328 THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
one in every twenty-seven of the people died.
the situation was made worse by the refusal of the crews of many lake and river steamers to operate the vessels, and by the action of people everywhere in barring their doors against emigrants then streaming into the country, and who were blamed for bringing the cholera with them. The emigrants' cup of sorrow was filled to overflowing when, seeking to escape to the United States, they found the American militia lining the border to prevent entrance.
"It was," said Mr. Morris, "under circumstances such as these that my parents arrived at Quebec. They had with them an infant child that took sick on the way. While on a river steamer coming up the St. Lawrence the child died; and in order to conceal death, and so avoid having the body thrown overboard, my mother held the dead body in her arms for twenty-four hours, until Prescott was reached, and there Christian burial was secured.
"There was just one bright spot in a situation that otherwise was one of universal gloom. While the plague was at its height a delegation came over from New York to assist the stricken. The most picturesque figure in the delegation was a doctor, with a beard like that of a prophet of old, and driving a ramshackle light wagon to which a team of ponies was attached by rope harness. This doctor made but the one request as he journeyed over the plague-smitten territory, that he be shown where the worst cases were to be found. When he arrived on the scene of suffering his remedies were of the simplest—pow-