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Klatsassan, and other reminiscences of missionary life in British Columbia Brown, R. C. Lundin (Robert Christopher Lundin), -1876 1873

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.Draxni and Zn,gi'«T-ecL at Stanford's  Geooxaxil»ieaL EstaolLshinejit, XV
1873. Beprinted from the People's Magazine, Leisure Hottb, and
other Periodicals.
EE2gaggggi^;gfcTBaftffMSgai3SJ^^ CONTENTS.
§ 1. Our First Meeting.
A Sunday at Fort Alexander
Klatsassan and bis Tribe .
Sign of tbe true Shepberd
§ 2. A Night by the Homathco.
" Ton owe ns Bread |
A fooHsb Word .
A Night of Blood     '.
Tbe Murder of Brewster  .
§ 3. Macdonald's Party.
Departure from tbe Coast.
Romantic Scenery    .       .
Klymtedza tbe Squaw      .
Klatsassan's Speech .        .
■Tbe Whites threatened
| Tbe Whites entrench themselves
The Attack
A dead Warrior
Indian Treatment of Lunacy
Death of Klymtedza .
Lessons from her Fate
§ 4. The Story of William Manning.
The Indians conspire to kill Manning
Indian Ruffianism     ....
Feeling against tbe Whites      .       •
43 VI
§ 5. Government Expeditions in pursuit of the
The Colonial Government takes Action
Gold-Commissioner Cox    .
A stiff Rein in a tight Hand
Mr. Cox's Party leave Alexandria
They encamp at Puntzeen
Reappearance of Klatsassan
He sends away the Women and Children
'The Volunteers enjoying themselves
§ 6. Arrival of the Governor.
Bunch-grass of British Columbia
A Stampede      .....
Advance to the Homathco
A Chase "	
§ 7. Death of Maclaine.
The Avenger of Blood
Maclaine shot by the Indians   .
' Grief at bis De"atb    ....
An interrupted Conversation    .
Governor Seymour goes on to Cariboo
§ 9. Klatsassan in the White Man's Camp.
Tbe Indians try to make'Terms
I In Captivity      .
Indian Manner of Life
The Salmon of British Columbia
Toowaewbot .        .
Indian Babies ....
. Klatsassan taken to Quesnelmouth
§ 10. Tried and Sentenced.  •
' Chief Justice Begbie
§ 11. Prisoners of Hope.
Tbe Five Condemned Men
First Visit to tbe Prisoners
Instruction        ....
Baptism   .....
" God be merciful to me a Sinner'
' Hours of Darkness"        '  .    '  .
§ 12. The Last Night.
Arrival of tbe Death-warrant   .
Preparations for the Holy Communion
Conversation about the Future
• The Divine Purpose for the Land
§ 13.t The Last Morning.
Holy Communion      ....
The Message from the Gallows
American Humour
The Start   .
A Narrow Escape
Fine River Scenery
Fate of our Boat
Gigantic Pines  137
Taking the Mails up the Harrison     .... 139
The Fraser  141
Lillooet  143
The Flower by the " Flower of Waters;
Sold to a White Scoundrel.
149 Vlll
Redemption 151
Obedience . 153
Deliverance        «•......   155
A frightful Scene        .
The unknown God declared
A Small-pox Visitation
The Living in the Arms of the Dead
" The Eyes of the Blind shall see "
An Uncivil Greeting   .
Sunday Services .
No Congregation.
A Gospel Sermon
The Valley in Flames .
The IUuminated..
" Faithful among tbe Faithless1
Looking-up a Congregation.
Monday Morning.       .
On a lovely autumn day in 1861, I was riding
through the I forest primeval" which extends
along the left bank of the Upper Fraser River,
in British Columbia. My destination was Fort
Alexander, where I was to hold service next
day, which was Sunday. In the morning I
had left William's Lake—that region of ideal
loveliness, with its glorious pastures, its superb
trout-streams and—its never-to-be-forgotten
mosquitoes; and now, having travelled more
than forty miles, and seeing no signs of any
white men's habitation, I began to feel curious
as to where I should pass the night, for darkness was coming on apace. Presently, at some
distance off the trail, I noticed a light flittering
amongst the trees. Towards this I proceeded,
and found it to be the night-fire of an Indian
encampment. Two stalwart Indians were sit*
sprang to their feet  as  I
ting by it, who
approached; the rest of the band were asleep
in their tents.
I explained who I was, and how I came to be
there, and then asked them for something to
eat. They were uncommonly gruff and disagreeable, but still had enough of humanity to
produce what food they possessed, consisting
of some rather dirty dried service-berries. Of
these I partook but sparingly, and then, perceiving that my hosts were not much disposed
for conversation, I said good-night, and lay
down by the camp-fire to sleep. Naturally, I
took care to keep half an eye open, not knowing what the Indians might take it into their
heads to do; although, in general, I felt
tolerably safe amongst Indians. Many a
solitary traveller, indeed, has been cut off by
them for the sake of his blankets or what coin
he might have on him, or to avenge some
Redskin. But they rarely touch any one who is
known in the country, and whose death would
be noticed and avenged; least of all a clergyman, for, like all men, they have a veneration
for the office : call it superstition or call it
natural religion, the fact is undeniable.
Next morning I reached Fort Alexander.
The canoe in which I was paddled across the
Fraser River was of the tiniest,  and I was A  SUNDAY AT  FORT  ALEXANDER.
commanded to sit right in the bottom, to prevent
her capsizing. The horse was towed behind,
and right gallantly did he breast the powerful
current.    We landed close under the fort.
Fort Alexander is the chief post of the Hudson Bay Company in that district. Without
doubt the place has improved in the course of
these ten years, but when I saw it, it was a
very ummposing edifice indeed, built of logs, and
surrounded by a stockade. The agent received
me with the hospitality which invariably
characterizes the Company's servants in those
outlying parts. On the morrow he gathered
together for service the whites and half-breeds,
every one in short who could understand English or French. After service, the agent told
me of a tribe of Indians who were camping in
the neighbourhood, and promised after dinner
to take me to them. They were the Nicootlem
Indians, a branch of the Chilcoatens, a powerful tribe (although, like all the British Columbian Indians, in a state of decadence),
whose fisliing-grounds extended over the vast
tract of country which lies between the northern part of the Fraser River and the Gulf of
We found them encamped on a hill-side, not
far from the fort, commanding a lovely view £>f
the windings of the river. It is worth mentioning, as showing how the love of scenery
exists even in savage breasts, where there may
be little else that is noble in sentiment or
refined in taste, that the Indians always choose
the most romantic spots in the country for
their camping-grounds. Assuredly the appearance of those Chilcoaten Indians was little
in keeping with the beauty of the scene. A
set of men and women more squalid and repulsive I have rarely beheld. Dark faces, with
big mouths, high cheek-bones, ferocious black
eyes, narrow foreheads, long tangled hair black
as night; their thin and sinewy frames with
little on them save dirt and a piece of blanket
or a deer-skin: no, their appearance was not
prepossessing. And yet wherever there is a
human face, however disfigured by sin, is there
not a human mind which can apprehend God's
truth, and a human heart which is in need of
it ? And as those Indians, when my companion explained to them who I was, were
willing to hear me, I proceeded to speak to
them the message of salvation. My words
had to pass through more than one medium
before reaching their ears. Spoken in French,
they were first translated into Chinook, which
is, as the reader is probably aware^ the jargon KLATSASSAN AND  HIS  TRIBE.
used on both sides of the Rocky Mountains
for communication between whites and Indians;
then, finally, they were given in the vernacular
of the Chilcoatens. The savages were gathered
round me in that attitude of deep attention
which marks an Indian audience. One ap-
p eared more attentive even than the rest. Sitting
a little in front of the group, his knees drawn
up, his elbows resting on his knees, and his
chin socketed on his hands, this Indian kept
his eyes fixed upon me. His was a striking
face; the great under-jaw betokened strong
power of will; the eyes, which were not black,
like most Indians', but of a very dark blue,
and full of a strange, it might be a dangerous,
light, were keen and searching. He never
took them off the speaker, but seemed to be
perusing with them my inmost soul, as if he
meant to ascertain not only whether I spoke
true, but whether I believed in my heart what
I said. When the service was over, this man
Came up to me, and without a word proceeded
to fumble in my breast. I hardly relished this,
but I merely asked what he wanted. Upon
this he pulled out of his bosom a crucifix,
which was tied round his neck. He said he
wanted to see whether I wore one. He wanted
in fact to see whether I had what he had been KLATSASSAN.
taught to recognize as the mark of the true
For I was not, it appeared, the first to
preach Christianity to his tribe. Some twenty
years previously, certain Roman Catholic missionaries had crossed over from Canada into
British Columbia, and- with their wonted zeal
had preached to the natives. Probably from
want of time, they did not teach them very
much of religion, but what they did teach had
been received with ardour and retained with
amazing fidelity. They had baptized many
Indians of all tribes, had taught them something about Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary,
had also given them a notion of the sacraments.
They had given them a form of prayer to
be used night and morning : and so faithfully
had the Indians adhered to this, that go where
you would in British Columbia, you would find
Indian tribes assemble, daily, to say their
matins and their evensong, herein putting to
the blush the presumedly civilized and Christian miners who could live without worship,
not only on weekdays but on Sundays too.
Those missionaries had, it appeared, given the
Indians as a token whereby they should distinguish the true shepherd, the Roman priest,
from the devouring wolf, him of the Anglican  KLATSASSAN.—CHILHOSELTZ, A CHIEF.' SIGN  OE  THE  TRUE  SHEPHERD.
faith, this sign, the wearing of a crucifix.
This is what the Indian was in quest of when he
thus unceremoniously fingered my waistcoat.
I had no crucifix, I was accordingly in danger
of rejection as a false priest. I told him,
however, that I was a •"King George" or
English priest, not exactly like those he knew
about: and that the King George priest wore
no crucifix about his neck, but carried it inside
his heart. I need hardly say that by this
answer I did not intend to teach that the
Roman priest had not the cross in his heart as
well as in his bosom. The Roman missionary
may have the crucifix in his heart as much as
we Anglicans. In self-crucifixion and self-
abnegation he often excels us : pity 'tis that
he is so prone at the same time to self-glorification, and flaunts his sacrifices before our
eyes !    Such at least is my experience of him.
The Indian seemed satisfied with my answer.
We shook hands and parted. I inquired who
he was. His name was Klatsassan. He was
a great man amongst the Indians. Indeed,
although not hereditary chieftain, he was looked
upon'as their chief by all the Chilcoatens.
His physical strength, his power of will, his
courage, his unscrupulousness, had won him
this pre-eminence.    He was the terror of the 8
foes of his tribe, and by his clansmen, too,
rather dreaded than loved. The little children
would peep in through the holes in his tent, to
catch a sight of the terrible chief, and run
away crying with fright. Such was Klatsassan : and such the occasion of our first
It was on the 5th of May, 1864, that, news
reached Victoria, Vancouver Island, of a fearful massacre perpetrated on the mainland—■
the coast of British Columbia—by Indians of
the Chilcoaten tribe. Thebearerof this distress-
ing and alarming intelligence was Mr. Frederick Whymper, an artist whose account of his
travels, since published, has interested and
delighted the public. The victims of Indian
ferocity were a party of road-makers who had
gone over from the island to construct a waggon-road from the coast, at Bute Inlet, to the
interior. There were seventeen of them, and
of this number fourteen had been killed, two
of the survivors being wounded, and one alone
escaping unhurt. Among the killed was
Brewster, the foreman of the party. The
scene of this disaster was the Homathco River, "VOU  OWE  TJS  BREAD. 9
about forty miles from Bute Inlet.    The following were the circumstances which led to it.
In the autumn of the preceding year, a party
who had gone to Bute Inlet to survey for the
new road, left there on their departure some
twenty-five sacks of flour in a log-house in
charge of an Indian named Chesuss, one of
the Chilcoaten tribe. Chesuss, however, appears to have left the neighbourhood, and,
during his absence, another tribe passing that
way, had broken into the log-house and stolen
the flour. When, in the spring of 1864, our
people returned to Bute Inlet, finding their
flour gone, and no Indian near the place, they
naturally caused inquiry to be made far and
near. At last they got hold of some .Chilcoaten Indians, and asked them what had
become of the flour. The Indians were surly,
and would say nothing. At length one of
them said, '' You are in our country; you owe
us bread."
On this the man in charge (it is needless to
mention his name, he did not act with wisdom),
began to take down, from the mouth of the
interpreter, the names of all the Indians
present. When he had finished, he asked if
they knew what he had done. They said,
" No."    | I have taken down your names," 10
he told them, | because you would not tell me
who stole the flour." At this the Indians
looked frightened, and he went on : % All the
Chilcoatens are going to die. We shall send
sickness into the country, which will kill them
all." A foolish word, lightly spoken, but one
which was to be dearly expiated.
The Indians were much alarmed and distressed by these proceedings. They have, be
it observed, a very special horror of having
their names written down. They look upon
paper as a very awful thing, they tremble to
see the working of a pen. Writing is, they
imagine, a dread mystery. By it the mighty
whites seem to carry on intercourse with unseen powers. When they are writing, there's
no telling what they may be doing. They
may be bidding a pestilence come over the
land, or ordering the rain to stay in the west,
or giving directions for the salmon to remain
in the ocean. Especially is the Indian appalled
when he sees his own name put on paper. To
him the name is not distinct from the person who
owns it. If his name is written down, he is
written down: if his name is passed over to
the demons which people his hierarchy, he is
sure to be bewitched and given as a prey into
the teeth of his invisible foes.    So when those A  E00LISH WORD. 11
Chilcoatens saw their names taken down and
heard themselves threatened with disease, they
were only too ready to believe the threat.
They talked about 'it a great deal among
themselves. They recollected that something
of the same sort had been said by another
white man two years before, at a place called
Puntzeen, in the interior; he had said smallpox was coming, and in the winter of 1862-63
it had come—ay, and carried off the best part
of whole tribes. Had not the Shuschwaps
lost many of their warriors ? and the Indians
who lived away at Lillooet, on the great river,
as many as two-thirds of their whole tribe?
It was only too likely that those awful whites
would fulfil their threat, and send the foulest
of all the diseases which ever came forth from
the jaws of hell, to sweep their tribes away into
everlasting night.
It was not long before the news of this
threat reached the ears of Klatsassan. On
hearing it the chief at once formed his resolution. He would kill off the whites before
they should have time to carry their threat
into execution, or send small-pox to destroy
the Indians. He accordingly called a council
of the Chilcoatens, to consult as to the best
way of exterminating the whites.    They simply 12
agreed to kill all they could lay their hands on.
They were to begin with the party of men
engaged on the new road. Accordingly, on
the night appointed, the Indians met near the
white men's tents. First Klatsassan gave out
to his comrades, that whatever Indians were in
the tents of the whites must be called home.
One of them was Chiddeki or George, long a
faithful servant of the whites. This George
was asleep in the teut of some of the road-
party, whose servant he was. Thither his
father-in-law, Taloot, was sent to fetch him.
Taloot quietly raising the tent-door, looked in,
and seeing George lying there, awoke him,
and said in a whisper, "Why sleep you so
long, Chiddeki ? Rise up, Klatsassan wants
you." On this George got up, and putting on
only a blanket, for he thought something
wrong was afoot, went after Taloot. As soon
as he was brought into Klatsassan's tent,
the chief caught hold of him, and made him
sit beside him. | Have you a good heart
towards the whites," he asked him, " or the
contrary ?" cc My heart is good towards the
whites," said George; 1 they have given me
money and food these three years." Klatsassan looked hard at him, and said, % I am going
to kill all the whites.    Vou know they have A NIGHT  0E BLOOD. 13
killed most of our men with small-pox, and
they have taken our names on paper to kill us
next. Will you join us against the enemies of
Owhalmewha ? Will you help us to wipe them
out of the land ?" Chiddeki sat for some
time in silence. The chief then said, " If you
will not go with us, go back to your masters,
and we shall do to you as we do to them."
Then Chiddeki was frightened, and engaged
to do whatever Klatsassan desired. Every
thing being now ready, the chief proposed they
should say their morning prayer. This they
did, but sotto voce, lest they should awaken
their victims. (The history of civilized nations
acquaints us, I believe, with similar consecrations of deeds of butchery.) Matins ended,
they sallied forth, innocent of apparel and black
with war-paint, on their blood-thirsty enterprise.
Armed with guns and axes, they stealthily
■ approached to where the road-makers' tents, to
the number of seven, stood silent and white in
the grey of the morning. Close beside flowed
the dark stream of the Homathco, and the
only sound that broke the stillness was the
noise of its waters, as they strove with the rocks
and boulders which obstructed their course.
The whites, two or three in a tent, were still
sleeping the heavy sleep of hard-working men : 14
for indeed road-making in a rough new
country is no light work. But their hour was
come. In an instant their tent-poles were
cut down with axes; the tents fell on them;
and as the unhappy men, in the confusion of
waking, feebly endeavoured to disentangle
themselves from the folds of the canvas, they
were brutally butchered. Some were killed
by blows on the head with axes, others, who
contrived to escape from the tent-folds, were
shot down as they ran. The surprise was so
complete that resistance was impossible. And
besides, even if there had been time to use
them, weapons there were none; there was
but one rifle and one revolver in the whole
camp. Unhappily, the foreman Brewster had
refused arms for his company when, at Victoria;
Mr. Waddington—the originator of this Bute
Inlet scheme—had pressed him to take them.
No : there was nothing, he thought, to fear,
from the Indians. The poor foreman paid
dearly for his too great confidence, or too
great contempt.
The death of Brewster was attended by
circumstances of signal atrocity. While the
work of murder was going on, Chiddeki had
stood aloof,—he alone of all the Indians taking
no part in it.    When all was over, Klatsassan THE MURDER OF BREWSTER. 15
came up to him. His countenance, marked
by that singular wildness and ferocity which
characterize the shedders of blood, might well
strike terror into the young Indian as Klatsassan, holding his tomahawk over his head,
inquired in a voice of thunder why he had. not
done anything? George, however, nothing
daunted, replied that he was there to prevent any
one escaping. Klatsassan appeared only half
satisfied by this reply: he did not, however,
strike the lad, he commanded him to follow
him, and went off accompanied by Chesuss, in
search of Brewster, whose tent was some way
farther on. Having gone some distance, they
came within sight of the tent, and then concealed themselves in the brush near the trail
by which they expected him to pass. When
he came to within three or four yards of them,
one of them fired, but the gun missed fire.
Brewster saw it, and with Anglo-Saxon coolness, turning to the place in the brush from
which the report came, asked into the bushes
why anybody wanted to kill him. To this
Chesuss answered from his ambush, "We
have killed all the rest, and we will kill you."
Hearing this, Brewster ran to a hill close by,
and got behind a large rock; the ruffians made
after him, fired, and wounded him.    Then he 16
sat down quietly, and asked them to put an
end to him at once. Chesuss then shot him
dead. The murderers first stripped their
victim; then they cut open his body, and took
out his heart, and—oh, horrible to relate!—
one of them ate it. This was Chesuss: probably he thought he would make himself very
brave. The other, Klatsassan, declined to
share this infernal repast. Ruffian as he was,
he was not quite so bad as that. Besides, his
ferocious courage needed no such stimulant,
Scarcely had the good people of Victoria got
over the excitement of the tidings brought by
Mr. Whymper of these wholesale murders,
than more intelligence reached them of fresh
crimes committed by the same Indians in a
more distant part of the continent. This time
it was a party of miners and packers who were
the victims. They had started from Bentinck
Arm on the north-west coast of British
Columbia, for the gold mines of Cariboo,
which they sought to reach by traversing a
rough and unknown country, where as yet
there was no road, but at the best only a trail
or bridle-path.    The leader> or captain of th& DEPARTURE FROM THE COAST.
ii, was Alexander Macdonald, a well-known
packer. The names of the others were Malcolm Macleod, Peter Macdougall, Barney Johnson, packers; the rest, Charles Farquharson,
Clifford Higgins, John Grant, and Frederick
Harrison, were miners bent on fortune-hunting
in the gold-fields of William's Creek.
The party had forty-two pack-animals,
twenty-eight of which were laden with provisions for the mines, valued at about 1000Z.
They left New Aberdeen at the head of
Bentinck .Arm, on the 17th of May, 1864.
For two or three days they proceeded without
adventure. The scenery was romantic and
varied to a wonderful extent. Perhaps it is
hardly to be expected that adventurers in a
new country will care much for the beauties of
nature. Their life is too much a struggle for
existence, and the labours and - anxieties of
each day are too absorbing. Otherwise, these
travellers would have found much to charm
them. Now they would cross a fine upland
plateau, where the famous bunch-grass of the
colony waved in all its luxuriance of verdure,
and whence a glorious panorama lay at their
feet, of vast undulating plains, and silvery
streams, and grand snow-capped mountains
closing in the view. Then descending by a
&i^ c 18
steep and tortuous path—(alas, in those rough
down-hill rushes, for the poor mules, with their
backs torn by the heavy burdens of three
hundredweight!)—they would find at the
bottom a delicious valley rich in flowers and
shrubs, fragrant with the cotton-wood, and
watered by a cool bright mountain-stream.
Then the long train would wend upwards,
passing round some steep "slide" or mountain-
slip, where, ages ago, the rocky mountain had
been rent asunder, and part of it had slipped
away into the valley beneath: while the remaining rock had gone on crumbling away, under
the influence of summer rains and winter frosts,
until its fragments now flowed round the mountain like a great mantle of sand, dun-coloured,
relieved only by one or two flowers, foxgloves
or such like, dotted over the ample garment.
Across this slippery sand-mantle, the long
mule-train, preceded by the jingling bells of
the leader, and stimulated by the shouts and
threats of the drivers, would take its weary
way, and woe betide the hapless animal who
on this elevated and uncertain trail should slip :
—its fate was to roll and roll down the precipitous slope, till it was dashed to pieces on
the rocky bed of yon river far below.
Nicootlem is a lake seventy-five miles inland ROMANTIC  SCENERY.
from Bentinck Arm, where this branch of the
Chilcoaten Indians had their head-quarters.
The chief of the Nicootlems was Anahim, one
of the greatest and most dangerous of the
enemies of the whites,—but one who unluckily
has never been brought to justice. Klatsassan,
however, as already stated, was looked upon as
chief over all the Chilcoaten Indians; he had
certainly most power and influence among
them. Now Klatsassan had reached Nicootlem
only a day or two before Macdonald's party.
He had come expressly to look out for Macdonald, and to stir up the Indians to attack
him. His success at the Homathco, miserable
and dastardly as it was, had convinced him
that the whites were vulnerable, and confirmed
him in the delusion that their expulsion from
the country might be practicable. On his
arrival at Nicootlem, he told Anahim and the
rest, of the prize that would so soon be within
their reach. Their greed was easily excited by
his account of the endless supplies of flour and
bacon which would attend a successful raid on
Macdonald''s train, and they all agreed to seize
the first opportunity to destroy the whites, and
gain possession of their stores.
On the evening of May 21st, Macdonald's
party reached the shore of Lake Nicootlem,
c 2 20
and prepared to camp there that night.
They had had a long day of it, and were glad
enough, we may be sure, to reach the place of
bivouac. No one can realize, who has not felt
it, the delight to the worn-out miner or packer
of gaining the nightly resting-place. Greatly
is this pleasure enhanced, when—as is so frequently the ease in British Columbia, where
the loveliest and most idyllic spots alternate
with scenes of the wildest and most savage
grandeur—the place of resting is a choice and
enchanting scene. Such was the camp by
Lake Nicootlem. Sweet indeed is rest after
labour, by so fair a lake, on a fine May evening,
in a land where the air is so clear that all the
colours of earth and sky stand out in striking
brightness. The packers hasten to relieve
their mules of their loads; the aparejosj and
the^oods are carefully arranged in order; the
liberated beasts roll themselves in the grass.
Meanwhile the miners have lighted a goodly
fire, having felled in the wood a magnificent"
back-log of sufficient proportions to see them
through the night, and again do duty at the
morning meal. Presently the saucepan, with its
1 Aparejo, the padding used by Mexican packers instead of
a pack- saddle. It is easier for the animal, but requires more
skill in fixing tbe packs than a common pack-saddle. KLYMTEDZA THE  SQUAW. 21
mess of Californian beans, which, having boiled
all last night, may be supposed to want only
a small amount of additional cooking, is placed
on the fire, from which also the coffee-pot,
supplied with water from the stream which
joins the lake hard by, and the frying pan—
inseparable vade-mecum of miners—may be
heard discoursing music grateful to the ears of
hungry men.
In giving above the names of Macdonald's
party, one person was omitted from the fist.
When I say that the person in question was a
young Indian woman, who was in fact the
squaw of one of the packers, the reader will
perhaps consider an apology due for her introduction here. The truth of my narration,
however, compels the mention of this woman.
Months before, in a distant part of the
country, the packer had found her in her
parents' tent. Her father was at once needy
and greedy, and easily gave ear to the packer's
nefarious proposals. Klymtedza had left the
Indian camp to be his favoured slave. The
packer was kind, and Klymtedza was happy.
She had good food and fine clothes. She was
attached to her master, and she knew not,
poor child—how should she? no one had
ever let her know—that she did wrong.    She 22
sinned in ignorance; but, alas! such sins too
have their punishment.
