Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics
A LONG AND TIRESOME JOURNEY
DURING a full day, which is to say from the time it was
sufficiently light to see one's way through the forest,
until the shadows of night had fully come, we walked
on snowshoes, oftentimes amid the underbrush where
 even the most experienced got ugly falls, owing to the
awkward length of the shoes, with but two halts of
perhaps half an hour each.
Long before word was given by the savage guides
that we might make camp for the night, did I believe
it would be impossible for me to take another step
because of weariness.
Then a handful of Indian corn, roasted in the ashes,
was given to each member of the party, and it seemed
like a pitiful amount after the plenty to which we had
been accustomed; but I found it right hearty. On
such small rations one felt much as if having partaken
of a full meal; but on this night I gave little heed to
the value of the food, because of my eyes being closed
in slumber almost before my hunger had been satisfied.
When another day dawned, we were astir, but only
 to find that two of the savages had disappeared, and
while we were breaking our fast on cold roasted turkey,
which we had brought with us from the settlement,
there was much tongue-wagging regarding the absence
of the Indians.
He who had been left behind did not know enough
words in English to explain why his comrades had thus
left us, and when, two hours later, the seeming mystery
was solved, Jethro and I could have kicked each other,
in our vexation, because of the useless labor we had
It appeared that the savages who guided us had no
very clear idea of where the "white man's canoe" might
be found; but believed that by following what they
called "a trail," it would be possible to come upon the
As a matter of fact, however, we had gone down the
river many miles more than was necessary; for our
camping place had been chosen near the stream, which
at this point was free from ice, and therefore did it
seem certain we had come too far.
It surely was vexing; but, as Jethro said with a grin,
we had come to know by experience what it was to
sleep in the snow when the frost in the air was most
nipping, and I am free to confess that I have lain on
many a worse bed than we had while burrowed in a
drift of snow like partridges.