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The Young Woodsman Life in the Forests of Canada   By: (1855-1907)

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THE YOUNG WOODSMAN

OR

Life in the Forests of Canada

BY J. MACDONALD OXLEY

Author of "Diamond Rock; or, On the Right Track," &c. &c.

1895

CONTENTS.

I. THE CALL TO WORK

II. THE CHOICE OF AN OCCUPATION

III. OFF TO THE WOODS

IV. THE BUILDING OF THE SHANTY

V. STANDING FIRE

VI. LIFE IN THE LUMBER CAMP

VII. A THRILLING EXPERIENCE

VIII. IN THE NICK OF TIME

IX. OUT OF CLOUDS, SUNSHINE

X. A HUNTING TRIP

XI. THE GREAT SPRING DRIVE

XII. HOME AGAIN

THE YOUNG WOODSMAN.

CHAPTER I.

THE CALL TO WORK.

"I'm afraid there'll be no more school for you now, Frank darling. Will you mind having to go to work?"

"Mind it! Why, no, mother; not the least bit. I'm quite old enough, ain't I?"

"I suppose you are, dear; though I would like to have you stay at your lessons for one more year anyway. What kind of work would you like best?"

"That's not a hard question to answer, mother. I want to be what father was."

The mother's face grew pale at this reply, and for some few moments she made no response.

The march of civilization on a great continent means loss as well as gain. The opening up of the country for settlement, the increase and spread of population, the making of the wilderness to blossom as the rose, compel the gradual retreat and disappearance of interesting features that can never be replaced. The buffalo, the beaver, and the elk have gone; the bear, the Indian, and the forest in which they are both most at home, are fast following.

Along the northern border of settlement in Canada there are flourishing villages and thriving hamlets to day where but a few years ago the verdurous billows of the primeval forest rolled in unbroken grandeur. The history of any one of these villages is the history of all. An open space beside the bank of a stream or the margin of a lake presented itself to the keen eye of the woodranger traversing the trackless waste of forest as a fine site for a lumber camp. In course of time the lumber camp grew into a depot from which other camps, set still farther back in the depths of the "limits," are supplied. Then the depot develops into a settlement surrounded by farms; the settlement gathers itself into a village with shops, schools, churches, and hotels; and so the process of growth goes on, the forest ever retreating as the dwellings of men multiply.

It was in a village with just such a history, and bearing the name of Calumet, occupying a commanding situation on a vigorous tributary of the Ottawa River the Grand River, as the dwellers beside its banks are fond of calling it that Frank Kingston first made the discovery of his own existence and of the world around him. He at once proceeded to make himself master of the situation, and so long as he confined his efforts to the limits of his own home he met with an encouraging degree of success; for he was an only child, and, his father's occupation requiring him to be away from home a large part of the year, his mother could hardly be severely blamed if she permitted her boy to have a good deal of his own way.

In the result, however, he was not spoiled. He came of sturdy, sensible stock, and had inherited some of the best qualities from both sides of the house. To his mother he owed his fair curly hair, his deep blue, honest eyes, his impulsive and tender heart; to his father, his strong symmetrical figure, his quick brain, and his eager ambition. He was a good looking, if not strikingly handsome, boy, and carried himself in an alert, active way that made a good impression on one at the start. He had a quick temper that would flash out hotly if he were provoked, and at such times he would do and say things for which he was heartily sorry afterwards. But from those hateful qualities that we call malice, rancour, and sullenness he was absolutely free... Continue reading book >>




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