The boy tramps, or, Across Canada


Material Information

The boy tramps, or, Across Canada
Portion of title:
Across Canada
Physical Description:
vi, 361 p., 15 leaves of plates : ill. ; 21 cm.
Oxley, J. Macdonald ( James Macdonald ), 1855-1907
Sandhem, H ( Illustrator )
Thomas Y. Crowell & Co ( Publisher )
Rockwell and Churchill ( Printer )
Thomas Y. Crowell & Company
Place of Publication:
New York ;
Rockwell & Churchill
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Students -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Mountains -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Hiking -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Glaciers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Canada   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1896
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston


Statement of Responsibility:
by J. Macdonald Oxley ; with illustrations by Henry Sandham.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by H. Sandhem.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002394862
notis - ALZ9769
oclc - 16838822
lccn - 07022769
System ID:

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(P. 70) Frontispiece





















IT seemed in flat opposition to the familiar adage
"like likes like that Bruce Barclay and Arthur
Rowe should be the most devoted chums at Mer-
chiston Castle School, for certainly, to all outward
appearance, the only point of similarity between
them was that they both had fathers in the far
East enduring the pains of exile and braving the
perils of fever and cholera in the arduous pursuit
of fortune.
As they came upon the cricket-ground together
they presented a notable contrast, one to the other.
Bruce was one year the elder, and stood full two
inches above his companion. In many respects he
was a typical Scotch laddie, and needed only tartan
and sporran fitly to represent the son of a High-
land chieftain.
He was tall for his years, but his well-knit frame
was free from all suspicion of lankiness; and


though his cheeks bore no tinge of red, they had
that healthy pallor which betokens a sound, strong
constitution. His features were regular, and when
his clear gray eyes lit up with merriment or ten-
derness, the most captious critic could not deny
that he looked "na sae ill;" but in repose his
countenance wore a somewhat heavy expression,
due in large part to his tendency to "brown
studies,", that was not attractive. He had light-
brown hair that was always well brushed, and a set
of white, regular teeth that owed nothing to the
dentist, and was altogether a thoroughly whole-
some, stalwart youth whose seventeenth birthday
would soon come round.
If Arthur fell short of his friend in height, he so
surpassed him in sturdiness of build that they both
tipped the scale at the same weight, to wit, one
hundred and forty-five pounds. He was a worthy
son of John Bull, and promised, if spared to middle
age, to attain quite aldermanic proportions. In
the meantime, he stood five feet six inches in his
stockings, had an athletic figure, with every muscle
well developed, a frank and decidedly pleasing
face, deep blue eyes brimming with mischief, an
ever-ready smile, and a shock of crisp yellow curls
that seemed to bid defiance to the discipline of the
In their mental characteristics also the boys dif-
fered as widely as they did in their physical.
Acute as Bruce's intellect was, he never made


haste to put his thoughts into action. Reason, not
impulse, was his master, and he often showed a de-
gree of discretion, an amount of canniness, in fact,
hardly to be expected from one of his years. He
had abundance of spirit, but he kept it so well
in hand that one who knew him slightly might
imagine him dull, little conceiving what a
geyser could burst forth if he were touched to
the quick.
Arthur, on the other hand, wore his heart always
on his sleeve, or, to use another simile, had the
latch-string of his mind ever hanging out. Of the
faculty called reserve le had practically none.
He did his thinking at electric speed, and had an
opinion ready as soon as the issue was presented.
His temper was as quick as his heart was warm,
and having once expressed an opinion or taken a
position, he would maintain his ground resolutely,
no matter what the odds might be against him.
In a word, he was a hearty, healthy boy, loyal to
his friends, fearless before his foes, and fated to
make a good mark in the world, provided his im-
petuosity did not entail some untimely disaster.
The one point of similarity between Arthur and
Bruce that has been noted needs further explana-
tion. Mr. Rowe and Mr. Barclay were merchants
in Shanghai, the former being engaged in the silk,
and the latter in the tea, trade. There the boys
had been playmates in the handsome English settle-
ment, and thence at an early age they had been


sent away from the enervating climate to the brac-
ing air of Scotland, in which they had flourished
For the past nine years they had been at Mer-
chiston, making their way up from class to class,
and winning renown at cricket and football.
Bruce was decidedly the best scholar, and helped
Arthur over many a hard place by patient coach-
ing, although the latter needed only to give his
mind to his studies in order to take rank with the
leaders in the classes.
They had both reached the sixth class, Bruce
being at the top and Arthur not far from the bot-
tom, and were beginning to look forward question-
ingly to the future, for it was not decided whether
they should continue on to the University. They
hoped their fathers would allow them to do so, but
had no definite assurance in the matter.
In the meantime they were making the most of
their last year at dearly loved Merchiston, and a
memorable year it proved to be for both them and
the school, as it witnessed the signal defeat of
Loretto at cricket, and Fettes at football, in the
achieving of which glorious double event they each
bore a brilliant part.
Tie football match took place in February, and
it was only due to the intercession of Bruce that
Arthur, in spite of his speed, and skill, and strength,
had a place on the fifteen, the trouble with him
being that he was impatient of discipline, and apt


to take his own way of dealing with the ball instead
of implicitly obeying his captain.
For this reason, Bruce, who played forward,
while Arthur was one of the half-backs, felt espe-
cially anxious that he should cover himself with
glory, and before they went on the fieldlie besought
him not only to play his best, but to do exactly
as he was bidden even though he thought he knew
a better way.
It's your last chance, you know, Arthur, to beat
Fettes," he urged; and they gave us a bad licking
last year, and if they do it again this year we'll be
sorry for it all our lives, won't we ? "
"But they're not going to do it," answered
Arthur, bringing his teeth together with a snap
and clenching his fists. I'm going to get a touch-
down right behind their goal if I die for it." Then
after a moment's silence he added, "All right,
Bruce, I'll obey orders. You needn't worry about
He proved as good as his word. Without
abating a jot of his energy or enterprise he played
his position in a way that rejoiced the captain's
heart, passing with great judgment and accuracy,
never failing in a tackle nor muffing a kick, and
obeying every order and signal like a well-drilled
The struggle was a fierce one, and maintained
with splendid resolution on both sides. Neither
team gained any advantage in the first half, and


the second was well advanced before Arthur saw
the opportunity to redeem his pledge to Bruce.
He secured a mark on a sudden kick-out from a
maul, but instead of taking his kick determined to
attempt a run-in. He gave a quick glance of in-
quiry at his captain, who divined its meaning, and
nodded assent.
That instant Arthur was off like a startled deer,
clearing the opposing forwards before they had
time to recover from the maul, and thus having
only two of the half-backs and the back left to
reckon with.
The first half-back, having to come at him on a
slant from the rear, was easily disposed of. The
second gave more difficulty. It was Sangster, un-
doubtedly the best player on the Fettes team, and,
realizing the danger there was of Arthur's dashing
charge succeeding, he braced himself to meet him
with the low tackle for which he was renowned.
The chorus of cheers rose into a continuous roar
like that of a cataract as Arthur's feet flew over
the turf. He was apparently making no attempt
to evade Sangster, and Barclay, watching him
with throbbing anxiety, wondered what his strategy
might be.
Another moment made it plain, for, just as
Sangster's sinewy hands were about to encircle
his waist, he suddenly sprang high in the air, and
well to the left of his opponent, who, losing his
balance in the effort to turn quick enough, fell

p. .


I"'' '



over on his knees, while Arthur sped exultantly
past him.
The outburst of applause that greeted this clever
feat reached even Arthur's ears, and stimulated
him for the task yet before him. He was now within
fifteen yards of the goal, and five yards in front of
it stood the full-back with every nerve and sinew
attent, like a panther ready for his spring.
Arthur knew he could not repeat the trick that
did for Sangster. But his resources were not yet
exhausted. His quick mind evolved another no
less brilliant.
When but five yards remained between him and
the back he dropped the ball upon his toe, kicked
it over the other's head, and then, having both
hands free, used them to thrust his opponent aside,
and, pressing past him, fell upon the ball as it lay
just behind the centre of the goal, the most ex-
hausted but happiest being on the ground.
It is one of the accepted statements of the school
that never had the Chief," as the beloved head-
master was called for short, shown so much excite-
ment at a football match. In spite of his at times
provoking waywardness Arthur had a warm place
in his heart. Indeed, he had supported Bruce's
petition that he be allowed a place on the team,
and this really admirable performance consequently
gave him peculiar pleasure.
Amid a breathless silence the leather was placed,
Arthur himself being assigned to hold it, and Bruce


got into position for the kick. It was an easy one
to make, to be sure, but many a place-kick fails,
and there was anxiety on the Merchiston side and
hope among those of Fettes.
As composedly as if it were an every-day occur-
rence, Bruce took a few swift strides, caught the
ball fairly with the point of his toe, and away it
went sailing over the uplifted hands and faces of
the baffled opponents, full ten feet above the centre
of the cross-bar. The touch-down had been duly
converted into a goal, and the match was won for
Not one shadow of jealousy clouded Bruce's de-
light in Arthur's achievement. Under the special
circumstances he was really gladder at heart than
if he himself had been the hero of the day, and in
his enthusiasm he threw aside all his reserve as he
shouted and danced about in as lively a fashion as
the youngest boy in the school.
Arthur's turn to be jubilant over his chum's
powers came some months later when the annual
cricket match with Loretto was played at Pinkie.
Loretto, going first to the bat, had, in spite of the
utmost efforts of Gray and Hutchison, the Mer-
chiston bowlers, and the faultless fielding of the
other players, amassed the threatening total of two
hundred and fifty runs, the largest on record in the
contest between these schools.
Bruce was captain of the Merchiston eleven, and
his face grew more and more serious as the score


rose steadily, until at last all the batters were out,
and it was Merchiston's turn to wield the willow.
Now, fellows, we've got to play for our lives,"
were his words as the eleven gathered about him
for a minute. "There's not much chance of our
matching their score, but we might make a de-
cent draw if we play carefully. Let us all do our
Bruce went in first, taking Loney, the barn-
door of the eleven, for his companion, and the
excitement was unusually keen as the innings
Arthur did not shine at cricket as at football,
and on this occasion was fain to be content with a
place among the spectators, whence his voice rang
out from time to time in commendation of some
pretty piece of work on the field.
The proceedings were tame at the outset, the
Loretto bowlers being well on the spot, and neither
of the batsmen caring to take any liberties with the
well-pitched balls. But presently Bruce began to
open his shoulders, and the score started to climb
after the high mark set by the other side.
At the end of half an hour Bruce had got
thoroughly set, and the bowlers were treated with
scant respect. One clever cut followed another,
varied by long drives to the off and to leg. The
telegraph figures grew apace, and even stolid Loney
caught inspiration from his captain, and made a
gallant effort to emulate him, which unhappily cost


him his "life," but not before he had compiled the
respectable total of twenty, so that the score, first
wicket down, stood at sixty-five, and the feelings
of the Merchistonians took on a brighter hue.
None of the succeeding batsmen made so long a
stand as Loney, yet they all contributed their share
to the rapidly growing total, and meanwhile Bruce
kept on hitting freely, and piling up runs in a way
that left nothing to be desired.
At the end of two hours a rattling cheer, led oft
by Arthur, announced that Bruce had completed
his century, and fifteen minutes later another
cheer greeted the appearance of the figures 200 on
the board.
The Loretto boys began to look anxious. The
victory that seemed so securely theirs might yet be
snatched from them. Nearly an hour of play still
remained, and Barclay showed no signs of weari-
ness or failing skill. There were five more wickets
to fall, and so stubbornly were these defended that
it took another half-hour to get rid of them.
Ten minutes before the time for drawing stumps
the Merchiston score stood at two hundred and
forty. As may be easily imagined the excitement
was now intense, only ten minutes more to play,
and ten runs yet to make to save a draw. All
Merchiston, from the Chief" down to the newest
boy, held their breath as each ball was delivered,
and gave a sigh of relief when it was well taken
care of by the batsman.


