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The Chung Collection

Sport and life in British Columbia Piers, Charles Pigott, Sir, bart., 1870- 1923

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(Principal of McGill University)
This Book does not presume to be a guide to
sport or life in British Columbia. It is merely
a resume* of recollections and stories of a most
interesting country from personal experience,
covering a period of the last twelve years, or
culled from those with a wider knowledge. Some
of the chapters have already appeared in Scottish
Country Life, bul are reprinted with the kind
permission of the Editor, Mr George Eyre-Todd.
Acknowledgment is due to E. A. Haswell,
Esq., for his kind permission to produce the
frontispiece and the illustrations facing gages
13, 74 and 133.
C. P. P.
V.-1NCOUVER,  B.C.,  1933.
author's note
"UP    THE    COAST"    AND     SOME     BEAR
. To face page   13
1922 ....
There are three things about this book which
should commend it to many readers. It is written
by a man who knows, it deals with sport, and
it tells us something of British Columbia—that
paradise of the fisherman and the hunter of game,
big and small.
The author is what we call in the West an
| old-timer." Just why he left the land of his
fathers and went to British Columbia I know not.
Perhaps it was " the call of the wild," but more
likely it was on account of what he describes in
this book so simply and so vividly—the attractions
of that land to the lover of sport. If that were
the reason it was a good enough reason, as
thousands can testify who have sought for much
9 10
and have not been disappointed.   Before the war I
knew him (for I had the good fortune then to call
British Columbia my home) as an ardent disciple
of Walton, and as an authority on the habits
and wiles of the game with which that province
abounds.    In  the  great  adventure  he   lightly
exchanged his fisherman's basket and his sporting rifle for the soldier's pack and the Enfield.
I met him again " over there " in that sterner
hunt, enduring thfc hardships pf the field with
the cheerful sang-froid of the veteran to whom
rough billets and " nights out," with only the sky
for a roof, were no new experience.    He served
with the old 29th, one of the most dependable
and finest fighting units of the Canadian Corps.
Our people have always been known as keen
devotees of sport.    Their willingness to pit their
skill and their strength against the forces of
nature and their fellowman has ever been an outstanding trait.    The earlier wanderers who went
forth armed only with the sword were examples
of that adventurous spirit.    With them I weep- PREFACE
ing was not the way to win kingdoms." It was
that spirit which prompted them to brave uncharted seas to discover unknown land and
riches. Now that there are no more worlds to
conquer and few mysterious lands to explore,
they seek to relieve the humdrum of daily life
by contests with the fish of the sea, the fowls
of the air and the beasts of the field.
In British Columbia the opportunities for
indulging in sport of this kind are unrivalled.
Improved land and sea communication has
placed it, and every part of it, within the reach
of all. Lakes and streams abound; the country
is yet young and its waters are by no means
fished out. Its mountains and yalleys are the
homes of all animals inhabiting temperate
regions. Troll any of its coast waters and
salmon, cod and sea trout try conclusions with
you; cast a fly on its rivers and you are not disappointed; venture into the valleys and do not
be surprised if deer or elk or bear confront you;
while in the wilder regions the call of the moose
m 22
is heard, and on the mountain slopes the grizzly
disputes your gassage and the mountain sheep
or goat is your reward.
All ye who lov;e good sport go to  British
A.   W.   CURRIE.
Montreal, Quebec,
January i$tk, 1923.   CHAPTER I
For years British Columbia has been a paradise
for the big game hunter and the fisherman, and
many sportsmen have made the long pilgrimage to
this Mecca of sport to enjoy the good shooting and
fishing to be obtained in most parts of the province.
Big game abounds in the north, and is still
fairly plentiful in the southern interior. In the
north, the district of Cassiar is the land of the
larger species; but the expense of hunting them
has become almost prohibitive except for the rich,
owing to the distance to be traversed before the
best game country i§ reached, and the expense of
guides and packers.
When a trip to this northern country is contemplated,  it  is  usually best  to   enter  into some
13 14
arrangement with a guide or an outfitter as to
expenses, according to time of employment and
sport obtained. As showing the increase on prewar prices in the Cassiar, it may be stated that
to-day the rate for Indian guides is ten dollars—
at the present exchange, over two pounds—a day,
compared with the former rate of six dollars
a day.    Elsewhere, the rate is somewhat less.
The best of the guides, all through the southern
interior, are white men; but previously in the
Cassiar they have been Indians. Now, however,
there are a few white men who have proved
themselves all round- to be better men than the
The white man is more reliable in an emergency. He has a greater knowledge of the habits
of the game, and even beats the Indian in his own
locality when he has obtained some local know*
ledge of the country, for he applies his knowledge
to better purpose. He is superior in unknown
country, into which the Indian will often refuse
to venture.    Lastly he is much better at picking IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
a good head, a most necessary quality where the
sportsman is limited to so many head per species;
whereas the Indian's general idea on seeing game
is to shoot it, so he will invariably say that it is
a good head.
The Indians, however, are good canoe men and
packers; but here again when difficulties arise,
the white man is the Indian's superior in nerve
and ability in getting out of a tight corner. In
fact, in almost every case, the northern white man
excels the Indian. He has more grit, and will
hunt and trap in weather in which the Indian will
not stir out.
Some idea of the expense incurred in getting
into the game country of the northern Cassiar can
be gained by a glance at a map. Then when
the circuitousness of the routes are realised, it
will be apparent that this kind of shooting is
reserved for the sportsman with a long purse, for
the trip is likely to cost him anything between five
thousand tq six thousand dollars for a party of
two. 16
There are two routes by which the sportsman
can arrive at the happy hunting ground, both of
them of a round-about nature, for by one route
it is necessary to go by steamer from Vancouver
or Prince Rupert right up to Skagaway, and from
there by the White Horse Pass Railway to
Cariboo Siding, north of Lake Bennet, before
striking inland to Lake Atlin, east of which the
game country lies. The other route is by way
of Wrangel, also on the coast, then up the Stikin
River to Telegraph Creek before striking inland
to the desired goal.
For the resident sportsman in the province who
is not out for such big heads it is a different matter;
and much good sport can be obtained at a reasonable cost, for there are ways and means not at
the disposal of even the richest millionaire, of
which he can avail himself.
Granted then that the visiting sportsman can
pay the price, the big game of the province offers
excellent sport, though to obtain it, in some cases,
great patience and perseverance are required. IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
This is notably so with the grizzly bear; for
although fairly common all over British Columbia,
the sport is tantalising in its fortunes, and to
ensure success requires more knowledge and
correct application than in the hunting of any
other game on the North American Continent.
If the hunter or guide is possessed of this
knowledge and knows how to use it to the best
advantage, the sport to the uninitiated may
possibly appear to be simplicity itself; but let the
tyro hunt for a few days without the assistance
of his guide, and he will soon realise his incompetence to deal with such a wily customer as " Old
Silver Tip." Even with an experienced guide,
success is by no means a sinecure, as was realised
by one persevering sportsman who came seven
seasons in succession to bag a grizzly bear, the
monarch of British Columbian game. He was
unfortunate, at least so he was told, for although
he regularly visited a good bear country, he did
not even get a glimpse of " Old Silver Tip " until
nearly the end of his seventh season, when one
B 18
day he was out fishing and walked right into a
grizzly coming towards him. He turned and
bolted with the bear apparently after him.; but in
reality, Bruin was too much engaged in his own
affairs, so when the sportsman tripped up, the
bear merely passed him and went on his way.
It is a curious thing about the bears in this
country that when they are travelling is the only
time they are easy of approach, for then they seem
so absorbed with the idea of getting somewhere
that they forget all their natural cautiousness, and
will come straight on regardless of man's presence,
and if the man does not give way, will generally
make a detour to pass him, and continue their
journey; but of course on such occasions the
conduct of the bear depends a great deal on its
temper, and it is quite possible that if the man
stands his ground, the bear may turn nasty and
go for him.
The persevering sportsman's misfortune in not
getting a bear must have been greatly due to
mismanagement, at least such is the opinion of a IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
well-known local authority, who maintains that the
essence of bear-hunting is to go to the right place
at the right time and know how to hunt the bear.
This knowledge, he says, is absolutely necessary,
for chance work rarely succeeds, and unless the
sport is thoroughly understood, the hunter fails
nine times out of ten, as bear are the hardest game
in the province to stalk.
A common and mistaken idea prevails about
bears, especially about grizzly, that they are
aggressive and vindictive; whereas, except in the
rutting season, or in the case of a female with cubs,
all species of bear, in a wild state away from the
settlements, avoid man with the utmost cunning.
This they do easily, aided by their wonderful
powers of scent and hearing.
Bear when feeding in the open on a slide are as
timid and cautious as deer. They are constantly
on the alert, and looking round to see if all is right,
and should the sportsman let Bruin get but one
tiny whiff of his wind, or should he make the
smallest noise, Bruin simply vanishes and is not 20
seen again. When feeding in bush on berries is
the time when bear are easiest of approach, but the
sportsman, like Agag, must tread warily, for the
ground is usually covered with broken litter, and
the crack of the smallest stick will do the vanishing
trick as promptly as a view-halloo.
Bear when alarmed never stop to ascertain what
is wrong like deer, sheep, or goat, who will turn
round, even when fired at, after a short run to see
what it was that frightened them. In such cases,
Bruin is not the least inquisitive. He simply
disappears, and considering his size, it is marvellous how effectively and quickly he vanishes.
What is more annoying for the disappointed
sportsman is the knowledge that it is extremely
doubtful if he will be seen on the same slide again
for some time.
Round the settlements and lumber camps,
however, when bears have got accustomed to
man's presence their manners and habits are
totally different. They often become a nuisance,
for their indifference to man is such that they IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
will come right into a camp or ransack a shack,
if no one is there. Eatables are what they are
after, and as Mr Bear is possessed of a very sweet
tooth, sugar and molasses are the chief attractions.
On occasions bears will also take meat, as a friend
discovered when camping just outside the town
site of Bella Coola. The weather was extremely
hot, so they had hung a hind-quarter of beef in
the shade between the tents, when during the
succeeding night a grizzly calmly walked into
the camg and carried ii off from under their
It is at such times that a bear is likely to be
dangerous, for he has got used to the usually
hated man scent, and so has lost his natural fear
of him. In fact familiarity breeds contempt; he
has watched men going about their daily work,
probably without interference, for surveyors and
loggers are usually much too busy to be bothered
with bears, and so he has arrived at the conclusion
that they are harmless. Thus from misconception
the time is  made ripe  for danger.    The bear 22
enters the camp intent on doing something, which
he has possibly done before with impunity. Someone interferes. He resents it, and then the trouble
starts, which usually ends disastrously for Bruin,
but which may also result in injury to some of
his assailants.
Happening one day to mention the curious
incident seen by a hunter of a black bear chasing
a grizzly, with whom black bear do not as a rule
interfere, a friend gave me the probable
reason for the black bear's peculiar action.
Probably he said it was a she bear which was
trying to drive the grizzly away from the tree
in which she had placed her cubs, as in a grizzly
country, the black bear have a habit of placing
their cubs up trees in the daytime, so as to
prevent the grizzly, which dearly relish young
bear meat, from getting at them, the cubs being
quite safe in the trees, as the grizzly cannot climb.
At such times, he said, the she black bear, will, as
a rule, playing the same game as the grouse and
partridge  when protecting their  chicks,  try  to IN   BRITISH  COLUMBIA
entice the grizzly away from her cubs instead of
attacking him. This she does by just keeping
out of reach, and if the grizzly gets too close
shins up a tree until he moves off, but if he goes
back towards the cubs the game begins again, and
continues until the grizzly gives it up in disgust,
and finally clears off.
Undoubtedly the finest big game of British
Columbia is the Moose of which the sportsman
is now restricted to one head in the season.
Moose can be obtained in the northern part of
the Cariboo district in the Cassiar, and there are
also a few in the East Kootnay.
The next largest of the deer family is the
Cariboo, also to be obtained* as the name
suggests, in the Cariboo and Cassiar districts.
There is also a mountain cariboo which is found
more or less all through the Selkirk and Purcell
Ranges, but the hunter is restricted to two heads
only. A fine head was shot in the Cassiar recently
of which the writer was shown a photograph taken
on the spot.    The horns were almost perfect, and 24
the extreme spread from tip to tip measured fifty-
six and a half inches or a little over.
Deer are plentiful all over the province. The
Coast deer are small, somewhat resembling roe-
deer, but larger, and the bucks have finer heads
with heavier horns. The Mule deer of the interior
are as large as the Scotch Red deer, and, speaking
without comparison, appear to carry as fine heads.
The name f Mule " is derived from their long
ears, which are very similar to those of a mule.
The term is not used as in Scotland to denote a
hornless stag.
Goat are common on the Coast Range and the
mountains of the interior; but it is only on the
Coast Range that goat-shooting is hard work, for
in the interior, one of the best guides told the
writer that in some of the best places he had
frequently ridden up to within shot of goat. There
is no restriction as to number of heads to be shot
in the season, which extends from September to
December 15th.
Of the Sheep family the " Big-horn " is the IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
most famous and is obtained in the Rockies and
eastern slope of the Cascades. Big-horn, however,
are not without rivals, for there are also two species
of northern sheep which for the sport they give and
the size of their heads closely compete with their
southern brethren.
Wild fowl abound all up the coast, at the head
of the big Inlets, and in the interior. Geese and
all kinds of duck give the most ardent wild-fowler
all the sport he desires; but this has been treated
in another chapter.
Of small game there are several kinds of grouse
all over the province. Wild Pheasants are so
common round Vancouver, that living about six
miles from the city, I have seen as many as five
or six in my garden at the same time. They are
also plentiful throughout the Fraser Valley, and
there are still a fair number in the Gulf Islands.
Rabbits are also fairly plentiful on the Mainland,
but are more common on Vancouver Island.
Speaking of pheasants, a story appeared in one
of our newspapers—possibly only a good story— 26
of a farmer who was summoned for shooting a
pheasant out of season. The farmer pleaded
that he had not shot the bird until it had done
considerable damage to his potatoes. To which
the worthy magistrate replied that, having shot
the pheasant, he should have left it as evidence
of the damage it had committed. Apparently
from this sapient remark, his crime lay not so
much in shooting the pheasant as in using the
succulent bird for culinary purposes. What want
of human knowledge! As if anyone had ever
heard of a farmer leaving anything he shot, except
perhaps vermin. If there is any veracity in this
yarn, truly, as Mr Bumble said: | The Law is
a Ass."
Quail on Vancouver Island are common in and
around Victoria, but do not thrive so well on the
Mainland as in the drier climate of Victoria and
the southern part of the Island.
When staying with a friend in Victoria, whose
house stood next to a vacant tract covered with
brush and oak trees, the home of the quail, it IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
was a frequent sight, in the bright November
sunshine, to see forty or fifty of these quaint birds
running about in his garden and that of the
adjoining house. When disturbed they would fly
up into the oak trees, for which Victoria is famous,
and often remain there regardless of our presence
in the garden, provided we did not go too close
to the trees in which they were perched. I have
also seen them on a hot August afternoon, in the
residential quarter, run quite fearlessly across a
wide-paved avenue to some rocks not fifty yards
from the road, where as we passed they remained
sunning themselves in full view. CHAPTER   II
On December the ioth we left Vancouver for
Knight's Inlet in the hopes of some good wild
fowl shooting which abounds on this coast.    The
party consisted of nine guns besides the engineer
and Chinese cook.