Klymtedza's parents were of the Nicootlem
tribe, and at the moment of her arrival with
the train on the one side of the lake, her relatives were encamped on the other. Accordingly,
as night fell, she stole away from the whites,
to go to see her people. She was eagerly welcomed by her friends, who praised her improved
appearance and wondered at her apparel. When
she arrived the men were sitting in council, and
Klatsassan was delivering himself of a harangue
on the duty of exterminating the whites. The
coming of Klymtedza furnished a new argument. " Chilhowhoaz," said he, " see, your
daughter. You ought to have shame for
letting her leave you—not good Indian, you!
far worse, those pale devils who have taken
her; for—do you not know it ?—Klymtedza is
lost. You think not. I tell you. she is. It is
true she is fat and well-looking—more than if
she had stayed with you. She wears a gown
now, instead of, as before, a blanket or a deerskin; she has on shoes instead of mocassins,
her hair is combed and well greased. But,
chief, she is no longer good—not as a Red
man's wife is gOod. The Great Father's heart
is against the white men.
The whites are bad. KLATSASSAN'S  SPEECH.
Indian women should not live with them.
Attend to me! A few years from now, the
man she lives with will leave her, and then
what will become of her ? She can never be
an Indian's wife afterwards. No; she will
become a bad thing, or, perhaps (best thing
she can do), will use rope (i. e. hang herself).
This is what happens to all white men's squaws.
They die. Our families consume away. We
are all dying off together. The whites want
to destroy us. They have ruined our families.
They have taken our country from us. They
have built their stone houses and towns. They
have put their fire-vomiting steamboats on our
lakes and rivers, and frightened awav the
salmon. They have set their vile ploughs in
our sacred soil. They are going to take every
thing, and destroy us. Yes, chiefs, believe
me, these palefaces want to kill every redskin
in the land. Shall we let them ? No; we
must kill them off first. And let us begin
with those over yonder." So saying, he
pointed across the lake to where Macdonald's
camp-fire shone forth in the- now fast-falling
darkness. Klymtedza was not long in discovering that the Indians had determined to
capture the mule-train. Indians can never
keep a secret from one of their own tribe, else
m WffiWifiMmfjlTiT
prudence would have suggested to the Nicoot-
lems to keep their own counsel. But no; it
all came out. Their plan was to attack the
whites the very next day. As soon as she
ascertained this, Klymtedza was anxious to get
back to Macdonald's camp, and took an early
opportunity of saying good night. As she
was leaving, the probability of her making
known their plan flashed on Klatsassan's mind.
He took her by the arm, and fixing on her a
look which made her tremble, said, " Have a
care, daughter; see you don't betray us to the
palefaces. If you give them a single hint of
our intentions, and they change their course in
consequence, they shall die all the same, and
you with them."
The girl eagerly promised to say nothing,
and so left. But on reaching the packers'
camp, the first thing she did was to divulge
the whole. " The Indians," she said, " had
gone on the war-trail against the King George-
men, and wanted to kill every white man in
the land." They might lay their account with
being attacked next day. She advised them
to abandon their train and provision^, and to
make their escape on horseback to the coast.
On hearing this, the men were divided. Some
thought the whole a vain alarm.    The idea of THE  WHITES  THREATENED.
Indians attacking a party of eight white men!
Such a thing was inconceivable. These men
urged then comrades not to allow themselves
to be influenced by the fears of a weak girl,
but hold on their course. The rest of the
party thought the danger more serious. They
recalled the recent news from Bute Inlet, and
could not but feel that there might be ground
for alarm. " These Indians, living in this
remote place, must (thought they) be in total
ignorance of the power of the whites, and may
actually imagine that they can make war with
us. Their success at Bute Inlet has filled them
with the notion that they can cut us off; and
from what the girl says they seem determined
to try. And it is by no means so certain that
if they were to attack us we might not get the
worst of it. Were they to fire on us as we
defiled through a wood, or skirted some hillside, they might knock us off our saddles before we could return a shot." " I guess," said
one of them, who had been in California, " I
guess in this fix, discretion would appear to
be the better part of valour. We'd better
do as the girl says, and make -tracks for the
coast, and look for better luck next time."
But in vain did this miner, and one or two
more who took this view, endeavour to argue ygwBHMffi I rpf fi 3
the others over to their opinion. The packers,
especially, were unwilling to leave their provisions in the hands of their enemies without
the least attempt to save them. At length a
middle course was agreed upon. They resolved
to move to a hill commanding the neighbourhood. Here they dug a pit breast-deep, in
which they placed their goods and aparejos,
and then occupied it. Klymtedza seemed
pleased with this arrangement. She said,
" Klosh (good); if we stop here we are
Here they remained accordingly for two
days, the Indians the meanwhile watching
them closely from their camp. It was no
slight trial for men of energy to continue for
two days in voluntary imprisonment, and on
the third day Macdonald's patience became
fairly exhausted. Calling an Indian to the
foot of the knolL he asked him what they
wanted ? The Indian replied, with the most
nonchalant air, " We want nothing. You can
go on." Macdonald himself was very anxious
to go forward, but he vainly endeavoured to
persuade the opposite party. Yet all were
anxious to take some steps, feeling very tired
of their rifle-pit, in which they were wretchedly
cramped and uncomfortable.    So it was pro- THE  WHITES ENTRENCH THEMSELVES.
posed that they should return to Nicootlem,
and take up their quarters in an Indian
stockade, which was near the lake. This plan
was strongly opposed by the squaw. " No !"
said she, "that plan is bad; if you go from
here at all, go on horseback, and straight to
the coast. Don't move a step with the train.
If you do, you will certainly be shot. Nevertheless," she added, " if you go, I go also;
you will die, I die with you."
At last they determined to make straight
for the coast. One thing, however, they
would not consent to do, viz. leave their train.
All Klymtedza's eloquence could not prevail
on them to do that. Unluckily this unwillingness to part with their property was to cost
some of them their lives.
As they were now proceeding to get ready,
they found that two of the pack-animals were
missing, and the two bell-boys were sent out
in quest of them, to one of whom a gun was
given. These boys searched far and near, but
saw no traces of the animals; and as they were
trying to find their way back, the Indians
caught them. They were brought before
Klatsassan. Now, one of these, Tom by name
(whose evidence subsequently was of importance  in the  trial),  belonged  to   Klatsassan, 28
having been taken by him in a fight with a
neighbouring tribe. That he was working
with the whites was only by sufferance of
Klatsassan, who, it was reported, pocketed all
the earnings of his slave. When the boys
came, the chief told them that he was going to
kill all the whites. Tom and his companion
were plucky enough to express disapproval of
this. The whites had been good to him, Tom
said; he didn't see why they should be killed.
Upon this Klatsassan drew a revolver (no
doubt part of the Bute Inlet booty), and
pointing it at Tom, threatened to shoot him,
unless he agreed to go along with them. Tom
promised to go, and so did the other lad, but
with the full determination to slip away on the
first opportunity. No opportunity, however,
was to occur.
Klatsassan then gave orders to two Indians
to keep their eyes on the lads, and if they tried
to run away they were to shoot them on the
spot. This done, the whole band of Indians
moved on to the vicinity of the white men's
camp, and concealed themselves near the trail
by which the returning train must pass; for
the boys had inadvertently disclosed to them
the decision of the party to return to the
coast. THE ATTACK.
By this time Macdonald and his party,
despairing of the return of the bell-boys, had
finished up their packing, and set off without
them. Instead of taking the squaw's excellent
advice, and " making tracks " as fast as they
could without their packages for the coast,
they took everything with them, and moved
slowly and noisily, with their great pack-train,
towards the spot where their deadly enemies
lay concealed.
As they approached, they were met with a
volley from both sides of the trail. Instantly
one fell dead, Clifford Higgins by name.
Macdougall, the packer, also fell mortally
wounded; Klatsassan,• rushing from his ambush, shot him dead. As for Macdonald, his
horse was shot under him; he quickly mounted
another, but this also was shot. Then he got
up and ran for his life with two Indians
(Klatsassan and another named Yahoonklis) in
pursuit. Yahoonklis, being swift of foot,
gained on Macdonald. He fired, and Macdonald fell wounded; then Yahoonklis ran up
to finish him. But the wounded man drew
his revolver, and shot the Indian through the
heart. The next moment Macdonald himself
lay dead, shot by another of the assailants.
Of the party five escaped.    One of themi
being hotly pursued, ran a long way till he
came to a lake surrounded by tall brush-wood.
Finding himself for a moment out of sight of
his pursuers, he took off his wide-awake, and
flung it on the water, whilst he plunged into
the thickest of the brush. The Indian coming
up and seeing the hat floating there, concluded
that this man was drowned, and gave up the
On the scene of the fray lay the body of
Yahoonklis. Rigid in death was the tall
sinewy frame: soiled with dust were the
hawk's feathers around his head. His dusky
face, rendered more hideous by the black warpaint, looked stern and grim in the grip of
death. A large brass ring hung from his
nose. Thus he was found by his two brothers.
Approaching the body with a mournful dirge,
they carefully wrapt the warrior in his blanket,
and buried him in the sand close by.
But Yahoonklis' remains were not suffered
to repose in peace. White men travelling
there a few weeks later came upon a ghastly
and revolting spectacle. In the middle of the
trail sat a dusky corpse, as of some powerful
Indian. The head was surmounted with a
wreath of soiled hawk's feathers. From the
nose depended a huge brass ring; and in the
mouth—oh, ruthless mockery!—had been
stuck a clay pipe. It was the remains of poor
The outrage happened in this way. In the
first instance the grave had been probably
disturbed by wolves, which had dragged the
corpse as far as the trail. They seem to have
been interrupted in then* proceedings, for they
left the body there. It was found by an Indian
of the Bella Coola tribe sitting on the road, in
the same squatting attitude it had been accustomed to when alive. The Bella Coolas
are deadly foes of the Chilcoatens; and, so
fierce is the animosity of the savage breast,
that death itself does not terminate their hate.
Instead of decently burying his enemy, this
Bella Coolan barbarian thought that he would
insult him, and make contemptible, being
dead, him whom living he would probably
have trembled to meet. And so the scoundrel
placed the pipe between the dead man's teeth,
and left him there, surely as hideous a sight as
any traveller in desert places ever chanced upon.
This incident will serve to illustrate the
darker side of savage nature. Is it too much
to say, that such a deed could hardly have
been done by a civilized man, however low he
might have fallen?    There are some things
mi mm
with regard to which civilization leaves a residuum of feeling, even in those who have lost
many traces of her influence, and one of these
is reverence for the dead. A man must have
become "rough" indeed to have lost this feeling. I have known men who could treat the
remains of their fellow-creatures with neglect,
but hardly can I conceive any one but a savage
manifesting such an utter wantonness of insolence towards the body of his deadliest foe,
as that Bella Coolan brute showed to the dust
of the Nicootlem warrior.
The fate of the two brothers of Yahoonklis
is not without interest as illustrating other
phases of Indian character. The younger of
them, Niko, had been long an enemy of the
whites, and had often urged upon his tribe the
necessity of exterminating them. He had accordingly lent a willing ear to Klatsassan
when he came to Nicootlem to instigate the
tribe to attack the mule-train, and aided his
efforts. The elder brother, whose name was
Chinanihim, grieved at heart for the misery
occasioned to their home by the death of its
head (for the dead warrior was the eldest of
the three), now severely censured Niko for his
bad advice, loading him with reproaches, as
the  occasion  of the ruin that had come on INDIAN TREATMENT  OF  LUNACY.
them.    Finally, he said that as he had caused
his brother's death, he must die too; so saying, he shot him dead on the spot.    And now
Chinanihim, become the  sole survivor of his
family, was seized with remorse at what he had
done.    The loss of his two brothers, and the
reflection that he had with his own hand killed
one of them, whose fault, now that he was ho
more, appeared more venial, and whose bad
counsel was now felt to have at least been
dictated by good and patriotic motives—these
thoughts so weighed on his mind that he lost
his  reason.    He  would  go  by day  and by
night howling through the forest, till the trees
and rocks re-echoed his wild complaints; or
sometimes he would rave furiously about the
Indians' camp, exclaiming with alternate sobs
and execrations that Red Indianism was  for
ever   destroyed,  and  that  the  whites  would
come to avenge the murdered men, and kill
their wives and their little ones.    He had a
sister in the camp, and she, seeing his condition, asked her husband to put an end to his
life.    "For," said she, "do you not see how
he is making the hearts of the warriors little
with his dark forebodings, and terrifying the
children with his frightful cries?   Besides,"
she added, " he has lost his head; he is not fit
KamzaiearsHRraTHasswCT reftBMfl
to live." The Indian, who knew of no better
treatment for lunacy than that which his wife
suggested, complied with her request, and slew
his brother-in-law. There was thus an end of
all the brothers. All this took place on the
day following the attack.
The reader will wish to know what became
of Klymtedza, the poor Indian girl who had
been so faithful to those who had proved
but poor friends to her. She died a violent
death. This is all the narrative tells us. The
probability is that the Indians discovered that
she had betrayed them, and simply put her to
death for it. On the other hand it is quite
possible she may have put an end to her own
life. For with the Red Indians suicide is no
rare occurrence, and the number of young
women, especially, who put an end to their life
by hanging themselves is incredible. The
occasion is often contemptibly trivial. The
following case came under my observation.
The scene is an Indian camp near the Fraser
River. An Indian squaw, who had been to all
appearance well and happy all day, wakes up
in the dead of night, and her mother, on
waking, finds her weeping; she asks her why
she weeps, but receives no answer. Presently
the girl rises, and leaves the tent, and goes out n
into the pitch-dark night; father and mother
follow; they call to her to come back; no
answer; they search for her everywhere—in
vain: at length day breaks, and then the
hideous truth is discovered; their daughter
has hanged herself. At a tree quite near,
with a rope round her neck, tied to a low
branch, her feet on the ground, there she
stands, leaning against the tree, cold and dead.
And what had made her do so desperate a
deed ? Simply this : her husband had gone
to a feast the day before, and had refused
to let her go. She had hung herself in a
It would, then, be nothing surprising
if Klymtedza's death had come from her
own hand. The fact that she had lost, by
the hand of her own people, the man she had
looked upon as her husband, was trying enough,
and the feeling that she was cast out by her
own tribe, whom she had betrayed, and forsaken
by all the whites, a stranger in her own land,
would be sufficiently depressing to account for
any deed of madness which an uninstructed,
undisciplined, savage child, who believed in
Destiny and in the Devil, but knew nothing of
a Father, might take it into her brain to perpetrate.     But whether she  actually did this
d 2 m
thing, or whether she died by the hand of
others, I cannot say. Enough, she died, and
this sad and dark history of the swift extinction
of a life which either might have blessed an
honest Indian's tent, or, if taken betimes and
educated in sound Christian knowledge, might
have proved a blessing and a civilizing influence to many of her people, may well teach
a lesson to all men, whether white their skin
or red, who reading backwards the Christian
law—seZ/"-sacrifice, sacrifice others for themselves. The Christian Church, too, ought
surely to be more active in its efforts and more
bounteous in its offerings to reclaim those
daughters of the borderlands of the world, and
save them for Christ and for the Future, ere all
be swept away through the advance of a Christ-
less civilization, or through the evil passions
of unscrupulous men, or through " their own
carnal will or frailty."
"The next victim of the Indians was a settler
at Puntzeen named William Manning. Punt-
zeen is the name of a lake situated at the
junction of three trails, one coming from the
coast at Bentinck Arm, one from the coast at THE  STORY  OF WILLIAM  MANNING.
Bute Inlet, and one from the Fraser River.
It" lies in lat. 52° 12' 10", long. 120° 2',
14U miles from Bentinck Arm, 130 from Bute
Inlet, and 90 from Fort Alexander on the
Fraser River. It is a lovely spot, and was for
ages a favourite Indian camping-ground. Its
lake and streams were full of fish and the surrounding forest of game. Between the woods
and the water, was. an extensive space of clear
land, inviting to the settler. Passing by this
way eastward from the coast, some years
before, Manning had cast his eyes upon the
spot, and considered that, as the land was a
goodly land, he would take up his abode there.
So he pitched his tent and enclosed a bit of
garden along by the bright clear lake; the
ground was found to yield an abundant crop,
and as years rolled on, Manning replaced his
tent by a good substantial log-house; he
extended his garden, and cleared more land;
he procured a plough, and turned up the rich
virgin soil, and the yellow corn waved by the
bank of that far-off lake. Manning had always
been on good terms with the Chilcoaten
Indians. They readily worked for him and
he liberally rewarded them. He frequently
made them presents of bread or of vegetables,
and one winter, when they were excessively
hard up, and well-nigh  starving, he  almost
entirely supported them.
But notwithstanding all this, the Indians
now determined to destroy poor Manning.
They had always felt a certain grudge against
him for having settled in Puntzeen, and taken
from them so old and favourite a camping-
ground. Such a crime, they thought, nothing
could atone for. To their minds it vitiated
all his actions; his kindness appeared mere
selfishness, and all his generosity only a bribe
to induce them to part unmurmuringly with
the immemorial inheritance of their fathers.
It was Anahim, this time, not Klatsassan, who
planned the deed of blood. Anahim was,
however, too great a coward to do the work
himself. He accordingly seized on one of his
tribe named Tapeet, and ordered him to kill
poor Manning. Tapeet was very averse to this
(if his own account of the matter is to be
believed), but he could not help himself. As
for Manning, he was about his work on his
farm, suspecting nothing. He had, indeed,
had his fears, after hearing of the other
murders, and had done what he could to
prepare himself against an attack. But the
Indians, who were afraid of the man, had
resorted to stratagem to put him off his guard. THE INDIANS CONSPIRE TO KILL MANNING.     39
They sent a squaw to fetch a woman known as
Nancy, who stayed in Manning's house, and
sent word back by her that they were all going
away to Alexandria to trade, and Manning
need not be afraid. The man was thus thrown
Off his guard. Meanwhile Nancy took his
arms and hid them, and then went off to tell
the Indians they might venture to attack him.
It was the general opinion that but for this
woman the Indians would never "have killed
poor Manning.
One morning in May, Anahim and Tapeet
came up to Manning's together. They met
him in his garden, and said, " Klahowya,—
how are you," shaking hands, and after a brief
conversation, Manning turned to go in. Then
Tapeet shot him in the back, and he fell, quite
dead. Tapeet then sat down, and covering his
face with his blanket wept long and loud.
Manning had been a good friend to him, he
sobbed out, and it was a shame to make him
shoot him. Shame or not, he was to die for it,
whilst the other greater villain unfortunately
escaped. Tapeet, I believe, never entered the
house, nor did he take apennyworth of the spoil.
Anahim then, calling the other Indians,
proceeded to loot the dead man's house. They
appropriated all the flour and other edibles mm
they could find, and destroyed everything
else; after which they burnt the house. They
then proceeded to devastate the garden and
field—the plough and other implements of
agriculture they wantonly destroyed. Then,
returning to where the dead man lay, they
proceeded to indulge their natural ferocity by
outraging his remains, battering in the head
and cutting the body in a horrible manner;
finally, they flung it, or as much of it as still
hung together, into the bed of a small stream,
and then threw on it, for concealment, roots of
trees—roots which had been dug out by the
hand of the murdered man as he had cleared
his land for the plough.
This was the last of the crimes committed
by the Chilcoatens at" this time. On the evening
of the murder, Klatsassan, who, for some
reason or other, had not taken part in this
affair, again appeared, and made his men take
up a position on an adjoining hill. The hill
was thickly wooded, and the Indians, themselves unseen, could from it keep an out-look
on the three trails converging at Puntzeen.
There was great rejoicing among them that
night at the death of the man they feared, and
little regret for the man who had given them
flour and potatoes.     There was   also much
r^^f^^^^j^gglgjSgigigsgsgg^Kggj^y INDIAN  RUFFIANISM.
feasting on the spoil they had stolen. As
luckily no pire-chuck (whisky) was found on
the white man's premises, they had not an
opportunity of making themselves mad—for
the effect of strong waters upon the savage
mind is simply maddening. They quietly
smoked their pipes around the camp-fire,
and indulged themselves only in strong
harangues full of laudations of themselves and
of their ancestors, and of denunciations of the
whites. In discussing the event of the day,
one Indian, more sagacious than the rest, was
bold enough to express his disapproval of part
of the proceedings. He did not see why
Manning's plough need have been destroyed.
He had looked on it with admiration almost
amounting to adoration, as, moving in the rear
of four stout oxen, this wondrous thing had
cut its slow but certain way through the most
tangled roots and the most closely packed of
sod, and prepared, in the primeval soil, a bed
for the bread-bearing seed. So he thought they
might have spared the instrument and learned
to use it themselves. This shrewd Indian,
however, was ahead of his age, and no one in
the camp agreed with him. The chief, though
he had not been present when the plough was
hacked to pieces, quite approved of the deed.
He spoke on this occasion somewhat as follows :—"Keoochtan has spoken. The Eye-of-
day has declared the Redskins ought to have
kept the white man's plough. Not so think
Owhalmewha (all men, i.e. all Indians). My
children, ye did well to destroy it! 1 " Well
spoken, chief," murmured his hearers. Klatsassan continued. " We do not want the white
man's machines, nor do we want to till the soil
or sow chappelell (wheat). Our fisheries and
hunting-grounds are very good for us. Our
way of life, very good for us. It was good for
our fathers, it is good for us. We are not
better than our fathers, and have no wish to
live differently. We want to be let alone to
enjoy our country, and our fishing-streams,
and hunting-grounds. We don't want these
paleskins or their ways. They have no
business here. Accursed sons of dogs, why
come they to thrust themselves upon our
land ? They choose our fairest spots—they
fence them off—they plough up our sacred
soil. We won't have them here, nor their
implements, nor anything that belongs to
" Their bread, nevertheless,  is good, and
their bacon not amiss, and I wish we had only
a little of their
rum, or even their coffee,"
said the other, after the excitement produced
by the last speech had somewhat abated.
" Yes, their bread is good, I allow," said the
chief, " and so is their coffee, but their hogs are
foul beasts, and as to their whisky, it makes
our people as mad as devils. You know that
no Indian ever killed another tribesman or ran
away with his squaw, till the fire-water came.
Yes, this is one of their devil's actions, the
bringing it among us. Indeed, I don't know
anything but ill they have brought us. Now
they are going to send small-pox to kill us all.
We must be beforehand with them. Let us all
keep a sharp look-out from here. We can see
all the white men that pass this way from the
Great Sea, or from the Homathco, or from the
Sitatqua (Fraser River); whichever way they
come we can see them approaching, and we can
shoot them from the trees before they even
know that we are here. If every Indian does
his duty, in my opinion the land will soon be
purged of these wretches."
Leaving Klatsassan and his men in their
eyrie at Puntzeen, enjoying the fruits of their
deeds of butchery, and glorying in the vain
dream of exterminating the colonists, we must
now follow the steps taken by the Government
to apprehend and bring them to justice.
1 44
The Governor of British Columbia, which was
then an independent English colony, the great
scheme of Canadian Confederation not having
as yet seen the light, was the late Mr. Frederick Seymour, C.B. As soon as news of the
outrages described above reached New Westminster, then the seat of Government, it was
determined that prompt means should be used
to bring the offenders to justice and restore
security to the colony. Whether the means
used were the wisest, the most practical, may
be questioned; when I mention that two
expeditions were sent out, that only one accomplished anything, that all it did accomplish was to take half a dozen prisoners, and
that these modest results were obtained more
by stratagem than anything else, readers may
be amused at the Brobdignagian preparations
and the Liliputian achievements.
It was thought that the best way to catch
the Chilcoaten murderers was to send after
them two costly expeditions, which, entering
the country at different points, should search
for the Indian through the impenetrable forest, «™
and scour the endless tracts of an unknown'
country, in quest of men very swift of foot, nowise capturable either by force or fleetness.
One expedition, under the leadership of the
late Mr. Brew, police-magistrate of the colony,
was to enter the country from the sea-coast at
Bentinck Sound, by the way that Macdonald's
hapless train had taken.
The other was to start from the Fraser River
and pursue a course w. and s.w. This expedition we propose to follow, guided by information derived from no second-hand source. Its
history will furnish some interesting notices of
colonial and Indian fife.
Early in June, Mr. Cox, stipendiary magistrate and gold-commissioner of Quesnel-
mouth, a flourishing little town on the Upper
Fraser, and the principal depot for the mines
of Cariboo (situated about sixty miles distant
in a n.e. direction), received instructions to get
together a party of volunteers, and go after
Klatsassan and his accomplices. No man
could have been better selected for the command of such an expedition. Together with
great experience of frontier life, he possessed
much knowledge of Indian character. Personally endowed with a rare combination of affability and firmness, he was peculiarly well fitted 46
to command the body of strong-willed and undisciplined miners and backwoodsmen who consented to place themselves under his authority.
A man of infinite humour, his very presence made
men smile with honest delight, not only from
the genial mirth which twinkled in his eye, but
in anticipation of the fun which they knew was
ready to break from his lips. He possessed
the rare power of noting and appropriating the
ludicrous phenomena whereof this grave world
is full, and pouring them forth deliciously on
all who came about him by look and tone and
smile, as well as in what he actually said. Such
a quality would, of course, make him very popular with his men, and indeed it went far to keep
them good-humoured and obedient amid the
difficulties and hardships of the expedition.
