The Baldwin Library
- r .-
GEORGIE'S PRESENT. (See page o).
GEBe lE'f PRESENT;
TrqEB1 sFE NEWFIP NDhlNND.
Author of "Annals of Industry and Genius," etc., etc.
JAMES B. KNAPP, 6, SUTTON STREET,
COMMERCIAL ROAD, E.,
AND 26, PATERNOSTER Row, E.C.;
THOSE. HUMPHREYS AND CO., PRINTERS,
WHITE HORSE STREET, E.
... ... ... ... 7
... .. ... 34
S... ... 44
TALES OF NEWFOUNDLAND.
T was a beautiful May-day morning when
George Green rose at an early hour; for it
was his birthday, and he had not been able
to sleep so long as usual, for counting of
the joyful anniversary.
"Ten years old, are you indeed, my boy?" said
his father, who found Master George eagerly awaiting
him in the breakfast parlour.
Georgie's Present; or,
"Yes, papa; and I am to have a whole holiday,
and mamma has promised to take me to spend the
afternoon at Aunt Baker's, and-but I must not tell
you that now, for it is a secret! "
The afternoon visit was evidently the great treat in
George's esteem; and
pleased indeed did he
look, as he started with
his mother for the Par-
sonage-house in which
his aunt lived. Mrs. -
Baker was the daughter
of Mr. Ward, an excel-
lent clergyman, who had
for several years been a
missionary in Newfound-
land. After his death,
his widow and daughter returned to England, and
found a home in the country village where some of
their family lived, and where Maria Ward soon married
Tales of J.'ewfoundland.
the clergyman of the parish, her widowed mother con-
senting to become one of her household.
Mrs. Ward was a charming old lady, lively and
intelligent, -and full of goodness. Her heart seemed
always overflowing with love, and though no longer
able to labour in the missionary field as she had
done in the days of her early womanhood, she was at
heart a missionary still, regarding with delight the
progress of that great and glorious cause-the advance-
ment of the Redeemer's kingdom upon earth.
On the afternoon of the fair May-day, when little
George and his mother paid their visit to the Parson-
age, Mrs. Ward was sitting in her best bib and tucker,
prepared to do honour to the occasion. Close by her
side, upon the hearth, lay a splendid Newfoundland
dog, which every now and then looked up at her
with affectionate eyes that seemed to say, "How
much I love you."
"Ah, Boxa!" said the old lady, fondly caressmg
the head of the animal, "I don't know what you'll
10 Georgie's Present; or,
say to me I have actually given away one of your
pups: at all events, I have promised it, which is the
At that moment Master George popped his merry
face in at the open window, and greeted Mrs. Ward
with a shout of joyous laughter. "Dear Granny, you-
didn't know you were talking aloud; and how indeed
were you to guess that I was so close at hand to over-
hear you ? Ah how glad I am that you mean really
to let me have the beautiful pup. I have chosen a
name for it already: it shall be called Newfy, be-
cause its mother came from Newfoundland."
Its grandmother you should say, my dear," replied
Mrs. Ward; "Boxa's mother came over with me
from Newfoundland, and a wonderful animal she was
for cleverness and beauty; but after all, she could
not compare with dear old Box, her sire. He was a
marvel of sagacity, and did feats which I really believe
have never been surpassed."
While the old lady was speaking, her grandson
.Tales of .Newfoundland. 11
had jumped in at the window, and was standing
beside her, eagerly listening.
"You know, dear grandmamma," he said, "this
is my birthday, and I have come to spend half of it
with you and aunt; and, first, we are to have a walk,
then to take tea together, and, to finish up, you will
tell me all about Newfoundland and what you have
seen there, ending with the history of the wonderful
"Stay, stay, my love," said Mrs. Ward; "it is
impossible that I should tell you all I have seen in
Newfoundland. I can, however, give you an account
of some of your dear grandfather's missionary jour-
neys, in which he met with many adventures, and,
at the close of one trip, fell in with the good man
to whom the wonderful dog Box belonged."
"That's just what I should like," said George;
and immediately he hastened to find his grandmother's
bonnet and shawl, in which she was quickly arrayed
for the walk.
Georgie's Present; or,
It was a bright sunshiny afternoon, and as the little
party strolled through the village street, they found
half the women and children of the place, sitting in
the doorways, or playing about on the roadside.
By-and-by they came to the green, where there was a
crowd of boys just turned out of school, a large knot
of them clustering round a little Italian boy, who had
Tales of Newfoundland.
found his way to the village with his hurdy-gurdy,
upon which he was playing, while, tied to a string, he
carried a little monkey, perched upon his shoulder.
George was eager to join the group and see the antics
of Jacko, who sat grinning and holding a little cap for
money, into which a boy flung a halfpenny, and then
asked the Italian where he came from. But the answer
was unintelligible to him, for it was given in a strange
tongue, and George was soon tired of listening to the
music and watching the monkey.
