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Title: The White Chief of the Ottawa
Author: Carr-Harris, Bertha Wright
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: PHILEMON WRIGHT.  MRS. WRIGHT.]



  _The White Chief
  of the Ottawa_



  _. . . By . . ._

  _Bertha Wright Carr-Harris_



  _With seven full-page illustrations
  by John Innes_



  _TORONTO
  WILLIAM BRIGGS
  1903_



Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one
thousand nine hundred and three, by BERTHA WRIGHT CARR-HARRIS, at the
Department of Agriculture.



PREFACE.

"The White Chief of the Ottawa" is not fiction.  It is not a tale
with a carefully concealed plot, meant to delude the reader at the
beginning and to surprise him at the end.  It is something stranger
than fiction, a sketch of the life experiences of Philemon Wright and
his family, the first settlers in the district of Ottawa.  With the
exception of the love of Abbie and Chrissy, which are based upon
fact, the story is mainly a simple recital of actual facts which
cannot be controverted.

The writer is indebted to the following for furnishing valuable data:

Diary and letters of Philemon Wright, 1806-1816.

Bouchette's Topographical Report.

"Travels in the North"--Sir Alexander Mackenzie, 1803.

"Three Years in Canada"--McTaggart, 1830.

"Shoe and Canoe"--Dr. Bigsby.

Parkman's History of Canada.

Also to traditions of old settlers collected at various times and
places.  May some of the pictures set forth in these pages inspire us
with an ever-deepening appreciation of the self-sacrifice, the
energy, the enterprise, of those whose loyalty to the British Crown
led them to penetrate the dark recesses of our Canadian forests and
brave the trials and vicissitudes of pioneer life.

To these conquering heroes Canada owes much of her prosperity and
greatness.



  CONTENTS

  CHAPTER

  I.--A Weird Ceremony
  II.--The White Chief
  III.--Newitchewagan
  IV.--An Indian Suitor
  V.--Chrissy
  VI.--Gay Voyageurs
  VII.--"A Ministering Angel, Thou"
  VIII.--Convent Days
  IX.--The New Tutor
  X.--Tobacco Offerings
  XI.--Snares
  XII.--Mrs. Bancroft's Sugaring Off
  XIII.--Accidental and Confidential
  XIV.--Machecawa Scalps the Englishman
  XV.--A Romantic Wedding
  XVI.--A Perilous Journey
  XVII.--A Double Tragedy
  XVIII.--An Exciting Moose Hunt
  XIX.--After Many Days
  XX.--Found Out
  XXI.--Rideau Hall in the Thirties
  XXII.--Light at Eventide



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Philemon Wright and Mrs. Wright ... Frontispiece

"He stood there, a colossal statue in bronze"

"Oh, Machecawa, my brother, it is not well that you grieve"

"Soon twelve canoes rounded the headland"

"When Martin came up I went down"

Hon. Louis Joseph Papineau and Madame Papineau

"The Chief proceeded to throw the tobacco into the Chaudiere"

Colonel By

"I remained behind the tree, dodging round"

Hon. Thomas MacKay



The White Chief of the Ottawa.



CHAPTER I.

_A WEIRD CEREMONY._

1800.

"De Beeg Chief he want to know, heem, by what autorité you fellers,
you, cut down hees wood and tak' hees lan'?"

The speaker was a trapper named Brown, who had been in the employ of
the Hudson's Bay Company for many years, and, though English by
birth, spoke a mixed dialect, owing to his association with French
trappers and traders and to the influence of his squaw wife.  He had,
however, retained a sufficient knowledge of English to be able to act
as interpreter.

"Tell him," replied the leader of a group of settlers, "that the
great father who lives on the other side of the water and Sir John
Johnson, of Quebec, have authorized us to take this land."

"He say, heem," continued the interpreter, as he squirted the juices
of his quid on the bronze carpet of pine needles, "dat you must tink
dat dese chute and reever he want for hees beesnesse, an hees papoose
she want eat someteeng.  He want dis place, heem, pour chasse le
mooshrat an' de moose, mak' le soucre an' ketch de feesh, an' hees
afeard dat you tak' hees beaver, kill hees deer, break hees
sucreries.  You cut down hees tree _for shure_ you kill hees
beesnesse."

"The tools and materials we brought," replied the stranger, "are not
for hunting or fishing, but for clearing land, and we shall endeavour
to protect your beaver and fishing-grounds; but as for the sugaries,
we must make use of them, because the land has already been given us,
and if you will collect all your materials for making sugar we shall
pay cash for them."

"De Beeg Chief he say," continued Brown, "dat white man seem _bien
bon_, an' dat he will be so wit heem, an' if he pay cinq Louis he am
geeve up all claim to de lan'."

"Very well," said the stranger, "we shall pay them _thirty_ pounds if
they will produce a deed or title to the lands."

"He comprends pas,"* said the interpreter.  "L'agrement she was mak
wit de fadder of hees fadder."


* Understands not.


Drawing a paper from his pocket the stranger read as follows:

"The Indians have consented to relinquish all claim to the land, in
compensation for which they receive annual grants from the
Government, which shall be withheld if they molest settlers."

For a time no one spoke, then the Big Chief, in a calm, deliberate
and thoughtful manner, addressed the interpreter, who said:

"For shure he dunno, heem, how white man mak' dat papier hear an'
speak dem words of long tam.  Dis man he hav' someteeng dat he
comprends pas."

A long consultation then took place among the dusky sons of the
forest, and once more the interpreter turned to the stranger and said:

"Our tribe she tink like dis--Eenglishman he got someteeng he
comprends pas at all; mabbe, he say, she wan beeg _loup garou_* and
he tink it am better to be bon ami an' leeve in de sam' place dan be
bad ennemi; so he am mak' you chief an' be de bess frien'."


* An indescribable monster, supposed to have supernatural powers.


The words were hardly finished when the Big Chief Machecawa (the
strong one) advanced with slow and stately tread and implanted a kiss
on the brow of the stranger.  The Chief was a man in the prime of
life, of great height and strength.  As he stood there, still and
motionless, he looked like a colossal statue in bronze, a perfect
model, from his feathered head-dress to his beaded moccasins.  He was
followed by several subordinate chiefs who did likewise.

[Illustration: "He stood there, a colossal statue in bronze."]

The Chief then spread a piece of well-dressed moose-skin, neatly
painted, before him on the ground, upon which he opened a curious
skin bag containing several mysterious looking articles, the
principal one being a small carved image about eight inches long.
Its first covering was of down, over which a piece of birch bark was
closely tied, and the whole was enveloped in several folds of red and
blue cloth.  This little figure was evidently an object of the most
pious regard.  The next article taken from the bag was his war cap,
which was decorated with feathers and plumes of rare birds, the claws
of beaver, eagles, etc.  Suspended from it was a quill for every
enemy whom the owner had slain in battle.  The remaining contents of
the bag were a piece of tobacco and a pipe.

These articles all being exposed, and the stem of the pipe arranged
upon two forks so as not to touch the ground, Machecawa motioned to
his white brother to sit down opposite to him.  The pipe was then
filled and attached to the stem.  A pair of wooden pinchers was
provided to put fire into it.  All arrangements having been
completed, the Indians gathered round in a circle, awe and solemnity
pervading all, while a subordinate chief, O'Jawescawa, took up the
pipe, lighted it, and presented it to Machecawa, who received it
standing and held it between both hands.  He then turned to the east
and drew a few whiffs which he blew to that point.  The same ceremony
was performed to the other three quarters, with his eyes directed
upward during the whole of it.  Then holding the stem about the
middle between the three first fingers of both hands, and raising
them upon a line with his forehead, he swung it three times round
from the east with the sun, when, after pointing and balancing it in
various directions, he laid it upon the forks.  He then made a speech
acknowledging past mercies and expressing the confidence that the
blessing of peace would attend all their dealings with the stranger,
upon whom he would now confer the title of "Wabisca Onodis," the
White Chief.

He then sat down, while the whole company declared their approbation
and thanks by uttering the word "Ho," with an emphatic prolongation
of the last letter.

O'Jawescawa then took up the pipe and held it to the mouth of
Machecawa, who, after smoking three whiffs out of it, uttered a short
prayer and then went round with it, taking his course from east to
west, to every man present, both Indians and white men, who could
confidently affirm that they entertained no grudge against any of the
assembled party, until the pipe was smoked out, when, after turning
it three or four times round his head, he dropped it downwards and
replaced it in its original position.

Machecawa then approached the stranger and the little band who were
with him and uttered a short guttural sound, which the interpreter
said meant, "Come and eat."

To refuse would be a grave offence, so the invitation was accepted by
all, who followed the Big Chief through a narrow and winding path,
which led to a small lake midway between the Gatineau River and the
Chaudiere Falls.  They arranged themselves in front of a number of
huts made of bent boughs, some of which were covered with bark and
some with deerskin, securely sewed and stretched tight as a drum.
Following the example of the Indians they squatted on the ground in a
circle.

Surrounded by a chattering group of squaws sat Newitchewagan, the
wife of the Chief, with a child between her knees, while she hunted
through the jungle of his hair with destroying thumb and finger.  One
old squaw, who was kneeling under a tree rubbing and twisting a
moccasin between her hands, paused to fill her mouth with water,
which she spurted in repeated jets over the moccasin.  A little
papoose, strapped to a flat piece of wood about three feet long
spread with soft moss, was suspended to a branch of a tree.  It
crowed and laughed quite merrily as it was swayed to and fro by the
cold wind.  While the feast was in course of preparation the new
Chief and his friends were entertained by songs of a most melancholy
nature.

It was a strange scene that presented itself that cold and frosty
evening in March.  The snow-drifts were covered with a crust of
frozen sleet, which crunched beneath the tread of moccasined feet.
The bare branches of the maples were encased in ice, with long
icicles attached, which glistened and reflected like a prism the rays
of the setting sun.  Small troughs of basswood, hollowed out in the
middle by burning, stood at the trunk of almost every tree to catch
the sap, which had ceased to run for several days owing to the "cold
snap" which had taken place in the weather.

"How do you make sugar without pots?" asked the new Chief of the
interpreter.

Pointing to a green hardwood stump he explained, in broken English,
that the squaws burned a deep hole in the centre, into which they
poured the sap which they had gathered.  Stones heated on the fire
were then dropped into the wooden cauldron, which caused the sap to
boil.  This operation was repeated until it was reduced to sugar.

There was little variation in the dress of the grotesque figures
gathered round the fire.  All had strips of deerskin tightly bound
round their legs instead of trousers, and which were never removed
unless to replace with new ones.  Two aprons, one behind and one
before, were fastened around their waist by girdles.  Short shirts
made of skin were fastened at the neck and arms, and were removed
while portaging or paddling.  They had very little hair--only a tuft
on the top of the head, which was stuck full of feathers, wings and
shells.  Not a man among them could boast of a beard.  The squaws
were dressed in much the same fashion, except that the aprons were a
trifle longer than those worn by the men, and their coarse black hair
floated in the breeze.

Soon a young squaw drew from the ashes the charred remains of fully a
score of partridges, which had not been divested of feathers nor
cleaned internally.  On removing the outer covering of charred
feathers and ashes, she laid one for each man present before the Big
Chief, who, with great solemnity, cast the first one into the fire as
a sacrifice to the Great Spirit, the Master of Life.  Pieces of
bear-steak, which had been sizzling before the fire, were then
served, while the Chief entertained his guests with strange
monotonous songs, accompanied by the "shishiquoi," or rattle.

Full justice having been done to these and other Indian delicacies,
Machecawa addressed the new Chief, the interpretation of his remarks
being as follows:

"Our white brother will never inspire his enemies with feelings of
awe or fear if he does not wear war-paint.  Will the white-faced
stranger consent to let us use our brush so as to make him such an
object of terror that even his enemies will flee from him?"

"No!  No!!  No!!!" said the new Chief.  "Soot and grease and ochre
are for Indians, not for white men."

Whereupon the Indian said: "It is the custom of our chiefs to chose a
manitou, who will protect them in times of danger and who will give
them success in the chase."

"Tell them," replied the new Chief, "that the white man's Manitou is
a Great Spirit whom we call 'Our Father,' and he saves and keeps and
protects us by night and by day."

"Will the new Chief then permit us to graven on his body the form of
this Great Spirit?"

"The form of the Spirit has been engraven on my body," he replied,
"when He created me in His likeness."

The little group of settlers observed that a white dog, the mystic
animal of many tribes, was being tied to the end of an upright pole.
Presently the Chief, in a loud voice, began to pray to the 'Great
Spirit Father,' the new Chief's Manitou, begging Him to accept the
living sacrifice about to be offered.  The Indians then rushed upon
the animal in a state of frenzy and began to devour the raw,
quivering flesh.  This weird ceremony was a mystery to the assembled
whites, and remained a mystery for some time.

This concluded the ceremonies of the day, and the new Chief and his
friends returned to their shanties on the banks of the Ottawa, near
the western point of the Gatineau, loaded with glory and Indian
hospitality.



CHAPTER II.

_THE WHITE CHIEF._

1800.

The hero of our sketch, Philemon Wright, was a man forty years of
age.  In appearance he was of a strong, broad build, and stood six
feet in his stockings.  A wealth of flaxen hair was brushed straight
back from a high and noble brow.  His face was profoundly meditative.
Thick eyebrows shaded the eyes, which were wonderfully quick,
observant and penetrating.  His features indicated goodness and
energy, strength of will and determination.  His muscles were the
envy of all who felt them.

Like all superior men, Philemon Wright nourished long his projects,
but decision once made he set himself to realize them with ardor,
obstacles only serving to intensify his energy, for he employed all
the resources of his spirit and inflexible will to triumph over them.
He was a worthy descendant of the men of Kent who followed Harold to
victory through difficulties which to others would have been
insurmountable.

His father, Thomas Wright, having sold his estates in Kent, settled
in Woburn, twenty miles from Boston, in 1760, where Philemon, the
fifth and youngest son, was born shortly afterwards.  While a mere
lad of fifteen he saw active service in the Revolutionary War, in the
vicinity of Boston and New York, taking up arms as a British subject
against the short-sighted rulers of the Motherland in the vain hope
of wresting from them the rights which the revolutionists considered
were their due.

Philemon married, at twenty-two, a Miss Wyman, of Irish descent,
whose grand-nephews, Rufus and Joseph Choate, have since played so
conspicuous a place in the drama of American history, and had seven
promising children, who were known familiarly as Phil, Bearie,
Chrissy, Abbie, Christie, Mary and Rug.

Philemon Wright was a man of indomitable courage, enterprise,
industry and perseverance, and had acquired considerable property in
the neighborhood of Boston.  Finding a better market in Canada for
farm produce, he went every fall to Montreal, and in 1796 determined
to go on a tour of exploration on the Grand River, or the Utawas, as
the Ottawa was then called.

A few settlements then existed for the first forty-five miles, up to
the Long Sault Rapids, but beyond this point the seventy-five or
eighty miles was a complete wilderness.  He found that this part of
the country was entirely unknown to the inhabitants of Montreal,
excepting, of course, to the employees of the two great fur-trading
companies, though its immense resources of fine timber were, he said,
"sufficient to furnish supplies for any foreign market, even to load
one thousand vessels."

Prominent members of the fur companies in Montreal drew his attention
to their printed report, which stated that there was not five hundred
acres of arable land on the extensive banks of the whole river.

"It may be to your interests to keep the Grand River from becoming
settled," he said, "but you may bet your best beaver-skin on this,
that there is at least five hundred thousand acres of uncleared land
fit for cultivation on the banks of the Grand River."

In 1797 he again visited Canada, and examined the country from Quebec
to Montreal, on both sides of the St. Lawrence, and then up the
Ottawa as far as the Chaudiere Falls, studying carefully the
navigation of the Ottawa, and its fitness for settlement.

In 1798 this enterprising but cautious man paid his third visit to
his future home, and returned to Massachusetts with a full
determination to commence a settlement.  He failed, however, to
inspire his neighbors with his own confidence in the scheme, and he
therefore selected two respectable men from among them, and hired
them to go with him the following summer to examine and report on
what they saw.  Their report, which was afterwards published in the
_Canadian Magazine_ of September, 1824, is as follows:

"We spent twenty days in October in exploring the Township of Hull.
We climbed to the top of one hundred or more trees to view the
situation of the country, which we accomplished in the following
manner: We cut smaller trees in such a way as to fall slanting and to
lodge in the branches of the larger ones, which we ascended until we
arrived at the top.  By this means we were enabled to view the
country and also the timber, and by the timber we could judge the
nature of the soil, which we found to answer our expectations.  After
having examined well the nature of the township, we descended the
river and arrived, after much fatigue, at Montreal."

The report was so satisfactory to the people of Woburn that Mr.
Wright was able to hire as many as he wished for the new settlement.

It was fully five hundred miles from Woburn to the Chaudiere, but the
nineteenth century was hardly a month old when the little band braved
the journey.  Their leader assumed all risks himself, and with
twenty-five men, five families, having a membership of thirty,
fourteen horses, eight oxen, and seven sleighs loaded with mill
irons, agricultural implements, carpenters' tools, household effects,
provisions, left the quiet New England village.  The route taken was
the old stage road from Boston to Montreal, which passed through
Woburn to Haverhill, thence to Concord, thence north-westward along
the shore of Lake Memphremagog to Montreal, which was reached on the
ninth day.

Montreal at that time was a very gloomy-looking little town, with a
population of about seven thousand.  It was surrounded by an old wall
about fifteen feet high, with battlements and other fortifications.
The houses were mostly built of grey stone, with sheet-iron roofs and
iron window shutters, which gave them a prison-like appearance.  The
streets were narrow and crooked.  Traineaux drawn by French ponies,
and toboggans loaded with furs and drawn by several dogs in tandem,
were frequently seen in the streets when this brave little band of
New Englanders gazed in wonder upon the old historic French town.

The caravan then wended its way towards the north shore of the
Ottawa.  Its progress at first was slow, making only fifteen miles a
day for the first three days, owing to the sleighs being wider than
those used in Canada.  On the third day they had reached the foot of
the Long Sault and the terminus of the road.  They were eighty miles
from their destination, in a wilderness of snow and ice, and with no
trace of a road.

"We proceeded to the head of the Sault," said Mr. Wright, in relating
their experiences in the House of Assembly in 1820, "observing before
night came on to fix upon some spot near water to encamp for the
night, where there were no dry trees to fall upon us or our cattle.
Then we cleared away the snow and cut down trees for fire for the
night, the women and children sleeping in covered sleighs, the men
with blankets around the fire, and the cattle made fast to the
standing trees; and I never saw men more cheerful and happy, having
no landlord to call upon them for expenses and no unclean floors to
sleep upon, but the sweet ground which belongs to our Sovereign.  We
always prepared sufficient refreshment for the following day, so as
to lose no time on our journey when daylight appeared.  We kept our
axemen forward cutting the road, and our foraging team next, and the
families in the rear.  In this way we proceeded on for three or four
days, observing to look out for a good place for our camp, until we
arrived at the head of the Long Sault, from whence we travelled the
whole distance upon the ice until we reached our destination.  My
guide was unacquainted with the ice, as our former journeys were by
water.  We went very slowly lest we might lose our cattle, keeping
the axemen forward trying every rod of the ice, which was covered
with snow.

"I cannot pass over this account," continued Mr. Wright, "without
referring to a _sauvage_, from whom we received great kindness.  We
met him with his wife drawing a child upon a bark sleigh.  They
looked at us with astonishment.  They viewed us as though we had come
from the clouds, walking around our teams and trying to talk with us
concerning the ice, but not a word could we understand.  We then
observed him giving directions to his squaw, who immediately left him
and went to the woods, while he proceeded to the head of our company,
without promise of fee or reward, with his small axe trying the ice
at almost every step.  We proceeded in this way without meeting with
any accident for about six days, when we arrived safely at the
township of Hull.  We had some trouble in cutting the brush and
ascending the height, which is about twenty feet from the water.  Our
_sauvage_, after seeing us safely up the bank, spent the night with
us and made us to understand that he must return to his squaw and
child, and after receiving presents for his great services, took his
departure."

What must have been the feelings of the pioneer settlers when they
beheld for the first time the magnificent scenery of the Chaudiere,
before its wild beauty was defaced by the woodman's axe or its
sparkling waters used in slides and mill-races?

Three openings loomed up before them--the most distant one, to the
left, a broad half-rapid, half-cascade, sweeping down among islands
of pines; the middle passage seemed very narrow and carried away in a
sort of creamy foam the waters of the Chaudiere proper; while the
nearer or right passage led by a winding route to a rocky cove at the
beginning of the portage road.  Surely never had they beheld anything
so picturesque, so indescribably grand, as it appeared to them on
that bright and frosty evening!  The precipices and rocky gorge of
the opposite shore, green with pine and cedar to the river's brink,
and covered with a mantle of beautiful snow; the volume of water,
tossed, broken, dashed into foam, which floated down like miniature
icebergs on the mighty rushing current till the natural ice-bridge
was reached, made a scene not soon to be forgotten.  The turrets,
domes and battlements of the Dominion House of Parliament, which in a
few short years was destined to crown the opposite cliffs, were a
dream beyond the wildest imagination of our Pioneer.



CHAPTER III.

_NEWITCHEWAGAN._

1802.

Two years had slipped away.  The ice moon had given place to the
crescent whirlwind moon.  The wild duck and geese had long since
ceased their plash, plash in the water opposite "The Wigwam," as the
children delighted to call their new home in the forest.  The noble
rivers, the picturesque falls, the monarchs of the forest towering
heavenwards, the fragrance of pine and cedar, the lakes and rivers
teeming with fish and fowl and fur-bearing animals, seemed to the
children of the new Chief a paradise; nor were they alone in their
views.  The stern realities of pioneer life made it none the less
enchanting to the man who gloried in overcoming difficulties and in
braving hardships in one of the greatest conquests undertaken by
man--the wresting of a wilderness from savagery to civilization.

The "Wigwam" was situated in the midst of an estate of twenty-two
thousand acres, part of which had been received as a grant, but the
greater portion being purchased from the Government, for the Chief
had by no means suffered losses such as many U.E. Loyalists had
borne, having brought with him a capital of nearly fifty thousand
dollars.

The new home presented a strange contrast to the cosy, comfortable
New England farmhouse.  It was built of undressed tamarac logs in
true rustic shanty fashion.  The chinks between the logs and scoops
of the roof were "caulked" with moss, driven in with a thin pointed
handspike, over which a rude plaster of blue clay was daubed.  The
chimney was very wide and low, and was built above a huge boulder
which formed the back of the fire-place.  There was no upper story to
the rude dwelling, which was partitioned off into bedrooms at each
end, with a large living room, kitchen, dining-room all in one, in
the centre.

A wild night had set in.  It seemed as though all nature had gone
mad.  The wind struggled with doors and windows for an entrance to
the humble home, but only served to intensify the warmth and light
and joy within, for it made the great fire roar and crackle the
merrier.

A group of happy children were popping corn before the glowing coals.
Near them sat the Chief and Mrs. Wright conversing together in a low
voice.  Laying down her knitting, the latter looked earnestly into
her husband's face.

"Philemon, Philemon," she said sadly, "How much more wisdom you are
manifesting in the breaking-in of the farm colts than in the training
of the boys.  I am beginning to fear that you will be much better
served by the former than by the latter.  If you would but exercise
your God-given authority over them and uphold mine we might hope for
better results.  The boys are getting beyond control, and why?
Because, though I am teaching them in theory the right way, you are
not insisting upon the practice of such theories.  Words will not
curb the exuberance of spirits nor check the waywardness of a young
horse.  If left to himself he will go where he wills.  He must be
trained with gentleness, but with firmness, and so with our children."

"My dear," he said, "your ideals are above me, and are as unlikely to
be adopted by ordinary men of the world as the ideals of John Bunyan
or Richard Baxter."

"I see, I see," she said, with a voice thrilling with emotion.  "You
hold up before them hopes of future greatness or wealth as a
stimulant to goodness, studiousness, industry, that they may become
'ordinary men of the world.'  My ambition has ever been to train them
for God and His service."

"And you propose to do that," he said, coldly, "by coersion, canings,
imprisonments, fines."

"Not at all," she replied.  "A child trained from infancy in habits
of obedience can generally be managed without chastisement and will
obey from a sense of duty rather than from fear of chastisement."

"All very beautiful in theory," said the father, with a yawn, as he
stretched himself to his full length, "but the Indian theory in my
opinion is the best.  They allow their children to do as they please
and never check them, and what is the result?  A self-reliant,
independent people; a people who have not been deprived of strength
of character or will power by constant subjection to the will of
others; a people who, until spoiled by contact with unchristian
whites, have followed the dictates of conscience rather than a code
of prohibitory laws; a people who scorn mean, dishonorable
transactions."

"Of two things I am convinced," said Mrs. Wright, thoughtfully, "'a
child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame,' and his father
also, for that matter, and that if we secure the formation of right
principles at an early age we may with confidence give them their
emancipation long before they grow up."

Suddenly the door opened and an Indian entered.  Though covered with
snow from head to foot, they recognized the chief, Machecawa.
Without a word he drew through the open door a toboggan, upon which
lay his squaw in an almost dying condition.  At her bosom was a tiny
babe, two days old.

Newitchewagan had had a severe chill.  He had given her a vapor bath
by heating boulders in the fire, dashing water on them, over which he
had held her suspended in a blanket.  For a time she seemed better,
but not having sufficient covering, the keen north wind had caused a
recurrence of chills, and notwithstanding the conjuring and charms of
her friends she was evidently fast sinking, and the Chief, in his
hour of sorrow, had fled for help to Mrs. Wright (whom the Indians
regarded as possessing mysterious healing power), in the vain hope of
finding some new way of saving her.

Mingled expressions of astonishment and pity came into the face of
the mother of the household as she hastily left her seat by the side
of her husband and assisted in removing the poor squaw to a
comfortable bed.

Though not a popular type of New England beauty, there was a
something about Mrs. Wright a certain expression so subtle as to
escape definition, which gave her presence a strong personal
magnetism, while her dignity and a marked grace of manner gave her an
individuality which proclaimed her a queen among women.  She was a
woman of high ideals.  "I fear not," she said, in a letter to her
sister, "the wolves whose dismal howls echo and re-echo every night
through the forest; I fear not the savages who walk into our home
with as little ceremony as though it were their own; I fear not
sickness nor death in this wilderness so far from medical aid.  One
thing only I fear, that I may fail in my duty to my husband, my
children and my neighbors."

Her husband's "worldliness," her sons' lack of interest in religious
matters and their tendency to adopt the language and expressions of
the low and the vicious, afforded matter for constant reproof, rebuke
and exhortation.  Her efforts to develop in her children the highest
ideals of Christian manhood and womanhood were not fully appreciated
by the Chief, who was too feudal in his views of woman to understand
a life like hers.  The phenomenon of a woman superior to himself in
mind and soul had never ceased to be a matter of perplexity to him.
Her ideals were beyond his comprehension.  He had not arrived at the
conclusion that a wife should be allowed free scope for the exercise
of her own individuality.  Her position in the home was one of utter
subjection and servitude.  She was permitted to have no will but his,
no plans but his, and to have no ideas but his.  At the marriage
ceremony "they two were made one," and that one was her lord and
master.

Mrs. Wright's interest was not confined to her own family circle,
for, notwithstanding the constant pressure of home duties, she had "a
heart at leisure from itself to soothe and sympathize," and to the
Indians and early settlers in their loneliness, their sorrows and
sufferings, she was a mother, and more than a mother, for she was the
only physician, the only clergyman, the only teacher that the little
colony possessed for the first few years of its struggling existence.
Her medical book and case of medicines, a gift from Dr. Green, of
Woburn, brought relief to many sufferers.  Her library, consisting of
such volumes as "The Pilgrim's Progress," Baxter's "Saints' Rest,"
Young's "Night Thoughts," Hervey's "Meditations Among the Tombs," did
much to enlighten, if not to cheer, darkened souls, while from the
newest Boston school-books she trained the youth of the settlement in
the elementary principles of the arts and sciences.

Such was the woman whom Machecawa sought in his hour of extremity.

All night long the noble chieftain of his people sat by the bedside
with downcast eyes.  The wind, having spent its force and fury,
moaned and sobbed round the house; the flickering light from the
hearth cast strange, weird shadows upon the wall when Newitchewagan
opened her large dark eyes, gently stroked the little black head on
her bosom, and with one affectionate look at him who had been her
companion in hardships, heaved a deep sigh and was gone.

Machecawa, without uttering a word, hastily left the Wigwam, and in a
short time returned with his face blackened and with several squaws,
who tore their hair, scattered ashes on their heads, and raised their
voices in wailing.  They arranged to have the burial service take
place in the evening, and it was well for the inmates of the Wigwam
that it was not deferred for several days, for the wailing continued
without cessation until all that was left of Newitchewagan was
wrapped in birch bark and securely tied with a cord of deerskin, like
a parcel, when it was borne by four young braves and laid upon a
raised platform of boughs, between two fires which had been kindled a
little distance from the Wigwam.

The Indians then squatted cross-legged in a large circle round the
fires.  Machecawa and his motherless children were seated close to
the bier, their faces blackened, their hair and clothing torn and in
disorder.  The awful stillness was at length broken by old
O'Jawescawa, who left his seat and, approaching the grief-stricken
husband, said:

"O Machecawa, my brother, it is not well that you grieve.  If
Newitchewagan had lived she would many times have been hungry and
cold and weary; but in the happy hunting-ground, whither she has
gone, there is neither hunger nor cold nor weariness.  Therefore you
should be glad."  He then drew his hunting-knife from his belt, and,
slashing it through the birch-bark wrappings, cried:

"O Kitche Manitou!  These places do I cut that our sister's spirit
may come and go as she wills it, that she may visit us sometimes,
that she may see our brother Machecawa when he is very sad."

[Illustration: "Oh, Machecawa, my brother, it is not well that you
grieve."]

Again he turned to his chief.  "Our sister is gone, oh, my brother,"
he continued, "but you shall see her again.  But she shall be
changed, and you will not know her; but when you enter the Land of
the Hereafter then you must sing always this little song, and so she
will know you."

In a clear and true tenor old O'Jawescawa chanted a weird, minor air
with tearful falling cadences.

"And when she hears that song," he went on, "then she will answer it
with this"--and he sang through another little song.

