Imatges de pàgina

the southern; thus mistaking the south shore of Sir John's for that of Wolfe Island. Before the result of our error had assumed any gigantic proportions, we, being rather dubious, made inquiries of an approaching pleasure-boat, and found, to our dismay, that what we had taken for the American mainland was, in reality, the north shore of Wolfe Island; and that instead of being in the southern channel, and thus keeping to the American shore, we were in the middle one, and making straight for Kingston, which place we were doing our best to avoid. The result was that we were forced to beat backward to the eastern extremity of the Island, and the wind having died away, we rowed, in order the more easily to make a pleasant landing-place, and a good camping-ground for Sunday. After much trouble the latter was obtained, and we landed, though with difficulty, on account of the shallow water and the prevalence of small rocks. We were again fortunate in meeting a very hospitable owner to the territory, a man most of whose available time was spent in ferrying passengers from the Island to the mainland and back. We were rather surprised to hear from him that the whole of Wolfe Island belongs to Canada, as it is at least three miles from our side of the river, and not more than one from the other; but we were told that, on account of the channel of deep water, the boundary falls below the Island. It seems to be a beautiful piece of land, very fertile, and the largest of the Thousand Islands, everything combining to render it much to be desired by any nationality.

On Monday morning another terrific storm was experienced, the violence of the wind making it necessary to turn out and brace up the tent, which, by means of ropes, we succeeded in doing. The storm subsiding, we once more slept, and about 9.30 a.m. set out with a fair wind to round Cape Vincent, and sail once more on our old friend, Lake Ontario. As we passed quite close to the dock at the Cape, the backwash formed a heavy chopping sea, which we were afraid might produce some trouble; but the good craft Nancy Bell weathered it out, and we were not long in making a point on the Cape known as Tibbett's Point, where there is built a very strong lighthouse, which, from its prominence, must be a great boon to navigators in that part of the river

and lake. We now again had recourse to our old companion, the chart, which had been lying idle, but not forgotten, for two weeks in its tin case; and passing the light, made for Peninsular Point, after rounding which we had a splendid run to Sackett's Harbour or thereabouts, having noticed at a distance the Duckling Isles and another group called the Galloos. Here we camped for dinner, at a point near a farm-house. Starting again, we made Stony Point, landing about eight o'clock near the fine lighthouse, which is quite an ornament to the place. Next morning we were obliged to obtain provisions from the lighthouse keeper, as there was no other house in sight; and we learned that we were not a great distance from Oswego. We soon started with a fine wind, keeping about a mile from the shore, which here runs nearly north and south for twenty miles, thus forming one of the most peculiar coasts on the lake. The land for the whole distance terminates at the shore in lofty white sandy cliffs, with here and there small openings leading into an inland bay, of the existence of which one would not without landing become aware, as they were never more than fifty yards broad, though often leading into bays of at least three square miles in extent. These bays, or rather lakes, consist chiefly of fine marshes, with a small river, whose course could easily be detected. The largest of them is called "Big Sandy Bay," into which the increasing wind forced us to make our way, not knowing whether there was, at the opening, water sufficient to float the boat. The breakers could be distinguished rolling over the bar formed by the constant wash of the lake, and only one narrow spot of about six yards in width seemed to offer any hope of a safe passage. It was accordingly thought advisable, while one managed the sails and another the tiller, that the other two should undress and be prepared for any emergency, in order to prevent the capsizing of the boat, should she go aground. However, no accident happened, and we had the pleasure of seeing her ride safely through, and enter the deep water beyond. Landing, we took dinner and tea, and towards evening rowed across to "Nine Mile Point,”—that is, nine miles from Oswego. On this trip we were forced to trust solely to the pole-star and compass, as it became quite dark, and we were now striking across Mexico Bay, formed

by the coast here making a sudden turn from due south to nearly west, and were completely out of sight of land. The Point was reached and tent pitched about 11.30 p.m., and having rowed altogether about eight miles, we were quite ready for a good spell of sleep. An early rise next morning was dispensed with, owing to the lateness of the hour of retiring. However, sail was set about 10.30; but alas! on empty stomachs, this being the first landing-place we had yet struck, at which we could procure no provisions, on account of the scarcity, not of the victuals, but of the victuallers. An oasis was soon reached, where our exorbitant appetites were appeased, and we once more set sail with cheerful faces, "westward in the path of the setting sun." The wind veered round to the S. W., and blowing rather stiffly, we were forced to put ashore and remain till nearly noon. We obtained a rich treat of wild berries at this resting-place; but this was more than counterbalanced by one of our number getting a badly bruised face by tripping over an old, halfburied log. Having thoroughly regaled ourselves at this inviting spot, we rowed for about three miles, in order to reach a good landing-place for dinner; the which having been got through, we headed for Oswego.

