On the fourth day after parting
from Elson I reached the vicinity of Hubbard’s camp. The snow
had not ceased to fall during those four days, and it was falling
heavily at the time. Vainly I searched for the tent, but
could not find it, and never found it. The next day I went
farther up the valley, to be sure that I had not mistaken the location,
for the snow had changed the whole appearance of the country.
That night I heard voices of people
speaking to me—friends who had been long dead. The next day,
and frequently during the days that followed, I heard men
shouting. I shouted back at the empty wilderness, for the
shouting men were phantoms of my fevered imagination.
Finally I came to the belief that
rescuers had found Hubbard, and failing to find me in the thick snow
had taken him out, and that I was alone in the wilderness.
Then I turned back down the valley toward Grand Lake.
I lost all count of days and the
measure of time. It seemed to me that I had been wandering
for weeks. The snow continued, and I remember I fell down
often in the drifts and the walking was painful.
One night the snow ceased to fall
and the sky cleared. The next morning four trappers found me
in the snow. My feet were frozen, and I was too weak to
walk. They told me the date was November 1.
Fourteen days had elapsed since I left Hubbard. They also
told me that Elson had killed four porcupines and grouse for food, and
in good strength had reached them at Grand Lake two days previously.
Allen Goudie, Donald Blake, Duncan
McLean and Gilbert Blake were the rescuers. Gilbert and
Duncan remained with me; Allen and Donald proceeded at once in search
They found the tent. Its
front was closed, and snow had drifted high about it. They
removed the snow, and opening the tent peered in. Hubbard,
wrapped in his blankets, slept; but it was the eternal sleep from which
there is no earthly awakening.
They made his body safe from
prowling animals, and returned to me with our records. From a
long entry which he had made in his diary directly after Elson and I
left him, it was evident Hubbard lay down to sleep that very day and
never awoke. Following are the closing words of this
am not suffering. The acute pangs of hunger have given way to
indifference. I’m sleepy. I think death from
starvation is not so bad. But let no one suppose I expect
it. I am prepared—that is all. I think the boys
will be able with the Lord’s help to save me.
Hubbard had played his “man’s
game”, he used to call it, to the end, as a man should.
For many weeks I lay helpless with
gangrene in my feet, but a party which I dispatched for the purpose
during the winter brought Hubbard’s body out of the wilderness to
Northwest River; and when I returned home in the spring, I brought it
with me, that Hubbard might be accorded a Christian burial in
Next: Chapter V:
A Permanent Memorial