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Canadian Crusoes by Catherine Parr Traill

Part 2 out of 4

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the accident, and her health so much amended, that the day after the
conversation just recorded, the little party bade farewell to the valley
of the "big stone," and ascending the steep sides of the hills, bent their
steps eastward, keeping the lake to their left hand; Hector led the way,
loaded with their household utensils, which consisted only of the axe, which
he would trust to no one but himself, the tin-pot, and the birch-basket.
Louis had his cousin to assist up the steep banks, likewise some fish to
carry, which had been caught early in the morning.

The wanderers thought at first to explore the ground near the lake shore,
but soon abandoned this resolution, on finding the under-growth of trees
and bushes become so thick, that they made little progress, and the fatigue
of travelling was greatly increased by having continually to put aside the
bushes or bend them down.

Hector advised trying the higher ground: and after following a deer-path
through a small ravine that crossed the hills, they found themselves on a
fine extent of table-land, richly, but not too densely wooded with white
and black oaks, diversified with here and there a solitary pine, which
reared its straight and pillar-like trunk in stately grandeur above its
leafy companions: a meet eyrie for the bald-eagle, that kept watch from its
dark crest over the silent waters of the lake, spread below like a silver
zone studded with emeralds.

In their progress, they passed the head of many small ravines, which
divided the hilly shores of the lake into deep furrows; these furrows had
once been channels, by which the waters of some upper lake (the site of
which is now dry land) had at a former period poured down into the valley,
filling the basin of what now is called the Rice Lake. These waters with
resistless course had ploughed their way between the hills, bearing in
their course those blocks of granite and limestone which are so widely
scattered both on the hill-tops and the plains, or form a rocky pavement at
the bottom of the narrow denies. What a sight of sublime desolation must
that outpouring of the waters have presented, when those steep banks were
riven by the sweeping torrents that were loosened from their former bounds.
The pleased eye rests upon these tranquil shores, now covered with oaks and
pines, or waving with a flood of golden grain, or varied by neat dwellings
and fruitful gardens; and the gazer on that peaceful scene scarcely
pictures to himself what it must have been when no living eye was there to
mark the rushing floods, when they scooped to themselves the deep bed in
which they now repose.

Those lovely islands that sit like stately crowns upon the waters, were
doubtless the wreck that remained of the valley; elevated spots, whose
rocky basis withstood the force of the rushing waters, that carried away
the lighter portions of the soil. The southern shore, seen from the lake,
seems to lie in regular ridges running from south to north; some few are
parallel with the lake-shore, possibly where some surmountable impediment
turned the current the subsiding waters; but they all find an outlet
through their connexion with ravines communicating with the lake.

There is a beautiful level tract of land, with only here and there a
solitary oak growing upon it, or a few stately pines; it is commonly
called the "upper Race-course," merely on account of the smoothness of the
surface; it forms a high tableland, nearly three hundred feet above the
lake, and is surrounded by high hills. This spot, though now dry and
covered with turf and flowers, and low bushes, has evidently once been
a broad sheet of water. To the eastward lies a still more lovely and
attractive spot, known as the "lower Race-course;" it lies on a lower level
than the former one, and, like it, is embanked by a ridge of distant hills;
both have ravines leading down to the Rice Lake, and may have been the
sources from whence its channel was filled. Some convulsion of nature at a
remote period, by raising the waters above their natural level, might have
caused a disruption of the banks, and drained their beds, as they now
appear ready for the ploughshare or the spade. In the month of June these
flats are brilliant with the splendid blossoms of the _enchroma_, or
painted cup, the azure lupine and snowy _trillium_ roses scent the evening
air, and grow as if planted by the hand of taste.

A carpeting of the small downy saxifrage [Footnote: Saxifraga nivalis.] with
its white silky leaves covers the ground in early spring. In the fall, it
is red with the bright berries and dark box-shaped leaves of a species of
creeping winter-green, that the Indians call spiceberry; the leaves are
highly aromatic, and it is medicinal as well as agreeable to the taste and
smell. In the month of July a gorgeous assemblage of martagon lilies take
the place of the lupine and trilliums; these splendid lilies vary from
orange to the brightest scarlet; various species of sunflowers and
_coreopsis_ next appear, and elegant white _pyrolas_ [Footnote: Gentiana
linearis, G. crenata.] scent the air and charm the eye. The delicate lilac
and white shrubby asters next appear, and these are followed by the large
deep blue gentian, and here and there by the elegant fringed gentian.
[Footnote: Pyrola rotundifolia, P. asarifolia.] These are the latest and
loveliest of the flowers that adorn this tract of land. It is indeed a
garden of nature's own planting, but the wild garden is being converted
into fields of grain, and the wild flowers give place to a new race of
vegetables, less ornamental, but more useful to man and the races of
domestic animals that depend upon him for their support.

Our travellers, after wandering over this lovely plain, found themselves,
at the close of the day, at the head of a fine ravine, [Footnote:
_Pedophyllnm galmata_,--Mandrake, or May-apple.] where they had the good
fortune to perceive a spring of pure water, oozing beneath some large
moss-covered blocks of black waterworn granite; the ground was thickly
covered with moss about the edges of the spring, and many varieties of
flowering shrubs and fruits were scattered along the valley and up the
steep sides of the surrounding hills. There were whortleberries, or
huckleberries, as they are more usually called, in abundance; bilberries
dead ripe, and falling from the bushes at a touch. The vines that wreathed
the low bushes and climbed the trees were loaded with clusters of grapes,
but these were yet hard and green; dwarf filberts grew on the dry gravelly
sides of the hills, yet the rough prickly calyx that enclosed the nut,
filled their fingers with minute thorns, that irritated the skin like the
stings of the nettle; but as the kernel when ripe was sweet and good, they
did not mind the consequences. The moist part of the valley was occupied
by a large bed of May-apples, [Footnote: Kilvert's Ravine, above Pine-tree
Point.] the fruit of which was of unusual size, but they were not ripe,
August being the month when they ripen; there were also wild plums still
green, and wild cherries and blackberries ripening; there were great
numbers of the woodchucks' burrows on the hills, while partridges and
quails were seen under the thick covert of the blue-berried dog-wood,
[Footnote: _Cornus sericea_. The blue berries of this shrub are eaten by
the partridge and wild-ducks; also by the pigeons and other birds. There
are several species of this shrub common to the Rice Lake.] that here grew
in abundance at the mouth of the ravine where it opened to the lake. As
this spot offered many advantages, our travellers halted for the night, and
resolved to make it their head-quarters for a season, till they should meet
with an eligible situation for building a winter shelter.

Here, then, at the head of the valley, sheltered by one of the rounded
hills that formed its sides, our young people erected a summer hut,
somewhat after the fashion of an Indian wigwam, which was all the shelter
that was requisite while the weather remained so warm. Through the opening
at the gorge of this ravine they enjoyed a peep at the distant waters of
the lake which terminated the vista, while they were quite removed from its
unwholesome vapours.

The temperature of the air for some days had been hot and sultry, scarcely
modified by the cool delicious breeze that usually sets in about nine
o'clock, and blows most refreshingly till four or five in the afternoon.
Hector and Louis had gone down to fish for supper, while Catharine busied
herself in collecting leaves and dried deer-grass, moss and fern, of which
there was abundance near the spring. The boys had promised to cut some
fresh cedar boughs near the lake shore, and bring them up to form a
foundation for their bed, and also to strew Indian-fashion over the floor
of the hut by way of a carpet. This sort of carpeting reminds one of, the
times when the palaces of our English kings were strewed with rushes, and
brings to mind the old song:--

"Oh! the golden days of good Queen Bess,
When the floors were strew'd with rushes,
And the doors went on the latch----"

Despise not then, you, my refined young readers, the rude expedients
adopted by these simple children of the forest, who knew nothing of the
luxuries that were to be met with in the houses of the great and the rich.
The fragrant carpet of cedar or hemlock-spruce sprigs strewn lightly over
the earthen floor, was to them a luxury as great as if it had been taken
from the looms of Persia or Turkey, so happy and contented were they in
their ignorance. Their bed of freshly gathered grass and leaves, raised
from the earth by a heap of branches carefully arranged, was to them as
pleasant as beds of down, and the rude hut of bark and poles, as curtains
of silk or damask.

Having collected as much of these materials as she deemed sufficient for
the purpose, Catharine next gathered up dry oak branches, plenty of which
lay scattered here and there, to make a watch-fire for the night, and this
done, weary and warm, she sat down on a little hillock, beneath the cooling
shade of a grove of young aspens, that grew near the hut; pleased with the
dancing of the leaves, which fluttered above her head, and fanned her warm
cheek with their incessant motion, she thought, like her cousin Louise,
that the aspen was the merriest tree in the forest, for it was always
dancing, dancing, dancing, even when all the rest were still.

She watched the gathering of the distant thunder-clouds, which cast a
deeper, more sombre shade upon the pines that girded the northern shores of
the lake as with an ebon frame. Insensibly her thoughts wandered far away
from the lonely spot whereon she sat, to the stoup [Footnote: The Dutch
word for verandah, which is still in common use among the Canadians.] in
front of her father's house, and in memory's eye she beheld it all exactly
as she had left it. There stood the big spinning wheel, just as she had set
it aside; the hanks of dyed yarn suspended from the rafters, the basket
filled with the carded wool ready for her work. She saw in fancy her
father, with his fine athletic upright figure, his sunburnt cheeks and
clustering sable hair, his clear energetic hazel eye ever beaming upon her,
his favourite child, with looks of love and kindness as she moved to and
fro at her wheel. [Footnote: Such is the method of working at the large
wool wheel, unknown or obsolete in England.] There, too, was her mother,
with her light step and sweet cheerful voice, singing as she pursued her
daily avocations; and Donald and Kenneth driving up the cows to be milked,
or chopping firewood. And as these images, like the figures of the magic
lantern, passed in all their living colours before her mental vision, her
head drooped heavier and lower till it sunk upon her arm, and then she
started, looked round, and slept again, her face deeply buried in her young
bosom; and long and peacefully the young girl slumbered.

A sound of hurrying feet approaches, a wild cry is heard and panting
breath, and the sleeper with a startling scream sprang to her feet: she
dreamed that she was struggling in the fangs of a wolf--its grisly paws
were clasped about her throat; the feeling was agony and suffocation--her
languid eyes open. Can it be?--what is it that she sees? Yes, it is Wolfe;
not the fierce creature of her dreams by night and her fears by day, but
her father's own brave devoted dog. What joy, what hope rushed to her
heart! She threw herself upon the shaggy neck of the faithful beast, and
wept from the fulness of heart.

"Yes," she joyfully cried, "I knew that I should see him again. My own
dear, dear, loving father! Father! father! dear, dear father, here are your
children. Come, come quickly!" and she hurried to the head of the valley,
raising her voice, that the beloved parent, who she now confidently
believed was approaching, might be guided to the spot by the well-known
sound of her voice.

Poor, child! the echoes of thy eager voice, prolonged by every projecting
headland of the valley, replied in mocking tones, "Come quickly!"

Bewildered she paused, listened breathlessly and again she called,
"Father, come quickly, come!" and again the deceitful sounds were repeated,
"Quickly come!"

The faithful dog, who had succeeded in tracking the steps of his lost
mistress, raised his head and erected his ears, as she called on her
father's name; but he gave no joyful bark of recognition as he was wont to
do when he heard his master's step approaching. Still Catharine could not
but think that Wolfe had only hurried on before, and that her father must
be very near.

The sound of her voice had been heard by her brother and cousin, who,
fearing some evil beast had made its way to the wigwam, hastily wound up
their line, and left the fishing-ground to hurry to her assistance. They
could hardly believe their eyes when they saw Wolfe, faithful old Wolfe,
their earliest friend and playfellow, named by their father after the
gallant hero of Quebec. And they too, like Catharine, thought that their
friends were not far distant, and joyfully they climbed the hills and
shouted aloud, and Wolfe was coaxed and caressed, and besought to follow
them to point out the way they should take: but all their entreaties were
in vain; worn out with fatigue and long fasting, the poor old dog refused
to quit the embers of the fire, before which he stretched himself, and
the boys now noticed his gaunt frame and wasted flesh--he looked almost
starved. The fact now became evident that he was in a state of great
exhaustion. Catharine thought he eyed the spring with wishful looks, and
she soon supplied him with water in the bark dish, to this great relief.

