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Title: Down the River to the Sea
Author: Machar, Agnes Maule, 1837-1927
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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DOWN THE RIVER TO THE SEA

BY

MISS MACHAR


NEW YORK

HOME BOOK COMPANY

45 VESEY STREET



Copyrighted, 1894,

by

Home Book Company



DOWN THE RIVER TO THE SEA

CHAPTER I

NIAGARA.


The brilliant sunshine of a July day lighted up the great cataract and
the rich verdure of the surrounding landscape, bringing out all the
wonderful variety of hue in the surging mass of falling water, the
snowy clouds that perpetually veiled and unveiled it, the iridescence
that floated elusively amid their ever-shifting billows, and the deep
emerald of the islands that nestled so confidingly among the foaming,
seething rapids that swept down the slope above, in order to take the
fatal leap. The Clifton House veranda had its usual complement of
lounging groups of guests, most of them so absorbed in gossip,
flirting, or the last sensational novel, that they scarcely seemed to
notice the grandeur of the scene they had come so far to enjoy. Of a
very different class of visitors was May Thorburn, who sat silently in
a vacant corner of the wide veranda, gazing at the ceaseless rush of
the Horse-shoe Fall, in a speechless ecstasy of delight. The
brown-haired, brown-eyed, rather pale girl, who sat so absorbed in the
wonderful grandeur of the scene before her, was not quite sure whether
she was the same May Thorburn, who, only a few days before, had been
all engrossed in the usual endless round of home duties, sweeping,
dusting, or stitching away at the family mending (and how much mending
_that_ family needed!), and trying to squeeze in, between these homely
avocations, a little of the poetry and music in which her soul
delighted. And now, here she was, in the midst of Nature's grandest
poetry and music, realizing what had been the day-dream of years! And
all this wonderful happiness had come about through the thoughtful
kindness of her cousin, Kate Severne, in inviting her to share the
delights of a trip all the way from Niagara to the Saguenay--names that
had so long stood in her mind as equivalents for the greatest
enjoyment that any tourist could hope for--at least outside of Mont
Blanc.

She had come by way of Hamilton, and as the train swept her rapidly
through the region of peach orchards, her mind was full of vague
anticipations of the delights of the prospective journey, with
occasional speculations as to Kate's two Scotch cousins, Hugh and
Flora Macnab, whose visit to Canada was the immediate occasion of this
present trip. Kate, who had repeatedly gone over the whole ground
before, and knew it well, wished to act the part of _cicerone_
herself, while her kind, though somewhat peculiar aunt, Mrs. Sandford,
was the _chaperone_ of the little party. It had been the thoughtful
suggestion of this aunt that May, who so seldom had a holiday, should
be invited to join them, a suggestion which Kate had gladly carried
out, in the kind and welcome letter of invitation which had put May
into such a little flurry of delightful excitement and preparation.

The rest of the party had arrived before May; and her cousin Kate had
met her at the Clifton House station with an enthusiastic welcome and
a torrent of information as to their future plans, scarcely half of
which May could take in, being quite happy enough in the sense of
being _really at the Falls_ at last, and of getting her first glimpse
of them. She only vaguely heard, in an unreal sort of way, Kate's
eager account of her cousins--how "nice" and amiable Flora was, and how
well she could sketch; and how Hugh, though very quiet, was very
clever, too,--had taken honors at college, had somewhat injured his
health by over-study, so that he was obliged to take a rest, and had
even written a little book of poems which was soon to be
published,--indeed, was now in the press. "And I shouldn't wonder if he
were to write another about his travels here, and put us all into it,"
she added.

May had no particular desire to "be put into a book," but, just then,
the interest of the scene before her, with the thunder of "many
waters" in her ears, was strong enough to exclude all other ideas. Her
eager, watching eye just caught a glimpse of what seemed a giant's
caldron of milky spray, and behind it a dazzling sheet of snow; but
her cousin hurried her on into the hotel and up to her room, which, to
her delight, commanded a splendid view of the Horse-shoe Fall, on
which she could feast her eyes at leisure to her heart's content. And
now, indeed, anticipation and faith were swallowed up in sight! She
had, of course, frequently seen photographs of the great cataract, so
that the outlines of the view were familiar enough; but the exquisite
coloring, the ceaseless motion, the sense of infinite power, no
picture could possibly supply. As she Lay dreamily back in a lounging
chair, on the veranda, scarcely conscious of anything but the grandeur
of the scene, a line or two from Wordsworth's "Yarrow Visited" flitted
across her mind:

    ----"this is the scene
  Of which my fancy cherished
  So faithfully a waking dream!"

"No!" she mentally decided, "no 'waking dream' could picture Niagara."

"Well, dreaming as usual?" May looked up with a start, as she felt
Mrs. Sandford's plump hand on her shoulder. "Kate wants you to make
haste and get ready for an expedition. Here are the Scotch cousins.
This is Flora, and this is her brother Hugh. You don't need any formal
introduction. Kate will be down in a moment, and you are all going for
a long stroll, she says, for which I don't feel quite equal yet after
my journey, though it _is_ a charming afternoon; so I shall stay here
and rest. Kate has promised me not to let you run into any sort of
danger, and I am sure you'll find her a capital _cicerone_."

Kate, who appeared just then, renewed her promise to be most prudent,
and especially to look after her cousin Hugh--her aunt's chief object
of anxiety. "And, indeed, you _need_ taking care of," she said, in
answer to his attempted disclaimer. "You know you're under orders not
to overwalk yourself, or get heated or chilled, so mind, Kate, you
_don't let him_. I don't want to have to stop on the way to nurse an
invalid!"

"I don't think you need be at all afraid, Aunt Bella," the young man
replied, with what May thought a pleasant touch of Scottish accent,
though his pale face had flushed a little at the allusion to his
semi-invalidism, which had been the immediate cause of his journey to
Canada. His sister Flora, however, with her abundant fair hair, which,
like her brother's, just missed being red, looked the picture of
health and youthful energy.

May, with her straw hat beside her, needed no further preparation for
the expedition, on which she was, indeed, impatient to set out at
once, Kate, to her relief, leading the way with Mr. Hugh Macnab, who
was not _her_ cousin, and it did not seem to her that she could find
anything to say to any one so learned and clever as this quiet-looking
young man must be. It seemed much easier to talk to the frank and
merry Flora, who tripped on by her side, looking very fresh and trim
and tourist-like, in her plain gray traveling hat and gray tweed
dress, made as short as a sensible fashion would allow, and showing
off to perfection a lithe, well-rounded figure and a pair of shapely
and very capable feet. The party entered what is now called Victoria
Park, and walked leisurely along the brink of the precipitous cliff
that here formed the river bank, stopping at frequent intervals the
better to take in some particular aspect of the wonderful scene before
them.

"That's the advantage of not taking a carriage, _here_," explained
Kate, who had relentlessly refused all the entreaties of the hackmen.
"It's ever so much nicer to go on your own feet, and stop just where
you please, and as long as you please! We don't want to hurry _here_.
It's a charming walk, now that all the old photographic saloons and
so-called museums have been cleared away! By and by, when we feel a
little tired, we can take a carriage for the rest of the way."

May soon felt the dreamlike sensation come over her again, as they
wandered slowly along the steep cliffs of shade, and came from time to
time on some specially charming view of the white foaming sheet of the
American Falls, so dazzlingly pure in its virgin beauty, as it vaults
over the hollow cliff into the soft veil of mist that perpetually
rises about its feet--always dispersing and ever rising anew. Then, as
their eager gaze followed the line of the opposite bank, black, jagged
and shining with its perpetual shower-bath of spray, what a glorious
revelation of almost infinite grandeur was that curving, quivering
sheet of thundering surge, with its heart of purest green, and its
mighty masses of dazzling foam, and its ascending clouds of milky
spray,--sometimes entirely obscuring the fall itself, as they float
across the boiling caldron,--sometimes partially dispersed and spanned
by the soft-hued arc, which here, as at the close of the
thunder-storm, seems like the tender kiss of love, hushing the wild
tumult into peace. From many other points she could get better views
of individual details, but no nobler view of the mighty whole, than
from this silent, never-to-be-forgotten ramble. No one said much; even
the lively Kate lapsed from her office of _cicerone_, or, rather, best
fulfilled it, by her silence; for, when the infinite in Nature speaks,
the human voice may well be still. And how grand a voice was that
which the cataract was speaking,--even to the outward ear! The "voice
of many waters"--mighty as thunder, yet soft as a summer breeze--seemed
to leave the whole being immersed and absorbed in the ceaseless rush
and roar of the "Thunder of Waters"--the majesty of whose motion
appeared to be, itself, repose.

This feeling deepened as they advanced nearer to the edge of the
Horse-shoe Falls. They paused on Table Rock, so much less prominent
than it used to be years ago. At every turn they paused, lost in the
grandeur of the present impression. It was Kate who first roused them
to a sense of the passage of time, and gave the order to proceed, for
the afternoon was swiftly gliding by.

"Well!" said Hugh, "I never felt as if I had got so near the state of
self-annihilation, the '_Nirvana_' we read about. I don't wonder at
suicides here, under the fascinating influence of these rushing
waters!"

"Really, Hugh," exclaimed his sister, "I should scarcely have expected
to hear _you_ rhapsodizing at such a rate! We shall have to look after
him, Kate." Hugh replied only by a half smile, but May noticed his
heightened color and the absorbed expression of his dark blue eyes,
and began to feel much less shy of him. She had much the same feeling
herself, though too reserved to say it out.

Kate hurried them on, until they had reached the very edge of the
great Horse-shoe Fall. Here they stopped and sat down on a long black
beam of timber that lay on the side of the quivering torrent, there
seeming almost stationary, as if pausing in awe of the mighty leap
before it. Just inside the old beam lay a quiet pool, reflecting the
sky, in which a child might bathe its feet without the slightest
danger, while, on the outside, swept the great resistless flood of
white-breasted rapids, moving down the steep incline with a majesty
only less inspiring than that of the cataract itself.

"Well! don't you think Niagara deserves its name, which means 'Thunder
of Waters'?" asked Kate, after a long silence.

"It scarcely could have one that better describes the impression it
makes," said Hugh Macnab, in a low, meditative tone.

"Are _you_ tired yet, Hugh?" asked Kate; "shall we walk on--it's a good
mile--or take a carriage?"

"Walk, by all means," said Hugh, "if the rest of you are not tired."

They walked leisurely on by the shore, washed by the swift hurrying
water, while, above them, to their right, Kate pointed out the railway
track along which they had come, and the point at which they had
stopped, in order to get the celebrated "Fall view."

"I shall never forget it," said Flora. "I was a little disappointed at
first about the _height_. I couldn't see _that_ from there, nor
realize it at all! But the grandeur of the scale quite took my breath
away. It was like seeing Mont Blanc for the first time. It takes a
little while before you can feel yourself grow up to it!"

"That's it exactly!" exclaimed Kate. "That just expresses my own
feelings when I saw them first. Well, May, you look sober enough over
it all."

"Oh, Kate, it's too grand for words; I'm trying to 'grow up to it,'"
she added, smiling.

They reached the bridge leading to the lovely Sister or Cynthia
Islands, nestling amid the tumult and foam as safely as in the embrace
of a calmly winding river where the constant shower-bath of the spray
keeps the foliage and the ferns at their greenest and freshest; and
the contrast between the tranquil beauty of the woodland ways and the
turmoil of the rapids beyond greatly heightened the charm of the
scene.

"Now, we must take a carriage back," said Kate decidedly; and no one
objected now, for all were tolerably tired, between the physical
fatigue and the mental strain involved in the mere appreciation of so
much beauty. They stopped for a few minutes at the Burning Spring, to
look, as in duty bound, at that natural curiosity, and then settled
themselves comfortably in the carriage they had hailed, while Kate
gave the order to return by Prospect Drive, along the bluffs above,
whence they could take in the whole sweep of the grand river from Navy
Island, at the foot of Lake Erie, to the dark, narrow gorge below the
Falls, where the waters fret and toss their crests, like angry
coursers fretting at the curbing bit.

"Now," said Kate, "if it were not so late already, I should have had
you driven to Lundy's Lane,--only about a mile and a half west of us;
but it's too late, for to-day."

"What is remarkable about Lundy's Lane?" inquired Hugh Macnab. "I
confess my ignorance."

"Oh, of course; one doesn't expect _you_ to be posted in Canadian
history," Kate replied. "Lundy's Lane is where the British troops and
Canadian volunteers beat the Americans eighty years ago, when they
tried to take Canada."

"Oh! I see. Pardon my ignorance. I never happened to hear of such
things as battle-grounds in connection with Niagara. I shall have to
read up these historical associations."

"May can tell you all about it," replied Kate. "She's great on
Canadian history. And there is something about it in my guide book; so
you can read up in the evenings all about Lundy's Lane and Queenston
Heights, and then you can see them both, if you care enough about it."

The drive was charming, under the slanting rays of the August sun; the
sky and water taking on such exquisite ethereal tints, the iris on the
clouds of spray so delicately bright, that their gaze was constantly
turning backwards as they glided rapidly over the smooth high-road
back towards the "Clifton."

"Now for a rest, then dinner--and then, you know, we shall have the
moon, and a lovely time for watching the Falls by moonlight."

Kate's programme was fully enjoyed--not least the latter portion of it.
They were all tempted forth for another stroll along the river bank,
halting again at some of the points from whence they had so greatly
enjoyed the afternoon views, to compare the difference of the
moonlight effect--less distinct, but more romantic and suggestive. Kate
and Flora preferred, on the whole, the play of color and cheerful
light of day, while Hugh Macnab endorsed May's preference for the
moonlight, which is as effective at Niagara as at Melrose Abbey. They
sat long on the piazza that night, saying little, but silently
enjoying the marvelous scene--the glory of the white, shimmering water,
the solemn majesty of the ascending column of misty spray, and the
strong contrast of light and shade--until the picture seemed to have
become a part of their mental consciousness, never to be forgotten and
a "joy forever."

Next morning the party met at breakfast in good time, as they had a
long day before them, and meant to make the best possible use of it.
It was a charming morning, and they all set off in the best possible
spirits, enjoying the Falls both in the present and the future. To
begin with, however, there was a difficulty to be got over. The
juniors were all eager to cross the river in the ferry-boat, so as to
have the glorious view of the great cataract from a point of view
which gives a different and grander impression than almost any other.
But Aunt Bella stoutly refused even to consider the suggestion of
trusting herself to the tender mercies of a cockle-shell of a boat
tossed on that "boiling flood." The difficulty was finally settled by
Kate, who put her aunt under the care of a hackman who promised to
take her across the suspension bridge and meet them at Prospect Point.
The rest of the party, in high glee, followed the winding road that
leads down to the ferry, and were soon packed into the large, heavy
skiff. Here, indeed, they had the full view of both of the magnificent
falls and of the boiling, white caldron below, and the dark,
malachite-green rapids that seem to press like a solid body down the
narrow river gorge, after leaving the turbulence of the boiling basin
behind them. The cool spray dashed in the faces of the happy party as
the boat danced lightly over the heaving waters, under the strong
strokes of the sturdy rowers; and, when they reached the other side,
after a short passage, they all felt as if the exciting pleasure had
been quite too brief. On landing they ascended in the elevator to the
bank above, and at once took their way to Prospect Point, where they
stood for some time lost in the fascination of the scene before
them--the majestic American Fall rushing down in snowy foam from the
slope of furious white-crested rapids just above the headlong torrent.
The thundering sheet filled their ears with its mighty music, and as
they could now see its outline curved inwards almost as much as that
of the "Horse-shoe" itself, for, of course, the action of falling
water is the same on both sides of the river. But the fact that the
rapids are here compressed by scattered islands seems to add to the
force and fury with which they dash themselves wildly over the stony
ledges with a resistless strength which makes us realize the power of
the one spiritual force which is described as stronger than "many
waters." After they had stood silently watching the ceaseless progress
of the waters, until all their senses had seemed to be filled with its
mighty rush and roar, they joined Mrs. Sandford in the carriage, and
were speedily driven across the bridge leading over the rapids to Goat
Island, which seemed to May like a little tranquil paradise nestling
amid the wild fury of the raging floods. Here, indeed, they could have
all varieties of scenery. The whole party left the carriage, so that
they might feel at liberty to enjoy all the charming nooks of the
island at their own sweet will; Aunt Bella, however, preferring to
make a leisurely circuit in the carriage, and take them up again at
the end of it.

"Only see that Hugh doesn't tire himself out," she called out as they
left her behind, and Kate, who noticed the young man's rising color
and expression of repressed annoyance at the allusion to them, hurried
into a lively talk about the natural history of the island, explaining
that it was fast wearing away under the force of the torrent; that it
had been gradually growing smaller during the last hundred years, and
that probably, in the course of another century, it would have almost
entirely disappeared.

"Now, come round this way," she said, "and soon you will almost forget
that you are on the edge of the biggest waterfall in the world."

They followed her lead, taking the woodland path to the left, catching
charming glimpses of the fleecy rapids between the overhanging boughs
of the trees, on which birds sang sweetly and merry squirrels frisked
and chattered, as if in a solitary wilderness far from the busy haunts
of men. As they came out presently on the open ground at the head of
the island, they found themselves beside "still waters," the shoal
water rippling gently over the gravel, as if it were a quiet reach of
woodland stream; while, above them, lay a smooth stretch of Lake Erie,
with Grand Island in the distance, its apparent placidity concealing
the fierce undercurrent which no power of man could stem.

"One might 'moralize the spectacle' to any extent," said Hugh Macnab,
as Kate told some stories of the deadly strength of that hidden
current--that delusively peaceful expanse of water.

"But we haven't time for moralizing," retorted Kate. "Now for a change
of scene."

A change of scene it was, when they came out on one of the light
rustic bridges which lead across the foaming rapids to the nearest
small island, and from one to another of these fairy islets, so tiny
that it only seems strange that they are not swept bodily over the
Falls, with their wave-worn rocks and trees, gnarled and twisted by
the prevailing winds. Under the bridges they saw pretty silver
cascades, and swift rushing streams, looking innocent enough, but all
charged with a portion of the same overpowering force. On the outer
verge of the farthest one they stood, gazing across the boiling sea of
rapids that extends unbroken from the Canada shore. Kate pointed out
the column of spray which rose at one point, produced by the collision
of cross-currents, driving the water forcibly upwards. Then,
recrossing the little bridges, they slowly walked along the road
leading by the edge of the island overlooking the rapids, till they
found themselves standing on the verge of the great Horse-shoe Fall.

"Our Canadian Fall is the grandest, after all," said May.

"Yes," replied Kate, "only it isn't all Canadian, you see, for the
boundary-line runs somewhere about the middle of the river. The
Americans have more than their own share--all their own, and nearly
half of ours."

"I shouldn't think it mattered much," observed Hugh, "as they
certainly can't take it away, or fence it in, and forbid trespassers."

Their eyes followed the long, irregular curve, more like the figure
_five_ than like a horse-shoe, and so deeply indented in the center
that they could scarcely mark the center of the abyss, whose almost
apple-green tint was every moment hidden by the perpetually ascending
clouds of milky spray, sometimes touched by the tinted bow, and always
descending into the cloudy veil that eternally conceals the seething
abyss below.

"This is Terrapin Rock," said Kate, after they had looked in silence
for a time; "and there used to be a tower here from which you could
look down on all this wild raging commotion, feeling the strong stone
structure tremble beneath you. It came down at last--or was pulled
down, because it was thought dangerous, I forget which."

"Well, _this_ is fearful enough for me," said Flora, turning away, at
last, with Kate, while May still stood lost in the fascination of the
scene, till roused by Kate's call, when she discovered that Hugh
Macnab had lingered also, absorbed in the same fascination, and was
now waiting to help her back across the little bridge which joined the
rocky point to the island.

"It seems like waking up to one's own identity again, after having
lost it in a vague sense of 'the Immensities,'" remarked Hugh, as they
joined the others; and May felt that the words exactly expressed her
own feeling.

"But we _must_ wake up in earnest," said Kate, "and hurry on, or Aunt
Bella will be certainly imagining that we have all gone over the
Falls."

They hurried along the smooth, broad road till they at last came up
with Aunt Bella, seated on a rustic bench, with a large basket beside
her.

"Oh, my dears! what have--" she began, but Kate playfully laid her
finger on her lips, saying: "We are all here, Auntie, quite safe, and
now we are going to look at the Fall from Luna Island."

"My dear, not I! I never could go there since that dreadful thing
happened there, years ago. It makes me faint, just to think of it! If
you go, do be careful! Don't go and stand near the brink!"

"No; we'll be careful, I assure you. Now don't worry about us! We'll
be back soon, and then we'll have our luncheon." And she led the way
down the stair that leads from Goat Island to the charming bit of
bosky green which cuts off the small "Central Fall" from the great
"American Fall." May and Flora both exclaimed with delight over its
wonderful combination of beauty and terror, its glancing, silvery
sheen and terrible velocity, as it rushed past them at headlong speed,
on to the misty depths below. And while they stood fascinated by the
sight, Kate told them the tale of the tragedy which had happened there
on one bright summer day like this, when a young man thoughtlessly
caught up a little child and sportingly held her over the brink,--when
the struggling little one somehow escaped from his grasp, and the
horror-stricken young man madly leaped after her, both being instantly
lost to sight in the wild rush of the torrent.

Hugh Macnab turned away with a blanched face. "What a penalty for a
momentary thoughtlessness!" he said, in a scarcely audible tone.

And a hush seemed to steal over the little party, as they turned
silently away from the fateful spot.

"Yes," remarked Kate, as they reascended the stairway to Goat Island,
"the old Indian legend was not so far wrong--that the deity of the
Falls demanded a victim yearly. There is scarcely a year in which more
than one victim is not secured by these insatiable waters, though it
is not always a young maiden--as the legend has it."

When they reached Mrs. Sandford, they found that she had spread the
contents of the basket on a white cloth on the grass, and they were
all hungry enough to enjoy their luncheon in the midst of such
romantic surroundings. After the lunch was finished, and they had all
rested for awhile, they made their way to the little staircase close
by, down which they were all to go in order to get the wonderful view
from below. Mrs. Sandford chose to descend in the elevator, and
insisted that Hugh should accompany her, while the three girls ran
merrily down the long stair, Flora counting the steps on the way. Hugh
was determined, in spite of all his aunt's persuasive eloquence, to
don a waterproof suit in order to go under the Falls and explore the
Cave of the Winds; and Kate agreed to be his companion, the rest
preferring to venture along the rocky pathway, only so far as they
could safely do, under cover of their umbrellas. Mrs. Sandford took
her seat on a mass of black rock, declaring that she would remain
there, in fear and trembling, until they all returned in safety from
their expedition. May and Flora strolled about the surrounding rocks,
looking up, with some dread, at the precipices towering above them,
and at the tremendous columns of falling water, which filled in the
view in every direction. Presently, three frightful figures in bulky
garments of yellow oilskin emerged from the building at the foot of
the stairs, from two of which they presently, to their great
amusement, recognized the voices of Hugh and Kate, accompanied by the
guide. Allowing these extraordinary figures to precede them, May and
Flora clung closely together, holding an umbrella between them, and
following, as closely as they could, along the narrow pathway, where
the spray rained down perpetually on the shining black rocks below. As
they left the American Fall farther behind them, skirting the rugged
brown cliffs that support Goat Island high overhead, the pathway
became comparatively dry, and they could see more clearly before them
the great Fall they were approaching from beneath--its tremendous wall
of fleecy foam rising high above them into the deep blue sky, and
losing itself below in the floating clouds of spray, which they soon
began to feel again in a renewal of the light shower. The two girls
had to stop, at last, and stood spellbound, watching the mighty
expanse of eternally falling water, its fleecy, flashing masses of
milk-white foam, and its gray impalpable billows of ever-ascending
spray--through the rifts in which they could ever and anon catch
glimpses of that seemingly solid gray wall of water behind. Strange
sensations of awe at its solemn grandeur alternating with the sense of
the exquisite beauty of the scene absorbed their consciousness, while
they mechanically observed, also, the yellow figures--so
infinitesimally small beside the mighty cataract--as they passed
onward, and were for a few moments, to their momentary terror, lost to
view among the clouds of spray that hid their farther progress. Very
soon, however, they emerged again, and soon regained the point where
the girls were standing, breathless and dripping, but in overflowing
spirits.

"And what did you see, when you got in behind the Falls?" asked Flora.

"We certainly did not _see_ much," replied her brother. "Everything
visible seemed swallowed up in a gray mist, but the whole experience
was a wonderful one! I wouldn't have missed it for anything."

"Well, I'm quite contented with what I've had!" said Flora.

May had for a moment a little wistful sense of having missed
something, but, after all, intense satisfaction preponderated.

Returning again to the starting-point, they gave Mrs. Sandford
reassuring evidence of their safety, so far, and promising a quick
return, they pursued their way to the entrance of the "Cave of the
Winds," the name given to the hollow arched over by the concave rock
and the falling sheet of the lovely little Central Fall. May and Flora
again followed under their umbrella, as far as they dared, and there
waited, enjoying the wonder and novelty of the sight. May gazed into
the mysterious cavern before her, veiled by the clouds of milky spray,
as if it were indeed the veritable Cave of Æolus, in which were
confined the wailing winds which clamored to be let loose on their
mission of destruction, and also, it might be, of blessing; whose
hollow roar seemed blended with the full soft "thunder of waters."

May had lost all count of time, absorbed in the scene before her, when
Flora's relieved exclamation, "Oh, here they are at last!" recalled
her absorbed senses, and she perceived the dripping figures of what
might have been disguised river-gods, scrambling back along the wet,
rocky pathway.

"Oh, it was _grand_!" Kate declared. "I'll never forget it! To stand,
just between those two lovely falls, till you felt as if you were
actually a part of them! And then we went on a little way behind the
American sheet, too."

"Well, Hugh, are you satisfied _now_?" asked Flora. Hugh's eyes were
shining through the dripping moisture, and his face, so far as it was
visible, was glowing with exercise and excitement.

"Satisfied? No!--delighted? Yes. But when is the eye satisfied with
seeing? The grandest sights only seem to quicken our aspirations
towards the Infinite."

But Aunt Bella was now beckoning to the party to hasten back, and, as
soon as they were within speaking distance, she hurried Hugh off to
change his clothes as speedily as possible. Kate and he were soon out
of their grotesque disguise, and in a few minutes they were all
ascending, in the elevator, to the upper bank. Here they found the
carriage awaiting them, which had been ordered to come back to meet
them, and discovered, to their surprise, that they would have to drive
home as rapidly as possible if they wished to be at the Clifton in
time for the hotel dinner. It was a quiet drive across the suspension
bridge, with the Falls to their left, and the deep green gorge of the
winding river to their right. Each felt the silent enjoyment of the
scenes they had just left, and of the fair evening view around
them--with the wonderful Falls always in the distance,--quite enough for
the present, without trying to talk about it. Even Mrs. Sandford,
usually discursive, was too much fatigued with the day's outing to do
her usual part in the matter of conversation.

They made up for it later, however, when, too tired for further
roaming, they all sat on the balcony watching the sunset tints fade
into those of the brightening moonlight, whose whiteness seemed to
harmonize so well with the snowy sheen of the Falls. Kate got out her
guidebook, and, with occasional appeals to May to fill up her
outlines, gave the strangers a few particulars as to the historical
associations of the locality. "You see," she said, "all this frontier
was the natural scene of hostilities when the two countries were at
war. This is one of the points at which New York troops could most
easily make their entrance into Canada." And then Hugh Macnab, by dint
of cross-questioning, drew from the two girls, in turn, the main
outlines of the war of 1812, concluding with the battle of Lundy's
Lane. As they at last said good-night to each other, and to the beauty
of the moonlit Falls, they noticed regretfully that a yellowish halo
had formed round the moon.

"Yes," said Mrs. Sandford, "it's quite likely we shall have a rainy
day to-morrow, and, when it once begins, I shouldn't wonder if we had
two or three days of it, after such a dry time!"

"Well, we won't believe anything quite so dreadful just now," said
Kate. "We'll go to sleep now, and hope for the best."

Mrs. Sandford was somewhat triumphant in the justification of her
weather wisdom, when they heard, next morning, the sound of the rain
pattering down on the veranda without. The morning _did_, indeed, look
gray, dull, unpromising, as even a July day can sometimes look. May
was rather mournful over the loss of the light and color, and the
general change that had come over the landscape. But Kate persisted in
her optimistic declaration that she believed it would soon clear up,
and then everything would be even more lovely than before. Meantime
they would have the chance of seeing how the Falls looked in bad
weather!

And, indeed, they were by no means without beauty, even now. The
purity of the central green was gone, but the soft gray tones melting
away into gray mist, under a gray sky, gave the effect of a sketch
rather than a finished picture, with suggestions of sublimity far
beyond the visible.

As they wistfully scanned the sky after breakfast, watching for a
promising gleam of blue, Kate proposed a programme to be carried out
as soon as it should clear.

"You see it will be too wet for much walking and scrambling about,
which would never do for Hugh, at any rate. Now, let us order a
carriage and take a nice leisurely drive all about the country. We've
seen the Falls pretty well now, and we can do the
battle-grounds--Lundy's Lane and Queenston Heights, and take the
Whirlpool on the way."

"Well, we'll see," said Mrs. Sandford resignedly, "if it _does_
clear." So she settled down to her knitting. Hugh Macnab sat
scribbling in his note-book; Flora amused herself at the piano, and
May hovered about the veranda, still enthralled by the spell of the
"Thunder of Waters," even in a washed-out sketch, as Kate styled it.
But by and by, a warm, soft gleam stole through the mist-laden
atmosphere, small patches of blue sky appeared, and, in a very short
time, the color had, as if by magic, come back to the scene; the
foliage stood out greener than before, and the emerald once more
gemmed the center of the Horse-shoe Falls, though somewhat less than
it had previously appeared.

The carriage was quickly summoned, and they were soon rolling smoothly
along the road that led away from the river, through the quiet little
village of Drummondville--back to Lundy's Lane.

"You see we are really beginning at the end," said Kate. "Lundy's Lane
came at the close of the war, in 1814, and it began in October, 1812,
at Queenston Heights, which we are going to see this afternoon. For,
you see, the American troops kept harassing this border for a couple
of years."

"Just as your English forefathers used to harass my Scotch ones long
ago," said Hugh.

"Oh, and I suppose the Scotch never did likewise! Indeed, I rather
think they were a good deal the worst," laughed Kate. "But, at any
rate, this sort of thing had been going on for nearly two years,
keeping the poor people in a state of constant dread, and I think Sir
Gordon Drummond and his sixteen hundred men, part of them British
troops and part Canadian volunteers, must have been pretty tired of
it. He made up his mind, however, that, come what might, he wouldn't
retire before even five thousand Americans. That hill there was where
he stationed his troops, and, as the guidebook says, they _stayed_
there, though the Americans did their best to drive them off. At last
they tired out the American general, who fell off with his defeated
army to their camp, away up there beyond Chippewa--in the direction we
walked the first afternoon--and I believe they never halted till they
got back to Fort Erie, from whence they had come."

