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Full text of "The golden land, the true story and experiences of British settlers in Canada"

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GOLDEN LAND 



THE TRUE STORY OF 



BRITISH SETTLERS 



IN CANADA 




ARTHUR E. COPPING 

WITH 24 PLATES IN COLOUR BY 

HAROLD COPPING 




IMMIGRANTS TRAVKLLING THROUGH CANADA IN A COLONIST CAR OF 
THK C.P.R., AS DKSCRIBED IN CHAPTER II. 



THE GOLDEN LAND 



THE TRUE STORY AND EXPERIENCES 
OF BRITISH SETTLERS IN CANADA 



BY 

ARTHUR E. COPPING 

AUTHOR OF "GOTTY AND THE GUV'NOR," "JOLLY IN GERMANY," ETC. 



WITH TWENTY-FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR BY 

HAROLD COPPING 



TORONTO 
THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY 

LIMITED 
LONDON: HODDER AND STOUGHTON 



Printed in 1911 



TO 
THE RIGHT HON. JOHN BURNS, M.P. 

PRESIDENT OF 
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

PAGE 

IN THE STEERAGE . . . . i 

Leaving Liverpool An examination of eyes Our 
third-class cabin and its fittings Pathetic last fare- 
wells A bewildered multitude The serene sand-pit 
Our first meal An epidemic of sea-sickness Formali- 
ties of identification Breakfast appetites and changes 
of the clock Carrie toddles on deck The sailor and 
the sugared biscuit Granny's maiden voyage A 
young mother's trials and hopes The Manchester 
man and his concertina Unseasonable emigrants 
Heroes of the steerage Visitors from the first-class 
Goodbye to whales and porpoises Vaccination ordeals 
Chicken-pox and the yellow flag Arrival at Quebec 
Detention in the Immigration Hall The routine 
described. 



CHAPTER II 

BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG . . . . 17 

A street on wheels Glimpses of French Canada A 
good use for tree-stumps Wistful immigrants Meals 



vi CONTENTS 



in the restaurant-car Sleeping in the Pullman 
Cheaper opportunities tested Feeding against time 
Facilities of the tourist-cars Trying to sleep in a 
sitting posture Sharing the immigrants' quarters 
Ingenious and excellent berths Using one's boots as 
a pillow A cooking stove free to all Handicapped 
travellers Why Salvation Army immigrants enjoy the 
journey Through smiling Southern Ontario The 
restless breadwinners A beautiful rocky wilderness 
Sunset on Lake Superior Amid flowers and wood- 
lands Winnipeg's free hotel At the inquiry office 
200,000 homesteads to choose from The demand for 
farm hands Free board and lodging with substantial 
wages Married couples in great demand Work and 
good pay for everybody Our sojourn at the Immigra- 
tion Hall What I did and saw in the kitchen. 



CHAPTER III 

WHEAT AND WEALTH . . . . -37 

Jobs I was offered Labour conditions reversed : the 
suppliant employer Monte Cristos of Manitoba In the 
Dauphin Valley Beauties of the landscape Society 
on the prairie The ubiquitous telephone Rich black 
soil Quick methods of amassing fortunes Typical 
experiences of Donald Why Canadian farming pays 
Its simple methods explained How to gain capital 
and experience Wealthy men in shabby clothes 
From penniless immigrant to prosperous farmer 
Initial years of toil and stress The price of horses, 
oxen, and cows Necessary machines and what they 
cost Crops and their value Free homesteads v. culti- 
vated land A warning to the immigrant with capital 
The story of Anthony Old King Cole. 



CONTENTS vii 



CHAPTER IV 

PAGE 

BARNARDO BOYS AND A BARONET'S SON . . 50 

The titled lady, her son and the pig-sty Music and 
literature on the prairie A garden of perfumed pretti- 
ness Jim recalls his past Petty larceny and the 
training-ship Assaulting a bully at sea Homeless in 
London A visit to Stepney Causeway Sent out to 
Canada From farm boy to landowner The fruits of 
seven years' toil My visit to Mr. Green A workhouse 
boy grown prosperous Wheat on low land : expen- 
sive experience A Barnardo couple Their children 
and the skunk A housewife's philosophy How to 
live free of cost The way to make fowls pay Ex- 
changing eggs and butter for groceries and clothes 
Why the Fishers have no butcher's bill Co-operative 
production and distribution : the working of a Beef 
Ring explained The Canadian winter : its delights and 
drawbacks Concerning frost-bites Children on horse- 
back Loneliness and the telephone The far-away 
poverty " Tell them to come." 



CHAPTER V 
THE BARR COLONY . . . . . 71 

A seductive scheme Its weak spot A long, arduous, 
and costly trek Living in tents Keeping animals at 
bay Lloydminster then and now A butcher's ad- 
ventures Dr. Amos and the axe wounds Mr. Barr's 
withdrawal The remaining leader A loyal leader 
How the log church was built Its stately successor 
Arrival of the first train Miriam and her birthright 
Mr. Hill's farm A Cockney's triumph Memories of 
tribulation An abortive beginning Hindrances, bad 



viii CONTENTS 

PAGE 

luck and debt The turning of the tide Piling up 
the dollars Canada as a cure for worry Value of 
the Hill estate Achievements of Lloydminster men 
Their town analysed A widespread aspiration. 



CHAPTER VI 
NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA . . . -85 

Stereotyped method of colonisation Sir Thomas 
Shaughnessy's innovation The concession of territory 
to the C.P.R. Why they took land they previously 
refused Irrigating 3,000,000 acres 1,600 miles of 
canals and ditches An Irishman's experiences 
Raising cattle without trouble or cost The effi- 
ciency of branding Profits from irrigated land 
How Mr. Buckley began farming Terms of land 
purchase What he bought, and the prices His 
phenomenal wheat : a story of brilliant blundering 
The rudiments of irrigation explained New way of 
coping with prairie fires Finding live fish on ploughed 
land The Strathmore expert and his experiments 
Driving to the " Ready-made " farms A tethered black 
bear Nightingale and its citizens Their former 
callings A happy, hopeful community Benefits of 
co-operation Opening of the first store An idea that 
may mark an epoch 



CHAPTER VII 
IN A LOGGING CAMP . . . . . 101 

Climbing into a forest Butterflies and burnt trees 
The various climates of British Columbia Asleep on 
a log Our arrival at the camp Exploring the skidway 



CONTENTS ix 

PAGE 

Disconcerting experiences The falling tree An 
invitation to supper A strange and silent meal " Pass 
the carrots" A race of semi-wild cats Ten fluffy 
black kittens Furtive philanthropy Sleeping on the 
floor An early-morning toilet My personally-con- 
ducted tour The terrifying cable Meeting a rushing 
log Preoccupied toilers Shrieking donkey-engines 
Opening up a new road A sorely-tried hook-tender 
Buckers and snipers How I nearly broke my spine 
Tree-felling described The gold-miner's story A 
backwoodsman's shack An arrival of venison The 
logs' last journey. 



CHAPTER VIII 

FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. . . 125 

A nonagenarian immigrant The hand of destiny : a 
remarkable story of derelict orchards An outlaw and 
his plush frame Why Mr. Johnstone's visitors stayed 
to dinner The smothered apple-trees Pioneer work 
at Nelson A rescued plantation The unknown 
genius A mining town in a new character Sir 
T. Shaughnessy and the challenge cup Apples of 
juicy sweetness My lesson in fruit-packing " Back- 
to-the-land " enthusiasm in B.C. Orchard of an 
English lady From 4 Ibs. to 4 car-loads of prunes 
Overburdened trees, and how they are treated 
The testimony of the forests My feast of blackberries 
Lofty raspberry-canes Settlers from Cornwall 
Their stages of evolution Fruit ranches in exquisite 
scenery Searching for the best location Profits 
from orchards What the beginner may expect 
Hints to intending immigrants The minimum 
capital necessary Average price of cleared land 
Blasting the roots Cost of a modest house How to 
succeed with fruit and poultry A warning. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER IX 

PAGE 

AIDED IMMIGRANTS FROM ENGLISH CITIES . . 143 

Public funds and emigration : a movement in its 
infancy Chief cause of delayed repayments Visit to 
Earl's Court, Toronto Turning shacks into villas 
Experiences of a West Ham man An early set-back 
Buying his piece of land What can be done with 
2 a week Building the house The delights and 
profits of gardening Another reason why remittances 
fail Strange case of X., the chef Why he lost two 
jobs On the Athabasca trail Cooking strange meats 
Six months' illness Turning the corner An 
Edmonton investment Unadaptable Englishmen 
Y's quarrel with the farmer Salvation Army emi- 
grants How to collect repayments : a suggestion 
Z. and his employers. 

CHAPTER X 
A PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS . . -159 

Objection to communities "Sparrow" and "Broncho" 
Interviews at cross-purposes Mr. Bruce Walker's 
story of the loafer Criticisms from Mr. W. D. Scott 
Case of magisterial indiscretion Canadian opinion 
explained Unwise emigration during recent years 
Wholesome effect of present restrictions English 
wastrels in Canadian cities The improvement in 1910 
Lord Strathcona's testimony Statement by the 
Minister of the Interior Prosperous settlers from 
English cities A case for preferential treatment 
Wanted, a stepping-stone How farmers are lost to 
Canada Mr. Rowland's suggestion The "green" 
man's need of three dexterities Interview with the 
Prime Minister of Manitoba Mr. Oliver's views The 
Londoner's "mental alertness" On the Salvation 



CONTENTS xi 

PAGE 

Army's programme Experimental farms of the Federal 
Government Provincial agricultural colleges Train- 
ing-grounds in England Successful emigration 
societies The appeal to our farm labourers. 



CHAPTER XI 

EXPERIENCES OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD . . 175 

Willie's school days and early prospects Why he went 
to Canada An unathletic young " tender foot " Quo- 
tations from his diary Flying fish, sleighs, and half- 
breeds Arrival in Saskatchewan Engaged at ten 
dollars a month The shacks Cleaning, stoning, and 
discing The doctor's prairie fire Chasing a wolf 
Troublesome cattle Willie's second engagement A 
grumbling employer Herding steers, cows, and a bull 
First " lessons " in driving Willie's service dispensed 
with His controversy about wages He gets another 
berth A day's work in detail Willie learns to plough 
and drive Left in charge of the farm Stacking hay 
single-handed Bathing, picnics, and pleasant Sundays 
Willie joins a threshing gang Working for ten 
shillings a day An engagement for the winter His 
duties as hall porter A typewriting and shorthand job 
Working on the railway section Glorious January 
weather Willie nearly takes up a homestead Over 
^50 saved in eighteen months Willie as I found him 
Nine jobs to choose from. 

CHAPTER XII 
THE Two ONTARIOS ...... 195 

Old Ontario and its origin Toronto Agricultural 
evolution Peach orchards, vineyards, and tobacco 
plantations Dairy farming on a grand scale New 



xii CONTENTS 

PACK 

Ontario Why it was overlooked Its timber and 
minerals Sudbury and Cobalt My experiences in 
Old Ontario Enthusiastic farmers The old Scotch- 
man's experiment Guelph College : remarkable result 
of up-to-date tuition Opportunities for farmer immi- 
grants " Home " boys Testimony of Mr. W. D. Scott 
Inspecting the little apprentices Interview with Mr. 
G. Bogue Smart Chat with a vivacious lady Her 
Barnardo Boy husband Anecdotes about Sammy 
Old Ontario's grievance : why her sons go west The 
Grand Trunk Pacific line New Ontario and the 
Prairie Provinces : pros and cons The Great Clay 
Belt Development along the Government railway 
The right type of settler Adventures of Mr. and Mrs. 
Jack. 

CHAPTER XIII 
WOMEN SETTLERS . . . . .221 

Grumblers and optimists Mr. and Mrs. Y and their 

untidy shack A paralysed pig and a broken plough 

The lady's lament Mr. and Mrs. C from Chelsea 

Persian rugs and old oak on the prairie An artist's 
strange experiences Left with the baby on a snowed- 
up train Farming without knowledge Crop failures 

and dying stock How Mrs. C saved the situation 

A head waitress and her story Confessions of a cultured 
lady Quaint preparation for Canada Girls I inter- 
viewed at Vancouver Testimony of an ex-school 
teacher Canadian children : a nursemaid's impres- 
sions The dressmaker and her mother My visit to 
their cosy flat Immigration experiences of a pet dog 
Why the old lady attends Salvation Army services 
A girl's appreciated draughtsmanship Shopping in 
England and Canada : a comparison Questions I put 
to servant-girls Reasons for their contentment 
Abrupt proposals of marriage. 



CONTENTS xiii 



CHAPTER XIV 

PAGE 

EDUCATION ...... 250 

England and Canada compared Imagination and 
reality Vigorous vitality of new traditions Embryo 
towns and the telephone Education in the Prairie 
Provinces An enlightened curriculum Object-lessons 
from Nature My visit to a prairie school Quotations 
from the blackboard What the little girls were doing 
Signalling in silence Interview with a schoolmaster 
Canada's social problems Retired farmers and their 
empty lives Educating the second generation A 
nation of optimists Climate and happiness Canada's 
future. 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

IMMIGRANTS TRAVELLING THROUGH CANADA IN A 

COLONIST CAR .... Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 

THE CHILDREN'S SAND-PIT BETWEEN DECKS ON THE 

SS. EMPRESS OF BRITAIN . ... 8 

A LIVING ROOM IN THE GOVERNMENT'S FREE HOTEL l6 
THE KITCHEN OF THE WINNIPEG IMMIGRATION HALL 34 
A BACHELOR'S SHACK AND HIS TEAM OF OXEN . 40 
THE ELEVATOR . . . . . .48 

A HOMESTEAD NEAR RUSSELL, MANITOBA . . 54 

FIELD OF GRAIN . . . . .66 

THE 4< LOG-CABIN" CHURCH, LLOYDMJNSTER . . 78 

WHAT A PRAIRIE TOWN LOOKS LIKE . . .82 
CANAL NEAR GLEICHEN, ALBERTA . . 88 



xvi ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACING PAGE 

A BUMPER CROP ON IRRIGATED LAND . . 96 

THE LOGGING CAMP . . . . . IIO 

A RAFT OF LOGS ..... 122 

CROP OF "NORTHERN SPY" IN A B. c. ORCHARD . 132 

A FRUIT RANCH, ON THE KOOTENAY LAKE . .140 
TWO STAGES OF SETTLEMENT AT EARL'S COURT, NEAR 

TORONTO . . . . . . 146 

HOMESTEAD OF AN EX-ARTISAN FROM PLUMSTEAD . l66 
UNTILLED PRAIRIE IN AUTUMN . . . 178 
WHERE WILLIE BATHED : LAKE SCENE IN SASKAT- 
CHEWAN ...... l88 

LOADING UP PUMPKINS IN OLD ONTARIO . . 206 

ARRIVAL OF A SALVATION ARMY PARTY OF WOMEN . 230 

"THEY'VE GOT FARMS IN THE COUNTRY, THEY SAY" 248 
EVENING ON THE PRAIRIE ! CHILDREN RETURNING 

FROM SCHOOL ..... 258 



CHAPTER I 

IN THE STEERAGE 

Leaving Liverpool An examination of eyes Our third- 
class cabin and its fittings Pathetic last farewells 
A bewildered multitude The serene sand-pit 
Our first meal An epidemic of sea-sickness For- 
malities of identification Breakfast appetites and 
changes of the clock Carrie toddles on deck 
The sailor and the sugared biscuit Granny's maiden 
voyage A young mother's trials and hopes The 
Manchester man and his concertina Unseasonable 
emigrants Heroes of the steerage Visitors from 
the first-class Goodbye to whales and porpoises 
Vaccination ordeals Chicken-pox and the yellow 
flag Arrival at Quebec Detention in the Immi- 
gration Hall The routine described. 

THERE are three great crises in human life 
and sometimes a fourth. I was one of the nine 
hundred and odd third-class passengers with 
whom the Empress of Britain was racing across 
the Atlantic ; and, before the Welsh mountains 
had faded astern, I realised that emigration 

The Golden Land, 2 I 



2 IN THE STEERAGE 

is, among experiences, the fellow of birth and 
death and marriage. For the crowded steerage 
of a great liner, if she be bound for Canada, 
is a world where emotion masters convention, 
and man forgets to wear his mask. 

Let me trace happenings from the time that 
graceful monster drew alongside the Liverpool 
quay and the gangways shot out. We had 
early proof that the Empress of Britain is not 
only a ship, but an organism a complex 
organism adjusted to absorb two thousand 
graded human beings. How to get on board 
was a problem that long baffled my brother and 
myself. Standing in long queues, and elbow- 
ing one's way amid the throng of stricken 
relatives, proved fatiguing, especially as the 
English climate had lapsed into hot sunshine. 

The mechanism of emigration was, at this 
initial stage, moving with cautious delibera- 
tion. Our first victory over circumstances 
lay in finding a gangway available for third- 
class luggage ; whereupon we lost touch 
with our property, and paid the man with 
the barrow. Away aft the ship was slowly 
swallowing second-class passengers, and there, 
acting on the advice of constables in straw 
helmets, we took our stand and waited. At last 



IN THE STEERAGE 3 

came the turn of our rank, though, alas ! the 
order rang out : '* Scandinavians first ! " 

I had already noted the group of foreigners 
with large, innocent faces, no collars, and 
ponderous bodies roofed by wide-awakes of 
formidable circumference. On the bridge 
those gentle, untidy aliens were carefully 
examined, one by one men, women, and 
phlegmatic youngsters. Their heads were un- 
covered and tilted, uncompromising thumbs 
pushed back their brows, and vigilant doctors 
peered into the sockets of their eyes. For 
trachoma is a serious disease, and Canada 
wants no more of it. 

At last we stood before the ship's doctor, 
who waved us on with the smiling assurance : 
"You are all right." But in my case one 
of the other doctors was not so sure. He 
bared my head and confronted me with 
searching severity. Then he returned my cap 
and I was free to emigrate. 

The Empress of Britain was like unto a dis- 
turbed ants' nest of several stories, congested 
with bewildered inhabitants in moving masses 
of black confusion. Hillocks of luggage were 
the eggs, and already certain of the human 
insects had gone to the rescue. Each attached 



4 IN THE STEERAGE 

himself to a labelled egg, with which he 
struggled down one of the crowded alleys, to 
secrete his precious burden in a niche of safety. 
To share in that labour was not our immediate 
impulse. We must first find our niche of 
safety. 

Questions and shoving brought us to a 
spacious, pillared saloon, with a perspective 
of fixed chairs and narrow tables. Here, await- 
ing our turn in a multitude, we received from 
a busy official the number of a cabin, in which 
we soon were depositing our recovered 
possessions. Spotlessly clean, with washing 
facilities, straw-stuffed beds on springy bunks, 
and, for each, a life-belt bolster, a blanket, 
and a coverlet the cabin represented every- 
thing that civilisation required and a simple 
taste could desire. And so, our own affairs 
in order, we went along corridors and up steps 
to the open deck, where men and women were 
waving hats and handkerchiefs, and trying not 
to think. The sobbing and the copious tears 
were less pathetic than the dry, straining eyes 
in blanched faces. 

Lancashire was on the horizon when we re- 
turned below, there to renew acquaintance with 
babel and bewilderment. The Empress of 



IN THE STEERAGE 5 

Britain had swallowed the population of a 
good-sized village, and the process of digestion 
was still in progress. They seemed inex- 
tricably mixed those hundreds of men, and 
hundreds of women, and hundreds of children. 
But in the human maelstrom there was an 
island of rest. A stout wooden barricade pro- 
tected a square arena that had a billowy basis 
of silver sand ; and in that haven seven 
toddling emigrants, equipped with buckets and 
spades, were building castles and digging 
caves. To provide seaside facilities on the 
surface of the sea is a dainty act of thought - 
fulness on the part of the C.P.R. 

We wanted our tea, and stewards bade us 
join the patient throng that rilled one corridor. 
There comes an end to all ordeals, and at 
last we moved with that living river into the 
saloon we saw before. Opportunity favoured 
our selection of two seats at a side table, where 
the sweet sea air entered from an open port- 
hole ; and this gave us the greater satisfaction 
since, as our steward informed us, places taken 
by chance at that first meal were held by right 
throughout the voyage. It spoke well for an 
outlying portion of the Atlantic Ocean that all 
the ten at our table were hungry a con- 



6 IN THE STEERAGE 

tingency against which the compilers of the 
menu had made provision. A slab of corned 
beef say six inches by four, and substantially 
thick lay before each of us. Pyramids of 
hot rolls and slices of bread stood within reach, 
as did family teapots containing the evening 
beverage at full strength, and already blended 
with sugar and milk. Then there were masses 
of butter and plates of jam and marmalade, 
not to forget pickles, salt and mustard ; so 
that, the immaculate tablecloth being set with 
an ample supply of clean, if homely, cutlery, 
it was not the fault of the C.P.R. were the 
appetite of any one unappeased. For my own 
part, I did not know that I approved of 
corned beef until I found myself accepting the 
steward's offer of a second slice. 

Meanwhile the doors of the saloon had been 
closed, and we learnt that two -thirds of the 
passengers had been temporarily shut out. 
When we all had finished our meal, a second 
contingent filled our places, and after that still 
a third batch came in to tea. 

We went on deck and gazed at the encircling 
glory of blue sky and bluer sea, varied in the 
south-east by a distant glimpse of the Old 
Country seen in a purple haze. But an appal- 



IN THE STEERAGE 7 

ling circumstance that disfigured our immediate 
foreground affected the pleasure we took in 
the prospect. To my mind, the Atlantic was 
as docile as an ocean well could be, but the 
affliction of sea-sickness had broken out in a 
violent and infectious form. It came as a 
crowning calamity to men and women whose 
nerves were racked by the snapping of home 
ties. Pictures of infinite pathos were the 
mothers who, bending to the care of suffering 
children, were themselves overcome. Strong 
men fell victims with the rest, and many 
passengers, fearful of succumbing to environ- 
ment, fled to their unpolluted cabins. Thus 
of the hale there remained too few to succour 
all who lay helpless ; and the stewards and 
stewardesses knew no rest till a late hour. 
That night I lay awake listening to moanings 
and the plaintive bleat of many crying children . 
And all this while, as I say, the sea was 
calm. Such was also the case on the morrow, 
when the sun shone brightly from a sky of 
intermittent clouds, and our ship ran steadily 
on a sea of gentle billows. But the repellent 
trouble was still visible in our midst, and 
many were the vacant and vacated seats at 
breakfast. 



8 IN THE STEERAGE 

Not yet had the Empress of Britain taken 
stock of her human cargo. During the morn- 
ing an order came that we must all assemble 
in the saloon male and female, old and young, 
well and ill. In the dense congregation there 
was tribulation. 

We each received a printed form to fill up 
in testimony to age, religion, previous em- 
ployment, and intended occupation. A com- 
bination of illiteracy and sea -sickness caused 
several bewildered girls to seek the assistance 
of my pencil and superior scholarship. 

The chief purpose of massing us was re- 
vealed when at last we streamed slowly along 
the corridor and came one by one to the table 
where, under the observation of several officers, 
our passage tickets were surrendered and our 
individual identity established. For the 
majority, who intended to stay in Canada, the 
routine was now complete ; but those bound 
for the States had to tarry awhile in the 
smoking-room, that they might comply with 
the more elaborate statutory requirements 
applying in their case. 

Still the Atlantic was like a lake on the 
morning of our third day at sea ; and already 
a quieter spirit reigned in the steerage. As 



IN THE STEERAGE 9 

for my brother and myself, we awoke in a 
state of happiness only qualified by a grievance 
against time. For when, because of the salt 
air, one has a ten o'clock breakfast appetite 
by a quarter to seven, it is disappointing to 
find that, because of changing longitude, the 
hour of eight does not arrive until a quarter 
to nine. 

Carrie was astride the anchor when await- 
ing the bell that would ring us to coffee and 
porridge and broiled fish I paced the upper 
deck. On the previous afternoon I first noted 
that sturdy emigrant in serge. She had been 
assisting four senior infants to scoop out 
corridors in a moated citadel ; and after that, 
losing interest in an accomplished task, she left 
the sandpit. It was her method of departure 
that drew my attention to this particular morsel 
in the moving multitude. Ignoring the open 
gateway, Carrie climbed to the central hori- 
zontal bar in the substantial .barricade ; then, 
heading into a breach in the lattice panel, she 
wriggled her little fat body through the scanty 
aperture, and expertly emerged, upside down, 
on the deck. I followed that thoughtful three - 
year -old up the companion ; for when seasick 
mothers lie about a ship in limp clusters, it 



io IN THE STEERAGE 

behoves the stranger to keep an eye on stray- 
ing children. 

Having tested the capacity of crane gear 
to serve as a trapeze, Carrie toddled across to 
a sailor with black ringlets and a broom. Her 
opening remarks were unheeded by the busy 
mariner, whose attention was, however, 
engaged when, on looking down, he found the 
offended young lady bellowing at his feet. 
Such was the beginning of a friendship which 
developed into constant companionship, at- 
tended by little acts of gallantry. One 
morning, when he thought no one was 
looking, I saw him give her a sugared 
biscuit . 

Grandma, proud of her own immunity from 
sea -sickness on that her maiden voyage, agreed 
it was only anybody's duty to look after the 
children when their mother, poor dear, couldn't 
do a thing for herself, leave alone them. In 
her battered bonnet and old brown shawl, 
Grandma was not much to look at, but the 
hours of rapt attention she bestowed on the 
Atlantic Ocean, what time she stood against 
the starboard bulwarks, impelled me to make 
her acquaintance. All in a flutter on being 
roused from her reverie, she soon gave me 



IN THE STEERAGE n 

the leading facts about her son George. As 
a baker's assistant in London, things did not 
go well with him, but he was now doing nicely 
in Canada so nicely, indeed, that, not content 
with sending for his wife and child, he had 
insisted that his old mother must also come 
out to him. "Did ever you hear the like?" 
was all she thought about it at first ; but 
George persisted, and sent the money for her 
passage, so at last she made up her mind to 
go. For the rest, I gathered that cronies and 
neighbours had assembled in force to give 
Granny a fitting send-off ; for it does not 
happen every day in her part of Poplar that 
an old soul sets forth alone to traverse the 
high seas. 

Granny, of course, represented a minority. 
The majority was typified by the young mother 
from North London, who, when I saw her 
standing in the crowded saloon, was trying to 
fill up her identification card while she battled 
against sea-sickness, nursed her baby, and 
strove to comfort the weeping child who clung 
to her skirts. But now there were smiles on 
the young wife's face, and I knew she was 
counting the hours that divided her from a 
prosperous young farmer husband who, when 



12 IN THE STEERAGE 

last she saw him, was an out-of-work 'bus 
conductor of Camden Town. 

One afternoon, when some hundreds of us 
basked on deck in the sunshine, the young 
wife was comparing notes with an older mother 
in a tailor-made dress a benignant woman 
who sat in the midst of her possessions, which 
included five bright -looking boys, a yellow cat, 
and a teapot. 

There were many lusty children in the cabins 
near ours, and I often overheard their mothers 
talking of the homes of penury they had left 
behind, and of the homes of hope they were 
going to. Indeed, the Old Country did not 
figure to advantage in the general run of con- 
versation, though, of course, it would never 
have done for our Manchester friend to give 
us " Home, Sweet Home." Nor was he likely 
to make that mistake with his concertina,, since 
he was among the unseasonable emigrants who, 
thus late in the year, were going out with no 
plans more settled than, by taking such chances 
as offered, to make homes for the families 
they had left behind. Unseasonable emigrants 
I call them because this was the month of 
August, and a better time for their arrival 
would be the spring and early summer, when 



IN THE STEERAGE 13 

farm lands of Central Canada offer all comers 
an unbroken spell of eight months' work. 

Tortured by the memory of tear-stained 
faces, such men are the heroes of the 
steerage. And the young mothers are the 
heroines. 

" Ah ! This is all fine material very fine 
material/' was the complacent exclamation of 
Mr. W. D. Scott, Canada's Superintendent of 
Immigration, who happened to be on board. 
The wave of his hand embraced the steerage 
generally, but his eye rested, I thought, with 
special favour on the boys playing leapfrog, 
and the girls who were skipping. We had 
other distinguished visitors from the first class, 
including an active, elderly gentleman in a 
dove-coloured wide-awake. Having cross-ex- 
amined several of us, he delivered an enthu- 
siastic address, summing up our prospects 
favourably, and returning an emphatic verdict 
in favour of Canada ; every one being de- 
lighted to learn that the speaker was Mr. 
Justice Grantham. 

After our day of sports, the dolls, bears, pipes, 
and other prizes were delivered by the Bishop, 
of London, his lordship being accompanied 
by a dainty little dot of a girl who, standing 



14 IN THE STEERAGE 

over the hatchway of the hold, gazed with 
wondering, kind eyes at all the rough men 
before her. Archbishop Bourne was another 
welcome immigrant from the West End of the 
Empress of Britain. 

Having looked our last at the porpoises and 
the spouting whales, we passed into the great 
St. Lawrence, and presently witnessed a transi- 
tion from the glorious blue sky of Canada to 
a downpour of rain that was pathetically sug- 
gestive of England. 

Vaccination claimed a large slice of the 
following day. After our women and children 
had been massed in the saloon, we men were 
marshalled in single file before the ship's 
doctor. Most of us those, that is, upon whom 
the rite had at some time been performed 
doffed our coats, rolled up our sleeves, and 
received cards imprinted with the word " Pro- 
tected," science making its incisions on the 
reluctant residue. 

Next morning our painstaking medical man 
again reviewed us one by one, the protracted 
business being an outcome of the discovery, 
among the second-class passengers, of a case 
of chicken -ipox. All of us proving innocent 
of contagious disease, the patient was sent off 



IN THE STEERAGE 15 

in the pilot boat, and down came the yellow 
flag. 

Thus when at last we arrived at our 
moorings, and Quebec figured through the 
port-holes as a blurred nocturne in grey, we 
of the steerage were not untrained in the art 
of patiently enduring long delays. This was 
just as well, for, huddled together in a chaos 
of luggage, we were required to tarry on board 
until the immense cargo of mails had been 
discharged an operation that occupied hours. 
And when at last we crossed the gangway, it 
was to exchange one prison for another. 

Not that the great Immigration Hall looked 
like a prison. With its shops, tea-room, 
information bureau, and labour exchanges, the 
place was one in which my brother and I at 
first lingered willingly, and, as we thought, 
voluntarily. But the Immigration Hall lost 
its charm upon the discovery that we could 
not get out of it. An hour went by ere we 
joined the dense waiting throng at the end 
of the building a throng that melted by 
degrees as, with the occasional opening of a 
gate, batches of our party were received within 
a railed enclosure. Another hour went by 
before our turn came to enter. 



i6 IN THE STEERAGE 

The rest was a matter of comparatively quick 
routine. Being instructed to remove our hats 
and proceed down an indicated corridor, we 
were scrutinised and interrogated by four 
officials. One was anxious about our eyes. 
Another was bent on seeing our tickets. The 
third wished to learn what money we carried, 
where we were going, and how we proposed 
to gain a living. But the fourth handed us 
tickets to stick in our hats, in proof that, since 
we answered all conditions a cautious Govern- 
ment required in its future citizens, we were 
free to go whithersoever we listed in the great 
and growing Dominion of Canada. 




"OPEN DOORS GAVE us GLIMPSES OF DOMESTIC SERENITY" (PAGE 34) 

A LIVING-ROOM IN THE GOVERNMENT'S FREE HOTEL FOR IMMI- 
GRANTS AT WINNIPEG. 



CHAPTER II 

BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

A street on wheels Glimpses of French Canada A 
good use for tree- stumps Wistful immigrants 
Meals in the restaurant-car Sleeping in the Pullman 
Cheaper opportunities tested Feeding against time 
Facilities of the tourist-ears Trying to sleep in a 
sitting posture Sharing the immigrants' quarters 
Ingenious and excellent berths Using one's boots 
as a pillow A cooking stove free to all Handicapped 
travellers Why Salvation Army immigrants enjoy 
the journey Through smiling Southern Ontario 
Restless breadwinners A beautiful rocky wilder- 
ness Sunset on Lake Superior Amid flowers 
and woodlands Winnipeg's free hotel At the 
inquiry office 200,000 homesteads to choose from 
The demand for farm hands Free board and lodging 
with substantial wages Married couples in great 
demand Work and good pay for everybody Our 
sojourn at the Immigration Hall What I did and 
saw in the kitchen. 

THE Canadian train, after those of England, is 
more like a street if you can imagine a street 

The Golden Land. ? 17 



i8 BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

gliding through delightful scenery at thirty-five 
miles an hour. Going for a walk, you get 
refreshing gusts of air in open corridors 
between the houses ; and during your explora- 
tions, besides passing through drawing-rooms, 
parlours, and lounges each with its cluster of 
animated travellers you will see kitchens and 
sculleries ; a stately dining -hall shimmering 
with silver, flowers, and glass ; a stall for the 
sale of pea -nuts, candy, chewing gum, and 
other things one can do without ; a post-office 
half full of bulging mail-bags ; and, perhaps, 
a barber's shop. 

Glimpses of Canada, gained through the 
windows, please and surprise by their homely, 
pastoral character. One sees fields of golden 
grain, cows browsing on rich pasture, rivers 
sparkling in dainty woodlands, and farm homes 
embowered by fruit-trees and flowers. And 
all that landscape is alight with glorious sun- 
shine. 

A novelty to English eyes, and an evidence 
of thrifty ingenuity, is the form of barrier 
erected to divide field from field, and keep 
cattle within bounds. Great tree stumps and 
roots had to be torn from the soil ere the 
farmer could till it, and these black relics of 



BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 19 

deforestation have been intertwined as effective 
barricades and boundary lines. 

The train pauses at strange little towns where 
people talk French and smile. 

We in the colonist-cars are a solemn, white- 
faced crowd, speaking several tongues ; the 
seats a jumble of women, canvas -covered 
bundles, and fretful children. It is, indeed, 
a pathetic picture this throng of newly-arrived 
immigrants, many so uncouthly and inappro- 
priately clad, and bearing marks of the poverty 
from which they have emerged. For them the 
past holds a painful memory of severed ties, 
and the future is a blank. With the old life 
ended and the new life not yet begun, they are 
suspended in a void of destiny ; and it humbles 
a man to know he has no home or status on 
the earth. 

A railway journey in vast Canada is apt 
to be a protracted affair, embracing several 
dawns and sunsets ; and thus one has to eat 
and sleep on the train . There are several ways 
of doing both, and, during my three months' 
stay in the Dominion, I tried nearly all of 
them. 

The restaurant car is a marvel of travelling 
luxury. It has left me with fragrant memories 



20 BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

of roast turkey, chicken salad, and excellent 
coffee ; the unseen chef a paragon, the visible 
stewards scarcely less smart than naval officers . 
Then there is the Pullman car, of which J 
retain grateful impressions of a soft carpet 
under foot, a handsome curtain to ensure 
privacy, and a soft and springy bed furnished 
with the whitest of sheets and the warmest 
of blankets . On emerging in the morning from 
your cosy quarters, you confront the friendly 
smile and dapper grey uniform of the negro 
attendant, who has already blackened your 
boots, and is eager to brush your clothes. 
Indeed, against the restaurant and Pullman 
cars only one criticism can justly be levelled : 
the majority of mankind cannot afford to pur- 
chase sleep and food at the rates that rule 
in those parts of the train. 

