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by piece by the current, and for a few days the skaters, the bands play, and the young the streams are choked with lumps of float- people gossip and amuse themselves; and I ing ice, which reduce the temperature of the am credibly informed that even a little flirtwater. Simultaneously, in the shallows, a soft, ing can be managed on skates. Happy the spongy ice grows up from the bottom, en
possessor of a good foot and ankle, and a circling the stones, and accumulating in the neat figure; these, for the time, almost eddies; then, some fine night, the tempe- throw the pretty faces into the shade. rature gets a little colder, and the rivers are Though, on the other hand, where does the bridged over for the season-leaving, how- pretty face look prettier, or the rosy cheeks ever, air-holes (so called) which remain open more rosy, than in the rink? Many of the till a much later period, sometimes all winter. girls are good and graceful skaters. The The rivers and lakes in New Brunswick form boy of the country is addicted to hockey, a perfect network, and in summer the voy- and is, I am compelled to admit, a nuisance ager can, with one or two trifling portages to the non-hockey-playing skating public; of his canoe, traverse the province from one happily, he is excluded from the rink. His end to the other by four or five different chief victim on the open is the timid, elroutes; and wherever there is water in sum- derly skater, or the beginner; such a one, on mer there is a good road in winter. Some-glare ice, surrounded by his tormentors, is times, in the beginning of winter, or after a indeed a pitiable object. I can see him now. thaw, the lakes and rivers are coated over He has, in an unlucky moment, shuffled into with glass ice; then teams, with heavy loads the centre of the hockey strife, or, more and jingling bells, may be seen trotting along probably, the strife has, with lightning-like merrily, side by side with skaters and ice- rapidity, closed around him; and there he boats.
stands, or rather wobbles, despair depicted Perhaps it is not generally known with on his countenance, beating the air with his what ease and speed journeys can be per- hands, his body bent to an angle of fortyformed on skates. From the mouth of the five degrees with the ice, with no power in river St. John upwards to Fredericton is his legs nor bone in his ankles, whilst his about eighty miles; and skaters frequently tormentors swoop and dart around him like accomplish this distance in the day. í so many martins round a sparrow-hawk. skated one hundred and fifty miles in two The river St. John averages about a mile days-one-half of the distance in rather less in width, and is thickly settled on both than six hours—and that without feeling any banks. In winter it becomes the great high fatigue or stiffness in excess of that felt after road of the province. As every settler owns a long day's shooting. In one or two straight a team, few people are to be seen walking reaches of the St. John River, a good skater, in winter; for when the pedestrian is overwith a breeze in his favour, can cover twenty taken by a team, he jumps on, whether inmiles in the hour. Skating at this pace can vited or not invited by the driver. And this only be compared to a gallop on a thorough he looks upon as his right; for a sleigh once bred: the peculiarly exhilarating feeling that in motion on the ice, a few pounds or a few pace alone can give is here enjoyed to per- hundredweights more or less is but a straw. fection, flavoured with just a spice of ex- In the latter part of the winter the ice meacitement when the skater charges a crack or sures from fourteen inches to eighteen inches a bit of shell-ice at this headlong speed. in thickness. From three to four inches of The skates used for long journeys differ from good ice is sufficient for a pair of horses and the ordinary ones in being much longer and load; and one inch, or one night's frost, will straighter in the iron. The “Acme," and safely bear a man. The skater comes OCother patent skates, though convenient for casionally to patches of clear, black, oilythe rink, are here useless.
looking ice, miles in extent, through which Every Blue Nose can skate, more or less; he can see every pebble in the bottom of but there is a marked improvement in the the river. As he skims along, youths dart skating since the introduction of rinks. The out from pockets in the bank, accompany St. John rink is one of the finest on the him a short way, pirouetting around him, continent, and both Halifax and Fredericton and then fly off again as rapidly as they apcan boast of very fair ones. In these enor-peared. Men fishing through holes in the mous wooden tents, well lighted by day and ice, for a hideous but excellent fish called the night, and fitted with every convenience for 1 kusk, are occasionally passed.