"Your Canadian volunteers must have been a plucky lot of fellows; no
disgrace to the British flag they bore," Hugh observed.

"Yes, and it wasn't only the _men_ who were plucky," May remarked,
somewhat shyly. "The summer before Lundy's Lane, a woman did one of
the bravest deeds of the whole war. Her name was Laura Secord, and she
was the wife of a militiaman who had been crippled in the war. She
found out that the American troops were on the march from Fort George,
down at the mouth of the river, with the object of cutting off a
little garrison of volunteers entrenched at a place called Beaver Dam.
If the Americans could have managed this it would have been a great
blow to the Canadians; and, as there was no one to warn them, this
brave young woman determined to walk all the way--and a very lonely way
it was--through the woods, to warn Fitzgibbon, the British commander.
She succeeded in getting through the Yankee lines, and arrived safely
at the little Canadian garrison; and when the American troops arrived
they met so hot a reception from sharp-shooters concealed in the
woods, with a few British soldiers in front, that the commander
thought he was trapped into an encounter with the whole British force,
and precipitately surrendered his six hundred men, guns and all, to a
Canadian force of much less than half his own numbers."

"Well," exclaimed Hugh, his eye lighting, and his cheek flushing,
"that _was_ a brave woman. Such an exploit as that, in our old border
wars would have been immortalized in a ballad."

"It has been the subject of two or three Canadian poems," Kate
replied. "May knows all about them, and I have no doubt she could
recite some of the verses about Laura Secord."

And May, on being pressed, recited a portion of a ballad rather shyly,
but still with a good deal of spirit, and seeming to feel more at home
with the formidable Hugh, through their fellow-feeling about such
traditionary tales. They looked at the little hill and tried to
imagine the scene, when, at sunset, the guns mingled their ominous
roar with the majestic thunder of the Falls, until recalled by Mrs.
Sandford to the recollection that it was nearly lunch-time. They drove
some distance further along the pretty shady lane, with its bordering
gardens and orchards on either side, and then rapidly returned to the
hotel.

In the afternoon they set out again to drive down the river,--the
afternoon being a lovely one,--the air fragrant with wandering scents
from the woods, and the roads freed from dust by the recent rain. They
drove past the little town of Niagara Falls, or Clifton, as it is
still sometimes called, at the point where the railway crosses the
river on its great suspension bridge, and whose chief center of life
is the great railway station for the whole vicinity. Leaving that
behind, they followed the road along the river bank till they turned
in at the gate leading to the descent to the Whirlpool. A steep,
wooded incline descended the abrupt and densely wooded cliffs, down
which, at intervals, ran a car, drawn up and down by a chain that
passed over a wheel at the top. The fatigue of a descent in any other
way was not to be thought of; so, although this way looked rather
formidable, they all committed themselves to the car, except Mrs.
Sandford, who preferred to remain at the top until their
return--remarking that she had no fancy for tobogganing, especially on
dry land! And, indeed, the dizzy speed at which they descended was not
altogether unlike tobogganing--at least, according to Kate--which, Hugh
said, was some satisfaction, since he should not be able to enjoy the
thing itself. At the foot of the rapid descent they had only to follow
a woodland path for a short distance in order to get a full view of
the boiling and raging torrent; the waters, to a depth of more than
two hundred feet, being compressed into a narrow channel of about a
hundred yards between the high precipitous banks, till the confined
and chafing stream seemed to rise into a ridge of great seething,
foaming waves, tossing their heads up like small geysers, or
waterspouts, some twenty feet high, as they dashed furiously against
each other with all the force of the strong hidden currents. Just
here, where the river swerved suddenly to the right, the sweep of the
river round the American cliff made a sort of back-eddy in the bay
formed by the receding heights above them--where, under a surface of
apparently still water, its solemn depths, dark and somber, like a
mountain tarn set in the midst of dusky pines, lay concealed, save for
a few whirling eddies, a fierce vortex, which nothing that approached
it could resist. Looking only on the placid surface, it was difficult
to realize the hidden power beneath, until Hugh Macnab threw a large
piece of stick near the center, where they saw it continue to gyrate
with tremendous speed as long as they cared to watch it. Kate said
there were gruesome stories of bodies which had been carried over the
Falls, reappearing here for a horrible dance of death, which it made
them shudder to imagine. Hugh enthusiastically declared that the dark
and savage grandeur of this lonely gorge, with its steep overhanging
heights, rising in their dusky green against the sky, like prison
walls about the little Maëlstrom, was the finest bit of scenery he had
yet seen about the Falls, and seemed just the place in which to
imagine any tragedy.

"Can't you invent one for it?" asked Flora.

"Nothing worthy of the scene, I am afraid," he replied. "It recalls
Schiller's 'Diver,' though, which has been haunting me constantly
during the last few days. Do you remember it?"

Kate did not, but May had read Lord Lytton's translation of it, and
remembered it, though not distinctly.

"Couldn't you repeat a verse or two of your own translation?" said
Flora.

"I should _have_ to repeat my own, if I did any," he said, smiling,
"for it's the only one I could manage to remember."

"Well, give us a bit of it, do," commanded Kate.

Hugh thought for a moment. "I'll give you the two stanzas that might
do for a description of the present scene," he said, and went on to
recite, with great spirit:

  "And it boils and it seethes, and it hisses and roars,
    As if fire struggled fierce with the wave,
  And a misty spray-cloud from its bosom outpours,
    And the chasing floods endlessly rave;
  And, like thunder remote, with its low distant rumbles,
    The foam-crested stream from the dark cañon tumbles!

  But at last comes a lull in the turbulent war,
    And black in the midst of white foam
  A yawning rift gapes in the center, that far
    Leads downwards to bottomless gloom;
  And lo! all the surges, swift, rushing and roaring,
    Down into the whirlpool are endlessly pouring!"

"It has the merit of being pretty literal, at any rate," he added, as
they all thanked him, while Flora whispered to May that the whole
translation was in the new book that was nearly ready. "But it is so
strong and terse in the original that it is extremely difficult to
render with any justice in a translation."

"It would do for a description of _this_ whirlpool, at any rate," said
Kate. And then she told them of a real tragedy, not unlike that of
"The Diver," which had been recently enacted there, the feat of a bold
swimmer, who had ventured to oppose his own strength and skill to that
resistless force of the flood, with a similar result.

"Poor fellow!" said Hugh, "that's tragedy enough for the place without
inventing one. But why will man be so foolhardy?"

"I can tell you of another daring feat, that _succeeded_ though,"
replied Kate, "though _that_ might have seemed foolhardy, too." And
she went on to tell them how a little steamboat called the "Maid of
the Mist," which used to ply up and down, just below the Falls, in
order to give visitors the same view they now had from the ferry boat,
had finally been taken down the river to Niagara, at its mouth,
piloted through these fierce rapids and that greedy whirlpool; and
how, when at last the pilot had successfully accomplished his anxious
task, and left the boat at its dock, he looked at least ten years
older than he had done only an hour or two before.

While they talked Flora was trying to make a rapid sketch of the view
had from where they sat on the bank--just as a help to remember it by,
she said, for there was far too much to attempt in a hasty sketch, and
the others were not sorry for an excuse to linger a little longer in
so striking and picturesque a spot; but at last they felt compelled to
bid it farewell, and tore themselves away, ascending in the same way
in which they had come down, not without some tremor on the part of
the girls, lest the stout chain should part while they were on the
way. Rejoining Mrs. Sandford, who had grown very impatient, they were
soon in the carriage again, but before pursuing their onward way they
made a little _détour_, driving through a charming glen which led
gradually downwards, under embowering trees and among mossy rocks and
ferny glades, to where a pretty little bay lay, cut off from the
raving stream by a beach of weather-worn pebbles. At the other
extremity of the picturesque glen lay a little placid pool formed by
an eddy of the river, at which Hugh declared he should like to stand
all day with his fishing-rod, taking in leisurely all the influences
of the tranquil scene. Flora, also, went into raptures over the place,
which she said reminded her so much of a Scottish glen, and she and
her brother eagerly discussed its points of similarity and contrast
with several glens well known to them at home.

Returning once more to the high-road they continued their drive in the
slanting afternoon light, with rich farms and orchards on either side
of them and lovely glimpses of the river and the opposite bank, till
they found themselves among the picturesque dingles that lie round
Queenston Heights, ascending the noble eminence, crowned by a stately
shaft, which had been for some time looming before them in the
distance. This height, Kate declared, was a natural monument, marking
the Thermopylæ of Canada. But when they came out at last on its brow,
close to the base of the shaft, they all exclaimed with delight at the
exquisite beauty of the view that lay at their feet, which for the
time made them forget that such things as historical associations had
any existence.

Just below them lay a fair, broad bay, into which the narrow,
precipitous gorge had suddenly expanded; while away to their left they
could trace, as on a map, the windings of the now placid river, round
point after point, between banks that in the nearer distance looked
like escarpments crowned with foliage, and, as they receded, gradually
fell away in height until they descended almost to the level of the
great Lake Ontario, which stretched--a blue, sea-like expanse--to the
horizon line. Across the river, before them, the eye traveled over
miles on miles of woodland and fertile farming country, dotted with
villages and homesteads; the pretty little town of Lewiston, close to
the river, just below. Immediately beneath them the rugged heights
fell away abruptly to the river beach, and they looked down on the
picturesque little village of Queenston, nestling among its graceful
weeping willows, while, from its dock, a small ferry steamer was just
leaving the quiet river, on its way to the nearly opposite dock at
Lewiston. One or two sailing vessels and skiffs added animation to the
charming foreground, and the whole seemed an embodiment of tranquil
beauty.

"Who would ever dream," said Flora, "that this was the same river we
saw raging away up there?" though May, listening attentively, could
still hear the soft, distant murmur of the "Thunder of Waters."

"War and Peace," said Hugh. "But are we not going to ascend the
monument?"

"Of course," said Kate, when they had all read the commemorative
inscription, and duly admired the graceful shaft, crowned by the
figure of General Wolfe, with one hand resting on his sword and the
other extended as if to cheer on his men. They climbed the winding
stair within to the summit, from whence they could command still more
extensive and varied panorama on all sides of them. Kate eagerly
pointed out on the last headland at the mouth of the river the little
Canadian town of Niagara, which, she informed her Scotch cousins, was
almost the oldest town in Ontario, and had even enjoyed the dignity of
being its first constitutional capital. Close beside it they could
trace just through an opera glass the ramparts of old Fort George,
which had played an important part in stormy days gone by. On the
opposite point rose the white walls of the American Fort Niagara.
Landward, Kate pointed out the spires of St. Catherine's, fourteen
miles off, and the silver streak of the Welland Canal, winding its
devious way from Lake Erie to Port Dalhousie, on Lake Ontario. And,
"if they only had a good spy-glass," she added, "they could catch a
glimpse of Toronto, just across a blue stretch of lake."

After feasting their eyes on the lovely landscape, lighted by the warm
afternoon sun, they were not sorry to descend from their lofty perch
and sit down a while in a shady spot on the verge of the height,
looking down over its dense foliage of oak and maple, birch and
sumach, to the blue-green river that flowed beneath, half concealed by
the rocky ledges. And as they sat there and Flora sketched, Kate
described--helped out by May--how, early in one October morning of 1812,
a line of boats filled with American troops had stolen silently across
the stream, until the gallant "forlorn hope" had made a landing on the
Canadian shore; and how the fire of the guns that greeted their
passage had roused General Wolfe at Fort George, and brought him
galloping up at the head of his suite to take command of the gallant
little British and Canadian force, of only about eight hundred men,
all told. But this little force had opposed the progress of the
invaders every inch of ground with such desperate valor as speedily to
change the attack into a rout, in which numbers of the brave American
soldiers, fighting gallantly, even after all was lost, fell victims to
the uncontrollable ferocity of the Indians, determined to avenge the
death of the brave Wolfe, who had fallen while fighting like one of
his own men, and cheering on the "York Volunteers." Many of the
invaders who escaped the pursuing Indians were killed in trying to
descend the rocky height or drowned in attempting to swim across the
river.

"A well-fought fight it must have been," exclaimed Hugh, "worthy to
take its place beside any of our historical battlefields. Why don't we
know more about these affairs at home? Then we might feel more as if
Canada were indeed a 'Greater Britain!' And so these heights had
_their_ dead hero, too, as well as the 'Heights of Abraham'?"

"Yes, indeed," said May; "General Brock was indeed a hero, just as
much as Wolfe, though he only helped to _keep_ Canada, instead of
conquering it."

"But," said Kate, "to go back to ancient history, do you know that
this ridge here is said to have been once the shore of an ocean, and,
at a later time, the boundary of the lake; and that here the Falls are
supposed to have made their first plunge. The geologists have traced
it all the way--its gradually receding front all the way back to where
it is now."

"I'm sure I'm much obliged to them," said Hugh, "but somehow these
vast blank periods of geological history don't touch me half so much
as a little bit of human interest. That battle you have been
describing is far more interesting than æons of conflict between water
and shale."

"If it interests you so much," Kate rejoined, "you can read more about
it when we get home, in a Canadian story I have, called 'For King and
Country,' which ends with the battle of Queenston Heights."

And now Flora had finished her little sketch, and Mrs. Sandford warned
the lingering party that the afternoon was waning fast, in which
undoubted fact they acquiesced with a general sigh of regret. They
descended by the steep winding road on the other side of the height,
through thickets of aromatic red cedar, down to the scattered little
village, embowered among its orchards below, and drove some distance
farther on along the road in order that they might enjoy, in
returning, the charming view of the Heights, approached from the
Niagara side. They followed, for a mile or two, the undulating road
which, after leaving the village behind, was skirted with white
villas, surrounded by wide stretches of soft green sward, flecked by
the shadows of fine old trees, looking like a bit of an English park;
and then, turning at last, enjoyed the charming view of the now
distant bay, with wooded point after point intervening, and the bold
eminence of Queenston Heights always fitly closing in the picturesque
vista.

They all thought the drive such an enchanting one that there was not a
dissenting voice when Kate proposed that, since they were going to
take the daily steamer to Toronto from Niagara, on their onward route,
by far the pleasantest plan would be to _drive_ thither, when at last
they must leave the Falls.

Leaving the Falls seemed a sad prospect to all of them, but more
especially so to May, over whom the Falls had thrown such a spell of
fascination that she would have liked nothing better than to stay
there all summer, feasting eyes and ears on their grandeur. But Hugh
Macnab, who owned to the same feeling, added the consoling reflection
that "a thing of beauty is a joy forever," and May felt convinced that
the memory of the Falls would indeed be "a joy forever" to _her_ as
long as she lived.

They could only spare three days more to Niagara, and as they sat that
evening as usual on the piazza, regretting the lateness of the already
waning moon, they agreed that now, having taken a general survey of
the main points of view, they should not attempt any plans for the
remaining days, but should spend them in those leisurely,
unpremeditated loiterings, which are always the pleasantest way of
absorbing all the more subtile and indefinite influences of noble
scenery.

So the remaining days turned out to be, perhaps, the most delightful
of the sojourn, spent in charming desultory strolls, as the fancy of
the moment dictated, revisiting all the points which had most
impressed them, taking in new beauties which they had not observed
before, while they talked or were silent, as the mood suggested, and
Flora filled her sketch-book with pretty "bits," and Hugh occasionally
withdrew to a little distance and scribbled in his note-book, and Mrs.
Sandford, sitting near while the others discursively rambled,
accomplished yards on yards of her endless knitting.

Their last day was Sunday, when they walked down to the pretty little
church at Clifton, and enjoyed the quiet service, and sat most of the
afternoon on the piazza, of the view from whence they never tired. It
was a lovely sunset, and they walked as far as Table Rock to have a
last lingering look at the superb view from there in the rich evening
glow. As they watched the two magnificent Falls into which the stream
divides, to re-unite below, Kate told her cousin Hugh of a beautiful
simile which she had seen in a new Canadian book called "The New
Empire," in which the author suggests that though the stream of the
British race in America had divided like that sweeping river into two
magnificent sections, so, like it, they might re-unite in the future
citizenship of a world-wide Britain.

"And then, perhaps, we shall go on to our laureate's dream of the
federation of the world! It is at all events a pleasant thought to
finish this glorious visit with; and I suppose this is our farewell
look?"

"I am afraid so," said Kate. "We shall not have much time in the
morning for loitering. Let us be glad we have such a glorious sight of
it--for the last!"

And they sat silently gazing, as if they would fain have prolonged the
sunset light. But at length its last vestige had vanished, and they
slowly walked back to the hotel in the starlight, while the grand
music of the "Thunder of Waters" still filled their ears, and sounded
even through their dreams.



CHAPTER II

ON THE LAKE.


"Dreaming again, May! Are you saying a last fond good-bye to the
Falls? I'm afraid you've left your heart up there," said Mrs.
Sandford, as she smilingly laid her hand on the shoulder of her niece,
who stood alone at the stern of the steamboat, silently gazing in the
direction of the faint, distant cloud of spray that rose, just
traceable against the clear blue sky, with a wistful regret in her
soft gray eyes--regret at parting from that wonderful revelation of the
sublime which had so powerfully impressed her imagination, and which,
just at present, overpowered even the happy anticipations of the
further revelations of beauty and grandeur that still lay in the
future progress of this wonderful voyage down the glorious river to
the sea.

They had a delightful morning drive through the long stretch of
charming rural scenery that lies between the Falls and Niagara,
studded with pretty bowery old homesteads, long green lawns flecked
with the long shadows of spreading walnut and tulip trees, and dark
stately pines, through which they could catch glimpses of
old-fashioned, pillared piazzas, or of old gray farm buildings, till
at last they reached the picturesque suburbs of the quiet little town
of "Niagara-on-the-Lake." As they drove through the grove of fine oaks
that skirts the edge of the town, and admired the pretty little church
of St. Mark's, making a charming picture in the foreground, Mrs.
Sandford, who in her youth had often sojourned in the vicinity,
pointed out the spot where she remembered having seen the "hollow
beech-tree,"--long since gone,--commemorated by Moore in his poem of
"The Woodpecker," though, it must be added, that this same beech-tree
has been also located in the neighborhood of Kingston. Beyond the oak
grove lay a broad green or "common" stretching away to the wide blue
lake, on which the Iroquois used to hold an annual encampment to
receive their yearly gifts and allowances. To the right of the road,
just above the river, Mrs. Sandford pointed out the grassy mound and
bit of massive masonry, which is all that is left of old Fort George,
with its eventful history, and a little further on the tower of Fort
Mississauga, built after the final retreat of the American troops in
1813, out of the ruins of the original town, burned by the American
soldiers on a dreary December day. No traces of these old conflicts
can now be seen, being long since smoothed over by the gentle yet
strong hand of time, and a beneficent Nature. Just opposite them,
across the broad blue-green river, which has now lost all traces of
its turbulent passion, and subsided into a most peaceful and
easy-going stream, they could see the white walls of the American Fort
Niagara, which had exchanged so many rounds of cannonade with its
opposite neighbor. May, fresh from reading Parkman, was eager to fix
the exact spot where her special hero, LaSalle, had built his
ill-fated "Griffin," the first sailing vessel that ever floated on
these waters; but here her aunt could give her no information. _Her_
interest was entirely in later history, and she pointed out the place
where Governor Simcoe had opened the first Parliament of Upper Canada
and delivered his first speech, with all the usual formalities, to an
assembly of eight members and two Legislative Councilors; after which
the Governor, with his two Secretaries, departed in due pomp attended
by a guard of honor of fifty soldiers from the old fort; and also,
how, with less ceremonial, during the warm summer days, the Governor
and his Council met on the green sward, under the spreading trees, and
arranged the affairs of the Provinces, passing, among other useful
measures, the memorable one which put an end forever to all
possibilities of negro slavery in the young colony, thereby saving it
from much future difficulty and dishonor.

The mention of this last subject had brought on a discussion of the
history of slavery in the American Republic, which much interested
Hugh Macnab, whose Celtic sympathies had been rather with the South in
the great struggle, while Kate was a warm partisan of the North, and
argued their cause so well that her cousin had at last to confess
himself mistaken on several important points. The argument lasted
until they found themselves on board the Cibola, getting up her steam
to carry them from Niagara and its glories. While Mrs. Sandford had
been dilating on the attractions of Niagara-on-the-Lake as a
delightful and quiet health resort, May, who had been very quiet
during the drive, had stolen off to a quiet corner in the stern, where
the others found her at last, sitting very still and trying to fix the
glorious Falls in her memory by calling up once again the picture of
them as she had seen them last.

"So this is Lake Ontario!" said Hugh Macnab, looking around with keen
enjoyment. "How well I remember stumbling over the name at school in
my geography lessons, and reading with awe that line of Campbell's
about the tiger roaming along Ontario's shores!"

"Oh, did he really say that?" said Kate. "Who would have thought a
great poet would have made such a mistake in his zoology?"

"Oh, as for that," said Hugh, smiling, "poets, especially when they
are city-bred--are very apt to make mistakes about natural facts. And
Ruskin had not written then, you know. But what a magnificent lake!"
he exclaimed again, inhaling the fresh, bracing breeze, and surveying
with delight the turquoise-blue expanse of water, whose horizon-line
blended softly with a pale azure sky, banked here and there by
delicate violet clouds which might have passed for distant mountains.
"Over there," he added, "one could imagine it the ocean, at least on
one of the rare days when the ocean sleeps at peace!"

"It can be stormy enough, too," remarked Mrs. Sandford, with a
grimace, called forth by some vivid remembrance of it in that aspect.
"I've been on it when even good sailors at sea have had to give in.
For, you see, the short, chopping waves are more trying than the big
ocean rollers."

"And how long shall we be on it, after leaving Toronto?" asked Hugh,
with some anxiety, for he was by no means a good sailor in such
circumstances.

"Oh, you can have fourteen or fifteen hours of it, if you wish,"
replied Kate, mischievously, suspecting the reason for his question.
"But I've been planning a little variation that, because, of course,
you see nothing of the country in traveling by lake, and I want you to
see some of our really pretty places by the way; and besides, the
Armstrongs, our Port Hope cousins, want to have a glimpse of you, of
course, and would like us all to give them a day, at least, _en
route_. And my plan is, that we take the lake steamer to Port Hope,
which we reach in a lovely hour,--just in the gloaming, as Flora would
say. We can all stay with the Armstrongs, for they have a good large
house and some of the family are away; and we can have some very
pretty drives about Port Hope next day. And then, the following
morning, we can take the train, and go by the 'Grand Trunk' to a
pretty little town called Belleville, on a charming bay called the Bay
of Quinte, on which we can have a lovely sail down to Kingston. That
will be better than spending the night on the lake--seeing nothing of
the scenery and having to turn out of our berths at the unearthly hour
of four o'clock in the morning, which is about the time the steamboat
from Toronto arrives at that good old city."

"That's a splendid plan, Cousin Kate," exclaimed both Hugh and Flora
at once. "What a schemer you are, to be sure," continued Hugh. "I
don't know how we should ever get on without you."

May had been sitting by, silently watching the little group, as she
had rather a way of doing; Kate's bright face, Hugh's more reserved
and sensitive one,--yet seeming so much more animated and healthful
than when she had first met him, only a few days ago,--and Flora's
sweet, rosy, good-humored countenance,--they made a pleasant picture.
How much better Hugh seemed already, and how much he seemed to depend
on Kate! May was much addicted to weaving little romances for the
people about her,--often on very slender foundation,--and she had
already begun to weave one for her cousin. How well they would
supplement each other, she thought,--Kate's quick, practical sense and
Hugh's more contemplative tendencies. From which it will be seen that
May was somewhat given to theories, as well as to modern fiction.

Meantime, they had been swiftly steaming across the azure surface of
the lake, and, even by straining her eyes, May could barely discern
the faint cloud of mist that represented so much to her inward eye.
Indeed they had all begun to look onward for Toronto, and could dimly
trace the long succession of buildings and spires that had begun to
separate itself from the blue line of distant shore towards which they
were approaching.

"We shall be there very soon now," said Mrs. Sandford, rising to
collect her numerous satchels, wraps, etc., long before there was any
occasion for it. It was a sort of occupation, and she had
relinquished, for the time, the sedative of her knitting. While she
was thus busied, Kate pointed out, as they drew nearer, the principal
landmarks, and the strangers were surprised to find so extensive and
imposing a city.

"That low bar of land, there," she said, somewhat slightingly, "is
what they call their Island, though it really is only a sandbar cut
through. I suppose it's better than nothing, for at least they get the
fresh lake breezes; but no one who has seen our beautiful 'Thousand
Islands' in the St. Lawrence could be content with that for an island.
But it is the Coney Island, the Nantasket Beach, the Saratoga, of
Toronto!"

"Toronto is an Indian name, I suppose," said Hugh. "Do you know what
it means?"

"I do," said May, when Kate had confessed her ignorance. "At least I
have read somewhere that it means 'The Place of Meeting,' from having
been the point where the roving bands of Indians and the French
traders used to meet in the old French time. At first it was only a
little stockaded fort, called Fort Kouilly, after a French Colonial
Minister, I think, and there the traders and Indians used to make
their bargains."

"And after that," said Mrs. Sandford, "it was never known at all until
Governor Simcoe made it the first capital, instead of Niagara, which
was too near the frontier, and called it York, after the then Duke of
York."

"What a pity!" exclaimed Hugh. "But they went back to the Indian name,
after all!"

"Yes," replied Mrs. Sandford, "they got tired of hearing it called
'muddy little York,' and changed back to Toronto about fifty years
ago; and Toronto it has remained ever since. My father has often told
me about the first Parliament buildings here, and the Vice-Regal
residence, which the 'Queen City' would not think good enough now for
a school building. At the time when it was made the capital, the woods
clothed the shore down to the water's edge, and there were only two
wigwams here, in which lived two families of Mississauga Indians, from
whom the whole site of the city is said to have been bought for _ten
shillings sterling_, with some beads, blankets, and, I'm afraid, a
little fire-water thrown in."

"Well," said Hugh, "everything is relative; I suppose that represented
a small fortune to them, and it has taken a good while to get the
'unearned increment' up to its present value."

"I don't understand your new-fangled terms," said Mrs. Sandford.
"There weren't any of them in my day. Now, make haste and get your
traps together, for we'll be at the dock in two minutes. Look for the
Arlington carriage, Hugh, that's where we're going; I think you will
find it there."

And in a few minutes they were all stowed into the carriage, and
driven rapidly away from the noisy dock to the quiet family hotel on
King Street, which seemed an inviting resting place in the very warm
afternoon. They felt the heat all the more after the cool lake breeze
they had been enjoying; and they were all tired enough with their
early start to enjoy a _siesta_ before their luncheon, which was also
much appreciated in its turn. The afternoon was to be devoted to
seeing Toronto, and a large double hack was soon at the door, in which
the whole party ensconced themselves for a leisurely drive about the
busy and beautiful city. Kate, as usual, directed the route, and Hugh
sat on the box beside the driver, where he could hear all the
information given behind, as well as secure some more on his own
account from the communicative charioteer.

They drove first eastward, along the fine stretch of King Street,
admiring on their way the pretty, shady grounds of Government House,
and the massive Norman architecture of St. Andrew's Church opposite,
in which Hugh, as a Scotchman, took a special interest. Passing on,
along the favorite resort of Toronto promenaders, they admired the
stately rows of buildings, though Hugh and Flora protested against the
monotonous white brick, so new to their English eyes. They turned up
the busy thoroughfare of Yonge Street, and, after a few blocks, left
the region of shops and turned aside into the cool shadiness of Jarvis
and Sherbourne Streets, with their handsome residences, surrounded by
well-kept grounds; and so up to the rural quiet of Bloor Street. They
crossed the fine bridge over the ravine at Rosedale, and admired the
picturesque bits of scenery lying about that romantic spot. Then,
after following Bloor Street into the new section of the city that has
grown up so rapidly about Spadina Avenue, they turned into the
beautiful "Queen's Park," and drove through its shady precincts, the
Scottish strangers surveying with great interest the new academic
buildings that are springing up about the University as a center. At
the University, of course, they halted for a closer inspection of the
beautiful building, which, as Kate remarked, had just risen,
Ph[oe]nix-like, from the conflagration that had, a short time ago, left
it a mass of magnificent ruins.

"You see they are building the library quite separate, over there,
now," Kate said, pointing to where the graceful library building was
beginning to show its beauty of design. "It is really wonderful," she
added, "how generous people everywhere have been in restoring the loss
of the books."

"Yes," replied Hugh. "And I have no doubt the University will be the
gainer in the end, as the _trash_ will have been all disposed of, and
the scientific books will be all new and up to date. But I can imagine
what a catastrophe it must have been at the time. It made quite a
sensation, even among us students in Edinburgh. Though, apart from the
associations, I'm afraid some of us wouldn't have been sorry to have
had our old building and old books renewed in the same way! It's too
bad for a Scotch university to be eclipsed, architecturally, by a
Canadian one!"

"Ah, well, you see, we had the improved taste of this age to guide
us," remarked Kate.

"And the taste of a Scotchman, at that, if I am not mistaken," added
Hugh.

"Oh, yes, we must grant you the credit of Sir Daniel Wilson and his
Edinburgh training. But look at this fine gateway. Fortunately it was
not injured by the fire, and is just as it was. I think it's the
finest bit of the building."

Hugh admired it all so enthusiastically that May, who had of course
seen very little of fine architecture, was glad to have her own
admiration endorsed by one who had seen so much more. And, happily,
they encountered a stray professor, well known to Mrs. Sandford, who
insisted on looking up the janitor, and personally conducting them
through the interior of the building, which the tourists were very
anxious to see, and which Hugh inspected with the critical eye of a
student, approving of the various improvements everywhere introduced,
and only regretting the lost glories of the Convocation Hall, on which
the professor regretfully descanted.

"But we must wait for some Canadian millionaire to give us a Canadian
Christ's Church," he said, smiling.

"Indeed, I think it is wonderful, as it _is_, for a new country," said
Hugh, as they exchanged a cordial adieu, Hugh promising in return to
show him Edinburgh University if he would look him up over there.

From the University they drove down the fine shady avenue, to show the
strangers, a little way from the University, on a little knoll in its
picturesque grounds, a monument to the young volunteers who fell at
Ridgeway. Hugh and Flora had already heard the story of the Fenian
_émeute_ that caused so much temporary excitement, and they looked
with respectful sympathy at the monument so justly raised to these
gallant young men, as true patriots as if the field on which they fell
had been one of the historic battle-grounds of the world. The monument
to George Brown also claimed their attention for a few moments, and
Hugh triumphantly declared to Kate, that, so far as he could see, all
the great leaders of Canada had been his fellow-countrymen.

