The Narrative of Gordon Sellar Who Emigrated to Canada in 1825 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 176 pages of information about The Narrative of Gordon Sellar Who Emigrated to Canada in 1825.
On reaching the next rapid, Treffle asked all who could to get out and walk along the bank, as the boat was drawing too much water.  Robbie wanted to go with us, but grannie clung to him.  ’Should the boatie cowp, who would save him gin I was na at hand?’ she asked.  To help the crew, we pulled at a towline until she got to another small canal.  As we went on, we had the excitement of watching boats pass us on their way to Montreal, shooting the rapids.  They were heavily loaded, mostly with bags of flour, yet ran down the foaming waters safely.  To us boys, was more exciting the passage of rafts, for they splashed the water into spray.  Having overcome that rapid, we all got on board, and the crew had an easier time in pushing along until we got in sight of a church perched above a cluster of cottages.  The mistress asked Treffle how they made the passage before the small canals were cut where the rapids were most dangerous.  He explained, that at the first rapid all the freight was unloaded and conveyed in carts to the landing-place on lake St Francis, while the empty boats were poled and towed close alongside the edge of the bank, avoiding the boiling water.  In those days the boats were lighter and sailed in companies, and their crews united to take them up one by one.  The village, the Cedars, was to be the resting-place of the boatmen until next day, and scattering among the houses, where a few of them had their families, they left the boat to the passengers.  Treffle led the way to houses where provisions could be bought and at prices so low that the women wondered.  Saying nothing so good to make men strong, he bought for the mistress a big piece of boiled pork, which, sliced thin, we enjoyed either with bread or our ship-biscuit.  We watched the baking of bread.  It was fired in queer little white plastered ovens set in front of each house, looking somewhat like beehives placed on top of strong tables.  The ovens are filled with wood, which is set on fire, and when the oven is hot enough the wood is raked out, the loaves shoved in, and the door shut.  We youngsters gathered round one on seeing the woman was about to open it.  When she drew out the first loaf, with a fine crust and an appetizing smell, we could not help giving a cheer, it was so wonderful to us.  We went back to the boat with a lot of food, to which was added fish, bought from a man as he landed from his canoe, which we fried.  That evening we had the best meal since we left home, and at night had plenty of room to sleep, for the air being hot a number of us slept beneath the trees.  We safely got past the fourth and last of the rapids, floating out of a little canal into a large lake.  The wind was still in the west, so we had to keep tacking, and it was afternoon when we passed Cornwall and steered for the south side of the St Lawrence.  Allan was pointing out to Grannie what was British and what was American; she remarked, on comparing the houses on the two banks, ’That gin Canadians wad build houses of wood,
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The Narrative of Gordon Sellar Who Emigrated to Canada in 1825 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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