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The Gentleman Emigrant
The Backwoods Farm

IF the voyage between Toronto and Annapolis, Nova Scotia, be easy and pleasurable during the summer months, it most assuredly is not so during the winter. Lake and river being fast bound with ice, the journey to the sea coast has to be performed by rail, and for one half the distance—between Montreal and Portland—over what is perhaps the worst laid road in America. Shall we attempt the description of a mid-winter’s trip over that infernal line ? No ! the story is too harrowing.

The second portion of our journey from Portland to St. John, New Brunswick, is made in a fearful tub belonging to the International Steam Navigation Company—the New Brunswick —without exception the most uncomfortable, ill-found vessel it has ever been our misfortune to light upon in any quarter of the globe; and it is not therefore surprising that, standing on her deck, our first impressions of the maritime provinces are the reverse of favourable. On leaving Eastport, the steamer at pnce enters British waters, and shaping her course to the northward end and eastward, is soon breasting the waves of the Bay of Fundy. Between Eastport and St. John there is little diversity in the aspect of the coast. A succession of low hills, covered with stunted pine trees, rugged weather-beaten headlands utterly devoid of vegetation, Stygian caverns, and yawning fissures, rocks and boulders, breakers and reefs, an iron-bound coast in every sense of the term, sufficient to strike terror into the heart of the most intrepid sailor, and make even the sanguine emigrant gloomy and despondent.

The traveller fresh from the United States will find little in the outward appearance of the city of St. John to attract his attention. It is a New England seaboard town come northwards. There are the same “frame” houses, white-painted, green-shuttered, looking as if they had only just been unpacked from some Brobdingnagian Nuremberg toy-box, the same besteepled churches, the same stores in which everything appears to be sold, from mess pork to patent medicines, from best bower anchors down to Connecticut clothes-pegs, the same plank side walks that are seen over the frontier.

During the winter months, which in New Brunswick may be said to last half the year, the great centre of attraction is undoubtedly the skating rink. It is the Champs Elysees, the Kroll’s Garten, the Crystal Palace of St. John. •Deprived of it, the life of the Johnian would be a blank, the long winter unendurable. Here it is that the city beaux exhibit their gallantry and address, and the belles their charms and finery; and certainly the sight which meets the eye on entering the rink on any fine afternoon during the skating season is sufficiently lively and attractive. Accompanied by a subscriber, who kindly volunteers to procure us admission, we pay a visit to the Elysium in question. A quarter of an hour’s weary trudging through streets, knee-deep in half-congealed snow, brings us to the place—a circular building surmounted by a dome, and not unlike a huge locomotive engine-shed. The first thing that strikes us upon entering is the almost total absence of noise, the only sounds heard being the monotonous patter of skates over the smooth ice and the rustle and flutter of feminine apparel. This stillness is the more remarkable, inasmuch as the ice is alive with skaters, all in full swing— experts cutting the figure of eight on the outer edge, medium performers going round and round with steady, measured sweep, and tyros (amongst whom several officers of the garrison are painfully conspicuous) making fearful exhibitions of themselves, and apparently desirous of throwing themselves into the arms of the fair damsels, to whom they are acting the “muffin.” Imagine a vast circus, the “ring” laid down with ice instead of saw-dust, an outside promenade of some fifteen feet in width in lieu of chairs and benches, and a circular staircase from the centre to the dome, and the reader will have an idea of the St. John skating rink. At the foot of the staircase is the orchestra, where, on certain days, sweet music is discoursed by the band of the regiment in garrison, and round the orchestra sweep the skaters in a sort of endless Polonaise. For a couple of hours we amuse ourselves by watching the crowd file past. Here comes the city belle—an expert of the first water, as she herself is perfectly aware— gliding along with a scarcely perceptible motion •of her pretty feet, and evidently on capital terms with herself and all the world. How encouragingly she smiles on the captain at her elbow, who is labouring might and main, poor wight, to keep in the ranks, and in a fearful state of mind lest his post of honour should be usurped by some admirer less shaky on the pins. After them, hand-in-hand, a la Quaker, come two sisters, tittering at the ludicrous manoeuvres of the son of Mars in front, and expressing, by a series of sly nods and winks, their private opinion that the artful little minx, his companion, is doing her utmost to allure him into the meshes of matrimony. Then comes a knot of children—a boy with a little girl on either side, the trio getting over the ground at a great pace and distancing with the most perfect facility a hirsute gentleman in undress uniform who comes next in order. The evolutions of this gallant gentleman afford unbounded amusement to the bystanders, and certainly the figure he cuts is sufficiently grotesque. His course is not unlike that of a vessel in a head sea. First he lurches t to one side and then to the other. Now he brings up with a “round turn,” now forges wildly a-head. At one moment his body is at an angle of forty-five, and at the next he appears to be going down stern foremost. Somehow or another he never altogether goes over, and as every one gives him a wide berth, the damage he does is confined to the straining of his own timbers, which must be considerable. And so they go round and round to the inspiriting strains of the music until the band marches off. And our friend asks us what we think of it all, and American-like, enters into lengthy details for our edification as to how much it cost, how it is supported, how much larger and better it is than the one at Montreal, and so back to our hotel.

Tlie passage across the Bay of Fundy to Annapolis is a short one. Four hours after leaving the wharf at St. John we are in Digby, and two hours more sees us at our destination. Coelebs is to meet us at a wayside public fifty miles from Annapolis on the road to L-. Fifty miles! It is a mere nothing. Six times eight are forty-eight—a little over eight hours will do it. A short day’s journey. But we count without our host, or rather without our driver. There has been a heavy fall of rain, the road is bare of snow, wheels have to take the place of runners. Not eight, but sixteen hours does it take to cover the distance; and it is long past midnight when we pull up at the door of the little tavern. Everything is as still as the grave, the lights are all out, the inmates sleeping. But a war-whoop, given with all the strength of our lungs, soon changes the aspect of affairs, bringing the landlord scurrying to the door and Coelebs to the window.

Oh, there we are at last! Yes, and cold and hungry as a man well can be. “Ah, Coelebs, old boy! how goes it? With that great beard of yours, we hardly recognised you.”

A Coelebs more totally dissimilar from the Coelebs of eighteen months as  it would be difficult to imagine. The Coelebs from whom we parted on the wharf at Montreal was, if we can trust to our memory, of a remarkably fair complexion, and of slender rather than robust build. Immaculate as to linen, faultless as to his gloves and boots, habited in a summer suit of unmistakable London build, he had about as much resemblance to a backwoodsman as has a Lifeguardsman to a Sioux brave. The Coelebs who now stands before us is bearded like the pard; his cheeks are ruddy, his frame is muscular ; he looks as if he could carry a bullock and digest nails. He wears a blue flannel shirt, with turn-down collar; a black silk handkerchief, knotted sailor fashion, round his neck; shooting-coat and continuations of thick grey homespun ; and heavy knee boots. A leathern belt does duty for braces, and to the belt are attached two sheaths—one for the reception of a bowie-knife, the other for a hatchet. Were it not that in address and manner he is still the gentleman* the metamorphosis would be complete. “Tired and hungry?” he asks. “Regularly grueled, eh?” “Tired, yes—grueled, no. Why?”

“Because if not absolutely worn out, it is better that we sit quietly by the stove until morning, for the people are Irish, and the beds of questionable cleanliness.” To this we readily agree, and in pleasant chit-chat the night wears away. At peep of day we sling our packs, shoulder arms, and quietly take our departure.

Between the public and the shanty, whither we are bound—eight miles as the crow flies—there is not, Coelebs smilingly informs us, a single human habitation, unless a couple of lumbermen’s camps can be so considered. The road lies through the heart of the forest, and, bad at the best of times, it is now, owing to the late heavy rains, almost impracticable. The brooks are swollen, the mud-holes broad and deep, and the swamps- Well, the swamps must be seen to be duly appreciated. .

Are we game to go right through without stopping? Of course we are; but when we think of our laced boots, we cannot repress a shudder.

Climbing over the paddock fence, we strike at once into the forest. For a couple of miles or so we get along capitally, for our course lies over a hard wood ridge, and the road, although rough and wet, is not particularly swampy. But just as we are beginning secretly to congratulate ourselves upon the unexpected solidity of the road, and to calculate how long it will take us at the pace we are going to reach our destination, the green woods heave in sight, and Coelebs, who is ahead, yells out, “Prepare for first mud-hole!”

Although we advance smilingly, it is not without a certain trepidation, for backwoods mud-holes are old acquaintances of ours, and we know what is in store for the unhappy wight who is forced to wade through one with no better protection for his feet and legs than “ Balmorals.” Alas ! our worst fears are realized. It is a mud-hole of the very vilest kind—a mud-hole worthy of Illinois—foul, black, slimy, a hundred yards in length, and deep as Tophet.

“Is there no way of getting round?” we ask, desperately.

“None. Off the road it is even softer, and encumbered with a pack, it would be next to impossible to force one’s way through the dense thickets.” And so we roll up our trousers as far as the knee, cant our pack well on to the shoulders, bring our gun to the trail, and—are at the very first step, not only ankle, but knee-deep in the mire. Vain precaution that of rolling up the trousers! If we don’t sink in up to the hips, we may consider ourselves lucky. Slosh—slosh—slosh. Well, this is pleasant! “ Many more sloughs of this description to wade through, friend Coelebs?”

Coelebs, cheerfully—“Oh no! Only five between this and the shanty—two worse than this one.” Slosh—slosh—slosh. .

Coelebs, still more cheerfully—“Just five mud-holes, three swamps, and two places where the road is flooded; but then that is clean water, you know, and a wade through will be as good as a sponging.”

“Verily, friend Coelebs, a comforter art thou in affliction! Only five mud-holes, three swamps, and two overflows in the six miles which lie betwixt this and thy forest mansion! An Appian way, this road of thine, truly! And then the bath that we have in perspective—that refreshing wade through the limpid waters of woodland streams which thou hast in store for us! The very thought of it sends a thrill through one’s system, and- Just have the kindness to hand us the brandy-flask. Oh, Coelebs, Coelebs! Penny wise art thou and pound foolish ! For one-half what it has already cost thee in wear and tear of clothes and boot leather (here we ‘cast a melancholy glance at our unfortunate Balmorals, oozing with foul black mud, and at our nether garments, hopelessly stained and ruined)—ay, for less than one-half that amount—thou couldst have had log bridges thrown athwart the streams, and corduroy laid over swamp and mud-hole. Better far to spend-

“For goodness sake, my dear fellow/’ interrupts Coelebs, in evident alarm, “ don’t mention such a thing. I wouldn’t exchange this rough, muddy, swampy road for the best Macadam in America ; for it was its very impracticability that tempted me to take up land at its further extremity, and to make me a home in this Nova Scotian wilderness. When out on a fishing excursion I first travelled this road, I had relinquished all idea of settling in the Canadas. For eleven weary months had I been huntings the New Dominion over, in the hope of finding a location suited to my tastes and to my finances. I had been northward to the Saguenay, westward to Lake Huron, eastward to Prince Edward’s Island, southward to St. John, New Brunswick. Time thrown away. The localities suited to my finances were not to my taste, and those to my taste were not suited to my finances. The longer settled districts of Canada West were first honoured with a visit, and a very cursory inspection sufficed to convince me that it was not in the vicinity of such towns as Toronto and , Hamilton where was to be found that of which I was in search—a cleared farm at a low figure. If I wanted a cheap farm, I must look for it in a cheap district, not in the best and dearest section of the province. I must go back, back, back, and even then content myself with one partially cleared. What could I expect for six or eight hundred pounds? And so back I went to a remote, I may say a very remote, settlement, where I arranged with a farmer to board and lodge me for six months; for although burning with impatience to commence operations on my own account, I thought it only prudent to give the life a trial prior to irretrievably committings myself by the purchase of a farm. Before three months had elapsed I was flying that settlement as if it were plague-stricken. Had I remained there another month, I verily believe I should have gone melancholy mad. I had not been so green as to expect that life in the clearings would really turn out to be the Arcadian existence described by Canadian pamphleteers, nor that the hard-working farmers, my neighbours, would prove on acquaintance to be anything superior to the ordinary run of hard-working farmers; but I certainly hoped to be able at least to endure the one, and to accommodate myself to the rude manners of the others. I had made the experiment and failed. I could have put up with the poor living—it was very poor—cheerfully endured the isolation, made merry over my uncongenial tasks; but submit to the* patronizing airs and the cool impertinences of the boors by whom I was surrounded, that I could not do. Nature’s noblemen, indeed! Mostly Irish of the very lowest class, to the cunning, . ignorance, and bigotry of their race, they united all the arrogance and pretension of the Yankee; and they hated me not because I gave myself airs—or treated them superciliously, for I did nothing of the sort—but for the simple reason that I was a gentleman. At first I thought that matters would be sure to mend; I should grow more used to the people and they to me. But instead of matters mending, they daily grew worse; and the more I tried to like my neighbours, and to discover in their characters something to esteem and admire, the more reason I found to loathe and despise them. At the end of the second month I saw that the battle was hopeless, owned myself vanquished, and threw up the sponge. The confession does not redound to my credit, you will say—it shows a sad lack of moral courage, of adaptability, of perseverance. Instead of being disheartened, I ought to have shown myself all the more resolute—put a bold face on the matter—have endeavoured to live down the ill-will of my neighbours—stood my ground like a man. For all that, I feel convinced that had you been in my place you would have acted precisely as I did. It is all very well for poets,. whose greatest trial in life has been the perusal of some adverse criticism of their own writings, to sing how sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong; but singing is one thing and doing is another. There is a limit to human forbearance, and after a certain point the sublime merges into the ridiculous— resignation becomes stupidity. That 1 was unfortunate in the choice of a locality I willingly admit. Had I searched a little further I might no doubt have found some settlement where the Irish were in a minority, or at least not in such an overwhelming majority as they were at B-. There are such happy valleys even in the Canadian backwoods. But so far as I can judge, from the little experience I have had, a new settlement, no matter what may be the nationality of its inhabitants, is not the place for an emigrant of the better class. The owner of an improved farm in a new settlement is a hybrid— a cross between a farmer and a backwoodsman— but enjoying neither the comforts of the - one nor the rude independence of the other. Neither can he proudly point, like the farmer, to his well-tilled fields and snug homestead, nor exclaim with the backwoodsman, “ I settled, I built, I cleared, I planted.” His farm is in a transition state, and he himself but an improver. To the ordinary immigrant it matters little what may be the precise condition of his farm—whether he be originator or improver it is the same to him. Is his house inconvenient and badly built? It is a hundred times better than the one he occupied in the old country. Are his neighbours ignorant and boorish? They belong to the same class as himself; were they more refined he would be out of his element. Are his fields full of blackened stumps, pine roots and cradle hills, badly fenced and worse cultivated? What’s the odds? Pine farming does not pay in a new country; and the man must be a born idiot who would trouble himself about appearances. He makes a living out of the land, and is contented.

With the gentleman immigrant it is altogether different. Unless he be a very rare specimen of his class, he is more or less governed by appearances. Accustomed from childhood to see everything around him kept in apple-pie order, the very sight of the half-cleared fields of the infant township, with their ugly black stumps and still uglier snake fences, is sufficient to give him the horrors. His farm, instead of being a source of pleasure to him, is just the reverse. Everything about it betrays the barbarous taste of its late owner. The house has been run up anyhow, and is as ugly and as uncomfortable as a house well can be. The barn is jammed right against his sitting-room windows; the clearing is a clearing with a vengeance, for not a tree has been left standing. He cannot farm if he would; for his fields are full of half-decayed stumps, and he has to go to work Indian fashion—scattering -a handful of seed here, sticking in a piece of potato there, doing double labour for half a crop. Tree stumps take a long time to rot (seven years), and until they are rotted his land cannot properly be cultivated. He may be an earth grubber, but a farmer he is not. The chief difference between the backwoodsman and himself is, that whilst he has neighbours, the backwoodsman has none; .and in this respect he is much more deserving of pity than of envy. Not a single taste, not a single idea, has he in common with his fellow-settlers. They hate him, because he is so different to themselves; he loathes them for their ignorance and pretension. Put it in which way you will, the existence is a fearful one. Even should he be a married man, his lot is none the less hard to bear. True, he has a ministering angel to cheer him under his manifold afflictions; but that his wife should have to put up with the impertinences of ignorant helps, and with the coarse familiarities of gawky country wenches, is agonizing. No! The more I think the matter over, the more convinced am I that it is little short of madness for any man, having the tastes and habits of a gentleman, to try farming in a new settlement. If he cannot afford to purchase a farm in a highly civilized district, the best place for him is the wilderness.

After my ignominious flight from B-township, I made for the newly surveyed districts in the vicinity of Lake Huron. My desire was to find some spot sufficiently near to a settlement to enable me to procure supplies, and yet sufficiently out of the way to deter others from following in my footsteps. A location of this description was not to be found in Canada West; at least I could not find it. The demon of progress was, abroad in the land; and what was wilderness-to-day would in all probability be clearing tomorrow.

“Needn’t be afeared to take up land in this township,” were the comforting words with which I was everywhere greeted. “ Pretty lonesome now, but you’ll have plenty of neighbours tomorrow.” Neighbours! Just what I desired to avoid. Again I skedaddled.

From Ontario I journeyed to Ottawa, from Ottawa to Quebec; and just ten months from the day on which I first steamed up the St. Lawrence, I was steaming down again, a sadder only sport likely to fall to our share in the event of rejoining the party will be the backing out of sixty pounds’ weight of moose meat—an enjoyment with which, in our exhausted condition* we feel that we can readily dispense. After having been invited to join them in order that we may participate in the sport, to shirk our share of the work is certainly not a very equitable proceeding; but the thought of having to flounder through the snow with a backload of moose speedily overcomes all such scruples, and slinging our raquets, we make back tracks with all the speed of which we are capable. That it is not at a very rapid rate, any one who has tried the experiment of forcing his way through thirty inches of strongly crusted snow in mocassined feet will be perfectly able to comprehend. Slow as was our progression in snow-shoes, without them it is slower still, and when at length, after more than an hour’s hard work, we emerge from the woods and see the shanty close at hand, we couldn’t go a quarter of a mile further were our life dependent on it. The thought that we shall soon have a moose steak broiling on the gridiron somewhat revives us, and gives us sufficient energy to get everything in readiness for the feast. Just as our preparations are completed, the gridiron nicely oiled, the table laid, and a bright maple-wood fire roaring in the stove, we hear them coming, and out we rush to welcome them. We are somewhat surprised to see them tripping lightly over the snow, instead of bending beneath their loads of venison, but suppose that they have left the spoil at their camp, and have come our way to provide themselves with salt and other condiments. “Well,” we demand of the leader of the file, “where’s the moose?” “Moose be hanged!” is the polite answer. “We hain’t no moose.” “No moose? Why, we heard three shots fired. Did you all miss him?” “Didn’t fire at no moose—fired at that confounded dog; and we didn’t miss him, you bet.”

“Dog? Which dog? Not that black curly fellow, surely?”

“It warn’t no other—the fat, lazy, whining brute. He made so much row that he scared the moose just as we were right on ’em; but he wont have the chance again, that’s some comfort.”

The black curly fellow to which we allude is none other than the one so lately extracted by us from the snow-drift. We have saved him from probable suffocation only that he may meet his death in another way. Their chagrin is too evident to permit of our doubting the truth of the_ statement, and, Coelebs being absent, we invite them to share our backwoods fare, comforting ourselves for the disappointment by listening to their moose “talk”—a poor substitute for moose steak at any time. Not one of them but has some wonderful story to tell of his moose-hunting exploits, but, with one single exception, it is in the running-down business that they have distinguished themselves. The self-satisfied way in which they describe how in this or that year of deep snow .they found one, two, three yards, and brained bulls, cows, and calves where they stood, just for the fun of the thing, is very Acadian; and no Gordon Cumming or Jules Gerard was ever vainer of the slaughter of a. “ man-eater” than are these butchers of the havoc they have made in the ranks of terror-stricken herds of moose, powerless alike to flee or charge the enemy.

It is the second week m March. For the last ten days we have been hard at work making preparations for maple-sugaring. Every pot, pail, and pannikin on the premises has been pounced upon, and scrubbed and rubbed until it is sweet as a nut and bright as a new dollar. The iron caldrons of both stoves (Mrs. Mac’s and our own) have been subjected to a similar process, whilst a noble red man has been engaged to make troughs. We shall have sufficient vessels .to collect the sap of a hundred trees. Had we the necessary paraphernalia we might tap three times that number; for there is a splendid maple “ orchard” close at hand, and the only extra labour would „be carrying the sap to the boilers. But unfortunately we have no potash kettle, and a hundred trees will be more than sufficient to keep our six pots a-going. We have selected the site for our “sugary”—a sheltered glade where dry birch is plentiful; we have cut firewood to last us some-days; we have sufficient elder-tubes to conduct the sap which will flow from a hundred augur-holes in a hundred trees into a hundred receivers; we have driven into the ground the two crotched sticks which will suspend the pole -upon which will hang the kettles; and we have erected a rude wigwam to shelter us in the event of bad weather—in a word, we are ready. A warm, bright morning after a night’s sharp frost —a day on which one can feel the breath of returning spring, and the blood coursing through one’s veins—a day that makes one forget the inclement winter that has passed, and vow that the Nova Scotian climate is not so bad after all— a day when the birds are chirping merrily, the brooks purling joyously, and the wind is whispering softly—a day when all nature is rejoicing. Shake off dull sloth, thou somnolent backwoods-man! and let us haste to carry our stock in trade to the sugary, tap our hundred maples, and get the fire alight—it is “sugar weather.”

