Obrázky stránek

on the floor beside them; and, no doubt, when they were all enjoying that oblivious repose only known to the weary labourer, through the untying or bursting of a bag the whole cargo came down upon them and smothered them all to death.

In a few moments more Murray was in his canoe paddling home again. The mystery to him was now solved; but alas, what a message he was carrying to seven families, all at this moment unconscious of their loss !

I remember well his saying that he felt like secluding himself in the woods rather than bear the sad message with which he was burdened to those bereaved families; and that it was with the greatest difficulty that he could summon courage sufficient to paddle home.

You may be sure that in passing the scene of this tragedy the next day, after hearing this description of it from Mr. Murray, we were all impressed, not only with the thoughts connected with the sad occurrence within its narrow walls and shanty roof, but also with the heroism of the man who, in the dead of night and the loneliness of the forest, had the courage to do and to endure what he had on that occasion, and I can well credit the truthfulness of the remark he made as he closed the narrative, that he would rather sacrifice five years of his life than experience another similar night.

It was little we thought at this time that the omniscient eye saw awaiting us, only a few days hence, a tragedy in which each of us would act a part and in which one of us would be called upon to transcend every other act in the great drama of human life.

My staff on this survey consisted of an assistant and four chainmen. Besides these the party was made up of six labourers and a cook.

Before leaving home there came into my office one day a young lad who was very anxious to engage with

me on this "trip to the woods." I was at first not disposed to take him, as I was quite certain that he would be awkward for some time as a woodsman and especially in a bark canoe, but there was something about the boy that I liked. Perhaps it was his rural simplicity and honest face that satisfied me that he would soon adapt himself to his new position, and 1 agreed to take him as one of my chainmen. His name was Jefferson Heacock, his father being a well-to-do farmer in the County of York.

I do not remember anything of unusual interest occuring during our stay at our first camp, where we remained about a week, and then with our canoes moved about four miles west to a point on the shore of a small, marshy lake a not very pleasant camp-ground where we remained several days, and till we had finished the lines in its neighbourhood. It then became necessary to make another move, and one of considerable difficulty. We were some time in deciding whether to leave our canoes and "pack" our outfit and supplies over those hills and swamps with which the country is abundantly supplied, or endeavour to utilize our canoes by following up from one inland lake to another and carrying canoes and supplies across the portages. This question was solved by my taking a man with me for one day on an exploration trip and finding a canoe route from where we were to Lake Matinadinda. The next day all the party, except one man and myself, undertook to move camp to a bay on that lake, while we two did some chaining on lines running northerly in the direction of the locality where we had agreed to pitch our new camp. After reaching the end of the cut-out line, we struck through the woods and finally came out on the shore of the lake, not far from where the rest of the party were busy pitching the tents.

We shouted, and in a few minutes. a canoe was sent over and took us to

the site of our new home. It was a charming spot on a beautiful bay of one of those inland lakes of which there are so many in our northern country, but which are as unknown to most Canadians as they would be if located in the wilds of Africa. I have often thought, when paddling up some of these, lying so still in their undisturbed solitude, that it would well repay some of our summer tourists to forego at least one trip to the seaside to look at such scenery lying almost at their doors.

and greatly pleased with the new camp.

There is nothing awe-inspiring or majestic in it, as in the scenery on the Upper Saguenay, or among the great mountains of the West, but there is a weird, quiet beauty made up of the gorgeous foliage of the woods sloping down from the surrounding hills until it meets the glassy lake below, and is reflected by it so that at a short distance away you can scarcely discern the dividing line between them.

In making the move from our last camping place to this one, the men had had a hard day's work. They first loaded everything into the bark canoes which they paddled across the first lake, then portaged across on an Indian trail about a mile to another small lake, and after crossing it, made another mile portage to Lake Matinadinda, where they again embarked, and shortly after reached their destination. Then dividing up, as usual, some of the men cleared away the ground for the tents, others gathered the balsam boughs for our beds, while the cook prepared the evening meal, which was ready shortly after we had joined the rest of the party.

