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Ocean to Ocean
From Thunder Bay to Fort Garry.


Shebandowan Road.—Rich Vegetation.—Rivers Kaministiquie and Matawan.—Shebandowan Lako.—Luggage.—Emigrants.—Canoe train.—Iroquois Indians.—Sir George Simpson's guide.—Lake Kashaboiwe.— The Height of Land.—Lac des Mille Lacs.— I3aril portage and Lake.—First night under canvas.—Lake Windigostigwan.—Indian encampment.—Chief Blackstone's wives.—The Medicine-man.—Lake Kaogassikok.— Shooting Maligne rapids. —Lake Noquaquon. —Loon portage. —Mud portage.— American portage.—Lake Namoukan.—Rainy Lake.—Fort Francis.—Rainy River. — Hungry Hall.—Slap-jacks.—Lake of the Woods.—The North West Angle.—A tough night.—Oak point.—First glimpse of the prairies.—Floral treasures. — The Dawson route.—Red River.

July 22nd.—At 5 A. M., arrived at Prince Arthur's Landing, Thunder Bay, about four miles from the Kaministiquia river, a fine open harbour, with dark cliffs of basaltic rock and island scenery second only to Nepigon. Population is flowing rapidly to these shores of Lake Superior. Already more than a hundred stores, shanties, or houses are scattered about 'the Landing.' The chief business is silver mining, and prospecting for silver, copper, galena, and other valuable minerals known to exist in the neighbourhood.

The engineer of the surveying parties between Ottawa and Red River, and the assistant superintendent of the Dawson Route to Fort Garry met us at the Landing and invited us to breakfast in their shanty. After breakfast, our baggage was packed on a heavy waggon, and instructions were given to the driver to keep moving till he reached Shebandowan Lake, the first of the chain to be traversed in canoes.

Shebandowan is forty-five miles from Lake Superior, about 800 feet higher, and near the summit or watershed of the district. At 10.30 A. M., we started for that point, the Chief and the Doctor in a buggy, the others in a light waggon. Drove in three hours to "fifteen-mile shanty" through a rolling country with a steady upward incline, lightly wooded for the first half and more heavily for the latter half of the distance. The flora is much the same as in our Eastern Provinces; the soil light, with a surface covering of peaty or sandy loam, and a subsoil of clay, fairly fertile and capable of being easily cleared. The vegetation is varied, wild fruits being especially abundant,—raspberries, currants, gooseberries, and tomatoes; flowers like the convolvulus, roses, a great profusion of asters, wild kallas, water-lilies on the ponds, wild chives on the rocks in the streams, and generally a rich vegetation. It is a good country for emigrants of the farmer class. The road, too, is first rate, a great point for the settler; and a market is near. Whatever a settler raises he can easily transport to the ready market that there always is near mines. Miners are not particular about their lodging, but good food and plenty of it they must have.

At the "fifteen-mile shanty," we stopped for an hour and a half to feed the horses, and to dine. A Scotchman from Alloa, Robert Bowie, was "boss of the shanty," and gave us the best dinner we had eaten since leaving Toronto;—broth, beaf-steak, bread, and tea. The bread, light and sweet as Paris rolls, was baked in Dutch ovens, buried in the hot embers of a huge fire outside, near the door, and Robert accepted the shower of compliments on its quality with the canny admission that there were "waur bakers in the warld than himsel'."

We walked on for the next three or four miles till the waggon overtook us. The soil became richer, the timber heavier, and the whole vegetation more luxuriant. Six miles from the fifteen-mile shanty we crossed the Kaministiquia—a broad and rapid river,—which, at this point, is, by its own course, forty-five miles distant from where it falls into Lake Superior. The valley of the river is acknowledged to be a splendid farming country. A squatter, who had pitched camp at the bridge end last year, on his way to Red River, and had remained instead of going on because everything was so favourable, came up to have a talk with us, and to grumble, like a true Briton, that the Government wasn't doing more for him. Timothy was growing to the height of four and five feet, on every vacant spot, from chance seeds. A bushel and a-half of barley, which seemed to be all that he had sown, was looking as if it could take the prize at an Ontario Exhibition.

The soil, for the next five miles, was covered luxuriantly with the vetch, or wild pea. The road led to the Matawan,—a stream that runs out of Lake Shebandowan into the Kami-nistiquia. Both rivers are crossed by capital bridges. The station at the Matawan was in charge of a Mr. Aitken and his family, from Glengarry. He had arrived exactly two months ago, on the 22nd of May, and he had now oats and barley up, potatoes in blossom, turnips, lettuce, parsnips, cucumbers, etc., all looking healthy, and all growing on land that, sixty days before, had been in part covered with undergrowth, stumps, and tall trees, through which fires had run the year previous. Mr. Aitken was in love with the country, and, what 'was of more consequence, so was Mrs. Aitken, though she confessed to a longing for some "neighbours." They intended to make it their future home, and said that they had never seen land so well suited for farming. Everything was prospering with them. The very hens seemed to do better here than elsewhere. One was pointed out with a brood of twenty strong healthy chickens around her; Guinea hens and turkeys looked thriving.

Everything about this part of country, so far, has astonished us. Our former ideas concerning it had been that it was a barren desert; that there was only a horse trail, and not always that, to travel by; that the mosquitoes were as big as grasshoppers, and bit through everything. Whereas, it is a fair and fertile land, undulating from the intervales of the rivers up to hills and rocks eight hundred feet high. The road through it is good enough for a king's highway, and the mosquitoes are not more vicious than in the woods and by the streams of the Lower Provinces; yet this fine land is wholly untaken up. Not half a dozen settlers are on the road for the first twenty-six miles; and for the next twenty, not half that number. How many cottars, small farmers, and, plough boys in Britain, would rejoice to know that they could get a hundred acres of such land for one dollar an acre, money down; or at twenty cents per acre after five years settlement on it! They could settle along the high road, take their produce to a good market, and be independent landholders in five years. This was the information about the price of land that the settlers gave us. Why "free" grants are not offered, as in other parts of Ontario or in Manitoba, it is impossible to say.

From the Matawan to Shebandowan lake was the next stage, twenty miles long. We passed over most of it in the dark, but could see, from the poor timber and other indications, that the latter half was not at all as good as the first. The road was heavy, varying between corduroy, deep sand, and rutty and rooty stretches, over which the waggon jolted frightfully. Though the colonel beguiled the way with many a story of the wars, all were tired and ready for bed by the time the Lake was reached.

So passed the first day of our expedition, for we counted that the journey only began at Thunder Bay. We had been twelve hours on the road; but, as the day had been cool and showery, did we not feel over-fatigued on arriving at Shebandowan. An old-countryman, Morris, was in charge of the shanty. He had given up his kitchen to half a dozen emigrants who were going on in the morning to Red River, and had reserved beds for us in little nooks upstairs.

July 23rd.—Rose at sunrise, and found, much to our disgust, that the baggage waggon had not arrived. An hour after, however, it came in, and, along with it, two young gentlemen, M.... and L.... with a canoe and Indians on their way to Red River. They were travelling for pleasure, and, as they had been on the road all night, and were tired, seedy and, mosquito-bitten, they represented very fairly, in their own persons, the Anglo-Saxon idea of pleasure.

At Shebandowan all our luggage was now gathered on the wharf, to be stowed in the canoes which were to carry us westerly for the next three hundred and eighty miles, along the chain of lakes. The Chief looked hard at the united heap, and then proposed that Morris should take charge or possession of all that could be dispensed with; and that, before we left Fort Garry, only a certain number of pounds-weight should be allowed to each. Much luggage is a nuisance, even where there are railways, especially if extra weight has to be paid for; but it is simply intolerable where frequent portages intervene, over which everything has to be carried on men's backs. Morris made no objection to the Chief's proposal, and it was carried nem. con.