About six p.m. we got the motor-boat Holly
Leaf under way, and after a slight contretemps
with  a  petrol   tank,   | chugged"   steadily   out
through the Narrows into Georgia Strait.    No
sooner were we outside than we met the full force
of the wind, and started to roll abominably.    The
farther we went the worse it got; so " H," our
skipper, who had commanded a Drifter Squadron
during the war, decided to shelter behind Paisley
Island for the rest of the night.
So variable is the winter weather on this coast
that the next morning broke clear but cold with
little trace of last night's wind and sea; so under
the able seamanship of our skipper and his
amateur crew we made good progress; and the
following night were plugging our way north
through the famous Yuculta Rapids where the
tide, rushing between the mountains of the mainland and the islands, at certain stages is most
dangerous for small boats and quite unpleasant
for larger ones, owing to the sudden tide-rips,
boils, and whirlpools caused by the immense
volume of water forced through this narrow
passage. It was here that Captain Vancouver
was wrecked in 1792, when exploring this coast;
and it is, also a great place for salmon, but has
to be fished with caution.
We got through all right, though we hit a big
drift log which obliged the engineer to throw out
the clutch, with the result that a tide-rip whirled
the boat clean round in a circle.
At nine a.m. the next morning we reached
Knight's Inlet, a great arm of the sea running 30
seventy-four miles inland, and tied up to the
Cannery wharf at Glendale Cove, where we
proposed to commence shooting.
The Cove is about a mile in length, and
approximately three-quarters across. As the
tide was low we went ashore on the mud flats at
the head, three of the guns going over to the
opposite shore.
We shot the morning and evening flights,
getting thirteen mallard, one goose, besides some
widgeon and teal. The shooting was not good,
but this was not much to be wondered at, considering that some of the party had not touched
a gun since the beginning of the war; and the
weather was abominably cold and wet, obliging
us to wear thick clothes and oilskins, the clumsiest
kit to shoot in imaginable.
Even so, we ought to have had a better bag,
but, owing to the want of dogs, several ducks were
lost, swept away by the tide, which the boats after
the evening flight could not find in the darkness.
After breakfast at six a.m. we carried out the IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
same plan of campaign. The wind which had
got up during the night was now blowing hard
up the Cove; and to add to our difficulties it
commenced to snow, consequently the shore guns
only got three mallard and a goose, which, falling
on the water with a broken wing, paddled off with
the rest of the flock when they came down in
response to its " honks " of distress.
The bird was very hard hit; so when the flight
was over the three shore guns put off in a rowing
boat to try and retrieve it, but had no luck, for
after rowing about a mile out into the Inlet with
no sign of the bird, they gave it up and returned
to the Holly Leaf for lunch.
There they found the guns from the flats who
had fared no better; so " H " decided to go on
to the head of the Inlet, about a three hours' run,
to shoot the flats where geese are always to be
found. The tide had turned, and with it our
luck, for we had no sooner got under way when
we ran right into the lost goose floating head
down in the water, quite dead. 32
On the way up, whenever the constant snow
flurries permitted, the scenery was magnificent,
with cascades leaping from high precipices clear
into the water of the Inlet, and towering snow
peaks showing above the clouds, though the
glaciers from which the cascades have their
origin were unfortunately hidden.
About four p.m. it cleared sufficiently to give a
good view of the great snow mountains in the
Selkirks, away above the head of the Inlet, and of
the nearer peaks on either side. We were now
in the interior, as on our way up from Glendale
Cove we had passed right through the Coast
Next morning was clear and mild, but unfortunately the tide was already low, when at eight-
thirty a.m. the guns in three boats left for the shore,
two going to either side of the mud flats at the
head of the Inlet, while the third made for a big
slue near the centre. The flats are about three
miles across at the sea end, and inland narrow
into a valley several miles in depth, flanked by
high snow mountains. A river with several slues
runs through the flats, and up these slues the
boats made their way.
As the centre boat got into the big slue the
guns could see large flocks of geese on the mud
flats, so keeping well under the banks they tried
to get above them. The birds, however, were
off the feed, so were restless, and the high banks,
while hiding the boat, also prevented the guns
from seeing the geese, so they were caught
unloaded by a small flock of about six, which
suddenly came honking round a bend of the slue
not more than thirty yards away.
This was annoying but not disastrous, as the
main body of the geese could still be heard
honking on the mud; so pushing on, the boat
soon reached the fringe of bush on the land edge
of the flats where one gun was posted to watch
the decoy ducks and geese which were set in a side
slue, while the other two walked inland towards
the main river where some geese could be heard
honking. I 1
Throughout the trip the decoys did not prove
a success, and on this occasion only one goose
was attracted by them, which the writer should
have got had he not been in too great a hurry.
As it was, the bird, hard hit, fell or did not fall
on the far side of the slue, out of sight owing to
the intervening bushes.
The duck were few and disappointing owing to
the open weather which enabled them to remain
on the inland lakes, as these were not yet frozen
over, so those on the tide flats, when shot at,
simply made off inland and were not seen again.
Showing how much weather conditions have to
do with the number of birds on the flats, the
following season the weather was extremely cold
with snow and hard frost, also the tides were
rights so the party found the flats crowded with
duck and geese and had the most glorious
shooting, returning to Vancouver with a total
bag of about three hundredjluck and §ome thirty
We were also disappointed with the geese, for IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
although there were any number of birds, the
flocks, contrary to expectation when disturbed,
flew out to sea and settled on the water; then when
they did get up, with few exceptions, flew Bo high
inland that they were quite out of shot.
The evening flight was poor, for it was too
dark to shoot before the tide was low enough for
geese to feed; and the few duck about were only
just beginning to come in, so our bag for the day
consisted of only some half-dozen mallard and
other duckj but no geese^ though one was lost
dead in the water, carried away by the tide.
The weather had a surprise in store for us, so
when we awoke at five-fifty a,m. to the appealing
strains of " Would you like me for your Daddy "
on the skipper's old gramophone, we found it
snowing hard, with pancake ice forming round
the Holly Leaf. The guns got off about six-
thirty to shoot the morning flight with the
understanding that they would be back for lunch.
Two of the boats, however, were back by
eleven-thirty, having had poor sport, though one
—rarl :"~XBgjBB6afi
H 36
of the guns had an interesting experience just at
dawn when he tried to stalk some geese but found
that they were out of shot on the far side of a
deep slue. As it got light he saw the sentinels
occasionally fly up to have a better look round,
and then come down to report to the flock which
was on the feed.
The guns who had gone to the central slue did
not return until evening, as owing to the shore
ice it was difficult to get the boat off, and they
were afraid if they returned for lunch they would
be unable to get back for the evening flight.
They did quite well, getting six geese and one
mallard; the others, between them, having to be
content with one goose and a few duck.
The evening flight was remarkable only for the
glorious sunset and the difficulty we had in getting
back to the Holly Leaf through the pancake-ice
floes which were beginning to join up. As it
was the dinghy would not have got back had not
one of the larger boats broken a passage for her
through the ice. IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
When about four-thirty p.m. we went ashore, the
weather was still and it was freezing hard. The
wonderful sunset on the high snow mountains was
magnificent in its colouring, which was reflected
in deeper tints of crimson, orange, blue, and
white in the still open patches of water. When
the sun had set, a low bank of fog rose from the
flats, making it difficult to see, and standing in
the freezing snow became most unpleasant.
There were few duck, and we only heard some
geese honking in the distance, so we soon made
up our minds that the warm cabin of the Holly
Leaf was the best place for us, and made all
speed to the ship that the ice would allow.
After supper we held a council of war, for the
prospect of being frozen in was not inviting, and it
was decided to return to Glendale Cove where
the water was open and we knew we were certain
of getting some duck. We made Glendale Cove
about midnight, and woke the next morning to
find it blowing hard with occasional heavy snowstorms. 38
The duck were there all right, for when the
shooting began they rose against the wind in
hundreds from the flats, but by the time they had
come down to the guns posted on the shore they
were miles high, so except for a few low-flying
stragglers the shore guns did not get much
shooting. However, we were all shooting better,
so not many of these birds escaped, and had not
| H's " gun gone out of commission, and had we
been able to retrieve the birds which fell in the
water, we should have had quite a good bag.
The guns on the flats also did well, getting eleven
mallard and several other duck. None of us got
any geese, as, although we heard them honking
in the early morning, no one saw them.
The next day we tried a different plan of
campaign, only two guns going up to the flats,
while the rest lined a point on the opposite shore
to the cannery. The birds were as wild as ever,
so our change of strategy was unavailing, for,
again rising against the wind, they escaped out of
shot by hundreds, and only a few came flying low IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
down  the  Cove,  of  which we  bagged half  a
As the tides and weather conditions were wrong,
" H " determined to leave for home, and on the
way give Adams River a trial, where the shooting
was said to be good. At seven p.m. we got under
way and arrived the next morning soon after breakfast. We went ashore on a falling tide in nice
weather with every prospect of good sport, but
found both duck and geese very wild, so our bag
was a small one, though one of our party should
have added to it considerably had he been shooting
well, for he struck the flight of the birds across a
neck of land, and being well hidden, had several
good shots at both duck and geese, but missed
them all.
This ended our trip, for after supper we started
on our run back to Vancouver, Our bag totalled
eighty duck, mostly mallard, with quite a few
widgeon and teal—the non-edible duck being
discarded—and nine geese. We also got one
solitary snipe at Adams River, the only one we 40
saw on the whole trip. Quite another twenty
duck and four geese were lost, carried away by
the tide. Considering that we were away for
ten days, and our shooting ground by water is
two hundred and sixty miles from Vancouver,
ten pounds for an eighth share—one of the guns
being a guest—was not extravagant, more
especially as this figure included cost of cartridges,
and petrol for the Holly Leaf, the biggest item
in our expenses.
Despite the weather, we had a most enjoyable
trip. We lived on the Holly Leaf in her large
cabin, which, with its double tier of roomy bunks
and warm stove, was most comfortable during the
long evenings, and enabled us quickly to dry our
wet things.
Most of the cartridges we used were loaded with
balistite, twenty-eight grains, with No. 5 for duck
and BB for geese. Personally, the writer, shooting with a light cover gun, found twenty-eight
grains of balistite too heavy a charge, and that
the pattern made was not as good as with twenty-
six grains. Also, some of the party found No. 5
shot better for geese at moderate ranges than BB,
for, besides the greater number of pellets, No. 5
appeared to have a greater cutting power, a most
necessary property when dealing with these strong
feathered birds. The previous year one of the
party had shot entirely with No. 6 shot, which he
swore by, and he certainly did great execution, not
only on the duck but also on the geese. But then
he was a good shot, and, as the old gamekeeper
said, it's not the gun but the man behind it that
does the execution. CHAPTER III
Fishing m British Columbia differs little from the
same kind of fishing on the west coast of
Scotland. Indeed with the similarity of Scenery
and surroundings, for Vancouver is alive with
Scotsmen, one might well at times imagine oneself back in some favourite haunt of the Western
There is, however, one great difference in the
salmon fishing, that the king of fish rarely takes
a fly on the Pacific Coast, though of course there
are notable exceptions, for at Campbell River,
Vancouver Island, some of the largest catches—
weight, not number—have been made with a fly.
But then, as an old Scotch gillie once said to the
writer: " A person never can tell," so when you
42 Fishing at the head of Campbell Lake.
To face page 42.  SPORT   AND   LIFE
may have good sport with a" fly on one occasion,
only a spoon will tempt on another, and it is
generally in the rivers that the fly will take, though
here again fine salmon have been caught right in
the mouth of these rivers on a fly rod.
Taken all round, it may be said that a spoon
bait, such as " the Tacoma," or a "Victoria No. i,"
is the best for all-round fishing on the coast, and
that it is only in the rivers or the mouths of the
rivers that a fly is useful, and that trolling from
a boat is the most usual form of fishing on the
Sea trout end rock-cod take a Spinner well,
while the Brown, Speckled, Dolly Varden, and
Rainbow trout in the rivers and streams lake a fly
as well as they do in Scotland. Good trout fishing
can be obtained in most places, and the " Steel-
head "—a huge sea trout—gives the finest sport
Our fishing trips are mostly up the coast, though
occasionally we get a turn at one of the inland
lakes or rivers.    These, however, are fiiore diffi- 44
cult of access, and it is far easier and pleasanter
living on board a comfortable power-boat than
camping in a country infested with mosquitoes.
You are also far more master of the situation, for
in a power-boat, should the fishing prove disappointing, you can up-anchor, and within a short
time try some other happy fishing ground. Food
and weight to be packed on land are considerations
from which the cruising fisherman is free, so he
has the more time to devote to the pure enjoyment
of his sport.
But even this ability to move at a moment's
notice may have its disadvantage, as a keen fisherman once found who had just hooked a nice sea
trout, when his host, who was fishing from the
cruiser, suddenly made up his mind to be off.
The boat from which the guest was trolling was
towing astern of the cruiser, and the host not
observing the plight of his guest after hailing the
boat to come alongside, suddenly went ahead at
an increased speed, with the result that the fish—
a fine one—came bounding out of the water after IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
the boat and fell off just as the fisherman got it
within reach.
Another trip, which unfortunately the writer
missed, provided an exciting incident which luckily
ended without damage. The story, as related by
one of the crew of the cruiser, was somewhat as
follows: The spot chosen was a good fishing
ground in a river of which the entrance had to be
carefully negotiated owing to a large sunken rock
with a flat top which was awash at low tide. How
it happened no one could rightly tell, but the
cruiser ran right on the top of the rock, where she
stuck. All attempts to get her off were fruitless
on the falling tide, so there was nothing to be done
but to wait for the next high one, and make the
best of things by fishing. The trout in the river
proved to be most kindly and the sport quite
compensated for the inconvenience of the mishap
to the cruiser. Indeed so good was it, that
although the trip was only a week-end one, the
party returned with about two hundred trout
averaging from one pound to two pounds. 46
When the tide had risen Sufficiently the crew
again tackled  the  problem of getting her off.
Luckily  she  was undamaged,  but  they found
another trouble, for the engine absolutely refused
to Start.   While the rest were busy with the motor
or with ways and means of getting her off, one of
the party remembered some fore-sails which were
used to steady the cruiser in a heavy sea.    The
wind was off the land, so a bright idea struck him,
why not set the sails and make the wind force her
off?   No Sooner thought of than put into execution, and without saying anything to the others,
who were below or alongside trying to get a move
on her, he set a couple of sails, and to his delight
she immediately slipped off the rock and began
sailing out to sea before the others had properly
realised what had happened.
There never was a finer instance of the luck of
fishing than happened last summer. We were
away up the coast fishing off Camp Island, two
rods to each boat, taking it in turns to scull while
the other fellow kept an eye on the rods, though IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
in the case of my companion he was quite capable
of fishing and sculling at the same time, having
been at it since the days of early boyhood. Needless to say, we were trolling. Both baits, Victoria
No. i spoons, were identically alike, and both of
us were using ordinary bamboo trolling rods. Yet
the first evening we were out Sammy—my companion's nickname—caught three fine salmon
averaging over seven pounds in a quarter of an
hour, while I could only catch sea trout, of which
we got eight good ones. On the next morning
fishing the same place with the Same bait, I got
all the fishing, a fine salmon and some sea trout.
