Reminiscences of the Highland Pioneers in Eldon, Victoria County
November 13, 2023
Log House Near Blythe, by Anne Langton
By Hugh Ray
Originally Published by the Ontario Historical Society, 1927
In the year 1818, the year in which Queen Victoria was born and George III still reigned, an emigrant vessel sailed from Greenock, bound for Charleston, South Carolina. Among the passengers was John Darrach and family from Kildalton, Islay, and Archibald MacFayden and family from Killechoman, Islay. I mention these as Angus, my father was the third eldest of the Darrach family, and was twelve years old, and Effie, my mother, the second of Arch. MacFayden’s family, was in her fifth year. Although the vessel was old and not very seaworthy, she was a good sailor and left behind a suspicious looking craft that the captain thought might be a pirate, as the country and the seas were still in an unsettled state after the Napoleonic Wars.
While the war was in progress the farmers got good prices and ready sale for all their produce; but when the war was over, and Napoleon was banished to St. Helena, the British army was largely disbanded, and the Government ceased to buy supplies for it. Then came the depression and the farmers found it difficult to make ends meet.
John Darrach, while he was still in Islay thought if he could turn his barley into malt, and in that way get a better price for it, he might be able to pay his rent, otherwise he could not. So he tried it, and in the dead of night he was heading his horse with a big load of malt, and as he turned a curve in the road, here the gauger was waiting for him and took possession, saying, “This is my horse and cart, and all the loading.” When the case came up before the magistrates, one of whom was his landlord, he explained how he was situated. His landlord said, ‘Give the poor man his horse and cart, and fine him £5 and if he cannot pay it, I will pay it.”
Although he got out of the trouble easier than he expected, he saw something had to be done, and that was to emigrate, and many in Islay came to the same conclusion.
They had heard of a place called ‘Canada,’ but thought it was too cold. They also heard of North Carolina, where Flora MacDonald went after the trouble of 1745. They knew the climate was warmer there, so they decided on North Carolina. They sailed for Wilmington, North Carolina, but the vessel was blown out of course and they put in at Charleston S.C., and from there put to sea again and sailed for Wilmington, N.C., and took up farms in the Scotch settlement.
John Darrach took up land in Cumberland County and A. MacFayden in Richmond County. Both these families had friends among the people there. John Darrach had a cousin Malcolm, who had taken the name of Ray, as they were known as MacGilleraich of Clann MacDonald, before they were known as Darrach, and in translating the name the shortened it by dropping the ‘GIllie,’ otherwise it would have been Gilray. And Malcom Ray persuaded his cousin John to adopt the same name, which he did, and even to this day sometimes they are address by Gaelic-speaking friends as Darrach, and Ray when spoken to in English.
The way that they got the name of Darrach (‘Oak’) was as follows: McDonald, Lord of the Isles, their Chief, was attacked by the pirates from the North, or some of the Clanns, and one MacGilleraich, defended a pass with a good deal of spirit and kept the enemy in check till he got help. This pleased the Chief, and after the scrap was over, he clapped him on the back and said, “S’maith thu fhein, MacGilleraich, sheas thu ann an sin coltas ri craobh Dharaich.” (Translation—“Well done, Gilray, you stood your ground like an oak tree”), and both he and his friends were so pleased with the praise that the name stuck to him and his descendants to this day. Among these were my grandfather; also John Darrach, late of the civil service, Toronto, who died whist in office in this society, our grandfathers being brothers.
The County town of Cumberland County is Fayetteville. At that time, it was quite a distributing point, it being the head of navigation on Cape Fear River—and the Highlanders were glad enough to get employment on the river, as they were used to boating. They rowed the barges down to Wilmington laden with tobacco and cotton, and back with goods from the North, and the West Indes. This was before steamboats were used on the river.
Angus Ray, father of the writer, was employed on one of those boats of which James MacLachlan, brother-in-law of A. MacFadyen, was skipper, and all the crew were Islay men. The company had another barge manned by an all-negro crew, one of which was so fond of being with the Highlanders that he would scheme to be with them, and would play sick when their own boats would be ready to start. When MacLauchlan’s boat was about to start, ‘Tom’ would crawl down to the warehouse and the manager would ask him if he would be able to go as one of the MacLachlan crew. He would claim to be a little better and would try, but as soon as the boat turned the first curve in the river ‘Tom’ would dance and sing—
“San ann an Ballin aibi
Ru gadh mi is thogadh mi
San ann an Ballin aibi
Bha mi riabh”
It was in Ballaibie
I was born and brought up
It was in Ballinaibie
That I always dwelt.