The instructions Mr. Cox received were to
enter the Chilcoaten territory at Alexandria,
and travel on until he should meet Mr. Brew's
party coming from the coast. He was directed
to use every possible means to catch and bring
in the murderers. He was to avoid coming
into collision with the Indians, who were to be
made to understand that the object of the
Government was not to make war on them,
but simply and solely to apprehend and punish
the offenders. *
Mr. Cox assembled his men, to the number
of fifty, at Alexandria. They consisted chiefly
of miners and gold-seekers, out of all nations.
A few others there were, who belonged to the
estate of gentlemen: retired officers of the army
and navy, who had stumbled upon a colony little
suited to them. Attracted by the Government
grants of land by which a grateful country
rewarded their services, they had found the
boon a questionable one. For it necessitated
their settling amid the solitudes of an immense
country, where, with flour sometimes from two
shillings to a dollar a pound, and labour from
11. to 21. a day, they had to toil like common
labourers at clearing the forest, and making
themselves some rude kind of home, for years
before they could look for any returns. The
recompense would be great, no doubt, when it
came, but meanwhile the work was almost more
than any man could endure, excepting those
accustomed to hard manual labour from their
youth. Chances were, long before the harvest
of their hopes, they would break down or
starve, and. selling out at much loss, leave the
fruit of their arduous toil for other hands to
gather.    A hard lot surely, almost unbearable.
A few of those officer-farmers had found
their way to Alexandria, and joined the ex- 18
pedition. I am sorry to say, and this was one
of the evils of their mistake, the company they
had come to join was not select. They were
roughs—I It is a rough country, and the men
in it are rougher yet," was a remark I often
heard in British Columbia, and never was
truer thing said.
Such, then, were some of the general characteristics of the sort of men who joined Mr.
Cox's party. Plainly to such men discipline
was no welcome thought, if indeed it was an
intelligible one; and yet unless their captain
could contrive to teach it them, his labour
must perforce be in vain. He accordingly
determined to show them that, with all his
genial kindness, he yet knew how to hold a
stiff rein in a tight hand, and so made known
to them his first order of the day, which was,
that the first man who promoted a quarrel
should be discharged, no matter where they
were. This decree was likely to'ensure peace
and quietness, first condition of success and
progress in that, as indeed most enterprises.
The prospect of being turned out of the camp,
perhaps hundreds of miles from a white habitation, into the wilderness to starve, was sure
to have a salutary and deterrent influence.
Before they had got well clear of Alexandria, A  STIFF  REIN  IN A TIGHT  HAND.
this law had to be put in force.. One evening
one of the men (who had formerly been a constable in Cariboo) came into camp intoxicated,
and drew a revolver and a knife on his comrades. The captain, hearing the noise, came
out, and as he saw the swaggering and blatant
ruffian brandishing his weapons and threatening to shoot all present, he determined to make
an example of him. He bade him decamp that
instant, and as the man, already more than
half sobered, stood staring at him, the further
order was given, that if he did not leave the
camp within ten minutes, the men might do
whatever they liked to him, and he, Captain
Cox, would bear the responsibility. The
words had the anticipated effect. The man
jumped up and ran off, leaving his blankets in
his haste. After this, not an angry word was
heard amongst the men during the whole
The men were armed with the Lancaster
rifle,—very unwisely, as it turned out. Of
course breech-loaders were hardly in use then,
but even the common fowling-piece would have
proved a more handy weapon. In Indian warfare quick firing is half the battle, and it
happened not unfrequently, that while the
rifleman was engaged in adjusting the sight
m 50
for the spot where the enemy was first espied,
the nimble Indian had materially increased the
distance, or even had entirely disappeared.
Thus armed the party set out. They left
Alexandria on the 6th of June, taking a
westerly direction. They took along with
them a pack-train with a month's provisions.
On the 10th they gained the river Chile o,
sixty-six miles from Alexandria. For the first
four days they travelled through a wooded and
hilly country. They found an Indian trail, but
it was often encumbered with fallen timber.
Two axemen had therefore to go in front of
the party and clear a path through the logs.
Part of the way lay through a burnt forest.
Some great fire had swept across the country
and turned its greenness into desolation.
Nothing could be seen for miles on either
hand of the path, but the charred trunks,
standing in melancholy crowds—sable ghosts
of the monarchs of the wood.    Amongst them
the wind made a most mournful creaking and
clattering with many weird and curious sounds.
It was with no small feeling of relief that our
party emerged from this forest of the dead,
Chilco river.2    Nothing could
and gained the
2 This river gives its name to the tribe, Cbilco-atin,
of the Chilco.
exceed the beauty of the scene that lay before
them, as they descended upon the valley of the
Chilco. The clear bright stream gleamed on
them, as in joyous welcome. Along its banks
stretched meadows clothed with luxuriant
herbage, and richly adorned with those countless varieties of wild flowers which form so
attractive a feature of the colony. The Chilco
was a favourite camping-ground of the Indians;
a branch of the Chilcoatens, under a chief
named Alexis, had their usual head-quarters
there. When our party arrived, however,
there was not one to be seen. The Indians,
as was afterwards ascertained, had taken fright,
and fled. They had heard of the gathering of
armed men at Alexandria, and a rumour had
arisen that the object of the expedition was
the extermination of the natives. So they had
all left their homes, and vanished, no one knew
whither. This was a great disappointment,
for the chief, Alexis, was known to be friendly,
and our party had hoped to have had his
help in apprehending the men they were in
quest of.
Accordingly, finding the Chilco camp deserted, Mr. Cox pushed on to Puntzeen, which
he reached in ten days. Here they found the
marks of Indian ferocity in the devastation of
e 2
W msmmmsm
the house and property of the unfortunate
Manning. After some search they discovered
his remains in the bed of the stream where
they had been concealed. Mr. Cox held an
inquest, when the body was identified by one
of the men, after which it was decently buried.
Mr. Maclaine (a late factor of the Hudson Bay
Company, who had joined the expedition as a
volunteer) read the Burial Service.
Mr. Cox had now advanced a considerable
distance, upwards of ninety miles, into this
terra incognita, and he seemed as far from his
object as ever. After the funeral of poor
Manning, he and Maclaine, and one or two
others, discussed by their camp-fire at Punt-
zeen Lake, the important question of what was
to be done next. The natural thing was to
follow up the Indians, but how and whither ?
Which of all the numerous trails diverging,
from  Puntzeen would lead to their   camp ?
Even if we knew where to go, even if we
tracked them to their hiding-place, what,"
they asked each other, " can we do with them ?
We cannot attack them, for we are distinctly
forbidden to make war on them. Our orders
are solely to arrest the murderers, and who is
there to point out to us who of any natives we
may capture are the murderers ?"   The only Kffl^pj
way out of these difficulties appeared to be to
procure an Indian guide, who might both show
the way, and point out the criminals. Mr. Cox
accordingly determined to make an effort to
ascertain where Alexis was, and if possible
obtain his assistance. For that purpose Maclaine started, June 13th, with a small party,
for the forks of Chilco river, where it is joined
by the Chesco, a point about forty-five miles
to the s.w. This being a great rendezvous of
the Chilcoatens, it was hoped that Alexis
would be found there. Mr. Cox was to await
their return at Puntzeen.
The afternoon of the day Maclaine left, the
party at Puntzeen became aware of the vicinity
of the Indians. When last we saw Klatsassan,
it will be remembered that he was encamped
on the summit of a wooded hill, on the lookout for any unfortunate whites who might pass
that way. His position commanded a view of
the converging trails, so that, though himself
unseen, he could see all who approached. We
may imagine the astonishment with which he
witnessed the arrival of our party. In his
ignorance, he was absolutely unprepared for
such a demonstration of power on the part of
the whites. His courage did not fail him, but
it was, to say the least of it, an anxious hour m&st*
for him, as he saw our men defiling round
the foot of his hill, and within so short distance of him that he could hear their voices.
No eye could better mark the points of a man,
and he could easily see that in the matter of
physique those men were very different from
his fellow-countrymen. His eye fell on lithe
and stalwart frames, on countenances full of
intelligence and self-reliance. A type of
character so unlike the Indian, who alone is
nothing, however brave he may be at times in
company with others, could not fail to strike
our chief. He felt they belonged to a race
which was destined, wherever they went, to
have dominion. "Each man as a king and
the son of a king." No, his people never
could stand against such as these. All he
could do against them he would do, but sooner
or later the Redskin (who in fact had been
degenerating for generations before the whites
came near them) must go down. "Yes, the
sun of the Indian race is near its setting. The
days of Owhalmewha soon shall pass into
eternal night." So thought Klatsassan, and imparted his apprehensions to his tribe, in whose
anxious faces, however, he sought in vain—
" What reinforcement h"e might gain from hope,
If not, what resolution from despair."
y^'w&wisgig^Gy^'iyCTSP^^'ft^'flv^w^ RE-APPEARANCE  OF KLATSASSAN.
The manner in which Mr. Cox's men were
made aware of the nearness of the Indians was
simply this : two of them saw one of their dogs
in the wood. Oh their reporting this to the
captain, he sent eight men to the hill, with
orders to seize and bring to him any Indians
they could catch. Following the tracks of the
dog, the men went up towards the Indian
camp, when suddenly they were fired upon
from amongst the trees. Indians, to the
number of six, presently appeared in the wood,
and got fired at by our men, though with no
particular result in loss of life or limb to any of
them. The Indians had dodged behind trees, and
reloading, they fired a second time; this time
wounding one of the whites. They then darted
Off, passing swiftly from tree to tree, and were
soon lost sight of. Klatsassan, the men said,
was of the party. Very probably, we should
think. Meanwhile Mr. Cox, hearing the firing,
had come out with twenty more men. These
dispersing in all directions ranged hither and
thither, but did not so much as catch sight of
their nimble foes. Some of them passed quite
close beneath the Indian camp, as the Indians
afterwards declared. For a distance of four miles
our men continued the pursuit, but at length
they had to return to camp without success.
Klatsassan, now back in his eyrie, saw our
men wending homewards; and not without a
sense of exultation, for his side had certainly
had the best of it. In truth he now felt that
the Paleskins were not so dangerous as they
had appeared the day before. They were not
half so quick as the Indians, and their big
rifles seemed far less manageable than the old
Hudson Bay muskets his men were armed with,
and their bullets hit very wide of the mark.
Those big men coming crushing through the
bush, could, he thought, easily be evaded by
the agile Redskins, with eyes like hawks, and
ears like hares, slipping quietly from tree to
tree, and ready ever to fire and to flee. So
for himself and his men, the chief now felt confident there was no ground for anxiety: and
thanks to the trivial success of this first
encounter, his apprehensions of the previous
day gave way to hope and confidence. At the
same time, when he thought of his wives and
family—he had two wives and six children—
and of the other women and children of the
camp—he did confess to himself that the affair
had been too close to be altogether pleasant.
He was devoted to his family, as indeed
Indians invariably are, and knowing nothing
of the whites, he could not anticipate what
E^t.Vff-^^H*W^W^^lPBffA'^^>y-'-1^ SENDS AWAY THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN.     57
treatment they would receive at the hands of
his enemies. (He need not, of course, have been
apprehensive on that score, for the captain of
the expedition, who had now absolute control
over his men, was the most chivalrous and kind-
hearted of mortals.) In any case to let such
hostages fall into their enemy's hand, would
have been suicidal policy—and Klatsassan was
wise in resolving as he did. He determined
to abandon his camp, and move to a remote
spot where the whites could never find them.
Accordingly, very early next day they struck
their tents, and prepared to depart. Having
rolled up the tents, together with their skins
and blankets, having also packed up what rude
utensils they possessed, the provisions they
had plundered at Manning's, and their own
salmon and berries, to those of the squaws
who had no babies to carry, they assigned to
each her " pack." These bundles were fixed
by a strap to the forehead of the bearer, and
in the same way the cradled infants were
carried by their mothers. The men, preux
chevaliers, for the most part bore no other
burden than their muskets and their hunting-
knives. The chief, however, sallied forth with
a child perched on each shoulder. And so
they defiled in the grey of dawn from their 58
hill-camp, and passing noiselessly through the
wood, went on their way, journeying towards
the setting sun.
Klatsassan did not, however, accompany his
people to their new and distant quarters.
When they were fairly out of danger, he left
. them to pursue the journey, and returned with
a few followers to the neighbourhood of his
old camp, to keep watch on the " King George
men." Late in the afternoon of the day of
their flight, he and his comrades appeared on
a hill within sight of the whites, fired a volley
of defiance, and then vanished into the wood.
Our men wished to give chase, but it was
thought better not. Their leader, being in
absolute ignorance of the number of the enemy,
imagined this a device to lure our men into
the wood, where they might be surrounded
and shot from behind trees, without a chance
to return the fire. He deemed it, accordingly,
more prudent to abstain for the time from
active hostilities until the arrival of Maclaine
with more intelligence of the Indians and
possibly with the much-needed guides.
The party were detained at Puntzeen from
one cause and another far longer than they
anticipated. Indeed, they do not appear to
have struck their tents and moved on before THE VOLUNTEERS ENJOYING THEMSELVES.     59
the 7th of July.    For men of energy it was no
small trial to remain inactive so long.    A few,
indeed, little heeded what they did or did not
do, so long as they had food and good wages
and light work.    But the majority chafed at
the  delay.     Not  that  they were altogether
without  occupation  or amusement.     On the
contrary, scouting parties were sent out every
day to scour the country round, always returning,   however,  without   having   seen   or
heard any Indians.    Wherever they saw signs
of Indian industry, they destroyed them, with
a view to forcing the Indians  to  surrender.
Thus they destroyed their fishing-apparatus on
the lakes  and rivers, and likewise whatever
caches of provisions they fell in with.  At other
times, when not engaged on those excursions,
the men found plenty of sport in the streams
and woods; those teemed with the loveliest
trout, and these abounded in blue grouse, and
to men whose rations were beans and bacon
and flour, fish and game were no contemptible
addition to the mess.    In those fine summer
evenings when the sun went down, they would
sit   round  the  log fire   (for even in warm
weather there is a sharpness about the air in
that   country at  night which makes  a fire
leasant) and smoke and entertain each other 60
with yarns out of their previous not uneventful
histories; while the sentries posted on the
margin of the wood were on the look-out to
guard against surprise.
Owing to the detention at Puntzeen, the stock
of provisions now became exhausted, and a
pack-train was accordingly despatched to Alexandria for a fresh supply. A packer known as
Missouri Dick was sent in charge of the train.
Now, this Dick was by nature a coward; he
had, moreover, a very special dread of Indians.
His thoughts by night and by day were of
mounted Chilcoatens suddenly appearing, or of
reports of musketiy from the brush. An escort
of ten men had been told off to accompany the
mule-train as far as the Chilco river. When
they left to return to Puntzeen, the men, aware
of Dick's weakness, discharged their rifles
within ear-shot of him. The packer thought
it was the Indians at last. He put spurs to
his horse; with vigorous blows he urged on
his mules; all set off at a gallop, and never
stopped for more than an hour till they reached BUNCH-GRASS  OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA.
their destination. Yet those animals pei'formed
this journey of sixty miles on no other provender than the grass of the country. Doubtless fear can inspire man, and, through
man, beast, to perform prodigies; but the
fact that these animals could have done so
much on such feed, illustrates in a curious
way the admirable properties of the bunch-
grass of British Columbia. It is well known
to botanists and to farmers in North America,
that the bunch-grass (elymus condensatus) of
the plateaux in this and adjacent countries
has a marvellously nutritious virtue. Pack-
animals will work on it better than on
On the 16th of June Maclaine returned from
his journey in quest of Alexis. He reported
having fallen in with the Indians eighteen
miles from Puntzeen. At first the Indians
seemed inclined to show fight; but on Maclaine
intimating that it was peace, they became
quite friendly. They said Alexis was not at
home, he was out hunting on the mountains,
and promised to send for him. He would be
with them in two days, they said. Two days
passed, and still no signs of him. In fact, he
did not turn up at all at that time. He probably felt that although Klatsassan was his 62
enemy, still he was an Indian, and it would
never do to betray him to the palefaces, whom
he no doubt in his heart considered the natural
enemies of his race.
One day, July 6th, news reached our friends
of a large party of white men having been
seen on the trail from the coast.    This proved
to be the other force under Mr. Brew.    This
party was formed at New Westminster, and
came   to   the   north-west   coast   in   H.M.S.
"Sutlej."    They were landed at the  head of
navigation, at Bentinck Arm.    The first few
days they made but little progress, for they
had the greatest difficulty in bringing their
pack-train into subjection.    This consisted of
wild half-broken native horses which gave incessant   trouble.    Indeed,   on the fourth  or
fifth day after they left the coast, the whole
cavalcade " stampeded," resulting in what one
of the party3 describes as " a Bull Run on a
small scale;  pack-saddles here, ropes there,
flour, blankets, bacon, beans, buckets, and a
heterogeneous mass of fixins, scattered along
the trail in the most delectable confusion, all
caused by starting before we were ready, and
stopping before we wanted to."    The pack-
s « Diary of a Volunteer," in the British Colonist, Oct. 18,
1864. A  STAMPEDE.
horses, this writer goes on to say, were loaded
with about three hundred pounds, instead
of about one hundred and fifty, and consequently would occasionally endeavour to
lighten their grievances as well as their loads
by kicking till everything went flying.
On the 28th of June this party arrived at
the foot of the Great Slide. A rather startling
incident occurred at this point. As the packers
were toilsomely wending their way up the
steep, they were astonished by the sudden
appearance of a stalwart savage, painted and
plumed, who, springing up from behind a
clump of firs, fiercely shouted, "Kar mika
chako?" ("Why come you?") After glaring
on them for a few seconds, the " brave " sunk
down behind the bushes, to the great relief of
the packers. The same trick was tried by
the Indian on Lieutenant Stewart of H.M.S.
" Sutlej," who happened to be some distance
behind the train, but the officer brought his
revolver to bear on him, and marched him
off a prisoner to head-quarters.
Without further adventure, this party proceeded till they reached Puntzeen, where our
friends were encamped. Among the party
was his Excellency the Governor, who had
been  anxious to explore this portion of the
■w mmmmm
vast territory committed to his charge, and
had been glad to avail himself of the opportunity afforded by this expedition.
The force under Mr. Brew consisted of
forty-five men, most of whom belonged to
the Royal Engineers stationed at New Westminster; well disciplined men, presenting rather
a contrast to the rougher followers of Captain
Let it be noted, however, that these last
gave spontaneously three cheers for the Governor on his arrival in their camp. It was a
singular meeting. Representative of Majesty,
soldiers of the old country far away, magistrates or gold-commissioners of the new colony;
roughs, the pioneers who had scented out its
gold and been the occasion of its becoming a
colony at all—here met and fraternized round
their respective camp-fires on the shore of
this far-away lake as they discussed with
hearty appetites the rudest fare, beans and
The day after the Governor's arrival, July
7th, Mr. Cox and his party struck their tents
and packed their mules and marched away
towards Bute Inlet. As they travelled, they
sent out scouting parties in all directions in
quest of Indians.    None, however, were to be ADVANCE  TO  THE  HOMATHCO.
seen. One day a party came upon a new trail,
where they noticed innumerable horse-tracks :
these they followed up a distance of thirty
miles (the marks becoming fresher as they
proceeded), through a thickly-wooded and
hilly country. But all the tracks ended in a
village of deserted Indian lodges. Here they
found a cache containing flour, bacon, saddles,
&c, sure evidence of a robbery. These, as
they afterwards discovered, were the spoil of
the Macdonald affair.
On the 12th of July they reached the headwaters of the Homathco, which flows into Bute
Inlet, where they remained a few days, still
scouring the country as well as they could for
Indians, much as one might search for needles
in a mountain of straw. All the while they
were searching for them far afield, Klatsassan
and his friends were hovering close by, laughing, I dare say, in their sleeves, or at least in
their blankets, at their futile attempts to catch
them. By July 16th provisions had again run
short. What was to be done ? Stay where
they were, whilst they sent back for fresh
supplies ? But cui bono ? This sort of thing
might last for months, and their object be as
far from gained as ever. In the summer time
the Indians could easily elude their pursuers
Liaw^lffl? 66
in the thick foliage of their woods; they could
find means of life in the service-berries and
many other kinds of berries which all these
months, one kind after another, in rich variety
and thick profusion, clustered in the trees and
bushes, or amid the grass. Winter, Mr. Cox
accordingly concluded, must be the time to
catch them, if they were ever to be caught.
So he determined to give it up for the present
and return to Puntzeen.
Our friends accordingly packed up their
traps, rather crestfallen, we may suppose, at
the complete, and, in some respects, ridiculous
failure of their expedition, so far at least.
Still, like pioneers and others who have been
pretty well knocked about by circumstances,
they resolved to make the best of things, and
departed on their home journey. On the day
of their leaving the Homathco, one of the men
having occasion to return to the place where
they had camped, found several Indians sitting
complacently smoking the calumet of peace by
their late camp-fire. On his reporting this,
some of our men were sent back to catch
them, if they could. As soon as the Indians
saw them they bolted; our lads fired, and
gave chase. For three hours they ran them
through  and  through, the wood;  and smart fit
fellows they must have been to keep sight
of any of them so long. At last they could
see but one :—the rest had vanished no one
knew whither. The Indian was tall and
well built, very muscular as well as very
swift of foot. Nevertheless, he appeared to
be getting exhausted, and the pursuers were
gaining on him. They fired at him two or
three shots, but did not succeed in hitting
him. At last he ran forth from the forest,
and, crossing a plain, reached a lagoon. Crack
went a rifle, and a bullet went hissing over his
head. In a moment he had thrown away his
blanket, and plunged into the water. The
whites, reaching the water, saw only the ripples
which indicated the plunge. A minute or two
later Klatsassan, for it was he, was replenishing his lungs among the reeds under the opposite bank.
As for our unsuccessful volunteers, they
hastened to make the best of their way after
their party, whom they found already encamped
for the night in an open space on the margin
of the forest. In front, beyond a lovely stream,
rose a stately mountain, steep, and covered with
the sombre pine. Near the summit was a single
bare space, the rest being densely wooded. A
rugged ravine intersected the mountain; down
f 2 68
which, hardly discernible for the trees, a noisy
stream hastened to join that other which, less
impetuous and less jubilant, wandered by the
white men's tents. It was whilst camping
here that the only casualty of the expedition
worthy of the name took place.
In the death of Maclaine the colony lost a
valuable man, and one of its oldest immigrants.
A native of the Isle of Mull, he possessed the
true Highland fire and dash; perhaps, indeed,
rather a dash too much of it. Early in life he
joined the Hudson Bay Company, and became
in time one of their most successful agents.
In the course of a life full of adventure he had
had many dealings with Indians of various
tribes, and not always of a friendly nature.
In fact, he seems to have made it his business
to be among them a kind of incarnation of
wild justice, and to avenge, by swift and summary retribution, crimes which had otherwise
gone unpunished, and bred fresh deeds of
violence. For instance, he it was who slew
the treacherous knave who murdered Black,
the Hudson Bay agent at Fort Kamloops; the THE AVENGER OF BLOOD. 69
Indian also who, in cold blood, did to death
a Canadian at that river of doom, known in
consequence as Deadman's Creek (Riviere des
Defunts), fell by his hand.
In consequence of these exploits, Maclaine
had become to several tribes an object of hate
and terror indescribable; among these he was
known as the Fierce Chief (Kuschte te'Kukkpe).
Often they tried to wreak their vengeance on
him, but he seemed to lead a charmed life: and
instead of falling into the hands of his enemies
he slew them on each occasion, even as the
brave wild men of Jewish history were wont
to do in days in yore, or like the stout and
unscrupulous chieftains of his own Scottish
mountains. He had stories to tell which
would stir men's blood and make their flesh
creep. And the listener, whilst enthralled by
the horror of his tales, was hardly less horrified
to think that the principal actor in such scenes,
even though of necessary retribution, should
be able, with flashing eye and impassioned
look, with his own lips to relate them. It was
said, although this was probably an exaggeration, that in the course of a tolerably long
career as many as nineteen Indians had by his
hand met their doom, and some thought that
an occasion might  arise for  completing  the
laandSSi^fi 70
score. I doubt the accuracy of the statement,
but if it was true, the tale remained unfulfilled :
for that twentieth time it was himself who
It appears orders had been given for no one
to leave the camp without permission. But
Maclaine, who chafed at the delays and ill-
success of the expedition, so great a contrast
to his previous raids against Indians, where,
being his own master, he had known how to
strike swift and sure, grew impatient, and
determined to try if he could not do something
himself. He invited an Indian lad, a camp-
servant, to go with him up the hill in front of
them. He said he was sure there were Indians
there. Jack said it was dangerous to go there.
" Are you afraid ?" said the Highlander.
Indian Jack said, " No, he was not afraid, but
he had no particular wish to be shot." " Oh,"
said Maclaine, " there's no danger, come along."
So the lad went with him. Leaving the
camp, they went up the trail in front of them
which led up the hill by the ravine. On either
side of the trail the trees^ and brush were very
"See/' said Jack, "fresh tracks on the
path; men and women both, I think." Then
when they had gone a little farther: " Look MACLAINE  SHOT  BY  THE  INDIANS.
out, Mr. Maclaine, these tracks quite fresh;
Indians not far away." " No, no/' said Maclaine, " no Indians here, they've run away
over the hill. We'll go up on the hill, and
try and find their camp." Jack asked him
not to speak so loud. " If Indians on the hill
they hear us, and shoot us." So they went
on up the hill. Presently Maclaine caught
sight of a slight screen of fir boughs piled
against the trunk of a tall tree, and commanding the approach. " He at once threw forward his rifle, and prepared to fire, but for
once Indian cunning proved too much even
for his thorough knowledge of Indian tactics.