In the meantime his grandmother had walked on,
accompanied by her daughter, and they were now
slowly crossing the common. A few minutes' brisk
run brought George to their side, when he began
chatting about the boy and his monkey.
I have no liking for those animals," said Mrs.
Ward; indeed, the very sight of a monkey makes me
shudder with a feeling of aversion. I once saw a trick
played by one of them which made a lasting impression
upon my mind."
Georgie's Present; or,
"Tell me about it, dear grandma," said George,
"while" you rest for a while under this warm hedge
upon your camp-stool which I have brought for you."
"Well," she said, seating herself at her grandson's
request, "it is a strange story, but quite true. It
happened many long years ago, when I was a young
married woman, voyaging to Newfoundland, in the
good ship Sarah Ann, with your grandfather, who was
then starting for the missionary station to which he had
been appointed. We were drawing near to land; and
after a long and weary voyage, you may imagine how
eagerly all eyes were strained to catch the first sight
of the yet distant shore.
"Among the passengers was one young lady, a
sweet, gentle creature, who quite won my heart by
her winning manners. She had with her her first-born
child, an infant at the breast, and was going to Quebec
to join her husband, a military man there. She had
come with the rest of us on deck when the glad sum-
mons was heard, 'Land in sight !' and was seated upon
Tales of Newfoundland. 15
a sofa, with the child in her lap. The captain very
politely handed his glass to the ladies who stood near
him, and directed them how to catch a glimpse of the
shore, which they were just able to discern. When
they had all had a peep, he turned to the young lady
whom I have mentioned, and asked if she would like
to look. She thanked him, and rose for the purpose,
first cautiously laying her sleeping baby upon the sofa.
She then advanced a few steps, and took the glass he
presented to her; but scarcely had she raised it to her
eye when a shout was heard from one of the sailor--
'Stop him! stop the monkey; he's got the child!'
Every eye was turned in the direction to which the
man pointed; and there we saw the ship's monkey,
a favourite animal with the sailors, of which they made
a great pet, climbing up a rope which he held in one
hand, while with the other he hugged close to him the
helpless infant! Up, up, to a towering height the
wretched brute climbed, while we followed him with
our eyes in breathless alarm. Suddenly a loud scream
16 Georgie's Present;. or,
was heard : it was the voice of the poor agonized- mo-
ther, who would have fallen
senseless to the ground, had
not one of the gentlemen
caught her in his arms.
She was carried down in a j Hl
state of unconsi.:'usncss to i
the cabin, and left to the A h
care of the stewardess.
SN:o one on deck had
inoved an inch. Indeed
they scarcely seemed to breathe, so intense was the
excitement felt in watching the movements of the
animal. Presently, a faint cry was heard,-the child
Taltes of N7Vewfou'ndlZand.
was evidently frightened; perhaps hurt by the pressure
of the brute's arm. At once the monkey paused: he
seemed to perceive there was something amiss; for,
taking his station in some part of the rigging, he tried
to act the part of nurse, rocking the baby to and fro,
and patting its back. In the meantime the captain
was at his wits' end to know what course was the best
to pursue. At first he ordered one or two of the men
to go aloft in pursuit. But this only increased the
evil, for the animal, seeing itself chased, hastened to
climb a still higher spar; and the terrible fear was
suggested that, if driven too closely, he might drop his
precious burden, in order thus to secure the use of
both his arms."
Oh, grandmamma, how shocking cried George,
his interest evidently reaching a climax at this point
of the tale.
"Shocking indeed," said Mrs. Ward; "the very
idea was enough to make one's blood run cold. What
was to be done ? There was, happily, present a very
18 Georgie's Present; or,
experienced old seaman, who now ventured to sug-
gest a plan which he thought might possibly turn
out successful: at all events, as he said, it could do
no harm. His advice was, that everybody should be
ordered to quit the deck, sailors and all, so that not
a creature should be visible on board. The few
men whose presence was necessary to manage the ship
were alone suffered to remain at their post, and they
were directed to keep quiet, and to conceal themselves
as much as possible.from view of the monkey. The
captain determined to try this scheme, and his
orders were immediately obeyed. We all hastened
down .'I :..rlirdli, and waited the issue in suspense.
For some minutes a profound silence reigned. By-
and-by the captain, who had placed himself at a point
where he could watch unseen what was going for-
ward, announced that the monkey was dE-cending
cautiously from his perch. By his actions it seemed
as V .:glih the creature felt at a loss to account for the
unwonted solitude on deck. His curW:.itv was
Tales of Newfouzndland.
awakened, and he must needs come down and see
what it meant.
Slowly and cautiously he slipped from yardarm to
yardarm, approaching nearer and nearer to the deck;
at last he reached it, still carrying the child with a firm
grasp. In a moment he was seized by two lusty
sailors who were lying in wait behind a coil of rope;
and the precious freight he carried was borne in
triumph down to the cabin. What a scene it was!
