BOB HUNT IN CANADA
GEORGE W. ORTON, Ph.D.
Graduate Coach of Track and Cross Country Teams University of Pennsylvania, Joint Manager of Camp Tecumseh, N. H., and author of "Bob Hunt at Camp Pontiac," and "Bob Hunt, Senior Camper."
Whitman Publishing Co. Racine, Wis. Copyright, 1916, by George W. Jacobs & Co. Printed in 1924 by Western Printing & Lithographing Co. Racine, Wis. Printed in U. S. A.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I OFF TO CANADA 7 II UP THE ESCOUMAINS 30 III CAMP AT LAKE PARENT 45 IV ACROSS THE PORTAGE 60 V THE SHORT TRAIL TO ESCOUMAINS 71 VI PIERRE'S BEAR STORY 82 VII BOB'S CLUE 94 VIII THE WIRELESS IN THE WILDERNESS 106 IX A WEEK ON THE TRAIL 117 X MOCCASINS AS FOOD 130 XI A RESCUE IN THE RAPIDS 145 XII PIERRE'S BIG SALMON 157 XIII THE PLATINUM MINE 168
BOB HUNT IN CANADA
OFF TO CANADA
"Hey there, Pud. Come here," yelled Bill Williams one day late in May to Pud Jones, as the latter sauntered across the athletic field.
"I'm coming," said Pud, as he rushed across, and grabbing Bill by the shoulders slammed him up against the fence around the track.
"What do you think this is?" asked Bill. "A football game, or do you take me for a tackling dummy?"
"Well, some kind of a dummy," replied Pud, as he held Bill so firmly that he could not get at him to punch his head.
"That'll do, you big rhinoceros," said Bill, as Pud released him.
"What's the news?" said Pud.
"I've just had a letter from Bob Hunt and he wants us to go up to Canada with him to a fishing and hunting camp there," said Bill.
"That would be fun but I don't know whether my father would let me go or not. He's been talking about having me work this summer," said Pud.
"Well, you see what you can do with your father and I'll get after mine," replied Bill. "I rather think that I won't have much trouble as father was saying just the other day that he thought the open air life was the only thing for a boy in the summer."
"All fathers think that, but some of them want to have us around during the summer," said Pud, rather gloomily for him.
"Yes, I've noticed that oftentimes they make cheap chauffeurs out of us," said Bill. "They tell us they cannot spare us during the summer and then make us drive them around at all hours. That's quite a snap for them, I think, but it doesn't get us any place."
"You're right," assented Pud. "I had a very poor time last summer for my family was always having me drive them some place where I did not want to go. They couldn't see that I would much rather get out on a lot in the hot sun and have a game of ball than take the finest drive there is."
"You ought to have been at Pontiac last year. We had a great time. There was something doing every minute," said Bill.
"Yes, I heard that you had a great summer," said Pud. "How did you get along without Bob as a pitcher?"
"We certainly missed him as he was a whole team by himself," said Bill. "That's one reason why I would like to go to Canada with Bob, for I haven't seen him since two summers now, and I would like to spend another summer with him."
"So would I," said Pud. "Whereabouts in Canada does Bob want to go?"
"Wait," said Bill, pulling a letter out of his pocket. "I'll read you what he says. Here it is: 'Father wants me to go up to a camp in Canada called Camp Tadousac. It is situated east of the Saguenay River and there is some wonderful fishing to be had there. I've decided to go and I hope that your father will let you come along. It will be a new experience for us. This camp has no permanent quarters but the members go from one part of the country to the other and live out of doors all the time. They use shelter tents sometimes but often they will be away for a week with only one's pack and sleeping bag as protection against the weather. I'm eager to try it for father says that it is fine sport. He's been up in that country and says it is a sportsman's paradise. He was farther west in the Lake St. John region, but it should be even better farther east. So, Bill, get busy. Talk it up with father and write me that you'll be with me.' That sounds good, don't it?" concluded Bill.
"It 'listens' very well," said Pud. "But, don't you let Professor Gary hear you say 'Don't it' again or you'll get into trouble."
"Doesn't it. Doesn't it, you boob," said Bill impatiently. "Mr. Shields told us a good one this morning about a boy who would write 'I have wrote' instead of 'I have written.' The teacher kept him in after school one day and made him write it out one hundred times. The teacher was called from the room and the boy got through his task. He waited a few minutes but as the teacher did not return, the boy wrote a note as follows. 'Dear Teacher, I have wrote "I have written" one hundred times. You have not came back so I have went home.'"
"Ha, ha, ha!" roared Pud. "That's a good one, but to get down to cases, are you really going up to Canada with Bob?"
"I am if I can get father and mother to let me go," replied Bill.
"Well, I'll see what I can do, for I think that a month or six weeks up in those Canadian woods would make me real husky."
"You, real husky," said Bill in a commiserating tone. "I suppose that you're not as hard as nails and nearly two hundred pounds in weight. Now, don't get in wrong at home by telling them that you would like to go to Canada to get husky. That would be no reason at all for you to go there. Tell them anything you like but that."
"I'll see them to-night and let you know to-morrow," said Pud.
The two boys then separated, Pud to go in to get his baseball suit and Bill to go out to the diamond, as he already had his suit on. Both boys were members of the school team. Bill was now the best player in the school, having made quite a reputation in scholastic circles as a pitcher. He was the captain of the team, which shows better than anything else how he had developed since first we met at Camp Pontiac's Junior camp.
Pud was waiting for Bill the next morning at the school gate.
"I'm going, I'm going!" cried Pud, as soon as Bill appeared.
"That's fine," said Bill in rather a gloomy tone.
"What's the matter?" asked Pud. "Don't they want you to go?"
"I'm not sure," said Bill. "Father is willing, but mother is making a big fuss. She's almost as bad as she was before I went to Pontiac."
"Gee, that's bad. I don't think they'll let me go unless you go," said Pud, and he too looked as if he had just lost his best friend.
"I'll just bet that your father persuades your mother to let you go," said Pud. "He did the other time, you know."
"Yes, that's so, but he told me as we walked down to school this morning that there really was some danger in such a trip as we planned and that he did not feel that he should persuade mother to let me go. He said that if he did and then something happened that he wouldn't have an excuse," said Bill.
"That's so," said Pud in a hopeless voice. "I guess it's all off, then, and I was counting on having such a fine summer."
"It's not all off. I'll have a chance to talk to mother this afternoon and I'll show her why she should let me go," said Bill.
"It's not so dangerous, is it?" asked Pud.
"No, of course not," replied Bill. "Mr. Waterman, the head of the camp, told me that he was always careful and that unless one got careless or foolhardy that there was little real danger. He said that they got tipped over now and then and were sometimes temporarily lost, but that these things only lent spice to the summer and were the things remembered in after years."
"He's right," said Pud. "Well, I hope that you can get your mother on your side for my parents did not raise any objections."
"It's going to help me tell mother that you're going and that your father and mother are contented about it. I'll bring her round all right."
"I hope you do," said Pud, as they separated to go to their classes.
The next morning, Bill was waiting for Pud at the school gate. There was such a light in Bill's eye that Pud exclaimed on seeing him.
"Don't tell me. Don't tell me, Bill. I can see in your eyes that you're going to Canada."
"You bet I am," said Bill, swelling up his chest. "I talked mother over and she even got enthusiastic before I got through. Father was all right as soon as mother felt satisfied."
"Let's write Bob to-day that we'll be with him," said Pud.
"Don't worry," said Bill, with a twinkle in his eye. "I did that last night and I'm going round to see Mr. Waterman to-night to find out what I'll have to get for the trip."
"I'll go with you," said Pud. "We'll both need the same kit, for I have never been to a real fishing camp before, nor have you."
"That's right," said Bill. "We'll have to get a whole lot of things we didn't have to get for Camp Pontiac; dunnage bags, sleeping bags, tump lines, fishing tackle, a lot of flies—"
"A lot of flies,—why, you dummy, we'll have to take some stuff along to get rid of the flies, from all I hear."
"You big dub, don't you know that they fish with flies?" said Bill in a disgusted tone.
"How do you catch them?" asked Pud.
"Say, what are you driving at?" asked Bill. "Do you really mean that you do not know that they fish with artificial flies?"
"Oh, artificial flies," said Pud. "Yes, I've heard of that, but I never saw any. My father's not a fisherman like yours."
"I should think not," said Bill.
"Well, don't swell up and bust because you know more about artificial flies than I do," said Pud, digging Bill in the ribs. "Before we come back, I'll be telling you a few things."
"Stop your kidding, you small giant," said Bill. "You can't be even sure of going until you see Mr. Waterman. I would not be surprised if they charge you two prices, for they will surely have to get an extra guide to carry the big canoe they'll have to have for you and another extra man to carry extra grub."
"Now, Bill, stop kidding and let me know if you really are going around to see Mr. Waterman to-night, for if you are, I'll go along," said Pud in a serious tone.
"Yes, I'm going," said Bill. "For heaven's sake, don't let on to Mr. Waterman that you've never seen an artificial fly or he'll be disgusted. Thank goodness, you learned to paddle a canoe well and to swim well as Camp Pontiac, for those two accomplishments are really necessary for such a trip."
"I'll be all right in that way," said Pud.
