Two months in the camp of Big Bear
Theresa Gowanlock and Theresa Delaney

Part 2 out of 2

before me, at my summons--I feel that I could do justice to the
subject. But as I was never destined to be an authoress and my powers
of composition were dealt out to me with a sparing hand, I can but
express my regret that an abler writer does not hold my pen. A cloud
has come over my life-dream. The angel of death passed by and in the
shadow of his wing a heavy and better stroke was dealt. It may not be
of much interest to the public to know how I feel over my loss, but if
each one would, for a moment, suppose the case their own and then
reflect upon what the feeling must be. Let them attempt to write a
cold, matter-of-fact statement of the events, to detail them simply as
they took place, without giving expression to sentiments of sorrow, I
think that, at least, ninety-nine out of every hundred would fail, and
the one who could succeed would appear, in my mind, a person without
heart or feeling, unable to love and unworthy of affection.

I will strive to push on to the end of my undertaking without tiring
my readers, with vain expressions of sorrow, regret or pain; but do
not expect that I can relate the story from first to last, without
giving vent to my feelings.

There is one pleasure, however, in knowing that I have no complaints
to make, no blame to impute, no bitter feelings to arouse, no harsh
words to say. But on the contrary, I will try not to forget the
kindness, sympathy, and protection, that from one source or another
were tendered to me.

I hope this little book will please all who read it; amuse some;
instruct others; but I pray sincerely that not one of all my readers
may ever be placed in the painful situation through which I have
passed. Methinks some good prayers have gone up to heaven for me, and
that the Almighty lent an attentive ear to the supplications; for like
the angel that walked through the flaming furnace to protect the just
men of old, some spirit of good must have stood by my side to guide me
in safety through the fiery ordeal and to conduct me to that long
wished for haven of rest--my old home on the Aylmer Road.



My wedding took place in the usual manner: the same congratulations,
presents, kisses, well-wishes all the world over. I need not dwell
upon the event any further.

On the 1st August, 1882, my husband took the train at Ottawa, _en
route_ for the North-West. As far as the first portion of our trip
is concerned I have little or nothing to say, I could not see much
from the car window and every place was new to me and, in fact, one
place seemed as important as another in my eyes.

We passed through Toronto and thence to Sarnia, and on to Chicago. We
crossed to Port Huron and proceeded at once to St. Paul. This was our
first stoppage. We spent a day in St. Paul, and, indeed, the city
deserves a day, at least, from all who travel that way. It is a
beautiful place. However, it seemed to me much on the same plan and in
the same style as all the Western American cities. From St. Paul's we
went on to Winnipeg. I must say that I was not very favourably
impressed by my first visit to this metropolis of the North-West On my
homeward trip I found vast changes for the better in the place. Still
it may have been, only to my eye that the city appeared far from clean
and anything but attractive. I must admit that it was rainy weather--
and oh! the mud! I have heard that there are two classes of people
leave Quebec after a first visit--the one class are those who caught a
first glimpse of the Rock City on a beautiful day. These people are
unceasing in their admiration of Quebec. The other class are those,
who came into the city, for the first time, on a rainy day, when the
streets were canals and mud was ankle deep. It would be impossible to
convince these people that Quebec was anything but a filthy, hilly,
crooked, ugly, unhealthy place. I may be of the latter class, when I
refer to Winnipeg. But most assuredly I am not prejudiced, for since
my last passage through that city I have changed my idea of it

From Winnipeg we proceeded by rail to Brandon and thence, by
construction train, to Troy. We were then four hundred miles from
Winnipeg and we had four hundred miles to travel. But our cars ceased
here. At Troy we got our tent ready, supplied ourselves with the
necessaries upon such a journey, and getting our buckboard into order,
we started upon the last, the longest and yet pleasantest part of our

How will I attempt to describe it! There is so much to tell and yet I
know not what is best to record and what is best to leave out.

Half a day's journey from Troy we crossed the Qu'Appelle river. The
scenery upon the banks of that most picturesque of streams would
demand the pencil of a Claude Lorraine, or the pen of a Washington
Irving to do it justice. Such hills I never before beheld. Not
altogether for size but for beauty. Clad in a garb of the deepest
green they towered aloft, like the battlement of two rival
fortresses--and while the sun lit up the hills to our right, the
shades of mid-day deepened upon the frowning buttresses to our left.
Every tree seemed to have a peculiar hue, a certain depth of color
completely its own. Indeed, one would imagine that Dame Nature had
been trying a gigantic crazy quilt and had flung it over the bed of
the Qu'Appelle valley, that all who went by might admire her

I might here remark that the days of the summer are longer, in the
north-west, than in the Ottawa district. In fact, we used to rise at
three o'clock in the morning and drive for three hours before our
breakfast. It would then be grey dawn and the flush of approaching
day-light could be seen over the eastern hills. At nine o'clock in the
evening it would be twilight The days of midwinter are proportionately

The road we had to travel was a lovely one: at times it might be a
little rough, but indeed it could well compare with most of the roads
in our more civilized places. Nearly every night we managed to reach a
clump of bushes or shelter to camp. Except for two days, when on the
"Salt Plains," when like the caravans in the deserts of the east we
had to carry our own fuel and water.

We crossed the South Saskatchewan at Aroline--or the "Telegraph
Crossing," also known as Clark's Ferry--from the man who kept the
ferry, and who made the new trail running to the Touchwood Hills. We
again crossed the North Saskatchewan near Fort Pitt--which is
thirty-five miles from our destination.

We went by the river road, and after we crossed the salt plains, and
got into the woods at Eagle Creek, we had a splendid trip through a
rich fertile abundant farming country. The houses are not very
attractive, but the farms are really fine. I will dwell upon this
question at a greater length presently.

That less confusion may take place, I will sub-divide this chapter
into three sections. In the first I will speak of the farms and
farmers--their homes and how they live; in the second, I will describe
our own home and its surroundings; and in the third, I will speak of
the Indians under my husband's control, and tell how we got along
during the three years I was there.


It would be out of place and even impossible for me, at present to
give you any figures relating to the crops and harvests of the
North-West. Suffice, to say that for two summers, at Frog Lake,
in my husband's district, we raised wheat that was pronounced by
competent judges to equal the best that ever grew in Ontario.

The land is fertile and essentially a grain-bearing soil. It is easy
to clear, and is comparatively very level. There is ample opportunity
to utilize miles upon miles of it, and the farms that exist, at
present, are evidences of what others might be. No one can tell the
number of people that there is room for in the country. Europe's
millions might emigrate and spread, themselves over that immense
territory, and still there would be land and ample place for those of
future generations. We were eight hundred miles from Winnipeg, and
even at that great distance we were, to use the words of Lord
Dufferin, "only in the anti-chamber of the great North-West."

The country has been well described by hundreds, it has also been
falsely reported upon by thousands. At first it was the "Great Lone
Land,"--the country of bleak winter, eternal snow and fearful
blizzards. Then it became a little better known, and, suddenly it
dawned upon the world that a great country lie sleeping in the arms of
nature, and awaiting the call of civilization to awaken it up and send
it forth on a mission of importance. The "boom" began. All thoughts
were directed to the land of the Rockies. Pictures of plenty and
abundance floated before the vision of many thousands. Homes in the
east were abandoned to rush into the wilds of the West. No gold fever
of the South was ever more exciting, and to add thereto, they found
that the government proposed building a line of railway from end to
end of the Dominion. Then the Frazer, Saskatchewan, Red River and
Assiniboine became household words.

