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which Jacques announced to be the place of our destination for the night.

Very cold and tired, I impatiently got out of the sleigh, and made a rush towards the beacon, but at the first step went up to my neck in the snow; the weary leader, thinking I had found the right road, plunged in after me—to my great terror-and in this predicament we both remained till the Indians from the house came with lights, and hauled us out. Monsieur Boivin was the proprietor of the house where we were

the night. Its appearance was not favorable, and we found it did not improve on acquaintance. There was only one room, about thirty feet square, with two beds in the far corner and a stove in the middle, which kept it at oven heat. Our party consisted of the lady of the house, and three daughters, four men of the family, the five Indians, half-a-dozen dogs, and ourselves. While the men poisoned the confined air with each a pipe of filthy tobacco, the women cooked some brown unsightly mixture in an earthen pan on the stove, from whence arose stifling fumes of garlic. While a number of men such as these were smoking, the floor was naturally not in a very tempting state to lie down upon, but, having got some tea and biscuits out of our stores, we discovered two small islands in the sea of abominable expectorations, where we spread our buffalo robes, and settled ourselves for the night.

The dogs judiciously followed our example ; and, finding the soft fur a very pleasant bed, lay down along with us. We kicked and drove them off as long as we were able, but it was no use, they were back again the next minute.

Their perseverance prevailed, and a huge wolf-like one, and I, made a night of it.

When the men were snoring on the filthy floor, and the lights put out, the ladies, under cover of the darkness, took possession of the beds. I had the foot of the house-clock for my pillow, which, unfortunately for me, had been lately repaired, and ticked with the rudest health. This at my ears, the dreadful smells, and the baking-heat of the stove, kept me pretty well awake all night, and I fear I disturbed my wolf-like bed-fellow very much by my uneasiness. I believe, however, I had a sort of dream of the room being filled with house-clocks smacking and spitting,


and a huge Indian ticking at my head. As for the captain, he slept in a most soldier-like manner.

At earliest dawn the house was all astir ; the ladies re-appeared on the stage, the Indians were packing our camp-kettles and provisions on their tarboggins, and we were eating our breakfast. I may as well say that the tarboggin is a light sleigh, made of plank; scarcely thicker than the bark of a tree, bent up in front like a prow; this, with a moderate burthen, is dragged by the Indians over the snow by a rope to the shoulder, with but little effort.

These tasks were soon accomplished; and, accompanied by the five horrible Indians and the pack of miserable dogs, we started. These Indians are a remnant of the Huron tribe, settled at Sorette, where they have a church, houses, and farms. They live, during the winter, by hunting, and such excursions as our own, for which they charge exorbitantly; in the summer they labor a little in their fields, make snow-shoes and moccasins, and embroider with beads. They are not of pure blood : I believe there is only one of the tribe who is not partly of French Canadian extraction. It is a sadly degenerated race, cringing, covetous, drunken, dissipated, gluttonous, and filthy. They are even losing their skill in the chase, the only advantage they possess. But little darker than the Canadians in complexion, their hair is much coarser, and they have a savage and sensual expression peculiar to themselves. Their dress is the blanket coat and colored sash, blanket leggings, moccasins of moose-skin, and a red or blue woollen cap. They take no other clothing with them into the bush in the coldest weather. With their snow-shoes loosely tied on, and their tarboggin dragged from over the shoulder, they can get over a long journey without fatigue.

Our blankets, buffalo robes, and other necessaries, made up rather a heavy burthen ; they were left with three of the Indians, to be drawn leisurely after us, while we, with the others, went ahead in our snow shoes. We were very slightly clad for the journey; the exercise keeps the traveller quite warm enough in any weather.

It was a glorious morning! The sun shone out brightly as in midsummer, but clear and cold. Over the open space of the


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ittle settlement where we had passed the night, the new white snow lay like silver sand, glittering radiantly; from the wind of the day before it was in tiny waves, like the sea shore when the rippling waters of the ebb-tide have left it dry. The morning was perfectly still, the snow of yesterday lay thick and heavy on the firs and pines, unstirred by the slightest motion of the wind, and there was not a cloud in the sky. Though one of the extremely cold days, there was nothing painful in the sensations ; the air was thin and pure as on a mountain top: everything was bright and cheerful : the fresh snow, crisped by the severe frost, supported the snow shoe on its very surface, while we felt light and vigorous, and capable of unusual exertion.

There was no track, but the Indians steered for a huge old pine tree at the end of the clearing, on the verge of the forest ; here all signs of human industry ended. We stopped for a few minutes under its branches to look behind us on the abodes of

“ Now we are in the bush,'” said our guide. From thence to the north pole lay the desert.