If you are clever at timetables, you may 
detect a tiny dagger against the names of 
certain stations that occur about four hours 
apart. At those stations the train lingers for 
ten minutes in some few cases for twenty 
.to give passengers an opportunity to alight 
and nourish their bodies. I took part in some 
spirited competitive scrambles. As the train 
approached the station, old stagers would be 



'BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 21 

already on the footplate, poised ready to 
spring ; and that gave them the advantage of 
several seconds' start. I am not a good runner, 
and in my first experience of this sort of thing 
the refreshment -room counter was crowded 
before I reached it. The equivalent of five- 
pence seemed a good deal for a cup of third- 
rate tea ; but there was no time for moralising 
over the different value of commodities in 
different countries. I grabbed a small meat 
pie, another ten-cent piece being thereupon de- 
manded. After that for one had to take what 
one could get I found myself hastily devour- 
ing a sweet cake ; which brought my purchases 
to a total of thirty cents, or is. 3d. Before 
I had finished the cake, several passengers 
were hurrying to the door, and their nervous- 
ness proved contagious. No one likes to be 
left behind ; and, as a matter of fact, I was 
re -seated in the train several minutes before 
it started. 

Alighting for a twenty minutes' stop, some 
dozen of us set off at top speed across railway 
sidings and a stretch of waste land, down a 
stony embankment, over a barbed-wire fence, 
and up a grassy slope, so arriving at the 
restaurant where a man stood loudly ringing 



22 BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

a bell. A knowledge of Chinese would have 
served me in that crisis. I understood the 
Oriental waiter to say that a dish of steak 
and fried potatoes was actually ready. He 
must have meant to explain that it would be 
ready when it was cooked. By the time that 
meal was served, I was anxiously wondering 
whether my watch or the restaurant clock was 
the more reliable. To be on the safe side, I 
returned when others returned, though, as it 
proved, prematurely. 

The advantage I derived from this repast, 
and from others swallowed under similar cir- 
cumstances, was out of proportion to the cost. 
As for the briefer opportunities one enjoyed 
at refreshment counters., I gained some 
financial advantage by acting on the friendly 
wrinkle of a fellow-passenger. Instead of pay- 
ing separately for each article of food, national 
custom allows you, on depositing a compre- 
hensive fee of 25 cents (approximately a 
shilling in our currency), to eat and drink all 
you want, or rather, all you can get. 

However, experience convinced me that the 
lightning method of feeding, besides being 
generally unsatisfactory, is open to the crucial 
objection of inducing indigestion. 



BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 23 

One night I secured, for a dollar and a 
half, a berth in a tourist-car, where one sleeps 
under conditions as comfortable, if not quite 
so luxurious, as those that obtain in the Pull- 
man. On another occasion I had some broken 
rest in company with the numerous first-class 
passengers who, indisposed to pay for a bed, 
pass the night in their handsomely upholstered 
seats. Unless you are a child under four feet 
in height, with a mother to swathe your re- 
cumbent form in a nice warm shawl, that sort 
of thing does not do. I wooed slumber in 
many attitudes, but achieved little beyond a 
cricked neck. 

The immigrants are much better off, as .1 
found on sharing their accommodation. In a 
Canadian train the seats are set at right angles 
to a central avenue, and they are so arranged 
that one pair of passengers sits facing another 
pair. At night a transformation takes place, 
sliding woodwork being drawn forward to 
bridge the space hitherto occupied by human 
knees. Seats for four thus become a couch 
for two. Nor are the other two passengers 
eliminated from the scheme of comfort. Over- 
head a great hinged panel has been shut back 
against the side of the car, and this is now 



24 BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

pulled down to form a shelf of similar size 
to the couch beneath it. The other two 
passengers climb into that second berth, where 
they can lie at full length a necessary con- 
dition of easy repose. True, those wooden 
beds are hard, but one soon gets accustomed 
to that . I used my overcoat as a covering 
and my boots as a pillow ; though the latter 
temporary expedient (adopted in imitation of 
a fellow-traveller whose head, apparently, was 
made of sterner stuff than mine) did not prove 
to my liking. For the rest, I slept like a 
top, and without rolling out of the upper berth 
I monopolised. 

The unbroken journey from Quebec to 
Winnipeg involves only three nights in the 
train ; and for those three nights, as we 
have seen, repose is ensured to the immigrants . 
But low fares and free sleeping facilities are 
not the only boons vouchsafed to them. Each 
colonist -car contains a kitchen range, with a 
quantity of fuel ; the privilege of boiling water 
and cooking food, together with the responsi- 
bility for keeping in the fire, being common 
to all the passengers. And since, in these 
cars as in others, there are lavatory basins 
furnished with soap and towels, and a separate 



BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 25 

supply of iced drinking water, the domestic 
interests of new-comers are, it would appear, 
studied to an extent that leaves railway 
enterprise no further scope for its in- 
genuity. 

But schemes of public service are apt to 
require, on the part of the individuals, some 
measure of co-operation. I saw numbers of 
immigrants debarred from boiling a kettle only 
because they had no kettle to boil. The same 
remark applies to tins of pork and beans. 
Heated on a stove, they make an excellent 
meal ; but the fire burns in vain if you have 
missed your opportunities to lay in such pro- 
visions. And for most immigrants those 
opportunities will have been fleeting, not to 
mention the difficulty of shopping under strange 
conditions and in an unfamiliar currency. All 
was well with those who, having had good 
advice to act upon, were provided with hampers 
of food and the necessary cooking utensils. 
But their ill-equipped companions were under- 
going experiences which would doubtless affect 
them, for many a long year, with ugly memories 
of that first journey in Canada, 

When travelling in a strange land, it is wise 
to have the aid of persons familiar with its 



26 BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

conditions. I was destined, during my investi- 
gations in Canada, to speak with many persons 
who had recently settled in the country, and 
I found that the railway journey had been to 
some an ordeal, to others a delight. But 
whereas the former had travelled on an inde- 
pendent footing, the latter had shared the 
benefits of co-operative organisation ; and none 
testified more enthusiastically to the pleasures 
of the trip than those who had booked through 
the Salvation Army. 

The second day on the train finds one in 
Southern Ontario a region of pleasant farm- 
yards, with apple-trees and hay-stacks and 
strutting fowls. Gazing at those pretty scenes, 
the immigrants forget their vague anxieties. 
Several times I saw the breadwinner rise from 
his seat and stride to the end of the car, to 
have a more intimate view of the outer world. 
In the aspect of the country, as I inferred, 
he read the confirmation of his hopes, while 
subsequent restless pacing seemed to mirror 
an impatience to begin work in the land of 
promise. 

One sort of landscape gave place in time 
to another. Soon the train was racing, hour 
after hour, through an unpopulated country of 



BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 27 

rock of rock exposed in a wild disarray 
of cliffs, boulders, and splintered stone a 
beautiful, undulating higgledy-piggledy of 
rocks, rocks, nothing but rocks. They have 
veins of delicate hues, in key with the tender 
tints of mosses growing on their sheltered sur- 
faces. Yet larger vegetation was not held 
entirely at bay. Here and there a young fir- 
tree was dispensing with soil in compliment 
to the climate. 

Presently on our left we saw Lake Superior, 
first in an environment of mauve mountains, 
then as a green expanse ending against the 
sky. Cumulus clouds, glowing high overhead, 
shed purple shadows on that inland sea. At 
a new angle the unscreened sun hung low in 
the heavens, enriching the water with an avenue 
of silver dazzle. We caught sight of sunny 
little coast-towns nestling in the bays. The 
sun set in a belt of gold that melted into the 
soft colours of a dove's wing. And now the 
water was blue, save where it tumbled in white 
breakers on the clean shingle shore. 

Tree -tops figured as inky shapes against 
a cold grey sky, and already lake beacons were 
showing their warm points of warning, when 
the lamps were lighted in the colonist -cars and 



28 BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

mothers prepared to put little immigrants 
to bed. 

Dawn found us running through fairy wood- 
lands that were carpeted with flowers the tent 
caterpillars marking the landscape with their 
drapery of gossamer, which clung like wreaths 
of smoke to many a tree. Later the train sped 
along the margin of lakes that were small only 
in comparison with the unbroken horizon of 
water we had seen overnight. 

Ontario gave place to Manitoba ; there were 
preliminary glimpses of the wonderful prairie ; 
and so we arrived at Winnipeg. 

In that city of noble thoroughfares and 
stately buildings, with its population of 
135,000 persons, my brother and I stayed at 
two hotels one in which we were accommo- 
dated for a dollar and a half a day, another 
in which no charge was made. 

The Immigration Hall at Winnipeg aston- 
ished and delighted us. I have never seen 
a more striking illustration of paternal govern- 
ment at work. In that institution Canada offers 
a hearty, hospitable welcome to its new citizens . 

Incidentally, as I have hinted, the Immi- 
gration Hall is a free hotel. But it is much 
more than that. For whoever heard of a hotel 



BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 29 

which, in addition to providing for your 
temporary needs, will put you in the way of an 
income and a career? 

On the ground floor is a spacious apart- 
ment containing maps, samples of grain, 
stupendous ledgers, and a staff of obliging 
officials. I mingled with the immigrants at 
the counter, and gained some insight into their 
affairs . 

Several were endeavouring to make their 
selection from a list of over 200,000 free 
homesteads. One wished to be sure that his 
1 60 acres would be near a school. Another 
seemed uncertain whether he would like his 
half square mile to include three lakes or only 
two. A third was anxious to hit upon a 
quarter-section that should contain only just 
as much timber as he thought he should need. 
Others desired to locate themselves in specific 
districts where they had friends. 

But the majority of applicants sought, not 
land, but employment. A stolid-looking fellow, 
having explained that he had tended sheep on 
the Sussex Downs, asked as to his chance of 
obtaining steady employment. I forget how 
many thousand Canadian farmers according 
to the official's way of putting it were eager 



30 BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

to engage that stolid-looking fellow at 7 a 
month, plus free board and lodging. This 
satisfactory information was, however, accom- 
panied by one qualification. The engagement 
would probably be for only eight months, since 
farmers were indisposed to pay a hired man 
during the period when, because the land was 
frost-bound, there was nothing for him to do. 
Should satisfactory service have been rendered, 
however, there was, it seemed, a probability 
that the free board and lodging would be con- 
tinued during the cold months. " But before 
that time comes," the official added, " you 
ought to have saved quite a bit of money. 
You've brought out some clothes, I suppose? 
That's right, then you won't have to buy any- 
thing except tobacco and that's cheap enough 
in this country and perhaps a sheep-skin coat 
for the winter." 

I was even more interested in a couple of 
middle-aged men who arrived together one 
explaining that, after being in the building line 
all his life, he meant to take up farm work ; 
the other announcing the same intention, and 
mentioning that he at least knew something 
about horses, having been a cab-driver for ten 
years. Both were assured of immediate em- 



BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 31 

ployment on a farm the former being told 
that, until he learnt his new duties, 2 a month 
was all he must expect, while the latter was 
encouraged to look for a commencing salary 
of 3 a month, the employer in both cases 
also supplying food and a home. 

The immigrants were not demonstrative. 
They spoke with a sort of anxious politeness, 
but in their subdued voices there rang, I 
thought, a grateful and contented note. Before 
crossing the seas they must, no doubt, have 
given credence to the statement that out in 
distant Canada they would find ample openings 
for their industry and enterprise. But the 
human mind is prone to pleasant thrills when 
an abstract belief is confirmed by concrete 
knowledge ; and what these new-comers now 
heard, coming on the top of what they had 
recently seen, may well have revealed the actual 
Canada as even more favourable to their hopes 
than the Canada they had anticipated. 

The applicants who fared best at the counter, 
as it seemed to me, were an agricultural 
labourer and his wife. They expressed their 
readiness to take a joint engagement on a farm 
she in domestic service, he on the land. It 
was explained that they could be immediately 



32 BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

suited with a situation in which, on a full twelve 
months' basis, they would have their own 
quarters, with all the cost of living defrayed 
for them, and the opportunity to save from 
50 to 80 per annum out of their wages. 
Making my own inquiries, I learnt that the 
Government authorities, there and at other 
Western centres, were in a chronic condition 
of having several thousand more applications 
for farm labour than they were able to satisfy. 
In particular the demand for married couples 
was ludicrously in excess of the supply. The 
possession of young children, it seemed, while 
not a recommendation, was by no means a dis- 
qualification for employment. 

A percentage of the immigrants were indis- 
posed for farm work. General labourers were 
told of the constant and growing demand for 
men on railway construction throughout 
Western Canada. Then, it seemed, there were 
builders, engineers, painters and others who 
were bent on working 1 at their trades ; and 
for these also the Immigration Hall had no 
difficulty in finding satisfactory opportunities. 

" You arrived last Wednesday 1 " I over- 
heard an official say to one immigrant ; " then 
where are you and your family stopping? " 



BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 33 

" At - 's Hotel," was the reply, " and it's 
pretty expensive for so many. That's one 
reason why I'm anxious to get work as soon 
as possible." " But why don't you come 
here ? " " Come here ? " echoed the astonished 
visitor; and explanations proved necessary. 
Then away he joyfully hurried to fetch his 
family and belongings. 

I was destined to meet, in the streets of 
Winnipeg, other new-comers who, little dream- 
ing of the opportunities afforded by the Immi- 
gration Hall, had deliberately held aloof from 
it. After undergoing compulsory detention, 
and a searching inquisition, in the Immigration 
Hall at Quebec, they were indisposed to visit 
another institution of the same name. 

There certainly seems room for descriptive 
variety in the nomenclature of these Govern- 
ment institutions. At the port of landing, 
where the detection of undesirables necessarily 
involves a rigorous routine, some such name 
as " Immigrants' Investigation Hall " would 
apply. But the remarkable institution at 
Winnipeg deserves to have its value adver- 
tised as, say, " Immigrants' Free Lodging 
House and Information Bureau." 

Arriving with our luggage, my brother and 

The Golden Land. A 



34 BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

I rendered assistance in conveying it down- 
stairs to the baggage-room a spacious apart- 
ment where hundreds of trunks and boxes were 
stored. It was explained that many departing 
immigrants found it convenient to leave some 
of their effects behind them, the Government 
making no charge for safeguarding such 
property and for afterwards forwarding it to 
the notified address. Then we were taken up 
in a lift to the second story, and ushered to 
our room, which proved large, light, lofty, and 
scrupulously clean. 

It was furnished with a writing-table, two 
chairs, and a broom, in addition to certain 
strange iron mechanism clinging against the 
walls. The attendant showed us how, on the 
release of a clutch, each apparatus unfolded 
as a pair of bunks ; whereupon we appreciated 
the forethought which had so equipped an 
apartment that, when serving as a parlour by 
day, it was redeemed from the aspect it wore 
as a bedroom by night. Blankets were neatly 
folded on the flock mattress that reposed upon 
springs . 

Exploring the corridor, we found our way 
to. lavatories and bathrooms that shone with 
cleanliness. Open doorways gave us glimpses 




"A GROUP OF BUSTLING HOUSEWIVES" (PAGE 35). THE KITCHEN OF 
THE WINNIPEG IMMIGRATION HALL. 



BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 35 

of domestic serenity women busy with their 
needles, men writing letters or reading, the 
little ones at play on the floor. 

While making us free of all the amenities 
of a home, the Government of Canada imposed 
a wise limit to its hospitality. It was con- 
cerned to foster self-reliance, and to discourage 
a slothful spirit, in its guests. The presence 
of that broom in our room was a hint that we 
were expected to keep the floor tidy. Then, 
too, we all had to cater for ourselves. My 
brother did the shopping, and I undertook the 
cooking. It was a new experience to find 
myself in a large kitchen as the only man 
among a group of bustling housewives. One 
was dissecting a rabbit, another was slicing 
the component parts of a stew, a third was 
rolling pastry. My own humble endeavours 
were directed to boiling a kettle of water and 
making a pot of tea a task in which those 
ladies afforded me the assistance of their larger 
experience . Later, on returning to the kitchen, 
I deposited our tea-leaves in the receptacle 
for refuse, and washed up the utensils we had 
used. 

I went downstairs to the well-equipped 
laundry and drying-room, where a number of 



36 BY TRAIN TO WINNIPEG 

women immigrants, up to their elbows in lather, 
were rejoicing in the opportunity of getting a 
lot of washing done at nothing but the cost 
of the soap. Being wholly untrained in the 
dexterities of the washtub, I abstained from 
affording those experts a spectacle of masculine 
ineptitude. 

I have often stayed in hotels of greater 
luxury and magnificence, but never in a 
cleaner or more interesting one. Its conditions 
suggest a middle-class home run on commu- 
nistic lines. 



CHAPTER III 

WHEAT AND WEALTH 

Jobs I was offered Labour conditions reversed ; the 
supplicant employer Monte Cristos of Manitoba 
In the Dauphin Valley Beauties of the landscape 
Society on the prairie The ubiquitous telephone 
Rich black soil Quick methods of amassing fortunes 
Typical experiences of Donald Why Canadian 
farming pays Its simple methods explained How 
to gain capital and experience Wealthy men in 
shabby clothes From penniless immigrant to pros- 
perous farmer Initial years of toil and stress 
The price of horses, oxen, and cows Necessary 
machines, and what they cost Crops and their 
value Free homesteads v. cultivated land A warn- 
ing to the immigrant with capital The story of 
Anthony Old King Cole. 

" LOOKING for a jarb ? " shouted the bronzed 
man in the blue shirt and great floppy wide- 
awake ; and, as the buggy drew up, I noticed 
that the woman's face reflected her husband's 
eagerness. Of course the people of Canada 

37 



38 WHEAT AND WEALTH 

are accustomed to good fortune, abundant and 
continuous ; but that optimistic couple were, 
I thought, rather presuming on the indulgence 
of Providence when, catching sight of my 
squatting figure by the roadside, they dared to 
hope that, incidental to a drive into town for 
groceries, they had happened upon the valuable 
and precious thing Labour. 

I was not looking for a job. I was not 
prepared to ride off with those good folk to 
their quarter-section, and lend a hand with 
their harvest and horses, with their cows and 
poultry, for ten or twelve shillings a day and 
all found, A curt " No " would have been in 
accordance, I think, with Canadian usage. But 
my negative reply was softened with polite ex- 
pressions of regret. The fact is, I had not 
yet adapted myself to a remarkable environ- 
ment, and offers of employment continued to 
flatter my self-esteem. I was still far from 
that state of independence which enables a 
man to tell his master exactly what he thinks 
of him, and which prompts a hotel waitress, 
in passing from the dining-room, to kick open 
the door with her well-shod foot. 

Social conditions in Canada are, in truth, 
a delightful burlesque of those in England. 



WHEAT AND WEALTH 39 

In my native land one has to plead and wait 
and scheme for opportunities to earn small 
wages. But I had not been an hour on 
Canadian soil before there came a tempting 
financial offer for my services as a house 
decorator. And this was but the first of many 
unsought opportunities to engage in remuner- 
ative toil. True, no one stopped me in the 
street and offered to hire me as a journalist or 
author ; but at any moment I could have got 
my three dollars a day if only, in response to 
eager solicitation, I would turn over a new 
leaf and become a railroad navvy or farm 
hand. 

As a matter of fact though I did not delay 
the buggy for prolonged explanations I 
already had a job. Nay, I was hard at work 
when that settler and his wife found me, alone 
and still, seated on a recumbent telephone pole 
with my hands in my trouser pockets, a 
writing pad lying at my feet. The business 
on hand was to think out a way of setting forth 
a simple matter concerning black soil and 
bright gold. 

Perhaps I may best commence my modern 
story of Monte Cristo by saying what the land- 
scape looked like. The road was an ebony 



40 WHEAT AND WEALTH 

streak, and elsewhere the eye roamed over a 
sea of growing, glowing grain. And note 
that, though this part .of the Dauphin 
Valley was a dead level, I could see eight 
human homes, each upon its own quarter - 
section, which, as I have already hinted, is 
an exact square, measuring half a mile on 
every side, and embracing one hundred and 
sixty acres . But the view was not an unbroken 
monotony of golden crops . White poplars and 
luxuriant undergrowth formed the near horizon 
beyond four quarter-sections on my right. 
Maple saplings and willow formed the nearer 
horizon across two quarter-sections on my left. 
And those verdant lines, as earlier exploration 
had taught me, marked the course of shallow 
rivers that wound, full of fishes, through fairy 
glens where hedges were on fire with clusters 
of cranberries. 

But I want to insist on those eight visible 
dwellings, which so eloquently contradicted the 
general belief that farm life in Canada is lonely. 
To live within sight of seven neighbours is 
no very irksome state of isolation. Moreover, 
other conditions make for sociability on the 
prairies of Manitoba. Black roads bordering 
the sections extend like a net all over the 



WHEAT AND WEALTH 4 1 

country arched tracks of uncored earth, 
drained by ploughed ditches ; and since every 
settler has his broad-axled rig and team of 
trotting ponies, mileage out there has not much 
significance. Within sight as I sat writing were 
two buggies and one swift democrat, not to 
forget a picturesque wagon drawn by a pair 
of oxen. Then there was that useful insti- 
tution which, expensive and occasional in rural 
districts of old England, is cheap and 
ubiquitous in settled areas of young Canada. 
The decision to instal the telephone throughout 
those cultivated prairies was a stroke of in- 
spired statesmanship. One day I drove fifteen 
miles from the town of Dauphin, and only 
towards the end of that journey, where much 
of the land was still unbroken, did I find poles 
without wires an omission that was being 
remedied by operators encamped in tents by 
the roadside. A comprehensive subscription 
of 4 a year enables the settler, without leaving 
home, to order provisions from town, summon 
the doctor when baby is ill, and chat at large 
with his neighbours. 

My friend Donald, of those parts, maintains 
that the black ground is a black clay. I took 
a spade and had a dig at it, seeking evidence 



42 WHEAT AND WEALTH 

in support of my rival theory that centuries 
of vegetable and animal decay, assisted in 
recent decades by prairie fires, have accumu- 
lated that deposit of rich soil. Nine inches 
down in that treasury of nitrogen, phosphates, 
and potash, rendered friable by an admixture 
of sand, I found the crumbling form of a pre- 
historic tree branch that now was nothing but 
humus. Whatever the precise truth of the 
matter, however, it is a fact that, because of 
this black soil, Donald is now worth over a 
hundred thousand dollars, or, as we should say, 
20,000. And Donald arrived in the district 
ten years ago with nothing but a gold watch, 
a young family, and a Scotchman's determin- 
ation . 

He drove me to several of his quarter- 
sections, and I probed the secrets of his pros- 
perity. 

Canadian wheat farming is British farming 
simplified. There is no landlord to exact an 
increasing rent, no Church to insist on its tithe, 
no arduous distribution of farmyard manure 
and costly artificials, and no warring against 
persistent weeds. Though an occasional extra 
hand is convenient and usual, one man can 
farm a quarter-section. 



WHEAT AND WEALTH 43 

Ploughing is the long job, and, first and 
last, it may occupy a month. " But," as 
Donald remarked, " a man must be doing 
something, and driving a team to and fro is 
not a bad way of passing the time." Where- 
upon he showed me one of his two -furrow 
ploughs, with its comfortable seat for the 
driver. There are three remaining processes 
harrowing, seeding, and reaping and each can 
be accomplished at the pace of twenty-five 
acres a day. As for the threshing, our farmer 
is only a looker-on when the machine is 
doing that, the charge being 3d. a bushel. 
Nothing then remains but for him to drive 
his wagon -loads of wheat to the nearest 
elevator, where he will receive prompt 
payment at the rate of about 90 cents per 
bushel. As the Dauphin Valley average is 
25 bushels per acre, it is a mere matter of 
arithmetic that, where 80 acres are under culti- 
vation and all goes well, the crop fetches 360 
a satisfactory return from a freehold that 
may have cost anything from 2 to 800. 
And note that this figure takes no account of 
the yield from cows, poultry, and other live 
stock reared, practically without cost, on the 
pasture acreage. 



44 WHEAT AND WEALTH 

Nor have I digressed from the story of 
Donald. It is wrapped up in that other story 
of the men who farm their own quarter- 
sections. But I began this last story at the 
second chapter. 

In the beginning, lacking money and know- 
ledge, the immigrant must hire himself to an 
established settler. Donald has a quick eye 
for promising new-comers, whom he plants on 
his quarter-sections with ample free food for 
the family, and an annual wage of 300 dollars, 
which the thrifty can save intact. He assists 
them through the novice stage by personal 
guidance and example ; and the telephone is 
available for daily directions. After a year, 
or perhaps two, the farm hand has enough 
experience and capital to make a beginning on 
his own land. 

Meanwhile Donald has been reaping many, 
harvests, and as he fills in odd moments by 
selling land, buying horses, and running a store, 
his wealth surprises nobody. Moreover, he 
is surrounded by equally prosperous neigh- 
bours, who wear slouch hats and shabby 
overalls, looking to English eyes like men open 
to earn twopence by holding a horse. That 
is the way of things out in the West. So far 



WHEAT AND WEALTH 45 

as dress has any significance, the sartorial clues 
have a reversed significance. The unshaven 
man with no collar and a patch on his trousers 
is pretty sure to count his fortune in six 
figures . 

It was a fascinating theme the automatic 
transformation of penniless immigrants into 
prosperous farmers ; and I encouraged Donald 
to go into details. 

" Let us," I said, '* take the case of a man 
who, having worked two seasons for you, has 
saved 100. Could he take up a home- 
stead?" 

" Sure," replied Donald, " if he is steady and 
a good worker. We are all ready to give that 
sort a little help yes, and credit, too. All he 
would have to buy at first would be three oxen, 
costing about 50, a plough (15) and a disc 
harrow (7). He could, if he liked, pay by 
instalments for the plough and harrow, and 
later on for fencing wire. Of course he would 
build his own shack and stable, the only ex- 
pense being a pound or so for tools and nails 
and getting the timber sawn. Then there is 
the cost of living. They mostly find it worth 
while to get a few fowls and a cow. You can 
buy a fine three-year cow, after her first calf, 



46 WHEAT AND WEALTH 

for 5 or 6 in fact, the poorest people about 
here keep three or four cows. It means a 
lot of hard work to break the land, and three 
months' residence on the quarter-section is, of 
course, compulsory. But the right sort of man 
would still find time to work for his neigh- 
bours and earn a bit of money that way." 

" What would he have to buy in the second 
year? " I asked. 

" The chief thing would be seed. For he 
could make do with his oxen for ploughing. 
If he worked hard the first year, he ought 
to have forty acres ready. He must make 
his first payment for a seeder, which costs 
16. Sowing is done from the i5th to the 
3oth of April sometimes you can go into May. 
By the middle of August he must get a binder 
(30); and his first crop ought to be a 
thousand bushels, which would bring him in 
160, less 12 for threshing. Meanwhile he 
will have been breaking more land, to be ready 
for a larger acreage in the third year. So 
now he must sell his oxen, which will be too 
slow for the ground he has to cover ; and 
when the weather opens he must buy three 
horses. They will cost about 90; but it's 
no use shirking that expense you must have 



WHEAT AND WEALTH 47 

proper power. He has got to get through 
somehow until harvest, when he will receive 
about 300. From that time, you may say, 
he has turned the corner, for the debts on 
machinery will soon be paid off, and every 
year will see an increase in his acreage and 
live stock. Once he has got his quarter-section 
fairly going well, he can buy more land, start 
a business, and go ahead as much as he likes, 
the same as anybody else." 

" And his homestead will have acquired a 
substantial value?" I suggested. 

"It will be worth," Donald explained, 
" anything from 800 upwards, according to 
the sort of house on it. And do you know," 
he added, " that an unbroken quarter-section 
which costs nothing is a much dearer invest- 
ment than a quarter-section under cultivation 
that costs 800? In the one case you have 
to face the early years of development, the 
terrible hard work, and the small returns ; in 
the other case you get full harvests from the 
start I have even known the first year's crop 
to cover the total cost of the land. My advice 
even to the man who arrives with only a few 
hundred pounds is buy ; don't take up a free 
homestead." 



48 WHEAT AND WEALTH 

" But," I objected, " a few hundred pounds 
won't buy a property worth 800." 

' Yes, it will," contradicted Donald. ' The 
bulk of the purchase -money can stand over 
for payment by annual instalments. But," 
he added, " the man who comes with capital, 
be it much or little, is at one serious disad- 
vantage compared with the man who arrives 
with nothing. He is almost sure to start farm- 
ing before he understands Canadian methods, 
with the result that he frequently buys his ex- 
perience rather dearly. The ideal thing is for 
a man to arrive with capital, but to put it 
away in the bank, forget he has it, and hire 
himself out for a season. That will give him 
the necessary knowledge for afterwards turn- 
ing his capital to the best account. Again 
and again I have urged people to do that 
but it is no good ; in nearly every instance 
they will go their own way." 

The case of Anthony, who also drove me 
out to his properties, is much like the case of 
Donald, save that Anthony, being a Galician, 
employs Galician immigrants on his quarter- 
sections. Nor, to judge by what I saw, could 
a man desire more industrious, capable, and 
picturesque assistants . 









I 



"NOTHING THEN REMAINS BUT FOR HIM TO DRIVE HIS WAGON-LOADS 
OF WHEAT TO THE NEAREST ELEVATOR" (PAGE 43). THESH 
USEFUL, IF UNPICTURESQUE, STRUCTURES ARE CONSPICUOUS LAND- 
MARKS IN ALL SETTLED DISTRICTS OF THE PRAIRIE PROVINCES. 



WHEAT AND WEALTH 49 

Anthony's fellow-countrymen arrive, as he 
arrived, poor. After a few years of patient, 
persistent toil, they become, as he has become, 
rich. It does not surprise me that in the town 
of Dauphin there are three banks to one 
grocery store. 

I fijid one fault with the Canadian careers 
of Donald and Anthony. Having amassed so 
much substance, they should, it seems to me, 
give themselves a little leisure to enjoy it. But 
I fear they are so enslaved by the idea of 
becoming richer and still richer that they will 
persist in that pursuit to the end. 

Of another philosophy is a fine old English 
gentleman who owns two adjoining quarter- 
sections in that district. He has a large, well- 
appointed house, and his abundant crops, pro- 
duced by a succession of salaried workers, yield 
the means to maintain his family in luxury. 
It is his gleeful boast that, while enjoying all 
the good things of this life, he never does 
a stroke of work. His answer to all criticism 
is a great jolly laugh that echoes across the 
prairie. They call him Old King Cole. 



The Golden Land, 



CHARTER IV 

BARNARDO BOYS AND A BARONET'S SON 

The titled" lady, her son and the pig-sty Music and 
literature on the prairie A garden of perfumed 
prettiness Jim recalls his past Petty larceny and 
the training-ship Assaulting a bully at sea Home- 
less in London A visit to Stepney Causeway Sent 
out to Canada From farm boy to landowner 
The fruits of seven years' toil My visit to Mr. Green 
A workhouse boy grown prosperous Wheat on 
low land : expensive experience A Barnardo couple 
Their children and the skunk A housewife's phil- 
osophy How to live free of cost The way to make 
fowls pay Exchanging eggs and butter for gro- 
ceries and clothes Why the Fishers have no butcher's 
bill Co-operative production and distribution : the 
working of a Beef Ring explained The Canadian 
winter : its delights and drawbacks Concerning 
frost-bites Children on horseback Loneliness and 
the telephone The far-away poverty "Tell them 
to come." 

RUSSELL'S main streets are not aesthetic, the 

eye taking small delight in wooden sidewalks, 

50 



BARNARDO BOYS 51 

roadways of mud, and flat housefronts of 
painted timber or galvanised metal sheeting. 
But on the outskirts of this new little town I 
found a small mansion standing amid its lawns 
and cultivated trees. And this is the home of 
Burroughs a fine fellow with a past. 

We talked of Canada, he and I, as we walked 
in the glow of the sunset, which put a warm 
splendour on young maples already touched 
with autumn gold. We talked of Canada as 
the land of equal opportunities for all. We 
talked of Canada as the country where privi- 
lege has no foothold, and wealth is only to 
be won by work. And presently Burroughs' 
voice sank to a deeper note as his thoughts 
stretched back over an interval of two-and- 
twenty years. 

There was a wise English lady of title who 
was anxious about her son's future. So she 
took him from Eton and sent him to Canada. 
Of what befel that lad of nineteen, now the 
middle-aged father of a family, I had some 
particulars from his own lips. 

" Until then," Burroughs gravely recalled, 
" I had been surrounded by servants. I even 
had a man to fasten my cravat for me. So 
you can understand that Canadian life felt 



52 BARNARDO BOYS 

strange at first. I was placed with a farmer 
who would stand no nonsense. My first job 
was to clean out a pig-sty that ought to have 
been cleaned out six months before. My 
mother allowed me a little pocket-money for 
a few weeks ; after that, I had to make do with 
my wages. Fortunately, the hard work gave 
me an appetite for the coarse food. Of an 
evening the farmer would lecture me on how 
to behave. His wife was much put out about 
m y pyjamas. She said she wasn't going to 
wash things like that. But they were a good 
old couple, and I often go and see them now, 
for they are still alive." 

Burroughs soon turned farmer on his own 
account, and did well ; and now he is a pros- 
perous merchant . 

On my second day at Russell he took 
me for a ride on his motor-car, for he was 
bent on introducing me to his friend Jim 
Gray. 

We had a fine spin across the beautiful 
prairie, where we startled gophers and wild- 
fowl amid the tangle of golden-rod and bronzed 
foliage, and where, in the cultivated areas, 
farmers were busy with their binders. 

" And you are quite contented with your 



AND A BARONET'S SON 53 

life out here ? " I found an opportunity to 
ask our acquaintance having ripened to the 
stage that allows of the personal note . ' You 
never pine for the amenities of city life? You 
do not repent your self -banishment from the 
social centre from the wider opportunities of 
culture ? " 

Burroughs did not at once reply, and when 
he did so he spoke in measured accents, pon- 
dering his words. 

" Indirectly you have touched upon a 
matter," he said, " that has been much in my 
thoughts . No ; I can say quite honestly that, 
on my own behalf, I have no regrets. Quite 
the reverse. After all these years, I like it 
more and more. The country, the life, the 
freedom I simply revel in it. It comes to 
me as a new wonder and a new delight every 
day. Look at that glorious stretch of land, 
look at that sky and those wild flowers. For 
you they are just something pleasant and pass- 
ing that you will easily forget. For me well, 
it is no exaggeration to say I feel I could not 
live without them. London figures in my mind 
as a great, ugly, smoky place where people 
are cramped and lead artificial lives though, 
happily for them, they don't know it. And, 



54 BARNARDO BOYS 

mind you, I am not speaking from old and 
worn-out memories. I was in London eight 
years ago, having to go to England on family 
business. But in spite of my own people being 
there, whom I was very pleased to see, I felt 
half suffocated mentally in London, and did 
not recover my spirits until I had escaped from 
it. And yet all the time I cannot forget that 
London represents, as you say, something in 
which we out here are lacking I mean oppor- 
tunities of culture." 

" You do miss those, then? " I asked. 

" Personally I don't," Burroughs made haste 
to reply. " Nor does my, wife, who is a native 
of Canada. But I have several children, some 
of whom are growing up, and I have sometimes 
felt a little uneasy on their behalf. The 
Canadian schools are really very good, but of 
course they don't give the same facilities and 
stimulus as an English college. Please under- 
stand I am not regretting what one may call 
the ' social polish ' side of the thing. God 
forbid that my children should grow up with 
any sense of class distinctions ! But I should 
hate the idea of their missing the solid part 
of it the developing of their minds and the 
widening of their general outlook." 



AND A BARONET'S SON 55 

" Culture can, after all, be imported," I 
suggested. 

" Exactly," he eagerly, agreed. " That 
thought is my consolation. I do all I can to 
encourage them in reading. They have plenty 
of good books ; and I try to keep in touch 
with the best modern work and have it sent 
out. Then, too, being extremely fond of music 
myself, though unfortunately, a very poor 
player, I have been able to stimulate their 
interest in that direction also. In other ways 
one does what one can, and on the whole I 
am satisfied that, for them as well as for my 
wife and myself, the balance of advantage is 
with the life out here." 

