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BC Historical Books

Out west Secretan, J. H. E. (James Henry Edward), 1852- 1910

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         OUT WEST
The Esdale  Press.   Limited.
1910 Copyrighted. Canada, 1910
James H. E. Secretan.
T N the early days of the C. P. R.
■*■ surveys, through forests, across
plains and over mountains, the
Aborigine was always a factor to be
reckoned with, and sometimes a
serious one.
The harmless Eastern brand of
Indians had been reduced to a tribe
of Mendicants. When not too lazy
to breathe, an occasional muskrat
or mink skin furnished a precarious
existence. When the white man
came along, the crumbs that fell
from his table were not despised by
his red brothers, and they would
often camp alongside of him and
laboriously move along. 0 U T    WEST
With their well known instincts of
true gallantry they would kindly
permit the squaws and a • small
retinue of dogs, never absent, to
pack heavy loads of their belongings, while the haughty chieftain
strode along in the lead with nothing
heavier than an old musket.
Of course this class of Aborigine,
principally of the Cree persuasion
"cut no ice." He was simply regarded as an indolent, improvident,
dirty, unreliable, lying son of the
All Cooper's fairy tales fade into
oblivion when you encounter the
real "child of nature," so different from the tall, lordly savage
portrayed by the novelist, marching
along arrayed in a bunch of feathers
and a coat of red paint, with his "^
lovely consort by his side, whose
simple toilet, inexpensive, but effective, consists of a string of beads, a
coiffure made up with the aid of
bacon grease, buckskin leggings and
embroidered moccasins.
Alas! how all is changed.
The wretched old ragged, pock
marked, unsanitary, insect repository who follows along your trail
now, with his wrinkled, old, sore
eyed squaw and numerous offspring,
picking up the white man's leavings, tells a pitiable tale and shows
only too plainly the decadence of the
On the Western plains, of course,
different tribes are encountered.
Horse Indians are invariably
superior to those other decaying
specimens. wreafiu-   ^^m
Many a fine, tall, straight, upstanding, unreliable savage have I
encountered, clothed simply in his
right mind, mounted upon the self-
supporting little wall-eyed cayuse.
The different tribes were seldom,
if ever, friendly, and in the old days
any plain Indian would kill a
"Cree" on sight.
The "Stonies" inhabited the
Eocky Mountain ranges and seldom,
if ever, came east of Swift Current
Creek; then there were "Sarcees,"
"Blackfeet," "Bloods," "Pagans"
and many other hardy varieties.
According to the old Missionary's
and trader's stories, many fights
have taken place between the rival
I remember well some years ago
when   camped   at   Swift   Current THE   INDIAN
Creek, where I had just finished the
location of the C.P.R. Main Line,
discovering the bodies of three or
four Cree Indians recently murdered
and scalped by some hostile tribe.
A particularly perfect skull struck
my fancy, and as I was returning
East next day I annexed it for a
When the cook had cleaned and
sand-papered this head piece, I
scribbled the following verse upon
the dome of thought, and put it
under the seat of my buckboard:—
"Dong have I roamed these dreary plains;
I've used up horses, men and brains,
And oft from virtue's path I've strayed
To find a fifty-two foot grade.
But now, thank God, I'll take a rest;
Content, I've done my level best;
To this green earth I'll say farewell,
And run a railway line through Hell." OUT    WEST
That night there was an alarm of
"Indians coming!" and upon turning out we found a bunch of Crees
crawling through the long grass into
camp, all thoroughly scared by.
"Bloods" and "Stonies" whom,
they said, were chasing them.
They asked for our protection,
which was afforded, and the whole
cavalcade, men, women and children, moved down next day with my
party. We saw nothing of the hostile
Being anxious to get down to the
end of the track as soon as possible
(about 250 miles), I took one man
and several spare horses and jogged
along ahead of my transport,
making between 60 and 70 miles a
day.    The second day out I met a "1
stranger,    a    typical   down    east
Yankee trader.
He was a 7ong haired, lantern
jawed specimen, driving an express
waggon, piled up with all sorts of
merchandise to trade with the dusky
savages. He was driving two ponies
and leading four others.
He stopped me and fired a volley
of questions at me at once. He
enquired particularly about the
Indians, wanted to know if I had
seen any, whereabouts would he
meet them; if they were bad, etc.
I told him they began to get real
bad at Swift Current and they had
killed several Crees at that point to
my certain knowledge.
This' was the spot he was heading-
for. /Jjjgfi
He then wanted my opinion as to
what the probabilities were in his
particular case. I told him, according to their usual destructive habits,
that they would probably first of all
annex his ponies, then divide the
spoils on the waggon amongst them
and most likely take a few pot shots
at him as they rode off. He seemed
to be reflecting deeply, and a change
of mind appeared imminent, but a
thought struck him, and with his
unmistakable New England accent,
he drawled: "Wa'al stranger, you
come by there safe, how is it they
didn't do nothing to you?"
"Oh," said I, putting on a real
cunning look, and at the same time
reaching down under the seat and
hooking my finger into the grinning
skull of the late lamented, "Here is THE   INDIAN
the last son of a dog that interfered
with me."
He tipped his old felt hat back,
scratched his shaggy red mane
reflectively and said:—"I guess I
could dew most as well with that
stuff back to Moose Jaw," then turning slowly round he trotted along
behind me Eastward bound.
Shortly after that notorious
warrior, "Sitting Bull," had ceased
from annoying our American neighbors, various armed bands of his
people called, by courtesy, "war
parties" wandered north of the
imaginery line to try and worry unsuspecting survey parties, or particularly any loose "tenderfoot" that
might happen along on the plains.
I remember upon one occasion,
being in charge of a small party, OUT   wes:
running a trial line across the Souris
We were delayed by a big storm,
almost a hurricane, south of
Moose Mountain. I awoke with the
sense of some subtle odor which was
not there when I turned in. A thick
mist in my tent was finally attributable to a tall handsome savage
squatted on his hunkers, calmly
waiting for me to wake up.
The "bouquet" came partly from
a huge pipe of "kill-i-ki-nick," that
vile concoction made of willow bark,
and partly from the noble warrior
behind the pipe, who was industriously fouling the atmosphere while
I was wrapt in the slumber of guileless innocence.
It didn't take long to sing out for
an    Interpreter,    and    have    the THE    INDIAN
Aboriginal nuisance removed outside, before granting an audience to
so distinguished a visitor.
The picturesque scoundrel turned
out to be "Sitting Bull's" right bower, and rejoiced in the name of
"Rising Sun." His wardrobe consisted of an elaborately tattooed
chest and a bandolier of Winchester
cartridges. This handsome vagabond was on a little excursion up
north in Canadian territory, accompanied by a band of about seventy
or eighty ragamuffins, with their
squaws and dusky progeny, seeking
what they might devour.
My camp was in disorder after the
gale, tents blown to smithereens,
horses stampeded, etc., etc.
With the aid of a Sarcee interpreter he informed me that my presence OUT    WEST
(in my own country) was not only
undesirable to His Majesty, but decidedly objectionable. He advanced
the old well worn Indian argument
that I would scare the game away
and thus prevent him and his tribe
from making an honest living.
After pointing out to this child of
nature that he really belonged to
Uncle Sam and was trespassing on
my Bailiwick, I did the usual thing,
and after the pow-wow introduced
him to a generous breakfast which
would have puzzled the digestion of
an ostrich. He ate everything in
I then made him a present of much
flour, sugar, tea and tobacco as a
peace offering and told him, through
the Interpreter, that I was closely
related to the "Great White Mother" THE   INDIAN
(Victorian era), who possessed more
red coated soldiers than his dog did
fleas, and would not hesitate to blow
him off the map if he wasn't good.
With these cheerful assurances, I
bid him good-bye, saying as a parting shot, that I hoped never to see
his ugly mug again.
I was congratulated by the
grinning half-breeds upon my diplomatic manner of dealing with the
noble chieftain, but alas! for all
human calculation, when it comes to
dealing with the wandering nomad
of the plains.
The next morning at dawn I
awoke to find the noble savage once
more squatted at my feet. This time
I was indeed annoyed, but discretion triumphed, and sending for the
Interpreter, I at first denounced him 0 U T    \Y EST
as an unwashed, hand-painted im-
poster, telling him that he had
broken our sacred contract by daring to show his forbidding countenance again. I also remarked with
an air of assumed dignity, befitting
one so closely related to the Royal
Family, that the "Great White
Mother" would be greatly distressed
at the wayward manners of her
red-skinned children and would
probably disinherit the whole
bunch, etc.
This speech being interpreted to
him with any amount of half-breed
embroidery, seemed to have a soothing effect, but after thinking it carefully over, the noble warrior emitted
a sullen grunt,and told the Interpreter to tell me that he too came of a
proud and haughty race, and was THE   INDIAN
not nearly such a rotter as I had
depicted. He didn't want any
favors at my hands, and, what was
more, wouldn't accept them; in fact,
he didn't admire my style anyway
and much preferred his own. All he
sought was permission to bring the
ladies of his harem into the camp,
that they might gaze upon the
classic features of the Caucasian ere
we departed.
This being granted, that same
afternoon a loud jingling of spurs,
mixed up with suppressed giggling,
announced the arrival of the female
element in old "Rising Sun's"
Talk about feminine curiosity,
they could give their fairer sisters
cards and spades and then beat
them at their own game. ^M^^^^^^^I^i^B^^MB^iJ
They poked their noses into everything, chattered continuously, asked
all sorts of "fool" questions, and I
expect many of the younger damsels
had never gazed upon the fair
features of a white man before.
They were particularly interested
in the culinary department and after
being fed, hung about the cook's
tents examining every detail. A
peculiarly beautiful bean pot struck
the fancy of an old fat chaperone,
who came over to my tent accompanied by her sixteen year old
daughter, who was attired in one
single garment, generally advertised by the department stores as
"White-wear." In this particular
case it might have been quite true,
With no Tailor's Bills to Worry Him.  THE   INDIAN
After manifesting much anxiety
and making many violent gesticulations (the old horror had her
daughter in one hand and the bean
pot in the other), I gave my consent
to anything for a quiet life, and at
sundown they departed, bean pot
and all.
Imagine my—well, consternation,
at least, upon returning to my tent
to find that wretched old russet
colored chaperone had missed her
count and forgotten the dusky
daughter, who, seated upon the
ground, appeared to be perfectly satisfied with the proceedings.
My young Interpreter, in broken
English, punctuated with many
grins, informed me that marriage
contracts in that particular tribe
were often entered into through the p
medium of some such miserable
wedding present, and in my case
even a measly bean pot would be
considered quite legal.
Here was I hooked up for life to a
dark bay damsel whom I had never
seen before, whose language I didn't
understand, and to whose family I
had not even been introduced, and
what was more embarrassing, the
Chief Engineer was expected to
arrive any day. What a predicament for a modest, innocent, unassuming church member to find
himself in.
There was my wild, unkempt,
picturesque bridelet, the untaught
daughter of a savage race of
warriors, coyly enjoying every
moment of my consternation, while
I could only explain the awkward THE   INDIAN
situation to her through an Interpreter.
This gentleman was immediately
despatched to the Indian camp and
brought back with him a brother of
the maiden, who was then returned
to the paternal "Tepee" with my
compliments and regrets.  THE
T | E was young, handsome, Eng-
■*■ ■■■ lish, and unsophisticated. It
was in the early days, and I was
bound west on top of a load of horse
feed to locate the main line from
Brandon west. The end of the track
then was Winnipeg. The roads were
worse than awful, waggons went
axle deep in the rich, black, alluvial
soil, which was destined to produce
millions of bushels of golden grain,
which in turn filled the coffers of the
farmers with golden dollars.
It took a week with heavy loads
to make the first town, Portage La,
Prairie, only 60 miles. OUT   WEST
I was pulling out early one morning when he appeared, armed with a
double barrelled gun, a Winchester
rifle, fishing rod, tennis bat, and
other agricultural implements.
He informed me that he wanted to
be a farmer and asked me if I would
take him West. I told him to climb
on board. He went back to the little
tavern where we had stayed over
night and reappeared with a tooth
brush which seemed to be the extent
of his baggage.