Presently a roar of Well hit! well hit! and a
fusillade of hand-clapping greeted a grand drive to
the off from Bruce that cleared the boundary fence
and was good for five.
Some anxious minutes of careful play followed
during which Bruce's partner added two useful
singles, and then just a moment before the call of
time Bruce himself laid hold of a short-pitched
ball on his leg side, and putting all his strength
into the stroke lifted it far above long leg's head,
and the match was won with two good wickets to
Bruce had carried out his bat after being nearly
three hours at the wickets, and having put together
the splendid score of one hundred and twenty-eight
runs, the highest ever made in a first-class school
match in the history of Merchiston.
The ovation that he received as lie walked back
to the pavilion was enough to turn the head of any
boy. Even the defeated of Loretto joined heartily
in the cheers, and when the head-master wrung his
hand warmly, exclaiming, Nobly done, Barclay!
I never saw better cricket in the school," Bruce
felt that his cup of happiness was full to over-
As may be readily understood the difference in
the mental temperaments of the two lads showed
itself very markedly in their studies. Arthur had
great quickness of apprehension and a retentive
memory, but chafed against routine work and


sadly lacked steadfastness. Bruce, on the other
hand, although slower to seize upon new ideas,
forgot nothing that he had once learned, and
had the power of pegging away patiently until
the most difficult task had to yield itself to
As the close of the session drew near, Arthur
showed a little deeper interest in his work, but
Bruce kept steadily on at much the same pace as
he had started.
When the prize list was published, both names
appeared upon it, but with a big difference, for
Bruce, besides winning the Chalmers Mathematical
prize, had headed his class in Latin, German, and
Chemistry, while Arthur had gained only one
honor, and that, strange to say, on the very sub-
ject least likely to be congenial to one of his lively
nature, to wit, Divinity. Like a true friend, how-
ever, he took as much pleasure in his friend's
prizes as if they had been his own, and their last
year at dear old Merchiston was the happiest of
all, the only shadow being the fact that they
must take their leave of a place where they had
spent so many joyous days, and go out into a world
of which they had so little knowledge.
Both Mr. Barclay and Mr. Rowe had provided
liberally for the boys during their stay at Merchis-
ton, and they had been able during the long holi-
days to join travelling parties visiting different
parts of Great Britain and the Continent; but all


this was a mere trifle compared with'the experience
that was before them now.
To the fathers in far-away Shanghai had gone
regular accounts of their sons' progress, and they
had been looking forward to the time when the
course at Merchiston would be finished, and the
boys could go out and show themselves for paren-
tal approbation ere their future course was decided
As it was not advisable for them 'to reach
Shanghai until the summer heat had passed, and
they already had seen a good deal of the Old World,
it was arranged that they should spend a couple of
months travelling in the New World, proceeding
to Shanghai in the autumn.
This entirely fell in with their inclinations.
They had read much about the United States and
the Dominion of Canada, and were eager to visit
those countries, particularly Canada, because it was
a British colony, and they thought they would feel
much more at home there than they would among
their American cousins.
The matter being left largely to themselves, it
was finally decided that they should go to Canada
first, and then, if they had any time to spare, a tour
could be made of New York, Boston, Washington,
and some of the other chief cities of the United
States, before they went on to the Pacific Coast,
where the steamer would be taken for Shanghai.
Thus it came about that the last week in June


saw them on their way to Liverpool, with Merchis-
ton and all the happy days spent there only a
memory to be cherished through life.
It was the first time they had really been upon
their own responsibility, and they both felt highly
elated threat, although Bruce, with his wonted
reserve, managed tolerably well to conceal the fact.
But Arthur gave himself away with the utmost
frankness. He strutted up and down the platform
at the railway station like a young rooster on a
sunny morning. He patronized the porters, and
tipped the guard with what he flattered himself
was the nonchalance of a globe-trotter. He lolled
about on the cushions, affecting a fine indifference
to the scenery, and letting it be understood that
he was vastly bored by the journey, while all the
time he was mentally hugging himself at his good
fortune in getting off on this grand tour" practi-
cally as his own master, and with the best friend
he had in the world as his companion.
At Liverpool they went on board the fine
steamer Parisian of the Allan Line, and were
delighted at the stateroom which was to be theirs
for the next ten days, and at the sumptuous fittings
of the saloon.
Won't we just have a fine time exclaimed
Arthur, after they had got their things stowed
away and were able to look about them. There'll
be lots of fun, you know, and Duffus, who's been
across in this steamer twice, says the grub is prime,


- as good as a Christmas dinner every day in the
But suppose you're seasick? suggested Bruce,
with a quiet smile. It won't make much matter
how good the grub is then."
"Do you think I'm going to be such a fool?"
answered Arthur indignantly. "No, sir, no sea-
sickness for this child," and he set his feet
firmly on the deck, and rested his hands on his
Bruce discreetly said no more, although he felt
pretty sure that both he and his chum would have
to pay the usual tribute to old Neptune before they
had been long at sea.
The trip down the Mersey was full of interest,
the big steamer threading her way through the
maze of shipping with an intelligent accuracy that
made her seem like some huge living creature.
The weather being fine the boys spent all their
time on deck, Arthur asking numberless questions
of the officers and men, and already beginning to
scrape acquaintance with some of the passengers,
while Bruce kept more in the background, yet lost
nothing of what was taking place.
They had appetites as keen as razors for dinner,
and were among the first to respond when the sum-
mons came. They found the fare provided fully
equal to their school-mate's description. From the
point of view of their Merchiston experience,
where the food had, of course, been more substantial


than elaborate, as best befitted hearty boys, it was
as good as a Christmas dinner, and Arthur devoted
himself so assiduously to the different items of the
lengthy menu that his vis-a-vis, a gray-beard
traveller, leaning across the table with a humorous
twinkle in his shrewd gray eyes, said in an under-
That is right, my lad, make hay while the sun
shines. You may want nothing but a bit of biscuit
and a cup of tea this time to-morrow."
Kindly as the tone was in which the words were
spoken, Arthur was quick enough to detect the
touch of satire that underlay it, and it made him
flush hotly.
His first impulse was to retort, "Will you be
good enough to mind your own business?" but
Bruce, who feared something of the kind, gave him
a significant look, and what he did say was:
"That's all right, sir. I'll take my chances,"
and although it was not in the pleasantest tone
imaginable, yet the old gentleman took it in the
best of humor, and went on with his dinner, saying
to himself:
"A fine-spirited boy that! I thought he was
going to tell me to mind my own business, but
he's evidently been better trained. I must find out
who he is."
Not imagining that he had awakened any
interest in his fellow-passenger, Arthur paid him
no further attention, nor did he allow his intrusive


remark to cast any cloud upon his enjoyment of
the good things before him.
By the time the boys thought of getting into
their bunks the Parisian" was rolling about in
the Irish channel at a rate that made the business
of undressing by no means an easy task. Just as
Arthur was trying to get out of his trousers the
steamer gave a sudden pitch that, finding him un-
prepared, and unable to balance himself, sent him
hard against Bruce, who was in his turn toppled
over by the sudden impact, and the two boys fell
in a tangled heap of legs, arms, bodies, and braces
in the corner by the sofa.
They were soon on their feet again, laughing
heartily and none the worse for the collapse, but
Arthur, as he straightened himself out, became
conscious of a dizziness in the head and uneasiness
in the stomach that caused him to hurry off the
remainder of his clothes and climb into his berth
with as little delay as possible. He even omitted
to say his prayers as was his wont, so pressing
did he feel the emergency to be, and so anxious
was he to give no vent of his feeling to his com-
Bruce suspected the truth, notwithstanding,
but was too considerate to make any remark. He
knew quite well he had his own battle to fight,
and was not disposed to be critical of others.
They had a very restless and uncomfortable
night of it, as the Parisian pitched and tossed un-


ceasingly; and when morning came Arthur realized
that in spite of his rash boasting he had fallen a
victim to the remorseless power of the sea, and
that his place at the breakfast-table would be
vacant for that morning.
He was too wretched to feel much concerned
over this. His one thought was, how soon would
he be himself again ; yet, since misery loves com-
pany, he did find some consolation in the dis-
covery that Bruce was no less upset, and that they
were likely to fairly share the confinement to the
How long do you think we'll be like this ?"
he groaned, looking straight up at the ceiling, for
he did not dare lean over the edge of the berth,
Bruce being below him.
Only to-day, I hope," responded Bruce, striv-
ing nobly to put a cheerful tone into his voice.
"If we keep still all day we'll be right enough by
Keep still, indeed The suggestion was easily
enough made, but it was far from being easy of
execution, with the great steamer apparently mak-
ing frantic efforts to turn somersaults, and the
boys' interior departments seeming to be in quick
and distressful sympathy with her every move-
However, thanks to the kind ministrations of an
attentive steward, they did manage somehow to
get through the long, dreary day, and the following


morning being bright and clear with little wind,
they succeeded in crawling out on deck, when the
keen fresh air so braced them up that by dinner-
time they felt equal to resuming their places at the
As the old gentleman who sat opposite to
Arthur took his seat he gave him a pleasant nod
of recognition which seemed to reply:
Well, here you are again, but I was right, you
see, after all."
And the boy, in a sudden impulse to frank con-
fession of having boasted prematurely, leaned
across with reddening cheeks to say:
"I didn't want even the tea and biscuit this
time yesterday. I was awfully knocked up."
A bright smile broke over the gentleman's
An honest confession is good for the soul, they
say," he returned. "You've shown the right spirit,
my lad, and I hope we shall soon become better
That he was sincere in the expression of this
hope was manifested when they all rose from din-
ner and went on deck, for as soon as he had lit
his cigar he joined them, and introducing himself
as Mr. Gillespie, of Montreal, availed himself of
the privilege of age to ask them a number of ques-
tions about themselves.
They were soon deep in talk, Bruce, as usual,
allowing Arthur to take the lead in the conversa-


tion, yet not in anywise standing aloof, but show-
ing by his attentive listening and occasional
shrewd remarks that he felt thoroughly at ease.
Mr. Gillespie, who had a houseful of sons at
home-, took a deep interest in the young travellers,
and before the voyage ended gave them so cordial
an invitation to spend some days with him in
Montreal that they gladly accepted it.
The days slipped by very pleasantly upon the
"Parisian," each one finding the boys' list of ac-
quaintances extending until it embraced nearly all
the first-class passengers, the chief exception being
the men who spent their time in the smoking-room
playing cards and drinking champagne with a zeal
and zest that made it appear they regarded these
occupations as the chief end of life.
Nor was Arthur content with the saloon as his
sphere of activity. His eagerness for information
took him all over the ship. He got himself spat-
tered with oil in the engine-room, and grimy with
coal-dust down among the furnaces. He even pen-
etrated into the steerage, carrying cakes and fruit
to the dirty-faced children that swarmed there like
rabbits in a burrow.
To one of these youngsters, a pretty, blue-eyed,
fair-haired German boy about five years of age, he
took a great fancy, and one day brought him on
the main deck to show him to Mr. Gillespie.
They were having a lively game of romps to-
gether when Arthur, picking up the child in his


arms, held him over the "railing to give him a bit
of a scare; but, instead of being frightened, the
little chap crowed and kicked so vigorously that
Arthur lost his balance, and before he could re-
cover himself the boy had slipped out of his grasp
and dropped into the waves twenty feet below!




