Be this as it may, Jack arrived at Fort Kamenistaquoia in due course, and kindly, but firmly, refused to take part with his sanguine friend, J Murray, who proposed to use his own language "the getting-up of a great joint-stock company, to buy up all the sawmills on the Ottawa!"
According to instructions, Jack made over the charge of his establishment that day to the clerk who had been sent down to take charge, and next morning set out for Fort Kamenistaquoia, in the boat with the shipwrecked seamen. Misfortune attended him even to the last minute.
Two days after the brief conversation above narrated, the three friends pushed off in their little birch-bark canoe and paddled up the stream which leads to the Kakabeka Falls on the Kamenistaquoia River.
Camping out in the woods at night, paddling all day, and living on biscuit and salt pork, with an occasional duck or gull, by way of variety; never seeing a human face from morn till night, nor hearing the sound of any voice except his own, Jack pursued his voyage for fourteen days. At the end of that time he descried Fort Kamenistaquoia.
"Try!" exclaimed Rollo, the third of the three men a tall, powerful, ill-favoured man, who was somewhat of a bully, who could not tell where he had been born, and did not know who his father and mother had been, having been forsaken by them in his infancy. "Try? you might as well try to lift a mountain! I've a mind to go straight back to Kamenistaquoia and tell Mr Murray that to his face!"
Breaking the seal, he read as follows: "Fort Kamenistaquoia, April the somethingth: "Dear Jack, You'll be surprised to see my fist, but not more surprised than I was to hear from an old hunter just arrived, that you had taken to farming. It's not your forte, Jack, my boy. Be advised. Sell off the farm for what it will fetch, and come and join me.
Next day a man arrived on foot with a letter to the gentlemen in charge of Fort Desolation. He and another man had conveyed it to the fort in a canoe from Fort Kamenistaquoia. "What have we here?" said Jack Robinson, sitting down on the gunwale of a boat and breaking the seal. The letter ran as follows: "Fort Kamenistaquoia, etcetera, etcetera. "My Dear Jack,