In this story of a fancied land of plenty, there was much truth, but
as in every case in life, there was much falsehood as well. It suited
the purpose of monied speculators to laud to the skies the North-west
in general. But rich and extensive as the land may be, no man can
expect to make a fortune there, unless through hard labor, never
ceasing exertion and great watchfulness. There, as in all other lands,
you must "earn your bread by the sweat of your brow." That sentence
passed on man, when the, first sin darkened his soul, shall exist and
be carried into execution unto the end of time. And no man is exempt,
and no land is free from it. Many have failed in finding riches in the
North-West; gold did not glitter along the highway, nor were precious
stones to be picked up in every foot path. The reason is, because they
went there expecting to have no work to do, merely to sit down, to go
to bed, to sleep and wake up some morning millionaires. But those who
put their shoulder to the wheel and their hands to the plough, turned
up as rich a soil as England's flag floats over, and sowed seeds that
gave returns as plentiful as the most abundant harvests on the
continent. It would do one good to drive along the river road by the
Saskatchewan, and observe those elegant, level, fertile, well tilled
farms that dot the country. It is a great distance to procure
materials for building, and as yet the most of the houses are rough
and small, but comfortable and warm, and sufficient for the needs of
the farmers.

Much of the labor is done in the old style, as in my own native place,
before the days of machinery. But soon we will see the mower and
reaper finding their way into the very furthest settlements--and if
ever there was a country laid out for the use of machinery it is
certainly the north-west.

Before many years, there will be good markets for the produce, as the
towns are growing up pretty rapidly and the railroad is lending a
great encouragement to the farmers near the line.

Half a century ago the country was unheard of, save through the Hudson
Bay Company's agents and factors: quarter of a century ago it was
considered a _probably_ future portion of our Dominion. Behold it
to-day! Its cities, its roads, its villages, its farms, its
inhabitants! What then may the immense territory not become before
fifty years more shall have rolled into eternity? I do not feel myself
competent to judge-but I have no doubt but it will become the grainery
of the continent and the supplier of half Europe.

The farmer in the Provinces who has a good farm and who can make a
fair living would be foolish to leave it for the hazard of an attempt
in the new country. But should a person be commencing life and have
the intention of depending upon themselves, their own exertion and
energy, then the sun shines not on a finer land, holding out a broader
prospect than in that great country that lies towards the Pacific.

I have only spoken hurriedly and from a general standpoint of the
farmers, and when I say farmers, I mean white people. The Indian
fanning is of a different nature altogether. That will demand my
attention before I close this chapter.


Although the name of the place would indicate that the lake abounded
in frogs, still I have no recollection of seeing any extra number of
them around the place. I think the name comes from a tradition--
perhaps in some age, long lost in the twilight of Indian story, the
frogs may have been more plentiful in that special locality than
elsewhere. Twenty miles for our farm and twelve miles from Fort Pitt
is "Onion Lake", farm, where my husband spent his first winter. I
cannot tell how that place got its name no more than how our district
was called _Aieekesegahagan_. When I first arrived at Frog Lake
there were no buildings excepting my husband's house and warehouse--a
shed and garden, added thereto, formed the whole establishment. These
were built by my husband. Since then, in the course of three years
that I was there, several buildings were put up, until, in fine, our
little settlement became quite a village.

Mr. Quinn's, (the agent) house, and his storehouse, were erected since
I arrived there. Mr. Quinn was the gentleman whose name has appeared
so much in the public prints since the sad events of the second of
April last. When I come to my experience during the last three months
of my North-West life, I will give more fully the story of Mr. Quinn's
fate. There were three reserves near us, the Indians upon which were
under my husband's control--In the next section of this chapter I will
refer to these bands and give what I know about them.

The scenery around Frog Lake is surpassingly beautiful. We lived on
Frog Creek, which runs from the Lake into the North Saskatchewan. In
October last, Mr. Gowanlock, who shared the same fate as my husband,
and whose kind and gentle wife was my companion through all the
troubles and exposures of our captivity and escape, began to build a
mill two miles from our place, on the waters of Frog Creek. He put up
a saw mill and had all the timber ready to complete a grist mill, when
he was cut short in his early life, and his wife was cast upon the
mercy of Providence. They lived two miles from us. Many of those whom
I knew were mill hands. Gilchrist who was killed, was an employee of
Mr. Gowanlock.

Frog Lake is pretty large. I know that in one direction it is twelve
miles long. In the centre of the lake is a large island, that is
clothed in a garb of evergreen. The pine and spruce upon it are extra
large, sound and plentiful. In fact it would be difficult to find a
place where better timber for building and other purposes, could be
cut. The place is gradually becoming developed, and when I consider
all that has been done, in the way of improvement, since I first went
there, I would not be surprised to learn, that in the near future, the
principal parts of the country shall be under cultivation, that the
clang of the mill shall be heard upon every stream, and that down the
Saskatchewan may float the produce of a fresh, a virgin, a teeming
soil, to supply the markets of the Old World, and to supplant the
over-worked fields of the eastern countries.

Also since my arrival at the Frog Lake Reserve, the priest's house,
the school house and church were built. Even there in the far west,
away so to speak, from the atmosphere of civilization, beyond the
confines of society, we have what Sir Alexander Selkirk mourned for so
much, when alone on Juan Fernandez--_Religion_. Even there, the
ministers of the Gospel, faithful to their duties, and mindful of the
great command to "go forth and teach all nations,"--leaving their
homes and friends in the land of the east, seek out the children of
those Indian tribes, and bring to them the lights of faith and
instruction. Untiring in their exertions, indefatigable in their
labors, they set a glorious example, and perform prodigies of good.
The church was small, but neat, although its ornaments are few, still
I am sure that as fervent and as acceptable prayers went up, like
incense, towards heaven, and blessings as choice, like dew, fell upon
the humble worshippers, as ever the peal of the cathedral organ
announced, or as ever descended upon the faithful beneath the gorgeous
domes of the most splendid Basilicas. Memory still often summons up
before me the scenes of silent, dusky, faithful children of the
forest, kneeling in prayer, and with mingled feelings of awe, wonder,
admiration and confidence, listening to the divine truths as explained
in their own language, by the missionaries. But the picture becomes
dark, when I reflect upon the fate of the two good men whose sad story
I have yet to tell. Most assuredly theirs was a _confession of
blood_--and dying at their posts, faithful to their mission,
relieving the soul of an expiring Christian when the hand of death
fell upon them. Theirs must have been a triumphal entry into heaven,
to the kingdom of God! The great cross that the 90th Battalion placed
over the united graves of the victims of the Frog Lake massacre, is a
fitting emblem and a worthy monument; its base rests upon the soil
that covers their union in the grave, but its summits points to where
their souls are united above.

I will now take up the question of the Indians under my husband's
control, and I will tell how they got along, improved, and were
contented and happy. That will bring me to my last and all important
chapter--the one which will contain the story so tragically mournful.


It would not become me, perhaps, to comment upon the manner in which
the country is governed, and the Indians instructed, for I am no
politician. In fact I don't know one party from another except by
name. But I cannot permit this occasion, the last I may ever have, to
go past without saying plainly what I think and what I know about the
north-west and its troubles.

