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with him. Perroque, who was as great an
adept on snow-shoes as on skates, gave him
no time to retract, and a hunt after Moose
was at once determined upon.

* See page  243.

Our accoutrements consisted of snow-shoes
(which, when slung over the shoulders, looked
not unlike a pair of large wings), a rifle, an
"Arkansas toothpick," and a flask. We started
without delay, and on the afternoon of the
second day were once more in the township of
Leeds, which we had fixed upon as the scene
of our operations.

Archibald McQuaigh was an old Highlander
who had emigrated from Strathtoddy, and
who prided himself greatly on his ancestry,
and on having been the man who "felled
the first tree in Leeds," in 1817; since which
time the township had made marvellous
strides in advancement and prosperity, and
McQuaigh was fond of saying that the crash
of the first victim to the axe was still ringing
in his ears. He had pushed his way boldly
into the woods, with nothing but an axe, a set
of bagpipes, a peck of oatmeal, and a bottle of
whiskey,––the last two being the remains of
the stock of provisions which he had taken on
board with him at Glasgow. With this scanty
outfit he began the hardy life of a settler,—
borrowing flour and pork from his neighbours,
the nearest of whom was fifteen miles off,
until the gathering of his first crop, when he
became an independent man. Years, although
not without a fight for it, had produced their
effect even on McQuaigh. He had shrunk
somewhat in all his proportions, but his skin
and flesh looked like plastic horn, which
seemed to bid defiance to decay. Blungle felt
qualmish, when first presented to him, for he
had still a very fiery look, calculated to affect
the nervous,—his hair, which was becoming
grey at the tips, now looking like so many
red-hot wires elevated to a white heat at the
points. His manly activity had not yet
forsaken him, his frame being still well knit and
compact, and there were few in the township
who would even then venture to wrestle with
him. He had been originally a deer-keeper
to the Marquis of Glen-Fuddle, and his early
vocation gave him a taste for the chase which
never forsook him, and it was in the double
capacity of an enthusiastic sportsman and a
hospitable man, that we carried letters of
introduction to him.

We were received with true Highland
hospitality, after the old style. After dinner
McQuaigh repeated half of " Ossian " in the
original to us, giving us incidentally to
understand that the poet belonged to a younger
branch of his family. He spoke English as a
convenience, but had great contempt for it as
a language. Indeed, he used to call it, sneeringly,
"a tongue," and maintained that Gaelic
was the only real language on earth.

The next morning at breakfast, McQuaigh
announced that in five minutes after that meal
was disposed of, we should be on our way for
the part of the forest which was to be the scene
of our operations. A Moose deer is a great
prize, which is not often secured, and the
appearance of one makes quite a noise in a
neighbourhood. For some days back a rumour
had been rife throughout the township that
one had been seen at a point about three
miles distant from McQuaigh's residence;
and it was only on the evening before our
arrival, that that worthy had been himself
informed by a man who had come from a
neighbouring settlement that he had crossed
its track on the way. This accounted for a
somewhat high state of fever in which we
found him on arrival; and our appearance
gave him great relief, by furnishing him at
once with an excuse for a hunt, and
companions in his sport.

Having plentifully provided ourselves with
creature comforts from McQuaigh's larder
and whiskey-cask, we started in a common
farm sleigh, in which we had all to stand
upright, for the point at which we were to
push into the forest. McQuaigh had secured
the attendance of a French Canadian named
Jean Baptiste, who was a servant on an
adjoining farm, and who was as expert a
Moosehunter as any man in the province.

Having gained the summit of a steep hill,
the gillie was sent back with the sleigh, and
we prepared to diverge into the bush. The
snow lay fully five feet deep around us; and
before leaving the beaten track, our first care
was to adjust our snow-shoes, which are
indispensable to Canadian winter sport. Each
shoe is about the size of a large kite, which
it also resembles in shape. The outer frame
is made of light cedar, bent and bound
together by two slender bars, placed about
equidistant from both ends. The thin
spaces contained between the outer frame
and the bars, are filled up with a
network composed of a substance resembling
cat-gut. The toe is attached to the snow-
shoe close to the front bar, the heel being left
at liberty: so that when it is raised in the
act of dragging the foot forward, the snow-
shoe is not raised with it, being dragged
horizontally upon the surface. The object of the
snow-shoe is to prevent the pedestrian from
sinking in the soft snow, which it effects by
giving him a far broader basis to rest upon
than Nature has provided him. Thus
accoutred, a man will pass rapidly, and in safety
over the deepest depositshaving to take
much longer strides than usual, in order that
the snow-shoes may clear one another. The
exercise is somewhat fatiguing, and requires
some practice to be perfect in it. Blungle
was not an adept, and before he had
proceeded ten paces, he was prostrate on his
face, and fully three feet beneath the
surface. His plight in somewhat resembled
that of the boy who had let the inflated
bladderswith the aid of which he attempted
to swimslip down to his feet, which they
elevated to the surface, keeping his head,
however, under water. The only thing