WE MOVE TO CALGARY - CHRISTMAS EVE, 1900 - STORM AND FIRE - MR. TOMLINSON OF THE HERALD - A BAD BOOK - "PADDY" NOLAN - THE CASHEL CASE - END OF A MURDERER - THE SOUTH FORK OF THE OLD MAN RIVER - "BOB" EDWARDS AND HIS CHARACTERISTICS - A SCOTTISH COUSINSHIP - EXPECTING A BABY - THE HOUND OF CALGARY - A CONVIVIAL COMPANY - KINGS OF THE CATTLE COUNTRY - FRED BAGLEY OF THE MOUNTED - GLEN CAMPBELL AND TOM THREE PERSONS AND A FRIEND OF THE INDIANS.
When the Election was over we were to move to Calgary where my husband was to be Editor of The Herald, Some business had to be arranged in MacLeod before leaving, so I remained behind for a few days while he departed for Calgary.
I arrived in Calgary on Christmas Eve, 1900. It was very cold, with a wind sweeping down from the Mountains and the thermometer at twenty below. Zack was waiting at the station and took me to the Alberta Hotel, then famous for the quality of its entertainment.
We had an excellent dinner in the gaily decorated dining-room and, as most of the guests seemed imbued with the convivial spirit of the season, the scene was gay and pleasant. I enjoyed the warmth, the lights, the movement and the Christmas spirit, and it was after midnight before we retired. A storm raged outside, but it seemed only to accentuate the warmth and comfort of our room.
Sometime during the hours of darkness I was aroused by a noise outside our door. At first, I thought it was occasioned by Christmas revellers, and with western tolerance prepared again to seek slumber. I noted drowsily that the wind had increased in violence and taken on a deep roaring note. Then I realized with alarm that the night was becoming suffused with a deep red glow and I caught the sound of a crackling fire.
I awakened my husband. He opened the door and we looked into the passage. W. R. Hull, a gigantic, bearded man clad in a nightgown, was running down the corridor shouting: "Fire! Fire!"
We did some makeshift dressing and hurried out. I snatched up a fur-lined cape as we left our room and soon we were downstairs in the midst of an excited, half-dressed throng. Someone declared that half of Calgary was on fire and indeed it looked as if he was not far wrong. The opposite side of Stephen Avenue, as Eighth Avenue was then called, was burning like a bonfire. A handsome business block recently built by Senator Lougheed was the heart of the conflagration.
As we came downstairs the flames seized upon a wholesale liquor store across the street, and encouraged by the fuel and driven by the wind, the fire presented an awesome spectacle. For a while, the Hotel was threatened, and it was considered advisable that we take refuge elsewhere. We were accordingly herded into the street. However, after a while, that danger was averted, and we were able to return shivering to shelter.
Calgary at that time had a very efficient fire brigade under command of the redoubtable "Cappy" Smart, and the work done that night by its Chief and members were almost heroic. By morning the flames were pretty well under control, but the damage ran into large figures.
My husband was rather proud of his position as Editor of The Herald, at that time the only daily paper between Winnipeg and Vancouver. The business manager was a fine old Englishman named Tomlinson to whom much of the earlier financial success of the paper must be credited. In his youth, he had been something of a wanderer. He had mined gold in Australia in the rough old days, and spoke reminiscently of the "Beach of Samoa". On one festive occasion when he was in an expansive mood, he told us in the strictest confidence that at one stage he had been a pirate and sailed under the "Jolly Roger". I think he was drawing upon his imagination in that particular, for he was one of the kindest and most sterling gentlemen I have ever known.
Years afterwards when we were living in Victoria, Mr Tomlinson and his good wife came there to pass the evening of their days, and we saw much of them. He was a book lover and liked to browse in my husband's library. On the last occasion he visited us he borrowed an illustrated copy of Balzac's Droll Stories. He was then quite feeble and suffering from the malady that finally caused his death. Not long afterwards he sent my husband a note asking him to call, and when he did, said to him: "Zack, the doctors tell me I cannot get better. I am going to pass in my checks."
He was quite cheerful about it, and my husband, who had a warm affection for the old man, was distressed. He sought to encourage him and said something about doctors being mistaken. Mr Tomlinson replied that he had seen a good deal of life, and death had no terrors for him.
"That was not," he added, "the reason I asked you to come here. I want you to take away that damned book you loaned me. I can't die comfortably with it in the house."
My husband took the offending volume home, and a few days later the old man died. We felt we had lost a trusted friend.
Previous to Zack's advent, most of the editorials for The Herald had been written by the rotund and jovial "Paddy" Nolan; and "Bob" Edwards, of "Eye Opener" fame, contributed articles. While these gentlemen were writing for its pages, whatever faults The Herald possessed, at least it was not dull.
Paddy Nolan had been endowed by nature with an extraordinary gift of witty speech and repartee, and many a tale of him lingers in the Alberta country. He was a native of Cork, "Kark", as he called it and he might have stepped out of the pages of Charles Lever. He was not tall and must have measured nearly as much in girth as in height. He invariably seemed in a hurry and bounced about like a rubber ball.
Paddy was a good criminal lawyer, and much in demand for the defence. He must have defended a multitude of horse thieves in his time, with a few murderers thrown in for good measure; he got most of them off too. He depended more upon his appeal to the jury than upon the law. It was a sight to see him in court, wiping the perspiration from his brow, commanding and imploring compassionate justice for his client, who as often as not was a forbidding looking miscreant.
He once ran for the Territorial Legislature and was defeated. Years afterwards, while addressing a meeting in the Conservative interests at Gleichen, he said: "You know, I once was a candidate in this constituency."
Instantly a man in the audience rose, and snapping his fingers like a boy in a class at school, called out: "Yes, yes, I remember, Mr Nolan. I voted for you."
"Why! that is remarkable," replied Paddy from the platform. "I do not recognize you. Would you mind telling this audience how you came to vote for me? Did, you know me?"
"No," said the man, "I did not know you, but I had seen the other two candidates."
One of the most famous cases with which Mr Nolan was connected as defence counsel in later years was that of a young American, named Ernest Cashel, who was accused of a particularly cold-blooded murder. This was one of the few occasions when Paddy's eloquence was wasted. The man's guilt was beyond question. The judge was Arthur Sifton, who from the Bench was always a terror to evildoers, and Cashel was found guilty and sentenced to death.
The condemned man was confined in the guardroom of the Mounted Police Barracks at Calgary awaiting execution and seemed resigned to his fate. The day set for the execution was approaching and Cashel was allowed the usual privileges.
