Extract from Harper's New Monthly Magazine, October, 1680 [ie. October 16 1880]:
Document reading "Extract from Harper's New Monthly Magazine, October, 1680 [date likely October 16 1880]. On we galloped, homeward, for a dozen miles or so, Joseph and I, and got to Fort Ellice an hour to two before the train, and just in time to escape a thorough wetting in a heavy thunder storm. All about the stockades were Indian lodges. and crowds of the copper-colored Hiawathas came out to see us. Villainous vermillion, lamp-black, and yellow-ochre disfigured their earthy habitations with hideous symbols, among which appeared some repulsive representations of the Diety; and vermillion, lamp-black, and yellow-ochre disfigured also the tenements in which their half-starved souls were housed. The rain fell faster, and we hurried into the enclosure of the fort, gave our horses to one of the half-breed attendants standing about, and carried our saddle-bags into the main room of the house occupied by the trader in charge Mr. William M'Kay. He soon came in, dripping with rain, and welcomed his unexpected guests in the friendliest way. Disappearing for a few moments in one of the family rooms which opened into this main hall on either side, he presently came out in dry clothes, with pipes and tobacco--kinnie-kinnic and dried winter green leaves for our smoking--and we drew our chairs up for an exchange of news and information. Presently dinner was served, and we sat down to fresh buffalo-steaks, hot bread, rice-pudding, strawberry-pie, and hyson tea well decocted. The table was of plain wood, painted a greenish-brown, and the chairs--heavy oak, high-backed, and substantial--were made by half-breeds, and the Belgian giant might have sat upon them with impunity. The hospitality with which we were entertained here was one of the pleasantest incidents of our journey; and it is to the Hudson's Bay Company's credit that they so carefully select men who possess both suaviter in modo to the passing traveller, and the Zouaviter in modo to scape-grace Indians. While we were at dinner one of Mr M'Kay's Indian retainers sat on the floor in the adjoining apartment, and devoured his buffalo-steak as happily as if happy to sit below the salt; and his half-breed wife waited upon her lord's guests at table. Mr M'Kay was born in the country, however, and had never been nearer civilization than Red River, his father having served the Company before him."
Angus McKay - Folder 2 - Box 2usaskarchives:39368
University Library, University of Saskatchewan
McKay family fonds
1 physical item; 21.5 x 28 cm
RM of Ellice