35? Clifton






The Indian Guide's Evening Prayer (page 59)





12. peopled only with a few loggers and pioneer farmers. For though he was a person of culture and refinement. July the time he trip made is this Concord. The Here was a vast tract of almost virgin woodland. The record of the journey the latter half of his The is Maine Woods. tative chief attraction that inspired Thoreau to make the trip was the primitiveness of the region. and wild animals. and at wilderness canoe at he was forty years old. 1817. . It is particularly charming in its blending of medi- and poetic fancies with the minute description of the voyager's experiences. No one could have been better fitted than Thoreau to enjoy such a region and to transmit his en- joyment of it to others. which perhaps the finest idyl of the forest ever written.INTRODUCTION was born THOREAU Massachusetts. Indians.

The play of . his fame steadily increases. Thoreau was one of the world's greatest nature writers. He was a careful and accurate observer. and in this He book we find him deeply interested in his Indian guide and lingering fondly over the man's characteristics and casual remarks.viii INTRODUCTION with a college education. and as the years pass. he was half wild in many of his tastes and impatient of the restraints and artificiality of the ordinary cities. The Indian retained many of his though civilized. and had for an intimate friend so rare a man as Ralph Waldo Emerson. aboriginal instincts and ways. and with a gift of piquant originality in recording his impressions. social life of the towns and liked especially the companionship of men who were in close contact with nature. a few miles above Bangor. tribe his was His home most respects was in an Indian vilin lage on an island in the Penobscot River at Oldtown. more at home in the fields and woods than in village and town.

inquisitiveness into the wild creatures carried with His ways of the it no desire to shoot them. It is to be noted that he was no hunter. and the fellowship one gains with him through his written words spirit constantly is both delightful and wholesome.INTRODUCTION his imagination is is ix keen and nimble. but except for such elimination Thoreau's text has been . He stimulates not only a love for nature. In the present volume various details and digressions that are not of interest to most readers have been omitted. and for all that life. yet balanced so well his fancy by his native common sense that it does not run away with him. and to his mind the killing of game for mere sport was akin to butchery. but a love for simple ways of living. or that what he states is free from bias and romantic exaggeration. The kindly and sympathetic manifest in his pages is very attractive. There is never any doubt about his genuineness. is sincere and unaffected in human wherever found.

x INTRODUCTION retained throughout. HADLEY. It is believed that nothing essential has been sacrificed. . and that the narrative in this form will be found lively. CLIFTON JOHNSON. and thoroughly enjoy- able. informing. MASSACHUSETTS.



THURSDAY JULY 20-23. cut the chain with a cold chisel on the rock. with one companion. He all told me that the Indians were nearly gone to the seaboard and to Mas- sachusetts. a relative of mine who well acquainted with the Penobscot Indians took me in his wagon to Oldtown is in obtaining an Indian for this were ferried across to the expedition. after a little hesitation. TUESDAY. who was a blacksmith. but the father. l8 57 STARTED on I my third excursion to the Maine woods Monday. The succeeding morning. The ferryman's to assist me We boy had the key to it. Indian Island in a bateau. July 20. 1857. arriving at Bangor the next day at noon. WEDNESDAY. partly on account of the small- .CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS MONDAY.

perfect Indian features and complexion. that is. We asked him if he knew any good Indian who would like to go into the woods with us. with a broad face. as others said. and as good as an average one on a New England village street. was there still. and. perhaps a little above the middle height. however. to the Allegash Lakes by way of Moosehead. The old whom my relative addressed familiarly as "Joe. His house was a twostory white one with blinds. He was stoutly built. the best-looking that I noticed there. and return by the East Branch of the Penobscot. of which they are very having broken out in chief Neptune." He an Indian named Joseph Polis. and he was scraping it with a stick held by both hands. The first man we saw on the island was much afraid. single cornstalks standing thinly amid the beans. To which he answered out of that .4 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS pox. The skin was spread over a slanting log. was dressing a deerskin in his yard. It was surrounded by a garden and fruit trees. Oldtown.

me want to get some moose'*. who was one of the aristocracy. but if he went at all would want a great price. and fifty cents a to week for his canoe. panion. hard-bread. to be sure. who had remained 1 in in preparing for our expedition. We my comBangor. his He would we come seven Bangor with train canoe by the evening o'clock that thought ourselves lucky to secure the services of this man. coffee. . " Me go myself. He. best Indians Polis asked at first two dollars a day but agreed to go for a dollar and a half. would be the best man we could have. The ferryman had told us that all the were gone except Polis. purchas- ing provisions. 1 pork. who was known to be particularly steady and trustworthy. monly baked Hard-bread or ship-bread is a kind of hard biscuit comin large cakes and much used by sailors and soldiers.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 5 strange remoteness in which the Indian like to ever dwells to the white man. I spent the afternoon with might depend on him. and kept on scraping the skin.

etc. while he followed me. I might as well have been thumping on the bottom of his birch the while. but steered by the lay of the land. In answer to the various observations that I made he only grunted vaguely from beI neath his canoe once or twice. I tried to enter into conversation with him. the way.. so that knew he was there. as I do in Boston. but. with the canoe on his head. I did I led and not the exact route. above all. At evening the Indian cars. three quarters of a mile to my friend's house. all the baggage he had.6 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS and some india-rubber clotharrived in the sugar. As for the Init dian. know but as he was puffing under the weight of his canoe. as he was an Indian. companion and I had each a My large knapsack as full as would hold. and we had two large rubber bags which held our provisions and utensils. beside his axe . Early the next morning the stage called for us. ing. not having the usual apparatus for carrying it.

which ran by the side of the stage. This whole party of hunters declared their intention to stop till the dog was found. his master showing his head and whistling from time to time. At the Bangor House we took in four men bound on a hunting excursion. and two of the party went back for him. waited. but the very obliging driver was ready to wait a spell longer. was a blanket. with bits of carpet tucked under the edge to pre- vent its much this driver appeared as accustomed to carrying canoes in chafing. The way as bandboxes.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 7 and gun. which was full of passengers. he had laid in a store of tobacco excursion. The pipe for the canoe was securely lashed a and new diagonally across the top of the stage. But after we had gone about three miles the dog was suddenly missing. They had a dog. one of the men going as cook. which he brought loose in his hand. a middling-sized brindled cur. . At length one man came back. However. while the other kept on. while the stage.

.8 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS lose so He was evidently unwilling to passengers. while we waited there. who would have many taken a private conveyance. shire. several times in the course of the he was entering was then tied on journey he jumped off. but. being wet and cold. leading the dog by a rope. and I saw him This dog was depended on to stop bears. He had already stopped one somewhere in New Hampdangling by his neck. and the scenery of 'the suburbs of Bangor distinctly impressed is still on my memory. and I can testify that he stopped a stage in Maine. and a rainstorm a just setting in. He the top of the stage. This party of four probably paid nothing for the dog's ride. He had overtaken him just as the Bangor House. We discussed the subject of dogs and their instincts till it was threadbare. with journey of over sixty miles to be accomplished that day. or perhaps the other line of stages. the next day. man re- After full half an hour the turned. Such progress did we make.

The Stage on the Road to Moosehead Lake .


but not apparently robust. and with his quiet manners might have passed for a divinity student who had seen something of the world. for there were four or five guns on the front seat and one or two on the back one. The stage was crowded inside all the way. each holding his darling in his arms. Their leader was a handsome man about thirty years old. If you had looked you would have thought that we were prepared to run the gantlet of a band of robbers. He had a fair white complexion as if he had always lived in the shade. of gentlemanly address and faultless toilet. but much farther. I was surprised to find that he was probably the chief white hunter of Maine and was known all along the . It appeared that this party of hunters was man going our way. while our party of three and were charged four paid two dollars for the light canoe which lay still on the top. of good height.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 9 nor for his run. and an intellectual face.

The Indian hunter. also He knew him. being himself a gunsmith. that we had a good Indian there." The on the front seat a stolid expression of face as if barely awake to what was going on. I afterwards heard as could endure a great deal of exposure and fatigue without showing the effect of it. a good adding that he was said to be worth six thousand dollars. and remarked freezing. In the spring he had saved a stage-driver and two passengers from drowning in the backwater of the Piscat- aquis on this road. and Indian sat said to me. having swum ashore in the freezing water and made a raft and got them drowned the off though the horses were at great risk to himself.io CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS him spoken of one road. "The with great hunter. and he could not only use who guns. while only other man who could swim withdrew to the nearest house to prevent knew our man. but make them. Again I was struck by the peculiar vagueness of .

to which he answered with an indefinite "Yes. as if he were a child. A tipsy Canadian asked if drawling tone. a passenger. in a He replied. and if you considered it you would find that you had got nothing out of him. and pronounce him stolid accordingly. him at a tavern. His answer. and passively muttered some insignificant response. looking straight by the . which only made his eyes glisten a little. This was instead of the conventional palaver and smartness of the white man. He was merely stirred up like a wild beast. he smoked. Most get no more than this out of the Indian.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH his replies at u when the taverns. was vague as a puffof smoke. in such cases. used in addressing him. suggesting no responsibility. addressed in the stage or He really never said any- thing on such occasions. and equally profitable. I was surprised to see what a foolish and impertinent style a Maine man." " Won't you lend me your pipe a little while?" asked the other.

about half past eight in the evening. " Me got no pipe".12 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS man's head. drew a favorable criticism from all the little Our wiseacres the among the tavern loungers along road. yet I had seen him put a new one. like the cur on the stage. with a face singularly vacant to all neighboring interests. but as this had wheels. reached the lake. canoe. it was still steadily raining. so neat and strong. close to the I ngticed a splendid great purple fringed orchis which I would fain have stopped the stage to pluck. cool When we atmosphere the hylas were peeping and the toads ringing about the lake. the driver would probably have thought it a waste of time. and in that fresh. By the roadside. We had expected to go upon the lake . never been known to stop a bear. into his pocket that morning. with a supply of tobacco. or had arrived at the abode of perpetual spring. It was as if the season had revolved backward I two or three months.

ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH at once. three miles. 13 and. after paddling up two or islands. . to camp on one of its but on account of the rain we decided to go to one of the taverns for the night.

while we . it was quite cloudy. JULY 24 four o'clock the next morn- A3OUT though ing. I judged that it would weigh not far from eighty pounds. it being made of very thick bark and ribs. made it himself. and its smallness was partly compensated for by its newness. Our baggage weighed about one hundred and sixty-six pounds. acto the water's companied by the landlord edge. placed in the middle of the broadest part. canoe from a rock on we launched our Moosehead Lake. as well as stanchness and solidity. as usual. The principal part of the baggage was. eighteen and one fourth feet long by two feet six and one half inches wide and one foot deep within. The Indian had recently in the middle.II FRIDAY. We had a rather small canoe for three persons. in the twilight.

as if they were our fins or flippers.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH nies that 15 stowed ourselves in the chinks and cran- were left before and behind it. The Indian sat on the bottom with a splint or chip behind our backs to protect them from the crossbar. Having passed the small rocky at isles within two or three miles of the foot of the lake. loons. The canoe was thus as closely packed as a market basket. and to realize that we were length fairly embarked. we had a short consultation re- specting our course. Paddling along the eastern side of the lake in the still of the morning. and inclined to the . we soon saw a few sheldrakes. It and some peetweets on We also saw and heard was inspiriting to hear the regular dip of the paddles. and one of us commonly paddled on a crossbar in the stern. where there was no room legs. the rocky shore. to extend our the loose articles being tucked into the ends. but we flat with the Indian. which the Indian called Shecorways.

narrowest part. for wind should rise. The Indian reminding us that he could not work without eating.16 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS its western shore for the sake of otherwise. also the wood pewee and the kingfisher. it we at the widest place. especially in so small a canoe. if the lee. Pad- dling near the shore. which is about midway up the lake on the east side. in a direct line. lakes eral times that "just as made no odds to him. using white pine bark from a fire made ." Moosehead Lake is twelve miles wide say. we stopped to breakfast on the main shore southwest of Deer Island." but nevertheless. The Indian remarked sev- he did not like to cross the " in littlum canoe. and the Indian under a very large bleached log. but at probably we western side. and thirty miles long but longer as it lies. where could recross if we took the its The wind is the chief obsta- cle to crossing the lakes. it would be impossible for us to reach Mount Kineo. we frequently heard the pe-pe of the olive-sided flycatcher. We took out our bags.

While we were getting breakfast a brood of twelve black dippers. not at all alarmed and they loitered about as long as we stayed. 1 half grown. It was misty dog-day weather. and strong coffee well sweetened. piece of freshly side up. as if this place it we were entering a large and we did not know whether we should be obliged to diverge from our course and keep outside a point which we saw. now moving off in a long line. and kindling 17 hemlock was with canoe birch bark. or should find a passage between this and the mainland. fried pork. and 1 we had is already penetrated The name dipper applied to several species of waterskill birds that are notable for their in diving. came paddling by within three or four rods. Looking northward from appeared bay. . in which we did not miss the milk. Our table was a large peeled birch bark. gether. now huddled close to. laid wrong and our breakfast consisted of hard-bread.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH a stump. very cunningly. though he said that better.

He had al- ready guessed very and said that he was forty-eight. and knocked the bottom out of it. and the Indian had ob" served. Very easy makum bridge here.'* but now it seemed that if we held on we just breadth was but should be fairly embayed. After breakfast I emptied the melted accurately at our ages. We called him Polis. guess you and I go there." and watch- how much it spread over and . Presently. though we a had been obliged to pass over a bar between an island and the shore. however. pork that was left into the lake. "I The Indian immediately remarked. the *nist lifted somewhat and revealed a break in the shore northward.i8 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS smaller bay of the same kind. though curious to know how they were spelled and what they meant." He never addressed us by our names." This was his common expression in- stead of saying " we. making what the ing to see sailors call a " slick. where there and depth enough to float the canoe.

and whose note he imitated. near which we paddled along. but he said. We asked him the names of several birds which we heard this morning.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH smoothed the agitated looked at it 19 surface. but I see 'em. The western shore. putting the dishes loose in the bows. then I can tell. but sometimes he could not bird tell the name of some small which " I tell all heard and knew." . Indian a moment and "That make hard paddlum through canoe. littlum noise. So say old times/' hold 'em hastily reloaded. The Indian said that the lichen which we saw hanging from the trees was called cborcborque. in which was a large proportion of hard wood to enliven and relieve the fir and spruce. rose gently to a considerable height and was everywhere densely covered with the forest. The thrush. that they might be at We hand when wanted. the birds about here can't tell I . he said was called Adelungquamooktum . which was quite common. . The said. and set out again.

"good many do asked how said take. as fast as a horse The Indian asked the meaning of reality. I observed that he could . could not "Oh. and he should tell me all he knew. which was generally visible.20 I CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS observed that I should like to go to school to him to learn his language. had a level bar of cloud concealing its summit. so. living on the Indian that be done? island the while. and ran Mount over the water before us trots. as near as I could make out the word. that intelligent." he replied. which . one of us had used also of interrent. Kineo. to which he readily agreed. Ducks of various kinds were quite common. though occasionally concealed by islands or the mainland in front. and all the mountain-tops about the lake were cut off at the same height. I told him that in this voyage I would tell him all I * knew. he said is." I yer. He long he thought it would one week.

but that they designed to return. Soogle Island for Sugar Island. Indian tobacco. but used 1. as load for road.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 21 rarely sound the letter r. whose bark the Indian said was good to smoke. as also r for 1 sometimes. There grew the beaked hazel. generally added the syllable um to his He words. and by the breadth of the bed that there was more than one in the party. You might and red osier. pickelel for pickerel. going inland a few steps. lest he should in- The . as paddlum. "tobacco before white people came to this country. On a point on the mainland where we landed to stretch our legs and look at the vegetation. etc. So I knew not only that they had just left. where somebody had breakfasted." Indian was always very careful in approaching the shore. have gone within six feet of these signs without seeing them. I dis- glowing beneath its ashes. rue seven feet high. and a bed of twigs prepared for the followcovered a fire still ing night.

far east in the middle of the lake. nor seams. the canoe over the bar at Sand-bar Island. Looking off from the . we its After passing Deer Island we saw the little steamer from Greenville.22 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS it jure his canoe on the rocks. and was particular that still more we on shore. or till should not step into it it floated free. A very little wind on these broad lakes raises a sea which will swamp a canoe. Sometimes we could hardly tell her from an island which had a few posed to breadth of the lake. we took in a gallon or two of water but we soon reached the shore and took fixed . We crossed a broad bay and found the water quite rough. and ran a little risk of being swamped. While I had my eye Here we were exthe wind from over the whole trees on it. and then lest should step gently make should open a hole in the bottom. on the spot where a large fish had leaped. and so saved a considerable distance. letting swing round slowly sidewise. a few feet wide only.

crests the rest they appear nearly level with of the lake. for it is impossible to get into a canoe when it is upset. a wave will gently creep up the side of the canoe you may and fill your lap. or it will strike the canoe violently and break into it. Since you sit flat on the bottom. when there was wind. the surface 23 appear to be almost smooth a mile distant. or if you see a few may white so far. but when you get out find quite a sea running. before you think of it. and ere long. unless you can swim ashore. so that nothing can save you. a little water is a great inconvenience.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH shore. though it were perfectly calm and smooth there a few minutes before. The same thing may happen when the wind rises suddenly. rarely crossed even a bay directly. not to mention the wetting of your provisions. like a monster deliberits ately covering you with slime before it swallows you. from point to point. though the danger should not be imminent. but made a slight curve corresponding somewhat to the We .