Wolfe had been out for several days with his master, who would repeat, in
tones of sad earnestness, to the faithful creature, "Lost, lost, lost!" It
was his custom to do so when the cattle strayed, and Wolfe would travel in
all directions till he found them, nor ceased his search till he discovered
the objects he was ordered to bring home. The last night of the father's
wanderings, when, sick and hopeless, he came back to his melancholy
home, as he sat sleeplessly rocking himself to and fro, he involuntarily
exclaimed, wringing his hands, "Lost, lost, lost!" Wolfe heard what to him
was an imperative command; he rose, and stood at the door, and whined;
mechanically his master rose, lifted the latch, and again exclaimed in
passionate tones those magic words, that sent the faithful messenger forth
into the dark forest path. Once on the trail he never left it, but with ah
instinct incomprehensible as it was powerful, he continued to track the
woods, lingering long on spots where the wanderers had left any signs of
their sojourn; he had for some time been baffled at the Beaver Meadow, and
again where they had crossed Cold Creek, but had regained the scent and
traced them to the valley of the "big stone," and then with the sagacity of
the bloodhound and the affection of the terrier he had, at last, discovered
the objects of his unwearied, though often baffled search.

What a state of excitement did the unexpected arrival of old Wolfe create!
How many questions were put to the poor beast, as he lay with his head
pillowed on the knees of his loving mistress! Catharine knew it was
foolish, but she could not help talking to the dumb animal, as if he had
been conversant with her own language. Ah, old Wolfe, if your homesick
nurse could but have interpreted those expressive looks, those eloquent
waggings of your bushy tail, as it flapped upon the grass, or waved from
side to side; those gentle lickings of the hand, and mute sorrowful
glances, as though he would have said, "Dear mistress, I know all your
troubles. I know all you say, but I cannot answer you!" There is something
touching in the silent sympathy of the dog, to which only the hard-hearted
and depraved can be quite insensible. I remember once hearing of a felon,
who had shown the greatest obstinacy and callous indifference to the
appeals of his relations, and the clergyman that attended him in prison,
whose heart was softened by the sight of a little dog, that had been his
companion in his days of comparative innocence, forcing its way through the
crowd, till it gained the foot of the gallows; its mute look of anguish
and affection unlocked the fount of human feeling, and the condemned man
wept--perhaps the first tears he had shed since childhood's happy days.

The night closed in with a tempest of almost tropical violence. The inky
darkness of the sky was relieved, at intervals, by sheets of lurid flame,
which revealed, by its intense brightness, every object far off or near.
The distant lake, just seen amid the screen of leaves through the gorge of
the valley, gleamed like a sea of molten sulphur; the deep narrow defile,
shut in by the steep and wooded hills, looked deeper, more wild and gloomy,
when revealed by that vivid glare of light.

There was no stir among the trees, the heavy rounded masses of foliage
remained unmoved; the very aspen, that tremulous sensitive tree, scarcely
stirred; it seemed as if the very pulses of nature were at rest. The solemn
murmur that preceded the thunder-peal might have been likened to the
moaning of the dying. The children felt the loneliness of the spot. Seated
at the entrance of their sylvan hut, in front of which their evening fire
burned brightly, they looked out upon the storm in silence and in
awe. Screened by the sheltering shrubs that grew near them, they felt
comparatively safe from the dangers of the storm, which now burst in
terrific violence above the valley. Cloud answered to cloud, and the echoes
of the hills prolonged the sound, while shattered trunks and brittle
branches filled the air, and shrieked and groaned in that wild war of

Between the pauses of the tempest the long howl of the wolves, from their
covert in some distant cedar swamp at the edge of the lake, might be heard
from time to time,--a sound that always thrilled their hearts with fear. To
the mighty thunder-peal that burst above their heads they listened with awe
and wonder. It seemed, indeed, to them as if it were the voice of Him who
"sendeth out his voice, yea, and that a mighty voice." And they bowed and
adored his majesty; but they shrank with curdled blood from the cry of the
_felon wolf._

And now the storm was at its climax, and the hail and rain came down in a
whitening flood upon that ocean of forest leaves; the old grey branches
were lifted up and down, and the stout trunks rent, for they would not bow
down before the fury of the whirlwind, and were scattered all abroad like
chaff before the wind.

The children thought not of danger for themselves, but they feared for the
safety of their fathers, whom they believed to be not far off from them.
And often 'mid the raging of the elements, they fancied they could
distinguish familiar voices calling upon their names. "If our father had
not been near, Wolfe would not have come hither."

"Ah, if our father should have perished in this fearful storm," said
Catharine, weeping, "or have been starved to death while seeking for us!"
and Catharine covered her face and wept more bitterly.

But Louis would not listen to such melancholy forebodings. Their fathers
were both brave hardy men, accustomed to every sort of danger and
privation; they were able to take care of themselves. Yes, he was sure they
were not far off; it was this unlucky storm coming on that had prevented
them from meeting.

"To-morrow, ma chere, will be a glorious day after the storm; it will be a
joyful one too, we shall go out with Wolfe, and he will find his master,
and then--oh, yes! I dare say my dear father will be with yours. They will
have taken good heed to the track, and we shall soon see our dear mothers
and chere petite Louise."

The storm lasted till past midnight, when it gradually subsided, and the
poor wanderers glad to see the murky clouds roll off, and the stars peep
forth among their broken masses; but they were reduced to a pitiful state,
the hurricane having beaten down their little hut, and their garments were
drenched with rain. However, the boys made a good fire with some bark
and boughs they had in store; there were a few sparks in their back log
unextinguished, and this they gladly fanned up into a blaze, with which
they dried their wet clothes, and warmed themselves. The air was now cool
almost to chilliness, and for some days the weather remained unsettled,
and the sky overcast with clouds, while the lake presented a leaden hue,
crested with white mimic waves.

They soon set to work to make another hut, and found close to the head of
the ravine a great pine uprooted, affording them large pieces of bark,
which proved very serviceable in thatching the sides of the hut. The boys
employed themselves in this work, while Catharine cooked the fish they
had caught the night before, with a share of which old Wolfe seemed to be
mightily well pleased. After they had breakfasted, they all went up towards
the high table-land above the ravine, with Wolfe, to look round in hope of
getting sight of their friends from Cold Springs, but though they kept an
anxious look out in every direction, they returned, towards evening,
tired and hopeless. Hector had killed a red squirrel, and a partridge which
Wolfe "treed,"--that is, stood barking at the foot of the tree in which it
had perched,--and the supply of meat was a seasonable change. They also
noticed, and marked, with the axe, several trees where there were bees,
intending to come in the cold weather, and cut them down. Louis's father
was a great and successful bee-hunter; and Louis rather prided himself on
having learned something of his father's skill in that line. Here, where
flowers were so abundant and water plentiful, the wild bees seemed to be
abundant also; besides, the open space between the trees, admitting the
warm sunbeam freely, was favourable both for the bees and the flowers on
which they fed, and Louis talked joyfully of the fine stores of honey they
should collect in the fell. He had taught little Fanchon, a small French
spaniel of his father's, to find out the trees where the bees hived, and
also the nests of the ground-bees, and she would bark at the foot of the
tree, or scratch with her feet on the ground, as the other dogs barked at
the squirrels or the woodchucks; but Fanchon was far away, and Wolfe was
old, and would learn no new tricks, so Louis knew he had nothing but his
own observation and the axe to depend upon for procuring honey.

The boys had been unsuccessful for some days past in fishing; neither
perch nor sunfish, pink roach nor mud-pouts [Footnote: All these fish are
indigenous to the fresh waters of Canada.] were to be caught. However, they
found water-mussels by groping in the sand, and cray-fish among the
gravel at the edge of the water only; the last pinched their fingers very
spitefully. The mussels were not very palateable, for want of salt; but
hungry folks must not be dainty, and Louis declared them very good when
well roasted, covered up with hot embers. "The fish-hawks," said he, "set
us a good example, for they eat them, and so do the eagles and herons. I
watched one the other day with a mussel in his bill; he flew to a high
tree, let his prey fall, and immediately darted down to secure it; but I
drove him off, and, to my great amusement, perceived the wise fellow had
just let it fall on a stone, which had cracked the shell for him just in
the right place. I often see shells lying at the foot of trees, far up
the hills, where these birds must have left them. There is one large
thick-shelled mussel, that I have found several times with a round hole
drilled through the shell, just as if it had been done with a small auger,
doubtless the work of some bird with a strong beak."

"Do you remember," said Catharine, "the fine pink mussel-shell that Hec.
picked up in the little corn-field last year; it had a hole in one of
the shells too; [Footnote: This ingenious mode of cracking the shells of
mussels is common to many birds. The crow (_Corvus corone_) has been long
known by American naturalists to break the thick shells of the river
mussels, by letting them fall from a height on to rocks and stones.] and
when my uncle saw it, he said it must have been dropped by some large bird,
a fish-hawk possibly, or a heron, and brought from the great lake, as it
had been taken out of some deep water, the mussels in our creeks being
quite thin-shelled and white."

"Do you remember what a quantity of large fish bones we found in the
eagle's nest on the top of our hill, Louis?" said Hector.

"I do; those fish must have been larger than our perch and sun-fish; they
were brought from this very lake, I dare say."

"If we had a good canoe now, or a boat, and a strong hook and line, we
might become great fishermen."

"Louis," said Catharine, "is always thinking about canoes, and boats, and
skiffs; he ought to have been a sailor."

Louis was confident that if they had a canoe he could soon learn to
manage her; he was an excellent sailor already in theory. Louis never saw
difficulties; he was always hopeful, and had a very good opinion of his own
cleverness; he was quicker in most things, his ideas flowed faster than
Hector's, but Hector was more prudent, and possessed one valuable quality--
steady perseverance; he was slow in adopting an opinion, but when once
convinced, he pushed on steadily till he mastered the subject or overcame
the obstacle.

"Catharine," said Louis, one day, "the huckleberries age now very
plentiful, and I think it would be a wise thing to gather a good store of
them, and dry them for the winter. See, ma chere, wherever we turn our
eyes, or place our feet, they are to be found; the hill sides are purple
with them. We may, for aught we know, be obliged to pass the rest of our
lives here; it will be well to prepare for the winter when no berries are
to be found."

"It will be well, mon ami, but we must not dry them in the sun; for let me
tell you, Mr. Louis, that they will be quite tasteless--mere dry husks."

"Why so, ma belle?"

"I do not know the reason, but I only know the fact, for when our mothers
dried the currants and raspberries in the sun, such was the case, but when
they dried them on the oven floor, or on the hearth, they were quite nice."

"Well, Cath., I think I know of a flat thin stone that will make a good
hearthstone, and we can get sheets of birch bark and sew into flat bags, to
keep the dried fruit in."

They now turned all their attention to drying huckleberries (or
whortleberries). [Footnote: From the abundance of this fruit, the Indians
have given the name of Whortleberry Plain to the lands on the south shore.
During the month of July and the early part of August, large parties come
to the Rice Lake Plains to gather huckleberries, which they preserve by
drying, for winter use. These berries make a delicious tart or pudding,
mixed with bilberries and red-currants, requiring little sugar.] Catharine
and Louis (who fancied nothing could be contrived without his help)
attended to the preparing and making of the bags of birch bark; but Hector
was soon tired of girl's work, as he termed it, and, after gathering some
berries, would wander away over the hills in search of game, and to explore
the neighbouring hills and valleys, and sometimes it was sunset before he
made his appearance. Hector had made an excellent strong-bow, like the
Indian bow, out of a tough piece of hickory wood, which he found in one of
his rambles, and he made arrows with wood that he seasoned in the smoke,
sharpening the heads with great care with his knife, and hardening them by
exposure to strong heat, at a certain distance from the fire. The entrails
of the woodchucks, stretched, and scraped and dried, and rendered pliable
by rubbing and drawing through the hands, answered for a bowstring; but
afterwards, when they got the sinews and hide of the deer, they used them,
properly dressed for the purpose.