The long-drawn, plaintive chords, the sense of awe inspired by the
darkness and the firelight, and of the grave sad prayer, caused Mrs.
Wright and her young flock to sob aloud.

"And so in that way," concluded O'Jawescawa, "you shall know each
other."

The young men bore the remains to a grave that had been dug a short
distance away in a pine grove.  After the earth had been filled in,
three of the women knelt and put together a miniature wigwam of
birch-bark, complete in every detail.  Then O'Jawescawa began again
to speak, addressing the occupant of the grave in a low tone of
confidence.

"O Newitchewagan, our sister," said he, "I place this bow and these
arrows in your lodge that you may be armed on the Long Journey.

"O Niwitchiwagan, our sister, I place these snow-shoes in your lodge
that you may be fleet on the Long Journey."*


* The writer is indebted to Mr. S. E. White for this account of the
squaw's burial.


In like manner he deposited in the little wigwam extra moccasins, a
model canoe and paddle, food, and a miniature robe.  Then they all
returned to their camp, all but Machecawa, who crouched on the ground
by the grave, his blanket over his head, a silent, motionless figure
of desolation.  For three whole nights and days the Chief mourned for
his squaw.  Then he rose and went about his ordinary duties with
unmoved countenance, and the grave was left to the sun and snow and
rain and the mercy of all-forgetting Nature.



CHAPTER IV.

_AN INDIAN SUITOR._

1803.

Machecawa and his friend O'Jawescawa became frequent visitors at the
Wigwam.  They would come in the morning, uninvited, and sit silently
all day long before the open fire and observe all that was going on.
The spinning-wheel and hand-loom were objects of unceasing interest
to them, and though it proved a great distraction to the children in
their studies, and to the girls in the performance of their domestic
duties, to have them there, they were always treated not only with
respect but with consideration and kindness.

One morning Machecawa stood gazing intently into the fire.  His face
wore an expression of perplexity.  At length he turned to the White
Chief, who was explaining a mathematical problem to one of his boys,
and said:

"Big Injun, he want to speak his thoughts from books.  He want to
know white man's Manitou."

"May I teach him, father?  Just for an hour every day?" said Chrissy,
a tall, fair, thoughtful girl of seventeen, who was known throughout
the settlement as the "Saint," for she had been led to take a serious
view of life by a Quaker friend in the old school at Woburn.  "It
would be such a pleasure for me to lead him to a knowledge of the
truth."

The father readily granted the request, and it was arranged that he
should receive instruction from Chrissy every morning while the
younger boys were having their lessons.  Never had teacher a more
apt, humble, or willing pupil.  Never had pupil a more considerate,
patient, kind-hearted instructor.  Over and over again did she repeat
words and sentences until at last the Indian found, to his
unspeakable joy, that he was beginning to acquire the words pretty
freely.

The morning hour with Machecawa proved of such interest that it was
not an uncommon thing to see the White Chief and all the children
listening intently to Chrissy and the Indian as they compared their
respective creeds.

One morning, after she had been giving an account of the creation and
the deluge, she said, "Now, tell me what you think of these things.
Do the Indians ever think of how the world was made?  Did they ever
hear of a flood?"

Machecawa replied in broken English, the interpretation of which is
as follows:

The Indian believes that the great Manabozo is king of all other
animal kings.  The West Wind is his father, and his mother is
grand-daughter of the Moon.  Sometimes he is a wolf; sometimes a
hare; sometimes he is a wicked spirit.  Manabozo was hunting with his
brother, a wolf, who fell through the ice in a lake and was eaten by
snakes.  Manabozo was very cross and changed himself into the stump
of a tree and surprised the king of the serpents and killed him.  The
snakes were all Manitous, and they made the water flood the world.
Manabozo climbed a tree which grew and grew as the flood came up and
was saved from the wicked spirits.

Manabozo looked over the waters and he saw a loon, and he cried to
the loon for help to save the world.  The loon went under the water
to look for mud to build the world again, but he could not find the
bottom.  Then a muskrat tried, but he came up on his back nearly
dead.  Manabozo looked in his paws and found a little mud, and he
took the mud and the dead body of the loon and with it created the
world anew again.

"And do you believe that?" said the White Chief.

"Our tribe she believe like that," replied the Indian.

"What is that thing tied round your neck, Machecawa?" said Bearie,
the second son, a short, well knit, sturdy-looking youth of eighteen,
whose every expression reflected a bright, happy, generous
disposition.

"She am my Manitou," replied the Indian.

"What is a Manitou?  Every Indian you meet with seems to differ on
the subject."

"Some tam she am wan ting, some tam she am anodder."

"That is evading the question," said Chrissy.

"What kind of a Manitou have you got inside of that little bag which
is tied round your neck?" persisted Bearie.  "Will you let me see it?"

"No!  No!!  No!!!" he said excitedly.  "My Manitou she am not be
pleese."

"Come, now, old man," he said.  "Tell us all about it."

"What is it?"

"How did you get it?"

"What is it for?"

"Waal," he said, reluctantly, "When I am a boy, me, just become a
man, my fadder, he say, 'Machecawa, tam you got a manitou.'  My face
he paint black, black.  He say, heem, 'you no eat no teeng seex
days.'  By em by I am dream some teeng, me, dat some teeng she am my
manitou.  She help me kill beeg bear; she mak dem Iroquois dogs run
like one wild moose.  My fadder she am pleese; she make my manitou on
my arm--see!" he said, rolling up his sleeve.

On his shoulder was the rude outline of a fish, which had been
tatooed with sharp bones and with the juice of berries rubbed in.

"But what is in the little bag?" asked Bearie.  "Will you let me see
it?"

After a good deal of reluctance he gave in at last, and two curious
boys untied the precious parcel, while the others, equally curious,
looked over his shoulders at a few old broken fish bones which were
all the little bag contained.

"Well, old man," said Bearie, slowly replacing the sacred relics, "we
put our faith in something better than that.  The white man trusts
the Great Spirit in heaven to care for him and to take him to heaven
when he dies."

"Any bear in hebben?" asked the Indian.

"No," said Bearie, "only good people."

"Dat hebben she am no good for big Injun," said Machecawa, sadly.
"De happy hunting ground she am full of moose, buffalo, bear, beaver.
She am far, far away at de end of land, where de sun she sleep--two,
tree moons away.  One beeg dog she am cross, an' she bark at dead
Injun, but he go on, an' on, an' on, an' den he am glad."

It began to dawn upon the vigilant mother at length that it was not
so much the wonders of civilization nor the desire to "speak his
thoughts from books" that led Machecawa day after day to the Wigwam,
as an ever-increasing interest in her fun-loving daughter, Abbie, who
was a year younger than Chrissy, and who seemed unconscious of the
fact that the eyes of the red chief were ever upon her.

Chrissy was at a loss to understand why he had suddenly lost all
interest in the studies and seemed preoccupied with other thoughts.
She was beginning to grow discouraged, and was sorely tempted to
abandon any further attempts at instruction, when Machecawa suddenly
left her one morning as she sat by the table with the open book, and,
approaching his white brother, said, in broken English:

"Father, I love your daughter," pointing his forefinger at Abbie.
"Will you give her to me that the small roots of her heart may
entwine themselves with mine so that the strongest wind that blows
may never separate them?"

For a moment there was silence in the room.  The White Chief's face
grew dark.  The veins of his temples began to swell with rage.  In a
burst of passion he said:

"My child become your slave?  _Never!  Never!_  The Indian wants
woman to gather his wood, carry his burdens, dress his skins, make
his clothes, build his house, cook his food, care for his children.
No, no, Machecawa; no white woman would be happy to work like a squaw
or to suffer as such."

Not a word could the Big Chief utter.  He gave a deep sigh and gazed
at Abbie fondly and admiringly.  The inexpressible agony in his face
touched the father's heart, and he added:

"My daughter is too young to marry, but when she is old enough to
know her own mind she may answer for herself."

A ray of light and hope crept into the dark face, and drawing from a
pouch a string of claws and teeth of rare birds and animals, he
approached Abbie and fastened it about her snowy neck.

"You have conferred upon me a great honor, Machecawa," said Abbie,
smiling, "but you shall have to wait for several years, for I have
many things to learn before I could become the squaw of an Algonquin
chief."

The chief then resumed his seat at the table and went on with his
task with as much complacency as though nothing had happened, while
Abbie and her brothers quietly withdrew in order to give vent to
their feelings.



CHAPTER V.

_CHRISSY._

1804.

As the settlement did not afford any greater educational advantages
than Mrs. Wright, with a multitude of other claims upon her time, was
able to give to her daughters, Chrissy and Abbie were sent to a
convent in Quebec, there being no other boarding-schools in Canada at
this time.

Among their school friends was Sally Smith, whose mother invited them
to spend Christmas with them at the officers' quarters at the Citadel.

"Just fancy!" said Mrs. Smith, addressing her husband, the Colonel,
and his guest, a young Scotchman, as the girls entered the
dining-room.  "Shut up in a convent for sixteen months with nothing
to vary the monotony of it!  Do they not deserve a holiday?"

As they were introduced George Morrison and Chrissy looked at each
other and bowed formally and composedly, and an awkward, embarrassing
silence followed.  For the first time in his life the presence of a
fair and lovely girl cast a spell over him so extraordinary that, as
he sat opposite to her at the dinner-table and watched her frank,
bright, expressive face, his own responded to her every expression.

It would not be difficult to say which had made the most profound
impression upon the mind of the honest young Scotchman, his distant
kinsman, the Colonel, with his handsome, kindly face and his sturdy
English character, or the tall, slight form before him, with sloping
shoulders, tapering arms, and a face lovely in its spiritual contour.

George Morrison thought he had never met such a man as the Colonel,
nor was the admiration unreciprocated, for his host took a great
fancy to George.  "He is one of those men," he remarked to his wife,
"whom porridge and the Shorter Catechism have endowed with grit and
backbone--just the sort of fellow for the Hudson's Bay Company's
service.  In dealing with traders and trappers men of nerve are
needed, men of brain, men of muscle.  George Morrison is not a man to
be imposed upon.  He can take his place at the head of a crowd of
dare-devils and keep them under perfect control."

It is hardly possible in a way for a young man to live in the same
house with a young and lovely woman like Chrissy without running more
or less risk of entanglement.  More especially is this so where the
two have had little or no outside society to divert their attention
from each other.  George and Chrissy soon found it pleasant to be a
good deal together.  Before she had been a week in the house he had
come to the conclusion that Chrissy was one of the most attractive
women he had ever met, and one of the strangest.  That she was clever
and good he soon discovered from remarks she made from time to time;
but that she had something that he did not possess was evident, and
it puzzled him.  So curious was he to fathom the mystery that he took
every opportunity of associating with her in the hope of drawing from
her the secret of her joyous, triumphant life.

They read together, sang together, walked together, and it seemed to
them both that every word interchanged, every blending sound of their
voices, every step they took, was welding together a bond which had
existed since first they met at the Colonel's hospitable table.  To
George it seemed a natural sequence that when he had for the first
time met the young woman who, he was convinced, was predestined by
God to be his counter-part that the recognition should be mutual.  He
knew that she had a way of making him feel perfectly at ease in her
society.  When he was talking to her, or even sitting silently by
her, he felt a sense of restfulness and reliance that he had never
before experienced in the society of a woman, especially since he
bade farewell to civilization to lead his men through the trackless
maze of rivers, lakes and woods of the North-West.

It soon became evident to Chrissy that George liked her society.  It
never occurred to her what a boon it was to the rugged Nor'wester to
be thrown, for the first time, into the society of a young woman not
only of considerable intellectual attainments but of deep
spirituality.

Chrissy did not think of love or marriage at first.  What she did
think of was the possibility of leading the young Scotchman into the
highest realm of life--the spiritual.

They had just left the little old-fashioned church, and were walking
the snowy streets in silence, when Chrissy spoke:

"Do you know," she said, shyly, "it's very strange, but you are the
only man I have ever met to whom I could speak with confidence of the
subject nearest my heart."

"And what may that be?" he asked, a ray of light and hope illumining
his face.

"It is the realization of the love of the Unseen and Eternal.  More
to me than the sweetest earthly tie is One whom having not seen I
love."

"It is all a mystery to me," he said.  "In fact it is
incomprehensible how anyone can manifest such enthusiasm and devotion
to One unknown.  Though I learned at mother's knee that 'man's chief
end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.'  I have never been able
to get beyond the theory of it."

"I am sorry for you," she said, her voice trembling with
disappointment.

For several minutes neither spoke, when Chrissy said, slowly and
thoughtfully:

"How oblivious the mineral kingdom is to the life of the world above
it, and the vegetable kingdom to that of the animal.  How much more
so the man or woman having a mere physical existence to the life of
the spiritual.  They have not the faculty of comprehending its joys
or its privileges any more than a stone can appreciate a flower, or a
flower appreciate science or art.  My heart yearns with unutterable
pity for anyone to whom Christ and the things of the spiritual world
are not a reality."

George made no response, and as they had reached the door of the
Colonel's quarters, he grasped her hand.

"Chrissy, Chrissy," he said, "I must go.  I dare not trust myself to
speak," and he left her standing on the door-step.

The happy holidays had slipped away all too soon.  Chrissy stood by a
window gazing at the panorama before her.  The moonlight poured
through the window, filling the room with a soft radiance which
rested upon her head with a kind of halo.  The indescribable beauty
of the scene without faded into insignificance compared with the
scene which George Morrison contemplated--a young woman whose pure
heart was mirrored in the beauty of her face and breathed in every
accent of her gentle voice.  Her earnest blue eyes looked as though
they could see into that other world of which she so often spoke.
Never before had he beheld a life so filled with fascinating grace as
to pervade every gesture and accent.  Never had he met a soul so
permeated with love and devotion to God, and withal so simple, so
natural, so sweet.

Chrissy was evidently oblivious to the presence of anyone, and
started when George suddenly remarked:

"Pardon me, Miss Chrissy, if I intrude upon the sacredness of your
meditations, but I understand you are going to leave us to-morrow.
We may not meet again, for you will be shut up within the cloistered
walls yonder and I shall be leaving in the spring for the great
unknown land.  I shall have cause to thank God through all eternity
for your visit I am grateful, deeply grateful, for the loving
interest you have manifested in my welfare, and I cannot part with
you, dear Chrissy, without giving some expression of the intense love
I have for you.  It would be heaven begun on earth if I might only be
permitted to walk life's pathway with you; but, alas!  I am not in a
position to offer you a home.  I am not one of those
white-shirt-fronted gentlemen such as we frequently meet with here,
but, thank God, I can now offer you a heart that is white, a life
that is pure.  Life in the woods has rubbed off any of the veneer or
polish that I may have brought with me from the Old Land, and I am
just as you see me, Chrissy, a plain, rough man from the wilds of the
West.  Notwithstanding which, could you not give me a pledge that
some time, somewhere, I may claim you as my own?"

For a moment Chrissy said nothing, but the expression of her face was
more eloquent than any words.  Her breast heaved with emotion as she
said, slowly and calmly:

"I am convinced that such a union as you propose would be founded
upon the only true basis, a mutual love for Christ.  Unions such as
this have only their beginning here; their full fruition is in
eternity."

In a moment he was at her feet, and, pressing her hand to his lips,
he poured forth expressions of happy gratitude to the Giver of all
good.

To her lover she seemed as she stood before him an incarnation of
love, of beauty, of goodness and grace, more like something belonging
to another world--a subject of a higher power.



CHAPTER VI.

_GAY VOYAGEURS._

1805.

The river was scarcely free from ice-floes when Chrissy was summoned
to the bedside of her mother, who had been hovering between life and
death for several weeks.  Weary and worn with nervous apprehension
and the strain of the long and perilous journey, she entered the
sick-room.  The flickering light from the hearth fell upon the white
face of the mother whom she loved as only a mother could be loved.
She was sleeping soundly.  Bending over her she laid her cool hand on
the fevered brow, when the poor sufferer opened her eyes, but was too
weak to speak.  She smiled faintly, and again fell into a deep sleep.
Through the long watches of the night, and oft through the day, she
sat gazing at the sleeping form, inwardly praying that she might not
be taken from them, that their home might not be left desolate.

At last there came a beautiful sunny morning in May when
consciousness returned, and the patient began to show other signs of
recovery.  Naturally of a strong, vigorous constitution, Mrs. Wright
soon became convalescent.  One evening she was lying on a couch
before the fire, when she observed the pallor of Chrissy's earnest
face.

"You must go out more, my child," she said.  "You have had a long
siege of nursing.  You look worn out."

"Come along, Chris," said Phil, her eldest brother.  "Let us go for a
stroll down to the shore."

It was a beautiful evening.  The sun was just veiling his face behind
the western hills, illuminating the sky with glory, when suddenly
they were attracted by the sweet strains of a French song in the
distance.

Soon twelve canoes rounded the headland, coming up the mighty current
of the river, manned by men decked out in varied and brilliant
colors.  They sang as only Canadian voyageurs could sing, suiting the
action of the paddles to the rhythm of the song:

  "A la claire fontaine,
  M'en allant, promener,
  J'ai trouvé l'eau si belle,
  Que je m'y suis baig-né,
  Lui ya longstemps que je t'aime,
  Jamais je ne t'oublierai."


Each verse was sung in solo, and then repeated by all in chorus,
finishing with a piercing Indian shriek.

[Illustration: "Soon twelve canoes rounded the headland."]

They followed them to the landing-place--a great flat rock on the
north side of the river, at the beginning of the portage road--and
found them preparing to bivouac there for the night, for all hands
were busily engaged in kindling fires and unstrapping blankets.  It
was soon ascertained that it was one of the Hudson's Bay Company's
brigades _en route_ for the North, with supplies for the Company's
forts, and that it was in command of a young Scotchman.  Chrissy's
pale face crimsoned as George Morrison approached her, and invited
her and her brother to share his evening meal.  At first glance he
could have seen a resemblance between Phil and Chrissy, in feature,
in manner and expression; both had the same quiet, thoughtful manner,
the same calm, deliberate way of speaking, and the same reserved,
proud bearing.

"I never dreamed of meeting you here," he said, "or I should have had
a sumptuous repast ready.  Fortunately I happen to have a tempting
bit of beaver tail, which is considered a great delicacy to
Nor'westers."

George Morrison was not slow to observe that Chrissy's face had an
expression of sadness in it that he had never seen before.

"You seem melancholy and dispirited.  What is on your mind, Chrissy?"
he asked.

"I have been passing through a great trial," she responded, with
quivering lips, "and I vowed a solemn vow when I thought that all
hope of saving mother was gone, that if God would give her back, I
would devote my whole life entirely and unreservedly to His service,
even though it involved the severance of every earthly tie."

Phil, who never felt more ill at ease, more unresponsive, than when
compelled to listen to a conversation which touched upon sacred
themes, which were entirely beyond the range of his comprehension,
quietly withdrew from the tent and strolled out to the fire, where a
number of strange figures lay in the shadow of the dusky cliff.
French voyageurs and coureurs des bois, white trappers and Indians,
in a variety of lazy attitudes, reclined on buffalo robes and
bearskins.  Most of them, with bleared eye and bloated face, were
puffing away at their pipes.  Some had red handkerchiefs round their
heads holding back their long black hair.  Some wore buckskin smocks,
fringed with bright colors and drawn tight at the waist by sashes of
brilliant hue, with trousers of the same material with little bells
fastened from knee to ankle.

"They're a' guid canoemen," said an old Scotchman, who had been for
many years factor at one of the trading-stations, and who was en
route to Moose Factory.  "You should juist see them at wark.  They
wadna think twice o' takin' a canoe ower the Big Kettle yonner at
this time o' the year.  Whan they are in ony danger they faa' down on
their knees an' caa' on the Virgin an' a' the holy angels tae save
them, an' as sune as it is gane by they deny the verra exeestence o'
Virgin or angels aither, an' sweer like troopers.  The Government
regairds them as kin' o' ne'er-do-weels' an' ootcasts.  When they
gang back tae ceevilization they spen' a' they've made in the fur
trade on their claes an' in drucken bouts.  As lang as their
beaver-skins last they set nae bouns tae their riot.  Mon, I've seen
some o' thae verra men staulkin' thrae the streets o' Montreal as
nakit as a Sioux.  Tho' they're sic bauld dare-deevils they are verra
usfu' tae oor company, for they gang hunners and hunners o' miles
throu the leemitless maze o' lakes an' rivers in the far North in
sairch o' furs.  They dinna fear aither Iroquois nor Algonquins, Cree
nor Sioux."

"He must have a lot of nerve," said Phil, pointing to the tent, "to
place himself at the head of a crowd like that.  I hope that he and
you may never fall victims to the treachery of such a crew."

"Dinna be feart," he said, "but he'll keep a stiff upper han' o' 'em.
They'll no verra readily try to ride ower him."

In the meantime a melancholy scene was taking place in the tent.
Chrissy had signified her determination to follow in the footsteps of
the sainted Marguerite de Bourgeois, Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, and
other early Canadian missionaries, who left the joys of home, the
comforts of civilization, and, penetrating the back-woods beyond the
protecting arms of the law, beyond the care of sympathetic friends,
had lived and worked and laid down their lives as a sacrifice in
seeking to convert the Indians to Christianity.

"But," protested George, "you are surely not going to take the veil
like Marguerite de Bourgeois?"

"Certainly not."

"You are surely not going to wander off into the wild woods and lead
the life of a squaw, are you?"

"Not exactly, but I hope to arrange with the Mission Board of the
Dutch Reformed Church in New York, who are working among the Indians
of Upper Canada, to take me as a teacher."

"But have not the Indians of Lower Canada, and especially the tribes
scattered along your own river and its tributaries, a greater claim
upon you?  If your vow includes nothing less than martyrdom, the
cannibals of the Nipissing or the Abbitibee tribes would be quite
willing to aid you in carrying out your intentions," he said, a faint
smile creeping over his serious face.  "Chris, _dear_ Chrissy," he
said, as he stroked her soft flaxen hair, "I thought you had advanced
too far in the Christ life to think of bartering with the Infinite.
If He has given back your mother, receive her as a free gift, not to
be paid for by the sacrifice of your own precious life, nor by the
severing of earthly ties, but to be received and rejoiced in as a
token of His free grace.  Fulfil your vow, my noble girl; live for
Him, work for Him, die for Him if need be, but one thing remember,
that the highest destiny of woman lies in adorning the position God
designed for her.  It may please self to sever earthly ties, it may
give you an inward feeling of being under no obligation to the Hearer
and Answerer of prayer--a feeling that you are even with Him--but you
will find that it is not the true road to happiness.  Self is not
your aim, nor is it comfort, nor enjoyment, nor social ambition; your
chief end and mine is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  If that
sweetest of earthly ties formed at Quebec stands in the way of this,
let us sever it here and now."

Tears were chasing each other down Chrissy's face as he spoke.

Few men can bear to see a woman in tears, and it was too much for
George.

"Chrissy," he said, "don't cry, please, don't; but tell me, shall we
sever it?"  Her heart was too full for words, but every line of her
face expressed remonstrance.

He stopped for a moment, as though waiting for an answer, when
suddenly a shout went up which seemed to rend the very heavens, for
it came from several hundred men.  It brought George Morrison out of
his tent in an instant.  The crews of twenty-two large canoes
belonging to the Company and twelve crews of Iroquois Indians, who
were on their return from the winter hunt, with their families, furs,
dogs, etc., had just arrived on the scene.

The bark canoes, measuring on an average thirty-six feet in length by
six feet in width in the middle, which had been carried most tenderly
over the portage on the naked shoulders of six men, were deposited in
a semi-circle upside down.

The whole cargo of provisions and furs was carried in bundles or
packs of ninety-five pounds each by means of pack-straps, called
"tump-lines," arranged so that the middle or broad part of the strap
rested against the forehead; the ends securing the load, which rested
upon the shoulders.  Each voyageur had one, two or three of these
packs, which they had carried over the nine-mile portage at a slow
trot, with the knees much bent, stopping for a few moments every
half-hour for "a pipe," as the rest was called, until at last the
landing-place was reached.

The crew of the second brigade almost out-rivalled those of the first
in their appearance.  They were the most extraordinary-looking
individuals that Chrissy and Phil had ever beheld; mostly dark,
gipsy-like men in blanket-coats with borders and sashes of brilliant
hue, and hats with silver bands stuck full of feathers of a variety
and brilliancy of color, all with long hair to protect their necks
and faces from mosquitoes.

The clamour, jargoning and confusion of this wild, impetuous
multitude cannot be described.  The commander of the brigade was a
Welshman, David Thompson, with a young Scotchman named Simon Fraser
as assistant, whose names have been handed down to posterity as the
discoverers of the Thompson and the Fraser Rivers.

Thompson was almost as extraordinary in his appearance as some of the
members of his brigade.  Though plainly and quietly dressed, his
black hair was worn long all round and cut square, as if by one
stroke of the scissors, just above the eyebrows.  His figure was
short and thick-set.  His complexion was a ruddy brown, while the
expression of his features was friendly and intelligent.  His
Bunyan-like hair and short nose gave him a very odd appearance.  He
had a powerful mind and had perfect command of his crew.

With them was a French priest, who had secured passage for Montreal
in one of the Company's canoes.

The shout of greeting brought the Chief and his sons to the landing
to see what was the matter, and they remained interested witnesses of
the gay scene till nearly midnight, when the din ceased and all were
soon asleep--the leaders in their tents; the men, some beneath their
upturned canoes, some on blankets or skins spread on spruce boughs,
and some just rolled in their blankets on the rocks before the fire,
the cooks only remaining up to cook the hominy for the following day.
Hominy was the regular fare for the voyageurs of the great
fur-trading companies.  It was made of dried corn, prepared by
boiling in strong alkali to remove the outer husk.  It was then
carefully washed and dried, when it was fit for use.  One quart of
this was boiled for two hours over a moderate fire in a gallon of
water, to which, when boiled, was added two ounces of melted suet.
This caused the corn to split and form a thick pudding, which was a
wholesome, palatable food, easy of digestion and easy of
transportation, one quart being sufficient for a man's subsistence
for twenty-four hours.

After taking leave of the Chief and Chrissy, George invited Phil,
Bearie, Christie and Rug to remain all night, most of which was spent
in conversation with the old Factor, who entertained them with
accounts of the discoveries in the great unknown land.

"Eh, mon," he said, "it is a graund cuintree.  My auld frien' Sandy
Mackenzie, when juist a bit lad, cam' oot frae Inverness tae tak' a
poseetion wi' Mr. Gregory at Fort Chipewyan, at the heed o' the
Athabasca Lake, in the wild cuintree wast o' Hudson Bay.  Sandy sune
got wearied o' office life, an' got Greegory tae agree to let him
gang explorin'; that ood be about twenty years sin'.  Weel, sir, he
took wi' 'im fower canoes wi' fower Indians an' twa squaws, an' they
left the fort in June.  In a week they had gotten the length o' Slave
Lake, as muckle as fower hunner an' seeventy miles frae the Fort.
After they had stoppit for some days they gaed on for about three
weeks mair, an' gangin' roond the side of the lake frae the outgoing
o' the river that has been ca'd aifter him, he gaed awa' doon the
river, whar they had an unco time drawin' their canoes ower the
frozen bits 'an gettin' them again intae the open watter, until at
the hinner en' they foond 'oot that it emptit intae the North Sea."

"Did he see any polar bears?" asked Rug, who stood gazing intently at
the rugged face of the speaker.

"Ay, lots o' them.  I seen them mysel' in Davis Strait on the
ice-floes comin' doon frae the North.  We used to set a blubber fire
burnin', an' they wad gether roond it, sniffin' an' smellin', at the
bleezin' daintie.  We wastit mony a boolit on them, but they didna
seem tae mind it muckle.  When ye cam' on them withoot waarnin', the
only thing that ye could dae was tae roar oot as lood as ye could an'
tae keep roarin'.  Our men whiles triet tae catch them."

"How?" said Phil.

"They laid a rope wi' a lairge runnin' loop on the end o't alang the
ice, an' laid a seal on't that had been tostit ower the fire.  Verra
sune the bears wad begin tae gether roond it.  When one wad get
inside o' the loop the men wad draw the rope, as the bear wad be
hodden by the legs, than they wad turn the ither en' o' the rope
roon' the capstan an' haul the beast on board.  The growlin' an' the
roarin' that resultit wad mak the hair o' your heed stan' on en'."

"Did your friend Mackenzie make any other discoveries?" asked Bearie.

"Ay, sir," replied the Scot.  "He made the discoverie o' his life,
when, three years aifter his comin' back tae the Fort, he set oot in
sairch o' the Pacific Ocean, and foond it, tae.  It was a thing that
nae white mon had ever dune afore 'im, an' I doot if ony ane but
Sandy could a stood the dangers an' deeficulties that he cam'
through, what wi' a sulky crew that nearly drave him mad an' ither
things.  He was a brave, graun' mon, was Sandy.  Weel, he left the
Fort in October, an' gangin' up the Ungigah River, he gaed across the
continent till he got tae the sea the next July, when he inscribed on
the solid cliffs on the shore the fac' o' his discoverie."

Long before sunrise the chief cook gave a loud and startling shout,
"_Alerte!_"  No man dared linger for forty winks more, for after a
hurried breakfast the North-bound crews shouldered their canoes and
packs and commenced their long and tedious portage, and the
return-crew launched their frail barques, and before pushing out into
the mighty current, twenty paddlers in each boat--each squatting on
his slender bag of necessaries--the priest pulled off his hat, and in
a loud voice commenced a Latin prayer to the saints for a blessing on
the voyage, to which the men responded in chorus.

  "Qu'il me benisse."


After which they floated down the stream singing:

  "En roulant ma boule roulant,
    En roulant ma boule,
  Derrièr chez nous ya t'un étang,
    En roulant ma boule,
  Trois beaux canards s'en vont baignant,
    Rouli, roulant, ma boule roulant."



CHAPTER VII.

"_A MINISTERING ANGEL, THOU._"

1808.

Two years had passed since the interrupted meeting in the tent.  Not
a word had Chrissy received from her lover.  At length a report
reached her, through a passing brigade, that George Morrison had been
sent to the vicinity of Great Bear Lake to open a trading-post for
his company, and that nothing had since been heard or seen of him.

