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Queen Charlotte Islands : a narrative of discovery and adventure in the north Pacific Poole, Francis 1872

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All Sights reserved.  EDITOR'S PREFACE.
Two groups of Islands have been called after the
Queen-Consort of King George the Third.
The first group is in the South Pacific Ocean. It
was discovered in the year 1767, by Captain Carteret, R.N., but has since proved to be of comparatively little significance.
The second and larger group lies in the North
Pacific Ocean (lat. 52° to 54° N., long. 132° to
134° W.), and will supply the chief subject-matter
of the following pages.
Captain Cook, R.N., was the first white man who
is known to have set foot upon those islands of the
North Pacific. He landed in the year 1776 on their
northernmost shore, and near a spot which now
appears in the map as Cook's Inlet. The famous
navigator minutely describes the incidents of this
discovery, in  the Admiralty edition  of his 'Voyage Vlll
to the Pacific Ocean (Vol. ii. pp. 416 et seq.), but
conjectures that certain Russians had visited the
place before him. He was doubtless aware also of
land having been sighted, two years previously, in the
same direction, by Captain Juan Perez, a navigator,
whom the Spanish Government had sent out with
a commission to search for the long-desired North-
West Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Captain Cook, however, could not tell whether the
newly-discovered land was an island or merely part
of the American continent. And, in view probably
of the insufficient knowledge at his command, he
forbore to name the country or to claim it, as otherr
wise he would have done, on behalf of the British
Eleven years afterwards, that is, in the year 1787,
Captain Dixon ascertained Cook's discovery to consist of an extensive insular group; and, no civilized
people disputing the right of the English nation to
it, he took formal possession in the name of King
George, and christened the acquisition Queen Charlotte Islands.
That the Islands form together a healthy, picturesque territory, rich in natural resources and
well adapted to colonization, this volume will show. EDITOR S PREFACE.
Nevertheless, for the space of nearly a century,
during which they have belonged to England,
no serious attempt has been made to colonize
them. Even the Admiralty survey is still wanting.
There they lie, waste and fallow, yet marvellously
productive, and awaiting nothing but Anglo-
Saxon capital, enterprise, and skill to return
manifold profit to those who will embark in the
The only educated Englishman who has ever lived
on Queen Charlotte Islands is Mr. Francis Poole,
Civil and Mining Engineer. The best portion of
two years he spent, either in actual residence in that
outlying dependency, or in laborious work closely
connected with it. Unfortunately, some years back,
a severe illness, the evident result of former exertion
and exposure, prostrated and much enfeebled him.
This has prevented a detailed account of his discoveries and adventures, already communicated to a
large circle of private friends, being sooner given to
the English public.
At length, fearing lest such an experience in the
North Pacific should be wholly lost, Mr. Poole
placed his Diary and other manuscripts in my hands,
for publication.
1 x editor's preface.
It is from these papers, written by him with painstaking exactness in the very midst of his adventurous
career, that I have faithfully, and I trust agreeably,
prepared the narrative which follows.
J. W. L.
London, November, 1871. CONTENTS.
40 XII
Rate of wages to workmen—cariboo—bears and eagles—
ma ,-.-. —
326 V. Map of Queen Charlotte Copper-mines   ...     „     163
VI. Over the Tidal Wave
I. Harriet Harbour, Queen Charlotte Islands    Frontispiece.
II. Log-house, Burnaby Island '  Vignette.
III. Map of Queen Charlotte Islands Page   95
TV. An Indian Raid
m  /-3
across lake ontario—into the " states"—pine and coal land—
the "city of rome"—down the Hudson river—"Patrick" on
his travels—the "empire city."
I had been engaged for some twenty months up and
down Canada West, now the province of Ontario, m
a successful course of | prospecting," and in other
work bearing on mines, when I was induced to
undertake a journey and voyage to the British possessions which lie along the western seaboard of the
North American continent. Encouraging information having reached me, I wished to extend the
sphere of my surveying and mining operations.
It was in the month of April, 1862, that I set out
upon my long and toilsome journey, my starting-
point being Kingston, on the northern shore of Lake
In the summer and autumn it is customary to
cross the Canadian lakes by steamboat.    But, at that
season, the ice still remained sufficiently in possession
to render travelling by ice-stage a necessity of the
journey, despite the danger resulting from the thinness of the top-ice on the upper lakes in April.
Shortly after midday of the 2nd, the guard or
conductor cried—"All aboard for Cape Vincent!"
with a sharp nasal twang, and, in a few minutes, the
passengers had taken their seats inside the ice-stage,
which was advertised to get to the American side of
the lake in precise time to catch the " cars " due in
New York the same evening.
The ice-stage is a square-built conveyance, in form
resembling a colossal packing-box, only that the sides
are composed of wind and waterproof curtains, instead of wood-work. It slides over the ice upon
wooden runners shod with steel.
Our team consisted of two diminutive horses.
These belonged to the Lower Canadian breed, and
were wretched objects to look at; for all which,
they really could do a deal of work, and tripped along
before us with a lightsome and easy step.
Already the snow, though three feet deep, was
giving signs of approaching dissolution under solar
influence, whilst the sun itself began to shine out
brilliantly, and the April air to feel mild and pleasant, ACROSS  LAKE  ONTARIO.
as if prognosticating a lovely springtide. Thereupon
our driver thought fit slightly to redeem his native
surliness by cracking his whip in a cheery manner;
and, as the Canadian shore receded, I tried to console
myself for the many dear friends left behind by
observing that the first prospects of my journey were
at least not dispiriting.
Ere long, however, this source of consolation
proved to be somewhat premature. The driver was
an American, and the conductor a Canadian; but
both seemed to have sunk their nationalities in a
conspiracy to make as much as possible out of their
freight of trusting passengers. Owing to the top-ice
frequently breaking, the jolting soon became so severe
and wearing that it was a positive relief when the
conductor " invited " the male portion of his charge
to come and assist in pushing the stage back towards
the smooth ice. Every now and then, too, we were
enabled to heighten the pleasures of this employment
by putting our feet right through to the lower ice,
and having to hold on to the sides of the stage, till
another safe footing could be obtained.
At length, after fourteen miles of such forced
labour, we touched the limits of the ice-region, and
were thence rowed in more comfort over the last mile
of our passage across to the American mainland—that is, if comfort can, by any stretch of
fancy, be said to associate itself with boots full of
Surely so valuable a co-operation might, at any
rate, have met with its reward in an honest fulfilment
of their advertised contract on the part of the ice-stage
people. Our reward, as we neared the land, was to
see the | cars " moving off without us, an hotel-keeper
at Cape Vincent having bribed the stage-conductor
to defer our arrival with a view to the hospitalities
of his house, which he fondly trusted must needs
follow. The American landlord and the Canadian
conductor, however, had alike neglected to count the
cost of failure. For we forthwith proceeded to pass
our enforced stay in the one hotel of all which we
deemed the most unlikely to have cultivated the art
of bribery. Meantime, the superior claims of honesty
over I smartness " were being practically asserted on
the person of our late conductor. At home in
England, an appeal would have lain to the owners of
the public conveyance, or possibly to a court of law,
for damages through delays on the road. But the
transatlantic mode of redress is quite as instructive,
less expensive, and much quicker.    When it appeared T-    ** '
certain that there was no going on that night, one of
my fellow-passengers coolly walked up to the conductor, and, seizing him by the collar, in the twinkling of an eye put his head " in chancery," and served
him out in the presence of an admiring public.
We started again next morning, under a genial
sky, and were speedily flying, with all pressure on,
behind two great " cow-catcher " railway engines of
the country.
The part of the United States through which the
New York road from Cape Vincent runs is flattish
and unsightly, till Albany and the Hudson River are
reached. But the English traveller, with his inborn
taste for observation, never lacks subjects of interest
in America.
Passing through the townlet of Brownville, I
noticed some tall and handsome pine-trees. Now it
is generally assumed in England that, where pine-
trees are grown, the soil must of necessity be barren.
Erom this opinion I altogether dissent, for I have
seen the very best description of soil underlying
large woods of pine, both in Canada and in Bedfordshire in England. This fact, it is true, does not tell
so much on the North American continent, where
generally the pine-tree roots run along the ground 6 QUEEN  CHARLOTTE   ISLANDS.
within a few inches of its surface, as it does in
England, where the roots frequently penetrate fifteen
feet into the earth. None the less it seems to me
to furnish ample evidence in disproof of the assumption that, because pines prevail in the northernmost
districts of the States, the soil there must necessarily
be unproductive.
A singular property of British North American
timber is its brittleness. Nothing is commoner in
the Canadian bush than to see huge pieces of forest-
wood blown down in all directions by squalls of wind.
I well recollect one of those light squalls, so peculiar
to Canada, overtaking me when riding once through
the bush. In order to save my life I was obliged to
urge on my horse at full speed: for I could hear and
see the trees toppling over, here, there, and everywhere around me.
As one travels south, the timber becomes more
consistent. But Nature, not being a respecter of
national boundaries, carries its Canadian singularities
a long way into the States. In the forests beyond
Brownville, quantities of trees, evidently not cut, but
snapped and broken off, lay strewn about, right and
left. Many of these were beeches of a very fine
growth,  and such as had  apparently intended  to !»>. mm
develop themselves into stately forest trees. Those
of their companions which had survived supplied a
refreshing change to the eye, after the everlasting
pines of Canada. In America, when a beech plantation flourishes, it is universally received as the
surest indication of a fertile subsoil.
The country through which we passed was not so
flat but that railway-cuttings were sometimes requisite. I observed a stratum of blue or shale limestone
in the cuttings—proof of the near neighbourhood of
coal, although, from aught I could ascertain, none
had so far been discovered. I cannot doubt, either,
the existence of iron in that particular district.
Several of the railway-stations, or "dep6ts,'' as the
natives queerly call them, were built of deep red-
coloured brick, showing iron to form a constituent
part of the clay soil, which abounds here. Up to
the present year (1871), the source of wealth latent
in that iron-ore remains entirely untouched, the
double cause being, doubtless, want of capital and
We now were steering eastward, and gradually
getting into a milder climate. The snow had imperceptibly decreased from three feet to about four
inches.    But there was scarce anything to attract 8
attention along the route, save the intense sameness
arising from uncultivated lands, stunted woods, and
miles upon miles of arid desolation. We would rush
on for fifteen or twenty miles without more than an
odd farmhouse or two varying the landscape, or
without the trace of any living soul inhabiting the
country, unless it could be discerned in the signboards which are stuck up where the farmers' roads
intersect the railroad, and which warn wayfarers in
the wilderness that, when they "hear the bell ring,"
they are to | look out for the locomotive." On every
American engine there is a large bell, which the
stoker takes care to ring whenever the " cars " come
to a crossing or have to go through a town. If the
engine should require wood or water, a loud steam-
whistle is sounded, very unlike similar instruments
in England, but which repeats the sounds w-o-o-edd,
w-a-tt-a, as plainly as I here spell the words, and
usually a mile before arriving at the station : so
that the porters, or employes according to their
Yankee designation, have good time to get ready.-
We hurried thus through not a few straggling
villages, all aspirants to the status of " cities." But
none were of the slightest importance, until at last
we sighted the " City of Rome."
I ii n.. mrm x
In my capacity as a traveller from Europe, I naturally felt curious to see what sort of place new Rome
could be. We just stopped to take water "on board."
But, in that short time, I had time enough to note
that the borrowed title was not such an absolute
misnomer as I had expected. My American fellow-
travellers said they were proud of this rising town,
and with reason. When I saw " Rome " it had only
seen ten years of life itself. Yet it already contained
12,000 inhabitants, and a considerable number of
substantial, nay 'even imposing, buildings. It made
quite a grand appearance from the station. And
who can tell whether it may not be destined, in ages
yet to come, to wield some undreamt-of power in the
West? Neither ancient nor modern Rome has
its destinies limited to a day.
Albany was the only town of consequence afterwards. Our "cars" did not enter it, as it lies on the
opposite side of the Hudson River, which we had now
reached. But, to judge by outside looks and by the
manifest advantage of its position, it assuredly has a
splendid future before it. Here we enjoyed the
sensation, not known to travellers in Europe, of reentering the haunts of civilization. A more delightful ride than that down, the banks of the Hudson 10
can hardly be desired. The scenery nowhere partakes of grandeur. What are called the Highlands
of the Hudson are mere hillocks compared with the
real mountain-ranges of America. They do not
even approach the Rhineland for precipitate height
and picturesqueness. Still, there is a breadth combined with a winding beauty proper to the Hudson,
which is not to be found united on the same scale,
in any river that I know of, throughout the European continent.
The views as we neared New York differed considerably from those of the Upper Hudson. It is a
thousand pities that a bridge has not been constructed at some point about ten miles above the
"Empire City." For there the far-famed Hudson
opens up an expanse capable of holding vast fleets;
and it cannot be doubted that a suitable bridge
would materially add both to the interests and the
beauty of the river.
An amusing incident happened " on board " the
I cars," just previous to our arrival at New York.
The conductor, in the performance of his duty as
ticket-collector, having applied to a passenger fresh
from the Emerald Isle to give up his ticket, the
following conversation ensued:— "PATRICK"   ON  HIS  TRAVELS.
Conductor. " Your ticket, sir."
Patrick. | Ah, dhin, what d'ye want it for ?"
Conductor. " I want to see it."
Patrick. " Do ye, now ?  And, faith, and ye won't
Conductor. " In that case, you must pay your fare
u "
over again.
Patrick. | Would ye raly like to see it, now ?"
Conductor. " I must have either the ticket or the
Patrick. | Bedad, and ye wont have the ticket—
divil a bit of it."
Here Patrick pays the fare.
Conductor. " Why couldn't you have said at once,
that you had no ticket ?"
Patrick (winking at the passengers). "Arrah, be
aisy, conductor.    Maybe, ye'd like to see it now V
Here the Emeralder pulls the ticket out of his
stocking, and, showing it to the conductor, slips it
quickly again into its hiding-place, with the self-
satisfied air of a man who has got the best of the
It was a matter of lively speculation in the | cars"
as to how long Patrick would be likely to reside in
the great go-ahead country before he underwent the
process of having his wits sharpened.
I  13
Just at that period hosts of gold-hunters were
rushing out of the United States to Cariboo, British
Columbia.    I chanced into their very midst.
It was not without considerable difficulty, therefore, that I succeeded in obtaining a berth, by paying
a high price for it, on board the Northern Light—a
ship of fifteen hundred tons burden, bound from
New York to Colon, or Aspinwall, as the Yankees
affect to call it.
Under British laws such a vessel would not have
been allowed to carry more than eight hundred souls
in all. I made one, however, of 1694 passengers,
besides the crew and the usual quantum of i stowaways." A more motley collection of human beings,
and of absolute nondescripts, mortal eyes never
|l I  |f| 14
That April afternoon was bright, with a warm
southerly wind, as I got my traps finally conveyed
to the vessel, and before dusk we had steamed along
under the heights of Staten Island, through the
Narrows, by Sandy Hook, and out into the broad
Atlantic. The sun dipped down gloriously behind
Long Island, and there seemed every prognostic of a
pleasurable if not a rapid passage.
Three o'clock the next morning discovered us off
the Delaware coast, with the mainsail flapping in a
gentle breeze. The beautiful sunset over-night had
been followed by a moonlight equally beautiful, and
so shiningly clear that I was enabled to read and
note my diary while sitting on deck.
We were soon,- however, to experience the varieties
of American coasting; for, as the day dawned, large
numbers of porpoises began to tumble about near the
ship's sides, whilst flights of sea-gulls added a still
surer presage of the coming storm. In a short time
"white horses" were cresting the waves, the vessel took
to pitching and rolling, the cordage rattled, the planks
creaked, and we saw we were in for a regular gale.
Suddenly the thermometer fell to near freezing-point.
I lay in my berth, not sick—I wish I had been—but
in that perfectly wretched state of existence which •W^M
would as lief accept death as life, for some measure
of release from the punishment. If there be any
consolation in knowing that others are suffering
contemporaneously with oneself, I had it in abundance. From my accommodation-berth, five feet long
by one and a half wide, I could hear and feel that
scores of the crowded passengers were as prone on
their backs as I was, the men cursing and the women
screaming, and both lamenting in piteous terms their
folly in venturing upon the treacherous ocean.
I Where are we ?" I asked of the Captain, as I
descried him passing my cabin door.
I Off Cape Hatteras," was the curt reply.
I Do you think there's any danger, Capt'n?" half-
shrieked a middle-aged dame, in the next cabin to me.
I Danger, mum ? Not the slightest. Just a capful of wind."
I That's the worst of them navy men," I heard the
middle-aged dame's husband remark, as soon as our
O '
Captain had disappeared up the gangway. " When
the waves is a-runnin' mountains, they says it's
' rayther fresh,' and when it's a-blowin' of great guns,
they tells us it's ' jist smartish sea-going,' they does.
Where's the comfort o' that ?"
There seemed a good deal of truth in my next 16
neighbour's homely criticism, supposing that the
Captain's duty does include comforting his passengers.
The practical difficulty would probably lie in the
Steamship Company having to provide a duplicate of
the Captain and his ship's officers.
Within twenty-four hours the storm had abated,
and determining now to try my " sea-legs," the first
object I caught sight of on gaining the deck was
an immense shoal of sea-weed, which, the boatswain
informed me, was proof positive that we had entered
the Gulf Stream. Here, too, I saw for the first time
some of the cetacean mammals of the deep, together
with flying fish in vast quantities, sporting a few
feet off our ship's bows.
On the fifth day, we sighted San Salvador, or Cat
Island, the name by which the first land seen by
Columbus (Oct. 8, 1492) has since been desecrated.
Our course was S.S.W., with a strong easterly wind
and a long ground-swell; and, on the following morning, we passed Mariguana Island, two miles on the
starboard bow, the ship now steering W.S.W., in
order to make what is known as the Windward Passage, or the road leading from the Atlantic Ocean,
between the islands of Cuba and San Domingo, into
the Caribbean Sea. ■ ^l m m   — - ^-.
The Island of Mariguana has a type of its own,
and quite different characteristics from the West
Indian islands in general. As a whole it is as flat as
it is possible to imagine land to be. The northern
parts, however, are covered with thick and rich-
looking woods, whilst the southern, for many miles inland, present the appearance of a wild, uninhabited
common—very much, in fact, what the pristine navigators of these seas must have originally found it.
The Bar, which lies out almost two miles seaward,
offers an insuperable obstacle to Mariguana ever
subserving the interests of commerce to any great
extent. While hove-to and waiting our pilot, I had
an opportunity of observing the bay. From the
deck of our vessel it certainly did look very pretty,
with its still, pale-green waters, contrasting with the
deep-blue sea outside the Bar, and its pipeclay-coloured
shore banks, which strike down abruptly and are
topped with luxuriant verdure. Numerous flocks of
sea-hens were enjoying themselves over the placid
surface of this ocean-lake, and demonstrating by their
evident tameness. that the Mariguanians are no
sportsmen. The shores of all the island, I heard,
have a deep deposit of white sand. The shore itself,
not the sand, emits a sulphureous smell.    Once or
twice I thought a whiff of it reached out to the
ship. Those who know the pleasures of volcanic
eruptions will scarce be thankful if fate should cast
them upon Mariguana. The place just looks as
though, some day or other, it might go down bodily
into the depths of the ocean.
Far otherwise is the aspect of Cuba, which island
was hailed, not long after, by our look-out man from
the main-top.
Columbus landed in Cuba, at the end of the same
month that he took possession of San Salvador. It
is 800 miles long, and 125 broad, and lies on the
verge of the Bahamas coral-beds. The Spaniards have
surnamed it " The Queen of the Antilles," and well
does Cuba deserve the title. As we steamed fast
towards it, full in view lay this richest jewel in the
crown of Spain, its mountain-peaks towering majestically to the sky, and its rich vegetation stretching
out of sight to the furthermost horizon. On the left
were the lofty peaks of San Domingo, splendidly
flanked on the left again by the island of Porto Rico,
and on the right by that of Jamaica, as, before
making the Windward Passage, we could dimly
perceive them in the remote distance. In all nature
it were hard to conceive a scene more redolent of THE  TROPICAL FIRMAMENT.
delights. The Antilles, looked at from without,
well realize the mediaeval fable of the "Enchanted
What a strange and rapid vicissitude! Hardly
five days ago we had been watching sportive whales
and enduring a cruel cold, and now we were launched
into a climate so fearfully hot that an awning of
blanketing was obliged to be rigged on the hurricane-
deck before any one could attempt to sit there.
Fortunately the water had become smooth as a pond,
so that our lately bedridden passengers could crawl
up from their berths, and, packing themselves together in a dense crowd, inhale a few breaths of
fresh air, and feast their eyes on the magnificent
diorama revolving before them.
In this region, the voyager from the North gazes
wonderstruck upon a firmament hitherto unknown
to him. As night comes on, he cannot fail to remark
that the moon gives out a radiance much stronger
and more lucid than in higher latitudes. Even when
there is | no moon," the planet Venus and the Milky
Way are so extraordinarily brilliant as, in a measure,
to supply the want of the light which is reflected on
our own planet through the medium of the moon.
Then, the disclosure of entirely novel constellations,
B 20
the grouping together of stars sublime in their magnitude, the nebulse scattered broadcast over the prodigious space above, combine to invest with new-born
interest the first view of a nocturnal sky in the
tropics. The great Humboldt describes himself as
having been deeply affected when he beheld it.
As we pressed onward, past Jamaica, and across
the Caribbean Sea, I noticed that the water was peculiarly phosphorescent at night. Before starting on
my journey I had been prepared for this phenomenon, and had heard scientific men attribute it to
the animal life which, they said, causes it in the
Pacific. A subterranean communication, it is asserted,
exists under the Isthmus of Panama, between the
Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans; and, the Pacific
being confidently believed to have a higher watermark than the Atlantic, whatever phenomena are
produced in the one will be reproduced in the other.
1 too believe both in the subterranean passage and
in the superior altitude of the Pacific; but I explain
the phosphoric appearances in either ocean very
differently. A species of asphalte (chapote) is found
to bubble up from the bottom of some fresh-water
lakes in Mexico, and to wash back upon their
borders.   It has a pungent smell, similar to  that SEA-PHOSPHORUS.
of asphaltic bitumen, and possesses many of its
qualities. Now it is a salient fact that a phosphorous night-light, akin to that seen in parts of
the Atlantic and Pacific, also sparkles out of those
Mexican lakes. But the ebullition, effluvium, and
phosphorus which belong to them have been
geologically traced to a volcanic origin. Wherefore,
assuming the axiom that like effects proceed from
like causes, one surely cannot err in accounting for
the phosphorescence of the Mexican Gulf and Caribbean Sea on the hypothesis of semi-extinct volcanoes lying sunken underneath their waters. I am
strengthened in this opinion by a test which I had
a subsequent opportunity of applying to the falseness
of an assumption commonly allowed in support of the
contrary opinion. It is assumed that the phosphorescent light confines itself to the water-surface.
Having tenacious doubts on this point as well, I
hired a canoe, months afterwards, when on the
Pacific coast between Vancouver Island and Russian
America, and, taking a crew of Indians, I made them
row me, one mild but very dark night, about half a
mile out from the shore. Fastening the canoe to
some kelp—kelp is often 80 or 90 feet long in the
Pacific—I first got my Indians to splash or stir up 22 QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
the water with their broad paddles. The immediate
result was that I could see plainly to read a newspaper. I then attached five fathoms of cord to a
large piece of iron shaped like a spoon, and, on
sinking the spoon, I saw with the utmost clearness
the track of light it left as it went down the five
fathoms. I had already convinced myself that sea-
phosphorus is not the product of animal life: but
now I returned to land satisfied that the deep sea—
most probably to the very bottom—contains phosphorus no less than the surface does, thus adding
strong corroborative testimony to my theory of volcanic agency being the cause of this salt-water phosphorescence.*
But, amid all these disquisitions on natural history
and the science of the globe, how fared it on board
the Northern Light, which introduced us to them ?
If I say of our ship that she was seaworthy, I shall
have praised her sufficiently. The Captain proved
to be crassly ignorant, careless, and coarse.    What
* Trustworthy information has been received in England this year
(1871) that the Government of the United States of North America are
making preparations on a large scale, under the direction of their Superintendent of Coast Surveys, for a complete investigation of the deep-sea bottom
provisions we had were of the roughest kind, such as
would hardly have been tolerated in the forecastle
of a Newcastle coal-brig. If the vessel had been
properly freighted, the accommodation would perchance have sufficed; but, with a double complement
of passengers, it was execrable. In England there
is a preventive remedy against all these evils. In
Yankeedom neither law nor moral sense provides the
seafaring traveller with the means of redress, prospective or retrospective.
A ship-load of that sort, coming straight from the
United States, naturally furnished studies of character
and habit in every variety. A few seemed to be
travelling, like myself, in search of health and knowledge, or in pursuit of some professional avocation.
The great majority, however, braved the perils of the
deep, and suffered the hardships of the passage,
solely with the hope of amassing wealth in the gold-
fields of California or British Columbia. At least four
hundred of my shipmates were Canadians; and very
interesting it was to mark the difference between
their behaviour and that of the American passengers.
These appeared to be utterly bereft of the kindly
feelings and social tendencies which help to make life
endurable.    There was hardly a day, or an hour in 24
the day, that they did not contrive to get up some
dispute or other about the veriest trifles: whereas
the Canadians made themselves agreeable throughout, retaining withal a respectful language and demeanour towards every person on board, after the
manner of men who know how to consider other
people's rights, not less than their own.
The 20th was Easter Sunday.
When day broke, we perceived that we were
rapidly approaching the far-famed Isthmus which
slenderly links together the two continents of North
and South America; and by eight o'clock that
morning the Northern Light was safely moored alongside the jetty at Aspinwall, having made the passage
from New York in eight days and 19f hours, exactly—that is, a distance of 2338 sea-miles, at the
average speed of somewhat over eleven knots an
hour. 25
The appellation by which the world at large will
ultimately recognise the northern port on the Isthmus
of Panama is still a matter of uncertainty and contention. Speculators from the United States have
dubbed it Aspinwall, after one Mr. W. H. Aspinwall,
a New York merchant, who was the chief originator
of the Panama railroad, and therefore, to some
degree, of this seaport town. But the natives, and
indeed all South Americans, insist on the place retaining its ancient name of Colon, the Spanish form
of Columbus. It must be confessed the natives have
both taste and right on their side. That a locality
should be handed down to posterity in connexion
with the greatest maritime discoverer that ever lived
is an honour which even a Yankee trader of the 26
nineteenth century could scarcely hope to cap. As
to right, what should we English think if a party of
Frenchmen were to take possession of some harbour
on our coasts, and pretend to substitute Lafitte or
Clicquot for some time-honoured name prominent in
our history? The trading interest of the North
American States will probably succeed in imposing
its nomenclature upon Panama. If right were to
prevail, it would not be so.
On board ship, we talked of our destination as
Aspinwall. But, once landed, I feel I ought to refer
to it as Colon.
It is situated on the island of Manzanilla, in Limon
or Navy Bay. There had been a village there
originally, when, in 1850, a larger settlement was
begun, for the purpose of surveying the Isthmus,
with a view to a railway. Since then Colon has
.grown into a town of real importance, and at present
contains some 200 houses, in which about 2000 inhabitants permanently reside. Its trade depends
exclusively on the railroad, nearly the whole of the
male population being either labourers or officials
employed by the Company. A small fleet of steamers—
engaged for the most part in the Chilian, Peruvian,
and Californian trades—may generally be seen riding vm.
at anchor in the bay. But the bay itself, though
deep enough to float the largest vessels almost close
up to the shore, lies so exposed that no ship is
perfectly secure in it. The construction of a breakwater has been long intended, and will no doubt
eventually be accomplished. Until the.promoters of
the railroad arrived in Panama, the country, as far
as the eye could reach from the bay, was one forest
of mangrove, mahogany, and manzanilla—a medicinal
plant from which the island derives its name. But
now, the low level of the waste land, the marshy
character of the uncovered ground, the decayed
vegetation, the deposit of birds, the refuse of fish,
the heat of the atmosphere, and the superabundant
rainfall, have all united in creating a dangerous and
clinging miasmatic fever, justly dreaded by un-
acclimatized strangers.
The line from Colon to Panama City cost, it is
said, the life of one man for every foot of its
construction. Two miles outside Colon is the
burial-place of that forlorn-hope of railway navvies.
They came in crowds, enticed by the wages (100
dollars a month, that is, 201.); but very few lived the
month out. In short, the wide world does not contain a spot, Sierra Leone perhaps  excepted, more ml
undesirable as a residence than Colon and its
neighbourhood. However, for those who are simply
passing through, the malignant fevers have now
almost ceased. And fortunate it is thus, because a
voyage to the Pacific Ocean comprises nothing so
interesting as the railway journey across the Isthmus
of Panama.
The housing at Colon may be dismissed with the
remark that it consists principally of wood-built shanties, having zinc roofs and brick floors. They are
hotels, warehouses, railway offices, or labourers' cots.
That which struck me most, on landing, was the
vitality of the vegetable and animal creation.
Nature, as seen on the Isthmus, cannot be fitly
portrayed. She appeared to have decked herself out
with extravagant luxuriance, to bid us wayfarers
from the bleak North a festive welcome. There
is an inexpressible loveliness in the deep-green
pendants of the palm and cocoa-nut trees, as the eye,
unused to a southern clime, first lights upon them.
Pine-apples sold at twopence each, and prodigies
they were too. A plentiful supply of delicious dates,
bananas, oranges, and all sorts of fruits and vegetables
proper to the tropics, met one at every turn, and at
fabulously low prices. ^mmmmm
Turkey-buzzards seemed to be hopping and flying,
about as common as crows in England; and the
monkey-tribe had evidently become domesticated, for
a representative monkey sat squatting at the entrance
to each store, inn, or private house, just as cats and
dogs do with us.
But the truly surprising and amusing characteristic
was the insect fauna kingdom. Not to mention Brob-
dingnag beetles, taking their " constitutional" down
the main street in broad day, I was shown a Norfolk-
Howard, which had only been born three weeks
before, and had yet attained to the dimensions of a
young turtle. A little black boy was playing with
it on the footpath, much in the same way that
little white boys play with rabbits. He had got a
string tied to the hind leg of his Norfolk-Howard,
and  I  stood by while he urged on his  ungainly
playfellow with a stick.
The distance from Colon to Panama City is forty-
seven miles. In the afternoon of the day of our arrival
we all left together by a tremendously long train.
It was here, more than anywhere, that the marvel
of the contrast between a temperate and a torrid
zone really revealed itself. As our train rolled slowly
along, we took in reaches of the surrounding country. 30
No sign of habitation, or even of soil, was visible in
either lowland or highland.    Mountain rose up magnificently behind mountain, every one clothed to its
summit with flowers, fruits, and foliaceous life.    I
saw clusters of dazzling white lilies, bowers of the •
broad-leafed plantain,  thickets of   tall  geraniums,
groves of palms and rival fern-trees, stacks of verdant
sugar-canes, and, above them again, enormous trunks
of the sycamore and the mango, interwoven with
Virginian creepers and a Still virgin brushwood.   All
these stretched out, like the marshalled forces of some
giant army, for miles and miles athwart the land-:
scape.     Gazing   from  my  carriage-seat  over  this
panorama of wondrous floriage and foliage, basking
in a daily recurrent sun-sheen, I could not avoid the
thought that possibly Panama-land had once been
part of Eden.
Nearer to Panama, the mountain-ranges decreasing
in size, we caught a cursory view of the great
Picacho, which rears its 7200 feet far off to the
westward. Reaching almost up to Mount Picacho
is the famous Sierra de Quarequa, It was from its
crest that, on September the 29th, 1513, Nunez de
Balboa sighted the Western Ocean. Irrespective of
the glory attaching to such a discovery, the rapture —i m  • ■-
with which he and his followers, first of all
Europeans, are said to have surveyed that glistening
sea and the grove-covered islets studding it, can easily
be credited by any one who has looked upon the
Bay of Panama. There are few scenes, viewed at a
distance, more suggestive of an earthly paradise, according to the old-fashioned notion of it.
were it if a closer inspection carried out the illusion.
By the banks of a meandering stream, and in
among beautiful groups of hillocks, green as only
Panama grass can make them, our train kept sauntering on until, after a journey of about two hours and
a half, it. finally landed us safely at Panama City.
The town occupies a promontory which juts out
some good way into the sea. As a place of transit it
has now become all-important. I would fain have
stayed there awhile; but necessity compelled me to
defer my examination of it till my return.
A short half-hour more, and two tenders might
have been seen steaming away to the offing, with the
whole of us cargo of passengers from the Northern
Light on board, and another hundred, who had come
straight from England by the Southampton steamer,
superadded. All told, we counted nearly eighteen
hundred. The Californian packet, which was awaiting 32 QUEEN CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
our   arrival,  had hardly room  enough to accommodate a third of that number comfortably.
Her name was the Golden Age, an American-built
four-decker, and, if she had not been so shockingly
overcrowded, on the whole as goodly a ship, both
inside and out, as one could wish to sail in.
At ten o'clock the same evening she weighed
anchor, and bore away for Point Mala, the southwestern headland in the Bay of Panama, and thence,
after two points further in a south-westerly course,
due north-west for her voyage to San Francisco.
That was on the Sunday. By noon on the following Tuesday we had made a run of 366 miles, having
steamed between the mainland and Quibo Island, and
hugged the shores of Costa Rica, till we could discern
with our glasses the broad entrance to the river
The water of the ocean looked as smooth and
limpid as though we were merely crossing a lakelet
in Canada. And when we sat down to our meals in
the large saloon, without any more disturbance from
the elements than we should have had in an hotel on
terra firma, I could not help recalling the three
months of uninterrupted calm weather experienced
by Magelhaens, when he first doubled Cape Horn, I I        ■!■■
and which induced him to christen these seas the
Pacific Ocean.
At this stage of our Californian voyage, the food
they gave us in the Golden Age was infinitely superior
to that provided in the Northern Light. We had
delicious coffee, fresh butter, juicy beef, and biscuits
of the very best American flour. But what pleased
me most was the dish of huge Californian potatoes
which always garnished the dinner-table. In shape
and measurement the smallest of these potatoes resembled a large-sized cocoa-nut; and to get through
half a one was quite as much as any of the diners
could satisfactorily accomplish.
By degrees we veered off from the coastway, and
as the ocean maintained an unruffled surface, the
monotony came to be temporarily relieved by an
incident extremely characteristic of the lands of the
Far West.
A berth forward having been found less its blanket,
the missing article was discovered, after a persistent
search, in the possession of one of the steerage passengers. Whereupon his messmates determined to
clinch the matter by taking the law into their own
hands. Some were for stringing him up summarily
to the yard-arm, others- proposed to crop his hair and
brand him P.P. (i.e. Provincial Penitentiary), whilst
a third party thought a good ducking under the
pump would be the right thing. But milder counsels
at length prevailed. So, stripping the delinquent of
his coat, they pinned a card behind him, with the
word Thief in bold letters on it, and then marched
him in that unenviable attire up and down the deck
for a couple of hours.
When we turned in that night, we were opposite
Cape Blanco, keeping well in the open, and still in a
dead calm. But before the next morning a strong
land-breeze sprang up, and by ten o'clock, though
we had run 339 miles, we found ourselves in the
midst of a hurricane, the sea raging terrifically, our
ship pitching and rolling in a fearful manner, and
all hands lying out on the yards to double-reef the
sails, or securing the mainmast with extra bracings
to keep it from going by the board.
This exceedingly unpacific state of the Pacific
Ocean continued with little diversity for several days,
during which I, and about a dozen other passengers,
were the only persons amongst our eighteen hundred who could stand the deck. Of all the ills that
flesh is heir to, none can compare with sea-sickness.
But its horrors are enhanced tenfold when you feel mm i.     i il i
that every dip of the ship into the deep, and every
assault of the sickness itself, is simply part of the
process by which you are being torn from your
native land, and from the home where you have
left your dearest friends.
In this part of the Pacific it takes no time, so to
speak, to get up a storm. The reaction, on the contrary, is extraordinarily slow. Hence, though that
gale duly subsided, we did not again enjoy the same
smooth waters as at first.
To enumerate all our points and distances would
be tedious. Suffice then to say that we ploughed
on our way bravely enough, oftener standing out
to sea, yet occasionally running right under the
coast, and twice putting into harbour.
For beauty and sublimity nothing in Europe can
equal the scenery on the western coast of Mexico.
As seen from ship-board, it appeared to consist, for
hundreds of miles, first, of countless hillocks, clothed
with a verdure of rich and varied shades, and, further
inland, of high mountain-ranges, which likewise
looked one mass of green to their topmost crowns.
The singular slant of the lower hill-country points,
in the clearest way possible, to this portion -of the
globe having been transformed—presumably at some
d 2 36
remote period, history being silent about it—by a
volcanic eruption which operated across no considerable width, but along a surprisingly disproportionate
length of territory. The unquestionable fact of snch
a convulsion seems all the more curious because,
now and again, the higher mountains infringe upon
the elongated continuity of the lower, pushing spurs
down to the seaboard, and even precipitate promontories out into the sea. Viewed together, those
Mexican coast-scenes make up a description of landscape such as would repay many of our first-class
artists the trouble of a voyage, provided always that
they escaped the deadly coast-fever. However, with
so much beneficence in nature, it was sad to think
we were viewing it from the point where " distance lends enchantment to the view." For not only
do those grand mountain-ranges abound in gloomy
caverns and repulsive ravines, filled with everything
most horrifying in the brute creation; but, as we
were trustworthily informed, the passes which lead
over them are, and probably will long be, the abode
of merciless banditti, who have subjected Western
Mexico to a reign of terror, and have rendered
existence there an insupportable burden.
One morning we ran into the harbour of Aca- ACAPULCO.
pulco, our object being to deliver a hundred tons of
freight, and to ship as much more in export stores.
This town, if viewed through European spectacles, is
a conglomeration of poverty and untold misery. Yet
the people had a satisfied look, reminding one forcibly,
as they lounged in front of their houses or under the
trees on the plaza, of the lazzaroni vegetating on the
Chiaja at Naples. If the rest of their provisions are
as cheap as what they brought off to the Golden Age,
they must certainly have enough to eat, without any
great labour. Oranges were selling at a halfpenny,
bananas at a shilling for a bunch of fifty, cocoa-nuts
at a penny, and six large cakes of molasses at a
shilling. We had green parrots offered to us at two
shillings each. The harbour is sufficiently deep to
float large-sized men-of-war. We saw here the flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Maitland, and
saluted it as we left. Three other English ships of
war, and a French one, were also at Acapulco: an
unpleasant station, I fancy.
Another morning we   again diverged from  our
course, to enter Manzanilla Bay, for the purpose of.
shipping a cargo of silver from the mines of Colima.
There was the same familiar reach of country: but it
impressed one as uncultivated, almost waste in fact, 38
and only too fit a background to the tumble-down'
port of Salagna at the bottom of the bay.
The heat of the sun had been dreadful. But now,
each turn of our screw withdrawing us gradually
from its worst effects, I soon began to recover. A
tropical sun, while it lasts, is a wicked master. I can
best describe the sensation it causes as resembling
the pain that would be produced if any one were to
seize a handful of your hair, and use his utmost
efforts to pull it all out by the roots. European travellers to the South invariably fall into the error of
wearing light and airy head-gear. But, in a hot
climate, there is no defence like a thick, stout cap.
The same for the feet. The action of a tropical sun
is absolutely perpendicular, not leaving any room for
shadows. Whenever it exerts its power, and nowhere
more so than when bearing down upon the deck
of a ship, thick soles to one's shoes are essential.
After Manzanilla we kept to windward of the
coast, never sighting land for a week, even once:
till, on Sunday the 4th of May, we steered in again
towards the shore, and before evening saw the tall,
snow-clad mountains of Upper California, which
overhang the lovely Bay of Monterey.
At daybreak next  day the firing of two small SAN  FRANCISCO  HARBOUR.
guns from our bows imparted the welcome intelligence to the wayworn passengers that we had
reached the entrance to the land-locked harbour of
San Francisco, and that we should land at that city
in time for breakfast.
The last act of us English on board the Golden
Age was to sign a protest to the Captain against the
provisions we had been served with. Our two days'
feasting had turned out 1 a mockery, a delusion,
and a snare." During the rest of the voyage
nothing could have been coarser, dirtier, or more
wholly repellent than our saloon-table—not even that
of the Northern Light. But, of course, our protest
went for waste paper.
The passage from Panama to San Francisco,
occupied exactly thirteen days and eighteen hours,
deducting twelve hours for delays at Acapulco and
Manzanilla; thus making 3500 miles at the average
rate of ten and three-quarter knots an hour. A fair
That part of California, which, in the form of a
peninsula, runs down the western coast of North
America, was originally discovered by the Spaniards;
but they did not at first colonize it, and they hardly
named it. For quite a century afterwards it was
known to Englishmen as New Albion, Sir Francis
Drake having so named it when, in 1579, he touched
there during one of his buccaneering expeditions.
As soon, however, as the Spanish Government began
to make settlements on the peninsula, they restored
its old Indian name of California.
The discovery of Upper California dates much
later. Indeed, it was only in the year 1770 that the
first ship sailed into the Bay of San Francisco. The
pioneers of this great commercial mart of the nine- POSITION  OF SAN FRANCISCO.
teenth century were certain Franciscan friars, who,
in 1776, founded a mission station on the spot, with
a view to civilizing the savages of the interior. It
is from them that the name of San Francisco has
been derived.
In a purely trade point of view the City of San
Francisco is splendidly placed. It lies at the northeast corner of a strip of land which serves to divide
and protect a deep and roomy bay from the Pacific
Ocean. But as we rounded the headland and approached the town, it was depressing and almost
appalling to see the completeness of the desolation
encircling it on every side. There are high hills,
some twenty miles off; and between the hills and the
town not ten arable acres exist, or could be made to
exist, and no trees whatsoever. Since the time I am
writing about, the Pacific Railroad has been brought
to San Francisco. Even now, however, only one
road leads out of the city, none other being likely to
be wanted for many a long year to come : and the
traveller by that road literally does not reach a single
place of shelter from the burning rays of the sun,
to say nothing of a pleasant landscape, until he has
traversed the sandy plain for twelve miles.
Up to  1834 the missionary friars had retained
;. |      I
II 42
complete control, secular as well as religious, of the
settlement in this bay. In that year the Mexican
Government secularized all the missions of California;
and thenceforward they rapidly decayed. Although
the first houses of a new colony were erected in 1835,
it advanced so slowly that a census taken in 1847
only showed a population of 459 persons. But in
1848 the first Californian gold was discovered, and
two years afterwards there were more than 30,000
people living in San Francisco, under the government of the United States, which had annexed the
colony. No such rapidity of growth had ever been
witnessed in any town in the world. In 1860 the
population had increased to 56,805; and since then
the increase has steadily gone on, at the rate of
about 10,000 a year.
I had been conning these facts over in my berth
long before we made the Bay of San Francisco; and
they had quite prepared me to see in California
order and disorder, grandeur and squalidness, and all
the heterogeneous elements which constitute society
in the abstract, jumbled up into a concrete of most
extraordinary admixture. And I was by no means
Hardly had   I  arrived  at   my hotel when   two •mm**
respectably-dressed men, engaged in hot dispute,
rushed out of it. The case was the interminable
one of North against South. Taking it for no more
than an usual American 1 difficulty," I turned to
enter the hotel; but chancing to look again, I saw
that the Northerner was about to add violence to his
slanderous and abusive language. Already he had
drawn a revolver from his pocket. The Southerner,
however, was a match for him. Quick as an eagle,
he drew his own revolver, and shot the rowdy through
the heart, in presence of all the people. Arrest, it is
true, followed—or rather, the killer gave himself up;
but he was soon released, the Southerners being still
predominant in California. This may have been an
improvement on the state of affairs which existed in
the earlier days of San Francisco, when crime, under
the forms of incendiarism, robbery, and murder,
reached such an alarming height that the townspeople became persuaded of the total inefficiency or
corruption of their law-courts, and, forming a vigilance-committee, seized the prisoners in the gaols and
hanged them in the open street; but that homicide
should continue to be committed, in broad day and
in the public highway, with impunity, and even with
approval, seemed to me to demonstrate  beyond   a 44
doubt how little the San Franciscans could yet pretend to civilization.
As a contrast to street-ruffianism we were regaled,
the same evening, with a really striking sight in
Portsmouth Square. It happened to be the anniversary of the formation of the first fire-brigade,
and the firemen celebrated their day by a procession about the town. Incendiarism and the fragile
build of many of the older houses in San Francisco,
and indeed all over the United States, have combined to make the fire-brigade in that part of the
globe an institution of far greater importance than
in any other country. The immense number of
engines did not surprise me, therefore. But their
handsome brass and plated mountings, their tasty
decoration with flags and flowers, the glittering uniforms of the men, and the general arrangements of
the procession, formed so odd a counterpart to the
unpunished crime of the morning, that seeing such a
display could alone have made me believe in what it
suggested. So long as a people preserve to an appreciable degree the instinct of order, even though
it show itself in nothing more important than a procession, real prosperity may always be prognosticated
for them. VIEW  OF SAN FRANCISCO. 45
Many of the passengers by the Golden Age, who
had left England and America with the intention
of emigrating to British Columbia, unexpectedly
dropped into good situations at San Francisco, their
wages averaging four to six dollars a day, besides
board and lodging. I myself received two offers
immediately on landing, one at 100 and the other at
170 dollars a month, the latter equal to 510£. a year,
and both places excellent in their way. But I declined them, in anticipation of a better opening
further on.
Having only a few days for San Francisco, I
bethought me to make the most of my time by
inspecting the city from every point of view,
inside and out. In my opinion one should always
begin with the outside of cities. It gives shape to
preconceived ideas, and begets a plan of inspection
better than much unguided wandering within.
The finest view of San Francisco, or Frisco, as the
citizens love to call their city, is obtainable from
Telegraph Hill, an eminence in the north-eastern
corner of it. From the top of this hill, in a northwesterly direction, is to be seen the famous Golden
Gate, or sea-entrance to the Californian El Dorado,
against the rock-bound portals of which the white 46
waves are for ever dashing, and into which the ocean
breeze sweeps daily with its chilling but purifying
mists. Turning round to the south-east, I could
discern, nearly forty miles away, the conical peak of
Monte Diablo, 4000 feet high, and looking like some
giant sentinel who for untold ages had stood guard over
these waters, whilst their broad surface re-echoed no
human sound save the paddle-splash of some Indian
in his frail canoe. Due south, and as beneath my feet,
lay the city, which it is easy to see will at no very
distant date become the great capital of the United
States in the Pacific.
The settled portion of the town appeared to cover
an area of about ten miles. From my position on the
hill I observed that what had been told me concerning
the denseness of the buildings was not exaggerated.
The original streets lie together in a sort of
amphitheatre formed by three hills, Telegraph Hill
being one. These streets are built in rectangular
blocks, and with but a narrow roadway. Of late
years they have been used solely as the business
quarter, Beyond these the streets become much
wider, with houses standing back in gardens at considerable intervals, or in terraces having rows of
trees in   front.     The quays make   an admirable QUAYS  OF   SAN  FRANCISCO.
appearance.    The position they occupy was originally
a chaos of loose sands and mud-hills, furrowed by the
refuse-water   of centuries.     In  1854,   a   series   of
gigantic  operations,  such  as   are   only known   in
America, entirely reclaimed the chaos, so that, while
the largest vessels can now ride in safety alongside
the quays or piers, the heaviest waggons are able to
convey with facility all kinds of merchandise down to
the very ship-board.    Excepting New York, there is
no finer array of wharves on the American continent.