And these things that Burroughs told me 
about himself assumed the greater interest 
when I had met the friend to whom he was 
conducting me. 

Gray's home is only a shack, but his 
garden is a dream. Picture wide sheets of 
pansies and mignonette surrounded by bego- 
nias, cannas, and phlox, by pinks, salpiglossis, 
and stocks, with walls of sweet peas and sen- 
tinel hollyhocks of mauve and cream and 
yellow . 

Wandering beyond that haze of perfumed 



56 BARNARDO BOYS 

prettiness, I reviewed orderly regiments of 
onions, beet, and carrots, of potatoes, tomatoes, 
and turnips ; and I came presently to sprawling 
vines of pumpkin and cucumber, rows of well- 
hearted lettuce, and great firm cabbages that 
looked like curling stones. Also in that well- 
stocked garden were long lines of the notorious 
wonderberry fruiting profusely. 

Mrs. Gray stood at the gate with her two 
sturdy children. But she told me that she was 
not the gardener. Jim, it seemed, found time 
to do all that. And Jim had built the shack, 
and the log stables, granary, and other out- 
houses a cluster of buildings looking home- 
like and picturesque with their background of 
sheltering trees. Jim's fowls and pigs were 
in sight, and we had already seen Jim's ten 
horses. For they had been grazing beside the 
lovely lake that skirts Jim's land on the 
south. But where was Jim himself? 

Burroughs supposed that we sliould find him 
cutting his wheat. But no Mrs. Gray explained 
that Jim finished his stocking a fortnight 
before ; and now he was helping a neighbour. 

On an adjoining quarter-section we found 
our man a thick-set young Saxon with curly 
yellow hair, a cheerful countenance, and 



AND A BARONET'S SON 57 

a courteous willingness to become auto- 
biographical. 

After his father was run over at Streatham, 
little Jim had some difficulty in getting food ; 
and he still thinks it was hard luck to be taken 
before a magistrate for picking up a few 
potatoes in a field. However, he rather 
enjoyed his two years on a training -ship, and 
he left the Cornwall with some thought of 
following the sea for a livelihood. But during 
his first voyage Jim was so continually ill- 
treated by the mate that, driven at last to make 
reprisal, he struck that bully with a piece of 
iron a circumstance that led to both being 
discharged when the schooner returned into 
port. Jim then had another spell of the London 
streets, where he wandered homeless and 
hungry with a companion in misfortune. 
Having heard of Dr. Barnardo's Homes, they 
went there one evening to beg a night's lodging 
a boon that was not denied. Next day Jim's 
pal enlisted as a soldier, and Jim himself, when 
night came on, returned to the haven at Stepney 
Causeway. There he stayed until sent with a 
party of lads to Canada. 

Recalling these details of his pathetic past, 
Mr. Gray smiled down at us from his seat on 



58 BARNARDO BOYS 

the binder, brought temporarily to a standstill 
on the margin of the harvest. Burroughs 
maliciously suggested that Gray would be fined 
for the time he was wasting. Gray, with a 
laughing glance over his shoulder, guessed the 
other binders were still half a mile behind him. 

It was instructive to see Jim and Burroughs 
on terms of hearty friendship and social 
equality. For there are only two classes in 
Canada the one class that embraces baronets' 
sons, Barnardo boys, and everybody else who 
works hard and " makes good " (to speak in 
the vernacular ) ; and the other class that 
equally embraces everybody, whether born in 
the purple or in the slums, who shirks work. 

Jim went on with his story. He worked on 
a Canadian farm for " all found," plus accumu- 
lating wages, which, until he came of age, were 
banked with the Barnardo organisation. Then 
he bought a partly cultivated quarter-section, 
utilising his capital on judicious lines advised 
by his former guardians : so much as first 
payment for the land, so much for oxen, im- 
plements and seed, and so much for main- 
tenance until crops rewarded toil. 

Seven years have passed by. Jim has now 
completed the purchase of his land, and has 



AND A BARONET'S SON 59 

already refused to sell it for 800. For ninety, 
acres are now under cultivation and a full 
equipment of buildings, with ample barbed 
wire fencing, enhance the value of a homestead. 
Meanwhile, Jim's crops have enabled him to 
pay for a binder, a seeder, harrows, ploughs, 
and other machinery, while the number of his 
live stock increases every year. So the boy 
who once stole potatoes is now worth over 
1,000, and is living with his family in 
growing prosperity on his own extensive and 
beautiful freehold. 

As we careered over the stubble at twelve 
miles an hour, I ventured the opinion that 
Jim was an exceptional man. But Burroughs 
laughed sagaciously, and suggested that, after 
returning to Russell for dinner, we should 
take the old Indian trail to the south, then 
strike west and overhaul Tom Green and 
George Fisher. All of which we did. 

Green's shack has been replaced by a good 
house to all appearance a roomy English 
villa, but made mainly of wood. We found 
Green stocking the last of his oats, and singing 
over their excellence. 

Finding me inquisitive, he spoke with manly 
candour of his early days. A workhouse boy 



6o BARNARDO BOYS 

of Margate, he was transferred to the Barnardo 
Homes at a tender age. He does not know 
how old he is, and lacks all knowledge of his 
parentage. For the rest, his Canadian experi- 
ences have been Gray's in duplicate, even to 
the possession of a wife and two children. 
His land also is beautiful, prolific, and paid 
for, and he scorned my offer of 1,000 for the 
farm as a going concern. 

" I must say," said that healthy, smiling 
young man, " I was given a good start. First 
they apprenticed me to a farmer, and after that 
I had a spell of work on the Barnardo Industrial 
Farm. Then one day Mr. Struthers sent for 
me and offered me this quarter-section at 
six dollars an acre, which was very cheap 
when you remember that quite a bit of the 
land was broken. I had got four hundred 
dollars saved, so I paid a hundred as an instal- 
ment on the land, and most of the other three 
hundred went towards implements. It was 
terrible uphill work at first, and I hadn't 
turned the corner in 1907 that awful year 
when everybody's wheat got frozen. But we're 
all right now, thank God, and if there comes 
another failure of crops, well, it won't matter 
much. I sent my last instalment for the land 



AND A BARONET'S SON 61 

three months ago, and before that I was clear 
with everybody, else, and a nice sum put by 
in the bank. So now, as I've got this place 
in good order, I'm going* to buy another 
quarter-section." 

" Well," I could not forbear to remark, " if 
your new quarter is as beautiful as this one, 
you will indeed be a lucky man." 

' Yes, isn't it fine ! " exclaimed Green, as 
he gazed at his property with sparkling eyes. 

It was gently undulating ground, giving the 
spectator a new vista at every turn, and with 
here and there a pretty little coppice relics 
of the prairie left to supply timber and fuel. 

' If you are interested in farming," he went 
on impetuously, " come along with me and I'll 
show you where I made a big mistake." 

I hurried after that nimble-footed enthusiast ; 
and we descended to a large stubble field that 
lay low. 

" Early frost," he explained, " cut off the 
wheat here for several years running. I lost 
it all every time, and I could not understand 
the reason. Everywhere else the wheat got 
through, and graded splendidly. Then last year 
I tried oats here . A bumper crop ! Of course 
I did the same this year, and with the same 



62 BARNARDO BOYS 

result. It is quite a simple matter wheat 
does best on the high ground ; oats do best 
on the low ground. But, you see, I had to 
learn by experience, and pretty expensive ex- 
perience, too ! for I figured it out the other 
day that, if I'd known this wrinkle at the start, 
it would have made a difference to my savings 
of three thousand dollars." 

Even if Green had never been a poor little 
workhouse boy, it would have done me good to 
hear him talk so airily of such a loss. 

But it was our third visit that provided the 
most memorable revelation . Not only was Mr . 
Fisher a Barnardo boy, but by a pretty coin- 
cidence Mrs. Fisher was a Barnardo girl. 
They fell in love on meeting by chance in 
Canada . 

Their five children were the most winsome 
little rogues I had seen since leaving England. 
No sooner was I seated in the cosy parlour 
than Eric and Daisy clambered to my lap, and 
with wide blue eyes told me about the naughty 
skunk that burrowed last Wednesday into their 
cupboard. 

Mrs. Fisher insisted that we must stop to 
tea, and I never sat down to a finer banquet 
than that bountiful spread of salmon, new-laid 



AND A BARONET'S SON 63 

eggs, and cream, with choice butter, bread, 
cake, and preserves made by our gracious 
young hostess. 

The land and all upon it, including that sub- 
stantial eight-roomed house, belongs to George, 
who owes no man a cent. Nay, the revenue 
from his crops now goes almost intact to swell 
his banking account. For he is blessed with 
an efficient and painstaking helpmeet, and the 
surplus eggs and butter cover the cost of 
groceries and clothes. 

" So you see," she explained, during our con- 
fidential chat, " we live free of cost, and always 
have plenty of the best. Of course, it means 
a good deal of work, but I don't mind that, 
because it is all so interesting. I simply love 
looking after the fowls, and the dear things 
certainly do repay all the trouble you take over 
them. My birds always have their warm feed 
in the morning. That's very important. I 
wouldn't let them miss it if the weather was a 
hundred below zero. You'd be surprised how 
well they lay, and we get a good lot of eggs 
right through the winter. Of course I sell 
those, because they fetch such good prices . In 
the summer I always pickle enough to last us 
during the winter. Come and see." 



64 BARNARDO BOYS 

The pantry was indeed a picture. Large, 
airy, and spotlessly clean, it contained not only 
great earthenware pots in which eggs were 
preserved, but basins of cream, dishes of butter, 
two sides of bacon, and an immense reserve 
of home-made jam. 

" Of course," the vivacious young house- 
keeper rattled on, " in this country we are like 
the bees we have to lay up stores for the 
winter. If you just arrange things carefully, 
nothing is a bother, and there is always plenty, 
of everything. Some people tell me their fowls 
don't pay. But can you wonder, when they just 
throw them a few handfuls of corn, and it's 
nobody's duty, to clean out the roosts? The 
woman ought to see to these things. Her 
husband has his crops and cattle to look after, 
and that's quite enough for one person to do. 
Making butter and attending to the fowls are 
just as much a wife's duty as looking after the 
children and keeping the house tidy. . . . 
We've just got a cream separator, and it's a 
wonderful saving. . . . In this country a man 
has to work very hard, and he can't get on 
properly unless his wife does her share." 

Knowing that provisions are expensive in 
central Canada, I was disposed to place a 



AND A BARONET'S SON 65 

liberal construction on Mrs. Fisher's assertion, 
made earlier in the conversation, that she and 
her family lived free of cost. The butcher's 
bill for so many, I suggested, must be an 
appreciable item. Her reply but served to 
throw new light on domestic economy in the 
Prairie Provinces. 

" We certainly do have a quantity of meat 
in addition to our own bacon," she smilingly 
admitted, " but there is no butcher's bill, be- 
cause we belong to a beef ring." 

I did not know what that was. 

" Oh, it's a splendid thing," exclaimed the 
enthusiastic little woman. ' They ought to 
have one in every district. There are twenty 
of us in it ourselves and nineteen neighbours ; 
and each member contributes one beast a year. 
Of course large families require more meat 
than small families, so the way we arrange is 
this : whatever we have every week is set down 
against us at six cents a pound, and when we 
put in our steer the weight is put down in our 
favour at five cents a pound. That leaves 
one cent for slaughtering and for waste. Then 
at the end of the season one total is balanced 
against the other ; and in our case we have 
had several dollars to receive each time. And 

Ike Golden Land. . 



66 BARNARDO BOYS 

you may, say that the steer costs us nothing to 
rear only a little of my, husband's time in 
looking after it because we have plenty of 
pasture. The members deliver the meat them- 
selves, and they are divided into four delivery 
groups. So one week my husband fetches our 
supply, and goes round to our three nearest 
neighbours. Then for the next three weeks 
they take it in turn to do the delivering. Out 
beef ring is really a great success." 

We had wandered into the kitchen the 
kitchen of a model housekeeper, with its orderly 
rows of cooking-pots and crockery, and every- 
thing bright and clean. 

I remarked upon the pail of meal steaming 
on the stove. 

" That is for one of the mares," the lady 
explained. " George told me she seemed a 
little out of sorts, and there is nothing like a 
nice warm feed to put them right. That's a 
good example of what I was saying. Some 
women would tell you they had enough to do 
without bothering to cook for the horses. But 
I don't look at it like that at all. Never mind 
the bother. How can a man see to a thing like 
that, when very likely he has to be out plough- 
ing half a mile away? It may make all the 



AND A BARONET'S SON 67 

difference between saving or losing a valuable 
horse. So I say a woman ought to do it ! " 

I asked her how she liked the winter. 

" The winter, of course, is beautiful," she 
answered simply. Then, in a ripple of merri- 
ment, she went on : " Oh, I forgot you live in 
England, and very likely have heard the dread- 
ful stories about the Canadian winter how 
everybody has his nose frozen off, and the 
houses are buried up to the chimney-pots in 
snow ! It is very, very different to that. Of 
course the ground is covered with snow, but 
such nice, dry, sparkling snow ! And the air 
is so clear, and the sky so bright, and the sun 
shines so warmly, that it is all just lovely. Of 
course when there's a wind blowing, and the 
weather is cloudy, or when there's a blizzard 
on, then it's best to keep indoors, or you might 
get a frost-bite. Not that a frost-bite is a 
very serious thing it soon goes off. But most 
of the time you can't think how splendid it is 
to be out of doors. The children have great 
fun toboganning and skating and so do we 
older ones torch-light processions on snow- 
shoes, and I don't know what all. There is 
only one time when the winter isn't nice at all. 
That's when thaws begin to come and the 



68 BARNARDO BOYS 

snow is half melted, and the ground is all 
sloppy. We feel the cold much more then 
than when the thermometer is right below 
zero. That's the only time when one of the 
children might take a chill. But it doesn't last 
long. The snow is soon all gone, then the 
flowers and leaves seem to come out by magic, 
and the beautiful summer has started once 
more." 

Her reference to the children prompted me 
to compliment her on their health, intelligence, 
and high spirits. 

' They certainly have a good time," she 
admitted. " And Henry is getting to be such 
a fine horseman ! He is my eldest boy, you 
know just turned ten. The other day he rode 
twenty miles ! I used to be so nervous when 
he was on horseback ; but my husband said it 
was quite safe, and it certainly seems to be. 
One thing I'm very pleased about they are 
all fond of school. In fact, they are quite 
upset if the weather is bad and I won't let them 
go. We are very lucky in having such a good 
school in this section and less than a mile 
away ! " 

'* You never," I asked (not because I thought 
it likely, but to continue investigations along 



AND A BARONET'S SON 69 

the line of popular assumptions) " you never 
feel lonely?" 

"Lonely!" echoed Mrs. Fisher in amaze- 
ment. " Lonely? What, when we are sur- 
rounded by such nice neighbours, and I'm 
always driving round to see them, and they're 
always driving round to see me ! And when 
we have so many whist parties at this house and 
musical evenings at their houses ! Lonely- 
no, that's quite impossible out here. I pity 
anybody, trying to be lonely with five children 
about. And if they might be at school, and 
there was nobody at home, and I wanted to 
talk with somebody but hadn't time to go out 
well, there is always the telephone. I don't 
mind telling you, I often have a chat with my 
friend Mrs. Knight when I'm waiting for the 
bread to rise, and she's doing the same three 
miles away." 

When Mr. Fisher next came in to join us 
in the pretty parlour I found myself regarding 
him with a new interest. For I now had a clue 
to the smile of placid contentment that seemed 
never to leave his face. 

Dimly, and without full understanding, that 
happy young couple know themselves to be, 
in their origin, children of poverty. Vaguely 



70 BARNARDO BOYS 

they hear rumours of people short of food in 
the far-away Old Country. " Is it true is it 
really true? " was Mrs. Fisher's eager question. 
And when I told her the facts, her eyes filled 
with tears. 

" Oh, tell them to come here," she entreated. 
1 There is room for them all in this beautiful 
country. They can easily do the same as 
George and me. It is so terrible to think of 
them like that, and us with more than plenty. 
Oh, please tell them about Canada, and just 
make them come ! " 

I promised to try. 



CHAPTER V 

THE BARR COLONY 

A seductive scheme Its weak spot A long, arduous, 
and costly trek Living in tents Keeping animals 
at bay Lloydminster then and now A butcher's 
adventures Dr. Amos and the axe wounds Mr. 
Barr's withdrawal The remaining leader A loyal 
leader How the log church was built Its stately 
successor Arrival of the first train Miriam and 
her birthright Mr. Hill's farm A Cockney's 
triumph Memories of tribulation An abortive 
beginning Hindrances, bad luck and debt The 
turning of the tide Piling up the dollars Canada 
as a cure for worry Value of the Hill estate 
Achievements of Lloydminster men Their town 
analysed A widespread aspiration. 

DURING March, 1903, the Rev. I. M. Barr, 
assisted by the Rev. G. E. Lloyd, founded a 
British Colony in Canada at 14, Sergeant's 
Inn, London, E.C. Every adult male was to 
have his free grant of 1 60 acres, under sanction 

of the Canadian Government, in the beautiful 

71 



72 THE BARR COLONY 

and fertile Saskatchewan Valley. The whole 
thing was arranged in advance with a masterly 
regard for detail. Mr. Barr even provided 
a scheme of medical insurance, with the use 
of a hospital and trained nurses, on the basis 
of a small annual subscription. In a word, 
the prospectus was a pressing invitation to the 
Promised Land, and some 1,500 names were 
enthusiastically enrolled. 

There was a flaw in the scheme . The colony 
was established 200 miles from the nearest 
railroad. Thus those English families, after 
voyaging across the Atlantic and travelling 
two-thirds across the American continent, were 
faced by two terrible problems : first, how 
to get to their land ; secondly, how to live 
when they had got there. 

At great expense for kites are attracted by 
a drove of pigeons many procured horses, 
oxen, and wagons for the long trek over the 
rough ground, which for the most part had 
been left black and desolate by recent prairie 
fires. A number of those poor immigrants 
expended the last of their scanty savings on 
food for the journey. Some tramped wearily 
on foot. Purged of the faint-hearted few (who 
would not leave Battleford and civilisation), 



THE BARR COLONY 73 

that noble procession of resolute men, staunch 
women, and plucky children passed on to 
their goal. It proved nothing but a beautiful 
wilderness . 

And there at first they lived in Government 
tents the men in some, the women and 
children in others ; representatives of both 
sexes taking night watches in rotation to feed 
the fires that held timber-wolves and prairie 
dogs at bay. Poor Barr colonists ! They were 
isolated from the world. They were a society 
without the machinery of existence. One is 
tempted to emphasise their plight with a grim 
suggestion drawn from the realm of historic 
irony. Their one possible means of livelihood 
was to take in each other's washing. 

I stayed in one of the fine hotels of the 
prosperous town of Lloydminster, which has 
its own weekly newspaper, six places of wor- 
ship, two banks, two large schools, a range 
of Government offices, three grain elevators, 
several musical societies and athletic clubs, and 
a large electric plant that illuminates its broad 
thoroughfares. Vainly I strove to realise the 
momentous fact that, on the site of this 
prosperous town, only those Government tents 
were standing seven years ago. For in their 



74 THE BARR COLONY 

fight against Fate the Barr colonists won. They 
have built Lloydminster, and to-day they are 
rich, contented, and triumphant. The case has 
no parallel, I believe, in the history of modern 
Canada, full as that history is of romance and 
of swift and amazing developments. 

I spoke to Mr. Johnson, the butcher. " Ah ! " 
he recalled, " Mr. Barr arrived with only two 
beasts, and I had the killing of both. I bought 
one carcass and retailed it. The last pound 
of flank was soon gone, and for days I walked 
to and fro, pondering the stubborn problem, 
where could I get some meat? One day from 
nowhere there arrived a wandering, wondering 
Indian. I gave him my full attention. He 
had picked up a few English words from 
Hudson Bay men. But we communicated 
mainly by signs ; and the end of it was that 
I set off with him on a long journey to the 
north. He had understood ! We came to a 
place where there was a herd of cattle. I 
bought a steer ; the Indian produced a rig ; 
and we brought my beast back in triumph. I 
decided to reward the Indian at the rate of 
two cents per pound. He was satisfied with this 
payment, and in a few days, when that meat 
was all gone, we went off to fetch another 



THE BARR COLONY 75 

carcass. So the supply was kept up; and 
soon I had built a little hut our first butcher's 
shop." 

Meanwhile some of the men had gone out 
with guns and shot wild ducks and prairie 
chickens. Others, establishing themselves as 
merchants of the community, drove back to 
Battleford and returned with wagon-loads of 
provisions. Some fetched timber, so that a 
beginning could be made with building opera- 
tions. The women and children set about 
growing vegetables. A number of men 
journeyed some hundreds of miles away to 
work for wages. 

I spoke to Dr. Amos. " Nothing," he ex- 
plained, " came of Mr. Barr's medical scheme. 
At least, members presented their subscription 
cards, but the hospital and nurses proved as 
theoretical as my salary. Of course we all 
helped one another, and monetary considera- 
tions scarcely existed. My work was constant 
and pretty monotonous every day I was stitch- 
ing up axe wounds 1 You see, the men were 
strangers to that most useful tool." 

Unfortunately Mr. Barr did not remain 
sufficiently long with his colony to witness the 
turn of its fortunes . Why he withdrew I found 



76 THE BARR COLONY 

it impossible definitely to ascertain. Some 
think that, alarmed at the plight in which he 
had unwittingly involved his trustful follow- 
ing, he lost his nerve. Concerning that 
interesting figure, the rest is silence. Whither 
he went, and whether he be alive or dead, no 
one seems to know. 

The case of Mr. Lloyd is different. He 
remained with the colony, sharing the stress 
of those early days ; and the town's name is a 
memorial of the affectionate regard in which 
he is held. 

As the Principal of Emmanuel College 
(Saskatoon), Archdeacon Lloyd has duties 
which, at the time of my visit to Lloydminster, 
detained him elsewhere ; and thus I missed 
the pleasure of meeting a remarkable man of 
whom Canada has cause to be proud. But in 
the centre of the town I saw the little " log- 
cabin " church so picturesque without, so rest- 
ful within that he built. At least, he and 
all the others built it jointly. For nearly every 
colonist assisted according to his or her ability 
some contributing a three -dollar log, some 
a two -dollar log. And already the needs of 
the community having outgrown the accommo- 
dation of that little pioneer edifice a stately 



THE BARR COLONY 77 

brick and stone church, costing ten thousand 
dollars, was arising to gladden the heart of 
Lloydminster's popular rector, the Rev. C. 
Carruthers. 

An early beginning was made with the grow- 
ing of grain, primitive means being available 
for grinding it. Then at last came the news 
that, miles and miles away, the railway line 
was approaching. Thus was opened up the 
new community's first outside market. For 
the railway gangs had many horses, and were 
willing to pay well for oats. The Canadian 
Northern Company pushed on the work with 
all possible speed, incidentally providing, in the 
construction of the road, a welcome outlet for 
Lloydminster labour. One man told me that 
the most beautiful music he ever heard was 
the whistle of the first approaching train. 
When the great locomotive appeared in sight, 
the Barr colonists sang and wept for joy. The 
days of tribulation were over the era of pros- 
perity had dawned. 

I strolled into the suburbs of the town and, 
passing through a pretty garden with its 
inviting tennis-court, I entered a charming 
bungalow. For I had a fancy to see Miriam, 
the first child born at Lloydminster. And that 



78 THE BARR COLONY 

merry little girl, who would soon be seven years 
old, introduced me to her dollies and her great 
big Teddy-bear. 

From the juvenile prattle, confirmed and 
elucidated by a delighted mother, I learnt that, 
under the terms of a picturesque Dominion 
statute, the Government had just granted 
Miriam a valuable town site in Lloydminster 
birthright of the first native inhabitant. 

I drove out to see Mr. Hill and his family, 
who came from Woolwich. Since there are 
three grown sons, the joint estate is a square 
mile of rich land, beautifully wooded here and 
there, and enclosing two lovely lakes. The 
youngest boy was herding their large " bunch " 
of horses and cows, his brothers were harvest- 
ing the wide expanse of wheat and oats, and 
the old man was keeping an eye on his 
twenty score of hogs. 

" Yes, yes," chuckled Mr. Hill, " my oats 
scored 95.5 out of a possible 100 at Brandon 
Winter Fair, averaging 86 bushels to the acre 
and 50 pounds to the bushel. Not bad, eh, for 
an old Cockney who, until he came out here, 
had never done any farming ? But those early 
days I You cannot imagine what we went 
through." 



THE BARR COLONY 79 

I asked him to try and give me an idea of 
that black time. 

' Well/' he said, " we had a terrible set- 
back at the very start. It was in June, 1903, 
that we arrived, and at once my boys and I 
got to work on the adjoining quarter-sections 
allotted to us near the Battle River. For 
several weeks we were at it from morning to 
night, getting along famously. We had built 
a fine log-house, and we had broken a lot 
of land ; then a letter came to say there had 
been a mistake, and we must surrender two 
of the quarter-sections, as they had been 
previously allotted to some Swedes. As we 
had determined to have our land all in one 
piece, that meant surrendering the entire 
section. But the loss of our time and labour 
was the least important part of it. The terrible 
thing was that, while we could have scraped 
through pretty well with the start we had got, 
there was no money left for beginning all over 
again. The long trek had made too heavy 
an inroad into the savings I had brought out 
with me." 

" So what did you do? " 

' There was nothing for it but to take my 
wife and young children back to live in the 



8o THE BARR COLONY 

colony tents, while my three boys set off to 
tramp 70 or 100 miles and work for wages. 
By the end of the fall they came back 
with 200 dollars, which enabled us to pro- 
vision ourselves for the winter. Then, when 
the spring came round, off they went to earn 
more money to keep us going. Not till June 
was I able to start on our new quarter-sections 
this land we now occupy. Single-handed 
I couldn't do much, especially as my two 
horses died and I only had oxen to break 
with. Getting a house built was the biggest 
thing done that year ; so you may say it wasn't 
till 1905, when a nice bit of land was broken, 
that we made our start. That means we didn't 
get our first crop till 1906, by which time 
I was heavily in debt. It looked as if 
we'd be all right the next year, but early 
frost played havoc with the wheat. It was 
like that right through the country 1907 is 
remembered as the black year. Of course 
there was nothing to do but hang on to emi- 
grate back to England was out of the question, 
because we had no money to pay our passage, 
leave alone pay our debts. Well, the 1908 
crop not only cleared off every penny we owed, 
but left me with a bigger balance than the 



THE BARR COLONY 81 

money I came out with. As for last year 
and this, it has been just a case of piling up 
the dollars." 

" There is nothing like sticking to a thing," 
I observed. 

" That's true," Mr. Hill heartily agreed. 
" And look you here : if there was no way of 
getting to the position we've got to, except 
by going through what we've gone through, 
I'd say it's well worth it, and I'd advise others 
to come out and do the same. But it's not 
like that at all. People who come out now 
don't have to go through a twentieth part what 
we had to go through. They've got to work, 
of course, and they don't have much to show 
for it in the first two years ; but after that 
everything is plain sailing. And so should we 
have found everything plain sailing after two 
years, if we hadn't had that long trek and 
then found ourselves two hundred miles from 
a railway. Don't think I'm complaining, for 
I'm not. I feel too grateful for that. When 
I lived in Woolwich, what with low wages and 
slack work it was no light matter feeding so 
many and keeping a roof over their heads ; and 
there was always a nasty feeling about what 
would happen when I got too old to work. 

Tht Golden Land. n 



82 THE BARR COLONY 

But now well, my three eldest boys have got 
their future already made for 'em, and it'll be 
every bit as easy for the others when they 
grow up. As for me," added the old fellow, 
with twinkling eyes, " if I never did another 
stroke of work, there would still be plenty for 
the wife and rrie. I tell you, the word ' worry ' 
has been taken clean out of my life. That's 
what Canada has done for me." 

" And you have no desire to go back to 
Woolwich?" I asked. 

' Yes, I have," was his emphatic reply. ' I 
should like to go back ; but not to stay- 
only to have the chance of telling people about 
this country and persuading them to come out. 
It seems such a pity for all those thousands 
in Woolwich and in plenty of other places, 
for that matter to be dragging along in the 
old way, out of work nearly half the time, and 
never able to put anything by for a rainy day 
or old age, when, if they only knew, they could 
come out here and soon be comfortably off, 
and never need worry about money for the rest 
of their lives." 

Making my own inquiries, and taking " im- 
proved " land at its lowest local value, I found 
that the Hill estate was worth 3,200 a sum 



THE BARR COLONY 83 

which, of course, left out of account the family's 
herds and houses and machinery. Since their 
annual revenue from grain alone is over 
1,000, the property is not, however, likely 
to come on the market. 

And Mr. Hill is but one of the numerous 
Barr colonists prospering on the land in the 
district. His near neighbours include two 
University graduates and an ex-costermonger. 
Lloydminster men took twenty-seven prizes for 
grain at the Regina, Edmonton, and Calgary 
fairs during the six months preceding my visit. 
In the previous year, Lloydminster men bought 
agricultural machinery to the value of i 55,000 
dollars, or, approximately, 31,000. 

In that district I found 27,000 acres grow- 
ing wheat, oats, barley and flax. This year 
( 1911) the area under cultivation will be 
34,000 acres. The town's population was 
1,500 persons, including five clergymen, four 
doctors, two lawyers, one dentist, two druggists, 
three auctioneers, one veterinary surgeon, and 
two members of the mounted police force. 
Lloydminster also possessed six large general 
stores and two hardware stores ; two bakers, 
two butchers, two tailors, two blacksmiths, two 
jewellers, and two laundries ; one shoemaker, 



84 THE BARR COLONY 

one saddler, one musical instrument maker, 
one clothier, one furniture dealer, one telephone 
office, one telegraph office, one printing office, 
and four fruit and candy stores. 

And Lloydminster, in its aspect, wealth, and 
rapidity of growth, is typical of the numerous 
towns that have sprung up along the railway 
routes of the Prairie Provinces. 

Thus we see that Canada pours forth her 
immeasurable wealth for those who will till 
and toil ; and it remains to be said that the 
desire of Lloydminster is for more new arrivals 
who will work on the land, and thereby help 
to populate the district and swell the general 
volume of prosperity. 

I heard the same wish expressed in every 
district that I visited. 



CHAPTER VI 

NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 

Stereotyped method of colonisation Sir Thomas 
Shaughnessy's innovation The concession of terri- 
tory to the C.P.R. Why they took land they 
previously refused Irrigating 3,000,000 acres 
i, 600 miles of canals and ditches An Irishman's 
experiences Raising cattle without trouble or cost 
The efficiency of branding Profits from irri- 
gated land How Mr. Buckley began farming 
Terms of land purchase What he bought, and the 
prices His phenomenal wheat : a story of brilliant 
blundering The rudiments of irrigation explained 
New way of coping with prairie fires Finding 
live fish on ploughed land The Strathmore expert 
and his experiments Driving to the "Ready-made" 
farms A tethered black bear Nightingale and its 
citizens Their former callings A happy, hopeful 
community Benefits of co-operation Opening of 
the first store An idea that may mark an epoch. 

TEN miles from Strathmore, Alberta, is a baby 
town that has been christened after a great 
Englishwoman who recently passed to her 

85 



86 NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 

rest. And Nightingale is founded on two 
simple ideas one as old as Egypt, the other 
sensationally new. I will deal first with the 
second. 

In human affairs the desirable end is apt 
long to remain associated with a circuitous 
means. But one day the seer arises who 
demonstrates that, in order to secure roast 
sucking-pig, it is not necessary to burn down 
a house containing young swine. He hits upon 
a short cut, which is what Sir Thomas G. 
Shaughnessy has done at Nightingale. 

The history of Australia, Africa, and the 
United States, equally with that of Canada, 
is identified with a method of colonisation 
that has become so stereotyped as to seem 
inevitable . 

The settler arrives upon his empty, virgin 
land. Wrestling with Nature and unfamiliar 
trades, he builds himself a dwelling and digs 
himself a water supply. Then, rood by rood, 
he clears his ground, and ploughs it, and puts 
in seed. Greatly are his pluck and patience 
taxed by these slow, laborious preliminaries, 
which, as I say, have always been regarded 
as unavoidable. But why it occurred to the 
C.P.R. president should not house, well, and 



NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 87 

stabling be constructed before the settler 
arrives ? Of that idea, so brilliantly obvious 
when once it had been thought of, the ready- 
made farms of Irricana and elsewhere are the 
first-fruits. 

The foundation of Lloydminster, described 
in my last chapter, was a grim illustration of 
colonisation, old style. The foundation of 
Nightingale, to be described in this chapter, 
is a delightful illustration of colonisation, new 
style. But before dealing with the affairs of 
that little community, I should mention that 
it is independent of rain. And this brings me 
to the venerable factor on which the new town's 
future will be based. 

Crossing Canada eight years ago, I was 
depressed by a deserted stretch of rolling prairie 
between Calgary and a point about thirty miles 
west of Medicine Hat. Out on that grey 
wilderness, clothed so meagrely with vegeta- 
tion, the only life I saw was a gaunt coyote 
racing away in affright at the train. Nor was 
I the only person who did not think much of 
that country. When the C.P.R. undertook to 
span Canada, it was agreed by the Government 
that, to make it worth their while, they should 
receive 25,000,000 acres of land within a 



88 NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 

twenty-mile radius on both sides of their 
line ; and, since they were allowed to pick and 
choose, they declined to accept, as part of their 
real-estate bonus, the questionable territory on 
which I afterwards saw that lean and lonely 
prairie dog. 

Two things happened that caused the C.P.R. 
to change their minds. Canadian interest was 
aroused in the fine crops insured by irrigation 
in the United States ; and the Ottawa Parlia- 
ment passed wise laws controlling the Dominion 
waterways. So the C.P.R., with an eye on the 
gushing torrent of the Bow River, said they 
would have those 3,000,000 acres after all. 
They decided to spend 1,000,000 in irrigating 
the area, which is one-eighth the size of 
England and Wales. For no scheme is too 
large or too small, nothing is too modest or 
too magnificent, for that versatile and con- 
scientious corporation to undertake. 

They have already, spread their network of 
artificial watercourses over a third of the 
country the western section. Besides pro- 
viding a reservoir 3 miles long, half a mile 
wide, and 40 feet deep, they have constructed 
17 miles of main canals (120 feet wide and 
10 feet deep), 150 miles of secondary canals, 



NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 89 

and 1,433 miles of distributing ditches works 
that have involved the removal of 8,250,000 
cubic yards of .earth. Then, too, the industrious 
C.P.R. have made, as necessary adjuncts to this 
scheme of irrigation, a number of spillways, 
drops, flumes, measuring weirs, and highway 
bridges. 

I drove inland from Gleichen, and, calling 
upon several farmers of the irrigated land, I 
asked them how they were getting on. One was 
a middle-aged Irishman who, four years 
before, arrived from his native land with 
715, a large family, and no knowledge of 
farming . 

In Ireland Mr. John C. Buckley was making 
a bare living, and there were no prospects for 
his boys ; in Canada he is already a man of 
substance. Beginning with 320 acres, this 
genial enthusiast already owns a square mile. 
The difference between what he paid for the 
land and the price at which he could sell it 
represents over 6,000. But he would not 
dream of realising ; first, because all the 
irrigated land of the western section has now 
been taken up, largely by speculators, and its 
value is rising every day ; secondly, because 
his bumper crops yield a rich revenue. 



90 NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 

" Next year," he mentioned, " I shall have 
600 acres under wheat and oats." 