The poor mother was just recovering from the long
death-like swoon in which she had lain, when the
infant was placed in her arms, perfectly uninjured,
although cold, and its little face blanched as,if with
terror. At first it seemed as though the sudden
revulsion of feeling was too much for her, and she
appeared about to sink once more into a state of
insensibility; but the next moment, feeling the little
creature nestling close to her bosom, she clasped it
to her, while the tears trickled down her cheeks."
I wonder whether they punished the monkey for
playing such a trick," said George.
20 Georgie's Present; or,
"I really think, my dear," said Mrs. Ward, "that
the mischievous brute escaped the flogging which
he richly deserved: one thing is certain, he never
had the chance of playing nurse to Mrs. Ray's baby
S HE rays of the evening sun were now
sinking beneath the horizon, shedding
a golden glory over the landscape, and
Speaking in fair promise of a fine day
on the morrow. It is time we went
home again, before the dews begin to fall," said
Mrs. Ward, as she rose from her seat; and then,
pointing to the western sky, she added: "How
beautiful !-' These are thy glorious works, Parent
of good. Let us praise God, whose glory is shown
in the works of His hands; for day unto day
uttereth speech ; night unto night showeth know-
ledge.' I hope you, my dear George, will never
be one of those who have eyes that see not, and
ears that cannot hear. Your dear grandfather was
22 Georgie's Present: or,
only a little boy when he began to think of the
great things of another world, and at the age of
fifteen he solemnly devoted himself to the service of
God his Saviour."
"Dear Grandmamma, I should like to know more
about him. You promised to tell me about one of his
journeys in Newfoundland; and now here we are,
home again, and tea is set out in readiness, as I can
see through the open window." The little party was
soon comfortably seated at the social meal, when
Master George's health was pledged in the cup that
cheers but not inebriates;" and he regaled himself
on choice plum-cake made by the dear old lady herself
for that special occasion, taking care, every now and
then, to break off a bit and throw it to Boxa, who sat
by his side, wagging her tail, in evident expectation of
"Shall we have candles ?" asked Mrs. Ward, when
the tea-things were being removed, or would you like
best to sit in the twilight and watch the rising moon?"
Tales of Newfoundland. 23
"I vote for twilight and the moon," said George,
placing his grandmother's arm-chair in a cozy nook,
from which she could see abroad; and then, seating
himself on the stool at her feet, he waited till she
should begin the promised story.
It was in the spring of the year, 1835, when your
grandfather undertook a tour of visitation to the
southern and western shores of Newfoundland, for the
purpose of ministering to the scattered families in
the remote settlements of that region. He left me at
St. John's in the month of March, as travelling over
the snow in the island is considered less difficult in that
month than walking overland is at any other season
of the year. When we parted I knew that he was
going on a laborious and painful journey, but I had
formed no idea of the dangers to which he would be
exposed, or my heart would indeed have sunk within
me. He took with him a guide to pilot him through
the country ; a man who was reckoned very skilful
and experienced, and who had lived some time with
Georgie's Present; or,
the Micmac Indians, one of the aboriginal tribes.
They had not advanced far on their way when they
missed the route, and could only ascertain the points
of the compass by observing the inclination of the
topmost branches of the juniper or larch trees."
"How could they know by that means, grand-
mamma ? "
Because the juniper or larch always points to the
east, thus affording them a secure indication, by
means of which they regained the path some time
"This was rather a bad start, and as it turned out,
seemed ominous of evil to the travellers. As they
proceeded on their way, your grandfather stopped at
various places to preach, administer the sacraments,
and visit the sick; and, in many instances, the poor
people received him gladly, being like sheep scat-
tered without a shepherd in solitary places, far from
the means of grace. In one house which he visited
he was moved with compassion at the sight of the
Tale-s of A'ewfozwndlamd.
poor ailing mother of the family. 'Ah sir!' said
she, 'if any of us be sick or sore, there is no one to
come near us, or to care for our souls.'
I doubt not you have often heard the saying,
'One half the world little knows how the other half
lives;' and, indeed, we have but little idea of the
shifts to which thousands of our fellow men are put,
and of the discomforts and troubles of their daily life.
These people lived, for the most part, in wretched
cabins, which swarmed with men, women, and child-
ren, while every nook and corner not thus occupied
was filled with pigs, fowls, sheep, or dogs; and the
thick smoke, or, as the people emphatically call it,
'cruel steam,' is most distressing to the eyesight,
which suffers greatly in consequence."
But, why don't they make chimneys, and let it
out grandma ?"
"They have a sort of rude chimney constructed
of uptight planks stuffed between with moss; but the
danger of the fire is great ; indeed it is always a
Georgie's Present; or,
necessary to have buckets of water at hand ready to
throw upon the flames. In some places the chim-
neys were fortified against this danger by being lined
all the way up with a coating of tin, which is found to
last some years."
