Some Canadian Sketching Grounds
Lake of the Woods -
On the prairies the entire professional class summers at "The Lake", which is one of the most beautiful of God's creations. It is no lake in particular. Every man is prepared to assert the superior beauty of his own. They build houses of sufficient comfort close to the water's edge, with wide verandahs to diminish the effect of the heat, and open fireplaces within to augment it. A boat-house is the complement of each dwelling - an imposing structure, may be, with bed-room and a balcony above, or the term may be largely rhetorical, applied only to a crazy contraption of planks that serves as a landing, a diving platform, or a refuge for the lone canoe.
Paul Kane, the artist, traversed the prairies, climbed the Rocky Mountains, and roved around Vancouver Island, sketching all the way. In the interesting record of his travels, "Wanderings of an Artist", he noted the beauty spots, and gave terse descriptions of the incidental lay of the land. Entering the Red River, he worte, "The country here is not very beautiful, a dead-level plain with very little timber." But leaving Winnipeg, after an exciting buffalo hunt, he cam to "a beautiful plain convered with innumerable small roses." He liked grandeur in scenery, and so was not moved to proclaim the shy charm of the Lake of the Woods, beyond stating that he and his party camped for the night on one of the "beautiful rocky islands", with which this lake is littered.
Our cottage at Lake of the Woods is built upon a rock, a rounded mass of granite jutting out into the lake, and bare of vegetation save for a grove of young jack-pines and a wild cherry tree or two. The verandah faces the sunrise, the sunset, and the northern sky, and the back-door open on the forest. There is a miniature cove with a sandy bottom, and a ramshackle boat-house beside it. We spent the summer months here, and each night were lulled to sleep by the soothing night cadences of the waters and the woods.
The village is tow miles away over the water, but there are other cottages within call, and numerous islands in the bay. Every day brings new adventures, whether we set out in the canoe on a short excursion, or in the launch for a long one. the map pinned on the wall is a tantalizing document, as most maps are, and if there is any sense in nomenclature, the adjacent lakes and the streams spread out upon it are alluring to the last degree. One canoe route leads from Clearwater Bay through Granite Lake, the Lake of Two Mountains, Moss, Bear Mountain, Crow, Duck and Rush Lakes, back to the starting point. Desirable places: who would not wish to see them?
More than one landscape painter has confessed that the lake is uninteresting. It is true that the country around is distressingly flat, almost as flat as the water, though on a higher plane. Yet beauty is everywhere apparent. The lake does possess a wealth of interesting detail that appeals with an intimacy which makes every object a possible shrine of beauty. There are trees -
The jack-pine, though a shapeless thing, disposing its drooping branches in grotesque but graceful curves.
The birch, whose opalescent bole reflects the colours of surrounding things.
The poplar, with twisted branching, delightfully capricious, and dancing leaves - a medley of dark green discs, spinning golden guineas, oval mirrors the colour of the sky, and, when the light shines though, instead of upon or athwart them, golden green.
The pines with wheel-shaped branches of dark-green needles making a splendid foil for the rest.
There is the water-rivers and rapids, modest falls, gently rippling water whose elusive forms are difficult to follow. I know a dream river, created for canoes and landscape painters. Trees overshadow it, and water-lilies bloom below its banks. It is clear and deep and narrow. Now wind disturbs its serenity. All the way up one hears the rising music of its falls, and eventually one's eyes are blessed by the sight of them.
There are the islands, and there is the open sky, which is more beautiful than the dweller in the mountains imagines.
Many people have remarked that my paintings display a fondness for tangled foregrounds, screens of foliage, and particularly for pendulous branches. They say, it looks Japanese. Experience at the lake, however, might teach them that such are typical of the wild Canadian woods; that vegetation obscured the view nearly everywhere, and that the tangle of growth is so thick that often an axe is needed to cut a way through. If they have kept to the beaten path, then they probably respect convention in art as well as in life.
It does not follow, of course, that because this interwoven growth is there it must be painted, but it is often of great beauty in pattern. Who has seen and has not admired Tom Thomson's Northern River? There are occasional open views, but more often than not the beholder sits under an umbrageous tree to see and digest them. From that position the same thing occurs all over again - a branch cutting obtrusively across the field of vision.
It is justly stated that God abhorred exact reproduction in His scheme of creation. It is true that no tow leaves are alike. The element of deviation from absolute perfection endows every object and every living thing with an individuality that claims attention. If the deviation is slight, we have beauty, if considerable, deformity. "There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" said Bacon.
