The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People

By Bruce Hutchison | Go to book overview

Canadian Spring

Spring rides into Canada upon the warm Japan Current. He lands quietly, without public greeting or knowledge, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, one night in early March; or he may take a notion to come bursting in suddenly at the end of February, in raincoat and galoshes, but wearing violets and daffodils and primroses in his hat. With a wild shout down the western wind, he goes to work.

There are cones to be hung like Christmas candles on the great fir trees of the coast woods, and giant, shaggy sword ferns to be uncurled, and the tender, coiled stalks of maidenhair, like the tight fists of newborn babies. There is the first white lily to be thrust up in a spinster's garden at Cadboro Bay and carried to town in triumph for display in the dingy windows of the Victoria Daily Colonist. All the rock gardens require a fast, rough job of painting in quick daubs of purple and yellow. A thousand retired and tweeded British Colonels must be knocked up one morning early and warned that the trout are running in the Cowichan. The sea serpent of these parts, genial and obliging Cadborosaurus, must be awakened and reintroduced to the front pages of the local press. Old men must be hustled forth into Stanley Park to shiver a little as they begin their immemorial campaign of outdoor checkers on a board twenty feet square.

Then, with a sigh and a sniff at the first rose, Spring is off for the interior country, following the gold-rush road to Cariboo. At Ashcroft he stops overnight to warn Joe Wong, the Chinaman, that he had better set out his tomato plants in the warming Dry Belt soil, each with a little paper tent over it.

-43-

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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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