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Title: Tales of lonely trails
Author: Grey, Zane, 1872-1939
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tales of lonely trails" ***

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[Illustration: Zane Grey]





















































































John Wetherill, one of the famous Wetherill brothers and trader at
Kayenta, Arizona, is the man who discovered Nonnezoshe, which is
probably the most beautiful and wonderful natural phenomenon in
the world. Wetherill owes the credit to his wife, who, through her
influence with the Indians finally after years succeeded in getting
the secret of the great bridge.

After three trips to Marsh Pass and Kayenta with my old guide, Al
Doyle of Flagstaff, I finally succeeded in getting Wetherill to take
me in to Nonnezoshe. This was in the spring of 1913 and my party was
the second one, not scientific, to make the trip. Later this same
year Wetherill took in the Roosevelt party and after that the Kolb
brothers. It is a safe thing to say that this trip is one of the most
beautiful in the West. It is a hard one and not for everybody. There
is no guide except Wetherill, who knows how to get there. And after
Doyle and I came out we admitted that we would not care to try to
return over our back trail. We doubted if we could find the way. This
is the only place I have ever visited which I am not sure I could find
again alone.

My trip to Nonnezoshe gave me the opportunity to see also Monument
Valley, and the mysterious and labyrinthine Canyon Segi with its great
prehistoric cliff-dwellings.

The desert beyond Kayenta spread out impressively, bare red flats
and plains of sage leading to the rugged vividly-colored and
wind-sculptured sandstone heights typical of the Painted Desert of
Arizona. Laguna Creek, at that season, became flooded after every
thunderstorm; and it was a treacherous red-mired quicksand where I
convinced myself we would have stuck forever had it not been for
Wetherill's Navajos.

We rode all day, for the most part closed in by ridges and bluffs, so
that no extended view was possible. It was hot, too, and the sand blew
and the dust rose. Travel in northern Arizona is never easy, and this
grew harder and steeper. There was one long slope of heavy sand that
I made sure would prove too much for Wetherill's pack mules. But they
surmounted it apparently less breathless than I was. Toward sunset a
storm gathered ahead of us to the north with a promise of cooling and
sultry air.

At length we turned into a long canyon with straight rugged red
walls, and a sandy floor with quite a perceptible ascent. It appeared
endless. Far ahead I could see the black storm-clouds; and by and bye
began to hear the rumble of thunder. Darkness had overtaken us by the
time we had reached the head of this canyon; and my first sight of
Monument Valley came with a dazzling flash of lightning. It revealed
a vast valley, a strange world of colossal shafts and buttes of rock,
magnificently sculptored, standing isolated and aloof, dark, weird,
lonely. When the sheet lightning flared across the sky showing the
monuments silhouetted black against that strange horizon the effect
was marvelously beautiful. I watched until the storm died away.


Dawn, with the desert sunrise, changed Monument Valley, bereft it of
its night gloom and weird shadow, and showed it in another aspect of
beauty. It was hard for me to realize that those monuments were not
the works of man. The great valley must once have been a plateau of
red rock from which the softer strata had eroded, leaving the gentle
league-long slopes marked here and there by upstanding pillars and
columns of singular shape and beauty. I rode down the sweet-scented
sage-slopes under the shadow of the lofty Mittens, and around and
across the valley, and back again to the height of land. And when I
had completed the ride a story had woven itself into my mind; and
the spot where I stood was to be the place where Lin Slone taught
Lucy Bostil to ride the great stallion Wildfire.


Two days' ride took us across country to the Segi. With this wonderful
canyon I was familiar, that is, as familiar as several visits could
make a man with such a bewildering place. In fact I had named it
Deception Pass. The Segi had innumerable branches, all more or less
the same size, and sometimes it was difficult to tell the main canyon
from one of its tributaries. The walls were rugged and crumbling, of a
red or yellow hue, upward of a thousand feet in height, and indented
by spruce-sided notches.

There were a number of ruined cliff-dwellings, the most accessible of
which was Keet Seel. I could imagine no more picturesque spot. A
huge wind-worn cavern with a vast slanted stained wall held upon a
projecting ledge or shelf the long line of cliff-dwellings. These
silent little stone houses with their vacant black eye-like windows
had strange power to make me ponder, and then dream.

Next day, upon resuming our journey, it pleased me to try to find the
trail to Betatakin, the most noted, and surely the most wonderful and
beautiful ruin in all the West. In many places there was no trail at
all, and I encountered difficulties, but in the end without much loss
of time I entered the narrow rugged entrance of the canyon I had named
Surprise Valley. Sight of the great dark cave thrilled me as I thought
it might have thrilled Bess and Venters, who had lived for me their
imagined lives of loneliness here in this wild spot. With the sight
of those lofty walls and the scent of the dry sweet sage there rushed
over me a strange feeling that "Riders of the Purple Sage" was true.
My dream people of romance had really lived there once upon a time.
I climbed high upon the huge stones, and along the smooth red walls
where Pay Larkin once had glided with swift sure steps, and I entered
the musty cliff-dwellings, and called out to hear the weird and
sonorous echoes, and I wandered through the thickets and upon the
grassy spruce-shaded benches, never for a moment free of the story I
had conceived there. Something of awe and sadness abided with me. I
could not enter into the merry pranks and investigations of my party.
Surprise Valley seemed a part of my past, my dreams, my very self.
I left it, haunted by its loneliness and silence and beauty, by the
story it had given me.

That night we camped at Bubbling Spring, which once had been a geyser
of considerable power. Wetherill told a story of an old Navajo who had
lived there. For a long time, according to the Indian tale, the old
chief resided there without complaining of this geyser that was wont
to inundate his fields. But one season the unreliable waterspout made
great and persistent endeavor to drown him and his people and horses.
Whereupon the old Navajo took his gun and shot repeatedly at the
geyser, and thundered aloud his anger to the Great Spirit. The geyser
ebbed away, and from that day never burst forth again.


[Illustration: SUNSET ON THE DESERT]


Somewhere under the great bulge of Navajo Mountain I calculated that we
were coming to the edge of the plateau. The white bobbing pack-horses
disappeared and then our extra mustangs. It is no unusual thing for a
man to use three mounts on this trip. Then two of our Indians
disappeared. But Wetherill waited for us and so did Nas ta Bega, the
Piute who first took Wetherill down into Nonnezoshe Boco. As I came up I
thought we had indeed reached the end of the world.

"It's down in there," said Wetherill, with a laugh.

Nas ta Bega made a slow sweeping gesture. There is always something so
significant and impressive about an Indian when he points anywhere. It
is as if he says, "There, way beyond, over the ranges, is a place I
know, and it is far." The fact was that I looked at the Piute's dark,
inscrutable face before I looked out into the void.

My gaze then seemed impelled and held by things afar, a vast yellow
and purple corrugated world of distance, apparently now on a level
with my eyes. I was drawn by the beauty and grandeur of that scene;
and then I was transfixed, almost by fear, by the realization that
I dared to venture down into this wild and upflung fastness. I kept
looking afar, sweeping the three-quarter circle of horizon till my
judgment of distance was confounded and my sense of proportion dwarfed
one moment and magnified the next.

Wetherill was pointing and explaining, but I had not grasped all he

"You can see two hundred miles into Utah," he went on. "That bright
rough surface, like a washboard, is wind-worn rock. Those little lines
of cleavage are canyons. There are a thousand canyons down there, and
only a few have we been in. That long purple ragged line is the Grand
Canyon of the Colorado. And there, that blue fork in the red, that's
where the San Juan comes in. And there's Escalante Canyon."

I had to adopt the Indian's method of studying unlimited spaces in the
desert--to look with slow contracted eyes from near to far.

The pack-train and the drivers had begun to zigzag down a long slope,
bare of rock, with scant strips of green, and here and there a cedar.
Half a mile down, the slope merged in what seemed a green level. But I
knew it was not level. This level was a rolling plain, growing darker
green, with lines of ravines and thin, undefined spaces that might be
mirage. Miles and miles it swept and rolled and heaved, to lose its
waves in apparent darker level. Round red rocks stood isolated.
They resembled huge grazing cattle. But as I gazed these rocks were
strangely magnified. They grew and grew into mounds, castles, domes,
crags, great red wind-carved buttes. One by one they drew my gaze
to the wall of upflung rock. I seemed to see a thousand domes of a
thousand shapes and colors, and among them a thousand blue clefts,
each of which was a canyon.

Beyond this wide area of curved lines rose another wall, dwarfing the
lower; dark red, horizon-long, magnificent in frowning boldness, and
because of its limitless deceiving surfaces incomprehensible to the
gaze of man. Away to the eastward began a winding ragged blue line,
looping back upon itself, and then winding away again, growing wider
and bluer. This line was San Juan Canyon. I followed that blue line
all its length, a hundred miles, down toward the west where it joined
a dark purple shadowy cleft. And this was the Grand Canyon of the
Colorado. My eye swept along with that winding mark, farther and
farther to the west, until the cleft, growing larger and closer,
revealed itself as a wild and winding canyon. Still farther westward
it split a vast plateau of red peaks and yellow mesas. Here the canyon
was full of purple smoke. It turned, it closed, it gaped, it lost
itself and showed again in that chaos of a million cliffs. And then it
faded, a mere purple line, into deceiving distance.

I imagined there was no scene in all the world to equal this. The
tranquillity of lesser spaces was here not manifest. This happened to
be a place where so much of the desert could be seen and the effect
was stupendous Sound, movement, life seemed to have no fitness here.
Ruin was there and desolation and decay. The meaning of the ages
was flung at me. A man became nothing. But when I gazed across that
sublime and majestic wilderness, in which the Grand Canyon was only a
dim line, I strangely lost my terror and something came to me across
the shining spaces.

Then Nas ta Bega and Wetherill began the descent of the slope, and the
rest of us followed. No sign of a trail showed where the base of the
slope rolled out to meet the green plain. There was a level bench a
mile wide, then a ravine, and then an ascent, and after that, rounded
ridge and ravine, one after the other, like huge swells of a monstrous
sea. Indian paint brush vied in its scarlet hue with the deep magenta
of cactus. There was no sage. Soap weed and meager grass and a bunch
of cactus here and there lent the green to that barren, and it was
green only at a distance.

Nas ta Bega kept on at a steady gait. The sun climbed. The wind rose
and whipped dust from under the mustangs. There is seldom much talk
on a ride of this nature. It is hard work and everybody for himself.
Besides, it is enough just to see; and that country is conducive to
silence. I looked back often, and the farther out on the plain we rode
the higher loomed the plateau we had descended; and as I faced ahead
again, the lower sank the red-domed and castled horizon to the fore.

It was a wild place we were approaching. I saw piñon patches under
the circled walls. I ceased to feel the dry wind in my face. We were
already in the lee of a wall. I saw the rock squirrels scampering to
their holes. Then the Indians disappeared between two rounded corners
of cliff.

I rode round the corner into a widening space thick with cedars. It
ended in a bare slope of smooth rock. Here we dismounted to begin the
ascent. It was smooth and hard, though not slippery. There was not
a crack. I did not see a broken piece of stone. Nas ta Bega and
Wetherill climbed straight up for a while and then wound round a
swell, to turn this way and that, always going up. I began to see
similar mounds of rock all around me, of every shape that could be
called a curve. There were yellow domes far above and small red domes
far below. Ridges ran from one hill of rock to another. There were
no abrupt breaks, but holes and pits and caves were everywhere, and
occasionally deep down, an amphitheater green with cedar and piñon. We
found no vestige of trail on those bare slopes.

Our guides led to the top of the wall, only to disclose to us another
wall beyond, with a ridged, bare, and scalloped depression between.
Here footing began to be precarious for both man and beast. Our
mustangs were not shod and it was wonderful to see their slow, short,
careful steps. They knew a great deal better than we what the danger
was. It has been such experiences as this that have made me see in
horses something besides beasts of burden. In the ascent of the second
slope it was necessary to zigzag up, slowly and carefully, taking
advantage of every bulge and depression.

Then before us twisted and dropped and curved the most dangerous
slopes I had ever seen. We had reached the height of the divide and
many of the drops on this side were perpendicular and too steep for us
to see the bottom.


At one bad place Wetherill and Nas ta Bega, with Joe Lee, a Mormon
cowboy with us, were helping one of the pack-horses named Chub. On the
steepest part of this slope Chub fell and began to slide. His momentum
jerked the rope from the hands of Wetherill and the Indian. But Joe
Lee held on. Joe was a giant and being a Mormon he could not let go of
anything he had. He began to slide with the horse, holding back with
all his might.


It seemed that both man and beast must slide down to where the slope
ended in a yawning precipice. Chub was snorting or screaming in
terror. Our mustangs were frightened and rearing. It was not a place
to have trouble with horses.

I had a moment of horrified fascination, in which Chub turned clear
over. Then he slid into a little depression that, with Joe's hold on
the lasso, momentarily checked his descent. Quick as thought Joe ran
sidewise and down to the bulge of rock, and yelled for help. I got
to him a little ahead of Wetherill and Nas ta Bega; and together we
pulled Chub up out of danger. At first we thought he had been choked
to death. But he came to, and got up, a bloody, skinned horse, but
alive and safe. I have never seen a more magnificent effort than Joe
Lee's. Those fellows are built that way. Wetherill has lost horses on
those treacherous slopes, and that risk is the only thing about the
trip which is not splendid.

We got over that bad place without further incident, and presently
came to a long swell of naked stone that led down to a narrow green
split. This one had straight walls and wound away out of sight. It was
the head of a canyon.

"Nonnezoshe Boco," said the Indian.

This then was the Canyon of the Rainbow Bridge. When we got down into
it we were a happy crowd. The mode of travel here was a selection of
the best levels, the best places to cross the brook, the best places
to climb, and it was a process of continual repetition. There was no
trail ahead of us, but we certainly left one behind. And as Wetherill
picked out the course and the mustangs followed him I had all freedom
to see and feel the beauty, color, wildness and changing character of
Nonnezoshe Boco.

My experiences in the desert did not count much in the trip down this
strange, beautiful lost canyon. All canyons are not alike. This one
did not widen, though the walls grew higher. They began to lean and
bulge, and the narrow strip of sky above resembled a flowing blue
river. Huge caverns had been hollowed out by water or wind. And when
the brook ran close under one of these overhanging places the running
water made a singular indescribable sound. A crack from a hoof on a
stone rang like a hollow bell and echoed from wall to wall. And the
croak of a frog--the only living creature I noted in the canyon--was a
weird and melancholy thing.

"We're sure gettin' deep down," said Joe Lee.

"How do you know?" I asked.

"Here are the pink and yellow sego lilies. Only the white ones are
found above."

I dismounted to gather some of these lilies. They were larger than
the white ones of higher altitudes, of a most exquisite beauty and
fragility, and of such rare pink and yellow hues as I had never seen.

"They bloom only where it's always summer," explained Joe.

That expressed their nature. They were the orchids of the summer
canyons. They stood up everywhere star-like out of the green. It was
impossible to prevent the mustangs treading them under foot. And as
the canyon deepened, and many little springs added their tiny volume
to the brook, every grassy bench was dotted with lilies, like a green
sky star-spangled. And this increasing luxuriance manifested itself
in the banks of purple moss and clumps of lavender daisies and
great mounds of yellow violets. The brook was lined by blossoming
buck-brush; the rocky corners showed the crimson and magenta of
cactus; and there were ledges of green with shining moss that sparkled
with little white flowers. The hum of bees filled the fragrant, dreamy

But by and bye, this green and colorful and verdant beauty, the almost
level floor of the canyon, the banks of soft earth, the thickets and
clumps of cottonwood, the shelving caverns and bulging walls--these
features were gradually lost, and Nonnezoshe began to deepen in bare
red and white stone steps. The walls sheered away from one another,
breaking into sections and ledges, and rising higher and higher, and
there began to be manifested a dark and solemn concordance with the
nature that had created this old rent in the earth.

There was a stretch of miles where steep steps in hard red rock
alternated with long levels of round boulders. Here, one by one, the
mustangs went lame and we had to walk. And we slipped and stumbled
along over these loose, treacherous stones. The hours passed; the toil
increased; the progress diminished; one of the mustangs failed and was
left. And all the while the dimensions of Nonnezoshe Boco magnified
and its character changed. It became a thousand-foot walled canyon,
leaning, broken, threatening, with great yellow slides blocking
passage, with huge sections split off from the main wall, with immense
dark and gloomy caverns. Strangely it had no intersecting canyons. It
jealously guarded its secret. Its unusual formations of cavern and
pillar and half-arch led me to expect any monstrous stone-shape left
by avalanche or cataclysm.

Down and down we toiled. And now the stream-bed was bare of boulders
and the banks of earth. The floods that had rolled down that canyon
had here borne away every loose thing. All the floor, in places, was
bare red and white stone, polished, glistening, slippery, affording
treacherous foothold. And the time came when Wetherill abandoned the
stream-bed to take to the rock-strewn and cactus-covered ledges above.

The canyon widened ahead into a great ragged iron-lined amphitheater,
and then apparently turned abruptly at right angles. Sunset rimmed the

I had been tired for a long time and now I began to limp and lag. I
wondered what on earth would make Wetherill and the Indians tired. It
was with great pleasure that I observed the giant Joe Lee plodding
slowly along. And when I glanced behind at my straggling party it was
with both admiration for their gameness and glee for their disheveled
and weary appearance. Finally I got so that all I could do was to drag
myself onward with eyes down on the rough ground. In this way I kept
on until I heard Wetherill call me. He had stopped--was waiting for
me. The dark and silent Indian stood beside him, looking down the

I saw past the vast jutting wall that had obstructed my view. A mile
beyond, all was bright with the colors of sunset, and spanning the
canyon in the graceful shape and beautiful hues of the rainbow was a
magnificent natural bridge.

"Nonnezoshe," said Wetherill, simply.

This rainbow bridge was the one great natural phenomenon, the one
grand spectacle which I had ever seen that did not at first give vague
disappointment, a confounding of reality, a disenchantment of contrast
with what the mind had conceived.

But this thing was glorious. It absolutely silenced me. My body and
brain, weary and dull from the toil of travel, received a singular and
revivifying freshness. I had a strange, mystic perception that this
rosy-hued, tremendous arch of stone was a goal I had failed to reach in
some former life, but had now found. Here was a rainbow magnified even
beyond dreams, a thing not transparent and ethereal, but solidified, a
work of ages, sweeping up majestically from the red walls, its iris-hued
arch against the blue sky.


[Illustration: NONNEZOSHE]

Then we plodded on again. Wetherill worked around to circle the huge
amphitheater. The way was a steep slant, rough and loose and dragging.
The rocks were as hard and jagged as lava, and cactus hindered
progress. Soon the rosy and golden lights had faded. All the walls
turned pale and steely and the bridge loomed dark.

We were to camp all night under the bridge. Just before we reached it
Nas ta Bega halted with one of his singular motions. He was saying his
prayer to this great stone god. Then he began to climb straight up the
steep slope. Wetherill told me the Indian would not pass under the

When we got to the bridge and unsaddled and unpacked the lame mustangs
twilight had fallen. The horses were turned loose to fare for what
scant grass grew on bench and slope. Firewood was even harder to
find than grass. When our simple meal had been eaten there was gloom
gathering in the canyon and stars had begun to blink in the pale strip
of blue above the lofty walls. The place was oppressive and we were
mostly silent.

Presently I moved away into the strange dark shadow cast by the
bridge. It was a weird black belt, where I imagined I was invisible,
but out of which I could see. There was a slab of rock upon which I
composed myself, to watch, to feel.

A stiffening of my neck made me aware that I had been continually
looking up at the looming arch. I found that it never seemed the same
any two moments. Near at hand it was too vast a thing for immediate
comprehension. I wanted to ponder on what had formed it--to reflect
upon its meaning as to age and force of nature. Yet it seemed that all
I could do was to see. White stars hung along the dark curved
line. The rim of the arch appeared to shine. The moon was up there
somewhere. The far side of the canyon was now a blank black wall. Over
its towering rim showed a pale glow. It brightened. The shades in the
canyon lightened, then a white disk of moon peeped over the dark line.
The bridge turned to silver.

It was then that I became aware of the presence of Nas ta Bega. Dark,
silent, statuesque, with inscrutable face uplifted, with all that was
spiritual of the Indian suggested by a somber and tranquil knowledge
of his place there, he represented to me that which a solitary figure
of human life represents in a great painting. Nonnezoshe needed life,
wild life, life of its millions of years--and here stood the dark and
silent Indian.

Long afterward I walked there alone, to and fro, under the bridge. The
moon had long since crossed the streak of star-fired blue above, and
the canyon was black in shadow. At times a current of wind, with all
the strangeness of that strange country in its moan, rushed through
the great stone arch. At other times there was silence such as I
imagined might have dwelt deep in the center of the earth. And again
an owl hooted, and the sound was nameless. It had a mocking echo. An
echo of night, silence, gloom, melancholy, death, age, eternity!

The Indian lay asleep with his dark face upturned, and the other
sleepers lay calm and white in the starlight. I seemed to see in them
the meaning of life and the past--the illimitable train of faces
that had shone under the stars. There was something nameless in that
canyon, and whether or not it was what the Indian embodied in the
great Nonnezoshe, or the life of the present, or the death of the
ages, or the nature so magnificently manifested in those silent,
dreaming, waiting walls--the truth was that there was a spirit.

I did sleep a few hours under Nonnezoshe, and when I awoke the tip of
the arch was losing its cold darkness and beginning to shine. The sun
had just risen high enough over some low break in the wall to reach
the bridge. I watched. Slowly, in wondrous transformation, the gold
and blue and rose and pink and purple blended their hues, softly,
mistily, cloudily, until once more the arch was a rainbow.

I realized that long before life had evolved upon the earth this
bridge had spread its grand arch from wall to wall, black and mystic
at night, transparent and rosy in the sunrise, at sunset a flaming
curve limned against the heavens. When the race of man had passed it
would, perhaps, stand there still. It was not for many eyes to see.
The tourist, the leisurely traveler, the comfort-loving motorist would
never behold it. Only by toil, sweat, endurance and pain could any
man ever look at Nonnezoshe. It seemed well to realize that the great
things of life had to be earned. Nonnezoshe would always be alone,
grand, silent, beautiful, unintelligible; and as such I bade it a
mute, reverent farewell.



Riding and tramping trails would lose half their charm if the motive
were only to hunt and to fish. It seems fair to warn the reader who
longs to embark upon a bloody game hunt or a chronicle of fishing
records that this is not that kind of story. But it will be one for
those who love horses and dogs, the long winding dim trails, the wild
flowers and the dark still woods, the fragrance of spruce and the
smell of camp-fire smoke. And as well for those who love to angle in
brown lakes or rushing brooks or chase after the baying hounds or
stalk the stag on his lonely heights.


We left Denver on August twenty-second over the Moffet road and had a
long wonderful ride through the mountains. The Rockies have a sweep, a
limitless sweep, majestic and grand. For many miles we crossed no
streams, and climbed and wound up barren slopes. Once across the divide,
however, we descended into a country of black forests and green valleys.
Yampa, a little hamlet with a past prosperity, lay in the wide valley of
the Bear River. It was picturesque but idle, and a better name for it
would have been Sleepy Hollow. The main and only street was very wide
and dusty, bordered by old board walks and vacant stores. It seemed a
deserted street of a deserted village. Teague, the guide, lived there.
He assured me it was not quite as lively a place as in the early days
when it was a stage center for an old and rich mining section. We stayed
there at the one hotel for a whole day, most of which I spent sitting on
the board walk. Whenever I chanced to look down the wide street it
seemed always the same--deserted. But Yampa had the charm of being old
and forgotten, and for that reason I would like to live there a while.


On August twenty-third we started in two buckboards for the foothills,
some fifteen miles westward, where Teague's men were to meet us with
saddle and pack horses. The ride was not interesting until the Flattop
Mountains began to loom, and we saw the dark green slopes of spruce,
rising to bare gray cliffs and domes, spotted with white banks of
snow. I felt the first cool breath of mountain air, exhilarating and
sweet. From that moment I began to live.

We had left at six-thirty. Teague, my guide, had been so rushed with
his manifold tasks that I had scarcely seen him, let alone gotten
acquainted with him. And on this ride he was far behind with our load
of baggage. We arrived at the edge of the foothills about noon. It
appeared to be the gateway of a valley, with aspen groves and ragged
jack-pines on the slopes, and a stream running down. Our driver called
it the Stillwater. That struck me as strange, for the stream was in
a great hurry. R.C. spied trout in it, and schools of darkish,
mullet-like fish which we were informed were grayling. We wished for
our tackle then and for time to fish.

Teague's man, a young fellow called Virgil, met us here. He did not
resemble the ancient Virgil in the least, but he did look as if he had
walked right out of one of my romances of wild riders. So I took a
liking to him at once.

But the bunch of horses he had corralled there did not excite any
delight in me. Horses, of course, were the most important part of our
outfit. And that moment of first seeing the horses that were to carry
us on such long rides was an anxious and thrilling one. I have felt
it many times, and it never grows any weaker from experience. Many a
scrubby lot of horses had turned out well upon acquaintance, and some
I had found hard to part with at the end of trips. Up to that time,
however, I had not seen a bear hunter's horses; and I was much
concerned by the fact that these were a sorry looking outfit, dusty,
ragged, maneless, cut and bruised and crippled. Still, I reflected,
they were bunched up so closely that I could not tell much about them,
and I decided to wait for Teague before I chose a horse for any one.

In an hour Teague trotted up to our resting place. Beside his own
mount he had two white saddle horses, and nine pack-animals, heavily
laden. Teague was a sturdy rugged man with bronzed face and keen
gray-blue eyes, very genial and humorous. Straightway I got the
impression that he liked work.

"Let's organize," he said, briskly. "Have you picked the horses you're
goin' to ride?"

Teague led from the midst of that dusty kicking bunch a rangy powerful
horse, with four white feet, a white face and a noble head. He had
escaped my eye. I felt thrillingly that here at least was one horse.

The rest of the horses were permanently crippled or temporarily lame,
and I had no choice, except to take the one it would be kindest to

"He ain't much like your Silvermane or Black Star," said Teague,

"What do you know about them?" I asked, very much pleased at this from

"Well, I know all about them," he replied. "I'll have you the best horse
in this country in a few days. Fact is I've bought him, an' he'll come
with my cowboy, Vern.... Now, we're organized. Let's move."




We rode through a meadow along a spruce slope above which towered the
great mountain. It was a zigzag trail, rough, boggy, and steep in
places. The Stillwater meandered here, and little breaks on the water
gave evidence of feeding trout. We had several miles of meadow, and
then sheered off to the left up into the timber. It was a spruce
forest, very still and fragrant. We climbed out up on a bench, and
across a flat, up another bench, out of the timber into the patches of
snow. Here snow could be felt in the air. Water was everywhere. I saw
a fox, a badger, and another furry creature, too illusive to name. One
more climb brought us to the top of the Flattop Pass, about eleven
thousand feet. The view in the direction from which we had come was
splendid, and led the eye to the distant sweeping ranges, dark and dim
along the horizon. The Flattops were flat enough, but not very wide
at this pass, and we were soon going down again into a green gulf
of spruce, with ragged peaks lifting beyond. Here again I got the
suggestion of limitless space. It took us an hour to ride down to
Little Trappers Lake, a small clear green sheet of water. The larger
lake was farther down. It was big, irregular, and bordered by spruce
forests, and shadowed by the lofty gray peaks.

The Camp was on the far side. The air appeared rather warm, and
mosquitoes bothered us. However, they did not stay long. It was after
sunset and I was too tired to have many impressions.

Our cook appeared to be a melancholy man. He had a deep quavering
voice, a long drooping mustache and sad eyes. He was silent most of
the time. The men called him Bill, and yelled when they spoke, for he
was somewhat deaf. It did not take me long to discover that he was a
good cook.

Our tent was pitched down the slope from the cook tent. We were too
tired to sit round a camp-fire and talk. The stars were white and
splendid, and they hung over the flat ridges like great beacon lights.
The lake appeared to be inclosed on three sides by amphitheatric
mountains, black with spruce up to the gray walls of rock. The night
grew cold and very still. The bells on the horses tinkled distantly.
There was a soft murmur of falling water. A lonesome coyote barked,
and that thrilled me. Teague's dogs answered this prowler, and some of
them had voices to make a hunter thrill. One, the bloodhound Cain, had
a roar like a lion's. I had not gotten acquainted with the hounds, and
I was thinking about them when I fell asleep.

Next morning I was up at five-thirty. The air was cold and nipping and
frost shone on grass and sage. A red glow of sunrise gleamed on the
tip of the mountain and slowly grew downward.

The cool handle of an axe felt good. I soon found, however, that I
could not wield it long for lack of breath. The elevation was close to
ten thousand feet and the air at that height was thin and rare. After
each series of lusty strokes I had to rest. R.C., who could handle
an axe as he used to swing a baseball bat, made fun of my efforts.
Whereupon I relinquished the tool to him, and chuckled at his

After breakfast R.C. and I got out our tackles and rigged up fly rods,
and sallied forth to the lake with the same eagerness we had felt when
we were boys going after chubs and sunfish. The lake glistened green
in the sunlight and it lay like a gem at the foot of the magnificent
black slopes.

The water was full of little floating particles that Teague called
wild rice. I thought the lake had begun to work, like eastern lakes
during dog days. It did not look propitious for fishing, but Teague
reassured us. The outlet of this lake was the head of White River. We
tried the outlet first, but trout were not rising there. Then we
began wading and casting along a shallow bar of the lake. Teague had
instructed us to cast, then drag the flies slowly across the surface
of the water, in imitation of a swimming fly or bug. I tried this, and
several times, when the leader was close to me and my rod far back, I
had strikes. With my rod in that position I could not hook the trout.
Then I cast my own way, letting the flies sink a little. To my
surprise and dismay I had only a few strikes and could not hook the

R.C., however, had better luck, and that too in wading right over the
ground I had covered. To beat me at anything always gave him the most
unaccountable fiendish pleasure.

"These are educated trout," he said. "It takes a skillful fisherman to
make them rise. Now anybody can catch the big game of the sea, which
is your forte. But here you are N.G.... Watch me cast!"

I watched him make a most atrocious cast. But the water boiled, and he
hooked two good-sized trout at once. Quite speechless with envy and
admiration I watched him play them and eventually beach them. They
were cutthroat trout, silvery-sided and marked with the red slash
along their gills that gave them their name. I did not catch any while
wading, but from the bank I spied one, and dropping a fly in front
of his nose, I got him. R.C. caught four more, all about a pound in
weight, and then he had a strike that broke his leader. He did not
have another leader, so we walked back to camp.

Wild flowers colored the open slopes leading down out of the forest.
Golden rod, golden daisies, and bluebells were plentiful and very
pretty. Here I found my first columbine, the beautiful flower that is
the emblem of Colorado. In vivid contrast to its blue, Indian paint
brush thinly dotted the slopes and varied in color from red to pink
and from white to yellow.

My favorite of all wild flowers--the purple asters--were there too,
on tall nodding stems, with pale faces held up to the light. The
reflection of mountain and forest in Trappers Lake was clear and

The hounds bayed our approach to camp. We both made a great show about
beginning our little camp tasks, but we did not last very long. The
sun felt so good and it was so pleasant to lounge under a pine. One of
the blessings of outdoor life was that a man could be like an Indian
and do nothing. So from rest I passed to dreams and from dreams to

In the afternoon R.C. and I went out again to try for trout. The lake
appeared to be getting thicker with that floating muck and we could
not raise a fish. Then we tried the outlet again. Here the current
was swift. I found a place between two willow banks where trout were
breaking on the surface. It took a long cast for me, but about every
tenth attempt I would get a fly over the right place and raise a fish.
They were small, but that did not detract from my gratification. The
light on the water was just right for me to see the trout rise, and
that was a beautiful sight as well as a distinct advantage. I had
caught four when a shout from R.C. called me quickly down stream. I
found him standing in the middle of a swift chute with his rod bent
double and a long line out.

"Got a whale!" he yelled. "See him--down there--in that white water.
See him flash red!... Go down there and land him for me. Hurry! He's
got all the line!"

I ran below to an open place in the willows. Here the stream was
shallow and very swift. In the white water I caught a flashing gleam
of red. Then I saw the shine of the leader. But I could not reach it
without wading in. When I did this the trout lunged out. He looked
crimson and silver. I could have put my fist in his mouth.

"Grab the leader! Yank him out!" yelled R.C. in desperation. "There!
He's got all the line."

"But it'd be better to wade down," I yelled back.

He shouted that the water was too deep and for me to save his fish.
This was an awful predicament for me. I knew the instant I grasped
the leader that the big trout would break it or pull free. The same
situation, with different kinds of fish, had presented itself many
times on my numberless fishing jaunts with R.C. and they all crowded
to my mind. Nevertheless I had no choice. Plunging in to my knees I
frantically reached for the leader. The red trout made a surge. I
missed him. R.C. yelled that something would break. That was no news
to me. Another plunge brought me in touch with the leader. Then I
essayed to lead the huge cutthroat ashore. He was heavy. But he was
tired and that gave birth to hopes. Near the shore as I was about to
lift him he woke up, swam round me twice, then ran between my legs.

When, a little later, R.C. came panting down stream I was sitting on
the bank, all wet, with one knee skinned and I was holding his broken
leader in my hands. Strange to say, he went into a rage! Blamed me for
the loss of that big trout! Under such circumstances it was always
best to maintain silence and I did so as long as I could. After his
paroxysm had spent itself and he had become somewhat near a rational
being once more he asked me:

"Was he big?"

"Oh--a whale of a trout!" I replied.

"Humph! Well, how big?"

Thereupon I enlarged upon the exceeding size and beauty of that trout.
I made him out very much bigger than he actually looked to me and I
minutely described his beauty and wonderful gaping mouth. R.C. groaned
and that was my revenge.

We returned to camp early, and I took occasion to scrape acquaintance
with the dogs. It was a strangely assorted pack--four Airedales, one
bloodhound and seven other hounds of mixed breeds. There were also
three pup hounds, white and yellow, very pretty dogs, and like all
pups, noisy and mischievous. They made friends easily. This applied
also to one of the Airedales, a dog recently presented to Teague by
some estimable old lady who had called him Kaiser and made a pet of
him. As might have been expected of a dog, even an Airedale, with that
name, he was no good. But he was very affectionate, and exceedingly
funny. When he was approached he had a trick of standing up, holding
up his forepaws in an appealing sort of way, with his head twisted in
the most absurd manner. This was when he was chained--otherwise he
would have been climbing up on anyone who gave him the chance. He was
the most jealous dog I ever saw. He could not be kept chained very
long because he always freed himself. At meal time he would slip
noiselessly behind some one and steal the first morsel he could
snatch. Bill was always rapping Kaiser with pans or billets of

Next morning was clear and cold. We had breakfast, and then saddled up
to ride to Big Fish Lake. For an hour we rode up and down ridges of
heavy spruce, along a trail. We saw elk and deer sign. Elk tracks
appeared almost as large as cow tracks. When we left the trail to
climb into heavy timber we began to look for game. The forest was
dark, green and brown, silent as a grave. No squirrels or birds or
sign of life! We had a hard ride up and down steep slopes. A feature
was the open swaths made by avalanches. The ice and snow had cut a
path through the timber, and the young shoots of spruce were springing
up. I imagined the roar made by that tremendous slide.

We found elk tracks everywhere and some fresh sign, where the grass
had been turned recently, and also much old and fresh sign where the
elk had skinned the saplings by rubbing their antlers to get rid of
the velvet. Some of these rubs looked like blazes made by an axe. The
Airedale Fox, a wonderful dog, routed out a she-coyote that evidently
had a den somewhere, for she barked angrily at the dog and at us. Fox
could not catch her. She led him round in a circle, and we could not
see her in the thick brush. It was fine to hear the wild staccato note

We crossed many little parks, bright and green, blooming with wild
asters and Indian paint brush and golden daisies. The patches of red
and purple were exceedingly beautiful. Everywhere we rode we were knee
deep in flowers. At length we came out of the heavy timber down upon
Big Fish Lake. This lake was about half a mile across, deep blue-green
in color, with rocky shores. Upon the opposite side were beaver
mounds. We could see big trout swimming round, but they would not rise
to a fly. R.C. went out in an old boat and paddled to the head of the
lake and fished at the inlet. Here he caught a fine trout. I went
around and up the little river that fed the lake. It curved swiftly
through a meadow, and had deep, dark eddies under mossy, flowering
banks. At other places the stream ran swiftly over clean gravel beds.
It was musical and clear as crystal, and to the touch of hand, as cold
as ice water. I waded in and began to cast. I saw several big trout,
and at last coaxed one to take my fly. But I missed him. Then in a
swift current a flash of red caught my eye and I saw a big trout
lazily rise to my fly. Saw him take it! And I hooked him. He was not
active, but heavy and plunging, and he bored in and out, and made
short runs. I had not seen such beautiful red colors in any fish. He
made a fine fight, but at last I landed him on the grass, a cutthroat
of about one and three-quarter pounds, deep red and silver and green,
and spotted all over. That was the extent of my luck.

We went back to the point, and thought we would wait a little while to
see if the trout would begin to rise. But they did not. A storm began
to mutter and boom along the battlements. Great gray clouds obscured
the peaks, and at length the rain came. It was cold and cutting. We
sought the shelter of spruces for a while, and waited. After an hour
it cleared somewhat, and R.C. caught a fine one-pound cutthroat, all
green and silver, with only two slashes of red along under the gills.
Then another storm threatened. Before we got ready to leave for camp
the rain began again to fall, and we looked for a wetting. It was
raining hard when we rode into the woods and very cold. The spruces
were dripping. But we soon got warm from hard riding up steep slopes.
After an hour the rain ceased, the sun came out, and from the open
places high up we could see a great green void of spruce, and beyond,
boundless black ranges, running off to dim horizon. We flushed a big
blue grouse with a brood of little ones, and at length another big

In one of the open parks the Airedale Fox showed signs of scenting
game. There was a patch of ground where the grass was pressed down.
Teague whispered and pointed. I saw the gray rump of an elk protruding
from behind some spruces. I beckoned for R.C. and we both dismounted.
Just then the elk rose and stalked out. It was a magnificent bull with
crowning lofty antlers. The shoulders and neck appeared black. He
raised his head, and turning, trotted away with ease and grace for
such a huge beast. That was a wild and beautiful sight I had not seen
before. We were entranced, and when he disappeared, we burst out with

We rode on toward camp, and out upon a bench that bordered the lofty
red wall of rock. From there we went down into heavy forest again, dim
and gray, with its dank, penetrating odor, and oppressive stillness.
The forest primeval! When we rode out of that into open slopes the
afternoon was far advanced, and long shadows lay across the distant
ranges. When we reached camp, supper and a fire to warm cold wet feet
were exceedingly welcome. I was tired.

Later, R.C. and I rode up a mile or so above camp, and hitched our
horses near Teague's old corral. Our intention was to hunt up along
the side of the slope. Teague came along presently. We waited, hoping
the big black clouds would break. But they did not. They rolled down
with gray, swirling edges, like smoke, and a storm enveloped us. We
sought shelter in a thick spruce. It rained and hailed. By and bye
the air grew bitterly cold, and Teague suggested we give up, and ride
back. So we did. The mountains were dim and obscure through the gray
gloom, and the black spear-tipped spruces looked ghostly against
the background. The lightning was vivid, and the thunder rolled and
crashed in magnificent bombardment across the heavens.

Next morning at six-thirty the sun was shining clear, and only a
few clouds sailed in the blue. Wind was in the west and the weather
promised fair. But clouds began to creep up behind the mountains,
first hazy, then white, then dark. Nevertheless we decided to ride
out, and cross the Flattop rim, and go around what they call the
Chinese Wall. It rained as we climbed through the spruces above Little
Trappers Lake. And as we got near the top it began to hail. Again
the air grew cold. Once out on top I found a wide expanse, green and
white, level in places, but with huge upheavals of ridge. There
were flowers here at eleven thousand feet. The view to the rear was
impressive--a wide up-and-down plain studded with out-cropping of
rocks, and patches of snow. We were then on top of the Chinese Wall,
and the view to the west was grand. At the moment hail was falling
thick and white, and to stand above the streaked curtain, as it fell
into the abyss was a strange new experience. Below, two thousand feet,
lay the spruce forest, and it sloped and dropped into the White River
Valley, which in turn rose, a long ragged dark-green slope, up to a
bare jagged peak. Beyond this stretched range on range, dark under the
lowering pall of clouds. On top we found fresh Rocky Mountain sheep
tracks. A little later, going into a draw, we crossed a snow-bank,
solid as ice. We worked down into this draw into the timber. It
hailed, and rained some more, then cleared. The warm sun felt good.
Once down in the parks we began to ride through a flower-garden. Every
slope was beautiful in gold, and red, and blue and white. These parks
were luxuriant with grass, and everywhere we found elk beds, where the
great stags had been lying, to flee at our approach. But we did not
see one. The bigness of this slope impressed me. We rode miles and
miles, and every park was surrounded by heavy timber. At length we
got into a burned district where the tall dead spruces stood sear and
ghastly, and the ground was so thickly strewn with fallen trees that
we had difficulty in threading a way through them. Patches of aspen
grew on the hillside, still fresh and green despite this frosty
morning. Here we found a sego lily, one of the most beautiful of
flowers. Here also I saw pink Indian paint brush. At the foot of this
long burned slope we came to the White River trail, and followed it up
and around to camp.