Chrissy's devotion to her absent lover had grown deeper and stronger
as month followed month.  She never felt for an instant that he was
dead to her.  She did not think of him with hopes that were withered,
with a tenderness frozen; the man whom she loved never once became a
vague, dreamy idea to her, for to Chrissy George was a living, bright
reality, who would come some day to fulfil his promise, when she
would at last enter into the glorious consummation of her heart's
deepest longing.  It was this confidence that cheered and sustained
her as she became her mother's most efficient coadjutor in missions
of mercy and love.  It was not an uncommon sight to see mother and
daughter cantering over the rough woodland roads to distant
clearances, in response to appeals for help from the sick and
sorrowing.

On one occasion the appeal came from "Aunt" Allen, who lived on one
of the back concession roads.  As they approached the unpretentious
but cosy little farm cottage, in the midst of a field of blackened
stumps, Mrs. Allen came out to meet them.

"Oh, Mrs. Wright," she said, "I'm so thankful you have come.  He's
nearly mad with pain.  In fact, I think the poor lad is agoin' out of
his mind."

"How did it happen?" asked Mrs. Wright.

"You see," she said, "He had to sleep out nights in the woods when he
was hauling timber to the drive, and an insect or somethin' must have
got into his ear, for he could feel it a movin' and a crawlin'
and"----.

"What have you done?" interrupted Mrs. Wright.

"We made him lie down with his ear on the pillow, but it was no good.
Then we made him hold his ear down while we struck his head several
hard blows to make it fall out, but it was no good.  Then we put an
onion poultice on it to draw it out, but that was no good, and now we
don't know what more to do."

"I fear," said Mrs. Wright sadly, "that I shall not be much help to
you, for my book does not mention what should be done in a case of
that kind."

"But, mother," said Chrissy, "we cannot leave until we have done
something.  It is dreadful to see him suffer so."

"Physic will not touch it," she replied, "and they seem to have done
everything that could be done."

At length Chrissy said:

"I've thought of a plan.  Let us hold him with his head downwards, so
that it may have a chance to drop on the floor; then let someone puff
tobacco smoke up into the ear, and perhaps the smoke will cause the
insect to become stupefied and it will fall out."

"Very good," said her mother.  "The plan is worth trying, but who
will do the smoking?  There's not a man about the place."

"I'll do it myself," said Chrissy.  "You have a pipe and tobacco, I
suppose, Mrs. Allen?"

"Yes," she replied, "for the lad smokes."

The experiment was tried.  Chrissy, kneeling on the clean sanded
floor, puffed away vigorously at the strong old pipe, while her
mother and Mrs. Allen held the young man's head over the fumes.  Soon
something dropped upon the floor, which proved to be a large red ant,
and a shout of triumph went up as Mrs. Allen jumped upon it and
ground it to nothingness.  This brought instantaneous relief to the
sufferer, who was very profuse in his expressions of gratitude.

Poor Mrs. Allen laughed and cried in turn as they took an
affectionate farewell of one another, but Chrissy's face had an
unusually pallid appearance, which, however, soon faded away as they
galloped down the road to Mrs. Murphy's cottage.

They found the poor woman on a bed of suffering, where she had been
for three months.

"Is it yersilf that's come, me lady?" she said, a slight flush of
pleasure lighting up the pale, sad face.

"Yes, Bridget," said Mrs. Wright, "and I have brought my daughter,
whom you have not seen for a long time."

"Ah, me darlint," she said, grasping Chrissy's hand, "Moike is a gud
husband to me.  He has a big, koind Irish heart, but one night when
he came home he wasn't hisself, Moike wasn't, and he kicked me and
the swate lamb there," pointing to a fat dumpling of a baby, "out of
the door, and thin he locked it forninst me, Moike did; and I
entrated him to let me in, but he would not; so I ran over the shnow
through the fields to Joe Larocque's shanty, and I tuk off me skurt
to roll the wee darlint in, for she was cryin' with the could, an' I
ran to the shanty.  For shure I was in my bare feet, an' when at last
I reached Larocque's he was afeared to let me come in, he was, an' I
prayed him for the sake o' the Blessed Virgin and all the holy angels
to open the door, an' afther a long toime he did."

"Poor Moike," she said, with a look of agony in her face; "he's a gud
man, a gud man, but he was not hisself--it was the dhrink that did
it."

"There now, Bridget," said Mrs. Wright, "you have talked enough; you
had better keep quite still while I remove these bandages."

The odor from the poor frozen hands and feet was frightful, but
patiently and tenderly they removed the old bandages and applied new
ones, after first saturating them in linseed oil and lime water.
Before they had finished, the patient, overcome with exhaustion, sank
back into a state of semi-unconsciousness, repeating the sad words
over and over again:

"Poor Moike, he's gud, he's gud; but he wasn't hisself."

"I am afraid," whispered Mrs. Wright, "that mortification has set in.
Did you observe that she had no feeling in the right foot while we
were dressing it?  Poor soul!  Her sufferings will soon be
over--perhaps to-night."

The tears streamed down Chrissy's face as she looked first at the
poor sufferer, then at the innocent babe so soon to become motherless.

"I think, mother," she said, "that you had better leave me with her,
for the Larocques can only come over once a day, and Mike has
evidently no idea of how to take care of a sick woman, much less a
baby.  Could you not take him with you?  Tell him that father wants
him, for he said only this morning that he wanted more men."

It was finally decided that Chrissy should remain, and that the
grief-stricken husband should ride her pony as far as the Columbia
farm, where he was to remain until the Chief should give him leave to
return.

It was nearly dark when Mrs. Wright reached Burns's, where several
young men were standing round the door.  Touching their hats
respectfully to her as she entered, they soon followed her into a low
room, permeated with the sickening odor of whisky and stale tobacco,
where a young man lay with blackened eyes, a gash over the left
temple, and a broken arm.

"So you've been fighting again, Andrew?" she said, "I thought after
your last scrape that you would leave Jamaica rum alone."

Andrew was fully convinced in his own mind that his injuries would
ultimately prove fatal, and his feelings alternated between vengeance
on the one who had proved too strong for him and an uneasy
apprehension of dissolution.

"It was not my fault; and if ever I lay hands on that villain again
I'll thrash him within an inch of his life," he hissed through
clenched teeth, his face white with rage; "I'll smash every bone in
his body.  Give me time, Mrs. Wright, to say a paternoster before you
begin."

"How can you pray, 'Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy
name,' and drink that which will cause His name to be profaned and
blasphemed?" she said.  "How can you pray, 'Thy kingdom come, Thy
will be done,' and drink that which will be the greatest hindrance to
the coming of His kingdom and the fulfilment of His will?  How can
you pray, 'Give us this day our daily bread,' and drink that which is
depriving thousands of daily bread?  How can you pray, 'Forgive us
our debts as we forgive our debtors,' and take that which makes us
unwilling to forgive our debtors?  How can you pray, 'Lead us not
into temptation, but deliver us from evil,' and drink that which has
proved temptation and evil to so many?  I assure you, Andrew," she
said, "that you cannot say a paternoster and drink strong drink."

Turning to the father of the young man, she said:

"It is a simple fracture, but it will have to be set, and it will
need a strong man to do it.  You can get a splint while I make the
bandages.  There now," she said, "take hold of the hand and pull it
slowly and steadily--this way--see.  Now, are you ready?"

"Ough!" groaned the young man.  "Ough, but you're hurtin' me, you're
hurtin' me."

"There, now, that was well done," she said, feeling the spot
carefully.  "Now give me the splint."

After she had carefully bandaged the arm, she said: "There now, are
you more comfortable?"

"Yes, thank you, ma'am," he replied.

"Now you must remain in bed for a time in order to give it every
chance," she said; "for if you go about with it inflammation may set
in and you may lose it.  Here is a book which you may read when the
time seems long."

He glanced at the title.

"The Pilgrim's Progress," he said, giving a sly wink at one of his
friends.  "Shure an I'll be purty hard up for somethin' to do when I
read the like o' that."

"It is not so bad as it looks, Andrew," she said, good-naturedly, as
she shook hands with him on leaving.

Soon the messenger of mercy and healing was flying along the road to
Paul Mousseau's shanty, where she found poor old Paul at the gate in
tears.

"What is the matter, Mousseau?" she said, as she tied her pony to a
tree.

"_Le charbon_, Madame, le charbon; ma bonne femme, I fear she no get
well again."

The charbon was a disease which afflicted many of the French settlers
in Canada at that time.  A small black spot would appear on the body,
resembling a piece of charcoal, which soon spread until the whole
body was affected.  The only remedy known was to cut out the affected
part as soon as it appeared.  It was supposed that it was contracted
through skinning and eating the flesh of cadaverous animals.

Paul's shanty contained one large, low, common room or kitchen with
two windows, a fireplace at one side, one bedroom for the family,
with a loft above, where the older boys slept among all sorts of
provender and farm tools, and which was reached by a ladder.  The
walls of the room in which the sick woman lay were adorned with rude
religious pictures, with an earthenware crucifix, which had attached
to it a receptacle for holy water.

Mrs. Wright shook her head sadly as she examined the poor woman, and
said:

"I fear, Paul, that it has gone too far."

The poor old man fell on his knees, made the sign of the cross, and
gave way to a paroxysm of tears.

"Ma bonne Katrine!" he cried; "Ma bonne Katrine!  Ah!  Sainte
Vierge--no preese--no messe--ma pauvre femme--ma pauvre femme."

"Paul," said Mrs. Wright, "though you have no priest and no church
you are not shut out from the Great High Priest--the Lord Himself.
Pour out your sorrows to Him and He will hear and comfort you and
save Katrine."

The old man kissed her hand as she took leave of him, and assisted
her to mount her impatient pony, which needed no urging to hasten
home, for darkness had come on, and she was alone in the forest.
They were not long in covering the distance to the Wigwam, where the
children were anxiously awaiting her return.

"Where is Chrissy?" asked Phil, who was cleaning his gun and was
evidently having great difficulty in the effort to extricate the
ramrod from the barrel.

"She is going to sit up to-night with poor Mrs. Murphy," said his
mother, "who will probably not live through the night."

"Jee-roo-salem!" exclaimed Phil, "and what can a girl like Chrissy do
for a dying woman?"

"She could read a verse of Scripture or one of the beautiful prayers
of the Prayer Book," said his mother, softly.

"It's all rot," he said, "the whole Bible is utter foolishness from
cover to cover."

"Exactly what the Bible says of itself," said his mother.  "It says
that 'The preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness,'
and if it is foolishness to you, my dear boy, it is because you are
perishing.  St. Paul told the truth when he said, 'The natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are
foolishness to him, neither can he know them, for they are
spiritually discerned.'  You have not a nature capable of grasping
the spiritual.  'You must be born again.'"

"Don't quote Scripture at me, for I tell you that I don't believe one
word of it," said Phil.

"If you could have seen what I have seen this day you would not be
such a trifler, my boy."

"I'm not trifling, mother," he said.  "I am quite serious about it.
I am not proud, as some are, of being a sceptic, but I cannot believe
as you and Chris do."  Observing tears in his mother's eyes, he
added, slowly, "I wish I could."

"There is but one way," she replied, "out of the fog of scepticism
into the light of faith, and it is the narrow way of obedience.  'If
any man will do his will he shall know of the doctrine whether it be
of God.'  If you want to believe, my boy, give up your self-will and
promise me that you will try honestly to find out what God's will is
concerning you, that you may do it, and your scepticism will soon
take wings."

"But," said Phil, "I would like to have some proof that there is a
God before I begin to find out what His will is.  Every sense that I
have bears me out in believing that there is no God.  I have never
seen a God, nor heard one; I have never smelt, tasted, nor felt one."

"You may not have _felt_ that there is a God, but I have," said his
mother, "and I delight to pour forth my very soul to Him whom I know
exists, and whom I am satisfied to believe in without proofs save
such as I obtain from my own inner consciousness."

"And is the testimony of that one sense of feeling sufficient to
convince you that there is a God?" said Phil.

"It is," replied his mother.

"Well," he added, thoughtfully, "the odds are against you four to
one."

Approaching her first-born the mother laid her hand on his shoulder,
and said:

"Tell me, my boy, did you ever see a pain?"

"No," he replied.

"Did you ever hear a pain?"

"No."

"Did you ever smell a pain?"

"No."

"Did you ever feel a pain?"

"Yes," he unwillingly admitted.

"And was the testimony of that one sense sufficient to convince you
of the existence of pain?"

"Yes," he replied.

"And the testimony of that same sense has convinced me," she said,
"not only of the existence, but of the presence and love, of God."

"Well, mother," said Phil, who shuffled about uneasily, "I have seen
so many hypocrites among Church members that I, for one, do not wish
to be classed with them.  There was Tom Adams, one of Mr. Meach's
favorites, who was always in his seat at the meeting-house, who would
not shave on Sunday, but had no conscience about shaving us six days
in the week.  He would not blacken his boots on Sunday, but he did
not hesitate to blacken the character of any man in the settlement
who disagreed with him in anything, on Sunday or any other day."

"The very existence of hypocrites is a proof of the existence of a
reality," said Mrs. Wright, "for if you should happen to find a
counterfeit coin it would need no argument to convince you that it
was copied from a genuine one.  There are genuine Christians as well
as counterfeits, and the omniscient and omnipresent God knows the one
from the other; and as hypocrites have not the faintest chance of
heaven, you had better beware, dear boy, lest you should be 'classed
with hypocrites' throughout the never-ending ages of eternity."

Phil's scepticism was a crushing grief to his mother and sister, who
set themselves resolutely to win him to the faith with the full force
of their intellects.  They read, they pleaded, they wrote, they
argued, they reasoned.  As time went on their best efforts seemed
frustrated, and, when at length they seemed to come to the end of all
their resources, both cast themselves in utter despair upon God and
prayed as only a mother and sister can.  Nor did they pray in vain,
for the time came when he found his way out of the darkness into the
light of truth.



CHAPTER VIII.

_CONVENT DAYS._

1806.

Abbie, who was the very reverse of her sister in appearance and
disposition, still remained in the convent, the seclusion of which
had not transformed her into a religious recluse--rather the reverse.
Her association with gay daughters of wealthy Seigneurs and others
had the effect of deepening her love of adventure and romance.

Sally Smith continued to be her most intimate friend, and any
holidays, which in those days were few and far between, were spent at
the Citadel.

One evening a young officer called, and during the absence of her
mother from the room Sally said, her eyes dancing with mischief: "Let
me introduce you to my friend, Miss Wabisca Onodis, Lieutenant
Randall.  Miss Onodis," she continued, "is the daughter of an
Algonquin Chief, and is a boarder at the convent."

"Aw, indeed," said the officer, "I should never have dreamed that
your friend was an Indian girl.  Have you had much difficulty in
acquiring a knowledge of English?" asked the lieutenant.

"Not at all," replied Abbie, "I understand everything that is said,
but find difficulty at times in choosing words best fitted to give
expression to my deepest emotions."

"Aw, I quite understand.  They say that the Indian nature is much
more intense than that of other civilized nations.  What is
exceedingly difficult even for an Englishman must be much more so for
one of your temperament.  No language, I believe, either written nor
spoken, can convey any adequate idea of the emotion of love, for
instance.  Is that your experience, Miss Onodis?"

Just then Mrs. Smith entered, and the conversation turned to that
perennial subject--the weather.  The friendship thus formed soon
ripened into more than a mere friendship.  Frequent messages passed
between the convent and the Citadel, messages in cypher, for Therese,
an Indian girl, had furnished Abbie with a list of Algonquin words
and phrases expressive of deep sentiment, which were quite
unintelligible to the nuns, and as the officer was furnished with a
similar vocabulary, messages were frequently carried by Sally between
the two.

This went on for some time until the nuns found a scrap of paper on
the floor containing the following mysterious words:

  Nitam shaquoi yanque kitchioni chishim
  Kin mishiwaiasky nin
  Othai icha quisco.
  Ka qui nick kitayam.
                    Wabisca Onodis.


After matins the Mother Superior addressed about two hundred young
women in the Assembly Hall in the following words:

"Young ladies, a very mysterious letter has been found.  It is
evidently in the Indian language.  It is probably intended for one of
our Indian young ladies.  Did anyone present lose a letter?"

No one spoke.

"O'Jawa," said the superior, addressing a young Indian girl, "will
you come forward and see if this letter is written in one of the
Iroquois or one of Algonquin dialects?"

O'Jawa promptly came up the aisle, and scanning the paper, said:

"It is Algonquin, Mother."

"To whom is it addressed?"

"To no one, Mother," she replied.

"By whom is it signed?"

"By a White Chief, Mother."

"Please translate it," said the Mother Superior.

O'Jawa read slowly and deliberately:

  "_First--last--and best,
  Thou art all the world to me.
  My heart burns.
            "Always yours,
                      "WHITE CHIEF._"


"This letter," continued the Mother Superior, "evidently belongs to
one of the Algonquin girls, who probably has been receiving secret
missives of a similar nature from some white man.  As you are aware,
young ladies, this offence is punishable with expulsion.  Deceit is
the mother of all vices.  The sisters cannot assume the
responsibility of the care of any young lady who would deliberately
deceive them in this way; therefore I am under the painful necessity
of investigating this matter more fully.  Therese, come forward.
Your guilty face indicates that you were the recipient of this
letter.  Were you?"

"I was not, Mother."

"Then it was sent to you and the bearer dropped it before you saw it.
Is not that the case?"

"I do not know, Mother."

"Have you ever received any communications of this nature before?"

"I have not, Mother."

"Do you know any White Chief?"

"I do not, Mother."

"Do you know for whom this missive was intended?"

Therese hesitated.  The question was repeated.

"I do, Mother," she said.

"Do you know by whom it was written?"

Taking the letter in her hand she said, slowly:

"I do, Mother."

"Then, Therese, I must demand the names of both the sender and the
intended recipient."

"Who wrote that letter?"

"I shall not tell," she said, slowly and with great determination.

"I shall give you five minutes to answer my question, Therese, and if
you stubbornly persist in concealing these facts from me I shall
declare you expelled."

There was silence in the hall--not a soul stirred.  Therese stood
calmly awaiting her doom, when suddenly there was a shuffling at the
back of the hall and Abbie came forward and addressed the Superior:

"I wrote that letter.  It was intended for a young officer at the
Citadel.  If you are going to expel anyone, expel me."

The Mother Superior hesitated.  She looked at Abbie, then at Therese,
and said, solemnly:

"Insubordination and deceit must not go unpunished.  I shall
communicate all the circumstances of the case to your parents.  The
classes may now go to their respective class-rooms."

A few days later Abbie was summoned to the reception room, and was
much surprised to find her father and her brother Bearie in
consultation with the Mother Superior.  They had just arrived with a
raft of timber--the first raft from the Ottawa--and had come to
arrange with the nuns to have Abbie spend the evening with them.  The
Chief looked very grave as he tried to decipher the tattered letter
which the Mother Superior translated to him.  He said:

"Abbie is a giddy, foolish, light-hearted girl, whose spirits often
carry her beyond bounds.  I shall be returning to the Utawas in a few
days and shall take her home with me.  She will be safe at home," he
said, as the Mother tried to dissuade him from his purpose.

"Now that your daughter is on restriction of leave she will be
perfectly safe with us.  We make an exception, of course, in the case
of parents taking their daughters out."

No sooner had they emerged from the stone walls of the convent than
Abbie related the whole affair to her father, who reproved her for
her folly and gave her what is rarely appreciated, sound, fatherly
advice.

On reaching the hotel Bearie introduced to his sister an awkward,
bashful youth named Thomas Brigham, who had come down with them on
the raft.

"What part of the backwoods do you come from?" she asked, coldly.

"From the township of Hull," he responded.

"Did you ever see a city before?"

"Well, no, I cannot say that I have, except Montreal and Three
Rivers," he replied, as he scraped the mud off his long boots with
his pocket knife.

"I thought not," she said.

Her father moved uneasily in his seat on observing the embarrassment
of the young man, and said, gravely:

"Thomas is not as rough as he looks.  He is one of the ablest young
men in the settlement.  He may lack the veneer of an officer, but you
will find as the years go on that there is no discount on Thomas."

So saying, he arose from the table, and, taking his hat from the
rack, said: "Come, let us walk out and see something of the city."

They were coming up St. Peter Street.  Abbie was laughing and jesting
with Bearie, when they came face to face with Lieutenant Randall.

"Let me introduce you to my brother, Lieutenant Randall," said Abbie.
"And this is my father," she said, mischievously.

"Aw, I am awfully pleased to meet you, sir," he said, with a
perplexed and bewildered expression on his face.

He then turned to Bearie and said: "It is difficult to determine
sometimes when Miss Onodis is in jest and when in earnest.  She led
me to believe that she was the daughter of an Indian chief, and the
truth is only now beginning to dawn upon me."

"You have not been misinformed," said Bearie.  "My father has the
honor to be Chief of one of the Algonquin tribes of the Utawas, but
why do you not call my sister by her right name?"

"Aw, pardon me--pardon me!  I did not understand, of course.  I am to
address your sister in future as----

"Miss Wright," said Bearie.

The young lieutenant became a frequent visitor at the hotel while the
Chief was negotiating sales of lumber, and had kindly undertaken to
assist him in securing an Englishman qualified to fill the position
of bookkeeper and tutor to the younger children.

Several weeks passed.  All business arrangements having been
concluded, Abbie was taken from the convent preparatory to leaving
for home, when the young officer approached the Chief and said:

"I have been earnestly hoping for an opportunity of seeing you
privately, sir, with reference to your daughter, whose hand I desire
to seek in marriage."

"My daughter is not eligible for marriage," replied the Chief, with a
twinkle in his eye, "as she is pledged, provisionally, to one of the
chiefs of our tribe."

"I cannot think that Ab----  Miss Wright has led me on only to
disappoint me at last.  Have you any reason to believe that her
engagement with the Chief is an affair of the heart?"

The conversation was interrupted by the entrance of Bearie, who
proposed that they should walk out to the square and watch the
setting sun.

Abbie and Bearie tried to outrival each other in relating anecdotes
and incidents of interest which had taken place during the interval
of absence from each other, in the vain hope of arousing the interest
of their military friend, who sat on the end of a bench twirling his
swagger stick nervously.

"There was an Indian girl in the convent," said Abbie, "who was
engaged to be married to one of her own tribe, and a few days before
the wedding we took up a collection among the girls and bought her a
trousseau.  It consisted of a very stylish poke bonnet trimmed with
ostrich tips, a purple Irish poplin dress with ten flounces bound
with black velvet, a black lace shawl and a liberal supply of
underclothing.  The poor girl was immensely pleased with the gift,
and wore a perpetual grin from the time it was presented to her till
she left.

"The day after the wedding the young bridegroom was seen parading the
streets dressed in the bride's clothes.  The ribbons of her bonnet
were roughly twisted under his chin, the lace shawl hung over one
shoulder, the hoopskirts were wabbling about in a most extraordinary
manner.  He seemed much pleased with the amusement it created and
laughed as heartily as any of the crowd.  His love of adornment had
so triumphed over his new-found affection that he left his dusky
bride disrobed to weep over it."

"Take heed, take heed, Miss Wright, lest a similar fate be yours,"
said the young officer.

Abbie looked puzzled, but made no response.  "Tell us something about
your experiences on the way down," she said, addressing her brother,
whom she had seen but once since his arrival.

"We were seven weeks coming down on the raft."

"A raft--a raft?  What is that?" interrupted the officer.

"It is an immense flotilla," said the Chief, "made up of numerous
sections or cribs of timber, lashed together by green withes, which
are easily detached from the main flotilla or raft, and which are
capable of being rowed by long rude oars.  We constructed on one of
these cribs a sandy hearth, above which we made a roof with no walls,
which served as a protection from rain.  Six little cabins, not
unlike dog-kennels, were formed of broad strips of bark, in which
each man found a bed.  As we drifted down the river cheer after cheer
went up from the settlers who had gathered on the point to see us
off."*


* In the list of provisions for the journey the Chief mentions, in
his diary of June 11th, 1806, "The bread of 3½ bushels of wheat £1
6s. 3d."


"All went well until we reached the Carillon Rapids.  We succeeded in
getting nineteen cribs over safely, and Martin and Bearie were
steering the next, when a gale sprang up from the south and it blew
them so near to the north shore at the head of the bay that Captain
Johnson, whom we hired to help us over the rapids, thought best to
send a canoe to take them off, but he was too late to overtake them.
You had better tell the rest of the story," he said, turning to
Bearie, who sat with his hands in his pockets leaning against a tree.

"We got through the first chute all right," said Bearie, "but the
wind blew us on to the rapids above Green Island and the crib stuck
on the rocks.  We worked all day to get her off, but it was no use.
At last there was a creak and a crash, and the whole thing went to
'smithereens.'  One stick only remained on the rock, with Martin
clinging to one end and me to the other.  It worked like a 'see-saw';
when Martin came up I went down, and when I came up Martin went down.
Though my eyes, ears, nose and mouth were full of water, I managed to
call out,--

"'Ough, Martin; how do you like that?'

[Illustration: "Martin came up I went down."]

"Then Martin went up and I went under, and he called out:

"'How do you like it yourself, youngster?'

"At length they got us off by throwing a rope from a point above and
letting it float down to where we were.  I managed to get hold of it
first and tied it round my waist, and it was all I could do to keep
my head above water in the raging torrent.  I was not sorry, as you
may imagine, to see a boat put out from Barren's Point to pick me up.
They tried the same plan with Martin, and got him off safely, too.

"When we came to the head of the Sault we had to hire some Indians
from Caughnawaga," continued Bearie.  "They could not speak English,
and we could not understand much French so father wrote down in his
note-book a good many words which he spelt according to the sound,
and with the supposed meaning attached to each word.  In this way he
soon had a number of words, phrases and sentences which he at once
began to use.  He found it very hard to get some words, and the
Indians often looked very bewildered when he spoke to them.  He tried
for a long time to find out the word for 'pike-pole,' and at length
decided that it must be '_Am-chee-brin_.'  He used the word all the
way to Quebec before discovering that it meant '_Un petit brin_,' a
common expression among the French-Canadians, meaning 'a little.'"

"But that was not the worst," said the Chief.  "When we came to
Bastican we went to a Post-house* for dinner, and the 'bonne femme'
introduced with great pride her only child, a black-eyed boy of about
two.


* Not a post-office, but an inn with livery attached, under
Government inspection, with fixed tariff of rates per mile for hire
of horses for travellers.


"'_Cest un bon petit crapeau, madame_,' I ventured to remark, patting
the boy on the head and thinking that I was paying a great compliment.

"But I saw at once, by the angry expression on the woman's face, that
I had made a great mistake, which was afterwards explained by one of
the men on the drive, who said that it meant, 'That is a nice little
toad, madam.'  We were a long time trying to find out the meaning of
_Puck-a-pab_, and were amazed when they told us on reaching here that
it meant '_Pas capable_,' 'not able.'"

"I find it exceedingly difficult," remarked the officer, "to
understand the language of the habitants, though I studied French
with an excellent tutor."

"We had a terrific storm while anchored at Pointe aux Trembles," said
Bearie.  "The sky grew densely black; every moment broad zig-zag
flashes lighted up the dark, angry-looking water.  Father and I were
on shore, and we crawled beneath a large upturned tree root to keep
dry, for the rain soon began to fall in torrents.  It was well we
did, for the hurricane swept the masts, tents, cabins, and even the
roof of the caboose away down stream, and scattered the cribs in all
directions.  We were three days looking for lost timber and repairing
damages."

"I should not omit to tell you of our experience at the Long Sault.
We were thirty-six days getting through the rapids.  The habitants
shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders and said: 'Il n'est
pas possible (It is not possible); what has never been can never be,
and the man who would attempt such a thing is a fool.'

"While camping there one evening we met a priest and some Frenchmen
who were on their way to one of the back settlements.  The priest was
not a bad fellow.  He spoke good English and was very kind and
affable, and he invited us to go with him and his party to see the
site of an old French palisade fort, which he called the Thermopylæ
of Canada, and where, he said, the most daring deed ever attempted on
this continent took place nearly one hundred and fifty years ago."

"Tell us about it," said the officer.

"You tell about it, father," said Bearie.

"It is a long story," replied the Chief, "but I shall try to tell it
as briefly as possible.  The priest said that the French colonists
had suffered much from the cruelty of the Iroquois tribes, who had
decided to destroy the whole French colony.  A Mohegan Indian told
the French that eight hundred Indian warriors were encamped near
Montreal, and would soon be joined by four hundred more from the
Uttawas, and that they had planned to take Quebec, kill the Governor,
burn up the town, massacre the inhabitants; after which they would
proceed to do the same with Three Rivers and Montreal.

"A young officer named Daulac, who was in command of the garrison at
Montreal, proposed to entrap them on their way down the Ottawa and
fight them.  Sixteen young fellows from Montreal volunteered to go
with him.  They did not know much about canoeing, for they were a
whole week in attempting to pass the swift current at St. Anne, at
the head of the Island of Montreal.  In the meantime they were
overtaken by forty Hurons and several Christian Algonquins.  When
they saw the rushing, foaming waters of the Sault they decided to go
no farther, for they knew that the Iroquois were sure to pass there.
He pointed out a spot just below the rapids, where the woods slope
gently down to the shore, where an old Algonquin palisade fort stood.
'It was,' he said, 'a mere enclosure of trunks of trees planted in a
circle.'  In a few days they saw two Iroquois canoes coming down the
Sault.  Daulac and his men hid behind the bushes and, as they landed,
shot all but one, who escaped and fled through the forest to the main
body.

"'Suddenly,' said the priest, 'a fleet of canoes filled with Iroquois
came bounding down the rapids.  Soon as they landed they smashed the
bark canoes of the French, and, kindling the bark, ran up to set fire
to the palisade.  Three times they attempted to storm the little
fort, but were driven back by the deadly fire of the small garrison.
Their rage was unbounded.  They sent word to five hundred of their
tribe, who were camped at the mouth of the Richelieu, to come to
their aid.  This so frightened the Hurons that they deserted and
betrayed the smallness of their force to the enemy, who advanced with
yells, firing as they came on.  But again they had to fall back,
owing to the deadly fire of the French.  The latter held out for
three days, and the Iroquois were on the verge of giving up the siege
when they resolved to make one last attempt.  They made large, heavy
shields, four or five feet high, by lashing together three split logs
fastened together with cross bars.  Under cover of these they
advanced, reached the palisade, and, crouching below the range of
shot, hewed furiously with their axes until they cut their way
through.  Daulac filled a large musketoon with powder, and after
plugging up the muzzle attached a fuse, and tried to throw it over
the palisade, but it fell back among the French and exploded, killing
and wounding several and blinding others.