At 8 A. M., the baggage having been stowed in the canoes, the Indians paddled out, and hooked on to a little steam tug, kept on the lake for towing purposes : a line was formed, the word given, and, after a few preliminary puffings, the start was made and we proceeded along the lake. The mode of locomotion was, to us, altogether new, and as charming as it was picturesque. The tug led the way at the rate of seven knots, towing, first a large barge with immigrants, second a five-fathom canoe with three of our party and seven Indians, third a four-fathom canoe with two of us and six Indians, fourth same as number three, fifth M.... and L... .'s canoe. We glided along with a delightful motion, sitting on our baggage in the bottoms of the canoes. The morning was dull and grey, and the shores of the lake looked sterile and fire-swept, with abundant indications of mineral wealth. Gold and silver have been found at Shebandowan, and prospecting parties are now searching all accessible spots.

Our Indians were Iroquois, from Caughnawaga, near Montreal, and a few native Ojibbeways. Their leader was Ignace Mentour, who had been Sir George Simpson's guide for fifteen years; and the steersman of his canoe was Louis, who had been cook to Sir George on his expeditions, and looked every inch the butler of a respectable English family; we fell in love with him and Ignace from the first; another of the Iroquois had been one of the party which sought for Franklin by going down the McKenzie River to the Arctic Sea. Two old pupils of Ignace, named respectively Baptiste and Toma, were the captains of the two smaller canoes; they were all sinewy, active, good looking men. Ignace's hair was grey, but he was still as strong as any of the young men; he paddled in the bow of the big canoe, leading the way, and quietly chewed tobacco the whole time. In his young days he had been a famous runner, and had won foot races in every town on both sides of the St. Lawrence. These Iroquois, and most of the Ojibbeways we have met, are men above the medium size, broad shouldered, with straight features, intelligent faces, and graceful, because natural, bearing.

At the west end of the lake we came to a camp of seventy or eighty Ojibbeways—two-thirds of them children;—they had been there for three weeks, of course doing nothing for a living; more were expected, and, when all would have assembled, a grand pow-wow would be held, at which a Treaty was to be made between them and the Indian Commissioner of the Dominion, by which they were to cede, for a consideration, all their rights to the land, that would hinder settlers from coming in. Poor creatures! not much use have they ever made on the land; but yet, in admitting the settler, they sign their own death warrants. Who, but they, have a right to the country; and if a man may do what he likes with his own," would they not be justified in refusing to admit one of us to their lakes and woods, and fighting us to the death on that issue ? But it is too late to argue the question; the red man, with his virtues and his vices,—lauded by some as so dignified, abused by others as so dirty—is being civilised off the ground. In the United States they have, as a rule, dealt with him more summarily than in British America, but it comes to pretty much the same in the end, whether he is "improved off," or shot down at once as a nuisance. His wild, wandering life is inconsistent with modern requirements : these vast regions were surely meant to maintain more than a few thousand Ojibbeways.

Three hours steaming brought our flotilla to the west end of the lake. A portage of three quarters of a mile intervenes between it and Lake Kashaboiwe. The Indians emptied the canoes in a trice; two shouldered a canoe, weighing probably three hundred pounds, and made off at a rapid trot across the portage. The others loaded the waggon of the station with the luggage, and carried on their backs, by a strap passed over their foreheads, what the waggon could not take. This portage-strap is three or four inches broad in the middle, where it is adjusted to the forehead : its great advantage to the voyageur is that it leaves him the free use of his arms in going through the woods. A tug had been placed on Kashaboiwe, but, as the machinery was out of gear, the Indians paddled over the lake, doing the ten miles of its length in two hours. The wood on this lake is heavier than on Shebandowan: poplars, white birch, red, white and scrub pine, all shew well. The second portage is between Kashaboiwe and Lac des Mille Lacs, and is. called "Height of Land," as the water here begins to run north and west instead of east and south. The lakes, after this, empty at their west ends At the east end of Lac des Mille Lacs, a little stream three yards wide, that flows in a tortuous channel with gentle current into the lake, eventually finds its way to Hudson's Bay. The "Height of Land" is about a thousand feet above Lake Superior.

We now entered a lovely lake, twenty-two miles long; its name explains its characteristic. As the steam launch, stationed on it, happened, unfortunately, to be at the west end, the Indians again paddled the canoes for about four miles, when we met the launch coming back; it at once turned about and took us in tow. After a smart shower the sky cleared, and the sun shone on innumerable bays, creeks, channels, headlands and islets, which are simply larger or smaller rocks of granite covered with moss and wooded to the water's brink. Through these labyrinths we threaded our way, often wondering that the wrong passage was never taken, where there were so many exactly alike. Fortunately, the fire-demon has not devasted these shores. The timber, in some places, is heavy; pine, aspen, and birch being the prevailing varieties. Every islet in the lake is wooded down to the water's edge. Our Botanist, though finding few new species, exulted in his holiday and looked forward, with eager hope, to the flora of the plains. "This expedition," he said, "is going to give me a lift that will put me at the head of the whole brigade;" but, as we drew near our third portage for the day, his face clouded. "Look at the ground, burnt again." One asked if it was the great waste of wood he referred to. "It's not that, but, they have burned the very spot for botanizing over." What is a site for shanty and clearing, compared to Botany ! At the end of Lac des Mille Lacs is Baril Portage, less than a quarter of a mile long. M------and L------resolved to camp here, as they had had no sleep the previous night and their Indians were tired; but, though the sun was only an hour high, we resolved to complete our programme, by doing the next lake, Baril. No steamer has been put on this lake; but the Indians paddled over its eight miles of length in an hour and forty minutes. The bluffs around Baril are bolder than those rising from the previous lakes, and the vegetation very similar. We hurried over the next portage, and, at the other end met the station-keeper, who had a comfortable tent pitched for the emigrants, strewn with fragrant pine and spruce branches.

It was impossible to avoid admiring the activity and cheerfulness with which our Indians worked. Their canoes were attended to, as well as the baggage, in half the time that ordinary servants would have taken. They would carry as heavy a load as a Constantinople porter, at a rapid trot across the portage, run back for another load without a minute's halt, and so on till all the luggage was portaged, and everything in readiness for starting on the next lake.

A fire was quickly kindled, and search made for the eatables, blankets and everything needed for the night, when, the discovery was made that, though the colonel had his blankets and the botanist his pair, a big package with the main supply had been left behind, very probably as far back as the "Height of Land." The frizzling of the ham in the frying pan, and the delicious fragrance of the tea, made us forget the loss for the time. We all sat around the fire, gipsy-like, enjoying our first gipsy meal, and very soon after threw ourselves down on the water-proof, that covered the sweet-smelling floor of the tent, and slept the sleep of the just.

July 20th.—The Chief awoke us in the grey misty dawn. It took more than a little shaking to awaken the boys; but the botanist had gone off, no one knew when, in search of new species. As we emerged from our tent, Louis and Baptiste appeared from theirs, and kindled the fire. They next unrolled a lump of scented soap, brush and comb; went down to the stream, washed and made their toilettes, and then set to work to prepare for breakfast, ham, beefsteak, bread and tea. It never seemed to occur to our Ojibbeways to wash, crop, or dress their hair. They let it grow, at its own sweet will, all around their faces and down their necks, lank, straight and stiff, helping the growth with fish oil; whereas, every one of the Iroquois had "a good head of hair," thick, well cropped, and, though always black, quite like the hair of a civilized man instead of a savage. Our Ojibbeways had silver rings on their fingers, broad gaudy sashes and bedraggled feathers bound round their felt hats. The Iroquois dressed as simply and neatly as " blue jackets."