One stormy afternoon, his brother called and was allowed to speak to him through the bars of his cell. He departed, and Cashel was sitting moody and detached in a dark corner.
About twenty minutes before the time set for changing guard, he was ordered out of his cell so that it might be searched. As he emerged, he produced a revolver and sternly ordered his guards to throw up their hands. He had them covered and declared he would instantly kill the first man who made a move. He was perfectly cool and informed his guards that, as he was under a death sentence, the law had no further terrors for him. He disarmed and locked them in the cell he had vacated. He obtained the key for his irons, and bidding his prisoners a sardonic farewell, disappeared in the blizzard.
When the new guard arrived a few minutes later, the "hue and cry" was raised, and every available member of the local detachment was turned out to search for the fugitive, but he seemed to have been completely swallowed up in the storm.
For more than a week the search went on without revealing a trace of Cashel. The date of the execution was postponed and the idea gained ground that he had succeeded in escaping the country.
Then the Police learned that some wanderer was about in a ranching district some distance from the City. A man resembling Cashel had been seen, and there was other evidence of his presence.
A party of Mounted Police came upon a cold lair in a haystack, and from it followed tracks in the snow to a vacant ranch house. There were footprints leading to the door, but none coming away, and it seemed as if the fugitive had been run to earth at last.
The house was surrounded and some members of the party entered. There was a trap door in the kitchen leading to a cellar and Corporal John Garnet Wolseley Biggs of the Mounted Police pulled it up, and with a lighted lantern went down the steps. His first survey disclosed no sign of life, but as his eyes became accustomed to the gloom, he observed a lumber cribbing around the cellar about the height of a man's head. Some of the earth had fallen away behind the cribbing, leaving one or two cavities, which might make good hiding places, and Biggs decided to investigate.
He was climbing over the boards when he saw Cashel crouching in a corner, aiming at him with a revolver. Instantly the intrepid Mountie threw his lantern at him and retreated up the cellar stairs followed by a succession of shots.
Cashel was called upon to come out and surrender or the place would be burned about his ears. At first, there was no response. Hay was collected and piled about the house and a match was being applied when the fugitive emerged and gave himself up. He was conducted back to his cell and in due course paid the penalty of his crime.
Paddy was quite a politician and, owing to his facile speech and ready wit, was much in demand for platform work during election campaigns. He belonged to the Conservative persuasion that during the early days was pretty well dominant on the Alberta prairies. Frank Oliver of Edmonton had quite a Liberal following in the North, but it was an entirely different story among the ranchers of the southern ranges. Indeed, James Reiley, an early Mayor of Calgary, once declared that he and Dr Lafferty were the only two Liberals south of the Bow River.
At the election of 1896 a rather futile gentleman, Hon. Thomas Cochrane, a scion of a British noble family, had succeeded in obtaining the Conservative nomination for the tremendous constituency of Alberta. Mr Oliver got the Liberal nomination.
Not many months before Mr Oliver's death he was in Regina and told us the following incident of that election in which Paddy Nolan figured. He said :
"I doubt if I would have had much chance if the Conservative had nominated a strong candidate such as Fred Haultain or Charlie McGrath, but Mr Cochrane was not the type of gentleman who appealed very much to the ranchers and that gave me a break.
"I was at MacLeod to keep a speaking engagement at a small ranching settlement in the foothills across the South Fork of the Old Man's River. At that time it was the custom to have joint meetings during election campaigns.
"At MacLeod, I ran into Paddy who had been sent out by the Conservatives to destroy any arguments I might advance at the meeting. Money was not too plentiful and we decided to pool our resources and travel together. Accordingly, we engaged a team and democrat at Dick Kennefick's livery stable and pulled out on our journey.
"Our driver was a red-headed, wild-eyed Irishman. The season was a wet one and most of the creeks of the foothills were miniature torrents, some of them not very miniature at that.
"We had not gone very far before Paddy discovered that our driver also was a native of Cork, and there was a great shaking of hands and such a demonstration of affection that I almost expected to see them kissing. The occasion, of course, could not be expected to pass without lubrication and Mr Nolan produced a bottle. After offering me a drink and, apparently experiencing some relief at my refusal, Paddy drank a health to 'Old Erin' and passed the bottle to his compatriot who took a tremendous pull and placed the bottle in his pocket without paying any attention to Paddy's polite hint that it should be returned to its owner. Every once in a while he would offer Mr Nolan a drink and then take a big 'snifter' himself.
"While he still had the bottle, we approached the crossing of the South Fork. At the best of times, it was a more or less dangerous ford. There were reports current of ranchers and cowboys having been drowned there. Swollen by recent rains, the stream was foaming through its channel bed and practically all signs of the Crossing had disappeared. Quite frankly, I did not like the look of things when we pulled up on the bank. Paddy was for returning immediately to MacLeod, and I was pretty much of the same mind.
"While Mr Nolan and I were debating the question the driver produced the bottle, emptied it in one gulp and cast it away from him, where it made a fine crash on the stones. Then cracking his whip he drove his team at full speed into the torrent, shouting: 'What's a little water to the Irish?'
"In a moment the water was pouring into the conveyance which was nearly afloat, and it seemed as if the current would sweep the legs from under the horses. The driver was cursing and shouting, partly in what passed with him for English, and partly in some unknown tongue that I figured was Irish Gaelic. When the water swirled about Paddy's seat he began to invoke a lot of Irish Saints and made most extravagant promises as to what he would do if they would only save him from the River. By some miracle the horses found their footing on the far bank and, wet and considerably shaken, we reached dry land and safety.
"At the meeting that night, I informed the audience that if I were elected and the Liberals returned to power, one of the first things I would do for my constituency would be to see a proper bridge built over the South Fork of the Old Man's River, and no more decent stockmen or cowboys would lose their lives in that deep and dangerous ford. I thought to myself, that will take the wind out of Mr Nolan's sails, but I did not know Paddy. When it came to his turn to speak, he said:
'If the Conservatives and Mr Cochrane are elected, there will be no bridge across the South Fork. You do not want a bridge anyway; if a bridge is built, it will bring in the homesteaders who will tear up the bunchgrass with their breaking ploughs and destroy your range with fences'.
"And," concluded Mr Oliver, "that must have been the way it appealed to them, for I got mighty few votes in that settlement." Nevertheless, Oliver won the Election.
"Bob" Edwards, who occasionally had done some stray writing for The Herald, was a vivid and unique character, and no Prairie chronicle could afford to pass him by. Indeed, a whole book on "Edwards and his Times" might well be written. He and his period have passed from the scene and a tradition has grown up around his memory, some of it factual, but a lot of it a pure myth.
