Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next

 

250   THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO

viewed, told of the spirit of mutual helpfulness that prevailed in the early days, there were occasional references to displays of meanness and selfishness. One incident of this nature occurred when two travellers were going south on the road leading from Dufferin to the front. One traveller was on foot and one in a sleigh. As the latter caught up to the pedestrian a request for a ride was curtly refused. The one on foot, in the then state of the roads, was able to travel as fast as the one in the sleigh, and as the parties passed and repassed each other repeated requests for a lift, or even for the privilege of hanging on behind, were denied. But just retribution was not long delayed. Both travellers reached the same tavern as night came on. The one on foot was known there; the man driving was unknown. The footsore pilgrim told his tale, and the churl with the team was promptly cast into the outer darkness where he belonged.

Mr. Clark told of a somewhat similar experience. "On the way back from the distant mill, with packs of flour on their shoulders, the first settlers naturally got hungry by the way," said Mr. Clark. "On some occasions, on dropping into a wayside cabin, even the privilege of making scones from their own flour was refused. But this was a rare exception and was more than over-balanced by the open-hearted hospitality in other quarters. John McBain and his wife were a particularly generous couple. No traveller was ever permitted to pass their door while hungry, and a bed was always at the disposal of one who appeared as darkness


Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next