It had been chilly through the night, and the cold mist clung heavily to the ground in the morning. The air is colder than the water from evening till morning. Hence the evening and morning mists, which disappear an hour or two after sunrise, rise and form into clouds, which, sooner or later, empty themselves back again on the land or lakes.

After breakfast we embarked on the mist-covered river that runs into Lake Windegoostigwan. The sun soon cleared away the mists and we glided on pleasantly, down long reaches of lake, and through narrow, winding, reedy passages, past curved shores, hidden by rank vegetation, and naked bluffs and islets covered with clumps of pines. Not a word fell from the Indians' lips, as they paddled with all the ease and regularity of machinery. The air was delightful, and all felt as if out on a holiday. In three hours the fifteen miles of Windegoostigwan were crossed, and we came to a portage nearly two miles long. This detained us three hours, as the waggon had to make two trips from lake to lake, over a new road, with our luggage.

A man from Glengarry, Ontario, was in charge of the portage; he had lived here all winter, and said that he far preferred the winter weather to that of the Eastern Provinces. Great as is the summer rain-fall, it is quite difterent in winter; then the days are clear and cloudless, and so sunny and pleasant that he was accustomed to go about in his summer clothing, except in the mornings and evenings. Three feet of snow fell in the woods after Christmas, and continued dry and powdery till April, when it commenced to melt, and soon after the middle of May it was all gone, and vegetation began to show itself at once.
At the west end of the portage is a small encampment of Ojibbeways, around the wigwam of Blackstone, said to be their most eloquent chief, and accordingly set down as " a great rascal " by those who cannot conceive of Indians as having rights, or tribal or patriotic feelings. He was absent, but we saw one of his three wives sitting on a log, with two or three papooses hanging round her neck, and his oldest son, a stout young fellow, who could not speak a word of English or French, but who managed to let us know that he was sick. The Doctor was called, and he made out that the lad had a pain in his back, but, not being able to diagnose more particularly, was at a loss what to do for him. Our Chief suggested a bit of tobacco, but the Doctor took no notice of the profane proposal; luckily enough, or the whole tribe would have been sick when the next " Medicine-man" passed their way. Blackstone's wife was not more comely than any of the other Indian women; that is, she was dirty, joyless-looking and prematurely old. All the hard work fills to the lot of the women: the husband hunts, fishes, paddles, or does any other work that a "gentleman" feels he cm do without degradation; his wife is something better than his dog, and faithfully will he share with her his last morsel; but it's only a dog's life that she has.

Our next lake was Kaogassikok, sixteen miles long. The shores of this, too, were lined with good-sized pine, white, red, and scrub. To-day more larch and cedar shewed among the birch and pine than yesterday. When the country is opened up, all this timber will be very valuable, as sleepers and ties for the Pacific Railway, and lumber, for building purposes, can be obtained here in abundance, if nowhere nearer the plains. The trees can be cut down at the water's edge, rafted, and sent by water to Winnipeg. Numbers of fine trees are now growing in the water; for, by damming up the outflow of the lakes to make the landing places, the water level has been raised and the shore trees have thus been submerged several feet. They will rot in consequence, and fall into the lakes sooner or later and perhaps obstruct the narrow channels. The timber gets heavier as we go on; at the west of Kaogassikok are scrub pines, three feet in diameter; bat, unfortunately, about one-third of them are punky or hollow. Here are two portages, Pine and Deux Rivières, separated by only two miles of water; consequently much detention owing to our magnificent quantities of baggage. Two Indians, suffering from dysentery, applied for relief at Pine Portage, and received it at the hands of the Doctor: he has already had about a dozen "cases," either of white or red men, since we left Owen Sound. The first two were at Nepigon, one the engineer, and the other a dying man, carried on board the steamer there, to be taken home, and who was also kindly ministered to by the captain and one or two of the lady passengers. Oar party have, thus far, received little at the Doctor's hands, sundry "medical comforts" always excepted.

After paddling over four miles of the next lake the Indians advised camping, though the sun was more than an hour high. As we had experienced the discomforts of camping in the dark the night before, and as the men were evidently tired, we landed and pitched the tents on a rocky promontory at the foot of a wooded hill. Scarcely were our fires lighted, when M____'s canoe came up, and then another with a stray Indian, his wife, papooses, dog—that looked half wolf—and all their traps.

After a good swim, we sat down to our evening meal, which Louis has spread on a clean table-cloth on the sward. In front of us was the smooth lake; on the other side of it, two miles off, the sun was going down in the woods. The country ahead broke into knolls, looking in many parts like cultivated parks; around us the white tents and the ruddy fires, with Indians flitting between, or busy about the canoes, gave animation to the scene and made up a picture that will long live in the memory of many of us.

The Indians never halt without, at once, turning their canoes upside down, and examining them. The seams and crevices in the birch bark yield at any extra strain, and scratches are made by submerged brushwood in some of the channels or the shallow parts of the lakes. These crevices they carefully daub over with resin, which is obtained from the red pine, till the bottom of an old canoe becomes almost covered with a black resinous coat.

The stray Indian pitched camp an hundred yards off from us; and, with true Indian dignity, did not come near to ask for anything, though quite equal to take anything that was offered or left behind.

July 25th.—Up before four A. M., and, after a cup of hot tea, started in excellent spirits. Our three canoes had tried a race the night before, over the last four miles of the day's journey, and they renewed it this morning. The best crew was in the five-fathom boat, of which Ignace was captain and Louis steersman. The captains of the other two, Baptiste and Toma, pushed their old master hard to-day; as one or the other stole ahead, not a glance did Ignace give to either. Doggedly, and with averted head, he dug his paddle deeper in the water and pegged away with his sure steady stroke, and though the others, by spurting, forced themselves half-a-canoe-length ahead at times, they had not the stay of the older men, and every race ended with Ignace leading. Then he would look up and with sunshine on his broad, handsome face throw a good humoured joke back, which the others would catch up with great glee.

These races often broke the monotony of the day. "Up, up," or "hi, hi," would break suddenly from one of the canoes that had fallen behind. Everyone answered with quickened stroke that sent it abreast of the others. Then came the tug of war. The graceful, gondola-shaped canoes cut through the water as though impelled by steam. The Buffalo, or Ignace's canoe,—so called from the figure of an Indian with a gun, standing before a buffalo, that he had painted on the bow—always led at the first; but often the Sun, Baptiste's lighter craft, would shoot ahead, and sometimes Toma's, the Beaver, under the frantic efforts of her crew, seconded by one or two of us snatching up a paddle, would lead for a few minutes. The chivalry of our Indians, in the heat of the contests, contrasted favourably with that of "professionals," no "foul" ever took place, though the course often lay through narrow, winding, reedy, channels. Once, when Baptiste at such a place might have forced ahead by a spurt, he slacked speed gracefully, let Ignace take the curve and win. Another time> when neck and neck, he saw a heavy line dragging at the stern and called Louis' attention to it. No one ever charged the other with being unfair and no angry word was ever heard; in fact, the Indians grow on us day by day. It is easy to understand how an Englishman, travelling for weeks together with an Indian guide, so often contracts a strong friendship for him; for the Indian qualities of patience, endurance, dignity and self-control, are the very ones to evoke friendship.

