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Frederick Marryat.

Poor Jack; and The settlers in Canada online

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blistered all over, and I could scarcely get along ; they com-
pelled me, however, to proceed, not using any great force,
but still dragging me and pushing me, to make me keep up
with them. I soon perceived that I was a prisoner only, and
not likely to be ill treated if I complied with their wishes.
Toward evening I could hardly put one foot before the other,
for they had obliged me to walk in the water of a stream for
two or three miles, and my shoes were quite worn out in
consequence. At night they again stopped, and the Indian
woman prepared some herbs, and applied them to my feet.
This gave me great relief, but still she continued to take no
notice of any signs I made to her. The next morning I found
I had received so much benefit from the application of the
herbs, that for the first half of the day I walked on pretty
well, and was a little in advance, when, hearing the chief
speak in an angry tone behind me, I turned round, and, to
my horror, saw him raise his tomahawk, and strike down the
poor Indian woman. I could not refrain from hastening to

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her ; but I had just time to perceive that her skull was cloven,
and that she was, as I imagined, dead, when I was dragged
away and forced to continue my journey. You may imagine
how my blood curdled at this scene, and how great were now
my apprehensions for myself. Why I had been carried away
I knew not, for I was as ignorant as you were of Percival
being alive, and of the Young Otter having been detained at
the fort. My idea was, when the chief struck down the
Indian woman, that it was to get rid of her, and that I was
to replace her. This idea was almost madness, but still I
had hope, and I prayed as I walked along to that God who
sees the most secret act, and hears the most silent prayer of
the heart, and I felt an assurance while praying that I should
be rescued. I knew that my absence would be immediately
discovered, and that there were those who would risk their
lives to rescue me, if I was still in existence ; and I therefore
used all my efforts to walk on as fast as I could, and not
irritate the Indians. But that night I had no one to dress
my feet, which were bleeding and very much swelled, and I
was very wretched when I lay down alone. I could not drive
from my thoughts the poor Indian woman weltering in her
blood, and murdered for no crime or fault nothing that I
could discover. The next morning, as usual, my food was
some parched Indian corn, and of that I received only a
handful for my sustenance during the twenty-four hours ;
however, hunger I never felt, I had too much pain. I was
able to drag myself on till about noon, when I felt that I
could not proceed further. I stopped and sat down ; the
chief ordered me to get up again by signs ; I pointed to my
feet, which were now swelled above the ankles, but he in-
sisted, and raised his tomahawk to frighten me into compli-
ance. I was so worn out, that I could have almost received
the blow with thankfulness, but I remembered you, my dear
uncle and aunt and others, and resolved for your sakes to
make one more effort. I did so ; I ran and walked for an
hour more in perfect agony ; at last nature could support the
pain no longer, and I fell insensible."

" My poor Mary ! " exclaimed Emma.

" I thought of you often and often, my dear sister," replied
Mary, kissing her.

" I believe it was a long while before I came to my senses/'

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continued Mary, " for when I did, I found that the Indians
were very busy weaving branches into a sort of litter. As
soon as they had finished, they put me upon it, and I was
carried by two of them swinging on a pole which they put on
their shoulders. I need hardly say, that the journey wss
now more agreeable than it was before, although my feet
were in a dreadful state, and gave me much pain. That
night we stopped by a rivulet, and I kept my feet in the
water for two or three hours, which brought down the inflam-
mation and swelling very much, and I contrived after that to
gain some sleep. They carried me one more day, when they
considered that they had done enough, and I was again
ordered to walk ; I did so for two days, and was then in the
same condition as before. A litter was therefore again con-
structed, and I was carried till I arrived at the lodges of the
Angry Snake and his band. What passed from that time you
have heard from Alfred."

When Mary Percival had finished her narrative, they all
sat down to supper, and it hardly need be said that Mr.
Campbell did not fail, before they retired to rest, again to
pour forth his thanksgivings to the Almighty for the preser-
vation of those who were so dear. The next morning, they
all rose in health and spirits. Martin came early to the
house with the Strawberry ; his wound was much better, and
he received the thanks and condolence of Mr. and Mrs.
Campbell.