I should be very sorry to have to live with the
Newfoundlanders if they have such houses as these;
it seems more like what we read of the savages in
Well, George, your grandfather fell in with some
of these people, a party of Indians from Canada; and,
as it was late at night when he reached their wig-
wams, 'the guide begged to be allowed to pass the
night with them. This they courteously permitted,
and showed every hospitality to their unexpected
guests. It was a curious sight, the whole party,
men, women, and children, lying around the fire in
the middle of the tent, upon spruce boughs, spread
like feathers, to form the couch. The softest and
cleanest deer skin was most courteously offered to the
Tales of 7Newfoundland.
guest, and he passed the night very comfortably,
truly thankful for the accommodation thus afforded
him, and without which he must have suffered greatly
from exposure to the weather, for the snow fell fast
during several hours."
At this point of her narrative Mrs. Ward rang for a
candle, and desired the servant to bring her writing
desk. "I shall find there," she said, "the original
MS. given me by my dear husband on his return from
this journey. He wrote it amid much difficulty, for
very frequently the ink would freeze in spite of all the
precautions he took. Paper, too, was very scanty, and
had it not been for boxes, containing a supply of
this article, which had been washed on shore from
different wrecks, he would have found it impossible to
procure enough for the purpose. Anxious, however,
to preserve a diary of each day's proceedings, he
persevered to the best of his power, and the result
was -this scroll, now discoloured by age, and some
of the leaves a good deal torn, but the hand is clear
Georgie's Present; or,
and legible throughout. I think you will like to have
me read you a short extract, giving an account of a
very dangerous part of his expedition. But, in the
first place, I should mention that, when travelling
into the interior, he was obliged to walk in Indian
rackets, or snow-shoes, a very difficult matter to one
unaccustomed to their use."
"Why difficult, grandma? I thought snow-shoes
kept you from slipping, and made it much easier to
walk in winter."
"The snow-shoes of which I speak, my dear, are
very different from anything you have ever seen; nor
could you imagine it possible to travel in them if
you had a pair now before you. The racket is a
machine consisting of a sort of net-work stretched
upon ledges made of very hard wood. They are about
two feet and a half long, and fourteen inches broad ;
and in the middle is fitted a kind of shoe, lined with
wool or hair, which is tied on to the ankle. By means
of these strange snow-shoes, the feet are prevented
Tales of Yewfoundlancd.
from sinking into the soft, deep snow. Even the
Indians, shod in this fashion, occasionally meet with
heavy falls, especially when
descending very steep hills;
and a foreigner feels terribly
awkward and at a loss when
first he attempts to use t
them. They are exceedingly i
fatiguing, too, as they be- ..
come very heavy when wet;
and the wearer is compelled .:
to walk with long and rapid
strides, in order to prevent lI
the rackets from striking --
against each other. Some-
times, when the day's journey was a long one, the faithful
terrier which accompanied your grandfather through-
out the whole route would howl for very exhaustion;
and whenever his master stopped to look about him,
or to set his compass, the poor brute would scratch
Georgie's PresenSt; or,
about and make himself a bed for a few minutes' rest
in the soft snow."
"Poor Doggy said George, "I can pity him for
I remember once when I walked some miles through
the snow, and my shoes got clogged up, I was so
tired, what Uncle Tom called 'dead beat,' that I
could not help crying the last mile before I reached
"Imagine, then, your grandfather starting and
making the best of his way over the snow-clad country
until the afternoon began to warn him that he must
make a halt. At about four o'clock the traveller has
to begin his preparation for the night's lodging, and
this he does by clearing away the snow (which is some-
times ten feet deep) from a square space; for which
purpose he makes a rude shovel, cut out of the side
of some standing tree; and, as snow does not adhere
to wood as it does to iron, this is the best thing to be
used in removing the snow. When the ground is
quite cleared, the wood for the fire is laid in the centre,
Tales of Newfounzdland. 31
about a foot of loose snow being left round the space
in which it is to be kindled. Upon this, the spruce or
fir branches, which easily break off when bent sharply
backwards, are laid all one way, with the lower part of
the bough upwards. Thus the bed is made. The
excavated snow forms a lofty wall round the square;
and here the traveller lies, with no covering from
the weather, nor any other shelter than the walls of
snow on each side of his cavern, and the surrounding
trees, may afford."
"I wonder," said George, how they got a light to
make the fire with; perhaps by rubbing two pieces
of wood together."
"Your guess, though ingenious, is not correct, my
dear," said Mrs. Ward; "there is a certain yellow
fungus which grows on the hazel tree that supplies
tinder to the Indian, who is never without flint and
steel; and he has a' very expert method of rapidly
whirling moss and dry leaves and bark in his hands,
so as to cause a draught, and in a wonderfully short
time he succeeds in making a cheerful blaze."