"Well, don't boast, for though you can probably swim better than any guide we may see, they'll show you a few things about handling a canoe that you never dreamed of. Father says that the Lake St. John guides are wonders and we'll be only a little farther east, so our guides should be just as clever," said Bill enthusiastically.
"Gee, it's going to be some summer," said Pud. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."
* * * * *
Two weeks later, Bob Hunt, Pud Jones and Bill Williams left Broad Street Station for Canada. They were going to travel to Tadousac at the mouth of the Saguenay River, where they would be met by Mr. Waterman or one of his men. All three boys were big enough to make such a journey alone. The boys had their dunnage bags with them and had practically no other baggage excepting a suitcase. Mr. Waterman had told them to take their dunnage bags right along with them so they would run no risk of having them held up in the Custom House at Quebec. They were all provided with passports, as the big European war was going on and they might have use for this means of identification.
The boys arrived in New York without any unusual happenings, but Pud got separated from them at the Big Pennsylvania Railroad Station and they were worried until they saw his big good-natured form looming up at the train gate at the Grand Central Station.
"Where have you been?" asked Bill.
"Gee, I'm glad I found you," said Pud. "How did you get lost?"
"We get lost, you big duffer," said Bill. "Why, you were the one that got lost. We've been looking all over for you."
"That's rich," said Pud, breaking out into a big laugh. "I thought that you were lost. I know New York like a book."
"You remind me of a little boy," said Bob. "A policeman found him wandering round the Pennsylvania Railroad Station and on going up to him, the little boy said, 'Have you seen my muvver. I think she's got losted. I can't find her any place.'"
"Ha! ha! Ha! ha! ha!" laughed Pud. "That's good, but I don't see how you can liken me to a little boy."
"All aboard! all aboard for the Montreal and Eastern Canada Express!" yelled the crier.
"That means us, fellows," said Bob. "Let's hustle."
The three boys went through the gate and were soon sitting in the Pullman bound for Quebec.
"That was some idea of father's to get us this drawing-room," said Bill. "We'll certainly enjoy life on this trip."
"You bet," said Pud.
They certainly were traveling in style. They tossed up to see who would get the lower berth or the sofa. Pud was the one left over and he got the upper berth, whereupon Bill, who had the lower, said that he would not take any chances but would take the upper berth himself. A good-natured, argument followed and the result was that Bob took the lower berth, Pud the sofa and Bill went upstairs. They awoke in the morning to find themselves at Sherbrooke and to get their first taste of the Canadian habitant. When they got down to stretch their legs before breakfast, they found most of the Canadians speaking French.
"Here's a chance to spout your French, Bob," said Bill.
"Who told you that I talked French?" asked Bob.
"Father told me some time ago," answered Bill. "He said that you could talk it like a native."
"I could a few years ago, but I'm rusty now, as I haven't talked French for at least five years," replied Bob.
"They don't talk real French here anyway," said Pud.
"Oh, yes, they do," said Bill. "It's a kind of dialect, but father tells me that it is much easier to understand a French-Canadian than many of the French people from Paris."
"That's very true," said Bob. "My father, as I've told you before, has been up in the Lake St. John region, and he says that he gets along quite well with the inhabitants. He says that they have some peculiar expressions, but that it is quite easy to talk to them as they speak a pretty pure dialect of French."
They were soon off again, now headed for Quebec. They got a seat in the dining-car and watched the scenery as they rode along. They found the quaint little Canadian cottages of the habitants much like the farmers' homes in New England. The land was rolling and, as usual, they followed the course of some river. As they went along, they heard less and less English and Bob was often called on to translate the cries that were heard at the different stations.
"I'll soon get my French back up here," said Bob. "They seem to talk pretty good French. I can understand them quite easily."
About ten o'clock, they came into a hilly country and found evidences of mining being carried on. On Bob's inquiring, they found that they were asbestos mines and that it was practically a new industry for this part of Canada. They also noted that many new farms were being cleared by the young Frenchmen and that much lumber was being transported both by the rivers and the railroad. The look of the people was quite foreign by this time and the boys felt that they were indeed in a foreign land.
"Have you ever been in Toronto?" suddenly asked Bill.
"No," said Pud.
"Well, that is certainly different from this part of Canada," said Bill. "You can hardly tell that you are out of the United States when you are there."
"I should think that the French talk would make it seem foreign anyway," said Pud.
"That's it," said Bob. "You don't hear any more French there than you do in Chicago, Philadelphia or any other American city. I remember that I was up there to the great Toronto Fair and I hardly knew that I was in Canada."
"This is certainly different," said Bill.
"Many people that visit only Quebec and Montreal have an entirely wrong impression of Canada. They think there are just as many French all over as they find in those cities. The fact is that outside of the province of Quebec, Canada is just as much an English-speaking country as the United States.
"Is that so?" said Pud. "Why didn't we go, then, to some place where they talk sense? I'm going to have a fine time getting along with these fellows. I can't talk French."
"Get busy and you'll learn a lot this summer," said Bob. "Mr. Waterman told me that two of the guides talk English a little, so we'll get along all right."
"I'm glad they talk English," said Bill. "All the French I know you could put in your eye tooth."
A short time later, they arrived at Levis and saw the majestic heights of Quebec opposite.
"This St. Lawrence is some river," said Pud.
"I should think it is," said Bob. "The biggest ocean liners can come up this far, while there is a twenty-seven-foot channel all the way up to Montreal."
"You don't say so," said Pud. "Well, there is one thing sure that I'm learning some geography at first hand this morning."
"When do we leave for Tadousac?" asked Bill.
"We go down to-morrow on the boat," said Bob.
"That's fine," said Pud. "We can see the town this afternoon."
"You bet we will," said Bill.
"Where are we staying?" asked Pud.
"At the Chateau Frontenac," said Bob. "It's that building up on the cliff there."
"That's some hotel," said Pud.
"You'll think so before to-morrow," said Bill.
"Say, let's go up to the Plains of Isaac and see where John Paul Jones fell when he captured Quebec from the English," said Pud.
At this, Bill and Bob just curled up and laughed until they nearly fell off their chairs.
"What's the matter?" asked Pud. "Isn't that the real place to see in Quebec?"
"You need some history lessons as well as geography," said Bill.
"Well, let's have it," said Pud. "I know I'm always getting things fatally twisted."
"You mean the Plains of Abraham," said Bob.
"Oh, Abraham, Jacob or Isaac, it's all the same, isn't it?" said Pud, apparently rather disgusted that they had blamed him for such a natural mistake.
"And, who ever heard of John Paul Jones taking Quebec?" asked Bill, looking at Bob.
"Well, who was it?" said Pud. "Those historical names always get me."
"It was Wolfe, the famous young English general. He was killed in the moment of victory, and the French general, Montcalm, also was killed," said Bob.
"Well, let's go out there and see the place," said Pud. "It must be interesting."
By this time, they were across the St. Lawrence and at the mercy of about a hundred cab drivers. Bob led the way and they were soon going up the hill to the Chateau. In the dining-hall, they heard practically nothing but English spoken as the Chateau was the place where most of the tourists stayed. After an excellent lunch, they sauntered out to see the sights. They were again mobbed by the cabbies.
"Let's take one of those funny-looking cabs," said Pud.
"That's just what I was looking for," said Bob. "Father told me to be sure and have a ride in a 'caleche,' as he called it."
They got into the 'caleche,' which is just like a hansom cab except that the old-fashioned leather springs were used, and instead of the driver sitting behind, he rode in front on a sort of wide dashboard. Away they went and the driver plied the whip. The horse was not large but proved strong and wiry. In a short time, the boys were out on the Plains of Abraham, looking at the various monuments marking the great battle which meant the end of the French dominion in Canada. They saw the monuments to Wolfe and Montcalm and enjoyed the view far south into the United States. Their guide showed them the path up which Wolfe climbed with his soldiers to surprise the French that memorable morning. After seeing the sights there, they drove back and went through part of the citadel. This proved to be one of the strongest forts in America, and its strength, the number of British Tommies about, the guns of large caliber that could be seen, so impressed the boys that Bob at last broke out.
"This is some fort. It would take a real siege gun to make much of an impression on those walls and ramparts while I guess those big cannon would do a little talking themselves."
"I should think so," said Pud.
"Wait a minute," said Bill. "I'd like to get some photos."
Thereupon, he pulled out a little pocket kodak he had, and got ready to focus on a big gun set in an embrasure of the walls. Before he could move almost, a soldier was at his side and said,
"You are under arrest. It is forbidden to bring kodaks or cameras of any kind within these walls."
"I didn't know that," said Bill. "I simply wanted to take a few photos of the place."
"You'll have to explain all that to the Commandant," said the Tommie, as he led the way.
The whole thing had happened so suddenly that neither Bob nor Pud had time to say a word before they saw Bill turn to follow the soldier.
"May we not go with our friend?" asked Bob of the Tommie.
"I was about to ask that you accompany us, for though you are not under arrest, I'll have to bring you along as witnesses."
"Don't worry, Pud," said Bob. "It'll be all right. We're not at war and we were not doing anything very wrong."
"That's all very well," said Pud also in a low tone. "They may take us for spies and keep us locked up here all summer."
"Oh, Tommyrot," said Bob, though at heart he did not know just what was liable to happen.