The other boat also did quite well, their salmon
averaging ten pounds, a very fair weight when the
big salmon are not running; and for these, mostly
" Tyee," it is usual to go to Campbell River. We
had intended to go there, and were quite close, but
heard that the fishing there was over, and that the
last party had done practically nothing. We also
got a lot of fair-sized Rock-cod and Ling, which
when freshly cooked make most excellent eating.
■.■MMHm 48
After leaving Camp Island we went north to
Valdez Island where Sammy, who had brought a
Mannlicher sporting rifle along with his fishing
tackle, hoped to get a shot at some deer, so he
and our host armed with a shot-gun, went ashore
at the mouth of a nice-looking stream.
I remained with the fourth member of our party
to fish the stream for trout, which we could see
lying under a species of wooden dam1 about half a
mile from the mouth of the stream. We both got
out our trout rods and flies, but all to no purpose,
for although we risked breaking our tackle by
floating the fly right down under the dam, not a
trout would move. So we changed our bait, and
tried light I Tacomas," but with no better success,
probably because the weather was too bright and
the water too clear.
While we were struggling to persuade the wily
trout to give us some sport, a man carrying a
pump shot-gun strolled down from a nearby
farm; he watched us for some time, and then asked
if we had any salmon roe, which he said would IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
sure fetch them out. When we expressed our
abhorrence of such illegal bait, he merely laughed
and said he was a game warden and jokingly
remarked that salmon roe was all right,- and was
the only dope to serve those fish. He then told
us that he had directed Sammy and our host on
their way inland, and that our host had got a
grouse. He turned out to be most interesting,
and told us he had just run down from Knights
Inlet in the weird old motor-boat which we had
seen when we landed; that the weather had been
awful and that he had nearly been swamped.
.After bidding him good-day, and refusing a
pressing invitation to go up to his father's farm,
we went back to the cruiser, and changing our
tackle, had some good fun catching rock-cod until
the return of the shooting party, who had had
no better luck, for they had not even seen a
On the way home we ran into quite a stiff blow
just off T/xada Island, and finally, after our lunch
had been swept off the galley stove by an extra
D 50
bad roll, making a hideous mixture on the galley
floor of fried fishA potatoes, tea, and ketchup,
amidst which Henry, the general factotum of the
boat, stood rubbing his head in utter despair, our
host ran for shelter into Bargain Harbour, a
wonderful little land-locked bay, where we lay
for the night in perfect calm, while the wind above
us rocked the fir trees on the surrounding high
Near Vancouver there is good fishing to be got
at times in the Capilano River, and off its mouth
and along the north shore of the Narrows to
West Vancouver the trolling is excellent when
the Spring and Cohoe salmon are running. Only
this August (1922) a boy and a girl trolling from
a boat got a twenty-five pound Spring salmon
which gave them all they could do to get it into
the boat; and a seventeen pound Cohoe—a big
weight for this variety—was also caught in the
Narrows. Horse Shoe Bay, about fifteen miles
up the coast, is also a good fishing place when the
salmon  are running.     The  average weight of IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
these Cohoes caught about the Narrows is eight
and a half pounds, and up the coast Spring
salmon have been caught weighing as much
as sixty pounds, though in these home waters
they do not run heavier than twenty-five to thirty
pounds. These fish were caught on a spoon, and
the seventeen pound Cohoe was taken in a red
and silver spinner.
Though not connected with fishing trips, this
story, which was circulating a few years before
the war, ig decidedly " fishy," and so should be
swallowed with a grain of salt. Crabs on the
coast are plentiful, but lobsters are unknown,
a deficiency which the authorities determined to
rectify. A car-load of lobsters in specially
constructed tanks was therefore brought from the
east coast, and to prevent them fighting their
claws were tightly secured. The load duly
arrived, and the lobster^ were deposited at likely
places off the shore. Much interest was taken
in the venture by our local epicures, who watched
expectantly for developments.    Time passed and 52
yet no lobsters filled the waiting pots, so an
investigation was instituted, with the result that
remains of the hapless crustaceans were found
with their claws still firmly tied. To err is
human, but the ways of governing bodies are
beyond comprehension.   CHAPTER IV
Yachting and cruising are great summer sports
on the coast. In the former a spirit of friendly
rivalry exists between ourselves and our good
friends across the Line. We compete against
each other yearly at most of the regattas, and the
great event of the year is the series of international
races for yachts of both nationalities.
These regattas are held alternately at some
British Columbian or American seaside resort,
and are scenes of much keen racing and other
festivities, which help so much to promote a
friendly spirit between the two races sprung from
the same old solid stock.
Lately, we Britishers have not had much fortune
in the big international events, as although last
year  we built and  manned a new yacht,  the
53 54
Patricia, so named after Canada's favourite
Princess, we have not succeeded in wresting the
coveted trophy from the American, Sir Tom,
so ably skippered by Mr Ted Geary, of Seattle—
a trophy which has now been in the "Western
States " for some years.
Last year the international races were held in
British Columbia, St Cowichan Bay and Esquimalt—of old naval memories—on Vancouver
Island, and at English Bay, a* residential quarter
of Vancouver. In the two former the Patricia
was badly beaten, owing, it was said, to her new
sails which did not suit her, and which unfortunately were only ready shortly before the regatta,
so there was no time to give them a proper trial.
It was not, therefore, until after the two first
regattas that any alterations could be made, then
the benefit was immediately evident, for at English
Bay, in the light winds prevailing, she more than
held her own, and was well ahead, when unfortunately the race had to be called off owing to want
As well as the international event, there
are races for yachts of all ratings, and also for
sailing boats and dinghies of the Cat and Kitten
class. Occasionally we have as well exhibitions
of speed by high-powered motor-boats and water
planes driven by huge air propellers. These,
however, are mostly favoured by the Americans,
so there is little competition in this form of sport,
as it has not caught on with our people.
Some of the incidents at these regattas are
most amusing, as the ways of our umpires at
times border on the naive, and are reminiscent of
the race meetings of the West of Ireland in old
times. For instance, we had a most exciting
race for the sloop class in a varying wind, which
at times was quite stiff, and at others would die
away to almost nothing. It was So patchy that
one yacht would be practically becalmed, while
another at the same time would be slipping merrily
along. We were leading when the breeze unfortunately failed us, and to our annoyance, as we lay
hardly moving, we saw our nearest competitor 56
creeping up on quite a nice patch of wind, which
had not yet reached us. However, we soon got
going, but just as we did so, our opponent tacking
across our bows, took our water and compelled us
to fall off. But Nemesis was waiting for the
offender, for he ran into a calm patch, which
enabled us to make up the leeway we had lost.
Then, with the breeze failing, we both went at it,
and struggled side by side to creep over the line,
now only a short distance away. It was a case of
"dog eat dog," and our skipper in jockeying for
position nearly fouled our opponent, but scraping
past by inches, apparently just managing to shove
his nose over the line ahead of the other fellow.
On the way back to pick up our moorings we ran
down to the umpire's float, and as we passed
hailed it to ask who had won. The answer was
truly Hibernian: I You have, if the other fellows
don't protest." We knew them all, as they were
members of our club, so we met and had a drink
on it, but it was some time before we heard that
the race had been awarded to us. IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
The scenery of these regattas is most beautiful,
as in most places the mountains come down quite
close to the shore, while if it is on the Island away
across the Straits the Olympian Mountains with
their snowy peaks tower into the blue sky. At
times there are sad lapses from the beautiful, for
forest fires draw a thick veil of smoke over mountains and sea alike, and the visibility is so low that
even in these inland waters courses have to be
steered almost entirely by compass.
The dances given by the different Yacht Clubs
at these regattas are always a great feature, much
of the go-as-you-please type, as during the regatta
most people live on board their yachts or powerboats, which range from the large cruiser with
accommodation for several persons, to the small
entirely covered-in motor-boat, with room at the
most for two or three. The annual ball of the
Vancouver Yacht Club, given during the winter
in the ballroom of the Hotel Vancouver, is another
Cruising in the summer and autumn is a delight- 58
ful pastime, and a favourite way of spending the
week-end away from the hot city. These cruises
are full of incident, as few of us can afford to have
things done for us, so must do them for ourselves,
and having to do so, have discovered that we get
a vast deal more fun out of them than if we merely
lolled about on board while Someone else runs the
boat for us.
Of course at times there are more kicks than
halfpence, as when last summer in a nasty sea our
port engine, in the vernacular, went " on the
blink," and our host Spent the next couple of
hours on his hands and knees in a mixture of
engine oil and sea water, struggling with the
erring motor, while one of the guests ran the starboard engine, and another took the wheel; still
his delight when the engine picked up again was
worth all the trouble. These were the fellows
who, during the war, joined the Royal Naval
Reserve, and did Such fine work with the Drifter
Squadrons, and anywhere at sea where their
services were needed.     Their knowledge of this IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
coast is wonderful, and the way some of them
take quite small motor-boats right away up north
is worthy of an epic.
Though not actually happening when cruising,
except in the sense of getting from one place to
another on a shooting expedition, these two incidents are worthy of record as showing the slips
from grace of the amateur motor-boatman.
It was during lunch on a Winter's day in one of
our many great inlets, one which half-way up its
course makes a complete " S " turn. The weather
was thick with frequent snow flurries which
obscured all view of the land, so the course was
set by compass. The trick at the wheel was
taken by an amateur hand to relieve an old salt
for lunch. To digress for a moment. This old
salt was a most genial ruffian who had sailed the
seven seas in the days of wind-jamiifers. He
was a good game shot, and excellent company on
a trip, for his sfories of the rough old days of
sailoring always kept us amused. One in particular was typical of the man, suas! now dead, in UH I!
which he related how an ill-tempered Swede tried
to drop an iron bar on his head from aloft when
he was skipper of a wind-jammer about the year
one. He would then pause, and someone was
sure to say: " And what did you do ? " At which
a twinkle would come into the old ruffian's eye,
as he quietly remarked: " I got my revolver and
shot the fellow down like a crow."
But to resume. When the old salt came up
from lunch he again took over the wheel, and as
he admitted himself afterwards, without paying
much attention to the compass, kept her on the
course the amateur had been steering, which he
himself had set before lunch. The writer was
standing in the chart house talking to him when
the weather lifted, the snow cleared off, and the
old salt suddenly recognised a point we had left
one hour and a half earlier. He then looked at
the compass, and swore profusely, for the compass
showed that we were running on exactly the
opposite course to the one we should have been
on.    The explanation was easy.    The amateur, IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
instead of watching the compass carefully, had
followed the line of the coast up to where narrowing considerably the inlet made the complete | S "
turn. Then a snow flurry had come on, which
had totally obscured the view of the far shore.
In it he had crossed over to the far shore, and
then turning back had continued down the shore
instead of rounding the point and continuing up
the near shore.
The other incident concerned the same old salt
and might easily have ended his days but for his
agility. We had been running since dark to
make a certain landing before midnight. It was
pitch dark and blowing quite hard, when we made
our way into the little unlit harbour, and cautiously
approached the jetty, the whereabouts of which
we knew but could not see. There was, however,
a riding light burning on some craft, which we
imagined must be lying alongside the jetty. So
we made for it. The old salt had gone for'ard
into the bows with a lantern, when suddenly we
heard him give a howl, and the next moment
ip 62
something dark and menacing loomed right on
top of us. Before anyone could speak there was
a heavy bump and a crash, then all was still.
Suddenly from the darkness ahead the voice of
the old salt started to tell us what he thought of
us and his surroundings generally. The skipper,
who had immediately rung the engine off, tried to
go astern, but found that he was fast, and on
investigation found that we had run right under
the jetty, the riding light being on the far side,
and were Stuck between two of the piles. These
had saved the old salt's life and our mast, though
the fore-stay and the galley funnel had gone by
the board. Luckily there was a lot of spring in
the piles, so we were not long in levering ourselves
clear, and backing out went alongside the jetty,
where next jnorning we made good our damage.
There are all sorts of delightful cruises to be
made on this coast without braving the open sea,
for there are jnore sea-loughs, or as we call them
" inlets," and longer ones, than on the west coast
of Scotland which on a small scale is not unlike IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
the coast of British Columbia; and although the
Strait between the mainland and Vancouver
Island is in parts quite wide, Still if it comes on
to blow, there are generally some islands handy
behind which shelter can be obtained, or some
natural harbour into which boats can run for
One of the prettiest sights is the procession
from one regatta to another through the many
beautiful islands which dot our inland waters, the
big cruisers towing as many as two and three
racing yachts, which with their sails furled glide
along as gracefully as swans in the wake of their
motor transport.
The anchorages also at the regattas are a fine
sight with their bunting, yachts of all classes, and
many coloured cruisers, some of which, but more
especially those belonging to the Americans, in
size and appearance more closely resemble large
steam yachts than motor cruisers. Our American
friends coming from a dry country, are perhaps a
trifle too much out on the spree, and the nights i-:'
are in consequence somewhat hectic with their
jazz music and songs, while the water in the early
morning resembles a battlefield, so strewn is it
with the corpses of dead bottles, all of which have
undoubtedly done their duty.
But all's well that ends well, and although
a benighted reveller occasionally falls overboard,
no human casualties occur, for the water has such
a sobering effect, and their shouts for help are so
vehement, that they are speedily rescued. Though
occasionally their friends take a delight in temporising with them, and then as happened on one
occasion when we were awakened in the " wee
smaall" hours by the howls of a gentleman hanging
on to an upturned dinghy, with half a dozen
admiring friends a few yards away, chaffing him
from the deck of their yacht, the noise becomes
a nuisance; and as our Commodore remarked, he
had no objection to the gentleman swamping his
dinghy, but he did think that instead of making
all that row he might die like a man. CHAPTER V
He was a large buck with a fine head, that was
all we could see of him when first sighted swimming lustily in the middle of the Strait. We
were returning from a shoot up the coast when
the skipper, who was at the wheel, spied him
crossing over to one of the islands, and called for
all hands on deck.
At first our idea was to shoot the buck in the
water and then haul him on board our power-boat,
but when we got up to him, he proved such a
splendid specimen, that our skipper determined to
capture him alive and turn him out on an island
where he had a summer residence, and where there
were already some does of the coast breed, to
which our prospective captive also belonged.
65 e 66
To say we would capture the buck alive was
one matter, but to give effect to our purpose was
quite another, for the buck had a good deal to
say to his disposal, and his views on the subject
were by no meanf a negligible quantity. The
moment we stopped the power-boat to launch a
row boat, off he went, hell for leather, for the
shore of the mainland which lay a great deal too
near to please us.
It is astonishing how fast these coast deer can
Swim, for they are perfectly at home in the water,
as they frequently cross from the mainland to the
islands, and vice versa.
Once we had got the small boat well under
way, we started the engine of the power-boat,
and had quite g Stern chase before we managed
to cut the buck off from the mainland, and then
slowly circling round him, forced him gradually
towards the small boat in which one of the party
stood ready with a noosed rope to lasso the buck
when he came within reach.