He was a gentle youth, yet garrulous withal and prattled amiably
as my four horses struggled westward through the mud.
Seventy-five miles more brought
us to the Assiniboine river, and the
site of what is now the City of
Brandon,   where   my   engineering THE   HOMESTEADEK
operations were to commence. My
young passenger was anxious to
begin his agricultural career at once,
but as I had more important things
to do, I introduced him to an old
timer whom I met by accident and
told the gentle youth he must now
shift for himself, like Adam and Eve
in the garden, "the world was all
before him where to choose."
My camp was the only sign of
human habitation on these vast
prairies, there was the virgin soil
waiting for the plow of the husbandman, millions of acres to be had for
the asking, nicely divided by the
Government into 160 acre parcels,
called quarter sections.
The guileless would-be farmer was
generously instructed by the old
timer, who no doubt relieved him of*
i p
some of his impedimenta, not actually required for farming. He was
told that all that the regulations required was that he should put up a
small hen coop on the homestead,
made with a few boards, and plow a
few furrows round it,when he would
immediately become a bona fide
settler and in due time, having complied with a few more formalities,
the proud possessor of the land.
Before I left there he paid me a
visit one night and all seemed well
with him. I departed in the morning to run the preliminary line for
the great Transcontinental highway.
It was perhaps about three months
after, when I had run out several
hundred miles, that the Chief Engineer came to the front to pay me
*a visit, and asked me to drive back THE   HOMESTEADER
with him over the line, which took
several days.
Upon my return to the spot where
I had left my young tenderfoot, I
was astounded to find a flourishing
town growing up and the iron horse
rapidly approaching.
Hundreds of tents lined what were
afterwards to be streets and avenues,
hotels and restaurants were going
up as if by magic. Steamers ran on
the Assiniboine in those days, and
several of them were rapidly unloading their passengers and merchandise.
All kinds of stores were opening
up business, and the daily increase
in the population showed one plainly that this bare prairie which I had
left only a few months before, was
soon to become "quite a place." OUT   WEST
I naturally thought of my friend
whose modest hencoop was located
well in the centre of this thriving
business centre, and after many
enquiries and no end of trouble, I
ran across a stranger in a nondescript sort of canvas edifice, part
saloon, part billiard room and the
rest restaurant.
Here I learned from the stranger
that my protege had wearied of his
lonely life and had sold out to some
land shark, his valuable location, for
one piebald pony, one meerschaum
pipe (second hand), one German
silver watch (out of order) and seven
dollars and a quarter cash.
That night the embryo farmer
paid me a visit and commenced the
conversation by saying, " I suppose you think I'm a d d ass.   Everybody else does."
I assured him that if what I had
heard was true, I was with the majority every time.
He then told me the particulars
and I volunteered to try and get his
homestead back for him, as no
transfer papers had been executed.
I sent for the sharp gentleman
who had tried to take advantage of
the guileless youth, and after much
bluffing on my part, the pony and
the other valuables were returned to
the disgusted owner and once more
my young hero was "monarch of all
he surveyed," or at least 160 acres
of it.
I presented hinrwith a choice collection  of  very  bad   novels,   and I
advised him to sit tight for the next
few months, read the books and for
recreation try to smoke himself to
death with cigarettes, which he
promised to do, thanking me for my
It was about Christmas when I
returned for the second time, en
route to headquarters at Winnipeg.
The rails had crept westward many
miles past Brandon, and when I
arrived at my initial point, a real
live town was in full swing. Good
hotels, stores, churches, graded
streets, side-walks, and all the many
evidences of a prosperous western
town. Busses were running from
the neat white brick station (which
before was an ancient box car), to
the "Langham Hotel," no less, and THE    HOMESTEADER
midst all this scurry and bustle it
seemed as if it would be quite a trick
to find that hencoop.
I searched in vain for the enterprising proprietor,—at first in vain,
but later on discovered the original
"Old Timer" in some gilded saloon,
who after partaking of a few stimulants told me the cold cruel facts.
It appeared that the young
homesteader, a short time after I
left grew homesick, and receiving a
favorable offer, it proved too much
for him, and he sold out, "lock,
stock and barrel" for three pairs of
navy blue socks (quite new), a
second hand concertina, six packages of cigarettes, eighteen dollars
in real money, and a steerage
passage to Liverpool. OUT   WEST
Thus ended the husbandman^
chance of a lifetime. Not very long
ago after he got "cold feet," I happened to hear casually that same
little pasture of his fetched over
"Eighty Thousand Dollars." THE
TVT OT many years ago a broken
-**^ down Western American adventurer, an erstwhile cowboy,
prospector, gambler, and tramp,
ran across a young Englishman,
with a little ready money, and game
for anything.
It didn't take long to convince the
young tenderfoot that up North in
Canada untold riches awaited him
in the shape of mineral wealth.
The joyous free life of "The Prospector," skilfully depicted, appealed
to this young scion of a noble family, HHMHM
and after many libations a partnership was soon formed.
The American gentleman was to
furnish the experience, while the
Englishman provided the needful.
Edmonton was selected as the
objective point, where a good outfit
could be obtained, then, Ho! for the
Rocky Mountains, where riches
rivalling King Solomon's mines
awaited their pick and shovel.
The eager Englishman, delighted
at his good fortune in securing such
a prize for a partner, was only too
anxious to depart for the scene of
The pair lost no time in buying a
handsome outfit and a couple of
pack horses with the Britisher's
money, and were soon on the way to
tempt the fickle goddess. Mile after mile was negotiated,
over vast prairies and muskegs,
climbing hills, plunging into deep
valleys, swimming rapid rivers, and
battling against black flies by day
and mosquitoes by night, the
partners arrived at the foot-hills of
the great snow-capped range.
With the exception of a few
straggling Indians, these two white
men did not meet' a living soul on
their journey. The young Englishman was gay and garrulous, and
after supper when their little tent
was pitched, horses hobbled, and a
good fire built, he would chatter
away to his new found friend, telling
him the history of his childhood and
school days in old England.
The son of a Parson, blessed with
the usual "quiver full," he soon had OUT   WEST
to leave the parental roof-tree, and
like many others picked out America as the promised land of fortune.
This wholesome English boy,
fresh from gentle surroundings,
young, strong and artless, had. taken
quite a fancy to this partner of his,
who was a much older man, and to
the experienced eye had all the earmarks of a misspent life. Reticent
to a degree, he offered no confidences
to his English friend, but when the
day's work was done would listen
patiently to the joyous anticipations
of the other, occasionally interjecting a remark on subjects quite beyond the ken of his cultured companion. He taught the Englishman
many strange things in wood-craft,
how to swing an axe, set a trap and
throw   a   diamond   hitch,   and   so THE   MURDERER
the weeks wore on harmoniously
enough as they wended their way
towards the land of wealth.
The long cold dreary winter is
past. The white mantle of the snow
is slowly disappearing from the foot
hills, the welcome spring has come
at last. Vast flocks of noisy geese
are swiftly making their way north
in great V shaped formations, all
day and night the loud "Honk!
Honk!" of their leaders can be heard
announcing their return to northern
feeding grounds.
Green blades of grass timidly poke
their heads through the ice encrusted plains. Birds twitter in the sunlight. Tiny streams commence to
trickle towards the great rivers, now
beginning to break loose with a
mighty roar, and nature seems to OUT   WEST
awaken from her long sleep, stretch
herself and smile.
At the Fort, all is bustle and excitement. This is the season when
"Traders yawn and the noble red
man gives up his furs." In groups
of three and four, the Indians congregate and do their great annual
bargain-counter stunt. Stealthily a
tall aborigine approaches the
counter in the Hudson's Bay Store,
and to the uninitiated, accustomed
to the business methods of civilization, he looks for all the world like
a burglar about to secure the family
plate. Just watch him as he silently
stalks the Company's clerk, who,
knowing full well the artful little
dinky ways and manners of the
noble savage, keeps his back carefully turned towards him. The Indian, after a cautious look
round, puts his hand under his
blanket and quietly separates himself from a large beaver skin, which
he lays on the counter with a pronounced grunt, pointing up at the
shelves for something that takes his
fancy. If it is a dry goods transaction the old lady will most likely
take a hand in, and when the gentlemanly and urbane clerk has snipped
off a dozen yards of dress goods, she
will contribute a couple more grunts
to the general conversation.
The clerk then throws the dress
goods at the warrior and chucks the
beaver skin under the counter.
This may go on for a week or
more. The clerk doesn't say "What
can I show you next, madam?" or
"This shade is very much worn this OUT   WEST
Spring." Oh, no, he generally waits
patiently with his back to the
counter, in the most indifferent
manner that he can assume^ apparently with the design of impressing
the native with the idea that he, the
clerk, is doing him a great favor by
giving him 30 cents worth of red
flannel for a four dollar beaver skin.
Long lines of traders' carts are
now to be seen leaving the Fort,
their wooden axles screeching, as
they wend their way eastward,
heavily loaded with rich furs,
destined soon to grace the fair
shoulders of many a haughty dame;
for after all, nowadays, it is not a
far cry from Red River to Regent
Languidly resting, with one elbow
on the counter, is a tall   weather THE    MURDERER
stained stranger, who seems to take
but little interest in his surroundings, and hardly deigns to notice the
motley group of Indians, half-
breeds and traders, passing and repassing him continuously. His unkempt beard, long hair and patched
clothes mark him easily as a
prospector just arrived from the
mountains. He is uncommunicative
and alone.
For a day or two the stranger loafs
round the Fort, buying a few
necessaries and getting himself
trimmed up a bit, as is customary
upon reaching the outposts of civilization, before setting out on the long
journey East. There were no railways in those days out there. But
fate had decreed otherwise, and even
then  the   mysterious hand of Pro- OUT   WEST
vidence,—call it what you will,—
was upon the collar of that lonely
The historian tells us that, an old
reliable employee of the wonderful
old Hudson's Bay Company, possessed of all the instincts of the trapper,
thought he recognized the stranger,
and in his own mind identified him
as the partner of our young English
friend who passed through there not
many months before in search of
This garrulous old gentleman
communicated his belief to the Sergeant of Police on duty at the Fort,
who in turn paid a visit to the
stranger and subjected him to the
"Third Degree" with the result that
the Sergeant reported to his superior officer that there were mysterious
circumstances surrounding the
stranger's appearance in their
midst, and that he had consequently
detained him. The stranger was
subjected to a series of cross-examinations, and acknowledged his
identity as the man who had gone
north with the young Englishman.
He said that after being together
many months, they had quarrelled,
and eventually separated, the
Englishman deciding to seek his
fortune alone, while his quondam
partner determined to return to
While these inquiries were being
prosecuted by the Mounted Police,
a small band of Indians travelling
south,  came upon the signs of a OUT   WEST
deserted camp and noticed the re-
mains of a camp fire, much larger
than usual.
In poking through the ashes they
discovered several metal buttons.
There was a poplar tree o'er-
spreading the spot, and one wise old
squaw, looking up at the leaves on
the tree sagely observed that "they
had been cooking much meat here,"
as she could detect grease upon the
under side of the leaves. These circumstances were duly reported to
the police, and a couple of men sent
up to examine the place, taking with
them some of the Indians.
It was an ideal spot for a camp,
a poplar glade, nearby a shallow
pond or "slough." There were the
remnants of the camp fire where the
tell-tale buttons had been unearthed THE   MURDERER
by the Indians. The ashes were
carefully raked away, and very soon
the charred remains of human bones
were disclosed.
The little pond was next dragged
and a sheath knife brought to the
The Police then utilized the services of the Indians in draining the
miniature pond, with good results.
A small sovereign purse was discovered, and this it was that told
so eloquently the dreadful tale of
base ingratitude and murder. Swift
justice followed. The stranger in
the guard room, although confronted with these damning details, stuck
to his guns and denied his guilt. The
circumstantial evidence was too
strong. He was tried, convicted,
and sentenced to be hanged. OUT   WEST
Then when the spring-time gradually melted into glorious summer,
when warmth and gladness smiled
upon that far northern country, just
as the golden sun rose o'er the distant foothills, a lonely, friendless,
wretched, pinioned murderer slowly
mounted the scaffold, gazed heavenward for a moment, and without a
single word, paid the awful penalty
decreed by British law.     THE   SHERIFF.
