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night. Joe, clear your whistle and get ready to sing your best canoe-song, "Canot d'écorce," my boy.'

"The excitement of the trip had braced me up, and I was ready for anything. Already we could see the lights of the great city, and with an adroit stroke of his paddle, Baptiste brought us down on a level with the summit of the towers of Notre-Dame. I cleared my throat and sang 'Canot d'écorce,' while my camarades joined heartily in the chorus.

"Mon père n'avait fille que moi,

Canot d'écorce qui va voler,
Et dessus la mer il m'envoie :

Canot d'écorce qui vole, qui vole,
Canot d'écorce qui va voler!' etc.


"ALTHOUGH it was well on toward two o'clock in the morning, we saw some groups of men who stopped in the middle of the street to watch us go by, but we went so fast that in a twinkle we had passed Montréal and its suburbs. We were nearing the end of our voyage, and we commenced counting the steeples, Longue Pointe, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Repentigny, St. Sulpice,—and at last we saw the two shining spires of Lavaltrie that gleamed among the dark-green pines of the domain.

"Look out over there!' shouted Baptiste. 'We will land on the edge of the wood, in the field of my godfather, Jean-Jean-Gabriel. From there we will proceed on foot to go and surprise our acquaintances in some fricot or dance in the neighborhood.'

"We did as directed, and five minutes later our canoe lay in a snowbank, at the edge of the wood of Jean-Jean-Gabriel. We started in Indian file to go to the village. It was no small job, because the snow reached to our waists and there was no trace of any kind of a road. Baptiste, who was the most daring of the crowd, went and knocked at the door of his godfather's house, where we could see a light, but there was no one there except a servant, who told us that the old folks had gone to a snaque at old man Robillard's place, and that the young people of the village-boys and girls-were across the St. Lawrence at Batissette Augé's, at the Petite Misère, below Contrecœur, where there was a New Year's hop.

"Let us go to the dance at Batissette Augé's,' said Baptiste; we are sure to find our sweethearts over there.'

"Let us go to Batissette Augé's!' "And we returned to our canoe, while cautioning one another against the great danger that there was in pronouncing certain words, in touching anything in the shape of a cross, and especially in drinking liquor of any kind.

We had only four hours before us, and we must return to the shanty before six o'clock in the morning, if we wanted to escape from the clutches of Old Nick, with whom we had made such a desperate bargain. And we all knew that he was not the kind of a customer to let us off, in the event of any delay on our part. "Acabris, Acabras, Acabram! Fais nous voyager par-dessus les montagnes!' shouted Baptiste once more.

"And off we went again, paddling through the air, like renegades that we were, every one of us. We crossed the river in less time than it requires to tell it, and we descended in a snowbank close to Batissette Augé's house, where we could hear the laughter of the dancers, and see their shadows through the bright windows. "We dragged our canoe on the riverside, to hide it among the hummocks produced by the ice-shove.

"Now,' said Baptiste, in a last warning, 'no nonsense! Do you hear? Dance as much as you can, but not a single glass of rum or whisky. And at the first sign, follow me out without attracting attention. We can't be too careful!'

"And we went and knocked at the door.


"OLD Batissette came and opened the door himself, and we were received with open arms by the guests, who knew us all.

"Where do you come from?'

"I thought you were in the chantiers, up the Gatineau?'

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"What makes you come so late?' "Come and take a smile.'

"Baptiste came to the rescue by saying: First and foremost, let us take our coats off, and give us a chance to dance. That's what we came here for, and if you still feel curious in the morning, I will answer all your questions.'

"For my part, I had already spied Liza Guimbette, who was chatting away with little Boisjoli of Lanoraie. I made my révérence in due style, and at once asked for the favor of the next dance, which was a four-handed reel. She accepted with a smile that made me forget that I had risked the salvation of my soul to have the pleasure of pressing her soft white hand in mine and of cutting pigeonwings as her partner. During two hours the dancing went on without stopping, and, if I do say so myself, we shanty fellows cut a shine in the dance that made the hayseeds tired before morning. I was so busy with my partner that at first I did not notice that Baptiste was visiting the buffet rather often with some of the other boys, and once I caught him lifting his elbow in rather a suspicious manner. But I had

no idea that the fellow would get tipsy, after all the lecturing he had given us on the road. When four o'clock struck, all the members of our crew began to edge out of the house without attracting attention, but I had to drag Baptiste before he would consent to go. At last we were all out, with just two hours before us to reach the camp, and three hundred miles to ride in our canoe, under the protection of Beelzebub. We had left the dance like wild Indians without saying good-by to anybody, not even to Liza Guimbette, whom I had invited for the next cotillon. I always thought that she bore me a grudge for that, because when I reached home the next summer she was Madame Boisjoli.

"We found our canoe all right in the hummocks, but I need hardly tell you that we were all put out when we found that Baptiste Durand had been drinking. He was to steer the boat, and we had no time to lose in humoring the fancies of a drunken man. The moon was not quite so bright as when we started from the camp, and it was not without misgivings that I took my place in the bow of the canoe, well decided to keep a sharp lookout ahead for accidents. Before starting I said to Baptiste : "Look out, Baptiste, old fellow! Steer straight for the mountain of Montréal, as soon as you can get a glimpse of it.'

"I know my business,' answered Baptiste sharply, and you had better mind yours.'

