Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ralph Connor - Michael McGrath, Postmaster

Some men and some scenes so fasten themselves into one's memory that the years, with their crowding scenes and men, have no power to displace them. I can never forget "Ould Michael" and the scene of my first knowing him. All day long I rode, driving in front my pack-pony laden with my photograph kit, tent and outfit, following the trail that would end somewhere on the Pacific Coast, some hundreds of miles away. I was weary enough of dodging round the big trees, pushing through under brush, scrambling up and down mountain-sides, hugging cliffs where the trail cut in and wading warily through the roaring torrent of "Sixty-mile Creek." As the afternoon wore on, the trail left the creek and wound away over a long slope up the mountain-side.
"Ginger," said I to my riding pony, "we are getting somewhere"--for our trail began to receive other trails from the side valleys and the going was better. At last it pushed up into the open, circled round a shoulder of the mountain, clinging tight, for the drop was sheer two hundred feet, and--there before us stretched the great Fraser Valley! From my feet the forest rolled its carpet of fir-tops--dark-green, soft, luxurious. Far down to the bottom and up again, in waving curves it swept, to the summit of the distant mountains opposite, and through this dark-green mass the broad river ran like a silver ribbon gleaming in the sunlight.
Following the line of the trail, my eye fell upon that which has often made men's hearts hard and lured them on to joyous death. There, above the green tree-tops, in a clearing, stood a tall white mast and from the peak, flaunting its lazy, proud defiance, flew a Union Jack.

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Image taken from here

Book Choice: The doctor; a tale of the Rockies

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