"You don't go in for stock, then?' I 
innocently remarked. 

" I've made a beginning," was his puzzling 
reply. " I've got between sixty and seventy 
head of cattle, and the number is increasing 
every year." 

' Then do you rent some of your neighbours' 
land for grazing ? " 

" Lor' bless you, no 1 " he answered. ' I do 
what every one else does turn my cattle out 
on the prairie. They are all marked, for each 
of us has his distinctive, registered brand. A 
man doesn't trouble to fence his holding until 
he cultivates it, and as thousands of acres here- 
abouts have been bought only as an investment, 
there are wide areas on which anybody's cattle 
can roam. But of course they get away thirty 
or forty miles from here, where, in the absence 
of railroads, the land is still Government prop- 
erty, and free, not only to wandering herds, 
but to human beings who care to appropriate 
quarter-sections of it." 

" But how," I asked, " do you keep in touch 
with your cattle ? " 

" Keep in touch with them ! " he laughed. 



NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 91 

" Why, I don't give a thought to them for six 
or eight months in the year. I know they're 
as safe as if I saw them every day grazing on 
my own land. When I want them, off I go on 
horseback. If you know where the rivers and 
lakes are, you don't as a rule have much trouble 
in locating your bunch, for they are pretty sure 
to keep near water. Then you have the satis- 
faction of seeing what a fine lot of fat beasts 
they have grown into without costing you 
five minutes' attention or five cents for 
feed." 

And I thought of the stock -raisers in 
England, and what it costs them for land and 
labour. It really does not seem fair. 

" As for irrigation," testified this prosperous 
Irishman, " its value, when you have learnt 
how to use it, can hardly be exaggerated. Of 
course, we all have areas which, because of 
the levels, are outside its influence, and for 
which, therefore, we do not have to pay the 
annual water rental of fifty cents per acre. I 
and others have done splendidly on this non- 
irrigable land, and experience shows for one 
or two men have been farming in the district 
for twenty years that, in eight seasons out 
of nine, the rainfall is sufficient to ensure a 



92 NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 

good paying crop. But it is well within the 
mark to say that, where irrigation operates, the 
yield of grain is more than doubled." 

Concerning Mr. Buckley's success, I had 
the evidence of his vistas of growing grain, 
his acres of potatoes and sugar beet, his herds 
of swine, and flocks of fowls and turkeys. Con- 
cerning the stages of his evolution, I desired 
more information. 

" Well," he explained, " I arrived from 
Ireland with my wife and seven children on 
May 8, 1906, and two days later I had bought 
my first half -section 320 acres. For 259 
acres that were irrigable the price was 25 
dollars an acre. For the remaining 61 acres 
that were non-irrigable the price was i 5 dollars 
an acre. Those figures work out in English 
money to a total of 1,539 iis. 8d." 

" And your available capital was only 

715?" 

" Exactly. But the terms of purchase 

merely required me to provide one-quarter of 
the money, or 384 i/s. lid., the remainder 
being payable in four equal annual instal- 
ments, with 6 per cent, interest on the out- 
standing balance. As a matter of fact, the 
C.P.R. give even more liberal terms nowadays, 



NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 93 

for only one-tenth is payable in cash, the 
rest of the money being spread over nine 
years." 

" Having secured your land, and disbursed 
more than half your capital, what did you do 
next? " 

" I set about getting a house built ; and in 
the meantime the C.P.R. lent me one rent free, 
with coals and light. My house and a stable 
(30 feet by 28 feet) cost 125, the price being 
so low because my boy and I did a lot of the 
work. Then I paid 135 8s. 4d. for four 
horses, 13 155. for harness, 11 55. for a 
plough, 16 135. 4d. for two cows, 5 8s. 4d. 
for a drag-harrow, and 7 145. 2d. for a disc- 
harrow. By that time I had less than 150 
left. But I was ready to begin farming." 

" Of which," I interpolated, " you had no 
previous experience? " 

" Practically none," said Mr. Buckley. " I 
knew something about animals, having been 
a cattle-dealer in Ireland. In an amateurish 
way, I had also played about with a piece of 
land. But now, of course, I was taking up the 
business seriously, and I did not make the 
mistake of fancying I knew what I did not 
know. I find it a good plan to ask questions. 



94 NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 

One picks up a wrinkle here and a wrinkle 
there." 

"And how did the early crops come out? 
A neighbour of yours told me you made a 
phenomenal hit with your 1908 wheat." 

" So I did," the blushing farmer admitted. 
" It graded extra number one northern at Fort 
William, and fetched i dollar 4 cents a bushel, 
which was half a cent above the highest Winni- 
peg quotation of the season. It weighed 65! Ibs. 
to the bushel, and I was dumbfounded to see 
it described as the finest wheat ever grown in 
North America, if not in the world. When it 
became known that I was just a beginner, so 
to speak, and had only been farming three 
years, the journalists and magazine-writers 
came along to ask me how I did it. But the 
facts I had to tell them sounded more humili- 
ating than impressive." 

" Indeed?" 

" That wheat was grown on a fifty-acre field 
which, in the previous year, had yielded me 
a first crop that came out at 25 bushels 
to the acre. But when the time arrived for 
seeding it again, that field wasn't ploughed, 
because I hadn't the necessary horses avail- 
able. So, following the advice of some neigh- 



NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 95 

hours, I drilled in the seed (red Fyffe) on the 
stubble a very improper proceeding, of course. 
I didn't even disc the land. But I did harrow 
it after sowing, and in that operation I blun- 
dered badly. I harrowed in the direction I 
sowed, instead of crosswise. The pin of the 
harrow naturally ran in the groove made by, 
the disc of the drill, the firmer ground on either 
side keeping it in that course. An inevitable 
result was that much of the seed was rooted 
up, and the crop consequently worked out at 
only 20 bushels to the acre, compared with 
the 40 bushels secured by neighbours all 
around me. But, you see, in spite of my mis- 
takes, or because of them, the quality of the 
grain was remarkable." 

" A case of brilliant blundering," I sug- 
gested. 

" Ah ! " confessed my contrite companion. 
" I haven't yet told you about the worst blunder 
of all. I had made the grievous mistake of 
breaking that bit of prairie at the end of July 
and the beginning of August, instead of in 
June, which is the proper time for the work." 

' Then the moral of the whole affair would 
apparently be," I said, " that the more mistakes 
one makes the better." 



9 6 NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 

" Oh, no, no," cried the horrified farmer. 
' You must not forget that, compared with my 
neighbours, I lost over 150 on that crop. 
Besides," he modestly added, " I have since 
found how, by avoiding mistakes, one can com- 
bine a heavy yield with a good position on the 
prize list." 

So far as prosperity went, there seemed 
nothing to choose between Mr. Buckley and 
such of his neighbours as I interviewed. I 
found one rejoicing over the fact that, from 
an irrigated area of forty acres, he had just 
harvested such superb wheat that it had already 
sold for seed at a dollar and a half per bushel, 
at which price that fraction of his year's crop 
represented a profit nearly as large as the cost 
of his quarter-section. 

The rudiments of irrigation were explained 
to me. At the highest available point on each 
quarter-section there is an adjustable exit from 
a C.P.R. distributing ditch. Using discretion, 
the farmer makes minor ditches, with radiating 
plough furrows to distribute the water by 
gravitation all over his irrigable land. 

My inquiries brought to light two incidental 
advantages of the system. In the previous 
year a prairie fire broke out, and as the grass 



NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 97 

was dry, it threatened to spread far, and involve 
valuable crops. The water-gates were opened 
and the fire was promptly extinguished. 

It was an appreciative housewife who first 
told me of the other unforeseen boon provided 
by artificial watering. The Bow River is full 
of toothsome fishes, many of which are swept 
down the long mileage of canals and ditches. 
Thus the farmer, having opened his water-gates 
overnight, is apt next morning to find, flopping 
about in his furrows, a welcome change in the 
breakfast dietary. 

" I've picked up some five-pounders," one 
agricultural gourmand assured me. 

Taking the train from Gleichen to Strath- 
more, I visited the C.P.R. experimental farm, 
where Professor W. J. Elliott, besides testing 
the neighbourhood's suitability for various 
kinds of grain and plants, is ever at hand to 
solve the agricultural doubts and difficulties 
of C.P.R. settlers. I found him besieged by 
newly-established farmers eager for guidance ; 
but he spared time to take me rapidly through 
his plantations, where I strove to share his 
enthusiasm over some white hull-less barley 
and a new field pea for hogs. 

My drive to Nightingale took me past many 

The Golden Land. Q 



98 NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 

simple homes established on the undulating 
prairie, where clusters of white tents camps 
of the railway constructors were also visible. 
For Nightingale was soon to have a station 
and two lines of its own. Approaching one 
of these canvas villages, I saw, on crossing a 
stream, my first musk rat . The gang, it seemed, 
had just captured a fine black bear. Tethered 
to a post, the philosophic creature showed no 
resentment of restraint. 

Ten minutes later found me among the trim 
little homes of Nightingale ; and soon I was 
lunching with Mr. and Mrs. Carlton, the un- 
official mayor and mayoress of the new com- 
munity. He was a poultry farmer of Lowestoft, 
and I learnt that his hundred fellow-citizens 
include a butcher, a veterinary surgeon, a pig 
breeder, a coal merchant, two engineers, a 
Scotch gardener with a large family, a clerk, 
a marine surveyor, a retired Indian Civil ser- 
vant, a schoolmaster, a rural innkeeper, a mate 
of the Merchant Service, a Norfolk farmer, and 
a piano tuner. That, at least, is what they 
were when, six months before, they left Great 
Britain. Now they had all become farmers. 

But their farming is not to be of the familiar 
Canadian kind landscapes of grain. Their 



NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 99 

properties average eighty acres. Growing 
wheat and oats for an easy beginning, they 
will gradually work their way, to the more com- 
pact industries of dairying, poultry farming, 
pig raising, and market gardening, produc- 
ing only as much grain as they themselves will 
require. For it is felt that this irrigated land 
affords a fine opportunity for mixed and in- 
tensive farming. 

I visited about a dozen of Nightingale's 
citizens, and found them all busy, hopeful, and 
jolly. A Cambridge M.A. was digging a cellar 
and whistling. One engineer was intent on 
the community's flour -mill. The other was 
wrestling with a costly petrol machine that 
will plough ten acres a day a luxury to which 
the community had just treated itself. For 
Nightingale has already perceived the wisdom 
of co-operation. It saves twenty cents a 
bushel by buying its seed 'in bulk. On the 
day of my visit it had just opened its co-opera- 
tive store, and, as the first customer from with- 
out, I made my historic purchase of an ounce 
of tobacco. 

But I have not yet explained how far Sir 
Thomas developed his idea. When these 
British settlers arrived on the ground, each 



ioo NIGHTINGALE IN IRRICANA 

of the twenty-four families found, not only their 
home and outhouses built, and their well sunk, 
and their fences up, but forty of their acres 
ploughed and already green with a growing 
crop. 

It was stipulated that each family should 
possess at least 200 wherewith to buy imple- 
ments and tide over the initial period of no 
returns. The cost of land, buildings, &c., was 
to be met by ten annual payments, the first 
not being due until a remunerative crop had 
been harvested. 

Colonisation by means of the " Ready-made 
Farm " is to-day an idea in its infancy. It may 
mark an epoch in the development of Canada. 



CHAPTER VII 

IN A LOGGING CAMP 

Climbing into a forest Butterflies and burnt trees 
The various climates of British Columbia Asleep 
on a log Our arrival at the camp Exploring the 
skidway Disconcerting experiences The falling 
tree An invitation to supper A strange and silent 
meal " Pass the carrots " A race of semi- wild cats 
Ten fluffy black kittens Furtive philanthropy 
Sleeping on the floor An early-morning toilet 
My personally-conducted tour The terrifying cable 
Meeting a rushing log Preoccupied toilers 
Shrieking donkey engines Opening up a new road 
A sorely tried hook-tender Buckers and snipers 
How I nearly broke my spine Tree-felling des- 
cribed The gold-miner's story A backwoodsman's 
shack An arrival of venison The logs' last 
journey. 

CROSSING to West Vancouver in a petrol 
launch, my brother and I climbed into the 
forest on a mammoth ladder two miles high. 
That, at least, is what it felt like to be tip- 



102 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

toeing from sleeper to sleeper up a cable rail- 
way that ascended the mountain at a precipitous 
gradient. 

There was no side space to afford one's feet 
the relief of even ground. Only to the breadth 
of the sleepers had that avenue been carved 
through the timber jungle, which was aglow 
with the bronzed and golden foliage of autumn, 
the vivid greens of cedar, fir, and hemlock, 
the silvery mosses on fallen trunks that pro- 
truded amid sub -tropical undergrowth, and the 
towering black relics of burnt trees standing 
stark against the sky gaunt monuments of a 
forest fire which swept the mountain -side some 
thirty years ago. 

It was hot summer, with butterflies about 
a matter the more noteworthy to us since, two 
days before, trudging through a foot of snow, 
we were in a region where icicles two feet long 
hung from trees and rocks, and where, amid 
the clouds, I found a little frozen lake, which 
was a picture of dainty loveliness in the white 
solitude. And, standing in a garden not many 
miles away, I afterwards saw branches assisted 
by more than one prop to sustain their burden 
of large red apples, while roses and sweet -peas, 
in a medley of other familiar flowers, were 



IN A LOGGING CAMP 103 

blooming in June perfection. For in 
marvellous British Columbia the seasons are 
a matter of altitude rather than of the calendar . 
Climbing a few miles of mountain, you can 
always find hard winter at midsummer ; bask- 
ing in the southern plains and valleys a 
district destined to world-wide fame for fruit- 
growing you enjoy sunny summer far into the 
winter. 

But to return to the physical ordeal, so dis- 
tressing to one's instep, of labouring up that 
timbered height overlooking the Gulf of 
Georgia. After about an hour of it, limp 
and perspiring, I lay on a stupendous log, and 
fell asleep to awaken anon in better shape 
for resuming my ascent of that pathway of 
irregular stairs, which tapered to a remote in- 
completeness in the overhead perspective. 

At last we came to a little wooden hut, 
though it proved to be unoccupied, and with 
the door shut. Going still higher, we came 
to another little wooden hut also deserted, but 
having a reassuring clothes-line with socks and 
a shirt hung out to dry. A little later the vista 
opened on a clearing in the forest, where the 
railway ran through a scene littered with timber 
and untidiness. In the yellow confusion of 



104 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

logs and bark and chips, a number of rough 
shanties stood inconspicuous. For they were 
fashioned out of split cedar, unplaned, un- 
painted, and of a common hue with the chaotic 
surroundings . 

A sturdy old greybeard was at work with 
an adze on the line. Elsewhere another 
veteran was slowly chopping wood. A bull 
terrier, fortunately chained, demonstrated hos- 
tility at our approach. 

We had arrived at the logging camp. But 
where was the foreman, to whom I bore a 
letter of introduction? 

The greybeard pointed to where the railway 
disappeared in the lofty jungle the foreman, 
he said, was away up there. So we applied 
our sore feet to further mountaineering. Nor 
had we climbed far into the forest shadows 
before we found the track obstructed by strange 
machinery on wheels. We edged past the 
great black thing, and promptly came to the 
end of the rails. But, what was of more 
moment to us, here was another wooden 
structure, whence came sounds of human 
shouting, and of blows struck upon an anvil. 
Indisposed for detailed explanations were the 
half -naked toilers in that busy forge. I 



IN A LOGGING CAMP 105 

gathered, however, that the foreman was higher 
up. 

The railway was succeeded by a log -way, 
felled trees being sunk in the ground to form 
a gigantic gutter. Along it lay a stout steel 
cable, and on one side, a few feet from the 
ground, ran a wire loosely hooked to tree- 
stumps. We plunged on through the narrow 
avenue, made treacherous by moss and mire 
and running water. 

Presently there occurred an incline so steep 
that, to avoid falling backwards, we had to 
clamber on all fours. This was followed by 
a corresponding declivity, down which we went 
floundering at an accelerated pace. Below, 
among the rocks and ferns, I heard a tumbling 
torrent, which proved to be spanned by a 
bridge of huge tree-trunks. 

It was a slow, steep, and stubborn climb 
up the opposite side of the ravine ; and at last 
we came to another piece of machinery, not 
inert like the last, but snorting, steaming, and 
whistling, with grimy men busy about it 
though the purpose of their activities and 
shouting was by no means clear to me. It 
was enough that, according to such curt 
directions as they vouchsafed, the official I 



io6 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

sought was somewhere still farther along the 
avenue, which now branched at right angles 
into a denser region of forest. Here also was 
the raised wire on our left, the stout steel cable 
lying at our feet, and a second cable, of in- 
ferior girth, stretching through the bushes on 
our right. But this avenue had no floor of 
sunken logs. The way was rugged with stones 
and hillocks and the stumps of newly-cut trees . 
For long we floundered on and up through 
our slit of sunlight in that realm of shadows 
and green transparency. But soon I paused 
irresolute at the head of a second ravine ; and, 
peering down the abrupt slope, we saw the 
parallel lines of another bridge spanning a 
waterway great trunks in reality, but looking 
mere sticks in the distance. Voices arose from 
out the depths, and we heard the echoing blows 
of an axe. A minute later, high up I saw a 
moving tree -top, while the tiny figures of men 
were visible below as they suddenly scurried. 
Following a shrieking crescendo of tearing 
branches and splitting wood, a tree went crash- 
ing down with a report like thunder. And 
behold ! it had fallen with precise accuracy 
to form the sixth section in that bridge of 
logs. 



IN A LOGGING CAMP 107 

The sequel was tame. All the men, now 
with their coats on, and carrying tin cans, came 
helter-skelter up the slope. In the procession 
that filed past me so rapidly I soon had picked 
out the foreman. Crunching my letter in his 
pocket, he bade us follow him ; which we did, 
wondering what so much expedition might 
signify. Floundering and slipping, but escap- 
ing the expected fall, we were hot on his 
heels upon reaching the camp, now growing 
dim with evening shadows. A big timber 
structure had swallowed the procession of re- 
turning toilers. The foreman was on its 
threshold when, noting that we had paused, he 
shot over his shoulder the terse invitation, " I 
guess there's room for you." 

The interior was bare as a large wooden 
building can be. Some thirty dirty men sat 
silently eating at a long trestle table. By 
gesture, the foreman directed us to fill empty 
places that occurred in one line of feasters, 
he himself going to the other end of the 
opposite bench. 

In stepping across the meagre area of vacant 
seat, I was so unfortunate as to give my right- 
hand neighbour a gentle, but muddy, kick. 
At my apologies, his blank astonishment, 



io8 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

unaccompanied by comment, confirmed a 
misgiving that, without preparation or pre- 
meditation, I had blundered into a society ruled 
by an etiquette of which I did not know the 
rudiments. So I glanced about me with the 
anxious eye of a novice. Nor, as I soon per- 
ceived, was there any need to scrutinise my 
surroundings by stealth. No one heeded the 
strangers ; all, with gaze fixed on their plates, 
gave full attention to the meal that in Canada is 
known as supper. A plate and cup and saucer, 
with knife, fork, and spoon all of iron were 
before me. The table was crowded with large 
metal pans of which the contents varied from 
baked meat to stewed prunes supplemented 
by large metal jugs. 

For half a minute I was uncertain how to 
begin. Then I had my clue from a near neigh- 
bour, who abruptly put out an arm and 
captured a slice of beef with his fork, assisted 
by his thumb. I put out my arm and my 
fork, and soon had acquired selected samples 
of the food within reach. For long the only 
sounds were those incidental to eating. But 
occasionally the silence was broken by an un- 
compromising " Pass the carrots " or " Pass 
the tea." 



IN A LOGGING CAMP 109 

On leaving the dining-hall, I introduced 
myself to the camp storekeeper, whom I dis- 
covered in the act of nursing a little black 
kitten. Under examination he reluctantly told 
me how the mother cat came to be there. 

Last year a man was seen walking to the 
waterside and carrying a wriggling sack. 
Following an exchange of personalities, pussy 
was rescued and brought into camp ; and in 
this connection I heard of the race of semi- 
wild cats which, originating from pets that 
stayed behind when logging parties moved on, 
now roam the forests of British Columbia, to 
the detriment of partridges and other game. 
With that strain in the parentage, what wonder 
that, as the storekeeper mentioned, he can 
catch only one of the ten little kittens that 
live under his floor? 

After an awkward pause, the storekeeper 
stepped to the adjoining shed, and, having 
suffered his nursling to depart through a hole 
in the wall, he drew from his pocket a plentiful 
supply of meat and placed it on the ground. 

" Some one's got to feed them," he apolo- 
gised, " and as they live at my place the job 
falls to me." 

Here the storekeeper was called away to 



no IN A LOGGING CAMP 

supply a customer with tobacco, and it chanced 
that I took a temporary seat within the shadow 
of a wood pile. Unseen myself, I presently 
witnessed the slow and casual approach of a 
man who, on reaching the shed, went in hastily 
and threw something down beside the entrance 
to the kitten's covert ; which done, he lost 
no time in absconding. 

Presently there came loitering' to the scene 
another man, whom I recognised for one of 
my neighbours at the supper table. He paused 
at the shed, and turned to glance behind him. 
Then that rough old lumber-jack stepped 
inside, and he, too, made his contribution to 
the breakfast of ten little fluffy black kittens. 
How many other furtive philanthropists came 
that way I cannot tell, for, when the coast was 
clear, I emerged from my seclusion with the 
guilty feeling of one who has stolen a secret. 

That night my brother and I lay on the 
floor of the store, amid apples, boots, and 
canned salmon, having first availed ourselves 
of permission to help ourselves, so far as 
blankets were concerned, from the stock of 
the establishment. The foreman and store- 
keeper, who occupied wooden bunks in the 
same apartment, warned us before turning out 




.: 



WHEN MY BROTHER WAS SKETCHING THE CAMP" (PAGE III). 



IN A LOGGING CAMP in 

the light that, if we wanted any breakfast, we 
should have to rise when they did. 

Dawn was competing with night when, open- 
ing a sleepy eye upon an unfamiliar scene, 
I found the foreman sluicing his face over 
a metal basin set upon a box which done, 
and to prepare the way for some one else's 
toilet, he emptied the basin through a crack 
in the floor. 

Thus at chilly daybreak, re-entering the 
large wooden shed, we broke our fast with 
the same thirty silent men in whose company 
we had supped overnight. But not till two 
hours later, when my brother was sketching 
the camp, did I accept the storekeeper's invita- 
tion to go with him and see the men at work. 
That he found himself at leisure was due, it 
seemed, to a special state of affairs. In 
addition to running the store, he had to measure 
the logs. But to-day there were no logs to 
measure, the men having recently been en- 
gaged on the arduous task, always rich in per- 
plexing enigmas, of extending their sphere of 
operations across a ravine which circumstance 
doubtless explained a certain terseness that 
had been observable in the foreman's con- 
versation. 



ii2 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

" Getting the first logs to run along a new 
skidway is always a job," said the storekeeper, 
as we ascended the treacherous avenue I trod 
on the previous evening. "Be careful how 
you go. Keep out of the way of the cable. 
It might stun any one if it hit them." 

Ever since we passed the donkey engine, 
my eye had been on that cable. Last night it 
had lain passive in the slime and mosses. This 
morning it was possessed by a spirit of feverish 
unrest : now leaping on a quick tension, to 
sway and shudder in the air ; now jerking 
higher or lower, without the hint of a warning ; 
now thumping back to earth, perhaps wide 
of where it rose . 

"And suppose it broke?" I protested. 

" That does happen sometimes," said the 
storekeeper. ' You see, when it is hauling 
a ten -ton log at full steam and the log fouls 
with a rock, something's got to give, and it's 
usually the cable. Then the broken ends fly 
back, and it wouldn't be nice to be hit by one 
of them. But of course the men know when 
it's best to stand clear." 

I could picture the possibility of standing 
clear. What worried me was the impossibility 
of keeping clear whilst moving. The trees, 



IN A LOGGING CAMP 113 

upright and fallen, barred one's way outside the 
narrow width in which that steel cord was per- 
forming its treacherous stratagems. 

But the storekeeper's words hinted at a 
development of which we were now promised 
an illustration. On a sudden the cable, with- 
out ceasing to leap and sway, became a flash- 
ing line of undefined coils, and we perceived 
that it was travelling rapidly in a contrary 
direction to ourselves. 

Simultaneously there was a rustle of leaves 
and twigs, and I noticed that the cable of 
inferior girth was tearing its way through the 
jungle on our right. 

' They are connected, you see," said the 
storekeeper, " and they run through a winch 
half a mile from the donkey engine, which 
hauls one in while it pays the other" out." 

" And what is this for ? " I asked, pointing 
to the thin wire that ran within reach on the 
left of the skidway. 

" Don't touch it ! " said the storekeeper. 
' That's the signalling wire by which the men 
on ahead communicate with the engine behind 
us. ... Here ! Follow me." 

Heedless of thorns, moss, and dignity, I 
scrambled after him into the jungle and only 



The Golden Land. 



ii4 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

just in time. Part of a tree, huge and heavy, 
went thundering and blundering along the 
pathway we had just vacated. Then we 
resumed our journey. 

After patiently facing danger for half an 
hour, my natural optimism induced me to 
believe that twenty yards ahead, where we saw 
human figures and another donkey engine, 
safety awaited us. But the storekeeper said : 

" Of course this part is all right. It's when 
we get on to the new skidway that we've got 
to be a bit careful." 

I never felt more like climbing up a tree 
to get out of the way. But there are times 
when it is best to disguise one's emotions ; 
and, making no comment, I pushed doggedly 
on. 

We spoke to the men when we reached the 
head of the skidway ; but, apart from muttered 
irrelevancies, they made no reply. Their minds 
and muscles were engaged by a log that 
was openly defying the shrieking donkey 
engine . 

There being nothing to detain us, we con- 
tinued our journey into the newly-carved 
avenue. The last I heard of the busy toilers 
was one of them shouting that we had better 



IN A LOGGING CAMP 115 

be careful or we might get our necks broken 
an admonition that failed to serve as a nerve 
sedative. 

Half way down the new skidway we met 
the overwrought and gesticulating foreman ; 
and it was from behind a stronghold of Douglas 
firs that we saw a gigantic log come jerkily 
and drunkenly up the incline, butting at 
boulders, colliding with trees, ploughing up 
fountains of earth and stones, rolling far out 
of the appointed course, and smashing and 
crashing its way through the thicket. 

To see such work on hand, such stupendous 
forces in play, makes a man feel insignificant, 
feeble, and helpless. At least, I am speaking 
for myself certainly not for the foreman, 
whose eyes were on fire with self-reliance and 
a determination to win against all odds and 
hazards . 

" Now that's gone through," commented the 
storekeeper, " he'll feel ever so much more 
comfortable in his mind. The road will soon 
work all right now. Every log makes it easier 
for the next. I daresay, though, we shall find 
the hook-tender pretty sick." 

Five minutes later, when we had come to 
the end of the avenue, the hook -tender figured 



ii6 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

prominently in a group of men known in the 
profession as chasers who were toiling, per- 
spiring, and shouting. They had taken off 
their coats, they had taken off their shirts, and 
they were prepared, I do not doubt, to rid 
themselves of any other garment, if only that 
would assist matters. 

Once get a log on the skidway and, as 
we have seen, the cable can do the rest. But 
you must first drag your log from among all 
the other logs that cumber the ground. 

The hook-tender connected his tackle and 
bade the donkey-driver put on full power ; but 
the engine advanced towards the log instead 
of the log advancing towards the engine. 

It seemed unkind to be looking on ; so the 
storekeeper and I journeyed forward, crawling 
and sprawling from one felled tree to another 
in that area of mangled forest. 

Should I ever belong to a logging camp, 
I should wish to be either a bucker or a sniper. 
The work of both is free from heart-breaking 
hindrances . Into convenient lengths the former 
saws the trees ; then the latter chops round 
the extremity of each log, to facilitate its pro- 
gress on the skidway. We came across two 
mossy snipers who, without desisting from 



IN A LOGGING CAMP 117 

their invigorating toil, gave us complacent 
greetings. 

I admired the sure-footed way in which my 
companion leaped from one recumbent tree to 
another ; but attempted emulation nearly cost 
me a broken spine. 

" I ought to have told you," murmured the 
sympathetic storekeeper, " that our boots have 
spikes in the soles." 

Finally we came to the felling, which proved 
a test of one's nerves and faith. There is a 
first feller and a second feller ; and, seated 
on a mammoth cedar, we saw how they earned 
their four dollars a day. 

One would suppose that the solid earth was 
the place for a man to stand on while cutting 
down a tree. But no; the fellers of British 
Columbia begin by providing themselves with 
perches. A few deft blows with the axe cut 
a notch in the tree several feet from the ground . 
That notch receives one end of a short length 
of wood a few inches wide and very tough and 
elastic. Standing on those projecting spring- 
boards of which the position can be altered, 
within a limited radius, by expert feet the two 
fellers, with alternate strokes of their axes, 
make a wide, gaping incision in the trunk. 



u8 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

This is the " under-cut," to control the fall. 
Precisely where it will be most advantageous 
to lay the tree (it must not fall across a log, 
for fear of fracture) the first feller has already 
decided. Note him insert his axe in the 
" under-cut " and spy along the handle. He 
is " sighting," and, if this observation show 
the need, he will slice more deeply on one 
side or other of the yawning chasm. 

" Are you quite sure it won't fall over here ? " 
I asked the storekeeper ; for the tree looked 
sixty feet high and we were not ten yards 
away. 

4 We're safe enough," rejoined the store- 
keeper. ' That man always knows to half a 
foot where he will throw a tree." 

Already the two toilers were sawing through 
the trunk from the opposite side to the " under- 
cut." They stopped; and the first feller, 
sweeping back his black locks, and putting 
an open palm to his cheek, bawled : 

" O-ho ! Look out down hill ! O-ho ! " 

The echoes died away, and we all listened 
to the silence of the forest. 

" Is any one there, do you think? " I whis- 
pered. 

" There might be a swamper," said the store- 



IN A LOGGING CAMP 119 

keeper. " I think I heard one a few minutes 
ago. Swampers, you know, go round cutting 
things out of the way." 

The sawing was resumed. It continued for 
several minutes. Then once more the first 
feller shouted his solemn warning down into 
the maze of trees. 

Three more strokes of the saw and it was 
swiftly withdrawn. The fellers had leaped to 
the ground, and were beating a quick retreat. 
The tree was moving, and in the expected 
direction, but how slowly, silently, and calmly ! 
Within the measure of the next three beats of 
my pulse, what din and havoc were caused 
by the law of gravitation and that thirty-ton 
column of timber ! At the awful thud, I 
felt the crust of the earth shudder beneath 
me. 

The experience affects one with a sense of 
man's power and presumption. Nature is 
occupied through many a decade in slowly up- 
raising those magnificent trees, strong to with- 
stand the sternest tempest. But here was that 
feller, with his axe and his saw and his bottle 
of oil, heeling them over, one after the other, 
like ninepins . 

I was glad to return into camp. It came 



120 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

as a gracious relief to be seated on a rock in 
the sunshine, listening while the old greybeard 
told me the strange story of his life. 

It seemed he had been a gold-miner, off 
and on, ever since he arrived as a lad from 
England, nearly fifty years ago. He had kept 
single for the sake of the gold, on which his 
dreams, his ambition, and his energies had 
focussed. He had worked for long spells in 
logging camps ; he had endured privations on 
protracted railway and Government surveys ; 
he had spent solitary seasons trapping the mink, 
the beaver, and the silver fox. But logging, 
surveying, and trapping had been but means 
to an end. With the savings he accumulated 
in those vocations, he would go back to the 
gold-fields and try yet another claim. 

" Always with the same result," deplored the 
old man. " Others would do well ; but never 
me. I could name men worth their hundreds 
of thousands who have worked next to me 
in the creek. They struck it; I missed it. 
Of course sometimes I arrived too late, when 
all the best claims were taken. I arrived too 
late at the Klondike. But mostly it has been 
sheer bad luck. The stuff might pan out just 
to keep me going for a few months, but sooner 



IN A LOGGING CAMP 121 

or later I always went broke, and had to begin 
all over again to get a few hundred dollars 
together, ready for another start. It's been 
lumbering I've turned to for the last fifteen 
years. For when a man's over sixty, he's not 
so ready to take things rough as when he was 
younger. In these camps you get your victuals 
cooked for you, and a roof over your head. 
A man appreciates such conveniences when 
he's getting on in years." 

" Surely you won't bother any more about 
g old -mining ?" I suggested. 

The old fellow did not at once reply, and 
when he did so his head was hanging and 
his voice was low. 

" It was my seventy-third birthday," he said, 
" when I gave up my last claim. Not that 
I had any thought it was to be the last. But 
when I came in here well, well, they meant 
it kindly they wouldn't let me do my share 
on the skidway. So my job is to stay in camp 
and sharpen the saws out of harm's way. It 
set me thinking that perhaps it's time I gave 
in. Then I've had another thought if I'd only 
kept all my savings, I'd be a rich man to-day. 
But all my life I've been pouring gold into 
the gravel, instead of getting gold out of it. 



122 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

No ; I won't go back to the creek. When I've 
done here I'll have a bit by me enough to 
get half an acre of land somewhere and keep 
a few hens. They'll maybe see the old man 
through to the end." 

For several minutes he filed at his saw with- 
out speaking. Then, looking up with a smile, 
he said : 

" If I had my time over again, do you know 
what I'd do? Why, just what I have done. 
There is nothing to equal a life in the woods. 
As to the cities ugh ! Sometimes I'll go and 
stay at Vancouver. But after two days of it 
I get fidgety and have to come away. Why, 
there's nothing to do there ! Out in the woods 
a man can always find something to occupy 
him, if it's only putting a patch on his 
trousers, or turning to and washing his 
shirt. Come and see an old backwoods- 
man's cabin." 

He led me into his cedar shack a simple 
interior with a stove and two bunks, one for 
himself and one for his dog. 

I noted the weapon lying across his pillow. 

" Yes," he said, " I always have my gun in 
bed with me." 

Hearing a sudden commotion, we both went 



^& 




IN A LOGGING CAMP 123 

hurrying to the door. Two strange sights com- 
peted for my attention. 

The storekeeper, as I knew, had recently 
gone forth in quest of game. He had just 
returned, triumphantly dragging a slain deer 
that looked as large as himself. 

My view of the sportsman and his quarry 
was, however, soon obstructed by an ugly 
roofed locomotive clearly the great black 
machine I had passed overnight which was 
slowly descending the railway, and hauling a 
procession of twenty enormous logs. 

Bidding the old man a hurried farewell, I 
walked down the two miles of sleepers in the 
wake of that remarkable train. The engine 
came to a standstill on the picturesque little 
pier, but the logs were side-tracked into the 
water . With many others, they were afterwards 
lashed into a gigantic raft, which a tug towed 
away to a Vancouver sawmill. 

My outline of life and work in a logging 
camp (and in a logging camp situated on un- 
usually difficult ground) will illustrate one 
never-failing opening for labour in British 
Columbia, Northern Ontario, and other districts 
of Canada. 

A man who has taken up land may find it 



i2 4 IN A LOGGING CAMP 

necessary, during early stages of development, 
to devote part of his time to wage -earning. 
He has his opportunity in the logging- 
camps. Lacking previous experience, of course 
he will not be engaged as foreman, hook-tender, 
or feller. But, if he be not afraid of work, 
he will be welcomed into the fraternity of 
lumber-jacks, and be paid from ten to twelve 
shillings a day. 