The monotony of outlook at the lake where every island seems the same deceives only the casual observer. It falls on the painter of unusual, dramatic or cataclysmic effects; it even wearies the average sketcher, until he has adjusted his perception to its restrictions. He grows tired of portraying trees, rocks, and rippling water, in perpetual sunshine; hi is limited sadly in the possible variations of his themes. Moreover, he is mostly forced to remain at the water-lever. In spite of their variety in detail, his pictures bear a family resemblance. He hesitates to bring too numerous a progeny. It has been done, of course. Many a painter has repeated one profitable theme for a lifetime, like a bird with one note, but in the Hades they will inhabit finally, they will paint interminable haystacks, or whatever they affected in life, while Sisyphus rolls his rock, and Tantalus continues his abortive efforts to appease his hunger and assuage his thirst.
On first acquaintance with the lake the artist starts with a conventional landscape, with his horizon a third of the way up or down the panel, a tree in full stature about a third of the way across, reflected in the water, and a foreground of rock and vegetation. His next sketch differs to the extent of two trees instead of one. By and bye he moves his horizon, later he leaves it out altogether. He learns to amputate his trees, showing perhaps only their crowns, with flying clouds behind, or only the roots sprawling grotesquely in a litter of brown pine-needles.
Diaz first had the courage to paint truncated trees. His first effort was regarded as quite a joke. He would ask visitors if they had seen his latest stem.
Going one better than Diaz in the matter of trees, the artist in desperation, inverts them, that is he paints their reflections in the lake, with only a strip of the shore showing in the composition. meanwhile he has done them from above and below.
Then he yearns for something new. The water attracts him, not as a vehicle for suicide, but as a spectacle with decided pictorial possibilities, never still, never the same, reflecting something in every state, and moving rhythmically.
On open water the reflections of the sky on the nearer ripples are a fascinating study. Sometimes clouds appear upon it, as a multitude of small ovals, enveloping others of different colour or tone, in form much resembling the concentricities of a cut agate. They appear and vanish in a flash, and dance with an abandon that inspires all beholders. There is the sheen of the sun on the ripples - countless images of the sun that dazzle and glitter - with a blinding brilliance impossible to reproduce with pigments. There is a valorous attempt in the Chicago gallery. the artist managed very nicely by painting each dazzle in the three primary colours, which, in theory, produce white light when mixed. They do in a laboratory but not on canvas or paper. He obtained a little glitter, but not much.
The evening sky over the end of the bay is laced with wisps of golden cloud that Turner loved to paint. The moon is low on the horizon. We are between the sun and the moon, and this is the golden hour. The suffusion of golden light creates soft harmonies and in a measure mitigates the chromatic crimes our neighbours have committed on their boat-houses. The shadows are cool and enhance the brilliance of the light.
The wispy clouds deepened to crimson as we sat. A fine sunset. It is often remarked that sunsets are rarely painted, although artists must be aware that such are the only phenomena observed by the average man, save the earthquake and the blizzard. a crimson sky I hard to ignore. It is lovely, considered in relation with the whole vault of the heavens, and the viable earth, but crude and strident in itself, without context. Generally the eastern sky dissolves a subtler beauty which one often is too preoccupied to see. The perception and the enjoyment of colour in nature is not for the man with an untutored vision, however keen it may be. Only the sunset was made for him. And for the painter with pride in his heart, an immense replica of his own perverted fancies is set up in the sky. "No arrogant man", said Constable, "is allowed to see nature in all her beauty." Turner painted many sunsets, the most famous in pictorial art. He employed invariably a very wide angle of vision as an aid in the expression of grandeur. His reds were concentrated in small areas, and they shone with deceiving intensity. But time and the London air have played havoc with his work. His reds are now black. For others have been entirely successful in depicting crimson clouds at sunset. Ne pigment is sufficiently brilliant and transparent to reproduce the tremendously high light that the sun throws upon these clouds. Vermilion is the nearest red, but it is an opaque, heavy colour. By reducing the tones of all surrounding things - that is, by painting them darker than they really are, an approximation of truth may be realized.
Here at the Lake of the Woods majestic cumulus clouds often rise in the eastern skies in the evening. Tinted by the sun, they reflect its last rays - gold, orange, red, and the last ghostly gray in the night. The limpid shadows that reveal its contours - the thought that its magnificence inspires - why, with this object of splendour in the heavens, who would look at a sunset?