In the meantime, the party went along the walk until they came to a big door. They entered and soon were asked to seat themselves in a large room in which there were many desks with officers seated and busily writing. Gold lace, silver spurs, bright officer's swords, red caps, and the air of discipline and business that characterized the whole room did not fail to have its effect on the boys. Nor did they fail to notice that each of the doors was guarded by soldiers with fixed bayonets standing at attention. The Tommy who was escorting them took them up to one of the desks and said,
"Captain Davidson, I have here under arrest, this young man with these two others as witnesses."
"Of what are they accused?" asked the officer, as he glanced sharply at the three of them.
"Of espionage," said the soldier.
"Of espionage?" said the officer. "That is a serious offense."
"I know it is but that is the term under which the offense comes," replied the soldier.
"This must be taken up by the Commandant himself," said the Captain, as he touched a bell at his side. Immediately a young officer appeared.
"Captain Abercrombie, tell Major-General Norris, the Commandant, that we have here a prisoner accused of espionage."
The orderly saluted and was soon lost to view behind a door at one end of the hall. He was back in a few minutes. During that time, our three adventurers stood and watched with interest the varied scene that was taking-place before them.
"This is some lark," said Bill to Bob in a low tone.
"No communication between the prisoner and witnesses," said the Tommy at once, as he moved nearer as if to enforce his demands. Pud looked over at Bill with a sort of reproach in his eyes, for he had heard the remark. Bob kept his eyes front for he was very much interested in the comings and goings of the officers, orderlies and soldiers that came and went throughout the hall.
"Captain Davidson," said the orderly as he returned, "the Commandant requests that you send in the prisoner and witnesses to him at once.'
"Very well," said the Captain. "Here they are and I hand them over to you together with Private Watkins, who arrested them."
They were then marched into the next room where they found a big white-haired man sitting at a desk busily engaged. The orderly stopped his charges at a respectful distance. The Commandant kept on writing for a few minutes but suddenly he turned around and gave a sharp and piercing look at the young Americans.
"Americans," said he, in rather a relieved tone. "Captain Abercrombie, let me know the gist of this affair."
"Major-General Norris, I shall have to ask Private Watson to give you the details at first hand, for as yet I know nothing about the matter, except that one of these young men is accused of being a spy."
"Private Watson, give me the details of the matter."
"Your Excellency," said Private Watson, "I know nothing more than that as I stood at my post on the Ramparts, near Gun No. 145, I saw this young man (pointing to Bill) suddenly produce one of those very small German cameras and try to take a photo of the gun and its location."
"Young man, is this so?" asked the Commandant in a serious voice.
"It is so, except that I did not intend to do any harm; the gun seemed very picturesque to me and I wanted a photo of it," said Bill.
"Were you not told that you should leave cameras of all kinds with the gateman?" asked the Commandant.
"No," said Bill. "We came in a carriage and nothing was said to us."
"Then, you were given a card and asked to read it, were you not?" continued the Commandant.
"Yes," said Bill, "but to tell the truth, I didn't read it carefully."
"Where is that card?" was the next question.
Bill fumbled in his pocket and in a moment held it out.
"Private Watson, kindly show the prisoner the order relating to cameras," said the Commandant.
Private Watson then came forward and, taking the card, he showed Bill the paragraph stating that all cameras must be left at the gate.
"I am very sorry, sir, that I was so careless," said Bill. "I did not think that anything I could do would get me into trouble here and I didn't think it necessary to read the card. There were so many things to see that I just put it in my pocket."
"That is not much of an excuse," said the Commandant in a stern voice. "You must remember that you are here in a military fortress and that we can't be too strict in some matters."
"I recognize that now, but I assure you that I had no motive whatever in taking the picture except to get a unique photo," said Bill humbly.
The Commandant for the next ten minutes put the three boys through a regular third degree examination. They told him who they were, where they came from, who their parents were, what business they were in, and a hundred other questions.
"Boys," said the Commandant, "I'm afraid that I'll have to detain you until Captain Abercrombie here can verify some of your statements."
Then, turning to the orderly, he said,
"Captain Abercrombie, call up the Chateau and see if these three are registered there as they state. Send Private Watson out to the West Gate to get the driver who took them to the Plains of Abraham this afternoon. Call up the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company's office and see if passage is booked for to-morrow for three in the name of Hunt. Look through their luggage at the Chateau and report as soon as possible."
"Very well, your Excellency," said the Captain, and saluting, he vanished.
"Private Watson," said the Commandant.
"At your orders, sir," said the private, clicking his heels as he saluted.
"Take these young gentlemen to the guard-house and remain with them until I send Captain Abercrombie to you with orders for their release."
"Very well, your Excellency," said Private Watson, as he led the way out of the room.
The boys followed him through the big room, out into the air and along a path until they came to a smaller building with iron bars at the windows. Private Watson had to stop and tell the nature of the errand to the soldier at the door, who finally saluted and let them in. They found themselves in a rather large antechamber. After a talk with the Captain in charge, the boys were led to a bright airy room on the second floor.
"I've brought you here, boys," said Private Watson, "because you can look out of the windows and find something to interest yourselves with. I can tell by the way in which Major-General Norris spoke that he thinks you are all right, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. When you get tired of seeing the scenery, take a look at those old guns in the cases over there."
Thereupon, their escort left them and could be seen pacing in front of the door.
"You're a fine specimen," said Pud, as soon as the door was closed.
"Ah, what's the matter?" said Bill. "I suppose you think that I brought the camera along just to get us into trouble."
"You didn't seem to think it was serious a little while ago," replied Pud. "Then, you said it was a lark. This is a fine lark. If we're kept here, we'll miss our boat to-morrow and that will make us miss the other boat to Escoumains and then Mr. Waterman won't know where we are and it will ball everything up."
"Dry up, you old tear-bag," said Bob. "This isn't very serious. I can see why it's only right that they should be very careful around a fortress and any trouble we're in is our own fault, but Captain Abercrombie will find everything straight and we'll be out of here just in time to have a good dinner and to talk over our experience with gusto."
"I hope so, I hope so," said Pud, in such a dejected tone that even Bill had to laugh at him.
"Gee, I'm sorry, Bob, to get you two into all this trouble," said Bill to Bob.
"Don't worry. Things will be all right."
The boys then busied themselves watching the boats ply to and fro on the broad St. Lawrence. The people seemed like small flies far down on the esplanade near the Chateau Frontenac, while further down on the wharves, they could see a jumbled mass of people, carriages, carts, wagons, etc., all indicating how busy things were in Quebec. They found plenty to interest them, but at last they turned and began to examine the old muskets and arms in the cases by the walls.
"Gee, here's a good one," said Bill. "It's a musket that used to belong to old Count Frontenac. What do you think of that?"
"Who was Fronty?" asked Pud.
"Count Frontenac was one of the greatest governors that Canada ever had in the time of the French regime."
"He was a great man, as our forefathers found out in the time of the French and Indian wars," said Bob. "There are so many stories told, showing what a wonderful man he was. It's like a touch of the past to look at a gun that such a famous man once used."
"That's all right," said Pud, "but it don't help us any in getting out of here."
"Don't get impatient," said Bob. "It will take some time to look up the various things about us."
"That's so, but it's commencing to get dark and I'm getting hungry," said Pud.
"I thought so," said Bob. "I thought it had something to do with your stomach."
"It's too bad that I got into this," said Bill.
"Cut it out, Bill," said Bob. "I've really enjoyed myself so far, for when you come to think of it, we're not in the slightest danger. At the worst, we can call for aid on the American consul here and make him straighten out the matter."
"That's so," said Pud. "I never thought of that."
"Of course, you didn't, you big puddenhead," said Bob. "At your time of life, you have difficulty in thinking of anything but your stomach."
A little later, Captain Abercrombie came to the door. The boys rushed over to hear what he had to say.
"I am instructed by Major-General Norris, the Commandant, to say to you that he regrets the inconvenience to which you have been put. He finds that the information given him is correct in every particular, and he feels that there was no idea of spying on your part. At the same time, he desires to recommend to all of you that in future, on going into a fortress, whether here or elsewhere, that when given a card of instructions, you read and act according to the same. He desires that you be set at liberty at once and has a military carriage at the West Gate to drive you to the Chateau. Private Watson, will you kindly see the gentlemen to the West Gate, where you will find the carriage ready? With your permission, I shall also accompany you as far as the Commandant's office."
"Hurray," said Pud. "I knew it would be all right."
"I'm sorry to have put you to all this trouble, Captain," said Bill. "I'm sure that I'll be more careful in the future."
"It was no bother. I am glad that you got off so easily. We have to be careful here at all times, for this is, you know, the strongest fortress in His Majesty's great Dominion, and its secrets must be guarded."
On arriving at the Commandant's office the captain left them, and it was not long afterwards that they were sitting around a table at the Chateau Frontenac, chatting and laughing and having a good feed, as Pud expressed it.
"That experience of ours seems just like a dream to me," said Bob, as the waiter left to get the dessert.
"It was no dream," said Pud. "If that old Major-General Norris had not been such a thoroughbred, he might have given us a peck of trouble."
"Never again for me," said Bill. "If ever I go into a public place and they give me directions, I'm going to listen and do what's ordered."
"What's doing to-night?" asked Pud, who was always looking for fun in some form or other.