Hector also made a cross-bow, which he used with great effect, being a
true and steady marksman. Louis and he would often amuse themselves with
shooting at a mark, which they would chip on the bark of a tree; even
Catharine was a tolerable archeress with the longbow, and the hut was now
seldom without game of one kind or other. Hector seldom returned from his
rambles without partridges, quails, or young pigeons, which are plentiful
at this season of the year; many of the old ones that pass over in their
migratory flight in the spring, stay to breed, or return thither for the
acorns and berries that are to be found in great abundance. Squirrels, too,
are very plentiful at this season. Hector and Louis remarked that the red
and black squirrels never were to be found very near each other. It is a
common belief, that the red squirrels make common cause with the grey, and
beat the larger enemy off the ground. The black squirrel, for a succession
of years, was very rarely to be met with on the Plains, while there were
plenty of the red and grey in the "oak openings." [Footnote: Within the
last three years, however, the black squirrels have been very numerous, and
the red are less frequently to be seen. The flesh of the black squirrel is
tender, white, and delicate, like that of a young rabbit.] Deer, at the
time our young Crusoes were living on the Rice Lake Plains, were plentiful,
and, of course, so were those beasts that prey upon them,--wolves, bears,
and wolverines, besides the Canadian lynx, or catamount, as it is here
commonly called, a species of wild-cat or panther. These wild animals are
now no longer to be seen; it is a rare thing to hear of bears or wolves,
and the wolverine and lynx are known only as matters of history in this
part of the country; these animals disappear as civilization advances,
while some others increase and follow man, especially many species of
birds, which seem to pick up the crumbs that fall from the rich man's
board, and multiply about his dwelling; some adopt new habits and modes of
building and feeding, according to the alteration and improvement in their

While our young people seldom wanted for meat, they felt the privation of
the tread to which they had teen accustomed very sensibly. One day, while
Hector and Louis were busily engaged with their assistant, Wolfe, in
unearthing a woodchuck, that had taken refuge in his burrow, on one of the
gravelly hills above the lake, Catharine amused herself by looking
for flowers; she had filled her lap with ripe May-apples, [Footnote:
_Podophyllum peltatum_-May-apple, or Mandrake. The fruit of the May-apple,
in rich moist soil, will attain to the size of the magnum bonum, or
egg-plum, which it resembles in colour and shape. It makes a delicious
preserve, if seasoned with cloves or ginger; when eaten uncooked, the outer
rind, which is thick and fleshy, and has a rank taste, should be thrown
aside; the fine acid pulp in which the seeds are imbedded alone should be
eaten. The root of the Podophyllum is used as a cathartic by the Indians.
The root of this plant is reticulated, and when a large body of them are
uncovered, they present a singular appearance, interlacing each other in
large meshes, like an extensive net-work; these roots are white, as thick
as a man's little finger, and fragrant, and spread horizontally along
the surface. The blossom is like a small white rose.] but finding them
cumbersome in climbing the steep wooded hills, she deposited them at the
foot of a tree near the boys, and pursued her search; and it was not long
before she perceived some pretty grassy-looking plants, with heads of
bright lilac flowers, and on plucking some pulled up the root also. The
root was about the size and shape of a large crocus, and, on biting it, she
found it far from disagreeable, sweet, and slightly astringent; it seemed
to be a favourite root with the wood-chucks, for she noticed that it grew
about their burrows on dry gravelly soil, and many of the stems were
bitten, and the roots eaten, a warrant in full of wholesomeness. Therefore,
carrying home a parcel of the largest of the roots, she roasted them in the
embers, and they proved almost as good as chestnuts, and more satisfying
than the acorns of the white oak, which they had often roasted in the fire,
when they were out working on the fallow, at the log heaps. Hector and
Louis ate heartily of the roots, and commended Catharine for the discovery.
Not many days afterwards, Louis accidentally found a much larger and more
valuable root, near the lake shore. He saw a fine climbing shrub, with
close bunches of dark reddish-purple pea-shaped flowers, which scented the
air with a delicious perfume. The plant climbed to a great height over the
young trees, with a profusion of dark green leaves and tendrils. Pleased
with the bowery appearance of the plant, he tried to pull one up, that he
might show it to his cousin, when the root displayed a number of large
tubers, as big as good-sized potatoes, regular oval-shaped; the inside was
quite white, tasting somewhat like a potato, only pleasanter, when in its
raw state, than an uncooked potato. Louis gathered his pockets full, and
hastened home with his prize, and, on being roasted, these new roots were
decided to be little inferior to potatoes, at all events, they were a
valuable addition to their slender stores, and they procured as many as
they could find, carefully storing them in a hole, which they dug for that
purpose in a corner of their hut. [Footnote: This plant appears to me to
be a species of the _Psoralea esculenta_, or Indian bread-root, which it
resembles in description, excepting that the root of the above is tuberous
oval, and connected by long filaments. The largest tubers are farthest from
the stem of the plant.] Hector suggested that these roots would be far
better late in the fall, or early in the spring, than during the time that
the plant was in bloom, for he knew from observation and experience that at
the flowering season the greater part of the nourishment derived from the
soil goes to perfect the flower and the seeds. Upon scraping the cut tuber,
there was a white floury powder produced resembling the starchy substance
of the potato.

"This flour," said Catharine, "would make good porridge with milk."

"Excellent, no doubt, my wise little cook and housekeeper," said Louis,
laughing, "but ma belle cousine, where is the milk, and where is the
porridge-pot to come from?"

"Indeed," said Catharine, "I fear, Louis, we must wait long for both."

One fine day, Louis returned home from the lake shore in great haste, for
the bows and arrows, with the interesting news that a herd of five deer
were in the water, and making for Long Island.

"But, Louis, they will be gone out of sight and beyond the reach of the
arrows," said Catharine, as she handed him down the bows and a sheaf of
arrows, which she quickly slung round his shoulders by the belt of skin,
which, the young hunter had made for himself.

"No fear, ma chere; they will stop to feed on the beds of rice and lilies.
We must have Wolfe. Here, Wolfe, Wolfe, Wolfe,--here, boy, here!"

Catharine caught a portion of the excitement that danced in the bright eyes
of her cousin, and declaring that she too would go and witness the hunt,
ran down the ravine by his side, while Wolfe, who evidently understood that
they had some sport in view, trotted along by his mistress, wagging his
great bushy tail, and looking in high good humour.

Hector was impatiently waiting the arrival of the bows and Wolfe. The herd
of deer, consisting of a noble buck, two full-grown females, and two young
half-grown males, were quietly feeding among the beds of rice and rushes,
not more than fifteen or twenty yards from the shore, apparently quite
unconcerned at the presence of Hector, who stood on a fallen trunk eagerly
eyeing their motions; but the hurried steps of Louis and Catharine, with
the deep sonorous baying of Wolfe, soon roused the timid creatures to a
sense of danger, and the stag, raising his head and making, as the children
thought, a signal for retreat, now struck boldly out for the nearest point
of Long Island.

"We shall lose them," cried Louis, despairingly, eyeing the long bright
track that cut the silvery waters, as the deer swam gallantly out.

"Hist, hist, Louis," said Hector, "all depends upon Wolfe. Turn them,
Wolfe; hey, hey, seek them, boy!"

Wolfe dashed bravely into the lake.

"Head them! head them!" shouted Hector.

Wolfe knew what was meant; with the sagacity of a long-trained hunter, he
made a desperate effort to gain the advantage by a circuitous route. Twice
the stag turned irresolute, as if to face his foe, and Wolfe, taking the
time, swam ahead, and then the race began. As soon as the boys saw the herd
had turned, and that Wolfe was between them and the island, they separated,
Louis making good his ambush to the right among the cedars, and Hector
at the spring to the west, while Catharine was stationed at the solitary
pine-tree, at the point which commanded the entrance of the ravine.

"Now, Cathy," said her brother, "when you see the herd making for the
ravine, shout and and, clap your hands, and they will turn either to the ten
right or to the left. Do not let them land, or we shall lose them. We must
trust to Wolfe for their not escaping to the island. Wolfe is well trained,
he knows what he is about."

Catharine proved a dutiful ally, she did as she was bid; she waited till
the deer were within a few yards of the shore, then she shouted and clapped
her hands. Frightened at the noise and clamour, the terrified creatures
coasted along for some way, till within a little distance of the thicket
where Hector lay concealed, the very spot from which they had emerged when
they first took to the water; to this place they boldly steered. Louis, who
had watched the direction the herd had taken with breathless interest, now
noiselessly hurried to Hector's assistance, taking an advantageous post for
aim, in case Hector's arrow missed, or only slightly wounded one of the

Hector, crouched beneath the trees, waited cautiously till one of the does
was within reach of his arrow, and so good and true was his aim, that it
hit the animal hi the throat a little above the chest; the stag now turned
again, but Wolfe was behind, and pressed him forward, and again the noble
animal strained every nerve for the shore. Louis now shot his arrow, but it
swerved from the mark, he was too eager, it glanced harmlessly along the
water; but the cool, unimpassioned hand of Hector sent another arrow
between the eyes of the doe, stunning her with its force, and then, another
from Louis laid her on her side, dying, and staining the water with her

The herd, abandoning their dying companion, dashed frantically to the
shore, and the young hunters, elated by their success, suffered them to
make good their landing without further molestation. Wolfe, at a signal
from his master, ran in the quarry, and Louis declared exultingly, that as
his last arrow had given the _coup de grace_, he was entitled to the honour
of cutting the throat of the doe; but this, the stern Highlander protested
against, and Louis, with a careless laugh, yielded the point, contenting
himself with saying, "Ah, well, I will get the first steak of the venison
when it is roasted, and that is far more to my taste." Moreover, he
privately recounted to Catharine the important share he had had in the
exploit, giving her, at the same time, full credit for the worthy service
she had performed, in withstanding the landing of the herd. Wolfe, too,
came in for a large share of the honour and glory of the chase.

The boys were soon hard at work, skinning the animal, and cutting it up.
This was the most valuable acquisition they had yet effected, for many uses
were to be made of the deer, besides eating the flesh. It was a store of
wealth in their eyes.

During the many years that their fathers had sojourned in the country,
there had been occasional intercourse with the fur traders and trappers,
and, sometimes, with friendly disposed Indians, who had called at the
lodges of their white brothers for food and tobacco.

From all these men, rude as they were, some practical knowledge had been
acquired, and their visits, though few and far between, had left good fruit
behind them; something to think about and talk about, and turn to future

The boys had learned from the Indians how precious were the tough sinews
of the deer for sewing. They knew how to prepare the skins of the deer
for mocassins, which they could cut out and make as neatly as the squaws
themselves. They could fashion arrow-heads, and knew how best to season the
wood for making both the long and cross-bow; they had seen the fish-hooks
these people manufactured from bone and hard wood; they knew that strips of
fresh-cut skins would make bow-strings, or the entrails of animals dried
and rendered pliable. They had watched the squaws making baskets of the
inner bark of the oak, elm, and basswood, and mats of the inner bark of
the cedar, with many other ingenious works that they now found would prove
useful to them, after a little practice had perfected their inexperienced
attempts. They also knew how to dry venison as the Indians and trappers
prepare it, by cutting the thick fleshy portions of the meat into strips,
from four to six inches in breadth, and two or more in thickness. These
strips they strung upon poles supported on forked sticks, and exposed them
to the drying action of the sun and wind. Fish they split open, and removed
the back and head bones, and smoked them slightly, or dried them in the

Their success in killing the doe greatly raised their spirits; in their joy
they embraced each other, and bestowed the most affectionate caresses on
Wolfe for his good conduct.

"But for this dear, wise old fellow, we should have had no venison for
dinner to-day," said Louis; "and so, Wolfe, you shall have a choice piece
for your own share."

Every part of the deer seemed valuable in the eyes of the young hunters;
the skin they carefully stretched out upon sticks to dry gradually, and the
entrails they also preserved for bow-strings. The sinews of the legs and
back, they drew out, and laid carefully aside for future use.

"We shall be glad enough of these strings by-and-by," said careful Hector;
"for the summer will soon be at an end, and then we must turn our attention
to making ourselves winter clothes and mocassins."

"Yes, Hec., and a good warm shanty; these huts of bark and boughs will not
do when once the cold weather sets in."

"A shanty would soon be put up," said Hector; "for even Kate, wee bit
lassie as she is, could give us some help in trimming up the logs.

"That I could, indeed," replied Catherine; "for you may remember, Hec.,
that the last journey my father made to the Bay, [Footnote: Bay of Quints.]
with the pack of furs, that you and I called a _Bee_

[Footnote: A _Bee_ is a practical instance of duty to a neighbour. We
fear it is peculiar to Canada, although deserving of imitation in all
Christian colonies. When any work which requires many hands is in the
course of performance, as the building of log-houses, barns, or
shanties, all the neighbours are summoned, and give their best
assistance in the construction. Of course the assisted party is liable
to be called upon by the community in turn, to repay in kind the help he
has received.]

to put up a shed for the new cow that he was to drive back with him, and
I am sure Mathilde and I did as much good as you and Louis. You know you
said you could not have got on nearly so well without our help."

"Yes, and you cried because you got a fall off the shed when if was only
four logs high."

"It was not for the fall that I cried," said Catharine, resentfully, "but
because cousin Louis and you laughed at me, and said, 'Cats, you know, have
nine lives, and seldom are hurt, because they light on their feet,' and I
thought it was very cruel to laugh at me when I was in pain. Beside, you
called me 'puss,' and 'poor pussie' all the rest of the _Bee_."

"I am sure, ma belle, I am very sorry if I was rude to you," said Louis,
trying to look penitent for the offence. "For my part, I had forgotten all
about the fall; I only know that we passed a very merry day. Dear aunt made
us a fine Johnny-cake for tea, with lots of maple molasses; and the shed
was a capital shed, and the cow must have thought us fine builders, to have
made such a comfortable shelter for her, with no better help."