32 Georgie's Present; or,
And what has he to eat? "
"Plenty of venison, for there are large flocks of
deer in the country. You will wonder where these
creatures find pasture; I will tell you. At the time
when your grandfather travelled, the whole land was
covered with snow, excepting on the tops of some of
the hills, from which the snow had melted. These
lofty, bare spots are called 'naps,' and they resemble
island meadows in an ocean of snow.. Upon these,
the deer were grazing leisurely, like cattle, in numerous
'herds. They go in quest of food from one of these
naps to another, in places near water, which after long
frost becomes exceedingly scarce; in the interior, the
tracks of the deer were as thick as of cattle in the
snow in a well-stocked farmyard. There were, beside,
plenty of ptarmigan, which abounded on these hills,
searching for a species of cranberry, a food of which
they are very fond."
"Vension and grouse! dainty dishes, indeed, dear
granny; after all, that is not quite a land of barrenness."
Tales of JAewfoi ~dland.
"Nay, child! there is provision made in all places
of our heavenly Father's dominions for the supply of
the necessities both of man and beast. But I must
hasten on, or you will be weary of my tale."
N addition to the first guide, your grand-
Sfather now engaged one of the Indians with
whom they had passed the night, to
accompany him. The three cheerfully
proceeded on their route, and for the first
few days enjoyed very brilliant weather, and made so
much progress upon the hard snow, that I believe
they had nearly traversed a third of their destined
route across to St. George's Bay.
"But now they began to suffer severely from the
state of their eyes which became exceedingly painful,
and no wonder; for by day they were exposed to the
full glare of the sun upon the wide expanse of snow,
and all night to the red glare of the fire, together
with the pungent wood-smoke, which proved a constant
Tales of Xewfoundland. 35
trial to the sight. At length they became almost
blind, and to add to their distress, provisions began to
fail them. They had counted on securing plenty of
game as they went along, and no one ever thinks
of carrying provisions for more than a day or two
into the interior with them. Now, unhappily, this
resource was at an end; for not one of the three could
see well enough to use a gun, or, indeed, bear to look
"What follows is very sad; it is touchingly told
in the journal, and I will read the account as it is
there given:-' The atmosphere now became so
thick, that, had we not been troubled with snow-blind-
ness, we could not have seen more than a few yards,
and could not possibly have made our way in an
"'These Newfoundland fogs are fearful things;
they surpass, indeed, the imagination of Europeans.
You seem to be actually in cloud-land; for nothing
but cloud is visible above, around, and beneath.
36 Georgie's Present; or,
This state of things lasts often for days; now it is a
bright white, as though theday were struggling through;
now it becomes shaded, and now almost night. Some-
times there are little openings, and you catch a clean
vista between two wallsof vapour, but it is presently shut
out by the rolling masses of fog. I could compare
it to nothing but ghost-land; nothing is real except
the danger !"
"Were you ever in such a fog as that, grand-
mamma ? asked George.
"Yes, George; once at sea we were overtaken by a
most fearful and prolonged fog; never in my life did
I experience such feelings of awe and alarm as during
that weary week.
"But I must tell you of that another time. Your
grandfather often used to recall his emotions when
travelling in that thick cloud. One day they rested in
the icy chamber they had dug for the night's resting-
place, and he said, 'That was indeed an oratory;'
and fervently did we pray, 'Give us our daily bread,'
Tales of JewfoundZand. 37
and 'Lighten our darkness we beseech Thee, 0
"-The tears dropped fast when he thought of my
anxiety on his account, and of the probability that
his usefulness was at an end, and that we should
meet no more on earth.
"At length he came to the resolution to retrace
his steps, hoping to make the scanty supply of biscuit
which still remained hold out until they could regain
the spot where the Indians had encamped, and
where they had buried some venison. Of the three
travellers, he suffered least from snow-blindness,
which he thought was owing to the fact that he had
kept a black gauze veil over his face at mid-day, and
had resolutely adhered to his purpose of not
rubbing his eyes. He was, therefore, best able to
guide his companions. He thus describes the plan
on which he proceeded:-' Maurice, the Indian, would
open his eyes now and then to look at my compass;
-we could not see for fog more than one hundred
38 Georgie's Present: or,
yards; he would fix on some
object as far as the eye could
reach, and then shut his eyes
again, when I would lead him
up to it. On reaching it he
would take another look, and
we then started for the next
point. It was literally a case of
the blind leading the blind.
