22 THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
journey. A baby was taken ill by the way, and one night while the party camped in the woods, miles from any human habitation, the little one died. Next morning, after a simple ceremony, the small body was buried at the foot of a mighty oak and the dreary journey was resumed. But every feature of the surroundings of the lonely grave was stamped on the mother's memory, and she declared, to the day of her death, that if she ever again came near the spot she would be able to remember the tree beneath the wide-spreading branches of which her child was sheltered in its last sleep."
But the great oak and its neighbours long since have fallen beneath the woodman's axe. Even the stumps have disappeared. Where the giants of the forest once stood there now may be orchards of cherry and plum from which other children gather fruit knowing nothing of the frail body which lies mingled with the dust beneath their feet.
There were dangers as well as privations in the new home amid the primeval forest. Bears and wolves were everywhere and Mrs. Hoover's grandmother once put a blanket over the open doorway to serve as protection against a pack of wolves. But the privations and dangers of the early days are now only a rapidly fading memory. The narrow clearings, which yielded a scanty subsistence, have been widened to broad acres of fruitful soil and the doorless cabins have given place to comfortable brick homes. One thing yet remains, however, a heritage of good neighbourhood, thrift, and honesty. In the Rainham of to-day, as in the Rainham