The quays of San Francisco are, in point of openness
and   accessibility,  even   superior to those of  New
York.     By-and-by, when  both   have   consolidated
their present woodwork in to stone, they perhaps may
begin to rival Liverpool, with its six miles of splendid
masonry.    The shipping in the bay was numerous,
and included craft of every tonnage, from schooners
of thirty tons to a fifty-gun English frigate, with its
pennant  streaming  from the main, and "the flag
that braved a thousand years " flying from the mizen-
yard.    By the aid of my glass I could make out a
red-coated marine pacing the flush-deck aft.    Amid
so much to admire in the future capital of the West,
it was grateful to reflect that, as yet, our Empire of
the Seas showed no inclination to decay. 48
On descending from my survey-post, I walked
through twelve bran-new squares. Most of them
were, so far, either covered with brushwood or completely in the rough. Only one, Portsmouth Square,
gave me the impression of being civilized. It is
tastefully laid out in grass plots, marble fountains,
and the beginnings of shady walks. The City Hall,
an ugly gazabo of a building, flanks one side of it,
and private houses run along the three other sides.
The most remarkable public resort, after this square,
is Montgomery Street. I will only say that it irresistibly reminded me of Broadway in New York, or
rather of what Broadway probably looked like before
its trees were removed. The housing in the squares
and principal streets is of a yellowish sandstone,
nearly identical in look and substance with the stone
used for building purposes throughout our own
Northamptonshire. But a very large number of the
original houses still remain, some having brick
frontages, the majority, however, being wooden constructions, and, in not a few instances, the merest
shed-work. Montgomery Street, and one or two
others, are tolerably well paved; but the general
system is plank-work, as in Canada and in so many
cities of the United States; only that at San Francisco SAN FRANCISCO   CUSTOM-HOUSE.
planks have been adopted for the roadway as well as
the footpath. In the absence of granite or limestone, planking is doubtless the handiest method of
road-making, particularly where virgin-forests are
still within reach; but every one can see that in a
city existing by traffic it is not a system to last long.
If the San Franciscans should find it too expensive
to imitate the New Yorkers, who imported Aberdeen
granite to pave their Broadway, they will probably
before many years substitute asphalte or some cognate
composition for their present road-planking. Though
as a matter of course tramways were in operation, they seemed less in favour here than in any
American city I had seen, whilst omnibuses ' and
other hackney conveyances were proportionately
more numerous.
The finest building in the town is, without doubt,
the Custom-house. It stands upon ground over
which the waters of the bay formerly flowed. Its
foundation is pile-work, the piles having been driven
thirty feet down, through soft clay, in order to get
at a hard and solid bottom. A substantial and really
imposing edifice having been afterwards erected upon
this, the establishment of the Custom-house is justly
The entire
considered as a feat of engineering skill.
i 50
struoture, I was told, cost 800,000 dollars, or
160,000/., which I can well believe.
The " American " Theatre (so called in contradistinction to the " Chinese " Theatre) is, externally,
as handsome a public edifice as the United States
can boast. The interior appeared to me almost an
exact copy of the Music Hall in New York. I went
one evening to see the performances. These were
the Colleen Bawn and the Silent Woman. The
coarse and undisguised immorality of the latter
piece so utterly disgusted me that I left the theatre
abruptly. The house was a full one, and quite half
composed of respectably-dressed females• but not
another soul in it stirred. Where the passions are
thus played with indiscriminately, it is no wonder
they should often take the direction of murder, that
the most hideous crimes should be easily condoned)
and that the general tone of morality should have
descended to (he very depths, as I was given to
understand is the sad case at San Francisco.
No visitor to Frisco omits to see its " China-town."
But there is really much less to see in it than one is
led to expect. In 1866 it was calculated there were
about 100,000 Chinese in all California, of whom
some 10,000 lived at San Francisco.   Their quarter SAN FRANCISCO  " CHINA-TOWN."
consists of from fifteen to twenty narrow streets, all
of wood, and wallowing in a most iniquitous state
of filth. It presented the usual Oriental features,
with which every eye is familiar—open bazars, striped
awnings, and an unassorted collection of nondescript
goods. For all that, there was an evident spirit of
thrift and activity amongst those Chinese emigrants,
separating them widely from genuine Orientalism as
we imagine it. In passing through the thronged
streets I did not come upon one idle man. The
inhabitants were described to me as sober, orderly,
and peaceful, and as excelling all other classes in
these respects. And yet they have invariably belonged to the lowest stratum of society in their native
country, whilst the very faces of the greater number,
particularly of the women, betrayed an ingrained
demoralization shocking to behold. As my information precisely coincided with what I saw, this
is a proof that vice may permeate whole communities without any of the concomitant manifestations of it to which we are accustomed in
Thus I took  a four days' glance at the city of
San Francisco.
My conception of it, on leaving, was that years will
E 2
1  53
It was a Thursday afternoon, May the 8th, when
again I committed myself to the pathless ocean,
this time in a small steam-vessel called the Pacific.
About three hundred passengers would have made a
respectable freight for her. Nobody seemed to know
how many we had on board; but I guessed twelve
hundred to be near the mark.
I shall give this part of my narrative in the words
of my Diary:—
"Friday, May 9th.—Awoke this morning in a
miserable state. Two English gentlemen and myself had slept on deck all night, having contrived to
rig some canvas to protect us from the driving rain.
We might certainly have got wetter without it."
"Saturday,  May  10th. — Steamer   making   little f
progress. Nothing but rain, rain, rain. Wind very
high, a real nor'-wester, with thick fogs, which render
the voyage extremely dull and uninteresting, not to
mention the awful misery of such a crowded and
unprovided ship. An English friend of mine, who
has also come out from Canada, begins to curse his
fate in leaving that land of comfort for the prospect
of gold in the mines of British Columbia. There are
a good many more who share his opinion. For my
part I feel perfectly sure that the hardships at the
mines cannot equal those we are subject to on board
this steamer. Horses, mules, sheep, pigs, oxen, huddled together. All hours of the day and night,
hundreds of the passengers, in various stages of seasickness, may be seen clinging to the rigging, with the
hope of imbibing a mouthful of air. Food is almost
an illusion; and oftentimes I would sooner go without a meal, such as it is, than risk losing some hole
or corner where the crush is less, and where one has
a better chance of escaping the hoofs of the Mexican
mules—a kick from whom might soon enough send
one ' down among the dead men.' It is reported
that several passengers were lost overboard, in both
the Northern Light and the Golden Age, without-
being missed till the end of each voyage.  I can well ■»■
credit it: for it appears to me a hundred people
might tumble over the sides during the night, and
their surviving comrades not be any the wiser, or the
Captain and crew be at the least pains to save the
lost ones. Close astern of the figure-head is the place
I usually aim at. The wind blows fiercely there.
However, one does not encounter so much dirt
forward as aft. It is consequently healthier, though,
like every other available spot,  choke-full  of pas
"Sunday, May l\th, 10 p.m. — A wet dreary
night before us, and still nowhere to lay my head.
This comes of travelling by Yankee ships. Thank
heaven, I shall soon be again under the good Union
Jack of Old England, where the rights of the humblest passengers are respected, to say nothing of those
who pay large sums as their fare. Commend me to
British vessels for sterling loyalty to whatever arrangements they make."
"Monday, May 12th. — Cramped and sore from
having ventured to take a stretch on the wet deck
when tired out with standing. Tried to dry and
warm myself against the steamer's funnel. Strong
easterly gale now blowing, heavy sea running, ship
straining fearfully, as with double-reefed topsails she
-mi 56
rises out of it, and lunges over to windward, and
again pitches headlong into the ugly sea-trough.
" 6 a.m.—Was quite half an hour in reaching the
heel of the ship's bowsprit, the throng of people and
cattle on deck being so great. Horizon clearing at
last on the weather-bow. Gives us a sight of Cape
Hancock, at the mouth of the Columbia river. This
river divides the State of Oregon from that of
Washington. There is a bar which lies about two
miles westward of the mouth of the river, and prevents large vessels from entering. This is a fortunate
circumstance for British Columbia, as it necessitates
the United States' traders seeking a harbour within
the limits of our territory.
J s.
" 4 p.m.—Weather clear.    A beautiful sky in the
west promises a fine daj^ for to-morrow.    Rapidly
nearing the Strait of San Juan de Fuca."
To the best of my recollection, I had just finished
making the last of the above entries in my Diary,
and had fought a way to the forecastle, with the
hope of catching the first glimpse of British soil,
when one of my fellow-passengers, an Englishman
I   believe,   suddenly   cried    "Vancouver   Island!"
Thrice welcome sound it was, indeed.     For there,
well in front of us, like some transformation scene STRAITS OF SAN JUAN DE FUCA.
emerging from the great repertory of nature, lay the
craggy shore and high land of Vancouver. At first
it appeared as the veriest outline in the dim distance.
But the rough sea of the morning had been gradually calming, and we made such rapid headway that
within half an hour the coast began to stand out in
bold form, and to reflect gloriously the rays of the
declining sun.
It seems necessary to journey long away from the
sheltering aegis of British institutions in order fully to
know the joy of again hailing the land where the privilege of being plundered and otherwise injured by one's
neighbour, whenever he listeth, is at least limited.
Soon we were alive from stem to stern: ducks and
hens clucking, cattle lowing, sheep bleating, mules
restive, and every human passenger intent on gathering his or her belongings together—all certain indications that the end of our four days' misery was not
far off. Before sunset, in fact, the Pacific steam-
vessel had weathered Cape Flattery, and was going
ahead in delightfully smooth water up the Strait of
San Juan, which constitutes the line of demarcation
between British and American territory. The pace
was too rapid, however, to allow us to see, on either
shore, more than a moving panorama of steep red-
i I
coloured cliffs, those on the American side running
back into a range of high and rugged peaks, grandiloquently styled the Olympian Range by ite owners.
.   I may here say a   word, parenthetically, about
anchorage.    It is a common mistake of writers who
casually mention British Columbia to talk of Van-
couver Island as possessing numerous safe and commodious harbours.     They confound a part with the
whole.     Many excellent harbours certainly do exist
on the mainland, although but few of them are as
jet m general use.    Owing to the powerful tides and
currents, and to the contrary winds so prevalent on
the coast, those harbours are and must remain practically closed, unless to steamers of high pressure.
I knew a clipper-schooner which took two weeks to
do the Inside Passage, a distance of only three hundred miles.     Besides, I can  speak from personal
experience, having sailed several times up and down
the Passage in sloops, as well as once in a schooner,
and paddled   it   on   another occasion in  a  canoe
manned by Indians.    And I testify that, notwithstanding the pleasant and generally safe character of
the Passage, steam is what alone can ever turn the
harbours of the mainland to practical account in the
interests of commerce. HARBOURS OF VANCOUVER  ISLAND. 59
The first of the mainland harbours is that known as
the North Bentinck Arm, which I shall afterwards
notice.    The second is New Westminster.    Of both
these it is especially true that they never can serve as
anything more than ports of entry for steamers.    At
New Westminster, the current of the Fraser river is
marvellously strong.    No sailing-vessel has a chance
against it.   Even high-pressure steam-vessels find it an
absolute impossibility to make the harbour without
putting on an unhmited quantum of extra pounds to
the inch. In Vancouver Island proper, however, there
are three fine harbours.     The first of these is Esquimalt,  situated three miles west from Victoria, the
capital of British Columbia, and its seat of Government.    The formation of Esquimalt harbour is an
irregular circle, some two miles in width by three in
length.     It averages about seven fathoms of water.
In facility of ingress and egress it surpasses all other
ports in British Columbia. Excepting a few patches of
rich loamy soil, the ground round about this harbour
is very rocky; but on that account perhaps it adapts
itself all the more readily to the purpose of a landing-
place for the heavy wares likely to be wanted in a
prospective   commercial  country.    Hence  not less
by reason of its extraordinarily good anchorage than
because combining close proximity to the  capital
with the easiest access to the ocean-highway, Esquimalt Harbour appears the great natural port of entry
to Vancouver Island, and indeed, for many a year
yet, to the whole of British Columbia. It lies exactly
nine miles from the Race Rocks, in the Straits of San
Juan de Fuca.    On the western point at entrance,
a white tower-lighthouse, called the Fisgard Light,
from an English frigate of that name employed in
this service on the coast, has been constructed.    The
lighthouse stands low, but is nevertheless so admirably   placed  as to be visible  at   every point  of
approach towards the harbour.    Ships of any size
can ride here at anchor, in all security.    Esquimalt
is chiefly used as  a naval station, the   Admiral's
flag-ship being usually anchored  inside:   but,  the
large  steamers   belonging  to   the   Pacific   Steam
Navigation Company, which ply between Vancouver
Island   and  San  Francisco,  putting into Portland
on the  Columbia river,  also use it as their terminus.
Nootka Sound is the second of the Vancouver harbours. The Admiralty reports well of it; but when the
place has been colonized and its harbour submitted
to probation, it will be safer to criticize the official ESQUIMALT   HARBOUR. 61
report.    The third is Victoria itself.    When I last
saw it there was a bar or spit running right across
the entrance, a short way to the leeward of Ogden
and Maclaughlin Points.     The  bar has since been
thoroughly   dredged;   and   now  Victoria  Harbour
affords sufficient anchorage for a few larger vessels,
and for a   considerable  number of   smaller   craft.
Despite which a grave error is unanimously admitted
to   have  been committed   in   choosing the  site of
Victoria for the capital.    The reason  alleged was
the quantity of good land in its immediate vicinity.
But port advantages rank among the primary requisites in a new  country, and with such a port as
Esquimalt close at hand, lying quite near enough
to the good land, how its superior claims could have
been overlooked appears inconceivable.    The truth
is, therefore, that, although British Columbia  does
possess many harbours, only three of them are likely
to serve as commercial ports, one, however, Esquimalt, having pre-eminent capabilities.
Upon the lovely spring morning of May 13th,
then, and at the beginning of an equally lovely
summer, we all landed—English, Canadians, Americans, in a heap and a jumble—on the wharf in that
harbour of Esquimalt.
I 62
A sudden influx of 1400 people would have taxed
the supplies in an ordinary civilized town. Consequently, the capital of British Columbia, which at
that date counted only about 6000 fixed residents,
with a floating population of miners and stray
Indians, was hardly the place to find accommodation
for an invading army like us. How the majority
fared, I know not. But fortunate were those who
had brought any kind of housing with them. As for
me, I was able, in partnership with some of my
English travelling-companions, to pitch a tent for the
time, on a slight eminence off the Squymalt road
(the Yankee corruption of the euphonistio EsQuimali),
commanding a view of Victoria. Fancy arriving in
England after a four days' journey from Southern
Europe, and being condemned to go a-gipsying on
Hampstead Heath—glad too of the chance. I do
aver we felt uncommonly Bohemian. We formed a
sort of camp—at least those did who had tentage.
Numbers, however, found themselves completely without shelter, and sad it was to see them wandering for
many days, in couples, or by families, about the crude
Victorian streets. Eventually, though very gradually,
they all disappeared, being absorbed, in virtue of
some occult process of nature, into the body colonial, THE BLUE AND CASCADE MOUNTAINS:
mostly over to  the mainland,  which   subtends the
Island of Vancouver.
I shall here skip some three months, or account for
them in general only.
My professional acquirements enabled me, sooner
than many of my fellow-emigrants, to obtain an
engagement. What an emigrant looks to, on landing, is to be employed in any manner. For although
he may have to endure great hardship from the
unwonted nature of the employment offered him, he
knows that if he will but keep steadily at it he is
certain to get on. Sometimes, no doubt, he acts with
unwise precipitancy; but the stimulus to active
exertion is none the less, even after a disappointment
at starting. It is so disposed, perhaps providentially.
A feeling of this kind led me, in the first instance, to
join a prospecting enterprise on the mainland. My
Canadian experience had inured me to venturesome
operations in the open air, from which I rashly
inferred that I could stand their equivalent in British
Columbia. But for all my eagerness to earn a status in
the colony, could I have foreseen one tithe of the privations before me I should have shrunk back appalled.
Being wishful to  take my reader on to  Queen
Charlotte   Islands,   which   is   the  chief  object   of
\V 64
this narrative, I  shall sum up what I underwent
during the three months after my arrival by saying
that the exploring expedition I joined included in its
operations forcing our way across the Blue and Cascade Mountains, here climbing up half-perpendicular
hill-sides, there springing from  rock to rock, then
down again by precipitous tracks, where one false
step would have flung  me into  an   unfathomable
abyss,  at one time up to the middle in soft alkali
mud, at another breasting swift mountain-torrents,
scrambling over roots and  fallen trees, or battling
with the densest brushwood.     More than once it
occurred  to  our party to find ourselves benighted
amidst a superabundant vegetation, reminding me of
Panama, with a temperature of 98° in the shade, and
with myriads of the customary hot climate accessories
in the shape of mosquitoes, sand-flies, black-flies, and
a species of ant as large as the common English fly,
besetting us in every direction, each  little   fellow
having obviously embarked his energies in a concentrated effort to excel our other persecutors  in the
quantity, of blood he could extract from us victims;
whereas the next day about noon we might have
been seen, had anybody watched our progress, in the
midst  of the  snow, shivering  on a mountain-top, LIKELIHOOD  OF  COPPER. 65
16,000 feet above the sea-level, and therefore higher
than Mont Blanc or the Jungfrau; but again, the
very same evening perhaps, down once more into the
hot plain or valley. If to such reckless pulls on one's
constitution it be added that for five or six days we
were in hourly dread of attack from hostile savages
whose country „we were prospecting, that our food
consisted principally of the bark of trees, and that,
though we left a sorrowful trail of blood behind us,
nay, the body even of one of our companions, we had
no trail to guide our path save our pocket-compasses,
some idea may be formed of the pluck which was
necessary to carry us through with the expedition,
and some palliation be accepted for the hopeless
failure in which it resulted. Never did means prove
more inadequate to the end. But it served to start
me in British Columbia. It was under these circumstances that for the second time I arrived at Victoria,
on this occasion without a penny in my pocket, and
without a friend or relative nearer than 6000 miles.
However, after a fortnight's rest and good living I
began to recover the use of my feet, and to feel that
my constitution was not altogether destroyed. As
soon as I had strength sufficient to get about, I
stated publicly my conviction that, from observations
lii ee
and calculations I had made on the mainland, almost
opposite Queen Charlotte Islands, there was copper
to be found in the group of islands which lie out
from the coast to the north of Vancouver. This
opinion happened to receive a singular confirmation
from the fact of a native of those islands having, some
months previous, brought down a sample of copper-
ore to Victoria under the impression that it was
In a marvellously short time the nucleus of a
Company was got together and entitled the Queen
Charlotte Mining Company, which so inspired me
with hope and confidence that I offered to go up and
sink the requisite shafts. As mining engineers are
not a commodity which is landed every day in
British Columbia, the directors were only too happy
to accept my offer.
Before closing the bargain I thought an intervieAV
with the Governor, Sir James Douglas, would be both
proper and profitable. The long service of Sir James
Douglas to the Hudson's Bay Company, his intimate
acquaintance with the various tribes of natives, and
his knowledge of the requirements for developing the
resources of this the most important colony of England in the Pacific, rendered him at that epoch emi- GOVERNOR DOUGLAS.
nently qualified to fulfil the duties of Governor of
our North-West American possessions. I have no
object in bepraising him other than a desire to record my humble sense of his eminent merits. But
such I know to be the verdict of all unbiassed men
who had the advantage of living under his wise and
able administration. In my case he regretted that
he could not take upon himself the responsibility
of giving me the more substantial protection of a
gunboat and a detachment of marines. The hostility
attributed to the natives of Queen Charlotte Islands
the Governor declared to be well founded. The risk
and expense would be too great, he said, for the
Government to incur in a private undertaking; but
he ended some valuable advice by recommending me
strongly to supply myself with plenty of arms and
ammunition. It did not look very encouraging. I
was bent upon making the venture, however. As it
chanced, Kitguen, who claimed the head chieftainship
of the islands, was then at Victoria; so I took him
before the Governor, to whom he promised that his
tribe should not molest us, and that he would bring
his influence or power to bear in our behalf should
any other tribe seem disposed to contest our landing
or interfere with our explorations.    In fact, we took
f 2
IM 68
the bull by the horns, and with capital effect. The
Governor spoke to Kitguen in his own language,
which he interpreted as an honour and deference
intended to be shown to his chiefdom. Of this impression he gave unmistakeable evidence when he afterwards returned to his tribe, they and the other
tribes consequently regarding him in the light of a,
chief who had attained to an influential position with
• the chief of the white men.
Fully alive, therefore, to the daring character of
the attempt, I took up my appointment from the
Queen Charlotte Mining Company.
In another day or two we had chartered the Rebecca
schooner of twenty tons, and proceeded forthwith
to load her with provisions and implements necessary
for rough mine work. Kitguen being anxious to go
back to his island-home, I gave him a free passage,
and, having likewise shipped some men as helpers in
my operations, I was to be seen, one summer eve,
standing on the beach of Victoria, surrounded by
newspaper reporters and a number of the leading
men of the town, who had come down to wish me
success and a pleasant voyage.
I have always considered it a real pity that
Vancouver possessed,   in those days, but   a small rwjm
number of men of spirit. Had there been as many
in it then as there were subsequently, I have no
hesitation in saying that British Columbia would
ere this have got far ahead of any State in North
America, not excepting California. That is the
opinion of everybody that knew the colony when the
mercantile and emigration world was giving its
splendid chances the go-by.
I There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune:
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries."
As of men so of countries; though I heartily hope
that many more tides in the affairs of British
Columbia will lead on to fortune.
Backed only by a handful of individuals, like all
originators in Vancouver at the time, I had simply to
do my best to make the concern worthy of the enterprise and energy of those who had embarked in it. f
By sundown on the evening of August the 4th I
had got everything on board. Captain Macalmond
having then cast away his shore lilies, we hauled off
from the jetty, and with the aid. of the ebbing tide
the pretty little clipper-schooner Rebecca glided
gently out of Victoria harbour.
Her ultimate destination was the Stickeen River
gold-mines; but we had partially chartered her to
deliver myself, my men, and my freight, on her way
up there, on Queen Charlotte Islands.
Opposite Ogden Point we anchored for an hour,
to trim ship and await the captain's wife.
At 10 p.m. we cleared the harbour, and proceeded
to take the Inside Passage towards the Gulf of
Georgia.    The weather being calm and foggy, how- nrmrm
ever, and as from my recent experience I already
knew the difficulties of that route, I strongly advised
the Captain to make for the Outside Passage—a plan
he at once agreed to adopt, greatly to my satisfaction.
There has always been much dispute as to which
of the two routes is the safest and best to the Head
of Vancouver. As aforesaid, I have gone the Inside
Passage more than once, and I shall again refer to
my knowledge of it; but it may also help to show
the relative advantages of those rival highways if I
here quote from my Diary the precise time it took to
accomplish an average passage Outside, together
with some of the circumstances attending it.
After our vessel's course had been reversed and
the Captain had headed her W.S.W., we turned into
our respective bunks to sleep off the excitement of
" August 5th.—Up at sunrise this morning, finding sleep impossible, what with the schooner's
tossing in the ground-swell of the strait, and the
closeness of the atmosphere below. Only too glad to
inhale the sea-breeze, although the morning smacks
damp and misty, as I hear is frequently the case
beneath the shadow of Mount Baker. This mountain forms a useful landmark for mariners on the 72
coast. It is the highest of the Olympian range, the
frowning precipices of which converge into its
westernmost point, in the natural boundary between
British Columbia and the United States. The
scenery all around, when illumined by sunlight,
must be grand in the extreme. As I now see it over
the top of a sea-fog, it looks rude, desolate, and uninviting.
" Good English breakfast, thanks to the British
Constitution. But the passengers leave the Captain
and me to enjoy it, the landsman's inveterate, foe—
sea-sickness—having taken full possession of them.
As for me, I begin to consider myself an exempt.
In fact I am never blessed with so glorious an appetite as when ploughing the deep or otherwise undergoing invigoration from the sea-air.
I In this country the winds are perceptibly affected
by the sun. At midnight last night it blew quite a
small gale: but as soon as the sun appeared on the
eastern horizon the wind suddenly dropped, and the
sea became as calm as a mill-pond. Precisely the
opposite would have taken place had it been
calm in the night. We should now be in a gale.
These sudden changes with the sun are the rule out
here. KW
■"■!■   11»i
" The live-stock on board the Rebecca consists of
the Captain and wife, the mate, steward, one A.B.
seaman, myself, and eight mining-workmen, with two
Hydah chiefs and four of their women; all of us,
Captain and wife excepted, being stowed away in the
hold amongst two tiers of bunks, kept separate from
the general cargo only by a slight boarding. The
overpowering atmosphere of this hold, which rancid
oil, burning grease, and the fishy stench characteristic
of Indians renders still more oppressive, induces me
to court the deck as long as possible.
"I have just been joined here by Kitguen, who,
albeit the very pink of uncleanness, proves to be an
intelligent biped and a sociable Indian. If his chieftainship would but wash himself once a week and cover
his skeleton shanks with unmentionables, he would
make a rather respectable-looking member of society.
I did give him a pair of pants, and he wore them
while at Victoria; but no sooner had we distanced
the capital than he quickly threw them off, and on
my inquiring the cause he replied, " Wake closh,,f which
being interpreted means "No good." He does not
appear to possess much physical strength, neither is
he handsome. His cheeks are sunken, and his cheekbones are more prominent than a Celt's;  he has a 74
dull and inexpressive eye; his hair, thick as brushwood, reeks with fish-oil and tumbles down the back
of his neck; but his face is absolutely beardless.
Smooth faces, it seems, are fashionable with his tribe,
every man of whom systematically eradicates the
hairs of the face, and carries a tweezer about for
that express purpose. It was some time before I
knew the cause of Kitguen's evident partiality towards me. At last I discovered that it arose from
my being ' cleaner than most whites he had seen '—
in other words, because I did not wear a beard. The
passion for wearing beards is, I need scarce say, as
prevalent amongst our countrymen in British
Columbia as in England. Yet I noticed at Victoria
that many eschewed the custom altogether, and not
without reason, I think. Beardlessness has two undoubted advantages in this colony: first, it disposes
the natives to make friends with you; secondly, and
by no means least in importance, it leaves a more open
field for the slaughter of the mosquitoes when they
attack you in the visage—indeed, they are hardly
get-at-able when they fill your beard. I judge Kitguen to be about thirty-five years of .age, although
the habit of painting from childhood upwards, and
the life of frightful exposure led by the Indians, «w:
have combined to give him the appearance of fully
fifty years. He stoops somewhat, and is rather bow-
legged—defects common to the seaboard tribes of
Indians, and doubtless arising from overmuch sitting,
tailor-fashion, in their cranky canoes. It rather surprises me to see no tattooing on any part of him;
but he has a very amusing ring of silver through his
nose, and in each of his big splay ears are several
ornamental holes, large enough to let my little finger
through up to the first joint."
Kitguen was a man, take him for all in all, whom I
found to be a very fair specimen of a Queen Charlotte
Indian, which is the reason why I describe him here
at more length perhaps than might otherwise seem
justifiable. We became great friends. I tried to
teach him a little English, which he reciprocated by
initiating me into the mysteries of the Hydah tongue,
as well as by many friendly services. The other chief
belonged to the Skiddan tribe. He was of a more
quiet and unambitious disposition.
"August bth, 6 p.m.—We have just passed out of
the Straits of San Juan de Fuca, and are entering
the open Pacific, the evening lowering calmly, clearly,
and delightfully. At this moment we have crossed,
the bows of a large barque, within sixty yards of
im 76
her. She is called the Gold-Hunter, and is bound
for San Francisco, one Hoey commanding her. Captain Macalmond, who is both owner and commander
of the 'saucy' Rebecca, as the British Columbians
have surnamed our schooner, has good reason to
feel proud of his little vessel, which he declares outsails all other ships, of whatever tonnage, on the
" The schooner's course is right under Vancouver
Island, of which we have a close yet comprehensive
view from where I am writing this on the deck.
At the present season of the year the island does
not appear to its best advantage, the ground being
evidently parched, and the pastures scorched to
nothing, from sheer want of rain. But a little later
the Autumn will set in, and then we shall have what
is known in North America as the Indian summer.
Still, the foliage of the forest-trees and shrubs presents
a wondrous aspect to any eye unaccustomed to it.
In that, British Columbia only excels in degree what
may be met with in kind all through Canada, and
indeed all over the northernmost parts of the North
American continent. I have seen leaves of every
imaginable tint draping the shore of the great St.
Lawrence, the golden hue of the water, as the sun rises A  RETROSPECT  ON  CANADA.
or sets, vastly augmenting the splendour of the effect.
Occasionally too the leaves of one tree would display
a mass of the brightest scarlet, whilst its next neighbour would soften off into lake-colour, or show an
infinitude of variegated tinges on its different
branches. When this happens it is a sure sign
that a severe winter is approaching: but the beau -
teousness of the present often lures one to forget
the harshness of the future. The thought of
the lovely forest-life to be seen at every step in
Canada, during quite seven months of the year, never
recurs to me but I think likewise of the silly ignorance exhibited by the French "statesman," who,
when his countrymen were obliged to yield up Canada
to us, described it as merely " a few acres of snow."
As I gaze across to Vancouver, it appears to surpass
even my old Canadian visions. The background is
high, and looks intensely rocky. We are now sailing
so close in-shore, howeyer, that with my glass I can
make out perfectly well a rich alluvial soil of a deep
black colour, filling up the long valleys between, and
seeming only to await the ploughshare of the husbandman in order to make it abundantly productive.
The tree-leafage runs down in luxuriance to the very
water's edge, presenting a marvellous variety, from
i \i 78
dyes of malachite green or topaz yellow to the most
delicate shades of pink."
" August 7th.—It was past eleven o'clock last
night when we turned into our bunks, tired at last
with gazing, by the silvery moonlight, upon the
wonders of creation.
" In the Rebecca we are not restricted to time, as
on board regular packet-ships. We have no ' eight
bells, and all lights out.' The Captain does all he
can to see to our comfort, and leaves us to our own
devices. But, on the other hand, we are a contented
lot of passengers. All of us lend a hand at the helm,
or make and shorten sail, as each man knows how,
and just as though one were in a private yacht.
" This morning sailing along still closer, if possible, under the land.
" The prospect, lit up by the blaze of the ascending sun, strikes me as truly magnificent.
"And yet this island has remained in obscurity
for upwards of half a century since its full discovery
by Captain Vancouver of the English Royal Navy.
It is 270 miles in length, with an average breadth
of fifty miles, and a superficies of 14,000 square
miles—or in other words, it measures about a quarter
the area of England and Wales.    In my opinion the THE HUDSON'S   BAY  COMPANY.
fault of the emigrating world's having been so long
kept in ignorance of this grand outlet for our surplus
population lies mainly at the door of the Hudson's
Bay Company, to whose custody our Government
foolishly relegated it, after England and Spain had
settled their dispute about its possession. That
Company, now happily defunct, found the trade with
the Indian tribes too lucrative not to make it a
stringent interest to hide the natural resources
of Vancouver Island from the 'outer barbarians.'
No doubt some few strangers did contrive to exist
there, previous to 1859, when the Company's charter
expired: but the monopoly of the latter was too
great, and every branch of colonial trade too much
affected by it, to leave the slightest chance of success
to the individual speculator. Dating from 1859,
however, the colony has experienced a slow but
steady and increasing prosperity.
"4 p.m.—Vast shoals of whales were playing
near us in the forenoon, one as near as forty yards
across our bows, his length some seventy-five feet,
measured by the eye.
" This afternoon we have had another kind of
visitation, in the shape of four canoes crammed with
Indians.     The majority of these were females, but
I'm 80
painted so black as completely to hide the expression
of their features. The men, who sported a costume
the reverse of ' full dress,' had unprepossessing and
stupid countenances. They wanted to sell us fish; but
we had got provisions enough on board without it.
19 p.m. —When the sun went down in the
west this evening, there was the slight movement on
the water so often seen in these parts.
11 have just come from viewing the island to great
advantage. The declining sun added immensely to
its otherwise extraordinary beauty. But the change
is amazingly rapid. A variety of the liveliest colours
tinge the tops of the gigantic pines and cedars with
which Vancouver abounds, and which are divided
from the golden waters by a line of sombre-hued and
jagged rocks thrown up into all manner of shapes.
While the eye is endeavouring to take in the
splendour of this feat of nature, from the far southeast to the far north-west, suddenly down dips the sun
into the ocean's bosom, and the gorgeous landscape is
almost instantaneously enveloped in midnight gloom.
" I write now by a lamp. The cause of this sudden
darkness is the absence of all twilight."*
* The complete want of twilight on the North Pacific coast is remarkable.
Science explains why day immediately succeeds to night in the Tropics; ■
" August 8th.—We are off Berkley Sound this
morning with a strong north-easterly head-wind. It
smacks of a land-breeze. So we alter our course a
few points, which will take us out of sight of land
until We sight the island we are sailing for.
" I am almost the only passenger not sea-sick
again. It is rather singular that the Indians should
be troubled with sea-sickness, since they are so continually on the water, and in much rougher weather
than we have to-day. I hear, however, that no
Indians are ever sea-sick in their own canoes, even in
the midst of the fiercest storms. There must be
something in the construction or movement of our
vessels which does not agree with their stomachs or
" I was forced to turn out of my bunk betimes just
now, owing to the frightful effluvium below. Moreover, I had found sleeping utterly impracticable on
account of the four Klootchmen (Indian women), who
chattered and quarrelled unceasingly all the night
through, spitting at one another like cats. As I have
often seen Chinese do the same, this reminds me that
but how it comes that the same phenomenon should occur in a country in
almost the same latitude as England, is a problem which still remains for
scientific solution.
G 3W8B'^iw.;B i1 nt» ii.Jg
many peculiarities are common to both races. The
Indian mode of dancing bears a strange resemblance
to that in use among the Chinese. The straw or
dried-grass hats peculiar to Chinamen are also
made by the Hydah Indians, although with a stouter
material. From these and numerous kindred
similarities, I see reason for acquiescing in the
opinion that they sprang originally from the same
I may here add that, while on board the Rebecca,
I took pains to persuade the Klootchmen to relin-
'quish the frightful and repulsive habit tbey have of
disfiguring their faces. The two elder women did
not appreciate my good intentions; but they were to
be excused, as the coats of paint certainly served to
hide their decay and wrinkles. I succeeded with the
two younger, who forthwith consented to wash themselves several times a day. It agreeably surprised
me to find that one of them, the daughter of a chief
named Skid-a-ga-tees, was really interesting, and the
other quite a beauty. And as I did not care to conceal my admiration, of course the newly-discovered
beauty and I became great friends: and so indeed
we ever continued, as long as I remained on Queen
Charlotte Islands.    Once she had the courage to bid A  PORTABLE ARSENAL.
defiance to all her tribe, and even to her own father,
a chief, in order to save my life, when I was alone
and unarmed in the presence of a dozen Indians,
dancing round me with drawn knives and thirsting
for my blood.
" August 9th —Strong wind all the forenoon off
the land. Found ample employment in cleaning my
revolvers, with a view to using them, if so compelled,
against the Indians. However friendly Indians may
appear, they are never wholly to be trusted. I was
careful therefore to let my travelling-companions
see that I had a portable arsenal not at all to be
" At noon, the wind shifting round to the port
side, the Captain gave orders to ' put on the bonnet.'
The bonnet is an additional piece of canvas tacked
on to a sail, in moderate weather, to hold more wind.
It is rather bold of our Captain putting it on just
here, as the sky looks threatening, and as by this
time we must have entered Queen Charlotte Sound,
and are probably already in the broad reach of
sea which separates Vancouver from Queen Charlotte Islands, and where the winds are never to be
depended upon. Still, a real storm is of rare occurrence  during   the summer months   in  these  seas.
62 ....a——'        y^-zi
Our Captain tells me he intends to make a dash across
while the weather holds up, in hopes of catching sight
of the islands before dark, and thus run us in direct
to our destination. Sailing a point or two out of the
course has often resulted in the vessel passing the
islands. The Captain says that actually happened to
him once before. He did not know the least where
he was till he had the good luck to fall in with a
whaler, some 300 miles in another direction, southwest of Queen Charlotte. In our case, had we known
of any kind of harbour near the Head of Vancouver,
we should have doubtless run in there for shelter,
and so have made sure of a whole day to scud across.
When these northern shores become colonized, this
running-across difficulty, which must then occur
daily, will assuredly be obviated by the erection of
two lighthouses, one on Scott's Island at the Head of
Vancouver, the other on Cape St. James, the most
southerly point of Queen Charlotte.
I Our steersman gives such little satisfaction to the
Captain, that the latter, having ' cunned' the schooner
nearly all the day, has at last been obliged to take
the wheel himself. To cun a vessel is the nautical
phrase for directing the man at the helm how to
steer.    It is a common thing in all new countries THE   " SPOONDRIFT."
to see men assuming a responsible position without
a trace of the qualifications necessary to enable them
to fulfil its duties. This is very noticeable in the
United States, and, so far, not less so in British
Columbia. When our colony has been better populated and organized, such incongruities will no doubt
duly disappear under the influence of English civilization. At present, nothing is commoner out here than
for a man to be a tailor or a gold-miner one year,
and the next to find himself a merchant, a banker,
the captain of a coaster, or even a chief magistrate
in some of the back settlements. It was no wonder,
therefore, that the Rebecca should have been temporarily consigned to the guidance of a professed
steersman whose appearance and acquirements
seemed to point rather to tailoring than to
"5 p.m.—Going on deck after tea-time, I was met
in the face with a novel kind of shower-bath. It consisted of a sort of sprinkling of sea-water, which swept
in a perfect tempest from the surface of the waves
and fled like a vapour before the wind. The British
Columbians call it the spoondrift, and I am not
aware that it exists, at least not with the same intensity and continuity, in any other part of the globe." 86 QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
" August 10th.—We were not able to sight land
before sunset last night. We consequently kept on
our course in the dark, trusting that early dawn
would not fail to give us the first inkling of our long
looked for destination.
" This morning I turned out with the dog-watch,
that is, at 4 a.m. The wind had fallen during the
night, however, and there was not a sign of land to
be seen.
" We sailed perseveringly on over a deliciously
smooth sea, everybody keeping a sharp look-out,
when towards eight o'clock I was the first to observe
two little shadows about the size of a hat, which
seemed to be suspended above the water. As we
coursed onward, they gradually assumed a more substantial form, appearing to touch the water. We all
believed it to be land; but, after a prolonged straining of our united eyes, we felt satisfied that it really
was Cape St. James, the most south-easterly point of
Queen Charlotte Islands. Having indulged a moment
in the pleasant prospect of our voyage speedily terminating, all the passengers crowded down the hatchway to breakfast. Upon our regaining the deck, in
half an hour's time, the veritable Cape St. James
had come distinctly into view. WHALES  AND  PORPOISES,
"10 a.m. — All is now still and serene^ The
glorious expanse of sea, over which our little vessel
wends its solitary way, tends to induce tranquillity
of mind and to invite to serious thought.
I Astern of us lies spread out the vast Pacific
Ocean, completely alive with whales and porpoises.
The.whales are quietly ploughing the surface, and
every now and then spouting streams of water high
up into the air, whilst the porpoises, in a widely extended corps dJarmee, toss their ungainly carcases
hither and thither athwart the placid main, and yet,
led by some leader more swift than his fellows, seem
somehow to be all making their way seaward. Who
dare foretell how soon these frequenters of this
half-known ocean-path will be driven from the field
of their sports, and their inheritance be taken possession of by the fleets of civilization ?
I Our schooner's bearings being now altered from
W.S.W. seaway point, with If variation point, to
N.W. f W., we see right ahead of us the island, or
rather the islands, which since a few years after
their discovery, towards the close of the last century,
have gone by the name of King George the Third's
Queen Consort.
I My first observation shows me that the lay of 88 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
the land is unexpectedly low.* Its greatest elevation,
as I hear from the Captain, does not exceed eight
hundred feet above the sea-level. The mountain
tops, or, to speak more correctly, the hill-tops, are
sharp and peaky, thus manifesting at once their
volcanic origin. Here and there the hills open out,
revealing a series of matchless harbours, from which
large flats shelve off well into the interior. The flats
are covered with forests of stupendous timber, chiefly
pine and cedar.
" I have just looked hard from my seat on deck at
these reaches, which begin almost from the water's
edge, and seem endless; and my strong idea is that
the soil itself must be of the very richest kind to
produce such stately and perfect timber. I take it
that, in the background among the ridges, there are
lying near the surface extensive treasures of minerals,
only wanting a few blasts of gunpowder to divulge
them to the light of day.
"As far as the eye can reach either way, the land
is a picture of loveliness. The very atmosphere
seems laden with the perfume of its vegetation.    The
* There is a good description, with an exoellent illustration of Cape St.
James, in Captain Dixon's Voyage to the North-Wai Coast of Amman
(p. 814), published in the last oentury.
outer-shore lines look black and shapeless; but they
are backed by a gigantesque fringe of wood-country.
Such is the closeness of the heavy timber that, at this
distance, no great variety of colour presents itself to
view; but again, if this country lacks brilliancy in
its foliage, the massive green of the trees amply compensates for it.    Were an uninformed stranger, who
had never travelled in southern latitudes, put down
suddenly on Queen Charlotte Islands, his first idea
would be to fancy himself transported to some tropical
clime.    In order fully to carry out the illusion, no-.
thing but the indigenous vegetation of the south need
be added to the luxuriance which I see filling up the
landscape at every point.   Various natural provisions
combine to afford grateful shelter to all this forest-
land.     The principal of these causes is the arctic
current which sweeps down along the coast the whole
year round, the chilled sea-water being modified in
its turn by warm westerly breezes.    Hence the temperature  is   nearly always  mild, and   never high.
Neither,   as   our   Captain   asserts,  do   the    islands
harbour green flies or any of the destructive insect
fauna which  impede luxuriant growth in Europe,
and deteriorate the pleasures which we derive from
the rich vegetation of the south.    For this reason it 90
requires little perspicuity to foresee a day when the
fair land we are now approaching will be able to boast
of such an open-air fruitage and florage as would do
honour to any nobleman's hot-house in England.
" Upon whose shoulders rests the blame, then, that
valuable islands like these should have remained
totally uncolonized, and to all intents and purposes
almost unknown, for well nigh a century since Captain Dixon first took possession of them in the
name of the king of England ?
u It is not necessary to speculate on part at least
of the answer, when we know that for fifteen years
a combination of traders, known as the Hudson's Bay
Company, kept undivided control over them." 91
Late in the afternoon of August the 11th we let go
our anchor off Skincuttle, a very pretty little island,
comprising some forty acres of superficial area.
Thus we did the passage from Victoria, Vancouver,
in exactly six days, nineteen and a half hours. Had
we kept to the Inside Passage, it would, I feel
assured, have taken us the best part of a month to
reach Queen Charlotte.
Skincuttle lies in latitude 52° 18' 0" N., longitude
181° 07' 0" W.—that is to say, in a line nearly northwest from the southernmost point of Cape St. James.
At low water this islet is seen to be joined to
several others of a similar character, which, when
not submerged, form a connected strip of land
stretching out towards the Sound. \\M
Although these islets lie together in an open
position, and are unprotected against storms from
any part of the compass, none of them bear evidence of having suffered much, if at all. In other
countries where trees have to struggle to maturity
in the midst of storms and adverse winds, as for
example on our Cumberland and Westmoreland seaboard, they seldom attain to great altitude, and are
not to be mentioned in respect of real straightness.
But here, on this outlandish sea-girt holm, every tree
is marvellously high, besides being thick in proportion, and as straight as an arrow to the very top.
One of my first amusements was to go and take the
measurement of a fine cedar. I found it to measure,
at a spot I could touch with my arm, four feet ten
inches in diameter, which gave fifteen feet four
inches in circumference. Its height was two hundred
and fifty feet—not exactly that, perhaps, but very
nearly so, as I measured by a means which, though
wanting in elegance, is simple and effective, and has
been generally adopted amongst experienced bush-
men and lumberers throughout North America.
This plan is to walk away from the tree till you can
sight its topmast branch when looking backwards
between your legs.    You have then got the tree's A FIRST LOOK  ROUND.
height in the distance between the spot where you
stand and the base of the tree itself. The accuracy
of this process in " natural trigonometry " is astonishing; for after a little practice it can be relied upon
within a foot or so. The largest trees on Skincuttle,
and indeed on the main of Queen Charlotte Islands,
are the cedars; but the pines are more perfect and
more numerous. They shoot up, ramrod-like, without one single branch, or without a knot even, to mar
their bolt-uprightness, if I may be allowed to coin
the word, till near their highest point, when they
push out some famous tufts and bunches, which give
them the appearance of overgrown umbrellas.
The following brief extract from my Diary describes
the look-round, soon after landing, of the first Englishman who ever went to reside on Queen Charlotte
11 note a ridge extending into the sea for a
distance of several hundred yards on the east side of
this islet (Skincuttle). At high tide the ridge is
almost covered with water; and parallel with it on
the west side another ridge runs out, plentifully supplied with timber. The soundings between either ridge
and the land are thirty feet deep, and there is capital
holding ground.    These waters form little lagoons, 94 QUEEN CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
in fact, and seem to offer admirable shelter to boats
and schooners.    If it were not for the presence of the
Indians, I could easily imagine myself on one of our
home islands, in the embouchure of the river Clyde.
However, as I look landward again, I am soon undeceived.    And yet the grand views which surround
•me   on  all sides help to cheer my spirits, and to
make me temporarily forget that I have come six
thousand miles away from my native land, and that
<our party is separated by a broad sound from the
nearest civilized beings.    Sitting down to make this
entry in my Diary on a rising ground  above the
little harbour, I can take into one reach a variety
of exquisite landscape.    Cedars huge and venerable,
pines stalwart, yet everlastingly young, crowd together
upon almost every available space of ground.    Away
on the shore of another islet opposite, a cluster of
pine-trees is conspicuous among the rest.    A sheet
of water can be partly seen through them; while at
their left rises a high hill, upon which I   observe
a darkish object.    It will serve me excellently as a
landmark by-and-by.    Through my glass it appears
<to be an extinct volcano; for it is hollowed out like
•a decayed tooth, and its immediate vicinity is devoid
of timber."   THE   GROUP DESCRIBED.
The group known as Queen Charlotte Islands*
consists of two large islands, called Graham and
Moresby, measuring together with two others smaller,
called North and Prevost Islands, 180 English miles,
by 60 miles at its greatest width. There are numberless islets besides, lying about the coast in various
directions, but principally around Moresby Island.
Amongst these Skincuttle holds a prominent position; and it was here that, upon due inquiry, I
determined to fix my head-quarters.
The day after we arrived, the Rebecca, having first
discharged our portion of her cargo, set sail again for
the Stickeen River gold mines, with a fair but stiffish
breeze. The whole morning the rain came down in
torrents, at which I mightily exulted, knowing that
the Indians would be sure to connect my arrival with
"whatever natural phenomena it happened to coincide
in point of time. Their spring and summer had been
so extraordinarily dry as almost to amount to a
drought. This, then, being their first rainfall for
many months, the honour and benefit of it was im-
* All the principal islands, points, straits, rivers, and inlets on "the North
.Pacific coast which have not retained their Indian nomenclature, are called
after the different English navigators who discovered or explored them, or
.after the private friends of those explorers, or after the celebrities of the
day in England, or after the date of discovery.
J 96
puted to me. Without precisely pleading guilty to
the soft impeachment, I thought it would have
been folly to attempt to enlighten them at that
stage of the intercourse. Their happy augury
as to the landing of the English mining-party on
Skincuttle was therefore thankfully accepted.
Afterwards I learnt, partly too by my own experience, that a prolonged dearth of rain is by
no means uncommon in these islands, which seems
the more singular if the prodigious quantity of
timber they contain be considered.
