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Title: Peeps at Many Lands: Canada
Author: Bealby, J. T. (John Thomas)
Language: English
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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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[Illustration: Cover art]



[Frontispiece: READY FOR A SLEIGH RIDE.  PAGE 16.]



[Illustration: Title page]



  PEEPS AT MANY LANDS

  CANADA


  BY

  J. T. BEALBY, B.A.


  WITH TWELVE FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS
  IN COLOUR

  BY

  T. MOWER MARTIN, R.C.A., C. M. MANLY,
  HY. SANDHAM, ALLAN STEWART,
  W. COTMAN EADE, & MORTIMER MENPES



  LONDON
  ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK
  1909



  CONTENTS

  CHAPTER

  I.  THE GREAT DOMINION
  II.  THE FAR WEST
  III.  HOME-LIFE IN CANADA
  IV.  WINTER SPORTS
  V.  FIFTY BELOW ZERO
  VI.  LAW AND ORDER IN CANADA
  VII.  THE SHIP OF THE PRAIRIE
  VIII.  GOLDEN WHEAT AND THE BIG RED APPLE
  IX.  CANADIAN TIMBER
  X.  WEALTH IN ROCK AND SAND
  XI.  SPOILS OF SEA AND WOOD
  XII.  WATERWAYS
  XIII.  FIGHTING THE IROQUOIS INDIANS
  XIV.  THE HABITANT OF THE ST. LAWRENCE SHORE
  XV.  THE HOME OF EVANGELINE
  XVI.  REDSKIN, ESKIMO, AND CHINK



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


Ready for a Sleigh Ride . . . _Mortimer Menpes . . . Frontispiece_
  By kind permission of E. J. Barratt, Esq.

Parliament Buildings, Toronto . . . _C. M. Manly_

Mountain Scenery . . . _T. Mower Martin_

Tobogganing . . . _T. Mower Martin_

A Settler's Farm-Yard . . . _T. Mower Martin_

The Rocky Mountains . . . _T. Mower Martin_

The Ship of the Prairie . . . _Allan Stewart_

Ottawa . . . _T. Mower Martin_

Winnipeg . . . _W. Cotman Eade_

Big Forest Trees . . . _T. Mower Martin_

The Iroquois attacking Dollard's Stockade . . . _Henry Sandham_

Montreal . . . _T. Mower Martin_



_Sketch-Map of Canada_



[Illustration: SKETCH-MAP OF CANADA]



  The quotation from "The Song of the
  Banjo," on p. 43, is made by kind
  permission of Mr. Rudyard Kipling and his
  publishers, Messrs. Methuen and Co.



[Illustration: PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS, TORONTO.  _C. M. Manly._]



CANADA



CHAPTER I

THE GREAT DOMINION

If you look at a map of North America, you will see that the whole
northern half of it is one vast extent, coloured perhaps in red, and
stretching north from the boundary of the United States to the Arctic
Ocean; you will see that it is deeply indented by the great Hudson Bay
on the north, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the east; that it has an
outline projecting into many bold headlands, and a coast washed by
three oceans, fringed with countless islands, great and small.

This is Canada, a land that comprises fully one-third of the 12,000,000
square miles of the British Empire, thirty times as large as England,
Ireland, and Scotland combined--not much less in area, in fact, than
the whole of Europe.  You may realize its breadth by thinking that if
you were to get on a train at Halifax on the east, on Monday morning,
and travel by the Imperial limited--a very fast train--day and night
without stopping, you would not reach Vancouver on the west coast till
Saturday morning.  In the course of this long journey you would pass
through eight large provinces--Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec,
Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia--and you
would still miss the island province, Prince Edward, and the great
northern territories.  Here is a heritage of the Anglo-Saxon race, a
new nation indeed, part of the greatest Empire in the world, being
fashioned and built up with marvellous rapidity.

We will try to give our readers a few pictures of this new land.  A
country whose southern parts are in the same latitude as Marseilles,
and whose northern islands hide in the everlasting silence of Arctic
ice, naturally presents a great variety of physical features, climate,
productions, and occupations, and this bewildering variety is increased
by difference in age.  Down in the east the Tercentenary last year
marked the passing of 300 years since Champlain first landed; in the
north and west it is rare to find a native born.

There are only about 6,000,000 people in this broad domain, and the
settled parts and the large cities are mostly along the south, while
the northern areas are in many parts covered by great forests, in which
still roam the moose and the elk, the grizzly bear and the grey wolf,
while the plash of the hunter's paddle following his line of beaver or
otter-traps, or the tap of the prospector's hammer searching for silver
or gold, have long been the only echo of the white man.  Nomadic tribes
of Indians still build their tepees beside the still waters of far
inland lakes, and follow the pathless highway of river and stream.

There are no forests in the southern districts of Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, and Alberta.  Here is one vast open plain, grassy meadow
or ploughed land as far as eye can see, the prairie.

The southern part of Ontario, Quebec, and the province of Nova Scotia,
are, in appearance, much like England, studded as they are with large
towns, prosperous and old-settled farms, and numerous thriving orchards
and vineyards.  If the rolling, wide prairies, reaching as far as the
eye can pierce in every direction, is the chief feature of the
provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, the majestic river,
St. Lawrence, is the chief feature of the province of Quebec, and four
big lakes, or rather inland seas, are the principal feature of Ontario.
It is between two of these large lakes, Ontario and Erie, on the one
side, and a third larger lake, Huron, on the other, that the
above-mentioned garden-like part of the province of Ontario is
situated.  The fourth lake, Superior, the biggest of all--nearly as big
as all Scotland, in fact--lies farther to the west, and stretches for
400 miles along the south of Ontario.  There is yet a fifth big lake,
closely connected with these four--namely, Michigan--but it belongs to
the United States rather than to Canada.

  "Domed with the azure of heaven,
    Floored with a pavement of pearl,
  Clothed all about with a brightness
    Soft as the eyes of a girl;

  "Girt with a magical girdle,
    Rimmed with a vapour of rest--
  These are the inland waters,
    These are the lakes of the West."



CHAPTER II

THE FAR WEST

The province of British Columbia, which is separated from the rest of
Canada by the great range of the Rocky Mountains, is itself a "sea" of
tumbled mountains, which reach all the way from the Rockies to the
Pacific Ocean, and, like the northern portion of the Dominion, is
covered with forests.  Here again there are several large rivers, such
as the Fraser and the Columbia, and a great many lakes.  British
Columbia is an exceptionally highly favoured region.  Not only is she
rich in natural resources--minerals, fish, lumber, fruit--but she can
boast of scenery which can vie with that of Norway, as with that of
Scotland, and even with the scenery of Switzerland.

Take, for instance, the Grand Cañon of the Fraser River.  This is "a
narrow gorge, where the river winds its tortuous way between great
broken walls of cliffs, dashing against the huge black boulders which
lie in its path, covering them with white foam and spray.  As the cañon
expands, the scene is varied by glimpses of Chinese gold-washers on the
gravel-bars, or Siwash Indians fishing with dip-nets from the rocks for
salmon; while here and there are scattered drying-frames festooned with
red flesh of the salmon, and fantastically decorated Indian graves give
a weird touch to the scene.  Here the mountains of the coast range,
which the river passes, rise to heights varying from 6,000 to 9,000
feet above the level of the sea.  They are extremely rugged and densely
wooded, the south and western slopes especially, luxuriantly covered
with the characteristic growth peculiar to the humid climate."

Although the interior of British Columbia is a sea of mountains, like
an ocean suddenly turned into stone when in the grip of a mighty
tempest, the hollows between the broken mountain-crests consist of a
number of long narrow valleys, many of them filled wholly or in part
with lakes.  On a still, peaceful day in summer or early autumn nothing
in the world can be lovelier than one of these lakes--Kootenay, Slocan,
Arrow, Okanagan.  The face of the water is like a sheet of highly
polished steel, of a pure greenish-black colour, and every tree and
stone, and every hut, on the mountain-sides around, and even every
cloud in the sky above, is reflected on it with marvellous
distinctness.  The hollows of the mountains are filled with a soft but
rich purple haze, or it may be a scarf of white, fleecy cloud hangs
across the shoulders of the mountains, while another veil of delicate
lace-work drapes their crests.  As you gaze at the witching beauty of
the scene, you feel your heart soften towards the great mountains.  You
imagine they do not know how to frown or be angry.  You think it would
be impossible for storm or tempest ever to rage or ravage against them.
Mountains, forests, green pasture-lands, blossoming orchards, the lake
itself--the whole scene is so wonderfully peaceful, so gloriously
lovely.

The bare walls of rock, sprinkled with forest trees, the jagged,
pinnacled outlines of the mountain-tops, the cappings of perpetual snow
which frame in some of these lakes, recall to the observer the stern
grandeur of the Norwegian fjords; while the little towns and orchards
which cling to the foot of the mountains conjure up unforgotten visions
of Lucerne and Thun and similar beauty spots of Switzerland.

Apostrophizing any one of the little towns on the shore of any one of
these beautiful sheets of water, you might say:

  "The pearly lustre of thy sky
    Will vie with that of fabled Greece.
  Thy air--a buoyant purity!
    Thou fold'st thy hands in perfect peace--
  The innocent peace of the newly-born,
  The stillness that heralds th' awakening morn.

  "Sweet crystal waters bathe thy knees,
    And hold a steel-bright mirror out,
  Reflecting mountains, sky, and trees
    Till dimpled by the leaping trout.
  Thy lake--it is playful and wayward of mood,
  Like maiden coquettish who's over-woo'd."


Among the most striking features of the interior of British Columbia
are the Selkirk and Purcell ranges, which wheel round the northern end
of Lake Kootenay, and stretch some distance down its eastern side.  The
lofty, rugged, sharp-cut peaks of these ranges "receive and break most
of the heavy rain-clouds which blow in from the Pacific.  There is
therefore more rain and more snow, and consequently the soil receives
more moisture, and the growth of forest and farm is more dense.  The
lower slopes, beneath the snow-line, except where the bare rock refuses
to sustain life, are clothed with impenetrable forests of spruce,
cedar, and hemlock, of which the underbrush is the most difficult
barrier to exploration."

"These characteristics give more richness and contrast in the colour.
On a clear day the snow-capped summits and crested peaks, tinged,
perhaps, with the crimson glow of the setting sun, glisten and sparkle
with dazzling brilliancy.  Great luminous spears of transparent blue
ice cut down into the dark rich green of the forest, which is blended
into the warmer tints of shrubbery and foliage in the foreground.
Great castellated crags of white and green rock break through the
velvet mantle of forest.  Blueberry bushes and alders, with
white-flowered rhododendrons, adorn with delicate tracery the trailing
skirts of the forest, and rich-tinted red, purple, and yellow
wild-flowers nestle in the fringe.  All this, rising against the clear
blue of the sky, while soft veils of mist rise from the valleys,
floating across the face of the mountains, or break and hang in fleecy
tassels upon the edges of cliffs and crags, makes a study in colour and
grandeur beyond the power of human artist to depict or poet to
describe."

This description applies almost equally to the Rocky Mountains, the
backbone that stretches from north to south of the continent, the
gigantic barrier which separates the flat prairies from the broken
coast districts.

In Canada they all wear glistening snow-caps, while glaciers of
enormous extent rest in their awful cañons, and their hoary sides are
laced with the most beautiful green-blue mountain torrents which leap
from dizzy heights in cascades of dazzling beauty.  Some of the most
imposing scenery of the Rockies is enclosed within the great National
Park at Banff, an area of 5,732 square miles of mountains, and here is
a great game preserve, where are found bear, moose, elk, deer, mountain
sheep and goats, and many smaller animals.  No one may shoot or trap
here, and it is expected that the number of wild animals will greatly
increase.  There is, too, a large herd of buffalo maintained in the
park.

In the forests, on the slopes, grows the famous Douglas fir, which
reaches a great size and height; trees 30 feet across the trunk are not
uncommon, and there is one in Stanley Park, Vancouver, which your
cabman is sure to show you should you visit that city, which has a hole
in the trunk so large that parties of tourists stand in it to be
photographed.  The climate is so mild that winter is replaced by a
rainy season, and roses bloom outside all the year round.  This makes
the famous Okanagan and Kootenay valleys so suitable for fruit-culture.

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia.  It is situated on
Vancouver Island, on the Pacific, and its climate and natural beauty
have made it the home of choice for many English families retiring from
service in the Orient, and so it is the most English of Canadian
cities.  Vancouver is the commercial capital, it is the terminus of the
Canadian Pacific Railway, and from its fine harbour steamship lines run
to China, Japan, and Australia.  Prince Rupert is a new port farther
north, and is the western terminus of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
now being built across the continent.

[Illustration: MOUNTAIN SCENERY NEAR HOWE SOUND, BRITISH COLUMBIA.
PAGE 4.  _T. Mower Martin, R.C.A._]

British Columbia has been called a "little paradise on earth," and if
beauty of scenery, and the poetry of Nature, and the contentment,
prosperity, and happiness of man can anywhere combine to make a spot on
this earth anything approaching to a paradise, assuredly that spot is
to be found in the fairest province of the Dominion of Canada.  And how
many of the names of the little towns which cling to the feet of the
mountains mirrored in these lakes have not only musical, but richly
poetic names!  Who can listen to such words as Kelowna, Summerland,
Nelson, Vernon, Castlegar, Halcyon, Mara, Kootenay, Slocan, Okanagan,
without feeling a thrill of poetic delight?  Were these names as
familiar to the mind as are Lomond, Katrine, Leven, Blair Athole,
Glencoe, Inveraray, Oban, they would not fail to conjure up as many
pictures of surpassing scenic beauty as do those pearls of the Scottish
Highlands, especially as in many respects the physical features of the
two regions are somewhat alike.

And the coast districts of British Columbia are every bit as remarkable
as the mountainous lake districts of the interior.  They, too, bear
more than a superficial resemblance to the west coast of Scotland.
Like the latter, the western shore of British Columbia is cut into
deeply by the ocean.  Like the west of Scotland, again, the numerous
bays and fjords are rock-bound, and long and winding.  And, once more,
like that same Scottish ocean marge, the Pacific coast of this Canadian
province is thickly studded with islands, varying in size from a tiny
dot of rock to Vancouver Island, which is about half as big as Ireland,
and studded with mountains which rise up to from 6,000 to 7,500 feet.