The Rocky Mountains -
Canadian landscape painters have penetrated the most remote parts of the Dominion, even to the extreme north, within the arctic circle. Few have been able to resist the lure of the gaunt Rockies; indeed, an army of painters form other lands labours under the same spell.
On my first visit I rested, after a long tramp, at the spot where Sargent set up his easel to paint his famous "Lake O'Hara". It was a gorgeous scene - the green lake with pines at its edges, steep walls of rock surrounding it, all in a glamorous twilight, while immediately in front, but stupendously high, a great glacier gleamed in warm light. We camped near the further extremity of the lake, beside a noisy stream.
Though many miles form the railway, the spot is easily accessible, and the Canadian Pacific Railway bungalow, set on the lake shore, provides all possible comforts. From the verandah you may see the glacier nearly as described, and from the other side an equally striking view of Cathedral Mountain.
On one occasion the latter scene impressed me most profoundly. It was late in the evening, and the blue peak soared in the sky of citron. The lower tones, representing crevices and depressions, or trees on the lower slopes, were an intenser blue. Near at hand a forest of spruce, a black silhouette, skirted the shores of the lake which held a jade green image of all. The whole scene was in distinct flat tones, all its details obscured in the fading light.
He had some argument as to the best means to adopt, whether to camp in one spot, to wander, or to submit to hotel meal-hours. We decided to camp, and looked forward to an uninterrupted orgy of sketching carefree, comfortably untidy, paint slinging furiously form dawn to dewy eve.
The reality proved very different. We would awaken shivering very, very early, look out on a gray damp world, and link quietly back to the comfort of the blankets. When at last we rose, we tried to light a fire in the rain - succeeded - breakfasted by eleven - washed the dishes - assumed our packs - and climbed the nearly perpendicular mountain behind the tent in an effort to achieve a wider outlook above the trees. It was a stiff climb, but nature had placed gooseberry bushes at points where you felt that something to grasp was essential, and there was often water below to soften the impact of a fall. When, after a prodigious effort, we reached the meadow at the foot of the Opabin glacier, it began to snow.
That happened more than once, but we were often up early, in a mood to appreciate beauty of every kind. The sun shone, marmots whistled, rock-rabbits squeaked, bees droned; there was an occasional rumble of rocks falling from the heights, and an ever-present roar of rushing water in which it was easy to imagine voices. The air was heavy with the smell of marigolds. There were delightful views on that plateau without number. Mountain and meadow were at variance, the latter indescribably warm in tone, golden and dappled with flowers, the mountains were invariably cool. Streams, broad and quiet in one place, rushing noisily over a declivity in another - a string of lakes and cascades, and tumbled rocks, and stunted larch that were then yellow, gave infinite interest and variety to the foregrounds. The debris form broken bastions formed screens that trespassed on the edges of the meadow , and above them rose mighty walls of rock. The plateau was some miles long, and was bounded at the northern end by an immense glacier that seemed to flow from a V-shaped break in the mountain range - the Opabin pass.
Mountains are always changing. One artist may respond to the effect of brilliant sunshine in clear weather; another may see beauty in the vari-hued strata of which the earth's crust is composed, and produce mountain sides resembling a cut of streaky bacon, while a third prefers the soft effects of rain, smoke, or mist, which affords them the opportunity of rendering peaks as easily manipulated silhouettes of blue or gray. We had no choice; we became automatically artists of the third class. We rarely saw the sun, and bacon dominated our diet so completely that we felt we were under no obligation to paint it too.
Sometimes the air cleared of the smoke of forest fires; the mountains seemed appreciably near; the heights of Victoria, which towered above our camp, lost a little of the mystery with which the prevalent haze had invested them. Their colour was still delicate, purer if possible, and the subtle range of tones within their contours was preserved and even amplified. The constant rain that poured upon us suggests it would be most fitting to discourse on the glory of gray in the heights, on diffused opalescent light filtering through clouds, on the subdued harmonies created by contiguous colours, which under other conditions, would be garish and disturbing. What could be more picturesque than a troop of trail-riders, gaily caparisoned with coloured chaps, vivid scarves, and rainbow blankets, all in a sombre setting of gray! but of gray itself we found it difficult to wax enthusiastic - in a tent we were to conscious of its concomitant discomforts, dampness and cold. Even the local bear looked forlorn, and in a mood which in us would be designated by the name he bears. The waters alone seemed to retain their boisterous spirits, rushing alongside the camp with a noise like wind through the forest, and pouring persistently form the sky in an anxious effort to leave those frigid heights, and seek the lower levels as speedily as may be - a laudable object it seemed to us.