CHAPTER VIII 

FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 

A nonagenarian immigrant The hand of destiny : a 
remarkable story of derelict orchards An outlaw 
and his plush frame Why Mr. Johnstone's visitors 
stayed to dinner The smothered apple-trees 
Pioneer work at Nelson A rescued plantation 
The unknown genius A mining town in a new 
character Sir T. Shaughnessy and the challenge 
cup Apples of juicy sweetness My lesson in fruit- 
packing " Back-to-the-land " enthusiasm in B. C. 
Orchard of an English lady From four Ibs. to 
four car-loads of prunes Overburdened trees, and 
how they are treated The testimony of the forests 
My feast of blackberries Lofty raspberry-canes 
Settlers from Cornwall Their stages of evolution 
Fruit ranches in exquisite scenery Searching for 
the best location Profits from orchards What the 
beginner may expect Hints to intending immi- 
grants The minimum capital necessary Average 
price of cleared land Blasting the roots Cost of 
a modest house How to succeed with fruit and 
poultry A warning. 

PROBABLY Canada's oldest immigrant is the 
Rev. Mr. Johnstone, who arrived at Nelson, 



126 FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 

in British Columbia, at the age of ninety-seven . 
He had been there five years when, talking 
with me, he stretched forth a hand of bene- 
diction towards the red and golden orchard, 
where his youngest grandchild Baby of the 
laughing mouth was picking peaches. Often 
in mid -winter, the old minister told me, he 
is out upon the veranda ; for he has a Scotch- 
man's appreciation of sunshine. A generous 
enthusiasm for the land of his tardy adoption 
is, however, kept within the bounds of common 
sense : " Aye, sir, Canada's a glorious coun- 
try, but it isn't Edinburgh." 

All of which has to do with the growing of 
apples . For, after his successful adventure out 
West, the son tried to live with his father in 
Scotland. But the call of the fruit and the 
freedom was not to be withstood ; and the end 
of it was that the father came out to live with 
his son in Canada. 

And note how curiously a love of horticulture 
has moulded the mining career of Nelson's 
fruit pioneer. Having won his spurs at rail- 
way construction in British Columbia, James 
Johnstone accepted a tempting offer to cross 
the border, and try his hand at that business 
in the mountainous region infested by bandits 



FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 127 

who objected to trains where East and West 
Virginia abut on Kentucky and Tennessee. 
That he succeeded where others had failed was 
due to his tact, of which I will give a startling 
instance . 

The chief of the outlaws was human enough 
to take a pride in the photographs of five 
relatives he had been inhuman enough to slay. 
Johnstone presented him with a plush frame 
having five apertures of suitable size for dis- 
playing those grim mementoes, and thence- 
forth the young contractor had nothing to fear 
from the miscreant and his minions. 

Meanwhile Johnstone was devoting spare 
time to the garden that supplied his table with 
small fruits and vegetables, and thereby assisted 
him to win a singular reputation. Occasional 
visitors to that backward region, and notably 
the wealthy owner of its mineral resources, got 
into the habit of seeking hospitality at the only, 
house where a civilised meal could be obtained. 
And one day, in a spirit of reciprocity, that 
guest granted his host the free choice of a 
coal concession. 

Johnstone rode out to make his selection, 
and on coming to a ruined shack, and liking 
the look of the land for a garden, he wan- 



128 FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 

dered in the scrub, and was amazed to find 
the half-suffocated relics of a long-forgotten 
orchard. That settled it ; the adjoining terri- 
tory became Johnstone's remunerative mine, 
and the fruit-trees blossomed again. And in 
time, having recrossed the border a well-to-do 
man, he made his home in beautiful Nelson, 
then merely a mining town. 

People said Johnstone must surely be crazy 
when, having bought land on the other side of 
the lake, he announced his intention to grow 
apples there. But to-day, when Nelson is 
almost hemmed in by thriving orchards, John- 
stone is honoured as fruit pioneer of the district 
a title that sets him shaking his head. And 
certainly there are, among his productive trees, 
many obviously older than his occupation of 
the land : of which state of things the explana- 
tion is identified with a coincidence almost 
uncanny. For ere he bought the property, he 
found there another derelict hut and another 
buried orchard. 

Of the veritable pioneer, Johnstone knows 
only that he was a Swiss and a genius. 
Pomological experts have just proclaimed the 
discovery that, to ensure adequate pollination 
of Spitzenberg, it must be planted in close 



FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 129 

association with the red-cheeked pippin. Now, 
therefore, Johnstone understands why he has 
taken so many first prizes with his inherited 
trees of the former variety, each of which he 
found growing next to one of the latter. Now, 
also, he understands why, in every hollow of the 
old orchard, a Mclntosh was planted experi- 
ence revealing that kind as peculiarly sensitive 
to wind. 

I tell this story of cultural beginnings at 
Nelson because it is typical in essence, though 
not, of course, in detail of cultural beginnings 
elsewhere in British Columbia. At first there 
has been local scepticism for the pioneer to 
face. Later there has been outside scepticism 
for the locality to face. 

" I thought," cried Sir Thomas Shaughnessy 
when pressing persuasion had brought him 
to Nelson's first fruit show " that it was all a 
joke about your gardening. Why " as his 
eye roamed over the stages of glorious apples 
" these are more interesting than your ores " ; 
and, to excite emulation in local orchards, 
he straightway went off and ordered a silver 
challenge-cup forgetting in his enthusiasm, as 
he afterwards confessed, to place any limit to 
the cost. 

The Golden Land. 1 Q 



130 FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 

Nelson certainly came as a delightful and 
almost droll surprise to me, who spent three 
days there some eight years before. For on re- 
visiting a mining town one is unprepared to 
meet boys bearing superb bouquets through the 
streets, and to see real estate offices aglow 
with large red apples, not to mention suburban 
gardens full of laden fruit-trees and magnifi- 
cent flowers. 

But the appeal to the eye is, comparatively, 
speaking, of small importance. Visiting 
orchards in various districts of British 
Columbia, I tasted snows and spies of a 
juicy sweetness that my memory positively 
gloats over. There may be finer-flavoured 
apples in the world, but I have never tasted 
them ; and, owning an English orchard of com- 
mercial dimensions, I can at least claim to have 
a palate of some experience. 

I watched Mrs. Johnstone pack the carefully 
graded apples for market a privilege I wish 
some of my fruit-growing friends could have 
shared. In conscientious Canada fruit-pack- 
ing ranks as an art ; and for proficiency in 
this art that lady has won a gold medal. The 
boxes are of regulation size, and are sold in 
parts to be nailed together. A supreme 



FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 131 

obligation is so to place the unblemished fruits, 
wrapped individually in paper, that they, com- 
pletely fill the receptacle, without undue 
pressure of upper rows on lower, and with the 
requisite outward curve on the elastic top 
boards to compensate for shrinking in transit ; 
the proof of efficiency being that, on arrival at 
their destination, all shall be free from even 
the smallest bruise. 

At hotels and on trains, the bulk of the 
talk is in eastern Canada of dollars, in central 
Canada of bushels, and in western Canada of 
orchards. When I previously crossed the 
Dominion, British Columbia was glorying 
merely in its unrivalled timber, fisheries, 
scenery, and mineral resources. To-day fruit 
is a fifth feather in its cap. 

A " back-to -the -land " enthusiasm is spread- 
ing through all classes. The merchant has 
discovered the delight of living with his family 
in choice rural spots amid mauve mountains 
and beside lovely lakes ; his joy springing from 
a knowledge that the new home, with its sur- 
rounding plantation, is not merely pleasant but 
profitable. Thus you may overhear a boot 
manufacturer debating questions of pruning 
with commercial travellers, while the banker 



132 FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 

buttonholes the ship's purser to ask if late straw- 
berries do well on a western slope. And note, 
as belonging to the genius of Canada, that 
clever men in that country successfully engage 
simultaneously in several different lines of 
business. 

At Port Haney and Port Hammond I visited 
several fruit farms, including one of sixty acres 
planted fifteen years ago, and now owned and 
managed by an English lady widow of the 
original proprietor. Concerning her orchard 
of prunes, the enthusiastic testimony of a fellow- 
passenger gave me, as I was approaching the 
district, a preliminary inkling. 

One certainly could not hope to see a finer 
lot of healthy, shapely trees. The lady bore 
witness to their progressive fruitfulness in 
vivid language. 

" They looked such skinny little sticks of 
things," she told me, " when they were put in 
the ground. It needed quite a lot of faith to 
believe they would produce anything ; and I 
remember how excited we all were when we 
actually got four pounds of fruit from them. 
We also thought it rather fine when we picked 
four crates. There was less notice taken when 
the four crates became forty ; and by, the time 




A CROP OF " NORTHERN SPY " IX AX ORCHARD XEAR PORT 
HAMMOND, B.C. 



FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 133 

we were able to ship four car-loads of prunes 
nobody took any notice at all." (Goods are 
" shipped " by rail, I am sorry to say, in 
Canada.) 

It was in that lady's other orchard that I 
first saw crimson trees that is to say, apple- 
trees so densely and universally covered with 
fruit that their leaves and branches were prac- 
tically hidden. Besides apples, all one saw 
were the palisades of posts that strutted up 
the overburdened branches. It was a sight 
with which I was destined, during the next 
fortnight, to become very familiar ; and in this 
connection I may mention that a fruit farmer 
of British Columbia, judging by what I saw, 
needs to be something of a blacksmith. When 
a tree shows signs of splitting in two from the 
weight of its crop, a wrought-iron collar is 
clamped round the bole ; cases of fractured 
limbs being treated with screw-bolts and nuts. 
As an alternative, I pointed out, the burden 
might be adjusted to the tree's carrying 
capacity ; but this suggestion was laughed 
aside as involving an unnecessary loss of 
revenue as amounting, indeed, to a gratuitous 
rejection of the bounty of Providence. There 
was general testimony that these bumper crops 



134 FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 

were of constant recurrence, and that the trees 
took no harm from the rude expedients adopted 
for holding them together. 

At first I was not merely surprised, but a 
little perplexed, by the facility with which 
British Columbia grows all the familiar fruits 
in abundant quantity and of superb quality. 
But the phenomenon ceased to seem strange 
when I remembered the forests I had seen in 
the province, notably some near the city of 
Vancouver and on the island of that name. 
From a country that produces those immense 
Douglas firs, 300 feet high, many of them, 
and more than 1 2 feet in diameter, and pro- 
duces them, moreover, quite close together, and 
amid a labyrinth of tall and luxuriant under- 
growth from such a country anything might 
be expected. It manifestly represents a com- 
bination of soil and climate capable of supreme 
results in the domain of vegetation. 

And, talking about supreme results, I must 
not forget to mention the blackberries on which 
I feasted in the orchard of Mr. Pope, of Port 
Hammond an ex-Cornish miner who com- 
bines the nominal duties of district constable 
with the lucrative delights of fruit-growing. 
We think ourselves very fine people in this 



FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 135 

country, but we can't grow blackberries like 
they grow them in British Columbia. When, 
from a little distance, I first saw Mr. Pope's 
long rows of cultivated bushes, I thought they 
were draped with crape, so densely did the 
black clusters hang. To be eating those great 
juicy berries was to have discovered a new 
joy in life. 

" But why haven't you gathered them? " I 
asked in surprise. ' They are fully ripe in 
fact, I should have thought you had allowed 
them to mature too fully for successful mar- 
keting." 

" We gathered them several weeks ago," 
laughed Mr. Pope. " A very large crop it 
was, too, and brought in quite a bit of money. 
Of course the bushes go on bearing, but the 
fruit is no good now it has quite lost its 
flavour." 

What, therefore, those blackberries tasted 
like when, according to Mr. Pope, they did 
have a flavour, my imagination fails to conceive . 

41 We also did very well with these rasp- 
berries," my complacent companion added, as 
we strolled to another part of the orchard. I 
looked at the regiments of new canes in 
astonishment. It was the first time I had seen 



136 FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 

raspberries growing to a height that called for 
the use of a ladder in picking the fruit. 

It seemed that, from another end of the 
plantation, Mrs. Pope had noted my apprecia- 
tion of the blackberries, and she was so gracious 
as to bring the unknown visitor several fine 
bunches of her out-door grapes. They do that 
sort of thing in Canada. How it would fare 
with the complete stranger who casually walked 
into an English orchard, and started to ask 
questions and eat the fruit, is a point on which 
I prefer not to speculate. 

That contented couple told me they work 
hard and pretty continuously, on their land- 
cultivating, spraying, pruning, and picking. In 
some seasons they have been visited by. grubs 
and caterpillars that played havoc with certain 
crops. But I never found two human beings 
who rejoiced more heartily in their conditions 
and surroundings. 

' The life is so bright, so varied, and so 
healthy," testified the enthusiastic lady. ' I 
simply could not put up with a town after this." 

They left England more than ten years ago ; 
and in their case emigration did not involve 
severance from friends and neighbours. For 
they were followed to Canada by a congenial 



FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 137 

group of their Cornish acquaintances, several 
of whom are now fruit -farming in the Haney 
and Hammond district. 

" Of course you all had a little capital to 
start with?" I suggested. 

" Did we ! " replied Mr. Pope, much amused. 
" Who ever heard, I'd like to know, of a 
Cornish miner who was able to save money. 
No, sir ; we all own a bit of property now 
some more, some less ; but at the start every- 
body had to work for wages. Some went 
mining, others got work in the logging camps, 
several joined the railway gangs there were 
plenty of openings. And the pay was so good 
it was easy to put by. a few dollars every month. 
Once get a fair start like that, and the rest 
follows naturally. You buy a bit of land. You 
get a couple of cows and some poultry. You put 
in a few hundred fruit-trees and a few thousand 
strawberry runners. Very, likely you won't 
know much about growing things at first, but 
you pick it up as you go along, if you're not 
too proud to be taught by your neighbours. 
Then after a time your stock increases and you 
have some crops to gather. Very likely you 
see your way to do a bit more planting per- 
haps buy a bit more land. So it goes on. Ah! 



138 FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 

if those millions in the Old Country only knew ! 
If they could be made to understand what life 
in Canada really means ! Why, they'd come 
pouring over here in shiploads." 

I travelled hundreds of miles through the 
fruit districts, and visited ranch after ranch 
situated amid exquisite lake scenery some on 
irrigated, some on non -irrigated, land. Each 
rancher, not having seen the other districts, was 
exulting over the fact that his own was incom- 
parably the best. Kelowna pitied Kaslo ; the 
glorious Kootenays seemed positively, sorry for 
the Okanagan Valley. One fine young fellow 
had certainly paid for the right to believe that 
his house looked upon the fairest view in all 
Canada. 

" I spent 200 travelling all over British 
Columbia," he told me, " to find the best 
location. Having discovered this place," he 
jubilantly added, '* I consider the money was 
well invested." 

And certainly the west arm of the Kootenay 
Lake is a paradise. There are, however, 
others. 

My investigations left me no room to doubt 
that the matured fruit ranch, when run by a 
capable and industrious man, proves a fine in- 



FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 139 

vestment. I came across one Englishman a 
very clever Englishman, by, the way who paid 
2,000 for his large and well-stocked ranch, 
on which he has constructed a number of glass 
houses ; and his present annual gross returns 
precisely tally with his original outlay. I 
visited several growers who had cleared over 
100 per acre from apples, from strawberries, 
from cherries, and from other fruits. Nay, 
one experienced expert had, for several years 
in succession, made a net profit of 200 from 
less than an acre and a quarter of his orchard. 

Of course the intending rancher, who has 
everything to learn, must not base his calcula- 
tions on any such figures as these. Average 
experiences justify him in hoping no more than 
that, after the preliminary years of learning and 
development have elapsed, he will derive an 
annual profit of about 25 per acre from his 
trees . 

Fruit farmers by desire, if not by, training, 
scores of English families are thinking of 
migrating to superb British Columbia. By all 
means let them go, but allow me to fortify 
them with some facts I gathered on their 
behalf. 

To begin with, each family unless some 



140 FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 

members thereof are prepared at the outset to 
work for wages in other callings should have 
at least i , ooo at their command . The average 
price of good, cleared, accessible land is 
between 50 and 60 per acre, and ten acres 
will be desirable, especially if the family pro- 
pose to work their way to the economy of home- 
produced eggs, butter, milk, and bacon. But 
a beginning may be, and usually is, made with, 
say, three cleared acres ; and, of course, the 
seven uncleared acres will be purchasable at 
a price much below the average I have men- 
tioned. For upheaving great tree roots is a 
slow and costly business, usually done with 
gunpowder and donkey engines. And after 
the roots are up, sometimes there are numerous 
stones to remove. 

In the second place, a house must be pro- 
vided and furnished, a modest wooden build- 
ing (costing about 150) being customary. 
Moreover, trees and tools have to be pur- 
chased. Finally the family must be maintained 
until such time as marketable crops are pro- 
duced ; and the cost of living, when one has 
to depend on the stores for everything, is 
rather high in that country, where, however, 
substantial savings are effected under two 



j 




A FRUIT RANCH NEAR EARL GREYS ORCHARD ON THE WEST ARM OF 
THE KOOTENAY LAKE, B.C. 



FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 141 

heads. Expensive clothes, however necessary 
in West Kensington, would be out of place in 
British Columbia ; and doing without servants 
is part of the fun of living in Canada. 

Where knowledge is lacking, there must be 
a humble willingness to learn from neighbours . 
Fruit culture is an art that can be acquired only 
by practice wisely, directed. The same is true 
of poultry keeping a pursuit in which the 
cocksure novice, who relies on haphazard read- 
ing, is almost sure to lose money. But where 
plantations are the main interest, and poultry 
is a minor one, the necessary guidance, muscle, 
perseverance, and patience will result in an 
ample annual revenue, the owner's equanimity 
being assisted by a knowledge that the value 
of his property is constantly increasing. 

As a last word of warning, let the land-seeker 
beware of the silver-tongued stranger. Many 
new arrivals suffer grievous injustice at the 
hands of certain real estate agents who, by 
their misrepresentations, shed discredit on an 
honourable calling. 

In dealing with the Government and the 
C.P.R., a settler's interests are safe. But if, 
as may very likely happen, he contemplates 
making his purchase through a private channel, 



142 FRUIT GROWING IN B. C. 

let him act under the advice, sought and given 
in confidence, of some member of the local 
Board of Trade an association of leading 
citizens formed in every urban centre to further 
public interests. 



CHAPTER IX 
AIDED IMMIGRANTS FROM ENGLISH CITIES 

Public funds and emigration : a movement in its infancy 
Chief cause of delayed repayments Visit to Earl's 
Court, Toronto Turning shacks into villas Ex- 
periences of a West Ham man An early set-back 
Buying his piece of land What can be done with 
2 a week Building the house The delights and 
profits of gardening Another reason why remittances 
fail Strange case of X., the chef Why he lost 
two jobs On the Athabasca trail Cooking strange 
meats Six months' illness Turning the corner 
An Edmonton investment Unadaptable Englishmen 
Y's quarrel with the farmer Salvation Army emi- 
grants How to collect repayments : a suggestion 
Z. and his employers. 

RECENT years have witnessed the beginning 
of a movement which, aiming at direct benefit 
to the individual and the Empire, is both 
philanthropic and Imperial. I refer to the use 
of public money in enabling citizens of Great 
Britain, without loss of personal independence, 

to remove to Greater Britain. 

143 



H4 AIDED IMMIGRANTS 

The movement is in its infancy. During 
1909 the Central London Emigration Com- 
mittee and the provincial committees ( including 
that of West Ham), contributed only some 600 
individuals to Canada's total of 52,901 British 
immigrants ; while to show that contribution 
in the perspective of comparison the Dominion 
received, in the same year, 3,911 persons 
through the Salvation Army, and 901 boys 
and girls from Dr. Barnardo's Homes. 
But five years of experimental work afford a 
basis for criticism ; and during my travels in 
Canada I endeavoured by visiting families 
who had been officially transplanted to test 
the value of semi -Government emigration. 
More particularly on one point did I seek 
enlightenment, and in a somewhat anxious 
spirit. 

Assistance had been rendered on an under- 
standing that, following an interval of grace, 
the emigrant should return the cost of his 
transportation in monthly instalments of ten 
shillings. How came it I asked myself that, 
of the total sum due to be returned to the Com- 
mittees, only about 20 per cent, had actually 
been received? Such, at least, was the figure 
given in the latest printed returns available 



FROM ENGLISH CITIES 145 

when I left England, though it is but fair to 
mention the assurances I received from 
responsible officials that, since the date of 
those returns, the ratio of repayment had con- 
siderably improved, and was still improving. 

Those assurances closely tally, with a fact 
which, understood in a general way in England, 
is brought home with special force to an 
investigator in Canada. During the industrial 
depression that affected the American con- 
tinent in 1907 and 1908, Canada suffered a 
check in its galloping development, and great 
workshops near Earl's Court, as elsewhere, were 
temporarily closed. Now, Earl's Court is a 
remarkable Toronto suburb that has sprung 
up during the past year or so, and is mainly 
populated by mechanics and labourers from 
London and other English cities. It happens 
that a majority of the Committees' emigrants 
came under the influence of that depression ; 
and, as my inquiries at Earl's Court convinced 
me, there we have the chief cause of the dis- 
appointing 20 per cent, ratio of repayment. 

When I was at Earl's Court, its 2,000 in- 
habitants had, almost to a man, outlived the 
consequences of that serious setback. The 
interesting process of transforming shacks 

The Golden Land. 11 



146 AIDED IMMIGRANTS 

into substantial brick or timber houses was 
proceeding apace. Nay, the " Shack Town " 
of a year before was already a town of villas, 
if of villas strangely mingled with nondescript 
wooden structures. And here and there the 
visitor is amazed to see part of one of those 
magnified fowl-houses projecting from an 
unfinished villa ; for Canadian example en- 
courages a skilful incorporation of the old 
home with the new. 

A West Ham man made me acquainted with 
local usage as it affects land tenure, his 
testimony being confirmed by several neigh- 
bours and by the Rev. Peter Bryce, who labours 
enthusiastically in that happy, and prosperous 
community. 

" Ain't it all right bein' yer own landlord ? 
My ! that's a change from two rooms at 
Canning Town, and no nearer ownin' a brick of 
it after payin* seven bob a week for ten years 
and more . Only, mind yer, we was a long way 
from buying our own place at the start. Why, 
I hadn't been workin' more than a month, and 
jest beginnin' to think I was nicely fixed, when 
bless me, if the foundry didn't close down, 
and all 'ands was thrown out. I tell yer, we 
'ad it pretty rough for a time but that's all 




< w 

W H 
55 < 



o3 



FROM ENGLISH CITIES 147 

past and forgotten now. Only when the shop 
opened agin, and I'd been took back, me and 
the missis figured it out that we'd be money 
in pocket if we bought our bit, same as every- 
body said we ought to. So I give the bloke 
five dollars for a start, and after that it was 
two dollars a month till the land was paid for. 

4 What's two dollars to a man when e's 
liftin' forty? That's what they pay me down 
at the foundry, and it works out two pound a 
week by our money. You've got to earn it, 
let me tell yer, but nobody wouldn't mind puttin' 
in a bit of graft for two pound a week. It's 
not gettin' the charnse of a job, more than 
mightbe an odd day a fortnight, and dog's 
wages at that that's what takes the heart out 
of any one in the Old Country. A man can 
turn round, as you may say, on two pound a 
week nice warm clothes for the nippers, a 
bit of finery once in a way, for the missis, and 
a good bellyful all round. 

" As soon as the land was paid off, ' Now 
it's time,' I says, ' to 'ave a nice 'ouse over our 
'eads, same as others.' We'd made do up to 
then with jest a two -room shack small, of 
course, but wonderful snug in the winter, and 
a lot more comfortable than you might think. 



14$ AIDED IMMIGRANTS 

By livin' quiet, and puttin' away a bit every 
pay-day, I'd saved pretty nigh half enough 
money to buy the stuff, and me and two others 
got to work on it, evening after evening, and 
very often an hour and a 'alf in the morning. 
But the lath and plaster and all the paintin' 
I didn't want nobody to 'elp me with. The 
rest of the money we're payin' off same as 
we did for the land, only five dollars a month 
instead of two ; and be through with it, we 
shall, by next Christmas twelvemonth. Only 
me and the missis was puttin' our 'eads 
tergether to arrange if we couldn't pay 'em 
two months at a time, and so be through and 
done with it in jest .over a year from now. 
Then it'll all be our own, and no rent to pay 
or nothin', and Sir Wilfrid Loreyer 'isself 
couldn't take it from us. I tell you, the missis 
don't half begin to fancy 'erself goes to church 
of a Sunday, she does, with the best of 'em ; 
and if I might 'appen to step into the parler, 
and forget to take off my boots, there's 
a pretty 'ow-d'yer-do over me spoilin' 'er 
nice noo carpet." 

In the present trend of his life, that man 
represents hundreds of London labourers now 
settled in the eastern cities of Canada. The 



FROM ENGLISH CITIES 149 

testimony of another West Ham enthusiast was 
typical of a new human interest that has been 
awakened. 

" What d'you think of this ? " he asked, with 
blushing pride, as he drew from under the table 
a clothes-basket full of small and rather muddy 
carrots. " Not bad for a beginner, eh? Before 
I come out here, it's a fact I'd never seen what 
vegetables look like whilst they're growing in 
the ground. I was jest a baby at it; but 
this year I've grown two sacks and a 'alf of 
pertaters for we've got a nice bit of garden ; 
and you ought to have seen all the cabbages 
and one thing and another we've been having. 
Then there's a nice lot of parsnips I've got 
to dig up before the frost gets hold of the 
ground. It's a hobby with me, more than 
work I quite look forward to my couple of 
hours in the garden of an evening. Then, 
again, it's a big saving not having to buy 
vegetables, especially when you've got a lot 
of youngsters. And that's another thing about 
Canada it suits the nippers. Our lot's got 
twice the go in 'em they used to have, and as 
for red cheeks and getting fat, why, you'd 
hardly know them for the same. I'll tell you, 
Canada's all right . For I've altered my opinion 



150 AIDED IMMIGRANTS 

from the idea I had soon after we came out, 
when the big shops shut down, and there was 
a few months when jobs was as difficult to 
find, pretty near, as what they are in the Old 
Country. But we haven't had another spell 
like that for two years and if we should cop 
it again at any time, well, I'll be better pre- 
pared, with house and land paid for, and a 
dollar or two put by." 

Meanwhile then we have, in that depression 
of 1907-8, one reason why the assisted emi- 
grants were backward in their repayments. 

I now come to an auxiliary cause of this 
disappointing element in the results of an 
interesting social experiment, and an experi- 
ment that has otherwise been attended by a 
most encouraging success. This auxiliary 
cause is, in a word, the absence of effective 
machinery in Canada for collecting the money. 

Born to small opportunities of education and 
culture, and nurtured in toil and penury, the 
British working-man nevertheless possesses 
qualities of heart and will which, to persons of 
other classes who meet him on terms of friend- 
ship and mutual understanding, are a constant 
source of amazement and inspiration. But 
human nature is human nature ; and time, cir- 



FROM ENGLISH CITIES 151 

cumstances, and an intervening ocean are apt 
to lessen the force of an honourable obligation. 
One or two instalments will be conscientiously 
remitted ; then, in many cases, the ear heeds 
silly, but sedulous, whisperings that the money, 
is not expected, that it is not needed, and that 
it is not a just claim, since both countries have 
been sufficiently benefited (such is the seductive 
argument) by the transfer of labour. 

There is need of agents on the spot dis- 
cerning agents. Banks and debt-collecting 
organisations are ineffective. It is a case in 
which business routine must be qualified by 
human discretion. Cases of illness and bad 
luck occur. 

I found X as the respected and well- 
established caretaker of a large drapery store 
at Edmonton, Alberta. 

"Funny work for a chef, isn't it?" he 
remarked, with twinkling eyes. " Oh, well, I 
was no good at my own profession out here. 
I got a job as cook to a club, and at the end 
of a month they fired me. What for, do you 
think ? I didn't know how to cook ! I tell 
you, I couldn't help laughing when they said 
that me having been chef at several West 
End London clubs, and afterwards at William 



152 AIDED IMMIGRANTS 

Whiteley's. It took me a fortnight to find 
another place, and hang me if that didn't end 
the same way. I didn't laugh this time it 
was getting too serious. Talk about puzzled, 
though I was regular dumbfounded. But I've 
found out all about it since, and it only shows 
what different ideas you'll meet with in dif- 
ferent countries. If you've stopped in many 
hotels, you must have noticed how the meat 
out here is cooked almost to a piece of leather. 
I served those clubs with nice thick steaks just 
done to a turn according to English ideas ; 
but I can see now that those poor gentlemen, 
after what they'd been used to, must have 
fancied I was giving 'em raw meat to eat. 

" It was lucky I'd saved a bit of my two 
months' money, because winter had come on. 
That makes everything a bit slack out here, 
so if you haven't got a steady job before the 
cold weather sets in, you very likely won't find 
it easy to get one. However, I put in three 
weeks at an hotel, while the other man was 
away ill, and when the fine weather came round 
I struck a queer sort of job. I joined one of 
those Hudson Bay gangs that work their way 
up-country along the rivers and across the 
portages in open boats they call scows. Our 



FROM ENGLISH CITIES 153 

trail was along the Athabasca River through 
the Grand Rapids to Fort McMurray more 
than 200 miles, and it took us three 
weeks each way. There were 140 of us in 
the party, but only three other whites, all the 
rest being half-breeds. 

" We took miscellaneous goods going up, 
and came back loaded with furs. It kept me 
pretty busy cooking for that lot, but, one thing, 
there was always a full larder. Those half- 
breeds are very handy, with their guns and 
snares and hooks, and I found myself boiling 
and broiling no end of queer truck ribs of 
elk, hindquarters of moose, great big fish- 
in fact, there I was skinning and cooking a 
whole menagerie of creatures I had never seen 
before, unless it might be at the Zoo. Every 
now and then they'd bring me a bear, which 
tastes very like beef. It was good money- 
eighty dollars a month, and I could have got 
bigger pay still at a job they offered me up 
at Fort McMurray. But I heard that the last 
cook committed suicide, and that turned me 
against it. 

" After being nearly five months with the 
Hudson Bay party, I fell ill, and was on my 
back with dysentery for six months. That was 



154 AIDED IMMIGRANTS 

a rough time, I can tell you, and if I hadn't 
belonged to the Sons of England, I hardly 
know how the wife and young 'uns would have 
pulled through. When I got my strength 
again, I struck this job, where I'm very com- 
fortable. Of course that illness put me back 
a lot, but I reckon we're just beginning to 
turn the corner now. I've invested in a nice 
bit of land across the river 50 feet by 185 
and it cost 275 dollars, which I'm paying 
off on the instalment plan at 8 per cent, interest. 
We've got a good shack on it, 20 feet by 12 
feet, and another one 13 by 10, with a lean-to 
10 by 8. Then there's a good well, and a 
shed in which I do odd jobs." 

The immigrant must, of course, adapt him- 
self to Canadian conditions ; and some 
Englishmen waste a little time in the process, 
as is shown by the experiences of Y- , who 
experimented with many opportunities before 
settling down to the carman's job by which 
he now supports his family. 

*' A friend of mine," Y mentioned in the 

course of his disclosures, " was always on to 
me to go in for farm work. That was the best 
way to earn money, he said, if you didn't mind 
having it rough at the start. I wasn't quite so 



FROM ENGLISH CITIES 155 

sure about it myself, only I thought I'd give 
it a trial just to see. So off I went to a 
farming job." 

" And how did you get on? " I was curious 
to learn. 

' Well, the farmer seemed a good enough 
sort, and at first I fancied we might hit it 
together all right. But on the third day, what 
do you think he wanted me to do ? There was 
a bit of a swamp on his farm pretty near a 
pond, it was and he'd got the idea in his head 
to plough it, if you please, only first of all I 
was to go slopping about to get the roots out. 
I told him there was no sense in bothering 
about a place like that when he'd got better 
land all round. But he was regular obstinate 
about it, and said I'd got to do it. Got to, 
mind you ! I pretty soon let him see he'd 
mistaken his man. If he wanted those roots 
out, I said, he'd better get 'em out himself 
I certainly wasn't going' in up to my ankle to 
please him or anybody else. With that I took 
and left him. And you won't catch me back 
at farming in a hurry, I can assure you." 

On a list of sample names with which I was 
courteously furnished by the Central London 
Committee, X and Y figured as emi- 



156 AIDED IMMIGRANTS 

grants by whom, up to the time of my departure 
from England, no portion of their loans had 
been repaid. Nor in either case is the tem- 
porary failure (for I think it will have proved 
only temporary) very surprising. 

The problem of the recovery of these loans 
is one on which analogy may throw some light . 
It may not be generally known that the 
Salvation Army has become the greatest 
emigration force in the world. Of the 
thousands of British families who go to 
Canada every year under those auspices, the 
great majority are not otherwise connected 
with General Booth's organisation, to which, 
moreover, they lay themselves under no 
financial obligation. The Army's Emigration 
Department is a sort of Cook's Agency run 
in the interests of humanity, those who book 
through that channel being assured, along the 
line of travel, as well as at their destination, 
of uniformed friends who save them from dis- 
comfort, hindrances, and loss of money. But 
one comparatively small branch of the Army's 
work is associated with assisted passages, and 
the instructive fact must be recorded that the 
Army has secured a much higher ratio of re- 
payments than have the Committees. Every 



FROM ENGLISH CITIES 157 

settled part of the country has its local 
corps, and wherever the new-comer may 
go, and however often he may shift his 
location, the uniformed friends are at hand 
to keep him in touch with his better self. 
Little wonder, then, that, with increasing 
experience and improving organisation, the 
Army's satisfactory results under this head tend 
to become still more satisfactory. Where 
remissness is inexcusable, Colonel Lamb's 
department does not hesitate to invoke com- 
pulsion. So far, however, no defaulter has 
been brought into court, the starting of the 
legal machinery having had in each case the 
desired effect. 

The London and provincial Committees 
have at present no organisation of their own 
in Canada, and it is impossible that they should 
ever have an organisation so widespread and 
effective as the Salvation Army. The con- 
clusion, therefore, to which I came, when 
pursuing my investigations in Canada, was that 
efficiency and economy would best be secured 
by joint action on the part of the Committees 
and the Army. Since returning to this country, 
I have made the agreeable discovery, on read- 
ing a booklet called " The Surplus," that 



158 AIDED IMMIGRANTS 

General Booth's organisation has already acted 
for the Committees, and other local authorities, 
in connection with the recovery of the loans 
those bodies have made to emigrants. It 
appears that the Army did not secure so high 
a ratio of repayments in these cases as in its 
own cases ; but since this result was traced to 
causes that are capable of removal ( and which, 
I imagine, would not survive half an hour's 
fraternal conference between the parties con- 
cerned), the public may surely count on seeing 
an important social experiment go forward on 
the lines of greatest promise. 

Since I have given typical cases of post- 
poned repayment, it is but right I should give 
a typical case of prompt repayment. 

Z - also figured on my little list of Central 
London names. 

" Yes," said the Canadian Northern foreman 
at the Saskatoon office where I made my 
inquiries, " I seem to know that name. Ah ! " 
on consulting a pay-sheet " here he is. 
Been with us over eighteen months. Good, 
steady worker, evidently. You'll find him on 
bridge construction, thirty miles along our 
road. Never, I see, earns less than fifteen 
dollars a week. That's the type of man we 
are always looking for." 