"After all," said Hector, thoughtfully; "children can do a great many
things if they only resolutely set to work, and use the wits and the
strength that God has given them to work with. A few weeks ago, and we
should have thought it utterly impossible to have supported ourselves in a
lonely wilderness like this by our own exertions in fishing and hunting."

"If we had been lost in the forest, we must have died with hunger," said
Catharine; "but let us be thankful to the good God who led us hither, and
gave us health and strength to help ourselves."


"Aye from the sultry heat,
We to our cave retreat,
O'ercanopied by huge roots, intertwined,
Of wildest texture, blacken'd o'er with age,
Bound them their mantle green the climbers twine.
Beneath whose mantle--pale,
Fann'd by the breathing gale,
We shield us from the fervid mid-day rage,
Thither, while the murmuring throng
Of wild bees hum their drowsy song."--COLERIDGE.

"Louis, what are you cutting out of that bit of wood?" said Catharine, the
very next day after the first ideas of the shanty had been started.

"Hollowing out a canoe."

"Out of that piece of stick?" said Catharine, laughing. "How many
passengers is it to accommodate, my dear."

"Don't teaze, ma belle. I am only making a model. My canoe will be made out
of a big pine log, and large enough to hold three."

"Is it to be like the big sap-trough in the sugar-bush at home?" Louis
nodded assent.

"I long to go over to the island; I see lots of ducks popping in and out
of the little bays beneath the cedars, and there are plenty of partridges,
I am sure, and squirrels,--it is the very place for them."

"And shall we have a sail as well as oars?"

"Yes; set up your apron for a sail."

Catharine cast a rueful look upon the tattered remnant of the apron.

"It is worth nothing now," she said, sighing; "and what am I to do when
my gown is worn out? It is a good thing it is so strong; if it had been
cotton, now, it would have been torn to bits among the bushes."

"We must make clothes of skins as soon as we get enough," said Hector;
"Louis, I think you can manufacture a bone needle; we can pierce the holes
with the strong thorns, or a little round bone bodkin, that can be easily

"The first rainy day, we will see what we can do," replied Louis; "but I am
full of my canoe just now."

"Indeed, Louis, I believe you never think of anything else; but even if we
had a canoe to-morrow, I do not think that either you or I could manage
one," said cautions Hector.

"I could soon learn, as others have done before me. I wonder who first
taught the Indians to make canoes, and venture out on the lakes and
streams. Why should we be more stupid than these untaught heathens? I have
listened so often to my father's stories and adventures when he was out
lumbering on the St. John's river, that I am as familiar with the idea of
a boat, as if I had been born in one. Only think now, ma belle," he said,
turning to Catharine; "just think of the fish--the big ones we could get if
we had but a canoe to push out from the shore beyond those rush-beds."

"It strikes me, Louis, that those rush-beds, as you call them, must be the
Indian rice that we have seen the squaws make their soup of."

"Yes; and you remember old Jacob used to talk of a fine lake that he called
Rice Lake, somewhere to the northward of the Cold Springs, where he said
there was plenty of game of all kinds, and a fine open place, where people
could see through the openings among the trees. He said it was a great
hunting-place for the Indians in the fall of the year, and that they came
there to gather in the harvest of wild rice."

"I hope the Indians will not come here and find us out," said Catharine,
shuddering; "I think I should be more frightened at the Indians than at the
wolves. Have we not heard fearful tales of their cruelty?"

"But we have never been harmed by them; they have always been civil enough
when they came to the Springs." "They came, you know, for food, or shelter,
or something that they wanted from us; but it may be different when they
find us alone and unprotected, encroaching upon their hunting grounds."

"The place is wide enough for us and them; we will try and make them our

"The wolf and the lamb do not lie down in the fold together," observed
Hector. "The Indian is treacherous. The wild man and the civilized man do
not live well together, their habits and dispositions are so contrary the
one to the other. We are open, and they are cunning, and they suspect our
openness to be only a greater degree of cunning than their own--they do
not understand us. They are taught to be revengeful, and we are taught to
forgive our enemies. So you see that what is a virtue with the savage, is a
crime with the Christian. If the Indian could be taught the word of God, he
might be kind and true, and gentle as well as brave."

It was with conversations like this that our poor wanderers wiled away
their weariness. The love of life, and the exertions necessary for
self-preservation, occupied so large a portion of their thoughts and time,
that they had hardly leisure for repining. They mutually cheered and
animated each other to bear up against the sad fate that had thus severed
them from every kindred tie, and shut them out from that home to which
their young hearts were bound by every endearing remembrance from infancy

One bright September morning, our young people set off on an exploring
expedition, leaving the faithful Wolfe to watch the wigwam, for they well
knew he was too honest to touch their store of dried fish and venison
himself, and too trusty and fierce to suffer wolf or wild cat near it.

They crossed several narrow deep ravines, and the low wooded flat
[Footnote: Now the fertile firm of Joe Harris, a Yankee settler whose
pleasant meadows and fields of grain form a pretty feature from the lake.
It is one of the oldest clearings on the shore, and speaks well for the
persevering industry of the settler and his family.] along the lake shore,
to the eastward of Pine-tree Point. Finding it difficult to force their
way through the thick underwood that always impedes the progress of the
traveller on the low shores of the lake, they followed the course of an
ascending narrow ridge, which formed a sort of natural causeway between two
parallel hollows, the top of this ridge being in many places, not wider
than a cart or waggon could pass along. The sides were most gracefully
adorned with flowering shrubs, wild vines, creepers of various species,
wild cherries of several kinds, hawthorns, bilberry bushes, high-bush
cranberries, silver birch, poplars, oaks and pines; while in the deep
ravines on either side grew trees of the largest growth, the heads of which
lay on a level with their path. Wild cliffy banks, beset with huge boulders
of red and grey granite and water-worn limestone, showed that it had once
formed the boundary of the lake, though now it was almost a quarter of a
mile in its rear. Springs of pure water were in abundance, trickling down
the steep rugged sides of this wooded glen. The children wandered onwards,
delighted with the wild picturesque path they had chosen, sometimes resting
on a huge block of moss-covered stone, or on the twisted roots of some
ancient grey old oak or pine, while they gazed with curiosity and interest
on the lonely but lovely landscape before them. Across the lake, the dark
forest shut all else from their view, rising in gradual far-off slopes,
till it reached the utmost boundary of sight. Much the children marvelled
what country it might be that lay in the dim, blue, hazy distance,--to
them, indeed, a _terra incognita_--a land of mystery; but neither of her
companions laughed when Catharine gravely suggested the probability of this
unknown shore to the northward being her father's beloved Highlands. Let
not youthful and more learned reader smile at the ignorance of the Canadian
girl; she knew nothing of maps, and globes, and hemispheres,--her only
book of study had been the Holy Scriptures, her only teacher a poor
Highland soldier.

Following the elevated ground above this deep valley, the travellers at
last halted on the extreme, edge of a high and precipitous mound, that
formed an abrupt termination to the deep glen. They found water not far
from this spot fit for drinking, by following a deer-path a little to the
southward. And there, on the borders of a little basin on a pleasant brae,
where the bright silver birch waved gracefully over its sides, they decided
upon building a winter house. They named the spot Mount Ararat: "For here."
said they, "we will build us an ark of refuge and wander no more." And
mount Ararat is the name which the spot still bears. Here they sat them
down on a fallen tree, and ate a meal of dried venison, and drank of the
cold spring that welled out from beneath the edge of the bank. Hector
felled a tree to mark the site of their house near the birches, and they
made a regular blaze on the trees as they returned home towards the wigwam,
that they might not miss the place. They found less difficulty in retracing
their path than they had formerly, a there were some striking peculiarities
to mark it, and they had learned to be very minute in the remarks they made
as they travelled, so that they now seldom missed the way they came by. A
few days after this, they removed all their household stores, viz. the axe,
the tin pot, bows and arrows, baskets, and bags of dried fruit, the dried
venison and fish, and the deerskin; nor did they forget the deer scalp,
which they bore away as a trophy, to be fastened up over the door of their
new dwelling, for a memorial of their first hunt on the shores of the Rice
Lake. The skin was given to Catharine to sleep on.

The boys were now busy from morning till night chopping down trees for
house-logs. It was a work of time and labour, as the axe was blunt, and the
oaks hard to cut; but they laboured on without grumbling, and Kate watched
the fall of each tree with lively joy. They were no longer dull; there was
something to look forward to from day to day-they were going to commence
housekeeping in good earnest and they should be warm and well lodged before
the bitter frosts of winter could come to chill their blood. It was a
joyful day when the log walls of the little shanty were put up, and the
door hewed out. Windows they had none, so they did not cut out the spaces
for them; [Footnote: Many a shanty is put up in Canada without windows, and
only an open space for a door, with a rude plank set up to close it in at
night.] they could do very well without, as hundreds of Irish and Highland
emigrants have done before and since.

A pile of stones rudely cemented together with wet clay and ashes against
the logs, and a hole cut in the roof, formed the chimney and hearth in this
primitive dwelling. The chinks were filled with wedge-shaped pieces of
wood, and plastered with clay: the trees, being chiefly oaks and pines,
afforded no moss. This deficiency rather surprised the boys, for in the
thick forest and close cedar swamps, moss grows in abundance on the north
side of the trees, especially on the cedar, maple, beech, bass, and iron
wood; but there were few of these, excepting a chance one or two in the
little basin in front of the house. The roof was next put on, which
consisted of split cedars; and when the little dwelling was thus far
habitable, they were all very happy. While the boys had been putting on the
roof, Catharine had collected the stones for the chimney, and cleared the
earthen floor of the chips and rubbish with a broom of cedar boughs, bound
together with a leathern thong. She had swept it all clean, carefully
removing all unsightly objects, and strewing it over with fresh cedar
sprigs, which gave out a pleasant odour, and formed a smooth and not
unseemly carpet for their little dwelling. How cheerful was the first fire
blazing up on their own hearth! It was so pleasant to sit by its gladdening
light, and chat away of all they had done and all that they meant to do.
Here was to be a set of split cedar shelves, to hold their provisions and
baskets; there a set of stout pegs were to be inserted between the logs for
hanging up strings of dried meat, bags of birch-bark, or the skins of the
animals they were to shoot or trap. A table was to be fixed on posts in the
centre of the floor. Louis was to carve wooden platters and dishes, and
some stools were to be made with hewn blocks of wood, till something better
could be devised. Their bedsteads were rough poles of iron-wood, supported
by posts driven into the ground, and partly upheld by the projection of the
logs at the angles of the wall. Nothing could be more simple. The framework
was of split cedar; and a safe bed was made by pine boughs being first
laid upon the frame, and then thickly covered with dried grass, moss, and
withered leaves. Such were the lowly but healthy couches on which these
children of the forest slept.

A dwelling so rudely framed and scantily furnished would be regarded with
disdain by the poorest English peasant. Yet many a settler's family have I
seen as roughly lodged, while a better house was being prepared for
their reception; and many a gentleman's son has voluntarily submitted to
privations as great as these, from the love of novelty and adventure, or
to embark in the tempting expectation of realizing money in the lumbering
trade, working hard, and sharing the rude log shanty and ruder society of
those reckless and hardy men, the Canadian lumberers. During the spring and
summer months, these men spread themselves through the trackless forests,
and along the shores of nameless lakes and unknown streams, to cut the pine
or oak lumber, such being the name they give to the felled stems of trees,
which are then hewn, and in the winter dragged out upon the ice, where they
are formed into rafts, and floated down the waters till they reach the
great St. Lawrence, and are, after innumerable difficulties and casualties,
finally shipped for England. I have likewise known European gentlemen
voluntarily leave the comforts of a civilized home, and associate
themselves with the Indian trappers and hunters, leading lives as wandering
and as wild as the uncultivated children of the forest. The nights and
early mornings were already growing sensibly more chilly. The dews at this
season fall heavily, and the mists fill the valleys, till the sun has risen
with sufficient heat to draw up the vapours. It was a good thing that the
shanty was finished so soon, or the exposure to the damp air might have
been productive of ague and fever. Every hour almost they spent in making
little additions to their household comforts, but some time was necessarily
passed in trying to obtain provisions. One day Hector, who had been out
from dawn till moonrise, returned with the welcome news that he had shot a
young deer, and required the assistance of his cousin to bring it up the
steep bank--(it was just at the entrance of the great ravine)--below the
precipitous cliff near the lake; he had left old Wolfe to guard it in the
meantime. They had now plenty of fresh broiled meat, and this store was
very acceptable, as they were obliged to be very careful of the dried meat
that they had.

