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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ILLUSTRATIONS

CHAPTER I:
A JOURNEY OF SENTIMENT


CHAPTER II:
THE FATAL ERROR


CHAPTER III:
DUTY FIRST


CHAPTER IV:
A MAN'S GAME


CHAPTER V:
A PERMANENT MEMORIAL


CHAPTER VI:
WILL THE ICE TURN US BACK?


CHAPTER VII:
STORMY VOYAGE


CHAPTER VIII:
RETURN TO NORTHWEST RIVER


CHAPTER IX:
A CHIEF VOYAGEUR


CHAPTER X:
THE BEAVER IS A BAD RIVER


CHAPTER XI:
SOUNDING THE BIG LAKE


CHAPTER XII:
BREAD WITHOUT BAKING POWDER MAKES ME SICK


CHAPTER XIII:
I NEVER TRAVELS ON SUNDAY


CHAPTER XIV:
VIRGIN AS GOD MADE IT


CHAPTER XV:
FIRST PORTAGE


CHAPTER XVI:
TRAIL COMPANIONS


CHAPTER XVII:
MURDOCK'S RAPID


CHAPTER XVIII:
TRACKING THROUGH BOULDERS


CHAPTER XIX:
MARCH TO YOUR FRONT LIKE A SOLDIER


CHAPTER XX:
IT'S ALWAYS BAD LUCK TO TRAVEL ON SUNDAY


CHAPTER XXI:
WORST COUNTRY FOR GAME I EVER SAW


CHAPTER XXII:
BACK TO GET THE BAKING POWDER


CHAPTER XXIII:
DISASTER IN THE RAPIDS


CHAPTER XXIV:
TAKING STOCK


CHAPTER XXV:
GRAPPLING


CHAPTER XXVI:
INDIANS HAVE PLENTY OF HARD TIMES


CHAPTER XXVII:
THIS RIVER IS LIKE A BAD WOMAN


CHAPTER XXVIII:
NO RELIEF FROM WADING


CHAPTER XXIX:
HELL AND TWENTY


CHAPTER XXX:
BACKPACKING TO THE SUSAN


CHAPTER XXXI:
VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH


CHAPTER XXXII:
THE MIND WORKS CURIOUSLY


CHAPTER XXXIII:
RELIVING THE PARTING


CHAPTER XXXIV:
MARKING HUBBARD'S BOULDER


CHAPTER XXXV:
A NEW DISASTER


CHAPTER XXXVI:
THE HARDEST BIT OF TRAVELING I EVER DONE


CHAPTER XXXVII:
SOMETHING WORTHWHILE UP THERE IN THE HILLS


NOTES

PHOTO GALLERY

COLOUR SLIDE GALLERY

ADDENDUM TO
THIRD EDITION

COMMENTS ON THE
NAMING COMPULSION

BACK TO THE LABRADOR WILDS

 XIII

I NEVER TRAVELS ON SUNDAY

“Now are you boys sure nothing else was forgotten?” I asked when we were finally seated at the table.  “William may as well bring everything we need when he returns.”

“Have you got a bible? “ inquired Gilbert.

“I have a testament—the same that I used on the Hubbard expedition,” I answered, “and Judge Malone has a bible.”

“I always take one with me when I travel,” explained Gilbert, “but we started in such a hurry I forgot it this time.  William needn’t bring mine if you and Judge Malone has yours.  I was going to ask him to bring it.”

Directly after breakfast, provided with two day’s rations, William left us and was presently rowing down the lake on his way to Northwest River, in pursuit of the evasive baking powder.

“Will we travel to-day?” asked Gilbert when William was gone.

“Yes,” I answered, “Why do you ask?”

“Well, it’s Sunday,” Gilbert explained,  “and the boys don’t feel like making a start on Sunday, and I don’t like to either.  It brings bad luck.  I never travels on Sunday.”

“Do you think, Gilbert, it would be observing the Sabbath any better lying about the cabin here and sleeping or telling stories, than paddling up the river under God’s open sky, breathing His good fresh air?”  Paddling easily up the river won’t be work.  We won’t make work of it.  For my part I know I’d feel a great deal nearer God out there than penned up in this stuffy cabin.”

“I don’t know,” answered Gilbert.

“It has always been my rule”, I continued, “to make Sunday a day of rest, unless necessity forbade, and I’ve always done so at the beginning of a trip; but later on in my wilderness journeys I’ve always felt compelled to work Sundays in order to get through the country.  If we had been working hard now it would be different, but we’re perfectly fresh.  Judge Malone’s time is limited.  He must be back by a certain date.  Next Sunday we’ll be tired and we’ll rest, and we shall probably have to lie up somewhere an extra day or two waiting for that baking powder.  It isn’t raining, and I think we better take advantage of this, too, and go on.”

Murdock and Henry had joined the conference as listeners.  They said nothing, but were evidently opposed to traveling.

“Is it a matter of conscience, boys?” I asked.  “If it is, neither Judge Malone nor myself will compel you to do anything that your conscience forbids you to do.”

“It don’t seem to me right to work on Sunday,” said Murdock.

“I never works Sundays when I’m trapping—unless I has to,” said Henry.

“That is just it,” broke in Malone, “unless you have to—unless circumstances make it necessary.  We are going in the country here to set this bronze plate in position.  We don’t know how much time it is going to take, but we promised those who assisted us in procuring the tablet that we would erect it where Hubbard died.  We have only a limited amount of time at our disposal.  If we are to set this tablet up—and we are going to—we must take advantage of every good day of travel.  That makes it necessary to travel on Sunday.  It is a case where Sunday work is necessary work.”

Thereupon the Judge proceeded to argue that the Lord had never forbidden us to work on the Sabbath—that he had done necessary work on the Sabbath himself, and had declared it no sin, and to clinch his arguments the Judge quoted scripture in support of his statements, as he would have cited cases and quoted law in a court.

“It is admitted by you boys that it is necessary for us to travel whenever conditions permit, if we are to get through.  The only question to be decided then is whether or not the Lord permits us to perform necessary work on the Sabbath.  I think I’ve shown that the Lord makes it a duty for us to do necessary work on the Sabbath.  Anyhow,” said the Judge in conclusion, “idleness in this instance would tend to thoughts and perhaps audible utterances that even liberally interpreted would not be construed as reverent.”

The Judge in the end won the case.  The court of last resort gave a decision in his favor, and we prepared for immediate departure.  Our canoes were loaded, presently, and with a feeling of vast relief we turned into the little lake which receives the waters of the Susan and Beaver Rivers. The last reminder of civilization was behind us, before us lay the great silent wilderness.

It is exhilarating to feel that you are entering the portal of an unknown region whose secrets you are presently to discover.  It is a realization of this, and the fact that he is to behold rivers and lakes and mountains that none but the roving Indians had seen before him, which lures and fascinates the explorer.  Our explorations were to be restricted, but they were to be explorations of a virgin region, nevertheless, and we felt the lure.


Murdock McLean and Henry Blake possibly going back for the baking powder


Gilbert Blake, Voyageur

 

Next: Chapter XIV: Virgin As God Made It