ARTHUR'S first feeling as the child slipped from
his grasp, and, with a splash scarce audible to
him so far above, vanished beneath the breeze-
rippled water, was one of paralyzing horror. But
it was only for a moment. The next instant,
throwing off his coat and cap, with one quick
movement he raced down to the stern, and not
hesitating a second at the height, leaped off the
taffrail into the foam of the steamer's wake.
Suddenly as it all took place Bruce was nearly
as quick as his companion; but his cool, clear
head told him a better thing to do. Snatching up
one of the life-preservers, ready at hand for just
such an emergency, he sprang after Arthur, and
just as the latter appeared above the waves with
the child firmly held in his left hand, while he
struck out strongly with the right, Bruce also ap-
peared not twenty yards away with the life-pre-
server, and called out cheeringly:
"It's all right, Arthur, I've got a life-preserver.
Stay where you are. I'll bring it to you."
Never had his chum's voice sounded so sweet to

I W; -

Page 22.


Arthur before. In his noble impulse to rescue he
had not stopped to consider how, if he got the
child, he would be able to keep it and himself afloat
during the time that must necessarily elapse before
a boat could be lowered to pick them up. But
now the thoughtfulness of Bruce had solved that
problem; and as the life-preserver came within
his reach he grasped it with a tremendous feeling
of relief, exclaiming enthusiastically:
"What a brick you are, Bruce! We'll save
little Dutchie between us all right."
Meanwhile there was intense excitement on
board the steamer. Mr. Gillespie had at once
given the alarm, the engines had been stopped, and
preparations made for lowering one of the boats as
rapidly as possible.
Although not a moment was lost in this, it
seemed awfully long to the anxious passengers
crowded at the stern before the boat got off, the
headway of the huge vessel being so great that the
boys were far astern, and scarcely visible before
the first oar struck the water.
But the rowers put all their strength into every
stroke, and the heavy boat fairly tore through the
water, which happily was not at all rough, until
after ten minutes of hard pulling the welcome
order "Easy all" told them they had reached
their goal.
When the boat ran alongside the boys, and the
men in the stern lifted them and the child care-


fully over the gunwale, the rowers held their oars
upright in the air, and gave a mighty hurrah! "
which, making its way back to the steamship, was
echoed by the relieved and rejoicing passengers
who had been watching every movement of the
boat with feverish eagerness.
The boys had a rousing reception on their re-
turn to the steamer, the gentlemen cheering and
clapping them on the back, and pronouncing them
most emphatically the right sort," and "fine,
manly fellows," and so on; while the ladies, their
eyes brimming with tears, felt quite ready, to kiss
them, all dripping as they were. As for little
Dutchie," he was fairly overwhelmed with caresses,
to which he submitted with the stolidity of his
race. He was also the object of many gifts, which
he accepted as calmly as he did the caresses.
After Bruce and Arthur had changed their
clothes they returned to the deck, where they.
found Mr. Gillespie on the lookout for them.
You came out of that handsomely, my lads,"
said he, giving a hand to each. "You," looking at
Arthur, "only did your duty under the circum-
stances, but it couldn't have been done better; and
you," turning to Bruce, acted like a true friend.
It warmed my old heart to see you, and I tell
you," he added, his face kindling, "if I'd only
been twenty years younger I'd have gone over
with you to make sure you were equal to the job."
Oh, I felt pretty sure of that, thank you,"


responded Bruce modestly. "Arthur and I are
good swimmers, and could have kept afloat a long
time without the life-preserver, but I thought it
was better to have it, all the same."
This incident deepened the friendship between
the old man and the boys, and they were more to-
gether than ever. He seemed to enjoy keenly the
stories of their school life, and they completely
exhausted their stores of such for his benefit.
In return he gave them many interesting
chapters from his own long and eventful life,
nearly all of which had been spent in Canada; and
they were absorbed listeners as he described some
exciting experience in the early days of the city,
or a thrilling escape from the perils of travel
through regions where, not only the railway, but
the post-road, was yet unknown.
In this way the boys grew so interested in
Canada that they began to discuss between them-
selves whether they would not spend the whole
summer in that country, and leave the United
States for another time.
We've only got until September, you know,"
argued Arthur, who entirely favored the idea,
and it's an awful big country."
"That's true enough," assented Bruce, who, how-
ever, had not his mind quite made up. "But so are
the United States, and the dear only knows when
we'll get another chance of seeing something of
them. Don't let us decide now," he added,


"wait until we've been in Canada a little while,
and then see what we'll do."
Arthur agreed to this, and the matter then
dropped for the time, there being plenty of other
things to occupy the boys' attention.
They had grand games of shovel-board and deck-
quoits, they read the books in the steamer's library
when it was too stormy to be on deck, and they
turned up with a good appetite at each one of the
five meals so lavishly provided for all who cared to
take them, so that not for a moment did time hang
heavy on their hands; and presently the always
welcome cry of "Land ho!" was raised, for the
"Parisian" had come to the entrance of the Straits
of Belle Isle, and the ocean voyage was over, the
remainder of the trip being practically inland
As they passed through the Straits, and steered
southward along the coast of Newfoundland, Mr.
Gillespie interested the boys greatly with tales of
the dangers of navigation in the great Gulf of St.
Lawrence, and how many fine vessels had been
wrecked on the pitiless coasts, or through collision
with icebergs in the fog, or by running into one
another when enshrouded in mist.
When darkness came on, the lighthouses placed
here and there to warn navigators to keep off, sent
their bright rays gleaming through the night, and
so familiar was Mr. Gillespie with the course, that
he knew each one of them as they were opened up,


- Point Armour on the Labrador coast, and Point
Rich on the Newfoundland side,--and he had a
story for each.
That night one of the fogs so frequent in those
waters enveloped the steamer, and the fog-horn
was kept going steadily, much to the disturbance
of the boys, who could not sleep for its mournful
Oh, dear, I wish that horrid thing would shut
up," groaned Arthur, rolling over in his berth and
trying to shut out the persistent sound by cover-
ing his head with the clothes. "It'll drive me
crazy if it keeps up like that all night."
Wouldn't you rather have it going than take
your chance of having some other steamer run us
down ?" asked Bruce, whose habit of mind was to
take the most reasonable view of anything that
Oh, I guess this steamer can take care of her-
self," growled Arthur, determined not to be ap-
peased, for he was indeed desperately sleepy.
"She's too big for anything to hurt her, anyway."
Not a bit of it," replied Bruce. They've got
to be just as careful as if she were a steam-launch.
But, listen!" he exclaimed, starting up in his
berth. Is that an echo, or is it another steamer
answering us ? "
The boys listened breathlessly, and sure enough
there could be heard in the intervals of the blasts
of the Parisian's horn a fainter blast that evi-


dently was not an echo, for it had a different
pitch and a briefer duration.
"It is another steamer, and it's coming right
toward us," said Bruce. Now, my boy, don't
you think it's a good thing our fog-horn has been
kicking up such a row? See, they're signalling
each other with long and short blasts so as to
show how to pass."
The idea of another vessel as big and as swift as
the "Parisian" emerging suddenly out of the
dense obscurity and charging right at her for lack
of knowledge as to her position came over Arthur
so strongly that he gave a big gasp of relief, and
said in quite a meek tone:
I'll forgive the fog-horn, even if it does seem a
nuisance when a fellow wants to go to sleep. I
wish I could get a look at that other steamer."
But it was altogether too dense for that, even
if they had been on deck, and as they listened,
the sound of her warning blasts grew fainter and
fainter until it was heard no more.
Shortly after this they both fell asleep despite
the incessant bellowing of the horn, and had got
well into the land of dreams when they were sud-
denly aroused by a shock that nearly tumbled
them out of their berths.
Scrambling on to the floor of the stateroom they
cried at the same moment:
What's happened? Have we struck ?"
But as neither could answer the other they


soon saw there was nothing to learn by staying
where they were, and, without more ado, they
hastened to pull on some clothes, and get out
into the saloon, where they found many of the
other passengers already gathered in various
stages of dishabille that might have been amus-
ing at any other time.
They were all rushing about in a frantic fashion,
demanding to know what had happened, and there
seemed nobody competent to answer until one of
the officers- appeared, and was immediately sur-
rounded by a score of excited men and women
who shouted at him as though they thought him
When he was able to make himself understood,
it appeared that the steamer had run down a sail-
ing-vessel, striking her almost amidships, but that
she had not sunk, being timber-laden, and her
crew would all be rescued, while it was not
thought that the Parisian had received any seri-
ous damage.
This announcement was enough to cause Bruce
and others to complete dressing and to hasten on
deck. Working their way to the bow they found
that the steamer had not yet entirely disengaged
herself from the other vessel, and there was a
great flashing of lights and shouting of commands
going on.
Being relieved from all anxiety as to their own
safety, or that of the crew of the stricken ship,


they could look on at the busy scene with easy
What the captain of the "Parisian" desired
was to get the wreck cleared away from the bow and
drawn alongside until those on board had time to
remove everything of value to the steamer, when
the wreck must be abandoned to its fate.
In spite of the admirable discipline which he
maintained, the suddenness of the shock and the
darkness of the night confused his men at first,
and they did not execute his orders -with their
wonted intelligence and rapidity, putting him in a
towering rage, which greatly impressed the boys,
who had never before seen him otherwise than in
a genial mood.
Before long, however, despite the difficulties of
the situation, the vessel was cut loose and drawn
alongside, and all on board her reached the "Pari-
sian's deck with their clothes and other belongings,
which, being accomplished, the steamer resumed
her course. A careful examination of the fore-hold
having established the welcome fact that although
the bow had suffered some slight damage, it was
not enough to cause a serious leak, and at the
worst, only the fore-compartment would be flooded.
When the excitement had all subsided the boys
went back to their berths, and as they turned in
for the second time, Bruce said:
"That settles the fog-horn question, doesn't it,
Arthur? If that vessel we ran down had only


been blowing a horn like the steamer we met we'd
have gone by her all right instead of smashing into
her as we did."
That's so, Bruce," assented Arthur sleepily;
"I'll never feel mad at a fog-horn again;" and
having delivered himself of this virtuous resolu-
tion, he rolled over to finish his much-interrupted
night's rest.
The following morning they were steaming by
the big island of Anticosti, which stands right in
the heart of the St. Lawrence Gulf, and as they
gave its dangerous shores a wide berth Mr. Gilles-
pie told them many thrilling tales of the terrible
disasters of which the island had been the scene.
Well had it deserved the ill-omened title of Isle
of Shipwrecks," from the day when Sir William
Phipps' troop-ships were cast away upon it with
the loss of hundreds of brave British soldiers until
the present, when the wrecks of several fine iron
steamships were still to be seen sprawling upon
its merciless reefs.
The boys were also told about Gamache, the
mysterious smuggler and wrecker, whose sinister
renown had filled the whole Gulf in years gone by,
and who was believed by the superstitious sailors,
to be in league with the devil, and able to exercise
supernatural powers if hard pressed.
They reached Quebec on the afternoon of Fri-
day, and on the advice of Mr. Gillespie got off the
steamer to spend a day or two in looking over the


old city, whose towering citadel at once made plain
to them why it was known as the Gibraltar of
Arranging to meet their kind friend in Montreal,
they bade "good-by to the "Parisian and betook
themselves to a hotel, feeling glad enough to be
on terra firma once more, full of enjoyment and
interest as the trip across the ocean had been.
Immediately after dinner they set out to explore
the city, with its steep, narrow, tortuous streets, its
quaint old-fashioned buildings, and its foreign-
looking people chattering away in a language that
the instruction they had received in French at
Merchiston in nowise helped them to understand.
Presently they were hailed by the driver of a
very odd-looking vehicle, who seemed in a great
state of anxiety to be hired.
"That must be one of those cale'ches Mr. Gil-
lespie was telling us about. Let's hire him for a
while and drive around. We'll get along ever so
much better that way," said Arthur, always ready
for something new.
It was a lovely evening, and there was a full
hour of clear twilight still to come, so Bruce
.thought the idea a good one, and much to the
gratification of the cabbie they climbed into his
curious chariot, that very much resembled an
ancient two-wheeled gig, and bid him drive them
about for an hour.
"What a queer old place this is, to be sure! ex-