Then they continued their drive down the fine avenue, past the School
of Technology, and the great, new Parliament buildings, fast rising to
completion, and down the alley of chestnuts on to which, under the
spreading horse-chestnuts, leads down Queen Street, where they duly
admired the classic stateliness of Osgoode Hall,--the law center of
Ontario. Then they returned to King Street once more, and followed its
coarse westward for some miles, to see the former site of the Old Fort
near the Exhibition buildings, and the various great institutions of
Toronto along its line. The old red brick building of Upper Canada
College,--one of the oldest grammar schools in Canada; the handsome
front of Trinity College, farther on, in its beautiful park, the
grounds and buildings of which Hugh would fain have stopped to
explore; the great gloomy-looking, high-walled inclosure of the
Lunatic Asylum, with its saddening associations; and then, still
sadder sight, the grim Central Prison and the Mercer Reformatory for
women. A somewhat more cheerful object of contemplation was the large
pile of buildings that form the beautiful Home for Incurables, which
Kate declared was quite an ideal institution, at least so far as its
plan and appointments were concerned. "But it is a rather melancholy
place too," she admitted, "though, if people _are_ incurable, it is
nice to know that they will be comfortably provided for!"

"I don't believe much in institutions," said Flora, in her soft voice
and pretty Scotch accent; "I would rather have one of the plainest
little rooms, in a wee, real home, than the most luxurious one in
these great institutions!" and May warmly endorsed the sentiment.

"Still, if people can't have even that," said Hugh, "it's well there
_are_ institutions. I must say myself, that I don't care much for
doing things by wholesale, so I for one could never be a socialist.
Things were better planned originally. 'He setteth the solitary in
families.'"

"That was long ago, my dear boy," remarked Mrs. Sandford. "It's
getting to be an old world, and a cold world, too, I fear."

"Oh, I hope not, Aunt Bella. The old order faileth, giving place to
new, only the new hasn't got well worked out yet."

On their way back they took a look at the Old Fort Barracks, and at
the site of the old French Fort, near which the exhibition buildings,
or "Fair grounds," yearly present such a striking contrast to what
must have been the silence and loneliness of the spot when it first
became a British settlement. And the cool lake breeze was most
refreshing after the heat of the July day, and sent them back to the
hotel, reinforced for dinner, after which they were not disposed to do
more than sit quietly on one of the balconies of the hotel, Mrs.
Sandford knitting with great satisfaction, and the others amusing
themselves with observing the ever-varying line of pedestrians
constantly passing to and fro on their way from places of evening
entertainment.

Next morning all the junior members of the party started for a ramble
on foot, going first along King Street and looking in a more leisurely
fashion at the various handsome public buildings, the banks, the great
newspaper offices, a little off King Street, the fine post-office on
Adelaide Street, the attractive picture and bookstores, and then
turning up Church Street, pursued their way to the Normal School
buildings, where Kate exhibited to her companions with some pride, the
various educational appliances of that center of the public school
education of the province, the handsome, and even luxurious
lecture-rooms, class-rooms, library, and last, but not least, the
spacious and delightful Kindergarten, a paradise of infantine
education, which was Kate's especial delight, and which to Hugh and
Flora was a charming novelty in "school-keeping." After that they
continued their walk in a desultory fashion along the shady streets of
that quarter of the city, admiring the handsome churches and
villa-like residences which there abound. Then they crossed the Park
to take one more look at the beautiful University buildings, and came
back to the Arlington by the way of St. George Street with its fine
residences, and Spadina Avenue, just in time for an early luncheon
before preparing for their departure by the good steamer _Corsican_.

The early afternoon found them all on the deck of the steamer, gliding
swiftly out of Toronto Bay, leaving in the distance the long mass of
fine buildings that extends along Front Street and gives the stranger
some idea of the wealth and business of Toronto; past the long
sandbar, which at once protects Toronto Harbor and serves as a "health
resort" and "_villegiature_" for so many Torontonians. Very soon, as
the steamer ploughed her way through the blue lake, calm as a
millpond, Toronto had become invisible, and the high land of Scarboro
Heights rose to the left, while to the right the blue horizon line
again reminded the travelers of the sea. Presently, there arose the
fresh, bracing afternoon breeze, most grateful to the strangers
especially, who had felt the heat at Toronto rather oppressive. It was
a delicious afternoon, and as the sparkling and quivering golden
pathway thrown on the waters by the westering sun showed them that it
was passing away all too soon, Hugh declared that if he lived in
Canada he should want to spend most of the summer on a yacht on such
halcyon waters.

"Yes," said Mrs. Sandford, "yachting is very well in summer weather,
when it is calm like this, but it's dangerous at best on these great
lakes where sudden squalls are apt to rise at any moment. Don't you
remember, Kate----"

"Oh, yes, Auntie," Kate interposed, hurriedly, "don't talk about it
now. It's too sad. But, Hugh, how would you like to 'paddle your own
canoe' all the way down from Toronto to the foot of the lake, as they
used to do in the brave days of old?"

"I shouldn't fancy any one would try such an experiment in these days
of rapid locomotion," said Flora.

"Indeed, some people _would_, and think it great fun," replied Kate.
"A friend of ours, with his wife and little girl, paddled down the
whole way to the St. Lawrence one summer, just for the pleasure of it.
And his wife--just as the squaws used to do--helped him with the
paddling."

"And how long did it take them?" asked Hugh.

"About ten or eleven days. And they kept a log, or at least a diary of
each day's events, for future edification. Of course, they stopped
over night at some place where they could sleep comfortably and have a
good breakfast to start with."

"Oh, I should think _that_ might be very pleasant. But, in 'the brave
days of old,' they had not any of these conveniences, and I suppose
they did not take it so leisurely."

"Poor LaSalle had many a hard paddle up and down the lakes in all
sorts of weather," said May. "It makes one shudder to think of some of
his voyages, and with so many hardships, too!"

"Well," said Hugh, "I think I prefer the more expeditious way, where
there's no particular scenery to tempt one."

"Oh, of course, there isn't _much_ of what you would call scenery
along this coast," said Kate. "Nothing like what there is along Lake
Superior or Lake Huron. But still, if you were to keep close along
shore, there are many pretty little 'bits' to enjoy; and just think
what a delicious lotus-eating life it would be."

"Except for the paddler," interposed Hugh.

"Oh, indeed, you don't know how the paddlers get to love it! There
seems a sort of fascination about it, and it gets to be a passion with
them. There is much more interest and variety about it than about
rowing. Do you know, there's a great American Canoe Association to
which many Canadians belong, which has its 'meets' every summer, at
some pleasant spot, with good boating. They have all sorts of
exercises, races, canoe-gymnastics, prize contests, and a splendid
time generally. And ladies belong to it as well as men. This year it
is to be held at one of the 'Thousand Islands'; and, by the way, I
shouldn't wonder if you might have a glimpse of it. You know we are
all invited to spend a few days at the summer cottage of a friend
there, with whom I have often stayed, and it isn't very far from where
they have the Canoe Camp; so we may just manage to have a look at it."

"That would be charming! I should like that," exclaimed Hugh and Flora
both together; while May began to think that too many delights were
clustering about this wonderful expedition, and that she should
suddenly awake to find it all a dream; and Cinderella at home again,
amid her dusters and her stocking-mending--as if there were no Niagara
and no "Thousand Islands" in the world.

Meantime, they were ploughing their way through the gleaming blue and
gold waves, with water and sky meeting at the horizon line, all around
them, save for a blue strip of shore to their left, while the steering
was done by compass, a new experience for the strangers, on an inland
lake.

"I don't wonder," Hugh remarked, "now that I've seen this lake for
myself, I don't wonder that the British Foreign Office, long ago,
should have sent out water-casks for the frigates here, as you were
telling me. It is hard to realize that this great blue expanse is
really _fresh_ water." And May felt delighted that she now could the
better picture to herself what the _sea_ was actually like.

But the soft shadows of evening were falling on the woods and hills
before them, as the steamer glided into the beautiful harbor of Port
Hope--a noted harbor even in the old Indian times, under the name of
Ganeraské. The placid water, afire with rich sunset tints, and smooth
as a mirror, was dotted with the skiffs of pleasure seekers, and the
pretty little town looked most attractive, as, half in shadow, it
nestled in its picturesque valley and straggled up the sides of its
protecting hills. The long railway viaduct seemed to lend it an
additional charm, and Flora McNab appealed to her brother whether it
were not more like one of their old-country towns, than any they had
yet seen. On the pier were a number of strollers, who had come out to
catch the evening breeze, or to see the arrival of the daily boat;
and, among them, Kate's quick eye easily recognized Nellie Armstrong
and her brother, who gave them all a warm welcome, and speedily packed
them into a dog-cart and a light-covered carriage, in which they were
driven through the shady, sloping streets to the pretty bowery home of
the Armstrongs, where another kind welcome awaited them from the host
and hostess, and where an inviting supper was laid out in a cool,
pleasant dining-room, opening on a velvety lawn overshadowed by a
great "bass-wood" or linden tree. To May it all seemed like a
delightful romance, nor did she mind a bit the soft rain, which,
during the night, she heard through her dreams, pattering on the great
leafy bough with that peculiarly tranquilizing effect which a soft
summer rain has on the sleepy listener at night.

The morning was wet and misty, but their host declared the latter to
be a good sign. And so it proved, for by the time the carriages,
ordered for a long drive, were at the door, the mists were rolling
gently up the sides of the hills, giving to the charming landscape
just the touch of poetry that could best enhance its charm. It was a
delightful drive, taking in most of the hills around the town, and the
fine view from the one called "Fort Orton" was particularly enjoyed by
the travelers.

"It's very like a pretty English or Scotch view," said Flora. "Not
what one is apt to imagine _Canadian_ scenery."

"Well, you see, this is one of the oldest settled parts of Canada,"
said Mr. Armstrong. "The whole vicinity is associated with the early
French Missions to the Indians, and with some of the early French and
Indian wars. There was an old Sulpician Mission at the Indian village
on the very site of Port Hope--a mission whose director was the Abbé
Fénelon, the first explorer of this lake shore, and no other than a
brother of the celebrated Fénelon, who was the distinguished
Archbishop of Cambray, and instructor of the Dauphin of France."

"And who wrote 'Télémaque?'" said Kate.

"Precisely. And while he was writing it for his royal pupil, his
brother, devoted to the spiritual good of the poor ignorant Indians,
was trying to teach the Catechism and the Lord's Prayer to the little
Indian children, and enduring among the fierce Senecas, hardships far
greater than those through which his brother was leading Télémaque. He
was a real hero, that Abbé Fénelon."

"I must read up those old French Missions," said Hugh. "They seem to
be wonderfully rich in heroic deeds."

"They are, indeed," said Mr. Armstrong, "but I wish you had time to go
back to the neighborhood of Rice Lake and Peterboro', with its lovely
little lakes. By the way, there is a pretty waterfall thereabout,
named after this Abbé Fénelon, and the whole country is full of
associations, not only with those old French explorers and
missionaries, but also with the almost equally gallant fight of the
old U. E. Loyalist settlers, with hardships and privation."

"And what _is_ a 'U. E. Loyalist?'" asked Hugh. "I've seen the
expression before, but have no idea what it means."

"We should not expect you to understand our Canadian terms, without
explanation," said Mr. Armstrong, laughingly. "Well, a U. E. Loyalist
means one of those first settlers of Canada who were driven to take
refuge here at the time of the American revolution, because they would
not give up their allegiance to the British Empire, and so they left
their farms and possessions behind, and came to settle in the
wilderness under the 'old flag.'"

"Oh, I see," said Hugh. "I have heard that many did so, but did not
know that they were called by that particular name."

"Well, they gave good proof of their loyalty," said Mrs. Sandford;
"for many of them had pretty hard times. Mrs. Moodie's experiences
which she records in her book, 'Roughing it in the Bush,' were endured
in this section of the country. I must try to get the book for you to
read. You know she was a sister of Miss Agnes Strickland, and she and
her sister, Mrs. Traill, may be called our pioneer authoresses, though
we can hardly call them Canadians."

"Yes, and this is a neighborhood full of Indian legend, too," said Mr.
Armstrong; "we have a village called _Hiawatha_, not many miles from
here, and a 'Minnehaha,' 'laughing water,' in the same neighborhood;
and not far from either dwelt the magician Megissogwon, who, 'guarded
by the black pitch-water, sends fever from the marshes,' as, indeed,
many a pale-face victim of fever and ague has known to his cost. And
old Indian battlefields have been discovered hereabout, besides the
connection of this point with warlike expeditions between white men in
later times."

"And so we can never get away from 'old unhappy things and battles
long ago,'" said Hugh, moralizingly.

"Well, let us give them the go-by, just now," said Kate and Flora
together. "On such a lovely evening, we don't want to think of battles
and unhappy things,--old or new."

"Only, somehow, they seem to add the touch of human interest, even if
it be a sad one," rejoined Hugh, who was so much interested in all he
could learn of the past history of the country that Kate laughingly
chaffed him about the book or magazine article he must be going to
write when he got home. However, the chaffing had no effect on his
thirst for knowledge, and when they returned in the lovely summer
twilight,--more than ready for the substantial repast which awaited
them, notwithstanding the luncheon they had enjoyed on the way,--Hugh
eagerly set to work thereafter, to devour, in addition, all the scraps
of information which Mr. Armstrong hunted up for him among the
historical works in his library. But his attention was somewhat
distracted by the songs which Nellie and Flora and May were singing,
sometimes in concert, sometimes separately, at the piano in the
adjoining drawing-room. Flora delighted them all with the sweetness
and pathos with which she sang some of the "Songs from the North,"
which the others had not previously heard. They gave her an
enthusiastic _encore_ for the spirited song "Over the Hills to Skye,"
and at last, after hearing it two or three times, they all joined in
the chorus.

  "Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
    Onward! the sailors cry.
  And carry the lad who was born to be King,
    Over the hills to Skye."

And they were almost as much fascinated by the chorus of the other,
"The Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch-Lomond," and sang again and again
the mournful refrain:--

  "Oh, ye'll tak' the high road, an' I'll tak' the low road,
    An' I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
  But I'll never, never see my true love again
    On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch-Lomond!"

"You see, you can't get away from the 'old unhappy things,'" said
Hugh, at last leaving his books and coming to join the group at the
piano. "It's always the same two minor chords we have in every
pathetic song or story--love and war--in some form!"

"Yes," said Mr. Armstrong, "see how the American war struck into life
the latent possibilities of pathos and poetry in the practical
American people."

"Oh, by the way, Kate," said Nellie, "don't you remember that Mr.
Winthrop we met at Old Orchard last summer, with whom you used to have
so many arguments about the North and South, and all the rest of it? I
think he made a convert of you."

"Nonsense!" said Kate; "but what of him?"

"Oh, he called here two or three weeks ago in the course of a tour he
was making, and he asked most particularly for you. I really believe
he was going to look you up; and you were away from home. What a
pity!"

"Indeed, I think it very unlikely that he would do anything of the
kind. It would be quite out of his way," said Kate, nonchalantly.

"Well, I do think he meant to do so," returned Nellie. "He made most
particular inquiries about just how to get there."

"I shall certainly be very much surprised to hear that he took any
such trouble. Was he as argumentative as ever?"

"No, for most of his time here was spent in making the inquiries I
referred to!" retorted Nellie, rather mischievously. "I only wonder
you have not stumbled across him in the course of your travels."

Hugh had looked up with a sudden air of interest. "I noticed the name
of Winthrop in the register of the _Clifton_, only a few days before
we arrived."

"Then we just missed him," said Kate, in an indifferent tone, though
with a somewhat heightened color. "You would have enjoyed meeting him,
Hugh. He would have given you the American side of everything at first
hand. What I have given you is only a very faint echo."

"But haven't you any Canadian songs to give me?" asked Hugh, as the
girls were about leaving the piano.

"There's the old 'Canadian Boat-song,'" said Nellie, doubtfully.

"No, no," said Kate, "that's all very well for singing on the river.
We'll have it _there_, by and by. Give Hugh something that has more of
a native flavor about it. Sing him one or two of those French Canadian
songs you used to be so fond of--'_La Claire_ _Fontaine_,' you know, or
'_En Roulant Ma Boule_.'"

"But they are so silly," objected Nellie.

"Dear me! who expects songs to be sensible nowadays, especially songs
of that sort? And Hugh can enjoy a little nonsense to a pretty air, as
well as anybody, I'm quite sure. Remember how much Mr. Winthrop used
to like them," said Mrs. Sandford.

"Well, I'll sing them," said Nellie; "only, as the air is so simple,
you must all of you join in the chorus, after the first time. You can
easily catch it up."

And she proceeded to sing, with much spirit and expression, two or
three of the lively French-Canadian airs, which have come down from
the old times of _voyageurs_ and trappers--and the whole party caught
the fascination and were soon singing, all together, the rollicking
chorus of:--

  "_En roulant ma boule roulant,--en roulant ma boule._"

and the prettier, half-playful, half-serious love ditty, the refrain
to "_La Claire Fontaine_":

  "_Il y'a longtemps que je t'aime_,
  _Jamais je ne t'oublierai_,"

till every one was surprised to find that it was eleven o'clock, and
time for the travelers to seek their rest in preparation for an early
start.

It was with great regret that the good-byes were said next morning,
and the little party separated at the Grand Trunk station. May thought
she could see very well that Jack Armstrong had fallen a victim to the
fresh, rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed Flora, and, accordingly, was not
surprised when something was said about a possibility that he and
Nellie might meet them at Quebec, by and by, and go with them down the
Saguenay.

"At all events we will live in _Hope_," said Jack, who was too fond of
puns. "You know this is a _hopeful_ atmosphere."

And so they were off from old _Ganeraské_, as this Port of Good Hope
was first called, and on the road once more.

The next stage was not very long, however. At Cobourg they utilized
the "twenty minutes for refreshments" by driving rapidly about the
principal streets of this old town, commemorating in its name the
marriage of the young Queen with the good Albert of Cobourg. They got
a distant glimpse of the tower of the Victoria University, soon to be
removed to Toronto, where its name will not have the historical
significance which it had here. Mrs. Sandford informed Hugh how many
factories the little town contained, cloth, cars, leather, and more
besides. Then they had a run of some two hours through a fertile
farming country, leaving the train at Belleville, where they were to
spend the remainder of the day. Taking an early luncheon, they devoted
the rest of the afternoon and evening to pleasant drives about the
picturesque vicinity of the pretty little city, which, Mrs. Sandford
said, was first named _Belleville_ in honor of Arabella, the wife of
an early governor. That it deserved the added "e" no one doubted, for
all admired its fine situation at the head of the noble Bay of Quinte,
with two rapid rivers, the Trent and the Moira, running through the
town. Everywhere that they drove in the neighborhood they came upon
charming glimpses of bay and river, or rich fields of waving grain,
thriving orchards and pleasant old homesteads surrounded by their
farm-buildings, making many delightful rural pictures to carry away.
And again Mrs. Sandford reminded them how all that comfort and
prosperity was the late fruit of the hard labors and patiently borne
privations of the loyal old settlers, who chose to begin life over
again in the wilderness, rather than sacrifice their political
principles and disown the flag they loved so well.

"I'm afraid I'm not such a Tory as you are, Aunt Bella," said Hugh;
"few of us juniors are in these latter days. But, all the same, it was
a noble thing to do--to follow their principles to the bitter end, and
go out, like Abraham, into the wilderness."

"But I'm not sure that they were _all_ noble," interposed Kate, who
always loved to take the other side for argument's sake. "You know
some of them, at any rate, never thought that the American 'rebels'
would succeed; and when they did, of course, with feeling running so
high, they couldn't expect much comfort among _them_, in any case; and
many of the Loyalists had their farms confiscated, so that they hadn't
much choice but to move out!"

"Yes; and a burning shame it was for those who confiscated them!"
rejoined Mrs. Sandford, who had some traditions of the kind in her own
family. "And I know well enough you got these Yankee ideas from _that_
Mr. Winthrop!"

"Well," said Kate, calmly, "it was all for the best in the end,
though, of course, it was hard for the people who were driven from
their homes. But you see, if they had not _had_ to leave them, we
might never have had this glorious 'Canada of ours,' of which we are
so proud!"

"Yes," remarked Hugh, "Mr. Armstrong told me that the narrow and
mistaken policy of the American leaders at that time was really the
foundation of British Canada."

And then he went on give them some of the information he had got out
of Mr. Armstrong's books, the preceding evening, in regard to the
beautiful valley of the Trent, through which they were driving. He
told them how Champlain, three centuries ago, had sung its praises at
the Court of the _Grand Monarque_, as "a region very charming and
delightful," where the park-like aspect of the trees suggested the
previous occupancy of the country in bygone days by some superior
race. Then, putting aside this pre-historic period, it was here that
Champlain, on his way to his mistaken raid on the Iroquois, which was
the beginning of so much strife and trouble, had joined his savage
allies in an Indian "Chevy Chase"--in which, by mishap, he wounded one
of his dusky friends. But these old stories have long ago been
forgotten, in the interest of mines--gold and iron--which, found in the
vicinity, have, as usual, somewhat deteriorated the region to which
they have given an artificial stimulus. As they drove in from Trenton,
a small place at the confluence of the Trent with the bay, in the soft
falling dusk, Hugh entertained his companions by repeating some of his
favorite passages from "Hiawatha;" and May, who was poetical and
patriotic enough to be something of a student of Canadian poetry,
repeated a sonnet by one of Canada's earliest singers, Charles
Sangster, who, falling on evil days, has not achieved the fame which
his genius deserved:--

  "My footsteps press, where, centuries ago,
    The red man fought and conquered, lost and won;
  Where tribes and races, gone like last year's snow,
    Have found th' eternal hunting grounds, and run
  The fiery gauntlet of their active days,
    Till few are left to tell the mournful tale;
  And these inspire us with such wild amaze,
    They seem like spectres passing down a vale
  Steeped in uncertain moonlight on their way
    Towards some bourne where darkness blinds the day,
  And night is wrapped in mystery profound.
    We cannot lift the mantle of the past:
  We seem to wander over hallowed ground,
    We scan the trail of thought, but all is over-cast."

"Thank you," said Hugh, "I should like to see more of that poet. I
like his vein very much."

"Oh, May can give you screeds of any length from his 'St. Lawrence and
the Saguenay' as we go along. And I daresay you can get the book in
Kingston--he is a Kingstonian, I believe," said Kate, who was not
particularly poetical.

And then as the shadows of night drew softly about them, the fireflies
flashed in and out of the woods with unusual brilliancy, affording the
Scotch cousins a new subject for observation and delight.

"I declare," said Hugh, "one can scarcely get rid of the feeling that
they might set the woods on fire!"

"They are not common so late in the season," said Kate. "Only now and
then, for some reason best known to themselves, they show themselves,
but only in the woods."

"And there is the whip-poor-will!" exclaimed May, eagerly.

"Oh, I'm so glad!" said Flora, after listening attentively. "That is
one thing I _did_ want to see or hear!"

"You are much more likely to hear it than to see it," said May. "It is
very hard to get a good look at one, for it seldom appears in
daylight."

But soon the fireflies and the whip-poor-will were left behind, and
they were once more rattling over city streets. And then, after a
substantial tea, they went to rest, for the steamer for Kingston was
to start at six in the morning.

As the scenery of the Bay of Quinte depends very much on the weather,
the little party were fortunate in having a lovely changeful morning,
with soft mists and cloud-shadows that gave a charming variety of tint
and tone to the beautiful bay and its fair, gently sloping shores. The
little steamer "Hero" passed in rapid succession one picturesque point
after another--the bay sometimes expanding into a broad, wind-rippled
expanse; sometimes narrowing into calm reaches or inlets, mirroring
the foliage on either side. At the head of the largest reach or arm of
the bay, the steamer stopped at the pretty little town of Picton,
nestling beneath a noble wooded hill, with gentler slopes rising about
it in all directions. Whether Picton or Port Hope possessed the more
picturesque site was a question they found it hard to decide.
Returning down this long reach Hugh was seized with a desire to see
the "Lake of the Mountain," on the high table-land above the bay, of
which he had often heard. And Kate, who considered nothing impossible,
actually persuaded the obliging captain to keep the boat at the
landing below it for half an hour, in order to give them time for a
hurried visit. Mrs. Sandford, of course, graciously declined the
climb, but the others hastened up the steep ascent, where a mill-race
came rushing down the height, amid a lush growth of ferns that grew
luxuriously among the dark, wet rocks, between which they picked their
way. But, once at the top, what a glorious view! Right below their
feet stretched the lovely reach--widening out into the broad bay at the
end of a long promontory diversified with fields and farms and wooded
shores. Close beside them, on the other hand, lay the lovely little
lake they had come to see--calmly sleeping in the sunshine, with as
little apparent mystery about it as if its very existence were not an
unsolved problem; one supposition being, that, as it is at about the
same level as Lake Erie, it may be fed by a secret communication with
that distant sheet. But they had only a few minutes to stay beside the
beautiful mysterious little tarn, and to enjoy the lovely view spread
before their eyes, for the steamer just below was already whistling to
recall them, and they hurried down to rejoin her,--somewhat warm and
out of breath, but with all the satisfaction one feels in making the
best of one's opportunities.

As they left the reach, a sun-shower rolled up, accompanied with
distant thunder; but it only seemed to add a bewitching variety to the
tones of the distance, and of the water, and, when the sunshine broke
out again, conjuring up an exquisite rainbow, and the light and shade
chased each other over the golden fields of waving barley--the beauty
of the bay with the perspective of the "Long Reach" in the distance,
seemed still greater than before. The travelers were content to sit
still, passively absorbing the charm of the hour, while they looked on
in a dreamy fashion at the various points of interest; at Point
Mississauga, named, of course, in honor of the former "lords of the
soil," whose "_totem_," a crane, seemed to be appropriately keeping
guard over the spot; then at the various villages and townships;--at
Deseronto, a busy little lumbering place, named after an Indian chief,
whose formidable name signifies "Thunder and Lightning;"--at a
forsaken-looking little "Bath," with its ambitious name, and at a long
succession of "towns," or rather townships, named, by the overflowing
enthusiasm of the U. E. Loyalists, after the numerous olive branches
of old George the Third. There is Ernestown and Adolphustown, and
Ameliasburg and Marysburgh; and there is Amherst Island, named, like
Picton, after an English general, and said to have been lost by a
noble owner at a game of cards! Hugh declared that the loyalty and
_Britishness_ of everything were rather monotonous, and could not
refrain from heartily wishing that these good people had not, in their
zeal, undertaken to change to the commonplace name of Kingston the
melodious Indian name of Cataraqui! For here they were now coming in
sight of this old "limestone city"--the oldest settlement in Ontario,
the cradle of British Canada--and, to May, surrounded with a halo of
romance from its close association with the history and fortune of her
brave but hapless hero, the dauntless explorer, LaSalle.



CHAPTER III

AMONG THE BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS.


And now they were rapidly approaching the gray, "limestone city,"
which rises picturesquely on its slope behind its line of wharves, and
elevators, and masts of vessels, with a certain quiet dignity not
unbecoming its antiquity, and derived, partly from its harmonious gray
coloring, and partly from the graceful towers and spires that form so
prominent a feature in its aspect. And it was by no means easy for May
to call up in imagination--as she tried to do--the wild, savage
loneliness of the place, with its wooded slopes, as yet untouched by
the hand of the settler, as it presented itself to LaSalle, when he
first discovered the advantages of making Cataraqui his base of
operations; or even as it was seen by the first detachment of U. E.
Loyalists, when their _batteaux_, slowly making their way up the St.
Lawrence, rounded the long promontory now surmounted by the ramparts
of Fort Henry. One tall tower, seen long before any other evidence of
a city appeared, belonged, the captain told them, to the Roman
Catholic Cathedral. Presently, however, extensive piles of fine public
buildings attracted their attention, which they found were
unfortunately the shelter of lunacy and crime, Kingston being the seat
of the Provincial Penitentiary, as well as of a large asylum. In
welcome contrast, they were shown the Gothic tower of Queen's
University, rising above an _entourage_ of trees, though far from
being as imposing in its dimensions as these palaces of gloom. From
thence, the eye wandered over other towers and domes and spires,
relieved by masses of verdure, which led them easily to believe the
captain's report that Kingston is a very attractive city, especially
when summer had embowered it in shade. And there were great schooners,
under a full spread of canvas, and massive lake steamers and
propellers, and little active steam-launches, flitting about, in
striking contrast--May thought--to the stillness of the scene, broken
only by the Iroquois canoes, when Frontenac's flotilla came in state
up the lonely river to found old Fort Frontenac.

"And what a glorious sheet of water around it!" exclaimed Hugh, taking
in with an admiring gaze the westward blue expanse of lake and the
great wide sweep of river studded with islands, stretching away to
eastward, which they told him was the St. Lawrence, at last. And then,
as they rounded the curve of the fine harbor, and saw before them, on
the one side, the fine cut-stone front of the City Hall and on the
other, on a long, green promontory, the Royal Military College, with
its smart Norman towers, they observed a long bridge behind which the
river Cataraqui winds its way down from the northeast, and forms this
beautiful harbor by its confluence with the St. Lawrence. Six miles up
its placid stream, they were told, the Rideau Canal had its beginning
at a picturesque gorge where are the first massive stone locks, which
form one of the finest pieces of masonry on the continent. This Rideau
Canal binds together a chain of lovely little lakes, and finally meets
the Rideau River, and so makes a convenient water-way to
Ottawa,--designed, it is said, by the Duke of Wellington, as a means of
intercommunication remote from the frontier.

"And where are the old _Tête-du-pont_ barracks?" asked May, who had
got that name, by heart, out of Parkman, that she might be able to fix
for herself the site of the old French fort which Frontenac had
inaugurated and La Salle had commanded. She was shown some gray stone
buildings, enclosing a quadrangle, at the nearer end of the long, low
bridge crossing the Cataraqui to the opposite plateau with the green
slope beyond it, on which stood the main defences of Kingston,--Fort
Henry above, and, near the Military College, certain round stone
towers, which, scattered about the harbor, gave quite an air of
military distinction to the place.

"I'm afraid none of them would be of much good, nowadays," remarked a
passenger, and Hugh laughingly assented, adding, "We may trust, I
hope, that they will never be needed."

"Not much danger, I think," was the reply. "We may have a tiff with
the 'States' once in a while; but there are too many Canadians there
now! We can't afford to quarrel."

They went, on landing, to a hotel bearing the appropriate name of
"Hotel Frontenac," where they did full justice to an early dinner.
And, after that, having a couple of hours or so to spare, before
starting for the island, they drove through the pleasant little city,
embowered in the shady avenues extending in every direction, its
streets striking off at all angles. Of course they went to look at the
two cathedrals, the Roman Catholic one being a massive Gothic building
with an equally massive tower, and at the graceful Gothic temple of
Queen's University, on its fine open _campus_, and then followed the
charming drive by the lake shore, till they passed the great, and as
they thought, gloomy masses of the Penitentiary and Asylum buildings,
and then came out on another unimpeded view of the blue lake. Then
returning, they drove back past quiet suburban residences, within
spacious and shady grounds, admiring the substantial and comfortable
look of the houses, and the tastefully kept surroundings;--and through
the pretty little park, stretching on one side, down to the breezy
lake shore, with its round stone tower, and, on the other, rising in a
gentle slope crowned by a stately Grecian court-house, with
picturesque church towers rising around it in the background. And at
one side of this park, they made a little _détour_ to look at the
Hospital, whose plain central building was the first local habitation
of the Parliament of Upper and Lower Canada, when Kingston for a few
years occupied the position of capital of the recently united
provinces. Then returning to their boat, they passed a handsome
post-office and custom-house, of which, with her spacious city hall,
Kingston is naturally somewhat vain. The houses they passed were
bright with window flowers and baskets of blooming plants, prettily
relieving the green sward in front; and they all agreed that Kingston
bore worthily enough its _prestige_ of being the oldest historical
city in Ontario--the present name of western Canada.