the sooner reach it wind When the wind is aft. a mere black speck to the eagle soaring above it! My companion trailed for trout as paddled along. and one of us on the other. Indian paddled on one side. where rose dark before us within . though asserted. to keep the canoe steady. The and when he wanted to change hands he would say. that he had never upset a canoe himself. for there are some very large ones there. he agreed to pass the line quickly to the stern if he had a bite. He thus easily skims over the whole length of this lake in a day. in he may have been upset by others. that if the we might increased. and not too strong. the Indian makes a spritsail of his blanket.'* He answer to our questions.24 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS shore. "T'other side. the that a big fish we Indian warning him might upset us. While we were Mount Kineo crossing this bay. Think of our little eggshell of a canoe tossing across that great lake. but.

and then steered dinarrowest part to the eastern side. and. and a dumb wonder which he hopes will be contagious. to his eyes.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH two or three 25 miles. while her calf was killed somewhere among the islands in Penob- scot Bay. An Indian it it. long-windedness. the Indian repeated the tradition respecting this mountain's having anciently been a cow moose a mighty Indian hunter succeeded in how kill- ing this queen of the moose tribe with great difficulty. us He told this at some length and asked and with apparent good faith. and so he makes up for the deficiency by a drawling tone. this mountain had still the form of the moose in a reclin- ing posture. and were soon partly under the lee of the mountain. such a story as if he thought deserved to have a good deal said about only he has not got it to say. having rectly across the lake at its We . approached the land again through pretty rough water. how we tells supposed the hunter could have killed such a mighty moose as that.

fir twigs. we found a a place suf- ficiently clpar after cutting and level to lie away down few bushes. because they were the largest and could be most rapidly collected. by going half a dozen rods into the dense spruce and fir wood on the side of the mountain almost as dark as a cellar. breaking them which he said were the best for our bed. I thought. partly. in order to be ready for foul weather. and spent half an hour looking along the shore northward for a suitable place to camp. It had been raining more or less for four or five days. He gathered a large armful of off. was now We designed to stop there that afternoon and night. At length. In- dian cleared a path to from the shore and we then carried up all our baggage. with his axe. about noon. and for the night. which then threatened us. and made our bed.26 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS It paddled about twenty miles. but he got dry bark from the under side of a dead . pitched our tent. and the wood was even damper than usual. The it on.

the former could take it whom whether the latter knew " it or not. who was a lawyer. somebody else claiming to have bought some grass on it for this year.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH leaning hemlock. this He went over down . To which he " Strange ! only answered. 27 which he said he could This noon his mind was occupied with and I referred him to my companion. fairly sat his back to a tree. bought the land. always do. Polis. said that He he had fifty . He wished to know to the grass belonged. we let the subject die. acres of grass. only reached the jumping-ofF place of his wonder at white men's institutions after each explanation. a law question. and was told that if the other man could prove that he bought the grass before he. with several times. he meant to but as confine us to this topic henceforth he made no headway. as if to it. It appeared that he had been buying land lately I think it was a hundred acres but there was probably an incumbrance to it.

. of the broad lake with its nu- merous forest-clad islands extending be- . protected by our rubber coats. while we. the Indian crept under his canoe. which it proved. besides some about his house.. but our feet and legs were thoroughly wet by the bushes." After dinner returned southward along the shore. on account of the difficulty of climbing over the rocks and fallen trees. pro- ceeded to botanize. It had rained a little in the forenoon. in the canoe.28 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS potatoes. etc. that he hired a good deal of his work. agreeing that he for us with his canoe toward night. as we ascended. So we sent him back camp should come to the for shelter. a smart shower coming up just then. etc. hoeing. and preferred white men we to Indians because "they keep steady and know how. The clouds breaking away a little. But. we had a glorious wild view. somewhere above Oldtown. and began to ascend the mountain alpng the edge of the precipice. and we trusted that this would be the clearing-up shower.

and the lake generally wore a dark and stormy appearance. A moose might mistake a steamer . the heavens were completely overcast. So much do the works of man resemble the works of nature. Again we mistook a little rocky islet seen through the " drisk. Looking southward.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH yond our its 29 sight both north the boundless forest and south. for the steamer with its smoke-pipes. It was a perfect as lake of the woods. but as it had not changed its position after half an hour we were undeceived. as densely packed a rye-field and enveloping nameless mountains in succession. but from its surface six or eight miles distant there was air a reflected upward through the misty bright blue tinge from the unseen sky of another latitude beyond. the mountains capped with clouds. They probably had a clear sky then at the south end of the lake. and undulating away from shores on every side." with some taller bare trunks or stumps on it.

for a floating and not be scared till he heard puffing or its whistle. which will occurs in various parts of " The largest mass of is this stone known in the world Mount Kineo. etc." . : on the Geology Hornstone. " Jackson. and rises seven hundred feet above the lake level. in his Report of Maine. and nature is We most fresh and inspiring. If I wished to see a mountain or other its scenery under the most favorable auspices. I would go to it it in foul weather so as to be there when are then cleared up. upon Moosehead Lake. the State. hatchets. chisels. This variety of hornstone I have seen in every England in the form of Inpart of New dian arrow-heads.30 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS isle. which were probably obtained from this mountain by the aboriginal inhabitants of the country. There is no serenis ity so fair as that which just established in a tearful eye. in the most suitable mood. which appears to be entirely composed of it." says answer for flints..

feet high. The tion tain which attracted our attenon this mountain were the mouncinquefoil. abundant and in bloom plants . and. I picked up a small thin piece which had so sharp an edge becoming a that I I used it as a knife. uniform white where exposed to the light and air. It is generally slate-colored. to see what could do. by bending it and though I cut my fingers badly with the back of it in the meanwhile. From the summit of the precipice which forms the southern and eastern making many cuts. five or hundred we probably might have jumped down to the water. with white specks. sides six of this mountain peninsula. It is a dangerous place to try the steadiness of your nerves. or to the seemingly dwarfish trees on the narrow neck of land which connects it with the main. fairly cut off an aspen one inch thick with it.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH I 31 have myself found hundreds of arrowheads made of the same material.

We Indian. and a log laid across it When we away. the Canada blueberry. reddening as we as- cended. the canoe was taken out and turned over. the great round-leafed orchis. bearberry. very beautiful harebells overhanging the precipice. about one third of the way up.32 still CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS at the very base by the waterside. puffing and panting. bunchberry. we commenced the descent. The being blown Indian cut some large logs of to prevent its damp and rotten wood to smoulder and keep fire through the night. now in fruit. wild holly. and the weather being now cleared up. while we were on the mountain. On reaching the canoe we found that he had caught a lake trout weighing about three pounds. got to the camp. and the small fern Woodsia ihensts. red at the top. The trout . was fried for supper. green at the base of the mountain. but think- met the ing that he must be near the top. Having explored the wonders of the mountain. growing in tufts.

looking out through the dusky wood.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 33 Our tent was of thin cotton cloth and quite small. and answered our It required reclined within purpose well enough. but not so loud. This. up in the mid- two forked stakes. it till bedtime. just As we made by a snake. seven wide. making a low pheet pbeet imitated it at my peated. before night. six feet long. so that dle. . and a dozen or more pins to pitch it. but going to the spot he finds the snake. It kept off dew and wind and an ordinary rain. having We hung our wet the fire for clothes on a pole before the night. a smooth ridgepole. He request. we could barely sit and four high. the Indian heard a noise which he said was sat there. forming with the ground a triangular prism closed at the rear end. or else sat about the fire. each with his baggage at his head. two somewhat like the peep of the whistling note or three times re- hyla. He said that he had never seen them while making it.

in his somewhat nasal. He translated it to us. it no. after- be a very simple religious exercise or hymn. " But they won't do any hurt." he answered. and asked him if he would not favor us with a song. say. he was partly deaf in one ear. and he wanted to lie with his good ear up. with his blanket wrapped around him. which probably was taught his tribe long ago by the Catholic missionaries. sentence It by sentence. proved to who ruled all the world." I said. selected this place for our he was had camp he had I When remarked that there were snakes there." He lay on the right side of the tent. he commenced a slow. "Oh. He readily assented. as he said. because. . "just as you makes no difference to me. and." I replied had not often. musical chant. As we lay there he inquired if I ever that I heard " Indian sing.34 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS said. the burden of which was that there was only one God ward. yet own language. a sign of rain. lying on his back.

ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH His singing carried 35 me back to the pethe riod of discovery of America. It was fully as bright as the fire. and when I awoke in the night. which had ceased to blaze. but not reddish or scarlet like a coal. when Europeans first encountered the simple faith of the Indian. but a white j IRPf . and. nothing of the dark and savage. deeper in the forest behind us. The sentiments of humility and reverence chiefly were expressed. six or seven in its longer. a beautiful simplicity about it. It was a dense and damp spruce and fir wood in which we lay. Getting up midnight to collect the scattered brands together. about five inches in its shortest diameter. a perfectly regular elliptical ring of light. only the mild and infantile. I either heard an owl from fire. There was. I observed. indeed. partly in the fire. or a loon from a distance over the lake. while my comafter some time panions were sound asleep. except for our perfectly dark . and from one eighth to one quarter of an inch wide.

like the glowworm's. which I but never chanced to see. revealing the lines and wrinkles. I was surprised to find the wood quite hard and apparently sound.36 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS saw at and slumbering light. and. and I some little triangular chips. with a little hesitation. and appearing exactly like coals of fire raised to a white heat. I found that it was a piece of dead moosewood which the Indian had cut off in a slanting escent direction the evening before. and thus presented a regular ring at the end. lit . I discovered that the light proceeded must be phosphorhad often heard of. I once that it wood. and when I pared off the bark and cut into the sap. it was all aglow along the log. placing them in the hollow of my hand. They cut out up the inside of my hand. and showed them to him. Using my knife. Putting my finger on it. waked my companion. from that portion of the sapwood immediately under the bark. carried them into the camp. though probably decay had commenced in the sap.

even as high as the trees. I nemona witnessed by "his folks." they are abroad at all hours and seasons in scenes . It could hardly have thrilled me more ters. shone with equal brightness. an inch wide and six inches long. and making a fires saw was prepared after this to hear of the most startling and unimagined phenoise. but the previous day's rain and long-continued wet weather undoubtedly had. The next day the name for the light Indian told artoosoqu* me their and on my inquiring concerning the will-o'-the" " sometimes wisp he said that his folks passing along at various heights. I little let- or of the human thought that there was such a light shining in the darkness of the wilderness for me.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH I 37 noticed that part of a decayed stump within four or five feet of the fire. if it had taken the form of face. soft and shaking wood. I neglected to ascertain whether our fire had anything to do with this. I was exceedingly interested by this phenomenon.

as it retorts called. since I now saw it under cir- cumstances so favorable. that the same experience est spirits as . and this was a phenomenon adequate to it I circumstances and expectation. and rejoiced in that my light as if it had been a fellow creature.38 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS so unfrequented by white men. it was the opportunity to be ignorant that proved. but an inhabited house. is A scientific explanation. That is for pale daylight. and put me on the alert to see more like it. I believed that the woods were not tenantless. but choke-full not good as myself any day an empty chamber in which chemistry was left to work alone. It suggested. did not regret my not having seen this before. let science slide. would have been altogether out of place there. too. Nature must have made a thousand revelations to them which I are still secrets to us. Science with its would have put me to sleep . I was in just the frame of mind to see something wonderful. It I im- made a believer of me more of hon- than before.

. now at length I was glad to make acquaintance with the light that dwells in rotten wood. all am not sure would tempt me to teach the Indian my religion would be his promise to teach me his. but to the Indian. another to the I white have much that to learn of the Indian.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 39 always gives birth to the same sort of belief or religion. I nothing of the missionary. kept those little chips and wet them again the next night. but they emitted no I light. Long enough I had heard of irrelevant things . One revelation has been made man.

he had been taught by the whites. At which he shook his head and said. The this weather seemed to be more settled set morning. and went to walk in the afternoon.Ill SATURDAY.. When we were washing the dishes in the lakes. many fishes came close up to us to get the particles of grease. asked me how I spent the Sunday when at home. JULY 25 AT him breakfast. in the forenoon. etc. He said that he did no work. at Oldtown when he was he did as home in short. I told that I. that is ver* bad. " Er. evidently curious to know what would be ex- pected of him the next day. that he went at to church . commonly sat in my chamber reading. and we out early in order ." " How do you spend it ?" I asked. the Indian.

rest- should ing on the edge of the lake. voyage up the lake before the Soon after starting. leaving an island on our left and We keeping up the eastern side of the lake. perfectly straight. or light. about thirteen miles distant. the Indian directed our attention to the Northeast Carry. It We was a remarkable kind of light to steer daylight seen through a vista in the but visible as far as an ordinary forest for beacon by night. This opening appeared as a clear tract. which we could plainly see. We then crossed another broad bay. from the lake to the Penobscot through a low with a clearing three or four rods wide. as longer observe the shore for conparticularly. crossed a deep wide bay north of Kineo. This carry is a rude wooden railroad running north and south about two miles.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH to finish our 41 wind arose. not have suspected it to be visible if the Indian had not drawn our attention to it. afforded ample time we could no . bright. which. point in the horizon.

His game had been beaver. dried Loons. etc. Only solemn bear-haunted mounwith their great wooded slopes were visible. too. The Indian said that he had been tains along there several times. and toward St. Canada lynx were plenty yet in burnt grounds.42 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS versation. ducks. Indian said that he had got his money by hunting. 'em good. hedgewere good." him further he answered. For food in the woods he uses fisher). otter. etc. and knew all about that region. moose meat. " Oh. mostly high up the West Branch of the Penobscot. The John. "Sometimes I lookum sidehill." hog." I When pressed and he glanced toward a high hill or ." said he. " I can tell good many ways. only " bile it Pointing into the bay he said that was the way to various lakes which he knew. I asked him how he guided himself in the woods. He had hunted there from a boy. the head of the black cat (or moose. sable. partridges.

in a mysterious or " Bare locks on lake shore drawling tone. west side shone on. yer." said I. Some years ago I met an old white hunter at very good hunter. " Sometimes I lookum locks (rocks). trees asked what he saw on the rocks. lar. so we " " Millinocket . . but he did not describe anything in particuI answering vaguely. He said he could go anywhere in the woods." said he. I will tell you. "that I should take you in a dark night right up here into the middle of the woods a hundred miles. great difference between north. and turn you round quickly twenty times.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 43 mountain on the eastern shore. So the large limbs bend toward south. see where the sun has shone most. set you down. have done pretty much same thing. He wanted to hunt with me that day. can tell what the sun has east. could you steer straight to Oldtown?" Oh. "great difference between the north and south . south.'* "Suppose.

straight camp/' do you do that?" asked I. but he found his way very much as an animal does. Then I said to him. till middle of afternoon. " He pointed so.' said. cross pur tracks many times. I can't tell you" he replied. round and round. merely a sharpOften. 'Now you go "He straight to camp. when we kill him. 'I can't do that. I take the lead and go right off the other way. Perhaps what is commonly called instinct in the animal in this case is ened and educated sense. We chase a moose all the forenoon. Oh. when an . " Great difference between me and white "How " man. Then I laugh at him.' "'Where you think camp?' I asked.' It appeared as if the sources of infor- mation were so various that he did not give a distinct conscious attention to any one. and so could not readily refer to any when questioned about it. I don't know where I am.44 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS start.

all Not having experienced the sort need of the other of knowledge labeled and arranged he has not it. when he knew that there was a lake near. " I don't know. He said that he steered by the wind.'* in regard to the route he is to take. which were on the south side also sometimes. does not carry things in his head. or by the limbs of the hemlocks. The last bay which we crossed before reaching the desolate pier at the . to hear the direction and distance of the echo from over it. for his Indian instinct may tell him still as much as the most confident white man what a white knows. nor remember the route exactly. As the forenoon advanced the wind increased. by firing his gun and listening largest .ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 45 Indian says. acquired The hunter with whom I talked in the stage knew some of the resources of the Indian. he does not mean man would by those words. like a white man. but relies on himself at the He moment.

so that it quickly from this would always be on . while I paddled right along in order to give him more steerage- way. For more than a mile he did not allow a single wave to strike the canoe as it would. but turned it side to that. for then they will wash in both sides. but were not willing to. was two or three miles over. and we saw that it was worse turned ahead. At first we might have about. but you must take them quarSo the Indian stood up in the all his skill canoe and exerted and strength for a mile or two. the waves had increased so as occasionally to wash into the canoe. At any rate it would have been dangerous now to alter our course. and the wind was southwesterly.46 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Northeast Carry. because the waves would have struck us at an advantage. After going a third of the way. for the waves ran still higher there on account of the greater sweep the wind had. tering. It will not do to meet them at right angles. It would have been of no use to follow the course of the shore.

when it broke.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH or near the crest of a wave 47 where settled all its force was spent. jumped we I took in two or three gallons of water. we merely I down with At length jumped out onto the end of the pier against which the waves were dashing violently. another come quick. near the edge on at each side. to the middle crossbar of the . Great many waves. but just Indian." to which he replied: " Ver' few men do that. when I look out for one. and tied it with cedar bark by two holes made midway. etc. to carry his canoe with. we cooked the dinner on the shore in the midst of a sprinkling rain. in order to lighten the canoe and catch it at the landing. He took a cedar shingle or splint eighteen inches long and four or five wide.. which was not much as I sheltered. remarked that to the "You managed well. and it. rounded one end." While the Indian went to get cedar bark. He prepared his canoe for carrying in this wise. that the corners might not be in the way.

head. . was always ready for the carries. from rocking. This shingle remained tied to the crossbar throughout the voyage.48 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS canoe. breast. his When the canoe was lifted upon head bottom up. while a band of cedar bark. and also served to protect the back of one passenger. and both hands. passed round and another longer one. I took the canoe One of upon carry my it head and found that ease. of the shingle. last. with its rounded end uppermost. I could it. distributed the weight over his shoulders and head. tied to the crossbar on each of the side his breast. with but I let him carry not caring to establish a different precedent. this shingle. He thus carried it with his shoulders. forehead. as the gear had the woodwork of the all the paddles rested on the crossbars in the bows. outside round his forehead . also a hand canoe on each side rail served to steer the and keep it. as if the upper part of his body were all one hand to clasp and hold it canoe. A cedar tree furnished it in this case.

red maple. and found there some St. Francis encamped on the bank. and also willow and aspen boughs. seven or eight feet high. confined in a sort of cage of logs piled up cob-fashion. reached the Penobscot about four We We o'clock. about four feet high. They were making a canoe and drying moose meat. and on their leaves as it if it was browsing. Our Indian said . and covered with moose flies. They had a young moose. It was quite tame. our load was so great. Indians Their camp was covered with spruce bark. There was a large quantity of cornel. taken in the river a fortnight before. and we improved the opportunity to gather the rare plants which we had seen. butt ends out.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 49 were obliged to go over this carry twice. But the carries were an agreeable variety. It looked at first were in a bower rather than a that be used black spruce pen. when we returned empty-handed. stuck through between the logs on all sides.