Late in the evening, about sunset, I took my rifle and slipped off
into the woods back of camp. I walked a short distance, then paused to
listen to the silence of the forest. There was not a sound. It was a
place of peace. By and bye I heard snapping of twigs, and presently
heard R.C. and Teague approaching me. We penetrated half a mile into
the spruce, pausing now and then to listen. At length R.C. heard
something. We stopped. After a little I heard the ring of a horn on
wood. It was thrilling. Then came the crack of a hoof on stone, then
the clatter of a loosened rock. We crept on. But that elk or deer
evaded us. We hunted around till dark without farther sign of any

R.C. and Teague and I rode out at seven-thirty and went down White
River for three miles. In one patch of bare ground we saw tracks of
five deer where they had come in for salt. Then we climbed high up a
burned ridge, winding through patches of aspen. We climbed ridge after
ridge, and at last got out of the burned district into reaches of
heavy spruce. Coming to a park full of deer and elk tracks, we
dismounted and left our horses. I went to the left, and into some
beautiful woods, where I saw beds of deer or elk, and many tracks.
Returning to the horses, I led them into a larger park, and climbed
high into the open and watched. There I saw some little squirrels
about three inches long, and some gray birds, very tame. I waited a
long time before there was any sign of R.C. or Teague, and then it was
the dog I saw first. I whistled, and they climbed up to me. We mounted
and rode on for an hour, then climbed through a magnificent forest of
huge trees, windfalls, and a ferny, mossy, soft ground. At length we
came out at the head of a steep, bare slope, running down to a verdant
park crossed by stretches of timber. On the way back to camp we ran
across many elk beds and deer trails, and for a while a small band of
elk evidently trotted ahead of us, but out of sight.

Next day we started for a few days' trip to Big Fish Lake. R.C. and I
went along up around the mountain. I found our old trail, and was at a
loss only a few times. We saw fresh elk sign, but no live game at all.

In the afternoon we fished. I went up the river half a mile, while
R.C. fished the lake. Neither of us had any luck. Later we caught four
trout, one of which was fair sized.

Toward sunset the trout began to rise all over the lake, but we could
not get them to take a fly.

The following day we went up to Twin Lakes and found them to be
beautiful little green gems surrounded by spruce. I saw some big trout
in the large lake, but they were wary. We tried every way to get a
strike. No use! In the little lake matters were worse. It was full of
trout up to two pounds. They would run at the fly, only to refuse it.
Exasperating work! We gave up and returned to Big Fish. After supper
we went out to try again. The lake was smooth and quiet. All at once,
as if by concert, the trout began to rise everywhere. In a little bay
we began to get strikes. I could see the fish rise to the fly. The
small ones were too swift and the large ones too slow, it seemed.
We caught one, and then had bad luck. We snarled our lines, drifted
wrong, broke leaders, snapped off flies, hooked too quick and too
slow, and did everything that was clumsy. I lost two big fish because
they followed the fly as I drew it toward me across the water to
imitate a swimming fly. Of course this made a large slack line which I
could not get up. Finally I caught one big fish, and altogether we got
seven. All in that little bay, where the water was shallow! In other
places we could not catch a fish. I had one vicious strike. The fish
appeared to be feeding on a tiny black gnat, which we could not
imitate. This was the most trying experience of all. We ought to have
caught a basketful.

The next day, September first, we rode down along the outlet of Big
Fish to White River and down that for miles to fish for grayling. The
stream was large and swift and cold. It appeared full of ice water
and rocks, but no fish. We met fishermen, an automobile, and a camp
outfit. That was enough for me. Where an automobile can run, I do not
belong. The fishing was poor. But the beautiful open valley, flowered
in gold and purple, was recompense for a good deal of bad luck.

A grayling, or what they called a grayling, was not as beautiful a
fish as my fancy had pictured. He resembled a sucker or mullet, had a
small mouth, dark color, and was rather a sluggish-looking fish.

We rode back through a thunderstorm, and our yellow slickers afforded
much comfort.

Next morning was bright, clear, cold. I saw the moon go down over a
mountain rim rose-flushed with the sunrise.

R.C. and I, with Teague, started for the top of the big mountain on
the west. I had a new horse, a roan, and he looked a thoroughbred.
He appeared tired. But I thought he would be great. We took a trail
through the woods, dark green-gray, cool and verdant, odorous and
still. We began to climb. Occasionally we crossed parks, and little
streams. Up near the long, bare slope the spruce trees grew large and
far apart. They were beautiful, gray as if bearded with moss. Beyond
this we got into the rocks and climbing became arduous. Long zigzags
up the slope brought us to the top of a notch, where at the right lay
a patch of snow. The top of the mountain was comparatively flat, but
it had timbered ridges and bare plains and little lakes, with dark
domes, rising beyond. We rode around to the right, climbing out of the
timber to where the dwarf spruces and brush had a hard struggle for
life. The great gulf below us was immense, dark, and wild, studded
with lakes and parks, and shadowed by moving clouds.

Sheep tracks, old and fresh, afforded us thrills.

Away on the western rim, where we could look down upon a long rugged
iron-gray ridge of mountain, our guide using the glass, found two big
stags. We all had our fill of looking. I could see them plainly with
naked eyes.

We decided to go back to where we could climb down on that side,
halter the horses, leave all extra accoutrements, and stalk those
stags, and take a picture of them.

I led the way, and descended under the rim. It was up and down over
rough shale, and up steps of broken rocks, and down little cliffs.
We crossed the ridge twice, many times having to lend a hand to each

At length I reached a point where I could see the stags lying down.
The place was an open spot on a rocky promonotory with a fringe of
low spruces. The stags were magnificent in size, with antlers in the
velvet. One had twelve points. They were lying in the sun to harden
their horns, according to our guide.

I slipped back to the others, and we all decided to have a look. So we
climbed up. All of us saw the stags, twitching ears and tails.

Then we crept back, and once more I took the lead to crawl round under
the ledge so we could come up about even with them. Here I found the
hardest going yet. I came to a wind-worn crack in the thin ledge, and
from this I could just see the tips of the antlers. I beckoned the
others. Laboriously they climbed. R.C. went through first. I went over
next, and then came Teague.

R.C. and I started to crawl down to a big rock that was our objective
point. We went cautiously, with bated breath and pounding hearts. When
we got there I peeped over to see the stags still lying down. But they
had heads intent and wary. Still I did not think they had scented us.
R.C. took a peep, and turning excitedly he whispered:

"See only one. And he's standing!"

And I answered: "Let's get down around to the left where we can get a
better chance." It was only a few feet down. We got there.

When he peeped over at this point he exclaimed: "They're gone!"

It was a keen disappointment. "They winded us," I decided.

We looked and looked. But we could not see to our left because of the
bulge of rock. We climbed back. Then I saw one of the stags loping
leisurely off to the left. Teague was calling. He said they had walked
off the promontory, looking up, and stopping occasionally.

Then we realized we must climb back along that broken ridge and then
up to the summit of the mountain. So we started.

That climb back was proof of the effect of excitement on judgment. We
had not calculated at all on the distance or ruggedness, and we had a
job before us. We got along well under the western wall, and fairly
well straight across through the long slope of timber, where we saw
sheep tracks, and expected any moment to sight an old ram. But we did
not find one, and when we got out of the timber upon the bare sliding
slope we had to halt a hundred times. We could zigzag only a few
steps. The altitude was twelve thousand feet, and oxygen seemed
scarce. I nearly dropped. All the climbing appeared to come hardest on
the middle of my right foot, and it could scarcely have burned hotter
if it had been in fire. Despite the strenuous toil there were not many
moments that I was not aware of the vastness of the gulf below, or the
peaceful lakes, brown as amber, or the golden parks. And nearer at
hand I found magenta-colored Indian paint brush, very exquisite and

Coming out on a ledge I spied a little, dark animal with a long tail.
He was running along the opposite promontory about three hundred yards
distant. When he stopped I took a shot at him and missed by apparently
a scant half foot.

After catching our breath we climbed more and more, and still more, at
last to drop on the rim, hot, wet and utterly spent.

The air was keen, cold, and invigorating. We were soon rested, and
finding our horses we proceeded along the rim westward. Upon rounding
an out-cropping of rock we flushed a flock of ptarmigan--soft gray,
rock-colored birds about the size of pheasants, and when they flew
they showed beautiful white bands on their wings. These are the rare
birds that have feathered feet and turn white in winter. They did not
fly far, and several were so tame they did not fly at all. We got our
little .22 revolvers and began to shoot at the nearest bird. He was
some thirty feet distant. But we could not hit him, and at last Fox,
getting disgusted, tried to catch the bird and made him fly. I felt
relieved, for as we were getting closer and closer with every shot, it
seemed possible that if the ptarmigan sat there long enough we might
eventually have hit him. The mystery was why we shot so poorly. But
this was explained by R.C., who discovered we had been shooting the
wrong shells.

It was a long hard ride down the rough winding trail. But riding down
was a vastly different thing from going up.

On September third we were up at five-thirty. It was clear and cold
and the red of sunrise tinged the peaks. The snow banks looked pink.
All the early morning scene was green, fresh, cool, with that mountain
rareness of atmosphere.

We packed to break camp, and after breakfast it took hours to get our
outfit in shape to start--a long string, resembling a caravan. I knew
that events would occur that day. First we lost one of the dogs. Vern
went back after him. The dogs were mostly chained in pairs, to prevent
their running off. Samson, the giant hound, was chained to a little
dog, and the others were paired not according to size by any means.
The poor dogs were disgusted with the arrangement. It developed
presently that Cain, the bloodhound, a strange and wild hound much
like Don of my old lion-hunting days, slipped us, and was not missed
for hours. Teague decided to send back for him later.

Next in order of events, as we rode up the winding trail through the
spruce forest, we met Teague's cow and calf, which he had kept all
summer in camp. For some reason neither could be left. Teague told us
to ride on, and an hour later when we halted to rest on the Flattop
Mountain he came along with the rest of the train, and in the fore was
the cow alone. It was evident that she was distressed and angry, for
it took two men to keep her in the trail. And another thing plain to
me was the fact that she was going to demoralize the pack horses. We
were not across the wide range of this flat mountain when one of the
pack animals, a lean and lanky sorrel, appeared suddenly to go mad,
and began to buck off a pack. He succeeded. This inspired a black
horse, very appropriately christened Nigger, to try his luck, and he
shifted his pack in short order. It took patience, time, and effort to
repack. The cow was a disorganizer. She took up as wide a trail as a
road. And the pack animals, some with dignity and others with disgust,
tried to avoid her vicinity. Going down the steep forest trail on
the other side the real trouble began. The pack train split, ran and
bolted, crashing through the trees, plunging down steep places, and
jumping logs. It was a wild sort of chase. But luckily the packs
remained intact until we were once more on open, flat ground. All went
well for a while, except for an accident for which I was to blame. I
spurred my horse, and he plunged suddenly past R.C.'s mount, colliding
with him, tearing off my stirrup, and spraining R.C.'s ankle. This
was almost a serious accident, as R.C. has an old baseball ankle that
required favoring.

Next in order was the sorrel. As I saw it, he heedlessly went too near
the cow, which we now called Bossy, and she acted somewhat like a
Spanish Bull, to the effect that the sorrel was scared and angered at
once. He began to run and plunge and buck right into the other pack
animals, dropping articles from his pack as he dashed along. He
stampeded the train, and gave the saddle horses a scare. When order
was restored and the whole outfit gathered together again a full
hour had been lost. By this time all the horses were tired, and that
facilitated progress, because there were no more serious breaks.

Down in the valley it was hot, and the ride grew long and wearisome.
Nevertheless, the scenery was beautiful. The valley was green and
level, and a meandering stream formed many little lakes. On one
side was a steep hill of sage and aspens, and on the other a black,
spear-pointed spruce forest, rising sheer to a bold, blunt peak
patched with snow-banks, and bronze and gray in the clear light. Huge
white clouds sailed aloft, making dark moving shadows along the great

We reached our turning-off place about five o'clock, and again entered
the fragrant, quiet forest--a welcome change. We climbed and climbed,
at length coming into an open park of slopes and green borders of
forest, with a lake in the center. We pitched camp on the skirt of the
western slope, under the spruces, and worked hard to get the tents up
and boughs cut for beds. Darkness caught us with our hands still full,
and we ate supper in the light of a camp-fire, with the black, deep
forest behind, and the pale afterglow across the lake.

I had a bad night, being too tired to sleep well. Many times I saw the
moon shadows of spruce branches trembling on the tent walls, and the
flickering shadows of the dying camp-fire. I heard the melodious
tinkle of the bells on the hobbled horses. Bossy bawled often--a
discordant break in the serenity of the night. Occasionally the hounds
bayed her.

Toward morning I slept some, and awakened with what seemed a broken
back. All, except R.C., were slow in crawling out. The sun rose hot.
This lower altitude was appreciated by all. After breakfast we set to
work to put the camp in order.

That afternoon we rode off to look over the ground. We crossed the
park and worked up a timbered ridge remarkable for mossy, bare ground,
and higher up for its almost total absence of grass or flowers. On the
other side of this we had a fine view of Mt. Dome, a high peak across
a valley. Then we worked down into the valley, which was full of parks
and ponds and running streams. We found some fresh sign of deer, and a
good deal of old elk and deer sign. But we saw no game of any kind. It
was a tedious ride back through thick forest, where I observed many
trees that had been barked by porcupines. Some patches were four feet
from the ground, indicating that the porcupine had sat on the snow
when he gnawed those particular places.

After sunset R.C. and I went off down a trail into the woods, and
sitting down under a huge spruce we listened. The forest was solemn
and still. Far down somewhere roared a stream, and that was all the
sound we heard. The gray shadows darkened and gloom penetrated the
aisles of the forest, until all the sheltered places were black as
pitch. The spruces looked spectral--and speaking. The silence of
the woods was deep, profound, and primeval. It all worked on my
imagination until I began to hear faint sounds, and finally grand
orchestral crashings of melody.

On our return the strange creeping chill, that must be a descendant of
the old elemental fear, caught me at all obscure curves in the trail.


Next day we started off early, and climbed through the woods and into
the parks under the Dome. We scared a deer that had evidently been
drinking. His fresh tracks led before us, but we could not catch a
glimpse of him.


We climbed out of the parks, up onto the rocky ridges where the
spruce grew scarce, and then farther to the jumble of stones that had
weathered from the great peaks above, and beyond that up the slope
where all the vegetation was dwarfed, deformed, and weird, strange
manifestation of its struggle for life. Here the air grew keener and
cooler, and the light seemed to expand. We rode on to the steep slope
that led up to the gap we were to cross between the Dome and its


I saw a red fox running up the slope, and dismounting I took a quick
shot at three hundred yards, and scored a hit. It turned out to be a
cross fox, and had very pretty fur.

When we reached the level of the deep gap the wind struck us hard and
cold. On that side opened an abyss, gray and shelving as it led down
to green timber, and then on to the yellow parks and black ridges that
gleamed under the opposite range.

We had to work round a wide amphitheater, and up a steep corner to the
top. This turned out to be level and smooth for a long way, with a
short, velvety yellow grass, like moss, spotted with flowers. Here at
thirteen thousand feet, the wind hit us with exceeding force, and soon
had us with freezing hands and faces. All about us were bold black and
gray peaks, with patches of snow, and above them clouds of white and
drab, showing blue sky between. It developed that this grassy summit
ascended in a long gradual sweep, from the apex of which stretched a
grand expanse, like a plain of gold, down and down, endlessly almost,
and then up and up to end under a gray butte, highest of the points
around. The ride across here seemed to have no limit, but it was
beautiful, though severe on endurance. I saw another fox, and
dismounting, fired five shots as he ran, dusting him with three
bullets. We rode out to the edge of the mountain and looked off. It
was fearful, yet sublime. The world lay beneath us. In many places we
rode along the rim, and at last circled the great butte, and worked up
behind it on a swell of slope. Here the range ran west and the drop
was not sheer, but, gradual with fine benches for sheep. We found many
tracks and fresh sign, but did not see one sheep. Meanwhile the
hard wind had ceased, and the sun had come out, making the ride
comfortable, as far as weather was concerned. We had gotten a long way
from camp, and finding no trail to descend in that direction we turned
to retrace our steps. That was about one o'clock, and we rode and rode
and rode, until I was so tired that I could not appreciate the scenes
as I had on the way up. It took six hours to get back to camp!

Next morning we took the hounds and rode off for bear. Eight of the
hounds were chained in braces, one big and one little dog together,
and they certainly had a hard time of it. Sampson, the giant gray and
brown hound, and Jim, the old black leader, were free to run to and
fro across the way. We rode down a few miles, and into the forest.
There were two long, black ridges, and here we were to hunt for bear.
It was the hardest kind of work, turning and twisting between the
trees, dodging snags, and brushing aside branches, and guiding a horse
among fallen logs. The forest was thick, and the ground was a rich
brown and black muck, soft to the horses' feet. Many times the hounds
got caught on snags, and had to be released. Once Sampson picked up a
scent of some kind, and went off baying. Old Jim ran across that trail
and returned, thus making it clear that there was no bear trail. We
penetrated deep between the two ridges, and came to a little lake,
about thirty feet wide, surrounded by rushes and grass. Here we rested
the horses, and incidentally, ourselves. Fox chased a duck, and it
flew into the woods and hid under a log. Fox trailed it, and Teague
shot it just as he might have a rabbit. We got two more ducks, fine
big mallards, the same way. It was amazing to me, and R.C. remarked
that never had he seen such strange and foolish ducks.

This forest had hundreds of trees barked by porcupines, and some clear
to the top. But we met only one of the animals, and he left several
quills in the nose of one of the pups. I was of the opinion that these
porcupines destroy many fine trees, as I saw a number barked all

We did not see any bear sign. On the way back to camp we rode out of
the forest and down a wide valley, the opposite side of which was open
slope with patches of alder. Even at a distance I could discern the
color of these open glades and grassy benches. They had a tinge of
purple, like purple sage. When I got to them I found a profusion of
asters of the most exquisite shades of lavender, pink and purple. That
slope was long, and all the way up we rode through these beautiful
wild flowers. I shall never forget that sight, nor the many asters
that shone like stars out of the green. The pink ones were new to me,
and actually did not seem real. I noticed my horse occasionally nipped
a bunch and ate them, which seemed to me almost as heartless as to
tread them under foot.

When we got up the slope and into the woods again we met a storm, and
traveled for an hour in the rain, and under the dripping spruces,
feeling the cold wet sting of swaying branches as we rode by. Then the
sun came out bright and the forest glittered, all gold and green. The
smell of the woods after a rain is indescribable. It combines a rare
tang of pine, spruce, earth and air, all refreshed.

The day after, we left at eight o'clock, and rode down to the main
trail, and up that for five miles where we cut off to the left and
climbed into the timber. The woods were fresh and dewy, dark and cool,
and for a long time we climbed bench after bench where the grass and
ferns and moss made a thick, deep cover. Farther up we got into fallen
timber and made slow progress. At timber line we tied the horses and
climbed up to the pass between two great mountain ramparts. Sheep
tracks were in evidence, but not very fresh. Teague and I climbed on
top and R.C., with Vern, went below just along the timber line. The
climb on foot took all my strength, and many times I had to halt for
breath. The air was cold. We stole along the rim and peered over. R.C.
and Vern looked like very little men far below, and the dogs resembled

Teague climbed higher, and left me on a promontory, watching all

The cloud pageant was magnificent, with huge billowy white masses
across the valley, and to the west great black thunderheads rolling
up. The wind began to blow hard, carrying drops of rain that stung,
and the air was nipping cold. I felt aloof from all the crowded world,
alone on the windy heights, with clouds and storm all around me.

When the storm threatened I went back to the horses. It broke, but
was not severe after all. At length R.C. and the men returned and we
mounted to ride back to camp. The storm blew away, leaving the sky
clear and blue, and the sun shone warm. We had an hour of winding in
and out among windfalls of timber, and jumping logs, and breaking
through brush. Then the way sloped down to a beautiful forest, shady
and green, full of mossy dells, almost overgrown with ferns and low
spreading ground pine or spruce. The aisles of the forest were long
and shaded by the stately spruces. Water ran through every ravine,
sometimes a brawling brook, sometimes a rivulet hidden under
overhanging mossy banks. We scared up two lonely grouse, at long
intervals. At length we got into fallen timber, and from that worked
into a jumble of rocks, where the going was rough and dangerous.

The afternoon waned as we rode on and on, up and down, in and out,
around, and at times the horses stood almost on their heads, sliding
down steep places where the earth was soft and black, and gave forth a
dank odor. We passed ponds and swamps, and little lakes. We saw where
beavers had gnawed down aspens, and we just escaped miring our
horses in marshes, where the grass grew, rich and golden, hiding
the treacherous mire. The sun set, and still we did not seem to get
anywhere. I was afraid darkness would overtake us, and we would get
lost in the woods. Presently we struck an old elk trail, and following
that for a while, came to a point where R.C. and I recognized a tree
and a glade where we had been before--and not far from camp--a welcome

Next day we broke camp and started across country for new territory
near Whitley's Peak.

We rode east up the mountain. After several miles along an old logging
road we reached the timber, and eventually the top of the ridge. We
went down, crossing parks and swales. There were cattle pastures, and
eaten over and trodden so much they had no beauty left. Teague wanted
to camp at a salt lick, but I did not care for the place.

We went on. The dogs crossed a bear trail, and burst out in a clamor.
We had a hard time holding them.

The guide and I had a hot argument. I did not want to stay there and
chase a bear in a cow pasture.... So we went on, down into ranch
country, and this disgusted me further. We crossed a ranch, and rode
several miles on a highway, then turned abruptly, and climbed a rough,
rocky ridge, covered with brush and aspen. We crossed it, and went
down for several miles, and had to camp in an aspen grove, on the
slope of a ravine. It was an uninviting place to stay, but as there
was no other we had to make the best of it. The afternoon had waned. I
took a gun and went off down the ravine, until I came to a deep gorge.
Here I heard the sound of a brawling brook. I sat down for an hour,
but saw no game.

That night I had a wretched bed, one that I could hardly stay in,
and I passed miserable hours. I got up sore, cramped, sleepy and
irritable. We had to wait three hours for the horses to be caught and
packed. I had predicted straying horses. At last we were off, and rode
along the steep slope of a canyon for several miles, and then struck a
stream of amber-colored water. As we climbed along this we came into
deep spruce forest, where it was pleasure to ride. I saw many dells
and nooks, cool and shady, full of mossy rocks and great trees. But
flowers were scarce. We were sorry to pass the head-springs of that
stream and to go on over the divide and down into the wooded, but dry
and stony country. We rode until late, and came at last to a park
where sheep had been run. I refused to camp here, and Teague, in high
dudgeon, rode on. As it turned out I was both wise and lucky, for we
rode into a park with many branches, where there was good water and
fair grass and a pretty grove of white pines in which to pitch our
tents. I enjoyed this camp, and had a fine rest at night.

The morning broke dark and lowering. We hustled to get started before
a storm broke. It began to rain as we mounted our horses, and soon
we were in the midst of a cold rain. It blew hard. We put on our
slickers. After a short ride down through the forest we entered
Buffalo Park. This was a large park, and we lost time trying to find a
forester's trail leading out of it. At last we found one, but it soon
petered out, and we were lost in thick timber, in a driving rain, with
the cold and wind increasing. But we kept on.

This forest was deep and dark, with tremendous windfalls, and great
canyons around which we had to travel. It took us hours to ride out of
it. When we began to descend once more we struck an old lumber road.
More luck--the storm ceased, and presently we were out on an aspen
slope with a great valley beneath, and high, black peaks beyond. Below
the aspens were long swelling slopes of sage and grass, gray and
golden and green. A ranch lay in the valley, and we crossed it to
climb up a winding ravine, once more to the aspens where we camped in
the rancher's pasture. It was a cold, wet camp, but we managed to be
fairly comfortable.

The sunset was gorgeous. The mass of clouds broke and rolled.
There was exquisite golden light on the peaks, and many rose- and
violet-hued banks of cloud.

Morning found us shrouded in fog. We were late starting. About nine
the curtain of gray began to lift and break. We climbed pastures and
aspen thickets, high up to the spruce, where the grass grew luxuriant,
and the red wall of rock overhung the long slopes. The view west was
magnificent--a long, bulging range of mountains, vast stretches of
green aspen slopes, winding parks of all shapes, gray and gold and
green, and jutting peaks, and here and there patches of autumn blaze
in grass and thicket.

We spent the afternoon pitching camp on an aspen knoll, with water,
grass, and wood near at hand, and the splendid view of mountains and
valleys below.

We spent many full days under the shadow of Whitley's Peak. After the
middle of September the aspens colored and blazed to the touch of
frost, and the mountain slopes were exceedingly beautiful. Against
a background of gray sage the gold and red and purple aspen groves
showed too much like exquisite paintings to seem real. In the mornings
the frost glistened thick and white on the grass; and after the
gorgeous sunsets of gold over the violet-hazed ranges the air grew
stingingly cold.

Bear-chasing with a pack of hounds has been severely criticised by
many writers and I was among them. I believed it a cowardly business,
and that was why, if I chased bears with dogs, I wanted to chase the
kind that could not be treed. But like many another I did not know
what I was writing about. I did not shoot a bear out of a tree and I
would not do so, except in a case of hunger. All the same, leaving the
tree out of consideration, bear-chasing with hounds is a tremendously
exciting and hazardous game. But my ideas about sport are changing.
Hunting, in the sportsman's sense, is a cruel and degenerate business.


The more I hunt the more I become convinced of something wrong about
the game. I am a different man when I get a gun in my hands. All is
exciting, hot-pressed, red. Hunting is magnificent up to the moment
the shot is fired. After that it is another matter. It is useless for
sportsmen to tell me that they, in particular, hunt right, conserve
the game, do not go beyond the limit, and all that sort of thing. I do
not believe them and I never met the guide who did. A rifle is made
for killing. When a man goes out with one he means to kill. He may
keep within the law, but that is not the question. It is a question of
spirit, and men who love to hunt are yielding to and always developing
the old primitive instinct to kill. The meaning of the spirit of life
is not clear to them. An argument may be advanced that, according to
the laws of self-preservation and the survival of the fittest, if a
man stops all strife, all fight, then he will retrograde. And that is
to say if a man does not go to the wilds now and then, and work hard
and live some semblance of the life of his progenitors, he will
weaken. It seems that he will, but I am not prepared now to say
whether or not that would be well. The Germans believe they are the
race fittest to survive over all others--and that has made me a
little sick of this Darwin business.

[Illustration: A BLACK BEAR TREED]

To return, however, to the fact that to ride after hounds on a wild
chase is a dangerous and wonderfully exhilarating experience, I will
relate a couple of instances, and I will leave it to my readers to
judge whether or not it is a cowardly sport.

One afternoon a rancher visited our camp and informed us that he had
surprised a big black bear eating the carcass of a dead cow.

"Good! We'll have a bear to-morrow night," declared Teague, in
delight. "We'll get him even if the trail is a day old. But he'll come
back to-night."

Early next morning the young rancher and three other boys rode into
camp, saying they would like to go with us to see the fun. We were
glad to have them, and we rode off through the frosted sage that
crackled like brittle glass under the hoofs of the horses. Our guide
led toward a branch of a park, and when we got within perhaps a
quarter of a mile Teague suggested that R.C. and I go ahead on the
chance of surprising the bear. It was owing to this suggestion that my
brother and I were well ahead of the others. But we did not see any
bear near the carcass of the cow. Old Jim and Sampson were close
behind us, and when Jim came within forty yards of that carcass he
put his nose up with a deep and ringing bay, and he shot by us like a
streak. He never went near the dead cow! Sampson bayed like thunder
and raced after Jim.

"They're off!" I yelled to R.C. "It's a hot scent! Come on!"

We spurred our horses and they broke across the open park to the edge
of the woods. Jim and Sampson were running straight with noses high. I
heard a string of yelps and bellows from our rear.

"Look back!" shouted R.C.

Teague and the cowboys were unleashing the rest of the pack. It surely
was great to see them stretch out, yelping wildly. Like the wind they
passed us. Jim and Sampson headed into the woods with deep bays. I was
riding Teague's best horse for this sort of work and he understood the
game and plainly enjoyed it. R.C.'s horse ran as fast in the woods as
he did in the open. This frightened me, and I yelled to R.C. to be
careful. I yelled to deaf ears. That is the first great risk--a rider
is not going to be careful! We were right on top of Jim and Sampson
with the pack clamoring mad music just behind. The forest rang. Both
horses hurdled logs, sometimes two at once. My old lion chases with
Buffalo Jones had made me skillful in dodging branches and snags, and
sliding knees back to avoid knocking them against trees. For a mile
the forest was comparatively open, and here we had a grand and ringing
run. I received two hard knocks, was unseated once, but held on, and
I got a stinging crack in the face from a branch. R.C. added several
more black-and-blue spots to his already spotted anatomy, and he
missed, just by an inch, a solid snag that would have broken him
in two. The pack stretched out in wild staccato chorus, the little
Airedales literally screeching. Jim got out of our sight and then
Sampson. Still it was ever more thrilling to follow by sound rather
than sight. They led up a thick, steep slope. Here we got into trouble
in the windfalls of timber and the pack drew away from us, up over the
mountain. We were half way up when we heard them jump the bear. The
forest seemed full of strife and bays and yelps. We heard the dogs go
down again to our right, and as we turned we saw Teague and the others
strung out along the edge of the park. They got far ahead of us. When
we reached the bottom of the slope they were out of sight, but we
could hear them yell. The hounds were working around on another slope,
from which craggy rocks loomed above the timber. R.C.'s horse lunged
across the park and appeared to be running off from mine. I was a
little to the right, and when my horse got under way, full speed, we
had the bad luck to plunge suddenly into soft ground. He went to his
knees, and I sailed out of the saddle fully twenty feet, to alight all
spread out and to slide like a plow. I did not seem to be hurt. When I
got up my horse was coming and he appeared to be patient with me, but
he was in a hurry. Before we got across the wet place R.C. was out of
sight. I decided that instead of worrying about him I had better think
about myself. Once on hard ground my horse fairly charged into the
woods and we broke brush and branches as if they had been punk. It
was again open forest, then a rocky slope, and then a flat ridge with
aisles between the trees. Here I heard the melodious notes of Teague's
hunting horn, and following that, the full chorus of the hounds. They
had treed the bear. Coming into still more open forest, with rocks
here and there, I caught sight of R.C. far ahead, and soon I had
glimpses of the other horses, and lastly, while riding full tilt, I
spied a big, black, glistening bear high up in a pine a hundred yards
or more distant.

Slowing down I rode up to the circle of frenzied dogs and excited men.
The boys were all jabbering at once. Teague was beaming. R.C. sat his
horse, and it struck me that he looked sorry for the bear.

"Fifteen minutes!" ejaculated Teague, with a proud glance at Old Jim
standing with forepaws up on the pine.

Indeed it had been a short and ringing chase.

All the time while I fooled around trying to photograph the treed
bear, R.C. sat there on his horse, looking upward.

"Well, gentlemen, better kill him," said Teague, cheerfully. "If he
gets rested he'll come down."

It was then I suggested to R.C. that he do the shooting.

"Not much!" he exclaimed.

The bear looked really pretty perched up there. He was as round as a
barrel and black as jet and his fur shone in the gleams of sunlight.
His tongue hung out, and his plump sides heaved, showing what a quick,
hard run he had made before being driven to the tree. What struck me
most forcibly about him was the expression in his eyes as he looked
down at those devils of hounds. He was scared. He realized his peril.
It was utterly impossible for me to see Teague's point of view.

"Go ahead--and plug him," I replied to my brother. "Get it over."

"You do it," he said.

"No, I won't."

"Why not--I'd like to know?"

"Maybe we won't have so good a chance again--and I want you to get
your bear," I replied.

"Why it's like--murder," he protested.

"Oh, not so bad as that," I returned, weakly. "We need the meat. We've
not had any game meat, you know, except ducks and grouse."

"You won't do it?" he added, grimly.

"No, I refuse."

Meanwhile the young ranchers gazed at us with wide eyes and the
expression on Teague's honest, ruddy face would have been funny under
other circumstances.

"That bear will come down an' mebbe kill one of my dogs," he

"Well, he can come for all I care," I replied, positively, and I
turned away.

I heard R.C. curse low under his breath. Then followed the spang of his
.35 Remington. I wheeled in time to see the bear straining upward in
terrible convulsion, his head pointed high, with blood spurting from his
nose. Slowly he swayed and fell with a heavy crash.



The next bear chase we had was entirely different medicine.

Off in the basin under the White Slides, back of our camp, the hounds
struck a fresh track and in an instant were out of sight. With the
cowboy Vern setting the pace we plunged after them. It was rough
country. Bogs, brooks, swales, rocky little parks, stretches of timber
full of windfalls, groves of aspens so thick we could scarcely squeeze
through--all these obstacles soon allowed the hounds to get far away.
We came out into a large park, right under the mountain slope, and
here we sat our horses listening to the chase. That trail led around
the basin and back near to us, up the thick green slope, where high up
near a ledge we heard the pack jump this bear. It sounded to us as if
he had been roused out of a sleep.

"I'll bet it's one of the big grizzlies we've heard about," said

That was something to my taste. I have seen a few grizzlies. Riding
to higher ground I kept close watch on the few open patches up on the
slope. The chase led toward us for a while. Suddenly I saw a big bear
with a frosted coat go lumbering across one of these openings.

"Silvertip! Silvertip!" I yelled at the top of my lungs. "I saw him!"

My call thrilled everybody. Vern spurred his horse and took to the
right. Teague advised that we climb the slope. So we made for the
timber. Once there we had to get off and climb on foot. It was steep,
rough, very hard work. I had on chaps and spurs. Soon I was hot,
laboring, and my heart began to hurt. We all had to rest. The baying
of the hounds inspirited us now and then, but presently we lost it.
Teague said they had gone over the ridge and as soon as we got up to
the top we would hear them again. We struck an elk trail with fresh
elk tracks in it. Teague said they were just ahead of us. I never
climbed so hard and fast in my life. We were all tuckered out when we
reached the top of the ridge. Then to our great disappointment we did
not hear the hounds. Mounting we rode along the crest of this wooded
ridge toward the western end, which was considerably higher. Once on
a bare patch of ground we saw where the grizzly had passed. The big,
round tracks, toeing in a little, made a chill go over me. No doubt of
its being a silvertip!

We climbed and rode to the high point, and coming out upon the summit
of the mountain we all heard the deep, hoarse baying of the pack. They
were in the canyon down a bare grassy slope and over a wooded bench
at our feet. Teague yelled as he spurred down. R.C. rode hard in his

But my horse was new to this bear chasing. He was mettlesome, and he
did not want to do what I wanted. When I jabbed the spurs into his
flanks he nearly bucked me off. I was looking for a soft place to
light when he quit. Long before I got down that open slope Teague and
R.C. had disappeared. I had to follow their tracks. This I did at a
gallop, but now and then lost the tracks, and had to haul in to find
them. If I could have heard the hounds from there I would have gone on
anyway. But once down in the jack-pines I could hear neither yell or
bay. The pines were small, close together, and tough. I hurt my hands,
scratched my face, barked my knees. The horse had a habit of suddenly
deciding to go the way he liked instead of the way I guided him, and
when he plunged between saplings too close together to permit us both
to go through, it was exceedingly hard on me. I was worked into a
frenzy. Suppose R.C. should come face to face with that old grizzly
and fail to kill him! That was the reason for my desperate hurry. I
got a crack on the head that nearly blinded me. My horse grew hot and
began to run in every little open space. He could scarcely be held in.
And I, with the blood hot in me too, did not hold him hard enough.

It seemed miles across that wooded bench. But at last I reached
another slope. Coming out upon a canyon rim I heard R.C. and Teague
yelling, and I heard the hounds fighting the grizzly. He was growling
and threshing about far below. I had missed the tracks made by Teague
and my brother, and it was necessary to find them. That slope looked
impassable. I rode back along the rim, then forward. Finally I found
where the ground was plowed deep and here I headed my horse. He had
been used to smooth roads and he could not take these jumps. I went
forward on his neck. But I hung on and spurred him hard. The mad
spirit of that chase had gotten into him too. All the time I could
hear the fierce baying and yelping of the hounds, and occasionally I
heard a savage bawl from the bear. I literally plunged, slid, broke a
way down that mountain slope, riding all the time, before I discovered
the footprints of Teague and R.C. They had walked, leading their
horses. By this time I was so mad I would not get off. I rode all the
way down that steep slope of dense saplings, loose rock slides and
earth, and jumble of splintered cliff. That he did not break my
neck and his own spoke the truth about that roan horse. Despite his
inexperience he was great. We fell over one bank, but a thicket of
aspens saved us from rolling. The avalanches slid from under us until
I imagined that the grizzly would be scared. Once as I stopped to
listen I heard bear and pack farther down the canyon--heard them above
the roar of a rushing stream. They went on and I lost the sounds of
fight. But R.C.'s clear thrilling call floated up to me. Probably he
was worried about me.

Then before I realized it I was at the foot of the slope, in a narrow
canyon bed, full of rocks and trees, with the din of roaring water in
my ears. I could hear nothing else. Tracks were everywhere, and when I
came to the first open place I was thrilled. The grizzly had plunged
off a sandy bar into the water, and there he had fought the hounds.
Signs of that battle were easy to read. I saw where his huge tracks,
still wet, led up the opposite sandy bank.

Then, down stream, I did my most reckless riding. On level ground
the horse was splendid. Once he leaped clear across the brook. Every
plunge, every turn I expected to bring me upon my brother and Teague
and that fighting pack. More than once I thought I heard the spang of
the .35 and this made me urge the roan faster and faster.

The canyon narrowed, the stream-bed deepened. I had to slow down to
get through the trees and rocks. And suddenly I was overjoyed to ride
pell-mell upon R.C. and Teague with half the panting hounds. The
canyon had grown too rough for the horses to go farther and it would
have been useless for us to try on foot. As I dismounted, so sore and
bruised I could hardly stand, old Jim came limping in to fall into the
brook where he lapped and lapped thirstily. Teague threw up his hands.
Old Jim's return meant an ended chase. The grizzly had eluded the
hounds in that jumble of rocks below.

"Say, did you meet the bear?" queried Teague, eyeing me in
astonishment and mirth.

Bloody, dirty, ragged and wringing wet with sweat I must have been a
sight. R.C. however, did not look so very immaculate, and when I saw
he also was lame and scratched and black I felt better.




The Grand Canyon of Arizona is over two hundred miles long, thirteen
wide, and a mile and a half deep; a titanic gorge in which mountains,
tablelands, chasms and cliffs lie half veiled in purple haze. It is
wild and sublime, a thing of wonder, of mystery; beyond all else a
place to grip the heart of a man, to unleash his daring spirit.

On April 20th, 1908, after days on the hot desert, my weary party and
pack train reached the summit of Powell's Plateau, the most isolated,
inaccessible and remarkable mesa of any size in all the canyon
country. Cut off from the mainland it appeared insurmountable;
standing aloof from the towers and escarpments, rugged and bold in
outline, its forest covering like a strip of black velvet, its giant
granite walls gold in the sun, it seemed apart from the world,
haunting with its beauty, isolation and wild promise.

The members of my party harmoniously fitted the scene. Buffalo Jones,
burly-shouldered, bronze-faced, and grim, proved in his appearance
what a lifetime on the plains could make of a man. Emett was a Mormon,
a massively built grey-bearded son of the desert; he had lived his
life on it; he had conquered it and in his falcon eyes shone all its
fire and freedom. Ranger Jim Owens had the wiry, supple body and
careless, tidy garb of the cowboy, and the watchful gaze, quiet face
and locked lips of the frontiersman. The fourth member was a Navajo
Indian, a copper-skinned, raven-haired, beady-eyed desert savage.

I had told Emett to hire some one who could put the horses on grass in
the evening and then find them the next morning. In northern Arizona
this required more than genius. Emett secured the best trailer of the
desert Navajos. Jones hated an Indian; and Jim, who carried an ounce
of lead somewhere in his person, associated this painful addition to
his weight with an unfriendly Apache, and swore all Indians should
be dead. So between the two, Emett and I had trouble in keeping our
Navajo from illustrating the plainsman idea of a really good Indian--a
dead one.

While we were pitching camp among magnificent pine trees, and above a
hollow where a heavy bank of snow still lay, a sodden pounding in the
turf attracted our attention.

"Hold the horses!" yelled Emett.

As we all made a dive among our snorting and plunging horses the sound
seemed to be coming right into camp. In a moment I saw a string of
wild horses thundering by. A noble black stallion led them, and as he
ran with beautiful stride he curved his fine head backward to look at
us, and whistled his wild challenge.

