The Transplanted


A young man from Scotland migrated to Canada.

He found employment as civil engineer then went in an university where he took courses in geology and metallurgy.

The mining development in the west was what he wanted. And the adventure began.

Follow him in British Columbia where he developped mining and many other things.

Can this type of life in rude nature charming you?

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The family

British Columbia

To ride in a horse-drawn coach

There was a girl in his thoughts

A bend in the road

The Travellers

With Galbraith

The Chinese Store

Max Harker

Turning these trees into poles and posts

Galbraith's past

The perfect hour for reverie

Old Sinclair Up There?

He has not his Cree Paddlers

Enraged at himself for that weakness

At Sinclair’s Cabin

The Best Meal

Marion and Galbraith

Marion Masters

Take the Train to Vancouver

As a Waitress

Driving Tandem Round Stanley Park

The Pay Day

Jock Galbraith at the hotel

You Come from the Prairies?

You Come from the Prairies?

You are Finished for the Day?

You Can Always Count on Me


It's a Perfect Site for a House

Building of the Ranch Houses

His marriage

The First Shadow on Them

Eleanor Come Back

Smoke From a House

To Their House



Suggest a Library

Too Many Goddam Foreigners

Don’t you Like Winter?

Fine people!

Marion Doesn’t Want Cooperate

Visit of Mrs Prosser

Decide to cooperate

Going to the Fête

Important Persons

The Bucking Horse Contest

Marion with Harker?

The Best Host

Marion and Eleanor

The Whole Bunch Dashed Down into the Water

Marion has Walked Out on Me

Gone Off with Harker?

Read that

He began to drink

New Type of Settlers

What is Wallace Thinking?

Polo ponies

Pleasure to Eleanor

Harold Sinclair Says So-long

Eleanor and Robert went to Scotland

She Wanted a Medical Opinion

Harold Sinclair is Coming Back

News of Marion

Marion is Ill

To Hospital

She Was Very Weak

The Train for Elkhorn

Son of a Gun had Rifled my Cache

Marion is dead

Harker Found Dead by Road

Jock Galbraith was Arrested


What is the Verdict?

It’s You, Jock


The Chinese Store

Across the bridge the forests were again victorious. On the current of air above the flow of the creek came, dominantly, the flow of that other scent, the attar of the forests: balsam and cedar and a smell like honeysuckle that Wallace would know later was from a patch of twin-flowers.

They came to the opposite bank. There a huge cottonwood tree had been sawn down, only its great stump remaining, about three feet in height. There was life in it, vigorous life, for out of it grew a veritable bush of slender branches.

There was some parable here, thought Wallace, but he let inquiry for it go from his mind as they moved on to the Chinese store.

At the opening of its door he passed utterly away from all the Roaring Camps, from all the old wilderness of the explorers, passed into China on a whiff of spices.

"A caravan from China comes. For miles it sweetens all the air," came into his mind.

Who wrote that? He could not remember, nor where he had read it. And then, though he had been gone from home, as Galbraith would say, "twa-three" years by then, it struck him that Alec would no doubt say the lines were romantic nonsense and that China stinks! Potent, indeed, the influences of early years in the home.

At the nearer end of a long counter there was a high desk and there, making entries with a brush in a great limply bound ledger, was a portly Oriental who reminded Wallace of the God of Contentment, in porcelain, that he had once seen.

On their entry, he looked up and executed a stately bow, Wallace bowing courteously in return, Galbraith watching him aslant with interest. The hotel proprietor, sending word to him of the arrival of one inquiring for him, had described the stranger as "mighty politeful."

"Hello, Ho Sang," said Galbraith. "I've brought this gentleman along to buy some stuff. We're going out in the hills."

The God of Contentment smiled.

"Velly good," he replied, and bowed again.

Wallace looked round the place curiously, seeking for what should make it redolent of China. On the shelves were tinned goods in rows, all definitely, by their labels, of this continent. Labels with the names of California and Oregon on them, and of Fraser River, British Columbia: fruit and salmon.

There were, to be sure, tea chests along the wall to rear with Chinese characters on them but these did not contribute greatly to the olfactory impression of the Orient. And only by sight, not by smell, did mats of rice that a much younger Chinese was piling up to rear mean China, mats that slipped and tried to glissade and had to be humoured into place.

From drawers along the wall behind the counter, perhaps, came this permeating fragrance — a fragrance no doubt, Wallace told himself, as if closing a foolish argument on the matter, as evocative of China as might less pleasing odours be. On a shelf above the desk, centred there, niched as though its decorative value was esthetically appreciated, he noticed a ginger jar.

There was much of poise in the bearing of Ho Sang, and Wallace felt that he should rather ask him of Confucius and of Lao-Tze than of flour and bacon.

The place was very warm. He removed his hat and mopped his brow with a handkerchief. Noticing this, the God of Contentment turned to a window and opened it and in came the rumble and hiss of Elkhorn Creek, in came the sound of voices from further off, loudly celebrating the anniversary of Camp Elkhorn but muted by distance.

Ho Sang spoke to the young man who was piling up the rice mats. He spoke first in Chinese, then in English, translating, it would appear, what he had said in their own tongue.

"Wong," said he, "you please wait on these gentlemen at once."

That was where, and when, Robert Wallace first met Wong Li who in later years was to be his cook, his general servant, his major-domo and friend.

"I'll leave you," said Galbraith. "I'll go and get the hosses and pick up your things at the hotel on the way back. You paid for your lunch there?"

"Yes, I paid in the dining room."

"Good. I'll be back before long."

With the smack of his high-heeled horseman's shoes across the floor, and with the closing of the door, nothing of the new west remained, nothing of Roaring Camps and Poker Flats.

The din of any further celebrating events that might be in progress in Camp Elkhorn no longer passed the rumble of the creek. The populace must have moved away from the end of the bridge.

"You likee sit down?" suggested Ho Sang, and brought a stool from behind the counter for Wallace. Then, the God of Contentment once more, he returned to his brush and his ledger.

When he was twenty-three, young Wallace, as we know, had played at being in the company of Palliser or Hector on prairies and among mountains of the west while aiding his chief in such work as the surveying for a railway siding in Scotland.

At thirty he was much as he had been at twenty-three. At the back of his mind as he sat there, Galbraith's list in his hand, was a thought not again of Bret Harte but of Marco Polo and Cathay. He was enjoying himself with both facts and fancies.

"Now you tell me what you want," said Wong, and as Wallace read aloud from his list of supplies the young man set these in a growing pile near the door.

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Mots clés : The Transplanted, Frederick John Niven, From Scotland migrated to Canada, British Columbia, mining, rude nature