Beauty, pleasure, and the good things of life are intensified, and perhaps only exist, by reason of contrast. When a stray ray of sunshine appeared our woes diminished, and we recognised a source of warmth more potent physically than the fires of artistic enthusiasm. We would cheerfully take the steep atril again that leads to lake Oosa past smaller lakes and entrancing falls. It is wiser to stay by the bungalow camps if you want to paint in the mountains, avoiding the chores and the discomforts of camp, and ensuring as far as possible, the receptive mood, untroubled mind and fresh body that make good painting possible.
The Pacific Coast - Indian Villages - Totem Poles.
The hours that were added to my span of life on the journey to the west coast I dissipated in a drive round Stanley Park. It was a sight-seeing bus, provided with a guide and a megaphone. The guide stopped us in front of the totem poles, and delivered a portentous lecture upon them. Now the totems were of great interest to me, as examples of primitive art, and I wept when he said that the method of making them was lost in the mists of antiquity. But I determined to learn something more about them. Alert Bay - the Papeete of the North Pacific - they said, was the place to go to. I went. In fact that was where I intended going, to visit my sister and her husband. It is a port of call on the tourist route, and though the place has been despoiled, it is still full of interest, compact of exotic life and strange monuments., redolent of romance. The town is built on a strip of land above the beach - a single street with a long and tenuous water-front, facing the sea, and brushing the fringe of the forest.
the board walk fronts many community houses, each with its totem; between it and the sea are a few shacks, a few stores, but it is mostly open, and separated only by a beach of rounded pebbles. The beach is littered with logs, white, gray, and flesh-coloured - and amongst them are a few painted canoes, most graceful craft.
Walking through the town you are alert for the unexpected. Almost next door to the cannery, which divides the Indian Village from the rest, formerly stood the tall totem I had seen in Stanley Park. It was attached to the front of a large community house, and the spreading wings of the thunder bird were painted on the facade. The bird's lower jaw was pivoted to open and shut; open it disclosed an aperture, through which not so long ago prisoners were forced to crawl to receive a lethal blow when their heads appeared within the building. At least, so the story goes; historians will probably discredit it, but it presents a whimsical variation of walking the plank, a practice in vogue at that time.
One day I walked to the end of the village, past the Indian agent's house, and the parsonage, and sae an Indian backing away industriously at a cedar log, with an adze. The log already suggested a totem pole, and the shapes of a bear, a man, and an eagle, could be distinguished, a little amorphous at that stage of materialization perhaps, but recognisable one above the other in the approved style. Needless to say I pulled up sharply, and enquired of the sculptor how it happened that he was practising an art already deemed extinct. He was a cheerful sour, and chewed gum even more assiduously and noisily than he hacked. he could chew while he talked, whereas his hacking diminished both in tempo and vigour as he groped for words in unaccustomed English. And he smiled broadly and affably as he told his story, and elucidated the craft of totem-pole making.
The log lay prone on supports, a foot above the beach. It was begun, and would be finished in that position. The roughing out was done entirely with a curved four-inch adze, which might be described as a compromise between an axe and a hoe, and the finishing with straight and curved knives and small gouges. Unusual protuberances, such as outstretched wings, fins, or the gigantic beaks of fantastic birds, are carved separately on odd pieces of wood, and attached afterwards by various means. Much of the detail was painted with mineral colours ground with salmon eggs - coal, chalk, and iron oxides - which dries with a dull, mellow sheen, far more beautiful than the glaring polish of the house-paint of commerce, which, alas, is sometimes used now. The finished article was formerly erected like a fence-pole, that is, stuck in a hole in the ground, but now it is sometimes set in a concrete base like a sophisticated flag-pole.
The artist treats birds, animals, fish and man decoratively, and at times grotesquely, so that they are often difficult to identify. The thunder bird figures frequently, and might be the eagle but for the twin crests on his crown. This mythical bird causes the thunder that accompanies the families under its protection.