"Nothing much," replied Bob. "I understand that there's a band concert by the Highland Regiment band on the Esplanade this evening. We can listen to that for a while and then get to bed. We must be up early as the boat leaves for Tadousac at seven o'clock to-morrow morning."
"I'll never make it," said Pud.
"You'll make it, all right," said Bob. "We're all sleeping in the same room and I have a call in for five-thirty. That will give us time to get up and have a decent breakfast before going."
The boys enjoyed the band concert after their dinner. On the broad-walk on the river side of the Chateau, a large crowd gathered and sauntered up and down listening to the excellent music. The scene was interesting to the boys mainly because of the many kinds of military dress that was sprinkled throughout the crowd. The military men gave a touch of the Old World to the scene that was different from anything that the boys had ever noted in the United States. In good time they turned in, and five-thirty saw Bob out of bed and on top of Pud, who said that he could not get awake.
"I'll waken you up, you lazy dog," said Bob, as he jumped on Pud's bed. This action thoroughly aroused Pud, and a five minutes' wrestling match resulted in Bob's being finally buried beneath the covers.
"Help, Bill," yelled Bob. "This big elephant will crush the life out of me if you do not come to my assistance."
Bill, thereupon, rushed over and grabbed Pud by the shoulders with such a force that he finally had to cry quits.
"Oh, all right," said Pud, "but it takes two of you to do it."
"Let's hurry," said Bob. "I have ordered oatmeal, buckwheat cakes and maple sirup, poached eggs on toast, chops—"
"Stop, stop," yelled Pud. "My mouth's watering now. I'll beat you all to the dining room."
Ten minutes later they were having their last breakfast in Quebec for many a long day. A little later, they drove down to the wharf and were soon on board. They found the boat large and roomy and filled with tourists, taking the Saguenay trip, that is, the trip from Quebec to Murray Bay, to Tadousac and up the far-famed Saguenay to Chicoutimi. The scenery is noted all over the world as this is one of the big sight-seeing trips of the Western continent. It was not long until they swung out into the stream and headed for the Ile d'Orleans which lies just below Quebec. Further along, they looked over to the northern bank of the river and saw the famous Montmorency Falls.
"I was going to suggest yesterday that we go down to Montmorency for dinner last night," said Bob. "Father told me to do this, but our adventure at the Citadel made this out of the question."
"That's too bad," said Bill.
"That was some business," said Pud. "I thought it was all over with us for awhile. I was dreaming of dungeons deep for weeks to come."
"Don't exaggerate, Pud," said Bob. "We might have had a lot of trouble. I wonder what that fine church over there is."
"That's the well known St. Ann de Beaupre cathedral," said an Englishman or Canadian standing nearby.
"I never heard of it," said Bill.
"It's easily seen that you're not a Roman Catholic," said the stranger. "I can't imagine a Catholic ever coming to Quebec without knowing of the virtues and miracles of St. Ann."
"I must confess my ignorance too," said Bob.
"Well, St. Ann de Beaupre is the patron saint of this particular parish and for many, many years she had been doing miracles in that little town over yonder. That magnificent church is a tribute donated by the hundreds that have been blessed by her ministrations."
"In what special field does the gracious Saint consent to show her power?" asked Bob, with his best manner.
"Towards the crippled," said the stranger. "Hundreds of crutches have been left in that church as proof of the divine powers of St. Ann."
"Is that so?" said Pud.
"Yes, and there really seems to be some miraculous influence at work."
"We must go there when we are coming home," said Bob.
"It will pay you," said the stranger, "for you will see there some things to be seen in no other part of North America except in Mexico."
As they went down the river it gradually broadened, until they were steaming along on what looked more like an inland sea than a river. In due time, they came to the famous northern watering place, Murray Bay. The ship stopped there for some time and the boys had a chance to hire a carriage and go up into the town. They saw some nice hotels and evidences of fashionable country places. It was getting dark as they came off the mouth of the Saguenay River, and the high rocks on either side as they moved on gave one the impression of great depth. This impression was correct, as the river flows along a cleft in the strata rather than along any bed that has been made by the action of the waters themselves. They moved into a wharf that merely jutted out from the rocky shore. Everything was confusion, for there did not seem to be any one but Frenchmen on the wharf. The boys got off and waited in the glare of a big torch light, made after the fashion of the lights used by itinerant showmen. No Mr. Waterman appeared.
"What was the name of that hotel?" asked Bob of Bill.
"I can't remember it, but I have it in my notebook," said Bill.
"Look it up, for if Mr. Waterman does not come soon, we'll go up there as he directed us. Let's get our baggage."
They collected this and were just on the point of making a start when Bill was slapped on the back and turned to see Mr. Waterman standing before them, dressed for the woods.
"How are you boys?" asked Mr. Waterman, as he turned to Bob and Pud.
"Fine as silk," said Pud. "We were just going to try to find that little hotel you wrote us about."
"We'll go up there to-night anyway and take the early boat down the river in the morning. I've engaged rooms for you there and an early breakfast."
"Oh, Lord!" said Pud. "Early breakfast again. I'll be a 'shadder' of my former self if this early rising stunt is to be my regular medicine."
"Get used to it," said Mr. Waterman, "for you'll be up early from now on, only some days it will be earlier than others. But I'll guarantee that you'll get all the sleep that's good for you."
"All right, I'm game," said Pud. "I came up here to have a good time and get into condition. You're the doctor and I'll not kick on taking the medicine."
"It will be the sweetest medicine you ever had," said Mr. Waterman. "Why, boy, we're going to have a real man's time this summer and you'll be the first one to say so six weeks from now."
UP THE ESCOUMAINS
About five o'clock the next morning, Bob was awakened by what sounded like a parade under his windows. He got up and saw a lot of women and men coming from the little church on the opposite corner. Bob's action and noise in opening the window had awakened the others, as they were all sleeping in a sort of dormitory.
"What the deuce is going on outside?" asked Bill Williams. "Has the circus come to town or why this procession so early in the morning?"
"You must remember that you are in a real Catholic country and that the Roman Catholic religion plays a very big part in the life of the people here. The so-called procession you will hear any morning as it is merely the good souls of the parish returning from the mass or the matin service," said Mr. Waterman.
"Well, let's get up now that we're all awake," said Bill.
"Not all," said Bob, pointing to Pud, who slept on, totally unconscious of all that had aroused the others. "Little Lord Fauntleroy is still peacefully sleeping."
"Not so loud," said Mr. Waterman. "You'll wake him up."
"No fear of that," said Bill. "What's the answer, Bob? Shall we merely mob him or what shall it be?"
"Let's dump him on the floor and have some fun with him," said Bob.
The two boys then went over and with a mighty shove, they dumped Pud on the floor and turned cot and mattress over him. They both climbed on top and only smothered sounds could be heard from beneath the pile. Then like Goliath in his wrath, Pud arose, cot, mattress, blankets, two yelling boys, and all, and shook himself. He made a bull-like rush at Bob but Bill got him from behind and for five minutes there was some pretty rough-house work in that room.
"Ye gods! I'm hot," at last cried Bob, stepping back for a breathing spell.
"Same here," said Pud, sitting down on a cot and wiping off the sweat with a pajama top that had gotten separated from its master during the melee.
"Let's get dressed and get some breakfast," said Bill.
"Is this the regular setting up exercises that this little company of mild-eyed anarchists have every morning?" asked Mr. Waterman in his quiet way. "If so, I am afraid that I cannot recommend it for persons nervously disposed."
"Oh, this is nothing," said Bob. "This will just give us an appetite."
"Well, I hear Madame Colombe busy getting breakfast ready, so we'll just be in time," said Mr. Waterman.
Ten minutes later, the party was seated around a table in the dining room eating a breakfast of oatmeal, milk, ham and eggs, hot biscuits and coffee.
"The boat leaves at six-thirty so we haven't much time to lose," said Mr. Waterman.
"We'll be with you in a minute," said Bob.
The boys hurried upstairs and came down with their dunnage bags. They had expected to carry these down to the boat, but a little hotel cart came along and took them down. They had a few minutes to spare as they arrived at the wharf, so they went out to the little observation house in the middle of the pond right near the wharf. This pond was used by the Government as a Fishery Station and there were scores of magnificent salmon in the pond. The boys were much interested in watching these wonderful game fish. They could see them swimming around and occasionally one of them would jump clear out of the water after a fly or some other insect.
"We'll have to catch a few like those this summer," said Mr. Waterman with a glistening eye.
"Will we really have a chance to catch salmon as large as those?" asked Bob.
"Oh, yes, on our Portneuf River trip, we should get some salmon just as fine as these," said Mr. Waterman.
"What do you catch them with? I'm sure I have nothing big enough to hold a fish like that," said Pud.
"We catch them with the regular rod and fly," replied their leader.
"Don't say 'we'; say 'I' catch them, for I should think it would have to be a real fisherman that could land such a big fish with such a small line and rod," said Pud.
"That's why we're coming up here," said Bill Williams. "My ambition is to get one of those salmon and I don't want it unless I can catch it with my regular tackle."
"That's talking like a real fisherman and sportsman," said Mr. Waterman. "Boys, this fishing is or should be considered a sport. That being so, we must make it a matching of our wits against that of the fish. It should not be merely our strength against theirs. We, as sportsmen, should give them a chance."
