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Title: Class-Room Plays from Canadian History

Date of first publication: 1929

Author: Alexander Maitland Stephen (1882-1942)

Date first posted: June 8, 2016

Date last updated: June 8, 2016

Faded Page eBook #20160609

This ebook was produced by: Mardi Desjardins, Alex White & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net















All rights reserved



First Published 1929





This little book is offered as an aid to the teaching of Canadian history. We do not, primarily, desire to make actors or to cultivate a taste for theatrical art, but we do feel that interest has often been absent from the methods by which the story of Canada has been told to our boys and girls. Memorising the terms of the British North America Act or of the Constitutional Act will not make patriotic Canadians. Only an appreciation of the romance inherent in their country’s achievement can fire the imagination of our future citizens.

The outstanding events in the Canadian drama are here presented in a series suitable for production in the average class-room by children in the Intermediate Grades. Directions for staging and costuming, given in detail for the benefit of the teacher, are so simple that a rural school in the most remote district will find no difficulty in obtaining the needed properties. Moreover, the number of dramatised lessons is such that the school year will afford sufficient time in which to cover the main features of our history, provided one of these little plays is used during each week of the term.

Although each scene may be presented, without costuming, in the space at the front of the room usually occupied by the teacher’s desk, it may be that some schools will be enthusiastic enough to desire more elaborate settings. Draperies, which can be made at a small cost, will present little trouble. They can be made of any available material, burlap or cotton, and affixed directly to the walls or to wires so placed that passage is permitted behind and on both sides of the floor space used as a stage.

The fabric should be hung in single strips. A hem or rings at the top of the strip will provide for the passage of the wire upon which it is hung, and weights may be fastened to the hem below to ensure the curtains remaining in place. Enough material should be used so that the fabric may hang in folds. Door openings may be made by merely pushing back the cloth at the desired place. Windows may be represented by pieces of canvas or by sheets of paper roughly painted and pinned on the curtains. Small trees on stands or in tubs, rocks made by covering an overturned chair with a bit of canvas, and other properties may be of the simplest kind.

Costumes, historically correct, are shown in the illustrations before each play, but the imagination of children will not demand more than a suggestion of the dress of the period. A discarded felt can be pinned up to make an excellent cocked hat, and, if provided with a feather, the illusion will be adequate; a lady’s cloak may be adapted to the uses of an officer of Champlain’s staff; a “lumber-jack” and a sash will produce a young voyageur. Where crêpe-hair is not easily obtained, jute, sewn to the edge of a cap, will do away with the necessity for a wig. If beards or moustaches are required, spirit-gum and crêpe-hair will give the desired effect. However, with the exception of occasions when the play may be presented at a concert or at closing exercises, there is no necessity for make-up or for elaborate costumes in order to render the scene effective as a lesson in history.





Lief the Lucky


The King of New Albion (Sir Francis Drake)

The Discovery of Canada

Henry Hudson

Champlain at Quebec

A Mission School

Adam Daulac

Madeleine de Verchères

The Habitant

The Seigneur


The White Peaks

Before Quebec

Peace with Pontiac

An Evening in a Loyalist Household

After Queenston Heights

Laura Secord

The Silver Chief

The River of White Flowers

The Man who Read the Stars

Vancouver and Quadra

Captain Cook

Across the Great Divide

Rebel and Patriot


The Passing of the Red Man

The Last Spike

Canada in Flanders

Canada—a Pageant

A Word from the Author


[Illustration: “The Skraelings are attacking the ship!”]

    Lief, son of Eric    Table
Olaf, his friendTwo Stools
A Norse Soldier  
An Indian  

Scene: The interior of Lief’s house upon the shores of North America. Doors C. and L. Two stools near a wooden table R.

Lief, standing in the doorway C., is shading his eyes with his hand while he looks anxiously for sign of the exploring party which has been sent into the forest. Turning away from the door, he goes to the table and raps loudly upon it with the hilt of his dagger. Olaf enters from L.


Lief.It is near to sundown. Hast thou had any tidings from our men?

Olaf.Not yet. However, they should soon be within sight. They have heard thy command.

Lief.It may seem to them very childish when I say, “Be indoors before nightfall!” Yet, when we leave for Iceland, I shall need them all to man our ship. The Skraelings are many in number and I do not trust them. Like wolves, they would fall upon us under cover of darkness.

Olaf.When shall we leave for Iceland, Lief?

Lief.Olaf, I know well that thy heart longs for the brown slopes of Laki, and for the snug little harbour where the yellow-haired girls are mending the nets; but here too there is a goodly land. I have half a mind to build me a stronger house and to live here for the remainder of my days. What say you?

Olaf.[Quickly.] Never! Not while the sea calls to me! It says, “Come!” and I go. That is the way of a viking.

Lief.It is my way too! Sometimes I long for a home. Then the sun shines on the sparkling waves, and almost I can see the white sails glittering overhead and can hear the song of the white spume when it is cleft by the prow of my ship.

Olaf.I know. You would never be happy, Lief, if you settled down in this wild land.

Lief.It may be that thou art wiser than I, my friend. I can remember my grandfather going out to sea upon his last voyage. He lay dead upon the deck of his ship. Men, with torches, set it afire, and it drifted, carrying him into the sunset. Then I, a mere child, cried out, “Some day, I shall follow the track of the sun, and I shall find thee again!” The gods knew. I have sailed to westward, following the sun, farther than any man has ever dared to go.

[A noise is heard without. Olaf steps quickly to the door, goes out, and then returns, holding an Indian firmly by the arm.

Olaf.One of these miserable Skraelings! Their feet are padded, like those of a fox. Doubtless he had thoughts of plunder. Shall I give him a beating?

Lief.[Draws his dagger. The Indian makes a gesture as if begging for mercy.] Scum! I am not going to kill you, though. Nay! He will make us some sport, when our men return. [Fiercely, to the Indian.] Sit down! [The Indian collapses and squats, stolidly watching the Norsemen.] Strange creatures, these! Children of Darkness they must be, if one judges from the colour of the skin. It may be that hunger prompted him to steal. Well, we shall have him to feast with us to-night. [He stands as if listening.] Ah, I hear our men returning!

[He goes to the door and throws his arms out in a gesture of welcome.

Thorlief and Oscar enter.

Welcome! Welcome!

Thorlief.We thank you, Sire. It is going to be a stormy night. I sent our men to bring the ship into a more sheltered cove. I trust that I have met your wishes in this.

Lief.Ah, that was the wise thing to do! Well! You have news of the country to tell me? Is it not a place of wonders?

Oscar.We have found it so. We found abundance of the grapes which you brought home yesterday. The trees are covered with vines, and fruit enough abides there to make a river of wine. Our men have taken a deer as well.

Lief.A land of sunshine and richness! I shall call it Vineland. I have even thought that I would come to dwell in it, but Olaf checked my desire. Come, let us to the feast! This Skraeling [turning to the Indian] will be with us to-night. I have a mind to feed the starveling until he bursts. [The Indian rises and gesticulates to convey the idea that he is giving all the surrounding land to Lief.] What can his meaning be?

Thorlief.I take it, Sire, that he would give the land to thee in return for his liberty.

Lief.Ho! I shall take his offer while he is in my power. He has spoken. If we can dwell here in peace, unmolested by these creatures, why should we not enjoy this land of plenty?

Olaf.Because we are not tillers of the soil. We belong to the sea.

Lief.[Stubbornly.] Again! Oh, thou wouldst thwart my will? If I give the command, here thou shalt stay.

Olaf.[Quietly.] Aye, if it is thy command. Shall I place the Skraeling in the seat of honour, at the head of the feast? If we are to remain here, we should learn the manners of the country. In time, we may even turn red to match the colour of our little friend.

Lief.[Crossly, seating himself on a stool.] Thou hast ever been a tough piece of oak to bend. Aye! Proceed! Cross me! Thou art a kill-joy. We talk of feasting. Thy wry mouth will spoil my appetite.

Olaf.I do not wish to quarrel.

Lief.It would suit my mood, if thou art willing. I grow weary of this loafing. My sword is covered with rust.

Olaf.Yet, a moment since, the talk was of settling down to become a landsman and a husbandman. Dost thou remember the day when I saved thee from drowning in Lake Myvatn? We were lads then, my Captain. Spluttering, with thy mouth filled by water, I heard thee say, “Olaf, if I come to die, let it be in clean brine! I like not the taste of mud.”

Lief.[Rising, with a smile on his lips.] Aye! I am in a queer temper to-night. Let us go to the wine! Feasting or fighting, I am happy. To-morrow I shall lead the exploring party. We may chance on some adventure then.

[Noise without. A Norseman bursts into the room. In the confusion the Indian slips out through the door C.

Norseman.Make haste! The Skraelings are attacking the ship!

Lief.[In a loud voice.] To arms! [He turns to look for the Indian.] The serpent! How easily he deceived me! To the ship! We can fight there. On land, we are at the mercy of children and savages.

[All rush out, leaving Lief and Olaf. Lief is fastening on his sword and helmet.

Olaf.[Waiting at the door for his chief.] I hear the thunder of the surf upon the shore. The clouds are dark as the wrath of Odin. It will be a night of wind and storm.

Lief.Let us go down to the sea. Forgive me, Olaf! You know that the land is not for me. To-morrow we set sail for Iceland.

[Arm in arm they go out through the door C.


[Illustration: “God have you in His keeping”]

    Christopher Columbus
Ferdinand, King of Spain
Isabella, Queen of Spain
Pedro, the favourite page of the Queen
A Table
Two Chairs, draped to represent thrones
Charts and Rolls of Manuscript

Scene: The throne room of Ferdinand and Isabella. Door C. The thrones R. and the table L. C. Columbus, a chart spread out before him, is in earnest conversation with the King and Queen. Other charts and papers are upon the table.


Ferdinand.[Covering a yawn with his hand, speaks to Isabella.] I have a new falcon. It was sent to me by the good abbot, our friend. A pretty bird and very keen! Let us make an end of this talk about a passage to India. The day is clear and could not be finer for hunting.

Columbus.[Starting to roll up his chart.] Sire, it gives me great sorrow to know that my poor words have been to no purpose. I thank you for the courtesy which you have shown to me.

Isabella.Be not so hasty, my good man! It is our will, to hear all you have to say. Your plan, I am persuaded, is a noble one. His Majesty will remain until we have made our choice. I am minded to have all completed to-day.

Ferdinand.Dreams! Idle dreams! This man has not proved that his route to India is shorter then the ones of which we know. Moreover, his demands are beyond all reason. Admiral of the Western Seas! Governor of all lands he shall discover! One tenth of the revenue from those lands! What nonsense! If it is your wish to humbly grant his behests, do not expect me to be a party to your folly.

Columbus.I shall begin once more . . .

Isabella.[Raising her hand.] We shall not request you to repeat your arguments. The King has heard them. The wisest men in Spain have been held spell-bound by the vision which you have shown to them. Only one thing causes me to fear.

Columbus.[Folding his hands, and bowing.] Her Majesty shall know all that is in my mind. I have nothing to conceal. I pledge my life that all shall be as I have promised.

Isabella.You are a brave man. Where, in my kingdom, shall we find others who will be as eager to venture out upon the Sea of Darkness? I have a memory of strange tales of men who went out into this world of the setting sun and returned no more. These stories have been told to every child in Spain. Fear is in every man’s heart when he thinks of the monsters that live in the unknown deep. Shall I send my sailors to this doom? Even if I command, will they go?

Columbus.Their risk will not be greater than mine.

Isabella.True! However, it may not be easy to command a crew which is ready to mutiny. One man against an hundred! It will task all your power, Master Columbus. There is danger in this—danger to your life and to my ships.

Ferdinand.To my ships? Do my ears hear aright?

Isabella.I have said, “my ships.” With my own moneys, I have helped to fit three caravels, the Santa Maria, Pinta, and Nina. This man will be their commander.

Columbus.[Kneeling.] May God bless your Majesty!

Ferdinand.[Sullenly.] Why, then, should I remain for further parley? The affair is between you, Madam, and this adventurer.

Isabella.[Placing a hand upon his arm.] Do not be angry! It is for the glory of Spain, and yours must be equal glory with mine, if God prosper the voyage. [To Columbus.] Where will you find men to follow you on this strange path over unknown seas?

Columbus.[Rising.] If all men see as clearly as I do, they would readily leave all to follow me. Untold riches await us in the Indies. There will be everlasting glory to your Majesties, and to you shall be given dominion over all the seas. New lands and peoples will be added to Holy Church, and its blessings will be upon us. I shall open a new way for the World to follow!

Isabella.[Shaking her head.] All men have not your faith and very few have your wisdom. Most certainly they have not your courage.

Columbus.There is a Boy at the heart of every Man. The Boy dreams and is not afraid.

Pedro enters and bows before the throne.

Ferdinand.Well, Sir Page, what message have you for us?

Pedro.Don Estaban craves audience with your Majesty.

Ferdinand.[Rising.] I shall meet him in my private chamber. [To the Queen.] Madam, you will pardon me if I leave you and Master Columbus to your own counsels.

[The Queen rises, while he departs. Then, resuming her seat, she beckons the page to her side.

Isabella.Ah, Pedro, what a little coxcomb you are! A new cap and a new sword! Pray tell me why you have taken to swaggering with a man’s weapon at your belt?

Pedro.[Shyly.] Your Majesty, the Captain of the Guards is giving me lessons.

Isabella.[To Columbus.] Your pardon, for a moment, while I scold this naughty boy of mine. [To Pedro.] Swords mean bloodshed. You are too young for the game of war.

Pedro.I must learn to fight for my Queen. There are dragons in the sea.

Isabella.Dragons in the sea? But here you are on land.

Pedro.By your Majesty’s leave, I am going to sea.

Isabella.To sea? Pedro!

Pedro.[Pointing to Columbus.] With Master Columbus!

Isabella.[Looking strangely at Columbus.] Master Columbus is bold. He goes where other men have never ventured to sail. If you follow him, you may never return.

Pedro.I want to know what is beyond the rim of the sea. The sun goes down every night. I watch its path across the crimson waves. Master Columbus will help me to find out where it goes. Then we shall sail back to you, and all the glory will be to the Queen whom I serve. She shall be greater than all others—Queen of the Sunset Lands. I have seen it all in my dreams.

Isabella.This man Columbus has bewitched us all with his dreams.

Pedro.But dreams come true, your Majesty.

Isabella.Sometimes. Aye, sometimes they do! Look, Pedro, I, too, had my dream. I had hopes that some day you would be a captain of my guards. Gold shall be yours, and a castle of your own when you become a great general. Lands and gold, Pedro! These I can promise you. Make your choice quickly. Will you be rich and happy here in Spain, or shall I let you sail with Master Columbus?

Pedro.[Hesitates, then goes to Columbus and stands at his side.] By your leave, my Queen, I shall sail with Master Columbus.

Isabella.[Rising.] The Boy dreams and is not afraid! At the heart of every Man, there is a Boy. Master Columbus, you have a strange power over men. They will follow you. God have you in His keeping and grant you a speedy and safe voyage!

[Columbus and the page kneel before the Queen.



“By this token, my General, they

are crowning you king of New Albion.”


Sir Francis Drake  
Somerville}Three Gentlemen-Adventurers
Master Fletcher, the Chaplain
Medicine Man and Indians
Mace (a staff with coloured ribands or feathers)

(The sound of drums may be represented by beating softly upon an empty box)


Scene: Within the fortifications surrounding the English camp in Drake’s Bay. There is an entrance L. and in the upper corner R. are several chests. Before these boxes, Drake is standing, in conversation with Beaumont, Somerville, and the Chaplain.


Drake.The work goes slowly—too slowly, Master Beaumont. Our ship must be ready to sail within a fortnight.

Beaumont.It shall be done. We shall soon be ready to leave New Albion. That is the name you have given to this new land, my General? Am I right in this?

Drake.When Cæsar first saw the shores of Britain he called our island Albion. We are first, by God’s grace, to see these shores. Albion they shall be called until a better name be found. I want you to make all haste, Master Beaumont. Seams must be tight, all rigging and canvas in good repair for a long voyage.

Somerville.Master Beaumont and I will see to it. However, we must not be surprised that the work goes so slowly. Our good men were sadly worn by the passage through wild northern seas. This sunshine and peace are much to their liking.

Drake.We cannot rest. The Golden Hind must be brought into an English port. Her Majesty awaits our coming.

Enter Master Neville.

Neville.The savages are advancing in great numbers, sire. They are pouring out of the forest like a swarm of brown bees from a hive.

Drake.Do they show signs of being hostile to us?

Neville.They are coming quietly enough, and with a show of friendship.

Drake.It is my command that they be not molested. They are a simple and kindly folk. We shall await them here.

The Chaplain.It may be that they desire again to hear the reading of the Scriptures.

Neville.Of which they understand not a word? That is not likely, Master Fletcher.

The Chaplain.Who can say what power the Holy Writ may have? When I read to them of late, they listened in meekness and in silence.

Beaumont.[Bowing.] A compliment to you, sir! You read passing well.

Drake.It will do them no harm and perchance much good. They have souls, and it is our duty to teach them. You have lately been in their villages, Master Somerville. Do they not live in peace?

Somerville.They are a harmless enough folk, with skill in the arts of peace. Their houses are of curious pattern. A circle of branches planted in the earth and drawn together at the top is covered with skins and rugs of finely woven bark. The women are always at work, weaving garments of many colours or stitching furs together, while the men hunt and take fish which they dry and store away for the winter. Aye, they can be taught and will make good subjects of her Majesty. It would be cruel to war on them.

Drake.You are right. Kindness will win them to us. It may be they will hold the country for us against the Spaniards.

Beaumont.If the Spaniards find us here there will be no need to think of any country but Heaven. The general is wise to counsel haste. I shall not rest easy until we see the last of these shores.

The Chaplain.Fear of the Spaniard ill becomes an Englishman.

Beaumont.[Sharply.] Your cloth gives you privileges, Master Fletcher. At sea, I will face a hundred Dons if need be. Out there in the bay lies the Golden Hind, helpless until she be fitted for battle. Here, in this fort, we are of little use to defend our ship.

Drake.Let be these bickerings! We are all of one mind to carry our adventure across the seas and to harry the Spaniard, whose pride must bow beneath the might of England.

Beaumont.I crave your pardon. I am eager to be out to sea again, and hot for the adventure of which you speak.

Drake.Adventure is waiting. Across these seas and into the sunset, we shall sail on a path no English ship has followed until this day. Riches and renown shall be to the faithful servants of her Majesty.

The Chaplain.It is a noble dream. God grant that you may come safely to the end thereof.

Drake.Have no doubts, Master Fletcher. In spite of treasons, the fleets of Spain, and perils by sea, the Golden Hind will win through to England.

Beaumont.Of this we, too, are certain. Faith in God and in our commander has never failed us. [The sound of a drum is heard.] The savages are within the camp!

[The men group themselves at Drake’s side. The Medicine Man, bearing a great mace, enters first. He is followed by an Indian carrying a war-bonnet. Other Indians follow. The Medicine Man bows, and signs to Drake to be seated. Sir Francis takes his seat upon one of the chests. The Indians circle about him in a dance. One of them places the war-bonnet upon his head, whereupon the other Indians kneel before him.

Neville.By this token, my general, they are crowning you King of New Albion. They are now your subjects.

Drake.Not my subjects, Master Neville! They are subjects of her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth. In her name I take their homage and claim for England this new land and the dominion of these seas. [Rising.] We shall go with our dusky friends to the edge of the forest and bid them farewell. Let presents be given to one and all. They must know the bounty of our Queen.

[Drake moves off stage L. followed by the Indians and Adventurers.


[Illustration: “Vive le roi de France!” ]

Jacques CartierFrench Soldiers
A PriestIndians
A Wooden Cross
A Cardboard Shield, bearing the inscription, “Vive le roi de France!” and the fleur-de-lis
Beads, Knives, and Hatchets, and a Cloak in which to carry them
Skins or Furs
Two Red Sashes and Two Red Caps

Scene: A clearing in the forest upon the shores of the Bay of Chaleur. A cross stands R. at the back of the stage. To the L. are trees, representing the edge of the forest.

Cartier, followed by a priest and soldiers, enters R. and proceeds to the foot of the cross, where he halts, and turns to his followers.


Cartier.You have done well! This cross will stand until we return. It will be a sign that our king is now the ruler of this new and pleasant land. [Placing his hand upon the shoulder of one of his officers.] But it will be good to be back in St. Malo again. There are many hearts there which have grown weary from waiting to see our good ships bearing up into the harbour; many, too, who have given up the last hope of ever seeing us again.

Priest.Le bon Dieu will comfort them!

Officer.It will comfort them more to see the faces they love. Yes [turning to Cartier], it is a wonderful land which we shall have to tell them about. Only this morning I went inland to gather fresh fruit for our stores. Goodly streams flowed through green valleys, the sun shone brightly upon the hill-sides, where we found berries a-plenty growing in the open places and, in a beautiful lake, our men took a supply of fresh fish of a most delicious kind. There were spots which reminded me of the pretty little gardens of Brittany, so thickly were they overspread by wild roses and other flowers. It is a happy land—a land of hope and good cheer!

Cartier.It was April when our good Philippe Chabot sent us out across the unknown seas. Sailing into the sunset, we have found for him a new kingdom—a real Garden of the Sun. We shall all be rich men after we have returned to France. However, it will be hard to make our townsmen believe the story of all we have seen.

Priest.I have thought of that, my captain. It is, indeed, only too true. We cannot take back with us aught that will tell the tale unless . . .

[He pauses, as if hesitating to give utterance to his thought.

Cartier.You have a plan, good Father? May we ask what it is?

All.Yes! Yes! Let us listen to good Father Barbeaux!

Priest.I would have spoken about this before to-day, but I was not sure that it would be pleasing to le bon Dieu. Now, I have prayed and fasted, and I believe it is His blessed will. Will you permit me, my Captain, to take with me to France two of the sons of this savage king? They will be certain proof that we have found this strange land.

