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in collecting furs for the Company, or in killing buffalo for food. Not far off are two flourishing Roman Catholic settlements; but, considering that the object of good legislation in so wide and fertile a country should be to increase the population, and thereby the sum-total of human happiness, we were not a little surprised that a nunnery had been established at one of them. Round the fort, wheat, potatoes, and vegetables of all sorts are

produced in abundance; indeed, the whole of the Saskatchewan district through which we passed is capable of supporting a dense population. I may state also, once for all, that the scenery, though not grand, is highly picturesque and beautiful, with wooded slopes, green meadows, sunny uplands, lakes, streams, groves, and distant hills, yearning for an industrious population to give it life, and to fulfil the object of the beneficent Creator who formed them.

At Edmonton we exchanged our carts for packs and pack-horses, as with those alone could we hope to pass over the Rocky Mountains, or, at all events, traverse the regions on the other side of them.

We did not, however, travel faster, as the delay, when we had to cross rivers, in building rafts to ferry over our goods was greater. There was no great probability of our having to encounter any formidable enemies during our journey. We might, however, meet with Indians who might set envious eyes on our horses, and with grizzlies who might dispute our progress or wish to appropriate our provisions, and of course we should have rivers to cross, foods from melting snows to encounter, and thunder-storms and prairie fires, and perhaps avalanches and whirlwinds, and overturns and break-downs, and similar incidents, for which all travellers must be prepared.

We had been progressing for some days, when I observed Ugly-mug and Stalker examining the ground and talking earnestly together. They were evidently puzzled about something, for they called up Garoupe, who was in the rear, and held a consultation with him. I, seeing this, very naturally fancied that they had discovered tracks of a band of hostile Indians.

“No, monseur, noting of dat sort," answered Garoupe, who, being of a far more talkative disposition than Stalker, was generally spokesman, though his language was the vilest jargon of French, English, and Indian. “Voyez dere, monseur.

Dere is one wheel and two feet on de ground, and tell chose was never before seen on de prairies."

I looked accordingly, and after some time observed the mark of a wheel in the mud, and the footprints of a man. There was no trace of a horse or of dogs. What could it be? For once even the Indians were at fault. Trevor could make nothing of it, nor could I. At last Peter Stubble, who had been following the tracks in a meditative mood, exclaimed:

Why, to be sure, Master Beaver, it be nothing more nor less than a man a wheeling a wheelbarrow. What a fool sure was not to find that out afore. Sure, too, the Injans must have known all about it."

There was no doubt that Peter's surmise was right—that a man wheeling a wheelbarrow was a short way ahead of us; but, as the Indians had probably never heard of such a machine, it is not surprising that they should have been puzzled. Before long a dark object was seen slowly

moving along ahead of us, and Trevor and I riding on, we came up with a man pushing a well-loaded wheelbarrow before him. Even when we were close at his heels he did not stop nor turn round, but went on steadily, intent on his object.

“Hillo, friend, whither bound?” I sung out. “Westward, I guess,” answered the man, in a slow drawling tone, without looking up.

“What takes you in that direction ?" I asked.

“ To get gold. I've heard say it's to be found by them who looks for it in those parts. Maybe that's what takes you there."

“Not exactly," said I. “But the west is a wide region. To what part are you bound ?”

" To a part they call Cariboo. I guess that's the country where the gold grows,” he answered, looking up for the first time with one eye, adding, “And where was you raised, stranger? and where are you coming from? and where are you going? and what are you going to do? and what's your name?”

I replied to all his questions, telling him how we had spent the winter, whereby I was much raised in his opinion, and concluded by asking him his name.

“Habakkuk Gaby,” he answered, slowly, keeping his eyes turned on the ground before him, and stepping on at the same pace as at first. “I ain't by no means ashamed of the name.”

Of course we invited Mr. Gaby to camp with us, and, as may be supposed, he accepted our invitation, though not with the air of a person receiving a favour.

He placed his barrow so as to form part of our circle of carts, and, unrolling a piece of tarpaulin, stretched it out on two sticks, thus forming a low but weather-tight tent. Having made his arrangements for the night, he brought his tin mug and a handful of flour and pemmicon, and sat himself down at our camp-fire. Though he drawled out his words, he was not at all averse to talk about himself (whether or not he kept anything in the background, I am uncertain), and, before the evening was over, he had given us what he professed to be a succinct account of his history and adventures. I was raised down east, you see, strangers, but it weren't the country

There are too many sharp ones down there, so maybe I weren't much more than ten or twelve years old, when says I to dad, I'm off to the west, and so I was, and have kept going ever since, till I got to Californy, and then, as there was nowhere else to go 'cept into the sea,