"That's the idea," said Bob. "Well, I'll consider that I am developing into a real fisherman when I am able to land one of those big fellows."
Just then the boat whistle was heard and the boys hurried on board. The vessel that was to take them to Escoumains was an old side-wheel steamer apparently of the vintage of about 1812. It did some wheezing and puffing before it got straightened out for the trip. The boys looked over the boat with interest, paying special attention to the people who were on board. They were greatly interested in the talk and gestures of the Frenchmen that composed the crew and most of the passengers. A little old Frenchman with a fiddle also attracted their attention. A few pennies soon had him playing away for dear life and calling off the figures in French in a singsong voice.
On their way down the river, the boat stopped at two places, at both of which lumbering seemed to be the main industry. At last, the boat put in for Escoumains. Two large tramp steamers were anchored off the town loading lumber from big barges. The steamers drew too much water to get into the town wharf, thus requiring two handlings of the lumber. Quite a few people were on the wharf. Mr. Anderson, one of Mr. Waterman's men, was awaiting them. As soon as they were off the boat, he had a carriage ready and they were off for the little village a half mile away. They stopped at Madame LaBlanche's boarding house, where Mr. Waterman had made arrangements for keeping their "store" clothes while they were out in the woods. They were shown upstairs and in a short time, the boys were getting into their real wool suits. Mr. Waterman brought in the shoepacks that he had made for them according to the measurements he had taken previously. All fitted nicely, though Mr. Waterman looked over them carefully.
"It pays to be sure that your shoepacks are right," said Mr. Waterman, "for they are the real boots for use in canoeing trips. They should be comfortable."
"Are these waterproof?" asked Bob. "Father told me that his shoepacks were tight as a drum and that he stepped right out of the canoe into the water whenever he wanted to."
"That's right," replied Mr. Anderson. "It is possible that they may leak just a little the first two days until the seams swell, but after that they will be just as dry as rubber boots."
This information caused Bill and Pud to look at their shoepacks with more care. They were both anxious to try them out. Finally, they were ready for the woods, with everything unnecessary put away at Madame LaBlanche's. Their sleeping bags, extra shirts, moccasins, etc., were in their dunnage bags and all of these were piled outside the door on the porch.
"We still have about a half hour before lunch so let us go over to the store, as I want you all to meet Sandy MacPherson, the owner," said Mr. Waterman. "Sandy is the big man of this village. He runs the big saw mill, owns the store and manages scores of lumbermen in the winter when the trees are cut many miles up the valleys. He's a good man to know as everybody here does as he says. In addition, he talks English and that helps when one cannot talk French very well."
They all went over to the store and found it the center of male society at least for the village. Several men were gathered there while others came and went, buying things in the store, which was quite a large store for such a small village. Sandy seemed delighted to meet the boys.
"I'm delighted to meet you, boys," said he. "You're in for a fine time if you're going into the woods with Mr. Waterman. If you get in trouble, just call on me."
The boys thanked him for his good wishes and after taking a look at the big saw mill, they went back to the boarding house.
"Fill up, boys, as this is the last meal you'll eat in a house for some time," said Mr. Anderson.
"That's all right, but I wager that they'll enjoy some of the meals we're going to have on Lac Parent or Corbeau more than any they have had in a long time," said Mr. Waterman.
Madame LaBlanche outdid herself at this lunch for she had a very good chicken dinner for the boys, with pie, cake, preserved raspberries and crabapples for dessert.
"This is a fine meal to start one off for the woods," said Pud. "I couldn't walk a step if you paid me five dollars."
"You won't have to walk for some time," said Mr. Anderson. "We're going to drive in about sixteen miles and I'll wager that this dinner will be pretty well digested by the time we get there. We're going in on an old wood road so you will hardly find it like the macadamized roads you have in the park in Philadelphia."
A short time later they were off. Two carriages were to take them into the woods, each drawn by a hardy looking though rather small French-Canadian horse and driven by a habitant. Bob was in the front seat with the driver, with Pud and Mr. Waterman in the back seat. Bill and Mr. Anderson were in the other buggy.
"Well, here's a chance to begin talking French," said Mr. Waterman to Bob. "Bill tells me that you spout it quite well."
"Bill is exaggerating," said Bob. "I used to talk French rather well and I hope to pick it up soon again."
"You will," said Mr. Waterman. "You will also find that these habitants speak a pretty good dialect of French. In no time, Bob, you will be able to talk just like the natives."
"Allons, Gi-may," cried the driver to the horse as he touched him with the whip. The horse responded nobly and they bowled along right merrily. Bob tried to think what "Allons, Gi-may" meant. He got the first word all right. That meant "Giddap or Go-along" in the vernacular but what that "Gi-may" meant he could not think. He did not want to ask Mr. Waterman so soon for information. Taking the bull by the horns, Bob began a conversation with the driver. To be sure it was very limited, for Bob had his troubles, but after a little while he got along very well. He was soon asking the driver for the names of the various trees they noted along the road. Bob thought that this would be valuable in the woods. All the habitants in such a place as Escoumains are woodsmen, and the driver, as such, knew the names of everything in the woods. But, every once in a while, he would cry out "Allons, Gi-may" and Bob would wonder what that word "Gi-may" meant. Soon the road led by a small farmhouse that had about two acres cleared around it.
"That's the last house you'll see," said the driver to Bob. Bob asked Mr. Waterman if this was right.
"That's right," said Mr. Waterman, "and you will soon know that it is so, for the road gets worse from now on."
This proved correct and Pud was bounced around so that he had no trouble digesting his dinner.
"This is some road," said Pud.
"All the same, we must keep going for we want to ford the river before dark," said Mr. Waterman.
"What river?" asked Pud.
"The Escoumains," said Mr. Waterman. "That is the name of the river at the little village from which we started. The village is called after the river. You will get to know this river well before the summer is over, for we'll run down it to the village some time."
"Are there any rapids?" asked Bob.
"You can't find any river in this country without fast water here and there," said Mr. Waterman. "The only difference is that some rivers have faster water than others. After I have seen you on the lakes awhile and have had the guides teach you a few things we'll take a try at some fast water and you'll think that there is no better sport than shooting a rapid."
"It must be great fun," said Bob.
Shortly afterwards, they struck the river and the road led up along the bank. It followed the windings of the river and it was slow work. Every now and then the driver yelled "Allons, Gi-may," and Bob racked his brain to think what "Gi-may" meant. At last it came to him in a flash. He turned to the driver and asked in French,
"Is the horse named Gi-may?"
"Oh, yes," said the driver. "He belongs to Monsieur MacPherson and he calls him Gi-may."
"Oh, you mean Jimmy," said Bob.
"But, yes, Gi-may," said the driver, and Bob had solved the riddle. He then told Mr. Waterman how he had tried to think what "Gi-may" meant, thinking at first that it meant something like "Allons" but that he had found out it was the horse's name.
It was getting dark when they came to the ford. Mr. Anderson yelled like an Indian and his call was answered by a real Indian yell. A moment later, two men appeared on the opposite bank.
"That's Joe and Pierre," said Mr. Waterman.
"How are we going to get across?" asked Pud.
"That's easy," said Mr. Waterman.
The driver answered Pud by driving the horse down the bank into the water. The stream ran swiftly and the horse put his head down sniffing the water as if frightened. The driver used the whip and the horse proceeded.
"The river's pretty high," yelled Mr. Waterman to Mr. Anderson. "You had better put those dunnage bags on the seat. That buggy of yours is lower than this one."
"All right," came back the cry, almost drowned by the noise of the carriage as it bumped on the rocks at the bottom of the river, the swish of the water and the noise of the horse's hoofs. Each took his dunnage bag on his lap and in the center of the river they had to lift up their feet as the water came into the body of the buggy. It almost seemed that they would be swept down the river. Bob looked at the driver and at Mr. Waterman. Both had a look of unconcern on their faces so Bob felt that things were all right. This turned out to be the case, for five minutes later the horse came out on a sort of sand bar. The driver drove down stream a little and then, putting the whip to the horse, they tore up a steep bank and along a wood road. They had gone only a little distance before they came to an opening where they found Joe and Pierre busy about a fire. The other buggy came up in a moment and everything was dumped out on the side of the road. Mr. Waterman had bought a lot of supplies and this was the real reason why the two guides had met them for they were needed to get the stuff back into the camp where they planned to stay for a week or more. After paying off the drivers, the latter turned and drove back.
"Are they going all the way back to Escoumains to-night?" asked Bob.
"Yes," said Mr. Anderson. "They will go back as far as that logging camp we passed about four miles away. There they will give their horses a little grain and as soon as the moon comes up they will be off, and back in Escoumains about midnight. Those little Canadian horses are very strong and can stand a lot of hard work."
Bob, Pud, and Bill stood around watching the guides and the two men as they busied themselves about the fire.
"Let's have supper first," said Mr. Waterman. "Afterwards we'll pack up the stores we have brought in and get them ready to carry so that we can make a real early start and get to our camp in Lac Parent in time for breakfast."
This was voted a good scheme by the others. Pierre was the guide that was most noticed by the boys. He was a full blooded Montagnais Indian and could not speak a word of English, though he talked French and his own Indian tongue. He was straight as an arrow and moved with the litheness and silence of the real Indian. Though his expression never changed, the boys could see that he missed nothing that went on about him. Joe was a little Frenchman. He could talk a little English and was very proud of that fact.