But though it was nearly four o'clock, and the beautiful islands were
before them--they went to snatch, at May's desire--a peep at the old
_Tête-du-pont_ barracks, with weather-worn gateway and interior
square, in which, when the foundations of the barracks were laid,
there were some traces found of old Fort Frontenac, which had
therefore evidently stood on that very site. May, at least, looked at
it with a sincere reverence, as she thought of how many changing
phases of fortune in her hero's history that square had been the
scene.

But now it was almost four o'clock, and they must hasten to the boat
that was to carry them to the beautiful islands which had been
beckoning them so long. As the Pierrepont glided out of the protected
harbor, the afternoon sun lighted up the grey mass of the city, and
the Norman towers of the Royal Military College, standing on its strip
of _campus_, to their left, as they entered the real St. Lawrence,
while beyond it rose above them the green hill-slope which forms the
_glacis_ of the low, long-stretching ramparts of Fort Henry, with its
fortified water-way, and the round grey towers at its base. And as
they rounded its long promontory, leaving the distant city behind it,
May once more tried to picture the solitude of the scene as La Salle
first knew it, broken only by his own canoe and those of the ferocious
Iroquois. Meantime Hugh, not less interested in the historical
associations of the place, drew from her, by cross-questioning, an
outline of some of the tragic events of which Fort Frontenac had been
the scene. But gradually the charm of the present hour asserted itself
and all else was forgotten in watching the changing beauty of the
scenery around them. A slight thunder-shower seemed to have purified
the air, and the brightly shining sun lighted up the rich green of the
woods, the golden tones of the harvest fields on the shores they were
passing, and the grey rocks and shaggy foliage of some scattered
islets on their course, one of which, Cedar island, was crowned by a
round tower,--islets which were, they were told, really the outrunners
of the great archipelago farther down the river. As they passed the
water-rampart of the fort, Hugh observed that it seemed to be falling
to pieces, and remarked that the government might look better after
its property.

"It may just as well go to pieces," said a voice behind them. "It
would be of very little use if we did go in for conquest, and I hope
there is no likelihood of any serious hostilities between the two
countries."

--"Well, Mrs. Sandford, have you forgotten me?" the voice continued.
"How do you do, Miss Severne? I am delighted to meet you again."

Kate had looked up with a start as the first tones of the stranger's
voice caught her ear, and perhaps there was just a tinge of heightened
colour on her cheek as she greeted the speaker with her usual frank
ease.

"Why, Mr. Winthrop! I never thought of encountering you in this quiet
corner of the world. What accident brings you this way?"

"It was not quite an accident," he replied, smiling. "I met Jack
Armstrong yesterday on the train between Port Hope and Cobourg, and he
told me of your arrangements; and as I just got in an hour or two ago,
and found out that this was the speediest way of getting over to
Clayton, where I am bound for a few days' fishing, I thought I would
waylay you--and here I am, as you see."

"As we are very glad to see," Kate replied, gracefully. "Let me
introduce my cousin, Miss Thorburn, and my Scotch cousins, Mr. and
Miss Macnab."

May eyed the newcomer critically, and a little jealously, for in the
interests of the incipient romance that she had begun to weave for
Kate and Hugh, she did not relish his appearance--especially taken in
connection with the remarks she had heard from Nellie Armstrong. He
was, however, as she could not help admitting, a very pleasant-looking
man, not very young, in fact, a good deal older than Hugh Macnab, with
keen, scrutinizing gray eyes and mobile face, full of intelligence and
expression. To May, Hugh's was much the finer face, but she could not
help feeling that Mr. Winthrop's was decidedly attractive, and she
inwardly trembled for the prospects of the younger man. She felt that
Mr. Winthrop's quick glance took in the whole _personnel_ of the
little party, as the introductions were made.

"Well, Mrs. Sandford," he resumed, when he had courteously greeted
each in turn, his eye resting for a moment, with evident admiration
upon the rosy, fresh-faced Scotch lassie,--"I hope you are prepared in
the goodness of your heart, to extend a little toleration to a
reprobate Republican like me. I'll try not to wound your sensibilities
quite so much, this time!"

"Oh, you didn't hurt me at all!" said that lady, good-humoredly. "I
know you don't mean any harm; it's the way you were brought up. But
you must not put traitorous ideas into these young people's heads.
There's Kate, now----"

But here that young woman hastily interposed: "Would you mind getting
us another seat, Mr. Winthrop?" said she, "Miss Macnab is quite in the
sun."

Mr. Winthrop at once performed the suggested service, and then, the
previous topic having been shunted off, the whole party surrendered
themselves to the dreamy charm of the afternoon--of the golden sunshine
and dappling shade, that threw such a spell of beauty over the
undulating shore, with its yellow harvest-fields and deep, green
woods, country houses gleaming white through trees, and comfortable
farmhouses nestling amid bowery orchards, beginning to be weighed down
with their load of fruit.

The real width of the river, here about eight miles, is at some points
narrowed down to apparently two or three miles and sometimes much
less, by the large islands that divide it and extend for some twenty
miles below Kingston. One of these--Howe Island, named after a British
general--cuts off a very picturesque channel down which lay the course
of their boat. At intervals of a few miles, the boat stopped at
primitive wharves, where the country folk, who had been to market,
landed with their innumerable parcels and baskets, of all shapes and
sizes, farming implements, perambulators, etcetera. At one landing
they put ashore a pile of dressed lumber--at another, a horse; at still
another, the heterogeneous mass of luggage belonging to a family
"going into _villegiatura_"--as Mrs. Sandford put it--including a great
box containing a parlor organ. For the farmer-folk their horses and
conveyances were patiently waiting, and very soon they might be seen
driving slowly homewards along the country roads that followed the
curve of the shore, or struck back among the fields and woods. A
beautiful, new, varnished boat that had excited Hugh's rather envious
admiration from the time he came on board, was at last unshipped and
rowed away by its happy owner, whose camping outfit proclaimed that he
was bound on a delightful holiday. Here and there they caught glimpses
of white tents and gay flags, where lived a little community of
campers, who waved their handkerchiefs as the boat went by; and
cheered as if a steamboat were a new and unheard-of triumph of
inventive skill. At one point, the shore of the island to their right,
rose picturesquely into high banks clothed with a rich growth of
light, fluttering birch and sombre cedar, the contrast of which
delighted the travelers. There was quite a romantic-looking landing
here, beside an old ruined lime-kiln, and the road wound picturesquely
up the wooded height, the two or three figures seen walking up the
winding path, as the boat receded, looking--May declared--"just like
people in the beginning of a story."

"And so they are--or in the middle of it," said Mr. Winthrop. "Each of
us is living in a story of our own, after all, and I suppose each
would have its own interest if it could only be read just as it is."

"Only some stories are more interesting than others," suggested Hugh.

"And those people evidently think theirs is particularly interesting
just now," remarked Kate, for they were just passing a little cluster
of tiny cottages and tents, where a large and merry party were
summering, with much display of bright bunting and many skiffs; and
where young and old alike seemed to get into a state of wild
excitement as the boat passed, saluting her with horns and a white
flutter of handkerchiefs that might have passed for a flight of
pigeons. The captain of the steamboat courteously returned the salute
with his steam whistle, with the laconic remark: "Makes them feel
happy," which seemed true, for the demonstrations were renewed with
fresh vigor and continued till the little encampment was out of sight.

But the dark thunder-clouds had been again stealing up behind them,
and now the lights on the shore and the foliage disappeared, the
cedars looking especially sombre in the growing gloom.

"There's a squall coming down the river," said Hugh Macnab, who had
been watching from the stern the pretty grouping of the small islands
that here studded the channel.

"Yes, indeed," said Kate. "They often come up here suddenly. Look how
one point after another is sponged out by the gray mist. See there,
how the rain is driving down over there already."

"And it will be here in a minute," said Mr. Winthrop, rising hastily.
"Come, you must all get into the centre of the boat, well under the
awning, if you won't go down stairs."

Mrs. Sandford thought it best to retreat to the cabin below, being
afraid of thunder, but all the others protested that it was much too
interesting to watch the arrival of the storm. At a suggestion from
Mr. Winthrop, however, he and Hugh made a dash down to the cabin for
wraps and umbrella, returning in a second or two with an armful of
waterproofs, in which the ladies were all carefully wrapped before the
first heavy rain-drops came pattering down on deck. And then, for a
minute, how they _did_ come down, lashing the deck till it was
flooded;--even where they sat the drops flew, into their faces, and,
but for the waterproofs, would have drenched their garments. Kate, who
loved a storm, was looking brilliantly handsome, and so--May was
sure--thought Mr. Winthrop, who kept his position near her, so as to
shelter a little from the onslaught of the rain. And how--she inwardly
wondered--would Hugh Macnab like the sudden invasion from this stranger
and foreigner, who seemed to make himself so very much at home? She
fancied that his somewhat sensitive face looked clouded, but perhaps
it was only the reflection of the clouds without, for, presently when
the rain-drops gradually ceased, and the sun shone out again,
brighter, as it seemed, than ever, his face brightened, too, and he
watched eagerly for the first appearance of what might properly be
called the real Thousand Island group.

"There they are!" Kate exclaimed, at length, as some soft, cloud-like
forms loomed up against the distant horizon, still somewhat misty with
the receding rain. "See how they cluster there together! And do you
see those tiny white specks? Those are the lighthouses that mark the
channel. And there, if you can catch a glimpse of some white houses
beyond those islands--, those are part of the poetically named town of
Gananoque, '_Rocks in Deep Water_,' as the Indian name signifies. And
it is a good enough description, if only they would have added 'Rocks
in Shallow Water' as well; for there is certainly no lack of rocks in
either the depths or the shallows!"

And now the little steamer began to wind in and out among the
clustered islets, some of them little more than rough granite crags,
bristling with wind-tossed pines, others masses of tangled foliage,
and others still, partially cleared, with fanciful little cottages
embowered in trees and clustering vines. At some of these cottages the
inhabitants, like the campers, amused themselves by blowing a horn as
a salute, to which the steamer amiably responded, after which there
would be another flutter of handkerchiefs from the loungers on the
verandas or by the shore.

"Well," said Hugh, "though we know it really means nothing, it does
seem pleasant to be waved at, as if one were coming home!"

"And yet the same people would only stare critically at you if they
met you in the street."

"It's the air of these charming islands," laughed Kate. "It makes
every one so genial and overflowing with the milk of human kindness
that they can't help expressing it all round!"

"Or so idle that even this mild excitement is entertaining," said Mr.
Winthrop.

"Wait till you have tried it a little while!" said Kate. "Perhaps even
you may grow less cynical there. But where are you going now?"

"I believe this little steamer will take me to Clayton to-night. My
friends are there fishing, and are expecting me to join them."

"And that is how far from here?" asked Hugh.

"About eight miles," Kate replied--"on the American side of the river."

"Oh, then, we shall meet again, I hope, and improve our acquaintance,"
said Hugh, as he rose in response to Mrs. Sandford's commands, for now
they had rounded the last island and were rapidly approaching the
pretty little town of Gananoque, while the slanting rays of the
westering sun threw out the foliage of the islands and the shore into
the richest green, and gave the whole scene its brightest aspect.

Close by the wharf lay a tiny steam-yacht, on whose floating pennon
Kate speedily recognized the name "_Oneida_," and in a moment more the
waving of white handkerchiefs announced the presence of the friends
who were waiting them there. To May it seemed like a fairy tale to be
received into a private steam-yacht as an expected guest, instead of
the open skiff she had been looking for. It was more than ever like a
dream;--the little cabin, the dainty furnishings, the miniature engine
with its polished brass fittings--everything seemed new, beautiful,
delightful. Flora Macnab was equally delighted, declaring she had
"never seen such a dear wee vessel before;" and Hugh, though quiet as
usual, mentally noted everything with much satisfaction. Mr. Winthrop
accompanied them on board, carrying Kate's wraps, and was just
hurrying off back to the steamer when their host, Mr. Leslie, after a
brief introduction, urged that he should accompany the others as his
guest.--"For I can assure you we can always make room for one guest
more,"--he said with cheery hospitality.

But Mr. Winthrop declined the invitation with many thanks, on the
ground that his friends were expecting him, adding that if he might be
allowed to come a little later, for a day or two, he should be
delighted to do so.

"Any time you will," said Mr. Leslie, and he hurried off to catch his
boat, which was on the point of starting again, while the others were
duly introduced to the members of Mr. Leslie's family who had come to
meet them. The little steam-yacht only waited for a supply of baskets,
containing supplies, to be stowed away on board, and then it, too,
uttered its shrill little parting whistle, and darted off on its way
to the island, some miles distant, which was Mr. Leslie's summer home.
To May it seemed like fairyland--this little evening sail among these
lovely islands, in a yacht so low as to bring the eye on a level with
their base, and not going too fast to enable her to enjoy in detail
the beauty of lichen-crested rocks festooned with creepers and wild
roses, and of still, placid reaches, dyed crimson and purple by the
sunset hues, where clusters of snowy water-lilies were shining like
stars amid the dark leaves. In the subdued evening light, the nearer
islands were so soft a green--the distant ones looked softly purple in
the light haze that helped to idealize the scene,--that May, for one,
would have liked to wind in and out in this dreamy, leisurely fashion
for hours, and was almost sorry when she was startled from her dream
by the shrill whistle of the yacht, and found they were nearing a
little rustic pier flanked by dusky pines and cedars.

The party were soon disembarked amid the lively little group that
stood awaiting them on the pier--young men in boating flannels, lively
children, young girls in cool, light blouses and dark blue skirts.
Ready hands seized packages and baskets, and then they all followed an
ascending, fragrant, sloping path that led between lichened rocks and
nodding ferns to an open glade higher up, where stood their pretty
summer cottage, with its wide verandas, looking capacious enough to
accommodate two or three city houses. Mr. and Mrs. Leslie were
excellent hosts; and, in a few minutes, every one was conducted to a
room, and May found herself installed in what she mentally styled the
dearest little nest, up under the eaves, commanding what seemed, in
the transfiguring evening light, the most enchanting view of the
island-studded channel. It reminded her of her room and window at the
_Clifton_;--both views so beautiful, and yet so altogether different.

But she was not long left to her dreaming, for a peremptory horn
sounded, and Kate and Flora were calling to her to hasten down to tea.
Downstairs, in a simply-furnished room, with large French windows
opening on a wide piazza, they found a long tea-table spread for the
recent arrivals--the rest of the party having already finished their
evening meal, being, indeed, too hungry to wait for anybody.

"For we're all as hungry as hawks here!" declared one of the merry
girls in a boating-dress. "Between boating and fishing and running
about, we're out all day long, and that gives one no end of an
appetite."

After tea there was a delicious hour or two on the veranda, the only
alloy being the visits of a few mosquitoes. "Nothing like what we have
had, however," Mrs. Leslie observed. "We've often been obliged to
retreat within the shelter of our mosquito-blinds in the evening. But
to-morrow will be the first of August, and we are not likely to be
troubled with them much longer."

"That is a comfort!" exclaimed Flora, who seemed to be a favorite
victim of the troublesome little insects. "But how startlingly bright
the fireflies are," she said presently, as it grew darker, and the
scintillating living sparks of fire--as they seemed--flashed in and out
of the trees, giving the impression--as Hugh remarked--that they might
really set fire to them. And presently she joyously descried, faintly
visible near the horizon, a silver thread of crescent moon, the
promiser of much additional enjoyment during the weeks of their stay.

Next morning was as charming a morning as any one could have desired
to see. The river lay still and calm, and blue as a dream, sleeping,
as it seemed, in the embrace of the clustering green islands, which
looked so fresh and so cool in the early morning light. May was so
excited that she could not sleep a moment after the first rosy gleams
of sunshine stole into her casement, which she had left wide open,
that she might not lose a moment of the view which had so delighted
her the evening before. As she dressed, she feasted her eyes on the
delicious freshness of the early morning, on the exquisite tint of the
water here and there, just rippled by the faintest breeze, the soft,
distant, blue islands that seemed to float on the placid stream like
"purple isles of Eden," the rich contrast of dark evergreen and rich
deciduous foliage, on the nearer shores, till it all seemed too
exquisite for a reality, and in the stillness of the morning she felt
as if she were still in a dream.

She was soon dressed, however, and hastened down, eager to explore,
all alone, the island where she was. She had only to go a few steps
from the piazza to find herself among the primitive rocks, crusted
with gray lichen and cushioned with soft, velvet moss, or overhung
with the glossy foliage of the bear-berry or the vines of the
whortle-berry, from which the dark blue fruit was dropping as she
raised them. She followed a winding pathway leading under a fragrant
archway of overhanging foliage, which wound its way in a rambling
fashion about the island, giving, now and then, lovely glimpses,
vistas between mossy banks of rock, or pretty little vignettes framed
in by an overhanging hemlock. At length, after making pretty nearly
the tour of the island, wending her way among thickets of feathery
sumach and broad-leaved rubus, bearing deep crimson flowers, with long
festoons of partridge-berry, and its white, star-like flowers amid the
pine-needles under her feet, and finding, to her great delight, some
specimens of the exquisite, snowy Indian-pipe, looking--in the early
morning light--more ghostly than ever--she found herself at the little
landing beside the boat-house, where they had disembarked on the
previous evening. There she sat down to rest on a rustic seat, placed
so as to command a charming vista, with a tiny island in the
foreground, which she was absorbed in contemplating, when the plash of
oars broke in upon her reverie, and she turned to see who might be the
early oars-man. It was Hugh Macnab, arrayed in white flannels, with a
lovely cluster of wild roses in his hand. He greeted her with a smile
and came up at once, holding out the roses as he approached.

"I scarcely expected to find any one up yet," he said, laughing. "I
came out just about dawn, to have the full enjoyment of this exquisite
morning, and thought I would try a little cruise by myself to see
whether I had forgotten the rowing I learned in my Oxford summer. And
I found a little island out yonder, so inviting for a swim that I
couldn't resist it. I should like to show you that same little
island,'"--he added. "It's only a little way; won't you come? But what
is that you have got in your hand?" he said, looking at the waxen
flowers she held.

May explained what the ghostly little plant was, and he eagerly took
it in order to examine it. "Oh, yes, I've read of this curious
plant,"--he said. "I am so glad to actually see one! Now, suppose we
exchange bouquets, if you will take my roses for your spectral
flowers. I brought them over from that island, intending to give them
to the first lady I met. Please take them;--it's a case of the early
bird getting the worm, you know."

For May at first hesitated a little. She felt as if the roses ought by
right to go to Kate, but then she could not say so. So she ended by
thanking him as gracefully as her embarrassment would let her, and
putting the roses carefully in her belt. They were lovely roses, too,
of a peculiarly deep crimson, as the late wild roses are, and
glistening still with the early dew. Hugh placed his "Pipes" carefully
in his hat, for the present, and then led the way to the pretty cedar
skiff, with its luxurious cane east chair at the stern, in which she
took her seat, with a little inward wonder whether she were doing
quite right, and the skiff was soon rapidly cleaving its way through
the glassy water under the quick strokes of Hugh's oar. It was
wonderful, she thought, how much he seemed to have improved in health
and spirits during the fortnight which had passed since she had first
met him; and how much more color and animation he now had. Surely, she
thought, Kate would never be so blind as to prefer _that_ Mr.
Winthrop, who, to her eye, was so much less attractive-looking than
Hugh! She was too much preoccupied in thinking out this problem to say
much, though she could silently take in the loveliness of the scene.
Rounding a rocky point covered with wild roses, from which Hugh had
picked his bouquet, they found themselves in a tiny bay, where the
limpid wavelets lapped gently upon a beach of silver sand, while the
rocks of rosy granite which formed the bay were draped in part with a
tangle of luxuriant creepers and crested with sweeping pine-boughs.
Presently the boat grated on the sandy beach, and Hugh handed her out
of the boat and led the way to a granite ledge commanding an exquisite
view of sleeping river and clustering islets. The river lay almost
absolutely still, only barred here and there with long streaks of
ripple that betokened an incipient breeze. The heavy masses of verdure
on the opposite shore and the surrounding islands seemed also asleep;
only an occasional carol of a bird broke the charmed silence. May and
her companion were very silent also, for ordinary talk in such a spot,
at such an hour, seemed well-nigh profane, and both were too reserved
to express the deeper feelings the scene awakened. After a silent
interval, May turned to call Hugh's attention to a distant sail just
catching the still slanting rays of the sun, when she noticed that he
had taken a slip of paper which had been lying in the boat and was
writing rapidly. She refrained from disturbing him, for how could she
tell that he might not be writing _poetry_? But he had caught her
movement, and presently stopped writing and turned towards her, when
the slip of paper, which he was holding carelessly, was caught by the
freshening breeze and carried close to her feet. She naturally stooped
to pick it up, and involuntarily glancing at it, could see that it
_was_ poetry; but Hugh caught it from her, with so much apparent
discomposure, coloring vividly, that May felt sure he was annoyed by
her intervention, and felt a little uncomfortable; the more so because
she could not say anything about it. She wondered whether the verses
had any reference to Kate, since he seemed so much afraid of their
being seen. They rowed back as silently as they had come, and the
momentary annoyance soon cleared off the faces of both under the
potent charm of the exquisite beauty around them. They found only the
children astir; but Kate and Flora, when they came down soon after to
breakfast, were very curious to know what May had been doing with
herself--out all alone "almost before daylight," they declared--and
especially curious to know from whence she had got the lovely little
bouquet of wild roses that looked so charming in her belt. But May
laughingly declared that she did not intend to tell where she got it;
and Hugh, of course, said nothing about it. She did not, however, wear
it long. The roses were carefully put away before they withered, and
eventually some of them were pressed to serve as a memento of the
loveliest morning, May thought, that she had ever seen. She told Kate,
however, that Hugh had given her a row to a neighboring island,
feeling a little guilty as she did so. But Kate only remarked, as if
the thing were a matter of course: "Well, I'm glad Hugh has gained so
much in energy! Since he can row so well, I shall make him row me
about everywhere!"

Both she and Flora, however, soon found that they had an _embarras des
richesses_ in the matter of rowing, for there were half a dozen
youthful oarsmen ready and eager to row or paddle them wherever they
desired to go, so that Hugh's services were not so much in demand, and
it happened, not infrequently, that May found herself his companion in
their boating expeditions, and as she had not had much opportunity for
rowing, he undertook to teach her to use the oars in a more artistic
manner than she had as yet attained, which proved a very interesting
occupation to both; though May sometimes regretted that Kate so often
declined to accompany them, fancying that it really hurt Hugh.

That day and several others glided away only too swiftly. No one could
imagine where the hours had gone. There were evening rows, and sails
in a good-sized sailboat, always at the disposal of any of the party
who cared to use it, and aimless meanderings through the tangled paths
of the island, sometimes with the ostensible object of berry-picking,
for the wild raspberries were still found in great abundance, and were
in great request for breakfast and tea. In the forenoon there was
always a general bathing party, when the young men took themselves to
one end of the island, in order to practise their aquatic feats by
themselves, and the girls, in their loose, short bathing suits,
disported themselves to their hearts' content in the limpid tide, in a
pretty little sandy bay, lined to the water's edge with luxuriant
foliage, which almost concealed the little rustic bathing box. Then
there was the luxurious lounge, with a pleasant book, before the early
dinner, in a shady corner of the veranda, for these August days were
pretty warm. For a while after dinner there was a suspiciously quiet
air about Sumach Lodge, as it was called; but when the heat of the day
began to give place to the cool afternoon breeze, the little party
began to wake up from its _siesta_, and skiffs and canoes were hauled
out and filled, as little groups departed on various expeditions, some
simply to explore island nooks, some to fish, and some to gather the
water-lilies which grew in a secluded bay not far off, or, on a breezy
afternoon, to try a sailing cruise in a pretty "butterfly" sailboat
belonging to one of he young men, who was always glad to muster a
crew. In the cool of the evening the "boys" often tried their canoe
races, sometimes playfully wrestling as they passed each other, for
they never minded an upset, but were back in their canoes again almost
as soon as they were out of them. And now that the moon was rapidly
growing in size and light, no one wanted to do anything in the
evening, but sit on the veranda or the shore, and enjoy the charming
moonlight effects. May, of course, was never tired of watching the
tremulous path of silver stretching from island to island, or the
exquisite effect when some picturesque cluster of islets stood out in
dark relief on what seemed a silver sea, and--a very unusual
phenomenon--when the shadow of the island was thrown across its
reflection in the scarcely rippled river. Hugh Macnab, like herself,
seemed fascinated with the mysterious beauty of the moonlit scene, and
was frequently suspected of endeavoring to reproduce its charm in
verse.

These seemed truly enchanted evenings, which no one wished to cut
short, so that May found that the late hours she kept at night came a
good deal in the way of the enjoyment of those early morning hours
which she had at first thought so delightful. But, with such moonlight
pictures spread around them for their delectation, it seemed a waste
of privileges to spend any of these wonderful hours in sleep; and as
the moon grew later and later so did the hours of the junior members
of the party.

One of the favorite spots which May, for one, was never tired of
visiting, either under the idealizing influence of moonlight or in the
rich glow of sunset, was a charming little land-locked bay which wound
its way for some distance into one of the larger islands in the
vicinity. The entrance looked like any other curving recess of the
shore, but, once within, it was a surprise to find the bay continuing
its course like a tiny river, between banks of high jagged crags,
partially draped with nodding birch, shaggy hemlock, and spreading oak
and maple. And however rough the waves might be outside of this
charmed spot, the water within was always calm and glassy in its
stillness. In its innermost recess, where further progress was stayed
by the increasing shallowness of its bed, reeds and water-plants grew
and clustered, water-lily leaves lay floating as if asleep, and here
the little basin was walled in on one side by a sheer, bare granite
cliff, concave towards the basin, and evidently worn smooth, in the
long past, by the action of grinding ice, though its bareness was
relieved, here and there, by a drooping birch or a cluster of shaggy
ferns. At the top of the wall of scarred, lichen-crusted rock, were
some of the curious natural perforations known as "pot-holes,"
apparently formed by the action of a stone revolving in a crevice
under glacial action. The opposite bank was more sloping and densely
wooded, and the effect in the moonlight, under a rich sunset sky, was
peculiarly striking and impressive. This secluded spot was sometimes
used by the summer residents of the neighborhood as a natural chapel,
where a little congregation assembled in their boats for a short
service, with a shorter address, in circumstances which might well
recall the divinest sermon ever preached; and made Hugh Macnab think
of secret services attended by his covenanting ancestors in the
secluded Highland glens which hid them from their persecutors. Very
different, however, were _these_ happy meetings. The songs of praise
seemed to gain a peculiar sweetness from the tranquil quietude of the
spot, while the vesper carol of a bird occasionally blended with the
human melody. Every part of the service was just as solemn as in any
church built with hands, and the very novelty of the surroundings
tended to carry some of the "winged words" into hearts which might
have heard them unheedingly under ordinary circumstances.

On the cooler and more breezy afternoons the "butterfly sailboat" set
out with a merry crew for a more extended voyage, flying hither and
thither, as the wind suited and inclination prompted. Or the little
steam-yacht was called into service, and a large party would start for
a prolonged cruise, winding in and out of the many Channels, as the
fancy guided, steering down the broad, breezy reach that lay between
the main shore and the clustering islands, with the cool, sparkling
waves within touch of their hands, as the little screw turned them up
in showers of sparkling diamonds on the azure behind, while one lovely
channel after another spread itself before them in fascinating vista.
Now they were passing thickly wooded islands, cool with billowy
foliage--now a great granite fortress rising from a fringe of foliage,
with battlements and barbican, escarpment and buttress, festooned with
creepers and evergreens, like some hoary medieval ruin. Anon, they
were gliding through some glassy strait, with snowy water lilies
gleaming amid the dark green floating leaves that lined the sheltered
bays. Again their course lay under a line of frowning cliffs, crusted
with moss and lichen, and tufted with ferns; and presently another
broad channel opened before them, through which they could catch
distant glimpses of clustered tents, or summer hotels, or a pleasant
country house peeping out from embowering trees. And, ever and anon,
they passed graceful light varnished skiffs, laden with fishing
parties, or canoes paddled swiftly by skillful hands, with a fair
maiden reclining luxuriously among her cushions; and to each the
little yacht addressed a shrill cheery salutation, responded to by
waving handkerchiefs and hats, as each party desired to convey an
expression of what a pleasant time they were enjoying, combined with
good wishes for the enjoyment of every one else.

As these delightful excursions were apt to be prolonged for some
hours, their hospitable hostess, knowing that people are apt to be
hungry under such circumstances, had "afternoon tea" set out on the
little table in the stern, and the guests thought that nowhere did
coffee and cake seem so delicious, while merry talk and travelers'
tales, and some of Flora's Scotch songs enhanced the enjoyment of the
happy hours. Hugh, who had a good tenor voice, would sometimes join
his sister in the old-fashioned Jacobite airs which had been familiar
to both from childhood, such as "A Wee Bird Came to Our Ha' Door," or
"Bonny Charlie's Now Awa'." May thought she had heard few songs so
sweet as the refrain "_Will ye no come back again?_" One verse in
particular, seemed to catch her and haunt her:

  "Sweet the lev'rock's note, and lang,
    Lilting wildly down the glen,
  Still to me he sings ae song,
    _Will ye no come back again?_"

And sometimes their talk would drift to graver subjects, as they
returned homewards through lovely vistas of "purple isles of Eden,"
under a sky flushed with the rich glow of sunset, making the calm
river burn with crimson and gold, while the rich claret lines of
shadow made it seem as if the water were indeed turned into wine, and
the peace of the purple twilight gradually faded into the silvery
moonlight, and the whole lovely scene seemed hushed into a gentle
slumber.

Sometimes, after such an excursion, when a few neighbors had joined
their party, at Sumach Lodge, the young folks would beg for a "camp
fire," and a pile of brushwood, set ready on the rocks, would be
lighted, and the party would sit round it, telling stories and
cracking jokes, and singing songs, till the red glare of the fire at
length gave way to the still pale moonlight, and at last they
reluctantly broke up, scarcely able to tear themselves away from the
fascinations of the hour.

A still longer excursion they made one day, in the swift steamer
"Island Wanderer," which they took at Gananoque, and which carried
them by much the same route for a longer distance, down the turns and
twists of the "Lost Channel" to the little hamlet of Rockport;
then--crossing swiftly to the quiet shady resort of Westminster Park on
Well's Island--carried them around its bold wooded headland to the
villa-studded archipelago that teems with island-paradises, turrets,
pagodas, fairy bridges, till it almost reminds the visitor of a willow
pattern plate, and on to the little town of Alexandria Bay, with its
monster hotels. Here Kate showed them a spot most interesting to
May--the pretty mansion of "Bonniecastle," for years the summer home of
Dr. Holland, the first editor of the _Century_ magazine, and author of
"Arthur Bonniecastle," after which he named this pleasant home. Kate
told them how he had once landed in his steam-yacht at an island on
which she had been picnicking at the time, and how charmed she and her
friends had been with his genial personality and talk. Then they
steamed swiftly through the bewildering succession of castles and
cottages of every conceivable variety, which make the American channel
here seem like a long water-way or street, lined by suburban villas.
May did not much like the extent to which the islands had been trimmed
and smoothed out of the shaggy individuality of their primitive state;
and Hugh and Flora emphatically agreed with her, in preferring the
comparative wildness of the Canadian channel, where the islands still
retain their wild sylvan charm.

