
By this time the Indian had skinned and cut up two
of the goats, and Fannin said: " Well, let's leave the
Indians here and go on a little way farther, and see SEAMMUX IN DANGER
what else we can find." He picked up his shot-gun
and said to Seammux: " Carry my rifle, Seammux,
so that if you see any game you may have something
to shoot with." Then, Fannin carrying the shot-gun,
the three began to climb toward the summit, working
along just below the ridge.
They had not gone very far, when close to the top
of another ridge, running out from the main divide,
they discovered a large billy-goat walking along the
very edge of the cliff. He was some distance from
them, and though they were in plain sight and made
no effort to conceal themselves, he paid no attention to
them. When they had come within three or four hundred yards of him, they sat down to watch him. He
was feeding along, walking slowly, and stopping now
and then to nip some plant which he liked. Soon he
turned sharply down the almost vertical cliff, and
worked along slowly and without any apparent caution,
farther down, about thirty or forty yards to where
grew a large broad leafed plant, which, Fannin said,
the Indians reported to be a favorite food of the animal.
Here he stopped and began feeding.
As they watched him, and commented on his slow
and clumsy, yet absolutely confident movements, a loud
hoarse call, almost like that of a raven rapidly repeated,
sounded on the mountain side just above them. All
turned their heads to look, and saw a flock of eight
grouse standing with outstretched necks, gazing at
" Ptarmigan! " said Fannin. " I must have these."
Loading and firing in quick succession, he shot the
eight birds. " I hope they are white tails," he said.
" These are the first that I have ever seen, in this part
of the country; " — and he clambered up to gather his
" Look at that goat! " cried Jack; and they turned
their heads to look at the animal, which was still feed' 88        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
ing on the very edge of the cliff in the same unconcerned manner as before the shots had been fired.
Yet he could not have failed to hear them, for the
Indians, who were much farther off, afterward spoke
of hearing the reports.
The birds were not the white-tailed ptarmigan, as
had been hoped. Besides that, they were in the last
stage of moult; the plumage was worn and ragged,
and they were hardly fit to skin, Fannin said. But it
was interesting to Fannin and to Jack to have found
them on these mountains.
Leaving the goat still enjoying his meal, our friends
pushed on. They climbed a high peak from which the
whole range was visible toward the north and the south,
and far off to the south the two Indians were seen
apparently approaching some game.
Before either had fired a shot, a heavy fog obscured
the whole scene; but through it, a little later, came the
sound of shot after shot until nine had been counted,
and Hugh remarked: " Sounds like a battle down
there." They learned later that Seammux had fired
nine shots at one goat before getting it, and his expenditure of ammunition was the cause of more than
one joke at his expense.
By this time having had all the hunting of goats
that they wanted, they decided to return to the camp.
Before reaching it they were joined by the two Indians,
each carrying on his shoulders a heavy load of goat
skins and meat. They had almost reached the camp,
and were resting on the top of the highest knoll above
it, when Seammux, whose eyes were constantly roving
over the country, pointed in the direction of Seymour
Creek and said: " I think that's a bear." In the
bottom of the ravine, about three quarters of a mile
from where they were, some dark objects were seen,
and the glasses showed these to be a bear and three
good-sized cubs.    There were hills on either side of SEAMMUX  IN  DANGER 89
the animals, and to approach them was not difficult.
Yet the very easiness of the hunting took away from
its pleasure. The animals were unsuspicious; the cover
good; there were three good rifles. A short stalk
brought the hunters close to the bears.
Fannin said: " Jack, you kill the old one, and we '11
take the cubs. I will whistle, and when she looks up,
you shoot." It all happened according to schedule, and
sooner than it takes to tell it the four bears lay dead.
That night there was plenty of fresh meat in camp.,
A side of young bear ribs was roasted by Hugh, somewhat as they used to roast deer or buffalo ribs on the
plains, and they were pronounced excellent by all hands.
There was abundant broiled goat meat, which was
deemed good by the Indians; but somewhat lacking
in flavor by the white men. After the meal was over
and the pipes were going, Mr. Fannin asked Jack his
opinion of the day's sport.
" Well," said Jack, " there's lots of game here, it's
a good hunting country, and it's full of interesting
life, but the fault I have to find with it is that it's too
easy to get your game. A man does n't have to work.
hard enough. He's pretty sure that if he keeps his
eyes open and uses ordinary precaution, he can approach close enough to these very gentle animals to
get them every time. To my mind, half the fun of
hunting anything is the uncertainty as to whether you
are going to be successful or not. If every time you
take your rifle and start out you are sure that you are
going to get some game, there is no more interest in
it than there is in killing a beef for food at the ranch,
or in butchering hogs on a farm. Take away the element of uncertainty in hunting or fishing, and you have
nothing left. An Indian who goes out to kill buffalo
does not regard the getting of the meat as fun, but
as hard work; just as you or I might feel that pitching
hay or riding the range for wages was work." 90        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
" That's so, son; you 've figured it out just right,"
said Hugh. "It is work. The Indian gets his pay in
meat and the skins. The white man gets his pay in
dollars and cents, so many of them a day or a month.
Now, when the white man goes hunting, he does it
with the idea that he is having fun, that he is doing
something opposite from work; but when the Indian
goes hunting he knows that he is working, and working hard. I suppose, maybe, it's just the difference
between being a savage and being civilized."
" I agree with you, Jack," said Mr. Fannin, " that
there 's no fun whatever in hunting such as we 've had
to-day. Of course, if we were off on a trip and needed
meat for food, we would be glad to kill game just for
the purpose of eating it, but not for the fun of hunting.
The more a man works for his game, the more difficult
it is to get, the greater his satisfaction in his success.
" Well, to-morrow, I think, we can perhaps get down
home again; and if we can, we '11 start on the stage
for Westminster the day after, and get to Victoria
the following night. Then we can make our start for
the North." CHAPTER VIII
Two days later the party was once more in Victoria. The sail from New Westminster to Victoria
had been very delightful. After the swift run down the
Fraser River, between high walls of evergreen with
their backgrounds of distant gray mountains, the boat
passed out on the broad waters of the Gulf of Georgia.
In every direction, save to the west, the view was of
mountains backed by mountains; and above and beyond them all was Mount Baker, raising its sharp
white cone toward the heavens. To the south were the
deep waters of the Gulf, dancing and sparkling in the
sunlight, and dotted by thousands of islands. Beyond,
and over them all, was seen the mainland of the United
States, with ranges of snow-clad mountains, above
and beyond which one would sometimes catch a
glimpse of majestic Ranier. After the mouth of the
river had been left, Fannin called his companions'
attention to an interesting point.
" I want you to watch the water from now on, and
notice before long when the boat leaves the current of
the river and enters the waters of the Gulf. You see
the river is constantly carrying down a lot of mud
and silt which must be mighty fine; for, instead of
sinking, it runs away out here into the Gulf before
it disappears; and before long you will see a change
in the color of the water where we leave the muddy
current of the Fraser and pass into the clean waters
of the Gulf."
Jack and Hugh were on the lookout for this, and 92        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
finally the point was reached wh' e the turbid and
clear waters met.
^Hugh said: "Why, that's just the way the two
.^treams look where the Missouri runs into the Mississippi. The Mississippi is black and clear; and the
Missouri, of course, is yellow and muddy. You can see
the line plain always there."
" Yes," said Jack, " and I have heard father talk
about two streams in France, I think, where you see
the same thing. One of them is the Rhone, but the
■name m the other I have forgotten."
|FA little later the steamer plunged in among the
islands. The channel followed was difficult on account
of the strong tides that were constantly rushing backward and forward through the narrow passage. Careful piloting is needed here, for at certain stages of the
tide it is difficult even for a strong steamer to stem it;
and if the vessel is not kept straight she may be whirled
around, and that may be the last of her. The sail
was a succession of surprises. On many of the islands
were settlers; but with, often, only a house or two in
sight. Passing around a point, Indians could be seen
fishing in the troubled waters or camping upon the
shore. There were birds in great multitudes; and not
a few sailing craft were seen passing here and there
on errands of their own.
After their two or three days of hard physical effort
and life in camp, the dinner at the Driard House tasted
very good. The next morning they started out to
study the matter of transportation to the North.
Mr. MacTavish and Fannin both said that if a small
steamer or launch could be hired it would enable them
to go a great deal farther, and see things much more
easily, at only a slight added expense. Some days,
therefore, were spent in searching the wharves of the
town and in excursions to other places in trying to
secure what they wanted, but without success.   There   THE COAST INDIANS
were several small launches, exactly suited to their
purposes, but all these had been engaged for the salmon
fishing on the Fraser. The run of fish was likely to
begin in a short time. That year it was expected to
be very heavy, and all the canneries were making great
preparations for the catch. There seemed no way to
get steam transportation. Failing this, the next best
thing was to take a canoe and proceed by that slow
means of conveyance as far north as time would permit. Fannin, whose experience made him a good judge
of what should be done, recommended that they take
the steamer to Nanaimo, distant from Victoria about
seventy miles. Near that town there was an Indian
village, where canoes and help could be had, and from
where a start could be made. When this plan had been
discussed and agreed on, it remained only to get together a mess kit, hire a cook, and take the steamer.
A whole day was spent in this work. The cook engaged
was a Virginian, known as " Arizona Charley," a man
whose wanderings, including almost all of the United
States, had at last brought him to Victoria. He proved
an excellent man, faithful and willing; and — unlike
most cooks — unusually good-natured. As soon as he
was engaged the party transported their blankets,
arms, and mess kit to the wharf; and early the next
morning they were ploughing the Gulf toward the
On this voyage, although so short, Jack saw much
that was new to him. As the vessel moved out from
the wharf he was leaning on the rail with Fannin,
looking down on the passengers who occupied the lower
deck. " It's hard for me to believe, Mr. Fannin," he
said, " that these are Indians; they do not look much
more like the Indians of the plains and the mountains
than a Chinaman does. There the men all wear robes
or blankets. Here they all wear white men's clothes,
including shoes and hats.   They seem civilized, quite 94        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
as much as the Italian laborers that we are beginning
to see so many of in the East."
" Yes," said Fannin, " they 've changed greatly since
I came into the country, and changed for the better.
They 're a pretty important element nowadays in the
laboring population of the country; and for certain
kinds of labor they are well fitted. They make good
deck-hands, longshoremen, and fishermen; and many
of them work in the lumber mills and canneries.
They 're very strong and are able to carry loads that
a white man could n't stagger under. Many of them
work regularly and lay up money."
" I should think from what I have seen, and am seeing, that their natural way of getting around is in
canoes. They must be skilful canoemen, are n't they? "
asked Jack. " A day or two ago I saw some little
children not more than three or four years old, paddling with the older people, and apparently doing it
not in fun, but really to help."
" Well," said Fannin, " they learn to paddle before
they learn to walk. I suppose it's because they see
their parents do it. It's been my experience that the
games of most children imitate the serious pursuits
of their parents."
" I 'm sure that's so," said Hugh. " Among the
Indians I 've seen it, I reckon, a thousand times. The
little boys pretend to hunt, just as their fathers do;
and the little girls pretend to pack wood and water, just
like their mothers. I 've seen a woman trudging down
the creek with a back-load of wood that you 'd think
would break a horse's back; and following her would
be a little girl hardly big enough to walk, having her
rope over her back, and tied up in it a bundle of twigs.
She walked along, imitating the gait of her mother,
and when she got to the lodge threw down her load
just as she saw her mother throw down hers."
" Well, anyhow," said Fannin, " you can see that
these children, doing this sort of work from babyhood
until they 're grown up, would get to be mighty skilful
at it; and you can understand how they can work at
it, just as you and Hugh here can get on your horses in
the morning and ride until dark; while, if I did that, in
the first place, I 'd have to be tied on the horse; and
in the second place, I would not be able to walk for a
week afterward. But there's no mistake about it,
these Siwashes are good watermen."
" That's a word I 've heard three or four times, Mr.
Fannin," said Jack, " and I 'd like you to tell me what
it is — what it means — Siwash."
" Well, it means an Indian," said Fannin. " It's
a Chinook jargon word, and yet it don't exactly mean
an Indian either. It means a male Indian. An Indian
woman is a klootchman."
" Klootchman! " said Jack.   " That sounds Dutch."
" Well," said Fannin, " I don't know what language
it is. You know this Chinook jargon is a language
made up of words taken from many tongues. It's
called Chinook; but I don't feel sure that the words
in it are mostly from the Chinook language. I guess
Siwash, for example, is a French word — probably it
was originally sauvage, meaning savage. There are
lots of French words in the Chinook jargon, though
I can't think of them at the present moment. One of
them, though, is lecou, meaning neck; and another is
lahache, an axe. These are plain enough; but a good
many of the words are taken from different Indian
languages, and are just hitched together without any
grammar at all. It's a sort of a trade language; a
good deal, I expect, like the pigeon English that the
coast Chinese are said to use in communicating with
white men."
" I suppose," said Jack, " that the Siwashes are
mainly fishermen, are they not ? About all I 've seen
have been on the water paddling around in their canoes, 96        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
and whenever we 've seen them doing anything, except
paddling, they have been fishing."
" Yes," said Fannin, " you 're right about that; they
are fishermen, or at least they derive the most of their
subsistence from the water. Of course they depend
chiefly upon the salmon, which they eat fresh, and dry
for winter food; for the salmon are here only in summer. The Indians do some land hunting. They kill
a good many deer, and some mountain goats, but their
chief dependence for food is the salt-water fish. When
the salmon begin to run in June or July, and before
they have got into the fresh water streams, the Indians
catch them in numbers with a trolling spoon. Of
course the Indians do considerable water hunting; that
is to say, they kill seals, and porpoises, and now and
then a whale; but what they depend on is fishing."
" It means," said Jack, " that to these Indians the
salmon are what the buffalo is to the Indians of the
" Yes," said Fannin, " that's about it," and Hugh
added: " The canoe here is about the same as the horse
back where we live."
" Just about," agreed Fannin.
" Well," said Hugh, " that's all mighty curious,
and I 'm mighty glad I 've come out here to see it all.
I never thought about it much before, but I always had
an idea that all Indians were about the same as those
I knew most about; and that they lived about the same
sort of lives. Of course I can see now just what a fool
notion that was to have, but I did not see it then."
" But, Mr. Fannin," said Jack, " these Indians must
have a lot of money. They are all provided with ordinary clothing, which they must buy; and they 're
pretty well fixed apparently, with everything that they
need. Where do they get this money ? Do all of them
work, and get so much a day ? "
# No," said Fannin, " not by a jugful.    Some of THE COAST  INDIANS
them work, and work pretty steadily; a good many
work, and after they have been at it for a week or a
month, they get tired of it, throw up their jobs and go
off in their canoes. They do considerable trading with
the whites, however. They gather a great deal of oil,
and this is one of the main articles of trade. You saw
over on Burrard Inlet a whole lot of dog-fish. Well,
the Indians catch lots of these, and take the liver and
throw the carcase overboard. The liver is full of oil,
which brings a pretty fair price. They also kill lots of
porpoises, and porpoise oil is salable. Then, they make
a great many baskets; mighty good ones too, they
seem to be. Some of them are water-tight, perfectly
good for cooking, or for water buckets. They also
make mats, both of reeds and of the bark of the cedar,
and these are useful and sell well."
" Well," said Jack, " how do they live ? We 've
seen some tents on the beaches, but I suppose that in
the winter time they must have something more substantial to live in than these tents."
" Yes," said Fannin, " of course they do. Though
you must not think that the winters here are like the
winters we have back East. It's pretty warm here,
and we have little or no snow until you get back in
among the mountains. The Siwashes along the coast
live in wooden houses. We '11 see a lot of theni before
long, and then you '11 know that they are better than
I can tell you. They are made of big planks split off
the cedar, and roofed with the same. All around the
house, near to the walls, a platform is built, on which
the people sit and sleep. In the middle of the house
the ground is bare; and it is there that the fire is built
for cooking and for warmth. There may be a number
of families living in one of these houses, each family
having its sleeping place — its room you might call it
— but all of them cooking at and sitting about the
common fire.    The roof planks do not quite come 98        JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
together at the peak of the house and the smoke of the
fire goes out through the hole. Sometimes the roof
beams and the posts which hold up the roof in front
and behind are carved and painted.
" Close to some of the houses stand tall carved poles,
called totem p6les. One may be carved with a representation of a bear, a beaver, a frog, and an eagle, each
animal resting on the head of the one carved below it
on the pole. They are queer things to see, and if you
will be patient for a few days we '11 see them; and
maybe we '11 get some Indians to explain them to us.
They have something to do with the family history,
and some people say that each of these animals
that is carved on the pole represents an ancestor or
ancestors of the man before whose house the pole
" Well," said Jack, " I 'd like to see them. But from
what you say, and from what I have seen, the Indians
must be mighty good carvers. The canoes that we 've
seen had queer figures on them, and Mr. MacTavish
had some beautiful pieces of carving in black slate that
he said came from Queen Charlotte Islands; but I Ve
forgotten what Indians carved them."
" Oh, yes," said Mr. Fannin, " that is Haida work.
All the Indians north from Victoria are good at carving. Of course the animals and figures that they represent do not agree with our ideas of how these things
should be represented. Most of the figures are grotesque, but they show fine workmanship; and if you
give any of these Indians a model to copy he will follow
it very closely. Up in the North they will hammer a
bracelet or a spoon for you from a silver dollar; and
they will put on it pretty much any design that you may
give them."
" I see," said Jack, " that all their canoes are carved
in front; and the prows remind one a little bit of the
pictures of the old Viking ships; and then, again, of THE COAST INDIANS
the still older boats that the Romans had, only, of
course, they were all rowed with oars, while the Indians
use paddles."
" Yes," said Fannin, " these canoes that we have
here are not like any that I know of anywhere else in
the world. They 're all made out of a single stick of
wood and are of all sizes. There's one up at the Bella-
Bella village, north of here, that's said to be the biggest
boat on the coast. It's one of the old war canoes, is
eighty feet long, and so deep that a man standing in
it can't be seen by one standing on the ground by its
side. Such a canoe as that could only be made in the
country where the white cedar grows, a wood that is
light, easily worked and very durable. It's one of our
biggest trees and sometimes grows to a height of three
hundred feet, and runs up to ten, eleven, or twelve
feet thick at the butt."
" Well," said Jack, " with a tree of size to work on
I can easily see how a canoe even as big as the one you
speak of might be made; but what an awful long time
it must take to whittle it out! I should think that the
generation that began such a boat could not hope to see
it finished."
" Well," said Fannin, " it's not quite as bad as that,
but it is slow work; and that is not surprising when
you think that they have no tools to work with except
the most primitive ones. After the cedar stick has been
felled, and it has been found that no harm came to it
in its fall, they go to work and shape the stick as well
as they can with their axes, and then hollow it out by
fire. In other words, they build a fire on the top and
allow it to burn just so far in any direction, and so
deep. After they have used the fire as far as they can
to advantage, they take a little chipping tool, made of
a blade of steel attached to a wooden handle, and chip
the wood off in little flakes or slivers, reducing the
whole to a proper thickness, say an inch or an inch ioo      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
and a half for a canoe thirty feet long. They have no
models, and the eye is their only guide in shaping the
canoes; but the lines are always correct, and as graceful as could be made by the most expert boat-builder.
When they have shaped the canoe, its gunwales are
slightly sprung apart so as to give some flare to the
sides, and are held in position by narrow braces of
timber stretching across the canoe and sewed to it by
cedar twigs. They steam these twigs in the hot ashes
so that they become pliable, and can be easily used for
this sewing."
" This cedar must be as useful to these Indians as
buffalo hides are to the plains' Indians," said Jack.
| You pointed out to me some mats made of cedar
bark, some hats and some rope, all of the same material.
Now you tell me that the canoes are made of cedar and
sewed together with cedar twigs."
" Yes," replied Fannin, " the cedar does a great deal
for these people. I told you, too, that they built their
houses of it."
" There are two different types of canoes on this
coast," he continued, " one belonging to the South
and having a square stern and a bottom that is almost
flat, and the Northern canoe, which has a round bottom
and an overhanging stern. The big canoe that I told
you about at Bella-Bella is a Northern canoe. In old
times these big canoes were used by the Northern
Indians on their war journeys against their enemies
to the South. They would come down, perhaps seventy
or eighty men in a canoe, attack a village, plunder it,
capture a lot of the people for slaves, and then take
to their canoes again, paddling back to their homes.
These Northern Indians were great hands to go off
on war parties. They were a good deal more warlike
than these people down here."
"This cedar that you talk about," asked Hugh.
" Is there much of it to be had ?   I have n't seen any- THE COAST INDIANS 101
thing yet that looked like the cedar that we see back
" No," said Fannin, " what you 're thinking of is
the red cedar, in some of its forms, I guess — the
juniper. This is the white cedar, and looks as much
as anything like a small tree that folks use for hedges
back East, and call arbor vita?; only I never saw any
of those arbor vitses grow anything near as big as the
smallest of these cedars here. Like the Eastern cedar,
however, this white cedar is very durable. I remember
seeing in the woods once a fallen log, on which was
growing a Douglas fir two and a half feet in diameter.
The seed of the fir had fallen on the log and sprouted,
and, as the fir grew, it sent down its roots to the
ground on either side of the cedar log, so that at last
it straddled it. The fir was about two and a half feet
in diameter, and so it had been growing there a great
many years, but the fallen cedar log was to all appearance as sound as if it had not been lying there a year.
The cedar log was covered with moss and most of its
limbs had rotted off, but when I scraped away the
moss and sounded the stick and cut into it, I could not
see that it was at all decayed."
" Well, Mr. Fannin," asked Jack, " how do they
mend these canoes when they break them? Of course
they must be running onto the bars and onto the rocks
all the time, and if a hole is punched in a solid wooden
bottom like this it's hard to mend it again."
I That's true," said Fannin, " and they don't mean
to let the canoe grate on rocks or get rubbed on the
gravel beach if they can help it. Notwithstanding its
durability, cedar wood splits very easily. Therefore
the Indians take the greatest care of their canoes, not
bringing them up on the shore where they are likely
to be worn or rubbed, but always anchoring them out
in deep water; or else, if they bring them to shore,
lifting them out of the water and sliding them along 102      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
the bottom planks — that almost every canoe has two
pair of — above the reach of the tide. Although it is
so durable, the cedar wood splits on the smallest provocation; and once or twice I have seen a canoe that
touched roughly on the rocks, or was carelessly knocked
against the beach, split in two and the two halves fall
apart. Of course in such a case it was pretty hard
work to mend the canoe."
" I should say it would be," remarked Jack, " and
I don't know how they would do it."
" I '11 tell you. They carry the loads up on the high
ground to dry, and then they take the canoe, fit the
two pieces together until no light can be seen through
the crack, and then they sew them together with cedar
twigs and plaster the crack over with gum. I 've seen
a vessel mended in that way, make a long cruise, but
I confess I should not want to make a very long
journey in a boat patched up like that."
"I don't think I would either," said Jack. "I
should n't think it would be very safe.
" Mr. Fannin," said Jack, after a pause, " I suppose when we get started we '11 have to paddle all the
" Yes," said Fannin, " you 're likely to. Of course,
if the wind is fair these canoes can sail. There 's almost
always a chock in the bottom well forward in which a
mast can be stepped, and when the wind is fair a sail
is put up or a blanket is used. That helps along
amazingly "
" I 'm glad that you 've told me all this, for now
when I talk with people up here on the coast they '11 >
see that I know a little something and am not purely
a pilgrim." CHAPTER  IX
While Jack and Mr. Fannin had been talking the
vessel had been moving rapidly northward. The passengers were a mixed lot. On the upper deck were
English, Scotch, French, and Americans, while on the
lower were Chinamen, a negro or two, and Indians.
Many of these had considerable bundles of baggage;
and with the Indians were their women, their children,
and their dogs.
The rounded islands that rose everywhere from the
water showed gray rocky slopes, the yellow of ripened
grass, and here and there clumps of evergreen trees.
The scene was a lovely one.
" Mr. Fannin," said Hugh, " I wish you 'd tell me
what's that plant that I see everywhere growing in
the water. I suppose, maybe, it's a kind of seaweed,
but it's bigger than any seaweed that I ever heard
tell of, and there's worlds and worlds of it. The other
day on the beach I picked up some of its leaves, if
that's what they are, and I found them wonderfully
tough. I found I could n't break them apart with my
hands, yet they seemed soft and full of water."
" That's what we call kelp," said Mr. Fannin, " it
grows in deep water, and its roots are attached to rocks
or to stones or even to the sand at the bottom, and the
stalk may be thirty or forty feet long. Down in the
deep water the stem is very slender, often scarcely as
thick as a quill, but it increases by a gradual taper,
until near the top it's nearly as thick as a man's wrist.
At the end of the stem or stalk is a globular swelling 104      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
which varies in size, but may be as big as a baseball.
From the top of this swelling point, opposite to where
it's attached to the stem, grows a bundle of a dozen
or twenty ribbon-like leaves, each from one to six
inches wide and from four to six feet long, and fluted
or crimped along its edge for the whole length. The
plant is brown in color throughout. Responding, as it
does, constantly to the motion of the water, it sometimes
seems almost alive. It's a queer plant. Sometimes
it's a great hindrance to the man who is travelling
and sometimes a great help to him."
" I don't quite understand that," said Jack. " I can
see that it might be hard work to get through a bed of
the kelp like that one over there that we are just passing, but how should it help a man? "
" Why," said Fannin, " the stalks are very strong,
and I 've seen a large canoe held at anchor by a single
stalk of the kelp. Then, too, a big bed of the kelp is
a great break to the sea. The waves can't break over
a bed of kelp; and I have known of a case when a
sudden squall got up, where a canoe, unable to reach
shore or to get any other lee, would lie behind a kelp
bed and hold onto the stalks until the squall was past."
" Do the Indians make any use of the kelp ? " asked
" Yes," replied Mr. Fannin. " A number of the
Indians along the coast select the most slender stems,
knot them together, and make fishing lines for the
deep-sea fishing, on which they catch halibut sometimes weighing two hundred pounds. These stems are
tremendously tough, and they almost never wear out.
A man may coil up one of these long lines and hang it
in his house for six months, and then, if he takes it
down and soaks it in water over night, in the morning
it will be pliable and perfectly fit to use."
Hugh had been listening to the conversation, but
not taking any part in it; but now he pointed off over PREPARATION  FOR THE VOYAGE    105
the kelp bed and said: " Look there! See those birds
walking around on the weed. I reckon they are cranes
of some sort or other." Fannin looked at them through
his glasses and said, " Yes, that's just what they are.
Two of those birds are great blue herons, and the
others are large birds, but I can't tell just what they
are. That's another thing that the kelp is useful for.
You see the plants grow in thick beds, and the stems
are continually moving in the current, and after a
while they get tangled and twisted up so that it's
impossible to force them apart. In that case it's useless to try to force a canoe through them. Then, lying
there so long as they do, and keeping the water quiet,
a great deal of life is attracted to these beds. There
are many fish that live near the surface, and in the
warm waters there are crabs that live among the stems
and sometimes crawl out on them and rest in the
sunshine. There are many shells. All this smaller
life entices the larger life, so that gulls and ducks and
sandpipers are often seen walking along or resting
on the kelp. It is just one of those things that we see
often, where a lot of specially favorable conditions will
attract the animals that are to be favored by these
" Well," said Hugh, " I can't get over wondering
at all these things I am seeing. This here is a new
world to me, as different as can be from what I 've
been used to all my life; and I expect, come to think
about it, that all over the world there are many such
other strange bits of country that would astonish me,
just as much as this does, and maybe would astonish
you all, just as much as this does me."
" Yes," said Fannin, " I guess that's about so."
As they had been talking, the steamer had been
winding in and out among the islands, stopping occasionally at some little settlement, and now and then
slowing to take on goods or passengers, brought off 106      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
in boats or canoes from some little house that stood
on one of the yellow hillsides, half hidden among the
trees. There were many settlers on these islands.
Most of them were engaged in stock raising. Some
of the islands had been turned into sheep ranges, and
the settlers that had gone into this business were said
by Mr. Fannin to have done well. Certainly there was
here no winter which could by any chance kill the
sheep, while food was abundant.
As the boat proceeded the settlements became fewer
and fewer, until at last most of the island seemed
unoccupied. All three of the travellers kept watching
the open hillsides in the hope that some game might
be seen, but none showed itself.
"I suppose," said Jack, "that there are some deer
on these islands, are there not ? "
" Yes," replied Fannin, " on almost all the larger
islands that are not thickly settled there are a good
many deer; and when the settlements get to be too
thick they can always start off and swim to another
island and try that for a while, and, if they don't like
that, pass to another."
" What sort of deer are these ? " asked Jack. " Are
they like the one we killed at New Westminster? "
" Yes," said Fannin, " they are just like that; and
I suppose they are the regular black-tail deer; not the
big fellow that you have out on the plains, which, I
understand, is properly called the mule deer. This is
the only kind found along this north coast, as far as
I know, until you get up far to the north and strike
the moose. Down on the islands of the Strait of Fuca,
especially on Whidby Island, they have the Virginia
deer and plenty of them. But north of that I don't
think they are found."
It was noon when they passed Gabriola Island,
where they had heard there lived a man who owned a
launch.   They landed here, hoping that possibly they PREPARATION FOR THE VOYAGE    107
might be able to engage this for their trip, but. soon
discovered that the boat had not been inspected for a
year, and therefore could not be hired, unless the
party was prepared to be stopped at any minute by
some government official and ordered back to its
starting point.
About four o'clock in the afternoon they reached
Nanaimo, and Fannin, Hugh, and Jack at once set
out for the Indian village, where it was believed a
canoe could be had. The brisk walk through the
quiet forest was pleasant, and the Indian village of
half a dozen great square plank houses interesting.
After some inquiry Fannin and a big Indian drew off
to one side and held a long and animated conversation in Chinook, which, of course, was unintelligible
to the other two. At length, however, Fannin announced that he was prepared to close a bargain with
the Indian, by which a canoe, large enough to carry
the whole party and their baggage, including the
necessary paddles and a bowman and steersman, could
be hired for a certain price per day, for as long a time
as they desired. After a short consultation it was
agreed that if the canoe proved satisfactory it should
be engaged, and a start made the next morning. The
whole party adjourned to the water's edge, where,
drawn up on the beach were a number of canoes, all
of them covered with boards, mats, and boughs, to
protect them from the sun and rain. The canoe in
question seemed satisfactory, and, the bargain having
been closed, the Indians promised solemnly that they
would have the canoe at the wharf at six o'clock the
next morning, so that an early start could be made.
Returning to town, the stores were visited and a
number of necessary articles purchased. The party
was already well armed, having three rifles, a shot-gun,
and several revolvers; but a mess kit had to be bought,
a keg for water, all the provisions needed, a tent of 108      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
some kind, some mosquito net, rope, fine copper wire,
saddler's silk or waxed thread, packages of tobacco,'
fishing tackle, and many small articles which do not
take up much room, but which, under special circumstances, may add much to one's comfort. Each
of the party also provided himself here with a set of
oil-skin clothing. They knew that they were going
into a country where much rain falls, and wished to
provide against that.
After all their purchases had been made and they
had seen them transported to the hotel close to the
water's edge, where they were to pass the night, they
started out to learn what they could about the town.
The sole industry of Nanaimo at that time was coal
mining. Here were great shafts and inclines, worked
day and night by a great multitude of miners. Many of
them were Canadians, but many, also, were quite newly
arrived emigrants from the Old World, — Scotch,
Irish, and Welsh. The coal — a good lignite — was in
considerable demand along the coast, and it was even
said that it was to be imported to Puget Sound points
to supply newly built railroads there. The inhabitants
of Nanaimo, and indeed those of Vancouver Island,
had talked much about a proposed railroad that had
been partially surveyed from Victoria up through the
middle of the island to Nanaimo. Such a railroad, it
was generally thought, would be an enormous benefit
to the whole island. Nanaimo was not an attractive
place. The coal-dust with which it was everywhere
powdered, together with the black smoke sent forth by
the chimneys, gave the place an appearance of grimi-
ness which seemed to characterize most coal-mining
towns. Just why towns devoted to coal and iron mining always used to look so shabby and forlorn and discouraged, it would be hard to say; but most people
familiar with such settlements in old times will agree
that this was usually the case.   It may have been that PREPARATION FOR THE VOYAGE    109
the laborers and their families were obliged to work so
hard that they had neither time nor inclination to
devote to adorning, even by simple and inexpensive
methods, their dwellings or surroundings; or it may
have been that their work in the mines was so
fatiguing that it rendered them blind to the town's
Even then great quantities of coal were mined at
Nanaimo. But as there were no railroads on Vancouver Island the coal was transported to its destination wholly by water. The coal deposits were vast, and
people believed that in the future this would be a great
mining town, and might yet be like some of the great
mining centres of Great Britain.
That night, after supper, as they were lounging
about the office of the hotel, Jack said to Mr. Fannin:
" You have told me a lot about the canoeing and
canoes of these Indians, Mr. Fannin, but I don't think
that you have spoken to me about the way they keep
their canoes on the beach. Those we saw this afternoon
were all covered with mats and blankets, and I can
understand how it might be necessary to keep them
protected from the weather in that way if they were
laid up for a long time; but, as I understand it, the
canoes that we saw were being used every day."