Time after time the gallant beast tried to break IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
back to the shore, but try as he would, the powerboat was too fast for him. Every attempt to
break was frustrated, and at length* the buck
visibly tiring, was forced within reach of the small
boat Whigz went the rope, and a groan went up
from the power-boat as we saw that it was a miss,
for the boat gave a roll at the critical moment and
almost sent the Jassoer overboard. As it was he
sat down so suddenly that it took aU the skill of
the skuller to prevent the boat from overturning.
The buck suddenly startled, forgot his fatigue,
and went off as strong as ever, so the show started
all over again, but we ran the power-boat almost
alongside of the buck and so forced him quite
close to the waiting boat.
This time the lassoer made no error, but landed
the rope nicely over the horns of the buck where
it was pulled taut and the rope passed aboard the
So far, so good, and a vigorous and thoroughly
frightened buck in the water was manageable
enough, but when it came to hauling the same 68
beast on board it became quite a different
Luckily the power-boat had a low free-board
aft with no rail to impede our handling our prey
once we could get him properly secured. So all
hands started in to get him well lashed up before
he was finally hauled on board. This was most
necessary, for these deer in the water may be
comparatively harmless, but on land, at close
quarters, can inflict very nasty injuries, not only
with their pointed horns, but also with their sharp
First his head and fore-quarters were hauled
well out of the water, and his fore legs secured.
Then he was hauled up, and as his hindquarters
came aboard, his hind legs were seized, and in spite
of frantic struggles and abortive kickings, were
lashed tight. Even so, he was still full of fight,
and the tough old salt who had hold of his horns
had a hectic time, judging from his language and
the way he had to struggle to keep the beast's
head down. IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
At last we thought that we had him thoroughly
secured, when to our astonishment, he almost
regained his feet, but immediately fell over again,
luckily inboard, for he quite easily might have
gone overboard, and then, lashed up as he was,
would probably have drowned before we could
rescue him. So another rope was passed through
a ring bolt in the deck, then secured to the lashings of the hind legs, and finally firmly knotted
to the lashing of his fore legs, thus drawing
his legs well under his body, and rendering
any attempt to rise impossible. This precaution proved sufficient, and the buck, now
thoroughly exhausted, lay quietly panting on
the deck.
We had been so engrossed in the operation of
securing our captive that no one had noticed our
Chinese cook, a harmless Celestial when only
armed with a cooking pot, but evidently a man of
blood when armed with a weapon of offence. On
turning round we beheld him grasping a huge
butcher's knife whose edge he was fondling with 70
his clawlike fingers, while lust for blood was written
all over his yellow mask of a face. His disappointment when it was explained to him that the
buck could not be his I meat" was so tragic
that we had great difficulty in controlling our
Our captive gave us no further trouble, and
when we ran alongside the float in the bay at our
skipper's island, the buck was still lying just as
we had secured him* To add to our trouble, it
was a pitch dark night, and as we could not leave
the buck trussed up till morning, it was absolutely
necessary to free him and get him ashore. We
expected that he might be fairly cramped, as he
had been tied up for some hours, and we did not
know what he would do when released in such
a narrow space as the float, where, if he put
up a show and ran amok, some of us might
take an involuntary bath in the icy December
However, we had to get rid of him, so by the
light of a large hurricane lamp, held aloft by one IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
of the party, the rest fell upon the wretched beast,
untied the deck lashing, and before he could make
any resistance, dumped him down on the float
close to the far edge.
Now canie the crucial moment. When the
lashings were taken off, what would the buck do ?
Somebody said he was Sure to make for the light,
as deer so often do, a statement which did not at
all please the fellow who had to hold it. The
general opinion was that he might put up a fight,
and would certainly struggle.
We were all wrong, for the buck lay like a
lamb, having, like a wise beast, apparendy
accepted his fate. His horns and legs were held
until the lashings were cast off, and then when the
skipper shouted " all clear," everyone got such a
move on that before the buck had realised what
had happened he was alone on the float. For a
few moments he lay there, apparently unaware of
his freedom. Then, showing the marvellous
vitality of these deer, sprang direct to his feet,
and standing with head erect, outlined by the «■■
lamp against the black darkness, snuffed
the shore breeze, then suddenly springing into
the water disappeared into the surrounding
Presently we heard the clatter of his hoofs as
he landed on the stony beach, then from the darkness broke out the frantic barking of the island
watch-dog, and we heard the buck plunge again
into the water. After an interval we again faintly
heard the clatter of his hoofs, and finally the
crashing of the brushwood as he plunged into the
interior of the wooded island pursued by the
barking dog.
The following summer I was staying on the
island, and on the far side in a sandy cove came
across the fresh deer slot of large size in the
drying sand. " Yes," said my host, anticipating
my query, " that's the buck you fellows caught
last winter; he's still here, though we rarely catch
a glimpse of him."  CHAPTER VI
We had booked passages by the coast steamer
Venture, which makes fortnightly trips from
Vancouver to Prince Rupert, calling at various
landing-places and Salmon Canneries en route.
Our destination was Bella Coola, a small township
at the head of one of the many deep inlets which
indent the coast-line, the trip by this boat taking
roughly two or three days," according to the
amount of cargo to be dealt with. It can be done
more quickly by the C.P.R. steamer, but it is
not so interesting, as calls are not made at all the
canneries, and so one misses some of the beautiful
inlets, which we call sea loughs, on the west
coast of Scotland. Here, however, dense scrub
cedar takes the place of heather, and the colouring
of the landscape, with the green dwarf cedars in
the foreground and dark pines and firs on the
mountain slopes, is a mixture of greens with which
the wonderful greeny-blue water of the inlets
blends to perfection. The background is filled
by the high mountains of the coast range, at this
time of the year—March—well covered with snow.
On inquiry we found that the Venture was
booked to sail at nine p.m. that night. So shortly
before that hour we made our way down to the
wharf where she was berthed.
H., my companion, % land staker of some
considerable experience, lived at Bella Coola, and
had a good knowledge of the interior across the
coast range of mountains.
The Venture was booked to sail at nine p.m.,
but when we got alongside we found that we had
struck an unfortunate time for our voyage. She
was nearly down to the Plimsoll line already, and
cargo was still being hoisted on board by a dirty
gang of Chinese coolie$. Her decks were littered
with odds and ends, and what space was left was 76
occupied by Chinese and Hindus who were going
to work in the canneries. We waited around until
about ten-thirty p.m.; then, as there was no sign
of her sailing, and one of the officers assured us
that she would not get off until early the next
morning, we went up to town to an hotel and
spent the night there.
At five a.m. we were again down to the wharf,
but found that loading was still in progress. At
last, about six a.m., after much jabbering by our
heathen passengers and Chinese deck-hands, we
cast off and were soon waddling away, well down
in the bows, through the Narrows out into the
Straits of Georgia between Vancouver Island and
the mainland. Here we found a bitter north wind
blowing, which had raised quite a lumpy sea
which caused our heavily laden vessel to lurch
with a dull, sickening motion. For all that the
keen air on deck made us quite ready for breakfast, so we made our way down to the saloon. As
we entered we were assailed by an atmosphere of
unwashed  humans—who had passed  the night IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
sleeping on the settees and floor—combined with
the smell of burnt frying pans from the galley,
opening into the saloon. For the first few
minutes, although we were both hardened sailors,
we were not at all comfortable, especially as the old
hooker took it into her head at that moment to
give us some extra sickening lurches. However,
a good sea-stomach and a healthy appetite carried
us through, and we tucked in with a will at the
" mush I—local porridge—eggs, bacon, and
coffee set before us.
In the afternoon we steamed up a deep inlet
and called at a cannery situated at the head of this
arm of the sea. The buildings of corrugated
iron, set over the water on piles, were most
picturesque with their background of dark green
scrub cedars, which came down to the edge of the
water behind them. Here we landed several of
our Asiatic passengers, as well as thousands
of tin sheets for making the cans in which
the salmon are preserved. We went on
shore to stretch our legs and had a look over 78
the cannery, which, although not working, was
Later in the Season we saw one of the large
canneries in fuU work. The process by which
the salmon are tinned, or in the vernacular
I canned," is simple. In most of the canneries
the gheds are built out over the water, so that the
refuse can be easily disposed of and carried away
by the tide or river current. The fish, caught in
nets and brought fresh alongside the wharf,
piled up in lighters or boats, are unloaded with
large wooden shovels on a travelling wooden
carrier which takes them into the gheds. These
sheds are provided with long tables having an
endless wooden carrier in the centre. The flooring underneath is laid with wide open slots
through which the refuse can be shot into the
water. At the tables stand Chinese—local
Chinks—who clean and dress the fish for the tins.
The fish fall off the carrier from the wharf on to
the table carrier and as they arrive in the shed
they are seized by a Chink who, with one slash IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
of his sharp knife, rips the fish open and cleans
it out. It then passes on to the next Chink who,
armed with a heavy knife, in two blows severs
the head and tail, then slices off the fins. The
refuse is swept off the tables by other Chinks and
thrown into the water. A third Chink catches
the fish when it has travelled to him and deftly
divides it, according to size, into slices and
sections to fit into the tins.
These portions are collected farther on by
another Chink and placed in the tins which are
standing waiting by the carrier. The tins then
travel on to a Chink who catches them and passes
them to another who solders on the lid. They
are then loaded upright in grids on small trucks
which allow the steam in which they are cooked to
circulate freely round them. These trucks run
on rails into huge retorts full of steam. In these
retorts the tins are first cooked for about twenty
minutes, and then withdrawn. A hole is
immediately punched in the lid to allow the gas
and steam which has formed in the tin to escape. 80
Just before this steam has ceased to escape, and
before any air can penetrate from outside, the
hole is soldered up. Practically a vacuum now
exists in the tin, and this is the secret of
the preservation of the fish, for it is now replaced
in the retort to cook in this vacuum for another
forty minutes, which ensures its total preservation.
When taken out, cooled off and labelled, the tins
are ready for the market. All the tins are made
up at the canneries—at least in all those that we
visited—from sheet tin.
Our saloon passengers were rough but interesting, and the small smoking-saloon with its bar
and blue haze of tobacco smoke became our usual
refuge in the evenings. An argument was started
one night by some cowboys about the cattle which
had been running wild for a long time on Graham
Island, to the north of Queen Charlotte Sound,
and had so far defied all attempts to round them
up; the discussion related to the various ways in
which it could best be accomplished. Amongst
those in the smoking-room was a weird, hybrid- IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
looking personage, who had already made himself
conspicuous on board by his self-assertive
manners and loud talk. In dress he looked a
cross between a broken-down actor and an undertaker, with a solemn cadaverous face to suit,
crowned by a very bald head, which shone white
like an ostrich egg in the light of the swinging
oil-lamps. He chipped into the discussion and
laid down his opinion in a loud, raucous voice.
He said that if proper cowboys from his district
were employed he had no doubt that the cattle
could be rounded up without difficulty within six
Sitting silently in a corner was a cowboy, a
striking individual, whose hawk-like face, piercingly black eyes, and heavy drooping moustache
would have commanded attention anywhere; he
was smoking a large green cigar and so far
had not spoken a word. Now, however, as if
stung by the blatant assertion of the bombastic
idiot, he rolled the cigar into the corner of
his mouth and suddenly, with a most delightful II
nasal drawl, gave voice to the following cryptic
" Say, Stranger, ef yus can round them cattle
up in six weeks I'll kiss yus bald head until yus
bark like a fox."
Then rolling the cigar back to its original
position, he again relapsed into watchful silence.
Such a curious and sudden onslaught struck the
room dumb for the moment. Then came a wild
burst of laughter. This was augmented by the
bombaster taking the joke against himself badly,
for, glaring round, he wildly muttered something
and rushed from the room. This was the last
we saw of him, for he either stuck to his cabin
or left the ship unnoticed the next morning.
On the way up the coast of Vancouver Island
we passed the mouth of Campbell River, famous
for its salmon fishing. There the sportsman gets
as good fishing as he can wish for anywhere.
The salmon, however, will not usually take a fly,
but must be trolled for with a spoon bait. They
are game fish, average a fair weight, put up a IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
good fight, and when the " tyee" are running
catches of salmon well over fifty pounds are by
no means uncommon, so the fisherman has plenty
of sport.
The weather continued cold but bright, and the
trip was really enjoyable. Early the following
day we wallowed out past the north of Vancouver
Island, into the open Pacific in Queen Charlotte
Sound. Here we had nothing between us and
Japan, so the full force of the Pacific seas running
for more than two thousand miles are met here in
bad weather. Luckily, there was only a long
swell, which broke on the coast with a thunderous
roar; loaded down as we were a heavy sea would
have been most disagreeable. As it was, the
swell, which rolled us about most unmercifully for
the next fivg pr six hours, proved quite sufficient
for some of our fellow-passengers, and there was
a distinct falling off at meal times.
All things, however, have $ an end. The
morning of the third day saw us steaming up
Burke Channel,  at the head of which lies the SPORT  AND   LIFE
township of Bella Coola. This channel, right up
to the head, is so well protected and deep that a
large fleet of modern war vessels could safely
anchor there. At the head, between the Sea and
the town, lie mud flats which, if properly drained,
would be very fertile. The landing-stage is
connected with dry land by a long wooden jetty,
from the end of which a fair road leads to the
As we had little with us we disembarked,
carrying our kit, and walked to H.'s " shack i
(Anglice, small wooden house), about a mile from
the wharf. On the way we passed a small hotel,
outside which a couple of swearing, sweating
packers were having a violent altercation with a
refractory mule. The animal was almost human
in the cunning with which time after time it
divested itself of its pack when apparently firmly
lashed on. At last one of the packers managed
to throw a diamond hitch over the pack which did
the trick, and the mule, as if realising that further
resistance was useless, immediately gave in, but IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
from the expression of its eyes and ears, had it
at the moment, Hke Balaam's ass, been given the
gift of speech, its language would have made the
atmosphere hum.
After lunch H. went off to the Siwash Indian
Reservation to see if he could get a couple of
| cahuse "—Indian ponies—for our ride up the
valley in the morning. He turned up later in
the afternoon with an old white pony and a brown.
The white he advised me to ride, as the brown
was only partially broken, and its paces were very
bad. It was a staid-looking old mount, yet
Seemed full of go; but, as we subsequently found,
was a lazy old fraud, so we called him the
| Whited Sepulchre." For, as H. remarked, the
old hypocrite was full of nothing but dead bones.
That evening we repaired to the local store,
which was the meeting place of the township
celebrities. In fact they treated it, after closing
hours for trade, a§ a sort of social club. Here
we sat on the bales or counters and smoked, while
the  conversation ranged from coast politics to
/ 86
sport. Bear was naturally a great topic in this
neighbourhood, as both the black and silver-tip
or grizzly were common in the valley, and even
more so in a side valley across the river.
Amongst those present was the local hunter
who entertained us with Some of his experiences
with ursus horribilis in the previous autumn. He
told us how he had gone out with the local schoolmaster who wished to get his first grizzly. The
dominie was armed with an old and somewhat
rusty Winchester, in which, however, he had
great faith. It was arranged that he should have
the first shot. As they were going up one of the
narrow trails through the forest—the only means
of progression, as the windfall off the trail is so
heavy that it is almost impossible for a man to
clamber over it—they came across a she grizzly
with cubs, at a most awkward place, where the
trail Was blocked by a fallen tree. The bear was
on them before they realised how close she was,
for these powerful brutes can travel over fallen
timber at an extraordinary speed.    The school- IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
master took the shot, but his rifle missed fire and
before his companion—armed with a sporting
Mannlicher—could do anything the grizzly had
him down and was chawing his scalp. The
hunter had actually to walk right up to her before
he could shoot, for fear of hitting the unfortunate
dominie, so mixed up were the man and the bear.
