By Jim Blanchard
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Additional resources for A Thousand Miles of Prairie: The Manitoba Historical Society and the History of Western Canada
They commence at dawn. The birds may be seen standing in ordinary attitudes until suddenly one lowers his head, spreads out his wings horizontally, but slightly dipped, and his tail perpendicularly, distends his air sacs and erects his feathers, then taking the very shortest steps, but stamping his feet so fast and hard that the sound is like that of a kettle drum, he careers about, beating the air with his wings and vibrating the tail so that it rattles loudly, uttering a sort of cribbing crow, which seems to come from the air sacs.
The prairie fires were raging in every direction far and near. Others present who knew nothing of Fenian dangers urged these as an insuperable obstacle to our getting on to-night. , etc. Lame Jack was now, however as fully determined to proceed as he at first had so strenuously objected. So we started. The team of four horses was superb. I do not think I ever saw four such handsome, well conditioned, spirited horses hitched together, not even amongst those of the four-in-hand club in London; and notwithstanding their lately finished trip of twenty miles, were proudly champing the bit and fretting for the start.
In reply he said there was a stranger with O'Donnohue who might be O'Neil, and as to the number of men he could not tell how many, but as they walked along they seemed a very considerable number, and this in connection with the state of affairs at home gave him great anxiety and uneasiness. I counselled and entreated his Lordship to return to Fort Garry with me, as doubtless his presence and influence would be all-powerful to allay the excitement and maintain peace. He said he was on mission to Quebec according to appointment and the carrying out of this duty was paramount to all other present considerations.
A Thousand Miles of Prairie: The Manitoba Historical Society and the History of Western Canada by Jim Blanchard