T remember him well; I can almost
■* see him now, a trim built, grey
haired man, florid complexion,
sharp steel blue eyes, alert and resourceful, a brilliant conversationalist, and ever ready to give you
the benefit of his marvellous and
numerous experiences.
Talk about Baron Munchausen,
the Sheriff had him skinned to
death. Upon the slightest provocation this distant relative of Ananias
would reel off the most astounding
He had been a Mounted Police
Officer in Australia,  a Prospector, OUT   WEST
Miner, Soldier, Sailor, Farmer, and
now held the proud position of
Sheriff, presiding over a country
with an area of many thousand
He would talk by the hour, and
when pipes were lighted and Fort
Benton benzine circulated freely, he
would paralyze the "tenderfoot"
with weird tales, in which he was
invariably the unscathed hero.
He generally addressed himself,
apparently, to some imaginary
chairman and when the denouement
of some blood-curdling lie had been
reached, he would look round the
gaping audience with a look of defiance in his steel blue glittering eye,
and with one hand on the hilt of his
six-shooter would glare at his
astonished victims, which plainly THE   SHERIFF
said, "Let some one of you fellows
dare to deny what I said."
It was in the heart of the Rocky
Mountains, and wild animals were
in fashion that evening,—Grizzly
Bears had the floor.
"Talking of bears, gentlemen,"
said the modern Munchausen, looking threateningly round the assembled company, "reminds me.
As you probably all know when
riding through these hills I generally use a Mexican saddle, and
always carry a horse-hair lariat on
the horn of my saddle. Well sir, I
was coming along the trail the other
day, not thinking of anything
special, when, sir, what do you
suppose I saw ahead of me? A
grizzly, sir, yes sir the largest bear
I ever saw in my life.   On account OUT   WEST
of the roaring of the river I suppose
he never heard me coming; well, sir,
it didn't take me a minute. I just
whipped off my lariat, and quicker
than you could say 'knife' I had
roped that bear.
"Now, sir, what happened?
(glaring round for the least sign of
unbelief) I found the lariat tightening up, and, sir, looking down I
found myself,—horse and all sir,—
where? Why, fifty feet off the
ground. Yes, sir, that bear had
climbed one of those tall Douglas
Fir trees, and there I was. Well, sir,
what did I do? (pause, giving time
for murmurs of wonder) Well, sir,
I just whipped out my sheath knife,
cut the lariat and dropped to the
ground." THE   SHERIFF
The old gentleman invariably told
all his marvellous yarns in the same
fashion, asking the phantom chairman questions, and answering them
promptly himself, or if any greenhorn ventured to hazard a guess on
results, he would wither him up
with one swift indignant scowl and
say, "No, sir, I did nothing of the
kind, I knew better!" and then wind
up the oft told barefaced abomination in a blaze of glory.
One of his favorites, easily lead
up to by any of the boys who had
many a time and oft suffered under
his bewildering romances, related
to his experiences in Australia.
Apropos of nothing, the old Prevaricator would burst forth suddenly. "Well, sir, when I was in the
Mounted Police at Ballarat, I had to OUT   WEST
take seven prisoners down country,
a matter of two or three thousand
miles. I only had a sergeant and
two men with me. Well, sir, after
sixteen days and nights hard riding,
no sleep mind you, sir, we were
absolutely done out, my men
couldn't stand it any longer. Well,
sir, what did I do ? When we camped
that night I said, 'give me a shovel.'
We dug seven holes, put the
prisoners in, buried to their necks,
tamped the earth round them, and
then we had supper and turned in;
never had such a delicious rest;—
slept till daylight, turned out, sir,—
no prisoners to be seen, not a single
head—Wolves, sir, yes sir, Wolves."
Quite a popular one he used   to
tell,  was  about the  early mining THE   SHERIFF
days. I think the old Ananias must
have been a forty-niner:—
"Well, sir, when I was a young
man trying to make my way up to
the mines in Australia, we never
carried any tents, the heat was
awful and we simply threw ourselves down under a gum tree at
night. We used a sheep skin to
sleep on. Well, sir, I had a beauty,
it must have been off a freshly
skinned sheep; but, sir, although the
wool was thick, the ground was
hard, and at first I couldn't sleep. I
tossed restlessly about till nearly
dawn, when gradually I felt my bed
getting softer, and softer, quite
springy, like a wire mattress.
"I fell into a delightful slumber,
and when I awoke the sun was high
in the heavens, bursting through the OUT   WEST
foliage of the enormous blue gum
tree and scorching my face. I
looked down and found that I was
at least four feet above the hard
baked ground; well, sir, what was
the reason?—Maggots, sir, yes, sir
Millions of Maggots."
A sigh of approval escaped from
the interested gallery, when the old
Past Master of the United Order of
Independent Liars proceeded to
"Well, sir, I was once up in the
Cariboo Gold Mines in the early
days, and after working our claim
all summer, somebody had to take
the gold down to the Mint. I was
selected for the job.
"It was just the beginning of
winter, but the snow was already
very deep,  so I  started alone on THE   SHERIFF
snowshoes with over sixty thousand
dollars in dust and nuggets on my
back (the cheerful old prevaricator
evidently forgot that amount of gold
would weigh over three hundred
pounds). I made good time as I was
a young man in those days and soon
arrived at the head of Kamloops
Lake, fifty miles long, yes sir, fifty—
what did I find ? The snow had disappeared and the lake was glare ice.
It was sixty below zero. Well, sir,
what did I do? Took off my snow
shoes and put on my skates, started
down that lake sir, going over
twenty miles an hour.
"When I was half way down I
heard a noise behind me like dogs
barking, took a look over my
shoulder—what did I see? A pack
of wolves, yes sir, wolves, over fifty OUT   WEST
of them coming after me like mad,
their eyes staring out of their heads,
shining brightly, and their red
tongues just as plain as I see you.
"In a second I knew what to do.
I suppose I was fully five miles off
the land, but I could distinguish the
figure of a man working in a garden
near the shore. I turned and skated
like a man will skate with a pack of
hungry wolves after him, and
getting closer every minute too.
"Got there just in time sir, I could
almost feel their hot breath on the
back of my neck. The man was hoeing potatoes. Threw down my
pack, pushed the man over, seized
his hoe, and faced the wolves—killed
over thirty of them sir; yes, sir, over
thirty, I said, and the rest ran
away." THE
'T^HEY were a typical group of
-■• four ex-officers from Merrie
England,—a Colonel, a Major, and
two Captains. The wealth of the
golden Klondyke had attracted their
fancy, and it didn't take long to
assemble the necessary capital for
the venture—when one fine day four
well groomed Englishmen set sail
for New York and put up at the
After many consultations, over
the walnuts and wine, the overland
route via Edmonton was selected.
Nothing like discipline "dean
boy, dontcherknow." So our brave
heroes divided up into departments. OUT    WEST
The Colonel took command, which
was a sinecure. The Major had
charge of the purchasing department. One Captain acted as Supply
Officer and the other as Director of
After having sampled the hospitalities of the Waldorf for several
days, the Commanding Officer
notified his staff that they were now
in America ; the Supply Officer,
who was furnished with a list
of the necessary supplies required,
notified the purchasing department
that under the heading of "S" he
had come across "Stove,—Cooking,
American," hence since they had
arrived in America this was the
place to purchase the stove.
At a well known hardware store,
a magnificent cooking range, guar- THE ENGLISHMAN.
anteed real American, was secured,
(weighing something over a ton), at
a fabulous price, and shipped by the
Transport Officer to Montreal, "a
town on the C.P.R. in Canada."
This being considered sufficient
exertion for one day, the quartette
adjourned to their hotel and
sampled many curious cocktails indigenous to the soil. The supplies
for the expedition had been purchased in London, and although the
expenditure was most lavish, the
outfit no doubt was generally unsuitable. Money will do almost anything, but a little experience mixes
well with it when you are going into
almost a "terra incognita" in search
of fortune.
However, here are our four heroes
safe  across the  ocean,  they  have OUT    WEST
weathered the perils of New York
and are now on their way to Montreal, the Metropolis of Canada.
. The portly magnate of a great railway corporation sat in his office in
Montreal behind a long black cigar
—ever and anon he pressed a button
which summoned a trusty henchman to his side, who would receive
an order and depart as silently as he
Four visiting cards announced the
arrival of our unsophisticated Englishmen, who were promptly
ushered into the presence of the
great Mogul.
He scanned the cards sharply and
swinging round in his revolving
chair quickly scrutinized the visitors
with a practiced eye.
"Sit down, gentlemen, glad to
meet you; now, what can I do for
you?" said the man behind the
"Oh, really you are awfully good,
dontcherknow, but I don't think
there is anything you can do for us,
we've got everything we want; just
thought we'd drop in and pay our
respects as we were passing through
to Klondyke."
The Colonel was the spokesman
for the party of intrepid explorers.
"Oh, indeed, and so you are all off
for the Klondyke, and what route
are you going to take?"
"Oh, we are going by the C.P.R."
"Well, gentlemen, I may be of
some assistance to you in this, for
instance,—as a matter of fact it
might interest you to know that the OUT    WEST
C.P.R. does not go to the Klondyke."
"Ah, just so! Now, Charlie!"
turning to the Director of Transport,
"that's what I always maintained,
we have to change carriages at some
bally place, can't remember now
whether its Winnipeg or Quebec."
Charles thought it might possibly
be Calgary. The other two distinguished officers gave it up, when
the Railway Magnate came to the
rescue and explained that the C.P.
R. would be only too proud to carry
them as far as Edmonton, which
was the end of that branch.
"How do you propose going on
from there?" asked the great man
"Oh, that's easy enough, we're
going to get a lot of horses and snow- THE ENGLISHMAN.
shoes and things; by the way, do
you think snowshoes are better than
those other Indian arrangements ?—
you know, Harry, that Canadian
Chappie we met on the ship told us
about, those, what's his names?
Moccasins, don'tcherknow. We've
ordered a whole lot of tents too.
The Magnate, becoming interest-
ed,enquired good naturedly whether
they were well provisioned for their
proposed long and hazardous trip.
"Oh, rather," observed the Commanding Officer, gaily turning to
the Supply Department, "George,
just show him what we are taking
with us." Whereupon George produced a small lozenge out of his
waistcoat pocket about the size of a
pea, and proudly handed it to the
railway chief. OUT    WEST
"Now, then," said the spokesman, "you can't guess what that is,"
and in the-same breath, excitedly,
"that's a mutton chop, eh—what?
When we go into camp you know,
just drop that harmless looking little
thing into a cup of hot water, and in
two minutes it swells up and there
you have a mutton chop."
The magnate was highly entertained by the enthusiasm of these
poor misguided argonauts and their
condensed luxuries, but ventured to
ask how they would provide forage
for their numerous horses.
"Ah, simple enough, show him
one of those other things, George,"
when, sure enough another lozenge
was exhibited, this time as large as
a bean. "Now then, sir, what's
that?   Ah, ha!   That's an oil cake, THE ENGLISHMAN.
you know, put one of those on a
horse's tongue, close his mouth and
in a few minutes it swells into a good
sized ration of oil cake, very fattening and much better than oats, you
know. Saves carrying hay and
grain too, one man can carry enough
food for twenty horses for a month
in his waistcoat pocket; good idea,
rather, eh—what? Awful smart
Johnnie invented that, he'll make
all sorts of 'oof out of it."
Before leaving the head man of
the greatest railway corporation on
earth they got some good advice.
He suggested that they should proceed to Edmonton, where there was
a nice comfortable Hudson's Bay
Fort, then pitch their camp some six
or eight miles ahead, and start in on
the condensed mutton chop tablets, OUT   WEST
then practice walking in to the Fort
and back every day for several
weeks, but by no means to get too
far away from headquarters and
human help.