The wretched fellow's scalp was hanging over his
forehead, and when at length he managed to get
back to the settlement, thirty-six stitches had to
be put in. It was a long time before he got over
it, and then his nerve had gone—which was not
much to be wondered at, for he had had a
marvellous escape.
.Another interesting bear adventure was that of
two mining prospectors who, hearing reports of
gold washings in the stream up the side valley,
went off to investigate. They were warned that
it was a great bear country and just the season
when they were most likely to come across old
silver-tip, and were advised, therefore, not to go
unarmed.     The prospectors, however, could not 88
be bothered with the extra weight of a rifle and
ammunition; they said they knew all about bears,
and were not afraid of them. They expected to
be away about ten days or a fortnight, but were
actually back, minus a pack, in a very scaied
condition, within three days. It appeared that
on the morning of the second day, while following
the narrow trail alongside the river through dense
forests, they came suddenly on a she grizzly with
two cubs, and the old bear gave them no time,
but charged at once. The leading prospector
luckily was close to a climbable tree, so did a
record up it. The other had to run, struggling
out of his pack as he did so. Fortunately he had
a good start, and when he dropped his pack the
bear stopped to sniff at it, and then sent it flying
into the river before she resumed her chase.
Finally, she so cornered him that he had to take
a flying leap into the river, which luckily was not
so very deep at that spot. This stopped the bear,
who turned back to investigate the man in the
tree.    He, however, was safe enough; a grizzly IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
cannot climb, the paws being more like feet with
huge claws—in some cases six inches in length.
Still, they can reach up quite eleven feet, as the
writer saw and measured for himself on a giant
cedar, where silver-tip, standing up, had been
stretching and clawing the bark. The danger
is that the grizzly is obstinate, hates being
balked, and so will wait under a treed man for
But to resume. Just as the bear got under the
tree where the first prospector was seated one of
the cubs gave a whimper up the trail. The old
bear looked at the man and then back. Finally
her maternal instincts proved too strong for her,
so she gave a couple of " oufs " and shambled
away after her cubs. The hunted prospectors
remained where they were for some time, fearing
she might return. Then, when at last they
deemed the coast clear, they Scrambled back to
the trail and made for the setdement considerably
faster than they had come.
In the autumn old silver-tip is sometimes quite 90
a nuisance, for he roams down the valleys for
berries and salmon. On one occasion an old
male grizzly actually treed two of the leading
citizens between the town and the steamer landing when they were on their way to meet the
boat. He kept them there until the other people,
who had gone previously to the wharf, came back
along the road about a couple of hours afterwards,
and then, after reaching up for them, made off
into the forest. Curiously enough this savage
and powerful animal hates dogs, and will invariably
clear out, unless cornered, when a dog is around.
Airdales are said to be the best for bear hunting,
and three of them will easily hold up a big grizzly
until the hunters arrive.
Silver-tip at times is a morose, dog-in-the-
manger personage, who will take absolute
possession of a small valley and then go out of
his way to be aggressive to intruders. He is also
wantonly destructive when annoyed, as we saw for
ourselves a few days later, when up the valley we
passed a small farm, the orchard of which had IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
been broken into by a large grizzly and about
twenty apple trees wantonly destroyed. To get
in the bear had smashed through four strands of
thick barbed wire stretched on four by eight posts.
He had left some of his coat behind and this had
evidently enraged him, hence the damage.
The black bear, compared with his larger
brother, is a gentleman. He is comparatively
tame, and all he asks is not to be worried. The
only time that there is any likelihood of trouble
from this species is when the female has cubs with
her. Otherwise " Blackie " is commonly a docile
person, and to watch him rooting about in the
refuse heap of a sawmill, with a large molasses
tin cuddled in his paws and his nose probably
buried in its depths, is distinctly amusing. He
is a tree climber, so should he get annoyed and
go for you—which, however, is not likely—it is
useless climbing a tree, for he is a much better
performer. The cubs are the most delightful
little persons, and soon become very tame, but
as they grow up become unintentionally rough, SPORT   AND   LIFE
and so have either to be confined or chained up,
which spoils their tempers.
Outside the cat tribe, of which the largest is
the cougar—or mountain lion—the timber wolf
ranks next to the bear amongst the hunting
animals. He is the largest of his species and
usually hunts in families, which consist, as a rule,
of three to five, though as many as seven have
been known to run together in the winter. He
is a magnificent animal with a fine coat, but
destructive where the settlers' cows and calves are
concerned, and in consequence the Government
offer one dollar for every pelt brought in. He is
fearless and inquisitive, and rarely in this part
of the continent attacks human beings, for there
are plenty of deer which he can easily run down.
As to his inquisitiveness, H. told me that the
previous winter, when he was packing down from
the interior with a bell-mare and about twenty-
five pack horses—who follow the mare—he was
walking down the valley in the rear of his pack
train in the moonlight when he noticed a shadow IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
steal through the trees on his right, and shortly
afterwards saw another on his left. He realised
at once that they were timber wolves—the bitch
and a nearly full-grown cub on the flanks—and
turning round he discovered the old dog, about
fifty yards behind him down the' road, who
immediately stopped and sat down on the snow
with his ears cocked forward and tongue lolling
out in an inquiring attitude. H. lit his pipe,
which puzzled the old wolf but did not make him
retire. When H. moved on the wolf did so as
well, and he noticed that the bitch and cub, who
had stopped, were now also moving on. They
were attracted by the smell of the horses, but had
evidendy no inclination to attack the pack train,
but were just interested. They followed him
close up to the first settlement and then, intent on
their own business, quietly disappeared into the
A few days later at the head of the valley I saw,
not far from a settler's cabin, the place where a
pack of seven had run down and killed a mule ■
deer after ringing it in relays for some considerable
time. At least that was what the settler, who
was a bit of a hunter, told me.
We spent the night at H.'s house and early
next morning we rode up the valley to a Swedish
setdement about twelve miles from Bella Coola.
Here H. wanted to see several people, so we
spent the afternoon and night there. It was my
first experience of a dry settlement, no liquor
being allowed, so they said, in the place. In
reality—sub rosa—we were the most popular
people there, for we had a botUe of whisky, which
we produced in the store that evening after closing
time. The deed was done with great secrecy;
the bottle, with a couple of glasses and a jug of
water, being placed in the dark in a small room
off the store. Here in turn the principal male
inhabitants adjourned and had their tot, which,
from the expression on their faces and the way
they smacked their lips and rubbed their mouths,
gave them much satisfaction.
We found the settlement a thriving one.    The IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
staple industry seemed to be general and dairy
farming, and quite good cheeses are made there.
Fruit, apples, and vegetables also grew well, for
the soil is prolific when once the land is cleared
of the forest trees. The village—if one may call
it so—was surrounded by small farms, and all
those we visited seemed most prosperous.
The winters in the valley are mild for north of
latitude fifty; even over the coast range in the
interior the average snow fall is only eighteen
inches to two feet and often less, owing to the
warm Chinook wind which blows off the Pacific.
The result is that all through the winter the
Indians leave their ponies out in the interior to
rusde for themselves, as there is plenty of food
under the powdery snow which they can easily
scrape away. In summer, in the interior, the wild
meadow land, of which.the soil in many places is
a mixture of black loam and volcanic ash, is
covered with pea vine, often knee high when
riding, and excellent bunch grass. So this region
when opened up should make a fine cattle country. i
H 9
In the interior cariboo can be obtained and
occasionally moose. Deer are plentiful, especially
mule deer, on the coast and in the coast
Our road up the valley, through the forest, when
once we had got into the tall timber, was a
wonderful sight. For here there was not the
windfall blocking the spaces between the trees,
as is the case nearer the coast. Riding through
the tall timber was like being in a huge cathedral.
The mighty Douglas firs went up clean without
a branch for eighty or a hundred feet, then spreading out, reached a total of two hundred to two
hundred and fifty feet; the size of the giant
cedars can be imagined since the bark of some of
these was eleven inches thick.
When we got near the head of the valley we put
up with an old settler who ran a rough ferry across
the river. While we were out looking round he
went off fishing, and in a couple of hours came
back with a sack full of about seventy fair-sized
Dolly  Varden trout, which  the old rascal had
|TM*Trtfc*r*^TlrJ'^ ji j-m
ii # -^iiMlii^rt IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
caught with salmon roe.      The trout-fishing is
wonderful, and the fish take a fly well.
We, however, had unfortunately no time to
devote to sport on this trip, apart from the fact
that it was the wrong season for bears, which were
still hibernating, or had not yet moved down into
the lower valleys after berries and the salmon
which in great numbers come up the river to
spawn. We had also to catch the Venture, as I
was due to leave Vancouver for England shortly
after my return, and had my passage booked from
New York by the Mauretania, so could not afford
to miss a boat from Bella Coola. '
The bright December sunshine and green springy
turf of Victoria's favourite golf course at Oak
Bay refuted the statement which appeared in the
British Press one Mayj at the time of the Ladies'
Championship, that Miss McKenzie, the Canadian
Champion, had madel" a fine,  achievement" by
her round of " eighty-eight,"-" when one considers
that Canadian golfers can play only half the year,
and that a fortnight ago,. Miss McKenzie was
having her first shot for six months."
This statement is distinctly misleading, for on
our western  coast  in   the  province   of   British
Columbia,  the  climate   is very  similar  to that
of the west coast of Scotland, and golf can be
played all the year round in open winters, and
even in hard ones the snow and frost do not, as
a .rule, last longer than January and February.
It is, however, quite true that in Eastern Canada
golf is purely a summer and autumn game, the
winters being long and severe; but it is not to be
imagined that Canada's premier golfers cannot
keep in practice during the winter, if they have
the will and the means to do so. They have but
to follow the example of many of the prairie
farmers, who leave their ranches with the advent
of the November snows, and spend the winter on
the mild Pacific Coast, where the warm Chinook
wind, blowing off the ocean, prevents the intense
cold experienced on the eastern side of the Rocky
Mountains. 0   B
The game is deservedly popular on the Pacific
Coast, both on the IJritish Columbian, side of the
border, and in the United States; for the courses,
are  both good and  plentiful,  tihfough.with the
increasing population and the growing*interest in
the game, there will soon be room for more.
. . . j fiJf1'** ** '* W - *
British Columbia is the possessor of fivevwfdl-
; v^--; '# SPORT   AND   LIFE
known golf courses on the coast,* all of them
excellent, though one, just outside Vancouver,
from want of space is only a nine-hole course.
In those nine holes, however, are combined all the
mental excitement and hazards that the most
exacting golfer can desire, with a wandering creek
which five times in the nine holes tries the mental
stability of the timid golfer. The situation of the
Jericho Country Club, and its excellent tennis
and croquet lawns, make up for the shortness
of its course; while the view of sea and
mountains is one of the most beautiful on the
The pick of the seaside courses is " Oak Bay a
on Vancouver Island. It is about three miles
from the centre of the city, and is accessible by
frequent electric cars. The bay, as its name
suggests, is a veritable bay of oaks. The course
is a typical seaside one, with some of the fairways
running out along a promontory into the straits,
* The two not mentioned are Shajighnessy and Burnaby,
good  eighteen-hole  courses. IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA       101
giving a glorious view, in winter, on a sunny day*
of sparkling sea and the snowy Olympic Mountains across the water on the American coast. The
eighteen holes are five thousand three hundred
and ninety-five yards in length; two thousand five
hundred and forty-four out and two thousand eight
hundred and fifty-one in, with some most sporting
medium holes over masses of rocks, and one across
a small bay of the sea. These holes, when there
is a cross wind blowing—a frequent state of affairs
in the spring and autumn—are fine tests of accurate driving. The club house, a long low wooden
building, with a background of tall dark firs, faces
the sea, with, in front, a large putting green, next
to which is the eighteenth hole. A wing of the
building forms the professional's room and workshop, in front of which is the first tee.
In the early winter and spring the course is at
its best. In summer it is dry and the turf sandy,
as the rainfall in Victoria is not so great as on the
mainland. The longest hole, the thirteenth, is
five hundred and twenty-five yards, with an uphill SPORT   AND   LIFE
approach to a large green which lies well back
over the crest; while the best short hole, the fourteenth, one hundred and forty yards, is full of pitfalls for the sliced, pulled, or short shot. It is
over rough, rocky and rising ground, with a large
deep sand bunker guarding the green, which,
placed on a knoll, slopes steeply on the far side,
so that the over shot is severely punished. In
addition to these difficulties the shot is made from
a high wooden platform fully exposed to the wind,
and has to be kept dead straight through a not too
wide gully fonned by a small wood on the left and
a mass of high rocks on the right, which run
almost up to the bunker guarding the green.
Take it all round, the course is a most sporting
one and well bunkered. The greens are excellent,
and the general upkeep could not be better. It
is a real golf club, in which the game is the first
consideration; unlike some of the clubs out here,
where the social side is too much considered, to
the detriment *of the game.
The Other well-known Course on the island is IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA       103
an inland one at Colwood, about nine miles from
Victoria, on the " Island Highway," which up to
this point is a fine cement motor road of the most
modern type. It can be easily reached by train
or motor bus.
Colwood is a comparatively new course, which,
when properly bunkered, will rival Oak Bay; for
it is a longer course, six thousand two hundred
and ninety-one yards, beautifully laid out through
natural park-land and forest, the open part being
typical of some great English park. Being well
protected, it is free from the constant strong winds
which, at times, make the game so difficult at Oak
Bay; but it has the disadvantage of being very hot
and dry in summer; the fairways getting terribly
baked and crumbly, as the soil is a soft loam.
The large greens, however, are like oases in a
barren land, for they are beautifully green and
smooth, with water constantly sprinkling on them
from revolving watering machines. The course
is at its best in the early winter and spring, when
the turf is firm, with plenty of short grass, but in 104
parts it is inclined to be mossy where the fairways
are made over redeemed forest land. There are
some fine natural holes where the drive is through
openings cut in belts of the old forest, and over
rocky ground.
The course is by no means flat; for at one or
two holes there is quite an amount of uphill or
downhill work; and the dog-leg is a predominant
feature, for there are three such holes in the first
nine, and one in the second, all of them good holes,
and some with the most unpleasant natural bunkers
in the form of deep dykes and trees. The longest
hole is a dog-leg, five hundred and twenty-five
yards, with the green surrounded by bushes and
trees. The shortest, one hundred and fifty yards,
is a downhill shot over rocks with trees on either
side, on to a large undulating green, which slopes
from a rough grassy mound on the left down to
wide sand bunkers which encircle it.
The course is not yet finished, so the club-house
is only a temporary wooden building, where, however, an excellent lunch or tea can be obtained at IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA       105
a moderate charge. This, combined with a green
fee of only one dollar, brings a good day's golf
easily within the means of the player with a
moderate income.
Oak Bay, owing to the crowded state of the
course, has a green fee of two dollars; but the
members of affiliated clubs on the mainland are
only charged one dollar; so altogether a weekend's golf on the island, with its trip by steamer
across the Gulf and through the islands in the
most beautiful scenery, is well worth the trouble
and really moderate expense in these times of
high prices.