The half-breeds, or whites or others may have real or imaginary
grievances that they desire to see redressed. If they have, I know
nothing about them; I never had anything to do with them and maybe I
could not understand the nature of their claims, even if explained to
me. But be that as it may--even if I did know aught I would not feel
myself justified in writing down that which I could only have learned
by hear say. But there is one thing I do know and most emphatically
desire to express and have thoroughly understood and that is the fact,
_the Indians have no grievances and no complaints to make_. Their
treatment is of the best and most generous kind. The government spares
no pains to attempt to make them adopt an agricultural life, to teach
them to rely upon their own strength, to become independent people and
good citizens. Of the Indians I can speak openly for I know them
thoroughly. There may be, here and there, a bad man amongst them; but
as a people they are submissive, kind, and, if only from curiosity,
they are anxious to learn. My husband remarked that according as they
advanced in their agricultural knowledge that they commenced to have a
liking for it. And I noticed the same in the young squaws whom I
undertook to instruct in household duties.

Many an English, Scotch or Irish farmer, when he comes poor to Canada
and strives to take up a little farm for himself, if he had only one
half the advantages that the government affords to the Indians, he
would consider his fortune forever made. They need never want for
food. Their rations are most regularly dealt out to them and they are
paid to clear and cultivate their own land. They work for themselves
and are, moreover, paid to do so--and should a crop fail they are
certain of their food, anyway. I ask if a man could reasonably expect
more? Is it not then unjust to lead these poor people into a trouble
which--can but injure them deeply! If half-breeds have grievances let
them get them redressed if they chose, but let them not mix up the
Indians in their troubles. The Indians, have nothing to complain of
and as a race they are happy their quite home of the wilderness and I
consider it a great shame for evil-minded people, whether whites or
half-breeds, to instill into their excitable heads the false idea that
they are presecuted by the government. In speaking thus I refer to
_our_ Indians that is to say those under my late husband's control.
But if all government agencies and reserves are like that at Frog
Lake, I hesitate not to say, that the government is over good to
the restless bands of the west.

I have no intention in my sketch to use any names--for if I mention
one of my friends I should mention them all and that would be almost
impossible. No more will I mention the names of any persons who might
be implicated in the strange and dishonest acts that have taken place
previous to, during and since the outbreak. Yet I feel it a duty to
present a true picture of the situation of the Indian bands and of the
two great powers that govern in the country and whose interests are
the very opposite of each other.

These two governing parties are the Hudson Bay Company and the
Dominion Government. There is not the slightest doubt, but their
interests are directly opposed. The company has made its millions out
of the fur trade and its present support is the same trade. The more
the Indians hunt the more the Company can make. Now the Government
desires to civilize them and to teach them to cultivate the soil. The
more the Indian works on his farm the less the Company gets in the way
of fur. Again, the more the Government supplies the Indians with
rations the less the Company can sell to them.

Two buffalos are not given for a glass of whiskey--one-third highwines
and two-thirds water--as when the Company had full sway. The fire-
water is not permitted to be brought to them now. No longer have the
Indians to pay the exorbitant prices for pork, flour, tea, &c., that
the Company charged them. The Government has rendered it unnecessary
for them to thus sacrifice their time and means. Did the Company ever
try to civilize or christianize the Indians! Most certainly not. The
more they became enlightened the less hold the Company would have upon
them. Again, if it were not for the Government, the lights of the
gospel would scarcely ever reach them. The more the Government
civilizes them and developes the country, the less plentiful the game
becomes, and the less profit the Company can make. Therefore it is
that I say, the interests of the Company and those of the Government
are contradictory. The former wants no civilization, plenty of game,
and Indians that will hunt all the year around. The latter require
agriculture, the soil to be taken from the wild state, the rays of
faith and instruction to penetrate the furthest recess of the land,
and to have a race that can become worthy of the dignity of citizens
in a civilized country. So much the worse for the Government if the
Indians rebel and so much the worse for the Indians themselves; but so
much the better for the Company's interests.

I have my own private opinions upon the causes of the rebellion but do
not deem it well or proper to express them. There are others besides
the half-breeds and Big Bear and his men connected with the affair.
There are many objects to be gamed by such means and there is a "wheel
within a wheel" in the North-West troubles.

As far as I can judge of the Indian character, they are not, at all,
an agricultural people--nor for a few generations are they likely to
become such. Their habits are formed, their lives are directed in a
certain line--like a sapling you can bend at will and when grown into
a tree you can no longer change its shape-so with them. From time
immemorial they have ranged the woods and it is not in the present nor
even the next generation that you can uproot that inclination. Take
the negro from the south and place him amongst the ice-bergs of the
arctic circle and strive to make him accustomed to the hunting of the
seal or harpooning of the walrus;--or else bring down an Esquimaux and
put him into a sugar-cane plantation of the topics. In fact, take a
thorough going farmer from the old-country and attempt to accustom him
to hunt moose and trap beaver. He may get expert at it; but give him a
chance and he will soon fling away the traps and pick up the spade,
lay down the rifle and take hold of the plough. So it is with the
Indians--they may get a taste for farming, but they prefer to hunt.
Even the best amongst them had to have a month every spring and
another month every fall to hunt. And they would count the weeks and
look as anxiously forward to those few days of freedom, of unbridled
liberty, as a school-boy looks forward to his mid-summer holidays.

Yet, in spite of this hankering after the woods and the freedom of the
chase, they are a people easily instructed, quick to learn, (when they
like to do so), and very submissive and grateful. But they are very,
very improvident. So long as they have enough for to-day, let to-
morrow look out for itself. Even upon great festivals such as
Christmas, when my husband would give them a double allowance of
rations, they would come before our house, fire off their guns as a
token of joy and thanks, and then proceed with their feast and never
stop until they had the double allowance all eaten up and not a scrap
left for the next day.

In my own sphere I was often quite amused with the young squaws. They
used to do my house-work for me. I would do each special thing for
them--from cleaning, scrubbing, washing, cooking to sewing, fancy
work, &c. and they would rival each other in learning to follow me.
They would feel as proud when they could perform some simple little
work, as a child feels when he has learned his A. B. Cs. With time and
care, good house-keepers could be made of many of them, and it is too
bad to see so many clever, naturally gifted, bright creatures left in
ignorance and misery. I think it was in Gray's Elegy that I read the
line: "How many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its
fragrance on the desert air."

When I look back over these three years, I feel a pang of more than
sorrow. Ours was a happy home; I grew to like my surroundings, I
became fond of my Indian protegees, and to crown all, in December
last, Mrs. Gowanlock came to live near us. I felt that even though a
letter from home should be delayed, that I would not feel as lonesome
as before. My husband was generous to a fault. He was liked by all the
bands;--our white neighbours were few, but they were splendid people,
fast and true friends, and I might say since Mrs. Gowanlock arrived, I
felt at home; I looked upon the place as my own, and the Indian
children as my children; the same as my husband looked upon the men as
his care, and they regarded him as a father. It was no longer to be a
lonely life. It was to become a life of usefulness, joy, labor, peace
and contentment. Such was the vision I had of the future, about the
middle of last winter! But who knows what is in store for us! "There
is a Providence that shapes our ends, rough-hew them as we will!"