The sun rose bright but was soon clouded. Ten good miles were made and then the halt called for breakfast, at a beautiful headland, just as it commenced to rain. Now we got some idea of what a rainy day in these regions means. After breakfast we put on our water-proofs, covered up our baggage and moved ahead, under a deluge of rain that knew no intermission for four hours. Most of the water-proofs proved to be delusions; they had not been made for these latitudes. The canoes would have filled, had we not kept bailing, but, without a word of complaint, the Indians stick to their paddles.

From the lake we passed into the Maligne River, and there the current aided us. In this short, but broad and rapid stream, are six or seven rapids, which must be "shot" or portaged round; we preferred the "shooting" wherever it was practicable for such large and deeply-laden canoes as ours.

To shoot rapids in a canoe is a pleasure that comparatively-few Englishmen have ever enjoyed, and no picture can give an idea of what it is. There is a fascination in the motion, as of poetry or music, which must be experienced to be understood: the excitement is greater than when on board a steamer, because you are so much nearer the seething water, and the canoe seems such a fragile thing to contend with the mad forces, into the very thick of which it has to be steered. Where the stream begins to descend, the water is an inclined plane, smooth as a billiard table; beyond, it breaks into curling, gleaming rolls which end off in white, boiling caldrons, where the water has broken on the rocks beneath. On the brink of the inclined plane, the canoe seems to pause for an instant. The captain is at the bow,—a broader, stronger paddle than usual in his hand— his eye kindling with enthusiasm, and every nerve and fibre in his body at its utmost tension. The steersman is at his post, and every man is ready. They know that a false stroke, or too. weak a turn of the captain's wrist, at the critical moment, means death. A push with the paddles, and, straight and swift as an arrow, the canoe shoots right down into the mad vortex; now into a cross current that would twist her broadside round, but that every man fights against it; then she steers right for a rock, to which she is being resistlessly sucked, and on which it seems as if she would be dashed to pieces; but a rapid turn of the captain's paddle at the right moment, and she rushes past the black mass, riding gallantly as a race horse. The waves boil up at the side threatening to engulf her, but, except a dash of spray or the cap of a wave, nothing gets in, and, as she speeds into the calm reach beyond, all draw long breaths and hope that another rapid is near.

At eleven o'clock we reached Island Portage, having paddled thirty-two miles,—the best forenoon's work since taking to the canoes—in spite of the weather. Here a steam launch is stationed; and, though the engineer thought it a frightful day to travel in, he got ready at our request, but said that he could not go four miles an hour as the rain would keep the boiler wet the whole time. We dined with M------'s party, under the shelter of their upturned canoe, on tea and the fattest of fat pork, which all ate with delight unspeakable, for there was the right kind of sauce. The day, and our soaked condition, suggested a little brandy as a specific; but their bottle was exhausted, and, an hour before, they had passed round the cork for each to have a "smell" at, in lieu of a "drain." Such a case of "potatoes and point" moved our pity, and the chief did what he could for them. The Indians excited our admiration;—soaked through, and over-worked as they had been, the only word that we heard, indicating that they were conscious of anything unusual, was an exclamation from Baptiste, as he gave himself a shake,—"Boys, wish I was in a tavern now, I'd get drunk in less than tree hours, I guess."

At two o'clock, the steam launch was ready, and, about the same time, the sky cleared a little; a favorable wind, too, sprang up, and, though there were (lowers or heavy mists all the time, the launch towed us the twenty-four miles of Lake Nequaquon in three and a quarter hours. The scenery was often very fine, but being of the same kind as that for more than a hundred miles back, it began to be monotonous, and we craved for a few mountains.

Next came Loon portage; then paddling for five miles; then Mud portage, worthy of its name; another short paddle; and then American portage, at which we camped for the night— the sun having at last come out and this being the best place for pitching tents and the freest from mosquitoes. Tired enougli all hands were, and ready for sleep, for these portages are killing work. After taking a swim, we rigged lines before huge fires, and hung up our wet things to dry, so that it was eleven o'clock before anyone could lie down. " Our wet things," with some, mean all. The doctor and the secretary had stowed theirs in water-proof bags, kindly lent them by the Colonel; but, alas, the bags proved as fallacious as our " water-proofs !" Part of the Botanist's valise was reduced to pulp, but he was too eager in search of specimens to think of such a trifle, and, while all the rest of us were busy washing and hanging out to dry, he hunted through woods and marshes, and, though he got little for his pains, was happy as a king.
Our camping ground had been selected by the Indians with their usual good taste. A rocky eminence, round two sides of which a river poured in a roaring linn; on the hill sombre pines, underneath which the tents were pitched; and lower down a forest of white birch. More than one of the party dreamed that he was in Scotland, as he was lulled to sleep by the thunder of the waterfall.

July 26th.—Up again about three, A. M., and off within an hour, down a sedgy river, with low swampy shores, into Lake Nameukan. The sun rose bright, and continued to shine all day; but a pleasant breeze tempered its rays. At mid-day, the thermometer stood at 80° in the shade, the hottest since leaving Owen Sound. One day on Lake Superior it was down to 48°, and the average at mid-day since we landed at Thunder Bay was from 55° to 60°.

After twelve miles paddling, halted at a pretty spot on an islet for breakfast. Frank caught a large pickerel and M------shot a few pigeons, giving us a variety of courses at dinner. M------'s Indians tried a race with us to-day, and after a hard struggle, got ahead of Toma and Baptiste, but Ignace proudly held his own and wouldn't be beaten. However, among the many turns of the river, Toma, followed by Baptiste, circumvented their old master, by dashing through a passage overgrown with weeds and reeds instead of taking the usual channel. When Ignace turned the corner he saw the two young fellows coolly waiting for him a hundred and fifty yards ahead. They gave a sly laugh as he came up, but Ignace was too dignified to take the slightest notice; Baptiste was so pleased that he sang us two Iroquois canoe songs.

Eighteen miles, broken by two short portages, (for we took a short cut instead of the public route), brought us about mid-day to Rainy Lake; here we were told, but, as it turned out, incorrectly, was the last steam launch that could be used on our journey, as the two on Rainy River and Lake of the Woods had something wrong with them.

The engineer promised to be ready in two hours, and to land us at Fort Francis, at the west end of Rainy Lake, forty-five miles on, by sundown. But in half an hour the prospect did not look so bright, as, across the portage, by the public route, came a band of eighteen emigrants, men, women and children, who had left Thunder Bay five days before us, and whom we had passed this forenoon, when we took our short cut. They had a great deal of baggage, and were terribly tired. One old woman, eighty-five years of age, complained of being sick, and the doctor attended to her. As we had soup for dinner, he sent some over to her, and the prescription had a good effect. While waiting here we took our half dried clothes out of the bags, and, by hanging them on lines under the warm sun, got them pretty well dried before starting.

At three, P. M., at the cry of "All aboard," our flotilla formed at once,—the steam launch towing two large barges with the emigrants and their luggage, and the four canoes. The afternoon was warm and sunny, and there was a pleasant breeze on the Lake. In half an hour every Indian was asleep in the bottom of his canoe.

The shores of Rainy Lake are low, especially on the northern side, and the timber is small; the shores rocky, with here and there sandy beaches that have formed round little bays; scenery tame and monotonous, though the islets, in some parts, are numerous and beautiful.

