WITHIN REACH OF THE ST. LAWRENCE 47
into flour. As a lad, when going after our cows, I have heard wolves howling in the swamp at the lower end of our place near the lake front. One night, on a farm owned by a man named Charters on the fifth concession of Clarke, wolves tried to tear a hole in the roof of a shed in which sheep were sheltered. I have speared salmon in Drury Creek, which crosses the farm of John Barrie; a creek that is now little more than a succession of puddles. It was a common thing for settlers then to take a couple of barrels of salmon from the lake in a night.
"I have seen the sky darkened by the flight of wild pigeons, and, when these alighted in myriads on the ground to feed, it seemed as if the surface of the earth was heaving as they moved about. Indians came regularly in spring to make baskets in the adjoining woods, baskets that were traded to the settlers for provisions.
"I have seen the sickle give place to the cradle, the cradle to the reaper, and the reaper to the self-binder. Intermediate between the sickle and the cradle was a scythe with a hole bored in the centre of the blade and connected with the snath by a wire `hauled taut.' With that tool an expert could lay a swath as neatly as swaths were afterwards laid by a cradle.
"Our first cradle, called the `Grape Vine,' was made by Asa Davis, at Newcastle. It was a clumsy implement, but Joseph Moulton once cut six acres of rye with it in a day. Our first reaper was `The Woods,' invented by a man of that name, and made at Newcastle by the first of the Masseys. That was, in my opinion, the best reaper ever made.