Coelebs does not require to be called a second time, for, unlike clearing, fencing, haying, and such like employments, sugaring is not regarded by the backwoodsman in the light of work, but rather as a diversion; and he looks forward to his week’s or fortnight’s sugar-making with as much pleasure as does the Cockney to his Easter or Whitsuntide holiday.

In an hour’s time we are boring away at the maples. With an inch screw augur we pierce the trunk of each tree in a downward direction, to the depth of an inch and a half, and at the base of the cavity thus formed we bore another hole with a three-eighth screw gimlet in such a way that it may act as a duct to the sap which will collect in the reservoir above. Into the latter hole we drive one of our elder tubes, place a trough or pan beneath it, see that the sap drops fairly into it, and the work is done. By the time we have fifty trees tapped we are obliged to stop boring; for the sap is running freely, and many of the troughs are full. With a pail in either hand we visit each tree in succession, carefully collect the sap, and, when our pails are full, ompty them into a huge hogshead which stands in the wigwam. The first round made, and some fifteen gallons of sap collected, we light our fire, suspend our pots on the pole above it, fill them, and commence boiling down. An old hand, we are entrusted, or rather we entrust ourselves, with this part of the business, it being Coelebs’ duty to collect the sap. He shows his. activity, we our science; and we must admit that the expert has the best of the bargain. Whilst our duties are confined to skimming the sap and keeping up the fire, our coadjutor is rushing frantically about with his pails in a way that would astonish a lamplighter. We rather enjoy seeing him thus employed. For a backwoodsman, he is not as hard as he should be, and a little sweating will do him no harm. He has just completed a round, and, hot and tired, he has seated himself by the fire, and lighted his pipe. He may have taken half a dozen whiffs, he is beginning to enjoy himself, he ventures a joke on the colour of the syrup; we sternly remind him that he had much better be thinking of the sap—his sap—which is running over, than of the syrup in our pots. Sap running over! The very thought of such wanton waste of the raw material makes him start. With a sigh he returns his pipe to its case, casts a longing look at the fire, seizes his pails, and off he trudges through the soft snow. In tranquil supervision of the liquor in the pots, on our part—in endless visiting rounds on the part of Coelebs—the day wears away. By sunset we have boiled down upwards of sixty gallons of sap, and there is still a considerable quantity remaining in the hogshead. It being one of the fundamental rules of sugar-making never to leave till to-morrow what you can do to-day, we send Coelebs to the shanty for something in the way of refreshment, fill up the kettles, and continue our work by the light of the blazing birch logs. That a clever artist were here to sketch the scene ! It is one that would well repay his labours. Let us retire a few paces, and endeavour to determine, according to our lights, the best point of view for the limner. It would be hereabout. For the foreground of our picture, and relieving the dead white of the snow-covered earth, we have that fallen tree, those half-decayed stumps, that moss-grown boulder. In the middle ground the blazing fire, with our row of pots suspended above it, and from each of which a column of greyish steam is ascending, ghost-like, into the frosty air, our chair of state (an American pail turned bottom upwards), and a block upon which are laid our insignia— cap of maintenance (strainer), mace (skimmer), wand (ladle), and, embedded in the wood, the Hector’s axe. To the right stands our pile of firewood, and to the left the wigwam, through' the entrance of which can be descried the carpet of hemlock boughs and the vat containing our sap. For a background we have that grove of birch; and could an artist only faithfully depict on his canvas the reflection of the firelight on those silvery stems, he might daub as he pleased for the future, his reputation would be safe. A little more colouring might, perhaps, be an improvement. Well, here we have it—Coelebs in a gorgeous scarlet flannel shirt.

“Hubble-bubble, toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” It takes our sap a precious long time to boil down, and it is* past nine before poor Coelebs5 ears are gladdened by the announcement that the right consistency has been attained for that final part of the process known as “sugaring off.” As it is altogether too delicate an operation to be attempted sub Jove frigido, we extinguish the fire, pour the syrup into a couple of pails, and with a blazing torch of birch bark in one hand and a pail in the other, return in triumph to the shanty.

That “sugaring off" may not interfere with our out-door work, we have the syrup, which has been carefully strained, boiling away on the stove, shortly after daybreak. With the joint of a broken cleaning-rod belonging to Coelebs’ duck-gun, we stir the seething mass, and with our skimmer remove the scum as it rises. Into the ’lasses we dip ever and anon the ivory handle of a carving-knife (we object to using our index finger a la sugar-baker), plunge it quickly into a basin of water standing on the table beside us, and try consistency. ' Good! It has reached that particular stage when, on a particle of the syrup being taken between the finger and thumb, a slight thread is formed when the fingers are opened. The thread stretches to greater length. It no longer breaks. On withdrawing the skimmer from the pot, and blowing through the holes on its surface, sugar-bubbles form on the under side. On again blowing through it the bubbles no longer adhere to the metal, but fly off in fragments—our sugar is made. Bring hither one of those birch-bark “mokoks,” friend Coelebs, and let us pour into it the contents of the pot. Gently! Take care of your fingers. There is a first instalment of twenty pounds. And so we keep along, and by the time the wind hauls, and frost and sleet and hail succeed our short spell of sugar weather, we have a couple of hundredweight of “extra crystallized” stowed away in a cask, besides four gallons of maple-syrup. That for a, month or six weeks we have buckwheat cakes and maple-syrup on the breakfast-table every morning, is only to say that we know what is good, and make the most of it. Shortly after the termination of our sugaring, the lakes break up, and rafts—our own amongst the number— begin to make their appearance. All the timber cut' on the different streams which flow into the-chain of lakes, of which ours is the terminal, is rafted to the head of the river, and then cast adrift. Hardly a day elapses without two or more rafts being broken up at the foot of the knoll, and on some occasions—a Sunday generally —that being the busiest day of the seven, we not unfrequently see half a dozen of them warping down the lake at the same time. It is very amusing to watch the raftsmen at work. Constant practice has made them as sure-footed on the slippery oscillating logs as on terra firma, and the way they go hopping from one to another as they float past, is worthy of the Bounding Brothers of the Western Prairies. It is no uncommon sight to see, a couple of them standing bolt upright on a single log, come paddling across the lake, and the more venturesome will take a run down the rapids in the same fashion, and often manage to escape the wet jackets they deserve for their foolhardiness. An accident occasionally happens — some poor fellow is drowned, gets jammed between the logs, or has his head laid open by the winch handle; bat considering the risk run these mishaps are not as frequent as might be expected. Breaking up the raft is with these lumbermen pretty much what getting the stern hawser ashore is with Jack. The hard-earned money is at length due, and it is time for rejoicing. Our lumbering friends generally camp for the night on the opposite side of the river: and we can hear them long after we have retired to rest, singing in a dreary, monotonous twang some Baptist hymn to the tune of “Carry me back to ole Yarginny,” or “Paddy worked on the Railway.”

It is not until the fourteenth of April that the frost is out of the ground, and that the work of excavation commences. A few days later, and the stillness of the woods is broken by the noise of trowel, axe, and hammer, and the Home Park presents the appearance of a gipsy's encampment on a large scale ; for we have two gangs of men employed, one on the house, the other on the barn, and fourteen hands and the cook sit down daily to dinner. The said cook is the hardest worked man of the part}r. He is the first to turn out, the last to turn in, and visit his al fresco kitchen at whatever hour one may, he is sure to be preparing something. It is either the bread he is kneading, or the pork he is frying, or the tea he is boiling; and should he chance to have finished baking a little earlier than usual, lie will be found deep in the mysteries of “sweet fixins.” He is a one-er for sweet fixins—sweet fixins which defy alike description and digestion ; sweet fixins made of flour^ lard, molasses, and pimento (baked); sweet fixins made of flour, ginger, molasses, and salt butter (ditto); sweet fixins made of flour, suet, and molasses (boiled); sweet fixins made of flour and molasses (fried); sweet fixins the very sight of which is sufficient to give any one save a backwoodsman bilious fever in its acutest form. It is difficult to say which is the most diabolical of his salmagundi, his sweet cakes, his flap-jacks, his dumplings, or his dough-nuts. We are inclined to think, however, that his sweet cakes are the most bilious, his flap-jacks the most indigestible, his dumplings the most flatulent—all three qualities being happily combined in his dough-boys. Our friend’s bread, which he bakes in a couple of huge reflectors, placed in close proximity to a roaring log fire, is on a par with his confectionery. From a too liberal use of saleratus, it turns, after having been baked a few hours, of a greenish hue, and smells consumedly. It was only by the merest chance—finding a piece of the concrete which had been left on a tree-stump, and forgotten—that we became aware of this fact, for of the evening’s baking not a vestige remains after breakfast in the morning.

The men consider themselves in honour bound to make a clean sweep, and thus far their honour is unsullied. They even go so far as to declare that he, the cook, is a “bully” cook; and if they are contented, so are we. One thing he can do—fry fish; and in this particular branch of his art every opportunity is given him to distinguish himself. Scarcely a day passes without his being called upon to fry twenty or thirty pounds’ weight of trout; for we have only to take our rod and step on to the logs, which are now jammed in the river, to catch as many of the speckled beauties as we please. It would be hard to say how many dozen fish during the height of the season should go to make what is here called a “good string.” Six dozen, weighing together upwards of half a hundredweight, is considered nothing extraordinary. We are far from being a first-rate fly-fisher, and we have done that much ourselves; and we have no doubt that a grand master of the craft might land close upon double that number. Besides the speckled variety, we generally manage to hook a few salmon trout during the day’s fishing; but owing to numerous saw-mills at its mouth, the river is devoid of salmon. Of those large lake trout so plentiful in most American waters we see nothing, but we have the silver and common perch in abundance, besides chub, suckers, horn-pouts, bullheads, and silver eels by the barrel. Fish there are, no doubt, but, unfortunately for the sportsman, there are some things more plentiful still. We refer to black-flies, sand-flies, and mosquitoes. Enthusiastic indeed must be the fisherman who can endure the assaults of these winged torments for even half an hour during the months of May and June, without wishing the fish in Halifax and himself back again in his native land, where, if the sport be poor, the insects are neither numerous nor bloodthirsty. To give an idea of the torments inflicted by the venomous proboscides of these horrid pests would be impossible. Egypt, during the plague of flies, could hardly have been more sorely visited than are annually these Nova Scotian backwoods during the first two months of summer. At sunrise, the black-flies take the field, and until sunset, when they are relieved by the mosquitoes and sand-flies, they cease not for one moment their merciless attacks. To face them, with the slightest chance of returning unscathed from the conflict, one must be girt as if for battle. The trousers must be tightly bound round the ankles, the front and wristbands of one’s shirt sewed up, hands encased in gloves, and one’s head and neck enveloped in an ample veil, and even then the chances are that some intrepid pioneer of the force will find his way through an unguarded rent or aperture, and give you a nip that will make the blood spurt. In the United States and Canada the flies are certainly excessively troublesome, but nothing to what they are here. By making a “smudge,” or smoke, one can generally drive them away; but these Acadian gentlemen care no more for smoke than they do for camphor, pennyroyal, or any other odour supposed to be a preventive against their attacks. They say that a liberal application of crude petroleum to the face and hands will keep them at a respectful distance, and those who like to make the experiment had better try it. For our own part, although particularly vulnerable, we prefer being bitten.

The appearance presented by a party of soft-skinned, city-nurtured sportsmen, after a week’s bivouacking in these woods, is a “caution.” Faces so bitten as to be scarcely recognisable, hands too swollen to permit of gloves, and such a general demoralization of the entire system as to make it an even bet whether the victims would not prefer suicide to the horrors of an onward march.

The month of June. During the last six weeks the forest has undergone that almost magical metamorphosis from grey to russet, from russet to the brightest emerald, which so amazes the wanderer from more genial climes. That same wilderness, which a few short weeks, nay, days ago, offered to the eye of the beholder nought save one vast expanse of sombre hue, unrelieved by a single patch of colouring, seems now a rolling prairie, clothed in a robe of many-shaded green, from the palest of apple to the deepest of emerald. So short in these regions is the season of vegetation, that nature has to work high pressure during those six months into which she compresses spring, summer, and autumn. Scarcely have the snow-drifts vanished ere the buds begin to expand and the May flowers to unfold their white blossoms. A few more days, and the trees are in full leaf, the humming-birds flitting from flower to flower, fire-flies flashing amongst the green branches, and the short summer in full swing. It is not, however, until the retreat of those formidable free-lances, the black-flies, that we really enjoy the warmth and sunshine, the verdure of the landscape, and the carol of the birds, or care to wander very far from head-quarters. But with July comes peace, and we can at length stretch ourselves on the green sward, beneath the shade of some patriarchal oak, and listen to the voices of the woods, and the soothing babble of running water, with the same dreamy enjoyment as of yore. Very pleasant is it to sit on the knoll in the cool of the evening, and to watch the darkening shadows stealing over wood and water, and listen to the weird and somewhat startling sounds which are borne on the soft night air. Hardly has the sun set ere the concert commences, the opening chorus being executed by some thousand frogs inhabiting an adjacent marsh; and if harmony lay in strength of lung, we would back these Acadian choristers of ours against the field. Those who have never heard a solo performed by an American bull-frog can have but; a very faint idea of his vocal powers, and when a few thousands, or even hundreds of similar beissi profondi are singing in unison, the din may be more easily imagined than described. During the nightly performance of this iEsopean opera, we fancy the frogs the unhappy vassals of the story, clamouring for their rights, in the approved Massaniello style, with more energy than eloquence. The crane, who in due course makes his appearance on the scene, and night hideous with his piercing screams, is the bloodthirsty tyrant resolutely opposed to reform or concession of any description, whilst the owl is the Procureur-General seated in judgment. No Lord Chief Baron ever summed up a case in a tone more thoroughly adverse to the plaintiffs than does our learned friend on the opposite side of the river, and the prolonged hoo-oo-ha-ha with which he winds up his discourse means as plainly “Off with their heads!” as anything can do. The mocking cry of the loon from the upper end of the lake is the response of the doomster, and with the last note the performance comes to an abrupt termination, and not a sound breaks the stillness of the night save a subdued croaking from the condemned hold—the dying confessions of the victims. As we have already remarked, a very little amuses in the backwoods; and in endeavouring to interpret the various sounds so as to suit the supposed exigences of the situation, the night slips pleasantly away.

We make the most of the fine weather, and ure generally up and doing long before sunrise. Some days we lend a hand at house-building, on others we start off in the boat on an exploring expedition up the lakes, or strike into the woods, and ramble about till sundown. But we never penetrate very deeply into the forest. In order thoroughly to enjoy explorations of this description, one must be associated with a party of sociable beings, whose conversation is not entirely confined to lumbering and its duties, and such men are not easily found in this country, and Coelebs is too busy to accompany us. Now and then a few stragglers from the more civilized parts of the province make their appearance, but, American-like, they are always in a desperate hurry to get back again to their farms or their merchandize, and appear to have come to the woods more for penance than for pastime. Half a dozen good fellows, however, all of them ready and willing to rough it, might have a very pleasant time of it in these woods during the months of August and September, just cruising about from lake to lake and from river to river as chance might direct. Nothing can, to our mind, be more thoroughly enjoyable than an outing of this description. The pure fragrant air of the forest calms the nerves and invigorates the system, the constant change of scene makes one forget the busy world, its cares and anxieties, whilst the bodily exercise engenders an appetite sufficient to appal the ablest trencherman not backwoods “raised.” At the last clearing are left behind one’s every-day thoughts and habits, the conventionalities of civilized life, and the manifold duties of society, and one feels, perhaps for the first time, the delightful sensation of being really a free agent.

Swiftly glides the voyageurs canoe over the limpid water. Past wooded knoll and sedgy intervale, past dense pine forest and fire-scatlied barren, past shingly beach and rocky islet, past beaver’s dam and house of musk-rat, until the sudden cessation of the measured sweep of the Indian’s paddle, and the grating of the canoe on the pebbly strand, apprize him that the first portage has been reached, and that his turn has come for being made useful. With serious misgivings as to his ability to leave the frail bark without either capsizing her or taking an involuntary header into the water, our friend manages to reach the shore, and in another minute, bending beneath the weight of the unaccustomed pack, he is following in the wake of his guide, who trips along with the canoe on his shoulders as though sixty pounds of birch bark were a matter of no import whatsoever. Now is discovered of what material the party is composed. The old campaigner takes for what it is worth the Indian’s assurance that the “carry” is only two hundred yards across, and at once makes up his mind for at least double that distance, knowing from experience that land being cheap in the wilderness, surveyors think it only fair to give good measure. He takes things easily, advances with careful step and slow, rests his pack from time to time, if the weight be burdensome, and arrives at his destination fresh as a daisy. Not so the tyro. He tears along as if life and death were depending on his exertions^ now floundering into a swamp or mudhole, now breaking his shins over- some fallen tree or obstructing boulder, and it is with a feeling of considerable relief that he sees the blue water shimmering through the trees ahead, and slips the pack from his weary shoulders. Just a thimbleful of brandy apiece, to prevent any chill supervening from suddenly checked perspiration, and the canoes are gently slid into the water, the baggage is restowed, each man subsides into his allotted space—a rather circumscribed one generally—splash go the paddles, and they are en route for the next portage, where there will be again the same amusing scene of flurry and confusion as before. And so the time slips merrily away, until the lengthening shadows suggest a halt. Then comes the event of the day—the encampment. The laziest man of the party now rouses up, and is eager to take his share of the work. One seizes an axe and commences to chop firewood—a rash proceeding in most cases, dangerous alike to the chopper and all those in his immediate vicinity—another collects hemlock boughs for the common bed, a third fetches water from the brook, whilst the remainder unpack the hampers, or make themselves useful in the culinary department. In an incredibly short space of time the lumberer’s tent or bough wigwam is in position with the hemlock branches piled beneath, the huge log-fire is cheerfully crackling and darting its forked flames high into the air, and such an appetizing smell of fried ham, or similar backwoods delicacy, pervading the surrounding forest as to make the visit of some convivial bear an event of no improbable occurrence. Supper over, a chairman is elected, and each one in turn favours the company with a song or story, the Indians looking on the while with their usual imperturbable gravity, expressing their private opinion of the evening’s performance by the occasional interchange of a few words spoken in the soft Micmac tongue. The turn in is delayed as long as possible, but at length the last pipe is smoked out, the last story ended, the blankets are spread on the fragrant hemlock, every man composes himself to sleep, and in a few minutes nothing is heard but the crackling of the blazing pine knots and the sighing of the night wind amongst the branches over head.

In spite of the flies, our builders have been making rapid progress. We have had some little trouble with our men, but very little considering the country. We were thrown back a week by the desertion of the stonemason’s assistant, who couldn’t stand them darned midge's, and another six days by the decampment of the stonemason himself. Our teamster, who had been engaged at the rate of thirty dollars a month, struck for rafting wages and got them, and our shingle-maker turning sulky at something that was said to him, hung up his draw-knife and started for the settlements, as did also our cook, who, on reaching home, sent poor Ooelebs a summons for wages due, accompanied by the following sarcastic epistle :—

“Mr. Celibs—i suppose you think it very -strang of me leafing you but you must remember i am not a beest and if there is such cattle in the country you come from i would advise you send fech them. i am a man not a beest as you say we all is and so i hope you will emport some of your countrymen as can do your work to your liking as I don’t entend to do any more for you. “Joseph Donelly.”

But defalcation and desertion notwithstanding, we have managed to rub along, and we now only muster nine hands without the cook—Mrs. Mac-doing the “bully” one’s work pro tem. Coelebs’s mind is at rest, for Mac and his wife have no desire to quit him; the carpenters, paid by the job, are not likely to forfeit what they have already earned by leaving their work in an unfinished state; the teamster guesses he shall be able to “ worry it through whilst the “chore-boy,” who is not worth his salt, would rather oblige by taking his departure.. Until we are ready for the plasterers, we shall need no more help.

To day, July 18th, the “roofingin ” has been completed, and, supper over, Coelebs produces a demijohn of whisky, and announces that it is his intention to brew a joram of punch in honour of the event. The announcement is received with applause. It is the first time that grog has been served out, for knowing, by past experience, how very little thanks one gets for any extra liberality, we have advised our host to keep his liquor and not to dispense a drop except in case of sickness.. To-night is to be the one exception to the rule, and we sit round the blazing camp fire and make merry. We are a rather tuneful lot. The boss, carpenter plays the concertina, two of the party sing very fairly, all can join in a chorus—so ours, is a “swarry,” convivial and musical. There has been a very lurid sunset, the air is hot and oppressive, and our weather-prophet prognosticates rain. We are no prophet, but we don’t like the look of the horizon. It reminds us of a certain night in the West Indies which we would willingly forget. The sky has the same leaden hue,, the atmosphere the same sultry feel, whilst Coelebs’s big Newfoundlander sniffs the air in the same uneasy way as did our poor old Cato. About eleven the party breaks up, the four carpenters and the chore-boy retiring to their board wigwams, Mac and ourselves to the shelter of our more comfortable shanties. Before turning in we have a look at the barometer. It is very low and the mercury is still falling.. There is little wind stirring, and that little makes a dismal wailing amongst the branches of the giant oak which shelters our shanty. As we< extinguish our light we hear the heavy drops of rain pattering on the shingles, and Coelebs shouts to us, through the partition, that we shall have a good night’s rain and fine weather in the morning. We are awakened by the rumbling of distant thunder, and, looking out of the window, we see the lightning flashing at the upper end of the lake. The storm is travelling in our direction—we shall have it over head in a few moments more. Well 1 it is not the first storm we have slept through, let us try to “ calk” it out. We can’t exactly manage it. Louder and louder rolls the thunder; so vivid is the lightning that we can see every cranny and crevice in the log walls—the wind has increased to a hurricane, and our solid shanty trembles.

