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remains of a heavier growth are visible in clusters of blackened trunks ten to fourteen inches in diameter. During the afternoon we anchored to measure the rate of the current. The river is 200 yards broad, and it flows three miles and a half an hour. Its average depth is seven and a half feet.”

The land on the east side of the river was examined by Mr. George Simpson, D. L. S., during the past season all the way from the “ Elbow” to the Middle Crossing (Batoche's) and pits were dug every twenty miles to the depth of four feet. Excepting a little in the neighborhood of the Elbow, all land passed over and examined by him was first class. He reports that along the river the soil is rather sandy. These views are in accordance with my own. Later still a correspondent of the “Globe” reports that in this sandy belt, Mr. Clark, who keeps the ferry at the Telegraph Crossing, informed him that, though the soil was not particularly promising in appearance, it was remarkably productive. “Everything in his garden grew and matured admirably this season, and he is very confident that grain would do well here. Large quantities of small timber are to be found along the banks of the South Saskatchewan within easy reach, and altogether ‘Aroline or the Telegraph Crossing' as it is called, promises to become a prosperous settlement in time.”

On the west side of the river the surface of the country is drier and less broken than on the east. Although the soil is sandy loam and contains some gravel and in places boulders on the surface, taken as a whole, the district between the two rivers, south from Duck Lake, to the Moose Woods, will make a fine agricultural settlement. I know that all manner of reports have been spread regarding it, but I still cling to my own opinions, corroborated as they are by the thorough examination of Mr. Simpson and the intelligent correspondent of the “ Globe” who remarks of the section west of the river:

“For the first few miles this morning the trail led along fine uplands, from which we were enabled to take our last look at the great discolored slopes away to the north of the river, where the purple bronze of the leafless bluffs contrasted richly with the limitless stretches of pale yellow prairie grass, a glorious boundless expanse that will some day be dotted over with countless farm houses, and be the home of a hardy, wealthy, and prosperous community, but which is now only pressed by the stealthy tread of the coyote as he chases the timorous hare, and where even the lonely moose is seldom disturbed by the prowling half-starved savage.

“As we left the bank of the great prairie stream of the north, we passed through broad stretches of treeless plain, where the soil is both rich and dry, but the presence of many small boulders is likely to render it unpopular with farmers so long as the settler has so much choice country from which to select.

“We have travelled some twenty-nine miles according to our own estimate of distances through open, treeless prairie, where the soil looks rather light and gravelly, but where the rich growth of buffalo grass would indicate that it is much more productive than it appears to be. Indeed it is rather difficult to judge fairly of a prairie country at this season of the year, as everything looks parched and dried up with the severe frosts of early winter.”

Westward of this tract the country gradually merges into the broken ground along the southeastern part of the Eagle Hills. Before reaching these, Eagle Creek is crossed iowing through a valley covered with tall rich grass, and beyond, the hills rise in tumultuous masses without any order. Nearly all the land is good. In all the valleys the grass was of sufficient length for mowing. Excellent fresh water is found everywhere. Few localities could be found better adapted for stock raising than this part of the Eagle Hills. Should fire wood and shelter be wanted all that is necessary

is to move farther north towards the Saskatchewan, where there is abundance of both in the Eagle Hills. Numerous brooks of never failing water flow from the hills into the Saskatchewan.

CHAPTER VI.

Character of Country between lat. 52o and 53° West of

Manitoba.

Porcupine Mountain-Country on Red Deer River-Soil very Rich-Exhaustless Fertility

of the Carrot River Country-Prince Albert Settlement-Its Early History-Wonderful Progress in a few Years—Description of the Settlement-Many Houses in Course of Erection-Fall Sowed Wheat a Success—No injury from Frost-Duck Lake Settlement -Fort Carlton and its Vicinity-Country between the Rivers—Eagle Creek-The Bear and Eagle Hills-Land South of Them-Description of Battleford and Vicinity-Its Future Sketched Out—Land in the Neighborhood-Character of Soil— Police Farm at Battleford—The Government Farm-Remarkable Vitality of Seeds—Depth of Roots in the Soil—Plain South of Battleford—Coulées of the Plain—Their Origin-Country North of Bear Hills—Splendid Pasture Land—Water Abundant-Grasses of the Plains -Cause of Absence of WoodConstant Prairie Fires—Why the South side of a Hill is without Wood—What Causes Aridity-Description of Hand Hills—Cactus not a Proof of Aridity of Climate-Fine Rich Land South of Battleford—Immense Area of Good Land-Manito Lake—Sounding Lake-Neutral Hills-Fine Pastoral Land to the Southwest-Land around Sullivan's Lake-Fine Land West of Sounding Lake Rich Country at the Head of Battle River—Millions of Tons of Hay in This Region-General View of the Country-Lakes Filled with Fish—Beaver still Numer. ous—All Lakes and Ponds Filled with Birds in Spring and Fall-Bears and Wolves Numerous some Seasons, but Never Injurious Except to Small Stock.

THE Porcupine Mountain lies west of the Duck Mountain, and is separated from it by Swan River and its valley. It is bounded on the east and north by marshes, but on the south and west it passes by easy transitions into the more elevated plateau to the west. The “ Mountain ” itself is covered with a heavy forest of spruce and aspen. The trees, being preserved from fire by the surrounding marshes, attain a large size.

Red Deer River, emptying into the northwestern corner of Lake Winnipegoosis, passes through a fine country. Its upper part possesses a soil only excelled by that of Carrot River, a fine stream which flows parallel to it and empties into the Saskatchewan, east of Cumberland House. All travellers and explorers unite in praising this extensive region, and settlers who went there two years since, have produced enormous crops on soil which is practically inexhaustible

Marcus Smith, C. E., who travelled through this region in 1879, thus expresses himself regarding it: “We travelled southward from Fort a la Corne to Carrot River, and up the banks of the latter to its outlet from Water Hen Lake. Here we found several fields of wheat with very heavy erops nearly ripe, and two farm homesteads. I examined the well at one of them and found a depth of six feet of black mould on the top, with sixteen feet of stiff clay loam to the bottom of the well. Mr. Robinson, the proprietor, informed me that this summer fourteen farms had been selected and a number of farmers were coming in next spring.

“ We started from the Lake on a course 30° east bearing for Little Quill Lake, and reached the summit of the range without difficulty, about nineteen miles from the Lake, in which the rise is less than 200 feet. The surface of the ground is very uniform, the soil of the richest quality, and several feet in depth. It is equal to the best parts of Manitoba -chiefly prairie with scattered clumps of poplar and willow, till near the summit of the ridge, which is nearly covered with a forest of poplar. Between Humboldt and Quill Lakes the country is variable in some places, low and swampy where there is much willow brush, but eastward of this line, where the trail crosses the telegraph line, there are several miles of a beautiful park-like country, the trail wandering in open glades through groves of aspen. Before we reached the Quill Lake we came upon an alkaline plain extending northward to the telegraph line; this continues eastward to near Fishing Lake, and probably also to some considerable distance north of these lakes."

Prince Albert settlement, situated between the two branches of the Saskatchewan, was originally a Presbyterian Mission established about fourteen years ago by the Rev.

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