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placer-ground to be very rich indeed. Bed-rock was never more than 10 feet deep, and the gravel above that level averaged roughly 15 cents to a pan. This figure will appear small to those who have read reports stating that 50 to 100 dollars per pan was not uncommon on some Bonanza claims; but I say that it is an excellent average, and compares favourably with the best real results ever obtained from any claim in the country. Bonanza and Eldorado Creeks are the two notable supports of the Klondike district, and they without doubt are exceptionally rich, although there are many blanks; but some of the extraordinary results were obtained by the claim-owners "salting their pans with sometimes all the gold in their possession. They depended entirely on the inrush of "tenderfeet" during the following summer, for they knew that these inexperienced fortune-hunters would readily purchase their almost worthless claims on the strength of the artificial reports circulated concerning them.

The Pelly river also flows through a fine mineral country, but the best of its creeks are well up-stream, and it is a difficult matter in summer, when the river is open, to make much headway against its rapid current; but in the winter, when travelling by sleighs is comparatively easy, the tributaries of this large river may be prospected with little trouble. It has its origin in Dease Lake, which is situated somewhere near the head

waters of the Stikeen river, and in the very heart of rich gold-bearing country. It flows through 500 miles of mountainous country before joining the main waters of the Yukon, and near its mouth are many bars, like those on the Stewart river, which are very. productive of fine gold, and in the winter season can be easily worked. The regions surrounding all the tributaries of the Yukon flowing from the east from the Hootalinqua northwardsshould receive careful attention, as undoubtedly they will in the near future yield an enormous gold harvest. Although Klondike has earned the reputation of being one of the premier goldfields in the world, yet, notwithstanding this title, it should be borne in mind that it is essentially a placer country, and its end can be calculated as at no great distance.

There is no backbone in the shape of large quartz reefs, and if there were, it would be an extremely costly undertaking to import machinery-not to mention the exorbitant price of labour. I have assayed samples from the richest claims of Bonanza and Hunker Creeks, and have computed the quantity of pay-dirt in the various gold - bearing streams, and know for a certainty that the alluvial deposits could be all worked out in one season, if the owners so desired, but that is not their plan. As is usual in all new gold-mining camps, the store and saloon proprietors quickly become interested in all the best claims, and in Dawson they had it all

months, but the owners understood that if this were done the name of Klondike would quickly fall into oblivion, and as they owned among them nearly all the district, and meant to reap a richer harvest from land sales than from mining, they took good care to prevent this from being few done.

their own way. I have known a claim worth several thousand pounds bartered for a 50-lb. sack of flour. Such sales were not uncommon, and in the winter of 1897-98 the storekeepers in this way acquired the predominant interests in the richest claims. These claims could all have been worked out within a


The winter wore on, and still none of the promised expeditions had reached Dawson. The crowds of men of all classes who had flocked into the country during the summer season had not brought with them more than six months' provisions, as it was reported in the various American newspapers that Dawson had ample stores to last throughout the year, and that many trading expeditions would be sent into the country during the winter. Of course, none of the expeditions had penetrated past the coast barrier; but the inhabitants of Dawson, who had all reached the country during the open season, did not understand the many dangers and difficulties that beset the long trail of snow and ice between them and the coast, and they daily expected the expeditions that never came.

Strangely enough, no one seemed to realise the desperate situation, even although they saw their little stock of grub daily growing less. The miners frequented the saloons and gambling-houses, and did little

or no work; and the more wealthy among them purchased their meals at the restaurants at the rate of 3 dollars each rather than use their own supplies. "What do I care ?” shouted a half-drunken sixfooter, holding aloft his sack of gold; "I've got the gold and I won't starve:" and the majority of the miners reasoned in the same way.

Soon, however, one of the restaurants closed its doors. "No supplies," read the notice posted on the outside: it was but the beginning of the end. Before another week had passed only two stores in Dawson remained open, and their prices were blazoned in large letters: "Meals, 4 dollars."

Now the half-dazed miners began to understand the serious nature of their position. They had trusted wholly to the stores to provide the necessary supplies through the winter, but they now saw that not even their sacks of gold could purchase food where none existed. A panic seized them: the majority reduced their fares to half rations, drew their belts

The last store in Dawson closed its doors about a week before Christmas: its notice, hung out during the last day, read, "Meals, 5 dollars." There was a rush on the establishment even at that price, and the same evening the last hope of Dawson ceased to do business.

A roll-up of the miners was held immediately. It was a strange and a pitiful spectacle. Old men who should not have left the comforts of their homes stood shivering in their robes of fur: some of them had their noses badly frozen, others lacked the ears, and very few of them had the use of their fingers.

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tighter when the keen air, we must resign ourselves to whetting their appetites, made fate." "He means weel, boys, them experience the gnawing but it won't do," frankly spoke pangs of hunger, and grimly a tall bearded miner. "We've joked at their very doubtful waited long enough unless we future prospects. want to starve like rats in a hole, and I for one am to chance the long trail to Dyea." "My friends, Müller spoke again, "you do not understand what you would attempt; the snow will lie deep on the trail above, and you will certainly die of cold and starvation long before nearing the pass." At this point I thought I might be able to give some information, so I stepped forward. "Boys," I said, "as you know, we came over the ice almost immediately after it had formed, and it was no picnic. The trail is bound to be much worse now, and the snowfall near the passes will be very deep; but all the same, if you take your snow-shoes I think you'll get through all right. "That's the talk we want," yelled the crowd, and they began to discuss the proposition with great enthusiasm. In the end it was decided to leave the older men in charge of the various claims with all the provisions that could be spared; and when all matters had been arranged it was found that each man, by taking with him a month's outfit only, could leave his mate with about sufficient to last until spring.