Cartier.Ah, but this is not so easily done! A father—even a heathen father—loves his children, and will not readily part with them.

Priest.True. We can but try. They are a very vain people. For some bright bits of raiment or a few glittering baubles, they would sell themselves into slavery.

Cartier.I like not your plan, good Father. I am sorry to displease you, but I fear it cannot be done.

Priest.Fear? Why should we fear if it is His will? [Pointing heavenward.] Look you! I am growing old. You may all come back to this fair land. I am not so sure that I shall return to it. It is my duty to show this people the way of the Cross—to save their souls, and time has not been given me to do this. [Speaks regretfully, in a lower tone.] I had thought to teach these two youths so that they might bring back the story of the Good Shepherd to their kinsmen.

Cartier.I know. You were not thinking of yourself. Well, we shall see what may be done. I do not know the minds of these natives, but they do seem to be children—very simple and kind. Their chief is coming here so that I may have a parting word with him. That was his party which you saw a moment since climbing the path which leads from his village to this place. [Turning to the Officer.] Have you brought the presents for them?

Officer.[Looking at his company.] Where is Jean Marchand? I gave him a goodly store of beads and knives and axes to carry from the ship.

A Soldier.He is coming, sire. But it is a warm day, and . . .

Officer.And the rascal stopped to rest, no doubt. Stuffed himself with the salmon which we caught this morning, as if he were not already too fat to be of any use in a fight! But he is a shrewd hand at a bargain, and he will not lose our merchandise.

Enter Marchand, labouring and puffing. He is carrying a large bundle wrapped in a cloak.

Ah, there you are, sirrah!

Jean.I am here, sire . . . [Laying down his bundle and wiping the perspiration from his brow with his sleeve.] what there is left of me! Butter on a hot griddle must feel just as I did slipping and sliding on this broiling hill-side. What with these trumpery knives and hatchets digging into my ribs, and the salt sweat dribbling into my eyes, I am useless for the rest of this day.

Officer.That will do, Marchand! We have the king’s business to do. Attention, sirrah!

Jean.Yes, sire!

[Stands erect with the rest of the company.

Enter, L., the Indian Chief, his three sons, and other tribesmen. They are carrying skins of wild animals, which they place upon the ground, kneeling while they offer them to Cartier.

Cartier.Let presents be given to them!

[Jean, assisted by another soldier, unfastens the package, and presents the beads, knives, and hatchets to the Indians. A pantomime, in which Marchand bargains, much to his own advantage, for each skin he receives, may be introduced here.

Cartier.[To the Chief.] I have asked you to be with us to-day because I want you to see this Cross [pointing to the wooden crucifix above his head], and to see the words which I shall place upon it. [To the Officer.] To the centre of the Cross, you will securely fasten that shield with the writing upon it which says that our king is ruler of this land. The Lily of France shall stand guard here until we return.

[The Officer and a soldier nail the shield to the Cross.

Chief.[Starting forward.] No! No! The land belongs to me and to my people. We will not let the white king’s sign stand upon our soil.

Cartier.We are your friends. We will come again in the ships with the white wings, and we shall bring many, many gifts for you much finer than these [pointing to the Chief’s new hatchet and knife]. If we leave no sign so that we may know your country, we cannot come again to see you. [Pointing skyward.] One more sun and we shall come again.

Chief.[Doubtfully.] I do not know. [He fondles his knife and hatchet.] You will bring more and bigger knives, maybe? [Smiling.] Very well! I shall let the big post stand. We will not touch him.

Cartier.[Taking the Chief’s hand.] We are your friends, and our king is your friend too. He will want some word from you, who are a great king in this land. Will you send him your two sons, with pleasant words on their lips, to tell him about your wonderful country? His heart will be glad then, and he will send many big ships with gifts for you. He will send your sons back to you with their arms laden with treasures for you and for your people.

Chief.[Hesitating.] I do not know. [Shaking his head.] I do not know. It is very far, I think, across the great waters. I do not know your country. My sons do not know. You will come back in one sun?

Priest.[Taking, from under his robe, two red sashes and two red caps.] Look! Your sons will be great chiefs before our king. He will know that you, too, are a mighty chief.

[Places sashes and caps upon the Indian boys.

Chief.[Smiling proudly, when the boys stand before him, one upon each side of the Priest.] Ah, very good! Very good! Yes, I will send my sons to visit the Great King. I will trust my white friends.

Priest.Let us all kneel to the good God who has given this land of sunshine to His people!

[All kneel for a moment in silent prayer. Rising with his company, Cartier holds aloft his sword, and his men join in his shout: “Vive le roi de France!”



“A savage could think

of no greater cruelty”


Henry Hudson
His Son
Leader of the Mutineers
Two Sailors
Two Chairs
Maps, including one large wall map
Short Rope

Time: The spring of 1611.


Scene: Interior of Henry Hudson’s cabin. Door L. C. Table and two chairs R. C. There are maps and charts upon the table, while a large wall map shows fragmentary outlines of the eastern coast of North America. Henry Hudson is seated at the table. By his side stands his little son, who is listening eagerly to his father.


Hudson.In a few more days we shall set sail for the Spice Islands. By steering north and westward, we shall find the passage which will lead us to the Pacific Ocean. This morning I felt a warm spring wind blowing off shore. This will revive the courage of our men.

His Son.I hope that it will make our sick men well again. It is harder for them, isn’t it, father?

Hudson.Yes, my son, the time seems very long to them. I do not feel so much for the others. They lack understanding. Sometimes they lose faith.

His Son.I overhear them talking when I am going about the ship. They say cruel things about you, father. They say you are mad—and selfish!

Hudson.Selfish! They cannot say that—surely they do not say that!

His Son.They say that you do not care for their lives. If they all perished, you would still sail on through these wild seas until you satisfied yourself about the North-West Passage.

Hudson.Without paying the price, we cannot gain great prizes in this life. If there is danger, there is also glory.

His Son.They say, too, that there is no passage to China—only frozen seas and mountains of ice to destroy our ship. Now that the way is clear, they want to go home to England.

Hudson.I know. They do not love me, because they are blind. However, if we can only start out to sea again, they will be busy. They will forget. [Drawing the lad to him.] Sometimes I feel sorry that you came into these dangers with me.

His Son.But I am glad to be with you, father. It would have been lonely at home without you. I am not afraid.

Hudson.In England the spring flowers are blooming now. The little country lanes near our home are ringing with the song of birds. A soft, green veil of leaves is covering all the hills with beauty, while here there are only ice-bound shores and grey seas. I would not blame you if your heart turned homeward.

His Son.But, father, beyond these cold seas there are flowers and perfumes! You have told me about the Spice Islands, where the sun is shining on the palms and the moon fills all the nights with magic. I want to see China and India.

Hudson.[Rising.] By God’s grace, you shall . . . and there may be fair lands to see before we win through to the Indies. [Pointing to a place on the wall map.] I have told you about the great river which I found when I visited my friend, Captain Smith. It was broad and like an arm of the sea, so that I thought it might lead to China. It ran through one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen.

His Son.Tell me about the red men, father.

Hudson.[Once more pointing to the map.] See, this is where Captain John Smith lives! That is Jamestown. I sailed from Amsterdam and touched the new land away north of Smith’s colony. Storms had taken away our foremast. I landed, and our men cut down a great tree to make a new mast. Then I searched the shores again until I found a channel that cut into the land towards the north-west. The red men met us there, and we had a fight.

His Son.What are they like, father?

Hudson.They are savages dressed in the skins of wild animals and, on their heads, they wear the bright feathers of birds. Their hair is black and shiny—very straight—not wavy like yours. Their skin is the colour of a copper pot that has not been cleaned for a long time. They killed one of our men in the battle.

His Son.Are they good fighters?

Hudson.Like wolves and other wild creatures, they fight best in packs. They soon saw that it was best to be friendly. Then they brought strange and lovely fruits to us and we gave them beads and knives in exchange. Then we sailed up the great channel until we found that it was not a strait but a very large river.

His Son.Did the savages follow you?

Hudson.No. They went back to their villages. However, we found many of them at places along the banks of the river. At one village, we had a great feast with them.

His Son.Did they take you into their houses?

Hudson.Their chief took me to his home, which was a hut built of bark, without doors or windows. The smoke escaped through a hole in the roof and we sat on skins laid upon the bare earth. It was a great feast.

His Son.What is their food, father? Is it like ours?

Hudson.You would not care for it. Roast dog may be very good if you do not know that it is dog.

His Son.Roast dog?

Hudson.Aye, roast dog! However, our men had helped to kill some wild pigeons, and these we preferred to the fat dog which our friends were eating. Then we had soup—very good, indeed—made of corn and beans.

His Son.Did you give them presents?

Hudson.Yes, yes, many presents. I have shown you some of the furs and trinkets of copper which they gave to us. They have a rich country—a good land which we may visit together some day.

His Son.Is their place as beautiful as England?

Hudson.Every country has its own beauty. There the autumn is a lovely season. Blue haze hangs over the hills and drifts through the valleys. The sunshine comes sifting through this haze like yellow gold. The trees, with the first frost, are clothed in garments of gold and crimson. The forests blaze with colours of the sunset. It is not like England.

His Son.Father, I heard one of our men say that he would give the world to be back in England to see the spring come in. He was cursing you because he would not see it this year. When he saw me, he quit his oaths, but he looked as if he wanted to kill me.

Hudson.I will not have you treated this way. I shall teach them better manners. I have a mind to call the crew together to tell them how cowardly they are. Ungrateful wretches! I have befriended them one and all.

Footsteps are heard without. The leader of the mutineers enters swiftly, and stands silent near the door.

Well, sir, what do you wish? What is your errand?

Mutineer.[Boldly.] I have been sent to have a word with you in private, Master Hudson.

Hudson.You have been sent? By whom? Pray what is the meaning of this?

Mutineer.The men are all of one mind, sir. We are all for England, and no more of this wild venture.

Hudson.[Sternly.] Do you know that this is mutiny?

Mutineer.Nay, we only wish to reason with you. A word in private may change everything. Will you send the young master on deck so that we may talk more freely?

Hudson.[To his Son.] You may go, my lad.

[When the boy is passing the mutineer, the man suddenly draws his sword, and places its point at the boy’s breast.

Mutineer.[To Hudson, who has started forward.] Remain where you are! One step more and your son shall die!

Hudson.Put up that sword, sir. I will have you hanged for this.

Mutineer.I have thought of that. We are desperate men, and are ready to kill you if we are forced to it. You, Master Hudson, are under arrest. If you resist, your son’s life is the forfeit. [Calling.] Ho, there! [Two sailors enter, carrying ropes.] Bind this madman securely. He likes these cold seas. He shall have his fill of them.

[The men bind Hudson’s hands to his sides.

Hudson.What is this evil in your mind? Is it murder?

Mutineer.Nay, we shall not kill you. We shall give you a boat in which to go to China. Meanwhile we shall take the ship back to England.

Hudson.Wretch! You cannot mean to do this thing! A savage could think of no greater cruelty.

Mutineer.[Pointing to the door with his sword.] Up, sir, to the deck!

[Hudson’s son springs to his father’s side.

Hudson.Never fear, my lad! God will have us in His keeping!

[Hudson and his Son go out through the door, followed by sailors with drawn swords.


[Illustration: “It is a voice from Heaven!” ]

Samuel de Champlain
Madame Bouchotte, his Housekeeper
A Priest
A Frenchwoman
French Boy
English Officer
Two English Soldiers
A Sword
A Platter, a Bowl, and a Jug

Scene: The interior of a room in Champlain’s house in Quebec, 1629. The furniture consists of a deal table L., beside which there stands a rough, home-made chair or stool. There is a door R., and a door C. Windows on both sides of the door C.

Champlain is discovered sitting in the chair by the table. His head is bent forward, his face partially covered by his hands, his whole figure expressing some great grief which has come to him. Madame Bouchotte enters R., bearing a bowl and a jug upon a platter. She pauses and, after looking sadly at Champlain, she shakes her head and goes out again. A moment later she enters, without the platter, and, walking softly across the room, she places her hand upon her master’s shoulder.


Madame Bouchotte.Ah, sire! If you would but eat a little, I am sure that you would feel better. Things are never so bad but they might be worse! And there is always hope. This morning—I must tell you—I went down to the church and prayed. It was very early. Not a soul was abroad . . .

Champlain.[Raising his head, with a gesture of weariness.] There was no one on the street? You should be thankful for that. If you had seen any of our people, their white, starved faces would have reminded you that prayers cannot help them. When I go out, they all look at me with eyes which blame me, and which ask me for the help which I cannot give. [Covering his face once more with his hands.] I cannot bear it much longer.

Madame Bouchotte.They know that it is not your fault. The king should send food and arms. You have done much for him and for the Company.

Champlain.[Looking at her in surprise.] You have not heard the news from Tadoussac? Forgive me! My mind is all in a muddle. I did not remember to tell you; or I thought that I had told you. Our ships, with the food and arms we needed, have all been taken by the English. No; one ship escaped, but it has not been seen on the river.

Madame Bouchotte.[Kneeling beside him.] Then all is lost! You must ask for terms. Our people are dying from hunger, and they have been so brave. Oh, you must surrender!

Champlain.[Starting to his feet.] Surrender Quebec? Never! Not while there is one man left alive to defend it. My hands have carved this spot out of the wilderness to be a home for our people. I, too, have starved and fought during the long years that are past—all to keep our flag flying over this fair new land of Canada.

Madame Bouchotte.[Rising.] Forgive me! [A knock is heard at the door, C.

Champlain.[Waving his hand towards the door.] Aye! See who is there. They cannot bring worse news than we have.

[Madame Bouchotte, going to the door, admits a priest and a poor woman, wife of one of the colonists.

Priest.I wish you a very good morning.

Champlain.Thank you, Father. It will be a good morning, if you can tell me our ship has arrived.

Priest.Of ships and soldiers I know nothing. I come to you to plead for the helpless little ones whom God has given into our keeping. This good woman [pointing to the woman at his side] has a little son. He will not live another day without the food he needs. The English will feed him. Let us give them Quebec!

Champlain.No surrender! [Turning to Madame Bouchotte.] My sword! Before we are betrayed, I must call out every loyal Frenchman who can stand, and we shall defend Quebec.

Madame Bouchotte.[Reluctantly leaves the room and returns with his sword.] If you will not listen to the good Father, do please hear this poor mother.

Priest.If we forget to be merciful, can we expect His mercy for ourselves?

Champlain.[Speaking to the mother.] I would give my life to save your boy, but I am a soldier of France. I must do my duty to my king.

Through the door C. the boy enters. He looks about uncertainly, then, seeing his mother, he runs to her and stands clutching her gown.

Mother.[Anxiously, staring at him in amazement.] Pierre! My poor Pierre! You! You are strong enough to stand! Oh, I cannot believe it!

Boy.They are coming! The English are coming!

Mother.[Catching him in her arms.] Pierre, my darling, you are trembling. What is it? Have they frightened you so?

Boy.No, no; I am not afraid. Pierre is not afraid. Oh, mother, I had a wonderful dream . . . [passing his hand over his eyes] if only I can remember it all. A beautiful lady, with golden hair, on a great white horse. . . . Oh, mamma, the horse was all covered with white silk, painted with big golden lilies! She rode up by the river path to our door, and she told me that we must give up to the English now. They will give us food. She said—her voice was just like the pretty brook which flows by our door—she said that we would all come back from France after the war. She said that the lilies of France would fly once more over our home in Quebec . . . and our people . . . thousands of them, would be here some day . . . and hundreds of great ships sailing up and down our river. Yes . . . and she said that some day—a very long time from now—the English and we should be friends. Then she touched me, mamma, and I felt well and strong, and ran to tell you.

Priest.Jeanne d’Arc! A miracle! Our Blessed Lady has sent her!

Champlain.[Putting his arm about the lad.] It is a voice from Heaven! [Crosses himself, and looks upward.] Now I know that it is right to give up our homes to the English. It is God’s will.

Boy.The English are here now. I saw one of them—a tall man with a white flag in his hand—and there were others. They were coming up this way from the river.

Champlain.[To Madame Bouchotte.] Let everything be put to rights. [To the mother.] Take the dear lad away. I shall not forget. The king must hear of your son’s service to France. [The mother and boy go out through the door C.] Wonderful! [To Madame Bouchotte.] Your prayers, good dame, were heard. Pride had closed my eyes to the misery of my people. [Steps are heard without, and then a knock at the door C.] Enter!

Enter an English envoy, bearing a flag of truce. With him are two English soldiers.

The Envoy.Is this the house of Monsieur Samuel de Champlain?

Champlain.It is. I am the man whom you are seeking.

The Envoy.Our commander, Mr. David Kirke, acting for and on behalf of his Most Gracious Majesty, has instructed me to say that he is willing, if you surrender Quebec, to treat your people with honour, and to give, to them and to you, a safe passage to France.

Champlain.You may tell your commander that the fortune of war has favoured him. Had our supplies reached us, all the ships of England could not have taken our fortress. I accept his terms and thank him for his courtesy.

The Envoy.At midday our commander will come ashore to make further arrangements with you. Good morning, sir.

[The Envoy and soldiers go out. Champlain goes to the window and stands with his back to the others.

Madame Bouchotte.Oh, I am glad it is over!

Champlain.[Suddenly facing them.] It has only begun! The boy has seen, and he knows. Our Canada, some day, will be one of the fairest and greatest lands in all the wide world!



“Here, I shall give you the raisins

even if you are not good.”


Jesuit Father
Indian Children
Jean Fortin—a coureur-de-bois
Desk, or Rough Table

Scene: The interior of a Jesuit mission school among the Huron Indians. There is a door C. and a window to right of the door.

The Father is seated at the desk. Before him, upon the floor, the Indian boys and girls are squatting in a semicircle.


The Father.[Pointing to the window.] The sun is shining brightly. See how it shines for everyone—for the bad as well as for the good. Our Heavenly Father is like the sun. He loves us all, although we sometimes forget to thank Him for His tender care. Who can say, “Our Father,” this morning? [A little lad stands.] Ah! That is good! Sa-lan has been working. Yes, Sa-lan? What are the words?

Sa-lan.“Our Father who art in Heaven . . .”


The Father.Yes. Go on. “Our Father who art in Heaven . . .” [Sa-lan shakes his head.] You are doing well. [To the class.] Where is the Heaven of which Sa-lan is speaking? [The pupils all point upwards.] You are right. He, the Great Father, lives beyond the blue sky. Some day those who are good will all go to live with Him.

A Boy.Sa-lan will not go!

[Sa-lan, scowling, turns to look at the boy who has spoken.

Sa-lan.I will!

The Father.Hush, my boy!

A Boy.The Father said it is bad to kill. Sa-lan says he will be a big chief and he will have a hundred scalps at his belt.

The Father.How very wicked! Did you say this, Sa-lan? [Sa-lan hangs his head sullenly.] I am sorry. [He rises and, in a kindly way, places his hand on the boy’s head.] The Great Spirit—Our Father in Heaven—will be sorry if you said that. But you must tell me.

Sa-lan.Then you will not like me, and will not give me anything. [Turning angrily to the boy who has accused him.] Oh, I’d like to scalp you first of all! I will, too!

[He makes a dash, and disappears through the door.

The Father.[At the door, calling.] Sa-lan! Sa-lan! [Shaking his head sadly, he goes back to his desk.] Can some other boy say the words? Let us all say them together. [Begins.] “Our Father . . .” [All sit silent.] Come, let us begin! Have you all lost your tongues?

[All shake their heads, but remain silent.

The Father.[Rising.] I have told you that the Father in Heaven shines for all—for the bad as well as for the good. [From the pocket of his gown he takes a handful of raisins.] Here, I shall give you the raisins even if you are not good. [The children, rising, take the raisins very eagerly.] Now, go away and play. When the sun is high [points upward], come back and bring the good words with you.

[The children troop out through the door. The Father returns to his desk, where he sits, looking sad and very weary. Sa-lan’s face appears at the door. Very slowly, he enters, pausing and looking as if ready to run should the Father make a movement towards him.

The Father.Well?

Sa-lan.Sa-lan is sorry. He did not know the white Father in Heaven would send a man to punish him.

The Father.What do you mean?

Sa-lan.He is coming now. [Pointing through the doorway.] A big white man. He is coming for Sa-lan. [He runs forward and catches hold of the priest’s robe.] Save me!

The Father.A white man? Where is he?

Sa-lan.Down by the river—in canoe.

The Father.Go! Lead him here to me and you will be forgiven. Do this quickly and Our Father will not remember your bad words.

Sa-lan.Yes. I will go.

[He goes out.

The Father.[Going to the door and looking out.] Who can it be? My old eyes cannot see. The smoke from the campfires has ruined them. Ah! It is not one of our brothers, but it is a white man. What can he want of me?

[He turns back into the room and busies himself at his desk.

Enter Jean Fortin.

Ah! Jean Fortin! Welcome! You are far from home. What brings you here?

Jean.Your blessing, Father. [The Father blesses him.] Is it strange that I should be here? I am among my own people.

The Father.[Shaking his head, sadly.] Ah, yes! I remember. You are married to an Indian wife. Why do you not give up these savage ways?

Jean.We will not talk about that now. I am still a Frenchman. That is why I have come to see you. You must fly with me. The Iroquois are coming!

The Father.The Iroquois are coming? You know this!

Jean.They have burned all the Huron villages farther north. Not a soul has been left alive between here and the great lake. I alone escaped because I was away upon a hunting trip.

The Father.[Crossing himself.] God help my little flock—my poor people! [He moves towards the door.] I must warn them!

Jean.Stay! You must not warn them. What good will it do? In an hour’s time the Iroquois will be here. Come, fly with me! My canoe is at the landing below the village. My wife is there, waiting for you and me. I should not have stopped here, but—you are of my own blood. You are French and are my countryman.

The Father.[Standing proudly erect.] You ask me to fly—to desert my people—these poor souls whom God has given into my keeping. Never! How far you have fallen to think I would do this!

Jean.Have you lost your reason? The Iroquois will not kill you quickly. They will torture you with a slow and horrible death.

