The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People

By Bruce Hutchison | Go to book overview

Mrs. Noggins

My good neighbor, Mrs. Alfred Noggins, who came out to Canada from London before the war, has recently returned from a visit to her distant cousin in Seattle. While Mrs. Noggins' views are hardly official, they may serve to introduce by easy stages the rather formidable subject of the next chapter.

"Well," said Mrs. Noggins, boarding my car at the end of the road and depositing her usual basket of eggs and two dead ducks on the front seat beside me, "Well, you know, the 'ole thing is a complete surprise. The Americans, I mean. Why, bless you, I'd 'eard such stories about them! Uncle ' Erbert at 'ome -- and 'im an alderman in Liverpool -- used to say the Americans were a very queer lot because they 'ad up and left the family, along of George the third, you know. Poor Uncle ' Erbert drunk 'imself to death, worryin' about the sewers in Liverpool, and I will say that if the Americans was leavin' 'is family they didn't make any mistake, but I never said that to 'im.

"From wot I'd seen of the Americans in the movies, I must say I was a bit afraid of 'em, goin' across the border for the first time. I really 'ad 'alf an idear they shot each other up all the time, with revolvers 'idden in every drawer and be'ind the radio. And besides, the luxury of 'em! Enough to turn a poor body's 'ead! Why, you'd think to see 'em, in the movies they lived in tiled bathrooms and took a barth every mornin'. Not that I'm against it, and since we got the barth tub hinstalled -- it'd bin layin' in the basement for three years and our bulldog, 'Orace, sleepin' in it -- well, since then, I do like to 'ave

-155-

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The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • My Country 3
  • Chapter One - Chez Garneau 6
  • Mother of Canada 21
  • Canadian Spring 43
  • Chapter Three - The Wood Choppers 46
  • Letter from Montreal to Young Lady With Violets 61
  • Chapter Four - Ville Marie 64
  • The Tower 77
  • Chapter Five - Three O'Clock, Ottawa Time 79
  • Leaves Falling, Dead Men Calling 107
  • Chapter Six - Made in Canada 110
  • The Ready Way to Canada 129
  • Chapter Seven - The Wedge 132
  • Mrs. Noggins 155
  • Chapter Eight General Brock's Bloody Hill 158
  • Winter 179
  • Chapter Nine - Wood, Wind, Water 182
  • The Names of Canada 209
  • Chapter Ten - Sailors' Town 211
  • The Queer Lady 219
  • Chapter Eleven - The Home Town 222
  • The Trees 231
  • Chapter Twelve - Fundy's Children 234
  • The Geese 247
  • Chapter Thirteen - The Frontiersman 249
  • The Canadian 269
  • Chapter Fourteen - The Men in Sheepskin Coats 272
  • Father's Plow 289
  • Chapter Fifteen - Drought and Glut 292
  • Never Go Back 309
  • She's Quiet Tonight 329
  • Chapter Seventeen - The Lotus Eaters 332
  • The Buckskin 351
  • Chapter Eighteen - Cariboo Road 353
  • Index 375
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