haunts and habits of overy person likely to afford me any information. All I could learn was that he occasionally walked with his gun on his shoulder from Indian Loretto to the lower town, and had been heard to make inquiries at a ship-broker's, iî any captains of trading vessels lately arrived from Europe had asked for a gentleman named Edwin Jackson, or if any packages had been received so directed.

• Conjectures were as ife as ever as to who this Mr. Edwin Jackson was, when the towns, both upper and lower, of Quebec were in a stato of commotion, and a' the antiquated virgins in a state of horror and ala: m, on learning that this mysterious stranger had eloped with the young and beautiful daughter of one of the Indian chiefs inhabiting the village of Lorette. This girl had been one of the principal attractions of this pretty village. Every traveller and visitor on arriving at Quebec was taken to see the handsome Indian maid-in short, she was the show of the place. The father of this interesting girl was a man of colossal stature, and of a stern, forbidding aspect, but dignified in his deportment, and rarely conversing with his wife and child.

His features were regular and finely formed, and the expression of the countenance when relaxing towards a smile was decidedly handsome. The mother was a passive, inoffensive animal, l'ke the generality of the wives of Indian chiefs ; she had the remains of beauty certainly, but her face was void of expression, and she seemed but the creature of her husband's will. The stern and proud father, however, doted on his child-she was his idol; and this circumstance alone, to say nothing of the chief s well-known character, and an Indian's disposition, should have operated as a check to the young man, ere he robbed the parents of one so dear to them.

. It would seem that Jackson, by reason of his fondness for field spor is, had found favour in the eyes of the chief. They shot and fished together, and they world frequently absent themselves for a week at a time, in quest of four-footed game. Little did the unsuspecting father imagine that he was fostering a serpent in his bosom, and nurturing the despoiler of bis peace and the honour of his child. Little dreaming of the misery about to be inflicted on him by his ‘pale-face' guest, the handsome • Jack Tar 'was a welcome visitor beneath the roof of the Indian's humble dwelling. The fair and confiding girl was not proof against the wiles of her wory seducer ; he won her virgin heari, and she idolized the handsome stranger. In an evil hour he conquered, and she was a degraded being. Dreading the consequences of a discovery of their indiscretion, the guilty pair fled from the village—but whither? No one knew for weeks and months. llad the flight taken place in the wilds of the unfrequented forest, their track would have been discovered by the unerring instinct of the keen-sighted Indian ; but in a populous district, and the immed'ate neighbourhood of a great city, how could the fugitives be traced ?

* It was subsequently ascertained that Jackson and the abducted Indian maiden concealed themselves in an obscure dwelling in the suburbs of Quebec for a few weeks ; and it appeared that they found their way, with the utmost caution, to Montreal, and from thence to Chambly and St. Johns, where they contrived, and with the desired success, to conceal themselves on the borders of Lake Champlain for a short time longer. Emboldened by the success which had so far attended their plans, they decided on proceeding to the upper province ; and crossing the St. Lawrence once more, they directed their steps to La Chine, from whence they stole up the banks of the Ottawa, and eventually reached Kingston, in the neighbourhood of which town they concealed themselves for some time longer. Some information which the fugitives obtained induced them to cross Lake Ontario; and having reached York (now called Toronto) where they halted again for some days, not deeming themselves safe from the pursuit of an infuriated father, they sought a more sequestered spot, and finally established themselves in a rudely constructed hut, within a short distance of the Niagara river, on the British side, and about two miles above the celebrated Falls.

* Was the injured father inactive during this long interval ? The question is best answered by putting another—Was a North American Indian ever known to permit an injury to remain unavenged ? For days and nights had this broken-hearted father pursued the author of the grievous wrong inflicted on him—the despoiler of his domestic comfort, his darling child. With the stealth and caution which mark the Indian character, the chief sought his intended victim: and though often baffled in the attempt by the obstacles thrown in his way, such as large towns, and populous villages, and frequented paths and highways, he toiled diligently, though for a long

time fruitlessly, with a patience and perscverance that none but a denizen of the wilds can understand or accomplish. The day of retribution did come however, and chance so willed it that I should witness the closing scene of this appalling history.