"The dinnaire is prepair," said he to Bob with a smile.
"Ah, that's the kind of French I can understand," said Pud, as he moved over towards the fire.
"Now be prepared to shout," said Mr. Anderson. "Here's some real trout caught within the hour and cooked as only Joe can cook them."
He gave each of the boys a whole trout out of the frying pan and this, with bread, butter, prunes and coffee, was their supper. The trout was hot and all three boys stated that they had never tasted anything better in their lives. They all meant it too. At their praise, Joe's face lighted up, for he was proud of his cooking. They formed a real woodsman picture as they sat or squatted around the fire eating their supper without the use of plates or a table. The picture was rather out of harmony, for the Indian and the Frenchman were the typical woodsmen, the two older men hardened fishermen, but even the merest novice could see that the three boys were unused to the woods and their present surroundings.
But, in any case, the scene was not lost on the boys. The bright light cast by the fire on the faces of the men and the dark shadows of the woods formed a contrast that was fascinating to the boys. They could not keep their eyes off Pierre with his silent but speedy movements, and his impassive face, nor from Joe, who formed such a contrast with his animation and gestures, his good-natured talk and his smile. Mr. Waterman and Mr. Anderson sat to the side talking in low tones, and the boys felt that these were two men worthy of their confidence. They looked as though they would be ready for any emergency that might arise. They were startled by a splash in the river. Pierre seemed to vanish as if by magic into the trees on the side towards the river. Though he went with great speed, the boys listened in vain to hear him tearing through the bushes. All ears were tensed but not a sound was heard.
"Pierre will let us know what it is," said Mr. Waterman in a matter-of-fact tone, as he motioned the boys to sit down again. "Don't worry, there's nothing up here to do us much harm. Even the bears run from us and it's necessary to hunt them carefully if you want to see one, though we see traces of them every day."
As they were talking, Pierre came back almost as quickly and silently as he had gone. He sat down by the fire and said about three words to Mr. Waterman and relapsed into silence again.
"'Big fish,' he says," translated Mr. Waterman.
"It sounded like a deer to me," said Mr. Anderson.
"We'll look for tracks in the morning before we leave," said Mr. Waterman.
He then turned to Pierre and talked to him in French.
"'No deer. Big fish,' he says," said Mr. Waterman as he turned around.
"Well, if he's sure of it, he's right," said Mr. Anderson. "They have ways of knowing some of these wood matters that seem uncanny to us."
"Well, let's get to bed," said Mr. Waterman.
They all turned to their dunnage bags and got out their sleeping bags. Pierre and Joe had only a blanket and they lay down by the fire, wrapping the blanket around their shoulders but otherwise making no further preparation.
"Is that the way they sleep all the time?" said Bob.
"No, they probably did not want to burden themselves with anything extra, as they have lots to carry to-morrow."
The guides had cut down some boughs and the boys soon had a fine bed ready. They were stretched out looking up at the stars in a very few moments and Bob felt that this was just the beginning of what promised to be a most interesting summer. For some time he lay there, watching lazily the fire as it occasionally threw into relief the green branches of the trees, or made the shadows deeper and more mysterious. It was not long, however, that he lay thus undisturbed, for the gnats, "les moustiques" as the guides called them, began to buzz around and made his life miserable. Over the fire, Bob had not been much bothered by this pest but further away they soon became unbearable.
"Ye gods!" said Pud, as he sat up in his blankets. "I'm getting eaten alive."
"Let's make a smudge," said Bob. "That will help some."
The two boys got up and soon had a real smudge throwing out a sickly smoke over their blankets. All this time Bill slept peacefully. It seemed that with his head buried in his blankets he was able to stand the gnats, but the smoke got him. Evidently a good puff got under his blankets, for he woke up suddenly and said in a choked voice,
"What in sin's going on? I'm choking. What's the idea?"
Just then a swarm of gnats enveloped his head and he ducked under his blankets. No more was said, for Bill knew why the smoke was there. All three covered up their heads and were soon asleep. It got real cold in the middle of the night and the gnats became too torpid to move. The boys slept like logs for they were tired. It could not have been more than four o'clock when the cheery voice of Mr. Waterman was heard calling them up.
"Out of your blankets, boys. We're going all the way to Lac Parent before breakfast and that will take some hiking."
In a few minutes, the camp was a scene of the greatest activity. The guides filled large dunnage bags with the provisions that had been brought in. This was soon done and the boys had also packed their blankets in their bags.
"Is everything ready?" asked Mr. Waterman.
"I think so," said Mr. Anderson. "You boys will have about all you can handle to carry in your dunnage bags. We'll manage the rest all right, I guess."
The guides led off after loading themselves with two large bags. Each of them carried at least one hundred and fifty pounds. The Indian seemed to handle his load with the greatest ease. He looked back and helped the boys adjust their bags more comfortably, or so that they would carry more easily. They had gone only a half mile when they came to a small lake. It was only a quarter mile across it, but the guides had canoes there. The loads were soon in the boats and they got the other side very quickly. Then to the surprise of the boys, the Indian and Mr. Waterman got the packs on their backs and then, lifting the canoes, they got them over their shoulders and away they went.
"Gee whizz!" said Bill. "I thought you two had a big load on before but you walk away with those canoes with ease."
"There's a great knack in carrying canoes," said Mr. Waterman.
"That's all right," said Pud. "But those two men must have at least two hundred pounds on their backs and they are going right along."
"I'll admit," said Mr. Anderson, "that they have a larger load than usual, but they are not going far and we'll relieve them on the next portage."
The way led up across a ridge. Part of it was rather steep and the boys found themselves panting as they got to the top and began the descent to the next little lake beyond. They found Mr. Waterman and Pierre already there and with the canoes in the water.
"That was some pull," said Mr. Waterman. "Pierre is in better condition than I am. He doesn't seem to mind it a bit, but I found that a little heavy before breakfast."
"We'll help with the dunnage on the next portage," said Bob. "My bag does not feel very heavy. Let me try the canoe."
"I'll let you have the canoe," said Mr. Waterman, "but I'll take your stuff."
This was done. Mr. Waterman showed Bob how to arrange the paddles so that they would rest on his shoulders. He also showed him the use of the small rope that Bob had noticed along the middle stay of the canoe. This was put over the head so that when the canoe was rightly placed Bob was carrying it on his shoulders, his forearms and also his head. He found the weight well distributed and he walked away like a veteran. He found it awkward work at first to keep to the trail and to avoid bumping the canoe into the trees. He soon got used to this and went along finely. He had no trouble until they got to the top of the little divide between the two lakes and started down. They had gone down only a little piece before he stepped on a piece of slippery moss, his feet flew out from under him, and down he came with the canoe on top of him. Rather crestfallen, he got up and began to arrange the paddles, etc., in place again.
"Had a tumble?" said Mr. Waterman. "That was because you didn't have the weight well balanced coming down the hill. You'll soon learn. Do you need any help with the canoe?"
"No, I think that I can manage," said Bob.
He then caught hold of the gunwales of the canoe and started to lift it over his head, but he plunged forward and down came the canoe again.
"Let me help you this time," said Mr. Waterman. "When we get to camp and get rid of these packs, I'll show you just how to do it. It's easy when you know how."
Bob once more had the canoe on his shoulders and arrived at the next lake without further mishap. They found every one waiting for them. They were soon across and after one more portage, they reached Lac Parent. Far down the lake, they saw smoke rising.
"Jean is waiting for us," said Mr. Anderson to Mr. Waterman.
"Is there another guide?" asked Bob.
"Oh, yes," replied Mr. Waterman. "We have Pierre's son with us. He was told to have breakfast ready for us at six o'clock and I'll bet he's been waiting for some time, as it has taken us a little longer than I expected to get here."
The two canoes sped down the lake. The boys looked around with much interest. There was a real mountain on the far shore of the lake, part of which came down to the water very precipitously. The small islands in the lake made it more picturesque. They soon rounded a point of land and came full on the camp lying before them. With its line of tents, the smoke curling up from the fire, and the beauty of the forests in the background, it made a scene that would rejoice any fisherman's eye. As they came to the shore, Jean came running down. He was a big fellow for his age, seventeen. He had very regular features like his father, and was remarkably well built.
The boys landed and one and all felt that at last they were fairly in the woods and ready for whatever might befall.
CAMP AT LAKE PARENT
No sooner had they landed than Jean announced that breakfast was ready.
"Let's get something into our stomachs before we think of anything else," said Mr. Waterman.
"That suits me," said Pud, and all the others joined in so that the motion was carried unanimously.
The party went across a little stream and sat down at a table made of logs that had been split fairly in two. The middle sides of the logs were up, thus making a smooth surface, but this was really made a fact by big strips of birch bark that covered the top. A long seat at each side of the table was also made out of a split log, while a sawed-off stump made a special seat for Mr. Waterman at the head of the table. This table was under a big tent fly. Jean had set the table with tin plates and cups and a goodly portion of prunes was on each plate. They set to at once and after the prunes, some good oatmeal was brought on. To the surprise of the boys, they had milk.
"Where do you get milk up here?" asked Bill.
"Oh, we get it from the mountain goats," said Mr. Anderson, with a wink to Mr. Waterman.