The departure of the little schooner brought home
to my men, though more particularly to myself, that
we were now destined to settle on a comparatively
desert island. Bar the solitude, and our life was
to be a mild edition of Robinson Crusoe's. But as
none of the men were in any degree desirable companions for me, I soon perceived that, in a great
measure, I should have to endure the solitude also.
My first care and duty was to decide on a site to
encamp. This, however, I could not do until I had
ascertained where the copper ore lay, supposing such
to exist in any available quantities on Skincuttle.
Consequently, as soon as the rain would let me, I
proceeded north from the little harbour, or rather WAGES TO  MINERS.
canoe-entrance, and had scarcely gone a hundred
yards, when, by the help of a quick eye and my
geological hammer, I hit upon evidences of a fine
underlying lode. I got the men up at once, and
gave directions for the construction of the necessary
huts, and for adequate preparations towards the
sinking of a shaft.
Meanwhile, those of the Indians whose homes
were in this neighbourhood made off to their friends,
to distribute the diversified stock of presents or purchases, from a button to a revolver, Avhich they had
brought with them. Judging by the demented
condition of not a few among the natives, on that
first evening of ours, whisky, I should say, figured
copiously in the distributions.
My agreement with the Queen Charlotte Mining
Company was that the miners we employed should be
paid at the rate of fifty to sixty dollars a month—
that is, in round numbers, twelve pounds, besides
their board. Such a rate sounds high, but the field
was new and experimental; while the gold-diggings at
Cariboo created too constant and attractive a demand
in the Victorian market not to make labourers independent.
It is certain that anybody who does not mind the
\]p~* 98
risk, labour, and exposure of the Cariboo district,
under the grim shadow of the Rocky Mountains, can
speedily amass a fortune there, provided he has
capital—say, at least 1001. to start with. If he
should try it on less than that, he is equally
certain to return with nothing, or, in plain English,
ruined. With 100L a farm might be bought, or an
interest secured in one of the successful gold-claims
which are always in the market. I know no place
in the world, however, where more wit is required,
or, better, where a larger amount of small cunning is
the sine qud non for getting on in life, than Cariboo.
If your seller should be a Yankee, it will run hard
with him if he does not have the best of the bargain. The Yankee axiom in the sales at Cariboo is
that, the higher the sum wanted for the gold-claim,
the greater the proof of its value. I have known
Cariboo claims offered, ay and sold too, for as much
us 100,000 dollars, when they were not worth five
dollars, or would not pay the cost of developing. On
the other hand, I once had a claim there myself, for
which I asked S000< dollars, a fair price in the English
sense of the term; but the claim was summarily
condemned, because of my low valuation of it;
whereas, if I had been unprincipled enough to put COPPER-FINDS.
it up at 20,000, it would have assuredly found a
ready purchaser. In other words, Cariboo is one
immense gambling-table, upon which any man may
chance to win a competence in a day, but yet to
which labour, at enormous wages, comes necessarily
in aid.
With such a rivalry at our elbow, therefore, it will
cause no surprise that we were well content to
be able to retain eight able-bodied men, despite the
price they asked.
While the men worked away, I went off in a
canoe, accompanied only by my gun, my hammer,
and one assistant, to explore some of the islets which
lie between Skincuttle and Cape St James. The
very first we landed on was a mere ledge of rocks,
and so wholly destitute of vegetation that I had
little difficulty in prosecuting my search. And
soon, in fact, I discovered a rich spur of variegated
copper running E.S.E., with other cupriferous indications up and down the islet's surface. The
variegated copper lay in a vein of beautiful stalactitic
spar, averaging two feet in width, by thirty feet in
length, on the out-crop. I named the ledge Rock
Island. Thence we paddled across to what seemed
the mainland, but what proved to be surrounded by
I 100
water. This I named Burnaby Island. All these
islets have extremely rocky and precipitate shores,
though of course in miniature. Groping along
Burnaby's rock-bound shore, I was fortunate in
making further discoveries of copper. I then gathered
my specimens into the canoe, and, leaving them in
charge of my assistant, I scrambled into the bush
with my gun, but could not light upon any game.
It was late when I returned, without any result,
except a strong conviction that St. Patrick must
have paid an occult visit to these regions, for no
toad, reptile, or creeping thing of any sort could I
Not long afterwards I noted down some experiences
of the brute creation on Queen Charlotte Islands, in
my Diary, as follows:—
I The only dangerous animals or birds here are the
bears and the eagles. The black bear family (ursus
americanus) is the most numerous, though the eagle
tribe bids fair to compete with it. Both bears and
eagles, however, studiously avoid man. I have passed
many a pleasant afternoon watching the eagles at their
game offish-catching. Their practice is to perch themselves on a high tree close to the sea-shore, and invariably on the verge of some promontory.    From EAGLES AND   GULLS.
these elevated positions they come down ' in one fell
swoop' upon the unsuspecting fish, devouring them
then and there if they are hungry, but otherwise
carrying them ' away to the mountain's brow' as food
for their young. Sometimes the sea-gull will try the
same manoeuvre, though of course on a very limited
scale. Upon that, the ever-watchful eagle, uttering
a ferocious shriek, darts instantly after him in pursuit. But even before the eagle can reach him, the
terrified gull has dropped his little fish, which his
pursuer catches again before it touches the water.
There are here two species of eagles, the common
grey and the bald or white-headed. The latter,
known to science as the haliaetus leucocephalus, may
be seen in every part of these Islands, and is the one
of all the genus which has made itself the most
famous, or rather infamous, by leading a life of
robbery. It was this propensity which made Franklin
enter his strong protest against adopting the white-
headed eagle as the type of the nationality of the
United States, urging, as his reason for objecting, that
it was ' a bird of bad moral character, who did not
get his living honestly.' "
I  often listened  to  animals  crying wildly, particularly at night, on the tops of the hills.    To my 102
ear the cry resembled that of the mountain" goat
(aplocerus monfanus), so plentiful on the mainland of
British Columbia. It was never possible to me to get
near enough to see. But I consider it probable that
they are mountain goats, as Point Rose, the north-
easternmost promontory of Graham Island, is so
near some other islands lying close in upon the
American continent as to afford an easy refuge to
the goats, in case, of their being pursued by their
relentless enemies the wolves. 103
About a week after my arrival at Skincuttle, leaving
three of the men to construct a shed or covering
over the copper-shaft, and three others to go on sinking the shaft itself, I proceeded up the east coast in
a canoe I had bought from the Indians, taking with
me my two remaining men, who, with the Chiefs
Klue and Skid-a-ga-tees, and two sons of the latter,
made seven persons in all.
We landed on an islet, and, while my men looked
to the provisions and cooking, I took a careful survey
and searched for minerals, finding several veins of
iron pyrites, traces of coal in the form of lignite,
and lastly, though not least, an extensively defined
vein of silver, as I thought, on the strength of which
I ventured to name our landing-place Silver Island.
There was no means of testing this on the spot p
Seriously believing it to be silver, however, I had as
much taken doAvn to the canoe as it could safely
carry, and, after a frugal picnic in high spirits on the
rocks, ordered a speedy paddle back to Skincuttle.
Imagine my disgust, on applying a test, to discover
that, though a rare vein, it was only a vein of metallic
This sudden return to head-quarters so completely
disarranged my previous plans, that I now decided
upon a lengthy expedition instead of a short one.
I gave orders for storing the canoe with a month's
provisions; and meantime I thought to try whether
Rock Island was as barren of sport as of grass. To-
my surprise I beat up a large flock in no time, and
blazing right into them, killed thirty-four brace
in one single shot. These were large birds, and
of the species known on Vancouver as Wilson's
snipe (gallinago Wilsonii). It was pleasant to feel
I could enjoy a day's sport, any time, at a moment's
notice, whenever the fancy took me.
By tnis time I had become good friends with
several of the Indian chiefs, a friendly word spoken
in my behalf by Kitguen, or Sue,* having smoothed
* I must here explain that Kitguen, my first and fast friend among
the Queen Charlotte Islanders, and Chief Klue, are one and the same LASKEEK  HARBOUR.
the way very considerably. It is a mistake to suppose
that frankness and plain-spokenness have not their
due effect on savages, as well as on ordinary mortals.
The savage, no doubt, generally entertains a lurking
suspicion of your motives; but if he does afterwards
turn upon you—unless of course a greed for gain
should prompt his treachery—it will always prove to
be that he considers you are not acting up to your
One bright morning, therefore, we started in my
canoe for Chief Klue's settlement, at a place,
which the Indians called Laskeek, on the eastern
coast. I took two others of my men with me. The
chief was accompanied by two of his Siwash or petty
chiefs, who rejoiced respectively in the style and title
of Shilly-gutts and Laugh-goon-us.
A fair wind gracing our expedition we crowded
on every stitch of canvas we could muster, and all of
us paddling lustily together, the canoe reached
Laskeek Harbour in about twelve hours. Now mine
had been the only canoe down at Skincuttle, and, I
need   scarce add,  the electric telegraph is still an
person. Kitguen was his former name, and is still his familiar name; but on
succeeding to the Head Chieftainship of Laskeek, his own section of the
Hydah tribe, by the death of his elder brother in a fight, he assumed for
public use the title his brother had held before him. 106 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
institution of the future for Queen Charlotte Islands.
And yet, although my visit to Klue's settlement had
not been arranged till the previous day, by some incomprehensible means peculiarly Indian, accurate
news of my intention to come had preceded us to
Laskeek. In consequence, there was a general turnout, even to the papoose in arms, to see me land.
The sun not having set as yet, I was enabled to
take a comprehensive survey of my expectant hosts,
as far as concerned their external presentment.
There was not a clean face to be seen amongst them,
nor a decent pair of hands. The faces and hands of
men, women, and children, were so thickly beslimed
and befouled with the blackest of black paint, that
no one feature could be discerned in its natural form.
Hardly did I recognise human beings in the creatures
who crowded around me on the strand. Klue
promised, however, that they should all be washed
the next morning, which was certainly considerate of
him, as, by putting on a beautiful black polish, the
poor things had intended to pay me the highest mark
of respect.   It is their full-dress uniform, in fact.
The harbour of Laskeek is situated in lat. 52° 50' N.,
long. 131° 28' W.
The morning after my arrival, the Klue chiefs, high A " PROTECTION-NOTE."
and petty, taking advantage of my presence at Laskeek, held an extra-parliamentary session. They had
heard that an English gunboat or two might shortly
be expected from Esquimalt, and they requested me
to give them—the chiefs assembled in Council—a reference or protection note. I presented my new allies
with the following certificate, first making a copy
of it for the amusement of friends in England:—
"This is to certify that the undermentioned Chiefs
are good men, and well disposed towards the whites.
At least they say so; and you must take their word
for what it is worth. I encamped amongst them last
night while prospecting for minerals in this section,
and found them honest during: my short visit.
"F. Poole,
| Engineer to the Queen Charlotte Mining Company.
" Chiefs.
Ki-ush.   .
Kiss-a-gura (Sen.)
Kiss-a-gura (Jun.)   Skilte-killong." f
In the afternoon of the same day, Klue invited
me to go with him to the home of the Skiddan
Indians, a tribe with whom he was on friendly terms,
and who also dwelt on the sea-shore, but further up
the coast. Klue's people are a branch or section
of the Hydah tribe, all the various chiefs of
which seemed to consider themselves as a sort of
vassals to the great chief of the Skiddan tribe.
How this reconciled itself with Klue's claim to
the Head Chieftainship of the whole islands, I never
could quite make out.
As I afterwards took down my adventures and
impressions during this by-expedition with Klue, I
shall here transcribe them literally:—
I The high and mighty chief Skiddan sat in state,
that is, at Skiddan Harbour, somewhat to the northward of Laskeek. He. did not rise when I entered,
but continued sitting on a rough kind of platform, with
his legs crossed like a tailor's. I was invited to stand
on his right, however, whilst my cook, who did duty
as my aide-de-camp and private secretary, had a place
assigned him to the left. The whole of the tribe then
squatted down, also cross-legged, on some low benches
or logs.
" Skiddan himself delivered a grand speech, the CHIEF  SKIDDAN.
general purport of which I gathered to be an advice
and solemn injunction to his people to afford me
every protection and assistance. They listened attentively, now and then interrupting Skiddan's harangue
with a queer uplifting of arms and murmurs of
approbation, or with a sudden outburst of complimentary grunts directed at me. As soon as the
chief had ended, I took up the thread of the proceedings, by assuring, the tribe through Klue, of my
' sentiments of the highest consideration,' meaning
under the circumstances not much more than a
Frenchman means when he sticks those absurd
words at the bottom of a letter.
" The first part of the ceremony being over, I
offered a pipeful of tobacco to each of the petty
I This is a present which they always expect from
a stranger. But greatly as the gift of tobacco pleases
an Indian, it does not approximate in his eyes to the
value of ' a testimonial,1 or ' a paper,' as they term it.
Fortunate it is that this way to their good graces
comes cheap; for they set quite as great a value on
an old invoice or a receipt as upon a genuine certificate. So long as the paper contains writing, it
matters nothing what the writing is.    I have already
III 1:
had abundant proof of it.    For on several occasions
Indians have brought me bundles of waste paper,
in the firm belief that they were, every one, so many
bona-fide references.     They had received these  as
testimonials of good behaviour,  or more probably
begged them from some merchant or other at Victoria.    Of course it was not only lawful but well to
ieave those Indians in the delusion that their 'papers'
were hyass-closh, that is, very good.   I saw no reason
for undeceiving even the great Skiddan.    Give the
Indians a small piece of tobacco, or a few fishino-.
hooks, and they are not merely satisfied, but they will
make large  returns   in   fish   or game, and sometimes in really valuable fur-skins.    After all, the true
valuation of these things is relative, according to the
want and mind of the purchaser.    Lately I bought
two fine skins of the black bear for twenty-five cents
or one shilling apiece.    In Europe they would certainly fetch 12/. each.   They are a drug in the home-
market of the North Pacific Indian.
" Having, upon urgent request, distributed a few
bits of paper, the Skiddan made me a formal present
of a minz or mink skin, together with a couple of
uncommon duck-footed birds, whilst from one of the
Indian women I received a very singular kind of
crab (echinocerus cibarius), which I believe is only
found on the coasts of the North Pacific, and rarely
even there.
"The building in which I was thus glorified consisted of very large frame-house. Its shape was
nearly a square, its dimensions being some fifty feet
by fifty, quite ten feet of which were dug out of the
earth, so as to make the real height from the ground
forty feet. It had been substantially constructed,
and it readily accommodated the seven hundred
Indians who met me  under that roof.
" However, my glorification did not in the least
deceive me. That a White should have been so
received there, was solely referable to the report
of the gunboats coming up. Skiddan has the
character of being the most selfish and bloodthirsty savage on the coast. He has always been
treated better than any of the other chiefs by the
English government, and yet he is ever giving us
" The sun was fast sinking as at last we pushed
off in Klue's canoe. On looking over our effects, I
was glad to find that only a few tin spoons had been
stolen. But I was still more pleased to think that
every stroke of our paddles took us further from
M 112
Skiddan's harbour; for my friends at Victoria had
well warned me never to trust my skin to him after
"At 10 p.m. we paddled into Cum-she-was Harbour, a place about fifteen miles more to the north,
and there we encamped for the   night.    The next
morning the  Cum-she-was Indians held a meeting
of their tribe.    They received me in a "great house''
not unlike that of the Skiddans, and with a ceremonial which almost exactly repeated the  scene  of
the day before, including however a dash more of
sincerity. What astonished me was to see the whole
of the walls inside their building hung with linen,
fine, white, and  clean.    This formed a very unexpected   feature  in  my reception.     I   should  have
been sorely puzzled to account for it, had not Klue
whispered to me that, many years ago, a large trading
vessel of some sort put into Cum-she-was, the crew
of which  were murdered and  its stores  pillaged.
The  linen was  part   of the pillage—not  a doubt
about it.
" I saw nothing of interest to detain me among
the Cum-she-was; and considering that I had gone
far enough north for this one trip, I turned the
canoe's head towards Laskeek, just   calling on our KLUE S  HOUSE.
way at Skiddan Harbour, and scattering there a few
more presents, in the shape of pins, needles, and shirt-
" We did not get back to Laskeek till 11 p.m., and,
as it was too late to pitch my tent according to
custom, I accepted Klue's invitation to sleep at his
patrimonial mansion.
" I have some reason to remember my first night
under the roof of Chief Klue.
" His house was a largish one, built in the usual
Indian way, of wood laid horizontally in light logs,
and slightly elevated above the ground upon a platform. Despite the sheen of the moon, I looked in
vain for the entrance, and was beginning to think
there must be some Indian dodge in its concealment,
with a view probably to providing against sudden
attacks, when a Klootchman young lady came tripping along to my assistance. Approaching a big
hole, three feet in circumference, and three feet from
the platform's base in the front of the house, she,
very unceremoniously, thrust first one leg through,
evidently without touching the bottom on the other
side, secondly her head and arms, and finally, by
means of a dexterous jerk, dragged the rest of her
body after her.    This was the door, then, through
I I1
which the inmates, both male and female, had to
scramble whenever they felt disposed to retire to the
domestic hearth. The manoeuvres required to
accomplish the feat in question were assuredly anything but graceful, especially for a lady: and yet
the ladies performed it in the most satisfactory
manner, without ever doubling up in a heap on the
floor inside. Perforce, I tried the same method
myself, and, though unsuccessful at the first attempt,
I did succeed at the second, greatly to the delight
of the pretty Klootchman, who turned out to be
Klue's daughter-in-law, and my chambermaid for that
" Inside the house these was little to be seen,
either by day or by night, owing chiefly to the
smouldering fire, which, having no outlet, filled the
one large room with its smoke. There were no
windows, the Indians despising such a convenience.
The only rays of light, from sun or moon, came
through the big hole in the wall, alias the door. But
on my getting in, being conducted to the central fire,
I found cedar-bark mats spread over the hard
ground, and upon these we all lay down together,
with our feet firewards, and with our heads outwards,
like the spokes of a wheel.     No little nerve  was SLEEPING UNDER  SCALPS.
requisite, I must acknowledge, to make up one's
mind to sleep in such an atmosphere; but, as they
would have been terribly offended had I refused, I
made a virtue of necessity, and took to it kindly.
" Other   horrors   besides    the   atmosphere   now
. awaited me, for I was assigned the place of honour
in the family-couch, namely, under the same blanketing with the chief and his daughter, a very interesting young girl, and to lie between them.
" Having been paddling away all day, as hard as
any Indian, I naturally felt anxious to restore my
strength with sound refreshing sleep. Some indefinable sensation, however, seemed to be keeping
me awake. I tossed about nearly all night, not
much to the comfort of my bedfellows, I should
fancy. As the small hours of the morning advanced,
I found my head inconveniently knocking against an
upright pole. Surely a most extraordinary position
for a pole, since it undoubtedly served no architectural or ornamental purpose. By degrees this pole
gained complete possession of my thoughts, and the
more I went on thinking, the more persuaded did I
become that it had something hideous connected with
it. An impulse then seized me to get up and
examine it;   but, as that would have looked like a
betrayal of fear—a consummation always to be avoided
in the presence of savages—I lay still. Presently,' an
accidental kick from one of the Indians caused the
fire to flare. The flare lasted only two or three
seconds, yet quite long enough to reveal to my
horrified senses at least a hundred scalps fastened
round the top of the pole, right above me. Fancy
my feelings! Despite Klue's professed friendship, and
the place of honour I was occupying in the family
couch, I instinctively put my hand to my own poll,
and was not without a throb of thankfulness to find
it so far safe. Need it be added that I made my
escape as soon as I could prudently do so?
" The excuse I gave for such early rising was my
anxiety to get the benefit of a sea-bath, in which I
and my two men forthwith indulged, our clothes
being meanwhile hung up to air on a tree, to the
infinite diversion of a crowd of spectators.
" But nothing appeared to tickle the fancy of the
Indians so much as our swimming. It supplied the
crowd with a perfect fund of amusement, and was, I
believe, wholly new to them. I have never seen any
of the North Pacific Indians swim, unless previously
taught by me. In this they differ from all other
coloured races, who are mostly good swimmers. And BACK  TO  SKINCUTTLE.
yet the Queen Charlotte Indians of every tribe live
continually on the water."
Having prospected Laskeek Harbour, without obtaining anything out of it to repay me for the trouble,
I returned in another day or two to Skincuttle,
Klue and my other companions coming back also.
1 118
I now spent a considerable time in superintending
the working of our copper-shaft at Skincuttle, and in
erecting a comfortable log-house to serve as our habitation.
About the middle of October I had my first taste
of annoyance from the Indians.
One day I stood leaning against the walls of our
wild home, trying to converse with Klue in his own
language, when somebody near us raised a cry of
surprise. Instantly numberless eyes were directed
towards the offing of our little bay, and, on looking
myself, I observed several canoes full of strange
Indians, who soon after landed. What on earth did
they want? I said to Klue, who answered at once,
that, whatever the new-comers might pretend, they AN  INVASION.
were his mortal enemies, and that their real object
certainly was to find out whether we explorers could
not be plundered.
Sure enough, though they began by affecting an
anxiety to trade with us, it was evident, from their
not having brought down any article of traffic, that
they had very different intentions. If I had once
allowed them to commence trading, they would have
expected to enter the log-house for that purpose. I
therefore firmly resisted their specious overtures, and,
in spite of repeated entreaties from them during the
afternoon, continued obdurate to every blandishment,
simply ordering my men to look well to our firearms.
The following morning our suspicions were confirmed by the arrival of additional canoes-full.
Upon which Klue, thinking it was getting too hot
for us, suddenly vanished off in one of those odd
flights so common in Indian life, but so incomprehensible, as regards the method of it, to civilized
Our invaders quickly divined that he had gone to
collect reinforcements amongst his tribe. At the
Same time strong signs showed themselves of an
approaching change in the weather, very dangerous QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
to the safety of the canoe-flotilla. Impelled by either
of these causes, or perhaps by both,.the hostile Indians unconsciously agreed with Falstaff that " the
better part of valour is discretion;" for hardly had
Klue disappeared ere they likewise took their departure.
The drama was not half over, however. I extract
from my Diary the record I made of the next scene,
" I set my men, and two of Klue's Indians, who
had just come (the day after the invasion) to work
at chopping wood, in order to lay in a stock for the
winter. While they were so employed, I stepped
into my canoe and paddled over towards Prevost
"I intended to take a south-westerly course, in
the direction of Cape St. James, and then return by
N.N.W. to Skincuttle Island. I started early in the
forenoon: but the distance being greater than anticipated, it was late in the afternoon before my one
companion and myself reached the point proposed.
Some miles to the south-west of Skincuttle I discovered- a magnificent harbour, which I named
Harriet Harbour, but had no time then to enter and
prospect it. r—"  AN ATTACK.
" As we steered homeward along the other islets,
what was my dismay to see our own little harbour
absolutely crammed full of canoes? Each canoe had
in it a large crew of Indians, bedaubed from head
to foot with war-paint, and otherwise martially
arrayed: whilst the clearance round our log-house
was crowded with a herd of their fellow-savages,
yelling and dancing lustily.
" My companion and I lifted our paddles an instant,
to contemplate the rather appalling sight; and not
perceiving any of my other men about, I came to the
conclusion that they had been every one murdered,
and that the Indians were now awaiting our advent
to serve us in the same manner. They had possession of the islet as clear as noonday. The impossibility of our escape seemed equally certain. I consequently resolved to put a bold front on the matter,
and venture into the midst of them.
" Saying a few inspiriting words to the man with
me, and especially cautioning him not to betray the
least sign of fear, I headed direct for the landing, and,
dipping our paddles deep into the water, in another
moment we were ashore, and in amongst our enemies,
who had swarmed down to the beach for the purpose
of intimidation.    Finding  I  was not to be brow- 122
beaten, and seeing my revolvers ready in my hands,
they made no resistance, while I dashed through
them right to the log-house. It was completely in
their possession, but, thank goodness, all my men
were safe. I had arrived just in the nick of time to
prevent a massacre. This measure, no doubt, they
had decided on carrying out; but knowing full well
that, before they could accomplish it, many of them
would 'bite the dust,' they evidently lacked the
courage to begin.
" The fact was,-unseen eyes had watched me out
to sea, whence the cowardly villains, concluding that
my outing would last as long, as the previous one,
had judged the time to be favourable for a renewed
descent upon Skincuttle. My unexpected return
caused the hostilities to be suspended, and straight-!
way a great wah-wah (talkee) took place between
the leading Indians and myself.
" A bone of contention, not wholly unreasonable,
lay at the bottom of all this trouble. Shortly after
our first landing in August, the brother-in-law of
Ninstence, chief of a tribe inhabiting the southernmost portions of Moresby Island, had declared
himself the proprietor of the land we were then
settling on, and, to keep Friendly with the savage, CHIEF  SKID-A-GA-TEES.
we had paid him down fifty ' two-and-a-half point'*
" His chieftain-relative, however, having violently
appropriated the blankets to his own use, the rest of
the head-chiefs all over Queen Charlotte Islands,
especially Skiddan and Skid-a-ga-tees, were seized
with a fit of jealousy. ' Why should Ninstence have
fifty bran-new blankets, and his brother chiefs have
none?' was the practical form which the question
now assumed. There seemed to be only two ways
of solving it. They might attack Ninstence, but
then he was strong, whilst even a victory over him
would not necessarily give each of the rival chiefs
any very notable share in the fifty blankets. Or,
we whites might be distrained for another fifty.
This latter plan commending itself to the statesmanlike views of Chief Skid-a-ga-tees, the treacherous
wretch, whom I had taken with me in my coast
expedition, and whom I had included, in my good-
conduct certificate, determined to make a raid
upon us. His tribe being the most numerous,
combative,  and powerful   of all the tribes in the
* The staple trade of the Hudson's Bay Company with the North Pacific
Indians was in blanketing. The size and quality of each blanket used to be
marked on it by means of short lices or | points" and " half-points," the
meaning of which the Indians had learnt perfectly to understand.
1 i
If j
if w
islands, there could be little difficulty in executing
the plan, he thought. So the other Indians of the
day before having failed in their trading stratagem,
down had come Skid-a-ga-tees with his whole body
of warriors, during my absence, and had impudently
demanded fifty more blankets. In fact we, as the
supposed weaker party, although entirely unoffending,
were to suffer for the intertribal jealousies of the
chiefs. A truly Indian mode of settling the difficulty,
and yet one not altogether without its counterpart
amongst natives professedly civilized. My people
very wisely and courageously refused to deliver up
the blankets, whereupon Skid-a-ga-tees, who was not
accustomed to be thwarted, tried to bully them, and
threatened to burn down our log-house, carry off all
our stores, and slaughter my companions to the last
" I have little doubt he would have done it, but
for my turning up in time to assert my authority
and use my influence.
" The abject submission of an Indian to his own
chief is notorious and proverbial. It may not,
however, be so well known that they extend the
same respect to those whom they see placed in
analogous positions amongst  foreigners,   especially INJUDICIOUS  FAMILIARITY.
if these are English. As I, then, am the acknowledged chief of our little party, the Queen Charlotte
Indians usually treat me with marked deference,
always referring to my chieftainship for justice in any
quarrel which may arise between my workmen and
themselves—that is, so long as we do not give them
any grievous cause of offence; for in such a case I
mvself should be the first attacked.
" In this particular instance I imagine that, if the
men had been massacred, I should have been seized
and detained in confinement as a prisoner of war.
I From the first a great deal too much familiarity
has unfortunately prevailed at Skincuttle. Seeing
how I make friends with the chiefs, my men think
they cannot do better than be ' hail-fellow-well-met'
with the other natives. It is hard persuading them
that I have judicious reasons, which their private
position does not suggest. The circumstances are
just of the kind to nullify argument, and to invite
temptation, notwithstanding the many warnings we
have had. For example, the Indians have hung
about our log-house so perpetually and continuously,
that of late it has often been close on daybreak before
we could get rid of them, without wounding their
touchy natures.    It was soon coming to such a pass 1
i ; f
that we might as well have set up a regular joint-
stock establishment, if one of my men, an eccentric
Californian, had not conceived the brilliant idea of
mixing red pepper with newly-ground coffee, and
dropping the mixture on to the red-hot stove. The
effect was instantaneous. They thought it must be
the Keckwally Tyhee (Chief of the Deep) coming up
out of the fire. I caused this to be repeated for
several nights at eight o'clock sharp, and it was
highly amusing to see them watch the clock till the
hand pointed nearly to the hour, and then make a
rush together out of the door, which we quietly
locked inside, and afterwards scrambled up in peace to
our sleeping bunks. My men, however, required a
more forcible lesson than being merely bored. I
fancy they have now received it.
I Skid-a-ga-tees's raid met with no more success
than the strategic tactics of his predecessors. I
assured him that I should willingly have made him a
present of some blankets if he had asked me for
them civilly, but that the claim he asserted was preposterous. I had honestly paid the proprietor of the
soil, and should pay nobody else. The wah-wah
ended, therefore, in my resolutely declining to have
anything to do with him till he desisted from his PREPARING FOR  DEFENCE,. 127
threats and drew off his warriors. I forthwith
ordered the Indians out of our log-house, and
motioning them to keep beyond the clearance-
ground, if they did not want to be shot, I retired
to prepare for defence in the event of things still
coming to the worst.
I Of course Skid-a-ga-tees was unconvincible. We
had a restless night consequently, taking it turnabout to walk round the house, lest the Indians should
attempt to set fire to it. In one of my turns as
watchman, I spied a Cape St. James Indian in the
very act of drawing his revolver, with his pair of
gleaming eyes fixed upon me. I had previously
suspected the fellow, having observed him skulking
for some time among the trees. On my complaining
to his chief, who happened to be near at hand on
the island, I had been coolly told that he was a little
' foolish.' Wise or foolish, he had killed a white down
at Yictoria. As, then, such a man could not be left
at large armed, I just went and put a stopper on his
villany by taking his revolver from him, and punching him well in the ribs.
I Thus our position "was one of no small danger.
But we had counted on these emergencies in comma1:
and, after all, they were not really greater than what 128
commonly fall to the lot of the pioneers of civilization.
" The next day we found that Skid-a-ga-tees,
though he would not leave, had drawn off most of
his fighting men. This was to some extent a triumph.
In the afternoon, while calculating our chances, we
had the pleasure to see two huge canoes, choke-full of
Indians of the Cum-she-was tribe, paddle swiftly
into the bay. Union Jacks were flying at the bows
of each canoe, in order to intimate to us the approach
of our friends. The Cum-she-was had heard that the
Skid-a-ga-tees had come down to massacre us. So
they made all haste to our assistance. And right
welcome it proved.
1 The new arrivals were decked out in tip-top war
style: that is to say, both males and females — a
goodly number of the latter being in the company to
do the screeching business—had their bodies painted,
a shiny black, and their hair thoroughly greased and
well sprinkled over with the fine breast-feathers of
the goose.
" However, no attack on the Skid-a-ga-tees was
intended. The Cum-she-was, seeing how matters
stood with us, simply wished to demonstrate what
they could and would do in case of need.    So they CHIEF   CUM-SHE-WAS.
landed, and treated me to a war serenade, females as
well as males dancing frantically to wild music. I
made them a few presents, after which they paddled
off again, round Burnaby Head to Silver Mand, to
meet their chief, for a distribution of the blankets
and tobacco which had been recently sent him from
one of the old Hudson's Bay Forts, in barter for furs.
| Naturally enough this interchange of compliments
did not by any means please our enemies, the
Skid-a-ga-tees; and the following day, some of their
warriors having returned, they were about to give
us unmistakeable proof of their vexation, when
suddenly Cum-she-was himself, accompanied by a
host of his people, came paddling like mad round the
headland. Fierce were the looks of Skid-a-ga-tees
when he beheld me feasting Cum-she-was and his
pretty papoose (daughter) upon biscuits, slap-jacks
(pancakes), and sweet molasses. 'This is coming it
rather strong,' seemed to be his reflection, if not
in these identical terms, at least in their Indian
synonyms. It was our crisis with Skid-a-ga-tees.
Finding the bullying and robbery speculation not to
answer, or possibly remembering that, but for his
treacherous misconduct, he too would have been
included in the feast, he very prudently took time to
consider his position, the consequence being a gradual
relapse on both sides into our former amicable
"But I must digress a moment to cull from
my Diary another incident, which also well-nigh
brought all my explorations to a premature end.
" Fortified by the presence of the Cum-she-was, I
resumed work as before.    Crossing over to Burnaby
Island, I began to trace up the course of the main
copper-lode, and to my surprise found it outcropping
extensively and well defined.    Upon the strength of
this, and likewise for the sake of convenience and economy, the 'lay' of the land rendering Burnaby Island
much more approachable than Skincuttle, I resolved
to choose Burnaby as the site of our main shaft, chief
works, and head residence.    The men, then, having
been transferred from one islet to the other, were
soon engaged in building a new and larger log-house,
workshops, and adjuncts.    But the transfer of our
provisions, implements, and the rest, had still to be
effected.    This job, with merely what help my cook,
a little Frenchman, could afford me, I took entirely
on myself.   So, paddling together across to Skincuttle,
we first of all collected timber sufficient to construct
a raft, upon which we then piled up everything be- A RAFT-ADVENTURE.
longing to us. Attaching the raft by a rope to our
canoe, we essayed to recross the strait. Now I know
from experience that rafting in the rapids of the
river St. Lawrence, though often attended with danger
to the raft, is rarely dangerous to the raftsman, who,
in the event of his raft going to pieces, will generally
jump on to a single spar and land himself safe on
either shore. It becomes a totally different affair,
however, in a strait closely communicating with the
ocean, whither a strong current threatens every instant
to carry you out, whilst only one shore protects
you, and broken islets on the other serve but to
intensify the strength of the current. Such was the
fix in which the cook and myself found ourselves.
Never shall I forget that fearful day's work. First
I tried a series of indeterminate noises, hoping to be
heard above the wind on Burnaby Island. Then, I
am sorry to say, I waxed wroth and swore. Our
situation not improving, I shouted through my hands
with all my might. But again, as truth obliges me
to record, I indulged worse than ever in oaths and
curses, adding a slight dash of blasphemy. All was
vain and vexatious. Meanwhile, both the paddling
and the steering devolved upon me alone, the Frenchman showing hardly any strength, and less snese.
si 132
In the middle of the whole thing, what should we see
on Burnaby but our companions gathered together in
an agony of despair, down by the water side ?   And
well might they be agonized, for they had no canoe
to aid us, and-on the raft was every atom of pur
provisions.    Away we went, drifting with the current.
One solitary chance remained, namely, to try by a
. supreme   effort to gain  Rock Island, the ledge of
rocks already mentioned, lying nearly midway between Skincuttle and Burnaby, and   covered  over
at high tide.    Fortunately,  it was now low  tide.
Wherefore, summoning our last energies to the task,
we paddled towards the ledge, nervously and deftly,
till, after a prolonged struggle, I was  enabled to
scramble on to the rocks, and to hold the raft, whilst
my Frenchman got into our light canoe and made
the best of his way to Burnaby, in order to bring off
some men to my relief.    It so chanced that all the
Indians on Burnaby Island had gone in the morning
on a predatory excursion; otherwise our companions
would have borrowed one of their canoes, and have
fetched us sooner.    Under the circumstances, thankful indeed were we to reach our destination at length,
though it had cost us seven hours of terrible mental
anguish, and of the severest bodily exertion that I TRANSFER  TO BURNABY ISLAND.
ever went through in my life, or that probably any
other human being ever encountered either."
This, however, completed our transfer to a locality
which promised to be much more effective as a basis
of operations, and also a more permanent home. 134
I think it was the very day after our sea adventure,
that the daughter of Skid-a-ga-tees and my friend on
board the Rebecca, walked up to where we were all
working at the new log-house, and reported that
her papa had built his ranche (house) within a mile
of ours, and had now come to reside there.
A pleasant neighbour, in good sooth.
The pride of the Skid-a-ga-tees tribe was too great
to endure self-humiliation. But the present announcement signified that their chief wished to make friends.
'He would have sent men to help in the building,"
said the dusky young lady, magniloquently, "if it
had not been for a promontory which so effectually
separated our encampment from his as to have kept
him, till just then, in a state of utter ignorance as
to our transmigration to Burnaby Island." MISS  SKID-A-GA-TEES.
At this my Californian workman developed an
extraordinary capacity for winking, the French
cookie tittered and giggled himself into convulsions,
whilst a sarcastic Englishman of our party suggested
that the murderous old chief might turn out to be
sweetly innocent after all. To me the story certainly
sounded " very like a whale:" but I nevertheless
considered the more prudent course would be to
keep my own counsel from the wily Miss Skid-a-ga-
tees. " It was the chief's intention," she officially
declared, "to pay me a visit the same evening;"
and meantime, in token of friendliness, she " begged
leave to caution us against a bear which had been
seen sniffing about the island."
Immediately I took my Enfield rifle, and sallied
forth in search of the animal. I remember it occurred to me that there was positively little
choice between the society of human savages and
the proximity of wild beasts. If anything, the latter
are preferable: for a bear at least does not pretend
to be your friend whilst in reality your foe.
As I could not come upon this individual wild
beast, I concluded that his bearship had reconsidered
his project of hunting without a licence, and had
probably taken himself off to one of the surrounding
mss 136
islets. But noticing a superannuated bear-track, I
followed it up and discovered an Indian trap for
bears, of such ingenious contrivance that I stopped
and sketched it. In another respect, too, my bear-
chase was not time wasted, inasmuch as it led me
to stumble upon a new vein of copper, which I
carefully marked and . mapped out. My rifle being
still loaded, I emptied it on the way back, and
brought down a splendid specimen of the native crow
(corvus caurinus), called klail-kula-kulla by the Indians.
The Queen Charlotte Indians hold views, on the subject of their aboriginal ancestry, decidedly in advance
of the Darwinian theory; for their descent from the
crows is quite gravely affirmed and steadfastly maintained. Hence they never will kill one, and are
always annoyed, not to say angry, should we whites,
driven to desperation by the crow-nests on every
side of us, attempt to destroy them. This idea likewise accounts for the coats of black paint with which
young and old in all those tribes constantly besmear
themselves. The crow-like colour affectionately
reminds the Indians of their reputed forefathers, and
thus preserves the national tradition. Mr. Darwin
and his disciples are scarcely so consistent or devotional. THE CHIEF AND THE COOK.        137
I found my men collected round the log-house door,
in a state of excitement. Skid-a-ga-tees, having
duly arrived to pay me the promised visit of reconciliation, had seated himself very independently
on one of the lower bunks. Our cook had been
foolish enough to resent this as a liberty, and
had told my visitor somewhat sharply to stand
aside. Upon which the latter, instead of obeying,
had mounted on to the bunk and begun an
indignant wah-wah. The cook had then lost his
temper, pulled the chief down, and like a madman
kicked him in the chest. But the chief had struck
back at his antagonist so cleverly with a long knife,
that, but for a prompt parry from the Californian,
the blow must have proved fatal to the Frenchman.
However, the wrath of old Skid-a-ga-tees had now
been fairly aroused. And yet to have contended
against those overwhelming odds would have exposed
him to certain defeat. He had therefore darted out
of the house and away to his camp, in order to raise
his whole tribe and avenge the insult.
Such was the agreeable prospect which greeted me
on my return from my abortive bear-hunt. I saw
at a glance, that we had not a moment to lose.
Our  sole hope lay in his   accepting the   apology 138
which, as his clear right, I at once resolved to make
him. But the procedure was not so easy, considering
my total ignorance of his peculiar dialect. When
then I went over alone to his camp, I hardly dare to
think what might have befallen me if Miss Skid-a-
ga-tees had not compassionately undertaken to interpret.
As I expected, the old chief was in a towering
passion, and, the instant he caught sight of me
entering his log-house, he brandished the same long
knife in my face, and urged his fellows to go down
to our camp and slaughter us, one and all. So the
daughter told me. I waited in patience until he
had calmed sufficiently to listen to my explanation.
But " why could I not interfere, now at least ?" he
argued. I replied that, even " if my man had killed
him, I was powerless to punish the criminal myself,
such matters, according to the laws of the whites,
being dealt with only at Victoria/' Hearing that,
he laughed contemptuously, and said he could not
understand it. No doubt it did seem unaccountable
to him that I, although a chief amongst my men,
should not possess the power of life and death over
them. But ultimately, on my pledging my word to
send the cook back to Victoria in- the first provision- WINTER EVENINGS.
vessel that came to us, and have him there adequately
punished, he vouchsafed to be mollified.
I then offered a propitiatory sacrifice in the likeness of a plug of tobacco, whereupon the redoubtable
Skid-a-ga-tees and I once more vowed eternal friend-,
ship; and in testimony thereof he sent me down next
day a large halibut weighing over a hundred pounds.
My narrative has now reached a point when summarizing becomes a necessity. We were on the
verge of Winter. But two Winters on Queen Charlotte Islands being before me, I shall only say of this
one, that the Indians ceased for the present to molest
us, and that, having partly received from Victoria
and partly laid in ourselves a fair stock of provisions,
we kept to work with a will at the copper-shaft
which we had sunk near our log-house on Burnaby
If it had not been for the hardworking spirit of
my men, winter-time would have hung with awful
heaviness upon our hands. Occasionally we varied
the week's labour by means of a day's shooting,
or, when the snow covered the ground, by an attempt
at a bear-hunt, but never, in either case, with any
noteworthy success. We had no greater alleviation
than to sit together, after the burden  of the day
was over, round the log-house fire, whilst one man
cleaned our guns and revolvers, another sharpened
our tools, a third washed our clothes, a fourth set our
little pantry to rights, and each took his turn in spinning yarns of his adventures and hair-breadth escapes.
One man, who had before been my travelling-com*
panion through Canada, was a host in himself, as
regards this kind of story-telling. Many an hour of
a darksome evening did he thus beguile for us. Some
of his stories equalled those of the immortal Baron
Munchhausen. With a view of showing how we
pioneers contrived to get through the long Winter
hours, when we could do no outdoor work, I shall
here give a sample or two of tales he used to tell
around our blazing camp-fire:—
" When I was working at getting out timber, near
Hudson's Bay," he began, one evening, " I thought,
having an idle day, that I would go to a small lake
about two miles distant, and have a shot at some
ducks. I took my rifle and a few bullets, for I never
use small shot, and down I crept as quietly as a
mouse, till I got within fifty yards of the bank.
Seeing several hundred ducks on the opposite
side, I raised my rifle to my shoulder, but found I
could not shape the range enough in line to knock
1 ■  'I A CAMP  STORY.
off the heads of more than five or six. I therefore
' concluded' to try a favourite plan of mine, which
would enable me to bag perhaps half the whole
number. So back I went to the shanty, to leave my
rifle, and to fetch my bag-net. In a few moments I
had fastened the net round my waist, and was swimming across the lake to where the ducks were. Coming
sufficiently near, I dived; but, instead of rising again
to the surface, I dodged about a bit under water. Presently, what should I see, just overhead, but a pair
of yellow legs ? I pulled the legs down and stowed
their owner comfortably away in my net. Finding I
was in the right place, I swam about here and there^
in the same manner, till I had filled the net with the
owners of at least a dozen pair of yellow legs.
Then I thought I would make for the surface. But,
unfortunately, on my getting to the top of the water,
the net turned out to be only half full, which gave
the ducks plenty of room to spread their. wings and
fly up into the air. This I had not calculated on;
and when I had got a mile air-high, it struck me
very forcibly that I was rather out of my latitude.
So I drew my jack-knife across the net, and away
flew the ducks, whilst I tumbled into the lake again,
though somewhat more swiftly than I had mounted 142
up. Such indeed was the velocity with which I now
descended, that I went slap down to the bottom of
the lake, a mile deep in that particular spot, and sank
to my chin in a bed of tough clay, where I stuck hard
and fast, in spite of most desperate efforts to regain
my liberty."
"Snakes and alligators!" burst in our Californian,
11 guess that's not trew, or yer wouldn't be here to
tell the tale."
" Let me finish," rejoined my imperturbable Canadian friend. "The fact was," he continued, "that,
not relishing my position, I at last went back to
the shanty, brought down a shovel, and dug myself
out." H
Roars of laughter followed, after which he of
California said the Canadian's story " flogged creation,
that it did."    There could be little doubt about it.
On another occasion, we were treated to this:—
" I was once ' trapping' in the Red River Settlement," said my Canadian, " when it occurred to me
that I might as well improve the occasion by
trapping eels also, and upon a patent principle of my
own invention. I had a square box made, which I
divided into two compartments. These I caused to
communicate one with the other by metal tubes, ANOTHER CAMP  STORY.
each a size smaller than the average eel, the tubes,
too, having sharpened edges. The box was open at
one end, and of such a measurement that it exactly
fitted into one of those ' shuts' which carry off the
surplus waters where the lakes are dammed up.
Well, this is the way it acted. The eels would come
through the ' shuts,' and into the first compartment,
and, perceiving the tube-holes, would dart through
them into the second, leaving their skins behind.
Large quantities of valuable eel-skins were thus
placed at my disposal every week. But when the
season was over, I left my box still there; and
returning next year, I found the first compartment
full of beautiful skins, and the second full of eels,
which had passed through the tubes, but each eel
with a new skin. It was a profitable investment,
was my patent box, I do assure you."
" Darn my skroikes!" exclaimed our Californian,
thumping the bench with his fist, whilst a gurgle
of approval passed round the convivial circle. Not
being conversant with the Californian language, I am
unable to explain in what the process of darning
one's skroikes precisely consists. But it may be taken
to denote some high degree of eulogium, for im-
•mediatelv two other Americans vociferated for an (TTT-rr^—T-Xrar—	
extra glass of grog to toast the Canadian, in which
sentiment I heartily concurred.
I revert to my Diary:—
"March 18th, 1863.—A few mosquitoes have put
in an appearance. Hence we know to a certainty that summer is nigh. These islands are freer
than most woody countries from the mosquito-
plague, the reason being the comparative absence of
swampy soil. Swamps, combined with heat, not only
nourish mosquitoes, but develop them daily into life
from decomposed vegetation."
" 20th.—This morning I paid a visit to old Skid-a-
ga-tees. By great care I have managed to keep friends
with him all the Winter through. The principal object
of my visit to-day was to see a sick Indian, who lay
dangerously ill with an ulcerated throat. I gave the
man doses of ice, to use as a gargle, and made him
stick to it for six hours. Before I left last night, he
was as well as ever."
" 28th.—I have just returned from an excursion,
a comfortless though not altogether a useless one,
and my first this year.
' In defiance of a high sea, I ventured out in
my canoe to try to finish the prospecting, which
I had commenced last fall (Autumn), in Sockalee A NIGHT  IN  THE  OPEN AIR.
"Harbour, at the mouth of the Burnaby Straits, almost
due north of our camp. I took with me two expert
Indians. But this canoe is small, only five feet by
four inches—in fact, no larger than an ancient British
coracle. I had in view to discover some cross-veins
of copper, if possible. Such however was the state
of the sea that we soon drifted off to westward,
and were glad enough to be able to make for the
nearest shore. It was on the other side of our
Western Headland, and although the beautiful little
harbour or cove where we now landed, lay within two
miles of us, I had never been into it before. I spied
a blue jay flying about near the beach, and, as this~
was the first bird of the species I had seen on Queen
Charlotte Islands, I named the place Blue Jay
Harbour. Evidently it would have been impossible,
in such a sea, to weather the headland towards home.
I therefore made up my mind to encamp under a
huge cedar-tree; but having forgotten to bring
matches, I sent an Indian into the bush to procure
the requisite tinder (dead rotten wood), by means of
which we quickly kindled a brisk fire, roasted
our potatoes, and toasted some dried fish we had
with us.
