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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

 XXIII

DISASTER IN THE RAPIDS

It required the best effort of Judge Malone and myself, hauling upon the line, to propel the canoe.  Gilbert, with his pole lashed to the bow, guided it with infinite care, shouting to us now and again, “hold!” or “go ahead!”  He had just called “go ahead! after a brief halt to get a better footing on the boulders, and we were pulling with all our strength when the canoe was suddenly caught by cross-current, careened, bottom in toward the boulders, the water swept over it filling it with a rush, the powerful force caught the flat surface of the bronze tablet from below, and in the twinkling of an eye the tablet was lifted like a feather and was swept away together with such of the outfit as was lashed with the same line that held the tablet.  Some of the bags we could see far down on the crest of the waves.  One fifty-pound bag of flour was thus carried all the way to the quieter waters, above the mouth of the Charles Riley River—nearly half a mile—before it sank in the eddy.

The torrent had forced the canoe hard in against the boulders, with the bottom against the bank, the top toward the stream.  Gilbert grabbed it and held the bow in, while Malone and I ran to his assistance.  Several articles made fast by lashings that did not break, were removed, and the canoe lifted up upon the boulders.

It was all over in a moment.  “Then we stood and looked at each other in speechless dismay.

“The tablet is gone!” said the Judge presently.

“Yes,” I said, “it’s gone!”

“And Hubbard’s pennant and flag are with it!” said I.

We had brought that tablet all the way from New York and had cared for it as tenderly as we could have cared for a child.  The object of our journey was to set in position upon the rock that guarded the sacred spot where Hubbard died.  Now, suddenly, without a moment’s warning it had been snatched from us by the angry waters!

At first it seemed incredible that the tablet and pennant were really lost, and the discovery stunned us.  For years I had dreamed of the time when I might erect the memorial to my friend, and now when the dream seemed on the point of realization I was rudely awakened to the fact that it was not to be an accomplishment after all.  With loving thought and loving hands Hubbard’s admirers had designed and fashioned the tablet, and had entrusted it to our care with the confidence that we would place it finally in position.  With tearful parting and a sister’s love the pennant, a precious keepsake and perhaps the last reminder of his college days, had been given into our hands with the confidence that we should carry it to the spot where his life work ended.  With affectionate care we guarded and watched the tablet and pennant through weeks of travel and vicissitude only to have them snatched from us now, without a moment’s warning, by the angry waters.  There is little wonder that our loss fell upon us with a disheartening effect—that we felt with its first realization that we had been robbed of the object of our expedition, and that the result of all our efforts had been lost with the tablet.   

When we had recovered from the momentary shock of the disaster, Gilbert started down the riverbank on a run, leaping from boulder to boulder to boulder, in anxious pursuit of our vanishing outfit, a bag of which appeared at intervals, a dark smudge upon the foam-crested waves.  The Judge and I turned our attention to the things that had already been saved.  We carried the canoe to a safer position upon the rocks.  Upon examination we found it uninjured, and this was a source of satisfaction.  The contents of the bags we spread in the sun to dry, and fortunately my instruments and records were among these.  The larger part of the equipment, together with nearly all our provisions, had been carried away; but during the afternoon we succeeded in recovering much of the former, and practically all of the latter, discovering the major portion of the packages in the slack water and eddies near the mouth of the Charles Riley River, though one or two of the lighter bags were found on the rocks nearly two miles below the scene of the accident.  In the course of this work of salvage, Gilbert ventured too far from shore, in quest of an elusive bag, and was swept from his feet.  With presence of mind he lay limp, without a struggle, until he found himself in slower water, where he was able to gain the shore with no other injury than a bruised chest, the result of coming in too intimate contact with a rock during his unpremeditated trip through the rapid.

As we realized the full extent of our calamity, we were stunned.  It was a heartbreaking occurrence.  We did not care so much for the loss of the outfit; we could improvise, and do without that.  But the precious bronze tablet was gone!

When a thorough search of the river had been made for a considerable distance below the scene of our mishap, and everything that could be discovered had been rescued, we assembled our goods upon the boulders near the canoe, and took account of our losses.  These we found not only included the bronze tablet, the flag and the pennant, but also Gilbert’s rifle, our entire culinary and cooking equipment—excepting one frying pan and one small tea pail, our best ax, the pipe belonging to our tent stove, and some minor outfit.

One interesting incident occurred in connection with the accident that is worth mentioning.  Judge Malone had placed his fishing rod, which was assembled, in the stern of the canoe, the butt thrust forward between bags at the bottom of the canoe, the tip extending back and well out over the stern.  The line was reeled in with the exception of about two feet, and at the end of this a fly dangled.  At the moment the canoe careened the dangling fly touched the water, a trout took it forthwith, and when the rod was put ashore the trout was fast and well hooked.

 

Next: Chapter XXIV: Taking Stock