Life in the Tararuas

The colder weather is bringing the beasts down from
the heights. I heard both wolves and the mountain lion as I
crossed to my cabin last night.

I am still here, helping in the kitchen, driving cattle, and
riding four or five times a day.

You would be amused if you could see our cabin just now.
There are nine men in the room and three women.

For want of
seats most of the men are lying on the floor; all are smoking,
and the blithe young French Canadian who plays so
beautifully and catches about fifty speckled trout for each
meal, is playing the harmonica with a pipe in his mouth.

All the hilarity of the house has returned with Evans.

He claps people on the back,
shouts at them, will do anything for them, and makes
perpetual breeze.

A little case of
suspicious appearance was smuggled into the cabin from the
wagon, and heightens the hilarity a little, I fear.

Evans flatters me by
saying that I am “as much use as a man;” more than one
of our party, I hope, who always avoided the “ugly” cows.

[after Isabella Bird, A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains (1879)]

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