But the former said. in two Penobscot. looking. It was six feet high and had twelve flowers. somewhat like raw green corn on the ear. we paddled down the saw a splendid yellow lily by the shore. that it. obtaining it roots to from high lands or mountains.So CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS sew canoes with. that the roots were to The Indian said is." I him I thought that could make . They get them taking in the dug some. can't I told split 'em. We We and on the East Branch. which I plucked. "No good. two inches in diameter. forming a pyramid. cook with meat. a canoe. good for soup. but at any rate he expressed great doubt of it he thought that my work would first not be "neat" the time. fall. and even tasting. break. afterward whorls. and found a mass of bulbs pretty deep in the earth. I to thicken the place of flour. When we had gone about three miles . The St. Francis Indians thought that white spruce roots might be best. saw many more thus tall along this stream. Having reloaded.

dian cut a path to the spot we had The In- selected. hard. so that he be on the lookout for it. the west.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 51 down the Penobscot. We then took out the baggage and drew up the canoe. preferring at the same time a cool place. or if it tween the paddled a mile or more before finding one to our minds. about five o'clock. on account of insects. free from mud. I will describe the routine of camping. for where the shore was suitable the bank would often be too steep. Having first observed a clear. one would run up the bank to see if there were open and level space enough for the camp be- could be easily cleared. and flat beach to land on. and we looked We generally told the Indian that we would stop at the might suitable place. Sometimes trees. and there- fore mosquitoey. or else too we low and grassy. and from stones which would injure the canoe. we saw through the tree-tops a thunder-shower coming up in out a campingplace in good season. which was usually within two or three .

to hang the kettle on. bread. and dead dry wood. collecting several large logs to last through the night. from their several pack. always at hand. etc. having the axe. which is slanted over the fire. and takes out the pork. because there is little or no wind in so dense a wood at that season and then he gets a kettle of water from the river. takes birch bark. Another. One. and we carried up our baggage. with a notch or fork to it. arbor-vitas. The it third man dozen or more pitches the tent. intend to lie. spruce. also a green stake. ages. and then collects an armful or two of fir twigs. and two forked stakes and a pole for the tent. on which side this is. cuts a pins with his knife to fasten with. coffee.. meanwhile.52 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS rods of the water. perhaps resting on a rock or forked stake. and kindles a fire five or six feet in front of where we commonly. It matters not. or down . perhaps. cuts down the nearest dead rock maple or other dry hard wood.

Making a Camp in the Streamside Woodland .


hemlock, whichever



hand, and makes

the bed, beginning at either end, and laying the twigs wrong side up, in regular rows, covering the stub ends of the last


however, filling the hollows, there are any, with coarser material.



Commonly, by the time

the bed



or within fifteen or twenty minutes, the water boils, the pork is fried, and supper

eat this sitting on the ground, ready. or a stump, around a large piece of birch


bark for a

each holding a dipper in one hand and a piece of ship-bread or fried

pork in the other, frequently making a pass with his hand, or thrusting his head
into the smoke, to avoid the mosquitoes. Next, pipes are lit by those who smoke,

donned by those who have them, and we hastily examine and dry our plants, anoint our faces and hands, and go
veils are

to bed.

Though you have nothing


do but

see the country, there 's rarely any time to a plant, spare, hardly enough to examine



before the night or drowsiness



Such was the ordinary experience, but this evening we had camped earlier on account of the rain, and had more time. We found that our camp was on an old indistinct supply-road, running along the river. What is called a road there shows no ruts

or trace of wheels, for they are not used ; nor, indeed, of runners, since they are used

only in the winter when the snow is several feet deep. It is only an indistinct vista

through the wood, which


takes an ex-

perienced eye to detect. had no sooner pitched our tent than


the thunder-shower burst on
hastily crept




drawing our bags after us, curious to see how much of a shelter our thin cotton roof was going to


be in

this excursion.


the violence

of the rain forced a fine shower through the cloth before it was fairly wetted and
shrunk, with which

we were well bedewed,

we managed


keep pretty dry, only a



box of matches having been left out and spoiled, and before we were aware of it the shower was over, and only the dripping trees imprisoned

river there,

to see




in the



our lines over the wet

bushes on the shore, but they were repeatedly swept down the swift stream in vain.
the canoe, just before dark, and dropped down the river a few rods to fish at the mouth of a
So, leaving the Indian,

we took

pushed up this a rod sluggish brook. or two, but were soon driven off by the
mosquitoes. While there we heard the Indian fire his gun twice in rapid succession.


His object was to clean out and dry after the rain, and he then loaded it with


now on ground where he


pected to meet with large game. This sudden loud crashing noise in the still aisles

of the forest affected
nature, or


like an insult to
rate, as if





to fire a


in a hall or temple. It

was not heard

however, except along



the river, the sound being rapidly hushed up or absorbed by the damp trees and

mossy ground.




a little




leaves close to the

back of the

camp, that the smoke might drive through and keep out the mosquitoes, but just before

we fell asleep this suddenly blazed up and came near setting fire to the tent.

unseen. What a glorious time they from manto must have ! in that wilderness. and. their simple te-te-tet so sharp and piercing. miles.IV SUNDAY. ing. JULY 26 THE ah. note of the white. and with this all Though commonly te-te-te. te-te-te. we heard Maryland yellow-throats along the shore.throated sparrow was the first heard in the mornthe woods rang. the notes of the chickadee. It morning. some was settled weather at this flitted A few swallows over the water. We were kind commonly aroused by their lively strain very early. . far I told the Indian that we would go church to Chesuncook fifteen last. was as distinct to the ear as the passage of a spark of fire shot into the darkest of the forest would be to the eye.

" . ver' good men. This he described in a low and solemn voice. things. they came to the body of a man in the water. redstarts. they stop 'em. drowned good They go right ashore stop there. Oh. preach and pray just like Sunday. and at every meal. look all all that. " They make a long prayer every morning and night. Then they go back and carry the while. but come Sunday look up look again." and then Monday spoke of an Indian of his acquaintance who had been with some ministers to He Katahdm and had told him how they conducted. Oh. One day go- ing along a river. The lookum Indian thought that by on Sunday. no go at all that day keep still preach all first one. just like day church. no farther that day go they have meeting there. then another. Come Sunday.58 I CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS believe. " we should lie We come here round. they ver' good men. body with them. Said he. Moose-flies of large size pursued us in midstream.

morning sometimes scrambling up in haste when he had forgotten this. He appeared to be a very religious man. and said his prayers in a loud voice. and saying them with great rapidity.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH I 59 judged from this account that their every camp was a camp-meeting. plying the paddle all the while. but if he takum pay then wrong. kneeling before the and evening camp. In the course of the day he remarked. he our man. in Indian. However. the Indian said We . and that they wanted an opportunity to preach somewhere more than to see Katahdin. I told him that he was stricter than white men. the Indian added. a mile or two below it." soon passed the island where I had camped four years before. and he suppose that if he no takum pay for what he do Sunday then ther 's no harm. "Poor man rememberum God more than rich. that if we would go along he must go with us. Nevertheless. I noticed that he did not forget to reckon in the Sundays at last. The deadwater.

imitated very well the com- mon boo. There were magnificent great purple fringed orchises on this carry and the neighboring shores. I measured the largest canoe birch which I saw in this . Accordingly. of our woods. We down carried a part of the baggage about Falls.60 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS was "a great place for moose. Just below this a cat owl flew heavily over the stream. boo. and he. boo. asking if I knew what it was. hoorer." We saw the grass bent where a moose came out the night before. the moose were safe. as he was the only one of the party who had a gun. A to a rock all night and was taken off in the morning. and the Indian said that he could smell one as far as he could see him. or had come a-hunting. and a third clung in the canoe. Pine Stream while the Indian went Bangor merchant had told us that two men in his employ were drowned some time ago while passing these falls in a bateau. but he added that five if he should see or six to-day close by canoe he no shoot 'em. boo.

as from the trunk of said apparently an old balsam vesicle filled with wood. we was good medicine. had embarked and gone half that my companion remembered and we paddled back to get it. So we landed. being carried round by an eddy. but at five feet divided into three parts. for while we were working our way back a quarter of a mile. a kind of white waterfowl near the shore. which he After a mile. tween going up and down the stream. I watched the motions of the foam. The Inbig as a dian cut a small filbert woody knob a fir. It alternately appeared and disappeared behind the rock. and while he and the Indian were gone back for it. against the strong and swift current. forty or fifty rods below. It was fourteen and one half feet in circumference at two feet from the ground.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 61 journey near the end of the carry. This taught us the difference be- he had left his knife. down a we should have gone mile and half at least. .

but also of sky. and something more interesting about himself. woods.62 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Immediately below these falls was the Chesuncook Deadwater. . the Indian told us a story of hunting thereabouts. As we paddled slowly over this. and once at Washington. over eighteen miles of water was liberating and civilizing even. and give ample scope and range to our thought. I supgood thing pose they usum Fifth Reader there. caused by the flowing back of the lake. in this case. and would occasionallybreak out into such expressions as this. It is one of the surprises which Nature has in store for the traveler in the forest. It aphis peared that he had represented his tribe at Augusta. He had a great idea of education. The lakes also reveal the mountains. not only on account of the greater expanse of water. You been college?'* " Kademy We steered across the northwest end of It is an agreeable change to cross a lake after you have been shut up in the the lake. To look down.

Water is a pioneer which the settler follows. In these woods the earliest settlements are clustering about the lakes. we went thither. but as the Indian knew of a good camping-place. I read on the trunk of a fir tree blazed by . and at its northeast corner found the Caucomgomoc River. where the bank was about a dozen feet high. So quickly we changed for Chesuncook the civilizing sky of the dark wood of the Indian's Caucomgomoc. Our course was up the Umbazookskus. and after going about a mile from the lake reached the Umbazookskus. a cool place where there were few mos- quitoes. a About noon we turned northward up broad kind of estuary. though so far from a road. about half a mile farther up the Caucomgomoc.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 63 Already there were half a dozen log huts about this end of the lake. I think. for the sake of the neigh- the oldest clearings. On reaching the camping-ground on the south side. that is. taking borhood as advantage of its improvements. partly.

inscription ran thus. which he said was the sign used by his family always.64 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS an axe an inscription in charcoal which had been left by him. though rude. drawing. could not be mistaken for anything but a bear. and he doubted my ability to copy it.) July 26 1853 niasoseb We alone Joseph Palis elioi Polis start sia olta for Oldtown ni onke right away quambi July 15 1855 niasoseb . The The me. I interline the English of his Indian as he gave it to (The figure of a bear in a boat. It was surmounted by a drawing of a bear paddling a canoe.

danger. I told him to try it with his axe. or more. which branched at the ground. looking up. and kindled our fire.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 65 He added now below: 1857 July 26 Jo. " That tree he. After we had selected a place for our camp. This branch." It was a dead part. seemed inclined to disregard it. of a large canoe birch. therefore. slanted directly rising thirty feet over the spot which we had chosen for our bed. and my companion expressed his willingness to run the risk. for . observed. But it seemed to me that we should be fools to lie under it. almost exactly on the site of the Indian's last camp here. more than a foot in diameter. and. Polls This was one of his homes. I saw where he had sometimes stretched his moose-hides on the sunny north side of the river where there was a narrow meadow. but he could not shake it perceptibly.

He sometimes. the top. he would he was at once at build a spruce-bark canoe in one day. being a dead stream with broad meadows. putting but few ribs into it. being out alone three weeks or more from Old- town. was a good place for moose. hard-bread and pork. taking the stage. It a common accident for men camping if in the woods to be killed by a falling tree. and jumped off at the wildest place on the road. for aught we knew. The Indian said that the Umbazooks- kus. with his gun and ammunition. went a-hunt- ing to the Seboois Lakes. also. Then.66 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS though the lower part was firm. that it might be . axe and blankets. and we should at any rate be very uneasy is the wind arose in the night. and he frequently came a-hunting here. perhaps for hundred miles of the way. after a short journey through the woods. might be just ready to fall. So the camp was moved to the other side of the fire. where a home. and every rod was a tavern-site for him.

but proving himself the more successful hunter for it. Rambling about the woods at this . Our tent was of a kind new to him. While I and my companion were looking about at the trees and river he went to sleep. Indeed. Thus you have an Indian availing himself of the advantages of civilization. but when he had once seen it pitched it was surprising how quickly he would find and prepare the pole and forked stakes to pitch it with. would return with his furs the same way he had come. whatever the day. though I of white men I sure that the majority would have blundered sev- am eral times. This man was very clever and quick to learn anything in his line. and. without losing any of his woodcraft. after 67 doing his hunting with it on the lakes. he thought I Now improved every opportunity to get a nap. cutting and placing them right the first time.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH light. would observe how he spent his Sunday.

68 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS camp. when themselves. crossed by other similar lines. Our minds anywhere. spruce. red maple. birch. passed for a sound of human industry. several times I found that I had been re- garding the steady rushing sound of the wind from over the woods beyond the rivers as that of a train of left to cars. along the river. Any steady and monotonous sound. The waterto I which falls which I heard were not without their dams and mills to my imagination and . and. I noticed that they consisted chiefly of firs. did not distinctly attend. Wild asit was. I could trace the outlines of large birches that had fallen long ago. eighteen inches wide and twenty or thirty feet long. I asked the Indian to make us a sugar- . collapsed and rotted and turned to soil. it was hard for me to get rid of the associations of the settlements. are al- ways thus busily drawing conclusions from false premises. by faint yellowish-green lines of featherlike moss. the hoary alder.

tak. indeed. but the bark broke at the corners it when he bent was not good up. asked Polis to My show him at which he did twig of the latter. and he said that there was a great it difference in this respect between the bark of one canoe birch and that of another. I both to sight and touch. asked him to get some black spruce . he could distinguish them about as far as he could see them. As the two twigs appeared very much alike. as he passed his hand over them successively in a stroking manner. companion. which he did. wishing to distinguish between the black and white spruce. instantly remarked.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 69 bowl of birch bark. that the white was is. but the black smooth. using the great knife which dangled in a sheath from his belt. my companion asked the Indian to point out the difference whereupon the latter. rough. the needles stood up nearly perpendicular. that This was an obvious is. as if bent down. once. that difference. together with the a black. ing the twigs.

my hands I it immediately ran off and piece. he into try. Whereupon. The skillfully hu- mored by bending short with this hand or that. Though that there was a got only a very short it looked easy. instantly distinguishing the black spruce roots. and . He then took off the bark from each half. said. while he drew the root upward with his teeth. its whole two equal semi-cylindrical Then. without looking up at the trees overhead. An Indian's teeth are strong. he began to grub in the ground. and cutting off a slender one. rapidly separated length halves. and so kept in the middle. three or four feet long. I found great art in splitting split is these roots. giving me another root. pressing a short piece of cedar bark against the convex side with both hands. he the end with his knife." " You But in one side. and taking a half between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. split and as big as a pipestem.70 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS root and make some thread.

and equally good. of material which we had with us and . They amounted He thus obtained in a a very neat. tough. that there were some things which a man did not tell even his wife. . tell it But I could and he would not showed me a ball of me. he wished not. saying. and flexible string. and said that it to stepping into it was owing asked violently. thus prepared. which he could tie into a knot.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH I 71 noticed that he used his often where we should have used a hand. for they commonly use hard pitch. said that moment He you would be obliged to give half a dollar for spruce root enough for a canoe. I get pitch to mend it with. to a third hand. He said that he could make something very similar. me to guess what. obtained of the whites at him where he would Oldtown. though he when made. at last. He his had discovered the day before that canoe leaked a little. as big as a pea and like black pitch. or make into a fishline even.

which I caught. and if 1 would toss them up the bank to him. So we determined tea berries just to have some made of this. which fish called white chivin. he brought a vine in his hand. and caught several small sucker-like fishes. But he said that I some small silvery fishes. which its was quite common there. he would not touch a pout. grown. After cleanin ing them. he laid them on the coals and so broiled them. were the best the Penobscot waters. saying that they were good for nothing. not very carefully. sluggish river. leaving the heads on. I cast in my line just before night. which the Indian at once rejected. It was the creeping snowberry. It had a slight checker- . and said that neither Indians nor whites thereabouts ever ate them. saying that it made the best tea of any thing in the woods. deep. Also. he would cook them for me. Returning from a short walk.72 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Being curious to see what kind of fishes there were in this dark.