Jupiter! What a crash! We are so stunned that we cannot recollect where we placed the matches. “Coelebs, ahoy! Are you awake?”

No need to ask that question. He is up and dressed, and dreadfully anxious about the buildings. Will the house stand it—the new house? Time enough to think of the house when we are out of danger. If the wind increases, that •big oak outside wont stand it, and if it fall on the shanty we shall both be laid out as flat as flounders. Let us try to find some spot where there are no trees—see if we cannot manage to reach the landing. Dazzled by the lightning, stunned by the crash of falling trees, and scarcely able to keep our feet from the violence of the wind, we succeed in reaching the spot.

“Just look at the camp,” groans poor Coelebs. The camp, indeed! Not much sign of a camp there. The wigwam has been blown bodily into the river, and the hemlock branches scattered far and wide, the burning brands from the fire round which we were all so lately gathered are flying about in every direction, whilst, worse than all, a pile containing six thousand feet of lumber is no longer to be seen. The men look scared, and the chore-boy is hanging on to the stock of a warping anchor with all the energy of despair. All eyes are fixed upon the house, which is exposed to the full fury of the blast. If it does not stand firm what chance would an ordinary frame house have had? Those walls are built up with ten-inch balks of timber, securely bound together with oak-tree nails, and are several tons in weight. The foundations are extra solid. It would take a pretty considerable strong puff to damage the body of the building, but will the great roof be able to withstand the pressure ? That is the question. Some of the party wag their heads ominously, but our master builder is confident that not a shingle will be started, or if the roof should go the walls will go too. And then it will be the last house blown down in the county. Sad but consoling reflection! If we are doomed to perish, the universe (as represented by the said county) will perish with us. Shades of Pliny junior! we thank thee for the happy thought.

With a tremendous crash and shaking of the ground beneath us, down comes some giant tree in our vicinity.

“Where was that, Tom?” strikes him hard, by the shanty. A vivid flash suffices to show us that he is correct in his surmises. It is the big oak by the shanty, but as far as we can judge it has fallen clear of the building. Another tremendous peal, and down comes the rain in torrents. The big oak can’t well fall a second time, so here goes for dry clothes and the shelter of the shanty. Away we scurry, as fast as our legs can carry us; the others follow, and for the remainder of the night we sit round the stove and speculate on the amount of damage that will be done before morning. Our estimates prove to be rather under than over the mark. When the storm subsides, and we can venture out without our lives being endangered by falling trees and flying branches, the sight which meets our eyes in the cold grey light of morning is the reverse of cheering. Stately pine trees snapped like pipe stems, great oaks uprooted, torn leaves and riven branches littering" the ground, ruin and desolation everywhere. The buildings have received no damage, but our pile of selected lumber for the flooring of the house has been scattered to the four winds. All hands are at once piped to salvage. Four of us man the skiff, whilst the remainder, armed with pike and boat-hook, hunt amongst the logs in the river for the missing lumber. Our labours are attended with a greater amount of success than we had dared to hope. By midday most of the boards have been hauled ashore, and piled up in a less exposed position, the carpenters resume their work, and we hasten to visit that portion of the domain which for two months or more has been seldom out of our thoughts night or day—the garden. Oh, what a falling off is there ! Our Champion of England peas biting the dust, or rather the mire, our Scimitars cut to pieces, our Scarlet Runners skedaddled, our Kenyons Improved cucumbers improved from off the face of the earth. We are “ a broken-hearted gardener, and know not what to do.” We can only gaze on the ruin around us and soliloquize.

What anxiety has not that garden caused us— what tortures have we not uncomplainingly endured that it might be fully stocked with vegetables? When that “usual June frost” was expected, did we not spend the greater portion of three consecutive evenings in covering the tender plantlets with old newspapers? and during the “merry month of May” did not the black flies drain our life’s blood whilst we hoed and delved and weeded? Did we not “waddy” an unsuspecting porcupine found trespassing inside the railings, and stone an innocent chip-monk whom we imagined had an eye to the greens? Nay, did we not ruthlessly shoot a wretched blackbird whom we caught in the act of bolting a pea, and hang up his mangled carcass as a warning to his brethren? There he swings from yonder stake, and in the branches of the tree over head greets the wife of his bosom just as she has been greeting ever since her partner was cruelly murdered before her eyes a week since. Were we Sambo, we should at once declare her “fetich,” and worship her in the full belief that it was her incantation that raised the storm. A prosaic Briton, we bless the storm, and set to work to repair damages. In the midst of our earthing up and staking, Coelebs pops his head over the fence, and a very long face it is. The teamster has just returned with the news that the storm has made terrible havoc in the green woods, and that the road is impassable. Will we take our axe and accompany him as far as the first windfall ? things may perhaps, on inspection, prove to be not quite so bad as reported. To the green woods we accordingly repair, and a single glance is sufficient to tell us that the damage done has not been exaggerated, and that the task of cutting out the road will be Herculean.

The pine trees have been bowled over like ninepins, and in some places are piled one on top of the other to a height of twelve feet or more. If to scale them is no easy matter, what will it be when it comes to cross-cut sawing and chopping out?

For a short space we hope that the first windfall is the worst; but as each succeeding one proves more extensive and impracticable than its predecessor, poor Coelebs completely loses heart. What is to be done ? We seat ourselves on a prostrate pine and deliberate. The only men that can be spared are the teamster and the boy. Even supposing that we lent our valuable assistance, it would take three weeks, perhaps more, to clear the road; for the only good axeman of the party would be the teamster, and cross-cut sawing is slow work. But one or other of us must remain at head-quarters, and in ten days at furthest a load of doors and window-sashes will have to be hauled out, or we shall have the carpenters complaining that the work has been stopped for lack of materials, and demanding compensation. As the road must be cut out sooner or later, better that it be done at once. So far as the expense is concerned, whether eight men are employed for one week or two men for four, comes to precisely the same in the end.

Agreed on this point, the next question is how to get men; for it is haying time, and hands are scarce. A bright idea occurs to Coelebs. A short distance from the wayside tavern where he met us, stands a miserable log cabin in which reside lovingly together fourteen human beings —old man and his wife, four stalwart sons, two daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren. They belong to that particular caste known in America as white Indians—white as to their skin, Indian as to their habits and mode of life. They have land, and farm not; timber, and build not ; health and strength, and lumber not. They lead a from hand-to-mouth existence, never doing a stroke of work so long as there is anything remaining in the flour barrel. When the last baking is in the oven, they will make a few bundles of staves or a few thousand shingles— just sufficient to pay for another barrel or two of flour, a few pounds of tea and sugar, and a little tobacco; and that secured, they have another lazy spell. There are but two occupations to which they take kindly—hunting and fiddling; but they have not the patience necessary to excel in the •one calling, nor the talent to shine in the other. When a moose is killed it is a red-letter day with them. There is a continuous smell of broiled .meat pervading the atmosphere in the vicinity of their shanty, and the fiddle can be heard “sqawking” from morning till night. No need asking them if they feel disposed to work; they wouldn’t do a hand’s turn for St. Hubert unless forced to do so. Luckily for us July is a month in which their larder is generally empty. Hunting has not yet commenced; the trout don’t rise freely. Porcupine and eels is the daily menu for the month; that, and whatever berries may be collected by the children. Unless it be that the wilderness of weeds which they call their garden stands in need of the hoeing which it never gets, they will hardly be able to invent an excuse for refusing •the job which we have to offer them. That they will be away haying is not very probable; for they are looked upon as “unco bad examples to ony weel-regulated family,” and their room is considered more valuable than their company. Their hands are against every man, and every man’s hand is against them; and if anything is lost, stolen, or strayed in the district, it is sure to have been “ them darned white Indians down to the twelve mile as has done it.” The greatest difficulty will be in making them complete their task once they have begun it. Coelebs proposes one plan, we another; and the shanty heaves in sight before any definite line of action has been determined. We must open fire cautiously, find the weakest point, and then blaze away.

We knock at the door. It is opened by the old woman. She wants to know!- Why, if it ain’t Mr. Coelebs and his friend ! Wont we walk in, and take a seat. Leaving Coelebs to open the first parallel, we have a quiet inspection of the room and its occupants. The shanty, like the one which we inhabit, has a central partition—kitchen on one side, bedrooms on the other; the only difference—and it is a great one—being that, whereas ours measures twenty-two feet by eighteen, theirs is eighteen by fourteen. The kitchen in which we are seated cannot be more than ten by twelve; and in it are now collected eight “humans,” two dogs, and a squirrel. We are aware that there is always room for one more, but we should like to see the apartment when all hands are mustered round the porcupine stew. At present we have only the old man and his wife, one strapping son, the two daughters-in-law, and the eldest grandchild. The younger members of the family have, doubtless,- received their customary whipping instead of some bread, and been sent to their lair in the garret. If the absent members of this interesting family bear any resemblance to those now present, we are not surprised that the neighbours fight shy of them, for they are a “hard - looking crowd.” The old man is a hickory-faced individual, with a nose like a danger-signal, and a voice like a nutmeg-grater. The son is a yawning, stretching, gum-chewing savage, whom laziness has perhaps saved from a formal introduction to the -circuit judge; for there is something in his eye which is not assuring. The daughters-in-law .are slatternly hussies, whose general appearance savours strongly of the soldiers’ quarter in Halifax; the grandchild is a squaw in miniature. The old woman is the best of the bunch, and she has a deary-meary way of addressing one which is far from pleasing.

“And deary me, however did ye manage to git out? The road must be blocked up awful.” Here we cut in—“Get out! Not much difficulty in that. Two or three ugly windfalls; the others hardly worth mentioning. Easy to get round.” Elderly savage, with a chuckle— “Much easier to get round nor to cut through. Cost a pile of dollars to clear that thar road. ’Spect it must be cleared though, and that right away.”

Coelebs—“Why right away?” Savage Junior, with a derisive grin—“Why, that you may git yer stuff out, to be sure.”

Coelebs, with sudden inspiration—“The stuff can be hauled to the head of the big lake, and thence rafted or boated down to the house.” Elderly savage, with animation—“But that wud be a round of twenty mile or more. As the road must be cut out, why not have it done right away?” Coelebs, after a pause—“Because I prefer leaving the work of clearing to others; it’s less trouble, and cheaper.” Junior Savage, with a scowl—“And who’s a-going to do it? Think to git up a bee, perhaps? Good, that I A bee, and it haying time!”

Coelebs—“Haying or no haying, there would be small chance of getting any man hereabouts to volunteer me his assistance. No! I mean that when logging commences, the ^lumbermen will have to cut out the road. Must get out hay and provisions. Nothing to be done without them.” Chorus—“And yer going to leave the road in that state until Christmas?”

Coelebs—“Yes, unless you want to get those shingles you have at the half-way camp. In that case I don’t mind helping you, and paying my fair share towards cutting out the road.” Youthful Savage, looking tomahawks and scalping-knives—“And what may yer call yer fair share?” Coelebs, after a moment’s hesitation— “Twenty dollars.”

Chorus—“Twenty dollars!”. Elderly Savage, with a sneer—“Yer mean sixty?”

Coelebs—“No I don’t. I say twenty, and I mean it. Take them or leave them, just as you please. Why should I pay even twenty dollars for doing that which I can have done for nothing?” Here our astute friend rises, and makes for the door; but when his hand is on the latch, he suddenly turns round and fires one parting shot, which hits the mark plumb-centre. “Oh, by-the-bye, can you let me have a loaf of bread? I came away in a hurry, and forgot to bring any with me.” Old squaw, after a very embarrassing pause—“Guess we hain’t none baked, Mr. Coelebs.”

Coelebs, smilingly—“Oh! Then can you let me have some flour?” Savage Junior, desperately—“ Flour be-! There ain’t no flour in this ranch, nor likely to be.”

Coelebs—“No flour? I’m sorry for that. Bad to be out of flour when game is out of season, and potatoes not yet ripe. But, of .course, accidents will happen. I suppose I shall be able to get some at the tavern. We shall pass the night at Freeman’s Camp. Good evening!” And exit.

Friend Coelebs is getting so sharp that he will cut himself before long, if he isn’t careful. We had quite forgotten that our white Indians have been shingle making lately at a spot some five miles down our road. Probably, owing to some member of the family standing in need of a dress, or a shirt, or a new pair of pants, the “boys” have been surprisingly industrious for the past three weeks, and have made several bundles of shingles. The shingles are made; but how to get them? If they want them, which they undoubtedly do, they must either back them out, or clear the road sufficiently to let a waggon pass. Were Coelebs a lawyer by profession, he could not have argued more plausibly, and the way in which he managed to find out the nakedness of the land was masterly. We think, with him, that the chances are ten to one that an envoy extraordinary from the hive will wait upon us at Freeman’s Camp before morning. We get our supplies at the tavern, and reach the camp a little before sundown.

When the logging season is over, and the crews have taken their departure, a night may be very pleasantly spent in a lumberman’s camp. If nothing have been left in it but a couple of tin pannikins and an old frying pan, so much the better. It will be more a la Robinson Crusoe. Fingers for forks, splinters for spoons, wedges of bread or strips of bark for plates, the only carver a jack-knife. It is really astonishing how soon one gets into backwoods ways. The excessively refined gentleman, who in civilized society would as soon think of cutting his own throat with his knife as his salmon, has not been forty-eight hours in the woods ere he can be seen using the said knife with a recklessness that would strike terror into the heart of an Arab juggler. Breeding will tell, and when the gentleman goes in for the knife, it is with all the skill of a professor. He uses it as deftly as does a Chinaman his chopstick.

After our last night’s vigil and the labours of the day, we are both pretty well tired out, and no sooner is supper over, and a pipe smoked, than we shake up the feathers, and coiling down in our respective corners, prepare to sleep. Dimmer and dimmer grows the firelight; our heavy eyelids droop and close. We may have given a premonitory grunt or two—we are beginning to reel it off in genuine backwoods style—when we are aroused by hearing Coelebs whisper in our ear, "Do you hear that?” We are sitting up and wide awake in an instant. In the silent woods, the words, “ Do you hear that ?” convey a very different meaning to that which they would do were they uttered in the busy haunts of men. “Do you hear that?” falling from the lips of a backwoodsman in the stillness of the night, means, “Be ready—something is wrong.” To the backwoodsman the voices of the wilderness are so familiar that he heeds them not. The cry of the loon, the hoot of the owl, the shriek of the crane, may startle the tyro; they do not move him. He can account for every sound, from the crash of a falling tree to the rustle of the squirrel amongst the withered leaves. If he ^cannot do so, it is because the noise is so unusual as to be unaccountable, and then comes the whispered inquiry, “Do you hear that?”

Yes, we do hear it.

“A bear, by Jove!” mutters Coelebs. “And we haven’t a gun with us.”

“No it isn’t—the step is too rapid. A two legged bear of some sort.” And as we utter the words the door is pushed open, and in stalks one of our white Indians from the twelve mile. Why, who would have expected to see him at this time of night ? Going to Blackbrook to fish, perhaps ? Not a bad place for eels.

“No, it ain’t eels he’s arter. Has come to see if he can’t make some agreement about that thar road.” About the road! Coelebsis distressed beyond measure that he should have given himself the trouble. “ Has determined to haul his stuff to the head of the big water, and leave the cutting out of the road to the lumbermen. Has he had his supper?” “Wal, yes! but he doesn’t mind having another bit, if there’s anything handy.” “Plenty of flour, bacon, tea, and sugar on the shelf over his head, and he will find tin pots and a frying-pan in that box in the corner. He has only to help himself.” Help himself he does without more ado, and it is a pity that the whole British army is not present to watch him prepare his meal. Those shiftless gentlemen who will not attempt to cook unless they have a patent range provided for them, and who cannot cook when they get it, might, perhaps, pick up a wrinkle or two which would prove serviceable in the event of another Crimean campaign. Our friend’s first move is to fill a pannikin with water and set it to boil— his next, to find two pieces of birch bark, which he scrapes and fashions, with the aid of his knife, into a couple of platters. Out of a chip he makes himself a spatula, fills the second pannikin two-thirds full of flour, adds some water, and proceeds to beat up his batter. The batter mixed to his satisfaction, he cuts some slices of pork, fries them, and puts them to keep hot by the fire until such time as he shall have his first pancake ready. By the time one side of his pancake is done the water is boiling, and he chucks in the tea. Pancake and tea are ready at the same time— the pork is as hot as ever. Whilst he is throwing himself outside the first edition of flap-jack the second will be frying, and so on, until there is no more batter left.

“Pooh! What a fuss about nothing! Not much difficulty in all that,” sneers Mr. Wiseacre. Cut bark, whittle chip, boil water, mix batter, fry pork, ditto pancake, and hey-presto! * the thing’s done. Easiest thing in the world. And so it is when one knows how. When one does not, it is marvellous how the very simplest culinary operation comes to grief. The pannikin has been insecurely placed on the fire, and over it topples just as the water is beginning to boil. The batter is too thick or too thin, it sticks to-the pan; when tossed it falls all of a heap. It is raw on one side, burnt on the other. It is all accidental, no doubt; but such accidents never happen to the experienced backwoodsman. That we are in for another night of it is evident. The fried pork and flap-jacks have imparted new life to our white Indian, and he grows exceedingly communicative. He tells us of his wooings and his huntings and his fightings, and of the “ high old time” he has had down to Halifax lately. Eine place, Halifax, by his account. A sort of Natchez-under-the-Hill with a dash of Gomorrah. “ Would like to live there—fust-rate—but hasn’t the spondoolicks. No way of getting along tliar without money. If he could only manage to* raise five hundred dollars or so, might do a splendid business. Would keep a h5-tel. Pile of money to be made out of a hotel. Knows of a fust-rate one near the wharf, which could be purchased cheap. Sailors and long-shore men drinking thar all day long—dollars flying about like chips a-breaking. What do we say to purchasing the good-will, and putting him in as manager ? Think, may be, that he’d drink more forty rod nor he’d sell. Well, p’rhaps he might take a drain occasionally.” And so on, until the small hours of the morning.

It is only after a deal of fencing on both sides that the road question is finally settled. But Coelebs has all along the best of it. He stands on the defensive, and lets his antagonist tire himself out. He will give twenty dollars, no more, and, in the end, the man yields the point and accepts it. At peep of day we separate, Coelebs returning with his captive to the tavern, there to draw out the agreement in black and white—we to head-quarters.

For the next month we are busy haying. Armed with bush scythes, Mac, two hired men, and ourselves, keep cutting away at the blue-joint with unflagging energy. Coelebs has more stock and less hay than he expected to have, and will require at least twenty-five tons of “meadow” hay to see him through the winter. There is any quantity of blue-joint on the adjacent meadows, but it is bad mowing, aud the weather is insufferably hot. We rise at four o’clock, have some bread and coffee, and then pull to the head of the lake, where are the nearest beaver meadows. We work till ten, when we have our second breakfast, and that over, sit quietly in the shade until three. At three we have a snack, and then work along steadily until we cannot see to work any longer. In this way we get ten hours good work out of the men, which we should not do had they to mow during the heat .of the day. As the hay is cured it is stacked on the ground, there to await the arrival of November frost and snows, when it will be sledded down the lake and re-stacked in the haggard— English hay being alone placed under cover. Twenty-five tons are stacked at last; but it has been a weary job and an expensive one. There are meadows close at hand where twice the quantity might have been cut with half the labour; but these meadows are private property, ,or are supposed to be so, which amounts to the same thing. They have not been purchased, nor rented, nor “ improved;” but they are private property notwithstanding, for they have been selected. Mr. Josh This or Eh’ That, when out a fishing or a huckleberrying, takes a fancy to a piece of meadow, and forthwith honours it with-his patronymic; from that date it is no longer part and portion of the East or West brook bog, but Jobbings’ or Buggings’ meadow. Jobbings may live thirty miles off, Buggings never have owned a beast in his life, neither the one nor the other has the remotest intention of cutting an ounce of hay; but they have a right to do so if they choose, and if they don’t, it is nothing to nobody. In the United States or Canada, per-^ mission to cut would be freely accorded—not so hereabouts. If any man wants their hay he must pay for it, and such a price that prime English hay would come nearly as cheap in the end. The best meadow in Coelebs’s vicinity belongs, or is supposed to belong, to a certain Rhino —a man who must have been the original of Sam Slick’s lazy man, who declared that, “ Of all the work which Providence had given mortal man to do he liked potato-hoeing the best, but would any day rather die than do that”—the said Ehino being the very incarnation of laziness, There is as much chance of Mr. Ehino cutting his meadow as there is of his becoming a millionaire by dint of hard work and thriftiness.

About a fortnight before haying commenced, Mr. Ehino, accompanied by his flibbertigibbet of a son, honoured us with a visit.