The Father.They can kill my body, but not my soul. My people, facing death, will need me more than they have ever needed me in life. Why have you not warned them?

Jean.For a very good reason. By myself, I have a chance to escape. With your whole village crying at my heels I should be lost.

The Father.You are heartless!

Jean.No; just wise in my own way. While the Iroquois delay to burn this town, I can be thirty miles upon the path that leads to safety.

The Father.Heartless! Living with the savages, you have become as cruel as they.

Jean.Oh, I am not altogether bad. Remember, I have stopped to warn you.

The Father.Yes. Forgive me! I thank you for that kind thought. For your own sake, I rejoice that you have done this.

Jean.For your sake I did this. Come now! We have no time for argument. If you remain here, it means your death.

The Father.If it is the Lord’s will, I shall die, but I cannot leave my post. [At the door, he turns to Jean.] You may go. Take my blessing with you. My duty is here! [Goes out.

Jean.He is a brave man. I am not so good. Perhaps that is why I am not so brave. I must take my wife and fly to the forest.


[Illustration: “Daulac has won his spurs” ]

Marguerite, who is engaged to marry Daulac
Madame Duprat, Maisonneuve’s housekeeper
A Young Seigneur
A Table
Two Chairs (one of these an easy-chair or rocker)

Scene: The interior of a room in Maisonneuve’s house, Montreal. Door C. Door L. Table and two chairs R.

Madame Duprat is discovered sitting in the rocker near the table. She is busy with some embroidery. Marguerite enters C. She goes slowly to the table, picks up a piece of embroidery and looks at it. Then she puts it down listlessly and starts towards the door L. Madame Duprat has been furtively watching her during this time.


Madame Duprat.Marguerite!

Marguerite.[Pausing and turning to Madame Duprat.] Yes, Madame.

Madame Duprat.Come here, please.

Marguerite.[Going reluctantly towards Madame Duprat.] What is it, Madame? What have I done?

Madame Duprat.[Putting down her embroidery and taking the girl’s hand.] It is not what you have done, my dear. When are you going to be the same as you once were? When are you going to be the busy, happy girl we used to know?

Marguerite.[Sitting down, and taking up embroidery.] Well, I shall get to work at once if you will show me the new stitch I want to know.

Madame Duprat.Yes, of course. I shall be glad to show it to you. Then . . . will you smile a little for me? I have missed your bright laughter.

Marguerite.How can anyone laugh while we are surrounded by danger; when death is lurking in the forests about us?

Madame Duprat.But we are safe. The Indians will not attack Montreal.

Marguerite.Not while Daulac is alive!

Madame Duprat.[Glancing quickly at the girl.] True! He will beat them so thoroughly that they will never dare to be seen near Montreal.

Marguerite.Oh, you know that he will beat them. Yes. Do you know that it may mean the death of all his brave men? We sit safely here while they are risking their lives. At this very moment they may be suffering torture in an Iroquois camp.

Madame Duprat.The Good God will protect our defenders. I prayed for them this morning. I said a dozen extra prayers to the Blessed Virgin.

Marguerite.We pray. Oh, yes! But the Governor sleeps and eats as usual. There are a hundred strong men here eating and sleeping in safety, while Daulac and his little band are fighting the Iroquois.

Madame Duprat.He offered to go. It was his own wish. Besides, he had reasons of his own for wanting to do something for France.

Marguerite.[Rising, and speaking angrily.] You mean that silly story that he did something dishonourable in France, and would willingly wipe it out by some brave deed? I have never believed that. Daulac is the soul of honour. He has done nothing for which he needs to be ashamed.

Madame Duprat.Tut! Tut! Dear me! I did not intend to raise such a storm.

Marguerite.[Still speaking more loudly than usual.] I am not angry with you, Madame. Forgive me if I have hurt you. I am angry because our Governor does not send aid to his gallant gentlemen. There is some reason—something behind it all which I do not understand.

Madame Duprat.[Rising] Hush, my dear! The Governor may hear you. [A noise is heard L. as of someone pushing back a chair and rising to his feet.] Alas! It is too late! He has overheard you.

Enter Maisonneuve, L. The women curtsey.

Maisonneuve.So we have a rebel in our house?

Marguerite.I am a loyal subject of his Majesty, sire.

Maisonneuve.However, you think his Majesty’s Governor has done a grievous wrong. Is this not so?

Marguerite.[Faltering.] Ye-es! [Then, more bravely.] I dare to think that he has allowed brave men to go to their death when he could have kept them here in safety.

Maisonneuve.Here! In safety? At any moment we may hear the yells of the Indians who are waiting a chance to kill every man and woman in Montreal. My dear, the lives of my people are in my keeping. I had to make a choice between Adam Daulac and his men and the whole of New France. [Coming forward, he places a hand upon her shoulder.] Of course it may be that you think more of Adam Daulac than of France!

Marguerite.I am thinking both of Daulac and of France.

Maisonneuve.Yet you said there was something behind it all. You were angry with me.

Marguerite.Daulac and the others have been away such a long time now. You must know that they are in deadly peril. You have soldiers here. Why do you not send them?

Maisonneuve.I need my soldiers here to defend Montreal.

Marguerite.Oh, I cannot understand why you allowed him to go! Please—I beg of you—send some help, if only a small company. [She kneels.] I am not pleading only for Daulac, but for the others, and for their mothers and for those who love them.

Maisonneuve.[Seating himself, and drawing her to him.] Once, far away in sunny France, there was a time when every boy had to win his spurs in battle before he could become a knight and a soldier of the king. Those were goodly days. A man was tried and true before he was allowed to take the things which belong to men. Often he had to ride abroad for many years—as a knight-errant—doing things that were worth while, before he could claim the hand of the lady whom he loved. Not money and lands, but great deeds, were demanded of him. When Daulac comes back to us he will be a man, and you will be more proud of him than when he went away. [There is a knock at the door C.] Enter!

A young Seigneur comes in.

The Seigneur.[Bowing low to the Governor.] I bring news of the Sieur des Ormeaux, Adam Daulac, and his company, sire!

Maisonneuve.[Rising.] What is the news? We have waited long for word from him.

The Seigneur.An Indian runner—a Huron—has just arrived from the scene of the battle. It was at the Long Sault, on the Ottawa, sire. For eight long days our men held out against a host of the Iroquois who were on their way here to destroy us. Our enemies, frightened by the daring of our men, have fled to their own country.

Maisonneuve.But our men—when will they return to us?

The Seigneur.Sire, they will not return. They have, one and all, given their lives for France.

Maisonneuve.They died for France, and have saved Canada. Daulac has won his spurs. He will live forever in the hearts of his countrymen.

Madame Duprat.[Taking Marguerite in her arms, and crossing herself.] Thy will be done!


[Illustration: “Who is this young soldier of the King?” ]

Madeleine de Verchères
Raymond, her brother
Jacques Manton, a soldier of the garrison
Lieutenant and Two French Soldiers
A Table
A Chair
Two Muskets


Scene: The bastion of the fort at Verchères. Madeleine, musket on shoulder, is on guard. There is a door R. and a door L. Table and chair L. at back of stage. Madeleine is slowly pacing back and forth, now and then pausing at the doorways R. and L. to peer into the darkness. At intervals she sends the cry, “All’s well!” echoing through the place, and is answered by voices in the distance to R. and L.

There is slight noise L. She halts, holding her musket ready for action. Then, more distinctly, someone can be heard walking stealthily.


Madeleine.Halt! Who goes there?

[There is no answer to her challenge. Madeleine raises her musket to her shoulder, as if about to fire.

A voice without.Do not shoot, Mademoiselle! It is I, Jacques Manton.

One of the soldiers of her little garrison enters.

Madeleine.Jacques Manton! You have dared to leave your post? Back, sir, or I shall treat you as a deserter!

Jacques.[Raising his hand.] Lower your musket, Mademoiselle, I beg of you. When I have had a word with you, I shall go back to my place.

Madeleine.You must go back at once.

Jacques.All is well in the block-house.

Madeleine.For that, sir, little thanks is due to you. While I keep the walls of our fort, you are with the women and children. Doubtless they feel safe when they see your uniform. They do not know it covers a craven heart. Shall I tell them that I found you ready to blow up the fort? Shall I tell them you jump with fear, inside your uniform, every time you hear an Indian yell?

Jacques.Mademoiselle does not understand. I am not well. I am not a strong man, Mademoiselle. When I was young, I could bear to lose my sleep. Now, the cold chills me to the bone, and brings pains which rack my poor body.

Madeleine.Well? Can you think only of yourself? There are others, you know.

Jacques.When I am like this, I am helpless. Mademoiselle, I implore you! In yonder room [pointing to door L.] there is a flagon of wine. Permit me to fetch it. Then I shall be strong to defend you. I shall be able to relieve you here.

Madeleine.So! You are looking for false courage. Back, sir, I have not time for argument.

[Raises her musket.

Jacques.[Backing away to R.] But . . . you do not understand, Mademoiselle!

Madeleine.I understand that it is my duty to kill you if you refuse to obey me. Listen! You will go to the bastion where my brother Raymond is standing guard. You will relieve him and send him to me. If you fail to keep the bastion the Iroquois will have your scalp. Go!

Jacques.Ah! Mademoiselle is without mercy.

[He goes out R. Madeleine continues to pace up and down, musket on shoulder. Presently Raymond enters R. He is smaller than Madeleine, and is warmly dressed in fur cap and thick jacket. He runs to her and she puts an arm about him.

Raymond.Oh, I am glad to see you, Madeleine! When will father come? Let me carry your musket. Do, please! You must rest.

Madeleine.Thank you, Raymond. I am not tired. You had better lie down, little brother, and try to sleep.

Raymond.No! No! I am not so very tired. Sometimes, on the bastion over yonder, I began to feel sleepy, but always I remembered what you said to us. I could hear you saying, “Raymond, our father has taught you that gentlemen are born to shed their blood for the service of God and the king!”

[Passes his hand over his eyes.

Madeleine.You are a brave boy. No! You are shivering.

Raymond.Not because I am afraid, Madeleine. It was cold out there. Even when I walked fast, I could not keep warm.

Madeleine.I know. It must have been cold. [Warming his hands in her own.] Did you hear the Indians?

Raymond.Sometimes I thought I could hear them. It is so dark, you cannot see. The sound of the waves in the river, going splash against the big rocks, is just like voices, when you listen hard. Once I thought I heard someone shaking the palisade, and I very nearly shot off my musket to warn you.

Madeleine.The wind in the trees and the sound of water can deceive our ears. One has to keep wide awake.

Raymond.I did. But the Indians are afraid of you, Madeleine!

Madeleine.[Smiling.] I hope it is so. [Raymond suddenly presses his hand to his forehead.] Your head is aching?

[Hastily Raymond removes his hand from his head.

Raymond.Not very much, Madeleine.

Madeleine.[Anxiously.] Raymond, you must lie down to rest. [Taking off her cloak.] Here, put this over you. Yes. A good soldier must obey. Now I shall cover you up warmly.

[She makes her little brother lie down. She spreads her cloak over him and remains for a moment stroking his hair gently. He closes his eyes and apparently falls asleep. She rises and stands looking down at him, then, taking a rosary from her bosom, she bends her head above it while she prays. Very wearily she resumes her guard. Presently she pauses, and then sinks into a chair by the table. For a moment she struggles with her weariness, and then rests her head upon the table. A step is heard R. Madeleine springs to her feet and seizes her musket.

Enter Jacques Manton.

Madeleine.You again, sir?

Jacques.[Saluting.] Mademoiselle! I bring good tidings. I have heard a voice from the river. It was not the voice of an Indian.

Madeleine.[Excitedly.] From the river? Thank God, Who has answered my prayer! [She runs to the door L. Holding her hand to her mouth, she calls loudly.] Who are you?

Voices in the distance.We are Frenchmen, who come to bring you help!

Madeleine.[Going quickly to her brother.] Raymond! Raymond! Wake up! We are saved. Do you hear? We are saved. [Raymond, rubbing his eyes, struggles to his feet.] Do you remain here. [Hands him her musket.] I shall go down to the river to meet our soldiers. Manton, you will return to your post.

[Manton goes out R. Raymond stands guard. Madeleine goes out L. In a moment she returns, accompanied by a Lieutenant and two soldiers.

Lieutenant.[Seeing Raymond, greets him with a smile.] Who is this young soldier of the king?

Madeleine.He is my brother, sir.

Lieutenant.Bravo! Ah, what a story to tell our Governor—aye!—and the King himself must hear of this!

Madeleine.[Saluting.] Sir, I surrender my arms to you.

Lieutenant.[Bowing gallantly.] They are already in good hands.

Madeleine.Will you inspect the fort, sir? We have tried to keep everything in order.

Lieutenant.[Saluting.] Lead on, Mademoiselle! We shall be proud to follow you.

[All go out L., Raymond, musket on shoulder, forming the rear-guard.


[Illustration: “I cannot bear sad faces about me.” ]

François, the Habitant
Jeanne, his wife
Marie, their daughter
Henri, their youngest son
Philippe, a coureur-de-bois, their eldest son
Two Chairs (one of which is a rocking-chair)
Knitting-Needles, Yarn, and Woollen Socks
A Bow and Arrows
Buckskin Sack and Coins
Dishes, etc., for table


Scene: Interior of habitant’s house. There is a door C. and windows to right and left of the door. Jeanne is seated in a rocking-chair engaged in the knitting of woollen socks. Marie is setting the table. While doing this, she sings:

“A la claire fontaine

  M’en allant promener,

J’ai trouvé l’eau si belle

  Que je m’y suis baigné.”

Henri enters, carrying a new bow and arrows.

Henri.Look, mamma! Look, Marie! Mandan made these for me.

Jeanne.They are very nice. Mandan is a clever boy. But he may teach you his wild ways. He is only an Indian—a savage—and he thinks of nothing but hunting and wandering about in the woods.

Marie.Oh, mamma, he is a good Indian! He was baptised just like Henri and me.

Jeanne.[Shaking her head.] Yes! Yes! I know. However, you cannot change his red skin. Well! Maybe it is wicked to talk this way. The Father said we must not doubt the power of the good God, who can change the heart. Put away the bow and arrows, Henri. Marie has supper ready for you.

Henri.Please! I want to play with them, mamma. I am not hungry now. Mandan gave them to me because it is my birthday.

Marie.Put them away, Henri. You must not play with them in here. It makes mamma sad to see you so fond of hunting.

Henri.Some day I shall be big like Philippe, and I will shoot deer and everything.

Jeanne.[Rising hastily.] Marie understands. She knows. Come, my boy! Put the bow away! I do not want you to be like Philippe, who lives with the wild savages in the forest.

Henri.All right, mamma. Here, Marie! You put them away for me. [Hands the bow to Marie.] When will papa be home?

Marie.[Taking the bow and arrows and putting them away.] Soon—very soon, now.

Henri.He will not forget that it is my birthday. Do you think he will forget, mamma?

Jeanne.[Turning aside.] He will not forget.

Henri.Why did we not go with him to pay the rent? Last year we all rode, in the big sleigh, to the Seigneur’s house. We had a jolly time. We played games, and Madame showed me pictures and gave me sweetmeats, and we came home feeling happy. It was the best time I ever had.

Jeanne.Your father is an honest man. He . . . [There is the sound of footsteps without.] Ah, he is coming now!

[Marie and Henri run to the door to greet their father.

François.Well! Well! It is good to be home. [To Jeanne.] And supper ready! That is good, too. I am tired.

[Sits in a chair which he draws away from the table.

Marie.Your supper will get cold, father.

François.[Wearily.] I must rest for a while.

Henri.[Standing at his side.] Did you have a good time, father?

François.[Placing his hand on the boy’s head.] No, my son. I had a very poor time. All goes well when there is money in one’s pocket. Our crops were a failure. Everything has gone wrong. I was ashamed because I could not pay my rent. So I did not take you with me. You, too, would have been ashamed.

Henri.Never mind, father. I am big and I can work. We will have everything now. I am nine years old to-day.


Henri.Marie, where is my bow? I want to show it to father. Mandan made it for me because it is my birthday.

Jeanne.There! There! Come to the table and eat your supper, Henri. Give your father a chance to rest. Afterwards he will see your bow and arrows.

Henri.I shall wait to eat with father.

Marie.[Giving Henri the bow.] There is your bow!

Henri.Look, father! Isn’t it a beauty? [François, rising, seizes the bow as if about to break it.] Father!

François.[Giving the bow to him.] Forgive me! Take your bow, my son. I did not know what I was doing. Go out now—you and Marie. I must talk to your mother.

[He sits in a chair with his back to them. Slowly, and very quietly, they slip out of the door.

Jeanne.[Putting her hand on her husband’s shoulder.] You should have remembered that it is Henri’s birthday. He cannot understand why you so hate his liking for hunting and for the forest.

François.I am sorry. Anger rushed through me before I could think. If Philippe had stayed on the farm we should not be ashamed and in poverty now. My eldest son is a savage—a coureur-de-bois. My youngest wants to follow him.

Jeanne.Henri does not want to follow Philippe. No! The poor lad was thinking of his birthday, and hoping you had brought him something. He is only a little boy.

François.I should have brought him something, but my mind was all taken up with our troubles. Isn’t there something I can give him—something he has never seen before—some trinket we brought from France?

Enter Henri, in great excitement.

Henri.Philippe is coming! I am going to meet him. He is coming!! He is tying up his canoe at the landing.

[Disappears, with a shout.

François.[Rising.] Philippe! [Turning to his wife.] Our son is coming!

Jeanne.[Taking his hand.] Our son is coming home!

Philippe comes in, Marie and Henri, looking very happy, are holding his hands.

Philippe.[Jovially.] Ah! The good mother! And my father! [His mother embraces him. His father stands, not moving towards his son.] So! You have forgotten that it is Henri’s birthday. I have remembered. At Three Rivers I sold my cargo of furs. Yes! They paid me a good price. [Going to the table, he produces a buckskin sack and pours coins out upon the table.] It is English gold. What does it matter? It will get us everything that French gold can buy. See! We are rich.

François.You stayed away so long. I thought you had given us up altogether. Philippe, you must pardon me. I called you a savage, but you still love your people more than you do the red men.

Philippe.Not so long ago you were a young man, father. Then you wanted to be free. You wanted to roam about, seeing new places and having adventures. I cannot settle down to be a farmer. No! This is a wonderful land, and the forests and the streams call to me. You and Henri stay here. That is all right, but I must go away where there is a world bigger than your farm. See! I have brought you money for the rent—for many years rent. Henri told me about it. You can buy more cows; build a new house. Marie and mamma can have some pretty frocks; and Henri can have a birthday.

Henri.Let papa and mamma and Marie have their presents first. I have my bow and arrows which Mandan made for me.

Philippe.[Sitting down and drawing the children to him.] Let us be merry! I cannot bear sad faces about me. On the Ottawa, we sing while we bend over our paddles. You all know “Envoyons d’ l’avant, nos gens.” Come, let us sing together.

“Envoyons d’ l’avant, nos gens!

 Envoyons d’ l’avant!

 Pour aller voir tous nos parents,

 Mes chers amis, le cœur content, etc.”


[Illustration: “I am ready Sire” ]

Monsieur de Beauport, the Seigneur
Madame de Beauport, his wife
Jacques Saint-Pierre, a coureur-de-bois, their nephew
Nawaga, a Huron Indian
A Table
A Chair
A Small Framed Picture


Scene: The hall of the manor house at Beauport. There is a door C. with arched windows to R. and L. of it. A door L. Down C. there is a table and, in a chair beside it, Madame de Beauport is seated. Her nephew, Jacques, is standing at the side of the table, one hand resting upon it. The other hand is playing nervously with the fringe of his sash.


Madame de Beauport.Why will you be so stubborn, Jacques?

Jacques.I want to please you, my dear aunt. However, I am not a farmer and I never shall be a farmer.

Madame de Beauport.The position of a seigneur is not that of a farmer. Your uncle is prepared to give you three square leagues of land. That is an estate.

Jacques.In France it would be an estate. Here it is a wilderness. I should have to clear the land. The law says that the land must be cleared. You know this, of course.

Madame de Beauport.Perhaps your uncle may get you a position of some sort—something to do for the Government. Anything would be better than the savage life you are leading.

Jacques.I am not so sure of that. I can win a fortune with my sword: with a spade and mattock I am helpless as a child. I was not born a peasant, and I have not been trained for anything but fighting.

Madame de Beauport.I want you to remain a gentleman. It may seem hard at first; but you will not cease to be a gentleman when you do honest work. We must all be of some use in the world to have any real right to be alive.

Jacques.I know that you do not understand my love for the adventure of the fur-trade, although, if you could see the beauty of the forests you would love them. If you were a man, the freedom there would make you happy. You would not give it up for ten thousand leagues of land.

Madame de Beauport.[Sadly.] Oh, how often I wish we had never left France! You would have been different there. Everything would have been so different. There I could have kept my family about me. Jacques, when you were a little boy you were like a son to me.

Jacques.Yes, I know. You would have been happier in France.

Madame de Beauport.I could be happy here too. This is a wonderful country. I am sure that we shall be very proud of it some day. I am glad to do my share in building for the future. [Suddenly.] Oh, did I tell you that I had heard from Juliette? Your cousin is quite grown up. You would not know her now.

Jacques.I meant to ask you about her.

Madame de Beauport.She writes to say that she has left school and is in Paris with our cousins. She is eager to come to Canada, if we will give our consent.

Jacques.She cannot know what it is like here. This country is too rough for a young girl.

Madame de Beauport.Oh, no! You are mistaken. Juliette wants to help in this new country. She thinks it is a task worth while. She asks about you.

Jacques.About me? Surely she has forgotten about me. It is so long ago. We were children then.

Madame de Beauport.[Taking a miniature, in a frame, from the table.] It is not so long ago. See, she has not changed so very much! [Jacques examines the picture.] If only I could tell her that you were a seigneur and doing well. It would make her very happy.

Jacques.[Taking the picture.] It is Juliette! You say that she wants to come to Canada?

