of hardship and privation and strength and courage and possibilities beyond the measure of the imagination--these fell from the lips of the favoured old-timers, punctuated with jest and prophecy and nicely-timed intervals of silence.
"And is there no stones there, or stumps?" asked a woman, big of bicep and deep of chest from years of wrestling with the rocks and timbers of Lanark. "Has the bush all been cleared away?"
"Bush? There's no bush to clear. The prairie's as bald as yer table--no reflection on yer cookin', ma good woman, but so it is, excep' for the grass that tickles yer fingers as ye walk an' the pea-vine that up-ends ye when ye're no thinkin'. Bush! Ah've burnt more bush from ma ten-acre clearin' than ye'll find in a dozen counties. 'Deed, ye'll think a little more bush 'd be a guid thing when ye have yer house to build an' a hungry stove to keep roarin' from November to April."
"But whereby do they make their fences, if they ha' no cedar rails?" demanded the woman, still unc