The screen of boughs was merely a blind, and
while Maclaine's eagle eye was fixed on the
spot, expecting to see the muzzle of a musket
protruded, the sharp click of a gun-lock was
heard from a clump of willows on the opposite
side of the trail." 4 Jack heard it, and hastily
threw himself down. But Maclaine was not
so quick. Another second and he fell pierced
through the heart by a bullet. Jack, over
whose prostrate body a second bullet passed
harmlessly, now sprang to his feet, and raising
a loud war-whoop, hastened back to the camp
4 Letter from a Volunteer, in the British Colonist, Oct. 18,
1864. 72
with his sad intelligence. Meanwhile, the
shots had been heard in the camp below, and
the smoke seen rising from among the trees.
Then the Indian's shout was heard. Captain
Cox at once inquired who was missing. Presently Maclaine was found to be absent, and
the boy Jack. The Captain, who well knew
Maclaine's disposition, saw how it was, and
surmised the worst. He ordered a party of
twenty men out in pursuit.
The men seized their arms, and hurried up
the ravine; as they went, the ground being
rough and the trail narrow, one of them accidentally discharged his rifle, and the ball
passed through his leg. Those in front instantly wheeled round, for some one cried,
" They're behind us !" The man whose gun
had gone off, cocked it, to have a shot at the
Indians supposed to be in the rear; he, too,
turned round and said, " Where are they ?"
The others, however, noticed that he was
bleeding and saw he had shot himself. The
unfortunate man was taken back to the camp.
The rest went on up the trail till they came
upon the body of Maclaine. He was lying on
his face quite dead. They tenderly lifted him
up and bore him down to the camp.
Great   was   the   consternation   among  the GRIEF AT  HIS  DEATH. 73
men when the body of Maclaine was brought
in. The deceased had been immensely popular
for his kindliness, his unwearying energy, and
the good will with which he undertook any
work that wanted doing. Besides the regret
afr losing a comrade, there was the humiliating
reflection that, without having struck a blow,
or caught a single Indian, the Captain had
lost the bravest, most experienced, and most
available man of his party. Anxious as he was
to avenge his death, he yet hardly knew how.
Of what avail to attempt to find their enemies in so dense a network of brush as that
which covered the mountain side ? As he
stood considering, and thinking what to
do, his lieutenant, Mr. Fitzgerald, standing
beside him, was scanning with a glass the
mountain opposite. Near its summit there
was, as already observed, a bare space amid
the dark surrounding mass of forest, and on
that Fitzgerald descried five Indians. One of
them, a man of imposing height, was standing
in an attitude of defiance, with a red blanket
depending from his right arm. His right hand
grasped the muzzle of a gun, the stock of
which rested on the ground: his left hand
was doubled under his left shoulder. Thus
stood Klatsassan, like a veritable son of the mm.
mountain, seeming monarch of all he surveyed. His face was turned in the direction
of the white man's camp, as indicated by
the blue smoke curling upwards in the still
evening air. The four other Indians were
sitting grouped round this central figure,
evidently engaged in close conversation. Their
subject was undoubtedly the great event of the
evening—to wit, the death of their great enemy,
the Kiischte Kukkpe.
One of those four sitting round was Chesuss,
of whom we have heard before, and shall hear
again; another was Taloot; a third was Shili-
lika, the man who fired the fatal shot.
" You have done good work to-day, Shili-
lika," said the Chief; " the Kiischte Kukkpe
will never send a Redskin more to the land of
"Ay," said Taloot, "that was a brave shot,
and many a warrior's spirit will gain entrance
to-night to the hunting-fields of the blessed."
'' How, who is he ? " asked Shililika.
" What, the man you shot ?—not know him,
Shililika? Why, man, it's Mr. Maclaine, of
Pasilqua.    The place they call Buonaparte."
" Surely I have heard of him," said the
other. .
" Heard! who has not heard of him ?   He AN  INTERRUPTED  CONVERSATION. 7o
was the terror of all Tlakalmooch (the Indians)
in the south and east. He was cleverer than a
thousand Bostons (Americans) or King George
men (English) either. These don't know
us or our country. They can't track us or
catch us, not they. But Mr. Maclaine was
different; he was sharp as a weasel, and
stealthy as a panther, and brave as a grizzly
bear. . It's a good job; we've little to fear, I
fancy, from the rest of them, now that he's
" Hist!" said Klatsassan, " see that smoke!"
and half a dozen bullets came whistling, above
his head, and lodged themselves in the trees
behind where he stood. The Indians did not
wait to give our friends below an opportunity
to improve their aim. In a twinkling, Klatsassan, dropping the heroic, swung his red
blanket round him and was off. The rest followed, and the bare spot on the mountain's
brow was empty and silent as before.
It is hardly necessary to add that a party
was instantly sent off after them, but they
only got a flying shot at the savages as they
ran. Cox then ordered the hill to be surrounded ; this was done on three sides—on the
fourth was a deep lagoon about sixty yards
wide.     The Indians plunged in, and got safe 76
to the other side, though again fired at. On
proceeding to the spot where the Indians had
been seen as described, the men found the
marks of their bullets in the trees five feet
above where Klatsassan had stood.
That evening the body of poor Maclaine was
consigned to the earth, one of the party reading the Burial Service. A great fire was made
over the grave and for yards round it. This,
was done with a view to conceal the place of
burial, lest the Indians should dishonour the
remains of one whom they had so feared and
On July 20th the party regained Puntzeen.
Mr. Brew's force was still there, having been
occupied in exploring all the surrounding
country. The Governor was also still with
them. Mr. Cox made his report to his Excellency, and stated his opinion that it was
impossible to catch the Indians, and that,
unless they could be induced to give themselves up, they must be let alone till winter, RETURN TO PUNTZEEN. 77
when another expedition could be sent after
This, however, was not to become necessary.
"The Indians, who had kept aloof at first,"
writes Lieut. Cooper, in a Government Despatch, published by Mr. Birch, then Colonial
Secretary, in the Columbian of Aug. 5, 1864,
" began to familiarize themselves with the presence of the white force in the centre of the
country. Women first came into the camp to
trade, and finally Alexis was induced to present
himself to the Governor. He came on horseback with a considerable retinue. There was
great embarrassment and some alarm in his
manner at first, but by degrees both disappeared, and he agreed to take active steps for
the apprehension of the murderers. For
several days he professed to consider the
whole affair as a war in which it was his duty
to remain neutral. The supply of provisions
having become exceedingly low, it was a matter
of regret to the Governor, that the reception
given to Alexis and his party was not of a
liberal nature. Indeed, but for the indefatigable exertions of the Bella Coola Indians in
fishing, the New Westminster party would
have been reduced to considerable straits for
want of food.    The scale of rations was cut
p 78
down very low; but the Volunteers and others
bore their privations without a murmur, and
the most perfect order prevailed in camp."
Nothing definite appears to have been arranged with Alexis at this time ; but it seemed
that matters were in train for bringing the
business to a close, and getting possession of
the prisoners. The Governor accordingly determined to carry out his intention of visiting
the gold-diggings of Cariboo; and, indeed, his
presence was much desired there. The miners
felt that the representative of the Queen would
do well to come and see the most important
part of his whole dominion, its treasure-house,
and, in summer, its most peopled district.
Thus, when his Excellency, leaving Puntzeen,
and performing successfully the arduous journey, appeared at Richfield, he was received
with much enthusiasm. The miners took him
over their claims, and loaded him with " specimens." They gave him a " big" dinner, in
the course of which, I recollect, the room waxing close, and air being wanted in—an honest
miner simply pushed his elbow through the
window, as the most expeditious means of
ventilation. They bestowed on him every
mark of their rough but honest regard.
Among such men, a spirit of enterprise and an HIS EXCELLENCY  GOES  ON  TO  CARIBOO.      79
affable manner go far to make a great man
popular, and Governor Seymour possessed
these qualities in a high degree. Indeed, he
was a man liked by all classes of the community, and when, three years later, his life
came to an abrupt end, there were .many to
regret the sudden and untimely close of his
Mr. Seymour was the second Governor of
the colony. The first was Sir James Douglas,
K.C.B., a man to whom the colony owes much;
more, probably, than it will fully acknowledge
while he lives. One who could raise himself
through sheer force of character, from a clerkship in a Hudson's Bay Company's office, to be
chief factor of that Company, west of the
Rocky mountains, and then to become a Governor of one of England's colonies, and who,
after his elevation, had skill and patience to
preside over the colony's early struggles and
laborious development, and finally had wisdom,
when his work was done, to retire from the
Governorship, and leave it to men better versed
in liberal institutions, and more able to form a
constitution such as a British colony requires;
surely such a man deserves the admiration and
gratitude of his fellow-countrymen—above all,
of the  colonists themselves.    And if he was 80
apt to rule them somewhat arbitrarily, was not
such mode of government, indeed, the best
suited for men engaged with the struggle for
existence which marks the early years of a
colony, and, consequently, with little leisure to
bestow upon politics ?
August 5th, an Indian, named Joe, arrived
from Klatsassan's camp. He insisted on being
taken at once to the white chief's tent. The
captain received him with his wonted courtesy,
and motioned him to a bearskin. He said he
had come from his chief with a message for the
whites who had been at Tatla, the place where
Maclaine was shot. He was to say that the
Indians wished for peace, but if the whites
dared to come into that country again, they
should be shot—every one of them. A plucky
thing surely, for an Indian to venture into a
camp   of whites with  such a-
!    On
hearing it, the captain, astounded, as he might
well be, at such audacity, was yet more delighted at the man's courage. However, he
expressed no astonishment, still less admiration,
but quietly bade the Indian go back, and say THE INDIANS  TRY TO  MAKE TERMS.
to his chief that the men who had killed the
King  George  men,  at  Homathco  and  elsewhere, must all be given up; that he should
give  the   Indians  no   rest  until   they  were
given up.    This was the work which his chief
had bade him do, and he would do it if it
took him twenty years.    Then came a second
message from Klatsassan, inquiring what Captain Cox would do to the men who killed the
whites in the event of their being given up, and
whether he would kill them.    The Indian who
came with the message brought some money,
about twenty-two dollars, whether as a token
of the chief's humility and willingness to treat,
or as a sort of ransom-money, I cannot say.
The answer to this was that Captain Cox would
not destroy them, he had no power to injure
them, he should only keep them, till the great
chief came down country (Judge Begbie), and
then pass them on to him to ba tried.    If they
did not give themselves up within four days,
. he  added, war should be waged against all
Indians indiscriminately.
This message was unfortunately misunderstood. Klatsassan supposed it to mean, that if
they gave themselves up, their fives should be
spared. I am not prepared to say that any
one is to blame for this, but it is a thing to be KLATSASSAN.
regretted. Under the false impression, then,
that they should not be killed, those Indians
(who might, unquestionably, have kept their
enemies at bay for an indefinite period, nay,
might, had they judiciously watched their
opportunity, have shot them down, one by one,
just as they had Maclaine) came in and gave
themselves up on the 16th of August. They
were in number seven, Klatsassan, Taloot,
Tapeet, Chesuss, Pierre, Georges, Chaloot.
They came into camp unarmed, save with
knives. They looked very fearless and defiant.
The idea of having come there to be killed was
evidently the farthest from those fierce and
fearless faces. They were ordered to give up
their knives. As soon as the order was understood, an expression of hesitancy and alarm
came over them. As for Klatsassan, he refused "point blank to give up bis. " Take it
from him," was the stern command. Instantly
two stout Californians came forward to seize
the chief. He shook them off him, and rush-
insr aside, drew the knife, and dashed it on the
floor. Irons were then brought, and their
hands and ancles fettered.
With no slight astonishment and disgust did
these Red Indians, who all their lives had been
free as the winds, now find themselves manacled IN  CAPTIVITY.
and fast bound in misery and iron. They had
fancied that they would have been allowed to
retain their liberty, and come and go about the
camp as they pleased, until the chief arrived
who was* to try them. They now found out
what a terrible mistake they had made ! But,
most of all, Klatsassan seemed to feel his
downfall. He was plunged in misery. He
tried to lay violent hands on himself. Foiled
in this attempt by the vigilance of his guard,
he next sought to bribe the Captain. He
offered him two thousand dollars' worth of
furs if he would let him go. He promised him
his daughter if he would restore him, his liberty.
Her attractions, as he explained to the Captain,
were of no common order, and she would be no
unsuitable mate for even so great a Warrior.
She was very tall, he stated, and graceful as a
deer. She had hands and feet of surprising
smallness and beauty. Her gifts were many
and rare. She could run with a wondrous
swiftness; and (crowning accomplishment!)
she could eviscerate salmon with twice the
celerity of any other woman.
But no ! Justice was not to be seduced,
even by such fascinating attributes. The chief
was told he must remain a prisoner, and be
t^aken to the white man's town on the Sitatqua, imreMiflBi
namely, Quesnelmouth, on the Fraser River,
and there remain till the arrival of the great
judge, before whom he and his compeers must
be brought. Then Klatsassan resigned himself to his fate with true Indian stoicism.
By degrees he found his bondage grow less
irksome than at first. There was muoh to
excite his interest and curiosity in the ways
and manners of the whites, to him so novel.
Then, the fare of the camp was anything but
ungrateful to a man who had been living for
the last two months on dried berries or roots,
or even sometimes on the bark of trees.
And here a word on the food of these Indians
may not be without its interest. The hunting
Indians—and Klatsassan's tribe belonged to
■this division—are very different from the fishing
Indians of the coast in many respects, amongst
others in their food; for as the one subsist
mainly on fish, the other have considerably
greater variety in their fare. In the winter
months there were different kinds of game.
Deer abounded in all parts of the country.
There was also, in the Chilcoaten district, the
Cariboo, the British Columbian reindeer, often
met with on his way from the woods which
cover the slopes of the Rocky Mountains to
the valleys  near the sea,  or on his return INDIAN  MANNER OF LIFE.
journey. Or, again, there were plenty of
mountain-sheep, or mountain-goats, occupying
the high lands. Then there was the bear,
grizzly (more rarely met with), black, or brown,
which would furnish an excellent steak (of
which the present writer can vouch that there
might be worse fare for a hungry man).
These and other quarry would reward the cunning huntsman. The Indians are naturally
indolent, and when all their supplies are exhausted, it takes a day or two of starvation to
move them to go forth on the chase. They
are also somewhat voracious, and when the
hunter has returned with his deer or sheep,
they often eat thereof more than is seemly.
Falling on the half-cooked venison or mutton,
the huntsmen, with their squaws and papooses,
devour it ravenously; when they have had
enough they sleep, and on waking seek it yet
again, until all is consumed. The more prudent or less gluttonous, dry and preserve what
is not required for immediate use. The next
article of Indian consumption is the roots,
which are very abundant in that country. The
squaws dig them up with long pointed sticks.
In April come the salmon, which, till September, continue to ascend the streams. They
come shoal upon shoal of varying degrees of. KLATSASSAN.
excellence. Those that appear in June are the
finest. They are a good size, averaging from
twenty to thirty-five pounds : some have been
caught much heavier, sometimes reaching the
extraordinary weight of seventy pounds.
By the Fraser and other rivers and their
tributaries, these creatures pass up into the
interior all over the country in search of their
spawning ground, which they-find sometimes
only in the streams which rise in the Rocky
Mountains, after a weary journey of well-nigh
ai thousand miles. Some idea of the rate at
which they travel may be formed from the
fact that in the year 1862 they appeared off
Lillooet, on the Fraser River, ten days after
they had been seen at the mouth of the river,
250 miles distant. They come in such crowds
that they crush one another to death, and
thousands are seen dead along the river's
bank. The Indians catch them in large
numbers: one way is by spearing them, a
picturesque sight. In the bow of the canoe is
the flaring pitch-pine, which both attracts the
fish and gives light for their capture. The
Indian stands with his two-headed spear ready
to impale his victim, flashing to and fro in the
dark stream beneath. Around are the grand
old rocks.    No sound is heard save the cease- THE   SALMON OF  BRITISH  COLUMBIA.
less roar of the not distant rapids, or the gentle
plash of the paddle, as the Indian in the stern
keeps the tiny craft in her place.
The Indians smoke and dry the salmon (at.
least the more provident of them do), and stow
them away in caches for winter use. Yet in a
severe winter the supply will sometimes fall
short, and then they have nothing left to live
on (unless, indeed, there chance to be a white
settlement near, where they can beg or pilfer
flour) save and except their stock of dried
fruits or berries. These grow in great profusion and variety. They are vastly superior
to the wild fruits of Europe, often attaining a
size and flavour such as only cultivation can
impart in England. The most serviceable of
these berries is the " service-berry," perhaps
so called for this reason. It is twice the size
of a black currant. The other principal berries
are the sallal, the buckle-berry or blue-berry,
the wortle-berry, salmon-berry, cranberry,
raspberry, strawberry, Oregon grape, gooseberry, and currant.
More need not be said to show that, in ordinary times, the active Indian hunter need
never be at a loss for means of life, particularly if his squaw do her part in the matter of
roots and berries, and in drying the salmon 88
and the venison her lord brings home. But
of late our friend Klatsassan had been on very
short commons. Indeed, ever since the whites'
occupation of his country he and his people
had been half starved. Their caches and
fishing- gear in the lakes and streams had been
destroyed, and they hardly dared fire a shot
for fear of wasting their ammunition, or of
attracting the attention of their foes. It was
accordingly a welcome circumstance, and no
slight solacement of their imprisonment, that
the captives had now plenty of good plain
food. True, beans and bacon may not rank
as luxuries; but then all things go by comparison, and victuals at which many persons
might be pleased to turn up their noses, may
seem as the food of gods to a Chilcoaten
savage, who for weeks has had to sustain his
strength on a diet of bark and berries.
The prisoners were allowed to have their
families, or part of them, with them; Klatsassan had one of his two squaws, and some of
his younger children; the fair daughter, however, does not appear to have been of the
number. Toowaewoot, the squaw, was at least
twenty years younger than Klatsassan. She
was well featured, with black eyes, and jet
black hair, and but for the manifest absence M^W«M'W«'Mi|^Mtl*NrKWBllM^'M'iaUM^^  T00WAEW00T.
of soap, would have passed for pretty. Her
history was this: she was the daughter of
Shopeadz, head of a tribe lying north of Chil-
coatendom. Shopeadz had given offence to
his neighbours by poaching on their hunting-
grounds and streams. So Klatsassan had put
on the black paint and thrown back the eagles'
feathers, and gone on the war-trail. His people
had defeated their enemies, and slain several of
their warriors. The chief had escaped, but his
camp and his household gods had fallen into
the hands of the Chilcoatens. Among these,
his daughter, Toowaewoot, whom Klatsassan
took to himself to wife; he had a squaw
already, but their chiefs are allowed more than
one. The marriage ceremony was of the simplest. The couple repaired to a running stream,
narrow enough for them to shake hands over
it. They joined hands, and swore to be man
and wife together. The water flowing beneath
symbolized that henceforth the currents of their
two lives should flow together in one stream,
even until they reached the ocean, death.
Toowaewoot had brought two children into
the white men's camp; the younger was a
baby, not "jn arms" exactly, but in cradle.
This was a very narrow basket, hardly big
enough to hold the little creature.    The place
ffl«&&figHBflg!^3?fflafl«iEBaaagSgS95BaB KLATSASSAN.
for its head was padded on either side, the
narrowest space conceivable being allowed for
it. The reason for this was, that as the child
was a girl, it would be her fate to bear
burdens, should she grow to woman's estate.
The burden would have to be fastened by
a broad strap to her forehead, for which purpose a high forehead would be most serviceable. It is sad, the moralizer might here
put in, thus to see, amongst so romantic a
people, too, the merest Utilitarianism so prevail
over all considerations of taste, health, and
beauty. Nevertheless, the future squaw might
some day rejoice to find the pack of skins or
salmon which she should have to carry for her
lord, or indeed the cradle with her own papoos
in it, ride so easily upon her lofty brow, instead of for ever slipping off over her head or
down upon her eyes. The phrenologist, too, if
disciples of Gall still exist, would incline to
think that this treatment of the infant cranium,
while in the cradle, must be injurious, changing the mental structure and conditions of the
subject. It is not, however, found that in those
tribes where such liberties are taken with the
skulls, the minds of the women are less vigorous or apt than in others where no such barbarous  practice  obtains.    The heads  of the INDIAN  BABIES.
male infants are never so compressed, because
the men do not carry the packs; but the boys'
cradles are also very narrow, and it is curious
to see how tightly the babies of both sexes are
swathed and tied up, before they are fixed into
them. The object of this peculiar treatment
is to make the small savage grow up " straight-
limbed and tall." Thus wedged into its basket, the child is easily carried. The whole is
slung round the mother's back, the strap being
adjusted on her forehead. The cradle is studded
with brass nails for ornament, and has attached
to it one or two small bells, which tingle the
babe to sleep as the mother trudges along.
Should she stop to gather berries or dig for
roots, she will hang the cradle to a tree lest
some snake should approach to hurt, or some
wild creature bear the precious thing away.
While they were in camp there were ever a
pair of watchful eyes on the prisoners, lest
they should attempt escape. So it happened
that some of their peculiar customs were noted.
For instance, in the middle of the night, the
Indian mothers, Toowaewoot among the rest,
would rise, remove their infants from their
baskets, and unbind them. Then taking water
into their mouths (probably to take off the
chill) they would proceed to squirt it forth
over the papoos, and so wash it from head to
foot. Next they would pour a whole basketful
of water over it, then dry it, and put it back
in its cradle. This was done at midnight.
How they guessed the time of night nobody
could imagine, but it was observed that the
ceremony was performed never much before
or after twelve o'clock.
The object of the expedition seemed now
gained, at least as far as could be hoped.  True,
all the criminals had by no means been captured, yet most of the ringleaders were prisoners.    Anahim, who was thought by some to
be the worst of all, was still at large, and the
whole tribe might justly be held responsible
for   crimes which   they  all had   aided   and
abetted.     But evidently nothing was to  be
gained  by remaining   longer   in  Chilcoaten
territory.    It was plain that the Indians could
not be caught, and it was not likely that any
more would freely surrender themselves, now
that they knew that their comrades, victims of
their own simplicity, were held in strict captivity, manacled and guarded and reserved for
the great judge—a sound which seemed to imply
some fearful prospect, and perhaps might turn
out to mean death by rope.    Accordingly Mr.
Cox broke up his camp on the 2nd of Septem- KLATSASSAN IS TAKEN TO QUESNELMOUTH.    93
ber, and journeyed by easy marches to Alexandria. Here he disbanded his force, retaining
only a sufficient number to guard the prisoners,
with whom he proceeded by the " Enterprise"
steamer to Quesnelmouth. Here he remained
awaiting the arrival of the judge from Cariboo,
where he had been holding his assize during
the summer.
The judge who was to try Klatsassan and his
accomplices was Matthew B. Begbie, first Chief
Justice of British Columbia; a man to whom
the colony owes so much, that we can hardly
pass over his name without more notice. Other
border-lands and new mining countries have
been notorious for lawlessness and violence,
but British Columbia has had the foundation
of its social structure laid in comparative peace
and quietness, and this blessing is due in great
measure to the wisdom and integrity with
which Judge Begbie has held the scales of
justice. He has been emphatically a terror to
evil-doers, and has not borne the sword in
vain. A man at once of strict justice and unbounded benevolence, his was a sympathy
extended to all living things, and not least 94
to the unhappy wretches whom it was his duty
to condemn. Year by year since 1858, he has
gone on his vast and ever widening circuit—a
circuit which, at the time we are writing of,
reached from Victoria to Similkameen and
from Cariboo to the coast—a district 300 or
400 miles long and nearly as many in breadth
—travelling often through the roughest of
countries; at times where a path would have
to be cut for him through the densest brush,
or corduroys extemporized over bottomless
Swamps—over mountains 5000 feet in height
and crowned with snow, through valleys thick
with undergrowth and infested with clouds of
mosquitoes, numerous as midges but more
mischievous. Sometimes, in these distant unknown places, he and his train, now no longer
laden with stores, have missed their way and
been lost; and then they have had to depend
for daily food upon the judge's gun and what
game might chance to appear. One day no
game whatever could be found, and the only
food to be procured was a musk rat, which
formed the dinner of the strongest digestion of
the party. His lordship, we believe, on that
occasion preferred to do penance and .fast;
doubtless deeming it hardly consistent with the
dignity of the Bench to dine on rat, THE  CHIEF JUSTICE. 95
Judge Begbie reached Quesnelmouth, September 27th; on the day following the trial
began, and was concluded the next day. The
evidence against the prisoners was unmistakably clear. Andx as the law was equally
unmistakable, the judge had no option but to
condemn the prisoners to death, with the
exception of Chiddeki or George—against
whom there was not sufficient evidence. There
were five sentenced:—
Klatsassan, for the murder of a man named
Smith, at Homathco; of Macdougal, the
packer, &c.
Taloot, for the murder of several whites at
Homathco, and stabbing Buckley.
Tapeet, for the murder of Manning.
Chesuss, for that of Brewster, and of one
Jim Gaudet, at Homathco.
And lastly, Pierre, for aiding and abetting
in the murders.
-Quesnelmouth is a thriving settlement, at the
head of navigation on the Upper Fraser. The
features of the country here are very different
from those of the lower part of the river.
