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was no motion in the air, and the effect was quickening and exhilarating.

A small fire, which consumed a couple of houses, took place on one of these extremely cold nights; the struggle between the two powers was very curious, the flames raged with fury in the still air, but did not melt the hard, thick snow on the roof of the house, till it fell into the burning ruins. The water froze in the engines ; some hot water was then obtained to set them going again, and, as the stream hissed off the fiery rafters, the particles fell frozen into the flames below; there was snow three feet deep outside the walls, while within everything was burning.

For about three weeks after Christmas, immense numbers of little fish, about four inches in length, called tommycods, come up the St. Lawrence and St. Charles ; for the purpose of catching these, long, narrow holes are cut in the ice, with comfortable wooden houses, well warmed by stoves, erected over them. Many merry parties are formed, to spend the evening fishing in these places; benches are arranged on either side of the hole, with planks to keep the feet off the ice: a dozen or so of ladies and gentlemen occupy these seats, each with a short line, hook, and bait, lowered through the aperture below into the dark river. The

poor little tommycods, attracted by the lights and air, assemble in myriads underneath, pounce eagerly on the bait, announce their presence by a very faint tug, and are transferred immedi. ately to the fashionable assembly above. Two or three Canadian boys attend to convey them from the hook to the basket, and to arrange invitations for more of them by putting on bait. As the fishing proceeds, sandwiches and hot negus are handed about, and songs and chat assist to pass the time away. Presently, plates of the dainty little fish, fried as soon as caught, are passed round as the reward of the piscatorial labors. The young people of the party vary the amusement by walking about in the bright moonlight, sliding over the patches of glace ice, and visiting other friends in neighboring cabins ; for, while the tommycod season lasts, there is quite a village of these little fishing houses on the river St. Charles.

On New Year's-day, it is the custom for gentlemen to call on every one of their acquaintances, whether slightly or intimately known. It is very common too for strangers, at that time, to call with some friend who introduces them; and many people who have been on cool terms during the year, meet on this occasion and become reconciled. The ladies of the house sit in state to receive the calls, and do the honors of the cake and liqueurs on the side table ; the visits are, of course, very short,—merely a shake of the hand, and compliments of the season, for some people have to pay, perhaps, a hundred in the day ; but it is a friendly custom, and not unproductive of good feeling and kindness.

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CHAPTER VI.

Moose Hunting

In the end of February, the Captain and I started on a moose hunting expedition. We had arranged that four Indians should meet us at St. Anne's, about sixty miles from Quebec, to the north west, on the extreme verge of the inhabited districts. Jac. ques, the chief of the hunters, was to join us at Sorette, and guide us in our route.

We travelled in a low curricle, drawn by a couple of stout horses, tandem: a smaller sleigh with one horse followed us, containing our guns and camp stores. Wrapped up in our blanket coats and buffalo skins, we felt but little inconvenience from the wind, which came sweeping up the road, bearing clouds of sleet and drift. Day dawned as we passed out through the silent suburb of St. Vallière; the streets looked lonely and desolate, no one was yet stirring, and the snow during the night had obliterated all traces of the day before. As far as Sorette we had a broad, well-hardened track, but occasionally much encumbered with drifts; an hour carried us there, and Jacques was in waiting to receive us.

He immediately asked for something to drink, which we unwisely granted, for he soon grew very troublesome and loquacious, taking his place rather unsteadily in the luggage sleigh: whenever we stopped he demanded more liquor, but was refused; he begged that some of his wages for the expedition might be advanced; he assured us that he was a man of honor,

l and insinuated that we were by no means of a convivial temperament. In a short time he managed, in spite of us, to become intoxicated to such a degree that we threatened to leave him be. hind; but he had just sense enough left to lie down in the sleigh and sleep the greater part of the journey. Once these wretched creatures taste “ firewater," thev have no restraint over them, selves, and would give anything they possess, or risk their lives for more.

The country we passed through for some distance on either side of the road was cleared, but beyond that lay everywhere “the bush.” We crossed many streams half frozen over, where the waters rushed along through narrow channels in the ice, and tumbled over large transparent blocks accumulated at the bends. The white snow over the undulating ground, and the black lines of the hills and forests, gave the idea of an etching of the beauti. ful scene.

In Summer, when decked in nature's varied coloring, this is a lovely land.

The snow began to fall heavily and fast, and the roads became narrow and deep; every here and there we met sleighs laden with wood or corn, driven by inhabitants; when there is not room on the track to pass, they pull their horses to the very edge on their side ; the sleigh sinks down into the soft snow, which is five feet deep; by hanging on with all their might, they keep it from upsetting. Then our driver forces his horses past—the sleighs come in contact-ours, the lighter of the two, is pushed off the track ; the horses slip into the soft snow, plunge out again, and, with loud sacrés and marchez doncs from the driver, and struggling and balancing on our part, we pass by. Sometimes, however, the collision ends by both conveyances and their contents being upset and plunged into the snow, where we, wrapped up in our robes, and convulsed with laughter, remain quite as inactive as the sacks of corn in the opposing sleigh.

About nightfall we arrived at a miserable hamlet, some ten miles from our journey's end, and stopped at the George Inn-a log hut—for some little time, to rest our tired horses. There was only a har, and a sleeping room for the family, in this establishment. The proprietor was a Londoner, and spoke as if he had known better days. He told us that he was living comfortably, and was quite contented ; that he had not been beyond the township for years, but occasionally got a Quebec paper, which gave him news of the great world. As he showed us the clearing, of a few hundred acres, with some dozen wretched log-houses upon it from the window, the rapid progress of his adopted residence seemed to be a great source of pride to him. “ For,” said he,

“ when I came to this place thirteen years ago, it was quite in its infancy."

Darkness added very much to the difficulties of the journey ; but we were on an excursion for amusement, and wisely made even our troubles minister to the purpose. We descended by a narrow, winding road, to the ice bridge over the river St. Anne; on one side was a high cliff, whose top we could not see, covered with bare firs and huge icicles; below was much the same, where we could not see the bottom. When we were on the steepest part, the wheeler found the weight pressing on him from behind, inconvenient, so he sat down and proceeded in a slide. The leader, alarmed at this novelty, plunged forward into the darkness, and disappeared over the cliff at one side of a huge pine tree, while we, the sleigh, and the wheeler, twisted up into an apparently inextricable mass of confusion, remained on the other; the traces and reins still connecting us with the invisible leader, as we judged by violent jerks at the cariole, simultaneously with the crashing of branches in front. This time we laughed less, and did more, than on the other occasions. As soon as we crept from under the capsized vehicle, we tried to fish out the leader from the darkness into which he had fallen. Both the drivers, and Jacques, who by this time had slept himself sober, came to our assistance, and, after a good deal of hauling and whipping, and the use of some very strong language by the Canadian drivers, we succeeded in getting the animal on the solid road again. He had fallen across the strong branches of a pine tree, and for several minutes remained in this perilous situation, partly supported by the traces, and kicking furiously all the time; he was too much exhausted by this to be put to again, so we drove him on in front, and had to help him out of snowdrifts half-a-dozen times in the course of the remainder of our journey.

At length the other horses also gave in; it was as dark as pitch, and we had already travelled so far that we began to have a vague idea we had lost our way, in which our guide, the half-sobered Indian, seemed to participate. He, however, set to hallooing lustily; and, to our great joy we saw, in about a minute afterwards, a light in a house only a few yards off,

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