Puslapio vaizdai

The game laws conspire with the cli- tumn, when the trees are felled and cut mate to limit the activity of the sports- into logs of uniform length. In this man from December to May. During part of his work the Adirondack woodsthis period the cunning trout and the man has exchanged the picturesque axe retiring deer are constructively secure for the more manageable saw. The logs from the hand of the spoiler. It is are then “skidded” by horses or oxen generally believed, however, that both into skidways, which hold from one to venison and trout are sometimes served two hundred. In the meantime, wood on Adirondack tables, and numbers of roads are made, and preparations are innocent persons are made accessories completed for the coming of snow.

In after the fact to flagrant violations of December winter sets in, the roads are the law. When trout are caught during broken, and the logs are drawn to the these months they suffer a change of nearest river, where they are piled in name and are known as chubs.” Un- great roll-ways either on the ice or on a der various names venison also appears high bank, there to remain until the during the same period. The legitimate spring floods launch them and carry sport of the season, however, is the hunt- them to the various mills. The timber ing of the fox and rabbit ; an occupa- is often cut on the mountain sides, and tion full of zest and excitement for those the logs are shot down substantial slides whose love of the chase makes them in- built for that purpose. The descending different to long tramps and extreme logs in long slides attain such velocity cold. To the uninitiated the lion's share that they sometimes shoot hundreds of of the excitement of fox and rabbit hunt- feet through the air with the impetus of ing seems appropriated by the dogs, who a cannon-ball. The life of the wood-cutdiscover the scent, follow the game, and ters, although a hard one, is not without are engrossed in the absorbing interest its enlivening features ; indeed a vein of of pursuit, while the hunter warms his gayety runs through it. The French hands, keeps up his spirits, and waits as Canadians retain something of the cheerpatiently as he can for the chance of a fulness of the Latin temperament, and shot. It not unfrequently happens that in point of general good feeling and the fox takes a course of his own and light-heartedness the lumber camp difdisappears early in the day with the fers very sharply from the mining camp. dogs on his track, leaving the hunter to Every hut contains at least one selfcultivate that philosophy which So- instructed fiddler, and when the pipes crates is reputed to have domesticated are lighted for the after-supper smoke among men. On the other hand, there Kanuck songs shorten the long winter are clear, bracing days when the game evenings. Hard work in the intense comes within range with the most con- cold naturally promotes early retiring, , siderate promptness, and the brush is and the twenty or thirty men are in the symbol of an experience whose zest their bunks at an hour when the evening none but the lover of sport can ade- has hardly begun for social purposes in quately appreciate.

more luxurious circles. One does not There is a large class of men in the care to dwell even in thought on the Adirondacks to whom the winter months quality of the air in those huts, hermetbring the real work of the year, a work ically shut against cold, and shared by of much hardship even under the most such a company of sleepers. The wages favorable circumstances. As one drives earned by the wood-cutters vary from along the roads in some sections of the eighteen to twenty-five dollars a month, woods he comes not unfrequently upon and in spite of their narrow quarters and the deserted log-houses that have served coarse fare the health of the men is said as lumber camps. In winter these rude to be uniformly good. The impression but warmly built huts are centres of the prevails that all cutting of timber is ingreatest activity. A camp generally jurious to the forest ; as a matter of numbers from twenty to thirty men, fact, much of it is highly beneficial. mostly French-Canadians, with some ad- There are lumbermen whose rapacity mixture of the native woodsmen. The spares nothing and leaves behind it season of work begins early in the au- barrenness and devastation ; there are

others whose intelligent management of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as their business conserves the woods by in a book. It is perhaps the most peneremoving superfluous and dying trees. trating charm of winter life in the AdiSome of these far-seeing men have stud- rondacks that it conveys a sense of the ied the systems of forestry abroad, and amplitude of nature and of man's life enare adapting them to the very different folded in it. One feels himself continuconditions of timber-cutting in our own ally in the presence of a power so deep forests. The spruce in the Adirondacks and great that all its processes are is dying rapidly, and its removal is a hushed into silence, and something of matter of the highest importance to the its own beautiful security enters into preservation of the woods. Proper leg- the soul. The stillness of the woods on islative restrictions, with intelligence a winter day, the vastness of the sky, and vigilance on the part of the lumber- the spaciousness of a snow-bound world men, would make the business of wood- allay the fever of life, calm the pulses of cutting conservative of the public inter- its unrest, and assure one that he too is ests in this noble park.

part of this eternal order which nature Thoreau says that a broad margin of keeps inviolate.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Yet mothers kneel before thee still

Uplifting happy hearts; or, wild

With cruel loss, reach toward thy child
Void arms for the Christ-love to fill.