CHAPTER III

HOME-LIFE IN CANADA

The English visitor to a Canadian city finds things much as they are at
home: there are different names for articles in common use; the hotel
elevator goes faster than the lift at home; the trams are street-cars,
the streets are not so clean; the traffic is not so well managed; and
the public buildings and parks are newer, and lack the grace and beauty
of the old land architecture.  The houses all have verandas, on which,
in summer, the people spend a great part of their time, even eating and
sleeping there; and most of the houses have lawns unprotected from the
street by walls or fences.  The houses are kept much warmer in winter
than is the English custom, and ice is everywhere used in the summer.
All well-to-do people in the towns, and many in the country, have
telephones.  Other minor differences there are, but you would soon feel
quite at home in a Canadian house.

The stranger visiting a Canadian town is at once struck by the keenness
of the local enthusiasm.  That is to say, the people who live in that
town are immensely proud of it, and consider it the finest and best
place to live in in all the world.  They are very fond of pointing out
the advantages which it enjoys, and never neglect the smallest
opportunity of boasting of its beauty or wealth or public spirit, or
whatever it may be that it excels in.  The governing authorities of the
town, as the Mayor and Town Council, vote money from time to time
expressly to advertise their town, in the hope of attracting strangers
to come and live there.  Then the citizens form themselves into clubs
for the purpose of helping the population to reach as soon as possible
20,000, or 50,000, or 100,000, as the case may be; and these clubs bear
the strange titles of the Twenty Thousand Club, the Fifty Thousand
Club, the Hundred Thousand Club, and so on.

The houses in the towns, and even many houses in the country, are not
considered properly furnished if they have not the telephone fitted up
inside them.  The Canadians--women, and even children, as well as
business men--use the telephone pretty well every day of their lives.
Does a lady want to know how her neighbour's little girl's cut finger
is getting on, she rings her neighbour up on the "'phone."  A lady does
her shopping at the grocery store, or orders her joint for dinner "over
the 'phone."  A boy asks his classmate how much history they have to
learn for their home-lesson to-night.  Indeed, in a Canadian home the
telephone is used as much and as frequently as the poker is for
stirring the fire on a cold winter's day in any English home.

In many of the thinly inhabited districts the place where people meet
and gossip and pick up the news of what is happening in the
country-side is not the weekly market or the church, because very often
neither the one nor the other exists, but it is the "store."  This is
not a barn or similar building in which people put their hay or corn or
other produce till they wish to sell it.  The word means "a shop," and
the country store, the focus and centre of the life of the district, is
almost always a shop where pretty nearly every conceivable thing is
sold, from iron wedges (for splitting logs) to oranges, from ready-made
suits of clothes to note-paper.  And the storekeeper is nearly always
the postmaster as well.  Thus, if you want to find out all about a
district, you are most likely to obtain the information you seek from
the storekeeper.  He can tell you what land or what farms there are for
sale in the locality, and the prices that are being asked.  He knows
the names of everybody within a range of a good many miles, and often
knows a great deal more about people than their names alone.

In the older parts of the country, life on the farm is much the same as
elsewhere; the houses are built of stone and brick, with verandas and
lawns, heated by furnaces, and furnished with all that comfort, even
luxury, demands.  But far back in the newer parts of Ontario or New
Brunswick we see in a small clearing in the forest or on the edge of a
lake or stream the "log-cabin," with the blue smoke curling up from the
chimney at one end.  If we come up to the door we are sure of a
welcome; that is the rule in the wilderness.  We enter, to find the
house of two rooms, and perhaps an attic above; the big iron stove for
both cooking and heating stands at one end, and the rifle, guns, and
fishing-tackle, and the dried skins on the wall, tell of the pleasures
of forest life.  Perhaps the owner greets you with a fine Scotch or
Yorkshire "twang," and you need feel no surprise if you see last
month's _Punch_ or the _Weekly Times_ lying on the table.  These hardy
settlers make their living in part by the battle with the forest, in
part by what they shoot or trap, but largely by working in the winter
for the large lumber (timber) companies who have bought the pine in the
woods from the Government; sometimes, too, they act as guides in the
summer and autumn for the tourists or amateur huntsmen.  Their life
teaches them to be strong, active, and self-reliant, with a fine
disdain for the city man, who is so helpless on the trail or in a canoe.

On the prairie the life is quite different.  Here the settler is
content with the little wooden cabin of double boards with tar-paper
between, which he erects himself; his supplies he brings in the form of
flour, bacon, and canned goods from the nearest town many miles away.
His nearest neighbour may be ten miles away, his railway-station
twenty; all around to the horizon stretches a vast plain, like the sea.
His horses are hobbled at night to keep them from straying, for there
are no fences; he cuts their hay for the winter in the "slews" or
"swales"--low-lying, marshy spots on the prairie.  He is fortunate if
there is within reasonable distance a poplar thicket, where he can cut
some firewood.  From morn to night he follows the plough through the
rich black soil, which has waited for it from time immemorial; his
whole life is the wheat.  A lonely, hard existence, but the reward
comes so fast that in a few years of good crops he may spend his
winters in the South, while his sons and daughters attend college.

Now, a peep at the home of the "habitant"--the French-Canadian farmer
in the Province of Quebec.  A tiny white house in the shadow of a
little church, whose spire is tipped with a golden cross, overlooking a
mighty river; a narrow strip of farm, every inch in cultivation; a
group of many dark-eyed children chattering in a picturesque patois;
you close your eyes and you are in Brittany.  Hard-working,
home-loving, religious, but light-hearted, these people preserve
throughout centuries without change the virtues and customs, the speech
and the religion of their ancestors.  They grow most of what they eat;
they make everything they wear; and little money means wealth.  Their
sons are found in the factory towns of the New England States, and in
the lumber woods of the North.

  "We leev very quiet 'way back on de contree:
  Don't put on same style lak de big village."

or--

  "De fader of me was habitant farmer,
  My gran'fadder too, and hees fader also.
  Dey don't mak' no monee, but dat isn't funny,
  For it's not easy get everything, you must know,"

as Drummond the habitant poet quaintly says.

Most of the schools in Canada are public, which means just the opposite
to what it means to the English boy who knows Rugby, Eton, or Harrow;
they are like English Board-schools, free to all, and attended by both
boys and girls.  Then there are high schools, where students may be
prepared for college, and there are private schools, corresponding to
the English public schools; of these the oldest and most noted is Upper
Canada College, which is like the Eton of Canada.  There are
Universities in all the provinces, and Toronto and McGill University in
Montreal are as large as the great Universities at home.

The English boy or girl coming to Canada will find the money quite
different from what he has been accustomed to; it is measured in
dollars, and a dollar is about equal to four shillings.  There are 100
cents in a dollar, and there is a copper coin for 1 cent, value one
halfpenny, usually called a "copper," and silver coins for 5, 10, 25,
and 50 cents; but for large sums bank-notes in denominations of 1, 2,
5, 10 dollars and more are used.  As the decimal system is used, it is
really simpler than pounds, shillings, and pence, and one soon becomes
accustomed to it, though for some time one fears that one is paying too
much, especially as prices for small articles are often higher in
Canada.



CHAPTER IV

WINTER SPORTS

As soon as the ground is covered with snow, and the snow gets hard
enough, every boy and girl in Canada fetches out his or her flexible
flyer, bob-sleigh, or other form of child's sleigh, and dragging it to
the top of an incline, sets it off gliding to the bottom.

The flexible flyer is a small sleigh that will not carry more than one
big child or two very small ones.  The rider lies stretched out on the
sleigh, flat on his stomach, with his legs sticking out behind.  A
bob-sleigh is larger--often made, in fact, by fastening a piece of
board across two sleighs running one behind the other.  The riders on
this go down in a sitting attitude, with their legs sticking out on
each side of them, while one of them steers with his feet.  And jolly
fun it is to see them flying down like an express train, laughing and
shouting, with red, rosy cheeks and bright, sparkling eyes.  What
matters an occasional spill in the snow?  That only adds to the fun,
and makes the game all the merrier.

While the children enjoy this "coasting," as they call it, the young
men strap on their snowshoes and race across fields and fences, leaping
or rolling over the latter, until they arrive at some appointed inn,
where they partake of a good meal, with plenty of singing of rousing,
lusty choruses and other kinds of jollification.  Then on they strap
their snowshoes again, and, with many a whoop and shout, stretch out in
Indian file on their homeward journey.  If there is no moon they carry
torches, and the ruddy, flickering light adds picturesqueness to the
long belted blankets or tunics and tasselled tuques of the snowshoe
runners.

[Illustration: TOBOGGANING AT ROSEDALE, TORONTO.]

"A pretty picture it is as the snowshoers turn down into a gully, some
slipping, some recovering from a threatened upset by a feat of
balancing, and then, still in Indian file, getting over the fence,
every man in his own peculiar way.  Some take it at a leap, others
climb it cautiously; some roll over sideways in a lump, pitching feet
and snowshoes before them.  Some are too slowly careful, and, catching
a shoe on the top rail, measure their full length in the snow.  There
is no stopping here, for we are far from road and railroad, out in the
open country, with several miles of field before us, and twenty fences
in the way.  Most of the farmers, with fellow-feeling, have left a few
rails down, so that there is no obstruction.  But a tramp is as tame
without a tumble as without a fence, so here goes for your five feet
ten!  Never was there charger could take a high fence like a snowshoer!
As an old song of the Montreal Snowshoers' Club runs:

  "Men may talk of steam and railroads,
    But too well our comrades know
  We can beat the fastest engines
    In a night tramp on the snow.
  They may puff, sir, they may blow, sir,
    They may whistle, they may scream--
  Gently dipping, lightly tipping,
    Snowshoes leave behind the steam!"


It is the dry snow, the bracing air, and the clear skies of the
Canadian winter season that, combined with the exercise, produce this
great exhilaration of spirits, and set up an equally great--appetite.

Ladies take part in this sport as well as men.  Indeed, they also share
in the tobogganing and the ice-hockey; in the former along with their
brothers and friends, and in the latter in separate clubs.

But the favourite winter sport is ice-hockey.  The game is carried on
under cover in large halls, the floor of which can be artificially
flooded and frozen.  In this way a smooth, level expanse of ice is
secured, a thing that can be seldom got out of doors owing to the great
quantity of snow that lies on the ground.  The game is played pretty
much as hockey is on grass; the ball or disc the players chase is
called a "puck," and they make it skim along the ice with hockey-sticks
of the usual shape.

The hockey matches between rival cities are affairs of the greatest
interest to the inhabitants.  A large number of deeply interested
sympathizers always accompany the team that goes to play away from
home--in fact, the enthusiasm and excitement reach quite as high a
pitch as they do in England over a successful team of local football
players.  The great trophy of Canadian ice-hockey is the Stanley Cup,
which was first competed for in 1893, and has been competed for every
year since, except in 1898.  The winning teams have generally been
furnished by Montreal or Winnipeg, though sometimes the winners have
come from Toronto, Ottawa, and other cities.  Two games are played, and
all the goals obtained by the one club are added together and put
against the total number of goals gained by the other club.  The
holders of the cup keep it until they are defeated, and they have to
play whenever challenged.  Since 1906 the cup has been held by the
Montreal Wanderers.

A Canadian, Mr. W. George Beers, in describing Canada as a winter
resort, thus writes: "The Province of Quebec must bear the palm of
transforming winter into a national season of healthy enjoyment, and
Montreal is the metropolis of the Snow King.  You can have delightful
days and weeks in Toronto, where ice-boating is brought to perfection,
and the splendid bay is alive with the skaters and the winter sailors;
or in curling or skating rink, or with a snowshoe club when they meet
in Queen's Park for a tramp to Carleton, you may get a good company,
and, at any rate, thorough pleasure.  Kingston has its grand bay, its
glorious toboggan slides on Fort Henry, its magnificent scope for sham
fights on the ice, its skating, curling, snowshoeing, and its splendid
roads.  Halifax has its pleasant society, its lively winter brimful of
everything the season in Canada is famed for.  Quebec, ever glorious,
kissing the skies up at its old citadel, is just the same rare old
city, with its delightful mixture of ancient and modern, French and
English; its vivacious ponies and its happy-go-lucky cariole drivers;
its rinks and its rollicking; its songs and its superstitions; its
toboggan hill at Montmorenci, which Nature has erected every year since
the Falls first rolled over the cliffs; its hills and hollows and its
historic surroundings; its agreeable French-English society, the most
charming brotherhood that ever shook hands over the past.

"The first snowfall in Canada is an intoxicant.  Boys go snow mad.
Montreal has a temporary insanity.  The houses are prepared for the
visit of King North Wind, and the Canadians are the only people in the
world who know how to keep warm outdoors as well as indoors.  The
streets are gay with life and laughter, and everybody seems determined
to make the most of the great carnival.  Business goes to the dogs.
There is a mighty march of tourists and townspeople crunching over the
crisp snow, and a constant jingle of sleigh-bells.  If you go to any of
the toboggan slides you will witness a sight that thrills the onlooker
as well as the tobogganist.  The natural hills were formerly the only
resort, but someone introduced the Russian idea of erecting a high
wooden structure, up one side of which you drag your toboggan, and down
the other side of which you fly like a rocket.  These artificial slides
are the more popular, as they are easier of ascent, and can be made so
as to avoid _cahots_, or bumps.  The hills are lit by torches stuck in
the snow on each side of the track, and huge bonfires are kept burning,
around which gather picturesque groups.  Perhaps of all sports of the
carnival this is the most generally enjoyed by visitors.  Some of the
slides are very steep, and look dangerous, and the sensation of rushing
down the hill on the thin strip of basswood is one never to be
forgotten."

"How did you like it?" asked a Canadian girl of an American visitor,
whom she had steered down the steepest slide.

"Oh, I wouldn't have missed it for a hundred dollars!"

"You'll try it again, won't you?"

"Not for a thousand dollars."

Perhaps to some whose breath seems to be whisked from their bodies this
is the first reflection, but the fondness grows by practice.

Another famous winter sport is the national Scottish pastime of
curling, and even when transplanted to the colder climate of Canada,
the power which this sport possesses of firing sedate temperaments, and
heating them to the ebullition-point of enthusiasm, suffers not one
whit of diminution.  Your Canadian devotee of the "roaring game" of
"stane" and "tee" waxes every bit as excited over it as his Scottish
associate.