In this manner, by forced
marches, we were enabled to
TaZes of JNewfouwndlanmd.
reach, by seven or eight in the evening, the same
spots at which we had halted on our outward
march at four each day. Thus we were spared
the labour of digging and clearing away the snow,
to which, in our enfeebled condition, we were
quite unequal. The stint of food was now so small
that I advised my companions not to eat any
quantity at a time, but to take a piece the size of a
nutmeg when hunger was most craving. We gathered
also each day, on our return, about as many
partridge berries as would fill a wine glass apiece, and
these we found both refreshing and nutritive. They
had ripened in the autumn, and had been buried
under the snow all the winter, so that they resembled
preserved fruit in flavour, and reminded me of a rich,
"'One great privation in this winter travelling is
the want of water. We were obliged to content
ourselves with the supply :gotten from the snow,
melted by the smoky fire. This water, together with
40 Georqie's Present: or.
the wind, had the effect of parching andcracking
my swollen lips to such a degree, that when, after
an interval of eight days, I had an opportunity of
surveying my face in a piece of broken glass, I was
at a loss to recognize my own features. The most
scorching heat of summer is not so injurious to the
skin as the effect of travelling in the snow at this
"After this tedious fashion, stage by stage, the
wanderers slowly proceeded, until at length, by God's
mercy, they reached the place where the Indian
wigwams had been left. During the latter part of their
route they heard continually the noise of the wood-
peckers upon the bark of the trees, which is con-
sidered a certain sign of approaching rain, a down-
fall of which they much feared. The weather was
beginning to soften, and consequently the ice lost its
firmness, and it became both difficult and dangerous
to get so far as this place, but by great effort they
accomplished it. Nor was your grandfather satisfied
Tales of Newfoundland.
to trust to the imperfect shelter the tents afforded, but
persevered in journeying on to the hut built for the
winter crew, and which he knew was at no great
distance from thence.
"Scarcely had he reached this spot when the rain
fell in torrents, and truly thankful did he feel'that he
had a roof to protect him, instead of being in one of
those miserable un-roofed snow-caves, which had for
so many nights been his only retreat during all weathers.
For a time he suffered greatly both in his eyes and
from the smarting of his cold-blistered face, which,
together with the fatigue he had endured, rendered it
necessary that he should repose for some days before
venturing on his journeyings again. I shall not trace
his onward progress, which continued to be attended
with much difficulty and danger. His nerves became
at length so shattered by his great exertions, that,
when travelling along the coast, where he had to pass
over very lofty cliffs, the sight of these dizzy precipices
would so affect him that he burst into tears, and ex-
Georgie's Present; or,
perienced all the symptoms of fainting. Once when
clinging by his hands and knees upon the edge of a
steep cliff, he felt
as though he must Z-
inevitably loose his
hold, in which case
the fall would have been
certain death. Closing ,
his eyes, he breathed an
earnest ejaculatory prayer,
and supported by an invisible
arm, and strengthened with new
vigour, he felt empowered to
maintain his hold, and, gradually
advancing, reached the bottom in
Oh, how glad you must have felt when
you saw him home again, safe and sound, dear granny."
"I did, indeed, my love, and with thankful heart
acknowledged the goodness of our heavenly Father.
Tales of XNewfoundlland. 43
Nothing but the strong sense of duty can sustain the
heart under such anxiety as falls to the lot of the
faithful missionary and his family. Love divine is
the constraining and blessed principle that bears the
fainting spirit up. 'We love Him because He first
loved us.' Let that, my own dear boy, be your
motto; and then if you lose your life in the service of
your Lord, you will find it again in eternal joy."
Z CHAPTER IV.
FTER a short pause, Mrs. Ward said, with
S a smile, You will be wishing to hear the
story of Boxa's ancestor, a dog, as I have
said, deserving of renown. It chanced,
in one of his official journeys, your grand-
father visited a part of the coast peculiarly fatal to
European vessels, especially to those outward bound
to Quebec in the spring; the shore in the neigh-
bourhood being very low, and the ledges of rock
extending far out to sea. On one of the islands which
he visited, he took up his abode in a neat cabin
belonging to a planter, where he found welcome
shelter, and a cheerful fire made from the wreck-
wood scattered abundantly upon the shore. There
was a family of children, a merry group of boys and
Tales of Newfozundland.
girls, who kept jingling in their hands some sort of
'What have you got there, my boys ?' he asked.
They showed him their treasures, which proved to be
bunches of small desk and cabinet keys, that had been
picked up from the wrecks-a melancholy kind of
toy, he could not help thinking. By-and-bye the good
wife spread the hospitable board, at which he was
invited to take his seat. He looked with surprise at
the plates which she placed upon the deal table. They
were very beautiful old china ware, and several pieces
of a modem elegant breakfast set of dragon china,
which had been ranged upon the shelves of the cabin
alongside of the most common earthen crockery.
These also had been cast ashore by the waves in boxes.
When he asked to wash his hands, a fine huckaback
towel, neatly marked with initial letters, was handed
him. On inquiry, he learned that it had come from a
wreck-in which there were several ladies.