Fishing .


was greatly sur- . and. me call 'em". this the only one we saw voyage. Just before night we saw in a musquash.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH berry flavor. saying. the last especially in winter when the other plants were covered with snow. I for one. and Labrador tea. am not an old tea-drinker and can- quite a well be dried it not speak with authority to others. The Indian said that they also used for tea a certain herb which grew in low ground. "Stop. sitting flat on the bank. and that it might and sold in the shops. wishing to get one to eat. however. hushed us. side swimming downward on the opposite of the stream. and 73 agreed that it was really better than the black tea which brought. and various We could have had a new kind of tea every night. ing. other things. also hemlock leaves. The Indian. he began to make I a curious squeakhis lips. which he did not find there. wiry sound with exerting himself considerably. we both we had We thought discovery.

The musme. tells me that his Indian in this way repeatedly called the musquash within reach of his paddle in the moonlight. as near as I could see. and gone over to the musquash side. and the Indian said that he saw our fire-. . He quash. An acquaintance of mine who was hunting moose in these woods a month after this. and struck at them.74 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS thought that I had at last got prised into the wilderness. did not turn aside. and that he was a wild man I indeed. The Indian said a particularly long prayer this Sunday evening. as he said. however. but it was evident that he was in the habit of calling the musquash to him. to be talking to a musquash did not know which of the two was the ! strangest to seemed suddenly to have quite forsaken humanity. as if to atone for working in the morning.

that it rapidly loaded the canoe. its flower just showing itself above the high water. the Indian said. was from fifty to two hundred rods in breadth. as usual. might and each having taken a look. we set out again. wool-grass. meant Much Meadow River. We found it wide on account of the rains. and higher in the meadows a great many clumps of a peculiar narrow- . to see that nothing was left.V MONDAY. as if it were a blue water-lily. the common blue flag abundantly. now very The space In the water on the meadows grew sedges. JULY 27 HAVING which the Indian attended to. descending the Caucomgomoc. and turning northeasterly up the Umbazookskus. This name. between the woods. always carefully be well trimmed. chiefly bare meadow.

narrow and swift. and there was quite an echo from them. Having paddled several miles up the Umbazookskus. the Indian It reminded me that I should scare the moose. The one selected was quite slender. but when I was shouting in order to awake it. an old man. cut about ten feet long. He belonged . merely whittled to a point. two Indians in a canoe hove in sight round the bushes. it suddenly contracted to a mere brook. its large fruit now whitish. and which we all wanted to see. While we were coming down stream. Our Indian knew one of them.76 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Here also leaved willow. and fell into conversation with him. the larches and other trees approaching the bank and leaving no open meadow. We landed to get a black spruce pole for pushing against the stream. which he was looking out for. and the bark shaved off. was unusual for the woods to be so distant from the shore. thus employed. grew the red osier.

he may have wished to deceive me. seeing the moose-hides sticking out from a great bundle made with their blankets in the middle of the canoe. but I. "If you bring me a quarter of it I guess you won't be troubled. But per- haps he need not have been alarmed. answered. heard of one who. tribe. I suppose that he would consider it an indiscriminate slaughter when a quarter was not reserved for himself. added.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH at the foot 77 of Moosehead. as he " the " indiscriminate to say if said. being asked by a white man going into the woods what he would I he killed a moose." His duty being. ." a foreigner. " Only their hides. to which he said "No". for it is against the law for white men and foreigners to kill As he was moose in Maine at this season. The other was of another They were returning from hunting. for the moose-wardens are not very particular. only prevent slaughter of them for their hides. I asked the younger if they had seen any moose.

with occasional small islands. The stream was only from one and one half to three rods wide. distinguishing them far away." as the explorers call them." "clumps/* "groups. The same the case with the white and red pines and some other trees. from the top of a hill or a tree. or else they form extensive forests by themselves. little forest You do cies here but rather a is of them. meadows." or "communities. I should have liked to come across a large community of pines which had never been invaded by the lumbering army. greatly to the convenience of the lumberer. habit. not find straggling trees of this speand there throughout the wood. and some very swift and shallow places. the white pines towering above the surrounding forest.78 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS We tall continued along through the most extensive larch wood which I had seen and slender trees with fantastic branches. quite winding. They are of a social growing in "veins. . We saw some fresh moose-tracks along the shore.

The Red Squirrel .


as if the current told him which was the short- and deepest. three feet high. is called ten miles Having poled up the narrowest part some three or four miles. suddenly entered about eleven o'clock in the forenoon. at a swift and shallow reach. portage I saw many splendid specimens of the great purple fringed orchis. which we. It stretches northwesterly four or five miles. The Umbazookskus long. It is rethis While making markable that such delicate flowers should here adorn these wilderness paths. not being obliged to take out. It was lucky for us that the water was so high. Once or twice we passed the red wreck of a bateau which had been stove some spring. though he said it was very strong water. We had to walk est but once on this stream. while he got up with the canoe.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 79 When we came to an island the Indian never hesitated which side to take. carrying a part of the load. We crossed . the next opening in the sky was over Umbazookskus Lake.

and then go back for the rest. the portage here a mile and three quarters long. Our path which the Indian.8o CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS the southeast end to the carry into Mud Pond. Lawrence in the service of the State. cooking-utensils. ran close by the door of a log hut in a clearing at this end of the carry. by tying them up in his blanket. We should be obliged to go over the carry twice. found to be occupied by a Canadian and his family. Hodge. no doubt. who went through this way to the St. who alone entered it. This was the first house above Chesuncook. and other loose traps. The Indian said this was calls the wettest carry in the State. and our method was to carry one half part way. because it was the route of the lumberers in the winter and spring. and that the man had been blind for a year. and was built here. . As usual he made one large bundle of the pork-keg. and as the season was a very wet one we anticipated an unpleasant walk.

He said that at this season bears were found on the mountains and hillsides in search of berries and were apt to be saucy. etc. had shot two bears a few months before. twenty years ago. now this appeared to me. amid the dense growth of fir. This very spot was described as " covered with the greatest abundance of pine. a loosely paved gutter merely. the best timber land in the State. where we went leaping from rock to rock and from side to side in the vain attempt to keep out of the water and mud. cedar. comand an uncommon tree there yet you did not see where any more could have stood." but paratively. It was on this carry that the white hunter whom They met in the stage. as he told me. Here commences what was called. .ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 81 After a slight ascent from the lake through the springy soil of the Canadian's entered on a level and very wet and rocky path through the dense clearing. we evergreen forest. I stood directly in the path and did not turn out for him.

a dryer road than the carry which we had left. "You see 'em to we were my tracks. It led through an arbor-vitae wilderness of the . my Thereafter. at least. though and in this. long intervals. though comparatively unworn. he said. but ere long he came back and told us to take a path which turned off westward. at it The being better walking. and he added. at was a winding one. but were We soon confused by numerous logging-paths coming into the one we were on. This. was regular at first a better. since others had passed over the carry within a few days. or. * keep the main path. we kept what we considered the it main path.** I But had not much his faith that we could distinguish tracks. and. suggestion. we distinguished a faint trace of a footstep. he agreed to leave a bough in the regular carry at that place that we might not pass it by mistake. turned off at the right place. However.82 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Indian with his canoe soon disappeared before us.

he would seem to be gone a long time. covered every rock and fallen tree. As I sat waiting for my companion.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 83 grimmest character. which. and I had ample opportunity to make observations on the forest. We could not be sure that we were not my depositing our loads each time farther off from the true path. a heavy knapsack. but companion preferred to make two journeys by short stages while I waited for him. swung on a paddle. carried my whole load at once. less. I now first began to . in all about sixty pounds. The great fallen and rotting trees had been cut through and and their huge trunks abutted on the path on each side. was impossible for us to discern the Indian's trail in the elastic moss. and I gave myself some credit for it. lay across It it two or three feet high. and a large rubber bag containing our bread and a blanket. I Neverthe- did occasionally detect the track of I a man. as well as the earth. like a thick carpet. while others still rolled aside.

Remembering that I had a in my knapsack. It was composed of sweet oil and oil of turpentine. was was or for twenty minutes. They would not alight on the part thus defended. made haste to apply if to my face and hands. and then saw. with a little oil ever. and glad to find it effectual. it was worse than the was so dis- agreeable and inconvenient to have your face and hands covered with such a mixture. a very small but perfectly formed fly of that color. Howfinally concluded that the remedy disease. as I sat by a wider and more than usually doubtful fork in this dark forest wash path. but all the insects that molested us. Three large slate-colored birds of the jay genus. prepared by a I thoughtful hand in Bangor. in swarms about me. the Canada jay. as long as it fresh. not only against black flies. I of spearmint. came flitting .84 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS be seriously molested by the black fly. about which I one tenth of an inch long. felt. and camphor.

We in water and mud at every step. This " Chamb." written on it with red chalk. as if they were anxious about a nest there. The trail was almost obliterated. and sometimes up to our knees. After I had sat there some time I no- ticed at this fork in the path a tree which I I had been blazed. and inquisitively to feet.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH silently 85 and by degrees toward me. hopped down the limbs within seven or eight Fish hawks from the lake uttered their sharp whistling notes low over the top of the forest near me. The walking rapidly grew worse and the path more indistinct. and the letters L. companion having returned with forward again. and at length we found ourselves we set in a less more open and regular swamp made passable than ordinary by the unusual sank a foot deep wetness of the season. whole we were on My his bag. knew to mean Chamberlain Lake. being no more than a mus- . So concluded that on the the right course.

without interchanging a word. Having penetrated a considerable distance into this and found a tussock on which we could deposit our to mined go through it. After a long while my companion came had back. it probably was a musquash trail in cluded that if some places. it certainly deserved its name.86 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS quash leaves in similar places when he parts the floating sedge. We He understand the ways of white men. and the Indian with him. loads. In fact. since he could better lost us. companion went back for the rest of his pack. and he told him correctly that we had undoubt- . and the Indian had had gone back to the Canadian's camp and asked him which way we had probably gone. my though there was no place to sit. We conMud Pond was as muddy as the approach to it was wet. as if deter- though it should come up to our necks. taken the wrong road. It would have been amus- ing to behold the dogged and deliberate pace at which we entered that swamp.

or supply. than to go back and start anew for the last place. and trust to meet us there little before night. toting. cross that. The Indian was greatly surprised that we should have taken what he called a " tow." and evidently thought little of our woodcraft. tote. road instead of a carry path. Having held a consultation and eaten a mouthful of bread. In the meanwhile he would go back and finish carrying over his canoe and bundle to Mud Pond. He supposed the water in which we stood had flowed back from Mud Pond. though the Indian had never been through this way and to keep knew nothing about it. It was now a that after noon. omitting Mud Pond. which could not be far off ." that is. was "strange. that said we had it not followed his tracks. we concluded that it would perhaps be nearer for us two now on to Chamberlain Lake.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 87 edly taken the supply road to Chamberlain Lake. and go down its outlet and up Chamberlain Lake.

as if it could were an old road to him. One of those somber fir and spruce woods is not complete un- . and yet he would run up the stem of one out of the myriads. and we crossed a ridge where the path was more distinct. but was unapproachable through the dense cedar swamp. we were ere long agreeably disappointed by reaching firmer ground. is the only squir- my We found in those woods. tree-tops over heard several times the red squirrel. where miles so little life. though he did seem to chide us. outlook over the At one place I heard a very clear and piercing note from a small hawk as he dashed through the also saw and head. I fancied that he must be glad to see us. except a very few striped ones. seventy-five I from a road as we had come. call wondered how he any particular tree there his home. This. Keeping on. but there was never any forest. according to the Indian. It must have a solitary rel time in that dark evergreen there is forest.88 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS eastward.

"I am well acquainted with your family. In many places . Concord very well. entered another swamp. down into water often up to our knees. but the fallen timber. The fallen trees were so numerous that long distances the route was through a succession of small yards. not only on account of We the water.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH less 89 you hear from out its cavernous mossy and twiggy recesses his fine alarum his spruce voice. where we climbed over fences as high as our for heads. like the working of the sap through some crack in a tree. I know your cousins in "Oh. and spring his rattle again. for he would withdraw by his aerial turnpikes into a more distant cedartop. Such an impertinent fellow would occasionally try to alarm the wood about me." But my overtures were vain. and so on. at a necessarily slow pace." said I. where the walking was worse than ever. which often obliterated the indistinct trail entirely. and then over another fence into a second yard.

and they . These bristly fellows are a very suitable small fruit of such unkempt wildernesses. but equally wet. It was a mossy swamp. which scared it required the long legs of a moose to traverse. it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling. too wet for trees to grow. however. It very likely that we in our transit. though to we saw was ready echo the growl of a bear. I did. the howl of a wolf. see one dead porcupine. fairly into the middle of one of these grim forests you are surprised to find that the larger inhabitants are not at home com- monly. or the scream of a panther but when you get . Perhaps he had succumbed to the difficulties of the way. and it is some of them none.90 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS it the canoe would have run if had not been for the fallen timber. Making woods is a logging-road in the Maine " called " swamping it. Generally speaking. but have left only a puny red squirrel to bark at you. Again it would be more open. a howling wilderness does not howl .

had an opportunity to wring out my stockings. then crossed another low rising ground.*' perceived the fitness of the term. who used boots. This was the most perfectly swamped of all the roads I ever saw. but my companion. for which reason our progress was very slow. which had been made of logs tied together with cedar bark. I sup- pose they would tell you that this name took its origin from the fact that the chief work of roadmakers in those woods is to make the swamps passable. He went over the this was not a safe whole ground. . Nature must have cooperated with art here. However. We came to a stream where the bridge. Such as it was. who wore shoes. for experiment he might not be able to get wet boots on again. and I.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 91 who do I now the work are called "swampers. had We found that his for him. three times. and we got over as we could. or water. had been broken up. this ruined bridge was the chief evidence that we were on a path of any kind.

He had reached the lake after crossing Mud Pond and running some rapids below it. before night. and to some extent unfitted them for walking. and find the lake and the Indian. the water softened our feet. As I sat waiting for him it would naturally seem an unaccountable time that he was gone. and it was uncertain be. leaving boughs to mark my path. and send what speed I the latter back to carry bag. I pro- and in what posed that I should push through with could. Therefore. we were on the right part of the world we should find ourselves at nightfall.92 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Beside that. as I could see through the woods that the sun was getting low. we soon came together. even if how far the lake might course. and answering him. if possible. which I soon discovered to be made by the Indian. my companion's Having gone about a mile I heard a noise like the note of an owl. and had come up about a mile and .

