Since this book was written, very considerable changes have taken place in the affairs and management of the Hudson Bay Company. The original charter of the Company is now extinct. Red River Settlement has become a much more important colony than it was, and bids fair to become still more important—for railway communication will doubtless, ere long, connect it with Canada on the one hand and the Pacific seaboard on the other, while the presence of gold in the Saskatchewan and elsewhere has already made the country much more generally known than it was when the Author sojourned there. Nevertheless, all these changes—actual and prospective—have only scratched the skirt of the vast wilderness occupied by the fur-traders; and as these still continue their work at the numerous and distant outposts in much the same style as in days of yore, it has been deemed advisable to reprint the book almost without alteration, but with a few corrections.
the maw of an old shark. Well, just as the steward took off the cover, hiss-iss went the wind overhead, and one of those horrible squalls that come rattling down without a moment's warning in those parts, struck the ship, and gave her a heel over that sent the salt-cellars chasing the tumblers like all-possessed; and the great dumpling gave a heavy lurch to leeward, rolled fairly over on its beam-ends, and began to course straight down the table quite sedate and quiet-like. Several dives were made at it by the gentlemen as it passed, but they all missed; and finally, just as a youngster made a grab at it with both hands that bid fair to be successful, another howl of the squall changed its course, and sent it like a cannon-shot straight into the face of the steward, where it split its sides, and scattered its contents right and left. I don't know how it ended, for I bolted up the companion, and saw the squall splitting away to leeward, shrieking as it went, just as if it were rejoicing at the mischie
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