By nine o'clock, we had made only thirty miles. Our steamer was small, the flotilla stretched out far and the wind was ahead. We therefore determined to camp; and, by the advice of the engineer, steered for the north shore to what is called the Fifteen Mile House from Fort Francis, said house being two deserted log huts. In a little bay here, on the sandy beach, we pitched our tents and made rousing fires, though the air was warm and balmy, as if we were getting into a more southern region. The botanist, learning that we would leave before daybreak, lighted an old pine branch and roamed about with his torch to investigate the flora of the place. The others visited the emigrants to whom the log-huts had been assigned, or sat round the fires smoking, or gathered bracken and fragrant artemisia for our beds.

July 27th.—Had our breakfast before four A. M., and in less than half an hour after, were en route for Fort Francis. Two miles above the Fort the Lake ends and pours itself into Rainy River, over a rapid which the emigrant's barges had not oars to shoot. They were cast off, and we went on to the Fort and sent men up to bring them down. The Fort is simply a Hudson's Bay Company's trading post;—the shop and the cottages of the agent and employees in the form of a square, surrounded by stockades about ten feet high. From the Fort is a beautiful view of the Chaudière Falls which have to be portaged round. These are formed by the river, here nearly two hundred yards wide, pouring over a granite ridge in magnificent roaring cascades. A sandy plain of several acres, covered with rich grass, extends around the Fort, and wheat, barley, and potatoes are raised; but, beyond this plain, is marsh and then rock. A few fine cattle, in splendid condition, were grazing upon the level. On the potato leaves we found the " Colorado Bug," that frightful pest which seems to be moving further east every year.

Half a dozen wigwams were tenanted in the vicinity of the Fort, and there were scores of roofless poles, where, a fortnight ago, had been high feasting for a few days. A thousand or twelve hundred Ojibbeways had assembled to confer with Mr. Simpson, the Dominion Indian Commissioner, as to the terms on which they would allow free passage through, and settlement in, the country. No agreement had been come to, as their terms were considered extravagant.

Justice, both to the Indians and to the emigrants who are invited to make their home in this newly opened country, demands that a settlement of the difficulty be made as soon as possible. It may be, and very probably is, true that some of them are vain, lazy, dirty, and improvident. The few about Fort Francis did not impress us favourably. They contrasted strikingly with our noble Iroquois. The men were lounging about, lolling in their wigwams, playing cards in the shade, or lying on their faces in the sun; and, though not one of them was doing a hand's turn, it was a matter of some difficulty to get four or five to go with us to the North-west Angle, to replace those who had come from Shebandowan and whose engagement ended here. There were some attempts at tawdry finery about them all. The men wore their hair plaited into two or more long queues, which, when rolled up on the head, looked well enough, but which usually hung down the sides of the face, giving them an effeminate look, and all the more so because bits of silver or brass were twisted in or ringed round with the plaits. One young fellow that consented to paddle, had long streamers of bright ribbon flying from his felt hat. Another poor looking creature had his face streaked over with red ochre—of course to show how brave and blood-thirsty he was. Some wore blankets, folded loosely and gracefully about them, instead of coats and trousers; but one thing we remarked was that every one of them had some good clothes; the construction of the road being the cause of this, for all who wish can get employment in one way or another in connection with it. At Fort Francis the hulls of two steamers, to be over a hundred feet in length, for use on Rainy river and Lake of the Woods, are now being built; and Indians who cannot work at bringing in timber or at ship carpentering, can be employed as voyageurs, or to improve the portages, or to fish or hunt, or in many other ways. But whatever the benefits that have been conferred on them, or whatever their natural defects, they surely have rights to this country, though they have never divided it up into separate personal holdings. They did not do so, simply because their idea was that the land was free to all. Each tribe had its own ground, which extended over hundreds of miles, and every man had a full right to all of that as far as he could occupy it. Wherever he could walk, ride, or canoe, there the land and the water were his. If he went to the land of another tribe, the same rule held good; he might be scalped as an enemy, but he ran no risk of being punished as a trespasser.

And now a foreign race is swarming over the country, to mark out lines, to erect fences, and to say "this is mine and not yours," till not an inch shall be left the original owner. All this may be inevitable. But in the name of justice, of doing as we would be done by, of the "sacred rights" of property, is not the Indian entitled to liberal, and, if possible, permanent compensation? What makes it difficult to arrange a settlement with the Ojibbeways is, that they have no chiefs who are authorized to treat for them. This results from their scattered and dispersed state as a nation. The country they live in is poorly supplied with game, and produces but little of itself, and the Indian does not farm. It is thus impossible for them to live in large bodies. They wander in groups and families from place to place, often suffering the extreme of hunger, and sometimes starved outright. Each group has generally one or more men of greater moral or physical power than the rest, and these are its chiefs, chiefs who have no hereditary rank, who have never been formally elected, and who are quietly deposed when greater men than they rise up. Their influence is indirect, undefined, wholly personal, and confined to the particular group they live with. They can scarcely speak for the group, and not at all for the nation. When anything has to be done for the nation as a whole, there is then no other way but for the nation to meet en masse. Even then they elect no representative men, unless specially requested. Those of greatest age, eloquence, or personal weight, speak for the others; but decisions can be come to only by the crowd. Of course they could not have existed, thus loosely bound together, had they lived in large bodies, or been pressed by powerful enemies. But they are merely families and groups, and their lands have no special attraction for other Indian tribes. Neither can they be formidable as enemies to settlers on this same account, should the worst come to the worst; but their feebleness makes it the more incumbent on the Government of a Christian people to treat them not only justly but generously. After breakfast we resolved to paddle down the river, till overtaken by the steam launch with the emigrants. The day was very warm; when we landed, about twelve miles on, to dine, the thermometer stood at 87° in the shade. Our secretary left the thermometer at this halt, hanging on the shady side of a tree; but, fortunately, the Chief was able to produce another from the bag.

Rainy River is broad and beautiful; and flows with an easy current through a low-lying and evidently fertile country. For the first twenty-five miles, twenty or thirty feet above the present beach or intervale, rises, in terrace form, another, evidently the old shore of the river, which extends far back, like a prairie. The richness of the soil is evident, from the luxuriance and variety of the wild flowers. Much of the land could be cleared almost as easily as the prairie; other parts are covered with trees, pines, elms, maples, but chiefly aspens.

Thirty-five miles from Fort Francis we ran the Manitou rapids and, five miles further on, the Sault, neither of them formidable. A moderately powerful steamer could easily run up as well as shoot them. Beyond the Sault we landed to take in wood for the tug, and tea for ourselves. The Botanist came up to us in a few minutes with wild pea and vetch vines eight feet high, which grew so thickly, not far off, that it was almost impossible to pass through them. The land is a heavy loam,—once the bed of the river,—and is called "Muskeg" here, though, as that is the name usually given to ancient peat-bogs or tamarack swamps abounding in springs, it is not very appropriate. The time will come when every acre of these banks of Rainy river will be waving with grain, or producing rich heavy grass, for countless herds of cattle.

It was now sunset, and the captain of the tug said that it would take six hours yet to reach "Hungry Hall." We resolved, in accordance with our programme, to go on; but the Colonel preferred to camp and, perhaps, overtake us next day. So it was decided, but the Iroquois did not like the arrangement at all, as it was a break-up of their party; Louis tried to get with us by exchanging places with Baptiste, but Baptiste couldn't see it. We were sorry to part with Ignace and Louis, even for twenty-four hours, and perhaps altogether; but as the night was pleasant, and we wished to rest the next day, and stick to our programme on all occasions if possible, we had to say "good-ye." M------'s party came with us, and so did the barges with the emigrants.