CHAPTER X 

A PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 

Objection to communities " Sparrow " and " Broncho " 
Interviews at cross-purposes Mr. Bruce Walker's 
story of the loafer Criticisms from Mr. W. D. 
Scott Case of magisterial indiscretion Canadian 
opinion explained Unwise emigration during recent 
years Wholesome effect of present restrictions 
English wastrels in Canadian cities The improve- 
ment in 1910 Lord Strathcona's testimony 
Statement by the Minister of the Interior Pros- 
perous settlers from English cities A case for 
preferential treatment Wanted, a stepping-stone 
How farmers are lost to Canada Mr. Rowland's 
suggestion The "green" man's need of three 
dexterities Interview with the Prime Minister of 
Manitoba Mr. Oliver's views The Londoner's 
u mental alertness " On the Salvation Army's pro- 
gramme Experimental farms of the Federal 
Government Provincial agricultural colleges 
Training grounds in England Successful emigra- 
tion societies The appeal to our farm labourers. 

A LARGE majority of assisted immigrants from 
British cities congregate in industrial centres 



159 



160 PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 

of Eastern Canada ; and this, I think, is a 
pity. It is contrary to their own interests, 
and to Canada's, that they should live in com- 
munities a state that delays their adaptation 
to new conditions. 

An immigrant from the Old Country neces- 
sarily arrives with notions on points ranging 
from how bricks should be carried to the proper 
time for meals that conflict with notions 
obtaining in the new country. Assertions by 
the dogmatic Britisher, and denials by the 
sensitive Canadian, generate an ill-feeling that 
only passes away when the new-comer frankly 
falls in with prevailing ideas. Then he no 
longer hears himself addressed as a " sparrow " 
(for Canadians are still sore over the importa- 
tion of a bird that has proved a nuisance) 
or a '" broncho " (which, being interpreted, 
means a kicker). 

A larger number of immigrants from our 
cities should, it seems to me, seek the wider 
opportunities that Central Canada and New 
Ontario afford a view, by the way, that 
seemed to receive no very enthusiastic support 
from most of the Dominion statesmen and 
officials who favoured me with interviews. 
They talked about the London emigrant, and 



PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 161 

I talked about the London emigrant, but 
it was clear that we had very different human 
types in our minds. 

" Now, it's no good," exclaimed Mr. E. 
Marquette, at Montreal, " sending over a lot 
of wastrels and loafers. We only want good, 
steady workers." 

" Some of the people from your slums," said 
Mr. Bruce Walker (Assistant-Superintendent 
of Immigration), at Winnipeg, " are quite use- 
less. I'll give you an instance. The man 
said he was a carpenter, and I found him a 
job. Then it came to my knowledge that he 
hadn't gone to it, and I sent to ask why. 
Because he hadn't any tools, he replied. So 
I sent him money to buy tools with. But a 
week later I found he still hadn't gone to the 
job, and again I asked why. Because he didn't 
like the look of that job, he said, and he wanted 
me to find him another. So I found him 
another job in the next town, but he didn't 
go to that, either. I asked what was wrong 
this time. He explained that I hadn't sent 
him the money for his fare, so how could I 
expect him to go ? Well, I sent him the money 
for his fare. But a few days later I was com- 
municating with him at the old address would 

The Golden Land. 12 



162 PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 

he please explain why he hadn't taken up his 
work in the next town? Because I hadn't 
sent the money to pay his wife's fare ! So 
I sent the money to pay his wife's fare. Still, 
however, he tarried, and once more I had 
to trouble him for an explanation. It now 
appeared that he had changed his mind he 
wanted me to find him a painter's job. Then 
I paid a personal call on that couple. I saw 
the wife. ' Now, my good woman,' I said, 
1 that husband of yours hasn't done a stroke 
of work since he's been in Canada, but he 
has let you slave away at the washtub ' (for 
I'd been making inquiries) ' and he has been 
spending your hard-earned money in the liquor 
saloons .' ' Yes,' she retorted indignantly, ' and 
why shouldn't he have his glass of beer? He 
shan't go short if I can help it, not for the 
likes of you or anybody else.' In the end I 
had to deport them." 

" Some of the worst people we have re- 
ceived," saM Mr. W. D. Scott, the Superinten- 
dent of Immigration, " have come from London 
and your other big cities. It is quite out of 
the question that England should dump its use- 
less material on our shores. Indeed, we have 
had to enforce regulations to put a stop to 



PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 163 

that sort of thing. As for men who come 
into this country under a promise to take up 
farming work, and then refuse to go on the 
land well, that is misrepresentation, and if 
cases of the sort occur again, we really shall 
have to make that in itself a ground for 
deportation." 

" And in the past it hasn't been limited 
to loafers " to again quote Mr. Bruce Walker. 
" Some of your petty criminals have been ex- 
ported to this country. Only a few months 
ago I read a report from one of your courts, 
where two lads had been found guilty of theft. 
It was their first offence, and the magistrate 
gave them an option to go to prison for six 
weeks or to go to Canada. Really your magis- 
trates ought to know better than to try and 
use this country as a sort of penal settlement. 
But ignorance of Canadian conditions was not 
limited to the bench it was also noticeable 
in the dock. For those two young rascals 
elected to go to prison." 

And in the inquiries that elicited these re- 
sponses I had been referring to the carefully 
chosen, hard-working men of good antecedents 
assisted to Canada by the London and pro- 
vincial Committees ! Thus at the beginning 



1 64 PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 

of my interviews with those officials, we were 
hopelessly at sixes and sevens ; though, of 
course, before conversation had advanced very 
far I made it clear that their strictures did 
not apply, since I was speaking of persons 
whose selection for emigration was in itself 
a guarantee of their industry and integrity. 
Let me explain how it comes about that, 
at the first mention of assisted emigration, 
official Canada utters a note of anxious 
lamentation. For several years before the 
Committees began their work, the Church 
Army and other charitable bodies, acting from 
the highest motives, and encouraged by the 
free facilities and bonuses given by the 
Canadian Government, had been emigrating 
our weak and broken men in shiploads, the 
humane motive being " to give them another 
chance in a new land." When Canadians came 
to rub shoulders with these strange recruits 
to a busy and strenuous nation, amazement 
spread through the provinces amazement that 
passed from indignation to dismay ; and a 
public opinion was generated that found 
expression when the Federal Government, in 
the spring of 1908, enforced its present 
restrictions on immigration. 



PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 165 

Now, it came about that, before Canadian 
feeling culminated in executive action, the 
Committees had already entered the field ; and 
thus their excellent emigrants, and the far in- 
ferior ones who had provoked official safe- 
guards, came under a common classification, 
and remain participators in a common 
reputation . 

One satisfactory feature of the situation is 
that the restrictions have raised the standard 
of emigrants all round ; and it needs but the 
lapse of time before " assisted immigrant," as 
a general term, will cease to excite apprehen- 
sion. Meanwhile, alas 1 since deportation 
enactments are not retrospective in their 
application the undesirables who arrived a few 
years ago still wander about the streets, and 
haunt the saloons, of Toronto, Montreal, and 
other cities dilapidated idlers, content to live 
by cadging ; wily practitioners on the com- 
passion of kindly folk ; men whose nearest 
approach to work is, occasionally, to tend cattle 
on ships and trains ; a vagrant breed wholly 
out of place in Canada's population of workers : 
their presence serving as a reminder and 
a warning. 

That the day of the wastrel is past, however, 



and that the " assisted immigrant " promises 
to prove a factor of increasing value in 
Canadian development, the proof is not far 
to seek. Reporting from London to the 
Minister of the Interior in June, 1910, Lord 
Strathcona, the High Commissioner, wrote : 
" I am glad to be able to add that the class 
of immigrants now pouring into Canada is, I 
am assured, of a most excellent character." 
Let me quote later, and still more positive, 
testimony. In an interview with which he 
favoured me in October, 1910, the Minister of 
the Interior (the Hon. Frank Oliver) said : 
" The immigrants that we have received this 
year have fully realised the expectations we 
based on our restrictions. They have been 
thoroughly satisfactory certainly in no pre- 
vious year have we had a finer contingent from 
Great Britain." 

Nor, it is interesting to note, have they often 
had a larger contingent. Indeed, in 1910, 
for the first time, the number of persons who 
emigrated from Great Britain to Canada ex- 
ceeded the number who emigrated from Great 
Britain to the United States. 

During my explorations in Manitoba, Sas- 
katchewan, and Alberta I happened upon many 



PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 167 

prosperous farmers who a few years ago were 
urban or suburban members of the English 
working classes. Nay, among them I found 
some of the leading prize-winners in grain- 
growing competitions a circumstance appar- 
ently identified with a readiness (not always 
observable in a lifelong tiller of the soil) 
to devote time and thought, and apply orig- 
inal methods, in preparing a fine, loose, level 
seed-bed. 

A small proportion of the West Ham Com- 
mittee's emigrants have, I am told, gone on 
the land, where they are making satisfactory 
progress. I would like to see the process of 
selection directed more definitely to the dis- 
covery of men and couples who, swayed either 
by early antecedents or an educated preference, 
are anxious to take up agriculture, first by 
hiring themselves to established farmers, and 
afterwards by entering for their own home- 
steads . Farming affords the new-comer a surer 
prospect of securing a substantial financial foot- 
ing (as the reward, be it remembered, of hard 
work and perseverance) than any other calling 
he is likely to adopt. 

The fact that, in the first years, farm work 
yields a smaller return than factory work need 



i68 PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 

not, it seemed to me, prevent this development, 
though it is a good argument for preferential 
treatment in the repayment of loans. The 
average sum due from the 54 emigrants 
(representing, with their dependents, 123 per- 
sons) assisted to Canada in 1909 by the West 
Ham Committee was 15 ios., the loans 
fluctuating between 78 2s. and i ios. and 
being repayable therefore over periods varying 
from three months to thirteen years. Thus it 
would introduce only one new variation into 
a situation already full of variety if, in the 
case of emigrants who go on the land, the 
rate of repayment were fixed at five shillings, 
instead of ten shillings, per month ; though the 
scope of that concession could be limited to 
five years, from which term the balance of the 
loan might justly be repayable in monthly 
instalments of i . 

It is desirable, moreover, that there should 
be, in Canada, some machinery for introducing 
city emigrants to the soil. Farmers show no 
unwillingness to hire " green " men, whom they 
agree to instruct in the simple principles of 
prairie grain growing. But often enough, 
being busy workers and untrained in the 
teacher's art, their criticism of the novice 



PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 169 

assumes a vehement form which, if his tem- 
perament errs on the side of sensitiveness, 
occasions his prompt withdrawal from the 
tilled field. 

Discussing with me this aspect of the situa- 
tion, Mr. Charles F. Roland, Commissioner of 
the Winnipeg Development and Industrial 
Bureau, threw out a suggestion as one that 
was receiving the attention of his colleagues 
for establishing a practical agricultural recruit- 
ing ground, where the Londoner could be 
taught to milk a cow, drive a Canadian plough, 
and harness a Canadian team. Less than a 
month's tuition and practice would, Mr. Roland 
pointed out, equip the right sort of man with 
those three dexterities ; and, armed with a 
certificate of proficiency, he would embark on 
his new career with confidence, and be enabled 
to receive better wages than a " green " man, 
at the outset, is in a position to command. 
The only question on which Mr. Roland and 
his colleagues were doubtful, it appeared, con- 
cerned the authority that might properly be 
asked to defray the initial cost of this inno- 
vation. Nor was it possible to encourage a 
hope that the British Government would feel 
moved to act in the matter. 



1 70 PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 

Being privileged, on the following day, to 
discuss questions of colonisation with the Hon. 
R. P. Roblin, I mentioned this proposal for 
establishing a stepping-stone between the cities 
of Great Britain and the soil of Canada. 

" By all means," replied the Prime Minister 
of Manitoba. " That seems an excellent idea. 
Everything should be done that will bring 
people on to the land. In this province alone 
we have 20,000,000 agricultural acres await- 
ing settlement. We therefore could absorb, 
and should welcome, a quarter of a million 
of your people if they were prepared to take 
up farming, in which pursuit they may feel 
assured that industry will yield a rich reward. 
But I may tell you at once that, in my opinion, 
the cost of such an establishment as you 
mention should not fall on the Government of 
Manitoba. The benefit would not be restricted 
to any one province, and therefore the charge 
should be defrayed by the Federal Govern- 
ment." 

Nor did I fail, on arriving at Ottawa, to 
ventilate this matter further in my interview 
with the Hon. Frank Oliver, Minister of the 
Interior, who is responsible for moulding and 
carrying out the Dominion's immigration 



policy. He, too, thought well of the sugges- 
tion. "But," he added, "it is not for the 
Canadian Government to establish an institu- 
tion of the sort. Our policy is to hold out 
open arms to your agriculturists, who are, in 
our opinion, the finest in the world. We want 
the English and Scotch farmers to come over 
here and teach us how to farm. For us to 
set up an institution for teaching Englishmen 
how to farm would be entirely to reverse the 
position. Besides, ' once a city man, always 
a city man ' is, I am afraid, the rule." 

That a landward tendency was manifesting 
itself in our city population, though more 
particularly in the middle class, and that 
Londoners had been largely recruited from 
rural districts, were points I ventured to 
submit, coupled with allusion to the many 
Cockneys whom I had found as prosperous 
farmers out on the prairie. 

' Yes, yes," conceded Mr. Oliver, " I know 
there is much to be said from that side of 
the question ; and please understand that we 
do appreciate what I would call the mental 
alertness of the Londoner a quality which no 
doubt, when he takes up farming seriously, 
not merely carries him through, but may well 



PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 



give him an advantage over agriculturists 
whose intellectual antecedents, so to speak, 
have been more restricted than those he has 
enjoyed. Still, having regard to the declared 
policy of the Government, we must leave it 
to others to provide improved avenues, and 
initiate fresh facilities, for transferring people 
from the towns of Great Britain to the land of 
Canada. But the difference between us is, 
after all, largely one of point of view. The 
promoters of emigration on your side, and the 
promoters of immigration on our side, are 
moving towards a common goal. We are 
working at the problem from our end ; you 
are working at it from your end." 

Finally, I mentioned the proposal for a train- 
ing ground to the gentleman who guides the 
Salvation Army's immigration work in Canada. 
" How curious," he exclaimed, " that you 
should bring that suggestion to me ! We have 
thought of the same thing. It is on our pro- 
gramme to establish such a place." 

He was not in a position to enter into details ; 
but later inquiries enable me to foreshadow the 
establishment by the Salvation Army of train- 
ing grounds in Ontario and Manitoba, it 
being thought, moreover, that the Maritime 



PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 173 

Provinces are not without possibilities in this 
direction . 

I make the foregoing announcement with 
great satisfaction. These training grounds will 
put a finishing touch to Canada's admirable and 
widespread system of agricultural education. 
From the Atlantic to the Pacific the Federal 
Government has established a chain of thirteen 
experimental farms institutions that not merely 
apply the test of locality to desirable forms 
of vegetation, but gratuitously distribute trees, 
seed, and knowledge to applicants from among 
the general public. Then the Provincial 
Governments, besides fostering a love of Nature 
and farming in their elementary schools, have 
established fine agricultural academies, such 
as the Manitoba College at Winnipeg (with 
its practical short courses for farmers and 
farmers' wives), and the Ontario College at 
Guelph (which attracts pupils from England, 
Germany, Japan, and New Zealand). Thus 
facilities exist for what may be called secondary 
and higher education. The Army training 
grounds will constitute facilities for elementary 
education for elementary education of a 
severely practical form and mainly in the in- 
terests of immigrants from English cities who 
desire to become Canadian farmers. 



174 PLEA FOR TRAINING GROUNDS 

On this side of the Atlantic efforts have 
been made to establish training farms for emi- 
grants. But the attempt to reproduce Canadian 
conditions in England could hardly be very 
successful ; and the value of such farms has 
been in the direction of testing men's suit- 
ability for out -door life rather than of train- 
ing them for it. 

It will be understood that my references to 
the assisted immigrant have not applied only, 
or mainly, to persons sent to Canada by 
the London and provincial Committees. I 
came across many prosperous settlers who had 
crossed under the auspices of the East End 
Emigration Society, the Charity Organisation 
Society, the Self-Help Emigration Society, and 
kindred organisations. 

Canada makes its official appeal to the 
farmers and farm labourers of Great Britain 
(and, having regard to the miserable wages 
ruling on this side, and the splendid prospects 
offered on the other, I am only surprised that 
the latter, at any rate, do not emigrate in a 
body). Canada, I think, does not fully realise 
how great is the number of agricultural recruits 
it can receive from among the middle and arti- 
san classes of urban centres in the Old Country. 



CHAPTER XI 
EXPERIENCES OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 

Willie's school days and early prospects Why he went 
to Canada An unathletic young "tender foot" 
Quotations from his diary Flying fish, sleighs, and 
half-breeds Arrival in Saskatchewan Engaged at 
ten dollars a month The shacks Cleaning, stoning, 
and discing The doctor's prairie fire Chasing a 
wolf Troublesome cattle Willie's second engage- 
ment A grumbling employer Herding steers, cows, 
and a bull First " lessons " in driving Willie's 
service dispensed with His controversy about wages 
He gets another berth A day's work in detail 
Willie learns to plough and drive Left in charge 
of the farm Stacking hay single-handed Bathing, 
picnics, and pleasant Sundays Willie joins a 
threshing gang Working for ten shillings a day 
An engagement for the winter His duties as hall 
porter A typewriting and shorthand job Working 
on the railway section Glorious January weather 
Willie nearly takes up a homestead Over ^50 saved 
in- eighteen months Willie as I found him Nine 
jobs to choose from. 

WILLIE, to look at him, was just an ordinary, 

good-natured lad with ruddy cheeks, a slight 

175 



1 76 EXPERIENCES OF 

frame, and a grin. For a boy he was singularly 
free from conceit and self-assurance. He 
seemed to regard the world as a place full of 
more important persons than himself, and he 
gave one the idea of being perpetually grate- 
ful because everybody liked him. 

When the time arrived for Willie to leave 
boarding school where he had gained no 
special distinction the question of his future 
became a puzzle both for his father and 
himself. Willie had never expressed, and 
apparently had never felt, any pronounced 
preference as between a professional and a 
commercial career ; and whether it was 
desirable to make him a tailor, an engineer, 
a poet, or a fishmonger, nobody knew. 

The only hint of a personal bias was that 
Willie had sometimes said he thought he 
should like to write, though he was afraid 
he never could do it. Acting on this 
dubious clue, the father installed the son 
as a boy clerk at six shillings a week 
in the office of a learned society ; it being 
further arranged that he should read up for 
the Second Division of the Civil Service some 
years of that sort of thing not having proved 
hurtful to the literary genius of Charles Lamb 
and W. W. Jacobs. 



THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 177 

At the examination Willie secured high 
marks for his essays, but a slovenliness observ- 
able in other subjects notably as regarded the 
bottle of ink he upset over his arithmetic 
papers caused him to be plucked. 

Grinning contentedly to himself, he set to 
work with renewed diligence to get through 
next time. But there was destined to be no 
next time. 

Willie's brother developed lung weakness ; 
and in Willie's case, as a measure of preven- 
tion, the healthy life of Canada was prescribed. 
In no wise put out by the altered current of 
his affairs, Willie set sail from the Old Country, 
on March 19, 1909, with a few pounds in his 
pocket, and with no policy more settled than 

to accompany a certain Mr. and Mrs. R 

as far as they were going. 

Willie had never been one for cricket or 
football indeed, besides a little pensive 
angling, and an occasional spin on his bicycle, 
he indulged in no sports. He was a quiet, 
fireside sort of boy. In him the Dominion 
received a young " tender foot " if ever there 
was one. 

Now, Willie happens to be a friend of mine, 
and accordingly I made a point, when in 

The Golden Land. 13 



i;8 EXPERIENCES OF 

Canada, of looking him up. What is more, 
having a mind to take a holiday, Willie accom- 
panied my brother and myself for a fortnight 
of our further travels during which time I 
persuaded him to lend me the diary he had 
kept since leaving England. 

Written with candour, and a capacity for 
simple literary expression, this diary affords 
an instructive record of the experiences likely 
to befall middle-class lads who seek their 
fortunes in Canada. Therefore, with Willie's 
permission, I am going to reveal, in Willie's 
own words, what happened to Willie. 

Over the journey we may pass lightly. ' I 
came on deck a'fter breakfast," he tells us, 
" and on reaching the top of the stairs, I saw 
before me the New World. It was raining 
fast. The sky looked grey, the sea looked 
grey, and the land looked cold and unwelcome, 
It was one of the islands at the entrance to 
Halifax harbour. . . . 

" Next morning we entered the Bay of 
Fundy, and while pacing the deck I saw a 
flying-fish fluttering over the grey waters." 
Landing at St . John, he got on the train . ' The 
railway carriages and engines seem very 
different from thase in England. The engines 



THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 179 

are bigger, and each has a large headlight, 
and a big bell that is rung on passing a cross- 
ing. . . . Next morning we were passing! 
through a part of the United States the State 
of Maine. . . . On Tuesday morning we 
stopped for a time at North Bay, Ontario, and 
thus were able to go into the town and get a 
good breakfast. The majority of the houses 
were of wood, prettily painted and differing 
in size and architecture. Snow was still on the 
ground, and horses with tinkling bells on their 
harness were drawing sleighs about. . . . We 
stopped soon after at a little village in the 
middle of the forest. Some half-breeds were 
passing, and also a sleigh drawn by three 
Eskimo dogs." 

Arriving in due course at Earl Grey, Sas- 
katchewan, Willie spent a few days assisting 

Mr. and Mrs. R to get their shack into 

shape. " The shack," he notes, " is an unpainted 
wooden building, consisting of two rooms, one 
20 by 12, the other slightly smaller. There are 
no fireplaces like those in England, but big 
stoves that burn wood." 

Willie met several farmers of the neighbour- 
hood and told them he wanted a job. " I 
arranged," he records, " with young John S 



i8o EXPERIENCES OF 

to work for him for ten dollars a month. His 
shack is 1 2 by 8, and also built of wood, with 
turfs on the roof. 

" Our first occupation was to bag grain and 
put it in the stable . Next we cleaned it, putting 
it through the fanning machine to separate the 
wheat from other seeds and dirt. After that 
it was dipped in bluestone a deadly poison to 
rid it of all smuts. Two half -days we spent 
on a field about four miles away, picking stones 
and carting them away. Two other half -days 
were spent in discing a field near the shack. 
The mornings were very cold, and work on 
the land could often not be started until after- 
noon. In addition to the frost we had some 
snow. One of the horses is a white broncho 
that strongly objects to work at the discs. 

" April 1 8. We spent the morning repair- 
ing a fence to protect the hay. Yesterday, 
evening we drove a man over to the doctor's, 
where he worked. It seemed that the doctor 
had attempted to burn a fire-guard round his 
house, but a wind had sprung up and carried 
the fire right across the prairie. As we neared 
the doctor's house, which is about 3^ miles 
from Earl Grey, we had to pass right by a 
part of the fire. . . . 



THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 181 

" April 20. I put thirty dollars into the 
Savings Bank Department of the Northern 
Crown Bank. . . . 

"April 2 1 st. In the early morning there 
were several blizzards. In the afternoon we 

drove over to Mr. S senior, and spent the 

afternoon at his place. On our way back we 

saw a wolf following one of Mr. S 's calves. 

We gave chase, and kept it up for some time, 
but our buggy did not go as fast as the wolf 
and we never got within revolver shot. John 
S carries such a weapon with him. . . . 

"April 22nd. Twice during the day we have 
had to drive away the cattle of neighbouring 
farmers. For the last week or so they have 
paid repeated visits to our hay. Among the 
methods we have tried for getting rid of them 
are blank cartridges, wire fencing, sticks, stones, 
and Jack, the dog. The last is the most 
effective. . . . 

" May 3rd. As the boss had to plough and 
disc and seed some land on a homestead about 
2| miles north of the town, and as the work 
would take about a fortnight, we went up there 
and stayed, living in the shack and putting up 
a rough shelter for the horses .... From this 
shack, which is on a slight elevation, a good 



182 EXPERIENCES OF 

view can be obtained. The distant blue-look- 
ing prairie appears very much like the sea, 
and the dark-looking lines of bluffs resemble 
rocks. At this time of year many, farmers are 
burning the stubble off their land, and in the 
evening streaks of red flames are to be seen 
in all directions. 

" May 1 2th. In the evening a man named 
Rackpool drove up and said he wanted a hand 

on his farm. John S then told me that, 

after my month was up, he would not be able 
to pay for any more help until harvest. 
Rackpool said he would give me ten dollars a 
month, and wanted me to herd cattle. I had 
a very vague idea what that meant. He said 
he would probably keep me until harvest, so 
I agreed to go with him. . . . 

" Rackpool came for me in his buggy. He 
said he could not take my box, but would 
send for it soon. We did not arrive at his 
place until the evening. He has 320 acres 
and a nice house. . . , 

" I stayed there for a little over a fortnight. 
Rackpool was always grumbling at me. He 
made no attempt to get my box, and I found 
it very difficult to get a good wash. On the 
other hand, I had a bed, and a bedroom to 



THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 183 

myself. We got up at 5 a.m., and while 
Rackpool milked the cows, I fed and cleaned 
and harnessed the horses. Then I cleaned out 
the stable, and took the pig a pail of swill and 
shorts . At about six we had breakfast . Then 
I took my dinner in a box and drove the cattle 
out. I had to follow them round everywhere 
they went, and keep them from getting into the 
wheat crops . There were about twenty of them 
cows, steers, calves, and a bull. They made 
a point of giving me as much trouble as 
possible. However, the work was fairly easy; 
but I was learning nothing about wheat - 
farming. 

' When I had been there a little over a 
week, the cattle were put in a large pasture 
of which the fences had just been repaired. 
Then for a few days I helped Rackpool cart 
piles of stones from around the fields to where 
a milk-house was to be erected. I also tried 
my hand at driving, but Rackpool used to stand 
in the wagon behind me, and every minute 
he would be grumbling and yelling at me ; 
so progress was slow. 

"May 3 1 st. After dinner I went to ask 
him what I should be doing while he was 
away, for he was going to drive into Earl 



1 84 EXPERIENCES OF 

Grey. He told me I had better come with 
him as he had no further use for me, because 
I could neither drive nor plough properly. 
When he engaged me he asked if I had done 
any ploughing or driving, and I said, ' No.' 

" He said he would pay me five dollars for 
the fortnight I had been with him. As he had 
engaged me for so much a month, he ought 
to have paid me the full month's wage ten 
dollars. We had a little argument about the 
matter, but I could not get the other five 
dollars from him." 

Willie was out of a job for three days, and 
those three days he spent in " doing some 
ploughing for Mr. R ." 

The new engagement once more at ten 
dollars a month, plus board and lodging was 

with Mr. H . " There is a Mrs. H " we 

learn, " and three small children. The shack 
is two-roomed, and built of wood. There is 
a large stable that has room for eight horses, 
two cows, and calves. Four of the horses 

belong to Mr. A , who lives on the next 

quarter-section, and is in a sort of partnership 
with Mr. H. He also has a young chap newly, 
out from England, and commonly called Jack." 

Our diarist mentions the heat and the mos- 



THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 185 

quitoes. When he has been with Mr. H 

about a month, he sketches the " daily routine 
of work " as follows : 

' 5 a. 111-5.30. Rise, milk cows, feed and 

clean down horses. Mr. H usually milks 

while I attend to the horses. About 6 a.m., 
have a wash and breakfast. After breakfast 
I saw wood and get water from the well, while 

Mr. H harnesses the horses. At about 

7 a.m. we commence work on the land. This 
has chiefly consisted of breaking the prairie 
for sowing with wheat next year. When the 
land had been disced and harrowed, I painted 
the house. Afterwards I did some drag- 
harrowing, and later on I disced an extra piece 
of land on which oats were hand sown, as the 
drill had been returned. 

" But to come back to the breaking we 
have four good horses and a sulky plough. At 
first Mr. H. did all the ploughing, while I 
walked behind, kicking down any bits of 
earth that had not fallen properly, and 
eradicating stones with a pick or crowbar. 
But after a time I did a round or two on the 
sulky, and am gradually becoming more pro- 
ficient in the art of driving a plough. It 
certainly is an art. 



1 86 EXPERIENCES OF 

" When you start a furrow, there is a lever 
to press down with the foot. Then there are 
two other levers one on the right and one on 
the left. These have to be manipulated, and 
there are also the reins to hold, and the whip. 
It can therefore be seen that at least half a 
dozen hands are necessary. I have only two. 
Then one has to keep one's eyes on the four 
horses, on the furrow wheel, on the furrow 
itself, and on everything else. 

" This morning I have been ploughing alone 

while Mr. H went to visit a neighbour. In 

the afternoon I cleaned out the well and banked 
it round. But to return to the programme. 

" At noon we come in to dinner, first un- 
harnessing the horses and putting them in the 
pasture. After dinner, I clean out the stable, 
bring up the horses' feed, and harness them. 
Then work goes on until 6 p.m. At this hour 
we come in from the fields, unharness the 
horses, and give them oats. Tea is the next 
item on the programme, and afterwards the 
horses are turned out and the cows brought 
up to the stable and milked. This I usually 
do. Then any odd jobs are done, and the 
day's work is over. I usually end up with a 
wash, and am then ready for bed." 



THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 187 

Our Willie, it will be noted, is learning to 
do things. Subsequent pages contain these 
items : " I built a pig pen of poplar poles 
and turf " ; " Busy helping to load the wagons 
and stack the hay " ; "I broke the axe-handle 
while chopping wood " ; " While I was driving 
the rake, something went wrong with the 
whipple-tree " ; "I drove in to Bulyea in the 
morning." 

Nor is evidence lacking that our young friend 
was found worthy to be left in charge of the 

farm : "Mr. H , Mr. A , and Jack went 

stocking for B . I loaded and stacked the 

remaining hay-cocks two big loads. Heavy 
work, haying alone ! I also found it very hot, 
and the mosquitoes were a regular nuisance. 
While hauling the first load Jolly and Bess 
nearly upset the wagon. The cows and calves 
were also very tantalising. Marie ate up some 
oats while I was driving Codlin home." 

Next day the distribution of labour was 
apparently reversed, for we read : " I went 
and did some stocking for B ." 

One is relieved to find, from a brief entry 
here and there, that recreation was not entirely 
neglected. Several times there is mention of 
a " jolly picnic " at one or other of the neigh- 



i88 EXPERIENCES OF 

bouring farms. Often this item occurs-: " Had 
a bathe with Jack in the big lake." Pleasant 
Sundays spent with his friends Mr. and Mrs. 
R seem to have been the rule. 

Five months have now elapsed since Willie 
arrived in Canada. At about this time, it is 
clear, he recognises his fitness to earn proper 
wages . We read : 

" At the end of my three months' work 

with Mr. H I left, and set out to 

get work on a threshing gang. Managed 
to strike Johnson's gang, Monday, Sept. 6th, 
and was hired at two and a half dollars 
per day and board. The first afternoon 
I did pitching. It seemed a very long after- 
noon's work, and I was pretty tired at the 
finish. Then for two days I drove a team. 
. . . Gradually I got more used to the work, 
although I was about the slowest pitcher there 
was. . . . We dined in a canvas structure on 
wheels, which was drawn from farm to farm 
by oxen. There was a sleeping caboose 
attached to the outfit, but most of the English- 
speaking party preferred to sleep outside of 
it." 

Willie remained in the threshing gang long 
enough to earn sixty-three dollars (over 12). 



THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 189 

" Then," he writes, " I walked into Bulyea to 
look for work for the winter. I got a job 
at the hotel to dig a cellar for one dollar a 
day and board. . . . One night I worked an 
hour and a half overtime, and altogether I 
earned 13 dollars 37 cents." 

Afterwards, rather than be idle, he became 
porter at the hotel for ten dollars a month, with 
board and lodging. Here is his entry for 
Christmas Day : 

" As usual, I got up at 4.30 a.m., and went 
down to the station. It was a glorious morn- 
ing ; clear and frosty and moonlight . On 
returning from the station, I lit the kitchen 
fire, drew some water, fetched in some coal, 
and ground some coffee. Then I attended to 
the furnace. At about 6 o'clock I called Rosie, 
the cook. She did not come downstairs until 
7.30. Between 6 and 7.30 I dozed before 
the kitchen fire. Between 7.30 and 8.30 I 
got my breakfast, and then waited at table. 
After breakfast I again attended to the furnace, 
and then, taking my broom, I commenced to 
sweep out the two sitting-rooms, the stairs, the 
hall, and the washroom, and afterwards dusted 
the furniture in these rooms. I then went 
upstairs and cleaned up. This done, I fetched 



190 EXPERIENCES OF 

in more coal and water. I next took some 
hot water up to, my room and had a good wash . 
When I came down, I helped Carl set the 
table, and then, when dinner was ready, we 
both waited at table and then got our own 
dinner. It consisted of turkey with cranberry, 
sauce and cabbage salad and two vegetables, 
followed by mince and apple pie, and ' Char- 
lotte ruste,' a Yankee dish, very nice, but still, 
not plum-pudding. Dinner over, I cleaned out 
the dirty dishes in the kitchen and swept up 
the crumbs. Then I fetched in more water, 
coal, and wood. My day's work was now done, 
and I had got the Sunday off . . . . On Sunday 
we went to church in the afternoon. There 
was a big congregation. A baby was 
christened." 

At the beginning of the year, the hotel 
proprietor heard of some one who would act 
as porter and also, on occasion, serve in the 
bar (which Willie positively refused to do). 
So on Friday, January 1 4th, we find our young 
friend working in a inew capacity. He had been 
engaged to do shorthand and typewriting for 
five dollars a week. 

" Typing seemed very strange," he men- 
tions, " as I had not practised it for so long. 



THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 191 

But the shorthand was easy, as I had kept in 
practice by taking down the sermons in church 
of a Sunday. I had a very easy time. I 

reached the office at 8 o'clock, but Mr. M 

did not arrive until nearly i o. So after lighting 
the stove and sweeping the floor, I had a lot 
of time for practising typing." 

On the following Tuesday, he wrote : " I 
find myself getting more proficient in typing, 
and to-day I copied quite a number of 
by-laws. . . . 

'When my week was up, Mr. M said 

he would pay me one dollar a day if I cared 
to stay on. Well, I had heard that there was 
a man wanted on the railway section, and as 
the pay was one dollar seventy cents a day, 
I thought I would take it on . On Friday night 
I saw the section foreman and made arrange- 
ments to come on Monday. . . . 

" Monday, 24th Jan. Started work on the 
line. It seemed very hard at first, and the 
wretched influenza which I thought I had 
thrown off showed itself when I began to do 
muscular work." 

Soon he sounds a more cheerful note : " All 
this month " [January] " the weather has been 
superb. In fact, with the exception of a few 



192 EXPERIENCES OF 

days, there has been no severe winter weather 
at all as yet. These last few days everybody 
has been going about without overcoats or 
gloves. Bright clear days with brilliant warm 
sunshine." 

Willie remained working on the section from 
January until the day of my arrival in Septem- 
ber, when he resigned from the gang. But 
his long course of strenuous toil had been inter- 
rupted by one short spell of leisure. Under 
date of April 1 5th, he wrote : " Got one of 
my fingers crushed under a rail and the 
nail rooted out. So I decided to take 
a few days off to see if I could find a nice 
homestead." 

Following some long tramps, he alighted 
upon a quarter-section to his liking, and paid 
the customary ten dollars to secure it. How- 
ever, after he had returned to his labours on 
the C.P.R., a Government official wrote return- 
ing the ten dollars and explaining that a mistake 
had been made, since there was an earlier 
entry for that particular homestead. 

On second thoughts, Willie decided that 
perhaps it would be premature for him to 
take up his own quarter-section ; and when I 
saw him he had invested his savings (over 50) 



THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 193 

in certain town sites for which he anticipates a 
rosy future. 

The raw and weedy youth who left England 
eighteen months before had become a strong 
and self-reliant man. There was only a bright, 
wholesome grin to associate the new Willie 
with the old Willie. 

