282 THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
Beck stated, "a constable went through our village ringing the bell to remind the people that a tax of some kind was about due." The burden of taxation and the general social and political conditions under the non-democratic governments of the time, were among the impel-ling motives that drove people across the seas.
Those from the Continent came under a greater handicap than immigrants from the British Isles. Everything was strange for them, even the language of the new country. "When we landed at New York, sixty-five days out from Bremen, we hardly knew a word of English," F. L. Beck told me, and without a trace of foreign accent in the telling. "But I started in to learn as soon as I came. I asked the name of this article and that in English until I learned to speak it myself. I learned to read English from the New Testament."
The first steady job Mr. Beck obtained after arrival was when he hired out on a farm at sixty dollars a year. In one winter, shorty after coming, he and his brother took contracts to thresh grain with a flail, their rate of pay being every ninth bushel when they boarded them-selves and every tenth when they were supplied with board. Eventually Mr. Beck settled down on lot fourteen on the sixth of South Cayuga.
"There were plenty of wild animals there then," said Mr. Beck. "Once, when my brother-in-law, Schneider, was hunting his cattle he was attacked by wolves. He fired at one and as the charge was of light shot, this simply made the brutes more angry. Using his gun as a club, he retreated towards the clearing; but the