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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

 XXVI

INDIANS HAVE PLENTY OF HARD TIMES

Some of our provisions were still too wet to pack with safety, and we were not therefore to resume our advance until the following day; and while Gilbert devoted himself to drying and reassembling the outfit, the Judge and I set out to explore our surroundings.

Judge Malone had discovered, when fishing the previous evening, a beautiful fall in the river a mile and a quarter above camp.  We now visited this fall, which we shall call Roger Newell Fall, and found that it had a drop of about twenty feet, at this season, and about twenty-five feet from high water mark.

Here I left the Judge, and climbed into the hills for a view of the upper valley and river.  What I saw was anything but reassuring.  There was an abrupt rise in the country above the fall, and the river, as far as I could trace it with the naked eye from a high eminence, was broken into several channels, and poured down from the higher level a frothing white torrent.

Before I left him at the falls, Judge Malone pointed out to me a comparatively fresh moccasin track in the gravel, and not far away, in the rocks, the charred coals of a fire, indicating that Indians had been here since the ice had broken up and the spring floods had subsided.  Later in the day the Judge explored the Charles Riley River for several miles above its mouth, discovering another fall in the river, and other fresh Indian signs.  One of these signs was a pole set at an angle, and pointing east-southeast.  This indicated that Indians had passed away, and in the direction of Groswater Bay, after snow had gone, avoiding the Beaver River.  When the Judge reported his discoveries in the evening, Gilbert asked:

“Did you follow the trail out, and see any twigs partly broke off, and leaning the way the trail went?”

The Judge had not.

“That’s the way the Indians marks their trails, when they’re hard up for grub, or starving,” explained Gilbert.  “The Indians that set the sign likely went out that way to some lakes.  I’ve heard them tell about some big lakes being in there.”

“What makes you think the Indians that made these signs might have been in trouble?” I asked.

“There was a bunch of Indians camped at my place at the mouth of the Nascaupee just before the break-up in the spring, and they were expecting twelve more that didn’t show up,” answered Gilbert.

“The twelve that didn’t come out were hunting up in here somewhere, and the crowd at my place got worried about ’em , and held a medicine dance.  The medicine man said that the ones that were missing were in here and hard up for grub.  They would have come in to look but the break-up was just on and they couldn’t travel with snowshoes or canoe.  The party that was missing never did show up, and we thought likely they had gone out south.  But according to these signs, they were here after break-up.”

“Do the Indians here very often get short of grub?” asked the Judge.

“Yes,” said Gilbert.  “When caribou are scarce, like they are now, Indians have plenty of hard times.  When they has plenty to eat they’re very religious and pray and thank God every day for giving ’em grub; but when they are hard up, they hold medicine dances to find out what’s the trouble, and where the deer are gone.”

Between camp and Roger Newell Falls the river was impassable for canoe, and this made necessary a portage to a point above the falls.  Gilbert blazed and opened a trail through the woods along the base of the hills, and in the evening carried the canoe in order to expedite our departure the following morning.

Upon his return to camp Gilbert cut a pole which he fixed into a sloping position on the boulders near the river, its top leaning in the direction of the scene of our camp, which was also the beginning of the newly made portage trail.  Here he conspicuously blazed a tree.  The sloping pole and blazed tree were to serve as guides for Murdock and Henry when they should arrive later.  On another tree he scored off a flat surface, and with an indelible pencil wrote a message advising the young men of our mishap.  On this tree, and above the message, he hung our tent stove—which was of no use to us now, without the pipe—for Murdock and Henry to take back with them upon their return to the post; for it had been decided that they were to turn back from the point where Malone, Gilbert and I should leave the Beaver River valley to cross to the Susan River.

These preparations completed, we re-packed our outfit, and made ready for an early start the following morning


Roger Newell Falls

 

Next: Chapter XXVII: This River Is Like A Bad Woman