For some time past I had heard the man coming. The tock, tock of his pole as he tapped the ice had been audible from a distance of perhaps a mile, the sound magnified and carried far and wide, as is the way with a blow struck on glare ice.
This testing ice by sound is often necessary during the early part of Winter, the pole being swung naturally and easily in the stride, the end being allowed to drop with its full weight at every fourth step, much as a drum major wields his staff.
Grey Owl, Tales of an Empty Cabin, Macmillan Canada Ltd. and St. Martin's House, 1936, p. 23, 'Nemesis'.
PLACE: Bush country, N. Ontario or Quebec
CIRCUMSTANCE: Grey Owl hears the approach of someone to his camp
Once a nomad, with a paddle, a canoe-pole, or a pair of snowshoes ever within reach, my hands now hold a pen; instead of the pleasant gurgling of water as it caresses the side of my canoe, or the stirring symphony of a snowstorm, I hear the irritating, staccato clicking of a typewriter, the usefulness of which arouses in me very little enthusiasm. The rollicking chorus of the canoe brigades is replaced by the pulings, over the radio, of pale emasculates with 'soulful' voices whining their lugubrious dirges, of which unfilfilled desire and self-pity seem to be the two main themes in which they bewail, in a helpless way that would turn any healthy, modern girl sick to the marrow, their lost and unattainable loves (thank God, for the betterment of the race, these effeminates seem to be uniformly unsuccessful in their amours), dishonouring with their cheap and trashy sentimentality and trashier music, the noble sentiment they bleat about.
Grey Owl, Tales of an Empty Cabin, Macmillan and St. Martin's, 1936, p. 159-160.
TIME: ca. 1930
PLACE: near Cabano, Quebec
CIRCUMSTANCE: Grey Owl remembers & laments