It was at least five miles by the way we had come. in- stead of dining there. it is no doubt a tolerable path to a footman. So he went back for my companion and his bag. ing waded through another stream. when the water is frozen and the snow is four feet deep. the bridge of logs had been broken up and half floated away. In the winter. we continued on Havwhere through alternate mud and water to the shores of Apmoojenegamook Lake. we probably should not have found him that night. for the path branched once or twice before reaching this particular part of the lake. and as my companion had gone over most of full a it three times he had walked dozen miles. having gone without our dinner. and dilute it with equal parts of Umbazookskus and Apmoojenegamook. If you want an exact recipe for making such a road.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH a half 93 on our path. as we had expected. . which we reached in season for a late supper. If he had not come back to meet us. take one part Mud Pond.

and finish it to their let We had into come out on a point extending Apmoojenegamook. and a hurricane follow to do the fencing.94 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS then send a family of musquash through to locate it. and rocky shore." We with two or three log buildings close to- . it will be is apparently from a mile We were about midway its length on the south side. since the dam was built. has been connected with it twenty. This was another noble lake. We such dry things in were rejoiced to see that part of the world. or Chamberlain Lake. where there was a broad. and it and a half to two miles wide. called the "Chamberlain Farm. verts. encumbered with bleached logs and trees. all we We three walked into the lake up to our middle to wash our clothes. look after the grades and culminds. gravelly. could see the only clearing in these parts. But so at first much did not attend to dryness as to mud and wetness. which. by dead water. twelve miles long. if you add Telos Lake.

and they had their labor for their pains this time. and a half miles distant. on the opposite shore. we ate our supper. first Here midge I was molested by the little called the no-see-em. sup- Our insect foes in this excursion were. After putting on such dry clothes as we had. that being a common signal agreed on when one wishes to cross. especially over the sand at the water's edge. . are said to get under your clothes I and produce a feverish heat. You would not observe them but They for their light-colored wings. for it is a kind of sand-fly. making a thin fire. and hanging the others to dry on the pole which the Indian arranged over the and lay down on the pebbly shore with our feet to the fire without pitching our tent. It took them about half an hour to come over. which pose was what I felt that night. bed of grass to cover the stones.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH gather. The 95 some two smoke of our fire on the shore brought over two men in a canoe from the farm.

and he now finally lay down on the sand between us and the fire for the sake of the smoke. the no-see-ems. Of all these. The Indian would not use our wash to protect his face and hands. only troublesome at night. therefore. Fourth. They can bite smartly. third. or when we sat still on shore by day sec. the mosquitoes are the only ones that troubled me seriously.96 first. ond. and buried it in his blanket. moose-flies. He regularly tied up his face in his handkerchief. and for the same . nor had he any veil. suffered from insects throughout this journey more than either of us. He. stout brown flies much like a horsefly. they have not made any deep impression. black flies (simulium molestum). CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS mosquitoes. which molested us more or less on the carries by day. but as I was provided with a wash and a veil. but are easily avoided or killed. for fear that it would hurt his skin. according to Polis. and sometimes in narrower parts of the stream . which he tried to make enter his blanket about his face.

very wild sound. and when this note is first heard very far off at midnight. you take it for granted that it is the voice of a wolf or some other wild clude that it is beast. as you lie the forest with your ear to the ground. wolves. being perfectly still about you. It was the unfailing and characteristic sound of those lakes. quite in keeping with the place and the circumstances of the traveler. . perchance. you con- a pack of wolves baying the moon. or. lie very unlike the voice of a bird.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH purpose he lit 97 his pipe and breathed the smoke into his blanket. you are prepared to hear sounds from some of its inhabitants which thrilling. loud and distinct. cantering after a moose. In the middle of the night we heard the voice of the loon. and It is a from far over the lake. Some idea of bears. it is so camping in such a wilderness as this. I could awake for hours listening to it. or panthers runs in your head naturally. When will give voice to its wildness.

were driven off from the carcass by a pack of wolves. his voice into his head. burst. It lasted end. sometimes singularly huto my ear boo-boo-ooooo. who. were serenaded by wolves while moosehunting by moonlight. and you 'd have thought there were twenty of them. It was a sudden hundred demons had broke a startling sound enough. and they said that it gave expression to the wilderness which it lacked before. when probably there were only two or three. I heard of some men.98 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Some friends of mine. while skinning a moose lately in those woods. I it man on when . but call. who two years ago went up the Caucomgomoc River. if any. which. would make your hair stand on and all was still again. as if a loose. which ate it up. it They heard twice only. like the hallooing of a having thrown have heard a sound exactly like a very high key. but a moment. This of the loon laugh. as it its I do not mean its man is a long-drawn looning were.

half awake at ten at night. flapping by close over my head along the shore. suggesting my affinity to the loon. So. language were but a dialect of my language. turning the other side of half-clad body to the fire. I was awakened midnight by some heavy. when lying awake at midnight in those woods. but it chanced that I listened in vain until I heard the cry of the loon. Formerly. but there its wildit ness not enhanced by the surrounding at scenery. low-flying bird. probably a loon. . I had listened to hear some words or syllables of their after all. I have heard of my is occasionally on the ponds native town.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 99 breathing heavily through my own nostrils. I sought slum- my ber again. as if its own.

originally white. a heavy dew on our I lay awake very early and listened to the clear. this TUESDAY. walking into the lake. a greenish flannel one . the shore looked like washing-day at home. then put on his pants and let it dry on him. The Indian. JULY 28 HEN we awoke we found blankets. washed his only cotton shirt on his person. repeated at short intervals. and. shrill ahj te tet te te. te of the white-throated sparrow. borrowed the soap.VI w piness. for half an hour. as if it could not enough express its hap- We did some more washing in the lake morning. and. taking the hint. without the least variation. I observed that he wore a cotton shirt. with our clothes hung about on the dead trees and rocks.

a few This looked very independent simple and effective tools. Kossuth. Instead of carrying a large bundle of his own extra cloth- he brought back the greatcoats of moose tied up in his blanket. blue woolen stockings. He was always the first ready to start in the morning.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH over it. 1 He carried no change of clothing. which also had been white. flannel drawers. and a Kossuth hat. and strapping on his contained off at once. he walked summer. and no rubber gone all clothing. which he laid aside and seizing a full-sized axe. thick jacket. etc.. cowhide boots. and a blanket. I found that his outfit was the result of a long exing. his gun and ammunition. putting on a stout. and in the main hardly to be improved on. in the canoe. ready to be belt. . on his country in 1851-52. which would do for a sail or knapsack. if wanted. 101 but no waistcoat. which a large sheath-knife. unless by washing and an 1 A soft felt hat of the kind visit to this worn by the Hungarian patriot. perience. and strong linen or duck pants. but.

who was nodding. means lake that is crossed. because the usual course lies across and not along outlet. we found the waves pretty high. but I believe in vain. and the companion. he walked off to a place where some Indians had recently encamped. adding. that he must not allow himself to fall asleep in the canoe lest he should Indian warned my upset us . steering in a diagonal direction northeastly about four miles to the Indian name. and searched for one. we crossed the lake. The not intend to go far down the Allegash. Apmoojenegamook. but merely to get a view of the lakes which are its source. they lie down straight . extra shirt. We did turn this way to the East Branch of the Penobscot. After reaching the middle of the lake.102 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Wanting a button here. that to sleep in a when Indians want canoe. and then reit. the usual disposition of what was left at breakfast. Having softened our stiffened boots and shoes with the pork fat.

of the shore. Thus the its natural sandy or rocky green fringe. There is no triumphal arch over the modest inlet or outlet. and they made the shore. on which the waves were breaking might easily bish. but at it some undistinguished point through the uninteras trickles in or out rupted forest. almost through a sponge. some far out in the water. But in this crowded one that was impossible. . for the most part. or by the overlapping It is knowing that it be concealed amid this rubviolently. This is the effect of the dam at the outlet.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 103 on the bottom. about quarter of a mile distant from this savage-looking shore. remarkable how little these important gates to a lake are blazoned. with We the north side. searching for the outlet. A belt of dead trees stood all around the lake. almost inaccessible. with others prostrate behind them. was concealed and destroyed. coasted westward along shore. However. he said that he would nudge him if he saw him nodding.

that they might float their spoils out of the country. and then leave the bears to watch the decaying dams. which is quite a solid structure. In many parts only these dams remain. nor making roads. The result of this damming about Chamberlain Lake St. They have thus dammed all the larger lakes. The wilderness experiences a sudden rise of all her streams and lakes. They rapidly run out of these immense forests all the finer and more accessible pine timber.104 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS We reached the outlet in about an hour. and carried over the dam there. She feels ten . but leaving it a wilderness. Think how much land they have flowed without asking Nature's leave. not clearing nor cultivating the land. as they found it. nor building houses. and about one quarter of a mile farther there was a sec- ond dam. raising their broad surfaces many feet. particular is that the headwaters of the John are made to flow by Bangor. thus turning the forces of Nature against herself. like deserted beaver dams.

and all is still again. the chopper would praise a pine he will commonly tell you that the one When he cut was on its so big that a yoke of oxen stood stump. You tell me that he has a more interesting family than the mouse. with a yoke binding them horns together. In my mind's eye I can see these unwieldy tame deer. the brazen-tipped their betraying their servitude. and tumble them into the nearest off. ness. to become the footstool of oxen.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 105 thousand vermin gnawing at the base of her noblest trees. the fairest having fallen. It is as when forest a migrating army of mice girdles a pines. they scamper off to ransack some new wildertill. He speaks " of a " berth of timber. them stream. That is as it happens. taking . as if that were what the pine had grown for. just as a worm might. a good place for him to get into. of The chopper fells trees from the same motive that the mouse gnaws them to get his living. Many combining drag jarring over the roots of the survivors.

a great deal firmly than a yoke you had not cut it down. and chewing their cud there. more than the tree. Why." He stood on its own stump. big that I cut it down. and some medicinal quality ascended into their nostrils. The Anglo-American can indeed cut down and grub up all this waving forest. the carcass or corpse. he would say. but . and run out that.stand on the stump of each giant pine in succession throughout this whole forest. If he told all that was in his tion is " It was so mind. and make a stump speech on its ruins. my dear sir. and if more comfortably and of oxen can. is at As if it were good for the oxen. until it nothing but an ox-pasture. Or is intended merely that the pastoral comes next in order to their elevated position as a symbol of the fact the sylvan 'or hunter life? The character of the logger's admira- betrayed by his very mode of expressing it. and then a yoke of oxen could stand on admires the log. the tree might have its stump.

the river being swift of the wilderness he cuts " a " deestrict it down. young scaring up forty sheldrakes. After perhaps two miles of river We we or entered fifty Heron Lake. a sound which I had associated only with more open. and puts up introduces Webster's spelling-book. we two walked about half a mile to lighten the canoe. were now fairly on the Allegash River. that might be upset. ignorantly erases mythological tablets in order to print his handbills and town- He meeting warrants on them. and shallow. I a rule to carry walked. and also to it made my knapsack when I keep if it tied to a crossit bar when in the canoe. if not settled countries.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 107 he cannot converse with the spirit of the tree he fells. at the entrance. he cannot read the poetry and mythology which retire as he advances. found with the canoe I we should heard the dog-day locust here. Before he has learned his a b c in the beautiful but mystic lore schoolhouse. Below the last dam. .

I asking him about herons. both fallen and standing. Some low points or islands were a almost drowned. on a been glad which turned out to be a great gull rock. he said that he found the blue heron's nests in the hard-wood trees. encumbered with dead timber. But . We had entered it on the southwest side. it flew away long before we were near and also a flock of summer ducks that were about the rock with this it. and used by explorers to look for timber from. and saw a dark mountain northeast over the lake which the Indian said was called Peaked Mountain. .io8 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS great rapline. since was Heron Lake. about ten miles long. judging from the map. The shores were in the same ragged and unsightly condition. which the Indian would have to kill and eat. is which ran over the water with in a idity. owing to the dam on the Allegash below. as in the last lake. as usual long This lake. I saw something white mile off on the water.

with a rocky shore. 109 stood across a bay toward a large island three or four miles down the lake. tying it with a withe. coming from the middle of the lake. The farther dam was about fifteen miles north down the Allegash. We had next . and they evidently fly over the whole lake. Somebody had camped there not long before and left the frame on which they stretched a mooseIndian proceeded at once to cut a canoe birch. slanted it up against another hide. tree The on the shore. met with shadflies we We from the shore. It had midway. and densely wooded. and lay down to sleep in its shade. where it was three or four miles wide at least. which was rather elevated. On Moosehead I had seen a large devil'sneedle half a mile from the shore. about a mile probably crossed. We made this island the limit of our excursion in this direction. in season for an early dinner.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH Rounding a point. landed on the southeast side of the We island.

take care of who want of employment. bears when they came across far or near. rate. only reminded us how uninhabited the country sooner expect to meet a bear than an ox in such a clearing. for you know Nature never does Such. island visible toward the north dnd of the lake. with an elevated clearing on it . This sort of tit-fortat intercourse between his two hands. at that dam. had only been used as a pasture for cattle which summered in these woods. bandying to and fro a leaden subject.been told in Bangor of a man who lived alone. it You would must have been a surprise to the it. seems to have been his symbol for There was another society. to spent his time tossing a bullet from one hand to the other. for it. work. seen at once to be man's it. At any was. but we learned afterward was not inhabited. squarish spot. a sort of hermit. In order clears off to let in the light to the earth he . in the midst of the otherwise uninterrupted forest. This unnaturally that it smooth-shaven.

he took it for granted that we wanted to go straight to the next log hut. when you came near a house. increasing. without stopping to we came by the communicate with the inhabitants. In the meanwhile. now the inhabitants what you had seen or heard. and so carpets the earth with a firm sward. If nothing was said.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH in the forest on the hillsides and plains. Polis had evidently more curiosity respecting the few settlers in those woods than we. and the blind Canadian's at the Mud Pond carry. the nearest . Having observed that log huts at Chesuncook. and had come here partly to avoid we had had enough them. and then they told you what they had seen. the wind. and sprinkles fine grass seed like an enchanter. but we laughed and said that and tell of houses for the present. blew down the Indian's birch and created such a sea that we found ourselves shore prisoners on the island. he took occasion to suggest that the usual way was. to go to it.

and we took the canoe out to prevent its drifting away. and obstructed with fallen bleached or drifted tree's for four or five rods in width. Our Indian said that he was a doctor." was a "very great runner. bark of the aspen was good for sore eyes and so with various other plants. and I rambled along my the shore westward. which was quite stony. and could tell me some medicinal use for every plant I could show him. and he lamented that self as the present generation of Indians " had lost a great deal. At any rate." that there were none about said that the caribou He . He said that the inner . did not know but we should be com- pelled to spend the rest of the day and the night there. I immediately tried him. proving him- good as his word. According to his account. companion busied himself drying his plants. the Indian went to sleep again.ii2 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS We being perhaps a mile distant. he had acquired such knowledge in his youth from a wise old Indian with whom he associated.

! none of your mile-wide woods merely. snowshoes.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH this lake 113 now." I asked how he would get over the " Oh. though there used to the belt : to be of dead trees caused by the dams. go anywhere on forest. he takes under the bear-haunted slopes of Katahdin to . Pointing southeasterly over the lake and " Me distant he Oldobserved. right across lakes. and." said he. as on the skirts of our towns." go town in three days." What a wilderness walk for a man to take alone None of your half-mile swamps. without hotels. only a dark mountain or a lake for guideboard and station. Here was From the Allegash River. When he sees that he many. across his way great Apmoojenegamook. pointing scared. "in winter all covered. over ground impassable in much of it summer ! traveling of the old heroic kind over the unaltered face of nature. he added " No likum stump. swamps and fallen trees.

porcupines. caribou. Places where he might live and die and never hear of the United States never hear of America. and so to the forks of the Nicketow. with the shaggy demon vegetation. but at that season. It may seem strange that any road through such a wilderness should be passable. bears. when weapons stone were used. teams are continually passing becomes as on the single track. it I . night and day. wolves. lynxes. even in winter. There is a lumberer's road called the Eagle Lake Road from the Seboois to the east side of this lake. great source of arrows and of of spears to the ancients.ii4 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Millinocket's inland Pamadumcook and seas. Or he could go by " that rough tooth of the sea" Kineo. with his load of furs. traveling through the mossy graveyard of trees. and smooth almost as a railway. Seeing and hearing moose. ever pushing the boughs of the fir and spruce aside. contending day and night. and panthers. wherever lumbering operations are actively carried on.

with our baggage at our feet. and with one consent made a rush for the tent material and set about pitching it. and a fresh breeze rustling the forest. we listened to some of the grandest thunder . which leaked considerably about the sides. ning when the storm suddenly burst over us. we hastily put up the plants which we had been drying. it A and we were pin- should be blown away. so that one runner may go in one rut and the other follow the horse. lest it down As we lay huddled together under the tent. and heard the muttering of the thunder. but now the darkness rapidly increasing. though we were in doubt whether it would reach us . place was selected and stakes and pins cut in the shortest possible time. am four feet. We had for some time seen a thunder- shower coming up from the west over the woods of the island. Yet it is very bad turning out.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 115 told that in the Aroostook country the sleds are required by law to be of one width. and sleighs must be altered to fit the track.

it clearing off. we resolved to start immediately. bang. and heard thunder outside." All for the benefit of the moose and us. still Getting in the southwest. echoing far over thought it must be a place which the thunder loved. . and paddled rapidly back toward the dams. I said that I saw clouds embarked. before the wind raised them again. bang. which compelled us to take shelter. The Indian tionally said. nevertheless. where the concealed lakes. its hand and it would do no harm to shatter a few pines. At the outlet of Chamberlain Lake we there. We were overtaken by another gusty rain- storm. Looking out. I the lightning practiced to keep in. bang. round and plump. I perceived that the violent shower falling on the lake had almost instantaneously flattened the waves. in succesI which ever heard sion. like artillery . from some fortress in the sky and the lightning was propor" It brilliant. must be good powder.u6 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS rapid peals. and.

coasted length. we were more scared than wet. One thunder-storm was just over. out from beneath his canoe to see what had become of the When we had taken our respective places thus once or twice. we commenced rambling about the neighborhood. the rain not coming down in earnest. It was a wild evening we set out when we Apmoojeit up the north side of this negamook Lake. for the wind had by this time raised such waves on the lake that we could not stir. but small and worthless. At again. The fishes were not only few. However. raised still and the waves which had running with violence. and we feared that we should be obliged to camp there. fish. just before sunset. From my covert I could see the Indian peeping rain. and we under the edge of the dam. and another storm was now seen coming up in .ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 117 the Indian under his canoe on the bank. got an early supper on the dam and tried for We while waiting for the tumult to subside.

