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charged at him again, and so on for two hours, till the woodman, exhausted by fatigue, was nearly ready to yield up his life; but the moose too, was exhausted. The brute, however, collected all his remaining energies for a desperate rush at his foe: the woodman had barely strength to step aside yet this once, when, to his inexpressible joy, he saw the moose, from the force of the blow, fastened by the antlers to the tree: seizing the moment, he sprang from his place of safety, and, with a blow of his axe, ham-strung his enemy; the huge animal fell helpless on the ground, another gash of the weapon laid open his throat, and he was dead. The conqueror, wrought up to a pitch of savage fury by the protracted combat, threw himself on the carcase, fastened his lips to the wound, and drank the spouting blood. He fell into such a state of nervousness after this affair, that it became necessary to send him to a hospital, where he lay for many months in a pitiable state.
QUEBE C—W INTER.
The first few days of the snow falling are very amusing to a stranger; the extraordinary costumes —the novelty of the sleighs, of every variety of shape and pattern, many of them being also very handsome, ornamented with rich furs, and drawn by fine horses with showy harness, set off by high hoops, with silver bells on the saddles, and rosettes of ribbon or glass and streamers of coloured horse-hair on the bridles; while the gay chirping of the bells, and the nice crisp sound of the runners of the sleigh, through the new snow, have a very cheerful effect.
Ladies' dress does not undergo in winter so great a transformation as that of men; all wear muffs and boas, certainly, but the bonnets and pelisses are much like those worn in England. Men always wear fur caps, often with large flaps down over their cheeks, enormous pea-jackets or blanket-coats, fur gauntlets, and jack-boots with india-rubber shoes over them, or moccasins of moose-skin, or thick cloth boots, with high leggings. In the very cold weather, they often wear coats of buffalo, or other skins, and move about like some great wild animal, with nothing to be seen of the human form but a blue nose and a pair of red eyes.
Although the temperature is usually kept very high within doors, by means of stove heat, people never seem to suffer by sudden transition to the extreme cold of the open air. I have often seen young ladies, when the thermometer was below zero, leave a hot room, where they had but just ceased waltzing, and walk quietly home, with very little additional clothing; the great dryness of the air preserves them from danger. In the very low temperatures, a razor may be exposed all night to the air without contracting a stain of rust. Colds are much less frequent in winter than in summer.
The winter markets at Quebec are very curious; everything is frozen. Large pigs, with the peculiarly bare appearance which that animal presents when singed, stand in their natural position on their rigid limbs, or upright in corners, killed, perhaps, months before. Frozen masses of beef, sheep, deer.fowls, cod, haddock, and eels, long and stiff, like walking sticks, abound in the stalls. The farmers have a great advantage in this country, in being able to fatten their stock during the abundance of the summer; and, by killing them at the first cold weather, keeping them frozen, to be disposed of at their pleasure during the winter. Milk is kept in the same manner, and sold by the pound, looking like lumps of white ice.
The habitans always travel over the ice of the rivers in preference to the usual roads, as it is, of course, level, and they avoid turnpikes or bridge tolls in entering the town. They sometimes venture on before the ice is sufficiently strong, and after it has become unsafe, when it breaks, and they and their horses are precipitated into the water; the sleigh floats, the horse struggles and plunges, but can never regain the firm ice by his own efforts. The only plan, in this emergency, is to draw the reins tightly round his neck, till he is nearly choked, when he floats quietly on the surface; he can then easily be dragged to a place of surer footing, and allowed to breathe again. The poor animals have great sagacity in judging of the fitness of the ice to bear them: they will trot fearlessly through a pool of water on its surface, out in the centre of the river, during a partial thaw, knowing that underneath it there is solid bearing; but, in spring, they sometimes shew great reluctance to venture upon ice apparently strong, which their instinct tells them is brittle and unsafe.
In the general break up of the winter, in March, the snow roads become very disagreeable, and even dangerous; the hard crust formed over deep drifts by the tracks of sleighs and the severe frost, becomes weakened by the thaw and hollowed underneath, so that the horse's feet often break through, and the animal sinks up to his shoulder, and probably falls, while the crust may still be strong enough to injure him. Sleighs continue to be used; but, where the snow was not originally deep, the ground becomes bare in many places, and the runners grate over it with a most unpleasant sound and with great weight of draught.
During the winter, large quantities of ice and snow accumulate on the roofs of the houses: in the thaw this falls off, with a rushing sound and great violence, sometimes causing very serious damage; indeed, no year passes without loss of life or limb from it. Close by the walls is the safest place to walk at this time, as the avalanche shoots out