When they were at breakfast, Mr. Campbell said, " John,
in our joy at seeing your brother and cousin again, I quite
forgot to scold you for running away as you did."

"Then don't do it now, sir," said Malachi, "for he was
very useful, I can assure you."

" No, I won't scold him now," replied Mr. Campbell ; " but
he must not act so another time. If he had confided to me
his anxious wish to join you, I should probably have given my
permission."

" I must now take my leave, and return to the fort," said
Captain Sinclair ; " I do, however, trust I shall see you all
again in a few days, but I must report the results of the ex-
pedition, and the death of poor Watkins. May I borrow one
of your horses, Mr. Campbell ? "

"Certainly," replied Mr. Campbell; "you know the bateau

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is expected every day from Montreal ; perhaps you will bring
us our letters when it arrives."

Captain Sinclair took his leave, as it may be imagined, very
reluctantly, and in a day or two the family again settled down to
their usual occupations. The emigrants had, during the absence
of the expedition, gathered in a great portion of the corn, and
now all hands were employed in finishing the harvest.

" How happy we are now, Mary!" said Emma to her sister,
as they were walking by the stream watching John, who was
catching trout.

"Yes, my dear Emma, we have had a lesson which will, I
trust, prevent any future repining, if we have felt any, at our
present position. The misery we have been rescued from
has shown us how much we have to be thankful for. We
have nothing more to fear from the Indians, and I feel as if I
could now pass the remainder of my life here in peace and
thankfulness."

" Not without Captain Sinclair ? "

" Not always without him ; the time will, I trust, come
when I may reward him for his patience and his regard for
me ; but it has not yet come ; and it's for my uncle and aunt
to decide when it shall. Where's Percival ? "

" He is gone into the woods with Malachi, and with a rifle
on his shoulder, of which he is not a little proud. John is
not at all jealous. He says that Percival ought to know how
to fire a rifle, and throw away that foolish bow and arrow.
Do you not think that his residence among the Indians has
made a great change in Percival ?"

" A very great one ; he is more manly and more taciturn ;
he appears to think more and talk less. But Henry is
beckoning to us. Dinner is ready, and we must not keep
hungry people waiting."

" No," replied Emma ; " for in that case I should keep
myself waiting."



CHAPTER XL

CAPTAIN SINCLAIR on his return to Fort Frontignac
reported to the Colonel the successful result of the expedi-
tion, and was warmly congratulated upon it, as the Colonel

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had been made acquainted with the engagement between
him and Mary Percival. The Young Otter, who had re-
mained in confinement during Captain Sinclair's absence, was
now set at liberty ; and the Colonel, who was aware that
Captain Sinclair must be very anxious to remain at the settle^
ment for a short time after what had occurred, very kindly
offered him leave for a few days, which it may be supposed
Captain Sinclair did not fail to avail himself of. The Colonel
at the same time sent a message to Mr. Campbell, stating
that as soon as the bateaux should arrive from Montreal, he
would bring any lettei's or newspapers that might arrive for
them, and take that opportunity of offering in person his
congratulations.

Captain Sinclair did not, however, return for two or three
days, as he had many letters to write in answer to those
which had arrived during his absence. On his return to the
settlement, he found them all well and happy ; Mary quite
recovered from her fatigue, and everything going on in the
same quiet order and method as if the expedition had never
taken place, and had never been necessary. Indeed, nothing
appeared now wanting to the happiness of the whole party,
and their affairs were prospering. The emigrants who had
joined Mr. Campbell were industrious and intelligent, very
civil, and very useful. They paid the greatest respect to
Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, who were certainly very liberal and
kind to them, assisting them in every way in their power.
Although the farm had been so much increased, the labour
was light, from the quantity of hands they could command ;
the stock had increased very fast ; old Graves had taken
charge of the mill during the absence of Alfred and Martin,
and had expressed his wish to continue in that employment,
which Alfred gladly gave up. In short, peace and plenty
reigned in the settlement, and Alfred's words when he re-
commended his father to go to Canada, had every prospect
of becoming true that his father would be independent, if
not rich, and leave his children the same. In three days
Captain Sinclair arrived ; he was received with great warmth
by all the party, and after dinner was over, Mr. Campbell
addressed the family as follows :