" That is true," said Mr. Fannin; " they are in use
-all the time, but, nevertheless, Indians take the greatest
precaution to protect them from the weather. It is easy
enough to see why this is, if you consider that the making of a canoe is tremendously laborious, and at best
takes many months. Now, as I have already told you,
the cedar of which they are made splits very easily
indeed, and it might well enough be that exposure to
the hot sun for a day or two would start a crack which
would constantly grow larger, and ultimately weaken
the canoe so that it could not be used. The Indians are
far-sighted enough to do everything in their power to no  JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
protect their canoes. These coast Indians take a great
deal better care of their canoes than they do of any
other property that they possess. As I have told you,
they are all sea travellers, and their very existence
depends on the possession of some means of getting
about over the water. I do> not know anything about
it personally, but I understand that the Aleuts of
Alaska, and the Eskimo too, are just as careful about
their boats as these Indians are. Of course it is
" Of course it is," said Hugh, " and you probably
will see the same thing in any class of men. Look
at the way our plains' Indians take care of their war
horses and their arms and war clothes. Those are the
things on which they depend for food and for protection from their enemy; and they cannot afford to take
any chances about them. Of course their war clothes
often have something of a sacred character; but you
will find that if it comes to a pinch an Indian will stick
to his fastest running horse and his arms, and will let
his war clothing go."
" Well," said Fannin, " all this is just saying that
Indians are human beings like the rest of us."
They went to bed pretty early that night, and Fannin
had them astir before the day had broken the next
morning. On going down to the wharf they found the
canoe there, just off the shore, and the two Indians
sitting in it, holding the craft in its place by an occasional paddle stroke. It took the men but a short time
to bring down all their baggage, provisions, and mess
kit to the canoe and stow the load. After a hasty meal
at the hotel all stepped aboard and took their various
stations. Jack had been surprised to see how large
a pile their baggage made before they begun to stow
it; and after the canoe had been loaded, he wondered
where they had packed it al1-
The sun was not very high when they pushed off.
The wind blew in gusts from the southeast and the sky
was obscured by a loose bank of clouds which occasionally gave down a little rain.
The bow paddle was wielded by a gigantic Indian,
known as Hamset; while in the stern, occupying the
position of steersman, sat a much smaller man, whose
unpronounceable Ucletah name had been shortened
for convenience to " Jimmie." Between the bow and
the stern, seated on rolls of blankets, were the four
whites — first, Fannin, then Charlie, the cook, then
Hugh, and last of all Jack. Each was provided with
a paddle, and they worked two on each side of the
canoe. The provisions were stored in one box, the
mess kit in another, and the rolls of blankets were
placed in the bottom of the canoe so as to trim it
properly. The canoe was quite dry, and loose boards
on the bottom would keep the cargo from getting wet,
even if a little water were shipped.
The breeze which was now blowing was a favorable
one; and they had hardly started before it began to
rain steadily and to threaten a wet, boisterous day.
Fannin was in great spirits at this prospect; for he,
better than any one else, knew what a few days of
favoring winds would accomplish toward hastening
them along on their voyage. As the rain fell harder
mats and rubber blankets were spread over the guns
and bedding. The sail was hoisted, and all hands
except the steersman took in their paddles and sat U2      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
back with a satisfied air, as if they had nothing to do
except to watch the breeze blowing and the land
moving by them.
Farther to the southward there had been many
islands, which would have cut off the breeze; but here
the open waters of the Gulf stretched away to windward for twenty or thirty miles, and there was nothing
to break the force of the breeze. As they advanced
various islands appeared, Texada showing a high peak
above the fog; and then other smaller islands, — Den-
man and Hornby.
The wind kept blowing harder and harder, until at
noon quite a sea was running, and the waves began
to break over the sides of the vessel, necessitating bailing. The canoe was heavily loaded and set rather low
in the water, cutting through the waves instead of
riding over them as it should have done. This pleasant
condition of things lasted for some time, but about
two o'clock the sky cleared, the wind fell, and it was
necessary to take to the paddles once more, for now
the sail flapped idly against the mast and the canoe
began to float back toward Nanaimo — the tide having turned. The sea became as smooth as glass, the
sun glared down from the unclouded sky with summery fierceness, and after a little while the travellers
realized that the canoe trip might mean a lot of hard
work. More than that, the canoe seemed to be anchored
to the bottom, and, so far as could be judged from
occasional glances toward the distant shore, did not
move at all. The work became harder and harder,
and Hugh and Jack at last realized that here was a
struggle between the paddles and the tide, with the
chances rather in favor of the tide. This, of course,
meant that they must work harder. Coats were
stripped off, the crew bent to their work, and at last
found that the craft did move, although very, very
slowly. { THE  START 113
After a half hour's hard paddling Jack said to
Hugh: " I tell you, Hugh, watching that shore is like
watching the hands of a watch. If you look at the
shore you would think that we were perfectly motionless. It's only when you take some object on the
beach and notice its position, and then, five or ten
minutes later, look at it again that you find that our
position has changed with relation to it, and that it is
farther behind than it was when you last saw it."
" Yes," said Fannin, " I 've done lots of canoeing
in my time, but I guess I shall learn something on this
trip as well as the rest of you. We 're pretty heavily
loaded, and if we have head winds and tides much of
the time we '11 have to put in about all the hours every
day working at these paddles. Besides that, we 've
got to figure on being wind-bound for a certain number of days, and, taking it all in all, we can't hope to
go very far. Nevertheless, we can go far enough to
see a good deal."
The progress of the canoe was made more slow by
the fact that its track skirted the shore, following quite
closely all its windings, and hardly ever cutting across
the bays, large or small, that indented the island.
Jack asked Fannin why the Indians did not go across
from one headland to another, thus saving much paddling ; and Fannin explained that this was done partly
to avoid the force of the tide, and partly from the
habitual caution of the east coast Indians. " On
the waters of the Gulf," said Mr. Fannin, " gales
often spring up without giving much warning, and
quite a heavy sea may follow the wind almost at once.
These canoes, especially when heavily loaded, as ours
is, cannot stand much battering by the waves."
As the sun sank low, after a long spell of paddling,
the bow of the canoe was turned into the mouth of
Qualicum River; and a little later, when close to the
shore, the vessel was turned bow out arid the stern U4  JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
pushed shoreward, till it grated gently on the pebbly
beach. All hands at once sprang out, and it was a
relief to get on firm ground again and to stretch the
limbs, contracted by nearly twelve hours of sitting in
one position.
Now the rolls of blankets were tossed on the beach,
the provision box and mess kit and other property
were unloaded and carried up to the meadow above.
In a few moments a fire had been kindled, and preparations for the evening meal were begun. Now,
Jack and Fannin began putting together their fishing
rods; Hugh took his rifle and looked it over, wiping
off the moisture that had accumulated on it, and got out
some ammunition. The party wanted fresh meat and
was going to try hard to get it. Meantime the Indians
had taken out the boards from the canoe, placed them
on the beach, and were sliding the vessel up, far above
high-water mark.
Before Jack had made many casts he had a rise or
two, and he was doing his best to hook a fish when
Charlie's shout of " Dinner " caused them all to lay
aside their tools and repair to the fire for supper. It
was a simple meal of bacon, bread, and coffee; but
the work of the day had given all hearty appetites and
they enjoyed it. Then, a little later, Jack went back
to his fishing, and Fannin, Hugh, and Hamset put
off in the canoe and disappeared behind a bend of the
Being unable to do anything with the fish, which
were now jumping everywhere at the mouth of the
river, Jack worked along up the stream, and around
the next point was more successful. A fish rose to
his flies and was hooked, and, after a brief struggle,
was dragged up on the beach. It was a beautiful
trout, only weighing half a pound, to be sure, but none
the worse on that account, if regarded simply from the
point of view of so much food.   Encouraged by this THE  START 115
success, Jack fished faithfully and carefully, and before long had killed half a dozen others, all about the
same size as the first. Most of these were taken in
more or less shallow water near the beach, but at length
he came to a place where an eddy of the stream had
dug out a big hole not far from the edge of the bank,
and casting over this two or three times, he had a rise
which almost made his heart stop beating. The fish
missed the fly, but rose again to another cast, and this
time was hooked on a brown hackle. And then for a
little while Jack had the time of his life. The fish was
far too strong for him to handle, and for a little time
kept him running up and down the beach, following
its powerful rushes, taking in line whenever he could,
and yielding it when he must. Once or twice the rush
of the fish was so prolonged that almost all the line
went off the spool, and he even ran into the river up
to his knees in the effort to save some of his line. At
last, however, the runs grew shorter, and the fish
yielded and swayed over on its side and was towed up
to the beach. But as soon as it saw Jack it seemed
to regain all its vigor, and darted away with a powerful rush. This was its last effort. Gradually Jack
drew it into water which was more and more shallow,
and finally up, so that its head rested on the beach.
Then seizing the leader he dragged it well in, and in
a moment he had it in his hands. It was a beautiful
and very powerful fish, and must have weighed between
four and five pounds. A little later another fish was
taken, not quite so large, to be sure, but big enough to
give the angler a splendid fight; and then, as the sun
had disappeared behind the forest, Jack strung his
trout on a willow twig and made his way back to
camp.    Charlie received him with delight.
" Well," he said, " you 're the kind of a man I like
to be out with — somebody that can go out and get
food to eat.   I bet them other fellows won't bring in n6  JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
anything; but we 've got enough here nearly for breakfast and dinner to-morrow. I wish if you have time
you 'd go out to-morrow morning and catch some
" I 'd like to," said Jack. " Those two big fellows
over there gave me as much fun as I ever had in my
" Well," said Charlie, " you '11 have better fun than
that to-morrow morning when you 're eating that
" No," said Jack, " I don't believe it. I think that
I would rather have the fun of catching those two fish
than eating the best meal that was ever cooked."
From the camp Jack wandered away along the beach
and over the meadows back toward the forest that came
down from the higher land. Here he saw that this
must be quite a camping place for Indians, and that
some had been there within a few days. There were
the remains of recent fires, tent poles that had been
cut only a few days before; and some little way back
from the beach, and hardly to be seen among the timber,
was an Indian house in which Jack discovered four
When he returned to camp, Charlie said: " I heard
them fellows shooting, but I reckon they did n't get
nothing; maybe a duck or two, but nothing fit to eat,
like them fish you brought in."
" Yes," said Jack, " I heard the shot, but it was
from the shot-gun, not from a rifle."
In the meantime the party in the canoe had pushed
its way quite a long distance up the river. There was
a possibility that a deer might be seen along the bank,
or a brood of ducks feeding in the shallow water, and
rifles and shot-gun were ready to secure anything that
might make its appearance. For a long way the canoe
advanced through the dense forest without much difficulty.   Then it came to a series of shallow rapids, up w
which so large a craft could not be taken. The canoe
was then drawn as near the bank as possible. The
Indian carried the two white men ashore on his shoulders, and all three followed up the stream through the
now darkening woods. They found many old tracks
of deer, and from time to time passed the fresher slide
of an otter; but no game was seen. As the light grew
more and more dim, they faced about, went back to the
canoe, and turned its nose down the stream.
As the vessel swept noiselessly along the swift current, two or three broods of ducks were surprised by
its sudden approach from behind the bend. On the
upward journey the birds, warned by the noise of the
paddles, had seen the craft before it was near them,
and had crept ashore and hidden themselves in the
grass. But now there was not time for this. A flock
of mallards, startled from the water, sprang away in
flight, and two of them were stopped by Fannin, and
fell back into the stream, to be picked up by Hamset as
the canoe swept by.
It was only gray light next morning when all hands
were astir. While the breakfast was being cooked
bundles of bedding were rolled up and transported to
the shore; and as soon as breakfast was over and the
dishes washed, the canoe was pushed off and loaded;
the paddlers took their places, and they set out again
at just six o'clock by Mr. Fannin's watch.
The day was bright and pleasant, with light airs
from half a dozen quarters, but no breeze strong
enough to justify the setting of the sail.
Just after they had pushed out of the mouth of the
river, Jack called Fannin's attention to a flock of birds
sitting on the water; and they were presently made
out to be scoter ducks, of two kinds. There was an
enormous multitude of them, and almost all seemed to
be males. When too closely approached, fifty or five
hundred of them would rise on the wing, swing out u8      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
over their fellows, and then alight on the outside of the
" Where in the world do all those birds come from,
Mr. Fannin? " asked Jack. " These are the birds that
we call coots down on the Atlantic coast; but I don't
think at any one time I ever saw so many of them
as we see this morning."
" I don't know just what they 're doing here," said
Fannin. " But, as nearly as I can see with my glasses,
they seem to be all males; and I should n't be a bit
surprised if the females were all ashore, at little springs
or lakes, raising their broods. Pretty soon these birds
will begin to moult, and then the Indians will try to
get around them and drive them ashore and kill them.
But this is a method that seldom succeeds with these
birds. If they see that they are going to be forced on
the shore they will dive and swim back under the
" That's pretty smart," said Jack. " I have heard of
the loons doing something like that, but I did n't suppose a coot had sense enough for that."
" Yes," said Fannin, " that's what they 're said to
As they paddled along the head of a seal appeared
above the water, close to them, and after watching
them for a moment or two sank back out of sight.
"Son, why don't you try one of those fellows with
your rifle," suggested Hugh. " It looks as if there
were time enough to draw a bead on one and kill it.
I hear these Indians eat that sort of meat; and I suppose what they can do we can too, if we get a chance."
Jack pulled his gun out of its case, put a couple of
cartridges in his vest pocket, and declared he would
try the seals the next time one gave him a chance.
He did so, but the animals kept their heads above water
so short a time that he was unable to get a satisfactory
sight on one, and did not fire. THE START 119
p Well," said Hugh, " these fellows are pretty watchful and pretty quick; and as you don't know when
they 're coming up, it's a pretty hard matter to shoot
at them."
" So it is," said Fannin, " and yet I think if one had
practice enough they would be easy to kill. Certainly
the Indians here, and still more to the north, get a
great many of them, shooting them and then paddling
quickly up and putting a spear in them before they
sink. These little seals that we see are, of course,
nothing but the common harbor seal; but when the
big fur-seal herds pass up the coast the Indians get
a good many of them in that way, though many are
killed by paddling up close to them when they are
asleep on the water and spearing them. A long line
is attached to the lance, the head of which is barbed,
so that it will not draw out; and at length they pull
the seal up close to the canoe and kill it, either with
a club or by spearing it again. Seal meat and seal oil
are pretty important parts of the native food supply
on this coast; but more so to the north than down
here, where the food is more varied."
" Well," said Hugh, " we 've surely got to get some
fresh meat of one kind or other, on this trip; if we
don't, our grub will give out, and we '11 have to travel
back to the settlement hungry. There seems to be a
world of food lying around, — deer, and fish, and seals,
and all that. You see, Fannin, Jack and I are prairie
men, and don't know how to earn a living on this
water. If we were travelling back on the plains, or in
the mountains, we 'd think it mighty queer if we
couldn't keep the camp in meat; but here we don't
know how to go to work to do it. Don't either of these
Indians understand how to catch these fish or to kill
these animals ? "
" I expect the Indians do," said Fannin, " but I
don't, for I never have had occasion to live in the coun- 120      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
try along the shore here. I 'm something like you, a
mountain hunter. But we ought to be able to catch
some salmon, and to do it right here. You know that
in a few days or weeks now all the rivers along the
coast will be full of salmon, running up toward the
heads of the stream to spawn. At the present time they
are gathering in the salt water, each fish pushing
toward the mouth of the river, in which it was hatched,
and down which it made its way toward the sea. They
say that all salmon go back to the streams in which
they were bred to spawn. Now, when they are in salt
water, and before they reach the mouths of the rivers,
the salmon will bite, and a great many of them are
caught by trolling, either with bait or with a spoon.
Haven't you some fishing tackle there that you could
throw overboard now, and let the bait follow the canoe ?
If we could get a few fish it would help out mightily
with our eating."
" Why, yes," said Jack; " of course there 's some
fishing tackle.   Let's get it out and try them."
Hugh bent down; and after fumbling in the provision box for a few moments, brought out a package
which he passed over to Fannin, saying to him: " You
know more about these things than either of us, and
you 'd better pick out the lines and baits that are to be
The long, strong line, with a lure of metal and
feathers attached to it, was soon overboard, and dragging in the long sinuous wake that stretched out behind
the canoe. Jack held it in one hand as he wielded the
paddle. All the power that they had was needed to
push the boat along; and if one man should sit and fish
in idleness it would not have been fair to the others.
Jack sat hopefully, expecting each moment to feel
a tug on the line, but none came. " Tell me, Mr. Fannin," he asked, " don't salmon bite after they get into
the fresh water?   You said that when in salt water THE START 121
they were caught in numbers. Does that mean that
they do not take the bait in fresh water ? "
" Yes," replied Fannin, " that's just what it means.
When they get into the fresh water they seem to lose
all interest in the food question, and will not take the
bait or rise to a fly. Some friends of mine, who are
great fishermen, have tried bait, — spoons, flies, and
grasshoppers, — but no attention was paid to any of
these things. There 's a story, you know, about some
British commissioner, sent out years ago, when England and the United States were quarrelling over the
question of who owned Oregon and Washington, and
they say that this commissioner was a great salmon
angler. They say that he was here during the salmon
run, and fished the streams faithfully for them, without even getting a rise, though he could see millions
of them. The story goes that he was so disgusted with
the way the salmon acted that he went back to England
and reported that the great territory in dispute was
not worth quarrelling about, and not worth holding
by Great Britain, because the salmon in the stream
would not rise to a fly."
" That's sure comical," said Hugh; " but after all
there 's a good deal of human nature in it. We 're all
likely to look at things from our little narrow point of
view and to think only of matters as they interest us."
Before very long Jack found the holding of the trolling line something of a nuisance, and at Fanning's
suggestion passed it over to Jimmie, the steersman,
who tied it about one of his arms and kept up the work
of paddling. That there was salmon about now was
very evident, for great silvery fish were frequently seen
jumping out of the water, or floundering about on the
surface, throwing shining drops about them in showers.
" Why do these fish jump in that way, Mr. Fannin? "
asked Jack. " It's common enough to see fish jump
out of the water and then fall back, but these, when 122       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
they strike the water, act almost like a fish thrown on
the shore, and flopping there."
" The Indians say," replied Fannin, " and I guess
very likely it's true, that this flopping around by the
salmon is done for the purpose of ridding themselves
of certain parasites that are attached to their bodies.
I 've often seen these parasites. They are flat, oval
crustaceans, and a good deal like the common sow bugs
— those little flattish, purple, many-legged bugs that
we find under the bark of dead trees or sometimes
under stones, back in the East. Almost all salmon
caught in salt water have some of these things stuck
to them, sometimes only one and sometimes a dozen.
They will be found chiefly about the fins, and especially
on those of the back. They cling closely to the skin,
and some force is needed to dislodge them; but as
soon as the fish get in the fresh water they die and
drop off."
They were paddling along, not very far from a kelp
bed, which lay north and south, along the channel that
they were following for a mile or more, when suddenly
Jimmie dropped his paddle and began to haul in on
his line. A moment's work, however, showed that he
had no fish on it, and he let it go again. But Fannin
told him to draw in the line and see that the spoon was
all right; for it occurred to him that the current might
have carried the spoon in among the leaves of the kelp
bed, that it might have caught in one of them, and been
torn off. When the end of the line was recovered it
appeared that this was just what had happened; and
Fannin, grumbling at the Indian's carelessness, put on
another spoon and threw the line overboard, but this
time kept it in his own hand. It had hardly straightened out, when there was a violent tug on it, and
Fannin dropped his paddle and began to haul in the
line rapidly, hand over hand. Every one in the boat
was more or less excited at the capture, and they all THE  START 123
stopped paddling. The great fish was drawn nearer
and nearer; sometimes out of sight, and sometimes
struggling on the surface of the water and making a
great splashing. It was not very long before it was
close to the side. All the paddles were taken in; and
Fannin, being very careful to keep the fish away from
the side of the canoe, let his right hand down close to
the line, and grasped the fish close behind the gills, and
lifted it into the canoe. Jack, Hugh, and Charlie
cheered vigorously, and the Indians grinned with
It was a fine silvery fish, of ten pounds weight, fat
and firm, promising delicious food. The fish was
passed aft for the inspection of Hugh and Jack; and
Fannin called their especial attention to the presence
on its back of three of the parasites of which they had
been talking only a few moments ago. Then, after
they had all admired the fish, it was laid aside in a
shady place and the canoe went on. CHAPTER  XI
The voyagers worked on steadily through the day,
and three or four hours before sundown they landed
at Comox Spit, two or three miles from the village of
Comox. All through the day numbers of hair-seals
had been seen diligently fishing in the shoal waters,
and often an old one was accompanied by her tiny
young. There were hosts of water-fowl about the
shore, — ducks of several kinds, seagulls, guillemots,
and auks'; while along the beach ran oyster catchers,
turnstones, and many other shore birds. All these
were picking a fat living there from the water or from
the gravelly beach at the water's edge. The larger
fowl fed on fish and mollusks on the bottom; the lesser
ones on the small crustaceans, which are abundant
among the vegetable life near the beach. At the end
of the day the canoe passed through a great multitude
of ducks, which seemed to contain many thousands of
birds. Near these were hundreds of great seagulls,
sitting on the sand spits which project from the islands
far out into the water. As the canoe moved toward
these great flocks of ducks, the noise of their rising,
the whistling rush of their wings and the pattering of
their feet upon the water made such a tumult as alrnost
to drown ordinary conversation.
It was low water when they landed, and the boat's
cargo had to be carried a long distance up to the
meadow above the beach. After this had been done,
the fire kindled and the tent put up, Charlie called to
them: " Why don't you men try that mud flat for FOOD FROM THE SEA 125
clams? You have a salmon to do to-night, but that
won't last very long, and you had better try to get
some more fresh meat."
Arming themselves with sharpened sticks, they scattered out over the mud flat, looking carefully for signs
of clams, and before long were hard at work gathering
them. Jack had dug clams in the East before, but this
was new business for Hugh; and it was fun for Jack
to tell him how to look for the clams and how to unearth them when found. It took them but a short time
to gather over half a bushel of the bivalves, which
were taken up to the camp and washed off and covered up.
Their dinner of salmon was greatly enjoyed. After
dinner Jack and Fannin, seeing some fish jumping out
at the mouth of the river, pushed off in the canoe and
spent some time casting for them. But although they
tried almost all their most attractive flies, they did not
get a single rise, though the fish kept jumping all
around them. While still occupied at this, the sun
went down and before long the Indians began to make
an extraordinary disturbance about the camp fire —
shouting, rushing about, stooping down, and then
throwing up their hands. When the two anglers
reached the shore and inquired what had caused all the
excitement, Hugh picked up by the wing and held aloft
a tiny mottled owl. The little bird had been hunting
about over the flat, and, attracted by the light of the
fire, had flown about it several times; and the Indians,
excited by its near approach, had begun to throw
stones at it. A well-aimed shot by Jimmie had brought
down the bird, which Charlie suggested would do for
the next day's dinner.
" We have n't got down quite to eating owls," said
Jack, with a laugh.
" Well," said Hugh, " I 've eaten owl a number of
times, and it's not at all bad eating, though, of course, 126       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
it depends a little bit on how hungry you are. I guess
most everything that runs or flies is pretty good to eat,
if one only has appetite enough. I have tried a whole
lot of things, and I put owl down among the things that
are real good."
" How did you come to eat owl, Hugh ?" asked
Jack.   " And when was it? "
" It's a good many years ago," said Hugh, " that I
started, late in December, south from the Platte River
with Lute North, expecting to load up a wagon with
buffalo meat at once. We did n't take much grub with
us as we meant to be gone only for a few days; and
as buffalo had been plenty in the country to which we
were going, we thought we could soon load the wagon.
" We travelled three days without seeing a head of
game, and then crossed the Republican River and kept
on south. In the river bottom we killed a turkey, but
all the four-footed game seemed to have left the
country. After going south two days longer and
finding no game, not even an old bull, we turned back,
for provisions were getting low. We crossed the
Republican again, but got stuck in the quicksands;
and the wagon sunk so low that the water came into
the wagon box and wet our things, without doing
much harm, however, for the sugar was the only thing
that was spoiled. The flour got wet, and left us only
about enough for two or three more loaves of bread.
But we had a little piece of bacon left, so we had
enough to carry us through. It took some hours to
get the wagon out; and that afternoon, after leaving
the river, we saw three old bulls feeding on the side of
a ridge. At first Lute and I both intended to go after
them; but as there was a better chance of approaching
them if only one man went, and as Lute was a fine shot,
I told him to go ahead, and I waited in the wagon.
He took a circuit and got around the bulls so that the
wind was right, then crept up behind a ridge until he FOOD  FROM THE SEA 127
was within a hundred yards, and fired — and the bulls
ran off over the hills. When Lute came back, and I
asked him how he came to miss them, he could give no
explanation. f I had as good a bead on that bull as I
ever had on anything, and yet I missed him clean,' he
said; * shot clear over him.'
" We camped that night in a wide and deep ravine,
and in the morning when we got up we found that we
were covered with snow, which was two or three feet
deep, and which still kept falling. This was certainly
a bad state of things. We lay in camp all day, only
leaving it to tie the horses up to some brush where
they could get something to eat. It stopped snowing
that night, and the next morning we started out to try
to kill something, but had no luck. The snow was so
deep in the ravine that we could not travel there, but
on the divide the wind had blown it all off. Lute saw
a wolf, but could not get a shot at it. I had seen
nothing. We spent the rest of the evening trying to
break a road out to the divide, and at night we made
our last loaf of bread and ate half of it. It took us
all the next day to get out to where the horses could
travel, but we made some little distance, stopping at
night and melting some snow for the horses, and for
a cup of coffee apiece. Next morning, as we were
hitching up, I saw a white owl hunting along the edge
of the ravine. The bird alighted about half a mile
away, and I took my rifle and went out to try to kill
it. I got to within seventy-five yards of it, and then it
saw me; so I fired, and it did not fly away. When I
got hold of it I found that I had shot high, and that
my ball had just cut the top of its head. Half an inch
higher, and I would have missed. We ate half the owl
that morning, and the rest that night. The next night
we crossed the Platte. When within four or five miles
of town, just when we didn't need it, we killed a
white-tail deer." 128      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
" Well," said Jack, " you must have been pretty
hungry when you got it."
" Yes," said Hugh, " but it is n't very hard to go
without eating. A man feels pretty wolfish for the
first twenty-four hours, but then he does n't get any
hungrier. After that he begins to get weak; not very
fast, of course, but he can't do as much as he can when
he 's well fed. He can't walk as far or climb as hard.
To go without water, though, is a very different thing.
If a man can't drink, he suffers a great deal, and keeps
getting worse all the time."
" Well," said Fannin, " in this country no man need
suffer for want of water. These mountains are covered with it; it is running down them everywhere.
There is usually food too, though sometimes fish and
game, and seaweed and fern roots fail, and then the
Indians get hungry. One thing the Indians eat, which
I never saw eaten anywhere before, and that is the
octopus or devil fish, as they 're sometimes called. It
is n't bad eating, and the Indians think a great deal of
it. They cut off the arms and boil them, and then when
the skin is peeled off, they are perfectly white, looking
almost like stalks of celery. The meat is tender and
quite good, though to tell the truth, it has n't got much
flavor to it."
" You speak of fern roots, Mr. Fannin," said Jack,
" I did n't know that they were ever eaten."
" Yes," replied Fannin. " They 're gathered and
roasted in time of scarcity, and will support life for a
time. The Indians here have quite a variety in the way
of vegetable food in dulse, seaweed, and berries. They
dry the berries of different kinds, making them into
cakes when they 're nearly dry, and using them as a
sort of bread in winter. There 's what is called the
soap-berry, which they use as a sort of flavoring. The
berries are dried and pressed into cakes. When they
want to use it, a portion of a cake is broken off,' FOOD  FROM  THE  SEA 129
crumbled into fine pieces and put into a bucket with a
little water. Then a woman with bare arm begins to
stir the mixture with her hand, and soon it becomes
frothy. The more she stirs it, the more it foams up;
and as the volume increases, more water is added,
until at last the vessel which contains it, and which may
hold several gallons, is full of this foam. Then the
Indians sit about it, and scraping up the foam on their
fingers, draw them between their lips. The taste of
the foam is sharply bitter, something like the inner
bark of the red willow. I 've always supposed that
these berries possessed some tonic quality like quinine.
There are two or three kinds of seaweed that the
Indians eat. One they boil, and it makes a dish
a great deal like what we call * greens.' The other
is dried, pressed into cakes, and used later in soups.
This seaweed seems to be full of gelatine and thickens
the soup. It is still the custom in the villages which
are far from the settlements, for young women to chew
this seaweed fine before cooking it. It's necessary to
make it small before the boiling will soften it. The
Indians who live near the settlement, however, chop
up the vegetable with a knife, a pair of scissors, or a
tobacco cutter."
" Well," said Jack, " I guess we '11 want to avoid
any soup if we stop at any Indian villages."
" Well," said Fannin, " it might be a good idea to
be on the lookout, but they use this seaweed chiefly
in the winter, so I don't think we need to be alarmed."
Camp was broken early next morning, and a start
made soon after daylight. There was a long day of
paddling. Camp was made shortly before sundown,
and soon after supper was eaten all hands went to bed.
Of course, efforts were made to procure fresh meat,
but no more salmon were caught, nor any deer seen,
though each day Fannin was lucky enough to kill a
few ducks with a shot-gun. 130      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
Each night as the time for camping approached, Mr.
Fannin and the Indians would be on the watch for a
good landing-place. This had to be carefully chosen
on account of the danger of scratching the bottom of
the boat or striking it sharply on some rock or pebble,
which might result in accident and cause several days'
detention, or possibly even a serious calamity.
When a landing was made, it was the first duty of
the party to unload the canoe, and then to drag it up
on the beach, safe above reach of the waves. As has
been stated, the prow of the canoe was turned away
from the shore, and she was backed toward some place
where the sand was smooth and free from stones, or
else where the pebbles were smoothly spread out,
and as nearly as possible of the same size. The approach to the shore was slow and made carefully, and
the paddles of those in the stern were thrust, handles
down, against the beach, to ease the shock of her
touching. Then the steersman leaped overboard, and
lifted and drew the canoe as far up the beach as he
could. The others disembarked and helped to lift her
still farther on to the beach. Then her load was taken
out, and carried up above high-water mark. After the
whole load had been transported to the spot selected
for the camp, every one, except the cook, who at once
busied himself with preparations for the meal, returned
to the water's edge. The loose boards in the bottom
of the canoe — put there to protect the bottom from
the careless dropping of some heavy article, or from
a too heavy footfall — were taken out and placed on
the beach, so as to form a smooth roadway for the
canoe to slide on, and she was then dragged well up
above high-water mark. The Indians went into the
forest to cut poles and pins for the tent, which was soon
set up, and the beds made. Before dinner was ready, the
camp was in complete order. Sometimes it happened
that no satisfactory landing-place could be made, and
then it was impossible to get the canoe out of the water
on the rocks or the narrow beach where they were
obliged to camp. In such cases the Indians, after they
had eaten, would re-embark, take the canoe out some
distance from the shore and anchor it there, and spend
the night in the vessel. Next morning all the operations of unloading the canoe were reversed. While
breakfast was being cooked the blankets were rolled
up, the tent torn down, and everything but the mess
kit and the provision boxes carried down to the canoe.
After breakfast, and while the dishes were being
washed, the canoe was loaded, the last thing put aboard
being the mess kit and the provision boxes.
About noon the next day, upon rounding a point of
land, some low houses were seen in a little bay, and
Fannin, after speaking to the Indians, said to the
others: " Here 's the village of the Cape Mudge Indians. Had we not better stop here and see if we can't
buy some dried salmon? We have got to have some
provisions, unless you hunters can do better."
When they paddled up to the village they found that
it consisted of large houses made of " shakes," somewhat like the Indian village that they had seen near
Nanaimo. In front of several of the houses stood
poles, from forty to sixty feet high and curiously
carved. One such pole, not yet erected, and in process
of being carved, bore on one end the head of a large
bird, which by some stretch of imagination might be
taken for that of an eagle. The Indians seen here,
though little resembling the Indians Jack and Hugh
were familiar with on the plains, were at least clad
like Indians, that is to say, in breech-clout and blanket.
Physically they bore little resemblance to the more
symmetrical horse Indians of the plains, for, though
their bodies seemed large and well developed, their
legs were small and shrunken.
The party's stay here was short, but they succeeded 132       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
in purchasing a few salmon and then pushed off again,
Just outside of the village was a burial place of considerable size, in which were many small houses. The
bodies of the dead were deposited in the small board
houses, though those of poorer people were said to be
placed in old canoes, which were then covered with
boards. In front or at the side of each house stood a
number of small poles, ten or twelve feet high, which
indicated the number of potlatches or great feasts that
the dead man had given, each pole standing for a pot-
latch. Fastened to stouter and larger poles were small
profiles of canoes carved out of thin boards, which
showed how many canoes the dead man had given
away during his life. Over some of the houses stood
large crosses, eight or ten feet high and covered with
white cloth.
