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The flame of the fire burnt blue in the frosty air; and, though it was still very powerful, the snow not a foot away from it was crisp and hard.

Soon after daybreak we were on our way again. This day's journey was through a rugged and mountainous country; in many places the way was so steep that we had to drag ourselves up the sharp hills, by the branches and underwood. When we came to a descent, we sat down on the snow shoes, holding them together behind, and skated along with great velocity, often meeting some obstruction in the way, and rolling over and over to the bottom; there we lay buried in the snow, till, with ludicrous difficulty, we struggled out again.

About once in an hour we stopped by some turbulent little stream, scarcely seen in the snow, to drink and rest for a brief space. The Indians took it in turn to go in front and “ make track," this being the most fatiguing province; they all steered with unerring accuracy, apparently by an instinct ; through the sameness of the forest, they, only, can trace the difficult route.

After about eighteen miles' journey, we struck on another frozen river; the guide turned down its bed about a hundred yards to the west, then threw his burthen aside and told us we were at the place for stopping that night, and within two miles of the “ Ravagé,” or moose yard, of which we were in search.

These animals sometimes remain in the same “ ravagé' weeks together, till they have completely bared the trees of bark and young branches, and then they only move away far enough to obtain a fresh supply ; from this lazy life they become very fat at this time of the year. Our cabin was formed, and the evening passed much as the preceding one, but that the cold was not so severe. Having worn off the novelty of the situation, we composed ourselves quietly to read for some time, and after that slept very soundly.

The morning was close and lowering, and the snow began to fall thickly when we started for the “ ravagé,” with four of the Indians and all the dogs; the fresh falling snow on our snow shoes made the walking very heavy; it was also shaken down upon us from the branches above, when we happened to touch

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them, and, soon meieng, wetted us. The temperature being unusually high that day, in a short time the locks of our guns were the only things dry about us. The excitement, however, kept us warm, for we saw occasionally the deep track of the moose in the snow, and the marks of their teeth on the bark and branches of the trees. These symptoms became more apparent as we approached the bottom of a high, steep hill; the dogs were sent on ahead, and in a few minutes all gave tongue furiously, in every variety of currish yelp. By this time the snow had ceased falling, and we were able to see some distance in front.

We pressed on rapidly over the brow of the hill, in the direction of the dogs, and came upon the fresh track of several moose. In my eagerness to get forward, I stumbled repeatedly, tripped by the abominable snow shoes, and had great difficulty in keeping up with the Indians, who, though also violently excited, went on quite at their ease. The dogs were at a stand still, and, as we emerged from a thick part of the wood, we saw them surrounding three large moose, barking viciously, but not daring to approach within reach of their hoofs or antlers. When the deer saw us, they bolted away, plunging heavily through the deep snow, slowly and with great difficulty ; at every step sinking to the shoulder, the curs still at their heels as near as they could venture. They all broke in different directions; the captain pursued one, I another, and one of the Indians the third : at first they beat us in speed; for a few hundred yards mine kept stoutly on, but his track became wider and more irregular, and large drops of blood on the pure, fresh snow showed that the poor animal was wounded by the hard, icy crust of the old fall. We were pressing down hill through very thick “ bush ” and could not see him, but his panting and crashing through the underwood were plainly heard. In several places the snow was deeply ploughed up, where he had fallen from exhaustion, but again struggled gallantly out, and made another effort for life.

On, on, the branches smash and rattle, but, just ahead of us, the panting is louder and closer, the track red with blood; the

; hungry dogs howl and yell almost under our feet.

On, on, through the deep snow, among the rugged rocks and the tall pines we hasten, breathless and eager. Swinging round a close thicket,


we open in a swampy valley with a few patriarchal trees rising from it, bare of branches to a hundred feet in height; in the centre stands the moose, facing us; his failing limbs refuse to carry him any farther through the choking drifts: the dogs press upon him: whenever his proud head turns, they fly away yell. ing with terror, but with grinning teeth and hungry eyes rush at him from behind.

He was a noble brute, standing at least seven feet high ; his large, dark eye was fixed, I fancied, almost imploringly, upon me, as I approached. He made no further effort to escape, or resist : I fired, and the ball struck him in the chest. The wound roused him; infuriated by the pain, he raised his huge bulk out of the snow, and plunged towards me. Had I tried to run away, the snow shoes would have tripped me up, to a certainty, so I thought it wiser to stand still ; his strength was plainly failing, and I knew he could not reach me. I fired the second barrel, he stopped, and staggered, stretched out his neck, the blood gushed in a stream from his mouth, his tongue protruded, then slowly, as if lying down to rest, he fell over into the snow. The dogs would not yet touch him; nor would even the Indians; they said that this was the most dangerous time-he might struggle yet; so we watched cautiously till the large dark eye grew dim and glazed, and the sinewy limbs were stiffened out in death ; then we ap

1 proached and stood over our fallen foe.