This time Catharine adopted a new plan. Instead of cutting the meat in
strips, and drying it, (or jerking it, as the lumberers term it,) she
roasted it before the fire, and hung it up, wrapping it in thin sheets of
birch bark. The juices, instead of being dried up, were preserved, and the
meat was more palatable. Catharine found great store of wild plums in a
beautiful valley, not far from the shanty; these she dried for the winter
store, eating sparingly of them in their fresh state; she also found plenty
of wild black currants, and high-bush cranberries, on the banks of a
charming creek of bright water that flowed between a range of high pine
hills, and finally emptied itself into the lake.[Footnote: This little
stream flows through the green meadows of "Glenlynden," watering the
grounds of Mr. Alfred Hayward, whose picturesque cottage forms a most
attractive object to the eye of the traveller.] There were great quantities
of water-cresses in this pretty brook; they grew in bright round
cushion-like tufts at the bottom of the water, and were tender and
wholesome. These formed an agreeable addition to their diet, which had
hitherto been chiefly confined to animal food, for they could not always
meet with a supply of the bread-roots, as they grew chiefly in damp, swampy
thickets on the lake shore, which were sometimes very difficult of access;
however, they never missed any opportunity of increasing their stores, and
laying up for the winter such roots as they could procure.

As the cool weather and frosty nights drew on, the want of warm clothes and
bed-covering became more sensibly felt: those they had were beginning to
wear out. Catharine had managed to wash her clothes at the lake several
times, and thus preserved them clean and wholesome; but she was often
sorely puzzled how the want of her dress was to be supplied as time wore
on, and many were the consultations she held with the boys on the important
subject. With the aid of a needle she might be able to manufacture the
skins of the small animals into some sort of jacket, and the doe-skin
and deer-skin could be made into garments for the boys. Louis was always
suppling and rubbing the skins to make them soft. They had taken off the
hair by sprinkling it with wood ashes, and rolling it up with the hairy
side inwards. Out of one of these skins he made excellent mocassins,
piercing the holes with a sharpened bone bodkin, and passing the sinews of
the deer through, as he had seen his father do, by fixing a stout fish-bone
to the deer-sinew thread; thus he had an excellent substitute for a needle,
and with the aid of the old file he sharpened the point of the rusty nail,
so that he was enabled, with a little trouble, to drill a hole in a
bone needle, for his cousin Catharine's use. After several attempts, he
succeeded in making some of tolerable fineness, hardening them by exposure
to a slow steady degree of heat, till she was able to work with them, and
even mend her clothes with tolerable expertness. By degrees, Catharine
contrived to cover the whole outer surface of her homespun woollen frock
with squirrel and mink, musk-rat and woodchuck skins. A curious piece of
fur patchwork of many hues and textures it presented to the eye,--a coat of
many colours, it is true; but it kept the wearer warm, and Catharine was
not a little proud of her ingenuity and industry: every new patch that was
added was a source of fresh satisfaction, and the mocassins, that Louis
fitted so nicely to her feet, were great comforts. A fine skin that Hector
brought triumphantly in one day, the spoil from a fox that had been caught
in one of his deadfalls, was in due time converted into a dashing cap, the
brush remaining as an ornament to hang down on one shoulder. Catharine
might have passed for a small Diana, when she went out with her fur dress
and bow and arrows to hunt with Hector and Louis.

Whenever game of any kind was killed, it was carefully skinned and
stretched upon bent sticks, being first turned, so as to present the inner
part to the drying action of the air. The young hunters were most expert in
this work, having been accustomed for many years to assist their fathers in
preparing the furs which they disposed of to the fur traders, who visited
them from time to time, and gave them various articles in exchange for
their peltries; such as powder and shot, and cutlery of different kinds,
as knives, scissors, needles, and pins, with gay calicoes, and cotton
handkerchiefs for the women.

As the evenings lengthened, the boys employed themselves with carving
wooden platters: knives and forks and spoons they fashioned out of the
larger bones of the deer, which they often found bleaching in the sun and
wind, where they had been left by their enemies the wolves; baskets too
they made, and birch dishes, which they could now finish so well, that they
held water, or any liquid; but their great want was some vessel that would
bear the heat of the fire. The tin pot was so small that it could be made
little use of in the cooking way. Catharine had made an attempt at making
tea, on a small scale, of the leaves of the sweet fern,--a graceful woody
fern, with a fine aromatic scent like nutmegs; this plant is highly
esteemed among the Canadians as a beverage, and also as a remedy against
the ague; it grows in great abundance on dry sandy lands and wastes, by

"If we could but make some sort of earthen pot that would stand the heat of
the fire," said Louis, "we could get on nicely with cooking." But nothing
like the sort of clay used by potters had been seen, and they were obliged
to give up that thought, and content themselves with roasting or broiling
their food. Louis, however, who was fond of contrivances, made an oven, by
hollowing out a place near the hearth, and lining it with stones, filling
up the intervals with wood ashes and such clay as they could find, beaten
into a smooth mortar. Such cement answered very well, and the oven was
heated by filling it with hot embers; these were removed when it was
sufficiently heated, and the meat or roots placed within, the oven being
covered over with a flat stone previously heated before the fire, and
covered with live coals. This sort of oven had often been described by old
Jacob, as one in common use among some of the Indian tribes in the lower
province, in which they cook small animals, and make excellent meat of
them; they could bake bread also in this oven, if they had had flour
to use. [Footnote: This primitive oven is much like what voyagers have
described as in use among the natives of many of the South Sea islands.]

Since the finishing of the house and furnishing it, the young people were
more reconciled to their lonely life, and even entertained decided home
feelings for their little log cabin. They never ceased, it is true, to talk
of their parents, and brothers, and sisters, and wonder if all were well,
and whether they still hoped for their return, and to recall all their happy
days spent in the home which they now feared they were destined never again
to behold. About the same time they lost the anxious hope of meeting
some one from home in search of them at every turn when they went out.
Nevertheless they were becoming each day more cheerful and more active.
Ardently attached to each other, they seemed bound together by a yet more
sacred tie of brotherhood. They were now all the world to one another, and
no cloud of disunion came to mar their happiness. Hector's habitual gravity
and caution were tempered by Louis's lively vivacity and ardour of temper,
and they both loved Catharine, and strove to smoothe, as much as possible,
the hard life to which she was exposed, by the most affectionate
consideration for her comfort, and she in return endeavoured to repay
them by cheerfully enduring all privations, and making light of all their
trials, and taking a lively interest in all their plans and contrivances.

Louis had gone out to fish at the lake one autumn morning. During his
absence, a sudden squall of wind came on, accompanied with heavy rain.
As he stayed longer than usual, Hector began to feel uneasy, lest some
accident had befallen him, knowing his adventurous spirit, and that he had
for some days previous been busy constructing a raft of cedar logs,
which he had fastened together with wooden pins. This raft he had nearly
finished, and was even talking of adventuring over to the nearest island to
explore it, and see what game, and roots, and fruits it afforded.

Bidding Catharine stay quietly within-doors till his return, Hector ran
off, not without some misgivings of evil having befallen his rash cousin,
which fears he carefully concealed from his sister, as he did not wish
to make her needlessly anxious. When he reached the shore, his mind was
somewhat relieved by seeing the raft on the beach, just as it had been left
the night before, but neither Louis nor the axe was to be seen, nor the
fishing-rod and line.

"Perhaps," thought he, "Louis has gone further down to the mouth of the
little creek, in the flat east of this, where we caught our last fish: or
maybe he has gone up to the old place at Pine-tree Point."

While he yet stood hesitating within himself which way to turn, he heard
steps as of some one running, and perceived his cousin hurrying through the
bushes in the direction of the shanty. It was evident by his disordered
air, and the hurried glances that he cast over his shoulder from time to
time, that something unusual had occurred to disturb him.

"Halloo! Louis, is it bear, wolf, or catamount that is on your trail?"
cried Hector, almost amused by the speed with which his cousin hurried
onward. "Why, Louis, whither away?"

Louis now turned and held up his hand, as if to enjoin silence, till Hector
came up to him.

"Why, man, what ails you? what makes you run as if you were hunted down by
a pack of wolves?"

"It is not wolves, or bears either," said Louis, as soon as he could get
breath to speak, "but the Indians are all on Bare-hill, holding a war
council, I suppose, for there are several canoe-loads of them."

"How came you to see them?"

"I must tell you that when I parted from you and Cathy, instead of going
down to my raft, as I thought at first I would do, I followed the deer path
through the little ravine, and then ascending the side of the valley, I
crossed the birch grove, and kept down the slope within sight of the creek.
While I was looking out upon the lake, and thinking how pretty the islands
were, rising so green from the blue water, I was surprised by seeing
several dark spots dotting the lake. At first, you may be sure, I thought
they must be a herd of deer, only they kept too far apart, so I sat down on
a log to watch, thinking if they turned out to be deer, I would race off
for you and Wolfe, and the bows and arrows, that we might try our chance
for some venison; but as the black specks came nearer and nearer, I
perceived they were canoes with Indians in them, three in each. They made
for the mouth of the creek, and ran ashore among the thick bushes. I
watched them with a beating heart, and lay down flat, lest they should spy
me out; for those fellows have eyes like catamounts, so keen and wild--they
see everything without seeming to cast a glance on it. Well, I saw them
wind up the ridge till they reached the Bare-hill. [Footnote: Supposed to
be a council hill. It is known by the name of Bare-hill, from the singular
want of verdure on its surface. It is one of the steepest on the ridge
above the little creek, being a picturesque object, with its fine
pine-trees, seen from Mr. Hayward's grounds, and forms, I believe, a part
of his property.] You remember that spot; we called it so from its barren
appearance. In a few minutes a column of smoke rose and curled among the
pine-trees, and then another and another, till I counted five fires burning
brightly; and, as I stood on the high ground, I could distinguish the
figures of many naked savages moving about, running to and fro like a
parcel of black ants on a cedar log; and by-and-by I heard them raise a
yell like a pack of ravenous wolves on a deer track. It made my heart leap
up in my breast. I forgot all the schemes that had just got into my wise
head, of slipping quietly down, and taking off one of the empty birch
canoes, which you must own would have been a glorious thing for us; but
when I heard the noise these wild wretches raised. I darted off, and ran
as if the whole set were at my heels. I think I just saved my scalp." And
Louis put his hand to his head, and tugged his thick black curls, as if to
ascertain that they were still safe from the scalping knives of his Indian

"And now, Hec, what is to be done? We must hide ourselves from the Indians;
they will kill us, or take us away with them if they find us."

"Let us go home and talk over our plans with Cathy."

"Yes; for I have heard my father say two heads are better than one, and so
three of course must be still better than two."

"Why," said Hector, laughing, "it depends upon the stock of practical
wisdom in the heads, for two fools, you know, Louis, will hardly form one
rational plan."

Various were the schemes devised for their security. Hector proposed
pulling down the shanty, and dispersing the logs, so as to leave no trace
of the little dwelling; but to this neither his cousin nor his sister would
agree. To pull down the new house that had cost them so much labour, and
which had proved such a comfort to them, they could not endure even in

"Let us put out the fire, and hide ourselves in the big ravine below Mount
Ararat, dig a cave in one of the hills, and convey our house-hold goods
thither." Such was Louis's plan.

"The ravines would be searched directly," suggested Hector; "besides, the
Indians know they are famous coverts for deer and game of all sorts; they
might chance to pop upon us, and catch us like woodchucks in a burrow."

"Yes, and burn us," said Catharine, with a shudder. "I know the path that
leads direct to the 'Happy Valley,' (the name she had given to the low
flat, now known as the 'lower Race-course,') and it is not far from here,
only ten minutes' walk in a straight line. We can conceal ourselves below
the steep bank that we descended the other day; and there are several
springs of fresh water, and plenty of nuts and berries; and the trees,
though few, are so thickly covered with close spreading branches that touch
the very ground, that we might hide ourselves from a hundred eyes were they
ever so cunning and prying."

Catharine's counsel was deemed the most prudent, and the boys immediately
busied themselves with hiding under the broken branches of a prostrate tree
such articles as they could not conveniently carry away, leaving the rest
to chance; with the most valuable they loaded themselves, and guided by
Catharine, who, with her dear old dog, marched forward along the narrow
footpath that had been made by some wild animals, probably deer, in their
passage from the lake to their feeding-place, or favorite covert, on the
low sheltered plain; where, being quite open, and almost, in parts, free
from trees, the grass and herbage were sweeter and more abundant, and the
springs of water fresh and cool.

