174 THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
another bear, and in the struggle Elliott choked the bear to death by forcing his fist down the brute's throat. Elliott's arm was so badly lacerated that it had to be amputated, Dr. Widmer, whose name was honourably connected with the early hospital history of Toronto, performing the operation."
In Mr. Waldbrook's youth a large part of Halton was covered with magnificent white oak and the marketing of this timber gave the pioneers of the county their first start. The timber was cut into ten and five foot lengths and split with beetles and wedges into slabs varying from two to five inches in thickness. In spring the slabs were floated down the river to Oakville and shipped thence to England, where they were again split with saws in readiness to be sent to the West Indies to make hogsheads for the sugar trade. "Robert Sullivan," said Mr. Waldbrook, "was one of the chief operators in the Halton woods. He was given the name of `White Oak Sullivan' and in turn he gave Oakville its name.
"While men were piloting the staves down the stream, they spent the night in shanties by the side of the river, and every night was a carouse. During one such carouse a member of the party was seen to be sitting quietly, taking no part in the proceedings. Next morning when the other men, even yet partially stupefied by liquor, got up, the silent one was still there, but little notice was taken of him. When, however, the men observed that he did not follow them down to the bank, they went back and found him stone dead. It was supposed