Later a herd of large white-tailed deer trooped up the hollow. The
Navajo grew much excited and wanted me to shoot, and when Emett told
him we had not come out to kill, he looked dumbfounded. Even the
Indian felt it a strange departure from the usual mode of hunting to
travel and climb hundreds of miles over hot desert and rock-ribbed
canyons, to camp at last in a spot so wild that deer were tame as
cattle, and then not kill.

Nothing could have pleased me better, incident to the settling into
permanent camp. The wild horses and tame deer added the all-satisfying
touch to the background of forest, flowers and mighty pines and sunlit
patches of grass, the white tents and red blankets, the sleeping
hounds and blazing fire-logs all making a picture like that of a
hunter's dream.

"Come, saddle up," called the never restful Jones. "Leave the Indian
in camp with the hounds, and we'll get the lay of the land." All
afternoon we spent riding the plateau. What a wonderful place! We were
completely bewildered with its physical properties, and surprised
at the abundance of wild horses and mustangs, deer, coyotes, foxes,
grouse and other birds, and overjoyed to find innumerable lion trails.
When we returned to camp I drew a rough map, which Jones laid flat on
the ground as he called us around him.

"Now, boys, let's get our heads together."

In shape the plateau resembled the ace of clubs. The center and side
wings were high and well wooded with heavy pines; the middle wing
was longest, sloped west, had no pine, but a dense growth of cedar.
Numerous ridges and canyons cut up this central wing. Middle Canyon,
the longest and deepest, bisected the plateau, headed near camp, and
ran parallel with two smaller ones, which we named Right and Left
Canyons. These three were lion runways and hundreds of deer carcasses
lined the thickets. North Hollow was the only depression, as well as
runway, on the northwest rim. West Point formed the extreme western
cape of the plateau. To the left of West Point was a deep cut-in of
the rim wall, called the Bay. The three important canyons opened into
it. From the Bay, the south rim was regular and impassable all the way
round to the narrow Saddle, which connected it to the mainland.

"Now then," said Jones, when we assured him that we were pretty well
informed as to the important features, "you can readily see our
advantage. The plateau is about nine or ten miles long, and six wide
at its widest. We can't get lost, at least for long. We know where
lions can go over the rim and we'll head them off, make short cut
chases, something new in lion hunting. We are positive the lions can
not get over the second wall, except where we came up, at the Saddle.
In regard to lion signs, I'm doubtful of the evidence of my own eyes.
This is virgin ground. No white man or Indian has ever hunted lions
here. We have stumbled on a lion home, the breeding place of hundreds
of lions that infest the north rim of the canyon."

The old plainsman struck a big fist into the palm of his hand, a rare
action with him. Jim lifted his broad hat and ran his fingers through
his white hair. In Emett's clear desert-eagle eyes shown a furtive,
anxious look, which yet could not overshadow the smouldering fire.

"If only we don't kill the horses!" he said.

More than anything else that remark from such a man thrilled me with
its subtle suggestion. He loved those beautiful horses. What wild
rides he saw in his mind's eye! In cold calculation we perceived the
wonderful possibilities never before experienced by hunters, and as
the wild spell clutched us my last bar of restraint let down.

During supper we talked incessantly, and afterward around the
camp-fire. Twilight fell with the dark shadows sweeping under the
silent pines; the night wind rose and began its moan.

"Shore there's some scent on the wind," said Jim, lighting his pipe
with a red ember. "See how uneasy Don is."

The hound raised his fine, dark head and repeatedly sniffed the air,
then walked to and fro as if on guard for his pack. Moze ground his
teeth on a bone and growled at one of the pups. Sounder was sleepy,
but he watched Don with suspicious eyes. The other hounds, mature and
somber, lay stretched before the fire.

"Tie them up, Jim," said Jones, "and let's turn in."


When I awakened next morning the sound of Emett's axe rang out
sharply. Little streaks of light from the camp-fire played between the
flaps of the tent. I saw old Moze get up and stretch himself. A jangle
of cow-bells from the forest told me we would not have to wait for the
horses that morning.

"The Injun's all right," Jones remarked to Emett.

"All rustle for breakfast," called Jim.

We ate in the semi-darkness with the gray shadow ever brightening.
Dawn broke as we saddled our horses. The pups were limber, and ran
to and fro on their chains, scenting the air; the older hounds stood
quietly waiting.

"Come Navvy--come chase cougie," said Emett.

"Dam! No!" replied the Indian.

"Let him keep camp," suggested Jim.

"All right; but he'll eat us out," Emett declared.

"Climb up you fellows," said Jones, impatiently. "Have I got
everything--rope, chains, collars, wire, nippers? Yes, all right.
Hyar, you lazy dogs--out of this!"

We rode abreast down the ridge. The demeanor of the hounds contrasted
sharply with what it had been at the start of the hunt the year
before. Then they had been eager, uncertain, violent; they did not
know what was in the air; now they filed after Don in an orderly trot.

We struck out of the pines at half past five. Floating mist hid the
lower end of the plateau. The morning had a cool touch but there was
no frost. Crossing Middle Canyon about half way down we jogged on.
Cedar trees began to show bright green against the soft gray sage. We
were nearing the dark line of the cedar forest when Jim, who led, held
up his hand in a warning check. We closed in around him.

"Watch Don," he said.

The hound stood stiff, head well up, nose working, and the hair on his
back bristling. All the other hounds whined and kept close to him.

"Don scents a lion," whispered Jim. "I've never known him to do that
unless there was the scent of a lion on the wind."

"Hunt 'em up Don, old boy," called Jones.

The pack commenced to work back and forth along the ridge. We neared
a hollow when Don barked eagerly. Sounder answered and likewise Jude.
Moze's short angry "bow-wow" showed the old gladiator to be in line.

"Ranger's gone," cried Jim. "He was farthest ahead. I'll bet he's
struck it. We'll know in a minute, for we're close."

The hounds were tearing through the sage, working harder and harder,
calling and answering one another, all the time getting down into the

Don suddenly let out a string of yelps. I saw him, running head up,
pass into the cedars like a yellow dart. Sounder howled his deep, full
bay, and led the rest of the pack up the slope in angry clamor.

"They're off!" yelled Jim, and so were we.

In less than a minute we had lost one another. Crashings among the dry
cedars, thud of hoofs and yells kept me going in one direction. The
fiery burst of the hounds had surprised me. I remembered that Jim had
said Emett and his charger might keep the pack in sight, but that none
of the rest of us could.

It did not take me long to realize what my mustang was made of. His
name was Foxie, which suited him well. He carried me at a fast pace on
the trail of some one; and he seemed to know that by keeping in this
trail part of the work of breaking through the brush was already done
for him. Nevertheless, the sharp dead branches, more numerous in a
cedar forest than elsewhere, struck and stung us as we passed. We
climbed a ridge, and found the cedars thinning out into open patches.
Then we faced a bare slope of sage and I saw Emett below on his big

Foxie bolted down this slope, hurdling the bunches of sage, and
showing the speed of which Emett had boasted. The open ground, with
its brush, rock and gullies, was easy going for the little mustang. I
heard nothing save the wind singing in my ears. Emett's trail, plain
in the yellow ground showed me the way. On entering the cedars again
I pulled Foxie in and stopped twice to yell "waa-hoo!" I heard the
baying of the hounds, but no answer to my signal. Then I attended to
the stern business of catching up. For what seemed a long time, I
threaded the maze of cedar, galloped the open sage flats, always on
Emett's track.

A signal cry, sharp to the right, turned me. I answered, and with the
exchange of signal cries found my way into an open glade where Jones
and Jim awaited me.

"Here's one," said Jim. "Emett must be with the hounds. Listen."

With the labored breathing of the horses filling our ears we could
hear no other sound. Dismounting, I went aside and turned my ear to
the breeze.

"I hear Don," I cried instantly.

"Which way?" both men asked.


"Strange," said Jones. "The hound wouldn't split, would he, Jim?"

"Don leave that hot trail? Shore he wouldn't," replied Jim. "But his
runnin' do seem queer this morning."

"The breeze is freshening," I said. "There! Now listen! Don, and
Sounder, too."

The baying came closer and closer. Our horses threw up long ears. It
was hard to sit still and wait. At a quick cry from Jim we saw Don
cross the lower end of the flat.

No need to spur our mounts! The lifting of bridles served, and away
we raced. Foxie passed the others in short order. Don had long
disappeared, but with blended bays, Jude, Moze, and Sounder broke out
of the cedars hot on the trail. They, too, were out of sight in a

The crash of breaking brush and thunder of hoofs from where the hounds
had come out of the forest, attracted and even frightened me. I saw
the green of a low cedar tree shake, and split, to let out a huge,
gaunt horse with a big man doubled over his saddle. The onslaught
of Emett and his desert charger stirred a fear in me that checked

"Hounds running wild," he yelled, and the dark shadows of the cedars
claimed him again.

A hundred yards within the forest we came again upon Emett,
dismounted, searching the ground. Moze and Sounder were with him,
apparently at fault. Suddenly Moze left the little glade and venting
his sullen, quick bark, disappeared under the trees. Sounder sat on
his haunches and yelped.

"Now what the hell is wrong?" growled Jones tumbling off his saddle.

"Shore something is," said Jim, also dismounting.

"Here's a lion track," interposed Emett.

"Ha! and here's another," cried Jones, in great satisfaction. "That's
the trail we were on, and here's another crossing it at right angles.
Both are fresh: one isn't fifteen minutes old. Don and Jude have split
one way and Moze another. By George! that's great of Sounder to hang

"Put him on the fresh trail," said Jim, vaulting into his saddle.

Jones complied, with the result that we saw Sounder start off on the
trail Moze had taken. All of us got in some pretty hard riding, and
managed to stay within earshot of Sounder. We crossed a canyon, and
presently reached another which, from its depth, must have been Middle
Canyon. Sounder did not climb the opposite slope, so we followed the
rim. From a bare ridge we distinguished the line of pines above us,
and decided that our location was in about the center of the plateau.

Very little time elapsed before we heard Moze. Sounder had caught up
with him. We came to a halt where the canyon widened and was not so
deep, with cliffs and cedars opposite us, and an easy slope leading
down. Sounder bayed incessantly; Moze emitted harsh, eager howls, and
both hounds, in plain sight, began working in circles.

"The lion has gone up somewhere," cried Jim. "Look sharp!"

Repeatedly Moze worked to the edge of a low wall of stone and looked
over; then he barked and ran back to the slope, only to return. When
I saw him slide down a steep place, make for the bottom of the stone
wall, and jump into the low branches of a cedar I knew where to look.
Then I descried the lion a round yellow ball, cunningly curled up in a
mass of dark branches. He had leaped into the tree from the wall.

"There he is! Treed! Treed!" I yelled. "Moze has found him."

"Down boys, down into the canyon," shouted Jones, in sharp voice.
"Make a racket, we don't want him to jump."

How he and Jim and Emett rolled and cracked the stone! For a moment I
could not get off my horse; I was chained to my saddle by a strange
vacillation that could have been no other thing than fear.

"Are you afraid?" called Jones from below.

"Yes, but I am coming," I replied, and dismounted to plunge down the
hill. It may have been shame or anger that dominated me then; whatever
it was I made directly for the cedar, and did not halt until I was
under the snarling lion.

"Not too close!" warned Jones. "He might jump. It's a Tom, a
two-year-old, and full of fight."

It did not matter to me then whether he jumped or not. I knew I had to
be cured of my dread, and the sooner it was done the better.

Old Moze had already climbed a third of the distance up to the lion.

"Hyar Moze! Out of there, you rascal coon chaser!" Jones yelled as he
threw stones and sticks at the hound. Moze, however, replied with his
snarly bark and climbed on steadily.

"I've got to pull him out. Watch close boys and tell me if the lion
starts down."

When Jones climbed the first few branches of the tree, Tom let out an
ominous growl.

"Make ready to jump. Shore he's comin'," called Jim.

The lion, snarling viciously, started to descend. It was a ticklish
moment for all of us, particularly Jones. Warily he backed down.

"Boys, maybe he's bluffing," said Jones, "Try him out. Grab sticks and
run at the tree and yell, as if you were going to kill him."

Not improbably the demonstration we executed under the tree would
have frightened even an African lion. Tom hesitated, showed his white
fangs, returned to his first perch, and from there climbed as far as
he could. The forked branch on which he stood swayed alarmingly.

"Here, punch Moze out," said Jim handing up a long pole.

The old hound hung like a leech to the tree, making it difficult to
dislodge him. At length he fell heavily, and venting his thick battle
cry, attempted to climb again.

Jim seized him, made him fast to the rope with which Sounder had
already been tied.

"Say Emett, I've no chance here," called Jones. "You try to throw at
him from the rock."

Emett ran up the rock, coiled his lasso and cast the noose. It sailed
perfectly in between the branches and circled Tom's head. Before it
could be slipped tight he had thrown it off. Then he hid behind the

"I'm going farther up," said Jones.

"Be quick," yelled Jim.

Jones evidently had that in mind. When he reached the middle fork of
the cedar, he stood erect and extended the noose of his lasso on the
point of his pole. Tom, with a hiss and snap, struck at it savagely.
The second trial tempted the lion to saw the rope with his teeth. In
a flash Jones withdrew the pole, and lifted a loop of the slack rope
over the lion's ears.

"Pull!" he yelled.

Emett, at the other end of the lasso, threw his great strength into
action, pulling the lion out with a crash, and giving the cedar such a
tremendous shaking that Jones lost his footing and fell heavily.

Thrilling as the moment was, I had to laugh, for Jones came up out of
a cloud of dust, as angry as a wet hornet, and made prodigious leaps
to get out of the reach of the whirling lion.

"Look out!" he bawled.

Tom, certainly none the worse for his tumble, made three leaps, two at
Jones, one at Jim, which was checked by the short length of the rope
in Emett's hands. Then for a moment, a thick cloud of dust enveloped
the wrestling lion, during which the quick-witted Jones tied the free
end of the lasso to a sapling.

"Dod gast the luck!" yelled Jones reaching for another lasso. "I
didn't mean for you to pull him out of the tree. Now he'll get loose
or kill himself."

When the dust cleared away, we discovered our prize stretched out at
full length and frothing at the mouth. As Jones approached, the lion
began a series of evolutions so rapid as to be almost indiscernible to
the eye. I saw a wheel of dust and yellow fur. Then came a thud and
the lion lay inert.

Jones pounced upon him and loosed the lasso around his neck.

"I think he's done for, but maybe not. He's breathing yet. Here, help
me tie his paws together. Look out! He's coming to!"

The lion stirred and raised his head. Jones ran the loop of the second
lasso around the two hind paws and stretched the lion out. While in
this helpless position and with no strength and hardly any breath left
in him the lion was easy to handle. With Emett's help Jones quickly
clipped the sharp claws, tied the four paws together, took off the
neck lasso and substituted a collar and chain.

"There, that's one. He'll come to all right," said Jones. "But we are
lucky. Emett, never pull another lion clear out of a tree. Pull him over
a limb and hang him there while some one below ropes his hind paws.
That's the only way, and if we don't stick to it, somebody is going to
get done for. Come, now, we'll leave this fellow here and hunt up Don
and Jude. They've treed another lion by this time."

Remarkable to me was to see how, as soon as the lion lay helpless,
Sounder lost his interest. Moze growled, yet readily left the spot.
Before we reached the level, both hounds had disappeared.


[Illustration: CAMP AT THE SADDLE]

"Hear that?" yelled Jones, digging spurs into his horse. "Hi! Hi! Hi!"

From the cedars rang the thrilling, blending chorus of bays that told
of a treed lion. The forest was almost impenetrable. We had to pick
our way. Emett forged ahead; we heard him smashing the deadwood; and
soon a yell proclaimed the truth of Jones' assertion.

First I saw the men looking upward; then Moze climbing the cedar, and
the other hounds with noses skyward; and last, in the dead top of the
tree, a dark blot against the blue, a big tawny lion.

"Whoop!" The yell leaped past my lips. Quiet Jim was yelling; and
Emett, silent man of the desert, let from his wide cavernous chest a
booming roar that drowned ours.

Jones' next decisive action turned us from exultation to the grim
business of the thing. He pulled Moze out of the cedar, and while he
climbed up, Emett ran his rope under the collars of all of the hounds.
Quick as the idea flashed over me I leaped into the cedar adjoining
the one Jones was in, and went up hand over hand. A few pulls brought
me to the top, and then my blood ran hot and quick, for I was level
with the lion, too close for comfort, but in excellent position for
taking pictures.

The lion, not heeding me, peered down at Jones, between widespread
paws. I could hear nothing except the hounds. Jones' gray hat came
pushing up between the dead snags; then his burly shoulders. The
quivering muscles of the lion gathered tense, and his lithe body
crouched low on the branches. He was about to jump. His open dripping
jaws, his wild eyes, roving in terror for some means of escape, his
tufted tail, swinging against the twigs and breaking them, manifested
his extremity. The eager hounds waited below, howling, leaping.

It bothered me considerably to keep my balance, regulate my camera
and watch the proceedings. Jones climbed on with his rope between his
teeth, and a long stick. The very next instant it seemed to me, I
heard the cracking of branches and saw the lion biting hard at the
noose which circled his neck.

Here I swung down, branch to branch, and dropped to the ground, for
I wanted to see what went on below. Above the howls and yelps, I
distinguished Jones' yell. Emett ran directly under the lion with a
spread noose in his hands. Jones pulled and pulled, but the lion held
on firmly. Throwing the end of the lasso down to Jim, Jones yelled
again, and then they both pulled. The lion was too strong. Suddenly,
however, the branch broke, letting the lion fall, kicking frantically
with all four paws. Emett grasped one of the four whipping paws, and
even as the powerful animal sent him staggering he dexterously left
the noose fast on the paw. Jim and Jones in unison let go of their
lasso, which streaked up through the branches as the lion fell, and
then it dropped to the ground, where Jim made a flying grab for it.
Jones plunging out of the tree fell upon the rope at the same instant.

If the action up to then had been fast, it was slow to what followed.
It seemed impossible for two strong men with one lasso, and a giant
with another, to straighten out that lion. He was all over the little
space under the trees at once. The dust flew, the sticks snapped,
the gravel pattered like shot against the cedars. Jones ploughed the
ground flat on his stomach, holding on with one hand, with the other
trying to fasten the rope to something; Jim went to his knees; and on
the other side of the lion, Emett's huge bulk tipped a sharp angle,
and then fell.

I shouted and ran forward, having no idea what to do, but Emett rolled
backward, at the same instant the other men got a strong haul on
the lion. Short as that moment was in which the lasso slackened, it
sufficed for Jones to make the rope fast to a tree. Whereupon with the
three men pulling on the other side of the leaping lion, somehow I had
flashed into my mind the game that children play, called skipping the
rope, for the lion and lasso shot up and down.

This lasted for only a few seconds. They stretched the beast from tree
to tree, and Jones running with the third lasso, made fast the front

"It's a female," said Jones, as the lion lay helpless, her sides
swelling; "a good-sized female. She's nearly eight feet from tip to
tip, but not very heavy. Hand me another rope."

When all four lassos had been stretched, the lioness could not move.
Jones strapped a collar around her neck and clipped the sharp yellow

"Now to muzzle her," he continued.

Jones' method of performing this most hazardous part of the work was
characteristic of him. He thrust a stick between her open jaws, and
when she crushed it to splinters he tried another, and yet another,
until he found one that she could not break. Then while she bit on it,
he placed a wire loop over her nose, slowly tightening it, leaving the
stick back of her big canines.

The hounds ceased their yelping and when untied, Sounder wagged his
tail as if to say, "Well done," and then lay down; Don walked within
three feet of the lion, as if she were now beneath his dignity; Jude
began to nurse and lick her sore paw; only Moze the incorrigible
retained antipathy for the captive, and he growled, as always, low and
deep. And on the moment, Ranger, dusty and lame from travel, trotted
wearily into the glade and, looking at the lioness, gave one disgusted
bark and flopped down.


Transporting our captives to camp bade fair to make us work. When
Jones, who had gone after the pack horses, hove in sight on the sage
flat, it was plain to us that we were in for trouble. The bay stallion
was on the rampage.

"Why didn't you fetch the Indian?" growled Emett, who lost his temper
when matters concerning his horses went wrong. "Spread out, boys, and
head him off."

We contrived to surround the stallion, and Emett succeeded in getting
a halter on him.

"I didn't want the bay," explained Jones, "but I couldn't drive the
others without him. When I told that redskin that we had two lions, he
ran off into the woods, so I had to come alone."

"I'm going to scalp the Navajo," said Jim, complacently.

These remarks were exchanged on the open ridge at the entrance to the
thick cedar forest. The two lions lay just within its shady precincts.
Emett and I, using a long pole in lieu of a horse, had carried Tom up
from the Canyon to where we had captured the lioness.

Jones had brought a packsaddle and two panniers.

[Illustration: BUCKSKIN FOREST]


When Emett essayed to lead the horse which carried these, the animal
stood straight up and began to show some of his primal desert
instincts. It certainly was good luck that we unbuckled the packsaddle
straps before he left the vicinity. In about three jumps he had
separated himself from the panniers, which were then placed upon the
back of another horse. This one, a fine looking beast, and amiable
under surroundings where his life and health were considered even a
little, immediately disclaimed any intention of entering the forest.

"They scent the lions," said Jones. "I was afraid of it; never had but
one nag that would pack lions."

"Maybe we can't pack them at all," replied Emett dubiously. "It's
certainly new to me."

"We've got to," Jones asserted; "try the sorrel."

For the first time in a serviceable and honorable life, according to
Emett, the sorrel broke his halter and kicked like a plantation mule.

"It's a matter of fright. Try the stallion. He doesn't look afraid,"
said Jones, who never knew when he was beaten.

Emett gazed at Jones as if he had not heard right.

"Go ahead, try the stallion. I like the way he looks."

No wonder! The big stallion looked a king of horses--just what he
would have been if Emett had not taken him, when a colt, from his wild
desert brothers. He scented the lions, and he held his proud head up,
his ears erect, and his large, dark eyes shone fiery and expressive.

"I'll try to lead him in and let him see the lions. We can't fool
him," said Emett.

Marc showed no hesitation, nor anything we expected. He stood
stiff-legged, and looked as if he wanted to fight.

"He's all right; he'll pack them," declared Jones.

The packsaddle being strapped on and the panniers hooked to the horns,
Jones and Jim lifted Tom and shoved him down into the left pannier
while Emett held the horse. A madder lion than Tom never lived. It was
cruel enough to be lassoed and disgrace enough to be "hog-tied," as
Jim called it, but to be thrust down into a bag and packed on a horse
was adding insult to injury. Tom frothed at the mouth and seemed like
a fizzing torpedo about to explode. The lioness being considerably
longer and larger, was with difficulty gotten into the other pannier,
and her head and paws hung out. Both lions kept growling and snarling.

"I look to see Marc bolt over the rim," said Emett, resignedly, as
Jones took up the end of the rope halter.

"No siree!" sang out that worthy. "He's helping us out; he's proud to
show up the other nags."

Jones was always asserting strange traits in animals, and giving them
intelligence and reason. As to that, many incidents coming under my
observation while with him, and seen with his eyes, made me incline to
his claims, the fruit of a lifetime with animals.

Marc packed the lions to camp in short order, and, quoting Jones,
"without turning a hair." We saw the Navajo's head protruding from a
tree. Emett yelled for him, and Jones and Jim "hahaed" derisively;
whereupon the black head vanished and did not reappear. Then they
unhooked one of the panniers and dumped out the lioness. Jones
fastened her chain to a small pine tree, and as she lay powerless he
pulled out the stick back of her canines. This allowed the wire muzzle
to fall off. She signalled this freedom with a roar that showed her
health to be still unimpaired. The last action in releasing her from
her painful bonds Jones performed with sleight-of-hand dexterity. He
slipped the loop fastening one paw, which loosened the rope, and in a
twinkling let her work all of her other paws free. Up she sprang, ears
flat, eyes ablaze, mouth wide, once more capable of defense, true to
her instinct and her name.

Before the men lowered Tom from Marc's back I stepped closer and put
my face within six inches of the lion's. He promptly spat on me. I had
to steel my nerve to keep so close. But I wanted to see a wild lion's
eyes at close range. They were exquisitely beautiful, their physical
properties as wonderful as their expression. Great half globes of
tawny amber, streaked with delicate wavy lines of black, surrounding
pupils of intense purple fire. Pictures shone and faded in the amber
light--the shaggy tipped plateau, the dark pines and smoky canyons,
the great dotted downward slopes, the yellow cliffs and crags. Deep in
those live pupils, changing, quickening with a thousand vibrations,
quivered the soul of this savage beast, the wildest of all wild
Nature, unquenchable love of life and freedom, flame of defiance and

Jones disposed of Tom in the same manner as he had the lioness,
chaining him to an adjoining small pine, where he leaped and wrestled.

Presently I saw Emett coming through the woods leading and dragging
the Indian. I felt sorry for the Navvy, for I felt that his fear was
not so much physical as spiritual. And it seemed no wonder to me that
the Navvy should hang back from this sacrilegious treatment of his
god. A natural wisdom, which I had in common with all human beings who
consider self preservation the first law of life, deterred me from
acquainting my august companions with my belief. At least I did not
want to break up the camp.

In the remorseless grasp of Emett, forced along, the Navajo dragged
his feet and held his face sidewise, though his dark eyes gleamed
at the lions. Terror predominated among the expressions of his
countenance. Emett drew him within fifteen feet and held him there,
and with voice, and gesticulating of his free hand, tried to show the
poor fellow that the lions would not hurt him.

Navvy stared and muttered to himself. Here Jim had some deviltry in
mind, for he edged up closer; but what it was never transpired, for
Emett suddenly pointed to the horses and said to the Indian:

"_Chineago_ (feed)."

It appeared when Navvy swung himself over Marc's broad back, that our
great stallion had laid aside his transiently noble disposition and
was himself again. Marc proceeded to show us how truly Jim had spoken:
"Shore he ain't no use for the redskin." Before the Indian had fairly
gotten astride, Marc dropped his head, humped his shoulders, brought
his feet together and began to buck. Now the Navajo was a famous
breaker of wild mustangs, but Marc was a tougher proposition than the
wildest mustang that ever romped the desert. Not only was he unusually
vigorous; he was robust and heavy, yet exceedingly active. I had seen
him roll over in the dust three times each way, and do it easily--a
feat Emett declared he had never seen performed by another horse.

Navvy began to bounce. He showed his teeth and twisted his sinewy
hands in the horse's mane. Marc began to act like a demon; he plowed
the ground; apparently he bucked five feet straight up. As the Indian
had bounced he now began to shoot into the air. He rose the last time
with his heels over his head, to the full extent of his arms; and on
plunging down his hold broke. He spun around the horse, then went
hurtling to the ground some twenty feet away. He sat up, and seeing
Emett and Jones laughing, and Jim prostrated with joy, he showed his
white teeth in a smile and said:

"No bueno dam."

I think all of us respected Navvy for his good humor, and especially
when he walked up to Marc, and with no show of the mean Indian,
patted the glossy neck and then nimbly remounted. Marc, not being so
difficult to please as Jim in the way of discomfiting the Navajo,
appeared satisfied for the present, and trotted off down the hollow,
with the string of horses ahead, their bells jingling.

Camp-fire tasks were a necessary wage in order to earn the full
enjoyment and benefit of the hunting trip; and looking for some task
with which to turn my hand, I helped Jim feed the hounds. To feed
ordinary dogs is a matter of throwing them a bone; however, our dogs
were not ordinary. It took time to feed them, and a prodigious amount
of meat. We had packed between three and four hundred pounds of
wild-horse meat, which had been cut into small pieces and strung on
the branches of a scrub oak near camp.

Don, as befitted a gentleman and the leader of the greatest pack in
the West, had to be fed by hand. I believe he would rather had starved
than have demeaned himself by fighting. Starved he certainly would
have, if Jim had thrown meat indiscriminately to the ground. Sounder
asserted his rights and preferred large portions at a time. Jude
begged with great solemn eyes but was no slouch at eating for all her
gentleness. Ranger, because of imperfectly developed teeth rendering
mastication difficult, had to have his share cut into very small
pieces. As for Moze--well, great dogs have their faults as do great
men--he never got enough meat; he would fight even poor crippled Jude,
and steal even from the pups; when he had gotten all Jim would give
him, and all he could snatch, he would growl away with bulging sides.

"How about feeding the lions?" asked Emett.

"They'll drink to-night," replied Jones, "but won't eat for days; then
we'll tempt them with fresh rabbits."

We made a hearty meal, succeeding which Jones and I walked through
the woods toward the rim. A yellow promontory, huge and glistening,
invited us westward, and after a detour of half a mile we reached it.
The points of the rim, striking out into the immense void, always drew
me irresistibly. We found the view from this rock one of startling
splendor. The corrugated rim-wall of the middle wing extended to the
west, at this moment apparently running into the setting sun. The gold
glare touching up the millions of facets of chiseled stone, created
color and brilliance too glorious and intense for the gaze of men. And
looking downward was like looking into the placid, blue, bottomless
depths of the Pacific.

"Here, help me push off this stone," I said to Jones. We heaved a huge
round stone, and were encouraged to feel it move. Fortunately we had a
little slope; the boulder groaned, rocked and began to slide. Just as
it toppled over I glanced at the second hand of my watch. Then with
eyes over the rim we waited. The silence was the silence of the
canyon, dead and vast, intensified by our breathless earstrain. Ten
long palpitating seconds and no sound! I gave up. The distance was too
great for sound to reach us. Fifteen seconds--seventeen--eighteen--

With that a puff of air seemed to rise, and on it the most awful
bellow of thunderous roar. It rolled up and widened, deadened to burst
out and roll louder, then slowly, like mountains on wheels, rumbled
under the rim-walls, passing on and on, to roar back in echo from the
cliffs of the mesas. Roar and rumble--roar and rumble! for two long
moments the dull and hollow echoes rolled at us, to die away slowly in
the far-distant canyons.

"That's a darned deep hole," commented Jones.

Twilight stole down on us idling there, silent, content to watch the
red glow pass away from the buttes and peaks, the color deepening
downward to meet the ebon shades of night creeping up like a dark

On turning toward the camp we essayed a short cut, which brought us to
a deep hollow with stony walls, which seemed better to go around. The
hollow, however, was quite long and we decided presently to cross it.
We descended a little way when Jones suddenly barred my progress with
his big arm.

"Listen," he whispered.

It was quiet in the woods; only a faint breeze stirred the pine
needles; and the weird, gray darkness seemed to be approaching under
the trees.

I heard the patter of light, hard hoofs on the scaly sides of the

"Deer?" I asked my companion in a low voice.

"Yes; see," he replied, pointing ahead, "just right under that broken
wall of rock; right there on this side; they're going down."

I descried gray objects the color of the rocks, moving down like

"Have they scented us?"

"Hardly; the breeze is against us. Maybe they heard us break a twig.
They've stopped, but they are not looking our way. Now I wonder--"

Rattling of stones set into movement by some quick, sharp action, an
indistinct crash, but sudden, as of the impact of soft, heavy bodies,
a strange wild sound preceded in rapid succession violent brushings
and thumpings in the scrub of the hollow.

"Lion jumped a deer," yelled Jones. "Right under our eyes! Come on!
Hi! Hi! Hi!"

He ran down the incline yelling all of the way, and I kept close to
him, adding my yells to his, and gripping my revolver. Toward the
bottom the thicket barred our progress so that we had to smash through
and I came out a little ahead of Jones. And farther up the hollow I
saw a gray swiftly bounding object too long and too low for a deer,
and I hurriedly shot six times at it.

"By George! Come here," called my companion. "How's this for quick
work? It's a yearling doe."

In another moment I leaned over a gray mass huddled at Jones feet. It
was a deer gasping and choking. I plainly heard the wheeze of blood
in its throat, and the sound, like a death-rattle, affected me
powerfully. Bending closer, I saw where one side of the neck, low
down, had been terribly lacerated.

"Waa-hoo!" pealed down the slope.

"That's Emett," cried Jones, answering the signal. "If you have
another shot put this doe out of agony."

But I had not a shot left, nor did either of us have a clasp knife.
We stood there while the doe gasped and quivered. The peculiar sound,
probably made by the intake of air through the laceration of the
throat, on the spur of the moment seemed pitifully human.

I felt that the struggle for life and death in any living thing was
a horrible spectacle. With great interest I had studied natural
selection, the variability of animals under different conditions of
struggling existence, the law whereby one animal struck down and
devoured another. But I had never seen and heard that law enacted on
such a scale; and suddenly I abhorred it.

Emett strode to us through the gathering darkness.

"What's up?" he asked quickly.

He carried my Remington in one hand and his Winchester in the other;
and he moved so assuredly and loomed up so big in the dusk that I
experienced a sudden little rush of feeling as to what his advent
might mean at a time of real peril.



"Emett, I've lived to see many things," replied Jones, "but this is
the first time I ever saw a lion jump a deer right under my nose!"

As Emett bent over to seize the long ears of the deer, I noticed the
gasping had ceased.

"Neck broken," he said, lifting the head. "Well, I'm danged. Must have
been an all-fired strong lion. He'll come back, you may be sure of
that. Let's skin out the quarters and hang the carcass up in a tree!"

We returned to camp in a half an hour, the richer for our walk by a
quantity of fresh venison. Upon being acquainted with our adventure,
Jim expressed himself rather more fairly than was his customary way.

"Shore that beats hell! I knowed there was a lion somewheres, because
Don wouldn't lie down. I'd like to get a pop at the brute."

I believed Jim's wish found an echo in all our hearts. At any rate
to hear Emett and Jones express regret over the death of the doe
justified in some degree my own feelings, and I thought it was not
so much the death, but the lingering and terrible manner of it, and
especially how vividly it connoted the wild-life drama of the plateau.
The tragedy we had all but interrupted occurred every night, perhaps
often in the day and likely at different points at the same time.
Emett told how he had found fourteen piles of bleached bones and dried
hair in the thickets of less than a mile of the hollow on which we
were encamped.

"We'll rope the danged cats, boys, or we'll kill them."

"It's blowing cold. Hey, Navvy, _coco! coco!_" called Emett.

The Indian, carefully laying aside his cigarette, kicked up the fire
and threw on more wood.

"_Discass!_ (cold)," he said to me. "_Coco, bueno_ (fire good)."

I replied, "Me savvy--yes."

"Sleep-ie?" he asked.

"Mucha," I returned.

While we carried on a sort of novel conversation full of Navajo,
English, and gestures, darkness settled down black. I saw the stars
disappear; the wind changing to the north grew colder and carried
a breath of snow. I like north wind best--from under the warm
blankets--because of the roar and lull and lull and roar in the pines.
Crawling into the bed presently, I lay there and listened to the
rising storm-wind for a long time. Sometimes it swelled and crashed
like the sound of a breaker on the beach, but mostly, from a low
incessant moan, it rose and filled to a mighty rush, then suddenly
lulled. This lull, despite a wakeful, thronging mind, was conducive to


To be awaked from pleasant dreams is the lot of man. The Navajo
aroused me with his singing, and when I peeped languidly from under
the flap of my sleeping bag, I felt a cold air and saw fleecy flakes
of white drifting through the small window of my tent.

"Snow; by all that's lucky!" I exclaimed, remembering Jones' hopes.
Straightway my langour vanished and getting into my boots and coat I
went outside. Navvy's bed lay in six inches of snow. The forest was
beautifully white. A fine dazzling snow was falling. I walked to the
roaring camp-fire. Jim's biscuits, well-browned and of generous
size, had just been dumped into the middle of our breakfast cloth, a
tarpaulin spread on the ground; the coffee pot steamed fragrantly, and
a Dutch oven sizzled with a great number of slices of venison. "Did
you hear the Indian chanting?" asked Jones, who sat with his horny
hands to the blaze.

"I heard his singing."

"No, it wasn't a song; the Navajo never sings in the morning. What you
heard was his morning prayer, a chant, a religious and solemn ritual
to the break of day. Emett says it is a custom of the desert tribe.
You remember how we saw the Mokis sitting on the roofs of their little
adobe huts in the gray of the morning. They always greet the sun in
that way. The Navajos chant."

It certainly was worth remembering, I thought, and mentally observed
that I would wake up thereafter and listen to the Indian.

"Good luck and bad!" went on Jones. "Snow is what we want, but now we
can't find the scent of our lion of last night."

Low growls and snarls attracted me. Both our captives presented sorry
spectacles; they were wet, dirty, bedraggled. Emett had chopped down a
small pine, the branches of which he was using to make shelter for the
lions. While I looked on Tom tore his to pieces several times, but the
lioness crawled under hers and began licking her chops. At length
Tom, seeing that Emett meant no underhand trick, backed out of the
drizzling snow and lay down.

Emett had already constructed a shack for the hounds. It was a way of
his to think of everything. He had the most extraordinary ability. A
stroke of his axe, a twist of his great hands, a turn of this or that
made camp a more comfortable place. And if something, no matter what,
got out of order or broken, there was Emett to show what it was to be
a man of the desert. It had been my good fortune to see many able
men on the trail and round the camp-fire, but not one of them even
approached Emett's class. When I said a word to him about his knack
with things, his reply was illuminating: "I'm fifty-eight, and four
out of every five nights of my life I have slept away from home on the

"_Chineago!_" called Jim, who had begun with all of us to assimilate a
little of the Navajo's language.

Whereupon we fell to eating with appetite unknown to any save hunters.
Somehow the Indian had gravitated to me at meal times, and now he sat
cross-legged beside me, holding out his plate and looking as hungry as
Moze. At first he had always asked for the same kind of food that
I happened to have on my own plate. When I had finished and had no
desire to eat more, he gave up his faculty of imitation and asked for
anything he could get. The Navajo had a marvelous appetite. He liked
sweet things, sugar best of all. It was a fatal error to let him get
his hands on a can of fruit. Although he inspired Jones with disgust
and Jim with worse, he was a source of unfailing pleasure to me. He
called me "Mista Gay" and he pronounced the words haltingly in low
voice and with unmistakable respect.

"What's on for today?" queried Emett.

"I guess we may as well hang around camp and rest the hounds," replied
Jones. "I did intend to go after the lion that killed the deer, but
this snow has taken away the scent."

"Shore it'll stop snowin' soon," said Jim.

The falling snow had thinned out and looked like flying powder; the
leaden clouds, rolling close to the tree-tops, grew brighter and
brighter; bits of azure sky shone through rifts.

Navvy had tramped off to find the horses, and not long after his
departure he sent out a prolonged yell that echoed through the forest.

"Something's up," said Emett instantly. "An Indian never yells like
that at a horse."

[Illustration: A LION TIED]


We waited quietly for a moment, expecting to hear the yell repeated.
It was not, though we soon heard the jangle of bells, which told us he
had the horses coming. He appeared off to the right, riding Foxie and
racing the others toward camp.

"Cougie--mucha big--dam!" he said leaping off the mustang to confront

"Emett, does he mean he saw a cougar or a track?" questioned Jones.

"Me savvy," replied the Indian. "_Butteen, butteen_!"

"He says, trail--trail," put in Emett. "I guess I'd better go and

"I'll go with you," said Jones. "Jim, keep the hounds tight and hurry
with the horses' oats."

We followed the tracks of the horses which lead southwest toward the
rim, and a quarter of a mile from camp we crossed a lion trail running
at right angles with our direction.

"Old Sultan!" I cried, breathlessly, recognizing that the tracks had
been made by a giant lion we had named Sultan. They were huge, round,
and deep, and with my spread hand I could not reach across one of

Without a word, Jones strode off on the trail. It headed east and
after a short distance turned toward camp. I suppose Jones knew what
the lion had been about, but to Emett and me it was mystifying. Two
hundred yards from camp we came to a fallen pine, the body of which
was easily six feet high. On the side of this log, almost on top, were
two enormous lion tracks, imprinted in the mantle of snow. From here
the trail led off northeast.

"Darn me!" ejaculated Jones. "The big critter came right into camp; he
scented our lions, and raised up on this log to look over."

Wheeling, he started for camp on the trot. Emett and I kept even
with him. Words were superfluous. We knew what was coming. A
made--to--order lion trail could not have equalled the one right in
the back yard of our camp.

"Saddle up!" said Jones, with the sharp inflection of words that had
come to thrill me. "Jim, Old Sultan has taken a look at us since break
of day."

I got into my chaps, rammed my little automatic into its saddle
holster and mounted. Foxie seemed to want to go. The hounds came out
of their sheds and yawned, looking at us knowingly. Emett spoke a word
to the Navajo, and then we were trotting down through the forest. The
sun had broken out warm, causing water to drip off the snow laden
pines. The three of us rode close behind Jones, who spoke low and
sternly to the hounds.

What an opportunity to watch Don! I wondered how soon he would catch
the scent of the trail. He led the pack as usual and kept to a
leisurely dog--trot. When within twenty yards of the fallen log, he
stopped for an instant and held up his head, though without exhibiting
any suspicion or uneasiness.

