I WAS ONE of a number of
engineers who joined in ushering in the New Year by a celebration at
Foster's winter quarters, on the left bank of the Beaver River. This took
the form of a midnight supper, in which — including rodmen and chainmen —
some twelve or more took part.
To provide the liquid
refreshment for this party, each engineer brought a bottle with him,
containing either whisky or rum, or some other concoction — all most
likely of questionable quality. But whatever the quality, it got well
concealed in a brew which Foster set about making, as each one on his
arrival handed him his bottle.
I can yet see his amused
smile, as he proceeded to decant the contents of the bottles which Stuart
and I brought, into a large tin basin, bottomed well with hot water and
It was as a cocktail before
supper that we sampled this potent mixture — which might aptly be called
the "Foster Cocktail". Each one ladled his own, with a tin cup, from the
ample supply in the reservoir.
Foster and his rodman Hill
were excellent hosts. At supper, Foster as chairman and toastmaster,
proposed a toast to each of the countries represented at that gathering:
Canada, United States, England, Scotland, Wales, India, and Australia.
Some of these had more than one representative.
I was the sole Scot. Foster
was a Canadian; Hill an American. The toasts to India and Australia were
each responded to by an Englishman; India by Stuart, who was born there;
Australia by Stoess, who had been engaged in engineering there before
coming to Canada. I am uncertain about the others.
In responding to the toast
to India, Stuart emphatically expressed his objection to the implication
underlying that toast, that because he happened to have been born in
India, he must necessarily be an Indian. Stoess, on the other hand, made
no demur at being called an Australian. He was just, he admitted — to use
his own expression — an "a-bory-jine from the anti-poads". And that name
stuck to him.
Everyone in turn had a
toast to reply to. No one, however, distinguished himself by his oratory.
Speech-making was not their strong point. Moreover, each speaker, trying
his hardest to say something brilliant, had to run the gauntlet of
good-natured chaff from the others. But that gave us all the more fun.
This party may well be said
to have been unique. For, here was a gathering of young men who, but a
short time before, did not even know of each other's existence. Now, they
were just like members of one large family, co-operating loyally with each
other in the part assigned them in the building of the railway.
So, when the party broke up in the early hours of the morning, it was with
a rousing cheer, and a hearty "Hurrah for the C.P.R."
The location of the railway
in the Selkirks up Roger's Pass to the summit, presented an aspect in
striking contrast to that of the location from the Kicking Horse Flats to
Beavermouth. The railway in that section, as already shown, kept close to
the river, crossing and re-crossing it, wherever necessary to get the most
economical location; and the tote-road, in general, rose high above it —
particularly at the Golden Stairs. But in the Selkirks, it was the railway
that, after having once crossed the Beaver River, rose above both it and
the tote-road; in some places as high as from 200 to 300 feet.
In thus climbing the
Selkirks, the railway had to cross a number of deep gulches cut in the
mountain side by tributaries of the Beaver; and it was over these gulches
that the largest and highest bridges were required. As these bridges were
situated widely apart, and were all to be built during the winter about
the same time, it was not practicable for one engineer to look after them
all. So this work was apportioned among three.
On my section, in addition
to the bridges over Mountain Creek and Cedar Creek, I had a number of
smaller ones — including the one over the Beaver. Stoess had charge of the
bridge over Surprise Creek and Swan the one over Stoney Creek, some 300
feet high — the highest of all.
Close to the railway bridge
over the Beaver, there was another bridge of an entirely different type.
It was a pack-trail bridge consisting simply of three logs pinned
together, and spanning a narrow gorge of the river. Over it the
pack-horses of the locating engineers had crossed back and forth when the
line was being located. Although no longer in use, this unique relic was
then still existing; and I made a sketch of it which I added to my
The log house which served
as my winter camp was situated between Mountain Creek and Cedar Creek, and
was close to the tote-road. It served its purpose well, for we passed the
winter in it most comfortably. Ellison, too, appreciated it for he became
a frequent visitor, and often stayed overnight.
Mountain Creek bridge was
1,200 feet long and 150 feet high. It was the largest of all the bridges
in regard to the amount of timber required to build it. It consisted of a
central span of 150 feet, flanked at each end by two smaller truss spans
of 30 feet each; and by a number of trestle and pile bents 15 feet apart.
