The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People

By Bruce Hutchison | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
Cariboo Road

It was midnight when we crossed the Fraser at Hope. Behind us lay Vancouver, asleep in its bed. In front of us the Cariboo Road, frosty in the autumn. A few miles more and we could smell it -- the first stinging, sharp smell of the Dry Belt, of sage brush and pine tree, mixed with the smell of parched clay earth. In little more than a mile, the coast jungle ended abruptly and the open interior began.

We breathed the new dry air hungrily. "It's still here!" Jean said. After our long absence we almost feared it would not be here, unchanged, the Cariboo, the other world we used to know. I stepped on the gas.

There was fog in the canyon of the Fraser. A thousand feet below us, in the black trough, a false white river of mist rolled along. Deep down under that the true river rumbled. We should have stopped. To drive through a night mist on this road, cut thinly into the living wall of the canyon, is madness, but we were always mad on the way to Cariboo. At the end of the road the great plateau was waiting and the house of Michael O'Shea.

Through Yale we drove, and not a light to be seen by the river -- old Yale that had been the beginning of the road in the gold rush, crammed with miners and fancy ladies. Nothing left of it now but a few ruined cherry trees and the wooden church. No light at Boston Bar either, no light on China Bar or Jackass Mountain (what stories in these names!) and little Lytton sound asleep. They had never slept in the old days, from one

-353-

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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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