" You see," said Fannin, " a good many Indians
along the coast here are supposed to be Christians,
though it is pretty hard to tell just how much the
Indians understand of what the missionaries tell them,
and just how far their lives are influenced by their
teachings. No matter how good Christians these
Indians who are buried here may have been, every one
of them has been fitted out by his relations with a
canoe for use in the land of the future, for they can
conceive of no country where there is no water, nor of
any means of getting about except in a canoe."
That night after dinner as they were seated about
the fire, Hugh and Fannin pulling at their pipes,
Charlie smoking a cigarette, and the Indians — who
that night slept aboard the canoe — singing one of
their plaintive songs, Jack asked Mr. Fannin to explain the meaning of the word "potlatch," which he
had used earlier during the day.
" Well," said Fannin, " potlatch is a word of the
Chinook jargon, and means to give, or a gift, according to the connection in which it is used.   As we 've FOOD  FROM  THE SEA
been paddling along you 've heard the Indians say,
' Potlatch tsook,' which means ' give water.' In other
words, they want a drink. The great ambition of
every Indian in this country is to get property in
such quantity that he can give a big feast, call all the
people together, sometimes one village, sometimes all
the villages of the tribe, and then hand around presents to everybody. It is in this way, according to
their estimation, that they become chiefs or men of
importance. Wealth, in fact, seems to constitute a
standard of rank among them, and the man who gives
away the most is the biggest chief. Later, he receives
the reward of his generosity, for at subsequent pot-
latches, given by other people, he receives a gift proportionate to the amount of his own potlatch. When,
therefore, an Indian has accumulated money enough, he
is likely to buy a great lot of food, crackers, tea, sugar,
molasses, and flour, as well as calico and blankets.
Then he proceeds to invite all his friends, up and down
the coast, to a potlatch. The feast consists mainly of
boiled deer meat and salmon and oolichan oil, with
the other food I have just mentioned. Every guest
has all the crackers he can eat. Perhaps there is a
small canoe full of molasses. Each guest receives so
many yards of calico, a part of the blankets are distributed among the visitors, and the remainder are
scrambled for among the young men, the donor perhaps getting on top of a house and throwing the blankets down into the crowd below. The feasting and the
giving may last for a week; and when the affair is
over the guests go their several ways, leaving the giver
of the potlatch a poor man. When the next potlatch
takes place, however, he recovers a portion of his
wealth, and after a few more have been given, he is
better off than ever. Sometimes at these feasts canoes
are given away, and even guns and ammunition; and
the greater the gift, the more is due the giver when i34      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
those who have received gifts from him themselves
give potlatches."
" Well," said Jack, " that's a queer custom and a
queer way of thinking. It seems, in certain ways,
though, a good deal like the orders that were given in
the Bible, to take all you have and give it to the poor.
But I suppose as a matter of fact, instead of giving
it to the poor, these men who give these potlatches
try to give to the rich instead, so that they may receive their gifts back again."
" Well," said Hugh, " you will find among Indians
everywhere, that one making a gift to another, or a
contribution for any purpose, expects to receive it back
again. If a man should die before he had paid back
the gift, his relations are required to make it up."
" I guess Indians are alike everywhere," said Fannin.
" Queer people, queer people."
I Well," said Hugh, " that's just exactly what the
Indians say about us: ' the white people are queer.' " CHAPTER XII
the island deer
The next morning, after the canoe had been loaded,
Hugh said to Fannin: " What's the course of the
canoe from here? Are you going to cross over any
of those channels, or shall you follow the shore? "
" We '11 follow the shore," said Fannin. " If this
canoe was n't so heavy we could carry it across this
little point and save ourselves three or four miles of
paddling, for you see, we 've got to go way east and
then come back west again, and follow around the bay
that lies just over there."
" That's just what I thought," said Hugh. " Now,
suppose instead of my going into the canoe, and helping
you fellows to paddle, I take it afoot across this neck,
and along the shore; and see if I can't kill something.
We need meat and there must be lots of deer here,
though we 've not seen any yet. There 's plenty of
sign, though."
" That's a good idea," said Fannin, " and I wish
you would do it. You '11 have a lot of time to hunt, but
keep close to the shore and if you see us coming, get
down on the beach and make a fire as a signal for us;
otherwise we might overlook and pass you."
" All right," said Hugh, " I '11 do so."
" Don't you want to go along, Jack ? " asked Mr.
Fannin. Secretly Jack did want to go, very much,
for he had an idea that Hugh would find some game,
and that there would be a chance to kill one of these
Island deer; but on the other hand, he thought he
should not shirk his share of the paddling, and that L
one man could kill any deer that was seen just as well
as two. So he said: " No, I '11 go in the canoe; " and
they pushed off and were soon growing smaller in the
Hugh started across the open meadow, which lay
between them and the other side of the long point.
As he passed along through the grass, he saw many
deer beds, and a number of tracks of wild animals
among which was one in a muddy place, made by an
enormous wolf. He walked slowly and watched the
country, and at last came to the shore, followed it
and was soon walking under the tall evergreens that
grew down to the beach. Turning into the forest,
he moved quietly along among the great tree trunks.
The ground was free from undergrowth, and moss
covered, and here and there little rivulets trickled over
the ground, sometimes bridged by fallen tree trunks,
over which great bunches of soft green moss hung
down to the ground. Here and there, in the moss,
were seen the sharply defined tracks of deer, seemingly
just made, yet no indication of life was seen, save
the occasional shadow of a bird, moving among the
tree tops far above him. Hugh had gone perhaps half
a mile, keeping nearly parallel to the beach, and back
from it about a hundred yards, when without warning, a deer stepped out from behind a group of tree
trunks, and stood looking curiously at him. There was
no wind, and the animal did not seem in the least
alarmed. The shot was an easy one, and it was the
work of but a few seconds to fire. The animal fell at
once, and stepping up to him, Hugh found that it
was dead. It was very small, scarcely larger than a
yearling black-tail of the Rocky Mountains, although
it was a full grown buck. It resembled the Rocky
Mountain black-tail somewhat, but its ears were small
and the tail was quite different, being haired below.
In a very few moments Hugh had prepared the animal THE ISLAND DEER
for transportation to the beach, and putting it on his
back walked down to the shore. The canoe was not
yet in sight, and Hugh considered a little if it would be
better to go on farther to see whether he could get
another deer, but after thinking a few moments he
determined to be satisfied with the one he had secured.
So he built his fire as a signal for the canoe, skinned
his deer, and for an hour or two sat waiting. At
last a black speck was seen on the water close to the
shore of the point, and as it crept forward, it grew
larger and larger, until Hugh could recognize his
fellow travellers.
When they came up to him, they wore broad smiles of
satisfaction at his success, and when he had stepped on
board the canoe went on again. It was not long after
this that they were obliged to run Seymour Narrows,
a contracted channel through which the tide boils,
making eddies, whirlpools, and tide-rips, and where
it was hard to see how a canoe could live. Just before
reaching it they passed a cliff on Valdes Island that
was full of interest for Jack and Fannin. The dark
gray precipice, crannied and creviced from base to
summit, was occupied by a multitude of sea birds which
were nesting in the holes and fissures in the rocks. Of
these, by far the most numerous were the pigeon
guillemots, thousands of which were fishing in the
waters close to the shore, or flying backward and forward between the water and their secure homes in the
rocks. It was a pretty sight to see them diving for
food, emerging from the depths with something in
their bills, rising from the water, and each one swiftly
flying toward some hole in the face of the precipice
into which it disappeared without checking its flight;
or at the mouth of which it alighted, and, clinging
swallow-like to the inequalities of the rock, was met by
its mate who took from it the food it had brought.
Then the bird would leave its position, fly horizontally 138      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
over the water for a little distance, and drop vertically
into the water, striking it with a great splash. The
scene was a busy and noisy one, for the birds were
continually chattering and calling among themselves.
Gracefully floating on the water, or winnowing their
slow way to and fro over its surface, were white-
breasted seagulls of several kinds; and fishing and
hunting along the shore were ravens and crows, while
white-headed eagles rested in the tall trees.
Before attempting the passage of Seymour Narrows,
it was necessary to ascertain the stage of the water.
To pass the Narrows when the tide was against them
was obviously impossible; nor would it do to attempt
a passage at half tide, even if it were in their favor,
for at that time the tossing waters would prove extremely dangerous to the canoe, — so the Indians told
Fannin, and so Fannin reported to the others.
The bowman and two or three of the party landed
near the head of the Narrows and climbed high enough
on the hillside to see the whole of the sluice-way, and
as soon as the Indian had looked at it, he turned about
and started back, declaring that it was just at the end
of the flood, and they should start without delay. To
Jack, the sight of the boiling water, the tossing waves
and hurrying tide-rips seemed rather alarming, but
there was no time to think of this. They embarked,
and a few strokes of the paddle sent the canoe dashing
along the rapid current. For the white occupants of
the canoe, there was nothing to do but to paddle hard,
each in his own place. It was interesting to watch the
skill with which the Indians guided the craft. It was
of the first importance that steerage way should be kept
on the canoe, for there were constant eddies and whirlpools, which must either be avoided or taken advantage of; and yet at the rate at which the craft was
being hurried along by the tide, it was not easy to-add
to her speed.   Before long, the run became very excit- THE ISLAND DEER 139
ing. Hats were torn off and thrown into the bottom
of the boat, perspiration started from every brow, and
the men tore at their paddles as if their lives depended
on it. Even Hugh, who was rarely moved, seemed to
partake of the general excitement and his eye glowed
and his color rose as his white hair and beard flew
out in the wind. Hamset, standing erect, in the bow
of the canoe, flourished his mighty paddle, and in his
own language shouted directions to Jimmie, and in
Chinook to the remainder of the crew. At length the
channel was reached, and here it became evident that
the vessel had been a little late in starting; for, meeting the beginning of the ebb-tide, the canoe was
checked, and presently it stood still and for nearly half
an hour obstinately refused to move forward. But at
length the efforts of the paddlers seemed to overcome
the current and the boat started on, very slowly at
first but fast enough to encourage the motive power.
Redoubling their efforts they rounded a little point, and
taking advantage of a favoring eddy, passed out into
quieter water and camped half an hour later in a little
bay, which Fannin said might fairly be named Fatigue
That night, after the evening meal had been eaten,
there was still an hour or two of daylight; and while
Fannin and Charlie got out their lines and prepared
to go fishing, Hugh and Jack took their rifles and
climbed a thousand feet or so up the hillside to look at
the view that lay before them, up and down the channel.
During the climb they saw fresh bear-tracks and a
number of familiar birds, — the Louisiana tanager, the
black-throated green warbler, and some others. Not
far away, a ruffed grouse was heard drumming.
While perched on the face of the hillside, Hugh
told Jack the simple story of the killing of the deer.
" There was no special hunting to it," he said, " I
just went through the timber, quietly, and presently the 140      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
deer walked out and got shot.   I did n't even know that
it was there, but I 'm glad to have the meat."
They sat there until the sun had set, delighted with
the calm beauty of the scene. In the trees above their
heads, the little birds moved about uttering soft, faint
notes. Up from a ravine on the right came, again and
again at short intervals, the vibrating thunder of the
ruffed grouse's drumming, low and muttering at first,
and finally dying away into the silence.
Twilight was upon the hill before they returned to
camp, and as they picked their way down the steep rocks
they heard from the direction of the boat a shot, and
then another — both from Hamset's rifle, and learned
a little later that the Indian had been shooting at a
seal. Fannin and Charlie had caught some rock-cod,
curious red and black fish with staring eyes, said to
live at great depths.
As the cliff rose straight up from the water's-edge,
and there was no beach on which the canoe could be
drawn, it was necessary that night to anchor it at a distance, and the two Indians slept in it and chanted their
plaintive songs until the middle of the night. Around
the camp fire the white men sat in silence, watching
the strange shadows cast by the dancing flames on the \
overhanging rocks, or listening to the faintly heard
rushing of the waters in the Narrows, which they had
just passed; or to the moonlight drumming of the
grouse on the mountain side above them. It had been
a hard day, and there was little inclination to talk.
Charlie, however, who was gratified at the killing of
the deer, commented on that, and on deer hunting in
distant lands.
" Why," said he, " you ought to see them Pueblo
Indians go deer hunting down in Arizona! They start
off without anything but a knife, and when they find a
deer, they just start to run after him and don't stop
until they get him." THE ISLAND DEER
"You don't mean," interrupted Jack, "that they
run him down ? "
" They do," said Charlie; " run him down, catch
him and cut his throat. Why, sir, they are the best
trailers in the world, and as for travelling, they can
kill any horse that was ever foaled. They start after
the deer, and when he sees them coming, of course he
lights out, and is not seen again for some time. The
Indians take his trail, and start off at a dog trot, which
they can keep up all day. Every time they start the
deer, he lets them get a little closer, and at last he's
so tired that he only keeps a few yards ahead of them,
but they keep on until he fairly drops, plum give out!
I have known them, when the deer got pretty tired,
to turn him and drive him right into the camp and
kill him there, to save themselves the trouble of packing in the meat — make the game pack itself, you
" That's a pretty tough story," said Hugh, " but I
guess it's all right. I 've heard something about those
fellows, though I never saw them. I once walked down
an antelope, myself, and I would n't have believed it,
if I hadn't done it. The antelope was wounded, of
" The camp needed meat the worst way, and nobody
seemed to be able to kill anything. There were antelope in the country, but very wild. I started on foot
one afternoon, to try to get something, and after travelling two or three miles I looked over a little ridge, and
saw three buck antelope feeding up a ravine toward
a table-land above the valley where I was hunting. I
could easily get around to the head of the ravine up
which they were going, and if I could get there before
they reached it, I would be sure to kill one of them. I
started running as hard as I could, and had got within
a quarter of a mile of the ravine, when, on taking a
look, I saw that they had nearly reached the top.   \ 142      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
was still about a hundred and fifty yards away when
I saw the horns of one of them, as he walked up on
the mesa. I dropped, and, when I had a fair shot,
fired. I ought to have killed of course, but whether
it was because I was so anxious to get him, or because
I had been running hard and my hand was unsteady,
I only broke the buck's hind leg just above the hock.
All three started off, but the wounded one soon tailed
out and then turned down a broad valley which led
into the one up which I had come, but several miles
farther from camp. Well, I started after that buck,
and after a long walk found him lying down in the
valley. He saw me and ran off down the valley, long
before I was able to shoot. I followed as fast as I
could, running till my wind gave out, and then walking till I got it again. Whenever I could get near
enough, I fired a shot, just to keep him going. At last
he grew so tired that he would let me get pretty close
up to him before starting, and finally he lay down
behind a bank, where I could creep up and kill him.
I carried the meat into camp that evening, but when I
got there I was so thirsty that I could not speak. My
throat was swollen and my tongue was half as big as
my fist."
" Well," said Jack, " the antelope is a tough beast
and will take a lot of killing, and of course you know
better than I do, Hugh, that the plains Indians always
speak of it as the swiftest and most long winded of
" Yes," said Hugh. " A man often ties an antelope's horn round his horse's neck by a string, to make
the horse swift and long winded."
" I saw a few antelope;" said Fannin, " when we
crossed the plains, but not many, and I never killed
one. They are mighty interesting animals, and what
always seemed to me the most extraordinary thing
about them is that they shed their horns." THE ISLAND DEER 143
" Yes," said Hugh, " that's so, of course, all mountain men have always known that, but I heard only
a few years ago that them professors that claim to
know everything about all animals only found it out
within the last fifteen or twenty years. Something
strange about that."
" Yes," said Fannin, " but I suppose, maybe, these
professors never had a chance to see many antelopes
or know much about them."
" Yes, likely," said Hugh.
" Well," he added, " it's getting late, and I expect
we 're all ready for bed. Let's turn in;" and they
did so.
The next morning an early start and a full day's
paddling carried the travellers to a point known as
Struggle Cove, which they reached several hours before sundown. The country here looked better for
hunting than any Jack had seen, and he determined
to start out to see if he could not find a deer. The
woods were open, the ground carpeted, and the trees
draped with a luxuriant growth of bright green moss,
on which the foot fell as noiselessly as on a cushion.
Higher up on the mountain side there was the usual
tangle of underbrush, but a little valley that skirted
its base was comparatively open. As soon as dinner
had been eaten Jack set out. He had not gone far
from camp when he came on to fresh deer tracks,
which, after a little, turned up the hill and into the
thick brush, where it seemed useless to follow. Two
or three other tracks were seen, all of which led into
the same thick place; but at length he saw one that
kept up the valley, and as it had been made but a
short time before, he had strong hopes that he should
see the deer. He followed the track very slowly and
carefully, and as it grew more and more fresh, his
caution became greater. He entered a low growth of
hemlock, going very slowly, and, just as he was pass- 144      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
ing out, on the other side, he heard a deer jump, not fifty
yards away, and in a moment saw it bound off up the
mountain side. He threw up his gun and was just
about to press the trigger when the animal stopped
and looked back, giving him a certain shot. With the
sound of the rifle the deer sank and rolled part way
down the hill.
This was very satisfactory. They had now two deer
— enough to keep them in fresh meat quite a long
time, for the weather was so cool that meat would not
The deer taken was a buck, whose horns, still in the
velvet, as did also his teeth, showed that he was full
grown. Yet, compared with the Rocky Mountain deer
that Jack had seen, he was quite a small animal.
Jack was doubtful about his ability to carry the
carcase to camp, which was quite distant. But after
dressing the deer and removing the head and shanks,
he got it on his shoulders and slowly staggered toward the camp. It was a heavy load, and he was often
obliged to stop and rest. Before he got half way to
his destination he was rejoiced to see Hugh striding
toward him.
" Well," said Hugh, as he came up to where Jack
was sitting, " I had half a notion that you had killed
something, and knew that if you had you would find
your meat a pretty heavy load, so I came up to spell
you in carrying it in.   Pretty heavy, is n't it ? "
" Yes," said Jack, " it weighs something, and the
hardest part about it is to get it upon my back again
after I 've dropped it off to rest."
" Well," said Hugh, " I '11 smoke a pipe, and then
take it the rest of the way. I guess I 'm something
more used to big loads, to say nothing about being
some bigger and stronger."
After Hugh had finished his pipe he swung the
deer on his shoulders with hardly an effort, and Jack THE ISLAND DEER 145
could not help envying him the splendid strength that
he displayed. The advent of the second deer in camp
was greeted with rejoicing. The Indians grinned at
the prospect of unlimited meat; Charlie was delighted
because he knew that the party would rather eat deer
than bacon; and Fannin and Hugh realized that the
provisions would hold out just so much longer for
this reinforcement of food.
It was at this camp that a slight modification of the
manner of propelling the canoe was proposed and
carried out. When the party had left Nanaimo a
couple of long, heavy, rough oars of Indian manfacture
had been thrown into the boat; and during the many
days of paddling that had elapsed, the idea had occurred
to Fannin that if these oars could be used, more power
could be applied to them than to two paddles. He
therefore consulted with Hamset on the question of
rigging some rowlocks for the canoe, and this was
easily arranged. The Indians chose a couple of cedar
saplings, each of which had two small branches growing from it on the same side, at right angles to the
stem and three or four inches apart. He cut off about
six inches of the main stem, trimmed down the side
branches to within three inches of their point of outgrowth, and then split the main stem lengthwise so
as to leave the branches standing up, looking like two
thole pins. With a large awl he punched several holes
in the side of the canoe just below the gunwale, and,
taking some cedar twigs, warmed them in the ashes
of the fire, and when they had become hot and pliable
he sewed the piece of wood holding the thole pins
firmly to the gunwale, afterward driving wedges beneath it so as to make it tight. This formed a capital
rowlock. This was done on both sides of the boat,
and thereafter Fannin and Charlie handled the oars,
and their influence was felt at once in the increased
speed of the canoe. 146      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
Rowing was much harder work than paddling, but
it was also much more effective.
The next day, however, the oars were not needed;
the wind blew fair, the sail was hoisted, and the party
ran through Cardero Channel and up Loughborough
Inlet to its head, camping late in the afternoon.
The scenery was very beautiful, with rounded or
dome-shaped mountains timbered to their summits,
and occasionally a sharp granite peak which ran up
much higher and was covered with snow. The hills
stood back at some distance from the water, and thus
looked lower than they really were.
It was not easy to find a good place to camp here.
The meadow at the head of the inlet looked as if it
might shelter many mosquitoes, but a little farther
down the inlet was a flat, grass-grown but dangerously
near to high-water mark. Fannin shook his head
doubtfully when he looked it over, for on the grass
were a few fragments of seaweed; though the fresh
meadow grass seemed to show that the flat was seldom covered by the tide. Camp was made, and after
supper Fannin and both of the Indians started off to
look for game. Jack and Hugh were keeping camp,
when suddenly Jack observed that the water was
rising higher than had been expected, and it was soon
evident that a few inches more would cover the flat.
They waited for a little while, in the hope that it
would recede, but presently all hands had to rush
about to keep things from getting wet. It took but
a short time to roll up the bedding and carry it into
the forest, to pull down the tent and to lift the provisions and mess kit up on drift logs. Half an hour
later camp had been remade in the forest, and six
inches of water covered the flat where they had expected to sleep. CHAPTER  XIII
The next morning the canoe started down the
inlet, following the opposite shore. As they rounded
a point of rocks, a few miles below the camp, they
saw standing on the rocks close to the shore two deer,
a buck and a doe. The sun was yet low, directly
behind the canoe, and in the eyes of the deer. The
deer saw the vessel, but did not seem able to make it
out. The various members of the party got their
rifles in readiness and put them where they could be
easily reached, and then continued their steady paddling toward the deer. They had come to within a
hundred and fifty yards of them, and might have
pushed much nearer had not one of the Indians fired
a shot. This was the signal for a general fusillade,
the result of which was — nothing. It is very often a
fact that when several men are firing at one object it
is missed by all. There is always a little excitement;
each man is anxious to fire as soon as he can, for he is
nervous and wishes himself to kill the game. The
hurry and confusion throws every one a little off his
balance, and the result is poor shooting.
After the deer had disappeared into the forest, and
the paddling had been resumed, Hugh said: " Well,
I expect I 've seen that happen fifty times. When you
get a lot of men shooting at a group of animals they
almost always get clear off, or if one of them is killed
it's just an accident. I remember once seeing half
a dozen antelope gallop by not more than fifty yards
from a company of soldiers that were halted, and I L
believe every man fired half a dozen shots and not a
hair was touched."
I Yes," said Fannin, " you take even a couple of
men who know each other, and who try to fire at game
at the same time, and the result is always likely to be
a miss; and if there are a lot of men firing at will
they send their bullets in every direction except the
right one."
Jack felt mortified at his failure to hold his gun as
he felt he should have; but he was a little consoled
to think that he had done no worse than the two older
hunters who had also been shooting.
Charlie, on the other hand, not having a gun, seemed
to be quite delighted with the result and did not hesitate to deride the other members of the party on their
bad shooting.
At the mouth of the inlet and between that point and
Philip's Arm the tide was running very strong. The
canoe had a fine sailing breeze behind it, the sails were
spread, and the men worked hard at the paddling, but
they were barely able to overcome the tide. Jack was
interested in the appearance of the current as it ran
through the narrow channel. He could see that the
surface of the water, instead of being level as we
always suppose it to be, was here inclined, and that
the water was evidently higher at the point from which
it came than at the point toward which it was flowing
— in other words, it was like the water in a stream
flowing from a high level to a lower one- Jack called
Hugh's attention to this singular appearance, and
Hugh at first hardly believed that it could be so. But,
after carefully looking, he acknowledged that it seemed
to be. Fannin said that this was often the case in these
narrow channels where the tide ran swiftly.
Just before they reached Philip's Arm the wind fell,
and all save the Indians landed on the shore, and, tying
a rope to the bow of the boat, pulled it up around the AN ADVENTURE OF THE CASSIAR    149
last point into the quiet water beyond. Here they
took to the paddles again, and went on until dark, for
some time looking in vain for a place where they
could camp. The shore rose steeply from the water,
and there was no place for one to spread his blankets.
At last, quite after dark, as they were coasting along
the shore, the sound of the running water was heard;
and, landing near the mouth of the creek, they found
a bit of moderately level ground. Now, by the light
of the fire, brush, stumps and rocks were cleared away
and holes filled up, so that a comfortable night was
The next morning there was a fine breeze, and with
some help from the paddles the canoe made good
progress. During the day the mouth of two broad
but short arms of the sea were passed, which Fannin
told them were Frederick's and Philip's Arms. They
enter the coast between mountains three or four thousand feet high, and are spots of great beauty. About
the middle of the morning Jack saw a couple of
canoes, each of which held two or three Indian women.
Jack asked Fannin who these people were, and Fannin
appealed to Hamset, who told him that they were
women who had been gathering berries. While they
were still a long way off Hamset hailed the women
with a curious singing call, and they replied with the
same call, faintly heard across the waters. As the
canoe approached the shore there was much conversation between the Indians who chattered at a great rate.
They all seemed disposed to stop and visit for a while,
but Fannin was anxious to push on, and after a few
inquiries of one of the women about the rapids which
were just ahead, the vessels parted company. Long
after the canoes were out of ear-shot of ordinary conversation the Indians continued their talking to each
other, in musical tones, laughing at each other's jokes
as they came across the ever widening stretch of
Soon after leaving the Indians, the canoe reached
the mouth of a narrow channel through which ran
a rapid, swifter than any yet seen. The passage was
less than a hundred yards in width, and the water,
so far as it could be seen ahead, presented to the eye
nothing but a milk-white torrent, whose tossing waves
were from three to five feet high. The Indians seemed
to hesitate a little about running this rapid, and both
went ashore and followed down the bank for a little
way, looking for the best course to follow. On their
return they said that the passage might be made, and
in a few moments the canoe was darting over the
white water. All that could be done was to keep her
straight. Her motion was so rapid that it was quite
impossible to feel the water with the paddles. While
it lasted the run was quite exciting; but it was soon
over, for the channel was only half a mile in length,
and there was but little time to think about their possible danger or the pleasure of the passage. To Jack
it was a delightfully exhilarating ride, and there was
enough uncertainty to it, a possibility of danger, in
fact, which made it the most exciting experience of the
As the canoe moved slowly along over the stretch of
quiet water at the foot of the rapids Jack happened to
glance over the side of the canoe, and saw, lying
quietly on the white sand, a large school of beautiful
trout. The fish were very large, some of them apparently a foot and a half long. He felt a great longing
to stop there and take some of these fish, but they all
felt that they had no time now to go fishing. The
trout paid no attention to the craft, lying perfectly
motionless, except when its shadow fell upon them.
Then they moved slowly away into the sunlight.
Threading its way among the beautiful islands which
dotted Cardero Channel, the canoe moved slowly along
until a point was reached where its course must be AN ADVENTURE OF THE CASSIAR    151
changed from southeast to northwest, to pass through
the narrow passage between the mainland and Stuart
Island, through Arran Rapid and then up into Bute
Inlet. Here there had been a fishing station for dogfish — small sharks, valuable only for the oil that their
liver contains, and destructive to all fish life. For some
distance the shore was strewn with the carcases of
dog-fish captured by the Indians; and in some places
the trees were almost black with the crows and ravens
which had gathered here in great numbers to feed on
the dead fish.
The birds were very tame indeed, and often sat indolently on a limb, under which the canoe was passing.
Cocking their heads to one side they looked down on
the travellers in an unconcerned and impudent fashion
that was amusing or provoking according to the mood
of the individual at whom they were gazing.
At the head of the bay, just beyond the point where
the ravens were so plenty, is an Indian village where
nearly a hundred years before the explorer Vancouver
had spent a winter during his voyage along this coast.
The village is at the head of a deep bay. A beautiful
clear stream of ice-cold water runs by it, and there is
a considerable area of arable land on either side of the
stream. The canoe stopped here, for the Indians who
were navigating it said that they wished to inquire of
their friends about the passage of the rapids just ahead.
As they waited, Jack noticed running across the bay
a number of small logs in a line, and finally inquired
of Fannin what this meant, and Fannin asked the
Indians. After some little conversation Fannin turned
to Jack and said: " Why, that's a line running across
the bay from one side to the other, and supported, as
you see, by these log floats. About every twenty feet
or so, smaller lines, six feet in length, and each one
carrying a baited hook, hang down from the main line.
You can easily see that as this main line runs right 152       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
across the bay, no fish can get up or down without
passing the baits. I expect they catch a whole lot of
" Why," said Hugh, " there's something that looks
like home! That's nothing but a trot line, such as
I 've seen a thousand times when I was a boy back in
Kentucky. It's a sure good way of catching cat fish,
but I never would have expected to see it out in this
country and among these Indians."
Beyond this village the canoe, after passing the very
noticeable mountain which stretches across Stuart
Island, and which looks like a high wall built along the
coast, ran Arran Rapids. Before entering the passage
the party landed and climbed the hills, from which the
whole stretch of troubled waters could be seen. To
Jack and Hugh, and possibly to Fannin, the prospect
seemed rather terrible, and the roar of the torrent was
not assuring. In some places the water was tossed up
as if by a heavy gale, and white-capped waves reared
snowy crests high in the air. Near such an area of
agitation were seen other spaces where deep whirlpools
sucked away the water, leaving their centres much
lower than the neighboring level; and scattered about
among the waves and whirlpools were other stretches
of water less violently agitated, where the green oillike fluid rolled over and over with a slow, repressed
motion. All the time the dull roar or a muffled moaning rose from the channel. " This," said Fannin, " is
what the Indians call a ' Skookumtsook'" (strong
The Indians were watching the flood, waiting for the
proper time to make a start, and at last Hamset rose
and led the way down to the canoe. The tide was
just at the full; and at the end of the rapids the ebb
was met and a hard struggle ensued, the paddles and
oars flying as fast as they could. The canoe began to
go backward, and as it slowly yielded to the irresistible AN  ADVENTURE OF THE  CASSIAR    153
force, Hamset, the bowman, turned and shouted that
they must make for the shore. They did so, and when
they had nearly reached it he turned again and declared
that a present must be given to the wates or they would
all be drowned; but before this sacrifice had been
made, a few strokes carried the vessel into an eddy,
which enabled it to creep along close to the shore until
the more quiet water at the mouth of Bute Inlet was
Just after leaving the rapids they came upon an
Indian camp, whose people had come down from their
main village at the head of the Inlet. The canoe pushed
to shore to enable the travellers to talk with the people
of the camp, and to make inquiries about the Inlet, and
what was to be found at its head. The Indians had
pleasant faces and manners, and seemed a kindly folk,
much interested in the movements of the three " Boston
men," for they were quick to recognize Hugh, Jack,
and Charlie as different from Fannin. They said that
their village stood on a flat at the head of the inlet
where the Homalko River entered it. On the mountains about the village they said there was much ice,
and that a trail led from the village to one of these
glaciers. " Now," they said, " our houses are empty,
all our people being scattered along the coast fishing."
This camp was the last to start out to try its luck. For
provisions they had a porpoise, which they had killed
on the way down, some herring, and one twenty-five
pound salmon.
Charlie, who discovered the salmon, seized it at
once, and lifted it up to view; and Hugh, who was
always amused at Charlie's interest in the question of
eatables, joked him about the way he " froze to " the
fish, which Fannin presently bought for " four bits "
or half a dollar.
A little later Hugh, who was wandering about the
camp, called Jack,, and pointed out to him one of the 154      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
rakes with which the Indians caught herrings. It was
just as the sailor had described it to them when they
were on the steamer; and it was easy to see how the
keen points of the nails which projected from either
edge of the pole could pierce and hold the herring.
After they had left the village of the friendly Homalko Indians the canoe moved slowly along up the
inlet, and an hour or two before sunset made camp on
a gravelly beach two or three miles above the Amor
Near camp there were a few trees, and noticeable
among them a tall dead spruce, in which was a huge
eagle's nest. From the time of their arrival until dark
one of the eagles was coming and going, bringing food
to the whistling young, whose voices were plainly
heard and whose movements were sometimes seen. No
feature of this coast was more interesting or more surprising to Jack than the abundance of the eagles. They
were seen everywhere and at all tinges. Sometimes
during the morning fifteen or twenty of the great birds
were passed, and half a dozen of their nests.
Jack talked with Fannin about their abundance.
" Of course they 're plenty," said Fannin, " and
there 's no reason why they should n't be. You see
they 're absolutely without enemies; no one ever thinks
of injuring them, and none die except from old age
or accident. They breed undisturbed, and there is, as
you have seen, an unending supply of food. WTiy
should n't they increase ? I can fancy that a time might
come when the eagles would be so abundant here as to
be a pest. Though, just what harm they could do, it
is hard to say. I hate an eagle, myself, and would be
glad to destroy them all if I could; but then, I have
a special reason for it."