It blew hard against the shore. far over the lake but it might be worse in the morning. and we wished to get as far as possible on our way might. was twi- light. so blow we must depend on coasting. was a perfect maze of submerged all dead and bare and bleaching. above or be- neath the surface. yet we were glad to reach. and criss-across. it while we For half a dozen rods in width trees. at length. We point. which was as dreary and harborless as you can conceive. too. might. and mingled with them were loose trees and limbs and stumps. without the greatest danger as it It of being swamped. some standing half their original height. beating about. landed on a low and thinly wooded and while my companions were . others prostrate. if We could not have landed we would. the southwest. It was a pleasant excitement.ii8 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS . the cleared shore of the Chamberlain Farm. and that stormy cloud was advancing rapidly in our rear.

for Polis had a sweet tooth. and take us we wanted more water to through the canal we might raise if the gate. unlocking since they only the storehouse to get it. and half a dozen men standing in front of the prin- cipal hut. to get I 119 some ran up to the house sugar. and then add the coffee to of sugar. our six pounds being gone. and learning that we were going to Webster Stream the next day. told me that at some of their men. Here was a clearing extending back from the lake to a hilltop. . with some dark-colored log buildings and a storehouse in it.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH pitching the tent. greedy for news. having charge of the dams. It was no wonder they were. He. They were unwilling to spare more than four pounds of brown sugar. He would first fill his dipper nearly a third full it. who were haying dam at Telos Lake. had shut the the canal there in order to catch trout. Among them dam on the was the man Allegash and who tended the tossed the bullet.

remarkable with what the traveler pure satisfaction in woods as if will reach his camping-ground on his inn. and a snug apartment behind it. stretch himself his six-feet-by-two bed of dripping fir twigs. and. but we had a rousing fire to dry us by. I preferred the arbor-vitas on account of its fragrance. rolling the eve of a tempestuous night like this. In- . and it. on snug as a meadow mouse in its nest. and vitas spread it particularly It is thick about the those shoulders. with a thin sheet of cotton for roof. they charged twenty cents a pound for which there. and while another shower was beginning. he had got to his himself in blanket. The Indian went up to the house to inquire after a brother who had been absent hunting a year or two.120 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS little kept a for such cases as this. certainly it was worth to get it up When I returned to the shore it was quite dark. I warm and groped about cutting spruce and arbor- twigs for a bed.

for then we were not troubled with mosquitoes. and you may be drying while you are sleeping. You soon come to disregard rain on such excursions. the fireplace larger. You can much sooner dry you by such a it is fire as you can make and wood so in the woods than is in anybody's kitchen. so much much more abundant. Some who have leaky roofs in the towns may have been kept awake. soaking rain. at least in the summer. so easy to dry yourself. but we were soon lulled asleep by a steady. which lasted all night. . A shed-shaped tent will catch and reflect the heat. supposing a dry change of clothing is not to be had.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 121 variably our best nights were those when it rained.

when you get out on one of those lakes in a canoe like this. before breakfast and before starting the shore which I we took the bearing of wished to strike. cross the lake at once. WHEN we awoke it had done rain- were half -full of water. Though the bay in which we were was perfectly quiet and smooth. we found the lake already wide awake outside. lest a should conceal it when sudden misty rain we were midway. and in such respects than he had to thank us for keeping his powder dry. JULY 29 though it was still cloudy. He was much more improvident either of us. We decided to . Nevertheless.VII WEDNESDAY. The fire was put out. about three miles distant. but not dangerously or unpleasantly so. and the Indian's boots. ing. you do not for- . which stood under the eaves of the tent.



get that you are completely at the mercy of the wind, and a fickle power it is. The
playful waves may at any time become too rude for you in their sport, and play right

on over you. After much steady paddling and dancing over the dark waves we found


southern land.
point, the fered.


neighborhood of the breakfasted on a rocky

convenient place that of-

was well enough that we crossed thus early, for the waves now ran quite high,
but beyond this point we had comparatively smooth water. You can commonly

go along one

side or the other

of a lake,

when you cannot

companion and I, having a discussion on some point of ancient history, were amused by the attitude which the Indian, who could not tell what we were talking


about, assumed.


constituted himself

umpire, and, judging by our air and gesture, he very seriously remarked from time or " He beat." "You to


a spacious


bay on our



entered through a short strait into a small lake a couple of miles over, and thence



This curved


toward the northeast, and may have been
three or four miles long as we paddled. The outlet from the lake into the East

Branch of the Penobscot is an artificial one, and it was not very apparent where it was exactly, but the lake ran curving far up northeasterly into two narrow valleys or ravines, as if


for a long


been groping
scot waters.


way toward

the Penob-

observing where the horizon was lowest, and following the longest of these, we at length reached the dam,


having come about a dozen miles from


Somebody had

left a line

the jackknife with which the bait had been cut on the dam




and, on a log close by, a loaf of These proved the property of a

solitary hunter,

soon met, and canoe and gun and traps were not far off.

whom we



was twenty miles to the foot of Grand Lake, and that the first
told us that


house below the foot of the lake, on the East Branch, was Hunt's, about forty-five
miles farther.

This hunter, who was a quite small, sunburnt man, having already carried his
canoe over, had nothing so interesting and pressing to do as to observe our transit.


had been out a month or more alone.

respectable is the life of the solitary pioneer or settler in these, or any woods having real difficulties,

How much


not of his




his sub-

sistence directly

from nature

than that

of the helpless multitudes in the towns who depend on gratifying the extremely
wants of society and are thrown out of employment by hard times Telos Lake, the head of the St. John


and Webster Pond, the head of the East Branch of the Penobscot, are are cononly about a mile apart, and they
this side,

nected by a ravine, in which but




make the water digging was required to of the former, which is the highest, flow into the latter. This canal is something
than a mile long and about four rods wide. The rush of the water has produced such changes in the canal that it


the appearance of a very rapid mountain stream flowing through a ravine,


and you would not suspect that any digging had been required to persuade the
waters of the


to flow into the so

Penobscot here.


one could see but a
It is

winding that way down.
across a lake,



well watered this


As you paddle

bays will be pointed out to you, by following up which, and perhaps the tributary stream which empties in, you after a short portage, or possibly, at

may, some







which empties far away from the one you are on. Generally, you may go in any direction in a canoe, by making
frequent but not very long portages.

so called. while we carried the greater part of the provisions being about half consumed. whence what a canoe may do. we can imagine This canal. Our We had thrown away the porkits keg and wrapped bark. and that he would run down it alone.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH seems as if 127 the more youthful and impresand temptations to sionable streams can hardly resist the nu- merous invitations leave their native beds and run down their neighbors' channels. which would only make it more violent. The Indian decided that there was water enough in it without raising the dam. canoe. Wherever there is a channel for water there that is a road for the canoe. there was the less left in the baggage. was a considerable and extremely rapid and rocky river. contents in birch Following a moist trail through the forest. It is said some Western steamers can run on a heavy dew. we reached the head of Webster .

camp here. which admitted a feeble light. floor. There was a deserted log miles long. a long narrow table against the wall. In the hut was a large fir-twig bed. on the upper side of the dam. with its " hovel barn for cattle. with a stout log bench before it. while the Indian went down the stream a half-mile through the forest.128 . The pond was two or three was another dam. got our dinner on the shore. most direct. apparently used raised two feet from the occupying a large part of the single apartment. CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Pond about the same time with the Innotwithstanding the velocity with which he moved. at which we stopped and picked raspberries. It was a simple and strong fort erected against the cold. concealed by the earth . our route being the dian. As we were sitting We by our fire. At the outlet " or the previous winter. and above the table a small window. the only one there was. to see what he had got to contend with.

and apparently as fast up as down. streams and lakes which rarely ever flying. John and Second Lake on the East Branch of the Penobscot. a 129 long line of sheldrakes. passing within about a rod of us. but the lumberers whom we met assured us that there would not be more than a mile of carry. twenty to fifty of them at once. but running with great rapidity up or down the stream. came waddling over it from the water below. half grown. if one of us could have assisted the Indian in man- . and or three two hours every they would rush away in a long string over the water before us. An Indian at Oldtown had told us that we should be obliged to carry ten miles between Telos Lake on the St. as far as we were concerned. However. so that we could almost have caught them in our hands.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH bank of the dam. even in the midst of the most violent rapids. It turned out that the Indian was nearest right. They were very abundant on all the we visited.

companion and I carried a good part of the baggage on our shoulders. . come up and find our path if he could.130 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS aging the canoe in the rapids. and also shallow. and halloo for us. and was soon out of sight behind a point in a wild gorge. but as he was alone in the management of the obliged to canoe in such places we were walk the greater part. It is exceed- ingly rapid and rocky. We did not know when we was to cut. He commenced by running through the sluiceway and over the dam. This Webster Stream is well known to lumbermen as a difficult one. while the Indian took that which would be least My injured by wet t in the canoe. as usual. for since the canal him He agreed to stop when he got smooth water. standing up in his tossing canoe. and after waiting a reasonable time go on and and we were to look out in try again like manner for him. should see this he had not been way again. we might have run the greater part of the way .

By the Indian's direction we took an old path on the south side. with a few tracks of oxen which had been driven over it. down our occasionally winding around or climbing over a fallen tree. kept on steadily for to some old camp We about an hour without putting packs.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 131 and can hardly be considered navigable. moving forward always with the utmost possible moderation. that you may inspect the rapids before you. dashed to pieces by the way. which appeared to keep down the stream. It was a wild wood-path. for the most . and to get into it. unless that may mean that what is launched in it is sure to be carried swiftly down it. you have got to choose your own course each moment between the rocks and shallows. mingled with the tracks of moose which had lately used it. probably clearing for pasturage. and often holding on. if you can. With commonly an irresistible though it may be force urging you on. It is somewhat like navigating a thunder-spout.

complained that it strained him to paddle so hard in order to keep his canoe He . a long of sheldrakes. just touching the surface of the waves. He had found it. walking about three miles. and came to land by us with considerable water in his canoe.'* and had been obliged to land once before to empty out what he had taken in. He shot round a point just above. we were glad to find that the path came to the river again at an old camp-ground. Swiftly as the shallow and rocky river ran here. and getting an impulse from them as they flowed from under them. string I saw. where there was a small opening in the forest. but they soon came back. run up the opposite side of the stream by me. till. a continuous rapid with dancing waves. who had fallen a little behind us on account of the windings. as he said.'i 3 2 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS and hearing of the after out of sight part far river. driven by the Indian. as I sat on the shore. which something scared. "very strong water. at which we paused.

. Coming Down the Rapids .


notwithstanding the rush and tumult. After a moment's breathing-space. shouldering our packs. while held his canoe. for the force of the water was such that he had as lief I would strike him over the head with a paddle as have that water strike him. he was soon out of sight I again around another bend. come out. and only partly full of water. resumed our course. get there in time to see it a nutshell into it. The shore was about one fourth of a mile distant through . right side up. Before going a mile calling to us. taking a short cut to the bottom. and.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 133 straight in its course. Seeing him come out of that gap was as if you should pour water down an inclined and zigzag trough. having reached sufficiently smooth water to warrant his taking us in. and we. said that it would be no joke to upset there. shallow as it was. having no one in the bows to aid him. then drop and. we heard the Indian He had come up through the woods and along the path to find us.

using our course many a laborious circumspection. After this rough walking in the dark woods was an agreeable change to glide down the rapid river in the canoe once more. and could have retraced our steps but a short distance. This river. he led us back winding rapidly about to the right and left. and yet he did not appear to look down nor hesitate an instant. for without a compass. it was almost perfectly smooth here. or the sight or noise of the river to guide us. though still very swift. dark forest.134 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS and as a dense. we could not have kept minutes. to it. I ally perceive his trail could only occasionin the moss. but led us out exactly to his canoe. But it was evi- dent that he could go back through the forest wherever he had been during the day. This surprised me. with a great deal of pains and very slowly. I had the curiosity to look down carefully and found that he was following his steps backward.. a regularly . and showed a very visible declivity.

like a a little aslant. and then went away. He had no business with him but merely went to Boston at on him once pay his respects." apparently reminded of him by the name of calling the stream. sometimes slanted half-way over the stream. The first time he called he waited till he was tired without seeing him. and scarcely diminishing in diameter for eighty or ninety feet. I saw some monsters there. great lawyer. along. for several miles. It was very exhilarating. and he described his in what he supposed was his boarding-house.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH mirror set 135 inclined plane. the coast- ing down this inclined mirror between two evergreen forests edged with lofty dead white pines. The . as we should say. on which we coasted down. and the perfection of traveling. " Daniel Webster. nearly destitute of branches. It was on the day after Webster delivered his Bunker Hill oration. our Indian repeated in a deliberate and drawling As we were thus swept tone the words.

" Coming and rapids. The Indian went alongshore to inspect the water. while we climbed berries. he remarked. our easy progress was suddenly terminated." You got to walk . without notic- ing him." He all did not like him. walked toward him. and asked in a loud voice. by the motion of bis hand. picking the Indian came back. He thought that if he had come to see Indians they would not have treated him so.136 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS room in next time he saw the him go by the door of which he was waiting several times. he came in. in his shirt-sleeves. that he was going to him. ver' strong So. water. thinking at first. and declared that said he "was not worth to falls talk about a musquash. taking out his canoe. " What do you want?" and strike he. if you try "You'd betthat I shall know what to do. At length. ter take care. gruffly. after very long delay. said to himself. When " over the rocks. he launched .

was a quite memorable and due to the elevation of the country. At such times he would step into the canoe. We meanwhile scrambled along the shore with our packs. I found here the only cool spring that I drank at anywhere on this excursion. and waited for us from time to time. a little water It filling a hollow in the sandy bank. for wherever else we had been the water in the rivers and the streams emptying in was dead and warm. without any path. The Indian now got along much faster than we. take up his paddle. and was soon out of sight. looking far down-stream as if absorbing all the intelligence of forest and stream into himself. from time to time swinging ourselves round over the water. This was the last of our boating for the day. compared with that of a mountainous region. or else . It was very bad walking along the shore over fallen and drifted trees and bushes. and rocks. and start off. event.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH it 137 again below the falls.

which we were expecting to reach that night. we could not yet see the lake.138 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS At taking to a gravel bar or going inland. found and I I I rude bridge. begin- ning about three miles above Second Lake. which feet in diameter at the butt. high up in the woods. I seen my companion for some climbed with the Indian a high rock on the edge of the river forming a narrow ridge only a foot or two wide at top. This burnt region was still more rocky than before. though comparatively open. Shortly after this I overtook the Indian at the edge of some burnt land. and passed one white pine log. who was inland. in order to look for him. a saw there very fresh moose tracks. but. one place. the Indian being ahead. I was order obliged to take off all my clothes in to ford a small but deep stream emptying in. while my companion. Not having time. lodged in the five forest near the was quite edge of the stream. saw no more of him for some time. which ex- tended three or four miles at least. After calling .

I proceeded toward it through the burnt land.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 139 length heard him answer from a considerable distance inland. had apparently just run along a large rotten trunk of a pine. Judging by the weeds and sprouts. Seeing a much farther down-stream. . which possibly I had shouting. which made a bridge thirty or forty scared by my feet long over a hollow. The tracks were as large as those of an ox. and the while that my com- panion might join me on the way. and being now in search of the river higher rock of the same character about one third of a mile again. it appeared to have been burnt about two years It was covered with charred before. This burnt land was an exceedingly wild and desolate region. but an ox could not have crossed there. Before we came together I noticed where a moose. in order to look for the lake from hallooing all its summit. he many times I at having taken a trail which led off from the river. as for as convenient for him me.

but black within. of these . a There was breakers. Intermixed with these were blueberry and raspberry bushes. out. sometimes unburnt with- side only. beckoned to me to come to him. as river that remarkable were. stood twenty or forty feet high. was beginning to ascend the third. made I would first ascend the My companion accomseries panied me to the top. the Indian. or burnt on one The chimney.i 4o CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS which Great trunks. There were great fields of fireweed. shells of trees. We could rapid see the lake over the woods. Having crossed a second rocky ridge. but I I when sign that rock before me. which presented fire had run up inside. great rock-waves revealed it by the burning found its and obstructed by falls. leaving the sapwood. either prostrate or standing. and that the river made an abrupt turn southward around wonder that the way through them was No . crocked our clothes and hands. as in a masses of pink. whom I had left on the shore.

but on account of the roar of the water it was difficult to communicate with . and that there was an important fall in it a short distance below us. and I began to suspect that he had gone inland to look for the lake from some I still could hilltop on that side.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH the end of the cliff on which 141 we stood. This proved to be the case. I began to return along the ridge comtoward the angle in the river. but after waiting a while see nothing of him. and supposed that the Indian had concluded to take out and carry round some bad rapids on that side. descried him on My panion inquired where I v/hich I answered that I was going was going . but now on the opposite shore. I could see the canoe a hundred rods behind. to far enough back Indian. and the top of a distant rocky hill. for after I had started to return to the canoe I heard a faint halloo. to communicate with the When we reached the shore the Indian appeared from out the woods on the opposite side.

I said to my com- panion that we would keep along the shore started and keep the Indian in sight. lying with my breast over a rock.i 42 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS kept along the shore westward to his canoe. I when . I was going to help the In- helped get the canoe over a fall. parallel with me. But to my rounded the precipice. but I saw the to. who had just beckoning to disappeared behind large rocks at the point of the precipice on his way down the stream. that dian. and companion. while Polis glided down the river alone. He around the precipice. the Indian behind us having launched his canoe again. while we stopped at the anstream turned southward gle where the him. and holding one end while he received it beI did so low and within ten or fifteen minutes I was back at the point where the river turned southward. without rocks. though the shore was bare of trees. for a quarter of a mile at surprise. latter I called my me. We being close together. to do so.

He then landed. This was the more unaccountable to me. hastened along. because I knew that his feet were very sore.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH least. which began to be covered with unburnt wood again just below the falls. and that he wished to keep with the my party. till he was arrested by the falls. and said that we could go no farther that night. about a quarter of a mile below. while I searched backward about the precipice which we had passed. It was as if he had sunk into the earth. 143 companion was not to be seen. The sun was setting. and for I was now I sent very the Indian much along the shore down-stream. thinking he might be concealed behind a rock. The first thing then was to find my companion. . alarmed about him. and on account of falls and rapids we should be obliged to leave this river and carry a good way into another farther east. but the Indian had I got along faster in his canoe. hallooing and searching for him.