Madame de Beauport.Yes. Shall I tell you why she wishes to come?

Jacques.[Carelessly.] To be with you, of course.

Madame de Beauport.You are not altogether right. She wants to see her cousin Jacques.

Jacques.[Quickly.] You must not tell her that I am a coureur-de-bois. There are stories going about in France telling of our wild life in the forests. [Starts, and faces the door.] What was that sound? I thought I heard someone walking.

An Indian enters C. and stands silent in the doorway.

Jacques.Nawaga! What brings you here?

Nawaga.I bring your canoe. All Indian man very drunk. Too much fire-water.

Jacques.Are my furs safe?

Nawaga.All safe. I bring your furs. All Indian man very drunk. Sell furs to bad white men.

Jacques.[To Madame de Beauport.] I must explain. I believe the Intendant has a hand in this. He hires men to go up the river to meet our canoes. They give liquor to the Indians in exchange for the furs. It is a dirty business.

Madame de Beauport.It is disgraceful! How can you take part in this sort of thing. Jacques, there is no honour in it. It is not a gentleman’s game.

Jacques.I have no part in selling liquor to the Indians.

Madame de Beauport.Yet your good name suffers because you are with these savages, and because you are trading with them. What can I tell Juliette? She will suffer if she knows of this.

Jacques.[Going to her, places his arm about her shoulder.] She must not know. You are right. I did not think of others and of how it might seem to them.

Madame de Beauport.[Taking his hand.] Come back to us, Jacques. Now is a good time to break with the old life and to begin anew.

Jacques.I will do as you wish. I am sorry to have hurt you so. The furs which Nawaga saved will make me rich. I can hire help to clear the land and to build a house. I shall be glad to take my good uncle’s offer.

Madame de Beauport.I knew that you would want to make us all happy. Shall I call your uncle? He will accept your faith.

Jacques.If this is your desire, I am willing.

[While Madame de Beauport goes out L. Jacques stands, with arms folded, looking down at the miniature upon the table. When he hears footsteps approaching he hastily turns the picture face downward and turns to meet the Seigneur de Beauport, who enters with Madame de Beauport.

The Seigneur.I am glad, my boy, that you have decided to settle down. I shall help you in every way to make a beginning. This new land needs all its young men to make homes and to clear the way for those to come. Are you ready to take your oath of fealty? The fief of Robineau shall be yours when this is done.

Jacques.I am ready, sire. [Kneeling.] Monsieur de Beauport, Monsieur de Beauport, Monsieur de Beauport! I bring you the faith and homage which I am bound to bring you on account of my fief of Robineau, which I hold as a man of faith of your seigneury of Beauport, declaring that I offer to pay my seignorial and feudal dues in their season, and demanding of you to accept me in faith and homage as aforesaid.

The Seigneur.In the name of the king, I accept your faith and homage! [Jacques rises.] Now, you must see your new estate. The caleche is at the door. Will you come with us, Madame?

Madame.With pleasure!

[All go out through door C.



“This Bay is the one which was discovered

by Henry Hudson in 1610.”


King Charles II
Prince Rupert
A Gentleman of the Bedchamber
A Page
A Table
Two Chairs
A Pack of Cards


Scene: An ante-room of the King’s bedchamber. A page stands in attendance at the door C. The King is seated at a table, down C. He is engaged in a game of cards with a Gentleman of the Bedchamber. Footsteps are heard approaching. The page comes to attention. There is a knock at the door.


Prince Rupert.[Without.] It is I, Charles. May I enter?

Charles.The night is still young, Rupert. Come in.

The page opens the door. Rupert enters. The gentleman at cards with the King rises, and makes a low bow.

Pray be seated.

[Waving his hand towards a chair.

Rupert.Thank you. [He hesitates.] Monsieur Radisson is without. He has been entertaining me with some strange tales—so good that I wish to share them with your Majesty.

Charles.He is an amusing knave. Aye, bring him in! I am weary of the game.

[He pushes aside the cards. Going to the door, Rupert beckons, and Radisson enters. He bows to the King, and then remains standing with folded arms.

Rupert.His Majesty is of a mind to hear more of your adventures, Monsieur Radisson.

Charles.You are a fortunate man, Monsieur. You have been able to get away, at times, from flies and fools, and to be by yourself. Doubtless, at this very moment, you are longing to be in your wilderness.

Radisson.I have not the grace to be a courtier, your Majesty. Among savages I am accounted a man because my arm is strong and my eye is quick. It is a matter of usage. Would it please you to hear a tale of the Great Bay?

Rupert.Pardon me, your Majesty! This bay is the one which was discovered by Henry Hudson in 1610. It belongs to England.

Charles.Aye! I have, indeed, heard of this bay. You, Rupert, have been dinning it into my ears for the last fortnight. However, on Monsieur Radisson’s lips, it makes a good tale. Proceed!

Radisson.On the shores of the Great Lake we camped, fishing and hunting with the Indians from many tribes. I believe, your Majesty, we have seen more of the red men than have any other travellers alive. To trade with us, hundreds of them came from the sunset lands to westward. In blankets of bright colours, and having on their heads feathers of the eagle and the hawk, they swarmed about our lodge. They were friendly, and brought with them furs, of which they had a great store. Soon our huts were filled to bursting with the skins of beaver, marten, wolf, and bear. We had to spend much time in the building of a fleet of boats to move these furs.

Charles.These furs you found to be of good quality?

Radisson.I only wish that we could have brought some of them as an offering to your Majesty. They are finer than any in the world.

Charles.They were sold to your French masters, then?

Radisson.By your leave, I shall tell you of that. They were stolen, in part, by our French masters.

Charles.[Waving his hand.] Your pardon! I have cut short your tale.

Radisson.During the time when we were hunting and trading by the Great Lake, tales were brought to us of the bay to the north where, said the Indians, beavers were so plentiful that all the ships of Europe could not carry away their hides. With a party of the Indians for guides, I plunged into the forests and made my way to this bay. It was even as Master Hudson found it—a great inland sea, in summer blue and sparkling, in winter doubtless a plain of ice.

Rupert.A shorter way to this bay lies by sea directly from England?

Radisson.Yes, your Highness, through the passage used by Hudson.

Rupert.What befell when you returned from the north?

Radisson.When I came back from the Great Bay, we set out for Montreal. Our fleet of boats covered the river. Down to the water’s edge each boat was loaded with furs. When we landed, the Governor’s eyes bulged wide, and, to our sorrow, we found that he was a rogue of the worst kind. Not rewards, but fines and imprisonment, were meted out to us.

Charles.[Petulantly.] We have heard this tale before. Hast nothing new to-night? [Turning to Rupert.] Rupert, you are a fox. Monsieur Radisson is pumped dry. You had something else in mind than my entertainment. For the space of a month I have heard naught but furs, the Great Bay, new lands, Indians! Come! Why have you brought this man to me again?

Radisson.His Highness is not to blame, your Majesty. I am eager to have the honour of opening this new country for your Majesty. The bay is yours by right of discovery. The French are about to seize it. Time presses. I persuaded his Highness to seek an audience for me.

Charles.[Drumming nervously upon the table with his fingers.] I would that my fortunes permitted me to aid you in your venture.

Rupert.The fur-trade would fill our coffers, your Majesty.

Charles.Money! Money! Disgusting and dirty stuff! Yet, without it, life is a burden. If at this moment I had money, I would send Monsieur Radisson to the Great Bay.

Rupert.Permit me a question. [To Radisson.] What sum is needed to fit a ship for the trade?

Radisson.Merchandise for trading, wages for sailors, food and stores for the voyage—I cannot say to a penny! It will need several thousands of pounds.

Charles.It is useless to talk of it, Rupert. I am a pauper. Why should I indulge in dreams? Why befool myself into thinking that gold will flow at my command as if I were a Midas? Nay, Monsieur Radisson, I am surrounded by suspicion and flattery and lies. There are drapers in London more able to assist you than their king. We might as well be merry and forget that there is wealth beyond our reach.

Rupert.These same drapers, whom you have mentioned, may help us to solve our problem, your Majesty. They are greedy for trade. They will lend their goods. A company of us have put our pennies together to make a beginning, but we are in need of a ship.

Charles.[Smiling.] You should have been a merchant, Rupert—or a physician. You talk of pence like the former. Like the latter, you will not remove your plaster till it suits you. I suppose that I must promise you a ship before Knollys and I can return to our cards. [He picks up the cards.] Monsieur Radisson, you have a friend at court. He has wheedled a ship from me. For your tale, accept our thanks. [Turns to the Gentleman of the Bedchamber.] It is your play, Knollys.

Rupert.I thank your Majesty . . .

Charles.[Dismissing him with a gesture.] No thanks, Rupert! [He turns his back upon Rupert, while resuming his card play.] As usual, you have had your way. I wish you a very good night.

[Rupert and Radisson retire through the door C.



“A cloud rests upon the heart

of your white brothers.”


Pierre Vérendrye
François Vérendrye
Chief of the Bow Indians
A Pot
A Bundle of Faggots
Sticks for a Tripod
A Peace-Pipe


Scene: The camp of the Vérendrye brothers in the foothills of the Rockies. A pot is swinging from a rude tripod over a bundle of faggots. Pierre Vérendrye is trying to light the fire with a flint. François enters L.


François.You had better not light that fire, Pierre.

Pierre.Why should I not light it? We need something hot to drink. The wind is chill and I am tired as well.

François.Aye, the wind has a touch of snow in it. However, the fire must not be lighted. Our Indians are in a strange mood. They are afraid of the Snakes, and will fear that the smoke may bring them down upon us.

Pierre.You are right. I was not thinking about the Indians—only of you and of myself. Sometimes I feel very lonely, François. A chat with you, and a smoke, cheers me up.

François.Oh, I am lonely too, when I am not with you. I wonder how things are going back at Fort La Reine. At times I cannot help worrying. Father is getting old, you know.

Pierre.Not really old, François. He has a young heart, and he will never cease until he finds the Western Sea. If we can find it for him, he will be the happiest man in the world.

François.We shall find it. The Indians say it can be seen from the White Peaks that lie towards the sunset.

Pierre.Those glorious White Peaks! This evening I watched the sun going down behind them. They seemed like the walls of the heavenly city, gleaming with gold and jewels.

François.We are the first white men to see them. Of this I feel sure.

Pierre.Yes, we are the first. Others will follow. These lovely plains will not always be the home of savages and buffaloes. Here there is room for all the people in France.

François.Aye, and for many more! However, we must think of the present. I do not like the way our Indians are acting. I have called a council.

Pierre.You have called a council? What is the matter, François?

François.The old Chief is all right, but the braves are afraid. They are in the country of their enemies. They are so far from home that they fear for the safety of their women and children, whom they have left behind.

Pierre.[Looking off to R.] They are coming now! The Chief is our friend. Your fears may be groundless.

François.We shall see! I cannot help feeling uneasy.

The Indians come in R. led by their Chief.

Pierre.[Going forward to greet the Chief.] Welcome!


[The Indians squat in a semicircle. The Chief remains standing. He produces a peace-pipe. Lighting it, he inhales the smoke, and then passes it to the white men. The pipe is then handed to the warriors, who pass it to one another.

Pierre.A cloud rests upon the hearts of your white brothers. I am glad that you come to bring sunshine to them.

Chief.Have my white brothers felt the shadow of a cloud? That is well, for they will be prepared.

François.We are prepared. What is the cloud which you have seen? We are not afraid.

Chief.My people are like dust stirred by a strong wind. They want to go back to their villages.

François.To go back! That cannot be. We break camp in the morning and go on to the White Peaks.

Chief.My white brothers will have to go alone.

Pierre.Why are your people afraid? There are no enemies in sight. What new thing has happened?

Chief.To-day our scouts found a village of the Snakes. It was deserted. The Snakes are on the war-path. Even now they may be in our lodges. Our women and children may be slaves in the camp of our enemies.

François.[Excitedly.] This is idle talk—mere fancy.

Chief.[Sullenly.] I have spoken.

François.You have promised to guide us to the Great Water that is bitter to the tongue. Have you forgotten your words?

Chief.The heart of the men of the plains is not known to the white man.

François.[Bitterly, turning to his brother.] I have felt this coming. All day I tried to shake off the terror of it. Think, Pierre, we are within sight of the mountains which overlook the Western Sea! I shall not turn back. Never!

Pierre.It is hard. We have come so far. The dear father will be heart-broken. However, without help, we cannot win through. [To the Chief.] Say to your warriors, “The white man has been your friend. He has brought you many gifts from beyond the sunrise. Why do you wish to leave him now?”

Chief.[To the warriors.] You hear the words of our white brother.

A Brave.Our women and children cry to us in the night. They are afraid.

François.The Great Spirit will guard them until you return.

A Brave.The Great Spirit has told us to go home and fight for them.

François.Our Indian brothers said to us, “We shall lead you to the Great Sea.” Are their words weak, like birds blown by the winds?

Braves.[Together.] We are going back to our children!

Chief.Sorrow for my white brothers is in my heart. They can see that I have spoken truly. I must go with my people.

Pierre.We do not blame you. We know that you are a great chief, and that your heart is brave and true.

[The Indians rise and file out R. The Chief follows them.

François.Our journey ends here. We may as well go with them.

Pierre.[With his arm upon his brother’s shoulder, points westward.] There stand the great White Peaks, a mighty chain to bind our hearts to the adventure. See how the first star is shining above them! It is a star of hope and promise, François! Even if we are forced to turn back now, we will come again.

François.If we do not cross them now, I know that their beauty will haunt my dreams until I die. Come, let us see them in the moonlight!

[They go out, arm in arm.


[Illustration: “Take this man away” ]

General Wolfe
Jervis, his friend
A British Officer
Two British Soldiers
A French Deserter
Maps, Papers, Ink-Pot, and Quill
Small Framed Miniature


Scene: General Wolfe’s cabin on board the flagship of Admiral Holmes. Down C. there is a small table, upon which are spread maps, papers, and writing material. Wolfe is seated at the table, facing the audience. Jervis, his friend, is seated L. To the right of the table, a French deserter stands between two British soldiers, while a British officer is seen to the R. of the General.


Wolfe.[To the deserter.] You say that there are provision boats expected in Quebec to-night?

Deserter.Yes, sir. There are several boats which are due to arrive before morning.

Wolfe.[To the Officer.] This is fortunate for us. Be sure to instruct our men. They will be challenged by the French sentries. Let them remember to say that they belong to the convoys bringing provisions.

Officer. There is a risk in this, your Excellency. However . . .

Wolfe.[Sternly.] There is always a chance to be taken. No better plan presents itself. Our cannon cannot drive the French from their cliff. Our ships are even now wasting their powder.

Officer.I beg pardon, your Excellency.

Wolfe.Take this man away. There is no more to be learned from him.

[The soldiers escort the prisoner from the room. The Officer follows them.

I was weary but an hour ago. Now, my illness has passed, and I am eager for action. Let us once more go over the plan of attack. Then, for a few moments, we may rest before embarking.

Jervis.The plans have been conned over again and again. Every man in the fleet knows them by heart.

Wolfe.Aye, we may trust to the fleet. Are the boats in readiness?

Jervis.[Very quietly.] They are ready, your Excellency.

Wolfe.The utmost care must be taken. With the ebb-tide, we can drift down close to the shore. Its shadows will help to conceal our movements. If all goes well, the dawn will find our army on the plains above the city. Silence, on pain of death, and speed are what we must have. [Passing his hand over his brow.] I repeat the thing like a man in a dream. We have really no further need to talk of it. Every one of you, even the men in the ranks, know all that is to be done.

Jervis.Everything is going splendidly. We await but your order to embark. However, I still doubt the wisdom of your Excellency in leading the troops in person. Within the last week you have been consumed by fever. It is a needless risk you take.

Wolfe.Jervis, I know that your love speaks, and I am grateful to you. However, I might be angry with you if I were not so sure of your friendship. I am here for one purpose only—to take Quebec. Nothing else matters.

Jervis.If your Excellency will permit me to forget our uniforms, I may say that I am first your friend and secondly your officer.

Wolfe.[With a gesture of his hand.] Let us forget the gold lace, Jervis. For a little while we are alone. Even as my friend you cannot wish me to give up the glory after having waited so long.

Jervis.I know that you have been ill, and that you are still far from well. I am strong. God knows I would not deprive you of the glory, but I would willingly take your place of danger to-morrow, if that were possible. Yet I know the men need the sight of you to give them courage.

Wolfe.It is not kind of you to remind me of my miserable body. It has always been my enemy. When I embarked with my father to fight the Spaniards, I was a lad of thirteen. I had visions of glory and I was happy. Then came splitting headaches—legs that would not bear me except to my bed. Like a whipped schoolboy, I had to go back to my mother. I have never forgotten my shame.

Jervis.Forgive me! Shall I tell you that I think there is no stronger man in England than our General? It is easy for those who are sturdy to bear the hardships of a campaign. I am filled with amazement when I think of what you have done. Pitt chose wisely when he gave you the task of taking Quebec.

Wolfe.I do not deserve all your praise, Jervis. I do only what I can. You would be surprised if I told you how much I hate war.

Jervis.I fear that I do not understand.

Wolfe.It is better to save life than to take it. I have not always been a good soldier. On one occasion I disobeyed orders. Have I ever told you of it?

Jervis.You disobeyed orders? Impossible!

Wolfe.Not at all impossible. It was after Culloden Moor. I was with Cumberland in Scotland, you know. With the Duke, I was walking over the field of battle. A wounded Highlander raised himself from the heather and cast a look of scorn at us. The Duke cried, “Kill that insolent fellow!” I replied, “Your Highness may dismiss me from the service, but I refuse to be an executioner!”

Jervis.Ah, but that was not war! Slaying in fair fight and killing in cold blood are very different matters.

Wolfe.You are right, Jervis. War has its dark side, but it has also its bright side. We must be ready to give our lives for king and country, and there is glory in victory when our cause is just.

Jervis.I feel that we shall win to-morrow. When we return to England, there will be great rejoicing. You will then have a much-needed rest and added honours.

Wolfe.[Rising.] Is all in readiness? Have the boats been prepared? [His hand goes to his forehead.] Dreaming again! I can think of nothing else. Jervis, I shall not go home with you to England.

Jervis.Your Excellency!

Wolfe.No—merely James Wolfe—your friend! [Taking a miniature from his bosom.] Here I have a task for you, Jervis. You I can trust. After I am killed in action to-morrow, take this picture. Have it set in jewels, and give it to Miss Lowther. Will you do this for me?

Jervis.How can you be certain that you will fall to-morrow? You will return to England for your reward.

Wolfe.[Giving the picture to him.] Promise that you will do this for me.

Jervis.I promise.

Wolfe.All I hope is that I may be ready at all times to meet the fate which no one can avoid; to die with grace and honour when my hour comes, whether it be soon or late. Jervis, it is time to embark. We shall take Quebec.

[They go out together.



“Children, this belt of wampum I give to

you to wipe the tears from your eyes.”


Sir William Johnson
Pontiac’s Eldest Son
Chief of the Iroquois
Ottawa and Iroquois Indians
English Officers
Four Belts, in imitation of wampum
A Decorated Peace-Pipe


Scene: A clearing in the forest near Fort Oswego. To the R. stands Sir William Johnson, surrounded by his Officers and the Chiefs of the Iroquois. To the L. are the Ottawa warriors, headed by Pontiac. Sir William holds in his hand three belts of wampum.


Johnson.Children, this belt of wampum I give to you to wipe the tears from your eyes. [He gives the first belt to Pontiac.] Children, this belt of wampum I give to you to open your ears that you may hear the words of the king, your father. [He gives the second belt to Pontiac.] Children, this belt of wampum I give to you to clear your throats so that you may speak at ease. [He gives the third belt to Pontiac. The great peace-pipe of Pontiac is then handed to the Chief by a brave. Pontiac gives it to Johnson, and it is then passed to each member of the assembly.

Johnson.[After the pipe has gone its round.] Children, I bid you heartily welcome to this place; and I trust that the Great Spirit will permit us often to meet together in friendship, for I have now opened the door and cleared the road, that all may come hither from the sunsetting.

Pontiac.Father, I thank the Great Spirit for giving so fine a day to meet upon such affairs. I speak in the name of the nations to the westward of which I am master. It is the will of the Great Spirit that we should meet here to-day; and, before Him, I now take you by the hand.

[He shakes hands with Sir William.

Johnson.Children, it gives me much pleasure to find that your minds are turned to peace.

Pontiac.Will our English father speak of the fur-trade? Bad men go among our people and give them fire-water and make trouble amongst them.

Johnson.Officers will be sent to all the forts who will not allow these wicked men to go among your people. All such men will be punished by the king, your father.

Pontiac.When our great father of France was in this country, he listened to the words of his children and spoke in their language.

Johnson.Interpreters will be sent to all the forts so that my children may be able to speak to me.

Pontiac.The men of our French father brought the things which my people desire. They gave these things to us and we gave them our furs.

Johnson.The forts of your English brothers will be filled with goods—blankets, guns, and knives for the men, and beads and shawls for the women.

Pontiac.Our French father sent only words of kindness, and our people were glad.

Johnson.Your people have killed the men of your English father, but he does not send warriors to destroy you. He will not punish you if you repent and remain at peace with him.

Pontiac.When our great father of France was in this country, I held him fast by the hand. Now that he has gone, I take you, my English father, by the hand, in the name of all the nations, and promise to keep this covenant as long as I shall live.

[He gives a wampum belt to Sir William.

Johnson.I now, by this belt, turn your eyes to the sunrise, where you will always find me a true friend. I charge you never to forget the promises you have made, in the presence of the Great Spirit, to the king, your father, and to the English people.

Pontiac.Many suns ago, I sent war belts to the north and west. I promise to recall them. Some I cannot bring because they have been sent by the Senecas. When these belts are gathered together, they will be more than a brave can carry.

Johnson.In the name of the king, I thank you. Your father knows that you are a great chief.

Pontiac.I am master of the nations of the west.