That night, as they were sitting about the fire, Jack
asked Fannin what his reason was for disliking the
eagles; and after a little hesitation Fannin told him
" It was back in the sixties," he said; "and I had
joined the rush to Cassiar, and my partner and myself
had struck a prospect late in the summer. It looked
well, and we held on until too late. The snow came,
and fell heavily, and we made up our minds that we
would have to winter there, yet we had practically
nothing to eat. We had built a cabin, but it was not
fitted up for winter, and there was no stock of provisions. 'The question was, what should we do? If
we started to go back to our own cabin, two hundred
miles away, where our main supplies were stored, we
could probably get there on short commons. On the
other hand, this would mean wintering away from our
prospect, doing no work on it through the winter, and
wasting some weeks of time in spring to get back to
it. On the other hand, if one of us stayed in the cabin
with what provisions we had, and the other went back
and got a fresh supply, we could winter by the prospect, work on it»during the winter, and be on hand in
the spring to push the summer work. This seemed
the best thing for us to do. Then came the question:
* Who should go for the grub ? ' We were both willing to go. There was no special choice between going
and staying. The man who stayed behind would have
a pretty lonesome time of it, but would have enough
to occupy him. The man who went would have a
lonely time, too, but he would be travelling constantly
and working hard. We could not make up our minds
which should go, and finally we drew lots for it, and
it fell to me to go. I took my snowshoes and toboggan
and some grub, and started. As I would be gone some
weeks, most of the food must be left with my partner,
and I could depend in some sort on my rifle. I should
have no time to hunt, but there was always some likelihood of running on game.
" I started early one morning, and that afternoon
it began to snow, and it kept on snowing for four days. 156      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
I travelled slowly, for the ground was covered deep
with a light, fluffy snow, on which snowshoes were
not much good; and it was hard to haul the toboggan.
Moreover, the ground being hidden, I could not choose
my way, and two or three times I got among rocks and
timber, and broke one of my snowshoes. That meant
a halt to mend it — a further delay. It was soon evident that I was going to run short of food. I kept
going as fast as I could, and kept a good lookout for
game, but saw nothing, in fact, not even a track.
" About the tenth day out I saw one of these eagles
roosting on a tree in the trail ahead of me; and, without seeming to notice it, I pressed on, thinking that
before long I would be near enough to kill it, and that
would give me so much more food. Before I came
within reach, however, it left its perch and soared into
the air. But instead of flying away, it merely wheeled
high over the valley; and at night, when I went into
camp, it alighted in a tree not far off, and sat watching
me. This continued for days, and all the time my grub
allowance was growing smaller. I cut myself down
first to half rations and then to quarter rations. I was
beginning to grow weak, and still had a long distance
to go before reaching our cabin. Two or three times
when the eagle had flown near me I had shot at it on
the wing, hoping to kill it; but with no result except
to call forth the whistling cry, which some writer has
described as a ' maniac laugh.'
" What with my hunger, my weakness, and my
loneliness, it got so after a while that that eagle got
on my nerves. I began to think that it was following
me; just watching and waiting for me to get weak,
and stumble, and fall, and freeze to death; and that
then it would have a good meal off me. I began to
think it was an evil spirit. Every day I saw it, every
day I looked for a chance to kill it, and every day
it swung over me in broad circles and laughed at my
" I had now been travelling twenty days and knew
that I must be getting close to the cabin. My grub
was all gone, and I could hardly stagger along; but
I still clung to my toboggan, for I knew that without
that I couldn't take food back to my partner; and
the thought of him back there at work on short allowance, and sure to starve to death unless I got back to
him, added to my trouble.
" At last one day about noon I came in sight of the
cabin, just able to stagger, but still dragging the toboggan, which had nothing on it except my blanket
and a little package of ammunition. I went up to the
cabin door, opened it, went in and partly closed the
door, leaving a crack through which I could watch
for the eagle. I hoped that he would stop on one of
the big trees near the cabin, and watch for me to come
out. He did so, lighting on a limb about a hundred
yards from the door. He made a big mark. I put
the rifle through the crack, steadied it against the
jamb, took as careful a sight as I ever took at anything,
and pulled the trigger. When the gun cracked, the
eagle spread his wings, soared off, and taking one
turn over the valley, threw back his head, laughing
at me. He sailed away over the mountains, and I
never saw him again.
" Two or three full meals put heart into me once
more, and with a good load of food, I started back to
my partner. Although the way was all uphill, I got
to him in about two weeks. On the way back I killed
two deer and some rabbits, and did not have to break
into the load of provisions on my toboggan. When
I reached him, I found that he was living in plenty.
He had killed four caribou that had wandered down
close to the cabin one night, and still had the carcases
of two hung up, frozen. Since that time I have never
had any use for eagles." CHAPTER XIV
Bute Inlet is the most remarkable as well as the
most beautiful of the larger fiords of the British Columbia coast. Its great length and the height of the
mountains that wall it in make it unequalled. Nowhere at the sea-level can such stupendous mountains
be seen so near at hand, nor such sublime views be had.
At its mouth the Inlet is only about a mile in width,
and in its widest portion it is not more than two and
a half miles. At the entrance, the hills are not especially high or rugged, but rise from the water in a
series of rounded undulations. Densely wooded to
their summits, they roll away in smooth green waves
to the higher more distant mountains of the interior.
No sharp pinnacles of granite nor dark frowning precipices interrupt the green of the forests. The dome-
shaped hills come into view one after another, always
smooth and ever green. The scene is one of quiet
picturesque beauty. A little farther up the inlet the
scenery changes. The shores rise more abruptly from
the water's edge, but though the mountains increase in
height the soft green foliage of firs and cedars still
rises toward the summits in an unbroken sweep. Then
masses of rock lift themselves above the timber line,
glittering in the sunlight as though studded with
jewels, or when shadowed by clouds frowning down
cold, black, and forbidding. Soon patches of snow
begin to appear on the mountains; at first visible only
as narrow white lines nestling in the deeper ravines,
but farther along large snow banks come into view BUTE INLET 159
and before long extensive snow fields are seen, glittering white on the summits, or even down among the
green of the mountain sides.
The canoe started early and a fair wind enabled
them to set the sail and to sit back at ease all through
the long day and view undisturbedly the enchanting
scenery which they were passing.
Jack had often heard his uncle describe a trip that
he had made to Norway, and his journey up some of
the fiords of that rock-bound coast. As he now
watched the shore and the mountains of Bute Inlet
slip by, these descriptions were constantly brought to
his mind. Scarcely less impressive than the wonderful
cliffs and mountains that he was seeing, were the beautiful streams, fed by the melting of the perpetual snow
high upon the hills. These streams plunged over the
precipices in beautiful falls and cascades. Long before
the water reached the rocks below, it was broken up
into finest spray; and a white veil of mist waved
to and fro before the black rocks, in fantastic and ever
changing shapes.
Here the mountains had become much higher than
any they had approached before. Instead of peaks
from twenty-five hundred to four thousand feet in
height, they were close to those that reached an altitude
of six or eight thousand feet. One of these was Mt.
Powell, a naked peak stretching up like a pyramid, more
than six thousand feet high; and farther on there were
others still higher. The first of the glaciers was seen
just to the north of Fawn Bluff, and was recognized
by Hugh, who called out to Jack: " There, son, there is
a chunk of ice. Don't you see how it shines, blue in
the sunlight, just like one of the glaciers that we got
sight of in the Piegan country ? "
" So it is, Hugh. I recognize it. My! Don't I
wish we could get up close to it; but it's awful high on
the mountains and terribly thick timber below it." 160      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
" Yes," said Hugh, " I reckon it would be quite a
climb to get up there."
" How different these mountains are," said Jack,
" from our Rockies. They rise so much more steeply;
but like the Rockies, there is a big cliff of wall rock
on the top of each one of them."
" Yes," said Hugh, " in the mountains that we see
from the plains the slope is more gradual; first foot
hills, and then a long timber slope, and then lastly the
rocky peaks that rise above the timber line. But here
there are no foot-hills, and there are no gradual rising
slopes between us and the main peaks. A man's eye
does n't get a chance to adapt itself to the highest hills
by measuring the gentler slopes that are nearer to him.
Here the mountains rise either in a continual slope,
or else in a series of cut walls, one above the other, to
the straight up peaks. I don't believe the distance on
foot to one of these mountains is more than twice the
mountain's height. I don't believe many people that
have not been here have had a chance to stand at the
sea-level and look straight up to a snow peak right
above them as high as these are. That is what makes
these mountains seem so high and so wonderful."
A few moments later the canoe rounded a point and
a long reach of the inlet was exposed to view.
"There," said Fannin, "look off to the right!
There's something that I don't think many people
have seen."
" My!   I guess not! " exclaimed Jack.
Off to the right was a tall mountain whose summit
was hidden, but which seemed to end in a long horizontal crest crowned by a wavy covering of palest
blue, the lower end of a great glacier. It could be
conjectured that, running down from some very high
point, this river of ice reached the top of this mighty
precipice, and little by little was pushed over, breaking
off in huge masses, which, from time to time, fell over BUTE  INLET 161
the cliff and down into the hidden recesses at its foot,
where possibly another smaller glacier made up of
these icy fragments ran, for a little way, down the
" Look at those little grassy spots scattered here
and there along the mountain side," said Fannin;
" how are those for goat pastures ? How bright those
little meadows are by contrast with the dark foliage
of the forest, the gray of the rocks, and the white of
the snow banks. Those must be great feeding places
for the goats, and there, I guess, they are never
bothered except by the eagles that try to catch the
kids. Surely there they must be safe from everything
except enemies that can fly. Except for the goats and
the wood-chucks, I don't believe there are any living
things up there but birds. I '11 bet there are lots of
ptarmigan up there, brown in summer and white in
winter. The little mother bird scratches out a hollow
in the turf and moss near some fringe of willows, and
lays her brown spotted eggs there, which by this time
are hatched. The young are queer, downy little chicks,
buff in color, and streaked here and there with brown.
You would hardly think it possible that they could
stand the cold winds, the fogs, the rain, and the snows
that they must be exposed to."
" Did you ever find a nest, Mr. Fannin ?" asked
" Yes," said Fannin, " when we crossed the mountains on our way from the East, nearly twenty years
ago, I found the nest of a white-tailed ptarmigan high
up on the range, but I have never seen a nest of these
black-tailed ptarmigan, such as we killed up on the
head of the North Arm. Once or twice, though, I
have come across a mother with her young ones, and
I tell you the mother is a plucky bird. If you catch
one of the young birds she will come back and attack
you and make a pretty good fight.    I have had one 162      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
come up to my very feet and then fly against my legs,
pecking at my overalls and rapping my legs with her
wings, trying to frighten me into letting the young
one go; and, of course, I always did it after I had
finished looking at it."
• " I don't suppose there 's much game up here," said
Hugh to Fannin, " except these goats that live high
up in the mountains. It seems too cold and damp here
for anything like deer."
" Well," said Fannin, " I don't know much about
that. I, myself, have never been here before, and Bute
Inlet is as strange to me and just as beautiful as it is
to you."
While all this talk was going on the canoe, pushed
along by a good wind, had been hurrying up the inlet.
They passed one great gorge between two mountains,
so nearly straight that, as they looked up at it, they
could see on the mountain's crest a great glacier; and,
pouring out beneath it, a thundering torrent, which
rushed down the gorge toward the inlet. From beneath the blue mountains of ice a tiny white thread
ran down the slope, constantly increasing in size, its
volume swollen by a hundred lesser streams which
joined it on its way. Always a torrent, and always
milky white, it swept on, sometimes running along an
even slope, at others leaping down precipices a hundred feet high, now undermining a thick crust of soil
green with spruces, again burrowing beneath snowdrifts which almost filled the gorge. Long before
they came to it they heard the roar of its fall; and
as they passed its mouth they could not hear the
words that one called to the other. The rush of this
great mass of water Jack thought enough to frighten
When they reached the mouth of the Homalko River,
at the head of the inlet, the sun had disappeared and
the great walls of rock about them cast dark shadows. BUTE INLET 163
The peaks of the mountains were still touched by the
sun, and the snow took on a rosy tint; and even the
black granite walls were lightened and softened by a
ruddy glow. But over the snow fields, on the high
mountains, the rock walls and peaks cast strange, long
shadows. As the sun sank lower and lower these
shapes seemed to lengthen and to march along as if
alive. Slowly this glow faded, until only the highest
peaks were touched by it; and then, one by one, as
they grew dull, twilight, with stealthy footstep, cast
shadows that softened and blended the harsher outlines of the scene.
At the mouth of the Homalko River began a couple
of miles of long, hard pulling against its hurrying
current. At last, however, after winding through wide
meadows and among clumps of willows, they saw
before them an open spot, and presently the houses
of the Indian village appeared, standing close to the
border of the timbered stream. Soon they had landed
close to the houses, transferred their load to their
shelter, and lifted the canoe up onto the meadow.
The day had been one of excitement, if not of continued effort, and all were tired and hungry. Moreover, as soon as the river had been entered, vast swarms
of mosquitoes attacked them and made life miserable.
Happily, the insects did not enter the Siwash house
that they had appropriated, but any one who ventured
out of doors was at once attacked. That night the
party went to bed with little delay, hoping to spend
the next two or three days in an investigation of the
mountains that walled in the narrow river valley on
both sides.
When Jack awoke next morning he saw that it
was daylight, — gray dawn, as he thought, — and he
turned over and settled himself for another nap, to
await Charlie's announcement that breakfast was nearly
ready.   A little later some movement awakened him, 164       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
and when he opened his eyes he saw Fannin standing
by the fire already dressed.
Jack asked: " Is it time to turn out, Mr. Fannin ? "
But Mr. Fannin, with an expression of much disgust
on his usually cheerful countenance, answered briefly:
" You can sleep all day, if you want to."
" What do you mean? " said Jack, in some astonishment.
"Mean?" replied Fannin; "why, it's raining, and
you can't see across the river."
Jack hardly understood what this meant, but as he
got up to dress he heard the heavy patter of rain on
the building, and when he looked out of doors he saw
that the valley was full of a white fog, almost thick
enough to be cut with a knife. Nothing could be seen
of the surrounding mountains, the mist hid everything
except a few yards of muddy water by the house, and
the lower branches of the forest behind it. It was
useless to venture out of doors, because nothing could
be seen. It would have been folly to attempt to climb
the mountains in such a fog.
The rain continued all day long, and the white
men sat around the fire and smoked and talked and
grumbled. The Indians had a better time. Immediately after breakfast they returned to their blankets
and went to sleep. After lunch they slept again until
dinner was ready, and after dinner they went to bed
for the night. Every little while one of the white men
would go to the door in the hope that he might see
some sign of fair weather, but none greeted him.
The second day at the Indian village was like the
first; it rained all day long, and this was followed by
a third day of downpour. There seemed no prospect
that the rain would ever stop. Fresh provisions had
given out, and the party was once more reduced to
bread and bacon.
The fourth morning it was still raining, and, after BUTE INLET 165
consultation, it was determined that the bow of the
canoe should be turned down the Inlet and that they
should seek fairer weather on the more open water
of the Gulf. To all hands it was a disappointment to
go away without seeing something of the mountains
they had so much admired at a distance. But the
flight of time and the scarcity of provisions made it
seem necessary to proceed on their way. Accordingly,
on the morning of the fourth day the canoe was loaded
and the travellers clad in oil skins and rubber coats,
headed down the Homalko River. The rain still fell
with the steady persistent pour of the last few days,
the mountain sides were veiled with a thick mist, and
the party had only the memories of the wonderful
beauties of the sail up the inlet to console them, as
they swung their paddles on the return journey. The
mountain climbing, the exploration of the glaciers, the
views of the towering snow-clad heights, and the hunting of the sure-footed goats — these pleasures must all
be abandoned. So they paddled down the Inlet through
the fog, with nothing to see and with nothing to do
but to paddle.
During the next two days the weather continued bad,
with wind and rain. The party camped at Clipper
Point on Bute Inlet and at Deceit Bay on Redonda
Island. On the third day, near White Island, a heavy
gale sprang up, blowing from the quarter toward
which the canoe was headed, and the paddlers not only
were unable to paddle against it, but could not even
hold their own. It was therefore necessary to land, unload the canoe, and take it up on the beach out of reach
of the waves, and to wait until the wind went down.
Fresh meat was still needed, and Hugh, Jack, and
Fannin started out to see whether they could get anything. The country was a pleasant one to hunt in, and
consisted of open ridges with bushy ravines between,
and a little scattering timber on the ridges.   Deer and 166      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
bear signs were plentiful, and Jack was much interested
in noticing the great size of the stones turned over by
the bears in their search for worms, bugs, and ant eggs.
One large piece of granite, lately turned out of its bed
by a bear, was not less than two feet in any direction,
and so heavy that Jack could not stir it.
Jack was walking quietly along a ridge, watching on
either side of him, when a small buck that he had
passed unseen, ran out of the brush and half way up
the slope of the ravine, and stopped to look back.
It was a fatal error, for a moment later Jack's ball
pierced his heart. Like all the deer here, this one was
small. Jack remembered his struggle with a previous
deer, and only attempted to carry half of it into camp.
When he got there he sent one of the Indians for the
Hugh had also killed a small deer, which he had
brought into camp; and so, for the present, all anxiety about fresh meat was at an end.
They had a good dinner that night. After it was
over, they lounged in much comfort around the crackling blaze, for the rain had gone with the gales that
had blown, and the night was fair and cool.
" Hugh," said Jack, " you must have seen bears
feeding often, and I wish you would tell me how they do
it. Of course I 've seen places where they have torn
logs to pieces, and turned over stones; and the other
day I saw that black bear gathering berries up on the
river at the head of the North Arm, but that's the
only bear that I 've seen feeding. I wish you 'd tell
me how you 've seen bears act when they were
" Well/' said Hugh, as he pushed down the fire in
his pipe with the end of his forefinger, " that's asking
me to tell you a good deal. I 've happened to see bears
feeding a number of times; but, of course, usually
I was more interested in killing the bear than I was in BUTE  INLET
seeing how it gathered its grub, and when the time
came for a good shot, I fired."
"Yes," said Jack, "that is natural and I suppose
that is just what I would have done; but I can't help
wondering how the bears, which are such big, strong
fellows, living as everybody says, on berries, mice,
beetles, and ants, ever get enough to eat to keep themselves alive; and yet, as I understand it, they always
go into their holes fat, in the Autumn."
" So they do, so they do," assented Hugh.
" Well," said Jack, " tell me, then, how do they
keep themselves alive? "
" That's hard to tell," said Hugh. " Of course, on
the plains, as long as there are buffalo, the bears get
a plenty. There are always buffalo dying of old age,
being mired in the quicksand, drowned in the rivers,
blinded by fire, or killed by the wolves; and the bears,
being great travellers, come across these carcases all
the time, and feed on them. Then, of course, they
catch buffalo sometimes, by crawling on them through
the brush; and at other times, by hiding near a buffalo
trail and grabbing an animal that goes past. You 've
surely heard Wolf Eagle tell about the big fight that he
saw once up in the Piegan country, between a buffalo
bull and a bear, and if you have, you will remember
that the bull killed the bear."
" Yes," said Jack, " I think I heard of that, but don't
know that the story was ever told me in detail; what
was it? "
" Why, the way Wolf Eagle tells it, he was cached
down near a little creek waiting for a bunch of buffalo
to come to the water, so that he might kill one. They
came on, strung out one after another, and had got
nearly down to the edge of the water when, as they
were passing under a cut bank, a bear that was lying
on the ledge of this bank jumped down on the leading
heifer and caught her around the neck.   Of course, the 168      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
buffalo all scattered, and the bear was trying to bite
the heifer and kill her, and she was trying to get away.
In a minute, however, a big bull came charging down
the trail, and butted the bear, knocking him down and
making him let go the heifer. Then there was a big
fight, and one which scared the Indian a whole lot,
so much that he did not dare to show himself, as he
would have had to, to get away. The bull kept charging
the bear, and every time he struck him fairly he knocked
him down; and every time the bull charged, the bear
struck at him and tried to catch him by the head and to
hold him, but this he could not do. They fought there
for quite a little time, both of them fierce, and both of
them quick as lightning. After a while, the bear had
had all the fight that he wanted, and tried to get away,
but the bull would n't have it. He kept knocking him
down and goring him, until at last he had killed him.
Even after the bear was dead, the bull would charge
the carcase, and stick his horns in it and lift it off
the ground. The Indian said that the bull was a sight:
that he did n't have any skin on his head and shoulders,
but that he was mad clear through, and seemed to be
looking around for something else to fight. Wolf
Eagle was almighty glad when at last the bull went off
and joined the band."
" That's a mighty good story, Hugh," said Jack.
" I guess in those old days, bears killed a good deal
of game, did n't they ? "
" I expect likely they did," said Hugh. " I know
that whenever you hear any story about anything a
bear has done, the Indians speak of his killing something. You remember Old White Calf Robe? You
must have seen him in the camp. He was there two
years ago at the medicine lodge. I remember him
there, distinctly."
" No," said Jack, " I don't think I do remember
him." BUTE  INLET 169
"Well," said Hugh, "he tells a story about being
carried home by a bear, one time, many years ago,
after he had been wounded in war. I don't doubt but
that the old man believes that he is telling the plain
truth, just as it happened; but in that story, he travelled
along with a bear and a wolf, and I know that he says
that the bear killed an elk for him to eat, and I think
the wolf killed something for him, too, but I can't be
" But of course," Hugh went on, " bears don't get
very much meat. Certainly they don't live on meat,
by any means. When they first come out in the spring,
they generally travel pretty high up on the bare ridges,
and live largely on the fresh green grass that starts
early on the hill-sides. They are always on the watch
for mice and ground squirrels, and they dig out a
good many wood-chucks, but I fancy their main food
is grass. Then, a little later, roots start up which they
like to gather, — pomme-blanche, camas, and a whole
slew of other plants, — and that carries them along
pretty well until the berry time. In the early summer
I have seen them in little mountain parks, digging
out mice or ground squirrels. A bear will see where
a mouse or ground squirrel has a run close to the
surface of the ground, and if his nose or any other
sense tells him that it is inhabited, he will quickly run
his paw along the tunnel, digging it up, and if the
animal happens to be there, throwing it out on the
surface of the earth. Then it is fun to see a big bear
that will weigh three or four hundred pounds, and
maybe twice as much, dancing around and striking the
ground with his paws to try to kill the little animal that
is dodging about, trying to get away. You 'd never
think how mighty active a bear can be under those
" When berry time comes the bears spend a great
deal of time around the sarvis berry patches, the plum 170      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
thickets, and the choke-cherry groves; and every now
and then a number of Indian women gathering berries, will run across one, and the women will get scared
half to death, and light out for camp. Once in a long
time an Indian gathering berries will suddenly come
on a bear, and the bear will kill him; or, perhaps,
sometimes an old bear that is mean will lay for an
Indian, and kill him just for fun.
" The Indians say that when the sarvis berries are
ripe, bears will ride down the taller bushes, pressing
the stems down under their breasts, and walking along
them with their forelegs on either side of the stem.
I never saw them do it, but I 've seen plenty of places
where the bushes have been ridden down in this way,
and had bear hair stuck to them. I once saw a mother
and some cubs picking huckleberries high up in the
mountains during fall. They walked about from one
bush to another, and seemed to be picking the berries
one by one, though I was so far away that I could n't
tell much about it.
" It's fun to see them turn over stones, and they 're
mighty cute about it, too. Now, if you or I have occasion to turn over a stone, the chances are we '11 stoop
over it, take hold of it by its farther edge, and pull
it over toward us, and of course, unless we straddle it
or watch it pretty close, we 're likely to drop it on our
toes; but a bear always turns a stone over not toward
himself, but to one side. He gets his hind feet well
under him, braces one fore foot, and then with the
other fore foot turns over the stone, swinging it out
from him to one side, and after he has finished the
motion, he drops his head into the bed where the stone
lay and gobbles up whatever insects are there. Sometimes he makes a claw or two with one foot into the
bed, perhaps to turn up the ground to see whether
there are some insects below the surface, or to see
if there may be the hole of some little animal passing
close beneath the stone." BUTE INLET 171
" That's mighty interesting, Hugh," said Jack,
" and I am greatly obliged to you for telling us about
it. Now, Mr. Fannin, have you seen much of the way
bears of this country feed ? "
" No," said Fannin, " I have not. You see in this
country we don't have a chance to see very far. It's
all covered with timber, and it's only once in a while,
in such a situation as we got to the other day when we
were goat hunting, that we have an opportunity to see
any considerable distance. So, really, all that I know
about the feeding of bears is what I have discovered
from cutting them open and seeing the contents of their
stomachs. I told you the other day about how the
bears sometimes came in and carried off hogs for
" Yes," said Jack, " I remember that, of course.
Hugh," he went on, " where are bears most plenty
back in our country ? "
" Well," said Hugh, " there are a good many bears
along the Missouri River, and in the low outlying
ranges like the Moccasin, Judith, Snowy, and Belt
mountains, but I think the places where they are the
plentiest is along the foot of the Big Horn Range.
You take it in the early summer, there 's a terrible
lot of bears to be found there."
"And which are the most plentiful, the black or
the grizzly ? " asked Jack.
" Why," said Hugh, " there's no comparison. The
grizzlies outnumber the blacks about three to one, I
should say. Black bears in that country are mighty
" And in this country," said Fannin, " you can say
the same of the grizzly." CHAPTER XV
The next morning the sea was as calm and placid
as if its surface had never been ruffled by a gale, and
the canoe pushed along at a good rate of speed. During the early part of the afternoon Jack saw on a long,
low rock, close to which the canoe would pass, a number
of shore birds, running here and there, busily feeding
at the edge of the water, but did not recognize them,
and asked Fannin what they were. After a close look,
Fannin replied: " Those here are turnstones; those
others seem to be black oyster catchers."
" Oh! " said Jack, " try and kill some of them please.
I have never seen either bird. I know the oyster
catcher of the Atlantic coast, for I have seen several
that were killed on Long Island. I should like to have
some of these birds in my hand."
Fannin got his gun ready and presently fired both
barrels at the birds, and in a few moments Jack was
admiring them, and comparing each sort with its corresponding species of the Atlantic coast. Before the
gun was fired, he had noticed that the oyster catchers
acted very much like those he had seen on Long Island.
They had the same sharp whistle and ran along the
shore in the same way; but these in his hand were
entirely black, while those that he had seen in the East
were brownish with much white, and only a little black.
During the day they saw many old squaw ducks,
which Jack knew in the East only as winter birds.
About the middle of the afternoon the wind rose
again, and began to blow so violently that it was neces- THE WORK THAT GLACIERS DO     173
sary to go ashore and camp. At the point where they
landed, deer seemed to be plenty, and the beach was
dotted in many places with their tracks, made during
the day. The recent rains, however, had made the
underbrush quite wet, and as there was plenty of fresh
meat in camp, there seemed no special reason for
During the night a deer passed along the beach near
the tent, and when he had come close to the place
where Charlie had made his bed, the animal saw the
tent or smelt its occupants, stopped and stood for a
while, and then jumped over Charlie, running off with
long bounds, into the forest.
The next morning the wind still blew hard, and it
was uncertain whether the party could get away or
not. The two Indians therefore asked permission to
hunt, and Fannin loaned his rifle to Jimmie. An hour
or two later Hamset returned without anything; but
a little later Jimmie came in with a broad grin on
his face, his clothes in tatters. He was soaked to the
skin, but in a high state of delight, for he had killed a
deer — his first. He was quite exhausted, for he had
carried the animal quite a long way through the woods
down to the beach, where he had left it, unable to bring *
it farther. Fannin and Charlie at once went off to get
it; and while they were gone, the boy, in a mixture of
Chinook, English, and signs, told Hugh and Jack the
story of his hunt. He had gone a long way through
the forest, but at last had seen a deer feeding, and
crept up close to it. It had looked at him. He had
fired twice at it, the last time striking it in the throat
and breaking its neck, and it had fallen dead. He
ended his account with a loud shout of laughter and
the words: "Hai-asmomtch (big deer), me kill."
Later in the day he confided to Fannin the information
that " the hearts of his friends were very good toward
him because he had killed a deer that was big and
As they coasted along the shore that day they saw a
blue grouse sitting on a rock, on a small island, and
landing found about a dozen full-grown birds. The
shot-gun accounted for four or five of them, and Jack
and Hugh shot the heads off several more that took
refuge in the branches of the trees. Food, therefore,
was now plenty.
As they were passing near the mouth of the Hotham
Sound, and close to the shores of Hardy and Nelson
Islands, the remarkable Twin Falls, just within the entrance of the Sound, came into view. They seemed so
attractive that it was decided to visit them on their
return trip. On rounding a point on the shore of
Hardy Island, two moving objects, on a low seaweed-
covered point half a mile ahead, were seen. For a time
they puzzled Indians and white men alike. They
were not deer, for they were too low; nor bears, for
the color was not right; nor seals, for they had neither
the shape nor the movements of those animals. So
there was much guessing at random as to what they
were. But at last, when the canoe had come close
enough for the creatures to be seen distinctly, white
men and Indians made them out to be eagles. They
were young birds, so young and inexperienced, in fact,
that they permitted the canoe to approach within fifty
feet of them without moving from their places, and
when at last they did consent to disturb themselves
the canoe was within thirty or forty feet of them.
Then one flew to a pine, a few yards distant, while the
other hopped on a log six feet from where he had been
sitting, and surveyed the canoe with the utmost indifference. Though full-grown they had probably never
seen white men before. They had been feeding on
a dog-fish, which lay there among the seaweed, still
breathing and writhing, although the birds had torn
a great hole in its side.
That night camp was made on Nelson Island.   It THE WORK THAT GLACIERS DO     175
rained very hard, and everything became wet. There
was a fine chance for grumbling at the weather if they
wanted to, but these were old travellers, and accustomed to meet with philosophy whatever fortune
sent them in the way of weather and discomfort. Besides this, they were getting used to rain, for some had
fallen every day since they had reached the head of
Bute Inlet. The next day they would enter Jervis
Inlet, of whose beauties they had heard so much that
they thought it would be almost as wonderful as Bute.
A study of the Admiralty charts, with which Fannin
had provided himself before leaving Victoria, and
which were carried in a tin case in the provision chest,
seemed to confirm all that they had heard. of Jervis;
and it was with anxious hearts and earnest hopes for
good weather that the party went to bed that night.
They were not disappointed. The day dawned fair,
an early start was made, and they paddled toward the
mouth of the Inlet. For some miles a long point ahead
of them cut off the view of the Inlet, and when they
passed this point, its beauties were revealed as a real
surprise to them. Directly before them, but on the
farther side of the Inlet, rose a superb snow cone, five
thousand feet in height; and beyond that could be seen
a broad bay leading up to a narrow dark green forest,
closely shut in between two ranges of mountains, far
down whose sides extended the white mantle which
in this region crowns every considerable height.
A little farther on the travellers found themselves
directly in front of Marlborough Heights, mountains
which, even in this land of grand scenery are unequalled for majesty. Two of them rise almost sheer
from the water's edge to a height of over sixty-one
hundred feet, and the third, standing a little farther
back from the water, lifts its great head between the
two, as if looking over its brothers' shoulders. The
summits of these do not run up into peaks and needles 176      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
of rock, but appear rather like blunt cones of solid
granite. There is a little timber on the slopes, but
except for this nothing is to be seen but the black
rocks. Scarcely a patch of snow was visible, for the
unceasing winds, which blow on these lofty peaks,
sweep the snow into the valleys and lower lands before
it can lay hold on the smooth bare granite. Some of
these peaks rise in unbroken cliffs. Other heights
come down to the water's edge in a long series of
steps, many of them showing the rounded, smoothing
action of the great glacier which passed over them as
it cut out this canon.
Down near the water, tall grass and underbrush
grow among these dark, rounded, naked rocks, which
look like the backs of so many great elephants sleeping
in a jungle, whose growth is not tall enough to hide
Though for the most part narrow, — not more than
a mile in width, — the Inlet often broadens out and
has a lake-like appearance, especially where side valleys
come down into it, showing the course of tributary
streams of the old glacier.
At Deserted Bay, a little river enters the Inlet,
and at its mouth is a wide stretch of meadow land.
Long before they reached this point something white
could be seen on the shore. Hugh and Jack were curious to know what it could be, and appealed to Fannin
and the Indians for information. No one could tell, and
the glasses only made the white objects appear a little
larger. Gradually, however, as the canoe approached
them, it was seen that here was an Indian village and
a burial place, and that the white objects were the
white cloth coverings of the crosses and the houses
of the dead. There seemed to be no one at the village,
and the canoe did not stop, but kept on until sunset,
reaching a level, grassy piece of land at the mouth of
a mountain torrent, where the party put ashore and
Evidently this was a favorite camping-ground, for
there were found here the remains of fires, a rude
shanty put up for protection against the weather, many
old poles, and a scaffold erected for the purpose of
drying fish.
Down the side of the mountains came thundering
the large stream which had formed the little flat where
they camped, and which was more than a brook and
rather less than a river.
After camp had been made, Hugh, Fannin, and Jack
climbed the mountain for a few hundred feet along
the stream's course, and they were greatly impressed
by the tumultuous rush with which it tumbled from
pool to pool in tempestuous descent. The hillside was
so steep that climbing was done by pulling one's self
up by the trees, underbrush, and rocks. The ever
rising spray of the torrent had moistened the earth,
grass, and moss, making the ground so slippery that
it was often difficult to keep one's footing. The stream
made leaps of twenty, forty, and fifty feet at a time,
falling with a dull sullen roar into the deep rocky
basins which it had dug out for itself, making the milk-
white foam which they contained surge and whirl over
and over in unceasing motion. The constant moisture
of the stream nourished a rank growth of vegetation.