I will here quote a few lines from deposition given at Regina: "When
he, (my husband) first came up here, he had five bands to look after
until a year ago, when the Chippewans were taken from his supervision
and given to Mr. John Fitzpatrick. A little later, Mr. Fitzpatrick was
transferred to another jurisdiction, and the Chippewans came again
under my husband's care. He then had to look after the Chippewans,
Oneepewhayaws, Mistoo-Kooceawsis and Puskeakeewins, and last year he
had Big Bear's tribe. He was so engaged when the outbreak took place.
All the Indians were very peacably inclined and most friendly to us
all. My husband was much respected, and really beloved by all under
his care, and they seemed to be most attached to him. We were,
therefore, greatly astonished at their action towards us, but after
all it was only Big Bear's followers that showed their enmity towards
us. These too, pretended to be most friendly, and have often told us,
'that but for my husband they would have starved.'"

With this, I close my second chapter, and will now, in the third offer
my readers a picture of the scenes from the first of April last until
the close of the struggle.



There are scenes that are hard to properly describe. There are parts
of our lives that can never be reproduced or transmitted to others
upon paper. As Father Abram J. Ryan, the Poet Priest of the South so
beautifully tells us:

"But far on the deep there are billows,
That never shall break on the beach;
And I have heard Songs in the Silence,
That never shall float into speech;
And I have had dreams in the Valley,
_Too lofty for language to reach."_

So with me and my story. However I may have succeeded so far in
expressing what I desired to convey to the public, I feel confident
that I am far from able to do justice to this last chapter. The events
crowd upon my mind in a sort of kaliedescope confusion and scarcely
have the intention of giving expression to an idea, than a hundred
others crop up to usurp its place in my mind. Although I will tell the
story of the tragic events as clearly and as truthfully as is
possible, still I know that years after this little sketch is printed,
I will remember incidents that now escape my memory. One has not time,
or inclination, when situated as I was, to take a cool survey of all
that passes and commit to memory every word that might be said or
remark that might be made. Notwithstanding the fear I have of leaving
out any points of interest or importance, I still imagine that my
simple narrative will prove sufficient to give an idea, imperfect
though it may be, of all the dangers we passed through, the sufferings
we underwent, and the hair-breadth escapes we had.

Up to the 30th of March, 1885, we had not the faintest idea that a
rebellion existed, nor that half-breeds and Indians were in open
revolt. On that day we received two letters, one from Captain Dickens,
of Fort Pitt, and one from Mr. Rae, of Battleford. Mr. Dickens' letter
was asking all the whites to go down to Fort Pitt for safety as we
could not trust the Indians; and Mr. Rae's letter informed us of the
"Duck Lake" battle and asking us to keep the' Indians up there and not
let them down to join Poundmaker. When we were informed of the great
trouble that was taking place, Mr. and Mrs. Gowanlock were apprised of
the fact and they came up to our place for safety. My husband had no
fear for himself, but he had slight misgivings as to poor Mr. Quinn's
situation. Mr. Quinn was the agent in that district and was a Sioux
half-breed. Johnny Pritchard, his interpreter, was a Cree half-breed.
My husband decided at once not to go to Fort Pitt. It would be a shame
for us, he thought, to run away and leave all the Government
provisions, horses, &c., at the mercy of those who would certainly
take and squander them, moreover he feared nothing from the Indians.
His own band were perfectly friendly and good--and not ten days
previous, Big Bear had given him a peace-pipe or _calumet_, and
told him that he was beloved by all the band.

However, knowing the Indian character so well, and being aware that
the more you seemed to confide in them the more you were liked by
them, he and Mr. Quinn concluded to hold a council with the chiefs and
inform them of the news from Duck Lake, impressing upon them the
necessity of being good and of doing their work, and not minding those
troublesome characters that were only bringing misery upon themselves.

Consequently, on the first of April, the council was held, but to
their great astonishment and dismay, the Indians knew more than they
did about the affair, and, in fact, the Indians knew all about the
troubles, long before news ever reached us, at Frog Lake, of the
outbreak. At the council were "Aimasis" (The King-bird), one of Big
Bear's sons and "The Wandering Spirit." They said that Big Bear had a
bad name, but now that he had a chance he would show himself to be the
whiteman's friend. All day, the 1st of April, they talked and held
council, and finally the Indians went home, after shaking hands with
my husband. They then told him that the half-breeds intended to come
our way to join Riel! that they also intended to steal our horses, but
that we need not fear as they (the Indians) would protect us and make
sure no horses would be taken and no harm would be done. They also
told us to sleep quiet and contented as they would be up all night and
would watch. Big Bear, himself, was away upon a hunt and only got to
the camp that night, we did not see him until next morning. During
that day, the Indians, without an exception, asked for potatoes and of
course they got them. They said we did not need so much potatoes and
they would be a treat for them as they meant to make a big feast that
night and have a dance.

Now as to their statement about the half-breeds coming to take horses
or anything else we did not know whether to believe them or not. Of
course it would never do to pretend to disbelieve them. However, the
shadow of a doubt hung over each of us. We knew that the Indians had a
better knowledge of all that was taking place than we had, and since
they knew so much about the troubles, it looked probable enough that
they should know what movements the half-breeds were to make. And
moreover, they seemed so friendly, so good-spirited and in fact so
free from any appearance of being in bad humor, that it would require
a very incredulous character not to put faith in their word.

But on the other hand it seemed strange, that, if they knew so much
about our danger, they never even hinted it to us until our men first
spoke of it to them. However, be these things as they may, we felt
secure and still something told us that all was not well: often to
others as well as to Campbell's wizard,

"The sun set of life, gives them mystical lore--
And coming events cast their shadows before."

Thus we parted on the night of the first of April, and all retired to
bed, to rest, to dream. Little did some amongst us that it was to be
their last sleep, their last rest upon imagine earth, and that before
another sun would set, they would be "sleeping the sleep that knows no
waking"--resting the great eternal rest from which they will not be
disturbed until the trumpet summons the countless millions from the
tomb. Secure as we felt ourselves, we did not dream of the deep
treachery and wicked guile that prompted those men to deceive their
victims. The soldier may lie down calmly to sleep before the day of
battle, but I doubt if we could have reposed in such tranquility if
the vision of the morrow's tragedy had flashed across our dreams. It
is indeed better that we know not the hour, nor the place! And again,
is it not well that we should ever be prepared, so that no matter how
or when the angel of death may strike, we are ready to meet the
inevitable and learn "the great Secret of Life and Death!"

At about half past-four on the morning of the second of April, before
we were out of bed, Johnny Pritchard and Aimasis came to our house and
informed my husband that the horses had been stolen by the half-
breeds. This was the first moment that a real suspicion came upon our
mind. Aimasis protested that he was so sorry. He said that no one,
except himself and men, were to blame. He said dial they danced nearly
all night and when it got on towards morning that all fell asleep, and
that the half-breeds must have been upon the watch, for it was then
that they came and stole the horses. The two then left us and we got
up. About an hour after, Aimises came back and told us not to mind the
horses, as they would go and hunt for them and bring them back.

I since found out, that as the horses were only two miles away in the
woods, they feared that my husband might go and find them himself and
that their trick would be discovered. It is hard to say how far they
intended, at that time, to go on with the bad work they had commenced.

