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Seeds of Pine   By:

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SEEDS OF PINE

By

JANEY CANUCK

Author of

"Open Trails", etc.

" A handful of pine seeds will cover mountains with the green majesty of the forest, and I, too, will set my face to the wind and throw my handful of seed on high. " Fiona Macleod

TORONTO

THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY LIMITED

Copyright, Canada, 1922

THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY, LTD.

PUBLISHERS

TORONTO

Affectionately dedicated to my four brothers;

Thomas R. Ferguson, K.C. Gowan Ferguson, M.D. Harcourt Ferguson, K.C. Honourable Mr. Justice W. N. Ferguson

CONTENTS

Chapter

I WESTWARD WITH THE GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC II A FRONTIER POST III TO THE BUILDERS IV BEHIND THE HILLS V THE END OF STEEL VI BITTER WATERS VII MOTORING TO ATHABASCA LANDING VIII COUNTRY DELIGHTS IX AT THE LANDING X ON THE ATHABASCA RIVER XI SOME NORTHERN PIONEERS XII AT THE PARTING OF THE RIVERS XIII ON THE PORTAGE XIV ON THE LESSER SLAVE RIVER XV THE BISHOP OF THE ARCTIC XVI NORTHERN VISTAS XVII A COUNTRY WOMAN AT THE CITY RACES XVIII IN NORTHERN GARDENS XIX COMMUNING WITH THE RUTHENIANS XX THE SHADOW OF THE SCAFFOLD XXI THE BABOUSHKA XXII THE HERO PRIESTS OF THE NORTH XXIII COAL MINING IN ALBERTA XXIV THE PLAYGROUNDS OF THE WEST XXV THE OVERLAND TRAIL OF '98 XXVI A SONG OF THIS LAND

SEEDS OF PINE

CHAPTER I

WESTWARD WITH THE GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC

"'What went ye out into the wilderness to see?' They answered thus, 'So that we might not see the city.'" SIR WILLIAM BUTLER.

The new steel trail the railway men are laying from Edmonton leads away and away, I cannot say whither. For these many days I have had an anxious desire to follow it and the glories thereof. I am tired of this town and of the electrical devices that appear and re appear in the darkness like eyes that open and shut wicked eyes that burn their commercial message into my very soul. I am sick of these saucy, swaggering streets and of sundry of the townspeople. Come you with me and let us travel down the ways through the heart of the summer! We shall have breeze and sun in our eyes, and breeze and sun in our hearts. If you like not the prospect, pray, come no further, for we be contrary the one to the other and no way fellows.

As we climb on the train this morning, it seems as though our quest for quiet is to be cheated by the wallowing wave of humanity that threatens to submerge us. Who are these close nudged folk and whither away?

She who runs may read them for hard headed, white handed men in search of "prospects"; brown throated homesteaders; real estate agents out for talking points and for snap fortunes; mining engineers with dunnage bags young fellows all in the full force of life these, and "the gang," who are ill looking men and rather dirty. The gang fare forth to work on the railway grades. They are always ganging that is going for the words are strictly synonymous. The gang going to the city meet the gang coming out. And so in everything they are retroactive, and fight much, and swear, to give weight to their differences of opinion. In one thing only is the gang agreed, no navvy has yet been found who disputed the axiom that the Boss is a yellow canine.

There is a sprinkling of women, too, and we talk to each other in the friendly manner of the country. A couple of them are half breed girls, with drooping feathers and skirts that have a hiss. Surely their men are industrious Indians. Both are cinched into their clothes like a cayuse into its pack saddle. Both have skin the colour of brown coffee into which milk has been poured, and always they are fussing with their pinned on curls. "The judicious Hooker" once watched some women doing this, and he said they were "a dilling and burling their hair." No one may ever hope to strike out a more apt expression... Continue reading book >>




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