“I had been sent by my father beyond the Niagara frontier, in company with two American timber dealers, to open a negotiation for a clearance, of which they were the proprietors, and to make a bargain also for bark and a raft of timber to be sent to Kingston. Ilaving concluded and brought to a satisfactory termination the object of my mission, I was returning homeword, and as if the finger of Providence had directed my steps thither, an irresistible impulse led me towards the stupendous cataract, justly termed one of the wonders of this vast continent. I had, according to custom, been amusing myself with my gun as I pursued my way by the dark flowing water, and had kihed several snipe and wild fowl, when my attention was arrested by a long, ringing, discordant yell, resembling the description I had heard of the death war-whoop, as given by the Indian warriors in battle. On turning to the spot from whence this unusual sound proceeded, I could distinguish the forms of two men, the one on the ground as if relaxing his hold after a death struggle, and the other a tall athletic Indian bending over a prostrate form, the hair of the head remaining firmly held in the hand. I approached cautiously, and fortunately unobserved, for had my presence been discovered my doom would have been sealed. I could now distinguish from behind a tree where I had concealed myself, a female form in the act of supplicating the conqueror in the recent strugglethe appeal was vain, for the fragile form was dragged towards the hut, where I could but faintly distinguish what was passing. Presently the tall and muscular Indian rushed from the wigwam, making the woods resound with his infernal yells, while he brandished a tomahawk in his right hand, and held in his left a human scalp, which he savagely gloated on with the eyes and smile of a maniac. The chief was too much occupied with his barbarous achievement to notice me, although in his cooler moments my presence could not have escaped detection, He

passed within a few yards of the spot where I stood, bounding like a deer. He was evidently making for the river-I followed him, but cautiously, as may well be imagined, as I was desirous to ascertain the meaning of the scene to which I had been an involuntary eye witness. He reached the bank about half a mile below the spot where his late exploit had been performed, and from amongst some sedges he dragged forth a canoe, into which he jumped. He then deliberately sat down, lighted his pipe, and from the bottom of his frail bark he dragged forth a bottle ; he appeared to drink freely of its contents, and having so done, he pulled forth a blanket, and wrapping himself in it, he shoved the canoe from the bank, and paddled into the centre of the rapid current. This to me was for the moment inexplicable, as he was rushing to inevitable destruction.

• I need scarcely tell you, Pierre,' continued François, 'that the Niagara, ere it reaches the Fall, flows over an inclined plane some two or three miles above it, and that once within the influence of the impetuous current, no human power can arrest the progress of any substance drawn within its irresistible power.

But the self-immolator was as unconcerned as if he were going to a marriage feast instead of destruction. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, to see the termination of this harrowing scene. The Indian was immoveable, save when he applied the bottle to his mouth-presently the buoyant little bark with its living freight was whirled round with frightful rapidity while urged forward on its fearful course ; again was it drawn by a hidden agency within the vortex of the turbid stream, and whirled round ere it was carried to the dark sheet of water immediately above the cataract. Breathless, and all but stupified by what was passing before my bewildered sight, I can just remember seeing the Indian and his canoe borne with the feetness of the wind to the edge of the precipice, and suddenly disappear. The suicide met the death he courted with stoical indifference, draining his bottle (which contained rum) while rushing into the presence of his Maker. As a matter of course, he was carried into the foaming abyss below, a nd hidden beneath the boiling water. The body was found some three weeks afterwards, cast upon the pebbly shore below the unfathomable pool at the bottom of this stupendous fall; the corpse was much mutilated, but a human scalp was found firmly fastened in the girdle of the Indian's belt. This, I need not tell you, was the scalp of Jackson, the seducer of his child.

• As soon as I had recovered my self-possession, I retraced my steps towards the hut where the first act of this horrid tragedy had been performed. On arriving within a few yards of the rude dwelling, I found the body of my European acquaintance Jackson frightfully mutilated, and minus his scalp ; at the door, and against a post, a sickening sight was before me—that of a young and beautiful female strangled against a post: a cord with a noose had been thrown over her head, and three turns of the rope from the father's hand had too surely done the deed. The long-wished-for hour had arrived when a deeply rooted and long cherished craving for revenge could be satiated. I had to travel many miles ere I could procure assistance ; the bodies were removed to the nearest township, and laid in one grave; and thus I draw the curtain over my promised tale, which I seldom repeat, and never without shuddering.'

"This, Monsieur, was François' history, and I hope you will agree with me in thinking that it is worthy of the title of The Snipe-shooter's Adventure.'"

Old Pierre Larosse's version of François' narrative interested me exceed'ngly at the time. It took some time in the teling, and the jorum was replenished more than once during the evening. I made some notes of it at the time, I remember pei.ectly well ; and if by ransacking my memory for the leading incidents, and putting them together in Larosse's own words as nearly as possible, considering the length of time that has clapsed, I may have succeeded in affording a few minutes'amusement to the reader, I shall be encouraged to give in the succeeding number, another of my Canadian reminiscences.