"My dear children, your mother and I have had some
conversation on one or two points, and we have come to the

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decision that having so much to thank God for, in His kind-
ness and mercies shown towards us, it would be selfish on our
parts if we did not consult the happiness of others. We are
now independent, and with every prospect of being more so
every day ; we are no longer isolated, but surrounded by
those who are attached to us and will protect us should there
be any occasion. In short, we are living in comfort and
security, and we trust to Providence that we shall continue
so to do. You, my dear Alfred, generously abandoned your
profession to which you were so partial, to come and protect
us in the wilderness, and we knew too well the value of your
services not to accept them, although we were fully aware of
the sacrifice which you naade ; but we are no longer in the
wilderness, and no longer require your strong arm and bold
heart. We have therefore decided that it is our duty no
longer to keep you from the profession to which you belong,
but, on the contrary, to recommend you now to rejoin and
follow up your career, which we trust in God may prove as
prosperous as we are convinced it will be honourable. Take
our best thanks, my dear boy, for your kindness to us, and
now consider yourself at liberty to return to England, and
rejoin the service as soon as you please.

" And now I must address you, my dear Mary ; you and
your sister accompanied us here, and since you have been with
us, have cheered us during our stay by your attentions and
unwearied cheerfulness under all the privations which we at
first had to encounter. You have engaged the affections of an
honourable and deserving man, but at the same time have
never shown the least disposition to leave us ; indeed, we know
what your determination has been, but your aunt and I con-
sider it our present duty to say, that much as we shall regret
to part with one so dear, you must no longer sacrifice yourself
for us, but make him happy who so well deserves you. That
you will remain here is of course out of the question ; your
husband's connections and fortune require that he should
return to England, and not bury himself in the woods of
Canada. You have therefore our full permission, and I may
say, it will be most pleasing to us, if you no longer delay your
union with Captain Sinclair and follow your husband ; when-
ever and wherever you go, you will have our blessing and
our prayers, and the satisfaction of knowing that you have

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been to us as a dutiful daughter, and that we love you as dearly
as it is possible for parents to do. Take her, Captain Sinclair,
from my hands, and take with her our blessings and best wishes
for your happiness, which I do not doubt will be as great as
we can expect in this checkered world ; for a dutiful daughter
will always become a good wife."

Mary, who was sitting between Mrs. Campbell and Captain
Sinclair, fell upon her aunt's neck and wept ; Mr. Campbell
extended his hand to Captain Sinclair, who expressed in return
his warmest thanks and gratitude. Alfred, who had said no-
thing more, went up to his mother and kissed her.

" I wish you to go, Alfred," said his mother ; " I wish you to
rejoin a service to which you are a credit. Do not believe
otherwise, or that I shall grieve too much at your departure."

" Go, my son," said Mr. Campbell, shaking him by the hand,
"and let me see you a post-captain before I die."

Mrs. Campbell now took Mary Percival into the next room,
that she might compose herself, and Captain Sinclair ventured
to follow. Every one appeared happy at this announcement of
Mr. Campbell except Emma, who looked unusually serious.
Alfred, perceiving it, said to her, " Emma, you are very grave
at the idea of losing Mary, and I do not wonder at it, but
you will have one consolation, you will lose me too, and I
shall no longer plague you as you continually complain
that I do."

"I never thought of that," replied Emma, half angry; " well,
you are a great plague, and the sooner you go "

Emma did not, however, finish her speech, but left the
room, to join her sister.

Now that Mr. Campbell had announced his wishes, the
subject of Mary's marriage and Alfred's return to the service
was, for a few days, the continual subject of discussion. It was
decided that Mary should be married in a month, by the chap-
lain of the fort, who had returned, and that Captain Sinclair,
with his wife and Alfred, should leave the settlement at the
end of September, so as to arrive at Quebec in good time for
sailing before the winter should set in. It was now the last
week in August, so that there was not much time to pass away
previous to their departure. Captain Sinclair returned to the
fort, to make the Colonel acquainted with what had passed, and
to take the necessary steps for leave of absence, and his return

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to England. This, from his interest with the Governor, he was
sure to obtain, and when in England, it would be time sufficient
to decide whether he should leave that service or exchange
into some regiment at home. As every prospect of war or
disturbance in Canada was now over, he could take either step
without any censure being laid upon him.