Robert Chambers Edwards belonged to a great Scottish literary family. He was a grandson of either Robert or William Chambers, the two brothers who came to Edinburgh from the Border country to enrich the literature of their native land, and to form the great publishing house of W. & R. Chambers which, for generations, has been an institution of the Scottish metropolis. It was one of the original Chambers brothers who rescued the Cathedral Church of St. Giles from the decay into which it had fallen, following the gloomy Covenanting period, and restored the fine old edifice to its original dignity and splendour. Their influence upon Scottish literature was the greatest since the days of Sir Walter Scott, Constable, and the Ballantynes.
The childhood of R. C. Edwards was spent at St. Andrew's, the ancient Archiepiscopal Capital of Scotland and its oldest seat of learning, a place instinct with story and tradition.
Such environment could scarcely fail to exert a strong influence upon an imaginative lad and the youthful impressions of his native land thus gained were retained all through his life. Later he was a pupil of the Royal High School in Edinburgh, which had numbered among its students Sir Walter Scott, George Borrow and other celebrities. Indeed, Edward VII, when the heir to the British Throne, is said to have been entered for a time upon the roll of pupils of this famed Scottish school. Edwards studied in Belgium where he acquired a proficiency in the French language and a knowledge of French literature. He was also familiar with the Quartier Latin of Paris, and probably there contracted some of the convivial habits that, at intervals, followed him through life. On returning to Scotland he entered the office of Sir James Marwick, the Town Clerk of Glasgow.
But offices and ledgers had no attraction for Edwards, and he decided to seek a career for himself across the Atlantic. Accordingly, accompanied by his brother John, he went to the States. Texas was his first objective. He told us that he went there because that state had been featured in the Boy's Own Paper, a periodical popular with British lads, as a region of cowboys, Indians, buffalo and other wild west things.
In a small Texas town, Paris, I think he inadvertently witnessed the "lynching" of a negro and was so revolted at the spectacle, that he shook the dust of the "Lone Star State" from off his shoes as speedily as possible.
The two Edwards brothers were together for a time in Iowa, but eventually "brought up" in Wetaskiwin, in Alberta, where they established a ranch that Jack Edwards conducted until his death.
But bucolic pursuits did not intrigue "Bob". He sought expression by the printed page and commenced the publication of a weekly paper called The Free Lance in the nearby little town of Innisfail, and it certainly was "free" in almost every sense of the word. He mingled with the people in their daily occasions and reported their activities with wit and frankness that arrested his readers; he discussed national affairs with strength and understanding and did not hesitate for a moment to tread on the toes of those who hitherto had been considered sacrosanct. He struck a note previously unknown in western journalism, and his delighted audience clamoured for encores.
However, Bob was a much better writer than a businessman and The Free Lance folded up. Nor was he more successful with the business end of some other publications in certain Alberta small towns, although his fame as a writer gathered and grew throughout the Prairie country. About the break of the century, he arrived in Calgary to promote the publication of another weekly to which he gave the ridiculous name of The Eye-Opener. He at first obtained the financial backing of Jerry Boyce of High River, well known in Alberta as a hotel-keeper and in other forms of endeavour.
The early issues of The Eye-Opener were printed by The Herald, when the money was available, which was not always, and my husband, as Editor, had to scan Master "Bob's" copy carefully for the stuff that might bring forth libel suits or other complications.
My husband and his family had known Bob's relatives in Scotland and we became quite friendly. Indeed when Zack's mother came to visit us she and Edwards worked out some kind of complicated cousinship. His habits were not the least domestic, and at that time I think our modest establishment was one of the very few homes in Calgary where he was a frequent visitor. I have never known a more kindly and courteous gentleman. It was often his habit to come to our house on Sunday afternoons and we would go for a walk along the Bow River and listen to his salty comments on people and things. Then we would go home and have some tea, a beverage to which he was much addicted, although no one would have called him a teetotaller.
I can see him now, balancing his teacup on his knee, and making some witty remarks, his shoulders shaking as a mirthful idea came to him faster than he could express it. Once in our walk, we passed the somewhat pretentious home of Bishop Pinkham of Calgary and Saskatchewan, a prelate of great dignity, and Bob promptly named the house "The Pinkeries", and used to infuriate the Bishop by referring to it in The Eye-Opener by that name.
The Bishop was a worthy gentleman of most stately and imposing appearance. Bob used to tell a story about him. It was the time of the first Great War and a number of the younger clergymen had gone on active service, and the Rector was of course overworked. Bob told the story something like this :
One morning the Bishop called up the Rector and said: "My dear Dean, I realize that you must be dreadfully overworked. I would like to do my patriotic bit, and would be glad to aid you by taking over some christenings or weddings or kindred functions."
"Thank you, my Lord", said the Rector, "This is very good of you. There is rather an important baptism arranged in the Church for tomorrow morning. I am sure the parents will feel highly honoured to have the Lord Bishop of the Diocese officiate. Unfortunately, I shall be out of town myself."
"Say no more," said the Bishop, "I shall be there at the appointed hour."
The Bishop, who was noted for punctuality, turned up at the Church the following morning and after robing himself in the Vestry, looked out in the Church to see if the christening party had arrived. There was no one in the building except an elderly lady and a good-looking girl who were at their devotions in a front pew. He retired to the vestry to await the arrival of the baby, probably delayed by a dilatory nursemaid. After the elapse of several minutes his punctual soul was vexed and he walked into the Church in full canonicals and going up to the younger of the kneeling ladies said:
"Excuse me Madame; you are expecting a baby?"
She raised her head and regarded him with astonishment, not altogether unmixed with embarrassment. Then with an indignant toss of her head, she replied:
"I am doing no such thing."
The real christening party then entered the Church.
We then had a rugged Metis girl as a domestic. Her name was Flora, and her home was Edmonton. "Bob" called her "The Flora and Fauna of Edmonton" and after her departure, we found that, in respect to the last designation, she was not altogether ill-named.
Once when bringing in the tea tray, she stumbled and two china cups were broken. They were part of a treasured set that had been a wedding present. I was then very young and the tears welled in my eyes. Bob put his arm around my shoulder and in a voice full of sympathy and understanding, said:
"Don't cry, little girl; don't cry."
While Bob was struggling with the birth of The Eye-Opener it was announced that R. B. Bennett was to give a lecture to the Epworth League of the Methodist Church on Tennyson and his works. Mr Bennett was then one of the proprietors of The Herald and Zack felt that there should be a good account of the affair in the paper. He was short of a reporter and got Bob to do the job. The next morning my husband asked him how it went.