"We're lucky," said the latter. "We now have four mountain goats that are getting real tame, though it takes some time to round them up each morning."
"Why this tastes like real milk to me," said Pud.
"Of course," said Mr. Anderson. "Very few people can tell the difference between goat's milk and the ordinary cow's milk."
"I'll have to watch you milk them," said Pud. "It must be interesting."
"It is interesting," said Mr. Waterman. "I really think that we'll soon have another goat around here."
At this, Mr. Anderson laughed heartily, and Pud saw that the laugh was on him.
"I'm easy," said Pud; "I know I'm easy. But seriously speaking, where do you get this milk? It's a little thin but otherwise it's O.K."
"It's evaporated milk," said Mr. Waterman. "It comes in cans and is easy to make, as it requires only the proper quantity of water to make it fairly good. You'll get a lot of it this summer for that's the only kind one can have in the woods."
"We're having ham and eggs this morning," said Mr. Anderson. "We're going to let you have the pleasure of getting your own fish for dinner."
"Oh, Heavens," said Pud. "I'm afraid that I'll go hungry, for I've never cast a line in my life."
"Well, the lake is full of them, and even a very poor fisherman is sure to catch a few," said Mr. Waterman.
"That's good news," said Bill. "I'm a novice at the game, but I certainly am anxious to see what I can do and to try my hand."
"That's the spirit," said Mr. Anderson. "It won't take long for you boys to learn. As soon as we get things settled a bit here, we'll go after the shiny beauties."
After their breakfast, the boys had a chance to look around. They were delighted with the site of the camp. It was on a level spot at the shore and the camp was divided by a little stream. On the far side of the stream was the tent for the guides, the cook tent, and the dining tent, which consisted of the table described before with the big tent fly over it. Looking across the little stream, the layout was not only very picturesque, but it also served to divide the camp very well from what might be called the social standpoint. The guides had put quite a little time on clearing up the shore so that there was a very nicely cleared spot in front of the five shelter tents, all of which faced the lake. They made a very fine appearance. The view from the front of the tents was very good. The lake opened out, and right opposite there was a big bluff that shot straight down into the lake from a height of at least three hundred feet. The whole camp, including the tents for the guides, stretched along the water front for about one hundred yards.
There was one other feature of the camp which proved especially interesting to the boys. The guides had broadened this stream which divided the camp into a sort of pool near the edge of the lake, with a little log bridge at each end of the pool. Into this pool, they had put any unusually fine trout they had caught, and already there were nearly a hundred speckled beauties swimming around in the clear water. Each end of the pool had been fixed with crossed willow wands so that the fish could not get out. This pond had proved a never-ending source of pleasure to the boys, for it must be remembered, that they had practically never seen a trout before.
"When do you expect Jack back?" Mr. Waterman inquired of Mr. Anderson.
"He said he'd be back some time to-day," replied the latter.
"Who's Jack?" asked Pud.
"He's one of the guides," said Mr. Waterman. "He's a corker. He's been up in through to Lac Corbeau trimming up some of the portages."
"You'll find Jack the best fellow in the world," said Mr. Anderson. "He knows the woods like a book and he can cook very well. We won't know what real grub is until he gets back."
"Can he talk English?" asked Bill.
"Sure," said Mr. Waterman. "He's a Yankee. I brought him up here the first year so I would be sure to have one dependable guide."
"Well, let's go fishing," said Pud, as if that was all there was about it.
"All right," said Mr. Waterman, "but first of all, you'll have to be initiated into the ABC's of fishing, namely, getting your rods and lines ready."
"What's hard about that?" asked Pud.
"Oh, nothing much if you know how, but quite a little if you have never set up a rod and line," said Mr. Waterman.
"Get your tackle and come over to the table," said Mr. Anderson.
They were all soon there and under the skillful tutelage of Mr. Waterman and Mr. Anderson, the boys soon had their rods in readiness. Pud was much surprised at the care taken by Mr. Waterman in seeing that everything was ship-shape before he would pass the tackle as perfect. Pud learned more about reels, lines, leaders and flies than he had ever heard tell of before. At last they were all ready.
"I'll paddle, Bob. You, Mr. Anderson, take Bill and I'll have Joe look after Pud," said Mr. Waterman.
"What's the idea?" asked Bill.
"Fishing in this lake, two generally go together, one paddling and the other casting," said Mr. Waterman.
"That would be the best way to-day in any case," said Mr. Anderson. "We can each show the boys how to cast and, in fact, give them a lesson in the art of trout fishing. When you see Joe here, or Jack or Mr. Waterman casting, boys, you will agree with me that real trout fishing is an art."
"We'll need the instruction," said Bob.
They were soon out on the water.
"Let's have your rod a minute, Bob," said Mr. Waterman. Bob handed it over and his tutor showed him how to cast. Bob was awkward at first but he was soon casting very nicely. Bob was so interested trying to get the knack of casting that he wholly forgot that he was on a lake full of trout. He was therefore very much surprised to feel his fly snatched away like an arrow.
"You've got one," called Mr. Waterman.
Bob pulled in quickly and his rod bent almost double.
"Give him line, give him line," cried Mr. Waterman.
Bob let out his line and all at once the tension ceased.
"I believe he's got away," said Bob.
"Reel in, reel in!" cried Mr. Waterman.
Bob did so, and the fish made another rush. This time Bob let out his line and when the trout stopped he began to reel in. He soon saw the trout near the canoe and tried to pull him out of the water into the canoe with a motion as fast as he had often done when fishing for catfish on the banks of a river. He got the trout out of the water, but with a mighty wiggle, the trout hopped off the hook and disappeared like a silver streak in the water.
"I didn't think you were going to do that," said Mr. Waterman. "I wasn't looking, as I was just getting the net ready. The next time, pull him easily to the side of the canoe and I'll get him with the landing net."
"I'm sorry," said Bob.
"That's all right," said Mr. Waterman. "It was really my fault. The novice does just what you did nine times out of ten, and I should have remembered that and warned you."
"I'll remember the next time," said Bob, emphatically.
"I wonder how the others are getting on," said Bob, as he looked around. Bill was down the lake casting in good fashion. Pud was close by, and looked very awkward.
"Watch out," said Joe to him, "or you will catch me in the eye."
"Don't worry," replied Pud, "I'm much more likely to take off one of my own ears."
"Do it like you crack de whip," suggested Joe.
"All right," said Pud.
He gave the line a mighty heave but the fly flew too low and caught him in the back. It must have stuck in a little, for Pud gave a lurch forward and, in spite of Joe's frantic efforts with his paddle, over went the canoe.
"Hold on to your rod," yelled Mr. Waterman, when he saw Pud go sprawling into the water. That was the last thing Pud thought of for he cast the rod away and turned to the canoe. Joe was already there. With an expert twirl, he righted the canoe with but little water in it. In another moment he was in the back seat, giving Pud directions how to climb in without upsetting the canoe. Three different times Pud upset the canoe before he got in. As they started to row back to the camp Pud felt something sticking him in the back. He felt and it was the fly which had remained fastened to him.
"Stay quiet, Pud," yelled Bob. "We'll come over and see if we can't save your rod."
Pud stopped paddling and they soon fished up his rod from the bottom of the lake.
"You're lucky," said Mr. Waterman. "Remember that rods do not grow on bushes up here. If you're tipped over again, hold on to your rod. Paste that right in your hat and remember it."
"I won't forget it," said Pud. "I'll be back again when I get some dry clothes on. I'm going to catch a fish this morning if I have to dive for one."
"You dive enough already," said Joe in his serious way.
Bob and Mr. Waterman paddled off and it was not long before Bob had landed his first trout. It was a beauty, about eighteen inches long and weighing about two pounds. In another hour he had seven in his basket and was getting more skillful each time.
"Suppose you paddle and let me fish for a while," said Mr. Waterman at last.
"Good," said Bob. "I'll be glad to see you do it."
"You won't see anything extraordinary," said Mr. Waterman. "I just want to show you a few things though. We've kept out in open water. Well, the best place for trout is near the shore, under overhanging branches, near rocks or trees that have fallen into the lake. If I had brought you to such places at first you would probably have lost half your tackle. But, to be a good fisherman, you must not only know how to cast, but you must be able to cast accurately."
Bob then followed Mr. Waterman's directions and paddled close to the shore. With unerring aim, Mr. Waterman cast the fly almost to the desired inch. It seemed uncanny to Bob, but trout after trout was hooked and played with a master hand. Only one got away, due to no fault of Mr. Waterman.
"We've caught plenty," said Mr. Waterman at last. "I guess we won't starve for a couple of days."
"I should think not," said Bob, as he looked in his basket and saw the mass of speckled beauties.
Their fishing had brought them down to the far end of the lake.
"That's quite a mountain there," said Bob, pointing to the far shore.
"Yes, the whole country here is filled with just such mountains with lakes on at least three sides. It is a curious formation, but this makes it very fine for hunting and fishing."
The paddle back to camp was soon over. They found Bill and Pud also just getting out of their canoes.
"That's some sport," said Bill. "I have nearly two dozen fine trout. I hope to be able to cast well before long and then I'll do better."
"How did you get along, Pud?" asked Bob.
"Oh, pretty well. It took me some time to get the knack of it, but Joe at last said that I was improving. I knew I was, because after a while he stopped dodging every time I cast."