Iroquois Chief.[Rising to his feet.] Great are the nations of the west and great is their chief, Pontiac. We, of the nations in the east, are also mighty warriors. We have always fought by the side of our English father, and we know that his words are good and true. Let us all hold fast to the chain of friendship and our children will be happy.

Johnson.If you come to the fort to-morrow, your canoes will be laden with presents from the great father, your king.

Pontiac.Father, I thank you.

[Sir William and his staff, with the Iroquois, go out R.

Pontiac.Men of the Ottawas, you have heard my words. Go to your lodges. One more sun, and then we go back to our camp on the Maumee. Now, it is my wish to be alone.

[The Ottawas depart. Pontiac’s son, a young brave, remains. He speaks to his father, who has turned his back while his people file past him into the forest.

Son.My father!

Pontiac.[Turning quickly to face him.] Why have you remained? I have said that I wish to be alone.

Son.I know that the heart of my father is sad. I wish to share his grief.


Son.Where my father goes, I shall go.

Pontiac.You have a stubborn heart. Well, it may be that you will become a great chief. You can uncover the hatchet and drive the English from our land.

Son.We have sworn to be at peace with them for ever.

Pontiac.Can the hatred of an Ottawa be buried like an iron hatchet? Never! To whom does this land belong? To your people, who are now scattered like leaves before the wind. I have failed. You may succeed.

Son.If it is the will of the Great Spirit, I shall be a great chief and I shall avenge my father.

Pontiac.Swear that you will never forget the wrongs of your people! Swear that you will never forgive the English!

Son.I swear.

Pontiac.The ways of the Great Spirit are dark, but they cannot crush the heart of Pontiac. We shall go back to the Maumee. There, in the forests, I shall walk alone. I may see the light. Now, all is black before my eyes. Let us go!

[They go out together.


[Illustration: “Prints, ginghams, lace for the lady!” ]

The Settler’s Wife, Mrs. Hutton
Tom}her children
A Yankee Pedlar—“Uncle Billy”
Johnny Nickawa, an Indian
Two Chairs and a Table
Socks, Yarn, and Knitting-Needles
Pedlar’s Box and Merchandise
Sack, partly filled, to represent haunch of venison


Scene: The interior of a cabin belonging to a United Empire Loyalist, on the shores of Lake Ontario. Door C. Small windows R. and L. of door. Down C. Mrs. Hutton is seated, quietly engaged in knitting woollen socks. On the floor, at her feet, her two children, Margaret and Tom, are playing “cat’s cradle” with a bit of yarn. Table L.


Tom.[Rising to his feet.] I don’t want to play any more, Margaret. [Going to his mother.] Mamma, I want to go down to Willie MacArthur’s place.

Mother.Dear me, child, you cannot go away down there before dark.

Tom.Yes, I can, mother, if you will let me. It is Willie’s birthday. His mother is going to make maple toffee.

Margaret.Did he invite me to the party, too?

Tom.He only invited boys. It’s a boys’ party.

Mother.Why did you not tell me about it before this? It is too late now.

Tom.I forgot about it, mother.

Mother.Well, my boy, you had better forget about it now. If your father were here to go with you, I would not mind you going out at night.

Tom.Wait ’til father comes home? That will be a long time, mother.

Mother.It takes a long time to freight our grain and potash down to Montreal. The rafts move very slowly.

Tom.Please, please, mother, I want to go! I’ll be all right. Willie’s mother said I could stay all night. It’s not very dark yet.

Mother.You are a very stubborn boy. Well, you may go. I suppose there is really very little to harm you. It is a good mile to MacArthur’s, but you can get there before dark if you hurry. [There is a loud knock at the door C. Mrs. Hutton rises and puts down her knitting. When she speaks, her voice is low and betokens nervousness.] I wonder who it can be. Children, go into the bedroom. Quickly! [The children obey, disappearing R. Mrs. Hutton takes a musket from the corner of the room and goes to the door.] Who is there?

Voice Without.Don’t be scared, Mrs. Hutton. It is Uncle Billy.

Mother.Uncle Billy! Why did you not tell me so at first?

[She opens the door and the Yankee pedlar enters.]

You frightened me.

Uncle Billy.I’m sorry, ma’am. I’m sure sorry. I ’lowed that Mister Hutton wuz here. I’m plumb petered out, an’ lookin’ fer a place tuh rest my ole bones.

Mother.Put down your pack, Uncle Billy, and have a chair. I shall call the children. They will be glad to see you.

[She goes R. and calls the children. They clap their hands upon seeing the pedlar, and run to greet him.

Children.Oh, Uncle Billy!

Uncle Billy.Yessir, yer Uncle Billy! Spry as a spring colt—nary a spavin, ring-bone, er nuthin’. Ben tuh London tuh see the queen, an’ brought ye heaps uv pritty things. They’re right thar, in Uncle Billy’s box. [The children touch the box with eager hands.] Slow, now—slow, sez the mud-turtle to hisse’f. Mustn’t tech that box!

Tom.Do open it, Uncle Billy!

Uncle Billy.No, sir! Mustn’t tech that box. Once thar wuz a young lady by the name uv Pan Dorah did that same trick en caused all kinds uv ructions.

Mother.Children, Uncle Billy is tired. Margaret, put the kettle on and get something hot for him.

[Margaret goes out.

Uncle Billy.Thank ye, ma’am. I’m fine. Hed a snack not more’n an hour ago. Thank ye, jest the same.

Mother.[Sitting down.] Have you come far, Uncle Billy?

Uncle Billy.Been down tuh Jackson’s, ma’am. They were havin’ a barn-raisin’ bee. We sure had a dandy time. An’ they wuz all mighty good tuh Uncle Billy.

Mother.Did you hear anything of the rafts?

Uncle Billy.They’ll be all right this weather, ma’am. Mister Hutton knows the lake shore like a book, and he’ll take no chances. Travellin’ round, I find it’s no use crossin’ bridges till yuh come to ’em.

Mother.I’m glad you came, Uncle Billy. It is lonely in the bush when the men are away—lonely enough at any time, dear knows.

Uncle Billy.It’s harder fer the likes uv you, Missus Hutton. Yuh air bound tuh hanker after the fine things yuh left behind in York State. As fer me, it’s a heap different. I wuz born in the bush, and my mammy rocked me in a sap trough.

Mother.Oh, I am not complaining. We are getting ahead, and we really do not need fine clothes or houses or servants in order to be happy. The hard work is good for us. It is a privilege to help in opening up this new country.

Margaret comes in.

Margaret.Oh, haven’t you opened your box yet, Uncle Billy?

Uncle Billy.Here I’ve been settin’ all this time, fergettin’ I had a box! Fergive yer old uncle! Well, here they be, as the nigger said when he lit on the water-melon patch! [He opens the box.] Prints, ginghams, lace fer the lady! Pins, needles, buttons! Tops an’ marbles fer the boy! A baby doll, from gay Paree, dressed fit tuh kill, fer a good little girl!

[The children stare with amazement at the wonders in the box.

Mother.I’ll be glad to see your things later, Uncle Billy. Now I shall get you something to eat. I can hear the kettle boiling.

[She goes out.

Uncle Billy.Now listen tuh yer Uncle Billy. We go on an’ look through the box, an’ leave nuthin’ to look at in the morning, or we shet the box, and Uncle Billy’ll tell ye a whoppin’ good yarn right now.

Tom.Please tell us a story, Uncle Billy—one about Indians.

Margaret.I would like to see what is in the bottom of the box. Oh, never mind, Uncle Billy. I like stories, too. Tom, I thought you were going to Willie MacArthur’s party.

Tom.I am going to the party. After I hear a story, I shall go.

Uncle Billy.This here happened down in New York State, not so very long ago. It’s a true story. If it hadn’t ended right, yer Uncle Billy wouldn’t be settin’ here. I wuz goin’ home one night when I cum across two Injuns. They had been drinkin’. One of them whips out a tommyhawk an’ starts fer me. I lit out, an’ yuh should have seen yer Uncle Billy run. I crossed my clearin’—them Injuns yellin’ right behind. I slammed the door, bolted it tight, an’ creeps up into my loft and lies there still as a mouse. Outside everythin’ wuz quiet as death. Nary a sound. Then, while I wuz thinkin’ they had gone, I hears a queer scratchin’ sound on the roof jest over my head. Soon—rip goes a shingle—an’ a long, brown hand reaches in, an’ I sees the moonlight shinin’ on a tommyhawk. Then I hears a shout an’ a gun goes off . . . an’ I hears the Injuns scramblin’ down offa the roof. I goes down an’ looks out. Thar wuz my old chum, Jack Meadows, on one knee, blazin’ away at the two Injuns, an’ them makin’ tracks fer the woods. I wuz sure glad tuh see him. Yessir, I wuz sure glad.

A footstep is heard at the door. Without knocking, an Indian enters, carrying a sack. The two children hide under the table.

Johnny Nickawa.[Chuckling.] You afraid? Johnny Nickawa no hurt you. I bring deer meat for Missy Hutton.

[Very much ashamed, the children come out of their hiding-place.

Tom.We were just playing, Johnny.

Margaret.I’ll tell mother you are here. [Calls.] Oh, mother!

Mrs. Hutton comes in.

Johnny Nickawa.I bring some deer meat, Missy Hutton.

Mother.Oh, thank you, Johnny! You are just in time. I am bringing in some supper for Uncle Billy. You may have some too.

Margaret.Tom, if you are going to the birthday party, you had better start right away.

Tom.[After going to the door and looking out.] I do not want to go so very much. I’d rather stay and hear some more stories.

Margaret.Willie will be disappointed. It is his birthday.

Tom.I have changed my mind.

Uncle Billy.[Winking at the others.] It is rather dark, son. It kin sure get dark in the bush. I’m all fer stayin’ inside myself.


[Illustration: “I’ll get you a smoke.” ]

Abe Holden}American soldiers
Silas Smith  
A Bench


Scene: In Fort George, after the Battle of Queenston Heights. Upon a bench, down C., Abe Holden, an American prisoner of war, is seated. His arm is in a sling. Silas Smith, another American prisoner of war, enters R. He too has been wounded. He is hatless, his head bandaged, and his uniform sadly stained and torn.


Holden.[Looking up.] Hallo, son! Didn’t see you around yesterday. When did you get in here?

Smith.Oh, I came in with the rest of them last night. Say, you talk as if you lived here.

Holden.I’ve been here for a day and a night. Getting used to it. Let us quit fooling. You say that there were a lot of us brought in last night. Don’t mind my asking questions, do you? You see, I was too sick to know anything yesterday. Must have been because I lost so much blood when I was hit.

Smith.Then you don’t know that we were whipped? When were you taken prisoner?

Holden.At daybreak, yesterday morning. I was with the first landing-party.

Smith.Then you were lucky, Mr. . . .

Holden.My name is Holden.

Smith.And mine is Smith. Shake.

[They shake hands.

Holden.Please tell me what happened round Queenston yesterday. I was knocked out early in the day. I was so weak and sick all day, it was almost like a dream. This morning I was like a wild-cat. They let me dress and shot me into the yard to cool off.

Smith.I am afraid that my news will not do you good. We’re whipped.

Holden.[Excitedly.] Oh, I knew it would happen! When we started out in that wind and rain yesterday morning, I knew it was madness. The Britishers saw us coming. They started firing, and knocked our boats to pieces. We just drifted ashore and gave up.

Smith.Well, some of us didn’t go ashore when you did. You remember that Van Rennselaer was wounded. Well, Captain Wool took command and led us up river, and landed us above Queenston. We found a little path running up the mountain. Up this we crawled, and hid among the rocks and trees on the heights.

Holden.Did you get there before daybreak?

Smith.Oh, no! The sun was up. It must have been about seven o’clock when we reached the top. We started to drop shots down the hill and the British had to retire. Then they formed in the village below, and charged straight up the heights towards us. It was a brave attempt, but reckless. We kept up such a hot fire that they started to break. I could see their leader, a tall, handsome fellow, rallying them.

Holden.That must have been General Brock. I heard his name mentioned many times yesterday.

Smith.I suppose it must have been this man you heard about. He got his little force together, and once more started up the hill. He was at the head of his men when I saw him fall. Some of his men carried his body down to the village. After their leader had been killed, the Britishers retreated, but they were soon joined by others and came at us again.

Holden.What were our batteries over at Fort Grey doing? They should have made it too hot for the enemy to hold the village.

Smith.Oh, our big guns across the river kept pounding away, but did not seem able to stop them. They made another charge. Again their leader went down—horse and man killed at the same instant. Once more the British retreated.

Holden.Look here, friend. What were our batteries doing?

Smith.Not very much, but they gave us a chance to land more men and to carry our dead and wounded to the boats. We felt safe for a while. Then came the real battle, and you may thank your stars you were out of it.

Holden.It’s where I should have been, son. It was not my fault that I wasn’t there. Tell me about it.

Smith.We were resting and feeling safe. Suddenly, about three o’clock in the afternoon, the woods behind us and on both sides of us seemed alive with yelling Indians and shouting Britishers. They poured lead into us, and then charged with fixed bayonets. Friend, it was the hottest place I have ever been in. Over the edge of the mountain, they drove us like leaves before a wind. We were caught between the river and the hill. There was no escape. We had to give up.

Holden.Oh, I knew it! I knew it! I felt it in my bones yesterday morning.

Smith.No use worrying about it, friend. It’s over, and here we are! Have you any tobacco?

Holden.No. I want a smoke, too. I lost everything yesterday. My whole kit went down the river. [Looking R.] Say! I wonder if that Britisher on guard over there would shoot me if I asked him for some tobacco.

Smith.Better not ask him. The Britishers don’t love us, you know.

Holden.War is a queer business. I can’t see much use in fighting with my neighbours. That fellow over there looks like a good sort—nothing mean about him. He looks very much like some folks I used to know down home.

Smith.War is war. Our business is to obey orders. That is all a soldier is supposed to know.

Holden.Well, I know it’s easier to start trouble than it is to stop it. Neighbours are neighbours, I say. We get along—nary a cross word or look. Then, some day, I find my neighbour’s hogs in my corn. Instead of speaking to him about it, I let myself think he did it on purpose. The more I think, the more I hate him. We fight. Then, instead of shaking hands and making up, we keep on thinking and hating. Pretty soon we fight again. Thinking and hating . . . that is what breeds war, I say.

Smith.You are a smart talker, Mr. Holden. I wish I had a smoke. If I had one, I might feel more friendly.

Holden.Son, you sit here. I’ll get you a smoke.

[He goes out R.

Smith.Hey, there! Come back. [There is no answer from Holden.] Tobacco! Huh! It’s a bayonet he’ll get.

[He looks R. anxiously, and then, seeing that his companion is returning, he whistles as if surprised.

Holden.[Entering, with a smile.] Well, we get our tobacco, friend.

Smith.I did not see him give you anything.

Holden.He did not have any with him, but as soon as he is relieved he will see that we get a smoke. He is one of the finest fellows I have ever met and—he comes from New York. I know some of his people down there.

Smith.You say that Britisher is from New York! Mr. Holden, New York is in the United States.

Holden.That’s all right, my lad. Some of his folks were Tories, and they stuck to King George, and then came up here to live. It isn’t his fault that he wasn’t born in the States.

Smith.You don’t say so! From New York! Well! Well!

Holden.He seemed just like “home folks.” Funny old world! I might have shot that lad this morning, or he might have shot me, and we haven’t anything against each other.

Smith.Some of them are fine fellows, all right. I can’t help wishing we hadn’t killed that General yesterday. He certainly was a fine man. I’ll never forget him. No, sir! I’ll never forget the way he looked.

Holden.You mean General Brock?

Smith.You said that was his name.

Holden.You can’t really kill a man like that. His spirit goes marching on ahead of his men. That’s why we were beaten over there at Queenston.

Smith.Well, I believe you may be right.

Holden.I know I am right. General Brock saved Canada.


[Illustration: “White woman want see you” ]

Laura Secord
Lieutenant Fitzgibbon
Captain Ducharme
Lieutenant Jarvis
Chief of the Caughnawagas
Two Tables
Glass Tumbler
Pack of Playing Cards


Scene: The interior of a room in Mr. De Cew’s house at Beaver Dams. Time, morning. Door C. Windows to R. and L. of door. At a table R. Lieutenant Fitzgibbon and Lieutenant Jarvis are seated. At another table L. three scouts are engaged in a game of cards. A scout appears in the doorway C. and stands at salute.


Scout.Captain Ducharme, sir!

Fitzgibbon.Admit him.

Captain Ducharme comes in. The two officers rise and return his salute.

Ducharme.Keep your seats, gentlemen. [He seats himself in a chair near the table. The officers take their seats again.] Well, what are the plans for to-day?

Fitzgibbon.Oh, we shall give the Yankees something to think about before sundown! How are things going down at DeCamp’s place?

Ducharme.My Indians are ready for the warpath.

Fitzgibbon.Our work is to worry the Yankees, Captain Ducharme. Until they take Beaver Dams, they cannot advance upon our army at Burlington Heights.

Jarvis.They will not think it worth while to take this place.

Fitzgibbon.I do not agree with you Jarvis. If they take this place, Upper Canada is theirs. We must be ready to make a stand.

[A scout appears at the door.

Scout.[Saluting.] Chief of the Caughnawagas, sir, and a lady!

Fitzgibbon.Bring them in.

The chief, Nawaga, enters. He is supporting Mrs. Secord, who seems about to faint from exhaustion. The men rise to their feet.

Chief.White woman want see you.

Fitzgibbon.[Stepping forward to assist Mrs. Secord.] Will you be seated, madam? What can I do for you?

Laura Secord.Am I speaking to Lieutenant Fitzgibbon?

Fitzgibbon.Yes, madam. I am Lieutenant Fitzgibbon.

Laura Secord.The Yankees are coming, sir. I have walked from Queenston to warn you.

Fitzgibbon.You have walked from Queenston?

Laura Secord.Yes, sir. There is not time to explain everything. There were Yankee officers billeted in my house. I overheard them talking. They are advancing upon you now to take you by surprise. They may be here at any moment.

Fitzgibbon.What is the size of their force?

Laura Secord.Over six hundred men, with artillery as well, sir.

Fitzgibbon.[Turning to the others, and speaking rapidly.] There is no time to be wasted. Station our men in the woods along the road. Scatter them out on both sides of it. Send a scout to warn DeHaren at Ten Mile Creek and Colonel Bishop at Jordan. Until help comes, we must hold the Yankees here.

Ducharme.May I have permission to take my Indians into the beechwoods at the ravine? We can do good work there.

Fitzgibbon.Certainly, Captain. Make all speed.

Ducharme.Thank you, sir. [To the Chief.] We’ll have to run, Nawaga.

[Ducharme, the Chief, and the scouts rush from the room.

Jarvis.[To Mrs. Secord.] You are faint, madam. I shall bring you a drink of water.

[He goes out R.

Fitzgibbon.You are a brave woman, and we are deeply grateful to you, madam. It must have been a hard and painful journey from Queenston.

Laura Secord.[Faintly.] It was very dark and I was afraid of the Indians. Thank God I have arrived in time.

Indian scouts burst in with loud cries, “The Yankees are coming!”

Fitzgibbon.All right, my men! We are ready for them. [To Mrs. Secord.] Madam, I must leave you to others who will care for you.

Jarvis enters with a glass of water, which he gives to Mrs. Secord.

Ah, Lieutenant Jarvis! Will you look after this lady and have her cared for at one of the farms. Probably Turney’s place would be best. I shall ride down the road to see if there is sign of the enemy. [To the Indians.] Come on, lads! Back to your places!

[He goes out with the Indian scouts.

Jarvis.Madam, if you will take my arm, I shall lead you to a place of safety. You must be in need of rest.

Laura Secord.[Rising and taking his arm.] Thank you, sir.

Jarvis.We are, indeed, grateful to you. While it has women like you, our country can never be taken by an enemy.

Laura Secord.Please do not bother to thank me. I merely did my duty.

[They go out C.



“Now, I want you to join hands

with these, my Indian friends”


Lord Selkirk
Captain Miles Macdonell
A Chart of Rupert’s Land, as it was known in 1811
A Table and Two Chairs

Scene I

Time: A night in June 1811.

Scene: A room in Lord Selkirk’s house, London. There is a door C. and a window to the L. of the door. On the wall to the R. of the door there is a chart of Rupert’s Land. At a table down C. Lord Selkirk and Captain Macdonell are seated.


Selkirk.It will not be an easy task to get colonists to go to an unknown land. However, you are a Canadian. They will listen to you because you have seen the country.

Macdonell.I have not been in Rupert’s Land, but I do know about pioneering in Upper Canada. My family had their share of that in Glengarry.

Selkirk.You are the man I need. Make my poor countrymen understand that the new land offers them relief from poverty and freedom in every way. I am paying for their passage, giving an estate to each of them, and shall care for each and every one until all are independent.

Macdonell.Your Lordship is generous. What a chance for a man who is willing to work! Is all this set forth in the prospectus?

Selkirk.It is clearly set forth. Our little fleet is ready to sail. The Prince of Wales and the Eddystone will carry the Company’s stores. The Edward and Anne will take you and the colonists.

Macdonell.May I suggest to your Lordship that all haste be made? If we arrive too late in the autumn, we may find the rivers frozen.

Selkirk.True. It is a long journey from York Factory to Red River . . . hard enough at any time.

Macdonell.I have a plan, your Lordship, to make boats at York. I have seen river-boats in the United States which are the kind we need.

Selkirk.[Waving his hand.] These things I leave to you, sir. Mr. Cook, the factor at York—aye, and Mr. Ault, at Churchill—will lend you every assistance. [He rises and goes to the chart upon the wall.] York Factory is almost three thousand miles from Liverpool. To be exact, it is two thousand nine hundred and sixty-six miles. If you arrive late at the Factory, you will spend the winter there. Then, in the spring you can take your party up the Nelson River, across Lake Wininpeg, and up the Red River to the Forks. You will have your choice of land. I control one hundred and ten thousand square miles of virgin prairie.

Macdonell.It is a wonderful plan. There is room out there for every man, woman, and child in Great Britain.