"Oh ! stuffy affair," said Bob, "what the heck does he know about Tennyson, anyway?"
Zack asked for his report and he rather sheepishly produced it saying: "I made it pretty short." It read:
"Last night R. B. Bennett, Member of the Assembly for West Calgary, lectured to the Epworth League on Lord Tennyson and his works. He proved that the lately deceased noble poet belonged to one of the best New Brunswick families."
Mr. Bennett, who at that time introduced his birthplace "down by the Sounding Sea" as he put it, into much of his conversation, was properly indignant when this gem appeared in print, but calmed down when my husband explained that Bob was the author. Bennett had absolutely no sense of humour but allowed Edwards liberties that he would not have tolerated in anyone else.
When The Eye-Opener got over its initial financial difficulties, and Bob was able to devote his chief attention to his writing, he acquired an ever-widening circle of readers. He never wrote a dull line, and he often dealt with subjects usually tabooed in polite society with a realism that was arresting. If certain of his stories had a Rabelaisian flavour, they were seldom gross, and it was by the wit of his allusions that he made his point.
He was the friend of the downtrodden and oppressed, and with his pen righted many a wrong. He struck hard, but never wantonly, and he had a remarkable capacity for obtaining accurate information on any subject in which he was interested.
There has been a great deal of nonsense written about Bob Edwards by people who had little or no personal knowledge of him, and his writings and sayings and actions have been so distorted that it has been difficult to get a true picture of him. The fact is, Robert Chambers Edwards was a man of culture and literary ability. His sympathy was as wide as the Prairie spaces and he knew the pioneers as did no one else. He portrayed the country and its people as they were, and expressed them on the printed page with letter-perfect fidelity.
It was his humour to represent himself as a "Devil of a fellow". In the early days of The Eye-Opener sometimes an issue might be missed on account of lack of money to pay the printer, and he would come out with the excuse that the Editor had been on "a bat" as he put it. This might have been true and then again it might not. There were certainly times when he looked upon the wine when it was red----" otherwise Scotch or Rye", but it was practically his only failing. He was not the roisterer that uninformed writers have sought to portray him, but a decent, kindly gentleman.
Once when challenged about The Eye-Opener he wrote :
"This little rag has stood for many things, but never for shame or disgrace, and please God it never will."
He was a caricaturist but so significant in his exaggerations that the point was always plain. He created a fictitious character named Peter McGonnigal, whom he led through an amazing series of adventures, from which he drew pointed lessons.
He took the side of labour when he thought the demands were reasonable, but he was neither Radical nor Red. The conditions under which coal miners in certain of the Alberta mines worked were not the best, and there was some loss of life. Edwards investigated the situation and his aggressive articles were said to have drawn the attention of the Territorial authorities to the situation, and new regulations were put in force that reduced the dangers to which the workers were exposed.
He was critical of ministers and implied that many of them confined their ministrations to righteous people who did not require them, and made few attempts to snatch brands like himself from the burning. He objected, particularly, to a clerical gentleman who was reputed to have preached against him and his paper. His manner of dealing with him was certainly unique. He published the story of the passing of Bill Jones substantially as follows:
"Bill Jones, the best heel roper in all southern Alberta, lay dying in the Driard Hotel at High River. The Doctor had been to see him and, as he paused at the Bar for a 'snifter' on his way out, he told Bob Kellock, the distinguished Bar Tender, that Bill's number was nearly up. This bothered Kellock and, wiping his hands on his apron, he went up to the sick man's room and said: 'Bill, Old Socks! I guess you're in pretty bad shape. I want you to do me a favour.'
"Bill raised his head weakly from the pillow and said: 'Sure Bob, you've given me many a morning's morning when I needed it. I'll do whatever you want.'
' Then,' said Kellock, 'I would like to get you a Sky Pilot.'
"The sick man agreed, but without much enthusiasm. Shortly afterwards the Preacher, clothed in black raiment, was seen entering the Hotel and, shying away from the open door of the bar, climbed the stairs to Bill's room. As he entered he declaimed the following metaphorical mixture: 'My friend! the Angel of death is hovering over this building, and even now, I can hear the flapping of his sable wings. Soon, he will mount the stairs and seek to enter this chamber.'
"This seemed to arouse Bill. He sat up in bed and said: The Hell, you say! Just push the dresser against the door and hand me that gun.'"
During the South African War Bob, like many another Britisher, was somewhat humiliated by the first reverses of the campaign at the hands "of a little people, few, but apt in the field" and week in and week out he urged that Canada's contribution should be a western force composed of men who could "shoot and ride" and could play with the Boers at their own game. This struck a responsive note on the Prairies and there is little doubt that it had a good deal to do with the raising of Strathcona's Horse and the various units of the Canadian Mounted Rifles that did such good service in South Africa.
He criticized Lord Kitchener and once wrote: "The press dispatches would indicate that Lord Kitchener is making his headquarters in the saddle, and this would lead us to inquire, with due deference, where his brains may be."
During the first Great War, Edwards did not hesitate for a moment to comment upon its conduct by the Allies. When the United States entered the conflict and occupied Paris, the press featured the action of General Pershing in placing a wreath on the Tomb of LaFayette who had given help and encouragement to American arms during the Revolution. Bob, after giving quite a picturesque account of the incident, said that the American Commander-in-Chief after placing the wreath on the Tomb bent down as if to convey a message of cheer and comfort to the long-dead French Marshal, and said portentously: "LaFayette, we are here."
"Then," concluded Edwards, "there was a distinct movement heard in the grave and a rusty and sepulchral voice replied: 'That's all right, but where the Hell have you been for the last two years?'"
Edwards was a strong partisan of the Conservative party in general and R. B. Bennett in particular, but he did not hesitate to criticize or poke fun at his political friends. He objected to the intensive nature of Dominion politics as they were then practised, and was particularly critical of the administration of the Department of the Interior. Indeed, during the second decade of the present century, when The Eye-Opener was going strong, its influence was such that the success of a candidate in an election sometimes depended on whether or not he had the support of Bob and his remarkable journal. It is understood that at one time a concerted effort was made by certain political interests to put Edwards out of business. He gaily accepted the battle. There was a celebrated lawsuit which he won "hands down" and his adversaries retired discomfited from the field.
