f a figment of the imagination and no one knew that better than the Company itself. It still retained its monopoly nominally, but it made very little effort to restrain the half-breed and other "free traders" who opened up stores and bartered for furs with the Indians. In any case in one form or other all the trade of the country practically came, in the last analysis, through the Hudson's Bay Company, who controlled the money market by having their own bills in circulation. But the wise old Company saw what was coming and began to get ready to let go its monopolistic fur-trading charter and adjust itself to the new conditions.
Hence it was not a difficult matter to persuade the Company to give up its charter for a consideration. My father, who was a member of the Council of Assiniboia, a magistrate, and a close personal friend of Governor McTavish, who was in charge at Fort Garry on the Red River where settlement had begun, always used to say that the Hudson's Bay Company was glad to find a reasonable