It was about five o'clock, and the sun was moving west, as Hilaria and I rounded the last corner of the hill and looked down on Fort Qu'Appelle.|
A tinge of gold hovered in the valley; on either side gleamed broad lakes, blue as the Mediterranean by the shore of blue Beaulieu. Between these lakes a river curled; horses and cattle were grazing on its banks; even these seemed invested with the Canadian spirit of inquiry, and turned their heads to take stock of the passer-by.
On that day the quiet little village-town was in unison with the rich and perfect beauty of its setting. Indeed, it was many days after the last leaves of flame had been swept away by the winds of winter, even after snow had covered the wide sweet valley, that it came to me one day, as I walked in for my mail, that the village Fort Qu'Appelle was a plain-featured performance of man, planted on one of those rare, sweet tracts of the great Mother where Nature rests to raise an altar to the highest.
There, in its exquisite environment, it stands expectant, a plain patient village-town, waiting for railroad help towards the fulfillment of the prophecy of its two noble street lines, which extend straight, strong, and full of promise towards farther hills.
In obedience to the notice-board on the wooden bridge we abandoned effort, and slowed down to the natural pace of Charles in crossing. We drew up at the hotel, which faces the river about a hundred yards to the left of the bridge.
"The gods be praised, we are in time for super!" said Lal, "and nearly an hour to spare."
We had accomplished our journey of thirty-five miles in ten hours, including two hours off for rest. Of course it was no motor pace, but for a conqueror of distance on his own terms Charles was not to be easily beaten.
taken from page 133, 134
A Summer on the Canadian Prairie
Chapter: Fort Qu'Appelle and a Dweller Therein
Wheat and Woman|
Also by Georgina Binnie-Clark
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