Oh, Father Pat!" while One-Eye stroked the yellow hair he had ruffled, and whispered fondly under that dun mustache. "The ice was near the rapids now, so there isn't a great deal more t' tell," continued the Father. "He put up one hand, did yer father, wavin' it in a last salute thankin', maybe, the men who had worked so hard with the ropes.
Of the latter was La Hontan, whose craft was paddled by three Canadians. Several times they shouldered it through the forest to escape the turmoil of the rapids. The flat boats could not be so handled, and were dragged or pushed up in the shallow water close to the bank, by gangs of militia men, toiling and struggling among the rocks and foam.
Being situated at the foot of the rapids its waters supplied us with the finest fish. In my early life I spent many happy days on this island. A good spirit had charge of it, which lived in a cave in the rocks immediately under the place where the fort now stands. This guardian spirit has often been seen by our people. It was white, with large wings like a swan's, but ten times larger.
There seemed to be thousands of them, and they ran squealing about everywhere, great fat fellows, some of them as big as grey squirrels. The ground was so perforated with their holes that it reminded one of a porous plaster. While the outfit was being brought up I walked along the shore watching the rapids.
A large loan, guaranteed by the British Government, made possible extensive provision for building roads, bridges, and canals around the rapids in the St. Lawrence. Municipal institutions were set up, and reforms were effected in the provincial administration. Lord John Russell in England and Sydenham in Canada were anxious to keep the question of responsible government in the background.
By the time the machinery was due to arrive they spoke of the wreck of the boats as something foreordained and settled. They differed only as to where it would happen. "I really doubts, Burt, if you so much as git through the Pine-Crick rapids." "No?"
The forenoon of the following day was a repetition of this wearisome work; but late in the afternoon the river began to run in long quiet reaches. We made fifteen kilometres, and for the first time in several weeks camped where we did not hear the rapids. The silence was soothing and restful. The following day, April 14, we made a good run of some thirty-two kilometres.
In some of those we had gone at a very good clip, and several times we had lost our rudder. I remembered how the steamboats used to be obliged to throw out cables and slowly wind themselves up with the power of the "steam nigger." I also remembered the words of Father de Smet: "There are many rapids, ten of which are very difficult to ascend and very dangerous to go down."
'All right, said I; 'go it while you're young. I didn't care about appearin' skeered or uneasy, but I'd have given a couple of month's wages just then, to have been on dry land. 'Well, said he, 'I guess we'll be gittin' towards home. And away he started for the Upper Saranac, and up the river, across Round Lake, and right up over the rapids we went.
Sewelel is the Chinnook and Clatsop name for a small animal found in the timbered country on this coast. it is more abundant in the neighbourhood of the great falls and rapids of the Columbia than immediately on the coast. the natives make great use of the skins of this animal in forming their robes, which they dress with the fur on them and attatch together with sinews of the Elk or deer.