I happened to be staying for a few days career, struck the ball in one direction and in the town of Bathurst, on the northern himself darted off in another, giving me a shore of this province, a place well known look over his shoulder signifying "Come on.” to anglers, who are attracted there from far And on I went; but not sure whether I was and near in the summer-time by that pret- following a boy, or a merman on skates, or tiest of salmon rivers, the Nepisiguit. At
At a marine will-o'-the-wisp, or some other unthe time I am speaking of, it was the be known species of ice-fiend. But what is that ginning of winter, and the ice was strong but ahead on the ice? A lot of spruce bushes. rough. I wanted to go to the head of the Ah, now I am sure that my guide is an unbay, a distance of three or four miles; but canny thing—he has suddenly disappeared ! was rather nervous about the air-holes. No doubt he is taking a turn under the ice, Picking my way cautiously through the by way of a change. rough ice, I came upon a small French boy But I must go and see what the bushes steering in my direction, and followed him. are doing on the ice. There were six of He was a diminutive youth, with a shock them, all in a row, at intervals of about six head and fur cap, homespun shirt and feet, and they were simply little sheds or trousers—the latter immense, probably an camps to shelter from the cutting wind six old pair of papa's; they served this little individuals who were fishing most assiduman for coat, waistcoat, and continuations, ously through as many holes in the ice. It the ends being tucked inside his boots, and was plainly a family party-father, mother, the upper part tied over his shoulders with three girls, and a boy; and by all that's fishy, a bit of tape. At the time, I thought he was the boy is my little friend! Mamma sat on the best skater in the world, as he rolled a three-legged stool in the centre of the along on the outside edge, one arm plunged family group, and the ice around her was into the paternal pocket, the other one em- covered with frozen tommy-cods. That woployed in carrying a crooked stick as long man must have been the best tommy-cod as himself
. He saw I was following him, fisher in the world. and a nice dance the urchin led me. On I can fancy a disagreeable person remarksmooth ice I could keep up to him; on ing, "But what art is there in catching fish rough ice I was nowhere. The young wretch through a little hole in the ice with a yard soon perceived this, and took advantage of of string, a hook baited with fish, and six it. Fancy a river, with a strong stream and inches of stick as a handle?" strong breeze meeting it, instantaneously I should reply, “Disagreeable person, I frozen over by magic, and it will give you will bet you a trifle that with similar appasome idea of the places this youth piloted ratus and a fair start that woman will catch He never ell, noi
even made a six tommies to your one;" for so skilled was false step. Now and then, when he hap- that female angler that she never drove the pened upon a bit of smooth ice, and I was hook any harder into a fish's mouth than a long way behind, he would perform some was just necessary to lift it gently out of the fantastic feats for my edification. Once we water and deposit it on the ice, where, after passed a lot of boys playing hockey. I a few wriggles, it was frozen stiff. Surely, cannot do justice to the conduct of my little that lady had a light and sure hand on a friend. He scented the battle from afar. tommy-cod! She had a basket full when I The pluck he showed was admirable. Put-came—they all had baskets full—but the ice ting the crooked end of his stick to the ice, around the old lady's throne was, as I said and bending down till nothing was visible before, strewed with fish. The governor sat to me but a small pair of skates supporting on a trabogen, brought, no doubt, for the an enormous pair of pants, with a little shout purpose of hauling home the fish. The he plunged into the thickest of the fray. children sat on lumps of ice. My small In less time than it takes to relate, he was friend had, I think, been getting a wigging out again at the other side of the crowd, for neglecting his business—I imagine so zigzagging like a snipe, shoving the ball be- from his behaviour when I took six tommyfore him, and pursued by twenty enraged cods out of his basket, and gave him in reyouths. They could not touch him; he did | turn the large sum of ten cents. He stood just what he liked with the ball. Three or up, the easier to deposit the coin in his cafour of his pursuers lay sprawling on the ice; pacious pocket, and gave a triumphant look then he paused a second in his headlong at mamma—who had narrowly watched this little mercantile transaction—as much as to heard of by me was performed by a youth, say, “You can catch them, but I am the last February, at the foot of the river Restiboy to sell them.”