During the first Great War Bob was anxious to make a personal contribution to the cause of the Allies. R. B. Bennett, who was in charge of National Registration, thought it would be a good idea to have a correspondent at the Front who could write dispatches dealing with the War activities of western units and let people at home know something about what their lads were doing overseas. His choice fell upon Edwards, who was delighted at the opportunity. However, his health was then beginning to fail and his doctor advised him that he could not withstand the rigours of a campaign. He was therefore forced to abandon the idea. That the future Prime Minister of Canada recommended him for a position of such responsibility was a pretty good indication of the confidence he had in him.
Edwards enjoyed remarkable popularity in Calgary. His efforts on behalf of the "underdog" had won him the support of local labour. The forthright ranchers admired him and many of the prominent Calgary citizens were glad to be considered his friends. Of course, he was criticized in certain quarters for the freedom with which he discussed certain subjects not usually mentioned in family journals but such criticism never seemed to bother him.
After a great deal of persuasion, Edwards allowed his name to be put up for election to the Legislature. But he resolutely refused to do any electioneering. Indeed, in every issue of his paper, he advised the electors not to vote for him. Despite his protestations, he was elected by a substantial majority.
About the time of his election to the Alberta Legislature the death was announced of a man who had sought to decry Bob by every means in his power and had made charges against him that were cruel and proven in court to be baseless. He wrote a laconic epistle to my husband which read as follows:
Is it not wonderful?
Here am I in the Legislature
and M---- in hell.
At that time The Eye-Opener was well established and eagerly read far beyond the Alberta boundaries. Bob himself was advancing in years and had reason to expect a time of comparative comfort and relaxation. His life had been a tumultuous one; he had experienced many ups and downs, and there were times when hardship must have furnished his daily fare, while his personal habits had been by no means conducive to health or well-being. He was attacked by an illness that was not, at first, regarded as serious, but from which he failed to rally. His funeral is said to have been the largest that ever took place in Calgary. He was followed to the grave by representatives of every section of the life of the City which for so long had been his home.
After his death his business and manuscripts fell into alien hands and things were written and published in his name that would have made him turn over in his grave if he had known about them. As a consequence, quite unjustly, aspersions have been cast upon his memory by people who had no real knowledge of his true character.
When the story of Alberta is written with the calm detachment of history, the name of R. C. Edwards will have an assured and a not unhonoured place.
The following verses written by Charles F. Steele, Lethbridge, Alta., which were published in The Eye-Opener November 25th, 1922, may well serve as an epitaph.
We laughed at his humour and cringed at his fire;
We followed his muse as it struck the weird lyre,
For Bob was a mixture of fun and of sadness,
A friend of the friendless,
a fountain of gladness.
He wrote as he found men.
He spared none, not he!
The great or the small might dissent or agree;
Some threatened some sued,
some throttled the mails,
But none could stop Bob from telling his tales.
His was the voice of the old, breezy west Land,
His was a hand that was always a glad hand;
He hated the shams, the conventions,
the frills But say,
how he loved our prairies and hills.
The whole world read Bob yes,
oft he'd offend Yet,
you'd read him right to the end;
His was a Muse that cared little for beauty;
But no one can say it ever betrayed duty.
Tonight in the West,
there's a great voice that's still -
Bob Edwards has left us -
gone over the hill.'
It was New Year's Day in 1902, which we were passing peacefully at our home in Calgary, when a Halfbreed boy arrived post-haste with a note from Bob Edwards, in which he stated that he was lying seriously indisposed at "Irish's", a resort on the outskirts of the City much frequented by trap-shooters and similar sportsmen. He intimated that he was in extremis and wanted Zack to help him make his will or receive his last message.
We were quite worried, and my husband started out at once. It was after dark before he returned. I saw with some surprise that he was accompanied by an immense animal of the canine species, which he restrained by a chain attached to its collar.
"Where on earth did you get that savage brute?" I asked.
"Oh !" replied my husband, "he is a hound of mettle and we will have lots of fun chasing coyotes and wolves with him."
"Fun !" I said, "is about the last thing of which I would accuse him. Was he a parting gift from Bob? And how is Bob anyway?"
My husband explained that he found Edwards as well as ever, organizing horse races among a bunch of Blackfeet Indians camped nearby. When Zack asked him about the note, he replied:
"Oh! that was to help you fix up the 'Missis' so that you could get away."
Among other sports, there was a rifle match. This noble animal was put up as a prize and Zack won it. He was a great tawny brute, built for speed and battle. He was supposed to be an Irish wolfhound, a breed said to have been used by the Romans to fight lions and tigers and the like in the Flavian Amphitheatre. If they were like Smoker, the wild animals must have had rather a bad time. However, he then seemed docile enough, and we made a bed for him in the shed behind the kitchen.
All went well for a few days. I had a girlfriend, just out of the hospital, staying with us and I was preparing to take her breakfast in bed. I placed the tray on the dining room table and, when I returned from the kitchen, Smoker was polishing off the bacon and eggs with a good deal of gusto. With my open hand, I slapped him on the ribs. He uttered a menacing growl and seized my ankle. For a few moments, I was really scared, but presently he let go and walked with great dignity to his lair in the shed. I told Zack when he came home, but he made light of it and said the dog was just playing.
Next day at lunchtime when I went to the pantry, Smoker was standing by the shelf finishing off the cold roast. I called Zack who bestowed on him a smart cuff. Instantly the dog reared up, and I thought he was going to devour my husband before my eyes. Zack had a Boer Sjambok which he picked up and ordered the dog out the door. When he was halfway through, he closed the door on him and administered a sound beating to his hinder end; then propelled him through. Smoker made an awful row, but strange to relate, when my husband invaded his quarters a little later he wagged his tail and made every demonstration of friendliness. I expressed surprise at that, and my husband with an air of superiority quoted the old English couplet:
"A woman, a dog and a walnut tree,
The more you beat 'em the better they be."
We lived in a cottage about half a block off the Main Street. It was on the track to a Halfbreed encampment, and sometimes when my husband was out late at the office or attending a meeting, I was nervous. I would go to bed and Smoker would come into the room and lie down on a mat. When he heard footsteps on the Main Street, he raised his head and listened attentively. If they continued down the street he just resumed his slumbers. He could tell Zack's footsteps when they first became audible and thumped the floor with his tail and grinned.
John R. Thompson, the local Homestead Inspector, was making a journey to the Mormon settlement at Cardston. He was quite a dog fancier and had recently acquired a thoroughbred greyhound. He was taking it along to familiarize it with prairie sights and sounds. He was afraid this valuable creature might get tangled up with a coyote or wolf and he asked permission to take Smoker with him as a sort of guard. Thompson was a good man with dogs and, to tell the truth, we were getting a little tired of the constant vigilance we had to maintain in keeping our hound within bounds, and we let him go.