In about half an hour some twenty Indians came to the house, Big Bear
was not with them, nor had they on war-paint, and they asked for our
guns, that is my husband's and Mr. Quinn's. They said they were short
of firearms and that they wished to defend us against the half-breeds.
No matter what our inclinations or misgivings might then be, we could
not however refuse the arms. They seemed quite pleased and went away.
An hour had scarcely elapsed when over thirty Indians painted in the
most fantastic and hedious manner came in. Big Bear also came, but he
wore no war-paint. He placed himself behind my husband's chair. We
were all seated at the table taking our breakfast. The Indians told us
to eat plenty as we would not be hurt. They also ate plenty
themselves--some sitting, others standing, scattered here and there
through the room, devouring as if they had fasted for a month.

Big Bear then remarked to my husband that there would likely be some
shooting done, but for him not to fear, as the Indians considered him
as one of themselves. Before we had our meal finished Big Bear went
out. The others then asked us all to go up to the church with them. We
consequently went, Mr. and Mrs. Gowanlock, Mr. Dill, Mr. Williscraft,
my husband and myself.

When we arrived at the church the mass was nearly over. The Indians,
on entering, made quite a noise, and clatter. They would' not remove
their hats or head-dresses, they Would not shut the door, nor remain
silent, in fact, they did anything they considered provoking and ugly.
The good priest, the ill-fated Father Fafard, turned upon the altar,
and addressed them. He warned them of the danger of excitement and he
also forbade them to do any harm. He told them to go quietly away to
their camps and not disturb the happiness and peace of the community.
They seemed to pay but little attention to what they heard, but
continued the same tumult. Then Father Fafard took off his vestments
and cut short the mass, the last that he was destined ever to say upon
earth; the next sacrifice he would offer was to be his own life. He as
little dreamed as did some of the others that before many hours their
souls would be with God, and that their bodies would find a few days
sepulchre beneath that same church, whose burnt ruins would soon fall
upon their union in the clay.

The Indians told us that we must all go back to our place. We obeyed
and the priests came also. When we reached the house the Indians asked
for beef-cattle. My husband gave them two oxen. Some of the tribe went
out to kill the cattle. After about an hour's delay and talk, the
Indians told us to come to their camp so that we would all be together
and that they could aid us the better against the half-breeds. We
consequently started with them.

Up to this point, I might say, the Indians showed us no ill-will, but
continually harped upon the same chord, that they desired to defend
and to save us from the half-breeds. So far they got everything they
asked for, and even to the last of the cattle, my husband refused
nothing. We felt no dread of death at their hands, yet we knew that
they were excited and we could hot say what they might do if provoked.
We now believed that the story of the half-breeds was to deceive us
and throw us off our guard--and yet we did not suspect that they
meditated the foul deeds that darkened the morning of the second of
April, and that have left it a day unfortunately, but too memorable,
in the annals of Frog Lake history.

When I now look back over the events, I feel that we all took a proper
course, yet the most unfortunate one for those that are gone. We could
have no idea of the murderous intentions on the part of the Indians.
Some people living in our civilized country may remark, that it was
strange we did not notice the peculiar conduct of the Indians. But
those people know nothing either of the Indian character or habits. So
far from their manner seeming strange, or extraordinary, I might say,
that I have seen them dozens of times act more foolishly, ask more
silly questions and want more rediculous things--even appear more
excited. Only for the war-paint and what Big Bear had told us, we
would have had our fears completely lulled by the seemingly open and
friendly manner. I have heard it remarked that it is a wonder we did
not leave before the second of April and go to Fort Pitt; I repeat,
nothing at all appeared to us a sign of alarm, and even if we dreaded
the tragic scenes, my husband would not have gone. His post was at
home; he had no fear that the Indians would hurt him; he had always
treated them well and they often acknowledged it; he was an employee
of the Government and had a trust in hand; he would never have run
away and left the Government horses, cattle, stores, provisions,
goods, &c., to be divided and scattered amongst the bands, he even
said so before the council day. Had he ran away and saved his life, by
the act, I am certain he would be then blamed as a coward and one not
trustworthy nor faithful to his position. I could not well pass over
this part of our sad story without answering some of those comments
made by people, who, neither through experience nor any other means
could form an idea of the situation. It is easy for me to now sit down
and write out, if I choose, what ought to have been done; it is just
as easy for people safe in their own homes, far from the scene, to
talk, comment and tell how they would have acted and what they would
have done. But these people know no more about the situation or the
Indians, than I know about the Hindoos, their mode of life, or their

Before proceeding any further with my narrative--and I am now about to
approach the grand and awful scene of the tragedy--I will attempt, as
best I can, to describe the Indian war-paint--the costume, the head-
dress and attitudes. I imagined once that all the stories that
American novelists told us about the war-dance,--war-whoops,--war-
paint,--war-hatchet or tomahawk, were but fiction drawn from some too
lively imaginations. But I have seen them in reality, more fearful
than they have ever been described by the pen of novelist or pencil of

Firstly, the Indians adorn their heads with feathers, about six inches
in length and of every imaginable color. These they buy from the
Hudson Bay Company. Also it is from the Company they procure their
paints. An Indian, of certain bands, would prefer to go without food
than be deprived of the paint. Our Indians never painted, and in fact
Big Bear's band used to laugh at the Chippewans for their quiet
manners and strict observance of their religious duties. In fact these
latter were very good people and often their conduct would put to the
blush white people. They never would eat or even drink a cup of tea
without first saying a grace, and then, if only by a word,--thanking
God for what they received. But those that used the paint managed to
arrange their persons in the most abomonable and ghastly manner. With
the feathers, they mix porcupine quills and knit the whole into their
hair--then daub, their head with a species of white clay that is to be
found in their country. They wear no clothing except what they call
loin-cloth or breach-cloth, and when they, go on the war-path, just as
when they went to attack Fort Pitt, they are completely naked. Their
bodies are painted a bright yellow, over the forehead a deep green,
then streaks of yellow and black, blue and purple upon the eyelids and
nose. The streaks are a deep crimson, dotted with black, blue, or
green. In a word, they have every imaginable color. It is hard to form
an idea of how hedious they appear when the red, blue, green and
white feathers deck the head, the body a deep orange or bright yellow
and the features tatooed in all fantastic forms. No circus clown could
ever equal their ghostly decorations. When one sees, for the first
time, these horrid creatures, wild, savage, mad, whether in that war-
dance or to go on the war-path, it is sufficient to make the blood run
cold, to chill the senses, to unnerve the stoutest arm and strike
terror into the bravest heart.