“I would not go with those black trash, I like to go with my own country people.” He could speak Gaelic better than English, and hearing the Highlanders speak of the Highlands he knew all their friends and places they came from, till he seemed to believe he was from there himself—and he as black as could be. Meanwhile the row boats served their time and steamers supplanted them, and Angus Ray was the steersman when he quit the river.
The school system in North Carolina at that time was conducted in this way. Each family estimated the attendance beforehand and were assessed accordingly. If they did not attend, they were the losers. One year, John Ray’s younger family were irregular in their attendance, and when Angus came home from the river he was coaxed to go to school to take up the arrears of attendance. He went, much against his will, but got interested in study and continued it until he graduated from Fayetteville Academy. He then stayed to teach school, and was so employed when a Mr. MacMillan, an Islayman who came to Canada direct, went down to North Carolina to visit his two brothers and other friends. One of the questions they asked him was “does the sun shine in Canada in the winter?” When he explained about the land and the climate, and the chance given to settlers, the result was that the two Macmillan brothers, Colin Campbell, whose son, John was a principal of a school here and was a prominent member of this Society; James MacLachlan, A. MacFayden, Don and Duncan Calder and John Ray and their families, also John Mathieson, a bachelor who it was said was jilted twice by the fair sex and remained single all his days, all sold out their places and loaded their small children and women in their wagons and drove overland from North Carolina, through the States of Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York, crossed the Niagara River at Buffalo, and around the head of Lake Ontario, by Hamilton to Toronto (then called ‘York’ and sometimes ‘Muddy York’). From there up Yonge Street, across country to the town-line between Thorah and Eldon, and settled on each side of that line. They being Islay people, they gave the name Islay Street to the road which it still retains [now Simcoe Street].
They did not all come together. Some came in 1828, some in 1830, and some in 1832. In 1834, Angus Ray, who was teaching in the South, came to Canada to visit them during the summer vacation, and his friends persuaded him to start a school in Eldon, which he did, and did not go back.
When they arrived in Eldon, they found a few settlers, mostly Highlanders who came, some direct from ‘Home,’ some from New York and some from Glengarry, Canada. When John Ray and family arrived at York (Toronto), he was offered 50 acres within half a mile of Yonge and Queen Streets for one of his horses and refused it.
Eldon was surveyed by Henry Ewing of Cobourg in 1825. He lived in the Township when laying it out, and I remember all that remained of his shanty in my boyhood days, back from the street in the village of Woodville. His son Charles, was born there, and was named Charles Eldon Ewing, as he was the first white child born in the township.
To one, Donald Cameron, was allotted Eldon and Thorah for settlement, and he being a Highlander appealed to his countrymen to come to Eldon, which was largely the cause of our people passing over good land in the Niagara District and near Toronto and settling there 65 or 70 miles north of the town of York, as Toronto was then called.
Among those already located in Eldon were Andrew and James McPherson and Widow Cameron and family from Badenach, Inverness. The latter’s son, Duncan, married Sarah, daughter of John Ray. The MacPhersons were strong rugged men, but James became crippled with rheumatism, and Andrew went blind. One day, his boys nearly grown up, were bringing home large logs of wood, which they wanted to pile up to take less room, one of which they could scarcely put up, he being blind but out talking to them, came to their aid, and when he got ready for a lift they not only quit lifting, but one of them got on top of the log and he put it up alone with the remark that “it is pretty heavy.”
Kenneth and Alex. Campbell came up from Glengarry. They were Roman Catholics. Kenneth gave two of his family to the Church, and the children of some of the rest are still in the old place. They came originally from Eigg Island. Also Alex. Campbell, a stone mason and family, viz., James, Peter, John, Alex, Duncan, Donald and Charles. There being many Campbells there, they were styled the Mason Campbells, and my friend, W.C. Campbell, of Glenholme Avenue, was known in his boyhood days as Charlie Ian a’Chlachar—being a son of a John, who was a son of the Mason. Israel Ferguson and a group of U.E. Loyalists had recently settled in the vicinity, Mr. Ferguson on Lot 1, 2nd Con., Endon.