Apropos of this steamer which as it nears
Victoria passes close to the Oak Bay course, a
story is told of a certain player who suffered
from the complaint common to many golfers of
the 'rabbit' class, in always finding an excuse
for their bad play. It was at the hole which
crosses the small bay, and the foursome had been
considerably worried by the " rabbit's " complaints
and excuses, for he had been playing abominably. SPORT  AND   LIFE
This hole was his particular bete noir and special
downfall, so to avoid censure for his probable
errors, his partner and opponents, together with
his caddy, hid themselves behind some rocks.
Left alone on the tee, the " rabbit | addressed the
ball with exaggerated care, then swinging lustily,
smote it with his usual slice, and landed it well out
into the water. Looking round with an air of
astonished annoyance, he found no one to abuse.
For once he was fairly non-plussed, but the situation was Saved by the Vancouver steamer which
rounded the point at the moment of his dilemma.
He glared hard at it for some seconds, then to
the intense amusement of the hidden players,
shaking his fist at it, asked the heavens aloud how
anyone could play with such a distraction as that
blankety steamer.
Keen golfers when making a trip to British
Columbia should certainly not forget to bring
their clubs with them; for the experience of the
beautiful courses will well repay the trouble. CHAPTER   VIII
Here in the West the " Automobile3 is as
commonly owned as a dog in the British Isles,
but how Some of the people one sees with motorcars manage to keep them, much less buy them,
is a marvel.
It is quite a common sight on a summer's
evening to see a working man and his wife,
often very tired-looking, for women work hard
out here, with a small child in her arms and
frequently as many as four or five other
children packed in behind, out for a drive in
their " Henry Ford," which are ubiquitous in
this country.
In Vancouver we say: " You first buy your car,
and then your house," and from the look of some
107 . jiff
m     *   *■
of the cars they might truly be lived in, for owing
to want of accommodation, or the expense of
putting up even the smallest garage, a great
many of them remain all night in the streets, no
matter what the weather may be.
This at one time was the motor thief s opportunity, when he abounded in Vancouver, and was
as full of ingenuity as an egg is of meat. The
proximity of the American border line, with quite
good roads leading to it, was of great assistance
to him, as once the car was across, all hope of
recovery was practically gone. It is to be hoped,
with the building of the magnificent Pacific Highway to the States, that there will not be a revival
of the motor thief s activity.
The theft of motor-cars was most baffling to
deal with, for the motor thieves not only relied
on running their booty over into the States, but
were clever at dismembering the cars, and in
disposing of the various parts. These days, we
trust, are past, for the police seem to have
got the situation well in hand, and a statement IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
was recently issued that nearly all the cars stolen
lately have been recovered.
The motor thief at work is undefeatable, for
although a citizen of Vancouver chained the wheel
of his new car firmly with a heavy padlock to a
telephone pole, on rising the following morning
he found the wheel still firmly chained to the pole,
but the car gone. The wily thief had taken off
the wheel and replaced it with the spare one.
Here a detachable rim would certainly have been
a saving. Yet so confident are the inhabitants,
that certain streets in the business centre are
parked all day with cars while their owners are at
their offices.
On Vancouver Island the occupation of the
motor thief is precarious, as he cannot easily get
away with the goods owing to the few ports of
exit, and these are well watched. Lack of
opportunity may also account for the immunity
of Victoria and the Island from motor thieves, as
the number of cars is smaller than in Vancouver,
and there is no lack of accommodation. 110
The reader may well ask, if such strange people
have cars who do not appear able to afford them,
how is it that they get them? It is owing to the
system on which the motor trade here is run
through the VaErious agencies, and more particularly to the system in trading in second-hand cars.
These agencies are as plentiful as blackberries in
September, and repair shops, gas and free-air,
and battery service stations spring up like mushrooms, so lucrative is the trade, and so little do
most of the owners attend personally to the upkeep
of their cars. These Service garages often have
the most amusing signs, such as one in a main
thoroughfare, which invites patronage with the
significant but appropriate advertisement of its
capabilities under the following title: " The Limp
in—Leap out."
Unlike the system in the British Isles, the agent
here cannot obtain cars to meet local demand.
He must take a contract at the commencement
of the season for the number of cars the makers
think he should sell, or lose the contract. IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
The result with the keen competition is that
agents will sell their cars on almost any terms.
They will take old cars in part payment, hoping
to pass them on to somebody. They will take
a note-of-hand from the purchaser; and the
instalment system of purchase is common.
The consequences were obvious in the days
when motor thieving was prevalent, for where it
is so easy to obtain possession of a car, and every
facility is extended to the would-be purchaser,
anyone with a little ready cash and a reckless
temperament dashes off to an agent, and for a
small sum down, with an agreement to pay the
outstanding amount at a monthly rate with interest,
finds himself the owner of an " auto."
In a few weeks' or months' time he probably
runs through his cash or loses it on some rash
speculation. Then back comes the car to the
agent, is overhauled, repainted, and the process
starts again with a new owner.
As can readily be believed, the craze to be the
owner of a car was again the motor thief's oppor- SPORT   AND   LIFE
tunity, for where there is so great a demand, a
camouflaged car could easily be disposed of at
a low price to this class of purchaser, who is
not over-worried by the bona fides of ownership.
So the ball rolls on and the cars circulate merrily,
for we all have to live and keep smiling, the right
spirit, as exemplified by an owner, who when asked
whether many cars had been stolen, remarked that
he did not know, but he had not had his taken
There are but few British-made cars here owing
to expense and heavy duty, so the American has
a fair field with but little competition, except from
those of Canadian make. One of the results was
the prevalence of the % left-hand drive " in a
Province where the rule was I keep to the left."
This, and the fact that our near neighbours drive
on the right of the road, raised the question of
an alteration to come into line with the " keep to
the right " of the Americans. Besides the reck-
less driving of a large section of American drivers
is proverbial, and as the Province is flooded with
American tourists during the summer season, it
was realised that some steps had to be taken to
preserve the safety of the road, and deprive the
" speeders '' amongst them—whose idea appears
to be to run over a person first and then use the
hooter—of their excuse in the difference of the
rule. So on January ist this year the rule was
altered to | Keep to the Right."
Motoring conditions, both on the Mainland and
Vancouver Island, are excellent on the main
inter-urban roads which are mosdy paved or have
prepared surfaces to resist the wet winter season,
but even in the cities since the war, too little
attention has been paid to the upkeep of the roads,
not only in the by-streets but also in the main
The Island Highway," from Victoria north to
Comox and Campbell River, a distance of roughly
one hundred and seventy miles, is a good road.
It climbs over the " Malahat Mountains | at an
altitude of one thousand two hundred feet, and
in places is cut out of the side of the mountain
with a sheer drop of well over a thousand feet to
an arm of the sea below, giving a most glorious
view of the sea, islands and snowy mountains
away across the straits on the American side.
The approaches to this climb are through miles
of virgin forest of wonderful tall trees for which
this coast is famous. The great highway is the
main artery for all the heavy motor traffic on the
Island, so it is wonderful the road preserves its
surface; and that it does so Speaks volumes for
its original construction and for the care taken in
its upkeep. The accommodation at such towns
as Duncans, Nanaimo, and Comox, is good but
expensive. While to the west, Alberni is in
connection by a good road and has excellent
Vancouver Island is the happy hunting ground
of the retired Service man, who with his family,
in most cases, live a pleasant life, fruit ranching
with plenty of sport thrown in combined with
social gatherings, dances, cricket, and lawn tennis.
The country round Duncans is quite a centre where IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA       115
the retired Naval and Army Officer can, despite
the times, enjoy life on his pension, as the life is
simple and expenses few.
Nanaimo has one of the finest natural harbours
in British Columbia, and is the centre of the coal
fields. It has its own separate steamer service
with Vancouver twice daily, the passage across
Georgia Strait taking about two hours. It is also
connected by rail with Duncans and Victoria to
the south, with Comox to the north, and .Alberni
to the west. So a motoring trip on the Island is
a real pleasure with no fear of a breakdown landing
one hopelessly without means of return, as is the
case when motoring in some parts of the Mainland
in the interior away from the railways.
On the Mainland the highways are equally good
where they exist, and such paved roads as the
I Marine Drive " along the coast from Vancouver
to Point Grey and then inland along the Fraser
River to New Westminster, or across the Inlet on
the North Vancouver side to Howe Sound, when
kept in repair, are as good as any of the old English SPORT   AND   LIFE
coaching roads. The "Pacific Highway" which
is building from New Westminster to connect with
the road from Seatde in the United States—a run
of about one hundred and twenty miles—will,
judging from the first section of this perfecdy
paved highway, be magnificent. CHAPTER IX
Wherever we live climate is one of the greatest
factors in our well-being and in the fonnation of
our characteristics as a race. Thus the " Blue-
Nose," the true Newfoundlander, undoubtedly
derives his dour character from the inclemency of
his climate during the greater part of the year.
Here in British Columbia, in normal seasons,
we have a delightful climate, not that I wish to
infer in consequence that we are an equally
delightful people. We are ordinary Britishers,
no better or worse than the rest, so you must
take us as you find us, and the finding, I hope,
will be as favourable as our climate, which usually
in winter is more wet than cold, and in summer is,
as a rule, pleasandy warm, without being too hot,
117 118
but with a sufficiency of rain to keep our flower
gardens beautiful until the late autumn.
Mind you, as our Welsh friends say, I am
speaking of normal seasons, for of late years our
climate has varied considerably, whether owing
to the deforestation which is going on around us,
or to some other cause, is difficult to say, but the
fact remains that our winters are much colder, and
our summers are much drier. This Summer, for
example, until early in August, we had no rain
since about the middle of May. Consequently
our usually green landscape is much parched, and
presents a brown and dusty appearance, quite
foreign to this land of many waters.
Some of our conditions of life are strange and
confusing, mosdy due to the conflicting opinions
of our public bodies and corporations. Thus
although the City of Vancouver has adopted
summer time, the Canadian Pacific Railway
Company has not. Hence a curious situation
arises when you wish to catch a train or steamer,
which was well illustrated by a local wedding. IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA       119
The reception after the ceremony was to be held
at three p.m., and the bridal couple were to lea\^\
by the Trans-Canada from the C.P.R. Depot ats
three p.m. Somewhat confusing, you will admit,
but easily capable of explanation, when it is
remembered that the wedding; was really cele-
brated at one p.m. ordinary itime,-; and no? two
p.m. as announced, thus leaving? ample time for
the reception before the deparfere of the train.
Also our nine p.m. gun still sj^ks to ordinary
time, although by summer time it is ten o'clock.
Life in the city is much the same as in any big
town, and it is not until you live in the country
that you notice any great difference from life in
the older countries, and then it is only in the odd
things one hears, or which occasionally happen.
Thus your neighbour will complain that he has
had his potatoes rooted up during the night, and
shortly afterwards vivid descriptions, not only
aural, but also in the daily newspapers, will explain
the mystery, how a black bear has been seen at
work on the potatoes, how he has been located SPORT   AND   LIFE
in a certain piece of bush or forest, and how the
local sportsmen will soon account for him. Then
a few days afterwards, it is announced that the
owner of the potatoes has discovered the offender
to be a Chinaman's pig which is running wild.
Last winter the severe weather drove some of
the wild animals nearer to civilisation, so some
of us living in the country were given most undesirable surprises in the form of skunks which took
up their abode in our basements. In these
circumstances and surroundings, Mephitis rnefihi-
tica has to be tackled with much caution, and if
possible shot without disturbing him until the
fatal moment. Otherwise, you may have to burn
your house down as the surest and cheapest way
of cleansing it.
The cougar, or mountain lion, is also occasionally seen in the neighbourhood of Vancouver.
Last winter quite a large one was reported to
have been seen on the Burnaby road about five
miles from the city; and just before the war, one
appeared  in  North Vancouver and walked off IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA       121
with a young Airedale dog which it picked off the
veranda. Occasionally, too, the presence of one
of these large cats has been reported in Stanley
Park, our beautiful park which is kept as like the
virgin forest as possible, and is situated in the
West End of Vancouver, a noted residential
quarter. The cougar is supposed to have swum
over from the north shore of the Narrows, but as
a rule the reports are not substantiated on
When our highways are completed, especially
the I Pacific Highway" leading down into the
United States, we shall be well served with motor
roads, though in places our local authorities have
apparently not yet learnt that it is of littie use
building a road, if it is not kept properly in repair.
Before the Provincial Government took a
referendum on the liquor question and Moderation was adopted, we had in force a kind of
Prohibition, the work of the busybodies during
the war when most of the men were away at the
front.    This prohibition, though weakly enforced, SPORT   AND   LIFE
was embarrassing enough for those who were
accustomed to their daily tot, which then, if legitimately sought, had to be procured with a doctor's
prescription, or if illegitimately, through a " Bootlegger," as the unauthorised dealers in liquor are
called—a species, which even under Moderation
has not died out, for with Government supervision
and sale our liquor, though fairly good, is very
dear. The boot-legger also carries on a lucrative
business in smuggling liquor into the United
States both by land and sea, as well as underselling the Government with those who are willing
to risk dealing with them.
Apropos of boot-legging, a ludicrous incident
happened in one of the Prairie Provinces which
had gone " dry "; and although this story does
not, stricdy speaking, belong to British Columbia,
it is too good to lose, as it illustrates the ingenuity
and cunning of the boot-legger to perfection.
At a certain prairie railway station the
Mounted Police had captured a large cask of
illicit whisky.    The cask was standing on a raised
■   ii   III:
platform used for entraining horses and catde. A
constable was left to watch the cask to prevent its
removal by the boot-leggers, while the other went
off to get a wagon. When the wagon arrived
the police laid hold of the cask, but to their
astonishment it rolled over empty. The solution
to the Inystery was soon evident from a neatiy
bored auger hole in the bottom of the cask, and
corresponding marks through one of the many
spaces between the planks of the platform, both
smelling of whisky. It then appeared that the
wily boot-leggers, not to be done, had quietly
driven up under shelter of the shed at the back
of the platform, and had crawled underneath
and drawn off the contents of the cask,
which they removed as quiedy as they had
Even in Vancouver, boot-legging in the days
of prohibition had its amusing side, as when a
naive individual wrote to one of our leading daily
newspapers calling the attention of the Government—mark you, a  Prohibition  Government— SPORT  AND   LIFE
to the iniquitous fact that his boot-legger was
charging him ten dollars for a botde of whisky;
and what was more amusing was the fact that the
paper solemnly published it without, as far as I
remember, any comment. CHAPTER X
Though no longer a peculiarity of the West the
palm for cool audacity must be awarded to the
Western gunman and robber, commonly known
as the I Hold-up man."
Before the war there were some sensational
hold-ups in and around Vancouver, but they were
mostly of the stereotyped character common in
the West, in which the gunman took good care
that the game would be worth the candle, and the
risk to himself as small as possible. However,
since the war, in which life was held so cheap and
risk was a common daily occurrence, the hold-up
man has become more reckless in his methods.
Of the old order the robbing of the Trans-Continental Mail train as it was leaving Vancouver
125 126
was perhaps the most daring. Yet it was so well
planned that the risk was not so great as it seemed.