The wind blew strong at our backs, a circumstance that probably
kept Don so long in ignorance of the trail. A few yards further on,
however, he stopped and raised his fine head. He lowered it and
trotted on only to stop again. His easy air of satisfaction with
the morning suddenly vanished. His savage hunting instinct awakened
through some channel to raise the short yellow hair on his neck and
shoulders and make it stand stiff. He stood undecided with warily
shifting nose, then jumped forward with a yelp. Another jump brought
another sharp cry from him. Sounder, close behind, echoed the yelp.
Jude began to whine. Then Don, with a wild howl, leaped ten feet to
alight on the lion trail and to break into wonderfully rapid flight.
The seven other hounds, bunched in a black and yellow group, tore
after him filling the forest with their wild uproar.

Emett's horse bounded as I have seen a great racer leave the post, and
his desert brothers, loving wild bursts of speed, needing no spur,
kept their noses even with his flanks. The soft snow, not too deep,
rather facilitated than impeded this wild movement, and the open
forest was like a highway.

So we rode, bending low in the saddle, keen eyes alert for branches,
vaulting the white--blanketed logs, and swerving as we split to pass
the pines. The mist from the melting snow moistened our faces, and the
rushing air cooled them with fresh, soft sensation. There were moments
when we rode abreast and others when we sailed single file, with white
ground receding, vanishing behind us.

My feeling was one of glorious excitation in the swift, smooth flight
and a grim assurance of soon seeing the old lion. But I hoped we would
not rout him too soon from under a windfall, or a thicket where he
had dragged a deer, because the race was too splendid a thing to cut
short. Through my mind whirled with inconceivable rapidity the great
lion chases on which we had ridden the year before. And this was
another chase, only more stirring, more beautiful, because it was the
nature of the thing to grow always with experience.

Don slipped out of sight among the pines. The others strung along the
trail, glinted across the sunlit patches. The black pup was neck and
neck with Ranger. Sounder ran at their heels, leading the other pups.
Moze dashed on doggedly ahead of Jude.

But for us to keep to the open forest, close to the hounds, was not in
the nature of a lion chase. Old Sultan's trail turned due west when he
began to go down the little hollows and their intervening ridges. We
lost ground. The pack left us behind. The slope of the plateau became
decided. We rode out of the pines to find the snow failing in the
open. Water ran in little gullies and glistened on the sagebrush. A
half mile further down the snow had gone. We came upon the hounds
running at fault, except Sounder, and he had given up.

"All over," sang out Jones, turning his horse. "The lion's track and
his scent have gone with the snow. I reckon we'll do as well to wait
until to-morrow. He's down in the middle wing somewhere and it is my
idea we might catch his trail as he comes back."

The sudden dashing aside of our hopes was exasperating. There seemed
no help for it; abrupt ending to exciting chases were but features of
the lion hunt. The warm sun had been hours on the lower end of the
plateau, where the snow never lay long; and even if we found a fresh
morning trail in the sand, the heat would have burned out the scent.

So rapidly did the snow thaw that by the time we reached camp only the
shady patches were left.

It was almost eleven o'clock when I lay down on my bed to rest awhile
and fell asleep. The tramp of a horse awakened me. I heard Jim calling
Jones. Thinking it was time to eat I went out. The snow had all
disappeared and the forest was brown as ever. Jim sat on his horse and
Navvy appeared riding up to the hollow, leading the saddle horses.

"Jones, get out," called Jim.

"Can't you let a fellow sleep? I'm not hungry," replied Jones testily.

"Get out and saddle up," continued Jim.

Jones burst out of his tent, with rumpled hair and sleepy eyes.

"I went over to see the carcass of the deer an' found a lion sittin'
up in the tree, feedin' for all he was worth. Pie jumped out an' ran
up the hollow an' over the rim. So I rustled back for you fellows.
Lively now, we'll get this one sure."

"Was it the big fellow?" I asked

"No, but he ain't no kitten; an' he's a fine color, sort of reddish. I
never seen one just as bright. Where's Emett?"

"I don't know. He was here a little while ago. Shall I signal for

"Don't yell," cried Jones holding up his fingers. "Be quiet now."

Without another word we finished saddling, mounted and, close
together, with the hounds in front, rode through the forest toward the


We rode in different directions toward the hollow, the better to
chance meeting with Emett, but none of us caught a glimpse of him.

It happened that when we headed into the hollow it was at a point just
above where the deer carcass hung in the scrub oak. Don in spite of
Jones' stern yells, let out his eager hunting yelp and darted down the
slope. The pack bolted after him and in less than ten seconds were
racing up the hollow, their thrilling, blending bays a welcome spur to
action. Though I spoke not a word to my mustang nor had time to raise
the bridle, he wheeled to one side and began to run. The other horses
also kept to the ridge, as I could tell by the pounding of hoofs on
the soft turf. The hounds in full cry right under us urged our good
steeds to a terrific pace. It was well that the ridge afforded clear

The speed at which we traveled, however, fast as it was, availed not
to keep up with the pack. In a short half mile, just as the hollow
sloped and merged into level ground, they left us behind and
disappeared so quickly as almost to frighten me. My mustang plunged
out of the forest to the rim and dashed along, apparently unmindful of
the chasm. The red and yellow surface blurred in a blinding glare. I
heard the chorus of hounds, but as its direction baffled me I trusted
to my horse and I did well, for soon he came to a dead halt on the

Then I heard the hounds below me. I had but time to see the character
of the place--long, yellow promontories running out and slopes of
weathered stone reaching up between to a level with the rim--when in a
dwarf pine growing just over the edge I caught sight of a long, red,
pantherish body.

I whooped to my followers now close upon me and leaping off hauled out
my Remington and ran to the cliff. The lion's long, slender body, of a
rare golden-red color, bright, clean, black-tipped and white-bellied,
proclaimed it a female of exceeding beauty. I could have touched her
with a fishing rod and saw how easily she could be roped from where I
stood. The tree in which she had taken refuge grew from the head of
a weathered slope and rose close to the wall. At that point it was
merely a parapet of crumbling yellow rock. No doubt she had lain
concealed under the shelving wall and had not had time to get away
before the hounds were right upon her.

"She's going to jump," yelled Jones, in my rear, as he dismounted.

I saw a golden-red streak flash downward, heard a mad medley from the
hounds, a cloud of dust rose, then something bright shone for a second
to the right along the wall. I ran with all my might to a headland of
rock upon which I scrambled and saw with joy that I could command the

The lioness was not in sight, nor were the hounds. The latter,
however, were hot on the trail. I knew the lioness had taken to
another tree or a hole under the wall, and would soon be routed out.
This time I felt sure she would run down and I took a rapid glance
below. The slope inclined at a steep angle and was one long slide of
bits of yellow stone with many bunches of scrub oak and manzanita.
Those latter I saw with satisfaction, because in case I had to go down
they would stop the little avalanches. The slope reached down perhaps
five hundred yards and ended in a thicket and jumble of rocks from
which rose on the right a bare yellow slide. This ran up to a low
cliff. I hoped the lion would not go that way, for it led to great
broken battlements of rim. Left of the slide was a patch of cedars.

Jim's yell pealed out, followed by the familiar penetrating howl of
the pack when it sighted game. With that I saw the lioness leaping
down the slope and close behind her a yellow hound.

"Go it, Don, old boy!" I yelled, wild with delight.

A crushing step on the stones told me Jones had arrived.

"Hi! Hi! Hi!" roared he.

I thought then that if the lioness did not cover thirty feet at every
jump I was not in a condition to judge distance. She ran away from Don
as if he had been tied and reached the thicket below a hundred yards
ahead of him. And when Don leaving his brave pack far up the slide
entered the thicket the lioness came out on the other side and bounded
up the bare slope of yellow shale.

"Shoot ahead of her! Head her off! Turn her back!" cried Jones.

With the word I threw forward the Remington and let drive. Following
the bellow of the rifle, so loud in that thin air, a sharp, harsh
report cracked up from below. A puff of yellow dust rose in front of
the lioness. I was in line, but too far ahead. I fired again. The
steel jacketed bullet hit a stone and spitefully whined away into the
canyon. I tried once more. This time I struck close to the lioness.
Disconcerted by a cloud of dust rising before her very eyes she
wheeled and ran back.

We had forgotten Don and suddenly he darted out of the thicket,
straight up the slide. Always, in every chase, we were afraid the
great hound would run to meet his death. We knew it was coming
sometime. When the lioness saw him and stopped, both Jones and I felt
that this was to be the end of Don.

"Shoot her! Shoot her!" cried Jones. "She'll kill him! She'll kill

As I knelt on the rock I had a hard contraction of my throat, and
then all my muscles set tight and rigid. I pulled the trigger of my
automatic once, twice. It was wonderful how closely the two bullets
followed each other, as we could tell by the almost simultaneous
puffs of dust rising from under the beast's nose. She must have been
showered and stung with gravel, for she bounded off to the left and
disappeared in the cedars. I had missed, but the shots had served to a
better end than if I had killed her.

As Don raced up the ground where a moment before a battle and probably
death had awaited him, the other hounds burst from the thicket. With
that, a golden form seemed to stand out from the green of the cedar,
to move and to rise.

"She's treed! She's treed!" shouted Jones. "Go down and keep her there
while I follow."

From the back of the promontory where I met the main wall, I let
myself down a niche, foot here and there, a hand hard on the soft
stone, braced knee and back until I jumped to the edge of the slope.
The scrub oak and manzanita saved me many a fall. I set some stones
rolling and I beat them to the bottom. Having passed the thicket, I
bent my efforts to the yellow slide and when I had surmounted it my
breath came in labored pants. The howling of the hounds guided me
through the cedars.

First I saw Moze in the branches of cedar and above him the lioness. I
ran out into a little open patch of stony ground at the end of which
the tree stood leaning over a precipice. In truth the lioness was
swaying over a chasm.

Those details I grasped in a glance, then suddenly awoke to the fact
that the lioness was savagely snarling at Moze.

"Moze! Moze! Get down!" I yelled.

He climbed on serenely. He was a most exasperating dog. I screamed at
him and hit him with a rock big enough to break his bones. He kept on
climbing. Here was a predicament. Moze would surely get to the lioness
if I did not stop him, and this seemed impossible. It was out of the
question for me to climb after him. And if the lioness jumped she
would have to pass me or come straight at me. So I slipped down the
safety catch on my automatic and stood ready to save Moze or myself.

The lioness with a show of fury that startled me, descended her branch
a few steps, and reaching below gave Moze a sounding smack with her
big paw. The hound dropped as if he had been shot and hit the ground
with a thud. Whereupon she returned to her perch.

This reassured me and I ran among the dogs and caught Moze already
starting for the tree again and tied him, with a strap I always carried,
to a small bush nearby. I heard the yells of my companions
and looking back over the tops of the cedars I saw Jim riding down and
higher to the left Jones sliding, falling, running at a great rate. I
encouraged them to keep up the good work, and then gave my attention to
the lioness.

She regarded me with a cold, savage stare and showed her teeth. I
repaid this incivility on her part by promptly photographing her from
different points.

Jones and Jim were on the spot before I expected them and both were
dusty and dripping with sweat. I found to my surprise that my face was
wet as was also my shirt. Jones carried two lassos, and my canteen,
which I had left on the promontory.

"Ain't she a beauty?" he panted, wiping his face. "Wait--till I get my

When finally he walked toward the cedar the lioness stood up and
growled as if she realized the entrance of the chief actor upon the
scene. Jones cast his lasso apparently to try her out, and the noose
spread out and fell over her head. As he tightened the rope the
lioness backed down behind a branch.

"Tie the dogs!" yelled Jones.

"Quick!" added Jim. "She's goin' to jump."

Jim had only time to aid me in running my lasso under the collar of
Don, Sounder, Jude and one of the pups. I made them fast to a cedar.
I got my hands on Ranger just as Moze broke his strap. I grabbed his
collar and held on.

Right there was where trouble commenced for me. Ranger tussled valiantly
and Moze pulled me all over the place. Behind me I heard Jones' roar and
Jim's yell; the breaking of branches, the howling of the other dogs.
Ranger broke away from me and so enabled me to get my other hand on the
neck of crazy Moze. On more than one occasion I had tried to hold him
and had failed; this time I swore I would do it if he rolled me
over the precipice. As to that, only a bush saved me.

More and louder roars and yells, hoarser howls and sharper
wrestling, snapping sounds told me what was going on while I tried to
subdue Moze. I had a grim thought that I would just as lief have had
hold of the lioness. The hound presently stopped his plunging which gave
me an opportunity to look about. The little space was smoky with a smoke
of dust. I saw the lioness stretched out with one lasso around a bush
and another around a cedar with the end in the hands of Jim. He looked
as if he had dug up the ground. While he tied this lasso securely Jones
proceeded to rope the dangerous front paws.

The hounds quieted down and I took advantage of this absence of tumult
to get rid of Moze.

"Pretty lively," said Jones, spitting gravel as I walked up. Sand and
dust lay thick in his beard and blackened his face. "I tell you she
made us root."

Either the lioness had been much weakened or choked, or Jones had
unusual luck, for we muzzled her and tied up her paws in short order.

"Where's Ranger?" I asked suddenly, missing him from the panting

"I grabbed him by the heels when he tackled the lion, and I gave him a
sling somewheres," replied Jim.

Ranger put in an appearance then under the cedars limping painfully.

"Jim, darn me, if I don't believe you pitched him over the precipice!"
said Jones.

Examination proved this surmise to be correct. We saw where Ranger had
slipped over a twenty-foot wall. If he had gone over just under the
cedar where the depth was much greater he would never have come back.

"The hounds are choking with dust and heat," I said. When I poured
just a little water from my canteen into the crown of my hat, the
hounds began fighting around and over me and spilled the water.

"Behave, you coyotes!" I yelled. Either they were insulted or fully
realized the exigency of the situation, for each one came up and
gratefully lapped every drop of his portion.

"Shore, now comes the hell of it," said Jim appearing with a long
pole. "Packin' the critter out."

An argument arose in regard to the best way up the slope, and by
virtue of a majority we decided to try the direction Jim and I thought
best. My companions led the way, carrying the lioness suspended on the
pole. I brought up the rear, packing my rifle, camera, lasso, canteen
and a chain.

It was killing work. We had to rest every few steps. Often we would
fall. Jim laughed, Jones swore, and I groaned. Sometimes I had to drop
my things to help my companions. So we toiled wearily up the loose,
steep way.

"What's she shakin' like that for?" asked Jim suddenly.

Jones let down his end of the pole and turned quickly. Little tremors
quivered over the lissome body of the lioness.

"She's dying," cried Jim, jerking out the stick between her teeth and
slipping off the wire muzzle.

Her mouth opened and her frothy tongue lolled out. Jones pointed to
her quivering sides and then raised her eyelids. We saw the eyes
already glazing, solemnly fixed.

"She's gone," he said.

Very soon she lay inert and lifeless. Then we sat beside her without
a word, and we could hardly for the moment have been more stunned and
heartbroken if it had been the tragic death of one of our kind.
In that wild environment, obsessed by the desire to capture those
beautiful cats alive, the fateful ending of the successful chase was
felt out of all proportion.

"Shore she's dead," said Jim. "And wasn't she a beauty? What was

"The heat and lack of water," replied Jones. "She choked. What idiots
we were! Why didn't we think to give her a drink."

So we passionately protested against our want of fore-thought, and
looked again and again with the hope that she might come to. But death
had stilled the wild heart. We gave up presently, still did not move
on. We were exhausted, and all the while the hounds lay panting on the
rocks, the bees hummed, the flies buzzed. The red colors of the upper
walls and the purple shades of the lower darkened silently.


"Shore we can't set here all night," said Jim. "Let's skin the lion
an' feed the hounds."

The most astonishing thing in our eventful day was the amount of meat
stowed away by the dogs. Lion flesh appealed to their appetites. If
hungry Moze had an ounce of meat, he had ten pounds. It seemed a good
opportunity to see how much the old gladiator could eat; and Jim and I
cut chunks of meat as fast as possible. Moze gulped them with absolute
unconcern of such a thing as mastication. At length he reached his
limit, possibly for the first time in his life, and looking longingly
at a juicy red strip Jim held out, he refused it with manifest shame.
Then he wobbled and fell down.

We called to him as we started to climb the slope, but he did not
come. Then the business of conquering that ascent of sliding stone
absorbed all our faculties and strength. Little headway could we have
made had it not been for the brush. We toiled up a few feet only to
slide back and so it went on until we were weary of life.

When one by one we at last gained the rim and sat there to recover
breath, the sun was a half globe of fire burning over the western
ramparts. A red sunset bathed the canyon in crimson, painting the
walls, tinting the shadows to resemble dropping mists of blood. It was
beautiful and enthralling to my eyes, but I turned away because it
wore the mantle of tragedy.

Dispirited and worn out, we trooped into camp to find Emett and a
steaming supper. Between bites the three of us related the story of
the red lioness. Emett whistled long and low and then expressed his
regret in no light terms.

"Roping wild steers and mustangs is play to this work," he said in

I was too tired to tease our captive lions that evening; even the
glowing camp-fire tempted me in vain, and I crawled into my bed with
eyes already glued shut.

A heavy weight on my feet stirred me from oblivion. At first, when
only half awake, I could not realize what had fallen on my bed, then
hearing a deep groan I knew Moze had come back. I was dropping off
again when a strange, low sound caused my eyes to open wide. The black
night had faded to the gray of dawn. The sound I recognized at once
to be the Navajo's morning chant. I lay there and listened. Soft and
monotonous, wild and swelling, but always low and strange, the savage
song to the break of day was exquisitely beautiful and harmonious. I
wondered what the literal meaning of his words could have been. The
significance needed no translation. To the black shadows fading away,
to the brightening of the gray light, to the glow of the east, to the
morning sun, to the Giver of Life--to these the Indian chanted his

Could there have been a better prayer? Pagan or not, the Navajo with
his forefathers felt the spiritual power of the trees, the rocks, the
light and sun, and he prayed to that which was divinely helpful to him
in all the mystery of his unintelligible life.

We did not crawl out that morning as early as usual, for it was to be
a day of rest. When we did, a mooted question arose--whether we or the
hounds were the more crippled. Ranger did not show himself; Don could
just walk and that was all; Moze was either too full or too tired to
move; Sounder nursed a foot and Jude favored her lame leg.

After lunch we brightened up somewhat and set ourselves different
tasks. Jones had misplaced or lost his wire and began to turn the camp
topsy-turvy in his impatient efforts to locate it. The wire, however,
was not to be found. This was a calamity, for, as we asked each other,
how could we muzzle lions without wire? Moreover, a half dozen heavy
leather straps which I had bought in Kanab for use as lion collars had
disappeared. We had only one collar left, the one that Jones had put
on the red lioness.

Whereupon we began to blame each other, to argue, to grow heated and
naturally from that to become angry. It seems a fatality of campers
along a wild trail, like explorers in an unknown land, to be prone to
fight. If there is an explanation of this singular fact, it must be
that men at such time lose their poise and veneer of civilization; in
brief, they go back. At all events we had it hot and heavy, with the
center of attack gradually focusing on Jones, and as he was always
losing something, naturally we united in force against him.

Fortunately, we were interrupted by yells from the Navajo off in the
woods. The brushing of branches and pounding of hoofs preceded his
appearance. In some remarkable manner he had gotten a bridle on Marc,
and from the way the big stallion hurled his huge bulk over logs and
through thickets, it appeared evident he meant to usurp Jim's ambition
and kill the Navajo. Hearing Emett yell, the Indian turned Marc toward
camp. The horse slowed down when he neared the glade and tried to
buck. But Navvy kept his head up. With that Marc seemed to give way to
ungovernable rage and plunged right through camp; he knocked over the
dogs' shelter and thundered down the ridge.

Now the Navajo, with the bridle in his hand was thoroughly at home. He
was getting his revenge on Marc, and he would have kept his seat on a
wild mustang, but Marc swerved suddenly under a low branch of a pine,
sweeping the Indian off.

When Navvy did not rise we began to fear he had been seriously hurt,
perhaps killed, and we ran to where he lay.

Face downward, hands outstretched, with no movement of body or muscle,
he certainly appeared dead.

"Badly hurt," said Emett, "probably back broken. I have seen it before
from just such accidents."

"Oh no!" cried Jones, and I felt so deeply I could not speak. Jim, who
always wanted Navvy to be a dead Indian, looked profoundly sorry.

"He's a dead Indian, all right," replied Emett.

We rose from our stooping postures and stood around, uncertain and
deeply grieved, until a mournful groan from Navvy afforded us much

"That's your dead Indian," exclaimed Jones.

Emett stooped again and felt the Indian's back and got in reward
another mournful groan.

"It's his back," said Emett, and true to his ruling passion, forever
to minister to the needs of horses, men, and things, he began to rub
the Indian and call for the liniment.

[Illustration: TREED LION]

[Illustration: TREED LION]

Jim went to fetch it, while I, still believing the Navvy to be
dangerously hurt, knelt by him and pulled up his shirt, exposing the
hollow of his brown back.

"Here we are," said Jim, returning on the run with the bottle.

"Pour some on," replied Emett.

Jim removed the cork and soused the liniment all over the Indian's

"Don't waste it," remonstrated Emett, starting to rub Navvy's back.

Then occurred a most extraordinary thing. A convulsion seemed to
quiver through the Indian's body; he rose at a single leap, and
uttering a wild, piercing yell broke into a run. I never saw an Indian
or anybody else run so fleetly. Yell after yell pealed back to us.

Absolutely dumfounded we all gazed at each other.

"That's your dead Indian!" ejaculated Jim.

"What the hell!" exclaimed Emett, who seldom used such language.

"Look here!" cried Jones, grabbing the bottle. "See! Don't you see

Jim fell face downward and began to shake.

"What?" shouted Emett and I together.

"Turpentine, you idiots! Turpentine! Jim brought the wrong bottle!"

In another second three more forms lay stretched out on the sward, and
the forest rang with sounds of mirth.


That night the wind switched and blew cold from the north, and so
strong that the camp-fire roared like a furnace. "More snow" was the
verdict of all of us, and in view of this, I invited the Navajo to
share my tent.

"Sleepie-me," I said to him.

"Me savvy," he replied and forthwith proceeded to make his bed with

Much to my surprise all my comrades raised protestations, which
struck me as being singularly selfish considering they would not be
inconvenienced in any way.

"Why not?" I asked. "It's a cold night. There'll be frost if not

"Shore you'll get 'em," said Jim.

"There never was an Indian that didn't have 'em," added Jones.

"What?" I questioned.

They made mysterious signs that rather augmented my ignorance as to
what I might get from the Indian, but in no wise changed my mind. When
I went to bed I had to crawl over Navvy. Moze lay at my feet as usual
and he growled so deep that I could not but think he, too, resented
the addition to my small tent.

"Mista Gay!" came in the Indian's low voice.

"Well Navvy?" I asked.


"Yes, Navvy, sleepy and tired. Are you?"

"Me savvy--mucha sleepie--mucha--no bueno."

I did not wonder at his feeling sleepy, tired and bad. He did not
awaken me in the morning, for when my eyes unclosed the tent was light
and he had gone. I found my companions up and doing.

We had breakfast and got into our saddles by the time the sun, a red
ball low down among the pines, began to brighten and turn to gold. No
snow had fallen but a thick frost encrusted the ground. The hounds,
wearing cloth moccasins, which plainly they detested, trotted in
front. Don showed no effects of his great run down the sliding slope
after the red lioness; it was one of his remarkable qualities that he
recuperated so quickly. Ranger was a little stiff, and Sounder favored
his injured foot. The others were as usual.

Jones led down the big hollow to which he kept after we had passed the
edge of the pines; then marking a herd of deer ahead, he turned his
horse up the bank.

We breasted the ridge and jogged toward the cedar forest, which we
entered without having seen the hounds show interest in anything.
Under the cedars in the soft yellow dust we crossed lion tracks, many
of them, but too old to carry a scent. Even North Hollow with its
regular beaten runway failed to win a murmur from the pack.

"Spread out," said Jones, "and look for tracks. I'll keep the center
and hold in the hounds."

Signalling occasionally to one another we crossed almost the breadth
of the cedar forest to its western end, where the open sage flats
inclined to the rim. In one of those flats I came upon a broken sage
bush, the grass being thick thereabout. I discovered no track but
dismounted and scrutinized the surroundings carefully. A heavy body
had been dragged across the sage, crushing it. The ends of broken
bushes were green, the leaves showed bruises.

I began to feel like Don when he scented game. Leading my mustang I
slowly proceeded across the open, guided by an occasional down-trodden
bush or tuft of grass. As I neared the cedars again Foxie snorted.
Under the first tree I found a ghastly bunch of red bones, a spread of
grayish hairs and a split skull. The bones, were yet wet; two long doe
ears were still warm. Then I saw big lion tracks in the dust and even
a well pressed imprint of a lion's body where he had rolled or lain.

The two yells I sent ringing into the forest were productive of
interesting results. Answers came from near and far. Then, what with
my calling and the replies, the forest rang so steadily with shrill
cries that the echoes had no chance to follow.

An elephant in the jungle could not have caused more crashing and
breaking of brush than did Emett as he made his way to me. He arrived
from the forest just as Jim galloped across the flat. Mutely I held up
the two long ears.

"Get on your horse!" cried Jim after one quick glance at the spread of
bones and hair.

It was well he said that, for I might have been left behind. I ran to
Foxie and vaulted upon him. A flash of yellow appeared among the sage
and a string of yelps split the air.

"It's Don!" yelled Jim.

Well we knew that. What a sight to see him running straight for us! He
passed, a savage yellow wolf in his ferocity, and disappeared like a
gleam under the gloomy cedars.

We spurred after him. The other hounds sped by. Jones closed in on us
from the left, and in a few minutes we were strung out behind Emett,
fighting the branches, dodging and swerving, hugging the saddle, and
always sending out our sharp yells.

The race was furious but short. The three of us coming up together
found Emett dismounted on the extreme end of West Point.

"The hounds have gone down," he said, pointing to the runway.

We all listened to the meaning bays.

"Shore they've got him up!" asserted Jim. "Like as not they found him
under the rim here, sleeping off his gorge. Now fellows, I'll go down.
It might be a good idea for you to spread along the rim."

[Illustration: TREED LION]

[Illustration: HIDING]

With that we turned our horses eastward and rode as close to the rim
as possible. Clumps of cedars and deep fissures often forced us to
circle them. The hounds, traveling under the walls below, kept pace
with us and then forged ahead, which fact caused Jones to dispatch
Emett on the gallop for the next runway at North Hollow.

Soon Jones bade me dismount and make my way out upon one of the
promontories, while he rode a little farther on. As I tied my mustang
I heard the hounds, faint and far beneath. I waded through the sage
and cedar to the rim.

Cape after cape jutted out over the abyss. Some were very sharp and
bare, others covered with cedar; some tottering crags with a crumbling
bridge leading to their rims; and some ran down like giant steps. From
one of these I watched below. The slope here under the wall was like
the side of a rugged mountain. Somewhere down among the dark patches
of cedar and the great blocks of stone the hounds were hunting the
lion, but I could not see one of them.

The promontory I had chosen had a split, and choked as this was with
brush, rock, and shale, it seemed a place where I might climb down.
Once started, I could not turn back, and sliding, clinging to what
afforded, I worked down the crack. A wall of stone hid the sky from
me part of the way. I came out a hundred feet below upon a second
promontory of huge slabs of yellow stone. Over these I clambered, to
sit with my feet swinging over the last one.

Straight before my gaze yawned the awful expanse of the canyon. In the
soft morning light the red mesas, the yellow walls, the black domes
were less harsh than in the full noonday sun, purer than in the tender
shadow of twilight. Below me were slopes and slides divided by ravines
full of stones as large as houses, with here and there a lonesome
leaning crag, giving irresistible proof of the downward trend, of the
rolling, weathering ruins of the rim. Above the wall bulged out full
of fissures, ragged and rotten shelves, toppling columns of yellow
limestone, beaded with quartz and colored by wild flowers wonderfully
growing in crannies.

Wild and rare as was this environment, I gave it but a glance and a
thought. The bay of the hounds caused me to bend sharp and eager eyes
to the open spaces of stone and slide below. Luck was mine as usual;
the hounds were working up toward me. How I strained my sight! Hearing
a single cry I looked eastward to see Jones silhouetted against the
blue on a black promontory. He seemed a giant primeval man overlooking
the ruin of a former world. I signalled him to make for my point.

Black Ranger hove in sight at the top of a yellow slide. He was at
fault but hunting hard. Jude and Sounder bayed off to his left. I
heard Don's clear voice, permeating the thin, cool air, seemingly
to leave a quality of wildness upon it; yet I could not locate him.
Ranger disappeared. Then for a time I only heard Jim. Moze was next to
appear and he, too, was upward bound. A jumble of stone hid him, and
then Ranger again showed. Evidently he wanted to get around the bottom
of a low crag, for he jumped and jumped only to fall back.

Quite naturally my eyes searched that crag. Stretched out upon the top
of it was the long, slender body of a lion.

"Hi! hi! hi! hi! hi!" I yelled till my lungs failed me.

"Where are you?" came from above.

"Here! Here!" I cried seeing Jones on the rim. "Come down. Climb down
the crack. The lion is here; on top of that round crag. He's fooled
the hounds and they can't find him."

"I see him! I see him!" yelled Jones. Then he roared out a single call
for Emett that pealed like a clear clarion along the curved broken rim
wall, opening up echoes which clapped like thunder.

While Jones clattered down I turned again to the lion. He lay with
head hidden under a little shelf and he moved not a muscle. What a
place for him to choose! But for my accidental venturing down the
broken fragments and steps of the rim he could have remained safe from

Suddenly, right under my feet, Don opened his string of yelps. I could
not see him but decided he must be above the lion on the crag. I
leaned over as far as I dared. At that moment among the varied and
thrilling sounds about me I became vaguely aware of hard, panting
breaths, like coughs somewhere in my vicinity. As Jones had set in
motion bushels of stone and had already scraped his feet over the
rocks behind me I thought the forced respiration came from him. When
I turned he was yet far off--too far for me to hear him breathe. I
thought this circumstance strange but straightway forgot it.

On the moment from my right somewhere Don pealed out his bugle blast,
and immediately after Sounder and Jude joining him, sent up the thrice
welcome news of a treed lion.

"There 're two! There 're two!" I yelled to Jones, now working down to
my right.

"He's treed down here. I've got him spotted!" replied Jones. "You stay
there and watch your lion. Yell for Emett."

Signal after signal for Emett earned no response, though Jim far below
to the left sent me an answer.

The next few minutes, or more likely half an hour, passed with Jones
and me separated from each other by a wall of broken stone, waiting
impatiently for Jim and Emett, while the hounds bayed one lion and I
watched the other.

Calmness was impossible under such circumstances. No man could have
gazed into that marvel of color and distance, with wild life about
him, with wild sounds ringing in his ears, without yielding to the
throb and race of his wild blood.

Emett did not come. Jim had not answered a yell for minutes. No doubt
he needed his breath. He came into sight just to the left of our
position, and he ran down one side of the ravine to toil up the other.
I hailed him, Jones hailed him and the hounds hailed him.

"Steer to your left Jim!" I called.. "There's a lion on that crag
above you. He might jump. Round the cliff to the left--Jones is

The most painful task it was for me to sit there and listen to the
sound rising from below without being able to see what happened. My
lion had peeped up once, and, seeing me, had crouched closer to his
crag, evidently believing he was unseen, which obviously made it
imperative for me to keep my seat and hold him there as long as

But to hear the various exclamations thrilled me enough.

"Hyar Moze--get out of that. Catch him--hold him! Damn these rotten
limbs. Hand me a pole--Jones, back down--back down! he's comin'--Hi!
Hi! Whoop! Boo--o! There--now you've got him! No, no; it slipped! Now!
Look out, Jim, from under--he's going to jump!"

A smashing and rattling of loose stones and a fiery burst of yelps
with trumpet-like yells followed close upon Jones' last words. Then
two yellow streaks leaped down the ravine. The first was the lion, the
second was Don. The rest of the pack came tumbling helter-skelter in
their wake. Following them raced Jim in long kangaroo leaps, with
Jones in the rear, running for all he was worth. The animated
and musical procession passed up out of the ravine and gradually
lengthened as the lion gained and Jones lost, till it passed
altogether from my jealous sight.

On the other side of the ridge of cedars the hounds treed their quarry
again, as was easy to tell by their change from sharp intermittent
yelping to an unbroken, full, deep chorus. Then presently all quieted
down, and for long moments at a time the still silence enfolded the
slope. Shouts now and then floated up on the wind and an occasional

I sat there for an hour by my watch, though it seemed only a few
minutes, and all that time my lion lay crouched on his crag and never

I looked across the curve of the canyon to the purple breaks of the
Siwash and the shaggy side of Buckskin Mountain and far beyond to
where Kanab Canyon opened its dark mouth, and farther still to the
Pink Cliffs of Utah, weird and dim in the distance.

Something swelled within my breast at the thought that for the time I
was part of that wild scene. The eye of an eagle soaring above would
have placed me as well as my lion among the few living things in the
range of his all-compassing vision. Therefore, all was mine, not
merely the lion--for he was only the means to an end--but the
stupendous, unnameable thing beneath me, this chasm that hid mountains
in the shades of its cliffs, and the granite tombs, some gleaming
pale, passionless, others red and warm, painted by a master hand; and
the wind-caves, dark-portaled under their mist curtains, and all
that was deep and far off, unapproachable, unattainable, of beauty
exceeding, dressed in ever-changing hues, was mine by right of
presence, by right of the eye to see and the mind to keep.


The cry lifted itself out of the depths. I saw Jones on the ridge of

"All right here--have you kept your line there?" he yelled.

"All's well--come along, come along," I replied.

I watched them coming, and all the while my lion never moved. The
hounds reached the base of the cliff under me, but they could not
find the lion, though they scented him, for they kept up a continual
baying. Jim got up to the shelf under me and said they had tied up the
lion and left him below. Jones toiled slowly up the slope.

"Some one ought to stay down there; he might jump," I called in

"That crag is forty feet high on this side," he replied.

I clambered back over the uneven mass, let myself down between the
boulders and crawled under a dark ridge, and finally with Jim catching
my rifle and camera and then lending his shoulders, I reached the
bench below. Jones came puffing around a corner of the cliff, and soon
all three of us with the hounds stood out on the rocky shelf with only
a narrow space between us and the crouching lion.

Before we had a moment to speak, much less form a plan of attack, the
lion rose, spat at us defiantly, and deliberately jumped off the crag.
We heard him strike with a frightful thud.

Surprise held us dumb. To take the leap to the slope below seemed
beyond any beast not endowed with wings. We saw the lion bounding down
the identical trail which the other lion had taken. Jones came out of
his momentary indecision.

"Hold the dogs! Call them back!" he yelled hoarsely. "They'll kill the
lion we tied! They'll kill him!"

The hounds had scattered off the bench here and there, everywhere, to
come together on the trail below. Already they were in full cry with
the matchless Don at the fore. Manifestly to call them back was an
injustice, as well as impossible. In ten seconds they were out of

In silence we waited, each listening, each feeling the tragedy of the
situation, each praying that they would pass by the poor, helpless,
bound lion. Suddenly the regular baying swelled to a burst of savage,
snarling fury, such as the pack made in a vicious fight. This
ceased--short silence ensued; Don's sharp voice woke the echoes, then
the regular baying continued.

As with one thought, we all sat down. Painful as the certainty was it
was not so painful as that listening, hoping suspense.

"Shore they can't be blamed," said Jim finally. "Bumping their nose
into a tied lion that way--how'd they know?"

"Who could guess the second lion would jump off that quick and run
back to our captive?" burst out Jones.

"Shore we might have knowed it," replied Jim. "Well, I'm goin' after
the pack."

He gathered up his lasso and strode off the bench. Jones said he would
climb back to the rim, and I followed Jim.

Why the lions ran in that particular direction was clear to me when
I saw the trail. It was a runway, smooth and hard packed. I trudged
along it with rather less enjoyment than on any trail I had ever
followed to the canyon. Jim waited for me over the cedar ridge and
showed me where the captive lion lay dead. The hounds had not torn
him. They had killed him and passed on after the other.

"He was a fine fellow, all of seven feet, we'll skin him on our way

Only dogged determination coupled with a sense of duty to the hounds
kept us on that trail. For the time being enthusiasm had been
submerged. But we had to follow the pack.

Jim, less weighted down and perhaps less discouraged, forged ahead up
and down. The sun had burned all the morning coolness out of the air.
I perspired and panted and began to grow weary. Jim's signal called me
to hurry. I took to a trot and came upon him and the hounds under a
small cedar. The lion stood among the dead branches. His sides where
shaking convulsively, and his short breaths could be plainly heard.
He had the most blazing eyes and most untamed expression of any wild
creature I have ever seen; and this amazed me considering I had kept
him on a crag for over an hour, and had come to look upon him as my

"What'll we do, Jim, now that we have him treed?"

"Shore, we'll tie him up," declared Jim.

The lion stayed in the cedar long enough for me to photograph him
twice, then he leaped down again and took to his back trail. We
followed as fast as we could, soon to find that the hounds had put him
up another cedar. From this he jumped down among the dogs, scattered
them as if they had been so many leaves, and bounded up the slope out
of sight.

I laid aside my rifle and camera and tried to keep up with Jim. The
lion ran straight up the slope and treed again under the wall. Before
we covered half the distance he was on the go once more, flying down
in clouds of dust.

"Don is makin' him hump," said Jim.

And that alone was enough to spur us on. We would reward the noble
hound if we had the staying power. Don and his pack ran westward this
time, and along a mile of the beaten trail put him up two more trees.
But these we could not see and judged only by the sound.


[Illustration: WHICH IS THE PIUTE?]

"Look there!" cried Jim. "Darn me if he ain't comin' right at us."

It was true. Ahead of us the lion appeared, loping wearily. We stopped
in our tracks undecided. Jim drew his revolver. Once or twice the lion
disappeared behind stones and cedars. When he sighted us he stopped,
looked back, then again turning toward us, he left the trail to plunge
down. He had barely got out of sight when old Don came pattering along
the trail; then Ranger leading the others. Don did not even put his
nose to the ground where the lion had switched, but leaped aside and
went down. Here the long section of slope between the lion's runway
and the second wall had been weathered and worn, racked and convulsed
into deep ravines, with ridges between. We climbed and fell and toiled
on, always with the bay of the hounds in our ears. We leaped fissures,
we loosened avalanches, rolling them to crash and roar below, and send
long, rumbling echoes out into the canyon.

A gorge in the yellow rock opened suddenly before us. We stood at the
constricted neck of one of the great splits in the second wall. The
side opposite was almost perpendicular, and formed of mass on mass of
broken stones. This was a weathered slope on a gigantic scale. Points
of cliffs jutted out; caves and cracks lined the wall.

"This is a rough place," said Jim; "but a lion could get over the
second wall here, an' I believe a man could too. The hounds seemed to
be back further toward where the split narrows."

Through densely massed cedars and thickets of prickly thorns we wormed
our way to come out at the neck of the gorge.

"There ye are!" sang out Jim. The hounds were all on a flat shelf some
few feet below us, and on a sharp point of rock close by, but too far
for the dogs to reach, crouched the lion. He was gasping and frothing
at the mouth.

"Shore if he'd only stay there--" said Jim.

He loosened his lasso, and stationing himself just above the tired
beast he prepared to cast down the loop. The first throw failed of its
purpose, but the rope hit the lion. He got up painfully it seemed,
and faced the dogs. That way barred he turned to the cliff. Almost
opposite him a shelf leaned out. He looked at it, then paced to and
fro like a beast in a cage.

He looked again at the hounds, then up at us, all around, and finally
concentrated his attention on the shelf; his long length sagged in
the middle, he stretched low, his muscles gathered and strung, and he
sprang like a tawny streak.

His aim was true, the whole forepart of his body landed on the shelf
and he hung there. Then he slipped. We distinctly heard his claws
scrape the hard, smooth rock. He fell, turning a somersault, struck
twenty feet below on the rough slant, bounded from that to fall down,
striking suddenly and then to roll, a yellow wheel that lodged behind
a rock and stretched out to move no more.

The hounds were silent; Jim and I were silent; a few little stones
rattled, then were still. The dead silence of the canyon seemed to pay
tribute to the lion's unquenchable spirit and to the freedom he had
earned to the last.


How long Jim and I sat there we never knew. The second tragedy, not so
pitiful but as heart sickening as the first, crushed our spirits.

"Shore he was a game lion," said Jim. "An' I'll have to get his skin."

"I'm all in, Jim. I couldn't climb out of that hole." I said.

"You needn't. Rest a little, take a good drink an' leave your canteen
here for me; then get your things back there on the trail an' climb
out. We're not far from West Point. I'll go back after the first
lion's skin an' then climb straight up. You lead my horse to the point
where you came off the rim."

He clattered along the gorge knocking the stones and started down. I
watched him letting himself over the end of the huge slabs until he
passed out of my sight. A good, long drink revived me and I began the

From that moment on time did not matter to me. I forgot all about it.
I felt only my leaden feet and my laboring chest and dripping skin.
I did not even notice the additional weight of my rifle and camera
though they must have overburdened me. I kept my eyes on the lion
runway and plunged away with short steps. To look at these towering
walls would have been to surrender.

