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Pathfinding on Plain and Prairie
Stirring Scenes of Life in the Canadian North-West, By John McDougall


Contents

  • Chapter I.
    "Thin leather homes"—Drudgery of the Indian women —Occupations of the men—Hunting parties and scalping forays—Triumphs of endurance
  • Chapter II.
    Camping in the snow—Our costume—Brilliant sunrise effects—Maple and her pups found at last—Striking example of "dog sense"—The Fort Garry packet
  • Chapter Ill.
    We visit Edmonton—Nature's grand cathedral—Adventure with a buffalo bull—A trip to Pigeon Lake— Racing with flog-teams—An infidel blacksmith— Old Joseph proves an unerring guide—Caching our provisions
  • Chapter IV.
    Epidemic breaks out among the Indians—Snow-blindness—I take to me a wife—Our modest dowry—My father officiates as a Stationing Committee—Fearful mortality among the Indians—Our journey to Pigeon Lake—The epidemic attacks our camp—A rude hospital—An exciting buffalo hunt—Chased by a maddened bull—Narrow escape
  • Chapter V.
    Our caravan moves on—Difficulties of packing—Oliver's adventures with a buffalo—Novel method of "blaztag" a path—Arrival at Pigeon Lake—House-building—Abundance of fish—Indians camp about the Mission—I form many enduring friendships— Indians taught fishing with nets
  • Chapter VI.
    We are visited by a band of Crees—Our guests steal away with a bunch of horses—Stonies set out in hot pursuit—Little William's strategy—horses recaptured —We begin farming operations—Arrival of Mr. Steinhaner—Home to Victoria again—A memorable Sabbath—My gun bursts—Narrow escape—My mother's cares and anxieties—Home-made furniture
  • Chapter VII.
    I travel with Maskepetoon's camp—Effects of environment on the Indians—Nature's grandeur and beauty —Degradation through paganism—The noble Chief Maskepetoon—Indian councils—On the fringe of the buffalo herds—Indian hey lost—A false conjurer —The lad recovered
  • Chapter VIII.
    The "Thirst Dance"—" Tobacco messages "—The head conjurer-.-" Dancing lodges"—The rendezvous— The "idol tree "­Meeting of the head conjurer and the chief of the warriors—An anxious moment— Building the "temple "—Self-torture, dancing and sacrifices— The festival concluded—Romantic situation for our camp
  • Chapter IX
    Our great camp a study of native types—I attend a "wolf feast "—A disgusting orgie_Paul and I start for home—Our horses stampede—Difficult tracking —Enormous herd of buffalo—Home again and all well—Party of half-breeds from the Red River settlement visit our Mission—Father returns, bringing a brother and sister from Ontario
  • Chapter X.
    We return to Pigeon Lake—"Scarred Thigh" exchanged for "Blackfoot "—Planting Gospel seed— We organize a buffalo hunt— A moose chase—The buffalo as a "path-finder "—We encounter a hostile camp—All night on guard—My friend Mark's daring exploit—Wood Stonies visit the Mission— Gambling, polygamy and superstition among the Indians
  • Chapter XI.
    We return to Victoria—War parties abroad—Father's influence over the Indians—We organize a big fresh meat hunt—David's first buffalo hunt—Marks adventure with a war party—Surrounded by wolves —Incidents of our journey—Preparing for the winter
  • Chapter XII.
    Visit to Whitefish Lake—A devoted Indian missionary —Mark and I go out after buffalo—Mark proves himself a brilliant hunter—Our camp visited by wolves - Muddy Bull's generosity—We reach home with full loads of meat
  • Chapter XIII.
    run to Edmonton—Mr. Hardisty and other Hudson's Bay Company officers spend New Year's with us —Sports and amusements—Our party sets out for Mountain House--I experience a "scare "—Intense cold—A cunning dog—Mishaps to a cariole— In the foot-hills—My first view of the Rockies—Hearty reception at Mountain House—Back to Victoria
  • Chapter XIV.
    Home occupations—A courae of lectures—Mark and Jimmie as s-aeonteu-ra—Mark's success as a deerkiller—A buffalo chase on a dog-sled—Our first child is born—Chickens at eight shillings apiece
  • Chapter XV.
    David and I visit Lac la Biche—High-priced seed wheat —Our party sets out for Pigeon Lake—Old Joseph —Paul Chian —Samson—Ourlarder depleted—We organize a hunt—Precarious living—Old Paul proves himself a skilful guide—Samson tells of a tragic murder by Blackfeet—We move cautiously—Broiled owlets as a delicacy—I shoot an elk—Little Paul's flint-lock hangs fire—Samson's brilliant hunting feats—Feasting on antlers
  • Chapter XVI.
    Samson and I go on a moose hunt—Samson's clever tracking—He comes up with the moose and tries a shot—No bullet in the gun—Two dejected hunters return to the camp—We have better luck next time —Roses make a thorny path—We disturb a band of wolves—Samson stampedes them with his riding. whip—" Firing Stony" and I go hunting—I bring down a noble elk—Novel method of fishing
  • Chapter XVII.