A French habitant having witnessed a game at Quebec for the first time
in his life, thus described it: "I saw to-day a gang of Scotchmen
throwing on the ice large iron balls shaped like bombshells, after
which they yelled, 'Soop! soop!' laughing like fools; and I really
think they were fools."

Nor is the summer without its delight.  All who can, make the Red
Indian their model, and turn back to the aboriginal life.  Summer homes
or camps in the forest are built on the islands which dot the many
inland lakes, and the long days are spent in canoeing, sailing,
bathing, and fishing, while at night bonfires are built on the shores,
all gather round, and to the twang of the banjo or guitar old college
choruses are sung or stories are told.  Moonlight in Muskoka is a
fairyland memory to those who have known it, and to these lakes alone
resort 20,000 summer visitors from Canada or their neighbours from the
South.

Others choose canoeing trips, after the manner of the old "Coureurs de
bois."  With Indian guides, weeks are spent in following the chains of
rivers and lakes, linked by portages (carrying-spaces), where all turn
to and "tote" canoe and stores across.  At night, after a supper of
fish just pulled out of the lake and cooked on the camp-fire, the sleep
in a tent on a bed of spruce boughs is a glorious treat to the city man
or maid.

In the cities games of all sorts are played.  Everywhere baseball, the
national game of the United States, is to be seen, and lacrosse, the
national game of Canada, adopted from the Indians, is a great
favourite; cricket, tennis, polo, golf, and bowls, all known games, are
played with the greatest fervour.  In track athletics and in aquatic
sports, Canadians have been seen to good advantage in many English
contests.



CHAPTER V

FIFTY BELOW ZERO

So long as there is no wind the cold in Canada is, on the whole, not
disagreeable.  The air is, as a rule, so dry and still that the cold is
exhilarating rather than painful.  Even when the thermometer drops as
low as 50° or 55° below zero--that is to say, when there is as much as
80° to 90° of frost in all--a man will be able to take his coat off and
keep himself warm at an active occupation such as wood-cutting.  Very
often, in fact, you only know that it is freezing as hard as it
actually is by hearing the crisp crunch, crunch of the snow under your
own feet, or under the hoofs of your horses.  When properly dressed,
with moccasins and thick woollen stockings on your feet and legs, thick
warm underclothing, and a heavy "mackinaw," or frieze jacket, worn over
a jersey, mitts--_i.e._, gloves without fingers--and a tuque, or a fur
cap pulled well down over your ears, you can generally defy the cold,
and so long as you are active you will not feel it anything like so
much as you would expect.

But when the wind blows it is altogether different, and the cold finds
its way in all round you, even through the thickest clothing.  Indeed,
when the temperature is very low, and it begins to snow hard, it is
dangerous to be out of doors.  The violent snowstorms which sometimes
come on at such times are known as "blizzards," and they are greatly
dreaded.  The air grows black, the snow turns into frozen particles of
ice, with sharp cutting edges, and the wind drives them with the speed
of shotcorns discharged from a gun.  It is impossible to hold up your
head against them; they would very soon cut your cheeks into ribbons.
How terrible a thing a blizzard is in the north-west of Canada will be
shown by the following story, which is quite true:

In a certain part of the prairie a blizzard began to blow.  The farmer
who was living there knew from the "feel" of the atmosphere and the
colour of the sky what was coming, and he hastened to prepare for it.
He put down a large supply of hay before each of his horses and each of
his cows, and made all weatherproof and safe in and about the stable,
for a blizzard often lasts two or three days or longer.  Then he
carried into the house as much firewood as he could before the storm
burst, and when at last it did come he was prepared for it.  For two
days and two nights it blew a fierce ice hurricane, and during all that
time the storm never slackened or abated for one single instant.  But
at the end of that time the farmer thought the blizzard was not so
fierce as it had been; so, taking his cap off the nail on the wall, he
tied it under his chin, and, pulling on his big boots, prepared to go
out to the stable to see how his horses and cows were getting on, and
whether they had eaten up all their hay.  Just as he had his hand on
the latch of the door his little girl came suddenly into the kitchen,
and, stretching out her arms, cried: "Daddy, me go.  Me want to go.
Daddy, take Lucy!"

The farmer hesitated.  But it was only ten yards or so across to the
stable, and the little one had been shut in so long, a change would do
her good.  He glanced at his wife to see if she agreed.  "Fetch mammy's
shawl, then," answered Lucy's father.  Little Lucy ran gleefully to
fetch the shawl, and both her father and mother wrapped her carefully
up in it, so that when the farmer picked her up in his arms to carry
her out she looked more like a bundle of dark red clothing than like a
living little girl.

The farmer was right; the blizzard was nothing like so fierce, and he
easily found his way across to the stable.  He fed his horses and his
cows, and satisfied himself that they were all safe and comfortable
again, and opened the stable-door to go back to the house.  But--the
house had disappeared; he was unable to see the smallest sign of it.
The blizzard had come back again whilst he was in the stable, and it
was now raging fiercer than ever.

[Illustration: A SETTLER'S FARM YARD]

However, he knew there was no help for it; get back to the house he
must, otherwise his wife would be consumed with the keenest anxiety on
his and Lucy's account, and she might perhaps be tempted to come out in
search of him.  Gathering the shawl, therefore, closer about his little
Lucy, and pressing her tightly to him, he bent his head and plunged out
into the furious hurricane of driving ice.  After running for some
seconds, he stopped to catch his breath, and judging he was near the
kitchen-door, he stretched out his hand, feeling for the latch, or
fastener.  He could not find it.  He swept his arm all round him as far
as he was able to reach.  No door anywhere.  Then he knew that he had
missed it.  In the blinding, cutting snowstorm he had done what so
often happens at such times and in such circumstances: he had failed to
steer a straight course, and had gone beside the house.

Which way to turn?  The farmer was in great perplexity.  He did not
know on which side of the house he was; in fact, he did not know where
he was at all.  He was just as likely to strike out into the open
prairie and go away from home as he was to run against his own
house-corner.  However, he realized the danger of standing still: he
might perish of cold, be frozen to death where he stood.  Accordingly,
throwing off the chill anxiety which was beginning to creep round his
heart, he struck out again at a crouching half-run in the direction in
which he fancied the house stood.  Again he had to stop to recover his
breath.  He had not yet found the house.  He was as far--or was he
farther?--from safety as ever he was.  A third time he tried, and a
fourth, and still without success.  He was beginning to despair of ever
reaching his own door again, when a faint sound caught his ear.  It
was--yes, it must be--his dog barking indoors.  Yet what a long way off
it seemed!  On the other hand, the farmer knew it could not really be a
very great distance away, because it was barely five minutes since he
had left the stable, and from the way in which he had run he was
confident he could not have travelled very far, even supposing he had
kept in one straight line all the time.  The cold was intense; the very
marrow in his bones seemed to shrivel under the icy blast.  Clutching
his precious burden tighter in his arms, he once more tried to find his
own house-door.  To his unspeakable joy the dog still continued to bark
at intervals, and the farmer followed the direction of the sound.
After the lapse of a minute or so, his feet struck against some hard
object lying on the ground, which he recognized as a certain post that
had fallen down, and in an instant he knew where he was.  Then it was a
matter of but a few seconds for him to fumble and feel his way along by
the broken fence to the house-corner, and from the house-corner to the
door was only a few steps more.  At last, to his delight--a delight
which no words can describe--his fingers clutched the latch, and he was
safe.

But when the farmer handed over the red shawl to his wife, and the wife
unwrapped it, to take out her beloved little one--oh, agony!  Lucy was
dead! frozen to death in her father's arms!



CHAPTER VI

LAW AND ORDER IN CANADA

In the older parts of the country, with the exception of the larger
cities, crime is rare, justice is well administered, the ordinary forms
of English law being followed; but the country has suffered in this
respect from the fact that there have been criminals among the many
emigrants arriving in recent years.  One naturally expects that there
will be lawlessness in the opening up of new countries, but certain
wise laws have saved Canada from this evil.  Many of the towns have
passed laws prohibiting the sale of alcoholic liquors; it is illegal to
sell liquor to Indians, as the Indian is dangerous when he gets
"fire-water"; liquor may not be sold in any railway construction camp,
or mining town, and the enforcement of this law has prevented much
crime.  The enforcement of the law is the duty of "licence inspectors,"
and they meet many queer adventures in the search for "blind pigs," as
the places are called where liquor is illegally sold.  At one place
whisky was brought in, concealed in cans of coal-oil; at another, a
shipment of Bibles on examination was found to be made of tin, and
filled with the desired spirit.  Another class of inspectors are the
"game wardens," whose duty it is to see that the laws with regard to
close seasons in fishing and hunting are observed.  They travel about
throughout the northland, and when they find evidence of law-breaking
they seize nets, guns, game, fish, or furs, and see that large fines
are imposed.

But Canadian reputation for law and justice owes more to that famous
organization of guardians of the peace, the North-West Mounted Police,
than to any other cause.  This body of men was organized in 1873 for
the preservation of order in the great North-West, which was then
populated by Indian tribes and half-breeds, with very few white men.
At present the force consists of 750 men, posted at ten different
divisions, officered by a commissioner and assistant-commissioner, and
in each division a superintendent and two inspectors.  The full-dress
uniform of the corps is a scarlet tunic with yellow facings, blue cloth
breeches with yellow stripes, white helmet, and cavalry boots and
overcoat.  On service, fur coats and moccasins are worn in winter, and
khaki with cowboy hats in summer.  Each constable looks after his own
horse--a cayuse or broncho about the size of a polo pony, worth about
£12, with his regimental number branded on him, and good to lope all
day and pick up his living, hobbled near his master's camp.  The
armament of the force consists of a carbine (.45--.75 Winchester) and a
.44 Enfield revolver.

This is the force that guards the territory stretching from the Great
Lakes to the Rockies, and from the forty-ninth parallel, the United
States boundary, to the Arctic Ocean--half a continent; and so well
have they done what seems an impossibility, that a man may walk from
one end to the other unarmed and alone, and with greater security than
he could in London from Piccadilly to the Bank.  The influence of the
corps depends on the fact that they are absolutely fair, and that,
whatever the cost or difficulty, they never give up till they have
landed their man.

When Piapot--restless, quarrelsome, drink-loving Piapot--and his
swarthy, hawk-faced following of Crees and Saultaux, hundreds of them,
spread the circles of their many smoke-tanned tepees near the
construction line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, beyond Swift
Current, there was inaugurated the preliminary of a massacre, an Indian
War, the driving out of the railway hands, or whatever other fanciful
form of entertainment the fertile brain of Piapot might devise.

The Evil One might have looked down with satisfaction upon the
assembly; there were navvies of wonderful and elastic moral
construction; bad Indians with insane alcoholic aspirations;
subservient squaws; and the keystone of the whole arch of
iniquity--whisky.  The railway management sent a remonstrance to the
Powers.  The Lieutenant-Governor issued an order; and two
policemen--two plain, red-coated, blue-trousered policemen--rode forth
carrying Her Majesty's commands.  Not a brigade, nor a regiment, nor a
troop, not even a company.  Even the officer bearing the written order
was but a sergeant.  That was the force that was to move this turbulent
tribe from the good hunting-grounds they had struck to a secluded place
many miles away.  It was like turning a king off his throne.  Piapot
refused to move, and treated the bearer of the Paleface Mother's
message as only a blackguard Indian can treat a man who is forced to
listen to his insults without retaliating.

The sergeant calmly gave him fifteen minutes in which to commence
striking camp.  The result was fifteen minutes of abuse--nothing more.
The young bucks rode their ponies at the police horses, and jostled the
sergeant and his companion.  They screamed defiance at him, and fired
their guns under his charger's nose and close to his head, as they
circled about in their pony spirit-war-dance.  When the fifteen minutes
were up, the sergeant threw his picket-line to the constable,
dismounted, walked over to Chief Piapot's grotesquely painted tepee,
and calmly knocked the key-pole out.  The walls of the palace
collapsed; the smoke-grimed roof swirled down like a drunken balloon
about the ears of Piapot's harem.  All the warriors rushed for their
guns, but the sergeant continued methodically knocking key-poles out,
and Piapot saw that the game was up.  He had either got to kill the
sergeant--stick his knife into the heart of the whole British nation by
the murder of this unruffled soldier--or give in and move away.  He
chose the latter course, for Piapot had brains.

Again, after the killing of Custer, Sitting Bull became a more or less
orderly tenant of Her Majesty the Queen.  With 900 lodges he camped at
Wood Mountain, just over the border from Montana.  An arrow's flight
from his tepees was the North-West Mounted Police post.  One morning
the police discovered six dead Saultaux Indians.  They had been killed
and scalped in the most approved Sioux fashion.  Each tribe had a
trademark of its own in the way of taking scalps; some are broad, some
are long, some round, some elliptical, some more or less square.  These
six Indians had been scalped according to the Sioux design.  Also a
seventh Saultaux, a mere lad and still alive, had seen the thing done.
The police buried the six dead warriors, and took the live one with
them to the police post.  Sitting Bull's reputation was not founded on
his modesty, and with characteristic audacity he came, accompanied by
four minor chiefs and a herd of "hoodlum" warriors, and made a demand
for the seventh Saultaux--the boy.

There were twenty policemen backing Sergeant McDonald; with the chief
there were at least 500 warriors, so what followed was really an affair
of prestige more than of force.  When Sitting Bull arrived at the
little picket-gate of the post, he threw his squat figure from his
pony, and in his usual generous, impetuous manner, rushed forward and
thrust the muzzle of his gun into Sergeant McDonald's stomach, as
though he would blow the whole British nation into smithereens with one
pull of his finger.  McDonald was of the sort that takes things coolly;
he was typical of the force.  He quietly pushed the gun to one side,
and told the five chiefs to step inside, as he was receiving that
afternoon.  When they passed through the little gate he invited them to
stack their arms in the yard and come inside the shack and pow-wow.
They demurred, but the sergeant was firm; finally the arms were stacked
and the chiefs went inside to discuss matters with the police.

Outside the little stockade it was play-day in Bedlam.  The young bucks
rode, and whooped, and fired their guns; they disturbed the harmony of
the afternoon tea, as the sergeant explained to Sitting Bull.  "Send
your men away," he told him.

The Sioux chief demurred again.

"Send them away," repeated the sergeant, "if you have any authority
over them."

