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as silently as a ghost, he is unrivalled. He will glance carelessly at a moose-yard and tell you offhand the number, age, and sex of the herd from the footprints alone. He will tell you anything about tracking, except how he knows it, and that he seems unable to explain. As scouts these men are invaluable. The police themselves have picked up a good deal of this knowledge in hunting stray bands of horses, runaway cattle, and cattle-thieves.

Not long ago a number of petty thefts occurred week after week in one of our small Western towns. The police force consisted of a young constable, little more than a boy. He was sorely perturbed over the matter, but kept his own counsel. He prowled about the streets at night, long after the inhabitants were in bed, alone, but saw nothing. At last, about two o'clock one morning, he noticed a barrel, upturned, under the hotel-windows, and drew up to investigate. There was a crash of broken glass, and a dark form landed on the side-walk and sped away silently with his pursuer close on his heels. But a policeman in boots is no match for an Indian in moccasins, and the constable gave up the chase-for the

like a hare; he caught his pony at last, and rode him straight into a band of horses to obliterate the hoof-marks. Finally, thinking all was safe, he crawled into a hayrick eight miles away on the prairie, and went to sleep. He woke to find himself looking at the barrel of a revolver; and, being a sensible man, got into the buckboard like a lamb, and drove to the lock-up. Characteristically enough, his thefts had consisted principally of cheap looking-glasses, children's toys, and valueless knick-knacks. But it was a good piece of tracking-at night, and done from a wheeled vehicle.

The Assiniboine Indians have been known to cut the lariat in a sleeping man's hands and steal the horse without waking the owner at the other end; and men of this stamp take a lot of catching.

The history of the NorthWest Mounted Police is full of interest, and no one, perhaps, is a better authority on the subject than Colonel Irvine, who commanded the force between the years 1880 and 1886, and in whose private residence I am writing these notes. From the reports which he has put at my disposal, it would be easy to write a book which would contain a fairly complete history of the rise and progress of this He returned to the town, North-West country. From knocked up a sleepy stable- these reports I learn that the keeper, hired a buckboard, and nucleus of the force consisted the two drove off to pick up of 150 men, who arrived in the trail. The Indian was wily the Province of Manitoba in with the craft of his race. He October 1873, and were quarhad tried all his tricks to cover tered in the old stone fort up his tracks: in one place he on the banks of the Red river. jumped a clear twelve feet side- They were under the command ways from the path, and doubled of Lieutenant-Colonel French,


of the Royal Artillery, who had organised the school of gunnery in the Dominion, and who is now Major-General commanding the New South Wales Forces. He was quickly impressed with the necessity of increasing the strength of the troop in order to cope successfully with the outlaws and whisky traders in the Far West, and returned to Ottawa, to find that the Dominion Government were in complete sympathy with him. On the 6th of June 1874, he left Toronto in command of 16 officers, 201 men, men, and 244 horses. Of the men a number had served in the regular army, the Royal Irish Constabulary, and the schools of gunnery at Kingston and Quebec; and all had been carefully selected for the work before them. On the morning of the 12th they arrived at Fargo, the terminus of their railway journey, and 1300 miles from their starting-point. Here ensued a scene of wild confusion. The waggons had been taken to pieces, and packed in detached parts; the saddlery was all in pieces, though each box was complete in itself; the horses had to be disembarked and attended to; there were acres of ground covered with stores of all sorts; and the people of the town were gathered round enjoying the sight, and prophesying that it would take a week, at least, to get them started. At 4 o'clock A.M. of the 13th, says Colonel French, the saddlers were at work at the harness and saddlery, the wheelers putting the waggons together, and an officer

and thirty men getting out stores and loading them. This party was relieved at 8 o'clock A.M., again at noon, and again at 4 o'clock P.M. At 5 o'clock P.M. "D" division drove out with twenty-nine loaded waggons, at 7 P.M. "E" division following; and by the afternoon of the 14th "F" division cleared up everything (with the exception of heavy stores going down by steamer), and came to where the other divisions were camped, about six miles from Fargo. Four days later they camped again on Canadian soil, and here their difficulties began.