    Our camp visited by a band of Mountain Stonies—My schooling in the university of frontier life—Back to our Mission again—Limited cuisine—Home-made agricultural implements—We visit Victoria—Off to Fort Canton for Mission supplies—Inquisitive Chippewyans—My eldest sister married to Mr. Hardisty, of the Hudson's Bay Company—The honeymoon trip to Mountain House—Rival sportsmen —Charging a flock of wild geese at full gallop— Return to Pigeon Lake—Our work extending.
  • Chapter XVIII.
    Father visits our Mission—A dream that proved a portent—Drowning of Mr. Connor—"Straight fish" diet—We are visited by a war party of Crees—I am given a problem to solve—Francis and I set out to seek fresh provisions—Feasting on fat bear steaks— A lonely Christmas—Mr. Hardisty visits us—We in turn visit Mountain House—A hard winter in the Saskatchewan country—Rations on short allowance —A run to Victoria —David and I have a hard experience-Father and mother as "good Samaritans"
  • Chapter XIX.
    We start out to hunt for buffalo—Fish and frozen turnips —A depleted larder—David's bag of barley meal— At the point of starvation—We strike Maskepetoon's camp—An Indian burial—Old Joseph dying —We leave the camp—Generous hospitality—A fortunate meeting —Frostbites -A. bitterly cold night—Unexpected visitors—Striking instance of devotion—I suffer from snowshoe cramp—Arrival at Victoria—Old Joseph's burial—Back to Pigeon Lake
  • Chapter XX.
    My brother a "ready-made pioneer "—Hunting rabbits —Two roasted rabbits per man for supper—I find my friend, Firing Stony, in a flourishing condition —Poisoning wolves—A good morning's sport—I secure a wolf, two foxes and a mink—Firing Stony poisons his best dog-1 enjoy a meal of bear's ribs —I meet with a severe accident—Samson treats me to a memorable feast
  • Chapter XXI.
    Alternate feasting and fasting—We start out on a buffalo hunt—Old Paul brings down a fine moose—Providential provision—Enoch Crawler kills another moose—Magnificent landscapes—Entering the great treeless plains—Wonderful mirages—We come upon the tracks of buffalo—Our men shoot a huge grizzly —Charging a bunch of cows—A lively chase—Samson's plucky plunge over a bank after the buffalo— I chase and kill a fine cow—The camp busy killing and making provisions—Guarding against hostile Indians
  • Chapter XXII.
    A busy camp—Process of butchering and drying meat— How pemmican is made—Our camp in peril—Chasing a herd of buffalo up a steep bank—Mark scores a point on me—We encounter a war party of Blackfeet—A fortunate rain-storm—A mirage gives us a false alarm—Unwritten laws as to rights of hunters
  • Chapter XXIII.
    Into the timber country again—Craving for vegetable food—Wild rhubarb a treat—I shoot a big beaver— My horse objects to carrying it—A race for the life of my child—Terrific fight between my dogs and a huge wolverine—Reach Pigeon Lake and find father there—Anxiety felt for our party—A meagre bill of fare—A visit to Victoria-1 narrowly escape drowning—Father leaves for Ontario, taking with him my three sisters—Francis leaves us to return to Victoria —My varied offices among the Indians
  • Chapter XXIV.
    Our first interment—Jacob's tragic death—Hostile Flatheads in quest of horses, scalps and glory—Stonies attacked by a party of Blackfeet—A hot fusiladeMark's father is killed—Destitution prevalent— Hunting lynx—My (logs seized with distemper—All have to be shot—Another provision hunt organized —Among the buffalo—I narrowly escape being shot —Heterogeneous character of our camp—Mutual distrust and dislikes—United by fear of a common foe—The effects of Christianity
  • Chapter XXV.
    Through new country—"Greater Canada"—Antelopes —Startling effects of mirage—War parties keep us on the alert—Remarkable speed of a plain Cree—A curious superstition—A Cree's gruesome story— Returning with carts fully loaded—Followed by hostile Indians—I sight and chase a "sitting" bull —My shot wounds him—Paula son thrown under the brute's feet—Firing Stony's clever shot to the rescue—We arrive at the Mission—Road-making
  • Chapter XXVI.
    Another visit to Victoria—Fall in with a war party of Kootenays and Flatheads—Sanison and I go moose- hunting —A Sabbath afternoon experience—A band of moose enjoy Sabbath immunity—I start out to meet father returning from the East—The glorious Saskatchewan Valley—Call at Fort Pitt —Equinoctial storms—Entertained by a French half-breed family—Meet Mr. Hardisty and one of my sisters - Camp-fire chat—Meeting with father—Rev. Peter Campbell and others with his party—Father relates his experience in the East—Rev. Geo. Young sent to Red River Settlement and Rev. E. R. Young to Norway House
  • Chapter XXVII.
    Father pushes on for home in advance—Hard times for the "tenderfeet "—A plunge into icy water—My brother David gallops into camp—His high spirits prove infectious—Kindness of the Hudson's Bay Company—Oxen sent to help us in to Victoria—A mutinous camp-follower—My threat of a sound thrashing subdues the mutineer—Our long journey is ended—Adieu to my readers


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