Comparative size does not bother the artist in the least. On the same pole a kingfisher may be larger than a whale, and an eagle big enough to swallow a bear whole. But he knows a good deal about unity in design, good proportion, and fine decorative modelling.
He told me how he had been brought up to the craft in Port Rupert, and had practised there most of his life. The totem pole he was making, was one of a pair, commissioned by a Vancouver store. He had made, he said, three of the four examples in Stanley Park, that were previously pointed out to me as unique examples of a forgotten craft. Fortunately, its traditions have been kept, and thanks to the sound advice of the Indian agent, totem-poles are built, properly, for memorials as in ancient days, and inscribed slabs of marble imported from Vancouver are losing favour.
He took me into his work-shop. It was little larger than a tool-shed, but there was room for all his tools and his pigments, and here he makes models for his Caucasian customers. Several miniature carvings were on the bench, in various stages, a few completed. They were beautifully wrought.
But on the whole the display of native art in Alert Bay was disappointing. We determined to to explore the more remote Indian winter villages, marked on a chart, and any others we might hear of. To that end my brother overhauled the "Anne", provisioned her, and we weighted anchor one fine morning. The "Anne" is equipped with a small gasoline engine; she has a cabin amidships, which is kitchen, engine-room, lounge, and bedroom, according to the time of day. I slept on deck under an awning, most comfortably. Owing to our lack of power we were obliged to study the tides, but by evening the same day we arrived at the village of Tsatsisnukomi, in whose bay we lay. The crescent beach was fringed with a single row of buildings, mostly weathered gray, and comprising community houses, both habitable and derelict, and a hill clothed by the forest rose steeply behind. A fine canoe with a painted prow lay on the beach. The only totems visible were within a dismantled community-house, and served as supports for the mighty rafters. There were other supports too - stout, round, fluted pillars of wood, that recalled the columns of a ruined temple in the fading light. The totems were obviously family crests, and as such, were far more interesting than many of the heraldic devices issued by the College of Heralds. The place was entirely deserted save by an army of large and loathsome slugs and the ghosts of dead Indians. A damp and eerie spot.
Nettles grew to an unusual height about the buildings. We stayed a while the next day, until wind made the anchorage uncomfortable, but I had time to make pencil drawings of some of the more grotesque carvings, and a water-colour of the beach and part of the village, with two house-posts in the foreground, each representing a bear suckling a wolf. A little more than an hour's sailing across the channel brought us close to the sheltered bay around which the village of Mamalilicoola is spread. But it is a shallow bay, only navigable at high tide - it was then a vast reach of mus - and the best we could do was to anchor in an adjacent bay out of sight.
We had passed several small islands that were used as burial grounds. The monuments to the dead were often imposing - close at hand, and enveloped in mist, as we saw them on one occasion, they were almost alarming. Enormous fish painted in black and white on long planks of wood cut to the shape, were attache to upright supports like a modern billboard, though, as I have suggested, of heroic proportions.
The surroundings of Mamalilicoola are beautiful, and the village itself, larger than the other as we saw it from the sea, was strongly attractive. I was anxious to walk its single street. The bay in which we lay was secluded. The shore was obscured by a dense forest, which limited our view.
On the chance that there was a trail within it leading to the village, we rowed to the head of the bay in the dinghy, and stepped ashore. There was indeed an old blazed trail, and a walk of a mile or more in a green twilight brought us to our objective. We entered a strange world as we emerged from a mass of head-high nettles on the sward immediately beneath a tall and magnificent totem-pole. It stood in front of a community house, the pediment of whose facade was carved and painted with an allegorical figure of the sun, flanked by two fishes. As we turned to the sea we looked down upon a crescent beach, gleaming white with broken clam shells. A long and sinuous pier of floating logs indicated a good deal of canoe traffic. As we looked, a black canoe, with a white prow and an emerald green gunwale, glided silently alongside it, a squaw stepped out and shouldered an enormous bundle; her lord preceding her with a paddle. Half a mile seaward were the islands of the dead, and beyond them rose wooded heights of larger islands, the snow-capped peaks of Vancouver Island playing hid and seek in the clouds, and towering above them.
We walked along the neat pathway between the houses and the beach, and passed a number to totems, house-posts, and zunuks (joymen - grotesque and humourous single figures, formerly used at potlaches or other celebrations). Several of the zunuks wore tall hats, reminiscent of those affected by the early Jesuit missionaries. One, fallen from his high estate, (they are usually elevated on poles) and legless, served as a post to hold a family clothes line. A Few women and old men, useless for fishing, remained in the village, and were friendly enough.