At last, stumbling, bursting, sick, I gained the rim and had to rest
before I could mount. When I did get into the saddle I almost fell
from it.

Jones and Emett were waiting for me at the promontory where I had
tied my horse, and were soon acquainted with the particulars of my
adventure, and that Jim would probably not get out for hours. We made
tracks for camp, and never did a place rouse in me such a sense of
gratefulness. Emett got dinner and left on the fire a kettle of potato
stew for Jim. It was almost dark when that worthy came riding into
camp. We never said a word as he threw the two lion skins on the

"Fellows, you shore have missed the wind-up!" he exclaimed.

We all looked at him and he looked at us.

"Was there any more?" I asked weakly.

"Shore! An' it beats hell! When I got the skin of the lion the dogs
killed I started to work up to the place I knowed you'd leave my
horse. It's bad climbing where you came down. I got on the side of
that cliff an' saw where I could work out, if I could climb a smooth
place. So I tried. There was little cracks an' ridges for my feet and
hands. All to once, just above where I helped you down, I heard a
growl. Looking up I saw a big lion, bigger'n any we chased except
Sultan, an' he was pokin' his head out of a hole, an' shore telling
me to come no further. I couldn't let go with either hand to reach my
gun, because I'd have fallen, so I yelled at him with all my might. He
spit at me an' then walked out of the hole over the bench as proud as
a lord an' jumped down where I couldn't see him any more. I climbed
out all right but he'd gone. An' I'll tell you for a minute, he shore
made me sweat."

"By George!" I yelled, greatly excited. "I heard that lion breathing.
Don chased him up there. I heard hard, wheezing breaths somewhere
behind me, but in the excitement I didn't pay any attention to them. I
thought it was Jones panting, but now I know what it meant."

"Shore. He was there all the time, lookin' at you an' maybe he could
have reached you."

We were all too exhausted for more discussion and putting that off
until the next day we sought our beds. It was hardly any wonder that I
felt myself jumping even in my sleep, and started up wildly more than
once in the dead of night.


Morning found us all rather subdued, yet more inclined to a
philosophical resignation as regarded the difficulties of our special
kind of hunting. Capturing the lions on the level of the plateau was
easy compared to following them down into canyons and bringing them up
alone. We all agreed that that was next to impossible. Another feature,
which before we had not considered, added to our perplexity and it was a
dawning consciousness that we would be perhaps less cruel if we killed
the lions outright. Jones and Emett arrayed themselves on the side that
life even in captivity was preferable; while Jim and I, no doubt still
under the poignant influence of the last lion's heroic race and end,
inclined to freedom or death. We compromised on the reasonable fact that
as yet we had shown only a jackass kind of intelligence.



About eleven o'clock while the others had deserted camp temporarily
for some reason or other, I was lounging upon an odorous bed of pine
needles. The sun shone warmly, the sky gleamed bright azure through
the openings of the great trees, a dry west breeze murmured through
the forest. I was lying on my bed musing idly and watching a yellow
woodpecker when suddenly I felt a severe bite on my shoulder. I
imagined an ant had bitten me through my shirt. In a moment or so
afterward I received, this time on my breast, another bite that left
no room for imagination. There was some kind of an animal inside my
shirt, and one that made a mosquito, black-fly, or flea seem tame.

Suddenly a thought swept on the heels of my indolent and rather
annoying realization. Could I have gotten from the Navajo what Jim and
Jones so characteristically called "'em"? I turned cold all over. And
on the very instant I received another bite that burned like fire.

The return of my companions prevented any open demonstration of my
fears and condition of mind, but I certainly swore inwardly. During
the dinner hour I felt all the time as if I had on a horsehair shirt
with the ends protruding toward my skin, and, in the exaggerated
sensitiveness of the moment, made sure "'em" were chasing up and down
my back.

After dinner I sneaked off into the woods. I remembered that Emett
had said there was only one way to get rid of "'em," and that was to
disrobe and make a microscopical search of garments and person. With
serious mind and murderous intent I undressed. In the middle of the
back of my jersey I discovered several long, uncanny, gray things.

"I guess I got 'em," I said gravely.

Then I sat on a pine log in a state of unadorned nature, oblivious
to all around, intent only on the massacre of the things that had
violated me. How much time flew I could not guess. Great loud
"Haw-haws!" roused me to consternation. There behind me stood Jones
and Emett shaking as if with the ague.

"It's not funny!" I shouted in a rage. I had the unreasonable
suspicion that they had followed me to see my humiliation. Jones, who
cracked a smile about as often as the equinoxes came, and Emett the
sober Mormon, laughed until they cried.

"I was--just wondering--what your folks would--think--if they--saw
you--now," gurgled Jones.

That brought to me the humor of the thing, and I joined in their

"All I hope is that you fellows will get 'em' too," I said.

"The Good Lord preserve me from that particular breed of Navvy's,"
cried Emett.

Jones wriggled all over at the mere suggestion. Now so much from the
old plainsman, who had confessed to intimate relations with every
creeping, crawling thing in the West, attested powerfully to the
unforgettable singularity of what I got from Navvy.

I returned to camp determined to make the best of the situation,
which owing to my failure to catch all of the gray devils, remained
practically unchanged. Jim had been acquainted with my dilemma, as was
manifest in his wet eyes and broad grin with which he greeted me.

"I think I'd scalp the Navvy," he said.

"You make the Indian sleep outside after this, snow or no snow," was
Jones' suggestion.

"No I won't; I won't show a yellow streak like that. Besides, I want
to give 'em to you fellows."

A blank silence followed my statement, to which Jim replied:

"Shore that'll be easy; Jones'll have 'em, so'll Emett, an' by thunder
I'm scratchin' now."

"Navvy, look here," I said severely, "mucha no bueno! heap bad!
You--me!" here I scratched myself and made signs that a wooden Indian
would have understood.

"Me savvy," he replied, sullenly, then flared up. "Heap big lie."

He turned on his heel, erect, dignified, and walked away amid the
roars of my gleeful comrades.


One by one my companions sought their blankets, leaving the shadows,
the dying embers, the slow-rising moan of the night wind to me. Old
Moze got up from among the other hounds and limped into my tent, where
I heard him groan as he lay down. Don, Sounder, and Ranger were
fast asleep in well-earned rest. Shep, one of the pups, whined and
impatiently tossed his short chain. Remembering that he had not been
loose all day, I unbuckled his collar and let him go.

He licked my hand, stretched and shook himself, lifted his shapely,
sleek head and sniffed the wind. He trotted around the circle cast by
the fire and looked out into the darkening shadows. It was plain that
Shep's instincts were developing fast; he was ambitious to hunt. But
sure in my belief that he was afraid of the black night and would stay
in camp, I went to bed.

The Navajo who slept with me snored serenely and Moze growled in his
dreams; the wind swept through the pines with an intermittent rush.
Some time in the after part of the night I heard a distant sound.
Remote, mournful, wild, it sent a chill creeping over me. Borne
faintly to my ears, it was a fit accompaniment to the moan of the wind
in the pines. It was not the cry of a trailing wolf, nor the lonesome
howl of a prowling coyote, nor the strange, low sound, like a cough,
of a hunting cougar, though it had a semblance of all three. It was
the bay of a hound, thinned out by distance, and it served to keep me
wide awake. But for a while, what with the roar and swell of the wind
and Navvy's snores, I could hear it only at long intervals.

Still, in the course of an hour, I followed the sound, or imagined so,
from a point straight in line with my feet to one at right angles
with my head. Finally deciding it came from Shep, and fancying he was
trailing a deer or coyote, I tried to go to sleep again.

In this I would have succeeded had not, all at once, our captive lions
begun to growl. That ominous, low murmuring awoke me with a vengeance,
for it was unusual for them to growl in the middle of the night.
I wondered if they, as well as the pup, had gotten the scent of a
prowling lion.

I reached down to my feet and groped in the dark for Moze. Finding
him, I gave him a shake. The old gladiator groaned, stirred, and came
out of what must have been dreams of hunting meat. He slapped his tail
against my bed. As luck would have it, just then the wind abated to a
soft moan, and clear and sharp came the bay of a hound. Moze heard it,
for he stopped wagging his tail, his body grew tense under my hand,
and he vented his low, deep grumble.

I lay there undecided. To wake my companions was hardly to be
considered, and to venture off into the forest alone, where old Sultan
might be scouting, was not exactly to my taste. And trying to think
what to do, and listening for the bay of the pup, and hearing mostly
the lions growling and the wind roaring, I fell asleep.

"Hey! are you ever going to get up?" some one yelled into my drowsy
brain. I roused and opened my eyes. The yellow, flickering shadows on
the wall of my tent told me that the sun had long risen. I found my
companions finishing breakfast. The first thing I did was to look over
the dogs. Shep, the black-and-white pup, was missing.

"Where's Shep?" I asked.

"Shore, I ain't seen him this mornin'," replied Jim.

Thereupon I told what I had heard during the night.

"Everybody listen," said Jones.

We quieted down and sat like statues. A gentle, cool breeze, barely
moving the pine tips, had succeeded the night wind. The sound of
horses munching their oats, and an occasional clink, rattle, and growl
from the lions did not drown the faint but unmistakable yelps of a

"South, toward the canyon," said Jim, as Jones got up.

"Now, it'd be funny if that little Shep, just to get even with me for
tying him up so often, has treed a lion all by himself," commented
Jones. "And I'll bet that's just what he's done."

He called the hounds about him and hurried westward through the

"Shore, it might be." Jim shook his head knowingly. "I reckon it's
only a rabbit, but anythin' might happen in this place."

I finished breakfast and went into my tent for something--I forget
what, for wild yells from Emett and Jim brought me flying out again.

"Listen to that!" cried Jim, pointing west.

The hounds had opened up; their full, wild chorus floated clearly on
the breeze, and above it Jones' stentorian yell signaled us.

"Shore, the old man can yell," continued Jim. "Grab your lassos an'
hump yourselves. I've got the collar an' chain."

"Come on, Navvy," shouted Emett. He grasped the Indian's wrist and
started to run, jerking Navvy into the air at every jump. I caught up
my camera and followed. We crossed two shallow hollows, and then saw
the hounds and Jones among the pines not far ahead.

In my excitement I outran my companions and dashed into an open glade.
First I saw Jones waving his long arms; next the dogs, noses upward,
and Don actually standing on his hind legs; then a dead pine with a
well-known tawny shape outlined against the blue sky.

"Hurrah for Shep!" I yelled, and right vigorously did my comrades join

"It's another female," said Jones, when we calmed down, "and fair
sized. That's the best tree for our purpose that I ever saw a lion in.
So spread out, boys; surround her and keep noisy."

Navvy broke from Emett at this juncture and ran away. But evidently
overcome by curiosity, he stopped to hide behind a bush, from which I
saw his black head protruding.

When Jones swung himself on the first stubby branch of the pine, the
lioness, some fifteen feet above, leaped to another limb, and the one
she had left cracked, swayed and broke. It fell directly upon Jones,
the blunt end striking his head and knocking him out of the tree.
Fortunately, he landed on his feet; otherwise there would surely have
been bones broken. He appeared stunned, and reeled so that Emett
caught him. The blood poured from a wound in his head.

This sudden shock sobered us instantly. On examination we found a
long, jagged cut in Jones' scalp. We bathed it with water from my
canteen and with snow Jim procured from a nearby hollow, eventually
stopping the bleeding. I insisted on Jones coming to camp to have the
wound properly dressed, and he insisted on having it bound with a
bandana; after which he informed us that he was going to climb the
tree again.

We objected to this. Each of us declared his willingness to go up and
rope the lion; but Jones would not hear of it.

"I'm not doubting your courage," he said. "It's only that you cannot
tell what move the lion would make next, and that's the danger."

We could not gainsay this, and as not one of us wanted to kill the
animal or let her go, Jones had his way. So he went up the tree,
passed the first branch and then another. The lioness changed her
position, growled, spat, clawed the twigs, tried to keep the tree
trunk between her and Jones, and at length got out on a branch in a
most favorable position for roping.

The first cast of the lasso did the business, and Jim and Emett with
nimble fingers tied up the hounds.

"Coming," shouted Jones. He slid down, hand over hand, on the rope,
the lioness holding his weight with apparent ease.

"Make your noose ready," he yelled to Emett.

I had to drop my camera to help Jones and Jim pull the animal from
her perch. The branches broke in a shower; then the lioness, hissing,
snarling, whirling, plunged down. She nearly jerked the rope out of
our hands, but we lowered her to Emett, who noosed her hind paws in a

"Make fast your rope," shouted Jones. "There, that's good! Now let her

As soon as the lioness touched ground we let go the lasso, which
whipped up and over the branch. She became a round, yellow, rapidly
moving ball. Emett was the first to catch the loose lasso, and he
checked the rolling cougar. Jones leaped to assist him and the two of
them straightened out the struggling animal, while Jim swung another
noose at her. On the second throw he caught a front paw.

"Pull hard! Stretch her out!" yelled Jones. He grasped a stout piece
of wood and pushed it at the lioness. She caught it in her mouth,
making the splinters fly. Jones shoved her head back on the ground and
pressed his brawny knee on the bar of wood.

"The collar! The collar! Quick!" he called.

I threw chain and collar to him, which in a moment he had buckled
round her neck.

"There, we've got her!" he said. "It's only a short way over to camp,
so we'll drag her without muzzling."

As he rose the lioness lurched, and reaching him, fastened her
fangs in his leg. Jones roared. Emett and Jim yelled. And I, though
frightened, was so obsessed with the idea of getting a picture that I
began to fumble with the shutter of my camera.

"Grab the chain! Pull her off!" bawled Jones.

I ran in, took up the chain with both hands, and tugged with all my
might. Emett, too, had all his weight on the lasso round her neck.
Between the two of us we choked her hold loose, but she brought Jones'
leather leggin in her teeth. Then I dropped the chain and jumped.

"**-- **--!" exploded Jones to me. "Do you think more of a picture
than of saving my life?" Having expressed this not unreasonable
protest, he untied the lasso that Emett had made fast to a small

Then the three men, forming points of a triangle around an animated
center, began a march through the forest that for variety of action
and splendid vociferation beat any show I ever beheld.

So rare was it that the Navajo came out of his retreat and,
straightway forgetting his reverence and fear, began to execute a
ghost-dance, or war-dance, or at any rate some kind of an Indian
dance, along the side lines.

There were moments when the lioness had Jim and Jones on the ground
and Emett wobbling; others when she ran on her bound legs and chased
the two in front and dragged the one behind; others when she came
within an ace of getting her teeth in somebody.

They had caught a Tartar. They dared not let her go, and though Jones
evidently ordered it, no one made fast his rope to a tree. There was
no opportunity. She was in the air three parts of the time and the
fourth she was invisible for dust. The lassos were each thirty feet
long, but even with that the men could just barely keep out of her

Then came the climax, as it always comes in a lion hunt, unerringly,
unexpectedly, and with lightning swiftness. The three men were nearing
the bottom of the second hollow, well spread out, lassos taut, facing
one another. Jones stumbled and the lioness leaped his way. The
weight of both brought Jim over, sliding and slipping, with his rope
slackening. The leap of the lioness carried her within reach of Jones;
and as he raised himself, back toward her, she reached a big paw for
him just as Emett threw all his bull strength and bulk on his lasso.

The seat of Jones' trousers came away with the lioness' claws. Then
she fell backward, overcome by Emett's desperate lunge. Jones sprang
up with the velocity of an Arab tumbler, and his scarlet face, working
spasmodically, and his moving lips, showed how utterly unable he was
to give expression to his rage. I had a stitch in my side that nearly
killed me, but laugh I had to though I should die for it.

No laughing matter was it for them. They volleyed and thundered
back and forth meaningless words of which "hell" was the only one
distinguishable, and probably the word that best described their

All the while, however, they had been running from the lioness, which
brought them before they realized it right into camp. Our captive
lions cut up fearfully at the hubbub, and the horses stampeded in

"Whoa!" yelled Jones, whether to his companions or to the struggling
cougar, no one knew. But Navvy thought Jones addressed the cougar.

"Whoa!" repeated Navvy. "No savvy whoa! No savvy whoa!" which proved
conclusively that the Navajo had understanding as well as wit.

Soon we had another captive safely chained and growling away in tune
with the others. I went back to untie the hounds, to find them sulky
and out of sorts from being so unceremoniously treated. They noisily
trailed the lioness into camp, where, finding her chained, they formed
a ring around her.

Thereafter the day passed in round-the-camp-fire chat and task. For
once Jim looked at Navvy with toleration. We dressed the wound in
Jones' head and laughed at the condition of his trousers and at his
awkward attempts to piece them.

"Mucha dam cougie," remarked Navvy. "No savvy whoa!"

The lions growled all day. And Jones kept repeating: "To think how
Shep fooled me!"


Next morning Jones was out bright and early, yelling at Navvy to hurry
with the horses, calling to the hounds and lions, just as usual.

Navvy had finally come to his full share of praise from all of us.
Even Jim acknowledged that the Indian was invaluable to a hunting
party in a country where grass and water were hard to find and wild
horses haunted the trails.

"_Tohodena! Tohodena!_ (hurry! hurry!)" said Navvy, mimicking Jones
that morning.

As we sat down to breakfast he loped off into the forest and before we
got up the bells of the horses were jingling in the hollow.

"I believe it's going to be cloudy," said Jones, "and if so we can
hunt all day."

We rode down the ridge to the left of Middle Canyon, and had trouble
with the hounds all the way. First they ran foul of a coyote, which
was the one and only beast they could not resist. Spreading out to
head them off, we separated. I cut into a hollow and rode to its head,
where I went up. I heard the hounds and presently saw a big, white
coyote making fast time through the forest glades. It looked as if he
would cross close in front of me, so I pulled Foxie to a standstill,
jumped off and knelt with my rifle ready. But the sharp-eyed coyote
saw my horse and shied off. I had not much hope to hit him so far
away, and the five bullets I sent after him, singing and zipping,
served only to make him run faster. I mounted Foxie and intercepted
the hounds coming up sharply on the trail, and turned them toward my
companions, now hallooing from the ridge below.

Then the pack lost a good hour on several lion tracks that were a day
old, and for such trails we had no time. We reached the cedars however
at seven o'clock, and as the sky was overcast with low dun-colored
clouds and the air cool, we were sure it was not too late.

One of the capes of the plateau between Middle and Left Canyon was a
narrow strip of rock, covered with a dense cedar growth and cut up
into smaller canyons, all running down inevitably toward the great
canyon. With but a single bark to warn us, Don got out of our sight
and hearing; and while we split to look and call for him the remainder
of the pack found the lion trail that he had gone on, and they left
us trying to find a way out as well as to find each other. I kept the
hounds in hearing for some time and meanwhile I signalled to Emett who
was on my right flank. Jones and Jim might as well have vanished off
the globe for all I could see or hear of them. A deep, narrow gully
into which I had to lead Foxie and carefully coax him out took so much
time that when I once more reached a level I could not hear the hounds
or get an answer to my signal cry.

"Waa-hoo!" I called again.

Away on the dry rarified air pealed the cry, piercing the cedar
forest, splitting sharp in the vaulted canyons, rolling loud and long,
to lose power, to die away in muffling echo. But the silence returned
no answer.

I rode on under the cedars, through a dark, gloomy forest, silent,
almost spectral, which brought irresistibly to my mind the words
"I found me in a gloomy wood astray." I was lost though I knew the
direction of the camp. This section of cedar forest was all but
impenetrable. Dead cedars were massed in gray tangles, live cedars,
branches touching the ground, grew close together. In this labyrinth
I lost my bearings. I turned and turned, crossed my own back trail,
which in desperation I followed, coming out of the cedars at the deep
and narrow canyon.

Here I fired my revolver. The echo boomed out like the report of heavy
artillery, but no answering shot rewarded me. There was no alternative
save to wander along the canyon and through the cedars until I found
my companions. This I began to do, disgusted with my awkwardness in
losing them. Turning Foxie westward I had scarcely gotten under way
when Don came trotting toward me.

"Hello, old boy!" I called. Don appeared as happy to see me as I was
to see him. He flopped down on the ground; his dripping tongue rolled
as he panted; covered with dust and flecked with light froth he surely
looked to be a tired hound.

"All in, eh Don!" I said dismounting. "Well, we'll rest awhile." Then
I discovered blood on his nose, which I found to have come from a deep
scratch. "A--ah! been pushing a lion too hard this morning? Got your
nose scratched, didn't you? You great, crazy hound, don't you know
some day you'll chase your last lion?"

Don wagged his tail as if to say he knew it all very well. I wet my
handkerchief from my canteen and started to wash the blood and dust
from his nose, when he whined and licked my fingers.

"Thirsty?" I asked, sitting down beside him. Denting the top of my hat
I poured in as much water as it would hold and gave him to drink. Four
times he emptied my improvised cup before he was satisfied. Then with
a sigh of relief he lay down again.

The three of us rested there for perhaps half an hour, Don and I
sitting quietly on the wall of the canyon, while Foxie browsed on
occasional tufts of grass. During that time the hound never raised his
sleek, dark head, which showed conclusively the nature of the silence.
And now that I had company--as good company as any hunter ever had--I
was once more contented.

Don got up, at length of his own volition and with a wag of his tail
set off westward along the rim. Remounting my mustang I kept as close
to Don's heels as the rough going permitted. The hound, however,
showed no disposition to hurry, and I let him have his way without a

We came out in the notch of the great amphitheater or curve we had
named the Bay, and I saw again the downward slope, the bold steps, the
color and depth below.

I was just about to yell a signal cry when I saw Don, with hair rising
stiff, run forward. He took a dozen jumps, then yelping broke down the
steep, yellow and green gorge. He disappeared before I knew what had

Shortly I found a lion track, freshly made, leading down. I believed
I could follow wherever Don led, so I decided to go after him. I tied
Foxie securely, removed my coat, kicked off spurs and chaps, and
remembering past unnecessary toil, fastened a red bandana to the top
of a dead snag to show me where to come up on my way out. Then I
carefully strapped my canteen and camera on my back, made doubly
secure my revolver, put on my heavy gloves, and started down. And I
realized at once that only so lightly encumbered should I have ever
ventured down the slope.

Little benches of rock, grassy on top, with here and there cedar
trees, led steeply down for perhaps five hundred feet. A precipice
stopped me. From it I heard Don baying below, and almost instantly saw
the yellow gleam of a lion in a tree-top.

"Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!" I yelled in wild encouragement.

I felt it would be wise to look before I leaped. The Bay lay under me,
a mile wide where it opened into the great slumbering smoky canyon.
All below was chaos of splintered stone and slope, green jumble of
cedar, ruined, detached, sliding, standing cliff walls, leaning yellow
crags--an awful hole. But I could get down, and that was all I cared
for. I ran along to the left, jumping cracks, bounding over the uneven
stones with sure, swift feet, and came to where the cliff ended in
weathered slope and scaly bench.

It was like a game, going down that canyon. My heavy nailed boots
struck fire from the rocks. My heavy gloves protected my hands as I
slid and hung on and let go. I outfooted the avalanches and wherever I
came to a scaly slope or bank or decayed rock, I leaped down in sheer

But all too soon my progress was barred; once under the cliff I found
only a gradual slope and many obstacles to go round or surmount. Luck
favored me, for I ran across a runway and keeping to it made better
time. I heard Don long before I tried to see him, and yelled at
intervals to let him know I was coming. A white bank of weathered
stones led down to a clump of cedars from where Don's bay came
spurring me to greater efforts. I flew down this bank, and through an
opening saw the hound standing with fore feet against a cedar. The
branches over him swayed, and I saw an indistinct, tawny form move
downward in the air. Then succeeded the crash and rattle of stones.
Don left the tree and disappeared.

I dashed down, dodged under the cedars, threaded a maze of rocks, to
find myself in a ravine with a bare, water-worn floor. In patches of
sand showed the fresh tracks of Don and the lion. Running down this
dry, clean bed was the easiest going I ever found in the canyon. Every
rod the course jumped in a fall from four to ten feet, often more, and
these I slid down. How I ever kept Don in hearing was a marvel, but
still I did.

The lion evidently had no further intention of taking to a tree. From
the size of his track I concluded he was old and I feared every moment
to hear the sounds of a fight. Jones had said that nearly always in
the case of one hound chasing an old lion, the lion would lie in wait
for him and kill him. And I was afraid for Don.

Down, down, down, we went, till the yellow rim above seemed a thin
band of gold. I saw that we were almost to the canyon proper, and
I wondered what would happen when we reached it. The dark shaded
watercourse suddenly shot out into bright light and ended in a deep
cove, with perpendicular walls fifty feet high. I could see where
a few rods farther on this cove opened into a huge, airy, colored

I called the hound, wondering if he had gone to the right or left of
the cove. His bay answered me coming from the cedars far to the right.
I turned with all the speed left in me, for I felt the chase nearing
an end. Tracks of hound and lion once more showed in the dust. The
slope was steep and stones I sent rolling cracked down below. Soon I
had a cliff above me and had to go slow and cautiously. A misstep or
slide would have precipitated me into the cove.

Almost before I knew what I was about, I stood gasping on the gigantic
second wall of the canyon, with nothing but thin air under me, except,
far below, faint and indistinct purple clefts, red ridges, dotted
slopes, running down to merge in a dark, winding strip of water,
that was the Rio Colorado. A sullen murmur soared out of the abyss.

[Illustration: TWO LIONS IN ONE TREE]


The coloring of my mood changed. Never had the canyon struck me so
terribly with its illimitable space, its dread depth, its unscalable
cliffs, and particularly with the desolate, forbidding quality of its

I heard Don bark. Turning the corner of the cliff wall I saw him on a
narrow shelf. He was coming toward me and when he reached me he faced
again to the wall and barked fiercely. The hair on his neck bristled.
I knew he did not fancy that narrow strip of rock, nor did I. But a
sudden, grim, cold something had taken possession of me, and I stepped

"Come on, Don, old fellow, we've got him corralled."

That was the first instance I ever knew of Don's hesitation in the
chase of a lion. I had to coax him to me. But once started he took the
lead and I closely followed.

The shelf was twenty feet wide and upon it close to the wall, in the
dust, were the deep imprints of the lion. A jutting corner of cliff
wall hid my view. I peeped around it. The shelf narrowed on the other
side to a yard in width, and climbed gradually by broken steps. Don
passed the corner, looked back to see if I was coming and went on. He
did this four times, once even stopping to wait for me.

"I'm with you Don!" I grimly muttered. "We'll see this trail out to a

I had now no eyes for the wonders of the place, though I could not but
see as I bent a piercing gaze ahead the ponderous overhanging wall
above, and sense the bottomless depth below. I felt rather than saw
the canyon swallows, sweeping by in darting flight, with soft
rustle of wings, and I heard the shrill chirp of some strange cliff

Don ceased barking. How strange that seemed to me! We were no longer
man and hound, but companions, brothers, each one relying on the
other. A protruding corner shut us from sight of what was beyond. Don
slipped around. I had to go sidewise and shuddered as my fingers bit
into the wall.

To my surprise I soon found myself on the floor of a shallow wind
cave. The lion trail led straight across it and on. Shelves of rock
stuck out above under which I hurriedly walked. I came upon a shrub
cedar growing in a niche and marveled to see it there. Don went slower
and slower.

We suddenly rounded a point, to see the lion lying in a box-like space
in the wall. The shelf ended there. I had once before been confronted
with a like situation, and had expected to find it here, so was not
frightened. The lion looked up from his task of licking a bloody paw,
and uttered a fierce growl. His tail began to lash to and fro; it
knocked the little stones off the shelf. I heard them click on the
wall. Again and again he spat, showing great, white fangs. He was a
Tom, heavy and large.

It had been my purpose, of course, to photograph this lion, and now
that we had cornered him I proposed to do it. What would follow had
only hazily formed in my mind, but the nucleus of it was that he
should go free. I got my camera, opened it, and focused from between
twenty and twenty-five feet.

Then a growl from Don and roar from the lion bade me come to my
senses. I did so and my first movement after seeing the lion had risen
threateningly was to whip out my revolver.

The lion's cruel yellow eyes darkened and darkened. In an instant I
saw my error. Jones had always said in case any one of us had to
face a lion, never for a single instant to shift his glance. I had
forgotten that, and in that short interval when I focused my camera
the lion had seen I meant him no harm, or feared him, and he had
risen. Even then in desperate lessening ambition for a great picture I
attempted to take one, still keeping my glance on him.

It was then that the appalling nature of my predicament made itself
plain to me. The lion leaped ten feet and stood snarling horribly
right in my face.

Brave, noble Don, with infinitely more sense and courage than I
possessed, faced the lion and bayed him in his teeth. I raised the
revolver and aimed twice, each time lowering it because I feared to
shoot in such a precarious position. To wound the lion would be the
worst thing I could do, and I knew that only a shot through the brain
would kill him in his tracks.

"Hold him, Don, hold him!" I yelled, and I took a backward step. The
lion put forward one big paw, his eyes now all purple blaze. I backed
again and he came forward. Don gave ground slowly. Once the lion
flashed a yellow paw at him. It was frightful to see the wide-spread

In the consternation of the moment I allowed the lion to back me
across the front of the wind cave, where I saw, the moment it was too
late, I should have taken advantage of more space to shoot him.

Fright succeeded consternation, and I began to tremble. The lion was
master of the situation. What would happen when I came to the narrow
point on the shelf where it would be impossible for me to back around?
I almost fainted. The thought of heroic Don saved me, and the weak
moment passed.

"By God, Don, you've got the nerve, and I must have it too!"

I stopped in my tracks. The lion, appearing huge now, took slow
catlike steps toward me, backing Don almost against my knees. He was
so close I smelt him. His wonderful eyes, clear blue fire circled by
yellow flame, fascinated me. Hugging the wall with my body I brought
the revolver up, short armed, and with clinched teeth, and nerve
strained to the breaking point, I aimed between the eyes and pulled
the trigger.

The left eye seemed to go out blankly, then followed the bellow of the
revolver and the smell of powder. The lion uttered a sound that was a
mingling of snarls, howls and roars and he rose straight up, towering
high over my head, beating the wall heavily with his paws.

In helpless terror I stood there forgetting weapon, fearing only the
beast would fall over on me.

But in death agony he bounded out from the wall to fall into space.

I sank down on the shelf, legs powerless, body in cold sweat. As I
waited, slowly my mind freed itself from a tight iron band and a
sickening relief filled my soul. Tensely I waited and listened. Don
whined once.

Would the lion never strike? What seemed a long period of time ended
in a low, distant roar of sliding rock, quickly dying into the solemn
stillness of the canyon.


I lay there for some moments slowly recovering, eyes on the far
distant escarpments, now darkly red and repellent to me. When I got up
my legs were still shaky and I had the strange, weak sensation of a
long bed-ridden invalid. Three attempts were necessary before I could
trust myself on the narrow strip of shelf. But once around it with the
peril passed, I braced up and soon reached the turn in the wall.

After that the ascent out of the Bay was only a matter of work, which
I gave with a will. Don did not evince any desire for more hunting
that day. We reached the rim together, and after a short rest, I
mounted my horse, and we turned for camp.

The sun had long slanted toward the western horizon when I saw the
blue smoke of our camp-fire among the pines. The hounds rose up and
barked as Don trotted in to the blaze, and my companions just sitting
to a dinner, gave me a noisy greeting.

"Shore, we'd began to get worried," said Jim. "We all had it comin' to
us to-day, and don't you forget that."

Dinner lasted for a long hour. Besides being half famished we all
took time between bites to talk. I told my story first, expecting my
friends to be overwhelmed, but they were not.

"It's been the greatest day of lion hunting that I ever experienced,"
declared Jones. "We ran bang into a nest of lions and they split. We
all split and the hounds split. That tells the tale. We have nothing
to show for our day's toil. Six lions chased, rounded up, treed,
holed, and one lion killed, and we haven't even his skin to show. I
did not go down but I helped Ranger and two of the pups chase a lion
all over the lower end of the plateau. We treed him twice and I yelled
for you fellows till my voice was gone."

"Well," said Emett, "I fell in with Sounder and Jude. They were hot on
a trail which in a mile or two turned up this way. I came on them just
at the edge of the pines where they had treed their game. I sat under
that pine tree for five hours, fired all my shots to make you fellows
come, yelled myself hoarse and then tried to tie up the lion alone. He
jumped out and ran over the rim, where neither I nor the dogs could

"Shore, I win, three of a kind," drawled Jim, as he got his pipe and
carefully dusted the bowl. "When the stampede came, I got my hands on
Moze and held him. I held Moze because just as the other hounds broke
loose over to my right, I saw down into a little pocket where a
fresh-killed deer lay half eaten. So I went down. I found two other
carcasses layin' there, fresh killed last night, flesh all gone, hide
gone, bones crushed, skull split open. An' damn me fellows, if that
little pocket wasn't all torn to pieces. The sage was crushed flat.
The ground dug up, dead snags broken, and blood and hair everywhere.
Lion tracks like leaves, and old Sultan's was there. I let Moze loose
and he humped the trail of several lions south over the rim. Major got
down first an' came back with his tail between his legs. Moze went
down and I kept close to him. It wasn't far down, but steep and rocky,
full of holes. Moze took the trail to a dark cave. I saw the tracks of
three lions goin' in. Then I collared Moze an' waited for you fellows.
I waited there all day, an' nobody came to my call. Then I made for

"How do you account for the torn-up appearance of the place where you
found the carcasses?" I asked.

"Lion fight sure," replied Jones. "Maybe old Sultan ran across the
three lions feeding, and pitched into them. Such fights were common
among the lions in Yellowstone Park when I was there."

"What chance have we to find those three lions in a cave where Jim
chased them?"

"We stand a good chance," said Jones. "Especially if it storms

"Shore the snow storm is comin'," returned Jim.

Darkness clapped down on us suddenly, and the wind roared in the pines
like a mighty river tearing its way down a rocky pass. As we could not
control the camp-fire, sparks of which blew fiercely, we extinguished
it and went to bed. I had just settled myself comfortably to be sung
to sleep by the concert in the pines, when Jones hailed me.

"Say, what do you think?" he yelled, when I had answered him. "Emett
is mad. He's scratching to beat the band. He's got 'em."

I signalled his information with a loud whoop of victory.

"You next, Jones! They're coming to you!"

I heard him grumble over my happy anticipation. Jim laughed and so
did the Navajo, which made me suspect that he could understand more
English than he wanted us to suppose.

Next morning a merry yell disturbed my slumbers. "Snowed in--snowed

"Mucha snow--discass--no cougie--dam no bueno!" exclaimed Navvy.

When I peeped out to see the forest in the throes of a blinding
blizzard, the great pines only pale, grotesque shadows, everything
white mantled in a foot of snow, I emphasized the Indian words in
straight English.

"Much snow--cold--no cougar--bad!"

"Stay in bed," yelled Jones.

"All right," I replied. "Say Jones, have you got 'em yet?"

He vouchsafed me no answer. I went to sleep then and dozed off and on
till noon, when the storm abated. We had dinner, or rather breakfast,
round a blazing bonfire.

"It's going to clear up," said Jim.

The forest around us was a somber and gloomy place. The cloud that had
enveloped the plateau lifted and began to move. It hit the tree tops,
sometimes rolling almost to the ground, then rising above the trees.
At first it moved slowly, rolling, forming, expanding, blooming like
a column of whirling gray smoke; then it gathered headway and rolled
onward through the forest. A gray, gloomy curtain, moving and
rippling, split by the trees, seemed to be passing over us. It rose
higher and higher, to split up in great globes, to roll apart, showing
glimpses of blue sky.

Shafts of golden sunshine shot down from these rifts, dispelling the
shadows and gloom, moving in paths of gold through the forest glade,
gleaming with brilliantly colored fire from the snow-wreathed pines.

The cloud rolled away and the sun shone hot. The trees began to drip.
A mist of diamonds filled the air, rainbows curved through every glade
and feathered patches of snow floated down.

A great bank of snow, sliding from the pine overhead almost buried
the Navajo, to our infinite delight. We all sought the shelter of the
tents, and sleep again claimed us.

I awoke about five o'clock. The sun was low, making crimson paths in
the white aisles of the forest. A cold wind promised a frosty morning.

"To-morrow will be the day for lions," exclaimed Jones.

While we hugged the fire, Navvy brought up the horses and gave them
their oats. The hounds sought their shelter and the lions lay hidden
in their beds of pine. The round red sun dropped out of sight beyond
the trees, a pink glow suffused all the ridges; blue shadows gathered
in the hollow, shaded purple and stole upward. A brief twilight
succeeded to a dark, coldly starlit night.

Once again, when I had crawled into the warm hole of my sleeping bag,
was I hailed from the other tent.

Emett called me twice, and as I answered, I heard Jones remonstrating
in a low voice.

"Shore, Jones has got 'em!" yelled Jim. "He can't keep it a secret no

"Hey, Jones," I cried, "do you remember laughing at me?"

"No, I don't," growled Jones.

"Listen to this: Haw-haw! haw! haw! ho-ho! ho-ho! bueno! bueno!" and I
wound up with a string of "hi! hi! hi! hi! hi!"

The hounds rose up in a body and began to yelp.

"Lie down, pups," I called to them. "Nothing doing for you. It's only
Jones has got 'em."


When we trooped out of the pines next morning, the sun, rising
gloriously bright, had already taken off the keen edge of the frosty
air, presaging a warm day. The white ridges glistened; the bunches of
sage scintillated, and the cedars, tipped in snow, resembled trees
with brilliant blossoms.

We lost no time riding for the mouth of Left Canyon, into which Jim
had trailed the three lions. On the way the snow, as we had expected,
began to thin out, and it failed altogether under the cedars, though
there was enough on the branches to give us a drenching.

Jim reined in on the verge of a narrow gorge, and informed us the cave
was below. Jones looked the ground over and said Jim had better
take the hounds down while the rest of us remained above to await

Jim went down on foot, calling the hounds and holding them close. We
listened eagerly for him to yell or the pack to open up, but we were
disappointed. In less than half an hour Jim came climbing out, with
the information that the lions had left the cave, probably the evening
after he had chased them there.

"Well, then," said Jones, "let's split the pack, and hunt round the
rims of these canyons. We can signal to each other if necessary."

So we arranged for Jim to take Ranger and the pups across Left Canyon;
Emett to try Middle Canyon, with Don and Moze, and we were to perform
a like office in Right Canyon with Sounder and Jude. Emett rode back
with us, leaving us where we crossed Middle Canyon.

Jones and I rimmed a mile of our canyon and worked out almost to the
west end of the Bay, without finding so much as a single track, so we
started to retrace our way. The sun was now hot; the snow all gone;
the ground dry as if it had never been damp; and Jones grumbled that
no success would attend our efforts this morning.

We reached the ragged mouth of Right Canyon, where it opened into the
deep, wide Bay, and because we hoped to hear our companions across the
canyon, we rode close to the rim. Sounder and Jude both began to bark
on a cliff; however, as we could find no tracks in the dust we called
them off. Sounder obeyed reluctantly, but Jude wanted to get down over
the wall.

"They scent a lion," averred Jones. "Let's put them over the wall."

Once permitted to go, the hounds needed no assistance. They ran up
and down the rim till they found a crack. Hardly had they gone out
of sight when we heard them yelping. We rushed to the rim and looked
over. The first step was short, a crumbled section of wall, and from
it led down a long slope, dotted here and there with cedars. Both
hounds were baying furiously.

I spied Jude with her paws up on a cedar, and above her hung a lion,
so close that she could nearly reach him. Sounder was not yet in

"There! There!" I cried, directing Jones' glance. "Are we not lucky?"

"I see. By George! Come, we'll go down. Leave everything that you
don't absolutely need."

Spurs, chaps, gun, coat, hat, I left on the rim, taking only my camera
and lasso. I had forgotten to bring my canteen. We descended a ladder
of shaly cliff, the steps of which broke under our feet. The slope
below us was easy, and soon we stood on a level with the lion. The
cedar was small, and afforded no good place for him. Evidently he
jumped from the slope to the tree, and had hung where he first

"Where's Sounder? Look for him. I hear him below. This lion won't stay
treed long."

I, too, heard Sounder. The cedar tree obstructed my view, and I moved
aside. A hundred feet farther down the hound bayed under a tall piñon.
High in the branches I saw a great mass of yellow, and at first glance
thought Sounder had treed old Sultan. How I yelled! Then a second
glance showed two lions close together.

"Two more! two more! look! look!" I yelled to Jones.

"Hi! Hi! Hi!" he joined his robust yell to mine, and for a moment we
made the canyon bellow. When we stopped for breath the echoes bayed at
us from the opposite walls.

"Waa-hoo!" Emett's signal, faint, far away, soaring but unmistakable,
floated down to us. Across the jutting capes separating the mouths of
these canyons, high above them on the rim wall of the opposite side of
the Bay, stood a giant white horse silhouetted against the white
sky. They made a brave picture, one most welcome to us. We yelled in
chorus: "Three lions treed! Three lions treed! come down--hurry!"