I was told that after doing Montreal thoroughly, the Purchasing
Department being in great demand,
this joyful, guileless quartette
arrived safely at Edmonton, where
carloads of English supplies awaited
Amongst other luxuries unheard
of in those latitudes were several
cases of champagne; also many
hundred bottles of pickles and
The winter having set in, these
congealable commodities of course
all   burst   except   perhaps   a   few THE ENGLISHMAN.
frappe cocktails, saved out of the
general wreck.
They did not forget the advice of
the Montreal magnate and having
pitched their camp some distance
from the Fort, they took it in turns,
sleeping in a tent. Three of them
would stay inside the Fort, while the
other poor devil who had lost the
toss would camp outside. This was
supposed to accustom them to camp
life and with the aid of the homeopathic chop, innure them to the
hardships of the trail.
What eventually became of these
pioneers, I never heard.
A good story was told of their
many eccentricities, that when one
of these intrepid adventurers tried
to put snowshoes on the after feet of !
a mule, the animal objected and the
operator got several ribs stove in.
I expect the party eventually
broke up and meandered back to
Merrie England. They certainly
never got anywhere near the golden
goal, although the expedition cost
many thousand good old British
sovereigns.   . "^
ry* HE Royal North West Mounted
-*-    Police is as fine a body of men
as ever existed.
For many years the protecting influence of this splendid force has
been felt by the Ranchman, the
Farmer, the Squatter, the Miner,
the Sportsman, the Trader, and
everybody else, once in the seductive toils of the "lure of the west."
The enormous area of territory
over which the Mounted Policeman
presides and administers law and
justice is almost incalculable. Long
before   these   vast   western  plains OUT    WEST
were divided into Provinces, the
Mounted Policeman patrolled this
wonderful country, destined to be
the home of millions of settlers and
the greatest granary in the known
He was there when the Buffalo in
countless thousands roamed at will,
where now the busy hum of the
steam thresher is heard in the land,
with nought but the bleaching bones
of the lordly Buffalo to remind him
of the past.
Whenever a new mining territory
was discovered, who followed upon
the footsteps of the prospecting
pioneer? The Mounted Policeman.
Did the noble red man become
troublesome to the settler, who was
it that went after the savage, recaptured the stolen ponies and restored THE MOUNTED POLICEMAN.
them to the owner? Why the
ubiquitous North West Mounted
Many a good story is told of the
intrepid Policeman taking his
prisoners, single handed, out of a
bunch of hostile Indians. They were
often called upon to do detective
work, and there have been many
cases where, through individual
shrewdness, combined with good
calm judgment, mysterious crimes
have been unearthed and the criminals brought to the gallows.
It was a cold still night at Dawson
City. The bulbs in the mercurial
thermometers were down and out,
and the spirit thermometers were
working overtime.
Life in the barracks of the Mounted  Police  during  the  long,   dark OUT    WEST
winter was depressing. Shut out
from the world and also all that
makes life endurable, "the Policeman's lot was not a happy one."
Even the mysterious burglar seldom or ever burgled up there.
An occasional contraband cargo of
whiskey had to be confiscated and
its owner arrested and punished.
Once in a while a disturbance in the
Red Light District had to be attended to, or the arrival of a real "bad
man" from the States who wanted
to "shoot up" everybody, would
break the solemn stillness of the
Arctic monotony.
The dreary military routine of
barrack life, with the briefest of
days and longest of nights, seemed
interminable. \fer
A Terror to  Evil-doers.  The Commandant sat in his office
after dinner, smoking a cigar and
reading the latest papers, some six
weeks old, when a visitor was announced by a Sergeant, who said
the man wanted particularly to see
the Colonel on business of great
This was at least a welcome break
in the dull monotony, and the
stranger was shown in to the office
at once.
A long, lean, lantern-jawed specimen of humanity with an air of
mystery appeared; he seemed to be
overburdened with the weight of a
deadly secret, and proceeded to unbosom himself at once.
"Colonel, I have something to tell
you which I believe will be of great
interest to you. OUT   WEST
"The other night I attended one
of them Methodist revival meetings
and I got converted. I listened to
them praying and singing and I
sure got religion."
"Well,get along with your story,"
said the Colonel.
"Well, sir, not very many days
ago I happened to fall in with two
men down to the Red Dog Saloon
and they made a proposition to me.
You know the stopping house kept
by Slim Pete at the Forks. Well,
he's got a store too, and a safe into
it, and most of the miners up the
Creeks has been depositing their
dust with Pete, him being considered quite honest, and at times
there is as much as Two hundred
thousand dollars or more in the safe.
"Well, sir, these 'ere two men pro- THE MOUNTED POLICEMAN.
posed to me that we three should go
into pardnership, and some night
take a dog train, go up to the Forks
and get the dust out of that safe.
"We talked it over, and it seemed
quite a likely proposition, and profitable at that, but after a-discussing
of it near all night, they concluded
it was too much of a trick to try and
get that much weight out of the
country, and a better plan would be
for us to go up the river on the ice,
cache ourselves in the bush some-
wheres this side of the summit, and
wait for the miners to come out,
which they generally does in two's
and three's a-packing of their dust,
all the way from two to ten thousand
dollars, when we could kill them
first and rob them afterwards, cut a OUT   WEST
hole in the ice, shove their bodies in,
and wait for some more.
"The first man argued that they
would never be missed till after the
ice went out in May or June, and
long before that time we would be
out, and down to 'Frisco enjoying
ourselves with the boodle.
"Being out of a job and dead
broke, I agreed to this scheme, but
before we was ready to start I happened into this yere Church meeting, and as I say, got religion, and,
Colonel, I tell you straight, I've got
it bad and its come to stay. Therefore I takes the first opportunity to
come right here after it gets plumb
dark to tell you the whole thing.
"The head man is real desperate,
he is an ugly customer, strong and
determined,—a middle sized, thick THE MOUNTED POLICEMAN.
set gent with a short black beard.
His pardner is much younger and
seems more innocent like, but is
controlled by the other man and will
do what he's told. They've got one
black dog with them."
The Commandant scratched his
chin thoughtfully and told the informer to go away just then, but
return the following night, meanwhile the town should be searched
for these would-be murderers.
Next day all the well known
haunts of crooks and toughs were
searched, but no one answering the
description could be found. However, it was ascertained by the
Police that two men, accompanied
by a solitary black dog, were known
to have left town that morning, going up the river on the ice. OUT    WEST
The Police were communicated
with by wire at the different posts
as far as the summit, but no
suspicious characters had passed
that way.
Towards Spring a man who
answered to the description given
by the "convert" was arrested by
the indefatigable Police. He had
in his possession a black dog and a
large amount of money, amongst
which was a rather uncommon ten
dollar bill on a bank in Texas.
This bill was submitted to the
Trading Company at Dawson, and
as luck would have it, was recognized as having been paid out to a
certain miner who was missing,
having gone out that winter and
never been seen afterwards. THE MOUNTED POLICEMAN.
The organizer of the murderous
expedition was held at Fort Selkirk
Barracks, till Spring, when, as the
Police Officer grimly observed, the
Yukon invariably gave up its dead.
At last the enormous field of ice began to move out slowly, and the
bodies of three men came to the
One was identified as the bad
man's pardner and the other two as
miners who had gone out during the
winter, one of whom being recognized as the owner of the ten dollar
Upon this circumstantial evidence, although always strongly
protesting his innocence, the bad
man was tried, convicted and eventually hanged at Dawson City. OUT    WEST
It was a terrible execution.
The wretched prisoner acted like
a raving maniac as he approached
the scaffold, and died with curses on
his lips for the Royal North West
Mounted Policeman.   THE
HP EN years ago, when I was
■*- camped a mile below what is
now Dawson City, when the Arctic
Summer with its monotonous daylight was about drawing to a close,
a terrific thunder storm came along
one night; the wind blew a hurricane, shifted all round the compass
many times, lashed the river into
foam and snapped off the trees
round the camp like carrots. The
lightning was close to us and very
vivid; the thunder roared and reechoed again and again far away in
the mountains. OUT    WEST
It was appalling, and the timid
ones were almost induced to register
a temporary vow to lead a better life
in future.
A few days after these fireworks,
I was visited one evening by a huge
giant, a typical prospector and as
fine a specimen of a man as you
could hope to come across in an ordinary lifetime.
Handsome of face, bright eyed,
tall, straight limbed, broad in the
chest, spare in the flank, this magnificent human creature came
crashing through the underbrush
like a moose. After the manner of
his kind he nodded to me, sat down,
then slowly filled his pipe and proceeded to unburden himself of his
tale of woe. THE    PROSPECTOR.
"Pardner," said he, "You 'aint
afraid of ghosts be yer?"
As it was considered "infra dig"
in that country to be afraid of anything, I assured him that I was the
proud possessor of unlimited courage, and had more nerve than I
could conveniently pack.
"Well, pardner, it's like this, I've
brought a dead man down here to
stay with yer awhile; I've got him
in a boat; I've tied him up down
under them bushes, and if yer don't
mind I'll leave him there for a bit."
I assured him that any friend of
his was most welcome, dead or
alive, but ventured to suggest that
as the weather was still warm perhaps a funeral would be appropriate.
"Pardner, yer needn't be the least
mite skeered.     John will keep all OUT    WEST
right—why he's guaranteed for
thirty days."
Then came the particulars of the
It appeared the deceased and my
newly found friend were, as he remarked "sort of side pardners"
and were prospecting, away up the
Eldorado Gulch.
On the night of the big storm they
were sleeping together under a sort
of makeshift "lean to" when a tree
was blown down, instantly killing
the young man by smashing in his
There was no help nearby, and
after cutting away the tree my giant
friend discovered that his little
"side pardner" had done with prospecting in this world forever. THE    PROSPECTOR.
Taking him on his back, as he
innocently observed (he always referred to the departed as "him"), he
actually packed the body 25 miles
down to Dawson.
"I had him in the Company's
Warehouse," he said, simply, "till
yesterday, but the Captain told me
I had to take him away, as the
'orthorities' won't allow him to
stop in town."
I again suggested a funeral, when
the giant looked serious and explained his reason for delaying the
final operation.
It seemed that the dead man had
a brother who was prospecting away
up some distant creek, and he had
to be sent for, as they thought it the
proper thing for him to officiate as
chief mourner, so they decided to OUT   WEST
keep the late lamented above ground
till the arrival of the brother, besides which my friend was anxious
to prove there had been no foul play.
With these ideas, a number of old
"Sour dough" miners, with the aid
of a retired tinsmith and many tomato tins, had actually managed to
"can him" in a sort of home made
casket, so that he would keep.
And there he lay in the bottom
of the boat, moored to the bank, a
bright shining object, a quiet, well
behaved, and, at present inoffensive
"Good-night, pardner," said my
visitor, and then looking over bis
shoulder before he slowly disappeared into the bush, "keep an eye
on him, will yer? Yer see, some of
the boys might take a notion to play ^^^™^m^T^^^^^m*'mmm
El "2  a 'josh' on me and come and cut the
line and let him go down stream."
Nothing happened for the next
few days, and the faithful giant used
to come down every morning and
take a look at his silent armor plated
friend, till at last he came one day
arrayed in all the trappings of woe,
including a collar and an immense
black necktie. He proudly announced that the brother had
arrived, and the funeral was ordered
for two o'clock that afternoon.
The regular old miner dearly loves
a funeral. To him it is an event not
to be neglected.
The sad event is announced by
crude notices posted on trees in conspicuous places, and the solemnity
of the occasion is highly appreciated
and most impressive. OUT   WEST
The virtues of the deceased are
generally discussed in low tones and
his many good qualities often
The day of the funeral I was formally invited to be present at the
obsequies, but was obliged to decline. The giant prospector, who by
this time I had christened "Gabriel
Conroy," then suggested that I
should send a couple of men in
canoes to follow the boat containing
the canned gentleman, remarking
quite pathetically, "I think purdner
that will make a kind of nice little
percession like, don't you?"
The ceremony came off exactly as
planned and was a great success.
I saw Gabriel once or twice afterwards, when he thanked me most
profusely for my share in the pro- THE    PROSPECTOR.
ceedings, which consisted principally in not being scared of ghosts,
and taking care of "him."
