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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

 VII

STORMY VOYAGE

Our voyage northward along the Newfoundland coast was a stormy one, with much wind and fog and rain.  Now and again, when the fog lifted, innumerable icebergs were southward to waste away in warmer seas.

On July 1 the weather cleared sharp and cold, and as we steamed across the Straits of Belle Isle, the low, rock-bound coast of Labrador, still harboring many snow drifts, and stretching away in lonely desolation, loomed into view.

To our great disappointment the ice pack was close in shore.  We met it at Cape Charles and anchored near its edge, and it seemed for a time that the Invermore could go no farther north.  Fortunately, however, an offshore wind sprang up near midday, the ice began to drift and loosen, and very slowly and cautiously the Invermore wormed her way through the leads, taking every advantage of them as they opened.  Dropping and weighing anchor a dozen times that day, we made small progress, and night found us in Francis Harbor, scarcely an hour’s run from Cape Charles, with the solid pack before us again and gloomy prospects for the morrow.

But the pack was moving slowly and steadily eastward.  All night we heard the ice grinding against the ship and felt the shock of the larger pans as wind and tide drove them against her sides, and when morning dawned a clear sea lay before us.

Shortly after noon on July 4 we steamed into Indian Harbor, and to our great satisfaction found the Yale, a trim-looking little yawl, already there.  Our outfit, together with the bronze plate, was transferred to the ship’s boat to be taken ashore, while Judge Malone and I launched the canoe and paddled it to the sloping rocks which form the landing place below the mission hospital.  Hubbard and I had landed in the same way at the same place ten years before.  It was here that I first set foot upon the land which was destined to become to me a land of trying adventures and of tragic memories.

We presented ourselves at once to Dr. H.L. Paddon, the physician in charge of the hospital, who had arrived with two nurses a few days earlier, and was busily engaged preparing the hospital for patients presently to be expected from the Newfoundland fishing fleet.  We were informed that the Yale would not leave Indian Harbor until the following week, in season to connect at Rigolet with the Kyle, there to receive the Kyle’s mail before proceeding to Northwest River.  This was discomforting, for the delay robbed us of the advantage we had gained in leaving St. John’s on the Invermore.

In the hope that we might secure a motorboat from a trader, Judge Malone and I paddled our canoe across the tickle, and in caching it there walked over the hills to Smokey Harbor, the next harbor to the northward.  But, failing in our quest, we returned to Indian Harbor, resigned to the delay as unavoidable, and transferred our belongings to the Yale, on which we were assigned hammocks in the cabin where we were to sleep, and accepted Dr. Paddon’s invitation to take our meals ashore, in the hospital, until the Yale sailed.

Judge Malone is a Yale University man, and during his student days was a member of the ‘varsity baseball team.  The Yale was a gift of the student body to the mission, and I fancied the Judge’s loyalty to his alma mater led him to feel a certain pride in the trim little yawl.

We were made as comfortable as the crowded quarters would permit. There were three in the crew—Fred Blake, Sam Pottle and Will Simms.  Fred Blake, the skipper, traps and hunts in winter at the head of Hamilton Inlet, and I had known him well for several years, while Sam Pottle, the cook, was one of my dog drivers in 1906.  Will Simms, the remaining member of the crew, was a Newfoundlander and a stranger to me.  He assisted Fred on deck, acted as purser, and manipulated the kerosene motor when it was willing to be manipulated, which happened now and again at uncertain intervals.

Two Harvard students, volunteer mission assistants, going for a cruise up the inlet, completed our party when we sailed at daylight on the Monday following our arrival.  Rain was falling and there was a good sea on; but the wind was fair, a brisk breeze blowing, and at one o’clock in the afternoon we sailed into Rigolet Harbor, to find the Kyle already there.  Besides the mail, some freight was taken aboard the Yale for Northwest River and other points in Groswater Bay, and two additional passengers joined us, filling the little cabin to its capacity.  The Yale, let it be said, is the only passenger, freight and mail boat regularly engaged in carrying trade in Hamilton Inlet, to which she is wholly devoted.

 

Next: Chapter VIII: Return To Northwest River