In the year 1828 the ship ‘Huntley’ brought a large company of people from the Highlands, some of whom settled in Elgin County, and some here, among whom was J. Campbell (known as ‘John Campbell Brock’), newly married, who took up a farm in the corner of Brock. His farm adjoined Kenneth Campbell’s, and although they were strong supporters of different churches, they were always fast friends. John Campbell was an elder for many years in the Eldon church, known as MacMurchie’s Church. My friend, Archibald Campbell of Parliament Street, is a grandson of John Campbell, whose second and third sons were twins and looked so much alike that their mother was liable to mistake one for the other. On one occasion, she saw one of them in mischief, and looked at the one near her and thought he was Charles, so she raised her voice and called, “Ho, Pharic,” and Peter being beside her raised his voice as high and replied “ciod-de” [what of].
By the same vessel came the McCorquodale family, from Knapdale. Hugh the eldest, was married. Duncan married Euphemia, daughter of John Ray; Peter settled at Oakville, and was a well-known Captain on the Canadian Lakes; Catherine married Archibald Jackson, a carpenter from Loch Gilphead. One of their sons, John A. used to be a member of this Society and lives at 43 Major Street. Another sister married Duncan McCorqueodale, west half Lot 2, Concession 1, Eldon, who claimed to be a lineal descendant of Baron McCorquodale of Argylshire. He was sometimes called “The Baron” to distinguish him from others of that name and did not resent it.
Hugh had three sons, Peter, Duncan, and Donald, also two daughters, Janet and Christina. He secured Lot 3, Con. 2, and east half Lot 2, Con. 1. Duncan settled on the last mentioned place—afterwards kept hotel (The Eldon House) in Woodville. Donald died young. Peter settled on east half, Lot 3, Con. 2, facing Knapdale Street. Janet married Archibald Smith, who with his father, John, came to Islay about this time. Their father’s name was Gilbert, and Archibald was always known as ‘Baldy’ Gilbert to distinguish him from others of that name. (John had occasion to sign his name at the Eldon post office, and when writing Smith asked, ‘am bheil tri spagan air M.) Christian married Duncan Sinclair, a steamboat captain on the lakes all his life. Their son, Hugh, was a lawyer, and a member of this society.
At the same time there came Widow MacIntyre from Knapdale, and her four sons—Andrew, Duncan, Angus and Archibald, with their families. Also, James and Alex. MacAlpine and their families, all from the same place, and settled on the 3rd Concession of Eldon, which gave that road the name of Knapdale Street, which it still retains, and the part of it in the village is so called. [Highway 46]
Two brothers, Eachern and Farquhar McEachern, of Mull and two sons of Allan, another brother, came about the same time. Eachern and family—Hugh Dougall, Malcolm and John—took up Lot 5, Con. 1, and Lot 10, Con. 4. Farquhar settled in the centre of Eldon, where many of his descendants are still living. Peter McEachern, who was on the teaching staff in Toronto, and was in office in this Society [Ontario Historical Society], was known as Peter Alister Fharquhar, being a son of Alex, who was a son of Farquhar. Malcolm and John, sons of the third brother, took up Lots 10 and 11, Con 3. Malcolm was known as ‘Callum Ban’ to distinguish him from others of that name. And that splendid girl, Euphie MacEachern, who lost her life last year in Thorah, trying to save her sister’s (Mrs. Lyon’s children) from their burning home, was a daughter of John, who was a son of Callum Ban.
Later, Ronald MacEachern and family—Donald, Archibald, Ronald, John, Neil, Peter and Margaret came from Islay and settled in the swamp north of Argyle. Later, Ronald moved up to Fenelon. They were all well-to-do and before they had a large clearing. They used to sail on the Canadian lakes, at which work they saved money. Donald, the eldest, left $75,000 to his family when he passed away. My friend, Archibald Campbell is married to a daughter of Ronald and D. Tolmie, who used to attend the meetings of this Society, is married to another, and Rev. Ronald MacEachern is a son.
Two brothers, Archibald and John MacDougall, came from Islay about 1835. They were carpenters. John’s son, Neil, was Sheriff of Victoria for many years. Archibald, known mostly as ‘Baldy Beg’ settled on part of Lot 6, Con. 2, Eldon. One son, Robert, was a member and regular attendant of this Society before his death, which took place eight years ago. Flora and Mary (Mrs. Smith) and the youngest son, Gilbert, lives in Toronto and comes sometimes to the meetings of this Society. But time will not allow the mention of all the pioneers, whose names would fill a large book, so I will relate some of the incidents that happened from time to time.