Rocks and fallen tree trunks were covered by a thick
growth of long, pale green moss, into which the feet
sank ankle deep, and from which water could be wrung
as from a well-soaked sponge. In the crevices of the
rocks grew bunches of tall grasses, sparkling with
drops of water, as though there had been a rain storm.
Everywhere there were tall flower stalks, brilliant with
blossoms of yellow or blue. Back from the bed of
the stream grew a thick tangle of undergrowth and
young trees, which it would have been very hard to
Many questions suggested themselves to Jack during 178       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
the climb. But the noise of the fall was so great that
it was impossible to hear conversation, and it was not
until they had reached camp that he was able to try
to inform himself in regard to any of the matters
about which he had wished to ask.
That night as they sat around the fire after dinner,
he said to Fannin arid Hugh: " I want to know how
these big arms of the sea came to be formed. Why
is it that every little way here we find an immense
canon running away back into the mountains, and the
sea ebbing and flowing in it? Of course there's
some reason for it. I don't understand what it is, but
somebody must know."
Hugh smoked in silence for a few moments, and
then, taking his pipe from his mouth and clearing his
throat, said: " Yes, somebody must know, of course,
and I expect to them that does know, it's mighty
simple. I expect likely your uncle, Mr. Sturgis, knows
about all these things, but I don't. I've got an idea
from what I 've heard him say, and from what I 've
seen up in the northern countries, that these big canons
were cut out by glaciers, — these big masses of ice,
very heavy, and moving along all the time. It's easy
for any one who has ever been around a glacier to see
something of the terrible power that such a mass of
ice has, and to see how it cuts and grinds away the
surface of the earth and rock that it passes over.
You 've heard, and I 've heard your uncle talk about
these here canons on the coast of Norway, that, from
his tell, seem about just like these that we are travelling
up and down, except that maybe these are bigger. We
can all understand that if a very big glacier got running
in a certain course, and kept running for thousands
and thousands of years, it would cut out in the surface
of the mountains a deep, narrow groove that might
be like these canons; but as I say, I don't know anything about them. I 'm just guessing from what I 've
heard say." THE WORK THAT  GLACIERS DO      179
" Well," said Fannin, " I don't know much about
them either, but judging from what I 've read, you 're
about on the right track. The books I 've read say
that there was a time, a good way back, when the
whole of the northern part of North America was covered with a big sheet of ice, thousands of feet thick.
That is what was called the glacial period, or ice age.
This ice, if I understand it, was thicker towards the
north — where it was piling up all the time, and getting still thicker — than it was toward the south,
where the climate was milder, and where it was melting
all the time. Now, although ice seems to us, who perhaps don't know much about it, about as firm and
solid as anything can be, yet really it is not so. Learned
men have made lots of experiments, which show that ice
will change its form; and we all know that these
glaciers that we see here are moving all the time, and,
what's more, that they are moving faster in the middle
than they are at the sides, where they rub against the
mountains; in other words, where there is friction.
That shows that ice is plastic, somewhat we '11 say like
molasses in January. It will flow, but it flows very
slowly, and to make it flow at all the pressure
on it may have to be very great. In other words,
there's got to be a great force behind it, pushing it.
Now the books say, that in the time of the ice age the
sheet of ice that covered the country, being thick toward the north and thin toward the south, was constantly moving slowly from north to south; and I think
the men that have studied them have seen in the
scratches that the ice sheet made on the rocks and in the
gravel and boulders and so on, that it carried along
with it from one place to another strong evidence of
this motion. Then, after a while, as I understand it,
the weather got warmer, the ice sheet kept melting
faster and faster from the south toward the north,
and gradually the land got bare of ice.  Of course it 180      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
melted first on the lower lands, and last on the hills
and mountains and peaks. It melted very slowly, and
as it melted it left behind it on the mountains and in
sheltered places where it was coldest, masses of ice
which continued to flow along as ice streams, long
after the general ice sheet had disappeared. These
masses that were left did not move from north to
south, because they were no longer being pushed in that
direction.   They just flowed down hill.
" If I understand it, there is only one place now in
the world, in the North at least, that is covered by an
ice sheet, and that's Greenland. But in the Northern
mountains there are still a lot of remnants of the old
ice sheet, and it is these remnants, I think, only thousands of times more powerful than they are now, that
cut out these inlets that we are travelling over.
" We think that these are mighty deep, and so they
are; but maybe you don't recognize how much depth
there is below the water. Sometimes these inlets are
sixty or eighty fathoms deep. There's from three
hundred and fifty to five hundred feet from the surface
of the water to the bottom of the Inlet, and nobody
knows how deep the mud may be there before you
could reach the bed-rock below it."
" I am very glad to know this," said Jack. " Most
of it I have heard before; it sounds pretty familiar,
but I never before heard it in such a connected way,
and I never understood just what it meant. It seems
to me pretty clear now, all except one point that I
want to ask about. We all know how easily ice slips
down over any surface, and there does n't seem to be
much friction. Now I can't understand just how the
ice should cut out such a groove in the earth in any
length of time, however long it might be. How is
that?   Can you explain it to me?"
For a little while Fannin sat thoughtfully staring
into the fire, and then he replied:  " Well, I think I THE WORK THAT GLACIERS DO     181
understand it myself, and I think I can make you understand it as I do, but of course I do not guarantee
that I am right about it.   I only give you my idea.
" Suppose you take a piece of pine board and tilt it
up and brace it to represent the side of your mountain.
Then suppose you take a strip of paper, two inches
wide, and we 11 say of an indefinite length, because
you 've got to draw that paper down over that board,
for say a thousand years, and never let it stop; for
the glacier never stops, it is always being renewed at
its head, and keeps on pushing down the mountain
sides, just as a brook does that starts from a spring
on a hilltop. Now, you might draw that paper down
over that board for a thousand years, if you lived
so long, and you would never wear much of a groove
in the board. If you did wear one, it would be awful
slow work. But now suppose, in the place of that
strip of paper, you have a strip of sandpaper, just as
wide, and just as long, and keep drawing that down
for a thousand years, you can see that long before your
thousand years were over you would have cut a big
groove in the board, and in time, of course, you 'd cut
through the board. That, according to my understanding, is the way that the glacier acts. It is n't the ice
by itself that cuts out the groove, but the ice is constantly picking up and rolling along under it fragments
of rock and pebbles, and sand, and grinding these
hard substances against the hard rock that makes up
the faces of the mountains. So it is sawing down into
the mountains all the time.
"Did you ever go into a marble yard and see the
people cutting the stone into blocks there? They have
metal saws that go backward and forward, sawing on
the marble, but if they had nothing but the metal
to saw with, they would wear out their saws before
they would saw the marble, so they put fine sand between the saw and the marble; and that sand, moving 182      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
backward and forward, cuts through the marble pretty
nearly as a knife cuts through cheese. We have seen
here, and you have very likely seen in other places,
how the water that comes out from under a glacier
is white or gray. That is, it is full of something held
in suspension in the water, and that something is the
fine powder which is ground off the pebbles and rocks
that are being pushed along under the glacier, and
ground off the face of the mountains too. It's what
you might call flour of rock. That's my idea of how
the glaciers cut these deep grooves. We 've seen, as
we did just below here, lots of great, rounded rocks,
on the shore, and we 've seen in a number of places, big
scratches in the rocks; and these scratches, I suppose,
were made by some big chunk of rock, pushed along
under the mass of the ice and scratching against the
face of the mountains, gouging out quite a furrow in
the rock. I don't know that I can explain it any
plainer than that.   Of course, it's a big subject."
" Well," said Jack, " I don't see how anything could
be plainer than that; and it seems to me that I understand just exactly how the thing is done. I suppose
sometime, when I go to college, I will get a chance to
find out all about these things; and when I do, it will
be a mighty good help to me to have seen these things
here and to have had your explanation. I could n't
think how the ice, by itself, could cut out these grooves,
and yet I believe I have had it all explained to me
before; but never, I think, by such clear examples.
That explanation of the sandpaper makes it mighty
" Well," said Fannin, " we saw at the head of Bute
Inlet a lot of these glaciers. Of course they were high
up on the mountains, and mighty small compared with
the ice that must have cut out these inlets; still, I believe if we could get up close to them we would see
pretty clearly how they work, and you 'd understand the THE WORK THAT GLACIERS DO     183
whole thing a great deal better than you do now. If
I were you, I 'd be on the watch for things that have
a bearing on this work of the ice, and if you keep the
thing in your mind, it will be likely to work itself
out very clearly."
" Well," said Hugh, " I think I begin to savvy this
glacier business, a little, myself. Fannin has, sure,
given us a pretty good explanation."
For a number of days, Jack, Hugh, and Fannin had
been studying the charts with much interest, speculating about Princess Louise Inlet, a tiny branch, only
four or five miles long, which puts off from the head
of Jervis Inlet. On the chart, its entrance appeared a
mere thread, but within it widened and seemed to be
several miles in length, though not very wide, while at
its head were one or two quite high mountains. This
inlet they reached the next day.
It was yet early morning when, coasting along close
to the shore, they saw a narrow break in the precipice
under which they were passing. As they advanced,
they saw that it stretched some distance inland. This,
they believed, must be the entrance to Princess Louise
Inlet, but no one knew. It was almost low water and
a current of considerable force was drawing out of
the narrow channel. The men landed, and Fannin
and Hamset walked a little way up the beach to see
whether the passage was practicable or not. They were
soon turned back, by coming up against the vertical
walls of the precipice, but the Indians declared that if
they started now they could go through.
Re-embarking, the canoe was pushed up into the
narrow channel, where now the water seemed to be
almost still, and a few strokes of the paddle sent the
vessel in between high walls, which could almost be
touched by an outstretched paddle from either side of
the boat. Out in the main Inlet the sun had been warm
and bright, but here the water, shadowed by the tall 184      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
rocks which rose on either side, was overhung by a
thick, cold mist. Although passing along close under
the walls of the Inlet on either side, they could only
occasionally see them, and they groped along aimlessly,
not knowing where they were going. The sun does
not penetrate this narrow gorge until it has risen high
in the heavens, and in the darkness and utter silence of
their surroundings, the place seemed very solemn. The
strangeness of the situation awed them all, and hardly
a word was spoken, or if one ventured a remark he
spoke in a low tone.
Hamset in the bow was keenly on the lookout for
rocks or obstructions of any kind, but the chart had
said " Deep water," for the Inlet, and they paddled
on with confidence. As they advanced the mist grew
thicker and the canoe's bow could not be seen from
the stern. No sound was heard save the regular dip
of the paddles, and each one of the crew was wrought
into a high state of expectancy, not knowing what
the next moment might bring forth.
An hour after their entrance into this twilight, the
mist before them grew a little lighter, and in a few
moments, without any warning, the dark curtain was
lifted from the water and rolled away up the mountain
sides. The mist rose slowly, and there appeared, first
the trees on the beach, then, immediately back of them,
the piled-up rocks which had fallen from the precipice;
and lastly, as the clouds and vapor rose higher and
higher, the black vertical cliffs and snow-clad peaks of
the mountains.
In a few moments not a cloud or a trace of mist
was to be seen, except in one long, narrow ravine where
it still remained, shut in by high walls of granite.
The Indians continued the regular movements of
their paddles, but those of the white men were idle,
and for some little time not a word was spoken. Before them was a basin, which they were now entering, THE WORK THAT GLACIERS DO     185
less than a quarter of a mile in width. All about them
was an unbroken line of snow — here close at hand,
there miles away — patched toward its lower border
with occasional masses of green or gray. Beneath the
edge of the snow line was the sombre gray of the
mountain side, dark and forbidding. Still farther
down the slope scanty and ill-nourished timber grew
in scattering clumps or single trees, down to the verge
of the precipices that overhung the water's edge.
To the south and east the hills rose sharply and continuously, forming an unbroken wall until the snow level
was reached; but toward the northeast this wall did
not exist, and a wide but steep valley, the ancient bed
of a tremendous glacier, stretched away for miles
toward the snowy heights of the interior. The water
before them seemed like a beautiful lake lying among
the mountain peaks. In its unruffled surface each
detail of the walls of rock that shut it in on every hand
was mirrored with faithful accuracy.
Down the great valley which opened to the northeast, among, over, and under enormous masses of rock,
whose harsh and rugged outlines were softened by no
appearance of verdure, a large river, the course of
which could be traced far back toward the heights,
poured, in a series of white falls. They could watch it
until it became no more than a delicate white thread,
and at last it could not be distinguished from the snowdrifts that lay in the ravine near its source.
Beyond this valley, to the north, the rocks again
became steep with overhanging precipices rising from
the water's edge. About them great snow fields
stretched away toward Mount Albert, showing here
and there, by their broken white or sky-blue color some
ice river that ploughed its way down the slope.
It took the white men some time to take in all the
Inlet's details, and to become accustomed to their tremendous surroundings.   At last Hugh turned to Jack, 186      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
and said: " Son, did you ever imagine a place like
" No," said Jack, " I never had a notion that in all
the world there was anything like this, — so grand and
so beautiful. It makes one feel as if he dare not speak
aloud.   It comes pretty near like being in church."
" Right you are," said Hugh. " I don't believe I
ever felt so solemn in my whole life. Did you ever see
such rocks, or such snow, or such a river as that one
over there? Did you ever see anything that seemed
to you as big as this does? I thought I had been in.
sightly places, and seen high mountains, but this beats
them all."
" It's a wonderful sight," said Fannin, from the
bow. 11 've lived twenty years in British Columbia,
but this beats anything I 've ever seen."
" Yes," said Hugh. " It's something that you can't
talk about much, in fact. A man is poor for words
" And just think," said Jack, " how cold and dark
it was when we started in, and then how suddenly the
light and beauty of everything came^to us."
" Yes," said Fannin, u but that's not so surprising.
You see this inlet is so narrow and shut in on every side
by high mountains, that the air here does not feel the
sun until near midday. The temperature of this place
must be a good deal lower than that of its surroundings ; but just as soon as the air is warmed up it rises
and carries the mist away with it."
" Oh, Hugh," said Jack, " look at these rocks here,
where the sun strikes them. Don't they look as if
they were painted ? See that patch of yellow there —
just about the color of a canary bird. Part of that is
reflection from the water, I guess; and I suppose it
must be some moss growing on the rock that gives
that rich color. Then there is a red brown, that looks
like iron rust.   Sometimes it is red, and sometimes it THE WORK THAT GLACIERS DO     187
is yellow, and sometimes it is brown, and again it is
red. And then, see the flowers and plants up there!
There 's a fern growing from a crack in the rock, and
there are some mosses, some of them brown, some gold-
color, and some bright green. There 's a red flower!
Look at that cluster of hare-bells! What a contrast
all that brilliant light and color is to the white and the
gray of those outstanding mountains! "
" Well," said Fannin, " I suppose we ought to be
moving, for we should paddle up to the head and get
back to the Inlet in time to go out with the ebb. The
Indians say that at half tide the water runs so swiftly
in that narrow channel that it is dangerous."
" Come on, then," said Hugh. " I hate to think of
anything but this show that is before us; and I 'd like
mighty well to camp here for one night, but I suppose
we have n't got the time."
" Yes," said Jack, " we 've got to think of what is
coming to-morrow, of course; but I do hate to leave
this place."
They dipped their paddles into the water, and the
canoe moved swiftly over its glassy surface. As they,
paddled on, Jack suddenly called: " There 's a seal,
the first living thing I 've seen in here!" From time
to time the seal showed his smooth round head above
the water, not far from the canoe.
A few moments later Hugh called out: " There's
a brood of ducks in there, near the shore!"
"Where are they?" asked Jack; "I don't see
" There," said Hugh, " close into the shore you can
see them or their shadows, though they are a good
deal blurred and made indistinct by the reflection of
the trees above them."
" Yes," said Jack, " there seems to be mighty little
life visible here. Down toward the mouth of the
Inlet I have once or twice seen a gull, but beyond 188      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
these things and the starfish, clinging to the rocks,
there 's mighty little that speaks of life."
Near the head of the Inlet Fannin got out the longest
fishing lines that they had, and, tying a few rifle cartridges to it, let it down over the side of the canoe,
trying to find the bottom, but he was unable to reach it.
On the way back toward the mouth of the inlet
they paddled along close to the shore, in many places
under the cliffs which overhung the water. Here it
was possible to examine them closely and to study
their details, and Jack was astonished to see how much
vegetation they supported and how varied was the life
that they exhibited. Everywhere near the water the
granite was patched with lichens of different kinds and
different colors, giving a brilliant effect to the rocks.
Near the mouth of the inlet they landed on a low
point of shore that ran out, and stood there for a little
while, taking a farewell look at the narrow fiord. It
was an impressive sight, and with full hearts the white
men turned their backs on the wonders they had seen
and took their way back out into the broad channel of
Jervis Inlet. CHAPTER  XVI
a mother's courage
As they turned north again and paddled on up the
inlet the talk was naturally of the wonders that they
had just left.
" Surely," said Jack, " this is the most wonderful
place that I have ever seen."
" Yes, indeed," said Hugh, " it beats all the countries
that my eyes have ever rested on, and I never expect
to see anything so wonderful again."
" It was beautiful," said Fannin, " and how cold and
gloomy it was one moment and how bright and beautiful the next."
" Yes," said Jack, " and yet when it was brightest
and most beautiful it seemed cold all the time. It
reminded me of what I 've read about the Arctic
regions. There was not a thing but snow and ice and
just a few straggling stunted trees. I remember reading somewhere about a point down at the other end of
South America where there is nothing to be seen but
rocks and a little timber and snow and icebergs. That
is the way Princess Louise seemed to me, but I do
wish that we had had time to land and follow up that
big river toward those heights."
" That would have been a nice trip," said Fannin;
"but I guess it would have been an awful hard one.
It looked to me as if those rocks were big and hard to
climb among. We 'd have had to carry our beds and
our grub on our backs, and it might have taken us a
long time to get up even to the foot of that big peak
that stood up so high." i9o      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
| Yet, I suppose there must be lots of life up there,"
said Jack; " birds and animals, and of course if there
are birds and animals there must be vegetation to
support them."
" Sure," said Fannin. " I don't doubt but that there
are goats and deer and ptarmigan, probably bears, and
possibly other animals. Of course the sheep don't get
down so close to the salt water, at least I have never
seen them there. I don't doubt, though, but there 's
plenty of life up there."
" Anyhow," said Jack, " it looks as if the country
had not changed a bit since the glacier came pouring
down through those valleys and was working its way
toward the salt water."
" I don't believe it has," said Fannin, " except that
trees have grown; perhaps some little soil has been
made here and there; but except for that I suppose the
country is unchanged."
For a while they paddled on in silence, and then,
as they rounded a point, came a call from Fannin:
" Hello! there 's an Indian village."
Three or four houses stood on the bank but a short
distance back from the water's edge, and near them
were a few people busy at different tasks. When they
saw the canoe they all stopped and began to stare at it.
Down on the beach, just above the water's edge was
an old man working over a canoe. Fannin said:
" Let's push in there and see if we can buy some
potatoes or other food." They pushed up to the beach,
and when close to it saluted the old man with the
usual phrase, " Kla-haw-ya tillicum ? " (How are you,
friend?) The man gave an answering shout, and
Hamset turned to them and said: " I guess he can't
talk with us "; which was Fannin's translation into
They landed and found that the man was mending
some cracks in his canoe by fastening over them strips   A MOTHER'S  COURAGE
of tin, seemingly cut from an old tin can, by means of
tacks and a primitive stone hammer — a cylinder of
stone with enlarged flat ends.
Hamset began to talk with him in Chinook, but the
man apparently did not understand, and replied by a
speech in some language which Hamset could not comprehend. There was a long talk, in which each of the
two Indians made a speech, which was not understood
by the other. Fannin tried the old man in Canadian
French, and Hugh made signs to him, but there seemed
to be no common ground of communication. After
each remark by the old man, Hamset would hopelessly
reply after hearing him through: " Wake nika kum-
tux-mika wahwah " (I don't understand your talk).
Within a rude fence near one of the houses was what
looked like a garden, in which were growing plants
that resembled potatoes. Presently a bright thougnt
came to Jack, and he walked down to the canoe, took
from the provision box a potato and handed it to the
old man. It was amusing to them all to see the expression of perplexity clear away from the old Indian's
face and understanding and satisfaction appear. He
laughed delightedly and shouted to the women at the
house, and a little later two of them came down carrying a large basket of potatoes — and very good ones
too. These were put into the canoe, and paid for by
" four bits." Then at Hugh's suggestion Jack gave
the old man a piece of tobacco. They wandered up to
the houses, looked into them, and presently returned
to the neighborhood of the canoe. Leaning against
one of the houses was a two-pronged salmon spear,
which Jack wanted and which the old man sold him
for half a dollar. Jack thought that the implement
might be useful a little later, as the salmon were now
beginning to run into the fresh water streams in considerable numbers. Hamset said that these Indians
were called Hanehtsin.   He declared that most of the I92      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
people must be away fishing, and said that there must
be many of them who could speak Chinook, although
this man could not.
Next morning as they were eating breakfast a canoe
came in sight from the direction of the village, and
when it landed the paddlers proved to be their friends
of the night before, who brought them some more
potatoes and several salmon just from the water. These
having been duly paid for at the rate of twenty-five
cents each — for a twenty pound salmon — they
brought forth from the canoe a large basket of berries
which a small boy who was with them, and who had
some knowledge of the Chinook jargon, announced
was a " potlatch," or gift — very likely in return for
the bit of tobacco that Jack had given to the old man
the night before.
A little later, the canoe being loaded, the party
pushed off from the shore, and, leaving the Indians
sitting idly in their canoes, paddled back down the
" What I can't understand, Mr. Fannin," said Jack,
" is how it is that these Indians don't understand one
another. Of course, I don't suppose that all the different tribes on this coast speak the same language, any
more than our Indians out on the plains, but I should
suppose that there would be some common way of talking to each other, just as the plains Indians all understand the sign language."
" Well," said Fannin, " you 'd think so, of course,
but that's one of the queer things about this country.
While often you '11 find a great many villages that
speak the same language, and while you '11 find in
most of the villages a number of people that can talk
Chinook, it's nevertheless the fact that stowed away
in bays and inlets all along this coast are little tribes
that speak a language that is not understood by any
other tribe.   I have talked with a few people out here A MOTHER'S  COURAGE
who were regular Indian ' sharps,' and who had been
among Indians over most of the country, and they say
that there are a number of Indian languages spoken
here that are absolutely different from each other and
different from any other languages in North America.
This is a mighty queer thing, and I can't understand
it at all. I 've always supposed that it was this fact
that obliged the Indians to get up this Chinook jargon,
which is a kind of a trade talk, used all up and down
the coast and a good way inland, too, to enable these
people to talk among themselves. I have never seen
any of these Indians here using the sign language, and
you can see for yourself that this old chap did not
understand what it was that Hugh was trying to say
to him with his hands. They do say that this Chinook
jargon was gotten up before the white men came here
to this country, and you can see how necessary it
would be to people coming in contact with others who
spoke a language different from their own. Now, I
suppose that in the old times there used to be considerable travel along this coast, north and south, and
considerable intercourse between the different tribes of
Indians. And while we know that the northern Indians could not talk with the southern ones, yet they
visited and traded, and made war and made peace
again. It must have been necessary for them to understand each other in some way, and that's the way this
jargon came to be invented. Of course, it's changed
a lot, I fancy, and especially since the white people got
in here."
" But about this Indian here," said Hugh, " it seems
to me that he ought to be able to understand our
Indians. Their villages cannot be more than a hundred
miles from one another, and to an Indian a hundred
miles is nothing. These Ucletah must sometimes come
up to the head of this Inlet, and these people who live
up here, Hanehtsin, — don't you call them, — must
go down the inlet and go up and down the shore. It
would seem as if they must have met sometimes, and
as if they would have some common speech."
" Yes," said Fannin. " They ought to, but I don't
believe they have. Of course I know no more about
them than you do, but you saw the experiments
that were tried upon that old chap that we 've just
" Yes," said Hugh, " there 's no going back on that.
He did n't understand, no matter how much he ought
to have understood."
" Hugh," said Jack, " did you count the number of
people at the village? "
"Yes," said Hugh, "I-did: three women, three
children, and the old man."
" Well," said Jack, " did you count the dogs? "
"No," said Hugh; "I reckon I forgot to count the
dogs.   There were a lot of them, I know."
" Nineteen," said Jack. " I counted them. Three
or four times I had them all counted, and then a lot
more would show up. There were a lot lying down
sunning themselves when I got there, and after they
had got up and come round to threaten us, a lot more
came out of the house. This nineteen that I counted
did n't include the pups. I looked into a little pen
built of sticks, near one of the houses, and there
were nine puppies in there, just able to waddle, and
I saw some others not much older wandering about."
" Ah," said Charlie, " call it' Dogtown '; we have n't
any better name for it."
" All right," laughed Jack.   " I '11 put it down."
" Mr. Fannin," said Jack, after a pause, " I was
thinking last night of the hammer that that old Siwash
was using to mend his canoe. That was a regular
primitive implement, was n't it ? "
"Yes," said Fannin; "you often see the Indians
still using these hammers.   I suppose to an Indian they A MOTHER'S COURAGE 195
are just as good, and maybe lots better, than a white
man's hammer."
" Yes," said Jack, " I don't see why they should n't
be; but while the hammer was old-fashioned and primitive, the strip of tin which he was nailing over the
cracks in the bottom of the canoe and the tacks were
modern.   Where do you suppose he got them ? "
" Why, from a trading schooner, of course," said
Fannin. " There are three or four small schooners
that sail up and down the coast here, trading with the
Indians for oil and fish, and a little fur, and the chances
are that the tin came from some old tin can thrown
overboard by such a schooner, and that the tacks were
bought from it. Of course it may be that these people
have been to Comux or even to Nanaimo."
" That salmon spear is interesting, too," said Jack,
" and I hope we '11 have a chance to get some food with
" These spears," replied Fannin, " are very useful
to these people. This one, as you see, is about sixteen
feet long, the main shaft being about twelve feet and
the two prongs about four. It is a well finished tool
and rather attractive to the eye, wrapped as it is with
the neat strips of bark about the ends of the shaft. That
flat handle with the deep notches at the upper end, for
two of the fingers of the man who is to throw it, give
a good hold. Then the two prongs at the other end
bound firmly to the shaft, and tapering to a point
below, and slightly diverging, make a good implement
for throwing into a school of fish; but the interesting
part of the thing is the way the spear heads are fastened
on to make it effective. You see the line looped about
the shaft close above the point where the diverging
prongs leave it, that each end of the line is long enough
to reach clear to the end of the prongs, and that to
each extremity of this line is attached a spear point.
The socket which slips on the sharpened end of the 196      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
prong is made of the horn of the deer, or of the mountain goat, or even of bone; and the piercing point is
either a sharpened nail or some other sharp bit of
iron lashed to the socket with a fishing line or a strand
of kelp. When the spear is to be used, the heads are
slipped on to the points of the prongs, and are held in
position by the tension of the cord, which is so short
that some little effort is needed to slip the socket on
to the point. When a salmon has been deeply pierced
by the iron point, his struggles slip the socket off the
prong and the fish struggles about for a few moments
at the end of the cord until he is so exhausted that
he can be brought to the surface of the water and
lifted into the canoe. If the point were firmly attached
to the prongs the attempt to haul a vigorous fish to the
surface might very well result in the pulling out of
the spear point and the loss of the fish."
All the day long the canoe moved slowly down the
Inlet, stemming the flood tide which at times made
them all work at their paddles with an energy that no
one of the crew greatly enjoyed. Before them the
snowy tops of the mountains and the blue glaciers
looked cool and inviting, but no breath of air ruffled
the smooth surface of the Inlet, and the fierce rays of
the sun, both direct and reflected from the water,
scorched them all day long. About the middle of
the afternoon, as they were passing a point opposite
Moorsam Bluffs, a level spot was found, covered with
forest. A pleasant brook ran down here, and the spot
looked like an attractive camping place. When they
landed they found evidences that it was one favored
by the Indians of the Inlet, for there were here relics
of many a camp. Piles of stone blackened by fire,
white heaps of the bones of the deer and mountain
goat, decayed vegetation and fragments of discarded
clothing and skins, worn-out implements, a tiny baby
basket or Indian cradle, and many other articles left A MOTHER'S COURAGE
by former occupants were scattered about over the
ground, and showed that the Indians often stopped
there and sometimes remained for a considerable time.
In fact there were so many evidences of human occupancy that it was agreed that some other spot which
had not been quite so much frequented by Indians
would be a better location for their camp; and moving
a few hundred yards further down the Inlet they found
such a place at the mouth of the boisterous brook which
here tumbled into the salt water.
Here Jack and Hugh and Fannin, finding a good
beach, took a plunge in the salt water, and while thus
engaged found that the little bay was alive with salmon.
On shouting this to the others the Indians put off in
the canoe, and for half an hour Hamset perseveringly
threw the salmon spear into the school of fish that were
breaking everywhere about the canoe. For a few
minutes Jack and Hugh watched him; but as he failed
to secure anything, they soon grew tired, and at length
went ashore into the camp. Half an hour later the
canoe returned to the shore, and the Indians had three
good-sized fish to show for their efforts.
" Well," said Hugh, " from the number of fish that
seemed to be out there in that little piece of water,
I should think these fellows might have loaded the
canoe with them in this time."
" Yes," said Fannin, " that's true; but it's wonderful how much room there is in the water around a
salmon, and then you have got to hit the fish just right
or else you will not drive the spear into him. If you
are not used to seeing salmon you will think there's
an awful lot of fish out there; but you just ought to
see them in some of the rivers in the Province here.
Why, sometimes they are so thick that you literally
can't see the bottom for their backs. A good many
people, who have never been on a stream during the
salmon run, think that the stories about their abun- 198       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
dance must be lies; but they are not. You can't
exaggerate their numbers. I have seen people go down
to the stream with a pitchfork, and throw out the
fish they wanted onto the bank, just as you would lift
a load of turnips on a fork if you thrust it into a pile
of them. When the fish are running, of course, the
bears and eagles have no trouble at all in catching all
they want. Even the hogs go down to the stream and
take out the fish. In fact, during the salmon run, and
for some months after it, settlers who expect to kill
their hogs keep them shut up; because, if they are
allowed to feed on the salmon the flesh becomes
flavored with fish to a point where people can't eat
it. That sounds like a pretty good story too, but it's
true. Later in the season, when the dead fish are
in the streams, — and there are always many of them,
— the hens of the settlers eat them, and often eat
so many that their eggs can't be used on account of
the fishy taste. That's another good one, but it's
" Well," said Hugh, " those stories sound pretty
hard to believe, but I guess they are true. Of course
we 've always heard about buffaloes, and how many
there used to be, and I expect I 've told stories to
people who had never seen them, about the numbers
of these animals that sounded just as hard to believe
as your stories do to me. It don't trouble me a little
bit to believe what you told me about the taste of the
flesh of these animals. Everybody knows, I reckon,
that the food that an animal eats gives its flesh good
flavor or bad flavor."
" Yes," said Jack, " that's so, of course. I have
heard my uncle tell a great many times about some
kinds of ducks living up on Long Island and eating
little clams and other shell-fish, and being strong and
fishy to the taste, while the same ducks, when they go
down South and live in water that is fresh or nearly so, A MOTHER'S COURAGE
eating nothing but grass and roots, are as delicate and
fine flavored as can be."
" That's gospel truth, son," said Hugh, " and you
see the same thing out on the plains and in the mountains. Take it early in the season, before the grass
begins to grow, and the first green thing that grows
out of the earth is a wild onion. If you kill, up at the
edge of the mountains, a buffalo or a mountain sheep,
just after these onions have sprung up, you can hardly
eat the meat."
" Yes," remarked Jack, " and I have heard, too,
that the milk of the cows is often flavored with these
" I know that's so," assented Fannin.
" But what gets me," said Hugh, " is the multitude
of these salmon that there must be. Of course we
have n't seen many of them; but from what you say,
Fannin, they just crowd every river that comes into the
salt water, and there are an awful lot of rivers along
this coast."
The camp had a great dinner that night. The
Indians transfixed a large fat salmon with a stick,
which was thrust into the ground so that it overhung
the fire at an angle. There the salmon roasted until
it was done, and then its bones were picked as clean
as any bear could have picked them. A smaller salmon,
slim and red fleshed, was cut into steaks and fried, and
there was unlimited deer meat. It was all very delicious ; and after the meal was over the party sat around
the fire for a little while, too lazy to talk, and then
went to bed.
The next morning, before the canoe was loaded,
Jack spent an hour or two leaning over its side, and
watching the movements of the different marine animals at work in the shallow water near the shore.
There were hundreds of little crabs, the largest about
the size of a silver half-dollar, clambering over the 200      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
stones like so many goats, and apparently feeding on
the vegetable matter that grew on them. They walked
slowly here and there, plucking the food with their
curiously swollen white claws, using the right and left
claw alternately, so that while one was holding the food
to the mouth the other was gathering a fresh supply.
They seemed wholly absorbed in what they were doing.
Their jaws moved continuously, and they had a most
businesslike and methodical aspect. The larger crabs
were of a deep purple color, while the smaller ones
were mostly dull, grayish green, a protective color
which corresponded very closely with that of the stones
on which they fed. They seemed to get along peaceably; though once in a while, if a small crab came
too near a large one, the latter would make a threatening dash at the little fellow, which would at once retreat,
with many defensive demonstrations of its claws.