Our paths parted at Edmonton, the hand- 
some and prosperous capital of Alberta. It 
was at breakfast that my brother and I an- 
nounced our intention of pushing on. Willie 
said he thought it was about time he started 
work again. 

' What work will you do here? " I asked. 

" Don't know," replied Willie. 

;< Unfortunately you are a complete stranger 
to everybody in this city," I pointed out. 

" That'll be all right," replied Willie. 

' Well," I suggested, " instead of coming 
with us this morning, hadn't you better try 
and get in touch with somebody who would 
know of an opening? " 

" Might be as well," agreed Willie. 

We met again at lunch. 

" Did you do any any good ? " I asked. 

;< Heard of nine jobs," Willie explained. 
4 Don't know which I'll take yet. They want 

The Golden Land. 14 



194 THE MIDDLE-CLASS LAD 

somebody on a railway, survey party. That 
looks the most interesting. But I haven't quite 
made up my mind whether to take that or a 
job on bridge construction, which is ten dollars 
better pay." 



CHAPTER XII 
THE TWO ONTARIOS 

Old Ontario and its origin Toronto Agricultural 
evolution Peach orchards, vineyards, and tobacco 
plantations Dairy farming on a great scale New 
Ontario Why it was overlooked Its timber and 
minerals Sudbury and Cobalt My experiences in 
Old Ontario Enthusiastic farmers The old Scotch- 
man's experiment Guelph College : remarkable 
result of up-to-date tuition Opportunities for farmer 
immigrants "Home" boys Testimony of Mr. 
W. D. Scott Inspecting the little apprentices Inter- 
view with Mr. G. Bogue Smart Chat with a 
vivacious lady Her Barnardo Boy husband 
Anecdotes about Sammy Old Ontario's grievance : 
why her sons go west The Grand Trunk Pacific 
line New Ontario and the Prairie Provinces : pros 
and cons The Great Clay Belt Development along 
the Government railway The right type of settler 
Adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Jack. 

THERE are two Ontarios, and, from the point 
of view of the settler, they have nothing in 

common . The difference between them roughly 

195 



196 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

corresponds with the difference between Eng- 
land and Canada. One is an old country, 
already populated ; the other is a new country, 
inviting pioneers. In rough and ready speech, 
one is referred to as Ontario, the other as New 
Ontario. In more precise language, one is 
Southern or Lower Ontario, the other is 
Northern or Upper Ontario. 

Originally settled, over 120 years ago, by 
United Empire loyalists from the south, Ontario 
has long been the most British, the most 
developed, the most populous, and the most 
prosperous part of Canada. It has made a 
great name for itself. It has produced 
Toronto, which embraces a population of 
350,000 persons and of recent years has 
become one of the finest cities in the world. 
It has passed through grain -growing to the 
higher stages of agricultural evolution. Its 
apple and peach orchards, and its plantations 
of other fruits, cover hundreds of thousands 
of acres. Its vineyards (fancy " Our Lady 
of the Snows " having vineyards I) yield more 
than 40,000 tons of grapes in a season. It 
has learnt how to grow tobacco, and already 
produces over five million pounds of leaf. Its 
totals of cows and horses, were I to mention 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 197 

them, would look like sheer exaggeration on 
my part. It possesses more than 200,000 
worth of hived bees, and it numbers its poultry 
by tens of millions. It contributes two-thirds 
of the dairy produce of Canada, and Canada 
annually exports about sixty thousand more 
tons of cheese than any other country. 

But, while achieving all this, Ontario has 
been very remiss in one particular. Until recent 
years, it completely overlooked nearly three- 
fourths of itself. For the Ontario of which I 
have been speaking is only that south-eastern, 
and boot -shaped, portion of the province which 
abuts on the Great Lakes a mere bit of a 
place, not much larger than England. The 
part of Ontario that Ontario has only just dis- 
covered, so to speak, is nearly equal in extent 
to three Englands . 

Of similar territorial oversights the recent 
history of Canada is, of course, full. 8,000,000 
people necessarily cannot spread them- 
selves over a country that is large enough, 
and rich enough, to support over 100,000,000 
people. With two or three hundred acres 
to look after, the average man can get 
all he wants in the way of geographical ex- 
ploration on his own property. When he 



198 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

happens to look at a map, he naturally wonders 
what certain great areas of land are good for, 
but he has no time to go and see. 

Then, too, in the case of New Ontario, the 
route of the C.P.R. has served as a sort of 
libellous advertisement. In an earlier chapter 
I referred to the railway traveller's sustained 
experience of a country which consists of 
nothing but rock. That country is the delight 
of the occasional artist who sees it, and the 
despair of the thousands of practical men who 
constantly pass that way. One recognises a 
value in forest land and in open land ; an 
expanse of water also suggests useful possi- 
bilities ; but rock more particularly disinte- 
grated rock when it covers the landscape for 
hundreds of miles, gives the business person 
a headache. 

It was perhaps inevitable that New Ontario 
should be judged by the sample in sight. But, 
as the Canadian people now are beginning to 
realise, the sample in sight is no criterion. 

That New Ontario is rich in spruce, cedar, 
pine, and other valuable trees, has been known 
in the lumber world for some time ; and the 
number of its logging camps, saw mills, pulp 
mills and paper mills is large and increasing. 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 199 

That New Ontario is rich in silver, nickel, 
copper, iron, and other minerals, has been known 
in the mining world for some time ; and the 
fame of Sudbury (as the world's chief source 
of nickel) and of Cobalt (which yielded nearly 
2,000,000 worth of silver in 1908) needs no 
emphasis. That New Ontario possesses some 
millions of acres as fertile as any in Canada 
has been known for some time to the 
authorities, but is not yet known to the public 
at large. Therefore those acres which are 
destined to become New Ontario's chief source 
of wealth are now obtainable on terms which 
can only be described as reasonable. If you 
are single, you can have one hundred acres 
for nothing. If you are married, and have a 
child or children under sixteen years of age, 
you can have two hundred acres for nothing. 
Any more that you want you must pay for, 
the price being two shillings and a halfpenny 
per acre. 

No person instructed in the facts can doubt, 
I think, that we may read the future history 
of New Ontario in the past history of Old 
Ontario that comparatively small stretch of 
territory embracing 170,000 farms which, with 
their buildings, implements, and live-stock, 



200 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

represent a value of 200,000,000, and which, 
since 1880, have supplied humanity with 
400,000,000 worth of milk, butter, and 
cheese. Figures like that are, no doubt, 
vaguely impressive, but Ontario statistics sink 
into insignificance when once you have seen 
the "Ontario farms and farmers. I visited a 
number of British settlers at and near Dundas, 
Woodstock, Brantford and Ingersoll ; and it 
was indeed pleasant to meet them. They are 
as hearty and happy as our own farmers doubt- 
less would be were it not for landlords, rates, 
tithes, and the English climate. They are sur- 
rounded by varied scenery that put me in mind 
of Devonshire, Scotland, and the south of 
France. They are living under skies which 
give them, not a monotony, but an abundance 
of sunshine. They are (and I suppose here 
we touch the chief cause of their jolly faces) 
making fat livings . I think it is a fair summary 
of the position to say that they experience the 
interests of agriculture without the anxieties. 
One was overflowing with enthusiasm about 
his new field of alfalfa (or lucerne, as we call 
it). Another would not give me any peace 
until I had seen and admired the second silo 
he had just erected. A third was eloquent 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 201 

over the advantage of a daily record of the 
weight of milk yielded by each cow. For, 
under the fostering care of an energetic Pro- 
vincial Government, and the stimulus of 334 
agricultural societies, dairy-farming in Ontario 
is pushing on from a high stage of excellence 
to a higher. 

This present-day trend of affairs in Southern 
Ontario may usefully be illustrated by the testi- 
mony of a modest and magnanimous old 
Scotchman. 

" I have been on this farm," he told me, 
" for fifteen years, but three years ago I handed 
it over to my eldest boy. It was like this. 
For twelve years I worked the farm and did 
well at least, I was nicely satisfied, and able 
to put a bit of money in the bank every year. 
But there was all this talk of doing things 
a different way than everybody was used to 
how this and that ought to be altered, how 
something else was all wrong, and so forth 
and so on. I couldn't see it myself. All the 
same, I made up my mind to give it a trial. 
There was my son Henry that I'd always in- 
tended should have the place when I got past 
the work. I'd brought him up with that idea, 
and I'd taught him to do things according 



202 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

to my way of doing 'em. But now I altered 
my plans. I made up my mind he should go 
to Guelph College go right through all the 
courses ; and then, when he came back, he 
should take over the farm, and I'd let him 
go his own way without interfering. That 'ud 
show us which was best the old ideas or the 
new. I told him before he went, ' Now, 
Henry, you're starting all over again, mind, 
and it's those college people you've got to 
learn from don't take any notice of what your 
old Dad has taught you if they tell you some- 
thing different.' Well, when he came back 
from Guelph he took charge here, and he's 
had charge ever since. And what's been the 
result, do you think? Why, each year he's 
made just three times as much money out of 
the place as I did. Three times, mind you ! 
It's simply wonderful." 

Small wonder that the market price "of 
well-appointed farms in Old Ontario is about 
14 per acre. They are excellent investments 
for immigrants who have agricultural experi- 
ence. They would be unwise investments for 
immigrants who merely have agricultural aspi- 
rations. The latter may, however, judiciously 
serve an apprenticeship on those farms. The 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 203 

supply of labour, even of unskilled labour, falls 
lamentably short of the demand. The " green " 
man who is teachable and industrious readily 
commands 2 a month, with board and lodg- 
ing. Of British immigrants whose agricultural 
aspirations are unsupported by experience, the 
great majority are placed (by the Salvation 
Army and other societies) on farms in Old 
Ontario. It is pointed out to them that, when 
they have acquired knowledge, they can push 
west and appropriate their slices of the fertile 
prairie. Many do so. Others, falling in love 
with dairy-farming or fruit-growing, stay in 
the populated province. 

Nor is Old Ontario a training ground merely 
for adults. It receives most of the boys and 
girls sent out from the Old Country by various 
bodies by Poor Law Guardians, by Industrial 
School committees, and by . the benevolent 
societies, of which Dr. Barnardo's is the 
chief. These children the most precious 
of Great Britain's exports are known in 
Canada as " Home boys " and " Home girls." 
My interest in them had been early aroused 
by Mr. W. D. Scott, the Superintendent of 
Immigration. 

" Of all the people your country sends to 



204 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

Canada," he said when visiting me in the 
steerage of the Empress of Britain, " the 
children are, from many points of view, the 
most valuable. They have nothing to unlearn. 
We receive them at the impressionable age, 
with their characters still unformed. Their 
ideas receive the Canadian stamp. They 
become Canadians from the start." 

Each boy is apprenticed to a farmer, and 
is periodically visited by a Government in- 
spector, who sees that the little chap is properly 
clothed and fed, that he attends school 
regularly, and that the farmer treats him with 
kindness. Dr. Barnardo's Homes, and the 
other institutions, have their own independent 
staffs of inspectors, whose sole function is to 
pay surprise visits to the little agricultural 
apprentices . 

At Ottawa Mr. Scott introduced me to his 
Chief Inspector of British Immigrant Children 
and Receiving Homes, Mr. G. Bogue Smart, 
than whom I never met a Government official 
who took a more enthusiastic interest in his 
duties. 

" It's the most wonderful work of the age," 
he declared. ' Think how handicapped the 
poor little fellows would be if they remained 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 205 

in the Old Country. And see how splendidly 
they turn out in the new country. No other 
class of immigrants shows anything like the 
same ratio of successes. More than 95 per 
cent, of these boys prove quite satisfactory. 
What is more, fully 7 5 per cent, of them remain 
on the land. Perhaps I ought not to say so, 
but really I feel that the present system of 
inspection is immensely valuable. It shows 
a parental interest on the part of the State, 
and that not only has a fine influence on the 
boy, but it impresses his employer with the 
necessity to take care of him. In rare cases 
a farmer is tyrannical, and the lad is at once 
removed ; but the great majority of farmers 
and farmers' wives treat the boys like their 
own sons. Here," he added, taking up a docu- 
ment, " is a recent return dealing with 1,719 
boys visited by our inspectors, who report that 
1,671 were in ' very good health,' 40 in ' good 
or fair health,' and only 8 in ' indifferent or 
unsatisfactory health.' ' 

" And you have no difficulty in finding good 
homes for all the children? " I asked. 

Mr. Smart smiled. 

" Why," he exclaimed, " the supply falls 
ludicrously short of the demand. Here are 



206 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

some precise figures : During the past nine 
years we received 19,034 child immigrants, 
and during that period we received 130,825 
applications for children. Obviously there re- 
mains very little prejudice against these young- 
sters. That prejudice was based upon theories 
of heredity and of the influence attributed to 
early environment ; but the whole fabric of 
fallacies is knocked to smithereens by the facts . 
Take this one fact, for instance : during the 
past three years, from among all the British 
Poor Law boys under the care of this Depart- 
ment, there has only been one who was charged 
with a criminal offence. What other class of 
the community, I should like to know, could 
show as clean a record? " 

In an earlier chapter I spoke of State-aided 
immigration from our cities as a promising 
Imperial experiment. The immigration of 
these youngsters may be described as a 
triumphant Imperial achievement. For the 
British Government defrays the cost of the 
periodical inspection carried out by the 
Canadian Government. 

Into the life of a " Home " boy in his early 
teens my wanderings yielded an insight. 

Among the prosperous Ontario farmers I 




LOADING UP PUMPKINS : ON A FARM IN OLD ONTARIO. 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 207 

visited was one of whom I gained some 
particulars from his wife. 

" Yes, it's a pretty farm, isn't it ? " she said, 
in hearty endorsement of my praise. " It 
cost 700 dollars, which seemed a lot of 
money at the time, but my husband felt sure 
it was good value. He was right, too, for 
we've been able to pay off the last instal- 
ment a year before it was due. That makes 
it so nice now we know everything is paid for. 
My husband just hates being in debt, and I 
don't think it's very nice either. I expect him 
in directly I'm sure you'd like to meet him. 
He's not a great talker, but he does like seeing 
any one who comes from England. Not that 
he remembers as much about it as I do. But 
of course I came out with my people several 
years after he did, and he was only a little 
boy when he left." 

' The joke was," this vivacious young 
woman was presently remarking, " everybody 
said I was silly to marry him . My two brothers 
and some cousins of ours made quite a fuss 
about it. Just as though it was any business 
of theirs, too ! They said I ought to do better 
than marry a Barnardo boy, as he was sure 
not to be steady. That is so funny if you 



208 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

know Charles, especially if you also know the 
young gentlemen who were so free with their 
advice. They all smoke though I don't think 
much of that but two of them have been 
known to drink rather more than is good for 
them; and that's very different. Charles 
doesn't do either ; and anybody who has seen 
their places, and then comes and sees ours, 
wouldn't have much doubt who was the best 
farmer." 

" I suppose they are more reconciled to your 
marriage now? " I ventured. 

" Oh, yes," laughed the lady. ' They and 
Charles are the best of friends, and they all 
look up to him they can't help doing so. But 
it always amuses me to think of what they 
used to say. -As for my brother Fred he's 
come to believe there's no living creature to 
equal a Barnardo boy. He's got one on his 
farm, and every Sunday, when my brother and 
his wife come to dinner, we are sure to hear 
something fresh about their wonderful little 
Sammy. He certainly seems to be quite a 
treasure of a boy. When my brother is doing 
a bit of carpentering, or any other odd job, 
Sammy is sure to be by his side, ready to help. 
And he helps in the right way , too Fred 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 209 

doesn't have to tell him. One day my brother 
was up a ladder, putting some new boards 
on the side of the stable, and he couldn't get 
a nail out ; so he was just coming down to 
find the pincers but there was Sammy holding 
them up for him ! He knew what Fred wanted 
almost before Fred did. 

" Sammy doesn't talk much," she prattled 
on, " but he is so wonderfully thoughtful. It 
really used to be a most untidy house I can't 
help saying so but Sammy has altered all that. 
My sister-in-law is rather absent-minded, you 
know, and it was nothing unusual for her to be 
half the afternoon hunting high and low for 
something she had mislaid. Now all she has to 
do is to ask Sammy he always knows where 
everything is. But the best joke was when my 
brother forgot to shut the stable door. It 
wasn't until next morning he remembered that 
he didn't do it. Off he went in a great state, 
because he knew the calves would be sure 
to be out, and most likely he'd find them tramp- 
ling down the oats. But, to his surprise, the 
stable door was shut all right. Sammy had 
seen to that. Then it came out that every 
night, after my brother has finished work and 
gone into the house, Sammy makes it a rule 

The Golden Land. 15 



210 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

to go round all the out-houses, just to satisfy 
himself that everything is all right. Poor Fred 
how we do chaff him ! It does show such a 
lovely want of confidence on the boy's part. 
As a matter of fact, they've both come to rely 
so much on Sammy that goodness knows what 
they would do without him. He's such an old- 
fashioned little chap, and so unselfish. They 
are always saying how much they would like 
to adopt him, but I say it would be more 
reasonable the other way round. Sammy 
ought to do the adopting. I'm sure he's quite 
a mother to both of them." 

These little glimpses of domestic life have 
perhaps assisted the reader to realise the 
advanced condition of the greater part of Old 
Ontario. Her adventurous young men, indis- 
posed to pay local prices for developed farms, 
have for some time been migrating to terri- 
tories where they could acquire land for 
nothing, or nearly nothing. And in this con- 
nection Ontario has a genuine grievance against 
fate. 

The fame of the Prairie Provinces had been 
trumpeted to the world. All Canada was ring- 
ing with details of the magnificent opportunities 
awaiting industrious men away in the West. 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 211 

On the other hand, the agricultural possi- 
bilities of New Ontario were not known, or, at 
any rate, not appreciated. Information on the 
subject was scrappy, and what facts were 
accessible had not yet been diffused. The 
great project of the Grand Trunk Pacific trans- 
continental line which was to pass right 
through the heart of New Ontario had not 
yet been carried out. People were slow to 
grasp the significance of the Provincial Govern- 
ment's line the Temiskaming and Northern 
Ontario Railway, which runs from North Bay, 
on the C.P.R., to Cochrane, on the new Grand 
Trunk Pacific route, a distance of 252 miles. 
In a word, New Ontario had not been boomed, 
and the Prairie Provinces had been boomed. 
Hence it has come about that the adventurous 
young men of Old Ontario, instead of migrat- 
ing to the northern sections of their own 
province (which would have involved a com- 
paratively small cost for transportation, and 
a comparative proximity to the homes and 
friends they were leaving behind), have joined 
the ever - increasing stream of immigrants 
pouring across the continent to Manitoba, 
Saskatchewan, and Alberta. 

Some comparison between New Ontario and 



212 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

the Prairie Provinces becomes, at this point, 
inevitable. It is not easy to make that 
comparison. Where conditions are various, 
generalisations are apt to be dangerous . There 
are many different sorts of prairie, and there 
are many different districts in New Ontario. 
But certain broad facts may be stated as having 
a general application. 

The clearing of the ground, as a prelim- 
inary to cultivating it, is a much slower, more 
arduous, and more costly, operation in New 
Ontario than on the prairie. For New Ontario 
is heavily timbered, whereas much of the 
prairie is only covered with scrub. On the 
other hand, there are better wage-earning 
opportunities in New Ontario than on the 
prairie ; that is to say, men who have taken 
up land in New Ontario can finance themselves, 
during the earlier years, by occasionally work- 
ing for a few months in the mines, the log- 
ging camps, the lumber mills, or the numerous 
factories . 

A comparison between New Ontario and Old 
Ontario is also inevitable. The former cannot 
hope to compete with the latter in vineyards, 
peach orchards, and tobacco plantations. But 
as fine grain and vegetables can be grown in the 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 213 

one as in the other. There are shorter winters 
in the south, but to compensate for this 
there are longer days in the north. In latitude 
and climate, northern Ontario roughly corres- 
ponds to southern Manitoba. 

For the rest, the agricultural possibilities of 
New Ontario have been triumphantly demon- 
strated by the pioneer farmers who have reared 
crops and herds in that country, and who, by 
the way, are finding a good market for their 
produce in the mines, the mills, the factories, 
and the camps. 

The Great Clay Belt a tract of land 
running 400 miles east and west through 
New Ontario, and embracing about 1 6,000,000 
acres is proving of exceptional fertility, and 
giving remarkable results in peas, beans, 
clover, lucerne, and the other leguminous 
crops. That Belt is tapped by the Government 
line and by the section of the Grand Trunk 
Pacific that is already constructed. It follows 
that in this, the south-eastern, corner of New 
Ontario, settlement is already far advanced. 

In one district traversed by the Government 
line the district of Temiskaming there are 
already more than 60,000 inhabitants. Among 
the towns that have sprung up along the line 



214 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

are New Liskeard (with a population of 
3,000), Haileybury (with a population of 
4,000) and famous Cobalt (with a population 
of 5,500). The Federal Government has 
established an experimental farm near the 
Grand Trunk Pacific junction, and it is officially 
reported that " fine samples " of wheat have 
been produced there, and that apples and other 
fruits are now receiving attention. 

I was discussing that district with a 
Canadian who knows it well, and he said : 
" New Ontario is a splendid country for a type 
of Englishman who is found in all classes of 
society. I mean the man who is robust in 
body and in spirit the man who relishes a 
spice of adventure in his life the man with 
pioneering blood in his veins in one word, 
a sport." 

I like that word. It is a little slangy per- 
haps, but it applies. Certainly the intending 
emigrant to New Ontario should ask himself 
the question, " Am I a sport? " To make the 
position clearer, I will give an actual instance 
of a man who is a sport, and whose wife is 
another . 

Mr. Jack looked very haggard for so young 
a man, especially in comparison with Mrs. 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 215 

Jack, who inclines to be plump. They made 
the stranger welcome with a seat by the stove. 
Yet I was not entirely a stranger, since I came 
from London and knew West Ham. Mr. and 
Mrs. Jack came from West Ham. They 
offered me the choice of beer or milk, and 
then Mr. Jack explained why there was no 
plaster on the laths. 

" I've had eleven months of misfortune," he 
said. " Been on my back with some sort 
of rheumatism. And that's why these walls 
never got finished. There I've laid helpless 
as a baby, and so weak I had to be fed with 
a spoon. I dunno what sort of rheumatism 
they call it. But it's a sort that nearly settles 
you." 

" When they brought him in here," chirruped 
his wife, " I made sure he was going. I told 
my next-door neighbour so. ' Jack's come 
home,' I said, ' but he's only come home to 
die.' And Christmas Day, too I " 

" I quite thought the same," he said. " I 
couldn't move, and I hollered out if any one 
touched me the pain was so bad. But here I 
am, all right again at least, nearly all right. 
It's left my muscles terribly stiff, and that's why, 
in starting to work again, I've begun with a 



216 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

whitewashing job. It pays out my arms a 
treat, but I fancy it's getting the cramp out 
of 'em." 

" Funny to have Jack back at whitewash- 
ing I " soliloquised his laughing wife. She was 
evidently very much amused. I did not quite 
see the point. 

We were at Earl's Court, the Toronto suburb 
whose English inhabitants, as I indicated in 
a previous chapter, work in factories, and at 
other jobs appropriate to city toilers. What 
was there so funny in Mr. Jack, late of West 
Ham, turning his hand to house-decorating? 

" It's the trade I followed in the Old 
Country," he said apologetically. " And, after 
doing nothing for a twelvemonth, I'm satisfied 
to be back at work, no matter what it is." 

Which remark did not make the position any 
clearer to me. 

" And who do you think," broke in the 
vivacious lady, " was the breadwinner while 
Jack was on his back? I was ! Oh, yes I 
can earn my nine dollars a week house-clean- 
ing down in the city. What's more, I enjoyed 
it." 

" If Liz hadn't turned to," Mr. Jack un- 
grudgingly confirmed, " goodness knows what 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 217 

would have become of us. Fortunately, we'd 
paid for the land and house, and didn't owe 
a cent. But my money from the last camp 
didn't keep us going for more than three 
months, what with doctor's bills and one thing 
and another." 

"What camp was that?" I asked. 

" Logging away north of Cobalt," he ex- 
plained. " And before that I was with a 
mining gang. That's the sort of life ! When 
I first came out I started in the radiator shop, 
the same as one might do in the Old Country. 
But as soon as I heard of New Ontario I 
pricked up my ears ; and it wasn't long before 
I started off to try my luck out there. It just 
suited me. The cities are all very well for 
those who like 'em, but give me the lakes 
and the forests. It's better money for one 
thing ; but what I like about it is the freedom. 
Wait till I get my joints in working order ! 
I'll soon be back there." 

"And I shall go with him," Mrs. Jack 
averred . 

" Yes, I had Liz with me in one camp, and 
she quite took to the life. Of course, we've 
always got this home to come back to when 
we want a change." 



2i8 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

' You wouldn't believe what he's gone 
through," exclaimed the exuberant lady, as she 
eyed her husband with unmistakable pride. 
" He could tell you something sleeping on 
the coffin of a murdered man, and I don't 
know what all ! Tell him some of the things, 
Jack. Go on tell him about the Mace- 
donian." And her high-spirited shudder 
served to whet my curiosity. 

" Oh, that was a poor fellow who was help- 
ing to blast rocks for the new railroad," Mr. 
Jack modestly narrated. " He had a leg and 
half his face blown away ; and when he was 
dead, one of his mates got to work on a box 
to put him in. But he made it too small, 
which caused a lot of trouble ; and I shall 
never forget seeing them row out with it to 
the island. There was no clergyman, so they 
couldn't have a proper funeral ; and when they 
got to the island the ground' was all rocks. 
But the strange part was that this poor Mace- 
donian hadn't any relations or friends in 
Canada, and nobody knew what his proper 
name was or anything about him, so they 
couldn't put up any tombstone." 

" And now tell him," came Mrs. Jack's eager 
suggestion, " about your journey from North 
Bay." 



THE TWO ONTARIOS 219 

" Well, you must know," began her com- 
pliant lord, " that the winter set in just as 
I was taken bad, and there I lay in camp, all 
swollen and inflamed, with shooting pains all 
over me. The lake had just been frozen when 
a lot of snow fell, and, you see, that made a 
sort of warm blanket to prevent the ice getting 
thicker. So I was there for three weeks, wait- 
ing for the lake to bear ; and it would have 
been longer still if my mate, with another, 
hadn't gone across and beaten out a trail, to 
give the frost a better chance. Even then 
it wasn't safe for a horse, so my mate, with 
that other chap, took and dragged the sledge 
themselves . 

' What with the cold and the bumping, I 
shan't forget that journey as long as I live ; 
and I don't suppose the other two will either. 
It took a long time getting over the lake, and 
I don't know how many more hours before we 
reached the railway for North Bay. My mate, 
who had been nursing me night and day before 
then, was fairly played out, and the moment 
he got on the train, he just bent over and 
went off to sleep like a log. It being Christmas 
time, the car was jambfull of passengers, most 
of them pretty lively. I told the conductor 



220 THE TWO ONTARIOS 

how it was with me, and I begged him to 
find me a corner where I could lay down and 
be quiet. So he and another train -man took 
hold of me between them, and got me along 
to the mail-van. But, owing to all the Christ- 
mas letters and parcels, that was about as full 
as it would hold. I just fell down on a heap 
of mail-bags, and soon I felt several more bags 
come tumbling over on top of me. Not that 
I minded about that ; but the next I remember 
was a couple of fellows lifting me out of there. 
They said they'd find me a place where I'd 
be out of the way, if I didn't mind sleeping 
on the coffin of a murdered man. Then they 
lifted me up, and next minute I was lying 
on something hard and level. I knew who was 
underneath me the poor chap that had been 
killed down the line ; for the news had come 
to our camp before we left. But, the way I 
felt it didn't make any difference to me 
whether I was on a coffin or anything else. 
But I couldn't help feeling it was a funny 
way to be spending Christmas Eve." 



CHAPTER XIII 
WOMEN SETTLERS 

Grumblers and optimists Mr. and Mrs. Y and their 

untidy shack A paralysed pig and broken plough 

The lady's lament Mr. and Mrs. C from Chelsea 

Persian rugs and old oak on the prairie An artist's 
strange experiences Left with the baby on a 
snowed-up train Farming without knowledge 

Crop failures and dying stock How Mrs. C saved 

the situation A head waitress and her story Con- 
fessions of a cultured lady Quaint preparation for 
Canada Girls I interviewed at Vancouver Testi- 
mony of an ex-school teacher Canadian children : 
a nursemaid's impressions The dressmaker and her 
mother My visit to their cosy flat Immigration 
experiences of a pet dog Why the old lady attends 
Salvation Army services A girl's appreciated 
draughtsmanship Shopping in England and Canada : 
a comparison Questions I put to servant-girls 
Reasons for their contentment Abrupt proposals 
of marriage. 

OUT on the prairie I met many English 
housewives. If asked to classify them, I 



222 WOMEN SETTLERS 

should be tempted to say : a small minority 
are grumblers ; a large majority are optimists. 

As to the former, one could only regret that, 
in the interests of all parties, they did not 
remain in the sedate suburban world where the 
milkman calls twice a day. The latter are 
making Central Canada what Central Canada 
is rapidly becoming a country of attractive, 
prosperous, and happy homes. 

I have already introduced into this book a 
typical example of the right sort of woman for 
Canada. Her name is Mrs. Fisher, and you 
will find her in Chapter IV. 

Let us now glance briefly at a sample of the 
wrong sort. 

On a beautiful quarter-section of rich soil 
in Southern Alberta I beheld a shack that was 
very amateurish in construction. Obviously 
the people who lived there were still at the 
stage of struggle and stress. 

I found out all about them. 

A dissatisfied chemist in England, and 
scarcely knowing a horse from a cow, Mr. 

Y , on arriving in Canada at the age of 40, 

made the mistake alas I so common of at 
once taking up his own homestead. He 
should, of course, have hired himself for the 



WOMEN SETTLERS 223 

first season to an established settler, with whom 
he would have acquired a practical knowledge 
of Canadian farming. He thought he knew 
what he did not know, and acted on his ignor- 
ance, with the inevitable result that several 
years have been wasted in costly bungling. 

Then, too, while Mr. Y- - obviously has a 
great love for farming, he seems to have little 
natural aptitude for it. He is this sort of man : 
he bought a pig that proved to be paralysed ; 
he bought an ox without suspecting, until too 
late, that it was dying of tuberculosis. I found 
him mourning over his plough. It seemed 
that, having broken the wheel, he had sent 
for another one (forgetting to state dimen- 
sions). He was two days trying to fit the new 
wheel before he discovered that it was of the 
wrong size. And by that time he had broken 
the plough. 

In fairness to Mrs. Y I mention these 

facts, by way of illustrating her environment. 
For the rest, she shall speak for herself. 

; ' Here's a nice sort of place, isn't it," she 
remarked, "for a lady to live in? And, you 
know, I'm not accustomed to this sort of thing. 
It might be different for anybody who had 
been brought up just anyhow. But my father 



224 WOMEN SETTLERS 

was in a bank, and I was always used to 0. 
respectable home, with a servant and every- 
thing. But this oh, it's too dreadful." 

Now she came to mention it, I was bound 
to admit (to myself) that, of the many shack 
interiors I had seen, this was the most untidy 
and dirty. Wallpaper patched with newspaper, 
two skirts hanging from a nail that also held 
a picture, boots and books in a pile on the 
sofa things like that certainly lent colour to 
the lady's criticism. 

" When Herbert came over to England and 
married me," she went on, " I never dreamt 
I was coming out to anything like this. It isn't 
fair. And such a dreadful wild country, too, 
with no proper society." 

" Have you no neighbours ? " I asked in my 
innocence . 

" Yes," she replied, " but I don't have any- 
thing to do with them, thank you ! They are 
not at all the sort of people I should care to 
know. If my elder sister hadn't been able to 
come out and be a little company for me, I'm 
sure I don't know what I should have done. 
She doesn't think it's a nice place to live in 
either ! I expect she'll be in soon she's gone 
out to give baby an airing." 



WOMEN SETTLERS 225 

That interior assumed a new interest with the 
discovery that there were two ladies to look 
after it. But my attention was called in 
another direction. 

" Have you seen our fowls?" Mrs. Y 
suddenly asked. 

I felt it was rather an embarrassing ques- 
tion, for I had seen the poor things. 

' Well, can you say what's the matter with 
them? " she asked triumphantly. ' There they 
are, moping and hanging their heads and dying 
off one after the other ; and as for eggs well, 
we haven't seen such a thing for nearly six 
months." 

I had a very definite idea what was amiss 
with those unhappy birds ; and, as gently as 
possible, I was entering into particulars 
when 

" Oh, no ; it can't be that," corrected the 
lady, a trifle haughtily. ' They receive every 
attention. No I think it must be the climate. 
People are able to keep fowls all right in 
England." 

"Do you do any gardening? " I asked, to 
change the subject. 

" Oh, no ; I haven't time," Mrs. Y- - ex- 
plained. ' You see, there's baby." 

The Golden Land. \Q 



226 WOMEN SETTLERS 

So much for the two extremes Mrs. Fisher, 
the ideal prairie housewife; and Mrs. Y -- , 
who ought to be deported. 

Of course, many of the optimists, while 
taking everything very good-naturedly from 
the outset, are some time before they adapt 
themselves to the conditions of life in Canada. 
In this connection I recall the case of Mrs. 



I was sitting with Mr. and Mrs. C- - in that 
charming room of theirs which, with its Persian 
rugs, Dutch dresser, Delft pots, and old oak 
chairs, was such a surprising place to find in 
Southern Saskatchewan; and Mr. C - asked 
me, rather abruptly : 

" Have you ever realised that you have made 
an absolute ass of yourself? " 

" I beg your pardon? " I stammered, won- 
dering to which particular episode in my life 
he was referring. 

" Because I have," Mr. C - went on, re- 
vealing a purely egotistical application to his 
inquiry. " Listen, and I'll tell you about it. 
Five years ago I was a harmless, respectable 
artist living in Chelsea, and making well, a 
comfortable living by illustrating books and 
magazines. Art was my profession, I had 



WOMEN SETTLERS 227 

worked at it all my life. I knew nothing of 
any other trade or calling. Now note. A 
friend of mine used to drop into my studio and 
talk about Canada. He was an enthusiast. 
I suppose he had caught the back-to-the-land 
fever about as badly as a man can catch it. 
Not content with talking, he lent me books and 
pamphlets. What was the result? I decided 
that, as an ordinary measure of prudence and 
worldly wisdom, I must at once sell up my 
small possessions and start farming in Canada. 
As for Milly well, womanlike, and anxious at 
all costs for adventure, she was only too 
willing." 

" Come, now, I do like that ! " laughed 

astounded Mrs. C . "Why, he was positively 

crazy about it could talk and think of nothing 
else used to lie awake at night trying to decide 
how he should spend all the money he was 
going to make in Canada. Of course, I had to 
consent." 

Mr. C- - waved aside his wife's interrup- 
tion as irrelevant. ' The only fact of import- 
ance," he said, '* is that we came. We came 
with a matter of 2,000. Now, how did I 
apply that money? " 

" But you've forgotten about the baby ! " 



228 WOMEN SETTLERS 

broke in Mrs. C . " Surely the baby is a 

fact of importance ? " 

" In a way yes," Mr. C- thoughtfully 
admitted. " I apologise for omitting the baby 
from my narrative. It was like this. In our 
eagerness to get here by the spring, we arrived 
before the winter was over. Our train got 
snowed up badly snowed up. We were only 
fifty miles from our journey's end, but there 
we were stuck fast. Three days went by, and 
the position began to be serious. There was 
no more food on the train ! However, com- 
munication was opened up with neighbouring 
farmers, who, with great hospitality, invited 
the passengers to dinner and sent sleighs to 
fetch them in. Milly and my little daughter 
went off with one of the parties, and I stayed 
behind with the baby. A quarter of an hour 
afterwards the train started ! Now, I don't 
know whether you have ever been cut off from 
feminine assistance when you have a baby 
literally on your hands. I confess that, for 
one lucid second, the question passed through 
my brain, ' How came I to be in such a pre- 
dicament out on that great white landscape ; 
what in the world was I up to ? ' But the train 
stopped, Milly returned, and that momentary 
misgiving was forgotten . 