“He had run short of provisions—not the first time in his life by a many—could he have some?” “Certainly. Supper would be ready shortly,” Coelebs said, “he had only to peg away.” When seated round the camp fire that evening, Coelebs not knowing the gentleman by sight, asked him whence he hailed—if he lived in the county. “Wal, yes! He guessed so. His name was Eliino,-and he owned a farm down to the Corners. Had some land nearer nor that though: Had a fine piece of meadow up to the head of the lake. He* Coelebs, had no doubt heered telLof Bhino’s meadow?” “Oh! he was Ehino, was he? Had he any intention of cutting his meadow?” - “Wal! he couldn’t say for sure. Pr’aps he might, pr’aps he mightn’t.”

“If he shouldn’t cut it, would he allow him, Coelebs, to do so?” “That would all depend.” “On what?” “On what he was willing to pay.” “Willing to pay! Why, it was better to have the hay cut than to let it rot on the ground! cutting improved a meadow.” “Maybe it did—-may be it didn’t. But whether or no, if he didn’t get paid, and well paid, rot it would have for sure.” “And what would he consider well paid?” “Pour dollars a ton on the ground as it stood.” “And if he, Mr. Rhino, were to cut and stack it?” “Eight dollars.”

A burst of laughter, in which we heartily joined, was Coelebs’s only response. If the man had asked one dollar a ton as it stood, he might very probably have felt annoyed; but four dollars ! It was such a capital joke that he couldn’t be angry. Not so Mr. Rhino. He felt aggrieved and insulted at the treatment he had received, and left us the following morning in high dudgeon, without so much as saying good day and thankee. Unfortunately the Rhinos are numerous in the province, and although poor Coelebs affects to be amused at their barefaced attempts to impose upon him, we can see that he writhes under the infliction. However satisfied a man may be as to his own cleverness, it is not pleasant to be considered a fool even by a born idiot, and if one must needs be victimized, better to be so by a clever rogue than by a stupid one. A rude, boorish lot are these Acadian backwoodsmen. As we pass a lumberman’s camp we ask one of the men if Mr. T. is in the woods, the individual for whom we' are inquiring being a man having authority, a colonel of militia, a mill owner, and a magistrate, of course. Not knowing, he asks his mate. Does he repeat our question verbatim?

“Is Mr. T. in the woods?” Not he. Does he say, “Is the boss out?” No. Does he even demand “ Is T. out?” Not a bit of it. What he does yell out is, “ Halloo, Jack ! do }^er know if Al.’s out?”—Allen being the Christian name of the gallant colonel.

An outsider' ourselves—one whose sojourn in the province is a matter of a few months, and not of years’ duration—we rather like to listen to the jabber of these very original aborigines. Their egotism and self-sufficiency is very amusing. We are working in our garden, when we see marching towards us, in Indian file, half a dozen straw-hatted, blue-shirted, grey-panted, knee-booted individuals, each man bending beneath a pack. We recognise our friends at a glance, and know what is their errand. They are going to-look for timber land. All the timber land worth having has been purchased from government years ago, but timber land they are going to hunt up notwithstanding. To speak plainly, they are “on the rampage.” They have cut their bit of hay upon which their “keow” will have to starve during the winter, hoed their patch of potatoes, earthed up their dozen stalks of maize, which they speak of grandiloquently as their “corn,” and have left their wives, their families, and their work—we beg to correct ourselves—and their loafing, that being their ordinary occupation when the lumbering season is over—in order that they may look after some pine land which they have “heered tell” is worth taking up. They seem hot and tired, but the most fatiguing part of their journey is now over. They have a boat cached amongst the alders down by the lake yonder, and will accomplish the remainder of the distance by water, never pulling a stroke so long as there is a breath of wind stirring. They are in no hurry. Time was made for slaves, not for free and independent Acadians. From here they will go to the “Hopper”—a capital place for fishing—and there they will camp for the night. The following day their camping-ground will be three or four miles further up the lakes, the next a mile or two further, and so on, until their provisions are exhausted, when they will return home and tell their expectant helpmates that they have seen any number of moose-tracks, and caribou-tracks, and bear-tracks, and have caught trout by the thousand, but they have found no timber of any account, and have only brought home some huckleberries for “sass.”

They slip off their packs, and, hanging them on the garden fence, troop into the enclosure.

“Wal! and how are we gittin’ along with our garden?” “ First rate. The storm did considerable damage, but everything is now growing well. Never have we seen such tomatoes and squash and beets and cucumbers. Were it not for the distance, we should certainly send a few specimens to the Horticultural Exhibition at Toronto.” We have good reason to be proud of our garden; for everything, with the exception of the melons and turnips, have thriven wonderfully, and it is not surprising. The seed was the best that Carter could supply, and was sent to Coelebs from London direct; the ground is so rich, that were we to plant a vine walking-stick it would burgeon, and the wooden nutmeg that wouldn’t grate would grow.

“Did he, Zoe, ever see finer squash than those now before him?” “Wal, yes! he guesses he has. Old Uncle Palfrey riz some as war well-nigh double the size. His mate Eb here seed ’em.” As Eb guesses that “that’s so,” there is no more to be said on the subject, although we guess that twice forty pounds is, in Nova Scotia, “some” even for a pumpkin. “What does he think of the tomatoes?” “Oh, the tomartars air big, sartingly; but it’s no wonder—we’ve thinned them out so. His tomartars ain’t so big; but he has five to our one, and chance it.” “And the beet?” “Not a patch on Squire More’s. More has some as is over twenty weight.” The rascal is thinking of mangold, and lies to the teeth even then; for we have seen the garden in question, and a worse cultivated, worse stocked piece of ground we have never seen out of Nova Scotia. There are fine gardens in the province, but not in our section of it. Even on the best cultivated farms the garden is always a secondary consideration. The only vegetables grown are potatoes, beans, beet, cabbages, onions, turnips, carrots, squash, and occasionally tomatoes. Such well-known vegetables as spinach, cauliflowers, broccoli, celery, artichokes, sprouts, savoys, radishes, &c., have not only never been eaten by the vast majority of the population, but not so much as seen; and yet to hear them talk one would imagine them to be prize medallists of the Royal Horticultural Society. Their pumpkins are pumpkins, and no mistake. Other men’s potatoes are “very small pertaters, and few in a heap.” As with garden produce, so with everything else. They are clothed with self-sufficiency as with a garment, and a garment of so impenetrable a texture that no sarcasm, however cutting, can find its way through. We turn the conversation. “How does he like the house?” “Wal! The house ain’t amiss, but no one but a born fool would have thought of building it on that thar hummock. It ought to have been sot right agin the barn down in the swale yonder.”

“But there is no view from there.” “Hang the view. What he looks at ain’t the view, but the conveniency. Nice thing for the hired man to have to walk a couple of hundred yards to milk the keows of a winter’s evening. Wouldn’t be Coelebs’s help if he war to offer him double wages.” “But the hired man will live in the shanty which is close to the barn.” “Oh! will he? And why not in the house? Old Uncle Mac not good company enough for Mr. Coelebs.” At which piece of irony there is a general guffaw.

We take a fresh departure. “What does he think of the land?” “He has seen worse; but give him Uncle Ford’s land on the other side of the river. Something like land that is. Why didn’t Coelebs buy his land of Uncle Ford? He would have sold it cheap. Can’t see how Coelebs is going to make a. living out of the place. If it war to be done, the land would have been taken up by some one—sure. But it ain’t. And then so lonely and out of the way as it is! No neighbours—no company of any sort.”

The very thought of such .terrible seclusion makes him shiver; and when we think of what is implied by neighbours and company, we shiver too.

“No! He can’t see how it can be made to pay. Guesses Coelebs will be on the limits’ before he’s done with it; and then some one as does know how to go to work will get the place a bargain—for a couple of hundred dollars or so. Good thing if some more sich men as Coelebs would come along, spend all their money, and then clear out. Guesses them sort of feeders’ is wanted in the province bad.” General guffaw, and “that’s so.” But it’s time they were jogging; and nodding us a patronizing farewell, they sling their packs, and stride off in the direction of the lake.

Haying over, our services are no longer in such great requisition, and we have plenty of time for amusement. In the cool of the morning we launch the birch bark canoe, and quietly paddle along until the sun is high in the heavens, when we make for some shady spot, where we read, and fish, and smoke until the midday heat is over. Then we take our baskets, and pick berries for Mrs. Mac to convert into luscious jams and jellies for winter’s use. The blackberries are magnificent, being double the size of our English variety, and of a delicate muscatel flavour. Blueberries and huckleberries can be gathered by the bushel; and besides wild cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and gooseberries, in their seasons, there are hazel-nuts, tea-berries, and high and low-bush cranberries. When Coelebs gets settled he intends to grow cranberries as a speculation; and if he only sets to work in the right way, he ought to be able to make it pay handsomely. Cranberries fetch a dollar a bushel in the settlements, and from two to two and a half in the Boston market. In Massachusetts three hundred bushels have been raised on one acre of land; and what can be done there can be done here. And yet no one thinks of growing them. If cranberries could be made to pay, they argue, some one would have surely tried it before now; and as everybody says precisely the same thing, it will be some stupid old-countryman like Coelebs who will have to make the experiment. There is a capital site for cranberry-growing close to the house. By constructing a dam, and cutting a short channel, the ground could be laid under water at all seasons, and drained by merely lifting a flood-gate. The cost of the work could not well exceed a hundred dollars ; and we would be happy to sink them in the sluice for a third share in the profits of the undertaking.

With the September moon come the moose-callers. Our red-skinned friends, who for the last eight months have been lying perdu in their miserable shanties in the vicinity of the settlements, are the first to make their appearance, and close behind them come the pale faces. Again we are asked to make one of a party, and once again we accept the invitation; for, like Sambo, we “are bound to see de fun out.” We get our gun and blankets, take a sorrowful leave of Coelebs, who, poor fellow, cannot leave the premises, and jumping into the boat, steer for the happy hunting-grounds known as Ka-dou-sac.

Ka-dou-sac presents a pretty lively aspect; for not only is there an Indian encampment, but another strong party of hunters have, we find to our dismay, just arrived from the Harmony settlement, and are already in possession of the ground. Nine birch-bark canoes and three boats are drawn up on the beach, and no very great inventive power would be required to compose a chapter a la Cooper from the scene before us. The lake, with its wooded islands and sandy beach, the Indian encampment, with wigwams, camp fires, mangy cur dogs, all “kirrect,” the adult Indians in counsel with the pale faces, the younger squaws preparing dinner, the elderly ladies crouching over the lire, juvenile savages rolling on the green sward—paint, feathers, and xi few scalps alone are wanting to complete the picture. It is a glimpse of savage life such as is seldom chanced upon nowadays, save in the very “Far West,” and we are most agreeably surprised. The little we have as yet seen of these Micmacs has been in their civilized abodes, anything more truly wretched than which can hardly be imagined. Here in their native forests they are seen to better advantage; they are degenerate red men still, but they are picturesque—and that is something. They are squalid enough in all conscience, but the surroundings make their squalor less painfully apparent; indeed seen from a distance their goods and chattels present quite a respectable appearance, whilst they themselves seem hearty and well-to-do.

Great is the jabber and chatter amongst the womankind on seeing our boat added to the number of those already in line in front of the encampment. These “gentle flowers of the forest,” to express ourselves in the Aimard style,' have tongues of their own, and use them in a way which shows pretty plainly that if their sex was doomed to silence in the olden time, they have latterly taken a leaf out of the white squaw’s book, and are bound to have the last word if “they die for it.” If flowers, they are of the chamomile variety—yellow, shrivelled, sajjless, neither pleasing to the eye nor grateful to the nostril. The youngest and best favoured amongst them is, to use the mildest expression, excruciatingly ugly, whilst the elderly ladies are hideous to behold. These Micmacs, a branch of the great Iroquois nation, are getting fast played out, both in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Civilization has slowly, but surely done its work, and the time is not far distant when the last of the Micmacs shall have departed to join the last of the Mohicans and the other extinct North American tribes “ who have left us only their footprints.” Except when under the influence of liquor, they are a harmless, peaceable race, and if somewhat a nuisance about the settlements, are in every respect less objectionable than the irrepressible negro whom one sees monopolizing the side-walks in the provincial seaboard towns. How they manage to eke out a living it would be difficult to say. Were it not for the fur they collect during the first two months of the trapping season, and the sale of the baskets woven by their squaws, they would starve to a certainty; for they are too lazy to still-hunt, object to any kind of farm work, and have a decided predilection for whisky. The government does something for them, but so very little that it is hardly worth mentioning. Lands have certainly been reserved for their use, and a commissioner appointed to look after their interests; but as they are not allowed to dispose of the one, and have no particular interests to confide to the other, that their gratitude should be small is not surprising. They are a doomed race, and they know it.

It takes the entire afternoon to enlist the Indians in our service, and when they do at length consent to call, it is more, we fancy, to be rid of our importunities than to assist us in getting a moose. Five parties are formed, two white men and an Indian (white or red) in each, and an hour and a half before sunset the fleet is got under weigh, the canoes standing across the bay at widely divergent angles, so as to preclude the possibility of one party interfering with the other. On reaching the opposite shore, our canoe is hauled out of the water, and cached in the bushes, and off we stride, in Indian file, through the dense forest, a halt being called from time to time by our file-leader, a wizen-faced, parchment skinned man of some fifty years of age—a white Indian even to the turning in of his toes—to allow him to sniff the air, examine the ground for “sign,” and enjoin silence and circumspection. It is a long tramp, and we are pretty well tired out when we reach the spot where our guide proposes to call—a knoll standing at the eastern extremity of a large bog, and from whose summit a good view can be obtained of the surrounding country. Slowly and solemnly “Old Moose,” as we have mentally christened our caller, unslings his blanket, dons his hunting costume, a green plaid jumper and Scotch cap, and producing his “call” (a strip of birch bark twisted horn fashion), mounts the knoll, and commences his performance. Calling would scarcely, we imagine, be considered melodious, even by a Chinaman. If the animal, whose amorous cry the sound is intended to imitate, really does call the object of her affections in the tone adopted by Old Moose, she cannot be of opinion that a soft voice is an excellent thing in woman. The gentleman’s solo is most certainly neither soft nor musical, being in fact a sort of compromise between the hooting of an owl and the braying of a jackass. To describe the sounds which issue from his call, would be impossible. In order to comprehend what calling really is, one must hear an experienced performer like our friend, “speaking,” as the Indians express it, across some treeless bog or barren, on an autumnal evening, when everything is still as the grave, until the hunter’s cry wakens up the echoes. Then and then only can the performance be thoroughly appreciated.

Calling is considered by the red men as an accomplishment of no mean order, and the good caller occupies the same social position in Micmac communities as does the shrewd lawyer in more civilized circles—the one being able to wheedle his moose, as the other a jury. Prom the fact that no two men call exactly alike, it may be inferred that the caller is self-taught, and such is really the case. To learn the call of a particular Indian would be no difficult matter; but being able to make a noise and able to bring up one’s moose within range are two very different things. By merely striking a tree with an axe a moose may be decoyed a considerable distance, but the nearer he approaches the more wary he gets, and long before he comes within range he will have discovered the imposition, and have wheeled round in another direction. The thing is to know how to modulate the sound of one’s call to suit the exigences of the moment, when to trumpet forth the higher notes, when to let the sounds subside into an almost inaudible whisper—and this experience can alone determine. Old Moose, expert though he be, fails to allure any moose into gunshot, although he keeps on calling with a perseverance most edifying to behold. Once or twice he whispers u& that “he hears one coming,” but not a sound can we catch, save the murmur of the distant river, and the creaking of his, Old Moose’s, lantern jaws, as he slowly revolves his quid. About midnight he descends from his vantage ground, and rolling himself in his blanket, is asleep and snoring in an instant. We are not very long in following his example, and our slumbers are unbroken, until an unearthly grunt right over our head makes us jump from our blanket, to behold Old Moose standing erect on the knoll, with his call going again full blast. Spectres of the Brocken, indeed ! Old Moose, as he stands there, horn in hand, with his antiquated figure-head and angular outline in bold relief against the grey morning sky, is worth a dozen such phantoms. The pose of the gentleman, with one arm akimbo and the other raised aloft in the most approved herald style, is a sight for an artist, and when, at the conclusion of a solo, he gives his instrument a flourish, he is nothing short of sublime. His flourishes, although doubtless fine from an artistic point of view, are not sufficiently bewitching to inveigle the least wily of the herd; and after three hours’ calling, he is at length fain to acknowledge that our chances for this morning are ended, and that we may as well return to Ka-dou-sac.

We find the others there before us, and talking moose at a great rate. Not one of them but has heard moose, and smelt moose, and seen moose’ Some of them have even fired at moose; but not a moose is there to the fore. How did they manage to miss? Wal! the sight of their rifle was too high or too low, or a durned tree was in the road, or a cloud went across the moon, or their cap snapped, or something else has happened to thwart them. But only let them have another chance, and Master Moose may consider himself a gone moose for sure. And so they are going to have another try. That they may make assurance doubly sure, from the time breakfast is over until dinner, and from after dinner until it is time to start, they keep blazing away at a rock some two hundred yards out in the lake; and if their shooting by moonlight in any way resembles their shootings by daylight, that the moose escape is not surprising, for their aim is simply atrocious. The American backwoodsman who misses a bottle at a hundred paces is laughed at by his comrades. When one of these gentlemen, at a distance of two hundred, succeeds in hitting a rock as big as a haystack, the welkin rings with shouts of triumph.

At the same hour as the preceding evening we are again under weigh. Old Moose is no longer of the party ; he has gone to call “on his own hook" and we have a “real” Indian this time as caller. On arriving at our destination, the very first thing the redskin does is to light a fire, and we venture to ask whether the smoke will not scare the moose. m The answer being in the negative, we have, of course, nothing more to say, although we have our doubts as to the wisdom of the proceeding. Having but faint hopes of seeing a moose, we are rather pleased than otherwise to hear the crackling of the dry sticks, and rolling ourselves in our blanket, tell the Indian to call us when he “ hears moose coming,” and so to sleep. We may have slept a couple of hours, when a rough shake, and a whisper that “ moose coming,” brings our dreams to an abrupt termination. “A moose? How? When? Where?” we blurt out, as we' rub our eyes with one hand and grope about for our rifle with the other.

“Oh, close by,” is the assuring answer. “Call away like mad last half hour.” “More than we expected,” we inwardly mutter, as we mount the hillock on which stands the Indian, and prepare to take a view of the situation. Hardly have we reached the spot, when, sure enough, borne on the night breeze, comes the prolonged cry now so familiar to our ears. “Moose?” we inquire, interrogatively.

“Well, ye-e-es; me think-um. Away back there.” And the redskin waves his band in the direction of the wilderness country lying anywhere between E.N.E. and W.S.W.

A pause of a few minutes, and then the sound again; this time much fainter, and from what appears to us, a totally different direction. This trifling circumstance we notice to our red friend; but he, doubtless averse to committing himself by offering an opinion on the subject, merely gives utterance to the usual Indian “A-a-a-a-ah,” and keeps his eyes steadily fixed on the moonlit scene before him. Another and yet another call, following in such rapid succession as to make the one seem but the echo of the other, serves to render us still more sceptic as to the genuineness of the music, and after the sounds have been thrice repeated from precisely the same points as before, we can come to no other conclusion than that they emanate from human, not from bestial lungs. The Indian, finding that we have struck the right trail, sullenly admits that it can’t be a moose, and as there is no earthly use in prolonging the farce, we pile more wood on the fire and make ourselves comfortable for the night. Not so the other callers. They keep at it with the most unflagging energy, and the last sound that strikes on our ears before falling asleep and the first that greets us on waking in the morning, is the Ugh-a-mi, ugh-a-mi, ugh-a-mi— who-o-o-o-o-o ah! of the mooseless ones. With this, our second night’s experience, our moose-calling comes to an end, for we steadfastly resist all attempts to cajole us into having “just one more try,” charter an Indian and his canoe, and return to head-quarters. Our faith in the calling powers of red men has been considerably shaken, and as for white men, we feel assured, that in nine cases out of ten their caterwauling, instead of attracting the moose, frightens them. For any man, be he white or red, to assert that he can call up his moose whenever he has a mind, is simply absurd, and the hunter who can succeed in killing two or even one moose during the rutting season, may consider himself particularly fortunate. In all probability there will not be more than eight or ten favourable nights for the business during the entire season, for if there be any wind stirring it is almost useless to make the attempt. Then the hunter must be sufficiently fortunate to have selected a calling-ground which he can have entirely to himself, for should another caller have taken up his position anywhere in the vicinity, his chance of getting a shot will be of the slenderest. Even in that great wilderness country which stretches away to the westward of us, this is not an easy matter, for it is accessible in canoes, and at least a dozen parties make straight for it at the commencement of the season. The sportsman might certainly strike so far into the wilderness as to be certain of having no one within calling distance; but then if he killed a moose he would have to leave it, as any attempt to “back him out” would be futile. Finally, there must happen to be a moose within reach of his call. So that under ordinary circumstances, ten favourable nights, plus his chances of having selected a sufficiently isolated calling-ground, plus there being a moose within sound of his call, plus his being able to call him np if he is there, exactly represent ilie hunters chances of killing a moose during the rutting season. But as it is extremely improbable that our backwoods settler will be deterred from making the attempt by tales of jion-success, we offer him the following advice:—Never engage an Indian by the day on a moose calling expedition, nor promise to give him so many dollars for every moose he calls up; for if he is hired by the day, the longer he can keep you pottering about the better it will be for him; and should his wages be dependent on the number of moose he can succeed in “calling up,” he will certainly do his best to bring them into view, but will take precious good care to destroy your chance of a shot. We have had considerable experience of ye noble red man, and we know that it is gall and wormwood to him to see the white man kill a deer. That he should have dispossessed him of the soil, is hard enough; but that he should still further despoil him by the slaughter of the beasts, which the Great Spirit has given him for food, is rather more than he can bear. The only way to have any sort of hold on an Indian is by entering into an agreement to give him so much for bringing the quarry into range. It is far more satisfactory having to pay him ten, or even fifteen dollars for bringing a moose “ right up/’ than five for the pleasure of seeing the beast wandering along the further side of a thousand acre barren. It is not every Indian that will entertain such a proposal; but money will effect much, and if the gentleman insists upon the “ sight-um pay-um ” arrangement, the less you have to do with him the better. Thirdly and lastly, have nothing whatever to do' in the planning of a campaign. Should the Indian ask your opinion on the matter, which he most likely will, answer, curtly, that it is his business to determine the route, not yours. Let him distinctly understand that the entire responsibility rests on his shoulders, and that you decline taking any share of it, and he will be less likely to attempt to play the knave.