Selkirk.Yes. Should this vast empire be used for the profit of a few fur-traders? “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Land belongs to the people who can use it.

Macdonell.These same fur-traders may cause trouble, your Lordship. They will not easily give up their profits.

Selkirk.Trouble? They are already causing trouble. Alexander Mackenzie was angry, and opposed my plan, in the meeting of the Company. He will try to prevent colonists from boarding our ships.

Macdonell.I can see that we shall have a hard time.

Selkirk.It will be a fight. But we can fight if we have to do so. [There is a knock heard at the door. Selkirk admits a servant who hands him a letter. The servant goes out.] Pardon me, Captain, while I read this missive. [He opens the letter and reads it.] Ah! It is much as I expected. Mackenzie is at work. He has persuaded some of my colonists to desert. Captain Macdonell, you must leave at once for Yarmouth. Your ship is there.

Macdonell.[Rising.] Have no fears, your Lordship! On our way about the Highlands I shall gather more men. Are there further orders?

Selkirk.None! Write me fully. Keep me informed of your progress. You must make my dreams come true.

Macdonell.I shall do my best, your Lordship.

Selkirk.I believe you will. Remember, it is a great task which you have in hand. On the plains where only wild men and bison roam to-day, you will plant the first of a free and prosperous people.

Macdonell.[Taking the hand which Selkirk has extended.] I shall not forget.

Selkirk.Permit me to see you down the stairs, sir. You will need rest before your journey.

[They go out C.

Scene II

Lord Selkirk
Red River Colonists
Indian Chiefs


Time: 1817.

Scene: A room in Fort Douglas. A door C. Windows to R. and L. of the door. At a table down R. Lord Selkirk is seated. About him are standing several prominent members of his Red River Colony.


Selkirk.At our conference to-day the Indian chiefs were very friendly. You need not fear that they will make trouble for you. They all agreed to the treaty. They will never dispute your title to the land.

First Settler.Your Lordship has done us a very great service. We are grateful to you. You have rescued us from the dangers which had almost proved too much for us.

Selkirk.Someone has reported that you wish to have the new parish called Kildonan. Is this your desire?

Second Settler.Some of us thought that we would like to have it called after our old home in Scotland, if the idea meets with your approval.

Selkirk.Nothing could give more pleasure. It can be arranged. Mr. Fidler will proceed to survey your land, and to lay out the roads and bridges which you need.

Third Settler.I fear that your Lordship has taken great risks to help us. The Nor’-Westers have a long memory. They will try to do you further injury.

Selkirk.Doubtless they will attempt to revenge themselves. I have done my duty, and shall be willing to meet them face to face at any time.

First Settler.I know that your Lordship will win. Your cause is just.

Selkirk.Do not think of my difficulties. You have your task here. If you are faithful, there will be a wonderful future for you. It is a rich land. I have dreamed of thousands of men, women, and children living in peace and comfort on these great plains.

Third Settler.[Who has been looking out of a window.] The Indians are coming.

[One of the settlers opens the door to admit the Indian chiefs and several of their followers.

Selkirk.Welcome to Fort Douglas!

Peguis, Chief of the Salteaux. We are very glad to greet the Silver Chief. My people have seen his heart, and it is filled with kindness. He is our friend. We shall be brothers to his people.

Chief of the Assiniboines.The white man was sent by the Great Spirit. He is like the sun which comes from the east. My people greet the white man’s Chief.

Robe Noir, Ojibway Chief. We have reason to be happy to-day. There will be no more war in the land after the coming of our friend, the Silver Chief.

Selkirk.Your words are good. I have given you presents, and have paid you for the portion of the land which you have given to my people. Is it not so?

The Indians.[Together.] Yes. It is true.

Selkirk.When I go away, you will dwell in peace with my people, and you will be their friends.

Indians.[Together.] We shall always be their friends.

Selkirk.[To the white men.] Here is a promise for the future. Peace and friendship forever! [Waving his hand towards the Indians.] These are my children who will keep faith with you. Although you have suffered much, the happiness of the days to come will make you forget the past. Now I want you to join hands with these, my Indian friends.

[The Indians and settlers shake hands.

Robe Noir.Will the Silver Chief stay with us?

Selkirk.I am sorry that I must go away. Messengers will bring me news of Red River. I may come again.

Peguis.[Pointing through the opened door.] In my tepees, the young men are waiting to show the Silver Chief how they can ride. They have gathered swift ponies. Will you come?

Selkirk.[To the white men.] Shall we go? The races will serve to pass the time until dinner is served.

Second Settler.Yes, your Lordship. The Indians are wonderful riders. You will enjoy seeing them.

[All go out through the central door.


[Illustration: “We will not harm your people” ]

Simon Fraser
John Stuart, Second-in-command
Men of Fraser’s Party
Chief of the Musqueam Indians
Indian Warriors


Time: Late afternoon, July 1808.

Scene: Bank of the Fraser River, near the mouth of the North Arm. Fraser and his men have been driven to the riverbank near their canoe by hostile Indians. Fraser is questioning his men.

Fraser.You say that the Indians would not listen to you? Did you offer them presents?

A Man.There was no time for that, sir. They rushed at us, howling and waving their war-clubs.

Stuart.Why did you not fire on them?

Fraser.No. No. That would have been a mistake. We cannot fight a tribe of Indians. We must try strategy.

A Man.I fear that we shall have to fight, sir. They are gathering their forces to attack us to-night.

Fraser.If we have to fight, we can. We shall sell our lives as dearly as possible. I am sorry that this has happened. I wanted to follow the river to the sea. There to the west is a great expanse of water, but I see mountains beyond. It cannot be far to the ocean.

Stuart.Are you quite certain that this is not Gray’s river—the Columbia?

Fraser.I am quite certain. I have taken the latitude, and know that it is too far north. This is more likely to be the river of Narvaez—his River of White Flowers. However, we have little time to make sure of this. We must prepare to defend the camp.

A Man.We have very little powder, sir.

Fraser.We are lucky to have any at all. We must make the first volley tell. The noise of our muskets and the sight of their first men killed may stop the savages. Have you placed sentinels?

A Man.Yes, sir, and two of our men are keeping watch over the Indian village.

Fraser.That is well!

A man enters L.

The Man.The Indians are coming, sir!

Fraser.[To his men.] Stand to your arms! Do not fire until I give the order. [He places his men ready for defence.] They are coming very quietly. This may mean that they are friendly.

A Man.I would not trust them, sir. When we met them an hour ago they meant to kill us.

Fraser.I shall not take any chances. [Looking L.] The man at their head seems to be a chief. He is dressed differently from the rest of them.

The Indians enter from L. The chief, at their head, is wearing a head-dress of painted wood ornamented with ermine skins, which flow over his shoulders. The white men raise and level their muskets. Fraser raises his hand.

Wait! Do not fire! The chief is going to talk to us.

Chief.Will the Sky-people listen?

Fraser.We hear.

Chief.My people are afraid. They wish to kill you. I tell them you will go back to the sky.

Fraser.Why are they afraid? We will not harm your people.

Chief.Long ago the Sky-people came. They turned men and women into trees. Now there are many trees and not many people. My people do not want to be trees.

Fraser.I tell you that we will not harm your people. We want to follow the river to the sea. Then we shall go away.

Chief.[Pointing to the west.] If you go that way you will frighten the salmon. Then my people will starve. You must go back to the sky. [The Indians brandish their clubs.] You must go. My people very much afraid. They want to kill you.

Fraser.We shall go away. Before the next sun we shall be far away.

Chief.Good! My people will sleep when they know you have gone back to the sky.

[He bows to Fraser. He then waves his hand to his warriors who go out L. The chief follows them.

Fraser.[Turning to his men.] This is the end of our journey. Get the canoe ready. We shall go back to Fort George. We have failed to reach the ocean.

Stuart.Failed? We have found a river as great as that of the American, Captain Gray!

Fraser.The River of White Flowers! If the Spaniard had met danger and death as we have done, would he have called the river by such a name?

Stuart.Its name shall be changed in the future. I will help our men to load the canoe.

[He crosses L. and goes out with the men.

Fraser.I too must lend a hand. If the sky remains clear we can embark. There is less danger on water than on land. We shall have to trust the river.

[He goes out L.


[Illustration: “See if Big Wind come soon” ]

David Thompson
Andrew MacDonald, a Hudson Bay trapper
Wesak, a Cree Indian
A Telescope
A Gun
A Note-Book and Pencil

Time: Evening.

Scene: Near Cumberland House. Thompson and his friend, the Hudson Bay trapper, are in conversation about their prospects in the employ of the Company. Thompson, armed with a telescope, is evidently prepared to make some astronomical observations.


Thompson.I fear that it is going to be cloudy to-night. We shall not be able to do very much.

MacDonald.We? I’ll be able to talk as well whether the stars are shining or not. You are the one who has work to do.

Thompson.There is so little time for study. I had a report from the Factor at York. He wants furs. Always more furs! I sent my last surveys to him. I did not get a word of thanks for them.

MacDonald.Well, David, can you blame the Factor?

Thompson.[Bitterly.] I can and do. True, I am not sending him as many furs as I might, but I am doing something that is far more important.

MacDonald.[Shaking his head doubtfully.] Well, it may be so. Aye, it may be so! I like you, David. I’m not wanting to see you lose your job.

Thompson.Look here, Andrew! You have had some schooling. Do you remember the map of Britain and the maps of Asia and Europe which you used to see and study? Can you tell me how they were made?

MacDonald.I never gave the matter much thought. Someone must have made them.

Thompson.Aye, someone made them! Every little crooked line, every lake and river, was found by someone; and then someone else placed them on a chart in their right latitude and longitude—never varying a hair’s breadth. Someone placed these things so that others, without troubling themselves except to look in a book, could go and come without fear of losing the way. It meant toil and hardship and patience for the man who first made the map.

MacDonald.It is a great thing you are doing. But the Company sent us here to make money for them—to get furs.

Thompson.My maps will be of more value to the Company than to anyone else. However, there is little use to talk. The Factor cannot see beyond the end of his nose.

MacDonald.Aye, he is a hard man! Did he say that you must stop surveying altogether?

Thompson.I shall tell you exactly what he did say.

[A noise is heard L. The trapper holds his gun ready for action. Wesak, a Cree Indian, comes in.

MacDonald.[Lowering his gun.] Hallo, Wesak! Where are you going? To the Fort?

Wesak.No. I come to see Mr. Thompson.

Thompson.So you wish to see me, Wesak. What can I do for you?

Wesak.A long time—very long time—no meat! Hunting very bad. My wife—my children—no get meat.

Thompson.That is too bad.

Wesak.[Shaking his head.] Yes. Very bad. No good hunting. No wind.

[Waves his hand in the air.

Thompson.No wind?

Wesak.Yes. If Big Wind come, then hunting very good.

Thompson.Oh, I see! Well, what can I do for you?

Wesak.You make Big Wind come! You good man. Wesak know. [He touches Thompson’s telescope very reverently.] You look! See if Big Wind come soon. You look for Wesak?

MacDonald.[Laughing.] He thinks you can look through your glass and see to-morrow, David.

Wesak.[Eagerly.] Yes. Yes. He very good man. Mr. Thompson know.

Thompson.[Smiling.] Wesak, I wish it were true. My dear man, I cannot see the wind coming. Only the Great Spirit knows where the wind dwells. Only He can help you.

Wesak.No. No. You see him. You help Wesak.

Thompson.I tell you only the Great Spirit knows about the wind.

Wesak.[Sadly.] Wesak a bad man? You will not help him?

Thompson.[To MacDonald.] Here is a pretty kettle of fish. The poor chap is hurt because I cannot help him.

MacDonald.Well, you are a sort of wizard, David. It is your own fault if they think that you can see the future. What do you think? Will there be a wind soon?

Thompson.All the weather signs point to a storm.

MacDonald.Then tell him so.

Thompson.Andrew, it seems very much like deception.

MacDonald.Tut! Tut! Do not be too serious. It is only a joke and can do no harm. He will follow you to the Fort. You will never get rid of him until you do tell him.

Thompson.[To the Indian.] Wesak! Go home! Make ready for hunting. There is a big wind coming!

Wesak.Big Wind come! Wesak bring plenty deer meat. Wesak bring furs. He will not forget. You are the Man-Who-Reads-the-Stars.

[He goes out L.

Thompson.I do not think he will be disappointed. There is a wind-storm coming. The weather will change before morning.

MacDonald.I said you were a wizard and—you are. Come! Tell me what the Factor said.

Thompson.His orders are to stop surveying. Andrew, I shall not stop. I am going south to join the North-West Company.

MacDonald.You are not leaving us! Why, man, you have been here over twelve years. You are in line for promotion.

Thompson.I have my work to do. Others can get furs. I am going to map this country from beginning to end. I am going to blaze the way on paper for all to read.

MacDonald.And you will do it. You have a will that can win through in the face of odds. However, we shall miss you at the Fort.

Thompson.I am not likely to forget my friends. See! [Pointing R.] The first stars are beginning to twinkle. Let us climb the hill over there and take some notes.

MacDonald.All right. Let us go. You are the Man-Who-Reads-the-Stars!

[They go out R.



“Ah, it is a great pleasure to

welcome you, my dear sir!”


Captain George Vancouver
Don Bodega y Quadra
British Officers
Spanish Officers

Time: 28 August, 1792.

Scene: The shore of Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound.

Don Quadra and the officers of his staff are awaiting the landing of Captain Vancouver.


Don Quadra.[Speaking to one of his officers.] You must not forget the show of courtesy with which we must treat the Englishmen. It is my desire to appear most friendly. We must seem eager to do everything they desire.

The Officer.We understand, sir. We shall not surrender the rights of Spain on the Pacific Coast without a struggle.

Don Quadra.You are right, and I see that you have heeded my counsel. Remember my words! Nothing definite! Delay is what we need. One never knows what may happen in Madrid or London while we are talking to these unwelcome guests.

Captain Vancouver and his party enter L. Doffing his hat, Don Quadra goes forward to meet them with a gracious smile. He takes Vancouver’s hand warmly in his own.

Ah, it is a great pleasure to welcome you, my dear sir! [Turning to the Spanish officers.] I have the honour of introducing to you Captain George Vancouver, the envoy of His Most Gracious Majesty King George of Britain.

Vancouver.I thank you, sir, for your most cordial greeting. I convey to you the good wishes of his Majesty, and trust that our affairs may be settled speedily and with the utmost good will.

Quadra.[Waving his hand.] Affairs? Why must business interfere with our pleasure in having your company? You are weary after your long voyage and your many adventures. Please accept what little we have to offer by way of entertainment. We are at your service.

Vancouver.This is indeed kind of you. We thank you. However, we must keep in mind the thing which has brought us to Nootka. I am sure that all is in order so that the terms of the Convention may be carried out.

Quadra.All that can be done we shall be glad to perform to your satisfaction.

Vancouver.That is well. Will you do me the honour, sir, to dine on board my ship? There we can receive you and accept the restoration of the property which belongs to my sovereign.

Quadra.I hope that you will not be disappointed. Really, my dear sir, there remains nothing to restore. The house built by your Captain Meares was destroyed before Señor Martinez arrived here. Of lands bought by Captain Meares or belonging to him, I have no knowledge. However, we shall do everything in our power to assist you. We shall give you our houses and gardens in which to live. We shall move away. However, these things later, my dear friend! We shall be very pleased to dine with you to-morrow.

Vancouver.My instructions are clear. I am here to receive from you the territory of Nootka Sound and the buildings unlawfully seized by Señor Martinez.

Quadra.Yes. Yes. I understand. All shall be as you wish. Will you do me the honour to visit my house? It will be a pleasure to show you our encampment. We have spent much labour in making some small comforts for ourselves in this wilderness.

Vancouver.Thank you. When we have had time to rest, we shall be pleased to visit your place. When shall we have the honour of your company?

Quadra.To-morrow, if it is convenient for you. Can you not remain on shore for the day? We have some excellent venison. Also there is wine, aged and mellow, waiting to be opened in your honour.

Vancouver.I am sorry that we cannot stay. There is business to be done aboard ship which will occupy my day. In the morning I shall be most happy to receive you on the Discovery. We shall place our best at your disposal. Then our business can be quickly brought to an end.

Quadra.[Smiling.] Ah, you of the English nation are so business-like! Always it is business—business! We, of the south, desire a little pleasure in life. Really, there is no haste. A day here or there? What matters a day? You must have rest and refreshment. We wish to entertain you as our guests—to make everything pleasant for you.

Vancouver.We are grateful to you, sir. Doubtless you have a copy of the Convention of Nootka Sound which was made between our sovereigns?

Quadra.[Very slowly, as if regretting Vancouver’s impatience.] I have advices from Madrid. We shall have no difficulties—none whatever, I assure you, my dear sir.

Vancouver.I shall bid you farewell for the present, and shall be happy to receive you in the morning.

[After shaking hands with Quadra, and after much bowing and salutations between the officers, the English go out L.

Quadra.[To his officers.] A stubborn fellow! If we are not careful he will have his way. We shall have to leave Nootka. I can see nothing else for it. But Don Quadra will not pull down the flag of Spain. Never!

A Spanish Officer.Let us play for time. Let the court at Madrid surrender if it must. We shall not soil our honour by giving way to these Englishmen.

Quadra.Mark my words! This Vancouver has a mind of his own. We shall, for at least a short time, have to leave him in possession of Nootka.

Another Officer.I fear that it is the best we can do. However, we can test him in the morning. There may be some way to pull the wool over his eyes.

Quadra.Yes, indeed! Come, we will go in and prepare a letter setting forth the claims of Spain. We may yet outwit this bold Englishman.

[The Spaniards go out R.


[Illustration: “Give the Chief a present” ]

Captain Cook
Officers of his Staff
Sailors of his Crew
Chief Maquinna
Trinkets, for barter with the Indians

Time: 26 April, 1778.

Scene: Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound. The deck of Captain Cook’s ship. Cook, with a party of his men, is awaiting the arrival of the Indian chief Maquinna.


Captain Cook.[Speaking to the officer at his side.] The wind and tide are both against us. We shall have to wait before casting off the moorings.

First Officer.It is a south-west wind, and it seems to hint of rain.

Cook.[Impatiently.] We may expect bad weather on this coast. We shall try, before a storm overtakes us, to get clear of these rocky shores.

Second Officer.[Pointing shoreward.] Ah! The natives have put out in their canoes.

Cook.How well they handle their craft! I have never before seen such skill with canoes.

First Officer.They seem to be a friendly people. Ah! They have their canoes piled high with furs.

Second Officer.Let us hope that they are sea-otter robes! I had a cloak of this fur from one of them yesterday—worth a king’s ransom it was—for a brass button from my waistcoat.

First Officer.See how they skim over the water! It is wonderful to think that each one of those canoes is carved out of the trunk of a single great tree.

Cook.Everything in this country—even the trees—seems to be on a grand scale.

Second Officer.Have you seen their houses, sir?

Cook.No. I have been too busy with other things.

Second Officer.They are most curious. Several families live in each house, which is built of wood, and is partly below ground level. The floors are of bare earth, but the rest of the house is well made of timber. I was much interested in the strange carvings of birds and beasts upon the pillars of the houses, and upon the poles which stand beside them.

Cook.I suppose that the carvings have to do with their religion. They must worship the birds and animals. A sort of nature worship, probably.

First Officer.That we could not discover. But they are not unskilled in decorating and carving. Their chests and boxes, their blankets and curtains in the houses, are all covered with coloured designs like those upon the poles we mentioned.

Cook.Yes! Yes! I have one of their blankets. It is very beautiful. The fibres of the root of the cedar and the wool of some animal are woven into it most cleverly. Ah! Our visitors are coming aboard. Maquinna is at their head.

Second Officer.Maquinna! Sounds like a Spanish name.

Cook.Well, one never knows. The Spaniards may have been this far north, you know.

Maquinna and Indians enter L.


[Halting, Maquinna makes signs of sorrow because the English are departing. His followers imitate his gestures.

First Officer.They seem sorry that we are going.

Cook.Give the chief a present.

[Points to a table near him upon which are knives, looking-glasses, pieces of iron, etc. The officer hands Maquinna a knife and a mirror.


[With evident delight he examines the knife and then puts it into his belt. He views himself, with satisfaction, in the mirror.

Cook.We are going away. [He points seaward.] Some day—many suns [pointing skyward, and counting upon his fingers], and we shall return and bring you many gifts.

[He points to the heap of trinkets.

The Indians press forward to look at the trinkets. One of them, at a gesture from Maquinna, lays a bundle of furs before Cook. The bits of iron seem most to interest them.

Third Officer.They seem to want the iron most of all.

Cook.It is more precious to them than gold. With it they can make weapons for war and hunting. You will have to make them stand back. If given a chance, they will take everything in sight.

[The British officers distribute gifts among the Indians.

Third Officer.They have everything, sir. Shall we bring more presents from below?

Cook.No. I shall try to find out what they know about the weather, and what we may expect farther north. [To Maquinna.] The wind blows very gently now. Will there be good winds and a smooth sea on the Big Water outside of the harbour?

[He tries to make the chief understand by signs. Maquinna’s signs, in reply, make it clear that there will be a storm and great waves.

First Officer.I think, sir, that the chief may be right. The barometer is falling rapidly.

Cook.We may have to face rough weather. These Indians should know. However, I am impatient to be away. Our ships are in good order, and we must try to find the North-West Passage before the summer has fled. Yes. My mind is made up. When the tide turns we shall tow the ships out of the cove. [To Maquinna.] We must go. When we come back you must have plenty of furs for us.

[Maquinna makes signs to tell how big his country is, how numerous his hunters, and the vast quantities of furs they will bring. He then shows sorrow and pleads with Cook to have him remain with his Indian friends.

I believe they mean well by us. They really have kind hearts, and do sincerely regret that we are going. [Taking Maquinna’s hand.] You are a great chief, and a good king. Tell your people that we thank them for their kindness. The White King, beyond the sea, will send more ships to visit you by and by.