" It will ever remind me of this benign climate, m (frmW^W^!^'
to think how, on a night in March, even while stormy
winds raged, I was not merely induced to take my
night's rest in the open air, as I did beneath the outspread branches of that cedar, but was able next
morning to rise from sleep, as unharmed and refreshed as if I had been in bed.
"And yet the depredations of the storm were
wonderful to look at. During the night hundreds of
trees had been blown down, and now were strewn
high and dry along the beach.
"To a solitary civilized being, the storms in
these northern latitudes always have a peculiar
grandeur. A solitude seems to reign here, and
even at Victoria, which goes home to the heart of
the stranger from Europe, and fills him with desolation. Not that a pioneer's life is dull, for there
are subjects in plenty to engage'his attention ; but
that every now and again a feeling of loneliness
creeps over him, such as no pen or tongue can
portray. It makes him mark and cling to the
glories of nature with tenfold ardour. But hence,
too, he views with tenfold sensitiveness the sight of
those glories battling furiously together.
" After breakfast we set off in the direction of
a high mountain, situated in  the interior of the II
island,  intending,   if   possible,   to   ascend   to   the
summit, and  secure one of the many hundreds  of
eagles' nests which I could plainly discern through
my field-glass.     Though  the distance to the base
of the  mountain   was only about three  miles, so
dense a bush separated us from it, that we found it
absolutely impracticable to proceed more than two.
Indeed, the last   half-mile I   performed  alone, my
Indians having given it up as "unco uncanny," to
borrow a phrase from yonside the  Tweed.     They
aver that I  penetrated  into  the  interior further
than any  Indian has   ever  gone.     This  does  not
surprise  me, considering   their   natural   dislike   to~~
exertion of any kind.    They plead in excuse  that
the game is too scarce,  and  the under-bush  too
obstructive and dangerous, to offer them sufficient
inducement.    As I was forced to go back myself, I
must admit their plea to be a reasonable one.
"About noon, the sea having calmed a little, we
resumed our voyage of discovery in the tiny canoe.
In an hour or so we put into another pretty harbour,
where I made out a vein of crystallized limestone,
the only pure limestone I had seen in this geological
section. The vein was four feet wide, and traceable
for a distance of 150 feet, from W.N.W. to E.S.E.
l 2
1 148
Paddling then around the land, I found it was an
island, not much less than twelve miles in circumference. I bestowed the name of " Malcolm" upon it,
in honour of a friend in Canada. Observing smoke
to proceed from an adjacent island, we paddled over
to it, a distance of some four miles. Time failed me
to examine the interior, even if the chaos and
tangle had allowed me; but by the smoke and the
strong smell of sulphur prevailing, I judged that
Volcanic Island would not be a misnomer to give it.
" During the last two days we three explorers have
consumed quite sixty pounds weight of flour, besides
other provisions. These Indians think nothing of
devouring their ten pounds each at a meal, particularly if the flour be made up in the form of pancakes.    Catering for Indians comes expensive."
I may here note that the commissariat difficulty
referred to in my Diary was shortly after obviated
by another smart notion, for which we were again
indebted to the genius of our Californian.
Amongst the stores we had a large cask of tallow,
such as is used in rolling cartridges, or in greasing
tools. I took a quantity of this with me, when I
next went out to explore, and fried the pancakes in
it instead of in butter.    Of course I took care to PANCAKES.
cook the first pancake without tallow, slipping in a
piece of butter on the sly for myself. The Indians
gobbled up their tallowed pancakes with infinite
gusto. But ever after one pancake apiece amply
sufficed to them. And rare fun it was to see their
amazement and vexation at not being able to accommodate more than that at a time, in spite of their
undiminished appetites.
After this brief exploration the copper-works on
Burnaby Island kept me too closely occupied to
allow of another absence for some while to come.
All went on much as usual till the latter end of
August, when our camp and that of our ally Skid-
a-ga-tees were thrown into commotion by the report
of an invasion to be expected from a neighbouring
tribe, booty being their undisguised motive. Though
we quickly put ourselves into a state of defence, it
is hard to say what might have been the result but
for the most opportune arrival of the little schooner
Rebecca, the mere sight of which ludicrously changed
our would-be foes into pretended friends.
The Rebecca was on her way back from the
Stickeen River in Russian America, and had on
board an old Canadian friend of mine, a Mr, Carmichael, who also was returning from the gold-mines
in those parts, having lost all his money, and likewise
his health, not to mention a narrow escape with his
life from hostile Indians. As the nephew of Mr.
Hogan, proprietor of the famed St. Lawrence Hall
Hotel, in Montreal, my friend had gone out influen-
tially recommended, fully stocked, and well in funds.
Few men, therefore, could be better qualified to pass
an opinion on the prospect afforded by the Stickeen
River. It is here enough to recount that he had left
the gold-mines with the determination of never going
back to them.
Fearing that, as soon as the Rebecca departed, I
should again have trouble from the Indians, I ostentatiously despatched a letter to the Governor of
British Columbia, requesting the presence of a gunboat. The mere fact of this request served to protect us for the nonce. 151
Nearly a month elapsed before I received any
answer to my request. Meantime, our pugnacious
neighbours, emboldened by the delay, sent a small
" army of observation" over to Burnaby Island to
watch us, and, if occasion offered, to threaten us.
Very early in the morning of September 19 th,
I noticed a great stir in their camp; and ere long
those who had been plotting our total destruction
came up to the log-house, laden with skins, furs, and
fish, and loudly proclaiming their amicable sentiments towards the white man.
Nothing in the Indian character used to astonish
me so much as its shallowness. The Indians are
wonderfully acute in reading other people's actions;
and hence one would expect them to be less clumsy
1 152
in dissimulation. Here they were, however, palpably
false and hostile to the backbone, and yet thinking
to make me believe in their professions of friendship
and truthfulness by means of a few transparent
overtures. But does not a like trait characterize
the savages one meets with now and then at home?
I could not restrain a laugh at the blatant imposture, especially as, happening to look through my
glass across to the enemy's camp, I saw they were
actually breaking up and beginning to move. Upon
which the members of the deputation laughed too.
All this assured me that some external cause must
be operating in our behalf.
My men and I were still balancing probabilities,
when suddenly the sound of heavy guns in the far
distance solved every doubt; and at the same
moment a friendly Siwash (one of the Skid-a-ga-tees
tribe) came running over the promontory to announce that a " smoke-vessel" was in sight. Our
double-faced enemies had been observing it from
early dawn.
Without loss of time I mounted to an eminence
above our camp, and there, plain enough in the
offing, was an English man-of-war. I immediately
put  off to her in  a canoe.     She  proved   to   be
H.M.'s gunboat Hecate, and by nine o'clock a.m.
I had the satisfaction of piloting the welcome
gunboat into a safe anchorage opposite our mines,
and not more than a quarter of a mile from our
The following is in my Diary:—
"September 19th.—Took the obstreperous chiefs
before the commanding officer of the Hecate, who
gave them clearly to understand, through an interpreter, that if they annoyed us again in any way
whatsoever he would at once return and burn them
out of home and hearth, and that they must deliver
up all the articles they had stolen from us. This
action on the part of the Governor will do an incalculable amount of good. It makes us feel a deeper
pride in our country, and revives the patriotism
which too long absence from home is apt to enfeeble.
The officers very obliging, offering to supply anything we might require. I was glad of two dozen
clay pipes, and a bundle of English newspapers."
Exactly at five o'clock that afternoon the Hecate got
up her steam again and departed, after having fired
a good many shells during the day from her largest
gun, as a salutary warning to the natives.
For quite a week afterwards Indians of all tribes 154 QUEEN  CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
continued to loaf about near our log-house, holding
lively conversations with us in reference to the gunboat. The general opinion amongst them was that
it would be easy to destroy her by " setting fire to
her powder-magazine;" but when pressed as to some
practical plan for getting at the magazine, they were
no more able to answer than were the respected
nurses of our infant years when we used to question
them as to the best method of putting salt on a bird's
tail. What most of all puzzled the Indians was to
understand how on earth " the same gun could fire
two shots at once," by which they meant the report
on the shell being discharged, and the bursting of
the shell a few moments after on the ground.
Candour obliges me to state that, notwithstanding
his friendliness in the main, Klue turned out more or
less of a rascal in the petty larceny line. For this I
had him up on board the Hecate, when he promised
her commander to restore a lot of implements he had
stolen, or had allowed to be stolen, from our stores.
He never fulfilled his promise, which, judging by his
subsequent manner in the Hecate, I expected would be
the case.
Klue, I remember, came on deck in a nice stew;
but as soon as he found that it was to be all talk, and KLUE  ON BOARD  THE  " HECATE."
no hanging or shooting, he plucked up courage and
followed me about the ship wherever I went. Observing two young ladies aft, he inquired their names.
Not knowing them myself at the time, I replied that
they were the daughters of some English gentleman
of rank, upon which he instantly proposed to purchase one, offering " two hundred blankets " down.
I informed him that English ladies were not exchangeable for " goods." He was greatly surprised to hear
it, and terribly vexed when, later, I explained our
custom in this matter more fully. " Why, then, do
your white men come and buy our daughters?" he
indignantly exclaimed. And, it must be owned, I
was as terribly at a loss how to answer him. The
Indian custom is to take a woman to wife for a
month on trial, the usual price asked for a chief's
daughter being three blankets. In the event of the
damsel not proving a desirable acquisition, she may
be sent back within the month. Her relations then
return the blankets. It is sad to know that this
degrading traffic has been taken advantage of, to an
unlimited extent, by the Californian traders who
frequent the shores of the North Pacific. I did not
wonder, therefore, at Klue's indignation on his discovering the true bearings of their practice,    I never seafaow**91
heard of his particular tribe having any such applications while I resided on Queen Charlotte Islands.
But I strongly suspect that, should a Californian ever
again seek a wife among them, Klue will insist on
his price of two hundred blankets, if he does not give
his unsuspecting applicant the length of his knife.
Although the Hecate stayed but one day, she left
a most wholesome impression. For a long time
after her visit, whenever the Indians showed a disposition to be saucy, we had only to glance with a
smile towards the north-west (the direction in which
the gunboat steamed off), and their bodies would
quake from head to foot, whilst they rolled their eye-
oalls wildly.
On the Saturday following the Hecate's visit,
the schooner Rebecca hove in sight. As the rain
descended in torrents all that day and the next, I
advised her lying-to in Harriet Harbour, which she
did till Monday, the 29th of September, when, the
N weather having cleared, she unloaded our shipment
of stores, and sailed the same evening for Stickeen
River, with orders to call again on her return, in
order to convey me down to Victoria.
I make note here of a melancholy accident which
happened in the Rebecca, on her way up from the A SEA-MISADVENTURE.
capital. On board of her was a certain Mr. Wigham,
a native of London, and for years a speculator in
Chilian and Peruvian mines. Our company had
appointed him to come and assist me in working
out my discoveries. The Rebecca having made the
Inside Passage on this occasion, she was off the
North Bentinck Arm, above Queen Charlotte Sound,
when, one stormy night, Mr. Wigham tried to take
an observation of the Polar Star. While engaged in
doing this, the schooner's boom swung round heavily,
and, striking him on the head, sent him overboard.
In such weather, at night, his body could not of
course be recovered. Now the schooner had left
Victoria a week previous to the gunboat; and as
the gunboat was ordered to call at our place before
proceeding to Stickeen River, its commander had
kindly given Mr. Wigham's daughters their passage.
These were the young English ladies who had
excited the Indian chief's curiosity in the gun-room
of the Hecate. But the Misses Wigham, finding the
Rebecca had not yet reached us, decided to go on to
Stickeen in the gunboat trusting to return by the
schooner, after she too should have reached Stickeen.
The Hecate could not wait, however; and they
were consequently forced to go back all the way to BOM9M$0ifSISl9iWk*WtMM«i<M!Wg
III 11
lift ii
H    Sit
Victoria, in ignorance of their poor father's death.
Some few weeks later the duty devolved upon me
of imparting to them the fatal news which made
them orphans and absolutely penniless in a distant
I should now mention that, despite our migration
to Burnaby Island in the foregoing Autumn, we had
so far by no means forsaken Skincuttle. We paddled
across continually; and a good relay of workmen
having been sent up to me in the Spring from
Victoria, I detached a party to Skincuttle, and
kept them there all the summer. But that shaft did
not repay the trouble and expense. I had been
gradually determining to abandon it altogether, when
an outbreak of the small-pox among the Indians
brought things to a head. Several died, one of whom
was a handy fellow, called " Indian George" by my
men, and another, a pretty little Klootchman girl.
Seeing these two were dying, the Indians strangled
them, and immediately after struck their filthy
camp on Skincuttle, making off in a body, and
leaving us to bury their dead, if we chose to perform
that office. This we did, to prevent the further spread
of the small-pox. My foreman and I then set fire to
the Indian huts and to the bushwood, and a fierce SKINCUTTLE EVACUATED.
gale of wind beginning to blow at the same moment,
the whole of Skincuttle Island was soon one sheet of
flame. Not a stick would have been left on any part
of it, if a dense cumulus of water, which we perceived to be gathering overhead, had not burst
open of a sudden, and poured down such a flood
as I never beheld, before or since, in my lifetime. The rain lasted without the slightest intermission or diminution for thirty-four hours, almost
to a minute. Thus, by the action of two powerful
elements, did poor Skincuttle receive its purification.
These incidents finally disgusted me with our
pristine settlement, and calculating that there was
nothing further of interest to detain us on the islet,
I ordered its total evacuation.
I had lately been extensively engaged in prospecting Burnaby Island; and my researches having
resulted in the discovery of what I believed to be
the " lead" of the copper-ore, close down by the
shore, I had set a number of men to work upon it.
The storm interrupted their operations; but when,
on the weather clearing, we arrived with our belongings from Skincuttle, the first sight which
rewarded me for my venture was  the "foot  and 160
hanging wall" of the vein splendidly defined.' It
had just been opened.
Early in the day of October 14th, the Rebecca
once more made her expected appearance. As I
had now important news for the shareholders
of our Company, I resolved to return to Victoria in
the schooner; and accordingly, putting my foreman
in charge, I went on board in the afternoon, upon
which Captain Macalmond weighed anchor at once.
He agreed, very sensibly, to take the Outside Passage,
hoping to get down with fair winds in about three
days.    In this, however, we were disappointed.
After clearing Cape St. James, a smart breeze
sprung up. The Rebecca then crowded on all sail,
which sent her cutting through the water at the rate
of eleven knots an hour. But it seemed too good to
last. By sunrise next morning she was scudding
before the wind with bare poles, whilst the sea
dashed incessantly over her bows. Towards evening
another change came on. The wind fell, but not the
sea, which continued to roll in huge volumes, pitching
and tossing our dapper little schooner about like a
shuttlecock, the " dead reckoning" showing that she
made only half a knot to the hour. Who can describe
the mortification  which is the lot of the pioneer IN  THE   TROUGH OF  THE  SEA.
when, after a prolonged absence amongst savages, he
approaches the haven and yet cannot feel sure of
ever reaching it ? As we lay tumbling in the trough
of this wide sea, I could not but recall the fate
of poor Mr. Wigham, hardly a month previous.
What if our frail craft were to capsize, and to
consign us all to make food for the fishes ? Would
anybody be one whit the wiser, until weeks, or
almost months, after our friends began to miss us?
To know this feeling fully, one must have found
oneself within a day's steam of such a capital as
Victoria, and yet have had to take one's chance of
wind and waves, sometimes by the help of the tide
making a few knots, but oftener losing sea-way to
double the distance. The sole comfort derivable from
our position was that, for two days, we could see no
less than four other trading vessels labouring under
the same difficulties as ourselves. Still not precisely
the same; for, our craft being small and our Captain
expert, we generally contrived to ground well inshore, and hauling off with the returning tide,
so gain a few miles in advance of the other
At length, on Sunday morning, October the 19th,
we sailed with a fair wind up the Straits of San
M [
o ll J
If 1!
Juan de Fuca, and, rounding the Headland, dropped
anchor in Victoria Harbour.
My arrival formed quite an event in the capital, not
only because most of the leading merchants had now
taken a pecuniary interest in my expedition, but
because I was the first white man who had dared to
go and live amongst the hostile Indians of Queen
Charlotte Islands, or the Great Northern Indians, as
some call them.
I need perhaps scarcely say that the primary consideration for me was a change of clothing, a civilized
wash, and a " square meal." Nobody who has not experienced what it is to be deprived of the refinements
of life can rightly conceive the joy of regaining them.
When these invigorating tonics had been applied to
my system I placed myself at the disposition of numerous old friends, and as many new ones, to answer
their perplexing questions about the Indians, about
the aspect and capabilities of Queen Charlotte Islands,
and particularly about the promise of the country in
mineral products. It required no little patience to
satisfy such demands on my time and temper, to say
nothing of the bodily constitution requisite to stand
all the " brandy smashes " and bottles of champagne
of which I had perforce to partake in my own honour.  \§m
3wi mrhf
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! ifWJ of JIAipi)
Slisill H^Sfesi.'-     /  J '    it   (\\U\   XvSV.ft nWX^*'/.-'      IILkIK!
»m jv.
?&i'y / /
By dint of a studied personal restraint, however, I
got through my allotted task; so that, having devoted
some few days to a most necessary rest, and employed
the remainder in purchasing provisions, clothes,
medicine, and ammunition, I was ready, before a
week had elapsed, to charter another vessel to take
me back to Burnaby Island.
Here I cannot do better than insert the official
Report which, on occasion of this visit to the capital,
I addressed to our Company :*—
I To the Directors of the Queen Charlotte Mining
" Victoria, Vancouver Island, Oct. 22, 1863.
" Gentlemen,
" The copper-mines are situated on several
islands, the approximate position being in about
lat. 52° 18' 00" North, long. 131° 07' 00" West.
Though the time occupied by me in prospecting
these islands has been very limited, I have come to
the conclusion that the copper on Burnaby Island is
the most promising hitherto discovered. There is a
bluff of rock rising to the height of about 150 feet on
the eastern  extremity   of Burnaby Island.    Com-
* The above Eeport is quoted by Mr. Macfie, in his work (p. 152).
M 2 164
mencing at the N.E. point of this bluff, at low-water
mark, copper shows itself about one inch and a half
in thickness. One half inch runs parallel with the
level of the water for a distance of nine feet, mixed
with a little spar, when it runs out. The remaining
one inch then rises on an angle of 25° for the same
distance, when it takes a horizontal course two feet
above high-water mark towards the S.W., the strike
being S. 35° W., with a dip W.N.W. 72°. Leaving
these two threads and joining the main vein, as seen
here, the copper gradually widens in the direction of
the mainland.    The length of this vein on the out-
croppings is 200 feet, with an average thickness of
sixteen inches on the surface or out-crop. The constituent (matrix or gangue) is composed of shorl,
hornblend, garnets, and spar, presenting good gossan
indications and two well-defined walls, the ' foot-
walls' being slate overlaid with a very hard dark
green rock, the 'hanging-walls' proving the existence
of a regular and defined vein of copper-ore.
"The classes of ore to be looked for here are the
yellow and grey sulphurates of copper, with the blue
and green carbonates of copper, holding muriates and
sulphurates of silver, with the purple and other
classes of copper-ores. MINING REPORT.
" It is needless for me to enter into a long statement as to the probability of finding workable copper
on Skincuttle Island. There are many serious objections to such a theory. The only use this island
will be to us is to assist in determining the course of
the ' Champion Lead,' which must be towards the
mainland, as the latter island is too far north, which
the formation plainly shows. For this reason I considered it a duty to the Company and myself to cease
sinking the shaft on Skincuttle Island, for which I
had bound myself by contract.
" I have directed a set of men to cut a drift in the
most promising situation yet discovered, which is on
Burnaby Island, and with a few more men I shall be
in a position to extract copper for the market next
Spring. I have no hesitation in recommending the
working of this vein, believing, as I do, that, in a commercial point of view, the result will be most satisfactory to all parties interested therein. The regularity of the formation of this vein, its extent, and
promising character, as well as its very convenient
proximity to water (it lies within eighty feet of deep
water, at a point suitable for landing a shipment or
anything required), will satisfy the most anxious.
" From experience in mining for the last twelve
years, I am confident that success will attend the
working of this mine, provided it is carried on with
energy and prudence. The mine so clearly possesses
in itself all the elements of success, besides its convenience of situation, that no doubt can be entertained
but that its working will prove a sound satisfaction
to every one concerned.
11 have the honour to be, Gentlemen,
" Yours faithfully,
"Francis Poole,
"Engineer to the Qtieen Charlotte Mining Company." 167
It was not at all easy to procure a vessel for the
purpose of conveying myself and two of my men,
together with a suitable supply of provisions, back to
the copper-mines.
At length, however, a sloop named the Leomde,
which had been advertised to sail to the North Ben-
tinck Arm on the mainland, failing to obtain more
than half her cargo, I chartered her to extend her
trip across to our islands.
The last moment had almost come, and the bargain
was struck in a hurry. When, then, I went down to
inspect the sloop, it rather staggered me to find her
only twenty tons burden, twelve tons of which were
already on board, whilst' fifteen tons additional of
our Company's stores had yet to be shipped, con- ■P^MMMMm
_'_' i _; .".„-.,, ,...,.,;:a      _
stituting a total of twenty-seven tons, to say nothing
of the crew, passengers, and luggage. But we had
to make the best of the bargain: for otherwise my
men at the mines would have been wholly destitute
of provisions.
On the 24th of October, therefore, about nine o'clock
p.m., we left Victoria Harbour, with quite seven
tons weight more in the Leonide's hold than she had
any right to carry, and a very dangerous voyage before us. It was no wonder that, upon anchoring in,
Nanaimo Harbour, opposite the well-known coalmines,* we found our sloop nearly waterlogged,
showing fully a foot of water on her main-deck,
even in smooth water—a fair sample of trading
appliances in a new country.
The Leonide being bound in the first instance to.
the North Bentinck Arm, the Inside Passage was an
imperative necessity. At the outset some idea may
be formed of the vast difference between the two
Passages, when I state that it took us three days
and four nights to reach Nanaimo, whereas, in a good
ship, the same period of time, by the Outside Passage,
would have landed us at Queen Charlotte.
* The Nanaimo mines yielded 40,833 tons of coal in the year 1869. THE  GULF OF GEORGIA.
In order to make clear how amply the facts bear
out my comparison, I shall describe this voyage
somewhat in detail.
Despite our extraordinary over-freight, I had
really no cause to disparage the sailing capacities of
the Leonide. What we wanted was wind to drive us
ahead against the vexatious tides, currents, and
eddies which so markedly characterize the Inside
Exactly at sunset of the 28th, a stiff but favourable
breeze springing up, we weighed anchor and set sail
from Nanaimo into the Gulf of Georgia. This gulf,
owing to its strong currents and ever-varying
winds, is the terror of all British Columbian navigators.* By dint of good steering, however, we were
fortunate enough to reach the head of the gulf by
the evening of the 29th. Here a high promontory,
known as Cape Mudge, juts out from the land on the
* The experience of Commander Mayne U.N., on the subject of the
Inside Passage, is exactly mine. In his valuable work Four Years in
British Columbia, he says (p. 176) that the Gulf of Georgia " forms a kind
of playground for the waters, in which they frolic, utterly regardless of all
tidal rules. This is caused by the collision of streams. The tide-rips are
excessively dangerous to boats, and great care has to be exercised. A boat
is almost certain to be swamped, and even a ship is so twisted and twirled
about as to run considerable risk." 170
Vancouver side; and, observing a sheltered little
harbour lying well under its lee, we decided to take
shelter here for the night. The morning's dawn
disclosed to us smoke in the bush, from which we
inferred that an Indian ranche must exist in the
neighbourhood, which, on examination, we found
was the fact. We accordingly paid the natives a
flying visit, purchasing from them five splendid
salmon for the sum of two shillings sterling.
Johnstone Straits, which divide Vancouver from
the largest-sized island in the Passage, was our next
venture. It looks smooth work enough on the map.
In reality, it is always the toughest tug of the
At daybreak on November the 1st we might have
been seen, still in the trough of a rough sea. off
7 o O 7
Cape Mudge. We had then been beating about for
two nights and a day, in a vain struggle to enter
Johnstone Straits. Indeed, it was not till after
three days, alternately advancing and retreating at
the mercy of changing tides and coquetting winds,
that, having taken to our oars as a last resource, we
finally succeeded in clearing the long, ugly strait
Some thirty miles  distance   beyond  the   north OPE  THE  SALMON RIVER.
entrance to the straits, a fine river discharges its
waters with fearful velocity into this arm of the sea.
It is called the Salmon River, from the multitude of
fish of that species which swarm in it. We made
several ineffectual efforts to cross the river's mouth.
Our final attempt was not successful until the sloop
had all but capsized, the sea making a clean sweep
of the decks, and washing our live fowls and several
casks of prime mess-pork overboard. Before we got
completely across, a stiff breeze from the S.E., while
working us up against a stubborn head-tide, swung,
the sloop's boom round from the port-side. Our
cook, who chanced to be standing by the taffrail,
was knocked into the water, but, catching fortunately
at a sail which dragged along after us, he was
hauled a-board again. I had the narrowest escape
possible from a watery mishap of the same kind.
Seeing the boom coming, I bent my head to
avoid it, when the boom-sail lifted me neatly over to
starboard. Scrambling into the rigging, I let myself
down by a rope into the cabin, thankful to have
come off without even a ducking.
This was a roughish introduction to the fair wind
and comparatively smooth water which commenced
immediately after we had passed the Salmon River, QUEEN  CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
and held on till we entered the little bay where
stands the fort erected by the Hudson's Bay Company. This is close to Queen Charlotte Sound, and
at the extreme north-west end of the Inside Passage.
All along our route we could discern northwards
the dim outline of a high mountain-range, as yet
unnamed and unexplored by civilized man, but which
is doubtless a spur of the Cascade Mountains. The
Vancouver shore opposite lies low for a very considerable distance inland. It here consists of a rich
loamy soil, likely to turn out extremely productive
at some future period. For the present brushwood
prevails exclusively. The high timberage of these
regions begins again as one approaches Fort Rupert.
In the low levels, the residents at the fort told us,
the atmosphere is generally clear, dry, and genial;
but we could distinctly see heavy snow falling on
the mountain-tops far away. Until within a few
miles of Fort Rupert this part of Vancouver presents
an aspect of the dreariest monotony. Near that point,
however, the wild and grand scenery of its other
parts is resumed.
During the entire voyage up the Inside Passage,
our best day's sail was twenty-five miles. Allowance should of course be made for our over-laden TWENTY  THOUSAND ISLETS.
craft. But the Leonide, if fairly treated, almost
rivalled the saucy Rebecca. Balancing computations,
therefore, this sailing would not give more than an
average of twenty miles a day at the highest;
whereas the Inside Passage is quite two hundred
and seventy miles long. In other words it seems
clear that not less than fourteen days are required to
accomplish it. Surely there cannot be stronger proof
that the Outside Passage, which never takes above
six days, is vastly more expeditious ; not to mention
its evident superiority in respect of sea-room and
general safeness.
Only those who have navigated the tortuous seas
between Vancouver and the mainland of British
Columbia can conceive the freaks which wind and
tide are capable of indulging in. It is a standing
puzzle to the Indian. But the white man perfectly
accounts for it on looking to the innumerable small
islands with which nature has fringed the whole of
the British Columbian coast. If ever these islets
come to be named, I much doubt whether any
nomenclature will be found sufficiently rich to include them all. The simplest plan would be to
number them like the streets of New York. Commencing at San Juan de Fuca, and ending with Fort 174
Simpson, a distance of five hundred miles  by an
average of ten miles wide, the highest number, I feel
sure, would then exceed 20,000.    Such a quantity of
islands, grouped together in so confined a space, does
not exist in any other portion of the globe.    Well,
as the unsophisticated navigator pursues the tenor of
his way along this little-known route, he is surprised
by the wind suddenly describing a circle round one
of these  islets, then  bowling  down  a  funnel-like
channel straight at him, and, after having literally
turned a corner, sweeping madly up another gullet
or ravine, from which again it descends upon him
with quadruple force.    The utmost care is consequently indispensably requisite in this navigation.
Not unfrequently the morning dawn would reveal
to us that, instead of having advanced, we had been
drifting   back   all   night.     The  contending winds
seemed legionary.    We usually managed, it is true,
to have one or other of them in our favour; but the
most powerful wind was invariably adverse to us.
This shows, too, that the up passage is more tedious
than the down.    There were very few days, or nights
either, on which we had not to use our long oars,
passengers and all, like so many Thames bargemen,
sometimes   for  hours  together.     In  short,  I  can A-GROUND ON  A REEF.
imagine no navigation attended with greater tedium,
danger, and hardship. Steam alone is able to reduce
it to submission.
It was now getting on in November. During the
last week the cold had set in, and we had sleety rain
and snow almost continuously. We sheered out of
Queen Charlotte Sound, however, and, hugging the
mainland, steered within a point or two of due north,
towards Edmund Point and the Bentinck Arms.
Though now clear of the currents and peculiar
winds of the Inside Passage, we had yet to experience another of the perils indigenous to this imperfectly known highway of the sea.
Whilst the slant sleet and borean blast were at
their worst, the Leonide went a-ground on a sunken
rock or reef. Our slow rate of progression necessarily weakened the sloop's impetus; else the danger,
with such a cargo on board, off that wilderness of a
coast, would have been extreme. As it was, a couple
of hours' hard labour enabled us to haul the vessel
back into deep water, and thus to save her not only
from destruction, but from any serious damage.
This occurred early one morning. We had then
arrived within a day's sail of our first destination.
The   captain  now  consenting,  I took the  sloop's 176
canoe, and, with one of my own men to steer,
paddled forward to the North Bentinck Arm, which
I reached just three hours in advance of the Leonide.
Well do I recollect that 22nd of November, a dull,
dreary, wintry day. It was a Saturday evening; but
we had time to discharge a large portion of the
freight, I acting as stevedore and supercargo.
It is strange what a man can do when he is put
to it. I speak from personal observation and experience when I say that anybody, with ordinary intelligence and a fair amount of bodily health, may
push himself along in a new country. At the
date of my leaving England, what did I know of
industrial work beyond the sphere of my peculiar
profession ? Yet I may point to my own case, and
I trust without being suspected of vanity, as a practical instance. For there I was at the North Bentinck
Arm, acting as ship's clerk and superintending the
unloading of a vessel, having previously piloted it
up the Inside Passage from Vancouver, in place of-
a "professed pilot," who, though purposely shipped
at Victoria, had shown himself as incapable of
managing a sloop on the high seas as any Highlander
in his bonnet and breeks.
About latitude 52°, longitude 128°, and exactly THE  BENTINCK  ARMS.
opposite Cape St. James of Queen Charlotte Islands,
a large estuary occurs in the British Columbian
mainland. This estuary is splendidly sheltered from
the ocean by an island, measuring twenty miles in
length, and called after its discoverer, one Captain
Maclaughlin, a Scotchman. But the estuary itself
leads up thirty miles into the interior by a broad and
deep channel. It there divides into two channels,
which have been named respectively the North and
South Bentinck Arms, and which lead again, the one
by a still scarcely explored route over the last range
of the Rocky Mountains into Canada, the other into
the heart of the Blue and Cascade Mountains.
A little above the conjunction of the two Arms, in
the North Channel, a small colony had been formed,
partly as a standpoint for barter with the Indians,
partly with a view to the provisioning and accommodation of those who, like myself, were rash enough
to probe the recesses of the famous Cascades, in
search of gold or other minerals. I do not entertain
the least doubt that, when capital is brought to bear
upon this upper portion of British Columbia, the
route thence into the interior, and so into Canada
West, will be fully explored and speedily established.
The scheme will meet with opposition; but, as it is
N i I
sure to succeed eventually, all who know anything
of our possessions in the North Pacific foresee
an immense change in the mercantile state of this
colony by the certain diversion of perhaps half
its traffic from Victoria in Vancouver Island to
the towns yet to be formed on the North Bentinck
Scotchmen have so far been the main projectors of
this enterprise. Hence the aforesaid little settlement, for years known familiarly at Victoria as " The
Arm," had assumed at last the style and title of New
One Wallace it was who kept the ranche or hotel
there, a thrifty and thriving speculator, well deserving of permanent success. I had twice previously spent some useful and jolly days under his
roof, when engaged in my bootless Cascade expedition, and now it became my pleasing task to lend a
helping hand in revictualling his store, and otherwise
doing him a good turn. Those are the reciprocal
services in which pioneers specially rejoice. In fact,
with shame must it be acknowledged that, the more
sparse the population in a given radius, the less
selfish and the more genial, hearty, and obliging do
we lords of the creation become in our dealings with JIM  THE INDIAN.
our fellow-creatures.     No tyro in colonization but
will draw that inference.
While hob-nobbing with Pioneer Wallace, however,
I had serious doubts of being able to cultivate
friendly relations with the rest of mankind at New
Aberdeen. I learnt that the small-pox had carried
off hundreds of Indians since my first visit there; and
as the party I then headed was the unfortunate
means of introducing the fell disease amongst them,
I began to fear lest the natives should oppose my
landing.    But I was soon undeceived.
Remarking a fine specimen of Young India (North
Pacific section)- gazing at me, not with eyes indicating intense hatred, as I had expected, but with an
expression of sorrow, I sympathizingly inquired the
cause. He was one of those whom the small-pox
had spared, but had nevertheless so deeply marked
that I did not recognise his face in the least. But the
moment he spoke I knew him to be my old Indian
friend Jim, our guide on the Bentinck Trail over the
Blue Mountain. But for Jim none of that party of
ours would be alive at this day. He answered my
query by saying ruefully, but in very good English,
" Do you not remember me, sir ?" Of course I at
once went and shook him warmly by the hand, which
n 2 I fl I
&**"^*Si^iu*»Ijjp CI I
mark of my remembrance and sympathy so overcame
the poor fellow that he had much to do to keep
down his feeling; and yet the feat was indispensably
necessary, if he would retain his character as an
Indian brave. I never took so kindly to any Indian.
Jim was in my opinion an excellent example of the
real stuff that lies behind the dross and disfigurement with which Europeans are now only too familiarized in the Indian character. Had my position
and circumstances allowed it, I should certainly have
adopted him, as I felt sure he possessed a warm and
generous disposition, besides great intelligence, which
a few years of civilized life and training would have
brought out in noble relief.
We made but a short stay on the North Bentinck,
not longer in fact than was necessary to clear out
the sloop and right her for the rest of the voyage.
While this was being accomplished, I set off in company with Mr. Taylor, another courageous pioneer of
these regions, on an excursion up the Bella Coola, or
Belcoula River.
The country here may be described in a summary
way as hilly, the hills sometimes rising to mountains
with a rich loam for a soil, the river-banks, however,
displaying a subsoil of gravel some twenty feet under- TAYLORS  RANCHE.
neath the surface. Nothing appears wanting but
the axe, the spade, and the plough to render such a
land as productive as any in the British Empire.
At the period of my visit it was one wild forest, save
the wigwams of the Indians in the bush, and Mr.
Taylor's ranche about three miles upward.
On our way thither we passed by two Indian settlements, or bivouacs rather. They were almost deserted,
the small-pox having during the previous year
reduced the tribes there from 4000 to a few dozens.
I noticed that the river had an enormous stock of
salmon. They tumbled over each other like sprats in
the water, reminding one of some plant or vegetable
run to seed.
Mr. Taylor's ranche presented nothing new. It
was the same log-house-in-the-backwoods kind of
scene to which British Columbia has a way of
accustoming every emigrant. The spirit that could
induce an educated man to brave the loneliness
and discomforts of a quasi-permanent residence in
such a desert calls for admiration. At the same
time, when the tremendous risk of life and the
distant hope of profit are considered, it seems hardly
possible to look upon isolated undertakings of this
description as other than foolhardy. '
1 f
Mr. Taylor kindly gave me a fine buck-hound pup,
which afterwards did me good service. I called him
Cato. By-and-by he grew to be a very powerful
animal, standing over two feet, and holding his own
against any dozen of the curs with which the
Indian wigwams on Queen Charlotte Islands are
infested. Many a watch did my dog Cato keep for
me. The Indians had a wholesome dread of him.
He would think nothing of seizing them by the bare
legs; and as, by some instinct or other, he used to pick
out those whom we knew to be our worst enemies,
the Indians often threatened to kill him. Whenever
they said this in my presence, I always vowed to
them, with both hands on my revolvers, that it would
be the worse for them if they tried to execute their
threats. Poor Cato, he had a hard time of it. By
constant vigilance, however, and by making him
stay indoors after dark, I kept him in safety the
whole of my subsequent residence at the mines. On
leaving, I gave the faithful animal away to a white-
man friend.
Returning to New Aberdeen, I found the Leonide
in nice trim for the second part of our voyage to
Queen Charlotte Islands. We had just got the
anchor on board, and were dropping down the Arm, LIEUTENANT FISHER.
when an Indian of the Bella-Bella tribe came alongside in his canoe, and, speaking in very fair English,
informed us that Lieutenant Fisher of the Royal
Engineers had been barbarously murdered by the
Chilicooten Indians. He was engaged at the time in
surveying the route from the North Bentinck Arm to
Cariboo, which, in the previous year, I had roughly
mapped out for the information of the Colonial
Government. It seems he strayed away from his
camp. No sooner was he out of sight of his own
men than some Indians, who had been tracking his
party for several days before, pounced upon him,
stabbed him to death with their knives, and then
stripped the body naked. We hove-to, in order to
give me the opportunity of getting at all the facts
concerning poor Mr. Fisher's fate. These I collected
and despatched to Victoria, to the editor of the
Colonist newspaper, in the hope that, by this means,
whatever friends he had in England and his brother-
officers might hear of his untimely end.
On the whole, New Aberdeen left sad impressions.
For three irksome days we did our utmost to clear
the particular nest of islands which lie grouped
between the Bentinck Arms and the North Pacific
Ocean; but, owing to the usual cause, fickle winds If
and   vicious   currents,  we   made   but slow headway.
As at length we began to steer to the southward,
with a view of taking the sloop round the south of
Maclaughlin Island, we were passed by the Labouchere
steamer, belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company.
We signalled in the customary manner, but she preferred not to acknowledge our compliments. The
reason of such exceptionally strange behaviour on
the high seas we soon discovered. When failing to
double Edmund Point, the Leonide had next day to
put into the little harbour of a new Indian settlement
about fifty miles further down the coast. The
natives in the settlement were simply mad-drunk, the
Labouchere having, on her way up, supplied them with
an immense quantity of whisky, in barter for fur-
This was the Bella-Bella tribe. We heard they
had recently deserted their old camping-grounds up
the Arm, and had come down here in consequence of
the fearful gaps and ravages caused by the smallpox. Many mournful hours of reflection did it give
me when I came face to face with the enormous
sacrifice of life I had unwittingly brought about,
through  my  unfortunate   exploring party  to  tne BELLA-BELLAS AND BELLA-COOLAS.
Cascades introducing that pest in the neighbourhood
of the Arm.
The Bella-Bella tribe, though not to be despised,
were formerly by no means a match for their born
foes the Bella-Coolas, who used always to cut off a
great number of the Bella-Bellas whenever these
ventured beyond their own territory. But now the
Bella-Bellas, though deplorably reduced in their own
tribe, found themselves in numbers and force far
ahead of the Bella-Coolas, and were accordingly
preparing, might and main, to administer condign
punishment to their ancient enemies. Thus does one
evil produce another. The few men at this settlement who had remained sober told us that the tribe
intended to go off very soon on the war-trail, and kill
every single man of the hostile tribe, out of revenge
for the past. It is true they could not quite accomplish their sanguinary purpose. But there was
terrible bloodshed none the less.
I prophesy that, before the year 1880, the Indians
of British Columbia and Vancouver will be numbered
by as many dozens as they counted thousands when
I originally saw them. The cause of this is twofold:
first, the natural antagonism existing between savage
nations,   resulting   there   in   frightful   internecine 186 QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
struggles; which spirit, secondly, has been lamentably
increased by the intoxicating drinks the Indians have
of late years so easily procured from the unprincipled
traders who frequent the coast.
I tried to trade with the Bella-Bellas, but could5
not induce them to come to terras unless I consented
to barter in whisky. This, neither I nor the skipper
would do, under any circumstances. The surprise
of the Indians at our refusal told its own tale.
During the night numbers of them came alongside
the sloop in a shocking state of intoxication, openly
proclaiming that the Hudson's Bay Company regularly
sent liquor round to the different tribes. The
chief, who was sober, offered in barter a large
ship's telescope, but would take nothing in exchange
except fire-water. Within a week afterwards we
discovered that the glass in question had been stolen,
only a few days before, from our skipper's own
brother. It was perhaps as well we did not know
this at the time, or there • might have been a fatal
row with the Bella-Bellas, if indeed the temptation
to redeem his brother's property by the sole means
of a barter in fire-water, might not have proved too
strong for our little captain.
Having    filled   our   water-casks,    and    fearing GETTING OUT   TO  SEA.
treachery from these besotted Indians, we stole away
quietly at daybreak. But it was only to return
with ignominy; for, although now in sight of the
open sea, each time that we hauled clear of the shore,
the wind perversely " died down," and we had
actually to row the Leonide back to the Bella-Bella
settlement. This went on for two whole days, amidst
the derisive yells of groups of Indians on the beach.
Tired at last, I succeeded in persuading the skipper
and the ignorant pilot to risk it, by rowing out to
sea, instead of running in for shelter every moment,
as though we were a set of home-sick girls. " Nothing
venture, nothing gain," I thought; and at this juncture I certainly did not err.
So we rowed out at 10 a.m. one sunny morning,
and at sundown the same evening, Day Point,
on Maclaughlin Island, was twenty miles astern, with
a breeze nearly dead aft pushing us steadily through
the water.
On the morning of the second day we dropped
anchor somewhere off Queen Charlotte Islands,
having taken just forty-eight hours to do our fifty
miles across from,Day Point—that is, about a mile an
hour—and eight whole days to come the distance
from New Aberdeen. 188 QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
A steamer might readily have performed the
service, there and back, four times over; whilst an
Atlantic Cunard might have, meantime, accomplished
its run from Liverpool to New York with ease.
And yet it was less than half our voyage from
Victoria, Vancouver Island. 189
Well, at last we had made Queen Charlotte. But
whereabouts exactly were we in the Islands? That
was the next question. And a very pretty puzzler it
proved, too, with a lubberly pilot in charge of us, and
not a single instrument on board to take the sun's
altitude. Fancy what it would be to anchor off
Start Point in South Devon, with a kind of misty
doubt in one's mind that the land on the lee bow
of the ship was possibly Flamborough Head.
Our guesses had hardly begun, however, when
down came a squall upon us, sharper and much more
sudden than any Mediterranean burrasca. Luckily
we had reefed sails; for the squall did not give us
five minutes' warning. With awful fury it uprooted
trees in all directions, loosening huge boulders on the
1 -
mountain-tops, and tumbling them into the sea like
foot-balls, whilst the wind shrieked again through
the sea-caverns, bounding up from rock to rock, and
down again to the lower levels, till the islands seemed
shaken to their very foundations. Presently, and
with the same marvellous suddenness, the roar of
the elements ceased, a death-like calm immediately
Upon this we examined our position, and congratulated one another heartily on having crossed
Queen Charlotte Sound within a few minutes of
the time required to save ourselves.
We lay there all night, thinking wisely that inaction was the best policy when a wrong movement
might precipitate our ruin, particularly in the dark.
Next morning our pilot declared his certain conviction that we were north of the Copper Islands.
But as I knew every stone for sixty miles northward
of that position, and yet did not recognise this coast,
it followed, according to the pilot's " convictions,"
that we ought to sail south. We did so, and before
noon a long string of rocky islets came in view,
stretching right across our bows. Observing them
with a glass, I pronounced them at once to be Cape .
St. James and its  satellite rocks, which form the TWO GALES.
most easterly point of the Queen Charlotte group of
islands. Happily, we had already gone so far west.
If we had been only five miles more to the east, we
might easily have passed Cape St. James, and sailed
out, goodness knows whither, into the boundless
Pacific Ocean.
Without more ado, therefore, we bouted ship, and
shaped our course due north for the Copper Islands,
feeling sure by this time where we were going to.
Alas, we once more laid the flattering unction to
our souls too soon. Tacking against a dead headwind, we had barely gained ten miles on our right
course when another gale, a hundred times worse
than the one before, drove us like a piece of cork
into our last night's anchorage. Glad we were,
indeed, to get that much shelter. But every instant
I expected we should be driven out to sea; and
then we should have turned a few marine somersaults, and have victualled the North Pacific fishes
for the whole Winter. It was a little bay, and up and
down it we went, dragging our two anchors after
us as if they were two pins. Twice, another two
yards would have put us outside. On the last
occasion, thinking it was all over with us, I stripped
for a swim to the shore, two hundred yards distant. 192
I believe, too, I should have actually plunged into
the angry flood, stemmed it with a heart of controversy, and have swum to yonder point, but that,
seeing my mates so willing, I turned to lend them
a last hand, as I imagined. Jumping into the boat,
we hauled out the third anchor. Then, rowing like.-
lunatics, we dropped it in the centre of the bay,
just as the sloop was about to launch out wildly
into the deep. It was a veritable snatch from the
jaws of death. But it taught us a seaman's lesson
likewise. We, therefore, continued buffeting the
storm with lusty sinews for full six hours. As
fast as our sloop dragged her two anchors, we carried
a third further up the bay, and then half pulled and
half rowed her in. Not a soul amongst us but
contributed his quantum to this crucial test of manliness. We even forgave the pilot his lubberliness,
in consideration of his expending himself at the
helm and capstan. Every man on board fought for
our joint-stock of life as for his own.
I may here state that my observations on Queen
Charlotte Islands go to prove the duration of storm-
weather in those latitudes to be almost invariably
six hours. Thus, should the weather be calm, say
from noon to six p.m., after six o'clock it will change AT  THE  COPPER-MINES.
to rough, at midnight it will double its force, at
six a.m. it will begin to die off, until, by noon
again, the wind and the water have become as
still as a lakelet in England in Summer. Not that
Queen Charlotte weather is always changeable, but
that, when it does change, these are the rules of its
changes. I see good reason for attributing this
action to the tides, although the tiding there acts
with no great regularity.
We had a quiet night's rest after the travail of
that anxious day.
Early in the morning, a canoe full of Hydah
Indians paddled into the bay. I engaged them to
take me to the copper-mines, and to return with one
of my workmen, who would pilot the sloop in.
It was three o'clock on that day when I reached
the long-wished-for destination, and found my men
all but out of provisions, and murmuring not a little.
Of the murmurs I took no notice, beyond frankly
explaining the cause of our detention. It is human
nature, the world over, to feel disgusted at being
kept waiting, no matter how right the reason. But
when the rag-tag-and-bobtail of society vent their
humour in irrational grumbling, wise men should
remain silent.
o Ill
Before night, the Leonide came to anchor within a
couple of hundred yards of our old log-house on
Burnaby Island.
The voyage from Victoria to the Copper Islands
had thus consumed no less than thirty-six days.
Now I did the same distance by the Outside Passage
in four days, on board the Rebecca, and eventually,
by the Inside Passage in twenty-one days, in an
open canoe. Making, then, every allowance for our
troublesome diversion to the Arm, this, I hold,
constitutes irrefragable evidence that, from the
Straits of San Juan de Fuca to Cape Scott of Vancouver Island, the inner British Columbian waters
offer no facilities to sailing-vessels. .
I have recounted above the shocking havoc of the
small-pox amongst our Queen Charlotte Indians,
likewise the summary measures I adopted to stamp it
out of Skincuttle. Prior to that, it had been my
already-mentioned misfortune to carry the plague to
the tribes along the North and South Bentinck Arms
of the mainland. And now a similar fatality seemed
to be pursuing me.