Tall gaunt men in the hardi


of youth mingled with delicate specimens of manhood who could have wielded the pen with greater effect than the pick, and whose presence was entirely out of place in such a country. Joaquin Müller, the poet, was there; his feet were frozen badly, yet he insisted on being present; his tall form was bent with age, and his long white hair straggled over his shoulders, giving him a strangely picturesque appearance. He looked at the sea of faces around him with sympathetic interest. "My friends,' he said, 66 we must not give way to despair; in a few weeks, perhaps in a few days, we may receive help from the outside, and if not

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We ourselves had barely two months' provisions left, and after talking the matter over with my companions, I decided to leave a month's supplies with two old men on an adjoining claim and get them to look

after our interests while we returned to civilisation for more stores.

The old prospectors were very thankful for the offer, and admitted that without it they would have had to live on short rations for most of the time, a fact that I was well aware of. We had almost worked out our claims, and could not have done much more until the summer thaws had set in. I was therefore fairly well pleased at what we had accomplished, although I was disappointed in not finding what I chiefly sought for the mother-lode.

The dull grey morning light was beginning to appear when we drew out from Skookum Gulch, and commenced the 700 miles overland trail. The thermometer registered 65° below zero, the lowest we had experienced since our arrival in the country. Our load was very light this time; Dave's sleigh carried only the blankets, and the skins which I prized so much, while the rest of our requirements were drawn without difficulty by Mac and Stewart on different sleighs. Like the chief Roderick Dhu, I "strode before," armed as usual with my long rifle and a heavy Colt revolver.

I feared that we might have trouble with more than the elements before reaching civilisation, and I meant to be prepared. At the mouth of the Klondike about two hundred men had assembled, ready to


"All ready,

start on their long journey; some had sleighs, but the majority carried all their stores on their back. A few dog-sleighs were in evidence, and they were just being loaded up when we arrived. "Well, boys," I cried, as we drew up alongside, you all ready?" Mac," was the reply. "We've been waiting for you to take the lead, as you know the trail best;" but I had no intention of doing anything of the sort, at least at that time, so I intimated to the owner of the largest dog-sleigh that, as he could make the best time, he had better strike the trail first. "Right you are," came the ready response, the long whips cracked over the heads of a string of dogs, and with a sharp hissing sound the first sleigh drew out of Dawson. "Get a move on, boys," I said," as it disappeared amidst clouds of powdery frost and broken ice. "Keep all together, and don't lose sight of the leader; we will take the rear for the first day." With a cheer they started. I stood and watched them as they gradually dropped into Indiah file and moved steadily ahead. My eyes followed them until they disappeared as a long writhing snake in the distance.

"We'll never get out if we keep behind that crood," said Stewart, as he gazed after them. Mac looked very much displeased, but said nothing. "It's only for one day," I explained; "I want to see that none of them drop out."

(To be continued.)


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The quotation is, of course, from the scene in 'Kenilworth,' when young Raleigh had hazarded his newly won Court favour by "a daring and loving piece of service." Blount tells him regretfully that now he must be content to go back to the old Devon hall to play the humble part of the younger brother.

"Not so," said the young man, colouring, "not while Ireland and the Netherlands have wars, and not while the sea hath pathless waves. The rich West hath lands undreamed of, and Britain contains bold hearts to venture on the quest."

That is the undying spirit which has made the empire. The Raleighs and the Drakes, through all generations and in every clime, on land or sea, in war or peace, have always found worthy successors. These are the men who have given Britain a colonial empire more than ninety times the area of the old country, and as for our Indian soldiers, they have made their Empress Queen the greatest of Mohammedan potentates. Pluck and primogeniture account for much; but there is a restless energy, a devouring ambition, blended with the

eminently practical vein in the British temperament, in which, as may be said without suspicion of boasting, we compare advantageously with our neighbours. Addicted to field-sports, and delighting in the open air, the average Briton is not content to settle down in the cities for a dull life on a small civil appointment. Happily all the national conditions were in favour of imperial expansion. England is not a country where a poor gentleman can be contented. As the old hive became overcrowded and threw off healthy young swarms, there was never any lack of guides and leaders. The younger sons of the nobles and the squires, the clergy and the professional classes, were all willing and eager to seek their fortunes wherever there was fair prospect of wealth or honour. So we came to conquer and colonise with a trained genius for organisation and assimilation which has never been rivalled since the Raj of the Raj of Imperial Rome was synonymous with the civilised world, when proscript could find a refuge beyond reach of the Cæsars.


Nations, like individuals, are inclined to moods of despondency. When timid and temporising Cabinets have had their term of power; when the overgrown armies of the Continent were putting out their strength in titanic struggles ; C.B.,

A Sketch of the Life of Lieut.-Gen. Sir Harry Burnett Lumsden, K. C.S.I., with Selections from his Correspondence and Occasional Papers. By General Sir Peter S. Lumsden, G. C. B., C.S.I., and George R. Elmslie, C.S.I. John Murray.

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