. I thought what I did I should do the next day if not find him. where there were only two or three camps. twenty or thirty I felt that if he were it the river there. really lost away from would be a desperate undertaking to find him and where were they who could help you ? What would it be to raise the country. For half an hour I anticipated and believed only the worst.144 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS Indian showed some unwillingness The to exert himself. that down so had strained him getting many rapids alone. very tired complaining that he was in consequence of his day's it work. I shouted and searched above and below this membered my precipice in the twilight see. and feel if I how his relatives would should return without him. . but he went off calling somewhat that like an owl. till I could not expecting nothing less than to find his body beneath it. or fainted and sunk dowi\ amid the rocks beneath it. I re- companion was nearsighted. and I feared that he had either fallen from the precipice.

on the highest proposed that we should both a fire rate. He objected to firing the gun. he make 'em camp." The darkness in the woods was by this . frained from lighting I rock. it would tempt him to come and he might break his neck in the dark. This encouraged me very much. which was not likely.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH home? rushed down from at fire 145 miles apart. or that I should go at any but the Indian said: "No use. Come No harm as morning. keep down the stream to the lake. No bad animals here warm night he well off you and I. and perhaps no- body I this precipice to the canoe in order to but found that caps. on account of the roar of the stream. saying that if my companion heard it. my the Indian's gun. For the same reason we retoward us. can't do anything in the dark. and no road. companion had the When the Indian returned he said his tracks that he had seen once or twice along the shore. then we find 'em.

I From time to time fancied that I heard his from the opposite voice calling through the roar of the falls side of the river . but . if well. It was a cool. with blankets and matches. where we were. and it shook the earth under us. and proceeded to two or three rods of the falls. For fuel we had some of camp there. and. there being no evergreen at hand.146 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS decided the question. but lay on the sand. within the charred stumps. except that he would have no supper nor society. and I arranged them about the fire to dry. we crossed to the eastern or smoother shore. We pitched no tent. dewy night. I knew that it so thick that We must camp he had his knapsack. This side of the river being so encum- bered with rocks. Our The fall by was the principal one on this stream. various bags of provisions had got quite wet in the rapids. would fare no worse than we. putting a few handfuls of grass and twigs under us. I lay close awake a good deal from anxiety.

charred. . but I heard only the squeak of a nighthawk flitting over. setting over the bare rocky hills garnished with tall. It was the most wild and desolate re- gion we had camped in. one might expect to meet with befitting inhabitants. served to reveal the desolation. if anywhere. where. The moon in her first quarter.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH it is 147 doubtful if we could have heard there. since he manifested an unwillingness to make much of a search. him across the Sometimes I doubted whether the Indian had really stream seen his tracks. and hollow stumps or shells of trees. in the fore part of the night.

and the dewy bushes wet us through like water up to the middle. The I Indian wanted his breakfast reminded him that my companion had had neither breakfast nor supper. about three fourths of a mile distant. We were obliged first to but carry our canoe and another stream. for Webster Stream was no farther navigable. expecting to find him within first. the Indian. who was before me with the . In going over this portage the last time. JULY 30 AROUSED I the Indian early to go in search of our companion. a mile or two. farther down the stream. I hallooed from time to time.VIII THURSDAY. though I had little expectation that I could be heard over the roar of the rapids. We went twice over this carry. the baggage over into main East Branch.

and soon after saw him standing on a point where there was a my clearing a quarter of a mile below. and lay for a I moment silent hastily stepped if forward to he was much hurt. and the smoke of his fire was rising near by. Before I saw him I naturally shouted again and again. heard an answering shout from way down companion. 149 fell head." as if once remarked. he sprang up and went forward. stumbled and heavily once. We but had launched our canoe and gone I little when the East Branch. but the Indian curtly hears you. help him. and said that he had passed a pretty comfortable night. asking but after a moment's pause. on account of the dew. and I was shouting It . though it was rather cold. without replying.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH canoe on his as if in pain. smoking his pipe. "He was enough. It was just below the mouth of WebWhen we arrived he was ster Stream. appeared that when we stood together the previous evening.

and when I went back to the which way I went. and supposed that we were below and not above him. had not seen the Indian nor his canoe. But if this hunter . if successful. hire him to take him to Bangor. on a pole by the waterside for a signal. think- had stuck up the remnant of a lumberer's shirt. he. ten miles behind. and attached a note to it to inform us that he He had gone on to the lake. and so. HavIndian's assistance. If he had not found us soon he had some thoughts of going back in search of the solitary hunter whom we had met at Telos Lake. he ran away from us. did not see ing reached this clearing. and down by it in his blanket. and that if he in did not find us there he would be back a couple of hours. making haste to catch up. the night overtook him. a mile or more below our camp. and. and he made lay a fire in a little hollow. found on the point. still ing that we were ahead of him.150 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS to the Indian across the river. being nearsighted.

two or three miles long. with high mountains on the southwest side. as glass. he would have been twenty miles off by this time. we making the only ripple as we . The morning was a bright one. and then. we glided swiftly down the wind- ing stream toward Second Lake. having partially dried our clothes. and the stream more winding in the lower land near the lake. We all had good appetites for the breakfast which we made haste to cook here. and perfectly still. As the shores became flatter with fre- quent sandbars. the lake as smooth This was a very beautiful lake. He had been considering how long he could live on berries alone. collected for a some of whose bulbs soup.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH had moved as fast as 151 we. and who could guess in what direction ? It would have been in a haymow like looking for a needle to search for him in these woods. also the wild yellow lily. On some ridges the burnt land extended as far as the lake. elms and ash I trees made their appearance.

you fourpence it is there. as if inspired by the morning.152 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS The dark mountains paddled into it. and while the Indian thought it was in one direction. came distinct over the lake to us. and the laugh of some loons. He said. we came to a standstill while my companion let down for fish. It was not apparent where the outlet of the lake was. about it were seen through a glaucous mist. beauty of the scene may have been enhanced to our eyes by the The fact that we had some just come together after a night of anxiety. The thrush sang on the distant shore. our fisherman drew up a diminutive red perch. sporting in a concealed western bay. and we took up our paddles. even then supposed to be nibbling. and the white stems of canoe birches mingled with the other woods around it. I thought " I bet it was in another. In the midst of our dreams of giant lake trout." but he still held on . Having paddled down three quarters of the lake.

still. Polis pushed the canoe steadily forward in the shallow water. It was a cow moose. ! ! and told us to be his gun. which proved to be the right one. and. but the canoe soon . standing in the water by the side of the outlet. flies and then gave her attention to the again. and from time to time poking off the flies with her nose from some part of her large. body.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH in 153 my direction. She did not appear much alarmed by our neighborhood. partly behind some fallen timber and bushes. stood higher. As we approached nearer she got out of the water. and regarded us more suspiciously. about thirty rods off. He put a cap on standing up in the stern. rapidly pushed the canoe straight toward the shore and the moose. only occasionally turned her head and looked straight at us. and at that distance she did not look very She was flapping her large ears. As we were approaching the outlet he " Moose moose " suddenly exclaimed.

and he improved this moment to fire. and she stood again while the Indian hastily loaded and fired twice at her. and a long distance round. still My who and bullets. She thereupon moved off eight or ten rods at a moderate pace across a shallow bay to the opposite shore. and he once put his ramrod back upside down. said passed that Polis was as excited as a boy of fifhis caps him hand trembled. teen. she lay perfectly . to be sure. After standing still a moment she turned so as to expose her side. " She ! goner There. over our heads. The Indian now pushed quickly and quietly back. " moose had is when he exclaimed. and the Indian seized his gun.154 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS grounded in the mud eight or ten rods distant from the moose. companion. for he had fired over the neck of a peninsula between it and the lake. that his in order to get into the outlet. without her moving. till we apa proached the place where the stood.

Shooting the Moose .


and was eight feet long. covered being with red It maples. might search half an hour in vain. stone on which flat to sharpen his large knife. Using a tape. etc. just where she had stood to receive the last shots. straight pole ten or twelve feet long in those woods. The greatest difficulty was to find a pole. this searched far was no easy matter.. spruce.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 155 dead.. Polis. preparing to to skin asked me help him find a the moose. It was almost impossible to find a slender. fir. on which he soon made sharp. We and wide a long time till at a flat length I found kind of his slate stone. arbor-vitae. etc. I found that the moose measured six feet from the shoulder to the tip of the hoof. and branchy. alluvial ground. short. and do not . knife very While he was skinning the moose I proceeded to ascertain what kind of fishes were to be found in the sluggish and muddy outlet. are You They commonly stout.

still which made our quarters more nar- row. though the skin- .156 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS fishpoles. observ" one man. and the tongue. since the Indian was in our but we did not think of employ. viously but a hundred Our load had prebeen reduced some thirty pounds. claiming it. The wrapped them in the hide. and placed them in the bottom of the canoe. said that He he sometimes earned day at dollars in a them ." meaning ing that there was the weight of one. the upper lip. He being a skillful dresser of moose-hides would make it worth seven or eight dollars to him. The fishes were red perch and Indian. make good patiently even after you have cut off all their tough and scraggy branches. and considerably increased the danger on the lakes and rapids as well as the labor of the carries. chivin. The skin was ours according to custom. or sixty he had killed fifty ten moose in one day. pounds were now added. as I was told. having cut off a large piece of sirloin.

At length we reached Grand Lake. and said that he knew the Indian it to and would carry to belonged him. securing our canoe to the cliffy shore. and we did not know but we should be lost in the swamp. winding dead- water. We stopped to dine on an interesting rocky island. and accidentally burned over the to dry our dewy western end of the island. It was hard to find any channel. cook our dinner amid some . Here was a good opportunity blankets on the open sunny rock. by a long. to land where we were obliged sometimes in order to get the canoe over a log. Indians had recently camped here. We proceeded may know all its to make a fire and pines. This was the way he had got his property. Polis picked up a gun-case of blue broadcloth.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 157 ning and all took two days. It abounded in ducks. as usual. very much choked up by wood. His tribe is it not so large but he effects. We continued along a swampy the outlet through region.

fried We here dined on moose meat. near the western shore. on the top of the rock. having left his gazette Our on a not tree. we set out again. The. I found also most of the teeth and the skull. We paddled southward. we found here the point of an ar- row-head. and. the Indian. and large piles of whittlings remained. blankets being dry. keeping The Indian did outlet was. as usual. where they were out of the wind. from . on which some party had feasted within a year or two. Indian picked up a yellowish curved bone by the side of our fireplace and asked me to guess what it was. This must have been a favorite resort of their ancestors. It was one of the upper incisors of a beaver. know exactly where the and he went feeling his way by a middle course between two probable points. indeed.158 I CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS saw where the Indians had made canoes in a little secluded hollow in the woods. such as they have not used for two centuries and now know not how to make.

we so steered as to get partly under the lee of an island.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH which he could diverge without losing either 159 way at last much distance. he darted down the rapids. as the clouds looked gusty and the waves ran pretty high. and a very substantial dam. leaving us to walk for a mile or more. though at a great distance from I it. and so lightfor drying. He would . I noticed at several old Indian camps in the woods it ened and prepared the pile of hair which they had cut from their hides. While we loitered here Polis took occasion to cut with his big knife some of the hair from his moose-hide. In ap- proaching the south shore. but no sign of a cabin or camp. where for the most part there was no path. and heard the water fall- ing over the siderable dam there. dam. could not distinguish the outlet till we were almost in it. but very thick and diffi- Having carried over the cult traveling near the stream. Here was a con- fall.

on account of the windings of the stream. here observed. He seemed to be very saving call often of his breath if we yet he would be surprised went by. and glided down the stream in smooth but swift water for several miles. but a proof of superior manners. we did not know where the shore was. but he did not enough. fallen trees. we overtook go the canoe.160 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS call to let us know where he was waiting for us with his canoe. when. climbing over the willows when this was easier than round or under them. that the river was a smooth and regularly inclined plane down which we coasted. all ment we pre- At and to length. thinking that ferred a hint to a kick. Indians like to get along with the least possible communication and ado. decided to camp that we I We early might . as at Webster Stream. This was not because he was un- accommodating. He was really paying us a great compli- the while. or did not strike the right spot. forgetting that we were not Indians.

So we stopped at the favorable shore. and pro- ceeded to extend it vertically on a temhalf porary frame between two small trees. few rods of the the marks of the axe. edge of the bank. It is surprising where into on stepping ashore anyunbroken wilderness to see so often. the Indian cut the rest of the hair from his moose-hide. four or five feet high. where the interminable forest begins. bushy. at least within a river. there was a narrow gravelly five miles below the outlet of the lake. some either side. as if the stream had but just cut its way through this it. made by lum- berers who have either camped here or driven logs past in previous springs. Two steps from the water on and you come to the abrupt. . You will see perchance where they have cut large chips from a tall white pine stump for their fire. and rooty. where beach. if not turfy.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH have 161 ample time first before dark. While we were pitching the camp and getting supper.

" "we asked." It was a singular coincidence that he should have chanced to walk to and look under that particular in that trackless log forest. "What's that? " Me found great treasure. tongue and lips to He showed me side of birch how to write on the under bark with a black spruce twig. The Indian wandered off into the woods a short distance just before night. which is hard and tough and can be brought to a point. vita? he made us some pretty good of the checkerberry. worth three dollars apiece. a dozen feet fire. count 'em. and. said. " Steel I did n't under a log.162 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS from the opposite side of the lashing and stretching it with arborbark. thirty or forty. After which covered the ground. droplittle bunch of it tied up with cedar supper he put on the moose boil. com- ing back. I guess Indian work traps. . Asking for a new kind of tea. ping a bark into the kettle.

You may penetrate half a dozen rods farther into that twilight wilderness after some dry bark to kindle your fire with. see a fish leap. or you may run down to the shore for a dipper of water. or duck alight in the river. and while you stand there. But there is no sauntering off to see the . and are collecting wood. or hear a thrush or robin sing in the woods. get- ting your supper. and get a clearer view for a short distance up or down the stream. but when washing my my com- panion tried in vain to catch them. You have no time to explore or look around you before it is dark. You commonly make your camp just sundown. or pitching your tent while the shades of night are gathering around and adding to the already dense gloom of the forest. and wonder what mysteries lie hidden still deeper in it. I heard the sound of bullfrogs from a swamp on the opposite at side.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH I 163 saw chivin and chub in the stream hands.

back with the air of a much traveled man. with adventures to relate. and if near a lake. It mossy and moosey. but occasionally you hear the note of an owl farther or nearer in the woods. general stillness is night the more impressive than at Then any sound. to avoid mosquitoes. he also made up r a small smoky feet. fire of damp leaves at his head and his and then as usual rolled head .164 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS country. The trees are a standing night. and every fir and spruce which you fell is a plume plucked from for the smoke to night's raven wing. In some of those dense fir and spruce woods there is hardly room a go up. To-night the Indian lay between the fire and his stretched moose-hide. as from a long journey. Indeed. though you may have heard the and at crackling of the fire all the while hundred rods you might be lost past reis all covery and have to camp out. Ten or fifteen rods seems a great and you come way from your companions. the semihuman cry of the loons at their unearthly revels.

165 We with our veils and our wash were tolerably comfortable. nor handle pencil and paper well with gloves or anointed fingers.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH in his blanket. . but it would be difficult to pursue any sedentary occupation in the woods at this season. you cannot see to read much by the light of a fire through a veil in the evening.

but that when I walked behind him it I observed he could keep almost like a hound. scaring up ducks and kingfishers. the Indian remarking on their size. and rarely hesitated.IX FRIDAY. The were particularly abundant and large here. Often on bare rocky carries the trail was so indistinct that I repeatedly lost it. WE had smooth but swift water for obliged to carry canoe and all about half a mile down the right bank around some rapids or falls. as usual. and we were a considerable distance. if he paused a mo- . before you went over the falls. our smooth progress ere long come to an end. or. It required sharp eyes sometimes to tell which side was the carry. but Polis never raspberries failed to land us rightly. But. and all hands went to eating them. JULY 31 where we glided rapidly along.

name we gave up There were more Grand or with this I Petty Falls than I can remember. his 167 eye immediately sign which would have escaped me. the carries were an agreeable variety. but after christening several in succession the search. each side of our rocky trail being lined with one or both. were expecting all the while that the river would take a final leap and get to smooth to walk on account of We water. However.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH ment on detected a bare rock. some and were to him un- accountably delayed. but there was no improvement this forenoon. So surely as we stepped out of the canoe and stretched our legs we found ourselves in a blueberry and raspberry garden. it He would only say this was "ver* strange/* We had heard of a Grand Fall on stream. times cannot tell how many falls we had or rapids. There was not a carry on the main East Branch where . and thought that each fall we came to must be it. Frequently we found no path at all at these places.

and. At the most considerable fall on this stream. muttered. was walking over the carry close behind the Indian. such as these plants and there had been none to gather prefer. He once made an indirect." When we returned. "Caribou. but that one who worked hard all day was very particular to have his dinner in good season. sometimes even by turning the prow to the shore. for these were the rockiest places and partially cleared. but lengthy apology. he observed a track I when on the rock. the finest before us.1 68 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS not find an abundance of both these we did berries. partly with grass . larger track near the he observed a much same some animal's foot had place. We bathed and dined carries. stooping. It at the foot of one of these was the Indian us that it who commonly reminded was dinner- time. by saying that we might think it strange. which was but slightly covered with soil. where sunk into a small filled hollow in the rock.