When Mr Thompson got back he said that when he was crossing the Blood Reserve, the greyhound caught sight of a wolf and started after it. Smoker had been slouching along the trail, probably hunting early gophers, and did not see the greyhound start. Thompson called him and turned his team on the prairie to follow the chase. When the dog caught sight of the wolf topping a rise with the greyhound rapidly closing in, Thompson said it was beautiful to see him springing into action as he took up the pursuit and disappeared over the hill in great galloping bounds. When Thompson arrived on the scene he found the greyhound quite dead and close, besides it, the wolf also dead, while Smoker was rolling in a little patch of snow getting the fur out of his teeth.
That spring I had suffered an attack of illness that confined me to the hospital. I was still quite weak when I returned, and it was necessary to get some domestic help. We made a deal with our laundryman to engage the services of a China boy. He came to the house one evening and arrangements were made for him to come to work the following morning. We gave him the key of the back door and told him to be sure to knock before coming in, so as not to take Smoker by surprise. The dog was lying at our feet and the Chinaman patted his head saying:
"Good doggie; good doggie."
However, he forgot our instructions, for we were awakened the next morning by a fearful row. We found the China boy scaling with great agility a high fence that separated us from the grounds of a nearby school, and Smoker tearing his flapping garments to pieces. When Zack had the dog under control, the Chinaman was running like an antelope towards the Rocky Mountains. We never saw him again.
That evening we were visited by a friend named Crofton, who had a small ranch near Shepherd, and told him our troubles. He was supposed to be something of a dog and gunman and offered to take Smoker with him to the ranch, where he could run off some of his surplus energy. We agreed cordially to his proposition. Crofton had a stable in town where he could tie him up before going out to the ranch, and my husband went with him and chained Smoker in a stall.
We had been planning a visit to Banff, but as we could neither take Smoker with us nor leave him at home we had to put it off from time to time. We thought now, with the dog out of the way, we would take advantage of the situation and enjoy a little holiday. We fished for trout on the Echo River, and were having a good time when we received a wire from Crofton which read somewhat as follows:
"For Heaven's Sake! come home, Smoker is loose in the stable and the horses have not been fed for two days."
There was nothing for it but to return forthwith, and Smoker once more became a member of our household.
After further negotiations with our laundryman, we engaged another China boy. We were taking no chances this time, and Zack's brother, who was staying with us for a few days, undertook to get up in the morning and introduce him to our new domestic. Something went wrong with the introductory process and again we were roused by a fiendish uproar, and when we appeared, my brother-in-law had the dog in hand and the Oriental was sitting by the kitchen table staunching sundry wounds with serviettes and repeating over and over:
"The dog he bit me; the dog he bit me."
We took him to a doctor and had his injuries dressed, but he refused to have anything more to do with a household that harboured such a dangerous animal.
By this time I was thoroughly exasperated and that night I issued an ultimatum to my husband that if something was not done to remove Smoker from the premises, I would shoot him myself. I was still weak from my illness, there was house cleaning to be done, clothes to be washed, and I was at my wit's end.
My husband was worried over the situation and the following morning started out early apparently to look for some household help, and in the meantime, I got out the tubs and prepared to engage in a day's washing.
A little foreign settlement had sprung up on the outskirts of the City, north of the Bow River, and Zack's brilliant idea was to go down to the Langevin Bridge and intercept some woman going to work and, by offering her a little more than the going wages, induce her to come and work for us instead. It was still early when a splendid looking creature dressed in foreign raiment came stalking across the bridge. She was of ample proportions and among other adornments wore a magnificent amber necklace. She had not much English, but Zack said to her:
"You go to work?"
She replied: "Yes," and he showed her two dollars, and suggested that she accompany him home. She shook her majestic head until her necklace rattled and said: "Not enough."
He tried what three dollars would do, but again she made a gesture of negation, and in desperation, he sweetened the pot with another dollar. That seemed to conquer her and she said:
"All right! I go."
When Zack arrived, I had already commenced the washing. I looked at the woman he had brought and remarked:
"Heavens ! Where did you get that gaudy creature, and what does she want here?"
Zack said: "I brought a work lady for you."
As soon as the woman saw me, she shied away from the door remarking:
"You no want me; you got other women," and showed signs of distaste.
My husband was desperate and he urged her into the house. She shouted: "I no wash; I no scrub; I no work."
"What?" said my husband. "You have already been paid to do so."
By this time I was thoroughly exasperated at the whole situation.
"All right," I said, "my husband has paid you, if you have never worked before, you are going to learn now. Remove some of those gaudy garments and get busy and earn your money."
When Zack left for the office, leading Smoker with him, she was up to her elbows in soap suds and lamenting the menial position in which she found herself.
Zack did most of his work at The Herald seated at a large desk with an aperture beneath it into which he projected the dog and, when he attempted to come out, gave him a poke back with his boot. He brought him home at lunchtime and then took him back to the office because I would have no more of him around the house.
When five o'clock came and the paper was on the press, there was usually a period of relaxation, and a group of Calgary citizens would come into the outer office and discuss the news of the day. My husband, forgetting all about Smoker for the moment, filled his pipe and joined the group. Among those present was W. H. Heald, a well-known Calgary sportsman accompanied by a beautiful Irish setter that was the very apple of his eye. Suddenly Heald exclaimed: "Merciful Heavens! where did that savage brute come from?"
Smoker was coming in the door with the hackles on his neck standing up and his eyes fixed upon the setter. Before anyone could say a word he threw himself upon Heald's dog, and instantly there was pandemonium. The crowd scattered, some persons taking refuge on tables or desks, while one old gentleman tried to climb up the door. A bookcase fell down and there was a fearful racket. Heald was shaking his fist in my husband's face and shouting: "If your dog kills mine, I will shoot you, so help me, Heaven."
Into this tumult came George Hope Johnstone, a tall athletic Scot. He picked up a large office chair and swinging it above his head put Smoker out of business. There was awed silence. Smoker lay as if dead. Heald picked up his setter, which was more frightened than hurt, and went out abusing Zack in a shameful manner.
Mr. Tomlinson, the Business Manager, said: "Well! I guess that is the end of your troubles with the dog; Zack, you had better remove his carcass."
With the assistance of Mr Johnstone, Zack dragged Smoker into his own office where he lay completely bereft of life.
