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excitement, and the effect of which half-breeds, but pique themselves very was to make us all sleep so soundly much on their French origin; look that we missed some sport in the upon the " sauvages" with immense night. A large animal crossed our contempt, and talk an old Norman camp and awoke two of us, who seized patois, which is very intelligible. They their rifles, and jumped up just in time are most valuable servants to the to hear the plunge in the water, and Hudson's Bay Company; possessed of see indistinctly an object swimming great powers of endurance and knowacross the river, but they could not ledge of the country, their Indian tell whether it was a bear or a carri- blood renders them convenient chanboo. At all events, it was the only nels for intercourse with the different animal except a skunk that we saw tribes for trading purposes. They upon the St. Louis. The principal are hardy and independent, not more drawback to travelling in this part of dishonest than their neighbours, and America is the almost utter absence easily managed by those who underof all game; so that not only is sport stand their peculiar temperament. out of the question, but there is an Those in the neighbourhood of Supeactual difficulty in procuring means of rior have profited from the rise in the subsistence with the rifle in case of value of property, and have not been the supply of flour running out. We improved by their intercourse with tried the St. Louis with fly, bait, and the Yankees, and increase of wealth. troll lines, but without the slightest Our voyage up the St. Louis was success; indeed, the appearance of somewhat tedious, notwithstanding the water is anything but promising; the occasional beauty of the scenery, it was the colour of coffee-so dark where broad reaches were dotted with as to make navigation very dangerous. green islands, or high rocks comThe utmost vigilance often failed to pressed the river within a narrow discover a jagged rock not three inclies channel; and we were glad, after havbelow the surface, upon which a severe ing ascended it for about eighty miles, blow might possibly have sunk us on to turn off into a small tributary, called . the spot. As it was, we were often the Savannah River, which was not obliged to jump out into the water, more then ten yards wide. Although and every evening there was a great there was comparatively little curdeal of patching up, with gum, of rent, our progress here was even wounds received on the bottoms and slower than in the St. Louis. In places sides of the canoes. The dexterity of the channel was almost choked up the voyageurs in everything connected with fallen trees, drift-wood, weeds, with the incidents of our mode of and debris of all sorts-a prominent travel was marvellous. Whether it feature in which was frequently the was displayed in punting the canoe up wreck of a canoe. The banks being a foaming torrent with long poles, or composed of soft clay, slides often discovering with quick glance hidden occurred, carrying with them their rocks, quite imperceptible to the inex- growth of trees, and which, collecting perienced eye, and avoiding them in the beds and narrow parts, form with inimitable presence of mind, or what are called "rafts." Sometimes, in carrying heavy loads over rocky where a tree had fallen right across the portages, or cooking excellent dishes river, we were obliged to lift the canoes with inadequate materials, or making over it, and, more often still, to press a cosy camp with a bit of tarpaulin them under the logs, and jump over and a few branches, or mending the them ourselves. Some of these trees, canoe with strips of bark and gum, we observed, from their pointed ends, they were never without resources; had been cut down by the industrious and if not interfered with, were good, beaver; and the voyageurs showed us active servants; but they resented in the remains of a former dam. The the highest degree any dictation upon danger of sharp rocks was here exmatters in which they were proficient, changed for that of snags; and it set and we had no inclination to disturb our teeth on edge to hear the grating arrangements which were the result of a pointed stick along the bottom of of long experience, and always proved the thin bark canoe. The effects of advantageous. The voyageurs are this were soon apparent, and we found
our canoes leaking heavily before the in every direction, was very great. close of the first day in the Savannah. The voyageurs said they had never The stream wound sluggishly between low banks covered with long grass, from which shot lofty trees, aspen, maple, ash, elm, birch, hemlock, pine, and fir, that met overhead, and formed an agreeable shade from the noonday sun. It was just such a jungle as would have been considered good tiger cover in India; and yet here not even the chirp of a bird broke the perfect stillness, which is one of the most striking peculiarities of American forests, and which often exercises a painfully depressing influence upon the spirits. Nevertheless, as the sun glanced through the thick foliage, the effects were certainly pretty, and there was a novelty in the style of navigation which rendered it full of interest. We passed the smouldering embers of a camp-fire of a party of Indians, and shortly afterwards the voyageurs pointed out to us a rock which is worshipped by them, and on which every person that passes puts an offering of tobacco for the benefit of Manito.