Such was their appearance, each with a "greenary-yellowy" hue, that
one assumes when under the electric light, when we all started with
them for their camp. We were followed and surrounded by the Indians.
The two priests, Mr. and Mrs. Gowanlock, Mr. Gilchrist, Mr.
Williscraft, Mr. Dill, Mr. Gouin, Mr. Quinn, my husband and myself
formed the party of whites. My husband and I walked ahead. When we had
got about one acre from the house we heard shots, which we thought
were fired in the air. We paid little or no attention to them. I had
my husband by the arm. We were thus linked when old Mr. Williscraft
rushed past, bear-headed. I turned my head to see what was the cause
of his excitement, when I saw Mr. Gowanlock fall. I was about to speak
when I felt my husband's arm drop from mine--and he said, "I am shot
too." Just then the priests rushed up and Father Fafard was saying
something in French, which I could not catch. My husband staggered
over about twenty feet from me and then back again and fell down
beside me. I bent down and raised his head upon my lap. I think over
forty shots must have been fired, but I could not tell what side the
shot came from that hit my husband. I called Father Fafard and he came
over. He knelt down and asked my husband if he could say the
"confiteor." My husband said "yes" and then repeated the prayer from
end to end. As he finished the prayer, the priest said: "my poor
brother, I think you are safe with God," and as the words died upon
his lips he received his death-wound and fell prostrate across my
husband. I did not see who fired the shot. I only saw one shot fired;
I thought it was for myself but it was for my husband and it finished
him. In a couple of minutes an Indian, from the opposite side, ran up,
caught me by the wrist and told me to go with him. I refused, but I
saw another Indian shake his head at me and tell me to go on. He
dragged me by force away. I got one glance-the last-at my poor
husband's body and I was taken off. After we had gone a piece I, tried
to look back-but the Indian gave me a few shakes pretty roughly and
then dragged me through the creek up to my waist in water--then over a
path full of thorns and briars and finally flung me down in his tent.

I will not now stay to describe my feelings or attempt to give in
language, an idea of the million phantoms of dread and terror; memory
seemed but too keen, and only too vividly could I behold the
repetition of the scenes that had just passed before me. I stayed all
day in the tent. I had the hope that some one would buy me off. Yet
the hope was mingled with dispair. I thought if I could see Alec, one
of our own Indians, that he would buy me, but I could not find out
were he was. Towards evening I went to Johnny Pritchard's tent and
asked him to buy me. He said he had been trying all day but could not
succeed, however he expected to strike a bargain before night. He had
only one horse and the Indians wanted two horses for me. As good luck
would have it, he got Nolin--another half-breed--to give the second
horse. It was all they had and yet they willingly parted with that
_all,_ to save me from inhuman treatment, and even worse than a
hundred deaths. There was a slight relief in knowing that I was out of
the power of the painted devil that held me, since my husband's death.
But we were far from safe. Pritchard took me to his own tent, and
placed me with his wife and family. There I felt that if there existed
any chance of an escape at all I would be able to take advantage of
it. I fully trusted to Pritchard's manliness and good character, and I
was not deceived. He not only proved himself a sincere friend and a
brave fellow, but he acted the part of a perfect gentleman,
throughout, and stands, ever since, in my estimation the type of God's
noblest creatures--A TRULY GOOD MAN.

For three weeks I was watched, as a cat would watch a mouse. All night
long the Indians kept prowling about the tent, coming in, going out,
returning; they resembled, at times, a pack of wolves skulking around
their prey, and, at times, they appeared to resemble a herd of demons
as we see them represented in tho most extravagant of frightful
pictures. However, Pritchard spoke to them and their attentions became
less annoying. They may have watched as closely as ever and I think
they did, but they seldom came into my tent and when they did come in,
it was only for a moment. I slept in a sitting position and whenever I
would wake up, in a startled state from some fevered dream, I
invariably saw, at the tent door, a human eye riveted upon me.

Imagine yourself seated in a quiet room at night, and every time you
look at the door, which is slightly ajar, you catch the eye of a man
fixed upon you, and try then to form an idea of my feelings. I heard
that the human eye had power to subdue the most savage beast that
roams the woods; if so, there must be a great power in the organ of
vision; but I know of no object so awe-inspiring to look upon, as the
naked eye concentrated upon your features. Had we but the same
conception of that "all seeing eye," which we are told, continually
watches us, we would doubtlessly be wise and good; for if it inspired
us with a proportionate fear, we would possess what Solomon tells us
in the first step to wisdom--"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of

But I never could describe all the miseries I suffered during those
few weeks. I was two months in captivity; and eight days afterwards we
heard of Major-General Strange's arrival, I managed to escape. The
morning of our escape seemed to have been especially marked out by
providence for us. It was the first and only time the Indians were not
upon the close watch. Up to that day, we used to march from sunrise to
sunset, and all night long the Indians would dance. I cannot conceive
how human beings could march all day, as they did, and then dance the
wild, frantic dances that they kept up all night. Coming on grey dawn
they would tire out and take some repose. Every morning they would
tear down our tent to see if we were in it. But whether attracted by
the arrival of the soldiers--by the news of General Strange's
engagement--or whether they considered we did not meditate flight, I
cannot say--but most certainly they neglected their guard that day.

Some of them came in as usual, but we were making tea, and they went
off. As soon as the coast was clear we left our tea, and all, and we
departed. Maybe they did not know which way we went, or perhaps they
were too much engaged with their own immediate danger to make chase,
but be that as it may, we escaped. It was our last night under the
lynx-eyed watchers. We went about two miles in the woods, and there
hid. So far I had no covering for my head, and but scant raiment for
my body. The season was very cold in April and May, and many a time I
felt numb, chill, and sick, but there was no remedy for it; only "grin
and go through." In the last part of my captivity, I suffered from
exposure to the sun. The squaws took all my hats, and I could not get
anything to cover my head, except a blanket, and I would not dare to
put one on, as I knew not the moment we might fall in with the scouts;
and they might take me for a squaw. My shawl had become ribbons from
tearing through the bush, and towards the end I was not able to get
two rags of it to remain together. There is no possibility of giving
an idea of our sufferings. The physical pains, exposures, dangers,
colds, heats, sleepless nights, long marches, scant food, poor
raiment, &c., would be bad enough,--but we must not loose sight of the
mental anguish, that memory, only two faithful, would inflict upon us,
and the terror that alternate hope and despair would compel us to
undergo. I cannot say which was the worst. But when united, our sad
lives seemed to have passed beneath the darkest cloud that could
possibly hang over them.

When the Indians held their tea-dances or pow-wows in times of peace,
the squaws and children joined in, and it was a very amusing sight to
watch them. We often went three miles to look at a tea-dance, and I
found it as attractive and interesting as a big circus would be to the
children of a civilized place. But I had then no idea of the war-
dance. They differ in every respect. No fire-arms are used at the tea-
dance, and the guns and tomahawks and knives play the principal part
in the war dance. A huge fire throws its yellow, fitful light upon the
grim spectre-like objects that bound, leap, yell and howl, bend and
pass, aim their weapons, and using their tomahawks in a mimic warfare,
a hideous pantomine, around and across the blaze. Their gesticulations
summon up visions of murder, horror, scalps, bleeding and dangling at
their belts, human hearts and heads fixed upon their spears; their
yells resemble at times the long and distant howl of a pack of
famished wolves, when on the track of some hapless deer; and again
their cries, their forms, their actions, their very surroundings could
be compared to nothing else than some infernal scene, wherein the
demons are frantic with hell, inflamed passions. Each one might bear
Milton's description in his "Paradise Lost," of Death:

"The other shape--
If shape it might be called, that shape had none,
Distinguishable, in member, joint or limb:
* * * * *
black it stood as night.
Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as hell,
And shook a dreadful dart.--"

And the union of all such beings might also be described in the words
of the same author.

"The chief were those who from the pit of hell,
Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix
Their seats; long after, next the seat of God,
Their altars, by his altar; gods adored
Among the nations round; and durst abide
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned
Between the cherubim; yea of 'en placed
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations: and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned."