At a sign Sitting Bull and the chiefs made towards the door, but there
were interruptions--red-coated objections.  And the rifles of the
chiefs were stacked in the yard outside.  Sitting Bull, like Piapot,
had brains; likewise was he a good general.  He nodded approvingly at
this _coup d'état_, and told one of the chiefs to go out and send the
boys away.

When the young bucks had withdrawn to their camp, the sergeant
persuaded Sitting Bull and the others to remain a little longer,
chiefly by force of the red-coated arguments he brought to bear upon
them.

"Tarry here, brothers," he said, "until I send Constable Collins and
two others of my men to arrest the murderers of the dead Indians.  The
Saultaux are subjects of the Queen, and we cannot allow them to be
killed for the fun of the thing.  Also the boy told us who the
murderers are."

Then Constable Collins--big Jack Collins, wild Irishman, and all the
rest of it--went over to the Sioux camp, accompanied by two
fellow-policemen, and arrested three of the slayers of the dead
Indians.  It was like going through the Inquisition for the fun of the
thing.  The Indians jostled and shoved them, reviled them, and fired
their pistols and guns about their ears, whirled their knives and
tomahawks dangerously close, and indulged in every other species of
torment their vengeful minds could devise.  But big Jack and his
comrades hung on to their prisoners, and steadily worked their way
along to the post.

[Illustration: THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS.  CHAPTER II.]

Not a sign of annoyance had escaped either of the constables up to the
time a big Indian stepped up directly in front of Jack Collins and spat
in his face.  Whirra, whirroo!  A big mutton-leg fist shot through the
prairie air, and the Sioux brave, with broken nose, lay like a crushed
moccasin at Jack's feet.

"Take that, you black baste!" he hissed, between his clenched teeth.
"An' ye've made me disobey orders, ye foul fiend!"

Then he marched his prisoners into the post, and reported himself for
misconduct for striking an Indian.  The three prisoners were sent to
Regina, and tried for murder.  I do not know whether Jack was punished
for his handiwork or not, though it is quite likely that he was
strongly censured at least.

In 1896 a party of several hundred Crees, who had gone on a raid into
Montana, were returned by the United States authorities, under guard of
a cavalry regiment, and the Mounted Police were notified to meet them
and take charge at the boundary.  What was the amazement of the
American officers to be met by a sergeant and two constables; but such
was the influence of their uniform that the Indians meekly marched
ahead of them back to their reserve.  In 1907 a single constable
followed an escaped convict and noted desperado for over 2,000 miles of
the pathless northern wilderness, and brought him back to stand trial.
These are but samples of what the North-West Mounted Police have been
doing for over thirty years for the fair name of Canada.

When the Strathcona Horse were organized for South African service, 300
members of the corps were mounted policemen; the gallant commander was
the commissioner, Lieutenant-Colonel Steele, and the whole Empire is
familiar with their record there.  Many of the members are "remittance
men," the younger sons and often the prodigals of well-known English
families, and not infrequently of noble birth.  In recent years there
has been added to their duties the care of the Yukon, and the
maintenance of order in this great gold camp far up at the Arctic
Circle has fully sustained their reputation.



CHAPTER VII

THE SHIP OF THE PRAIRIE

"All aboard!"  Such is the commanding cry which rings out in a Canadian
railway-station when a train is quite ready to start.  "All aboard!"
shouts the conductor as he walks briskly alongside the train.  In climb
the waiting passengers, and without further warning the big, ponderous
engine begins to move; and as it moves, the big bell which it carries
begins to toll, and keeps on tolling until the train is well clear of
the station.  There is no string of guards and porters crying, "Take
your seats, please!" and no ringing of a station bell, as in England.
The conductor is the master of the train.  Indeed, he is more like the
captain of a ship, and wields almost as much authority over his
passengers as does the captain of a big Atlantic liner.  You will
notice that his cry when the train is ready to start is one that would
be appropriate to use to people intending to embark on a vessel.  The
camel in tropical countries is called the "ship of the desert."  It
would be just as suitable to call the Canadian train the "ship of the
prairie," especially as many phrases are used with regard to trains
that we are more accustomed to associate with travelling by sea.  For
instance, when a Canadian merchant sends away by train a quantity of
timber or of potatoes, or even groceries, he always speaks of
"shipping" them.  Again, the men who are in charge of a train--namely,
the engine-driver, the stoker, the conductor, the luggage-clerk
(baggage-man), the post-office officials (mail-clerks), and the parcels
official (express agent), are spoken of collectively as the "train
crew."

The Canadian engine, which is a big, heavy thing, generally painted
black, so that it has not the smart look of an English railway
locomotive, carries a huge acetylene lamp fixed high up on the front of
the funnel, and with this it can light up the track for many yards in
front of it as it puffs along at night.  When it wants to give a
warning, it does not whistle in the shrill way an English railway
locomotive does: it gives out an ear-splitting, hoarse, hollow-sounding
scream or roar that can be heard a long way off, and also rings the big
"chapel" bell.  And when it is entering a station, it keeps on clanging
its bell until it comes to a dead standstill at the platform.

The through trains on the transcontinental railways carry three classes
of passengers--colonist, tourist, and first-class, or "Pullman," as
they are called, from the name of the great American firm which long
made the Pullman or palace cars for all the railways in America.  Those
who travel by the latter live as luxuriously as if they were at an
hotel; a dining-car accompanies them in which a full-course dinner is
served; there are libraries, shower-baths, even barber's shops, on some
of these trains, and each train is fitted with observation-cars with
glass sides, from which one can view the scenery at fifty miles an
hour.  Besides this, the railways maintain fine hotels at all the
places of interest, just as is done at home.

The conductor of the train not only does what the guard on an English
train does, but he also performs the duties of ticket-examiner and
booking- or ticket-clerk as well.  Whilst the train is still travelling
he walks through the cars, one after the other, and examines and
punches the passengers' tickets; and if a passenger has not got a
ticket, the conductor will give him one and take the money for it.
This saves the railway company the expense of having ticket-collectors
at every station.  Another reason why the conductor performs these
duties is that at many of the small stations there is no station-master
and no booking-clerk.  Except in certain of the largest towns, there
are no porters at the railway-stations.  In consequence of this,
railway-travellers generally carry only a small portmanteau or valise
in their hands.  The general name for a handbag, portmanteau, or valise
is "grip."  Before setting out on a journey the traveller hands his
heavy baggage over to the "baggage-master," who ties a strong cardboard
label to it bearing a number and a letter of the alphabet and the name
of the town the traveller is going to, and at the same time he gives a
similar piece of cardboard, bearing exactly the same number and the
same letter and the name of the town, to the passenger.  When the
passenger reaches the town he is going to, he goes to the
baggage-office and presents his cardboard ticket, and the official
gives up to him the trunk or box which bears the corresponding number
and letter.  This is called "checking baggage through."

The passenger coaches, known as "cars," on the Canadian railways are
very different from the passenger carriages in England.  You do not
enter at doors in the sides, but you climb up to a platform at the end
and enter from the platform.  A gangway runs through the middle of the
car from the one end to the other.  In this way, even when the engine
is running at full speed, you are able to travel all through the train,
crossing from one car to the other by means of the platforms at the end
of each.  On each side of the gangway of the car are the seats, facing
each other, and affording room for four passengers in each recess.  At
night the seats can be pulled out until they meet one another, and in
that way they make a bed, on which the porter places mattresses and
bedclothes and around which he hangs curtains.  About one-half of the
passengers generally sleep, however, above the heads of those who lie
on the seats.  High up, all along the sides of each gangway, there are
big, broad shelves, which can be let down at night, and pushed up again
out of the way in the daytime.  It is on these shelves that many of the
passengers sleep.  Each "shelf" will hold two people.

At each end of each car there are dressing and washing rooms, and on
emigrant sleeping-cars a recess holds a small stove for cooking.  In
the early morning, on an emigrant or colonist train, quite a crowd of
people gather round the door of their little dressing-room, waiting
their turns to get in, for the room is very tiny, and will not hold
more than three persons at a time, especially when one is a man trying
to shave without cutting his chin, for very often the cars shake and
rattle, and even lurch and jump.  Every man comes in his shirt-sleeves,
and carries his towel and hair-brush, his soap or his comb; and whilst
they stand about waiting their turns, there is generally a good deal of
good-natured gossiping and jesting, especially if the train shakes
much, and they stumble against one another.  On a Pullman, or
first-class sleeping-car, however, the accommodation is much better,
and one can wash and dress almost as comfortably as in a good hotel.

Nearly all Canadians are great travellers.  The large towns are mostly
situated wide apart, and to get from the one to the other you generally
have to make long journeys.  In all countries railways are important
features; but in Canada, owing to the vast distances and the way in
which the population live scattered over the immense territory, the
railways are of especial importance.  Frequently the railway is the
first pioneer in opening up a district for settlement, being built to
reach a wealthy mine or a petroleum-field, and as the railway
penetrates mile after mile into the unoccupied valley, little towns
spring up alongside it.  In this way the hoarse bray of the
railway-engine awakens the sleeping echoes of mountain glen or river
valley before the sound of the settler's axe is heard or the smoke of
the emigrant's camp-fire seen.  The two biggest railways in Canada are
the Canadian Pacific Railroad, known in short form as the C.P.R., and
the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad, or the G.T.R.  Both these form a
link, and a very important link, in the route between England on the
one side and Japan, China, and Australia on the other.

In the Rocky Mountains and in the other ranges the gradients on the
railways are necessarily very steep, one at the Kicking Horse Pass (so
called from the figure of a great horse which can be seen in the rock
on the side of the mountain) is 6 in 100.  In rainy weather, and in the
spring, when the frost loosens the soil, huge boulders may come sliding
down and cover the track.  As the track curves in all directions (near
Glacier one can see four tracks side by side as it loops round to climb
the mountain-side), it would be impossible for the engineer to see
these obstructions in time to save his train, so the track is patrolled
constantly by men night and day.  On the steep gradients there are
switches which lead off from the main line and run up the
mountain-side, so that a train rushing down the slope and running up on
to one of these tracks soon loses its impetus and slows down.  These
traps are used to stop the train when there is danger ahead, the patrol
opens the switch, which automatically sets a signal, so that the
engineer knows what is coming, and the train loses its force up the
steep switch instead of plunging into the abyss below.  As you lie in
your berth at night and watch the great shining spot of the searchlight
on the front of the engine as it lights up mountain, crag, and deep
defile 1,000 yards ahead, the clear whistle rings out in the night;
anxiously you count one, two, three, four, and sink back relieved.
"All right on the main line!" and you know that the lonely patrol man
is faithful in the humble task on which the life of hundreds may depend.

In many parts of Canada the snowfall is very heavy, and causes the
railways constant trouble, for if the wind blows it soon piles up, so
that the trains cannot force their way through it.  Of course it would
take too long to shovel it out by hand, so gigantic snow-ploughs are
used.  These are pushed ahead of the engine, and send the snow flying
to the fences on both sides of the track.  Where it is very deep and
frozen hard, a "rotatory low" is used, with a large boring machine
attached to the front of it to cut its way into the drifts, and often
from two to four engines may be needed to force it through the deepest
cuts.  In the mountain districts, where the track is exposed to snow
slides, the tracks are covered by great sheds of strong timber, over
which the white avalanche can slide into the cañon below.

[Illustration: "THE SHIP OF THE PRAIRIE." _Allan Stewart_]

The history of the Canadian railways has thus been very different from
that of the English railways, for these last were mostly built to
connect the big towns together, and the towns existed before the
railways were built.

There is also another great difference between the English and the
Canadian railways.  In the former country the men who built the
railways were obliged to buy all the land they wanted to build them on.
In the latter country--Canada--the land was given by the Government to
those who constructed the railways; and not only that, but the
Government paid them to build their lines by granting them many acres
of land on each side of the track all the way through.  This was
because there were not enough people in the regions through which the
railways were made to provide sufficient passengers and traffic to pay
the expenses of running trains.

In the mountainous districts, especially in the Far West, the railways
are often the principal highways.  There are no other roads, and so
people walk along the railway-lines.  When a man tramps a long distance
in this way he is said to "count the ties," for the cross-beams of wood
on which the steel rails are laid are not called "sleepers," as they
are in England, but they are called "ties."  And it is usual for these
ties to be looked after, over a distance of several miles, by a small
gang of men called "section men."  It is their duty to keep the
railway-track safe by cutting out old and worn-out ties, and putting
new ones in their places.  In lonely parts of the country the
section-men's house, or "shack," is sometimes the only human dwelling
to be found for many miles.  The section-men generally go to and from
their work on a machine called a "trolley," or hand-car, a sort of
square wooden platform running on four wheels.  The men stand on the
platform and work two big handles up and down, very much as a man works
a pump-handle, and by that means turn the cranks which make the wheels
go round.  "The speeder" is the name given to a smaller vehicle or
machine, which runs on three wheels, one of them running at the end of
a couple of iron rods, something like the outrigger on a surf-boat of
Madras.  The speeder is worked by one man, who propels it after the
manner of one riding a bicycle.  This is a very useful means of
travelling when a doctor is summoned into the country and there is no
train to be had for several hours; for on some of the Canadian lines
there is only one train a day each way, the same set of engine and cars
running up and down the line every day.

The goods trains are known as freight trains.  The "cars" which run on
them are very much bigger and heavier than the trucks on an English
goods train, and can carry 20 to 50 tons each.  When the cars are sent
back empty, they are generally made up into trains of enormous length.
As many as fifty-six have been counted in one train, so that the train
itself is often more than a quarter of a mile long, and in the
mountainous parts looks like a gigantic snake, as it winds, let us say,
alongside a lake, following every curve and indentation of its shore.

  "Through the gorge that gives the stars at noon-day clear--
  Up the pass that packs the scud beneath our wheel--
  Round the bluff that sinks her thousand fathom sheer--
  Down the valley with our guttering brakes asqueal:
  Where the trestle groans and quivers in the snow,
  Where the many-shedded levels loop and twine,
  Hear me lead my reckless children from below
  Till we sing the song of Roland to the pine.

  "So we ride the iron stallions down to drink,
  Through the cañons to the waters of the west!"
                            KIPLING: _The Song of the Banjo_.



CHAPTER VIII

GOLDEN WHEAT AND THE BIG RED APPLE

The most important product of the Dominion of Canada is wheat.  Except
for a little hay and oats, the big prairie provinces of Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, and Alberta are especially noted for their production of
wheat, which they yield in truly enormous quantities.  In point of
quality Canadian wheat ranks amongst the best in the world.  But the
three big prairie provinces are not the only ones that produce wheat;
it is also grown in Ontario, as well as, in smaller quantity, in each
of the other provinces.