Only those who have experienced it can realize the satisfaction felt after a hard day's work in "shifting camp," to find themselves comfortaby located where the situation and surroundings are pleasant, and in a good position for future operations. All these conditions were filled as a result of this day's work, and everyone seemed to feel amply rewarded for his labour,

After we had partaken of a good supper we all went down to the shore, where we could obtain a good view of the surrounding territory. The sun was receding behind the hills on the western shore. The exceedingly hot day was giving place to a cool, pleasant evening, and all seemed entranced with the beauty of this lovely bay, dotted with its numerous islands of varying sizes which rose from the glassy surface of its placid waters. Soon a suggestion was made by one of the young men of the staff to take a canoe and cross over to a small island in order to bathe, when I made the remark that I would take another and try our new lake for fish. "Jeff," as we had learned to call him, offered to accompany me. I asked him if he did not wish to go bathing with the others, to which he replied that he could go after we returned, and adding that he liked to paddle. We trolled around the shore, but as the fish did not seeming to relish the shining bait we offered them, and as the night was approaching we soon returned. I asked "Jeff" if he did not want to join the boys on the island. He replied that he thought they were about leaving, and added that he would take his bath from the shore, and, getting his bathing towel, went around a little point beyond our landing place, while I went up the shore and joined two or three of the men in front of the camp-fire.

We were only a few rods from where he was and heard him splashing in the water, but in a few minutes one of the men who had gone down to the shore gave an alarming shout and in a few seconds we were all down at the water's edge, but no sight of poor Jeff was to be seen. The man had reached the shore just in time to see him disappear beneath the surface of the water. In a moment several were diving in the vain hope of rescuing him, but alas, the darkness seemed to

[blocks in formation]

Before the sun had risen far above the horizon I was on my way to the mouth of Blind River, where I arranged to have the body brought, and returning with an Indian and large canoe we reached our camp on the evening of the second day after the sad occur rence. The following morning I took a blanket, and placing it over my head so as to shut out the light overhead, and sitting in the bow of the canoe, I had a man paddle slowly over where we supposed the body was lying. I

found by this means I could distinctly see the bottom of the lake, and in a few moments the object of our search was discovered fully twenty feet below the surface. In a few minutes more it was recovered, and without much further delay we started across the lake. On reaching the western shore we placed the body on a stretcher to each side of which was attached a pole of sufficient length to allow two men at each end to walk in single file along the narrow trail. And thus was borne back all that was mortal of the poor boy who only a few days before had worked so hard over those same portages. Finally, about three o'clock in the afternoon, we reached our destination at the mouth of the river, and before the sun had set the funeral was over and the body of poor "Jeff" had found a temporary resting place in mother earth. In about a week afterwards his father came up and removed the remains in order that they might repose till the last great day beside those of his kindred in his own neighbourhood.

Then we returned again to this fatal camp, but before finally leaving it his comrades carved on a birch slab made with an axe, this rude cenotaph :



This was put up on the shore near

where the accident occurred. No doubt the birds have sung their songs as they perched upon it, but I have often wondered if it has ever been seen by man since we moved our camp from this spot, which, though associated with such sad recollections, has always seemed to me one of the most beautiful in this wilderness region.

E. Stewart.


A Rejoinder to Dr. Goldwin Smith.



Now, ignorance in Britain of the deepest feelings of the self-governing Colonies has led to such lamentable mistakes in the past that it is our duty, when opportunity offers, to give what little enlightenment we can. All the more so, when there are powerful and sinister influences on the side of misrepresentation, and when-as I put it "there is, worse than all, a false light, which seems to come from Heaven, because it comes from a man whose ability and good intentions can hardly be questioned." Hence the necessity I was under to allow for the personal element. Allowance has to be made for this, even in the case I was trying to show what the real of astronomers, who are swayed by no and resolute will of all sections of the bias in recording their nightly watchCanadian people, regarding their own ings of the stars. How much more so national aims and destiny, has been for in the case of publicists, dealing with more than a century, and what it still national and political problems, with is, with unanimity greater than ever, their solutions of which their own at the present day. That will-ex- preconceptions, prejudices, prophecies pressed in the whole of a not unevent- and inherent limitations are bound ful history-is what should always be up. An estimate of the man must opposed to abstract conceptions Those, then be made. Dr. Smith knows this persons, however, who had the oppor- very well. He has had to give huntunity of reading only the" Reply dreds of such estimates-some of probably ninety-nine out of a hundred them very unflattering-in the course -would fancy that I had written only of his long literary career. All the about Dr. Smith. I can assure them world knows with what freedom he that his personality or work was en- has done his duty in this respect; tirely subordinate to the main question. how sharply, too, he has dealt with It was necessary to deal with him, be- any who have ventured to criticize or cause he is the only authority on to rasp him; how skilfully he fences Canadian matters who is widely read and with what subtle poison he tips in England; and as he is a man natur- his rapier. He assumes the attitude ally truthful, a scholar, a gentleman, and title of a "Bystander" but-as and known to have lived long in Can- Grip put it, sketching him surrounded ada he is supposed by them to be a by numerous badly-wounded victims, reliable witness. Besides, Dr. Smith's "Call you this being a Bystander?" literary power is so exceptional that A man who gives so liberally should everything he writes is sure to be read. be willing to take a little.


