Here I stopped. It was my youngest daughter who insisted on my telling How I Came to Canada, and I had consented on condition she would write down what I said, for I am a poor penman and no speller. Recalling what had happened in my early life, and I did so generally as I lay in bed in my wakeful hours, I dictated to Mary as she found leisure. On reading over what she had written I had only one fault to find with her work—she had not taken down the Scotch as I had spoken it. She had put my words, so she said, into proper English. She protested against my halting in my narrative with the arrival at Toronto, and insisted I go on and tell of our life in the backwoods. I cannot resist her pretty way of pleading with me when she wants anything, for she is so like my sainted mother that I often start at the resemblance. To me, in her young face and figure my mother lives again. The agreement was to tell How I Came to Canada. To that I now add, How we Got On in its Backwoods.
HOW WE GOT ON IN THE BACKWOODS
SEEKING FOR LAND
Leaving Mr Auld and Mr Brodie to see to the unloading of the baggage, we followed the master up the brae to the street that faces the lake, and entered a tavern. While waiting for dinner he told us of his experience in Toronto, not all, for he added to it for a week afterwards, but the substance of his complete story I will tell at once. The morning after his arrival be went to the office of the surveyor-general, and found several in the waiting-room; three he recognized as having come with him in the steamboat from Kingston. Like himself they all wanted land. Talking among themselves, an Englishman, who said he had been in Toronto four days, declared he had got sick coming to the office; he had thought there would be no difficulty in getting a lot and going to it at once, but found it was not so. The money he had to carry them to their new home was going in paying for board of his family. Unless he was assigned a lot that day, he would cross to the States. All were eager to get their lots at once; Canada invited emigrants yet, when they came to her door, there was no hurry in serving them. The master asked the reason, and got a number of answers. One was that there was too much formality and redtape, another that the officials were above their business and treated emigrants as if they were inferior animals, but the reason that struck the master most was that given by the emigrant