Fixed to the sides of many of the stones were the
curved white tubes of marine worms; some of them
deserted and empty; while from the mouths of others
there protruded a cluster of deep crimson tentacles,
the whole looking like some beautiful white-stemmed
flower. If the red cluster was cautiously approached
and touched it instantly withdrew into the tube which
then appeared empty. But five minutes later a small
spot of red began slowly to appear, far down in the
tube; and gradually drawing nearer the aperture, the
arms would be gently thrust out, and the animal would
resume its flower-like appearance. On certain stones
and rocks were great numbers of barnacles, which were
not the least interesting of the living creatures Jack
saw. At those stages of the tide when the water did
not reach them their shells remained closed, and showed
no signs of life; but as soon as they were fairly covered
by the water, each little pair of valves opened, and the
tiny arms were extended and waved through the air
with a regular motion which ceased only when they A MOTHER'S  COURAGE 201
had grasped some morsel of food that was floating by.
When this took place the arms were quickly drawn into
the shell, and the valves closed; and for some little
time the animal remained quiet. On the beach and in
the water were many sea urchins and starfish, some
of which moved about over the bottom. Both progressed slowly; the sea urchins by a continuous motion
of the long spines, with which their shells are covered;
and though the animal's rate of advance could hardly
be noticed if one kept looking at it, Jack found that
they did move, and seemed to be capable of quite long
journeys. Jack took up one of these sea urchins to
look at its under side, and found that it had a continuous movement of the mouth and soft parts, as though
striving to obtain air. When he put it into the water
again he placed it on its back, on a flat stone, and was
interested in seeing it turn over and right itself by the
same quiet, but continuous, movement of the spines.
The starfish moved much more rapidly than the
sea urchins. They seemed to drag themselves along
by some slight up and down motion of their arms, and
also by hooking the ends of these arms around the
angles of the rocks, thus pulling themselves forward
for a short distance. Starfish were very common
along this coast, and were of all sizes and colors. Jack
had noticed them brown, black, yellow, orange, red,
and purple. They ranged in size from the diameter
of a five-cent piece up to ten inches across the arms.
They seemed most abundant on the shore just about
low water mark, but were by no means confined to this
Often they were seen clinging to the rocks where
they had been left bare by the tide; and sometimes a
great cluster of the large red or purple ones were collected in an angle of the rock, showing against a background of shining black mussels and brown seaweed
with very striking effect 202       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
A light breeze blowing down the Inlet made it possible to set the sail, and the canoe slipped rapidly along
over the water. The tide was ebbing, and their progress was good; but at length a turn in the fiord shut
off the breeze, the paddles were called for, and they
had several hours of hard paddling. The canoe was
passing so close to the shore that the mountains on that
side were hidden from view, while on the other shore
the hills were low and not especially picturesque. Jack
kept looking at one point after another, hoping that
each would be the last, and that when the one ahead
was rounded he would see the broad waters of the
beautiful bay into which they had looked some days
before toward the Twin Falls. After several disappointments he said to Hugh:
" Hugh, this reminds me of riding over the plains.
I have been watching these points, hoping that each
would be the last, just as when riding over the prairies
I always looked at the hill ahead of me and thought
that from that hill I should be able to see some distance ; but there was always another one just beyond."
" Yes," said Hugh, " I know just what the feeling is,
and I guess everybody does who has ever travelled the
prairies. Why, even the Indians tell about some man
who prophesied to them long ago, when dogs were
their only animals, about a time when they would get
horses. He said that when they got horses they would
always be on the move, and that they would ride up
on a hill and see another hill beyond; and then they
would want to get to that one to see what was beyond
it; and so would keep going all the time, and never
be quiet."
It was the middle of the afternoon when the last
point was rounded and they came in sight of the Twin
Falls. Even then an hour or two was needed to bring
the canoe to what looked like a good camping place,
near the falls.  When they reached the shore they were A MOTHER'S COURAGE 203
disappointed, for the timber was so thick and high, and
the cliff over which the water fell was so nearly straight
up and down, that it was impossible to obtain any view
of the cataract from the land. But by pushing out a
few hundred yards from the shore its whole majesty
was seen. Two wide streams of water flow on either
side of an island in the river, plunging over the cliffs,
and falling quite five hundred feet before they meet
with any check; then from here are two more leaps
of three hundred feet each, and then other lesser ones
of two hundred or one hundred and fifty feet. The
stream falls between dark green walls of Douglas firs
on either side; and the rocky face of the mountains is
entirely hidden. Before the water strikes the rocks it
has become spray, and from each little bench thin
clouds of white mist rise to the treetops and float off
with the wind. The dull roar of the Falls is almost
deafening. Sometimes it sinks to the muttering of
distant thunder, and then rises louder than before,
sounding like the boom of heavy guns in the distance.
Close over the tops of the trees they saw, as they first
approached the spot, a splendid white-headed eagle,
swinging about on motionless wing. Now and then,
as he turned, the bright sunlight flashed upon his head
and tail, and caused them to shine like silver, while
his dark body looked black against the sky. Unmoved
by the tumult below him, and unshaken by the blasts
that were now causing the mighty trees to bend their
heads, he floated to and fro in his broad eyrie, the
only living thing seen in all the wide landscape.
On landing, it took some time to fix the tent and
cut the fir and hemlock boughs which were needed to
make comfortable the uneven ground where the beds
were to be spread. But after this had been done Jack
took his rifle and declared that he was going up the
hill to see what he could see. Hugh said that he
would go too, and the two set off. 204      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
From the spot where the camp had been pitched a
broad, well-beaten trail led up to the mountains. But
this soon grew very steep. Great boulders had to be
climbed over or gone around. Great green leaves and
a slippery moss hid the ground and made it difficult
to know just where they were stepping. More than
once Jack, who was in the lead, narrowly escaped an
ugly fall. Presently the trail gave out or was lost, and
then the easiest mode of progress was to walk along
the fallen tree trunks, which in many places lay piled
high on one another, as a lot of jackstraws would
look if thrown down at random. Even such a road
presented some difficulty; for sometimes a span of
the bridge would be missing, and it would be necessary
to descend to the ground and clamber up among the
At last the first leap of the falls was reached, but
from here very little could be seen, for the foliage and
mist entirely obscured the view. Further up, for a
hundred yards on either side of the stream, the ground
and the foliage were damp and dripping from the heavy
spray, and the wet moss which covered everything
made climbing difficult and even dangerous. The
forest along the stream was open, and Jack and Hugh
pursued their way, sometimes being obliged to climb
up walls that were almost vertical. Still higher up
the forest began to give way to little open parks, and
before very long the appearance of the sky above
them showed that the timber was either much lower
or entirely absent. They were not greatly surprised,
then, when after a little time they came out of the
forest into an open country, in the midst of which
was a high, naked, rocky hill.
At different points on the hill they saw a number
of white objects which they recognized as goats. They
did not feel that they needed any goats, but these
animals were still sufficiently new to Hugh and Jack A MOTHER'S COURAGE 205
to make them wish to see them again at closer range.
A little manoeuvring took them out of the sight of the
goats, and they began to climb the hill. After they
had ascended some distance they crept out onto a rocky
point and could see, above, below, and on each side of
them, small groups of these animals feeding on the
ledges and steep slopes. Quite close to them was an
old goat, about which was playing a little kid, not a
beautiful or graceful object, but one very curious in
its clumsiness and its high spirits. It ran about its
mother before and behind, sometimes climbing a little
way up on a steep bank, and then throwing itself down
on its side, rolling over and over until a level place
was reached, when it would rise, and after a rest climb
up the slope and repeat the performance. The mother
paid little attention to her young one, but fed slowly
along, constantly approaching closer and closer to Jack
and Hugh, who commented on the goats' odd appearance and their no less extraordinary actions.
Suddenly Hugh stretched out his hand and caught
Jack's arm and whispered to him: " Look at that
lion! " Jack looked, but could see nothing, and before
he could ask the question " Where ? " a great yellow
animal flashed out from the top of a bank close to the
old goat, flew through the air, and fell upon the back
of the kid, which sank to the ground with a low, whining cry. Instantly the mother whirled on her hind legs,
and with a swiftness hardly to be believed of such a
clumsy-looking animal, plunged at the panther crouching on the ground over the kid and drove her short
horns deep into his side back of the shoulder. The force
of the blow knocked the animal to the ground, but he
turned, bent the fore part of his body round and
grasped the goat by the back and side with both paws,
and seized her body with his teeth back of the fore
shoulder. The goat seemed to draw back a few inches,
and then made another plunge forward, driving her 206      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
horns into her enemy again. The panther loosened
his hold on the goat, struggled to his feet, and staggered a half dozen steps away, and then fell over on
his side. The mother goat made no effort to pursue
him, but nosed at the dying kid, as if trying to induce
it to get on its feet again. On her side were a few
drops of blood, where the panther's claws had scratched
her, but on neither side of the ridge of the back where
he had clawed her with the other foot and had bitten
her was there to be seen any evidence of an injury.
This had all happened so quickly that the watchers
had no time to comment on it nor to shoot. When
it was over they sat up and looked at each other, no
longer thinking to hide from the goat.
" That's a wonderful thing to have seen, is n't it? "
said Jack.
" Yes," said Hugh. " I confess it beats me. It
reminds me a little bit of that story I was telling you
the other night about the buffalo bull that killed the
bear. Who 'd have thought that that goat could have
killed that panther. I 've always heard that these
mountain goats were great hands to fight, and that
they didn't know enough to be afraid of anything;
but I never expected to see it myself as we have seen
" But where did that lion come from ? " said Jack.
" I did n't see him until he jumped."
" He was lying right on that ledge over there when
I first saw him, crouched flat all except his head, which
was lifted high enough to just see over the bank.
As soon as I saw him I grabbed you, and a minute
after he jumped," explained Hugh.
" Well," said Jack, " we want to take his hide back
with us to camp.   I expect he's dead, all right."
" Yes," said Hugh, " I guess he's dead, but what
about the old goat ? She's going to stay with that
kid of hers, and I surely don't want to walk up any A MOTHER'S  COURAGE
too close to her. She's likely to treat us the way she
did the panther."
"Yes, I guess so," said Jack; "and, of course, we
don't want to kill her, though, to be sure, her head
would go mighty well with that panther skin."
" I '11 tell you," said Hugh, " let's go round a little
bit and get above her and roll some rocks down, and
perhaps she will walk off."
This suggestion was carried out, and the old goat
at length was induced to leave her kid and slowly go
off, finally disappearing over a ledge at some distance.
Jack and Hugh went down to look at the panther.
They found in his side, just back of the shoulder, four
round perforations, and discovered that four of his
ribs had been broken where the goat's head had
struck him. After they had skinned him they found
that the beast's lungs had been pierced three times
by the goat's horns and the heart once. It was no
wonder that the cat had died.
" I suppose," said Hugh, " that we might as well
take that kid along with us. It's eatable, and the
Indians probably will like it just as well as deer meat."
" All right," said Jack. " If you will take the skin,
I will take the kid."
" Come on, then," said Hugh. " We had better
hurry, it's getting on toward dark; and the road
down this hill is a rough one."
By the time that they reached the trail below it was
quite dark, but they met with no accident. When they
reached camp again they had an interesting story for
Fannin. The Indians, too, gathered around and asked
the meaning of the holes in the panther's skin, remarking that they did not look like bullet holes, and there
were no places where the balls had come out. Fannin
explained to them what had taken place. The Indians
nodded sagely, and Hamset said to Fannin: " Once
before I 've heard of a thing like this.    I have also 208      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
heard of a goat fighting a bear that had killed her kid,
and driving it away. These white sheep are great
fighters. I have seen them killed with many marks
on their skins, showing where they had been cut by
the horns of others they had been fighting with; and
I have seen two which had in their hams the horns
of other goats that had been broken off in the flesh.
They fight a good deal. One of my relations once told
me that he had crept up close to a goat, and rose up
to shoot the animal. When it saw him, it put all its
hair forward and rushed at him, but he killed it before
it reached him."
Jack, Hugh, and Fannin spent some time that night
over the panther skin, cleaned it and laced it over a
frame where it might dry. Whether it would dry or
spoil would, of course, depend upon the weather of the
next few days. Bright, dry weather with some wind
would surely cure the skin; but continued damp
weather, which would keep it moist, would as surely
spoil it.
The camp ground that they occupied to-night had
been used by Indians as a stopping place, and lying on
the beach were a number of bones. One of the most
oddly shaped ones was picked up by Fannin, who
asked Jimmie what animal it belonged to. The boy
did not hesitate, but answered in Chinook, " Tuiceco-
lecou " (porpoise neck). Jack and Hugh were mightily
astonished at this identification, but Fannin pointed
out to them that this bone, which is made up of all
of the vertebrae of the neck grown together so as to
form a single bone, is most characteristic, and could
scarcely have escaped the observation of the Indians,
who kill great numbers of these marine mammals. CHAPTER  XVII
From the camp at Twin Falls the course was southeast, and passing between Captain and Nelson Islands
the canoe entered Agamemnon Channel. Early in the
afternoon they came out on Malaspina Straits. A fresh
breeze carried the canoe along at a good rate of speed,
and in the evening camp was made on the mainland,
a little beyond Merry Island.
The following day, as they were approaching an
Indian village, situated near the point where the trail
from the head of Seechelt Inlet came down to the shore
of the Gulf, they saw a trading schooner anchored off
it. Provisions were growing low, and it was determined to visit the vessel and see whether food could
be purchased. As they paddled toward it, a dog which
was running up and down the deck barked loudly at
them in seeming salutation, and they saw the figure
of a man watching them from the stern. Presently
they were near enough to hail him, and he invited them
to come aboard, which they did. The Indians remained
in the canoe, and kept it from rubbing against the
schooner's side.
The man was a splendid, big, hearty young fellow,
but a cripple, having lost his leg just below the knee.
He talked with them about where they had been, what
they had done and seen, and spoke of the vessel's
owner, who had gone inland with a back load of trade
goods, to try to secure some furs that were said to be
at an Indian camp some miles inland. " I ought to
have gone with him," he said, " but you see I can't get
around very easily with only one leg. In this country
there is so much moisture and so many rocks, that it's
pretty hard for a man to get around at all. He needs
two legs, and good ones at that. I can't walk far or
long, and this confounded pin of mine sometimes gets
stuck in the soft ground or wedged between rocks, and
keeps me anchored until I can pull it out. So, really, I
am no good except to keep shop and help to work the
ship. It seems mighty good to see the white folks
again; we have been out all summer, and I 've not
seen anybody except the Indians, and I don't care
much for them.
" Now, you two," he said, as he pointed to Jack and
Hugh, " you come from my country. This man," he
said, pointing to Fannin, " belongs here. He is a
" You are an American, sir ? " asked Jack.
" Yes," said the man, " I am an American; just
about as much American as anybody can be. I come
from the state of Maine, and that's about as far east
as the United States goes."
" That's so," said Jack. " The old Pine Tree State
is a great state."
" Right you are, young fellow," said the man.
" She 's a great state, and she has sent out some good
men; it's a pity I was n't one of them — but I was n't.
My name is Crocker, and I was born right near the
shore, and have been a fisherman and a sailor all my
life. The worst luck ever happened to me was when
I drifted along this coast and kept on sailoring here.
This is the way that I lost my leg."
" Well," said Hugh, " that was sure a piece of bad
luck. I should think on one of these boats a man would
need two good legs, just as much as he does on a horse.
I have seen some one-legged men who could ride all
right, but they were never so sure in the saddle as if
they had two legs." JACK MEETS A SEAL PIRATE       211
" No, I expect not," said Crocker. " I would have
had two good legs right now if I hadn't come round
on this coast and took to sealing."
" Why," exclaimed Jack, " how did sealing make
you lose your leg? "
" Well," said Crocker, " it was in this way: I made
two or three voyages, as mate of a sealing schooner,
— first with Indians, and then with Japs. The last
voyage we made with the Indians we did n't get any
skins, and the captain proposed to me that we cross
over to Japan, and get a crew of Japs and then go north
to the Commander Islands, and make a raid on them,
and steal seals from the Russians. Of course I said
it was a go, and just before the next season began we
went over and got a crew of ten Japs and sailed.
" When we came in sight of the islands we found
that there was a Russian gun-boat anchored near them,
and so we stood out to sea for two or three days, and
then, going back to the islands, we found the gun-boat
had gone. Now we thought we had a sure thing on
a load of seal skins. We sailed in pretty close to the
shore, and then I took a boat and six Japs and we
started in for the beach, the schooner standing off,
just outside the rocks. As we rowed in towards the
beach we could see that the rookery was a big one
and that seals were plenty. It seemed as if things
were going our way. We pulled in hard toward the
rookery, and just as the boat was going to ground
and the bowman got ready to hold her off a lot of
Russian soldiers raised their heads up over the bluff
and fired at us.
" It was about the first bunch of soldiers I ever saw
that could hit anything; but they certainly hit us.
Four of the Japs were killed at the first firing. One
more was shot through the lungs and another through
the thigh, breaking the bone. I got a shot through this
leg, below the knee.   I tried mighty hard to push off 212      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
so as to get away, but the soldiers ran down to the
beach and into the water, caught the boat and hauled
it ashore. They threw the Japs overboard, for both
of the wounded ones died pretty soon, and they carried
me up onto the bluff and over to the little houses where
the sealers lived.
" You see these Russian soldiers did n't care anything
about the Japs, but they treated me pretty well. They
gave me a good bed and tried to set my leg, but both
bones were badly smashed, and I made up my mind
that without a doctor there if they tried to set the leg
they would make a botch of it, and the leg would go
bad and I would croak. So after a day or two I
picked out one of the nerviest of the chaps and had
him take my leg off. He did n't know what to do, but
I sat up and helped him, saw that the arteries were
taken up right and tied, and that the bone was squarely
sawed off, with good flaps left that were sewed up.
Three or four days after the leg was gone the gunboat came back and her surgeon came ashore. He
looked at the leg, dressed it, and said that it was a
good job, and that he wondered that any of those
soldiers had known how to take a leg off like that.
You see, he could talk a little English and good French,
and I could talk a little French and good English, so
we got on pretty well. He seemed to take a kind of
a shine to me, too, and after I got a little strength he
had me brought on board the ship, and after a little
while we sailed for Petropaulovski. Before we got
there I learned from something that he said that the
soldiers had told him about my sitting up and telling
them how to take off the leg. He seemed to think
that was a great thing.
" When we got to town they carried me ashore and
up to the jail and took me in. But before they had
fairly got me locked up, the doctor, who had left the
ship before I did, came in and showed the governor JACK MEETS A SEAL PIRATE        213
of the jail an order, and then I was taken to a mighty
comfortable house, and stopped there for quite some
time. The doctor used to come in two or three times
a day and talk to me. Finally I got able to get up
and be around, and by that time the doctor had had a
carpenter make me a wooden leg; so I pegged around
with that leg and a cane, and got to having a pretty
good time; but, of course, I didn't know what they
were going to do with me.
" There was a prince in town, a Russian prince.
He was the head, so they said, of the Russian Fur
Company. Once or twice he sent for me and questioned me about the seal stealing, and I told him all
I knew, for there was n't any use of making any
secret of it. He seemed to be a pretty good sort of a
fellow, and at length one day, after I had been there
some months — it was winter, and mighty cold at
that, you bet — he said to me: ' I ought to send you
to the mines, but I don't believe you would be very
useful there, with that one leg of yours, and I think
the best thing to do with you in spring, when the
weather opens, is to send you to Yokohama on some
vessel.' Of course I did n't have any ambition to go
to the mines, and I was mighty glad to be let off as
easy as that. So when spring came, they found a
little schooner that was going to sail to Japan, and
they put me on board of it, and off I went. And what
do you think that prince did? Just as I was going to
step into the boat to be carried out to the schooner he
suddenly appeared, shook hands with me, and wished
me good luck and handed me a little canvas bag, which
was pretty heavy, and said: ' Take good care of that,
and make it go as far as you can'; and, by Jove!
when I opened that bag and counted what was in it
there was six hundred dollars.
" That doctor and that prince," he said slowly, as
he rubbed his chin, " were mighty good to me.   They 214       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
treated me white. I wish though that the doctor had
got around to the island four or five days before he
did, and maybe I would have two legs now."
They had listened with much interest to the seal-
stealing story, and Jack was anxious to ask Crocker
many questions about the strange animals that he must
have seen during his voyage in the North Pacific,
when he followed the seal herds after they left the
islands, and about the great journey that the seals
make south and west and east and north again, back
to their starting point. But Fannin was anxious to
get on, and after he had purchased from Crocker the
provisions they needed, with a hearty hand-shake and
with many good wishes the canoe travellers stepped
over the side and pushed off.
The next morning was notable for the passage of
the canoe through multitudes of black sea ducks, which
Jack said were coots. The flock, or succession of
flocks, were as numerous as those observed some weeks
before off Comox Spit. There must have been many
thousands of these birds scattered over several miles
of water, and continually rising as the canoe disturbed
them, either flying back over it or off to one side.
Late in the afternoon the travellers, as usual, began
to look for a camping place along the shore, and for
some time without success. The rocky shores rose
straight up from the water and seemed very inhospitable ; but at length a little bay, the most encouraging place in sight, invited the tired travellers to
investigate it, and it was found that, although the
little beach wa? almost everywhere piled high with
driftwood, there was a narrow pebbly place where,
by squeezing up close together, there would be room
enough for the white men to sleep. A tiny trickle
of water through a streak of wet moss ran down each
side toward the bay, and it seemed that camp might
be made here.   The canoe was unloaded and its cargo JACK MEETS A SEAL PIRATE       215
carried up over the raft of floating drift logs to the
beach. A little hole was scraped in the sand to catch the
water that fell, drop by drop, from crevices in the rock.
The largest stones were removed from the spot where
the beds were to be spread, and a fire was kindled.
Long ago there had fallen from the shelf of the
cliff, many feet above the beach, a giant fir tree, whose
roots still rested where they had always been, and
whose top was supported by the bottom of the bay.
The spot where the beds were to be spread was directly
beneath this leaning stick of timber, which, as it was
six or eight feet through, would even offer a little
shelter in case it should rain that night. Charlie, however, suggested that this was not a safe place for the
white man to sleep, as during the night the tree might
fall and crush them. But the other men laughed at
him, and pointed out to him that as the stick had never
changed its position for forty or fifty years, the chances
were that it would not break or slip on this particular
night. Charlie said that this might be true and went
about his cooking. His spirits, however, were not
high, for, even with what had just been bought from
Crocker, the provision box was still very light. The
fresh meat had been nearly all eaten, the baking powder
had all been used, there was left nothing but a little
bacon, a few cans of tomatoes, some flour, coffee, and
raisins. To relieve the impending famine, Jack and
Fannin went up on the hills to look for game, and,
although they had found no deer, they started three or
four grouse, of which two were secured and brought
to the camp for the next morning's breakfast. As the
party turned into their blankets that night Charlie
looked at the great stick of timber which overhung
them and said: " Well, I hope we '11 be alive in the
" Oh," said Hugh, " you go to bed, Charlie; you 're
like a cow-puncher I once knew.    He called himself 216      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
a fatalist, and said that he believed ! whatever was to
be would be, whether it happened so or not.' "
Fannin said: " The only thing I am afraid of for
to-night is that maybe this tide will rise so high that
it will drown us out, and we will be floated off among
this drift."
When they turned in, the fire, by which dinner had
been cooked, was still glowing brightly under the
old drift log against which Charlie had built it; and
the only sound heard in camp was the lapping of the
water against the beach.
That night Jack had a curious dream. He thought
that he was asleep in his room at his home in Thirty-
eighth street, when suddenly he was awakened by a
bright light, and, rushing to the window, saw that
the house across the street was blazing and that a
number of policemen clad in white were dancing in
front of the fire. As he watched them, and wondered
anxiously about the fire, the smoke from the house
seemed to turn and move in a thick cloud straight into
his window, causing him to choke and cough. At this
Jack awoke, and sitting up in his blanket he saw the
great drift log, against which the fire had been built,
glowing like a furnace. Charlie, clad only in his shirt
and drawers, was darting about with a bucket of water
in his hands, dashing it on the flames. The fire was
soon put out; and next morning, on reckoning up their
losses, it was found that they were not very serious.
A few cooking utensils, a towel or two, and a coat
were the only things seriously damaged. If the fire
had burned a little longer and communicated itself to
the rest of the drift stuff, the members of the party
might have been very uncomfortable, and their loss
might have been serious.
When they started the next morning, the surface of
the water was smooth and unbroken. There was no
breath of air, and great clouds obscured the sky. JACK MEETS A SEAL PIRATE       217
Before them was seen the white lighthouse of Port
Atkinson, and on either side of the channel they were
following rose a low, rock-bound, fir-fringed coast.
Here, for almost the first time since the trip had been begun, no striking mountain ridges or snow-capped peaks
were seen. The tide was running straight against
them, and they had to work hard to advance at all.
After they had passed the Port Atkinson lighthouse the
Inlet broadened and spread out over wide flats. The
canoe kept close to the shore, to avoid the ebbing tide,
and startled from the grassy shore a number of blue
herons which were resting or fishing at the water's
edge. Sometimes, as they rounded a little point, a
group of hogs were encountered, eagerly rooting in the
bare flats for shell-fish. The first one of these groups
that he saw astonished Jack, because the hogs were
accompanied by a number of crows. About each hog,
on the ground or resting on its back, or flying about it
with tumultuous cries, were three or four black-winged
attendants, which wrangled bitterly over the fragments
of fish that the pig unearthed and failed to secure.
Sometimes a crow would pounce on a clam or other
edible morsel actually under the nose of the hog, and
would snatch it away before the hog realized what was
" Fannin," said Hugh, as they were passing along,
" does this sort of thing happen regularly ? Do these
crows follow the hogs around all the time? "
" No," said Fannin, " crows know too much for
that. They only get together and follow them when
they come down to the flats looking for clams. They
have learned that the hogs turn up a great deal of
stuff that they themselves like; and they have become
regular attendants on them. You know it is n't so
very long since they did n't have any loose hogs in
this country. It is only within the last few years that
they have turned them out to look out for themselves." 218       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
" Well," said Hugh, " of course there's lots of
difference in size, but these crows flapping about these
hogs remind me more than anything of the way the
buffalo birds act out on the prairie. They are just as
familiar and at home with the buffalo and cattle and
horses as these crows are with the hogs here."
" It's comical," said Fannin, " how familiar any
set of birds will get with animals and people or anything else, just as soon as they find that they don't
hurt them."
They were now at the mouth of Burrard Inlet and
had only a few miles more to go before reaching Hastings where Fannin lived, and where their canoe voyage
would end.   They had been about a month afloat.
The sand flats, over whose shoal waters the canoe
was passing, seemed to be the home of a multitude of
flat fish or flounders. They lay on the bottom, and
so closely resembled it in color that it was impossible
at the distance of a few feet to distinguish them from
the sand. The fish remained absolutely motionless
until the bow of the canoe was within two or three
feet of them; and then they swam quickly away with
a flapping motion that did not seem to carry them off
very rapidly as compared with the arrow-like darting
motions of most fish; but they stirred up a cloud of
sand and mud that effectually concealed them.
" These flat fish are mighty queer animals, Mr.
Fannin," remarked Jack. " They don't look to me like
anything I have ever seen before in the world."
" No," said Fannin, " I guess they are not. They
are mighty queer kind of fish; and, if I understand it
right, they are all skewed around."
" How do you mean? " asked Jack.
" Why," said Fannin, " I understand when they are
hatched they are right side up like other fish; but soon
after that they have to lie on their side. That covers
one of their eyes, and that eye works its way up mm
through the head onto the top; so that, as a matter
of fact, the two eyes on a flat fish which you see when
you are looking down on him are both of them looking out of the same side of the head. What looks to
you and me like the back, is really his side, and what
looks to you and me like his white belly is really his
other side. I don't understand about it very clearly,
but there 's a man back East who has worked that
whole thing out. Somebody sent me a copy of his
paper one time, and I guess I have got it somewhere
in the shop now."
Before night had come the canoe had gone up the
Inlet to Fannin's shop. Here they went ashore, and
that night, for the first time in weeks, sat down at a
table and slept in beds. It was learned at Hastings that
the Indians were catching a good many salmon at the
head of the North Arm; and it was proposed that instead of ending the trip here, the canoe should keep
on up the Arm and see the fishing. The next morning,
therefore, they went on up the Inlet.
On the way they met three canoe loads of returning
Indians, and each canoe was piled high with beautiful
silvery salmon, weighing eight or ten pounds each,
which the Indians had caught with spears and gaffs
in the Salmon River. Fannin, who spoke with the
Indians, told the others that this was the fishing party,
and that now there were no Indians at the head of
the North Arm. It was, nevertheless, decided to go
up there.
When they reached the mouth of the river they
found the tide lower than it had been when they had
been there some weeks ago; but soon it commenced to
rise, and as the water deepened they began to pole the
canoe up the stream, though frequently all hands were
obliged to jump overboard and push and lift the canoe
over the shoals and into the deeper water. As the tide
continued to rise this became necessary less frequently, 220      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
and before long the water was so good that they could
push along with but little effort. During the passage
up the shallow stream many salmon were seen in the
clear water — fine, handsome fish, dark blue above;
sometimes showing, as they darted away from the
approaching canoe, the gleaming silver of their shapely
The sight of these beautiful fish greatly excited Jack,
and several times he struck at them with his paddle,
but always miscalculated the distance, and could never
feel even that he had touched a fish. At length he
called out: " Mr. Fannin, can't we stop here and try
to catch some of these fish? They are so big and
splendid that I want to get hold of one."
" Oh," said Fannin, with a laugh, " wait a bit. You
are going to a place where you '11 see a hundred for
one that you see now."
" Well," said Jack, rather grumblingly, half to himself and half to Hugh, " I suppose he is right, but it
seems as if we might stop right here and catch some
of them. The sight of these fish is enough to make any
man a fisherman right off."
Again he called out: " Do you think we will be able
to catch any fish to-night ? "
" Yes," said Fannin; " I think that with the spear
or the gaff we ought to get all we want."
" But just think," said Jack, " what fun it would be
to catch one of these with a rod. It looks to me as if
they would break any tackle that we have."
" No," said Fannin, " you can't catch them on a
hook when they get into the fresh water. I thought I
had told you that before. The salmon in fresh water
will not take a hook. They will take one in the salt
water, but as soon as they enter the river, no. I '11
tell you about that to-night when we get into camp."
After several hours' work the canoe reached a point
in the river where there was a high jam of drift logs, JACK MEETS A SEAL PIRATE       221
which it was impossible to pass. The sticks of the
jam were too large to be chopped through, and the
canoe was far too large to be carried about the jam
to a point farther up the river; besides, it was well
on toward sundown. Camp was made therefore on a
smooth sandbar just below the jam, and in a short
while the spot had assumed a comfortable, home-like
appearance. On the shore of the river was a rather
neatly built shed, which had evidently been recently
occupied by Indian fishermen. This served as a storehouse for provisions and the mess kit, and a sleeping
place for Charlie and the Indians. A little farther up
the stream was placed the white tent fly, closed at the
back with an old sail and in front with a mosquito
netting. Near the storehouse a cheery fire crackled
against an old cedar log, and on the beach, farther
down, drawn out of the water, was the canoe.
After dinner was over, and when they were sitting
about the fire, Jack, whose mind was still full of the
salmon he had seen, addressed Fannin. " Now, Mr.
Fannin, what more can you tell me about the salmon
not taking bait in the fresh water ? I believe you spoke
to me about it when we saw our first salmon, but I
have forgotten what you said."
" Well," said Fannin, " I can't tell you why they
do not feed in fresh water, but all fishermen say that
they do not, and it is certain that none of them are
caught on a hook after they begin to run up a stream.
Down in California, where the rivers are all muddy,
people explain their refusal to feed by saying that in
those waters the fish cannot see the fly or bait, and so
do not take it; but such an explanation will not answer
for a clear-water stream such as the one we are on.
You must have noticed that the water here to-day was
as pure and clear as in any trout stream you ever
" Yes," said Jack, " I don't see how anything could JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
be clearer than this water; and I am sure the fish could
see the bait or a fly."
" Yes," said Fannin, " they certainly could; and if
they wanted a fly they would rise to it. There 's a
man down here at Moody's Mills who is a great fisherman, and he has fished in these streams for trout and
salmon for fourteen years. He says that in all that
time he has hooked a salmon only twice, and he believes in each of these cases the fish accidentally fouled
the hook. No; when the fish get into the fresh water,
they seem to forget everything except their desire to
get up to the head of the water and spawn."
" Well," said Jack, " Eastern salmon come into the
stream to spawn just as these fish do. They also try
to get to the heads of the rivers for this one purpose;
yet we all know that the fishermen go salmon fishing,
and expect to catch salmon on the Atlantic coast just
at the time that the fish are running up the river, and
we know that they do catch them, big ones, running,
I believe, up to thirty-five or forty pounds."
" Well," said Fannin, " I know that is true, and I
don't know just why there should be such a difference
in the fish of the two coasts; but I believe that it exists.
Some day, very likely, we will be able to explain it;
but I can't do it now, and I don't believe I know anybody who can."