gouche. Fishing for tommy-cods through On my remarking to the governor that the ice, he felt a tremendous pull; fortunately the fish seemed pretty plentiful, he replied his tackle was equal to the occasion; and, that they had not commenced to bite well hand over hand, the lucky fisherman hauled yet, that the water was not cold enough. out a fresh-run twenty-pound salmon. Think "Well," thought I, "fond as I am of 'casting of that, ye scientific anglers! What an igangles into the brook,' I don't think I noble end for such a noble fish! But this should care for tommy-cod fishing on a re- is an extremely interesting fact for those ingular good fishing day.”
terested in the natural history of the salmon, Bidding adieu to this interesting group, as it goes far to prove that a run of fish I made my way towards another figure that come into the mouth of the rivers along with I observed in the distance, apparently churn the sea trout, and long before the ice breaks ing; but on approaching closer I found up. that he, too, was a fisherman. His appliances In a forest land like this, it is unnecessary were an ice chisel and a four-pronged barbed to say that lumbering is carried on largely spear, with a twenty-foot handle. With the in the winter. Although the trade has delatter he was diligently prodding the mud preciated much in the last few years, the through a hole in the ice, now bringing up people cannot give it up: the farmers have an eel on the point of his spear, now a stick; no other employment in winter. So a few and the ice around him for many yards was words about the lumberer and his doings. covered with eels in three different stages of He is so naturally associated with the woods, preservation-viz., some alive and wriggling that any attempted description of wood life briskly along, some frozen as hard as sticks, would be incomplete without him. I have and some half-frozen, half-wriggling. I traversed most of the woods and rivers of thought it was the most wonderful take of New Brunswick, and have never yet found eels I had ever seen; but this fisherman a place, however remote, without traces of complained bitterly of his luck. Formerly, his industry. Like the tree-chopping animal he said, he could spear 200 or 300 through of the country—the beaver-he leaves his the same hole; now he had to cut a dozen mark behind him. With the first fall of holes to catch the same number. It seems snow he hies into the woods, and remains that some new settlers came to Bathurst, there till the spring; then he takes his logs who fished on Sundays, and fought for the down the rivers, and for a brief period the best places. Since this unseemly work com- towns are inundated with these sailors of the menced, the eels had gone somewhere else. woods. They go in gangs of from six or I need not say that the discovery of this eight men up to twenty. They build log pious and amiable trait in the character of camps for themselves and their horses, and the eel afforded me, as a naturalist, the great make their own roads. Each camp has a main est satisfaction, and I pursued my way re- or "portage road," in which provisions are joicing.
portaged sometimes from as great a distance In some New Brunswick rivers, large as twenty or thirty miles, and this gives full quantities of bass are taken in scoop nets employment to one team when the gang is through the ice. In the Miramichi alone, I large. They breakfast in the woods before am informed that over one hundred tons of daybreak, dine about ten or eleven, have a these fish have been taken in a winter. bite at two or three o'clock, supper at six, Smelts, a most delicious little fish, are taken and a "lunch” before they turn in—not bad in great number at the mouth of every brook. living. And at any hour of the day or Brook trout take the bait voraciously in the night that a stranger happens to visit them, fresh water; and sea trout, sometimes at- on go the kettle and frying-pan, and he is taining to the weight of 8 lbs., are taken in treated to the best they can give him; for the mouths of the larger rivers; so that there their hospitality is unbounded, sometimes is no time of the year-winter or summer embarrassing. Once or twice, travelling in -in which we are not supplied with fresh the lumber woods, I have had occasion to fish. Salmon (kelts) are sometimes caught call in at eight or ten camps in the course by the trout-fishers; but the most extraor- of the day, and at every one of them I have dinary feat in fishing that has ever been been actually compelled to partake of a
INTRODUCES THE FAMILY.