The hold-up was based on a thorough knowledge
of the habits of the passengers and train crew.
The gunman knew that most of the passengers
worth robbing would be in the Observation car
at the end of the train, waiting for the black
porters to make up the beds in the sleepers, and
the train crew would be busy getting things
straight for the long night run. So as the train
cleared the station, he jumped on the platform of
the Observation car, and entering, made his way
unobserved to the top end. He knew the only
man he would have to avoid was the brake and
lamp man, who would have to see that the tail
lights were in good order before he went forward
to the brake van. So he waited by the door until
the lamp man had passed up the train, then
covering the lower part of his face with a black
scarf, he confronted his victims, gun in hand, with
a sharp " Hands up!" The astonished passengers,  many of  them women,  obeyed,   scarcely IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA       127
knowing what had happened. Then passing
down the car, and herding his victims to the
bottom end, he relieved them of their valuables.
When the engine whistled and slowed up at the
road-crossing, the gunman, still covering the now
thoroughly frightened passengers, walked backwards up the car and disappearing through the
door, dropped quietly off the train, barely a mile
and a half from where he had boarded it. This
daring man was eventually arrested after some
clever detective work.
Such an artistic robbery compels admiration
even from the law-abiding, particularly as it was
entirely lone-handed. Now recklessness seems
to be the order of the day, and the gunmen usually,
in any big affair, work in couples, and are far more
open in their proceedings. Such a robbery took
place recentiy in broad daylight in one of Vancouver's main streets. The whole business was so
audaciously planned and carried out that it might
have been an incident in the construction of a
cinema play for all the attention that it attracted. SPORT  AND   LIFE
The robbers first stole a large motor-car which
was parked in a side street. In it they drove
slowly up the main street until they spotted their
victim, a bank messenger with a heavy satchel of
notes. They passed him, and drew quietly
alongside the pavement with the engine running.
As the messenger passed, one of the men jumped
out, and throwing his arm from behind round the
messenger's neck, pulled him over backwards, at
the same time snatching the satchel out of his
grasp. Then before the passers-by had realised
what had happened, the bandit jumped into the
car and was immediately driven away. Some
time later the car was found abandoned in the
suburbs, and, as was anticipated by the robbers,
the police were thrown on the wrong track and
wasted much time hunting up the owner of the
car, who soon proved his innocence. Three
weeks afterwards the robbers were arrested in
Another daring hold-up in which the gunman
traded on the kindness of his victim took place IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
one wet night.    A motorist was proceeding home
along one of the main streets of Vancouver when
he was signalled by a man standing at a corn r.
Thinking it was a friend who wanted a lift, he
drew into the pavement, when the man, stepping
on the footboard, pushed a gun into his ribs, and
getting in told him to drive on.      They passed
several tramcars which held them up while the
passengers were descending when the gunman,
with the automatic still pressed into the motorist's
ribs, intimated that he would shoot if an alarm
was given.    In this manner they drove out of the
city, and then the gunman ordered the motorist
to stop, and relieving him of all his money, luckily
only about six dollars, jumped out, and made off
into the darkness.
For unsurpassed  effrontery  the robber,  who
returned on the next day to complete the job, is
hard   to   beat.      It happened   in   one   of  the
residential quarters of Vancouver.    A lady, who
was alone in her house, was awakened suddenly
to see a man rummaging in her dressing-table.
i 130
She screamed, and the man immediately jumped
out of the window, leaving a large quantity of
jewellery untouched in a drawer. The lady
telephoned the police, who at once sent a detective
to investigate, and the police again called in the
morning for further information. But at midday,
in answer to an imperious ring, the lady was confronted by her visitor of the previous night, who,
with a handkerchief tied across his face, and a gun
in his hand, roughly demanded the jewellery he
had been unable to carry off. The unfortunate
lady was so frightened that she complied with his
demand, and,, although there were people living
all round, the man and the jewellery disappeared
The biter, however, occasionally gets bitten,
and the armed robber does not always succeed in
his attempt to raise the wind. On such occasions
it has usually been a case where ignorance is
bliss, for the Old Timers say, when held up, it is
better to give than to receive. They will assure
you that the hold-up man,  as a rule, is  quite INlBRITISH   COLUMBIA       131
prepared to shoot and therefore it is poor policy
to gamble on the hundredth chance that he is not.
The ignorance of the victim, however, on one
occasion, was the downfall of the hold-up man.
He was out of luck, for he met ignorance of
danger combined with pluck in the person of a
sturdy littie Scotch Rugby footballer who had
lately arrived from Scotland.
The gunman proceeded to hold him up in the
usual manner by shoving a gun into the pit of his
stomach and ordering him to put his hands up.
It was a dark night, so the Scotsman was taken
unawares by the bandit who stepped suddenly
from the shadow of some trees, but he had all
his wits about him, so promptly dropping,
collared the gunman round the knees and
dumped him on to the pavement. In his fall the
automatic went off, perforating the Scotsman
through the ribs, but luckily not dangerously.
Having got his man down, Scotty hung on like
a leech, and getting hold of his assailant by the
throat,  bumped  his head   so  manfully   on  the SPORT  AND  LIFE
pavement that before anyone could come to his
assistance he had put the gunman to sleep.
Scotty spent some time in hospital, and then,
none the worse, returned to everyday life. The
gunman retired to prison with a heavy sentence,
so it will be a long time before he again sees the
outer world.  To face page 133.
Timber Wolf killed whilst Bear Hunting. CHAPTER   XI
In the days of the gold rush to the Klondyke all
sorts of improvident people attempted to make
their way from Skagaway to Dawson City over
the White Horse Pass, and the lure of gold was
such that in 1898, Old Timers who did the trip
will tell you of women, absolutely unprovided to
fight the elements, who yet attempted to gain the
land of promise.    The ignorance of these women
was so stupendous that one of them tried to get
through with no other equipment but a banjo, a
looking-glass, and a frying-pan..  While another
went one better, or worse, as you choose to take
it, by setting out with no other impedimenta but
a canary in a cage and a lap dog.    But, mirabile
dictu, some of these foolhardy travellers actually
got through—though whether en route the
owner of the canary and the lap dog ate them
raw, or foregathered with the possessor of the
frying-pan, is not related.
The costumes in which some of these venturesome demoiselles undertook to scale the snow-
covered pass led to starding surprises for the
men who, as a rule, had to come to their
assistance, when misfortune, or more properly
speaking, the Nemesis of their own ignorance
and folly overtook them, and sometimes literally
laid them by the heels. This, my informant
told me, actually happened on one occasion when
three venturesome damsels essayed the trip clad
in French boots. He said that he and his
partner were looking for some place to camp
after crossing the White Horse Pass. It was
snowing heavily, so they made for the lee side
of a mound to get some protection from the
storm. There, to their amazement, they saw
three pairs of French boots sticking out of the
snow.    Of the owners they could see nothing, IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
as they were completely buried. The case was
serious, so they set to work and speedily dug
away the snow. Then their amazement turned
into ribald mirth, for they found that the girls
in their ignorance had crept into their sleeping
bags head first, and the weight of the snow
had pinned them down. As it was, they were
very nearly smothered, and would have been
completely, had they not been providentially
Times were rough and wild in those days, and
even in Vancouver itself in the prehistoric days
before the great fire in 1885; and I believe for
some years afterwards, conditions were such,
that after dark in the winter, one male member
of the social community was always told off
armed with a gun, to escort the women to their
homes from the tea-parties, which then, as now,
formed the most popular entertainment of our
fair sex.
Bears enter largely into most Old Timers'
reminiscences,  and  some  of their  experiences jrn^r'
with Brother Bear—quite apart from sport—are
most entertaining. One which shows that Bruin
has a remarkable memory happened to a remittance man who lived up country on a small ranch.
A devoted sister lived with him and did her best
to keep him in the paths of virtue by banishing
the bottle. She was a lover of animals, so soon
adopted a small black bear cub, an orphan, whose
mother had met an untimely death in a dispute
with a trapper about a right of way. She
brought the little fellow up as a pet, and he
proved most docile and readily adapted himself
to a life of civilisation. But the ne'er-do-weel
proved the serpent in his Eden, for on the sly
he taught the little bear to relish a tot of toddy.
As the cub began to attain the years of discretion,
orpin his case, of indiscretion, he became
unintentionally very rough, and finally had to be
returned to the forest.
Time passed, and with it the good woman passed
also. The ne'er-do-weel, left without restraint,
returned to his old intemperate habits.      So it IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
happened one Christmas, when he and his friends
were sitting round the fire with a large bowl of
steaming toddy, a scratching was heard at the
door, which, being opened, gave entrance in a
flurry of snow to a fully grown black bear.
Bruin seemed quite at home and far more at his
ease than the astonished men who stared at
the bear as he snuffed round the. room, until
attracted by the smell of the toddy, his old taste
awoke, and he insisted on having his tot. This
discovered his identity and put all parties on
better terms. At first the befuddled men were
amused with the antics of the bear, and gave
him as much toddy as he wanted, but when he
also began to feel the effects of the liquor and
remembering the days of his cubhood, insisted on
being nursed and petted, he became more than
a nuisance. He tried to sit on the men's knees,
and sprawled over them, hugging them in a
would-be friendly way, which resulted in both
men and bear rolling on the floor, and in the
upsetting  of the toddy,  which   Bruin  greedily SPORT   AND   LIFE
lapped up. This last potation practically
finished him, and made him so groggy on his
legs that he could hardly stand. Besides, he was
getting sleepy, so the men, sobered by their rough
treatment, seizing the opportunity, fell on the
bear and husded him out of the shack into the
snow, where they left him to sleep off the effects
of his drink. Whether Bruin woke with an awful
head is unrecorded, as next morning he had
disappeared. The sequel was curious, for from
that day no trace was seen of him, and it was not
until some months later, when an Indian came in
with a fine black bear skin, which he sold to the
ne'er-do-weel, that the latter discovered from the
marks of the collar Bruin used to wear, that the
intelligent but crafty savage had sold him the skin
of his own bear.
Another yarn shows that the unsophisticated
damsels of the West were quite as capable of
selling their wares to the best advantage in the
matrimonial market as their more worldly sisters
of the East.    It also shows that up country even IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
in those days in the Dark Ages of our history,
when a fair damsel was a rafa avis, success in the
matrimonial market was at times hard work and
the result of ingenuity and enterprise.
The damsel in question was a professional
| Hash Slinger"—Anglice " Waitress" at a small
up-country hotel. She was a comely lass and fair
to look on, who attracted the attention of all the
young and elderly Lotharios in the neighbourhood. These, however, while ardent, could not
be brought up to the matrimonial scratch. So as
the damsel was giving nothing away, she bethought
her-self of a scheme by which she might encompass
her desire. She originated the brilliant idea of
putting herself up to auction, and herself acting
as auctioneer, in which capacity she did ample
Service to her own charms and accomplishments.
The bidding, which was keen, was in sections and
half-sections of land, as " Green-backs," i.e.,
dollar notes, were scarce in those days. After an
exciting auction, she knocked herself down to an
elderly rancher who had topped the bidding with SPORT  AND   LIFE
three sections. As the winner seemed positively
frightened by his success, the damsel hastily
descended from her rostrum and collared him
before he could bolt. Then having secured her
man, accompanied by the rest of the cheering and
laughing men, she drove straight off to the nearest
minister, who safely tied them up.
The cynic is said to have remarked that matrimony is but the next step to death, so this story
of the far north is in proper sequence. It deals
with the days when the Klondyke was indeed
exile, and with the strange feeling of home-sickness which lonely men experience in time of illness
or at the near approach of death, the overpowering
wish to return home, or at least to lie near those
who are dearest to them. The dying miner of
the story was possessed of this desire, and was
rich enough to pay for its realisation. His body
was to be taken to Telegraph Creek in Northern
British Columbia, and there handed over to his
brother for burial.
The scene is now transferred to the neighbour- IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
hood of Telegraph Creek, at a time somewhere
late in the following summer. The owner of a
shack close to the bank of the creek was about
to retire for the night, when he heard a knocking
at the door. On opening it, he saw a man, who
asked for shelter, and as the stranger seemed
harmless, he invited him in, and soon provided
him with food and hot coffee. In the course of
conversation the man said he was travelling
to Telegraph Creek with his brother, and when
this elicited the inquiry why he had not brought
his brother in with him, he replied that he hacl
left him outside because he was dead. Nothing
more was said on the subject, but the next morning
the two men walked down to the bank of the creek
where lay an empty canoe. " But where is your
brother? : demanded the owner of the shack.
There," laconically replied the stranger, pointing
to a shape which was floating deep in the shadow
of the bank behind the canoe. The man looked
at it, and vague memories of pictures of mummies
or men in armour flitted across his mind. " What; SPORT   AND   LIFE
that him?" he queried. " ,Yes," was the curt
reply. Then the stranger unbent, and told the
story of his brother's death and wish, and how his
partner at Dawson was a tinsmith, and being
unable to get out until the summer, had somehow
to preserve the body for its long journey south.
As long as the winter lasted it was all right owing
to the intense frost, but when the warm weather
came something had to be done to keep it intact.
So the tinsmith canned it with the remains of the
old biscuit tins which were lying around; hence
the startling appearance of the corpse, which the
brother added he had met at the sea, and as
it Was too large for the canoe, he was obliged to
tow it behind, and it was lucky that it would
float. There we may leave him with his last
journey nearly done and his dying wish all but
accomplished.    " Requiescat in pace."  u
There are few places where anything approaching
the conditions of life, so vividly described by Bret
Harte in his " Luck of Roaring Camp " and " The
Outcasts of Poker Flat," still exist. To find
their semblance nowadays in the North-West a
journey must be made to Northern British Columbia by steamer to the small mining town of Stewart
lying at the head of the Portland Canal. The
sea trip will alone repay the trouble, for the trip
up the coast of British Columbia from Vancouver
in one of the excellent G.T.P. steamers is most
enjoyable. All the way the scenery is beautiful,
and in the Portland Canal, a narrow arm of the
sea running for eighty miles inland, flanked by
high mountains, is magnificent.
Stewart, however, is not the goal of the searcher
for conditions of old mining days and ways, but
is merely the port of entry to the coast mining
district of North British Columbia, narrow in
width and flanked on the land side by Alaska,
where close to the border lies the American town
of Hyder. There will be found some of those
old conditions of life, which to read of were so
romantic, but too often in reality were heartbreaking and sordid.
Hyder as an American town does not, strictly
speaking, come within the scope of a book on
British Columbia, but lying practically on the
border line close to the principal mine in British
Columbia, the " Premier," it is so connected with
our coast mining industry, that no description
would be complete without mention of its old-time
life, oddities, and charms.
The town of Stewart is worth a visit, if only
on account of its magnificent surroundings and
picturesque setting, apart from its mining prospects.    Its situation, nestling among green trees IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
and surrounded on three sides by toweririg snow-
clad mountains with their glaciers gleaming white
in the northern sunshine, makes a picture which
many an artist would travel far to paint. On a
fine day, the shadows from the great mountains
transform the Canal into a veritable lagoon, so
still is the deep greeny-blue water with its wonderful reflections of sky and snowy mountains. The
scene is majestically peaceful, comparable only
to the grandest of the Norwegian Fiords, that it
is hard to realise it as a venue of man's activity,
and that most of the inhabitants of Stewart are
prospectors of these towering mountains for the
gold and silver which perchance lies hidden in
their veins.