SUMi: AUDYENITUII'R AsiIolul.-Page :32.


claimed Arthur after they had been threading their
way for some time through streets so narrow that
there was scarce room for two carriages to pass.
"It's a good deal like Edinburgh, isn't it, though
the houses aren't half so high."
But when their drive brought them to Dufferin
Terrace, more than half-way up the precipitous
flank of Cape Diamond, and from this superb
promenade there opened out one of the most mag-
nificent views in the world, they forgot all about
the contracted shadowy streets in their admiration
for the wonderful panorama spread before and be-
neath them.
Right at their feet lay the old town, now dark
in shadow, beyond it the glorious river, bearing
scores of vessels of every variety on its bosom,
swept steadily seaward, its farther shore seeming
dim in the distance, so great was its breadth.
Above them the citadel rose in successive terraces
of mighty masonry, while on their left the newer
part of the city sti'etched away in rank after rank
of solid stone structures.
"Auld Reekie can't show anything finer than
this, can she, Bruce?" said Arthur. "It's cer-
tainly worth coming a long way to see, isn't it ? "
"It is, indeed," assented Bruce, letting the com-
parison with Edinburgh go by unchallenged,
because, loyal as he was to. the Scotch capital, he
did not wish to take issue with Arthur on the
matter. Just look there," he added, pointing to


the east, where the moon was rising like a huge
crimson balloon. I wish we had the Chief here,
lie's so fond of a fine view."
The assurance of bright moonlight decided them
on prolonging their outing until bedtime, so they
directed the cale'he driver to take them out of the
city a little, as they wanted to see something else
than rows of gray houses.
They were accordingly driven out through St.
John's gate and along the St. Foye road, on which
stand a number of the finest residences Quebec
could boast. The driver called out the names of
the proprietors, but his pronunciation was so exe-
crable that neither of the boys could understand
what lie said.
"It's too bad we're so weak on our parley
Franpais," said Bruce in a rueful tone. "I'd like
to be able to understand that fellow."
His desire to understand him, and to make him-
self understood by him, was presently intensified
by the man's strange behavior. On the way out the
road he had stopped in the dark shadow of some
trees to hold a whispered conversation with two
other men who were invisible to the boys, and now
when he was ordered to turn about, instead of going
back over the same route he went aside into a nar-
row road that seemed to lead nowhere in particular.
What can he be up to? asked.Bruce, with an
accent of suspicion in his voice. "He's not going
back the same road as we came out on,"


Let us see if we can't find out," responded
Arthur, and giving the driver an emphatic poke in
the back he shouted in his ear as if he thought
him deaf, Say, look here, driver, where are you
taking us ? We want to go back the same road as
we came."
Instead of vouchsafing any explanation, the
driver shook his head as though to say, I don't
know what you're driving at," and giving his horse
a sharp cut that sent the creature off at a gallop,
bent forward in his seat as if to avoid further ques-
Beginning to realize that their situation was
very perplexing, if not indeed perilous, the boys
hurriedly consulted as to what they should do, and
had just made up their minds to lay hold of the
driver and compel him by main force to do their
bidding when the caleche came to a stop with a
suddenness that nearly pitched them out of it.
At once they sprang up from their seat, wrathful
and alert for danger, and at the same moment were
grasped by two men who seemed to have come up
out of the ground, so sudden was their appearance.
"Hit hard, Arthur, they mean mischief cried
Bruce, and, suiting the action to the word, he let
fly his tightly clenched fist full into the face of his
assailant, catching him squarely on the bridge of
the nose, and causing him to loosen his hold with
a howl of pain.
Not less promptly did Arthur act, but in a dif-


ferent way. His position was such that he could
not strike out to advantage, so, lowering his head,
he butted his man violently in the stomach, putting
him hours de combat for the nonce.
Having thus shaken off their assailants the boys
dashed away up the road down which they had
been driven, and, being in good trim for running,
had no difficulty in leaving far behind the caleche
driver, who had not been able, owing to his horse
starting at the noise, to render his fellow-scoun-
drels any assistance.
The boys did not slacken speed until they were
back again on the broad, bright St. Foye road, and
even then, not feeling perfectly safe from a renewal
of the attack, they hastened on until they came to
a house whose open door seemed to invite them in
for protection.
Bruce rang the bell, and was marvellously re-
lieved when it was answered by a pleasant-looking
gentleman whose look of inquiry was caused by
their disordered appearance and heavy breathing.
Can you speak English, sir ? panted Arthur,
with a bob of his head which was hatless, its cover-
ing having been lost in the short struggle.
That I can, my lad," was the prompt reply
given with an encouraging smile, "very much
better than I can French. What is it you want? "
Thereupon the two boys between them told
their story as best they could in their breathless


They found an attentive and sympathetic auditor,
who, when they had finished their narration, ex-
pressed lively indignation at the assault upon
That's not the first thing of the kind that has
happened here," said he. There seems to be a
regular gang of these scoundrels, and you were
very lucky to escape from their clutches without
being robbed, and perhaps beaten half to death."
Then, at the thought of the two rascals, one with
only the blow on the face, and the other with the
butt in the stomach, to show for their villanous
enterprise, he broke out laughing. But you cer-
tainly did teach those ruffians a lesson they're not
likely to forget in a hurry. I wish I'd seen you
knock them out. What a wiry couple you must
be! Come in to the parlor, and let us get better
Only too glad to accept this offer of hospitality,
the boys went into the parlor, which had a de-
lightfully home-like look, and having given their
names were introduced to the lady of the house,
who received them graciously.
The upshot of the matter was that they remained
for over an hour, and after being served with re-
freshments, were accompanied a good part of the
way back to the hotel by the gentleman and his
huge mastiff, "to redeem the honor of old Quebec,"
their thoughtful escort said when they assured him
they could get along all right by themselves.


On reaching the hotel and reporting their
experience to the proprietor he was very anxious
for them to put the matter into the hands of the
police, but'they shrank from doing this, not know-
ing how much trouble it might entail.
And besides," added Bruce, with a quiet smile,
"you see they got very much the worst of it, any-
way, and we're quite satisfied to let the thing rest,
aren't we, Arthur ? "
Arthur nodded an emphatic consent, so the
hotel manager said:
Oh, well, of course it's for you to say. If I were
in your place, however, I'd follow the thing up."
But they were much more anxious to get to bed
than to set the police on the trail of the foiled
highwaymen, and went off to their room, well
enough satisfied at having got safely back to it.
The next morning they had, of course, to visit
the famous falls of Montmorency, and, determining
to be in good hands this time, they hired one of the
carriages belonging to the hotel.
The drive to the falls was full of interest, the
road leading along the river-side past old red-
roofed chateaux, moss-covered and many-gabled,
quaint stone houses with double rows of dormer-
windows picturesquely set in their steep roofs, and
frequent churches of Our Lady" with cross-
crowned spires.
Farther on they came to comfortable farms with
thatched barns and granges, with dove-cotes full


of feathered beauties, and with old-fashioned wind-
mills extending their gaunt arms to catch the
"Isn't it like what we saw in France?" said
Arthur. "It seems easier to believe that we're
on the other side of the Channel, than of the At-
"You may well say so," responded Bruce.
"Just look at these girls spinning in the doorways.
Isn't that just the way they did in Picardy ? Let
us stop and ask for a drink; I want to have a
better look at them."
Ordering the driver to pull up, the boys got out
and made their way to the door of one of the farm-
houses, where two dark-eyed, olive-skinned girls
were standing, and in the best French he could
command Arthur asked for a drink.
The girls blushed and giggled, looked at one an-
other with a puzzled expression, and then, after
whispering together, went off to the back of the
house, presently returning, each with a piece of
wood which they offered him with a graceful
At once, seeing that he had made some mistake,
Arthur shook his head energetically, saying:
ron-non- c'est quelque chose des bois que nous
voulons," illustrating his meaning by smacking his
lips and pointing down his throat, whereupon
the girls' faces lit up with a look of compre-
hension, and bursting into merry laughter they


darted off, and returned this time with two bowls
of rich milk, which they presented with renewed
Having quaffed the milk, and offered payment
therefore, which was smilingly refused, the boys
made their best bow and withdrew. When they
settled in their seats again, Arthur said, in a very
meek tone:
"There was evidently something wrong about
my French. Have you any idea what it was,
Bruce looked very thoughtful for a moment.
Then he broke into a shout of laughter.
Why, of course," he cried. You said des bois,
didn't you? and you should have said a boire -
quelque chose d boire. That's good enough French
for something to drink."
Seeing his mistake at once, Arthur joined heart-
ily in the laughter, and, as the joke seemed too
good to keep, they told it to the driver, who was
greatly tickled.
We ought to stay here awhile and practise up
our French," said Arthur. "It's a very different
thing working out a good exercise in it at school,
and speaking the language so that the people will
know what you are driving at."
Right you are, chum," asserted Bruce. "To
be offered a stick of wood when you're dying for a
drink may seem funny, but it's rather too dry
humor for me."


Bully for you, my boy! cried Arthur, slap-
ping his companion heartily on the back. You've
actually made a joke, haven't you? and not a
bad one, either. Bless me if I don't send that to
the Merchistonian' by the first mail."
Get out with you," laughed Bruce, blushing
furiously. "You'll do nothing of the kind.
You'd have to give yourself away too badly to tell
it right."
"Well, it's good enough to be sent, anyway,"
persisted Arthur. "And now you've begun, I
Shop you'll keep it up. I'm immensely fond of
jokes, though the only ones I ever make seem to
be always at my own expense."
By this time they were nearing the falls, whose
mighty roar was already sounding in their ears.
They say you're apt to be disappointed by your
first look at a water-fall," said Bruce. "I hope it
won't be so in our case."
Following the advice of the driver they did not
go at once to the edge of the falls, in which case they
would certainly have been disappointed, but made
their way down the steep bank by a path through
the trees, and thus came out at a point where the
cataract burst upon their view in all its fury and
As they gazed upward at the foaming flood, fall-
ing full two hundred and fifty feet upon the great
bowlders a little below them, and felt the cool
touch of its spray upon their cheeks, heated by


their exertions, they were for some time silent. The
majesty of Montmorency had not simply equalled
their expectations, it had far surpassed them.
"This is grand, and no mistake," exclaimed
Arthur, giving a sigh of profound admiration. I
don't wonder they talk so much of their falls.
Why, just look at that water! You might think it
was milk, it's so white, mightn't you?"
"Well, you know the people about here," an-
swered Bruce, the habitants, Mr. Gillespie called
them, have given the name of La vache the
cow-to these falls. I saw it in a guide-book at
the hotel."
"If it really was milk," said Arthur, I'd like
to run a dairy here, and have the contract for sup-
plying the city it wouldn't take a fellow long to
get rich on those terms."
"I'm afraid Montmorency's milk would hardly
be as good as that the girls gave us," returned
Bruce, "and by the same token I'd appreciate
another bowl of it if it was handy."
For lack of milk the boys decided to have a
drink of water, and despite the warnings of the
driver, who told them the rocks were very slippery,
proceeded to clamber farther down to where they
could see a tiny pool gleaming attractively out of
reach of the spray.
They were both good rock-climbers, having had
plenty of experience in Scotland during the holi-
days, and the very fact of the presence of a spice


of danger made the undertaking all the more
They reached the pool all right, and, having
slaked their thirst, were about to make their way
back again, when Bruce, who was an ardent
botanist, caught sight of a lovely cluster of delicate
fern nestling on a ledge, where, from time to time,
the breeze blew to it the spray from the falls.
"I must have a bit of that fern," he cried.
"Wait a moment until I get it."
Not being interested in botany, Arthur sat down
on a smooth rock to watch him satisfying his scien-
tific enthusiasm.
The ledge was not easy of access, but, undaunted
by more than one slip backward, Bruce persevered
until he got his fingers within reach of the fern,
and carefully detached a good handful of it.
Bravo! chum," exclaimed Arthur, who had
been watching his efforts with much interest from
his comfortable seat. "' If at first you don't suc-
ceed, try, try again,' works well as a rule. I hope,
now you've got your fern, it'll be worth all the
trouble you've taken to get it."
The last word had hardly left his lips when the
narrow ledge on which Bruce was standing gave
way under his weight, and, with a cry of alarm, he
went slipping down towards the wild welter of
foam and fury at the falls' foot!