After we had followed the tortuous river for some miles, we suddenly found ourselves in a labyrinth of channels winding among long rushes, and we were informed that we had entered the great Savannah itself. As, however, the rushes almost met overhead, it was impossible to form any impression of it, so we contented ourselves with poking on, trusting to the instinct of our voyageurs not to lose themselves in the singular and intricate navigation in which we were now engaged.
At last we saw a clump of tall birch-trees, for which we steered, and found ourselves upon a small circular island, which afforded a comfortable resting-place, and from which we could take an inspection of the Savannah, which was nothing more than a boundless swamp, covered with wild rice (the stalks of which were sometimes ten or twelve feet high), and dotted over with islands similar to the one upon which we stood, and from which sprung tall birch-trees, their white stems forming an agreeable variety in the endless expanse of pale green rushes. The exertion of forcing our canoes along the devious channels which intersected this swamp
seen the wild rice so rank and abundant. The seed was quite ripe, and very sweet, so we amused ourselves plucking the ears and eating their contents as we pushed slowly along. Sometimes we grounded on floating islands of vegetable matter, at others were deluded into the idea that it was practicable to punt, and were only undeceived by sticking the pole so deeply into the mud that it required all hands to pull it out. Very often the channel was altogether choked, and the rice was so thick that paddling was impossible; and we only extricated ourselves by the most violent and united efforts. It was upon one occasion while thus engaged, and unable to see three yards in any direction, that we suddenly found ourselves face to face with a naked savage, alone in a bark canoe, who, glowcring at us through the rushes, looked as if he was some amphibious animal indigenous to the swamp, and whose matted hair, hanging over his shoulders, was no improvement to a hideous face daubed over with ashes, and which displayed some terror at so unexpected a rencontre. His first impulse evidently was to escape, but that was impossible, and as we looked amiable, and addressed him through one of our Indians, he seemed reassured, and told us he had returned from an expedition against the Sioux; that he was the husband of the woman from whom we had got the bear, and was now on his way to Fond du Lac, to revenge the death of his relative, who had been murdered there, and for whom, he said, pointing to the ashes upon his face and head, he was then mourning. As our dough diet was beginning to tell upon some of the party, we were glad to exchange some powder with him for a partridge and a pigeon; and so we parted with mutual good wishes, and left this wild man of the lakes and forests to proceed on his solitary mission of blood and vengeance. The only other incident, in the course of our passage through the great Savannah, was the appearance of a flock of wild ducks, one of which C. shot; but as it dropped among dense rushes, we were obliged, after a long search, to give up all hope
of finding it. Our night-quarters, in this delectable region, were the most disagreeable we had as yet experienced. We had reached a shallower part of the swamp, and were obliged to get out of the canoes, and walk for about a mile up to our waists in mud and water. At last we found a dry spot, on which we made our fire, and strewed long grass, as usual, for our beds, and looked over the cheerless marsh in a somewhat desponding frame of mind. We had already been nearly a week en route, and had not succeeded in procuring an ounce of fresh meat by our guns; our salt meat was exhausted, which we scarcely regretted, as it had been rancid from the first; and a considerable quantity of our flour had got wet at the bottom of the canoe, and was spoiled in consequence. We had a portage of sixteen miles before us for the following day, and, according to the account of the Indian from whom we had just parted, there was scarcely any water in the Little Savannah, where we hoped again to launch our canoe. The Indians, moreover, determined to return, as they were approaching so near the country of the Sioux, that they began to feel a little nervous about the safety of their "hair;" and had therefore come to the conclusion that, after seeing us safely across the portage, they would not be justified in exposing their scalps to further risk. The voyageurs took a rather gloomy view of matters generally, and would venture upon no opinion as to the probable date of our arrival at St. Paul's. We had already occupied twice the number of days in reaching our present point that they had specified at starting; and so they sulkily said, as they had been wrong before, they would give us no information upon the subject, beyond that of assuring us that the distance to St. Paul's was considerably over 500 miles; and as I had but a very little time at my disposal, this was by no means comforting. To add to our miseries, a dense mist settled heavily down upon the swamp, and we could feel the chill damp air eating into our very bones; myriads of musquitoes, against which we had no protection, literally hived upon us, and B. complained of feeling ill. Indeed, we were all more