On the approaches at each end, the ground was of gentle slope; so there
was no difficulty in laying out this work.
But it was quite a
different story at Cedar Creek. Although this was a much smaller bridge —
one span of 100 feet, and 100 feet high — the approaches were steep rocky
cliffs, and the laying out of the work involved the use of a rope in
climbing these cliffs. On one occasion Stuart and I were standing on a
ledge clinging to the rope, when a big chunk of hardened snow thundered
down on top of us. It knocked us off our perch and sent us sliding down
the rope at lightning speed to the ground below.
One bright, sunny day when
I was returning by myself to camp from Cedar Creek, I witnessed a peculiar
phenomenon. As I walked along, the leaves on the trees suddenly took on a
most unnatural hue; and there was a stillness in the air which gave me a
feeling of awe. I was at a loss to account for this phenomenon until I
looked up at the sun, and saw that it was undergoing an eclipse; a partial
one, it turned out to be.
I was quite unaware that an
eclipse was to take place that day; so I may rightly claim to have
discovered it by myself.
Two events of more than
local interest took place in the spring that year.
One was a strike of the
workmen which had far-reaching effects. Although this was called a strike,
it was not a strike in the ordinary meaning of that word. The men did not
strike for higher wages, nor for better conditions of living. They simply
struck for payment of wages they had earned, which were long overdue. This
revealed the critical financial position to which the railway company had
The men were unpaid because
the company did not have the money to pay the contractors; and the
contractors consequently couldn't pay the men the wages which were due to
The men quit work at the
camp at the farthest outpost of the section of the railway then under
construction; and set out on a march to the End of Track, then near
Beavermouth. On the way, they gathered to their cause the men in the
camps, of the other contractors. So, by the time they reached Mountain
Creek, they formed an imposing body.
Track-laying, which had
been suspended for the winter, was about to be started again, and the
carpenters were busy at work on the top of the bridge, in an effort to get
it completed by the time the track reached that point. The strikers were
massed on the ground below; and they called on the carpenters to stop work
and come down off the bridge. But this the carpenters refused to do. They
were in no way minded to join in the strike.
One of the strikers,
however, hit on a way to compel them to stop work. I saw him take an axe
and cut the rope in the block-and-tackle arrangement by which material was
being hoisted. Down dropped the load with a crash. So, for lack of
material the carpenters could do no work. They still, however, remained on
R. Balfour, manager for
Mackenzie, the bridge contractor, was standing beside me at the time, and
he asked me to come with him to his office and talk over what should be
done. I went with him; but we had no time to discuss the situation before
the strikers came milling around. Their spokesman evidently didn't
particularly like his job, for the crowd kept pushing him toward us.
Finally, he faced us as we were standing outside the office. There was a
moment of tense silence which he broke by stating in no uncertain terms,
that he wanted it understood that there was to be no work done on the
bridge until the men got paid. Balfour replied that that might be all very
well for them; but the contractor, he said, was liable to a heavy penalty
if he delayed the track-laying. "You stop work on the bridge," the
spokesman shot back, "and we'll look after the track." There was nothing
more to be said, so Balfour yielded and called the carpenters off the
The strikers continued
their march to Beavermouth where, according to all accounts, they had a
wild time. It required the utmost efforts of the Mounted Police under
Major Steele — ably supported by Sergeant Fury — to restore order. George
Hope Johnston, then a British Columbia Police Magistrate, read the Riot
Act. He was afterwards a well-known citizen of Calgary.
But the strike, after all,
was to the advantage of the railway company. It brought to the attention
of the Dominion Government, beyond any doubt, the serious plight of the
company. Without assistance from the government the railway could not be
completed. And assistance to an extent which assured its completion was
promptly given. We learned shortly afterwards that a pay-car was on its
way with sufficient money to pay the legitimate claims of the men. But
this news did not make them return to work immediately. They wanted their
pay first, and refused to work until they did get it.
I remember hearing one of
the contractors, Donald D. Mann — usually spoken of as Dan Mann — address
the men in an endeavour to get them to go back to work. He stressed the
fact that a pay-car was on its way, and that they would be paid as soon as
it arrived, but they stood by their guns. They were through with promises
It was their pay they wanted.
However, the pay-car did
turn up, and the men got paid, and they returned to work. Thus happily
ended the strike.