The night after their arrival the worst thunderstorm ever seen in the country burst over them. For eight hours it lightened without cessation. At midnight 250 horses stampeded, breaking halters and picket ropes, and crushing their way through the laager of waggons that encircled them. The men made a desperate attempt to stop the runaways, six of the pluckiest being badly trampled, and one severely injured. Under these circumstances horses have been known to run straight ahead with the wind for fifty miles before they are stopped. The North West Mounted Police were lucky: they recovered all theirs (with the exception of one, supposed to have been drowned in the Pembina river) within a distance of thirty-five miles, but the catastrophe caused a delay of several days.

When the train pulled out from Dufferin it was a mile and a half long when closed up to a proper interval. But from advanced- to rear-guard it was

more usually from four to five miles, owing to the uneven rate of travel of horses and oxen, and the difficulties presented by the breaking of axles and wheels of what Colonel French calls "that imposition of the country, the Red river cart."

At the head of the column was "A" division with splendid dark bays and thirteen waggons. Then "B" with darkbrowns. Next "C" with light chestnuts, drawing the guns, and gun and small-arm ammunition. Next "D" with greys, then "E" with blacks, the rear being brought up by "F" with light bays. Then a motley string of ox-carts, ox-waggons, cattle for slaughter, cows, calves, ploughs, harrows, mowing-machines, &c. The force had not only to fight if necessary, but to establish posts throughout the Far West.

And so they marched 800 miles to the Rocky Mountains through unknown country, whose inhabitants were some 30,000 Indians and a few white whisky - traders and desperadoes.

Here they left the AssistantCommissioner to build Fort Macleod, so called after himself, and sent another detachment north to Edmonton, while the main column turned back, crossing northwards by way of Qu'Appelle to Fort Pelly, whence they returned to Dufferin, arriving in November. From Toronto, which they left in June, to the Red river was a distance of 1460 miles. From Dufferin, which they left on July 8, with the thermometer at 95° to 100° in the shade, till the balance of the force returned

there, four months afterwards to a day, the thermometer marking 20° to 30° below zero, they had marched 1959 miles, and not lost a life.

From that time on the duties of the Police were many and various. They were magistrates, judges, cavalry, artillery, infantry, engineers (military and civil), constables, architects, builders, mail clerks on the railway-sorting the letters in uniform and side-arms (N.B.— never has a train been "held up" in Canada), and Indian agents. They were several other things too, but I am only enumerating a few of their principal official occupations.


In ex

First and foremost, they had to induce the Indians to "take treaty." By these treaties the various tribes bound themselves to remain on their different 'Reserves," which were allotted to them of sufficient area to allow one square mile for each family of five persons, or in that proportion for larger and smaller families. tinguishment of all their past claims, the Government bound itself to a yearly payment, in cash, of the following sums: to each chief, 25 dollars; to each minor chief or councillor, 15 dollars; and to every other Indian of whatever age, 5 dollars. There were other provisions for the supply of ammunition, cattle, implements, school instruction, medals and robes of honour to the chiefs, &c.

To impress the several tribes with the advisability of closing with these terms was a matter

of years. It was strongly represented to them that in the case of misbehaviour by any

member of the tribe, that individual, and that individual only, would be punished; that there would be no more wiping out of half a nation for the sins of one of their number. This proved to be one of the most cogent arguments used, and invariably elicited grunts of approval.

I will give an instance of the methods used by the police in dealing with natives. Fort Walsh is situated some seventy miles from the American border. In the neighbourhood of the fort some years ago was a large Sioux camp under the chieftainship of Spotted Eagle. A photograph of this individual is lying beside me as I write. He is a tall, stately, very intelligent man, rather like a good looking Mongol. His long hair hangs down in front of him in two pigtails or plaits, bound round and round with strips of cotton. His robe is beautifully decorated with porcupine-quill work; on one shoulder are the claws of a grizzly bear; in his hand he carries a formidable-looking weapon with a razor-shaped wooden handle some three feet in length and studded with brass nails, projecting from which, at right angles, are three knife-blades. On his head he wears the single feather distinctive of the Sioux tribe. few miles from the main camp was another smaller camp, a kind of suburb of the larger. One night a party of Assiniboines, from the other side of the border, swooped down on the lesser of these two bands and carried off all their horses. Spotted Eagle, as soon as he heard the news, reported the


matter at Fort Walsh to Colonel Irvine, telling him that the hostiles were making for the border as fast as they could travel.

