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The Young Voyageurs Boy Hunters in the North   By: (1818-1883)

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The Young Voyageurs Boy Hunters in the North, by Captain Mayne Reid.

The heroes are the three boys whom we met in "The Boy Hunters" where they were off on a search for a white buffalo, which their father had requested. Now, however, their father has died, and the only relative they have is an uncle who works for the Hudson's Bay Company, in the very north of Canada. The uncle sends for them, and sends his own son to guide them over the Canadian part of the journey.

This is the story of their journey from their original home in the south of the U.S.A., many thousands of miles, to be with their uncle. At the time the only way they could do this journey was by their own efforts, by canoe, on foot, and, after the onset of winter, by sledge, or, if they could get one, by dog train.

The canoe and much of their clothes, food and equipment is lost in a major rapid, so they are very much thrown on their own ingenuity and woodcraft. One of the boys has a major interest in natural history, and we hear from him all about the various animals and birds encountered. This is far from being a bore, as the author has taken care to make it interesting.

This is a very enjoyable book, even though it is over 150 years since it was written.




Boy reader, you have heard of the Hudson's Bay Company? Ten to one, you have worn a piece of fur, which it has provided for you; if not, your pretty little sister has in her muff, or her boa, or as a trimming for her winter dress. Would you like to know something of the country whence come these furs? of the animals whose backs have been stripped to obtain them? As I feel certain that you and I are old friends, I make bold to answer for you yes. Come, then! let us journey together to the "Fur Countries;" let us cross them from south to north.

A vast journey it will be. It will cost us many thousand miles of travel. We shall find neither railway train, nor steamboat, nor stage coach, to carry us on our way. We shall not even have the help of a horse. For us no hotel shall spread its luxurious board; no road side inn shall hang out its inviting sign and "clean beds;" no roof of any kind shall offer us its hospitable shelter. Our table shall be a rock, a log, or the earth itself; our lodging a tent; and our bed the skin of a wild beast. Such are the best accommodations we can expect upon our journey. Are you still ready to undertake it? Does the prospect not deter you?

No I hear you exclaim. I shall be satisfied with the table what care I for mahogany? With the lodging I can tent like an Arab. With the bed fling feathers to the wind!

Enough, brave boy! you shall go with me to the wild regions of the "North west," to the far "fur countries" of America. But, first a word about the land through which we are going to travel.

Take down your Atlas. Bend your eye upon the map of North America. Note two large islands one upon the right side, Newfoundland; another upon the left, Vancouver. Draw a line from one to the other; it will nearly bisect the continent. North of that line you behold a vast territory. How vast! You may take your scissors, and clip fifty Englands out of it! There are lakes there in which you might drown England, or make an island of it! Now, you may form some idea of the vastness of that region known as the "fur countries."

Will you believe me, when I tell you that all this immense tract is a wilderness a howling wilderness, if you like a poetical name? It is even so. From north to south, from ocean to ocean, throughout all that vast domain, there is neither town nor village hardly anything that can be dignified with the name of "settlement... Continue reading book >>

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