"There was something inexpressibly painful to the
46 Georgie's Present; or,
sensitive heart of my dear husband, in being thus
surrounded .by tokens of calamity. He inquired, with
a sigh, whether any efforts had been made to help the
"'Oh, yes!' said his host, a worthy man, though
rough in his address and appearance. 'Yes! we do
our best, but it is very seldom our help comes in time
to be worth much. Once or twice we have saved a
solitary seaman by throwing a rope, or by sending in
our dogs to drag others ashore; and some years ago
there were seven men wrecked in the night, unknown
to us. When the morning came, I was out early and
discovered footmarks along the shore, which told me
a tale I could read plain enough. I knew there had
been a fearful gale some hours before, and my mind
misgave me that these poor creatures, whose footsteps
I saw, would perish of hunger in the interior, where
they could find nothing to eat, and where there was
not a solitary cottage at which they could get help.
"' Well; I determined to track them, and I called
Tales of .Jewfoundland. 47
up my brother, who was a strong, active young fellow;
and we followed them, and found them at last, just
as they had given up all hope, and had laid down to
die. For three days and nights they had tasted
neither food nor drink. When first they caught sight
of us, I shall never forget their faces. Haggard and
starved, as they looked, they cried for joy, and kissed
our hands, and bade God bless us !'"
"And would they really have died, do you think,
grandmamma, if the two men had not overtaken
them ?" said Georgie, eargerly.
"No doubt, my love, such would have been their
fate. After hearing this tale, your grandfather retired
early to rest, being weary with the fatigues of a long
and exhausting day's journey. He slept soundly, and
though the wind, which had blown a strong gale
when he landed, increased during the night to a
hurricane, his slumbers were undisturbed for several
hours. At length he was aroused by a loud uproar,
for which at first he could not account. When he had
48 Georgie's Present; or,
quite regained consciousness, he found that, in ad-
dition to the noise of a raging tempest, there were
the shouts and cries of men outside the cabin, and
loud talking in the chamber beneath.
"It was evident that something unusual had oc-
curred to disturb the household. Hastily rising and
dressing himself, he made the best of his way down-
stairs, and there he found the wife of his host busily
engaged in chafing the hands and arms of a poor
half-drowned lad who had just been- brought into the
cabin and laid upon the floor. He, it appeared, had
been cast ashore by a heavy swell, but there were
others beside him who were still in danger.
"' Could you manage, sir, to stand against the wind,
perhaps you could carry this coil of rope; they may
be wanting it,' said the woman. In another minute
your grandfather was battling against the storm, making
his way along the rugged shore in the direction of a
small group of men who proved to be his host, with a
younger brother and the two men who had manned
the boat in which he had himself come to the island.
Tales of Newfouzndland.
"' It was a fearful sight. The sea was in a white
foam, the whole air filled with spray, and- the wind
blowing heavily. Not far from shore was a boat with
a part of the exhausted crew from a vessel wrecked
in the offing. The breakers made it impossible that
the poor fellows should effect a landing. A terrible
death seemed their inevitable fate. Just at the moment
your grandfather reached the point, he saw his host
leap into the sea, his object being to give the men a
rope. It was at the peril of his life he took that
desperate leap. His favourite dog, Boxa, saw and
instantly followed his master. The two rose in a
moment, and were borne by the swell toward the
boat. They had nearly reached it when it capsized.
Moir-that was the name of the gallant man-seized
one of the seamen, and, wonderful to tell, succeeded
in bringing him safe to shore. In the meantime,
Boxa, following his master's example, caught hold of
another of the poor drowning creatures, and began
to drag him along. It proved, however, that the dog's
50 Georaie's Present; or,
hold had fastened upon the seaman's south-wester
cap, which came off in the water. The animal evidently
was not aware of what had happened, and, not per-
ceiving the diminution in the weight of his burden,
was proceeding to make his way to land .with the
Tales of Nezvforudlacnd. 51
"'The poor fellow is lost!' cried the bystanders
on the point.
"But no! they presently saw the sailor clutch hold
of the dog's tail,-it was a fine, handsome, large tail,
George;-and in this manner he was towed to land
in safety. Imagine how glad he must have been when
he found himself on terra firma His first act was to
give thanks to God, and then he threw his arms
around Boxa, caressing him again and again, and
loading him with fond epithets, part in English, part
in Swedish. He was a young Swede, a fine, handsome
youth, about twenty years of age. Without loss of
time he was conducted to the house, where he shared
the kind attentions of the mistress ; but she had
soon another and a more difficult case in hand.
"The master of the wrecked vessel, who was one
of the boat's crew, was rescued from a watery grave by
the further exertions of Moir and his companions, and
was carried in a perfectly insensible state to the house.
Some hours elapsed before he was conscious of any-
Georgie's Present; or,
thing that was passing around him. He seemed, indeed,
so completely gone, that every one -had given him
over, when some faint symptoms of returning life
"In the meantime the day wore on, and your
grandfather, feeling that he caused additional trouble
to the family by his prolonged stay under such
circumstances, was very desirous to leave the island
as soon as possible. The state of the weather, however,
continued such as to render it impossible he should
attempt to put to sea, and he passed another night
and a part of the following day with the friendly
planter, whose heroic exertions on behalf of the
shipwrecked crew had greatly exalted him in the
opinion of his visitor.