Time waits without the sacred spot

Where fair and young the mother stands ;

Time waits, and bars with jealous hands
The door where years may enter not.


By H. C. Bunner.

*HERE had been a there—there where you have it now--
before, and I was play- that's it! Now build your sea-wall-
ing with sand and wa- good boy!”
ter in the deep trench I obeyed him mechanically, and in a
between the road and few seconds saw the stream swirl off
the lower wall of my fa- from my point, leaving it in a safe space
ther's garden, and en- of calm water. The Indians on the
joying it as much as a other shore must have felt gloomy fore-
boy of eight years can bodings.
enjoy anything without I looked up. A tall, gaunt old gentle-

the company of other man, with a Roman nose and a delicate boys. A swift stream of clear water mouth, with deep wrinkles about it, as rushed down this sandy gutter, and though he drew his lips together a good made for me a far-western river, on deal, stood and looked hard at the water. whose bank I was constructing a fort to He did not look at me at all ; but I defy the hostile Indians. I had selected looked hard at him—at his sad old face, & grassy promontory, jutting out into his shabby brown broadcloth coat, the the stream, and had pulled all the grass great rusty black satin stock about his out by the roots and levelled the earth, neck, and his napless beaver hat with and was beginning on my fortifications, its rolling brim. when I observed with alarm the dissolu- He stared at the water for a moment tion of the point of my site, which, no or two, gave an odd sort of half-choked longer held together by the fibrous sigh, and passed on his way. grass roots, was rapidly turning into That was the first time Squire Fiveblack mud and going down the current Fathom spoke to me. in a cloud.

The town where I lived and fought I tried to stem the flood with a flat Indians was called Gerrit's Gate. (For stone set on end ; but it would not stay the benefit of a generation that proon end, and I was contemplating the nounces Coney Island and Hoboken as necessity of a change of base for my they are spelled, that knows not oelymilitary operations, when the end of a koeks, and that desecrates suppawn by thick walking-stick was thrust between calling it mush, let me say that Gerrit my face and the water, and I heard a to the eye is Garrit to the ear.) The tremulous, eager old voice cry earnestly: story of Gerrit's Gate is the story of “Farther up-farther up, my lad— Myndert Gerrit and his son, the old

VOL. IV.-68


gentleman who helped me in my civil- as the others, but it had been fighting a engineering

slowly losing battle with the mighty curMyndert Gerrit came from Schenec- rent from the west that swept inward tady to found the place. He was a rich from Far and out again past the end man by inheritance, and he had more- of Near Point. This current made

entrance to the western harbor difficult -even dangerous—but the eastern it was an easier matter to reach, and, once in, the largest ship on the lake could lie in safe water while the northwester went by Far and Near and the current hammered away at Middle, making a poor foot a year out of the firm, rootbound soil. And at the head of this little haven the land lay in a low plateau, forming a natural levee.

Here came Myndert Gerrit, in 1822, with his only son (he was a widower) and his whole household, including ten free negroes, formerly his slaves. The son was then a man of thirty, unmarried and devoted in all things to his father. They were constant companions, and as far as I could learn, they cared little for other society. Gerrit reserved the high eastern promontory for his own mansion. He laid the foundation that year, while he and his people lived in

log-cabins. During the summer he sur"That was the first time Squire Five-Fathom spoke to veyed the level land, and staked it out

