By Madge Macbeth , circa 1924
Nipigon Historical Museum Archives
THE SECOND DAY
The second day was faultless. The sun had almost dried our little white homes before we had finished breakfast, and it took the edge off a keen wind that was more suggestive of October than July. Virgin Falls raced over glittering rocks like so much liquid malachite. The rapids swirled and eddied, a wondrous green foam.
Intense activity prevailed around Camp. We consulted fly books, called to one another for advice we didn't take, polished the lenses of our cameras, and up and down the rocky shore, to the soft whir of spinning reels, damp lines were hung from tree to tree like crazy cobwebs etched against the sky.
We fished from shore, and decided after a disgraceful dinner that reduced the stores alarmingly that a swim in the Nipigon would be almost as enjoyable as angling. Consequently, we embarked in our spacious canoes and were paddled (even the sportsmen, too!) out among the Virgin Islands, where, with a good deal of hesitancy, we plunged into the clear, cold water of the river.
By the gods, it was cold! For a few seconds after the body's first immersion, one feels an impulse to turn immediately towards the shore. But this passes suddenly, and the only consciousness is that of intense invigoration, tempting one to swim great distances. I found that water less cold was unpleasant and enervating.
On the way home, the Curious Gentleman demanded of his guide how he could keep his moccasins so soft and pliable, like those of the Indians.
"You take them home," advised the old man, in almost unintelligible English, "and get your woman to chew them. That's the way Nindians' are soft."
TO BE CONTINUED