As soon as the snow disappears in spring, the prairie farmer gets out
his ploughs, and if he owns, as many of the prairie farmers do, large
tracts of land, his ploughs are worked by steam.  In the North-West
there are no fields and no fences, except, it may be, round the home
paddock.  In this case the ploughs set in and follow one another from
one end of the farm to the other; and when they reach the boundary of
the farm, they turn round and plough back again.  Thus the furrow may
be a quarter of a mile, half a mile, or even a mile long.  The
ploughing finished, the seed is sown.  When harvest comes, the ripe
corn is cut down by the reaping-machines, following one another in the
same way as the ploughs.  In many cases the wheat is threshed at the
same time that it is cut, and the grain put, not into sacks, but loose
straight into the waggons, which are built up like huge bins.  The
wheat is then hauled to the nearest town where there is an elevator or
granary.  Here it is graded, or separated into different sizes, by fine
riddles or sieves driven by machinery, and the farmer is paid so much a
bushel for his wheat, the price varying with the grade, or size and
hardness and quality of the grain.  The straw is very often burned, as
the easiest way to get rid of it.  If a North-West farmer has three
good years in succession, he can, it is sometimes asserted, retire from
business and live on a competency for the rest of his life.

After the harvest the railways of the prairie provinces are exceedingly
busy carrying the wheat to the shipping ports, where it can be loaded
into ships to be taken across the ocean.  The greater part of this
wheat is consumed in England and Scotland, and a great deal of it is
put on board ship at Port Arthur and Fort William on the northern shore
of Lake Superior, whence it goes all the rest of the way by water.  A
large portion of it is, however, ground into flour before ever it
leaves Canada, and the flour is sent to make bread for boys and girls,
not only in England and Scotland, but also in Australia, in China, and
Japan.

In Alberta, just east of the Rocky Mountains, where the climate is
milder than in the heart of the prairie provinces, a large number of
cattle are reared and fed, and there a good deal of hay is cut, and
sent over the mountains into British Columbia.

For many years the chief agency in opening up the North-West was the
cattle-rancher.  The life of the cowboy, though not so romantic as it
is sometimes represented to be, has, nevertheless, its interesting side
to the man who loves the free life of the open air.  "The business of
ranching has grown from a small beginning of the early days to be one
of the great industries of the West.  It began when the Mounted Police
brought into Southern Alberta a couple of milch cows and a few yokes of
oxen for their own use."  This was about the year 1873.  Three years
later a member of the same force bought a small herd, but having no
other way of providing for the animals, he turned them loose on the
prairie to shift for themselves.  There, although without shelter or
provision for food, they survived the winter, escaping the wolves,
predatory Indians, and prairie fires.  Nowadays, cattle are generally
left cut of doors on the prairies all the winter in Alberta.  Here the
winters are neither severe nor prolonged.  "The days are bright and
cloudless, and the light snowfalls are neither frequent nor lasting.
They vanish before the warm Chinook winds, and are followed by days of
soft weather.  There are cold snaps in January and the early part of
February, but the winter breaks up early in March, and before April the
prairies are spangled with flowers--false indigo, shooting stars, and
violets, with roses, lupines, and vetches, following after--until the
prairie is all aglow with wonderful colour."

In Alberta, as well as in the provinces of Eastern Canada, a good deal
of cheese and butter are made.  The farmers do not make it in their own
dairies, but they take it to creameries and to cheese-factories, like
those which are run on the co-operative principle in Ireland, Denmark,
and other countries.

The principal town of the prairie provinces is Winnipeg, the capital of
Manitoba, which has a good deal of the appearance of a brand-new,
go-ahead American city.  In 1881 its population was 6,000; twenty-five
years later it reached 100,000.  It has a very large volume of trade.

In the provinces of Nova Scotia and Ontario large quantities of fruit
are grown and exported to England.  In Nova Scotia apples are the fruit
most extensively raised; the valleys of Annapolis and Cornwallis in
that province are especially famous for their fine red apples.  In
Ontario the fruit-growing region is the peninsula which projects
southwards between the great lakes.  There apples are not the only
fruit produced in large quantity; grapes and peaches are also grown on
a large scale, grapes more especially in the neighbourhood of the
famous Niagara Falls.  But in recent years the distant western province
of British Columbia has come rapidly to the front as a producer of
fruit, especially of apples, cherries, peaches, and strawberries.
These last, strawberries, as well as cherries, are sold principally in
the towns of the prairie provinces.  The apples are rapidly taking rank
as amongst the best in the world.  They are of magnificent colour, free
from every form of disease or blemish, and travel well for long
distances.

In December, 1907, an apple-show was held at New Westminster, at the
mouth of the Fraser River, in British Columbia, where prizes were given
(1) for the best display of apples, (2) for the five best packed boxes
of apples, and (3) for the single best packed box.  Out of these three
events, British Columbia apples won two first prizes and one second,
although she had for competitors some of the most expert growers in the
United States.  And again in December of the following year, at a great
apple-show held at Spokane, in the American State of Washington,
undoubtedly the biggest and most important apple-show ever held in any
part of the world, British Columbia covered herself with glory.  The
prize-money amounted to no less than £7,000, and the separate prizes
amounted to as much as £100.  In this great show, at which expert
fruit-growers from all over the United States, from Eastern Canada,
from British Columbia, from England, Germany, and Norway, were pitted
one against the other, British Columbia won several of the most
important of the prizes, and on the whole, considering the amount of
fruit she staged, won a long way more than her proper proportion of
prizes.  The writer of this book was himself the proud winner of twelve
prizes for apples at this great show.  Altogether it is estimated that
something like 400 tons of apples, all of them, of course, specially
picked fruit, were shown on the tables of the Spokane apple-show.  What
a sight for a British schoolboy!  The biggest apple in the show weighed
close upon 2 pounds in weight!

The apples of Ontario and Nova Scotia are packed into light wooden
barrels; those of British Columbia in oblong boxes holding 40 pounds.
No matter what the size or the variety of the apples, all have to be
packed in the one sized box.  When well packed, with the apples all
level and even, and beautifully coloured, as they nearly always are, a
box of British Columbia apples is a perfectly lovely sight.  And they
are as good as they look.  But even more appetizing and attractive is a
box of Kootenay cherries, Kootenay being the name of the principal
cherry-growing district of British Columbia.  The boxes into which the
cherries are packed are, of course, much smaller than the boxes into
which the apples are packed.  A cherry box holds only 8 pounds of fruit.

One of the most beautiful of all the beautiful sights on a fruit-ranch
is the blossoming of the cherry-trees in May.  The waxy white blossoms
not only cover--literally and truly cover--the branches from end to
end, but they also stick to the trunk and main limbs of the trees, much
as the feathers muffle the legs of certain kinds of pullets.

[Illustration: OTTAWA.  PAGE 80.  _T. Mower Martin, R.C.A._]

The fruit-ranches in Kootenay, and many of those in the even more
famous Valley of Okanagan, occupy some of the most beautiful situations
in the world, being strung along the feet of lofty rocky mountains,
with a lake washing their lower margin.  And how magnificently
beautiful are these mountains and the deep, tranquil lakes which nestle
in their arms!



CHAPTER IX

CANADIAN TIMBER

The largest share of the natural wealth of Canada is derived from her
unlimited acres and square miles of wheat-lands.  Next in importance to
her wheat is her timber.  Considerably more than one-third of the total
area of the Dominion is covered with forests.  With the exception of
the province of Prince Edward Island, all the older provinces are rich
in valuable trees.  British Columbia is said to have "the greatest
compact reserve of timber in the world."  The vast prairies of the
North-West have never, since the white man set foot on the American
continent, been at all well wooded, although to the north of the
settled wheat-lands there is a forest region nearly fifty times as big
as England, stretching from Labrador on the east to Yukon on the west.

Wood is consequently of vast importance to almost every man in Canada.
In one way or another it figures in the daily life of almost every
inhabitant of the Dominion.  The strange words, "M^3 Shiplap and
Rustic," are familiar to the eye and ear of every builder of a house;
and who is there in Canada who does not at some time or other build a
house, or help to build one?  "M^3" means "cubic feet."  "Shiplap" and
"rustic" are special cuts and pieces of timber used in house-building.
Logs and lumber are therefore household words to the Canadian.  As Dr.
Fernow, head of the Forestry Department of the University of Toronto,
puts it: "Our civilization is built on wood.  From the cradle to the
coffin in some shape or other it surrounds us as a conveyance or a
necessity....  We are rocked in wooden cradles, play with wooden toys,
sit on wooden chairs, ... are entertained by music from wooden
instruments, enlightened by information printed on wooden paper with
black ink made from wood."  More than one-half the people of Canada
live in wooden houses; more than two-thirds use wood as fuel.
Thousands of miles of railway rest on wooden ties, or sleepers.  The
waters of the Canadian lakes are daily churned by the wooden paddles of
wooden steamboats; fleets of wooden vessels ply up and down the coasts.
More than 300 years ago the French, who were the first settlers in
Canada, began to cut in her forests spars and masts for the royal navy,
and later the practice was followed by the British.

The long droning whine of the saw-mill is to-day one of the most
familiar sounds beside the lakes and rivers of Canada.  Down at the
water's edge you may see the woodman "poying" the big logs to the foot
of the upward incline that feeds the saw-tables, skilfully guiding them
so that the iron teeth of the endless gliding chain which runs up and
down the incline may seize hold upon them and carry them up to the edge
of the huge, whizzing, groaning, whining circular saw above.  At the
other end of the mill, or somewhere beside it, you will see the sawn
wood stacked up in squares--planks of various widths and thicknesses.

If you turn away from the sawmill and wander alongside the river, you
will see a perfect multitude of logs, thousands of them, held together
inside a boom of logs, chained or ironed together, like a huge flock of
sheep penned within a sheepfold.  These immense masses of timber are
floated down the streams in spring, when the snows, melting, flood the
rivers with swift, eddying, and often turbulent freshets.  Occasionally
it happens that the stream grows so swift and violent that it causes
the logs to burst the boom or log-linked enclosure within which they
are confined.  Then away career the logs down the bosom of the
rebellious torrent, and the owner may esteem himself remarkably lucky
if he recovers even a small proportion of them.  The breaking of a boom
in this way may therefore represent a loss of hundreds, and even
thousands, of pounds.  In some cases, where these lumber-rafts have to
travel long distances, the men in charge of them live on the raft
throughout the whole of their journey, which may last some weeks.  If
you want to read a fascinating story about the men who engage in this
work, read "The Man from Glengarry," by the Canadian novelist, Ralph
Connor.

If you travel up the stream until you reach one of its higher
tributaries, and turn up beside the latter, you may eventually find
yourself at one of the lumber-camps which feed the far-off saw-mill in
the valley below.  In a picturesque clearing in the forest you will see
the low but comfortable log cabin and log stable; you will see the
timber-slide, with a rill of water flowing down it to make the logs
slide more easily as they are shot down into the tributary stream; you
will hear the crack of the teamster's whip and his cheery cry as he
urges on his horses--four, six, eight, or ten of them--straining at a
rough sleigh on which rest the ends of one, two, three, four, or five
big logs; you may hear the swish of the big, two-handled cross-cut saw,
as the woodmen cut through the trunk of gigantic fir, cedar, or spruce,
or the slow, resonant crash as the forest giant totters, falls, smashes
prone to the earth; you may hear the ring of the woodmen's axes as they
lop away its branches and strip off its bark.

The men who guide these big timber-booms down the broad, swift rivers
of the Canadian forest-lands, and pilot them over the boiling rapids,
are marvellously clever in keeping their balance on the unsteady,
ever-rolling logs.  A favourite pastime with them is log-rolling.
Wearing boots for the purpose--boots shod with sharp steel spikes--they
walk out, each man on a broad log, and set it rolling.  Once the log is
started, it begins to roll at an increasing speed.  Faster and faster
go the feet of the raftsman; faster and faster spins the log.  With
arms outstretched and every muscle tense, the raftsman preserves his
balance long after an ordinary landsman would have gone
over--souse!--into the stream.  That is indeed the fate which overtakes
all of the competitors except one, and he--the man who preserves his
balance the longest--is, of course, the winner of the game, the envied
of his companions, the admired of all the lumber-jacks and their
numerous friends.  The cleverest men at this sport are the
French-Canadians.

Nevertheless, all is not always peace and contentment in a Canadian
forest.  To say nothing of the wild beasts--_e.g._, bear, lynx,
mountain lion--which live in them, the actual trees of the forest are
themselves a source of menace and danger to men.  During the hot, dry
days of summer an unheeded spark from a woodman's pipe, a red-hot
cinder from a passing train, a neglected camp-fire--the ashes left
unextinguished--are each enough to ignite the highly inflammable
undergrowths of the forest; and once set alight, the moss which carpets
the floor of the forest, the broken sticks which litter the ground from
many a winter storm, the bushes, the dead trees, all catch up the
flame, and after smouldering, it may be for weeks, the whole forest
suddenly bursts into flame.  If this happens when a strong wind is
blowing, nothing hardly can save the town or settlement, the ranch or
saw-mill, that may chance to lie on the side of the fire towards which
the wind is blowing.  And it is indeed not only a grand but also a
terrible sight to stand and watch a large "bush"-fire raging over, say,
a square mile or two on a mountain-side.  You see the red flames
towering up like so many gigantic pillars of fire, now leaping up, now
sinking down.  As the fire appears to die down in one quarter, you see
it break out with great and sudden fury in another, and then ere long
it takes a fresh lease of life in the direction in which it first died
down.  A forest fire such as this advances with terrible swiftness, and
woe to the houses which lie in its path!  In the summer of 1908 the
town of Fernie, a place of 5,000 to 6,000 inhabitants, situated in the
Crow's Nest Pass of the Rocky Mountains, was almost completely blotted
out and extinguished in the course of a few hours; and so sudden was
the onset or the fire that the people had literally to flee for their
very lives, leaving everything they possessed behind them, and even in
some cases in their hurry and confusion losing touch with those who
were near and dear to them.  A bush-fire is an awful visitation.  It
also means a very serious loss of valuable timber, no matter where it
occurs.

