Fort Desolation; Red Indians and Fur Traders of Rupert's Land by R M Ballantyne Page 1 of 71
Or, Solitude in the Wilderness.
To some minds solitude is depressing, to others it is congenial. It was the former to our friend John Robinson; yet he had a large share of it in his chequered life. John-more familiarly known as Jack-was as romantic as his name was the reverse.
To look at him you would have supposed that he was the most ordinary of common-place men, but if you had known him, as we did, you would have discovered that there was a deep, silent, but ever-flowing river of enthusiasm, energy, fervour-in a word, romance-in his soul, which seldom or never manifested itself in words, and only now and then, on rare occasions, flashed out in a lightning glance, or blazed up in a fiery countenance.
For the most part Jack was calm as a mill-pond, deep as the Atlantic, straightforward and grave as an undertaker's clerk and good-humoured as an unspoilt and healthy child.
Jack never made a joke, but, certes, he could enjoy one; and he had a way of showing his enjoyment by a twinkle in his blue eye and a chuckle in his throat that was peculiarly impressive.
Jack was a type of a large class. He was what we may call an outskirter of the world. He was one of those who, from the force of necessity, or of self-will, or of circumstances, are driven to the outer circle of this world to do as Adam and Eve's family did, battle with Nature in her wildest scenes and moods; to earn his bread, literally, in the sweat of his brow.