Just then The Herald presses started and the newsboys came bolting out to get their papers on the street. The first boy stumbled over Smoker's remains. Instantly, the dog came to life. He leapt upon the lad, who fled screaming outside, while the dog proceeded to tear the papers he had dropped into shreds. He seemed as well as ever and as ready for battle and trouble.
Somewhat discouraged Zack snapped on Smoker's chain and started to lead him home, rather dubious about the reception that awaited him under his own roof. At the Alberta corner, he met Captain Gordon who stopped him.
"By Jove!" he said, "what a magnificent hound you have there."
"Yes," replied my husband, "he is a dog of mettle and many accomplishments."
"Do you think he would be any good with wolves?" he asked.
"Just show him a wolf," said Zack.
"You know," said the Captain, rather hesitatingly, "the wolves have been bothering my stock for quite a while; I suppose you would not loan him to me?"
Zack, brightening up, said:
"Why! Captain Gordon, I would not give him to anyone else, but seeing it is you, and that these wolves are bothering you so badly, I will let you have him."
"Oh! that is so good of you," said the polite Captain. Zack ventured to ask him when he was returning to his ranch.
"I'm just going to Johnny Hamilton's livery stable to hitch up."
My husband chained Smoker to the hind axle of Captain Gordon's buggy, but at the last, he had a qualm of conscience and said:
"Captain Gordon, after Smoker has disposed of all the wolves on your range, you had better be a little careful in case he starts on your cowboys or any other live thing that may be about the place."
We left Calgary shortly afterwards and that was the last we heard of Smoker.
It was a strange and convivial company that then gathered in the Alberta Hotel. Not long ago I was in Calgary and saw the old building, now converted into stores and offices, and it seemed to me that many a jovial ghost must haunt those faded passages.
The guests were, for the most part, men from the ranges, with the tan of the wind and the sun of the open places on their faces. There were tall, lean Englishmen of the type supposed to denote Norman ancestry, some in riding breeches, the cut of which indicated Bond Street, and others in the "chaps" and belled spurs of the cattle country. There was also a leaven of American cattlemen who, after trailing in herds from the south, had found the foothill pastures so much to their liking that they remained in the country, and there were, of course, several Calgary citizens who made the place one of frequent and pleasant resort.
One often saw there "Pat" Burns, King of the cattle country, then on his way to become a multimillionaire. He was a modest, unassuming man with little book learning, but a shrewd business sense. His purse was always open to any worthy cause and his kindness of heart was a proverb throughout the range country. His qualities were recognized by R. B. Bennett and when he became Prime Minister of Canada, Mr Burns was one of the first men to be called to the Canadian Senate.
My husband had known him in the Qu'Appelle Valley when he was starting in the cattle business with just a few head to his name. It was away back in the winter of 1890 when my husband was only a boy. The season had been a dry one and there was no wild hay in the settlement. My husband's father had engaged an old Highlander named Malcolm Ferguson to go up the Qu'Appelle Valley for about sixty miles beyond settlement to Eyebrow Lake where there was a marsh and put up slough hay.
When the fall came the Hamilton herd was sent there for wintering in charge of Ferguson and his wife who was nearly as good with livestock as her husband. Zack went along to drive the cattle. It was early November when they started out; progress was slow and the trip was a hard one. However, they reached their destination before the snow came. Ferguson had built a log shack during the summer, and the winter camp was made fairly comfortable. Zack was supposed to return as soon as the cattle were bestowed on the wintering grounds, but as the hunting was good, and although the cold was increasing, he remained longer than he had intended.
One night shortly after the first snow put in an appearance when the little company in the shack had gone to bed, they were awakened by the sound of horse's feet crunching in the snow. There were Indian troubles south of the Line and stray bands of Sioux were finding their way into the Qu'Appelle Valley region. There was not a soul within forty miles and there was no knowing who the visitor might be. Ferguson was up in a moment lighting a lantern. He stationed Zack in a position to cover the door with a rifle.
There came a knock and Ferguson opened the door. There was neither Indians nor danger. The visitor was a chubby man in a buffalo coat to his heels, leading a tired pinto pony. He was fearfully cold as well as hungry. He was brought in, warmed and fed. He told Ferguson that he had a small contract to supply beef to construction gangs that during the summer had been employed in building the branch line from Regina to Prince Albert and he was hunting half a dozen steers that had strayed away and had become lost himself. After the dark of a cold day he had come to one of Ferguson's stacks, but seeing no signs of human habitation had tried to make a burrow for himself in the hay which he was about to seek when he saw the light from the shack.
He remained for a couple of days to recuperate before he undertook the return journey. He was afraid, he said, if he could not find the steers, it would break him. This was my husband's first meeting with Patrick Burns who, when we were in Calgary, was the King of uncounted herds.
Among the company in the Alberta Rotunda the picturesque figure of Fred Stimson of Bar U was frequently to be seen in all the range habiliments. Although of Canadian birth and ancestry, he always spoke in an affected English accent. He was a great teller of marvellous tales. Bob Edwards writing of him once said:
"There are four really good liars in Alberta. Dave MacDougall is one, and Fred Stimson the other three."
George Lane, who eventually bought the Bar U land and brand and was to become the mentor and neighbour of the Duke of Windsor, was invariably present. A notable figure was Oswald Critchley, with his three great sons, all of whom were to win distinction in the First Great War. There were the Beresfords of the famous Irish fighting family, who "ran cattle" along the Bow River; Major Walker, who had been one of the original commissioned officers of the North-West Mounted Police; D. H. Andres of the 76 Ranch, who had bought in Wyoming and brought to Crane Lake on the Canadian Prairies the brand made famous by Owen Wister in his fine cowboy novel The Virginian.
Often to be seen in the Alberta Hotel gatherings was "Nigger" John Ware who, although as black as the ace of spades, had proven himself a good man in many a tight corner. For years he had made the Royal Hotel his headquarters when in the City. The Royal was then owned and run by James Reilly, who had been a friend of my father in the Province of Quebec. Reilly esteemed the dark-skinned rancher, and "Nigger" John was always treated as an honoured guest.
Eventually Mr Reilly sold the Hotel and a gentleman that "knew not Joseph" took it over. Shortly after this change, Ware arrived and walked up to the desk to register. A dapper clerk said:
"Sorry! we do not cater to coloured folk."
"You don't," said the rancher. "Well! we'll see about that," and produced a large "forty-five" that he cocked with a portentous click. The startled clerk made a break for the stairs with John hard at his heels waving his weapon. However, some of his friends calmed him down. He promptly transferred his custom to the Alberta.