or less affected from contact with the poisonous ivy, from which he seemed to suffer most severely. His face and head were so much swollen that his eyes were scarcely visible, and his hands and arms were double their natural size. This, we were assured by the voyageurs, resulted from our having slept on a description of plant which they called poisonous ivy; and certainly, although neither A. nor myself were so much disfigured, our fingers looked very much like Boulogna sausages. Altogether, I did not fall asleep in a happy state of mind, more especially as, when in the act of doing so, I made the discovery that my blanket was already completely saturated with moisture. We generally lay pretty close together, but that night an ordinary blanket would have covered us all four very easily. It was our usual habit for the first who should awake to give such a yell as not only to rouse the rest of the party, but to startle them so effectually as to render it impossible that they should again relapse into a state of somnolency. Sometimes it was the lève, lève of the voyageur that first fell upon the unwilling ear; but we were more often frightened into our senses by an unearthly screech from A., who used to think he had done his duty, and not being in the least startled himself, drop contentedly off to sleep again, with the pipe hanging gracefully from his lips, which he had inserted the last thing the night before.
When day dawned upon the Savannah, however, it found us all wonderfully lively, for everybody had been lying awake on the look-out for it for some time. At last the morning sun dispelled the mist. We pulled
on our mocassins, wrung the water out of our blankets, swallowed a jorum of pure green tea, eat a pound of dough, and were only too glad to make a start. Having cached the small canoe for the Indians to return with, we commenced dragging the other after us, and wading for two miles through a tamarack swamp, often so deep that we were obliged to balance ourselves upon poles, where a false step would have buried us in mire. Altogether it is considered the worst "carrying place" in the northwest-a character which the wrecks
of canoes, smashed in the attempt to carry them over, fully justifies. At last we reached the edge of the Savannah, where we made a distribution of effects, and with our separate loads started off on our walk across the water-shed, having finally left the streams which run into the gulf of the Lawrence, with the intention of launching our canoe upon the head waters of those which flow into the gulf of Mexico. The Indians, who carried the canoe, took a different route from that which we followed under Le Fêve's guidance, upon which alone we were dependent, for there was not a vestige of a path to an ordinary eye. Le Fêve, however, assured us that we were on the north-west trail, and that if we went on long enough, should reach the Red River settlement, and ultimately the shores of the Pacific, by the most approved route. We were, in fact, following the line of the projected railroad to the Pacific by the northern route, an enterprise the importance and magnitude of which may render it an interesting subject for consideration on a future occasion. The dividing range is composed of ridges of drift hills, covered principally with young birch, maple, and pine, on the tops of which are many enormous boulders, derived principally from granitic, gneissoid, and schistose rocks. The aspect of the country generally was tempting to the settler, and the view we obtained from the highest point of our route, and which had an altitude of about fifteen hundred feet above the sea-level, was charming in the extreme. Wellwooded hills, and valleys, and meadows with long rich grass, bore testimony to the fertility of the soil, while numerous lakes sparkled in the sunshine, and formed a most attracting picture; and I could not but believe that this country, which looked so bright and smiling even in a state of savage nature, was only waiting for the hand of man still more to gladden and to beautify it.