There the banks are  steep and precipitous, KLATSASSAN.
often the stream has to force its way through
canyons or mountain gorges; often it flows or
rushes past where on either side is an elevated
ridge. The towns on the Lower Fraser are
built on plains of limited extent, and are
fenced in on all sides by lofty hills. Such are
Lillooet, Lytton, Yale. At Quesnelmouth, on
the contrary, there are no hills to be seen,
except in the far distance. The plain on
which the town is built is extensive. The
river banks are low, and the stream, much
wider here than it afterwards becomes, flows
quietly along, affording little indication of the
headstrong fury of its current farther on its
course, where it dashes and foams over in its
riffles, or roars like muffled thunder through
its canyons. I arrived at Quesnelmouth on
the 2nd October, on my way down South from
the mining district. The place, though very
recent in its origin, had an air of comfort and
civilization which, after the rude life of the
gold-diggings, was most grateful. The little
town was alive with home-returning miners.
As I entered I observed the stately form of the
Enterprise" steamer, moored by the quay,
with her steam up. Hurrying on, I reached
the boat in time to exchange a word with the
judge, who having now finished his assize had m
embarked to return to New Westminster. He
told me of the Indians, and I said I would stay
and instruct them. He promised to use his
influence at head-quarters to ensure sufficient
time before the execution of the sentence; then
the "Enterprise" blew her last whistle and
moved away.
Here, then, was I left with five Indians to
instruct. Five criminals to prepare for death !
Here was a definite piece of work, work more
practicable, seemingly, than promiscuous
preaching to gold diggers. But how to
instruct them ? for their language was absolutely unknown to me. The Chilcoaten dialect
is as dissimilar from Lillooet or Shushwap as
French is from Spanish or Italian. I was
accordingly obliged to look for an interpreter.
Through the kindness of the stipendiary
magistrate, I found one in a half-caste named
Baptiste, the only man in the place who knew
a word of the language. We went together to
the prison, Baptiste and I, and found it to be
no regular gaol but an improvised affair, a mere
log house, with part partitioned off for a cell.
Here were the unhappy prisoners, sitting
squatting on the floor as wretched as could
be. To add to their misery, they were all
heavily shackled; the insecurity of the build-
ing seemingly rendering this precaution necessary. No doubt the gaoler (who by the way
had once held H.M. commission in the Navy
—such are. the reverses of fortune, now a
colonial turnkey !) was as kind to them-as the
nature of the case admitted, but then that was
not much. For men hitherto ' exulting in
liberty to be kept in durance vile was of itself
an awful fate, with the terrible prospect of
death, too, at the end. Still they bore up
wonderfully. First they fancied themselves
jmartyrs for their country, and this thought
sustained their courage, but afterwards, as
they came to understand more of the real
state of the case, they discovered, in the faith
and hope of the Gospel, better grounds of
consolation and of strength.
The prisoners struck me as fine powerful
men, much superior in size and appearance to
the Indians of the Lower Fraser and its
tributaries. There was no mistaking the chief.
He sat opposite us as we entered the cell. His
strong frame, piercing dark blue eye, aquiline
nose, and very powerful under-jaw, proclaimed
the man of intelligence, ambition, strong force
of will. On the other hand, the very dark
complexion; the face, narrow at the forehead,
wide at the centre; and the high cheekbones, FIRST  VISIT  TO  THE  PRISONERS.
indicated the characteristics of the North
American savage. Yet when he spoke one
could scarcely believe that this was a man
charged with murder. His expression eager
and animated, his voice low and plaintive, his
gentle manner; could these characterize a
brigand and a murderer? One fancied, to
hear him speak, that he was rather like a
child who had committed some trivial peccadillo, and had been consigned to the dark
closet till he should learn better manners,
than a ruffian steeped in crimes and blood.
Next to Klatsassan sat Tapeet, by no means
a bad-looking Indian, strong, well-built, and in
the prime of life. Then came Taloot, a man of
great authority with his tribe. Then Pierre,
a mere innocent-looking boy of eighteen. And
lastly, Chesuss, who quite made up for any
failings in badness of expression that the
others might have been chargeable with. He
looked every whit the villain he was. He had
the countenance of a fiend.
The prisoners received us well, and after
some preliminary conversation, we set about
our proper task. I spoke now Chinook, now
French, and Baptiste interpreted in Chilcoaten.
We spoke of Law and of Sin, and of wrath
consequent upon Sin.    They received all this
H 2 100
quietly, but when, in our next visit, I applied
the subject, and, speaking of the law against
murder, said they had broken it, and incurred
the Divine displeasure, they resented this.
They had only killed the white men, they said,
because otherwise the whites would have
destroyed them (alluding to the small-pox
story), and they could not see that they had
done wrong. I said we were all in one way or
other sinners, needing salvation; for all, whites
and Indians alike, had broken one or other
of God's commandments. Supposing, for a
moment, the Indians had not committed
murder in what they had done, had they not
sinned in other ways ? Allowing that they
were acting in mere self-defence in killing off
the whites, yet, what could justify them in
falling upon them so treacherously, and then
brutally mangling their remains ? Even supposing they were justified in murdering the
foreman, Brewster, was it becoming to eat his
heart ? But, indeed, they were not justified
in destroying those men. The law was, " Thou
shalt not kill." They said, " They meant war,
not murder." But, I put it to them, was it
war to fall upon a man who was at peace with
you, to massacre him in his house, in the night,
to cut down his tent-pole, and break his head ? INSTRUCTION.
—that was murder, surely, not war. No;
they could not justify themselves in any way.
The feelings and passions they had shown,—
cowardice, treachery, hate, revenge, and a
fiendish thirst for the blood of their fellow-
creatures, were not such as their Great Father
liked to see in the breasts of Indians. The
whites were His children, too, and their
behaviour to them was displeasing to the
Great Father. And this was not all their sin.
Had they not often behaved ill to their own
countrymen ? God's law was, "Do to others
as you would have others do to you." Did
they not know that law ? Yes; they knew it,
for though they had no book like the whites,
and no teachers to explain it, still that law
was written in their hearts—they knew it.
Well, they had often disobeyed it; had maltreated their slaves, stolen from Indians of
other tribes, taken their neighbours' wives,
told lies, broken their promises, put Indians to
Day after day, and visit after visit, the
reality of Divine Law, and the offence of
breaking it, were set before them, together
with the stern facts of Divine displeasure on
the disobedient, and punishment of the impenitent.
There was not time to impart to them full
instructions in religion; I had to confine
myself to what was essential. St. Paul had
enjoined repentance towards God, and faith in
our Lord Jesus Christ: and I felt that if they
were only induced to acknowledge and regret
their misdoings, and if they could be taught
enough about our Lord to accept Him intelligently as their Saviour, they might then
honestly be baptized.
Of one of them I had good hope from the
first. Perhaps .it may seem strange that it
should have been the deepest-dyed of all those
ruffians and ringleader in all their crimes, who
interested me most. Yet, so it was. One
could hardly look at Klatsassan without feeling
that there was about the man at once something awful, and something winning,—in fact,
something great. Here was a man, one felt,
for whom, if one could do anything for his
salvation, it would not be thrown away, but
prove amply worth any trouble taken. By
degrees, finding how deeply interested he was
in all that was said, and how ready to take it
all in, I began to feel a strong and growing
sympathy for him (not, indeed, for his old bad
self, but for the new man that was taking a
beginning within his soul), and sincere was my HEROIC ELEMENT IN KLATSASSAn's CHARACTER. 103
desire that it should be well with him at the
last. Indeed, the image of this man used to
haunt me by night and day. I had forgotten
his crimes, and thought only of his inevitable
doom. The tones of his voice, as he repeated
the Lord's Prayer, in the touching cadences of
his liquid and musical language, were ever
present to my ear, and frequent were my
supplications that it would please the Great
Dispenser of all grace to vouchsafe to him the
blessing of a true penitent heart.
When after several visits I came at length
to the main question, and asked if they were
sorry for their evil deeds, impressing upon
them how indispensable this' was to their
regaining the favour of the Great Father and
entering ini;o fife, Klatsassan, to my great joy,
said he was sorry. I asked if, supposing he
were free and had the chance, he would repeat
these deeds and act contrary to the will of the
Great Father? He said, "No, he would
" What did he now feel towards the white
men?"    "His heart was good," he said.
"Did he see now how the whites, must
punish them, not in revenge, but in justice ? "
"Yes," he said, "it was all just and right."
I asked if the rest felt like this ? KLATSASSAN.
" Yes," the chief said, " they were all sorry.
They hoped the Great Father would cease
anger and be friends.
They never ceased praying, as Baptiste put
it in his Canadian French, "Toujours," said he,
Us ne lachaientpas lapriere." The expression
struck me; it seemed to mean, they never let
go their hold on prayer, but " prayed without
ceasing." I told them that if they were truly
sorry there was full forgiveness for them. They
must look to Jesus Christ who hung upon the
Cross. They said, " Their heart was good
towards Jesus Christ." It then seemed to me
they had what was required—repentance and
faith—what then was there to hinder their
being baptized ? I spoke accordingly of the
blessings of Baptism, and prepared them to
receive that holy Sacrament.
We got on much faster than I expected.
They knew more than I thought they did.
One of them had been pretty fully instructed
by a Roman Catholic priest, and he had imparted what he knew to the others. "They
are disposed" (I wrote in my diary at this
time) " to look on me with suspicion as being
not a right priest, but say nothing, thank me
for my visits, and for my promise to be with
them to the last.     But they seem to notice how little I say about the Blessed Virgin, and
from the omission they seem to suspect me.
But all has gone well hitherto, and I hope
will to the end; though I rejoice with
One Saturday we had a long interview and
instruction on baptism. At last Klatsassan
and Taloot expressed a desire to be baptized.
I urged them to make a clean breast of their
sins; which they did. Now in the crimes for
which they were condemned there were certain
extenuating circumstances. Those murders
were perpetrated by savages, savages threatened with extinction and eager to strike the
first blow, savages who were under the impression that they were making war with
the whites; some persons in the colony,
accordingly, were of opinion that they ought
not to have been condemned to death. Let
me tell such persons that for other offences
the prisoners amply deserved their doom.
Without saying more I may state this much.
In a word, they professed such earnestness
in their desire to be baptized, and such sincere
penitence and faith, that I next morning baptized Klatsassan and Taloot, giving the former
my own name, and calling the latter after
Baptiste.     Their demeanour was grave and
amm&mmmjm} 106
impressed, and convinced me still more of the
sincerity of their repentance.
As for the others, two of them, Pierre and
Tapeet, had been baptized previously: they
also seemed quite penitent. Georges, who was
not condemned to death, said he would wait.
One alone remained unchristened. It was
Chesuss, who proved to be quite as hardened
as his conduct would have led one to expect.
When asked if he was sorry for his infernal
treatment of poor Brewster's remains, he
laughed like a fiend, and said he didn't care.
He said he wasn't in the least afraid of God,
and again laughed in a way to make one's
flesh creep. I told him his conduct was like a
son of the devil; his heart was a stone. But
the Good Spirit could make it soft: and
would yet, before his time came to die.
After this, the instruction of the prisoners
went on for a time with little interruption,
until one day, when the gaoler sent me a message to say that I need not call any more:
the prisoners didn't wish to see me again.
Encouraging, was it not ? after staying there
so long on purpose to teach them, getting up
as much as I could of a language that could
never be of any use to me again; and above
all, after the success that seemed to have been "god be merciful to me a sinner."
vouchsafed me I Had they not the very day
before said they hoped I would come every
day and be with them to the last ? After
much consideration, I thought I discovered
the cause of their disaffection.
In the course of our last interview, I had
dwelt on the Parable, of the Publican and the
Pharisee, who went up to the Temple to pray,
and told them that the Great Father had made
known to us that He looks with favour on the
humble and poor in spirit, but with displeasure
on the self-conceited and proud. I taught
them all to repeat the words, " God be merciful to me a sinner." Those I said who are for
ever glorifying themselves, and saying, " I am
a very fine Indian, I don't steal, I don't drink
fire-water, I don't lie, I don't carry away my
neighbour's wife," such, I said, are persons
with whom the Great Father is not pleased,
He likes to see men humble. A doctrine this,
little palatable to them, I suspect. Self-
righteousness is the bosom sin of the Indian
(indeed, perhaps, of most of us !) and I have
little doubt that it was my remarks on that
Divine but ungenial teaching that stirred the
devil in them, and roused them for a moment
to rebellion against the Truth.
Only for a moment, however; I gave them
a day to recover themselves, and on my next
visit they received me with great cordiality.
They gave as their reason for refusing me
admittance that I was no true priest, because
I did not wear a crucifix: but I told them
what I believed to be the true reason of their
momentary opposition, and endeavoured to
reconcile them to the Divine law of humility
and lowliness of mind. It seemed they had all
agreed to exclude me, though now on my
return they all seemed glad enough to see me.
Klatsassan, when reproached for his unfaithfulness, said his heart was bad at my not
coming, although, for the moment he had
joined the rest. He now declared that nothing
should turn him against me any more. The
others, he declared, might call themselves
Frenchman Catholics if they chose (the Roman
Catholic priests who had visited the country
had been French Canadians, hence the name),
but as for him, he was my son, and a King
George Catholic, and he was resolved to cast
in his lot with me and my religion. I said his
words were good. My heart had been water
when they had refused to receive me, but
now it was strong again. It would be sad for
them if they had no priest to cheer them.
They had a dark trail to follow, but as the
minister of Jesus Christ, I should accompany
them a long way down it, and show them the
light from heaven on it. And this would
make their hearts strong. They said, " Very
good, chief; you stay with us, and make our
hearts strong." " God alone can do that," I
replied, " but He certainly will do it, if you
listen humbly to what I have to teach. Be
strong and He will strengthen your hearts."
It was, indeed, little to be wondered at that
such moments of darkness and misgiving
should come over them, and that they should
at times feel inclined to rebel against the Truth.
That the new-risen sun in their heavens should
always shine unobscured by "earth-born
clouds" was hardly to be expected. Poor
fellows, how I pitied them ! Immured in that
dull prison-cell—with so many in so small a
place—(for in a new town like Quesnelmouth,
the government had to use what kind of prison
it could get, and was necessarily compelled to
think more of the security of the prisoners
than of their comfort), the air foul and heavy,
for the weather at this time was wet: living,
too, without exercise; men who, all their life
long, had been free as the air, or the birds
that fly in it, now lying manacled and bound}
knowing, too, that each day brought nearer
mm/mm. 110
the inevitable hour, when they should be cut
off by a sudden and violent stroke from the
land of the living,- and die a death whose
horrors were increased by their ignorance of
its nature: in such circumstances, it was not
strange that there were times with them when
hope seemed to die, the Saviour seemed away,
and the Enemy of Souls re-asserted his power,
filling them with misery and despair.
I took occasion also to explain to them about
the crucifix, and showed them that it was by no
means necessary to wear one; the important
thing, I said, was to believe in Jesus Christ,
i. e. to have a good heart to Him, and to think
of Him as dying on the Cross for us. I sought
then to prepare them to receive the Holy Communion, and to ensure their having those
conditions of the Church which are required
of those who come to the Supper of the Lord.
About this time, October 24th, there came"
despatches from the Government, with the
death-warrant of the prisoners. The executive,'
it appeared, thought not of mercy; all five
were to be hanged; and in two or three days.- ARRIVAL  OF  THE  DEATH-WARRANT.
Fearful doom! Just, no doubt, perfectly just.
But—all five ! Could they not be contented
with one or two of the number ? At all events,
might not young Pierre have been spared ?—
Pierre, a handsome lad of eighteen, who had a
wife and child at home,—Pierre, who, in what
he had done, had only acted in obedience to
the chief, whom he believed himself bound by
all laws, human and divine, to obey. But no !
Justice must take its course. Ignorance in
the eyes of the law is no excuse. Terror must
be struck into all the Indian tribes. All five
must die.
On the eve of their execution, I once more
questioned them as to their state of heart.
Knowing that, above all things, it is necessary
that the sinner be penitent, before he dare
appear before God, I again sounded them with
regard to this. Again, Klatsassan tried to justify himself. " He would never have killed the
whites, if they had not killed his people first, by
sending small-pox, and had threatened to kill
more of them by sending it again." Once more
he was calmed when I told him he was mistaken;
small-pox was not sent by the whites. It was
God's visitation. He said yes, he understood
that now, but he had not done so before : and
the white man had said he would send small-pox
vmmmimm and destroy them. I put it to him if he had
not been unjust in killing men who had not
injured him, and ungrateful in putting to
death those who had been kind to the Indians ?
Klatsassan admitted this. And had he not
other crimes to answer for, which he had
owned to me, one of which deserved death ?
Yes, he admitted it. Well, he must acknowledge all this to God, else he could not be
forgiven. He really must humble himself and
pray for pardon and a new heart. I said
much the same to all the rest. But oh, it was
uphill work to make them really feel they had
done wrong ! As a cartwheel will readily slip
from off-the level road to which (not without difficulty) you have raised it, into the deep"
muddy rut which through years of attrition it
has worn, so would their mind fall easily
back into the habit of self-complacency and
self-excusing in which all their lives long it
had travelled. But every time it became less
difficult to lift it out of that old habit, and
there was a better hope of its keeping out of
it. They were soon brought to acknowledge
again the sinful, lost, and disobedient state of
their souls by nature; how adverse to God's
law; how continually breaking it, and bringing themselves under its penalties.    They all, PREPARATION  FOR  HOLY  COMMUNION.      113
one after the other, said they had sinned, and
wished to be forgiven. They were always
thinking of Jesus Christ, they said. They
had done with earthly things and they desired
to think only of the Great Father. Did they
forgive their enemies ? I asked; and those
who had given evidence against them, the
whites, and Indians of other tribes? They
said they forgave them all. There seemed,
accordingly, nothing to prevent their admis-.
sion to the Sacrament.
It is vain to expect in Red Indian savages
that amount of preparation that we have to
look for in educated Christians. Less is required, we are taught, of them to whom less is
given. The dying thief was accepted mainly on
the strength of his confession of the justice of
his sentence, and of his faith in the crucified
King. The gaoler at Philippi was baptized with
his house, because, when conscience-stricken, he
did what he was commanded, and, at the word
of Paul and Silas, believed in the Lord Jesus
Christ. The grace of God is great, and it is
enough that the sinner should repent and
believe in Christ as well as he can, and in the
Church, as presenting Christ to him, if he
understand this much. This I believe my
Indians did, and therefore there was hope in
their death. They had learnt by heart, in
their own language, not only the verse '' I will
arise," &c, but also that other, " This my son
was dead and is alive again, was lost and is
found," and they never ceased to repeat these
in their prayers—together with others of the
sacred words which they had been taught; and
thus, without dwelling more upon their repeated assurances of penitence, I promised to
come and administer the Holy Communion to
them in the morning.
We conversed long together in a friendly
way about many things on that same last sad
evening. One principal subject of conversation, I remember, was the Future. After the
present race of whites had passed away, I said,
there would come a better generation. Indian
children would be educated and taught to
understand the mysteries of reading and
writing. They would also learn trades. Their
people would be raised above the low and
sensual life they now led, and learn to find
pleasure in useful work. They would no longer
live an unsettled and roving fife, a life in which
virtue and religion were alike impossible. They
would build good houses and till the soil, and
wear respectable clothing; each having his own
separate dwelling, being each the head of his CONVERSATION ABOUT THE FUTURE.
own family, having but one wife, as the Lord
had ordained. A race of Indian priests should
be trained up who should understand as well
as the white priests the knowledge of the
Highest, and proclaim it in the Indian language to the Indian tribes. Then they would
no longer be at constant war with other Indians.
Whites and Indians, too, would live together
in peace and righteousness. For the whites
would not leave the land. No, they had been
sent here by the Great Lord of all! Up till
now, that goodly land had been turned to
small account. Its inhabitants had been but a
handful. Vast regions had been given up to
the fox and the wolf, the beaver and the bear.
The Hudson Bay Company whites had done
nothing in it but trap animals for the sake of
their furs. But the Highest, the Maker of all,
had other purposes for the land. Thousands
of snows ago, He had commanded that men
should replenish the whole earth and use it.
This command was obeyed by a land like theirs
being peopled and developed. No doubt, it
was painful for them to see it in the hands of
strangers, but it was for the good of mankind,
and for the greater glory of the land itself.
Above all, it was the will of the.Highest. He,
who had made so goodly a land and stored its
T  9.
H 116
rocks with untold gold and silver, intended
their treasures to be dug out for the advantage
of the world. This would in fact be done.
Many King George men would come and work,
and bring gold and silver out of the mountains,
and other metals, such as iron and lead. They
would cultivate the soil. They would explore
unknown regions. They would search out all
its lakes and rivers, and put steamboats on
them. They would stretch a mighty trail of
iron across the land, even from the coast of
the mighty water (the Pacific) to the great
Rocky Mountains, and through them away far,
far beyond into the east, and men would travel
along this road in moving houses fast as
the eagle flies; night and day for ten suns
they would travel towards the rising sun till
they reached the great ocean, the Atlantic.
There, I said, are great steamboats, each holding more people than all the Chilcoaten tribes
together; floating cities; which, sailing farther
east ten days, go to England, the mother-land,
where dwells the great Mother Queen, who
rules over all King George men in all the
world, ruling in the name of the one universal
King, the Great Father. Yes, the land would
one day become a nation, consisting of Indians,
their descendants, and   of whites, living to- THE DIVINE   PURPOSE FOR  THEIR LAND.   117
gether happy and contented. And thus the
will of the Most High would be accomplished.
For them, they were not to see this. No,
they must go elsewhere. This again was the
will of the Most High. For it was He, and
not the King George men, Who was driving
them hence, in punishment for their crimes.
But He was merciful as well as just. He would
forgive, He had forgiven; He would receive them
from the hands of death into the place of the
Blessed; because they had owned their faults—
because they had believed in the name of the Son
of God—because they had hoped in His mercy.
They listened with rapt attention. For the
Future is a subject full of charm to the living,
even when doomed to be soon numbered with
the dead. Indeed, the interest man takes in
what is to come after him is almost an evidence
of his own immortality. Of all the prisoners,
Klatsassan seemed most fully to enter into
this contemplation. He sat motionless with
his great eyes fixed on me. As the conversation went on, a light came into them: it was
the light of hope for his country. For himself
there was nothing more here on earth. The
world was over and done with. To-morrow
he must bid it a long farewell. But he was
resigned to this necessity, for faith had made
mm.-mu 118
him strong. And to hear of glad tidings for
the land he loved so dearly, and for those who
should come after him, was most consoling.
His spirit grew stronger to meet his doom as
he listened to what God would do unto his
people in the latter days.
The morning. of October 26th broke bright
and frosty. With that feeling of heart-sickness which those know who have had to approach the King of Terrors, and stand by
when, with all its fearful ceremonial, the Law
puts forth its hand deliberately and violently
to take away life, I rose and hastened to the
prison. The Indians were already at their
prayers. I stood waiting outside the cell
listening to their plaintive notes of supplication.
The wailing pathos of their language seemed
to come out in those last prayers as in a monotone they poured their plaint before the only
Friend of the.dying. The voice of the chief
was heard above the rest in its deep, subdued
tones. Never more (I thought) shall he pray
those prayers .on earth. Soon—within two
brief hours—he-shall have gone hence—gone HOLY  COMMUNION.
to join the penitent thief, and the Magdalene,
and all the innumerable company of souls,
who, having sinned much, have also been forgiven much.1
I then entered the cell, and asked if they
were ready to receive the Holy Communion?
They said they were most desirous. In celebrating, I said the principal parts of the
service in their language; the rest in English*
This, of course, they did not understand; but
they knew the general meaning. They were
very devout in receiving, and seemed cheered
and encouraged by the Sacrament.
After the service, the prisoners took breakfast, and then the gaoler called them out, one
by one, to be pinioned. As they went I shook
hands with each one, bidding them farewell.
First went young Pierre, who wept a little,
thinking, no doubt, of his young wife and child
at home. Then there was Chesuss, now a
changed man, his face no longer fiendishly
hideous as at first, but softened and beautified
by the touch of Faith. The rest followed.
Klatsassan was the last to leave.
He, grasped me warmly by the hand, and
thanked me. I said he was my son, and I
should ever remember him; and that we
should   meet   again   in   a   place where   we 120
should understand each other better, and
need no interpreter. I encouraged him to
keep a stout heart, and think of Christ, and
lean on Him, and soon the worst would be
over; then I gave him the blessing of the
Church, and let him go.
I forget what happened immediately after
this, but I suppose I was talking to one of them
outside the cell; however, the next thing I
noticed was some one offering Klatsassan
drink, and his refusing. I don't think he saw
ris looking, or that he refused the liquor from
any notion save a sense of the impropriety of
the thing, and a heroic kind of feeling, as if
he thought it nobler to meet the worst with all
his faculties about him, and face death manfully. They pressed him to take something,
but there I felt I must interpose. They must
not press him, I said.
The prisoners were then led on to the scaffold. There was a large crowd of Indians and
white men round, but perfect silence and
decorum reigned throughout; prayers were
then said in Chilcoaten; very short, of course;
such is not the time or place for more than a
brief commendation of the souls about to
depart. I remember saying to each one, as
in turn they were blindfolded, and the rope 1
adjusted, and they were placed on the drops,
" Jesu Christ nerhunschita sincha coontese"
("Jesus Christ be with thy spirit"). As I
was going to repeat this to Taloot, a voice
was heard; it was Tapeet. He first called out
to his comrades to " have courage." Then he
spoke two sentences to the Indians round the
scaffold. They were of the Alexandrian tribe,
and at feud with the Chilcoatens. Still, in
such a moment such feelings must be forgotten.
