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spur of the dark forest which the axe has still spared stretches down to the water's edge, through some rough ravine, with little streams winding through its shades. Some neat cottages, with well stored farm-yards, stand on the sloping hills. Herds of cattle grazed quietly on the rich grass by the margin of the lake, or stood in the shallow waters, cooling their limbs under the bright sun.
A couple of little canoes, with two women in one, and a man in the other, lay on the calm lake under the shadow of a rocky knoll covered with firs and cedars, the occupants leisurely employed in setting fishing lines. They were at the far side from us, and soft and faint over the smooth surface of the water, came their song,—" La Claire Fontaine," the national air of the Canadian French.
All our party pulled up for a brief space to enjoy this beautiful scene in silence; but soon again the reins were slackened, and on, on, over the grass green lane by the edge of the lake, winding round the little bays and promontories, over the rude bridges, on, on they dashed, full of glee, laughing and chattering, some far ahead of the others, till they had doubled the end of the lake, and came cantering along towards home on the opposite shore. When we had encircled the lake, we plunged again into the forest. I stopped for a minute to take another look at the lovely picture: beautiful lights and shades lay on the soft landscape; and now, scarcely audible in the distance, the song of "La Claire Fontaine," came still from the little canoes. The gentle scene fixed itself on my mind, and remains stored up in the treasury of pleasant memories. But I must not loiter; my horse's head is turned away, and we do our utmost to overtake the party.
During the few closing weeks of the autumn I joined several excursions to other places in the neighbourhood of Quebec, all well worthy of the visit at any time; but, with kind and agreeable companions, beautiful weather, and the brilliant colours of the "fall" on the woods, they were seen to the greatest advantage. One of these excursions was to Lake Charles, away among the mountains fifteen miles from the town, and the largest and most picturesque lake in the neighbourhood. There is a hamlet of log houses on the banks, with a small farm ; all around is " bush." It was very calm when we embarked upon this lake; we paddled to the far end, and up a little river through the woods. The waters were very clear and deep: we could see the hard sand and coloured pebbles, many feet beneath, and the black, gnarled roots of the trees projecting from the banks. Our conveyance was prepared by fastening together two canoes cut out of solid trees, placed side by side, by planks laid over the gunwales; these little boats, when single, are very dangerous with unpractised passengers, but are impossible to upset when thus united.
When we were returning, the breeze freshened; the waves splashed up between the two canoes, soon nearly filling them with water, and thoroughly wetting us. To lighten them, half the party landed, and walked back to the farm-house through the bush. It is difficult to form an idea of the fatigue of this walking in summer; for two or three feet in depth the ground is covered with a network of broken branches and underwood, and, every few yards, the huge length of some fallen patriarch of the forest, so much decayed that it crumbles under foot, and overgrown with fungus and creepers, in some parts almost mixed up with the rich mould and luxuriant vegetation of the ground. It took us an hour to get through a mile of this, and many shreds of the ladies' dresses were left hanging on the bushes.
We dined at a little inn at the Indian village of Lorette; on our return saw the pretty falls; the young savages shooting with bows and arrows; the squaws working their embroidery; and the hunters' trophies of the chace. The indefatigable young people managed to find two fiddlers, and danced till twelve o'clock, whilst an awful storm of lightning and rain kept us imprisoned. After midnight the sky cleared, and a bright moon lighted us home over the streaming roads.
There is pretty good shooting in the autumn, about the neighbourhood of Quebec: snipe, woodcocks, partridge, and hares; but it is usually necessary to go a long distance for the purpose, and success is at all times uncertain. In some low swampy grounds north-east of the town, twenty miles off, at Chateau Richer, snipe are occasionally found in great abundance.
The numerous lakes and rivers round about afford very good trout-fishing, but the fish are generally small. Salmon are plentiful in the Jacques Cartier River, twenty-five miles to the westward, and in wonderful abundance at the Jacquenay. The mosquitoes are a great drawback to the sport in this country—indeed, almost a prohibition: in June and July they torment dreadfully in country quarters, but never venture to invade the towns. There are few other noxious insects or animals of any kind within the bounds of Canadian civilization. The Loupcervier is sometimes dangerous when suffering from hunger; but is never seen except in the more distant settlements, where this animal and the wolves sometimes devour a stray sheep. The black bear is occasionally met with in the neighbourhood. A young gentleman from Quebec, fishing in the Jacques Cartier, saw one the other day; he was so terrified that he ran away, and did not consider himself safe till within the town walls; while the bear, quite as much alarmed, ran off in the other direction.
The moose deer is sometimes dangerous in summer; not unfrequently they have been known to attack men, when their haunts have been intruded upon. An officer of engineers, engaged in drawing a boundary line some distance south of Quebec, told me that a large moose attacked one of his workmen who was cutting down trees on the line. The man ran for shelter to where two trees stood together, leaving him just room to pass between; the moose charged at him fiercely, striking its long powerful antlers against the trees, as he jumped back; he wounded the assailant slightly with his axe, but this only made the animal more furious. Racing round to the other side, the moose