The loss of two steamers and six barges reduced our transportation so that only 10,000 men could be moved by water. Some of the steamers that had got below were injured in their machinery, so that they were only useful as barges towed by those less severely injured. All the troops, therefore, except what could be transported in one trip, had to march. The road lay west of Lake St. Joseph.
When we first arrived in Canada, in 1832, we remained for three weeks at an hotel in this town, though, at that period, it was a place of much less importance than it is at present, deserving little more than the name of a pretty rising village, pleasantly situated on the shores of Lake Ontario.
My soul was an enchanted boat Which, like a sleeping swan, did float Upon the silver waves of her sweet singing. Half-unconscious, I looked up. Before me hung a copy of Raffaelle's cartoon of the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. As my eye wandered over it, it seemed to blend into harmony with the feelings which the poem had stirred. I seemed to float upon the glassy lake.
It is a route destined for the present to be barren of local traffic, but that also is true of the stretches along Lake Superior, or across the desert of the Southwest. Back from the ridge coal deposits have been found, and traces of copper, the mines of which have not yet been located.
The regulation portage load was one hundred and fifty pounds, and many a man was known to carry this weight the whole ten miles and back within six hours. There was need to hurry. Supplies were going west to Lake Winnipeg, up the Saskatchewan, and even on to Athabaska; while furs were coming down for the autumn trade to Europe. As a rule the traders were Scottish and the voyageurs French Canadian.
To this the Lady of the Lake said: "Thou must endure thy sorrow a while longer; for it is so ordained that I must take thy child; for I take him only that I may give him to thee again, reared in such a wise that he shall make the glory of thy house to be the glory of the world.
Lydia's method of teaching was one employed by most of the children of Lake City when a new child moved into the town. She forced Margery to float face downward in the water, again and again, while she counted ten. After one afternoon of this, the banker's daughter had forever lost her fear of the water and the rest was easy.
During the early 50's many immigrants, bound for Southern Oregon and Northern California, passed through their country, traveling the road that passed round the north end of Rett, or Tule Lake, and crossed Lost river at the then mouth of that stream on a natural bridge of lava. A short distance from where the road comes down from the hills to the lake is the ever-memorable "Bloody point."
It was not until morning that I beheld my retreat, when little wisps of vapour were straying over the surface of the lake, and the steep green slopes that rose out of the water on the western side were still in shadow.
General Lake says: "Persistent and repeated attempts on both banks have thus failed, and it was known that at the outside not more than six days' supplies remained to the Kut garrison. The British troops were nearly worn out. The same troops had advanced time and again to assault positions strong by art and held by a determined enemy.