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Forest, Lake and Prairie
Chapter XI
Opening of navigation - Sturgeon, fishing - Rafting timber - Sawing lumber.


ABOUT the last of May the ice went off the lake, and navigation was open, and we made up * another bee to go to raft our timber down. Father sent William and I one day ahead of the party, in order that we might set nets for sturgeon, which we did; and when father and men came up next day, we had fourteen large sturgeon to begin with. While white-fish is the staple food in that north country, these sturgeon come in at seasons as an extra luxury; indeed, they are the beef and bacon of the northern Indian. Sturgeon oil is both lard and butter for these people, and blessed is the wife and mother who has many vessels full of it.

We made a big raft of our timber, and both wind and current favoring us, we soon had it hauled out and piled up on the beach near the church, and the sawing of the timber was gone into by the Indians in turn, each doing his share. This we carefully piled, to season, and in the autumn the Hudson's Bay Company, as per offer and promise, sent their carpenters, and the enlargement went on, and there was great rejoining and a grand reopening when the work was finished.


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