A week afterward, the bateaux arrived from Montreal, and
the Colonel and Captain Sinclair made their appearance at the
settlement, bringing with them the letters and papers from
England.

Having received the congratulations of the Colonel, Mr.
and Mrs. Campbell, with his permission, opened their letters,
for all the family were present, and all, as usual, anxious to
hear the news. The first letter Mr. Campbell opened, to the
surprise of all, produced an immediate change in his coun-
tenance. He read it a second time, and laying it down on his
knee, appeared to remain in a state of complete abstraction.

" No bad news, I hope, Campbell ? " said his wife anxiously,
as all the rest looked upon him with astonishment.

t( No, my dear Emily, no bad news, but most unexpected
news ; such as it has been my fortune in life to receive once
before this time. You remember, although years have since
passed, the letter that was brought to us in our little
parlour "

"Which put you in possession of Wexton Hall, Campbell."

" Yes, I did refer to that ; but I will not keep you all
in longer suspense. This is but a counterpart of the former
letter."

Mr. Campbell then read as follows :

" May 7, 18.

" DEAR SIR, It is with great pleasure that we have again
to communicate to you that you may return, as soon as you
please, and take possession of the Wexton Hall property.

" You may remember that many months back Mr. Douglas
Campbell received a fall from his horse when hunting. No
serious consequences were anticipated, but it appears that his
spine was injured, and after some months' close confinement,
he expired on the 9th of April. As Mr. Douglas Campbell
has left no issue, and you are the next in tail, you have now
undisputed possession of the property which you so honour-
ably surrendered some years since.

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THE SETTLERS IN CANADA

" I have taken upon myself to act as your agent since Mr.
Campbell's decease. Mrs. D. Campbell has a handsome settle-
ment upon the property, which will of course fall in upon
her demise. Waiting your commands, I am, dear sir, yours
truly, J. HARVEY."

" Mr. Campbell, I congratulate you with all my heart,"
said the Colonel, rising up, and taking his hand. " You have
proved yourself deserving of such good fortune ; Mrs. Camp-
bell, I need hardly add that my congratulations extend
to you."

Surprise at first rendered Mrs. Campbell mute ; at last she
said

"We are in the hands of Him, and do but execute His
will. For your sake, my dear Campbell, for the children's
sake, perhaps, I ought to rejoice we hardly know. That I
am happy here, now that my children have been restored to
me, I confess. I doubt whether that happiness will be in-
creased by the return to Wexton Hall ; at all events, I shall
leave this place with regret. We have had too many revolu-
tions of fortune, Campbell, since we have been united, not to
have learned by experience that a peaceful, quiet, and con-
tented home is more necessary to our happiness than riches."

"I feel as you do, Emily," replied Mr. Campbell, "but we
are growing old, and have been taught wisdom practically,
by the events of a checkered life. Our children, I perceive,
think otherwise nor do I wonder at it."

" I shan't go," said John ; " I shall only be sent to school ;
no master shall flog me I'm a man."

" Nor me," cried Percival.

The Colonel and Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, as well as the
elder portion of the party, could not help smiling at the
exclamation of the two boys. They had both played the
part of men, and it was but too evident how unfitted they
would be for future scholastic discipline.

" You shall neither of you go to school," replied Mr.
Campbell, "but still you must render yourselves fit for your
stations in life, by improving your minds, and attending
those who will instruct you."

It is hard to say whether much real joy was felt by any of
the party at the prospect of returning to England. It is true

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that Mary Percival was delighted at the idea of not being so
far from her aunt and uncle, and that Emma was better
pleased to be in England, for reasons which she kept to her-
self. But it was not the coming into the large property
which occasioned pleasure to any of them. However, if there
was not much pleasure derived from this re-accession to
property, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell knew their duty too well to
hesitate, and every preparation was commenced for their
return along with Alfred and Captain Sinclair. John, how-
ever, still continued obstinate in declaring that he would not
go, and Percival was very much of John's opinion, although
he did not speak so plainly.

When Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were alone, the former said
to his wife

" I do not know what to do about John. He appears so
resolute in his determination not to go with us, that I fear he
will run away into the woods at the time of our departure.
He is now continually with Malachi and Martin, and appears
to have severed himself from the family."

" It is hard to decide, Campbell ; I have more than once
thought it would be better to leave him here. He is our
youngest son. Henry will of course inherit the estate, and
we shall have to provide for the others out of our savings.
Now this property, by the time that John is of age, will be
of no inconsiderable value, and by no means a bad fortune for
a younger son. He appears so wedded to the woods and a
life of nature, that I fear it would only be the cause of con-
tinual regret and discontent if we did take him to England ;
and if so, what comfort or advantage should we gain by his
returning ? I hardly know what to advise."

" I have serious thoughts of leaving him here under the
charge of Martin and Malachi," replied Mr. Campbell. " He
would be happy ; by-and-by he would be rich. What could
he obtain more in England ? But it must be for you to
decide, my dear Emily. I know a mother's feelings, and
respect them."

" I cannot decide at once, my dear husband. I will first
talk with John, and consult with Alfred and Henry."

The result of Mrs. Campbell's communicating with he?
sons, was a decision that John should remain in Canada, under
the charge of Martin and Malachi, who were to superintend

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the farm, and watch over him. Martin was to take charge of
the farm. Malachi was to be John's companion in the woods,
and old Graves, who had their mill under his care, engaged
to correspond with Mr. Campbell, and let them know how
things went on. When this was settled, John walked at
least two inches higher, and promised to write to his mother
himself. The Colonel, when he heard the arrangement,
pledged himself that as long as he was in command of the
fort, he would keep a watchful eye, not only over John, but
the whole of the settlement, and communicate occasionally
with Mr. Campbell.

A month after the receipt of the letter, the whole family,
with the exception of John, embarked in two bateaux, and
arrived at Montreal, where they remained a day or two, and
then proceeded on to Quebec.

At Quebec, their agent had already taken all the cabins of
one of the finest ships for their passage, and after a run of six
weeks, they once more found themselves at Liverpool, from
which town they posted to Wexton Hall, Mrs. Douglas Camp-
bell having retired to a property of her own in Scotland.

We have now finished our tale, and have only to inform
our little readers what were the after-lives of the Campbell
family.

Henry did not return to college, but remained with his
father and mother at the Hall, employing himself in superin-
tending for his father the property to which he afterward
succeeded.

Alfred was appointed to a ship commanded by Captain
Lumley. He soon rose in the service, was highly distinguished
as a gallant, clever officer, and four years after his return to
England was married to his cousin Emma at which the
reader will not be surprised.

Mary Percival was married to Captain Sinclair, who sold
out, and retired upon half-pay, to live upon his estate in
Scotland.

Percival went to college, and turned out a very clever
lawyer.

John remained in Canada until he was twenty years old,
when he came home to see his father and mother. He had
grown to six feet four inches high, and was stout in propor-
tion. He was a very amusing fellow, and could talk fast

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enough, but his chief conversation was upon hunting and
sporting. The farm had been well conducted ; the emigrants
had adhered to the agreements, and were now cultivating for
themselves. Martin had three papooses (as the Indians call
the children) by the Strawberry. Malachi had grown too
old to go out often into the woods, and he sat by the fire in
the winter, and basked in the sun at the door of the house
during the summer. Oscar was dead, but they had some
fine puppies of his breed. Mr. Campbell gave John a deed
on his return, conveying to him the Canadian property, and
shortly afterward John picked up a little Canadian wife at
Quebec, who made him perfectly happy.

Mr. and Mrs. Campbell lived to a good old age, respected
as long as they lived, and lamented when they died. They
had known prosperity and adversity, and in each state of life
had acquitted themselves with exemplary propriety, not
having been elated by the one, or depressed by the other.
They knew that this world was a world of trial, and but a



Online LibraryFrederick MarryatPoor Jack; and The settlers in Canada → online text (page 57 of 58)