ECHOING his companion's cry Arthur rushed to
the edge of the shelf and peered over in an agony
of apprehension.
Bruce, still holding tightly to the ferns, had
partly slipped, partly fallen, full twenty feet below,
where by a happy chance a projecting point of
rock had arrested his descent a few yards short of
certain death.
When he saw Arthur looking over he called out
to him in a tone of entire self-possession:
"Don't try to come down -you can't help me
that way. Get something to pull me up. I can't
hold on here long."
Now, Arthur was as quick at devising expedients
as he was hasty in undertaking risks, and Bruce
had hardly spoken before a happy thought flashed
into his mind that he proceeded to put into execu-
tion with his wonted promptness.
Clambering back to where the cabman stood he
said to him, Stay where you are, I'll be back in a
minute," and then he darted up the path by which
they had come down.


In a wonderfully short time, considering how far
he had to go, and how steep the way was, he was
back again bearing the reins taken from the horse,
and without wasting a moment in explanations he
gasped out:
"It's all right, come along, your help's needed,"
and disappeared down the cliff.
Sorely puzzled, but convinced that there was
something wrong, the cabman followed as best
he could, and arrived in time to see Bruce catch
the end of the reins which Arthur had flung to
"Now, then," panted Arthur, who indeed had
little strength left after his tremendous exertions,
shoving the end of the rein into the cabman's
hands, "pull away, and we'll soon have him up
Uniting their strength the man and boy had
little difficulty in bringing Bruce up beside them,
and a pretty well-drenched and dishevelled-looking
creature he was; yet, as he sank down on the rock
utterly exhausted by the strain he had endured, he
held up the bunch, saying, with a faint smile:
"I held on to it, you see."
"What a chap you are! exclaimed Arthur ad-
miringly, patting him on the back. But aren't
you hurt somewhere ?"
I believe I am," replied Bruce, rolling up his
trouser legs and revealing a pair of shins with
numerous scrapes and bruises. "Nothing worse


than that," he said cheerfully. "It might have
been ever so much worse, eh, Arthur?"
"A deal sight worse," responded Arthur. "Some
fellows would have broken their necks if they'd
been in the same box, but you're one of the lucky
chaps, Bruce. Can you climb back to the car-
riage without help?"
"Of course I can," said Bruce, and picking
himself up he began the ascent as if nothing had
He looked so comical with his clothes clinging
damply to him that Arthur could not resist the
chance of trying his hand at joke-making.
"Say, Bruce," he exclaimed suddenly, "there's
nothing dry about Montmorency's humor, is
there ? "
It was now Bruce's turn to offer congratulations,
which Arthur accepted with the comfortable feel-
ing that they were on even terms now.
The day was so bright and warm that the drive
back did Bruce no harm, and on arriving at the
hotel a generous application of arnica and sticking-
plaster so soothed and mended his various hurts,
that after a hearty lunch and a couple of hours'
rest he felt quite equal to joining Arthur in a visit
to the citadel that afternoon.
They went on foot, the better to enjoy the glo-
rious prospect which opened more widely at each
stage of the ascent, and after a leisurely walk
came to the great gate whose leaves were formed


of interlaced iron chains immensely strong, and
passing through they crossed a wide deep fosse be-
tween high stone walls, and then by a sally-port
entered the fortress.
Crossing the level space of the interior, they
went to the edge of the ramparts and looked over.
A sheer descent of three hundred feet met their
gaze, and so narrow seemed the strip of land be-
tween the foot of the precipice and the river, that
it appeared almost possible to spring from the
ramparts clear into the swift current of the St.
"What a dive that would be!" exclaimed Ar-
thur, who was very fond of diving from a height,
and very expert at the rather dangerous amuse-
"Would you care to try it ?" inquired Bruce.
"No, sirree," responded Arthur. I 'm not that
tired of life just yet. But, I say, Bruce, wouldn't
this be a grand place to try a flying-machine like the
one we were reading about the other day ? A
fellow couldn't wish a better place to start from,
could he ? "
"What a chap you are, Arthur," said Bruce,
smiling. "First you think this would be a fine
place for a champion dive, then you would try a
flying-machine from it. What on earth will come
into your head next? "
Arthur was silent for a while, as if thinking
deeply. Then, lifting his head, his eyes flashing


with the brilliance inspired by a new idea, he laid
hold of Bruce's arm, saying:
I'11 tell you what next. Let us make a walk-
ing tour of this trip through Canada, and begin by
footing it from here to Montreal."
Bruce's answer was a long whistle and a look
that seemed to say: "Well, this beats everything!
Are you losing your senses ? "
Interpreting the meaning of the look, Arthur,
without waiting for it to be followed by speech,
hastened to say:
And why not? We had many a good long tramp
in Scotland, and this wouldn't be any harder, and
it would be ever so much more fun than riding in
the stuffy cars in this glorious weather."
But look here, Arthur," replied Bruce. You
know you'd get sick and tired of it before we had
walked fifty miles, and it's nearly two hundred
to Montreal."
"I wouldn't do anything of the kind," returned
Arthur, in a tone touched with vexation. If I set
out to do it, I'll go right through with it. I
promise you that."
Now, Bruce was not one to commit himself
rashly, and Arthur's proposal was so entirely novel
that he wanted time to consider it, so he just said
"It's a great notion, Arthur, but I'd like to
think it over. We'll talk about it again to-night,
eh ? "


"All right," responded Arthur; '"there's no
hurry. Let's see some more of this queer place."
Going over to the western ramparts they looked
out across the Plains of Abraham, where Wolfe had
won Canada for England at the cost of his own life.
"It was too bad altogether," said Bruce, with a
deep sigh, that Wolfe was killed. He ought to
have lived to see the British banner take the place
of the French one, and to have enjoyed all the
honors he deserved."
"It was hard lines, wasn't it?" said Arthur.
"But, you see, he would go into the thick of it
himself, and the bullets were bound to find him.
Suppose we go over and have a look at his
Leaving the citadel they made their way over
to the monument, and then, having examined it,
roamed about the Plains until their growing hunger
suggested a return to the hotel.
After dinner Arthur brought up his walking
project again, and they discussed it for some time,
Bruce, as was characteristic of his cautious, far-see-
ing nature, dwelling on the difficulties and draw-
backs of the plan, and Arthur, the most sanguine
of optimists, doing his best to remove them each
and all.
Finally, after a talk with the manager of the
hotel, whom they took into their confidence, and
who thought Arthur's idea perfectly feasible, Bruce
gave in, saying:


"All right, Arthur, I'll try it; but if we give
out half-way, and have to take to the cars, remem-
ber I prophesied it."
Too well pleased at having carried his point to
be hurt by his companion's persistent scepticism,
Arthur shouted:
"Hurrah for you, Bruce, you're a trump!
There's no fear of you giving out, and I'll not let
you beat me if I have to crawl along on my hands
and knees."
The following morning, having sent their port-
manteaus on by train, they girded up their loins for
their long walk. They were well provided with
money, and, upon the advice of the hotel manager,
they procured a small revolver apiece and a good
supply of cartridges.
"There's only one chance in twenty of your
needing them for protection, but if you do, you
may need them mighty bad," said he; "and, any-
way, you can amuse yourselves with them on the
way, only take care and don't shoot any cows or
hens by mistake."
"Oh, we'll take good care of that," answered
Arthur. We're not going to be shooting promis-
cuously, you may depend upon that."
Carrying nothing in their hands but stout walk-
ing-sticks the two boys made their way out of the
city, and, striking a good steady pace, took their
course along the northern bank of the mighty
river. The road was in good condition. The day


was bright and fine without being oppressively
warm, and they were both in the best of spirits.
"This beats riding in those hot, dusty cars out
of sight, doesn't it, Bruce ?" exclaimed Arthur
enthusiastically. "We're in no hurry, you know,
and if we do get tired we can rest whenever we
like, or ask some of the farmers to give us a lift if
they're going our way."
"But how are we going to make them under-
stand what one wants when we're so weak in our
French?" inquired Bruce. "We may have to
starve to death, because we can't get it into their
heads that we need something to eat."
This, of course, was said with a smile that showed
the speaker was not serious, so Arthur, carrying on
the pretence, responded:
Oh, that's easy enough; we'll just go into the
house and take what we want, and then pay for it."
Yes, and have our heads broken for our im-
pertinence," returned Bruce. "No, no, we'll have
to manage better than that."
As they talked they were walking along through
a country that might have been a bit of Normandy
in old France.
The hamlets that succeeded one another so
closely had a strangely foreign appearance, with
their quaint, red-roofed houses' rich in dormer-win-
dows, their huge chimneys, and the big ovens built
outside the houses, that each seemed capable of
cooking enough for a company of soldiers.


"What folks they must be for eating about
here!" said Bruce, noting the size of these
"And as it's getting pretty close to lunch-time,
I vote we try what they can do for us in that
way," suggested Arthur, who had a noble appetite.
"Very well," assented Bruce, "you go ahead
and see if you can get something better than a
stick of wood this time."
Entering the gate of a very comfortable-looking
farm-house, Arthur went up to the door and
knocked gently. No response being elicited, he
knocked more loudly, and at last there appeared
an aged dame into whose wrinkled face came a
look of surprise mingled with suspicion as her eyes
fell upon the two boys.
This look was not dissipated, but, on the con-
trary, deepened, when Arthur essayed to explain
his object, and after listening to him for a very
brief moment she shut to the door in his face with
a bang whose emphasis admitted of no misin-
"By Jove cried Arthur, in blank amazement
at this summary treatment, the old dame's got
queer notions of civility."
"I suspect she was afraid for her spoons," said
Bruce, with a quiet smile; we must look like a
pair of desperadoes on a foraging expedition."
Involuntarily Arthur glanced at his companion
and then at himself.


"Nonsense," he responded, with a short laugh of
derision at the idea, we look all right."
"Well, then, perhaps it was your bad French
that frightened her," suggested Bruce meekly.
"Never you mind my bad French," retorted
Arthur, with some heat. "If you think you can
do any better I just wish you'd try. I'm only too
glad to leave it to you."
We may as well go away from here, anyway,"
said Bruce, waiving the point as to which could do
best at the French. See, the old lady's watching
us from the window."
With an awkward, crestfallen feeling the boys
returned to the road and plodded along for some
time in silence. Arthur, like all sanguine people,
being easily discouraged, already began to fear that
his plan would have to be abandoned, while Bruce
began to congratulate himself on this being quite
Presently they caught sight of a tin-sheeted
spire flashing above the trees, and Bruce said,
" That means a church, and a church means some
sort of a village, and there's sure to be an inn.
Let us push ahead, we'll have a good lunch yet."
A few more turns of the road and they came out
into an open space which at the first glance prom-
ised to fulfil all of Bruce's surmises. There stood
the church, stone-walled, tin-roofed, solid, and
attractive, and around it clustered a number of
houses, looking well-kept and comfortable.