The scenes at the little church the morning of the second of April,-
the massacre of God's anointed priests, the desecration of the temple,
the robbery of the sacred vessels and ornaments, the burning of the
edifice-are not those the deeds of beings not human, but infernal? Is
the likeness too vivid or too true? But in the wild banquet of their
triumph, while still holding the sacred vessels, they were checked as
of old was Belshazzer. Those scenes shall never pass, from my memory,
with Freneau I can say

"And long shall timorous fancy see,
The painted chief, the pointed spear;
And reason's self shall bow the knee,
To shadows and delusions here"

Now that I have passed once more over the trying scenes of the sad and
eventful month of April, I will describe some of the dangers of our
position, how we moved, camped, slept, and cooked. I will come to the
transition from wild adventure to calm security, from the dangers of
the wilderness to the safety of civilization. Once free from the toils
of the Indians and back in the bosom of society, I will have but to
describe our trip home, tell of the kindness received, and close this
short sketch, bid "good-bye" to my kind and patient readers and return
to that quiet life, which God in His mercy has reserved for me.

After our escape, we travelled all day long in the same bush, so that
should the Indians discover us, we would seem to be still with them.
We had nothing to eat but bread and water. We dare not make fire as we
might be detected by the savages and then be subjected to a stricter
_surveillance_, and maybe punished for our wanderings. Thus
speaking of fire makes me think of the signals that the bands had, the
beacons that flared from the heights at stated times and for certain
purposes. Even before the outbreak, I remember of Indians coming to my
husband and telling him that they were going on a hunt, and if such
and such a thing took place, they would at a certain time and in a
certain direction, make a fire. We often watched for the fires and at
the stated time we would perceive the thin column of smoke ascend into
the sky. For twenty and thirty miles around these fires can be seen.
They are made in a very peculiar manner. The Indian digs a hole about
a foot square and in that start the flame. He piles branches or fagots
up in a cone fashion, like a bee-hive, and leaving a small hole in the
top for the smoke to issue forth, he makes a draught space below on
the four sides. If the wind is not strong, that tiny column of blue
smoke will ascend to a height often of fifty or sixty feet. During the
war times they make use of these fires as signals from band to band,
and each fire has a conventional meaning. Like the _phares_ that
flashed the alarm from hill-top to hill-top or the tocsin that sang
from belfry to belfry in the Basse Bretagne, in the days of the rising
of the Vendee, so those beacons would communicate as swiftly the
tidings that one band or tribe had to convey to another. Again,
speaking of the danger of fire-making, I will give an example of what
those Indians did with men of their own tribe.

A few of their men desired to go to Fort Pitt with their families,
while the others objected. The couple of families escaped and reached
the opposite side of a large lake. The Indians did not know which
direction the fugitives had taken until noon the following day, when
they saw their fire for dinner, across the lake. They started, half by
one side and half by the other side of the lake, and came up so as to
surround the fugitives. They took their horses, blankets, provisions,
and camps, and set fire to the prairie on all sides so as to prevent
the unhappy families from going or returning. When they thus treated
their own people, what could white people expect at their hands?

The second day after our escape we travelled through a thicker bush
and the men were kept busy cutting roads for us. We camped four times
to make up for the day before, its fast and tramp. We made a cup of
tea and a bannock each time. The third day we got into the open
prairie, and about ten in the morning we lost our way. We were for
ever three hours in perplexity We feared to advance too much as we
might be getting farther from our proper track. About one o clock the
sun appeared and by means of it we regained our right course. At four
we camped for the night. We found a pretty clump of poplars and there
pitched our tents for a good repose. I had just commenced to make a
bannock for our tea, when Pritchard ran in and told me that the police
were outside and for me to go to them at once. I sincerely believe
that it was at that moment we ran the greatest of all our risks. The
police had taken us for a band of Indians, and were on the point of
shooting at us when I came out and arrested the act When they found
who we were, they came in, placed their guns aside, and gave us some
corned beef and "hard tack," a species of biscuit. These were luxuries
to us, while out tea and bannock were a treat to them. We all had tea
together, and then we went with them to the open prairie, where we
travelled for about two hours Next morning we moved into Fort Pitt. It
was a glad sight to see the three steamboats, and both sailors,
soldiers, and civilians gave me a grand reception.

It was upon Friday morning that we got into Fort Pitt, and we remained
their until Sunday. On Friday night the military band came down two
miles to play for us. It was quite an agreeable change from the
"tom-tom" of the Indians. Next day we went to see the soldiers drill.
If I am not mistaken there were over 500 men there Sunday, we left per
boat, for Battleford, and got in that night. We had a pleasant trip on
the steamer "The Marquis." While at Fort Pitt we had cabins on board
the very elegant vessel "North West." We remained three weeks at
Battleford, expecting to be daily called upon as witnesses in some
cases. We travelled overland from Battleford to Swift Current, and
thence by rail to Regina. At Moose Jaw, half way between Swift Current
and Regina, we were greatly frightened. Such a number of people were
collected to see and greet us, that we imagined it was Riel and his
followers who had come to take us prisoners. Our fears were however,
soon quelled. We remained four days at Regina; thence we came to
Winnipeg. There we remained from Monday evening until Tuesday evening.
Mostly all the people in the city came to see us, and I cannot
commence to enumerate the valuable presents we received from the open-
hearted citizens. We stopped with a Mrs. Bennett; her treatment to us,
was like the care of a fond mother for her lost children.

We left on Thursday evening for Port Arthur, and thence we came by
boat, to Owen Sound. A person not in trouble could not help but enjoy
the glorious trip on the bosom of that immense inland sea. But,
although we were overjoyed to be once more in safety, and drawing
nearer our homes, yet memory was not sleeping, and we had too much to
think off to permit our enjoying the trip as it could be enjoyed. From
Owen Sound we proceeded to Parkdale by train. Parkdale is a lovely
spot just outside of Toronto. I spent the afternoon there, and at nine
o'clock that night left for home. I said good-bye to Mrs. Gowanlock;
after all our sorrows, troubles, dangers, miseries, which we partook
in union, we found it necessary to separate. And although we scarcely
were half a year acquainted, it seemed as if we had been play-mates in
childhood, and companions throughout our whole lives. But, as we could
not, for the present, continue our hand-in-hand journey, we separated
merely physically speaking--for "time has not ages, nor space has not
distance," to sever the recollections of our mutual trials.

I arrived home at 6 o'clock on Monday morning. What were my feelings
as I stepped down from the hack, at that door, where three years
before I stepped up into a carriage, accompanied by my husband! How
different the scene of the bride leaving three years ago, and the
widow returning to-day! Still, on the first occasion there were tears
of regret at parting, and smiles of anticipated pleasure and
happiness--on the second occasion there are tears of memory, and yet
smiles of relief on my escape, and happiness in my safe return.

My story draws to a close "Like a tale that is told," it possesses,
perhaps, no longer any interest for my readers. Yet, before dropping
the veil upon the past, and returning to that life, out of which I had
been forced by adverse circumstances. Before saying good-bye to the
public forever, I feel that I have a few concluding remarks which I
should make, and which I will now offer to my readers as an _adieu_!