On we swept, down the broad, pleasant river, with its long reaches, beautiful at night as they had been in the bright sunshine. At times a high wall of luxuriant wood rose on each side, and stretched far ahead in curves that looked, in the gloaming, like cultivated parks. Occasionally an islet divided the river; and, at such places, a small Indian camp was usually pitched. Of the seventy-five miles of Rainy River, down which we sailed to-day, every mile seemed well adapted for cultivation and the dwellings of men. At eleven o'clock the moon rose; at half-past twelve we reached Hungry Hall, a post of the H. B. Company and a village of wigwams, out of which all the natives rushed, some of them clothed scantily and others less than scantily, to greet the new comers, with "Ho! Ho!" or "B'jou, B'jou." Baptiste urged us not to stop here, as the Indians of the place were such thieves that they would " steal the socks off us," and spoke of good camping ground a mile and a half further on. We took his advice, after getting a supply of flour, pork, and tea from the store, and, after asking the captain of the steamer to delay starting on the morrow as long as he possibly could, paddled ahead. We soon reached Baptiste's point, pitched our tents over luxuriant masses of wild flowers heavy with dew, and, in a few minutes, were all sound asleep.

July 28th.—This morning, for the first time since leaving Lake Superior, we enjoyed the luxury of a long sleep, and the still greater luxury of an hour's dozing, that condition between sleeping and waking in which you are just enough awake to know that you are not asleep. There was no hurry to-day, it was the day of rest; and we hoped that the steamer wouldn't come till the afternoon or the morrow.

At 8.30 A. M., as breakfast was getting ready, a distinguished visitor appeared, an old stately looking Indian, a chief, we were informed, and the father of Blackstone. He came with only one attendant; but two or three canoes made their appearance about the same time, with other Indians, squaws, and papooses who squatted in groups on the banks at respectful distances. The old Indian came up with a "B'jou, B'jou,'' shook hands all round, and then drawing himself up,—knife in one hand, big pipe in the other, the emblems of war and peace—commenced a long harangue. We didn't understand a word; but one of the men roughly interpreted, and the speaker's gestures were so expressive that the drift of his meaning could be easily followed Pointing, with outstretched arms, north, south, east and west, he told us that all the land had been his people's, and that he now, in their name, asked for some return for our passage through it. The aim of all the eloquence was simply a breakfast; but the bearing and speech were those of a born orator. He had good straight features, a large Roman nose, square chin, and, as he stood over six feet in his moccasins, his presence was most commanding. One great secret of impressive gesticulation—the free play of the arm from the shoulder, instead of the cramped motion from the elbow—he certainly knew. It was astonishing with what dignity and force, long, rolling, musical sentences poured from the lips of one who would be carelessly classed by most people as a Savage, to whose views no regard should be paid. When ended, he took a seat on a hillock with the dignity natural to every real Indian, and began to smoke in perfect silence. He had said his say, and it was our turn now. Without answering his speech, which we could only have done in a style far inferior to his, the Chief proposed that he should have some breakfast. To show due respect to so great an O-ghe-mah, a newspaper was spread before him as a table-cloth, and a plate of fried pork placed on it, with a huge "slapjack" or thick pancake made of flour and fat, one-sixth of which was as much as any white man's stomach could digest. A large pannikin of tea, a beverage the Indians are immoderately fond of, was also brought, and, by signs, he was invited to "fall to." For some moments he made no movement, either from offended pride or expectation that we would join him, or, more likely, only to show a gentlemanly indifference to the food. But the fat pork and the fragrant tea were irresistible. Many a great man's dignity has been overcome by less. After he had eaten about half, he summoned his attendant to sit beside him and eat, and to him, too, a pannikin of tea was brought. We then told the old man that we had heard his words; that we were travellers carrying only enough food for ourselves, but that we would bring his views to the notice of the Government, and that his tribe would certainly receive justice, as it was the desire of our Great Mother the Queen, that all her children—red as well as white—should be well cared for. He at once assented, though whether he would have done so with equal blandness had we given him no breakfast is questionable.

At 10 o'clock, the steamer came along to our great disappointment, but there was nothing for it but to 'hook on.' A few miles through long reaches of wide expanding sedge and marsh brought us to the Lake of the Woods. An unbroken sheet of water, ten miles square, called "The Traverse," is the first part of this Lake that has to be crossed; but, as a thunder storm seemed brewing behind us, the captain steered to the north behind a group of islets that fringe the shore. In half an hour an inky belt of cloud stretched over us from north to south, and, when it burst, the torrent was as if the lake had turned upside down. The storm moved with us, as in a circle, flashes of lightning coming simultaneously from opposite quarters of the heavens. First we had the wind and rain on our backs, then on the left, then in our faces, and then on the right. The captain made for a little bay in an islet near at hand, and, though the weather cleared, it looked threatening enough to make him decide to put the steamer's fire out and wait. The islet was merely a sand dune, covered with coarse grasses and small willows, though in a storm these sand hills might be mistaken for formidable rocks. As there was not enough wood on it for both parties, we gave it up to the crew and the emigrants, and paddled to another a mile ahead. This islet was of gneissoid rock and had a bold headland covered with good wood. The botanist found the ash-leaved maple, the nettle tree, and an abundance of wild flowers; twenty-four kinds that he had not seen since joining the expedition, and, of these, eight with which he was unacquainted.

Scarcely were our canoes hauled up, when the Colonel came along. His men had been so anxious to have all their party together that they had paddled steadily at their hardest for seven hours. Louis at once set to work to get dinner; and, it being Sunday, several delicacies were brought out in addition to the standing dishes of pork, biscuit, and tea. From the Colonel's stores came Mullagatawny soup, Bologna sausage, French mustard, Marmalade, and, as every one carried with him an abundant supply of the famous 'black sauce,' we had a great feast.

After dinner, all the party, except the pagan Ojibbeways, assembled for divine service. The form compiled for the surveying parties was read; the 'Veni Creator' sung in Iroquois by the Indians; and a short sermon preached. Although the Iroquois understood but few words of English, they listened most devoutly, and we listened with as much attention to their singing. To hear those children of the forest, on a lonely isle in a lake that Indian tradition says is ever haunted by their old deities, chanting the hymn that for centuries has been sung at the great Councils and in the high Cathedrals of Christendom, moved us deeply.

After tea, candles were lit in the tents, as this evening we were not too tired to read. Our candlestick was a simple and effective Indian contrivance. A stick of any length you desired was slit at the top and then stuck in the ground. A bit of birch-bark or paper was doubled; in the fold the candle was placed, and the ends were then inserted in the slit. The stick thus held the ends tight, and the candle upright. We spent a quiet pleasant evening and about 10 o'clock "turned in."

July 29th.—Rose fresh and eager for the journey, and had a dip in the lake; there was a heavy sea on the traverse, and, as the little steamer was not very sea-worthy, it was doubtful if she would attempt the passage. But, while we were at breakfast, she was announced as making in our direction. Orders were at once given to take down the tents and embark the stores, but the Indians showed some reluctance to move. They said that it would be safer to trust to the paddles; that the waves in the middle of the traverse would be heavy, and that, if the canoes were forced through them, the bow or side would be broken in. We overruled their doubts, with a show of confidence, and started at 7.30 A.M.