"'In the confusion that followed the Iroquois got possession.  All
was soon over.  Daulac was the first killed, and a burst of
triumphant yells went up from the savages.  Five of the heroic
defenders escaped and brought the news to Montreal.  It proved the
salvation of our French colonists in Canada,' continued the priest,
'for they felt that if seventeen white men could hold seven hundred
warriors at bay so long in an old palisade like that, there would be
no chance of capturing walled towns like Quebec and Montreal.'"

"If that is true," said the officer, thoughtfully, "the French must
have more nerve than I ever gave them credit for."

"It was a daring deed," said the Chief, who walked off with Thomas,
leaving the others to follow.



CHAPTER IX.

_THE NEW TUTOR._

1806.

The Chief had been detained in Quebec several days longer than he
intended, awaiting a schooner, when a stranger approached him and
said:

"Pardon me, sir, but I have a note here from Lieutenant Randall."

Breaking the seal, the Chief read as follows:


    THE CITADEL, August 7th, 1806.

P. WRIGHT, Esq.

DEAR SIR,--This will introduce to you Harold Wrenford, an old school
friend from Wilton, England, who has just arrived and is seeking
employment.  He has references from his rector and others which would
indicate that he is well fitted for the position of tutor, which I
believe you wish to fill.

Wishing you and Miss Wright a _bon voyage_.--Believe me, sir,

    Yours very sincerely,
        WM. RANDALL.


The young Englishman was about the same height as the officer, but,
unlike his friend, had a clean shaven face and dark auburn hair,
which came almost to his shoulders.  The expression of his face when
in repose was pensive.  An air of refinement distinguished his voice
and manner.  His general appearance and testimonials created a most
favorable impression on the Chief, and the two were not long in
coming to terms of agreement.  A few hours later they were stemming
the mighty current of the St. Lawrence in a small schooner, _en
route_ for Montreal, where the _Colombo_, a flat-bottomed bateau, was
waiting to take them to their destination.

The advent of the tutor proved a most important event in the history
of the backwoods settlement, and marked the beginning of a new era.
Though courteous and obliging to the Chief and his family, he ever
manifested a cool reserve to the neighbors, which made him most
unpopular among them.  They would call at the office, pay their
accounts, and depart without a word of friendly greeting, or even of
common courtesy.

Some regarded the tutor as a recluse with very exaggerated ideas of
his own importance.  Others looked upon him with suspicion, and
whispered that he was probably the son of a nobleman in England who
had committed a crime and had to flee the country.  A general feeling
of dislike began to manifest itself, which was intensified by the
fact that the Chief, who had always been geniality itself, became
almost inaccessible to them.  When they would call at the Wigwam to
discuss current events they invariably found him engaged with
Wrenford.  When they would call at the office in hope of hearing
something of the outside world--for newspapers rarely reached the
township at that time, and the Chief was the only link between them
and civilization--the ubiquitous Wrenford was ever intruding and
diverting the Chief's attention.

Nor were the neighbors alone in feeling that they had lost a friend.
The sons began to realize that the young Englishman was determined to
have the sole monopoly of their father's society.  From early
childhood they had been the inseparable companions of their father.
Rarely did he enter upon any new enterprise without first discussing
it with them in all its bearings; but, since the new regime, their
father's plans and projects were generally communicated to them
through the tutor.  Even Mrs. Wright had cause to regret the advent
of the new tutor, for she was not slow to observe a growing apathy in
her husband to the Sunday service in the little congregational
meeting-house.

The basis of union between the Chief and the tutor was not altogether
unintelligible, and was not as unreasonable as the family seemed to
think.  It was founded upon mutual interests, strengthened by mutual
assistance.  The tutor wrote a good hand, the Chief a very poor one,
having lost the use of his right hand through an injury.  The tutor
had a natural talent for making out estimates and accounts.  He had a
kind of information which had been gleaned from centres of
civilization which was helpful to the Chief, who had spent years in
the seclusion of the settlement.

Months passed.  Unknown to any one, Wrenford often imagined what his
life would be if Abbie could be induced to love him.  This one
thought, fervent and strong within him, filled him with constancy of
purpose.  Through all the duties of life this purpose inspired him,
but any advances that he ventured to make were met with a cool
reserve, which repelled him.  He strove against the cruel wounds in
his heart, and sought by every art in his power to win her.

It was evident to all in the family circle that Abbie had become a
changed girl since her stay in Quebec.  Cheerfulness had always been
her chief characteristic.  Peals of laughter and French and English
songs, with choruses, could be heard wherever she presided.  Even in
the poultry yard her rich fund of humor manifested itself in the
naming of her feathered flock.  A bronze turkey, stately and
dignified, was addressed as Chief Machecawa; a big Brahma cock, who
held his head above the others, she called "Harold the Great;" while
another cock, almost as gay and proud in appearance, and who
manifested a decided antipathy to the Brahma, was designated as
"Thomas à Becket;" while still another was "William the Conqueror."
All these creatures had distinct personalities and dispositions of
their own, and were called after noted historical characters whose
first names corresponded to those of her numerous suitors whom they
were supposed to resemble.  Like Bearie, her stories of bygone days
were the product of a shrewd mind, a keen sense of humor, and a clear
memory.  She disliked housework and fancy-work, and all kinds of
systematic work except weaving.  When set to tease wool, every hard
and knotty tuft was tossed into the fire.  When stockings were given
her to darn, she ran a gathering string round each hole and drew it
together regardless of the discomfort of the wearer.  She liked
weaving.  It was the only work she did like, and it fell to her lot
consequently to supply the house with flannel and linen.  The coarse
but snowy table covers Abbie had spun and woven with her own hands
from flax grown on the farm.  The boys' shirts were made by her from
the wool of their own sheep.  Few women of the settlement could
outrival her in the lost art, for she could make between forty and
fifty yards of flannel in a week.

Since her visit to Quebec much of Abbie's buoyancy seemed to have
faded from her life.  Her eye had lost much of its animation.  Her
step had lost its sprightliness.

"If Abbie had remained in the convent another month," said Christie
to his mother, "you would never have seen her again except with a
black veil and through iron bars.  In fact, it would not surprise me
if she has not even now serious intentions of taking the veil."

Bearie suspected the true cause of the melancholy state of mind into
which his sister had fallen, but said nothing.

By night and by day there remained with her a vision of a tall,
handsome young man, with flaxen hair and moustache--a rare appendage
in those days--dressed in the gay uniform of a British officer, with
its large epaulets, queer cocked hat, knee-breeches, buckled shoes,
and with polished sword dangling by his side--an officer as gay as
his uniform.

"Why have so many letters remained unanswered?" she mused.  "He
seemed almost overwhelmed with emotion when we parted.  I feel
convinced that nothing but my father's presence prevented him from
pouring forth a passionate farewell.  His hand trembled as it touched
mine.  How tender, how embarrassed he seemed when he attempted to
express his last words.  Why, oh! why does he not write?"

Disappointment was overshadowing her life.  She was not aware that
her father had rejected him as a suitor, and there had stolen into
her mind solemn wonderings and hopes that sometime, somewhere, the
deepest longings of her heart might be realized.  She had nothing
against Harold Wrenford.  On the contrary, she saw much in him to
admire.  His English voice and manner reminded her in many ways of
Randall's.  Notwithstanding his unpopularity with the neighbors and
her brothers, her soft heart and susceptible spirit were well
calculated to respond to the slight ebullitions of tender regard
which he had on several occasions ventured to manifest, but which she
ever resented.

Wrenford held to his purpose, unsuspected and unaided, with as much
tenacity as Abbie held to hers.



CHAPTER X.

_TOBACCO OFFERINGS._

1808.

It was a beautiful moonlight evening in August.  A shadowy haze
lingered over the river, which glistened and sparkled in the
moonlight.  The Chief and several members of his family were seated
on the beach in front of the Wigwam listening to the Honorable Joseph
Papineau, who, with his son, Louis Joseph, had come up in a canoe to
see the falls.  The former had recently purchased from Bishop Laval
the unsettled seigniory of Petit Nation, and had erected an
unpretentious cottage, which he occupied during the summer months.

[Illustration: HON. LOUIS JOSEPH PAPINEAU AND MADAME PAPINEAU.  From
Morgan's "Types of Canadian Women" (copyright, 1903), by permission.]

"It was a lovely vision," said Mr. Papineau, who had just performed
the feat of canoeing to the foot of the Chaudiere Falls for the first
time.  "On our return we climbed the rugged cliff on the south side,
and never shall I forget the panorama that spread out before us.  The
sun, sinking slowly behind the Laurentian hills, had clothed himself
with a robe of splendor.  The long reflections lay soft on the waters
of the river below.  The clouds of ascending mist from the Chaudiere
took a thousand shades of color as the western sky faded slowly from
crimson into gold and from gold to green and gray, and finally
displayed dark shapes, out of which imagination might well have
formed a thousand monsters.*


* Louis Joseph, afterwards known as the Demosthenes of Canada, and
who almost succeeded in making Canada a Republic, with himself as
President, was evidently much impressed with the scene, which he
described as follows: "Le soleil etait pret decendre sous l'horison,
la mureille tout limpide etait d'une transparence vivre, tout
penetree de lumiere vaguement prismatiseé."


"As we watched the gathering shadows my thoughts went back two
hundred years, to the time when Champlain went on his first trip up
the 'Riviere des Algoumequins,' as he called it.  About two years
before he took the trip he sent Nicholas de Vignan, a young
Frenchman, up the river with some friendly Indians, and Nicholas had
returned with the marvellous story that he had reached the North Sea.
He said that the journey could be made in a few days.  He also gave
an account of having seen the wreck of an English ship.

"Champlain was completely taken in, and lost no time in starting off
to verify the discovery for which the world had been looking for some
time.  His fleet consisted of two canoes with two Indians and three
Frenchmen, one of whom was De Vignan.  It was in May, when the river
was at its height.  When they reached the Gatineau the Indians told
him that their tribe were often compelled to conceal themselves amid
the hills of the Upper Gatineau from their dreaded enemies, the
Iroquois.  When Champlain beheld the twin curtain falls yonder, 'like
a slow dropping veil of the thinnest lawn,' he exclaimed, 'Le Rideau!
Le Rideau!'  The Indians told him that the waters formed an arcade
under which they delighted to walk, and where they were only wet by
the spray.  As they rounded the lofty headland opposite he saw the
cloud of mist rising from the falls, which the Indians called the
'Asticou,' which means 'Chaudiere' in French, or 'kettle' in English,
for the water has worn out a deep basin into which it rushes with a
whirling motion which boils up in the midst like a kettle.

"You have probably been close enough to have seen it, Madame?" he
said, addressing Mrs. Wright.

"No," she replied, "I have always been too timid to venture so near
to it in a canoe."

"Champlain said," continued Mr. Papineau, "that he paddled as near as
possible to the falls, when the Indians took the canoes and the
Frenchmen and himself carried their arms and provisions.  He
described with great feeling the sharp and rugged rocks of the
portages to pass the falls and rapids until at last, in the
afternoon, they embarked upon the peaceful waters of a lake where, he
said, there were very beautiful islands filled with vines and with
walnut and other agreeable trees."

"There are no walnuts on the islands of Lake Chaudiere," interrupted
Bearie, "I am quite sure."

"He probably saw a butternut tree," said young Louis Joseph, "and
thought it produced walnuts."

"Champlain's journey came to an abrupt close a few days afterwards,"
said Mr. Papineau, "when he reached Allumette Island, about seventy
miles farther up the river.  There was a large settlement of friendly
Algonquins, called 'Les Sauvages de l'Isle,' and Champlain tried to
obtain several canoes and guides to proceed farther.  They, however,
had their own commercial reasons for keeping the French from the
upper country, and they warned him of the danger of meeting the
terrible tribe of the Sorcerers.  Champlain said that De Vignan had
passed through all these dangers.  The head Chief then said to the
impostor:

"'Is it true that you have said that you have been among the
Sorcerers?'

"After a long pause he said: 'Yes, I've been there.'

"The Indians at once threw themselves upon him with fierce cries as
if they would have torn him to pieces, and the Chief said:

"'You are a bold liar.  You know that every night you slept by my
side with my children.  How have you the impudence to tell your chief
such lies?'

"The upshot was that Champlain returned down the Ottawa, followed by
an escort of fifty canoes.

"When the party reached the Chaudiere the savages, he said, performed
their mystic rites.  After having carried their canoes to the foot of
the Falls, they gathered in a certain spot where one of them,
provided with a wooden dish, passed it round, and each one placed in
the dish a piece of tobacco.

"The collection finished, the dish was placed in the midst of the
band and all danced around it, chanting after their fashion.  Then
one of the chiefs delivered a harangue, explaining that from olden
times they had always made such an offering, and that by this means
they are protected from their enemies and saved from misfortune, for
so the devil persuades them.  Then the same chief took the dish and
proceeded to throw the tobacco into the Chaudiere, amid the loud
shoutings of the band.  'They are so superstitious,' said Champlain,
'that they do not believe that they can make a safe journey if they
have not performed this ceremony in this particular place.'

[Illustration: "The Chief proceeded to throw the tobacco into the
Chaudiere."]

"Ah, Monsieur," Mr. Papineau continued, "it stirred my soul as I
stood on that rocky cliff and thought of how many canoes of heroic
missionaries, Indian braves and cheery voyageurs have paddled these
waters and torn their feet on the rocky shores, going, some of them
to death and some to tortures worse than death.  As we drifted down
with the current in the moonlight the gentle breeze in the pines
along the shore seemed to be whispering sad tales of other days."

Mr. Papineau, who had spoken with such animation and fluency,
relapsed into silence for several minutes, then, rousing himself,
said, with even greater enthusiasm and vigor:

"Providence has crowned our lives with great blessing since the
heroic Daulac struck the death-blow to the power of the Iroquois in
this country, and since the English undertook the responsibility of
its government.  Though I am proud of the fact that every bone and
muscle, nerve and sinew within me is French, though I dearly love my
Mother Country and my fellow countrymen, I have no hesitation in
making the solemn assertion that our country has enjoyed a greater
degree of prosperity under the new regime than it ever did under the
old.  But it must ever be remembered that much of the foundation of
that prosperity was laid in the blood of the early French martyrs and
in the heroic achievements of the early French settlers."

It seemed incredible to the visitors that in a settlement of so
recent date their host should have been able to show them a
grist-mill, a saw-mill, a vegetable alkali factory, a tannery, a
small foundry, a tailor shop, a bakery, a general store, and a
hemp-mill, giving employment to over one hundred men.

Fortunately for the pioneers of the Ottawa, they were not dependent
upon the small revenue derived from the cultivation of the land, but
had other resources which afforded them much greater remuneration.
The British Navy, which hitherto had been dependent upon Russia for
its cordage and lumber, had to look elsewhere for its supply of hemp
and timber, owing to the ports of the Baltic having been closed to
British ships.

The price of hemp having risen from £25 to £118 per ton, they
undertook the cultivation of it, and raised over three-fourths of the
amount raised in Lower Canada at that time.  The exportation of
lumber and vegetable alkali, or potash, were also great sources of
revenue.  In the new clearances were tons of wood ashes from which
the lye was extracted and boiled till it looked like molten iron, a
barrel of which sold at that time for thirty dollars.

Prosperity and success crowned every commercial enterprise upon which
they ventured until fire swept every mill, factory and dwelling in
the thriving little village out of existence, including thousands of
dollars in cash in a small safe in the office, quantities of wheat,
hemp, sawn lumber, laths and general merchandise.

As there was no compensation in the way of insurance, the loss was
much felt.

Philemon Wright was not the man to be deterred from climbing the
ladder of success, even though he had to mount it by the rungs of
adverse circumstances.  Though the loss sustained was great, almost
overwhelming, he rose above it with a courage which yielded not to
disappointment or failure.

The cause of the fire long remained a mystery.  That it was the work
of an incendiary was beyond question.  Various theories were
advocated by the settlers, but suspicion rested upon Machecawa, who,
it was alleged, had been seen by the bookkeeper at a late hour
lingering about the mills, a suspicion which gained no credence with
the Chief and his family.



CHAPTER XI.

_SNARES._

1812.

Machecawa, who was still a widower, made no secret of his admiration
of Abbie.  With a dogged determination, characteristic of his race,
he resolved to win her, and having evidently made a deep study of the
case, had put it down as a first axiom that, if he began by wooing
the father and brothers, all things being favorable, he would soon
have the daughter and sister.  He had not been slow to observe a
change in the atmosphere of the Chief's home since Abbie's return
from the convent.  He felt instinctively a lack of warmth in the
welcome received.  He had little encouragement to spend the day in
the kitchen as he had done formerly.

This coolness on the part of the weaker members of the family he
attributed to two things.  First, that they had moved into a new
house overlooking the Falls, on the western hill of the village,
which they regarded as altogether too grand for him; and, second,
that Harold Wrenford had succeeded in rousing within them a want of
trust and a suspicion that he had sinister designs upon certain
members of the family.

Numerous and costly gifts and game of all kinds found their way to
the White House, as the new home was called.  A short deerskin coat,
or shirt, beautifully embroidered with colored silks and beads, was
sent to the Chief.  Moccasins similarly decorated were given to his
sons.  Baskets and bark boxes ornamented with colored porcupine
quills were presented to Mrs. Wright, who was suspicious of the
motives which prompted these offerings.

The two younger boys, who were still in their teens, were delighted
with the attentions of the Red Chief, for he taught them many lessons
in hunting and trapping, and confided to them many secrets unknown to
white men.  Casting his Indian superstitions to the winds, he told
them of the existence of iron mines in the neighboring hills.  He led
them into the depths of the forests that they might witness one of
the strangest of ceremonies, which the Indians were shy of performing
in the presence of whites--the ceremony of the marriage of the
nets--and which Rug afterwards described as follows:

"Supper was hardly finished when a huge fire was kindled on an open
space on the bank of the river, and their Chief called out in a loud
bass voice, 'Ho!'

"'Ho!  Ho!!  Ho!!!' came thick and fast from every part of the camp.

"They then surrounded two beautiful young Indian girls, and laying at
their feet several rude nets, which had been made from the inner bark
of trees, commenced to dance round them, yelling, stamping with their
feet and brandishing their arms, while the two Indian maidens, who
stood apart from each other, raised the nets between them and held
them suspended in the air.

"Again the Chief called 'Ho!' and they all fell on their backs silent
and motionless, with their feet towards the fire, while the Chief,
with a loud voice, called upon the spirit of the nets to do its best
to furnish them with food for themselves, their wives and their
children.  Then he addressed the fish, urging them to take courage
and be caught, assuring them that the greatest respect would be paid
to their bones."*


* Parkman mentions this as a common ceremony among the Algonquin
tribes of the Ottawa.


Machecawa frequently took the boys with him when he visited traps on
the "Carman Grant."*  On one occasion they crossed the ice on
snow-shoes, climbed the cliffs, and made their way through the woods
to the head of a small stream in the midst of a great cedar swamp.
They followed the stream through marsh and thicket, crawling on their
hands and knees at times, and climbing over fallen trees, until they
came to a large pond with a dam about thirty rods long.  On one side
the land was low, but on the opposite side a steep bluff of about
thirty feet rose directly from the water.  The bluff was covered with
poplar and birch.  Here beaver had made roads, or slides, from top to
bottom, wonderfully smooth and neat, on which they slid the wood they
had cut, some of which was eight inches thick, into the pond below.
Machecawa, who had previously cut a gap in the dam and made a hole in
the ice, where he had set two traps in about four inches of water,
drew up the first of them.  He discovered that a young beaver had
been caught, and cut off his leg, leaving that in the trap to tell
the tale.  In the second was a huge male with flat, broad, scaly
tail, which could not have been mistaken for any other creature than
a beaver.  He re-baited the traps with an aromatic substance called
castor, which he had taken from the pouches of one caught a few days
previously, and which entices the beaver from a great distance.


* The present site of the city of Ottawa.


"Machecawa," continued Rug, "then began to mutter a monotonous song
which he afterwards explained was a song of praise to the great king
of the beavers, who, he declared, was the forefather of the human
race.  In it he described their good qualities, and promised to
respect the bones of the one which had been killed, and to keep them
from the dogs.

"'Surely, Machecawa,' I said, 'you do not believe that your
grandfather was a beaver, do you?'

"To this he replied: 'De fadder ob de fadder ob de fadder ob my
fadder, she am de king of de beaver an' de fadder ob all men.'

"I asked him," said Rug, "if in that case it were not wrong to kill a
beaver, for I hardly knew how to reconcile the Indian's superstitious
belief with his conduct.

"'When de big Injun she am kill de beaver,' he replied, 'she praise
de good beaver, and de king she am pleese an' she no get cross.'

Proceeding eastward they soon reached the Rideau, and following the
ice on snow-shoes they were surprised to hear the sound of a
woodman's axe in the distance.  They followed the direction from
whence the sound came and found a white man, Braddish Billings by
name, hewing out for himself a home in the forest.  He was as much
surprised at seeing them as they were at seeing him, as he did not
expect to find any white man, except Mr. Honeywell, in the vicinity
of his grant.

They had not gone far when the Indian drew their attention to the
tracks of a jumper in the snow.  Following the track for a mile they
came upon a small clearing, in the midst of which stood a log shanty,
and found that it had been built by Mr. Honeywell, who, like Mr.
Billings, had made his way through the wilds from Prescott with a
jumper drawn by a young ox, upon which he had strapped all his
household effects, provisions and tools.

They then followed a trail which led down to the little Chaudiere,
where Machecawa had a moose snare.  He had driven two oak pegs into
two large pine trees, about six feet from the ground, on opposite
sides of the trail.  On these he hung a cord about the size of a
cod-line, formed of thirty strands of the green skin of a moose and
arranged as a noose, one end of which was securely attached to a
fallen log, so that when the moose would come down hill for a drink
he would run his head into it and the strip would slip off the pegs
and tighten round his neck; then, in attempting to get free he would
become strangled, for the log to which he was attached could not be
dragged through the woods.

At the mouth of a creek which ran through a deep ravine* the Indian
had set traps for mink and otter.  Cautiously they approached the
spot, keeping to the lee side till they reached the bank, where they
remained quietly for several minutes.  They soon observed two young
otters crawling to the top of the opposite bank, a height of about
thirty or forty feet.  No sooner had they reached it than they slid
head-first down into the water.  This was repeated over and over
again until someone stepped on a dry branch, which snapped, and they
disappeared and were not seen again.


* The present Water-works viaduct.



CHAPTER XII.

_MRS. BANCROFT'S SUGARING-OFF._

1814.

Nancy Chamberlain and Sarah Olmstead were neighbors, and were the
recipients of numerous visits from Phil and Bearie.  It had been
commented upon by many in the settlement that there had been an
unusual number of "bees" during the autumn and winter.  Among others,
Mrs. Olmstead had a husking-bee, but did not invite many of the
neighbors, who therefore were not slow in imputing to her certain
designs in trying to form a relationship with the Chief's family.

Mrs. Chamberlain also had a bee, an apple-drying bee, and, following
the example of her friend and neighbor in the exclusiveness of her
invitations, brought herself under the same ban as Mrs. Olmstead.
Whereupon Mrs. Bancroft, who also had a marriageable daughter,
resolved, when the spring days should come, to have a "sugaring-off,"
and to teach her ambitious neighbors a thing or two about
entertainments.  Invitations were accordingly sent to all the New
Englanders in the settlement, including rich and poor, young and old,
and extensive preparations made for the greatest social event of the
season.

Among those who accepted the invitation were the Aliens, the
Sheffields, the Townsends, the Wrights, the Eberts, the Wymans, the
Olmsteads, the Chamberlains, the Fessendens, the Honeywells, and the
Moores.  These with many others gathered round the glowing, crackling
fire, above which a huge new potash kettle was suspended by crotched
sticks.

"It will soon be ready to pour into the smaller kittle," said Ephraim
Bancroft, "for it has been boilin' stiddy since mornin'.  I only
found out this spring that it takes nearly twice as long to boil down
the last sap of the season as it does the first, and it is not near
so sweet."

"Be careful, Ephraim," said Mrs. Bancroft, "you're pilin' on too much
wood.  It's getting quite syrupy, an' you'll burn it if you're not
more careful.  Keep the fire low and stiddy."

The young people were having a gay time coasting down hill over the
'crust' on Dudley Moore's traineau, while the men and women "hugged"
the fire and discussed the all-absorbing subject of the American
invasion.  The Chief had just returned from Montreal, and had the
latest war news, which was received with keenest interest.

"It was rumored," he said, "that Wilkinson was coming up Lake
Champlain with six thousand men, followed by Hampton with a large
force, and De Salaberry and Macdonell posted our men in such
advantageous positions, and were so successful in concealing the
weakness of our force, that Wilkinson and his men had to beat a hasty
retreat.

"You have probably heard," he continued, "that Colonel Morrison met
Boyd on the St. Lawrence, near Cornwall, on his way to attack
Montreal, and drove him back to Plattsburg."

"If they get Montreal," said Mr. Fessenden, "the whole of Canada will
fall into their hands."

"What is the whole fuss about, anyhow?" asked a shrewd little New
Englander from one of the back settlements, who had bought a tract of
land and was paying for it in work.

"It is a long story," replied the Chief, "and a sad one, but I shall
try to explain to you in as few words as possible the whole trouble,
for there are several here to-night who have strong prejudices
against Britain, which should be removed.

"Ever since America, the elder daughter of Great Britain, wanted to
commence housekeeping for herself, and had such difficulty in
escaping from her arbitrary old father, she has not had the kindliest
feelings toward him.  She lost sight of the fact that the British
Parliament was by no means the British people, a great majority of
whom sympathized with her in her struggles for constitutional
liberty, and regretted the misery it produced.

"Though not actuated by hostile feeling against the father, she was
determined to overturn his short-sighted policy.  Washington did his
best to repress the anti-British spirit which pervaded the Democratic
party, and succeeded in establishing a commercial treaty with
Britain, but unfortunately after his death the Democratic party came
into power, and the dislike for everything British began to show
itself more than ever.

"Meanwhile Europe was almost completely at the mercy of Napoleon.
England, whose fleet swept the seas, being the only obstacle in his
way, he determined to strike at her power at the most vital part, so
he closed all the ports of Europe against her manufactures, and
authorized the seizure of all vessels bound for British harbors.

"England retaliated by declaring all the ports of France and her
allies from which the British flag was excluded in a state of
blockade.  In doing this Britain was merely adopting Bonaparte's own
measures against himself.

"This state of things paralyzed American trade, and the Democratic
party made it a favorable opportunity of stirring up feeling against
England, instead of against Bonaparte, who alone was responsible.

"Meanwhile two or three unfortunate circumstances, as you are aware,
helped to widen the breach.  An American frigate, the _Chesapeake_,
was cruising off Virginia, and as she had some British deserters on
board, was hailed by an English man-of-war, the _Leopard_, and a
formal demand was made for these men.  The American captain refused
to admit the right of search, whereupon a broadside was fired from
the British ship, and the deserters were given up.

"The English Government did not approve of the act, and offered to
make reparation, but Congress declared war.  About the same time
Britain withdrew the Order-in-Council which affected the American
trade, and though it was known in the United States that the cause of
the war had been removed, Congress did not recede from its hostile
position, but had decided to drive Britain from Canada, and to add it
as another State to the Union.  This policy was opposed by the
Republican party, who sent delegates from several counties in New
York protesting against the war."

"Someone told me," said Mr. Townsend, "that on the day war was
declared all the ships in Boston harbour displayed flags at
half-mast, and at a meeting of the citizens resolutions were passed
stating that the proposed invasion of Canada was unnecessary and
would lead to connection with France, which would be destructive to
American independence."

"Quite so," said the Chief.  "Our friends in New England have much to
contend with in the foreign element that is creeping into the
Democratic party--such as German socialists, refugees from the Irish
rebellion and of the French Revolution, who have little or no true
patriotic spirit."

"Imagine any of our neighbors at Woburn," interrupted Martin Eberts,
"stooping to seduce the people of this or any other country from
their allegiance, and converting them into traitors, as a preparation
for making them good American subjects.  I hear," he continued, "that
Eustis pointed out the advantage it would be to secure Canada, and
said that it was a most opportune time while Britain had her whole
force engaged with Napoleon."

"Yes," said the Chief, "and he stated that it could be taken without
soldiers, and that if they sent a few officers into the country
Canadians would rally round their standard.  So they sent poor old
Hull, after whom our township was named, with twenty-five hundred
men, to open the campaign in Upper Canada about two years ago.  As
soon as he met Brock he hoisted the white flag and fell back to
Detroit, and he and all his men were taken prisoners.  Hull was
condemned to be shot, but was spared because of his great age, and in
consideration of former good service."

"It is no wonder," said Mr. Fessenden, "that the attempt has failed,
for it had not the backing of thinking men nor of true Republicans."

"It's an ill wind that blows nobody good," said the Chief.  "The
price of wheat has gone up three dollars per bushel, and I have just
disposed of our fall crop at a profit of $7,000."

"May the war continue," said Martin Eberts, "and we'll all sow wheat."

"Let us hope that it won't," said Mr. Honeywell, "for I had to go all
the way to the front for three barrels of flour, for my family was on
the verge of starvation.  I had just rolled it into the shanty, when
who should come along but Dow and Billings, who wanted to buy two
barrels, but I wouldn't sell, for I had hauled it all the way from
Kingston on a jumper.  Well, sir, they laid down $50, and walked off
with the flour."

But to return to our party.  It was a glorious moonlight night, and
the young people would probably have kept up the sport the whole
night long had not Ephraim announced that the "lateer" was ready.

The cushions and buffalo robes were then taken from the sleighs and
spread upon the snow, and the gentlemen served each lady with a block
of hard snow, upon which had been poured some of the boiling sugar,
which immediately hardened into "lateer," or taffy.

For a time there was a lull in the babel of voices, when suddenly
their attention was arrested by the sound of a stealthy step of
moccasined feet on the crust, and the tall, stately form of an Indian
emerged from the woods.

"Hullo, Machecawa, is that you?" said the Chief.  "You are just in
time.  We want you to show us how to dance the war-dance, and then we
shall give you a good tin of 'sucre.'"

