have not yet made the reader as well acquainted, perhaps, as I should
with members of our party, and it may be well to do so now.
Malone is a man with a keen sense of humor and an even disposition not
easily ruffled. He stands six feet three inches in his
stockings, and is something of an athlete. In
college, as I have previously mentioned, he was a baseball player, and
even yet loves to pitch a game “just to keep himself limbered
up.” He was once the leader of his party in the Connecticut
state assembly, but in politics as in athletics he believes in playing
the game clean and square, and as he opposed a powerful lobby and
certain railroad grabs that were against his conscience, he was not
returned to the assembly. For several years he has been city
judge of Bristol, and at present also fills the important office of
corporation counsel, besides conducting a private law
practice. The wilderness is his hobby, and he boasts that in
the several expeditions to the remote north in which he has taken part
he has always done his share of the work of the voyageur.
Blake is of short stature, but lithe and sinewy as an Indian.
Like an Indian he has straight black hair and is swarthy of
complexion. Indeed, he so resembles an Indian in appearance
and carriage that Judge Malone, upon first seeing him, supposed him to
be a mountaineer Indian attached to one of the camps at the
post. He is a trapper by profession, and in the far
wilderness of the Nascaupee River valley, spends the long winter months
on the fur trails with no other companion than his little Indian
hunting dog “Poppy”.
McLean and Henry Blake also have the swarthy complexion and straight
black hair characteristic of the trappers of the country.
They are about twenty-one years of age, and, like Gilbert, are trappers
by profession, spending the long months of winter in the deep
wilderness. These young men usually take up the work of
trappers at the age of fifteen and sixteen—frequently
younger. They learn to set traps, indeed, and to shoot almost
as soon as they learn to walk on snowshoes. Murdock is a big,
happy-go-lucky, good-natured fellow who laughs at hardships and forgets
to-day the sorrows of yesterday, carefree and ever ready for
adventure. Henry has a more serious nature, is even-tempered,
and thoroughly reliable. He has not as yet endured so much of
the isolation of the remote wilderness, with the extreme hardships
which it often entails, as Murdock.
other member of our party, and by no means an unimportant member, I
have hitherto failed to mention—Gilbert’s little Indian hunting dog
“Poppy”. He is Gilbert’s constant companion on the winter
trails, and finds for Gilbert many a good meal of grouse and
porcupine. I never saw a dog satisfied with so
little. He was thoroughly trained as a camp dog and he would
touch nothing, no matter how tempting a morsel, until he was invited to
do so, and game and fish could be left within his reach with perfect
safety and with the assurance that he would not so much as take a
sniff. He wore a coat of long silky hair of white and tawny
is the party then that lounged at our campfire in the forest on the
Beaver River that Sunday night, Poppy stretched before the blaze
dreaming of conquests of the hunt, the others of us enjoying pipes and
exchanging stories of the trail. It was here, I remember, the
Judge produced for the first time a tin whistle which he had brought
for amusement—and perhaps ours—and struck up “The Campbells are
Coming.” Presently we learned that this was the
only tune the Judge had mastered. When we complained at its
frequent repetition, he attempted others, but we were always glad to
have him return to “the Campbells are Coming.”
sat long before the campfire that night, drinking in the fir-scented
atmosphere and reveling in the smell of the burning wood, and
exchanging stories of adventure on the trail, for there were none of us
but had had his adventures; and when at last we rolled into our
blankets on our fragrant bed of boughs, the murmur of the river below
came to us as sweet music to lull us to sleep, for we did not know then
what it held for us.
Judge Malone was an explorer in his own right. Between 1910 and 1925, he made
nine trips to the Canadian North, including explorations of northwestern
Ontario’s Albany River in 1910, Manitoba’s Nelson in 1911 and the Moisie of
eastern Quebec in 1912. When he accompanied the 50-year-old Wallace to Labrador
in 1913, he was 34 years of age.
NL Premier Joey Smallwood
accepts Bottle of Churchill Falls from Churchill Falls Corporation, 1960.
The Grand (Churchill) Falls.
Pages 2 and 3 of annotated
contents of bottle. Malone enteries on page 3.
(Click for larger image)
Next: Chapter XVII: