Adirondack Guide, Adirondack Mountains, Adirondacks, Alfred Donaldson, Alvah Dunning, Blue Mountain Lake, Boreal Swamp, brook trout, canoe, Chateaugay, Dr. Joseph Stickler, Durant, fly fishing, French Louis Seymour, geese, Herr Jagger, Indian Pass, John Leaf, loggers, Monsieur LaPineaux, Nobleboro, Railroads, saranac, Thomas Tahauwas, West Canada Creek, William Henry Harrison Murray, Woodcock
I had a lot of questions from you yesterday.
Everyone was wondering who Monsieur LaPineaux was. I never imagined that he would raise so much interest.
Monsieur is sort of a fussy guy. One of those fellows who likes to try new things but seems to get in his own way sometimes.
Maybe I am telling this whole thing backwards. Let me start from the beginning.
One of our local guides passes himself off as a big hunter from Germany. I can neither verify that nor debate it; never been to Germany. On the other hand some of his actions lead me to believe that he has stretched his credentials a little.
He doesn’t really guide very much. Likes to sit around on the front porch, show off his gun, fishing poles, nets and other stuff. I don’t know if he is showing off his dog or the dog is showing off his master. In either case they fit well together.
He likes to be formal so I will introduce him by his formal name.
Herr Jagger, like I said, does not feel the need to guide very often. Likewise, no one asks him to guide very often. Maybe it is because of the cooking incident. I don’t understand what all the fuss was about. All six people got over their illness and returned home.
Herr Jagger earns what little money he needs by making sure people know how to find the Adirondacks.
I will never understand how people can not find the Adirondacks; these North Woods sure are big enough.
Anyway, Herr Jagger scratches out a living by meeting the rush of people at the train station in Burlington, Vermont. He then herds them onto a boat for a trip across Lake Champlain. They land at Cumberland Bay in New York; the edge of the Adirondacks.
Once there they jump on another train or stagecoach depending what part of the Adirondacks they wish to visit.
You can see the types we get in the Adirondacks these days. Professors, rich ladies, spinsters, a European hunter now and then, a few make believe fly fishermen (damn Isaac Walton had to go and write a book about it), tons of asthmatics, more than a smattering of loonies (my apologies to the loons who swim in our lakes) and one or two normal people.
One day Herr Jagger was herding a bunch across the gangplank and onto the boat when a strange Frenchman button-holed him.
Now I know for a fact that Herr Jagger does not allow anyone to grab him by the button hole of his shiny thread-bare coat.
Apparently Herr Jagger gave him a dirty look because the button-holer slipped a few paper currencies in his hand. The button-holing strange Frenchman whispered to Herr Jagger to meet him when they landed. Of course those bills were big money for the part-time guide. So they met.
Now is where we get to understand Monsieur LaPineaux, the button-holer.
He paid Herr Jagger handsomely for guidance to the Ausable River and chasm. Someone had told LaPineaux that it was a supreme spot (or was it a sublime spot? Guess it doesn’t make much difference). So Jagger guided LaPineaux to the Ausable, got him a boat and some fishing gear. Then Jagger left LaPineaux to his own misery in the middle of the Ausable Chasm.
And that is where I found him. Stuck in between the two sides of a very narrow side chasm. LaPineaux had been there for two days. Had no idea what to do.
I rescued him from his prison and we became very good friends. Of course I let him know that his choice of Jagger for a guide was not very wise.
Like I said, we became good friends. He is helping me learn to read books and I am helping him learn to read fishing waters.
But he sure is a fussy fellow.