So he addressed himself to them, and said,
" Tell the Chilcoatens to cease anger against the
whites." He added, " We are going to see
the Great Father."
One instant more and the signal was given;
the drops fell. All was done so quietly and
so quickly that it was difficult to realize that
the frightful work was over.
The remains were interred with Christian
burial, after the Anglican rite, in a wood near
Quesnelmouth, not far from the Cariboo road.
A wooden cross with a rude inscription was
set up to mark the spot where those poor
fellows sleep.
After the painful events described, -we remained a few days at Quesnelmouth awaiting
an opportunity to take our departure down
the Fraser River to Lillooet. It was amusing
meanwhile to watch the miners returning from'
the gold-diggings. .
The summer had been a prosperous one;
and now, warned by the appearance of snow on
the mountains round William's Creek of the
approach of winter, miners were leaving Cariboo to seek in Victoria or San Francisco a •
more agreeable place to winter in and get rid
of their gold-dust. And so each day brought
fresh detachments to Quesnelmouth, where they
usually passed the night, the second out from
William's Creek. Fine, erect, manly-looking
fellows they were, with a grace and power of
action such as betokened a life of freedom from
the " trammels of civilization." So you would
think as you saw them entering the town.
Attired in blue woollen shirt, buckskin trou- AMERICAN HUMOUR.
sers secured by a strap, from which depended
on one side a revolver, on the other a bowie-
knife leather-cased, and in top-boots, they
would bowl along as freely as if they had not
done their thirty miles since breakfast, with
their blankets and baggage, too, strapped
across their shoulders. A liberty theirs, however, apt to run over into licence and excess,
as you would perhaps have thought had you
gone an hour or two later in the evening into
the billiard-saloon, and there seen them swaggering up to the bar, and with much loud
and profane ejaculation, " liquoring" together
in the strongest of possible " drinks;" or
had you noted them as they sat clustering
round the little gambling-tables all over the
room, with their piles of gold before them,
absorbed in the maddest games of chance, and
recklessly risking their hard-earned summer
How long they may have sat, or what sums
may there have passed from the pocket of the
hard-working miner to that of the professional
gambler, we stay not to inquire. But morning
sees them sally foi'th apparently as vigorous
and as gay as if they had spent the night
peaceably in their blankets: such the elastic
buoyancy and vigour they had imbibed from
H fft'EI
the mountain air of Cariboo: alas that treasures so precious should be so idly squandered!
Their next sixty miles are to be by water,
and a boat lies awaiting them by the bank
of the Fraser River. A fine large boat it is,
big enough to hold forty of them, built by an
enterprising carpenter, a Nova Scotian, all by
himself. The " boys " get on board, each with
his kit and blankets; they are in great spirits at
the prospect of getting to the lower country,
and show it by a free interchange of chaff. As
one particularly long-legged Yankee advances
to embark, one suggests that if they should
capsize he would only have to wade ashore.
The notion of wading in that river of unfathomable depth and furious current receives due
appreciation from the miners on board; " and
I say, Abe," adds one of them, "you'll just
take my bundle, and hold it well up over your
head, will you ? for I would like it kept dry."
And now, as they are starting, the clerk of the
hotel heaves in sight, walking leisurely towards
them. His appearance is greeted with a shout
—" Shove her off, boys : here comes the Bar-
keep !" and as they begin to move away,
one sings out, | Too late, Barkeep! I guess
you won't be able to correct grub-bills today." PANDEMONIUM.
We followed in due course of time in a
similar boat, and with a similar detachment
of miners. By night we had done our sixty
miles, and reached a place called Soda Creek,
considerably below Fort Alexander. Here
was a rude inn, where we passed the night.
The place did not certainly look inviting, and
was swarming with miners; but there was
no choice. Mine host was as courteous as
circumstances would permit. He gave me a
room all to myself, with a table for my bed
and a flour-sack for a pillow. Separated
from me by a slight partition was the bar-room
with the throng of miners. They drank and
gambled all through the night, and their talk
ran mountains high. It was something fearful
to listen to, and even brought before my mind
a vision of the future place of punishment. I
thought, as I lay awake on my table," Surely this
conversation is more than human. The gates
of hell," I fancied, " must have been left open
by mistake to-night, and the inmates have
escaped, and are filling the adjacent room.
They seem to join in a dance of demons, shouting forth their maddest curses and foulest ribaldry. Would to God I could sleep through
it!" In vain, alas! no sleep came. Next
morning I breakfasted with those men.    I was
mmmmmmmmm. 126
anxious to give them my mind, and an opportunity soon occurred. The man sitting next
me asked if I was thinking of going down
country by the river. They, I knew, were
going by the road : I replied in the affirmative.
"It's takin' awful chances/' he said, "to go
down that river." I said I didn't believe in
chance, nor in fact did I think there was much
danger. " And besides," I added, and here I
raised my voice so as to be heard all down the
long table, and the clatter of knives and forks
for a moment ceased, " and, besides, I'll tell
you what it is, I would rather run the risks of
the river, were they a thousand times greater
than they are, than sleep another night under
the same roof with such fellows as you. Last
night I heard the language of devils in hell,
and believe me, I don't want to hear it again
if I can help it." " Do you hear that ?" said
one of them to his neighbour; " well, I guess
that is pretty strong."
" You go in that canoe ?" said a dusky Redskin to me, as, bundle of blankets and things
under my arm, I was making for my boat on
the river. " You go in that canoe ?" shaking
his head in a melancholy fashion; "me very
sorry."     I inquired wherefore.    "Because," THE  START.
said he, "that canoe is small, and down
yonder" (pointing to a bend in the river)
" the waters are very strong, and that canoe
will be smashed, and you will be drowned; and
I am very sorry, for you, leplate" (which,
being interpreted, means clergyman, being a
corruption of le pretre), " are good friend
to mankind" (by which he meant Indian
This was rather a sinister start for me, but
I had determined to go down country by the
river simply because I did not fancy walking
some two hundred miles with my blankets and
"fixins" strapped across my back, and the
boat which my friend condemned chanced to
be the only one available. So I bade the
kind-hearted Indian cheer up, and told him
that the Great Father would look after leplate,
and went on my way. Yet let me' confess to
a slight sensation of anxiety stirred by this
doleful address.   Absit omen, thought I.
But it was impossible to be disturbed
by forebodings of evil on such a glorious
morning. How bright was the fresh sunshine gleaming on the mighty river ! How
keen and bracing the mountain air ! How stupendous the grand old mountains, standing round
with the green of their pines and bright yellow
MJWMIBUflaSgaBgg! 128
of their deciduous trees.    Soon we were all on
board.   There were about twenty passengers,
men of various nationalities, Yanks and Britishers, Mexicans and Norwegians.    The skipper,
a " gentleman of colour," managed the rudder,
which consisted of a huge oar, and four stout
" white men" plied the oars.    Presently we
started down stream, and at a rattling pace. For
about an hour the waters, though swift, were
smooth and safe.    Then, however, we descried
in the distance the white and broken current,
which proclaimed a riffle or rapid.    This being
the first, we rather " funked" it, and all thought
we should like to get out and walk past the piece
of bad water.     Accordingly we landed, and
had the pleasure of seeing our craft dropped
over the place of danger by means of a rope,
with none but the steersman on board.    Then
we re-embarked, and shot ahead again.
Every five minutes the interest of the trip
varied and increased. Every turn in the river
revealed some new kind of scenery, of which
nothing was commonplace or tame, but, on the
contrary, all was romantic, fantastic, or sublime. Occasionally, the banks on either side
would slope gently upwards, adorned with
graceful trees and shrubs. More frequently
they would rise up  sheer from  the water's A NARROW ESCAPE.
edge, forming lofty ranges of rock topped
with sable pines. Now we would enter one
of those glorious canons, or gorges, for which,
like the Columbia and other western rivers,
the Fraser is remarkable. In these canons
the water is compressed into a narrow channel
of unknown depth, and flows peaceably, as
though in its great strength it were asleep,
or only awake enough to play with its countless eddies. The great brown rocks on either
hand towered like massive walls to a height
of 1000 feet. The silence in passing down
between those walls, with nothing but the
depths of brown water below, and the expanse
of blue sky above, was something perfectly
appalling. We dared not converse then; the
only sound heard was the splash of our oars.
Presently, however, as we approach the extremity of the defile, we hear the distant
roar. The stream, it would appear, has been
gathering up its strength in that interlude of
slumbering silence. For lo! in the distance
"the white horses" are charging the rocks,
and we are being quickly borne into the heart
of the fray.
It is where the stream is seeking a lower
level that these conflicts occur. It then goes
raging over the mighty boulders which  en-
HmtlHWLMIfiSB&iiMaimMS 130
cumber its bed. There is a twofold danger
in such places. There is the risk of your boat
having her bow turned by the back movement
of the waves striking on those boulders, and
there is, of course, the risk of collision with
those rough-looking monsters themselves. It
is essential to put on all possible headway in
running those "riffles," because if your boat
were once turned so as to present her side
to the current, she would in a moment be
swamped or knocked into shivers. And then
a long farewell! No swimming in that whirling
tide ! None ! The victim falls into the hands
of a hundred contending currents, and, torn to
pieces, or battered into jelly, he is hurled
along, never to be seen by mortal more. But
given a well-steered boat with plenty of way
on, there is no danger; the craft will then
dash down over those rough places, on the
back of those fierce white horses, at a rate of
little less than twenty miles an hour. We had,
however, one awkward experience.
We had halted at noon for lunch. Hastily
gathering some of the timber strewn along the
bank, we had made a fire and boiled water for
tea, that indispensable ally of the pioneer.
Recruited with this, not without adjuncts of
bread and bacon, we had re-embarked, and FINE RIVER  SCENERY.
were moving swiftly through the water. Presently, on a sudden bend, we saw right ahead
the formidable waters of what is called the
Chalcoaten Riffle, and as soon as we saw we
were in it, "Now, boys, look to your oars,"
shouted the darkey at the helm; "give her
way, my lads; that's it; push her through;
throw your weight into her!" Encouraged by
these and similar appeals, we tore away regardless of the fierce violence and deafening
roar of the raging stream. But—ha ! what's
this ? has the steersman missed the channel,
or is the water shallower than he thought ? I
can't tell, but this I know (nor am I likely to
forget it!), just where the river was narrowest
and wildest, we came bump on a rock in midstream, a cross-beam was stove in, and—well,
" the boat was a wreck, and we were all in the
water ?" Not so, or I should never have survived to tell it; but what did happen was this.
After a moment of intense curiosity to know
what was to come next, a moment which
seemed to last an hour, the good boat did the
most sensible thing it could do; it jumped
from off its boulder full six feet into the seething caldron beneath, and, oh joy! we were
Hereupon the men showed their sense of
k 2 132
relief by profane ejaculations after the manner
of gold-diggers. To some who irreverently
used the name of the Saviour in speaking of
their lucky escape, I remember observing that
to Him and to none other they owed a deliverance equally miraculous and unmerited.
And so we bowled along at fifty miles a day,
and our trip never lost in interest. Now we
would hurry past some ugly boulder lurking
in our way, almost touching him. Another
time we would mistake the channel and come
broadside on to a grim-looking rock in the
middle of the river; but just when on the
point of being destroyed, we were borne
swiftly past it by the mighty current, and
taken down a steep and winding way to a
still reach of water below. In such a case
oars or rudder could do nothing, but providentially the  current carried us safe away
from the danger.
The excitement of these perils was varied
by the charm of the ever-shifting landscape.
Countless were the hues of the rocks on either
hand; now brown, now grey; here of a bright
vermilion, which to miners' eyes betrayed the
presence of copper; now black, indicating
coal. And oh! with what delight did we
gaze on the fantastic or sublime forms those FATE  OF OUR BOAT. 133
rocks assumed ! Here was a fairy castle like
the Rheinstein—that" thing of beauty and joy
for ever" to all travellers am Whein—here again
a fortress like Ehrenbreitstein—that thing of
massive strength. This was a vast pile of
rocks many miles in length, and towering to
a great height. The precipitous sides had been
marvellously wrought by nature into stately
columns—quite regular too they were, and,
what is still more singular, elaborately carved,
such as no architect on earth might carve
them. The whole was a perfect picture of
massive strength and ethereal grace. I would
other travellers might see this giant fortress, but few I fear ever will, for it is only
visible from the river, and, unless the river
becomes more civilized and less headstrong,
few will care to trust themselves on its broad
but treacherous back.
To describe all this is a sheer impossibility.
Suffice it to say, the whole trip was completed
without loss of life or limb. Only the good
boat came to grief; this, however, within but
a few miles of our destination, and after we
had left her, with our effects. It was at a
very bad and dangerous riffle, where the water
was unusually shallow. The bark was being
let down over the place by means of a rope
ijmimum. 134
attached to it; but unluckily the stream got
the better of her and took the liberty of rudely
driving her upon a rock, where, in a moment,
she went to pieces like a box of matches. FROM
No one sailing from the green island of Vancouver, can have crossed on a fine day the
Gulf of Georgia, which separates it from the
mainland, without admiring the beauty or the
scenery. The waters sheltered by Vancouver
Island are generally tranquil. The islands
around present a picturesque appearance of
rock and dense wood. The snow-capped
coast range of British Columbia lift up their
bold jagged peaks. The scene is enlivened by
numberless waterfowl of many species. A
mile or so to the east of Plumper Pass—the
narrow channel between Galiano and Mayne
Islands,—the vessel passes suddenly into a
stream, turbid and clay-coloured, in which are
seen floating masses of driftwood. This is the
volume of water which the noble Fraser pours
into the Gulf of Georgia. The sand banks
caused by the deposit of the stream, extend
some five miles to the westward of the
entrance.    There is no formidable bar to cross
as in the case of the Columbia, and so many
other rivers; a narrow channel having been
forced through the shoals by the struggles of
the river. With an entrance sheltered from
storms, and a depth of water sufficient for any
vessels save of the very largest class, tho
Fraser seems intended to be a gate through
which the wants of a great country may be
supplied, and its riches distributed to all
Proceeding onward we soon leave the low
and marshy lands at the mouth of the river,
and come to where the forest bristles along
each bank. Above the brush rise the maple,
the alder, and the cottonwood trees—yet
higher are the cedars, and above them all
tower the mighty pines, truly the giants of the
forest. Viewed from a distance, however,
their extreme height is not apparent. The
truth is that all being so tall, and everything
in sight being on so large a scale, the eye
finds nothing with which to compare them.
It is only when, standing beneath them, we
measure their trunks, or compare them with a
building, or pace the length of one that is
fallen, that we perceive how vast they really
are. The majority of the pines exceed 200
feet, and many of them are over 300 feet; GIGANTIC  PINES.
the cedars, though less in height, are often of
amazing girth.
Turning a bend in the river, fifteen miles
from the mouth, we come in sight of New
Westminster. But a few years ago all here
was densest forest, but by dint of marvellous
energy a beautiful town has been constructed.
We pass up-stream in one of the river steamers,
and, sixteen miles beyond New Westminster
Fort Langley, an ancient Hudson Bay outpost,
is reached. Would we explore the wonders of
the "forest primeval," we must endeavour to
get ashore somewhere.
It is a strange sight, especially for a traveller
fresh from the Old World, to see the exuberance of the vegetation on this humid soil. He
enters the wood by the trail or path which has
been cut through the dense bush, and gazes
silently at the wonders of the forest. The
damp soil deprived of the sun is covered with
moss, ground creepers, and a rich growth of
ferns of various species, and of rare luxuriance.
Mingled with them are the berry bushes, the
salall, the salmonberry, the raspberry, the
huckleberry, loaded with their luscious and
many-coloured fruits. Above the bushes rise
the hazel and the maple, their light green
leaves relieved by the mass of darker foliage.
Verdant pendants of moss hang from the lower
branches of the forest trees, which, stretching
upwards, tower far above all things else, permitting glimpses, and but glimpses, of the blue
sky overhead.
Thirty-five miles above Langley, the Fraser
receives the waters of Harrison River, so
named after the Ven. Archdeacon of Maidstone. Here is the first divergence in the
route to the Cariboo mines ;—one road going
by way of Harrison River, Douglas, the lakes,
and Lillooet—the other by way of the Fraser,
Hope, Yale, and Lytton.
As our destination was Lillooet, to which
the Bishop of Columbia had appointed us, our
way was by the former route.    We started in
a canoe, taking the mail along with us. We
paddled incessantly all day long up the Harrison River till we reached the lake of that name.
The banks of the Harrison as you approach the
lake are bold and rocky, thickly covered with
pines. As we paddled along, we heard strains
of lamentation from the opposite bank. Presently there emerged from the shadow of the
rock an Indian canoe, in which sat a solitary
woman paddling, and with her paddle keeping
time to a melancholy dirge she was singing.
She passed us by unheeding, absorbed in her TAKING   H.M.   MAILS  UP THE  HARBISON.  139
sorrow. Our Indian told us she was' mourning
some relation, probably a child. The Indians,
like Eastern nations, make more a business of
mourning than we do, and consider it due to
the departed to bemoan him for a certain
number of days. Some tribes, like the Digger
Indians, hold a general mourning once a year;
till the day comes round the bereaved must
postpone their grief.
And so on we paddled till we came into the
glorious waters of lovely Lake Harrison, where
we camped at night in a delicious little bay, close
by the clear and pebbly waters, and within
sound of the sweet lullaby of its gentle ripple.
At the head of Harrison Lake is Douglas; then
follow thirty miles of road, after which you
come to another large lake, then a second long
portage, at the end of which are Lakes Anderson and Seton. But, let me pause a moment:
half way to Lake Anderson, just as you Cross
the watershed of the cascade range, there is
yet another little lake, called Tenass Lake. Ah!
well I remember it, for it was a tragic scene I
saw there. It was a lovely summer morning,
June '62, and we had ridden out there from
Lillooet, Mr. Elliott, the magistrate, Phlynn,
the constable, and I, and what should we
find at that Lake of doom but three bodies mmm
floating under the bank ! They were evidently
white men, and had been dead for a considerable time. An inquest was held, and we
buried them: though unknown to us, their
Maker knew them. Two years later, the
murder came out. A man on the gallows at
the Dalles Oregon for some other crime, confessed that he and others had fallen upon those
three men as they lay in their tents by that
lone lake, and killed them as they slept. They
were miners, but I know not what names they
bore. And I sometimes think that even now
there may be some loving hearts in a land far,
far from where they sleep, who are wondering
where they are and why they don't come
home; and j who are listening, perchance,
every night as the darkness falls, for the well-
known footstep outside their cottage door
—a footstep which, ah! they never more shall
Next we reach, as I have said, Lake Anderson. The name is not romantic, but few
scenes in nature can surpass its beauty, at once
sublime and tender, especially as seen in the
freshness of a spring morning as the sun crests
the mountain peaks, ere his rays descend upon
the calm waters of the Lake. Its length is
sixteen miles, direction nearly N. and s.    Lake THE  ERASERS
Seton, the last in the series, is fourteen miles
long, general direction w. and e. ; it is winding, rugged and picturesque. Probably this
lake will be connected with Lake Anderson by
a canal some future day; they are only a mile
and a half apart. Anew steamer was building
on Lake Seton. Four miles farther on is the
town of Lillooet.
Hitherto our way from Douglas has been
up a defile or pass hemmed in by stupendous
mountains, but as we approach Lillooet the
hills recede on either hand, and the eye
rests once more on an open expanse. A
valley lies before us, forming an irregular
circle with a diameter of from three to four
miles, bounded by lofty mountains. Through
this valley or basin the Fraser winds,—the
river bed being 200 feet below the plain. A
series of benches rise terrace-like, regular and
level, and according to the season, snow-clad,
grassy, or grey. These singular benches
remind us of the parallel roads of Glenroy, and
suggest the idea that the whole valley was
once a lake, whose waters gradually fell as
some obstruction that barred their egress was
removed. On one of these benches stands
Lillooet, right bank of the river, latitude 50°
41' n., and close upon the 122nd parallel of
west longitude; its altitude is 1036 feet.    The
situation is romantic.
From the flat immediately behind the town
the spectator has as fine a view of highland
scenery as he could desire. Westward, to the
right, St. Mary's Mount lifts its pine-clad
peaks far into the clear blue sky. Farther
south stands Mount Brew, a noble mountain
(8000 ft.). During most of the year he is
crowned with snow; but his mantle, changing
with the seasons, is light green in spring, and
in autumn of various tints, conspicuous among
which is the bright yellow of the deciduous trees
and shrubs. Eastward, to the left, also, are
mountains stretching down the basin through
which the Fraser River, filling the whole scene
with his sullen but majestic roar, rolls on.
Before us is the village. It consists of a fine
broad street, the houses mainly built of wood;
a few being of brick. At one end is the courthouse, at the other the church. Unfortunately,
it now stands empty and deserted, for there is
no longer here a resident clergyman. The
pretty little parsonage close by it is also
unoccupied. Let us hope that the time will
soon come when these buildings will be in use
once more, and this place no longer left destitute of the greatest of the means of grace. Beyond the town, the eye rests with pleasure
on a series of terraces or benches, the fields
enclosed and cultivated, blossoming and gardenlike. Far away, that blue smoke among the
dark trees betokens an Indian camping-ground.
Farther still, yonder silvery line marks the
winding of the river as it disappears among
the distant hills.
Lillooet is still in its infancy, but has had a
large share in the business of forwarding goods
to the interior. Agriculturally considered, it
is in the centre of a fertile, if a limited, district.
The best of crops are raised, and flour mills
also have recently been erected. The soil is
most productive. Melons, tomatoes, maize,'
everything in fact that has been tried, reaches
maturity in the open air. Lillooet is also an
agreeable place of residence. The climate is
fine, the air clear; the winters indeed are severe,
and the summers warm; but the cold weather
is bright and sunny, and the heat of summer is
refreshed by mountain breezes.
Lillooet may shortly become a town of no
small importance, for it seems likely that .it
will be a station on the new G. W. R. or
I Great Way Round" (the world). The great
scheme of a British North American Railway
does indeed appear to be in a fair way of 144      FROM NEW WESTMINSTER TO LILLOOET.
progress. Its probable course would be : from
Lake Superior to Red River; thence up the
beautiful and extensive valley of the Great
Saskatchewan River, a country ripe for settlement, to Edmonton. Thence to Jasper House
in the Rocky Mountains. There is a valuable
coal-field here; and emigrants going West by
this route build their nightly camp-fires of
coal instead of logs. The gorge through
which the Railway would thus enter British
Columbia is that known to Hudson Bay
traders as the New Caledonian or Jasper Pass.
It is described as a natural roadway through
the mountains which rise on either side like
'stupendous walls. From Jasper House to
2Tete Jaune Cache, there is a valley through
which a railroad could be carried. Thence the'
line will probably make for Cariboo; next to
Quesnelmouth; thence by Lillooet to Victoria.
It is well known to all who take an interest in
the progress of civilization and Christianity in
the earth that many savage races are rapidly
diminishing and disappearing. This is specially
true of the Red Indian tribes of British North
America. Nor is this depopulation to be ascribed wholly to contact with other races more
advanced in intellect or degraded by depravity.
Long before the whites had penetrated into
British Columbia (to give one instance), the
savage population of that country had begun
to decrease. Only a few years after it had
become a colony, and in a district not frequented by settlers, we traced in one place
indications of what had once been a populous
camping-ground, where scarcely a dozen of the
tribe remained, and one wretched tent sufficed
to contain all that was left of a people whose
warriors and hunters once  filled a  score of
earth-houses, the outlines of which were still
visible on the plain.
At the same time it cannot be questioned
that the presence of the whites has done much
to precipitate the ruin of those tribes, and this
in various ways. In a book lately published
on the Red Indians (by Mr. Gilbert Sproat, now
agent for the British Columbian Government
in London), this baneful influence is ascribed in
part to " the despondency and discouragement
produced on the minds of the Indians by the
presence of a superior race." This is a subtle
reflection, and unquestionably has its truth;
but despondency seldom kills, and the Indians
die before the whites. Doubtless to the vices
and diseases introduced among those natives
by Europeans, much of this exterminating work
is due; fire-water has slain its thousands, and
disease its tens of thousands. The following
history will illustrate another fatal consequence
of the white man's presence, while at the same
time it will be useful as manifesting the power
of religion, when the seed of truth is sown in
an "honest and good heart."
Kenadqua, daughter of Shilsileedza, was a
beautiful girl, after a type of beauty rarely
seen amongst the copper-coloured aborigines
of British North America. Features so perfect, THE FLOWER BY THE "FLOWER OF WATERS." 147
an expression so pensive and refined, are usually
met with only in civilized races, and Kenadqua
rather resembled a maid of Greece or Spain
than a daughter of the Redskin; and yet there
was withal about her a simplicity and grace in
every gesture, such as bespoke the artless child
of nature.