The next morning Jack and Hugh were up long
before breakfast, and were talking about the difference
between the surroundings of this camp and those to
which they had been accustomed for the last few weeks.
Ever since their departure from Nanaimo they had
spent practically all their time on the water or on the
seashore; and, except in a few cases, had hardly been
a hundred yards from the beach. The present camp,
therefore, had about it something that was new. They
could not hear the soft ripple of the beach or the
roar of the great waves pounding unceasingly against JACK MEETS A  SEAL PIRATE       223
the unyielding cliff. The water which hurried by the
camp was sweet and fresh. All about them were green
forests, whose pale gray tree trunks shone like spectres
among the dark leaves. The birds of the woods moved
here and there among the branches or came down to
the water's edge to drink or bathe. Except for the
canoe, and but for the character of the rocks, they
might have imagined themselves on some mountain
stream, a thousand miles from the seacoast.
Said Jack to his companion: " We have had lots of
surprises on this trip, Hugh, and this camp is one of
the greatest of them."
" Yes," said Hugh, " I know just what you mean.
It seems mighty pleasant here to be in the timber with
that creek running by; and yet I don't know but I like
the open sea better, where a man has a chance to look
about and see what is near him."
" Well," said Jack, " we certainly have seen lots of
different country on this trip, and I wish we were just
starting out instead of just getting in."
" Well," said Hugh, " I believe I feel a little that
way myself; though, to tell the truth, I shan't be sorry
to get back to a country where there are horses, and
where a man can look a long way around and see
" Oh, Hugh!" said Jack, interrupting the talk,
" look at those little dippers there! Let's go and
watch them."
They strolled to the edge of the beach and there
saw a number of the queer little birds. They were, as
usual, bowing, nodding, and working their wings, or
tumbling into the water, disappearing there to come to
the surface again some distance away, when they
would rise on the wing and fly to the beach or to
some almost submerged boulder in the current. Some
of them were walking along the shore, from time to
time stopping and nodding as if to their shadows in 224      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
the water; or again taking their flight from point to
point near the little stretch of beach that, upon examination, appeared barren of food. Sometimes one
of the birds would bring up out of the water some
little insect or worm, which it would beat against the
stones and then devour. Jack and Hugh watched them
for some time, but presently the coming of others to
the border of the stream disturbed the dippers, and they
flew away up or down the stream. They did not
particularly mind being looked at by two men, but
they thought that five were too many, and they all
At breakfast it was suggested that they should take
a short trip on foot up the stream to see what the
river would offer. They were crossing the jam when
Hugh's keen eye detected a movement in the water
beneath them. Kneeling down on the floating logs
they were astonished to see that the deep pool beneath
the jam was full of salmon. They all stretched out
at full length on the logs and stared down into the
clear water beneath them. Through the openings between the logs every movement of the shoal of great
fish, slowly moving about but a few feet from their
faces, could be seen. The water was beautifully transparent, and it was easy to distinguish the color and
form of each fish. The humped back and hooked jaw
of the most fully developed males could be readily distinguished, and were in strong contrast with the slim
and graceful forms of the female fish. There were
probably between four and five hundred salmon in the
pool, which was not a very large one. The fish
crowded together so thickly that it was only occasionally possible to see the pebbly bottom. It was not long
before Jack remembered the salmon spear in the canoe,
and soon after he had thought of it, he and one of the
Indians started back to get it. The salmon were so
close together in the pool and seemed so near to the JACK MEETS  A  SEAL PIRATE        225
surface of the water that he thought that the spear
could not be thrust down into the slow moving mass
without transfixing one or two of them.
When the spear was finally brought to the log jam
each one of the company secretly wished to be the
first to catch a salmon, yet each was too polite to say
what he wished, and they passed the implement from
hand to hand, asking each other to make the first
attempt. Fannin and Hugh seemed to want Jack to
make the first attempt, but he declined flatly and said:
" You ought to do it, Mr. Fannin, because you are
more skilful than either of us, but if you don't want to
do it let Hugh try his hand; he is the oldest person
Hugh also declined with great promptness and posi-
tiveness, but was at length prevailed to take the spear.
He lay down on the logs with his face close to an
opening, into which he introduced the points of the
spear, lowering it through the pellucid water until the
end of the shaft was in his hands and he had fitted
his fingers into the notches cut there. Then he watched
until he saw a fish precisely under him, and made a
forcible thrust, driving the spear deep down into the
water and causing a little flurry among the salmon,
which moved their tails a little and then darted away.
Then Hugh arose with a mortified look and said:
" Well, I thought I had one that time, but it seems not.
You fellows will have to try your hands now."
Fannin was the next to make a thrust, and made
half a dozen without effect. The fish did not even
dodge the strokes, but each time the spear went down
toward them there was a general quivering of the
whole school, as if each fish had started a little. The
thrower of the implement looked at them with a somewhat perplexed expression, and said: " It certainly
seemed to me as if that spear went through the whole
school." When he had recovered the spear he passed
to Jack and told him to try his hand, but Jack's luck
was no better than that of his companions. To him, as
he lay on his face looking down into the pool, shadowed
by the log jam, the depth of the water seemed to be
about five or six feet, yet as he thrust his spear into
it and it passed down toward the fish, the handle being
in his hand, he could see that the points were still quite
a long distance above the backs of the fish, and no
matter how hard he threw the spear, it created but
little disturbance. Hugh, Jack, and Fannin were now
stretched out at different points on the log jam, gazing
at the fish beneath them. For some time they did not
realize where the difficulty lay, and now and then one of
them would say: " Oh, please let me have the spear for
just a minute; they are so thick here that I know I
can't help catching one if I only thrust it at them."
But all thrusts were futile. At last, going ashore, and
cutting a slender pole more than twenty feet in length,
the depth of the water was measured, and it appeared
that the spear was far too short to reach the fish. The
excitement was too great to leave things in this condition and return to camp, so Hugh and Fannin soon
added six or eight feet to the length of the salmon spear
and besides made a long gaff. With these two implements they returned to the pool, and found no difficulty in catching salmon enough to supply the table.
All along the river, which they followed up for several miles, they found great numbers of salmon, and
with the salmon were a great many trout, some of
them of very large size. Fannin explained that these
fish followed up the salmon to feed on the spawn as
it was deposited. He declared that while the salmon
were running the trout would pay no attention to a
fly. Certain it was that all Jack's efforts to get a trout
to rise to the fly were unsuccessful.
The evening after the day they had reached this
camp they discussed the question as to whether they JACK  MEETS  A  SEAL PIRATE        227
should climb the mountains and have another goat
hunt. After a little discussion it was decided to do so;
but the next morning when they got up they found
that it was raining heavily. It rained continuously
during the day until noon, when they regretfully broke
camp, and paddled down the Inlet to Hastings, where
they paid off and dismissed the Indians and their canoe.
The unemotional savages shook hands calmly with
their companions of the last month. They arranged
in the canoe their blankets and provisions and the
few cooking utensils which had been given them, and
then paddled off down the Inlet and were soon out of
sight, bound for Nanaimo.
A day or two later the travellers started for New
Westminster, to return to Victoria. Jack and Hugh
were loath to part with Fannin, and they persuaded
him to go with them on the stage as far as the town
and to see the last of them when they took the steamer
back to the island.
The next morning all three boarded the stage, and,
after a delightful ride through the great forest of the
peninsula, they found themselves once more in New
Westminster and shaking hands with Mr. James. CHAPTER  XVIII
Mr. James gave to Jack a number of letters which
had come to Victoria for him and then been forwarded
to New Westminster. They were the usual home
letters which he read with great delight, and, besides
these, one from his uncle, Mr. Sturgis, which told him
that he had been detained at the mine and would not
be able to meet Jack at Tacoma for at least two weeks.
Mr. Sturgis advised his nephew to spend the time
in British Columbia and to allow himself two or three
days to get from Victoria to Tacoma, where they
would meet. Hugh also had received a letter from
Mr. Sturgis, the purport of which was the same, and
the two began to discuss the question as to how the
next ten days were to be spent.
When they had reached New Westminster Mr.
James had urged them to take two or three days' trip
with him up the Fraser River on the steamboat,
partly to see the scenery, but chiefly to get to the end
of the Canadian Pacific railroad which was then being
built east and west. The western end started at the
town of Yale. The distance by steamer was not great,
though the swift current of the Fraser is so strong
that progress up the stream is not very rapid. This
invitation Hugh and Jack now determined to accept,
but as the salmon fishing was just at its height, they
wished to spend a day investigating that.
In those days it used to be said that every fourth
year the run of salmon was very great. The next year
the number of fish taken would be smaller, the next MILLIONS  OF  SALMON 229
still smaller; then the number would increase again
until the fourth year, when there would be a great run.
As it happened, the year of Jack's visit was one of
the years of plenty. A great run was looked for, but
up to the middle of July no fish had been taken, though
for a week previous the boats had been drifting for
them. The fishermen, however, were not discouraged,
for at the mouth of the river were constantly seen
great numbers of small black-headed gulls, oolichan
gulls, so called, which Jack recognized as Bonaparte
Long before they returned to New Westminster
salmon had begun to be taken in considerable numbers,
the first catch being made about the last of July. The
run kept increasing slowly until before their return to
New Westminster it had become impossible for the
canneries to use all the fish caught, and a portion of the
boats were taken off. Early in August the catch was
from seventy-five thousand to eighty thousand fish
per day, though only one half of the boats were employed. The canneries were all running at their fullest
capacity and the enormous catch was the talk of the
The next morning soon after breakfast Mr. James
called for his friends, and a little later they started out
to visit one of the canneries in order to get some idea
of the method by which one of the chief sources of
wealth of the Province was handled.
On their way down to the wharf, Mr. James talked
interestingly on the subject. " The fish," he explained,
" are all caught in ordinary drift gill nets which are
cast off from the boats in the usual manner, and are
allowed to drift down the stream with the current,
meeting the advancing salmon which are swarming
up the river. The other day I got from Ewing's
cannery the record of the catch of a few of the boats,
on one or two average days.    For example, on Au- 230      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
gust ninth five boats took nine hundred and seventy
fish; the same day six boats took one thousand six
hundred and sixty-seven fish. On August tenth, six
boats took one thousand four hundred and ninety-two
fish, and on August eleventh six boats took one thousand five hundred and thirty-eight fish."
" Now, these fish," Mr. James went on, " are chiefly
sock-eyes, and average from eight to ten pounds in
weight, but among them are a good many i Spring
salmon,' which the books call quinnat, and these run
from fifty up to seventy and eighty and even a hundred
pounds. These records I have just given you give
an average of about two hundred and forty-four fish
to the boat, or rather more than two thousand pounds.
Now, of course, the boats cannot take up their nets and
make long journeys to the wharves to unload their
fish. That would be an unnecessary waste of time,
and would not pay, so that at all hours of the day
and night steamers patrol the river, collecting from
the row boats that do the drifting the fish they have
netted. When a steamer gets a load she comes and
ties up at the wharf and there unloads her fish. You
will see them presently now, for here is where we
turn in."
Leaving the main street they turned down an alley
and entered a loosely put up wooden building, from
which came a strong odor of fish which showed it to be
a cannery. Mr. James pushed through the building
without stopping until they reached the wharf where
they saw a tug tied up. Great piles of shapely glittering fish were lying on her deck, and working over
them were men with poles, in the end of each of which
was a spike. Each man on the deck pierced a fish
with the spike on his pole and threw it up on the
wharf where lay a great pile of its fellows. They
threw out the fish just as a farmer would throw hay
out of a wagon with a pitchfork. MILLIONS  OF SALMON 231
Hugh and Jack had never seen so many fish before,
and for a little while were almost stunned by their
mass. No one paid any attention to them, but each
person went on with his or her work. At one end of
the pile stood a couple of Indians who were taking
fish from the wharf, and throwing them one by one
into a large tub of clear water. Immediately next to
this tub stood a row of tables at which were people
armed with long knives. A woman next to the tub
reached down, got a fish from it, placed it on the table
before her and removed the head, sliding the fish
along to a man next to her, who, by a single motion
of his knife removed the entrails and cut off the fins
and tail. The fish, thrust again along the table, fell
into a tub of clean water and was washed by an attendant. Thrown on an adjacent cutting table, it was
passed along to a cam, armed with knives about four
inches apart, which was constantly revolving, thus
cutting the fish into lengths. The pieces were then
placed in the tin cans which were filled up even-full.
Jack and Hugh stared at these different processes
which went on without a pause. It seemed as if each
operator might be a machine. Each one performed
a certain task and only that, and beyond that did nothing but shove each fish along, then reach back and
take another. The knives, it seemed, always fell in the
same place, and cut off the same parts with the same
precision. It was a rising and falling of arms and
knives, in the preparation of a food which was soon to
be distributed all over the globe.
At length they reached the cutting table. " Here,"
said Mr. James, " you can see how systematically the
thing is done. It is n't enough that the fish should be
cut into pieces, but it must be cut into sizes that are
just about long enough to fill the can so that as few
motions as possible need be gone through with to get
the can level full." Ill
" There! do you see!" he went on, pointing to a
Chinaman, who with two or three motions of his right
hand filled a can, just even-full; and then slid it along
the table to a man next to him, who slipped on it the
circular cover of tin and passed this on to the next
man, who was handling a soldering iron and a bit of
solder. In but a second, as it seemed to Jack, the
soldering of the can was finished, and then with a
push the can went on to join those which were being
bunched up by the Chinamen, and placed in a shallow
tray made of strap iron. When this tray was full a
hook on the end of a chain running down from a traveller near the ceiling was hooked into a ring attached
to chains running to the four corners of the tray, the
tray was lifted, and run along the traveller a short
distance until it stood over a vat of boiling water.
It was then dropped into this, hung there for a few
moments; and then, rising again, moved a little farther
along the traveller, and descended on a table. By this
table stood a Chinaman, holding a small wooden mallet
with which he tapped each can.
" You see," said Mr. James, " the expansion of the
contents of the can under heat makes the cover bulge,
and when the Chinaman taps it with the mallet he can
tell at once by the sound, whether the solder is perfectly tight or not. If, when the mallet strikes it, the
cover yields much, he knows that there is an escape
for the air and the can is thrown out. There, see him
throw that one out ? When the Chinaman taps the cans
it seems as if he were paying little attention to the
work, but when a defective can comes along he detects
it at once and casts it aside, just as he did that one."
This happened to be the only one rejected of this lot,
and the operator at once reversed his mallet and began
to tap them over again."
" What is he doing now, Mr. James ? " asked Jack.
" Is he going over them again ? " MILLIONS OF SALMON
" No," said Mr. James; " look closely at the mallet
and you will see that he has reversed it; and in this
end of the mallet there is a little tack. Each time he
strikes a can he punctures it, allowing, as you see, air,
water, and steam to escape. As soon as this is done,
the other workmen, with their soldering irons seal up
these little bits of holes, and the work is done. Now
the only thing to do is to label the cans, box them, and
ship them to the markets."
" How many fish do they put up here in a day, Mr.
James ? " asked Jack.
" About five hundred cases," said Mr. James. " It's
a lot, is n't it ? "
" I should say so," said Jack, " it makes my head
swim to think of it, and that is .being done all along
the river, is n't it ? "
" Yes," said Mr. James. " It is, and it keeps up for
weeks and sometimes for months. The run of sock-
eye salmon usually lasts from four to six weeks, and
during that time the factories run from four in the
morning to seven or eight at night; and the work goes
on constantly, Sundays as well as week days."
" Well," said Hugh; " I don't see how there are any
salmon left in the river. I should think you would
catch them all. There must be a lot of factories just
like this all along the river; what becomes of the
people living farther up the stream ? "
" I can't answer that very well, myself," said Mr.
James, " except that I know that there are plenty of
them. Here comes a man, though, who can tell you.
He is an old fisherman, and has been in the canning
business for years. Oh, Mclntyre! " he called out
to a raw-boned, weather-beaten man who passed not
far from them. Mr. Mclntyre looked at him, came
over, and was introduced to Hugh and Jack as the
proprietor of the cannery. He was glad to see them,
and readily talked about salmon and salmon canning. 234      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
" Mr. Johnson, here," said Mr. James, " was wondering that there were any salmon left in the river for
the people who live above here. He thinks you are
catching them all."
Mr. Mclntyre laughed loudly as he replied: " Oh,
not all of them; there are a few that get up. You
see, this year we have not been able to use all the fish
we caught, and we have taken off one half the boats. I
don't believe that one fish is caught out of ten thousand
that enter the river. Everybody between here and
the head of the river captures all the fish he wants,
and in the autumn you will see fish that have spawned
and died, floating down the river by the million. Of
course, I don't know how many are taken here, but
I fancy more than two million or two and a half million
fish. The Indians all the way up the river have no
trouble whatever in catching all they want. If you
should go up the river you would see their camps along
the shore, and you would see, too, that they were catching many fish."
" How do they catch them, Mr. Mclntyre?" asked
" They catch them chiefly in purse nets; scooping
them up out of the water, just as fast as the net can
be swept."
" You ought to take them up the river, Charlie," he
added, turning to Mr. James, " and let them see what
goes on between here and Yale."
" That's just what I am trying to do," said Mr.
James. " I want to get them to go up with me and
I hope perhaps we can start to-morrow."
Much time was spent at the cannery, for Jack and
Hugh did not seem to tire of watching the swift, certain, and never-ending movements that went on here for
hours until the whistle blew for noon. Then, indeed,
they reluctantly left the factory and returned to the
hotel.   It must be remembered that all this occurred some
twenty-five years ago, and that since that time wonderful changes have taken place in the methods and
operations of salmon canning. This is merely an
account of what Jack saw when he visited New
Westminster. CHAPTER XIX
The next morning, with Mr. James, Jack and Hugh
boarded the comfortable steamer which was to take
them up the Fraser to the town of Yale, the head of
navigation of the lower river. Mr. James was anxious
to have them see the end of the Canadian Pacific
railroad, of which all the residents of the Province
were immensely proud at that time, for it was the
first railroad that had been built in British Columbia.
Incidentally they would view the scenery of the Fraser,
and would see many other interesting things.
Near its mouth the Fraser is very muddy, and Hugh
and Jack spoke of its resemblance in this respect to the
Missouri, with which they were so familiar. As the
steamer ploughed its way up the river the water became less and less turbid, until, when Yale was
reached, though by no means colorless, it had lost its
muddy appearance and was beautifully green. The current is everywhere rapid, and at certain points where
the channel is narrow the water rushes between the
steep banks with such violence that at times it seemed
doubtful whether the vessel could overcome its force.
At such points Jack and Hugh were always interested
in watching the struggle, and noting by points on the
bank the slow but steady passage which the vessel
made in overcoming the force of the water. For some
distance above New Westminster the river is broad
and flows through a wide alluvial bottom covered with
a superb growth of cotton-wood trees; but farther up FISHING WITH A SIWASH
the channel is narrow; and mountains rise on either
side, not very high but very steeply, and on them they
saw frequent evidences of landslips which had laid
bare long stretches of dark red rock, which contrasted
beautifully with the green of the forests.
As they passed along, Mr. James pointed out one
mountain after another, and told of the silver mines
and the silver prospects that had been found on each.
In many places along the river were seen extensive
stretches of barren land covered with cobblestones and
boulders which to Jack seemed out of place in a region
where vegetation was so universal.
" Why is it, Mr. James," he asked, " that nothing
seems to grow on these great piles of pebbles and
cobblestones ? "
" Why," said Mr. James, " that is old mining
ground. Many of these gravel bars have been worked
over by placer miners; and these piles of stones were
left after the soil and fine sand had been washed for
the gold which it contained. Many of these bars have
been worked over a number of times, and all of them,
twice. Along this river it has been just as it has been
back in the States. After gold was discovered, the
white man first went over the ground and washed the
gravel, getting most of the gold; and then, after he
got through, the Chinaman, slow, patient, persistent,
and able to subsist on little or nothing, went over the
ground again and found in the abandoned claims
money enough to pay what seemed to him good wages;
in other words sufficient to give him a living, and
enable him to save up money enough to take him back
to his own country, where he lived comfortably for
the rest of his life.
" I am no miner," Mr. James continued, " but you
must talk with Hunter. He is a civil engineer with
a lot of experience, and I saw him on the boat this
morning.   I understand that he has a mining scheme 238      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
which is big, though, of course, it is only a speculation
as yet."
Mr. James stopped talking and looked about the
deck, and then walked over to a tall, thin man who
was standing near the rail, smoking. After speaking to
him, the two came to where Jack and Hugh were
sitting. Introductions followed, and after a little time
Mr. Hunter explained what it was that he proposed
to do.
" Quesnelle Lake," he said, " lies away north of
Yale and east of the river, in a country where some
good prospects have been found. From the Lake,
Quesnelle River flows into the Fraser. The bed of
Quesnelle River is supposed to be very rich in gold.
It is said that it is so rich that the Chinamen anchor
their boats in the river and dredge the dirt from the
bottom, take it ashore and wash it, and in this way
make good wages. I have received a Dominion grant
to mine this river, or so much of it as I can. Of course,
as yet, this is a mere prospect, but I am going up there
now to find something definite about it. I shall have
to do some dredging to find out what there is in the
bottom of the river. If I find that the dirt there is
rich enough, I shall build, across the river near Quesnelle Lake, a dam strong enough to hold back for three
or six months of the year — during the dry season, in
other words — the water of the lake, so that the volume
which passes through the river channel will be greatly
diminished. This will leave bare a great portion of the
river channel, which can then be mined by ordinary
hydraulic processes. As I say, there is as yet nothing
certain about the matter, but there seems sufficient
prospect of profit in it to make it worth while to attempt it."
" That seems a reasonable scheme," said Hugh,
"though, of course, as yet there are a number of
" There are a good many," said Mr. Hunter; " but
I believe that in the course of the next three months
I shall know much more about it than I do now."
" I believe, Mr. Hunter," said Jack, " that you have
travelled a great deal over the Province, have you
" Yes," said Mr. Hunter, " a good deal. I have
been over the whole length of it and over much of its
width, but I know little about its northwest corner.
There I never happened to be; but from the Fraser
and Kootenay rivers, down to the boundary line and
all along the western part of the Province, I have
" Is there any place near here," said Jack, " where
one could go into the mountains for say a week or ten
days, with a prospect of getting a little hunting? I
don't mean for deer and goats, because I suppose these
are found almost everywhere, but with some prospect of finding sheep, and perhaps elk ? I believe that
bears exist everywhere, and of course the meeting
with them is a matter of luck."
Mr. Hunter considered for a moment or two, and
then said: " Do you want to make a little hunting trip
of this kind, and now ? "
" Yes," said Jack, " Mr. Johnson, here, and I were
.thinking of doing that."
" Well," said Mr. Hunter; " I believe I know just
the place for you. It's only a short distance from
Hope, a town just below Yale, on the river, and if
you can get started at once, four or five days ought
to take you into a good sheep country, where there
are also a few deer and goats. You could have three
of four days hunting there, and could get back to take
the steamer down the river and get to Westminster
inside of two weeks."
" That's a little bit more time than we have to give
to the trip," said Jack, " but perhaps we could do 240      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
that, and perhaps we could gain a day or two in the
" Perhaps you might," said Mr. Hunter, " those
things depend largely upon the outfit you have and
chiefly on the energy of the man who runs your outfit. If you get somebody who is a rustler, who will
get you up every morning before day and have the
train on the march before the sun is up, and travel
all day, you can get along pretty rapidly."
" Well," said Hugh, " it seems to be a matter that
depends largely upon ourselves. Son and I are fair
packers, and if we can get horses and a man to wrangle
them and somebody that knows the road, we ought to
be able to keep them moving."
" I '11 tell you what I will do," said Mr. Hunter.
" When we get to Yale I will telegraph to an acquaintance of mine in Hope, and find out what the prospect
is of getting the outfit that you want."
Hugh and Jack both thanked Mr. Hunter, and after
some inquiry about the character of the country to be
traversed, the talk turned to other subjects. It was
but a little later when the boat began to pass groups of
Indians camping along the shore; and near each camp
were seen the drying stages on which they were curing the fish that they took. Horizontal poles were
raised five or six feet above the ground and these were
thickly hung with the red flesh, making a band of
bright color which stood out in bold relief against
the green of the trees and the cold gray of the rocks.
Jack and Hugh looked at these camps with much
" It looks some like a little camp on the plains when
there has been a killing and the meat is just hung up
to dry, does n't it, son ? " remarked Hugh.
" A little," said Jack, " but I cannot separate the
camp from its surroundings of mountains and timber
and big water." FISHING WITH A SIWASH
" No," said Hugh, " that is hard to do, but of course
these people are gathering their meat and drying it
just as our Indians gather their meat and dry it."
In front of the tents and shelters in which the
Indians lived down on the bank of the river, were
scaffolds made of long poles thrust into the rocks and
resting on other rocks, projecting out well over the
water. On each one of these stood one or more Indians engaged in fishing with a hand net which he
swept through the water, just as had been described the
day before by Mr. Mclntyre. To see it actually done
made the operation so much easier to understand
than when it had been simply described. The Indians
swept their nets through the water from up stream
downward, and at almost every sweep the net brought
up a fish, which the man took from it with his left
hand and threw to a woman standing on the bank
above the stream. They could be seen to perform
some operation on it, and sometimes a woman with an
armful of fish went up and hung them on the drying
Mr. Hunter was standing by them, also observing
the fishing, and Jack said to him: " Mr. Hunter,
I can't see clearly enough to understand just what
these nets are and how they are worked. Can you
explain it to me?"
" Yes," said Mr. Hunter. " It's very simple, and
when you go ashore at Yale, you will be able to see
the Indians catch fish in just this way, and you can see
for yourself just how it is done. You know what
an ordinary landing net is, don't you — a net such as
we use for trout ? "
" Yes, of course I do," said Jack, " it's pretty nearly
what we call a scap net along the salt water, except
that it is not so large or so coarse."
I Yes," said Mr. Hunter. " You know that a landing net has a handle, a hoop, to which the net is
attached, and a large net hanging down below the hoop.
Now if you imagine a landing net four or five times
as big as any you ever saw, you will have an idea of
the general appearance of one of these purse nets when
spread. The hoop of the purse net is oval and made
of a round stick, the branch of a tree bent so that the
hoop is about four feet long by three feet broad. This
hoop is attached to a long handle. Running on the
stick, which forms the hoop, are a number of wooden
rings, large enough to run freely. The net is attached
to these small wooden rings, and if the handle is held
vertically the weight of the net and rings will bring
all the rings together at the bottom of the hoop, so that
the net is a closed bag. Now from the end of the
handle of the purse net a string runs to the hoop and
is attached to the wooden rings that run on it in
such a way that if you pull on the string the little
wooden rings spread themselves out at equal distances
all around the hoop, and the net becomes open, just
as an ordinary landing net is when open. As the Indian is about to sweep the net to try to catch a fish,
he pulls the string which spreads the net, and the net
is then swept through the water with a slow motion.
The string which holds it open passes around the little
finger of one hand; and if the fisherman feels anything strike against the net, the string is loosened, the
rings run together, and the net becomes a closed bag
which securely holds the object within it. The salmon,
swimming against the current, pass along close to the
steep bank where the force of the water is least, and
the eddies help them. The Indians know where the
salmon pass, and sweep their nets along there to meet
them; and, as you see, catch lots of fish."
" That makes it just as clear as anything," said
Jack, " and I am very much obliged to you for telling
me about it. I want to understand these things that
I see, and sometimes it is pretty hard to do so without FISHING WITH A  SIWASH
an explanation. Now, if you will let me, there is
another question I would like to ask you. What do
the women do in preparing the salmon for drying? I
can see that they are using knives. Do they just cut
off the head, or do they take out the backbone ?"
" I am glad you asked me this question," said Mr.
Hunter, " because there 's a difference in the way the
Indians save the fish. The coast Indians just cut off
the head and remove the entrails, but these Indians up
here are more dainty; I suppose, as a matter of fact,
they are more primitive, and do not understand the
importance of collecting all the food they can, although
they ought to understand that, for they have certainly
starved many times when the salmon run has been a
poor one. Up here, the Indians only save the belly
of the fish. By a single slash of her knife, the woman
cuts away the whole belly from the throat back to a
point behind the anal fins, and extending up on the
sides to where the solid flesh begins. This portion
is retained and hung up to dry. The whole shoulders,
back and tail are thrown into the water again. There
is another thing that I believe will interest you. You
see these stages from which they are fishing? Well,
you might think that anybody might come along and
build a stage and go to fishing, or that whoever came
first in the summer to one of these stages might occupy
it, and use it during the season, but that is n't the fact.
These stages are private property, or rather family
property, and the right to occupy and use each point
descends from the father to the oldest son of the
" Well," said Jack, " that's new to me. I never
heard of anything like it.   Did you, Hugh ? "
" No," said Hugh, " it's one ahead of me."
" Well," said Mr. Hunter, " you will find quite a lot
of customs of that kind along this coast. Certain
tribes and certain families have the right to hunt or fish JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
in certain localities and it's a right that is universally
respected among the Indians. A man would no more
think of interfering with another family's fishing stage
or trespassing on his hunting ground than he would
think of disturbing a cache of food that did not belong
to him."
" That's another thing I had not heard of, Mr.
Hunter," said Jack; "the fact that the Indians have
separate special places where they have the right to
hunt and where other people have not that right."
" Yes," said Hugh, " that's new to me, and would
seem quite queer to anybody in our country."
"What is your country, if I may ask?" said Mr.
Hunter, courteously.
" Why," said Hugh, " son and I have been for the
last three or four years on the plains and in the mountains back in the States."
" Oh, in the Rocky Mountains?" said Mr. Hunter.
" Yes," said Hugh.
" There, of course, your game is chiefly buffalo,
I suppose, and they wander a good deal, do they not ? "
" Yes," said Hugh, " they wander some, but not so
much as most people think. A great many people say
that in summer the buffalo all go north and in winter
they all go down south, but that's not so. There are
movements of the herds with the seasons, but they are
not very extensive."
" Mr. Hunter," said Jack, taking advantage of a
moment's pause, " I have heard something about the
caches that the Indians make of their food, but I have
never seen one in this country. Will you tell me
how they arrange them? "
" Certainly," said Mr. Hunter. " These Indians,
here, after their fish have dried, pack them together;
and in a tree, far above the reach of animals or insects,
they build something that you might call a little house
or a big box, in which they store the food and leave it FISHING WITH A SIWASH
there against a time of need. The house or box, whichever you choose to call it, is built of shakes, that is, of
thin planks split from the cedar, is fairly well jointed,
and has a tight and slightly sloping roof so that the
moisture cannot get into it. Usually they are seen
along the streams or near favorite camping grounds,
and I should not be at all surprised if we saw one
before reaching Yale. They are quite commonly
" And you say," said Jack, " that they are never
disturbed ?"
" Absolutely never," said Mr. Hunter. " Indians
would suffer great privations before taking food belonging to other people, because they know to take
away this food might mean starvation to the owners.
Of course if an absolutely starving outfit of Indians
found a cache they might take from it a little food,
perhaps enough to carry them on for a day or two
along their road; but if they did, they would leave
some sign at the cache to say who had taken the food,
and they would feel bound, at some later day, whenever it were possible, to return what they had taken
with good interest."
By this time the day was well advanced, and a little
later Mr. Hunter pointed to a few dilapidated buildings standing near the river and said: " There is all
that's left of the town of Hope. The situation is a
beautiful one, in a wide bottom; but there is no life in
the settlement. It is from this point on the river that
the trail starts for Kootenay about five hundred miles
distant, and all the mail and express matters used to
leave from here. The town was founded in the early
days of the mining excitement, when it was thought
that the diggings of the Fraser were inexhaustible.
People used to think that this would be a great town,
and there was an active speculation in building lots,
but as the washing on the lower river ceased to pay, 246      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
the tide of emigration passed on. Hope was left behind, and the owners of town lots will have to wait a
long time for their money. At the same time, when the
railroad is finished it will of course pass through Hope
or near it, and there may be a future for the place; but
that will depend upon agriculture and not on mining."
A little later in the day the steamer tied up to the
bank at Yale. It was quite a large town, spread out at
the foot of a great mountain, and it seemed to have
the characteristics of all western railroad towns. It
was from here that the Canadian Pacific Railroad was
being built eastward, and Yale was thus the supply
point and the locality where all the laborers employed
on the road congregated during holidays. To Jack
the place seemed as cosmopolitan almost as San Francisco. He recognized English, Scotch, and French;
and noticed some Germans, Swedes, and some Americans; Indians and Chinese were numerous, and negroes jostled Mexican packers and muleteers; while
there were many mixed bloods whose parentage could
hardly be determined from their countenances.
Jack learned that a stage ran from Yale to Lytton,
where the river is again practicable for steamers, and
that this was the route taken by persons going to the
mines at Cariboo.
Mr. Hunter, knowing Jack's interest in birds, took
him to see a taxidermist who had a considerable collection of bird skins brought together from the immediate neighborhood. Here he saw many eastern and
western birds, the most interesting of which were the
evening grosbeak, the pine grosbeak, and a species of
gray crowned finch. By the time the birds had been
inspected the sun had set and they returned to their
quarters at the hotel.