The Islay people who had come up from North Carolina had not only a fund of ghost stories from ‘Home’ but snake and hunting stories from where they lived in the South. On one occasion in Islay, when a group of young people had to pass a graveyard in going to make a ceilidh [hide out] at a friend’s house, one of them who wanted to play the ghost and frighten them took a sheet and hid among the graves. Now it happened that a large sheep was either shut in or stayed in there but he did not notice it, and when he put on the sheet and showed himself to those passing, one of whom said “look at the ghost,” and another replied, “there are two of them—see the small one behind the big one,” and he looking behind saw a sheep and thought it was really a ghost, became frightened and started to run toward the friends. They, thinking he was a ghost, ran away. He shouted “I am one of you” and they thought he said “I’ll have one of you” which made them run the more, and he got more frightened than they and never recovered from the effects.
I heard them tell of a minister in Islay who asked a friend whom he met to come and stay at the manse for the night. It happened that his wife was house-cleaning, and he was annoyed that the friend found them with their house so upset. She did not have a chance to scold her husband till they spoke of retiring. The visitor said he would like to step into bedroom to get his slippers out of his grip, and she went into the kitchen to attend to something and to bring in the family Bible so they could read a chapter. While she was away they changed the arrangement. Her husband went for the grip, and when she got back the visitor was stooped before the grate unlacing his boots. Thinking this was her husband, she began to scold, and said, ‘you always bring visitors when my house is upset,’ and with that she gave him a ‘sglac’ (blow) with the Bible right behind and nearly knocked him into the fire. When he straightened up, she discovered he was the visitor, who loudly laughed it off, but she felt awfully mortified all the same.
When our people lived in North Carolina there was large game in the woods, and one of the planters was bothered by a bear that was destroying his corn. He could not get a shot at it, and he tried the experiment of putting it to sleep with a mixture of rum and molasses. He mixed a large bucket of it and had one of the negroes to help him carry it out to a place the bear would be sure to get it. It seemed the negro had tasted it and went back to get more. Anyway, when the planter came at daybreak next morning, there was a bear so drunk with the rum and molasses that he could not move, and was easily killed. But, on the other side of the dish, there was also the negro lying drunk and sound asleep.
Snakes were numerous in North Carolina. Some of them were very poisonous. Mrs. A. MacFayden, my grandmother, was bitten by a rattlesnake. She went into an outhouse, and stooped to pick up something and the snake struck her hand. Nothing daunted, she caught it by the tail with the other hand, struck it across the edge of a box and broke its back. She knew it was a deadly poisonous one, so she called my grandfather. When he came he poured her a large glass of whiskey or rum. She did not want to take it, but he insisted, and although it was enough to put anyone to sleep, it did not affect her. However, she was slightly ill for a few days, but was soon as well as ever.
One of the neighbours, while working in his cornfield, discovered a rattler coiled around his ankle and its head inside his trouser leg. He caught it by the head and was afraid to let it go. So he got out his knife and cut off its head together with a piece of his trousers.
While they were telling these stories in Eldon one day when a group of the neighbours were working together, all at once one of them began to jump and yell and started to run and fell and a mouse ran out of his trouser leg. The snake stories had got on his nerves so much that when he felt something crawling up his leg, he thought it was surely a snake.
The Calder brothers had brought a black girl with them from North Carolina. She spoke Gaelic, and liked the neighbours but did not like the cold weather. During the winter sometimes she made her bed in the cellar, the door of which was a trapdoor in the floor. One morning, a stranger, who did not know of her, came before she was up, when suddenly the floor opened near his feet and the black face appeared, greatly frightening him, he thinking it was ‘Satan.’
At a logging-bee in Eldon, when it was customary to supply the whiskey as freely as water, the ‘housewife’ was afraid they would run out, so, to make it go further she watered it too much, and to remedy that she put a dash of red pepper in it. It happened that day they had a hot-race, and one of the neighbours who was quite a poet, made a song over the event. I heard it recited when a lad. Part of the verse was like this:—
Rinn sin stri agus ghabh sin fearg
Agus thug sin a nuas am pepeir dearg.
(We strove and raced to beat each other,
And swallowed the pepper red to gather.)
At another bee, when Squire MacLachlan was driving one span of oxen and his brother’s son the span next to them, the whole gang in one case being boys and the other being men almost past middle age, they started racing and afterwards disputed as to which gang was best. The younger MacLachlan said something which his uncle disputed, and said “Nac cuist thu’ tha thu bregach A’Pheasan”—to which he replied, “Cha neil mi breagach se sibh se tha breagach”—showing respect for his elder even when disputing with him. (“Shut your mouth, you are lying.” Answer: “I am not lying; it is your honour who is lying.”)