Another worthy who frequented the Alberta was "Tammas" Burns, the City Treasurer, a dry-witted Scot of kind heart and sarcastic tongue. Once a young English reporter on The Herald arrived in a state of great excitement and told my husband that he had just seen the Right Honourable Arthur Balfour disembark from the train. Zack said he must have been mistaken, but the reporter persisted and declared that Mr Balfour was met at the station by Mr Burns and the two of them had gone to the Alberta Hotel.
"Well!" said my husband, looking out the window, "here comes Mr Burns himself. We will just ask him."
On being queried, the old Scot replied:
"And what for no? Wasna my own faither with him at Whittingham?"
Still another of the company was Major Fred Bagley, one of the originals of the North-West Mounted Police who had crossed the Plains in 1874. He was then only in his teens, a strong well-grown lad, and had a chance to enlist as a bugler if he could obtain his father's permission. His father rather reluctantly gave it on his son giving his solemn promise to keep a diary covering every day of the overland journey. Fred kept his promise and shortly before his death at a great age in 1945, gave a copy of it to my husband. It was meticulous in detail even to the first name and the colour of every troop-horse.
There were, of course, many others but these were a fair sample of the frequenters of this Calgary gathering place. When a company of these worthies was in session, there was much witty and salty conversation; some whisky was consumed, and on occasion, poker was played for considerable stakes; but they were fine folk, active and hardworking, building with honesty and intelligence the foundations of a great young country.
Calgary in those days was always an interesting place. At the break of the century, it still had the savour of the cow country. Heavy rowelled spurs still rang the wooden sidewalks and horsemen were everywhere. Its citizens were an active, stirring folk. A newspaper Editor called the place "Proud, Progressive Calgary" and the designation was not inept.
At the time of Provincial Establishment, it made a strong bid for the Capital, but Edmonton with its Hudson's Bay background and its position as the gateway of the North elbowed it out. Nevertheless, Calgary never lost an opportunity to display its wares to the public.
One of the greatest shows of the Prairies was the Stampede of 1912. It gathered Rodeo experts, ranchers and cowboys from every portion of the range areas of North America, and a splendid western spectacle was the result.
The Stampede was opened by H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, then Governor-General of Canada, who took a keen interest in the proceedings. The range country from the Saskatchewan River to the Rio Grande had been combed for "outlaw" horses and the riding for the cowboy championships was really magnificent, although some of the best riders in America fell by the wayside.
As the elimination contests proceeded, there was one horse that no one had been able to master. It was a powerful brute named Cyclone, adept in all the man-killing tricks, and as vicious as a tiger. Some of the contestants had been injured, and the horse was so obviously a man-killer, that those in charge of the Stampede came to the conclusion that things were getting to be too much like a Roman holiday, and Cyclone was withdrawn from the contest.
At that time, Glen Campbell was in charge of Indian Affairs in Alberta. He was the son of Robert Campbell, one of the potentates of the Hudson's Bay Company who ruled a vast stretch of the Prairie region from his post at Fort Pelly.
It was there that Glen Campbell was born. When a mere lad Glen was sent to Edinburgh to study at Merchiston Castle School, where he established a tradition envied by every schoolboy in the Scottish Capital. In due course, he returned to western Canada and married a little native beauty who had been his childhood's friend and companion. He was elected to the Manitoba Legislature and later to the Dominion Parliament. During the first Great War, he led a western battalion overseas.
When it was announced that Cyclone was withdrawn from the Rodeo, Glen Campbell went to Pat Burns and A. E. Cross, prominent directors of the Stampede, and told them he had a man who could ride Cyclone. They replied that they did not want to see anyone killed, but Campbell assured them that the man he had in mind could ride any horse that was ever foaled. He said, however, there were difficulties. The rider in question was a Blood Indian named Tom Three Persons, and he was then in the Mounted Police guardroom at MacLeod, serving a short sentence. He eventually talked the directors into the idea. Arrangements were made whereby the Indian was to be released under bond to the care of Mr Campbell for a sufficient time to enable him to take part in the Stampede.
As soon as these preliminaries were arranged Campbell, driving his car, took the old trail to MacLeod that in other years had smoked beneath many a speeding horseman. He presented his credentials to the Mounted Police officer at MacLeod, and the following forenoon saw him back in Calgary with Tom.
The bronco riding for the championship was nearing its conclusion and was set for that afternoon. There was a great deal of interest taken in it, and the grandstand was crowded when the Duke and his party took their seats in the Vice-Regal Box. The Announcer from his stand shouted through his megaphone:
"Cyclone coming out; Tom Three Persons in the saddle."
The horse came out like his name, bucking and sun-fishing and using every device that long experience had taught him would unseat a rider. Tom was riding him like his skin, and the Outlaw could not shake him. It was a contest between a man and a powerful infuriated brute.
Suddenly the horse reared up and the spectators gasped as he threw himself backwards. When he hit the ground, Tom was standing by his shoulder and, when the horse found his feet again, he was in the saddle.
Spurring him with his heavy Mexican spurs and beating him over the head with his Stetson hat, Tom rode Cyclone to a standstill in front of the grandstand, and the people in the bleachers, many of whom were ranchmen who knew riding when they saw it, rose to their feet in a tumult of acclamation. Even the Duke clapped his gloved hands.
As the "picker-up" hemmed Cyclone in, and lifted Tom from the saddle, Glen Campbell came charging from the bleachers right through the Vice-Regal Box and, reaching the outfield, embraced Tom crying: "I knew one of our own people could do it."
That was a great night at the Ranchmen's Club. There were many visitors. The fine old port wine reserved for high occasions was produced and quite a celebration was in progress. Glen Campbell was holding forth to an interested group on the Indians, his favourite subject when Minty Christianson came in. He was then Indian Agent at Fort Pelly, Glen Campbell's birthplace. Mr Campbell greeted him cordially, saying: "How are things at Fort Pelly, Mr Christianson, and how is my friend Joe Cote, the Chief ?"
"Everything is all right there, Mr Campbell," said the Indian Agent. "I saw Chief Cote just the other day and he was wanting news of you."
Campbell turned to those who surrounded him and said with a gravity that indicated the intensity of his feelings: "Gentlemen! You sometimes make fun of me for my attachment to the Indians. Joe Cote and I were born in one hour, but my mother lay at death's door, and Joe and I hung to the same dusky breast, and that is how I am living today. Can you blame me if I love the Indians?"
Glen Campbell died a good many years ago. Chief Cote still rules his band of Saulteaux on the Swan River, and Tom Three Persons has flocks and herds on the Blood Reserve that would make many a white rancher envious.