Immediately after breakfast next morning, Jack,
Hugh, and Mr. James walked along the railroad two
or three miles up the river and into the canon.   The FISHING WITH A  SIWASH
scenery was very beautiful. The walls of the canon
were nearly vertical, the stream tearing along between
them at a high rate of speed. Just at the entrance of
the canon stands a high rock or island, which divides
the current into two streams of nearly equal size. On
a flat rock they all sat down, and while the two older
men filled their pipes and smoked Mr. James told Jack
the story of this rock.
"Of course you understand," he said, "that the
salmon has always been the most important food of
the year to the Fraser River Indians. It supplies them
with their winter food, and indeed with provisions for
almost the entire year. To them, as to almost all the
Indians along this coast, the salmon is the staple food,
just as back on the plains the buffalo is what the Indians
there depend upon. Just as back in that country the
buffalo is somewhat a sacred animal, so here the salmon
are in a degree sacred; and just as back there the
Indians perform certain ceremonies when they are
going out to make a big hunt, so here the capture of
the first salmon is celebrated with religious ceremony."
Hugh nodded and said, " I guess Indians are alike
the whole continent over."
" Well," said Mr. James, " each summer the first
fish that came up the river and was taken, was regarded not as belonging to the person who took it
but to the Good Spirit; I suppose that means the chief
god. As soon as caught, therefore, it was to be taken
to the chief of the tribe, and delivered into his keeping. A young girl was then chosen and after having
been purified, she was stripped naked and all over her
body were marked crossed lines in red paint, which
represented the meshes of the net. She was then
taken to the water's edge and with solemn ceremonies
the net marks were washed off. This was supposed
to make the people's nets fortunate. Prayers were
made to the Good Spirit and the salmon was then cut 248      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
up into small pieces, a portion was sacrificed, and
the remainder was divided into still smaller pieces,
one of which was given to each individual of those
present. This, Squawitch tells me, was the regular
annual custom. Now, about this rock. One season
the people had eaten all their food and had gathered
here at the river for the fishing, but as yet no fish had
been caught, and they were starving. It happened
that the first salmon caught was taken by a woman,
and she being very hungry, said nothing about its
capture but at once devoured it. This was a crime and
for it she was changed by the Good Spirit into this
rock, which was thrown into the river where we see
it now, to remain there forever as a memorial of her
offence, and a warning to others."
" My, that's a good story, Mr. James," said Jack.
" Yes," said Hugh, " that's a sure enough Indian
The pipes being knocked out they started on up the
river. Just above the first tunnel Jack saw on a stage
down near the water's edge, an old Indian fishing
with a purse net, and as it seemed, catching a salmon
at every sweep he made. This was too much for
Jack to resist, so he clambered down the rocks to the
Indian's stage. After watching him for a little while,
and noticing closely how he handled the net, Jack
took from his pocket a quarter and held it out to the
Indian, at the same time reaching out his hand for the
net. The Indian gave it to him readily enough, and
began to dress the fish he had already caught, while
Jack stepping out on the stage over the water, began
to sweep the net through the current just as the Indian had done. At the first sweep he felt something
strike the net and loosened the string. He raised
the net and — with some difficulty, for it was big —
brought up to the stage a great ten pound salmon.
He reached the net back to the Indian to take the fish FISHING WITH A SIWASH
from it; and, then spreading it again, he repeated the
operation. In ten minutes he had caught nearly as
many salmon, all of which were about the same size.
No doubt the Indian would have been willing to have
him fish all day for him, but his two companions, on
the railroad track above, were getting impatient and
called to him. Jack gave back the net to the Indian,
climbed up the bank and overtook his companions,
all three then going on up the track. It was an interesting experience, and one that not many people have
On their return to town Hugh asked Mr. James if
there was any one in the town, so far as he knew, that
had ever crossed the mountains to the head of the
Peace River, and followed that stream down to the
Mr. James thought for a moment or two, and then
said: " Why, of course. I know just the man, and I
can take you to him. It's old man McClellan. He
used to be an old Hudson Bay man, and has travelled all over the country. I am very sure that I
have heard him tell about making that trip across
the mountains."
A little inquiry brought them to Mr. McClellan's
store. They found him a hardy old Scotchman who
seemed glad to give them such information as he could.
He told them about the streams that they must go up
to reach the head of the Peace River, and that there
was a two days' portage between the two waters,
those flowing east into the Hudson Bay, and those
west into the Pacific.
" The distance is not so great," he said, " but it's
a rough country and ye '11 have to go slowly, but it is
a fine country to travel through; lots of game, moose,
caribou, and mountain goats, and plenty of fish.
Ye'11 never have to starve there."
" Well," said Hugh, " I don't know as we '11 ever 250      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
be able to make that trip, but I 've often thought about
it and wanted to. One time, a good many years ago,
I got hold of the travels of Alexander McKenzie, the
man who found the frozen ocean, and he crossed the
mountains from Hudson Bay to the Pacific Ocean,
and I have always thought that I would like to make
that trip myself, but I am getting old now for trips.
I can't get around as easy as I could twenty years
" Pshaw, man," said the old Hudson Bay voyager,
" never talk like that! You 're good for many years
of travel yet. Faith, I 'd like to take that trip with
you, if you don't put it off too long. It's a fine
country, and I 'd like to go through it again."
That evening at the hotel they saw Mr. Hunter,
who told them that he had communicated with the
people at Hope, and had found that it would be easy
for them to get a packer and an Indian guide and
horses to go off on the hunting trip if they wished
to. The outfit could be ready to start to-morrow
morning if they felt like it. Jack and Hugh thought
this would be a good thing to do, and got from Mr.
Hunter the name of the man at Hope who could give
them the desired information and assistance. They
asked Mr. James if he would not join them on the
hunt, but his business required him to return to New
Westminster at once. It was determined, then, that all
should start on the boat at three o'clock the next morning, Jack and Hugh getting off at Hope and trying
to make a start for the sheep country that same
morning. CHAPTER XX
It was still dark when the boat started, and except
Jack, Hugh, and Mr. James, all the passengers
promptly disposed themselves to sleep for a time.
The captain had promised to stop at Hope and let the
two hunters off, and their bags and blankets were all
piled near the gangplank to be rushed off at a moment's
notice. In little more than an hour the boat whistled,
slowed down, and drew up close to the bank; the
wheel was reversed until the boat lay up close to
the wharf, the gangplank was run out, Hugh and Jack
shook hands with Mr. James and ran ashore, each
carrying his bag and gun, while two of the deckhands followed with their rolls of blankets, tossed them
to them on the ground, and then rushed back. The
gangplank was drawn in, the boat whistled and started
up, soon disappearing around a bend.
Meanwhile, two white men and two Indians had
approached them and accosted Hugh. The older of the
two white men introduced himself as John Ryder,
with whom Mr. Hunter had communicated the day
" Your animals are all ready, Mr. Johnson," he said;
" and all we have to do is to buy provisions and pack
the loads and start."
" Well," said Hugh, " that's just exactly what we
want; and the sooner we get off the better it will
please Mr. Danvers, here, and me. Where are your
animals, and where can we get something to eat, and
what time will the stores be open ? " 252      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
| If you will come with me," said Ryder, " I will
show you the hotel and the animals; and as soon as
you have had your breakfast we can buy our supplies
and start. These Indians here will carry up your
" Very good," said Hugh, " they may as well take
the blankets to the corral, wherever that is; and we '11
take the bags and guns with us."
Ryder conducted them to the hotel where, as yet,
no one was awake; and then, followed by Hugh and
Jack went to the corral where there were a dozen
horses. The outfit seemed a good one; the animals
strong and fat. Ryder proposed to take six pack
animals, three with saw bucks, and three with apare-
jos. Hugh and Jack looked over the riggings, which
seemed in good order; and then they all returned to
the hotel. After a talk with Ryder it was arranged
that they should take Ryder, a boy to wrangle the
horses, and an Indian who professed to know the
hunting country. These with the six packs would
make eleven animals.
" It's more than I counted on taking," said Hugh,
" but perhaps it's better to take a horse or two extra
rather than sit around for two or three days and fuss
over it. We won't save in money and we '11 lose quite
a little time."
By ten o'clock the provisions had been purchased
and made up into convenient packs. Ryder was to furnish a tent and cook-outfit, and got the things together
at the corral. Then Hugh, Jack, and Ryder and his
assistant in a very short time packed all the horses
except those which were to carry the provisions. These
were taken down to the store and left there, and before noon the packed train, with Ryder in the lead,
went out of Hope and struck up across the divide
between Nicolume and the head of the Skagit River.
For some distance they followed the old wagon road OFF FOR A HUNT IN THE MOUNTAINS
which leads up between high steep mountains, through
beautiful scenery. The cedars and firs were grand,
the mountains towered high and were streaked with
white dykes, and the gulches and ravines where deciduous trees grew, were bright with the red of the mountain maples. Toward night they reached a place called
Lake House, a cabin on the edge of a wide meadow —
marshy with some standing water and surrounded
by willows and alders. Here Jack set up his rod
and caught a few fairly good trout weighing nearly
half a pound apiece, and many little ones which he
threw back. Hugh came up to see how he was getting
along; and soon they went back to the camp together.
In the morning everything was wet, for there had
been a very heavy dew. They got off in good season
and after stopping once or twice to tighten, as the ropes
grew dry, they went on and made good time.
During the morning they passed two or three pack
trains, the animals of which were loaded with long
boxes whose contents neither Hugh nor Jack could
guess; but at the first opportunity they asked Ryder,
who explained to them what these boxes contained.
" You see," he said, " it seems that every Chinaman, when he dies wants to go back and be buried in
his own country; and they make arrangements before
they die that they shall be taken back. I believe one
Chinaman here has the contract of sending back all
British Columbian Chinese, and he sublets the job, it
being understood that the various subcontractors will
deliver the bodies at certain specified places. Sometimes a Chinese is shipped soon after he dies, sometimes not for three or four years. They seal them
up in zinc cases about six feet long and two feet wide
and put these cases in crates of wood. These they pack
lengthwise of the horse, making for them a sort of
platform which rests on an aparejo. The long cases
project forward from the horse's neck and back over 254      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
his hips, and are pretty hard on their backs; but they
ride well enough after the ropes have been thrown
over them."
Not long after leaving the Lake House the wagon
road came to an end, and then for a while the trail
followed down the Skagit River. All day the way
led through the mountains, and all day the trail
kept climbing higher, so that when they camped that
night Ryder said that the altitude was about five
thousand feet. All day long every one was busy
hurrying the horses along, and no time was taken for
hunting. That night there was a heavy frost, and
when they awoke the next morning, it was very cold.
Five of the horses were lost, and it took some time
to recover four of them, and then they moved on,
leaving one behind, which, however, turned up later
and was brought along. This also was a day of
climbing, for they passed over a mountain about seven
thousand feet high. Several times Jack and Hugh
heard the familiar call of the little chief, or rock hare,
so familiar an inhabitant of the slide rock of all the
mountains of the main divide.
That night they camped on a creek called Whipsaw,
and as there was no grass at the camp for the horses,
they were turned out to the mountain side to feed.
After they had got into camp, Ryder told Jack that on
the creek, a couple of miles below the trail, there was
a deer lick; and suggested that they should go down
and try to kill a deer, as fresh meat was needed. They
went down and found a spot where animals had evidently been at work gnawing and licking the saline
clay; but, though there were abundant signs all about,
no deer were seen.
The next day after passing through a beautiful open
country dotted with great pines, whose cinnamon-
colored trunks rose fifty to sixty feet from the ground
without a branch, they reached Alison's on the Smil- OFF FOR A HUNT IN THE MOUNTAINS   255
kameen. Here they stopped for a little while. Mrs.
Alison, a very intelligent and kindly woman, took great
pride in showing Jack and Hugh the children's pets —
a great horned owl, a sparrow hawk just from the
nest, some attractive green-winged teal and mallards
caught young, and a tame magpie which talked remarkably well and spoke the names of two of the children — " Alfreda " and " Caroline " — very plainly.
Keeping on down the river, they camped below
Alison's. The way down the river was beautiful, for
on either hand rose high, steep, slide rock mountains,
marked with sheep and goat trails, criss-crossing in
every direction. Here and there along the stream
stood an Indian cabin.
" I tell you, son," said Hugh, " We 're in a game
country now, or what has been a game country. In
times past there have been a heap of sheep on these
mountain sides here. You see their trails running
everywhere. Of course, when a sheep trail is once
made in the slide rock it lasts just about forever, unless
there is some slip of rock on a mountain side and the
rocks roll down and cover it up."
That night the Indian, Baptiste, confirmed what
Hugh had said. Ryder interpreted for him, saying
that sheep and goats were plenty near here and that
to-morrow they would hunt.
" In spring," Baptiste said, " when ploughing the
land, I often see goats far down on the cliffs close to
the river, but as summer advances and it grows warm
and the flies become troublesome, the goats gradually
work up to the tops of the mountains. There they
paw holes in the earth, in which they stand and stamp;
and sometimes wallow and roll to get rid of the flies."
" All right," said Hugh, " we will see what Baptiste
can show us to-morrow."
" The way that Indian talks," he added, " sounds to
me just like Kutenai.   I have heard a lot of Kutenais 256      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
talk in the Blackfeet camps, and elsewhere, and I would
like to know if this Baptiste is a Kutenai."
" I guess not," said Ryder;  " he 's a Smilkameen."
" Ask him," said Hugh, " if the Smilkameens and
Kutenais are relations."
The answer, given through Ryder, was " No."
" Ask him," said Hugh, " if their languages are
Baptiste replied: " Yes, the two languages are not
quite the same, but they sound alike." He added:
I In the same way the tongue spoken by the Okanagan
Indians is much like my language."
Hugh shook his head and said: " That may be so,
but I don't feel a bit sure about it. Often it's very
hard to make an Indian understand what you 're trying to get at, even if you can speak his own language;
but after it has to go through two or three interpreters there's a big chance of a misunderstanding
" Well, Hugh," said Jack, " what shall we do tomorrow? Go on farther or stop here and hunt? I
understand that Baptiste says that there are plenty
of goats hereabouts, and if we want some we can
easily get them."
" Well," said Hugh, " we need some meat and we
might just as well stop here for a day if you think best
and see whether we can kill a kid or two, or a dry
nanny. You know I don't think much of goat meat;
and yet, of course, it's meat, and good for a change
from bacon. I '11 ask Baptiste what the prospects
Calling up Ryder, Hugh had begun to question
Baptiste, when, out of the darkness, another Indian
stepped up to the fire and saluted the white men in
pretty fair English. A little talk with him developed
that he was Tom, a brother of Baptiste. After a few
questions Baptiste and Tom both agreed that there OFF FOR A HUNT IN THE MOUNTAINS
was every opportunity to kill goats here. Tom said
that in the early summer he often saw them from the
trail, as he was travelling back and forth. It was
finally decided that they should stop here for one day
and make a hunt and then proceed to the sheep
The next morning Baptiste, Tom, Hugh, and Jack
started on foot up a small creek which came out of
the hills near Baptiste's house. The way was steep
and narrow and they had followed the stream up two
or three miles before any pause was made. Two or
three times the glass revealed white objects, which
close observations showed to be weather-beaten logs.
Suddenly Tom stopped and declared that he saw a
goat. The white men all looked through their glasses
and declared that it was a stump, but after going a
little further and looking at it again it appeared that
the white men had been looking at the wrong object,
and that Tom's goat was lying on the ledge in plain
sight. After going a little farther along another goat
was discovered high on the hillside, a little below the
first and quite close to it. They were six or seven
hundred yards away and close to the creek. To approach them it would be necessary to go up the stream
to a point well above them, and then to climb the
mountains on which they were, get above them, and
then come down behind a point which would apparently be within shooting distance of them.
Before they reached the point where the creek must
be crossed, Hugh said to Jack: " Now, son, you go
with Tom and try to get these goats, and I will take
Baptiste and go farther up the stream and climb
that high hill you see. I may get a shot there, and
you have a good chance here."
Jack crossed the stream with Tom and they tugged
up the side of the mountain, which was very steep
and much obstructed by fallen timber.   Two or three 258      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
times Jack had to sit down and puff for breath, for
it was nearly a year now since he had done much
in the way of climbing stiff mountains, but Tom
seemed tireless. At last Tom declared that they had
climbed high enough above the goats to make it safe
to work along the mountain side to the point above
them. The hillside was more or less broken with
ravines and all of these were rough with slide rock
and fallen timber. They had just reached the edge
of one of these gulches and had stopped for a moment's
rest when the highest of the goats, which they could
now see below them, came running up out of the timber
from below to where the other goat was lying. This
one got up, and it was then seen that there were four
goats, two old 6nes and two kids; and all began to
move up the mountain side. Evidently something
had frightened them. They had not seen Jack or
Tom, nor smelt them, but were looking down into the
valley. They moved off along the mountain side going
up diagonally, and Jack and Tom watched them until
they disappeared behind some ledges. Then the two
set off after them as hard as they could go. It was
pretty wild travelling across the gulches, but when
they came out onto the ledges where the goats had
gone, the footing was easier and the going better.
They followed the ledges for some little distance, keeping to a goat trail. In this trail were seen now and
then tracks where something had just passed along,
but there were no hoof marks. The trail was too hard
for that, but every now and then a place would be
seen where some animal had stepped on a stone and
partly turned it over, or where the moss was knocked
from a stone where a hoof had struck it but a very
Short time before. They kept along the trail, passing
through some low timber and presently came out
again onto the ledges, and there — hardly forty feet
*way from them stood three goats    One of them OFF FOR A HUNT IN THE MOUNTAINS
was clambering up a little ravine and just about to
disappear behind the rocks, the other two, a mother
and her kid, stood on a rock, looking up the mountain
"Shoot!" said Tom, "Shoot!" Jack fired two
shots at the nearest goat and kid, and both of them
fell off the rock they had been standing on and began
to roll down the hillside.
Tom gave a wild whoop of joy and shouted,
" Good shoot! Good shoot! " and then asked Jack if
he wanted to kill the other, but Jack said " No," these
two were enough, and they started down the hill to get
the game. The animals had rolled a long way, but at
length they found them, took off the skins, and took
what meat they needed. Tom went down the stream,
and cutting some long shoots of a tough shrub, he
worked them back and forth, partly splintering them,
and made from them two rather stiff ropes which he tied
together with a knot. With these he made up a pack of
the skins and meat, put the load on his back, and they
started for the camp. When they reached the trail
down the valley they sat down for some time and
waited for Hugh and Baptiste; but, as they did not
come, after some hours' waiting, Tom took his pack
on his back and they went on to the camp. While
they were waiting, Jack inquired of Tom as to the
names of the sheep and goats, and Tom said, as nearly
as Jack could make out, that in the Smilkameen tongue,
the male mountain sheep was called "shwillops"
while the ewe was called " yehhahlahkin." The goat
in Smilkameen was called " shogkhlit," while the Port
Hope Indians called goat " p'kalakal."
Tom said that farther on, in the country to which
they were going, there were many sheep.
An hour after Jack and Tom had reached camp,
Hugh and Baptiste returned, bearing the skin of a two-
year-old male goat, which had been killed on the other 260      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
side of the mountain they had climbed.   It had been
a hard tramp and a long stalk.
That night as they talked about game and hunting, Baptiste said that at the head of the Okanagan
Lake caribou were very plenty. The distance from
where they were would be about eighty or ninety
The next morning while Jack was preparing the
goat skins for packing up, he was much surprised to
find the ears of the goats full of wood ticks. In one
of the ears he counted no less than twenty ticks, and
some of them were so deep down in the ear that when
he was skinning the head he saw the ticks as he cut
off the ears. He wondered whether this might not
account in some part at least for the apparent inattention of goats to sounds. He asked Baptiste about
this, but got no particularly satisfactory answer to his
question; and he thought perhaps the Indian did not
understand him, but Baptiste did say distinctly that
sometimes ticks got into ears of human beings and
made them deaf.
While Jack was attending to his goat skins, Hugh
and Tom went off to another mountain to look for
sheep. A little bunch of seven were found lying down
in an excellent position. There was no wind and a
careful stalk was made; but just as the two got up
to within shooting distance a light breeze began to
blow from them to the sheep, and at the very instant
that Hugh was pulling his trigger at a ram that was
lying down, the bunch smelt them and sprang to their
feet. It was too late for Hugh to hold his fire, and
instead of killing the ram he cut a little tuft of hair
from the brisket. In an instant the whole bunch of
sheep were out of sight. Hugh came into camp much
depressed and related his adventure to Jack.
" I expect, son," he said, " that that Indian thinks
you can shoot all around me.   All the way coming OFF FOR A HUNT IN THE MOUNTAINS   261
home, after I missed that sheep, he kept telling me
what a good and careful shot you were. He said he
had taken out many white men to hunt, but he never
saw anybody that shot as straight and as carefully as
Jack laughed and said: " He little knows the difference between you and me, Hugh, in matters of
shooting. Anybody could have hit those goats, for
they gave me all the time there was, and they were n't
more than forty yards away. It was like shooting
at the side of a barn."
" Well," said Hugh, "of course if I had known
that those sheep were going to jump up, I could easily
have fired quicker but I thought I had all the time there
was and I intended to shoot so that that ram would
never get up; but I never could explain it to that Indian, you bet."
" Oh," said Jack, " he will have plenty of time to
see you shoot later on, I expect."
The next morning the train was packed early and
they started on. Baptiste led the way, Jack followed
him, and Hugh and Tom came behind. Ryder brought
up the rear and watched the animals. An hour or two
after, two blue grouse were startled from the trail
and flew up into the tall trees where they stood on the
great limbs with outstretched necks.
" Hugh," said Jack, " give Tom an idea of your
" Why, what's the use," said Hugh, " wasting two
cartridges on those birds. This kid meat is good
" No," said Jack, " I want to have Tom see you cut
those birds' heads off."
" Well," said Hugh, " all right, if you wish me to."
Drawing his horse a little out of the trail, but not dismounting, he fired two shots which brought down the
twp grouse.   Tom was sent for them, brought them 262       JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
in, and found that in each case the bullet had cut off
the bird's neck. The Indian looked at the birds rather
solemnly and then at Hugh, and then shook his head
as if he could not understand how the man who could
miss the sheep the day before should have been able
to make these two shots. Jack laughed at him and
said: " Good shot, eh, Tom ? " Tom declared that
the shot was good.
One day's journey brought the party to the Ashnola
Country, a region of high rounded hills, over which
farther back from the river rose still higher peaks
and precipices of rocks. It is a country of beautiful
scenery and abounded in game. A large lick, where
animals had been licking and gnawing the earth until
great hollows had been dug in it, was seen; and
farther along as they travelled up the trail on the
south side of the creek they saw a number of sheep
working down on to a cut bank, which was evidently
a lick. Before the sheep were noticed they had seen
the party and there was then no opportunity to hunt
them. The animals were only three or four hundred
yards away and were not alarmed. Later in the
day, on another cut bank, another band of fifteen
sheep was seen at a lick and might have been easily
approached but the party did not stop. All these sheep,
were ewes and lambs. That night the train climbed
pretty well up a mountain and came on a little bench
seven or eight hundred feet above the main stream,
where they camped. The country seemed to be full
of sheep, for Jack, going out to look for water, came
across a band on a grassy hillside, but too far off to be
shot at.
The camp was a pleasant one in a little group of
pines with water not far off, and the hillsides covered with admirable grazing for the animals. After
supper, Baptiste and Tom told them that three or four
miles back in the hills were high rocky peaks where OFF FOR A HUNT IN THE MOUNTAINS   263
many sheep were to be found, and it was determined
that the next day they should visit these hills. The
Indians said that it was possible to get up there with
horses, but that the trail was steep and hard. Jack
and Hugh, after talking the matter over and counting
up the days and realizing that two days later it would
be necessary for them to start back to the coast, determined that instead of taking their animals they would
carry their blankets on their backs and would visit
these hills, camp there, and have a look at the country,
and then would return to camp and thence to Hope.
The next morning they were off early, accompanied
by the two Indians, while Ryder was left to look after
the animals. CHAPTER XXI
As the Indians had said the trail was very steep,
but after a time they reached an open timber plateau
country, beautiful to travel through but without apparent game. After a little while, however, the timber
grew less, and they could see before them gently rolling hills from which at some distance rose a bald,
snowy mountain. They walked swiftly along, and the
great mountain grew nearer.
" I tell you, Hugh," said Jack, " that looks like a
good sheep country! "
"Yes," said Hugh, "it does, and from what we
have seen I expect there are plenty of them there."
This is the sort of place where we ought to find
big rams," said Jack, with a laugh.
"Right," replied Hugh; "but you've hunted
enough to know that big rams are not always found
where they ought to be."
"No," said Jack, "that's an old story; the big
rams are always ' farther back.'"
"Yes," said Hugh, "they are always 'farther
back,' but what that means, I guess nobody knows.
I expect that as a matter of fact, the big rams, keeping together as they do, for all the season except in
rutting time, and being few in numbers compared
with the ewes and young ones, are harder to find,
just because they are few in number."
The afternoon was far advanced when they reached
the foot of the mountain. Here, snow lay on the
ground two or three inches deep.   By a little spring LAST DAYS  IN  BRITISH COLUMBIA
they found a white man's camp that had been made
early in the season. In the fresh snow Hugh pointed
out to Jack the tracks of a wolverine which had been
about the camp recently, nosing around to see what it
could find. A few moments later one of the Indians
came up, and Hugh said: " Tom, do you know whose
camp this is ? "
" Yes," said Tom, " three young men who were
here the moon before last. They hunt a great deal.
They fire a good many shots.   Not kill many animals."
The fireplace, the picket pins, and a shelter built
of spruce boughs, showed that the people had been
here for some time.
" Well," said Hugh, " let's camp right here.
There is a good shelter for us in case it rains, as it
looks likely to do now. Now, Tom, you and Baptiste
get supper, will you, and son and I will take a little walk
from the camp, and see what we can see."
The two started off, not toward the mountain but
rather toward a large ravine which ran down from it.
They had gone but a few hundred yards, when, as they
were nearing the crest of a little ridge at the foot of an
old moraine which ran down from the mountain, Hugh
put out his hand and sank slowly down to the ground.
Jack crouched beside him, and Hugh said: " There's
a sheep just over the ridge; crawl up and kill it."
Jack cautiously approached the ridge and looking over,
saw not more than seventy-five yards away a sheep
walking away toward the next ridge. The wind was
right, and it was evident from the animal's actions that
it had neither seen nor smelt the men. Her hips were
toward him, and he did not wish to fire at her in that
position for fear of spoiling the meat, so he waited. A
moment later she walked over the ridge and out of
sight, and Hugh and Jack followed. When they
looked over the next ridge, they saw the sheep, broadside toward them.   The sun was low and glittered on 266      JACK THE YOUNG CANOEMAN
Jack's front sight and troubled him a little; and he
took aim two or three times without pulling the trigger.
As it was, he shot a little too high, but the animal
fell, and they hurried up to it. It was moderately fat,
and Jack and Hugh carried the meat into the camp on
their backs.
The next morning they were early afoot and climbed
the mountain. They had gone hardly a mile from
the camp when they found seven sheep feeding on a
perfectly bare hillside where there was no cover whatever. It was useless to try to approach them, and as
they were in the direction in which the two wanted to
go, Hugh and Jack disregarded them, and presently
the sheep ran off. Constantly climbing, they came
nearer and nearer the top of the mountain. The grass
began to give way to pebbles and stones, and the snow
got deeper and deeper. Presently they reached the top
of the mountain; and, crossing its narrow crest, looked
down into a beautiful little glacial basin which contained
a charming lake and meadow. Feeding in this
meadow were twelve sheep, far, far below them, and
quite out of reach. The wind was blowing fiercely
across the mountain top and they crept down into a
shelter behind some rocks and for some time sat there
and watched the sheep. Soon after they were first
seen, the animals went down to the border of the lake
and drank, and then came up on to the meadow again
and lay down. After a little while, some movement,
or perhaps the glitter of some piece of metal about the
men, startled the sheep. They rose and looked at them,
and then walked off, and after a little while began to
feed again. Later, when Jack and Hugh got up and
climbed to the top of the mountain, the sheep, not much
alarmed, moved slowly off and climbed up the mountain side into a deep icy gorge in which was a great
mass of snow.
Jack and Hugh went on for some distance, looking LAST DAYS  IN  BRITISH  COLUMBIA   267
down into one big canon after another, but seeing nothing more, turned back to go to the camp. On the way
back they came upon a flock of white-tailed ptarmigan
of which there were about twenty-five. Jack had never
killed one of these birds, and was anxious to have a
full grown one in his hands.
" Is there any reason, Hugh," he asked, " why I
should not kill one of these birds ? "
" None at all, so far as I see," said Hugh. " The
wind is blowing so hard that nothing ahead of us will
be able to hear the firing. If you want to kill one,
do so."
The wind was blowing a perfect gale and when
Jack approached the pretty birds, they rose at some
little distance, flew a few yards, and then alighted on
a snow bank in which they at once scratched out shallow hollows where they crouched, more or less protected from the wind. The gale made it difficult for
Jack to hold his gun steady and the first shot that he
fired was a miss, for he overshot the bird. At the
crack of the gun they all rose and flew a little farther
away, and his next shot killed one. It was in almost
full winter plumage, though there were others in the
flock that had only partly changed from the black and
tawny of summer to the white winter coat. Jack
wanted to skin the bird, but the ball from his rifle had
raked its back and torn off a great many feathers.
Nevertheless he put it in his pocket so that at night
he would have an opportunity to study it by the light of
the fire.
On the way home the two mer had a beautiful view
from the top of the mountain, looking down into a most
picturesque basin walled in on all sides by superb
mountains and containing a beautiful lake. Between
the tops of the mountains and the valley there were
three benches or steps.   The lake lay in the valley.
The next morning Hugh loaded the Indians up with L
most of the camp equipment and some of the meat,
and sent them back to camp, he and Jack retaining
only their guns and blankets. They made a long
round of the lower slopes of the mountains, seeing a
number of sheep, and at length came to a place where
deer were more numerous than they had ever seen
them before. It would have been easy to kill a
great number, but as they had no means of transporting the meat to the camp they did not fire at all.
Toward mid-day they came out into a little park where
a number of deer were lying down, and walking
quietly up to them, got within fifteen or twenty steps
of the animals before they seemed to take the alarm.
It was now time to turn back and return to camp.
There Hugh and Jack made packs of their blankets
and set out for the lower ground. For some time the
tracks of the Indians were plainly visible, — but at
length it began to snow, and the tracks were soon
covered. Moreover, their landmark, the mountain
which lay behind them, was no longer visible, and the
only guide they had was the wind, which blew from the
right or southeast.
" Well," said Hugh, " we 've got to look out now,
or we are liable to get lost."
" Yes," said Jack, " it's quite likely that we won't
be able to strike a trail leading down the mountain,
but of course we will be able to find the camp."
" Oh, yes," said Hugh; " no trouble about that,
only I would rather go into camp by the same trail I
left it by, if I can. However, if we don't hit the trail the
only thing we '11 have to do is to follow down the ridge
to the river and there we '11 find the trail of the pack-
train, and that will take us straight to the camp."
" It would be rather a good joke on you, Hugh,"
said Jack, " if we were to get lost."
" So it would," said Hugh; " so it would, son.
Perhaps we would have been smarter if we hadn't mmmummiUHumn
sent those Indians off. Of course this is their country
and they know it, and you and I have never been here
before. We 're all right, however, if the wind does n't
shift. If that should change we might easily enough
get twisted. However, we 've got the river sure to take
us to camp."
An hour or two later, some time after they had
got into the timber, Hugh stopped and said: " Son,
I think we 're off the track. I believe we 've kept
over too far to the left and have missed the trail. I
don't see anything that I recognize as having seen
" Well," said Jack, " you can't prove anything by
me. I don't see anything that I 've seen before and
this snow and these gray tree trunks all look alike to
me. I have been watching for the past half hour to
see where we were, but I have n't any idea of it."
" Well," said Hugh, " it's cold and snowy and likely
to be wet; let's push down to the river and get to
camp that way, if we can't any other." An hour and
a half later they were going down a steep hill clothed
with lodge-pole pines, and before long had come to the
level land, and in a few moments were out of the timber.
On the lower ground the snow had changed to rain
and the trees and bushes were wet. There, before
them, ran the river; and there close to the river was
the deep trail worn by the feet of the horses. Turning
up the river they followed the trail, climbed the hills,
and just at dark were once more in camp.
Ryder was a little disposed to laugh because they
had come into camp from the side opposite to that
from which they had left it; but Hugh said, and Jack
agreed with him, that on a night like that it was good
to get to camp in any way they could.
The next day the train was packed early, and three
days of long, fast travel took them back to Hope.
There they learned that the next morning there would «ft
be a steamer down the river, and they prepared to
take it.
Long before daylight, Hugh and Jack, with bags
and blankets, were waiting in the canoe for the appearance of the steamer and as soon as it was seen
coming they fired four shots to attract the pilot's attention. Presently the boat shut off steam and began to
back, and the canoe was soon alongside. The bag-,
gage was tossed out; a handshake and a good-by to
Ryder and Baptiste, and after a moment more the
wheels were turning and the steamer sped down the
river carrying Hugh and Jack toward New Westminster. The night was spent here, a pleasant call
made on Mr. James, and the following morning the