"Ha, ha that looks hopeful," exclaimed
Arthur, brightening up, "and there's the priest
just coming out of the church. We'll ask him.
He's sure to give us a civil answer, anyway."
Hastening up to the curd, who had a plump, pleas-
ant countenance and the air of being at peace with
all the world, himself not excepted, Arthur began
to address him in French, but the old man, with a
courteous wave of the hand, said smilingly:
"Pray do not trouble yourself to speak our
language, I understand your own very well."
Whereupon Arthur, feeling much relieved, pro-
ceeded to state the case, not forgetting to tell
about the humiliating reception they had met with
at the farm-house down the road.
The cure chuckled in evident enjoyment of the
"Ah," he said, with a deprecatory lift of the
head, that was Madame Groth4, no doubt. She
is a poor, nervous body who lives all alone; you
must not think hard things of her. And now come
with me. There is what they call a hotel here. It
is a small place, but quite clean, and the Madame
can cook," the last words being accompanied by a
smack of the lips that spoke volumes for the cu-
linary art of the mistress of the establishment.
As they walked toward the hotel they fell into
easy converse, and the good cure manifested such
interest in the boys and their doings that Arthur
was moved to invite him to have lunch with them,

k I


FiuCH-u." -Page 54.



which invitation, after some little demur for mere
form's sake, he accepted.
When they reached the hotel, Bruce, deter-
mined that the meal should not be spoilt for lack
of proper instructions to the mistress of the house,
asked the priest if he would be so kind as to give
the necessary directions.
And what would you like to order ?" he asked,
evidently well pleased at the commission.
Oh, we'll leave that entirely to you," Bruce
answered. We're very hungry, as we had an
early breakfast, and have walked a good many miles
since, and we'd better call this dinner, I think."
While the meal was being prepared the three
sat in the shade of the house, and the boys asked
many questions of their new acquaintance.
He heartily approved of the idea of walking to
Montreal, greatly to Arthur's satisfaction.
It's like one long village street nearly all the
way," he said, with churches every six miles or
so, and plenty of little hotels like this one. You
need never go to a farm-house."
The waiting for dinner naturally served to whet
the boys' appetites to a very keen edge, and they
hailed the summons to the dining-room with a
shout of delight.
Simple and plain as the furnishings of the table
were, they could not have been improved upon
neatness, and when the dinner was served it fully
justified the curd's promise.


First came a delicious soup, slightly flavored
with garlic; then a fine roast fowl that the priest
carved with admirable skill; after that an omelette
aux fines herbes worthy of Paris, followed by a lus-
cious pudding, with coffee to finish off. The bread
and butter was of the best, there was cream in
abundance, and altogether the boys enjoyed their
repast so thoroughly that Arthur accurately voiced
the sentiments of both when, leaning back in his
chair with a sigh of unspeakable content, he
said :
I'd just like to stay here for a week. This is
the best dinner I've had for ever so long."
The curd seemed highly pleased at their appre-
ciation of the fare and establishment.
It is very good, is it not?" said he, rubbing his
hands together. "Madame Ouimet understands
how to look after her guests. She would be very
glad to have you stay with her for a week, I am
"Oh, we can't do that, thank you," replied
Bruce quickly, for fear Arthur should show some
willingness to consider the idea. We must keep
right on, for it's a long walk to Montreal, you
After sitting a while over their coffee, the boys
paid the reckoning, which was only one-half what
they expected; and having thanked the good curd
for his kindness, and received his paternal bless-
ing, they set forth again, resolved to keep going


until dark if possible, the cure having told them of
a comfortable hotel about ten miles ahead.
They both felt in high spirits, and ready for a
lark of some kind should opportunity offer.
As a rule, persons in that frame of mind have
not long to wait before their chance comes, and
they had not gone more than a couple of miles
when they came to a snug-looking barn, in whose
adjoining yard a number of hens clucked and
scratched busily.
Just as the boys were opposite the gate, a big
rooster sprang on top of it and crowed in the most
vigorous manner. There was something peculiarly
bumptious and challenging on his part that re-
minded Arthur, who was a diligent student of
Punch," of the Gallic cock" so often pictured
in its cartoons.
Just look at him," cried he; "he's calling us
names, as sure as you live. I'll just give him a
scare, to teach him better manners."
So saying he pulled out his revolver, and before
Bruce could stop him pointed it at the rooster and
pulled the trigger.
Now, he had not intended to injure the bird at all,
but simply to shoot over its head and frighten it
with the report. But as luck would have it, his
aim proved better than he imagined, and to his
horror the bullet struck the ill-fated fowl full in
the neck, almost severing the head from the body,
and over it tumbled into the muck of the barn-


yard, flapping its wings in the convulsions of
The boys' first impulse was to take to their heels
and get out of sight as soon as possible ; but their
second thoughts did them more credit, and, stand-
ing their ground, they looked about to see if any
one would appear to call them to account.
They had not long to wait. Out of the barn
darted a middle-aged habitan in whose countenance
alarm and anger were curiously blended. He had
heard the report, and now saw his pet rooster
weltering in its own blood.
As soon as he appeared Arthur stepped up to
the gate, and forgetting in his agitation to put his
revolver away, and still holding it in his hand, said
in English:
I am very sorry I killed your rooster. I really
didn't mean to, and I will pay you whatever it
was Worth."
Not understanding a word he said, and terrified
at the sight of the revolver, the poor habitan
shrunk behind the fence, and then deeming dis-
cretion the better part of valor, took to his heels
incontinently, disappearing behind the corner of
the house, which stood a little distance from the
In spite of their concern at the damage unin-
tentionally done, the boys could not refrain from
bursting into laughter, the conduct of the fright-
ened farmer was so comical. At the same time


they felt bound to make fitting reparation, so they
followed the fugitive to his house, Arthur taking
care to put his revolver out of sight.
Their knocking at the front door produced no
response, and in some perplexity as to what ought
to be done, they were about to turn away when
from behind the house came the farmer accom-
panied by two sallow-faced, black-haired youths
who were evidently his sons.
Pointing at the boys, who now began to feel that
the situation was in some danger of becoming
complicated, he spoke with great vehemence and
such rapidity as' to be altogether unintelligible to
the pedestrians. Anxious to bring the affair to a
speedy conclusion, Bruce now stepped forward
and asked:
Can any of you speak English ?" at which the
elder of the sallow youths brightened up and re-
plied with a conscious blush:
"Oh, yes, I can, myself. I have been in the
big city."
Much relieved at this discovery, Bruce then
hastened to explain what had happened, and how
sorry they were, and how willing to pay the full
value of the defunct rooster.
The young French-Canadian having repeated all
this to his father, there was a manifest lifting of the
clouds, and the atmosphere became less oppressive.
After consulting with his sons for a few minutes
the one who spoke English said :


My father understands now, and is not angry
any more, and he says he will be content with one
dollar for the cock."
It was more than the real value of the creature,
but the boys were in no mood for bargaining.
They wanted to push on without further delay.
Arthur therefore paid over the sum asked in
silver, and bidding the trio, whose faces were
now wreathed in smiles, a hearty good-day," the
boys resumed their walk at a rapid pace.
The afternoon lengthened out as they trudged
steadfastly onward, being anxious to reach Pont
Rouge, if possible, before nightfall. The rooster
episode had quite satisfied their desire for a lark,
and their mood was one of strict business.
The miles slipped by one by one, and they began
to feel leg-weary; but not a hint of it did the one
give the other, although the entire cessation of
talk between them was enough to show that their
whole energies were concentrated in the task of
keeping their feet going.
At last Arthur could not keep his feelings to
Oh, dear! he groaned, "when shall we get to
that place ? It must be ever so much farther than
the priest said. I'm more than half-tempted to
try another farm-house."
Yes and meet with the same warm reception
that Madame Groth6 gave you," said Bruce, smil-
ing. "No, no," he added, "we won't do that


unless there's no other alternative than sleeping
in a barn."
Just at this juncture the rattle of a wagon was
heard behind them, and through the dusk there
came one of those long-bodied country expresses
that have such fine carrying capacity. It con-
tained two people, presumably man and wife, and
there was lots of room in the back part.
Here's our chance," cried Bruce. "Let us
ask them for a lift."
When the wagon reached them, Bruce took off
his cap politely and called out:
Monsieur, voulez-vous nous embarquer ?'
The farmer at once pulled up his horses and
answered pleasantly:
Oui, certainment, embarquez, s'il vous plait."
Feeling very much elated at the success of his
attempt at French, Bruce sprang into the wagon,
and Arthur promptly followed his example. There
were some sacks of grain that made capital seats,
and the tired boys stretched out upon them with a
delicious feeling of relief.
Their good Samaritan seemed very eager to
converse with them, and poured out a flood of
questions in his own tongue, the gist of which
Bruce could not catch at all, and at last he was
fain to confess that his French did not go far, and
to ask the farmer if he could not speak English.
As it happened he could do something with
English, and managed to maintain a conversation


in this language as they jogged along toward Pont
Rouge, which was his destination also.
They had gone about a couple of miles, and
were descending a steep incline, when a part of
the harness suddenly gave way that let the wagon
run forward on to the horses' heels. They were a
sturdy pair of French-Canadian ponies, full of
spirit, and this unexpected assault "from the rear
frightened them into a wild gallop.
There was no brake on the wagon, and it swayed
from side to side of the road as it plunged down
the hill at a fearful pace.




UTTERLY powerless to offer any assistance, the
boys could only hold tightly on to the heavy bags
of grain while the wagon bumped and bounded
over the road.
Had it been bright daylight their situation would
not have been so alarming, but by this time dark-
ness had closed in around them, and they could
hardly see the length of the wagon ahead.
It was a long descent, and a deep ditch bordered
the road on both sides, to the edge of which the
wheels came perilously near from time to time as
the affrighted horses dashed onward with uncon-
trollable impetuosity.
The farmer, holding manfully to the reins, was
one moment calling soothingly to his horses and
the next offering explosive ejaculations of prayer
to his patron saint for supernatural assistance,
while his wife, evidently overcome with terror,
crouched down between the seat and the low dash-
board of the wagon uttering plaintive moans that
were very pitiful.
In this way they must have gone some hundreds


of yards when the catastrophe which had been con-
tinually threatening took place. The heavy wagon
swung over the side of the road into the ditch, and
after rolling and pitching for an instant or two
like a ship in a storm brought up against the other
bank with a shock that sent all four of its occu-
pants hurtling out of it.
The boys happily had braced themselves for this
emergency, and, dark as it was, they managed to
spring out clear of the wagon and to land upon
the side of the ditch. Although they came down
pretty hard, the bank, being of soft turf, received
them kindly, so that beyond a sharp shock which
dazed them for a moment neither suffered any
But the poor farmer and his wife were not so
He was pitched forward upon the horses and re-
ceived from one of them a kick in the stomach that
completely knocked the wind out of him, and she
was flung out over the dash-board against the bank,
striking against it head first with such violence as
to be rendered insensible.
Picking themselves up at once, both boys hast-
ened to help their less lucky companions. They
first gave attention to the woman, and drawing her
up to the top of the bank, sought to revive her by
fanning her face with their hats.
Finding, however, that this availed nothing, and
fearing from the farmer's groaws that he was in a


worse plight still, they went over to him. By
this time he had regained his wind somewhat and
was able to call out lustily for help.
Lifting him upon his feet they brought him to
his wife, and at once the good fellow forgot his own
suffering in anxiety for his helpmate. His anxiety
was quite pathetic as he held her head in his hands
and besought her to speak to him.
At this juncture the welcome light of a lantern
appeared upon the road, and the boys saw with
vast relief that it was in the hands of one man
while another walked beside him.
"Hurrah! exclaimed Arthur. "We'll be all
right now. We'll be able to see what we're do-
The new-comers belonged to the nearest house,
having been attracted by the noise of the disaster,
and they at once set to work to put matters right
with a vigor and wisdom of action that showed
them to be people of no common intelligence.
Bidding the farmer give his whole attention to
his wife a few moments longer, they extricated the
helpless horses from the tangle of harness, and got
them up on the road, neither one of them being
badly hurt.
Then one of them brought some water in his cap,
and this being dashed in the face of the unconscious
woman aroused her from her faint, and enabled it
to be made clear that she had no bones broken.
The house from which these efficient helpers