At our feet lay a small lake, with grassy plains extending to the water's edge, dotted with clumps of wood, and watered by tiny meandering streams, the course of which was marked by fringes of long rank grass. We could
just discern in the distance our Indians towing the canoe down one of these, until they reached the lake, which they crossed, and found their way out of it by another equally insignificant rivulet, called the Little Savannah River. Meantime we dived into the woods again, sometimes to come out upon grass country, sometimes to push our way through scrub and bush, and sometimes to wander through a forest of red pine, where no underwood impedes one's progress, or spoils the effect of those straight lofty columns which shoot upwards to a height of forty or fifty feet, and then, spreading out their evergreen capitals, completely roof in one of nature's grandest temples. At last we reached a small stream, where we waited for the canoe. This portage is always necessary; but at other times of the year, when there is more water, the distance is considerably reduced. The method of floating a heavily-laden canoe down a shallow stream is very simple, though somewhat tedious. The voyageurs hurriedly construct a series of little dams, and when enough water is collected to float the canoe over the shallows, they open them successively. It is, however, less trouble to lift an unloaded canoe out of the water altogether. Our voyageurs used to trade chiefly with the Indian tribes on Vermilion Lake, taking up cotton goods, blankets, tobacco, rum, &c., and receiving in return peltry, horns, &c. They go in the autumn, live with the Indians all the winter, and return in the spring, very much dissatisfied if they do not clear 100 per cent profit upon their outlay. The stream they were now engaged in damming up in the manner described, was the first we had reached flowing into the Mississippi; and although it was so small that a lady could have stepped across it without inconvenience, still its direction alone exercised a most cheering influence upon our spirits. A few miles lower down it fell into the Prairie River, a stream twenty yards broad, and deep enough to admit of the embarkation of the whole party.
The reason that travelling in wild countries is congenial to certain temperaments, does not consist, as it ap pears to me, in the variety of scene or
Once upon a Time.
adventure which it involves, so much as in the vividness and diversity of the emotions which are experienced. For, as all pleasure derives its intensity in a great degree from the existence of pain, so the many drawbacks and discomforts of a rough life only serve to render its amenities more thoroughly enjoyable to those keenly susceptible of external influences. Thus our voyage down the Little Savannah River would have been robbed of half its attractions had we not undergone a miserable experience upon the great Savannah swamp. As it was, a few hours changed entirely the aspect of affairs. Instead of punting laboriously against an overpowering current, or forcing our gloomy way amid sedge and rush, or tramping wearily, with loaded backs, through mud and
water, we were now gliding easily
LETTER TO EUSEBIUS.
ONCE UPON A TIME.
WE are advancing, my dear Eusebius, down the stream of time, and leaving real Antiquitie behind. That mystery should have a verse at parting. I ended my last with a sonnet, and commence this with another. Let Antiquitie hear
And in lone nights in the moon's paleness steepest
The love-writ records of mortalitie.
While thy compeer, Oblivion, from within
Old shattered tombs, and dry decay, and dust, Comes forth in gloom of twilight, and with
Cold finger droppeth soft corroding rust
Pass we on, then, to ever-living Shakespeare. You may travel with him, if you please, in our little volume, from London to Stratford, and so to and fro, and take your supper with him at
the hostelry, the Crown, in the Cornmarket in Oxford. But before you see Shakespeare in the presence of Queen Elizabeth, indulge yourself with a little intervening episode of Queen Elizabeth herself visiting the sports of Mayday, when May-day was kept; before the "Puritans waged war with the Maypoles, and, indeed, with all those indications of a full-hearted simplicity, which were the echo of the universal harmony of nature," as Mr. Charles Knight well remarks; and as truly adding, "The Maypoles never held up their heads after the Civil Wars. The strait-laced' exulted in their fall; but we believe the people were neither wiser nor happier for their But to Queen Elizabeth removal." a-Maying-how pleasantly graphic is the description!"The scene, Wind
Her most gracious majesty is busily employed in brushing up her Latin and her Castle at the same time, doing Horace's Art of Poetry into execrable rhymes, and building private staircases for the Earl of Leicester. Her employment and the season make her aspire to be poctical. She resolves to see the May-day sports; and, sal