Catharine cast many a fearful glance through the brushwood as they moved
onward, but saw no living thing, excepting a family of chipmunks gaily
chasing each other along a fallen branch, and a covey of quails, that
were feeding quietly on the red berries of the _Mitchella repens,_ or
twinberry, [Footnote: Also partridge-berry and checker-berry, a lovely
creeping winter-green, with white fragrant flowers, and double scarlet
berry.] as it is commonly called, of which the partridges and quails
are extremely fond; for Nature, with liberal hand, has spread abroad her
bounties for the small denizens, furred or feathered, that haunt the Rice
Lake and its flowery shores.

After a continued but gentle ascent through the oak opening, they halted at
the foot of a majestic pine, and looked round them. It was a lovely spot
as any they had seen; from west to east, the lake, bending like a silver
crescent, lay between the boundary hills of forest trees; in front, the
long lines of undulating wood-covered heights faded away into mist, and
blended with the horizon. To the east, a deep and fertile valley lay
between the high lands, on which they rested, and the far ridge of oak
hills. From their vantage height, they could distinguish the outline of the
Bare-hill, made more distinct by its flickering fires and the smoke wreaths
that hung like a pearly-tinted robe among the dark pines that grew upon its
crest. Not long tarrying did our fugitives make, though perfectly safe from
detection by the distance and their shaded position, for many a winding
vale and wood-crowned height lay between them and the encampment.

But fear is not subject to the control of reason, and in the present
instance it invested the dreaded Indians with superhuman powers of sight
and of motion. A few minutes' hasty flight brought our travellers to the
brow of a precipitous bank, nearly a hundred feet above the level open
plain which they sought. Here, then, they felt comparatively safe: they
were out of sight of the camp fires, the spot they had chosen was open,
and flight, in case of the approach of the Indians, not difficult, while
hiding-places were easy of access. They found a deep, sheltered hollow
in the bank, where two mighty pines had beep torn up by the roots, and
prostrated headlong down the steep, forming a regular cave, roofed by the
earth and fibres that had been uplifted in their fall. Pendent from these
roots hung a luxuriant curtain of wild grapevines and other creepers, which
formed a leafy screen, through which the most curious eye could scarcely
penetrate. This friendly vegetable veil seemed as if provided for their
concealment, and they carefully abstained from disturbing the pendent
foliage, lest they should, by so doing, betray their hiding-place to their
enemies. They found plenty of long grass, and abundance of long soft green
moss and ferns near a small grove of poplars, which surrounded a spring of
fine water. They ate some dried fruit and smoked fish, and drank some of
the clear spring; and after they had said their evening prayers, they
laid down to sleep, Catharine's head pillowed on the neck of her faithful
guardian, Wolfe. In the middle of the night a startling sound, as of some
heavy body falling, wakened them all simultaneously. The night was so
dark they could see nothing, and terror-struck, they sat gazing into the
impenetrable darkness of their cave, not even daring to speak to each
other, hardly even to breathe. Wolfe gave a low grumbling bark, and resumed
his couchant posture as if nothing worthy of his attention was near to
cause the disturbance. Catharine trembled and wept, and prayed for safety
against the Indians and beasts of prey, and Hector and Louis listened, till
they fell asleep in spite of their fears. In the morning, it seemed as if
they had dreamed some terrible dream, so vague were their recollections of
the fright they had had, but the cause was soon perceived. A large stone
that had been heaved up with the clay that adhered to the roots and fibres,
had been loosened, and had fallen on the ground, close to the spot where
Catharine lay. So ponderous was the mass, that had it struck her, death
must have been the consequence of the blow; and Hector and Louis beheld it
with fear and amazement, while Catharine regarded it as a proof of Divine
mercy and protection from Him in whose hand her safety lay. The boys,
warned by this accident, carefully removed several large stones from the
roof, and tried the safety of their clay walls with a stout staff, to
ascertain that all was secure, before they again ventured to sleep beneath
this rugged canopy.


"The soul of the wicked desireth evil; his neighbour findeth no favour in
his eyes."--_Proverbs_.

FOR several days, they abstained from lighting a fire, lest the smoke
should be seen; but this, the great height of the bank would have
effectually prevented. They suffered much cold at night from the copious
dews, which, even on sultry summer's evenings, is productive of much
chilling. They could not account for the fact that the air, at night, was
much warmer on the high hills than in the low valleys; they were even
sensible of a rush of heat as they ascended to the higher ground. These
simple children had not been taught that it is the nature of the heated air
to ascend, and its place to be supplied by the colder and denser particles.
They noticed the effects, but understood nothing of the causes that ruled

The following days they procured several partridges, but feared to cook
them; however, they plucked them, split them open, and dried the flesh for
a future day. A fox or racoon attracted by the smell of the birds, came one
night, and carried them off, for in the morning they were gone. They saw
several herd of deer crossing the plain, and one day Wolfe tracked a
wounded doe to a covert under the poplars, near a hidden spring, where she
had lain herself down to die in peace, far from the haunts of her fellows.
The arrow was in her throat; it was of white flint, and had evidently been
sent from an Indian bow. It was almost with fear and trembling that they
availed themselves of the venison thus providentially thrown in their way,
lest the Indians should track the blood of the doe, and take vengeance on
them for appropriating it for their own use. Not having seen anything of
the Indians, who seemed to confine themselves to the neighbourhood of the
lake, after many days had passed, they began to take courage, and even
lighted an evening fire, at which they cooked as much venison as would last
them for several days, and hung the remaining portions above the smoke to
preserve it from injury.

One morning, Hector proclaimed his intention of ascending the hills, in the
direction of the Indian camp. "I am tired of remaining shut up in this
dull place, where we can see nothing but this dead flat, bounded by those
melancholy pines in the distance that seem to shut us in." Little did
Hector know that beyond that dark ridge of pine hills lay the home of their
childhood, and but a few miles of forest intervened to hide it from their
sight. Had he known it how eagerly would his feet have pressed onward in
the direction of that dark barrier of evergreens!

Thus is it often in this life: we wander on, sad and perplexed, our path
beset with thorns and briars. We cannot see our way clear; doubts and
apprehensions assail us. We know not how near we are to the fulfilment of
our wishes: we see only the insurmountable barriers, the dark thickets and
thorns of our way; and we know not how near we are to our Father's home.
where he is waiting to welcome the wanderers of the flock back to the
everlasting home, the fold of the Good Shepherd.

Hector became impatient of the restraint that the dread of the Indians
imposed upon his movements; he wanted to see the lake again and to roam
abroad free and uncontrolled.

"After all," said he; "we never met with any ill treatment from the Indians
that used to visit us at Cold Springs; we may even find old friends and
acquaintances among them."

"The thing is possible, but not very likely," replied Louis. "Nevertheless,
Hector, I would not willingly put myself in their power. The Indian has his
own notion of things, and might think himself quite justified in killing
us, if he found us on his hunting-grounds. [Footnote: George Copway, an
intelligent Rice Lake Indian, says the Indian hunting-grounds are parcelled
out, and secured by right of law and custom among themselves, no one being
allowed to hunt upon another's grounds uninvited. If any one belonging to
another family or tribe is found trespassing, all his goods are taken from
him; a handful of powder and shot, as much as he would need to shoot game
for his sustenance in returning straight home, and his gun, knife, and
tomahawk only are left, but all his game and furs are taken from him: a
message is sent to his chief, and if he transgresses a third time, he
is banished and outlawed.--_Life of G. Copway, Missionary, written by
himself._] I have heard my father say,--and he knows a great deal about
these people,--that their chiefs are very strict in punishing any strangers
that they find killing game on their bounds uninvited. They are both
merciless and treacherous when angered, and we could not even speak to them
in their own language, to explain by what chance we came here."

This was very prudent of Louis, uncommonly so, for one who was naturally
rash and headstrong, but unfortunately Hector was inflexible and wilful:
when once he had made up his mind upon any point, he had too good an
opinion of his own judgment to give it up. At last, he declared his
intention, rather than remain a slave to such cowardly fears as he now
deemed them, to go forth boldly, and endeavour to ascertain what the
Indians were about, how many there were of them, and what real danger was
to be apprehended from facing them.

"Depend upon it," he added, "cowards are never safer than brave men. The
Indians despise cowards, and would be more likely to kill us if they found
us cowering here in this hole like a parcel of wolf-cubs, than if we openly
faced them and showed that we neither feared them, nor cared for them."

"Hector, dear Hector, be not so rash!" cried his sister, passionately
weeping. "Ah! if we were to lose you, what would become of us?"

"Never fear, Kate; I will run into no needless danger. I know how to take
care of myself. I am of opinion, that the Indian camp is broken up; they
seldom stay long in one place. I will go over the hills and examine the
camp at a distance and the lake shore. You and Louis may keep watch for my
return from the big pine that we halted under on our way hither."

"But, Hector, if the savages should see you and take you prisoner," said
Catharine, "what would you do?" "I will tell you what I would do. Instead
of running away, I would boldly walk up to them, and by signs make them
understand that I am no scout, but a friend in need of nothing but kindness
and friendship. I never yet heard of the Indian that would tomahawk the
defenceless stranger that sought his camp openly in peace and goodwill."

"If you do not return by sunset, Hector, we shall believe that you have
fallen into the hands of the savages," said Catharine, mournfully regarding
her brother.

"If it were not for Catharine," said Louis, "you should not go alone, but,
if evil befel this helpless one, her blood would be upon my head, who led
her out with us, tempting her with false words."

"Never mind that now, dearest cousin," said Catharine, tenderly laying her
hand on his arm. "It is much better that we should have been all three
together; I should never have been happy again if I had lost both Hec and
you. It is better as it is; you and Hec would not have been so well off if
I had not been with you to help you, and keep up your spirits by my songs
and stories."

"It is true, ma chere; but that is the reason that I am bound to take care
of my little cousin, and I could not consent to exposing you to danger, or
leaving you alone; so, if Hec will be so headstrong, I will abide by you."

Hector was so confident that he should return in safety, that at last Louis
and Catharine became more reconciled to his leaving them, and soon busied
themselves in preparing some squirrels that Louis had brought in that

The day wore away slowly, and many were the anxious glances that Catharine
cast over the crest of the high bank to watch for her brother's return; at
last, unable to endure the suspense, she with Louis left the shelter of the
valley; they ascended the high ground, and bent their steps to the trysting
tree, which commanded all the country within a wide sweep.

A painful and oppressive sense of loneliness? and desolation came over the
minds of the cousins as they sat together at the foot of the pine, which
cast its lengthened shadow upon the ground before them. The shades of
evening were shrouding them, wrapping the lonely forest in gloom. The full
moon had not yet risen, and they watched for the first gleam that should
break above the eastern hills to cheer them, as for the coming of a friend.

Sadly these two poor lonely ones sat hand in hand, talking of the happy
days of childhood, or the perplexing present and the uncertain future. At
last, wearied out with watching and anxiety, Catharine leaned her head upon
the neck of old Wolfe and fell asleep, while Louis restlessly paced to
and fro in front of the sleeper; now straining his eye to penetrate the
surrounding gloom, now straining his ear to catch the first sound that
might indicate the approach of his absent cousin.

It was almost with a feeling of irritability that he heard the quick sharp
note of the "Whip-poor-will," as she flew from bough to bough of an old
withered tree beside him. Another, and again another of these midnight
watchers took up the monotonous never-varying cry of "Whip-poor-will,
Whip-poor-will;" and then came forth, from many a hollow oak and birch, the
spectral night-hawk from hidden dens, where it had lain hushed in silence
all day, from dawn till sunset. Sometimes their sharp hard wings almost
swept his cheek as they wheeled round and round in circles, first narrow,
then wide, and wider extending, till at last they soared far above the
tallest tree-tops and launching out in the high regions of the air,
uttered from time to time a wild shrill scream, or hollow booming sound,
as they suddenly descended to pounce with wide-extended throat upon some
hapless moth or insect, that sported all unheeding in mid air, happily
unconscious of the approach of so unerring a foe.

Petulantly Louis chid these discordant minstrels of the night, and joyfully
he hailed the first gush of moonlight that rose broad and full and red,
over the Oak-hills to the eastward.

Louis envied the condition of the unconscious sleeper, who lay in happy
forgetfulness of all her sorrows, her fair curls spread in unbound
luxuriance over the dark shaggy neck of the faithful Wolfe, who seemed
as if proud of the beloved burden that rested so trustingly upon him.
Sometimes the careful dog just unclosed his large eyes, raised his nose
from his shaggy paws, snuffed the night air, growled in a sort of under
tone, and dosed again, but watchfully.