came was not far distant, and soon the whole party
moved thither, taking the horses but leaving the
wagon where it was until the morning.
On reaching the house the boys inquired how
much farther on Pont Rouge was, and learning
that it was only a mile, they decided to push on,
although cordially invited to pass the night at the
Walking rapidly they got to Pont Rouge with-
out mishap, and, finding the hotel quickly, tumbled
into bed, thoroughly tired out.
They were both somewhat stiff and sore the fol-
lowing morning, and in no particular hurry to
resume their tramp. But neither had any thought
of abandoning it notwithstanding.
They postponed the start until after mid-day,
and then setting forth with good spirit put a dozen
miles behind them ere nightfall, getting rid of all
their stiffness, and thoroughly enjoying the exer-
That day and the following ones were devoid of
exciting incident, but full of pleasant sights and
sounds. The road ran through a continuous series
of farms that stretched like broad ribbons up from
the water-side to the woods above. A decent degree
of comfort seemed the common lot, while the great
stone-walled, tin-roofed churches with lofty spires
that were met with every six miles or so showed
that the people had not only enough for them-
selves, but good tithes to render to the great


religious system which held undivided sway in
that part of the country.
The people all appeared happy and contented,
and their courtesy never failed, so that the boys
began to feel their inherited contempt for every-
thing French weakening considerably under the
influence of this new experience. As Arthur
bluntly expressed it:
"They're not a bad lot at all, these Canadian
frog-eaters, are they, Bruce ? I don't mind owning
up that I'm getting to like them better than I ever
thought I could."
To which frank admission Bruce gave his assent
in. his own temperate way.
The curious names of some of the places they
passed through amused them greatly, and they
made zealous efforts to master the pronunciation
of such puzzlers as Lachevrotiere, Yamachiche,
Maskinonge, Lanoraie, and Sault-aux-Recollets.
Now and then they accepted the offer of a
"lift" extended by some one driving in the same
direction, and they always managed to make some
village before dark where there was a hotel in
which accommodation could be had for the night.
In this way they came to Montreal, entering the
city from the east end and availing themselves of
the tram-cars to reach the Windsor Hotel, at which
Mr. Gillespie had advised them to put up.
They were not a little surprised at the size and
splendor of the Canadian city, whose crowded


streets, lined with great buildings for business, or
handsome homes, reminded them of the big cities
of the Mother Land.
"We must stay here some days," said Arthur.
" There'll be lots to see, I'm sure."
Yes, indeed," responded Bruce. "It will be
quite a treat, too, after the country life we've been
having. We must hunt up our boxes and things
as soon as possible, and get on some fresh clothes.
I'm beginning to feel frowsy; aren't you?"
Arthur did not take as much thought for his
appearance as his chum did, but he liked to look
well all the same, and was no less eager than the
other to regain the baggage from which they had
parted at Quebec.
Not knowing just how to accomplish their object
they determined on seeking out Mr. Gillespie.
There was no difficulty about this, he being so well
known in the city, and.the welcome they received
on entering his office showed that they had made
no mistake in taking him at his word :
"And so here you are at last," he exclaimed,
smiling cordially and grasping a hand of each.
"You've been so long on the way that I was be-
ginning to wonder if something had happened,
and to think quite seriously of making some
inquiry about you. Sit down now and tell me
what you've been up to since you left us at
Whereupon the boys gave between them a full


and spirited account of their various adventures
that Mr. Gillespie enjoyed keenly, the shooting of
the rooster especially tickling him.
Ah, ha!" he laughed, throwing himself back
in his chair. That was certainly a great shot,
Arthur, and well worth the dollar it cost you.
There's a nuisance of a rooster somewhere near
my place that I wish you'd treat in the same
Having been told of their difficulty about getting
their things, Mr. Gillespie at once put that matter
right by despatching a clerk to have them taken
to the hotel, and then insisted that they should
dine with him that evening, saying that he would
send his carriage for them.
Mr. Gillespie's was one of the finest residences
on the mountain-side, and the elegance and lux-
ury of its appointments gave his young guests sen-
sations of surprise that they found some difficulty
in politely concealing, the truth being that they
had not expected to find in Canada, a country of
which their notions were still very vague, such
tokens of wealth and refinement as now sur-
rounded them.
So home-like was the atmosphere of the house
that they were not long in becoming entirely at
their ease, and spent a delightful evening, whose
hours slipped all too quickly.
Among the members of the family were two
boys much about their own age, and the next few


days were devoted to seeing the lions of Montreal
under their guidance.
A noisy, merry quartet they made as they visited
the docks crowded with steamers and other ship-
ping; climbed the towers of Notre Dame; made a
pilgrimage of the cathedrals and principal churches;
and explored the highways and byways of the
Mountain Park.
It was while on one of these tramps through the
park that they rendered a timely service which
caused them to be the heroes of the hour.
The four boys had been playing a game of follow-
my-leader, and Bruce and Arthur had become
separated from the other two. Being somewhat
weary from their exertions they were resting for
a few minutes on a rock by the roadside when
they heard the sharp clatter of hoofs approach-
ing at no ordinary rate, and rising above them
the shrill screams of a terrified woman.
"That's a runaway, sure," cried Arthur, spring-
ing to his feet; and he had hardly spoken before
there came around the bei;d of the road above
them a light carriage containing two ladies, and
drawn by a pair of large ponies, both as black as
The ponies had taken fright at something, and
were coming down the road at full gallop, their
heads stretched out at full length, and their hoofs
fairly spurning the ground.
The ladies, having in some way lost the reins,


which trailed at the ponies' heels, were crouching
helplessly on the seat, one having.her face buried
in her hands as though to shut out the danger, the
other with wide-staring eyes and ashen face, look-
ing straight ahead as she uttered shriek after
shriek with the full force of her lungs.
"Now then, Arthur," exclaimed Bruce, darting
across the road so as to be opposite his companion,
"you take one horse and I'll take the other."
He had just spoken when the ponies were be-
fore them, and the boys in the same instant sprang
for their heads.
Being thus assailed on right and left both
ponies tried to swerve, and the simultaneous shy "
caused them to crush against one another with the
result of compelling a momentary stumble, and
breaking of their furious pace. Of this the boys
did not fail to take full advantage, and, holding
hard upon the bridles, they dragged at the animals'
heads until at last their weight told, and the pair
were brought to a stand-still only a few feet short
of a declivity, to have gone over which would have
inevitably entailed injury, if not death, to some
members of the quartet.
As it was, no harm had come to any one, not
even the ponies being the worse for their escapade
beyond being badly blown, while the ladies were
soon sufficiently recovered to be able to express their
lively gratitude to their timely rescuers.
It was while this was being done that the Gilles-


pie boys came up, and, having the acquaintance
of the ladies, were able formally to present Bruce
and Arthur, which made matters still more pleasant.
The disturbed state of their nerves not permit-
ting the ladies to resume their drive, the Gillespie
boys volunteered to take the now subdued ponies
home, while Bruce and Arthur escorted the ladies
thither on foot; and although the two chums had
not hitherto had much opportunity to cultivate
feminine society, nevertheless they managed to
acquit themselves very well indeed, and at the
conclusion of the walk were most cordially invited
to call at their first opportunity.
The story of their daring feat soon spread
through the city, and for the first time in their
lives they found themselves subjects for newspaper
notice. Ingenious reporters interviewed them,
and put in their mouths many things they had not
said at all, and what purported to be their por-
traits, but looked far more like two choice selec-
tions from the Rogues' Gallery; appeared in an
enterprising evening paper.
Arthur rather liked this notoriety, but to Bruce
it was quite displeasing. He preferred being
allowed to go on in his own way, and although
Arthur sent copies of all the papers to his father,
Bruce mentioned the matter so briefly in a letter
to his father that one might have supposed such an
event was a comparatively common occurrence.
Mr. Gillespie was so delighted at his young


friends' exploit that he gave a grand dinner-party
in honor thereof, to which, of course, the two
ladies were invited, and their rescuers had a fine
time receiving the attentions of admiring friends.
The other great event of their stay in Montreal
was the passage of the Lachine Rapids. These
rapids, which are in the St. Lawrence River a few
miles above the city, are usually passed in large
steamboats which make the trip every day during
the summer. But occasionally a more exciting
and dangerous method is possible, and it was of
this the boys had an experience.
They had gone up to Lachine in company with
the Gillespie boys to pass the day at that charm-
ing summer suburb of the city, and after a jolly
morning spent in canoeing and bathing, and a
hearty lunch at the hotel, they were lounging about
on the long pier down which the railway ran to
meet the steamers, when their attention was at-
tracted by a stalwart Indian who was talking
earnestly to a group of men in the shade of the
He was such a splendid specimen of humanity
that even if he had not been an Indian, Bruce and
Arthur would have wanted to have a good look at
him, but when in answer to their inquiry Jack
Gillespie replied, That man? oh, that's Big John,
the Caughnawaga Indian, who used to pilot the
steamers through the rapids," their interest was
aroused to the highest pitch.


They had, it is true, seen some Indians on the
way up from Quebec, particularly at Lorette, but
none of them compared with Big John, and although
his dress was much like that of the men with
whom he was talking, still there was sufficient of
the red man in it to make it appropriate to its dusky
Moved more by the desire to get close to the man
than curiosity to hear what he was saying, Arthur
drew near the group, and soon gathered the purport
of his talk.
It seemed that he proposed to undertake one of
the trips through the rapids for which he was re-
nowned, that afternoon, provided he could get
enough passengers to make it worth while, and he
was trying to persuade two of those who were lis-
tening to go with him.
As soon as Arthur understood this he became
fired with a thrilling idea, and, without waiting to
consult the others, spoke it out boldly :
Would you take us boys with you ? he asked,
standing in front of Big John, and looking up
eagerly into his face.
"To be sure, young gentleman, I would, if you
pay me."
And does it cost very much ? Arthur inquired,
hoping that no exorbitant amount would be named.
Big John glanced across to where the other boys
were, and, indicating them with a nod of his head,


"They all come ? "
Arthur now felt it necessary to consult the
others, and so he called them over to see what they
would say. Big John's terms were ten dollars for
the four. Bruce thought it too much to pay, but
he was overruled by the Gillespies, who welcomed
the notion cordially; and Big John succeeding in
persuading two of the men to go also, they paying
another ten dollars, the party was made up, and
the Indian pilot said he would be ready to start at
three o'clock.
Sharp at the appointed time he appeared in a
large boat of the kind locally known as a lumber-
man's bonne. A craft more admirably adapted for
the difficult and dangerous undertaking could
hardly be built. Full twenty-five feet in length,
with sharply slanting bow and stern, sloping sides,
and broad, flat bottom, put together in the strongest
possible fashion, and having a crew of four swarthy,
sinewy Indians from the village opposite, each
holding a short, heavy, ash oar, while Big John
towered on the stern wielding a huge paddle as
tall as himself, the whole outfit was certainly
well calculated to inspire confidence, and the four
boys leaped on board without a twinge of appre-
Pushing out from the pier the boat, urged on-
ward by the quick strokes of the oarsmen, rounded
the projecting arm of the pier, and at once began
to feel the touch of the mighty St. Lawrence, the


current at that point having a speed of more than
six miles an hour.
As they shot down with it towards the superb
arch of the Canadian Pacific Railway cantilever
bridge, and darted beneath its widest part, the
water around them began to break into swirls and
to bubble up as though rising from springs at the
It was of a light-green tint, like aquamarine, and
looked very pretty and enticing, so that Arthur,
who felt greatly exhilarated by his novel surround-
ings, was moved to say:
Wouldn't I like to have a swim in that water!
It looks just like the ocean."
"Ah, my brave boy," said one of the gentlemen
who was sitting beside him, "if you went in
there you'd never come out alive."
"I suppose not," replied Arthur. But it does
look tempting, doesn't it? "
The nearer they drew to the rapids, the more
swiftly the boat moved, yet the men did not cease
rowing. Big John, alert, watchful, quick, and
strenuous of command and action, looked like a
king, with the sharp-peaked stern for a throne, and
the boys gazed now upon the bubbling, speeding
waters, and now upon him, with feelings of unre-
served admiration.
He spoke to his crew in their native tongue, so
that just what he said could not be gathered, ex-
cept from the manner in which it was obeyed.