I comed back again with a heap of gold; but somehow or other, though I was 'cute as most men, it made off with itself, and I was left with about twenty dollars in my pocket. While turning about in my mind what to do next, I heard of this ’nation fine country, and says I to myself I'll go there, and so, in course of time, I finds myself at St. Paul's in Minnesota, and I works my way along till I reaches Georgetown, on the Red River. I pretty nearly came there to an end of my travels, for one night, when every one in the place was asleep, we were awoke up with shrieks and cries such as I've no fancy to hear again. The Sioux were on us, murdering men, women, and children wherever the bloodthirsty varmints could find them. I got out of the back of the house with my rifle, and found some of the men of the place, and we charged the enemy,

for me.

and when they had killed about two-thirds of the people, we drove them out, and, you may depend on it, we did not spare any we caught-you may be sure of that. But we didn't catch many; they were off again like flashes of greased lightning after they'd done all the mischief they could. When I've made up my mind to do a thing I always go straight on and do it, and so I borrowed an axe, and, having felled a tree, I dug out a canoe fit to carry me down the Red River to Fort Garry, in the Selkirk settlement, belonging to the Britishers. Thinks I to myself, it belongs to them now, and so does all this fine country, but they don't know the value of it, and when we want it we'll take it, there's no doubt about that. I told you I had my gun, and I had a good supply of ammunition and some fishing-lines and hooks, and very little else except some flour and tea and sugar. With these things I embarked in my canoe, and began my voyage down the Red River.

One thing I may say, I never wanted food; but I am in no ways particular, and it was sometimes what you'd think rather curious, I guess. Day after day I paddled on, landing to shoot my dinner and supper, and to cook and eat it, till I found myself at Fort Garry. Now, thinks I, I have done with canoes, and so I changes mine for this here barrow. You see, as to a horse, I hadn't money enough to buy one, and, besides, there'd have been the trouble of hunting for him every morning, and then a cart would have cost much more than this barrow. Yes, I say there's nothing like a barrow; it don't want to eat, it won't run away, it carries all I want, I can lie down under it at night and sit up with my back against it in the day, and, when I travel, I goes on shoving it before me, singing or whistling, or thinking or talking to myself, as the case may be. So that's my history,

I ain't too proud of myself, but I won't let no man call me a fool.”

I assured friend Habakkuk that I had not the slightest wish to call him a fool or to think him one either, but, on the contrary, that I thought him a very sensible fellow, and should be happy if he joined our party.

As to that, mate, I'm independent now, and I mayn't be if I do; but I'll think about it, I guess," he answered, without in any way

thank ing me for my offer.

I will not describe how we had to cross rivers over and over again, and to follow up a trail which only the experienced eye of an Indian could distinguish. We had been travelling along the banks of a wide stream which of late had become rather too rapid to be navigable, when we reached a small lake, by the side of which we resolved to camp before continuing our ascent.

While supper was preparing I took my gun and strolled on by the shore of the lake with Ready, hoping to get a shot at some wild fowl, or a big horn—the sheep of the mountain-or a mountain goat known as the mouton blanc, or a marmot, or it might be at a grizzly, for it was the region where we might especially expect to meet one. The scenery was magnificent. High mountain ranges rose on either hand, some directly out of the lake, with snow-capped peaks above standing out against the deep blue sky, their images reflected in the mirror-like water. now glancing at the lake, now at the heights near at hand, where I fancied that I saw some big horns or mountain goats feeding. I was looking about for an accessible part by which I might reach them, when

mates.

I strolled on,

I heard the rustling of leaves among some underwood near me, and wishing to ascertain what animal was there, I climbed to the top of the fallen trunk of a tree which lay in my path. Bending aside the branch of a tree before me, I saw what I would rather not have seen so close at hand—a huge brown creature, a monster grizzly, busily employed in tearing open the rotten trunk of a tree for the sake of the insects therein contained. I retreated, hoping that I had not disturbed the gentleman in his entomological recreations. I was mistaken, however, for, as the bough sprang back to its former position, he looked up, and, before I could spring down, his quick eye had discerned me. To escape by flight was impossible. Had I attempted to run over the rough ground he would have overtaken me, and as certainly squeezed the life out of my body, so I stood still where I was, threw up my arms, and prepared to bring my rifle down to my shoulder to fire. "I had heard that the action I performed had usually the effect of making a grizzly bear stop and stand upon its hind-legs, or, rather, sit down with its fore-paws up. This, to my infinite satisfaction, my friend did, but he curled his lips, showed his teeth, and opened his huge mouth in a most unpleasant manner. My safety depended on my putting a bullet into a vital part. Should I only wound him, I knew that he would be upon me in a moment. It is not surprising that I should have hesitated. While I did so I heard a loud rustling among the branches behind him, and from out of the brushwood two other rather smaller bears appeared, squatting down by the side of their big companion, and looking at me savagely. Had there been only two of them, I might, I thought, possibly kill one with one barrel and one with the other, but how could I hope to dispose of three ? Even should I shoot two, the survivor would certainly pursue and attack me. All this time Ready, who had jumped up on the log, stood like a well-trained dog by my side. There was not a particle of fear in him. A word from me would have made him attack the bears, and proved his certain destruction. There they all three sat looking at me and grinning, and Ready and I stood looking at them, and thinking how we could best turn them into meat fit to be eaten. At last I determined to risk a shot, or rather two shots. I levelled my rifle. The hammer came down as I pulled the trigger, but there was no report ; the cap split and missed fire. The bears growled more fiercely than ever, and I thought were about to make a rush on me. I dared not attempt to fire the second barrel, for should that have missed I should have been entirely unarmed. I therefore gently lowered my rifle till I could put on a new cap.