The heaven born prospector, i.e.,
the genuine article, is the most hopeful and the most confident creature
in the universe. Failure simply
whets his appetite and encourages
him to seek fresh fields. The most
appalling obstacles only increase
his desire to penetrate the inaccessible with the off chance of discovering the hiding place of the precious
Innured to hardships all his life
and anticipating nothing better, he
religiously pursues the undulating
vagaries of his calling without a
Theories born of long experience
are    constantly    exploded,    which OUT   WEST
makes no difference to him; he patiently plods along, working hard to
discover the great secret of nature,
living a hard life and often dying a
hard death, "unwept, unhonoured
and unsung."
Once I asked Gabriel how it was
that having prospected all over the
continent, he had never become rich.
He quickly assured me that once
he had discovered a mine in Colorado and "sold her for forty-seven
thousand dollars cash."
I wondered why he didn't hang
on to it and retire, to which he replied   with   childish   innocence—
"Well, purdner, I jest tell yer exactly how it is with us prospectors.
The time I sold that there mine and
got all that money, I thought I was THE    PROSPECTOR.
a great big son of a gun, but I wanted to be a great big son of
a gun, so I took that money and
blowed it all in on a quartz lode in
Idaho, which warn't wuth a cuss,
so I lose the whole pile."  THE
T T E is not like anybody else in the
-*■ ■*• world. He is a weird, unique,
distinct brand of humanity.
Accustomed to hardship and toil,
innured to danger, self-supporting,
uncomplaining, generous to a fault,
honest and rugged, he plods along,
methodically and systematically
delving in the bowels of the earth,
for what? The golden treasure
buried for many centures often beneath millions of tons of snow, ice
and gravel.
After many months of prospecting
with pick, shovel and pan, he makes OUT   WEST
a "strike." It looks good and to his
experienced eye the yellow "colors"
in the bottom of his pan tell him,
perhaps, of untold promised wealth
He and his "pardner" (he always
has a "pardner"), soon knock down
some trees and build a modest
"shack," a couple of bunks are all
he wants, a stove to cook with, and
then with a claim staked out, he is
ready for business.
The two "pardners" will toil away
day and night in regular "shifts,"
piling up the rich gravel, to be
"sluiced" in the spring.
Their frugal diet of beans and
bacon does not require much of a
"chef." On Sunday one of the
"pardners" boils enough beans for a THE   MINER.
week, and three times a day, they
simply load up the frying pan with
a wad of beans mixed with grease,
which, with a few slices of bacon
and a chunk of sour dough bread,
washed down with strong tea, is
their regular table d'hote.
After many moons, the monotony
of this sumptuous bill of fare is often
relieved by a dose of scurvy, when
the pardner who has escaped this
infliction, strikes the trail for civilization and packs in some canned
fruits, lime juice, and occasionally a
few real potatoes to try and save the
life of his chum before he gets too
bad. But there have been cases
when the vegetables arrived too late
and the poor gold seeker, gradually
growing weaker, succumbs to this
hideous disease. OUT    WEST
They are a careless lot and have
no respect for the value of money.
It's when they get "outside" that
they really enjoy themselves.
Dawson in its palmy days was a
pretty good specimen of a mining
camp, and as many of the richest
claims were located comparatively
near by, there were always plenty
of successful miners to be found in
The Main Street consisted of
many rude canvas tents, mostly barrooms with every sort of gambling
device attached. These were
running day and night. Faro, roulette, craps, stud poker, all well
patronized. Nobody seemed to worry
about eating, and as for sleeping, it
seemed to me, a luxury that was
never considered. THE   MINER.
Here is where the honest miner
delighted   to   distribute   his   hard
earned wealth.
In those days the only currency
was gold dust and nuggets.
The real old "Sour-dough" would
arrive with his-"poke" which was a
long buckskin bag, sack, or purse,
with a capacity of anywhere  from
$ 1200 to $3000 in dust.
A bar, of rough boards, generally
ran the whole length of the long can
vas saloons, behind which four or
five elegant bar-tenders disported
themselves and dazzled the eyes of
their eager customers with the mag
nificence of their apparel.
Huge    diamonds    rivalling   the
brilliancy    of    the     "Koh-i-nor"
nestled in the bosoms of their im
maculate shirt fronts,  and watch OUT   WEST
chains made out of solid gold
nuggets were also much affected by
these gentlemen.
At one end of the bar there was
always to be found a calm, spectacled, clerical looking party, presiding over an enormous pair of
"gold scales."
The modus operandi of "setting
'em up" was extremely simple and
The well known old habitue, just
arrived from the "crick", would
generally waltz up to the bar with
as many thirsty souls as he could
collect, pull out his sack or "poke"
from the back pocket of his overalls
and heave it on the bar, saying,
"That's mine, Billy."
Then when the long row of glasses
had been duly emptied, the affable THE   MINER.
and urbane individual with the
doorknob diamond, would sling the
bag of dust over to the clerical gent
at the end of the bar, who, after
taking a glance down the line, would
rapidly shake into the scales what
he considered approximately the
price of the drinks, and carefully
tying up the backskin strings of the
"poke" would return it to its owner.
It was quite customary in those
halcyon days for these affluent
gentlemen to leave their wealth in
charge of the bartenders, and I have
often seen a dozen or more "pokes"
reclining behind the bar, while
their owners indulged in games of
chance, the gorgeous bartender paying all bills as long as the dust held
"Don't overplay your sack," was
the sign displayed at most of the
gambling places.
The light hearted miner having
"bucked the tiger" till his resources
were exhausted, would be informed
facetiously that his sack "looked
like a elephant had trod on it."' He
would then have to get up to the
Creek once more, until he had made
another stake.
Poor devils! But they enjoyed
themselves while it lasted.
Another source of amusement was
dancing. There were several dance
halls attached to the different
saloons. The frail but fascinating
"Hurdy Girl" was always in great
demand, as there were never enough
of them to go round. TO
iPlj J    m
ff   .JLAL* %|
It was amusing to watch the
solemn expression on the countenance of the old grizzled miner, when
on a vacation, as he patiently waited
his turn for a fair partner.
The procedure was monotonously
regular; seizing the girl round the
waist he would prance gaily into the
centre of the floor and then amble
round in the mazy waltz for a few
minutes, until the call of "Next"
from a gentleman who actec" as a
sort of "Ringmaster" would warn
him that his time was up.
The couple would then meander
to the bar, the price of this amusement being one dollar per dance,
half of which went to the lady and
the other half to the proprietor. The
old time miner dearly loved to dance
and was always anxious to distin- .0 U T   WEST
guish himself by dancing as often
and as long as possible, no matter
what it cost. He seemed to regard
it as some sort of endurance test, a
kind of Marathon race, and there
was much rivalry in consequence.
There were many noted characters in the early days of Dawson and
they generally earned the inevitable
"Swift Water Bill" who amassed
what would be considered a comfortable competence, and who "blew it
all in" with comparative ease, was
quite a celebrity.
What "Swift Water" said, generally "went."
A really characteristic story of
the peculiarities of this amicable
spendthrift, describes how he once
paid marked attention to a newly THE   MINER
arrived fair haired siren for at least
a week, fcut alas, she being false and
fickle, deserted "Swift Water" for
another swain.
One fine morning "Bill" was seated in a tent restaurant, awaiting his
breakfast, when in flounced his late
attraction accompanied by her new
"Swift Water," knowing the
lady's weakness for 'ham and eggs,'
beckoned to the Proprietor and innocently asked him how many eggs
he owned. "About seventy-five
dozen." "How much?" "Dollar
apiece." "Give me the lot," remarked William, thereby cornering
the egg market in that district. He
spoilt the lady's breakfast, but it
cost "Swift Water" nine hundred
dollars. OUT   WEST
There are of course many
amateurs in the diggings, who
occasionally make a strike and save
their dust for nobler objects than
Hurdy girls, firewater and faro.
There are some who hoard their
hard-earned wealth and are satisfied
with a moderate sized pile, then
they go home, marry their sweethearts, settle down and sell beer for
the rest of their natural lives.
I knew one little Scandinavian,
who had suffered untold miseries in
the frozen north for years.
He had gone through successive
stages of scurvy, until he had almost
lost heart, besides nearly all his
front teeth. He had also managed
to contract asthma, so that he could
hardly carry his hundred pound
weight of gold dust, without resting THE   MINER.
every few steps. And yet this
affluent invalid had visions of happiness, for one day he confided to
me the information that when he got
"owat" he would buy him a bunch
of grapes every day in New York for
five cents.
"Big Frank" was another grand
character up there.
Born in New Hampshire, U.S., a
blacksmith by trade, he had wandered out to the promised land and
"staked a winner." For eight long
years he had devoted his gigantic
strength to digging shafts and driving tunnels in search of the precious
metal, until at last he was rewarded
with a fortune. All this time he
never had a coat, because, as he was
wont to remark, "them stores only
keeps boy's sizes," and so it came OUT   WEST
to* pass "Big Frank," still coatless,
started out for San Francisco and
home. But alas, poor chap, in spite
of all his well deserved treasure, he
never reached the little hamlet
where he was born, but died in
Frisco, a victim of consumption, the
result of hardship and exposure.
Old "Hank" and "Jack" made
their pile and concluded to have a
look at the "outside" and see things.
Hank was a bachelor, but Jack had
married an Eskimo maiden. These
two worthies had a great deal more
money than was really necessary for
They came out by boat, and touching at all the principal cities they
had ever read about, proceeded to
enjoy themselves in their own artless manner. After doing the Pacific Coast, these two voyageurs from the
land of the Midnight Sun took in
New York. They put up at the Hoffman House and enjoyed themselves
I met Hank one day and asked
him how they were getting along.
Taking me by the arm we wandered
into a cigar store, where he deliberately purchased a twenty-five dollar
box of cigars, which he solemnly insisted that I should accept immediately. "Yes," said Hank, "we are
having a very good time, our bar bill
is about two hundred dollars a day."
I suggested that New York was an
expensive place to live in. "Well,"
said Hank thoughtfully, "Not too
bad, but of course there's the Policeman, we pays him an ounce a day,
then there's the carriage, twenty- OUT   WEST
five, besides the the-a-ters and stich
It appeared that these two children of nature did not trust themselves out alone in what they called
a "big town," and so chartered a
large sized Policeman at twenty
dollars a day to take care of them.
They also paid daily for a carriage,
which they seldom used.
Hank was induced to take Jack's
better half to see the moving
pictures, one afternoon, but it was
the last time that Hank ventured
out as an escort.
"No, sir, you don't ketch me no
more a-lookin' after that old Eskimo
of Jack's. Why she was afraid to
ride on the street cars, but I walked
her down to the the-a-ter and got a
couple of seats.    She stood for the   THE   MINER
first part all right, but when them
moving pictures come on she got
terrible scared and grabbed me by
the arm.
"Pooty soon they had a troop of
cavalry and when them horses come
a-charging down to the front of the
stage like, that old Squaw let out a
'war whoop' you could have heard
mor'n a mile and by gosh! sir, she
'stampeded,' durned if she didn't,
and I had to run out after her and
take her home. She wouldn't stand
for that there cavalry—no, sir."
They are good at description these
miners. I remember one poor devil
who was trying to make a "grub
stake" by packing heavy loads up to
the summit of the Chilcoot Pass. He
was quite a well fed, respectable
looking member of society when I OUT   WEST
first made his acquaintance, but a
few weeks of that drudgery had reduced him to a living skeleton.
Being anxious to ascertain if the
much dreaded pass was as .steep as
represented in the guide books, I
asked this gentlemen what his
opinion was. He had a wan, pale,
drawn look, and after reflectively
scratching his ear he said "Waal,
Cap, I was prepared to find it perpendicular, but by G—d I never
thought it would lean back."
Then there was old man 'Juneau'
after whom the celebrated mining
town in Alaska was named. He was
a successful miner, and paid periodical visits to his namesake in order
to relieve his accumulated thirst and
energy. THE   MINER
Champagne was an expensive
luxury up there and although old
man Juneau was of a most generous
disposition, it is related of him that
he often wept bitter tears at the
thought that possibly he might not
live long enough to "blow in" all his
wealth. However, history tells us
that the old gentleman had a
stronger constitution than he anticipated, and when last heard of was
working in one of the gulches for
five dollars a day.