Then came the Riel
Rebellion. It did not affect, to any great extent, the work of
construction in the mountains. It did, however, much reduce the police
force; for the greater part of the men in this force — among whom was
Ralph Bell — left with Steele to take part in quelling the rebellion.
These men formed the
nucleus of what was afterwards known as Steele's Scouts, a body which won
recognition for its highly efficient and effective work.
After the defeat of Riel,
Steele and his men returned to the mountains, and resumed their police
duties as before.
When Mountain Creek bridge
was practically completed, Ross came along, and I accompanied him on the
bridge on his usual thorough inspection of the work. There were some
planks of the staging underneath the deck, still in place. Seeing these,
he wanted to get down to them to make some inspection there. To do this he
squeezed his body through the deck between the ties. But he could get no
further. He looked up to me and laughed; and said he couldn't get his head
through. It may seem odd that he could get his body through a space that
was too narrow for his head. But that was how he was built; a slim body,
but a large head.
There were no great
difficulties encountered in the location of the railway to the summit, in
the Selkirks. But getting down on the western slope was a problem which
Sykes, with a party in the field, had for some time been endeavouring to
solve. And he succeeded. He located a line which came to be known as the
I do not know what Sykes'
full initials were, but I have a recollection of having heard him called
This line consisted of a
series of loops winding back and forth across a number of streams, until
it had got down to, practically, the level of the Illicilliwaet River.
It was to the Loop that I
made my next move. This move meant abandoning our comfortable log house,
and getting back into tents. But that didn't trouble us in the least. It
was all in our job.
There were five bridges —
mostly fairly high trestles — comprised in this series of loops. One was
near to Glacier over Glacier Creek, a tributary of the Illicilliwaet. Two
were over another tributary, Ross Creek; and two were over the
Illicilliwaet. Most of these bridges were on curves.
The scenery as viewed from
our camp, at the lower end of the Loop, appealed to me to make some
sketches. The mountains too, towering above, called on us to climb them.
So, one Sunday, Stuart and
I set out to climb the one which was closest to our camp. It was a hard
climb, as a great part of the way was through burned fallen timber. But we
got to the top, and were glad to sit down there and rest, and eat our
lunches consisting of some sandwiches which we had carried in our pockets.
When so engaged, I started to read the piece of newspaper in which my
lunch had been wrapped. The first sentence which caught my eye was to this
effect: "If you want a real good glass of beer, go to So-and-So's bar". I
could well have enjoyed a good glass of beer; but the bar, alas, was far
Descending was even harder
than the climb had been; for we took a short cut which led us through a
more entangled part of the fallen timber. Thus we arrived at camp with
torn clothes and blackened legs, much in need of a bath.
Bears were often seen on
the mountain slopes which had been swept clear of timber by snowslides.
These were cinnamon bears. Stuart and I frequently went out on these
slopes in the hope of being lucky enough to shoot one. But we never got
near enough to a bear to do this. I took a shot at one at long range on a
venture. The bullet must have hit him; for he fell back on his haunches.
But after a few moments, he picked himself up and went off into the bush;
and nothing more was seen of him.
The building of the bridges
comprised in the Loop went ahead at a rapid pace; and so did the laying of
the track. It kept close on the heels of the bridge carpenters. At one of
these bridges, I remember seeing the tracklayers commence laying the track
at one end, just as the carpenters were finishing their work at the other.
G. H. Duggan was with me at
this camp for a short time. There was also another Duggan whom I met
frequently on this work. This was Con. Duggan. He was then timber
inspector for the railway company; so I was closely associated with him.
Some years later, he became well known in Calgary where he played a
prominent part as one of the leading men in the P. Burns Company.
From the Loop I moved camp
to a point near one of the company's Stores, generally spoken of as
Neilson's Store. W. G. Neilson, a younger brother of Matthew Neilson, had
charge of it. I had met him at Medicine Hat, but since then, he was always
so much farther to the front than I was, that I did not see him again
until I made this move. Now, I had at last caught up with him, and I was
delighted to renew my acquaintance with him.
There was a bridge across
the Illicilliwaet to be built there; and a few smaller ones. But none of
these took long to build. So I very soon had to move again.