The sight of our home-returning bark brings all hands to the landing, and great is the merriment when we tell them that we have not even heard a moose, much less killed one. We have been all the way to Ka-dou-sac without even so much as seeing an antler, whilst they have killed a fine four-year-old buck within half a mile of the shanty. “ We don’t believe it? Well, we have only to go as far as the ice-house to satisfy ourselves—there he hangs, and no gammon !” To the ice-house we go accordingly, and there, sure enough, is the moose. “We are not jealous?” “Jealous! oh dear no... The poor brute was butchered, not fairly killed; thank heaven we are no butcher. How was he slaughtered P” “Mac called him up, and when he was distant some twenty paces Coelebs potted him.” “Called up by old Mac! Capital!” Mac’s calling has been a standing joke for the last two months, and he had only to produce his call to bring down the house. He has, according to the best authority, about as much idea of calling as he has of Micmac, and yet no sooner does he begin his bellowing than up comes a moose. The only way to account for it is that the unhappy young bull must have imagined the sounds to emanate from some amorous dowager with a cold in her head—the noise from Mac’s instrument being such as an old cow would make if suffering from influenza. We forgive Mac, and we no longer pity the moose. Any moose that Mac can bamboozle deserves to be shot.

Our larder is now so full that had we not an abundance of ice we should have fish, flesh, and fowl going bad upon our hands. In the backwoods, unless one has a well-stocked poultry-yard to fall back on, it is generally a feast or a famine. During February and March the larder was empty, or nearly so. In April, May, and June it was trout, trout, trout, and the capture of a snapping turtle was considered a rare piece of good fortune. Through July and August we were limited to eels, perch, fruit, and vegetables. We killed a few ducks, but only sufficient to make us wish that we could get some more. Now the question no longer is, “How on earth are we going to eke out a dinner?” but “ How shall we eat what we’ve got?” It is a real embarras de richesses. Moose, grouse, wild-duck, snipe, trout, perch, eels, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, melons, cranberries, &c. &c. &c. Costing us nothing but a little trouble, we sit down daily to a better dinner than could be had in London for twenty shillings a head. The man who cannot get a moose with a leaden bullet has only to try a silver one—purchase whatever he wants from the Indians, and if he have work to do it is far the cheapest in the end. Had Coelebs not killed a moose he could have had his pick of five—three bulls and two cows—and have bought the hindquarters for six cents a pound; and for four, were he mean enough to swap, flour, tea, tobacco, and sugar for moose meat, at the usual backwoods rate of exchange. The best meat we ever eat was a piece of barren cow moose, which we purchased from an Indian for six cents a pound. The red gentleman would have much preferred taking in exchange an old shooting-coat—a very old shooting-coat—on which he had set his affections, but we declined to trade, and gave him the specie. Sixty pounds weight of solid meat for an old shooting-coat, or for three dollars sixty cents cash! How the heart of poor British paterfamilias would rejoice if his butcher would agree to supply him with meat at that figure. .

About the first of September the ruffed-grouse come into season, and thence until the close of the year there is no lack of small game in the wilderness—ruffed and Canada grouse on the beech ridges, hares in the hemlock woods, snipe in the bogs and intervales, and duck on the lakes and rivers. Hereabouts the grouse shooting is capital—we mean capital for Canada—six or eight brace being no uncommon bag. In the woods there is some difficulty in flushing these birds, very ostriches for stupidity, but on the barrens they are wilder, and afford good sport. A Clumber, or spaniel of some description, is absolutely indispensable to the_ grouse shooter, especially whilst beating the woods in early autumn. Many a time have we passed and repassed a covey without seeing a twig move or hearing a leaf rustle. The only objection, to a liver and white or red dog is that the colour seems to possess a magnetic attraction, and the birds are inclined to “tree.” Black is the best colour, but Clumber is the best breed.

The duck-shooting in this province is likewise excellent, but to enjoy it in perfection one must make for the sea coast at the very time when the forests offer their greatest attractions to the sportsman. On these lakes there are black duck, blue-winged teal, wood-duck, and sheldrake, but not in any very great numbers— when we kill three brace we consider that we have done well. Hares, though plentiful, are too wild to be easily shot, but any number of them can be snared by the hunter whose larder requires replenishing. The smaller varieties of the feathered tribe are much the same as in the other provinces of the Dominion, consisting of robins, kingfishers, humming-birds, &c. They are mostly migratory, and during the winter months there is not a sound to break the stillness of the forest save the chirp of the “chickadee” and the sharp tap-tap of the woodpecker.

Of the animals hunted for their fur, the bear, both for size and for the marketable value of his pelt, ranks first. Bears, except in the woods “away back” from the settlements, are not particularly plentiful nowadays either in Canada or the United States; but so far from this being the case in our neighbourhood, that even the Indians admit that “Mooin,” as they call him, is in as flourishing a condition as ever. And not only is he flourishing, but impudent likewise, waddling into the clearings and forcing his way into the lumbermen’s camps with all the coolness imaginable. Our innkeeper’s wife was nearly frightened into fits one fine summer’s morning by seeing a great bear unconcernedly snuffling about the paddock in which her child was playing, whilst another still more brazen rogue walked straight into a lumberer’s camp, in which a bright fire was blazing and the men sleeping, and endeavoured to appropriate a piece of pork, and so determined was he, that it was not before he had been half killed by a blow from an axe, that he consented to drop his booty and clear out. Caches in these woods are of no use whatsoever. Let the lumbermen hide their stores with what care they may, Mr. Mooin is pretty certain to ferret them out. Nothing comes amiss to him—pork, molasses, salt-fish, biscuits, all go into his capacious maw, and when the cache is revisited, a few broken staves and bent keg-hoops are all that will remain of the hidden stores—-just sufficient to enable the owner to fasten the guilt upon the real delinquent. Even the Indians fight shy of Mooin, and it is seldom that they sally forth for the express purpose of beating him up in his summer quarters. If, whilst setting their traps, they chance to meet him face to face, they try the efficacy of an ounce of lead, but they have more faith in their traps than in their Brummagem shooting irons, and not without reason.

A bear-trap is a formidable affair, and its construction a work of time and trouble. It is almost invariably on the “dead fall” principle, and weighted in accordance with the supposed strength of the animal, which, to judge by the size of the boulders piled on by the Indians, must be great indeed. The bait is a piece of salt-fish, a delicacy much relished by Mooin, and which has the advantage, moreover, of diffusing its aroma over a greater superfices than any other eatable, save and excepting Montovor cheese, which fortunately is not procurable in the wilderness. These dead-falls, though rudely constructed, act efficiently. Once let the bear touch the trigger with his snout, and it is all up with him; if not killed instantaneously by the fall of the log, he is none the less a gone bear—a blow from an axe-will speedily put an end to his existence. These Micmacs are too lazy to do much in the bear trapping line. A mink trap, they reason, can be set in a tenth part of the time that it takes to make a dead-fall for a bear, whilst a mink skin is worth fully one-half as much as Mr. Mooin’s. Why then give oneself the extra trouble when the pecuniary advantages are so trifling? Much better stick to the mink, and to the mink they stick accordingly. And yet in the wilderness country lying between the rivers Mersey and Tusket, thirty miles as the crow flies, bear are proportionately as numerous as mink. We have been twice a bear trapping with the Indian who hunts this section of the wilderness, and have killed on each occasion—that is, we found nothing on our first visit to the traps, but two bears were there the second. On the hardwood ridges, on the opposite side of the river, the bear tracks cross and recross in every direction, and on no less than three different occasions since our arrival have woods-bound individuals been brought up all standing by seeing a bear shuffle across the road a few yards in front of them. We have traversed the same road a dozen times at the very least, but no bear has ever crossed our path, and although we have beaten the hardwood country in every direction, time and again, not a single glimpse have we caught of Bruin except in the traps aforementioned. On one occasion we might have had a shot, but did not, for the satisfactory reason that we were unaware of the gentleman’s proximity until it was too late. It was whilst sleeping in a lumberer’s camp that Bruin paid us this visit, and that it had been a lengthy one we plainly discerned in the morning. The chips in front of the shanty had been carefully turned over, every vestige of refuse, fish-bones, pork-rind, &c., cleared away, and a string of trout—secreted by ourselves the previous evening in what we imagined a nice cool spot—looted.

To insure sport, the bear must be hunted as in Russia. A lengthy cordon of beaters formed a simultaneous advance, and then an inwards wheel in the direction of the hunters. There is certainly one slight objection to this mode of hunting. A beater is not unfrequently mistaken for a bear by some over-anxious huntsman, and potted; but then, in Russia, a moujik more or less is a matter of so very little importance that his safety is not worthy a thought. Here it would be otherwise. It would be the hunter, not the beater, who would run the risk of being potted; for to imagine that any bold Acadian would consent to act as beater, without being permitted to have a share in the sport, would be to imply that the gentleman acknowledges a superior, which he does not. If the backwoods settler wants bear shooting, his best companion will be a cur dog, not to beat, but to snap at Bruin’s heels until he will consent to present the “broadside of his full front” to the rifle, or rather to the double-barrelled smooth-bore ; for, to our mind, the latter is preferable. The coolest hunter man, in the uncertain light of the thick woods, fail to “draw a bead’' on his rifle; but he must indeed be nervous who ‘ can miss a bear at twenty or thirty yards distance with one of Eley’s S.Gh cartridges.

After the bear comes the beaver, once so numerous on all the Canadian streams, now seldom met with, except in the howling wilderness stretching away to the northwards and westwards of the great lakes. Unlike the sable, the mink, and others of the furred tribe, the value of the beaver’s coat has not increased in proportion to the difficulty experienced by the trapper in relieving him of it. Since silk hats have replaced the “beavers” of former years, his pelt has become a drug, in the market. A value it certainly has, but a small one. If mink pays better than bear, bear pays better than beaver, and few are trapped by the Indians. Even in this wilderness, beaver are getting scarce, not through their numbers being thinned by the trappers, but owing to their dams having been destroyed by the log “driving” of the lumbermen. On the less frequented waters, however, their dams are still to be seen, whilst the squeak of their half-brothers, the muskrats, can be heard by any one who chooses to “paddle his own canoe” up any of the adjacent streams on a still summer’s evening.

The only kind of trapping into which the Micmac Indian enters with energy is mink trapping. Erom the commencement of the trapping season, which can hardly be said to begin before October, until the end of November, when, alarmed at the approach of cold weather, he beats a hasty retreat to the settlements, the Indian traps in earnest. Daybreak sees him on his visiting rounds, and it is generally dark before his return to the wretched bough wigwam where he squats.

The noble red man of the American forests has been portrayed in such glowing colours by poet and novelist, that it seems almost cruel to dissipate the halo of romance which surrounds him, and to exhibit him in all his native squalor and debasement—a savage, without a single noble attribute save stoicism, if stoicism rank as a virtue — which he possesses in common with Maori and a score other savage tribes. In the “good old days” of witch-burning and intolerance, when to drive out the nations from before them, and to go in and possess the land, was the self-imposed task of the Pilgrim Fathers, these red men did doubtless appear mighty warriors to the pious Puritans, just as did the sons of Anak to the Israelites. But a wholesome dread of tomahawk and scalping-knife tended not a little to magnify the prowess of these Indian braves in the eyes of the earlier colonists, and fear made them ascribe to the enemy qualities which he did not possess. That the red man on the warpath could outmarch the stoutest Briton seemed to them  passing strange,” that he could manage to exist without a commissariat was wonderful, but that without compass or signboard he should be able to find his way through the pathless forests was nothing short of miraculous. Things which appeared inexplicable in those days are plain enough now. Men have learnt a good many wrinkles since the days of the Pilgrims, and, amongst others, how to beat the Indian on his own hunting-ground. The western trapper can hunt better, travel faster, and make a beeline straighter than any Indian on the continent, and the white man who could not, in a fair stand-up fight, whip the best Indian that ever wore mocassins—we do not mean such wretched specimens as are yet to be found eastward of the Mississippi, but the real, genu-wine, unadulterated article on his native prairie—must, in American parlance, be “a poor cuss at best.” If nobility consist in bartering away one’s freedom and independence for a few blankets and a little fire-water, these red men were undoubtedly noble; if cunning and treachery make the warrior, dusky Paladins were they and no mistake; and if a swinging of the arms and vehement gesticulation are eloquence, their sachems must have been so many Demosthenes in paint and feathers.

To learn what doughty champions they really were, one has only to cast an eye over the pages of American history, where their exploits will be found duly recorded. The page is not a spotless one, and no man with generous impulses can read it without a feeling of horror and indignation; but that he will find anything in it to establish the red man’s title to a single one of the many virtues' which have been ascribed to him is more than doubtful. All the nobility, dignity, valour, eloquence conjured up for the occasion by the romance writer fade away before the prosaic pen of the historian.

But to return to our Micmac mink-trapper. For two short months out of the twelve he works with a will, and makes money. The hard-favoured gentleman, whose hunting-ground lies on the opposite bank of the river, caught last year seventeen mink and three bears in six weeks; and he does not seem to think that his luck was more than “pretty good.” We can never manage to learn from any of them the precise number of pelts that it would take to make the luck very good; but we have reason for believing that five and twenty, and even thirty pounds’ worth of fur is not an uncommon take in favourable seasons.

If the elegante, so cosily wrapped in her costly pelisse, could only behold the grimy beings to whose labours she is mainly indebted for her soft raiment, she would shiver. The diamond and pearl must pass through many an unwashed hand before they finally recline on the neck of beauty; but the contact cannot tarnish the lustre of the one nor sully the purity of the other. Not so with fur. The injury done it by being tossed about a filthy wigwam for a couple of months or more, must be considerable. There is our noble friend, Mr. Jeremy, over yonder, who has at the present moment some eight or ten pounds’ worth in his possession: let us paddle across the river, and have a look at him and his surroundings.

Our approach to his forest pavilion is duly heralded by the barking of curs innumerable, all of them mangy as mangy can be; and we step ashore amidst a lively chorus of alternate yelping and shrieking as the squaws administer the customary tickle Toby’s to their four-footed retainers. A few steps bring us to the encampment ; and the ex-lord of the forest, in all his native grandeur, reclines before us. The pavilion consists of two crotched sticks planted upright in the turf, seven feet apart, with a pole laid across—the ridge-pole of the structure—half-a-dozen saplings placed slantwise for rafters, and a few green boughs inartistically woven between them to represent thatch. The furniture is equally primitive—a pile of hemlock boughs doing duty for bed, table, chairs, and carpet, a few dirty rags for sheets and blankets. In front of the camp is a fire, and on the fire a large iron pot—-Mrs. J.’s sole culinary utensil, in which she makes the tea, bakes the bread, concocts the porcupine-stews, which her soul loveth, and, if we are not greatly mistaken, occasionally boils the garments of her lord and master. Our friend’s family circle is a large one for the woods; for in hopes, probably, of being able to levy black mail from the Englishman, he has thought proper to bring along with him, in addition to his wife, two little Jeremys, and a pappoose Jeremy—a little hunchbacked squaw, an adept at basket-making—and a suspicious-looking, saucy rascal, whom he has introduced to us as an “ Indian man from down Quebec way”—a direction in which Coelebs has strongly advised that Huron gentleman to wend his way with as little delay as possible. Mr. Jeremy greets us with a grunt, the squaws silently resume their basket work, the little savages peer at us from behind an adjacent bush, and the Quebec Indian scowls from his corner of the wigwam. The outward appearance of this happy family is not' prepossessing. Jeremy has the mumps, and his head is swathed in dirty flannel; Jeremy mere, the Masters Jeremy, and Jeremy pappoose, are all more or less suffering from ophthalmia, the result of uncleanliness, smoke, and fly-bites combined; and the visitor from Quebec way has his face seamed with small-pox, and is a very Indian Mirabeau for ugliness—the little hunchbacked squaw, despite her painful deformity, being the least repulsive of the lot. Mr. Jeremy thinks the occasion a good one for begging, and, Indian-like, runs over the gamut of his wants with surprising volubility. He is in need of everything. He would like some flour and sugar and tea and tobacco and saleratus, and whatever else, indeed, may come under the heading “backwoods commissariat.” His wants having been duly enumerated, his ministering angel hastens to add a few articles to the list, although, womanlike, it is not so much for herself as for her husband and children that she is importunate. It is her man that is very bad—could we not give him something to do him good? And the baby would like a little milk; and can she have a needle and thread to do a little mending? Even the surly gentleman from Quebec gruffly demands powder, the little hunchback alone having no wants; but then she has been educated by the nuns, and has most likely been taught that-to beg is not pretty. Knowing our Indian friends “like a book,” the sum total of their wants does not startle us in the least. We have a stereotyped answer for them. “Oh yes! Plenty flour, plenty tea, sugar, tobacco at the house. You want ’em; you work for ’em. You too sick? Well, let Quebec man come over and cut cord-wood. Quebec man don’t want? All right! Then we trade for mink skins. Give you medicine, milk, needle, and thread; but no flour, no tea, no tobacco, until you earn them.”

“How much you give for mink?” growls Jeremy. “Let us see them, and we’ll tell you.” Whereupon Mrs. Jeremy proceeds to ferret out from amongst the folds of a dirty blanket the furry spoil. Cestus of Venus ! To think that those frousy, greasy, unsavoury skins will some day form the lining of a velvet mantle, or, in the shape of a muff, impart warmth to the delicate fingers of a beauty! But “sich is life.” The fetid pelt that one would hardly consent to touch with a pair of tongs to-day, reposes on the lap of Circe to-morrow, whilst the secretions of diseased mollusks encircle her neck, and are entwined amongst her tresses.

Notwithstanding their unpromising surroundings, the skins are, we can see’ at a glance, in prime condition, and we offer to take the entire parcel at four dollars each, an offer which Mr. J. unceremoniously declines, preferring, doubtless, to dispose of them to some village storekeeper for three and a half, and take the amount in groceries, for which he will have to pay fifty per cent, more than the value. Indian all over. And so our visit terminates; for as it never answers to argue the point with an Indian, we cut short his palaver by telling him that we will not purchase them at any price, and leave him to replenish his larder as best he may.

Mr. Jeremy and his brother red-skins were disposed at first to be saucy to Coelebs, but they soon altered their tone, and finding that bounce did not answer, endeavoured to come the “poor Indian” game over him. That failing, they, to speak figuratively, shook the dust off their mocassins, and consigning him and his belongings to their Indian Tophets, forthwith cut his acquaintance. When safe in the settlements, and primed with a glass of rum, Mr. Tony, or Noel, vow vengeance, and threaten him with an ounce of lead, but they invariably think better of it. Nay, so terrified are they of his big Newfoundlander, that not one of them will approach the house without permission, and even when it is granted they ask him to shut up the dog before venturing to run their canoe up to the landing. But although he will not have any of them hanging about the place, he scrupulously avoids all interference with their trapping pursuits; not from any fears he may have of their power to injure him, but solely because he has not the heart to divide the spoil with beings so truly forlorn and wretched. And yet the temptation is great. From the knoll we can see the mink playing on the opposite side of the river; otter frequent a brook half a mile distant; whilst bear, as we have already stated, are roaming about the woods in every direction. With good American traps he might collect a considerable amount of fur in the season, but he would have to rise early in the morning, and keep his eyes well open, or the Indians would soon steal every trap in his possession.

Not only do we forego trapping, but that we ^ may not have laid at our door the charge of scaring the moose, from hounding likewise, although the lynx—the loup-cervier of the French Canadians—abound in the hemlock woods, and foxes on the adjacent barrens. There is a sporting, doctor in the nearest settlement who is passionately fond of this kind of hunting, and who kills many a lynx and fox in the course of the season. He has a good stamp of hound for the purpose—a large bony animal, a cross, we fancy, between an English foxhound and the sleuth-hound of the Southern States. His mode of hunting is simple. Armed with rifle, or revolver, he beats about the woods until he finds a fresh track, upon which he lays the hound, and then lighting his pipe, seats himself on some fallen tree, and quietly listens to the music. If from the cry of the hound the quarry seems to be making off hot-foot for some distant quarter, he hastens to follow up the trail; if, on the contrary, to circle is its game, he remains stationary. On some occasions, before his pipe is well smoked out, the steady baying of the hound will notify to him that the varmint is “treed,” and waiting to be potted. On others he will follow the trail up hill and down dale for miles, and be forced at last to give up the chase and return, tired and footsore, to his quarters. These wild cats, although not particularly formidable to the well-armed hunter, are justly dreaded by the settlers, whose farms lie remote from the townships; for when pressed by hunger, they will fearlessly invade the strawyard, and make mincemeat of any lamb, goose, or juicy pigling that may be caught napping. They are ugly-looking brutes, thick-legged, short-tailed, and have paws garnished with claws, which could, we doubt not, inflict severe wounds in a scrimmage. Stories are told of their having attacked men; but we are inclined to think that the animal, taken for a loup-cervier by the party assailed, must have been in reality the panther, or catamount, a very different sort of customer. Neither catamounts nor wolves are found in this wilderness: and the playful skunk has hitherto, notwithstanding confederation, studiously avoided crossing the frontier. The New Brunswick forests are, however, gladdened by the presence of all three, and the solitary hunter may have his evening’s meal enlivened, by seeing the friendly eyes of a “painter” glaring on him from a neighbouring thicket, or his slumbers soothed by the cheerful howling of a pack of wolves.