Greatest of them all was "Big
Mac," "The King of the Klondike,"
who occupied the limelight ten years
ago and had a short but brilliant
career. A huge, raw-boned, redheaded, good-natured, uneducated
giant, he was reported to be a multimillionaire. OUT   WEST
He certainly owned large interests
in numerous paying mines and his
specialty seemed to be the acquiring
of as many more claims as possible.
It is doubtful if he could either
read or write, and perhaps his business methods may have been faulty.
Some of his admirers used to report
that no matter how big a "clean up"
His Majesty might have at any of
the many claims in which he was
interested, he invariably devoted all
the money to buying more interests
in newly discovered claims, until by
virtue of his enormous possessions,
he had fairly earned his royal title.
He was taken over to England by
some enterprising syndicate of promoters, with the idea of merging his
many holdings in one big concern,
which, however, proved unsuccessful.
He married a wife when in England and returned to the Capital of
his kingdom, where he is reported to
have died, a poor man and a dethroned king.  THE
fT*HE Venerable Sail Boat was
*■■ moored alongside the ancient
wharf. The unpainted hull, the
victim of a thousand tempests
looked anything but safe. The
tattered mainsail flapped lazily
against the rotten old mast, and the
"Noblest Roman of them all," the
rotten old Skipper, leaned back in
the stern with the old moth-eaten
tiller under his arm.
His bloodshot starboard optic
blinked slightly as the two timid
tourists approached, and behind his
glistening row of crockery teeth
(false, false as hell), there lurked the
inevitable quid. The two tourists
stepped gingerly on board and in a
trice were off on the bounding wave.
"Gents, I want you to remember
that I am the Captain of this 'ere
ship," immediately announced the
ancient mariner in the stern. The
tourists looked at each other, but
this was no time for argument. The
wind, at first light, increased to a
fresh breeze. The Venerable Skipper
fixed his lurid light upon the timid
tourists and observed:
"When I say helm's a lee, by
Heavens, it's helm's a lee; you understand?"
There was no response.
The wind increased. Huge rollers
splashed against the bow and wet
the legs of the anxious tourists.
They were now fairly at sea and THE   SAILOR
might as well have been in mid-
ocean. There was no telephone or
wireless connection with anybody.
"When I was aboard the old
'Kearsage'," remarked the old sea
dog suddenly, "a fighting agin the
'Alabama' in the English Channel,
them 65 pound shells was comin'
fast and furious; they was like black
sea gulls; you could see 'em quite
plain. I was serving a gun, and
once one of them shells bent my
ram-rod and twisted me right
around. The Captain says to me:
'Bickford, • why don't you dodge
them shells?' I says, 'No time, Cap,
—too busy'."
"Them Southerners don't know
enough to take off them lead capsules, so the shells didn't explode,
and after the battle I had 37 of them OUT   WEST
lead things in the pockets of my
The frightened tourists marvelled
and gasped appropriately—they
were now completely at sea.
' 'I suppose in them days I was the
strongest man in the U.S. Navy,"
casually observed the ancient hero
of a thousand fights. "I weighed 200
pounds and could lift 1020 pounds
of pig iron. There was only one
stronger man in the United States
Navy and he was my brother."
One tourist turned ghastly pale.
"You wouldn't believe it," continued the skipper, "but now I am
an invalid; yes indeed, I have been
examined by 19 doctors and give up.
Heart, heart; that's it. I'm liable to
drop down dead here this minute; THE   SAILOR
and what's more, I don't care if I
The tourists shuddered and suggested that they had a dinner engagement at Seattle.
"When I was promoted to be Captain of the berth deck, the officer
came to me and asked how it was
that there was never no complaints." I says, "You watch me, I
says, and you will soon understand." A man came along with a
couple of buckets. I says,"Put down
them buckets." He paid no atten-_
tion. Again I says "Put down them
buckets." The third time I says "I
puts you down.''  He took no notice.
"I just takes him by the ankles
and bangs his head against the gunwale of the ship; his head falls over- OUT   WEST
board to windward, and I throws
the rest of him over to leeward."
The two tourists now laughed in a
weak, idiotic way, and one remarked:—"That's the only way,
Captain, to maintain strict discipline."
It was now blowing hard and one
tourist surreptitiously looked at his
watch, when the skipper was engaged in vigorous expectoration.
The other tourist was making mental notes that he would always lead
a respectable life in future and stay
at home with his family.
The old Pirate announced in a
commanding tone that "If we was
going to fish, now was the time and
place." Just then the ancient Ark
showed symptoms of diving after
the fish herself.     The anchor was THE   SAILOR
dropped and the Marine Patriarch
proceeded to open several dozen long
necked clams which he suddenly
produced from under a seat. A
melancholy bell buoy nearby sounded a death knell about the same
time, and one of the tourists, mistaking it for lunch time, began to
devour the bait in an absent-minded
The Old Mariner glared at the
tourist with his sanguinary optic
and remembered a trifling incident
in the Southern Ocean when he once
lunched off a second mate.
At last it was time to pull up the
mud hook and return. The tourists
once more breathed freely upon
entering the harbor. The Grand
Master of the United Order of Liars
casually pointed out some old dug- OUT   WEST
out and calmly observed: "There
lies the first ship I ever sailed in;
she was called the 'Rebecca Anne'
in them days, and when we was 45
miles off this here coast, I jumped
overboard and swum ashore."
The tourists scrambled up on the
crazy old wharf and proceeded to
the nearest prohibition hotel. THE
T "I E was certainly not a typical
•*- -*- Dick Turpin. He was an ordinary, smooth shaved, pale faced,
undersized, cadaverous looking, insignificant robber, the day I first
saw him, but he evidently had his
nerve concealed about his person.
He was coupled up to a stalwart
Royal Northwest Mounted Policeman on a C.P.R. train, bound East
and he was about to pay a fifteen
year visit to the Stony Mountain
I ascertained that he was a highwayman, and incidentally the facts
relating to his crime. OUT   WEST
His name sounded something like
Matthew MacGillicuddy, but of this
I am not positive, and they said he
came of a good family, the son of an
Archdeacon of the Church.
He had served as a private in the
"Midland Regiment" during the
1885 rebellion and subsequently
took to the more precarious occupation in which we now find him.
One fine summer morning he rode
over the Salt Plains on his cayuse,
and when near the western extremity of that desolate spot, came across
the lonely camp of a respectable old
Hudson's Bay officer.
This gentleman having refreshed
himself with the good things of civilization, not neglecting to pay his
respects at the shrine of old Bacchus
during his short stay in Winnipeg, THE   HIGHWAYMAN
was en route to his Post at Edmonton, accompanied by his faithful
servitor in the shape of a French-
Canadian half breed, and no doubt a
small keg of good old Jamaica rum.
These two worthies after many
miles of travel, a good supper of
Buffalo pemmican, several pipes
and a few "night caps" had succumbed to the importunities of old
Mr. Morpheus and slumbered peacefully beneath their blankets,
sheltered by their little white tent,
the only object upon the landscape
sticking up above the horizon.
Along comes my bold highwayman,—Bang! bang! bang!
He fires three shots through the
tent, dismounts, opens the flap, and
demands the accumulated earnings
of   a   hard   lifetime.     The   much OUT   WEST
astonished Hudson's Bay Factor
awakes, alarms his faithful henchman, and after much search manages to unearth two dollars, which
the robber promptly rejects with
scorn and an oath at their impecun-
The old Factor (of Scottish descent) then offers a cheque on the
Bank of Montreal, which is of course
refused, and the bold highwayman
ambles off, leaving the two half
fuddled travellers to resfc in peace.
Success attends our hero in his
next venture. He crosses the bleak
Salt Plains and at daylight arrives
at the western end where little
groves of poplars are dotted o'er the
The sun is about to illuminate the
landscape when he remembers that THE   HIGHWAYMAN
the Prince Albert stage is due to
pass that way, and hies him to an
adjacent bush. He has not long to
wait before the day breaks, and soon
he hears the creaking of the wheels
and the hoof beats of four horses.
Behind his cover he counts five men
on the wagon, but undismayed, out
rides our bold warrior, and points
his gun at the driver and commands
him to Halt! and hold up his hands,
which he does at once. He then
orders the passengers, four in number, to dismount, and at the point of
the pistol makes them stand up in a
He then proceeds to tie their
hands behind their backs, all the
time talking to imaginary accomplices: "Keep that fellow covered,
Charlie!      Never mind the driver,
Bill, I've got him! Stay there, Ned,
don't shoot till I tell you! Keep your
gun on that chap, Harry, if he
moves," etc., etc.
By this time our highwayman had
impressed these poor citizens with
the idea that the woods were full of
desperadoes. He then announced
that he wanted a knife to open the
mail bags. The gentleman on the
extreme right of the line had a knife,
but couldn't well get at it, being securely tied up. He also had a wad
of six hundred dollars in the same
pocket, but no doubt being much
impressed by the nervy little robber
and thoroughly scared to death, in
a moment of weakness* he indicated
his right hand trousers pocket.
In extracting the knife the gentlemanly     footpad     inadvertently THE   HIGHWAYMAN
pulled out the six hundred dollars,
which he immediately replaced,
remarking "I don't want any of
your money." He then proceeded
to slash open the mail bags and
went through the registered letters.
He took a bottle of whiskey from
under the seat, gave all his helpless
victims a drink, took one himself,
and gaily trotted away, leaving
them to untie themselves as best
they could.
He was caught a year afterwards
and arrested. Strange to say, tfrP'
man who recognized and identified
him was he whose money had been
returned, showing the base ingratitude which exists in the human
make up.
I saw the prisoner when he was
serving his sentence in the Stony OUT    WEST
Mountain Penitentiary. The War-
. den of that Institution being a particular friend of mine, I suggested
that he should introduce me to
Number 149, who by this time I
could not help regarding as a modern hero, and if not a leader,
certainly a controller of men.
He was somewhat paler than
when I had seen him before, although the ashen grey complexion
of the prisoner, nearly always so
noticeable amongst convicts, only
deemed to emphasize his clear cut
Napoleonic features. His glittering
bright, steel blue eyes seemed calm,
steady and fearless as ever, and as
he looked into my face, relating the
details of that memorable morning,
when one little man held up five of
his   fellows   single-handed   at   the THE   HIGHWAYMAN
point of the gun, I could not but
admire his consummate coolness
and pluck, particularly when at the
close of his recitative he casually
remarked, "And, Mister, I don't
mind telling you a remarkable
thing, that gun I had wasn't even
loaded?'  THE CENSUS
TjE was a nice young gentleman.
-■* ■*■ He was so clean, clever, and
observant and chuck full of wit and
humour. He was so original, too;
and his parents feared that some
day he might be an Editor, or go on
the stage, and disgrace the family in
some way, so they used their influence with the Government and
got him a position in the Civil
One morning he received a large
letter informing him that he had
been temporarily appointed to the
Census Branch in the Department of
Agriculture, at two dollars a day. OUT   WEST
The young man, full of zeal and
curiosity, pranced gaily up to the
scene of his future labour, and
having been duly presented to the
Deputy Minister, a solemn oath was
administered to him, which in part
set forth the fact that he should
never disclose any secrets that he
might happen to become possessed
of during his residence in that old
statistical mausoleum.
This solemn formality having
been duly accomplished, the young
man proceeded to take in his surroundings, and made mental notes
of the personal peculiarities of the
different heads of Departments for
future reference.
By this time it was nearly noon, so
the young man, figuring out that he
had earned at least one dollar, drift- THE CENSUS CIVIL SERVANT
ed gently away from the scene of so
much strenuosity, to think matters
over and fortify himself for another
day's work.
He liked the Civil Service so far,
what he had seen of it.
The bald-headed old gentleman
who had administered the oath appeared to be quite friendly. The
stalwart messenger wiio opened the
door for him met with his approval,
the Deputy's office seemed fairly
neat and clean, and taking it all
round the young man began to think
it was not half a bad profession, except that it might become a trifle
monotonous in time.