The maple, whose leaf in conjunction with the beaver is the national
emblem of Canada, yields in the spring a very sweet sap, which is
boiled down to produce a syrup or sugar of a very delicious flavour.
Doubtless its qualities were learned from the Indians, and the earlier
settlers in the woods depended on it altogether for sugar.  Now it is
prepared as a luxury.  "Sugar-making weather," bright, clear days, with
frosty nights, come in March.  To the great delight of the children the
trees are tapped by boring a small hole in the trunk, and affixing a
small iron spout, which leads the sap to a pail.  The rate at which it
drops varies, but as much as two gallons may be collected from a tree
in a day.  This is boiled in iron pots, hung over a fire in the woods,
or in the up-to-date way in a large flat pan, till it thickens to syrup.

In the old days sugaring off was a great occasion; all the neighbouring
boys and girls were asked in, and amid much jollification around the
bright fire at night in the forest, the hot sugar was poured off on the
snow, forming a delicious taffy, and all "dug in" at the cost of burnt
fingers and tongue.  Songs were sung, ghost-stories told, the girls
were frightened by bears behind the trees, and this unique gathering
broke up in groups of two or three, finding their way home in the
moonlight through the maple wood.

The Canadian youth has many opportunities for a life in the wilds which
all boys enjoy.  In order to prevent the occurrence of the destructive
forest-fires, fire-rangers are appointed throughout the whole of
Northern Ontario, whose duty it is to patrol a certain part of the
woods and see that no careless camper has left his fire smouldering
when he strikes camp.  The young men appointed for this duty are
usually students from the colleges who are on their holidays; they work
in pairs, and live in a tent pitched at some portage; they see no one
but passing tourists or prospectors, and each day they walk over the
trail and return--a certain stated distance.  The rest of their time
they have for fishing and other pleasures of life in the forest.  They
return in the autumn brown as Indians, and strong and healthy after the
most enjoyable and useful of holidays.



CHAPTER X

WEALTH IN ROCK AND SAND

The history of gold and silver has always been romantic and exciting,
and Canada has furnished her full share of adventure and fortune,
riches won in a day and lost in a night.  All known minerals are found
scattered here and there over the thousands of miles of north land.
Besides the precious metals, the most important are coal, iron, nickel,
and asbestos, and the deposits of the last two are much the most
important in the world.  Gold was first found by the Indians, who made
ornaments of it; they found it in the sands of the rivers, and from
there prospectors followed it to where it was hidden in ore in the
mountains.  The most famous deposits are in the Yukon, and no mining
camp had a more exciting history than this, where working men staked
claims that brought them a fortune and lost it in cards and dice
overnight.  But the Government saw that rights were respected, and soon
banks were opened to keep the "dust," and the miner everywhere admits
that he gets a "square deal" in Canada.  At Cobalt it is said that the
silver deposits were first found when a horse, pawing the rock with his
iron shoe, uncovered the "cobalt bloom," the colour that there is the
sign of silver.  Another story is that a man picked up a stone to throw
at a squirrel and found it so heavy that he examined it, to find it
solid silver.  If you went there you would be shown the famous "silver
sidewalk" (pavement), 18 inches wide, and running for several hundred
yards, of solid silver.  It sounds like a tale from the "Arabian
Nights."

[Illustration: MAIN STREET, WINNIPEG.  PAGE 50.]

Every night in the year for the last seventeen years, halfway up the
side of a lofty mountain overhanging a beautiful lake in Western
Canada, and opposite to one of the most progressive towns of the
interior of the Dominion, a solitary light might be seen burning.  The
stranger naturally wonders what the light can mean in such a spot.  The
mountain-side consists entirely of bare rock, with a few trees growing
out of the crevices.  There is not a blade of grass, not a sign of any
single thing that could be of the slightest use to any human being.
What does that light mean, then, up on the steep and lonely
mountain-side?  It does not move.  It is always stationary, always
visible, in exactly the same place, and always burning in exactly the
same way.  What does it mean?

If you address your inquiry to one of the older residents in the town
opposite, he will tell you: "Oh, that's Coal-Oil Johnnie's light."

"But who is Coal-Oil Johnnie?" you at once ask again.

"Coal-Oil Johnnie's a half-crazy miner, who lives up there and works a
mine."

"What sort of a mine?"

"A gold-mine."

"But is it really a gold-mine?  And is he working up there all by
himself?"

"Sure," replies your informant, in the word that is sterling Canadian
for "Yes, certainly."

"And does he never come down?  Does he always live by himself?"

Then you will be told all that is known about Coal-Oil Johnnie--namely,
that he is slightly affected in his mind, that for seventeen years he
has with unwavering perseverance worked away at a gold-bearing vein,
worked in solitude, doggedly, perseveringly, drilling, cutting, and
blasting a tunnel to wealth and fortune, which he implicitly believes
is locked fast in the granite heart of the mountain.

Then will come your next question: "But why do you call him _Coal-Oil_
Johnnie?"

"Oh, that's because, when he wants money to buy himself bread or more
dynamite for blasting, he comes down into the town, and peddles round
coal-oil to people's houses."

"Coal-oil!  That's what they call petroleum in England, isn't it?"

"Sure."

Now, Coal-Oil Johnnie has not yet found his fortune, but who knows how
soon he may do so?  Scores of other men have worked away with the same
faith and the same hope, and have reaped the rewards they have toiled
for in a much shorter time than Coal-Oil Johnnie has devoted to the one
great object of _his_ life.  And yet others have laboured longer, and
are still living on the faith, hope, and perseverance that is in them.

An ordinary Italian labourer, who came out to Canada and found
employment in a gold-mine, worked on there until the mine was given up
as being exhausted.  But Pietro Lavoro was of a different opinion.
After a while he went to the owners and asked them to grant him a lease
of the mine.  They agreed.  Shouldering his pick, therefore, and
lashing his tent and axe, his rock-drills, his miner's hammer, and some
sticks of dynamite, as well as a bag of flour and a case or two of
tinned meat, upon a small hand-sleigh--the whole of his fortune, in
fact--Pietro set off to trudge up the mountain-side, and for several
hours toiled along the steep trail leading to the Auro Rosso mine.  At
the end of two years Pietro Lavoro was a wealthy man.  He had a big
mining camp up at the Auro Rosso, and over forty men were employed in
getting out the ore.  At the bank down in the town below there was a
sum of $50,000 standing to his credit, and packed in bags, close to the
entrance to the gallery that pierced the mountain, was sufficient ore
to yield him another $50,000.  Pietro is only waiting for the snow to
come to "raw-hide" the ore down to the lake, that he may get it
transported to the smelter, where the gold will be separated for him
from the stone.

The ore from which the gold is extracted is packed into bags each about
a foot long, and weighing two or three hundredweight.  The way these
heavy bags are taken down the steep mountain-side, where it is utterly
impossible for a vehicle on wheels to move, is to pack them into a
bullock's raw hide spread out on the ground.  The corners are then
gathered up and tied together.  After that the hide, harnessed to
horses, is dragged down over the frozen snow.  In that way a horse is
able to take down a much larger quantity of ore than it could possibly
carry on its back, and with much greater safety to itself.  This is
called "raw-hiding."

An even greater degree of faith and hope and perseverance was shown by
the man who laboured for nine years at the opening up and development
of another mine, working, not with his own hands, but in directing the
systematic construction of galleries, the erection of stamp-mills, and
the building of all the other appurtenances of a
scientifically-equipped and up-to-date mine.  This man risked very much
more than the other--than Pietro Lavoro--namely, a large amount of
capital.  But at the end of nine years he, too, reaped his reward, for
he sold his mine as a going concern to a party of American capitalists
for a goodly sum.

All the three mines thus far spoken of are mines cut into the solid
rock, and the hard stone has to be crushed in powerful stamping-mills
and roasted in smelters before the precious metal can be extracted.
There are mines of this description in both the east and the west of
Canada.  But gold is also obtained from a different source--namely,
from the sands of rivers, out of which it is got by a process of
washing the sand, or "dirt" as the miners call it.  In the course of
the washing, the gold, which is heavier than the sand, sinks to the
bottom of the wooden trough, or rocker, or other receptacle, in which
the gold-bearing sands are sluiced.

Two rivers of Western Canada have been especially famous for yielding
gold in this way.  One is the Fraser and the other is the Yukon.  The
discovery of gold in the sands of the former led to a wild miners' rush
in 1858, and that was followed, three years later, by an equally mad
rush into the neighbouring district of Caribou, in British Columbia;
but in both cases the fever abated in the course of a year or two,
after the gold-bearing sands had all been worked over.  The rush to the
Yukon was, perhaps, even greater than either of these, notwithstanding
that the hardships which had to be encountered were immeasurably
greater.  The gold-fields of the Yukon, known as Klondyke, are situated
near the Arctic Circle, many hundreds of miles from the settled abodes
of civilization, and in a part of the world where the winter cold is of
appalling severity.  Except for a limited amount of garden produce,
food, and indeed every kind of supplies, have to be transported many
hundreds of miles.

Gold is not, however, the only mineral of value that is obtained from
the bowels of the earth in Canada.  Very many of the other metals which
are prized by man are also extracted, such as silver, lead, zinc,
copper, coal, and iron.  The Cobalt silver-mines in Northern Ontario
and those of the Slocan district of British Columbia are equally
famous.  Coal is yielded at Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, at Fernie,
Michel, and other places in the Crow's Nest Pass of the Rocky
Mountains, and in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

At the fairs and annual festivals, which are a prominent institution of
both American and Canadian towns and cities of the West, a good deal of
interest centres round the competition known as rock-drilling.  This is
carried on by sets of two men, both expert miners.  The task the two
men set themselves is to drive their rock-drills as far as ever they
can into a solid piece of rock in the course of fifteen minutes.  One
man holds the rock-drill, whilst the other smites it with a big miner's
hammer.  At the end of each minute the two men change places, so that
the man who held the drill the first minute wields the hammer in the
second, and his mate, who wielded the hammer during the first minute,
gets a rest during the second, whilst he is in his turn holding the
drill.  And terribly hard work it is, for the hammerman smites with all
his might, and his blows fall like lightning.  At the end of the
contest both men are generally dripping with perspiration.  And no
wonder! when in the space of fifteen minutes two men such as these will
drive their drills, as they really do, no less than 1 yard deep into a
solid block of granite, or at the rate of over 2 inches in each minute.
A marvellous exhibition, not merely of muscular strength, but also of
skill and quickness!  And truly it is a wonderful sight to see with
what rapidity the men change places again and again, without appearing
to miss a single stroke of the ponderous hammer.



CHAPTER XI

SPOILS OF SEA AND WOOD

"You often hear tall stories of the way the salmon swarm in the Fraser
River," remarked an old frontiersman one day to a "new chum" recently
arrived in Canada from England.  "Those stories are often dished up to
suit a palate that is just waiting to be tickled with cayenne, but they
are not altogether fiction."

The new chum, having still "tender feet," hesitated about putting his
foot in, and merely looked the inquiry which he was unable to conceal.

"Well, you may believe me or not, sir, but it is God's truth that I
once saw a man standing on the bank of the river at ----," and he named
a village near New Westminster in the delta of the Fraser, "and he was
flinging the salmon out on the bank with an ordinary hay-fork, and he
was working so that the sweat rolled off him."

"But what did he want so many fish for as that?  Surely he could not
eat them all?"

"No, sir; his meadow was in want of fertilization, and fish manure,
even when it consists of the carcasses of salmon, is not to be
despised."

Other stories about the enormous numbers of salmon in the Fraser River
of British Columbia tell how the fish are so crowded together that it
is impossible for a man to thrust his hand in between them, and how
they form such a solid mass that it almost looks as if you could walk
across the big broad river on their backs, and could reach the opposite
bank dryshod.

The tinned salmon that is such a familiar object in grocers' shops is
captured, killed, cooked, and sealed down in those tins in big
factories called "canneries," which stand pretty thick beside the river
in certain parts of the lower course of the Fraser.

[Illustration: BIG FOREST TREES, BRITISH COLUMBIA.  CHAPTER 11.]

On the eastern side of Canada, again, off the coasts of Nova Scotia,
Newfoundland (which, by the way, is an independent colony, and does not
yet form part of the Dominion of Canada), Cape Breton, and Prince
Edward Island, there is a large population of hardy fisher-folk, who
for generations have fished for cod on the inexhaustible "banks of
Newfoundland."  And even before their ancestors settled on American
soil the hardy fishermen from Brittany, in France, and from the Basque
country on the borders of France and Spain, used to dare the perils of
the stormy Atlantic that they might go and reap the silvery harvest of
the sea in the same fish-teeming waters.  And for over 300 years great
fleets of fishing-boats from both Europe and the maritime provinces of
Canada have continued to brave the terrors and perils of the deep in
pursuit of cod, mackerel, lobsters, herring, and haddock.


The earliest Europeans, or white men, to penetrate into the wilds of
the Canadian backwoods were the _coureurs de bois_--that is, hunters
and trappers of French, or mixed French and Indian, descent, who
collected furs to sell to the trading companies of the French.  These
bodies had factories along the Lower St. Lawrence.  In the early
days--that is to say, for a couple of hundred years after the French
settled colonists in Canada--the principal fair for the trade in furs
was Montreal.  There every spring a crowd of trappers and hunters
brought the bales of furs which they had stripped off beaver, bear, or
fox, musk-rat or racoon, and handed them over in barter to the agents
of the autocratic fur-trading company; and at the same time large
fleets of canoes came paddling down the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa
rivers, bringing whole boatloads of furs which the Indians had
collected all along the Great Lakes, and even from the distant Ohio
River, and the great plains of the West.

Who does not know the haunting melody of the "Canadian Boat-Song"?--

  "Faintly as tolls the evening chime,
  Our voices keep tune and our oars keep time.
  Soon as the woods on the shores grow dim,
  We'll sing at St. Anne's our parting hymn.
  Row, brothers, row!  The stream runs fast;
  The rapids are near, and the daylight's past."


You can easily hear the swing of the oars, and catch the slight
melancholy of the memory-haunting lilt as the singers keep time to the
swaying of their bodies!  And you can see the round rosy face of the
big, burly, boyish-looking _coureur de bois_, or "runner of the woods,"
suddenly blanch, whilst his big black eyes grow bigger than ever, as he
imagines he sees the weird flying canoe of some reckless woodsman who
has sold his soul to the Evil One in return for the power of being able
to make his fragile birch-bark canoe rise, as it were, on invisible
wings into the air, and so speed along without paddle or punting-pole.