We strode on for several hours under the pine trees, on level ground, at length stopping to breathe at the foot of a hill. The Indians trampled down the snow for a resting place, made a seat of sapins—the tops of fir trees, and brought us deliciously cold and pure water from a stream close by ; we heard its murmur distinctly in the silence of the woods, but could not see the little brook for some time; it was bridged over with ice and snow five feet deep, and only here and there, where there was a miniature cascade, was there an opening.

At noon we started again ; three more hours of walking over an undulating country brought us to a small river, where we determined to pass the night. Latterly our progress had been very fatiguing, the underwood was thick and rose over the five feet of snow; being unpractised, we tripped occasionally over the branches and tumbled,—the struggle up again was no easy matter.

In making a cabin for the night, the Indians took off their snow shoes and used them to shovel out a chamber in the snow, about twenty feet in length by twelve in width ; throwing the contents up so as to build a wall round it. They next cut some young fir trees and arranged them leaning against each other as rafters, to form a roof; cross branches were laid over these, and a ceil. ing of birch bark, which is here like broad pieces of leather, completed this part. An opening on one side was left for a door, and the centre of the roof, uncovered, was the chimney ; two large fresh logs were laid across the middle of the cabin, on which was lighted a pile of dry wood. The arrangement of the inside was a line of pillows, formed of snow, at both ends of the hut; our feet were to be close to the fire, half the party lying on each side of it. Sapins made up a soft couch on the cold floor, and buffalo robes were our bed clothes.

When these luxurious arrangements were finished, we went to the river, carrying an axe, fishing lines, and bait ; cleared a part of the ice with our snow shoes, and with the axe cut a hole in it, about a foot square, down to the water. The admission of the fresh air evidently gave the unfortunate trout an appetite, for, as fast as the line was put down, one of them pounced on the bait and found his way to our basket, where he was immediately frozen to death ; when he reappeared, to be cooked, he was as hard as if he had been salted and packed for six months. We soon got tired of this diversion, and returned to our lodging.

Indians had cut firewood for the night, and were busy piling it at the door; a large kettle, hung from the rafters by a rope made green

branches, and filled with a savoury mess of pork, peas, and biscuit, was boiling over the fire; a smaller one sang merrily by its side, with a fragrant brew of tea. The cabin was warm, and, with the robes spread out, looked very comfortable : loops of birch-bark in the clefts of two sticks stuck in the snow served as candlesticks : our valuables, including the brandy bottle, were placed in a leathern bag at the head of our sofa, and carefully


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We ate a few of the trout, and tasted the Indians' mess, but our main dependence was on one of the cases of preserved meats, of which we had laid in a stock for the expedition. We had boiled it carefully in water according to the directions, and one of the Indians opened it with an axe; we were ravenously hungry, each armed with a plate for the attack, but, to our great disappointment, such odors issued from it that even the Indians threw it away in disgust. We richly deserved this, for attempting such luxury in the bush."

The Indians all knelt in prayer for some time, before going to sleep; each producing his rosary, and repeating his devotions in a low, monotonous voice. The unfortunate dogs had not been allowed to eat anything—to make them more savage against the moose ; or to come near the fire, perhaps, to make them hotter in the chase; they all kept prowling about outside in the snow, occasionally putting their heads into the cabin for a moment, with a longing look. When, during the Indians' devotions, they found so long a silence, they began stealthily to creep in, one by one, and seat themselves round the fire. One, unluckily, touched the heel of the apparently most devout among the Indians, who turned round, highly enraged, to eject the intruder; he had a short pipe in his teeth, while he showered a volley of French oaths at the dog, and kicked him out; when this was accomplished he took a long pull at his pipe, and resumed his devotions.

About midnight I awoke, fancying that some strong hand was grasping my shoulders :-it was the cold.

The fire blazed away brightly, so close to our feet that it singed our robes and blankets ; but, at our heads, diluted spirits froze into a solid mass. We were very warmly clothed, and packed up for the night, but I never knew what cold was till then.

As I lay awake, I stared up at the sky through the open roof; the moon seemed larger and her light purer, than I had ever before seen; her pale, solemn face looked down on the frozen earth, through the profound stillness of the night, like a presence. The bright stars stood out boldly in the sky, throwing back their lustre into the infinite space, beyond where man's feeble vision is lost in boundless depths. Overhead, the bare branches of the forest trees wove their delicate tracery against the blue vault, softening but not impeding the view of its glorious illumination. It is impossible to describe the magnificence of these winter nights in Canada.

The cold was, indeed, intense ; my hand, exposed for a moment in wrapping the buffalo robe closer round me, was seized as in a vice, and chilled in a moment. I wrapped a blanket round my head, and my breath froze on it into a solid lump of ice.

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