Spring Walk by a Fresh Hand
Without the "Stranger," this year, has "Fresh Hand" been obliged to commence his "Spring Walks," for the former, it appears, has not returned from his world-wide tour. Whither he has gone, during the last twelve months, and how he has spent his time, remains a mystery, and is likely to do so; but wherever he has gone and however he has spent his time, he may rest assured that he has the best wishes of "Fresh Hand," and has obtained a lasting place in his memory. Indeed, the latter commenced his "Spring Walks" with feelings of sorrow; for he was alone and felt less able than before to do justice to the industry of his old friends the city mechanics, when a bright idea struck him, and the kindly spirits that people the air brought unto him, at his request, an individual entirely different from the "Stranger," and who was called "Experience." With "Experience" who in, however, in a sickly condition, has "Fresh Hand" begun his "Walks," trusting that Fortune may prove propitious and permit him to get through his business without interruption. Yet does he miss the "Stranger." His curious views of things nautical and pertaining to the land; his sound knowledge as a seaman; his acquaintance with manly and athletic sports, and above all, his appreciable good nature, have left a memory behind in the breast of "Fresh Hand, " which time nor change may in vain hope to drive away. During the long winter months "Fresh Hand" wondered where the "Stranger" was, and what he was doing. How he employed his time, and what new emotions his heart had known. But such knowledge, alas! was denied "Fresh Hand" for the "Stranger" never wrote, and by his silence appeared to have forgotten the existence of his friend of 1862. Sometimes to "Fresh Hand" did the "Stranger" appear in dreams, ambiguous and of doubtful interpretation; but upon one occasion when the mind may be said to have, as it were, separated itself from the senses, "Fresh Hand" perceived the "Stranger" upon the rigging of a large East Indiaman during a storm. Upwards he was bound, apparently to reef topsails, when "Fresh Hand" saw him stop as though in meditation, then stagger and finally fall. What became of him; whether he fell on the deck of the Indiaman or into the sea, "Fresh Hand" did not learn; for the dream was to him so horrible, and the whole thing so nearly approached to the visitation of nightmare, that he awoke. Sometimes, however, it seemed to him as though the spirit of the "Stranger" freed itself from its corporeal bondage and sought his own, hankering, it may be, after their earlier communication, and desirous of returning to its old haunts. Now "Experience" will fill the place of the friend he has lost, and how make amends for his lamented absence, it must be left for those who read the "Spring Walks" of 1862; but "fresh Hand" has a presentiment that the Walks of 1863 will prove less interesting. Query. Will the absence of the "Stranger" be atoned for by the presence of "Experience"? Or is it not just possible that the "Stranger" may yet turn up and accompany "Fresh Hand" and "Experience" in their peregrinations round the city?
THE SHIP-YARD.--Mr. C. W. Jenkins deserves great praise for the manner in which he conducts the business of the Ship Yard, and many a fine vessel, destined to plough the "vasty deep" of old Ontario, and the waters of island-studded St. Lawrence, does he build therein. At present ho has about from 130 to 140 men at work, a large number of them being engaged in building Capt. Gaskin's fine new barque, which is to be christened the Avon. A good name, indeed, which brings to one's recollection the familiar name of "Shakespeare," and to those who have visited it all the beauties of the river on the edge of which was situated the bard's home. Whether or not our friend Capt. Gaskin is an admirer of the works of him "who wrote not for an age, but for all time," we can not tell; but we would fain infer that he must be since he intends giving his vessel the above cognomen.--Her hull is almost finished, minus a touch here and a touch there, painting, &c; her masts are in, and she will have now wire rigging shortly. The Avon will be ready for the Spring trade at the opening of navigation, and during the ensuing Summer we wish her many a prosperous voyage, with good freights.
The line steamer Banshee, Royal Mail Line, is undergoing general repairs in this Shipyard. New beams have been placed in her; her deck has been partly renewed, and the outside of her hull has been thoroughly overhauled and new planks put in when necessary. Some repairs, also, are being done to her engines, and she will be well able to take her accustomed place among her contemporaries, as soon as the ice leaves the harbor.
The propellor West, belonging to Messrs. Holcomb and Cowan, has been undergoing repairs here since the middle of the winter, when she was hauled out. Her engines, especially, have required repairs, and she has received a thorough overhauling.
The steamer St. Lawrence, belonging to Messrs. Jacques, Tracy & Co., of Montreal, has received at the hands of Mr. Jenkins' employees a very large amount of repairs, having been new-timbered throughout, and received new ceiling, new arch, new deck frame and deck. Her engines are also being overhauled. Having received all these necessary repairs, she will be as good as new, and will be in splendid condition at the opening of navigation.
Here lie, too, the Propellers Indian and Colonist, which were hauled out during the early part of the winter, and have been very thoroughly repaired.
These fine propellers will be in every way fitted for the summer trade.
HOLCOMB & COWAN'S WHARF --Two steamers are being painted here for the above firm, viz.: the Brantford and George Moffat which will be in excellent sailing trim at the commencement of the season. Messrs. Holcomb & Cowan are also painting one of their Barges here. The remainder are above Cataraqui Bridge. This firm is building a new elevator at the Ontario Foundry, capable of elevating 5,000 bushels per hour. It will prove a great assistance to Messrs. Holcomb & Cowan during the pressure of the grain season. Their steamer Jenny Lind is now undergoing repairs in Montreal, and the Clyde, at Anderson & Ford's Wharf, Kingston. Four large Barges are also being built in Quebec, for Messrs. Holcomb & Cowan, intended for the St. Lawrence trade, having a carrying capacity of about 24,000 bushels a piece.