t given by the Free Traders to the employes and hangers on at the post.
Yes, they were a jolly, childlike race of men and as improvident as an Indian for the requirements of tomorrow. I have described the Free Trader of the past, and now I propose to describe the Free Trader of today, and as he has been for the last two decades.
The building of the Canadian Pacific transcontinental road brought in its trail a class of very undesirable men. All rules have exceptions. I must therefore be just and not condemn all, but the majority of them were toughs and whiskey peddlers. They were the forerunners of the Free Traders of the present day, from Mattawa in the east to the shores of the Pacific on the west. They would start from some town back east with a keg of the strong alcohol, a few cheap gilt watches, some fancy ribbons, colored shawls and imitation meerschaum pipes, and if they found their bundles would bear a little more weight, they generally put in a little more "whiskey." They could almost al
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