On the cold, desolate, wind-swept shore of Hudson Bay, winters were long and there was nothing but brandy and talk to relieve the boredom of the endless ice and the interminable meals of salt geese and dried pease. Tempers grew shorter as the winter lengthened and the new recruits succumbed to the bottle and inevitable melancholia. Rebellions brewed and violence was too often the order of the day. Only a few found life even tolerable. These few lived a careful compromise between the heavily regulated life of the Company fort and the freedom offered by the camps of the 'Home Guard' Indians? those Indians who lived near the fort year-round and provided local food supplies to the Company.