The foxes killed are all of the common kind. Indeed, we have not heard of either black or crossed fox having been trapped or shot in the district. That the Indians believe in their immediate presence is certain, our amiable neighbour, Mr. Jeremy, having repeatedly come across their tracks, so he informs us, when trapping “ away back” in the vicinity of Blue Mountain. Although it has, we believe, long been satisfactorily settled that red, black, and cross foxes are one and the same variety, all three having been seen in the same litter, there is, if we may credit our Indian informant, a marked difference in the shape and size of their footprints, the impress of the pad of the black fox being considerably smaller than that of either his grey or red-coated brother. He is, in fact, the swell of the family, not only as to dress, but even to the very tips of his toe-nails.

The fox completes our list of animals hunted for their fur in this wilderness, the fisher and pine-marten being so rarely seen as to make their very existence in this section of the province problematical. There is one animal, however, deserving of mention, not from any beauty he may possess—for he is the very picture of ugliness—nor yet from the value of his epidermis— it being of no use to any one save the owner, or to the squaw deep in the mysteries of bead and basket work. We allude to our stuck-up friend he porcupine, bad cess to him ? What a truly detestable nuisance this brute is 110 one can form an}?- idea who has not had valuable dogs ruined by his infernal quills. Every time we take a dog out with us, we are in a fever until we return to the house, fearing each instant to see' the poor beast tearing madly after us, with his head resembling an enormous pincushion. Not a single member of that rather numerous Hystrix family ever crosses our path without paying dearly for his temerity. We slay him then and there, without mercy; not that we may convert him into toothsome stew, for we can never summon up sufficient courage to taste his ugly carcase, hut solely from a spirit of vengeance. They say that the flesh is good, being not unlike juvenile porker. We recommend him, therefore, to the favourable consideration of the Acclimatization Society, the members of which august body may possibly discover “points” about him other than those which to us and our dogs have been so painfully apparent.

Until the end of September the weather is delightful. The evenings are gradually getting colder, and a little fire is pleasant after sundown; but as yet there has not been, wonderful to relate, the slightest sign of frost. On the evening of the thirtieth we draw out our programme for October. House and barn are nearly finished, the builders will take their departure in a day or two, and then wont we make holiday ? We’ll creep the barrens for moose and caribou, and beat the beech woods for bear, and have such grouse shooting and duck shooting “ as never was.” We may depend on having fine weather to the end of the month, and then there will be at least ten days’ Indian summer. By Jove! it will be jolly. So to bed we go, and on looking out of the window in the morning find, instead of ruddy autumn, hoary-headed winter. There are six inches of snow on the ground, and it is still snowing heavily. October ushered in with a snowstorm! How we do bless the Acadian climate! We go to where Mac is chopping firewood, in the hopes that the old fellow will have a few crumbs of consolation ready for us—a snowstorm on the first of October is the sure sign of a fine fall, or something of that sort. But the old fellow is a veritable Job’s comforter.

“A snowstorm on the first of October out of the common? He guesses not. Last year there was a black frost on the nineteenth of September. Frost in June, frost in September; that may always be expected. Six months’ winter, and six months’ bad weather; that’s just about the right description of the climate. Indian summer? Well, he has heard tell of it; but during the thirty years he has been in the province he has never once seen it—leastways, not to his knowledge.”

It is enough. We return to the shanty, get the stove to a red heat, pull our rocking chair to it, and read Evangeline.

Coelebs stands in no need of a fire; he has a summons in the breast-pocket of his shooting-coat which keeps him nice and warm. It is the third summons he has received since building commenced. First it was the shingle maker who sent him a billet-doux, then the cook, now it is the teamster. He settled with the others, because he was too busy at the time to answer their summonses in person; but if they think to gammon him, Coelebs, again they are mistaken. The teamster was engaged by the month, and left in the middle of it, without so much as saying he was going, and not one cent of his wages shall he get. He has the law on his side, and he intends to enforce it. We hope he may be able to do so.

“Do so! Of course he will. What is there to prevent him ? The case is to be tried on the morrow before a certain Solon Quirk. Squire Quirk will mete out justice.”

“And who may Squire Quirk be when lie’s at home?”

“A storekeeper living down at the Corners, but a cut above most of his class, for he is an ex-county member, an ex-legislator, one who will in all probability be re-elected, a probable envoy to Downing Street, a possible minister of the Crown in that portion of Her Majesty’s dominions known as Nova Scotia. Just the right sort of man to give Mr. Teamster a proper dressing.” We hope so.

It is the evening of the third day before we hear our poor friend’s well-known footsteps, and as he strides into the shanty we can see that to him all the world is out of joint. His noble brow is contracted, the nostrils of his Grecian nose are distended, his eagle eyes flash fire, his very beard has an angry kink in it which it has never had before. He pitches his hat to the further end of the room, and, without saying a word, flings himself full length on the settle.

“Well! And what’s the news?”

Up he jumps, as if he had received an electric ' shock. “The news P The news is this—that he is going to advertise the place for sale, and if he cannot find a purchaser, set fire to the house and barn, cut down every tree, and sow the garden and cleared land with burr, Scotch thistle, and nettles.”

“Whew! What is the matter?” “Matter! That such a thing as justice is unknown in the province—that the law is a dead letter—that there is not a magistrate in the county who does not deserve to be put in the pillory—that the people are divided' into two classes, knaves and fools, and that as he, Coelebs, belongs to neither category, he purposes clearing out with all the speed he may. We know how the case stood between him and that rascally teamster, and saw with our own eyes, in the "Justices’ Manual" what the law said on the subject. Was it not that any servant engaged by the month leaving his employer’s service before the expiration of that month, forfeited his wages?”

“Yes. That is how we understood it.” “Well, then, will we believe that in open defiance of that law, Squire Solon Quirk—with whom may the devil fly away—has condemned him to pay the amount claimed and costs?” Poor Coelebs! to offer him advice or consolation in his present mood would only make matters worse. He has just discovered another phase of settler’s life passed over as unworthy of notice by the author of “Perfect Beatitude; or, Life in the Canadian Backwoods.” He will, in all probability, discover a few more similar ones before he has done; and if he live long enough and travel far enough, will ultimately arrive at the conclusion that perfect beatitude is no more to be found in the Canadian backwoods than it is in any other portion of the globe.

The builders are gone, and Coelebs’s indignation at Nova Scotian justices’ justice is almost counterbalanced by the joy he feels at their departure. We do not know what his sensations may be, but ours are those of Sindbad when he shook off the Old Man of the Sea. To add to our enjoyment, the cold snap is over; the clouds have cleared away, and the weather is once again bright and warm. But Father Winter, although rebuffed, has left his mark behind him. His icy touch has changed the aspect of nature, and the forest, which a short week since was still in summer dress, is now arrayed in the gorgeous livery of autumn. The view from the house is perfectly dazzling, for the opposite bank of the river is hardwood land—birch, oak, ash, beech, maple—one more brilliant than the other. Amber, yellow, and orange; rose, crimson, and scarlet; brown, russet, and purple, all mingled together in picturesque confusion. The most brilliant colourist that ever lived would fail to do it justice; to attempt to word-paint it would be ridiculous. All the pictures, all the descriptions in the world would fall far short of the reality. To have any idea of the autumnal splendour of these North American forests, they must be seen at the turn of the leaf, in the month of October.

Although we have not removed to the new house, it is ready for our reception. It is rather a picturesque-lcoking edifice—bastard Grothic as to the style, Acadian as to the interior arrangements, and not dear, all things considered, having cost a trifle over two hundred and eighty pounds. It consists of a main building, and what our carpenters call a little L, or as we should express it, a set-off, which serves as the kitchen. The outside measurement of the main building is 32 by 30. The walls, laid up with ten-inch logs, are thirteen feet in height and clapboarded. Length of rafters twenty-one. Below are three rooms, which measure respectively, 14 by 13—14 by 13 and 10 by 9, and a hall, which has been made purposely large, 17 by 14, that it may serve as a sitting-room in the hot weather. A winding staircase leads from the back hall to the upper story, which consists of a landing with Grothic door leading out on the roof of the verandah—a large bedroom with small dressing-room adjoining, and two others, each 12 by 11. The lower rooms are ten feet in height, the upper, eight feet ten inches. The kitchen, or little L, 16 by 16, has servants and store-rooms above and a cellar beneath, and in the event of Coelebs requiring more accommodation, all that he will have to do is to tack on to it a duplicate of the main building, and he has it without destroying the symmetry of his house.

The barn, which will hold forty head of cattle, has cost six hundred dollars, and is likewise cheap. By cutting into the hill-side and building over the excavation, both space and material have been saved. In the basement is the stabling; in the barn above is stored the hay. Coelebs has some twenty beasts there already, and when all the stalls and styes are full, the place ought to be self-supporting. As it is, he has managed to make 50/. by butter alone, and this clear profit, for since' the first of May the beasts have been turned into the woods to graze, where they have thriven wonderfully.

We have already given an estimate of the cost of living like a gentleman in the more civilized districts of Canada; we will now proceed to calculate for how much per annum two men of Coelebs’s stamp could live in the backwoods, supposing that they farmed a merely nominal quantity of land, say four acres. But as prices vary all over the Dominion, we must select our province and our district. Let us take the very spot where we now are.. The first outlay would be as follows:—

Land, 100 acres. It would be difficult to purchase a smaller quantity..............$125
Clearing and fencing 4 acres...........80
Log-house (shingled)..............130
Furniture, linen, crockery, stove, washing-machine, &c., say 300
Tools, grindstone, &c..............40
Cow, &c..................40

Provisions for lst Year.

4 barrels flour................$32
1 ditto pork................20
120 lbs. ham................20
20 bushels potatoes..............10
30 lbs. tea.................15
50 ditto coffee................10
100 ditto sugar..............................9
Rice, buckwheat, beans, peas, dried apples, soap, petroleum, &c.................35


Half the amount might be m^ide to suffice, but there would be a corresponding loss of comfort. After the first year, the annual expense would hardly exceed 30/., for everything, with the exception of flour, tea, coffee, and petroleum, would be home raised. Add one pound for teaming and twenty for clothes, and that would make 50/., or twenty-five pounds per head.

And now that we have shown how small is the sum upon which the backwoodsman can manage to live, a word to those who may feel inclined to make the experiment. If you don’t desire to be jeered at as a “ white Indian,” do something else beside shoot, fish, and trap—farm, if only to save appearances. A rich man can please himself; the poor one must endeavour to please others, and you wont please your neighbours if your mode of life be different to theirs.

If you imagine that you would be regarded in the district as a sort of Robin Hood, you are very much mistaken. You would be spoken of as “that durned lazy white Indian down to Ka-dou-sac’ or wherever your shanty might be. Whenever a man saw a chance of doing you an ill-turn he would do it. To conciliate would be impossible, you would have to make yourself feared. By making hunting subsidiary to farming, you would change the aspect of affairs, and. presuming that you are a hunter and not a husbandman—that you turned backwoodsman for the sake of the hunting and the fishing, and for no other reason—that you farm solely to save appearances, you would doubtless like to know how to do so with the least outlay of capital and at the smallest possible risk.

By farming on shares. You would have to build a second log-house and a frame barn or barns large enough to contain thirty or forty head of cattle, and forty or fifty tons of hay. The second log house and the barns built, and fifty acres of land cleared, fenced, and laid down under grass and clover, your next move would be to ‘get a man willing to work on shares, you finding land, building and stock, he the labour. What his share would be, and what yours, would altogether depend on the. number of beasts, and the hay that was available for them. On such a place as this, with an extra outlay of four or five hundred pounds, one ought not to have much difficulty in finding a man willing to work on shares for fifty per cent, of the profits, and assuming Coelebs’s calculations to be correct, which we have no doubt they are, the remaining fifty would be more than sufficient to cover all expenses. In this way two bachelors might rub along very comfortably, always presuming that they were sufficiently independent to be able to leave whenever the life grew wearisome. Much depends upon that. The garden of Eden would be unendurable if the gates were locked. To invest the whole of one’s capital in a backwoods farm is an act of folly for which there can be but one excuse—that the sum total is so small that it will riot bear dividing, and Coelebs would have been wiser had he deferred building until he was perfectly assured that the life suited him. And yet he is just the sort of man for the woods— tough, handy, cheerful; not afraid of his own shadow—fond of fishing and shooting, fonder still of his independence. Were he not going to be married, we should have no fears for him. But his wife—will she be able to accommodate herself to the life? We have not the pleasure of knowing our friend’s betrothed, but if she do so slie is no ordinary woman. There is certainly no reason why she should not. “ Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage;” and the wilderness is no dreary solitude to those who love nature, and have resources within themselves. But it is not every woman who can be brought to see things in their proper light. Hyde Park is Hyde Park and the wild woods are the wild woods, and most of them perversely prefer the former to the latter. Should Mrs. C. not like the place, and induce her husband to move to livelier quarters, he will be obliged to sell at a heavy loss—if he get back a third of his money he will be fortunate. If it be difficult to realize in the settlements, in the backwoods it is next to impossible.

The rutting season over, or towards the close of October, the moose prepare to yard, but it is not until the snow lies on the ground that still-hunting can be attempted with much chance of success. Whether it be that the moose is warier than the Virginian deer we know not; this much is certain—that whilst in the Canadian forests we were always able to get a shot or two before the snow came, here we have not as yet so much as seen an antler, although we have crept the adjacent bogs and barrens late and early since the commencement of the season. And yet the surrounding country is completely ploughed up with moose tracks; and as we have on more than one occasion come upon fresh droppings, we must have been pretty close to the quarry.

The Indians seldom try their luck on the “ moose-walk” before the snow comes. To follow up a moose-track over bare ground, requires more patience and perseverance than the red man is willing to bestow on any pursuit or calling save begging. Indeed, we very much doubt whether the degenerate Micmac is sufficiently master of the noble science of venery to be able to do so were he to make the attempt. Keen eyesight he undoubtedly possesses; but to make the backwoods still-hunter, more than that is requisite. To the eye of the lynx must be added the cunning of the fox, the tread of the mole, and the stealthiness of the cat, and even when endowed with all these attributes, the aspirant to backwoods hunting honours must be content to serve a lengthy apprenticeship before he can hope to graduate Grand Master of the craft. To be able to tell by a single glance at some torn leaf or ill-defined hoof-print, the exact time that has elapsed since that particular sign was made, requires a considerable amount of woodcraft—to unerringly determine the direction in which to strike, so that whilst avoiding the animal’s devious course tlie trail can always be refound at pleasure, an instinct which to the tyro seems little short of miraculous. When the ground is covered with a light coating of snow, half the science suffices. Any man with an eye in his head can follow the trail; little experience is required to determine the exact freshness of the hoof-prints, and should there be any doubt in the hunter’s mind as to his ability to “ circle” correctly, he has only to stick to the track, and keep his eyes and ears wide open. Having said this much, let us introduce Mr. Peter Bobby-eye (we do not respond for the correctness of our Micmac orthography), the oldest Indian in the district; for not being an authority on the habits of the moose, we think it best to give the experiences of one who is. Let Mr. Bobbyeye, then, speak for himself.

“Moose you see—yard from north to south, most time; yard sometime quarter mile, sometime two mile long. Sometime only three moose in yard; other time five—six—seven. You want to shoot-um moose; you think which way wind blow. Blow two—three day north—moose north end yard; moose travel ’gainst wind most time. You find yard—you keep lee-side. You mind you no go into yard—you scare moose sartin!

You keep outside um yard—you wait—you listen. No hear-um moose—you creep on apiece. No hear-um—bit furder, and so on.' By-an’-by you hear-um. You keep still—wait you see-um, then you shoot. You load ’gain, quick, quick—you p’raps get ’nother shot. Moose he no smell you—he maybe stand still bit. You lee-side yard—little noise—not much matter. Me shoot big fellow once. He stand look, while I fire, one—two—three shots. Plenty yard near lumberman camp. Chop—chop—chop all day, no scare-um.. Some one strike-yard—then go some place else. Ah! me good hunter once. Heart all right now—legs no good. White man not much account; he too flurry. Burn more powder than shoot-um moose ! Deep snow come —first-rate then. Hunt-um down on snow shoe. Deep snow—eight—ten year back—plenty moose killed that time. Most all moose these parts killed that time. Plenty moose now—no deep snow come late year.”

By comparing the information thus graciously volunteered by Mr. Bobby eye with that obtained from other sources, we are of opinion that that elderly Indian is in the main correct. The word yard very imperfectly describes the winter habitat of the moose. Moose-“walk” would be nearer the mark, it being nothing more than a tract of country of varying extent, up and down which the moose browse and wander, until such time as vegetation is in a sufficiently advanced state to allow of their grazing on the bogs and barrens. The caribou do not yard. They winter it out on the bogs, where they can be stalked in the same way as are the red deer in the Highlands of Scotland, and nice cold work it is. Mid-November. The winter has now fairly set in, and lumbering has commenced in earnest. From dawn to dark these pine woods are resonant with the ringing stroke of the lumberer’s axe, the crash of falling trees, and the eternal “Hoof, Bright!” “Haul, Buck!” of the teamsters, as they urge their panting bullocks over the rough log roads. During the logging season these bold backwoodsmen have little time for indulging in their favourite pastime—politics. Their work commences at daybreak and finishes at dusk, the only interruption being for half an hour or so at dinnertime. No one can say that he has seen the backwoods unless he has passed a night in a lumberer’s camp; and as they are all pretty much alike, we will take the one owned by the gallant colonel before-mentioned as a sample. Seen from a distance, the encampment does not present a very picturesque appearance. A log1 shanty, with low walls and high-pitched hoard and batten roof, a rudely constructed barn, a grindstone “rigged” to a tree stump, a broken sled, half a dozen empty flour-barrels, a pile of firewood—seen together, a dirty brown blotch on a field argent. Such is the aspect of the encampment, as, emerging from the green woods, we come upon the little clearing. Squeezing ourselves through the aperture which does duty as a doorway, we boldly enter- the shanty. Throwing our pack on the ground, we leisurely knock the snow from our feet, and look around us. An enormous fire of birch-logs is blazing in the centre of the camp ; and after the dreary prospect outside, the place looks particularly snug and cheerful. The men have not yet returned from the woods and as the cook is hard at work preparing supper, we light a pipe and watch him.

Whatever may be the gentleman’s social virtues, cleanliness is not one of them. He is at the present moment tearing a salt cod-fish into strips, preparatory to its conversion into fish-balls or some similar backwoods delicacy; and the fingers with which he performs his task are fearful to contemplate. His fingers not being sufficiently strong for the work, he holds the fish firmly between his knees; and as we inspect the “ pants” with which those knees are covered, we shudder, and inwardly resolve to eschew cod, let it appear in whatever guise it may. Being ravenously hungry, we anxiously inquire what may he the contents of that large pot now simmering on the fire. “Oh! it is pork, rice, and molasses”—an excellent dish, hut rather too rich for some stomachs. “And in the other pot?” “Tea—boiled tea. Capital!” On either side of the fire, in two large tin “reflectors,” bread is baking. With bread and tea we can make a supper. Let us hope that when the dough was kneaded the cook’s ablutions were of a more recent date than at the present moment. But here come the men trooping in from their work; what a rough lot they are!

“What has the cook got for supper?” “Rice and molasses.” “Bully for him! let them have it.” And down they all squat at the table.

“Come, cook, hurry up the cakes there, will yer?

“Say, Tom! Lend us yer jack-knife, will yer? —mine’s broke.”

“Now then, mates, which of yer has stolen my spoon ? It’s you, Pete, ain’t it? Don’t be gassing thar, but pass along the molasses. Say, Ike, can’t you squeeze in a bit thar, and make room for the stranger?”

“Got any more of yer medicine thar, cook? If so let’s have another dose,” &c. &c. &c. Amidst the clatter of knives and forks we can only catch a word here and there, and as we munch our hunk of dry bread, and gulp down our bowl of tea, ample opportunity is afforded us for admiring the prodigious masticatory powers of lumbermen. Plateful after plateful of the greasy mess is gobbled up before we can manage to dispose of our first crust, and in less than five minutes the contents of the large iron pot has disappeared from sight. Wedges of bread smeared with molasses constitute the second course, the dessert being raw kraut, or “grout,” as they pronounce it, which they extract by the handful from a barrel standing in one corner of .the shanty. But the stowage capacity of a lumberman’s maw has, like everything else, its limit, and the ablest trencherman of the party is at length compelled to cry “enough.” Pipes are lighted, each man in succession stretches himself on the hemlock boughs which form, as usual, the common bed, and with a grunt of satisfaction prepares to assist digestion by a quiet smoke. The crew being a large one, they are pretty closely packed, and there is not much room for the stranger. So we appropriate a three-legged stool, and by drawing out the more intelligent members of the party, endeavour to improve the occasion. It is not an easy task, for the aboriginals (as distinguished from the aborigines) are shy before strangers. We progress but slowly.