WOMEN SETTLERS 229 

" And so," continued Mr. C , " I come to 
the farming. How did I begin? Did I inquire 
for an agricultural college where I might pick 
up a smattering of my new profession? No. 
Did I engage myself to a farmer in order to 
acquire some little practical experience? Cer- 
tainly not. Did I begin with a modest quarter- 
section that had about forty acres broken ? No, 
sir. A humble start like that might be all very 
well for the English farmer who came out with 
us; but my ambition was of wider range. I 
bought four adjoining cultivated quarter- 
sections that is to say, I bought a solid square 
mile of farm land. Well, of course certain 
accessories were necessary horses, ploughs, 
pigs, and things like that ; so I arranged with 
some firms to supply whatever was usual. Also 
I engaged two young fellows to help me with 
the work. Then I began painting during the 
morning, farming during the afternoon. I 
expect you can guess the rest." 

" Poor Teddy ! " murmured Mrs. C , with 

a laugh that was half a sigh. 

' Yes," he agreed ; " and poor Milly ! " 

'You did not succeed very well?" I 
hazarded . 

" I'm afraid not," she said. " You see, our 



230 WOMEN SETTLERS 

hired girl did not get good results with the 
dairying, and I was much too ignorant to 
correct or direct her. The two young men 
were obviously both incompetent and idle, but 
Teddy was hardly in a position to supply their 
deficiencies." 

" The crops all failed," groaned Mr. C . 

" Horses died," supplemented Mrs. C- . 

" I overheard neighbouring farmers speak of 
me as ' that dear old duck,' ' deplored the 
gentleman. 

" On the children's behalf, I began to get 
anxious," confessed the lady. 

" Then," said Mr. C , " occurred the grand 

transformation. It was all due to Milly. She 
came to me one day and said she was going 
round to Mrs. Shotter's for her first lesson in 
butter -making. She also said Mrs. Franklin 
had promised to teach her how to milk a cow. 
I further gathered that she was looking to some 
other neighbour for hints on poultry manage- 
ment. At first I was more amused than any- 
thing else. But when Milly produced the first 
pound of butter she had made, its excellence 
set me thinking. And when I found her de- 
tecting all sorts of egregious mistakes in our 
pig department, I did more than think. 




ARRIVAL AT QUEBEC OF A PARTY OF WOMEN IMMIGRANTS CONDUCTED 
BY THE SALVATION ARMY. 



WOMEN SETTLERS 231 

Realising for the first time that I knew nothing 
whatever about farming, and that, in point of 
fact, I had been behaving like an absolute 
ass, I set humbly to work, a la Milly, to learn 
things." 

" He has been so splendid ! " exclaimed his 
wife. " You should see him manage the 
horses. We are never late now with the 
ploughing. Teddy has built a stable that 
people say is as strong as a church. And we 
are beginning to make such a lot of money ! 
We had bumper crops last year ; our wheat 
graded No. i, and we took a first for oats. I 
suppose I ought not to say ' we,' " she added 
in a merry parenthesis, " though I did lend 
a hand with the stocking. And this year the 
crops look even better." 

' Yes, they don't call me ' that dear old 
duck ' now," said Mr. C . 

So much for the prairie housewives perhaps 
the most valuable, and valued, class in Canada. 
I also took note of another class that is held 
in high esteem throughout the Dominion- 
women immigrants who work for wages. 

A slight toothache was the means of intro- 
ducing me, at Revelstoke, in British Columbia, 
to two interesting and typical cases. During 



232 WOMEN SETTLERS 

dinner I shifted from a table near the open 
window to one less exposed to draught, and 
the head waitress, not unnaturally, wanted to 
know what I did it for. A simple, good- 
hearted soul, she tarried awhile to gossip with 
a fellow-Cockney, the conversation shifting 
from myrrh and chloroform to the fine oppor- 
tunities Canada affords for persons who don't 
mind work. 

The part of London she came from, it 
seemed, was Battersea, where her receipts from 
mangling served but inadequately to fill the 
void that occurred when her husband, who was 
a carman, could not get employment. So he 
preceded her to Canada, the pay from his job 
in a Revelstoke brewery enabling her to follow 
him three months later. 

' Then the manager here saw Tom one day," 
narrated my new-found friend, " and asked him 
if he'd care to be hotel porter, and he should 
have the same wages as he was getting at the 
brewery. But, as Tom said, he was well off 
where he was, and the people seemed 
satisfied ; so he was much obliged, but 
he thought he'd sooner stay where he 
was. But the manager spoke to him again 
after that, and said there was his rooms 



WOMEN SETTLERS 233 

he was paying for and all his food, and if he 
came to the hotel he'd have the same money 
and his bedroom and board thrown in. So 
Tom told him he'd have to keep his lodgings 
all the same, seeing I was on my way out to 
join him. And that's what settled it, because 
the manager said they would take me too ; and 
if I'd give a hand in the kitchen, just for an 
hour every morning to clean the forks and 
spoons, that'd cover my meals." 

For the rest, husband and wife had, it 
seemed, risen quickly from one sphere of 
service to another, until now, after being two 
years in the establishment, she was head 
waitress and he was in charge of the bar, the 
salary of each being more than twice as much 
as they were jointly earning in the Old 
Country. Since, moreover, they no longer had 
to pay for board and lodging, they were faced 
with the pleasant problem, for the first time 
in their lives, of deciding how accumulated 
savings could most advantageously be invested. 

The hotel management I ventured to point 
out had secured two very capable persons. 
But she would not hear of such a thing. 

" Oh, no," she was eager to assure me ; 
" it's the same with everybody else in this 



234 WOMEN SETTLERS 

country. I don't mean those who won't work, 
and won't put themselves to any trouble about 
anything. They're no good here or anywhere 
else. But anybody that isn't quite a fool, and 
has got enough sense to know you can't have 
anything in this world if you don't work for 
it that sort can't help doing well in Canada. 
To know that, you've only got to see the way 
everybody gets run after. In London, where 
there'd be work for one, you'd find twenty 
trying for it. Out here it's all the other way 
there's twenty jobs waiting for everybody that 
wants to work. I could go from here to- 
morrow to more hotels than one, if I wasn't 
satisfied, and get jest as good money ; so could 
my husband. There's nine places out of ten 
where they wouldn't look at any one else if 
they could get somebody from England. They 
know you can depend on them. Of course, 
having been used to nice ways in the Old 
Country, they're more careful to keep the place 
clean than any one else might be. The 
manager of the hotel he's Canadian, but he 
always tells me to get English girls if I can. 
The last one I got is an English lady born 
any one can see that. She is so very nice, and 
so cheerful over her work, and you never have 



WOMEN SETTLERS 235 

to ask her twice to do anything. From a word 
now and again that she's dropped, I can see 
she's been used to have servants wait on her. 
You can know she's had plenty of money by 
all the countries she and her mother used to 
go to. They must have travelled half over the 
world jest to pass the time. But from what 
I can understand, when the mother died some- 
thing happened to all the money, so the 
daughter was left without a penny and had 
to turn to and earn her own living." 

My curiosity was aroused ; and later in the 
evening, by arrangement, the head waitress 
brought her assistant to the drawing-room, that 
she might meet the gentleman from England 
who was going to write a book. 

Miss R , a middle-aged lady of culture 

and education, gave me supplementary details 
about herself. 

;< Unfortunately," was her smiling way of 
putting it, " I had never learnt to do anything 
useful. I did not realise my deficiencies until 
one day I found that, for the future, I must 
earn my own living. It was most humiliating 
to find myself so unprepared for the 
emergency. The women writers, the typists, 
the dressmakers, the shop assistants how I 



236 WOMEN SETTLERS 

envied the knowledge and training that enabled 
them to play a useful part in the world, while 
I was an utterly incompetent and superfluous 
person. I even found myself looking with a 
new and strange respect at a girl who was 
cleaning a doorstep. 

" However, I got a post as companion in 
a clergyman's family at Manchester. But it 
was not at all satisfactory. It did not surprise 
me that the clergyman and his family could 
not accept me as an equal. I hardly expected 
they would; and I knew how thoroughly I 
deserved their dignified aloofness. For in days 
gone by I, too, had looked down upon com- 
panions and persons of that class. What made 
the position unendurable was the attitude of 
the servants. I did think I was entitled to be 
received by them on a footing of equality and 
good feeling. But no ; they treated me with a 
sort of spiteful respect, as though I were 
a superior, but one who was rather con- 
temptible. Between the two I felt completely 
ostracised." 

" And so you decided to come to this 
country? " 

" Yes," she smilingly replied. " And how 
do you think I prepared myself for Canada? 



WOMEN SETTLERS 237 

Why, I attended a cookery-class, and learnt 
how to make dainty cakes, with sugar-icing 
and all manner of recherche* embellishments. 
It really was a dreadful insult to the Canadian 
people, wasn't it? But it never occurred to 
me that they would be too busy/ and much too 
sensible, to want to eat things like that. I 
have been in the country three months now, 
but three days were enough to show me that, 
instead of wasting my time over fancy cookery, 
I ought to have learnt milking and butter- 
making, or something else really useful." 

' You arrived only three months ago I " I 
exclaimed. " Please let me know what ex- 
periences you have had." 

' I'm afraid there's not much to tell. I 
came out through Miss Lefroy and the British 
Women's Emigration Society. I didn't s,top 
anywhere until reaching Calgary, and as soon 
as I got there the agent asked me if I wanted 
an engagement. I said ' Yes.' Then she said 
some one was required in a hotel at Banff, 
and did I think that would suit me? I said I 
really hadn't any definite preferences. Well, 
could I go at once? she asked. Yes I thought 
I could. So the end of it was I caught the 
next train to Banff, and the same evening was 



238 WOMEN SETTLERS 

duly initiated into my new duties. I was 
placed in charge of a number of rooms, and 
all I had to do was to keep them clean and 
tidy and make the beds." 

' Did you find the drudgery very irksome ? ' 
I asked. 

" Not at all," Miss R heartily testified. 

' In fact, I enjoyed the work, and soon began 
to regard my smooth coverlets and my polished 
mirrors with the pride of an artist. Then, too, 
after the merely nominal remuneration I re- 
ceived in the clergyman's family, it was very 
satisfactory to be earning, not only my board 
and lodging, but i 55. a week in addition, 
for the pay was 25 dollars a month. But what 
I appreciated most was the unaffected friendli- 
ness of everybody, and the fact that one was 
not looked down upon for doing menial work. 
That, I think, is the great charm of this 
country every one treats every one else as an 
equal. It comes as such a delightful surprise 
after the social distinctions and class barriers 
that exist in England." 

I asked Miss R - why she left beautiful 
Banff. 

" It was only a temporary engagement," she 
explained, " as the hotel is closed in the winter. 



WOMEN SETTLERS 239 

One of the girls told me of the vacancy here, 
and as the salary was the same and this hotel 
is open all the year, I applied for the post. 
I have fewer rooms to look after than at Banff, 
though occasionally, at times of pressure, I 
help wait at table. But I always have the 
afternoons to myself, and I really believe I 
never enjoyed better health or found life more 
interesting than I do now. There that, I 
think, completes my revelations." 

" And your work is in every way con- 
genial?" I persisted. 

1 Well, perhaps that would be going a little 
too far," was her laughing rejoinder. " For 
instance, once or twice, when I have gone into 
a room to make the bed, I have found a tipsy 
man there. But one learns how to act in these 
unpleasant little emergencies ; and, on the 
whole, I assure you I am having a very good 
time. Of course, the novelty of it all has not 
yet worn off. Don't you consider the 
Canadians very ingenious and interesting? 
One thing that amuses me very much is their 
practice of moving houses bodily from one 
street to another. I was in the habit of going 
to a book -shop and drug-store here ; but one 
day, when I went there, it had mysteriously dis- 



2 4 o WOMEN SETTLERS 

appeared. I happened to turn round, and, to 
my utter amazement, there was the shop going 
down the road ! You can't imagine a thing 
like that happening in London . Fancy meeting 
one of the Bond Street shops on its way to 
Trafalgar Square ! " 

So ended our chat ; and I afterwards found 
myself wondering how far Miss R 's ex- 
periences and impressions were shared by her 
wage -earning compatriots in Canada. At 
Vancouver I put that issue to a test. Staff- 
Captain Wakefield told me of the hundreds of 
girls and women annually transplanted from 
Great Britain to that city by the Salvation 
Army, and I said I should like to meet some 
of them. So he dictated the first two dozen 
names and addresses he found on his cards ; 
and I set off on a house-to-house visitation. 
It kept me busy for two days and an after- 
noon. 

At tea-rooms in the centre of the city I intro- 
duced myself to Miss W , who had been a 

teacher in Glasgow, and whose typical Scotch 
face reflected sweetness and common sense. 

" There's no comparison between Canada 
and the Old Country," she declared with un- 
patriotic enthusiasm. ' Wages are much 



WOMEN SETTLERS 241 

higher here and hours are shorter. Take my 
own case. I am receiving nine dollars, or 
thirty-six shillings, a week, which is a good 
deal more than I got for teaching. Then, too, 
I don't have to pay for meals, which used to 
make a heavy inroad on my wretched Glasgow 
salary. I share very nice lodgings with 
another girl in a rooming house, and we each 
pay two and a half dollars, or ten shillings, 
a week for them. Of course, one could get 
cheaper quarters than that, but we both feel 
comfort is worth paying for. I am only on 
duty for eight hours a day, and the times are 
arranged in shifts. This week, for instance, 
I come on at eleven and leave at seven ; next 
week I begin earlier and get off at three. So 
one has quite a lot of time to oneself. Besides, 
everybody on the staff has a full day's holiday 
once in three weeks." 

' Then, on the whole may I assume you 
do not regret coming to Canada ? " 

" I wouldn't go back for anything," was Miss 
W- -'s emphatic reply. ' This country is fine. 
I like the people, and I simply love the climate. 
It is so delightful to have a real summer and 
a real winter. Of course, everything has its 
drawbacks. At first I very much missed the 

The Golden Land. 17 



242 WOMEN SETTLERS 

home-life I was used to. And I still miss the 
mental side of my old work. As a teacher 
one has to do a lot of reading. The work of 
a waitress is rather too remote from that sort 
of thing to satisfy me entirely. However, 
Canada offers plenty of openings, and when I 
am tired of being a waitress I can do some- 
thing else." 

Strolling to the delightful residential suburb 
of English Bay, I called at the house where 

Mary P acts as housemaid. Showing me 

into a handsome sitting-room, the conscientious 
girl explained that she could not spare many 
minutes as she had a lot of work to do. 

" It costs you more to dress in this country," 
she pointed out. " But look how much more 
money one earns . I was getting I a month in 
Scotland, and I'm getting 3 a month here. 
There's plenty to be done, mind you. Houses 
that would have three servants in the Old 
Country often have only one here. But a girl 
doesn't mind working hard if she is nicely 
treated ; and in Canada a servant is made to 
feel herself quite one of the family." 

' You have plenty of time to yourself ? ' 
I asked. 

" Yes, and I could have more if I wanted it. 



WOMEN SETTLERS 243 

When I came, it was arranged that I should 
have Sunday afternoons off and three evenings 
a week. But, you see, I'm with the children 
so much, on the beach and in Stanley Park, 
that I really don't want so many evenings out, 
and I mostly prefer to stop at home, especially 
if there's something to be done, and Mrs. Hunt 
would have to do it alone if I wasn't there to 
help." 

I asked for her opinion of Canadian 
children . 

' They are not any different from other 
children," said Mary. " Our four are pretty 
lively, but very nice. They don't seem to have 
toys much in this country, but they love to 
play at romping gamesespecially when they 
pretend to be Red Indians. They are very 
cute, and just now it's a great joke with them 
that they are getting to be Scotch children 
through eating the Scotch scones I make them. 
They go about the house singing, ' Mary, my 
Scotch Lassie ' ! " 

Miss T , when I saw her at the Hudson 

Bay Stores, could not spare time for a chat ; 
but she told me where she lived, and said, if 
I cared to call, she and her mother would be 
pleased to see me. 



244 WOMEN SETTLERS 

That evening, at their cosy little 40 flat, 

Miss T showed me into a room where I 

found a gentle -mannered old lady and a little 
dog which, being so obviously anxious to bite 
my leg, had to be banished to the kitchen. 

I had, it seemed, happened upon one of four 
sisters who, unaided by male relative or private 
means, had to support themselves and their 
invalid mother. This had not been too easy 
when they lived at Maida Vale ; and so, ten 
months before, they had emigrated to Canada 
they and their dog and their piano, with certain 
prized chimney ornaments. 

The old lady still spoke of that great adven- 
ture with bated breath and a devout 
thankfulness. 

' Wans't it wonderful not one of the vases 
got broken ! But poor Joe did have a bad 
time on the voyage. He had to be kept in a 
part of the ship right away from us. Only 
they very kindly let us see him every day, and 
the girls sometimes took him for a run on 
deck. The railway journey was the worst 
though. He wasn't allowed to come with us ; 
he had to travel all by himself in a freight 
train. Poor Joe ! you can imagine how 
terribly he fretted." 



WOMEN SETTLERS 245 

But the little brute had not gone the right 
way to work to engage my sympathies ; and 
so, offering no comment on his immigration 
experiences, I inquired how the old lady had 
fared on the journey. 

" Oh, everything was very nice," she replied. 
' I quite enjoyed it especially on the train. 
And I had been so dreading it all ! I'm sure 
everybody was most kind. And as for Staff- 
Captain Wakefield, he has indeed proved a 
friend. Being strange to the city, I don't know 
what we should have done without him. In 
all our difficulties we turned to the Army, be- 
cause they said that's what they were there for, 
and we needn't mind how much we bothered 

them. And do you know," Mrs. T. went on, 

lowering her voice confidentially, " we are not 
connected with the Army in any way. I told 
them so I really felt bound to ; but they said 
that didn't make any difference they had 
brought us out, and they wanted to see us 
comfortably settled." 

And even as she spoke, my eyes chanced 
upon the Bishop of London's photograph in 
its neat gilt frame on the piano. 

" But," continued the gentle old lady, " I've 
made a point of going to one or two Army 



246 WOMEN SETTLERS 

services, for, after they've been so good to 
us, I feel that's the least I can do." 

I asked if all the girls were dressmakers. 

" No ; one's a nurse, and another is a tele- 
phone operator," Mrs. T- - explained. " Then 
my eldest girl does draughtsmanship. She 
was the only one who didn't get an en- 
gagement as soon as we arrived. You see, it 
was new in Canada for a girl to do work like 
that. The Vancouver surveyors were quite 
amused about it at first. But one firm agreed 
to give Milly a trial, and they are so very 
pleased with her. They say hers are by far 
the best plans that are done in the office." 

" And are your girls satisfied with the 
salaries they receive in this country ? ' I 
asked. 

" My word ! " answered the old lady, as she 
threw up her eyes and her mittened hands. 
" I never heard of such salaries for girls to 
be getting. Why, they are all earning more 
than twice as much as they were earning 
before. But the great thing is that it's steady 
employment all the time. In London there 
was usually one, and often two, out of a berth. 
That is what used to trouble them posts were 
so very hard to get." 



WOMEN SETTLERS 247 

For the country as a whole, and for Van- 
couver in particular, Mrs. T had nothing 

but praise. I found that she also liked the 
people and the weather. But my inquiries at 
last touched upon a matter regarding which, 
in the old lady's opinion, Canada is far behind 
her native land. 

" I must say you don't get the same attention 
in the shops," she mildly deplored. " I'm not 
saying the Vancouver assistants may not be 
just as polite in their way, but they don't take 
the same pains. They'll bring you what they 
think you want, and that's the end of it you 
can take it or not, just as you please. They 
don't give themselves the trouble really to show 
you what they've got in stock, so that you can 
have several things to choose from, and per- 
haps in the end find something to suit you that 
is quite different from what you first asked 
for." 

" No, mother dear," interposed the Hudson 
Bay machinist, " they haven't the same fear 
of what may happen if a customer doesn't buy 
anything." 

I afterwards interviewed several girls who 
had exchanged domestic service on one side of 
the Atlantic for domestic service on the other 



248 WOMEN SETTLERS 

side. They laid but minor stress on their im- 
proved wages. What they liked most about 
Canada, they told me, was that they were con- 
sidered as good as other people, and if, when 
their work was done, they wanted to run out 
and post a letter or get something, they hadn't 
got to ask permission. 

A girl's chances of finding a congenial 
partner, and settling down in life, accounted, 
I found, for a large, if somewhat frivolous, 
element in the interest they took in the country 
of their adoption. Such embarrassment as 
they experienced in this connection arose, so 
far as I could understand, from a super- 
abundance, rather than from any dearth, of 
opportunity. 

' I never saw such a daft lot of fellows," 
declared a laughing, pretty Cumberland lass. 
" I can hardly go a day without one of the 
great big sillies wants to marry me. With 
some of them it's almost the first word when 
they're introduced. And so solemn they are 
over it, too ! They've got farms in the country, 
they say, and they are doing nicely ; but they 
want a wife to look after the house did you 
ever hear such impudence ? and be a little 
company for them, poor dears ! " 



WOMEN SETTLERS 249 

I ventured to probe, at my next interview, 
for similar experiences. 

" Have I had any proposals ! " echoed the 
astonished young lady. " That's rather a 
strange question, isn't it ? " 

However, she graciously decided not to be 
offended. 

' Yes, I've had a lot," that alert London 
girl avowed, a trifle scornfully. " It began on 
the journey, when we were passing through 
the prairie country a farmer who came part 
of the way on the train. I've no patience 
with 'em." 

From another girl my impudent inquiry met 
with a reception of marked coyness. She had 
been in Canada only three months. But the 
date of her marriage was already fixed. 

' I met him at the Salvation Army," she 
confessed with blushing impetuosity ; " and he 
is so nice." 



CHAPTER XIV 
EDUCATION 

England and Canada compared Imagination and reality 
Vigorous vitality of new traditions Embryo towns 
and the telephone Education in the Prairie Pro- 
vinces An enlightened curriculum Object-lessons 
from Nature My visit to a prairie school Quotations 
from the blackboard What the little girls were 
doing Signalling in silence Interview with a 
schoolmaster Canada's social problems Retired 
farmers and their empty lives Educating the second 
generation A nation of optimists Climate and 
happiness Canada's future. 

A NEW country is apt to be associated, in the 
imagination of persons who have never been 
there, with makeshift social arrangements. Its 
conditions are assumed to be a pathetic 
burlesque of modern civilisation. Life out 
there is understood to have a primitive, almost 
a Robinson Crusoe, touch. 

But such misgivings are baseless. It is a 
250 



EDUCATION 251 

mistake to suppose that the new country begins 
where the Old Country began. It is not even 
true that the new country reflects, in its social 
amenities, the most backward portions of the 
Old Country. The village pump, the village 
idiot, and doddering Giles have no counterparts 
across the Atlantic. Central Canada is not 
handicapped by any surviving relics of Feudal 
times, or even of the mid-Victorian era. It 
is developing with the vigorous vitality of new 
traditions that belong to the North American 
continent a 'continent that has already pro- 
duced one young nation of colossal strength 
and is now producing another. 

In Canada I saw a little embryo town that 
was only two months old. But the houses were 
fitted with telephones and electric light as a 
matter of course. For historical, aesthetic, and 
personal reasons, I delight in my native land. 
But in practical matters of social evolution 
England, as compared with Canada, is a 
museum of red tape and paralysing precedents. 

Yet I must confess that even to me who 
had twice journeyed across Canada, and was 
familiar with its spirit the Elementary and 
High Schools of the Prairie Provinces came as 
a surprise. It was in my mind that the British 



252 EDUCATION 

immigrant must surely find, in his new sphere, 
some disadvantage to set against a better 
livelihood and a brighter climate . As the only 
thing I could think of, I pictured him with 
impaired opportunities for the mental training 
of his children. 

Humbly apologising to the provincial 
Governments, I fully recant that ludicrous 
error. Those Governments have established 
a system of popular education that is free, 
universal, unsectarian, and so sound and 
attractive that it scarcely needs to be com- 
pulsory. The system is kept healthy and 
democratic by the large measure of control 
vested in local trustees and meetings of rate- 
payers. The system is kept to the highest 
attainable pitch of efficiency by the activities 
and generous expenditure of Departments of 
Education, with their ministers, deputy-minis- 
ters, and advisory boards. 

Educational facilities are promptly pro- 
vided in newly-settled districts. The presence 
of ten children is enough to justify a school. 
Where a journey of more than one mile is 
involved, provision is frequently made for the 
free transportation of the children from and 
to their homes. For the rest, having learnt 



EDUCATION 253 

what to teach, the teachers are taught how to 
teach. 

The school curriculum furnishes abundant 
proof that the authorities, instead of slavishly 
following custom, have had the courage to 
think things out for themselves. Thus the 
subjects taught in the Manitoba schools include 
arithmetic, purity of thought, history, reading, 
industry, writing, cleanliness, the proper treat- 
ment of animals, geography, and correct 
breathing. 

I cannot resist quoting an item or two from 
the programme of studies. Thus : " The 
planting of a potato or a potato section by 
each pupil. Observation of growth from week 
to week. Keeping a record of this." Again : 
' The study of such birds as live near the water 
or frequent the meadows. Special reference 
to the red-winged blackbird, bobolink, and 
meadow-lark." Here is a word of admonition 
addressed to the Saskatchewan teacher by his 
employers : " He should carefully guard 
against the child's knowledge of history 
becoming a jumbled mass of useless and un- 
related facts. . . . Training the moral judg- 
ment and preparation for intelligent citizen- 
ship are important aims in teaching this 



254 EDUCATION 

subject." In connection with Nature study, 
provision is made for " short field excursions 
for purposes of observation " ; while it is laid 
down that, by actual experiment, pupils are 
to be instructed in the " methods of, and 
reasons for, digging, hoeing, raking, watering, 
shading, planting, transplanting, &c., in con- 
nection with garden crops." 

Alighting from the train at Qu'Appelle in 
Saskatchewan, and taking a direction at 
haphazard, I set out to gain some personal 
knowledge of education on the prairie. 
Presently meeting a long, box-like wagon full 
of wheat, I asked the driver if he would kindly 
direct me to the school. 

" Which school ? " he asked, a little 
reproachfully. 

" The nearest," I explained. 

This was rather a poser for him. If I went 
back two miles, he explained, I'd find a school 
in the town. Also I'd find one if I went two 
miles farther on. There was another school, 
it seemed, away to the right a bit over two 
miles, he thought that was. Then again, there 
was a school away to the left he rather fancied 
that was under two miles, though a stranger 
might easily miss the way. 



EDUCATION 255 

I continued straight on, and in half an hour 
came to a substantial-looking stone building 
standing by the roadside. It was wrapped in 
quietude and there was no one about. How- 
ever, swings in the garden looked promising, 
and so, entering the lobby, I pushed open the 
door of one of the rooms and peeped in. 

At a table on a dais stood a young lady with 
a pleasant expression, a book in her hand. 
Standing immediately before her were three 
little girls with eager, upturned faces. Some 
dozen or so other little girls sat at the desks 
which, arranged in rows, with intervening 
gangways, occupied most of the floor space. 

Entering, I attempted to justify my in- 
trusion, and was received with cordial courtesy 
by the schoolmistress, and with no little interest 
by her beaming class. On the understanding 
that work should go forward exactly as if no 
stranger were present, I went and took up my 
post of observation on a back bench. 

A line of blackboards extended across three 
of the walls, which were further embellished 
by charts, maps, and bouquets of autumn 
foliage. Some expert hand, employing white 
and coloured chalks, had drawn admirable 
designs, in addition to birds, rabbits, and 



256 EDUCATION 

flowers, on areas of the blackboards not utilised 
for poetry, mottoes, sums, and music notation. 
Concluding that the verses had been put there 
to be copied, I straightway copied the follow- 
ing song to the month that had recently 
arrived : 



u Oh, come to the woods, the merry green woods, 

While gaily the autumn leaves fall, 
Just look overhead, 'mid leaves brown and red, 

Where squirrels all chatter and call 
'October is here, the Queen of the year.' 

Oh, out in the woods, the merry green woods, 

The fairies their revels will keep ; 
Then when it is dark, comes the Frost Spirit hark 

He's singing the flowers to sleep." 



I also took note of one of the exhibited 
maxims, namely : " Politeness is to do and 
say the kindest thing in the kindest way." 

While thus occupied, I was watching the 
proceedings out of a corner of my eye. The 
three pupils standing before the teacher were 
receiving a lesson in attention, history, and the 
use of words. From her book the gracious 
young pedagogue would read a description of 
some stirring episode in the early French 



EDUCATION 257 

occupation of Canada. Then one of the pupils 
was encouraged to give an account of the affair 
in her own juvenile vocabulary ; after which, 
her two companions were in turn asked to 
elucidate certain facts that belonged to the 
narrative . 

Meanwhile, with apparently undistracted 
attention, the other little girls were improving 
their minds in various ways. Some were read- 
ing, others were writing, while one was 
dexterously manipulating modelling clay into 
wh^t at first I thought was going to be a 
balloon, though it rapidly developed into a very 
creditable bullfinch. A child somewhat older 
than the others, and over whose shoulder my 
position enabled me to glance, was translating 
simple French sentences into English. 

Each scholar, while she obviously had per- 
mission to smile her full and feel as happy as 
she liked, was, I observed, under a disciplinary 
obligation to hold her tongue, save when she 
was spoken to. I wondered why in the world 
one healthy little mite had desisted from pen- 
manship to hold aloft her chubby arm. But 
presently, looking in her direction, the school- 
mistress said : 

"Well, Frances?" 

The Golden Land. Jg 



258 EDUCATION 

" Please, how do you spell ' tortoise ' ? " in- 
quired the signaller. 

Books and writing materials being laid aside, 
the entire class participated in a music lesson. 
The teacher's pointer moved from note to note 
in the scale on the blackboard, and the well- 
trained young voices rendered the intervals 
with accuracy and enjoyment. Then they sang 
songs, other lessons following ; and I left the 
school with a conviction that, if for no other 
reason, British parents should go and settle 
on the Canadian prairie to ensure a thorough, 
comprehensive, and interesting education for 
their children. 

It was also in Saskatchewan that I inter- 
viewed the headmaster of a large town school. 
I asked if he observed any difference between 
boys who were born in Canada and boys from 
the British Isles. 

" Speaking generally," he replied, " British 
boys show a readier grasp of languages and 
mathematics, but they lack initiative. Now, 
the Canadian boy is apt to have a little too 
much initiative," he added, speaking no doubt 
with a schoolmaster's bias, though certainly 
with no national prejudice, since he was born 
in Nova Scotia. 



EDUCATION 259 

Conversation turned on the careers of his 
former pupils, and I was surprised to learn how 
many follow the law, commerce, medicine, 
engineering, and architecture. 

' You see," he explained, " the people 
hereabouts have all made their money as 
farmers, and it gratifies them to spend some 
of it in turning their sons into professional men. 
Another factor in the case, of course, is the 
restless and enterprising temperament of youth, 
particularly of Canadian youth. The lad has 
been brought up on the farm. It has become 
for him a familiar and commonplace world. 
Upon realms outside there rests the glamour 
of the unknown. What Dad did was all very 
well for Dad ; the youngster is set on doing 
something different something more interest- 
ing. To counteract these tendencies as far as 
possible, the Education Departments are 
fostering Nature study in the Elementary 
schools, developing biology in the High 
Schools, and introducing special agricultural 
courses in the collegiate institutes." 

This led us to consider a strange position 
of affairs. The social problems of Great 
Britain tend to turn on the difficulty of the 
individual to gain a livelihood. The social 



26o EDUCATION 

problems of Canada arise rather from the fatal 
facility with which money is made there. 

" Look at towns like this," said the school- 
master" the towns you find all along the rail- 
way lines right through the Prairie Provinces. 
They are full of retired farmers men who, 
after ten or fifteen years of grain -growing, 
have saved enough money to keep themselves 
in idleness for the rest of their lives. Could 
anything be more pathetic than the spectacle 
of their empty lives? There they sit about in 
the hotels, not drinking (as a rule they don't 
do that), just glancing at the newspaper now 
and again, talking a little but not much, some- 
times quite asleep and usually half asleep. 
When they were at work they paid periodic 
visits to that town . It was the one urban centre 
of which they had an intimate personal know- 
ledge. In that town, accordingly, they 
anchored themselves on selling their farms and 
retiring on their means. And I think it is 
correct to say that they are left with only one 
interest to meet the present-day farmers when 
they drive in, and to hear how things are going 
out on the prairie." 

Yes, I had seen them. Often, on leaving 
my hotel after breakfast, I noted the retired 



EDUCATION 261 

farmers in the arm-chairs facing the window ; 
and on returning several hours later, I would 
find the same men sitting in the same chairs. 

" Why in the world don't they do some- 
thing?" I protested. 

" Ah 1 " replied the schoolmaster . " You must 
remember that they were pioneers men who 
set out to fight the world with little schooling 
and no literary culture. Therefore, now in 
their days of leisure they have no mental 
resources to fall back upon. Hence the para- 
mount importance of education in a new 
country. By training the mental powers of 
the young we ensure that the second genera- 
tion on the land will be men of wider 
intellectual sympathies men who, when they 
have made fortunes and it is their turn to 
retire, will instinctively take up with some 
new interest, such as service in Parliament or 
on any of the local public bodies." 

Having criticised those retired farmers for 
being idle (and having, by the way, previously 
called other rich farmers over the coals for 
being too busy), I feel bound to add my im- 
pressions of Canadians as a whole. 

People in England, before they show each 
other hospitality and friendship, have to be 



262 EDUCATION 

introduced. Strangers are felt to be rather 
suspicious characters, who render house-dogs 
necessary. Out in Canada the idea seems to 
be that all men are brothers. The population 
of that country is like a gigantic family of 
8,000,000 friends. Everybody goes about 
with an isn't-it-nice-to-be-alive and a you- 
really-must-stop-to-dinner sort of air. 

I think the climate has a good deal to do 
with it. It is a lively, refreshing climate. A 
great majority of the hours of sunlight are 
hours of sunshine, alike in the seven green 
months and the five white ones. There is 
nothing like sunshine and dry air for making 
people hearty, healthy, and happy. Those two 
conditions, and the fact that industry com- 
mands a sure and ample reward, have pro- 
duced in Canada a nation of optimists. 

Mr. Kipling has announced that the 
Dominion " ultimately must assume nothing less 
than the very headship of the Empire." Speak- 
ing in Canada, Lord Northcliffe said : ' It is 
more than possible that, in the perhaps not 
far distant future, the force of circumstances 
may cause the centre of the British Empire to 
come here." A distinguished literary Cana- 
dian assured me that the King and the Imperial 



EDUCATION 263 

Parliament will inevitably some day emigrate 
to Winnipeg. 

Those are political prophecies, calling for 
no comment from a mere recorder of facts. 
But there can be no doubt, I think, that Canada 
promises to become, in a few decades, the 
most populous and prosperous part of our 
English Empire. 



THE END 



Ube Oreabam press, 

CNWIN BROTHERS, LIMITED, 
WOKINO AND LONDON. 



UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL UBRARYFACjUTY 



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