Instead of the long single line of canoes that had been formed on previous days, they were now formed two abreast, and the connecting lines of the first two were shortened, and tied to the middle bench of the big barge which contained the emigrants' luggage. This worked admirably, as the barge broke the waves, and, in the comparatively smooth water immediately behind her, the two canoes rode easily, the five-fathom one to windward and a smaller one under her lee; close after these came the other two canoes. The passage was made safely, and the water for the rest of the day was only rippled slightly, as we took a circuitous route through innumerable islets, instead of the short and direct one over the unbroken part of the lake. The forenoon was cold and cloudy, but occasionally the sun shone cheerily out. Every one was thankful for the clouds and coolness, as they could note and enjoy the changing scenery, whereas the day before yesterday, in coming down Rainy River, they had suffered from the rays of the sun beating down fiercely, and reflected on every side from the water. To sit still in the canoes and suffer headache and drowsiness was a heavy price to pay for the pleasure of a glowing sun. The Indians, who seemed able to do without sleep, if necessary, but willing to take any quantity when they could get it, now slept soundly in the bottom of the canoes.

At mid-day we landed for dinner in a bay on a fire-swept islet. The Doctor and L------baked and fried some very superior slap-jacks, which were a welcome addition to the invariable menu of tea, pork, and biscuits. The Colonel and the boys made the circuit of the islet with their guns; but saw nothing worth shooting at except a solitary duck, which they didn't get. The Botanist was disappointed in his explorations, and took to collecting beetles as he couldn't get flowers.

Lake of the Woods has been shorn of much of its beauty by the fires which have swept over many of its islets; and, the character of its beauty being the same as that with which we had been already almost surfeited, it did not strike us as it certainly would one coming from the west. The fires have also revealed the nakedness, as far as soil is concerned, of its shores and islets which are low, hard, gneissoid rocks, covered with but poor timber even where it has been spared.

In the afternoon a favorable wind helped us on; the barge hoisted a sail, and between wind and steam we made seven or eight miles an hour. The tug stopped twice for wood; but such despatch was shown that though there was neither wharf nor platform, and the tug had to be held by boat hooks to the rocks, and at the same time kept from dashing against them, the whole thing was done at each place in ten minutes. Captain Bell's style of wooding up contrasted favorably with that of the captain of the Frances Smith.

The last eight or nine miles of the Lake, which were to be the last of our journey by water, led up a long bay to what is called the "North-west Angle," a point from which a road has been made to Fort Garry, so that travellers by this route now escape the terrible portages of the Winnipeg river and the roundabout way by Lake Winnipeg. The breeze chased us up finely, and we congratulated ourselves on having started in the morning, as the passage across "The Traverse" would have been an impossibility with the afternoon's wind. The land became lower as we sailed west. We were approaching the Eastern boundary of the great prairies, that extend to the west for the next thousand miles. A vast expanse of reeds lined both sides of the channel, and beyond these the wood looked poor and scrubby. The Indians, however, assured us that the land was good,—indeed, that it was the only lake of all that we had seen that had any land about it at all.

At sunset, the "North-west Angle," the end of this side of the Lake of the Woods, was reached. It seems that this point, though far North of the 49th degree, or the boundary line between the Dominion and the United States, is claimed by the Republic, and that their claim is sustained by an evident verbal mistake in the Treaty that defines the boundary. "North-west" has been inserted instead of "South-west." If so, it is only another instance in which the diplomatists of the Empire have been outwitted by the superior knowledge and unscrupulous-ness of our neighbours.

As we rounded out of the Bay into a little creek, the "Angle" seemed to be a place of some importance to the eyes of travellers who had not seen anything like a crowd in their last four hundred miles of travel. Fifty or sixty people, chiefly Indians, crowded about the landing place, and the babble and bustle was to us like a return to the world; but, after having satisfied themselves with a good look at us, and a joyous boisterous greeting to our Ojibbeways, whom they carried off to an Indian and half-breed "ball" in the neighborhood, we were left alone in the dirtiest, most desolate-looking, mosquito-haunted of all our camping grounds. In such circumstances it was indispensable to be jolly; so Louis was summoned and instructed to prepare for supper everything good that our stores contained. The result was a grand success, and the looks of the place improved materially.

The chief received two letters at this point; one from Governor Archibald inviting us to come direct to Government House at Fort Garry : another from the District Superintendent of the road, putting some few things of his at our disposal and also his half-breed cook. As cook had taken advantage of his master's absence to treat and be treated up to the hilarious point, his services, much to his amazement, were quietly dispensed with. At 11 o'clock we turned in under our canvas, having arranged that the waggons to take us on should be ready at 4 A.M.

July 30th.—Waked at 4.30, by the arrival of the waggons and the sound of heavy rain. Drank a cup of tea and were off in an hour on the hardest day's journey that we had yet had. It was two o'clock the following morning when we got out of the waggons for the night's rest, having travelled eighty miles in the twenty hours.

Those eighty miles, between the North-west Angle and Oak Point, were through a country monotonous and utterly uninteresting in appearance, but with resources that are sure to be developed as the country farther west is opened up. The first twenty miles are across a flat country, much of it marshy, with a dense forest of scrub pine, spruce, tamarack, and, here and there, aspens and white birch. On both sides of the road.

and in the more open parts of the country, all kinds of wild fruit grow luxuriantly; strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants, etc., etc., and, as a consequence, flocks of wild pigeons and prairie hens are numerous. The pigeons rest calmly on the branches of dead trees by the roadside, as if no shot had ever been fired in their hearing. Great difficulties must have been overcome in making this part of the road, and advantage has been skilfully taken of dry spots and ridges of gravel or sand that occur here and there, running in the same general direction as the road. All this part of road has been corduroyed and then covered over with clay and sand, or gravel, where they could be got. The land here is heavy black loam with clay underneath, just like prairie land; with the prairie so near it is not likely to be soon cultivated; but the wood on it will be in immediate demand both for railway purposes and scantling.

The next section of the country is of a totally different character. It is light and sandy, getting more and more so, every ten miles or so further west. This total change in the character of the soil afforded a rich feast to our Botanist. In the course of the day he came on two or three distinct floras; and, although not many of the species were new, and, in general features, the productions of the heavy and the light soils were similar to those of like land farther east in Ontario and the Lower Provinces, yet the luxuriance and variety were amazing. He counted over four hundred different species in this one day's ride. Great was the astonishment of our teamsters, when they saw him make a bound from his seat on the waggon to the ground, and rush to the plain, wood, or marsh. At first, they all hauled up to see what was the matter. It must be gold or silver he had found; but when he came back triumphantly waving a flower or bunch of grass, and exclaiming: "Did you ever see the like of that?" "No, I never," was the general response from every disgusted teamster. The internal cachinnation of a braw Scotch lad, from the kingdom of Fife, over the phenomenon, was so violent, that he would have exploded had he not relieved himself by occasional witticisms; "Jock," he cried to the teamster who had the honor of driving our Botanist, "tell yon man if he wants a load o' graiss, no' to fill the buggy noo, an' a'll show him a fine place where we feed the horse." But when one of us explained to the Scot that all this was done in the interests of science, and would end in something good for schools, he ceased to jibe, though he could not altogether suppress a deep hoarse rumbling far down in his throat—like that of a distant volcano,—when the Professor, as we now called him, would come back with an unusually large armful of spoil. The bonny Scot was an emigrant who had been a farm servant in Fife five years ago. He had come to the "Angle" this spring, and was getting thirty dollars a month and his board, as a common teamster. He was saving four-fifths of his wages, and intended in a few months to buy a good farm on the Red River among his countrymen, and settle down as a Laird for the rest of his life. How many ten thousands more of Scotch lads would follow his example if they only knew how easy it would be for them!