Machecawa was quite equal to the emergency, for when asked by the
Chief if he liked sugar he replied:

"Ba, oui," with a decided emphasis on the "_oui_."  Then approaching
the fire, he asked:

"Who belongs to dees pot?" pointing to the huge kettle.

"It belongs to Mrs. Bancroft, who will give you a good share of sugar
if you will dance for us."

The young people laughed heartily as Machecawa stamped and danced and
sang a strange monotonous song.  Not a muscle of his face betrayed
fun or amusement.  He went through with it all as gravely and
seriously as though he were about to rush into conflict with his
enemies, the inevitable whoop terminating the ludicrous performance.

By this time the sugar was ready to pour into moulds.  Mrs. Bancroft
had removed the small kettle from the fire, and was stirring it
vigorously, when she called:

"Ephraim, it is your turn to stir now.  My arms is near broke."  In a
moment Ephraim was beside her, and was straining the muscles of his
right arm in stirring the fast cooling sugar.

The contents of the pot were then poured into dishes of various
shapes and sizes, which were imbedded in the snow, the largest of
which was handed to Machecawa, who sat on a fallen log and began to
devour the contents greedily.  At length he caught sight of Bearie,
who was seated in Gideon Olmstead's cutter talking to Sarah.

"Whoop!" cried the Indian, a ray of light creeping over his dark
face.  "De young chief's squaw?  Some tam she am dat squaw, more some
time she am de odder," he said, pointing his finger at Nancy.

Shrieks of laughter resounded through the woods.

"It is precisely what we would like to know ourselves," said Mary,
the Chief's youngest daughter, who had made repeated attempts to draw
from the boys their purposes and plans regarding the future.

"Choose partners--choose partners for 'Auld Lang Syne,'" said the
White Chief.

"They seem to have chosen partners," said Christie, "but the trouble
is they won't let any one into the secret."

"No doubt," said the Chief, "they will declare their intentions in
due time."

The whole party then, at Mrs. Bancroft's request, gathered in a
circle round the fire, and forming a chain, sang:

  "Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
  And never brought to mind?"

After which three cheers were given for the host and hostess, who had
afforded them an opportunity of spending so enjoyable an evening.

They were all seated in the sleighs and about to drive off in various
directions, when Mrs. Wright called for Abbie.

"Is Abbie with you, Mrs. Olmstead?" said the Chief.

"Is she with you, Mrs. Chamberlain?"

"No, no; she is not here," cried a dozen voices.

The anxious father called, "Halt! halt!  We must not leave till we
can find Abbie."

"Wait a moment," said Bearie.  "It has just occurred to me that Abbie
left us about ten minutes ago, remarking that she had lost her muff,
and was going to search for it at the foot of the hill."

They called and searched in vain, and suddenly the Chief said:

"Where is Machecawa?"

"He left some time ago on snow-shoes," said one of the party.

"Follow him up, boys," he said.  "Trace the track of the snow-shoes
through the woods.  The moon will furnish sufficient light."

Fully a dozen volunteers responded, and hastened through the woods in
the direction of the Indian's camp, where they found the Red Chief
and his friends before the fire smoking.

"Have you seen Mr. Wright's daughter, Abbie?" asked Mr. Bancroft.

They shook their heads and did not move from their lazy attitudes
before the fire, except Machecawa, who was on his feet in a moment,
and led the way back to the sugar bush at a slow trot.

In the meantime Bearie and Thomas Brigham had followed a track
leading from the foot of the hill where they had been coasting into
the woods.  They waded through drifts knee deep, through a forest
almost impenetrable, and to their amazement found the object of their
search securely lashed to a tree by a long strip of deerskin,
blindfolded, and with a red handkerchief tied over her mouth.
Hurriedly releasing her, they searched the neighborhood, but could
find no trace of the perpetrator of the deed.  She was suffering from
hysteria, and could hardly give an intelligible account of what had
happened.

"I saw my muff in the snow," she said, "and was stooping to pick it
up when someone suddenly threw a cloth over my face and tied my
hands.  It was all done so suddenly and gently that I had not time to
see who it was, and thought it was one of the boys who had done it in
jest.  The truth dawned upon me when I began to struggle to get free
and found myself half-dragged, half-carried through the deep snow and
tied to a tree.  I was nearly insane with terror.  If ever I prayed
in my life I prayed then to be released."

On their return home they were met by Mr. Wrenford, who asked if they
had had an enjoyable time.  Phil, in a very excited manner, gave an
account of the attempted abduction of his sister, whereupon the tutor
exclaimed:

"Most mysterious!  What treachery!  What villainy!  Evidently the
infamous work of Indians.  Where was your friend, Machecawa?" he
said, addressing Abbie.

"Machecawa had absolutely nothing to do with it," replied Bearie,
sharply, "nor had any of his tribe, for the tracks were made by
hob-nail boots--not moccasins."



CHAPTER XIII.

_ACCIDENTAL AND CONFIDENTIAL._

1815.

Mr. Wrenford, the bookkeeper, whose tutoring days were now over, sat
at his desk in the office, reading letters which had come by morning
post addressed to the firm.

Among the letters which he opened and read was one for Mrs. P.
Wright, in care of P. Wright, jr., for Phil had chosen Sarah for his
bride, and Bearie was preparing a home for Nancy.  It was from Abbie,
and lay bare to her bosom friend and sister-in-law the deep secrets
of her heart.

She had been disappointed, and had resolved at length to give up
fretting for one whom she had loved and lost.  Could he ever have
loved her?  Why, if alive and able to communicate with her, had he
remained as dead?  Could it be that he had laid down his life in
defence of the colony with gallant Brock at Queenston? or at Stony
Creek? but that would not account for his silence before the
invasion.  Ever since she had parted with him at Quebec his image had
been enshrined in her heart, and now two others were seeking her hand
in marriage.  One, though unloved and distrusted by every member of
the family, her father only excepted, had once again renewed his
suit, and her heart turned to him because of his resemblance to his
friend, her first love.  The other was her brother's most intimate
friend, who had assisted in releasing her from her perilous position
the night of the sugar party.  To say which she loved most was a
problem.  At times one seemed uppermost in her heart's affection, at
times the other.

The letter closed with the following pathetic words: "Would that an
angel from heaven could fly down and whisper the name of the one most
worthy of my deepest confidence and love.  Oft have I wondered, with
swelling heart, if the Omniscient thought me unworthy to enter the
sacred sphere of wedded life.  Now, at last, there seems a ray of
hope.  Let it be fully understood, dear Sarah, that this is _entré
nous_.  Do not whisper it even to Phil."

Wrenford read and re-read the precious missive, and hastily jotting
down one or two sentences in his pocket-book, re-folded, re-sealed it
and handed it to Phil, who came in shortly afterwards.

The Chief discovered by mere chance that evening that, for some
unaccountable reason, his bookkeeper had debited the men with the
amount of their wages, and credited them with the amount of their
store account, and charged a man with an order for two shillings
instead of two pounds, for which he reproved him severely.

Wrenford looked dazed and bewildered, and replied with a deep sigh,
after meditating for some time and shifting his attitude uneasily:

"Ah, well, sir, you see, I am not altogether responsible for my
actions, for, as a matter of fact, sir, I fear that my affections
have run off with my wits, and I feel impelled to lay before you a
very important request.  For many months I have been exceedingly
desirous of approaching your second daughter with a view to marriage,
but hesitated to do so without consulting you, sir.  I think the time
has come when your daughter would consider the matter favorably, and
with your consent I shall lose no time in laying the matter before
her."

The Chief tilted back his chair, thrust both hands into his pockets,
and with a characteristic droop of his right eyelid said slowly:

"You have my full, free and hearty consent, and if you are successful
I shall take you into the firm of P. Wright & Sons as a partner."

Wrenford went to the wicket in answer to a call from one of the
employees, and the Chief left his seat and stood leaning against the
high desk with its set of books, surveying his clerk from head to
foot.  The fastidiousness of his dress, the arrogance of his manner,
his cultured mind, his shrewd business capacity, gave additional
effect to his claim.  He seemed a man worthy in every way of the
favor he sought.

The Chief's face was expressive of satisfaction in the highest
degree, and could hardly have deceived the young Englishman with
reference to what was passing in his thoughts.  They left the office
together at twilight and strolled beyond the village by a pleasant
walk to the White House.  It was a clear, calm evening, with hardly a
sound to break the stillness but a cow-bell tinkling in the distance,
the hum of insects and the rushing water.  As they entered a grove of
stately trees they beheld an unexpected vision.  It was Abbie.  Her
proud dark eyes were fixed upon the ground as though some passion or
struggle were raging within.  By her side was Thomas Brigham, who
stood looking intently into her face, holding her hand meanwhile.

Matters were evidently on the verge of coming to a climax when they
heard the sound of approaching footsteps.  Abbie looked up suddenly,
her face crimsoning to the roots of her hair as she observed the cold
steel-gray eyes of Mr. Wrenford looking defiantly at Thomas.

"I fear we are intruding," said the Chief, coldly.

"Not at all," replied Abbie.  "Mr. Brigham has just given me a
conundrum to solve, and I was trying to think of an answer."

Whereupon Mr. Wrenford said:

"By the way, Miss Wright, I have been seeking an opportunity all day
of seeing you with reference to the new spinnet that your mother
wished us to order from Montreal.  We had a letter from the firm this
morning, and I was going up to see you about it."

Almost unconsciously Abbie was led to walk with Mr. Wrenford the
remainder of the way, while Thomas, biting his lips with rage,
followed in solemn silence with the Chief.

It was rather late, and the Chief, following the example of the other
members of the family, retired, leaving the rival suitors and Abbie
in the sitting-room.

A look of triumph came into the face of Harold as she addressed her
remarks mostly to him, and seemed oblivious of the presence of
Thomas.  This, however, faded away when she passed a small basket of
maple sugar to his rival.  Clouds and sunshine alternated in the
faces of the jealous suitors, each of whom had made a solemn resolve
to remain until after the other should withdraw.  The embarrassment
of the situation was relieved only when the great old-fashioned clock
struck one, and Abbie, with extended hand, advanced to Mr. Brigham
and said:

"May I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you sometime to-morrow?
and you, too, Mr. Wrenford," she added, as the two bowed themselves
out of the door.

The progress of the suits of the rival claimants for Abbie's
affections had been watched with deep interest by the villagers; in
fact, it was an open secret that betting had taken place among them
on the chances of Harold Wrenford and Thomas Brigham.

Abbie, who in every other matter held such decided opinions, was
unable to come to a decision in this.  At times, after long nights of
reflection, she was disposed to accept Harold; and then, again, after
other wakeful nights, she felt her inclinations turning towards
Thomas.

But now things had come to a crisis.  All night she tossed restlessly
on her pillow, indecision and suspense depriving her of rest and
peace, but as the first rays of dawn began to gild the eastern sky
Abbie had resolved that she would accept the one who would come first.

At an early hour Mr. Wrenford called, and after a prolonged
interview, Abbie declared to the family circle her engagement to the
young Englishman.  The announcement was received in silence.  Tears
trickled slowly down the mother's face, while the father's was
radiant with satisfaction.

It was subsequently decided to postpone the marriage indefinitely,
out of deference to the wishes of the mother and brothers.



CHAPTER XIV.

_MACHECAWA SCALPS THE "EENGLISHMAN."_

1815.

Rug had been at "The Landing" for several hours awaiting the arrival
of the _Colombo_, which was unusually late.  His father had written
from Quebec to have someone meet him and Abbie with a double-seated
waggon on that evening.

The night was extremely dark.  A high wind was blowing from the west
when the lights of the boat were seen as it rounded the headland on
its way to the wharf.

"We have two trunks," said the Chief, after a mutual exchange of
greetings.  "You had better make them secure to the rack with ropes,
for we could ill afford to lose the small one."

"Or the large one either," added Abbie, "for it contains a number of
very valuable purchases."

"Abbie contemplates beginning housekeeping soon," said the Chief, as
they drove off together.

"The longer she postpones the evil day the better for all parties
concerned," muttered Rug, who alighted from the waggon to lead the
horses over a treacherous place in the road, which was unsafe enough
even in daylight.  In addition to the deep ruts worn by vehicles, the
road was obstructed by boulders too large to be easily removed, while
deep ditches bounded it on either side.  Here and there the branches
of trees swept their hats off or scratched their faces.  It was well
that the horses knew the road and that they had a careful driver.

Chilled by her brother's remark, Abbie retorted:

"Is it necessary for me to be constantly bored with such remarks?"

"Yes, it is necessary--unfortunately--if you would be saved from
lifelong association with a bore," responded her brother.

Abbie sat back in the farthest corner of the conveyance and, biting
her lips, gave herself up to a host of unhappy meditations.  The boys
had never given her one word of encouragement, nor had Chrissy or her
mother.  There had somehow stolen upon her, from time to time, an
uneasy feeling that there might possibly be some grounds for their
want of confidence; but she would dismiss such a thought as soon as
it presented itself and try to convince herself that their eyes were
blinded by jealousy, dislike, or indifference.  Far better be the
wife of an educated man and a gentleman, who may not be immaculate,
she reasoned, than be the slave of a mere farmer.

"I have seen something of his business dealings," resumed Rug, with
evident reluctance, "which has filled me with uneasiness.  That he
has been guilty of 'shady' and even dishonest transactions is
certain."

On reaching the summit of the hill they were met by the full blast of
the wind, which had risen to a gale, and which, together with the
hoarse roar of the falls and the swish of the driving rain, produced
a chorus of melancholy sounds.

"What was that?" said Abbie in a startled voice, "I thought I heard
something fall."

"Just a tree in the forest," said her father, complacently, "it is
not the first I've heard this evening."

"But hark!" said Abbie.  "What was that?"  Her ear had caught what
sounded like a wild "whoop," followed by a scream, which was drowned
in a gust of wind more concentrated and more fierce than before.

"Timid child," said the father, taking her hand in his, "owls and
eagles are being disturbed from their peaceful slumbers.  Your
nervous temperament and fervid imagination easily throw you into a
panic.  There is nothing to fear--nothing, nothing."

At last they stood before the gates of the White House.  A flickering
light was in the window.  Abbie bounded into the hall and into the
arms of her mother, who had been watching and waiting their arrival
for hours.

In the meantime consternation prevailed outside.  The Chief and his
son had discovered that the small tin trunk containing several
thousand dollars was missing.  The ropes had evidently been cut.
With his heart beating violently with apprehension of an irreparable
loss, or a passage at arms with a band of highway robbers, the Chief
hurriedly gathered all the fire-arms, ammunition, lanterns and axes
in the place and sat down to wait for Rug, who had gone to arouse
some of the employees in connection with the works.  He tried to
remain quietly where he was, but felt so nervous and excited that he
could not sit still for a moment.  He seemed to think that he was
losing time unless he was moving.  It was an absurd idea, he knew,
but he could not resist it, so he hastened down to Mr. Wrenford's
boarding-house to secure his assistance, and found that that
gentleman had gone out early in the evening and had not returned.

Rug having arrived with a number of brave, faithful men, they
hastened back over the road to the steamboat landing.  Cautiously
they crept along, scanning each blackened stump which stood out in
the darkness like a fortress of the enemy, until at last the Chief,
who was in advance of the search party, gave a shout:

"Come on, boys, come on!"

There by the roadside stood a tall, powerful-looking man, bending
over the missing trunk.  Quick as thought they surrounded him.  He
stood firm and erect.  He moved not an inch, nor manifested any
desire to escape, and as they closed in upon him, to their amazement
they found it was Machecawa.  In his left hand was a scalp of long
auburn hair; in his right was a bag of gold, which he held up
triumphantly.

"Eenglishman, he no rob White Chief no more," he said, his dark eyes
flashing in the dim light of the lanterns.  "Eenglishman, he no burn
White Chief's mills no more.  Eenglishman, he no tie White Chief's
girl to tree no more," and he shook the auburn hair and danced round
the box in high glee.

The Chief was stunned.  Visions of the decapitated Wrenford rose up
before him.  He stood gazing at the Indian with mingled feelings of
horror at the atrocious crime he had evidently committed, and of
incredulity as to the veracity of the charges brought against his
unfortunate clerk.

Machecawa advanced, and laying his hand upon the Chief's shoulder,
explained that he was crossing the road, when he observed a man climb
on to the rack behind the waggon, sever the ropes that bound the
trunk securely, and deliberately throw it into a mossy bank, after
which he let himself down gently and proceeded to force open the lock.

"He was looking in the box," said Machecawa, "when I pounced on him
and grabbed him by the hair, which came off in my hands."

He then passed it round as an object of curiosity, and after
examining it closely, the Chief said, with a sigh of relief:

"It is a wig, boys, only a wig.  Let us trust that the poor fellow
has escaped the scalping-knife after all."

"More's the pity," growled one of the men.

The Indian proceeded with his story.  Wrenford escaped to the woods,
followed by himself in hot pursuit, and just as he was about to step
into a canoe at the river's bank the Indian captured him and tied him
to a tree, while he overturned the canoe on shore, emptying it of all
its contents.  Then, placing his pistol at Wrenford's clean-shaven
head, he said:

"You deserve to be shot."

The robber pleaded for mercy, and the Indian promised to release him
if he would never again show his face in the settlement under penalty
of death.  He was then permitted to escape in his canoe.

The Indian led them through a path to the river, where they found an
old carpet-bag filled with cash, a common grain sack containing
family plate, a bag of provisions, and a valuable gun.

No further evidence was needed to convince the Chief of the perfidy
of his clerk.  He leaned against a tree unable to utter a word.
There was the deerskin bag which Mary had made for the cash and which
was in the safe the night of the fire.  There were valuables which he
had left in charge of his clerk before leaving for Quebec.  The truth
was only too evident.  At length he was able to say:

"Thank you, Machecawa; you have done me good service to-night.  I
shall not forget it."

While these events were transpiring, Abbie and her mother were too
anxious and excited to think of sleep.  Mrs. Wright sat before the
fire which roared and crackled on the spacious hearth.  The angry
wind whistled and howled about the house.  It seemed as though the
elements had gone mad with fury.

Abbie went to the window and peered out into the night.  The face of
heaven was dark, so dark that it seemed to frown upon her.  As she
stood gazing abstractedly into the darkness her attention was
suddenly attracted by the flickering light of lanterns and torches.
That wild shriek which had almost paralyzed her with fear echoed and
re-echoed in her ears and carried with it strange forebodings of
evil.  She walked up and down the room, nervously stopping now and
then before the window to observe the progress of the search party on
its return.  Soon her father entered, looking pale and haggard.

"Did you find it, Philemon?" asked Mrs. Wright, with bated breath as
she approached him.

"Yes," he replied.

Suddenly Abbie sprang towards him, and putting her arms round his
neck and pressing her head against his cheek, whispered:

"I'm so glad."

"My dear child," he said, stroking her head caressingly, "though we
have found what we lost, we have sustained a greater loss in Mr.
Wrenford.  You have cause to thank God for the greatest deliverance
of your life, for he has proved himself unworthy of you.  It is not
necessary for you to know all the unhappy circumstances."

"Tell me all," she whispered.  "Withhold nothing."

The Chief gave a brief resume of what had happened.  Abbie groaned
and staggered and would have fallen had not her father's strong arms
caught her and carried her upstairs to her own room.

Months elapsed before Abbie recovered from the shock.  She could not
escape from the sensation of having had a terrifying nightmare.
Natural emotion could not be suppressed.  She could do nothing but
weep, and would fly to her own room, lay her face on the pillow and
give full vent to her feelings.  It was a long time before she was
able to rise above the overwhelming sense of disappointment and loss.



CHAPTER XV.

_A ROMANTIC WEDDING._

1815.

There came a time early in the life of Rug, the Chief's youngest son,
when love of adventure gave way to a deeper, holier love.  One
beatific vision was ever before him--the vision of a beautiful girl
just budding into womanhood.

The first glimpse he ever had of Hannah Chamberlain was at the little
Congregational meeting-house, which had been supplied with a pastor
by the Congregational Board of Massachusetts in response to an appeal
from the settlers.  He often sat gazing at her through the whole
service, and whenever she looked towards him now and then she might
have read in his tell-tale face the passionate emotion which stirred
his heart.  He was at a loss to understand why her presence had such
a strange influence over him.

"She reminds me more of mother than any woman I have ever met," he
mused, as he turned over the leaves of the hymn-book carelessly.

Just then Mr. Meach, who had been preaching of the love of Christ,
hesitated to find a passage in the old Testament which he intended to
read to the congregation.  It was the momentary pause which led Rug
to listen to the preaching, for he had not heard a word of what had
gone before.

"David, in his lament over Jonathan, said: 'Very pleasant hast thou
been unto me.  Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of
women.'  Sweeter, stronger, fuller and better than any earthly love,"
continued the preacher, "is the love of Christ to us.  Add together
all the love of all the loving hearts in the world, multiply it by
infinity, and you will have a faint idea of what the love of God in
Christ is.  He loves you, my brethren, absorbingly, unutterably."

"What is this strange sensation that has come over me," said Rug to
himself, "that seems to possess my thoughts and emotions whenever I
see that beautiful girl, or hear of love?"

The more he thought of it the more puzzled he became, for hitherto
there had been but little deep sentiment about Rug, who believed more
in the common-place than in the romantic.  He never had any
inclination to read love stories, which he regarded as unreal and
unnatural.  But now the probability of the improbable surprised and
amused him.  "This is positively absurd," he said to himself, as he
stood with the rest of the congregation to receive the benediction.
It was a relief to him when the service was over and he joined
Chrissy on her way homeward.

Life began to have a new meaning to Rug from that day.  He felt that
he only began to live when he began to love, but he felt that it
would have been an intrusion on the sacredness of his love to have
mentioned it to anyone, even to Miss Chamberlain herself.  Month
after month passed which only served to intensify his affection.  At
length he sought an opportunity of laying the matter before his
father.  His confidence was not rudely repelled.  It never had been.
He was not reproached for presuming to think of love and marriage at
so early an age for he was only twenty.  On the contrary, his father
said:

"There can be no question in my mind that wedded life is the ideal
life for man--the life which God intended for you and for me.  If
your affections are involved, my boy, why not write and put the case
before the young woman of your choice?"

Acting upon his father's advice he penned the following short, manly
note:


DEAR MISS CHAMBERLAIN,--I know a young man who is very fond of you.
He would like to begin a correspondence with you with a view to
marriage.  Kindly inform me if I may hold out to him any prospect of
encouragement.

  Yours truly,
    RUG WRIGHT.


Several days passed before he received a reply to his letter, and
when at last it came his hands trembled as he broke the seal and read
as follows:


DEAR MR. WRIGHT,--You certainly may not hold out any encouragement
until I know the gentleman who would confer upon me the honor to
which you refer.

The only true basis of such a union is love, and I cannot love one
whom I do not know.  If the gentleman in question will call to-morrow
I shall be pleased to receive him.

  Yours truly,
    HANNAH CHAMBERLAIN.


The courtship thus commenced resulted a few months later in a unique
wedding.  Rev. Mr. Meach had given up the charge, owing to declining
health and strength, and there was no clergyman available.  It was
therefore suggested that they send through the woods to the new
Scotch settlement of Perth for a Justice of the Peace, who, it was
reported, was authorized to perform marriages.

An Indian guide was secured, and Rug commenced a long and tedious
journey through the forest on snowshoes.

No one but an Indian could have kept the tangled path, which led
through a perfect confusion of drifts and underbrush.  Though only
fifty-six miles distant, they were nearly a week on the way, for
after several days of circuitous wanderings the Indian was forced to
admit that he was not positive as to the exact location of the
settlement.  Their perseverance was rewarded after five days on
seeing smoke ascending from a small collection of huts.

"Is this the Scotch settlement?" asked Rug of an old man who was
cutting wood.

"Ay, sir," was the reply.

"Is there a Justice of the Peace here?"

"Ay, sir."

"Well," said Rug, "I want to see him.  Where is he?"

The old man dropped his axe, and going to one of the huts, knocked at
the door.

"Is your gude mon at hame?" he asked of a tall, fair woman, who had
all the evidence of a lady of refinement and culture.

"The Major left this morning for Montreal," she replied, "but he has
appointed Archie McKeracher to act in his place during his absence."

They then approached Archie, who was busily engaged in hewing a stick
of timber near his shanty.

"I believe," said Rug, "that you are authorized to act as Justice of
the Peace?"

"That I am," he said, pulling himself up as if straining to attain to
the height of the dignity and importance of the position.

"And that you can issue licenses and perform marriages?"

"Ay," he said, "that I can."

"Well," continued Rug, "I want you to come down to the Chaudiere to
perform a ceremony for me."

"Mon alive," he exclaimed, "would you be askin' such a thing?  Dinna
ye ken that my gude wife an my bairnies 'ud perish?  Na! na! na!"

"But," said Rug, "I shall pay you for loss of time, and it will be to
your profit.  I'll give you £10 for your trouble."

"Na! na!" he said.  "Ten gouden sovereigns would na pay me for my
trouble."

After a long and tedious discussion it was finally decided that the
Scotchman should return with them in consideration of "the young
mon's importunity," and that the fee be raised to £14.

Rug and the Scotchman reached the White House just as the members of
the Chief's family were gathering round the supper table, and the
devoted young lover was not slow in observing Hannah in the group.

"We have bad news for you, Rug," said his father.  "We have just
ascertained that marriages are not valid in Lower Canada unless
performed by a minister or priest."

For a moment Rug was speechless--partly from disappointment and
partly from displeasure.  As he stood before them he looked a model
of muscular strength and manliness, though little more than a boy.
He looked fondly at Hannah, and as she met his gaze her cheeks grew
crimson and her eyes dropped shyly under their long lashes.  The
devotion of her lover filled her with an indescribable ecstasy which
thrilled her innermost soul, making it responsive to his.  In her
opinion Rug was all that was good and true and noble.  He was her
ideal, and she was determined to love, honor and obey him, humbly,
tenderly, completely, submissively.

"Is an outward ceremony necessary?" he said, "to complete a union of
heart and soul which was made in heaven months ago?"

"I have a plan," said the Chief, "which you will be perfectly
justified in adopting under the circumstances.  Let us drive down on
the ice to-morrow, and halt on the other side of the border line
between the two provinces, and have our Scottish friend perform the
ceremony in Upper Canada, which he is entitled to do by law."

The suggestion was received with applause by all present, and
preparations for the wedding proceeded with.

On the day following, an exceedingly brief ceremony was performed on
the frozen river, the only part of which the bewildered bridegroom
could remember being the last words of the Scotchman: "I pronoonce ye
mon and wife."  The solemn words seemed to echo and re-echo in unison
with the merry jingle of the sleigh-bells as he drove with his young
bride through snowy fields and drifts of spotless purity to his
father's house, followed by a long line of sleighs.  The limbs of the
dignified elms which guarded the approach to the house hung heavily
glittering in the setting sun, the ice laden spruces waved wearily
and crackled as the numerous guests filed into the large front room.

There was an awkward silence, as though it might have been a funeral,
for the tendency of life in the woods seemed to impart to many of the
early settlers something of the characteristics of their
surroundings--calmness, silence, stability--and they seemed to shrink
from the sound of their own voices.  Some of the young men looked as
though they would like to have given up their seats to the young
ladies who were standing, but were too bashful to propose it.

Fortunately the embarrassing silence was soon broken by the happy
announcement that supper was ready in the kitchen.

What a bright and cheery appearance that kitchen presented!  On the
hearth a huge pile of dry resinous logs burned brilliantly, filling
the room with light and warmth and good cheer.  On the iron crane
which swung back over the fire hung a huge "spare rib" of fresh pork,
the gravy of which dripped into a pan below.  Several pots or
"kittles" were also suspended from the crane, containing fowl,
potatoes, or apple-sauce, while willing hands assisted in placing
upon the long trellis tables steaming hot pies, cakes, and loaves of
fancy bread, which were brought from the outer brick oven.

Full justice having been done to the repast, they formed in couples,
the best man with the bride.  The bridegroom with the first
bridesmaid led the way back to the front room, which had been cleared
of all superfluous articles of furniture, and where Joe Larocque was
tuning his "fiddle."

Then followed a scene of merriment such as the young people of the
settlement had never before beheld, and in which even the bashful
lads who had been slow to offer their chairs to the ladies took as
active a part as any.  The dancing was prolonged until the small
hours of the morning, when the guests drove off in the moonlight to
relate the circumstances of the romantic wedding to their friends.



CHAPTER XVI.

_A PERILOUS JOURNEY._

1815-16.

Eighteen months passed.  The Chief was in Quebec with Hannah and
Abbie awaiting the arrival of Rug, who had been sent by his father to
the Mother Land to dispose of two cargoes of timber.

It was an unusually cold evening in June.  Snow had been falling all
day.  The neighboring hills were covered with large feathery
crystals, which, however, soon melted as the sun appeared for a
moment before sinking behind the gray walls of the Castle St. Louis.
Just as the evening gun was fired, news had reached the Union Hotel
that a vessel had been sighted near the Island of Orleans.  It was
ascertained that it was the _Dorris_, in command of Captain French,
and that Rug was on board.  They were soon speeding down Mountain
Street in a caleche to the docks, where they secured passage in a
small row-boat which was going out to the vessel.  The genial captain
invited them to take tea with him, and said that Rug was below
supervising and arranging with the Customs Officer about the baggage
of his numerous protégés, and would be on deck shortly.

Hannah burst into a paroxysm of tears when she caught sight of her
long-lost lover, who had been compelled to leave only a few weeks
after their marriage.  He looked twenty years older, and appeared
careworn, haggard and ill.  As they were seated round the table he
gave an account of his travels.

"When I received your letter," he said, addressing his father, "I
chartered two vessels and persuaded Archie and Jonathan Campbell to
go with me for a pleasure trip.  We were nearly three months tossing
about at the mercy of wind and wave when a hurricane swept the deck
of the vessel, carrying with it the main-mast and sails.  Water began
to pour in at an alarming rate, and after a desperate struggle at the
pumps the captain ordered all hands on deck.  We felt that we had to
prepare for the worst.  The sailors had abandoned the pumps from
exhaustion, and Jonathan and I took their places and worked until we,
too, were exhausted, and as others took our places we retired to the
stern, where we found Archie in a sheltered nook, seated upon a coil
of rope, playing his violin, apparently oblivious of our perilous
condition.