I spoke of the large game of North Carolina, but the game about the new homes was even more numerous. Colin MacFayden, son of A. MacFayden, was particularly successful in bagging many bears and wolves with the help of rifle and trap. In the winter the wolves sometimes came around in great packs, and the people had to be careful to have their stock all housed, otherwise they were liable to lose them.
The bachelor, John Mathieson, in whose nature there was nothing bad, had many stories, but sometimes spoiled them by exaggeration. For instance, in telling how the negros could stand the heat, said they would lay on their back in the hot sand in the sun and sleep with their mouths open and their eyes open. When my father was on the river steamers, they always had a negro as a stoker, and he often noticed them when they renewed the fire they would lay back on the wood in that hot place and sleep with the sweat running off their faces like grease. John Mathieson, not being a member of any Temperance Society—and the O.T.A. [Ontario Temperance Act] not being in force in those day—sometimes drank too much. As our house was midway between his home and Woodville, my older brother sometimes, if he saw him getting too much, would bring him as far as our place, and straighten him up and start him off home. He was at our place once in a talkative condition and we were reading a chapter before going to bed. The chapter happed to be where the apostles were holding prolonged meetings and a young man fell asleep at the window and fell to the ground. Here John commented and said, “Bu, chor a bhi suidn air an ghrund.” The reading continued, “and he was taken up dead.” He commented, “Au do’ shuidh e air a’ ghrund tha do thuit e.” We children wanted to laugh, but mother looked so sternly at us that we had to suppress it. (“He should have been sitting on the ground.”—“If he was sitting on the ground he would not have fallen.”)
One of the Eldon people used to work in a distillery in Scotland before he came out and turned farmer. Many years afterward, a man who was travelling in Scotland, visited the place our friend used to work at and brought him home a bottle of very old whiskey that was made when he was there. He called him in one day, and gave him a dram of it and told him where it came from. Our friend tasted it and smacked his lips and smiled, took it down and patted his stomach and said, “Och nach maith thae gu ma’aithneachadh.” (Oh, how well it knows me.)
We were told that many Highlanders were fed on oatmeal and the shorter catechism. They had that in Eldon and besides they had the Globe newspaper. The Globe newspaper had quite a circulation, and some of the people put a great deal of confidence in what it contained. A man, whose eyes were ailing, used to get his wife to read it to him. She was reading about a short canal the Government was making, and it happened that the word “canal” was misprinted or blotted, which made it read “candle.” So it read, “The Public Works Department is making a candle 200 ft. long.” He stopped her, and said, “there must be a mistake.” She went over it again and it read the same. Then he asked for the paper and read it himself and found the same. He then turned the paper and looked and looked at the name and said, “It’s the Globe, too. I would not believe it if it was any other paper.”
An old resident called at a friend’s house as they finished breakfast, after which the man of the house was reading a chapter before going to work, and of course the neighbour waited for the reading. The Angel Gabriel was referred to in the chapter he read. Now at this time there was a good deal of talk about Garibaldi and the man who was reading miscalled Gabriel, Garibaldi. Our friend lifted up his head and asked,” Och occh an robh esan veo an tam ud.” (My, my, was he alive in those days?”)
When Eldon was organized, Angus Ray was appointed Township Clerk. Quarter of the ratepayers were Campbells and quarter were MacEacherns. Half the township answered to those two names. In those days there were no keen contests for the offices of Reeve and Councillors. They had to go to Cobourg, as that was the County Town. They used to coax one another to go. Peter Cameron, brother of the Squire (the Land Agent) was nominated, and he declined saying, “What is the use of him going as he had neither English nor schooling,” and was told he did not require either. He only had to keep them “good roads and no taxes” and that was all that was necessary.
Of the Churches, [Reverend] John McMurchy (Old Church) came to Eldon about 1844. He was a Cantyre man and a true Highlander—gave good measure in his sermons. One hot day, some of the congregation were getting sleepy. Alex. Campbell., of Islay St., who often was eccentric in his actions, saw someone dozing. He reached over and gave him a crack on the head with his cane, which not only roused up the victim, but also everyone in the church. The first Eldon church was built in 1844.
