This page is a text version of the Beckoning Hills History Book. This is the story of the Turtle Mountain Area of Manitoba. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.

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afternoon in the eighties father and Billy Brown shot two hundred and twenty ducks in the southeastern corner of the lake. They each used two guns; one being used while the other cooled off. Nothing but Mallards and Canvas-backs were shot, and needless to say they seldom missed a shot. At that time game of all sorts was an important source of food and the sale of it was permitted.

Father used to skin or pick the ducks, split them down the back, sprinkle them with salt, pack them in barrels and ship them to Winnipeg. Mallards and Canvas-backs brought twelve cents apiece and others ten. In later years, until it became illegal, ducks and geese were sold locally, to a certain extent, with a duck bringing fifteen to twenty cents and a goose about fifty. Father loaded nearly all his own shells, as did most local hunters. I have before me a sheet taken from the books of E. Nichol and Sons, merchants of Boissevain, dated 1892 and in account with Harry Duncan. One entry catches my eye: eight pounds of shot, 80 cents. One pound costs that now-if you can get it.

The development of the district and the rapid increase in settle­ ment through the nineties meant a big demand for more and better power and horses almost completely replaced the oxen. By that time too the Red River cart had disappeared, with its squealing wooden axles and wheels. Many times father stood in his shack door and listened to the screaching, coming from down the trail, that heralded some traveller's approach in a Red River cart.

Father went back to Ontario quite a few times to buy horses for Nichols and ship them out to Boissevain for resale. Good horses were worth money and many a struggling homesteader lost or almost lost his land through a mortgage acquired by purchasing a team of horses. Credit was glibly given by those that had money and something to sell to the settlers, most of whom didn't have any money, just a great faith that they soon would have, and most dealings were on time. Interest rates weren't government controlled in those days and the way it mounted up under the manipulation of the business men of that time would make a present day computer look like a grade one student. When harvest time came the bailiff was about the busiest man in the district as he dashed about slap-

. ping liens on granaries as fast as they were filled with grain, if there was any grain, and a good many years there wasn't. Many were the . strawstacks that stood in the field covering a pile of wheat safely from the bailiff's eye till the owner could get it sold.

For many years in the late nineties and early years of 1900 father ran a herd along the north side of Whitewater Lake. At that time he bought cattle with and for Jack Towns, a well known cattle buyer. The herd was made up of cattle from owners as far away as Souris and Dunrae, father's own cattle and those bought by Towns and brought in to fatten or to hold for market. The home corral covered about six acres and was a half mile south of the homestead.