They scanned with interest the great caravanserai of Thousand Island
Park, with its streets and avenues of tents and cottages and crowds of
tourists; and then, just as they were leaving the little cluster of
country houses at Round Island, a gentleman in a light-gray suit,
carrying a valise and overcoat, came briskly on board, speedily
recognized by May as Mr. Winthrop, who, coming up to greet the party,
declared himself bound for Sumach Lodge. It was curious, May thought,
how he seemed to have a faculty for joining them at the most opportune
moments, and she wondered much whether he had any private means of
tracing the movements of the party. On this occasion, Kate, at all
events, took his appearance with a coolness in keeping with the
nonchalance of his manner. In fact, Flora declared privately to May
that they were both "refreshingly cool for a warm day," a remark which
May thought a trifle heartless, considering that this addition to the
party must be a "thorn in the flesh" to her brother. However, he
betrayed no visible annoyance, but talked very pleasantly with Mr.
Winthrop, all the way home, discussing politics, British and American
and Canadian, including the "Behring Sea" difficulty, which last they
had not settled, even when they had arrived at Sumach Lodge, and the
discussion was finally terminated by the ringing of the tea-bell.

After tea, such of the party as were not tired out by the long day's
outing, dispersed in various directions to enjoy the cool air and the
moonlight on the river. Mr. Winthrop and Kate had mysteriously
disappeared, and so had one of the skiffs. Hugh Macnab, who had become
quite expert at managing a canoe, asked his sister and May to let him
paddle them both as far as the favorite nook already referred to, and
both willingly agreed. But Flora, just at starting, was claimed by one
of the boys, who was her special slave, and not liking to disappoint
him, she good-naturedly consented to go in _his_ boat instead. Flora
and her cavalier followed in the wake of some of the other young
people, and her fresh Scotch voice was soon heard warbling her
favorite refrain:--

  "And carry the lad that was born to be king
    the hills to Skye!"

"That sounds out of place _here_, somehow," said Hugh. "This new world
has nothing to do with our old Jacobite struggles. It ought to be one
of those pretty French Canadian airs, at least." And he hummed "_La
Claire Fontaine_," which had greatly taken his fancy, with its pretty
chorus,--

  "_Il y'a longtemps que je t'aime_
  _Jamais je ne t'oublierai._"

which certainly seemed much more in harmony with the exquisite summer
evening and the light, gliding motion of the little canoe, as it
bounded forward so noiselessly under the ashen paddle, over the purple
and crimson tide.

Neither seemed disposed to talk. The beauty of the evening, for one
thing, was too absorbing to encourage much conversation. Moreover, May
was still worrying a little over the three-cornered problem of Kate
and Hugh and Mr. Winthrop, and thought that Hugh's meditations were
possibly wandering in a somewhat similar direction. They entered the
"Lonely Bay" very quietly, as was their wont. The spot seemed like a
church, in which loud tones or careless words were a desecration. As
the canoe glided noiselessly into the deep shadow of the high crags,
they both became aware that another boat had come in before them, and
was lying motionless in the inmost recess of the little basin. The
occupants were unconscious of any intrusion on their solitude, and, as
Hugh paused, irresolute whether to proceed or not, a few low spoken
words reached their ears in Mr. Winthrop's very distinct
enunciation--words that both thought were: "Then I need not altogether
despair!"

May colored to the very roots of her hair, feeling by proxy the "pang"
which she believed Hugh must experience, as he silently but swiftly
rowed away, lest they should involuntarily hear any more of so very
confidential a conversation. Whether the other pair heard the sound of
the light dip of the retreating paddle they could not tell; and not a
word was exchanged between them concerning the unexpected _rencontre_,
both feeling the subject too delicate to touch.

But as they were rowing slowly homeward, by a circuitous route, the
other boat overtook them, and they rowed side by side for the
remainder of the way, Mr. Winthrop evidently exerting himself to talk,
while Kate remained unusually silent. The moon--rather more than half
full, flooded the air and river with her silvery light; and on one
side of them lay a glittering expanse, studded with the dark
silhouettes of islands. Mr. Winthrop quoted some of the well-known
lines from the Merchant of Venice, "On such a night," etc., Hugh
helping him out when he halted for a line. And then Kate asked Hugh
whether he could not recite something appropriate to the scene.

"Original, if possible; if not, then quoted. And we won't even ask you
whether it is original, or not," she added. "You know, we can't _hear_
the quotation marks."

"On that condition, I will," said Hugh, and, after a few moments'
thought, he began:--

  "Never a ripple on all the river
    As it lies like a mirror beneath the moon,
  Only the shadows tremble and quiver,
    With the balmy breath of a night in June;
  All dark and silent, each shadowy island
    Like a silhouette lies on the silver ground,
  While, just above us, a rocky highland
    Towers grim and dusk, with its pine trees crowned.

  Never a sound, save the oar's soft splashing,
    As the boat drifts idly the shore along,
  And the arrowy fireflies, silently flashing,
    Gleam, living diamonds, the woods among!
  And the night-hawk darts o'er the bay's broad bosom,
    And the loon's laugh breaks on the midnight calm,
  And the luscious breath of the wild vine's blossom,
    Wafts from the rocks, like a tide of balm!

  Drifting, why cannot we drift forever
    Let all the world and its worries go!--
  Let us float and float on the flowing river,
    Whither,--we neither care nor know;--
  Dreaming a dream, might we ne'er awaken!
    There's joy enough in this passive bliss;
  The wrestling crowd and its cares forsaken
    Was ever Nirvana more blest than this?

  Nay! but our hearts are forever lifting
    The screen of the present,--however fair,--
  Not long, not long, may we go on drifting,--
    Not long enjoy surcease from care!
  Ours is a nobler task and guerdon
    Than aimless, drifting, however blest;
  Only the heart that can bear the burden
    Can share the joy of the victor's rest!"

"Well, I appreciate the poetry, of course," said Mr. Winthrop, when
Kate had duly thanked the reciter, "but, I am glad _that_ did not come
from _me_! We Americans are always getting the credit of being too
restless for repose,--for enjoying anything in a leisurely manner. But
it seems there are other people who, like Faust, cannot say to the
present moment, 'Stay, thou art fair!'"

"I'm afraid that's a trait of the age," replied Hugh. "But I rather
think it is nobler, on the whole, to be always 'pressing on to the
things that are before.'"

  "We look before and after
  And pine for what is not!"

quoted Mr. Winthrop--"even in the beauty of this exquisite night."

And after that no words were spoken till the two canoes grated, almost
at the same moment, on the pebbly beach.

The sojourn at Sumach Lodge was now nearly at an end, for our party
had still far to go, and much to see. The next day was to be devoted
to an excursion in the steam-yacht to a bit of very picturesque
scenery some few miles down the main shore of the river--"a miniature
Saguenay," as Mr. Leslie described it, and, at the same time, they
were to get a glimpse of the Canoe Camp which had been just opened,
and which was to have an illumination in the evening that they all
wanted to see.

They started early next morning for Halstead Bay, where the
picturesque little "rift" or _cañon_ began. The _Oneida_ carried them
swiftly down the few miles of river, till within the curve of the bay
which was hemmed in by high wooded hills, where they disembarked from
the yacht, in which they could not proceed much further, and had
recourse to the skiffs which they had brought in tow. As they rowed
farther up, the hills drew nearer to the bay or creek until they
became almost sheer precipices, rising up, weather-worn and
splintered, from the narrowing channel, which was full of reeds and
water plants and fleets of water-lilies, from which they supplied
themselves to their hearts' content. Here and there the stern rugged
crags were festooned with trailing plants and delicate harebells, in
what May declared were natural hanging baskets. Cranes and water-hens
flew up from the tall sedges, and Kate pointed out to Mr. Winthrop a
fine loon diving for his food. "Very likely you will hear him laugh,
by and by,"--said Kate, for he had been expressing some curiosity as to
the loon's laugh in the verses Hugh had recited. "We often hear its
'laugh' at Sumach Lodge," she said, "and very weird it sounds at
night. I don't know whether its elfin 'laugh' or its cry seems the
most uncanny. It has interested Hugh so much, and so has the old
legend of Clote-scarp and the loon."

And as Mr. Winthrop had never heard this legend, Hugh told the Indian
story, how Clote-scarp, or Glooscap--the Micmac Hiawatha, had at
length, wearied with the cruelty and wickedness of man and the savage
warfare of the brute creation, departed from the land until the reign
of peace should be re-established; and that the loon awaits his
return, and laments his absence in the melancholy cry which it utters
from time to time. "Curious," he added, "how that idea of the
Deliverer, temporarily departed, seems to have taken root in all
lands, from Arthur and Barbaroosa to Hiawatha and Clote-scarp. But
what a magnificent cliff that is!" for now they had nearly reached the
head of the little _cañon_, and the higher bluffs seemed to grow
grander and more picturesque as the channel narrowed.

"It is really a very good reduction of the Saguenay," said Mr.
Winthrop, "and the scale of proportion is very well carried out. That,
for instance, would do very well for a miniature Cape Eternity. But it
is as well to see _this first_!"

At the head of the _cañon_ the crags closed up, leaving only a narrow
channel, through which a tiny stream struggled through the great
rugged boulders in a miniature cascade. They all landed and amused
themselves for some time in scrambling about among the rocks, trying
to thread the course of the streamlet, or climbing the neighboring
hill, from which some of the young men, including Hugh and Mr.
Winthrop, reported a magnificent view. The less ambitious of the party
strolled about at the lower level, plucking raspberries which grew in
great abundance among the rocks, while Flora tried to sketch roughly
the charming view from the high ground above the little waterfall. Too
soon, as it seemed, the order was given to re-embark and descend the
_cañon_ to the bay, where the steam-yacht had been left, and where
their lunch was also awaiting them. Mrs. Leslie with Mrs. Sandford and
one or two ladies who had visited the place before, had remained near
the steam-yacht, and when the party in the skiffs returned,--a little
hot and very hungry,--they found a most attractive-looking luncheon,
with fresh fruit, iced milk and various other luxuries most tempting
to tired sight-seers on a warm day, spread on a charming point, with
glimpses of still waters and beds of snowy water lilies on both sides
of its wooded slope.

After thoroughly enjoying their luncheon, they all had a long rest
under the softly waving trees, through which a light breeze was
whispering, cooling the noontide heat of the August day. Then they
re-embarked on the steam-yacht and directed their course across the
river towards the Canoe Camp, which was pitched on a picturesque
island most admirably adapted for its purposes. They soon encountered
token of its presence, in the light canoes which darted gracefully
hither and thither, some of them winged by the daintiest little snowy
sails, looking like white butterflies as they danced over the
sparkling blue waves rippled by the freshening afternoon breeze. The
steam launch soon glided up to the landing pier, in a sheltered bay
overlooked by charming wooded slopes, on which gleamed the white tents
which dotted the island. It abounded in pretty sheltered coves, each
of which formed the harbor for a little fleet of canoes belonging to
some particular club--all nearly uniform in pattern. Some of the clubs
used "Rob Roy" canoes, which were marvels of beauty, with their finely
polished wood, and paddles, and luxurious silver mountings. Each club
had its tents near its harbor, and a large marquee did duty as a
common dining-hall. The lady members of the association had their own
particular little settlement, which was called the "Squaw's Point."
Camp fires were lighted here and there, carrying out the primitive
Indian character of the whole. The party had just time for a hasty
stroll about the island before the beginning of the races, which they
had the best opportunity of witnessing from their steam-yacht,
carrying them from point to point, in order to extend their view at
will.

Some of the races were so-called "hurdle races," in which the racer
went through a variety of performances, swimming a few hundred yards,
then getting into his canoe, paddling it for a certain distance, and
in returning, upsetting it, righting it again and paddling to shore.
These last man[oe]uvres caused great fun and excitement. The party in the
steam launch had a number of acquaintances at the camp, and Kate was
soon discovered by various youths in parti-colored flannels, who
gathered around her for a chat in the intervals of the races; Hugh
being eager to hear all he could concerning the art of paddling, which
he had been practising on every available opportunity during his stay
among the islands. The afternoon flew swiftly by, and, when tea-time
came, the yacht party had invitations to tea in several tents, and
distributed themselves accordingly. After tea, a visiting band
discoursed music as the evening shades grew on; and then came the
great sight of the evening.

Suddenly the clusters of tents gleamed out like brilliant
constellations amid the dark foliage, while the canoes, which had been
formed into a long snake-like coil were decked from stem to stern with
flambeaux and Chinese lanterns, some of these being curiously arranged
so as to imitate the forms of animals. The swan was the favorite
design, and the most easily managed, but there were elephants, camels
and other still more curious imitations. At short intervals, rockets
and Roman candles went up with a rush and roar, and some Greek fire on
the beach threw a rich roseate light over the wonderful scene. The
steam-yacht darted about hither and thither, the better to command the
whole view. Hugh and Flora were enchanted, and declared that they
could almost imagine themselves in a gondola in Venice, so brilliant
was the effect of the procession of illuminated boats, and the
_cordon_ of lights which studded the sombre background of the island.
As the fiery serpent began to coil and uncoil itself on the dark
river, while the rockets sparkled against the sky, and the
moon--partially obscured--threw fitful gleams between slow-moving clouds
upon the distant islands, it seemed more like a transformation scene
on the stage than one of actual reality, the contrast of the blaze of
artificial light with the calm serenity of the moonbeams being
singularly striking.

But our friends had had a long day of it, and were beginning to feel
its fatiguing effects, so that no one felt inclined to object when Mr.
Leslie gave the order for departing, and, in a few minutes, they found
themselves far away from the brilliant scene, steaming quietly through
lonely channels where the moonlit waves broke softly on pebbly shores,
under dark overhanging boughs of hemlock and pine.

May awoke next morning with the regretful thought that it was her last
day at Sumach Lodge. It was mainly devoted to farewell visits to all
the favorite haunts which would remain graven on her mind--at least for
years to come. In the afternoon Mr. Winthrop announced that he must go
to Gananoque in order to telegraph to New York, for he had been
recently talking--to May's inward consternation--of joining their party
on the trip to the Saguenay. She felt sure it would spoil Hugh's
pleasure, at any rate. But Kate showed no desire to veto the plan; on
the contrary, May had misgivings that her cousin had no objection to
it. Their good-natured host at once ordered the steam-yacht for Mr.
Winthrop, and a few of the guests willingly accompanied them,
including Flora, who lost no opportunity of gliding about in that
delightful little vessel,--Kate and May preferring not to lose an hour
of their now short stay on the island. One of her youthful admirers,
however, the youth who owned the "butterfly sailboat," coaxed Kate to
take a last short sail with him in the invitingly freshening breeze.
No one noticed, however, that the sky had gradually clouded over and
become grey instead of blue, while, despite the breeze, the air had
grown very sultry. Hugh noticed it at last from the quiet nook where
he sat reading, and came slowly back towards the house, where he found
May reclining in a hammock on the veranda, professedly reading, but in
reality half asleep, while Mrs. Sandford, close by, was complacently
nodding over her knitting.

"Where are all the rest of you?" he inquired; "the place seems
deserted!"

May explained that Flora had gone with the party in the steam-yacht,
while most of the boys had gone off with their boats to the other end
of the island for a swim, and that Kate had gone out with Dick Morris
in his "butterfly sailboat."

"I hope they haven't gone far," he said. "We are going to have a
tremendous storm. I'll go and signal them back."

May sprang out of her hammock and looked about her, while Mrs.
Sandford got into a flurry of alarm at once. Certainly the sky had a
rather alarming appearance. A great black cloud had swept down from
the southwest, flanked by another that seemed to extend over the whole
river in two great curves or scollops of dark slate color, edged with
a strange light bluish gray that had a lurid and terrible effect. The
river, usually so softly blue, had darkened in the distance to an inky
blackness, while somewhat nearer it assumed an angry grey. As yet the
stretch of water in front of the island seemed comparatively calm,
but, two or three miles away, sails were flying at full speed before a
strong gale. The squall was evidently coming up fast, and the
"butterfly sailboat" was some distance out and would certainly feel it
very soon. The steam-yacht was swiftly approaching the pier from a
different direction.

Hugh said not a word, but began to unmoor the lightest of the only two
skiffs that lay at the landing, to which they had hurried, while May
watched the sailboat through an opera-glass.

"The squall has caught it now!" she said, as Hugh was busy with the
boat. "Oh, I'm afraid it is upsetting!"

"_What!_" exclaimed Hugh, anxiously watching the little craft as the
sail dipped lower, and lower, and lower, and finally lay flat on the
waves. Hugh in the meantime had hastily pulled off his boots and
jumped into the skiff, and now threw his watch into May's hands,
seized the oars and pushed out in hot haste. Meantime the steam-yacht
had arrived at the pier, a little way off, and Mr. Winthrop, coming
up, took in the situation at a glance. He almost snatched the
opera-glass from May, looked through it, and then rushed out on the
landing-stage, from which Hugh's boat was swiftly receding.

"Stop!" he shouted, "and let _me_ go, too!" The voice scarcely seemed
like Mr. Winthrop's usually suave and even tones. It had a ring not
only of anxiety, but of passion and command. But it had no effect on
Hugh. He only shook his head as he called out, "No time to delay!" and
rowed on, at a pace that frightened May, into the teeth of the waves,
which were now dashing themselves into snowy wreaths of foam, while
the trees were lashing their branches about, as if in agony. Meantime
she had caught up the opera-glass which Mr. Winthrop had thrown down,
and could see that the boat had partially righted itself, and that
Kate and her young cavalier were clinging to its side, helplessly
drifting before the wind. Mrs. Sandford, who had now reached the
landing, stood crying and wringing her hands in a way that intensified
May's own terror.

Meantime Mr. Winthrop had hurriedly looked round for the only skiff
left, which was a heavy and awkward one, but seldom used. He did not
hesitate, however, but jumped in and made what speed he could towards
the craft in distress, towards which Hugh by this time was half-way
out. May breathlessly watched him as he rapidly covered the remaining
distance. Then she could see him help Kate from her perilous hold into
the skiff, and the young man into the sailboat, which the efforts of
the two men had soon righted, after which Hugh rapidly rowed back,
leaving to poor Mr. Winthrop, who was following, the comparatively
uninteresting task of picking up the floating oars and other traps
which had been cast adrift in the upset, and of towing the unlucky
mariner and his boat back to the island.

As all the boys had by this time returned, half a dozen hands were
outstretched to draw the skiff ashore and help out the pale but
laughing Kate, with her dripping garments clinging about her feet.
Mrs. Leslie took possession of her at once, and she and Mrs. Sandford
hurried her up to the house to be put to bed and dosed with hot brandy
and every other restorative that her ingenuity could devise, while
Hugh also came in for a large share of her anxiety, as well as of her
pharmacopeia.

Meantime poor Dick Morris had managed, with Mr. Winthrop's assistance,
to get his water-logged boat back to shore, somewhat crestfallen as
well as wet, under the heavy downpour of rain which followed the
squall. Dick came in for his share of the coddling, but Mr. Winthrop
became invisible for an hour or two, and it was only after all were
gathered round the tea-table that he reappeared, looking paler and
graver than they had ever yet seen him. Kate was, of course, still
under orders to remain in bed for the rest of the evening, but Hugh
disclaimed any need for such precautions, and had evidently by no
means lost _his_ appetite, at least. He greeted Mr. Winthrop
pleasantly, as usual, saying apologetically: "I was sorry I couldn't
wait for you, Winthrop, but I saw there was no time to be lost."

"Oh, it was of no consequence; you were quite right," he replied
coolly, but very curtly, and May inwardly wondered why it was that
people always said things were "of no consequence," just when they
evidently cared most.

The incident seemed to have cast a damper--figuratively as well as
literally--over the last evening among the islands. The squall had gone
down as rapidly as it had come up, and the rain cleared off by
degrees; but the sunset cast only a few golden gleams through the
parting clouds, and the moonlight was fitful and disappointing; and it
seemed to May that the sadness of the parting colored the external
scene as well as her own feelings.

It had been arranged that the steam launch should take them all across
to Clayton, to catch the river steamboat there about seven A. M., thus
necessitating a very early start. It was an exquisite August morning,
very like the first one after their arrival, but there was little time
to enjoy its charming pictures. An early breakfast was hurried over by
the time the little yacht blew her whistle for departure, and, before
any one could realize that the moment for departure had come, the
travellers had passed through an avalanche of good-byes, and were
steaming swiftly away from the enchanted island, as May then thought
it, and will always continue to dream of it hereafter.

Kate treated Mr. Winthrop very coolly during the sail across, as May
observed, and this inconsistent young woman began forthwith to feel
sorry for him, especially when he announced, with apparent
indifference, that he should have to say good-bye to them all at
Clayton, as he feared, from the news he had received the previous day,
that he should not be able to rejoin them at Quebec, as he had hoped
to do. May thought that Kate looked somewhat startled, but she said
little, and they parted with cool civility. And as they left him
behind, with a sense of something unsatisfactory about it, Mr.
Winthrop seemed to have left more of a blank in the little party than
might have been expected from his short stay among them. Hugh missed
his clear-cut criticism and incisive talk. May felt as if she ought to
be glad that this rival of Hugh's--as she regarded him--was out of the
way, and yet she was conscious of a feeling of regret that surprised
herself. For, after all, undoubtedly Mr. Winthrop had been very
pleasant and courteous, and it certainly was not _his_ fault that he
had not had the honor of rescuing Kate. And now they were fairly
embarked on the steamer, which turned out to be their old friend, the
_Corsican_, and were soon rapidly losing sight of the charming
"Admiralty Group,"--the fairyland amid which she had, for the past ten
days, enjoyed so delightful a resting-place.



CHAPTER IV

THE RIVER OF HOCHELAGA.


It was about three hours before the _Corsican_ emerged from the last
labyrinth of foliage-clad, pine-crested islands, and came in sight of
the little town of Brockville. The banks of the river, as they
approached, varying from a high table-land to a low, rocky shore, were
lined with summer cottages, where holiday makers were evidently
enjoying themselves with a prodigality of hunting and an ample supply
of skiffs. Here and there, they came upon a little flotilla of boats,
setting out for an all-day excursion, whose passengers waved their
hats and cheered, as if they had been the first Indians who beheld the
white man's "winged canoes." A ferry boat was busily plying up and
down, embarking and disembarking passengers at the little piers that
fringed the shore, and an air of holiday brightness seemed to pervade
the scene. There was a short stoppage at Brockville, and then the
_Corsican_ was off again, and the last of the "Thousand Islands" were
soon left far behind.

It was a still, soft, dreamy August day, and the sail down the calm,
broad stretch succeeding was almost sleepy in its tranquillity.
Prescott and its neighboring windmill elicited some historic
reminiscences from Mrs. Sandford concerning the time when poor rash
Von Schultz held his extemporized fortress against an unequal force,
only to be overpowered at last, and to expiate his reckless credulity
on a scaffold at Fort Henry, which they had so recently seen.

Then there were the _Galops_ Rapids, and a little later the small
Rapid Du Plat, and then the historic associations of Chrysler's Farm.
Afterwards the steamer began to heave and plunge as the snowy crests
of the great white coursers of the _Long Sault_ gleamed before them,
rising like ocean breakers to meet the gallant vessel, which plunged
in upon them with almost conscious pride, and rode triumphantly over
them with an exultant swaying movement, more like the bounding of a
spirited steed than of a piece of inanimate matter. Hugh was delighted
beyond expression, and so were May and Flora. It was even grander than
either had anticipated, and both breathed a deep sigh of regret when
the last buoyant leap was over, and the steamer floated, with her
ordinary motion, into the calm expanse in front of the town of
Cornwall. And now there were blue hills to be seen on the horizon to
their right, as they passed down the quiet sweep of river, with a few
green islands dotting the channel, on which they could catch, here and
there, glimpses of summer cottages and camping parties that reminded
them of the "Thousand Islands," though with a considerable difference,
for here was nothing like the same scope for boating or variety of
scenery as in that enchanted region. Then there was the long, sleepy
afternoon sail across the wide Lake St. Francis, during which Mrs.
Sandford retired to her state-room to make up for her lost morning
slumber, and the three girls drowsed over the books they were
professing to read. May had brought out her cherished copy of "The
Chance Acquaintance," which she had with her, but had kept in reserve
till now, that she might revive her recollections of its fascinating
pictures, and enjoy in advance the grey old city, which she had
already seen so often in imagination; and was now, at length, to
behold with her bodily eyes. As she dropped the book at last, overcome
by the sleepy influence of the afternoon, Hugh took it up, and had
become much interested in its fascinating pages, when the whistle of
the steamer, on arriving at Coteau Du Lac, startled the girls out of
their nap, and woke them up, laughing over the oblivion which had
swallowed up the last two hours. The little French village of "The
Coteau," with its long pier, and the little brown houses and big
church, gave the travellers a first glimpse into French Canada, quite
in keeping with the spirit of the little book; and the succeeding
scenery, growing every moment more picturesque, was to May idealized
with a touch of poetry reflected from Mr. Howells' charming little
romance. After leaving the Coteau village, they passed the short
Coteau Rapids, and then the drowsy old village of Beauharnois, with a
pastoral landscape of green uplands and bowery orchards behind
it,--after which they saw before them, beneath a richly wooded shore, a
glittering stretch of interwoven blue and silver. And soon the steamer
began to pitch herself forward, as she was swiftly hurried down the
rapid incline, past cedar-covered points and islets,--so swiftly that
it seemed as if they could scarcely take in the striking beauty of the
scene till it had been left behind and the rapid was past. And thus in
quick succession they passed "The Cascades" with its white breakers
glittering in the sun, and the "Split Rock" with its great black
jagged boulders, past which they flew like a flash; after which, as
the afternoon sunshine began to slant softly on the water, they glided
out on the great placid reach of Lake St. Louis. The distant blue
range of the Adirondacks had remained on their right for a
considerable portion of their way, but now, before them, rose the
soft, cloud-like vision,--apparently triple in its conformation, which
Kate announced was Cartier's "Mont Royal," at the feet of which lay
the city of Montreal. It held their eyes with a spell of fascination
as they crossed the lake, growing more and more distinct until they
could distinguish its various divisions and the masses of woodland
that clothed it, and even the large buildings which here and there
gleamed out from its darker mass.

And now they were passing the Indian village of Caughnawaga, with its
long line of little French-looking houses fringing the shore, while on
their left lay Lachine, with the glorious green mountain--a mass of
verdure from top to bottom, rising behind the straggling white
village, flanked by its grey stone church and _Presbytère_, while the
western sun shed a flood of golden glory over the shining lake. Then
came the descent of the Lachine Rapids, the most exciting of all, and
the three travellers who saw it for the first time, held their breath
as the steamer rushed on, within a hair-breadth, as it seemed, of
striking the jagged rocks, that raised their rough black heads above
the white breakers. There was not the mass and the thunder of water of
the Long Sault, nor the silvery beauty and rush of the Cedars and
Cascades, but the black rocks and ledges that seemed lying in wait,
like black monsters, to crush the vessel between their cruel teeth,
recalled to Hugh the old fable of Scylla and Charybdis. It was grandly
exciting to see the steamer, like a living thing, dart shuddering by
them, and rush at headlong speed through the boiling surges, with the
long wooded stretch of Nun's Island nestling, as it seemed, amid the
tossing waves, while the long spans of the Lachine and Victoria
bridges loomed up in front of them, and the bold mountain summits of
Bel[oe]il and Boucherville assumed exquisite violet hues under the magic
touch of the rapidly setting sun, which also lighted up the massive
city before them. There was hardly time to take in the full beauty of
the _coup d'[oe]il_ before the steamer was under Victoria Bridge, the
height of which they could not realize till they saw that the tall
masts could pass under it without being lowered. Presently they were
in the Canal Basin, amid what seemed a forest of masts and shipping,
and May, to her delight, could distinguish the great black hulls of
some ocean steamers lying in port. The long lines of massive grey
store-houses and docks also much impressed her unaccustomed eye; but
these were soon left behind as they drove rapidly up to the Windsor
Hotel, where they were to spend the next day. They were all hungry
enough, after their long afternoon in the open air, to enjoy heartily
the late dinner in the spacious dining-room of the Windsor, with its
glittering lights, its long rows of tables and lively groups of
guests. After dinner, the girls wandered through the long corridors
and sumptuous drawing-rooms, till May, at least, who had never been in
so large a hotel in her life, was quite bewildered by all the
grandeur. Then they sat on a balcony looking out on the long twinkling
ranks of electric lights, contrasting with the silvery radiance of the
moonlight, while Kate described to them vividly the glories of a
winter carnival she had seen, and the pure white, translucent beauty
of the wondrous Ice Palace which had silently risen in the Square
before them, and had afterwards, as it seemed, dissolved like a dream,
under the gentle touch of approaching spring.

Next morning they were all assembled at breakfast so early that they
had the dining-hall pretty much to themselves. A carriage had been
ordered for nine o'clock, as they did not wish to lose any of the
bright morning, and they drove for some hours--first, through the
old-fashioned French streets, past Notre Dame and the old Gray Nunnery
and the Bonsecours market, and the point where the first settlement of
Ville Marie was inaugurated, as Parkman has so graphically described
it. They looked at the old Bonsecours church, which recalled to Hugh
and Flora similar old churches in Normandy, then drove up St. Denis
street, past Our Lady of Lourdes and the other ecclesiastical
buildings which cluster around it, and finished their morning with a
glimpse at the pretty Art Gallery.

After luncheon they again set off, and drove along Sherbrooke Street
and through McGill College grounds, inspecting its groups of fine
buildings, and through the bosky avenues that run upward to "the
mountain," and then up to "the mountain" itself, enjoying the
magnificent views, from the Mountain Park drive, of plain and river
and distant hills, quite as much as did Champlain, who could not see,
even in a vision, the stately city that now replaces the Indian
wigwams and maize-fields, which then bore the name of Hochelaga. They
ascended to the very brow of the noble hill, taking in, as they went,
the whole sweep of view, from the winding course towards Quebec on the
left, to the extreme right, where they could catch a glimpse of the
Lachine Rapids, flashing white in the sunshine.

The day passed only too swiftly in this pleasant sight-seeing, and
they had to be at their hotel for a six o'clock dinner, in order to be
ready to leave for Quebec at seven. When at last they drove off, Kate
gave the order, "to the Quebec boat!" May heaved a deep sigh of
pleasure. It seemed as if her cup was now indeed full.

They found the large double-decked steamer filling up rapidly with
parties of tourists, some of them evidently--from their piles of
luggage--_en route_ for Murray Bay, or Métis, or some other
watering-place on the Gulf. Quebec was to them an everyday affair, and
they talked of it in a careless and cursory fashion which to May, with
her enthusiastic veneration for its associations, seemed little less
than sacrilege.