A wedding party on their way to the Eldon Church Manse called at the Eldon post office for the Marriage License. (Angus Ray was Postmaster and Issuer of Marriage Licenses.) They happened to meet Mr. MacMurchy there, as he often came for his mail, so they not only got the licence, but got married there and then there being four of them and a piper they had a Scotch reel in my mother’s kitchen, which was watched with a good deal of interest by the minister. It was winter time and when they got into the sleigh to go away, the piper struck up a tune and there were ribbons floating from the pipes and ribbons on the horses, so they looked quite gay. The minister and postmaster stood and listened to the pipes long after the party disappeared in the woods, when the sound would “now meet and now evade the ear.” When they could hear the sound no more, Mr. MacMurchy turned to his companion and said, “Man, man, is that not grand.” He died in 1866, after 22 years in Eldon. His call came suddenly whilst on his knees at devotion when preparing for bed.
Mr. MacTavish came to Woodville to the Free Church in 1859. He was born in the Manse in the Parish of Cunecarie, Islay. He was an eloquent preacher, but not as popular with the younger people of the congregation, being stern and ready to check wrong at sight. I am told that when he returned to the Old Country and was in Inverness on seeing a lad whipping an ass that he was driving up a hill he checked him and said, “Don’t abuse the ass, don’t you know that your Lord rode into Jerusalem on an ass?” The lad replied, “If it was this one, he would not be there yet,” and proceeded to belabour it further. When in Woodville, he met a man who did not come to his church, and said “I am looking for lost sheep today”—the man replied that he had not seen any strayed sheep for some time. When Mr. MacTavish explained that it was the lost sheep of the House of Israel, he replied, “they had a careful Shepherd.”
‘Red’ John MacArthur, who was from the same parish in Islay as Mr. MacTavish, used sometimes to take too much drink. One day, Mr. MacTavish found him sleeping by the roadside. He roused him up and said, “Where do you suppose you would be if you passed away in your sleep?” John replied, “In Cunecarie, undoubtedly.”
Rev. J.A. Murray succeeded Mr. MacTavish. He was popular with the young folks, and when one of the women came to complain of the boys playing some pranks on Hallowe’en, he said, “Never mind, see what pleasure it gave the boys.” He called a tour house on business shortly after he came to Woodville, and introduced himself as “Murray, the Minister at Woodville.” My father said, “I am glad to meet you, I have heard of you several times and I must say always favourably.” “That is because I keep the best side out,” he replied. He must have been a kind man in his own home, too, as on one occasion when a group of Woodville ladies were discussing what they would do if they had their lives to live over again, Mrs. Murray said, she would not want to live her life over again, for fear she would not get Mr. Murray as her husband.”
Rev. David Watson came to Beaverton as a young man when the old kirk was first organized there, and remained till he died of old age. He was an earnest and impressive preacher, as well as a lecturer, and had a great admiration for Wm. Lennie, whose grammar was used in the schools of Ontario for many years. I heard him say that when he was in the Old Country, he went to see Lennie’s grave, and that is marked by a plain monument, and all that is on it is this—“Here lies Lennie the Grammarian,” “and that is volumes,” said he.
School Section No. 1 Eldon, was the only school I attended. When I was old enough to go, my father had quit teaching and had other offices which took up all his time. My first teacher was my oldest brother, Neil A. Ray, who taught a few years before he went to study law. After I mastered the alphabet and was promoted to a reading lesson which me such an impression on me that I can repeat it yet, all the words contained but two letters, and this was the whole lesson “lo we go—so we do—ox go up.” In those days, everyone had to spell any word in their lesson and give the meaning of it, and those they did not know when they were studying, they stood up in their place and spoke the word distinctly and the teacher answered by giving the meaning. In the winter, when the big boys attended, there would be 100 sometimes, and when all were getting up their lessons at once the words came thick and fast. I was proud of my big brother, who knew so much, and was amazed that “one small head contained all he knew.” I sometimes got a ride with a farmer who had a habit of speaking to his horses thus—“Whoa, go slow, Fan, give Bill a chance—Come now, Bill, make some trots.” He always drove his own horses, but one year, having other work, he hired a man and set him to work on the horses, and as they were not used to him would not work for him. So the farmer went to see what was the matter, and said, “No wonder they wont’ work, you got Bill on the wrong side. Take Bill and put it—Why, you fool, you got Fan on the wrong side, too. No wonder they won’t work, both on the wrong side.” He could forgive the man if he had only put one on the wrong side.