R. SMITH has replied, in the CANADIAN MAGAZINE, to an article on "Canada and the Empire," which appeared over my signature in the National Review for July; but, though unwilling to suggest another term, I certainly do not think it entitled to be called " A Reply." Canadian readers, however, can now judge for themselves, as the London Advertiser, in its issue of October 17th, has published my article. The halfdozen pages which the editor of the CANADIAN MAGAZINE has kindly placed at my disposal will be sufficient for a brief explanation and



Almost every paragraph of his reply shows too that, in suggesting more than it is desirable to state, his hand has not lost its cunning. Not to allow the main object of my article to be obscured, I point only to the first half page of the "reply." It begins, "If some coarse and acrimonious writer," etc. What a delightful illustration of the "don't nail his ears to the pump" style of writing! Another remark is concerning "one, who just before had been approaching me in the attitude of friendship." He should have said less or more, but had he said more, he might have explained that it was he who had approached me. have been a contributor to the Week ever since he and another gentleman started it; and, therefore, early in this year, I wrote, protesting against an editorial that seemed to hint a threat of subjecting him to personal violence, because he had expressed unpopular opinions, at an inopportune time and in a very exasperating way. I took the liberty of asking the editor, "How cau we controvert his opinions, if you deny his rights?" Thereupor, Dr. Smith wrote me a letter of thanks. While appreciating this highly, it never occurred to me that I was to be muzzled thereafter from criticism, or from showing to Englishmen why I considered him a misleading witness concerning Canada

He then says that Principal Grant "incidentally admits" that his opinions were once held by other literary men and statesmen. It was not an admission, and it was not incidental. It was an integral part of the argument. In justice to him, I pointed out that his views were formerly held by very eminent men who constituted a prevalent, if shallow, school of thought." I gave their names, quoted from them fairly, to show their attitude, and proceeded as follows:

"There was a time, then, when Dr. Smith was in good company. But his school has quietly given up the ghost. All his comrades have died or 'verted,

for all the needs, of mankind. Nations

and to-day his followers are little better When free than Falstaff's regiment. trade found favour in the eyes of the British public, its beauty dazzled them. It was regarded as a Morrison's pill, warranted to cure all the ills, and to be a substitute existed merely for the purpose of interchanging commodities, and man lived by bread alone. The Colonies would continug to buy from the Mother Country as lone as it was their interest to do so, and what more could Britain ask or desire? If they did join a rival or hostile nation, that was their own business. If Canada united politically with the States, so much the better. The free trade area would be enlarged, the general prosperity would be increas d, and the workshops of Britain would share in the prosperity. All this prattle was accepted as expressing absolute truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But now the glittering generalities are seen to be only half truths or sophisms. Time has brought with it new points of view, and it is felt even by the man on the street, that a nation is a complex organism, and that the excellent law of buying in the cheapest and selling in the dearest market, far from expressing the fulness of its life, may be checked or transcended by other laws.

Dr. Goldwin Smith, however, will not learn. No Bourbon could refuse more resolutely to be enlightened by events. Though in an excellent position for seeing, he keeps the telescope to his blind eye, and cries aloud visions of the night to those who, being less favourably situated, still look to him for guidance. He succeeds only in making ignorance more dense, and misunderstanding more probable."

It is rather comical to call all this an incidental admission; extraordinary that he should object to the saying that man does not live by bread alone; and still more extraordinary that he should add, "It is to be observed that those who impress upon us this sentiment have always themselves plenty of bread." Is it not a very good sentiment? Is it not well for all nations to take it to heart? Was it ever more required than in this materialistic age?

« PředchozíPokračovat »