As they passed down the smooth winding river, while the twilight was
falling, silvered by the brightening moon, Flora began to talk of Mr.
Winthrop, and to express her regret at his inability to come on with
them. "It was too bad," she added, "that Hugh forestalled him, in
going to Kate's rescue, was it not? I'm afraid he will hardly forgive
Hugh in a hurry."

"But Hugh couldn't have waited for him," said May.

"What are you two talking about?" asked Kate, whose ear had been
caught by the words, while talking to her aunt and Hugh.

"Oh, we were only talking about poor Mr. Winthrop," replied Flora,
"and his vexation with Hugh for getting before him in rescuing you."

"Why should he have _let_ Hugh get before him, then?" she asked.

Hugh looked up with a half-puzzled air; then it seemed as if something
had dawned upon him--previously unthought of--and, in a few explicit
words, he explained the whole situation, doing ample justice to Mr.
Winthrop. Kate listened attentively, and though she was very quiet all
the rest of the evening, May fancied that her face was cleared of a
shadow that had clouded it before. She took up May's "Chance
Acquaintance" and soon became absorbed in it,--not laying it down till
she had rushed through it to the last page.

"Wasn't it too bad," said Flora, "that Kitty sent off Mr. Arbuton like
that?"

"_I_ think it was too bad that Mr. Arbuton didn't _come back_,"
retorted Kate. "If he only had done _that_, a few days after, Kitty
would have forgiven him and he could have made a fresh start."

"I feel sure that he _did_, in the end," asserted May, dogmatically.
"I mean to write a sequel to it some day!" and then they all went off
to their berths.

The three girls were up almost by daylight in the morning, watching
the brightening sunshine flush the red rock of Cap Rouge, and then the
gradual unfolding of the river panoramas as they passed headland after
headland, each opening a fair, new vista beyond. Soon a glittering
church steeple gleamed out from the southern shore, rising
protectingly over white villages nestling at their feet. Curving
recesses of the wooded bank, outlined by one long, picturesque French
village street, followed the bend of the shore to the left. "That is
Sillery," said Kate, in reply to May's eager enquiries.

"Oh," said May, "that is the place where the old Jesuit residence
was,--that Kitty and Mr. Arbuton went to see."

After the point of Sillery was rounded, there rose, at last, before
their delighted eyes, the historic grey rock of Quebec, with its
mural-crowned rampart and bastions, and the houses and convents and
great churches of the old city climbing up its sides or rambling along
the plateau at its foot.

"Oh, that is the citadel!" exclaimed May, breathless with delight.

"And that is Dufferin Terrace, with the straight line of railing and
the little pavilions," explained Kate, while the grim old grey houses
above them recalled to Hugh and Flora memories of the old French towns
they had seen abroad. As soon as they could disengage themselves from
the bustle and confusion of the crowded quay, Kate, who had declared
that a _calèche_ was as much "the thing" in Quebec as a gondola in
Venice, signalled to two _calèche_ drivers, and the junior members of
the party were soon perched on their high seats, while Mrs. Sandford
and the luggage went up more comfortably in a commonplace cab. As they
rattled over the rough pavements and through the tortuous narrow
streets, which--as Kate remarked to Flora--"are just like Europe, I'm
sure," they drove up Mountain Hill, passing the spot where Prescott
Gate used to be of old, and catching a glimpse of the Basilica, or
cathedral, _en route_. They clattered rapidly over the hard paved
streets of the upper town, and drove, to May's delight, through a
massive old gate with deep, round arches, which the smiling driver
announced as "Porte St. Jean." Just outside it they passed a little
French marketplace, and then, after passing one or two crowded
streets, they were finally set down in front of a tall, three-story
stone house with a red door.

The travelers were, of course, expected, and received with kind
courtesy by their hostess, Mrs. Dale, who took them at once up two
flights of stairs. "If they _are_ high, they have the better view,"
she said, smiling. And so they had. The girls broke out into
exclamations of delight, as they gazed from the old-fashioned open
windows. In front they looked across streets and houses to the
_glacis_ of the Citadel, crowned by its line of ramparts, and could
follow, for some distance, the city wall without. The back window
commanded a glorious picture. Across a dusky mass of brown,
steep-roofed houses, only half lighted up yet by the morning sun, they
looked out on a green, undulating champaign country, flecked with
patches of deep green woodland, and little white villages clustering
here and there round their great church spires; while, for background,
rose a grand range of hills, stretching far away in interminable blue
vista--all grey and violet in shadow and silvery blue in the sunlight,
as the morning mists drifted away, and a wandering sunbeam caught and
glorified a tiny white hamlet nestling in the folds of a wooded hill.
Just where the sunbeams straggled away into the green country a silver
stream wound glittering in the sun, making a bright loop round a
point, on which, amid some trees, stood a large stone building.

"That is the St. Charles, you know," explained Kate, "and there, where
you see it twisted like a silver loop, is the place where stood the
first mission house of the Recollets, and the Jesuits afterwards."

"Oh!" said May quickly, "I know! Notre Dame des Anges, was it not? So
_that_ was the place where they had their thatched log cabin and where
they used to be half frozen in winter, when they were trying to learn
the Indian language from their interpreter, while their biggest wood
fires could not keep them warm, or their ink from freezing!"

"And, just a little farther down is the place where they suppose
Jacques Cartier laid up his ships, when he first came; as you were
reading to us the other day, Hugh."

"Ah, and so that is the place where they went through so much
suffering, that terrible winter, when the ships and masts and rigging
were all cased in ice, like ghostly ships at the North Pole, and when
the cold and the scurvy were killing them off so fast, that it seemed
as if none of them would be left to see the spring. How they must have
welcomed its coming at last!"

Then Kate pointed out the green, low-lying meadow beyond the St.
Charles, called _La Canardière_, because wild ducks used there to
abound, and their eyes followed the long white line of the village of
Beauport, running between the grand Laurentian hills and the green
slopes that edged the blue St. Lawrence, studded with white sails, and
winding away between the Island of Orleans and the northern shore;
while, far down the high river bank, they could just distinguish the
dark purple cleft of the Montmorency Falls. But they were presently
reminded that breakfast was waiting, and, after their early start they
were quite ready thoroughly to enjoy the fresh rolls and eggs and
delicious raspberries and cream, while they planned their day's
sight-seeing, so as to accomplish the utmost that could be done in the
hours before them.

They determined first of all to scale the Citadel, taking Dufferin
Terrace on their way. They went round by the new Parliament buildings,
entering the city by the St. Louis gate, with its new Norman towers
and embrasures. Kate, to whom the place was familiar of old, grew
indignant over the ravages made in the solid old fortifications just
outside the walls, and thought the fine new Parliament buildings did
not by any means make up for it. "One could see new buildings any day,
but that wasn't what one came to Quebec for," she remarked. They
passed by the Esplanade and the winding ascent to the Citadel, and the
sedate old-fashioned houses of St. Louis Street, and the little
steep-roofed wooden cottage near the hotel, now a saloon, where once
lay the body of the brave Montcalm. Presently they came to the "Ring,"
as the old _Place d'Armes_ is often called--the scene, as May reminded
them, of so many interesting events in the old French _régime_.

"For there, you know," she said, "the gate of the old Chateau St.
Louis fronted the square, and here there used to be state receptions
of the Indians, when treaties were concluded; and here, too, they let
the poor Hurons build a fort when they had been almost exterminated by
the Iroquois."

Hugh was much interested, as they passed on, in the sight of the old
Chateau near the shady walks of the Governor's Gardens, and in the
monument erected to the joint memory of the two brave heroes, Wolfe
and Montcalm. And then they came out on the long promenade, now known
as Dufferin Terrace, and stopped to take in the magnificent panorama,
the wide river, with the picturesque heights of Lévis immediately
opposite, and the crowded shipping below; and then, immediately
beneath them, they looked down into the depths of the Lower Town at
their feet, in which May was eager to discover the site of the old
"_Abitation_" of Champlain.

"I think it was just about where the Champlain Market is now," Kate
replied--"that open space with all the market-carts of the _habitans_,
and all the people doing their marketing."

Then they gazed down into the narrow alleys of Little Champlain
Street, with the tall, grimy houses that rose up just below them,
which, as Flora said, reminded her so much of some of the old "wynds"
of Edinburgh; and were shown the little old church, "_Notre Dame des
Victoires_," which played so important a part in the early history of
Quebec. May could have remained all day dreaming over these old
historic associations, nor did Hugh Macnab seem much inclined to tear
himself away from the fascinating scene. But Kate was determined to
keep them up to "schedule time," and she and her watch were
relentless, so they reluctantly tore themselves away, being promised a
still finer view from above, and mounted a long steep stair rising
from the end of the Terrace. They could not resist the temptation of
looking around from time to time as the view widened at every step,
till at last, drawing a deep breath, they stood at the top of the
_glacis_ and gazed at the superb view around them, the closely built
Lower Town, the forest of shipping, the steamboats darting to and fro,
the opposite heights, fringed with steep-roofed, balconied houses and
sprinkled with distant white villages creeping up their receding
sides, and large, stately convents peeping out of clustered and
embosoming trees; while just beneath their feet a black ocean steamer
was getting up her steam to sail away down the great river to the sea.

Walking back along the _glacis_, they reached the winding ascent to
the Citadel, which they followed, between its high stone-faced banks,
till they reached the ancient, curiously-woven chain gates, said to be
impregnable, and leading into the wide green ditch. Then they passed
through the massive portals of Dalhousie Gate, with its guardrooms and
casemates built into the solid walls on either side, where the
warlike-looking sentries politely saluted the ladies and put them
under the charge of a soldier guide. He led them first across the wide
court-yard to the King's Bastion by the flagstaff, from whence they
could feast their eyes on such a view as May, at least, had never seen
before. All about them lay the city, mapped out with its walls and
ramparts, its church towers and steeples; at their feet, far below
them, the Terrace on which they had been recently standing; and below
that again, the grim old town, the docks and shipping and flitting
boats diminished to the size of playthings; then the green heights
opposite, and the bold blue outline of the Isle of Orleans, and the
calm broad river stealing silently away through the vista of distant
hills. It seemed like a dream that held them in its spell, till the
French soldier, to whom the view was an every-day affair, shrugged his
shoulders and said, "_allons_."

They continued their walk past the Officers' Quarters, in one of which
was the Governor General's summer residence;--past the magazine and
stables, where many little dogs were playing about, and came out at
last on what they thought the most glorious view of all,--that from the
Prince's Bastion, so called, because a Prince's feather, carved in
stone on the wall, marks the spot where the Prince of Wales once laid
his hand when visiting Quebec. From it they could see, far away to the
south, rank after rank of distant blue hills, some of them in Maine
and Vermont. To westward they could follow the river till it was
hidden behind a green projecting point which shut in the Bay of
Sillery, while away to the west and north stretched a long succession
of blue hills, with white villages gleaming among their wooded sides,
amidst which, too, they could trace the silvery ribbon of the St.
Charles, winding its way down out of the shadowy recesses of the
distant mountains.

The travellers found no words adequate to express the delight awakened
by the glorious picture, and gazed on in silence, while light mists
floated away from the summits of the hills, and sudden glints of
sunshine gave them an added touch of glorious beauty.

But they could not stay there all day, and all too soon they turned
away from the beautiful picture, which they would often hereafter see
before the inner eye; and returned along the walls, past little piles
of cannon balls and gun-mounted embrasures, till they came down again
into the court-yard and the wide, green ditch, on the slope of which
sleek cows were peacefully grazing, close to the now harmless guns.

Whither should they go next? They would just have time, Kate said, to
take in the Basilica and the Ursuline convent before luncheon.
Thither, accordingly, they went, meeting long-robed ecclesiastics and
bright-eyed academy boys in their trim gray uniforms;--pretty French
nurse-maids and British orderlies, hurrying along laden with packages
of official papers, all just as it had been described in "A Chance
Acquaintance." The Basilica, or great French Cathedral, they found
rather disappointing within, for the impression of massiveness made by
the exterior seemed incongruous with the gaudy white and gold of the
interior decorations.

"It seems rather out of keeping," said Hugh, a little discontentedly,
"with what one reads of its history, in those stormy old times, when
the French colonists used to come here to pray for deliverance from
Iroquois raids, or to offer up thanksgiving for some timely succor."

"But you know, it has been rebuilt more than once since those old
times," said Kate; and May tried to recall in imagination the great
bare-raftered building of those old days, and found much satisfaction
in the high porcelain stoves at the entrance, which gave a "foreign
look" to the building at once.

To the Ursuline chapel they went next, and, after application made at
a grated window of the convent, a tranquil-faced nun opened the great
door, and they passed into the quiet little chapel, so dainty in all
its arrangements, and looked at the great picture, by Champlain, of
Christ at the house of Simon, the Pharisee,--at the tablet to the
memory of Montcalm, whose skull is still preserved there;--and then,
with still more interest at the tiny jet of flame in the glass
chandelier, kept alight, for a hundred and fifty years, in memory of a
young French girl who took the veil all those years ago, and whose
brothers made provision to preserve in perpetuity this touching
tribute to her memory. But the rosy-faced, contented looking s[oe]ur, who
acted as guide, would by no means let them pass out without special
attention to the elaborate flower painting on velvet which adorned the
altar, and testified at least to the skill and industry of the present
nuns.

Just as they came out, Kate had an unexpected _rencontre_ with an old
school-mate visiting Quebec on her wedding tour. As they were about to
part,--after a hundred rapid questions and answers had been
exchanged,--Kate's friend exclaimed:

"And where do you think I am boarding? At the very house where Kitty
in 'A Chance Acquaintance,' stayed; and if you will just come with me
you shall look from the very window of Kitty's room and see the view
of which the book gives such a lively description."

May was enchanted, and the girls were soon looking into the garden of
the Ursuline convent from the window at which her favorite heroine was
supposed to have stood, looking down at the shady walks below. Kate
and Flora declared that it did not look quite so poetical as in Mr.
Howell's pages, but May would not entertain the idea of
disappointment, and tried to see all Kitty saw, though encroaching
buildings have a good deal spoiled the quaint old garden, amid whose
lilacs and tall hollyhocks that young lady used, on moonlight nights,
to evolve the shades of Madame de la Peltrie and the first heroic
tenants of the convent.

After the morning's adventures the early dinner was very welcome, as
well as a little rest, with the view from their fascinating windows
before them; after which they strolled along the Grand Battery and
quiet Esplanade, and penetrated into the quaintly picturesque grounds
of the Artillery Barracks, and looked from the weather-beaten old
arsenal on the wall, at the beautiful glimpse, across docks and grimy
old suburbs, of the fair green valley of the St. Charles, with
Charlesbourg opposite, sitting royally on her hilltops.

"And, beyond it, you know," said May, mixing up fact and fiction, "are
the ruins of the old Chateau Bigot, where the wicked Intendant had his
pleasure-parties and carousals, and where Kitty and Mr. Arbuton went
for a picnic,--don't you recollect?"

They did not find time to go to see it, however, but explored the city
pretty thoroughly, finding in the name of every street a bit of
crystallized history, recalling some name or incident connected with
its past. There was Donnacona Street,--recalling the kidnapped Indian
chief, and Breboeuf Street, reminding them of the two heroic Jesuit
martyrs,--and Buade Street, associated with the haughty and energetic
Governor, Louis Buade de Frontenac, under whom the French _régime_ saw
its proudest days. They walked along the ramparts as far as the new
"improvements," then in progress, would let them and sighed over the
ruthless demolition of the old gates--Prescott Gate and Palace Gate,
and the picturesque old Hope Gate, so graphically described by Mr.
Howells, and even over the renovation of the others, which had lost
all their historic interest. They spent some hours in diving into the
recesses of the old town, its marketplace and churches and curious old
alleys, dignified by the name of streets, and walked along the Saulx
Aux Matelots, trying to fix the very place where Arnold fell, on that
miserable December morning of 1775; and looked long at the "Golden
Dog"--_Chien d'or_--above the Post Office, whereby hangs a tragic tale.
And they had a quiet Sunday for resting, with those lovely glimpses of
distant hills meeting their eyes wherever they turned; and attended a
service in the quaint old-fashioned English Cathedral, which, with the
equally old-fashioned Scottish church and Manse, have such a quaint
old-world air, like everything else in Quebec.

But of course they drove to Montmorency Falls, devoting to it a whole
delightful afternoon. Their course lay across Dorchester Bridge, and
then between meadows of emerald green, stretching down to the river
and fringed with graceful elms and beeches, with pretty old-fashioned
country houses here and there, which the girls of course called
_chateaux_, and then down the long village street of Beauport,--the
steep-roofed little houses in bright variety of color succeeding each
other for several miles, with their long garden-like strips of farm
extending down to the river on one side, and upwards towards the hills
on the other. Bright flowers grew in front of the windows, and trim,
dark-eyed French girls sat at the doors and on the little balconies,
sewing or knitting away busily, while they chattered in their native
tongue. In the middle of the village stood the great stone church,
with its bright tin-covered steeples, seen ever so many miles off.

After passing Beauport the scenery grew wilder, and soon they rattled
over a wooden bridge, below which the foaming Montmorency brawled over
the brown rocks, at this late season partially dry. A little farther
on stood the inn, where carriages wait, and they had only to pass
through a gate and walk along the high river bank to the dizzy stair
down the cliff, from whence they could see to the best advantage the
beautiful fall, plunging in one avalanche of foam from the giddy
height above, crowned by deep green woods that contrasted strongly
with the glittering sheet of foam and spray, while a few beautiful
little outlying cascades trickled over the dark brown rock in braided
threads of silver.

"How delightful it would be," said May and Flora together, "to stay a
whole month at that little inn, and come every day to sit here; and
look and look, till one was satisfied!" And the others sighed
regretfully as the fast descending sun warned them that it was time to
return to the inn where they had left the carriage, and drive home
past the bright little gardens and picturesque cottages of
Beauport--brighter in the slanting rays of the evening sun,--and
rejoiced in the golden glory which the sunset threw over the tin roofs
of Quebec, glittering with an intense golden radiance out of the grey
setting of rock and misty distance.

But May thought their morning at Sillery the climax of all the
delights of Quebec. They went by one of the steamboats which are
always darting up and down the river, so that from its deck, they had
another fine view of the quaint grey town rising, tier above tier, to
the Terrace above, where the people looked like Lilliputian figures
out of a doll's house. Then they steamed slowly past the crowded
docks, the great black steamships and stately sailing vessels, some of
them bearing strange Swedish or Norwegian names,--past the root of Cape
Diamond, crowned by the Citadel, on the rocky side of which they could
distinctly read the inscription: "Here Montgomery Fell;" past the long
street of French houses that lines the shore below the plains; past
fine wooded heights with stately white country houses gleaming through
the deep green foliage; till, on turning a point of the leafy cliff,
they saw before them the curve of Sillery Bay, with its fringe of many
colored cottages and yellow rafts and lumber piles; while opposite,
the great stone church with its gleaming steeple towered over the
flourishing village of New Liverpool. Stepping out upon the wooden
pier, the travellers walked on past the anchored rafts on which men
were busy squaring timber with practised strokes, and up to where the
gracefully curving village street began. And there May had a
delightful surprise. A dilapidated weather-worn old cottage stood
before them, and above it, from an overhanging elm, hung a board on
which they read the inscription: "_Emplacement du convent des
Religieuses Hospitalières_."

"There!" exclaimed May, "that is the place where the nuns of the Hotel
Dieu lived when they first arrived with Madame de la Peltrie, before
they could make up their minds to build on the rough rocky site they
gave to them in Quebec." They all stood for a little while, looking at
the shabby old cottage, trying to imagine what that first Canadian
hospital looked like; and then they walked up the quaint old-fashioned
street, with its gambrel-roofed houses, each having its gay little
flower-garden in front, till they came to a gray stuccoed, two-story
house, standing a little way back from the street, with a square
enclosure just opposite, in which stood a plain white monument.

"There it is!" May exclaimed, with breathless delight; "the old Jesuit
residence! And that square opposite is the place where their little
church stood, just as it was all described."

They opened the stiff gate with some difficulty, and walked into the
little enclosure, where they read the inscription in French and
English,--one commemorating the rude little church where the Jesuits
and their Algonquin converts had worshipped, about two hundred and
fifty years ago; and the other dedicated to the memory of the first
missionary who died there--Père Enemond Massé--the Père utile, as he was
called, because he could do anything, from saying mass to
ship-building, or even tending the pigs of the establishment, thinking
nothing beneath him that needed to be done, and being such a favorite
with all that he was always chosen to accompany their expeditions as
Father Confessor. Most of this May was able to tell the rest of the
party, as they stood beneath the two maples that shaded the enclosure.

Then they took a look at the outside of the old residence, which,
however, has been renewed more than once since the substantial inner
framework was built, and tried to imagine the strange solitary life
that its inmates must have lived, especially in bitter winter weather,
shut out from all society, except that of a few Algonquins and
trappers.

That afternoon was their last in Quebec. They drove in from Sillery by
the pretty St. Louis road, fringed with shady country seats, and
commanding, at many points, glorious glimpses of the grand mountain
panorama on both sides of the city. As they passed the "Plains of
Abraham" they stopped once more to look at the rather forlorn-looking
monument which commemorates Wolfe's death, and the victory for Great
Britain, which secured half a continent; and tried to trace the lines
of advance up the rugged cliffs by which the hero had surprised the
unsuspecting French. This was, appropriately enough, their last
sight-seeing in Quebec, and the evening following was spent on
Dufferin Terrace watching the exquisite sunset tints melt away from
the river and the distant hills, with a pathetic touch which seemed to
them like the memories they would always cherish of the romantic old
town.



CHAPTER V

AMONG THE HILLS.


As the little party went on board the Saguenay boat next morning, a
surprise was in store for them, for who should come to meet them, with
the most smiling air, but Mr. Winthrop himself, looking very bright,
and meeting them all as if it had been the most matter-of-course thing
in the world! Kate met him with the same cordial, matter-of-course
air, but May observed that they exchanged a few words in a low tone,
which seemed to set them on their old footing at once.

"Do you know," said Flora, to her, as they stood apart in the stern,
taking a last look at the great frowning rock and the tall, dark
houses looming above them,--"I believe some one wrote to him and
explained Kate's misconception, and I have my suspicions as to who it
was. I saw Hugh scribbling off a few lines in a great hurry, that
evening on the boat, and I shouldn't wonder in the least if it was to
Mr. Winthrop! But I'm glad it's all right, for I think he is a very
nice fellow, and Kate and he would suit each other very well."

May was completely taken back. Had Flora no thought of Hugh, then? Or
did it not occur to her that _his_ happiness might be in some degree
involved in this matter? But if Hugh really did what she supposed, how
very noble it was of him! He was a real hero, a chivalrous knight!
However, she could not, of course, say anything of this to Flora, so
she silently determined to put Hugh and his fortunes quite out of her
thoughts for the present, as too perplexing a problem, and give
herself up entirely to the influence of the glorious scenery and the
lovely morning.

They were, by this time, fast losing sight of the grey old fortress
about which had raged so many fierce conflicts in the days of old. The
Isle of Orleans, along whose southern shore the steamer took her
course, quickly hid from them the picturesque old town and its
beautiful setting, and even the rocky cleft in which Montmorency was
ceaselessly pouring down its masses of snowy foam, and raising its
great mist-cloud to the sky. As the Isle of Orleans was itself left
behind, the glorious river grew wider and grander, as point after
point opened before them in ever-receding vista. The blue, cloud-like
masses of Cap Tourmente and Ste. Anne gradually became great dark
hills, covered from head to foot with a dense growth of foliage,
chiefly birch and fir. One after another of this magnificent range of
superb hills rose on their left, wooded from base to summit, and
looking almost as lonely and untouched by civilization as when
Cartier's "white-winged canoes" first ascended the "great river of
Hochelaga." Here and there a white village or two gleamed out from the
encompassing verdure, or stood perched on a hill-top beside its
protecting church. To May, who had so often dreamed over the voyages
of these early explorers, it seemed like an enchanted land. The Isle
of Orleans was to her the old "_Ile de Bacchus_," purple with the
festoons of wild vines that offered their clusters of grapes to the
French adventurers, and the beautiful Ile aux Coudres, which the
Captain pointed out, she recalled as in like manner an old
acquaintance, surveying it with much interest, as she pictured to
herself the hardy explorers regaling themselves on its native
filberts.

Then the noble bay of St. Paul's opened out its grand spreading curve,
with the pretty village of Les Eboulements nestling in its breast; and
by and by they had stopped at the massive light-house with its high
pier, intended to suit the variations of the tide.

"What a lonely life it must be in these solitudes!" observed Mr.
Winthrop, as they watched the great lumbering ferry-boat carrying off
the passengers whose homes lay among these hills;--"just think of the
contrast between life here and life in the crowded bustle of New
York."

"And yet," said Hugh, "I fancy life is, in the main, not so very
different here, if we could only see below the surface. I suppose the
main outlines of life are pretty much the same everywhere, after all!"

May had been inwardly following out the same thought, and trying to
imagine the sort of life and surroundings to which the pale girl in
gray, who had specially excited her interest as a supposed bride, was
going in her future home. Then the voyagers dreamily watched for some
time in silence the long silent procession of wooded hills, dappled by
the shadow of the great fleecy white clouds that swept up across the
blue sky, while, ever and anon, snowy sea-gulls darted down to catch
from the tossing crests of the sparkling waves, the fragments of food
thrown to them by passengers, seeming to spy it unerringly from afar,
and now and then white whales or porpoises would toss up a miniature
geyser, as they disported themselves in the azure tide.

At length they came in sight of the headland forming the upper end of
picturesque Murray Bay, where they were to spend some time on their
return from the Saguenay. They all admired the lovely vista opened up
by this long and narrow bay with its white church, marking the village
from afar, with its grand promontory of Cap à l'Aigle at its lower
extremity, and its green valley, hemmed in by rank after rank of
billowy blue hills. But they could not see much of the long straggling
village of Pointe-au-Pic, or the quaint foreign-looking French hamlet
in the centre of the curve of the bay. Indeed, their attention was
quickly diverted from examining its details, for, among the people who
stood on the high pier awaiting the steamboat, they speedily
recognized Jack and Nellie Armstrong, who greeted them with much
delight, and were soon beside them on the steamer's deck.

"You see we got here in advance of you," said Jack Armstrong, and
Nellie exclaimed: "We've been wondering what could possibly have
become of you. We have been watching the last two boats, prepared to
join you if you were there, and were beginning to despair of you
altogether. You must have been bewitched, either by Quebec or the
Thousand Islands, to have been so long on the way."

"And you have very nearly missed the moon," added Jack. "We've been
watching it for the last two or three evenings in fear and trembling
lest Miss Macnab and Miss Thorburn should miss their cherished desire
of seeing Cape Eternity by moonlight."

"Oh, I think there is enough of it left yet," said Kate, while Mrs.
Sandford remarked that she thought she never should have been able to
tear those people away from the delights of the Thousand Islands.

"Or from Quebec," said Flora and May together. "_That_ was almost the
loveliest of all."

"Ah, I told you you would enjoy Quebec, Miss Macnab!" said Jack
Armstrong. And presently May observed that he had drawn Flora a little
aside, and engaged her in an animated description of what she had most
enjoyed since they had left Port Hope. And, indeed, she was looking
charming enough, in her Inverness cape and deerstalker cap, to draw
forth a good deal of admiration, May thought. As for Kate, in her
rough ulster and cap to match, with her color heightened by the sharp
sea breeze, she was looking brilliantly handsome, so evidently thought
Mr. Winthrop, who kept near her, displacing Hugh altogether, as May at
last believed. But now they were nearly opposite Les Pèlerins, the
strange parallel rocks that stand, silent, stately warders beside the
great river, widening into a broad sea-like expanse, with a line of
distant hills faintly breaking the horizon to the right, while on the
left, the great hills which had been accompanying them all day now
receded somewhat into the distance. Then the little red brick town of
Rivière-du-Loup gleamed out ruddy on its sloping hill, growing more
and more distinct until the steamer had drawn up beside the high pier,
on which were a number of summer tourists eager to see who were on the
boat, or to get a little fresh news from the outside world. Bidding
these farewell, they quickly passed the long, straggling line of white
cottages that marked the pleasant watering-place of Cacouna. Our
travelers meant to visit it, and also Rivière-du-Loup, with its grand,
romantic waterfall, on the homeward way, but at present their thoughts
were engrossed with the Saguenay, and May's dreaming imagination was
already busy with the blue ridge of rounded hills that, as she was
told, marked the entrance and the course of that mysterious river.
But, as they crossed over towards the south side of the sea-like
river, they had a specimen of the glorious sunsets which form one of
the chief charms of Cacouna, shedding over the calm expanse of water a
flood of golden glory, and touching the distant hills with the richest
amethystine hues, till they seemed to float in a dreamy haze, between
the amber sky and the shimmering golden tide below. The sight held the
little party fascinated with its entrancing spell, and they remained
on deck heedless of the summons of the clamorous tea-bell, until the
rich hues and the golden glory had faded at last, not into the "light
of common day," but into the soft vagueness of the long northern
twilight. Then at last, with a sigh for the brief duration of the
beautiful vision, they descended to the lamp-lit cabin to enjoy the
appetizing evening meal, which their long afternoon in the bracing air
had made them all ready to thoroughly enjoy.

When they again came on deck they were just passing some straggling
islets, darkly green in the fast fading light, and rounding Pointe
Noire,--the fitly-named dark point of rock that guards the entrance to
the strange mysterious dark northern fiord about which have gathered
so many a marvelous story. And now May was eagerly looking out for
Tadousac, with her heroine Kitty, and the venerable old church and all
the little romance that followed, uppermost in her imagination. Then
those rounded sand-hills, skirted by rocks and fringed with a scanty
vegetation of stunted firs, were, Mr. Winthrop said, the
"Mamelons,"[1] about which cluster strange old Indian legends, of
fierce conflicts between the Algonquins and the Esquimaux--weird tales,
too, of a doom or curse on intermarriage of an Algonquin with an alien
race, which here overtook the offender with its inevitable Nemesis. In
the deepening gloaming, in the shadow of the dusky heights that
towered on high, casting long, dark, quivering reflections in the dark
mysterious stream, with scattered lights twinkling out here and there,
through the clustering foliage, is Tadousac. With its straggling brown
dwellings, and the massive timbers of the great pier storehouse
looming up in undefined vagueness above them, it was easy to imagine
any number of legendary tales of love and conflict; of

    "Old unhappy things
  And battles long ago."

as Hugh quoted once more. The steamer was made fast to the pier, with
much creaking and groaning, as if shuddering to begin the ascent of
the dark, fateful river, which, it is said, one of the earliest
explorers attempting with his men, found a fatal enterprise, none of
them ever returning to the light of day.