Now, whilst the French collected furs through the country of the Great
Lakes, and from the wide regions to the west and south of them, the
English, through the Hudson Bay Company, claimed a similar monopoly of
the profitable fur trade farther north.  And not only did they claim
and maintain their supremacy as the sole fur-trading company in the
North-West, they eventually grew so powerful that they carried on a
regular system of government, administering the laws and punishing
offenders.

Throughout all the north and west, in the towns and often in far
isolated districts, we find the stores or trading-posts of the Hudson's
Bay Company.  This is the last of the great proprietary corporations,
which at one time were so lavishly treated by European Sovereigns to
privileges of unknown extent and value.  The company was formed in 1670
by Prince Rupert, a cousin of Charles II., and certain associates, with
proprietorship, sovereignty, and permission to trade in what was called
"Rupert's Land," or all within Hudson Strait.  For two centuries and a
half they have carried on business, and the volume of trade at present
is greater than ever before.  They buy furs almost entirely, but sell
everything that man desires.



CHAPTER XII

WATERWAYS

One of the most remarkable features of Canada is the great number of
lakes and rivers of all sizes, which interlace the land from east to
west and north to south.  Generally speaking, the country is divided
into three great basins, the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, the
Prairie, and the Pacific Slope.

The great lakes, five in number, form a chain of connected fresh-water
seas leading to the Atlantic through the St. Lawrence River, and into
them empty a great number of rivers and streams.  The greatest of the
lakes and farthest west is Superior, 380 miles long.  It empties into
Lake Huron by the St. Mary's River, where is situated the famous Sault
Sainte Marie Rapids, and the town commonly known as the "Soo."  Here
the river is harnessed, and made to turn the wheels for large pulp and
paper mills, while the vessels pass through canals, one on the Canadian
and one on the American side.

Lake Michigan is wholly in the United States, and after passing Lake
Huron, which is 250 miles long, we traverse the St. Clair River, Lake
St. Clair, the smallest of the series, and the Detroit River, which
brings us into Lake Erie, a large but rather shallow lake, with many
important towns and cities on its shores.  It is drained into Lake
Ontario by the Niagara River, that broad and swift-flowing stream
which, after careering down a long course of rapids, plunges over the
world-famed Falls, 160 feet, to the rocks below, while the
rainbow-tinted spray rises to a height from which it is seen for many
miles.  The white water hurries along, and rushes headlong through a
narrow gorge of rock in a tempestuous rapid, then sweeps round the
great basin of the whirlpool to hurry along to Lake Ontario, gradually
calming itself as it flows.  Famous as is the great cataract, the river
has another claim to our interest, for here mankind has laid his
heaviest burdens on Nature's shoulder, and day and night the angry
river turns the wheels which produce 400,000 horse-power, and light the
towns and draw the streetcars for a radius of a hundred miles.
Navigation goes on between the two lakes by the Welland Canal, which
has twenty-seven locks.

Lake Ontario empties the water of all this great chain by the St.
Lawrence River; at its beginning are the Thousand Islands, a summer
resort of wondrous beauty, which wealthy citizens from Canada and the
United States have made into a fairyland.  The mighty St. Lawrence, in
its course to the sea, has several rapids, where canals have been
built; but passenger vessels "shoot" the rapids on their way to
Montreal, where is the head of ocean navigation.  This waterway, 2,200
miles in length, is unparalleled in the world, and provides the natural
highway for the commerce of the Continent.  An endless procession of
great iron vessels, in tows of three or four, drawn by one large steam
barge, passes down the lakes laden with wheat, iron, coal, or timber.
Beautifully equipped passenger vessels ply between the ports, offering
trips from two hours to a week in duration, while the white sails of
the fleets of many a yacht club are to be seen through the summer
months.

The central, or prairie, basin has a large number of rivers, of which
the best known are the Saskatchewan and the Assiniboine, running east
to empty through the Nelson River into Hudson Bay, and the Peace, and
the Mackenzie, which drain a number of large lakes to the Arctic Ocean.
On the Pacific Slope are the Fraser and the Columbia, noted for the
great salmon fisheries, and the gold found among their sands.  When the
salmon are running--that is, coming up the river--one sees the whole
river bright with the gleam of their scales, and in shallow places even
the flow of the water is impeded.  Ten million fish are canned each
year.

Curiously enough, all these water basins are connected, and in the
early days, before the railway was dreamed of, Sir Alexander Mackenzie,
a famous explorer, from whom the great Mackenzie River takes its name,
traced out the water-route from the head of Lake Superior via the
Saskatchewan and the Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean.  When we
trace up the Saskatchewan, we find it beginning in the Rockies in one
branch of a little stream; the other branch runs west to the Pacific by
the Columbia River.  With the hand, one can direct the water now to the
setting, now to the rising, sun.  The drops beginning together reach
the ocean thousands of miles apart.  This is known as the "Great
Divide."  Though the coming of the steam-engine has made this route of
little value, still the hunter or tourist may trace his sinuous path
for weeks or months over this silver network.



CHAPTER XIII

FIGHTING THE IROQUOIS INDIANS

The earliest white inhabitants of Canada, who have remained and helped
to build up the Canadian nation, were settlers from France.  There
were, indeed, earlier arrivals from Europe, but they did not make
anything like a permanent settlement.  These were certain adventurous
Norsemen who sailed out from Iceland in the year 1000, or even a little
earlier, and returned with tales of a fertile country which they had
discovered somewhere across the Western sea, and to which they gave the
name of Vinland (which means the "Land of Wine"), but a country
inhabited by Skraellings, which may be interpreted as meaning "Wicked
Men."  This Land of Wine is supposed to have been what is now Nova
Scotia, or the country to the south-west of it, and the Wicked Men are
believed to have been American Indians, who gave the hardy Icelanders a
hostile reception, so that they did not obtain any real footing in the
country.

The intrepid leaders of the earliest adventurers from France who
attempted to establish themselves permanently in what is now Canada
were a Breton sailor named Jacques Cartier, who set sail from St. Malo
in April, 1534, and Samuel de Champlain, who, towards the close of the
same century, and well on into the next, spent nearly forty years in
devoted labour for the planting of a French colony on the banks of the
St. Lawrence, founding the city of Quebec, exploring the rivers and
lakes which help to make the great river the magnificent stream it is,
assisting the Huron Indians to fight their inveterate foes, the
intrepid and brave Iroquois, and striving to convert the Indians to the
faith of Christ by sending French Catholic missionaries in amongst them.

For many a long year, however, the new colony, weak and scattered, had
to wage a harassing war against the fierce red men--to wit, the Five
Nations of the Iroquois.  The stirring history of this frontier warfare
is braided with many a tale of bravery, many an heroic episode.  But of
all the great deeds of this long, persistent struggle none shines with
a more radiant glory than the self-sacrifice of Adam Dollard, or
Daulac, the lord of the Manor of Des Ormeaux, and commander of the
garrison of Montreal.

For more than twenty years the Iroquois had waged unrelenting war upon
the colonists.  These last were few in number, and were only able to
hold their ground at all in the vicinity of the three fortified posts
of Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal.  Outside their stockades and
away from these three fortified posts there was no certainty of safety.
Everywhere lurked the Iroquois.  Mercy they had none; fiendish they
were in their cruelty, and never for an instant did they grant the
sorely harassed settlers the least rest or freedom from attack.  In
fact, they were become a veritable scourge, and a sort of universal
panic seized the people.  At last intelligence was brought by a
friendly Indian of the tribe of the Hurons that a force of 1,200
Iroquois were setting out to swoop down upon Montreal and Quebec with
the object of destroying the forts and utterly wiping out the French
settlements.  When the tidings came to the ears of Dollard, the young
commandant of the garrison of Montreal, he was instantly fired with the
Crusader's enthusiasm.  He conceived the idea of dedicating himself, as
Leonidas, the King of ancient Sparta, did, for the good of his country.
He called for volunteers to go out with him and waylay the Iroquois on
the Ottawa River, and there fight them to the bitter death.

Sixteen of the young men of Montreal caught Dollard's enthusiasm.  They
sought and obtained the Governor's consent, made their wills, solemnly
dedicated themselves in the cathedral to the sacrifice they were
willing to make of their lives, received the Sacrament, and bound
themselves by oath to fight the Iroquois to the death, and to accept no
quarter.

Having said adieu to their friends, they embarked in their canoes, and
paddled downstream until they came to the mouth of the Ottawa.  Turning
into this river, they came, about May 1, 1660, to the formidable rapids
called the Long Sault, where their further advance was stopped.  Here
they resolved to await the foe, more especially as among the bushes
that stretched down to the shore was a palisade fort, which had been
made the autumn before by a band of friendly Algonquin Indians.  The
palisade was, however, in ruins.  The first task of the young Frenchmen
was therefore to repair it.  Whilst they were engaged upon this task,
they were joined by forty Huron Indians and four Algonquins.  During
the second afternoon after their landing, their scouts brought in the
intelligence that two Iroquois canoes were shooting the Sault.  As soon
as the Iroquois reached the foot of the rapids they were received with
a volley, which killed some of them.  But one or two escaped, and
hastened to report the disaster to the vanguard of the Iroquois
braves--namely, a band of 200 who were paddling along the upper reaches
of the river above the rapids.

[Illustration: THE IROQUOIS ATTACKING DOLLARD'S STOCKADE.]

Very soon Dollard and his companions saw a large fleet of the enemy's
canoes racing down the rapids, and filled with savage Iroquois all
thirsting for revenge.  The first attack of the Indians was easily
beaten back.  They had looked for an easy conquest, and attacked in
only a half-hearted manner.  Then they set to work to build a rude fort
for themselves.  This gave the little garrison further time in which to
strengthen their own defences.  This work was still uncompleted when
the Iroquois advanced to the attack a second time.  They had seized the
canoes of the allied French, Hurons, and Algonquins, and having broken
them to pieces and set them on fire, now rushed forward and piled the
blazing slabs of birch bark against the palisade.  But they were met by
such a withering volley from the sixty rifles that they were staggered,
and glad to retreat.

A third time they made the attempt to rush Dollard's palisaded
enclosure, but a third time they were driven back, leaving a large
number of slain, and amongst them one of their most important chiefs.
This daunted their spirits, and they hastily sent off for
reinforcements.

In the meantime, until the reinforcements came up, which they did on
the fifth day, the first band of Iroquois kept up an unceasing fire and
constant menace of attack.  In this way they gradually wore out the
little garrison, who dare not sleep, who were unable to get water from
the river, and were at last even in want of food.

Now, among the Iroquois were several Hurons, renegades from their own
tribe.  These men now tried to win over the Hurons who were fighting
with Dollard, and at last hunger and thirst so told upon the latter
that they all slipped away and deserted the young Frenchman except one
man, their chief.  He and the four Algonquins stood firm and loyal.

On the fifth day the yells of the fierce Iroquois and the firing of
muskets told the doomed defenders of the palisade that the expected
reinforcements had arrived.  The Iroquois, having learnt from the Huron
deserters how small in numbers the little garrison was, now made sure
of an easy victory.  Ostentatiously they advanced to the attack, but
the result was the same as before.  They were forced to fall back
before the persistent and well-directed fire of the defenders.

Three days more were spent in this way, the Iroquois attacking from
time to time, but always falling back before the steady fire of the
heroic colonists.  Dollard and his companions fought and prayed by
turns, and hungered, thirsted, and snatched fragments of broken sleep,
and were wellnigh utterly worn out by fatigue and exhaustion.  At last
the spirit of the Iroquois began to quail.  Some talked of abandoning
the attack, but others grew all the fiercer in their desire for
revenge, while their pride revolted at the thought of so many warriors
being beaten by so few of the hated palefaces.  In the conflicting
councils the authority of the latter party prevailed.  It was resolved
that, before finally abandoning the attack, they should make a general
assault, and volunteers were called for to lead the attack.  To protect
themselves against the deadly fire of the little garrison they made
large wooden shields 4 or 5 feet high, and capable of covering each
three or four men.  Under cover of these shields the volunteers were
able to rush close up to the palisades, which they immediately began to
hack to pieces with their hatchets.

Now, in anticipation of some such eventuality as this, Dollard had
filled a large, wide-mouthed blunderbuss with gunpowder and plugged up
the muzzle.  Igniting the fuse which he had inserted into this
home-made "hand-grenade," Dollard tried to throw it over the palisade
amongst the Iroquois.  But it was too heavy for him, and catching on
the top of one of the pointed palisades, it fell back among his own
friends, and killed or wounded several of them and nearly blinded
others.  In the confusion arising out of this mishap the Iroquois
succeeded in effecting a breach in the palisade.  Dollard and his
followers rushed to meet the inpouring foe, and slashing, striking,
stabbing at them with the energy of despair, succeeded in holding them
momentarily in check.  But the Iroquois broke through at a second
place, and poured a volley into the devoted band of Frenchmen, and
Dollard fell; broke through a third breach, broke through a fourth,
and--all was soon over.  The young French heroes, refusing to cease
fighting, refusing to accept quarter, bleeding, staggering, half
demented with exhaustion, weakness, and hopeless despair, were shot
down to a man.  Not one was left on his feet.

This brave and stubborn fight proved to be the salvation of the French
settlements strung along the St. Lawrence.  The Iroquois, although they
were the victors, were so thoroughly disheartened that they turned
their canoes about and paddled back by the way they had come, and for
many a day the white men had rest from their attacks.

Thirty-two years later, in the autumn, when the woods were beginning to
shed their leaves, and the men were gathering in the last lingering
remnants of their harvest, another heroic deed was done, which still
lives fresh and green in Canadian song and story.  Twenty miles from
Montreal, on the south bank of the River St. Lawrence, was the
blockhouse of Verchères, enclosed within a palisade of palings.  The
lord of the manor was absent from home, and within the blockhouse the
only persons were Madeline, the daughter of the lord of the manor, a
girl of fourteen, her two little brothers, one of them twelve years of
age, the other younger, and two old men-servants.  The rest of the men
were at work in the fields, outside the stockade, and at some distance
from it.