"For two days the work at the pumps was a matter of life and death,
and when at last the wind subsided we drifted about helplessly until
a passing vessel saw our signals of distress and towed us from the
Bay of Biscay to Bristol, where the necessary repairs were made to
enable us to proceed to Liverpool.  We soon disposed of the timber at
good profit, and Jonathan, Archie and I took the stage-coach for
London, where we had the honor of being presented at Court to gay
Prince Geordie, who is acting as Regent, owing to his father's mental
derangement.  I wish you could have seen the Carleton House," he
said, turning to Hannah.  "He built it at a cost of £250,000
sterling, and had to sell his stud of race-horses and discharge most
of his servants to meet the demands of the creditors, for he had led
such a wild, dissipated life that the King and Parliament refused for
a long time to help him out of his difficulties.

"We visited many places of interest in London and the old farm in
Kent, which we found bordered on that of General Wolfe.  Then we
crossed to France, and after having with great difficulty secured
passports, drove to Paris.

"If we had arrived on the scene only a few months sooner we might
have seen how Napoleon turned Louis XVIII. from the kingdom, or we
might have seen the great battle of Waterloo; but Napoleon is now
safe at St. Helena, where he was sent last October."

"The story of Napoleon Bonaparte," said Captain French, "presents
probably the most remarkable example in the world of the action of
great intellect and resolute will, unrestrained by conscience, and
shows both the possible success which may reward, for a time, the
most unscrupulous selfishness and also, fortunately, its certain
ultimate failure and overthrow."

"Notwithstanding which, I have the greatest admiration for Napoleon,"
said Rug.

"The Captain's sentiments are mine," said the Chief.  "He was a man
of no conscience, no heart, and one of the most uncompromising
enemies of constitutional liberty that the world has ever seen.  I am
amazed that a born republican like you, Rug, could see anything to
admire in despotism or tyranny."

"Did you see anything of poor Josephine?" asked Abbie.

"No," he said.  "The Empress Queen Dowager died two years ago, but we
saw her beautiful home, 'Malmaison.'

"If one may judge from appearances, it will take many years for
France to recover from the effects of the Reign of Terror.  My
object, however, in visiting France and England was that I might see
something of their progressive developments in agriculture and
commerce, so that we might adopt the newest and best methods in
building up our own little colony.  I have brought with me," he
continued, "the latest novelties in the way of general merchandise; I
have brought the newest inventions in agricultural and milling
machinery; I have Herefordshire and Devon cattle, of most renowned
ancestors, who have not ceased to protest against a sea voyage from
the time they left Liverpool.

"Nor is this all," he said; "I have something better still on board
for the new settlement, namely, twenty-five English families, who are
going to take up land in the township and pay for it in work."

"And who nearly turned mutineers," added the captain, slapping him on
the shoulder, "did they not, Wright?"

"How was that?" asked the Chief.

"When we boarded the vessel at Liverpool," replied Rug, "some were
bright and cheerful, but most of them were in tears, which showed
that they did not leave the Old Land without a struggle.  We soon
weighed anchor and were under sail with a fair wind, but it came
round to the east and blew fresher, so that we were forced to come to
anchor not far from the place we left.  The ship, as you may see, was
fitted up for the timber trade, and has only a small cabin or
quarter-deck.  On each side are ranged two tiers of berths for
passengers providing their own bedding.  Along the open space in the
middle we placed two rows of large chests which were used sometimes
as tables, sometimes as seats--all of which I shall show you
presently.  There was much noise and confusion before all found
berths; crying children, swearing sailors, scolding women, who had
not been able to secure the beds they wanted, produced a chorus of a
very melancholy nature.  The disagreeableness of it was heightened by
the darkness of the night and the rolling and tossing of the ship.
After breakfast, as usual, all began to be sick.  I took the advice
of the sailors and drank some salt water, which acted as an emetic,
and I soon felt better.

"Unfortunately, while we were still at anchor, boats came from the
shore with friends of the sailors, who smuggled a lot of liquor on
board, and before the captain discovered it the whole crew was drunk.
We were wakened at an early hour next morning by the violent motion
of the ship, for there was a perfect gale blowing from the
north-west.  The sea was roaring and foaming around us.  The
passengers were all sick.  Things grew worse and worse.
Consternation and alarm were in every face.  Children were crying,
women wringing their hands, and I could see by the angry looks of the
men that they would like to have thrown me overboard.  The ship had
little ballast, and it mounted the waves like a feather.  Sometimes a
hard sea would break over her with a shock that would make every one
stagger.  After a sleepless night, in which I received many a bruise
and uttered many a groan, the captain informed us that the squall had
carried away our mainyard and rigging, and that we were on our way
back to Bristol to refit.  At one time, when the ship was on her
side, several chests, though strongly lashed to the deck, broke from
their moorings, and in their progress downwards carried destruction
to everything on which they happened to fall.

"What a sight the deck presented!  Do you remember, Captain?
Clothes, spoons, shoes, hats, bottles, dishes, were strewn about in
endless confusion.  The next day the captain returned with the
mainyard dragging behind his boat, but owing to a strong head wind we
could not prepare nor rig it till the following day, when all the men
on board who could get round it assisted at the work, and we were
soon speeding along at the rate of six miles an hour with a fine
favorable breeze.

"The next day we made one hundred miles in twelve hours.  I cannot
describe what took place after that, for I was too ill.  It was well
that I was ill, for the indignation of the men and the fury of the
women were almost unbounded as they thought of having consented to
leave their comfortable cottages to follow me to what I had
represented was a new and better country.

"As we neared the banks of Newfoundland a most extraordinary
phenomenon was produced by the dashing of the salt water against the
bow of the ship in the evening.  The water seemed on fire and
produced a very fine effect.  The next day a mass of ice appeared
about two hundred yards distant.  It was almost half a mile in
length, and was moving south-east.  Soon after we found the channel
between Cape Breton and Cape Ray, and got into the ice.  The captain
sent eight men to the bow with fenders.  One piece knocked splinters
off the bow and threw us all down.  About five days later we reached
the Island of Anticosti, but I was too ill to see it.  We saw
porpoises in shoals plunging about the ship, while the sailors tried
to harpoon them beneath the bow.  About two hundred and eighty miles
below Quebec the pilot came on board.  His number was painted in
large characters on his sail as well as on his boat.  He had a cask
of fresh water and some maple sugar, which he sold at an extortionate
price to the passengers.

"Near Bic Island we saw whales spouting water at a great height, and
a habitant came out in a boat with a large basket of eggs, which he
disposed of at a shilling per dozen, and so we continued on until the
domes and towers of Quebec came in sight and I began to realize the
inexpressible joy of being at home once more."*


* Diary of Rev. Robert Bell and letters of R. Wright.


Rug was a young man of great executive ability, a young man whose
word could be relied upon with absolute certainty, a young man who
proved himself the very soul of honor in all his business
transactions.

The rare, practical, common sense shown in the expenditure of twelve
thousand dollars in the Mother Land inspired the Chief with such
confidence in his son that when, a few years later, he appealed for
funds for the construction of timber slides at the Chaudiere and the
Chats, of which he was the inventor, his father had no hesitation in
entrusting him with over one hundred thousand dollars.



CHAPTER XVII.

_A DOUBLE TRAGEDY._

1819.

Hull was _en fête_.  There was not a mill, shop, or dwelling but had
its display of bunting and evergreens, for the new Governor-General
and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, Charles, fourth Duke of Richmond,
Lennox and Aubigny, had sent a courier through the woods from
Richmond to inform the Chief of his intention of spending an
afternoon and night in Hull, before embarking on the steamer for
Montreal.

The announcement had thrown the whole population into a state of
great excitement, for there were not many places in the backwoods
settlement in which a duke could reasonably expect hospitality.  It
therefore fell to Mr. Wright's lot to have the honor of entertaining
His Grace, and great and costly had been the preparations.

An hour before the time appointed for meeting him, a flotilla of bark
canoes, with gay pennants floating in the breeze, drew up before the
Richmond Landing to await his arrival.  They waited and waited, but
he came not.

"Is he a Scotchman or an Irishman?" asked one.

"He is a Scotchman by birth and an Irishman by nature, I believe,"
replied the Chief.  "He has the frank, benevolent, open-hearted
manner so characteristic of the Irish, is a lover of fast men and
fast horses, and enjoys a midnight carouse occasionally."

"Whatever induced him to take such a trip at this time of the year?
Why did he not come up the Rideau in a canoe instead of walking
overland from Kingston?" asked another.

"Surely he was not after big game at this time of the year," said
Caleb Bellows, who kept a small shop at the Landing.

"He could have chosen a much more pleasant route and a more pleasant
time of the year, when there were fewer mosquitoes and less heat, if
it was a pleasure trip he wanted," said Bearie.

"I guess he reckoned on makin' a pilgrimage on foot to the Holy City
of Richmond to atone for his sins, for I hear he's no saint,"
ventured Billy Snickel, who presented a grotesque appearance in his
grandfather's velvet coat, knee-breeches and silk hat.  Billy never
was prepossessing in appearance, even when dressed in velvet.  His
face had numerous creases and puckers, and resembled in color the
foot of a goose, which indicated defective secretion on the part of
the liver, and which was probably caused by excessive use of gin and
tobacco.  The hairs of his head were very coarse and wiry, and stood
on end quite independently of each other, which gave him much the
appearance of a porcupine.

"The Holy City of Richmond," as Snickel called it, was a settlement
which had sprung up on the River Jock, about ten miles distant, a
year previously.  The settlers were all officers and soldiers of the
99th and 100th regiments, who had received grants of land from the
Government, and who had decided to call the settlement Richmond, in
honor of the new Governor, who, on his arrival at Quebec on H.M.S.
_Iphigenia_, ordered a Royal salute to be fired from the Citadel guns
as they left for their new home in the wilderness.  They landed at a
point south of the Chaudiere Island, where the women and children
remained until the men cut a road through the woods to their grants,
where they proceeded to erect temporary dwelling-places.  Their
landing-place at the beginning of the Richmond Road was known as
Richmond Landing, and it was there that they had all gathered to
await the coming of the Duke.

"It is whispered in political circles," said one, "that the Duke of
Wellington--realizing the blundering policy of his predecessors,
thirty-seven years ago, in submitting without a word to our friends
over the border taking so large a stretch of the south shore of the
St. Lawrence within their boundaries--has decided to establish a new
route to the West, in order to avoid the possibility of the only
means of communication between Montreal and Upper Canada being cut
off in case of any further trouble that might arise.  It would not be
surprising if the new Governor had an idea of recommending to the
Iron Duke the old Iroquois route from the St. Lawrence, near
Kingston, to the Grand River, by way of the Rideau River and lakes.
The whole route could be made navigable by means of a series of
canals."

"Why was it called the Iroquois route?" interrupted a lean, lanky
individual, with hands thrust deep into his pockets, who shifted his
weight from one foot to the other.

"Because the Iroquois found it much shorter and more direct in coming
from New York State on their incursions into the Algonquin country,"
replied the Chief.  "But why, why does not the Governor come?" he
continued, consulting his watch for the forty-second time.  "It is
now three o'clock, and he said he would be here about ten."

"How are our military friends getting on," asked Captain Le Breton,
who had a small farm in the neighborhood of the Landing.

"Shure, it was bad luck to thim," interrupted a ruddy,
good-natured-looking Irishman.  "Before some of thim military
gintlemen could get a house built, the weather got so cold that no
wonder two of the children died."

The speaker was a young man named Nicholas Sparks, who with two of
his friends, named Daniel Byrne and Thomas Bedard, had been engaged
by Rug as farm laborers at Quebec, in September, 1816; his friends
having deserted at Montreal.

Sparks was still in the employ of the Chief, and though illiterate,
possessed great common sense, rare practical cleverness, boundless
energy, and was respected by all who knew him.

"I went out to see Captain Monk recently," replied the Chief, "and
found that they have secured grants of land ranging from one hundred
to one thousand acres, and as no survey had ever been made of the
township, they chose their sites and commenced building.  The
Government recently made a survey, and the Monks discovered that they
had built on Lieutenant Read's land, so they are going to build a
larger and more comfortable house at Point Pleasant next summer.
Captain Weatherby built his house on Captain Street's land, and as
Captain Street had a house of his own, they decided to convert it
into a church, where they all meet on Sunday mornings, and one of
them reads prayers.  Mrs. Monk, who spent several weeks with us while
her husband and his soldier servants constructed their first house in
the woods, which they called 'Mosquito Cove,' made light of the
inconveniences and experiences of pioneer life, and laughingly
pointed to a large tin tray which, she said, had served as a shelter
for the baby in its cradle.  'It gave me a great sense of
satisfaction last fall,' she said, 'to hear the tinkle, tinkle of the
raindrops, and to feel that baby at least was cosy and dry, for our
roof is not altogether rainproof.'  She referred also to the flutter
of excitement among the neighbors caused by the loss of the only
darning-needle in the settlement.  The whole feminine population
turned out to search for it.  It was much in demand, and went a
continual round of visits from house to house.  Fortunately it was
found, and they all adjourned to the house of Mrs. Pinhey to express
their rejoicings over a cup of tea.

"They are making extensive plans for the future.  Streets are being
surveyed, and building lots laid out.  They will have a park of six
acres, and are reserving large grants for ecclesiastical purposes."*


* Previous to the construction of the locks, it seemed as though
Richmond was destined to become an important city at an early date,
but the public works offered so many inducements for men to come to
Bytown that it dwindled down to a mere village.


Soon the clatter of horses' hoofs was heard, and a man in military
trousers and homespun shirt galloped down to where they had gathered,
with the startling announcement:

"_The Duke is dead!_  He was playing with a tame fox which, unknown
to us all, had gone mad," the courier continued.  "It bit him.  He
was in a fearfully nervous condition all night, but decided to come
on.  He got into a boat to come down to Chapman's, where your waggon
was waiting for him, sir," he said, turning to the Chief, "but when
we were about five miles from Richmond he leaped out of it and rushed
wildly through the woods, and they found him in Chapman's barn in a
fit.  Dr. Collis bled him, but he died before anything more could be
done.  We laid the body in the waggon and covered it with a sheet,
and the officers and soldiers formed themselves into a guard, and
will soon be here."

The awe and consternation on every face was indescribable, and when
at last the solemn cortege came in sight they all, with bared heads,
gathered round the waggon to look upon the lifeless form, clad in the
uniform of a British general.

The Duke's two attendants, who had followed him all the way, were too
overcome with grief to be able to give an intelligent account of the
tragedy.

"The steamer is in," said the Chief.  "One of you had better cross
over at once and tell Captain Stewart to lose no time in getting up
steam.  And you, Rug," he said, "had better relieve the suspense at
home.  Tell them that I shall see the body safely to Montreal.  Any
of you," he continued, addressing the crowd, "who wish to pay your
last respects to the Commander-in-Chief should come with us."

In less than two hours the body was conveyed to the little steamer on
a rude stretcher, and they were soon _en route_ for Montreal.

In the meantime Rug had reached home and found them all in tears.
Chrissy was wringing her hands in anguish of spirit.

"O Rug!  Rug!" she said, "have you heard the sad news?"

"Yes," he replied; "but how could you have heard it so soon?"

"Mike brought it from the farm," she said.

"And how could Mike have known about it?" he asked.

Chrissy could not answer.  She had lost all control of her feelings.

"I don't see why you should make such a fuss about it," he said; "he
was no relation of yours--you never even saw him."

A strange, questioning look came into the sister's face as she
struggled to suppress her emotions.

"Why do you speak in such a strange way--have you been drinking,
Rug?" she said.

"Drinking!" he exclaimed, disdainfully, "did you ever see me drunk?
This is no time for drinking.  Where's mother?"

"She went to comfort poor Sarah as soon as she heard of the
accident," replied Chrissy.

"And why should Sarah feel so badly about it, pray?  Women are the
strangest mortals I ever met.  Hannah is the only sensible one among
them."

He threw himself on a couch and began to survey the decorations in
the room, which were as pretty as womanly taste could make them.

"Come now, Chrissy, dry your tears and get me something to eat like a
dear girl--do--for I am awfully hungry."

"Could you not wait a little longer?  The Duke may be here at any
time, and you will have no appetite left for the good dinner that I
fear will be spoiled if he does not come soon."

"What are you talking about, Chrissy?" said Rug.  "Did you not hear
that the Duke is dead?"

"No," she replied.  "And did you not hear that Phil was killed
yesterday?" her voice almost incoherent with sobs.

"What!" he cried, "Phil--dead?  Is it possible?  Is it possible?  How
did it happen?"

"Mike said that he decided to return from Montreal by stage, and that
the horses baulked on a dangerous hill near the Rouge.  The stage was
overturned and he was thrown out violently and his neck was broken.
His wife knew nothing of it until they carried his body in."

Rug tried to catch the steamer that he might break the news to his
father, but was too late; he had left with the remains of the Duke,
and heard nothing of the accident until his return.



CHAPTER XVIII.

_AN EXCITING MOOSE-HUNT._

1826.

An interesting group of gentlemen was seated round a table covered
with maps and papers in the dining-room of the Chief's house,
arranging plans for the building of the Rideau Canal.  They had been
discussing for over an hour the relative merits of three different
points at which the canal should diverge from the Ottawa River.

[Illustration: COLONEL BY]

"Anyone with half an eye could see that there is but one spot where
the locks of the new canal should be constructed, and that is at
Rafting Bay, between Nepean Point and the Western Bluff," said a
soldierly-looking man, about five feet ten in height, with dark hair,
florid complexion, and portly form, who wore the uniform of an
officer.  It was Colonel By, a Royal Engineer sent out by the British
Government to overlook the work of strengthening the military
defences of Canada.  "The men who made the survey," he continued,
"did not count the cost of such works if constructed at the mouth of
the Rideau.  Think of the height of it!  We want a connecting point
with the Ottawa River which will be less steep and abrupt."

"In my opinion," said the Chief, "you should follow the natural
undulation between the Rideau and the Ottawa River above the
Chaudiere Falls, and surmount the cataract by locks, which could
easily be constructed on the south side of the river, as the north
side is not available owing to the existence of our lumber slides.
This would throw the upper Ottawa open for navigation."

"I assure your Excellency," said the Colonel, ignoring the suggestion
and addressing a dignified and thoughtful-looking man of courtly
manners, "there is but one place for the junction of the canal with
the Ottawa River, and that is the place I have designated.  The cost
of constructing the connecting link for a mile southward to the
Rideau will be as nothing compared with the cost of building the
locks at the Rideau Falls."

"I am quite convinced that your conclusion is a sound one," said Lord
Dalhousie, "but I would like to have Colonel Durnford's opinion in
the matter."

"Since inspecting the proposed route this morning, gentlemen," said
the Colonel, "I quite agree with Colonel By, that the attempt to
construct locks at the mouth of the Rideau would be highly
undesirable; but that is not the only fault that I find with the
plans.  The specifications provide for a canal which would be so
narrow as to be entirely unsuited for military service as well as for
the commercial requirements of the country.  It would seem desirable,
therefore, that your Excellency should urge upon the War Department
the necessity of making the canal sufficiently wide to take vessels
from one hundred and ten to one hundred and thirty feet long and
forty to fifty feet wide and drawing eight feet of water."

"I agree with you," said Lord Dalhousie, "We are building for the
future of the country.  Let us build well.  What is the expenditure
of an additional amount of twenty or thirty thousand pounds to the
British Government when we consider the issues at stake?"*


* In the eyes of the parliamentarians of London, who knew nothing of
the country or the work, the sum seemed enormous.  A Committee of the
House of Commons was appointed, before whom Colonel By was summoned.
The members treated him with scant courtesy, and no acknowledgment of
his valuable services to the Empire was made.  Colonel Durnford,
R.E., an officer of unusually high character and great experience,
was treated in a manner ill-befitting his rank and services.  The
only charge against him was that he had expended twenty-two thousand
pounds in excess of the parliamentary grant, a most trivial offence,
as he had been instructed "to proceed with all despatch consistent
with economy."  Colonel By was deeply hurt by such criticisms, and
died a few years later from a disease directly attributable to the
unjust treatment he had received.--_Edwards._


Among other matters of importance discussed at the meeting was the
desirability of uniting the two sides of the river--the two
provinces--by a bridge.  It was finally decided to call for tenders
the following day, when the formal ceremony of turning the first sod
in the building of the canal would be performed by Lord Dalhousie.

The visitors had accepted the invitation of the Chief to go on a
moose-hunting expedition up the Gatineau.  It was early morning in
the first week of October when a party of eight left for Bearie's
farm on the banks of the Gatineau.  As they drove through the orchard
which sloped gently eastward to the creek below, the trees presented
an unusually gay appearance bending under their weight of mellow
apples, some of crimson and some of a rich golden hue.

Following the Columbia road through groves of brilliant maple and
sombre pine, they arrived in due time on the banks of the river
opposite an island, where men, canoes, and provisions were waiting
for them.  Their destination was the vicinity of a large cave at
Wakefield, sometimes called the "mammoth cave," where they had
arranged to camp for several days.

The party consisted of Lord Dalhousie, Colonel By, Colonel Durnford,
the Chief, Bearie, Christie, a Frenchman named Joe Leclaire, an Irish
cook named Michael O'Flanagan, and Ephraim Meyers, a Yankee, who had
the reputation of being the best shot in the settlement.

The Governor was the life of the party, and related many amusing
incidents connected with his varied experiences in the wilds of
Canada, which kept the men in good-humor, notwithstanding the
numerous and difficult portages.

On reaching the camp-ground all hands were soon at work pitching
tents, building a fire and attending to other necessary preparations;
after which they sat round the fire while Michael prepared the
evening meal.

"Well, Mike," said Colonel By, "what do you think of this country?
How does it compare with ould Oireland?"

"Och, sur," said Michael, respectfully touching his hat, "I niver
seed the loike.  Them skeeters bates all that iver I seen--the
knaves!"--rubbing his hands and arms vigorously--"shure they drive me
narely mad.  I niver shall forgit the furst time they swarumed around
me like a a swarum of bays, an' I tuk me blankits and ran down to the
river an' roulled mesilf up and went to shlape on the rocks.  Well,
sur, d'ye think they'd lave a poor crathure alone?  Not thim, the
brutes!  Shure as you're alive, sur, they came out with their
lanterns an' ye'd see a flash here and a flash there; an' kill 'em?
ye moight as well try to kill the divil himsilf, for soon as I could
get nare them, out would go their light, an' they'd all cum buzzin'
round tazin' and tormintin' me.

"Sez I to mesilf, 'Begorra, whin I get yez I'll finish yez; so I
will, begorra, I will.'  Well, sur, I'm tellin' yez the truth whin I
say that they began pipin' out: 'Begorra! begorra! begorra!' and
their mates cried out, 'Ye will?  Ye will?  Ye will?' till I cud
shtand it no longer, so I put for the shanty as quick as me two legs
could carry me."

By this time all the men round the camp-fire were in fits of
laughter, in which the Irishman joined heartily.  His superstitious
dread of 'skeeters,' was modified when they explained to him that
fire-flies, frogs and tree-crickets had contributed each a share to
the tragic drama.

"Could you not give us a few suggestions which will assist us in
becoming successful moose-hunters?" said Lord Dalhousie, addressing
Meyers, who stood bare-headed, sheltering with his hat a faint
flickering flame on a piece of "punk," which had been kindled by a
tiny spark from his flint and steel, while he tried to light his pipe.

"Wal," he said, "I reckon there's only two ways to shoot a moose: one
is to coax him within range by imitating the call of his mate; the
other way is to make a salt lick for him.  At this time of the year
the buck begins to harden his horns, and he lies on the sides of the
hills in the sun and rubs his horns against the bushes to get off the
bark or velvety skin.  If you want to get a crack at him you'll have
to be mighty sly and keep to leeward of him, for if the wind blows
from you to him he will scent you.  Always hunt against the wind, and
when you sight one aim at the knee of the fore-leg.  Then raise the
muzzle slowly until you sight the body following up the leg.  Don't
hold your breath or it will make you tremble.  Breathe freely until
you are ready to pull the trigger."

Meyers paused for a moment to take a few whiffs from his pipe.

"What do you mean by a salt lick?" asked Colonel By, who sat with his
back securely gummed to the trunk of a spruce tree, with both hands
thrust into his pocket.

"It's just an easy way of gettin' a shot at a deer," replied Meyers.
"You choose a place where he'll be likely to pass, and put some salt
in the hollow of an old log, or in a hole near the foot of a tree.
Then you climb the tree and sit there and wait, and when the deer
comes to lick the salt you may safely unhitch the contents of your
rifle, for they rarely observe anything higher than their heads."

"There is one important fact which applies not only to moose-hunting
but also to hunting in general, and which should not be forgotten,"
said Bearie, who lay full length on his blanket with his chin resting
on his hands.  "Never go to see what you have shot without first
reloading your gun.  The animal may not be badly wounded, and may run
away or may attack you."

"If you happen to get sight of a buck, a doe and a fawn together, for
they generally keep together at this time of the year," said Meyers,
"aim at the doe first, for the buck and the fawn will both stay
round; then aim at the buck, and you will probably secure all three."

Several days passed.  The party had not sighted anything in the way
of large game, though they had discovered numerous evidences that the
neighborhood was frequented by moose.

One evening they had all returned to the camp save Colonel Durnford
and Christie.  Overcome by their exertions, the remainder of the
party, with the exception of the Chief, had retired early and slept
heavily.  A low moaning wind had arisen and was sobbing round the
camp.

"What was that?" said the Chief, rousing Bearie, who was on his feet
in a moment.  "It sounded like a shriek, followed by a strange laugh,
like the laugh of a maniac.  Colonel Durnford and Christie have not
returned yet, and I fear something has happened."

They listened intently.  Nothing could be heard but the wind
whistling through the half-naked branches of the trees and rustling
the dead leaves that covered the ground.  The moon fell in slanting
rays across the Laurentian hills.  Dark clouds were hurrying up from
the horizon, and soon the whole scene was plunged in darkness.

"Hush! there it is again," said the Chief, in a state of breathless
expectancy.  "It seems to be coming nearer.  Could either of them
have met with an accident, I wonder?"

Rousing the others, they seized their guns and followed the narrow
path along the bank of the river in the direction whence the sound
seemed to come.  All was darkness--utter darkness.  Suddenly there
was a wild scream from the forest on the opposite bank.  Its echoes
had hardly ceased when it was answered by a similar cry from the
trees above, followed by the same strange laugh.  It proved to be the
voice of the white-headed eagle calling to his mate.

What had become of Christie and the Colonel was the question which
perplexed the mind of every man in the party.  They called and called
again, but there was no answer.  They penetrated into the woods with
lighted torches, but could find no trace of them.  They discharged an
old Queen Anne gun, which had the reputation of making the loudest
report of any of the firearms in their possession, but there was no
response.

At the first glimmer of daylight they organized a search-party, but
not until late in the afternoon was suspense relieved by the return
of the missing pair to the camp.

"We must have walked five miles," said the Colonel, "following the
course of a small stream.  On ascending a low hill we looked
cautiously over its crest.  Before us was a scene I shall never
forget.  Several huge animals were standing within range under a
clump of willows, nibbling at their twigs.  The tall, broad,
palm-like antlers that rose from the head of one of them, the immense
size and ungainly forms, the long legs and ass-like ears, the immense
heads with overhanging lips, the short necks with their standing
manes, left no doubt in my mind that they were moose, for I had never
before seen one.  They were all of a dark brown color, almost
blackish in the distance, the large one being darker than the others.

"Christie handed me the gun, motioning me to move quietly.  I must
have lost my head, for all the first principles of moose-hunting
slipped out of my mind, as I aimed at the high shoulders of the old
bull, hoping to secure his antlers as a trophy.  When I fired the doe
and the fawn scrambled down hill towards the beaver-meadow below.  I
could see that the bull was not with them, and concluded that he was
dead.  Rushing forward without reloading my gun, to my great
astonishment I found him on his knees, wounded.  As soon as he saw me
he rose to his full height, his eyes flashing fire, and lowering his
horns in a forward position, he sprang at me.  Dropping my gun I
stepped behind a huge beech tree, the moose following close upon my
heels.  I had just time to get behind it when he rushed past, tearing
the bark with his antlers.  He turned and made another charge, only
to find that I was in a safe position on the opposite side of the
tree.  Rushing up to the tree he struck it furiously with his horns,
then with his hoofs, uttering loud snorts that were enough to
intimidate even a military man.  The disappointment which the enraged
animal felt at seeing my escape added to his rage, and he vented his
spite upon the tree until the trunk, to the height of six feet, was
completely stripped of its bark.  While this was going on I remained
behind the tree, dodging round, always taking care to keep the
infuriated brute on the opposite side.  For over an hour this lasted.
I was beginning to feel faint with fatigue.  I could see that the
bullet had hit the left shoulder, and, after tearing the skin, had
glanced off."

[Illustration: "I remained behind the tree, dodging round."]

"Where was Christie all the time?" interrupted the Chief.  "Why did
he not secure the gun?"

"On seeing the encounter I climbed a tree," said Christie.  "It was
the only thing I could do.  I could not get hold of the gun, for it
was under the feet of the moose.  I could not have reached the
ammunition, because the Colonel had it."

"I must admit," said Colonel Durnford, "that I began to feel serious
alarm.  Any attempt on Christie's part to have approached me would
have imperilled his life and mine, too.  I began to realize the
necessity for action, and so did Christie, and he called to me to
escape to the nearest tree with branches sufficiently low to be
easily climbed.  Suddenly I caught sight of a spruce a few yards off,
and waiting for the moose to work round to a favorable position, I
sprang towards it and sheltered myself behind it.  I laid hold
quickly of an overhanging branch and swung myself up to a safe place
on a strong limb of the tree.  The moose arrived a second later,
snorting furiously, and began to attack the tree, as he had the
other, with hoofs and horns.  He kept it up till darkness came on,
then quietly took up a position at the foot of the tree, from which
he hardly stirred all night long."

"What a night!" exclaimed Christie.  "Will you ever forget it,
Colonel?  How the wolves howled!  A whole pack of them scented us.
Once or twice the moon shone out, revealing their gaunt, shadowy
forms and flashing eyes.  It was enough to make one's hair stand on
end.  So bitter and penetrating was the night wind that it had a
paralyzing effect upon us both.  Before morning came we had decided
upon a plan.  We knew the wolves would give us no trouble, for they
always disappear with daylight, so we arranged to have the Colonel
engage the attention of the moose while I should attempt to secure
the gun, which still lay at the foot of the beech tree; and that I
should manoeuvre with the moose while the Colonel approached as near
as possible and flung to me the ammunition.  The scheme worked
admirably.  I was able, after several unsuccessful attempts, for the
powder was not quite dry, to send a bullet through his heart."