At New Aberdeen we had compassionately taken
a European on board as a passenger via Queen
Charlotte to Victoria.    As ill-luck would have it, MUTINOUS  SYMPTOMS.
what should he do but fall sick of small-pox, some
days before we arrived at the copper-mines? I entered a vehement protest against his being put on
shore, knowing only too well the certain consequences.
The little skipper insisted, however, and then weighed
anchor without him.
We whites, it is true, were not attacked; but
scarce had the sick man landed when the Indians
again caught it; and in a very short space of time
some of our best friends of the Ninstence or Cape
St. James tribe—to my sorrow, seeing how few
genuine friends we counted in any of the tribes—had
disappeared for ever from the scene. It was long
before health could be restored to the surroundings
of our. little colony.
December the 1st was the day of my re-arrival.
The Indian Summer had almost waned; and my first
thoughts, therefore, were given to preparing for the
approach of Winter, and for visits from some of our
Indian friends, in reality our secret foes.
But neither of these preparations could now be
satisfactorily made; for the mutinous disposition of
my own working party became more apparent every
hour. In fact, my forced absence of two months and
upwards had quite demoralized them, which did not
o2 II   I Hi
wholly surprise me, I must own, considering the riffraff one so often has. to engage with in colonies,
the small personal interest these men could be expected to take in an enterprise of this nature, and my
legal powerlessness to uphold the law.
It is extremely difficult to obtain the services of
really good workmen towards any undertaking in
British Columbia. The. majority of the labourers
for hire there are not English, but the scum of
America. And as the scum of Europe rush to the
United States, it may well be supposed what it is
the United States send further west to us. On applying for an engagement, they say they can do anything. This cannot be disproved till they are actually
seen at work. Wherefore, if workmen you want,
take these random applicants you must. After you
have defrayed their expenses to your field of labour—
and that is always expensive in the North Pacific—
they turn out, as often as not, to be completely
worthless. Should a chance occur to send them
back, even at the loss of paying the return-passage,
their employer may think himself a lucky man.
The ordinary mischance, however, is to have them
hanging about one's premises, eating up provisions,
drinking all they can grab, utterly idle themselves, AN ANOMALOUS POSITION.
and interfering with the honest work of others.   Now
a Captain on the deck of his ship possesses ample
legal authority to deal with such cases.     But he
who heads a  party  of colonists   on  land, be   his
location ever so far removed  from the haunts  of
civilization, is without a remedy^ legally speaking.
No wonder that, in a former row, Chief Skid-a-ga-
tees could by no means understand the laws of the
white-men.     For truly my position in that respect
was an anomaly.    I cannot see, indeed, why the
leader of a residentiary  enterprise  like  mine, encouraged and otherwise supported by Government,
should not  be invested with plenary   magisterial
jurisdiction within his circumscribed sphere of work.
It would be unusual, no doubt; but a two years'
residence in an almost unknown and  totally  un-
colonized part of the world is not usual either-    And
nevertheless, if our countries in the Far West are to
be peopled, those exceptional undertakings will grow
into a sort of rule, for which the Colonial Government ought to legislate.    I do not shrink from saying that, had a magistrate's commission for Queen
Charlotte Islands been conferred upon me, our expenditure would have been immeasurably less than it
was, inasmuch as I might have prevented or arrested 198
the demoralization of the men, whilst the beneficial
results to civilized life of my residence there would
have correspondingly increased.
The real cause for the men's discontent was their
unwillingness to bend to my yoke, mild as I made
it. They had been their own masters for two
months—why should they knock under to me now ?
Their pretext was the food. Upon which I vainly
reasoned " that luxuries could not be expected in
the backwoods of America, but that, as for substantial
food, they were better off than many a gang of
labourers thrice their value, in civilized Europe."
To show the incalculable difficulty of humouring
a crew of this description, in a place where humouring only will do, I shall enumerate in the gross the
stock of provisions which I had taken up with me
in the Leonide; first, plenty of second-class bacon,
a large supply of excellent prime beef and pork,
countless ducks and geese; secondly, potatoes, beans,
first-class tea, coffee, sugar, and butter, raisins, rice,
golden syrup, and biscuits; thirdly, a fair relay of
spirits for grog. All this abundant store I carefully
looked after myself, always presiding at the daily
distribution of rations. " What do you want more ?"
I used to say to my eleven companions, " unless you Bsmss
wish to knock off altogether, and live like fine
gentlemen?" But, though often silenced, they were
never satisfied. " Why should you distribute the
food ? It is ours as much as yours," some grumbler
would soon begin again; and so on indefinitely
through the Winter. Once a drunken fellow,
who had taken a double ration of rum, actually
levelled a rifle at me outside our log-house
door. The others thought this measure rather too
violent, and disarmed him. In the state we were,
however, it certainly did make me invoke lynch-law
on the murderous villain's head; while the fear that
I might really carry my menace into execution had
the effect of damping the mutinous spirit of all the
party for some time to come. It proved what might
have been done had the law assisted me, instead of
its abeyance impeding me at every step, during this
second year of residence.
However, as soon as I could in any degree persuade the men to work on with me, we set to at
repairing our canoe, cleaning and " fixing" our
fire-arms, erecting a regular blacksmith's forge, and
enlarging our log-house, so as to make it hold our
mining implements and stores more conveniently.
The alterations took long, owing to the want of !00
carpenters' tools. Our blacksmith, I remember, forged
a large knife out of a spade. The knife was eighteen
inches in length and six inches wide. With this I
managed to split the shingles requisite for the roof,
whilst another man did his best with a hatchet at
carpentering some trees into logs for the walls.
When the roof was on, we put up an empty powder-
keg, to serve in the novel capacity of a chimney-pot,
and a ticklish business we had of it, too. Before the
keg got naturalized, it caught fire twice, and well-
nigh put the house in a blaze. Fortunately our
powder was all stacked at the other end of the log-
house; but the twenty powder-kegs which we now
had to keep in the proximity of possible fire, did
not form the pleasantest reflection for the inhabitants of that log-house.
To anybody whose experience is bounded by
Europe, exposing our lives thus wantonly must appear
the height of suicidal folly. It was that, I do believe.
In fact, on the other side of the Atlantic nothing is
half so marvellous as the reckless familiarities with
gunpowder, steam, or other explosives, in which
every one indulges. But somehow, among Transatlantics you get used to it.
I next had both log-houses  thoroughly cleansed, Mining operations.
and all the chinks in the walls filled up with oakum;
and when the dangerous trees near had been cut
down, in order not to afford^ them an opportunity
of falling and crushing us outright in a January
storm, as they nearly did the year before, I began to
feel snug and comfortable, from a material point of
view, for the approaching Winter.
Then came the mining operations.
I re-prospected all my old prospects, and reviewed
the shaft-work, frequently going down our main-
shaft at Burnaby, pushing onward into the lode, or
instructing and stimulating the men. Much their
laziness wanted it. Quite as I expected, next to
nothing had been done. Whilst I was absent,
spending myself and risking my life to forage for
them, the good-for-nothing fellows had been playing
and idling away their time, foreman included.
No resource remained to me, however, but to grin
and bear the loss, and otherwise make the best of a
bad job, by affecting to laugh it off, and trying to
inspirit them to work. Had I not smothered my
feelings; the scoundrels would have turned utterly
rusty, left me in the lurch, seized the stores,
and, fraternizing with the too-willing Indians,
have perhaps ended by murdering me,  and have 202
afterwards escaped themselves to the mainland.
Those are some of the chances a gentleman has to
run when he stoops to associate with those beneath
him, whatever be his ulterior object, in a land beyond
the pale of civilization.
Except, then, that I kept a jealous guard over the
stores and provisions, and that I continued, atleastnomi-
nally, to direct everything, thus retaining my ascendancy, I pretended to take it all as a matter of course.
Such was the manner in which I tided over the
Winter; although, by Christmas time, it had become
pretty clear to me that, from these causes, our Company could never hope for success on the present
system of operations.
As may be supposed, my Christmas was a dull one.
The unsettled weather added to the discomfort.
In that respect Queen Charlotte Islands, as well as
the rest of British Columbia, seem closely to copy
Old England. When the Indian Summer is over,
you do not get your Winter at once. Quite a month
ensues of muggy, sleety, and sloughy weather. You
are often well into January before the real frost and
snow arrive. Rain at Christmas-tide is unpJeasant
enough in all countries. What must it have been in that
outlandish settlement, under a roof not rain-proof? CHRISTMAS-DAY.
Despite all our efforts, the shingles with which the
roof was covered would split open, sometimes quite
suddenly, or the knot-holes would unaccountably
grow larger. None of these defects could we remedy,
for want of proper felting, then an unpurchasable
article in the colony.
I think I never shall forget that unique roof of
ours. My bunk was nearly under the barrel which
did duty as chimney-top. Many a fine night have I
lain there, prone on my back, intently watchiug the
Plough as it curved beneath the Polar Star, or other
of the sidereal groups as they appeared to career
through the heavens, until hidden from my vision by
the arc of our telescopic barrel chimney-top. But
when it rained I had to manage as I could.
That Christmas-day our cook served us up roast
goose, with a dish which he insisted on calling plum-
pudding. Seated across the edge of my bunk, I was
in the act of doing justice to the unwise but savoury
bird, when a rising storm made the cranks of our
log-house creak, and before we had time to take
warning, a douche of rain-water came tumbling
aslant from the chimney on to my plate. I confess I
was very near profaning the sacredness of the day
by a few hearty curses; until, chancing to remember if 1
III! Oil
w f 1
Id I r
a similar mishap in a civilized house near London,
where the whole contents of a Christmas dinner-
table were instantaneously destroyed through the
ceiling falling upon it, I thought I might have fared
worse; and so I bore with the loud guffaw of my
men as they coarsely chaffed me over losing my
Christmas dinner. This was the wisest policy —
nay, the only one, with a set of men to whom I had
in a measure committed myself for the time being.
All through those Winter evenings, mine and their
principal resource lay in sitting round a good fire
in our log-house, mending clothes, cleaning guns and
tools, talking of homes and friends, and wondering
what those friends were doing at that particular
moment—not without a hope that they were thinking
of us forerunners of civilization, inaccessible as a rule
by any description of boat or small sailing-vessel
during quite three months of the year.
The experience of the preceding twelve months
made me very chary of admitting the Indians to our
log-house at night. Before them I always took care
to avoid any appearance of disunion amongst ourselves ; and when they saw that we spent so much
of our time shut up together it created a mysterious
air of strength, which undoubtedly was of service. KLUE  AND  HIS CHIEFS.
Sometimes, however, I would allow Chief Klue
and his compeers to pay us evening visits. Then,
while my men worked and smoked, I have spent
hours upon hours in explaining the phenomena of
nature and the arts of civilized man to the chiefs.
I found them ever most attentive and interested,
and, I must add in justice, far more intelligent than
many illiterate white men in our own country. On
the other hand, the Indians always believed me to be
a great English chieftain—Hyas-King-George-Tyhee*
—by reason of the marvellous tales I used to tell
them. The size and population of London and of
Europe, the properties of gas and steam, the art of
photography, but especially telegraphy, filled them
with astonishment. When the chiefs heard how our
countrymen could speak together at a distance, and
that, ere the present race of Indians were very old,
they at Burnaby would be able to converse with
their stray friends at Victoria, or with other tribes
on the mainland, and without either party moving
from their respective positions, they held up their
hands amazed. " Powerful is the white man, wise
and powerful," exclaimed Klue frequently.
* Queen Charlotte Islands having been discovered in the reign of
George the Third, the Indians associate with that king's name every
Englishman they have seen since. 206
Yet for all our wisdom and power, or Klue s
friendly reverence for those qualities of ours, I
imagine, when the telegraph does come to Queen
Charlotte, he will be the first to clip just one little bit
of the wire, which crime, if not punished on the
instant, will, I foresee, lead to a general robbery—
capswallo — of the telegraphic apparatus. The
Indians will be sure to want to cut the wire all up, to
make fish-hooks, fasteners, and rings for their own
ears or their women's noses and under-lips.
That which astounded them most, however, was
my account of the substanoe, movements, and relative positions of the sun, moon, and stars. As the
white man was so long mastering this branch of
science, it is certainly no marvel that poor Blacky
should manifest incredulity on having the planetary
system first explained to him. The Queen Charlotte
Islanders, I perceived, did connect the sun and the
moon, in some misty kind of way, with the Great
Spirit. But they seemed not to possess the faintest
notion of the earth being likewise a planet; whilst
the stars, in their idea, consisted of mere sparks, which
the sun had probably left behind him at bed-time*
When I enlightened them on these points, and
particularly when I declared that the planets were HOW TO REFORM THE  INDIANS.
probably peopled worlds like ours, and that the
earth went round the sun, instead of the sun round
the earth, Chief Klue shook his head in a comically
doleful manner, as much as to say "It is all gammon,
Tyhee Poole; and I am only sorry you should turn
out such a liar." But presently, after some moments'
apparent reflection, he looked up again and asked
eagerly, "How know? how know?" And as then,
by means of homely proofs, I unfolded to him and
his brother-chiefs the Copernican revelation, conviction appeared to strike upon their minds much
more quickly than it did upon the minds of the Grand
Inquisitors who imprisoned Galileo.
In order to effect a solid and permanent reform in
these savages, it is absolutely necessary to enlist the
sympathies of the heart as well as the head. I do not
mean this as a truism. Heart and head must of
course work in concert, wherever good is to be
effected. But to reform the Queen Charlotte Indians,
supposing they escape the portending fate of the
other tribes in the North Pacific, will, it strikes me,
be a work involving prolonged time, formidable
labour, sound judgment, and tried patience. You
can easily get them to imitate you: but that, I have
seen, avails nothing, as it leaves them in the end 208
worse than they were in the beginning. The ways
and employments of civilized peoples should be very
cautiously introduced, the temptations attendant on
such novelties being anything but beneficial to certain weak places in the Indian character, namely, the
tendency to theft and lying of every conceivable
sort, the animal cunning which so soon shapes an
Indian into an apt cheat, his total inappreciation of
the virtue of forbearance; above all, his insatiable lust
for drink, and the brutish violence he invariably gives
himself up to when under its influence.
Only isolated settlements will serve the purpose.
The Queen Charlotte Islander needs conversion, if
ever savage needed it; but, to use a maxim of the
great Lord Strafford, "less than thorough will not do
it" for him. He must be continuously guided, watched,
and controlled, that too by exceptional teaching and
legislation; and, to our eternal disgrace, chiefest
of all the requisite precautionary measures, is the
necessity of keeping him from contamination with
the average run of traders in the North Pacific,
the majority of whom have a lower moral status
than the veriest unconverted savage. 209
The seaboard all round Queen Charlotte Islands,
but especially its more southerly portion, is remarkable for the bold and rocky front it presents to the
Pacific Ocean. As along the coast of British
Columbia itself, so here, a cordon of black and
beetling cliffs seems to forbid ocean aggression.
The clusters of islets with which the larger islands
are surrounded at intervals, give the notion of their
being advanced out into the sea as scouts and
vedettes. Those spots of insulated rock, even under
the influence of Summer scenes smiling at them from
the shore, offer to the passing mariner who chances
to sight Queen Charlotte country a picture of
absolute desolation. But when the Pacific rises in
its rage,  when its mountain  billows, after having w^^.-,. -
if tali
rolled unchecked over thousands of miles, meet
here with a first obstruction, the mighty sea
bursts in thunder upon the gloomy rocklets, which
nevertheless emerge again from the foam like valiant
warriors courting a contest.
Such was much the scene which, in Winter time,
usually met our eyes whenever we stepped out of
the shelter of our log-house. The sea did not appear
to have time to freeze, as it does by the north-easterly
coastway of America. The truth is that, in the North
Pacific, the Winter ocean-roll comes nearly continuously from the southward. The water always retains
a certain warmth, therefore, which its passionate
tumbling and dancing only serves to increase.
But sometimes the stormy winds would retire;
and then, though in the midst of Winter, the sea
would soon smooth itself down till its surface became
as gentle and unruffled as it looks on a lovely day in
Summer from the south coast of Old England. The
name Pacific seemed no longer a misnomer. And
yet, strange to say, the very mildest and brightest
days were those which invariably prognosticated-
frost and snow.
After Canada, or even England, the snow-fall we
had was a mere trifle.    I do not remember a single
day on which the snow did not entirely disappear
before sundown, whilst the frost never lasted above
a few days together. The wind and rain storms
proved to be our real enemies, for, when the sun and
afterwards the frost returned, nothing could have
been more beautiful than our winter weather.
I well remember, one bright and frosty night of
that kind, a rough knock coming to our door.
Happening to stand nearest, I answered the knock.
Chief Klue and two of his councillors were outside,
evidently feeling the unwonted cold keenly, for they
had their blankets tight round thern, while, for a
wonder, he was enveloped in an antiquated great-coat
I had given him, and which I appropriately named
his wrap-rascal. They wanted to tell me that a bear
had been seen in the neighbourhood, and, now pointing: to the clear heavens, now clutching at the frozen
air with their dingy hands, that there could not be a
better time for a hunt.
I could not afford time to let the men go; but,
never having seen what an Indian hunt was like, and
thinking to vary our provender with a novel sort of
steak, I consented myself to join Klue the next
morning. Accordingly I promised to lend him an
Enfield rifle, that being the arm he liked best, as
p 2 212
English make.    Meanwhile I prepared a small-bore
American rifle for my own use.
I can attest great objections to American rifles in
general. They are too long and too weighty. For
economy's sake the barrel ordinarily consists of one
solid piece of steel, drilled while cold so as to take
a half-ounce ball. This is all very well, if you can
fire from a rest; but, with a rifle of that kind, prolonged and unceasing practice alone will enable you to
fire steadily from the shoulder. Besides, the butts are
carved. This forms a considerable obstruction in quick
shooting, as you have not only to get your sight,
but also to fit the carved butt into your shoulder:
for otherwise, should the gun hang fire, you are certain
to hurt yourself, American rifles out of order having
a habit of kicking as well as their English fellows.
With the first streak of day, then, off we set—Klue,
a small posse of his Indians, myself,, and eight Indian
dogs of the half-wolf breed, all together. As we
entered the bush and began to crush down the brushwood, dry and crisp from the frost, the morning sun
was tipping the heights of Burnaby Island.
We had not penetrated beyond half a mile before
we came upon evident signs of our ursine enemy.
At this the dogs commenced sniffing about in an INDIANS NOT BRAVE.
animated manner, barking valorously, and throwing
their long tails aloft. It was only, however, to drop
them again the moment Master Bruin should choose
to turn out and face them. I noticed a corresponding
behaviour in the Indians, especially Klue. As if in
expectation of a triumphant encounter with the
"King of the Forest" on Queen Charlotte Islands,
the chief took to handling his rifle in a fiercely
determined manner, whilst his dark eyes rolled and
glistened; but I knew that, like the dogs, he too would
be sure to lose all his courage exactly at the time he
required it most.
I cannot conceive how it is that Indians have the
reputation of being so brave and reckless of danger.
In all my travels I never met with a really brave
man among them, unless it be Jim, my old Cascade
guide. If Indians are palpably superior in number
to their opponents, they will perhaps show fight,
though by no means always even then. But if it
should appear that they are only equal, their antagonists having the advantage of position, they will
fly as fast as their legs can carry them. Their
bravery generally lasts no more than a few minutes,
during which time they will do any amount of talking and gesticulating; but in the event of an enemy 214
surprising them, they will all fire at the same instant,
and then run for their lives like deer, their shots
whizzing harmlessly through the air. Indians are no
marksmen, either. I once recollect seeing a rifle and
twelve muskets discharged by as many Indians at an
otter; and yet every man of them failed to hit the
animal, though they were within ten feet of him. It
was I who first observed the otter, and I of course
wanted to pot him myself. But such was their intense anxiety to secure the prey for their own purposes, that I indulged one of the Indians with my
Enfield. He fired ludicrously wide of his aim; and
the ball, ricochetting from the rocks, took a piece
clean out of the broad-brimmed hat of a Klootchman
who chanced to be standing in a canoe down by the
beach. The Indians are afraid to fire in fact, and
generally shut their eyes for the operation. Yet I have
also heard them described as crack shots, and their
supposed exploits praised in just such terms as one
might use in speaking of a Tyrolese chamois-hunter.
Nobody, however, who has more than a mere casual
acquaintance with the North Pacific tribes can
seriously hold that opinion. I account for the illusion thus. When an Indian is hungry or in search
of food, he husbands his powder to an extraordinary
11 '
degree. Usually, he will crawl up on all fours, precisely as a tiger might, to within easy distance of his
game; but he never fires till he feels certain of killing.
From our log-house door, I have frequently seen
sportsmen of this calibre out on the rocks to the right,
patiently waiting and watching a whole day, and sometimes a night, in order to get a sure shot at a solitary
seal which happened to be lurking near. At last
the ambuscader would fire, and tremendous would
be the excitement on shore. Other Indians, unseen
before, but likewise ambuscaders, would rush from
behind crags and trees, and in five seconds paddle
off in canoes to where the poor seal had dived down,
struggling for life among the kelp and sunken reefs.
By-and-by the seal would rise, on which a general
scramble would ensue, the canoes not unfrequently
capsizing, to the disgust of the white-man eye-witness, whose common sense tells him that needless
noise is ruination to hunting. And so the game
escapes quite as often as not. All the same, the
man who shot the seal obtains great credit for his
shooting, the manner of it being nowise considered.
None of the Indian tribes in the North Pacific display either real bravery or sporting qualities.
But where was the promised bear-hunt?   In the 216 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
clouds, I may say. This was the first time, and likewise the last, that I went on a hunting-expedition
with Indians. I guessed how it would be; but Klue
over-persuaded me, and right well was I served.
The bear had left evident traces of his predatory
descent from the mountains, but, with such a pack of
dogs or curs as accompanied us, he would have been
a flat indeed to have waited till our party came up
to him. The dogs, despite the commands of their
master, given in language full and loud, barked away
at the top of their canine voices, the echo seeming to
dance from ravine to ravine into the recesses of the
furthermost hills. How the Indians imagined they
were going to entice the bear down in that fashion, I
could not understand. It was, for all the world, as
though some gentlemen in the burglary line had sent a
letter over-night to say they might be expected to tap
at the kitchen-window early next morning. Master
Bruin very sensibly kept to his private apartments,
knowing well that, under the present uncontrollable
circumstances, he could not be tracked there in a day,
or in many days.
Consequently, after nine hours' laborious tramp
through the dense underwood, including mazes and
entanglements hardly to be believed, desperate fights BEARS IN NORTH AMERICA.
to extricate oneself, and ruin to my habiliments, I
regained the log-house, fagged beyond measure,
laughably steak-less, but, on the whole, rather the
better for the health-producing exercise.
Although my luck in bear-hunting on Queen Charlotte Islands stands below zero, I feel assured that
bears must be very plentiful there. The Indians
say' they often see them, particularly when out with
their canoes, and far away from their camps. The
bear-lairs, however, are seldom disturbed; partly because of the natural density of the brushwood in the
bush; partly because of the uneven ground created
by much fallen timber, and also by the large rock-
boulders which for ages have come tumbling down
periodically from the mountains, but chiefly because
of the cowardly and silly ways of the Indians when
they try to hunt. Bears, I should say, abound on
Queen Charlotte Islands as much as in any other
part of North America. Yet on the mainland they
are not by any means so numerous as one hears they
used to be. This is specially the case with regard
to the grizzly bear, which species lingers more in
southern latitudes. Ere long it will become very
rare. But the other species—the common black.
bear,  ursus americanus—will   die  out  too.    In  a urn*
journey through British Columbia extending over
two hundred miles, I only saw three specimens, and
that was on the higher grounds above the fifty-
second parallel of north latitude.
No huntsman ought to go bear-killing without
dogs, provided always that they can be made to hold
their tongues while the game is being tracked. Odd
as it may sound, those of the coward sort are the
best. All animals, I believe, whether human or
brute, dread an attack from behind. But bears have
a specialty in that respect; and if the dogs are properly trained to worry Bruin's hams, his bearship is
sure to turn round upon them, and thus afford facilities to the huntsman for dealing him a fatal blow.
Then I know the opinion prevails in Canada that a
bear does not die suddenly. Should a bullet, it is
said, strike him in an apparently mortal spot, he
will often be saved by the quantity of fat which envelops his flesh, and by cleverly stopping up the
bullet-hole with grass—that is, if the dogs do not
press him further; but well-trained dogs will leave
a bear no time to stuff the grass into his wound, and
so they literally do worry him to death. How far
this theory is true I do not venture to determine,
although I am disposed to credit it, because on more SLIGHT  SNOW-FALL.
than one occasion, when out alone in the Canadian
bush, I have given the contents of my rifle to bears
that came, across my path, and yet I did not find
their bodies afterwards.*
I select the following from my Diary for the year:—
"January 11th.—Snow fell the first time this
Winter last week. The fall continued during the
greater part of the week, but was of so slight a
character that no snow remained on the ground
above three hours at a time.
* It may perhaps be allowed me to relate here a very narrow escape I
had from a bear in Canada, the year before I went to British Columbia. It
was the first of the genus I had seen in his wild state. The roads were
very bad, just after the great springtide thaw, in fact axle-deep in mud.
My journey was towards some mica-mines. About twelve miles from the
town of Perth it occurred to me to make a short cut by taking a corduroy
or side-line road, which divided a certain plantation in two. I had hardly
entered the plantation, walking the horse all the time on account of the
muddy ruts in the road, when a huge black bear jumped or rather
clambered over the fence and coolly began shambling along by the side of
my buggy or four-wheeled trap. This he continued with apparent unconcern for some two hundred yards. Arrived thus far, however, he seemed
to think he might as well ride as walk; for he growled, showed his
grinders, and gave me significantly to understand that he intended possessing himself of both trap and driver. Fortunately at this point the road got
much better. No sooner, then, did my uncanny fellow-traveller attempt to
climb up into the trap than I brought down the butt-end of my whip with
such a tremendous whack upon his snout that he let go the trap and reeled
back on his haunches. The next moment I dropped the other end of the
whip smartly over the sides of my trembling horse, and away the gallant
animal flew at the top of his speed, never relaxing it until we had left
Master Bruin a good mile behind, with his ugly nose out of joint, and doubtless considerably astonished at this unlooked-for result of his manoeuvres. Ill if.
II  it I
" The stormy-petrels have been paying us a visit.
They seldom appear in these parts. We must,
therefore, keep a sharp look-out for storm-weather,
see to our log-house trimmings, and cut down some
other trees, which I perceive threaten to overwhelm
" My tide-pole has had a dirty time of it down
among the wave-bedashed rocks. Certainly I might
have pitched on a more sheltered position; but it is
the most convenient one, especially as I wish to take
observations three times a day. During the last
fortnight I have found a marked difference between
the rise and fall of the day and night tides. In the
daytime the wftter rises exactly twelve feet; at night
nine feet six inches only. While I was taking my
observations this morning, I had an unexpected visit
from Chief Skid-a-ga-tees, who has been lately rather
fighting shy of us. The deep old rascal seemed very
anxious to know what on earth I could be doing, and
what my object was in watching and marking my
tide-pole. However, as he had brought with him a
basket of rock-bass fish and three fine geese {bernaclce
canadienses), I gave him some tobacco and biscuits
in exchange: and so, with a shake of his paw, we
have parted friends again till next time. STORMY-PETRELS.
" January 18th.—The petrels are trustworthy,
and no mistake. For this week past it has been
storm-weather in earnest, the worst this season—so
unbearably boisterous, in truth, as to have compelled
all the Indians on Burnaby Island to quit their
wigwam encampments, and to migrate, each tribe back
to its own home, where, they tell me, the natural
shelter and their housings are much more efficient.
" I have never visited Skid-a-ga-tees in his ancestral
domain: but if, as he says, he is better housed there
than Skiddan is in his frame-house up north (query),
what does he and half the Skid-a-ga-tees tribe mean
by coming down here and encamping in the Wintertime, unless it is with the hope of getting something
in the general scramble for our goods and chattels ?
Perhaps they 'cutely foresee that crisis to be not so
very distant.
" There is no doubt that, if they had not gone off
quickly as the storm began to rise, their large canoes
would have been dashed to pieces on the rocks round
Burnaby and Skincuttle. It was as much as we
could do yesterday to save our small canoe. I have
yet to traverse the Bay of Biscay; but assuredly I
never beheld a sea more truly mountainous than
what our eye-range can now take in, from east to QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
west, opposite our log-house door.    The wind has
been a Nor-wester throughout.
"To-day, the storm having somewhat abated, I killed
a fine crow (corvus cawrinus) with my Enfield rifle,
as he was perched on the top of a tall pine-tree, at. a
distance of 750 yards.''
This last Diary note reminds me to say that, weather
permitting, we used to have splendid rifle-practice
at Burnaby. We could sit outside the log-
house, and pop away at whales, porpoises, seals,
grelies, or divers, any of which were as plentiful as
salmon in the river Tay. The loons I found the
most difficult to kill, as, the very instant you drew
the trigger, down went their heads into the water.'
Either they must see the shot, or else their coating
of feathers must be so close that shot will not penetrate it. I should attribute it to a combination of both
causes, for I have oftentimes hit a loon* when it was
swimming from me, and yet not killed, or apparently
even wounded, the creature.   There was a long table
* It seems difficult to account for the term "loon" being used to express "a sorry fellow," as I see the dictionaries put it; unless, indeed,
" loon" be a corruption from some other word. Eor my part, I cannot
imagine a more wide-awake piece of goods than the loon of Queen
Charlotte Islands.  Its name may come from the noise it makes, yet hardly.
of rock which shelved at an angle of 45° nearly down
to the water-side. This shelf, being breast-high, made
such convenient cover that my rifle could barely be
seen above it. I would frequently repair thither, to
fire at the loons for an hour at a time, occasionally
taking a companion to witness whether I really sent
the shot home. But often, on his declaring that I
did, the struck loon would just dip its head into the
water, shake itself as though it had only been peppered with mud, and then quietly swim away out of
gun-shot. Nevertheless, the shock, too, from the
bullet must have been considerable. I remember
also going out for a stroll along the shore, after that
January storm, and firing at two large eagles—
haliaeti leucocephali—with the same kind of shot. It
had signally failed just before upon a tough little
beggar' of a loon; but one single shot sufficed to
knock over both eagles. They were always a puzzle
to us, were those loons.
I recur to my Diary:—
"January 25th.—Paddling yesterday afternoon
to an islet a mile off, in a line towards Harriet Harbour, what should I come upon, inside a sheltered
cove, but my tide-pole ? It had been carried away
two miles in the late storm, and landed high and dry Km^:Fvf£Mi''jQ
by the tide on a pebbly beach. Much trouble I have
had to-day in refixing it, the slippery rocks rendering a foothold hardly obtainable. But, as more
trouble was required to make the pole, I am right
glad to recover it.
" Also, near Harriet Harbour, I picked up a five
oyster seven inches in diameter, besides several smaller
ones, all excellent eating. This find is important, as it
proves beyond doubt the existence of oyster-beds
close at hand. They lie probably in deep water: for
the oysters I found yesterday lay high on the
rocks, having evidently been washed up by a recent
"January 28th.—We have had another stunning storm. Happily it was short. It commenced
with one terrible flash of lightning, after which
followed a fearful peal of thunder, then a heavy fall
of hail, accompanied by gusts of wind that shook
our stout little log-house like a plaything. This is
only the second flash of lightning we have had this
Winter. Thunderstorms are usual hereabouts in the
Summer season, but very rare indeed in Winter.
The Indians, who have only just returned here after
their aquatic stampede, testify to this storm having
been the most violent of any ever witnessed by that ANOTHER  STORM.
ubiquitous personage ' the oldest inhabitant.' They
are not averse, I think, to regarding it as a prognostic
of evil; but whether their superstition points to
themselves or to us, would seem, so far, an unsettled
point. The storm lasted all yesternight, till the
morning sun dispersed it.
" That first flash appears to have intimidated one
of my men. I had just left him at the bottom of the
shaft, trying to raise a large block of stone, when the
flash came. The stone fell upon him, and his comrades had to convey the poor fellow in an insensible
state to the log-house. He has regained his consciousness, but will be confined to bed for some
weeks yet.
1 One thing I am truly thankful for, namely, the
safety of our gunpowder. I had not been able to
make any provision against lightning, and was therefore on tenterhooks the whole of the past night, not
knowing the' moment we might all be blown into
the sea."
This unfortunate accident added greatly to my
troubles, for the men took advantage of it to
become more mutinous than ever. I could scarce
get them to put their hands to the work.
Q !7
II *   i #
The 1st of February was ushered in with summerlike weather.
My men, perhaps taking courage from it, began to
work by tribute and tut-work,* a not unfavourable
sign, as I then persuaded myself, that the hopes of
our Company might, after all, prove less delusive than
I had been recently anticipating.
At the same time two fresh hosts of Indians,
deadly foes one tribe to the other, re-arrived at
Burnaby together. The first belonged to a section
of the Klue tribe, the others were Cape St. James
* This is the old Cornish term, now used in America, for working by
contract and division of labour, according to the species of operations the
miners are engaged in. iw?»"
people, headed by their chief. These two tribes
burned with jealous rivalry to secure the favour of
the whites. The manner in which they set about it,
however, was incomparably childish and ludicrous.
Without meaning anything wrongful or offensive, at
that time quite the opposite indeed, they would crowd
round the shafts, or paddle after our canoe, each tribe
elbowing its rival with such grotesque earnestness
that often I had to hold my sides for laughter.
Morning, noon, and night, they would beset our log-
house, and our storehouse also, until I was forced to
detail several men to stand sentry over us whilst we
pursued our avocations. When, upon occasion, I
allowed select parties of the rivals to come and sit
with us in the log-house, it appears almost incredible
how the great hulking fellows used to contend, like
so many overgrown school-boys, for the best places
near the fireplace, or the nearest to me on the
benches, in order that the opposition should not be
able to boast of having monopolized the wah-wah
with the King-George-Tyhee Poole. Of course we
took care to make no distinction; otherwise our
position would have soon become untenable.
My men's ardour was not of long duration.    And
here, I must own, they had some cause of complaint.
q 2 ti
The stock of provisions which I had last brought
with me from Victoria was reckoned at four months-
We were getting on towards the end of our tether,
and yet no revictualling seemed at hand. It is easy
to talk of over-anxiety; but imagine being on a
semi-desert island, distant upwards of 200 miles from
civilized beings, and possessing no possible means of
communicating with them, save by the help of the
savages who inhabit it. Nothing could compensate
for such an isolation but thorough interest in the
work before us, and as thorough confidence in our
Company's solvency and foresight. I had both those
moral aids at my command ; but the men's interest in
the copper-find was merely accidental and mechanical,
while the mere mention of possible short-commons
sufficed to conjure up untold horrors in their crude
minds. Naturally enough they looked to me who
had taken them there, and upon me they vented
their spleen when aught happened amiss.
Daily I felt the responsibility more and more.
My feelings may well be fancied, therefore, when,
early on Sunday morning, February the 8th, the
man whom I had appointed as victualler came to me
to say that he feared the four months was a mistake,
and that we only had food for three months. SHORT COMMONS.
I immediately sallied forth to the storehouse, and
finding after a careful inspection that what the man
had suspected positively was the case, with a heavy
heart I gave orders to weigh up the entire stock,
preparatory to placing my party on reduced allowance.
This was a black look-out, indeed 5 for, I said to
myself, with such a grievance, the rest of the men
will certainly throw up their work and mutiny the
moment the news gets wind amongst them. I then
fully believed that in October there really had been
some serious mistake on the part of the Company's
agent at Victoria. Only one hope remained. Might
I not have mistaken the period originally assigned?
If so, we ought shortly to be relieved. It had been
snowing more or less for two days. Now it was
clearing. I would go and scan the wide ocean, and
see whether the horizon did not perchance hold out
some forlorn hope to us.
In that desolate frame of mind I put down the
weighing scales, and taking up my field-glass I prepared to mount the rocks which overhung our little
settlement. No sooner had I begun the ascent, however, than a vociferous hullaballoo from some Indians
in a canoe assured me that something out of the way fj[\iifammm"
had occurred. Hurrying down to the beach I beheld
to my inexpressible surprise and joy a good-sized
schooner in the very act of rounding the point from
the direction of Harriet Harbour, and bearing in for
our landing-place. Never did shipwrecked mariner
hail his ship-ahoy with more heartfelt delight. It
was like an instantaneous response from heaven
The vessel proved to be the Nanaimo Packet,
Captain T. Coffin, sent up by our Company with
plenteous stores, and with four men to be employed
at my discretion. It appeared the schooner had been
lying-to in Harriet Harbour. She had got inside
during a thick snowstorm; and fearing to face the
high sea then on, there she had lain, unobserved by
any of us, for forty-eight hours.
My four months' reckoning was a mistake, and it
was not. We had been properly victualled for that
period, but, whereas I erroneously counted it from the
time of my departure from Victoria, the Company's
agent had calculated from what he supposed would
be the date of our arrival at Queen Charlotte. This
explained both my miscount, and the vessel's coming
to us about a fortnight before I should in all cases
have looked for her.    Happy mistake which served THE   "NANAIMO  PACKET."
us no worse. However, it did help me to realize
keenly what the straits of our situation might very
easily have become; whilst I could not help sympathetically recurring to Wellington, when they sent
a thousand left-footed boots for a regiment under his
command in the Peninsula, and to our Commissary-
General in the Crimea, when he received his shipload of green coffee for the " immediate use of the
army." My Queen Charlotte Mining Company treated
me better.
I accepted three of the new-comers as miners at
fifty-five dollars a month, and the fourth at fifty
dollars as cook, besides board to all. Now fifty dollars
being as nearly as possible ten pounds sterling, it
follows that my cook's wages were at the rate of
120/. a year. In other words, to induce a man to
cook " plainly" for us on Queen Charlotte Islands, we
had actually to pay him higher wages than a " professed cook" would receive in a nobleman's family in
London. That item will give no bad idea of the
immense outlay required for an undertaking such as
our Company had embarked in.
My little skit of a French cook I now discharged.
And glad I was of the opportunity. Irrespective of
his general good-for-nothingness, he had always been 7.   I
one of the worst of the grumblers, to say nothing of
his having once, as already mentioned, seriously embroiled us with Chief Skid-a-ga-tees. I also dismissed
another mutinous miner.
When the Indians had quite satisfied themselves
that the Nanaimo Packet was not a " smoke-ship"
with guns at long range, they flocked out to it by
hundreds in their canoes, to see if they could not
bag something. Great was the pleasure and pride of
Klue, on detecting four of his own tribe, grinning at
him over the schooner's taffrail. These fellows had
been down at Victoria all the Winter. Klue knew by
instinot that his tribe would have a " dram all round"
of the infernal<( fire-water," whilst the Cape St. James
Indians would be condemned to look on with envious
eyes and watering mouths, even Skid-a-ga-tees and
his lot getting only a sop; and so it eventuated. This
quadruple piece of rascality had come back, sporting
no superfluous luggage, but carrying between them,
iust as one might treasure ingots of gold, a large barrel
of whisky, which pint by pint, I may say, they had
earned and stored up at Victoria, with a view to a
single day's gratification at home. What was the
result? No advice, no entreaty, no menace, nothing
availed from me.   Swallow   the " fire-water"  they INDIAN  WHISKY-DRINKING.
would and should. And hence within an hour's
time after the first appearance of the schooner, Klue
and all his tribe had drunk themselves mad.
As soon as our stores had been landed, Captain
Coffin hauled his vessel off two miles to W.S.W., to
a safer anchorage, there to await my letters and
reports for the capital.
Concerning whisky-drinking among the natives,
I cannot refrain from here putting forward a few
reflections which I jotted down in my Diary, on
the occasion of the debauch just mentioned:—
" The so-called whisky which is shamelessly sold
to the Indians by traders along the coast, or
even by certain unprincipled merchants at Victoria,
contains very little of what is wholesome or genuine
liquor. What it really does contain is not generally
known; but I hear on good authority that the bulk
consists of water flavoured and coloured with grain-
whisky in the smallest appreciable quantities. Its
strength proceeds wholly from the blue-stone vitriol
and nitric acid which the manufacturers largely
infuse into it. The consequence is that, when the
Indians imbibe this drink freely—and they always
do so whenever they can get it—their naturally
fiery temperaments are wrought up into a state of *Mwmm m    f+m<
if] If I Iff
savagery so intense as to leave no white man's life
safe in their presence while they remain under its
influence. I take it that to deliberately supply the
Indians with such body-and-soul-destroying stuff is
not only glaring wickedness but shortsighted unwisdom in the highest degree. The trader who acts
thus may receive a few valuable skins each time as
his bargain, but each time also he contributes
materially to the demoralization and probable extinction of the very races to whom he looks as his
producers in the trade. In my opinion there ought
to be a most stringent law on that head through the
whole extent of the British Columbian colonies.
Heavy penalties should be inflicted, and enforced
too, in the case of any one, no matter who, infringing
it. Moreover, better bargains, I quite think, could
be made with the native tribes by means of the
trinket traffic, provided it were thoroughly understood amongst them that, by no means, were they
in future to obtain the ' fire-water' from one party
more than another. I recollect seeing' some tribes
on the Fraser River pledging themselves to the
missionaries who had gone to visit them. They
promised never to taste spirituous liquors, and
doubtless the pledge was meant to be kept.    But an A  STRINGENT  REMEDY.
Indian is the veriest of babies.    However ardently
he may have pledged his word, let his missionary
leave the camp only for a few days, and he is a ready
prey to the first pedlar who may chance to tramp in
there.    The pedlar perhaps has no evil intentions.
Woe betide him, however, if he should betray that
he possesses the merest flask of spirits.    The whole
tribe will cling to him like bits of steel to a magnet.
Should  he   happen to   take a   taste himself, it  is
absolutely impossible for the Indians to resist.    They
will wrest the liquid fire from him, as many as can
will  gulp   it,   and   then   all is  over  with   them.
Again,   permanent   supervision  alone   reforms the
Indian.    Now, in a place such as Queen Charlotte
Islands, where no tramps can pass through, an Indian
mission might be most profitably established.    But
then, as an indispensable condition of success, every
vessel, boat, or canoe coming to these islands, would
have to be overhauled and well searched for spirits.
More than this, every captain or trader wishing to
land here should be legally compelled, before he puts
his foot on shore, to bind himself by oath that he
will not supply the natives with spirits.    It would be
despotism, no doubt.    I hate despotic laws as a rule,
yet betimes they become a rigorous necessity.    And \w—
here is an evident case, in which the sole alternative
between certain ruin and rescue lies in despotic
legislation, be it as paternal as you will. Only,
nothing but despotism, wisely forecasting and ever
vigilant, can save the work of perhaps entire years
being thus undone in one single day."
Some days subsequent to Klue's drunken debauch,-
an Indian of his tribe stole a pair of shoes belonging
to one of my men, upon which I went down to both
the rival camps and informed the chiefs severally
that in future no Indian of either tribe should enter
our log-house. This was to prevent one tribe from
blaming the other for stealing. But, also, having in
my possession a fur skin and a musket, the respective
owners of which lived in different camps, I gave
notice that I should retain both articles until the shoes
were returned. It had the desired effect. Late in
the evening I was pleased to see IQue himself coming
up with the identical pair of shoes in his hand. It
satisfied me that those whom we had long suspected
were in reality the principal thieves round about us.
Yet Klue's sorrow at one of his own subjects having
committed the theft added still more to my satisfaction; inasmuch as true reformation need never be
despaired  of  for   any man   who   makes   a frank WINTER SHORT  AND  MILD.
acknowledgment, though his primary motive in
doing so may not be of the very purest. I considered this a favourable trait of character in Klue.
As far as disposition can indicate a character, he was
the best of his race.
In Canada the coldest days of the year always
come between the 20th and 25th of February.
But though Queen Charlotte Islands he very little
higher up than the more inhabited parts of the
Dominion, February the 25th had already seen us
fairly into Spring.
Our two Winters were, both of them, wonderfully
short and mild. In truth, if I except the turbulent
storm-weather which now and then assailed us, and
the frequent yet not continuous rain, which the
immense timberage of the islands well accounts for,
we had properly speaking no Winter. Judging from
the climate only, one certainly could not have supposed that we lay as near the Arctic Ocean as
Labrador. It never was so cold as when a week's
frost occurs in London. In short, the most graphic
comparison I can draw is with the Northern Island
of New Zealand or our own South Devon.
The mining operations having much progressed
during the past twelvemonth, the recurrence of fine
3 Ii {**£?*■
I -I
weather produced a greater change in our regular
business than it had done the year before. The rock
down the shaft becoming every day softer, I was soon
enabled to sink to an average depth of four feet six
inches a week, instead of as many inches, which was
what our weekly work about amounted to through
the Winter season.
The weather on the 1st of March being all that
could be desired, I took several of my men out with
me, intending to continue my prospecting. Follow t
ing up the course in a fine nearly N.W. from our
main shaft, I discerned strong cupriferous indications
for a length of 400 yards. I likewise unearthed
some singularly fine specimens of conglomerate.
These I brought back to the log-house, and, on
analysis, found the percentage of copper in them to
be so very satisfactory as to lead me to conclude that
I must have struck the vein itself.
That was a good day's work.
During the following week the nature of the rock
altered too much to allow me to attribute it to the
weather alone. The blasting-powder would only
penetrate the seams, and even then did such poor
execution that I had to order the pole-pick to
be  used,   as   the  more   serviceable  power of the
two.* We advanced rapidly, and as the copper indications improved both in quality and quantity at
every step, the important fact was unquestionably
settled that the true vein had indeed been struck.
The matrix, or mother-vein, now principally developed garnetiferous colours, namely, red, yellowish-
red, brownish-red, and dark-brown. All the veins
turned out to be both massive and crystallized, exhibiting the dodecahedron, with its modifications,
opaque or feebly translucent struchore, lamellar, and
granular. The lustre was glistening, the fracture
uneven with marked brittleness, and the specific
gravity 3"75. The three most common forms
1st. The dodecahedron, with rhombic faces, primitive form.
2nd. A dark-green garnet, a solid, with twenty-four
trapezoidal faces.
* The preceding week we sank down the shaft to an exact measurement
of four feet four inches, consuming in the process twenty-five pounds of
powder, 112 feet of fuse, four inches of steel, two bushels of charcoal,
twenty-six candles, six boxes of matches, together with oil, soap, and
grease—making a total in cost of materials of $19 73c. This well represents the large expenditure requisite in the beginning of raining transactions, especially when carried on in Winter time, and without the aid
of elaborate machinery. I have no note of the next week's expenditure;
but I remember it fell to quite one-third of the above. If Tmr
3rd. A yellowish-red (much fractured), with rhombic faces, showing the course of the fractures,
which was uneven, to be conchoidal.
The matrix measured rather more than two feet in
thickness. But a distinct vein, two and three-
quarter inches wide, soon showed itself; and I feel
certain we should have eventually struck wider and
thicker veins, if I had been able to develop in an
oblique direction, as I hoped to do.
While this was going on at the shaft, the Indians
seemed all at once to take a lively interest in my
copper speculations. Klue had always given me
great assistance. He generally used to accompany
me in my prospecting explorations. I instructed him
how to look for copper; and, there is no doubt about
it, he displayed a degree of intelligence, when encouraged, far superior to any of the loutish white men
with me. But now a daughter of George, one of the
leading Cape St. James Indians, came and informed
me of copper being down in her neighbourhood, at a
spot which we called Antony Island. She produced
specimens. I immediately detected the fraud, however, her specimens being merely picks from a ton's
weight I had procured on Jeffrey Island, not long
after my first landing.    When found out, the wench SKID-A-GATE CHANNEL.
only laughed impudently. Skid-a-ga-tees also sent
me messengers who reported having discovered
copper somewhere on the coast above Silver Island,
but I had no time then to go and verify it. The
most probable account was that of another tribe, with
a slightly different name, from whom in fact the
Skid-a-gate Channel to the north of Moresby Island
derives its designation.*    The Skid-a-gates said, and
* No intelligent white man, that I know of, has ever rightly explored the
country of the Skid-a-gates, or, in this century, any portion of Queen
Charlotte Islands higher than Skiddan and Cum-she-was Harbours, which
I myself visited.