[Maquinna presses Cook’s hand to his breast and then, with a stately bow, turns to his followers. At a sign from him they bow and then silently take their leave.

First Officer.A kindly people! Their chief is a handsome fellow too. I trust we may find more of their kind on the journey north.

Cook.Who knows what we may meet upon that journey? We have seen a part of the North American shore never before touched by Englishmen. It is a beautiful land, and rich beyond measure. I make no doubt that those who come after me will find the natives prepared to welcome them. We have opened the way. The world of trade and of adventure will follow where our ships have sailed.



“Is this the black box which

the salmon do not like?”


Alexander Mackenzie
Mr. Mackay
Mackenzie’s Men
Indians of the Bella Coola Nation
An Iron Pot

Scene: On the banks of the Bella Coola River. Mackenzie is about three days’ journey from the sea, and is eager to secure a canoe with which to complete his voyage. The Indians are standing L. The white men are grouped R.


Mackenzie.We must have canoes. I have tried to make them understand, but, for some reason, they seem unwilling to grant my wish.

Mackay.They seem very friendly. I do not see why they refuse to give us a boat.

Mackenzie.If it comes to the worst, we can walk. You remember the Indians who said it was only a three days’ journey to the sea?

Mackay.I wish, now, that we had gone with those Indians.

Mackenzie.They had other business in hand, and might have delayed us. I am going to speak to the chief again. [Advancing, he addresses the Chief of the friendly Indians.] We thank you for being so kind to us. We want to reach the Big Water quickly. After that, we have a long way to go before we reach home. In a few days we shall return this way, and shall bring back your boats. Will you give me a canoe?

Chief.Last night, in my dream, I see the Great King Salmon. He say, “No!”

Mackenzie.[Turning to his men, with a puzzled air.] We have done something to offend. These good people seem to worship the fish which is their food. [To the chief.] We are sorry if we have been rude to his Majesty, the King Salmon. We are not used to his ways. But we will learn if you tell us what to do.

Chief.All the people of the king are afraid. If they go away then we shall all starve.

One of Mackenzie’s Men. I think, sir, that he means we have done something to frighten the fish in the river.

Mackenzie.Doubtless you are right. [To the chief.] What have we done to hurt the great king or his people?

Chief.You take water in a black box. The Salmon people are afraid of the black box.

Mackenzie.The black box? I wonder what he means.

Mackay.I wonder. Oh! It may be that he means the iron kettle! [To one of the men.] Bring the kettle here.

[The man goes out R.

Mackenzie.I am all impatience to get away. I want to travel by day and rest by night. We can walk, of course, but it is a rough country. The timber is getting larger and it may be more difficult to make our way through it.

[The man returns with the kettle.

Mackay.[Pointing to the kettle.] Is this the black box which the salmon do not like?

Chief.Yes. Yes. Very bad!

[All the Indians shake their heads and make signs of disapproval.

Mackenzie.See! [Taking the pot, he wraps it in a piece of canvas.] We shall hide the bad pot. Now the King Salmon cannot see it. His people will not be afraid. [To one of his men.] Take it away.

[The man goes out R. with the pot under his arm.

Chief.Very good!

Mackenzie.Now, will you give me a canoe to take my people to the sea? You can send some men with it. They can bring it back to you.

Chief.The King Salmon tell me you have flesh which you carry. Deer meat makes his people very sick. They will all go away to the sea and never come back.

Mackenzie.Oh, you mean the venison—deer meat! For goodness sake! Yes. We have some deer meat. What shall I do with it? Shall I throw it away?

Chief.No. [He points to one of the Indians.] This man like deer meat. He belong to people who eat deer—everything. Give it to him.

Mackenzie.[To one of his men.] Get the venison and give it to that Indian. [The man goes out R.] Now we have nothing to offend the salmon. Will you give me a canoe?

Chief.We give you two canoes and men to take you to the Big Water.

Mackenzie.Good! Will you have the canoes all ready? We shall get our things together and carry them down to the river.

Chief.We make canoes ready for our white friends.

[The Indians go out L.

Mackenzie.At last! A few more hours and we shall see the end of our journey.

Mackay.It is almost three months since we left the fort on Peace River. We shall all be glad to turn homeward.

Mackenzie.I doubt whether I shall ever go upon another voyage of discovery; but yet I am glad that we have persevered. I knew we could win through.

Mackay.I have had my doubts at times. However, it is your spirit which has kept us going. You will have your reward from the Company and from the King.

Mackenzie.The reward of my labours shall be success. What others have dreamed, I shall have done. From Canada by land—the first to reach the Western Sea!


This little drama is founded upon a fact not recorded in any history of Canada, but preserved in the memory of a family living in the city of Toronto.


[Illustration: “I am honored Sir!” ]

William Lyon MacKenzie
Mr. Milne, one of MacKenzie’s supporters
Mrs. Milne, his wife
Two Soldiers
A Table
A Rocking-Chair

Time: A night in December 1837.

Scene: The parlour in the home of Mrs. Milne, near Toronto. There is a door C. which opens upon the street, and two windows, one to L. and one to R. of the doorway. A clock, upon the wall, shows the time to be some minutes past midnight. There is a table down C. and, beside it, Mrs. Milne, seated in a rocking-chair, is engaged in knitting.

She puts down her knitting, glances at the clock, and then goes anxiously to the window. She looks out, and then, going to the door, she opens it, and again peers into the darkness without. Closing the door, she returns to her seat at the table. She picks up her knitting and then lets it fall into her lap.


Mrs. Milne.Waiting is the hardest thing of all. It seems as if women were born to spend half their lives in watching and waiting. [There is a low knocking heard at the door. Mrs. Milne rises hastily and admits her husband and William Lyon MacKenzie.] Andrew! [she throws her arms about her husband] . . . and Mr. MacKenzie! [Turning to MacKenzie, she gives him her hand.] I am honoured, sir!

MacKenzie.A dangerous thing to be so honoured, my dear lady! The soldiers are hot upon our heels. I did not want to come, but your husband was sure we could best be hidden here for the night. I am sorry if it brings trouble upon your house.

Milne.I can speak for my wife, sir; but, indeed, you know her as an old friend. She will be proud to do her share for you and for our country.

Mrs. Milne.Indeed, I am glad you came. I wondered where you were. The sight of your faces makes me glad. At least I know you are both alive and have not fallen into the hands of our enemies.

MacKenzie.All is not lost. At Montgomery’s Tavern our gallant men fought bravely. In the face of a heavy fire they stood their ground firmly. Only when the odds were too great we had to retreat. Brave Canadians! Our forefathers, at Bannockburn, fought no better for freedom. My heart bleeds to think that some have fallen.

Milne.Come, sir, do not think too much of that. We must pay the price for liberty.

MacKenzie.Aye, but it is a great price—a terrible price! If we could have acted more quickly, all would have been well. The city would have fallen.

Milne.There is no time for regrets, sir. We must get into hiding at once.

Mrs. Milne.But you must have some food. You must both be famished.

MacKenzie.Thank you, madam. I cannot look at food. I can only think of my brave men and their danger.

Milne.No, no, my dear! The Governor’s men may be here at any moment. There is a space—you may remember—between the old and the new floor in the kitchen. I shall prise up a board and we will lie there while they search the house. Remember, dear, we are rebels—to be hung and quartered if the Governor gets his hands on us.

Mrs. Milne.Rebels! Indeed, it is our enemies who are rebels. They have held Canada in bondage, and have refused to listen to her people.

MacKenzie.You are right, madam. But the Governor says we are rebels—and the Tories look upon us as rebels.

Milne.Keep calm, my dear. There is no danger, if you do this. [To MacKenzie.] Come, sir. I shall show you the way.

[MacKenzie and Milne go out L.

Mrs. Milne.[As they go out.] Never fear. God will protect His own. We shall put our trust in Him.

[She goes to the window, glances at the road, and then returns to her chair at the table, where she sits calmly knitting. Presently there is the sound of footsteps and a loud knocking at the door. Mrs. Milne goes quietly and admits a sergeant and two soldiers.

The Sergeant.[Sternly, as he enters the room.] Is this the house of Andrew Milne?

Mrs. Milne.It is. I am Mrs. Milne. What do you wish?

The Sergeant.That you will soon see, madam. No doubt you have rebels in hiding here. Where is your husband?

Mrs. Milne.You can see for yourself that I am alone.

Sergeant.[Quickly.] Answer my question, madam! You have harboured that madman, MacKenzie. You are known as a rebel. Where is your husband?

Mrs. Milne.You have had your answer, sir.

Sergeant.I have half a mind to give you a taste of prison. [To the soldiers.] I shall keep an eye on this woman. Search the house! [The soldiers go into the room L. There follows the noise of their search as they move furniture and overturn things in their haste.] Some of you will hang for this!

[As he speaks, he looks threateningly at Mrs. Milne.

Mrs. Milne.[Quietly.] Do your duty, sir. I have no wish to discuss these things with you.

[The soldiers return, looking crestfallen.

A Soldier.[Saluting.] We have searched everywhere, sir. There is no place where a man could be concealed.

Sergeant.[Crossly.] I feel that this woman could tell us all we wish to know. [To Mrs. Milne.] I warn you. You may find yourself in prison if you aid or abet these traitors who are skulking about the city.

Mrs. Milne.They are not traitors and they are not skulking. You have done your duty. I wish you a very good night. [She bows, rather mockingly, as the sergeant and soldiers go out C. After the sound of their footsteps has died away, she looks carefully out of the window and then crosses L. She calls softly.] Andrew!

Her husband and MacKenzie enter.

They have gone! Oh, how my heart was beating!

Milne.Splendid, my dear. Now I must take Mr. MacKenzie to a place where he can get a horse. He must reach the border as quickly as possible.

Mrs. Milne.You will be careful, Andrew? I shall wait and have a cup of tea ready for you. Will you not have some tea, Mr. MacKenzie?

MacKenzie.No. I thank you, my dear lady. I am grateful—I should say that Canada is grateful to you for your bravery.

Mrs. Milne.It was hard to hear you called a rebel and a traitor, sir, and to hear my husband accused of treason.

MacKenzie.[Taking her hands in his.] I know. I know. The rebels of to-day are the patriots of to-morrow. History will not call us rebels because we fought for the rights of British freemen. I bid you farewell and, again, I thank you.

[MacKenzie and Milne go out R.


[Illustration: “Father, will there be changes on the map?” ]

Mr. David Perry
Mrs. Perry
Tom and Margaret, their children
Knitting and Knitting-Needles
Atlas and Novel

Time: The evening of July 1st, 1867.

Scene: The living-room of Mr. Perry’s home in Ottawa. There is a door C. Down R. there is a table at which are seated Margaret Perry and her brother Tom. The boy is poring over an atlas which is open at the map of Canada. Margaret, some years older than her brother, is reading a novel, L. and facing the table Mrs. Perry is seated in an arm-chair. She is engaged in knitting.


Tom.[Looking up from his atlas.] Margaret!

Margaret.[Impatiently.] Do be quiet, Tom. I am at an interesting place in my story.

Tom.Margaret, is it true that the map of Canada will be changed?

Margaret.[Putting down her book.] Why should it be changed?

Tom.Well, it is the Dominion of Canada now, and Lord Monck is Governor. Didn’t he look fine when he was going to the Parliament Buildings to-day?

Margaret.I wouldn’t have missed the parade for anything.

Tom.It was great, wasn’t it? I’d like to be the Governor.

Mrs. Perry.His correct title is the Governor-General, Tom.

Tom.Well, I should like to be the Governor-General.

Margaret.You cannot be a Governor-General, Tom. He is appointed by the Queen.

Tom.Well, I can be the Premier then. Can’t I, mother?

Mrs. Perry.Yes. If you study hard, you may. Your chance is quite as good as that of any other Canadian boy. The Premier is chosen by the people.

Margaret.There are more Canadian boys than there were yesterday. So your chances are not quite so rosy as they used to be, Master Tom.

Tom.What do you mean? Oh, yes! I know. There are all the boys in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as well as those in Ontario and Quebec. Before to-day there were only the boys in Canada—I mean Upper and Lower Canada. Is the map going to be changed, Margaret?

Margaret.Why should it be changed? Our boundaries are just the same as they were. Of course there will be the new name, Dominion of Canada.

Tom.But there must be some changes. I wish father were here.

Margaret.I think that I heard his step. If you do not believe me, you can ask him. I shall go on with my story.

Margaret picks up her book, resuming her reading. Mr. Perry comes in C. Tom rises and goes to him.

Tom.Father, will there be changes on the map now that Canada is larger? Margaret says it will not be different.

Father.[Smiling.] What did mother say?

Mrs. Perry.[Putting down her knitting.] David, I wish you would tell the children—you, too, Margaret—[Margaret puts down her book] what Confederation means. I tried to tell them this morning, but I know very little about politics.

Mr. Perry.[Seating himself beside the table.] Very few people understand all that Confederation means. This is a great day in our history. Mr. Macdonald was disappointed because the people in England did not seem to see its importance.

Tom.Is Mr. Macdonald Premier of all the new Canada, father?

Mr. Perry.Yes, my son, and rightly so. He has worked very hard for Confederation, and has been the leader in bringing it about. Of course others helped. Mr. George Brown, in Upper Canada, Mr. Cartier in Quebec, Mr. Tupper in Nova Scotia, and others, did a very great deal.

Tom.Did Mr. Macdonald have it done while he was away in England?

Mr. Perry.Oh, there were others with him. Last November a delegation went from Canada to London. They held meetings in the Westminster Palace Hotel, and things were not settled until late in the spring.

Mrs. Perry.Was the Governor-General with them? I remember that he went to England but did not return with Mr. Macdonald.

Mr. Perry.Oh, yes! He went to help. He returned in time to open Parliament to-day. The Queen received our delegates in London, and seemed very pleased with the good work they were doing.

Margaret.The Bill would have to be signed by the Queen.

Mr. Perry.Yes. It is called the British North America Act. It was agreed to by the Queen in Council during the month of May. It only became law to-day.

Tom.What changes does it make, father?

Mr. Perry.No changes in the map, Tom. However, it makes a united Canada—a new Dominion—the beginning of a great, new country. Mr. Macdonald wanted it to be called the Kingdom of Canada, but the Imperial Government thought that name might make the Americans angry.

Mrs. Perry.Why should it make the Americans angry, David?

Mr. Perry.They have a republic in the States. They do not think that kingdoms should be founded anywhere in North America.

Tom.Wouldn’t it be fine if we had a country stretching from ocean to ocean like the United States?

Mr. Perry.I believe we may have that some day. To my mind, these men, who have founded the new Dominion, have done something quite as great as those who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Mrs. Perry.Surely they did a very different thing, David. We have not an independent country in Canada.

Mr. Perry.We are free—probably quite as free as the people to the south of us. We have made the beginning of a great nation under the British Crown—an ally of Britain in time of war and a friend in time of peace.


[Illustration: “A Cree cannot be a warrior now.” ]

So-tai-na, a Chief of the Crees
Siya, son of the Chief
Wiya-sha, an old woman
Material for Camp-Fire: Wood, Tripod, Pot
Bow and Arrows

Time: Soon after the surrender of Poundmaker at Battleford.

Scene: The lodge of So-tai-na. There is one entrance C. Open fire R. Wiya-sha is at the fire, stirring the contents of the pot. Siya, a slender lad of ten, rushes in C.


Siya.Oh, Wiya-sha, our people are coming home! I can see them, though they are far away . . . just little, black dots on the prairie.

Wiya-sha.[Looking up.] They are coming with sorrow in their hearts.

[She sits upon the ground by the fire, covering her face with her blanket. Siya goes to her and stands by her side.

Siya.Why should they be so unhappy, Siya? The war is over. They will not have to fight any more.

Wiya-sha.You speak with the words of the Sky People—the pale, ghost people. They have cast their spell on you.

Siya.Well, the white man was our good friend before this war. The missionary liked me, and I liked the presents he gave me. He taught me about the Great Father in the sky, and told me it was not good to fight and kill our enemies. When I was sick he came to see me, and told me all about many strange things.

Wiya-sha.[Angrily.] Do the Pale-faces not fight and kill? They have slain many of our warriors.

Siya.Maybe it was our fault, Wiya-sha. We began the fighting.

Wiya-sha.[Still speaking angrily.] I will not talk to you. You do not understand. [Steps are heard without. She turns towards the entrance.] Your father is here.

[She covers her face with the blanket once more.

So-tai-na enters C. He stands silent within the door of the lodge.

Siya.[Running to him.] Father!

[The Chief does not answer, but, placing his arm about the boy’s shoulders, he leads him towards the fire.

So-tai-na.[Looking anxiously at his son.] So! My son is glad that the war is over. He has the heart of a Pale-face.

Siya.[Drawing away.] No! I am not afraid. I have the heart of a Cree. Yesterday, with my bow and arrow, I killed a mad dog when it was going to bite my sister, Little Star. She can tell you, and so can Wiya-sha.

So-tai-na.No! With your bow and arrows? Wiya-sha, did my son do this?

Wiya-sha.[Without lifting her head.] It is so.

So-tai-na.[To Siya.] Bring me your bow. [Siya brings a bow and arrows from the corner L. Taking them from the boy, the Chief looks at them sadly.] You like this bow? Shall I break it? [He makes a sudden movement as if to break the bow.

Siya.[Starting.] No! No!

So-tai-na.Boy, you do not understand. The Pale-faces say you must not learn to shoot nor be a warrior. Listen! I have come from a place where we talked to the Chief of the Pale-face warriors. In a ring, we sat upon the ground, facing the white men. They wore their red clothes which made them good marks for our rifles at Batoche. We talked peace. We promised to give up our weapons. We left our guns on the prairie at the feet of the Pale-faces. [Wiya-sha rocks gently back and forward, moaning.] A Cree cannot be a warrior now. We have asked for permission to live on our own land. The Pale-face will teach us to be like him. But we must not be Crees. It is bad to be a Cree.

Siya.Father, how can it be bad to be a Cree? I do not know how to be anything else.

So-tai-na.No? Listen. Long, long ago, from the eastern sky-land, came these Pale-faces. They brought gifts for our people, so we let them stay. More and more of them came. They wanted land upon which to raise plants for bread. We moved, back, back, back. Then one day they told us that the land was all theirs. We fought, but their power is great as that of manitous. They have won.

Siya.[Standing close and taking his father’s hand.] Now I know why your heart is sad. Why did you not tell me before? I would have helped you to fight.

So-tai-na.You were sick, little Siya, when the war began. I said, “Do not tell him. He is a Cree. He will want to go with the warriors.”

Siya.And I only remembered the words of the white man. He told me it was a bad war.

[Leading him to the door of the lodge, points out to the prairie.] Look at the prairie, Siya. It is like the sky, without beginning or end. So are the ways of the Great Spirit. The white man comes. We go. We shall only have a memory of the time when we were free—when the world was ours. [He hands the bow to Siya.] Put away your bow. You will not need it, my son.



“Let us all give our best wishes

to the great highway——”


Mother Earth 
Oread, Spirit of the Mountains
Dryad, Spirit of the Forests
Naiad, Spirit of Rivers}Sisters
Naiad, Spirit of Lakes 
Spirit of Gold  
Spirit of Silver  
Spirit of Coal  
Spirit of the Plains  


Ordinarily, and for class-room purposes, this play requires only that the performers wear sashes or carry placards upon which are written the names of the characters which they represent. For closing exercises or other special occasions, more elaborate costumes symbolical of Earth, Mountain, River, etc., may be used.


Time: Night following the driving of the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the passage of the first through train to the Coast.

Scene: The Rocky Mountains, near Craigellachie.

From the L. Mother Earth, accompanied by Oread, the Spirit of the Mountains, enters and walks down C. She pauses and turns to her companion.


Mother Earth.You told me that you were going to show me a strange thing which you had seen.

Oread.Yes, Mother Earth, it was here. This is the place.

Mother Earth.Men are strange creatures. They are never content to leave me as I am. What did you see?

Oread.You will marvel when I tell you. [Bending down.] See! It was here they drove the last spike of their iron road. Then they brought their iron horse, belching smoke and roaring so that it awakened all my Echoes. Indeed, the Echoes are still awake, and may never get to sleep again.

Mother Earth.[Bending down, examines the spike. They both rise from their kneeling posture.] Let us call the children. I would like to have them all hear the story.

Oread.I shall call them, mother. [She makes a trumpet of her hands and calls.] My Echoes will run from peak to peak and awaken them.

From the R. the Spirits of the Rivers, Lakes, and Forests, the Spirits of Gold, Silver, and Coal, and the Spirit of the Plains come in.

Mother Earth.Welcome, children! Oread has a story to tell us. [To the Spirit of the Plains.] You are here! You are a long way from home!

Spirit of the Plains.Yes, mother. I followed the iron road. I wanted to see where it ended. I am very tired.

Mother Earth.Well, let us listen to Oread’s story.

Oread.You have all seen the iron horse which men have made to run on this road?

All.Yes! Yes! We have seen it!

Oread.Well, it came to a stop here to-day. It stood hissing and jetting steam while some men came out of the boxes it drags behind it. They seemed to be great men. The road, I think, belongs to them.

Mother Earth.I know these men. Mr. Donald Smith is the chief of the men who built the road.

Oread.Very likely he was the man who seized a heavy sledge-hammer and drove this iron spike, which he said was the last link binding the great Dominion together from ocean to ocean. He spoke of the great work, and how it would make all of Canada one nation. He saw a vision of thousands of men pouring over this road to fill the valleys where the rivers run down to the sea.

Mother Earth.Men, men—always more men! Do they ever think of me or of my other children?

Oread.Then the great iron horse began to roar and puff. The men climbed into the little boxes. Then away the horse ran, grumbling and spouting smoke, and rousing all my Echoes until they too shouted and grumbled themselves hoarse. Mother, tell us what it all means.

Mother Earth.It is really a very old story, children. Men are always seeking for new roads. They spend their time exploring my secrets. That is how they grow. Let us give our best wishes to the great highway that binds the East and West into one great fellowship.