When the excitement which had touched the savage chord of love of destruction, to be found in every nature, was over, I felt ashamed, guilty, self-condemned, like a murderer: the snow defiled with the red stain ; the meek eye, a few moments before bright with healthy life, now a mere filmy ball; the vile dogs,

; that had not dared to touch him while alive, licked up the stream of blood, and fastened on his heels. I was thoroughly disgusted with myself and the tame and cruel sport.

The Indians knocked down a decayed tree, rubbed up some of the dry bark in their hands, applied a match to it, and in a few minutes made a splendid fire close by the dead moose ; a small space was trampled down, the sapins laid as usual, for a seat, from whence I inspected the skinning and cutting up of the carcase ; a part of the proceeding which occupied nearly two hours. The hide and the most valuable parts were packed on the tarboggins, and the remnant of the noble brute was left for the wolves: we then returned to the cabin.

The Indians were very anxious that I should go in pursuit of the third moose, which I positively declined, partly because I was very tired, and partly because I would have gone twice the distance to avoid such another murder. The Captain arrived in about an hour; he had also killed his moose, but after a much longer chase. The kidney and marrow were cooked for supper, and the remainder, except what the dogs got, was buried in the snow; the craven brutes ate and fought till they could no longer growl, and then laid down torpidly outside to sleep.

That night there was a thaw; our snow roof melted, and the water kept dropping on us till we were thoroughly wet and uncomfortable. In the place where we were encamped there were a great number of birch and pine trees; at this time of the year the former are covered with loose bark, hanging in shreds over trunk and branches: this is highly inflammable, burning with a bright red flame, and a smell like camphine; the Indians, by roll. ing it up tightly, make torches, which give a strong and lasting light. We determined on an illumination with these materials, to celebrate the events of the day; and, when the night fell, dark as pitch, we seized torches, made the Indians do the same, and started off in different directions through the wood, firing all the birch trees at the stem as we passed. I do not think I ever saw a more splendid sight than our labors produced ; fifty or sixty large trees, in a circle of a quarter of a mile, each with a blaze of red light running up from the trunk to the loftiest branches, twisting through the gloomy tops of the fir trees, and falling off in flakes, spinning round in the air, and lighting up the white snow beneath the dark arches of the forest, and the darker sky above. We wandered away still further and further, till the voices of the Indians sounded faint in the distance, still spreading our glorious illumination. The fires immediately about the cabin had burned out, and were succeeded by a darkness more profound than before, and we had no small difficulty, and some anxiety, before we again reached it. In this lonely desert we destroyed, without remorse, dozens of magnificent trees, which would have

been the pride of an English park. We were two days' journey from the haunts of men; for years, perhaps, no human foot will tread these wilds again ;-for ages none seek them as a resi. dence.

The Indians ate enormously, indeed, till they were stupified, and then smoked, prayed, and slept. That grinning villain, Jacques, intrigued zealously to get hold of the brandy bottle, but we were too wise for him, so the wretch sucked a couple more marrow bones, and became torpid : as the leader of the hunters, he honored us with his company at our side of the cabin, the Captain and I taking it in turn to sleep next to him. There was a little wind during the night, and the smoke of the green

wood which we were burning, became almost intolerable; it caused our eyes to smart severely, and there was no escape from it; for it blew about in volumes till morning, and was far more disagreeable than the cold of the first encampment. The moose meat had transported the Indians to the land of dreams, and rendered them indifferent to that or


annoyance. Jacques was very anxious that we should proceed in search of more moose the following day; but we had had quite enough of the sport and of his company, and determined to return. The baggage was re-packed, the spoil dug up and put on tarboggins, and we “ made track” for Quebec.

About half-way on our first day's journey, the dogs, now somewhat recovered from the effects of the last night's repletion, rushed up a hill near us, barking in rather a plethoric tone; there was a rattling of branches, and the next moment some halfdozen Cariboo, or rein-deer, went by us at a gallop, about a hun. dred yards ahead. Shots from both our double barrels rang through the woods, and so did the crashing of the underwood, as the uninjured herd vanished in the bush. It was useless to think of pursuing them, for their light feet sank but little in the surface of the snow, hardened by frost after the thaw of the night before, and they went by us like the wind. This adventure shortened the road, and we put up at the same cabin where we had slept the first night, lodgings being still vacant; but we had some work in shovelling out the snow which had since fallen. Two or three chattering birds like magpies, called by the Indians

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