dinner, a luncheon, or a bite. In a camp when real tea is not to be got, spruce, raspof twenty men the division of labour is as berry bushes, Labrador plant, tea plant, follows:The boss; the cook—who has no anything in fact, is used as a substitute; but sinecure; the teamster and the teamster's hot brownish-coloured water is a sine quâ assistant—the latter functionary is sometimes called the “the teamster's devil,” and their joint work is to tend their team, and haul GUMMER'S FORTUNE. logs from the stump to the river bank; five
BY JOHN BAKER HOPKINS. broad axemen, who square the logs; the head swamper---- .e., road maker--and five or
CHAPTER I. six assistants; and four or five fallers of trees. Their wages vary from twenty-five BORN, bred, and living over forty years to fifteen dollars a month, with food; the at Bow, of course I do not set up for cook, teamster, and broad axemen receiving an aristocrat by blood or training. I am the highest rates. Their wages, when looked not ashamed of my birth or breeding; and into, are not so high as they might appear if I could be unbred and unborn, and have on paper, for it frequently happens that to come into the world again, I would not they only receive a certain portion in cash, choose other parents, not if dukes and the balance being made up in goods, clothes, duchesses were offered. But I am not such &c., at high prices, from the stores of their a false-tongued booby as to say I am glad employers. The horses are hard-worked, my father was not a duke and my mother a having often to haul the logs a distance of duchess, and that I did not lie in the cradle four or five miles; they are fed mainly on with a gold spoon in my infant mouth, and oats, hay being expensive to portage, and a coronet on my infant head. Because the they do not last very long in the lumber gooseberries I was born to and can get at woods. The woods lumbered are the pine are sweet, and agree with me, I do not call and the spruce; the former is in the greatest the grapes that are out of my reach sour. request, and the best of it has been picked My father—when I was on the mortal out. Flour, pork, tea, and molasses form side of my teens the male parent was not a the staple of the lumberman’s diet. The “governor”—was what the true story books amount of flour and pork consumed in the call a self-made man. He began by cobwoods is prodigious. Lumberers look down bling; and by hook, crook, toil, and pinchupon moose and cariboo meat, and will not ing rose to a well-stocked boot and shoe touch beaver or rabbit
. I have often thought shop, besides money in the bank, and two that a long continuance of pork and flour or three freeholds. Not long before he diet must have a stupefying effect upon the died, he said to mehuman brain. I would put it to any one
“Tom, mine is case of uppers, soles, who knows the labouring Irishman in his stitching, and everything a-giving way afore native land and the native Irishman on this their time. And why, Tom? It's the concontinent, if they remember a case in which sequence of everlasting work and no play. he had not left his mother wit behind him Carefulness is wise; but being for ever and in the green island with his potatoes and a day piling up the coins, Tom, and no enmilk. I have seen the Irish at both sides joyment, is a fool's trick. It's a stupid bee, of the Atlantic, and the difference in this Tom, which starves to death because she is respect is most striking, In the lumber too busy to taste the honey." country, I blame the pork for it. I am sure I was an only child; and if ever a woman that, if the body of a lumberman were dis- was proud of her son, that woman was my sected, a deposit of pork fat would be dis- mother. Whatever I said or did was so uncovered somewhere in the region of the commonly clever. The only care was about liver! The lumberer's Sunday dish is a my health. Could such a precocious child "Bang-Billy," by no means an unpalatable bé reared? The doctor hoped the best, and morsel let me observe, but the havoc it must knew his business better than to tell my make with the digestive organs of ordinary mother that her fears were moonshine. people is terrible to contemplate. Its sole “If that boy lives, he will set the Thames ingredients are flour, fat pork, and molasses. on fire.” As for tea, no one in the woods ever thinks “If Tom is spared, leave him alone for he has had a "square meal "without it; and getting to the top of the tree.”