Spirit of the Rivers.[Coming forward, bends down to touch the spike, and then rises.]

My power I give to man,

  The joy of singing streams,

The speed of torrent’s fall,

  My thunder and my dreams.

Spirit of the Lakes.[Following the action of the Rivers.]

In my blue waters lies

  A sleeping strength of love

Will stir his heart to know

  The peace of stars above.

Spirit of the Forests.[Following the action of the Lakes.]

Upon a thousand hills,

  My green-clad hosts will rise

To shelter him and bring

  New gladness to his eyes.

Spirit of Gold.[Following the action of the Forests.]

I will not bring him rest,

  But he will search for me.

His blessing or his curse,

  To him my gift must be.

Spirit of Silver.[Following the action of Gold.]

I am the moon’s soft light

  Caught in the veins of earth.

Like Gold, I bless or ban,

  Bring pain or buy him mirth.

Spirit of Coal.[Following the action of Silver.]

Within my heart is power

  To drive his ships and feed

The fiery horse that draws

  The lightning wheels of speed.

Spirit of the Plains.

Along his road will flow

  A flood of grain to fill

The holds of foreign ships

  And many a distant mill.


My wealth is his. My strength

  And brooding peace will fold

A million men upon my plains

  Who seek my gift of gold.

Mother Earth.[Gathering her children about her.]

To this last link of the great chain

  That binds the East and West,

We bring our blessings, Canada,

  Dear land we love the best.


[Illustration: “This boy belongs to us.” ]

A Young Canadian SoldierDeath
FearAn N.C.O.
Properties: A Pile of SandbagsRifle


For a lesson period this play requires only that the performers representing Canada, Thirst, Fear, Death, etc., wear sashes or carry placards upon which are written the names of the characters. For special occasions costumes symbolical of the allegorical figures, may be prepared.

Time: A night in the year 1915.

Scene: The trenches in Flanders. A young Canadian soldier is discovered sleeping behind a pile of sandbags which form the parapet of a trench.


Canada enters from L. She crosses to the soldier, stoops down, and tenderly lays her hand upon his brow.

Canada.Poor lad! He thinks I am far away, but now he can see the little brick cottage, the row of Lombardy poplars, the big spreading maple by the gate, the larkspurs, the sweet-william, and the hollyhocks by the privet hedge about the lawn before his home.

Night enters L. Canada turns at the sound of her footstep and stands erect.

Oh, you are here! I am glad. You will bring dreams about me to my boy.

Night.I bring dreams to all the dear lads who are weary of this terrible war. I am glad that I can make them forget.

Canada.Yes, you can make them forget the war, and bring them memories of peace and happiness.

Night.I shall soon be gone. I met Dawn coming this way. Her face was sad because she will have to bring danger to so many brave men.

Canada.Well, while you are here, keep my boy happy with dreams of me.

Night.I will do this, never fear. Now I must pass on.

[Night goes out slowly R.

Canada.[Bending above the boy.] He is thinking of me. To-morrow he will remember me, and he will fight with his heart filled by thoughts of the land he loves.

[Very quietly she goes out R. As she does so the soldier stirs in his sleep and stretches his hand towards her.

Thirst enters L. With an evil grin, he creeps stealthily to the soldier, and speaks, bending over him.

Thirst.Thought you could forget me, dreaming of home and mother? Listen! All day, in the broiling sun, I was by your side. I am still here. Oh, for a drink of cool water! Think of the barrels of cold cider in the old Ontario cellar! Think of the iced drinks you used to have in London! How would you like a bath—a dip in the old swimming-hole back home? Remember the ice-cream at the garden parties? Pretty good, wasn’t it?

[He grins when the lad tosses in his sleep and moans feebly.

Fear enters L.

Fear.You may go about your business, Thirst. Leave him to me.

Thirst.His country, Canada, has been here. He was thinking of her. Drive those thoughts from his mind or he will pay no heed to us.

Fear.Go! I know my work. Your advice is not needed. [Thirst passes out R. Fear bends over the boy.] Your chum, Jim, is dead. A bullet got him to-night. It will be your turn next. You may not go so quickly. You may suffer a long time before you die.

Death enters L.

Death.[Crossing to the side of the boy.] No one can escape from me. Sooner or later I come to all men.

[The soldier stirs uneasily and struggles as if trying to awaken from a nightmare.

The Spirit of Honour and the Spirit of Duty enter L. Fear and Death appear to be frightened and move R.

Honour.Be off with you! This boy belongs to us. He is not your prey.

[Fear and Death slink out R.

Duty.[Bending over the lad and speaking gently.] I am with you now.

Honour.[Touching him upon the shoulder.] I am an old friend of yours, my boy. I knew your father. I was with him when he fought Indians on the Western plains. I was with your grandfather when he was decorated for bravery during the Indian Mutiny. He was one of the Highland Brigade that relieved Lucknow. I have been your companion from childhood. You cannot have forgotten me?

Duty.I, too, was your father’s friend. You cannot think of your father nor of your country, Canada, without remembering me.

Canada enters L.

Canada.Did someone call me? [Seeing Honour and Duty.] Oh, Honour and Duty! I am glad to see you. I thought I heard voices.

Honour.We were talking to your boy.

Canada.I am very glad. I always want him to think of us together. Dawn is very near. She will be here in a few minutes.

Duty.Let me speak a parting word to the lad. [Touches his shoulder.] Dawn is coming. We will remain near you. Fear and Death and Danger will have no power over you while we are at your side.

[Dawn comes in L. She passes slowly to R. and goes out. The soldier awakens and sits rubbing his eyes. An N.C.O. rushes in L., crosses, and goes out, shouting, “Stand to!” The boy rises to his feet, grasps his rifle, and examines it to see if it is loaded. He then stands ready, facing the parapet. Canada, Honour, and Duty stand behind him.



A number of the costumes used are described in the stage directions throughout the play. Time, Earth, Jupiter, and Neptune, may most fittingly be presented in the costumes assigned to them by tradition. The Farmer, Miner, and other Canadian workers should be played by boys. Science, Literature, and their group can best be represented by girls. The costumes for the girls, in these roles, should be white. Shoulder sashes, bearing the name of the character represented, should be worn. The Herald, who enters at the conclusion of the pageant, should be dressed in the traditional court costume of scarlet and gold.


Teachers may use their own discrimination in the choice of marching tunes to accompany the entrance of the Provinces, the Industries, Science and her sisters, the Transportation Trio, and the Children of the Nations. However, the familiar airs of The Red, White, and Blue, The Maple Leaf Forever, Keep the Home Fires Burning, and other patriotic songs, will be more suitable than music which is not so closely associated with the theme of the pageant.

[Illustration: CANADA]

Canada, the Queen 
Edward}Pages representing the English
François   and French Languages
The Nine Provinces
Locomotive EngineerSailor    Aviator
Children of the Nations: German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Austrian, Swiss, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Finnish, Hungarian, Rumanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Syrian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Negro
A Herald  

Scene: A throne, draped with white cloth, stands in the centre of a long platform which is draped with red, white, and blue bunting. A step leads from the throne to the floor. Jupiter and Neptune are discovered standing beside the throne L., while Father Time and Mother Earth stand beside the throne R.

Above the throne there is a large picture of the Fathers of Confederation.


Jupiter.King of the wide, blue skies

  That bend above this happy land,

Upon her path throughout the years,

  The sun will shine at my command.

Neptune.East, west, and north my watch I keep.

  My waves sing of her majesty.

About her wide-flung shores I move

  To guard her rule from sea to sea.

Earth.Fairest and youngest child is she

  Of all my nations near or far,

And ever shall my love go forth

  To Canada, my northern star.

Time.I pass, and only Truth remains

  And Beauty which will never die.

Blow bugles for our fair young Queen,

  And let her hills and plains reply!

A bugle is heard R. Canada enters, paged by her two Languages, French and English. Canada is dressed in a red gown, trimmed with green maple leaves. Upon her head she wears a golden crown. The pages are in white court costumes. To the music of “O Canada,” the Queen crosses and takes her seat upon the throne. The pages stand one upon each side of the throne. Those upon the platform, viz. Earth, Time, Jupiter, and Neptune, kneel while she is taking her seat and then rise.

Time.Greetings to your Majesty from Earth and Sea and Air!

[Pointing to his companions.] I too shall be proud to serve

you, if I may. May I ask after the welfare of the children

whom I have given to your care?

Canada.Our thanks to you, Father Time, and to your companions,

thanks! You have all been very faithful to me.

The children have come with me. They are all very dear

to me. I could not bear the thought of parting with any

one of them.

Bugle R. The nine Provinces enter and arrange themselves before the throne, the five Eastern Provinces R. and the four Western Provinces L. They are clad in white, each bearing a sash with the name of a Province, and each carrying a shield bearing the coat of arms of her Province upon it. Each Province, at the conclusion of her speech, takes her seat upon the platform, holding her shield before her, supported against her knees.

Ontario.Greetings, your Majesty! I am the richest of your

children. I am over three times as large as the British

Isles, from which most of my people have come. You

remember that I was settled by the United Empire Loyalists

about the year 1784. So I am also one of your eldest


Quebec.Greetings, your Majesty! I am the largest of your

children. I have eighteen per cent of your Dominion

within my borders. Ontario cannot say that she is the

eldest, either. I really began in 1534, when Jacques Cartier

sailed up the St. Lawrence.

New Brunswick.Greetings, your Majesty! I may not be so

large as my sisters who have spoken, but I too am very

rich and old. My lumbering, fisheries, and ship-building

have made me what I am. Oh, I am not so tiny, either!

I am almost as large as Ireland.

Nova Scotia.Greetings, your Majesty! Do you know that

I have coal enough to last your Majesty for two hundred

years? When you mention age please remember that the

French first used my coal in the year 1720. I had the first

churches, the first schools, and the first newspaper in your


Prince Edward Island.Greetings, your Majesty! I confess

that I am the tiniest of your children, but please remember

that I am the island. I can support myself upon the

produce of my own farms, and that is more than some of

my bigger sisters can do. And I have a school to every

four square miles of land—more schools, in proportion to

my size, than any of the other Provinces.

Manitoba.Greetings, your Majesty, from your Keystone

Province. I am the eldest of the Western sisters. I was

born in 1812. Lord Selkirk was my father. I have over

fifty thousand farmers, who have made me the home of

the world’s standard wheat.

Saskatchewan.Greetings, your Majesty! Although I joined

you only twenty-three years ago, I produce more wheat than

any other Province. Two hundred and fifteen million

bushels last year! And I have taken the world’s first prize

for my wheat too. I lead all my sisters in value of lands,

implements, and machinery.

Alberta.Greetings, your Majesty! I also am twenty-three

years old. I lead your Dominion in coal production.

Indeed I have more coal than any country in the world

outside of China. I give you most of your oil too. Please

remember that I have seventy-two million acres of good

land. You are using only nine million of my acres at


British Columbia.Greetings, your Majesty! I have been

with you since 1871. I am your Pacific Province, and I

hold the key to the Orient in my hands. My fisheries

are the greatest in your Dominion. More than half your

standing timber is within my borders, and you could put

twenty-five Switzerlands into my mountain region.

Canada.Indeed, my children, I am very proud to have you

with me. I hope always to be worthy of your love and


[The Provinces rise and bow low before the Queen, and then seat themselves once more in position upon the platform.

All the Provinces.

Daughters fair of Canada,

  Stalwart, proud, and free,

We hold in peace and unity

  Her strength from sea to sea.

Our maples stand in matchless pride.

Hand fast in hand, whate’er betide,

  We guard her liberty.

Canada.[To Pages.] François! Edward! [The pages stand at attention, facing the Queen.] I am expecting visitors from my Dominion. They are awaiting my pleasure. Bring them in.

[The pages bow.

Edward.Your Majesty, our greatest pleasure is to serve you.

François.Votre Majesté, c’est notre plus grand plaisir de vous servir. [Having saluted, the pages go out, one R. and one L.

Canada.They are dear boys! I am fortunate to have in my service two of the most wonderful Languages in the world.

Edward reappears L. He ushers in Farmer, Miner, Fisherman, Lumberman, Fur-trader, and Manufacturer. They arrange themselves in line L. The page resumes his place at the Queen’s side.

Farmer.Your Majesty, I bring you over a billion dollars’ worth of produce from seven hundred thousand farms. I have made you the world’s leading exporter of wheat and flour, and you have still remaining over a hundred million acres of land open for settlement.

Miner.Your Majesty, I produce for you ninety per cent of the world’s cobalt, eighty-eight per cent of the world’s asbestos, eighty per cent of the world’s nickel, and I work one of the largest gold-mines in the world. I have only touched a very tiny fraction of your underground wealth, but I have added greatly to your riches during the short time that I have worked for you.

Fisherman.I hold for your Majesty the greatest sea-fisheries in the world. Twelve thousand five hundred miles of coast-line on the Atlantic and Pacific, and more than half the fresh water of the globe! There are more than seventy thousand Canadian fishermen in my army of workers.

Lumberman.Your Majesty, I hold for you the timber storehouse of the Empire. Only the United States of America and Russia have larger forests than yours. I have also made you the world’s greatest exporter of newsprint, of which you send abroad two billion tons per annum.

Fur-trader. Your Majesty, I am the eldest of your servants. I began to work for you in Tadoussac in 1859. I am still bringing you over fifteen million dollars per year.

Manufacturer.Your Majesty, this is my record: In national wealth I have placed you seventh among the nations, and have given you fifth place as an exporting country. In wealth per capita you are only surpassed by the United States and Britain.

Canada.I thank you. You deserve the best we have to give you. Indeed, you have served us well.

François reappears R. He ushers in Science, Literature, Art, Music, Education, and Religion. They arrange themselves in line R. The page resumes his place beside the Queen.

Science.Your Majesty, during your lifetime, I have brought to you the wonders of the telephone, the telegraph, automobiles, gramophones, moving-pictures, movietones, airships, radio, electric lights, and ever so many other things. I have given you, at Niagara, the largest hydro-electric power plant in the world. Your men of science have been great and numerous and your realm is indebted to them. I commend them to your Majesty’s favour.

Literature.Your Majesty, a nation cannot truly live or be great without me. I bring to all men the gifts of Beauty and Truth. I have given your realm poetry which compares favourably with the best written in other countries since your birth. When everything else has passed away, I shall keep the spirit of Canada alive so that future nations shall remember her name.

Art.Your Majesty, I too bring you the gifts of Beauty and Truth. Although I have not the magic of words I can speak to you in colour and line, on canvas and in marble. I shall help Literature to give your nation a soul, and I shall help her to cherish your noblest thoughts and your loveliest dreams.

Music.A wise man once said, “Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes her laws.” In your realm are to be found some of the most beautiful folk-songs in the world? I have helped in many ways to lighten the toil of your people and to bring grace and harmony into their lives. You need me to brighten the way which lies before your Majesty.

Education.Your Majesty, there are more than two million of your children in my schools, and over sixty thousand teachers who are working to make citizens for you. I have more than nine hundred libraries which furnish good books to your people, and over a thousand papers to bring them the news of the world. I am really one of your best servants, although my salary is small and although your people forget how much they owe to me.

Religion.Your Majesty, you cannot take riches with you when you leave this world. My treasures are in a Kingdom which is everlasting, and I give them freely to all who seek after them. I am your comfort in this life and your hope in the life to come.

Canada.[To those who have spoken.] Thank you for the wonderful gifts you have brought to me.

A bugle sounds R. At a gesture from the Queen, the page, Edward, goes to the entrance R. and admits a Locomotive Engineer, a Sailor, and an Aviator. The Sailor carries the Canadian Ensign. They kneel before the throne and then rise.


On land, at sea, and in the air,

Your ensign red we proudly bear.

Engineer.I have given to your Majesty the greatest railway mileage in the world, per capita. In 1836 I laid your first railroad, fourteen and a half miles long, from Laprairie to St. John. It had rails of wood with flat bands of iron spiked to them. Now you have over forty thousand miles of railway in your Dominion.

Sailor.Your Majesty, I have built you a fleet of more than seven thousand vessels. Deep-sea ships can travel over two thousand miles into your country from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the head of Lake Superior. The tonnage which annually passes through your canal at Sault Ste Marie is twice that which passes through the Panama and Suez Canals together.

Aviator.Your Majesty, I would like you to know that the greatest air-routes of the future will be across the northern part of your Dominion. Our men proved themselves during the Great War. It was one of them, Captain Godfrey, who made the first seaplane flight across your territory in September 1926. If you give us the help which we need, we can make you supreme in the air.

Canada.You are three noble and devoted servants. We are very proud of all you have done for us.

[Father Time is about to speak when Edward, the page, forestalls him by bowing to the Queen and drawing her attention to him.

Edward.Pardon me, Father Time! Before you proceed, may I say that François and I have many little brothers and sisters from all parts of the world. They all belong to your Majesty, and are very glad to be Canadians. They wish to thank you for the freedom and for the opportunities which you have given them.

Canada.Certainly, Edward, bring in your little brothers and sisters.

Edward goes L. to the entrance and ushers in a group of little children dressed to represent the various nationalities composing the Canadian Commonwealth. German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Austrian, Swiss, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Finnish, Hungarian, Rumanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Syrian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Negro costumes may all be used if so desired.

The children arrange themselves in a semicircle before the throne and kneel to the Queen. Rising, they perform a dance movement, finally circling in a ring about the Sailor, who is holding the Canadian flag. At the conclusion of the dance the children seat themselves at the feet of those who are standing.

Mother Earth.

Queen of the Earth, O Canada,

  I crown you with the red

Of harvest moons above your plains,

  And blessings still untold

Shall bring to you, my youngest-born

  Of all the realms I hold.


Queen of the Sea, O Canada,

  I crown you with the white

Sea-foam of waves about your shores,

  And may the keen delight

Of storm and sun in spaces free

  Be with you day and night.


Queen of the Air, O Canada,

  I crown you with the blue

Of skies above your thousand hills.

  Strong shall you be and true,

And, through the darkest night to come,

  My stars will shine for you.

Time.[Pointing to the picture of the Fathers of Confederation.] Makers of Canada! Men of vision and action who laid the foundations of a mighty nation! How well they built, how sound were their plans! Macdonald, Brown, Cartier, Mowat, Tupper, Galt, Tilley, Gray, Tache—names to thrill every proud Canadian! They would be amazed, were they here to-day, at the growth of Canada since 1867.

Bugle sounds R. Enter a herald, bearing a manuscript. He comes down C., bows to her Majesty, and speaks.

Herald.I have a message for your Majesty!

[Reads from the manuscript.

“Awake, my country, the hour of dreams is done!

  Doubt not, nor dread the greatness of thy fate,

Tho’ faint souls fear the keen confronting sun,

  And fain would bid the morn of splendours wait;

Tho’ dreamers, rapt in starry visions, cry

  ’Lo, yon thy future, yon thy faith, thy fame!’

And stretch vain hands to stars, thy fame is nigh,

  Here in Canadian hearth, and home, and name;

          This name which yet shall grow

          Till all the nations know

Us for a patriot people, heart and hand

Loyal to our native earth—our own Canadian land!”

Time.I have the honour, your Majesty, to place in your hands the Key to the Future!

[Time hands a large golden key to Canada, who stands holding it before her. All join in the singing of the first stanza and chorus of “O Canada.”



Dear Children,

You have read and have performed the plays in my book. I trust that you have had as much happiness in presenting the dramas as I have had in writing them. And now—why not make some plays for yourselves? You may use my dramas as models. Try to make your scenery and properties quite simple, so that they may be suitable for the class-room. Let your characters talk and act easily and naturally. I am sure that you can make good plays, and it will be fun to see your own work performed just as you imagined it. Here is a list of subjects taken from our Canadian history. An interesting drama may be written about any one of these incidents.

Wishing you all success, I am

Yours sincerely,

A. M. Stephen.

Before the White Man Came: Incident in the life of an Indian boy.

Cabot at Cape Breton: The landing of John Cabot’s party, 1497.

Cartier at Hochelaga: The Indians bring their sick, expecting Cartier to heal them.

Marguerite de Roberval: Deserted by her uncle, Roberval, on the Isle of Demons.

Sable Island: Eleven survivors of De La Roche’s colony rescued by a ship from France.

The Order of Good Cheer: Champlain entertains his gentlemen-adventurers at Port Royal.

The Hundred Associates: Cardinal Richelieu, at the French Court, grants a charter to the Company.

The First Canadian Farmer: A scene in the home of Louis Hébert.

Madame La Tour: She decides to defend her fort.

Mount Royal: Maisonneuve lands and determines to found Montreal.

Radisson escapes from the Iroquois.

The Father of Waters: La Salle, at the mouth of the Mississippi, claims the land for France.

The Fighting Governor: Frontenac defies the messenger of Phips.

Evangeline: An Acadian home, before the expulsion of the French people.

Capitulation of New France: Ramezay signs papers handing over Canada to the English.

Pontiac declares War: Council scene.

Tecumseh: Reviews and addresses his warriors before the Battle of Moraviantown.

Chateguay: Scene in De Salaberry’s tent before the battle. He plans the engagement with Macdonnell.

Return of the Exile: William Lyon MacKenzie returns from exile.

Astoria: John McLoughlin and the departure of the fur-traders on an expedition.

Sir George Simpson inspects a Hudson Bay fort.

James Douglas founds Victoria.

Golden Sands: The discovery of gold on the Fraser.

Louis Riel: After the capture of Fort Garry. He sets up his government.

The Surrender of Poundmaker.

A Canadian Voyageur on the Nile: Scene in camp in Egypt.

In South Africa: A scene in a Boer farm-house, during the war, bringing Canadian soldiers into the play.

Keep the Home Fires Burning: The return of a Canadian soldier after the Great War.

The New Nation: A Canadian family discuss the Imperial Conference, 1926.

The League of Nations: A meeting of the Assembly of the League.



Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

Inconsistency in hyphenation has been retained.

Because of copyright considerations, the illustrations by G. K. Hutton (?-?) have been omitted from this etext.

[The end of Class-Room Plays from Canadian History by Alexander Maitland Stephen]