"What could I do? And before I had time for further reflections:

never reach the Gatineau alive, and le diable was probably smacking his lips, as I supposed, at the bare idea of making a New Year's mess of us. And I can tell you that the disaster was not long in coming. While we were passing over the city, Baptiste Durand uttered a yell, and, flourishing his paddle over his head, gave it a twist that sent us plunging into a snowdrift, in a clearing on the mountain-side. Luckily the snow was soft, and none of us were hurt, nor was the canoe injured in any way. But Baptiste got out and declared most emphatically that he was going down-town to have un verre. We tried to reason with him, but our efforts proved useless, as is generally the case with les ivrognes. He would go down if le diable himself were to catch hold of him on the way. I held a moment's consultation with mes camarades, and, before Baptiste knew what we were about, we had him down in the snow, where we bound him hand and foot so as to render him incapable of interfering with our movements. We placed him in the bottom of the canoe, and gagged him so as to prevent him from speaking any words that might give us up to perdition.

"And Acabris! Acabras! Acabram!' up we went again, this time steering straight for the Gatineau. I had taken Baptiste's place in the stern. We had only a little over an hour to reach camp, and we all paddled away for dear life and eternal salvation. We followed the Ottawa River as far as the PointeGatineau, and then steered due north by the

"Acabris! Acabras! Acabram! Fais nous polar star for our shanty. We were fairly flyvoyager par-dessus les montagnes!'


"AND up we went again like lightning, steering southwest, if the wild way in which Baptiste managed our boat could be called steering. We passed over the steeple of the church at Contrecœur, coming pretty close to it, but instead of going west Baptiste made us take a sheer toward the Richelieu River. A few minutes later we were skimming over Belceil Mountain, and we came within ten feet of striking the big cross that the Bishop of Quebec planted there, during a temperance picnic held a few years before by the clergy of his diocese.

"To the right, Baptiste! steer to the right, or else you will send us all to le diable if you keep on going that way.'

"And Baptiste did instinctively turn to the right, and we steered straight for the mountain of Montréal, which we could perceive in the distance by the dim lights of the city. I must say that I was becoming frightened, because if Baptiste kept on steering as he had done, we would

ing in the air, and everything was going well when that rascal of a Baptiste managed to slip the ropes we had bound him with and to pull off his gag. We had been so busy paddling that, the first thing we knew, he was standing in the canoe, paddle in hand, and swearing like a pagan. I felt that our end had come if he pronounced a certain sacred word, and it was out of the question to appease him in his frenzy. We had only a few miles to go to reach camp, and we were floating over the pine forest. The position was really terrible. Baptiste was using his paddle like a shillalah and making a moulinet that threatened every moment to crush in some one's head. I was so excited that by a false movement of my own paddle I let the canoe come down on a level with the pines, and it was upset as it struck the head of a big tree. We all fell out and began dropping down from branch to branch like partridges shot from the tamarack-tops. I don't know how long I was coming down, because I fainted before we reached the snow beneath, but my last recollection was like the dream of a man who feels himself dropping down a well without ever reaching bottom.

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"ABOUT eight o'clock the next morning, I awoke in my bunk, in the cabin, whither some of our camarades had conveyed us after having found us to our necks in a neighboring snowbank, at the foot of a monster pine-tree. Happily, no one was seriously hurt, although we were all more or less bruised and scratched, some having secured even black eyes in our way down from the tree-top. We were all thankful that nothing worse had befallen us, and when the camarades said that they had found us sleeping away in the snow the effects of the previous night's frolic, not one of us had any thing to say to the contrary. We all felt satisfied that our escapade with Old Nick remained unknown in the camp, and we preferred leaving our chums under the impression that we had taken un verre too many, to telling them of the bargain we had made to satisfy a passing fancy. So far as Baptiste Durand was con

cerned, there is no doubt that he had forgotten the latter part of his voyage, but he never alluded to the fact, and we followed his example. It was not till many years afterward that I related the story of our aventures, just as they happened on that memorable New Year's eve.

"All I can say, my friends, is that it is not so amusing as some people might think, to travel in mid-air, in the dead of winter, under the guidance of Beelzebub, running la chassegalerie, and especially if you have un ivrogne to steer your bark canoe. Take my advice, and don't listen to any one who would try to rope you in for such a trip. Wait until summer before you go to see your sweethearts, for it is better to run all the rapids of the Ottawa and the St. Lawrence on a raft, than to travel in partnership with le diable himself."

And Joe, the cook, dipped a ladleful of boiling molasses from the big kettle on the fire, and declared that everything was now ready for the candy-pull. Honoré Beaugrand.


"MOTHER, a dear little lad

Alone through the night is creeping:

He has lost his way, and is sad;

I hear him bitterly weeping.

I know he is coming to me:

Go to the door and see."

"Daughter, woman's undoing
Is to be won without wooing.
When she meets her lover half-way,
He holds her favor light

As the cup he drains by day,

Or the lamp he burns at night."

"Mother, no more,

But open the door :

I have his heart, he mine;

He must be housed and fed:

I will give him kisses for wine,

And my eyes shall light him to bed!"

R. H. Stoddard.


UST at this full noon of summer
There's a touch, unfelt before,

Charms our Coastland, smoothing from her
The last crease her forehead wore:
She, too, drains the sun-god's potion,

Quits her part of anchorite,

Smiles to see her leaden ocean

Sparkle in the austral light;

While the tidal depths beneath her
Palpitate with warmth and love,
And the infinite pure æther

Floods the yearning creek and cove,

Harbor, woodland, promontory,

Swarded fields that slope between,—
And our gray tower, tinged with glory,
Midway flames above the scene.

On this day of all most luring,

This one morn of all the year,

Read I soul and body curing

In the seaward loggia here—
Once, twice, thrice, that chorus sweetest
(Fortune's darling, Sophokles!)

Of the grove whose steeds are fleetest,
Nurtured by the sacred breeze;

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