Having been duly sworn in and
attached to the Census Branch, next
day the young man was introduced
to his immediate chief, who turned OUT   WEST
him over to a portly Sergeant
messenger. This important personage ushered our young hero to a seat
at a small table, when again the
noon-day gun interfered with further ceremony and the young man
went out to cogitate deeply over
what particular part of the destiny
of the Dominion he was intended to
Several days slipped pleasantly
by, when one morning the young
civil servant discovered upon his
table a nice, large, clean blotting
pad, many reams of stationery, and
pencils of variegated colors, which
seemed to have been surreptitiously
introduced by his friend the sergeant
in the early morning.
Realizing that something was
evidently   expected   of   him,   and THE CENSUS CIVIL SERVANT
flattered with the idea that his
artistic tendencies had been so
thoughtfully anticipated, our young
friend joyfully commenced a series
of comic cartoons, taking for his
subjects the different Chieftains and
deputies solemnly seated in the
places of honour at the ends of the
big tables.
The four Provinces were represented in those days, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia. Each Provincial Chief surrounded by numerous satellites.
This kept our young hero busy for
many days, depicting their peculiar
physiognomy and exaggerating anything that appealed to him as at all
One of these gentlemen, afflicted
with   a   very   expensive   rubicund OUT   WEST
proboscis of high order, must have
cost the Government several red
crayon pencils, and blue neckties or
green waistcoats made deep inroads
into the Stationery Branch.
All went merry as the proverbial
"Marriage Bell" with the young
civil servant, "but in one night, a
storm or robbery, call it what you
will, shook down his mellow hangings, nay his leaves, and left him
bare to weather."
It occurred just like this,—one of
the Captains of Industry located in
the zone of art,previously described,
after deep reflection concluded that
our young cartoonist was perhaps
not specially engaged by a long
suffering Government to illustrate
that particular Bureau. No doubt
being a conscientious young voter THE CENSUS CIVIL SERVANT
he brought the matter to the notice
of the most worshipful great High
Maha-rajah who in turn informed
the Sultan, situated about half a
dozen blocks to the eastward of the
Artist, that his Royal Nibs would
soon be ready, done in colors.
It was a cold, dreary morning,
and the light was very bad in the
statistical studio, even the irrepressible artist was distrait. The lofty
brow of the distinguished scholar
on the starboard beam was wrinkled
in deep thought.
A tall stately pile of portfolios
decorated the table of the young
civil servant, with a letter informing
him that in future he was expected
to confine his entire attention to the
"Religious Department." The duties
attached to this office were simple OUT   WEST
but monotonous. You were supposed to seize one of those ponderous portfolios which contained the
ridiculous returns of some misguided idiot called an "Enumerator, '' and extract (if you could) the
different religions, which all those
wretched agriculturists were supposed to have told the inquiring
idiot that they belonged to.
As if it really mattered how many
Jews or Gentiles or Mohammedans
or any other fancy religion there
were at Kalamazoo or Kazuabazua,
or if two Mormons and a Presbyterian had been unearthed at Bell's
Corners, or a stray Doukhabor had
loped into Smith's Falls.
Such arrant nonsense, besides entailing a lot of useless work. Why
not   let   our   farming   community THE CENSUS CIVIL SERVANT
enjoy themselves with any old
religion so long as the police didn't
Why send people racing all over
the country making notes of it, and
holding it over them for a decade?
Perfectly scandalous! Suppose a
man wanted to change his religion
every few years? Anyway, that's
how it struck our young artistic
civil service clerk.
At the next table he noticed a nice
hard working young fellow, with
red hair, decorated with many
freckles, and a wart on his nose.
This conscientious young party was
in the religious line too and was
laboriously picking out the different
denominations, one at a time, from
a mass of information accumulated
by some enumerating enthusiast. OUT   WEST
Our artist, being observant, soon
tumbled to the fact that the energies
of his neighbour were misapplied,
and the methods obsolete, as
although he came early and went
away late, munching a dry sandwich at noon, he could only stack
up about 8 to 10 complete religious
records at night.
This represented the closest attention and much hard work.
After gazing long and earnestly at
the huge pile of accumulated statistics before him, our young man concluded it would be easier and far
better for all concerned, from a
religious standpoint, to average each
County or Township, giving every
decent denomination a fair deal in
the division, thus fearlessly showing
The process adopted was simple,
and after a little practice sufficiently
accurate for all practical purposes.
Take for instance Bug ville, Ontario, supposed by the enumerating
"Hold-up" to contain 1700 souls.
Instead of laboriously extracting
the religious proclivities of these
poor but honest bucolic people, one
at a time, our smart young census
clerk simply decided at once upon
the following:
Anglicans  950
Roman Catholics  210
Methodists  240
Presbyterians   155
Baptists       93
Congregationalists      51
Jews         1
Total 1700
The extra Hebrew seems to have
been thrown in to leaven the lump,
and make the total absolutely
Of course when he came across
anything like the Township of—we
will say, "Macintosh" with a population reported as 798, it was dead
easy and resulted in:
Presbyterians  797
Other denominations       1
Total  798
This ought to square that Township for life.
In the event of anything turning
up like the Parish of "St. Julie de
Laurent de Pomphile" the historian
of religion, after ascertaining that THE CENSUS CIVIL SERVANT
the   population was 436, promptly
Roman Catholics 436
Alas! they eventually put a
spotter on our young friend. The
patient perseverance of the gentleman with the auburn hair and the
wart on his nose, working assiduously from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m., was as
nothing compared with the rapid
calculations of our own original
young clerk, and yet his methods
were discovered and he was eventually undone.
Poor young fellow, just as he was
getting along so well.
One grey cold morning, the stalwart sergeant announced that his
presence was desired by the Minister.   Then followed his downfall. OUT   WEST
A subdued murmur went the
round of the awe-struck clerks,
plodding away, all happy in their
old-fashioned methods, while our
own originator of rapid religious
calculations was shown into the
sacred ministerial precincts.
The fatal assortment of cartoons
were artistically arranged in a row,
as the damning evidence of his
peculiar gift, and his unfitness to
remain in the Census Branch.
Further evidence having been
adduced that one Township called
"Killarney" was reported to consist
of 326 Presbyterians, 199 Polish
Jews and 7 Methodists, when as a
matter of fact there were really only
36 Irishmen,—it was considered by
the Minister that under the circumstances  our  very  nice,  intelligent "1
young gentleman was not intended
by nature to distribute religious denominations in such an indiscriminate and prodigal manner, and that
it would be taken as a great favor if
he would kindly withdraw from the
Civil Service forever.  THE BRITISH
T N the old days of the Cariboo
■*■ Mines, there were many weird
tales told and many picturesque
characters encountered in that far
off rugged sea of mountains; the
flotsam and jetsam of all civilized
nations drifted out there, and wild
legends of their sayings and doings
have been preserved to the present
Those were the good old days
before Confederation, when that
country was a Crown Colony and
the voice of Canada was yet to be
heard in the land. OUT   WEST
Presided over by a British Governor with headquarters at dear old
sleepy Victoria, blessed with a perfectly equable climate this place was
indeed a paradise,—no railways, no
telegraphs, no stock markets, no
newspapers, no worry, no nothing.
All was peace, and happiness. Cut
off from the outside world, basking
in the warm sunshine, on the beautiful shores of the deep blue -Pacific,
under the shadow of good old Mount
Baker, whose hoary glistening pate
could be seen for many miles, it
seemed that nothing could ever disturb this superb serenity.
Say not so!
Somebody had to discover the
Cariboo mines, 400 miles from the
coast, apparently almost inaccessible, hemmed in by giant mountains, THE BRITISH COLUMBIAN
treacherous and dangerous rivers
and streams intervening, with every
difficulty to be grappled with, and
yet the human microbe, in pursuit
of the golden goal, toiled, moiled
(whatever that may mean),
struggled, fought, starved and died
or got there.
The Imperial Government constructed a million pounds worth of
waggon road from Yale, the head of
navigation on the Fraser River, to
Barkerville. Then trouble commenced.
Victoria became the initial point
from which thousands of men, full
of hope and enthusiasm, struggled
onward to the new diggings.
The old BX (Barnard's Express)
Stage line was started, since super- OUT   WEST
seded by the iron horse of the C.P.
R. Even before the good old staging
days, men made their way up on
foot with pack on back; and some of
the old legends are really the raison
d'etre for this story.
I know one man who had a rather
remarkable experience. Absolutely
'broke', with not even a 'grub stake',
he worked his weary way up to
'Hope,' a small town, and with a
significant name so far as he was
concerned. He still had faith, but
charity had fallen by the wayside.
Here he paused, hungry, penniless,
and exhausted, but he still had
Almost in despair he looked about
him that bright cloudless morning
for succour, the grinding pangs of
hunger    making   him   desperate, "1
when an angel of mercy in the shape
of a Deputy Sheriff appeared before
him. This officer, regarding our
friend with evident interest enquired where he was bound for, and
whether he had yet partaken of
"Long ago," replied Jim; "let's
see, this is Wednesday; I had breakfast last Monday."
The Deputy had no sooner satisfied the cravings of the hungry
pioneer than he disclosed the reason
for the interest he had so suddenly
developed in the stranger.
"Say, pardner, did you ever happen to hang a man?"
James modestly replied that up to
date he had not acquired that questionable notoriety.
"Well, stranger, all I can say is OUT   WEST
that there is a nigger to be hung
right here tomorrow and I'm looking for a man to do the job. If you
feels like a-undertaking of this 'ere
business there's one hundred dollars
in it for you."
There was no hesitation on Jim's
part—he agreed at once to officiate
in the morning as Lord High Executioner for the small insult of one
hundred dollars.
James was a handy man, a bit of
a carpenter, somewhat of an axeman, quite a respectable blacksmith,
but a poor hangman.
Nothing daunted, with the prospective wealth of one hundred
dollars staring him in the face,
James easily erected a fair scaffold,
not what you would call first class,
but  sufficiently  serviceable  for  at THE BRITISH COLUMBIAN
least one hanging. He secured five
or six yards of rope and before midnight was ready for his victim.
Morning came, and soon after
-daylight, the Sheriff arrived with
his prisoner, who was speedily introduced to the Amateur Executioner.
The pinioning process was simple
and the colored culprit was conducted to the trap door on the scaffold,
accompanied by the Sheriff and his
hundred dollar hangman.
Unfortunately the elasticity of a
new manilla rope was unknown to
Jim, and although he had figured on
a thirteen foot drop, when the bolt
was drawn, there was just enough
Slack to permit the principal actor
in the weird tragedy to balance himself on his toes.
The experiment was a failure, and OUT   WEST
when our Jimmy arrived on the
ground looking for results he was
severely reprimanded by the
wretched victim, who said:
"Look hyah, Mistah; I doan't
know who you is, but you 'aint no
regular hangman anyhow, this 'aint
no proper way to hang a cullered
pusson no how; you ought to be
ashamed of youself; why doan't you
go and learn yo' bisness?"
Taking in the desperate situation
at a glance James, who was most
resourceful, hustled over to the only
store, grabbed a shovel and quickly
dug a hole under the nigger's feet,
which permitted him to swing clear
—he then pulled on his legs and
earned his hundred dollar fee.
I often wondered if this was really
In any case it was a "grub stake"
for our Jim, who quickly hit the
trail for Cariboo. Here he was
amongst the lucky ones, struck some
rich diggings and returned to civilization with a "pack train" loaded
with nuggets.
He had also the distinguished
honor of being elected a Member of
Parliament to the first local house.
They used to spin yarns about the
stage drivers, who drove in relays of
100 miles or more.
In those days the regular old
timers had no use for Canadians,
and they invariably called them
"British North American Chinamen," principally, I inferred, from
certain penurious Eastern propensi- OUT   WEST
ties which they attempted to import
into that gladsome western country.
The smallest coin was "two bits"
equivalent to 25 cents. They had
never seen anything so insignificant
as a ten cent piece, and resented the
idea, of the "chi-chako" (i.e. Chinook for "Newcome") introducing
any such ridiculously small coinage.