A crash of rolling stones made us wheel. Jude's lion had jumped. He
ran straight down, drawing Sounder from his guard. Jude went tearing
after them.

"I'll follow; you stay here. Keep them up there, if you can!" yelled
Jones. Then in long strides he passed down out of sight among the
trees and crags.

It had all happened so quickly that I could scarcely realize it. The
yelping of the hounds, the clattering of stones, grew fainter, telling
me Jude and Sounder, with Jones, were going to the bottom of the Bay.

Both lions snarling at me brought me to a keen appreciation of the
facts in the case. Two full-grown lions to be kept treed without
hounds, without a companion, without a gun.

"This is fine! This is funny!" I cried, and for a moment I wanted to
run. But the same grim, deadly feeling that had taken me with Don
around the narrow shelf now rose in me stronger and fiercer. I
pronounced one savage malediction upon myself for leaving my gun. I
could not go for it; I would have to make the best of my error, and in
the wildness born of the moment I swore if the lions would stay treed
for the hounds they would stay treed for me.

First I photographed them from different positions; then I took up my
stand about on a level with them in an open place on the slope where
they had me in plain sight. I might have been fifty feet from them.
They showed no inclination to come down.

About this moment I heard hounds below, coming down from the left. I
called and called, but they passed on down the canyon bottom in the
direction Jones had taken.

Presently a chorus of bays, emphasized by Jones' yell, told me his
lion had treed again.

"Waa-hoo!" rolled down from above.

I saw Emett farther to the left from the point where he had just


I surveyed the walls of the Bay. Cliff on cliff, slide on slide,
jumble, crag, and ruin, baffled my gaze. But I finally picked out a

"Farther to the left," I yelled, and waited. He passed on, Don at his

"There," I yelled again, "stop there; let Don go down with your lasso,
and come yourself."

I watched him swing the hound down a wall, and pull the slip noose
free. Don slid to the edge of a slope, trotted to the right and left
of crags, threaded the narrow places, and turned in the direction of
the baying hounds. He passed on the verge of precipices that made me
tremble for him; but sure-footed as a goat, he went on safely down, to
disappear far to my right.

Then I saw Emett sliding, leg wrapped around his lasso, down the first
step of the rim. His lasso, doubled so as to reach round a cedar
above, was too short to extend to the landing below. He dropped,
raising a cloud of dust, and starting the stones. Pulling one end of
his lasso up around the cedar he gathered it in a coil on his arm and
faced forward, following Don's trail.

What strides he took! In the clear light, with that wild red and
yellow background, with the stones and gravel roaring down, streaming
over the walls like waterfalls, he seemed a giant pursuing a foe. From
time to time he sent up a yell of encouragement that wound down the
canyon, to be answered by Jones and the baying hounds and then the
strange echoes. At last he passed out of sight behind the crests of
the trees; I heard him going down, down till the sounds came up faint
and hollow.

I was left absolutely alone with my two lions and never did a hunter
so delight in a situation. I sat there in the sun watching them. For a
long time they were quiet, listening. But as the bays and yells below
diminished in volume and occurrence and then ceased altogether, they
became restless. It was then that I, remembering the lion I had held
on top of the crag, began to bark like a hound. The lions became quiet
once more.

I bayed them for an hour. My voice grew from hoarse to hoarser, and
finally failed in my throat. The lions immediately grew restless
again. The lower one hissed, spat and growled at me, and made many
attempts to start down, each one of which I frustrated by throwing
stones under the tree. At length he made one more determined effort,
turned head downward, and stepped from branch to branch.

I dashed down the incline with a stone in one hand and a long club in
the other. Instinctively I knew I must hurt him--make him fear me.
If he got far enough down to jump, he would either escape or have me
helpless. I aimed deliberately at him, and hit him square in the ribs.
He exploded in a spit-roar that raised my hair. Directly under him I
wielded my club, pounded on the tree, thrashed at the branches and,
like the crazy fool that I was, yelled at him:

"Go back! Go back! Don't you dare come down! I'd break your old head
for you!"

Foolish or not, this means effectually stopped the descent. He climbed
to his first perch. It was then, realizing what I had done, that I
would certainly have made tracks from under the piñon, if I had not
heard the faint yelp of a hound.

I listened. It came again, faint but clearer. I looked up at my lions.
They too heard, for they were very still. I saw how strained they held
their heads. I backed a little way up the slope. Then the faint yelp
floated up again in the silence. Such dead, strange silence, that
seemed never to have been broken! I saw the lions quiver, and if I
ever heard anything in my life I heard their hearts thump. The yelp
wafted up again, closer this time. I recognized it; it belonged to
Don. The great hound on the back trail of the other lion was coming to
my rescue.

"It's Don! It's Don! It's Don!" I cried, shaking my club at the lions.
"It's all up with you now!" What feelings stirred me then! Pity for
those lions dominated me. Big, tawny, cruel fellows as they were, they
shivered with fright. Their sides trembled. But pity did not hold me
long; Don's yelp, now getting clear and sharp, brought back the rush
of savage, grim sensations.

A full-toned bay attracted my attention from the lions to the downward
slope. I saw a yellow form moving under the trees and climbing fast.
It was Don.

"Hi! Hi! old boy!" I yelled.

Then it seemed he moved up like a shot and stood all his long length,
forepaws against the piñon, his deep bay ringing defiance to the

It was a great relief, not to say a probable necessity, for me to sit
down just then.

"Now come down," I said to my lions; "you can't catch that hound, and
you can't get away from him."

Moments passed. I was just on the point of deciding to go down to
hurry up my comrades, when I heard the other hounds coming. Yelp on
yelp, bay on bay, made welcome music to my ears. Then a black and
yellow, swiftly flying string of hounds bore into sight down the
slope, streaked up and circled the piñon.

Jones, who at last showed his tall stooping form on the steep ascent,
seemed as long in coming as the hounds had been swift.

"Did you get the lion? Where's Emett?" I asked in breathless

"Lion tied--all fast," replied the panting Jones. "Left Emett--to

"What are we to do now?"

"Wait--till I get my breath. Think out--a plan. We can't get both
lions--out of one tree."

"All right," I replied, after a moment's thought. "I'll tie Sounder
and Moze. You go up the tree. That first lion will jump, sure; he's
almost ready now. Don and the other hounds will tree him again pretty
soon. If he runs up the canyon, well and good. Then, if you can get
the lasso on the other, I'll yell for Emett to come up to help you,
and I'll follow Don."

Jones began the ascent of the piñon. The branches were not too close,
affording him easy climbing. Before we looked for even a move on the
part of the lions, the lower one began stepping down. I yelled a
warning, but Jones did not have time to take advantage of it. He had
half turned, meaning to swing out and drop, when the lion planted both
forepaws upon his back. Jones went sprawling down with the lion almost
on him.

Don had his teeth in the lion before he touched the ground, and when
he did strike the rest of the hounds were on him. A cloud of dust
rolled down the slope. The lion broke loose and with great, springy
bounds ran up the canyon, Don and his followers hot-footing it after

Moze and Sounder broke the dead sapling to which I had tied them, and
dragging it behind them, endeavored in frenzied action to join the
chase. I drew them back, loosening the rope, so in case the other lion
jumped I could free them quickly.

Jones calmly gathered himself up, rearranged his lasso, took his long
stick, and proceeded to mount the piñon again. I waited till I saw him
slip the noose over the lion's head, then I ran down the slope to
yell for Emett. He answered at once. I told him to hurry to Jones'
assistance. With that I headed up the canyon.

I hung close to the broad trail left by the lion and his pursuers. I
passed perilously near the brink of precipices, but fear of them was
not in me that day. I passed out of the Bay into the mouth of Left
Canyon, and began to climb. The baying of the hounds directed me. In
the box of yellow walls the chorus seemed to come from a hundred dogs.

When I found them, close to a low cliff, baying the lion in a thick,
dark piñon, Ranger leaped into my arms and next Don stood up against
me with his paws on my shoulders. These were strange actions, and
though I marked it at the moment, I had ceased to wonder at our
hounds. I took one picture as the lion sat in the dark shade, and then
climbed to the low cliff and sat down. I called Don to me and held
him. In case our quarry leaped upon the cliff I wanted a hound to put
quickly on his trail.

Another hour passed. It must have been a dark hour for the lion--he
looked as if it were--and one of impatience for the baying hounds, but
for me it was a full hour. Alone with the hounds and a lion, far from
the walks of men, walled in by the wild-colored cliffs, with the dry,
sweet smell of cedar and piñon, I asked no more.

Sounder and Moze, vociferously venting their arrival, were forerunners
to Jones. I saw his gray locks waving in the breeze, and yelled for
him to take his time. As he reached me the lion jumped and ran up the
canyon. This suited me, for I knew he would take to a tree soon and
the farther up he went the less distance we would have to pack him.
From the cliff I saw him run up a slope, pass a big cedar, cunningly
turn on his trail, and then climb into the tree and hide in its
thickest part. Don passed him, got off the trail, and ran at fault.
The others, so used to his leadership, were also baffled. But Jude,
crippled and slow, brought up the rear, and she did not go a yard
beyond where the lion turned. She opened up her deep call under the
cedar, and in a moment the howling pack were around her.

Jones and I toiled laboriously upward. He had brought my lasso, and
he handed it to me with the significant remark that I would soon have
need of it.

The cedar was bushy and overhung a yellow, bare slope that made Jones
shake his head. He climbed the tree, lassoed the spitting lion and
then leaped down to my side. By united and determined efforts we
pulled the lion off the limb and let him down. The hounds began to
leap at him. We both roared in a rage at them but to no use.

"Hold him there!" shouted Jones, leaving me with the lasso while he
sprang forward.

The weight of the animal dragged me forward and, had I not taken a
half hitch round a dead snag, would have lifted me off my feet or
pulled the lasso from my hands. As it was, the choking lion, now
within reach of the furious, leaping hounds, swung to and fro before
my face. He could not see me, but his frantic lunges narrowly missed

If never before, Jones then showed his genius. Don had hold of the
lion's flank, and Jones, grabbing the hound by the hind legs, threw
him down the slope. Don fell and rolled a hundred feet before he
caught himself. Then Jones threw old Moze rolling, and Ranger, and all
except faithful Jude. Before they could get back he roped the lion
again and made fast to a tree. Then he yelled for me to let go. The
lion fell. Jones grabbed the lasso, at the same time calling for me to
stop the hounds. As they came bounding up the steep slope, I had to
club the noble fellows into submission.

Before the lion recovered wholly from his severe choking, we had his
paws bound fast. Then he could only heave his tawny sides, glare and
spit at us.

"Now what?" asked Jones. "Emett is watching the second lion, which we
fastened by chain and lasso to a swinging branch. I'm all in. My heart
won't stand any more climb."

"You go to camp for the pack horses," I said briefly. "Bring them all,
and all the packs, and Navvy, too. I'll help Emett tie up the second
lion, and then we'll pack them both up here to this one. You take the
hounds with you."

"Can you tie up that lion?" asked Jones. "Mind you, he's loose except
for a collar and chain. His claws haven't been clipped. Besides, it'll
be an awful job to pack those two lions up here."

"We can try," I said. "You hustle to camp. Your horse is right up back
of here, across the point, if I don't mistake my bearings."

Jones, admonishing me again, called the hounds and wearily climbed the
slope. I waited until he was out of hearing; then began to retrace my
trail down into the canyon. I made the descent in quick time, to find
Emett standing guard over the lion. The beast had been tied to an
overhanging branch that swung violently with every move he made.

"When I got here," said Emett, "he was hanging over the side of that
rock, almost choked to death. I drove him into this corner between the
rocks and the tree, where he has been comparatively quiet. Now, what's
up? Where is Jones? Did you get the third lion?"

I related what had occurred, and then said we were to tie this lion
and pack him with the other one up the canyon, to meet Jones and the

"All right," replied Emett, with a grim laugh. "We'd better get at
it. Now I'm some worried about the lion we left below. He ought to be
brought up, but we both can't go. This lion here will kill himself."

"What will the other one weigh?"

"All of one hundred and fifty pounds."

"You can't pack him alone."

"I'll try, and I reckon that's the best plan. Watch this fellow and
keep him in the corner."

Emett left me then, and I began a third long vigil beside a lion. The
rest was more than welcome. An hour and a half passed before I heard
the sliding of stones below, which told me that Emett was coming. He
appeared on the slope almost bent double, carrying the lion, head
downward, before him. He could climb only a few steps without lowering
his burden and resting.

I ran down to meet him. We secured a stout pole, and slipping this
between the lion's paws, below where they were tied, we managed to
carry him fairly well, and after several rests, got him up alongside
the other.

"Now to tie that rascal!" exclaimed Emett. "Jones said he was the
meanest one he'd tackled, and I believe it. We'll cut a piece off of
each lasso, and unravel them so as to get strings. I wish Jones hadn't
tied the lasso to that swinging branch."

"I'll go and untie it." Acting on this suggestion I climbed the tree
and started out on the branch. The lion growled fiercely.

"I'm afraid you'd better stop," warned Emett. "That branch is bending,
and the lion can reach you."

But despite this I slipped out a couple of yards farther, and had
almost gotten to the knotted lasso, when the branch swayed and bent
alarmingly. The lion sprang from his corner and crouched under me
snarling and spitting, with every indication of leaping.

"Jump! Jump! Jump!" shouted Emett hoarsely.

[Illustration: BILLY IN CAMP]


I dared not, for I could not jump far enough to get out of the lion's
reach. I raised my legs and began to slide myself back up the branch.
The lion leaped, missing me, but scattering the dead twigs. Then the
beast, beside himself with fury, half leaped, half stood up, and
reached for me. I looked down into his blazing eyes, and open mouth
and saw his white fangs.

Everything grew blurred before my eyes. I desperately fought for
control over mind and muscle. I heard hoarse roars from Emett. Then
I felt a hot, burning pain in my wrist, which stung all my faculties
into keen life again.

I saw the lion's beaked claws fastened in my leather wrist-band. At
the same instant Emett dashed under the branch, and grasped the lion's
tail. One powerful lunge of his broad shoulders tore the lion loose
and flung him down the slope to the full extent of his lasso. Quick
as thought I jumped down, and just in time to prevent Emett from
attacking the lion with the heavy pole we had used.

"I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" roared Emett.

"No you won't," I replied, quietly, for my pain had served to soothe
my excitement as well as to make me more determined. "We'll tie up the
darned tiger, if he cuts us all to pieces. You know how Jones will
give us the laugh if we fail. Here, bind up my wrist."

Mention of Jones' probable ridicule and sight of my injury cooled

"It's a nasty scratch," he said, binding my handkerchief round it.
"The leather saved your hand from being torn off. He's an ugly brute,
but you're right, we'll tie him. Now, let's each take a lasso and
worry him till we get hold of a paw. Then we can stretch him out."

Jones did a fiendish thing when he tied that lion to the swinging
branch. It was almost worse than having him entirely free. He had a
circle almost twenty feet in diameter in which he could run and leap
at will. It seemed he was in the air all the time. First at Emett,
than at me he sprang, mouth agape, eyes wild, claws spread. We whipped
him with our nooses, but not one would hold. He always tore it off
before we could draw it tight. I secured a precarious hold on one hind
paw and straightened my lasso.

"That's far enough," cried Emett. "Now hold him tight; don't lift him
off the ground."

I had backed up the slope. Emett faced the lion, noose ready, waiting
for a favorable chance to rope a front paw. The lion crouched low and
tense, only his long tail lashing back and forth across my lasso.
Emett threw the loop in front of the spread paws, now half sunk into
the dust.

"Ease up; ease up," said he. "I'll tease him to jump into the noose."

I let my rope sag. Emett poked a stick into the lion's face. All at
once I saw the slack in the lasso which was tied to the lion's chain.
Before I could yell to warn my comrade the beast leaped. My rope
burned as it tore through my hands. The lion sailed into the air, his
paws wide-spread like wings, and one of them struck Emett on the head
and rolled him on the slope. I jerked back on my rope only to find it
had slipped its hold.

"He slugged me one," remarked Emett, calmly rising and picking up his
hat. "Did he break the skin?"

"No, but he tore your hat band off," I replied. "Let's keep at him."

For a few moments or an hour--no one will ever know how long--we ran
round him, raising the dust, scattering the stones, breaking the
branches, dodging his onslaughts. He leaped at us to the full length
of his tether, sailing right into our faces, a fierce, uncowed,
tigerish beast. If it had not been for the collar and swivel he would
have choked himself a hundred times. Quick as a cat, supple, powerful,
tireless, he kept on the go, whirling, bounding, leaping, rolling,
till it seemed we would never catch him.

"If anything breaks, he'll get one of us," cried Emett. "I felt his
breath that time."

"Lord! How I wish we had some of those fellows here who say lions are
rank cowards!" I exclaimed.

In one of his sweeping side swings the lion struck the rock and hung
there on its flat surface with his tail hanging over.

"Attract his attention," shouted Emett, "but don't get too close.
Don't make him jump."

While I slowly manoeuvered in front of the lion, Emett slipped behind
the rock, lunged for the long tail and got a good hold of it. Then
with a whoop he ran around the rock, carrying the kicking, squalling
lion clear of the ground.

"Now's your chance," he yelled. "Rope a hind foot! I can hold him."

In a second I had a noose fast on both hind paws, and then passed my
rope to Emett. While he held the lion I again climbed the tree, untied
the knot that had caused so much trouble, and very shortly we had our
obstinate captive stretched out between two trees. After that we took
a much needed breathing spell.

"Not very scientific," growled Emett, by way of apologizing for our
crude work, "but we had to get him some way."

"Emett, do you know I believe Jones put up a job on us?" I said.

"Well, maybe he did. We had the job all right. But we'll make short
work of him now."

He certainly went at it in a way that alarmed me and would have
electrified Jones. While I held the chain Emett muzzled the lion
with a stick and a strand of lasso. His big blacksmith's hands held,
twisted and tied with remorseless strength.

"Now for the hardest part of it," said he, "packing him up."

We toiled and drudged upward, resting every few yards, wet with sweat,
boiling with heat, parching for water. We slipped and fell, got up to
slip and fall again. The dust choked us. We senselessly risked our
lives on the brinks of precipices. We had no thought save to get the
lion up. One hour of unremitting labor saw our task finished, so far.
Then we wearily went down for the other.

"This one is the heaviest," gloomily said Emett.

We had to climb partly sidewise with the pole in the hollow of our
elbows. The lion dragged head downward, catching in the brush and
on the stones. Our rests became more frequent. Emett, who had the
downward end of the pole, and therefore thrice the weight, whistled
when he drew breath. Half the time I saw red mist before my eyes. How
I hated the sliding stones!

"Wait," panted Emett once. "You're--younger--than me--wait!"

For that Mormon giant--used all his days to strenuous toil, peril and
privation--to ask me to wait for him, was a compliment which I valued
more than any I had ever received.

At last we dropped our burden in the shade of a cedar where the
other lions lay, and we stretched ourselves. A long, sweet rest came
abruptly to end with Emett's next words.

"The lions are choking! They're dying of thirst! We must have water!"

One glance at the poor, gasping, frothing beasts, proved to me the
nature of our extremity.

"Water in this desert! Where will we find it? Oh! why, did I forget my

After all our hopes, our efforts, our tragedies, and finally our
wonderful good fortune, to lose these beautiful lions for lack of a
little water was sickening, maddening.

"Think quick!" cried Emett. "I'm no good; I'm all in. But you must
find water. It snowed yesterday. There's water somewhere."

Into my mind flashed a picture of the many little pockets beaten by
rains into the shelves and promontories of the canyon rim. With the
thought I was on the jump. I ran; I climbed; I seemed to have wings; I
reached the rim, and hurried along it with eager gaze. I swung down on
a cedar branch to a projecting point of rock. Small depressions were
everywhere still damp, but the water had evaporated. But I would not
give up. I jumped from rock to rock, and climbed over scaly ledges,
and set tons of yellow shale into motion. And I found on a ragged
promontory many little, round holes, some a foot deep, all full of
clear water. Using my handkerchief as a sponge I filled my cap.

Then began my journey down. I carried the cap with both hands and
balanced myself like a tight-rope performer. I zigzagged the slopes;
slipped over stones; leaped fissures and traversed yellow slides.
I safely descended places that in an ordinary moment would have
presented insurmountable obstacles, and burst down upon Emett with an
Indian yell of triumph.

"Good!" ejaculated he. If I had not known it already, the way his face
changed would have told me of his love for animals. He grasped a lion
by the ears and held his head up. I saturated my handkerchief and
squeezed the water into his mouth. He wheezed, coughed, choked, but to
our joy he swallowed. He had to swallow. One after the other we served
them so, seeing with unmistakable relief the sure signs of recovery.
Their eyes cleared and brightened; the dry coughing that distressed us
so ceased; the froth came no more. The savage fellow that had fought
us to a standstill, and for which we had named him Spitfire, raised
his head, the gold in his beautiful eyes darkened to fire and he
growled his return to life and defiance.

Emett and I sank back in unutterable relief.

"Waa-hoo!" Jones' yell came, breaking the warm quiet of the slope.
Our comrade appeared riding down. The voice of the Indian, calling to
Marc, mingled with the ringing of iron-shod hoofs on the stones.

Jones surveyed the small level spot in the shade of the cedars. He
gazed from the lions to us, his stern face relaxed, and his dry laugh

"Doggone me, if you didn't do it!"


A strange procession soon emerged from Left Canyon and stranger to us
than the lion heads bobbing out of the alfagoes was the sight of Navvy
riding in front of the lions. I kept well in the rear, for if anything
happened, which I calculated was more than likely, I wanted to see
it. Before we had reached the outskirts of pines, I observed that the
piece of lasso around Spitfire's nose had worked loose.

Just as I was about to make this known to Jones, the lion opened a
corner of his mouth and fastened his teeth in the Navajo's overalls.
He did not catch the flesh, for when Navvy turned around he wore only
an expression of curiosity. But when he saw Spitfire chewing him he
uttered a shrill scream and fell sidewise off his horse.

Then two difficulties presented themselves to us, to catch the
frightened horse and persuade the Indian he had not been bitten. We
failed in the latter. Navvy gave us and the lions a wide berth, and
walked to camp.

Jim was waiting for us, and said he had chased a lion south along the
rim till the hounds got away from him.

Spitfire, having already been chained, was the first lion we
endeavored to introduce to our family of captives. He raised such a
fearful row that we had to remove him some distance from the others.

"We have two dog chains," said Jones, "but not a collar or a swivel
in camp. We can't chain the lions without swivels. They'd choke
themselves in two minutes."

Once more, for the hundredth time, Emett came to our rescue with his
inventive and mechanical skill. He took the largest pair of hobbles we
had, and with an axe, a knife and Jones' wire nippers, fashioned two
collars with swivels that for strength and serviceableness improved
somewhat on those we had bought.

Darkness was enveloping the forest when we finished supper. I fell
into my bed and, despite the throbbing and burning of my wrist,
soon lapsed into slumber. And I crawled out next morning late for
breakfast, stiff, worn out, crippled, but happy. Six lions roaring a
concert for me was quite conducive to contentment.

Emett interestingly engaged himself on a new pair of trousers, which
he had contrived to produce from two of our empty meal-bags. The lower
half of his overalls had gone to decorate the cedar spikes and brush,
and these new bag-leg trousers, while somewhat remarkable for design,
answered the purpose well enough. Jones' coat was somewhere along the
canyon rim, his shoes were full of holes, his shirt in strips, and his
trousers in rags. Jim looked like a scarecrow. My clothes, being of
heavy waterproofed duck, had stood the hard usage in a manner to bring
forth the unanimous admiration of my companions.

"Well, fellows," said Jones, "there's six lions, and that's more than
we can pack out of here. Have you had enough hunting? I have."

"And I," rejoined Emett.

"Shore you can bet I have," drawled Jim.

"One more day, boys, and then I've done," said I. "Only one more day!"

Signs of relief on the faces of my good comrades showed how they took
this evidence of my satisfied ambition.

I spent all the afternoon with the lions, photographing them,
listening to them spit and growl, watching them fight their chains,
and roll up like balls of fire. From different parts of the forest I
tried to creep unsuspected upon them; but always when I peeped out
from behind a tree or log, every pair of ears would be erect, every
pair of eyes gleaming and suspicious.

Spitfire afforded more amusement than all the others. He had indeed
the temper of a king; he had been born for sovereignty, not slavery.
To intimidate me he tried every manner of expression and utterance,
and failing, he always ended with a spring in the air to the length of
his chain. This means was always effective. I simply could not stand
still when he leaped; and in turn I tried every artifice I could think
of to make him back away from me, to take refuge behind his tree. I
ran at him with a club as if I were going to kill him. He waited,
crouching. Finally, in dire extremity, I bethought me of a red flannel
hood that Emett had given me, saying I might use it on cold nights.
This was indeed a weird, flaming headgear, falling like a cloak down
over the shoulders. I put it on, and, camera in hand, started to crawl
on all fours toward Spitfire.



I needed no one to tell me that this proceeding was entirely beyond
his comprehension. In his astonishment he forgot to spit and growl,
and he backed behind the little pine, from which he regarded me with
growing perplexity. Then, having revenged myself on him, and getting a
picture, I left him in peace.


I awoke before dawn, and lay watching the dark shadows change into
gray, and gray into light. The Navajo chanted solemnly and low his
morning song. I got up with the keen eagerness of the hunter who faces
the last day of his hunt.

I warmed my frozen fingers at the fire. A hot breakfast smoked on the
red coals. We ate while Navvy fed and saddled the horses.

"Shore, they'll be somethin' doin' to-day," said Jim, fatalistically.

"We haven't crippled a horse yet," put in Emett hopefully. Don led the
pack and us down the ridge, out of the pines into the sage. The sun, a
red ball, glared out of the eastern mist, shedding a dull glow on
the ramparts of the far canyon walls. A herd of white-tailed deer
scattered before the hounds. Blue grouse whirred from under our
horses' feet.

"Spread out," ordered Jones, and though he meant the hounds, we all
followed his suggestion, as the wisest course.

Ranger began to work up the sage ridge to the right. Jones, Emett
and I followed, while Jim rode away to the left. Gradually the space
widened, and as we neared the cedars, a sharply defined, deep canyon
separated us.

We heard Don open up, then Sounder. Ranger left the trail he was
trying to work out in the thick sage, and bounded in the direction of
the rest of the pack. We reined in to listen.

First Don, then Sounder, then Jude, then one of the pups bayed
eagerly, telling us they were hunting hard. Suddenly the bays blended
in one savage sound.

"Hi! Hi! Hi!" cracked the cool, thin air. We saw Jim wave his hand
from the far side of the canyon, spur his horse into action, and
disappear into the cedars.

"Stick close together," yelled Jones, as we launched forward. We made
the mistake of not going back to cross the canyon, for the hounds soon
went up the opposite side. As we rode on and on, the sounds of the
chase lessened, and finally ceased. To our great chagrin we found it
necessary to retrace our steps, and when we did get over the deep
gully, so much time had elapsed that we despaired of coming up with
Jim. Emett led, keeping close on Jim's trail, which showed plain in
the dust, and we followed.

Up and down ravines, over ridges, through sage flats and cedar
forests, to and fro, around and around, we trailed Jim and the hounds.
From time to time one of us let out a long yell.

"I see a big lion track," called Jones once, and that stirred us on
faster. Fully an hour passed before Jones halted us, saying we had
best try a signal. I dismounted, while Emett rolled his great voice
through the cedars.

A long silence ensued. From the depths of the forest Jim's answer
struck faintly on my ear. With a word to my companions I leaped on my
mustang and led the way. I rode as far as I could mark a straight line
with my eye, then stopped to wait for another cry. In this way, slowly
but surely we closed in on Jim.

We found him on the verge of the Bay, in the small glade where I had
left my horse the day I followed Don alone down the canyon. Jim was
engaged in binding up the leg of his horse. The baying of the hounds
floated up over the rim.

"What's up?" queried Jones.

"Old Sultan. That's what," replied Jim. "We run plumb into him. We've
had him in five trees. It ain't been long since he was in that cedar
there. When he jumped the yellow pup was in the way an' got killed.
My horse just managed to jump clear of the big lion, an' as it was,
nearly broke his leg."

Emett examined the leg and pronounced it badly strained, and advised
Jim to lead the horse back to camp. Jones and I stood a moment over
the remains of the yellow pup, and presently Emett joined us.

"He was the most playful one of the pack," said Emett, and then he
placed the limp, bloody body in a crack, and laid several slabs of
stone over it.

"Hurry after the other hounds," said Jim. "That lion will kill them
one by one. An' look out for him!"

If we needed an incentive, the danger threatening the hounds furnished
one; but I calculated the death of the pup was enough. Emett had a
flare in his eye, Jones looked darker and more grim than ever, and I
had sensations that boded ill to old Sultan.

"Fellows," I said, "I've been down this place, and I know where the
old brute has gone; so come on."

I laid aside my coat, chaps and rifle, feeling that the business ahead
was stern and difficult. Then I faced the canyon. Down slopes, among
rocks, under piñons, around yellow walls, along slides, the two big
men followed me with heavy steps. We reached the white stream-bed,
and sliding, slipping, jumping, always down and down, we came at last
within sound of the hounds. We found them baying wildly under a piñon
on the brink of the deep cove.

Then, at once, we all saw old Sultan close at hand. He was of immense
size; his color was almost gray; his head huge, his paws heavy and
round. He did not spit, nor snarl, nor growl; he did not look at the
hounds, but kept his half-shut eyes upon us.

We had no time to make a move before he left his perch and hit the
ground with a thud. He walked by the baying hounds, looked over the
brink of the cove, and without an instant of hesitation, leaped down.
The rattling crash of sliding stones came up with a cloud of dust.
Then we saw him leisurely picking his way among the rough stones.

Exclamations from the three of us attested to what we thought of that

"Look the place over," called Jones. "I think we've got him."

The cove was a hole hollowed out by running water. At its head, where
the perpendicular wall curved, the height was not less than forty
feet. The walls became higher as the cove deepened toward the canyon.
It had a length of perhaps a hundred yards, and a width of perhaps
half as many. The floor was mass on mass of splintered rock.

"Let the hounds down on a lasso," said Jones.

Easier said than done! Sounder, Ranger, Jude refused. Old Moze
grumbled and broke away. But Don, stern and savage, allowed Jones to
tie him in a slip noose.

"It's a shame to send that grand hound to his death," protested Emett.

"We'll all go down," declared Jones.

"We can't. One will have to stay up here to help the other two out,"
replied Emett.

"You're the strongest; you stay up," said Jones. "Better work along
the wall and see if you can locate the lion."

[Illustration: ON THE WAY HOME]

[Illustration: RIDING WITH A NAVAJO]

We let Don down into the hole. He kicked himself loose before reaching
the bottom and then, yelping, he went out of sight among the boulders.
Moze, as if ashamed, came whining to us. We slipped a noose around him
and lowered him, kicking and barking, to the rocky floor. Jones made
the lasso fast to a cedar root, and I slid down, like a flash, burning
my hands. Jones swung himself over, wrapped his leg around the rope,
and came down, to hit the ground with a thump. Then, lassos in hands,
we began clambering over the broken fragments.

For a few moments we were lost to sights and sounds away from our
immediate vicinity. The bottom of the cove afforded hard going. Dead
piñons and cedars blocked our way; the great, jagged stones offered no
passage. We crawled, climbed, and jumped from piece to piece.

A yell from Emett halted us. We saw him above, on the extreme point of
wall. Waving his arms, he yelled unintelligible commands to us. The
fierce baying of Don and Moze added to our desperate energy.

The last jumble of splintered rock cleared, we faced a terrible and
wonderful scene.

"Look! Look!" I gasped to Jones.

A wide, bare strip of stone lay a few yards beneath us; and in the
center of this last step sat the great lion on his haunches with his
long tail lashing out over the precipice. Back to the canyon, he
confronted the furious hounds; his demeanor had changed to one of
savage apprehension.

When Jones and I appeared, old Sultan abruptly turned his back to the
hounds and looked down into the canyon. He walked the whole length of
the bare rock with his head stretched over. He was looking for a niche
or a step whereby he might again elude his foes.

Faster lashed his tail; farther and farther stretched his neck. He
stopped, and with head bent so far over the abyss that it seemed he
must fall, he looked and looked.

How grandly he fitted the savage sublimity of that place! The
tremendous purple canyon depths lay beneath him. He stood on the last
step of his mighty throne. The great downward slopes had failed him.
Majestically and slowly he turned from the deep that offered no hope.

As he turned, Jones cast the noose of his lasso perfectly round the
burly neck. Sultan roared and worked his jaws, but he did not leap.
Jones must have expected such a move, for he fastened his rope to a
spur of rock. Standing there, revolver gripped, hearing the baying
hounds, the roaring lion, and Jones' yells mingled with Emett's, I had
no idea what to do. I was in a trance of sensations.

Old Sultan ran rather than leaped at us. Jones evaded the rush by
falling behind a stone, but still did not get out of danger. Don flew
at the lion's neck and Moze buried his teeth in a flank. Then the
three rolled on the rock dangerously near the verge.

Bellowing, Jones grasped the lasso and pulled. Still holding my
revolver, I leaped to his assistance, and together we pulled and
jerked. Don got away from the lion with remarkable quickness. But
Moze, slow and dogged, could not elude the outstretched paws, which
fastened in his side and leg. We pulled so hard we slowly raised the
lion. Moze, never whimpering, clawed and scratched at the rock in his
efforts to escape. The lion's red tongue protruded from his dripping
jaws. We heard the rend of hide as our efforts, combined with those of
Moze, loosed him from the great yellow claws.

The lion, whirling and wrestling, rolled over the precipice. When the
rope straightened with a twang, had it not been fastened to the rock,
Jones and I would have jerked over the wall. The shock threw us to our

For a moment we did not realize the situation. Emett's yells awakened

"Pull! Pull! Pull!" roared he.

Then, knowing that old Sultan would hang himself in a few moments, we
attempted to lift him. Jones pulled till his back cracked; I pulled
till I saw red before my eyes. Again and again we tried. We could lift
him only a few feet. Soon exhausted, we had to desist altogether. How
Emett roared and raged from his vantage-point above! He could see the
lion in death throes.

Suddenly he quieted down with the words: "All over; all over!" Then he
sat still, looking into space. Jones sat mopping his brow. And I, all
my hot resentment vanished, lay on the rock, with eyes on the distant

Presently Jones leaned over the verge with my lasso.

"There," he said, "I've roped one of his hind legs. Now we'll pull him
up a little, then we'll fasten this rope, and pull on the other."

So, foot by foot, we worked the heavy lion up over the wall. He
must have been dead, though his sides heaved. Don sniffed at him in
disdain. Moze, dusty and bloody, with a large strip of hide hanging
from his flank, came up growling low and deep, and gave the lion a
last vengeful bite.

"We've been fools," observed Jones, meditatively. "The excitement of
the game made us lose our wits. I'll never rope another lion."

I said nothing. While Moze licked his bloody leg and Don lay with his
fine head on my knees, Jones began to skin old Sultan. Once more the
strange, infinite silence enfolded the canyon. The far-off golden
walls glistened in the sun; farther down, the purple clefts smoked.
The many-hued peaks and mesas, aloof from each other, rose out of the
depths. It was a grand and gloomy scene of ruin where every glistening
descent of rock was but a page of earth's history.

It brought to my mind a faint appreciation of what time really meant;
it spoke of an age of former men; it showed me the lonesome crags
of eagles, and the cliff lairs of lions; and it taught mutely,
eloquently, a lesson of life--that men are still savage, still driven
by a spirit to roam, to hunt, and to slay.



The start of a camping trip, the getting a big outfit together and
packed, and on the move, is always a difficult and laborsome job.
Nevertheless, for me the preparation and the actual getting under way
have always been matters of thrilling interest. This start of my hunt
in Arizona, September 24, 1918, was particularly momentous because I
had brought my boy Romer with me for his first trip into the wilds.

It may be that the boy was too young for such an undertaking. His
mother feared he would be injured; his teachers presaged his utter
ruin; his old nurse, with whom he waged war until he was free of her,
averred that the best it could do for him would be to show what kind
of stuff he was made of. His uncle R.C. was stoutly in favor of taking
him. I believe the balance fell in Romer's favor when I remembered
my own boyhood. As a youngster of three I had babbled of "bars an'
buffers," and woven fantastic and marvelous tales of fiction about my
imagined adventures--a habit, alas! I have never yet outgrown.

Anyway we only made six miles' travel on this September twenty-fourth,
and Romer was with us.

Indeed he was omnipresent. His keen, eager joy communicated itself to
me. Once he rode up alongside me and said: "Dad, this's great, but I'd
rather do like Buck Duane." The boy had read all of my books, in spite
of parents and teachers, and he knew them by heart, and invariably
liked the outlaws and gunmen best of all.

We made camp at sunset, with a flare of gold along the west, and the
Peaks rising rosy and clear to the north. We camped in a cut-over pine
forest, where stumps and lopped tops and burned deadfalls made an
aspect of blackened desolation. From a distance, however, the scene
was superb. At sunset there was a faint wind which soon died away.

My old guide on so many trips across the Painted Desert was in charge
of the outfit. He was a wiry, gray, old pioneer, over seventy years,
hollow-cheeked and bronzed, with blue-gray eyes still keen with fire.
He was no longer robust, but he was tireless and willing. When he told
a story he always began: "In the early days--" His son Lee had charge
of the horses of which we had fourteen, two teams and ten saddle
horses. Lee was a typical westerner of many occupations--cowboy,
rider, rancher, cattleman. He was small, thin, supple, quick, tough
and strong. He had a bronzed face, always chapped, a hooked nose,
gray-blue eyes like his father's, sharp and keen.

Lee had engaged the only man he could find for a cook--Joe Isbel, a
tall, lithe cowboy, straight as an Indian, with powerful shoulders,
round limbs, and slender waist, and Isbel was what the westerners
called a broncho-buster. He was a prize-winning rider at all
the rodeos. Indeed, his seat in the saddle was individual and
incomparable. He had a rough red-blue face, hard and rugged, like the
rocks he rode over so fearlessly, and his eyes were bright hazel,
steady and hard. Isbel's vernacular was significant. Speaking of one
of our horses he said: "Like a mule he'll be your friend for twenty
years to git a chance to kick you." Speaking of another that had to be
shod he said: "Shore, he'll step high to-morrow." Isbel appeared to be
remarkably efficient as camp-rustler and cook, but he did not inspire
me with confidence. In speaking of this to the Doyles I found them
non-committal on the subject. Westerners have sensitive feelings. I
could not tell whether they were offended or not, and I half regretted
mentioning my lack of confidence in Isbel. As it turned out, however,
I was amply justified.

Sievert Nielsen, whom I have mentioned elsewhere, was the fourth of my

Darkness had enveloped us at supper time. I was tired out, but the
red-embered camp-fire, the cool air, the smell of wood-smoke, and the
white stars kept me awake awhile. Romer had to be put to bed. He was
wild with excitement. We had had a sleeping-bag made for him so that
once snugly in it, with the flaps buckled he could not kick off the
blankets. When we got him into it he quieted down and took exceeding
interest in his first bed in the open. He did not, however, go quickly
to sleep. Presently he called R.C. over and whispered: "Say, Uncle
Rome, I coiled a lasso an' put it under Nielsen's bed. When he's
asleep you go pull it. He's tenderfoot like Dad was. He'll think it's
a rattlesnake." This trick Romer must have remembered from reading
"The Last of the Plainsmen," where I related what Buffalo Jones'
cowboys did to me. Once Romer got that secret off his mind he fell

The hour we spent sitting around the camp-fire was the most pleasant
of that night, though I did not know it then. The smell of wood-smoke
and the glow of live coals stirred memories of other camp-fires. I was
once more enveloped by the sweetness and peace of the open, listening
to the sigh of the wind, and the faint tinkle of bells on the hobbled

An uncomfortable night indeed it turned out to be. Our covers were
scanty and did not number among them any blankets. The bed was hard as
a rock, and lumpy. No sleep! As the night wore on the air grew colder,
and I could not keep warm. At four a.m. I heard the howling of
coyotes--a thrilling and well remembered wild chorus. After that
perfect stillness reigned. Presently I saw the morning star--big,
blue-white, beautiful. Uncomfortable hours seemed well spent if the
reward was sight of the morning star. How few people ever see it! How
very few ever get a glimpse of it on a desert dawn!

Just then, about five-thirty, Romer woke up and yelled lustily: "Dad!
My nose's froze." This was a signal for me to laugh, and also to rise
heroically. Not difficult because I wanted to stay in bed, but because
I could hardly crawl out! Soon we had a fire roaring. At six the dawn
was still gray. Cold and nipping air, frost on everything, pale stars,
a gold-red light in the east were proofs that I was again in the open.
Soon a rose-colored flush beautified the Peaks.