for streets. In the fall he went to New

York, and he returned the next spring, over inherited pride, ambition, and a leading a caravan of some twenty famhigh temper-a mental and spiritual ilies, and bringing with him the machinoutfit which put him sadly out of place ery for a saw-mill and a grist-mill. It in a conservative old midland town. I was a long and tiresome journey : a great do not know just what was his quarrel labor of transportation; but, by water with Schenectady; but I know he bought and by wagon, they made it in about a his square mile of “military lots month. the shore of Lake Ontario with the Laborers came from neighboring vilavowed intention of building up a town lages (or rather settlements) and ground that should be to Schenectady as a was broken without delay. They cut & mountain to a hill—and that should in- good road running two miles to the cidentally outrival Rochester and Oswe- eastward, where it opened up a branch go. He said, and indeed it seemed, of Gravelly River, which gave them flatthat the finger of heaven had pointed boat navigation to the line of the Grand out the place.

Canal, as they called the Erie, at that As he stood on the hill to the south- time within a year or two of completion. west of his new purchase, Myndert The mansion on Near Point was finishGerrit saw before him three wooded ed in September, and the two Gerrits promontories stretching out into the went to live in it. Standing at his west Iake-Near Point to the east, Far Point window late one afternoon, he looked out to the west, and Middle Point, shorter and saw a sight that filled him with by half than its neighbors, nestling be- pride. Middle Point was shorn of every tween them, and dividing a large bay tree, and bristled only with surveyor's into two snug harbors. Middle Point stakes. Only the great gaps in the must have been, centuries ago, as long earth showed where the twisted roots




"Myndert Gerrit saw before him three wooded promontories stretching out into the lake."

had been, and these were growing into wind of the north ; your house shall be larger holes, that marked the sites of taken from you, and in a little while houses to be. Up in the streets back of you shall have no part or lot in this the levee a few light structures had home of your own choosing-save in already arisen. Two or three tempo- six feet of earth above your face. rary docks stretched out into the quiet That night Myndert Gerrit heard the blue waters of the harbor. Myndert northwester come roaring down from Gerrit looked longest at Middle Point, the Canada forests ; but he paid no heed now a low table of land with water on to it. He had heard it many a night both sides. A street-or what was to before. It might knock at his headland be a street—ran down its middle, from gates till it wearied, for all he cared. the water to where, at the mainland, it But the next morning at five o'clock, joined the great road that stretched his son, looking pale and frightened, away through the woods to the river—to came to his bedside, and told him he the great world—to trade and life and must go at once to the town—so they fortune.

called it already. He dressed himself “Now,” he said to his son, “my part and hastened to Middle Point, and there is done. I have made all ready for them. he found all the towns-people gathered. Now we may begin to look for returns." They stood in little knots, or wandered

Ay, Myndert Gerrit, your part is about trying to make out the full exdone, and it was done when you uproot- tent of the damage. Their faces were ed the first tree and dug the first well pale, and showed ghastly in the gray on Middle Point. Look from your win- and doubtful light. A chill of alarm dow to-day in the red fall sunset, and and apprehension had seized them. They see if you can, in your fancy, the town looked suspiciously and almost resentof your love and hope. See the glister fully at the old man and his son. What of the evening sun on the low roofs of had these two men brought them to ? houses, on steeple and spire rising se- Myndert Gerrit saw his great mistake renely above them! See it redden the with his eyes, but his heart at first rechimneys of homes and set its dazzling fused to accept the truth. He was like blaze in the window-panes. Hear, if a man who sees death for the first time, you can, in your thought, the sound of knows it is death, and yet cannot make people moving about the streets, of chil- it real to his own mind that the blood dren's voices at play, of clanking anvils, will no more flow in the cold veins, that of horses' feet on the roadways, of the heart shall not beat again; that creaking cordage and flapping canvas breath and life have gone out together. where your laden ships lie at their docks At first he went about bravely, showing with their white sails emblazoned by the the people how a jetty here, and a dyke warm light of the west! See it—hear it there, and a sea-wall in a third place --be glad of it in the pride of your would put all to rights; but even before heart: rejoice in the town in which you his hearers had seen that the remedy have sunk all your wealth and the heri- was far beyond any means that they tage of your son! For when you wake possessed, he himself knew that the to-morrow you will awake from a dream, danger to come was not to be met by your returns shall be water and the any scheme of his devising. The greater

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