At our first station, White Birch river, thirty miles from the angle, we had a lunch of Bologna sausage, and bread baked by the keeper of the Station, a very intelligent man, a Scotchman like the rest, who had once been a soldier. He was studying hard at the Cree and Ojibbeway languages, and gave us much interesting information about the country and the Indians. He attributed the failure of Mr. Simpson, to make a treaty with the Indians at Fort Francis, in great measure to the fact that Indians from the United States had been instigated by parties interested in the Northern Pacific Railway to come across and inflame their countrymen on our side to make preposterous demands. The story does not sound improbable to those who know the extremes which Railway Kings and companies in New York, and elsewhere in the Republic, have gone in pushing their own line and doing everything per fas atque nefas to crush opposition; and the promoters of the N. P. Railroad are not in the best of humor at present because of the failure to float their bonds in London or Frankfort, and because of the promising out-look for the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is a little remarkable that the Indians all over the Dominion are anxious to make Treaties, and are easily dealt with, except in the neighbourhood of the boundary line. Mr. Simpson, in his Report dated November, 1871, states that he had no difficulty with the Indians in Manitoba Province, except near Pembina; and there he says, "I found that the Indians had either misunderstood the advice given them by parties in the settlement, well disposed towards the Treaty, or, as I have some reason to believe, had become unsettled by the representations made by persons in the vicinity of Pembina whose interests lay elsewhere than in the Province of Manitoba; for, on my announcing my readiness to pay them, they demurred at receiving their money until some further concession had been made by me."

Seventeen miles further on—at White Mud river—we dined; S------making some capital tomato-soup, and Mrs. McLeod, of the Station, giving us some blueberry jam and good bread. Had we known what was before us, some at least would have voted for remaining here all night.

The next stage was to Oak Point, thirty-three miles distant. The first half was over an abominable road, and, as we had to take on the same horses, they lagged sadly. The sun had set before we arrived at Broken Head creek, only half-way to Oak Point. Somewhere hereabouts is the eastern boundary of Manitoba, and we are not likely to forget soon the rough greeting the new Province gave us. Clouds gathered, and, as the jaded horses toiled heavily on, the rain poured down furiously and made the roads worse. It was so dark that the teamsters couldn't see the horses; and, as it unfortunately happened that neither of them had been over this part of the road before, they had to give the horses free rein to go where they pleased, and—as they were dead beat—at the rate they pleased. The black flies worried us to madness, and we were all heavy with sleep. The hours dragged miserably on, and the night seemed endless; but, at length emerging from the wooded country into the prairie, we saw the light of the station two miles ahead. Arriving there wearied and soaked through, we came to what appeared to be the only building—a half-finished store of the Hudson Bay Company;—entering the open door, barricaded with paint pots, blocks of wood, tools, etc., we climbed up a shaky ladder to the second story, threw ourselves down on the floor, and slept heavily beside a crowd of teamsters whom no amount of kicking could awake. That night-drive to Oak Point we "made a note of."

July 31st.—Awakened at 8 A. M., by hearing a voice exclaiming, "thirty-two new species already; it's a perfect floral garden." Of course it was our Botanist, with his arms full of the treasures of the prairie. We looked out and beheld a sea of green sprinkled with yellow, red, lilac, and white. None of us had ever seen a prairie before, and, behold, the half had not been told us! As you cannot know what the Ocean is without seeing it, neither can you in imagination picture the prairie.

Oak Point is thirty miles east from Fort Garry, and a straight furrow could be run the whole distance, or north all the way up to Lake Winnipeg. A little stream—the Seine—runs from Oak Point into the Red River. The land along it in sections extending two miles into the prairie is taken up by the French half-breeds; all beyond is waiting for settlers.

After a good breakfast of mutton chops and tea, prepared by the half-breed cook at the Station, we started in our waggons for Fort Garry across the prairie. Tall, bright yellow, French marigolds, scattered in clumps over the vast expanse, gave a golden hue to the scene; and red, pink, and white roses, tansy, asters, blue-bells, golden rods, and an immense variety of composite, thickly bedded among the green grass, made up a bright and beautiful carpet. Farther on, the flowers were fewer; but everywhere the herbage was luxuriant, admirable for pasturage, and, in the hollows, tall enough for hay. Even where the marshes intervened, the grass was all the thicker, taller and coarser, so that an acre of marsh is counted as valuable to the settler as an acre of prairie.

The road strikes right across the prairie, and, though simply a trail made by the ordinary traffic, is an excellent carriage road. Whenever the ruts get deep, carts and waggons strike off a few feet, and make another trail alongside; and the old one, if not used, is soon covered with new grasses. There is no sward; all the grasses are bunch. Immense numbers of fat plover and snipe are in the marshes, and prairie hens on the meadow land.

At 3 P.M., we reached the Red River, which flows northward, at a point below its junction with the Assiniboine, and crossed in a scow; drove across the tongue of land, formed by it and the Assiniboine coming from the west, into the village of Winnipeg, and from there to the Fort, where the Government House is at present.

Thus we finished our journey, from Lake Superior to Red River, by that Dawson road, of which all had previously heard much, either in terms of praise or disparagement. The total distance is about five hundred and thirty miles; forty-five at the beginning and a hundred and ten at the end by land; and three hundred and eighty miles between, made up of a chain of some twenty lakes, lakelets and lacustrine rivers, separated from each other by spits, ridges, or short traverses of land or granite rocks, that have to be portaged across. For those three hundred and eighty miles the only land suitable for agriculture is along Rainy River, and, perhaps, around the Lake of the Woods. North and south the country is a wilderness of lakes, or rather tarns on a large scale, filling huge holes scooped out of primitive rock. The route is all that the tourist could desire; the scenery picturesque, though rather monotonous owing to the absence of mountains; the mode of travelling, whether the canoes are paddled or tugged, novel and luxurious; and, if a tourist can afford a crew of Indians and three or four weeks' time, he is certain to enjoy himself, the necessity of having to rough it a good deal only adding zest to the pleasure.

The road has been proved already on two occasions to be a military necessity for the Dominion, until a railway is built farther back from the boundary line. If Canada is to open up her North-west to all the world for colonisation, there must be a road for troops, from the first: there are sufficient elements of disorder to make preparedness a necessity. As long as we have a road of our own, the United States would perhaps raise no objection to Canadian volunteers passing through Minnesota; were we absolutely dependent, it might be otherwise.

In speaking of this "Dawson road" it is only fair to give full credit for all that has been accomplished. Immense difficulties have been overcome, insomuch that, whereas it took Colonel Wolsley's force nearly three months, or from early in June to August 24th, to reach Fort Garry from Thunder Bay, a similar expedition could now do the journey in two or three weeks.

But, as a route for trade, for ordinary travel or for emigrants to go west, the Dawson road, as it now exists, is far from satisfactory. Only by building a hundred and fifty-five miles or so of railway at the beginning and the end, and by overcoming the intervening portages in such a way that bulk would not have to be broken, could it be made to compete even with the present route by Duluth and the railway thence to Pembina.

The question, then, is simply whether or not it is wise to do this, at an expenditure of some millions on a road the greater part of which runs along the boundary line, after the Dominion has already decided to build a direct line of railway to the North-west. This year about seventy emigrants have gone by the road in the six weeks between June 20th and August 1st. The station-masters and other agents on the road, as a rule, do their very utmost; they have been well selected, and are spirited and intelligent men; but the task given them to do is greater than the means given will permit. The road is composed of fifteen or twenty independent pieces; is it any wonder if these often do not fit, especially as there cannot be unity of understanding and of plan, for there is no telegraph along the route and it would be extremely difficult to construct one?


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