Kasba (White Partridge): A Story of Hudson Bay - George Raymond Ray
It was a bright, bitter-cold day in the short days of winter. The sun shone forlornly upon the bleak, ice-bound shores of Hudson Bay, as if in despair at its utter inability to warm the intensely cold atmosphere, or change in the slightest degree the frozen face of nature. Limitless fields of dazzling Whiteness stretched to the horizon on either hand; a tremendous expanse of turbulent ice-fields, of hills and ridges, of plains and dells; a great white world, apparently empty.
Over all was the silence of death; a silence of awful profundity, yet at the same time an indescribably beautiful revelation.
Near at hand a trapped Arctic fox lay dishevelled and bleeding, its little green eyes glittering evilly and watching with some apprehension the movements of an object which had sprung up, apparently from nowhere, to advance upon it with startling directness.
The object was Roy Thursby, an intrepid young officer of the Hudson’s Bay Company, visiting his “line” of traps; a big fellow of five-and-twenty, with muscles of iron; a clean-shaven face—a noble face that betrayed a high-minded nature; eyes that as a rule were hard, but could soften; and a heart that never quailed. He was dressed in moleskin trousers, a pair of long blue stroud leggings, a coat made of hairy-deerskin (that is to say, deerskin dressed on the one side only), with a hood edged with fur, a l’Assumption belt that encircled his waist, and large deerskin moccasins, under which he undoubtedly wore at least two pairs of hairy-deerskin socks. Mittens of dressed deerskin were suspended from his shoulders by a worsted cord, and a fur cap with earpieces completed his costume. He wore snowshoes and carried a hunting-bag across his back and a rifle over his shoulder.