“Yes! lumbering is very hard work, and not over-well paid, particularly towards the end of the season, when daylight comes so early, and the sun sets so late. Fifteen dollars a month ain’t much to brag about, that’s a fact, but when river-driving and rafting comes, then a man gets well paid for his labour. Two dollars a day is something like wages. Pity the work’s so soon over, but even if it lasts four weeks, that’s forty-eight dollars, and chance it. Has hardly ever a dry stitch on him when rafting or driving, and the black flies are troublesome, and no mistake, but then the pay is first-rate. Is obliged to work sixteen hours out of the twenty four, and supposes that two dollars for sixteen hours’ work is the same as one dollar for eight, but doesn’t look at it in that way. For the month or six weeks which intervene between the close of the logging season and the commencement of rafting, does nothing in partic’lar. Stays home and rests a bit. Kafting would certainly interfere with his farm work if he farmed; but he doesn’t farm. Just cuts enough hay for his cow, that’s all.

“During the six months when there is neither logging nor rafting, tries to pick up a job here and there, works in the saw-mill when they want extra hands, or helps them as has land to get in their hay and potatoes. Might, p’r’aps, make more money by doing a little farming on his own account, but doesn’t like the work, and besides, couldn’t think of losing his two dollars a day for driving. Knows very well that lumber land is getting played out in these parts. When it is completely so, will make tracks for the States. Has been in the States. Something like a country that! Wishes the Yankees would annex Nova Scotia. Would be some chance for a man then. Yankee capital would flow into the province, and there would be, in course, plenty of work for all. Confederation is the ruin of the country. All very well for Howe and Tupper and M'Lellan to tell them that everything will be sure come right in time. Knows better. Will any man persuade him-.” Here our informant, who is evidently the master mind of the crowd, rushes headlong into politics, and we begin to fear that he purposes keeping at it “right along,” when, to our great joy, there is a savage growl, and a gruff demand if he, the speaker, “intends to let a fellow sleep at all to-night?”

“Oh yes! All right. Needn’t be so durned crusty!” And, with a sigh of resignation, our backwoods Minos draws his blanket over his head, and in another minute is snoring the snore of the backwoodsman. We endeavour to follow his example, but without success. Having no blanket the hemlock twigs feel anything but grateful to our hump ribs; our eyes, unused to the glare of so large a fire, obstinately refuse to close; the wind is moaning dismally amongst the pines outside, whilst inside a concert is going on that would have aroused the seven sleepers. The grout is doing its work, and every sleeper seems possessed by the demon of indigestion. Such muttering and mumbling, such snoring and snorting, such grinding and gnashing of teeth, we have never heard before, and trust we may never hear again. Sleep being impossible, we rise from our bed of backwoods feathers, and drawing a stool close to the fire, ruminate.

“Necessity makes us acquainted with strange bedfellows.” Where could one chance upon stranger than those snoring yonder ? Were we an ethnologist, we could doubtless write a highly instructive article on the idiosyncrasies of the Acadian lower orders, and the causes which have led to their development. Not being so, we can only think on them, and wonder. Almost every people under the sun have certain well-defined characteristics. What is the distinguishing mark of the Nova Scotian? It seems to us to be melancholy. They are a sad people. To them life appears to be anything rather than a pleasure; it is a sad reality. For Puritanism in its harshest form one must not go to New England, but to Nova Scotia. Daily contact with Jews, Turks, infidels, and heretics has knocked much of the starch and stiffness out of the New Englanders. Not so with these gentle Acadians. They are just as intolerant as their Puritan ancestors, and, if possible, rather more inconsistent. There’s our shock-headed friend over there would be filled with pious horror at seeing the Sabbath desecrated in the settlements, but here, in the woods, he rafts the livelong Sunday through, in order to gain two dollars. He would lend a willing hand to oust from the settlements any man guilty of the heinous crime of liquor selling, but would take a dram on the sly without blushing. The sin lies, not in the act itself, but in its being witnessed by others. An abject slave is he of Mother Grundy.

And so he plods along life’s highway, a melancholy man. Those innocent pleasures which cheer the spirits of more rational wayfarers are to him unknown. The merry dance, the social glass, the inspiriting strains of “ profane” music, are strictly tabooed, and his pleasures are limited to a temperance, lecture, a dirge executed by the skule-marm on the village organ, or harmonium, and a peep at the “wild beasteses,” when the caravans pass through the settlement. Even those few choice spirits who so recklessly rush into the dissipation of moose-hunting, are unable to shake off the cares of this world during their brief holiday. They shout and kick up their heels, and try hard to be jolly dogs, but it wont do. Their laughter lacks the ring of the genuine metal, and their antics are those of the clown rather than the bacchanal. And then our thoughts wander off to the “good old days” of the colony (as described by Longfellow and other trustworthy historians), when Acadie was the “home of the happy,” where “the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance,” and sigh when we think what a dreadful change for the worse has taken place in ye manners and customs of y people since those halcyon days.

And as we drop into an uneasy slumber, Evangeline in Norman cap and kirtle of blue, and gold earrings brought in the olden time from France, and Kene le Blanc, and Basil the blacksmith, and Father Felicien arise from out the glowing embers, and we are in the midst of the peaceful Acadian village, seriously contemplating a farm on the Basin of Minas, when a snore- of vol. i. x more than ordinary volume recalls us to the stern realities of backwoods life—a rude shanty, and a crew of unkempt, unpicturesque, unpoetical lumbermen, and so the night wears away.

Long before daybreak the cook slowly uncoils, like a huge snake, from the folds of his blanket, and with dishevelled locks and bloodshot eyes, yawningly sets about the task of preparing breakfast. One by one the sleepers emerge from the feathers—a hard-favoured crew. The breakfast, consisting of salt fish, saturated with pork fat, bread, and molasses, is bolted in silence, and then each man shoulders his axe, and takes his departure.

nTnverted into lumber as to the destruction caused by fire. In Nova Scotia, as in New Brunswick, fire has been the ruin of the lumbering interest, and the amount of damage done by the devouring element is incalculable. A prairie on fire is a sublime sight, but the blaze is that of a farthing rushlight in comparison with one of these forest conflagrations. Perhaps the greatest fire on record is that which devastated the Mira-michi woods in the year 1825. The summer of that year had been unusually dry; but although fires had broken out in different parts of the vast forest, stretching away northwards' to the Canadian line, and westwards to the American boundary, little danger was apprehended by the inhabitants of the devoted district. The morning of the 7th of October broke with portentous calmness. Not a breath of wind was there to fan the smouldering fires, and a heavy cloud of black smoke hung like a vast pall over the forest. Warned by their unerring instincts, deer and other wild animals fled from their coverts, and sought refuge in the opens, an example which was unfortunately not followed by the unsuspecting settlers. Towards evening a gale suddenly sprang up from the westward, and before eight o'clock it was blowing a hurricane. All at once there was heard a roar as of distant artillery, a sheet of flame shot high into the air, clouds of blinding smoke came sweeping along before the fierce blast—the work of destruction had commenced. Too late to fly to the sea coast, all that the wretched inhabitants could do was to rush into the nearest lake or river. It would be difficult to imagine anything more truly appalling than the position of these unfortunates on that October night. Hemmed in on every side by walls of flame, burning wood and cinders falling in clouds around them, suffocated with smoke, and up to their necks in water— since the destruction of Pompeii never were mortals in sorer plight. Barely, by all accounts, has the sun risen on a scene of greater desolation than .that which the lately verdant forest presented on the morning of the 8th. Six thousand square miles of fire-swept country, a blackened, smoking, hideous expanse, with here and there a dismantled house or smouldering shanty.

Many perished in the flames, and more were burnt or injured by the falling timber. Few cattle escaped, and so intense was the heat that thousands of salmon and other fish were killed in the streams and rivers. The damage done to property was estimated at 228,000., and the value of the timber destroyed at 500,000.; and this one night's work!

Surrounded as he is by such highly inflammable matter, that the backwoodsman should be cautious in the use of matches would only be natural; but strange as it may seem, in his love for a bonfire he is a very child. The teamster trudging along the highway, the lumberman' on the drive, the moose-caller out for his holiday, all have their pockets crammed with lucifer matches, which they use, regardless of consequences, whenever the whim seizes them. When they camp out they leave the fire to spread, fling the match with which they have lighted their pipe into the dry leaves and bushes, and not unfrequently set fire to the under brush just for the fun of the thing, or to have what they facetiously call a “torch.” Nine-tenths of these backwoods fires owe their origin to the mischievous pranks or carelessness of lumbermen, and until some law is passed by which offenders-shall be severely punished, fires must necessarily be of constant recurrence. Let a fire in these pine woods once get a good start, and there is no telling when or where it will be extinguished. It may be confined to a few hundred acres, it may devastate six thousand square miles of country, like the one at Miramichi.

Inexhaustible as seemed the supply of pine timber in these woods some twenty years since, the amount now available is only sufficient, according to competent judges, to keep the mills going full time for ten or twelve years more. Timber there is in abundance ; but so far from lake or river, that the cost of hauling would be more than its marketable value. What the mill-owners will do when the supply ceases they do not very well know themselves. If the timber would only grow up again on the burnt lands, lumbering might, after the lapse of a score years or so, be resumed with profit. But unfortunately timber, or such timber at least as is required, will not do so. No sooner does a fire sweep over pine land than up starts a different growth of timber. Fir, poplar, hackmatack take the place of pine and spruce ; hemlock land is overspread with cedar and alder, whilst maple, beech, and birch are succeeded by spruce, sumach, and raspberry and gooseberry bushes. The fire which spreads with such fearful rapidity through the resinous pine timber, makes but little impression on the hardwood land. In very dry seasons it occasionally runs through the underbrush, consuming here and there a dead oak or fallen maple ; but the green leaves smother the flame, and its onward course is soon arrested. Lucky it is for the lumbering interest that these pine forests are intersected at intervals by hardwood ridges, as, were it not for these fire-proof barriers, the first fire would sweep across the peninsula, from the Atlantic to the Bay of Fundy.

Coelebs is now suffering from that very dangerous malady, logging on the brain. Mr. Seth Kempton, a smart gentleman who owns a few hundred acres of very indifferent timber land some five miles distant, has been endeavouring to persuade him that a hatful of dollars is to be made by lumbering, and that he, Coelebs, could not do better than purchase the timber land in question. There need be no trouble about the purchase-money. Coelebs can commence logging right away, and pay him when the logs are sold at the end of the season. Guesses that Mr. Coelebs is just the right sort of man for the business, and will make a pile of dollars for sure. And poor Coelebs is nibbling at the bait held out, and has been hard at work for some days making calculations as to the probable outlay and ultimate profits of the undertaking. That a profit there will be he is confident. The thing is as plain as the nose on one’s face. To amount paid for land so many dollars. To so many men at so much per month, so many. To hauling logs, so many. To rafting and driving, so many. Ta provisions, so many. Deduct expenses from amount received for logs, and there remains,— dollars — cents clear profit (q.e.d.)

Hoping that the disease might assume a mild form, and gradually effect its own cure, we have hitherto humoured the sick man by agreeing with him in everything; but this-day of November, complications being imminent (the invalid has expressed his intention of closing with Kempton at once), we think the time has arrived to administer a mild emetic, the said emetic being our own logging experiences. The opportunity is? soon afforded us. The post-pran-dial-pipe lighted, Master Coelebs produces his logging calculations, and goes hammer and tongs at his interminable additions and subtractions. To land so much—to men so much, &c. &c. Subtract from value of logs, &c. Balance profit, — dollars — cents.

“That’s correct, is it not?”


“No? What can we know about it?”

“Just as much as it is possible for any man to learn in two seasons.”

“What! We have had a turn at logging— why didn’t we tell him so before?”

“Because we didn’t think it would interest him to know it.”

“Interest him! Of course it does. How did we. pull it off?”

“On the first occasion we were eight hundred dollars out of pocket; on the second we managed to clear about the same amount.”

“How did we manage to lose?”

“By going it alone.”

“And to gain?”

“By going shares with an experienced lumberman, who did the bossing and kept the men to their work, whilst we acted as commissary.”

“But we must have gone very stupidly to work to lose in the first instance?”

“Of course we did, just as stupidly as any man might be expected to do who undertook a business of which he knew nothing.

“It was shortly after our introduction to backwoods life, and when we were still as green as any hemlock, that we made our first essay in lumbering. Healthful and pleasant occupation during the winter months being our object, and profit a secondary consideration, our operations were conducted on a very limited scale, our crew consisting of five axemen, a cook, and a teamster. We did the bossing, and if ever boss was disposed to treat his men kindly we were that boss. The idea of passing the winter in the woods having only entered our head at the time when others had already commenced chopping, we were rather later in the field than was altogether desirable. By the time camp and barn were built, hay and meal for the horses and oxen, and provisions for the men, hauled out, it was the 1st of December. On the 2nd the men arrived; on the 3rd the first tree was ‘fallen'. For a fortnight or so everything went along smoothly. To an inexperienced woodsman like ourself the number of trees felled daily sounded highly satisfactory. Mr. Teamster appeared to be hard at work with his oxen from daylight till dusk, when Mr. Cook was not making bread or flap-jacks or fish-balls he was fiddling. The life being a novel one, we enjoyed ourselves hugely. An hour before daybreak we would turn out of our bunk and help the cook with the breakfast, which we shared with the men, as likewise dinner and supper; for although the cook’s cooking was on a par with his fiddling, of the vilest, we thought it wiser to put up with it than by eating apart, to raise the republican dander of our crew. Our self-denial was not very grievous, for we had arrived at that state of health when dough-boys are almost as easily digested as lead, flap-jacks as sheet iron. Breakfast over, we would accompany the men to their work, and amuse ourselves with lopping, or else engage in a little amateur hauling with our ponies. During the daytime we had plenty of employment. In the evening we would smoke our Yirginny by the blazing camp fire, and listen to the songs and stories of the men and to the squeaking of the cook’s fiddle. In a word, we led a lumberman’s life, and enjoyed it. At the end of a fortnight, meal or something else being wanted, we put the ponies to the sled, and telling the men that we should not be back for a day or two, and to work well during our absence, we started for the settlements. On our way out we stopped at a camp where we knew the crew to be the same strength as our own, to compare notes with the boss lumberman, a French Canadian, with whom we had hunted the preceding Fall. He was ravished to see us. How did it go?” “First-rate; and with him?”

“Like that. He had only so many logs cut and so many hauled, andwas just a little behindhand.”

“The start we gave did not escape the quick eye of Monsieur Jean Baptiste.”

“What! Hadn’t we done as well as that?”

“Not quite. We had just cut and hauled one-half that number, and our logs were considerably smaller than his.”

“But, Sapristi! our men must have been famously amusing themselves. Only one way to arrange oneself with those gentry there—to put them to the door if they work not.”

“And after?”

“Engage others.”

“And if they are not to be had?”

“Ah, then-”

“We did not say much, but we thought a good deal, and instead of absenting ourselves for a couple of days, as had been our intention, the instant we got our supplies we turned the ponies' heads woodwards. It was too late to reach the shanty the same night, but we arrived there two hours after daybreak the next morning, and, on pushing open the door, beheld axemen, teamster, and cook quietly warming their shins at the fire. And why were they not at work?”

“Oh, they had overslept themselves.”

“Had they, indeed. And it was for that reason possibly that they were endeavouring to make up for lost time by having an after-breakfast chat by the fire.”

“Well, there was no use getting riled about it. They had worked hard since they came, and the loss of a couple of hours didn’t much signify.

“We had determined to make no mention of our interview with Jean Baptiste, but for the future to work less and watch more; but this barefaced assertion of the teamster so incensed us that we let drive.

“Work well! What did they call working well? In the same space of time the Frenchman’s crew down at Big Clear had done more than double the work, and they were far from being a smart crowd. Hitherto we had said nothing, but for the future we should insist upon their performing a fair day’s work, and, if they could not or would not, they might go.

From that hour every man Jack of them became possessed with the demon of sulkiness. No more singing and story-telling, no more jokes and laughter; the cook hung up his fiddle and his bow-o-oh ! and our shanty of harmony became a veritable shanty of discord. Little improvement was apparent in the work done. We kept a sharp eye on the menr but it availed nothing. To watch them swinging their axes one would imagine that they were doing their ‘level’ best, but the trees felled were not in proportion to the blows struck. When to ‘put in the time’ is the lumberman’s resolve all the watching in the world wont prevent him. He can deliver the strokes of his axe in such a way that half the effect is lost, and by cutting the notch a little to one side or a little to the other, fall the tree so as to lodge it in the branches of another, and thus protract the work; or his axe is notched, and he must go grind it; or he has cut himself, and must go fetch a piece of rag. Plausible excuses are never wanting for absenting himself for from ten minutes to an hour at a time. It is the same with your teamster. He must lay down a piece of corduroy, here cut a new road, or there a Buck is sick or Bright, or the bob-sled is broken, and he must go get it mended. The cook takes it out of you in wastefulness. The way in which he makes flour and pork vanish is a caution, and should you venture to observe that the provisions are going rather fast, he will ask you, with an air of injured innocence, if it is your intention to starve your crew, if so you had better tell him. The long and short of the matter is that they prefer working for one of their own stamp and a fellow-townsman than for a gentleman and a stranger. Tom This and Bill That lumber because lumbering is their business. Mr. Coelebs and Mr. Benedict lumber because they think themselves uncommon smart, and the •sooner that idea is taken out of them the better. "What is the good of strangers coming if no more is to be made out of them than out of old Uncle Ford, who has been in the woods since he was the height of an axe-helve? Hang strangers!*

“If we have heard that argument once we have heard it a score of times, and it is one reason why we have so little faith in the gentleman lumberer. But there are others equally weighty. To lumber, with any chance of success, one must have been brought up to the business. No one but a thorough backwoodsman can calculate even approximately the value of timber land. That there are good trees in the lot amounts to nothing. Better small logs and plenty of water to drive them than big ones when the water is distant or of insufficient depth. An extra mile or so of hauling swallows up the profits, having to employ double crews, for driving and damming brings the lumberman into debt. Not only is experience requisite in the purchase of timber land, but in the sale of the logs. Millowners are keenly alive to their own interests, and when dealing with a green hand their measurement of logs is by rule of thumb. The verb to cheat having been expunged from American dictionaries as low and old-countryfied, they do not cheat Mr. Greenhorn, but they do a remarkably smart trade with him—get ten or fifteen per cent, the advantage of him in the measurement of his logs, and the same in the store accounts if they furnish him with supplies on credit. If he thinks the measurement is not correct he had better go measure them himself—a thing much more easily said than done. Again, to attempt to combine farming with lumbering is, in most cases, a losing game; one pursuit is pretty certain to be carried on at the expense of the other. During the winter months the backwoods farmer can find profitable employment for men and oxen in the green woods, but by logging for others at so much a week or month, not on his own account. Kiver-driving and rafting clash with spring ploughings and sowings—it is crops or logs, and the settler has to choose between them. Logging cannot be prosecuted by fits and starts. It is not by lumbering one season and farming the next that men make money, but by keeping at it right along—setting oft’ one year’s gains against another year’s losses. It is a very risky business, and the lumberer is even more dependent on the seasons than the farmer. Should the winter be an open one the hauling is bad, and he has difficulty in getting his logs to the water; and if the spring prove dry he may not be able to drive them. He must wait until the Fall rains, or until the following spring, and if he cannot afford to wait he must sell them as they ‘jam’ to some millowner or boss lumberman, who will take them ‘at a fair valuation' i.e., at n price which will not cover the poor logger’s working expenses. We were so far fortunate that winter and spring proved alike favourable; had they not done so, our losses would have been proportionately greater. We lost eight hundred dollars, and gained fully that amount of experience—experience which enables us to tell you, friend Coelebs, that if you commence logging on your own account you will repent it. Under the most favourable circumstances you may possibly cover expenses; more than that you need not expect. If to log you are determined, go shares with a native, and whilst he looks after the men do you attend to the commissariat. In that way, and in no other, you may contrive to make a few hundred dollars each season. But that you may not be done you will have to keep a sharp eye on your partner. Every agreement made should be in black and white, every bill paid receipted, every log hauled entered into your own private note-book, and when the raft is sold it is indispensable that you have a duly-qualified measurer and valuer to look after your interests, a stranger to the place if possible, as ‘townies’ are apt to play into each other’s hands.”

Christmas has come round again, and we are going to keep it in good old English style. The house, now partially furnished, has been profusely decorated with evergreens, the mincemeat has been made, the pudding mixed, the "lordly” turkey sacrificed. For Christmas merry-makings there are many worse places than the backwoods— the Australian bush, for example. When the thermometer stands at 90 or 100 in the shade, the very sight of roast-beef and plum-pudding creates nausea, and the wassail-bowl must be iced, not spiced, to be grateful. Father Christmas is not at home in the Sunny South. His domain is the frozen North, where lie the snow and the ice, and the hoar frost, and where shall they be found if not in the New Dominion? Dinner over, and the exile’s toast, “Here’s to the dear old land, and all true friends across the water,” having been drunk with enthusiasm, we drew our chairs to the fire and speak of bygone Christmases; and as poor Coelebs recalls the many happy ones he has passed at the old home in -shire, his voice grows somewhat husky, and a tear glistens on the eyelash. But when our time comes, and we proceed to tell of certain dismal ones spent by us in foreign parts—more particularly of one terrible Christmas-day when we were lost in the Australian bush, and were nearly succumbing from heat and want of water, lie brightens up considerably, and on wishing us good night, says cheerfully, after all, old fellow, there are many worse places than the backwoods".

