Spring Walk by a Fresh Hand
The Stranger" was not on hand this morning when "Fresh Hand" started on his second walk, but in his place was "Experience" and together, on foot, they proceeded to Garden Island. They found the track in some places terribly cut up, and a line of bushes laid down a great portion of the way, to denote where there was danger to the traveller--and certainly sleighing cannot last long. When near Garden island, "Fresh Hand," who generally allowed the "Stranger" to go first, in case of accident;, discovered that they were off the track to Garden Island, and were upon that to Wolfe Island. The question was whether were they to cross over on the intervening ice to Garden Island track, or return to where the two tracks intersected each other? "Experience" advised the former, but "Fresh Hand" the latter, and not agreeing, they separated, "Experience" going his way and "Fresh Hand" his. "Experience, " however, did not go far, probably fearing to trust the ice, and he and "Fresh Hand" retraced their steps to the intersection of the two tracks; and having reached the Garden Island track, soon arrived at that place. They paid a visit to the office of Messrs. Calvin & Breck, and elicited the following information:-
The population of Garden Island has increased thirty-one since last year, and now numbers 600 souls; seven houses have been added to the original number, and there are, in all, about 268 workmen. No new factories have been built.
There are now about ten steamers on the Island receiving general repairs, nine of which belong to the Government Tug Line, and the tenth is a freight steamer. The following are their names and engine capacities, viz.:--Hercules, 311 horse power; Highlander, 153 do.; City of Hamilton, 163 do.; William IV, 167 do.; Traveller, 130 do.; Gildersleeve 97 do.; America, 112 do.; Chieftain, 82.5 do., and the Wellington.
It may be well to mention that the Commissioner of Public Works has reported most favorably of the tug steamers during last season; and his report states that the various shippers on the lake and river route have been well pleased with the manner in which said service has been conducted.
The Managers and agents of the Marine Insurance Companies have likewise concurred in a memorial to the above department, in which they state that no loss or detention of any moment has been occasioned to them by the Tug Line during the last eight years. Messrs. Calvin & Breck are building for themselves a new three masted schooner, which was commenced last summer, and which will be ready for service this summer. Her capacity will be about 250 tons.
Five schooners are receiving general repairs here.
There are about 120 cribs, ready to receive staves from western ports for Quebec during the coming season, and a number of timber drams, remaining over since last fall, on the Island. The latter will be despatched down the river as soon as practicable.
It may be interesting to mention that the steam pump, constructed expressly by Messrs. Calvin & Breck for wrecking purposes, and which was mentioned in last year's "Spring Walks," will be completed in a fortnight, and will prove valuable in case of accidents during the season of navigation.
Such are all the particulars relating to Garden Island at present, which the public would care to learn.
On their way back, "Fresh Hand" and "Experience" had a conversation, and the former said he wondered why the "Stranger" did not write. "Experience," without much hesitation, said that the reason was, probably, that the "Stranger" feared a wrong construction would be placed by many upon the character of his correspondence with "Fresh Hand," and that it would be construed as amounting to something more than it really was' and therefore the "Stranger" kept silent. Not that it necessarily followed that any save "Fresh Hand" should know what said correspondence contained, but that the fact of such correspondence might be generally misconstrued, and thus the "Stranger" be victimized whether he like it or not. "Fresh Hand" perceived there was some sense in this, especially as he was aware he had, on several occasions, made certain representations to the "Stranger," when no one was supposed to be near, and which no ono was supposed to know anything about, which might or might not be true, and the "Stranger" might very naturally be led astray by corresponding.