After breakfast we had trouble with the horses. This always happened.
But it was made worse this morning because a young cowboy who happened
along took upon himself the task of helping Lee. I suspected he wanted
to show off a little. In throwing his lasso to rope one, the noose
went over the heads of two. Then he tried to hold both animals. They
dragged him, pulled the lasso out of his hands, and stampeded the
other horses. These two roped together thundered off with the noose
widening. I was afraid they would split round a tree or stump, but
fortunately the noose fell off one. As all the horses pounded off I
heard Romer remark to Isbel: "Say, Joe, I don't see any medals on that
cowboy." Isbel roared, and said: "Wal, Romer, you shore hit the nail,
on the haid!"

Owing to that stampede we did not get saddled and started till eleven
o'clock. At first I was so sore and stiff from the hard bed that I
rode a while on the wagon with Doyle. Many a mile I had ridden with
him, and many a story he had related. This time he told about sitting
on a jury at Prescott where they brought in as evidence bloody shirts,
overalls, guns, knives, until there was such a pile that the table
would not hold them. Doyle was a mine of memories of the early days.

Romer's mount was a little black, white-spotted horse named Rye. Lee
Doyle had scoured the ranches to get this pony for the youngster. Rye
was small for a horse, about the size of an Indian mustang, and he
was gentle, as well as strong and fast. Romer had been given riding
lessons all that summer in the east, and upon his arrival at Flagstaff
he informed me that he could ride. I predicted he would be in the
wagon before noon of the second day out. He offered to bet on it.
I told him I disapproved of betting. He seemed to me to be daring,
adaptable, self-willed; and I was divided between pride and anxiety as
to the outcome of this trip for him.

In the afternoon we reached Lake Mary, a long, ugly, muddy pond in a
valley between pine-slopes. Dead and ghastly trees stood in the water,
and the shores were cattle-tracked. Probably to the ranchers this
mud-hole was a pleasing picture, but to me, who loved the beauty of
the desert before its productiveness, it was hideous. When we passed
Lake Mary, and farther on the last of the cut-over timber-land, we
began to get into wonderful country. We traveled about sixteen miles,
rather a small day's ride. Romer stayed on his horse all through that
ride, and when we selected a camp site for the night he said to me:
"Well, you're lucky you wouldn't bet."

Camp that evening was in a valley with stately pines straggling down
to the level. On the other slope the pines came down in groups. The
rim of this opposite slope was high, rugged, iron-colored, with cracks
and holes. Before supper I walked up the slope back of our camp, to
come upon level, rocky ground for a mile, then pines again leading to
a low, green mountain with lighter patches of aspen. The level, open
strip was gray in color. Arizona color and Arizona country! Gray of
sage, rocks, pines, cedars, piñons, heights and depths and plains,
wild and open and lonely--that was Arizona.

That night I obtained some rest and sleep, lying awake only a few
hours, during which time I turned from side to side to find a soft
place in the hard bed. Under such circumstances I always thought
of the hard beds of the Greeks and the Spartans. Next day we rode
twenty-three miles. On horseback trips like this it was every one for
himself. Sometimes we would be spread out, all separated; at others we
would be bunched; and again we would ride in couples. The morning was
an ordeal for me, as at first I could scarcely sit my saddle; in
the afternoon, however, riding grew to be less severe. The road led
through a winding, shallow valley, with clumps of pine here and there,
and cedars on the slopes. Romer rode all the way, half the time with
his feet out of the stirrups, like a western boy born to the saddle,
and he wanted to go fast all the time. Camp was made at a place called
Fulton Spring. It might have been a spring once, but now it was a
mud-hole with a dead cow lying in it. Clear, cold water is necessary
to my pleasure, if not to my health. I have lived on sheep water--the
water holes being tainted by sheep--and alkali water and soapy water
of the desert, but never happily. How I hailed the clear, cold,
swiftly-flowing springs!

This third camp lay in a woods where the pines were beautiful and the
silence noticeable. Upon asking Romer to enumerate the things I had
called to his attention, the few times I could catch up with him on
the day's journey, he promptly replied--two big spiders--tarantulas,
a hawk, and Mormon Lake. This lake was another snow-melted mud-hole,
said to contain fish. I doubted that. Perhaps the little bull-head
catfish might survive in such muddy water, but I did not believe bass
or perch could.

One familiar feature of Arizona travel manifested itself to me that
day--the dry air. My nails became brittle and my lips began to crack.
I have had my lips cracked so severely that when I tried to bite bread
they would split and bleed and hurt so that I could not eat. This
matter of sore lips was for long a painful matter. I tried many
remedies, and finally found one, camphor ice, that would prevent the
drying and cracking.

Next day at dawn the forest was full of the soughing of wind in the
pines--a wind that presaged storm. No stars showed. Romer-boy piled
out at six o'clock. I had to follow him. The sky was dark and cloudy.
Only a faint light showed in the east and it was just light enough
to see when we ate breakfast. Owing to strayed horses we did not get
started till after nine o'clock.

Five miles through the woods, gradually descending, led us into an
open plain where there was a grass-bordered pond full of ducks. Here
appeared an opportunity to get some meat. R.C. tried with shotgun and
I with rifle, all to no avail. These ducks were shy. Romer seemed to
evince some disdain at our failure, but he did not voice his feelings.
We found some wild-turkey tracks, and a few feathers, which put our
hopes high.

Crossing the open ground we again entered the forest, which gradually
grew thicker as we got down to a lower altitude. Oak trees began to
show in swales. And then we soon began to see squirrels, big, plump,
gray fellows, with bushy tails almost silver. They appeared wilder
than we would have suspected, at that distance from the settlements.
Romer was eager to hunt them, and with his usual persistence,
succeeded at length in persuading his uncle to do so.

To that end we rode out far ahead of the wagon and horses. Lee had a
yellow dog he called Pups, a close-haired, keen-faced, muscular canine
to which I had taken a dislike. To be fair to Pups, I had no reason
except that he barked all the time. Pups and his barking were destined
to make me hail them both with admiration and respect, but I had no
idea of that then. Now this dog of Lee's would run ahead of us,
trail squirrels, chase them, and tree them, whereupon he would bark
vociferously. Sometimes up in the bushy top we would fail to spy the
squirrel, but we had no doubt one was there. Romer wasted many and
many a cartridge of the .22 Winchester trying to hit a squirrel. He
had practiced a good deal, and was a fairly good shot for a youngster,
but hitting a little gray ball of fur high on a tree, or waving at the
tip of a branch, was no easy matter.

"Son," I said, "you don't take after your Dad."

And his uncle tried the lad's temper by teasing him about Wetzel. Now
Wetzel, the great Indian killer of frontier days, was Romer's favorite

"Gimme the .20 gauge," finally cried Romer, in desperation, with his
eyes flashing.

Whereupon his uncle handed him the shotgun, with a word of caution
as to the trigger. This particular squirrel was pretty high up,
presenting no easy target. Romer stood almost directly under it,
raised the gun nearly straight up, waved and wobbled and hesitated,
and finally fired. Down sailed the squirrel to hit with a plump. That
was Romer's first successful hunting experience. How proud he was of
that gray squirrel! I suffered a pang to see the boy so radiant, so
full of fire at the killing of a beautiful creature of the woods. Then
again I remembered my own first sensations. Boys are blood-thirsty
little savages. In their hunting, playing, even their reading, some
element of the wild brute instinct dominates them. They are worthy
descendants of progenitors who had to fight and kill to live. This
incident furnished me much food for reflection. I foresaw that before
this trip was ended I must face some knotty problems. I hated to shoot
a squirrel even when I was hungry. Probably that was because I was not
hungry enough. A starving man suffers no compunctions at the spilling
of blood. On the contrary he revels in it with a fierce, primitive

"Some shot, I'll say!" declared Romer to his uncle, loftily. And he
said to me half a dozen times: "Say, Dad, wasn't it a grand peg?"

But toward the end of that afternoon his enthusiasm waned for
shooting, for anything, especially riding. He kept asking when the
wagon was going to stop. Once he yelled out: "Here's a peach of a
place to camp." Then I asked him: "Romer, are you tired?" "Naw! But
what's the use ridin' till dark?" At length he had to give up and be
put on the wagon. The moment was tragic for him. Soon, however, he
brightened at something Doyle told him, and began to ply the old
pioneer with rapid-fire questions.

We pitched camp in an open flat, gray and red with short grass, and
sheltered by towering pines on one side. Under these we set up our
tents. The mat of pine needles was half a foot thick, soft and springy
and fragrant. The woods appeared full of slanting rays of golden

This day we had supper over before sunset. Romer showed no effects
from his long, hard ride. First he wanted to cook, then he fooled
around the fire, bothering Isbel. I had a hard time to manage him.
He wanted to be eternally active. He teased and begged to go
hunting--then he compromised on target practice. R.C. and I, however,
were too tired, and we preferred to rest beside the camp-fire.

"Look here, kid," said R.C., "save something for to-morrow."

In disgust Romer replied: "Well, I suppose if a flock of antelope came
along here you wouldn't move.... You an' Dad are great hunters, I
don't think!"

After the lad had gone over to the other men R.C. turned to me and
said reflectively: "Does he remind you of us when we were little?"

To which I replied with emotion: "In him I live over again!"

That is one of the beautiful things about children, so full of pathos
and some strange, stinging joy--they bring back the days that are no

This evening, despite my fatigue, I was the last one to stay up. My
seat was most comfortable, consisting of thick folds of blankets
against a log. How the wind mourned in the trees! How the camp-fire
sparkled, glowed red and white! Sometimes it seemed full of blazing
opals. Always it held faces. And stories--more stories than I can ever
tell! Once I was stirred and inspired by the beautiful effect of the
pine trees in outline against the starry sky when the camp-fire
blazed up. The color of the foliage seemed indescribably blue-green,
something never seen by day. Every line shone bright, graceful,
curved, rounded, and all thrown with sharp relief against the sky. How
magical, exquisitely delicate and fanciful! The great trunks were
soft serrated brown, and the gnarled branches stood out in perfect
proportions. All works of art must be copied of nature.

Next morning early, while Romer slept, and the men had just begun to
stir, I went apart from the camp out into the woods. All seemed solemn
and still and cool, with the aisles of the forest brown and green and
gold. I heard an owl, perhaps belated in his nocturnal habit. Then to
my surprise I heard wild canaries. They were flying high, and to the
south, going to their winter quarters. I wandered around among big,
gray rocks and windfalls and clumps of young oak and majestic pines.
More than one saucy red squirrel chattered at me.

When I returned to camp my comrades were at breakfast. Romer appeared
vastly relieved to see that I had not taken a gun with me.

This morning we got an early start. We rode for hours through a
beautiful shady forest, where a fragrant breeze in our faces made
riding pleasant. Large oaks and patches of sumach appeared on the
rocky slopes. We descended a good deal in this morning's travel, and
the air grew appreciably warmer. The smell of pine was thick and
fragrant; the sound of wind was sweet and soughing. Everywhere pine
needles dropped, shining in the sunlight like thin slants of rain.

Only once or twice did I see Romer in all these morning hours; then he
was out in front with the cowboy Isbel, riding his black pony over
all the logs and washes he could find. I could see his feet sticking
straight out almost even with his saddle. He did not appear to need
stirrups. My fears gradually lessened.

During the afternoon the ride grew hot, and very dusty. We came to a
long, open valley where the dust lay several inches deep. It had been
an unusually dry summer and fall--a fact that presaged poor luck for
our hunting--and the washes and stream-beds were bleached white. We
came to two water-holes, tanks the Arizonians called them, and they
were vile mud-holes with green scum on the water. The horses drank,
but I would have had to be far gone from thirst before I would have
slaked mine there. We faced west with the hot sun beating on us and
the dust rising in clouds. No wonder that ride was interminably long.

At last we descended a canyon, and decided to camp in a level spot
where several ravines met, in one of which a tiny stream of dear water
oozed out of the gravel. The inclosure was rocky-sloped, full of caves
and covered with pines; and the best I could say for it was that in
case of storm the camp would be well protected. We shoveled out a deep
hole in the gravel, so that it would fill up with water. Romer had
evidently enjoyed himself this day. When I asked Isbel about him the
cowboy's hard face gleamed with a smile: "Shore thet kid's all right.
He'll make a cowpuncher!" His remark pleased me. In view of Romer's
determination to emulate the worst bandit I ever wrote about I was
tremendously glad to think of him as a cowboy. But as for myself I was
tired, and the ride had been rather unprofitable, and this camp-site,
to say the least, did not inspire me. It was neither wild nor
beautiful nor comfortable. I went early to bed and slept like a log.

The following morning some of our horses were lost. The men hunted
from daylight till ten o'clock. Then it was that I learned more about
Lee's dog Pups. At ten-thirty Lee came in with the lost horses. They
had hidden in a clump of cedars and remained perfectly quiet, as cute
as deer. Lee put Pups on their trail. Pups was a horse-trailing dog
and he soon found them. I had a change of feeling for Pups, then and

[Illustration: THE AUTHOR AND HIS MEN. From left to right: Edd Haught;
Nielsen; Haught, the bear hunter; Al Doyle, pioneer Arizona guide;
Lewis Pyle; Z.G.; George Haught; Ben Copple; Lee Doyle.]

The sun was high and hot when we rode off. The pleasant and dusty
stretches alternated. About one o'clock we halted on the edge of a deep
wooded ravine to take our usual noonday rest. I scouted along the edge
in the hope of seeing game of some kind. Presently I heard the
cluck-cluck of turkeys. Slipping along to an open place I peered down to
be thrilled by sight of four good-sized turkeys. They were walking along
the open strip of dry stream-bed at the bottom of the ravine. One was
chasing grasshoppers. They were fairly close. I took aim at one, and
thought I could have hit him, but suddenly I remembered Romer and R.C.
So I slipped back and called them.


Hurriedly and stealthily we returned to the point where I had seen
the turkeys. Romer had a pale face and wonderfully bright eyes; his
actions resembled those of a stalking Indian. The turkeys were farther
down, but still in plain sight. I told R.C. to take the boy and slip
down, and run and hide and run till they got close enough for a shot.
I would keep to the edge of the ravine.

Some moments later I saw R.C. and the boy running and stooping and
creeping along the bottom of the ravine. Then I ran myself to reach a
point opposite the turkeys, so in case they flew uphill I might get a
shot. But I did not see them, and nothing happened. I lost sight of
the turkeys. Hurrying back to where I had tied my horse I mounted him
and loped ahead and came out upon the ravine some distance above. Here
I hunted around for a little while. Once I heard the report of the .20
gauge, and then several rifle shots. Upon returning I found that Lee
and Nielsen had wasted some shells. R.C. and Romer came wagging up the
hill, both red and wet and tired. R.C. carried a small turkey, about
the size of a chicken. He told me, between pants, that they chased the
four large turkeys, and were just about to get a shot when up jumped a
hen-turkey with a flock of young ones. They ran every way. He got one.
Then he told me, between more pants and some laughs, that Romer
had chased the little turkeys all over the ravine, almost catching
several. Romer said for himself: "I just almost pulled feathers out of
their tails. Gee! if I'd had a gun!"

We resumed our journey. About the middle of the afternoon Doyle called
my attention to an opening in the forest through which I could see the
yellow-walled rim of the mesa, and the great blue void below. Arizona!
That explained the black forests, the red and yellow cliffs of rock,
the gray cedars, the heights and depths.

Lop? ride indeed was it down off the mesa. The road was winding, rough
full of loose rocks and dusty. We were all tired out trying to keep up
with the wagon. Romer, however, averred time and again that he was
not tired. Still I saw him often shift his seat from one side of the
saddle to the other.

At last we descended to a comparative level and came to a little
hamlet. Like all Mormon villages it had quaint log cabins, low stone
houses, an irrigation ditch running at the side of the road, orchards,
and many rosy-cheeked children. We lingered there long enough to rest
a little and drink our fill of the cold granite water. I would travel
out of my way to get a drink of water that came from granite rock.

About five o'clock we left for the Natural Bridge. Romer invited or
rather taunted me to a race. When it ended in his victory I found
that I had jolted my rifle out of its saddle sheath. I went back some
distance to look for it, but did so in vain. Isbel said he would ride
back in the morning and find it.

The country here appeared to be on a vast scale. But that was only
because we had gotten out where we could see all around. Arizona is
all on a grand, vast scale. Mountain ranges stood up to the south and
east. North loomed up the lofty, steep rim of the Mogollon Mesa, with
its cliffs of yellow and red, and its black line of timber. Westward
lay fold on fold of low cedar-covered hills. The valley appeared a
kind of magnificent bowl, rough and wild, with the distance lost
in blue haze. The vegetation was dense and rather low. I saw both
prickly-pear and mescal cactus, cedars, manzanita brush, scrub oak,
and juniper trees. These last named were very beautiful, especially
the smaller ones, with their gray-green foliage, and purple berries,
and black and white checkered bark. There were no pine trees. Since we
had left the rim above the character of plant life had changed.

We crossed the plateau leading to the valley where the Natural Bridge
was located. A winding road descended the east side of this valley.
A rancher lived down there. Green of alfalfa and orchard and walnut
trees contrasted vividly with a bare, gray slope on one side, and a
red, rugged mountain on the other. A deep gorge showed dark and wild.
At length, just after sunset, we reached the ranch, and rode through
orchards of peach and pear and apple trees, all colored with fruit,
and down through grassy meadows to a walnut grove where we pitched
camp. By the time we had supper it was dark. Wonderful stars, thick,
dreamy hum of insects, murmur of swift water, a rosy and golden
afterglow on the notch of the mountain range to the west--these were
inducements to stay up, but I was so tired I had to go to bed, where
my eyelids fell tight, as if pleasantly weighted.

After the long, hard rides and the barren camp-sites what delight to
awaken in this beautiful valley with the morning cool and breezy and
bright, with smell of new-mown hay from the green and purple alfalfa
fields, and the sunlight gilding the jagged crags above! Romer made a
bee-line for the peach trees. He beat his daddy only a few yards. The
kind rancher had visited us the night before and he had told us to
help ourselves to fruit, melons, alfalfa. Needless to state that I
made my breakfast on peaches!

I trailed the swift, murmuring stream to its source on the dark green
slope where there opened up a big hole bordered by water-cress, long
grass, and fragrant mint. This spring was one of perfectly clear
water, six feet deep, boiling up to bulge on the surface. A grass of
dark color and bunches of light green plant grew under the surface.
Bees and blue dragon-flies hummed around and frogs as green as the
grass blinked with jewelled eyes from the wet margins. The spring had
a large volume that spilled over its borders with low, hollow gurgle,
with fresh, cool splash. The water was soft, tasting of limestone.
Here was the secret of the verdure and fragrance and color and beauty
and life of the oasis.

It was also the secret of the formation of the wonderful Natural
Bridge. Part of the rancher's cultivated land, to the extent of
several acres, was the level top of this strange bridge. A meadow of
alfalfa and a fine vineyard, in the air, like the hanging gardens of
Babylon! The natural bridge spanned a deep gorge, at the bottom of
which flowed a swift stream of water. Geologically this tremendous
arch of limestone cannot be so very old. In comparatively recent times
an earthquake or some seismic disturbance or some other natural force
caused a spring of water to burst from the slope above the gorge. It
ran down, of course, over the rim. The lime salt in the water was
deposited, and year by year and age by age advanced toward the
opposite side until a bridge crossed the gorge. The swift stream at
the bottom kept the opening clear under the bridge.

A winding trail led deep down on the lower side of this wonderful
natural span. It showed the cliffs of limestone, porous, craggy,
broken, chalky. At the bottom the gorge was full of tremendous
boulders, water-worn ledges, sycamore and juniper trees, red and
yellow flowers, and dark, beautiful green pools. I espied tiny gray
frogs, reminding me of those I found in the gulches of the Grand
Canyon. Many huge black beetles, some alive, but most of them dead,
lined the wet borders of the pools. A species of fish that resembled
mullet lay in the shadow of the rocks.

From underneath the Natural Bridge showed to advantage, and if not
magnificent like the grand Nonnezoshe of Utah, it was at least
striking and beautiful. It had a rounded ceiling colored gray, yellow,
green, bronze, purple, white, making a crude and scalloped mosaic.
Water dripped from it like a rain of heavy scattered drops. The left
side was dryest and large, dark caves opened up, one above the other,
the upper being so high that it was dangerous to attempt reaching it.
The right side was slippery and wet. All rocks were thickly encrusted
with lime salt. Doyle told us that any object left under the ceaseless
drip, drip of the lime water would soon become encrusted, and heavy as
stone. The upper opening of the arch was much higher and smaller than
the lower. Any noise gave forth strange and sepulchral echoes. Romer
certainly made the welkin ring. A streak of sunlight shone through a
small hole in the thinnest part of the roof. Doyle pointed out the
high cave where Indians had once lived, showing the markings of their
fire. Also he told a story of Apaches being driven into the highest
cave from which they had never escaped. This tale was manifestly to
Romer's liking and I had to use force to keep him from risking his
neck. A very strong breeze blew under the arch. When we rolled a
boulder into the large, dark pool it gave forth a hollow boom, boom,
boom, growing hollower the deeper it went. I tried to interest Romer
in some bat nests in crevices high up, but the boy wanted to roll
stones and fish for the mullet. When we climbed out and were once more
on a level I asked him what he thought of the place. "Some hole--I'll
say!" he panted, breathlessly.

The rancher told me that the summer rains began there about July, and
the snows about the first of the year. Snow never lay long on the
lower slopes. Apaches had lived there forty years ago and had
cultivated the soil. There was gold in the mountains of the Four Peaks
Range. In this sheltered nook the weather was never severely cold or
hot; and I judged from the quaint talk of the rancher's wife that life
there was always afternoon.

Next day we rode from Natural Bridge to Payson in four and a half
hours. Payson appeared to be an old hamlet, retaining many frontier
characteristics such as old board and stone houses with high fronts,
hitching posts and pumps on sidewalks, and one street so wide that it
resembled a Mexican plaza. Payson contained two stores, where I hoped
to buy a rifle, and hoped in vain. I had not recovered my lost gun,
and when night came my prospects of anything to hunt with appeared
extremely slim. But we had visitors, and one of them was a stalwart,
dark-skinned rider named Copple, who introduced himself by saying he
would have come a good way to meet the writer of certain books he had
profited by. When he learned of the loss of my rifle and that I could
not purchase one anywhere he pressed upon me his own. I refused with
thanks, but he would not take no. The upshot of it was that he lent
me his .30 Government Winchester, and gave me several boxes of
ammunition. Also he presented me with a cowhide lasso. Whereupon
Romer-boy took a shine to Copple at once. "Say, you look like an
Indian," he declared. With a laugh Copple replied: "I am part Indian,
sonny." Manifestly that settled his status with Romer, for he piped
up: "So's Dad part Indian. You'd better come huntin' with us."

We had for next day to look forward to the longest and hardest ride of
the journey in, and in order to make it and reach a good camping site
I got up at three o'clock in the morning to rout everybody out. It
was pitch dark until we kindled fires. Then everybody rustled to such
purpose that we were ready to start before dawn, and had to wait a
little for light enough to see where we were going. This procedure
tickled Romer immensely. I believed he imagined he was in a pioneer
caravan. The gray breaking of dawn, the coming of brighter light, the
rose and silver of the rising sun, and the riding in its face, with
the air so tangy and nipping, were circumstances that inspired me as
the adventurous start pleased Romer. The brush and cactus-lined road
was rough, up hill and down, with ever increasing indications that
it was seldom used. From the tops of high points I could see black
foothills, round, cone-shaped, flat-topped, all leading the gaze
toward the great yellow and red wall of the mesa, with its fringed
borderline, wild and beckoning.

We walked our horses, trotted, loped, and repeated the order, over
and over, hour by hour, mile after mile, under a sun that burned
our faces and through choking dust. The washes and stream-beds were
bleached and dry; the brush was sear and yellow and dust laden; the
mescal stalks seemed withered by hot blasts. Only the manzanita looked
fresh. That smooth red-branched and glistening green-leafed plant
of the desert apparently flourished without rain. On all sides the
evidences of extreme drought proved the year to be the dreaded _anno
seco_ of the Mexicans.

For ten hours we rode without a halt before there was any prominent
change in the weary up- and down-hill going, in the heat and dust and
brush-walled road. But about the middle of the afternoon we reached
the summit of the longest hill, from which we saw ahead of us a cut up
country, wild and rugged and beautiful, with pine-sloped canyon at our
feet. We heard the faint murmur of running water. Hot, dusty, wet with
sweat, and thirsty as sheep, we piled down that steep slope as fast
as we dared. Our horses did not need urging. At the bottom we plunged
into a swift stream of clear, cold water--granite water--to drink of
which, and to bathe hot heads and burning feet, was a joy only known
to the weary traveler of the desert. Romer yelled that the water was
like that at our home in the mountains of Pennsylvania, and he drank
till I thought he would burst, and then I had to hold him to keep him
from wallowing in it.

Here we entered a pine forest. Heat and dust stayed with us, and the
aches and pains likewise, but the worst of them lay behind. Every mile
grew shadier, clearer, cooler.

Nielsen happened to fall in and ride beside me for several miles,
as was often his wont. The drink of water stirred him to an Homeric
recital of one of his desert trips in Sonora, at the end of which,
almost dead of thirst, he had suddenly come upon such a stream as the
one we had just passed. Then he told me about his trips down the west
coast of Sonora, along the Gulf, where he traveled at night, at low
tide, so that by daytime his footprints would be washed out. This
was the land of the Seri Indians. Undoubtedly these Indians were
cannibals. I had read considerable about them, much of which ridiculed
the rumors of their cannibalistic traits. This of course had been of
exceeding interest to me, because some day I meant to go to the land
of the Seris. But not until 1918 did I get really authentic data
concerning them. Professor Bailey of the University of California told
me he had years before made two trips to the Gulf, and found the Seris
to be the lowest order of savages he knew of. He was positive that
under favorable circumstances they would practice cannibalism. Nielsen
made four trips down there. He claimed the Seris were an ugly tribe.
In winter they lived on Tiburon Island, off which boats anchored on
occasions, and crews and fishermen and adventurers went ashore to
barter with the Indians. These travelers did not see the worst of the
Seris. In summer they range up the mainland, and they go naked. They
do not want gold discovered down there. They will fight prospectors.
They use arrows and attack at dawn. Also they poison the water-holes.

Nielsen told of some men who were massacred by Seris on the mainland
opposite Tiburon Island. One man, who had gone away from camp,
returned to hear the attack upon his companions. He escaped and made
his way to Gyamus. Procuring assistance this man returned to the scene
of the massacre, only to find stakes in the sand, with deep trails
tramped around them, and blackened remains of fires, and bones
everywhere. Nielsen went on to say that once from a hiding place he
had watched Seris tear up and devour a dead turtle that he afterward
ascertained was putrid. He said these Seris were the greatest runners
of all desert savages. The best of them could outrun a horse. One
Seri, a giant seven feet tall, could outrun a deer and break its neck
with his hands.

These statements of Nielsen's were remarkable, and personally I
believed them. Men of his stamp were honest and they had opportunities
to learn strange and terrible facts in nature. The great naturalist
Darwin made rather stronger claims for the barbarism of the savages of
Terra del Fuego. Nielsen, pursuing his theme, told me how he had
seen, with his own eyes--and they were certainly sharp and
intelligent--Yaqui Indians leap on the bare backs of wild horses
and locking their legs, stick there in spite of the mad plunges and
pitches. The Gauchos of the Patagonian Pampas were famous for that
feat of horsemanship. I asked Joe Isbel what he thought of such
riding. And he said: "Wal, I can ride a wild steer bare-back,
but excoose me from tacklin' a buckin' bronch without saddle an'
stirrups." This coming from the acknowledged champion horseman of the
southwest was assuredly significant.

At five o'clock we came to the end of the road. It led to a forest
glade, overlooking the stream we had followed, and that was as far as
our wagon could go. The glade shone red with sumach, and surrounded
by tall pines, with a rocky and shady glen below, it appeared a
delightful place to camp. As I was about to unsaddle my horses I heard
the cluck-cluck of turkeys. Pulling out my borrowed rifle, and calling
Romer, I ran to the edge of the glade. The shady, swift stream ran
fifty feet or so below me. Across it I saw into the woods where shade
and gray rocks and colored brush mingled. Again I heard the turkeys
cluck. "Look hard, son," I whispered. "They're close." R.C. came
slipping along below us, with his rifle ready. Suddenly Romer
stiffened, then pointed. "There! Dad!--There!" I saw two gobblers wade
into the brook not more than a hundred and fifty feet away. Drawing
down with fine aim I fired. The bullet splashed water all over the
turkeys. One with loud whirr of wings flew away. The other leaped
across the brook and ran--swift as a deer--right up the slope. As
I tried to get the sight on him I heard other turkeys fly, and the
crack-crack of R.C.'s gun. I shot twice at my running turkey, and all
I did was to scatter the dirt over him, and make him run faster. R.C.
had not done any better shooting. Romer, wonderful to relate, was so
excited that he forgot to make fun of our marksmanship. We scouted
around some, but the turkeys had gone. By promising to take Romer
hunting after supper I contrived to get him back to the glade, where
we made camp.


After we had unpacked and while the men were pitching the tents and
getting supper I took Romer on a hunt up the creek. I was considerably
pleased to see good-sized trout in the deeper pools. A little way
above camp the creek forked. As the right-hand branch appeared to be
larger and more attractive we followed its course. Soon the bustle
of camp life and the sound of the horses were left far behind. Romer
slipped along beside me stealthily as an Indian, all eyes and ears.

We had not traveled thus for a quarter of a mile when my quick ear
caught the cluck-cluck of turkeys. "Listen," I whispered, halting.
Romer became like a statue, his dark eyes dilating, his nostrils
quivering, his whole body strung. He was a Zane all right. A turkey
called again; then another answered. Romer started, and nodded his
head vehemently.

"Come on now, right behind me," I whispered. "Step where I step and do
what I do. Don't break any twigs."

Cautiously we glided up the creek, listening now and then to get the
direction, until we came to an open place where we could see some
distance up a ridge. The turkey clucks came from across the creek
somewhere up this open aisle of the forest. I crawled ahead several
rods to a more advantageous point, much pleased to note that Romer
kept noiselessly at my heels. Then from behind a stone we peeped out.
Almost at once a turkey flew down from a tree into the open lane.
"Look Dad!" whispered Romer, wildly. I had to hold him down. "That's a
hen turkey," I said. "See, it's small and dull-colored. The gobblers
are big, shiny, and they have red on their heads."

Another hen turkey flew down from a rather low height. Then I made out
grapevines, and I saw several animated dark patches among them. As I
looked three turkeys flopped down to the ground. One was a gobbler of
considerable size, with beautiful white and bronze feathers. Rather
suspiciously he looked down our way. The distance was not more than a
hundred yards. I aimed at him, feeling as I did so how Romer quivered
beside me, but I had no confidence in Copple's rifle. The sights were
wrong for me. The stock did not fit me. So, hoping for a closer and
better shot, I let this opportunity pass. Of course I should have
taken it. The gobbler clucked and began to trot up the ridge, with the
others after him. They were not frightened, but they appeared rather
suspicious. When they disappeared in the woods Romer and I got up, and
hurried in pursuit. "Gee! why didn't you peg that gobbler?" broke out
Romer, breathlessly. "Wasn't he a peach?"

When we reached the top of the ridge we advanced very cautiously
again. Another open place led to a steep, rocky hillside with cedars
and pines growing somewhat separated. I was disappointed in not seeing
the turkeys. Then in our anxiety and eagerness we hurried on, not
noiselessly by any means. All of a sudden there was a rustle, and then
a great whirr of wings. Three turkeys flew like grouse away into the
woods. Next I saw the white gobbler running up the rocky hillside. At
first he was in the open. Aiming as best I could I waited for him to
stop or hesitate. But he did neither. "Peg him, Dad!" yelled Romer.
The lad was right. My best chance I had again forfeited. To hit a
running wild turkey with a rifle bullet was a feat I had not done
so often as to inspire conceit. The gobbler was wise, too. For that
matter all grown gobblers are as wise as old bucks, except in the
spring mating season, when it is a crime to hunt them. This one, just
as I got a bead on him, always ran behind a rock or tree or shrub.
Finally in desperation I took a snap shot at him, hitting under him,
making him jump. Then in rapid succession I fired four more times. I
had the satisfaction of seeing where my bullets struck up the dust,
even though they did go wide of the mark. After my last shot the
gobbler disappeared.

"Well, Dad, you sure throwed the dirt over him!" declared Romer.

"Son, I don't believe I could hit a flock of barns with this gun," I
replied, gazing doubtfully at the old, shiny, wire-wrapped, worn-out
Winchester Copple had lent me. I had been told that he was a fine
marksman and could drive a nail with it. Upon my return to camp I
tried out the rifle, carefully, with a rest, to find that it was not
accurate. Moreover it did not throw the bullets consistently. It shot
high, wide, low; and right there I abandoned any further use for it.
R.C. tried to make me take his rifle to use on the hunting trip;
Nielsen and Lee wanted me to take theirs, but I was disgusted with
myself and refused. "Thanks, boys," I said. "Maybe this will be a
lesson to me."

We had been up since three o'clock that morning, and the day's travel
had been exhausting. I had just enough energy left to scrape up a
huge, soft pile of pine needles upon which to make our bed. After
that all was oblivion until I was awakened by the ringing strokes of
Nielsen's axe.

The morning, after the sun got up, was exceedingly delightful.
And this camp was such a contrast to the others, so pleasant and
attractive, that even if we had not arranged to meet Lee Haught and
his sons here I would have stayed a while anyway. Haught was a famed
bear hunter who lived in a log-cabin somewhere up under the rim of the
mesa. While Lee and Nielsen rode off up the trail to find Haught I
gave Romer his first try at rainbow trout. The water of the creek was
low and clear, so that we could see plenty of good-sized trout. But
they were shy. They would not rise readily to any of our flies, though
I got several strikes. We searched under the stones for worms and
secured a few. Whereupon Romer threw a baited hook to a trout we
plainly saw. The trout gobbled it. Romer had been instructed in the
fine art of angling, but whenever he got a bite he always forgot
science. He yanked this ten-inch rainbow right out. Then in another
pool he hooked a big fellow that had ideas of his own as well as
weight and strength. Romer applied the same strenuous tactics. But
this trout nearly pulled Romer off the rock before the line broke. I
took occasion then to deliver to the lad a lecture. In reply he said
tearfully: "I didn't know he was so--so big."

When we returned to camp, Haught and his sons were there. Even at a
distance their horses, weapons, and persons satisfied my critical
eye. Lee Haught was a tall, spare, superbly built man, with square
shoulders. He had a brown face with deep lines and sunken cheeks, keen
hazel eyes, heavy dark mustache, and hair streaked a little with gray.
The only striking features of his apparel were his black sombrero and
long spurs.

His sons, Edd and George, were young, lean, sallow, still-faced,
lanky-legged horsemen with clear gray eyes. They did not appear to be
given, to much speech. Both were then waiting for the call of the army
draft. Looking at them then, feeling the tranquil reserve and latent
force of these Arizonians, I reflected that the Germans had failed
in their psychology of American character. A few hundred thousand
Americans like the Haught boys would have whipped the German army.

We held a council. Haught said he would send his son Edd with Doyle,
and by a long roundabout forest road get the wagon up on the mesa.
With his burros and some of our horses packed we could take part of
the outfit up the creek trail, past his cabin, and climb out on the
rim, where we would find grass, water, wood, and plenty of game.

The idea of permanent camp before sunset that very day inspired us to
united and vigorous effort. By noon we had the pack train ready. Edd
and Doyle climbed on the wagon to start the other way. Romer waved his
hand: "Good-bye, Mr. Doyle, don't break down and lose the apples!"

Then we were off, up the narrow trail along the creek. Haught led the
way. Romer attached himself to the bear-hunter, and wherever the trail
was wide enough rode beside him. R.C. and I followed. The other men
fell in behind the pack train.

The ride was hot, and for the most part all up hill. That basin could
be likened to the ribs of a washboard: it was all hills, gorges,
ridges and ravines. The hollows of this exceedingly rough country were
thick with pine and oak, the ridges covered with cedar, juniper, and
manzanita. The ground, where it was not rocky, was a dry, red clay. We
passed Haught's log cabin and clearing of a few acres, where I saw fat
hogs and cattle. Beyond this point the trail grew more zigzag, and
steeper, and shadier. As we got higher up the air grew cooler. I noted
a change in the timber. The trees grew larger, and other varieties
appeared. We crossed a roaring brook lined by thick, green brush, very
pleasant to the eye, and bronze-gold ferns that were beautiful. We
passed oaks all green and yellow, and maple trees, wonderfully colored
red and cerise. Then still higher up I espied some silver spruces,
most exquisite trees of the mountain forests.

During the latter half of the climb up to the rim I had to attend to
the business of riding and walking. The trail was rough, steep, and
long. Once Haught called my attention to a flat stone with a plain
trail made by a turtle in ages past when that sandstone was wet,
sedimentary deposit. By and bye we reached the last slopes up to the
mesa, green, with yellow crags and cliffs, and here and there blazing
maples to remind me again that autumn was at hand.

At last we surmounted the rim, from which I saw a scene that defied
words. It was different from any I had seen before. Black timber as
far as eye could see! Then I saw a vast bowl inclosed by dim mountain
ranges, with a rolling floor of forested ridges, and dark lines I knew
to be canyons. For wild, rugged beauty I had not seen its equal.

[Illustration: THE TONTO BASIN]

When the pack train reached the rim we rode on, and now through a
magnificent forest at eight thousand feet altitude. Big white and black
clouds obscured the sun. A thunder shower caught us. There was hail, and
the dry smell of dust, and a little cold rain. Romer would not put on
his slicker. Haught said the drought had been the worst he had seen in
twenty years there. Up in this odorous forestland I could not see where
there had been lack of rain. The forest appeared thick, grassy, gold and
yellow and green and brown. Thickets and swales of oaks and aspens were
gorgeous in their autumn hues. The silver spruces sent down long,
graceful branches that had to be brushed aside or stooped under as we
rode along. Big gray squirrels with white tails and tufted ears ran up
trees to perch on limbs and watch us go by; and other squirrels, much
smaller and darker gray, frisked and chattered and scolded at a great


We passed little depressions that ran down into ravines, and these,
Haught informed me, were the heads of canyons that sloped away from
the rim, deepening and widening for miles. The rim of the mesa was
its highest point, except here and there a few elevations like Black
Butte. Geologically this mesa was an enormous fault, like the north
rim of the Grand Canyon. During the formation of the earth, or the
hardening of the crust, there had been a crack or slip, so that one
edge of the crust stood up sheer above the other. We passed the heads
of Leonard Canyon, Gentry, and Turkey Canyons, and at last, near
time of sunset, headed down into beautifully colored, pine-sloped,
aspen-thicketed Beaver Dam Canyon.

A mile from the rim we were deep in the canyon, walled in by
rock-strewn and pine-timbered slopes too steep for a horse to climb.
There was a little gully on the black soil where there were no
evidences of recent water. Haught said he had never seen Beaver Dam
Creek dry until this season. We traveled on until we came to a wide,
open space, where three forks of this canyon met, and where in the
middle of this glade there rose a lengthy wooded bench, shaded and
beautified by stately pines and silver spruce. At this point water
appeared in the creek bed, flowing in tiny stream that soon gathered
volume. Cold and clear and pure it was all that was needed to make
this spot an ideal camp site. Haught said half a mile below there was
a grassy park where the horses would graze with elk.

We pitched our tents on this bench, and I chose for my location a
space between two great monarchs of the forests, that had surely
shaded many an Indian encampment. At the upper end of the bench rose a
knoll, golden and green with scrub oaks, and russet-colored with its
lichened rocks. About all we could manage that evening was to eat and
go to bed.

Morning broke cool and bright, with heavy dew. I got my boots as wet
as if I had waded in water. This surprised me, occurring on October
sixth, and at eight thousand feet altitude, as I had expected frost.
Most of this day was spent in making camp, unpacking, and attending to
the many necessary little details that make for comfort in the open.
To be sure Romer worked very spasmodically. He spent most of his time
on the back of one of Haught's burros, chasing and roping another. I
had not remembered seeing the lad so happily occupied.

Late in the afternoon I slipped off down the canyon alone, taking
Haught's rifle for safety rather than a desire to kill anything. By
no means was it impossible to meet a bad bear in that forest. Some
distance below camp I entered a ravine and climbed up to the level,
and soon found myself deep in the fragrant, colorful, wild forest.
Like coming home again was it to enter that forest of silver-tipped,
level-spreading spruce, and great, gnarled, massive pines, and
oak-patches of green and gold, and maple thickets, with shining aspens
standing white against the blaze of red and purple. High, wavy,
bleached grass, brown mats of pine needles, gray-green moss waving
from the spruces, long strands of sunlight--all these seemed to
welcome me.