Wages ran from eight to ten
dollars a day when anybody felt like
working, and it can easily be understood how unpopular a new arrival
became if he showed symptoms of
possessing frugal habits, always
mistaken by the good old 'forty
niner' as evidence of a mean disposition.
I remember driving up the wagon
road with a load of tenderfeet from THE BRITISH COLUMBIAN
the East, all very curious and full
of questions about the new country.
The Indians (or Siwashers) after
trapping any quantity of salmon,
used to dry and then cache them in
the forks of the giant Douglas fir
trees. To prevent the squirrels and
small animals stealing their fish,
they would strip the trees of their
bark for 15 or 20 feet up and nail
on pieces of tin, which made it too
slippery for the enterprising
Driving past a grove of trees
which had been treated in this
manner, the Canadian passenger
manifested great curiosity and
asked old Jim Hamilton, a veteran
stage driver, the reason of this
strange phenomena. OUT   WEST
Jim, who, in common with the
rest of the regular old mossbacks out
there, hated the immigrants, proceeded seriously to explain that once
a large party of Canadians en route
to the mines had passed by there,
and then nonchalantly pointing
with his whip in the direction of the
trees, without any bark, he remarked: "Gents, that's where them
Canadians stopped for lunch!"
Judges, Juries and Coroners' Inquests were then in their infancy.
I heard a strange yarn of the first
Coroner's Inquest.
A colored gentleman had been in
the habit of annexing the watermelons of a farmer down on the
flats. One moonlight night "Mr. Farmer" took down his gun and filled
the Ethiopian full of buckshot,
which consequently was the occasion of the first Coroner's Inquest.
A jury, composed of the dearest
friends of the Agriculturist and decidedly opposed to the methods of
the departed, was hastily empanelled, and headed by the Coroner
they viewed the remains of the
connoisseur of melons.
They then adjourned to an improvised Court Room in a nearby
tavern,and proceedings were opened
by the newly appointed Coroner,
who read his instructions received
from Ottawa, and generally directed
the jury to find a proper verdict.
After an absence of half an hour
or so, the jurymen filed solemnly OUT    WEST
into the room, where they found the
Coroner deeply interested in a small
red book which had been sent him,
containing the law of Inquests and
the duty of Coroners, etc.
"Gentlemen," said the Coroner,
putting on a most severe official
look, "this is a case of murder,
suicide, or accident. As none of you
have ever been on a jury before and
are therefore perfectly ignorant of
everything, it is my painful duty to
instruct you.
'"This late lamented deceased
dead nigger was discovered in the
melon patch of our highly respected
friend and neighbour, Mr. Thompson. It is our duty to find out, the
best way we can, how this nigger
came to his death; in other words,
what killed him. "You have viewed the body,
(according to page 14, paragraph 9),
and now you have to render a
verdict to the best of your limited
ability, based upon the facts placed
before you by the evidence adduced
(reading from small red book, page
17, paragraph 2). Well, Gents,
what is your verdict?"
The Foreman, a small nervous
man, all dressed up for this
auspicious occasion, suddenly assuming a highly important air,
frowning at the jury, as much as to
say 'he can't fool us' stepped briskly
to the front and observed, ' 'We the
undersigned has come to the u-nani-
mous con-elusion that the late lamented deceased came to his death
by falling over a precipice."
The Coroner then pointed out that
in his opinion that sort of verdict
would not be allowed, and remarked
that as the deceased was found upon
a perfectly level plain, it was almost
obvious that the precipice device
was absolutely futile in the inquest
business, and directed the jury to
reconsider their verdict.
After several minutes had elapsed
the intelligent jury once more faced
the Coroner. The same question was
asked again. The Foreman with a
determined air then announced j
"We the jury of this Deestrict here
assembled, after viewing the dead
corpse of the late deceased, are of
the opinion that he 'was worried to
death by wild dogs'."
The Coroner had by this time
absorbed all the printed instructions THE BRITISH COLUMBIAN
contained in the little red book and
was thoroughly disgusted with the
variety of the verdicts brought in.
He said that it was utterly hopeless
to accept any such verdict; and although it was more plausible than
the "precipice" proposition, the fact
that there had never been any wild
dogs seen in the neighbourhood
would undoubtedly tell tremendously against the intelligence of the
jury, and he recommended them to
consider the case again.
Once more they returned, after a
brief consultation and brought in
the following verdict—"Died by the
Visitation of God."
The Coroner having referred to
his little book of instruction accepted the verdict, and the inquest was
There was a good story told of a
well known Judge, of the old school,
who dealt out justice in those days.
He was a terror to evil doers, and
woe betide the wretched criminal
who appeared before him.
He was a conscientious, fearless,
determined, severe and impartial
Judge and he succeeded in deterring
many dangerous scoundrels from
trying their luck at the hold-up
game, on the waggon road, on account of the severity of his sentences. Many valuable loads of the
precious metal were brought down
by the stage line unguarded, and
thanks to His Lordship, professional
crooks from the south of the line
hesitated to practise their calling in
A tough of the sand-bagging
variety was brought before him,
charged with having sand-bagged
and robbed a certain citizen.
The Judge charged strongly
against him, but much to His Lordship's astonishment, no doubt, the
jury returned a verdict of "not
It is reported that the Judge nearly exploded with indignation at the
injustice and stupidity of the verdict
and spoke as follows:
"Prisoner stand up!
"A highly intelligent jury, composed of twelve of your countrymen,
having heard the evidence in this
case have come to the idiotic conclusion that you are not guilty;
therefore, it is my painful duty, unfortunately, according to the laws of this country to discharge you. Before doing so, I have a piece of
advice to give you,-which is this,
when you leave this Court room 1
recommend you to go out and sand- \
bag the jury."
I never heard if the ruffian took
the Judge's advice.
Old Captain George was a well
known pilot in Northern waters and
for many years piloted vessels up
the Coast where the navigation is
difficult and somewhat dangerous.
What is known as the "inside
passage," extending for hundreds of
miles through numerous unlighted
channels right away up to Alaska
was the route taken by most of the
Deep, smooth water, land locked,
and picturesque to a degree, good-
sized steamers followed this route,
especially during the tremendous
rush of gold seekers to the Yukon
via Juneau and the Chilcoot Pass.
Old Captain George was a gruff
old pilot, uncommunicative, especially to inquisitive landlubbers in the
shape of passengers.
I was with him on one trip north
in a ship called the "Mexico" when
old George relieved the watch at
midnight after six hours below. I
was standing on the bridge talking
to "Dutch Bill," the other pilot,
when old George appeared. It was
a chilly starless night in April, and
we were merrily bowling along at
about 13 or 14 knots up a narrow OUT   WEST
black channel, perhaps five or six
miles wide.
The two pilots exchanged grunts,
old George glanced at the binnacle
and "Dutch Bill" went below.
Being interested in nagivation, I
tried to 'draw' the old bird, and
ventured to suggest there must be
some kind of witchcraft attached to
this mysterious channel navigation,
and wanted to know what sort of
principle it was based upon.
At last, after deep thought, the
ancient navigator, whom I had
known for many years, broke
through his rule and actually grunted out the following remarkably
lucid explanation:
"Well you see, sir, it's just like
this, I've been a-running up this
'ere way nigh on to twenty-seven years. I missed one trip d'yer mind,
that time I went down to 'Frisco to
have that there cancer cut out—I
was terrible annoyed, 'n that's the
only trip I missed in all them years,
but it couldn't be helped, so it ar'nt
hardly worth while mentioning it."
I waited patiently, hoping the
ancient mariner would soon get to
the point and satisfy my curiosity
on the navigating subject. I even
ventured to suggest that I was still
unenlightened, when he growled
"Well, sir, you see it's just like
this 'ere, when you goes ashore you
meets different kinds of men, in fact
you meets all sorts, don't yer? Well,
some on 'em is watchmakers, some
on 'em is blacksmiths, and the
balance is pilots."  ■"■"WJltiCTl  THE
Little Doc. Cook was a merry little crook,
A merry little crook, you know;
He sent for his dog and he sent for his grog,
And he sent for his Es-ki-meaux.
Now this little Doc. was a merry little cock,
And fond of the flowing bowl;
In a great big ship he went for a trip,
And he dreamt that he saw the Pole.
With an awful thirst, he got there first,
And planted a great big flag;
In <a deep ice hole 'longside the Pole
He acquired an Arctic jag.
Then he staggered back across the crack
Till he struck the nearest cable,
The Eski-meaux he then let go,
And wrote his famous fable.
This merry little crook wrote a great big book,
For he was devilish "leary,"
With dough in the bank from the "gullible
He knocked the spots off Peary.
So here's to Cook, the merry little   crook,
. And here's to the flowing bowl,
Old Bernier bold, the ice and the cold,
And the good old Arctic Pole. OUT   WEST
Come into my "Igloo," my dear Commander
The snuggest little "Igloo" that ever you did
When safe inside our sleeping bags we'll write
a lovely book,
And I will be Commander P— and you    be
Doctor Cook.
We'll tell the world how   we   unfurled "Old
Glory" at the Pole,
And how from old Cap. Bernier's store    our
Arctic lore we stole;
I'll lunch off twenty Husky   dogs,   while you
can chew up nine,
In cases such as that, of course, the  ■ credit
must be mine.. &&v.*-"*';
Then me and you in our "Igloo" will tell of
And dream we travelled forty miles when   84
We'll tell of awful darkness   and   everlasting
Where ice and eold knock out our old friend
Mr. Farenheit. Then in a horrid deep crevasse I'll hide me for
a year,
And you can go to gay   New   York   and tell
them that you fear
You can't find me on land or sea, no matter
where you look,
Fresh from the snows, you then can pose as
good old Doctor Cook.
Go! break the news to Mrs. Cook and tell her
she's a "wid."
And all my scientific notes are in an "Igloo"
Then don't you   see,   Commander P.,    while
you are Doctor Cook,
In my warm bag I'll get a jag, and finish up
our book.
The Polar night is my delight, but when
you've told my dearie,
Across the pack I'll hustle back and say   I'm
Robert Peary;
This joint stock game will bring us fame, and
seems to me quite funny,
We'll swear we both have found the Pole and
make a pile of money. O U T    W E S T
Upon the apex of the world,
"Old Glory" is at last unfurled;
Though many centuries it took,
*'I got there first," said Doctor Cook.
Hark! from the North, a doleful sound,
A weird uncanny blast, so eerie,
At last the Arctic Pole is found,
For further details, ask old Peary.
But up the river, see,—the "Arctic" comes,
And from the bridge I hear these words:
"Gol durn ye,
"I'm in it with them faker Yankee bums,
"Mon  Dieul   Sacr6!  Je   suis  le  brave  Cap.
Oh loveliest dusky maid!—I cannot call thee
Those deep bay eyes, that ebon hair,
Would contradict me flat;
That swarthy cheek, ne'er known to blush,
Those pearly teeth ne'er felt a brush—
I saw them when she spat. THE    EXPLORER
Oh! for a lodge on some vast plain,
With thee to share my joy and pain;
What bliss!
But e'er our wedded life began
I'd give thee a tomato can,
And other jewels rare;
No prairie belle should ever show
A costlier, more antique trousseau
Than thee!
You should have real Jamaica rum,
Tobacco, too, ad libitum,
To soothe thy soul!
I'd give thee baking powder, too,
And sardine boxes, quite a few,
With other gems;
And then when stars shone out above,
We'd conjugate the verb to love,
You bet!
But when in after years I found
You getting wrinkled, old and browned,
I'd get. OUT    WEST
I sit here and sweat
With a drip, drip, drip,
And I think of old Rudyard
Kip, Kip, Kip.
Oh, I wish from my heart,
I could quickly depart;
Now, wouldn't I just love to
Skip, skip, skip,
To be gone and let everything
Rip, rip, rip,
And in the great ocean to
Dip, dip, dip.
I long from my soul in the salt sea to roll,
From the deck of an old fashioned
I Ship, ship, ship;
Some day I will give them the
Slip, slip, slip,
And pack up my little old
Grip, grip, grip;
Then once again I'll "remember the Maine'
And the pleasures of life I will
Sip, sip, sip.


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