"Devil [that is. often the route being revealed only by the countless small holes in the fallen timber made by the tacks in the was a tangled and perplexing thicket. Indian devil. "What that?" "Well. our starting-point drivers' boots. being alone.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH and earth. The carry- paths themselves were more than usually indistinct." said he. he answered with a mysterious air. long since was made?" "To-day We or yesterday. and when we had finished a mile of it. or ledges about here very bad cougar] animal pull 'em rocks it all to pieces. and he exclaimed with 169 surprise. and in a half-whisper. The Indian. We were glad that we . through which we stumbled and threaded our way. It seemed far away. what is it?" I asked. commonly ran down far below the foot of the carries before he waited for us. spent at least half the time in walk- ing to-day." I "How asked. Stooping and laying his hand in it.

the streams emptying in. . but The snow one otter. and he rememgood the yellow lily roots were. Polis was soon too weak to carry any burden. the fallen trees and rocks.i7 o CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS to had not got banks of walk this river. the windings of the river. Bangor along the which would be a jourto miles. The winter came on unexpectedly early. their furs and started for was not deep enough for snowshoes. far north He had been hunting with two grown Indians. and the ice compelled them to leave their canoe at Grand Lake. he managed to catch This was the most they all had this to eat on bered how journey. Think ney of more than a hundred of the denseness of the forest. and the frequent swamps der. It made you shud- Yet the Indian from time to time pointed out to us where he had thus crept along day after day ten. They shouldered Oldtown. when he was a boy of of this and in a starving condition. or to cover the inequalities of the ground. and walk down the bank. to be crossed.

Low grassy banks and shores began. 171 He shared this food equally with the other two. seeing their condition. who. expected to be swept away. and was perhaps always the worse for it. Many elms as well as maples and more ash trees overhung the muddy stream and supplanted the spruce. at its through the mouth. The first house which they reached was at Lincoln. and thereabouts they met a white teamster with supplies. being very weak and emaciated. when it was freezing cold and came up to his chin. After passing a tributary from the northeast we had swift smooth water. but being so small he suffered much more than they. For seven or eight miles below that succession of the aspect of the banks as well as the character of the falls "Grand" stream was changed.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH made into a soup with the otter oil. For six months after getting home he was very low and did not expect to live. gave them as much as they could eat. He waded Mattawamkeag and he. .

for we expected to be overtaken by a shower. and could trace their course here and there by a bubble on the surface. a part of them dived. As we glided swiftly the inclined plane of the river. for then we escaped them. It was some time before we found a camping-place.i 72 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS flies. for the shore was either . away from time to time from some tree by the shore farther down the stream. Some she- corways being surprised by us.. etc. Mosquitoes. black in mid-channel. imitated Soon afterward a white-headed its note. but we did not see them come up. and the Indian. and pursued us glad some- we were times to get into violent rapids. and we passed directly over them. and his still we could sailing distinguish him by still white tail. a great cat down owl launched itself away from a stump on heavily across the stream. and flew eagle sailed We drove down the stream before us. while we were looking for a good place to camp. him several miles. as usual. the bank.

where mosquitoes at abounded. in a very dense spruce wood above a gravelly shore. as the night before. between three his stretched hide. and the Indian complained a good deal. and gloves " I make you candle. begins at once to have its attractions. of an apartment rising around We obliged to pull ourselves up to get there. there seemed to be but few insects. trying to read." and minute he took a . The trees were so thick that we were obliged to clear a space to build our fire and lie down in. But the place which you have selected for your camp. though The he lay. though never a steep were bank so rough and grim. or too steep a hillside. and the young spruce trees that were left were like the wall us.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 173 too grassy and muddy. where. We length found a place to our minds. he observed. of civilization to you : be it never so homely." mosquitoes were numerous. and becomes a very center " Home is home. fire fires and As I sat on a stump by the with a in a veil on.

Few. into a long. *A match. creatures are equally active light I saw. It answered the purpose of a candle pretty well.174 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS two inches wide ' about piece of birch bark and rolled it hard. In this case an old-fashioned "spill. and telling me to snuff it from time to time. as I lull^ had before. like an allumette fifteen lit it. As soon as it was through my veil." or I on this account. tight spiral roll. Apparently they need rest as well as we. that the in- side of the tent about our heads was quite blackened with myriads. I noticed. and their combined hum was almost as bad to endure as their stings. had an uncomfortable night though I am not sure that one succeeded in his attempt to sting me. made by twisting a piece of paper. if any. . fixed it by the other end horizontally in a split stick three feet high. and stuck it in the ground. turning the blazing end to the wind. lamplighter. inches long. all night. and that they began again in the morning. that there the mosquitoes about was a among midnight.

which. This was tolerable. We were glad to embark once more and leave some of the mosquitoes behind. added to the moose tongue that CAUGHT I had been left in the kettle boiling over night. the leaves fast losing their lively green color. and know that it was for our breakfast. though he said it was not strong enough. SUNDAY. and to our other stores. made a sumptuous breakfast. We found that we had camped about a mile above Hunt's. The Indian made us some hemlock tea instead of coffee. It was interesting to see so simple a dish as a kettle of water with sprigs in it a handful of green hemlock boiling over the huge fire in the open air. which is the last house . MONDAY AUGUST 1-3 two or three large red chivin within twenty feet of the camp.SATURDAY.

and that he could walk very easily in them without hurting his feet. We had expected to ascend it from this was obliged to point.176 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS for those who ascend Katahdin on this side. The give up this on account Indian. but how he told I do not 1 The Joe Aitteon was Thoreau's guide on the second of his three excursions into the Maine Woods. but my companion of sore feet. We and the house was unoccupied. I noticed a seine here stretched on the bank. however. while. He was an Indian whose home was on the same island where Polis lived. and with we it a bearskin. wearing several he said beside that pairs of stockings. suggested that perhaps he might get a pair of moccasins at this place. which probably had been used to catch salmon. except temporarily by some men who were getting the hay. saw to 1 a on the west bank. . moose-hide stretched. Indian said they belonged Joe Aitteon. Just below this. and they were^ so porous that when you had taken in water it all drained out in a little stopped to get some sugar. but found that the family had moved away.

Finding that we were going directly to Oldtown. he could have made it so light as to have brought away the greater part. old for my woman . leaving the bones." he. . saying that in a short time. having Indian if he could make him one. He was probably hunting near and had left them for the day. My companion. just and dined about a we stopped early above Whetstone Falls. he regretted that he had not taken more of the moose meat to his family. once or twice inquired after the lip. by drying it." little Maples grew more and more numerous. The dis- tance was about three fourths of a mile. but he said. every day. dozen miles below Hunt's. as we expected a wetting. up one of birch bark. " said and in a minute asked the Oh.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 177 know. It rained a during the forenoon. lost his pipe. rolled We carried round the falls. We which is a famous " That go Oldtown don't get it tidbit. and. telling him to wet the bowl from time to time. yer.

" I But This I was to go by the path. When we haste I was nevertheless surprised to find him at the other end as soon as I. but as the walking would be very bad. the Indian returned by the shore. I thought would not help the matshould have so far to go to get to the riverside when he wanted me. and be ready to assist him from time to time. ter. I answered. He was proposing a race over the carry. he said. It was remarkable how easily worst ground. "I suppose you will go too fast for me. and asked me if I thought I could keep along with him by the same path. can keep along with I me " ? suppose you thought he meant that while he ran down the rapids I should keep along the shore. as I had done before . adding that I must . He canoe and you take the he got over the said to me. but I will try. But neither was this what he meant.178 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS had carried over one load. and I by the path and though I made no particular . " I take rest.

but before I I make bundle of my load saw him appearing over a his head. axe. kettle. carpets. 179 As his load.. dippers. but. soon passing him again. plates. he went by me. a yer. dippers. I thought that I ought to be able to do it. and immediately went by him in the bushes. So I proceeded to gather up the gun. would be it. I started on the run. and. etc. and while I was employed in gathering them up. took to themselves wings. I started once more. " What..ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH be pretty smart to do the canoe. Oh. etc. I saw him no more on the carry. hastily pressing the sooty kettle to my side. I do not men- . and while I was thus engaged he threw " me his cowhide boots." said he . and said that I would try. could dis- are these in the bargain?" I asked. paddle. hill with the canoe on Hastily scraping the various articles together. much the heaviest and bulkiest. frying-pan. but had no sooner left him out of sight in I a rocky hollow than the greasy plates.

puffing move with my and panting like myself. the first sign of civilization after Hunt's. though we saw no road as yet. each perhaps with a canoe on his head. 'em " Oh. and even saw an infant held up to a small square On entering the window to see us pass." and. and he was great caution for fear of breaking his canoe as well as his neck. We heard a cowbell. me that feet.180 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS it tion this as anything of a feat. I bore the sign of the kettle on my brown linen sack for the rest of the voyage. he said. Polis remarked that it was all smooth water hence to Oldtown. for was but poor running on obliged to my part. and he threw . When he made his appearance. in answer to inquiries where he had been. cut "Locks added." He g&id he and his companions several miles when they came to carries long used to try who would get over first . West Branch at Nicke- tow. love to play sometimes. laughing. As we approached the mouth of the East Branch we passed two or three huts.

Carrying round the Falls .


and they now help to make the soil where and private and public gardens. the withered bed of flattened twigs. having more twig in proportion to its leaf. and perhaps the similar beds tent-poles. Wherever you land along the frequented part of the river you have not far to go to find these sites of tem- porary inns.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH away his pole 181 which was cut on the Um- bazookskus. by the Thames and Seine. Not long since. the Hudson. covering with fresh twigs the withered bed of a former traveler. for our bed We could not get fir twigs here. were spread along the Connecticut. and feeling that we were now in a settled country. but we improved it somewhat with hemlock. mansions. We camped about two miles below Nicketow. the charred sticks. especially when in the evening we heard an ox sneeze in its wild pasture across the river. and the Delaware. palaces are. and the spruce was harsh in comparison. and longer still ago. .

i8a CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS After the regular supper we attempted to make a lily soup of the bulbs which I had to learn all I brought along. but the roots were comsoup on all pletely softened so as to thicken the though we left it night. commonly gather them in the The Indian's name for these bulbs prepared to was sheepnoc. He his camp as usual fire. and spoiled another box of matches for ning to rain moose-hide and the but . salted and boiled all together. the bulbs carefully. Fol- lowing the Indian's directions. we found it dried to the kettle in the morning and not yet boiled to a flour. but we had not the patience to try the experiment till fairly. minced I washed some moose meat and some pork. for I wished could before I got out of the woods. between it beginsuddenly he took refuge under the tent with us. for they fall. Perhaps the roots were not ripe enough. and gave us a song before It rained hard in the night falling asleep. for he said it must be boiled like flour.

ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH us. no Indian way. you see 'em. May be your way talking. for he frequently again. but we had so much the better night for the rain. as if commenced own accord a longwinded narrative of his repeated at length the tradition of some old battle. a cloudy and unpromising morning. it kept Sunday. and was often silent when it was put he were moody. did you. "You last did not stretch your moose-hide " night. though perhaps not of ill humor: " What you ask me that question for ? Suppose I stretch 'em. since the mosquitoes down. Mr. Polis ? replied in a tone of sur- Whereat he prise. or some passage in the recent history of his tribe in which he had acted a prominent part. may be all right. Not that he was incommunicative." I had observed that he did not wish to answer the same question more than once. One of us observed to the Indian. 183 which the Indian had left out. from time . for he was very careless.

find out what at 'em study my then I know what to take. "Me doctor ail first case. failing in this. He said. which he refused to take beget for some brandy cause he was not acquainted with them.184 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS resumdrawing a long breath. set out again. an apothecary recommended Brandreth's pills. in the midst of a drizzling rain. we stopped in the north part of Lincoln to him. The Indian was quite sick this morning with the colic. he would be unexpectedly sociable. We reached the past eight in the Mattawamkeag at half morning. Especially after and he had put himself in posture for the night. I thought that he was the asleep before worse for the moose meat he had eaten. with the true ing the thread to time story-teller's leisureliness. and of his tale. but. and." We stopped mid-forenoon on an . fall he got through. and we would the day's work was over. The Indian growing much worse. after buying some sugar.

but he objected on account of homes. on account of our patient. " the me well expense. We talked somewhat of leaving him with his people for that is one of their in Lincoln. whose sickness did not abate. and was more alarmed about himself. if you had seen him lying about thus.'* . saying. that he was worth six thousand dollars and had been to Washington. Suppose in morning.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH island 185 and made him a dipper of tea. He lay groaning under his canoe on the bank. while he lay on the bank. you and I go Oldtown by noon. we dined and did some washing and botanizing. Here. You would not have thought. we went on a little far- As coming on the west bank. In the afternoon ther. It seemed to me that he made a greater ado about his sickness than a Yankee does. looking very woebegone. too. Here we were obliged to a thunder-shower appeared to be up we stopped opposite a barn spend the rest of the day and night.

This served to graduate our approach to houses and feather beds. and. his ing powderhorn with the other. To tent. and very morning we were awakened early in the by the twit- . pourinto it a charge or two of powder.. breakfast beside his tea. was agreeable. in which many ferns. lying on newmown hay four feet deep.186 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS tea at twilight. and drank This was all he took to-day after stirred it off. though it was quite alive with grasshoppers which you could hear crawling through it. with the permission of the owner. flitted through over our heads. he seized Taking the dipper in one hand. it up with his finger. save the trouble of pitching our when we had secured our stores from wandering dogs. were mingled. we camped in the solitary half-open barn near the bank. probably an owl. As we were taking our while he lay groaning under his canoe. etc. he asked me to get him a dipper of water. In the night some large bird. The fragrance of the hay.

evidently for the sake of society. even scattered about on their islands in the Penobscot. Our man did not commonly approach them. 187 which had their nests We started early before breakfast. Ever and anon in the deepest wilderness of Maine you come to the log hut of a Yankee or Canada set- but a Penobscot never takes up his residence in such a solitude. and soon glided by Lincoln. They are not tler. them. the Indian being considerably better. as our Indian were too solitary. but gathered together on two or three. The We Penobscot Indians seem to be more social even than the whites. frequently passed Indian islands with their small houses on them. I saw one or two houses not now used by said. they we met Indians in their canoes going up river. because.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH tering of swallows there. but only to From time time exchanged a few words with them at a . and stopped to breakfast two or three miles below this town.

a short east dead stream. came forward." giving me an Indian name " which meant great paddler. turning toward the shore. you. but you no see 'em is That Sunkhaze" He had previously complimented me on my paddling. settled country. and you see a canoe come out of bank and go along before stream. two miles above Asking the meaning of this " name. side my he got out. We took less notice of the scenin quite a because ery to-day." When off this stream he said to me. comes in from the Oldtown. and the other parallel with He . the Indian said. just like we. saying that I paddled "just like anybody. you paddle. and we saw a blue heron winging its way slowly down the stream before us. Suppose you are going down Penobscot." So. we were The river became broad and sluggish. who sat in the " Me teach bows. The Sunkhaze.188 CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS distance. hands as he placed one of them quite outthe boat. and placed wished.

trying to turn the canoe. and turning end for end. I told him that I had been accustomed and lift to paddle at each stroke. not over the flat extremity. my stern. and I wondered that he had not suggested it before. and our knees above the side of the canoe. So. and told me to slide it back and forth on the side of the I canoe. he sitting flat on the bottom I and on the crossbar. This. He then wanted to see me paddle in the stern. look- . ment found.ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH the first. 189 grasping the paddle near the end. for he had the longer and better one. and I still paddled partly as if in the sit in the stern. which would have prevented our paddling thus. getting a pry on the side each time. was a great improvewhich I had not thought of. changing paddles. or perhaps he was afraid of wearing out his canoe by constant friction on the side. before our bag- gage was reduced we had been obliged to sit with our legs drawn up. saving me the labor of lifting the paddle each time. It is true. he began to paddle very hard.

but accomplained that he did not paddle in the bows. Then you paddle right along." Such Indian is the Indian's pretense always. with He said that he had no fault my paddling in the stern. and he said. at Very rough water swamp steamboat once. cording to his own directions As we drew near to Oldtown I asked Polis if he was not glad to get home to his again." 'xpect we take in some wait ter there. river so high never see so high there . but.IQO CANOEING IN THE WILDERNESS shoulder and laughing. Don't you this season. approached through the narrow He said " I : We the strait Island called " Cook. were in the midst of it he shouted. ference to me where I am. ing over his it in vain. " Pad- When dle " ! and we shot through without taking . paddle till I tell you. he relaxed his efforts. finding though we to find I still mile or two sped along a very swiftly." It was a we very short rapid. but there was no relenting " It makes no difwildness.

ALLEGASH AND EAST BRANCH 191 in a drop. Soon after the Indian houses came in sight. We hour landed opposite his door at about four in the afternoon. A large new map of Oldtown and the Indian Island hung on the wall. wore a hat and breast. stopped for an We at his house. Mrs. This was the last that saw of Joe Polis. We took the last train. and a clock opposite to I it. having come some forty miles this day. was not introduced to The house was roomy and neat. P. THE END . He said it was the one with blinds. and reached Bangor that night. I could not at first tell my companion which of two or three large white ones was our guide's. but she had a silver brooch on her us.

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