This place was reached at six o'clock, and our toilet having been thoroughly attended to in the boat, we were quite ready to "do the town;" at the same time inwardly thanking our stars that evening would lend its welcome aid in sheltering our not too luxurious tout ensemble from the scrutinizing gaze of the Oswego populace. We always had an idea that Toronto possessed at least two very fine elevators; but on entering the Oswego river we had to confess that in this respect Toronto was literally nowhere; for rising-I was about to say to the cloudson either side, were a dozen of these useful but ugly structures. The "Metropolitan" was pouring forth its contents into the hungry-looking barges, with which the river seemed to be packed; the "Merchants'" receiving a fresh supply from a propeller, only too glad, one would imagine, to give forth its cargo that it might add another foot or two to its already gigantic stature; and the "International Farmers'," so vast as nearly to take one's breath away. Our craft was soon moored alongside the cribwork which lines both sides of the river, and

left with her "cargo" in charge of a boy, who was also caring for a schooner, under whose stern 66 Our 'giant" was securely hidden from hungry eyes. We were soon in the heart of the city, or town-its bustle certainly classing it with the former; its size with the latter. Purchasing the necessary stores, admiring the fine draw-bridge which crosses the river in the centre of the town, writing home touching our safe arrival, and returning to the boat, passed an hour away very easily. Our intention was to reach a camping-place as soon as possible, being now half-past nine; but noticing, on again entering the lake, that a fine land breeze was springing up, it was determined to make the most of it. So we sailed, enjoying the beautiful moonlight, till about 12 o'clock, when Nine Mile Point was reached, that being its distance west of Oswego.

Next morning, the 23rd July, we set sail, and with light wind made about eight miles along the coast, and rested till evening, expecting to meet with another land breeze. Having made a hearty meal, and enjoyed a good sleep, towards nine o'clock the anticipated breeze began to be felt; and under its influence we reached Little Sodus Bay. It was 12 o'clock next day before another move was made, when, with a fair and not too heavy wind, we were enabled, by sailing all the afternoon, to reach a small place called Pultneyville. We had now passed, along the coast, Little Sodus, Blind Sodus Port, and Big Sodus Bay, the former and latter of which seemed to present excellent harbour advantages, especially Big Sodus, where a white and a revolving light mark a narrow and well-sheltered passage into an expansive bay beyond. Supper was procured at Pultneyville after a little trouble. The gentle land breezes were then again invoked, and advantage was taken of them until 1.30 a.m., when we arrived about a mile east of Charlotte, the port town of Rochester, at the mouth of the Genesee river, and two miles west of the entrance to a large but unnavigable body of water known as Irondiquot Bay-having sailed in all about fifty miles, the longest run yet made in one day. The next morning, the 25th, with a stiff wind from the south, the Genesee mouth, with its two piers, each 2,000 feet long, was reached. By rowing, we arrived at Rochester about

12 o'clock.

Here we expected the long looked-for letters from home, whence we had not heard since leaving Prescott.

After thoroughly enjoying the many beautiful sights of the clean and well-built city, and laying in a good stock of necessaries, we took the street cars to the head of Lake Avenue, where we had left the boat in charge of a boatman. We were then about 200 yards below the Falls, which are really beautiful, they alone well repaying us for the visit. The wind had now strangely gone round to the north, and we were thus again compelled to row to get to the mouth of the river. Its scenery is truly magnificent; the hills rising to an enormous height on each side, and being covered with lofty, thicklyfoliaged trees. Having again arrived at Charlotte, we purchased a supply of bread and, what at this time was a great treat, some beefsteaks. Then, having viewed the smelting works carried on there on a very large scale, we once more set out along the coast, and reached Braddock Point at about eight o'clock, and at once proceeded to camp, plainly seeing the approach of a storm. We were no sooner in ship-shape than a heavy shower of rain came on, and with it a far worse visitor, in the shape of a huge swarm of mosquitoes. Against these relentless and bloodthirsty foes every remedy was tried-the tent being filled with smoke --but all to no purpose; which was not sur prising, for we were found to be encamped not far from the edge of an immense marsh, the usual swarming-ground of these pests. The storm soon abated, and it was decided, although 11 o'clock, to set sail rather than remain to be eaten alive. By the light of the moon, which now came out in full, we started for a more auspicious landing-place; but the marsh extended along the shore for about eight miles, separated from the lake by about a quarter of a mile of sand beach. As this was our first Sunday on the water (it being now 2 a.m.), we were anxious to go ashore as soon as possible; but the barrenness of the coast rendered the design impracticable. In fact, it was 7 o'clock before a spot with the slightest chance of approach was discovered. Here we cooked and ate breakfast, and again set out, to reach, if possible, a settled and accessible locality. This was at length found at a point called the Devil's Nose a very appropriate termination, the reader will no