After a hearty meal Christie undertook to guide Meyers and Joe to the
spot where the body of the moose lay, for they were detailed to guard
it from the wolves and to bring it down the creek in a canoe the next
morning.

Fortune seemed to turn in favor of the hunters, for a young fawn fell
a victim to a well-directed bullet from Lord Dalhousie's gun next
morning, and another was secured by the Chief.

Moose-hunting was not the only form of entertainment provided for the
party.  The old country visitors took a keen delight in drawing from
the men stories of their adventures in the new world, which were
mainly true, and were given in their own dialect.

One evening, as the shadows of darkness were creeping on and all were
gathered round the camp-fire, the Chief said:

"Come, now, Joe, we want you to tell the gentlemen a story."

Seated on a log, dangling his legs, was the diminutive Frenchman,
with coarse gray homespun shirt and knitted tuque drawn down to his
ears, which stuck out almost at right angles from the head.  He
glanced at the Governor, and then at the red-coated officers, with
evident dread and apprehension.

"Now, Leclaire," said the Chief, "don't be afraid.  Tell your bear
story."

Slowly removing his tuque, "Little Joe," as he was familiarly called,
began to scratch his head thoughtfully as if to rake up
reminiscences.  Suddenly his sickly, pock-pitted face lighted up and
his black eyes indicated that he had succeeded in scratching up
something to tell about.

"Wan tam," he said, "when we work on de Got-no, I cut de whood, me,
pour mak le souper, an' when I go back le shaintee--sacré bleu!--wan
beeg bear she am got her head in de soup-pot.  I trow down de whood
an' run, me, for shure, lak wan wile moose.  De bear she am skeart,
an' she run, too.  Le pot she steek on, too, lac wan blak hat.
Dunno, me, how she fine le reever, but she run, and she sweem wit dat
black pot till she reach the odder shore.  Me an' de boss we tak le
canot an' de gun pour chasser le bear an' we fine de pot, but we no
see de bear."

"Bravo! old man; that's not bad," said Lord Dalhousie.

"Your turn now, Ephraim," said the Chief, addressing Meyers, who,
ignoring the remark, went on smoking.  There was an embarrassing
silence as all eyes rested on the withered-looking face of the
Yankee, who was evidently not ready with his contribution to the
entertainment of the evening.

"Tell us about the squaw you found in the woods," suggested Christie.

"Wal," he said, "onct upon a time when we were runnin' the fifth
concession line with Theodore Davis, we found an ole squaw who had
been deserted by her children and left to find her way to Davy
Jones's locker as best she could.  Her poor ole body was bent almost
double.  She seemed very weak.  Her only clothing was rabbit-skins
sewed together with sinews, with the hair side next her skin.  She
mumbled a lot of things which we could not understand.  D'ye mind
Brown, the feller with the squaw wife?" he said, addressing the
chief.  "Wal, he told us that she lived on hares which she snared
with sinews, an' that she lived alone an kep' herself from freezin'
in winter by settin' fire to the end of a fallen log, and as the
ashes cooled enough she would scoop out a nest to lie in.  As the log
burned she would follow the warm ashes an' move her nest closer to
the fire, an' when one log was burned she would kindle another.  She
managed in this way to keep body and soul together for years alone in
the forest."

"Is that true?" asked Colonel By, "or is it one of your Yankee yarns?"

"I reckon ye can fine out for yourself," retorted Meyers.

"It is quite true," said Bearie.  "I have never seen her, but I know
several who have."

"Now, Michael, you told us a good story the other night.  Could you
not tell us another before we roll ourselves up in our blankets?"
said the Governor.

"Faith, an it's tirrible sorry I am that I'm not used to public
shpaking, fur I cud tell yer Honor about Shparks an' the bear."

"The best way to become a public speaker, Mike," said Lord Dalhousie,
"is to have something to say, and just say it, so tell us your story."

"Me and Shparks wuz in the blacksmith shop when Joe Wyman, the young
shpalpeen, sez he, 'There's a bear in the river beyant.'

"'Come on, byes,' sez Mr. Rug, 'we'll foller him up,' sez he.  He
took down the gun that hung on the wall forninst him, an I tuk a
hand-shpike forninst me, an Shparks he went out forninst the
blacksmith shop an filled the inside of his shirt wid shtones,
regardliss of shape or forrum; an', yer Honor," he said, touching his
hat, "before Shparks an' me cud raitch the shore Mr. Rug was in the
canoe.  We cud see the great brute swimmin' to the island, an' we put
after him as quick as iver we cud, but before we cud raitch him he
had consailed himsilf.  We spint two hours in searching for the
brute, an' Shparks, who is a very obsarvant man, sez he, 'Begorra!
there he is, as sure as a gun, makin' shtraight for the cliff.'

"'Come on, byes,' sez Mr. Rug, 'we'll get aven wid the crayture yet.'

"Shparks was feelin' pious-like, for it was Good Friday, an he didn't
feel like fightin' bears nor min.  Sez he, 'Let the poor brute go
home to her cubs.'

"'Niver a bit of it,' said Mr. Rug, 'we'll not lit her go till she's
kilt.'  An' with that he put after the bear as fast as he cud.  When
we were not twinty yards from the baste, Mr. Rug, he aimed at the
bear, but Shparks moved, an' the bullet went whizzin' into the water.
Then Shparks he began a-peltin' him wid shtones, so he did, which
made the poor baste so mad that he wheeled round an' was makin'
shtraight for the canoe, when I up wid the handshpike to bate him,
while Mr. Rug was loadin' his gun.  Well, yer Honor, it's tirrible
sorry I am to be tellin' yez that I upset the canoe, an' me an'
Shparks an' the bear wuz all strugglin' in the ragin', foamin' deep.

"'Holy angels!' sez I, 'save me! save me!'  The current was so
shtrong that it carried me to the little island forninst the cliff,
an' it was mesilf that was glad when I was washed on a rock near the
shore.  Mr. Rug an' Shparks they clung to the canoe an' drifted down
to the shores of the cliff which the bear wuz engaged in ascendin'.

"'What's that,' sez I to mesilf, 'comin' across the river?  It's a
boat,' sez mesilf to me, 'wid the Chief and Mr. Brigham.'  Soon they
had reached the other shore, an' two bullets from their guns brought
the poor crayture tumblin' to the bottom."

The weather turned exceedingly cold and wet, and as camping was no
longer desirable, the party packed up their things and left.  They
had not gone many miles on their return trip when the leading canoe
scraped a rock.  Water poured in so quickly that the crew, consisting
of the two officers, with Bearie and Joe, had to swim ashore towing
the wreck behind them.  Joe was sent to the woods to gather spruce
gum and birch bark, while the other three tried to kindle a fire.
After much difficulty they succeeded in securing light rotten wood
from the inside of a hollow tree, sufficiently dry to retain sparks
from a flint, and in a short time three half-frozen men stood
steaming before a huge fire.  After two hours of fruitless search,
the Frenchman returned unable to procure any birch bark, but with a
quantity of gum, which he scraped into a small iron kettle, together
with a small quantity of fat, and suspended it over the fire.

"Now we are in a dilemma," said Colonel By.  "What shall we do
without bark?  Shall we have to go the rest of the way on foot?"

"Not while there is a homespun shirt around," replied Bearie, who was
busily engaged in cutting off part of his shirt-sleeve.  The piece
was soon smeared with melted gum and fastened securely over the hole,
and in a few minutes the frail bark was skipping from wave to wave on
the bosom of the mountain torrent till it reached the Gatineau farm.



CHAPTER XIX.

_AFTER MANY DAYS._

1827.

It must not be inferred that the wheels of incident in connection
with the lives of George Morrison and Chrissy had ceased to move
during the twenty-one years of separation.  Strange things were
happening on the lonely shores of the settlement in the wilderness,
where the once bright and joyous Chrissy was pining away her life.
Still stranger things were happening to her absent lover.

At first, evil tidings from the Great Lone Land seemed like a dream
from which there would be a glad awakening.  But as days went by, and
still the spell of silence brooded over her heart and life, and as
days ripened into weeks--weeks into months--months into years--clouds
of disappointment overshadowed her life, and Chrissy began to grow
old and careworn.  Loved ones watched her with wistful eyes.  Why
such a true, lovely woman had been destined to live on and on in a
dire eclipse was a problem beyond the comprehension of all.

It was a hot, sultry morning in August Chrissy and her father were
standing on the south shore of the river with Colonel By, who was
superintending a large staff of workmen engaged in the construction
of the Rideau Canal.  On the eastern point was a pretty villa built
of boulders, and surrounded with a low, wide veranda, and which, when
completed, was designed to be the residence of the gallant Colonel.
Surrounding it were the tents of the officers of two companies of
Sappers and Miners, whose smart uniforms added to the picturesqueness
of the scene.  On the adjacent cliff three stone barracks were being
built.

"It is a magnificent site--a magnificent site!" said the Colonel,
then dreamily added: "It would not surprise me to see a fortress like
the Castle St. Louis on that bluff some day."

A busy scene presented itself between the two cliffs, where scores of
men with picks, shovels, hand-drills, wheel-barrows, and stone drays,
were busily excavating.  Stone-masons, with their mallets and
chisels, were compelled to stop every few minutes to wipe the
perspiration from their brows with their shirt-sleeves.  Irish and
Scotch they were mostly, their coarse homespun shirts contrasting
with the neat undress uniform of the officers who were supervising
the building of the barracks and assisting in the works.

Two men, with muskets, from one of the back settlements then accosted
the Chief in an excited state of mind, and asked if it were another
American invasion that they were preparing for.

"We heard the sound of your cannon," they said, "miles away, and we
followed in the direction from whence the sound came, and when we saw
the soldiers and the men engaged on the defences we were convinced
that we had good grounds for our fears."

The Colonel enjoyed the joke immensely, as did the workmen, who had a
hearty laugh at the expense of the backwoodsmen.

Mr. MacKay, the contractor, observing the embarrassment of the poor
fellows, said:

"I trust that our men always will be as ready to take up arms in
defence of their country if the need arises.  They are brave, loyal
fellows."

Just then they observed a canoe approaching.

"It looks like one of the big canoes of the Hudson's Bay Company,"
said the Chief.

The canoe was manned by four Indians, with three white men
comfortably seated in the bottom.  On landing, a man of about forty,
whose head and face looked as though they had not been disturbed by
scissors or razor for several months, approached the party.  Though
poorly clad, his voice and manner and general bearing denoted him a
gentleman and an Englishman.

"We saw the storm approaching," he said, "and thought we would take
shelter here, and see what is going on.  May I ask," he continued,
turning to Colonel By, "whom I have the pleasure of addressing?"

"I am Colonel By, of the Royal Engineers," replied the officer.

"And what are you excavating for?" he asked.

"A military canal of about one hundred and twenty miles in length,"
replied the Colonel, "which will give us a safer route to the West
than the St. Lawrence route.  You have the advantage of us," he
added.  "What is your name, sir?"

"My name," he said, "is Franklin--John Franklin--and these are my
friends, Richardson and Morrison.  Richardson and I have travelled
about five thousand miles.  We have been exploring the northern coast
of the continent.  We travelled over land from Davis Strait westward
until we came to the Mackenzie River, where we found our friend,
here," he said, pointing to a poor cripple who was being lifted from
the canoe by the Indians.

Since the mention of the name of Morrison Chrissy had stood
transfixed.  Could it be that the tall, powerful, manly figure that
she remembered so well could have become so distorted as to be bent
almost double?  Could it be possible that the cripple before her was
George--her long-lost George?

A smile of recognition crossed Morrison's face as he caught sight of
Chrissy.  She uttered a scream of delight--"O George!  George!  Is it
you? is it you?"

For a time the two were too overcome to be able to utter a word.  The
expression of peace and joy and hope which Chrissy possessed even as
a girl in the old convent days was more noticeable now, not only in
her face but in her whole manner.

It was the same sweet, modest face, the same earnest love-lit eyes
which had so long reigned in George's heart, kindling within him the
resignation and hope which had sustained him through years of
suffering, that greeted him as he stood on the beach.

What did it matter to them that the curious gaze of scores of
onlookers was centred upon them?  Totally oblivious to all but
themselves, he grasped her hand, but was too overcome with emotion to
be able to utter a word.

"This is an unexpected pleasure," said the Colonel, at length,
shaking hands with them warmly.  "Come, let us seek shelter in my
tent, and you must all dine with me to-night."

"Could anything have been more pathetic," said Captain Franklin to
the Chief, as they ascended the cliffs, "than your daughter's eager
welcome of her lover?"  Not only he, but others who saw the meeting,
shared the unalloyed bliss of the two who were just on the threshold
of their new life of love and companionship.

Hardly had they reached the Colonel's tent when the threatening
storm-cloud burst with all its fury, carrying away several of the
tents and threatening to sweep everything before it.  Though terrific
while it lasted, the clouds soon dispersed, and the setting sun shone
out for an hour or so, illuminating the sky.

Dinner over, the Colonel said: "Let me show you one of the most
picturesque scenes in Canada."

They followed their host to the veranda of his new house, and while
Captain Franklin was admiring the beauties of nature, the Colonel
recounted the difficulties they had to contend with in erecting the
bridge over the Ottawa, which at the time was obscured by the rising
mist.

"We commenced the work last fall," he said, "but I was obliged to
spend most of the winter in Montreal, and after they had constructed
the first arch from the opposite shore the whole thing collapsed.  In
order to obtain communication with the opposite bank at the foot of
the falls we got Captain Asterbrooks to take a cannon to the rocks
near where the end of the bridge would naturally be, so as to fire
off a rope across the channel, a distance of two hundred and forty
feet, to the island.

"For the first trial a half-inch rope was used, but the force of the
powder cut it.  The experiment was repeated, but with the same
result.  An inch rope was then tried, and it was thrown on to the
island about one hundred feet.

"Having secured the rope at both ends, the workmen were enabled to
haul over larger ones.  A trestle ten feet high was then erected on
each side of the channel, and two ropes stretched across the tops of
the trestles and fastened at each end to the rocks.  These were
allowed to be slack, in order to give greater strength.  The next
step was to have a foot passage to allow workmen to communicate with
each other, and with this object the ropes were placed four feet
apart and planked over, and a rope hand-rail made on each side.
Chains were then placed across over trestles in a similar manner, and
planked on top, until the planking from each shore reached within ten
feet of joining in the middle, when the chain broke and precipitated
the workmen and their tools into the channel.  Three of our best men
were drowned.  The others swam ashore.

"Though it is extremely difficult and hazardous to build at such a
point, I was determined to succeed, so I had a large scow built and
anchored to a point of rock where the bridge was to be built.  We
made stronger trestles of heavier timber, and got two eight-inch
cables, which we laid across the channel over the trestles, which we
secured to the rocks at each end.  Then we built a wooden bridge, and
with screw-jacks placed on the scow below it was kept up to its
proper level.  The work is almost completed," he said, "and I am
determined that it shall stand, even if I have to build it of silver
dollars."

"Can you see the bridge, Colonel?" asked the Chief.  "The mist comes
and goes.  Sometimes it seems as though it were not there."

"Your vision is probably growing defective," replied the Colonel.

It was evident to more than the Chief that the structure had been
loosened from its moorings by the gale, and could be seen moving
majestically down stream; but, knowing the Colonel's temper, they
determined to say nothing more on the subject.

The account of the construction of the first bridges over the Ottawa
had little of interest for either George or Chrissy, who sat a little
apart from the others, absorbed in conversation.

"On reaching the Fort after our interrupted meeting," said George, "I
was ordered off to the North to open a new trading-post.  Our crew
consisted of one French-Canadian, four Indians, and myself.  We left
Fort Chippewyan in July, our canoe loaded with pemmican, an
assortment of useful and ornamental articles to be given as gifts to
the Indians, to ensure us a friendly reception among them, and the
ammunition and arms necessary for defence, as well as a supply for
our Indians, upon whom we depended for our chief supply of
provisions, as it was impossible to carry all that would be required
before our return.

"Our course, which led from the Ungigah (Peace) to the Slave River,
from thence to the Dog River, and from that to Slave Lake, was
uneventful.  The weather was extremely cold, and we were much
hindered by ice.  It was after we left the lake that our trouble
really commenced.  Our guide, who professed to know the route,
mistook a small lake for the river, and led us into the midst of a
tribe of the most hostile natives, known as the Red Knife Indians.

"My men spoke to these people in the Chippewyan language, and the
information they gave respecting the river for which we were
searching had so much of the fabulous that I shall not attempt to
recall it.  They said it would require several winters to reach it;
that there was a great Manitou in the midst of it which consumed
everything that attempted to pass, and that there were other monsters
of horrid shapes and such destructive powers that all travel on it
was effectually blocked.

"Though I did not believe a word they said, it had a very different
effect upon my Indians, who were already tired of the voyage.  It was
only too evident that they were determined to return.  They said
that, according to the information they had received, there were very
few animals in the country beyond us, and that as we proceeded the
scarcity would increase, and that we would perish from hunger.
Seeing that this had no effect upon me, they said that some
treacherous design was meditated against me.  A panic had seized
them, and any further prosecution of the voyage, or of means of
escape, was considered by them as altogether hopeless and
impracticable.

"Without paying the least attention to the opinions or surmises of my
Indians, I ordered them to take everything out of the canoe, which
had become so leaky that we did not consider it safe to continue our
journey in it.  To add to the perplexity of the situation we had not
an ounce of gum to repair it, and not one of the men had sufficient
courage to venture into the woods to collect it.  I dared not leave
the crew with the canoe lest they might prove deserters.  We were
under the necessity of making a smoke to keep off the swarms of
mosquitoes, which would otherwise have tormented us to death, but we
did not venture to excite a blaze, as it would have been a mark for
the arrows of the Red Knives.  Though almost prostrated with
weariness, I dared not sleep, but spent the night from sunset at 10
p.m. till nearly daylight at 2 a.m. in plotting and planning means to
bring about a reconciliation with the natives, which alone would
enable me to procure guides, without whose assistance it would be
impossible for me to proceed.

"Just before sunrise, while sitting quietly in my tent, from which I
could observe the crew, I heard a slow, stealthy movement in the rear
of the tent.  Turning hastily to investigate, I could see the dim
figure of a man, dagger in hand, creeping under the canvas.  In a
moment I jumped on him, disarmed him, and secured his hands and feet
with the fathoming-line, which fortunately was within reach.  During
the scuffle my whole crew fled to the canoe and escaped, leaving me
at the mercy of the natives."

By this time the Chief had become an interested listener, and had
beckoned to the others, who joined the little group and were
listening intently to George as he related his adventures with the
Red Knives.

"How shall I find words," he said, "to depict the fiendish atrocities
perpetrated by that tribe during the months and years which followed.
Their greatest cruelty lay in torturing their victim to the verge of
insanity, and in stopping short of the final act, which would have
proved a most blessed release.  Escape was impossible.  Suicide,
which seemed so desirable, was forbidden by Divine law.

"We had returned to the camp from a hunting excursion one rainy day,
and as they always insisted upon having me do the paddling up stream,
as well as any other drudgery too difficult for the squaws, I was
steaming from having been overheated, and as I was on the verge of
exhaustion, fell asleep without sufficient covering, which I was
unable to procure; consequently I became a martyr to rheumatism.
There I was, helpless, racked with pains which would provoke the
mildest of men to an Indian war-dance, and with red-hot joints and
swollen limbs.

"After three months of misery among them, I began to suffer many
things from many medicine-men, and was nothing better, but rather
grew worse.  I had nauseous medicines in large doses from one, and
small doses from another, with exactly the same results.  I was
drenched, and steamed, and packed, and baked, externally, and almost
poisoned internally with draughts of water which, to say the least,
were unclean; but all to no purpose.  They blew upon me, and then
whistled.  They pressed their extended fingers with all their
strength into me.  They put their forefingers doubled into my mouth,
and spouted water from their own mouths into mine.  They applied
pieces of lighted touchwood to my flesh in many places.  They then
placed me on a litter made of saplings, and I was carried by four men
into the woods, and as I observed one Indian carrying fire, another
an axe, and a third dry wood, I could not but conjecture that they
had arrived at the humane conclusion of relieving me of all pain
forever.  When we had advanced a short distance into the woods, they
laid me on a clear spot and kindled a fire against my back.  Then the
medicine-men began to scarify my flesh with blunt instruments.

"A great hole was then dug in the ground, which I concluded was to be
my burial-place.  In this excavation a fire was kept up until the
ground was heated to its utmost extent, when the embers and ashes
were scraped out.  Several layers of damp mud were immediately
plastered over this fiery furnace.  I was then placed within it, and
covered with mud, my head alone protruding.  For thirty-six hours I
endured the torture of escaping steam, after which they carried me
back to my lair in the camp more dead than alive, where I lingered on
in agony, praying that every day might be my last.  I began to wonder
where the limit of human endurance could be found, and was led to
view the situation philosophically.  Why had Infinite Love placed me
in such environment?  Was it to appear as a witness for Him who had
said, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do?'  Was it
to bring the light of the Gospel to the Red Knives?

"Month after month I lay in the wigwam, surrounded by the children of
the natives, who in summer were dressed in the uniform which the
Creator had given them, with dangling necklaces or armlets to
decorate them.  I soon acquired sufficient knowledge of their
language to be able to converse with them.  After years of teaching
they at length began to regard me with feelings of superstition and
awe, and one day the Chief proposed a change of treatment.  With a
dignified and imperative gesture of the arm, he bade his attendants
carry me in a blanket to a canoe.

"'We are not pleased,' he said, 'with the progress you are making
towards recovery, and we have decided to take you to a spring which
possesses strange healing power.'

"I could not understand all the Chief said, but his manner indicated
tenderness and sympathy, which led me to believe that the light which
was beginning to brighten the darkened lives of many of his people
was dawning upon him also.

"The suggestion of a change of place kindled in my heart the hope of
meeting someone who could assist me in finding my way back to
civilization once more, and the gnawing pangs of rheumatism seemed
lulled for a time as we embarked on the peaceful waters of the lake.

"It was a glorious day, not a ripple stirred the water as our canoe
glided over the surface.  Not a breath of wind moved the heavy mist
which rose and floated with silver transparency over the depths
below.  We floated rather than paddled down the little river that
connected the lakes.  The snow-capped peaks of the distant mountains
glistened with a radiance that was dazzling as they rose upon our
view.  It was like fairy-land.  Not a bend in the little stream but
disclosed some glimpse of unexpected loveliness.

"At last we floated out upon the waters of Great Slave Lake, and new
scenes opened before us.  Far away in the distance the deep blue
waters glowed and sparkled in the blaze of sunlight.  Here and there
islands of green contrasted with the brightness of the water that lay
between them.  Far away ahead of our canoe there seemed to nestle on
the surface of the lake a small gray cloud.  As we approached it I
could just make out the shadow of an island, and I understood from
the conversation of the Indians that we had at last reached our
destination.

"They carried me over the green mossy turf to a place where little
jets of mineral water were springing clear and sparkling in the
sunlight.  Here they commenced to erect a rude hut.  Its walls and
roof were low, enclosing a roughly levelled floor of earth.  We
spread our skins and drew our blankets over us, and soon felt quite
at home in our new quarters.  We had not spent many months on the
island before I felt almost free from pain.  Though my joints were
too stiff to walk much, the pains that for long years had made motion
intolerable and life a misery were almost gone.

"One morning as I lay in the hut watching my companions as they sat
round the fire cooking their mid-day meal, a canoe suddenly came in
sight.  I started and rubbed my eyes, thinking it a strange illusion,
but there before me were the faces of two white men, the first I had
seen since that ever-memorable night when my crew deserted me.  My
companions kept their places before the fire and betrayed not the
slightest surprise or fear while I poured out to my new-found friends
the story of past years.  Captain Franklin offered me a passage in
his canoe, and as I took leave of the Indians, and explained that the
white men would take me home, they said not a word, but went on
smoking their short black pipes as though it were nothing to them."

During the course of the evening it was arranged that an important
event should take place at no distant date, George and Chrissy to
reside at the White House.  At the same time Colonel By remarked that
it would be an opportune time to lay the corner-stone of the locks.
"We could not do better," he said, "than have the ceremony quietly
performed by one whose name is a household word on two continents,
one who has braved untold peril and hardship in his country's
service, not only in the Polar Seas, but at Trafalgar, Copenhagen and
New Orleans, one whose name stands for everything that is honorable,
self-sacrificing and courageous."

"I agree with you," said Mr. MacKay.  "Mr. Redpath, Mr. McTaggart and
myself were discussing the matter this morning, and decided to
suggest to you, sir, that the corner-stone should be laid with some
ceremony, and the work is sufficiently advanced to have it done
to-morrow."

It was finally decided that the ceremony should take place the
following day, August 16th, 1827, at 4 p.m.

Upon that corner-stone so "well and truly laid" was built a city
which, in thirty-one short years, became the capital of a domain
nearly three and a half million square miles larger in extent than
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, nearly five hundred
thousand square miles larger than the United States, and almost as
large as the combined countries of Europe.

With the laying of the foundation of the city of Ottawa will ever be
associated the names of Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin, who
afterwards laid down his life in the frozen North in the cause of his
country; of Lieut.-Colonel John By, who filled so important a place
in the public works of Canada in the construction of two canals, the
building of two Martello towers on the Plains of Abraham, and whose
recommendations to the Duke of Wellington resulted in the building of
the present fortifications at Quebec; of Thomas MacKay, the
contractor for the locks, who afterwards built Rideau Hall; of John
Redpath, who later settled in Montreal, and built up one of the
largest commercial enterprises in Canada; of John McTaggart, clerk of
the works, to whose able pen we are indebted for much of the history
of the time, and who returned to Scotland on the completion of the
work; and last, but not least, of the White Chief of the Ottawa, the
pioneer "Lumber King."



CHAPTER XX.

_FOUND OUT._

1833.

A solemn stillness pervaded the once happy home on the hill, a
stillness broken only by the sighing of the wind through the poplar
trees.

The stately, noble form of the queen of the household, who held sway
over so many hearts, lay sleeping beneath the daisies in the cemetery
not far distant.  She had never been well after the shock occasioned
by the sudden death of her eldest son.

One by one the young people went forth to homes of their own.  Abbie,
having awakened at last to a realization of the truth of her father's
prediction regarding Thomas Brigham, had long since married that
wealthy lumberman.

In his loneliness and sorrow came a call to the Chief to higher and
harder work in his country's service.  The County of York, in which
Hull was situated, had a sufficiently large population to entitle it
to representation in the Legislative Assembly, and, as the
representation of the Province had been increased to eighty-four
members, the electors of the county were called upon to choose their
representative.

Elections in those days were not so much a question of political
opinion with the electors as personal preference and local
considerations, so the Chief was elected by acclamation, and took his
seat in the House as an independent member, the name of the
constituency being changed to that of Ottawa County.

The members, who in those days had not the prospect of a large
indemnity to nail them to their seats, frequently deserted the
Legislative Hall long before the session was over, notwithstanding
which the White Chief was ever in his place, and voted intelligently
on the burning questions of the day.

While attending session at Quebec, he sat down to breakfast on one
occasion with the son of his old friend, Louis Joseph Papineau, who
was Speaker of the House at the time, and who happened to be staying
at the same hotel.

"I hear that a town is springing up like a mushroom on the opposite
side of the river from Hull," said Mr. Papineau; "and that property
on that side of the river has greatly enhanced in value."

"It has," replied the Chief.  "The whole Carman grant, from the
Rideau to the Chaudiere, comprising about one thousand acres, was
sold to Hugh Fraser a few years ago for ten pounds.  Later a man
named Burroughs bought two hundred acres which he tried to sell to me
for sufficient to pay his passage to England, in order to secure a
legacy which had been left him.  I would not have accepted it as a
gift at that time, for it was all marsh land.  He succeeded in
getting Nicholas Sparks to take it for £95, and I indorsed his notes
for the amount.  Not long since Sparks sold eighty acres of it to
Colonel By for several thousand pounds sterling.  The Colonel drained
it, divided it into town lots, and is now asking a fabulous price for
it.*


* The same eighty acres was disposed of by Colonel By a few years
later for half a million pounds sterling.


"How is the town laid out?" asked Mr. Papineau.

"There are a few scattered houses on a street which has been called
after the Duke of Wellington, about half a dozen at Le Breton Flats,
and east of the canal there are two streets called Sussex and Rideau,
on which there are quite a number of houses and four shops, kept by
Scotchmen.  There are also two civilian barracks, facing each other
near Sussex Street, for the canal workers.

"I rode over a few days ago and was astonished to see the rapid
progress the place is making.  Crossing the wooden bridge at the
Chaudiere, which Colonel By succeeded in building after many
fruitless attempts, I drove through Le Breton's farm to the gully
recently bridged by Lieutenant Pooley, then, skirting the cliff on
which the Episcopal church is being erected on a lot given by Sparks,
and passing the Scotch church, I drove through the woods along a
corduroy road which wound round the foot of Barracks Hill, or the
Military Reserve, to Sappers' Bridge, and found that the Colonel had
so transformed the lower part of the town by drainage as to make it
beyond recognition.  The swamp and even the creek have disappeared.
There is about half a mile of unbroken forest between the upper and
lower parts of the town.  The houses are built in the midst of huge
old boulders and masses of rock, and are hidden from each other by
lofty pines and thick underbrush."

"What is its population?" asked Mr. Papineau.

"I should say about two thousand," he replied.  "And they are mostly
of the lowest class of Irish, who are very awkward.  What they are
used to doing they do fairly well, but it seems impossible to teach
them anything new.  If they can dig out for themselves a mud cabin in
the side of a hill they would never dream of building one of wood.

"Near the works is a place called Corktown, where the workmen have
burrowed in the sandhills.  Smoke is seen to rise out of holes which
have been opened in the ground to answer the purpose of chimneys.  In
these miserable dwellings whole families are huddled together worse
than in Ireland.

"McTaggart says," continued the Chief, "that the engineers and
contractors cannot get them to keep out of the way of their own
blasts, and that he has more than once seen heads, legs and arms
blown in all directions; and when given a spade and pick they have to
exercise eternal vigilance to keep them from digging their own
graves."

Dr. Bigsby then took his seat at the table.