It is not until the steamer is alongside the wharf
that the reality is plain, and one descends from
the contemplation of the sublime to the everyday
materialism of life, when one sees the busy crowd
of stalwart men waiting for the freight or provisions
which will enable them to proceed with their work
of prospecting or mining.    It is an atmosphere of
optimism and hope, in which each man strives and
works with the ever alluring prospect in front of
him that some day his luck will turn, and he will
realise his one and only dream, of a real mine,
and his own.
As Stewart lies close to the border line, it is no
great step to Hyder, just across the American
border, a quaint little wooden town, half aquatic,
reminiscent at first sight of some South Sea Island
native village. The older part of the town is
built out on piles over the flats, so that at high
tide the water flows freely round and underneath
the houses, which are approached on somewhat
rickety wooden walks, awe-inspiring to the stranger
undesirous of a sudden bath, but which the natives
from constant habit tread as surely as does the
mountain goat his rocky heights. The streets,
of course, are made of wood, and its stores are
truly wonderful, for, in this most temporary-
looking town, it is surprising what one can
purchase—in fact anything from a miner's pick
to a ball gown, a wide stretch, but essential to the IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA       147
industrial conditions of a town where so many of
the male portion live by the pick, and a great
number of the female portion, the " Dance Hall "
women, ply their ancient profession with the aid
of what finery they can procure. Here we have
one of the conditions of the old-time mining towns
and camps, a condition so free from the artificial-
ness of social life, as we know it, that all conditions
of the inhabitants rub shoulders in their daily
intercourse without any show of false modesty or
arriere-pensee as to the social status of their
The condition of drinking, so common in the
days of Bret Harte in the gambling saloons and
dance halls, is also present, but as prohibition
nominally exists in the United States, it is not so
prevalent as in old days; though, be it whispered,
thanks to the boot-legger, there is usually plenty
of strong liquor to be obtained sub rosa; and the
professional gambler, so noted in his novels, may
be said to exist in the card experts.
That these men, the keepers of the saloons, 11 SPORT  AND   LIFE   f
and the " Dance Hall" women thrive, is attributable to the " lay-off" custom of the miners, who
never work long in one camp, but having made
a " stake"—the name given to a good sum of
money—of about two or three hundred dollars,
consider it is time for a " lay-off." This consists
in a trip to Stewart or Hyder, where they soon get
rid of their cash, drinking and gambling in the
saloons and dance halls. The process is rapid;
so usually they wake the next morning, sadder but
rarely wiser men, for they return to the mountains
to work and sweat until they have accumulated
enough cash for another " lay-off."
This improvident custom keeps most of them
in the ranks of labour, and except in a few cases
of stronger moral temperament, prevents individual enterprise. The average working miner
never seems to look forward to a rainy day,
a contingency hardly within his ken, for the
unwritten law of the land is such, " that no man
can ever see a pal stuck." If their pockets are
not always  filled   with  gold,  their hearts  are, IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA       149
and though rough in manners and language
they have a true perception of their duty to
their neighbour, which in practice more than
atones for their ways and lapses from the paths
of virtue.
The new part of Hyder is built of rough wooden
houses on solid ground with wonderful gardens
considering the nature of the soil; but for enterprise these cannot compare with the box gardens
of some of the inhabitants who live on the
| pilings," as the old part of the town is called.
The box gardens are nothing short of marvellous,
and the flowers and vegetables grown in them
would do credit to a market garden in perfect
surroundings. Amongst the experts of this
system is the veteran "sourdough" (Alaskan for
" old-timer")—Mrs Campbell, who keeps a
restaurant. She has carried the system to a fine
art, for the flowers in some of the boxes with
which she has surrounded her premises make a
beautiful show, while in others she grows the best
of lettuces, cucumbers,  tomatoes, and radishes, •"J.:  SPORT   AND   LIFE   j
with which she supplies not only herself but her
customers also.
The marvel of these box gardens is not
thoroughly appreciated until it is realised how
difficult it is to procure the soil for these immense
boxes,.five feet in width supported on planking;
and in the case of Mrs Campbell, she entirely
does her own gardening, as well as the cooking
and waiting in her restaurant. This would be
some undertaking if she only catered for delicate
city patrons, but is " colossal" when her customers
are big husky men with keen appetites, who require
to be fed regularly, plentifully, and of the best.
It is people like Mrs Campbell, with her stout
heart and faith in her surroundings, who are the
mainstay of the country. When they make their
" pile " and leave, they often return, for they find
the call of its magic charm irresistible.. It is this
wonderful faith in the mining prospects which is
so striking, for some of these people have been
prospecting for years. Yet they never fose faith
in the belief of the " bonanza " which they hope IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
will some day be theirs. It is an invincible faith,
for " bonanzas " are few and far between, but the
lure of the precious metal is eternal, so year in
and year out, whenever possible, the prospector
tramps the mountains.
Hyder is the gathering place of men from all
points of the compass. Most of them are young.
Many of them served in the Great War, and all
of them are imbued with that spirit of adventure
without which the prospector's and miner's life
would be unendurable. It is this spirit of
adventure, akin to that which sent the flower of
Elizabethan youth in the sixteenth century,
" Westward Ho " in the search for Spanish gold,
which in this prosaic twentieth century sends these
men out to explore the wilds of the North-West
for the mines which will better their condition.
This is the romantic side of mining, the side
where hope deferred adds zest to the search.
Then the material side, where success is
practically if not entirely assured. Of the latter
the Premier Mine, the most important in the North- 152
West, is a fine example. There we see the
business of mining as an important industry carried
on with all the latest engineering improvements
and most modern machinery.
Situated at an altitude of two thousand five
hundred feet, the Premier Mine, lying close to
the Alaskan border, is about sixteen miles from
tide water. From Hyder it is reached by a
rough wagon road, which for eleven miles traverses
the Salmon River Valley. Up to the " Eleven
Mile House " the road is flat, and the altitude is
gained in the last five miles, when the road from
Stewart through Hyder again crosses the boundary
line into British Columbia. The journey, until
the mine is reached, is rough and uninteresting.
How the motor-cars which make the journey
stand the strain of bumping over the rough surface
is a marvel. There are few signs of life along
the road, and except for an occasional prospector's
tent, and sometimes a bear, there is nothing to
liven the journey. Every seven miles or so there
is a road house, where the men travelling long INf BRITISH   COLUMBIA       153
distances to their claims can get a good meal and
a rough bed for the night. These road houses
are most necessary, for prospectors think nothing
of working claims as much as forty miles from
Hyder, and to reach them have to travel over the
roughest country, often blazing their own trail as
they go; but the end comes unexpectedly, for
without any visible warning the camp is suddenly
The feeling produced by the first sight of
this litde mushroom town, still called a camp,
is one of astonishment, and more so, if one has
been there before, for only two years ago the camp
consisted of a few rough log cabins and one or
two tents. Everything that was required in those
days had to be brought up on the backs of men
and pack horses, as there was nothing but a trail
leading to the outer world. The mine itself was
litde more than a prospect, but now that it has
been opened up, millions of dollars' worth of ore
are being taken out, and the then prospecting
camp has now developed into a real mining camp. SPORT   AND   LIFE
Large wooden buildings, solidly built, stand in
the place of the log cabins, consisting of cookhouses and bunkhouses for the men, besides
general offices, a hospital, the necessary power
plants, and even a laundry.
Some three hundred men are employed in the
development of this property, which during the
last two years has grown rapidly from practically
nothing into perhaps the most spectacular gold-
silver property ever opened up in the Great North-
West Dividends are now being paid at a rate
of between three and four million dollars a year,
and from all accounts there is a long life ahead
of the mine which, although in British Columbia,
is the property, and is controlled and operated by
Guggenheim interests of the United States.
British capital is also interested in the district,
where the B.C. Silver Mines Ltd. is developing the
properties adjoining the " Premier." The camp
on this property, still in its initial stages, is built
of logs and is particularly picturesque, but, like all
mining camps, as the property develops and calls IN   BRITISH   COLUMBIA       155
for more  buildings, the natural beauty of the
surroundings must be sacrificed.
As, at the longest, the life of these mining
camps is but temporary, the buildings, though
solid, are crude in the extreme, efficiency, not
appearance, being the object of their construction.
Like their occupiers they serve their purpose, and
then, deserted, stand gaunt and dilapidated,
memorials of man's persistent endeavours to
wrench from the earth its hidden treasures.
While the buildings thus stand or fall, the men
pass on to new spheres of activity, for, as said, few
of them work long on one property, but after a
] lay-off3 will walk for miles with a pack, often
weighing one hundred and fifty pounds, on their
backs to another camp.
A large proportion of the miners in this rough
part of the world are foreign born, many being
of Swedish and Norwegian origin; there is something in the blood of these men of the old Viking
strain which makes them adventurers and
wanderers in the rough places of the earth.    To I SPORT   AND   LIFE
it they owe their husky stature and build, which
enables them better to withstand the hardships of
the rough work than men of slighter physique.
Those born in the British Empire are loyal
subjects, and many of them served in our
Canadian battalions in the Great War. INDEX
ADaAMS River, 39
Airedale dogs, go,  120
Alaska,  144
Alaskan border,   152
Alberni, 114, 115
American   border   line,   108,
Americans,   55,   63,   64,   112,
Bargain Harbour, 50
""B.C. Silver Mines, Ltd.,"
Bella Coola, 21, 73, 83, 94, 97
Bennet, Lake, 16
Big-horn, 24
Black bear, 18, 19, 20-23, 86,
91, 119, 136, 137, 138
" Bonanza " (rich mine), 150,
Boot-legger, 122
Bret Harte,   143,  147
British Columbia, 13
 , coast of, 143
British Empire,   156
Britishers, 116
Brown trout, 43
Burke Channel, 84
Burnaby,  120
  Golf Club, 100
Campbell, Mrs, 149, 150
— River, 42, 47, 82, 83, 113
Camp Island, 48
Canadian Pacific Depot, 119
Canadian Pacific Railway Co.,
Canadian Pacific Steamer, 73
Canal, Portland, the,  145
Cannery <work,  78
Capilano  River,  50
Cariboo district, 23
Cariboo deer, 23
Cariboo siding,  16
Cassiar district, 13, 14, 15, 23
Cascades, range, 24
Cat class (boat sailing), 55
Chinese or " Chink," 76, 78,
79 ,  .
Chinook (wind), 05, 99
Coast deer, 24
Cohoe salmon, 50, 51
Colwood, 102, 103
Comox, 113,  114, 115
Cougar, 92, 120
" Dance Hall 1 women, 147,
Dawson City, 133, 142
Dolly Vardon (trout), 43, 96
Douglas fir, 96
Duncans, 114, 115
"Eleven Mile House," 152
English Bay, 54
Esquimalt,  54
Fraser River, 115
  Valley, 25
Geary, Ted, 54
Geese, 25
Georgia Strait, 28', 76, 115
Glendale Cove, 29, 32, 37
Goat, mountain, 24
Graham Island, 80
157 158
Great North West, the,  154
" Green-backs,''   139
Grizzly bear, 17, 18, 19, 20-23,
86, 87, 89, 90, 91
Grouse, 25
G.T.P. (Grand Trunk Pacific)
steamers,  143
Guggenheim interests,   154
Gulf Islands, 25
 , the, 105
" Hands-up," 126
" Hash-slinger,"   139
" Henry Ford," 106
Hindus, 76
" Hold-up V man, 124
Holly ALeaf, the,  28, 31, 35,
36, 37, 40
Hotel Vancouver, 57
Howe Sound,  115
Hyder,   144,   146,   148,   149,
151,  152,  153
Indian, 138
  guides, 14, 15
Inlets, 25
Inlet,    the    (Burrard,    Vancouver),  115
"Island Highway," the, 102
Jericho Country Club, 100
Kitten   class   (boat   sailing),
Klondyke, 133, 140
Knight's Inlet, 28, 29, 49
Kootnay, East, 23
u Lay-off " (miner's custom),
Ling, *47
Mainland (B.C.), 25, 26, 115
" Malahat " Mountains,  113
Mannlicher rifle, 44, 87
" Marine Drive,"  the,  115
McKenzie,  Miss, 97
Mephitis mephitica (skunk),
Moderation (Liquor Act), 122
Moose, 23
Mounted police,  122
Mule deer, 24
" Mush (porridge), 77
NiVNAIMO,   114,   115
Narrows, the, 28, 50,  51, 75,
New Westminster, 115, 116
New York, 97
(North   American   Continent,
North British Columbia (mining district),  144
Northern   British   Columbia,
143      s
North Vancouver, 115,  120
North West, the, 143, 151, 152
Oak Bay, g7, 100, 103, 105
Observation car, 126
" Old Silver Tip," 17, 87, 90
Old Timers, 130, 133, 135
Olympian    Mountains,    the,
57, 100
Pacific Coast, the, 42, 99
 • Highway, the, 108,  115,
  Ocean, the, 83
Paisley Island, 28
Patricia, the, 54
Pheasants, wild, 25
" Pilings," the,  149
Point Grey,  115
Portland Canal,  143, 145
Prairie Provinces, 122
" Premier," the (mine),  144,
151,  152,  154
Prince Rupert, 16, 7$
Prohibition,  121
Provincial  Government,   121
Purcell Range, 23
Quail, 26
Queen   Charlotte  Sound,   80,
RlABBITS,   25
Rainbow trout, 43 INDEX
Rock cod, 47
" Rockies"    (Rocky    Mountains), 24, 99
Salmon canneries, 73
Salmon River Valley, 152
Seattle,  54,  116
Selkirk Range, 23, 32
"Shack," 84
Shaughnessy Golf Course, 100
Sheep,  mountain, 24
Sir Torn, the, 54
Siwash Indian Reserve,  85
" Sourdough"   (Alaskan   for
Old Timer), 149
Speckled trout, 43
Spring salmon (or Tyee), 50,
Stanley Park,  121
I Stake "   (sum   of   money),
Stewart,   143,   144,   145,   146,
148, 152
Stikin River,  16
Swede, 60
Swedish Settlement, 94
I Tacoma " Spoon, 43, 48
Taxada Island, 50
Telegraph Creek, 16, 140, 141
Timber wolf, 92
Trans-Canada (train),  119
Trans-Continental mail,  124
" Tyee " (or spring salmon),
United States, 99, 116, 121,
122, 147, 154
Ursus horribilis, 86
Valdez Island, 48
Vancouver, 16, 25, 28, 39, 40,
50, 54, 73, 82, 97, 100, 108,
109, 115, 120, 123, 124, 127,
129,  143
 , Captain, 29
 , City of, 118
 Island, 25, 26, 42, 54, 63,
76, 109
 , West End of, 121
Yacht Club, 57
Venture, the, 73, 75, 97
Victoria, 26, 27, 97, 102, 105,
115, 128
" Victoria No. 1 " Spoon, 43,
West Vancouver, 50
u Whited Sepulchre," the, 85
White Horse Pass, 133, 134
  Railway,  16
Winchester rifle, 86
Wrangel,  16
Yuculta Rapids, 29 1   /-■08iM 1 si<\   mi  c.^
e -  wKH nu 


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