doubt think, to the Sunday morning's work We had by this time left our enemies, the mosquitoes, twenty-three miles in the rear, and succeeded in making a landing on a piece of sand stretching back from the water about twenty yards, to the base of a continuous cliff, twenty feet in height, indented here and there with openings-the outlets for small streams after a heavy rain or thaw. With this bleak spot we were destined to become thoroughly acquainted. After pitching the tent-which, owing to the looseness of the soil, was a difficult task-a hearty meal was indulged in; and then, to make amends for the rest lost to us through the mosquitoes on the previous night, it was resolved to take a noon-day siesta. This having been indulged in, the next thing on the programme was tea, rendered very agreeable by provisions procured at a large farmhouse about half a mile from the shore. On the evening of the 26th we were again visited by a slight touch of sickness, the captain, alias the chief cook, being this time the victim; but with the best nursing afforded under the circum. stances, the dreaded visitor was soon driven from the camp, with the hope that he had paid his last visit for the cruise. The next day was ushered in by.a strong wind, and consequently a heavy sea, from the north, completely crushing any hopes of an embarkation that day, which later on was rendered more disagreeable by a heavy fall of rain. This state of affairs unhappily continued during the next two days; the sea becoming so high on the evening of the 29th, as to compel us to erect barricades and dykes, in order to prevent the flooding of the tent. Having gathered together all the logs and loose wood near the beach, these were covered with sand, and we thus at length succeeded in arresting the onward career of the now tremendous waves. It was out of the question to move the tent. We were placed exactly at the base of the cliff, which barred further retreat in that direction; while a removal to the summit would have been exceedingly hazardous owing to its exposed position. There remained then nothing but a steady fight against the waves.. We could not, however, have been blockaded in a more auspicious neighbourhood; for we here met the most hospitable people it had yet been our good fortune to visit. They frequently, if not always, refused to take compensation for the provisions with.

which they loaded us on our several foraging expeditions. We were thus placed, in one respect, in a very uncomfortable position, for it was next to impossible to revisit where we knew similar treatment would result; and we were thus compelled to scour the locality for quite a distance around, in our endeavours to discover a fresh market. So, in the midst of the greatest plenty we were more stinted than at any other stage of our progress; verifying the saying as to being killed by too much kindness. Next day, the 30th, we set sail about 6 p.m., and succeeded in reaching within two miles of a small but excellent harbour, known as Oak Orchard, the port town of Albion, on the Erie Canal and N. Y. Central Railroad. Here we were again compelled by the weather to remain for the whole of the next day. On August 1st the sea was very high in the fore part of the day, but the wind going down completely towards 3 p.m., we were glad to take to the oars. The next trip landed us in a beautiful orchard, where we put in from a storm, and remained the night.

Monday was hailed with delight, for it brought a wind which carried us past Golden Hill, past Yates's Pier, to within 27 miles of Niagara, and we camped that night -petrels as we had been before, owls as we were then on a high bluff. The following day brought us to within four miles of the Niagara River, and on Wednesday Niagara was visited; for here it was expected we should receive the required remittances from Toronto. But we were doomed to disappointment, so after posting letters a start was made for Beamsville, where we were certain to obtain an increase of funds. We came up at the old pier opposite Beamsville, and leaving the boat in charge of the first mate, proceeded as rapidly as possible to the post office of that illustrious village.

"Any letters for F-r?"

"Of what ship are you, Capt. F————r?” "The Nancy Bell."

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Registered letter for you!"

Being now fully supplied with "the necessary," it was found, strange to say, that there was no time left for its use; for it was We were now fast approaching our well- now the 5th of August, and we were to be known Niagara district, and could almost sniff in Toronto on the 7th. To accomplish this its welcome atmosphere. While sojourning feat entailed the most difficult performance during the Sunday, we were regaled by the of the whole cruise; but we had accusowner of the territory with a stock of rev- tomed ourselves to look upon 50 miles as a enue tales. How a lugger was wont to mere nothing, so it was decided that the come from Darlington laden with rum, task should be performed at all hazards, and how by a series of plots the officer of and that the circumnavigation might not the revenue was hoodwinked and the liquor be broken-that the coast must needs be safely landed. A grand Sunday repast was kept within sight until our arrival in port. here enjoyed, consisting of ham, eggs, green With a head-wind, the first stretch of the peas, and cherries, the latter two courses journey was accomplished by rowing; and being culled from the adjoining fields and thus,-rowing when necessary, sailing when orchards. As our cash had gradually be possible,-passing Port Dalhousie, giving come low, more had been telegraphed for Hamilton a wide berth, landing for refreshat Oak Orchard, and we now found our- ments near Oakville, and keeping close to selves reduced to a solitary dollar,-the last the shore for the rest of the course, Toronto of its race. It was thus with doubtful-good old Toronto-was reached at about minds that we proceeded, in quest of provi- six in the evening. sions, toward the nearest domicile, - the manor-house of the farm on which we were camping. The question "Could we get some milk and eggs?" was answered by a joyous "O yes!" and then our souls were at ease; for out came the milk in the largest black tin, the eggs in a handkerchief. "What would they be?"-hoping that our friend the proprietor would now appear and set our palpitating hearts at rest. "Forty cents!" Oh, mighty dollar!

We thus arrived home after a cruise of nearly six weeks, during which time about 700 miles had been traversed, and grand old Ontario girdled in a manner as interesting as it undoubtedly was novel. The voyageurs were, of course, very proud to be able to state, both to those who had prognosticated success, and to those who had at the outset been very dubious as to the result, that during the whole trip not a gallon of water had been shipped over the

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