It would be no easy task to tell the painful feelings that agitated young
Louis's breast. He was angry with Hector, for having thus madly, as he
thought, rushed into danger. "It was wilful and almost cruel," he thought
"to leave them the prey of such tormenting fears on his account;" and then
the most painful fears for the safety of his beloved companion took the
place of less kindly thoughts, and sorrow filled his heart. The broad
moon now flooded the hills and vales with light, casting broad checkering
shadows of the old oaks' grey branches and now reddened foliage across the

Suddenly the old dog raises his head, and utters a short half angry note:
slowly and carefully he rises, disengaging himself gently from the form of
the sleeping girl, and stands forth in the full light of the moon. It is an
open cleared space, that mound beneath the pine-tree; a few low shrubs and
seedling pines, with the slender waving branches of the late-flowering
pearly tinted asters, the elegant fringed gentian, with open bells of
azure blue, the last and loveliest of the fall flowers and winter-greens,
brighten the ground with wreaths of shining leaves and red berries.

Louis is on the alert, though as yet he sees nothing. It is not a full free
note of welcome, that Wolfe gives; there is something uneasy and half angry
in his tone. Yet it is not fierce, like the bark of angry defiance he
gives, when wolf, or bear, or wolverine is near.

Louis steps forward from the shadow of the pine branches, to the edge of
the inclined plane in the foreground. The slow tread of approaching steps
is now distinctly heard advancing--it may be a deer. Two figures approach,
and Louis moves a little, within the shadow again. A clear shrill whistle
meets his ear. It is Hector's whistle, he knows that, and assured by its
cheerful tone, he springs forward and in an instant is at his side, but
starts at the strange, companion that he half leads, half carries. The
moonlight streams broad and bright upon the shrinking figure of an Indian
girl, apparently about the same age as Catharine: her ashy face is
concealed by the long masses of raven black hair, which falls like a dark
veil over her features; her step is weak and unsteady, and she seems ready
to sink to the earth with sickness or fatigue. Hector, too, seems weary.
The first words that' Hector said were, "Help me, Louis, to lead this poor
girl to the foot of the pine; I am so tired I can hardly walk another

Louis and his cousin together carried the Indian girl to the foot of the
pine. Catharine was just rousing herself from sleep, and she gazed with a
bewildered air on the strange companion that Hector had brought with him.
The stranger lay down, and in a few minutes sank into a sleep so profound
it seemed to resemble that of death itself. Pity and deep interest soon
took the place of curiosity and dread in the heart of the gentle Catharine,
and she watched the young stranger's slumber as tenderly as though she had
been a sister, or beloved friend, while Hector proceeded to relate in what
manner he had encountered the Indian girl.

"When I struck the high slope near the little birch grove we called the
_'birken shaw,'_ I paused to examine if the council-fires were still
burning on Bare-hill, but there was no smoke visible, neither was there
a canoe to be seen at the lake shore where Louis had described their
landing-place at the mouth of the creek. All seemed as silent and still
as if no human footstep had trodden the shore. I sat down and watched for
nearly an hour till my attention was attracted by a noble eagle, which was
sailing in wide circles over the tall pine-trees on Bare-hill. Assured that
the Indian camp was broken up, and feeling some curiosity to examine the
spot more closely, I crossed the thicket of cranberries and cedars and
small underwood that fringed the borders of the little stream, and found
myself, after a little pushing and scrambling, among the bushes at the foot
of the hill.

"I thought it not impossible I might find something to repay me for my
trouble--flint arrow-heads, a knife, or a tomahawk--but I little thought
of what these cruel savages had left there,--a miserable wounded captive,
bound by the long locks of her hair to the stem of a small tree, her hands,
tied by thongs of hide to branches which they had bent down to fasten them
to her feet, bound fast to the same tree as that against which her head was
fastened; her position was one that must have been most painful: she had
evidently been thus left to perish by a miserable death, of hunger and
thirst; for these savages, with a fiendish cruelty, had placed within sight
of their victim an earthen jar of water, some dried deers' flesh, and a cob
[Footnote: A head of the Maize, or Indian corn, is called a "cob."] of
Indian corn. I have the corn here," he added, putting his hand in his
breast, and displaying it to view.

"Wounded she was, for I drew this arrow from her shoulder," and he showed
the flint head as he spoke, "and fettered; with food and drink in sight,
the poor girl was to perish, perhaps to become a living prey to the wolf,
and the eagle that I saw wheeling above the hill top. The poor thing's lips
were black and parched with pain and thirst; she turned her eyes piteously
from my face to the water jar as if to implore a draught. This I gave her,
and then having cooled the festering wound, and cut the thongs that bound
her, I wondered that she still kept the same immoveable attitude, and
thinking she was stiff and cramped with remaining so long bound in one
position, I took her two hands and tried to induce her to move. I then for
the first time noticed that she was tied by the hair of her head to the
tree against which her back was placed; I was obliged to cut the hair with
my knife, and this I did not do without giving her pain, as she moaned
impatiently. She sunk her head on her breast, and large tears fell over my
hands, as I bathed her face and neck with the water from the jar; she then
seated herself on the ground, and remained silent and still for the space
of an hour, nor could I prevail upon her to speak, or quit the seat she had
taken. Fearing that the Indians might return, I watched in all directions,
and at last I began to think it would be best to carry her in my arms; but
this I found no easy task, for she seemed greatly distressed at any attempt
I made to lift her, and by her gestures I fancy she thought I was going to
kill her. At last my patience began to be exhausted, but I did not like to
annoy her. I spoke to her as gently and soothingly as I could. By degrees
she seemed to listen with more composure to me, though she evidently knew
not a word of what I said to her. She rose at last, and taking my hands,
placed them above her head, stooping low as she did so, and this seemed to
mean, she was willing at last to submit to my wishes; I lifted her from
the ground, and carried her for some little way, but she was too heavy for
me,--she then suffered me to lead her along whithersoever I would take her,
but her steps were so slow and feeble, through weakness, that many times I
was compelled to rest while she recovered herself. She seems quite subdued
now, and as quiet as a lamb."

Catharine listened, not without tears of genuine sympathy, to the recital
of her brother's adventures. She seemed to think he had been inspired by
God to go forth that day to the Indian camp, to rescue the poor forlorn one
from so dreadful a death.

Louis's sympathy was also warmly aroused for the young savage, and he
commended Hector for his bravery and humanity.

He then set to work to light a good fire, which was a great addition to
their comfort as well as cheerfulness. They did not go back to their cave
beneath the upturned trees, to sleep, preferring lying, with their feet to
the fire, under the shade of the pine. Louis, however, was despatched for
water and venison for supper.

The following morning, by break of day, they collected their stores, and
conveyed them back to the shanty. The boys were thus employed, while
Catharine watched beside the wounded Indian girl, whom she tended with the
greatest care. She bathed the inflamed arm with water, and bound the cool
healing leaves of the _tacamahac_ [Footnote: Indian balsam.] about it with
the last fragment of her apron, she steeped dried berries in water, and
gave the cooling drink to quench the fever-thirst that burned in her veins,
and glittered in her full soft melancholy dark eyes, which were raised at
intervals to the face of her youthful nurse, with a timid hurried glance,
as if she longed, yet feared to say, "Who are you that thus tenderly bathe
my aching head, and strive to soothe my wounded limbs, and cool my fevered
blood? Are you a creature like myself, or a being sent by the Great Spirit,
from the far-off happy land to which my fathers have gone, to smooth my
path of pain, and lead me to those blessed fields of sunbeams and flowers
where the cruelty of the enemies of my people will no more have power to
torment me?"


"Here the wren of softest note
Builds its nest and warbles well;
Here the blackbird strains his throat;
Welcome, welcome to our cell."--COLERIDGE.

The day was far advanced, before the sick Indian girl could be brought home
to their sylvan lodge, where Catharine made up a comfortable couch for her,
with boughs and grass, and spread one of the deer-skins over it, and laid
her down as tenderly and carefully as if she had been a dear sister. This
good girl was overjoyed at having found a companion of her own age and sex.
"Now," said she, "I shall no more be lonely, I shall have a companion and
friend to talk to and assist me;" but when she turned in the fulness of
her heart to address herself to the young stranger, she felt herself
embarrassed in what way to make her comprehend the words she used to
express the kindness that she felt for her, and her sorrow for her

The young stranger would raise her head, look intently at her, as if
striving to interpret her words, then sadly shake her head, and utter her
words in her own plaintive language, but, alas! Catharine felt it was to
her as a sealed book.

She tried to recall some Indian words of familiar import, that she had heard
from the Indians when they came to her father's house, but in vain; not the
simplest phrase occurred to her, and she almost cried with vexation at her
own stupidity; neither was Hector or Louis more fortunate in attempts at
conversing with their guest.

At the end of three days, the fever began to abate; the restless eye grew
more steady in its gaze, the dark flush faded from the cheek, leaving it of
a grey ashy tint, not the hue of health, such as even the swarthy Indian
shows, but wan and pallid, her eyes bent mournfully on the ground.

She would sit quiet and passive while Catharine bound up the long tresses
of her hair, and smoothed them with her hands and the small wooden comb
that Louis had cut for her use. Sometimes she would raise her eyes to her
new friend's face, with a quiet sad smile, and once she took her hands
within her own, and gently pressed them to her breast and lips and forehead
in token of gratitude, but she seldom gave utterance to any words, and
would remain with her eyes fixed vacantly on some object which seemed
unseen or to awaken no idea in her mind. At such times the face of the
young squaw wore a dreamy apathy of expression, or rather it might with
more propriety have been said, the absence of all expression, almost as
blank as that of an infant of a few weeks old.

How intently did Catharine study that face, and strive to read what was
passing within her mind! how did the lively intelligent Canadian girl, the
offspring of a more intellectual race, long to instruct her Indian friend,
to enlarge her mind by pointing out such things to her attention as she
herself took interest in! She would then repeat the name of the object that
she showed her several times over, and by degrees the young squaw learned
the names of all the familiar household articles about the shanty, and
could repeat them in her own soft plaintive tone; and when she had learned
a new word, and could pronounce it distinctly, she would laugh, and a gleam
of innocent joy and pleasure would lighten up her fine dark eyes, generally
so fixed and sad-looking.

It was Catharine's delight to teach her pupil to speak a language familiar
to her own ears; she would lead her out among the trees, and name to her
all the natural objects that presented themselves to view. And she in her
turn made "Indiana" (for so they named the young squaw, after a negress
that she had heard her father tell of, a nurse to one of his Colonel's
infant children,) tell her the Indian names for each object they saw.
Indiana soon began to enjoy in her turn the amusement arising from
instructing Catharine and the boys, and often seemed to enjoy the blunders
they made in pronouncing the words she taught them. When really interested
in anything that was going on, her eyes would beam out, and her smile gave
an inexpressible charm to her face, for her lips were red and her teeth
even and brilliantly white, so purely white that Catharine thought she had
never seen any so beautiful in her life before; at such times her face
was joyous and innocent as a little child's, but there were also hours of
gloom, that transformed it into an expression of sullen apathy; then a dull
glassy look took possession of her eye, the full lip drooped and the form
seemed rigid and stiff; obstinate determination neither to move nor speak
characterised her in what Louis used to call the young squaw's "_dark
hour._" Then it was that the savage nature seemed predominant, and her
gentle nurse almost feared to look at her protegee or approach her.

"Hector," said Louis, "you spoke about a jar of water being left at the
camp; the jar would be a great treasure to us, let us go over for it."
Hector assented to the proposal. "And we may possibly pick up a few grains
of Indian corn, to add to what you showed us."

"If we are here in the spring," said Hector, "you and I will prepare a
small patch of ground and plant it with this corn;" and he sat down on the
end of a log and began carefully to count the rows of grain on the cob, and
then each corn grain by grain. "Three hundred and ten sound grains. Now if
every one of these produces a strong plant, we shall have a great increase,
and beside seed for another year, there will be, if it is a good year,
several bushels to eat."

"We shall have a glorious summer, mon ami, no doubt, and a fine flourishing
crop, and Kate is a good hand at making supporne." [Footnote: Supporne,
probably an Indian word for a stir-about, or porridge, made of Indian meal,
a common dish in every Canadian or Yankee farmer's house.]

"You forget we have no porridge pot."