It was a beautiful morning, and Madeline, attended by one of the old
men, started out for the river.  But before she had advanced very far
her quick young eyes caught sight of a band of painted savages
approaching the farm.  She at once started to run back to the stockade,
at the same time shouting a warning to the harvesters in the fields.
And she had barely time to get within the shelter of the palisade and
close the gates when the Iroquois were upon it.  Both the men-servants
were old soldiers, and as soon as the gate of the stockade was closed
one of them went straight to the powder-magazine, intending to blow up
himself and all who were inside the stockade, to prevent them from
falling into the hands of the ruthless red men.  Death by their own
hands would, he was convinced, be preferable to torture and a horrible
death at the hands of the savages.  But Madeline Verchères thought
there was a third alternative, and she checked the old man, and
prevented him from blowing up the magazine.

Being herself animated by the loftiest and stanchest courage, she made
her little garrison promise to obey her, and then proceeded to give to
each a fixed and definite duty to perform.  The fort possessed one
cannon.  This Madeline bade one of the old soldiers discharge at the
enemy.  The report alarmed them, but did not drive them away.

Almost immediately after this the beleaguered garrison saw a canoe
approaching on the river.  Madeline at once guessed that the occupants
were women friends of her own.  As there was no one else to go down to
the water's edge to meet them, Madeline determined to go herself, for
the two old men could not be spared from the defence of the stockade.
The Indians, seeing the young girl going down to the river alone, were
afraid to attack her, for they suspected a trap or stratagem of war.
Madeline was therefore able to get her friends safely within the
stockade.

But though there was no stratagem in this act, there was stratagem in
the method of defence which Madeline adopted.  She took care to have a
relay of sentinels, challenging each other at stated intervals and at
stated places; she made signals, which the Indians were able to see, as
though issuing orders to a full garrison; she practised every device
she could think of to deceive the enemy into the belief that the
defenders were a numerous and undaunted band.  And for a whole week
this brave-hearted girl, with two old men, two little boys, and three
or four women, kept a whole band of fierce and remorseless Iroquois
successfully at bay.  At the end of that time help, summoned by the
escaped harvesters of the manor, arrived from Montreal, and the little
beleaguered garrison was relieved.



CHAPTER XIV

THE HABITANT OF THE ST. LAWRENCE SHORE

The earliest white settlers on the shores of the St. Lawrence came from
France, and the country of their adoption was known as New France.  To
this very day, not only the language, but the manner of life and most
of the social institutions of the province of Quebec, are still
emphatically French.  And yet the French-Canadians, despite their
passionate devotion to their race and their language, their religious
creed (Roman Catholicism), and the customs and manners of their
ancestors, manifest an irreproachable loyalty to the British Crown.
When, soon after the middle of the seventeenth century, the new country
was first settled, the land was granted by the King of France to French
gentlemen, who became known as seigneurs, or lords of the manor.  In
return for these grants the seigneurs paid homage to the French King,
and bound themselves by an oath to fight for him in time of need.  They
were also bound to have their land cleared of trees within a given
time, otherwise the seigneury was to be taken away from them again.
The seigneur in his turn granted slices of his lands to humbler
arrivals from France--emigrants, as we should call them nowadays,
though they called themselves, and are known to history as,
"habitants."  Their relation to their seigneur was something like that
of medieval vassals to their feudal lord.

Now, in the early days these habitants, or emigrants, were mostly
single young men, and naturally, when they settled down on the farms,
which they rented from this or the other seigneur, they soon found that
they required each a wife to help them in their work, and to cook and
stitch for them; but young women were scarce in the colony.
Accordingly, the French King, with the view of meeting this want, used
every year to send out one or two shiploads of young girls as wives for
the habitants.  About the time the "bride ships" were expected the
young men of the settlements, dressed in their Sunday best, used to
repair to Quebec, where the ships landed.  There, entering the great
hall of the convent of the Ursuline nuns, where the girls were
gathered, they each picked out a bride, led her straightway before the
priest, and were married without an instant's delay.

The habitant of the present day is, as a rule, happy and contented with
his lot, with a great reverence for the customs and habits of his
forefathers, and an unwavering devotion to his church.  He is fond of
society, and loves the dance and the song.  His leaning is manifested
in the arrangement of the farms in his part of the country.  As you
steam down the great River St. Lawrence, you cannot help noticing how
the farms in what was once New France are laid out in long narrow
strips, nearly a mile in length, and all coming down to the river
shore.  Along these stand the houses, all near the river and pretty
close one to another.  Here the people grow tobacco, vegetables, and
fruit, especially the famous Snow-apple, also known as "Fameuse," with
a bright red skin and snow-white flesh.  French Canada is also noted
for its breed of horses.

The present Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada, Sir Wilfrid
Laurier, one of the ablest and most eloquent men in the whole of the
British Empire, is a native of French Canada.  He has governed the
destinies of the Dominion for fully twelve years without a break, for
it was in 1896 that he first became Prime Minister of Canada.

[Illustration: MONTREAL AND THE RIVER ST. LAWRENCE.  PAGE 79.]

High above the great St. Lawrence stands the city of Quebec, which was
founded by the French explorer and colonial leader, Champlain, in 1608,
over 300 years ago.  The city is built partly at the edge of the river
and partly on the summit and slope of a bold cliff overhanging the
stream.  On this higher ground is the citadel, occupying the site of
the early fort, which was one of the principal defences of the first
settlers during the whole of the stormy period of the Iroquois wars.
It was here, too, that the heroic Wolfe, the British General of George
III.'s day, defeated the no less heroic French leader Montcalm.  Quebec
is the seat of Laval University, the most famous centre of Roman
Catholic learning in Canada.

Higher up the river, too, is Montreal, the largest city in the whole of
the Dominion.  In early days it was the chief centre of the fur trade,
and, like Quebec, a bulwark against the invading tides of the Iroquois.
To-day it is the principal commercial city of Canada and the seat of
varied manufactures.  Here, again, is a large and famous University, a
seat of Protestant learning--namely, McGill University.  Montreal has
also won fame for herself by her magnificent and merry winter carnival
and her great palace built of ice.

The capital of Canada is, however, neither Quebec nor Montreal, nor is
it Toronto, the second largest city in the Dominion and capital of the
province of Ontario, as well as the seat of several affiliated
Universities, and an important manufacturing centre.  The place where
the Parliament of Canada meets, and, consequently, the capital of the
country, is Ottawa, on the river of the same name 116 miles by rail
west of Montreal.  As a city it is famous for its beautiful and
imposing public buildings, the most stately of them all being the
Houses of Parliament.



CHAPTER XV

THE HOME OF EVANGELINE

One day in the year 1755 consternation and dismay invaded every heart
in what is now Nova Scotia, the large peninsula on the east of Canada
that fronts the fierce Atlantic gales, and bears the full brunt of
their fury without murmur or groan.  At that time the inhabitants were
nearly all, like those of Quebec and the St. Lawrence shore,
descendants of people who came from France, more especially from
Brittany and Normandy.  Originally the country was called Acadia.  It
was James I. of England who changed that name to Nova Scotia, which is
Latin, and means "New Scotland."  But though the name of the country
was changed, the people had not changed.  They, like the habitants of
the St. Lawrence shore, clung tenaciously to the customs and habits of
their forefathers, and grew up in each successive generation with a
passionate devotion for their mother-tongue, and a no less deep love
for the land of their birth, _Acadie_.

The cause of the intense sorrow, rage, and despair which seized the
inhabitants of this happy and prosperous community on the day mentioned
was a proclamation of the British Governor.  The countries of France
and England had long been at war together, and for many years
hostilities had waged with more or less bitterness between the
colonists of the two countries settled in America.  The Acadians were
accused of having lent assistance in provisions and ammunition to the
French at the siege of Beauséjour.  It was resolved to punish them for
their disloyal conduct, for they were at that time subjects of the King
of England.  Accordingly, all the men were suddenly seized and put into
prison, and the women and children were ordered to gather, with their
household effects, on the seashore.  Then, despite their weeping and
their grief, they were put on board the vessels of war, and taken away
to the other British colonies in America all the way from the New
England States to Jamaica.  It is the fate of certain villagers of
Grand Pré, who were taken away from their homes at this time, that
Longfellow tells us about in his beautiful poem of "Evangeline."

  "In the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of Minas,
  Distant, secluded, still, the little village of Grand-Pré
  Lay in the fruitful valley.  Vast meadows stretched to the eastward,
  Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks without number.
  Dikes, that the hands of the farmer had raised with labour incessant,
  Shut out the turbulent tides; but at stated seasons the flood-gates
  Opened, and welcomed the sea to wander at will o'er the meadows.
  West and south there were fields of flax, and orchards, and cornfields,
  Spreading afar and unfenced o'er the plain; and away to the northward
  Blomidon rose, and the forests old, and aloft on the mountains
  Sea-fogs pitched their tents, and mists from the mighty Atlantic
  Looked on the happy valley, but ne'er from their station descended.
  There, in the midst of its farm, reposed the Acadian village.
  Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and of chestnut.
  Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the Henries.
  Thatched were the roofs, with dormer windows; and gables projecting
  Over the basement below protected and shaded the door-way.
  There in the tranquil evenings of summer, when brightly the sunset
  Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on the chimneys,
  Matrons and maids sat in snow-white caps and in kirtles
  Scarlet and blue and green, with distaffs spinning the golden
  Flax for the gossiping looms, whose noisy shuttles within doors
  Mingled their sound with the whir of the wheels and the songs
        of the maidens.
  Solemnly down the street came the parish priest, and the children
  Paused in their play to kiss the hand he extended to bless them.
  Reverend walked he among them; and up rose matrons and maidens,
  Hailing his slow approach with words of affectionate welcome.
  Then came the labourers home from the field, and serenely the sun sank
  Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed.  Anon from the belfry
  Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of the village
  Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascending,
  Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment.
  Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers--
  Dwelt in the love of God and of man."


No wonder, then, there was lamentation and weeping and woe when these
poor people were torn so cruelly away from the homes where they had
been so happy!  Where, indeed, can you find a more beautiful picture of
human happiness, peace, and contentment than this Acadian village of
Grand-Pré?

CHAPTER XVI

REDSKIN, ESKIMO, AND CHINK

One day two gentlemen were driving by the side of a small but beautiful
inland lake, when they met a little, shrivelled old man, with a forward
tilt of the body, a lurching, shuffling gait, and a parchment-like
wrinkled skin.  Met!  Yes, but when the odd-looking little man caught
sight of the rig or vehicle approaching, he hastily turned off the
road, and passed the conveyance at a good distance away.  Yet as he
passed he never once lifted his head.

This behaviour excited the curiosity of one of the gentlemen, a
stranger, and he asked his companion: "Who's that odd-looking figure?"

"Ah!  I don't wonder at your asking that?  He's an old Indian.  For
years he has haunted the shores of this lake.  Every summer he has
attacks of fever or some such illness, and when he feels them coming on
he goes away from the reserve in which his own people live and makes
himself a hut of the branches of trees beside the lake, in a lonely
spot where nobody can see him, and there he remains until he recovers,
and never speaks to a single individual all the time he is here."

Now, this poor old Indian is typical of his race.  The Indian, the
glorified Redskin of Fenimore Cooper as well as the fierce Indian of
the Western Plains, whom Mayne Reid has made familiar to English
readers, is rapidly dying out.  As a race, the North American Indian is
as decrepit, as sad, and as dejected a creature as the poor old man who
sought healing beside the lake.  In Canada the Indians are fairly
numerous in certain parts; but they are very little seen in the cities
and towns of the white man.  You may catch a fleeting glimpse of one or
two at some wayside station, come to offer moccasins, gloves, purses,
deer's horns, or other curios for sale to the passing traveller; but it
is not until the Indian is spoken to that the traveller hears the sound
of his voice, and even then the native may not open his lips, but will
content himself with using the language of signs.

The Indians nearly all live in "reserves"--that is, tracts of land
which the Government gives to them, and off which it keeps all white
men.  The reserve is meant for the Indian alone, and he is allowed to
till it and do what he pleases with it.  The Government also gives him
help in providing him with food.  The Indians do, however, make a
little by hunting, earning bounties on the slaying of harmful wild
beasts, or selling venison and deer's horns to white settlers.  Then,
again, in certain districts they help to gather strawberries in the
middle of the summer, and in other districts pick hops towards the
autumn, or fall, as the Canadians call that season.  The full
phrase--which, however, is never used--would be "the season of the fall
of the leaf."

A missionary who laboured in the Far North of Canada once astonished,
and yet deeply interested, a small company of listeners by describing
his own strange wedding.

"After we came out of church," he said, "we both got ready for our
honeymoon journey.  When we were dressed, you could hardly have told
the bride from the bridegroom.  We were both wrapped up in furs from
top to toe, so that the only part of our persons which could be seen
was just round the eyes, and over the eyes we both wore large coloured
goggles, to protect them against the dazzling snows.

"Well, we got into our sleigh, wrapped our fur aprons and rugs well
round us, said good-bye to our nearest white neighbours, and after I
had gathered up the reins and cracked my long whip over our team of
fourteen dogs, off we started on our 200 mile drive!"

The people this devoted couple were going to live and work amongst were
the Eskimo, a people who live all the year round amongst the Arctic
snow and ice.  These folk are another, though not a very numerous,
element in the population of Canada.

Besides these two races--the Redskins and the Eskimo--there are two, or
rather three, other races now dwelling in Canada who have not white
skins.  These are Hindus, Chinese, and Japanese.  They are found
chiefly in the West, in the province of British Columbia.  The people
of that province object strongly to the presence of all three races,
and if only they were able to do it, they would sweep every man Jack of
them into the ocean.

At first the Chinese came into the province without restriction, and
they began to arrive in such large numbers that the Government of the
province grew alarmed.  With the view of checking them, the authorities
imposed a head-tax on every Chinaman who landed, and went on increasing
the amount until it reached no less a sum than £100 per head.  This
large tax is paid for the Chinese immigrants by wealthy
fellow-countrymen already settled in the country, and known as _tyees_.
These men determine the wages at which the immigrants shall work, and
then they themselves pocket a certain proportion of each man's wages!
The slang names for a Chinaman are Chink and Celestial.

Again, both the Japanese and the Hindus began to arrive in much larger
numbers than the white men of the province liked, and in some large
towns the dislike to them culminated in riots and fierce attacks upon
them, especially upon the Japanese in Vancouver.

At last the Government of Canada succeeded in securing a promise from
the Government of Japan that not more than a certain number of Japs
should be permitted to land in Canada every year.  The Hindus the
provincial authorities were not able to prevent from coming, or even to
restrict their numbers.  They, too, were British subjects, and
consequently free to come and go in any and all parts of the British
Empire.



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