Colonel Irvine called a superintendent and two men, and invited the Sioux to come with them and identify their property. This they were unwilling to do, as they were inferior in number and at deadly enmity with the Assiniboines. Finally they compromised by selecting one of their tribe, a young man who owned the largest share of the stolen horses. horses. So the six men (including an interpreter) rode off into the night. All next day they rode on, and at night camped by a small river. Here their Sioux guide, who could not speak a word of English, gave a little illustration of the soldierly qualities of our muchabused Red brethren.

As soon as the evening meal was over he sat down before the camp fire, unslung his buffalohide quiver from his shoulder, and proceeded to carefully sharpen and straighten each arrow in turn. While he was busy at this, and the colonel was holding him up as an example to his men, the teamster, a long and rather excitable Scotsman, ran in to announce that a strange animal, which he took to be a bear, was stealing up to the horses, and that the latter were showing signs of alarm, so that he feared a stampede.

The men jumped for their rifles and followed him. Sure enough, there was a shaggy-looking object advancing cautiously through the bushes. The men ran on,

anxious to get a shot, when an arrow sang past their ears, and the intruder dropped uttering a wild yell; the teamster charged up, and flung himself on the prostrate body, with his arms round its neck. Luckily for him, it turned out to be only a buffalo calf with an arrow through its heart.

Next day they struck a camp of Assiniboines, commanded by a well-known warrior named

Red Dog. Leaving the two men and the Sioux guide in charge of the horses, the colonel and the superintendent walked up to the chief's lodge with the interpreter. The lodge was of unusual size and beautifully decorated. In the seat of of honour was Red Dog, and round him his staff, all tall, handsome, young Indian braves. The interpreter explained their mission, and after a little hesitation Red Dog announced that he had not taken the horses, but that he knew who had-namely, a superior chief to himself, who was already some miles on ahead towards the border. Colonel Irvine asked him if he would lend them a guide, as it might be difficult to locate the band under the circumstances, no one knowing to within fifty miles at what point they might choose to cross. Red Dog consented, and early next morning a fresh start was made.

After an hour's ride they heard a cry behind them. Turning round, they saw Red Dog, surrounded by all his staff ("for all the world like a lot of A.D.C.'s," said the colonel in telling the story), coming up at full gallop. The police halted for their arrival, and, somewhat

to their relief, found that the chief had made up his mind to accompany them.

Then ensued a scene which for artistic effect must have been hard to beat. It was a brilliant day, and Red Dog and his staff, splendid horsemen and magnificent trackers, spread out in skirmishing order over the prairie, and took up the trail at a fast canter. On they swung, the chief with his blanket vivid with dyed porcupine-quills; the colonel in scarlet tunic and white helmet; the braves in breech-clouts, and little else but a feather on their heads and a quiver over their shoulders; and the policemen in red coats, long boots, spurs, and the cowboy hats they are permitted to buy at their own expense in summertime. Every now and then one of the young Indian braves would throw himself far down along the side of his horse, and indicate the direction of the tracks by a long free swing of the arm, rising again to smile over his shoulder at his companions. On they rode until they came in sight of a small hill rising out of the prairie, and here Red Dog called a halt.

He explained that he thought it would be safer for him to go on alone, and that if he found the camp there, as he expected to do, he would light a small fire for a signal. The detachment waited, while the chief raced off at full gallop; and in a short time a thin pillar of smoke curling up told them that they had run their quarry to earth at last. It was getting dusk by now; the Sioux's life would not have been worth an

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