At the time when this narrative begins (in
the month of November, 1861), she was dwelling with her tribe by the Lillooet stream, the
fairest flower by that " flower of waters," for
such is the meaning of its name. Kenadqua
numbered some sixteen snows; an orphan,
having lost her father two years before. Shilsileedza had been the chief of that tribe. A
powerful Indian, with a free and kingly bearing, this warrior was one of the few specimens
of his race whose physique could bear comparison with those stately savages whom Cooper
and other romancers so grandly depict; for the
majority of the aborigines, at least to the west
of the Rocky Mountains, are slight and chetif
in appearance. Shilsileedza died a warrior's
death. When the whites came up into that
country in search of gold, this chief had stirred
up his tribe to resist these pale-faced invaders
of their hunting-grounds. But the poor half-
armed savages were no match for Californian
pioneers, brave and reckless; these, armed with
rifles and revolvers, dealt destruction upon
their assailants, and, after a brief and bloody
warfare, in which Shilsileedza and half his
tribe were slain, Indian resistance was at an
With loud wailings and lamentations, as is
the custom of her people, Kenadqua mourned
for her brave father. As her mother too was
dead, she now fell to the care of a mean and
sordid uncle, and his two dusky squaws. She
went to five, with them in one of the underground earth-houses in which these people
pass their winter months. Here Kenadqua
dwelt contented, knowing as yet no other
manner of life. She would occupy herself with
making mats or baskets, or, when the ground
was not frozen too hard, she would go up into
the hills to dig for roots for the family meal.
It was about this time—perhaps in one of
those excursions, perhaps intruded upon in her
own dwelling—that this poor child of nature
first came under the eye of a white man who
lived in a cabin by the river not far distant.
He was a miner, wild and unscrupulous,
fearing neither God nor devil, and caring as
little for the soul of another as he did for his
own.    A few days afterwards the wretch came and proposed to the Indians to sell this poor
girl to him ! Such, indeed, is the way in
which some of our countrymen are not
ashamed to treat these unhappy savages.
Alas! instead of teaching Christianity to
them, they make them more degraded far
than they were before. This man, false to his
faith, forgetful of the Lord Who is the Father
of the whole human family, goes and buys this
daughter of the heathen, to make her, so far
as he can, a child of hell. Not that, however,—
not that! For although those rascally Indians
sold her to him, yet before she had lived long
in his cabin she was, by God's mercy, rescued,
even as " a brand plucked out of the fire."
On a Sunday afternoon, not long after
this miserable transaction, we were preaching
amongst the Indians, and chanced to visit the
earth-house where Kenadqua's parents dwelt.
The reader will be able to form some idea of
this style of habitation, if I say that the
appearance it presents as you approach it is
not unlike a huge bowl turned upside down.
You climb up the outside of this bowl, and,
reaching the top, you find an aperture, which
is door, chimney, and window all in one.
Through this a pole rises from the floor beneath.     In order to get into the plage you 150     KENADQUA :  A STORY OF SAVAGE LIFE.
must clamber down the notched side of this
pole; and as the fire-place is immediately
below, you descend amongst the savages in
a cloud of smoke, not unlike some heathen
deity. You now find yourself in a tolerably
large circular earthen chamber, round which
are ranged men,'women, and children, whose
keen eyes and dark faces are at once concentrated upon you, expressing either welcome
or alarm. " Leplate," however, be he Anglican or Roman, is ever welcome, because
they know his heart is good towards the
Having intimated our desire to preach, an
interpreter had to be appointed,—one who
should know Chinook, the only channel of
communication then open to us. Now it
chanced that Kenadqua was present that Sunday on a visit to her people, and as she alone
understood Chinook, the chief bade her interpret. Seated on the ground, Indian fashion,
we began; clause by clause, as we spoke,
Kenadqua repeated our words in the dialect of
the tribe; clause by clause, as she uttered
them, they were reiterated by an Indian who
stood in the middle of the house, and gave
forth each dictum with vehement gesticulation. REDEMPTION.
Now in our sermon we spoke of the gospel
message of mercy (which the savage is glad
enough to receive), and then proceeded to
insist upon the obedience of fife which all who
really believed that gospel message would show;
a part of the truth which he is not quite so
ready to accept. The Indian, we said, whose
heart was good towards the Great Father, and
towards His Son, the great chief Jesus Christ,
would do what He says, and give up what He
hates. So on we went, led we scarce knew
whither, until we found ourself denouncing the
prevailing social evil (concubinage of their
women with the whites), as a thing accursed,
and quite against the will of the Father,—sure
to lead to degradation, misery, and death in
this world, and the punishment of fire in the
world to come. If any white man wanted
honestly to wed with an Indian girl, that, we
said, was another thing; they should be
married; "leplate" would make them join
hands, and give them God's blessing; they
should then be no longer two but one, and live
together as man and wife for ever till they
died. But, as for those temporary and unhallowed connexions, they were thoroughly
bad. Indians must steer clear of them, or
their canoe would be smashed among the rocks; mm
and if any girl there was already entangled in
such a connexion, so degrading, so offensive to
the Great Spirit, so deadly,—she must not
hesitate, but do at once what God required of
her,—she must break it off.
It was the truth, and we spoke it plainly,
lest souls should perish through our silence.
Yet we scarcely realized what we said, or
rather were made to say. Our spirit was but
an instrument through which the Eternal
Spirit spoke, a harp on which He played what
strains He pleased. We knew nothing of the
special circumstances of the poor girl who was
interpreting for us. How cruelly our every
word must have torn her heart!
But, mercifully, she did not harden herself
against the message thus painfully brought
home to her. No! for the Lord opened her
•heart to receive His word. This was the very
first occasion on which her duty was made
known to her; for, although probably baptized
in her childhood by a Roman Catholic priest
on his way through the country, she had never
before understood anything about the religion
of Jesus. Now for the first time she learnt
the sinfulness of her manner of life; and for
the first time heard that the duty of every sinful
child of man is repentance towards God, and OBEDIENCE.
faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, with immediate
amendment of life. As soon as she heard
this, she determined to obey. Shall we err in
believing that this ready faith and obedience
on her part was a proof that Kenadqua was
indeed one of those who have been " given by
the Father to the Son 1 ? " He that is of God
heareth God's words."
The service ended, she came and told us of
her circumstances and her life. " Ought she,"
she inquired, "to leave the man at once?"
" Tell him he must marry you," we replied;
" the priest must make you one to live together
till you die. If he says no, then you must
leave him." |' At once ? " she inquired. " Give
him a little time to make up his mind." " How
long ? " she asked; " till the great Sunday ? "
meaning Christmas, then a few weeks distant.
" Yes, that would do."
The man refused to marry Kenadqua,
and so in a very short time she left him-,
and came back to live in that Indian earth-
house. The man was furious, swearing he
would shoot the " meddling preacher." One
day, either thoughtlessly or in spite, he
wrote Kenadqua's name on a slip of paper
and then threw the paper into the fire.
Now   the girl's  brother was present   when 154  KENADQUA : A STORY OF SAVAGE LIFE.
this occurred. What object that brother had
in returning to the white man's house, after all
the evil he had done to, we cannot
say; all we know is, he was there when the
paper was burnt on which was written the
name of his sister. Now Indians, as we have
already shown, have a superstitious terror of
paper; looking as they do upon writing as a
means by which the whites hold communion
with the unseen powers, nay, with the Great
Spirit Himself. Besides,, to them the name
means the person bearing that name. So
Kenadqua, when she heard that this paper
with her name upon it had been burnt,
imagined herself doomed. She, poor child,
thought that the destruction of her name was
a presage of her own destruction; and, there
being much sickness in that part of the
country to which with her people she had
removed, she too fell sick in the early spring,
and died. She died,—may we not believe
that she fell asleep in Jesus, to awake among
the tried and faithful ones in Paradise ? Was
it not as a reward for her great act of
obedience that she was thus early taken from
the evil to come ? She had heard the voice
of God, and, forsaking all, had followed it.
Leaving the comfort and abundance  of the MBlWMMWBBiilWSWiHl
white man's cabin, she had followed the
mighty call of that still small Voice Divine
back into the cold and dismal dwellings of her
people,—into destitution and wretchedness,—
yes, and even into sickness and early death.
Therefore the Lord was pleased to take her
from a scene of misery and temptation to the
peace of His heavenly kingdom.
Rest, fair child of the forest, in thine early
grave, where the dark pines wave on the lonely
mountain! Ignorant and untutored as thou
wert, thou hast been willing to receive the
truth, and strong to obey it: the reward of
life is thine. When I think of the dangers
amid which the daughters of thy people are
placed, and of the men, heartless as wolves,
who prowl around the fold, I feel indeed that
it is mercy that has removed thee hence, and
that in mercy the Good Shepherd has taken
His lamb to His bosom.
Bleak and dreary beyond description is the
plain around Lillooet on one of those keen
winter days of which fortunately there are in
any year but few, when the thermometer is
say 25° below zero, and the cutting wind,
blowing straight from out the icy gates of the
north, drives this intense cold in the traveller's
face, mpnacing his nose and ears with the
deadly frost-bite. The scene is grand in the
extreme, could one on such a day tarry to
contemplate scenery. On either side the
Fraser, and at some distance from the river,
rise lofty mountain-ranges, stately and majestic
in their robe of snow. The mighty Fraser,
whose channel is some two hundred feet below
the plain, flows in silence beneath its frost-
bound surface. But far away its liberated
waters may be seen, the only black thing in a
landscape of snow, wandering in many a serpentine bend, till they lose themselves among
the distant mountains. A  FRIGHTFUL  SCENE.
On one such day in the winter of 1863 we
were out in the neighbourhood of Lillooet,
beating up against the " Schwoo'oocht," as
the Indians expressively call that dreadful
north wind. The hour was noon; and although
the sky was clear, no glad sunshine cheered
the wintry scene. In truth, the sun was performing his diurnal eclipse; for ever at that
period of the year an envious mountain to the
south raised his unwelcome head between him
and the region below, shutting out his cheerful
light. .
Striking was it, on such a day, to mark the
change produced by the sun's noon-day disappearance. So long as he shone, the cold
was not so keen; the bitter wind might pain,
but it could not depress : so bright was the
snowy scene around, and so clear the sky above
you. But when the gloomy shadow began to
steal over the landscape, as the beneficent
luminary withdrew himself, what a change!
Then all nature mourned; the north wind
raged with ten-fold acerbity and fury; it was
as though its good genius had left the place,
and abandoned it to the malignant powers of
winter. Such is the Christian in the winter of
the world, when some mountain of sin, un-
confessed and unforgiven, conceals for a time
II m$m
the Sun of Righteousness from his soul. Then
there comes over his life a deep and dreary
shadow. Then the ills of existence, which
indeed were there before, and had power to
pain, but not to depress, are felt with overwhelming force. His good genius has departed:
uncheered and alone he must encounter the
fierceness of the blast.
But to come to our story. As we went
across the plain, suddenly a cry fell upon our
ear—a cry loud and mournful; a cry of supplication of some poor Indian in distress. The
sound proceeded from a small tent half concealed in the snow. Approaching the wretched
dwelling, we raised the fold which covered
the entrance, and crept in. What a scene of
misery! On one side of a poor fire sat the
Indian we had heard. On the other side lay,
huddled  in a blanket, his squaw, ill with a
malignant type of small-pox, foulest of diseases. Poor thing! she looked like nothing
human !—a frightful object—a living death.
Next to her was her child/ evidently sickening
from the same fearful malady. And so this
poor Indian, encompassed thus with misery in
its most revolting and most overwhelming
form, threatened with the loss of all that he
held dear, was there pouring out his soul in THE  UNKNOWN GOD DECLARED.
cries and groanings, which could not be uttered,
because no language might adequately express
them. There was something heart-rending in
the scene—the surrounding woe, and the poor
savage in the midst, the picture of despair,
with his dark face, his long black hair, and his
hands crossed upon his naked bosom, wailing
out in mournful cadences his prayer to an
unknown God ! Yet in those plaintive tones
there seemed, one could not but think, some
faint element of hope, as if he felt that his
cries could not be really thrown away upon the
wild and idle wind, but must be heard by the
" Great Spirit," although what that Great
Spirit was, and Who, he knew not, nor yet
what He meant in being apparently so cruel to
him. And indeed the prayers of this " poor
destitute" had not been thrown away. They
had entered into the ears of the Lord God of
Sabaoth. They had come up " as a memorial
before God." He Who heareth the young
ravens when they cry, was not inattentive to
the supplication of one in whom were traces of
His own Divine image. For, undoubtedly, it
was not chance, but Providence, which sent us
to that poor man in the very moment of his
After first assuring him that his most press- mm
ing wants would be ~ immediately supplied (for
there was much small-pox about the settlement, and the miners were very generous in
relieving its victims), we sought to let in the
light of Revelation upon the darkness of his
condition. We taught him the nature of that
Great Spirit in Whose hands were the destinies
of him and his, as our Saviour Christ has
made Him known. God was no cruel or vindictive tyrant, who took pleasure in afflicting
creatures, but a merciful and loving Father,
Who punished His children in order that they
might repent and turn to Him, and become
fit for that good country to which He meant
to take them when they died. He had only,
we told him, to believe that God is good, and
to have a "good heart" towards His Son
Jesus Christ, and all would be well. His past
bad deeds would be all forgiven; the blood of
Jesus sprinkled upon his heart would make it
clean; the Good Spirit Himself would come
down into his heart to make him good, and to
teach him to do what is right. As for his poor
wife and child, they were in the Father's
hands, Who loved them a great deal better
even than he did. He could recover them, if
He thought proper: perhaps He would. Let
him ask God, for His great mercy's sake, to scene After A small-pox visitation.   161
restore them. But if otherwise—if He was
pleased to take those loved ones from him—
whatever He did, let him understand it well,
that was well done which He did. Only
he must have a good heart towards Him, for
the Great Father loved him well. Was it not
clear that He loved him well ? Would He else
have sent us to him that very hour to speak
these good words to him, and make his heart
great, which was before so small—so very
small ?
And then we left. And again the sufferer
prayed—but now no longer in despair; no
longer to an unknown God. Now, with intelligence and faith, he called upon the Great
Spirit as Father, and committed himself and
his poor family to Him as to a faithful Creator.
And not many days after both wife and child
were brought back to him as from the very
jaws of death.
Many other cases not less affecting occurred,
we need not say, when this horrible epidemic
was raging in that neighbourhood. To the
Indians of North America small-pox has been
a fearful scourge. It is computed that, since
its first introduction by the whites, as many as
three millions of them have fallen victims to
this disease.    Amongst the Lillooet Indians
\msa8!BtaiW!4^mBmmgR&$!$iMk' 16i
it made fearful ravages, notwithstanding all
the efforts made to arrest its progress. It
came upon them crowded together in their
close winter-houses underground, and in one
case struck down twenty in a single night.
It found them, too, in their miserable tents unprotected from the cold; and when its feverish
touch was upon them, the cold winds of
winter blew on them, and they perished. Their
old camping-grounds became a desolation.
Each spot there had its tale of sorrow, its
monument of death. Here a chief, the only
brave man among a multitude of cowards,
breathed his last; here perished a faithful
servant of the whites; and here again is a
ruined earth-house, which but a little while
ago was the scene of savage mirth and harmless enjoyment, but is now the tomb of its
former inmates. Where their camp-fires had
blazed—where the sounds of their rude worship had resounded—nothing remained save
graves of the dead; nothing was heard save,
perhaps, from some wretched habitation, the
groan of the solitary sufferer, calling in the
forsakenness of his dying agony on the Friend
of the friendless.
Much was  done  to  relieve the   sufferers.
Government came generously forward to assist THE LIVING IN THE ARMS OF THE DEAD. 163
private benevolence. A deserted miner's cabin
was converted into a temporary hospital. When
the patient could not be removed, blankets, tea
and sugar, soup, &c, were conveyed to him
where he dwelt. A few recovered, thanks to'
vaccination; and the last hours of those who
perished were cheered by this kindness. Above
all, the message of mercy, coming though late,
and understood but darkly, enlightened their
parting moments, and made them close their
eyes in hope. Sweet is it to minister to a
fellow-immortal those heavenly consolations
which rob death of its sting; sweet to speak
of a Father's and a' Saviour's love to eager
souls who, as the hart desireth the water-
brooks, are athirst for the living God!
On one of those days of piercing cold in
February, 1863, we went to visit an Indian
camp on Lake Seton, some four miles to the
west of Lillooet. The trail to the lake leads up
a narrow defile, through which the clear waters
of the Lillooet stream pursue their impetuous
course to the Fraser. The scenery is of no
common order. Right in front of you, beyond
the broad expanse of Lake Seton, rises a snowcapped mountain range; to your left, as you
advance up the gorge, towers the great Mount
Brew j while to the right is St. Mary's Mount,
m 2
wmmmimmmmim mmsismm
lovely and majestic, with its seven jagged
peaks in all their irregular beauty, rising sheer
and sharp into the clear blue sky.
The Indians we found encamped near the
lake in a small thicket of cotton-wood, a spot
well sheltered from the wind. Entering one
of the miserable brush-tents they were living
in, we exchanged greetings with the inmates,
who sat, each wrapt in his blanket, crouching
over the small fire of wood which burnt in the
centre, and was doing its best to send the perverse smoke straight up through the hole in
the roof intended for it. We learnt that there
were but few cases of sickness in the camp,
for by this time the disease had considerably
abated throughout the district. Passing on a
little farther, we came to a sort of booth which
looked even drearier than the rest, for no smoke
could be seen ascending from it, nor were there
about it any signs of habitation. We stooped
and looked in. Silence was there : it was the
silence of death. A figure lay rolled up in a
corner. Presently from this there came a feeble
cry as of a little child. Approaching, we removed the covering, and found, to our intense
horror, a dead Indian with a living child in his j
arms! Disengaging the poor little creature
from the cold grasp of its father, for such he "the eyes of the blind shall see." 165
was, we found him to be a child of some three
or four years old; but alas! when we looked
into his face, the eye-balls staring vacantly told
too plainly that he was stone-blind. The
Indians, to whom we then took him, told us
that the child had lain in that dreadful embrace
for twenty-four hours. The heartless ruffians
had actually suffered it to remain all that time
in the arms of a corpse !
Now the Indians are not usually wanting in
kindness to those of their own tribe; on the
contrary, they are wont to regard their own
tribesmen as brothers and sisters. On this
occasion they excused themselves for their
brutal conduct by saying that they were very
much afraid of the small-pox : more; they were
greatly afraid of that child; its eyes, they said,
terrified them. In fact, they seemed to fancy
that the poor little creature, with its blank
rolling eye-balls, was in some way or other
" possessed."
There was evidently nothing for it but to
have the child brought into the hospital near
the town. But at first the Indians absolutely
refused to carry it in; and it was only after
much waw-waw (parley), and sundry threats
of the skookkum-house (gaol) and corporal
castigation,  that   one  of   them  was   got  to
ii &mm
undertake to carry him. So, wrapt in a blanket, the child was packed on this Indian's
back, and we set out for the town. So bitter
cold was the wind We had to face, that I scarcely
expected the little creature to survive the journey. But it did; and in the course of time we
reached the hospital in safety. Placed before
the fire, the poor blind child revived; it called
for its dead father, and began to eat. But its
little frame had been too sorely tried; and the
next morning at day-break it went its way to
the Land where sorrows cease, and where " the
eyes of the blind shall see." LIGHT IN DARKNESS.
It was Good Friday, in the year of grace
1863. Calm and bright was the day sacred
to holiest memories, and full of the promise of the Spring. But,' alas! for our
white population such days have but little
interest. There is no chance of a congregation till the evening. Let us, then, go and
visit the Indians at the Fountain, eight miles
up the River; for well we know that, if they
are at home, they will be glad to hear the
marvellous tidings of this wondrous day.
Chilhoseltz, Fountain chief, received us with
a hearty welcome. He was one of the best of
Indians; not ferocious and treacherous like so
many of them, but with much about him that
was chivalrous and noble. In fact he was one
of nature's gentlemen. On one occasion some
time before, we had gone with the magistrate
of the district to visit this chief, who was sick
—so ill, indeed, that his life was despaired of.
As we entered his cabin, he was lying on the
11 168
ground, wrapped in his furs; but no sooner
did he see the white chiefs come in, than,
despite his great weakness, he rose to his feet,
and, pulling off his furry cap, advanced and
greeted us with a dignity such as many a lord
might envy.
Gladly, then, on this Good Friday, did the
chief receive us, and at once set about the
necessary arrangements for service. In the
rough log-house which those Indians had built
expressly for Divine worship we were presently
assembled, the Indians sitting on the ground
in a semicircle, we standing in the middle.
With that rapt attention which characterizes
the Red Indian did they listen, as we explained to them the meaning of the day, and
endeavoured to set forth before them the scene
of Calvary. They are susceptible of religious
impressions, and were touched (as might be
expected) by the story of what the mighty
Chief, the Lord of heaven and earth, had
endured for love of them. Again was fulfilled
the word, " I, if I be lifted up from the earth,
will draw all men unto Me." The love displayed on the Cross drew those simple hearts
to Jesus.
But when we went on to unfold to them the
meaning of that sacrifice, and its effect upon PEACE  THROUGH  THE  WORD.
the souls of men, it seemed as if we were taking
them deeper than they could follow. In vain
we endeavoured to make them see what sin
was, that it necessitated a sacrifice, and that
the death of Christ took it away. At length
we determined to abide by the simple words
of Scripture, trusting to' the Divine Spirit to
explain it to their souls. So, translating the
words, I The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth
us from all sin," we kept repeating them until
they all could say them: " Meetkea Jesus
Christ 'ntzowoom howheite te' kiischtes."
And there was one of them at least to whose
heart the Divine Spirit interpreted these words.
She was a very old squaw indeed, very ugly
and very dirty, and her eyes were almost
totally sealed in blindness. But as she heard
the message of salvation, her old face was
lighted up with a beam of gladness, as she
kept repeating again and again,'' Ma ! howheite
te' kiischtes"—yes, from all sin. It seemed
that the Lord had opened her eyes, and shown
her what most she required to know—that she
was a sinner, and that Jesus was her Saviour.
Here was the very message she needed, the
message of pardon and peace. " Justified freely
by His grace, she had peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ."   Thus may the simple
wmrnmsmaggsm 170
message of the gospel,—because it is the
" power of God/'—even when spoken in broken
language to a throng of savages in a barbarous
tongue, bring peace to the heart. MY MAN CHENTA.1
Once, when living at Lillooet, I had a Red
Indian as my servant, Whose name was Chenta.
In such regions one takes what service one
can get, and is glad of it; else Chenta had
scarcely been my choice. A savage wild from
his native woods; fierce and cunning of
aspect; face painted fiery red; mane flowing
in coarse tangled mazes to his shoulders—
altogether not an attractive-looking specimen
of humanity. What gave his countenance a
peculiarly dark and sinister look was this,
that he had but one eye, and the look that
it oast was lurid, though piercing—somewhat
dangerous and furtive, too—-in a word, "no
And, indeed, his antecedents were not much
in his favour. He was said .to be a notorious
thief; indeed he was supposed to have sinned
against the sixth commandment as well as the
1 Reprinted from Cassell's Magazine, with the kind permission of"the Editor.
wzmBmmmi*! rasra
eighth. But this was, no doubt, a libel. All
I can say is he never stole from me—at least
that I knew of—nor did he make any attempt
to murder me, and that I probably should
have known of. He was very useful in doing
the rough work about the Tiouse—chopping
firewood, drawing water, and so forth. For
this sort of work these Indians are extremely
valuable to colonists. They are not, however,
always to be trusted with what may be termed
the more delicate and refined portions of household service, such as, for instance, the washing-
up of dishes.
My friend hard by, Roskyn, the gaoler and
sheriff of the place, told me once of his consternation when, one evening, sitting smoking
his post-prandial pipe, whilst his Indian was
washing up in the corner of the room, he looked
up and witnessed the proceedings. The Indian
first filled his mouth with water, then squirted
the contents of his mouth on to the plate in
his hand, which, having thus washed, he next
proceeded to dry, by applying to it his dark
and flowing locks.
The vast difference between races may be
shown in the washing of a plate. Primeval
and savage man might adopt the mode described, and think it natural and becoming; My man chenta.
but to man civilized the process seems unnatural, because abominable. If I was sometimes tempted to forget the hiatus which lay
between me and the noble savage, an incident
such as the above would remind me of that
Chenta was, of course, fully aware of the distinction of being servant to the priest, i.e. the
chief and great medicine-man of the whites—>
him who worked in paper, and kept a sort of
telegraphic office for messages to and fro
between the Unseen and the Seen. So Chenta
did his best to maintain my dignity. Questionable were the means he sometimes used. One
day an Indian woman came to the door to sell
" gleece-stick "—that is, resinous pine-sticks
for kindling fires. Having no loose cash at
the moment, I directed Chenta to dismiss her.
To this she replied she would take bread
in payment. Now, it chanced that there
was no bread in the house. Chenta, however, did not like to tell her so, not wishing
to expose the poverty of the family. He
" Oh, the priest never eats; he is always
saying his prayers, and doing paper" (that is,
holding intercourse with the Unseen); " he
has no time for eating."    Then, in corrobo-
wmwmmmmmwmmmi 1
ration: "Don't you see how thin he is? he's
not fat like other white men."
I was amused, but mustered gravity enough
to rebuke the knave for his mendacity.
Chenta had, of course, a host of brothers
and dearest friends in his tribe whose tents
were pitched close by the white settlement.