In 1852 the Hudson's Bay Company sent a small expedition under the command of a Captain Mitchell, to search for gold on the western coast of
Moresby Island. In 1859, one Mr. Downie, an old Californian miner and
explorer, led another party of twenty-seven men from Victoria to Gold
Harbour, afterwards proceeding to Skid-a-gate Channel. A Captain
Torrens followed in the same year. But all three parties were intent on
the gold quest only, and almost immediately returned, Captain Torrens
and his men having narrowly missed being murdered by the then hostile
Captain Cook, R.N., in his Voyage to the Pacific Ocean (vol. ii.), gives a
description of the appearance, which the northern coast of the islands presented from his ships; and an account of the western coast of Graham Island
may be seen in Captain Dixon's Voyage to the North-west Coast of America,
with views.
But the exploration of Skid-a-gate Channel and its surroundings is an
undertaking yet to come. Captain Torrens, in his Report, says: | The
country north of Skid-a-gate Channel is low, and thickly wooded, receding in one unbroken level towards a huge range of mountains about thirty
miles off. Vegetation is there luxuriant, and at intervals patches of open
land occur, in which the Indians have planted crops of turnips and potatoes."
The Skid-a-gates unanimously described their country to me as flat, " good
R m I,
1 fil
I 1
1    ■ It
if 1
I believed them, that a vein eight feet wide, and over
two hundred yards in length, had been tracked in
their country. They presented me with some splendid
samples, which quite corroborated their statement.
The chief earnestly pressing me to return with him
and prospect the find, again I was obliged to reply
that the time failed me. Here I should not omit to
mention an extremely promising vein which I discovered in Sockalee Harbour, during the course of the
foregoing Summer, as well as numbers of lesser veins,
which I duly marked during a subsequent excursion,
but never had opportunity to develop, around the
shores of Harriet Harbour.*
To sum up on the subject of copper.    The geological formation of the strata and my prospecting
for growing potatoes," that is, for agricultural purposes, and full of excellent
harbours. It strikes me as the most likely locality for the capital when
civilization shall have reached the islands.
* Mr< Downie, who, four years previous to the events here related,
stopped a short time in Skid-a-gate Channel, reported that they found
" trap and hornblende blocks, with a few poor seams of quartz" to the
southward of the Channel. Northward, they found " coal, talcose slate,
quartz, and red earth." All these were only in inappreciable quantities.
JTrom the samples of coal I saw at Victoria, however, I feel convinced that,
for furnace purposes, the Queen Charlotte anthracite will eventually quite
equal the famous Pennsylvanian. But, again, a paid-up capital of not less
than 100,000/. would be required to put any coal-mine on the Islands into
working order. As regards slate, the Skid-a-gate Indians brought me
down a magnificent block of slate, as good as the finest Welsh slate. I
secured a piece to carry home as a specimen. MINERAL DEPOSITS.
combine to prove that Queen Charlotte Islands do
contain immense mineral deposits. Gold is said to
be there; but in regard to the existence of extensive
copper-fields, no doubt whatever now remains. Only,
in my judgment, although we struck a matrix on
Burnaby, the islands possess in other parts more
ample fields, where a much larger profit will one day
reward some enterprising speculators.
I see every probability likewise of coal and slate
being found on the islands in highly remunerative
r 2 II
My little colony on Burnaby Island now began to
evince such signs of disorganization that the time
of its dissolution, I plainly saw, must be fast approaching.
It became an absolute impossibility to control the
men, and unfortunately they knew it. Talk and
persuasion may do for a short time; but I can think
of no state of society in which the power of enforcing
the law is not the first of necessities. Except the
isolation and our unsettled condition, my men had
not a rational ground of .complaint. They were
fairly housed, sufficiently fed, and splendidly paid.
Yet the mere fact of our Company's interests being
placed so manifestly in their hands, instead of giving
some zest to the work,   seemed to suggest to the FREQUENT  QUARRELLING.
scoundrels to take every mean and dastardly advantage. It will doubtless excite surprise that men
who had to earn their bread should misconduct
themselves as these did, considering the assured means
of subsistence they were thus dragging from under
their own feet. The greater bait in the distance,
however, nullified every present argument; for be
it remembered that the only workmen then available
at our copper mines, were those who wanted about
as much as they could earn in a couple of months to
enable them to go off on their own hook to the
gold-fields of Cariboo.
Besides, frequent quarrels arose between our party
and the various tribes of Indians. I do not mean
to say that the Indians were not often in fault. I
found those poor untutored savages, taken by themselves, to have good and trusting dispositions, if
trusted in turn and judiciously treated. But the
example they had continually before their eyes in
those white savages of mine was execrable, whilst
quite as often the Indians appeared to be either wholly
in the right, or to have suffered gross provocation.
One day an Indian of the Klue tribe received
unmentionable ill-usage from one of my latest comers.
This so exasperated the injured individual that it cost WTm
me a world of trouble to prevent a general milee.
As it was, the Indian, seeing my real want of power,
passionately declared he would shoot down the first
white man who should venture to pass the bounds of
the Klue encampment. To whom could I impute
blame ? Added to this actively disorganizing source,
was its usual correlative, namely, too great a familiarity with the Indians. It sometimes worked in a
reactionary spirit after a quarrel, but more frequently
it provoked another. When the days had perceptibly
lengthened my men spent nearly the whole of their
off-time in the wigwams of the Indians, turning a
© j ©
deaf ear to all my admonitions, remonstrances, or
entreaties. The consequences to be expected from
such a course were obvious to my mind, and I was
not deceived. It effectually emancipated the men
from everything save the merest semblance of control.
They worked when they liked, and left off when they
chose, the mass of the Indians correspondingly
losing the respect they used to have for my authority
or influence.
I will give one salient example of what we shortly
came to be reduced to. One evening I was employed
making entries in my Diary, just inside the door of
our log-house, when something darkened the thres- CAPE  ST.  JAMES INDIANS.
hold. Looking up from my writing, I saw a surly
Klue Indian, with a musket over his shoulder, and a
Klootchman woman standing behind with a large box
under her arm. At a sign from him of the musket
the Klootchman advanced into the house, saying that
one of my workmen had told her to come and take up
her residence there, and that her box of things was to
go underneath his bunk. I could not of course mistake the meaning of that. The proceeding was inadmissible for every moral and sanitary reason.
But, besides, I might as well have relinquished the
idea and object of my exploratory expedition altogether. If I was not to remain master, even in the
log-house, there would be an end to all order and
work in no time. I consequently made quick and
fierce objection, upon which the Klootchman bride
retired affrighted, but not until her escort had fired off
his gun in front of the log-house and then defiantly
presented it at me, as much as to imply that I owed my
life to his magnanimity. Possibly it was so, for the
next day we were simply inundated with natives,
who seemed not to have the slightest notion of
leaving me sole master of our chosen premises. Never
having seen any of their faces till then, I could not at
first conceive where they had all come from.    I soon
■ 248
learnt, however, that they formed a reinforcement of
Cape St. James Indians, who had arrived in two large
canoes during the night. It was easy to see, by their
abandoned manner and the tricks they commenced
playing, that they had been well primed beforehand
as to the state of the case in the white men's camp,
and deliberately intended to be troublesome to me.
I counted a hundred and twenty-two of them. Not
content with a mere visit, they encamped close to the
log-house, regularly blockading it, threatening to burn
it down, and then alternately singing, begging,
dancing, stealing, so as to keep us idle for two or three
days, and our minds, day and night, in such ferment
and suspense that sleep was entirely out of the question. It ought to have taught my men a good lesson,
for, had a massacre ensued, they would certainly have
been included. But, instead of recognising in it the
fruits of their stupid insubordination, hardly had this
bullying ceased, or drawn off rather, than the fools
went fraternizing again with the late arrivals as well
as with the Klue Indians.
From this time forth, loose living on the part of the
men, and thieving on the side of the Indians, was the
order of the day.
I find these entries, in my Diary:-— A  CLEVER THEFT.
"March lith.—Last night, while the day-shift
men were asleep, with the door and window of the
log-house left open for the sake of air, some Indians
entered and took all the musket-powder we had left
and all the bread we had baked. I happened to be down
at the shaft myself, never conceiving it possible that
my men would be such dolts as to allow themselves to
be overreached in that manner. It was a sharp stroke
of business for the Klue Indians. They were actually
brazen and clever enough to abstract a powder flask
and belt and a box of musket-caps from under the
blacksmith's pillow without disturbing him or any
one of the sleepers. At the moment that this crime
was being perpetrated, a canoe belonging to Chief
Skid-a-ga-tees, with two Indians half concealed in it,
floated leisurely up and down in front of the shaft.
This was a ruse to attract the attention of the
shaftmen, and to make it appear afterwards as though
old Skid-a-ga-tees himself had been implicated in
the robbery. The Klue Indians had borrowed his
canoe yesterday afternoon upon some pretence or
115th.—A second glaring theft. As the shaft-
men were away at dinner, a lot of Indians went
down the shaft and walked off with all the candles. »mm«i»»   hi      m»«' miin» i
I believe the principal thieves are still the Klue
tribe; but they have accomplices, I fancy. I did
hope my men would have profited by the raid of
two nights ago. It is exactly the reverse—they
do not seem to care one straw; for to-day the
guard refused to stay at the shaft during dinnertime. Of course the ever wide-awake Indians seized
their opportunity. 1t> begins to look like collusion,
though I am loth to think it.
"16?//. Last evening, again, I was myself going
towards the shaft, while the night-shift had their
supper, when I espied a certain Klue Indian whom
we call Buckshot, darting away from near the
works. I made after him, and found nothing; but
for all that, on my examining the mining-munition,
a dozen large candles, a can-full of blasting powder,
a i h1 our best sledge-hammer were seen to be missing.'
In consequence of these barefaced thefts, I held a
long consultation with Klue and old Skid-a-ga-tees,
as the only chiefs who, in our then position of affairs,
would be likely to listen to reason. 1 (old Skid-a-ga-
tees that, on the whole, I had little or no cause to
find fault with his tribe sinoe their hostile demonstration soon after my first landing, and that, as far
as I knew, they were guiltless in the recent robberies. FRIENDLY CHIEFS.
Klue candidly confessed the delinquencies of his tribe,
but assured me he had.done what he could to correct
their thieving propensities, and so far without result;
he would try to obtain the restoration of the stolen
articles, and would continue to set his face against
all thefts,* but I was not to suppose he had unlimited
power. When I looked back to my own powerless-
ness, and also bore in mind Klue's persistent friendship, I could not refuse this explanation. I informed
the chiefs, however, that, unless matters took some
unexpected turn, it would not be possible for me
to carry out my original intention of living long
amongst them, and of establishing a white man's
colony on Queen Charlotte Islands. Both chiefs
seemed truly grieved to hear this decision. Yet as
its wisdom could not be disputed, they said they
feared we must part. The consultation ended
amicably. And heartily did that rejoice me, for
it testified to the " difficulty" having proceeded on
either side from the subordinates, not from the
By this time, nevertheless, I had  made up my
* When subsequently I got Klue down to Victoria, I had him up before
the Governor, Mr. Douglas (now Sir James Douglas), who spoke like a
father to him. Klue expressed such contrition for the errors of his subjects,
that I trust he has of his own accord induced them to mend their ways. II   »       llll      II  II"
mind that our exploration  could not be pursued
further on the present system..
I determined, therefore, to go back to Victoria,
give a full report of my discoveries, and then resign
my position as Engineer to the Queen Charlotte
Mining Company.
However, the standing obstacle to every movement
along the North Pacific coastways met me at once.
Where was I to find a conveyance? One morning
Skid-a-ga-tees came over to tell me that a fellow of
his just arrived from Graham Island had seen a ship
up north eight days before, making towards Stickeen
Eiver in the Russian settlements. When I state
that I took seriously to calculating whether this
vessel might not perchance call at our copper-mines
on her return voyage to the capital, the anxious
predicament in which real isolation sometimes places
a man may be to some extent apprehended.
At length the splendid weather suggested to me to
risk the voyage in a canoe. No such a venture had
ever before been made in that part of the world. I
sounded Klue on the subject, and he looked aghast.
But Indians only want a proper lead to be venturesome themselves. On my arguing the point with
him he finally yielded, and a bargain was then and BARGAIN  WITH  KLUE.
there concluded between us, he agreeing to take me
down to Yietoria in his largest canoe, and I covenanting to pay him at the same rate as if it were a
schooner without provisions.
The bargain had this limitation, that it was to be
void if, within another month's time, my workmen
should show satisfying symptoms of improvement.
I knew they would not. Meanwhile, Klue was to
make the necessary preparations, being careful to
keep it a solemn secret until I gave him the word to
speak. The poor savage kissed my hand in token of his
fidelity, and I am not ashamed to own I experienced
myself a kindred sensation about the region of the
We were in the first week of April.
The past month, as regards mining work, had been
an idle one; but the men, guessing probably what
I was cogitating, here threw off the mask. Forecasting that I should be obliged to pay them, work
or no work, they deliberately left the shaft to its fate
and made themselves comfortable. We had not
reached the middle of April before the whole eight
of them were to be seen lounging in and out of the
log-house at all hours, their hands stuck significantly
into their pockets, and their countenances thrusting I 1
defiance at me. When not engaged in this ex-
emplary pursuit, they would go to sleep in the sun,
like hogs, or, what was worse, saunter through any
Indian camp that admitted them, till they got involved in a quarrel or other trouble. Their sole
plea was that the supplies of maple-sugar* and grog
* Sugar is as much a necessary as salt to the pioneer. Whether Queen
Charlotte Islands will ever grow maple-sugar remains to be seen. But
it is a staple with the Canadian farmers of the backwoods. What they
will do there when all the maple-trees are cut down, it is hard to foresee.
Even now, owing to the quantity of sapping trees which have of late
years been felled, a sugar-famine would have already overtaken the country
if it had not been for the prudent prevision of the Government of Canada,
which opened a special commerce with the West Indies in 1866. Otherwise, the sugar would necessarily have had to come to Canada vid England,
and a requisite household article have been placed beyond the means of the
poor settler.
As maple-sapping is likely soon to become extinct, it may not be uninteresting to note the present process of manufacture in Canada. At the
first genuine touch of Spring, when the sun burns hotly during the day,
but while the snow is still on the ground and the nights are cold and frosty,
the " sap begins to rise freely." On some Spring day, in the first week of
March generally, the tallest and straightest trees are singled out, all around,
and marked as sound for operation. Each of these trees is then bored to
the inner bark with a gimlet, a loose spile or chip being inserted, which
leaves a few inches projecting outside, for the sap to drop clear of the trunk
into troughs or hollowed logs. The trees are allowed to run thus until the
third day, about a pail-full having by that time exuded from each tree. A
stout plug is then inserted in place of the loose chip, while the farm-boys
carry off the contents of the troughs to a large boiler, which they find
suspended from a horizontal pole, and which, again, canny hands have
. propped up with five forked sticks. Under the boiler roars a fire, in a
continual state of red heat, till the end of the operation. To purify the sap,
and give the maple a crystalline appearance, the farmers add a little lime and
charcoal.   As soon as the whole has been boiled to a proper consistency, it THE  MUTINEERS.
had failed. I felt extremely sorry for the sugar, but
naturally enough not for the grog; and I said so
openly. As neither defect could be then remedied,
however, the revolt was not a simple strike. It was
mutiny to all intents and purposes. Nothing indeed
seemed wanted to complete the flagrant delict, unless,
according to a hint I gave them, they liked to bind
me hand and foot in the orthodox fashion. That
experiment they declined* perhaps deeming it too
It struck me that, my authority being entirely
gone, there might yet be a chance of these misguided louts coming round, if I were to withdraw
somewhat from their society. I therefore resolved
to profit by the time which remained to me to make
an excursion or two, and while still at Burnaby to
take my meals alone, to sleep out of doors when
practicable, and to keep to myself as much as possible. I only insisted on directing the distribution
of the  rations, which they  did not oppose, partly
n s
is ladled out into moulds, and left to cool and harden before being sent off
to market, where it mostly fetches 4c?. to &d. the pound. The same maple-
trees are sapped every year running, for seven years, more or less. At the
end of that period, the farmers know they may as well cut them down for
firewood, all the virtue having been extracted, and the trees having become
quite hollow in the centre. TH
ii 11
because it saved them the bother, partly through
fear of my prosecuting them for stealing at some
future day, in case they resisted.
I then went out in our canoe for a couple of days
westward, taking with me two of Klue's best Indians
as paddlers. We first landed on a small rock of an
island reported by the Indians to have been at one
time on fire. I made a hasty examination, my paddlers not relishing a long stay from superstitious
motives. There were clear traces of a recently extinct volcano. I discovered a large bed of mundic,
and also a boiling spring, in which I bathed. This
was the islet I had visited in passing the year
before, and named Volcanic Island. A high wind
springing up, we made the best of our way to Silver
Island, and, encamping there for the night, paddled
back next day to Burnaby.
Klue telling me that the spring was considered a
cure for all diseases, it occurred to me to return good
for evil to one of my refractory comrades, and at the
same time to test the curative qualities of the spring-
water. Accordingly I advised our blacksmith, who
had fallen very ill with rheumatic fever, to take a
canoe and try Volcanic Island. The man took the
canoe  and my advice too; and in a few days he
l|P        : THE  SKID-A-GATES.
reappeared at Burnaby, not only fully restored in
bodily health, but quite altered in a moral sense also.
Devoutly did I wish to souse my other comrades in
that miraculous spring. They chose, however, to go
on riding the high donkey. So I left them to their
asinine amusement.
Whilst the blacksmith was away, I one day had a
formal wah-wah with the Skid-a-gate tribe. I found
their camp clean and orderly beyond the others. In
my opinion the Skid-a-gates are much the most
intelligent race of any on Queen Charlotte Islands.
I think great things might be done for them. But
it would require a devoted man like Mr. Duncan, of
the Metlakatlah mission, who has completely reformed
the tribes in the Fort Simpson section on the mainland.* The Skid-a-gates impressed me so favourably
in general that I regretted nothing so much as to have
to quit Queen Charlotte Islands without visiting the
* Mr. Duncan's self-denying labours are referred to with just admiration by Mr. Macfie, F.R.G.S., in his Vancouver Island and British
Columbia (pp. 476-86), and likewise by Commander Mayne, R.N., who
in his Four Tears in British Columbia, gives (pp. 279-95 and p. 305),
interesting extracts from Mr. Duncan's own Journal. The most comprehensive account, however, of the work of reformation which has been
accomplished among the Tsimsheean Indians, is to be found in a series of
graphic papers, published in Mission Life magazine (vol. for 1871), and
entitled Stranger than Fiction.   Never was title truer. Ml i
tribe in their home. They showed me beautifully
wrought articles of their own design and make, and
amongst them some flutes manufactured from an
unctuous blue slate. I bought one for five dollars.
It was well worth the price. The two ends were
inlaid with lead, giving the idea of a fine silver-
mounting. Two of the keys perfectly represented frogs
in a sitting posture, the eyes being picked out with
burnished lead. A more admirable sample of native
workmanship I never saw. It would have done
credit to a European modeller.
I now turned to a short excursion which Klue had
been planning for me. He said that, before I left,
I ought to make a thorough inspection of the place,
which already, at a distance, I had named Harriet
Harbour; and from all accounts of it I agreed with him.
For this excursion I only took Klue himself and
his little daughter, six years old ; and, in order to
economize our forces, there being but three of us, I
selected the chief's own private canoe, the very
smallest on all the coast, and one easily managed
along steep or shallow shores alike, up creeks or over
rapids. It was scooped out of a solid cedar-trunk, and
measured nine feet long, two feet four inches wide,
and fifteen inches deep.
In this frail skiff we three put off together one
morning from Skincuttle for the mainland of Queen
Charlotte. Scarce had we cleared Skincuttle when
up went the little canoe, head to the wind, her tiny
bit of canvas flapping with a noise like distant
thunder, and to an inexperienced eye seemingly in
desperate disorder, until, paying off by degrees on the
other tack, the sail filled out stiff; upon which the
canoe heeled over to the other side and darted away
as swiftly as a swallow, here leaping nimbly across
the heavy seas, there staggering so uncomfortably
under her canvas as to warrant the conjecture that
we should speedily be consigned to a watery grave.
But there was no fear of the contingency while I had
two such good pilots in charge as Klue, who sat
in the bow, and his daughter, who held the helm.
Thus we tore along for about an hour through a
thick mist which prevented our seeing ten yards
fore or aft. At the end of that time the sun burst
through the mist, and, rolling it up as if it were a
yard or two of mere curtain, disclosed to my relieved
eyes that Klue's instinct had guided our barque
safely to the right spot, and within the right space of
For close in front of us lay stretched out a truly
a 260
splendid bay, more than a mile wide and fully two
miles deep.
This was Harriet Harbour.
Having often viewed it from my canoe in paddling
about, or from Burnaby Island with my glasses, I
had long wished to be able to come and see it near.
But nothing had prepared me for such a scene of
At the mouth of the bay is an islet some two acres
in extent, which acts as a breakwater, and very
effectively protects the harbour from the only wind
(N.E.) that could assail it. The water inside conse*
quently enjoys a perpetual calm. All round the other
three sides are beautiful highlands, rocky and beachy
towards the bottom, but otherwise densely wooded,
and forming a superb panorama to our view as we
leisurely paddled in.
We ran the canoe upon a rocky piece of shore two
hundred yards beyond the N.E. point of entrance.
I had no sooner stepped out upon the land than
my pocket-compass began ticking in a violent manner,
by which I knew that the rocks must be one mass
of iron; and so they proved. Purer crystallized magnetic iron ore I have never anywhere lighted on.
My subsequent analysis of this ore gave—
Protoxide of iron  4*60
Peroxide of iron  82"30
Silica (and carbonate of lime 0'60) 11*60
Sulphur  85
Water and loss  65
Before evening I had surveyed the whole surround-
ings. I discovered two good veins of copper, plenty
of limestone, and clear evidence of the vicinity of
coal; but the iron ore predominated. Timber too
was so extraordinarily abundant, even for Queen
Charlotte, as to seem to promise to supply generations of future settlers with fuel and charcoal. A
broad and clear stream flows from the S.E. into the
head of the bay. Klue assured me the stream was
a famous place for salmon-catching. The hills rise
up from high-water level, at an angle of 75°, to about
700 feet. Taken altogether, a more charming and
more useful harbour of the same magnitude does
not exist to my knowledge in the North Pacific.
From want of a fine I did not fathom the water; but
a practised eye sees at a glance that the depths of the
water will correspond to the steep heights above it.
The bottom is evidently rock or gravel. Hence-
there never can be any danger of a filling-up, such 262 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
as must always be the weak point at Victoria.
Twenty ships of the line, I do not hesitate to say,
could ride there at anchor together, with safety and
convenience, to say nothing of other craft.
Darkness being near, and Klue not liking to
return at that late hour in his frail canoe, we
decided to rig a tent with the sail and a blanket, and
to stay the night out.
Whilst he arranged the tent I rambled about the
hills and beach for two hours, to probe the ground
and scan the glowing landscape. Rich in quality and
inexhaustible in quantity is the store there furnishing subsistence for living creatures. Every foot above
and down the hill-sides is clad with shrubs, which
bend to the earth with the weight of exquisite fruits,
little mountain-springs meandering hither and
thither through them. These springlets are a cha-
racteristic of Queen Charlotte Islands; but I had
nowhere observed them in such marvellous abundance
as round Harriet Harbour. Unless you watch very
closely you are sure to pass them by, so completely
does the vegetation bridge them over. As I descended
to the grand sweep of gravelly beach which heads the
harbour, the land became leveller at each step, but
the timber and underwood thicker. i'M
I stood by the beach for fully half an hour, thinking how difficult it would be to find a sweeter spot
in all the world, and how at no distant date that very
beach would assuredly give way to the wharves and
landing-places of a flourishing commercial town.
Harriet Harbour has only to be known in order to
be seized upon in the interests of trade and colonization.
Regaining the tent, I squatted down to a picnic
supper. Everything was laid out in true Indian
style, the two Indians standing up before me to see
that I enjoyed my repast. I might have done more
justice to their humble yet wholesome fare, if I had
not been previously indulging in the delicious
berries* which line the harbour-sides. However, my
bright-eyed little helmswoman was irresistible. So
I ate and relished the supper. Thereupon the
Klootchman girl (six years old, mind) proposed that
King-George-Tyhee-Poole should go to bed, so as to be
up betimes in the morning. Not to hurt their feelings,
* These berries, so far without any name that I know, grow in remarkable quantities all over Queen Charlotte Islands. The plant is a shrub,
generally four feet high. The leaves resemble those of our pear-tree, only
that they are much smaller. The fruit itself is about the size of a wild
gooseberry, and quite preservable by drying in the sun, after the manner
of Malaga raisins. It contains a good deal of nourishment, and forms the
principal food of the natives during the Winter season. «■■
I submitted to their well-meant kindness, taking off
my upper garments and laying myself down in the
fent, sub tegmine of a wide-spreading cedar-tree,
while six-year-old rolled a blanket round me, and
with a winning grace tucked me in all right and
tight for the night. I then perceived what they
were after; for hardly did I appear to them to
settle to sleep, when father and daughter made off in
the canoe to catch a few fish for the morrow's
breakfast. When they came back an hour later, it
was with some fine salmon, which they quickly cut
up to be ready for the morning's broil. Lastly, we
all three huddled together under the same capacious
blanket, the chief on my right and his Klootchie on
my left, to court the favour of Morpheus.
Next morning I completed  my   survey  of the
beautiful   harbour, and  in   the   afternoon   bagged
' Bo
several kinds of wild duck, as follows:—anas boschas,
or mallard, aythia vallisneria, or canvas-backed duck,
bucephala albeola, or buffer-headed duck, melanetta
velvetina, or velvet duck; all which, being good eating,
I kept to give to my recalcitrant crew at the log-house.
Chief Klue, Miss Klue, and myself then entrusted
our lives once more to the miniature canoe, and by
sundown we were on Burnaby Island.
Um 265
Another week at the log-house quite convinced me
that to wait any longer with the hope of working the
copper-mines would be only waste of time and money.
Those of the Indians who had annoyed me kept
aloof, it is true; but my own men continued as intractable and dogged as ever.
It was plain they wished to tire me out.
I therefore summoned them all one day, and,
without stooping to bandy words, I told them of my
intention to proceed to Victoria forthwith, for the
purpose of resigning my post, and that I should be
under the necessity of reporting their insubordinate
conduct and breach of contract to our Company's
agent immediately on my reaching the capital.
At first some of the ringleaders, looking out into 266
the broad ocean, asked me jeeringly how I meant to
go; whilst others affected to take it seriously, and
begged me to intercede in their behalf with His
Excellency, lest they should be sentenced and executed before they could make their wills. There was
a total change of sentiment and tone, however, when,
about noon that day, Klue's grand state-canoe, which
my men had never seen and did not know of, came
paddling and sailing like a huge swan round the
headland. This proved to them that I both intended
what I said, and was in a position to carry it out.
I then briefly explained my plan.
I should take back with me my account-books and
all my personal effects. They should be left in responsible charge of the mine and implements, and
have a supply of ammunition for their own firearms,
as well as sufficient provisions to last them until a
vessel could arrive with fresh orders or to convey
them down. I should pay their wages up to the day
of my departure: if they had further claims, they
must look to our Company. I think I dealt more fairly
and forbearingly with my foolish party of miners
than many another leader would have done.
As soon as I had finished, one fellow pretended to
feel for a small pistol he used to keep about him,
whilst the others supported him in a low grumble.
Upon that I simply glanced right and left, towards
two crowds of Klue and Skid-a-gate Indians, who
stood at a little distance ready to defend me. Deeply
did I feel the humiliation of having to invoke the
aid of an alien race against my fellow white men;
but they had persistently brought it upon themselves.
It produced the desired effect, too. The men saw
that, if they touched me, they would be certainly
overwhelmed. So in a few moments they sullenly
At last nothing remained but to get my things
on board, which, by the help of my new travelling
companions, was done during the afternoon.
The day was the 6th of April; and thus more than
eighteen months had elapsed since I first landed from
the Rebecca schooner on the adjacent island of Skincuttle.
I had meantime fulfilled my mission, amidst very
great difficulties, but not without a success sufficient
to compensate for the outlay, if it did not " lead on
to fortune " absolutely.
The scene, as we pushed off from the beach below
the log-house, is before me now.
The workmen, no longer mine, hung surlily back. 208
The rocks and woods, however, were filled with
Indians, to see King-George-Tyhee-Poole sail away
from amongst them. He was their good friend, they
knew. They did not cheer, nor yet weep; but they
moved their arms up and down, with a sort of moan
or wail. It would have been strange indeed if I had
not reoiprocated their feeling.
At the same time the heavens were lit up in
streaming splendour, while the sun began to sink
low to the westward. But ere the red orb of day
dipped behind its broken horizon, the eye of man
caught a curved line running along the far east, from
north to south. Although the distance to that darksome object exceeded a hundred and twenty miles,
the curve was distinguishable as part of the mighty
range of the Cascade Mountains. Heaving up their
giant ridges into the very clouds, they looked like
barriers fit to mark an empire, or as what they are,
the boundaries of nature itself. Between us lay,
calm and serene, the wide waters of Queen Charlotte
Sound, reflecting gloriously the golden hues of the
realms above.
With one steadfast gaze, then, upon the beautiful
Isles of the Sea I was leaving, and one farewell wave
of the hand towards Burnaby Island, I turned to KLUES GRAND CANOE.
commit myself to the most arduous voyage perhaps
ever made in the North Pacific Ocean.
Our company consisted of two distinct parties.
The first was made up of one of the Skid-a-gate
chiefs and six of his tribe, three males and three
females. They were in a cedar canoe, fourteen feet
in length. It carried those seven persons, with their
goods, weighing about half a ton, well; but it appeared a mere cock-boat in face of yon out-spanning
Chief Klue, five young Klootchmen, and thirty
men, together with myself, constituted the second or
leading party. Besides our personal weight, we had
shipped two tons of freight, namely, a bundle for
each Indian, my goods and chattels, and the rest in
copper or other ores. Our canoe was what is known
in the Far West as a dug-out. Klue had cut and
constructed it, foot by foot, with his own hands, out
of cedar-wood {thuja gigantea). It carried three
jury-masts and a considerable show of canvas, not
to mention a main staysail. A proud and truly
inspiriting sight was it to view all this canvas spread
out to the breeze, and to see thirty-seven human
beings all paddling together, with regularity, precision, and force. 270
The chief had carefully selected his crew. It was
of course a pride to man his state-canoe with picked
men; but at that time of the year it became a stringent necessity, April being always a severe season on
the North Pacific coast, and its storm-weather lasting
frequently many days together without intermission.
I found them a lively and intelligent body of Indians,
both willing to work and able to master the stoutest
elements. Pleasant was it in good sooth, after the
ungenial behaviour of my miners on Burnaby Island,
to pass several weeks in the company of those poor
savages, whilst they sang the songs of their country,
and kept exact time as they sang, to the dip of their
broad paddles. Yet, despite my knowledge of Indian
character, their cheerfulness at the outset of so
dangerous a voyage rather astonished me; for not
only had we winds and rains above us, and waters
beneath us, to contend with; but tribes of bloodthirsty
Indians, more than one of which were personally
hostile to Klue, would likewise have to be encountered all along the seaboard of British Columbia
and the inner coastway of Vancouver, as we passed
down them.
In our circumstances the Inside Passage to Victoria
presented peculiar features of danger.    Nevertheless,
v- ii
I could not have counselled the Indians to adventure
the Outside Passage in a simple canoe, albeit a first-
class one. Either they would have been out of sight
of land for many days, or they would have had to
try the west coast of Vancouver, of which none of us
knew anything.
. The evening of our start, therefore, we hugged the
shore to the southward for about two hours, and at
8 p.m. we drew up our canoes in the dark on a
pebbly beach, fronting the broad strip of flatfish land
which stretches round from the mouth of Stewart's
Channel near Cape St. James. This is the most
southerly part of Queen Charlotte Islands, and our
idea was to wait there for a fair wind, before
attempting to cross the Sound. We hoped to make
due east to the British Columbian mainland early
next morning, so as to secure as much daylight as
possible; but when morning came, seeing that a
storm had partially arisen, the Indians unanimously
voted against launching forth. The Klue Indians
are reputed to be the most venturesome of all canoe-
men in the North Pacific, and I do not wish to defame
them, but the contrary. Still, it is always within
sight of land. At the thought of trusting themselves
to the high seas they quail.    On this occasion they
•■ M ^•*3k!J^53U
would have shirked it altogether, only for their confidence in my guidance. There can be no doubt that
Indians look upon the white men as superior beings,
though they endeavour to conceal their conviction
till it comes to the test. They were afraid, and
manifestly regretted having set out on the expedition. When I praised their skill and judgment,
however, they would recover courage, until I
chanced every now and again to cast my eyes
towards the north-east. Then alarm would be depicted on each man's countenance, especially on those
of the chiefs, w7ho would at once exclaim—Itka mika
nanitch ?—what do you see ?
Thus we waited forty-eight hours longer, encamped in an old Indian ranche, which Klue said
had been there time out of mind.
The third morning we knew was going to be fine,
for the storm had rolled off and the waves had
smoothed down again. At daybreak, then, we went
upon our way, pressing every stitch of canvas, with
a smart but not unpleasant S.W. breeze.
I cannot picture to myself anything more sublime
in nature than the retrospective view which I had
on bidding a last farewell to Queen Charlotte
Islands.     It is a land of enchantment.     One can A RETROSPECT.
hardly feel   melancholy living by those beauteous
though uninhabited shores.    Such varied and magnificent landscapes, such matchless timber, such a
wealth of vegetation, such verdure and j leafage up
to the very crests of its highest hills.     Its agricultural   and   mineral   prospects   are   undeniable.
Where does another   climate exist like it, almost
uniting the charms of the tropics to the healthiness
of temperate zones, and yet remaining free from the
evils of either ?   No rat or reptile has fixed its home
on those islands, nor even a noxious insect.    The
sole annoyance is an  occasional mosquito,* which
will grow rarer as cultivation advances.    Fogs rarely
visit there.    The storms, if sometimes severe, seem
mostly sea-storms, invariably following a law, and
never lasting long.    The snows on the coldest day
in winter dissolve soon after touching the ground;
whilst the sun, during much the.greater portion of
the year,  sheds its effulgence and its warmth, but
not its glare, the whole of the live-long day, down
upon that virgin country, as if to cheer its loneliness
and to allure to it the colonists from afar.
* Although the mosquito, by some singular exemption, to a great
extent keeps clear of Queen Charlotte Islands, that plaguing insect
flourishes in full force on the coast of the mainland, and in the bush of
British Columbia.
Just such a sunlit morn was it as we laid ourselves out for sea. I could not help sorrowing at the
thought that I might never behold those Western
Isles again; but I shipped my paddle in order to
feast mine eyes once more upon their beauty. I
watched their noble forms recede, I saw their peerless complexion fade, I inhaled the breath of their
sweet-scented cedar-wood until I felt it evaporate
like some ethereal spirit. At length the Eden of the
North Paoific vanished from my sight, and sank down
into the deep blue waters of the West.
The strength and skill of every man were now
given to the arduous task before us. Onward we
paddled, assisted by our sails, relays of the crew
succeeding each other regularly, and sparing no
effort, all day: not without reason either, for the sky
lowered ominously, while the wind increased and the
rain began to fall. It was getting on for six p.m.,
when a shout from an Indian in the bow told us that
we had sighted the mainland on the other side of the
The news raised our spirits somewhat; but they
were soon damped again, as almost immediately after
it came on pitch dark, which caused us to lose the
Skid-a-gate canoe out of hail, the wind changing and MISSING THE  WAY.
the rain descending at the same time in torrents.
Nothing daunted, however, on we sped till about
midnight, the wail of the land-fowl becoming more
distinct with each mile we made. In a couple of
hours Klue thought we should be close in-shore, and
then we could heave-to and wait for the break of day.
Away went the thirty-seven paddles; but upwards
of two hours passed and brought no sound of rollers
on the beach. Odder still, the cry of the land-fowl
had entirely ceased. Suddenly it occurred to me
that we were going backwards instead of forwards.
On my hinting this to my fellow-paddlers, they only
laughed at what they thought was very pardonable
ignorance. However, first one man shipped his
paddle, then another, and at last, suspecting something wrong, they all got thoroughly frightened.
| Closl nanitch, Tyhee Poole" shouted Klue from
the helm "where he was, meaning, | Do you look after
the canoe, Chief Poole." Fortunately I had my best
pocket-compass stowed somewhere; so, striking a
light with considerable difficulty, owing to the high
wind and heavy sea, I found that we actually were
going back, as straight as an arrow in its course.
Putting a few facts together, I rapidly calculated
our position to be some thirty miles from the shore.
t2 276
The two hours had been consequently time and
labour lost. Upon the word we put the canoe's
head about, and having vainly hailed the Skid-agates, we gave our hearts to our paddles with a
will, and towards five o'clock a.m. had the satisfaction to hear the breakers breaking on the rocks
Shortly afterwards day dawned.
The Skid-a-gates were nowhere visible; but our
Indians recognised the land we had hit on as the
south-east end of Banks's Island, and sure enough,
close off the mainland.
Observing a small harbour we ran in. It proved
to be Calamity Harbour, in lat. 53° 12" N., long.
128° 43" W. The distance from this spot to Victoria is perhaps 300 miles as the crow flies, but by
the crooked course we intended to take, with a view
of dodging the hostile tribes along the road downward, we reckoned on a distance of at least 750 miles.
Here we had the good luck to find the beach
covered with cockles. We gathered a large quantity,
and, stringing them on sticks, half toasted them before
the fire, so as to preserve them for food in case our
other provisions should fail. The island, too, was
alive with a species of sea-fowl, the flesh of which SIX DAYS IN THE RAIN.
tastes like goose
I shot some; but the Indians,
being very fond of them, prepared torches for a great
slaughter at night, in the event of the weather clearing. Unhappily the wet continued. It was as much
as we could do to prevent our camp fire going out.
I did dry my clothes, however; and eventually hauling the canoe to a safe place and covering it up with
sails, we each contrived to secure a dry spot under
some trees where to lay our wearied heads; for the
night was again upon us, after thirty-six sleepless
hours, during twenty-four of which we had continuously paddled no less than 120 miles.
Yet that now appears as nothing compared with
our subsequent sufferings.
Next morning, seeing no improvement in the
weather, we set off again in the midst of a most
dismal drizzle, which in the course of the day
developed into strong rain. At this distance of time
it scarcely seems credible to say that, for six days and
six nights, we kept on our voyage in that pitiable
plight, battling against fearful head-storms, and
making barely fifty miles. It is the fact, though.
Sleep became impossible, the rain having soaked our
clothes and skins through and through. As each
morning broke, in vain we strained our aching eyes, 278
to try to spy out something in the shape of a
harbour. But it was not till the seventh day that
one of our Klootchmen descried an object which on
further observation we all pronounced to be a house.
Surely a human habitation must bespeak the neighbourhood of a harbour of some sort? Without more
parley, then, we steered in-shore, and in another
hour we were entering a pretty little cove, headed
by a beach which had. shell-fish enough on it to
supply a whole naval squadron for a week. Above,
upon a conspicuous reach of ground, stood the large
Indian ranche we had seen from the offing. It had
not been recently occupied. Its dilapidated state
proved that. But, after such misery as we had just
undergone, we hailed it as one might a gorgeous
palace, for the shelter, rest, and comfort it was
about to afford us.
We stayed twenty-four hours at the ranche—not
at all too long to recruit.
The following afternoon, feeling refreshed and
hearty, I strolled by myself a short way into the
bush. I was groping through the underwood, when
a cry of distress from my party startled me. Making
sure that they had been surprised by the Bella-
Bella Indians, who claimed that part of the coast as
their camping-ground, I hastened back to the rescue,
and arrived just in time to see a canoe hurrying
away from the shore. It was the Skid-a-gates. A
turn of the coast had brought our encampment into
view, as their party came along, upon which a panic
had seized them, and all Klue and his people could
do to assure the Skid-a-gates that we were friends
only urged them to fly the faster. I ran at once to
the harbour's head, and, perching myself on the
highest rock, waved my cap at the poor fellows with
my utmost energy. They were already a good mile
out to sea; but noticing what I did, and knowing the
waving of the hat to be the action of a white man
they immediately turned back.
Warmly did we welcome our lost companions.
A sight to be remembered was it, to see how those
savages greeted their old friends and neighbours.
There was no kissing, nor embracing, nor shaking of
hands, but a dance of the wildest description, that
would have beaten the cancan all to fits, and have
done one good to look at besides. Till then I had
never remarked a genuine smile or tear on the face
of a North Pacific Indian. The savages of both
tribes danced in a circle together, the two chiefs
capering more madly than any, whilst the air rang 280 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
again with shouts, until I put a stop to it by reminding them of the probability of their enemies being
near at hand; on which they instantly desisted.
The Skid-a-gate story was this.
It seemed our canoe had been kept in view much
longer than we had been able to discern theirs, its
inferior size quite explaining the difference. Like
us, they had hardly noticed the change of wind; but,
unlike us, when the critical moment came, instead of
unwittingly turning back,- they had gone northward,
and had paddled away night and day out of sight of
land, till at length they had accidentally sighted
Fort Simpson, 200 miles above our landing-place on
Banks's Island. At that point, after a needful rest
and a solemn consultation, they had concluded that
it must be right with the big canoe, since there was
a white man in it. They had made all haste down
the coast, in hopes of finding us waiting for them
somewhere. And thus what we had been considering
an awful hardship proved to be their deliverance;
for without storm-weather in our part of the coast
they would never have got over their part in time to
overtake us.
Right well did our friends merit their welcome.
The endurance of the women deserved special praise. A LIEE-STRUGGLE.
One and all had paddled for many consecutive days
under the most hope-killing of circumstances, yet
never losing either hope or courage. It was as
desperate a life-struggle as ever I had heard of.
Manfully they stood it too, and I told them so.
Almost it persuaded me to retract my dictum regarding Indian bravery. I perhaps should have
retracted if the Skid-a-gates had, in this instance,
been embarking of themselves in an enterprise.
Their feat partook of that kind of heroism which
consists in heroically saving your own life and the
lives of others.
If these poor Skid-a-gates had passed our encampment without observing us, they certainly could
not have reached their destination, for their little
store would soon have been consumed. On the
other hand, we could have ill spared them; for
though we alone formed a stout party, with the
Skid-a-gate contingent we were strong enough to give
a tough fight to any antagonist who should dare
to attack us. No one could tell but what the very
next moment we might have to face the redoubted
Bella-Bella Indians. As yet we had not learnt that
the small-pox had succeeded in depriving the Bella-
Bellas for evermore of the power of mischief.    But 282 QUEEN   CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
hearing from Klue how that hated tribe had often
inflicted dire injury on the Queen Charlotte Indians
when these tried to get down to Victoria, I thought
it behoved us to hold ourselves in constant readiness.
The chiefs asked me to take the command in case
of attack, to which I willingly acceded, and accordingly gave the two crews the necessary
instructions beforehand. Having at that period
mastered rifle-practice to the extent of being able to
bring down an eagle on the wing at six hundred
yards, I may humbly recount that the Indians considered me a host in myself. But besides my
Enfield, we mustered thirty-two muskets, with
ammunition to correspond, six revolvers, and any
quantity of long knives. So that, unless the enemy
were to take us one by one, I had no fear of a hostile
encounter. 283
The Skid-a-gates had rested before they overtook
our party, and, as we all felt anxious to put the
country of the bloodthirsty Bella-Bellas quickly
behind us, we re-embarked the same night in our two
canoes, to proceed to the entrance of the Inside
The wind was high and the tide was strong; but
both worked in our favour, so that, by two hours
after midnight, flaring lights ahead gave warning
of our having at last crossed Queen Charlotte
Those lights were the hunting-fires of the Rupert
Indians, within musket-range of whom we had now
At this season of the year bird-slaughtering is very
extensively carried on by all the North Pacific
Indians.     The birds, which are small but plump, 1~   •
burrow their holes in the sand-banks on the shore.
When the slaughter-season arrives, the Indians prepare torches composed of long sticks having the tips
smeared with gum taken from the pine-tree. Armed
with handy clubs, they then place these lighted
torches at the mouths of the holes, and as soon as
the birds, attracted by the glare, flutter forth, they
fell them to the ground. The process is simple and
easy, immense numbers of birds being thus obtained.
Afterwards, without any previous plucking or cleaning, the birds are toasted before a slow fire. If
the toasting has been properly done, the feathers and
skin come off readily. The Indians say that, to clean
the inside out, takes away from the flavour, which
is perfectly true, as I have tasted the game both
Well, my party swelled with jealousy to see the
Rupert Indians enjoying themselves so thoroughly. -
Yet they dared not venture nearer, lest the noise of
our paddles should attract attention. Luckily the
night was as dark as if we had been crossing the
Styx in Charon's boat. But unless we intended to
provoke a fight it now became an absolute necessity to paddle hard out of danger, for the wind was
dying away. THE  RUPERT INDIANS.
Very fierce feelings existed between the Queen
Charlotte and the Fort Rupert Indians. Klue informed me that, some years previous, his brother-in-
law, in those days the greatest chief on the coast, had
been entrapped by the Rupert Indians on his way
home from Victoria, and scalped and killed with all
his males, his females being divided as slaves among
the victors. It was Klue's intention, when he had
been recognised as chief by the other chiefs on
Queen Charlotte Islands, to collect an overwhelming
force and abolish the Fort Rupert tribe altogether.*
If he could accomplish this, but not otherwise, he
would be considered a great chief by his compatriots,
and qualified to take his brother's place as the leading
man amongst the tribes.
Little did the Rupert Indians suspect that there
was another grand prize ready-made for them, if,
instead of indulging in the pleasures of bird-slaughtering, they had but kept a sharp look-out in the bay.
They would have found us an expensive capture,
Before morning we had cleared the territory of
* Chief Klue has never been able to conquer the Rupert Indians. His
claim to the head-chieftainship is therefore still a moot point between
him and the great chief of the Skiddans. 286
this section of our enemies; but, it was to jump from
the frying-pan into the fire.
With the daylight the wind again rose, and by
noon it had increased to a gale. Although the gale
subsided, the weather continued so boisterous for the
next few days that we had constantly to run in
to the little coves which characterize the multitudinous island groups of the Inside Passage.
One of these was the scene of an exciting adven-
I think we had paddled for a hundred hours well
nigh continuously—in fact only stopping to hoist an
occasional sail, or to take our food and an hour's rest
in some sheltered spot. At last we thought of seeking some place where we might have a good meal and
a regular He-down. So, spying a likely-looking island
in the centre of a large group, we made towards it
and landed, fastening our canoes to the rocks. The
men began at once to light a fire, and the women to
get the shell-fish ready, whilst I, according to our
established oustom, trudged away into the bush in
search of more substantial fare. I had not penetrated fifty yards when a clump of thick brushwood
near me appeared to rustle. Was it only the wind?
Or was it a deer perhaps ?—deer being very numerous THE  ACOLTAS.
thereabouts. I stood still a moment, and then slowly
went forward, fully expecting to bag my game.
