Then he struck out for the United States where he worked at ship work. I can't say for how long. The next heard of him, he was in New York city in the grocery business. I cannot go on with further account of his movements without bringing Malcolm along, as from this time on, they two were mixed up together in business and other ways, for many years. So I go back home, where Malcolm has grown to man's estate, and, of course, was done going to school. So I find him teaching school 'n his home section. He taught one term and then went to Halifax, where he got a position as a clerk in a store, run by Bauld & Gibson. He stayed with them for some time, and then he struck out for the States. He was in New York city for four years when he paid his old home a visit. I can't remember the year.
After going back to New York, it was just before the Civil War in the States and times were not good. He and a chum named Gardner of New York, concluded they would go hunting for a spell with the Indians. I think it was in Minnesota. To get the good will of the Chief and the other head men of the tribe, they made a feast for them. After that they were as free to go and come as an Indian. They built a log cabin, and put in a very interesting winter. Mark, as they called him, taught the chief's daughter to read and write. Her name was Snow Bird, because she was white and nice looking, for a squaw. The Chief wanted him to marry her, and he would make him "heap big chief." But he did not accept the Chief's very kind and generous offer and, when spring came, the two started for civilization.
When they reached the bounds of the outer world, they came to a settler's place where they stayed all night. They were pretty homesick. At night, after retiring to their room, which was partitioned off from the other parts of the house by rough boards (it was a new house), they were talking together about different things, when Mack remarked that he wished he was back in dear old Nova Scotia. Two young women, members of the family, sleeping in the next room, overheard the remark, and in the morning told their parents what they had heard. It happened that they had come from Nova Scotia.
They wanted them to settle down with them, as they had enough land for all, and he would set them up in business if they would marry the girls. It was a very tempting offer, but Mack could not make up his mind to settle down yet. He said that he was not tired roving, but his chum, Gardner, accepted the offer and Mack had to go alone.
He came to a river. He had picked up his trunk, where he had left it when he went hunting, and which with his grip sack comprised all his worldly wealth. He hired an Indian to take him across the river in his canoe. When in mid-stream, a squall struck the canoe and upset it. He seized his grip sack in his teeth and swam ashore. His trunk, with his rifle, clothes and a lot of relics and presents he had got from the Indians, and what he prized more than anything, was a memoranda book of everything that happened to him since leaving home, went to the bottom.
He said that he walked up and down on the river's bank and cried like a baby. He regretted the loss of the book and papers more than anything else. Even his coat was lost.
He wrote his brother Angus in New York, telling him of his trouble. Angus wrote back telling him if he wanted money, he would send it and wanted him to come right on to New York. Malcolm said although he was busted, he was too proud to send for money, but he somehow got there and went into the retail grocery business with Angus. Leaving him there, Angus went to Ohio to open up some other line of business, and while they are thus engaged, we'll go back home again.