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various sensations in the minds, and various exclamations from the mouths of the soldiers, when something within the breast of Thomas Neill, a young sergeant in the 24th regiment, who happened to be nearer to her than the rest, distinctly uttered to him the monosyllables " Quick march! " and in obedience thereto, fixing his eyes on the child as on a parade bandarole, he steadily proceeded towards her.
Sometimes just before him, sometimes just behind him, and sometimes on either side, an immense piece of ice would pause, rear up an end, and roll over, so as occasionally to hide him altogether from view. Sometimes he was seen jumping upon a piece that was beginning to rise, and then, like a white bear, carefully clambering down a piece that was beginning to sink; however, onwards he proceeded, until, reaching the little island of ice on which the poor child stood, with the feelings of calm triumph with which he would have surmounted a breach, he firmly grasped her by the hand.
By this time he had been floated down the river nearly out of sight of his comrades. However, some of them, having run to their barracks for spy-glasses, distinctly beheld him about two miles below them, sometimes leading the child in his hand, sometimes carrying her in his arms, sometimes "halting," sometimes running "double quick;" and in this dangerous predicament he continued for six miles, until, after passing Longeuil, he was given up by his comrades as—lost.
He remained with the little girl floating down
the middle of the river for a considerable time; at last, towards evening, they were discovered by some French Canadians, who, at no small risk, humanely pushed off in a canoe to their assistance, and thus rescued them both from their perilous situation.
The Canadians took them to their home; at last, in due time, they returned to St. Helens. The child was happily restored to its parents, and Sergeant Neill quietly returned to his barracks.
Colour-Sergeant William Delaney, and Private George Morgan, of the 24th Regiment, now at Chatham, were eye-witnesses of the above occurrence.
THE GRENADIERS' POND.
Whenever a man has a favourite propensity, good or evil, it matters not a straw, his mind is always exceedingly clever in finding out reasons for its indulgence; and accordingly, as soon as I commenced my duties at Toronto, something within me strenuously advised that I should every day take a good long ride. "You will never," said my mentor, "be able to get through your business without it! Your constitution will become enervated; you will get sallow, yellow, bitter-minded, sour-tempered; you will die if you don't take your usual exercise!"
Not wishing to be considered obstinate, I yielded to this advice, and I believe I may say that up to the period of the rebellion I never departed from it for a single day: indeed I am confident that, under Providence, the preservation of my health has been the reward of my dutiful obedience.
In Canada, as soon as the hand of winter paints the ground white, everybody, muffled in fur, instinctively steps into a sleigh; and as matter, philosophers say, cannot occupy two places at the same time, it follows that nobody can be seen on what sailors call " the outside of a horse." To this rule, however, I formed, I believe, a solitary exception.
Whether it was hot or cold—whether it rained, blew, or froze—sooner or later I managed every day, unattended by any one, to get a canter through the dark pine-forest which immediately surrounds Toronto, and then across the Humber Plains, a distance of about fourteen miles.
In spring, summer, and autumn, this wholesome exercise was indescribably delightful, especially because its solitude afforded me opportunity quietly to reflect on various subjects which were weighing heavily on my mind. In winter this recreation was also highly exhilarating; but as I was constantly detained by business until the blood-red sun was within a few inches of the horizon, and had therefore oftentimes to ride through the forest in the dark, it was necessary to take due precaution to prevent being frozen; and, indeed, after being all day in a house heated by a stove, I found that it often required some little resolution to face a temperature occasionally forty or fifty degrees below freezing. However, as soon as through the double windows of my room I saw my horse walking backwards and forwards, waiting for me, I always felt encouraged to make my toilette, of which I will only say that, like that of a Turkish lady, it left little but my eyes uncovered.
This protection I found quite impervious to the weather; and although if I had lost one of my fur gloves I should have lost a hand, and if I had been stripped of my fur coat should have been frozen, yet, as no such accidents were likely to befall me, I proceeded in daylight or in darkness along my usual track, the sensation of cantering through snow very nearly resembling that of riding across ploughed land.
One lovely day in spring I had crossed the Humber Plains, which in high beauty were covered with shrubs, little flowers of various descriptions—wild strawberries, wild raspberries, and immense scarlet tiger-lilies in full bloom — and had jreached the shore of Lake Ontario at a point about three miles from Toronto, when I saw immediately before me a group of men stooping down to raise from the ground something which, on my riding up to them, proved to be an enormous land-tortoise, that had burrowed into the sand of the beach. After laying the creature on its back the men continued with their hands to excavate the sand, in search, as they told me, of eggs; and accordingly in a short time they brought to light almost a hatfull of them, as round as, and about the size of, canister shot. On conversing with the men, I found that, as payment for her eggs, they were going to roast the poor mother—an unjust arrangement, which by a little money I managed to prevent; and I had scarcely proceeded a hundred yards when I came to two men standing still, and holding between them a weaklooking middle-aged man, who did not appear to be offering any resistance, and whose countenance, the moment I beheld it, proclaimed that he was insane.