"During the early part of the night the two sat
up together, there being a dearth of sleeping accom-
modation, for the beds were all given up to the sailors;
and for some hours they conversed together on topics
of mutual interest.
TaZales of Newfozwmd)and.
Moir was a pious man, and his early history had
been one of striking adventure. As he sat by the fire-
side, quietly narrating various passages of his past life,
his faithful dog crouched close beside him, dozing
and evidently dreaming at intervals; for he made
strange noises, and paddled with his fore-feet, as though
he were still struggling with the waves. His master
looked fondly on the animal, and said,-
"' You'd hardly credit, sir, the surprising sagacity of
these dogs. Some of them are perfect wonders. They
have more sense, really, it seems, than many so-called
Christians, and I have sometimes thought they must
"' Boxa is a fair specimen of the race, and I could
tell you some of his doings which would make you
ask-Is it possible? I have known him help to carry
to shore some light spars which the captain of a vessel
in the harbour desired him to convey to the land-wash,
in order that a boat's crew might be saved the trouble
of taking them. Another dog belonging to the same
54 Georgie's Present; or,
wharf, whether of his own accord, or being pressed
into the service, took to helping him at this work for
a time; he soon tired, however, and, in the middle of
his second turn, thought proper to swim to shore
without his spar.
"' When Boxa saw what he was up to, he quietly
made his way to land with his own turn, and then
went in search of the runaway, and gave him a
sound thrashing; in short, his arguments were so
unanswerable and convincing that the culprit returned
to his work, and without more ado, set to and per-
severed at it, till every spar that had been thrown
overboard was rafted to shore by the combined labour
of the two dogs.'
"'That was certainly a very. sagacious and knowing
proceeding,' said your grandfather, 'and I do not
wonder you are so much attached to your dog.'
"' 0 sir, that's only a sample I give you of his sense
and clever ways. What I value him so much for it
his fidelity to myself, and his attachment to the whole
Tales of Newfoirndland.
family. As to the children, be they never so small,
we can always leave them without fear in his charge
for hours; and to crown his good deeds, I must tell
you he saved the life of the youngest of the fry. The
child was playing close to the water-side, and fell in.
There was nobody near, and how the dog found it
out we never could tell; he was some distance off,
and a few minutes before, when my wife passed that
way, she saw him lying asleep, to all appearance as
sound as a church door. But he must have heard the
little one cry; for, certain it is, he had dragged her
out, and was licking her little face and hands when
the mother came back from her errand. You'll not
wonder after that to hear that we would one and all
of us share our last crust with Boxa.'
"' I do not, indeed, my good friend,' said your
grandfather; 'and I must say I should be heartily
glad to possess a dog of the breed having the same
admirable qualities ; for I have just lost my good old
terrier, a tried and faithful animal, which I brought
56 Georgie's Present; or,
with me from England. He died of old age, about a
month ago, and sadly shall I miss him.'
"Moir made no answer at the time, but the next
day, shortly before his guest departed, the worthy man
made his appearance alongside the boat as it was
pushing off, and handed in a hamper which, he said,
contained a pup of the right sort, if his reverence
would please to accept of it. This pup was no other
than the mother of Boxa, and an excellent animal she
proved to be-faithful, sagacious, and patient; in short,
a worthy scion of such a stock.
"I need not, I am sure, by way of conclusion, sing
the praises of Boxa herself, for you know as well as
I can tell you her many good qualities; and therefore
I have only further to say that I hope Newfy-as you
have named him-will turn out all that could be
"Thank you, thank you, dear grandmamma," said
George, who had listened with such fixed attention to
the last part of Mrs. Ward's narrative, that he had not
Tales of NKewfouwndlanbd.
once moved upon his stool; I am so pleased with
my pet, I shall not know how I can thank you enough.
I think, if you please, I will run and fetch him out of
the kennel, and put him into the basket I brought,
hoping you would let me carry him home with me
"Do so, George," said his mother, folding up the
handkerchief she had been embroidering, and in
the meantime I will put on my bonnet, for it is time
we were on our way home."
No sooner said than done. In five minutes George
and Mrs. Green had said good-bye and were crossing
the common in the direction of their own home.
"What a happy day it has been, mamma," said our
little friend, and how glad I am I have such a nice
birthday present; and he bent down to take a peep
through the wicker-work of the basket.
"And I am so glad, dear boy, that you have
enjoyed your treat," replied his mother. May you
see many happy returns of this day; and may each
succeeding year find you wiser and happier."
Here ends the story of Georgie's Present; but, as I
think my young readers may like to know how the
Newfoundland pup turned out, I will just tell them
that he is now a full-grown, handsome young dog,-
the great favourite and inseparable companion of my
friend George, who assured me, not long ago, that of
all his possessions there is none he prizes more highly
J. B. KNAPP,
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