In place of the deer, however, a black object, with a
brace of fiery eyeballs, lay crouching behind the
clump and taking deliberate aim with a musket. I
gave a yell, thinking to call my companions to the
rescue; but it was too late. Having themselves
observed several other Indians stealing down in my
direction, they had already rushed to the canoes and
were leaving me to be murdered. The strange savages,
O o CD       >
perceiving this, made a rapid dash. How I ever
escaped the bullets from the dozen musket-shots simultaneously fired at me has always seemed to me a
marvel; but I ran like lightning to the beach. On came
my enemies, now certain of an easy capture; for by
this time my friends had hauled off out of gun-range
and sat poising their paddles and coolly looking to see
the end. The situation I was in seemed desperate
indeed; for what could one man do against two
score of armed adversaries ? Suddenly a bright
thought occurred to me, and I as quickly resolved to
act upon it. Knowing the superstitious nature of
those Indians, I told them in their own language that
I possessed the power to destroy all black men
opposed to me, and that I could command the very 288
author of their existence, the black crow. This
announcement rather staggered the savages. But
the petty chief who headed them said they would
not kill me, but capture me. With that intent they
commenced advancing in a half-circle, as cautiously
as cats. I grasped a six-barrelled revolver in my
right hand, and a long Spanish knife in my left, my
Enfield being slung over my shoulder. When they
were within a dozen yards of me, I again urged them
to retire at the peril of their lives. They replied
that what they wanted was simply a wah-wah. I
was not to be taken by duplicity, however. Seeing
which, one hound partly raised his musket, and would
have fired if I had not been too quick for him. With
a deep groan he dropped to the earth. In an instant
the whole pack were upon me; and another of the
hounds having emptied his barrel without effect, I
made him spring at least three feet into the air before
sending him to the " happy hunting-grounds." I
discharged the revolver once more; but, alas, it burst.
Wherefore, thrusting that trusty old friend into my
belt, I defended myself as best I could with the long
knife, until, beginning to feel faint, I turned, dived
into the sea, and swam to our canoe, into which I
was dragged in a very exhausted condition. TRAVELLING  BY  CANOE.
The bloodhounds, from whose jaws I had thus
been snatched, were the Acolta Indians, a tribe
which has given more trouble to the Colonial
Government than any other along the coast. The
murders and outrages they have committed on inoffensive and defenceless white men and women are
We did not land again for twenty-four hours.
Even then we chose a very small islet, lying well
apart, and which we first carefully examined in a
prolonged paddle round it.
Thus ended my canoe-voyage down the Inside
We had to face many perils by land, and likewise many perils by sea, similar to those I had faced
during my two up-voyages,* with the manifest inconveniences of canoe-travelling superadded. And yet
it should not be supposed that a canoe, though in
some respects greatly inferior to a decked and full-
rigged vessel, is without its advantages. Canoes can
go where schooners cannot, they run along more
* I made two distinct voyages up the Inside Passage, besides this
voyage down it. The first was on board the sloop Hamley, almost immediately after my arrival in the colony, and when bound for the Cascade
Mountains. The second was on board the sloop Leonide, as related heretofore in the text.
U f .■. _ a
' t*
swiftly, and are much more easy to steer and manage;
whilst, along a savage-beridden coast like that of
British Columbia, their greater facility for concealment was not to be disregarded.
As we sped onward the weather got gradually
calmer. At length not a breath of wind stirred in
the air, nor a ripple on the surface of the water. I
would then frequently lie back across my broad
seven-foot paddle, and enjoy that blessed institution,
so conducive to -the happiness of miners or travellers
in uncouth countries, a pipe of good tobacco. My
companions would always follow suit. Upon which
our canoes would glide quietly down-channel, carried
forward by the ebbing tide.
One forenoon we were all taking the benefit of this
welcome relaxation, wholly thoughtless of any impending danger, when suddenly every Indian sprang
to his feet in a paroxysm of terror. Had we been
surrounded on the instant by a hundred canoes full
of war-savages, my companions could not have
shown greater alarm; and the moment my eye
caught what was before us, I entirely shared their
feelings. Right across our course, and not more than
two hundred yards in our front, a long white line of
foam seethed and boiled, and kept steadily advancing.
It was the up-tide battling to predominate over the  l«ta<.i'» <m
down-tide, which  again, burying itself beneath the
crest of its   more  powerful   opponent, formed  an
under-current, unimpeded, and yet, in conjunction
with   the   stronger   tide,  indescribably   dangerous.
This is not a common occurrence in the Passage,
but it does sometimes happen in its narrow parts.
If we had met it at night, we should have failed to
see the danger in time, and then nothing could have
saved us.    As things were, here we found ourselves
locked into the narrowest reach of Johnstone Strait,
with a line of angry surf running from shore to
shore, and close ahead of the canoes.    Should we
survive?   Two minutes more would  decide.    I do
acknowledge, however, that my heart rose  to my
mouth, and that my blood seemed to freeze in my
veins, as I looked death straight in the face: an ignoble
death,  and   nobody left   to tell the tale.     Not a
second was to be lost.    Chief Klue roared to his
men,   Hinda, kauit-law; mammock clue anta  quita,
that is, " Be quick, sit down, and work the canoe with
all your strength."   Whereupon, dipping our paddles
deep into the now rushing, now sinking tides, with
four desperate strokes for life we lifted our noble
canoe clean out   of the water, and shot over the
fearful surge.    Nervous moments, never to be for-
u2 i i
gotten. But our difficulties had only commenced;
for no sooner were we clear of this line of surf than
one of the contending currents hurled us with
electric velocity three-quarters of a mile nearer land.
I thought we should have been dashed to bits against
the rocks, and was making ready for a spring, when,
lo and behold, another current spun our canoe round,
and sent us, like a bolt from a bow, to the opposite
shore. This was repeated several times in succession,-
not a soul on board uttering a sound. Each time,
however, the canoe gained a little headway. On the
last crossing we came to a sudden stop in mid-
channel, and describing a circle thrice with most
awful rapidity, we seemed to be on the very point
of plunging headlong into the abyss. But the crisis
had arrived. Up out of the united throats of the
Indians such a yell was yelled as appeared to shake
the very mountains to their foundations. Klue
added the words, Mannock whatluwan, that is,
I Paddle all together." We obeyed, and cleared the
whirlpool at a bound. Thenceforward our task was
.confined to strong and steady paddling for about
half an hour. When we shipped ©ur paddles to rest
once more, we looked back, horror-stricken, yet thankful, upon that terrible meeting of the wafers. AT NANAIMO.
I have here narrated the escape of Klue's canoe
in particular. Naturally we had no eyes for aught
but ourselves. None the less, our poor friends the
Skid-a-gates must have incurred a far greater
amount of danger. How indeed they got through,
with their light craft, we never could comprehend.
Two or three days more saw us paddling proudly
into Nanaimo Harbour.
We had a very cheering reception from the coalmine people there, Klue's grand canoe and the recital of our adventures creating a special sensation;
and further excitement was infused into it by the arrival, shortly after ourselves, of the schooner Amelia,
the captain of which reported that a vessel named
the Thornton lay at Fort Rupert with only one man
on board, the remainder of the crew having been
murdered.    The Acolta Indians were the murderers.
That woful affair was briefly as follows. The
. Thornton chancing to be becalmed off the Acolta camping-grounds, a number of canoes manned from  the
(3   CD i
tribe went out alongside and demanded whisky. The
captain refused for the best of all reasons, because he
had none of the noxious drug on board. The savages,
not believing him, thereupon fired at the crew, who
were engaged in rigging up sail.    The volley was so 294
tremendous that the captain and all the men save
one fell dead on the deck. The survivor fled into
the cabin, and, seizing a revolver, began discharging
it through the port-holes, which effectually frightened
off the Indians; for fancying from the rapid firing
that there must be more white men concealed in the
vessel, they skedaddled to the shore. The Thornton
then fortunately drifted into a current, by means of
which the saved man was enabled to steer his vessel
to Fort Rupert.
Had not we of Queen Charlotte Islands good cause
to congratulate one another on having come thus far
in safety ?
At that epoch the Nanaimo settlement was kept
perpetually agitated in consequence of reports, which
used to arrive nearly every day, of the revolting cruelties practised by the Acolta and Cowitchen Indians
on the too confiding white population. I remember, as
one dreadful instance, the case of the Marks family,
who, lately from England, had gone to squat on a
plot close to Nanaimo. They were cruelly murdered,
every one, the body of Miss Marks being discovered
shockingly mutilated on the beach, and the bodies of
the others not long afterwards in the bush. The
Governor sent down three gunboats to ihQ Cowitchen THE COWITCHENS.
u u
camping grounds, but it only resulted in a waste of
powder and shot, the bloodhounds hiding themselves
in the dense shrubwood of the country, and yet
lurking near enough to shoot two of our British tars
dead. The very morning we left Nanaimo another
ship arrived from Victoria with the news that the
Cowitchen Indians had attempted to capture the
vessel, but that the crew, having the luck to be well
armed and headed by a plucky captain, had been
able to repulse the piratical savages.
At Nanaimo our convoy was joined by a third
canoe full of Indians, who, as friends of the Skid-agates, we allowed to accompany us. This raised our
spirits; for, if the whole Cowitchen tribe had now
molested us, we should doubtless have given them
more than they bargained for. When we passed their
encampment, however, we found the tribe otherwise
employed. Their wigwams were undergoing a shelling process from two English gunboats, whilst they
themselves were sneaking into the bush in all directions, or jumping into canoes along the shore. Meeting
one runaway canoe, we gave it instant chase. It was
as pretty a sight as one would wish to see in a day's
paddling. But, with us in pursuit, the Cowitchens
had not a chance, so that we soon made them heave-to. 296 QUEEN   CHARLOTTE   ISLANDS.
Nothing could well exceed the meanness and cowardice
which the wretches then displayed. They threw
away their paddles and muskets, and went down
on their knees in the canoe, cringing, whining,
and even shrieking. We might easily have shot or
drowned every man of them. In the midst of it all,
the grins, grimaces, and triumphant giggles of my
own companions were highly amusing. They merely
awaited a signal from me to fall to. I own I felt
much inclined to give it; but after we had held our
prisoners in suspense awhile, I said that Englishmen
scorned to take advantage of the weaker party, and
so we let them go. The mercy thus extended to
those merciless bullies rather troubled my conscience
afterwards; for during the following night we parted
company with the friendly Indians who had joined
us at Nanaimo. Their canoe was never heard of
again, the general belief among the colonists seeming
to be that it was cut off, under cover of the darkness,
by the very Cowitchen canoe which we had spared
the day before.
From this point we paddled away at our ease and
pleasure, the glass-like waters reflecting the brilliancy
of the sun above, whilst once more the Indians sang
me their farewell songs, until, on the twenty-second ARRIVAL  AT  VICTORIA.
morning after our leaving Queen Charlotte Islands,
the two canoes turned into a little sheltered bay just
below the old Spanish Cape Gonzalez, and within
six miles overland of Victoria.
Stepping ashore on the diminutive beach of the
place, we all bathed in the sea. My travelling companions then rummaged their bundles, and proceeded
to don whatever pieces of clothing each man or
woman possessed. This ceremony was preparatory
to their presenting themselves at Victoria, where the
law which compels blacks as well as whites to wear
some sort of garment is rigidly enforced.
After the grotesque and laughable performance of
people trying to dress who are not accustomed to it
had been satisfactorily gone through, we breakfasted
in the midst of a shade-giving pine-grove.
Finally I left Klue to | paddle his own canoe "
round to Victoria Harbour, whilst J myself took the
road by land.
It need scarce be added that my unexpected appearance in the capital, and my weather-worn looks,
perfectly astonished the numerous friends who
crowded round me.
What did they not say as soon as they heard my
story? 298
" You seem to have dropped from the clouds," exclaimed Mr. R. George, our Company's trusty and
indefatigable agent, expressing the legitimate astonishment of all the town.
For we had indeed accomplished what was un-
doubtingly acknowledged to be the greatest canoe
voyage ever known in the North Pacific,* and that
too along a coast full of dangers, in the short space of
twenty-two days, and at a season of the year when
all British Columbian vessels give the land a wide
* Perhaps it would not be too much to add, " or in the entire Pacific
Ocean." Really the only voyage to compare with ours is the celebrated
one made by Captain Bligh, R.N., after the mutiny of the Bounty. He
went in an open boat from off Otaheite to the island of Timor, a distance
of nearly 1200 miles. But, then, he had a compass and sextant with him,
and a good keel to his boat. Besides, his whole crew numbered no more
than eighteen—just half ours j whilst, during all his voyage, there was
nothing to fear from tides and currents, and nothing worth mentioning
from hostile natives. gyvjipi
* fr
During my residence on Queen Charlotte Islands, I
made many other observations, which, though they
did not fall naturally into the course of the foregoing narrative, should not be omitted from these
I shall treat the subjects* summarily and categorically.
Climate.—The average weather in British Columbia
being acknowledged to resemble that of the north of
* The particular observations which I was enabled to make during my
residence, will be found to agree substantially with the general description
of Queen Charlotte Islands published in 1787 by Captain Dixon. {Voyage
to the North-West Passage of America.   Letter xxxyiii.) ' jg^55S23a
England, a good idea may be formed of the climate of
Queen Charlotte Islands, when I report it as milder
than that of any part of Scotland, or of Victoria, the
capital of the colony. In Summer the heat averages
less, while the Winter months are much warmer, the
atmosphere at all times seeming clear, dry, and pure.
The Autumn is decidedly the healthiest and pleasantest
season there. The temperature, during my two
Winters, was never lower than 8° below freezing point,
and during my two Summers never higher than 80°
in the shade. The mean temperature in the shade,
throughout the year, was 68°. I calculated .the rainfall in January and February at 21^ inches. The
regular and steady winds dried the ground up
quickly. Snow fell rarely, and always in small
quantities, soon disappearing. I saw only two
electric discharges, and witnessed only one thunderstorm, although that was undoubtedly the most
violent I ever remember out of Canada.
Also, as stated above, I kept a tide-pole in fair
order for the months of January and February,
marking the daily record accurately in my register.
To be concise, I here give merely the sum-total of
results, thus:— TIDES AND HARBOURS.
Meteorological Register.
Burnaby Island, Queen Charlotte Islands.
Latitude 52° 19' SO" North, Longitude 131° 11' 00" West.
Direction of Wind.
A. M.
s. w
Quantity of
14 a
Clonds (a
Cloudy day
is represented
,, by 10.
yuan-   oiotidless day
q a
ft. in.
Maximum rise of tide 14 10
Minimum   „        „     11   9
High and low water, twice
during the 24 hours.
At 5 p.m. on the 3rd one
flash of lightning, at 7 p.m.
on the 26th one flash of
lightning and one of
Tides stationary only about
30 minutes.
ft. in.
Maximum rise of tide 15 3
Minimum   „ „   11 10
High and low water, twice
during the 24 hours.
6 inches of snow fell on the
7th, and 3 inches on the
10th, but melted off same
The tides vary from one to two knots an hour all
round Burnaby Island. This, I take it, is probably
true of the other islands as well.
Harbours and Inland Waters.—The inlets and arms
of the sea are countless. Spring-water of the very
purest abounds in every part of the coast-land. As
it mostly appears to flow from long distances inland,
I am disposed to infer the existence of fresh-water
lakes embosomed among the mountains of the in-
terior, the labour and time required for a thorough
exploration of the country having hitherto prevented
either white men or black undertaking that duty.
I did not see or hear of any river worth the mention. But, with such coast-access, rivers would be of
no significance.
The harbourage is simply magnificent. Stewart's
Channel, which reminded me immensely of Spithead, can accommodate an untold number of ships of
the heaviest tonnage, and securely shelter them
against storms from whatever quarter. The same,
relatively as to size, may be said of Sockalee, Harriet,
Laskeek, and Cum-she-was Harbours, on the eastern
coast, and no doubt of many another on the western.
Rocks.—To take Burnaby Island as an example, in
the lower section of that islet considerable deposits
of black slate mixed with limestone exist, the limestone being much disturbed by greenstone and
granitic rockage, and its dense crystalline felspathic
traps being grooved and furrowed by glacial action. Mr
This semi-crystalline limestone is studded with small
bunches of black scorial slate, furnishing strong
evidence of its plutonic age. A system of metalliferous quartzose veins having parallel trappean
dykes, also permeates that island. These veins consist of ragged masses of plutonic, metamorphic, and
trappean rock. I prospected likewise a number of
spurs and veins of yellow and white quartz, the
general run of which lies north and south. Some of
these veins are a few inches in width, others as much
as six feet, all highly oreiferous.
Owing to the thick brushwood and the loose soil,
composed of the debris of fallen timber and of
vegetable matter lying undisturbed for centuries, I
found it utterly impracticable to ascertain the extent
or even the position of the rocks.
Occasionally the trees stand separate; but the
weary explorer does not advance twenty paces before
he is sure to tumble upon prostrate giants flung one
over the other in every conceivable configuration,
.from the lowest to the highest angles. Sometimes,
after having fought his way for hours through despairing entanglements, he emerges into an open
space seemingly solid. He steps boldly across it
towards the next thicket, but, on a sudden, the thin
' ii 304
slippery crust gives way, and down he goes twenty or
thirty feet amongst the rotten roots and the remains
of eagles, crows, wild dogs, bears, and innumerable
birds and beasts defunct ages ago. The bottom is
usually dry; otherwise those frequent mishaps would
often be fatal. As it is, such a combination of
obstacles cannot fail to prevent the interior being explored, except in a very gradual manner, or unless the
exploration should be undertaken on a colossal scale.
Land.—No one could pass a week among the islands
without becoming convinced of their agricultural
capacities. Vancouver Island has plenty of good arable
land; but I saw nothing there, either in quality or
in quantity, to equal what is to be seen on every side
along the shores of Queen Charlotte Islands. The soil
fit for farming purposes is not only extensive beyond,
all present calculation, but rich beyond description,
and better still, wholLy unappropriated. It seems to
be ever crying out to the personifiers of civilization, I Come and farm me, and I will return you a
hundredfold." In short, once colonize those islands
with the English farmer-class, and, considering the
richness of the soil, the excellent harbourage, the
easy means of transport, and the markets that are
certain to arise on the British Columbian mainland, TREES, FRUITS,  AND VEGETABLES.
one might safely predict for them an agricultural
prosperity absolutely unrivalled on the face of the
Trees, Fruits, and Vegetables.—The principal trees
are the pine,* the spruce-pine, the alder, the crab,
and the cedar, all in profusion and in first-class condition. I have made a calculation by which I am
ready to prove that the cedars could be brought to
the European market at a profit of eight per cent,
which again might be increased to twenty per cent,
if the other resources of the islands were included
in the transit.
Potatoes have already taken kindly to the soil.
The natives cultivate them in really large quantities,
and convey them across the Sound to the nearest
\ < m
* The largest pine-tree known to exist on Vancouver Island is one near
Mr. Richardson's house, Chemainis prairie, and not far from Chemainis
river. It measures fifty-one feet in circumference, which gives sixteen in
diameter. Its height is one hundred and fifty feet. Originally it was about
fifty feet higher; but the top has been broken off, either by lightning or
by wind. Its name is | The Old Guardsman." And certainly it must have
stood guard over the " forest primaeval " for whole centuries before any of
its giant neighbours were born.
It is common for people "on the trail" to turn aside to visit Mr.
Richardson's famous pine.
What, then, will be thought when I say, that the Queen Charlotte pine-
trees are, as a rule, taller than " The Old Guardsman," and not unfrequently
quite double its height and circumference ? I measured several which
gave over three hundred feet high and sixty feet round. 306 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
white settlements for sale. So far, the potato is the
only vegetable on the islands. There are no cereals,
wild or cultivated, and none of the tropical fruits,
not even wild grapes. But anybody acquainted with
the soil, taken with the climate, will recognise in it
a fertile field for much of that kind of produce over
and above the products of our own farming and
Crab-apples are plentiful, likewise strawberries,
raspberries, cranberries, and the sweet-tasting berry
which the Indians dry and preserve for winter
use. Were all this raw material handled with
skill, the country would soon be unsurpassed in
ordinary fruit-gardening, to say nothing of the
vines and wall-fruit of Europe that would be sure
speedily to follow.
Fish, Game, and Fur.—Salmon of several different
species, cod, halibut, sturgeon, haddock, trout,
whiting, herring, smelt, rock-bass, and seals of two
species, swarm either in the seas of the coastway,
or in the creeks and fresh river streams running up
from it.
As regards shell-fish, having myself eaten native
oysters, I cannot question the fact of oyster-beds
existing,  although   no  actual beds have  ever yet FISH AND  GAME.
been seen there. The quantity and variety of the
inferior sort of shell-fish are truly astonishing.*
The larger fish, such as the whale and porpoise,
would appear to make Queen Charlotte Sound
their playground. They doubtless prefer the
warmer water. I have seen scores of them at a time
amusing themselves within rifle-range of our log-
house on Burnaby Island.
The game is snipe, duck, goose, ermine, marten,
* Subjoined is a descriptive list of the varieties of shell-fish found on
the beach and rocks in front of our log-house:—
Diadema granulosum
.   Secondary
Lower Green Sand
Pecten plebeius    .
.   Tertiary
Old Phoc
Red Crag
Bulla edwardsii    .
.   Cain
Voluta luctatrix   .   .
.   ditto
Woll. Beds
Pusus regularis    .   .
.   ditto
Axinus angulatus
.   ditto
Mytilus antiquarium .
.   ditto
Old Phoc
Red Crag
Voluta spinosa (6 vari
sties.) ditto
Woll. Beds
Sanguinolaria hollowa
ysii   ditto
Mactra arenata    .   .
.   Tertiary
Norwich Crag
Pileopsis vetusta .   .
.   Primary
Ceub Strall
Pleurotomaria reticul
ita    Secondary
Portland Sand
Murex sex-dentatus .
.   Cain
Upper Eoc
Pluv. Marine
Voluta lamberta   .
.   ditto
Old Phoc
Coil Crag
Astarte elliptica  .    .
.   Tertiary
Cavern Remains
Nautica pachylabrum
.   Cain
Lond. Clay
Murex erinaceus .
.   Tertiary
P. and M. Deposit
I have verified the above list by Reynolds's British Chart; but I
gathered many more varieties, which are not accounted for in Reynolds's
work, or, to my knowledge, in any scientific book. Unluckily they were
destroyed, together with all my -valuable fossil and mineral specimens, in
the great Canadian bush-fire of 1865.
x 2 308
common otter, sea-otter, and bear's, besides numerous
other birds* and animals. The stock of game seems
a marvel in itself, until one remembers that there
has never yet been any serious onslaught upon it.
Colonization will, of course, cause a decrease; still
for twenty years hence no colonist of the islands
need starve, if he possesses a gun and can hit a haystack.
Fur  will no  doubt   also   die  out,   as  a   traffic;
but, again, years must elapse before all the bears,
* The following is a list of the birds frequenting the neighbourhood of
Burnaby Island:—
Night-hawk—-falco nocturnus.
Sparrow-hawk—-falco sparverius.
Gos-hawk—astur atricapillus.
White-headed eagle—haliaetus leucocephalus.
Belted kingfisher—alcedo accinctus.
Western blue-bird—cyanceus occidentalis.
North Western fish-crow—corvus caurinus.
Wilson's snipe—gallinago wilsonii.
Canadian goose—bernacl'a canadensis.
White-cheeked goose—bernacla leucoparsia-.
Mallard (stock duck)—anas boschas.
Canvas-back duck—aythia vallisneria.
Golden-eye (whistle-wing duck)—bucephala americana.
Buffle-head duck—bucephala albeola.
Harlequin duck—histrionicus torquatus.
Velvet duck—malanetta velvetina.
Glaucous-winged duGk—lanus glaucescens.
Suckley's gull—larus sucklcyii.
Great Northern diver—oolymbus torquatus.
Red-necked grepe—podicetus grisergeria^ —MNHL.
seals, ermine, and marten are cleared out. The
present breeds, in my opinion, would supply fur
enough to make the fortunes of half-a-dozen fur
Native Tribes.—Here are the tribal names of the
principal tribes inhabiting the islands:—Klue, Skiddan, Ninstence or Cape St. James, Skid-a-gate, Skid-
a-ga-tees, Gold-Harbour, Cum-she-was, and four
others, whose appellations I never could distinguish.
Hydah is the generic name for the whole.
All these tribes together amount to a native population of about five thousand, rather less perhaps.
The Queen Charlotte Islanders are justly considered the finest sample of the Indian race in the
North Pacific. They will stand comparison with
any Indians in the world. Their faults are the
usual Indian ones; but I did not find them to be
naturally revengeful or bloodthirsty, except when
smarting under the sense of a real and grave injury,
or when seeking to avert an imaginary wrong.
If honestly and firmly treated, no natives could be
better disposed towards the white men. Chief Klue,
considering himself as a sort of suzerain to the other
chiefs, and believing that he had a right to do what
he liked with his own islands, made me a present, in
the simplicity of his heart, of the whole of Queen
Charlotte Islands, on condition that I lived amongst
my Indian friends, and induced all my English friends
to come and settle there too. No small gift, considering that the islands are nearly two hundred miles
long, by an average of thirty wide.
The men are generally tall, and they would be
handsome, or at least comely, if it were not for their
atrocious custom of bedaubing themselves all over.
Their real reason for using paint is that they fancy
it improves personal beauty; and those poor savages
of the islands are certainly not singular in hoping
to be made " beautiful for ever " by means of paint.
But they give as their excuse the necessity of having
some protection against the weather. Until they
consent to wear clothing, it must be owned, too, that
there is something in the excuse. The majority of
them, whether male or female, wear only a small-
sized blanket, thrown loosely across the shoulders,
like a Spanish hidalgo's cloak, and more with a view
to warmth than from any sense of decency.
Some of the women have exceedingly handsome
faces and very symmetrical figures. Their charms,
however, are all but neutralized by the usage common
amongst them of disfiguring their breasts, arms, ears, ^^^^■i
and under-lip. One particularly fine woman, a
daughter of the petty chief Skilly-gutts, had half
her body tattooed with representations of chiefs, fish,
birds, and beasts. She told me that a halibut, laid
open with the face of the chief of her tribe drawn on
the tail, would protect her and her kin from drowning at sea. Most of the native females wear rings
through their noses. The elder ones may frequently
be seen with nose-rings large enough to serve as
collars for cats in good condition. Every woman
has three or four holes to each ear, one of the holes
being generally of sufficient size to admit the little
finger up to the second joint. The rings are bone,
and their own manufacture ; but sometimes, rather
than not decorate their ears, they will insert pieces
of stick or strips of cloth into the ear-holes. Bracelets of the same material are not uncommon, likewise anklets, which, however, having usually been
put on in youth and retained as fixtures, often cause
lameness. My constant topic of conversation with
the native women was the custom of our country in
regard to females. The most frequent questions
used to refer to Tyhee Klootchman and her Papoose,
that is, Queen Victoria and her children; for example,
how they dressed, how much money they had, what 312
price each of the children fetched in blankets, and
their names. The names formed a never-failing
source of amusement. I had to give each woman and
papoose a name after some member of the Royal
Family, past or present. When I had finished they
would go away delighted; but the next morning
they would be pretty sure to call upon me again, to
beg to have their names told them once more, a
function I was wholly unable to discharge, having
meanwhile forgotten all about them.
Amongst these simple and primitive tribes the
institution of marriage is altogether unknown. On
the other hand, so is polygamy. They view a woman
purely as a thing of purchase, to be had connubially
for a month's trial, and then, if not satisfactory, to be
returned to her parents, who are thereupon bound
to give back whatever she fetched in blankets, trinkets,
or the rest. The beautiful bond of attachment ending
only in death, and the heroic constancy of affection
often not ending then, which characterizes the lawful
intercourse of the sexes in civilized countries has yet
to be introduced into Queen Charlotte Islands. The
females in fact cohabit almost promiscuously with
their own tribe, though rarely with other tribes. Not
only does no dishonour  attach  to that degrading DISTRIBUTING BOOTY.
practice, but, if successful in making money, it is
highly honoured. I remember one singular case of
this. Some Queen Charlotte women went to spend
the Winter at Victoria, hoping to | earn blankets."
They came back loaded with blankets, trinkets, j
tobacco, whisky, and other presents, which they proceeded to distribute among their people in the following manner. Perching themselves on a rocky
platform near the beach, they tore the blankets into
long strips of about eight inches wide, and threw
them as far as possible into the midst of the crowd,
who scrambled for them. When the crowd got tired
and the fun flagged, the leader of the women produced a bundle of old revolvers and pitched them
one after another into the shallow part of the sea,
the men rushing in up to their arm-pits, mad with
desire to possess a white man's | six-shooter." It certainly was very diverting, if one had not chanced to
recollect whence and why the booty had come here.
The really strange part of it all had to come, however; for, on my inquiring what the women meant by
giving away their earnings in that way, I was told
that they would all be rewarded. And so they were,
Klue raising the " husband'' of the principal woman
to the rank of chief, and the tribe building her a ff
house. Apart from the detestable traffic which
enabled that woman to gain such a position in her
tribe, I could not help seeing in the public wish to
recognise her supposed merit a good forecast of what
true civilization may one day do for those poor untaught islanders. She rose in the estimation of her
tillicums (friends), because, having earned money—
they cared not how—she had shown a good tumtum
(heart), in assisting the needy. Not a bad criterion,
surely; or, at least, a policy which not seldom is
approved and acted upon amongst our home nations.
It is a common error, common throughout the
American continent even, to imagine that the aborigines of Canada and British Columbia are black.
We are called whites to make a distinction; but in
reality, the natural skin which prevails in most of the
tribes is nearly as white as ours. The " dusky"
Indians of the Canadian prairies stain their skins
with the bark of trees, and the " blacks," in our
colonies along the North Pacific seaboard, -paint
themselves with wetted char-wood. Whenever
this custom was temporarily relinquished, I was
always impressed by the manly beauty and bodily
proportions of my islanders. The Ninstence tribe,
generally known as  the Cape   St.   James Indians, DRIED  FISH.
appeared to me the handsomest, the Skid-a-gates the
most intelligent, and Klue's personal tribe the most
daring and trustworthy. Another error concerns
the colour of the hair. No doubt it usually is dark;
but the shade differs greatly. I saw a whole family
or section of a tribe, on the British Columbian mainland, every one of whom had not only a clean white
skin but light silky hair. On Queen Charlotte
Islands there were numberless instances of auburn
tresses, and a few positively of golden curls, amongst
which Klue's little Klootchman daughter was conspicuous.
The chief food of the Queen Charlotte islanders is
halibut. This fish amply suffices to support them
during the fishing season, the flesh of it being substantial, satisfying, and well-flavoured. At the close
of the fishing season they dry the fish. Before eating
dried fish they break it into bits, and soak the bits in
fish-oil, or rather in fish-grease having the consistency
of uncooled jelly, and then devour them, just as boys
amongst ourselves are wont to revel in bread and
treacle.*    Fish  thus   soaked is their  Winter-food,
* This mode of eating dried fish curiously tallies with the manners of
the Queen Charlotte Islanders in the last century, as described by Captain
Cook, R.N., in his Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. (Vol. ii. p. 424).
JE 316
their only additional relish being the preserved berry
already alluded to. Quantities of berries are laid in
stock; but, the eaters have such prodigious appetites
that frequently whole tribes will be reduced to starvation before the Winter ends. Were it not for a
few bulbs which they dig out of the soil in the early
Spring-time, while awaiting the halibut-season,
numbers of Indians really would starve to death.
They use nets, baits, and a kind of club or flat
mallet to fish with. Bears and other animals are
caught by means of an ingenious method of trapping;
for, odd as it may seem, the Queen Charlotte Islanders
know nothing of spears, and, odder still, nothing of
bows and arrows. Hence, until they got muskets
from the white men, the game on the islands had a
pleasant time of it. Even now the Indians are only
able to shoot an occasional seal, or at most a duck
or a goose.
Bark forms their grand medicinal specific. They
have another curative remedy, however, which is
apparently original and novel. For a long while I
was at a loss to account for the large pools of water
which, on returning after dinner, we often used to
find lying round the shaft-head. I remember feeling
somewhat anxious, as it occurred to me that possibly A WASH INSIDE-OUT..
there might have been an overflow from the shaft
itself, although I did not understand how such could
have happened. But, then, the water never appeared
in the night-time, and in the day-time only when the
workmen were away. Concluding, therefore, that the
Indians had to do with it, I watched behind a rock
one day during dinner-time. Presently I saw a
chief and two of his women come along. Taking a
bucket apiece from the shaft-works, they went down
to the sea, and having filled the buckets with sea-
water they came quietly back to the works. What
in the name of goodness were the perfidious wretches
going to do ? Perhaps inundate the shaft, and try
to spoil our mining operations ? Not so. Squatting
down on their haunches, each Indian seized a bucket,
and at one gulp swallowed every drop of its contents.
This extraordinary performance puzzled me more
than ever, particularly as the drinkers remained immovable in their squat position. I could perceive
nothing to explain the pools of water. However,
after I had waited patiently for fully twenty minutes,
I was about to retire, when suddenly all three, rising
a little, opened their mammoth jaws, and out rushed
half a pail of water from each mouth. They then
began twisting and rolling their bodies hither and 318 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
thither, as one might shake up a bottle of physic, and
immediately the rest of the water was ejected. The
matter-of-fact ease with which they conducted the
entire process made up not the least curious part of
it. But the problem of the pools was solved. Going
up to the Indians, therefore, and unable to smother
my laughter, I asked them what they intended by the
proceedings I had just witnessed. | They were
washing themselves inside-out" was the answer,
delivered in a very serious tone of voice, as much as to
insinuate that they considered their water-cure to be
no joke at all, in which sentiment I certainly, on
reflection, coincided ; for to the indiscriminate
adoption of this cure, it seems to me, is clearly
traceable the fearful mortality among the natives
when the small-pox visited them.
I never yet met with an Indian who was not a
born gambler. On the British Columbian mainland,
and on Vancouver Island, professionals travel about
from tribe to tribe, trusting entirely to gambling for
a livelihood. But the Queen Charlotte Islanders
surpass any people that I ever saw in passionate
addiction to the all-absorbing vice. I shall give one
salient instance. I once stood by while a Queen
Charlotte   chief gambled   away   every   article   he '*"—L-^-»*--
possessed in the world. He continued playing for
three days, without eating a mouthful of food, but
perpetually losing. By the fourth day he had
parted with the very blanket on his back. A woman
of his tribe, however, having compassionately lent
him her only blanket, he renewed the contest, and
recovered not merely what he had previously lost,
but all his opponent's property, which happened to
be rather considerable in powder and shot, muskets,
revolvers, blankets, skins, paints, tobacco, and fish.
The game was Odd or Even,* which is played thus.
The players spread a mat, made of the inner bark
of the yellow cypress, upon the ground, each party
being provided with from forty to fifty round pins
or pieces of wood, five inches long by one-eighth of
an inch thick, painted in black and blue rings, and
beautifully polished. One of the players, selecting a
number of these pins, covers them up in a heap of
* Mr. J. A. St. John, describing the sports and pastimes of the ancient
Greeks, has the following:—" To play at Odd or Even was common; so
that we find Plato describing a knot of boys engaged in this game. There
was a kind of divination, the bones being hidden under the hand, and the
one party guessing whether they were odd or even. The same game was
occasionally played with beans, walnuts, or almonds, if we may credit
Aristophanes, who describes certain serving-men playing at Odd or Even
with golden staters." (Manners and Customs of Ancient Greece, Vol. I.
p. 162.) The Roman game of Morra, still played in Italy by the peasants,
is of a similar nature, although the hands only are used in it. H«*      i mi mm i ■>!■
i 1
bark cut into fine fibre-like tow. Under cover of
the bark he then divides the pins into two parcels,
and, having taken them out, passes them several
times from his right hand to his left, or the contrary.
While the player shuffles, he repeats the words
I-E-Ly-Yah, to a low monotonous chant or moan.
The moment he finishes the incantation, his opponent, who has been silently watching him, chooses
the parcel where he thinks the luck lies for Odd or
Even. After which the second player takes his
innings, with his own pins and the same ceremonies.
This goes on till one or other loses all his pins.
That decides the game.
The Queen Charlotte Islanders have a vague
notion of a Great Spirit. They also share the belief,
prevalent among all North American Indians, that,
when they die, their spirits will pass to u the happy
hunting-grounds," the chase being the type of happiness to the Indian mind. But I failed to trace the
slightest connexion between these two semi-religious
ideas and the current of their lives. They did not
appear to look upon themselves as in the slightest
degree responsible to a Supreme Being for their
actions. In consequence they offered Him no
worship.   I observed that even their conception of iwotw"'   5P&3
duty towards their fellow-men was extremely limited,
being in fact regulated solely by the supposed good
that would accrue from any particular act to any
individual person or tribe in whom or which they
were interested. Unless when they followed the
impulses of their hearts, gain seemed their sole
motive, no inconvenient principles ever standing in
the way. On the other hand, though prone to
superstition, like all savage nations, they are far less
grossly superstitious than other Indians in the North
Pacific. Thus such horrible orgies as those enacted
by the medicine-men among the Tsimshean Indians
near Fort Simpson, one never sees or hears of among
the Queen Charlotte Islanders.
They keep many feasts or festivals during the
course of the year. These do not bear the least on
religion, but are purely social gatherings. In preparation for a feast the Indians first wash the old
black paint clean off their bodies. Then, after having
besmeared their skins with fish-grease to cause the
colours to stick well, they repaint their faces, chests,
and arms red, with figures of men, birds, or fish.
The black paint is their own preparation; the red is
vermilion, which they purchase from the whites.
When this repainting has been accomplished, it may ';£*■"
be styled their full-dress. And yet theyare not deemed
presentable at the feast till they have furthermore
besprinkled their painted bodies all over with the
fine down of the duck or goose. Talk of tarring and
feathering being mythical. It is pure and simple
reality to them. As soon as the time comes for the
feast to commence, the men squat down in large extended circles, and beat a sort of accompaniment by'
means of double sticks to the dancing of the women.
That can scarcely be called a dance, either, which is
but a contortion of the head and body into every
imaginable shape and position, while the knee-joints,
and often the entire legs, remain unmoved. Now
and again a woman will throw in a new movement
or figure, spicing it with a witty or slangy word,
such as will highly amuse the outer crowd, and encourage them to redouble the excitement.
Here are two of their favourite songs.    The first
-4—p—m—>: F  F* 0-
i r r i
^ -fl
Ff-f- F-f-u
I, e,     ha.        I,      e,    ly-jah.  Ha,    oii,   ha, la,  I,   e, ha.
Da Capo four times, finishing with Chorus.
I,    e,
ha. *
The second is nothing but a repetition of the note
B in the key of E; and the words, like our ri-fol-de-
liddle-lol-rifiol-lairy, having no intrinsic signification,
have no translation. They sing this song principally when out canoeing. The notes to the two
upper lines are semibreves, those to the under-line
crotchets, thus:—
Equal—ah, ah, ah, ah, he, he, he.     andante.
Equal—ah, ah, ah, ah, he, he, he.     crescendo.
Equal—ah, equal—ah, he, he, he.     decrescendo.
These specimens of native music were certainly
composed before modern notation was introduced,
and probably before the art of music was invented.
I have tried to approximate the above rendering to
our ideas. But the proper term for this kind of
music would be Plain Chant Run Mad, if it were not
for a peculiar plaintiveness of tone and a quaint
hitch of the voice at the end of each line, which
redeems the so-called singing from the charge of
inflicting torture on human ears.
As I conclude this narrative of my discoveries and
adventures along the North Pacific coast, my
thought naturally reverts to the geographical position
of the islands where, for the chief part of two years,
I lived and worked.
y 2
Everybody who has personal cognizance of Canada
and British Columbia feels assured of the day being
near when the western boundary of the Canadian
Dominion must comprise, not only the Bed River and
the Saskatchawn territories, but our outlying possessions in the North Pacific. The importance of so
vast an agglomeration will explain itself to those who
SO i
are strangers to America, by the reflection that the
British Columbian colony alone contains 280,000
square miles, making no less than 179,200,000 acres.
Let the political arrangements be once complete, and
a Grand Northern Pacific Railway, opening up to
colonization and culture immense tracts now waste
and unknown, will inevitably follow. Great, however, as the acquisition appears at first glance, its
primary value by no means comprehends all the
advantages that are sure to accrue thence to the
British Empire. For unbroken steam and rail communication, under our own contro), with the North
Pacific Ocean will also give both England and
Canada a new outlet for the exports to the western
seaboards of the two Americas, and, further on, to
Japan, China, and Australasia.
But those isles of the Far West which I have been
describing lie directly in the high-road of the
anticipated commerce. W w*|ilf«.'
If, therefore, their beneficent climate, and the magnitude of their mineral and agricultural resources, be
judiciously appraised beforehand, their prosperity is
already secured.
I close with the earnest hope that such a colonizing
scheme will ere long be devised as may, at one and
the same time, utilize so favoured a country to us,
and rescue from savagedom the poor benighted tribes
who inhabit it.
Then I shall think that I have not laboured in
vain on behalf of Queen Charlotte Islands. «-«-*-
The Queen Charlotte Mining Company having
approved my Report, provided for the removal of
my late workmen, and handsomely acknowledged my
services, I was free to return to England, or to resume
the more regular professional work in Canada, from
which I had temporarily severed myself.
Before briefly narrating my return-voyage, I shall'
say a word on the capital of British Columbia.
Outside Victoria, towards* the north, is an excellent
racecourse, with some high land in the centre of it
called Beacon-hill. I took my stand there, to have a
farewell look at the colony. In the North Pacific
strangers are said to incline to the use of superlatives
while surveying the scenery. Perhaps so; yet, " most
magnificent, most glorious," are the expressions that v 11
1  i I
do rise to one's mind in presence of the perfect
natural beauty to be viewed on all sides.
The prospect for miles and miles round the capital
could not but enlist enthusiastic admiration. What
I saw included an interminable extent of bold sea-
coast, cut up into lovely coves and future bathing-
places, that forcibly recalled our Devon and Cornwall at home. Beyond these came, here the ocean in
all its expanded beauty, there the straits and the
inland seas I had learnt to know so well, and,
beyond the straits again, the long mountain-chains of
the Oregon Territory rearing their snow-clad crests
in stern splendour. I sat for hours, hardly taking
my eyes from off the landscape, rendered doubly
beautiful by the clear atmosphere which allowed me to
discern objects without a glass at wondrous distances.
It is grand that Englishmen should have such
a land to colonize. Other nations, one felt, would
spoil it.
Looking down, you see Victoria at your feet. It
is laid out on rising ground, and promises from its
plan to become a fine city. The streets are designedly
wide; but it will be years yet before high houses can
be built in sufficient numbers to make the width and
height of the streets more proportionate. Every
thoroughfare in the town stands at right angles with
m >2<S"M!
its neighbours, after the usual colonial fashion. If
one adds that the whole place has a genuine colonial
air about it, no dispraise is intended. Some day its
streets will rival those of Melbourne.
I remember particularly, being in an observant
and reflective mood on descending from my eminence,
that I was struck by the neatness and comfort which
seemed to predominate through the town; and that
is more than can be said for Yankee beginnings in
any given locality.   ■
The immediate vicinity of Victoria looks bare.
Amongst the few attractive spots near is Government
House. The grounds which surround it are considerable and prettily laid out. Of the residence
itself, I can only venture to say that it insensibly
called to mind the house of an English farmer in
easy circumstances.
After a pleasing interview with Governor Douglas,
and an affectionate leave-taking with Chief Klue and
his men, I at last made ready to quit British
* By the official returns of the British Columbian Government in 1870,
the white population in the colony was estimated at 10,496, inclusive of
1947 Chinese. But, of course, many roaming traders, miners, and fishermen are overlooked. The Indian population is variously estimated at from
30,000 to 50,000. HOMEWARD  BOUND.
From this point my Diary will serve me to the
end of the journey homeward:—
"May Y5th.—Wishing many sincere friends goodbye, I mounted this morning into the stage, bag and
baggage, and came quickly across from Victoria to
Esquimalt Harbour. I am now on board the Sierra
Nevada steamship, bound for San Francisco."
118th, 8 a.m.—Just entering the | Golden Gate,"
within sight of Frisco, after a roughish but pleasant
passage from Esquimalt.
12 p.m.—Have put up at the Tehaina House
Hotel, and taken a berth in a small steamer to go
and see the great copper-mines near Stockton."
119th.—Reached Stockton, by Cornelia steamer, at
3 a.m. to-day. Came along in the stage to Coppero-
polis, distant thirty-nine miles, where I arrived at
3 p.m., having passed through enormous flats of
the richest prairie land. About one hundred houses
in Copperopolis (what a name to give a place, to be
sure), nearly all hotels and stables. Went off at
once to visit the works. Saw the famous Union
mine, which, they say, has a vein sixteen feet thick,
extending in one straight line for twenty miles.
This mine is worked by three engines, one of six-
horse power, and two others of fourteen-horse power
i; w
each. I inspected also the Keystone mine, on the
opposite side of the town. Smaller, but better ore.
Obtained specimens* from both mines."
" 20th, 2 p.m.—Arrived back at Stockton a while
ago. Before leaving Copperopolis I hired a swift
Mexican mustang (small mule), and rode out to see
the " King of Trees," a few miles from the town, returning by another route over a spur of the Sierra
Nevada mountains. Only a huge stump now remains
of this once great tree. The top partf was cut off
and conveyed to our Crystal Palace at Sydenham,
some years back. There is a whole grove of gigantic trees, the one sent to England having been the
largest. At first sight, these trees do not appear so
very much larger-sized than those of the surrounding
forest. It is only by measurement that one comes to
apprehend their immensity. The largest tree now
in the grove measures thirty-three feet in diameter,
the same diameter, namely, as that of the Thames
Tunnel. Another, called the "Grizzly Giant," fell
down last year. As it lay on the ground, I took the
diameter.    It was exactly thirty-three feet.    I also
* On my return to England I placed these particular specimens in the
collection at Somerset House, London.
f This is the Californian trunk, which was afterwards burnt in the
Crystal Palace fire in 1867. THE QUEEN'S  BIRTHDAY.
measured the distance from the root to the first limb,
and found it to be ninety feet, the diameter at the
limb itself being over six feet."
" 21st.—Got to my hotel at California at 2 a.m.,
after a disgusting passage of nine hours from Stockton. Steamer Henry Hemsley wretched, and full of
drunken Yankee rowdies. Ran aground coming up,
and had much difficulty in getting the vessel off, in
consequence of the disorderly mob on board, republican institutions requiring that everybody, however
ignorant, should have a voice in the matter. A
never-too-highly-prized blessing is it, being born
under the flag of Old England."
" 23rd., 8 a.m.—It warms one's heart to look out
of the hotel window this morning. For what do I
see, amidst all the rowdyism around me, but about
forty English ships in the harbour, gaily decorated
from stem to stern with flags and streamers ? They
are keeping the Queen's birthday. This cheery sight
reminds me that in two hours I shall have embarked in the Golden Age steamer, on my way back
to civilized life."
"28th.—We have now been five days at sea, having
steamed some 1280 miles, or about 256 miles every
twenty-four hours.    The ship is nothing but an old 332
punt, hastily refitted for this service.* She rolls like
a wash-tub. The passengers, who hardly number
two hundred, do not seem martyrs to sea-sickness,
being for the most part old stagers on the briny deep.
I am the only Englishman amongst them. They are
principally Mexicans and South Americans, with a
dozen successful miners from Cariboo and California."
"29th, 6 a.m.—Crossed the Gulf of California
during the night, and, for the first time since leaving
San Francisco, can see the land on our lee.
17 a.m.—Off Corrientes, in the Republic of Halisco.
Not three miles from the coast: but we are unable
to make it out, in consequence of a cloud-like mist,
drawn from the earth by the heat of the sun. The
Captain tells me, that this mist will become more
intense every day, according as we approach nearer
to the Line.