"I was thinking of that Indian jar all the time. You will see what fine
cookery we will make when we get it, if it will but stand fire. Come, let
us be off, I am impatient till we get it home;" and Louis, who had now a
new crotchet at work in his fertile and vivacious brain, was quite on the
_qui vive_, and walked and danced along at a rate which proved a great
disturbance to his graver companion, who tried to keep down his cousin's
lively spirits, by suggesting the probability of the jar being cracked, or
that the Indians might have returned for it; but Louis was not one of the
doubting sort, and Louis was right in not damping the ardour of his mind by
causeless fears. The jar was there at the deserted camp, and though it had
been knocked over by some animal, it was sound and strong, and excited
great speculation in the two cousins, as to the particular material of
which it was made, as it was unlike any sort of pottery they had ever
before seen. It seemed to have been manufactured from some very dark
red earth, or clay mixed up with pounded granite, as it presented the
appearance of some coarse crystals; it was very hard and ponderous, and
the surface was marked over in a rude sort of pattern as if punctured and
scratched with some pointed instrument. It seemed to have been hardened by
fire, and, from the smoked hue of one side, had evidently done good service
as a cooking utensil. Subsequently they learned the way in which it was
used:[Footnote: Pieces of this rude pottery are often found along theshores
of the inland lakes, but I have never met with any of the perfect vessels
in use with the Indians, who probably find it now easier to supply
themselves with iron pots and crockery from the towns of the European
settlers.] the jar being placed near but not on the fire, was surrounded
by hot embers, and the water made to boil by stones being made red hot and
plunged into it: in this way soup and other food were prepared, and kept
stewing, with no further trouble after once the simmering began, than
adding a few fresh embers at the side furthest from the fir; a hot stone
also placed on the top, facilitated the cooking process.

Louis, who like all French people was addicted to cookery,--indeed it was
an accomplishment he prided himself on,--was enchanted with the improvement
made in their diet by the acquisition of the said earthen jar, or pipkin,
and gave Indiana some praise for initiating his cousin in the use of it.
Catharine and Hector declared that he went out with his bow and arrows, and
visited his dead-falls and snares, ten times oftener than he used to do,
just for the sake of proving the admirable properties of this precious
utensil, and finding out some new way of dressing his game. At all events
there was a valuable increase of furs, for making up into clothing, caps,
leggings, mitts, and other articles.

From the Indian girl Catharine learned the value of many of the herbs and
shrubs that grew in her path, the bark and leaves of various trees, and
many dyes she could extract, with which she stained the quills of the
porcupine and the strips of the wood of which she made baskets and
mats. The little creeping winter-green, [Footnote: _Gualtheria
procumbens_,--Spice Winter-green.] with its scarlet berries, that grows on
the dry flats, or sandy hills, which the Canadians call spice-berry, she
showed them was good to eat, and she would crush the leaves, draw forth
their fine aromatic flavour in her hands, and then inhale their fragrance
with delight. She made an infusion of the leaves, and drank it as a tonic.
The inner bark of the wild black cherry, she said was good to cure ague and
fever. The root of the _dulcamara_, or bitter-sweet, she scraped down
and boiled in the deer-fat, or the fat of any other animal, and made an
ointment that possessed very healing qualities, especially as an immediate
application to fresh burns.

Sometimes she showed a disposition to mystery, and would conceal the
knowledge of the particular herbs she made use of; and Catharine several
times noticed that she would go out and sprinkle a portion of the food she
had assisted her in preparing, on the earth, or under some of the trees or
bushes. When she was more familiar with their language, she told Catharine
this was done in token of gratitude to the Good Spirit, who had given them
success in hunting or trapping; or else it was to appease the malice of
the Evil Spirit, who might bring mischief or loss to them, or sickness or
death, unless his forbearance was purchased by some particular mark of
attention. [Footnote: By the testimony of many of the Indians themselves,
they appear to entertain a certain Polytheism in their belief. "We believed
in one great wise benevolent being, Thesha-mon-e-doo, whose dwelling was
in the sun. We believed also in many other lesser spirits--gods of the
elements, and in one bad unappeasable spirit, Mah-je-mah-ne-doo, to whom
we attributed bad luck, evil accidents, and sickness and death. This bad
spirit has to be conciliated with meat and drink offerings."--_Life of
George Copway, Native Missionary_]

Attention, memory, and imitation, appeared to form the three most
remarkable of the mental faculties developed by the Indian girl. She
examined (when once her attention was roused) any object with critical
minuteness. Any knowledge she had once acquired, she retained; her memory
was great, she never missed a path she had once trodden; she seemed even to
single out particular birds in a flock, to know them from their congeners.
Her powers of imitation were also great; she brought patience and
perseverance to assist her, and when once thoroughly interested in any work
she began, she would toil on untiringly till it was completed; and then
what triumph shone in her eyes! At such times they became darkly brilliant
with the joy that filled her heart. But she possessed little talent for
invention; what she had seen done, after a few imperfect attempts, she
could do again, but she rarely struck out any new path for herself.

At times she was docile and even playful, and appeared grateful for the
kindness with which she was treated; each day seemed to increase her
fondness for Catharine, and she appeared to delight in doing any little
service to please and gratify her, but it was towards Hector that she
displayed the deepest feeling of affection and respect. It was to him her
first tribute of fruit or flowers, furs, mocassins, or ornamental plumage
of rare birds was offered. She seemed to turn to him as to a master and
protector. He was in her eyes the _"Chief,"_ the head of his tribe. His bow
was strung by her, and stained with quaint figures and devices; his arrows
were carved by her; the sheath of deer-skin was made and ornamented by
her hands, that he carried his knife in; and the case for his arrows, of
birch-bark, was wrought with especial neatness, and suspended by thongs to
his neck, when he was preparing to go out in search of game. She gave him
the name of the "Young Eagle." While she called Louis, "Nee-chee," or
friend; to Catharine she gave the poetical name of, "Music of the Winds,"--

When they asked her to tell them her own name, she would bend down her head
in sorrow and refuse to pronounce it. She soon answered to the name of
Indiana, and seemed pleased with the sound.

But of all the household, next to Hector, old Wolfe was her greatest
favourite. At first, it is true, the old dog regarded the new inmate with a
jealous eye, and seemed uneasy when he saw her approach to caress him, but
Indiana soon reconciled him to her person, and a mutual friendly feeling
became established between them, which seemed daily and hourly to increase,
greatly to the delight of the young stranger. She would seat herself
Eastern fashion, cross-legged on the floor of the shanty, with the
capacious head of the old dog in her lap, and address herself to this mute
companion, in wailing tones, as if she would unburthen her heart by pouring
into his unconscious ear her tale of desolation and woe.

Catharine was always very particular and punctual in performing her
personal ablutions, and she intimated to Indiana that it was good for her
to do the same; but the young girl seemed reluctant to follow her example,
till daily custom had reconciled her to what she evidently at first
regarded as an unnecessary ceremony; but she soon took pleasure in dressing
her dark hair, and suffering Catharine to braid it, and polish it till it
looked glossy and soft. Indiana in her turn would adorn Catharine with the
wings of the blue-bird or red-bird, the crest of the wood-duck, or quill
feathers of the golden-winged flicker, which is called in the Indian tongue
the shot-bird, in allusion to the round spots on its cream-coloured breast:
[Footnote: The Golden-winged Flicker belongs to a sub-genus of woodpeckers;
it is very handsome, and is said to be eatable; it lives on fruits and
insects.] but it was not in these things alone she showed her grateful
sense of the sisterly kindness that her young hostess showed to her; she
soon learned to lighten her labours in every household work, and above all,
she spent her time most usefully in manufacturing clothing from the skins
of the wild animals, and in teaching Catharine how to fit and prepare them;
but these were the occupation of the winter months. I must not forestall my


"Go to the ant."--_Proverbs._

IT was now the middle of September: the weather, which had continued serene
and beautiful for some time, with dewy nights and misty mornings, began to
show symptoms of the change of season usual at the approach of the equinox.
Sudden squalls of wind, with hasty showers, would come sweeping over the
lake; the nights and mornings were damp and chilly. Already the tints of
autumn were beginning to crimson the foliage of the oaks, and where the
islands were visible, the splendid colours of the maple shone out in
gorgeous contrast with the deep verdure of the evergreens and light
golden-yellow of the poplar; but lovely as they now looked, they had not
yet reached the meridian of their beauty, which a few frosty nights at
the close of the month was destined to bring to perfection--a glow of
splendour to gladden the eye for a brief space, before the rushing winds
and rains of the following month were to sweep them away, and scatter them
abroad upon the earth.

One morning, just after a night of heavy rain and wind, the two boys went
down to see if the lake was calm enough for trying the raft, which Louis
had finished before the coming on of the bad weather. The water was rough
and crested with mimic waves, and they felt not disposed to launch the
raft on so stormy a surface, but they stood looking out over the lake and
admiring the changing foliage, when Hector pointed out to his cousin a dark
speck dancing on the waters, between the two nearest islands. The wind,
which blew very strong still from the north-east, brought the object nearer
every minute. At first they thought it might be a pine-branch that was
floating on the surface, when as it came bounding over the waves, they
perceived that it was a birch-canoe, but impelled by no visible arm. It was
a strange sight upon that lonely lake to see a vessel of any kind afloat,
and, on first deciding that it was a canoe, the boys were inclined to hide
themselves among the bushes, for fear of the Indians, but curiosity got the
better of their fears.

"The owner of yonder little craft is either asleep or absent from her; for
I see no paddle, and it is evidently drifting without any one to guide it,"
said Hector, after intently watching the progress of the tempest-driven
vessel; assured as it approached nearer that such was the case, they
hurried to the beach just as a fresh gust had lodged the canoe among the
branches of a fallen cedar which projected out some way into the water.

By creeping along the trunk of the tree, and trusting at times to the
projecting boughs, Louis, who was the most active and the lightest of
weight, succeeded in getting within reach of the canoe, and with some
trouble and the help of a stout branch that Hector handed to him, he
contrived to moor her in safety on the shore, taking the precaution of
hauling her well up on the shingle, lest the wind and water should set her
afloat again. "Hec, there is something in this canoe, the sight of which
will gladden your heart," cried Louis with a joyful look. "Come quickly,
and see my treasures."

"Treasures! You may well call them treasures," exclaimed Hector, as he
helped Louis to examine the contents of the canoe, and place them on the
shore, side by side.

The boys could hardly find words to express their joy and surprise at the
discovery of a large jar of parched rice, a tomahawk, an Indian blanket
almost as good as new, a large mat rolled up with a bass bark rope several
yards in length wound round it, and what was more precious than all,
an iron three-legged pot in which was a quantity of Indian corn. These
articles had evidently constituted the stores of some Indian hunter or
trapper; possibly the canoe had been imperfectly secured and had drifted
from its moorings during the gale of the previous night, unless by some
accident the owner had fallen into the lake and been drowned; this was of
course only a matter of conjecture on which it was useless to speculate,
and the boys joyfully took possession of the good fortune that had so
providentially been wafted, as it were, to their very feet.

"It was a capital chance for us, that old cedar having been blown down last
night just where it was," said Louis; "for if the canoe had not been drawn
into the eddy, and stopped by the branches, we might have lost it. I
trembled when I saw the wind driving it on so rapidly that it would founder
in the deep water, or go off to Long Island."

"I think we should have got it at Pine-tree Point," said Hector, "but I am
glad it was lodged so cleverly among the cedar boughs. I was half afraid
you would have fallen in once or twice, when you were trying to draw it
nearer to the shore." "Never fear for me, my friend; I can cling like a
wild cat when I climb. But what a grand pot! What delightful soups, and
stews, and boils, Catharine will make! Hurrah!" and Louis tossed up his new
fur cap, that he had made with great skill from an entire fox skin, in the
air, and cut sundry fantastic capers which Hector gravely condemned as
unbecoming his mature age; (Louis was turned of fifteen;) but with the
joyous spirit of a little child he sung, and danced, and laughed, and
shouted, till the lonely echoes of the islands and far-off hills returned
the unusual sound, and even his more steady cousin caught the infection,
and laughed to see Louis so elated.

Leaving Hector to guard the prize, Louis ran gaily off to fetch Catharine
to share his joy, and come and admire the canoe, and the blanket, and the
tripod, and the corn, and the tomahawk. Indiana accompanied them to the
lake shore, and long and carefully she examined the canoe and its contents,
and many were the plaintive exclamations she uttered as she surveyed the
things piece by piece, till she took notice of the broken handle of an
Indian paddle which lay at the bottom of the vessel; this seemed to afford
some solution to her of the mystery, and by broken words and signs she
intimated that the paddle had possibly broken in the hand of the Indian,
and that in endeavouring to regain the other part, he had lost his balance
and been drowned. She showed Hector a rude figure of a bird engraved with
some sharp instrument, and rubbed in with a blue colour. This, she said,
was the totem or crest of the chief of the tribe, and was meant to
represent a _crow_. The canoe had belonged to a chief of that name. While
they were dividing the contents of the canoe among them to be carried to
the shanty, Indiana, taking up the bass-rope and the blanket, bundled up
the most of the things, and adjusting the broad thick part of the rope to
the front of her head, she bore off the burden with great apparent ease, as
a London or Edinburgh porter would his trunks and packages, turning round
with a merry glance and repeating some Indian words with a lively air as
she climbed with apparent ease the steep bank, and soon distanced her
companions, to her great enjoyment. That night, Indiana cooked some of the

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