F. T.


“ The well-dissembled fly,
The rod fine tapering with elastic spring,
Snatch'd from the boary steed the floating line,
And all thy slender watery stores, prepare."


" Oh! the jolly angler's life,

It is the best of any."

Oh! Devon, Devon, land of streams and moors, how oft have thy praises been said and sung by young and old ! Fertile art thou in trout and turtle-doves, streamlets and rivers, b''ls and valleys. Well art thou celebrated as the garden of England ; genial is thy atmosphere, happy are thy children. Oh! for a pleasant cottage with the myrtle and jessamine covering its wa's in some of thy secluded, happy vales ! The longer I am debarred from thy pastures, my natale solum, do I regret the fate that has torn me from the seat of


fathers !
"* True affection lasts the longer,

When its brightest hours are o'er ;
Parting sorrows bind it stronger,

Mem'ry but endears it more.' But though I cannot dwell in thy bosom, yet wi!! I every season pay a visit to thy moors, and rob thy streams of some of their speckled monarchs. Do not, however, suppose I would be so hard-hear ied as to use the poor innocent worm as my means of capture, “whatever Isaak Walton says or sings"-no! the fly, the we'l-made artificial fly alone shall tempt my unsuspecting prey. Too well has a worm been described " an animal impaled on a hook in order to torture a second for the amusement of a third.” Fly-fishing is to angling what a picture of Domenichino is to the picture of the “ Red Lion” painted on many a sign-board : both are pictures-both catch the eye. But oh! the difference. Give me a fly-rod and a dozen good flies, and, provided the water is clear, the sport shall follow ; not that spinning a miunow is to be despised, as larger fish are killed by it than by other means ; but to throw a fly, a small blue midge under the bough of a tree that overhangs a pool in a brook, to draw it gently over the surface, to mark the curl of the waters as it is sucked in, to feel the pi l as

11. At once he darts along, Deep struck, and runs out all the lengthened line ; Or flies aloft, and flounces round the pool,

Indignant of the guile ;' with tacklo light as gossamer, to combat your prize in his own element, and at last to have the satisfaction of bagging it as a reward for your labour--this reqr'res skill, a gentle hand, firm but not strong ; this is the acme of piscator's art, and it is not the less pleasing as it is harmless.

How beautifully has the poet Keats described the delight of relaxation from the toils of a city life to the amusement of the country!

“ To one who has been long in city pent,

'Tis very sweet to look into the fair

And open face of heaven, to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when with heart's content,

Fatigued, he sinks into some pleasant lair

Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair

And gentle tale of love and languishment ?" How refreshing must be the freedom from business to the man who for months has been perched on a stool in some office! he feels as if a load were removed from his breast ; and as he hears the birds sing, and sees all things fresh and verdant, he forgets what he has left behind, and gives himself up entirely to pure unsullied enjoyment. Such were the feelings of two brothers of the angle as they left the smoky dingy city of one fine day in August, and with rod in hand, and a few necessaries in a knapsack, they trudged along the road on a fishing and sketching tour through the south of Devon. "Well, Charles," said the elder, “ I shall leave you all the fishing ; and although I am as fond of, though not so successful in, the art as you are, yet I shall devote myself to sketching some of the beautiful scenery, which far exceeds my most sanguine expectations and your description."

Charles.—“ Perhaps you are right, George ; for, to tell the truth, you have not a sufficient stock of patience to become a proficient in the art; and as you will find, ere the week is over, ample material for your pencil, I trust you will not find time hang heavy on your hands ; if you wish to have a throw now and then by way of a change, I shall be most happy to lend you my rod; but I advise you to leave your own at Chudleigh till our return."

George.—“I will take your advice ; but as we have arrived at that place, I should like to hear your plan of to-day's campaign.

Charles.—“Certainly ; while we refresh our inward man at the Plymouth Inn, a resting-place I recommend to all brothers of the angle who wish for neatness and cleanliness combined with economy, I will explain, Our place of meeting shall be at Bovey Tracey, three miles from this. It is now one o'clock : I shall fish down the river Teign as far as Jew's Bridge, and from thence fish up the little river Wrey to Bovey, where I hope to meet you at six. We will dine there, and walk to Moreton Hampstead to sleep, seyen miles higher up the brook. Before we sopa

« 上一页继续 »