As the steamer was to remain here half an hour, the whole party
landed, as did most of the other passengers, to inspect the little
rude ancient church, built nearly three hundred years ago for the
Indians and the trappers who traded with them--the oldest surviving
building north of Mexico. They took the route which May had so often
followed in imagination with her shadowy friends of the story, across
the ravine and through the village, with its lights twinkling all over
its little cove, till they reached the plain, bare old wooden church,
beside which they stood for some time almost in silence, reverently
regarding the little wilderness-temple which had so long alone met the
needs and witnessed the devotions of men rough and rude, but men still
with the felt need of Divine help in their strange wild lives. But the
visitors could not enter, nor were they indeed anxious to do so, for
they felt that this might have broken the spell thrown over them by
the bare sombre, weather-beaten exterior and venerable associations.
Moreover, the steamer was already whistling its summons, so they set
out on their return through the same shadowy, suggestive gloom of dark
pine-studded rocks and deep murmuring unseen waterfalls, till they
came out suddenly on the clustered lights of the landing and the
steamer streaming with light through every crevice, just as May had
seen it so often, already, through the eyes of Miss Kitty Ellison.

Well, they had left Tadousac behind now, and had fairly entered into
the shadows of the dark and sullen Saguenay, which seems to lie like a
prisoner between its stern frowning warders and to have hewn out its
difficult passage to unite with the St. Lawrence, through the stern
rocks that would have shut it up in its lonely gloom forever. To Hugh,
the passage left behind seemed indeed a fortress-gate, strongly
flanked by tall overhanging rocks, crags with gnarled _savins_, and
white-stemmed birches gleaming even in the deepening dusk, clinging,
as if for life, to the jagged precipices. They had lost sight of the
twinkling lights of Tadousac, set in its little rocky niche of the
"_petite montagne qui est presque coupée par la mer_," as Champlain
had described it long ago, with its "little harbor," which would hold
only nine or ten ships in the _embouchure_ of the Saguenay, though
many more could find shelter in the bay that fronts the St. Lawrence.
The captain of the steamer told the young men about the little lake
close at hand, which guards the precious young salmon raised there for
the Government's fish-breeding establishment at Anse de l'eau.

And now the dark, vague forms of Titans seemed to rise up on either
hand,--great massive hills and cliffs that seemed almost to shut out
the light of the stars; and most of the party, growing tired of the
somewhat awesome silent procession, took refuge in the lighted saloon,
from whence soon came strains of sweet music, and the tones of Flora's
fresh young voice, in "Over the Sea to Skye," which seemed not
inappropriate to the _genius loci_. Mr. Winthrop and Hugh remained
talking with the captain about the more striking features of the
scenery and its historical associations; and to May, half listening to
them, half dreaming out again the vivid sketches of Parkman, the
solitude seemed peopled once more with the old explorers who
established ties of commerce between far-away St. Malo and these
lonely wilds,--Cartier and Roberval, Pontgravé and Chauvin, and their
bands of trappers and _voyageurs_, for whom the Indians paddled their
canoes, laden with costly furs, down this dark, fathomless stream. She
could realize more vividly the fate of one unfortunate band, left at
so lonely a post to starve, through one miserable winter. For, first,
by reason of its fabled wealth of gold and silver and precious stones,
and afterwards for the sake of its real riches in furs, the Saguenay
was even better known to the early pioneers than was the river between
Quebec and Montreal. Then, too, May's thoughts went back to that very
different little band of missionaries,--Recollets first, Jesuits
afterwards,--who came bearing a Christian message of love to the
savages of this wild region. She remembered how the trio of Jesuits
who first reached the river Sagne, as it was then called, in their
delight at reaching their goal, described it as being "as beautiful as
the Seine, almost as rapid as the Rhone, and deeper than many parts of
the sea," and how Père Le Jeune, in particular, felt that they were
the forerunners of a host of brave soldiers of the Cross who should
subdue the land for the Lord. She remembered how the sight of some
poor Indian captives, cruelly tortured by their captors arrayed in all
their uncouth adornment of parti-colored paint, had so impressed the
good Fathers with pity, that they only longed for an opportunity of
preaching to them the gospel of love and peace, although, as Père Le
Jeune observed, the same fate might at any time befall themselves.
And, indeed, Père Le Jeune's, observation on that head is well worthy
of being recorded:

"In truth, I was cut to the heart. I had thought of coming to Canada,
only because I was sent. I felt no particular regard for the savages,
but I would have rendered obedience, had they sent me a thousand times
further; but I can truly say, that, even if I should have detested
this country, I should have been touched by what I have seen, had my
heart been brass. Would to God, that those who can help these poor
souls, and do something for their salvation, could be here for three
days! I think the desire of saving them would seize their whole
souls." Then he proceeds to reflect that in England, in Spain, in
Germany, when the Gospel was first carried thither, the barbarism of
the people had been as great. (He says nothing about France, evidently
considering that the time of _its_ barbarism belonged to remote
antiquity.) And further, that the Indians do not lack sense, but
instruction; and then goes on to speak of his plans for founding
schools for the more docile children; thus anticipating the
common-sense missionary policy of our own day. And he takes refuge in
the end, as all souls yearning for the salvation of their fellows have
had to do, in the promise of the Eternal: "_Dabo tibi gentes
heridatatem tuam, et possessionem termios terræ_."

In that same bay of Tadousac, too, May recollected, the good Fathers
had their first experience of what the St. Lawrence could do in the
way of a storm, and had reason to be thankful for the measure of
shelter which this bay could give them. As another sample of New World
experience, they were nearly eaten up by the mosquitoes and a host of
other insect persecutors, while the fireflies formed at least one
cheering exception as they glittered among the woods "like sparks of
fire, by which he could even see to read at night."

But the captain went on to talk about some of the old floating legends
that still increase the romantic interest attaching to this strange
river of the North,--of the fierce battles between the rival tribes, in
the course of one of which is said to have taken place the terrible
earthquake which rent asunder these scarped and jagged cliffs, to form
this sublime channel of the Saguenay. And he spoke, also, of the
romantic story which has been woven out of the old legend that a mixed
marriage between the white man and the Indian was followed by the
impending doom; and the terrible forest fires which have at times
swept over the whole region, scorching and destroying all life,
vegetable and animal, that lay in their course, and leaving their
melancholy traces in the splintered, seamed crags that raise aloft
majestic forms once clothed in a graceful drapery of green, now only
crested here and there with a dreary skeleton of their departed
forests. It was not difficult to imagine the awfulness of the scene at
night, when the billows of red flame and ruddy smoke rolled in dread
majesty over those grand hills, uncontrolled and uncontrollable, till
they were suddenly checked by the dark, deep waters of the cold and
deep river.

But the captain's talk ended, and Mr. Winthrop, who had gone up the
Saguenay before, was by and by attracted into the saloon, and only May
and Hugh Macnab were left on deck, with a few of the other passengers,
who, like themselves, were held by a sort of fascination in the savage
and sombre grandeur of the dark, cloud-like shapes that seemed to
unroll themselves before them in endless succession. It seemed strange
to sit there, as it were in the presence of the Infinities, in their
awful, everlasting silence, while lights were streaming from the
saloon and from it also were coming,--now snatches of the wild, wailing
melody of "Loch-Lomond," now of the gay little French love ditty;

  "Il y'a long temps que je t'aime,
  Jamais je ne t'oublierai!"

which Hugh absently hummed in concert with the singers within, setting
May again at work on her little romance, the ending of which was so
perplexing her at present. But this was only for a passing moment; for
the presence of these dark hills was too absorbing to admit other
thoughts. And now the faintly diffused light of the rising moon,
itself still hidden from view, made a pale background for the great
bold _silhouettes_, and showed, too, something more of their minor
features; and at last the bright silver disk, shorn of something of
its roundness, rose clear above the sharply defined edge of a jagged
crag, partially clothed with trees. And now the great grooves and
seams of the rocks could be distinctly discerned in unrelieved light
and shade,--and the dark lines of such vegetation as could here find a
foothold, with here and there a cluster of twinkling lights, marking a
little centre of human life in the midst of the wilderness. As they
advanced, the precipices grew bolder and bolder; one bold profile
after another became defined in the moonlight, then opened up new
vistas of the sea of hills and precipices which was continually
changing its relation to the spectator. And presently Hugh went in to
summon the rest of the party to come out, for, far away in the
distance, a practised eye could already discern, just touched by the
moonlight, the commanding peak and striking triple profile of Cape
Trinity. It seemed an impressive and solemn approach to the mighty
crag, growing every moment grander and more majestic in the pale
radiance of the moonlight. The triple effect, both vertically and
laterally, showed more effectively, though less distinctly, the
bare-browed cliff looking even more imposing than in daylight,--every
scarped crag and splintered pinnacle and barbicon standing out in the
sharpest contrast of light and shade. The travellers gazed up at the
giant, towering above them to such a height that it made one dizzy to
try to follow it with the eye; and so close did it seem impending over
the vessel, that they could scarcely realize their real distance from
it, till a copper coin, thrown by Mr. Winthrop with all his force,
came far short of the rocky wall, and fell into the dark stream below.

Cape Trinity left behind, Cape Eternity began to loom up in lonely
majesty beyond--its mighty mass partially clothed with verdure, and,
like the other, idealized in the moonlight. The awesomeness of its
grandeur oppressed them with an overpowering effect of dread
sublimity, and it was almost a relief when the steamer at last glided
away from those tremendous embodiments of nature's savage grandeur,
and saw rising before them vistas of a somewhat gentler, though still
bold and picturesque type.

But it was now long past midnight, and most of the party, despite
interest of the scene, were growing exceedingly sleepy. Mrs. Sandford,
indeed, had long ago retired to her state-room, declaring that neither
of the two famous cliffs were worth losing the best half of a night's
rest for! The rest of the party now followed her example, and as May
passed through the ladies' cabin to her state-room, she was startled
for a moment by seeing the dark forms of a number of sleeping nuns,
who occupied the sofas instead of berths. They were doubtless going
out from one of the great nunneries on a missionary expedition, and to
May it seemed delightfully in harmony with the spirit of the scene.
Nor would it have been at all difficult for her to imagine figures
called up from the old days when these dark uniforms were the only
civilized female dress in all the region of the Saguenay. She regarded
her own simple dark blue travelling dress with a sigh. It certainly
was not nearly so picturesque!

May slept soundly enough, notwithstanding the motion of the boat and
the creaking of the chains and timbers during the occasional
stoppages. But about daybreak she was awakened by the rattling of
chains and the confused clatter of voices, and started up in haste,
that she might not lose an hour of the wonderful scenery about her. On
coming out of her state-room, she was again somewhat startled by the
cluster of dark-robed nuns, some of whom were already up, and absorbed
in their morning devotions. But she had no time to think much about
them just then, for through the cabin window she caught a glimpse of
some wonderful granite peaks, touched with the loveliest rose-color by
the light of the sun, which had not yet risen above the rugged hills
that close in about the crescent curve of Ha-Ha Bay. Calling Flora to
make haste to follow her, she stood for a little time at the stern,
feasting her eyes on the exquisite solemn beauty of those granite
hills thus glorified by the coming day. Then, joined by Flora, to whom
the scene recalled her own Highland hills, she hastened on deck to
enjoy the full extent of the lovely view around them. They were lying,
stranded by the receding tide, near one end of the long bay, which
takes its name, according to some, from the surprised laugh of some of
the first explorers at finding themselves _cul-de-sac_;--according to
others, from their expression of satisfaction at having at last found
soundings in this apparently fathomless river. Just above them, now
gilded by the level sunlight, rose a rugged height of richly-tinted
granite, sprinkled by birch and balsam, at the foot of which clustered
the little grey-peaked wooden houses of the tiny hamlet of St.
Alphonse. The piazzas of the summer hotel, and the steep-roofed stone
church looked down from the hill-slope beyond the pier, and, far along
the sweeping curve of the bay, the gleaming village of St. Alexis
shone white on the green shore behind it, long sloping uplands of
arable land, while near it a black-hulled ship lay at anchor, the
first anchorage for the mariner on this dark rock-bound stream.

One by one the little party had collected on deck, with the exception
of Mrs. Sandford, keenly enjoying the loveliness of the hour and
scene; and already their fellow-passengers were beginning to leave the
steamer on various little expeditions, to fill up the hours which they
must wait for the turning of the tide--some to drive across the hills
or along the shore of the bay; others to stroll along the shining
sands and examine the long-stretching weir, composed of interlaced
boughs, jutting far out into the stream, which here presents the most
fascinating combination of sea-shore and inland river. A little party
of long-robed ecclesiastics, whom our travellers had noticed the
evening before, in a corner of the saloon, poring over their
breviaries, were seen slowly ascending the hill-slope, towards the
church, and Hugh suggested a stroll in the same direction, as the
hill-slope seemed a good point for observation of the surrounding
landscape.

The morning air blew cool and bracing in their faces as they left the
pier, the view before them growing grander and wider at every step.
They skirted the hotel grounds, where a few early stirring guests on
the piazza watched them with great interest, and soon found themselves
at the door of the church, from whence they could command a noble
panorama of hills and river in their cool, pale northern coloring,
somewhat warmed by the slanting rays of the early August sun. But when
they presently entered the church, the solemn hush of the scene within
carried off their thoughts in an entirely different direction. It
seemed a large church for so small a settlement, and the fresh and new
look, the white and gold decoration, and the robes of the priests,
seemed curiously out of keeping with the primitive wildness of the
surroundings. The party of ecclesiastics, who, it now appeared,
numbered a bishop among them, were there in full force, and a small
congregation, including several officers of the steamboat, were
already gathered for early mass. Hugh sat down reverently in the
nearest seat, and the others followed his example, and remained there
until the short service was completed. It was singularly restful and
soothing, and to May and Flora, despite their staunch Protestant
preferences, it was a memorable experience. The deep tones of the
officiating priest and the solemn chant of the psalms, seemed laden
with memories of the days when these same chants first arose in these
savage solitudes, from the rude bark chapel or the simpler forest
sanctuary, before the wondering eyes of the half-hostile Indians.

As the last chant died away on the ear, it was like awaking from a
dream of the remote past, to come out once more on the wide summer
landscape lying at their feet, the long line of level sands, the
stranded vessel, the still receding tide, the long stretch of gray
uplands and dark green hills. But breakfast began to seem a welcome
possibility, which quickened the steps of the travellers back to the
steamer, where they found Mrs. Sandford in a little flurry of concern
about their long absence, and more than ready, she declared, for her
breakfast. And after their early rising and their long stroll, it
scarcely needs be said how keenly they enjoyed the excellent breakfast
of porridge, smelts, salmon, fresh rolls, and excellent coffee--not
forgetting the blueberries for which the region is so famous. After
breakfast there was still some time before the steamer could move.
Flora hunted up her sketch-book, and went, accompanied by May and
Nellie, to make a sketch on shore, while Hugh Macnab and Jack
Armstrong, who insisted on coming, too, amused themselves by
clambering up the rocky height above them, to see what sorts of plants
might be growing among the crevices--for Hugh was something of a
naturalist as well as a poet. The others, including Mrs. Sandford,
preferred to remain on the deck of the steamer, watching the lumber
vessel take in her load, and the swift return of the tide, nearly as
remarkable for its speed as is the Scottish Solway, which has
furnished the comparison:--

  "Love flows like the Solway
  And ebbs like its tide."

As the girls sat there, a young, pleasant-faced _habitante_ came up to
them, followed by two or three tiny children, glad to exchange a word
with the strangers, and to offer for sale tiny canoes, which the
inexperienced hands of the children had shaped, in imitation of the
pretty toy canoes offered for sale at all the booths of French and
Indian wares. They spoke no English, and May was too doubtful of _her_
French to try it, but Nellie and Flora opened a conversation with her,
to her evident pleasure, for, in so secluded a spot, a talk with a
stranger is an event. "Yes," she said, after telling the names and
ages of the children; "yes, the summer _is_ very short, and the winter
long and cold." But then her husband stays at home, and in summer he
is away, working on boats, and that is evidently compensation--for he
is "_un bon garçon_." And indeed she seemed a happy wife and mother,
for the blessings of life, happily, generally counterbalance its
privations. The girls gladly bought the tiny canoes, the "'prentice
work" of the little childish hands, and, after an interested
inspection of Flora's sketch, and many admiring comments thereupon,
they parted--the travellers to return to the steamer, the children and
their mother to return to their _cabane_, happy in their little store
of silver coins. And now the tide has flowed in, up to the end of the
weirs, the scattered passengers are collected on board, and the
steamer, with screw revolving once more, glides swiftly out of Ha-Ha
Bay, leaving behind all its rugged beauty and its primitive, secluded
life; and turns up another bend of the fiord, towards the great hill
curves that bound the vista. Point after point, bend after bend,
succeed each other in bewildering succession, while the travellers
feel once more how distinct is the stern sublimity of the Saguenay
from the grand beauty of the St. Lawrence. The great, bare splintered
crags that rear their grey, furrowed brows to the sky, the endless
succession of pine-crested hills, craggy points, dark, deep gorges,
and weather-worn and lichen-scarred rocks, contorted by fire and water
into every conceivable form, seemed almost oppressive, at last, in
their almost unbroken savage wilderness. Here and there green uplands
and stretches of softer forest verdure, or sheltered valleys, with
little settlements nestling in their laps, or clinging to the
sheltering rocks, introduce a gentler tone; but the general impression
is one of savage sterility, scarred by the traces of devastation on
the fire-swept hills, bristling with dark tree skeletons, and by the
sullen darkness of the stream itself. And now and then the sky grew
grey, too, as a sudden squall swept down the gorge; and it was easy to
associate with the wild mountain fiord the strange tales told to the
early explorers, and to see in imagination the fur-laden canoes, with
their silent, dusky paddlers wending their way down the rocky _cañon_,
which the river seems to have hewn for itself with such difficulty,
from the inaccessible solitudes behind, through the sea of rocks
between these and the St. Lawrence.

As they steamed onward towards Chicoutimi, however, which is the real
head of the bay, the scenery becomes softer in type, and, amid the
rolling uplands, cluster little white villages, each with its guardian
church. Chicoutimi, with its fine stone church on the hill, and its
sawmill and lumber-yard below, comes into view, as they round one of
the numberless points, a place of some consequence in this lumbering
country. The steamer stops at the pier, and the little band of
_religieuses_ disembark and wend their way to the convent on the hill,
while May and Flora watch their black-robed figures and vainly
speculate on their past and their future, wondering what routine of
duties awaits them here, and whether they are of the same heroic fibre
with those who, two hundred years ago, crossed the stormy ocean into
exile in this wilderness, in order to nurse sick Indians and teach
Indian children their _Pater-Noster_.

As the steamer left Chicoutimi behind, Hugh Macnab and Mr. Winthrop
discovered two or three half-breed _voyageurs_, coming down with the
luggage, boats, etc., of a party of gentlemen who had been canoeing
among the rocks and rapids of the "Grand Discharge" of the Saguenay,
in the comparatively untrodden wilds into which no steamer can
penetrate, and tracing the dark waters up to their source in Lake St.
John. The swarthy good-humored boatmen were eagerly questioned and
cross-questioned by the three young men, till it became clear, to the
observant Kate, at least, that they were planning some private
excursion of their own, not in the original programme of their party,
though at present they all observed an obstinate silence as to any
such idea.

Meantime, they all sat dreamily watching the long procession of
headland, rock, and hill,--a silver thread of cascade occasionally
trickling down the dark precipices, wondering at the variety and
effect produced with such apparent sameness of material. But, behold!
a great grey Titan looms up behind a distant headland, seeming to
pierce the sky; and the passengers, English, American and Canadian,
begin to crowd the forward deck, with eager outlook. A little farther,
and the vast breadth and height of Cape Eternity uprears its mighty
mass overhead,--its summit seeming lost in the sky, across which great
clouds are rapidly drifting. May thought it had looked even grander in
the moonlight, which seemed to expand it into infinity; but Hugh and
Mr. Winthrop declared that to them it was no less imposing in the
clear light of day, which gave it the strength and force of reality.
Scarcely had they ceased gazing in fascination at its mighty mass,
when Kate, pointing triumphantly before them, drew their attention to
the still grander headland, the mighty triple profile of Cape Trinity.
And now, just above their heads, as it seemed, that sublime rock was
unfolding its triple unity, both vertical and lateral, each way
divided into three distinct heads; a far more impressive
individuality, they all agreed, than the sister cape. Again came that
curious optical illusion of the great precipice towering immediately
overhead in close proximity to the boat,--a delusion only dispelled
with much difficulty after seeing that the pebbles which the
passengers amused themselves by throwing at it, fell invariably a long
way short of their aim. And a feeling of soul-subduing awe stole over
May, as she threw back her head, and tried to scan the entire face of
those lofty summits which seemed to rear their grey, weather-beaten
heads into the very empyrean! Here and there, a stray bit of
vegetation clung with difficulty to a cleft in the rock, seeming to
emphasize its ruggedness and stern majesty. But, as Hugh observed, and
all agreed, the white statue of the Virgin, placed, by Roman Catholic
piety, in a niche of the crag seemed an impertinence, even from the
broadest point of view, for surely they felt that grand Mount Horeb,
symbol of Divine Majesty, should have been profaned by no mortal
image. Nevertheless, when the steamer slackened speed, just under the
precipice, and the sailors in solemn cadence chanted an "Ave Maria,"
there was a pathetic earnestness and an antique, old-world air about
the proceeding which was very impressive. What Hugh himself thought of
the grand, wonderful bit of nature's architecture, found its way to
paper in the course of the afternoon, the lines taking shape in his
mind as the too swiftly receding lines of Cape Trinity faded away into
dim remoteness, when it seemed to all the party that the central
figure, the chief interest of the Saguenay, had passed out of the
scene. And, after the long strain of attention,--the effort to lose
none of the ever-changing grandeur of the shifting panorama,--it was
almost a relief when the showery clouds that had gathered so grandly
about Cape Trinity, deepened into a leaden grey; and mist and rain
began to blot out all save the nearest hills. As they sat watching in
somewhat sombre mood the silent procession of mist-laden hills, with
here and there a white thread of waterfall trickling down their sides,
and the white whales and porpoises splashing in the dark stream
below,--the only sign of life in all the great solitude, while an
occasional gleam of sunshine, from an opening cloud, threw a golden
gleam to relieve the stern aspect of the scene, Hugh was called on for
a reading from a volume into which he had been dipping during the day.
It was the copy of Charles Sangster's poems, which he had procured in
Montreal, and he willingly gave them a few stanzas from the poet's
description of the Saguenay;--the following lines, in particular,
seeming to express the very spirit of the scenery about them:--

  "In golden volumes rolls the blessed light
  Along the sterile mountains. Pile on pile
  The granite masses rise to left and right;--
  Bald, stately bluffs that never wear a smile;
  Where vegetation fails to reconcile
  The parched shrubbery and stunted trees
  To the stern mercies of the flinty soil.
  And we must pass a thousand bluffs like these,
  Within whose breasts are locked a myriad mysteries.

  "Dreaming of the old years, before they rose,
  Triumphant from the deep, whose waters rolled
  Above their solemn and unknown repose;
  Dreaming of that bright morning, when, of old,
  Beyond the red man's memory, they told
  The secrets of the Ages to the sun,
  That smiled upon them from his throne of gold,--
  Dreaming of the bright stars and loving moon,
  That first shone on them from the night's impressive noon;

  "--Dreaming of the long ages that have passed
  Since then, and with them that diminished race
  Whose birchen fleets those inky waters glassed,
  As they swept o'er them with the wind's swift pace.
  Of their wild legends scarce remains a trace;
  Thou hold'st the myriad secrets in thy brain,
  Oh stately bluffs! as well seek to efface
  The light of the bless'd stars, as to obtain
  From thy sealed, granite lips, tradition or refrain!"

"That is striking poetry," said Mr. Winthrop. "The author deserves to
be better known! But the wild legends of the past have not entirely
passed away. Now and then, one comes across an old legend or story
among a set of fellows like our _voyageur_ friends there."

"Yes," said Hugh, "that is one reason why I should like to explore the
wilds about Lake St. John! I think one might pick up from our guides
some old stories that would be interesting. But I was reading, this
morning, a pathetic little legend which is said to be still cherished
among the Montagnais Indians, concerning one of the pious Jesuit
Fathers, who was wont long ago to minister in that little grey church
at Tadousac."

"Oh, do tell it to us!" said Kate and Nellie, in a breath; and Hugh
readily complied, telling the tale, in substance as follows:

"One of the most benignant and beloved of these pioneer missionaries
was Père La Brosse, the last of the old Jesuit Fathers of Tadousac,
and the story of his 'Passing' reads almost like a French-Indian
version of the 'Passing of Arthur.' Strange, how that wistful,
pathetic interest, clustering round the death of the good and gentle
and strong, crops up everywhere, among all sorts and conditions of
men!

"Well, the story runs, that, at the close of an April day, spent as
usual in fulfilling the duties of his pastoral office among his Indian
converts, the venerable Father had spent the evening in cheerful
converse with some of the French officers of the post. As he rose to
leave them, to their amazement he solemnly bade them a last adieu,
telling them that, at midnight, he would be a corpse, and at that hour
the chapel bell would toll for his passing soul. He charged them not
to touch his body, but to go at once to the lower end of the Ile aux
Coudres, which, you know, we passed yesterday, many miles up the St.
Lawrence, and bring thence Messire Compain, whom they would find
awaiting them, and who would wrap him in his shroud and lay him in his
grave. They were to carry out his bidding, regardless of what the
weather might be, and he would answer for their safety. The astonished
and awe-stricken party of rough traders and Indians kept anxious
vigil, till, at midnight, the chapel bell began to toll. Startled by
the solemn sound at dead of night, they all rushed tremblingly into
the church. There, as he had foretold, they found Père La Brosse,
lying prostrate before the altar, his hands joined in prayer, and the
seal of death on his tranquil face. With awe-struck sorrow, they
watched for dawn, that they might fulfil the father's last command.
With sunrise, arose an April gale, but trusting to the promise of one
who had won their unfaltering trust, four brave men set out on their
appointed errand, in a fragile canoe, breasting the big rolling waves,
which, however, seemed to open a passage for the frail bark, and, in a
marvellously short time, they had reached Ile aux Coudres; and there,
as Père La Brosse had said, sat Père Compain on the rocks, breviary in
hand, ready to accompany them back to do the last offices for the
dead. He, too, had received a mysterious warning. The night before,
his chapel bell had tolled at midnight for a passing soul, and a voice
had told him what had happened and what he was expected to do. And it
said, moreover, that in all the Missions where Père La Brosse had
served the chapel bells tolled at the moment of his death."

"Well!" exclaimed Mr. Winthrop, "that is a story that _ought_ to be
true, _ben trovato_, at least, as the Italians say, if we only had
faith enough. One could almost find it in one's heart to believe it
here, in these wild solitudes, even in this degenerate, sceptical
age!"

"Now, Hugh," observed Kate, "why shouldn't _you_ write a '_Mort de
Père La Brosse_' _à la_ Tennyson? I'm sure it would make a lovely
poem."

"Perhaps he will, by and by," said Flora, a little mischievously.
"Meantime, I found in a book of his this sonnet on Cape Trinity. I was
sure he was composing something of the kind!"

"Oh, that's not fair!" said Hugh. "That's not revised yet."

But there was an unanimous demand for the reading of it, and under
protest, Hugh allowed Flora to read it.

  "Thou weather-beaten watchman, grim and grey,
  Towering majestic, with thy regal brow,
  O'er all the thronging hills that seem to bow
  In humble homage, near and far away;--
  Even thy great consort seems to own thy sway,
  In her calm grandeur, scarce less grand than thou
  Rising, star-crowned, from the dark world below,
  So lonely in thy might and majesty!
  Thy rugged, storm-scarred forehead to the blast
  Thou barest,--all unscreened thy Titan form,
  Radiant in sunset, dark in winter storm,
  So thou hast stood, through countless ages past,
  What comes or goes, it matters not to thee,
  Serene, self-poised in triple unity!"

As she finished reading the lines, a rift in the breaking clouds let a
rich gleam of sunset through, and they caught a brief glimpse of a
distant lofty summit, probably Cape Trinity, glowing out in crimson
glory, like a great garnet, set amid the grey mountain curves.

They all watched it silently, till it passed out of sight in the
windings of the stream. It was a sight to carry away as "a joy
forever,"--a fitting parting gleam of the grandeur of the Saguenay.

And swiftly it all fades from sight as the veil of twilight falls once
more about them, softening the hard outlines of the iron hills into
cloud-like phantasms, while the twinkling lights of Tadousac again
gleam out from the shaggy cliffs, soon again to be left behind, as
they pass out of the rocky _embouchure_, under the starlight, into the
wide reach of the St. Lawrence and cross its wide expanse to the
distant shore, where they stop at length at the long-stretching pier
of Rivière-du-Loup. This time they disembark, and are soon driving
rapidly along the two mile sweep of curving road, with a late gibbous
moon rising above the trees, as they approach the straggling environs
of Fraserville. They are speedily installed in a comfortable little
French inn, with a plain but comfortable supper before them, and a
lively group of French Canadians chattering gayly around them in their
rapid patois. As it happens, these prove to be a party of musicians,
whose music, vocal and instrumental, and gay little French Canadian
songs serenade them till irresistible sleep closes eyes more weary
with sight-seeing than their owners had before realized.

No one was up very early next morning, for human nature cannot stand
perpetual motion. But, as the day was fine, though cool, a carriage
was ordered immediately after breakfast and the whole party were once
more _en route_, driving over a straight smooth road to the old
Rivière-du-Loup, and thence to the noble waterfall, whose wild
picturesque beauty seems close to the little town.

Leaving the carriages, they all walked on by a winding path, till they
came to a grassy spur of the slope, jutting out, as it seemed, rather
more than half down, close to one side of the fall. Here, though they
could not see the whole extent of the cascade, they could get an
impressive view of its volume and beauty, as it came thundering down
the dark grey height, clad with dusky pines; so that, looking up to
the crest of foliage above, it seemed to come thundering down in snowy
spray and foam, out of the very bosom of the primeval forest. To May
it seemed almost as grand as _Montmorency_, though far short of it in
height. And, like Montmorency, it vividly brought back the memory of
incomparable Niagara. The spell of the falling water,--"falling forever
and aye,"--had its usual influence on her, and she sat dreaming there,
scarcely conscious of herself or the flight of time, while the rest of
the party wandered about, surveying the waterfall from other points of
view. But at last she was aroused from her reverie by Hugh, who came,
despatched by Kate, in quest of her, to bring her down to the foot of
the Fall where the others were resting, and where she could see it, as
it were, _en masse_.

She lingered a moment, however, reluctant to leave the charming little
nook. "See!" she said to Hugh, as she rose to accompany him
down,--"look at those exquisite little harebells, growing so peacefully
out of that green moss under the very spray of this rush of foaming
water."

Hugh smiled as he looked down at the fragile flower, cradled, as it
were, in the midst of the turbulent commotion. He stooped over and
picked two of the drooping blossoms carefully, handing one to May,
while he studied the other, in its graceful, delicate beauty. "It is
an embodied poem!" he exclaimed, as they turned slowly away.

"Then, won't you write out the poem it embodies, for the rest of us to
read?" said May, somewhat timidly, and surprised at her own temerity.

"If I can, I will," he replied, frankly. "It doesn't always follow,
because one may _see_ an embodied poem, that one can translate it into
verse!"