St. Thos A. Kempis, in his beautiful "Imitation of Christ," asks: "who
is it that has all which he wishes for? Not I, not you, nor any man
upon earth." Although, we often are disappointed in our expectations
of happiness, and fail to attain all we desire, yet we have much to be
thankful for. I have passed through more than I ever expected I would
be able to bear; and still I feel most grateful, and I would not close
this short sketch, without addressing a few words to those who are
objects of my gratitude.

Firstly, to my readers, I will say that all I have told you, in these
few passages, is the simple truth; nothing added thereto, nothing
taken therefrom. You have toiled through them despite the poverty of
composition and the want of literary style upon them; and now that the
story is told, I thank you for your patience with me, and I trust that
you may have enjoyed a few moments of pleasure at least, while engaged
in reading.

Secondly, let me say a word to my friends of the North-West, and to
those of Canada, I cannot name anyone in particular, as those whose
kindness was great, yet whose names were accidently omitted, would
feel perhaps, that I slighted their favors. Believe me, one and all,
that (in the words of a great orator of the last century), "my memory
shall have mouldered when it ceases to recall your goodness and
kindness, my tongue shall forever be silent, when it ceases to repeat
your expressions of sympathy, and my heart shall have ceased to beat
when it throbs no longer for your happiness."

The troubles of the North-West have proven that there is no land,
however, happy, prosperous or tranquil it may be, that is totally free
from the dangers of internal revolts,--it has likewise proven that our
country possesses the means, the strength, the energy and stamina, to
crush the hydra of disunion or rebellion, no matter where it may
appear. For like the upas tree, if it is permitted to take root and
grow, its proportions would soon become alarming, while its poisonous
influence would pollute the atmosphere with misery, ruin, rapine and

The rebellion is now a thing of the past. It is now a page in Canadian
history. When a few generations shall come and go; our sad story of
the "Frog Lake Massacre," may be totally forgotten, and the actors
therein consigned to oblivion; but, these few papers, should they by
any chance, survive the hand of time, will tell to the children of the
future Canada, what those of your day experienced and suffered; and
when those who are yet to be learn the extent of the troubles
undergone, and the sacrifices made by those of the present, to set
them examples worthy of imitation, and models fit for their practice,
to build up for them a great and solid nation, they may perhaps
reflect with pride upon the history of their country, its struggles,
dangers, tempests and calms. In those days, I trust and pray that
Canada may be the realization of that glowing picture of a grand
nation, drawn by a Canadian poet--

"The Northern arch, whose grand proportions,
Spans the sky from sea to sea,
From Atlantic to Pacific--
Home of unborn millions free!"

The heartfelt sympathy of the country has been expressed in many
forms, and ever with deep effect, and has twined a garland to drop
upon the graves of those who sleep to-night away in the wilds of the
North-West. Permit me to add one flower to that chaplet. You who are
mothers, and know the value of your dutiful sons, while living, and
have felt the greatness of their loss, when dead; you, who are
sisters, and have known a brother's affection, the recollection of
which draws you at times to his last resting place, to decorate that
home of the dead with a forget-me-not; you, above all, who have
experienced the love and devotion of a husband, and have mourned over
that flower which has forever faded in death--you will not hesitate in
joining with me, as I express, though feebly, my regret, and bring my
sincerest of tributes to place upon the lonely grave by the
Saskatchewan. Its united waters will sing their _requiem_ while I
say with Whittier:

"Green be the turf above thee,
Friend of my better days;
None knew thee but to love thee,
None named thee but to praise!"



Leon Adelard Fafard, as the name denotes, was a French Canadian, born
at St. Cuthbert, in the County of Berthier, Province of Quebec, on the
8th of June 1850. He was a son of Mr. Charles Fafard, cultivator, St.
Cuthbert, and brother of Dr. Chas. Fafard, Jr., Amherst, Montreal. He
entered the College of the Assumption on September 1st, 1864. From
early years, he was devoted to his religion, and an enthusiastic
student. He entered a monastic life on the 28th of June, 1872, and
took his first vows on the 29th of June, 1873, one year later, and his
perpetual vows on June the 29th, 1874.

In the Catholic Mission No. 839, July 3rd, 1885, Monseignor Grandire,
says, Poor Father Fafard belonged to the Diocese of Montreal; he
entered our congregation in 1872, and received his commission for my
missions in 1875. I ordained him priest on December 8th, 1875, and
sent him successively on missions to the savages under the direction
of an experienced father. He was always distinguished for his zeal and
good tact. For nearly two years he was Superior of a district, and by
superhuman efforts succeeded in making a fine establishment by working
himself, as a hired laborer, in order to diminish the expenses of his

Rev. P. Lebert speaks of him as a pious, humble, subdued, very
obedient, full of good will and courage. He adds that he had talent
and showed a good disposition for preaching; his voice was full and
strong, and his health robust. He was beginning to see the fruits of
his labors, when on the 2nd of April, 1885, he was so fouly murdered
while administering consolation to dying men.


Geo. Dill, who was massacred at Frog Lake, was born in the Village of
Preston, in the County of Waterloo, Ont., and was at the time of his
death about 38 years of age. At the age of about 17 years, he joined
his brother, who was then trading for furs at Lake Nipissing, in 1864.
In 1867 his brother left Nipissing, leaving him the business, which he
continued for a few years, when he left that place and located on a
farm on Bauchere Lake in the Upper Ottawa River. In 1872 he went to
Bracebridge, Muskoka, where his brother, Mr. J. W. Dill, the present
member for the Local Legislature, had taken up his residence and was
doing business. After a short time, he set up business as a general
store at Huntsville, where he remained until 1880; he then took a
situation in a hardware store in the Village of Bracebridge. While
living in Huntsville, he was married to Miss Cassleman, of that place.
They had a family of two children, who are now living somewhere in
Eastern Canada. In 1882, at the time of the Manitoba boom, he went to
see that country, and engaged with a Dominion Land Surveyor, retiring
to Bracebridge again in the winter following, remaining till spring
1883, he again went to the North-West, and again engaged with a
Surveyor; his object was to secure a good location and settle down to
farming, but his inclination led him to trading again, and after
speculating until the fall of 1884, he left Battleford for Frog Lake.

He was the only trader in the Frog Lake district, and was well
respected by the community generally.


Mr. Delaney while in Ontario on a visit from the North-West, in the
year 1882, for the purpose of taking back a bride, gave vent to the
following beautiful words:

I long to return to the far distant West,
Where the sun on the prairies sinks cloudless to rest,
Where the fair moon is brightest and stars twinkling peep;
And the flowers of the wood soft folded in sleep.

Oh, the West with its glories, I ne'er can forget,
The fair lands I found there, the friends I there met,
And memory brings back like a fond cherished dream;
The days I have spent by Saskatchewan stream.

By dark Battle river, in fancy I stray,
And gaze o'er the blue Eagle Hills far away,
And hark to the bugle notes borne o'er the plain,
The echoing hills giving back the refrain.

Ah, once more I'll go to my beautiful West,
Where nature is loveliest, fairest and best:
And lonely and long do the days to me seem,
Since I wandered away from Saskatchewan stream.

Ontario, home of my boyhood farewell,
I leave thy dear land in a fairer to dwell,
Though fondly I love thee, I only can rest,
'Mid the flower strewn prairie I found in the West.

And as by the wide rolling river I stray,
Till death comes at night like the close of the day,
The moon from the bright starry heavens shall gleam
On my home by the banks of Saskatchewan stream.


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