I found material for several days sketching: the outlook across the bay, with interesting foregrounds, views along the street, and from the beach. Clouds were at once the delight and the bane of the cruise. Their restlessness now disclosed unsuspected distances, now obliterated them wholly or in part, thus shifting the scene every few moments. The humidity of the air produced wonderful tones of blue in every background, a range of soft harmonies which never occur in the mountains or on the prairies. As pure landscape it is the finest I have been privileged to see.
We found another village - Karlukwees - more interesting than the others. the clean white beach had borrowed its shape from the new moon. here the chief's house - a very civilized little house, such as you see in any Canadian town - was flanked by two incongruous forbidding figures, each carrying a keg upon his shoulder. What exactly was their significance I could not imagine. The path was paved with enormous cedar planks, which must have measured five feet across. They had been split form the log with wedges, and trimmed with an adze. The cedar was indispensable to the Coast Indian, as the coco-palm is to the Polynesian; the date-palm to the Arab, and the canoe-birch to the Indian of the prairie. He hollowed the log by burning and shaped the ends to make his canoe; he split it with wedges to make great beams, planks, and the smaller shakes for building, literally sewing them together with pliable branches from the same tree. The bark served for fuel; its inner fibres for basket weaving, and its pigmentation for a dye.
Karlukwees provided many subjects for painting. In fact, never have I seen a more delectable sketching ground. We had penetrated an arm of the sea, the open sea seemed far away, for it
flowed only in narrow channels, between an immense number of islands. I regretted leaving the coast, and I long to return.
Lake Winnipeg -
The sketcher discovers sooner or later that virgin country or the forest primeval, considered merely as landscape, does not stimulate the imagination so certainly as that in which the hand of man is apparent. The wilderness is unfriendly, in pictorial art as well as in fact. A wisp os smoke above the trees, a foot-print in the sand, is no more welcome when a man is lost therein and lonely, than in art, when he comes to buy paintings. There is a small canvas in the Toronto gallery by J. E. H. MacDonald, in which gray peaks are wrapped in swirls of mist. Water fills the foreground, and upon it rests a boat, moored to a stake. It is an inspiring work, with a wider appeal than the same artist's Solemn Land. The boat is the significant feature.
I once spent a week on the steamboat Wolverine, which plies to and fro on Lake Winnipeg. We reached the northern extremity of the lake, and stayed for a few minutes at Norway House. The journey revealed a sketching ground of some value. The scenery is neither bold nor exceptional; some indeed would say that there is none. It is man's activities that provide real interest on that lake - all that pertains to the fishing industry, wharves, boats, and fish-houses. On the Red River, where the voyage begins, are many crazy craft, that in colour and line, have greater pictorial value than the scenic background, although the marshes at the mouth are interesting. On the lake itself only the sky is a delight, and the gulls that pose all day. The occasional island, or shore line that comes into view is a change, mildly engaging, but not pictorial, but the places of call are actually exciting. Whenever we roped to the homemade wharf I spent my time making quick drawings in pencil of buildings, of figures and boats. On the water I sketched the gulls and terms that followed the steamboat so hopefully.
The approach to Berenis River is by devious ways, amongst a number of shoals and bare rocks just awash, eventually by bigger rocks and wooded islands. There are fish-houses, shacks, and tents on some of the, and you hear the inevitable clamour of huskies.
The whitewashed fish-houses with their black roofs seem at this distance most memorable - wonderful congeries of logs, planks, and shingles, piled up, added to, and propped and buttressed ingeniously. There are fishing boats moored near them, and modest-swellings on the adjacent beaches. The wharf, when the Wolverine comes in, is littered with Indians and their women, all brightly apparelled.
This northern route was taken by picturesque brigades of York boats - big open boats propelled by sweeps when the wind was insufficient to fill the square blanket sail. There are none left now. The last lay rotting on the banks of the Nelson, the sturdy frame that withstood the shocks of a passage of the rapids a thousand times, now yielding to the action of the weather.
Although this trip was more restful than interesting, it was always annoying to be spirited away from a paintable subject after fifteen or thirty minutes. There never was time for anything but pencil notes, bor as soon as the legitimate duties of a boat were performed, after supplies had been dumped, and boxes of whitefish for the New York market loaded, we were away.