At the foot of the Falls, they all sat for an hour or two, enjoying
the comprehensive, though somewhat less impressive view of the whole
fall, as it came rushing down the dark gorge, in sheets of silvery
foam and clouds of snowy spray. And here, in a grassy nook, under some
trees, they sat for some time watching the Falls, Flora declaring that
it reminded her of some of their finest Scottish waterfalls and also
of one or two she had seen in Switzerland. Before they left their
quiet halting place, Hugh, who had been sitting very silent for some
time, handed quietly to May, a leaf from his note-book, on which, with
much satisfaction, she read the following lines:--

  "Where the great, thundering cataract tosses high
  Its crest of foam, 'mid thunders deep and dread,
  A tiny harebell, from its mossy bed,
  Smiles, softly blue, to the blue summer sky,
  And the great roaring flood that rages by,
  In sheets of foam on the grey rocks outspread
  But sheds a tender dew upon its head.
  --Emblem of hearts whose gentle purity,
  Seeks only heaven in this rude earth of ours;
  Dwelling in safety 'mid the roar and din
  Of human passion, as in sheltered bowers;
  Growing in beauty, 'mid turmoil and sin,
  --Keeping the hue of heaven, like the flowers,
  Because they keep the hue of heaven within!"

"Oh," exclaimed May, looking up from its perusal, "_that_ is almost
just what I was thinking about it, myself, only I couldn't put it into
words like that!"

"I'm glad I happened to catch your thought," he replied. "Keep the
lines for yourself, if you care for them, in memory of this pleasant
day."

"We've had so many pleasant days!" said May,--wistfully,--for she felt
that they were fast drawing to a close. And if the young men really
took that canoe trip up the Saguenay, their party would be divided
during the sojourn at Murray Bay,--their last halting place. But she
felt that she could never lose the memory of that delightful journey,
and all its enjoyments.

After going back to the hotel for an early dinner, they ordered the
carriages again and drove in the soft afternoon sunshine,--now
beginning to assume a slightly autumnal air, over the low, level
stretch of sandy road, leading through skirting spruce and cedar, to
the long straggling settlement of Cacouna, mainly composed of summer
cottages, with its hotels and little church. Most of the cottages are
scattered along a high sloping bank, just above the sea-like river,
where the bathing, albeit lacking the surf, is almost as good as in
the open sea. The Armstrongs had friends residing in Cacouna for the
summer, and the party drove directly to their cottage, where they met
with a most cordial welcome, were shown all the sights of the
vicinity, and finally regaled with "afternoon tea" on the veranda,
from whence they enjoyed one of the grand sunsets for which Cacouna is
famous, the bold hills on the north shore, here etherealized by
distance,--reflecting the glory of the rich sunset sky in the most
exquisite tones of purple and rose.

Next morning, the little party took an early train from
Rivière-du-Loup, on the Intercolonial Railway, to see the remainder of
the river shore as far as Bic, where the Gulf may almost be said to
begin, and the river end. It was a charming ride along the high land a
little back from the river, yet still occasionally in sight of it,
with the grand hills of the north shore looking cloud-like and remote,
as they came into view of the beautiful bay of Bic, surrounded by its
noble hills, with its picturesque coves, its level beach, and its wide
flats, studded with black rocks. Away in the distance, beyond the tall
bluffs which guard the mouth of the bay, and the islands which also
protect its harbor, lay the deep blue wooded island of Bic, and beyond
that, again, the far distant north shore, looking like a cloud of mist
on the horizon. Here they had to stop, for, beyond that, the railway
leaves the river to wind its way through the ravines of Métis, and
then over the hills to the famous valley of the Matapedia, whose
charms, fascinating as they are, were not for the travelers--on this
journey at least. They spent a few hours pleasantly at Bic, strolling
through its village, set on a plateau high above the beach, or
wandering over the flats, where two rivers sluggishly find the end of
their journey, and gathering seaweeds among the little pools and
rocks, which reminded the Scotch cousins so strongly of their own
seaside home. They climbed up some of the gentler slopes of the high
rugged hills, to get a still wider view, and to feel the bracing salt
breath of the sea come sweeping up the river, while Kate described the
beauties of Gaspé, peninsula and basin, and the wonderful Percé rock,
which she had once visited on a voyage down the Gulf; and Mr. Winthrop
told them of a grim old tradition of the island of Bic,--of a sort of
Indian edition of the massacre of Glencoe, when a branch of the fierce
Iroquois had caught a comparatively helpless band of Micmacs with many
women and children, in a cave, and had smoked them out, to meet death
if they escaped it within.

But they had now reached the eastern-most limit of their
progress--still leaving, as Hugh said, some "Yarrow unvisited." They
took the returning afternoon train back to Rivière-du-Loup, for their
course must now be "Westward-Ho!" At Rivière-du-Loup, they waited for
the Saguenay boat, and re-embarked for Murray Bay, which they reached
about midnight, landing at the high pier under the pale ghostly light
of the waning moon, which gave a strange unreal look to the houses on
the shore, and especially to the strangely shapen rock, which, rising
solitary near the point, gives it its name of "Point Au Pic" (or
Pique). There were an abundance of _calèches_ in waiting, and the
travellers distributed themselves among these, and were soon driven
along the straggling village street to their destination,--the "Central
Hotel," chosen by Kate on account of its delightful view. But the
"Central" was too full for so large a party, as the landlord declared
with many regrets,--so the ladies were accommodated very comfortably at
the "Warren House," next door, while the young men were put up
temporarily at the "Central" as they intended leaving on their canoe
trip very early in the week.

May had been feeling that, since this trip began, she had had so many
delightful impressions, that she could scarcely find room for any
more. But the first sight of the grand vista of noble hills that
enfold Murray Bay, as it were, in their embrace, gleaming out under
snowy mists, in the fair breezy morning, made her feel that she had by
no means lost the receptive power, and that she had much to see and
admire yet. It was a peaceful Sunday morning, and a Sabbath rest
seemed to enwrap the blue hills that encompassed the long bay,
receding in lovely curves and peaks behind each other, till they were
lost in a soft vagueness of distance. Just about the middle of the
long curve of the bay, and showing whitely against a background of
deep green woods, a white church stood out as a sort of centre to the
little brown French village that clustered about it on both sides of
the Murray River. Below the bridge stretched long brown sands with a
strip of blue water in the middle, and a three-masted vessel lying
stranded by the receding tide;--while just across the bay, narrowed by
the low tide, rose the long bold headland of Cap à l'Aigle, jutting
far out into the wide blue expanse of the St. Lawrence, bounded on the
southern shore by a wavy line of soft blue and purple hills,
glistening with silvery specks, which were, in reality, distant French
villages. It was a feast to the eye, a refreshing to the whole being,
simply to sit there and take in the lovely vista. May, for one, was
glad that it was Sunday, and that, therefore, there could be no
excursions, but that she could sit quietly there as long as she
liked,--dreaming or thinking, or reading a little of the old Scripture
poetry about the "Everlasting hills;"--but ever and anon looking up to
see the realization of words which had formerly left on her mind a
rather vague impression of their meaning. Nothing which she had seen
seemed to her so satisfying to her ideal of beauty. Niagara had its
own solitary overpowering grandeur, but no surrounding scenery. The
Saguenay hills were too stern in their solemn splendor. At Quebec, the
view seemed almost too wide, too complex; but this charming valley,
with its brown-beached blue bay, nestling amongst these richly wooded
hills, with rank after rank of mountain tops,--as they seemed to her,
fading away into the distant blue, seemed to have all the unity and
beauty of a well-composed picture, and to satisfy her imagination
without her knowing why. Flora was in an ecstasy. The scene reminded
her strongly of some of her own Highland glens; and Hugh and she were
soon eagerly comparing it with one after another of their favorite
resorts,--tracing its points both of resemblance and of dissimilarity.

The young men of the party had taken an early bath, and pronounced the
water very bracing indeed, but also decidedly cold--too cold, they
thought, for the girls to attempt; notwithstanding which, however,
Kate and Flora announced their intention of trying it next day. At
eleven they all went to church at a neat little chapel close by, built
for the use of the Protestant visitors, and used alternately for an
Episcopalian and a Presbyterian service, an instance of brotherly
unity which might be indefinitely extended. To Flora's great
satisfaction, (for she was a staunch little Scottish churchwoman,) the
service that day happened to be the Presbyterian one--the first time,
she observed, that she had had the pleasure of attending her own
service since she had left her native land. To Hugh it did not matter,
she observed, for he liked one just as well as another, to which he
replied that he was by no means so superior to the power of
association, which must, in most cases, after all, determine our
ecclesiastical preferences.

As there was no evening service, an evening stroll in Nature's great
temple around them was proposed instead, for which the young people
were ready enough after the long, quiet day of rest. Mrs. Sandford,
who had not yet recovered from the fatigue of so incessant travelling,
preferring to sit on the veranda with her book,--the latter taking the
place of her knitting-needles, which lately had had an unusual
respite. Nellie Armstrong, however, who had a headache, elected to
stay with her, so the rest started, perhaps all the more satisfied,
pairing off naturally--Mr. Winthrop, of course, with Kate; Jack
Armstrong with Flora; while Hugh and May were left as inevitable
companions. May, as on some similar occasions, felt at first slightly
uncomfortable; but this feeling soon wore off, for Hugh and she had
become excellent comrades, and now found many subjects for
conversation; and she felt that he had by this time accepted Mr.
Winthrop as a permanent factor in the situation, and was determined to
make the best of it. And May in her heart esteemed him all the more
for the cheerfulness with which he had adapted himself to the
inevitable!

They walked, by a rambling footpath, along the sandy, reedy shore of
the bay, until they had at length to betake themselves to the ordinary
road, striking it close to a picturesque old mill, with a little
waterfall plashing over the moss-grown old waterwheel, just as she had
so often seen it in pictures of English scenery. They reached the
French village of Murray Bay, and passed close to the white church
which had made the centre of the picture in the distance, and the
pretty little _Presbytère_, with its shady garden-walks overlooking
the river, on one of which May discerned a black-cassocked figure, in
whom she immediately conjured up a modern Père La Brosse. Then on,
past the little brown French houses, with their steep roofs and
balconies, and tidy, if bare, exteriors,--each one apparently
possessing its great wooden cupboard, and large box stove for the cold
winter days. Crossing the bridge over the Murray, from which there was
a lovely view up the valley, into the heart of the hills, they held on
their way up the wooded slope beyond, past a little memorial chapel
under the shadowing pines, which interested the girls so much that
they declared they must get the key and see the interior some day; and
then onward by an open, breezy bit of road, skirting on one side
undulating woods, gilded by slanting sunlight, and on the other
affording glimpses of pleasant manorial residences between them and
the river. And then they came out on the high table-land of the
"_Cap_," from whence they could see the wide river expanse, now taking
on soft hues of rose, and purple, and opal, and the far distant hills
beyond, also glorified by the sunset.

But May's steps had begun to flag a little, and her cheek to grow
rather pale, and Hugh said that he was sure she was tired, and
proposed that they should go no farther, but take a rest until the
others returned. May looked rather wistfully at Kate and Flora, still
stepping on, evidently unwearied. But although much stronger than when
she had left home, May was not so strong, yet, as the other two, and
it was of no use to pretend that she was not very tired.

"Let us walk back to that pine-crested bluff," said Hugh. "There we
can sit quite comfortably till the others come back."

They strolled back very slowly, and it occurred to May, _à propos_ of
her own fatigue, how much more Hugh could stand than he could have
done a month ago; and how seldom even "Aunt Bella" now worried him
with well-meant exhortations to take extra care. The outdoor life of
the past weeks had certainly done wonders for this sunburnt, active
young man, with elastic step and firm tread, who seemed so different a
being from the pale and somewhat languid stranger to whom she had been
first introduced. But she soon forgot everything else in the fair
scene that lay at their feet, half screened by the pine boughs that
drooped above them; for no fairer view had greeted her during the
whole journey. Opposite, across the blue bay below them, lay Point au
Pic, with its pier and its monumental rock, its straggling cottages,
and the long, hilly, wooded ridge that swept round the corner of the
bay on the other side. To their left lay the broad, sunset-flushed
river, with the wavy line of delicate hues beyond it. The two watched
the lovely glow of color for some time in silence. At last, when the
scene was swiftly taking on the grayness of evening, Hugh remarked:

"How many lovely evenings we have seen! And this seems almost the
loveliest of all."

"Yes. It almost makes one sad to think that they are nearly all
past,"--she replied, with a little wistful sigh.

"I don't know that it _should_, however," replied Hugh. "We can't lose
their memories and their influences. _That_ seems to become part of
our being, and we shall always be the richer for it. You know 'a thing
of beauty is a joy forever.' Do you know," he continued, after a
pause, as May did not reply, "this great river on which we have been
wandering so long, seems to me to present a very fair parable of human
life. It comes, like Wordsworth's version of our infancy, out of the
mysterious majesty of Niagara, and that great sea-like lake. Then it
has its tranquil sunny morning amid the lovely mazes of the Thousand
Islands, which, like ourselves, it seems reluctant to forsake, for the
more work-a-day rural stretch below. Then comes the strenuous time of
conflict,--the '_sturm und drang_' period of the rapids, and then the
calm strength, the gradual expansion, the growing dignity of a noble
life, till at last we have this exquisite sunset, glorifying a river
that is swiftly passing on, to lose itself in the great 'silent sea,'
symbolizing the beauty of the same rich and noble life, passing away
from its old familiar shores to lose itself in the boundlessness of
eternity."

"I think you have got material for another poem there," May observed,
smiling, though touched by the emotion which seemed to have carried
him on unconsciously. She and Hugh had got into the way of talking
about his literary endeavors. There was another pause, and then Hugh
looked up from his note-book, into which he had been looking.

"Do you recollect," he asked, "a lovely morning we had, just after
coming to Sumach Lodge?"

"Yes," replied May, promptly, "the morning you rowed me over to that
pretty little island, when the river was so calm, and it all looked so
lovely."

"And I wrote some verses there, which I should like to read to you, to
see how you like them. May I?"

May looked a little perplexed, for she had not forgotten that he had
seemed anxious that she should _not_ see them, _then_, and with her
_idée fixé_ of his hopeless passion for Kate--she had connected those
verses in some way with that imaginary romance. However, she listened
with great interest to his low toned reading:

  In gleam of pale, translucent amber woke
    The perfect August day,
  Through rose-flushed bars of pearl and opal broke
    The sunlight's golden way.

  Serenely the placid river seemed to flow
    In tide of amethyst,
  Save where it rippled o'er the sands below,
    And granite boulders kissed;

  The heavy woodland masses hung unstirred
    In languorous slumber deep,
  While, from their green recesses, one small bird
    Piped to her brood--asleep.

  The clustering lichens wore a tenderer tint,
    The rocks a warmer glow;
  The emerald dewdrops, in the sunbeam's glint,
    Gemmed the rich moss below.

  Our fairy shallop idly stranded lay,
    Half mirrored in the stream;
  Wild roses drooped above the tiny bay,
    Ethereal as a dream.

  You sat upon your rock, a woodland queen,
    As on a granite throne;
  All that still world of loveliness serene
    Held but us twain alone.

  Nay! But there seemed another presence there
    Beneath, around, above;
  It breathed a poem through the crystal air,
    Its name was _Love_!"

May listened to the poem with a rather bewildered feeling: it was so
different from what she had expected. But gradually the images
suggested by it took possession of her mind to the exclusion of other
thoughts, and she scarcely noticed the closing lines, in the pleasure
which it gave her to have that lovely morning so vividly recalled. But
Hugh seemed to look for more than the pleasure she frankly expressed.
He was silent for a few moments, then said in a very low tone, looking
straight into her eyes, "I think that what brought the poem was my
finding out, then, _that I loved you_!"

May was utterly taken by surprise, which indeed, overpowered every
other feeling. She had not a word to say. Hugh saw how unprepared she
had been for his avowal. Presently she managed to stammer out, "I
thought it was--Kate!"

"I _know_ you did, at first," he replied, "but I thought you must have
known better, _now_! I haven't acted very much like a jealous lover,
have I, since Mr. Winthrop appeared on the scene? And any one could
see how that was going to turn out. No, May, I'm sure I've tried to
make you understand!"

But May still sat silent, in a sort of dazed bewilderment. At last,
the ludicrous aspect of the mistake--all her sincere, misplaced
sympathy with Hugh in troubles which were entirely of her own
imagining, struck her so vividly that she laughed outright, though her
laugh had a rather hysterical note in it, and she felt that it was
most inappropriate to so serious a crisis. But the personal aspect of
the affair, she could not yet at all take in. Hugh laughed a little,
too, reading her thoughts; but presently he said gravely enough:
"Well, May, now that the mistake is cleared up, you're not going to
say you can't care for me! Why should we not travel down the river of
life together? I mean down the river to the sea,"--he added pleadingly.

"Oh, Mr. Macnab," she replied, at last, "it is so strange to me! I
don't seem able to realize it. And I have never thought of you in that
way."

"Well, dear," he said, gently, "I won't hurry you; but you and I are
very good friends, I think, which is an excellent beginning, and I
don't see why we couldn't be something _more_. But take plenty of time
to find out! I'll promise to be patient meantime. Only, as I am going
away to-morrow for a few days, I wanted to try my fate, at least, and
make sure that you knew my feelings before I left--for one never knows
_what_ may turn up."

May's face changed when he spoke of the approaching parting, which was
only, of course, the prelude to one of much longer duration, since she
herself must return home as soon as the party reached Toronto, on its
homeward journey. And the thought gave her a sharp pang which she
could not ignore. Still, she was not sorry to hear the voices of the
others not far off, and to know that this rather embarrassing
_tête-à-tête_ was nearly over. Hugh detained her a moment, however.

"I won't press you any farther now," he said; "only promise me that
you will think about it while I am gone, and perhaps you may be able
to answer me as I wish, when I come back."

May readily promised this,--glad to have a little time to grow familiar
with an idea which had seemed so strange to her at first. The rest of
the walk was very quiet,--Hugh talking about indifferent things, while
she found it difficult to keep up conversation at all.

Next morning it was decided that, as it was too fine a morning to
lose, where there was so much to see, the whole party should drive
down to the Falls of the Fraser, taking luncheon with them, that so
they might not have to hurry back until the time when the three young
men should have to tear themselves away from the society which, to say
the truth, they were all reluctant to leave,--in order to take the
steamer down again to Tadousac for the projected canoe trip on the
upper Saguenay, and so on to the wilds about Lake St. John. As they
were to go in _calèches_, however, Mrs. Sandford begged off, and
Nellie Armstrong was packed into a _calèche_ with her brother and
Flora Macnab--Jack, who was familiar with the vehicle, having
volunteered to act as charioteer.

It was a charming drive on such a charming day,--the light
cloud-shadows chasing each other over the hills, and causing
bewitching effects of light and shade on the distant hills. Their
course lay along the Murray River for some distance, past the bridge
and village, then back among the hills beyond, up and down short
hills, so abrupt that the descent was often like to jerk the riders
off the little high seats; but Jack assured them all, in his cheery
voice, that the _calèche_ was at once the easiest and the safest
vehicle for these hills, and that every French-Canadian pony knew just
how to behave on such roads, if only his driver gave him fair play.
And the French drivers of the other _calèches_ smiled and declared
that it was "shoost as de shentleman said." Kate and Mr. Winthrop had
of course paired off, so that Hugh and May went together, as a matter
of course; but Hugh abstained from the slightest reference of any kind
to their conversation of the previous evening, for which May felt duly
grateful; for as yet his declaration seemed to her an unreal dream,
and she did not like to think about it, or what seemed to her, a
mortifying mistake.

As they left the road altogether, and struck across fields with the
utmost recklessness about taking down fences, and driving over
trackless meadows, they could hear the distant murmur of a waterfall,
and soon they came in sight of a small river winding its way to the
gorge, into which it speedily disappeared. Then they dismounted from
their _calèches_, and sought a point of view from which they could
best see this lovely waterfall, which rushes down, not in one sheer
descent, but in several leaps, over the brown rocks; so that they
could stand, as it were, part of the way down, looking up to the
topmost fall, and also far down below them, where, at the foot of it,
there lay a pretty green, level point, on which cows were browsing
under some noble trees--as charming a pastoral picture as could be
found.

Flora took out her sketch-book and color-box, and set to work
diligently to make a few rough sketches from the most favorable
points, Jack willingly offering his services in carrying her
appliances from place to place, and watching the progress of the
sketches with an intensity of interest which was slightly embarrassing
to the artist and somewhat amusing to Nellie, who declared, to Jack's
indignation, that she had never known before that he took so much
interest in artistic pursuits. Jack, however, was a most amiable
critic, ready to admire generously all the work of Flora's nimble
fingers, each sketch being, in his opinion, "awfully pretty;--you'd
know it anywhere!" Meantime the rest of the party strolled about,
finding out new points of view, and exploring pretty nooks, till it
was time to set out the simple luncheon of sandwiches, cold fowl,
coffee, and blueberry pie, after the due discussion of which it was
necessary to set out at once on the return trip--in the order in which
they had come.

When they drove up to the hotel they were met by the intelligence that
the Quebec steamer was in sight, and that they must drive down to the
pier at once. The young men's valises were quickly thrown into the
_calèches_, and they all drove to the pier, to find the big white
steamboat just approaching the point. There was a hurried and, truth
to tell, a reluctant leave-taking on the part of the intending
_voyageurs_, who declared that they would be sure to be back in about
a week; and then the steamer gave her parting whistle and they were
off, their waving hats and handkerchiefs being soon lost in the
distance. Hugh had just said to May, in a low tone, at
parting,--keeping her hand for a few seconds closely pressed in his
own, "Don't forget your promise--or me--while I am gone," and May had
replied only by a smile, from which, perhaps, tears were not very far
away. At all events, there was a strange, inexplicable _ache_ in her
heart, as the four girls walked slowly back to the hotel, a trifle
less merrily than was their wont.

It was curious indeed, what a blank there seemed to be, now that three
out of their number were gone, though no one except Mrs. Sandford and
Nellie were willing to admit it in words. As for May, she could not
help feeling that she missed Hugh, in particular, at every turn! His
low-toned voice and slightly Celtic accentuation seemed to be
perpetually in her ear, and every particular charm of the landscape
seemed to recall his always quick appreciation of such beauty. Some
occasion on which she wanted to appeal to him for sympathy or
appreciation was constantly turning up; and she found herself
perpetually laying up a stock of things about which she wanted to talk
to him, when he should return. She had no idea how much he had
gradually become a part of her life, and how important his ever-ready
sympathy had come to be, until the lack of that sympathy made itself
so strongly felt. If she had not been so simply and dreamily romantic,
so free from egoistic self-consciousness, she would never have made
the mistake she had done, and even now there was a constant struggle
between the instincts of her heart and the power of the firmly-rooted
impression. Kate, who had divined the real state of the case, but had
been afraid to enlighten her cousin too suddenly, now ventured on a
little good-humored chaffing; but with great and praiseworthy caution.
Seeing that May sensitively shrank from the subject, she soon
desisted.

Whatever Kate's own sense of loss may have been in the absence of Mr.
Winthrop, she was not the sort of girl to let the absence of the three
young men take away all the zest of the pleasure of Murray Bay. She
constituted herself the leader of the little party, and the four girls
and Mrs. Sandford had what they all voted as a "very quiet, pleasant
time," in which they took things easily and enjoyed themselves just as
the fancy seized them. They strolled about the beach in the sunny
mornings, while Flora sketched the vista of distant hills, and a
gentle inquisitive French Canadian would come up to look respectfully
at the sketch of "Mademoiselle," and to express his admiration of "the
_facilité_" with which she accomplished the task of coloring,
evidently an inscrutable mystery to him, though he declared that he
could draw "in _crayons_." Kate and Flora occasionally tried a dip
into the cold waters of the bay, but their experience was not
sufficiently encouraging to tempt the other two, and Mrs. Sandford
shook her head, and declared that she considered it unsafe for any of
them. But they enjoyed watching the sturdy children who daily rushed
in for a few moments and then came out with skins as red as lobsters,
laughing, and rosy, and ready for any number of races on the beach
afterwards. They went to inspect the neighboring "Fresh Air"
establishment, originated by a benevolent lady of Montreal, and
maintained by private beneficence, where a number of convalescents,
old and young, received without cost, the benefit of the pure bracing
air and lovely scenery, a true and refreshing instance of Christian
charity. They explored over and over again, the road leading past the
long strips of farm and pasture land which ran up the hill that
overhung it, and the little French farmhouses, with the curious clay
ovens which stood near them, but quite detached, and sometimes on the
other side of the road, and which Flora was so delighted to see and
sketch; and the long straggling French village, and the little chapel
on the hill, which was so disappointing on a near acquaintance. They
scraped acquaintance with the simple French folk and talked to the
polite village children whom they met, so respectful in their address,
and whom Flora delighted by including some of them in a sketch from
the bridge. They wandered down the road to the pier, between the rows
of summer cottages, and roamed about the pretty grounds of the "Lorne
House," where some old friends of Kate's were staying, and lounged
away an hour or so, inspecting the little Indian huts and booths at
the pier, and the various wares therein displayed, and the dark
impassive faces of the Indian vendors, and purchased all manner of
little souvenirs, toy canoes, snowshoes, toboggans, birch-bark napkin
rings and other pretty trifles, as presents for the people at home;
while Flora sketched the curiously shaped rock which has so often
stood for its picture. Or they strolled up the hillside among the
fragrant spruce and cedar, and enjoyed the charming views from thence
of Cap-à-l'Aigle and the river and bay, and examined the primitive
little wooden aqueducts that led the water from springs on the hill,
to the houses down below. Everything was as quaint and primitive as
Normandy, Flora declared, except only the manners and dress of the
summer visitors!

And sometimes they went on little canoe parties with those friends of
Kate's at the "Lorne House,"--up the winding Murray River under the
bridge, from which Flora took a pretty sketch, and on for some
distance farther, picking their way among the brown shallows and
stones which narrowed the navigable water of the stream. Or they would
drive up the solitary Quebec road, among its aromatic pine woods, and
past its little clearings, with their patches of tobacco and maize and
little log cabins, and the peculiar exhilarating aroma of the mountain
air;--or by another pretty road to the picturesque cascade of "Les
Trous" beside which they took their luncheon, and spent the best part
of an afternoon. And so the days went quickly by--happily enough, and
on Saturday, May found herself realizing that the travellers would
very soon be back. Half a dozen other expeditions were still reserved
for the last few days, after the party should be reunited, before they
should leave for the West. But these plans, like many other human
projects, were not destined to be realized. For Monday morning brought
May a letter, containing an unexpected summons to return home at once,
as her father and mother were called away by the illness of a
relative, and her presence as eldest daughter was needed at home.
Dearly as May loved her home and ready as she was to comply with and
obey the summons, this hastening of her departure from Murray Bay was
a great disappointment, in more ways than one. There was, however, no
boat before Tuesday night, and as Mrs. Sandford had begun to feel
anxious herself to return home, and would not hear of letting May go
back alone, it was finally decided in a cabinet council, that they
should arrange to take their departure by the Tuesday's boat, and
that, in case the young men had not returned by that time, they could
follow and overtake them somewhere on the way. May's heart had sunk
more than she could have believed, when she contemplated the
possibility that Hugh might return and find her gone! She had not in
the least made up her mind as to what she should say to him, when he
did return, and, even if she herself cared ever so much, she could not
see how she could possibly be ever separated from her home, nor
indeed, could she as yet bear to think of that aspect of the affair.
But she could not help feeling it no small trial to return without
seeing him again; apart from the disappointment that she knew it would
be to him should he return only after her departure. And as Mrs.
Sandford was always reminding them, so many things might happen to
detain the _voyageurs_, for they intended to find their way back
somehow, by land, through the wilds that lay between Murray Bay and
Lake St. John.

That evening she could not settle down with the others on the veranda,
but wandered down alone to the beach and took her seat on one of their
favorite rocks. It had been a day of thunder showers with lovely
bursts of sunshine between, and some of the glorious rainbows so
frequent there; and now, after a golden sunset, breaking through
purple clouds, the bright tints were fading out of the sky and from
the great gray stretch of water, on whose breast some stately ships
were gradually disappearing from view. The scene vividly recalled to
her mind Hugh's parable of human life, and his unexpected application
of it. A sense of the evanescence of all beautiful things and all
human enjoyments had taken hold of her, and the tears welled up in her
soft gray eyes as she said in her heart a mute farewell to the lovely
scene around her, which had so fascinated her, and her mind went
wistfully back over all the fair scenes she had beheld since the day
on which she had set out, full of happy anticipation. How much better
it had all been than even her brightest anticipations! A vesper
sparrow--our Canadian nightingale--was carolling sweetly close at hand,
and its song seemed to bring back to her the sweet refrain of the old
song:--

  "Sweet the lev'rock's note, an' lang,--
    Wildly liltin' doun the glen;--
  But, to me, he sings ae sang
    Will ye no come back again?"

The last line seemed to haunt her with an indescribable pathetic
intonation. She rose to go back in order to fight off thoughts that
were too much for her when lo! a familiar step sounded close to her,
and a well-known voice was in her ear, with a low-toned, "Well, May?"

And May, startled and overjoyed, could scarcely exclaim,--"Oh, Hugh! is
it really you?" and then, for all answer to his question, she burst
into tears. Perhaps this was almost answer enough, but it encouraged
Hugh to go on, and to secure a still better and more satisfying one,
before they returned together to join the rest, and to exchange quiet
congratulations and a little teasing with Kate, whose engagement to
Mr. Winthrop was now definitely admitted. Jack Armstrong looked very
wistful and rather envious over the two engaged couples, but the merry
Flora is inscrutable, and whether his warm admiration will ever be
returned is still a matter of conjecture to both Kate and May.

The three _voyageurs_ had many adventures to relate and much to say
about the wild beauty of the upper Saguenay, its _portages_,
waterfalls, tributary streams, and especially about the solitary
beauty of the lonely Lake St. John. Hugh declared that he would not
have missed it on any account, and _that_, as he remarked, _sotto
voce_, to May, was, in the circumstances, saying a good deal. Mr.
Winthrop was to write a description of it for an American periodical,
and Jack Armstrong declared it would give enough to talk about, and
excite other fellows with envy, for the next year, at all events.

And the last day at Murray Bay was, after all, happier than May in her
lonely reverie of the preceding evening had thought possible. They
visited several of their favorite haunts during the morning, and it
was wonderful how much Hugh and May had to say to each other,--said
Kate, mischievously, careless of the retort that "People who lived in
glass houses needn't throw stones." In the afternoon they took a long
drive along the Cap-à-l'Aigle heights, watching another gorgeous
sunset bathe the hills and river in its exquisite dyes. And as these
once more faded into the greyness of twilight, and the stars gleamed
out, and the white sails of a large vessel that had caught the last
glow of day became dimly spectral in the distance, Hugh whispered to
May, as they turned downwards, and away from the beautiful scene they
had been contemplating:

"And now, dearest, what can we desire better, than the hope of the
long voyage together down the great river to the silent sea?"

THE END.

Footnote 1: The Mamelons--rounded bluffs.





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