256 THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
resumed walking, catching up with the others on reaching Hunter's Corners, as Seaforth was then called.
"The country was fairly well-settled as far as Stratford; but from that place to Goderich the clearings were small, and the townships of Kinloss, Ashfield, Huron, and Kincardine, while mostly taken up, were still covered with forest. From Belfast to our new home, a distance of eighteen miles, there was no roadway whatever, the only guide to the lot being a blaze left by surveyors; and over the last twelve miles of that blazed trail Mrs. McDonald carried an infant in her arms.
"It was fall when we reached our home in the bush and the first winter was spent in making a clearing. In spring, after burning the slash and putting in a crop, I tramped all the way back to Ancaster to earn enough to see the family through the following winter, Mrs. McDonald and the children meantime spending three weary months with the nearest neighbour.
"In the fall, with my cradle on my back (there were no self-binders in those days), I tramped home to harvest our own little crop and prepare for winter. The purchase of groceries necessitated a walk of eight miles each way. The Harris mill, twenty-two miles distant, was the nearest point at which we could obtain flour, and that meant two days in going and coming.
"For four successive years I spent the winters in chopping, the springs in burning and seeding, and the summers in working for other farmers at `the front.' Then it seemed as if at last I could venture to put in the whole year at honie