"You look as though you had been carousing, Doctor," said Mr.
Papineau.

"I was, in a way," he replied.  "I remained up most of the night to
see the charivari.  I have seen it in France," he said, "but I think
the French-Canadian has improved upon the original.  In this country
it is evidently intended to reach offenders against propriety and the
public sense of honor.  Ill-assorted marriages seem to be its special
objects here.  You know Adjutant Randall, do you not?" addressing Mr.
Papineau.

"Yes," he replied, "quite well."

"He was married yesterday," continued the doctor, "to the widow of a
wealthy brewer.  She was of good French family, and resembled the
famous widow of Kent in having a large annual income.  She is not
young, and for aught I know may have thrown off her weeds too soon.

"Last evening, when in my room, I heard the most incomprehensible
noises, gradually drawing nearer and nearer.  A broad red light soon
began to glare upon the houses and fill the street.  The throng
slowly arrived and slowly passed the door, and as you honorable
gentlemen were probably in session I shall try and describe some
parts of the show.

"First came a strange figure, masked, with a cocked hat and sword;
then came strutting a little humpbacked creature in brown, red and
yellow, with beak and tail.  Fifteen or sixteen people followed in
the garb of Indians, some with cow-horns on their heads.  Then came
two men in white shirts, bearing a paper coffin of great size,
lighted from within and having skulls, cross-bones and initials
painted in black on its sides.  This was surrounded by men blowing
horns, beating pot-lids, poker and tongs, whirling rattles,
whistling, and so on.

"To these succeeded a number of Chinese lanterns, some aloft on high
poles and mixed with blazing torches, small flags, black and white,
and more rough music.  Close after came more torches, clatter and
fantastic disguises, the whole surrounded by a large rabble who kept
up an irregular fire of yells which could be heard a mile away.

"They perambulated the whole city before proceeding to the ill-fated
mansion of the bride, but at last they arrived at her door and drew
up before it.  The large handsome house was silent and dark--the
window shades were closed.  There was evidently to be no friendly
feast, for in many cases, I believe, the attack is met courteously
with lighted halls and a cold collation to the principal actors, when
the din and hubbub generally ceases and the thing ends; but it was
not so in the charivari of last night.

"The crowd was puzzled, but showed pluck.  It brayed and blew and
roared and shook torch and lantern, and might have done so all night
long, as it appeared to me, standing at a cowardly distance, when
suddenly the large front door opened and out rushed the manly figure
of the Adjutant with ten or twelve assistants in plain clothes
(brother officers, I fear) armed with cudgels.

"To work they went upon the defenceless crowd, and especially among
the masquers, where the torches gave useful light.  The whole attack
and flight was an affair of five minutes.  The fun-loving crowd,
actors and spectators, fled, and gone in an incredibly short space of
time were torches, lanterns, coffin, kettles and buffalo-horns.

"The unhappy little hunchback was seized by the bridegroom, who began
to pound him, but he most piteously confessed that he was Mr. ----,
editor of the ----, a local paper.  He was dismissed with a shake,
and told that in future cripples in charivaris would be treated as
able-bodied men.

"The affair so unnerved the bride that she escaped through the back
door and took rooms here."

Just then an officer entered, and the doctor said:

"Good morning, Adjutant!  How is Mrs. Randall?"

Suddenly he caught sight of the Chief, who sat back in his chair
gazing at him in mute astonishment, for it was none other than Harold
Wrenford.

"She is much better, thank you," he said, "but I forgot her
medicine," and he hastened from the room.

"How long have you known the Adjutant?" asked the Chief.

"Only recently," replied the doctor.

"I have known him for years," replied Mr. Papineau.  "I knew him when
he was a young lieutenant in the Citadel.  He sold his commission,
went abroad, and returned a few years ago with his pockets full of
money, purchased an adjutancy, and he has been regarded by the weaker
sex as one of the greatest catches in Quebec."

In less than half an hour Adjutant and Mrs. Randall were seen driving
down towards the docks, where they took passage in a vessel bound for
Liverpool.



CHAPTER XXI.

_A DINNER AT RIDEAU HALL IN THE THIRTIES._

1837.

Mr. and Mrs. George Morrison and the aged Chief were among the guests
at a small dinner party given by the "Laird of Bytown," the Hon.
Thomas MacKay, at his new residence, Rideau Hall, in honor of John
McTaggart, C.E., who had returned to the New World to visit old
friends.

[Illustration: HON. THOMAS MACKAY.]

The Hall, which had been erected on his estate of thirteen hundred
acres, midway between the banks of the Rideau and the Ottawa, was a
large cut-stone building with semi-tower front.  The building itself,
the well-kept grounds, the imposing avenues with their porters'
lodges, the conservatories, excelled anything in Canada at that time.

It was spring.  In the tall trees of the avenues, which seemed to
shut out the sky, the birds were awaking to life and love.  A little
brook gurgled over mossy stones in the quiet glen by the wayside, on
the banks of which, soft with moss and pine needles, the trilliums
grew so thickly that they appeared like a bank of snow which had
escaped the rays of the April sun.

There was great diversity of color and form in the trees.  The pines
stood erect, flinging their rough limbs above the young leaves of the
deciduous trees below.  The white birch and trembling poplar adorned
the glen with pale gray or light green leaves, whose delicacy of tint
contrasted finely with the dark masses of the fir trees and the
lively green of maple and wild cherry.

Such was the home over which presided the noble Laird and his
gracious wife, and which, even in those early days, was a centre of
hospitality.

Among the guests were Chief McNab, who had left the Highlands of
Scotland with a numerous clan, and taken up his abode with them in a
township which had been granted to him on the banks of Lake de Chats,
about thirty miles from Bytown.

The guests scanned him with a peculiarly keen interest as he entered
the room preceded by his piper playing, "The Hacks o' Cromdale."  He
was dressed in full Highland costume, with kilts and scarf of red and
green tartan, and wore a queue neatly tied with a knot of ribbon.

Captain Andrew Wilson, of Ossian Hall, on the banks of the Rideau,
was another guest.  He had retired from the Navy and posed as lawyer,
judge, farmer, and author, his title to the latter consisting in
three volumes on naval history.  He held weekly courts at Bytown, and
was regarded by the people of the town as a man of great importance.
To see the Captain on the bench with his anchor-buttoned coat and his
old-fashioned spectacles, attending gravely to the examination of
witnesses, was ludicrous.  Of this he was perfectly sensible, but it
was an amusement to him.  He was one of those men who would have
liked to have the whole world following after him.

Rev. Mr. Cruikshanks, pastor of St. Andrews church, the first church
in Bytown, and Rev. S. H. Stone, rector of Christ church, completed
the list of invited guests.

McTaggart, or "Mac," as he was familiarly called, the guest of the
evening and the hero of the hour, related many amusing incidents
which had come under his notice while Clerk of the Public Works.

"On one occasion," he said, "while returning by steamer from Lachine,
an oddly-dressed person sailed along with us.  He had a short-tailed
blue coat with metal buttons that once had been clear, but the salt
spray of the Atlantic Ocean had dimmed their lustre, a
woollen-striped, double-breasted waistcoat, while a pair of velveteen
pantaloons graced his _hurdies_.  He was a forward kind of little man
from the south of Scotland, who had paid little attention to the cut
of his whiskers, and the hair of his head seemed to furnish a good
cover for game of a peculiar kind.

"The tone of my voice, or some other Scotch keepsake, drew him near
me, when the following confab took place:

"'I hae surely seen your face some gate afore, mon, but whar it's
mair than I can cleverly tell.'

"'At the fair o' Minnyvive, man?' quoth I.  'Are not ye'--there I
hung fire.  He helped me out by adding:

"'The Laird o' Birrboy.'

"'Exactly,' I replied, and he believed or seemed to believe me,
although I had never seen his face in my life before.

"As the steamboat neared the Lake of Two Mountains, on the Ottawa,
giving the passengers a peep at the wilderness, 'What a lang
planting!' he exclaimed.  'I wonner wha's Laird o't?'

"I replied in a kind of knowing manner that he would see the Laird
presently, and shortly we came upon an Indian encampment by the bank
of the river.  The Indians were busy among their canoes, skinning
some deer and muskrats they had caught.

"'Yonder, Birrboy, yonder's the Laird!' quoth I, pointing to an
Indian Chief with the feathers of wild birds stuck round in his hat,
and long silver earrings hanging down on his shoulders.

"'Bless me!' said Birrboy, with open mouth, 'and yon's the Laird?'

"'It's all that's for him,' I continued, 'and yonder's the gardener
coming after him.'  This was another Indian with a branch of a tree
on his shoulder for the fire.

"'Bless me!  He's a queer Laird that, and is that ane of his seats?'

"I explained that it was, and that he had many such like up and down
the 'lang planting.'

"'What wad the bodies about Minnyvive think if they saw sic lairds
and gairdeners coming up the fair as thae, mon?' he exclaimed.  'I'll
be hanged gin they wadna creep in aneath the beds wi' fear, like Nell
Coskerie in a thunner-storm.'

"Landing on the shore at a place called Chute of 'Blendo,' we came
upon pieces of junk pine split up in thin pieces.

"'An' what ca' ye thae now?' inquired the Scotchman.

"'Shingles,' I replied.  'The people of this country cover their
houses with them.'

"'Hech, mon, and are thae the Canada sclate?' he returned.  'Ye hae
queer names for things here.  There's a shoe like a swine trough ye
ca' the saboo, then there's a shoe ye ca' the morgason, a kin o'
thing like a big splenchan the bodies row their feet in.  Deil hang
me, if ever I heard o' sic names.  I'll never bring my mooth into the
wye o' pronooncing them.'

"Proceeding up the river we came near to the public works.

"'And is yon a timmer clauchan we see?' pointing to Bytown, quoth the
Laird.

"'Ay, yonder are the shanties,' I informed him, 'of a village the
people are busy building.'

"'Ay, there again, noo,' he replied, 'What a queer name ye hae for
timmer houses.'

"I explained that the first rough house that a settler built was
called a shanty; the next, which was more genteel, was called a
log-house; and the third and last was a clapboard house.

"He expressed some astonishment at this, and wondered 'if I could
recommend him to a clout of land ony gate aboot that he could big a
bit shanty on an' tak' a blaw o' the pipe in wi' comfort.'

"I informed him that land was by no means scarce, and that he might
get a farm for an auld sang.  'Ay, mon,' I said, 'a farm larger than
Birrboy for an auld sang.'

"This seemed to please him much, but he said: 'I hae nae siller, ye
see, an' what's the use of a farm without it?  I maun e'en see to get
into the public works gaen on here and see to lay by a triffle.  I
wush ye wad be sae kind as to tell me how to act that I might find
some employment.'

"'Go to the gentleman over the way,' said I, pointing to our military
commander, who was out bustling about the works.

"'That man with the red coat and the cocked hat?' he inquired.

"'The same,' I said, 'and say to him that there was a man sent you to
His Honor who thought you might be worth four shillings and sixpence
a day as a squad-master of laborers.'

"He thanked me and went off and told his story.  The Colonel quickly
guessed who had sent him, so the Laird of Birrboy was regularly
installed in his situation and seemed to understand his duty.

"About a month afterwards Birrboy came to me with a long face and
said I had been gude, very gude to him, but thae was still a wee
kindness I could do him in a quiet way.

"'What is it?' I inquired.

"'Why the wife, silly body, is down in Montreal, and as I hae a bit
shanty bigged here, I wad like tae gang doon an' bring her up, if ye
had nae objection.'

"To this I replied that I would have none, but that he must apply to
the same gentleman as formerly and see what he had to say in the
matter.'

"'Ay, but there's that in it, I doubt he'll score me oot o' the books
when I'm awa'.'

"He went to the Colonel and asked the favor to bring his wife, which
of course was granted.  Off went the Laird as proud as a dog with two
tails, but when he came to the bank of the river to the steamboat
landing, the said _bateau de feu_, as the French call her, had gone
to the other side of the Ottawa to take in part of her cargo.  There
was no boat about but the Government boat, in which were Colonel By
with some ladies and military officers about to take a pleasure sail
up to the Falls.  This boat had pushed off, but Birrboy waved his hat
and cried:

"'Hoot, mon, come hither!'

"The rowers rested on their oars and he was asked what he wanted.

"'I want a bit cast, mon, to the ither side o' the water to the
steamboat.'

"Someone replied out of the boat that it was impossible,' as they
were going on a pleasure sail and could not be troubled with him.

"'Hoot, mon!' continued the persevering Scotchman, 'it will tak ye
nought out o' yer wye to throw a puir body oot on the pint as ye gae
by.'

"'Confound you,' replied the Colonel as they pushed in the boat, 'if
you are not a Scotchman in truth I am in ignorance.'

"How joyfully did he take his seat among the officers and ladies,
smiling to himself with all the humor of Dunscore depicted in his
countenance.  I looked and laughed after my worthy countryman, and
have not been so fortunate as to have seen him since."

"Tell us how you celebrated your first Christmas in Canada," said Mr.
MacKay.

"I well remember how I forgot to celebrate my first Christmas in this
country," replied Mac.  "We were taking a flying level* between
Rafting Bay and the Rideau--a distance of about four miles.  Taking a
level of this extent at home would not have occupied more than a day,
but in a dark, dense wood the subject was quite altered, and the
surveyor has to change his home system altogether; for instance, if
we get upon a hill in Britain we may see the natural lead of the
land, but here in the wilderness you have to grope for this like a
blind man.


* A rough guess to a foot of the rise or fall of the country above
any fixed spot.


"We cut holes through the thickets of these dismal swamps, and sent a
man half a mile before us to blow a horn, keeping to one place until
those in the rear come up, so that by the compass and the sound,
there being no sun, we were able to grope out our course.

"The weather was extremely cold, and the screws of the theodolite
would scarcely move.  When night came on we sent two of the axemen to
rig a shanty by the side of a swamp.  We generally camped near a
swamp, for water could be had to drink and to cook with, and the
hemlock boughs grew more bushy in such places, and were easily
obtained to cover the shanty; and, besides, we generally found dry
cedar there, which makes excellent firewood.  When we arrived at the
camp we found a very comfortable house set up by our friends, with a
blazing fire in front of it.  We lay down on the bushy hemlock,
holding pork before the fire on wooden prongs, each man roasting for
himself, while plenty of tea was thrown into a kettle of boiling
water.  The tin mug, our only tea cup, went round till all had drunk,
then it was filled again, and so on, while each with his bush knife
cut toasted pork on slices of bread.

"Then we went to sleep, and, after having lain an hour or so on one
side, someone would cry--'Spoon!' the order to turn to the other,
which was often a disagreeable one if a spike of tree root or such
substance stuck up beneath ribs.  Reclining thus like a parcel of
spoons, our feet to the fire, we have found the hair of our heads
often frozen to the place where we lay.  For several days together
did we lie in these wild places.  In Dow's great swamp, one of the
most dismal places in the wilderness, did five Irishmen, two
Englishmen, two Americans, one Frenchman, and one Scotchman, hold
their merry Christmas in 1826, or rather forgot to hold it at all."

"Do you remember your experiences in prospecting for iron ore in the
mountains?" asked the Chief, who was one of Mac's warmest friends and
admirers.

"I had been in Canada only a few months," he said, "when I happened
to hear from various sources that mountains of iron ore existed in
the range north of Hull, and the Chief, MacKay, Colonel By, and I
secured a guide, and took our way on horseback through the forest to
inspect the said ore bed that had hindered the magnetic needle of
many a surveyor's compass from traversing properly.  We mounted at
the Columbian hotel and away we went, our guide having provisions,
axes, hammers, etc., in a bag on the saddle with him.  Having
cantered away several miles through cleared land, we began to enter
the wilderness, and, as I am no great horseman, I soon found my eyes
and nose beginning to be scratched off from the brushwood lashing and
rubbing against them, and soon, alas! I found myself comfortably
landed on my back on the trunk of an old tree that had fallen many
years ago.

"On looking round I saw my quiet pony thinking for a wonder what had
become of me, one of his forefeet having trod out the crown of a good
new thirty shilling hat I had bought in London.

"My companions gathered round, but could not prevail on me to mount
again; the guide led the horse, and I trudged along on foot.  Getting
rather weary, however, and seeing the comparatively easy manner in
which my friends got along, in spite of the thick brushwood and old
trees that lay stretched over one another at all angles, I mounted
again, but soon found it almost impossible to follow my companions
without getting myself bruised in all quarters, and possibly some of
my bones broken.

"They had got about one hundred yards before me, and halloed to me to
follow.  I exerted myself to the utmost, but one of my legs getting
into the cleft of a small tree, I was thrown off the horse's back and
left among the briars again.  Bawling out, they waited until I came
up.  None of them but Mr. MacKay, as good a Scotchman as lives,
laughed, and I was almost inclined to fling my boot at him.  Being a
good horseman, and used to the rough roads of Canada, he could keep
his seat in the saddle in a way, but the skin of his legs was partly
peeled like my own, and his clothes torn in various places.

"After travelling a great way we got to a stream which the guide said
had its origin in the iron mountain.  Proceeding up the stream to its
source, we at last came upon the famous ore-bed, but through
excessive fatigue, after having taken a little refreshment, I fell
asleep, as did all my companions but one, the enterprising Lord of
the Manor of Hull, Indian Chief, Colonel of the 2nd Battalion, etc.,
etc.  Even Colonel By, with bone and muscle and sinew like
wrought-iron, who can endure anything and eat anything, even to raw
pork, was fagged out, and slept like the rest of us.

"The Chief kindly left us undisturbed for an hour, when he roused us.
Traversing these wild mountains in all directions, we were much
pleased with the immense specimens of iron ore that appeared
everywhere.  Mr. MacKay wielded the hammer with masonic skill, and
laid the rich ore-beds open to inspection.  At one place the
mountains are not more than two miles from the first falls of the
Gatineau, where machinery and engines could be erected at moderate
rate, as water-power may be had to any extent from the falls.  We
found an abundance of hardwood, particularly maple, which makes the
best charcoal of any.  We concluded that this was the best place for
iron works in Canada.

"We at length thought of returning to the hotel.  Night came on, and
in the forenoon of the next day I found myself alive at the Falls of
the Chaudiere.  The troubles I had undergone were amply repaid.  My
bruises recovered, the skin came over my arms and legs, but I shall
never try to explore the wilds of Canada on horseback again."

"Have you ever tried the experiment, Mr. McNab?" asked the
good-natured Scotchman.

"Sir," he replied, disdainfully, "I thought you had known better.
Nothing but McNab, if you please--'Mr.' does not belong to me."

Mr. McTaggart expressed his apologies, and there was a lull in the
conversation.

"You have quite a fine church," said the Chief, after a time,
addressing the Scottish pastor.

"Yes," he replied, "we are indebted to our host for that church.  He
built it at his own expense while the masons of the public works were
awaiting orders from the War Department in England, to widen the
locks."

"Why did you call it after St. Andrew?" said the Chief.  "I never
could understand why Scotchmen seem to have a monopoly of that saint,
and Episcopalians a monopoly of the name of Christ, and Roman
Catholics of St. Peter and St. Joseph, in naming their churches.  St.
Andrew was one of the least known of the honored twelve, and why he
should have gained and retained such a grip of Scotland and her
scattered children is a mystery to me."

"There, Mr. Cruikshanks," said the Laird, "is a problem for you to
solve, for I must admit it is a question beyond my ken."

"The only reason that I can find why St. Andrew is so closely
connected with Scotland," replied Mr. Cruikshanks, whose speech was
not a little infected with the dialect of southern Scotland, but is
here rendered in modern English for the sake of the readers, "is
found in most ancient history--it may be legendary.  It is this:

"Faithful to the farewell commission of his Master, whom he saw
ascend from the brow of Olivet and received into heaven, Andrew spent
his missionary life in Scythia and Achaia, and in Patræ, one of its
principal cities, he founded a branch of the Church, the success of
which brought down upon him the vengeance of the heathen governor,
who caused him to be crucified.  He was tied to a cross of olive wood
in the form of the letter X.  He endured the prolonged agonies of
hunger and thirst and pain for many days, until at last the strong
heart gave its last beat and his spirit fled to the side of the
glorified Christ.

"A woman of wealth and rank obtained possession of the body.  The
congregation with sorrowing hearts buried it in the little church.
There it lay in undisturbed repose during the long stretch of three
hundred years.

"Wholesale massacres swept myriads of Christians into martyr graves
until a Christian emperor came to the throne, who ordered a great and
gorgeous temple to be erected in memory of the apostle in
Constantinople.

"Constantine commanded the presiding presbyter"----

"Bishop, you mean," interrupted the rector.

"Presbyter, sir," said the Scotchman, firmly, "of the little church
at Petræ to deliver up the body of the martyred apostle that it might
rest till the glorious resurrection morn in the grandest mausoleum
that Imperial hands could build for it.

"Three days before the messengers arrived, Regulus, the presbyter,
dreamed that a messenger from a greater than Constantine ordered him
to open the tomb of the saint and to remove part of its contents and
hide them in another place.  This he did, and the remainder of the
body was removed to Constantinople.

"Some time afterwards Regulus had another dream, when the same
messenger appeared to him and warned him to depart from Petrae, and
to take with him the bones which he had concealed and to sail to a
port to which God would safely guide him.

"Regulus obeyed, and was accompanied by sixteen presbyters and three
devout deaconesses, who set sail not knowing whither to steer their
course.

"Tossed up and down in Adria, driven by the wind through the dreaded
pillars of Hercules, dashed hither and thither in the surging Bay of
Biscay, whirled northward by furious hurricanes over the English
Channel and the German Ocean, they found themselves shipwrecked in a
bay, afterwards known as the Bay of St. Andrews, on the east of
Scotland.  All else but the precious relics lost, they with
difficulty gained the shore.

"On the spot where they landed they built a church, taking for their
plan the church at Petrae, and in it they reverently deposited the
martyr's bones and called the church and place St. Andrews.

"Dense woods surrounded them, infested with boars and wolves.  The
barbarians extended to them a hearty welcome.  Regulus, afterwards
known in Scottish history as St. Raol, told them of St. Andrew and of
his faith in the incarnate God who had come to seek and to save the
lost.  They listened and believed, and Hangus, the King, with all his
subjects shook off Druidical superstition and became Christian, and
from St. Andrews streamed through the dark places of the land the
true light of the world--the Gospel of Christ as St. Andrew had
learned it from the Master himself.

"That, sir," he said, addressing the Chief, "is the reason why we
have named the new kirk St. Andrews."

"Interesting--most interesting," said the Laird, who had moved back
from the table and sat clasping his right knee with his hands.  "The
learned son of Auld Scotia has answered the first part of the Chief's
question, and we shall look to the rector to explain why the
Episcopalians seem to enjoy a monopoly of the name of 'Christ church'
in designating their places of worship."

For a moment the cultured young Englishman looked bewildered and
confused, for the question had come to him suddenly and unexpectedly.
Closing his eyes he repeated the question slowly and thoughtfully,
"Why do churchmen like to confer upon their places of worship the
name of Christ?"

"There passes before my mind the vision of a world," he said, still
keeping his eyes closed, "which came from the hands of the Creator in
a state of perfection and loveliness--a world of spotless purity, a
world where all was peace and love, and joy and satisfaction--a
heaven of bliss and of ecstasy.  A dark shadow crept over it--the
shadow of sin--which was soon followed by the darker and more awful
shadow of death.  Its women were subjected to a life of suffering and
sorrow, a life of bondage and tyranny; its men to a life of slavery.
The whole creation began to groan and travail in pain.  Life was not
worth living nor death worth dying, until a Light from heaven shone
through the darkness, dispelling the gloom, bringing salvation to
sorrowing, sin-burdened souls and hope of complete redemption, when
the body shall be raised incorruptible, when the briars and thorns
shall disappear, and even the animals shall be emancipated from the
bondage and cruelty of man.

"It was the Christ who turned darkness into light.  It was the Christ
who brought life out of death.  It was the Christ who lifted woman
from the depths of degradation and placed her in a realm of love and
hope.  It was the Christ who gave the weary toiler rest.

"Have we not cause to bless God for 'His inestimable love in the
redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ?'

"That is Presbyterianism," said Mrs. MacKay.

"And that is Episcopalianism," replied the rector.

"We recognize the Christ as the head of the Church," said the Laird.

"And so do we," said the rector, "and if I had the naming of ten
thousand churches, sir, I would call each one '_Christ_ church,' and
I would have a cross on each somewhere to remind the people of the
fact that He left the heaven of glory to suffer and die for them,
that He might bring them into the fulness of joy which He originally
designed for them."

"You surprise me," said the Laird, "for I had come to regard the
Established Church of England as dead in formalism.  I have not found
so great faith before--no, not in the Church of England."

"Then you had better become a little more intimately acquainted with
it," good-naturedly rejoined the young rector, and the conversation
turned into other topics.



CHAPTER XXII.

_LIGHT AT EVENTIDE._

1839.

Spring had come.  The aged Chief, who had passed the seventy-ninth
anniversary of his birth, sat propped up with pillows gazing at the
swollen torrent, with its seething, tumbling mass of white foam, as
it rushed with resistless power into the big cauldron below.

Through the half-open window the fragrance of blossoming fruit-trees
found its way into the room.  From the eastern window he could see
the smoke rising from his innumerable factories and mills; through
the southern one the burnished roofs and steeples of the opposite
cliffs sparkled and glittered in the sunshine.

As he gazed thoughtfully at the panorama before him, he said to
Chrissy, who with her husband had carefully nursed him for five years
while suffering with a broken thigh, occasioned by a fall on the
pavement near the St. Louis gate at Quebec:

"It makes one think of time as it rolls on like a mighty rushing
river soon to lose itself in the vast sea of eternity."

Chrissy sat by his bedside reading, and seemed oblivious to the
remark.  At length, looking up from the book with a face beaming with
satisfaction, she said:

"Do you know what the Surveyor-General says of you, father?  I have
just been reading a marked copy of his Topographical Report to
William IV., which Mr. Papineau has sent, and in which he says, after
describing the advanced stage of civilization found in our township:

"'From whence are all these benefits derived?  Whose persevering
talent and enterprising spirit first pierced the gloom of these
forests and converted a wilderness of trees into fields of corn?
Whose industrious hand first threw into the natural desert the seeds
of plenty and prosperity?

"'The answer is--Mr. Philemon Wright.  Through hardships, privations,
and dangers that would have appalled an ordinary mind, he penetrated
an almost inaccessible country, and where he found desolation and
solitude he introduced civilization and the useful arts, and by his
almost unaided skill and indefatigable industry the savage paths of a
dreary wilderness have been changed into the cheerful haunts of men.
The gloomy upland forests have given way to smiling corn-fields.  The
wet and wild savannas, sinking under stunted spruce and cedar, have
been cleared and drained into luxuriant meadows.  The perilous
water-fall, whose hoarse noise was once the frightful voice of an
awful solitude, is rendered obedient to the laws of art, and now
converts the majestic tenants of the forest into the habitations of
man and grinds his food.  The rivers and lakes, once fruitful in
vain, now breed their living produce for the use of human beings, and
with deep, rapid current transport on their smooth glassy surface the
fruits of his industry.  The deep recesses of the earth are made to
expose their mineral treasures from the birthday of time concealed.

"'In short, the judicious and persevering industry of one successful
adventurer has converted all the rude vantages of primeval nature
into the germs of agricultural, manufacturing and commercial
prosperity.'

"It is true," she said, with great enthusiasm.  "They may well
appreciate the great work you have done."

The tribute of praise seemed to make no impression on the Chief, who
sat silent and motionless, as though lost in thought.

"Shall I read to you, father, dear?"

"You may if you like," he said.

"What would you like me to read?" she asked.

"Read something that Solomon has written," said the Chief, who was a
grand Arch Mason and Knight of Malta, and who was not very familiar
with the writings of Solomon or any of the writers of Scripture.

Turning over the leaves of her well-worn Bible, Chrissy read from the
second chapter of Ecclesiastes the following words:

"I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards;
I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all
kind of fruits; I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood
that bringeth forth trees; I got me servants and maidens, ... also I
had great possessions of great and small cattle; ... I gathered me
also silver and gold, ... so I was great, and increased more than all
that were before me; ... also my wisdom remained with me.  And
whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my
heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in my labour....  Then I
looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour
that I had laboured to do; and, behold, all was vanity and vexation
of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun."

The Chief gave a deep groan which caused Chrissy to close the book
hurriedly.  Taking his hand gently in hers, she said:

"I fear that I have wearied you, or is it the old pain again?"

"It is true! it is true!" he said.  "When I look back over the past
achievements of my life they are of no profit when viewed in the
light of eternity.  The sun that has lighted our way, dear child, is
going down in a cloud--a dark, dark cloud!"

"Why is that, dear father?  Have you not lived up to the family
motto--_Mens conscia recti_?  Have you not always followed the
dictates of conscience?"

"Yes," he replied.

"Have you kept every command in the decalogue?"

"Yes," he said, confidently.

"And have you loved the Lord God with _all_ your mind and with _all_
your strength, and your neighbor as yourself?  Have you always put
God _first_ in everything?"

Here the aged Chief hesitated.  Tears were in his eyes, his hand
trembled, a look of pain came into his face, as he replied:

"No, Chrissy, I have not."

"Then you have broken the first and greatest command of God," she
said, "and St. Paul has said: 'Condemned is every one that continues
not in _all_ things which are written in the book of the law to do
them.'  If dark clouds are overshadowing you, dear father, may it not
be because you have broken the law of God and are under His
condemnation?"

"I had hoped for comfort from you," he said, coldly, "but you have
made me miserably unhappy."

"Wait," said Chrissy.  "This is the comforting thing about it all.
It says here in Galatians: 'Christ hath redeemed us from the
condemnation of the law, having been condemned for us.'

"Then if He paid the penalty of the faults and failures of my life, I
suppose I should have no anxious thought about the future."

"Quite so," said Chrissy.

"I never saw it in that light before," he said.  "Why did you not
tell me this before, child?"

"Because," she replied, "I feared that you would scoff at my
'Quakerism,' as the boys call it."

In the few short weeks that followed, confidence and hope rose
triumphant over physical weakness and mental depression, and on the
second of June, 1839, the White Chief of the Ottawa passed through
"the valley of the shadow."  To him it was not a dark valley,
however, for shadows cannot be seen in the dark.  The Light of the
World, whom he had lost sight of for the best part of his life, was
there, and all was peace.



THE END.





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