The bears did not like the movement, and showed signs of advancing I was afraid that Ready would have flown at them. It would have been all up for him and me had he done so. I stood stock still for a moment, so did the bears; then I rapidly capped my rifle, fired first at the big fellow with a steady aim, and then at one of his companions, and, not stopping an instant to ascertain what effect my shots had taken, leaped down off the log, and ran off as fast as my legs could carry me, calling Ready to follow, and loading my gun as I went. A loud growl told me that I was pursued, and I then felt that I had done

very foolish thing in firing, and that I should be fortunate if I escaped with life and limb. Had it not been for the tree, my escape would have been impossible. The growls grew louder and fiercer. They were answered by a sharp bark. I turned my head. Two bears were

a

following me—the large fellow and a smaller one. From the neck of the first the blood was trickling down. My faithful Ready, seeing my danger, was trying to draw off their attention from me. He succeeded sufficiently, at the great risk of his life, to enable me to load one barrel of my rifle. Which of the two shall I shoot ? I asked myself. I selected the one already wounded. I fired; he stopped a second, and then came on more savagely than ever. He was close upon me, the other being only a little way behind. I must kill the big one or be destroyed. I stopped, faced him boldly-as dangers should always be faced-and fired. Not another inch did he advance, but immediately rolled over-shot through the heart. Still his companion remained unhurt. He continued to advance towards me, growling fiercely. In vain did Ready, with wonderful activity, endeavour to distract his attention. Had I attempted to fly he would have been on me in a moment. My only chance was standing still and keeping him at bay. I threw up my arms as before ; made as if I would run at him, though I felt much more inclined to leap backwards, and shouted at the top of my voice, hoping to frighten him; but all to no purpose. On he came, and in another instant I should have been made into mincemeat, or into a perfect hash at all events, when, just as the beast, having sent Ready flying on one side, was about to seize me in his terrible paws, a bullet whistled past my ear, the powder almost singeing my whiskers, and over he went, shot through the heart. I was safe ; but so sensible was I of the danger I had incurred, that for the first time in my life I felt my knees trembling under me. Recovering myself, however, by a great effort, I looked round to see who was my deliverer. About a dozen yards behind me stood Habakkuk Gaby, leaning quietly on his rifle as if he had been there for the last few hours, his countenance expressive of utter indifference to what had occurred.

“Wull, I guess you'd have had to squeak for it, mate, if I hadn't put that 'ere bullet into the critter. Howsomdever, I am glad you've escaped, that I am ; and now I vote we set to work to cut him up and eat him.”

Not having been educated as a butcher, I did not find cutting up a couple of fat bears on a hot day altogether very pleasant work, yet it was, I confess, far more agreeable than being torn to pieces and eaten by them, as would have been my lot had not friend Habakkuk come to my assist

He set about the work in a most artistic manner, carefully selecting the tongues and other tit-bits as, I suspected, his own especial perquisites. Ready especially seemed to think the operation excellent fun; indeed, he was able practically to enjoy it, till I was compelled to call him off from his banquet for fear that he would overeat himself

. All the time I kept eyeing the neighbouring thicket, lest the third bear might come to look for his companions, and catch us engaged in a manner which he might think fit to resent. Having cut up the two bears, Mr. Gaby made a number of thongs out of their skins, and with these he slung as much of the bears' flesh as he could carry over his shoulders. I followed his example, and the remainder we hung up in a tree, which we believed that we could again easily find when we returned to fetch it. Our arrival at camp was heartily welcomed by our friends, not the less so that we brought a handsome supply of fresh meat for all the party. The announcement that there was still more made our companions hurry off, not waiting for their suppers, to bring it into camp.

“ If we don't make haste, there'll be little else but the bones left for us

ance.

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