The boys got out of the canoes and made for their tents.
"Wait a minute, wait a minute," said Mr. Anderson. "We all clean our own fish at this camp, so come along."
The boys followed him, and under his direction they soon got so they could clean a trout in no time at all. They then made for their tents, got stripped and had a good swim.
Mr. Waterman and Mr. Anderson watched the boys from the shore.
"Well, it's fine to have the boys with us again, isn't it?" said Mr. Waterman.
"You bet," said Mr. Anderson. "They are a fine trio. I only hope that those who come later will be as agreeable."
"I like that Bob Hunt," said Mr. Waterman. "He's very keen. He took to casting in no time. He'll be an expert in a month."
"Williams is a fine boy and Pud is awkward, but I'm no judge of character if he isn't as big-hearted as they make them," said Mr. Anderson.
"He's a card. It certainly was funny to see him casting. Every time he cast Joe would duck, and at last he caught himself in the back so hard that he tipped over the canoe."
"Is that so?" said Mr. Anderson.
Mr. Waterman then had to tell him about the upset and they laughed heartily.
"He's a good swimmer, so there wasn't any danger," said Mr. Waterman in conclusion.
"He's good and strong and should make a good man for the carries," remarked Mr. Anderson, as he noted Pud's bulky form as he came out of the water.
"Yes, some good portaging will take off about ten pounds of fat and make him as hard as nails," said Mr. Waterman.
"What's that you say?" asked Pud, as he turned towards them.
"I was just saying," said Mr. Waterman, "that some good portaging would take ten pounds or so off you and make you as hard as nails."
"Lead me to it. I'm game," replied Pud. "I came up here not only to learn how to fish, but mainly to get hardened up for football in the fall."
"Don't worry then," said Mr. Anderson. "Anybody that charges you next October will think that he has run into a stone wall."
"How long before dinner?" asked Pud, as he looked longingly across the little stream where Jean was busily engaged around the fire.
"Not very long," said Mr. Waterman. "Let's go over and see if we can hurry things along."
"All right," said Pud. "Just give me a minute to slip into my clothes."
Mr. Waterman went over to the fire and he was joined there in a few minutes by all three boys. They were set at peeling potatoes and onions, for Joe had three partridges the previous day and they were going to have a stew. The boys' task was soon through and it was not long until the smell of the partridge stew and the fresh trout on the fire fairly made the boys' mouths water. They soon set the table and then went off to try and get a look at a woodpecker they heard hammering away in the woods. They had just gotten under the big old tree on which the woodpecker was busy and were watching his diligent operations when they heard a welcome call and they broke for the camp. They arrived with Pud bringing up the rear, puffing and blowing. They then sat down to what all the boys afterwards stated seemed to them the best meal they had ever tasted. Partridge stew, fresh trout, hot bread cooked in an oven that stood before the fire and caught the heat in that way, plenty of tea and a dessert of stewed apricots formed the menu. It was indeed a merry party that sat around the table with Mr. Waterman at the head. The guides were the waiters and they were kept busy bringing the trout hot and sizzling from the fire to the table.
"I take it all back," said Bill Williams, "I said I didn't like fish. I meant the kind we get in the city. But—this trout is fit for the gods. It is certainly good."
"You're right," said Pud. "I didn't think that any fish could taste so good."
"My sentiments, too," said Bob, "and as for this partridge stew, there's only one thing the matter with it and that there isn't enough of it."
"That's something we don't have every day, but we have the fish always and we never get tired of it," said Mr. Anderson.
At last, filled to repletion, they leaned back and began a general conversation.
"I know one thing," said Pud, with a sigh.
"What's that?" asked Bill.
"I'll never take off any weight here. I've just eaten enough to feed a family."
"Don't worry," said Mr. Waterman. "You'll need all the food you get when you're carrying a canoe across some of the portages we'll be on this summer."
"We'll take it easy for an hour, and then let us all get busy and get out balsam boughs for our beds. Mr. Waterman and I have a pretty good lot already, but a little more will help. We've left you the privilege of making your own beds as all good campers insist on doing."
"That's a good idea," said Mr. Waterman. "That will take some time. There's a lot of cleaning up to do along the shore front also, so that we'll put in a little time each day on that. We'll kill two birds with one stone, as we'll get out a lot of firewood at the same time. That will leave the guides free to make us a landing."
"Where will you get the boards?" asked Bill.
"Leave it to Joe," said Mr. Anderson. "He'll have as nice a landing out there in a day or two as you would care to see, and there won't be a nail in it and it will be made entirely with his axe."
"I'll watch them do it," said Pud, with an air of unbelief.
They all then went to their tents and for an hour they lounged around, dozing and talking. Mr. Anderson then roused them out. They got their short axes and went into the woods. Each had a big bag and it was not very long until they returned laden with the fragrant tips. More than one trip was necessary, but at last all had downy balsam beds on which to lay their blankets. They made up their blankets for the night and did various other things around the tents.
"Let's go for a paddle," at last said Bob.
This was agreed to eagerly, and they all got into a canoe and went on an exploring expedition. First they went opposite and started to climb the bluff. They found it a harder task than they had supposed, as finally they had to go back some distance before they could get to the top. At last they came out on the edge and brought Mr. Waterman and Mr. Anderson down to the edge of the opposite shore by their shouts. They waved to the boys and then slowly disappeared in the trees.
"This is some little mountain, isn't it?" said Bob.
"It certainly is," said Bill.
"Let's roll down one of these big bowlders and see what happens," said Pud.
The front of the bluff was rather crumbly, with big rocks near the edge looking as if they had been left there by the frost, or rather as if the frost had pried away their brothers to let them crash down into the lake. They soon found a big rock that looked as if it would move easily. Pud found a small tree that had fallen down, and with this as a lever they loosened the rock and it started down the cliff. It moved slowly at first and the boys drew close to the edge to watch its course. Down it dashed, gathering momentum and finally taking along with it into the water a small tree that grew out from the mountain about half way down. In their eagerness to see the splash they went too near to the edge, and the ground began to give way beneath them. Bob, as usual, was the first to act. He bumped Bill back with his shoulder and then caught Pud's coat just as it was disappearing. Bill, quick-witted also, rushed to his assistance, and between them they hauled Pud back, though all three were on the ground and nearly over the edge before the two could stop the heavy Pud. A yell from the opposite shore told them that Mr. Waterman and Mr. Anderson had seen their predicament. Bob and Bill held on and slowly pulled Pud up to them. When all three at last arose, probably only a minute later, they were bathed in perspiration, as they had all been under a terrible physical strain.
"That was a close shave," said Pud, as he walked over to the edge to look down.
"Come back, you crazy Indian. Don't you know that it was your weight that caused the trouble before, and there you are, trying to tempt fate again," said Bob.
"You're right, fellows. I'm some ungrateful cuss. I've not even thanked you for saving my precious neck."
"Don't thank me. Thank Bob," said Bill. "He pushed me back and then caught you just as you were preparing to take a high dive that would have made Steve Brodie look like a piker. Thank Bob. He's always there with the presence of mind stuff when it's needed."
"Not a bit of it, Pud," said Bob. "Bill is too modest. If he hadn't caught me in time, you would have pulled me over the edge, so you see we both owe our lives to him."
"I guess it's up to me to do all the thanking, for if you had not grabbed my coat, you would not have been in any danger yourself."
"Well, let's forget it, fellows," said Bob.
Just then they heard a voice from the water, and they looked down to see their two leaders in a canoe.
"We're all right," yelled Pud.
"Don't go near the edge," yelled Mr. Waterman. "It's dangerous."
"All right," yelled Bob. "We're coming right down, so don't worry."
They found the two men waiting for them when they reached their canoe at the bottom of the cliff. Explanations were in order.
"We saw it all," said Mr. Waterman, "for when that rock started down that cliff it made such a racket that we rushed down to the shore. We felt like yelling at you to get back, but just as the thought occurred to us, we saw the rock under your feet giving way. Then Bob knocked Bill back and caught Pud's coat. We thought it was all over with the two of you, but Bill recovered his balance just in time to grab Bob and, I tell you, we sweat some while you were tugging to get Pud back, for it was a wonder that the rock under you did not give way and let you all down."
"You're a plucky lot of boys," said Mr. Anderson. "You will have to remember not to go too near to the edge of these cliffs up here, for the frost has made the face of some of them very brittle."
"We certainly won't forget it," said Bill.
"We've had enough excitement for one day," said Bob. "Let's go back to camp and take it easy for the rest of the afternoon."
"I'll take it back. I'll take it back," said Pud, as he held up his hands in mock terror.
"What's that you'll take back?" asked Bob.
"That I was bound to put on flesh up here. To get thrown out of a canoe in the morning and to come within an ace of making a three hundred foot dive in the afternoon is just about enough excitement to make any one lose weight. I bet I lost five pounds in that minute and a half when Bob had me by the coat, and I was wondering whether he could hold on to my elephantine form; whether the rock would not give way, and whether I could get back to safety. I sweat like a bull."
"It certainly made me sweat too," said Bob.
"That was because you were under terrific physical and nervous tension. A minute or even half a minute under such conditions will exhaust one more than half a day's hard work," said Mr. Waterman.
"Gee, I don't dare write home my full experiences of my first day at camp," said Pud. "That mamma of mine would be up here taking me home."