My move this time was to
Albert Canyon, so named, it was said, after Albert Rogers, a nephew of
Major Rogers. He had been assistant to the Major in his exploratory
The railway, at a point
near the Canyon, had to cross the Illicilliwaet again, on a fairly high
truss bridge. It was decided, however, to first build a temporary pile
bridge to be replaced by the truss later.
When we were starting to
build this temporary bridge, T. K. Thomson — whom I have already
frequently mentioned — appeared on the scene, immaculately dressed, white
shirt and all. He was on his way to a picnic, or other outing, which it
seems those on the staffs at Headquarters were from time to time
privileged to indulge in, with their wives and female relatives.
The pile-driving crew had
just got their staging for the pile-driver finished. This consisted of
logs stretched across the river. These logs were newly peeled, and
consequently were very slippery. But Thomson didn't stop to consider this.
He had to cross the river and no doubt considered himself in luck at
finding a means of doing this, conveniently placed there at his disposal.
So he confidently strode on to one of these logs. The result was no
surprise to me, but it certainly was to Thomson. He flopped into the
river, with one leg dangling over the log and both hands holding on to it;
and his body completely immersed. He gave quite a gymnastic exhibition in
his efforts to free himself from his predicament. Finally he succeeded;
and stood on the bank dripping wet. Then he stripped himself and wrung his
clothes. When wringing his shirt, he held it up and remarked to me, with a
grin: "Look at the boiled shirt, will you?" Whether he got to his picnic
or not I never heard.
The river bed at this
crossing was full of large boulders, which made the driving of piles
almost impossible. To add to this difficulty, wet weather had set in, and
the Illicilliwaet became a raging torrent. Just as the bridge was about to
be completed, it was swept away. So the work had to be done all over
again. This time, fortunately, it withstood the torrent; and the train
After this, I moved camp to
a site a few miles from Twin Butte; close to Skenk's camp. Skenk was an
American, and was the engineer in charge of the grading on that section.
Apart from his special
engineering qualifications, Skenk was noted for his neat penmanship. His
figures and letters were very small, but perfectly distinct.
He had had as his assistant
an engineer named McKay, a highly capable mathematician; but more at home
in an office figuring out intricate calculations, than in practical work
in the field. He had some difference with Skenk, and Skenk discharged him.
I knew McKay well, having
frequently met him, and found him a most interesting man to talk with. So,
when leaving, he called at my camp and told me that Skenk had discharged
him. He also told me that he had written to Skenk telling him what he
thought of him. In this letter, he said, he told him that "his soul was
like his figures, small; but readable".
There was quite a large
trestle bridge to be built at Twin Butte. As it happened to be on Skenk's
section, it was he who had made the bill of timber required for its
construction, according to a standard plan for trestles with which he had
I found out, however, on my
first visit to the site of this bridge that, in making this bill of timber
Skenk had followed the standard plan too closely. It needed some
modification to make it fit with the conditions on the ground.
But in order to let the
carpenter foreman Bucknam get a start and carry on for a few days while I
amended the bill of timber, I laid out sufficient work that would not be
affected by any change I might make in Skenk's bill.
The following day I was in
my tent figuring out what changes it would be necessary to make in the
plan and in the bill of timber. It happened to be a pouring wet day, and I
had the entrance to the tent closed and drawn tight. I heard someone
outside trying to open it. So I got up and opened it myself; and was
confronted by Ross. "This is no doubt a comfortable tent to be in, Bone,
and carpenters waiting at Twin Butte for a plan of the bridge," was the
astounding greeting he gave me.
Having delivered this
thrust, he was about to leave. But, like Jacob in his wrestle with the
Angel, I was in no mind to let him go until he was in a better humour with
me. So I got him to come in and see for himself the tangle I was
endeavouring to straighten out. I told him the carpenters were not waiting
for a plan of the bridge; and that I had been there the day before, and
had laid out work enough to keep them going for some time. I showed him
both the standard plan and the bill of timber. He examined them carefully
and then abruptly demanded:
"Who made out this bill of
This expletive was
evidently comprehensive enough to express all he had to say; for he left
immediately, apparently quite satisfied to leave the matter with me.
The following day I went to
Twin Butte, on the warpath myself. I had hitherto found Bucknam to be
capable and reliable, and I was at a loss to know why he had told Ross
that he was waiting for a plan of the bridge. When I put this question to
him, his reply was: "I didn't tell him I was waiting for a plan of the
bridge; he asked to see the plan, and I told him I hadn't got one."