"11 a.m.—Mist cleared. We can plainly discern
the wreck of a large steamship in-shore. It was
destroyed by fire when passing this way a few weeks
ago. Ship's name, the Golden Gate. Cause of the
accident, customary Yankee negligence. Many lives
were lost, among which an old friend of my own.
* The same ship that had taken me, in 1862, to San Francisco.   The
vessel was very fair to look at, but completely worn out. " V'wPWW?
The wreck lies high and dry on the beach, exposed
to the wild surf so common along the Mexican coast.
" 2'30 p.m.—Dropped anchor at noon, in Manzanilla Harbour.
" Weather not so hot and sultry as when I came in
here before. There seems much more liveliness
about the place. The site for a city is well chosen,
and the harbour capacities of Manzanilla are indubitably great. We have taken a large freight of silver
on board, in coin and bars; also cotton in bales.
I Quite a crowd of Mexican ladies have come off in
boats to inspect our ship: and they do look desperately handsome, with their lustrous eyes under the
longest eyelashes in creation, and such tiny hands
and feet. The length of the hand is the length of
the foot; so, instead of getting measured for shoes,
they merely hold out their hands. The female dress
in Mexico Is generally black, but I remark that some
of these ladies have crimson or amber colours intermixed with it. They appear as though dressed for
an evening party. None have head-dresses; but
each one carries a coquettish little silk parasol, by
way of protecting her head from the sun.
"4 p.m.—Steam up, and we are off again, with a
fair wind. 334
"Goodness gracious! who would have thought
that those lovely and apparently aristocratic ladies,
whom I was admiring two hours ago, were sent down
from the interior of Colima by their 'noble' husbands
to steal—yes, actually to steal ? It is true, I hear,
that Mexicans as a rule consider it absolute folly
to pay for anything, if they can possibly obtain it
without. Numbers of articles are being missed by
the passengers, and doubtless more will be. Three
of the ' ladies' were seen handling some teaspoons in
a very suspicious manner, whilst others engaged the
attention of their admirers. One 'lady,' the most
noble-looking of the party, was caught in the act.
She had adroitly snatched up a shirt, and concealed
it in the folds of her mantilla. But a vigilant Canadian, having observed the theft, informed the shirt's
owner, who politely asked her ladyship whether she
could not make it convenient to pay for the shirt
to-day, as he did not contemplate returning by this
steamer. With the utmost composure she immediately put her little hand into her pocket, and paid
the price.
" We have some male Mexicans in the saloon, who
endeavour to laugh all this off—vainly, however.
They have let us  into some entertaining facts as ■
regards their fair countrywomen. No Mexican ladies
are ever allowed to walk out alone. A duenna must
always accompany them, even if it be to church; yet
their morals stand very low. They are wonderfully
captivating, on account of their light witty talk, their
sweeping bright eyes, and their graceful persons.
Reading is an institution almost unknown amongst
them. They dally away most of their existence in
listless idleness, varied occasionally by a ball, and of
an evening by a walk in the Ritretta or an airing on
the Pasco. They rise early, because matutinal attendance at church is an established custom. But
after that the hours of the day are passed in lounging
upon beautifully-worked hammocks, suspended under
the verandahs, where they smoke their cigarettes,
whilst little nigger-boys fan them off to sleep, or
handmaidens come and coif their plenteous black
hair. Alas, they know not the comforts of water:
for, although a bath is now and then taken, they do
not wash regularly, but in the morning merely
moisten their faces with the corner of a towel dipped
in rum.    Can they be said to live?"
"2>0th, 3 p.m.—Alarm of fire. Immense excitement amongst the passengers—small blame to them.
But the stupe of a captain only wants to exercise 336 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
the hands at the fire-engine.    A nice sort of commander to be under, supposing a real crisis to occur.
"4 p.m.—Just spoke the Constitution steamer on
her way to Frisco. She looked crowded with
passengers, the majority, I hear, being an expected
ship-load from New York, off in quest of gold to the
Fraser river. Some will come back rich. But how
many will die of starvation instead ?
I 7 p.m.—In the harbour of Acapulco, Republic of
Guerrero, our vessel having fired a gun as she
" This being the rainy season, we are fortunate in a
deliciously fine evening, with a moonlight that makes
one half think it is daytime.
I On my outward-bound voyage, as the English
and French fleets were then blockading Acapulco, we
could only ride at anchor a short while in the offing.
I now got such a view of the town and harbour as
the brightest imaginable moon could afford.
I The town is built on the shore of a landlocked
basin.    To the left, above a rocky point, was plainly
visible a fort with ditches and strong embrasures, and .
the  trees  of  the Alameda   or  Government  House
behind it.
" I believe the Mexicans made no stand whatever ACAPULCO HARBOUR.
in this fort during the late siege. It would have
been impossible, indeed; for their shot could not
carry above half-way to the French ships which were
bombarding the fort; whereas the French easily sent
both shot and shell into it, although firing from the
mouth of the bay. The Mexican commander wisely
spiked his guns, therefore, and withdrew his men to a
mountain-fort higher up, where he knew the enemy's
shot must be powerless to reach them.
" 10 p.m.—Steaming out of harbour again.
I For the last hour or so we have been having fun
enough in the harbour itself.    I had often heard it
stated that a shark will never attack a black man.    I
long reserved my judgment on this head, until I
could see a thoroughly satisfying proof of the statement; and I have seen one here with a vengeance.
Soon after we had entered the harbour, I pointed out
to a fellow-traveller a number of dark-looking units
moving about on the water's surface between our
ship and the out-shores of the bay.    We took them
for some kind of sea-fowl; but an officer of the ship
told us that these were a set of professional swimmers,
who, though not exactly negroes, belong to the lowest
Mexican caste, their external casings and general
characteristics    smacking    strongly    of   negroism.
z 338
J i.
Having learnt that the Golden Age was expected,
they had taken the water at early dawn, and never
put foot to ground all day. Soon they came in a
shoal alongside the ship's paddle-box, wishing the
passengers buenas noches, with a queer wave of the
hand. And there, for more than two hours, they
treated us to all kinds of antics and aquatics. We
pitched them lots of five, ten, twenty-five, and fifty-
cent pieces. It was wonderful, certainly, to see the
fellows fight each other in the water, and then dive
down ever so deep after the money, wholly regardless
of hundreds of sharks darting about like tadpoles in
all directions, but not once touching these black
"I note a rise in the temperature. The ocean is
tranquil, only a slight breeze rippling its waters.
We have consequently no demon of sea-sickness to
disturb our companionship. But the demon of heat
takes his place. I do not feel it quite so much as I
did when in these waters two years ago, probably
because of the present season being rainy. Still the
thermometer ranges from 75° to 84° at night, and
from 86° to 90° by day. This I know is a lower
temperature than we sometimes experience in the
North:   but. here   one has  a muggy,  debilitating ".rnmKf*
atmosphere to contend with as well. Under its influence my energies flag, my active habits of mind
and body are thrown aside, my very sensibilities
seem weakened. Lying in my berth a while ago, I
did long for the health-giving embraces of the
northern winds. A borean blast is rude, but it
tingles in your veins, and stiffens all your nerves,
until it compels you to be up and doing."
"31st, 8 p.m.—Had a striking sunset this evening.
" The sunsets hereabouts are very peculiar. I
have seen nothing like them, except in the Gulf of
St. Lawrence. The sky, upon its ground-hue of rose
westward, and of purple eastward, is mottled and
freckled over with delicate clouds, the colours of
which run through every shade of crimson, amber,
violet, and russet-gold. No dead duskiness appears
opposite the sinking sun. The entire expanse of the
firmament glows with an equal radiance, reduplicating its glories on the glassy sea, so that we seem to
be floating in a hollow spheroid of prismatic crystal.
As the light diminishes, these radiant vapours gather
together into flaming pyramids, between each pinnacle of which a depth of serene air reveals the same
fathomless violet-green that one remembers in the
skies of Titian.
z 2 340
" I had hardly noted down the above, when, going
on deck, I found the ship's company and passengers
gazing transfixed upon a dark black line which
stretched across the whole length of the northern
horizon. The sea had meantime changed its colour
from indigo blue to a sheet of white phosphorescent
light. While we gaze, nearer and nearer approaches
the dark line. Not a soul speaks. We hold our breath,
and almost cower; for instinct tells us one and all that
it is a hurricane squall, so dreaded on this coast.
Suddenly the passengers rush below, and the crew
obey the order to " batten down the hatches." Preferring the deck, in the twinkling of an eye I had lashed
myself to the capstan. The squall came along with
giant steps. One fearful moment, it struck our
veteran ship, shaking her as a cat would a mouse,
and then all was instantly calm, as though nothing
had happened. Again the silver moon illuminates
the horizon and the intervening space of sea. The
passengers crowd up the hatches, and the oldest
sailors declare that it was the tail of a true hurricane, and the ' closest shave' they could recollect
in their maritime experience."
" June 6lh, 4 a.m.—Off the entrance to Panama
" The Golden Age has been firing rockets for the
last hour, to wake up the sleepy-headed officials.
"2.30 a.m.—At last she fires her biggest gun,
which is answered presently by the waving of a lamp
on shore. Soon a native pilot comes off to us,
and we are made fast to a buoy just inside the
harbour, but still at a distance of a mile and a half
from the city, and of two miles from the railway-
pier, to which we shall have to be conveyed in a
19 a.m.—I wish I could have seen more of Panama
City; but a few hurried rambles through its unused
colleges, its ruined convents, its grass-grown plazas,
and its massive fortifications, lumbered with idle
cannon of the splendid old bronze of Barcelona, is all
that our short allowance of three hours has enabled
me to accomplish. As the train does not start for
-another half-hour, I shall jot down my information
and impressions on the spot.
" The situation of the city at the base of a broad
green mountain, three sides of which are washed by
the sea, has a highly advantageous appearance. Yet
other sites in the bay would have suited commercial
purposes much better. Vessels of heavy draught
cannot anchor within a mile of the nearest landing- ..OJHW
place. Indeed but one point can be found where
embarkation is practically safe, and that only after
dug-outs made roughly by the natives. The bottom
of the bay is a bed of rock, which at low tide lies
quite bare, far out beyond the ramparts. It would
cost enormous sums to blast and clear this away.
The eastern shores of the bay form a portion of the
South American continent; and the lofty mountain
range inland is for ever wreathed with airy clouds,
or shrouded from view by the storms it attracts.
Thence westward are the verdure-covered isles of
Taboga, and others not known to fame, but which
serve beauteously to break the blue curve of the
watery horizon. Panama is considered one of the
most picturesque of the many picturesque cities of
South America. Though small in extent, and as antiquated as a city of some past age, it reveals ravishing
points of interest, both externally and internally. I
looked out of the angle of a venerable watch-tower
in the ramparts, down upon the sparkling swells of
the Pacific Ocean—it was my last view of the Pacific
—and there before me at one glance lay presented to
my vision the stupendous sweep of a hundred curvilinear miles, which the gulf takes on either side. *****&&**££*
' The principal plaza in the city is fronted by a
splendid college, left incomplete nearly a century back.
It has a portico of red sandstone pillars, once proud
and imposing. They are now broken and crumbling,
whilst from the crevices of the pediments spring
luxuriant banana creepers, shooting their large leaves
through the classic windows, or folding them round
the columns of the gateway. Sic transit gloria
mundi. I thought the remains of the Jesuit church
of San Felipe a grand old ruin. Majestic arches,
betraying the mosarabic traditions of the architect,
still intersect its long-drawn nave and aisles; but
here again an overgrowth of wild vines festoons the
spandrils of the arches and falls like fringe to the
floor. The building has been roofless from time
immemorial, yet daylight can scarce steal through
the embowering foliage. And as though in silent
-mockery of the works of man, several bells with a
silvery ring may be seen propped up by tottering
beams, and stowed away in a dark corner. How
many score of years is it since the crafty but devoted
brotherhood rang those dulcet bells to call the faithful
to the Oragion?
" Thus Panama. 1
"11 a.m.—I am writing in the train.
1 Passing with the same slowness through the
same gorgeous isthmus-land as two years back,
every mile of the road exhibits well-remembered,
yet ever new beauties. One misses the sharp-marked
hills of the north, all outline of landscape being lost
under this deluge of vegetation. Not a trace of soil
can be discerned. Lowland and highland seem
merged into one mass. A mountain is but a higher
swell of the mass of leafy verdure. What shape the
country would assume if cleared, who can tell?
Meanwhile, your eye wanders over the scene with
never-sated pleasure, until your brain aches again.
And yet, as when contemplating the ocean, you have
an indefinable sense rather than a direct perception
of its beauty.
I Isthmus railway-guards are either venal rascals
or extremely accommodating to sight-seers—perhaps
something of both. We have stopped at two or
> three villages for no ostensible purpose but to- let
the villagers squeeze money out of the travellers.
Boys and girls brought us fruits, offering them with
pretty Mexican-Indian words, which signify bite, sir.
These natives are  a mixture   of the   Indian   and A  FANDANGO.
Spanish races. Their skin is black. The boys, however, took care to tell us that, although niggers, they
were muchos caballeros—very much gentlemen.
" 2 p.m.—We are driving on from a town where the
Alcalde's daughters gave us a fandango. Fancy a
whole train full dropping down at a station on the
London and North Western, to take part in a ball,
and then off again.
" The ladies were dressed in pink and white, with
flowers in their hair, and danced upon a green sward
to the music of violins and guitars. Senora Cata-
lina, a rich widow of pure Andalusian blood, danced
charmingly, holding a crimson scarf up over her
shoulders, and tossing her little head from side to
side in the most inebriating manner.
"Travelling across the Isthmus is certainly delightful."
I 7th, 10 a.m.—At sea, on board the Ocean Queen,
for New York. Only about a hundred passengers.
Great difference between a homeward and outward
voyage in that respect.
I Our ship appears seaworthy. I recognise an
improvement in the accommodation since my voyage
out, if the other vessels of the line are to be j udgedfrom Fb.
this one.    But can an Englishman ever find himself
at home amongst citizens of the United States ?"
I 8th, 4 p.m.—I did not think I should so soon
have an apt illustration of the foregoing sentiment
to enter in my Diary.
I News of a desperate row in the forecastle. A
smart-looking young Englishman, who was unfortunate at the gold-mines, and who joined the ship to
work his' way home, got into a quarrel with the
boatswain, which has ended in the poor lad having to
be put to bed in consequence of a zigzag cut from
the right eye down to the neck, and another deep
cut eight inches long up his left thigh, just above the
knee. I hear the affair was duly reported to the
Captain, who talked it over with his friend the chief
mate, who laughed it over with his friend the second
mate, who slurred it over with his friend the boatswain.    And there it will end, doubtless.
"An Englishman deserves to be pitied, indeed,
whose necessities oblige him to entrust either life or
property to a country where everybody lives so freely
that nobody has any rights, except through the intervention of a knife or a revolver.
114th.—Rounded Sandy Point, in the State of New ON THE  WAY  TO  ENGLAND.
Jersey, at nine o'clock this morning, after a quick but
totally dull voyage of eight days from Aspinwall.
Now at my hotel in New York, Broadway."
Let it suffice to add that another week found me
back at my Canadian head-quarters, in the city of
Montreal, and on my way to dear Old England.
THE END. *    i  , i t>,   ■%,
COVENT  GARDEN. 13, Great Marlborough Street.
LIAM HARNESS, Vicar of AU Saints, EJiightsbridge, and Prebendary of St. Paul's. By the Rev. A. G. L'Estrange. 1 vol.
8vo.    15s.
Among other celebrated persons of whom anecdotes and reminiscences will be
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Kogers, Charles Lamb, Sydney Smith, Talfourd, Theodore Hook, Dickens, Thackeray, Lockhart, Lady Byron, Miss Mitford, Miss Austen, Joanna, Baillie, Mrs.
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The book is a pleasant book, and will be found excellent reading. All those
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" "We are sure that this work will be read with much interest The Bev. William
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of Discovery and Adventure in The North Pacific. By Francis
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Contents:—Babylon—Egypt—Nineveh—Tyre and Sidon—Bashan—Jerusalem—
Borne—The Seven Cities of Asia— onstantinople—Metz, Sedan, and Strasburg—
Vienna^—Munich—Madrid—Baris—Chicago—The City that never Falls—The City
that comes down from Heaven-
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FRANCE AND GERMANY. By Archibald Forbes. One of the
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his powers of keen perception and of graphic description, and the genial temper of
pathos and humour which runs through all he writes, must be fresh in the recollection of our readers, and are as apparent in these volumes as they were in the
original letters which form the material of the present work"—Daily News.
" We have a pride as well as pleasure in recording the complete success of Mr.
Forbes in the arduous task he had undertaken, because in youth his military spirit
attracted him into our own service, and it was there he learnt that professional
knowledge which gives such value and importance to his work Of every battle
he describes Mr. Forbes may truly exclaim, Quorum pars fui, for he was there,
almost in the front, under the hot fire, and catching the shouts of the combatants
as they fought, or fell, or conquered. Worth, Gravelotte", Spichern, Sedan, Metz,
their tactics, their struggles, their denouements, and their grand international results,'
all live over again in these brilliant pages."—United Service Gazette.
PARIS. Reprinted from "The Dally News." With several
NEW LETTERS and PREFACE. Second Edition Revised. 1 vol.
8vo.   15s.
" The missing Letters of the Besieged Besident that now appear for the first
time are in no way inferior to those that have had a first success in the columns
of a contemporary, and should find it hard to say which we could spare."—Times.
"' The Diary of a Besieged Besident in Paris' will certainly form one of the most
remarkable records of a momentous episode in history."—Spectator.
" On the whole, the Besieged Besident must have had what the Americans call
' a good time' in Paris. He led a life which, as reflected in his faithful pages, seem
to have been full of interest. There is an entire absence of affectation in this
writer which vastly commends him to us."—Pall Mail Gazette.
" The Letters of the Besieged Besident give a lively, minute, and, in the main,
very accurate description of affairs in Paris during the four months of its isolation.
Other kindred books will soon be published, but tbin volume is likely to be more
valuable than any of the others, and we certainly cannot expect to And elsewhere
so much fulness of detail or such vivid narration of events."—Examiner.
" There is much in this volume of a permanent value, and we are glad to see it
given to the world in a permanent shape."—Standard.
2 13, Great Marlborough Street.
NEW WORKS—Continued.
THE ARTIST. Edited by Thomas Landseer, A.R.A. 2 vols,
large post 8vo, with Portrait.   24s.
" Mr. Landseer seems to have had a pious pleasure in editing this biography
and these letters of his old friend. We should be wanting in our duty were we
not to thank him for furnishing us with such interesting memorials of a man
who did good work in his generation, but about whom so little is known"—Times.
" Mr. Landseer's account of Bewick's life is altogether interesting. The volumes
are a pleasant medley of autobiographical fragments, letters, literary criticisms,
and anecdotes, judiciously strung together by Mr. Landseer with concise links of
narrative, and the whole work gives a lively and most welcome view of the
character and career of a man who is worth remembering on his own account, and
yet more on account of the friends and great men with whom he associated. There
are very welcome references to Haydon, Wilkie, Wordsworth, TJgo Foscolo, Hazlitt,
Sir Walter Scott, the Ettrick Shepherd, Shelley, Keats, Leigh Hunt, and a seore or
more of other men of whom the world can hardly hear too much."—Examiner.
" The interest for general readers of this ' Life and Letters' is derived almost entirely from anecdotes of men of mark with whom the artist associated, and of
which it contains a very large and amusing store. His fellow pupil and old friend,
Mr. Thomas Landseer, the famous engraver, has put the materials before us together with much skill and a great deal of genial tact The literary sketches which
Bewick made of Hazlitt, Haydon, Shelley, Keats, Scott, Hogg, Jeffrey, Maturin, and
others, are extremely bright, apt, and clear."—Athensewm.
"Mr. Thomas Landseer has made many charmed readers his debtor by the
'Life and Letters of William Bewick,' in many ways an interesting work Bewick
became acquainted with many famous people, of whom he was careful to preserve
recollections, abounding with anecdotes here given in full."—Daily Telegraph.
" Two very amusing and readable volumes, full of anecdote and pleasant description."—Art Journal.
" The biography of such a man is always worth writing. Bewick's own contributions to the task have considerable literary skill and even charm, and Mr.
Landseer has performed his part with taste and discretion. It is a worthy homage
from a man to his deceased friend not a few agreeable hours be spent in perusing
■" William Bewick was an artist of eminence, a man of highly cultivated tastes,
of romantic and poetical feelings, destined to have a wide acquaintance with all
the men of his time best worth knowing, and intimate association with the most
gifted and famous among them. His reminiscences are full, lively and interesting.
His letters are full of charming anecdotes of all the celebrities of the day in literature and art"—Chambers' Journal.
By Mrs. Harvey, of Ickwell Bury. 8vo, with Coloured Illustrations.    Second Edition.    15s.
" Mrs. Harvey's book could scarcely fail to be pleasant, for the excursion of
which it gives us an account must have been one of the most delightful and romantic voyages that ever was made. Mrs. Harvey not only saw a great deal, but
saw all that she did see to the best advantage. She was admitted into Turkish
interiors which are rarely penetrated, and, protected by an escort, was able to ride
far into the mountains of Circassia, whose lovely defiles are full of dangers which
seal them to ordinary travellers. We cannot call to mind any account written of
late years which is so full of valuable information upon Turkish household life.
In noticing the intrinsic interest of Mrs. Harvey's book, we must not forget to say
a word for her ability as a writer."—Times.
" This record of travel is pleasantly written; its descriptions are vivid, and there
are parts of the book, especially that comprehended under the title of Circassian
Homes, which to most persons will have the charm of novelty. We take leave of
the book with a hearty tribute to its varied merits."—Post.
" Mrs. Harvey records her impressions of Turkey and Circassia in a lively and
pleasant manner. The book has' many attractions for untravelled readers. It
contains the genuine criticisms of an English lady of culture on Eastern manners
and civilization; as well as many exact photographs of the places she visited and
the persons she encountered."—Examiner. 18, Great Marlborough Street.
NEW  WORKS—Continued.
W. Hepworth Dixon.
1 vol. demy 8vo.   (In the Press.)
FREE RUSSIA. By W. Hepworth Dixon, Author
of " New America," " Her Majesty's Tower," &c.    Third Edition.
2 vols. 8vo, with Coloured Illustrations.   30s.
" Mr, Dixon's book will be certain not only to interest but to please its readers
and it deserves to do so. It contains a great deal that is worthy of attention, and
Is likely to produce a very useful effect The ignorance of the English people
with respect to Bussia has long been so dense that we cannot avoid being grateful
to a writer who has taken the trouble to make personal acquaintance with that
seldom-visited land, and to bring before the eyes of his countrymen a picture of
its scenery and its people, which is so novel and interesting that it can scarcely
fail to arrest their attention."—Saturday Review.
" We claim for Mr. Dixon the merit of having treated his subject in a fresh and
original manner. He has done his best to see with his own eyes the vast country
which he describes, and he has visited some parts of the land with which few
even among its natives are familiar, and he has had the advantage of being
brought into personal contact with a number' of those Bussians whose opinions
are of most weight. The consequence is, that he has been able to lay before
general readers such a picture of Bussia and the Bussian people as cannot fail to
interest them."—A thentsum.
" Mr. Dixon has invented a good title for his volumes on Bussia. The chapter on
Lomonosoff, the peasant poet, is one of the best in the book, and the chapter on
Kief is equally good. He gives an interesting and highly picturesque account of
the working of the jury system in a case which he himself saw tried. The descriptions of the peasant villages, and of the habits and manners of the peasantry,
are very good; in fact, the descriptions are excellent throughout the work."—Timet.
" Mr. Dixon has succeeded in producing a book which is at once highly valuable
and eminently readable. In our judgment it is superior to any work that has
proceeded from Mr. Dixon's pen, and we heartily recommend it to our readers.
The information he conveys is very great, his judgments are evidently the result
of much reflection, and his style is singularly forcible and picturesque."—Standard.
FAIR FRANCE:  Impressions of a Traveller.
By the Author of "John Halifax, Gentleman," &c.   8vo.   15s.
" A book of value and importance, and which 1b very agreeable reading. It is
bright and spirited, and evinces as much as ever the acuteness of perception and
the powers of observation of the writer."—Post.
" A pleasant book, conceived in a large, kindly, and liberal spirit"—Daily Newt.
"This volume will be found pleasan treading.—Athenwwn.
" A good book on France is just now most welcome, and this is emphatically a
good book.   It is charmingly readable/'—Globe.
" This is a truly fascinating volume. The book has nothing to do with the present
crisis. It is La Belle France:—Paris, with its quiet churches and its gay carnival
crowds, and the old provincial cities like Caen and Ohartres—that is here described
as it was before the black waves of invasion rolled over tholand. - There Is much
that is very beautiful and charming in these recollections."—Echo.
" A t a time when France Is torn and tortured by the most terrible war the world
has ever known it seems strange to open a volume of peaceful travel in the beautiful country which most of us know so well, and which has undergone such an unparalleled transformation. The authoress of this charming volume is well known
to the public as a novelist, and however critical judgments may vary as to her
artistic power, of her purity of tone and freedom from the vicious tendencies of
modern fictitious literature, there can be no question. For our own part, we find
her even more agreeable as a tourist than as a novelist She looks at the world with-
unprejudiced eyes. But the truly pleasant traveller is the man or woman who
starts with intent to enjoy the trip, who looks at the bright side of everything, and
who, writing a book, writes cheerily and gaily. This is precisely what we And in
' Fair France."—British Quarterly Review. 18, Great Marlborough Street.
NEW  WORKS—Continued.
PERMISSION TO THE QUEEN. Completing the Work. Third
Edition.   Demy 8vo.   30s.
Contents :—A Favourite; A Favourite's Friend; The Countess of Suffolk; To the
Tower; Lady Catherine Manners; House of Villiers; Eevolution; Fall of Lord
Bacon; A Spanish Match; Spaniolizing; Henry De Vere; The Matter of Holland ; Sea Affairs; The Pirate War; Port and Court; A New Bomanzo; Move
and Counter-move; Pirate and Prison; In the Marshalsea; The Spanish Olive;
Prisons Opened; A Parliament; Digby, Earl of Bristol; Turn of Fortune; Eliot
Eloquent; Felton's Knife; An Assassin; Nine Gentlemen in the Tower; A
King's Eeveuge ; Charles I.; Pillars of State and Church; End of Wentworth;
Laud's Last Troubles; The Lieutenant's House; A Political Bomance; Philosophy at Bay; Fate of an Idealist; Britannia; Killing not Murder; A Second
Buckingham; Boger, Earl of Castlemaine; A Life of Plots; The Two Penns;
A Quaker's Cell; Colonel Blood; Crown Jewels, King and Colonel; Bye House
Plot; Murder; A Patriot; The Good Old Cause; James, Duke of Monmouth;
The Unjust Judge; The Scottish Lords; The Countess of Nithisdale; Escaped;
Cause of the Pretender; Beformers and Bef orm , Bef orm Biots; Sir Francis
Burdett; A Summons to the Tower; Arthur Thistlewood; A Cabinet Council;
Cato Street; Pursuit; Last Prisoners in the Tower.
" Mr. Dixon's lively and accurate work"—Times.
" This book is thoroughly entertaining, well-written, and instructive."—Examiner.
" These volumes will place Mr. Dixon permanently on the roll of English authors
who have rendered their country a service, by his putting on record a truthful and
brilliant account of that most popular and instructive relio of antiquity. ' Her
Majesty's Tower;' the annals of which, as related in these volumes, are by turns
exciting and amusing, while they never fail to interest Our ancient stronghold
could have had no better historian than Mr. Dixon."—Post.
"By his merits of literary execution, his vivacious portraitures of historical
figures, his masterly powers of narrative and description, and the force and graceful ease of his style, Mr. Dixon will keep his hold upon a multitude of readers."—
Illustrated News. .
" These volumes are two galleries of richly painted portraits of the noblest
men and most brilliant women, besides others commemorated by English
history. The grand old Boyal Keep, palace and prison by turns, is revivified in
these volumes, which close the narrative, extending from the era of Sir John Eliot,
who saw Baleigh die in Palace Yard, to that of Thistlewood, the last prisoner immured in the Tower. Few works are given to us, in these days, so abundant in
originality and research as Mr. Dixon's."—Standard.
"This intensely interesting work will become as popular as any book Mr.
Dixon has written."—Messenger.
" A work always eminently readable, often of fascinating interest"—Echo.
" The most brilliant and fascinating of Mr. Dixon's literary achievements."—Sun.
" Mr. Dixon has accomplished his task well. Few subjects of higher and more
general interest than the Tower could have been found. Around the old pile
clings all that is most romantic in our history. To have made himself the trusted
and accepted historian of the Tower is a task on whioh a writer of highest reputation may well be proud. This*Mr, Dixon has done. He has, moreover, adapted
his work to all classes. To the historical student it presents the result of long
and successful research in sources undiscovered till now; to the artist it gives the
most glowing picture yet, perhaps, produced of the more exoiting scenes of national
history; to the general reader it offers fact with all the graoes of fiction. Mr.
Dixon's book is admirable alike for the general view of history it presents, and for
the beauty and value of its single pictures."—Sunday Times. •jk—!■-
13, Great Marlborough Street.
NEW WORKS—Continued..
Contents:—The Pile-Dinner Ward and Outer Ward—The Wharf—Biver Bights—
The White Tower—Charles of Orleans—TJncle Gloucester—Prison Rules—Beau-
champ Tower—The good Lord Cobham—King and Cardinal—The Pilgrimage
of Grace—Madge Cheyne—Heirs to the Crown—The Nine Days' Queen—Dethroned—The Men of Kent—Courtney—No Cross no Crown—Cranmer, Latimer, Bidley—White Boses—Princess Margaret—Plot and Counterplot—Mon-
sieur Charles—Bishop of Boss—Murder of Northumberland—Philip the Confessor—Mass in the Tower—Sir Walter Raleigh—The Arabella Plot—Baleigh's
Walk—The Villain Waad—The Garden House—The Brick Tower.
" From first to last this volume overflows with new information and original
thought, with poetry and picture. In these fascinating pages Mr. Dixon discharges alternately the functions of the historian, and the historic biographer, with
the insight, art, humour and accurate knowledge which never fail him when he
undertakes to illumine the darksome recesses of our national story."—Morning Post.
" We earnestly recommend this remarkable volume to those in quest of amusement and instruction, at once solid and refined. It is a most eloquent and graphic
historical narrative, by a ripe scholar and an accomplished master of English diction, and a valuable commentary on the social aspect of mediaeval and Tudor civilization. In Mr. Dixon's pages are related some of the most moving records of
human flesh and blood to which human ear could listen."—Daily Telegraph.
" It is needless to say that Mr. Dixon clothes the gray stones of the old Tower
with a new and more living interest than most of us have felt before. It is needless to say that the stories are admirably told, for Mr. Dixon's style is full of vigour
and liveliness, and he would make a far duller subject than this tale of tragic suffering and heroism into an interesting volume. This book is as fascinating as a good
novel, yeti t has all the truth of veritable history."—Daily News.
" We can highly recommend Mr. Dixon's work It wiU enhance his reputation.
The whole is (marmingly written, and there is a life, a spirit, and a reality about
the sketches of the celebrated prisoners of the Tower, which give the work the
interest of a romance. ' Her Majesty's Tower' is likely to become one of the most
popular contributions to history."—Standard.
Hon. Sir Thomas Wtsb, K.C.B., Late British Minister at Athens.
With an Introduction by Miss Wyse, and Letters from Greece to
Friends at Home, by Dean Stajslet.   8vo.   15s.
" No book that we know gives so just and, at the same time, so enticing a view
of Greece as she is and as she might be as 'Impressions of Greece.' The introduction by Miss Wyse is an admirable paper. The chapters due to Dean Stanley are
delightful."—Fall Mali Gazette.
" It is pleasant to meet with a volume of such sterling and lasting interest, the
joint authors having much valuable information to impart Sir Thomas Wyse
naturally enjoyed many opportunities of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the
manners and customs, as well as the antiquities, of Greece; and his niece is evidently possessed of a power of keen and* lively observation, while Dean Stanley
completes the volume with a series of graphic and intelligent letters, in that easy
and pleasant style for which he is so well known."—Standard.
"Probably no other Englishman was so thoroughly acquainted with the life and
habits of Greece as Sir Thomas Wyse. We need say nothing in praise of the
Letters of the Dean of Westminster, of their admirable style and pleasant descriptions."—Examiner.
^ L 13, Great Marlborough Street.
NEW WORKS—Continued.
Contents :—The Anglo-Spanish Plot—Factions at Court—Lord Grey of Wilton—
Old English Catholics—The English Jesuits—White Webbs—The Priests' Plot
—Wilton Court—Last of a Noble Line—Powder-Plot Boom—Guy Fawkes—
Origin of the Plot—Vinegar House—Conspiracy at Large—The Jesuit's Move—
In London—November, 1605—Hunted Down—In the Tower—Search for Garnet—End of the English Jesuits—The Catholic Lords—Harry Percy—The
Wizard Earl—A Beal Arabella Plot—William Seymour—The Escape—Pursuit
—Dead in the Tower—Lady Frances Howard—BobertCarr—Powder Poisoning.
From the Times:—"All the civilized world—English, Continental, and American—takes an interest in the Tower of London. The Tower is the stage
upon which has been enacted some of the grandest dramas and saddest tragedies
in our national annals. If, in imagination, we take our stand on those time-worn
walls, and let century after century flit past us, we shall see in duo succession the
majority of the most famous men and lovely women of England in the olden timet
We shall see them jesting, jousting, love-making,' plotting, and then anon, perhaps, commending their souls to God in the presence of a hideous masked figure,
bearing an axe in his hands. It is such pictures as these that Mr. Dixon, with
considerable skill as an historical limner, has set before us in these volumes. Mr.
Dixon dashes off the scenes of Tower history with great spirit His descriptions
are given with such terseness and vigour that we should spoil them by any attempt
at condensation. As favourable examples of his narrative powers we may caU attention to the story of the beautiful but unpopular Elinor, Queen of Henry LCI., and
the description of Anne Boleyn's first and second arrivals at the Tower. Then we
have the story of the bold Bishop of Durham, who escapes by the aid of a cord
hidden in a wine-jar; and the tale of Maud Fitzwaiter, imprisoned and murdered
by the caitiff John. Passing onwards, we meet Charles of Orleans, the poetic
French Prince, captured at Agincourt, and detained for, flve-and-twenty years a
prisoner in the Tower. Next we encounter the baleful form of Bichard of Gloucester,
and are filled with indignation at the blackest of the black Tower deeds. As we
draw nearer to modern times, we have the sorrowful story of the Nine Days'
Queen, poor little Lady Jane Grey. The chapter entitled "No Cross, no Crown "
is one of the most affecting in the book A mature man can scarcely read it without feeling the tears ready to trickle from his eyes. No part of the first volume
yields in interest to the chapters which are devoted to the story of Sir Walter
Baleigh. The greater part of the second volume is occupied with the story of the
Gunpowder Plot The narrative is extremely interesting, and will repay perusal.
Another cause ceUbre possessed of a perennial interest, is the murder of Sir Thomas
Overbury by Lord and Lady Somerset Mr. Dixon tells the tale skilfully. In conclusion, we may congratulate the author on this, his latest work Both volumes
are decidedly attractive, and throw much light on our national history, but we
think the palm of superior interest must be awarded to the second volume."
• Fbom the Athen^um : " The present volume is superior in sustained interest to
that by which it was preceded. The whole details are so picturesquely narrated,
that the reader is carried away by the narrative. The stories are told with such
knowledge of new facts as to make them like hitherto unwritten chapters in our
WEST.   By Parker Ghjjviore (" Ubique"), author of " Gun, Rod,
and Saddle," &c.    1 vol. 8vo, with Rlustrations.    15s.
" A good volume of sports and spirited adventure. We have thoroughly enjoyed
Mr. Gillmore's work It would be difficult to speak in too high terms of his pluck,
enterprise and energy."—Pall Mall Gazette.
" An interesting, amusing, and instructive book"—Examiner.
"A volume of exceeding interest, full of exciting and spiritedly told adventure."
—Sunday Times. i
13, Great Marlborough Street.
NEW  WORKS—Continued.
ANNALS  OF OXFORD.    By J. C. Jeaffreson,
B.A., Oxon.    Author of " A Book About the Clergy," &c.    Second
Edition.   2 vols. gvo.    30s.
Contents :—The Cross Keys; King Alfred's Expulsion from Oxford; Chums and Inmates ; Classical Schools and Benefactions; Schools and Scholars; On Learning and certain Incentives to it; Colleges and Halls ; Structural Newness of
Oxford; Arithmetic gone Mad; Beduction of the Estimates; A Happy Family;
Town and Gown; Death to the Legate's Cook; The Great Biot; St Scholastica;
King's College Chapel used as a Playhouse,; St Mary's Church; Ladies in Besi-
dence; Gownswomen of the 17th Century; The Birch in the Bodleian; Aularian
Bigour; Eoyol Smiles: Tudor, Georgian, Elizabeth and Stuart; Boyal Pomps;
Oxford in Arms; The Cavaliers in Oxford; Henrietta Maria's Triumph and
Oxford's Capitulation; The Saints Triumphant; Cromwellian Oxford; Alma
Mater in the Days of the Merry Monarch; The Sheldonian Theatre; Gardens
and Walks; Oxford Jokes and Sausages; Terras Filii; The Constitution Club ;
Nicholas Amhurst; Commemoration; Oxford in the Future.
" The pleasantest and most informing book about Oxford that has ever been
written. Whilst these volumes will be eagerly perused by the sons of Alma Mates,
they will be read with scarcely less interest by the general reader."—Post
" Those who turn to Mr. Jeaffreson's highly interesting work for solid information or for amusement, will not be disappointed. Bich in research and full of
antiquarian interest, these volumes abonnd in keen humour and well-bred wit
A scnolar-like fancy brigntens every page. Mr. Jeaffreson is a very model of a
cicerone; full of information, full of knowledge. The work well deserves to be
read, and merits a permanent niche in the library"—The Graphic
" Mr. Jeaffreson is, par excellence, a popular writer. He chooses what is picturesque and of general interest * * No one can read these Annals of Oxford
without feeling a very deep interest in their varied contents."—Athenseum.
"These interesting volumes should be read not only by Oxonians, but by all
students of English history."—John Bull.
Jeaffreson, B.A., Oxon, author of " A Book about Lawyers," " A
Book about Doctors," &c.    Second Edition.    2 vols 8vo.    30s.
" This is a book of sterling excellence, in which all—laity as well as clergy—will
find entertainment and instruction: a book to be bought and placed permanently
in our libraries. It is written in a terse and lively style throughout, it is eminently
fair and candid, and is full of interesting information on almost every topic that
serves to illustrate the history of the English clergy"—Times.
" Honest praise may be awarded to these volumes. Mr. Jeaffreson has collected
a large amount of curious information, and a rich store of facts not readily to be
found elsewhere. The book will please, and it deserves to please, those who like
picturesque details and pleasant gossip."—Pall Mall Gazette.
SPIRITUAL WIVES.   By W. Hepworth Dixon,
Author of ' New America,' &c.     Foitrth Edition, with A New
Preface.    2 vols. 8vo.   With Portrait of the Author.    30s.
"Mr. Dixon has treated his subject in a philosophical spirit, and in his usual
graphic manner. There is, to our thinking, more pernicious doctrine in one chapter of some of the sensational novels which find admirers in drawing-rooms and
eulogists in the press than in the whole of Mr. Dixon's interesting work"—Examiner.
Excursion in Tunis.   By Capt. Townshend, 2nd Life Guards.
1 vol. 8vo, with Blustrations.
" Capt Townshend writes about the foreign lands he haB visited with good humour and inteUigence. His pictures of life in Algiers are vivid and truthful, and
his narrative of boar-hunting in Tunis is especially worthy of notice."—Athenmum. 13, Great Marlborough Street.
NEW WORKS—Continued.
THROUGH AMERICA. By the Marquis of Lorne. Second
Edition.    1 vol. 8vo, with Illustrations.
" The tone of Lord Lome's book is thoroughly healthy and vigorous, and his
remarks upon men and things are well-reasoned and acute."—Times.
AND MANCHURIA. By Arthur Adams, F.L.S., Staff-Surgeon
R.N.    1 vol. 8vo, with Illustrations.
" An amusing volume. Mr Adams has acquired a body of interesting information, which he has set forth in a lively and agreeable style. The book will be a
favourite with naturalists, and is calculated to interest others as well."—Daily News.
DETHRONEMENT OF THE POPE, and other Collateral Events.
By the Rev. John Cumming, D.D., &c.     Third Edition. 1 vol.  6s.
" Dr. Cumming is the popular exponent of a school of prophetic interpretation,
and on this score has established a claim to attention. His book furnishes an
instructive collection of the many strange portents of our day. Dr. Cumming takes
his facts very fairly. He has a case, and the gravity of the subject must command
the attention of readers."—Times, March 6.
" A deeply interesting work We commend it to all who wish for able and honest
assistance in understanding the signs of the times."—Record
By Lizzie Selina
By   Cardinal
Major F. Mmjngen, F.R.G.S.    8vo, with Illustrations.
" A thoroughly interesting work, which we heartily recommend."—Examiner.
Eden.    1 vol. post 8vo, with Blustrations.
" A pleasantly-written volume."—Pall Mall Gazette.
Wiseman.    1 vol. 8vo.   5s.
OF NAPOLEON HI.   Cheaper Edition, in 1 vol.    6s.
" A biography of the beautiful and unhappy Queen, more satisfactory than any we
have yet met with."—Daily News.
THE LAD YE SHAKERLEY; being the Record of
the Life of a Good and Noble Woman.    A Cheshire Story.    By
ONE of the HOUSE of EGERTON.   Second Edition.    1 vol.    6s.
" This charming novelette pleasantly reminds one of the well-known series of
stories by the author of 'Mary Bowell.' The characters bear the same impress of
truthfulness, and the reader is made to feel equally at home among scenes sketched
with a ready hand. The author writes gracefully, and has the faculty of placing
before others the pictures her own imagination has called up."—Pall Mall Gazette.
" The interest of the work is of a kind which is unique. Fiction has been made
to illustrate history in a manner which is at once unobtrusive and powerful."—Post.
FAIRY FANCIES.   By Lizzie Selina Eden.   Illustrated by the Marchioness of Hastings.    1 vol. «A.
HANNAH.    By the Author of "John Halifax."   2 V.
" A powerful novel of social and domestic life. One of the most successful efforts
of a successful novelist"—Daily News.
Donald, LL.D., author of " Robert Falconer," &e.   3 vols.
Mrs. Alfred Montgomery.   3 vols.
By Mrs. Evans Bell.
3 vols.     (In Dec.)
THE   SYLVESTRES.     By M. Betham-Edwards,
author of " Kitty," " Doctor Jacob," &c.    3 vols.
»" A novel which possesses many real claims to consideration by virtue of its
fresh and powerful style."—Athenaeum. " A very interesting noveL   We hope
it will have all the popularity it merits."—Examiner. " This is really on admirable book"—Echo. "' The Sylvestres' is no ordinary novel   Written in
animated style, it has much in it of tenderness and beauty, and its characters are
admirably drawn."—Observer.
THE LADY OF LYNDON.   By Lady Blake. 3 v.
" A pleasant readable book"—Messenger. " This work will be welcome to novel
readers, who will find in it most of their favourite sources of interest"—Graphic
LOVE AND VALOUR.   By Tom Hood.   3 vols.
" Mr. Hood has written a story which in many parts is not inferior to the productions of any living novelist The characters are sketched with a masterly hand.
Amusing as the author can be when he chooses to write in a light vein,-it is to the
pathetic portons of his story that we turn with most interest. The deaths of Tom
Martindale and Edward Harding are masterpieces of pathetic description; and
they will move the reader not less than does the word-picture of the last hours of
Little Nell in ' The Old Curiosity Shop.' ' Love and Valour' is one of the best
novels that has been published for a long tima"—Morning Post.
or, the Doubtful Marriage.
" Around the Kremlin."   3 vols.
G. T. Lowth, author of
" The characters are mostly well drawn and consistent   Susan is charming.
Harding and Mrs. Print are capital figures The story iB told in a pleasant
narrative style."—Athenxum. "A clever and entertaining noveL"—Observer.
SUN AND SHADE.   By the Author of "Ursula's
Love Story."   3 vols.
" An interesting story. It exhibits the merits of refined and easy language,
natural delineation of the manners of social life, and insight into the feelings and
motives of mankind."—Globe.
" Many readers will be glad of such a genuine love story, pure and simple, as
' Sun and Shade.'   We have thoroughly enjoyed the book"—Examiner.
MALV1NA.   By H. Sutherland Edwards.   3 vols.
" The story of ' Malvina' is very lightly anjd pleasantly written "—Times. "A
charming story.   It is wonderfully entertaining"throughout"—Graphic. " One of
the best and most attractive novels of the season   Its interest, its story, and its
treatment are all good."—Sunday Times.
SQUIRE ARDEN.   By Mrs. Oliphant, author of
" Chronicles of Carlingford," " Salem Chapel," &c.    3 vols.
" Mrs. Oliphant's new book will not diminish her already established reputation.
It possesses most of the characteristics of a successful noveL The plot is interesting and well managed, the scene well laid, and the characters various and
forcibly described."—Athenceum.
" Mrs. Oliphant has a place of her own among the best novelists of the day. She
keeps up the reader's interest from the first page to the last ' Squire Arden' is
very clever."—Examiner.
MAGGIE'S   SECRET.      By  Mart   Charlotte
Phillpotts.   2 vols.
I "A book which every one should read.   The tone is so good and pure, the tale
so natural, the plot so masterly, and the interest so enthralling, that one cannot
lay it aside."—John Bull. " A pleasant and interesting noveL"—Morning Post.
ARTISTE.   By Maria M. Grant.    3 vols.
" We owe a debt of thanks to the authoress of this interesting novel for presenting us with so charming an ideal of womanhood as we find in the heroine, and
producing a work which, as regards the story, the descriptions of character, and
the number of original thoughts it contains, is so far above the average run of
novels now in circulation as j Artiste.'"—Pall Mall Gazette.
C. Botce, M.A., Oxon. 3 vols.
"The faculty of novel writing is by no means wanting in the author. There is
oapacity for describing scenery, and a capability of conceiving characters sufficiently out of the common run to be well played out; and there are delineations
of parish life which are alternately interesting and amusing. Nothing can be
better than the portrayal of a young High Church rector, Philip DevereL"—Post.
RESTORED.   By the Author of "Son and Heir." 3 v.
" This is an exceptionally good novel, and will be widely read. It stirs the
reader's deepest feelings; its characters are new; its plans and incidents original."
—Post " There is a good deal of freshness and vivacity about this story, and
some good painting, both of scenery and character."—Saturday Review.
" This novel is conceived and executed in the purest spirit The illustrations of
society are cleverly and spiritedly done."—Post. " An interesting novel, pleasantly written, refined in tone, and easy in style."—Globe.
RALPH THE HEIR. By Anthony Trollope. 3 v.
" A very interesting novel. The episodes of Sir Thomas Underwood's electioneering experiences and the whole of the Neeflt courtship are, in our opinion, the
strong points of the book Probably no man alive, now that Charles Dickens has
departed, can write on such subjects so humourously and so truthfully as Mr.
Trollope."—The Times.
Maguire, M.P.   Second Edition.    3 vols.
" Mr. Maguire's clever book will well repay perusaL"—Times.
MY LITTLE LADY.   3 vols.
"There is a great deal of fascination about this book The author writes in a
clear, unaffected style. She has a decided gift for depicting character; while the
descriptions of scenery scattered up and down the book convey a distinct pictorial impression to the reader."—Times.
11 Wivfotx ijxe Especial ^atarctage xif Per Iffajesttj.
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