Yes; there are many worse places than the backwoods—the backwoods proper, not the clearings. Where would a man of Coelebs’s limited means be able to live as comfortably and as independently? With an outlay of a few hundred pounds, and a yearly income of from fifty to a hundred, he need want for nothing, not even for society. For six months out of the twelve, or for one-half of the fishing season, and the whole of the hunting, there are plenty of agreeable men in Halifax and elsewhere who would be only too happy to accept his hospitality; and the exercise of that hospitality need cost him nothing, or next to nothing, for the backwoods visitor is expected to bring his own luxuries with him, and the necessaries of life are cheap. Drawbacks there are, and great ones, the greatest, in our opinion, being the yearly plague of flies. To say that during the months of May and June the flies are excessively troublesome in the woods is a very mild way of putting it. They are perfectly unendurable, making the backwoodsman’s life a burden to him, and unless he have the hide of a rhinoceros, all he can do is to shut himself up in the house until such time as they may be pleased to take their departure. In Canada and the United States the second spring, or Indian summer, goes far to compensate one for the loss of the first. But when, as in Nova Scotia, there is little or no Indian summer, it comes hard. To lose two months—the very months of all others when nature is freshest and greenest, and when, after the long hibernation, one longs to bask in the sunshine and thaw oneself out—is enough to make an angel swear, let alone a “human.” Another drawback is the plague of helps. It is next to impossible to keep a decent servant. American helps are sociably inclined. They like to go to meeting on Sunday, and have a quiet “ gas” with the folk at store and market, and in the woods there is neither meeting-house nor forum. The most considerate of treatment and the highest of wages will not tempt them to remain with you. After a month or six weeks they feel home-sick, give notice, bundle, and go. Coelebs has been fortunate in securing the services of Mr. and Mrs. Mac, but he pays them very high wages, and lets them do pretty much as they please. It would never answer to have such people on a large farm, for Mac, although a very handy fellow, is not equal to a hard day’s work, and his wife is neither strong enough nor smart enough for the dairy.

Then there is the disadvantage of being a long way from town, not on account of the difficulty in obtaining supplies, but in respect to letters and papers. It is not always that a man can be found willing to carry the mail, and when he is found, less than two dollars it is useless to offer him. Twenty miles through the woods is equal to thirty along the high road—twice thirty are sixty—a good two days' tramp, and a dollar a day is bare wages. Two dollars a week are one hundred and four dollars, or twenty-one pounds sterling per annum, and that is altogether too much for postage. Such annoyances as an invitation to appear before Solon Quirk, Esquire^ Justice of the Peace, &c., and the apparition from time to time of a crew of boorish lumbermen, need not enter into the calculation, for summonses are easily avoided; and when lumbermen find that their presence is not desired, they soon cease to honour one with their agreeable society.

It is not the young unmarried man, fond of fishing and shooting and hard as nails, that would be likely to find backwoods life intolerable, but the delicate married woman with a young family. We know that in her eyes all the advantages of cheap living, pure air, freedom, and independence are apt to seem more than counterbalanced by tlie dreadful fact that she lives miles away from a doctor, and that in the event of sickness an entire day may elapse before Mr. Squills can be at the bedside of the sufferer. The very thought of what might happen if any of the children were to be taken suddenly ill makes her shudder, and Tommy cannot cough nor Kitty look flushed without her feeling convinced that it is the commencement of croup or scarlatina. Not only does she feel the loss of the doctor, but of the parson. It is dreadful to live in a place where the church-going bell is never heard, where there is neither chapel nor meeting-house, and where one day is so precisely similar to another that unless one take good note of time it is impossible to distinguish .Sunday from week-day. And then no schools to which to send the children, their only instruction such as father and mother can give them. To think of one’s sons growing up like young Indians, experter with the paddle than with the pen, better trappers than arithmeticians, and one’s daughters like squaws, their only accomplishments basket-making and bead-work. It is shocking.' She would have been a hundred thousand times happier in the most miserable back settlement.

So she thinks—but would she? It is our humble opinion that she would not. Back settlement life, as Coelebs justly says, is backwoods life without its freedom and its pleasures. The advantages of back townships exist only in the imagination; when weighed in the balance of common sense they amount to nothing. The back township settler has a doctor. So he has, and more to be pitied he. There are no doubt honourable exceptions, but taking them as a body, back settlement practitioners are not the most brilliant of men. When they hear a man's teeth chattering like a hundred pair of castanets, they guess he has fever and ague, and they administer quinine, and when the patient complains of pain in his heart (the backwoodsman's heart, like Paddy's, lies in the region of his stomach) and of feeling “real sick," they guess he has eaten too much fat pork and fixins, and give him a blue pill. They can attend a midwifery case, set a broken bone, and bind up an axe-cut; beyond that their professional aid and advice is seldom worth having. When the ailment is not of the ordinary backwoods type, their diagnosis is mere guesswork. They make a shot, overhaul their pharmacopoeia for the treatment to be pursued in such a case, and if that has not the desired effect, guess again and take a new departure. But they are often worse than ignorant; they are rash. They will prescribe in cases which they well know are too intricate for them, and undertake to perform operations that many an able surgeon would decline. We know one young backwoods, Bob Sawyer, who prescribed for and killed a poor fellow suffering from cancer, and another of the same stamp who attempted the operation for cataract, and put his patient’s eye out. It is better to have no doctor than a bad one; and as in back townships good ones are the exception, nothing would be gained, so far as medical assistance was concerned, by living there. Every man whose home is in the woods should have some slight knowledge of surgery. He should be able at least to bandage up a wound and to apply a tourniquet, and he should be provided with a small medicine-chest and the Family Medical Reference. Backwoods ailments are seldom very complicated—they generally yield to simple remedies, and it is only when the doctor steps in, and begins prescribing his powders, draughts, and bolus that the sufferer is in any real danger.

As regards the second disadvantage, the absence of any place of worship, we shall only observe that it is not invariably those whose houses lie nearest the Church who are the nearest to heaven, and that the Omnipotent can be as reverently worshipped in the leafy aisles of the primeval forest as in the most gorgeous of Christian temples.

Whether the absence of a school is .a disadvantage, depends on the social status of the parents. National schools, such as one finds in the back townships of Canada and the United States, are in every way adapted to the requirements of the ordinary run of settlers, but they are not precisely the kind of academies to which .a gentleman would like to send his children. It is doubtless very amusing to read of the rough-, and-ready way in which instruction is imparted by the American skulemarm, but not so amusing to know that one’s own child is being thus instructed, and that his class-mates are little ragamuffins whose parents hail from the wilds of Connemara. The man who had any real regard for his children would much prefer to instruct them himself, and he could do that in the woods. The only accomplishments that girls would be likely to acquire in a back settlement would be singing, or the nasal harmony which passes muster for it, quilting, and patchwork; and if they were very smart indeed, they might possibly attain to cross-stitch, and achieve a kettle-holder or a marker for the family Bible. In the larger towns there are excellent schools where boys are prepared for the learned professions, and where girls are taught everything, from sewing on a button to bravura singing and water-colour drawing. But hamlets are not towns, and in back settlements educational advantages in a liberal sense* there are none. The only advantages that we can discover which the clearings possess over the backwoods are that in the clearings there is comparative immunity from the plague of flies, and that the plague of helps is less baneful. But tastes differ. Some women take as naturally to the woods as ducks to the water, whilst others are quite out of their element, and are as miserable as miserable can be. Everything depends on a woman’s temperament, more especially upon her adaptability. Education and social position have little to do with it; but as a rule, the more refined the woman, the greater the chance of her being able to adapt herself to backwoods life. To the vulgar, ignorant woman nothing is more dreadful than solitude. Having no resources in herself without society of some description, her' existence is a blank, and she would prefer to live in the most wretched back settlement, and have neighbours with whom to gossip, than in a terrestrial paradise with no other companion than her husband. The well-bred woman, on the contrary, is not entirely dependent on others for her entertainment. She likes society, hut not the society which back townships afford. She has no ambition to be queen of her company, and would rather have the society of her husband than that of a legion of settlers’ wives, no matter how sociably inclined. She is his constant companion, and, to* a great extent, whatever amuses and interests him is amusing and interesting to her likewise. In the winter she sleighs with him, and skates with him, and toboggings with him, and accompanies him in his rambles through the' snow-decked forest. In the spring she helps him to make maple-sugar, to garden, and to catch trout, and when the black flies arrive, and all outdoor work and amusements are for a time* suspended, she is his comforter in affliction; and should he rashly determine, black flies or no black flies, to catch a dish of fish, she, like a good Venus, prepares him for battle by enveloping his' head in the ample folds of her own veil, and by sewing up all dangerous rents and apertures, and when he returns bleeding from the fray, anoints his wounds with oil and camphor. In summer she is his boat-boy. She minds the jibj sheet, steers when required, or takes hold of an oar or a paddle on an emergency. When pic-nicing or camping out, she is the squaw who minds the wigwam. Whilst her lord catches fish and cleans them (fish-cleaning is not amongst her duties) she collects hemlock boughs for the bed, and sticks and birch bark for the fire, boils the water, and beats up the batter for the pancakes ; and should it come to roughing, it is not from her lips that proceeds the grumbling. When an ordinary woman would cry and wring her hands, she bursts into a merry peal of laughter. She contrasts the rude log shanty in which they have taken shelter with the well-remembered drawing-room at home; the empty flour barrel on which she has laid the tin platters and pannikins, with some well-appointed dinner table ; her high, hob-nailed boots and lindsey petticoat with the elegant toilets of days gone by, and is not in the least discontented. Les extremes se touchent. In the great world it would be dreadful to do one's own cooking, to drink out of tin pannikins, to use one’s fingers for forks, to dine off fried fish and pancakes, to sleep without sheets, and to have no new dresses. But in the woods—ah! that is quite another thing. In the woods as in the woods, and the nearer the approach to savage life the greater the enjoyment.

In the summer she goes huckleberrying, and cranberrying, is her husband's gilly on his shooting excursions, and when trapping begins, she enters into the business with all the keenness of an Indian or half-bred. Fur is her perquisite. It is the only luxury after which she hankers. Silks and velvets are out of place in the woods, but fur is never out of place where the thermometer descends below zero.

But it is not all play. Sleighing and skating and boating and camping out are her amusements, and she has her fair share of. work. How does she adapt herself to that ? Just as readily as to those sports and pastimes which in England would be considered tom-boyisli. She has a regular routine laid down for herself, and by following it, her duties, though manifold, are never burdensome. Every morning, immediately after breakfast, she repairs to the kitchen, and whilst Biddy or Ayeshah makes the beds, prepares with her own fair fingers such pies and “chicken-fixins” as are beyond her handmaidens' culinary skill. Beds made, and pies and cakes ready for the oven, she starts on her grand rounds, visits the larder, the dairy, the poultry-yard, and lastly, the shanty, where she has her daily conference with her Mrs. Mac about cows, calves, pigs, poultry, cream, butter, eggs, and farm produce generally. If it is washing-day, she helps her help in the laundry. But in well-organized American households, washing-day has no terrors; it is a “heavy wash” that cannot be got through in two hours. There is no messing and slopping and soaping, and rubbing as in an English farmhouse. With one of Doty's patent washing machines and wringers, the linen is washed and wrung without the operator so much as wetting her fingers. It is only the ironing that is tedious, but in the woods a little ironing goes a very long way. Unless she have children to look after, her morning's work is over by twelve o'clock, and from that hour until dinner her time is at her own disposal. After dinner she gets her work-basket, and whilst her husband reads to her the “Latest Intelligence," she sews and knits- and darns like a good housewife—in winter by the cheerful hardwood fire, in summer on the verandah.

Such briefly told is the daily life of the backwoodswoman who has the precious bump of adaptability. The character is not ideal, but drawn from life.

The life of the backwoodswoman who has not that bump may be summed up in one word— dumps. To her spring, summer, autumn, and winter are synonymous with the season of flies, the season of heats, the season of rains, and the season of snows—one worse than the other. In her prosaic mind the soft greens of spring and summer, the gorgeous hues of autumn, the dazzling whites of winter, mean simply that the trees are in full leaf, that the leaves are decaying, that there has been a fall of snow. Like the American young lady whose admiration of Niagara was centred in the rainbow above the Falls, because it so reminded her of a certain “love of a bonnet”—Nature’s colouring is associated in her mind with that of the dyer. Green becomes her to perfection, the purples and scarlets and yellows of the autumnal woods would be sweetly pretty could they only be woven into a Cashmere. Skating and tobogging and boating, and such rough outdoor amusements ,are not to her taste. She is no hoiden or white squaw. As to cooking and dairying and washing it would be barbarous to ask her to attempt such menial work. She has had the education of a lady, and knows as mueh of housekeeping as David Copperfield’s child-wife. The poor woman is never happy except when she is miserable, or when she goes on a visit to some friend in the settlements, for of course she has her outing occasionally. It must not be supposed that because a lady lives in the backwoods that she is tied there hand and foot. In Australia, owing to the enormous distances, the up-country squatter’s wife is, to a great extent, a fixture on the station, but with the backwoods settler’s wife it is very different. Coelebs lives in the heart of the backwoods—much further from a settlement than most men would care to live, but he is by the direct road only eighteen miles from L-, a town of five thousand inhabitants. The road, if none of the best, is practicable daring the winter months in sled, and on horseback at all seasons. Supposing that he kept a pony for his wife, she could, by starting at eight o’clock, be in L-by midday, and, unless very timid, she would have no need of an escort. From man she would have nothing to fear, and as little from beast or reptile. We have said a good deal, perhaps more than was altogether necessary, of the bad points of the lumberman and the backwoodsman; let us here record a good one. In his own peculiar way he is extremely courteous or rather respectful to women. He does not take off his hat and salaam and make pretty speeches, but his services are ever at their disposal—he will run, fetch, and carry for them, and would bite his tongue off sooner than say anything that would be likely to offend. If a storm came on, or night should overtake a lady in the woods, she might seek the shelter of a lumberman’s camp without inquietude. Not a word would be uttered in her presence at which umbrage could be taken—every man of the crew would do his utmost to make her comfortable; and if she stood in need of a guide or escort, however busy they might be, a hand would be spared to accompany her. Backwoodsmen are, as a rule, exceedingly hospitable, and so likewise are the settlers and the townsfolk. Unless Mrs. Coelebs thinks proper to give herself airs she will not want for invitations.

Not only will the good people of L--be ready to receive her, but they will feel extremely hurt should she decline their hospitality, and the oftener she avails herself of it the better pleased they will be. If to attend church regularly every Sunday be indispensable to her happiness and peace of mind, it is not the dread of hotel bills that need prevent her. She can ride out to L- every Saturday afternoon, spend Saturday and Sunday nights with her friends, and return home on Monday morning. During the fly season— which is also the bathing season—she can likewise accept their hospitality, and in the fall of the year, when the woods are at their best, she can return the compliment by inviting them to visit her in their turn.

To compare the clearings with the backwoods: In the clearings one cannot, without giving mortal offence, select one’s company—in the woods one can. In the clearings it is next to impossible to amuse a visitor—in the woods nothing is more easy. In the clearings one’s every movement is watched and criticised by prying and gossiping neighbours—in the woods one is almost as free as air. In the clearings the well-bred man and woman will not find a single advantage which cannot equally be found in the backwoods—but in the backwoods they will enjoy many advantages which cannot be enjoyed in the clearings. That is our opinion, and it is the opinion of many well-bred, well-educated men and women of our acquaintance. If one cannot live in the woods one can at least vegetate luxuriantly. In the clearings one can neither live nor vegetate. The man who has the means to purchase a f^rm in a long settled district would be a fool to locate himself in the woods; but when the choice lies between the clearings and by the .clearings—we mean all new townships and sparsely populated districts—and the woods, the latter is certainly the more preferable of the two. But we would not advise any man to go to work in the same way as friend Coelebs. Until he had given the life a fair trial, and felt convinced that it suited him, he should not expend on improvements one cent more than was absolutely necessary. One can always build, but one cannot always sell. A log house is not as fine as a frame one, but it is just as warm and snug, and the cost of erection is trifling. Such a log house and barn as he would require ought not to cost more than fifty pounds, and, if the life proved distasteful, that is all he would be out of pocket, for if the land was worth anything it should he worth what he gave for it, and if he could not find an immediate purchaser he could wait. But he should give the life a fair trial—two years at the very least. To the man fresh from the busy world the backwoods seem very lonely, but this feeling of loneliness gradually wears away. Were we in Coelebs’s position, young, strong, healthy, and with a capital limited to one or two thousand pounds, we should do as he has done—make us a home in the wilderness, not in the maritime provinces, but in Upper or Lower Canada. We could never adapt ourselves to clearing life, but we could to that of the backwoods. We do not merely think so; we are certain of it, for we have made the experiment. That we should have an occasional touch of the blues is likely enough. It would be impossible to altogether banish from one's mind the pomps and vanities of this wicked world—the many charms of advanced civilization; but when we felt the attack coming on we should endeavour to overcome it by a little common-sense reasoning. We would picture to ourselves all the delights of London and Paris, all the picked spots of Europe—the vine-clad hills of Rhineland, the lakes, rivers, and snow-capped peaks of Switzerland and Tyrol, the smiling shores of Como and Maggiore—Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples—and then quietly ask ourselves the question: “On your miserable pittance what kind of a figure would you cut in these centres of fashion? What would be your life? what your amusements? Without trade, profession, or calling by which to eke it out, what could you do on one hundred pounds per annum?” In London, oh, grumbler! you would be obliged to live in a back street, a very back street, for house-rent ought not to exceed a sixth of one's income. The sixth of a hundred is seventeen, and it is a poor lodging that lets for 17/. per annum. Your food would be on a par with your lodging, of the cheapest and of the plainest. The expenses of the victualling department should not exceed two-fifths of one's income. Two-fifths of a hundred is forty ; 40/. per annum is but 2s. 2d. per diem, and at the present price of meat and other necessaries it is not much that can be bought for that sum. One-fifth—20/. for clothing; rent, 17/.; food, 40/.; clothing, 20/. = 77/. There would be only 23/. remaining for washing, firing, gas, taxes, &c., and amusements. Amusements ! You might safely put a big zero after that item. It would be the same in Paris, in Vienna, in Florence, in any other great city. To enjoy city life you must have money, and you have none. Without money the gayest city would seem dull, the loveliest scene lose half its attraction. Wherever you went a phantom purse of consumptive aspect would be constantly before you, and a voice be ever whispering in your ear, “Only twenty-five pounds a quarter!” You would feel inclined for a cup of coffee and a cigar, and would be just on the point of entering some cafe when the dreadful vision would flit before you, and you would hear the words, “ Beware, rash mortal! Only twenty-five pounds a quarter !” You would halt in front of a theatre and read the programme of the evening's performance. A new play! You would like to see it. You will purchase a ticket, but on the threshold of the ticket-office the phantom awaits you, and again you hear the warning words, “Remember! Only twenty-five pounds a quarter!” So long as you were exposed to temptation that spectral monitor would be always at your elbow, and would only leave you at the door of your apartment on the first-floor—down the chimney. There would be no temptation there, unless it were to throw yourself out of the window.

Are you discontented because here in the wild woods are no cafes, no restaurants, no shops, no theatres? You ought rather to be thankful that at every step you are not called upon to resist temptation. Have you grown tired of the view from your window? Have forest, lake, and river lost their charm, the charm of novelty, and do you wonder what you could ever have seen in them to admire ? Do you long for the sea, the mountains, the soft zephyrs and fragrant orange groves of the Sunny South? and do you feel perfectly convinced that you would never weary of Alpine scenery, or of gazing on the blue Tyrrhenean sea? Think what the old monk said of one of the fairest views on earth, that from the Convent of San Martino, at Naples : “Yes. It is fine, transiuntibus!” The old fellow had grown weary of looking down on the busy city beneath, of the bay, of Vesuvius, of the islands, just as men weary of everything in this world, just as you would grow weary of the most lovely prospect if you had nothing else to do than to look at it. Tine scenery may be likened to a zero; by itself it counts for nothing. You cannot eat it, nor drink it, nor clothe yourself with it. It is only when it comes after an unit that it has a value. Money is that unit, and you have it not. By reasoning in this way we should be able, we think, to rout the blue devils and to convince ourselves that, if not the luckiest and happiest of mortals, we were far from being the most wretched; that if for the rich man there are many more desirable residences than the Canadian backwoods, for the poor man there are many worse.

We have completed our backwoods year; it is the morning of our departure. From the verandah we take a last look at the rushing river and at lake and forest, now dazzlingly white in their winter dress. It is with dimmed eyes that we -do so, for with all their disadvantages we love the grand old woods. Shall we ever visit them again? Who can tell? Five times have we said, “Good night;” five times, cc Good morrow.” ‘‘On revient toujours a ses premieres amours,” and one of our very earliest was “Sylva Americana.”

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