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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

 XVII

MURDOCK'S RAPID

“We’d better get poles ready, I’m thinking,” said Gilbert as we finished breakfast Monday morning.  “We’ll need ‘em to-day, and we better fix ‘em up before we start.”

We had been able to secure at the post but two pole shoes—iron caps to secure to the end of poles to prevent the poles from slipping on the rocks of the river bottom.  Gilbert and Murdock proceeded to cut each pole of proper size, strip the bark from it and fit the shoe upon it, while Malone, Henry and I “struck” camp.

We had not ascended the river far before the poles were needed, for directly above our night camp the rapid began.  With but one pole for each canoe the Judge and I left Gilbert in charge of ours, while we explored in the woods along shore.

We all fancied that a little way above the rapid would end, but the farther we went the swifter and more tempestuous grew the water.  While the river occasionally ran in a single channel, it was more often separated into several channels with the space between the channels piled with round, smooth, polished boulders.  Wooded hills, high and steep, rose straight from the boulder-piled shores.  There was no longer any valley other than the riverbed.

The Judge and I were standing on the north bank of the river in mid-afternoon, watching the men, a little way below us, poling up the rapid.  Henry stood on the opposite bank.  Gilbert in the larger canoe, was in advance of Murdock, and he turned to the shore, where Henry stood, for a brief rest to permit Murdock to overtake him.

Directly below Gilbert and Henry was the mouth of a creek of considerable size.  This creek poured down the mountainside in white cascades, and where it entered the river created a treacherous cross current in the river rapid.  Murdock, failing to take account of this, poled straight into the cross current, the canoe shot from under him, he disappeared in the white foam, and in an instant his canoe, running wild, was shooting down the rapids in danger of destruction.  Murdock had scarcely disappeared in the water when Gilbert and Henry sprang into the other canoe, and paddling like mad to increase their speed in the swift current were in hot pursuit of the runaway.

My concern was chiefly for Murdock, whom I knew could not swim—few Labrador men can—and it was a great relief to see him crawl up the rocky shore, where a kindly eddy had caught him, and shake himself.  A few months before, one of Murdock’s nephews was drowned, and several years ago one of his brothers lost his life by drowning.  William Montague had lost his father and a brother—at different times—in this way.  Scarcely a year passes that a drowning tragedy does not fall upon the folk of Groswater Bay.

Presently Gilbert and Henry, chasing the wild canoe, drew alongside it, Henry, with a display of great skill leaped into it without slackening speed, and in a moment had it under control and was guiding into a shore eddy, where he made it fast.

The canoe was nearly filled with water, and it was found necessary to unload and empty it.  Fortunately, however, no more serious damage resulted.  Murdock laughed at his wetting and the mishap, and in a little while we were on our way again.  Because of this incident we immediately christened the rapid “Murdock’s Rapid.”

 

Next: Chapter XVIII: Tracking Through Boulders