This is a striking example
of how misunderstandings arise. The mere fact that Bucknam hadn't a plan
of the bridge, evidently led Ross to conclude that I was at fault in not
having furnished him with one; and that until I did so, the work would be
at a standstill.
misunderstandings were now over, and the bridge was built without delay;
and as nearly as practicable to the standard plan.
At this camp there was an
interesting meeting of East and West. An engineer who had finished his
work on the Onderdonk contract, and was making his way east, called at my
camp and had a meal with us. The conversation turned to the subject of
scenery; and our guest — whose name I cannot now recall — remarked that he
had been told that the farther east one went in the mountains, the more
beautiful became the scenery. I answered by saying that we had been told
quite the contrary; that the finest scenery was to be found the farther
one went west. The old proverb: Far-off fields look green.
The scenery at this point,
however, was equal to any in the Rockies; not so grand perhaps, but
softer. At any rate, it appealed to me so much that I made some sketches
of it. Bell-Irving happened to call at the camp about this time, and he
accompanied me and sketched the same scenes.
East met West at this camp
on another occasion. A packer with provisions from the coast — which he
was endeavouring to sell — called at the camp and displayed his wares.
Among them were some large Spanish onions which appealed to my.
gastronomic taste. I had not the ready cash to pay for them, but he was
willing to accept canned peaches in exchange. So I traded a case of these
for a sack of his onions. The onions at that time were a much greater
treat to us all in camp than the peaches.
About this time, Lord
Landsdowne, then Governor-General of Canada, paid a visit to the
Mountains, and I saw him riding along the tote-road with his retinue,
escorted by a guard of Mounted Police.
The embryo town of Farwell
(now known as Revel-stoke) gave him a great reception. Each side of the
street — there was only the one — was lined with fairly large-sized tops
of spruce trees stuck in the ground. This gave the appearance of trees
That was how Farwell looked
as I first saw it, when I camped in the neighbourhood after moving from
Twin Butte. It was the headquarters of the North West Mounted Police,
under Major Steele — better known in after years as Colonel Steele. It was
the headquarters also of Police Magistrate George Hope Johnston. I had met
Steele before, at Medicine Hat; but it was at Farwell that I first met
From Farwell, I moved to a
point on the other side of the Columbia near the camp of Ross and McDermid,
contractors for a portion of the grading.
There were a few fairly
large trestle bridges on this section, but no great difficulty was met
with in building them.
I next moved to a neck of
land between Victor Lake and Three Valley Lake, on which G. H. Duggan was
also camped. He was in charge of a section of the grading along the shore
of Three Valley Lake. But his work by that time was practically completed.
Tye had charge of the
adjoining section, and his camp was quite close to ours too. His work also
was almost completed. He was convalescing from an attack of mountain
fever, and was not very fit to do much work, as yet. He, however, had
Lewis as his assistant to take over the burden of the work.
Parenthetically, I may here
note that there were two engineers of the name of Lewis. But I cannot
distinguish between them by their initials; for these have quite escaped
my memory — if I ever knew them at all. But that is not to be wondered at,
seeing that, in general, everyone was called by his surname, without any
qualifying Christian name, or initials.
The Lewis who was with Tye
was the one whom I have already mentioned for his good water colour
With these three camps
close together, we had an interesting reunion; and many stories to tell of
I was now on my last lap;
and I could already see the end. The bridges I had to look after were for
the most part small. The last of these was over the Eagle River, the
outlet of Three Valley Lake. On its completion the way was clear for the
final act, in linking by rail, on Canadian soil, the Atlantic with the
Pacific; generally spoken of as "Driving the last spike".
I was not present at that
ceremony. I was too busily engaged, as were the other engineers, in
packing up and getting ready to leave.
We carefully looked over
the clothing in our dunnage bags, and picked out what we thought was the
most respectable to travel in; and discarded the rest.
A coat which Duggan had
discarded caught my eye. It was made of bottle-green corduroy, and looked
to me much better than the coat that I had. So I picked it up and put it
on. It was thus in Duggan's cast-off coat that I travelled east.
We packed up the tents and
camp outfit, and placed them at a point beside the track, where it had
been arranged that a work train would stop and pick us up, with all our
baggage. We were waiting there all ready to help to load. But the train,
to our amazement, passed without stopping. We were left stranded.
We, however, made the best
we could of the situation. Tye's camp was still there. It was a wooden
building, and we spent the night in it. How we finally got to Farwell with
our dunnage bags and field instruments, still puzzles me. But we got there
somehow. The tents and camp outfit, however, were left behind.
For some time past I had
made up my mind to visit my old home in Scotland, on completion of my work
with the C.P.R. I had heard from Mather that he too purposed spending the
winter in Scotland. So we arranged to meet in Toronto; and then cross the
On my arrival at Farwell, I
learned from Ellison that a few engineers were to be retained in the
mountains during the winter to observe the effects of snowslides, to get
data that would be of value in the construction of snowsheds — work which
the company would in all likelihood start in the spring. He told me that I
could be one of these engineers if I wished. The offer was tempting; but I
decided to forego it, and trust to my getting a position on this work on
my return from overseas in the spring.
I called on Ross in his car
to say good-bye. He was beaming all over, happy at having successfully
accomplished a great work.
On my journey east, I
stopped a day at Calgary; and was greatly struck with the growth it had
made since I last saw it in the spring of 1884. W. T. Ramsay asked me to
stay the night with him in his bachelor quarters; and it was there that I
first met that grand Old Timer, Tom Christie, with whom Ramsay was then
sharing his quarters. We had a great evening.
From Calgary I continued my
journey; and when the train stopped for a few minutes at Regina, I learned
that Riel — the leader in the recent Rebellion — had been hanged there
that day. This would be about the middle of November.
I spent a day at Winnipeg,
and from there continued my way without any further stops, to Toronto. On
my arrival there, I went to my friends, the Erskines, with whom I had left
my trunk, containing some fairly decent clothes. I certainly needed a
change of clothing, for, according to Mrs. Erskine, I was a tough-looking
sight. But with the change of clothes, followed by a visit to a barber, I
became fairly presentable.
Mather arrived a few days
later, and we had a rare old time together. He had lots of stories of his
experience in New Mexico to tell me; and I had lots to say about mine in
the Mountains too.
We spent a week or ten days
in Toronto, and then took the train to New York, where we made the round
of a number of shipping offices, and finally took our passages on the
State of Nevada, sailing for Glasgow.
The voyage was uneventful,
but very pleasant. There were not many cabin passengers; just enough to
fill the smoking-room comfortably, and get well acquainted with each
other. They were mostly men from the West; and there was quite a
competition as to who could tell the tallest story. Mather and I took a
hand in this game too.
In my letters to my father
I had said nothing about my coming visit to him. I was keeping that as a
surprise until I got to Glasgow. On landing there I wrote telling him of
my arrival, and that I would be in Girvan, at a specified train time, the
following day. I spent the night in Glasgow with Mather, at his mother's
On my arrival at Girvan the
next day, Father was at the railway station to meet me, and drive me home.
Needless to say, this was a very happy moment for both of us.
It was then but a few days
before Christmas; and Father and Robert had been invited by Aunt Wright to
Christmas dinner at Dowhill. It had long been her usual custom — which I
well remember — to have us all together as a family party, at Christmas.
Father had evidently been
quite pleased at the surprise I gave him; for he tried to pass the same
surprise on to Aunt Wright. The day I arrived home with him, he wrote her
saying that a visitor had just arrived to stay with him for some time; and
that he was taking the liberty of bringing him to this Christmas party.
But Aunt was alive to the
situation. She felt quite sure who this visitor must be. So she wrote back
that had she known that the young man who was the visitor was now in this
country, she would surely have included him in the invitation. But she
told none of the other members of the family except my cousin Bryce. This
was to be her surprise for the others.
I went to Dowhill by
myself, ahead of Father and Robert, so as to have a good talk with Uncle
and Aunt, and my cousins, before dinner. Bryce was the one I met first,
outside playing with a dog. Having got the tip from his mother, he knew me
all right. Then he took me in to see her. I shall never forget the
motherly hug she gave me.
One by one the others
appeared, and Bryce introduced me to them under some fictitious name. At
first they were quite taken in. But gradually it seeped through their
minds who I was. Then the laughter and fun which followed made a fitting
overture to the dinner. Father and Robert arrived in due course. At dinner
we were a merry party. I looked on it as an appropriate welcome home to
me; and a fitting close to my experiences in 1885.