To these he used generously to make over the
various articles of apparel I gave him for his
own adornment. He would come to me next
morning minus some very essential piece of
dress, or wearing some shabby substitute for
my gift. Exhibiting his tattered attire, he
would say that before he left the Indian camp
the natives were all out looking at him with
the most vivid astonishment depicted on their
faces, everybody exclaiming, "Look at Chenta's
coat! See, Chenta has no shirt! Chenta,
you ought to be ashamed of yourself! You,
the chief's man, to be wearing such a pair of
trousers!" By this artful dodge the villain
would endeavour to extort from me a new
change of raiment.
I remember once promising
I was wearing.     Shortly after
him the coat
I was taken
a   lachrymose-
ill.    Said  Chenta   to   me,  in
" Chief, you very ill; hope you not die." MY MAN  CHENTA.
" Why, Chenta ?" said I, touched. " Would
you be very sorry ?"
"Oh, chief, very sorry Chenta, 'spose you
die, 'cause then me not get that coat!"
And yet might he not have entered my cabin
on any night—the door was never locked—and,
assisted perhaps by a brother Indian or two,
despatched me in my sleep, and then freely
helped himself to my wardrobe and other
" fixins " ? His conscience would have quieted
itself with the recollection of the last Indian
whom Justice had done to death in the colony,
and whose death would be avenged by mine.
But he did not. Chenta, when I think of it,
I feel grateful. Yes. Long be thy life spared,
as thou sparedst mine !
The Chief of the tribe of Indians in the Valley
of Pasilqua was old Clatumnadza, who was
also quiaelox, that is, medicine-man. Although
chief, it can hardly be said that he was remarkable for personal beauty or dignity. His face
was tanned and wrinkled with the blasts of
seventy snows. His long hair floating over
his shoulders was no longer white, for smoke
and dirt and exposure had dyed it green. He
bore some resemblance to the green-haired
genius of the River, who used to flourish in
the pages of Punch under the name of Father
This ancient personage told me something
about the history of his tribe; and among
other' things, a tradition of the first visit paid
it by white men.
To judge from his description, it must have
been in the days of his great grandfather, and
his tribe were living on the bank of a great
river, when, much to their astonishment, there RELIGIOUS  DANCING AND  POLYGAMY.      177
came down-stream a boat full of palefaces,
the first of the race they had ever seen. They
had come, he understood, across the Rocky
Mountains, from Canada, and were doubtless
French Canadians, for the name of one which
had been handed down in the tribe was
Chapelle. Well, those men, eight in number,
were most hospitably received by the Indians,
with whom they stayed two days. They appear
to have shown their appreciation of this kindness in a somewhat equivocal way, for they
taught the simple savages certain strange
things. First, they taught them to dance in
their religious exercises, and then that the more
they danced, and the more vehemently, the
better pleased the Great Spirit would be. I
have accordingly known them spend a whole
night from dusk to dawn in wild jumping and
dancing in their earth-houses. They also
taught them that it was a bad thing to
haye only one wife—two at least every good
Indian ought to have—a gospel which the
savages highly appreciated, and practised. It
was difficult for one to believe that the old
man was not " romancing" in all this; still I
hardly think his ingenuity would have been
equal to the effort.
Jt appeared from what he further told me, BBMMMaSMBHM
that the practice of these strangers was as
slippery as their creed; for having completed
their instructions, they bade the Indians gather
their furs, the black and silver grey fox, the
martin, the beaver; they were going, they
said, to carry them to the top of the opposite
mountain, and there present them to the Great
Spirit: pleased, He should call the Indians
good, and send them in due season rain and
plenty of salmon. Thus exhorted, the Indians
collected their choicest furs, and gave them to
the whites. But instead of taking the skins to
the mountains, the scoundrels took them down
to their boat, and made off with them as fast
as they could down the river.
My aged friend was, as I have said, the
medicine-man of the tribe. This functionary,
who is doctor, magician, and high-priest all
in one, is held in great veneration. Naturally, a position of such distinction requires
certain qualifications. It must not be supposed that their M.D.'s, any more than ours,
become so without passing their examinations.
Above all, they must prove themselves men^
as the savage understands it. Courage is the
sine qudnon of an Indian doctor. The following
is the ordeal by which his courage is proved:—
In a large Indian earth-house are assembled EXAMINATION  OF CANDIDATES  FOR  M.D.   179
the candidates for a doctor's diploma innocent
of apparel. Presently several dogs are tossed
into the arena. These the candidates rush
at with their teeth. Each seizes his dog.
Heedless of the yells and bites of the poor
animal, he holds him tight, tears him limb
from limb, and ends by actually devouring him.
Should any candidate fail in this trial, not only
is he "plucked," but for ever after he is looked
upon as white-livered, and a woman. Those
who perform successfully this truly fiendish
work, have next to pass through a season
of retirement. They live for a year in the
woods alone, engaged in the contemplation
of natural objects, and the study of medicinal
herbs. This second probation ended, they
are duly installed in their office as medicinemen.
It was a sight to see the old man operating
upon a patient. One day, passing near a
tent, I heard loud and reiterated shouts and
vociferations. Lifting the flap which formed
the door I looked in, and found that all this
noise proceeded from old Clatumnadza. Before
him lay his patient, a middle-aged woman.
Covered with a buffalo robe (I suppose to
make him look the more awful), the medicineman was doing his best to frighten away the
n 2 amatsBtsansa
demon out of his unhappy patient: he would
snort, and blow, and spit water on his victim
to drive that evil spirit forth. Then, if the
creature declined to go, he would roar at him
as loud as he could bellow, and stamp furiously
on the ground; and he must, indeed, have
been a strong-minded demon who could hold
out and hold on through all that storm. I
need hardly add that I heard of more cases of
kill than of cure under this treatment; and
there can be no doubt that the medicine-man
is a prodigious impostor, who makes his living
chiefly by working on the superstitious fears of
those benighted savages. Still I do not deny
that he sometimes succeeds in relieving pain,
or even in effecting cures, through his knowledge of medicinal herbs, as well as by the
vapour baths which he recommends largely to
those much-exposed and rheumatically-afflicted
sons of the desert. A SUNDAY IN CARIBOO,
We now give a few reminiscences of the famous
gold-diggings of Cariboo. The country in this
remote and inaccessible region is wild, mountainous, and bristling with forest. So rough
and unattractive is it, that one can well
imagine that nothing short of gold could have
drawn men into it : but gold is a potent
magnet, for it represents all the good things
put together that this poor world can bestow.
Alas for the Riches, imperishable but invisible :
what chance for them in a country where the
bright seductive nuggets glitter in the brook ?
One fine morning in June, '61, we set out
from the Forks of Quesnel for Antler Creek,
then the centre of the gold-field. In miners'
costume, i. e. coatless, in woollen shirt, belt,
and top-boots, with blankets for the night and
other indispensable " fixins " strapped across
our shoulders, and a stout stick in our hands, we
set forth. Heavy walking it was, we remember
well.    A stout Californian who accompanied
53l5!2fiu'ik!n5iSS22L/*!Si 182
growled at the roughness of the trail, and
observed that " Jordan was a hard road to
travel." It was indeed. First we had to go
up a stiff mountain thickly covered with
brush; next we reached a " dismal swamp"
in a valley on the other side, through which
we went nearly knee-deep in mud. Then
came a second most respectable hill known
as the Bald Mountain, from its treeless crown
—from whose summit bold and bare, cold
and snow-spotted, we caught a far-off glimpse
of the Rocky Mountains themselves. At length
after two days' weary travel we came upon a
secluded valley, whence broke the joyous
sounds of labour, and presently was disclosed
to view the row of white wooden cottages
and dark log-huts which rejoiced in the high-
sounding designation of Antler Citv.
And so we were in the gold-mines at last.
We were not, however, the first to preach the
Gospel in Cariboo. This honour belongs to
the Rev. Christopher Knipe, now vicar of St.
Clement's, Terrington. We found him there
on our arrival, dwelling in a tent, living on
littFe else than beans and bacon, and roughing
it thoroughly. Let it not, however, be supposed that the miners cared very much whether
we were there or not. In modern days the offence ■ napim
of the Cross has not ceased, but it shows itself
more in indifference, less in violence.
In '64 Antler Creek was nowhere as a gold-
field,  and William's Creek had  become the"
centre of attraction.
When firstin'61 we visited the glen now grown
so famous, it was nothing but a scarcely penetrable mass of forest and brushwood with a
rude miner's hut here and there on the bank,
and an occasional miner's wheel in the stream.
Our first service was in a half-built store, where
the auditors were but seven in number, and
where swarms of most blood-thirsty mosquitoes tried then: temper, and disturbed our
eloquence. But this year a far different scene
meets the eye, as descending the steep flank
of the Bald Mountain we approach the valley
now proved the richest gold-pocket in the
world. Since our last visit, a great fire has
cleared the hill-sides of their luxuriant vegetation, and the hills of their stately pines, leaving
them bare and black with charred stumps.
There are now three miners' towns: the first
Richfield, with substantial buildings, courthouse, church, jail, &c, while an elegant little
white cottage on the hillside indicates the
residence of Judge Begbie, who spends his
summer in this remote and dreaiw den for the
"  ■ "■    '"    -■:.■   =-  ■—J:'^--'"Cr-T,'Tr.V-   .'" ^_,^_L;__~! A  SUNDAY IN CARIBOO.
sake of keeping the Queen's peace among the
somewhat excitable gold-seekers. There, too,
is the Government-house, abode of Mr. O'Reilly,
Gold Commissioner, and so to speak satrap of
Cariboo. Government agent, with unlimited
authority, and wisdom and benevolence to
match, O'Reilly, honoured and beloved among
men, who that has known thee can ever cease
to remember with regard !
Beyond Richfield, a mile farther down the
valley, is the second embryo town of Barkerville, and half-a-mile beyond that is Cameron-
town, the busiest place on William's Creek. Here
we have our abode, having purchased with fifty
dollars a humble mansion, which stands close
by the Creek, too close one would think to
be comfortable, for this gold-brook has an
awkward knack of deviating from its proper
course when its channel becomes dammed by
stuff brought up from the mines. Our dwelling
is six feet by eight, built of logs; with an
open fire-place at one end; a door opposite;
no window; floor consisting of a few loose
planks; furniture, a three-legged stool, and a
table nailed on to the wall.
We now give some recollections of a Sunday
in Cariboo. But before proceeding, we would
express our thanks to Dr. Macaulay, the learned SUNDAY  SERVICES.
Editor of the Sunday at Some, for permission to
use and here reproduce, not unrevised, a paper
published some years back in that admirable
and useful Magazine.
It is needless to dilate upon the various
domestic duties which on rising one must
discharge,—duties of a nature not fitted particularly to brace the spirit for the work of
the day, but still indispensable, e. g. such
as the lighting of the fire, fetching water
from the spring, preparing breakfast, not to
speak of sweeping the floor with an improvised
broom, and sundry other little jobs, or | chaws"
as they call them: "(having imported from
Canada this corruption of an old Shak-
spearean word " chares" or perchance of the
French choses).
But to our work. There is first the service
at the jail at Richfield. There you have a
congregation, if a small and select one: will
they nil they, they must attend. Next comes
the regular eleven o'clock service in the church
—for a church has actually been built here by
the exertions of the Rev. J. Sheepshanks, Rector
of New Westminster, in '62. Here, too, there
is sure to be a congregation. The officials
resident on the Creek will invariably be
present.    Unlike many of our countrymen in
P^HfflMWMIfflra 186
distant lands, those in authority at Cariboo,
from the Gold Commissioner to the Constables, were faithful in these religious duties.
This was all the more exemplary, because our
Richfield service was, it must be admitted,
somewhat cold; there was scarcely any music
to enliven it; nor were there any of those
sweet accompaniments of worship which in
other more favoured lands help to raise the
thoughts to Heaven.
Notice had been given of service at Barkerville in the afternoon. This place was at
that time the worst in the mines,—a place
where gambling, drinking, swearing, and other
vices reigned unchecked. On the Sunday we
speak of, service was to be held at a half-built
wooden house, for as yet no church had been
built. As the hour drew near there seemed
little hope of success: for the billiard saloons
were more than usually full, and the streets
more densely crowded with mule-trains unloading, and miners coming in, their packs on
their backs, from the adjacent creeks. These
meeting their acquaintances, would hail them
with the strange mode of recognition of oaths
and curses! These sounds, combined with
the shouting of the muleteers, and the jingling
of the mule-bells, with an occasional yell from NO  CONGREGATION.
one of the saloons, made a general uproar not
very encouraging to one seeking to hold a
Borrowing from a neighbouring restaurant
a triangle (the substitute used for a bell to call
the miners to their meals), we sounded from
the door of the place of meeting a summons to
worship. Long we rang, but in vain. The
men in the street looked on in unconcern, not
to say contempt. Passers-by would cast a
glance into the building, and hasten on, as
if Divine service was no concern of theirs".
Presently a solitary man came in; but, finding
nO one else there, he went away. Laying
aside our triangle, we paced the empty room
in bitterness of spirit. " Can it be," we
thought, "that the gospel had been amongst
men for nineteen centuries, and yet among a
multitude of white men—of Anglo-Saxons—
of nominal Christians—there are not found so
much as two or three willing to devote a brief
half-hour of the Lord's day to God's worship ?
At all events," we said, " they shall hear of
their wickedness." Then, taking up an empty
box, we went out into the street, and placing
our box at the corner of the adjoining billiard
saloon, we stood upon it, and began to address
the groups who were lounging about.    With-
wmmm 188
out any preliminaries we plunged at once into
our subject, and charged home upon them
their sin of indifference to Divine things.
" How could they dare," we said (or words
to that effect), "to treat the Almighty as they
did ? Here was His worship brought to their
very door, and they would not take the trouble
to walk two yards to do Him homage. He
had come near to them in the fulness of His
love and mercy, and they would not so much
as listen to His voice. Could it be that they
despised the riches of His grace and long-
suffering ? Was it that they judged themselves unworthy of eternal life ? Perhaps,
indeed, they were. It might be that such a
cursing, blaspheming, whisky-drinking, cheating, card-playing crowd were not fit to appear
in the presence of the Lord, or to receive any
of the blessings He has promised. Perhaps
there was to be no salvation for men like them
who so distinctly preferred living in their sins,
and who had so little desire after a better life,
and cared so little for their God, that they
would not move a hand or a foot to gain the
way of salvation. And perhaps I did wrong,"
we said, " in coming out there to speak to
them. It might be the will of God that they
should perish in their sins, and hear no more A GOSPEL  SERMON.
of the offer of mercy.    I had come out, however,
and had spoken,—because I couldn't help it."
Thus abruptly we concluded. There was no
visible effect produced. Their faces wore the
same nonchalant aspect as before. Perhaps there
was an expression of wonder superadded, as if
they would say, " Why, what is 'the preacher'
in such a rage about ? " Now to be frank, " the
preacher" had some misgiving himself about
this harangue; in fact, if the truth were told,
he was a little ashamed of it; he had spoken
harshly, and not with the persuasive " gentleness of Christ." Yet there are occasions when
open and careless sinners must hear the sterner
messages of the Truth; when they must be
warned, and exhorted to flee from the wrath to
come. This sermon, as we heard long afterwards, had taken hold on some of them, and
set them thinking. May some indeed have
been led to flee from the judgment which they
had provoked to the Redeemer Whom they
had despised, Who is the only " covert from
the tempest!"
On the Sunday afternoon, when there was
no service at Barkerville, we would cross the
ridge over into Lowhee Creek, some four miles
distant. The trail from William's Creek leads
up a rugged ravine into the thick forest: soon
iiJimMMmm\mm 190
we pass beyond the# sights and sounds of
Sunday labour and revelry. In this green
forest, on this rugged trail, under the shadow
of these lordly pines, there is a peaceful contrast to the scenes we have left. Nature, at
least, is in harmony with her Maker, if man is
not; and through her the Lord of Nature
speaks to the troubled spirit in accents of
Lowhee Creek, though a not unimportant
mining ground—for it has already produced a
vast amount of gold—is still much smaller than
William's Creek, and less thickly peopled. On
the Sunday of which we speak, the valley,
usually so quiet and so leafy, is a scene of
desolation. One of those great conflagrations,
so common in the forest primeval, is now
raging here. There has been no rain for many
weeks; and when this is the case, the pine-
trees, which are full of resinous substance, and
have quantities of dry moss (the food of the
Cariboo deer in the winter time) depending
from their boughs, are easily set ablaze.
Often from the embers of a miner's camp-fire
a flame will creep stealthily along the ground,
seize upon a giant of the wood, and ere long
cover a whole country-side with the destroying
element.    Such a fire we now witnessed on iH
descending upon the valley of Lowhee. Tho
mountain side opposite was one mass of flame.
As the fire went roaring up the valley, a flame
would be seen to burst forth from the main
column of attack, and, seizing upon a monarch
of the forest, would rush madly up his side,
leaping from branch to branch, until it flared
forth from the top like a fiery streamer, then
would come on the main body, completing the
work of destruction; and the valley, which a
few hours before rejoiced in its verdure, and
gloried in its graceful and stately trees, has
now become a black scene of desolation.
Descending into the bottom of the glen, we
made our way over smoking stumps, deadly to
shoe leather, to that lower portion of the valley
where were the principal mining huts, and
entered the public house, where we found a
few miners playing cards. Accosting the
" barkeep'," whom we knew, we said we had
come *over to hold service, and asked what
chance there was of a congregation. He said,
" Wall, the most of the boys had gone over to
William's, and there were very few of them
there; and he guessed it was hardly worth
Having ascertained that at least he had no
objections to our holding  service there, we
W^MMIggSSM 192
proceeded to look up the miners in the neighbourhood, and suoceeded in inducing a few to
Our service was short and simple, beginning
with the general confession and the Lord's
prayer; a lesson from the New Testament followed, and after that a short practical sermon
on the parable of the Prodigal Son, concluding
with one or two collects and an extempore
prayer. They were attentive, and seemingly
impressed. No doubt the gospel came before
some of them as something new; for reckless
living and bad habits soon make men unlearn
the religion of their early days.
Yet some of those whom one meets in gold-
diggings, such as Cariboo, have probably never
learnt much about religion. Some had not
indeed the faintest notion what it meant.
The only idea they connected with it being
that it was something very unpleasant. A
friend one Sunday overheard two miners conversing. Said one, " I have been to hear the
parson to-day, but," he added, " I reckon he
didn't do me much good; he didn't convert
me " (with Yankee nasal emphasis on the me).
To which the other rejoined, " Wall, I once was
caught by a parson, and that was on 	
(some creek or other in California), when one an
came to preach in a public-house, and then I
was fifteen years old. But they have never
caught me since. Now," he added, " I never
see a parson but I laugh."
Once on our inviting a man to church he
declined, and said it was a thing he never did.
He was a Universalist, and didn't believe in
any future punishment. He had only once
heard a sermon, and that was in California. A
Methodist preacher came into a saloon where
he was and preached. After preaching, his
reverence sat down to a hand at poker, and
before he left the place he broke two banks.
Our miner looked upon preaching as a mere
piece of business, and the whole of religion as
nothing but a big imposition. As a shrewd old
digger once observed of those illuminated ones
who pretended not to believe in religion, "At
home they believed it; now they know too much,
it seems ! But where did they get all this new
light'andthis wonderful wisdom of theirs ? Here,
on the Pacific Coast, was it ? And so this is
the land of wisdom!   A good joke, to be sure
That there were some good men and true
amongst them is an undoubted fact; indeed
our somewhat cynical friend just quoted is a
proof of this, to go no farther. It cost not a
little in the way of banter and ridicule to pro-
mtmmmtmximmmmiism 194 A  SUNDAY  IN  CARIBOO.
fess any religion or attend a service; yet
there were often good congregations. There
were men not unwilling to sacrifice much for
the faith. Thus, a kind-hearted clerk allowed
us to sojourn in his house at Quesnel Forks,
and eat of his meat, until he found that our
presence was driving away customers who
refused to come where a parson was, and in
this way was injuring his master's business.
Then, again, there were men who would not
work on a Sunday, and preferred to pay ten
dollars to their company each Lord's day as a
fine rather than violate their conscience. How
many of our miners at home would pay two
pounds a week for the privilege of a Sunday ?
Yes, good men and true there were even
amongst those who had lived the longest
boyond the fold of the visible Church, and
wandered farthest from the sound of a church-
bell ; miners who had roughed it long, but
whose hearts had never roughened, and who,
after protracted and searching probation, stood
out as faithful, as humble-hearted, though
vastly braver and stronger Christians than
when they had left their homes, and come
out upon the world.
Such was a rugged, weather-beaten Penn-
sylvanian, who stopped to speak to us one day "FAITHFUL AMONG THE  FAITHLESS."
after service at Lytton, in the ower country.
After thanking us for the service, he said, " It
must be a thankless task for you to preach the
gospel among such a people." He said he was
going to Cariboo. We spoke of the temptations there. Remarkable and never to be
forgotten was his reply. " Ah, sir," he said,
" I have been fourteen years on this Pacific
coast, and I have seen a good deal, and come
through a good deal in that time, you may
suppose. I think a man who by grace has
been enabled to weather it in these countries
"so long, may humbly expect to be able to go
through anything, and to get to the end in
safety." And you saw he was in earnest; a
true soldier of the Cross, grown a veteran
through much exposure and hard service in
many a well-foughten field. To such may
truly be applied the oft-quoted words of
" Faithful found
Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false, unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, nnterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;
Nor number, nor example, with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind
Though single."
But we hasten to the close of our Sunday,
o 2
5m^'BmmmmmmimimBmsiammmm^BSS^Sm^S^ 196
Six o'clock, or thereabouts, finds us back in
William's Creek and at Camerontown. The
bell is ringing at the " restaurant," and miners
are rushing in to supper. We join them; no
time to-day to cook our own beaf-steak,—our
usual practice, for although meals at two
dollars and a half (ten shillings) may not
inconvenience diggers who are shovelling out
their nuggets, and count their gold by pounds
and ounces, those prices are hardly within the
compass of a parson's purse. The meal is not
so bad as it might be, and does not, as in
former years, consist of beans and -bacon,—
far less of " beans straight," which is beans
without bacon. We have beef which has been
driven all the way from Oregon, we have also
potatoes grown not very far from the mines,
and we have "pumpkin" pies or peach pies—
a " Yankee notion," and not a bad one either.
It would be rude to criticize our messmates,
else we should observe that Dickens' well-
known description in his " American Notes " is
hardly an exaggeration after all. The "boys"
bolt their food with wondrous rapidity, eat
with their hats on, and can hardly out of
deference to the parson refrain from the usual
seasoning of oaths, though they try to, let us
own with, gratitude, and follow up  tho  evil WMrrnwiiMffl
expletive with an apology, which, however,
we must receive less courteously with something to this effect:—" It is not me, you
know, whom you are offending by speaking
in that way."
One Sunday evening, in the early days of
Camerontown, we were going to hold service
there in a half-built billiard saloon. A good-
natured young fellow rang a bell at the door,
and as ^no one appeared to be coming, he
suggested that perhaps the "boys" might
not know what the ringing was for. We
accordingly went to gather a congregation.
Among other places, we entered a small
public-house, which was crowded with miners,
standing round small tables on which were
piles of twenty-dollar pieces, engaged in that
deadly sin and snare of mining-life, gambling.
I Gentlemen," we sang out, "perhaps you can't
hear it for the noise, but there's a bell ringing
outside." Dead silence followed this announcement ; the majority did not know our voice, else
they would not have listened further, anticipating what was coming. " Gentlemen," we resumed, c' let me tell you what that bell is ringing
for; it is to invite you to worship. We are going
to have service at Mr. Barry's new saloon."
These last words, however, were drowned in a
mwmmsmBmmsisiasssssm 198
Babel of uproar, oaths, yells, and execrations,
which broke forth from. every corner of the
room. Some bade us go, we won't say whither;
others somewhat less discourteously, "Take
a drink." And yet for all that, the service
was held, and no doubt blest to some of them;
and even from that very company of votaries
of sin and blasphemers, there came to it two or
three stragglers.
One Sunday night, on going home to our
humble cabin after our labours, to court tired
Nature's sweet restorer, what was our dismay
to find our habitation surrounded with water.
Wading to the door we entered, and with
some difficulty struck a light, which disclosed
to us a most melancholy scene. The tiny
place was flooded with the dirty water of the
Creek, and the planks of our floor and cutty-
stool, and other worldly possessions, were
swimming complacently about. The water
was half way up the legs of our bed, and to
judge from the cause, which was evidently the
accumulation of tailings (material from the
mines) in the bed of the brook, it might as
readily as not increase, until it carried away
the whole establishment. Accordingly, seizing
our blankets we beat a retreat, and were fain MONDAY  MORNING.
to stretch ourselves upon the softest plank of a
neighbour's kindly floor.
So much for the Sunday; and now to conclude, we add a reminiscence of Monday
morning, which we extract from our Diary of
July 20, 1864:—
" Monday pouring. Buried the young man
who died yesterday. (His name, John Curnow,
from Canstown, Ludgoan, Penzance, Cornwall.
He died of typhus after a very short illness,
typhus induced by privations and hardships.)
We had a tramp of a mile and a half
through deep mud and rain. I walk before,
and wonder at the remnant of civilization and
love in these rough hearts that follow with
their burden—over the knees in mud—up the
steep braes—through the searching rain—
to the lonesome grave among the stumps—
where they lay the mortal remains of this fine
Cornish lad of twenty-one."
WBBSfflBWiffi$fflglM5Bmi^@m^&BS£B® XONDON :•:
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fell on J.\
Di'acwn and Eng^a^ed. at Stanford's   G^oerapltical   Establishmejat.


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