'T' ii iN j." Page 76.


The rowers never turned their heads, but, with
their eyes fixed on the pilot, pulled hard upon the
right or left, according to command.
Presently the roar of the rapids broke loudly on
the ear, and the snow-white foam that capped the
great billows showed clearly in front.
"It looks very dreadful, doesn't it?" said Jack
Gillespie, pressing close to Bruce, who, with calm
face and steady eye, was gazing ahead, trying to
make out what the course would be through that
wild welter of waters.
"It does that," responded Bruce. "But Big
John has often been through it before, you know."
Arthur, reeking nothing of the risk, could hardly
keep still on the thwart for very delight. The
only thing that could have added to his happiness
would have been to exchange places with Big
John, provided, of course, he were equal to the
Just before the heart of the rapids was reached
a large island divided the river into two branches,
and an inexperienced voyager would certainly
have turned into the left branch, the commotion of
the water being manifestly much milder there than
in the right branch.
But it was towards the latter that Big John
pointed the boat, and not only so, but directly
into that part where the billows leaped highest
and the foam was whitest.
Here the arrowy stream was opposed by two tiny


islets, one, indeed, being little more than a huge
bowlder, and right between these and the rock-
guarded shore of the large island the bonne was
Now, boys, hold tight on to the gunwale, and
don't mind being splashed a bit," said one of the
gentlemen. We'll be into the thick of it in a
Big John took no more notice of his passengers
than if they had not been there. His whole atten-
tion was absorbed in the thrilling task he had in
Borne as lightly as though it were a mere chip
on the back of a great mass of water plunging
downward, the heavy boat poised for an instant at
the edge of the first fall, and then dived straight
into the smother of foam.
The boys did not only hold fast to the gunwale,
they held their breath likewise, and their hearts
seemed to them to stop beating in the supreme
excitement of that moment.
Stout and strong as the boat had appeared when
beside the pier, it seemed a mere cockle-shell now,
when in the grasp of the Lachine Rapids.
The water roared, and whirled, and billowed,
and foamed all around them, and to their eyes
no way out of the seething turmoil presented
But a few sharp orders from Big John, half a
dozen quick, powerful strokes of the oars, supple-


mented by the huge paddle in the pilot's brawny
hands, and the boat emerged from the first watery
chaos unharmed and ready for a tussle with the
There was a brief space of quieter water, and
then another deep dip, after which came a wild
whirlpool at the side of a great mass of rock whose
top had been worn smooth by the incessant dash
of the waves over it.
Just beyond this the boat took a sudden swerve
as if it had for a moment escaped from the steers-
man's control, and the bow struck a hidden rock
with a startling shock that sent a thrill through
the hearts of the six passengers.
We've struck bottom! cried Jack Gillespie,
and moved by a common impulse all four boys
turned to look into Big John's face.
Not a trace of alarm or concern did it manifest.
The In'dian seemed as impassive as the Sphinx, and
in response to a curt command the rowers gave two
fierce tugs at the oars that fairly lifted the boat
over the obstruction, and off she darted again like
a living creature.
Hurrah, we're clear again shouted Arthur,
clapping his hands in expression of his relief, while
Bruce's face lit up with a smile. We'll soon be
through now, won't we?"
There was not much more of the rapids left, and
they shot through them without mishap, reaching
the still water below, a little splashed with spray,


but otherwise bearing no sign of their exciting
Bruce had not spoken during the passage, but
when it was over he went up to Big John and said
in his heartiest manner:
"It has been a splendid trip, and I've enjoyed
it more than I can tell you. I hope you'll- always
have as good luck as you've had with us."
Big John looked much elated, for, although he
performed the feat every year, still the pleasure
of success had not yet lost its edge, and he took
an honest pride in the skill for which he st6od
"That's all right," he replied, his bronzed
features losing their tense expression and relaxing
into a smile. You like it very much? You tell
plenty people come too eh ? "
Bruce laughed as he answered, Oh, yes, I'll tell
my friends, but most of them would have a long
way to come."
The talk now became general as the boat glided
on past Laprairie and Nun's Island, under the
great tube of the Victoria Bridge, and across the
harbor to the canal dock, where the passengers
took leave of Big John and his crew, and the boys
then made their way back to the hotel.
They spent that evening at Mr. Gillespie's dis-
cussing their plans for the future. Encouraged by
the success that had upon the whole attended their
tramp from Quebec, Arthur was anxious to con-


tinue it along the line so far as practicable, and
Bruce offered no strong objection.
But Mr. Gillespie said it was out of the question
for them to walk any farther than Ottawa, as beyond
that the Canadian Pacific Railway ran for the most
part through a wilderness until it reached Winni-
peg, when the great prairies begin.
"Well, then," said Arthur, "let us walk to
Ottawa, ride on the cars as far as Winnipeg, and
then walk the rest of the way, or as much of it as
we feel inclined to, at all events. Do you agree to
that, Bruce ?"
"Yes, that seems fair enough," assented Bruce.
If you are determined upon that, then," said Mr.
Gillespie, "I'll go with you to see the authorities
at the head office of the railway, and have it so
arranged that you can take the train wherever
you like."
Oh, that will be splendid exclaimed Arthur;
"for you know we may get tired of tramping, and
it will be jolly to be able to take the cars at the
next station if we feel like it."
Accordingly the next morning they went with
Mr. Gillespie to the chief offices of the railway at
Windsor Station, and as luck would have it they
encountered the president himself in one of the
Mr. Gillespie, who knew him well, at once ac-
costed him, and hastened to explain the purpose of
his visit, at the same time introducing the two boys.


The president, who was a man of large and im-
posing presence, with a strong, handsome face,
regarded the boys in silence for a moment, and
then with an amused chuckle said:
They'll soon get sick of that notion, but there's
no objection to their trying it. I'll fix things up
for them the way you want. Just come into my
office and I'll have it attended to."
The boys had already heard a good deal of this
wonderful man who had worked up from the post
of telegraph clerk to the presidency of one of the
greatest railway systems in the world, and they
watched him with mingled feelings of awe and
admiration as he disposed with lightning speed of
a lot of business awaiting his attention, and then
took their affair in hand to deal with it in the
space of a minute by some brief directions to a
clerk who came in response to the pressure of an
electric button.
After a few minutes' waiting the boys found
themselves provided with an unlimited stop-over
ticket without extra charge, and also some im-
portant letters to the officials along the line, in-
structing them to give the young travellers due
courtesy and assistance whenever required.
Having duly thanked the president for his kind-
ness, and received his best wishes for a pleasant
and prosperous journey, the boys took themselves
off, too full of admiration for the great man who
had thus shown his interest in them to feel at all


hurt at his scepticism as to their sticking to their
He thinks we'll not hold out long," said Arthur;
"but he doesn't know us, does he, Bruce ? "
"We'll not give in until we have to, anyway,"
responded Bruce, who was now as heartily com-
mitted to the undertaking as his chum.
"The experience will do you no harm, boys,"
said Mr. Gillespie, and you're sure to have more
adventures than you would if you went in the
ordinary way. But I hope you won't be in any
hurry to leave us. We have not begun to get tired
of you yet."
"Then this is the time we ought to go," an-
swered Bruce, while our welcome is still fresh,
and then you'll be glad to see us again if we ever
come this way."
Oh, you'll never lack for a welcome so long as
I am in Montreal," returned Mr. Gillespie; and
you must take some letters to friends of mine in
Ottawa and Winnipeg, so that you may have a
good time at these places."
There's one thing I'd like to do before I leave
Montreal," interjected Arthur, whose mind was
ever busy devising fresh adventures.
And what may that be, Sir Venturesome?"
asked Mr. Gillespie, smiling on him indulgently.
Why, sir, it's to walk across the river on top
of the Victoria Bridge," replied Arthur. "I sup-
pose lots of people have done it already."


Mr. Gillespie gave a whistle of surprise, and
regarded his young friend with a look of ad-
"Upon my word," he exclaimed, "you are
enterprising, and no mistake. Here I've lived in
Montreal since before that bridge was built, and
such a notion never entered my mind. Indeed, I
don't know of anybody but the workmen being
allowed on top of the bridge."
Oh, yes, sir," spoke up Arthur eagerly, "other
people have walked across. I was told about' it
yesterday, and they say it isn't so hard to do."
"All right, my boy, I'll make some inquiry,"
said Mr. Gillespie. I am well acquainted with
the chief engineer, and if there's no objection to
your trying it I will arrange with him about it."
Oh, thank you, sir," cried the boys together,
for Bruce, as soon as Arthur propounded the
scheme, had given it a warm welcome in his mind.
Mr. Gillespie kept his promise promptly, as was
his wont, and that evening was able to inform the
boys that the chief engineer would allow them to
cross the bridge the following morning in charge
of one of the workmen.
Jack Gillespie was very anxious to be allowed
to accompany them, but his father would not con-
sent, fearing that the boys might get larking to-
gether, and have an accident of some kind.
At the hour appointed the boys went down
to the bridge, armed with a note from the chief


engineer of the Grand Trunk Railway, and were
met by one of the foremen of the repair-shops,
who was to be their guide. He had a pleasant, in-
telligent countenance, and seemed quite to enjoy
the taking the boys in charge and spending the
morning with them, instead of in the grimy shop
at his dreary round of toil.
"You'll have to be careful, sirs," said he as
they walked towards the entrance to the bridge.
"There's a bit of a breeze this morning, and you'll
feel it pretty strong when you're out in the
Oh, we'll be careful," they answered. We'll
not let the breeze blow us away."
It was quite an undertaking getting on top
of the huge tube which spanned the great river,
but the boys made light of it, and were soon stand-
ing high above the rushing stream, and able to
command an unbroken view of the city and its
picturesque surroundings.
But they had no eyes for this prospect, fine as it
was. Their whole attention was absorbed by the
wonderful roadway of wrought iron that stretched
before them for the space of almost two miles,
curving slightly in its course from the northern to
the southern shore of the St. Lawrence.
"Wouldn't it be grand to ride across on a bi-
cycle ?" said Arthur.
"Yes, and be blown into the river before you'd
got half-way across," responded Bruce. No,


thank you, no bicycle for me. We'll find it
quite enough of a job to get across on our feet."
Bruce was right enough in this, for the farther
out they went the more they felt the force of the
wind, which did not blow steadily, but in gusts that
tugged hard at the boys' hats as if determined to
carry them off their heads.
Pushing ahead with careful, steady steps they
reached the middle of the bridge, and there rested
for a while to look up and down the river, and wait
for the passing of the Laprairie ferry-steamer that
was passing up against the heavy current.
The steamer seemed almost at a stand-still so
sturdily did the stream oppose her advance, and
when she came to the central span the boys might
have leaped upon her deck far below had they
cared nothing for the consequences.
They were lying flat upon their chests and
looking down at the people on board when a
sudden gust caught Bruce's hat from off his
head, and sent it sailing through the air like a
Slanting this way and that it flew downwards
until with a big swoop it fell plump into the lap of
a lady passenger sitting on the upper deck, who,
startled by the unexpected donation, gave a wild
shriek, and tumbled over backwards, to the great
consternation of the other passengers.
Oh, my hat! groaned Bruce, too much con-
cerned at the loss of his head-gear to appreciate