At a distance there was a roar of wind through the forest; close at
hand only a soft breeze. Rustling of twigs caused me to compose myself
to listen and watch. Soon small gray squirrels came into view all
around me, bright-eyed and saucy, very curious about this intruder.
They began to chatter. Other squirrels were working in the tops of
trees, for I heard the fall of pine cones. Then came the screech of
blue jays. Soon they too discovered me. The male birds were superb,
dignified, beautiful. The color was light blue all over with dark blue
head and tufted crest. By and bye they ceased to scold me, and I was
left to listen to the wind, and to the tiny patter of dropping seeds
and needles from the spruces. What cool, sweet, fresh smell this
woody, leafy, earthy, dry, grassy, odorous fragrance, dominated by
scent of pine! How lonesome and restful! I felt a sense of deep peace
and rest. This golden-green forest, barred with sunlight, canopied by
the blue sky, and melodious with its soughing moan of wind, absolutely
filled me with content and happiness. If a stag or a bear had trotted
out into my sight, and had showed me no animosity, not improbably I
would have forgotten my gun. More and more as I lived in the open I
grew reluctant to kill.

Presently a porcupine waddled along some rods away, and unaware of my
presence it passed by and climbed a spruce. I saw it climb high and
finally lost sight of it. In searching up and down this spruce I grew
alive to what a splendid and beautiful tree it was. Where so many
trees grew it always seemed difficult to single out one and study
it. This silver spruce was five feet through at the base, rugged,
gray-seamed, thick all the way to its lofty height. Its branches
were small, with a singular feature that they were uniform in shape,
length, and droop. Most all spruce branches drooped toward the ground.
That explained why they made such excellent shelters from rain. After
a hard storm I had seen the ground dry under a thick-foliaged spruce.
Many a time had I made a bed under one. Elk and deer stand under
a spruce during a rain, unless there is thunder and lightning. In
forests of high altitude, where lightning strikes many trees, I have
never found or heard of elk and deer being killed. This particular
spruce was a natural tent in the forest. The thick-spreading graceful
silver plumes extended clear to the top, where they were bushiest,
and rounded out, with all the largest branches there. Each dark gray
branch was fringed and festooned with pale green moss, like the
cypresses of the South.

Suddenly I heard a sharp snapping of twigs and then stealthy, light
steps. An animal of some species was moving in the thicket nearby.
Naturally I sustained a thrill, and bethought me of the rifle. Then I
peered keenly into the red rose shadows of the thicket. The sun was
setting now, and though there appeared a clear golden light high
in the forest, along the ground there were shadows. I heard leaves
falling, rustling. Tall white aspens stood out of the thicket, and two
of the large ones bore the old black scars of bear claws. I was sure,
however, that no bear hid in the thicket at this moment. Presently
whatever the animal was it pattered lightly away on the far side.
After that I watched the quiver of the aspen leaves. Some were green,
some yellow, some gold, but they all had the same wonderful tremor,
the silent fluttering that gave them the most exquisite action in
nature. The sun set, the forest darkened, reminding me of supper time.
So I returned to camp. As I entered the open canyon Romer-boy espied
me--manifestly he had been watching--and he yelled: "Here comes my
Daddy now!... Say, Dad, did you get any pegs?"

Next morning Haught asked me if I would like to ride around through
the woods and probably get a shot at a deer. Romer coaxed so to go
that I finally consented.

We rode down the canyon, and presently came to a wide grassy park
inclosed by high green-clad slopes, the features of which appeared to
be that the timber on the west slope was mostly pine, and on the east
slope it was mostly spruce. I could arrive at no certain reason for
this, but I thought it must be owing to the snow lying somewhat longer
on the east slope. The stream here was running with quite a little
volume of water. Our horses were grazing in this park. I saw fresh
elk tracks made the day before. Elk were quite abundant through this
forest, Haught informed me, and were protected by law.

A couple of miles down this trail the canyon narrowed, losing its
park-like dimensions. The farther we traveled the more water there
was in the stream, and more elk, deer, and turkey tracks in the
sand. Every half mile or so we would come to the mouth of a small
intersecting canyon, and at length we rode up one of these, presently
to climb out on top. At this distance from the rim the forest was more
open than in the vicinity of our camp, affording better riding and
hunting. Still the thickets of aspen and young pine were so frequent
that seldom could I see ahead more than several hundred yards.

Haught led the way, I rode next and Romer kept beside me where it was
possible to do so. There was, however, no trail. How difficult to keep
the lad quiet! I expected of course that Haught would dismount, and
take me to hunt on foot. After a while I gathered he did not hunt deer
except on horseback. He explained that cowboys rounded up cattle in
this forest in the spring and fall, and deer were not frightened at
sound or sight of a horse. Some of the thrill and interest in the
forest subsided for me. I did not like to hunt in a country where
cattle ranged, no matter how wild they were. Then when we came to a
forested ridge bare of grass and smelling of sheep, that robbed the
forest of a little more glamour. Mexican sheep-herders drove their
flocks up this far sometimes. Haught said bear, lion, lynx, and
coyote, sometimes the big gray wolves, followed the sheep. Deer,
however, hated a sheep-run range.

Riding was exceedingly pleasant. The forest was shady, cool, full of
sunlight and beauty. Nothing but fire or the lumbermen could ever rob
it of its beauty, silence, fragrance, and of its temple-like majesty.
So provided we did not meet any cattle or sheep I did not care whether
or not we sighted any game. In fact I would have forgotten we were
hunting had not Romer been along. With him continually seeing things
it was difficult to keep from imagining that we were hunting Indians.
The Apaches had once lived in this country Haught informed us; and it
was a habit of theirs to burn the grass and fallen leaves over every
fall, thus keeping down the underbrush. In this the Indians showed how
near-sighted they were; the future growth of a forest did not concern
them. Usually Indians were better conservationists than white men.

We rode across a grove of widely separated, stately pines, at the far
end of which stood a thicket of young pines and other brush. As we
neared this Haught suddenly reined in, and in quick and noiseless
action he dismounted. Then he jerked his rifle from his saddle-sheath,
took a couple of forward steps, and leveled it. I was so struck with
the rugged and significant picture he made that I did not dismount,
and did not see any game until after he fired. Then as I tumbled off
and got out my rifle I heard Romer gasping and crying out. A gray
streak with a bobbing white end flashed away out of sight to the left.
Next I saw a deer bounding through the thicket. Haught fired again.
The deer ran so fast that I could not get my sights anywhere near him.
Haught thudded through an opening, and an instant later, when both he
and the deer had disappeared, he shot the third time. Presently he

"Never could shoot with them open sights nohow," he said. "Shore I
missed thet yearlin' buck when he was standin'. Why didn't you smoke
him up?"

"Dad, why didn't you peg him?" asked Romer, with intense regret. "Why,
I could have knocked him."

Then it was incumbent upon me to confess that the action had appeared
to be a little swift. "Wal," said Haught, "when you see one you want
to pile off quick."

As we rode on Romer naively asked me if ever in my life I had seen
anything run so fast as that deer. We entered another big grove with
thin patches of thicket here and there. Haught said these were good
places for deer to lie down, relying on their noses to scent danger
from windward, and on their eyes in the other direction. We circled to
go round thickets, descending somewhat into a swale. Here Haught got
off a little to the right. Romer and I rode up a gentle slope toward
a thin line of little pines, through which I could see into the pines
beyond. Suddenly up jumped three big gray bucks. Literally I fell off
my horse, bounced up, and pulled out my rifle. One buck was loping in
a thicket. I could see his broad, gray body behind the slender trees.
I aimed--followed him--got a bead on him--and was just about to pull
trigger when he vanished. Plunging forward I yelled to Haught. Then
Romer cried in his shrill treble: "Dad, here's a big buck--hurry!"
Turning I ran back. In wild excitement Romer was pointing. I was just
in time to see a gray rump disappear in the green. Just then Haught
shot, and after that he halloed. Romer and I went through the thicket,
working to our left, and presently came out into the open forest.
Haught was leading his horse. To Romer's eager query he replied:
"Shore, I piled him up. Two-year-old black-tail buck."

Sure enough he had shot straight this time. The buck lay motionless
under a pine, with one point of his antlers imbedded deep in the
ground. A sleek, gray, graceful deer he was just beginning to get his
winter coat. His color was indeed a bluish gray. Haught hung him up
to a branch, spread his hind legs, and cut him down the middle. The
hunter's dexterity with a knife made me wonder how many deer he had
dressed in his life in the open. We lifted the deer upon the saddle of
Haught's horse and securely tied it there with a lasso; then with the
hunter on foot, leading the way, we rode through the forest up the
main ridge between Beaver and Turkey Canyons. Toward the rim I found
the pines and spruces larger, and the thickets of aspen denser. We
passed the heads of many ravines running down to the canyons on either
side, and these were blazing gold and red in color, and so thick I
could not see a rod into them. About the middle of the afternoon we
reached camp. With venison hanging up to cool we felt somewhat like
real hunters. R.C. had gone off to look for turkeys, which enterprise
had been unsuccessful.

Upon the following day, which was October tenth, we started our bear
hunting. Haught's method appeared to me to lack something. He sent the
hounds down below the rim with George; and taking R.C. and me, and Lee
and Nielsen, he led us over to what he called Horton Thicket. Never
would I forget my first sight of that immense forest-choked canyon.
It was a great cove running up from the basin into the rim. Craggy
ledges, broken, ruined, tottering and gray, slanted down into this
abyss. The place was so vast that these ledges appeared far apart, yet
they were many. An empire of splintered cliff!

High up these cracked and stained walls were covered with lichens,
with little spruces growing in niches, and tiny yellow bushes. Points
of crumbling rock were stained gold and russet and bronze. Below the
huge gorge was full of aspens, maples, spruces--a green, crimson,
yellow density of timber, apparently impenetrable. We were accorded
different stations on the ledges all around the cove, and instructed
to stay there until called by four blasts from a hunting horn. My
point was so far from R.C.'s, across the canyon, that I had to use my
field-glass to see him. When I did look he seemed contented. Lee and
Nielsen and Haught I could not see at all. Finding a comfortable seat,
if hard rock could ever be that, I proceeded to accept my wait for
developments. One thing was sure--even though it were a futile way to
hunt it seemed rich in other recompense for me. My stand towered above
a vast colorful slope down which the wind roared as in a gale. How
could I ever hear the hounds? I watched the storm-clouds scudding
across the sky. Once I saw a rare bird, a black eagle in magnificent
flight; and so whatever happened I had my reward in that sight.

Nothing happened. For hours and hours I sat there, with frequent
intermissions away from my hard, rocky seat. Toward the close of
afternoon, when the wind began to get cold, I saw that R.C. had left
his stand. He had undoubtedly gone back to camp, which was some miles
nearer his stand than mine. At last I gave up any hope of hearing
either the hounds or the horn, as the roar of wind had increased. Once
I thought I heard a distant rifle shot. So I got on my horse and set
out to find camp. I was on a promontory, the sides of which were
indented by long ravines that were impassable except near their heads.
In fact I had been told there was only one narrow space where it was
possible to get off this promontory. Lucky indeed that I remembered
Haught telling of this! Anyway I soon found myself lost in a maze of
forested heads of ravines. Finally I went back to the rim on the
west side, and then working along I found our horse-tracks. These I
followed, with difficulty, and after an hour's travel I crossed the
narrow neck of the promontory, and back-tracked myself to camp,
arriving there at sunset.

The Haughts had put up two bear. One bear had worked around under one
of the great promontories. The hounds had gotten on his back-trail,
staying on it until it grew cold, then had left it. Their baying had
roused the bear out of his bed, and he had showed himself once or
twice on the open rock-slides. Haught saw the other bear from the rim.
This was a big, red, cinnamon bear asleep under a pine tree on an open
slope. Haught said when the hounds gave tongue on the other trail this
red bear awakened, sat up, and wagged his head slowly. He had never
been chased by hounds. He lay down in his piny bed again. The distance
was too great for an accurate shot, but Haught tried anyway, with the
result that he at least scared the cinnamon off.

These bear were both thin. As they were not the sheep-killing and
cow-killing kind their food consisted mainly of mast (acorns) and
berries. But this season there were no berries at all, and very few
acorns. So the bears were not fat. When a bear was thin he could
always outrun the hounds; if he was fat he would get hot and tired
enough to climb a tree or mad enough to stop and fight the dogs.

Haught told me there were a good many mountain lions and lynx under
the rim. They lived on elk, deer, and turkey. The lynx were the
tuft-eared, short-tailed species. They would attack and kill a
cow-elk. In winter on the rim the snow sometimes fell fifteen feet
deep, so that the game wintered underneath. Snow did not lay long on
the sunny, open ridges of the basin.

That night a storm-wind roared mightily in the pines. How wonderful to
lie snug in bed, down in the protected canyon, and hear the marching
and retreating gale above in the forest! Next day we expected rain or
snow. But there was only wind, and that quieted by afternoon. So I
took Romer off into the woods. He carried his rifle and he wore his
chaps. I could not persuade him to part with these. They rustled on
the brush and impeded his movements, and particularly tired him, and
made him look like a diminutive cowboy. How eager, keen, boyishly
vain, imaginative! He was crazy to see game, to shoot anything,
particularly bears. But it contented him to hunt turkeys. Many a stump
and bit of color he mistook for game of some kind. Nevertheless, I
had to take credence in what he thought he saw, for his eyesight was
unusually quick and keen.

That afternoon Edd and Doyle arrived, reporting an extremely rough,
roundabout climb up to the rim, where they had left the wagon. As it
was impossible to haul the supplies down into the canyon they
were packed down to camp on burros. Isbel had disapproved of this
procedure, a circumstance that struck me with peculiar significance,
which Lee explained by telling me Isbel was one of the peculiar breed
of cowboys, who no sooner were they out on the range than they wanted
to go back to town again. The truth was I had not met any of that
breed, though I had heard of them. This peculiarity of Isbel's began
to be related in my mind to his wastefulness as a cook. He cooked and
threw away as much as we ate. I asked him to be careful and to go
easy with our supplies, but I could not see that my request made any

After supper this evening R.C. heard a turkey call up on the hill east
of camp. Then I heard it, and Romer also. We ran out a ways into the
open to listen the better. R.C.'s ears were exceptionally keen. He
could hear a squirrel jump a long distance in the forest. In this case
he distinctly heard three turkeys fly up into trees. I heard one.
Romer declared he heard a flock. Then R.C. located a big bronze and
white gobbler on a lower limb of a huge pine. Presently I too espied
it. Whereupon we took shot-gun and rifle, and sallied forth sure of
fetching back to camp some wild turkey meat. Romer tagged at our

Hurrying to the slope we climbed up at least three-quarters of the
way, as swiftly as possible. And that was work enough to make me wet
and hot. The sun had set and twilight was upon us, so that we needs
must hurry if we were to be successful. Locating the big gobbler
turned out to be a task. We had to climb over brush and around rocks,
up a steep slope, rather open; and we had to do it without being seen
or making noise. Romer, despite his eagerness, did very well indeed.
At last I espied our quarry, and indeed the sight was thrilling.
Wild turkey gobblers to me, who had hunted them enough to learn how
sagacious and cunning and difficult to stalk they were, always seemed
as provocative of excitement as larger game. This big fellow hopped up
from limb to limb of the huge dead pine, and he bobbed around as if
undecided, and tried each limb for a place to roost. Then he hopped
farther up until we lost sight of him in the gnarled net-work of

R.C. wanted me to slip on alone, but I preferred to have him and Romer
go too. So we slipped stealthily upward until we reached the level.
Then progress was easier. I went to the left with the rifle, and R.C.
with the .20-gauge, and Romer, went around to the right. How rapidly
it was growing dark! Low down in the forest I could not distinguish
objects. We circled that big pine tree, and I made rather a wide
detour, perhaps eighty yards from it. At last I got the upper part of
the dead pine silhouetted against the western sky. Moving to and fro I
finally made out a large black lump way out upon a spreading branch.
Could that be the gobbler? I studied that dark enlarged part of the
limb with great intentness, and I had about decided that it was only
a knot when I saw a long neck shoot out. That lump was the wise old
turkey all right. He was almost in the top of the tree and far out
from the trunk. No wild cat or lynx could ever surprise him there! I
reflected upon the instinct that governed him to protect his life so
cunningly. Safe he was from all but man and gun!

When I came to aim at him with the rifle I found that I could see
only a blur of sights. Other branches and the tip of a very high pine
adjoining made a dark background. I changed my position, working
around to where the background was all open sky. It proved to be
better. By putting the sights against this open sky I could faintly
see the front sight through the blurred ring. It was a good long shot
even for daylight, and I had a rifle I knew nothing about. But all the
difficulty only made a keener zest. Just then I heard Romer cry out
excitedly, and then R.C. spoke distinctly. Far more careless than that
they began to break twigs under their feet. The gobbler grew uneasy.
How he stretched out his long neck! He heard them below. I called out
low and sharp: "Stand still! Be quiet!" Then I looked again through
the blurred peep-sight until I caught the front sight against the open
sky. This done I moved the rifle over until I had the sight aligned
against the dark shape. Straining my eyes I held hard--then fired. The
big dark lump on the branch changed shape, and fell, to alight with a
sounding thump. I heard Romer running, but could not see him. Then his
high voice pealed out: "I got him, Dad. You made a grand peg!"

Not only had Romer gotten him, but he insisted on packing him back to
camp. The gobbler was the largest I ever killed, not indeed one of the
huge thirty-five pounders, but a fat, heavy turkey, and quite a load
for a boy. Romer packed him down that steep slope in the dark without
a slip, for which performance I allowed him to stay up a while around
the camp-fire.

The Haughts came over from their camp that night and visited us. Much
as I loved to sit alone beside a red-embered fire at night in the
forest, or on the desert, I also liked upon occasions to have company.
We talked and talked. Old-timer Doyle told more than one of his "in
the early days" stories. Then Haught told us some bear stories. The
first was about an old black bear charging and sliding down at him. He
said no hunter should ever shoot at a bear above him, because it could
come down at him as swiftly as a rolling rock. This time he worked the
lever of his rifle at lightning speed, and at the last shot he "shore
saw bear hair right before his eyes." His second story was about a
boy who killed a bear, and was skinning it when five more bears came
along, in single file, and made it very necessary that he climb a tree
until they had gone. His third story was about an old she-bear that
had two cubs. Haught happened to ride within sight of her when
evidently she thought it time to put her cubs in a safe place. So she
tried to get them to climb a spruce tree, and finally had to cuff and
spank them to make them go up. In connection with this story he told
us he had often seen she-bears spank their cubs. More thrilling was
his fourth story about a huge grizzly, a sheep and cattle killer that
passed through the country, leaving death behind him on the range.

Romer's enjoyment of this story-telling hour around the glowing
camp-fire was equalled by his reluctance to go to bed. "Aw, Dad,
please let me hear one more," he pleaded. His shining eyes would have
weakened a sterner discipline than mine. And Haught seemed inspired by

"Wal now, listen to this hyar," he began again, with a twinkle in his
eye. "Thar was an old fellar had a ranch in Chevelon Canyon, an' he
was always bein' pestered by mountain lions. His name was Bill Tinker.
Now Bill was no sort of a hunter, fact was he was afeerd of lions an'
bears, but he shore did git riled when any critters rustled around
his cabin. One day in the fall he comes home an' seen a big she-lion
sneakin' around. He grabbed a club, an' throwed it, and yelled to
scare the critter away. Wal, he had an old water barrel layin' around,
an' darned if the lion didn't run in thet barrel an' hide. Bill run
quick an' flopped the barrel end up, so he had the lion trapped. He
had to set on the barrel to hold it down. Shore that lion raised old
Jasper under the barrel. Bill was plumb scared. Then he seen the
lion's tail stick out through the bung-hole. Bill bent over an' shore
quick tied a knot in thet long tail. Then he run fer his cabin. When
he got to the door he looked back to see the lion tearin' down the
hill fer the woods with the barrel bumpin' behind her. Bill said he
never seen her again till next spring, an' she had the barrel still on
her tail. But what was stranger'n thet Bill swore she had four cubs
with her an' each of them had a keg on its tail."

We all roared with laughter except Romer. His interest had been
so all-absorbing, his excitement so great, and his faith in the
story-teller so reverential that at first he could not grasp the trick
at the end of the story. His face was radiant, his eyes were dark and
dilated. When the truth dawned upon him, amaze and disappointment
changed his mobile face, and then came mirth. He shouted as if to the
tree-tops on high. Long after he was in bed I heard him laughing to

I was awakened a little after daylight by the lad trying to get into
his boots. His boots were rather tight, and somehow, even in a dry
forest, he always contrived to get them wet, so that in the morning it
was a herculean task for him to pull them on. This occasion appeared
more strenuous than usual. "Son, what's the idea?" I inquired. "It's
just daylight--not time to get up." He desisted from his labors
long enough to pant: "Uncle Rome's--gone after turkeys. Edd's going
to--call them with--a caller--made out of a turkey's wing-bone." And
I said: "But they've gone now." Whereupon he subsided: "Darned old
boots! I heard Edd and Uncle Rome. I'd been ready if I could have got
into my darned old boots.... See here, Dad, I'm gonna wear moccasins."


As we were sitting round the camp-fire, eating breakfast, R.C. and Edd
returned; and R.C. carried a turkey gobbler the very size and color of
the one I had shot the night before. R.C.'s face wore the keen, pleased
expression characteristic of it when he had just had some unusual and
satisfying experience.


[Illustration: WILD TURKEY]

"Sure was great," he said, warming his hands at the fire. "We went up
on the hill where you killed your gobbler last night. Got there just
in the gray light of dawn. We were careful not to make any noise. Edd
said if there were any more turkeys they would come down at daylight.
So we waited until it was light enough to see. Then Edd got out his
turkey bone and began to call. Turkeys answered from the trees all
around. By George, it was immense! Edd had picked out a thicket of
little pines for us to hide in, and in front of us was a glade with a
big fallen tree lying across it. Edd waited a few moments. The woods
was all gray and quiet. I don't know when I've felt so good. Then he
called again. At once turkeys answered from all around in the trees.
Next I heard a swish of wings, then a thump. Then more swishes. The
turkeys were flying down from their roosts. It seemed to me in my
excitement that there were a hundred of them. We could hear them
pattering over the dry ground. Edd whispered: 'They're down. Now we
got to do some real callin'.' I felt how tense, how cautious he was.
When he called again there was some little difference, I don't know
what, unless it was his call sounded more like a real turkey. They
answered. They were gathering in front of us, and I made sure were
coming into the glade. Edd stopped calling. Then he whispered: 'Ready
now. Look out!'... Sure I was looking all right. This was my first
experience calling turkeys and I simply shook all over. Suddenly I
saw a turkey head stick up over the log. Then!--up hopped a beautiful
gobbler. He walked along the log, looked and peered, and stretched his
neck. Sure he was suspicious. Edd gave me a hunch, which I took to be
a warning to shoot quick. That was a hard place for me. I wanted to
watch the gobbler. I wanted to see the others. We could hear them all
over the glade. But this was my chance. Quickly I rose and took a peg
at him. A cloud of feathers puffed off him. He gave a great bounce,
flapping his wings. I heard a roaring whirr of other turkeys. With my
eye on my gobbler I seemed to see the air full of big, black, flying
things. My gobbler came down, bounced up again, got going--when with
the second barrel I knocked him cold. Then I stood there watching the
flock whirring every way into the forest. Must have been thirty-five
or forty of them, all gobblers. It was a great sight. And right here I
declared myself--wild turkey is the game for me."

Romer manifestly listened to this narrative with mingled feelings of
delight and despair. "Uncle Rome, wild turkey's the game for me, too
... and by Gosh! I'll fix those boots of mine!"

That morning we were scheduled for another bear hunt, on which I had
decided to go down under the rim with Edd and George. Lee had his
doubts about my horse, and desired me to take his, or at least one
of the others. Now his horse was too spirited for me to ride after
hounds, and I did not want to take one of the others, so I was
compelled to ride my own. At the last moment Lee had been disappointed
in getting a mustang he particularly wanted for me, and so it had
fallen about that my horse was the poorest in the outfit, which to put
it mildly was pretty poor. I had made the best of the matter so far,
and hoped to continue doing so.

We rode up the east slope of Beaver Dam Canyon, through the forest,
and out along the rim for five or six miles, way on the other side of
the promontory where I had gotten lost. Here Haught left us, taking
with him R.C. and Lee and Nielsen, all of whom were to have stands
along the rim. We hoped to start a bear and chase him round under the
high points toward Horton Thicket.

The magnificent view from the head of a trail where Edd started down
impressed me so powerfully that I lagged behind. Below me heaved
a split, tossed, dimpled, waving, rolling world of black-green
forestland. Far across it stood up a rugged, blue, waved range of
mountains--the Sierra Anchas.

The trail was rough, even for Arizonians, which made it for me little
short of impassable. I got off to lead my horse. He had to be pulled
most of the time, wherefore I lost patience with him. I loved horses,
but not stubborn ones. All the way down the rocky trail the bunch
grass and wild oak and manzanita were so thick that I had to crush my
way through. At length I had descended the steep part to find Edd and
George waiting for me below on the juniper benches. These were slopes
of red earth or clay, bare of grass, but thick with junipers, cactus,
and manzanita. This face of the great rim was a southern exposure,
hot and dusty. The junipers were thick. The green of their foliage
somewhat resembled cedars, but their berries were gray-blue, almost
lavender in color. I tasted several from different trees, until I
found one with sweet, somewhat acrid taste. Significant it was that
this juniper had broken branches where bears had climbed to eat the
fruit, and all around on the ground beneath was bear sign. Edd said
the tracks were cold, but all the same he had to be harsh with the
hounds to hold them in. I counted twenty piles of bear manure under
one juniper, and many places where bears had scraped in the soft earth
and needles.

We went on down this slope, getting into thicker brush and rougher
ground. All at once the hounds opened up in thrilling chorus of bays
and barks. I saw Edd jump off his horse to stoop and examine the
ground, where evidently he had seen a bear track. "Fresh--made last
night!" he yelled, mounting hurriedly. "Hi! Hi! Hi!" His horse leaped
through the brush, and George followed. In an instant they were out of
sight. Right there my trouble began. I spurred my horse after them,
and it developed that he differed from me in regard to direction and
going. He hated the brush. But I made him take to it and made him run.
Dodging branches was an old story for me, and if I had been on a good
fast horse I might have kept Edd and George in sight. As it was,
however, I had to follow them by the sound of hoofs and breaking
brush. From the way the hounds bayed I knew they had struck a hot
scent. They worked down the slope, and assuredly gave me a wild ride
to keep within hearing of them. My horse grew excited, which fact
increased his pace, his obstinacy, and likewise my danger. Twice he
unseated me. I tore my coat, lost my hat, scratched my face, skinned
my knees, but somehow I managed to keep within hearing.

I came to a deep brush-choked gorge, impassable at that point. Luckily
the hounds turned here and started back my way. By riding along
the edge of this gorge I kept up with them. They climbed out an
intersecting ravine and up on the opposite side. I forced my horse to
go down this rather steep soft slope. At the bottom I saw a little
spring of water with fresh bear tracks around it, and one place where
the bear had caved in a soft bank. Here my horse suddenly plunged and
went to his knees in the yielding red clay. He snorted in fright. The
bank slid with him and I tumbled off. But nothing serious happened. I
ran down, caught him, mounted, and spurred him up the other side. Once
up he began to run. I heard the boys yelling not far away and the
hounds were baying up above me. They were climbing fast, working to
the left, toward an oak thicket. It took effort to slow down my steed.
He acted crazy and I began to suspect that he had caught a whiff of
the bear. Most horses are afraid of bears and lions. Sight of Edd and
George, who appeared in an open spot, somewhat quieted my mount.

"Trail's gettin' hot up there," declared Edd. "That bear's bedded
somewhere an' I'll bet the hounds jumped him. Listen to Old Tom!"

How the deep sonorous bay of Old Tom awoke the echoes under the
cliffs! And Old Dan's voice was a hoarse bellow. The other hounds

Edd blew a mellow blast from his hunting-horn, and that awoke other
and more melodious echoes. "There's father up on the rim," he said. I
looked, and finally saw Haught perched like a black eagle on a crag.
His gun flashed in the strong sunlight.

Somewhere up there the hounds jumped the bear. Anybody could have told
that. What a wild chorus! Edd and George answered to it with whoops
as wild, and they galloped their horses over ground and through brush
where they should have been walked. I followed, or tried to follow;
and here my steed showed his bull-headed, obstinate nature. If he had
been afraid but still game I would have respected him, but he was a
coward and mean. He wanted to have his way, which was to go the other
direction, and to rid himself of me. So we had it hot and heavy
along that rough slope, with honors about even. As for bruises and
scratches, however, I sustained the most. In the excitement of the
chase and anger at the horse I forgot all about any risks. This always
is the way in adventure. Hot racing blood governed me entirely.
Whenever I got out in an open place, where I could ride fast and hear
and see, then it was all intensely thrilling. Both hounds and comrades
were above me, but apparently working down.

Thus for me the necessity of hurry somewhat lessened. I slowed to a
trot, peering everywhere, listening with all my ears. I had stopped
yelling, because my horse had misunderstood that. We got into a
region of oak thickets, small saplings, scrubby, close together, but
beautiful with their autumn-tinted leaves. Next I rode through a maple
dell, shady, cool, where the leafy floor was all rose-pink-red. My
horse sent the colored leaves flying.

Soon, however, we got into the thickets again, low live-oak and
manzanita, which kind of brush my horse detested. I did not blame
him for that. As the hounds began to work down my keen excitement
increased. If they had jumped the bear and were chasing him down I
might run upon him any moment. This both appealed to me and caused me
apprehension. Suppose he were a bad cinnamon or a grizzly? What would
become of me on that horse? I decided that I had better carry my rifle
in my hand, so in case of a sudden appearance of the bear and I was
thrown or had a fall off, then I would be prepared. So forthwith I
drew the rifle out of the scabbard, remembering as I did so that
Haught had cautioned me, in case of close quarters with a bear and the
need of quick shooting, to jerk the lever down hard. If my horse had
cut up abominably before he now began to cover himself with a glory
of abominableness. I had to jam him through the thickets. He was an
uncomfortable horse to ride under the best circumstances; here he
was as bad as riding a picket-fence. When he got his head, which was
often, he carried me into thickets of manzanita that we could not
penetrate, and had to turn back. I found that I was working high
up the slope, and bad luck as I was having with my horse, I still
appeared to keep fairly close to the hounds.

When we topped a ridge of this slope the wind struck us strong in the
face. The baying of the hounds rang clear and full and fierce. My
horse stood straight up. Then he plunged back and bolted down the
slope. His mouth was like iron. I could neither hold nor turn him.
However perilous this ride I had to admit that at last my horse was
running beautifully. In fact he was running away! He had gotten a hot
scent of that bear. He hurdled rocks, leaped washes, slid down banks,
plunged over places that made my hair stand up stiff, and worst of all
he did not try to avoid brush or trees or cactus. Manzanita he tore
right through, leaving my coat in strips decorating our wake. I had to
hold on, to lie flat, to dodge and twist, and all the time watch for a
place where I might fall off in safety. But I did not get a chance
to fall off. A loud clamoring burst from the hounds apparently close
behind drove my horse frantic. Before he had only run--now he flew!
He left me hanging in the thick branches of a juniper, from which I
dropped blind and breathless and stunned. Disengaging myself from the
broken and hanging branches I staggered aside, rifle in hand, trying
to recover breath and wits.

Then, in that nerveless and shaken condition, I heard the breaking
of twigs and thud of soft steps right above me. Peering up with my
half-blinded eyes I saw a huge red furry animal coming, half obscured
by brush. It waved aside from his broad back. A shock ran over me--a
bursting gush of hot blood that turned to ice as it rushed. "Big
cinnamon bear!" I whispered, hoarsely.

Instinctively I cocked and leveled the rifle, and though I could not
clearly see the red animal bearing down the slope, such was my state
that I fired. Then followed a roaring crash--a terrible breaking
onslaught upon the brush--and the huge red mass seemed to flash down
toward me. I worked the lever of the rifle. But I had forgotten
Haught's caution. I did not work the lever far enough down, so that
the next cartridge jammed in the receiver. With a second shock,
different this time, I tried again. In vain! The terrible crashing
of brush appeared right upon me. For an instant that seemed an age I
stood riveted to the spot, my blood congealing, my heart choking me,
my tongue pasted to the roof of my mouth. Then I dropped the rifle
and whirled to plunge away. Like a deer I bounded. I took prodigious
bounds. To escape--to find a tree to leap into--that was my only
thought. A few rods down the slope--it seemed a mile--I reached a pine
with low branches. Like a squirrel I ran up this--straddled a limb
high up--and gazed back.

My sensations then were dominated by the relief of salvation. I became
conscious of them. Racing blood, bursting heart, labored pang of
chest, prickling, burning skin, a queer involuntary flutter of
muscles, like a palsy--these attested to the instinctive primitive
nature of my state. I heard the crashing of brush, the pound of soft
jumps over to my left. With eyes that seemed magnifying I gazed to see
a big red woolly steer plunge wildly down the slope and disappear. A
third shock possessed me--amaze. I had mistaken a wild, frightened
steer for a red cinnamon bear!

I sat there some moments straddling that branch. Then I descended, and
went back to the place I had dropped my rifle, and securing that I
stood a moment listening. The hounds had taken the chase around below
me into the gorge and were drawing away. It was useless to try to
follow them. I sat down again and gave myself up to meditation.

I tried to treat the situation as a huge joke, but that would not go.
No joke indeed! My horse had made me risk too much, my excitement had
been too intense, my fright had been too terrible. Reality for me
could not have been any more grave. I had risked my neck on a stubborn
coward of a horse, I had mistaken a steer for a bear, I had forgotten
how to manipulate the borrowed rifle. These were the careless elements
of tragedy. The thought sobered me. I took the lesson to heart. And I
reflected on the possible point of view of the bear. He had probably
gone to sleep on a full stomach of juniper berries and a big drink
of spring water. Rudely he had been routed out by a pack of yelping,
fiendish hounds. He had to run for his life. What had he done to
deserve such treatment? Possibly he might have killed some of Haught's
pigs, but most assuredly he had never harmed me. In my sober frame of
mind then I rather disapproved of my wholly unjustifiable murderous
intent. I would have deserved it if the steer had really been the
bear. Certainly I hoped the bear would outrun the hounds and escape. I
weighed the wonderful thrill of the chase, the melody of hounds, the
zest of spirited action, the peril to limb and life against the thing
that they were done for, with the result that I found them sadly
lacking. Peril to limb and life was good for man. If this had not been
a fact my performance would have been as cowardly as that of my
horse. Again I had rise up before my mind the spectacle of opposing
forces--the elemental in man restrained by the spiritual. Then the old
haunting thought returned to vex me--man in his development needed the
exercise of brawn, muscle, bone red-blood, violence, labor and pain
and agony. Nature recognized only the survival of the fittest of
any species. If a man allowed a spiritual development, intellect,
gentleness, to keep him from all hard, violent action, from tremendous
exertion, from fierce fight with elements and beasts, and his own
kind--would he not soon degenerate as a natural physical man?
Evolution was a stern inevitable seeking of nature for perfection,
for the unattainable. This perfection was something that lived and
improved on strife. Barbarians, Indians, savages were the most
perfect specimens of nature's handiwork; and in proportion to their
development toward so-called civilized life their physical prowess and
perfectness--that was to say, their strength to resist and live and
reproduce their kind--absolutely and inevitably deteriorated.

My reflection did not carry me at that time to any positive
convictions of what was truest and best. The only conclusions I
eventually arrived at were that I was sore and bruised and dirty and
torn--that I would be happy if the bear got away--that I had lost my
mean horse and was glad therefore--that I would have half a dozen
horses and rifles upon my next hunt--and lastly that I would not be in
any hurry to tell about mistaking a steer for a bear, and climbing a
tree. Indeed these last facts have been religiously kept secret until
chronicled here.

Shortly afterward, as I was making a lame and slow headway toward
Horton Thicket, where I hoped to find a trail out, I heard Edd
yelling, and I answered. Presently we met. He was leading my horse,
and some of the hounds, notably Old Tom and Dan, were with him.

"Where's the bear?" I asked.

"He got away down in the breaks," replied Edd. "George is tryin' to
call the hounds back. What happened to you? I heard you shoot."

"My horse didn't care much for me or the brush," I replied. "He left
me--rather suddenly. And--I took a shot at what I thought was a bear."

"I seen him once," said Edd, with eyes flashing. "Was just goin' to
smoke him up when he jumped out of sight."

My mortification and apprehension were somewhat mitigated when I
observed that Edd was dirty, ragged, and almost as much disheveled as
I was. I had feared he would see in my appearance certain unmistakable
evidences that I had made a tenderfoot blunder and then run for
my life. But Edd took my loss of hat, and torn coat, and general
bedraggled state as a matter of course. Indeed I somehow felt a little
pride at his acceptance of me there in the flesh.

We rode around the end of this slope, gradually working down into
Horton Thicket, where a wild confusion of dense timber engaged my
sight. Presently George trotted up behind us with the other dogs. "We
lost him down on the hot dry ridges. Hounds couldn't track him," was
all George said. Thereupon Edd blew four blasts upon his hunting-horn,
which were signals to those on the stands above that the hunt was over
for the day.

Even in the jungle tropics I had never seen such dense shade as this
down in Horton Thicket. The timber grew close and large, and the
foliage was matted, letting little sunlight through. Dark, green and
brown, fragrant, cool thicket indeed it was. We came to a huge spruce
tree, the largest I ever saw--Edd said eight feet through at the base,
but he was conservative. It was a gnarled, bearded, gray, old monarch
of the forest, with bleached, dead top. For many years it had been the
home of swarms of wild honey bees. Edd said more than one bee-hunter
had undertaken to cut down this spruce. This explained a number of
deeply cut notches in the huge trunk. "I'll bet Nielsen could chop it
down," declared Edd. I admitted the compliment to our brawny Norwegian
axe-wielder, but added that I certainly would not let him do it,
whether we were to get any honey or not.

By and bye we reached the bottom of the thicket where we crossed a
swift clear cold brook. Here the smells seemed cool, sweet, wild with
spruce and pine. This stream of granite water burst from a spring
under a cliff. What a roar it made! I drank until I could drink no
more. Huge boulders and windfalls, moved by water at flood season,
obstructed the narrow stream-bed. We crossed to start climbing the
north slope, and soon worked up out of the thicket upon a steep, rocky
slope, with isolated pines. We struck a deer-trail hard to follow.
Above me loomed the pine-tipped rim, with its crags, cliffs,
pinnacles, and walls, all gray, seamed and stained, and in some clefts
blazes of deep red and yellow foliage.

When we surmounted the slope, and eventually reached camp, I found
Isbel entertaining strangers, men of rough garb, evidently riders of
the range. That was all right, but I did not like his prodigality with
our swiftly diminishing store of eatables.

To conclude about Isbel--matters pertaining to our commissary
department, during the next few days, went from bad to worse. Doyle
advised me not to take Isbel to task, and was rather evasive of
reasons for so advising me. Of course I listened and attended to my
old guide's advice, but I fretted under the restraint. We had a spell
of bad weather, wind and rain, and hail off and on, and at length, the
third day, a cold drizzling snow. During this spell we did but little
hunting. The weather changed, and the day afterward I rode my mean
horse twenty miles on a deer hunt. We saw one buck. Upon our arrival
at camp, about four o'clock, which hour was too early for dinner, I
was surprised and angered to find Isbel eating an elaborate meal with
three more strange, rough-appearing men. Doyle looked serious. Nielsen
had a sharp glint in his gray eye. As for myself, this procedure of
our cook's was more than I could stand.

"Isbel, you're discharged," I said, shortly. "Take your outfit and get
out. Lee will lend you a pack horse."

"Wal, I ain't fired," drawled Isbel. "I quit before you rode in. Beat
you to it!"

"Then if you quit it seems to me you are taking liberties with
supplies you have no right to," I replied.

"Nope. Cook of any outfit has a right to all the chuck he wants.
That's western way."

"Isbel, listen to this and then get out," I went on. "You've wasted
our supplies just to get us to hurry and break camp. As for western
ways I know something of them. It's a western way for a man to be
square and honest in his dealings with an outsider. In all my years
and in all my trips over the southwest you are the first westerner to
give me the double-cross. You have that distinction."

Then I turned my back upon him and walked to my tent. His
acquaintances left at once, and he quickly packed and followed.
Faithful old Doyle took up the duties of cook and we gained, rather
than missed by the change. Our supplies, however, had been so depleted
that we could not stay much longer on the hunt.

By dint of much determination as to the manner and method of my next
hunt I managed to persuade myself that I could make the best of this
unlucky sojourn in the woods. No rifle, no horse worth riding, no food
to stay out our time--it was indeed bad luck for me. After supper the
tension relaxed. Then I realized all the men were relieved. Only Romer
regretted loss of Isbel. When the Doyles and Haughts saw how I took
my hard luck they seemed all the keener to make my stay pleasant and
profitable. Little they knew that their regard was more to me than
material benefits and comforts of the trip. To travelers of the
desert and hunters and riders of the open there are always hard and
uncomfortable and painful situations to be met with. And in meeting
these, if it can be done with fortitude and spirit that win the
respect of westerners, it is indeed a reward.

Next day, in defiance of a thing which never should be
considered--luck--I took Haught's rifle again, and my lazy, sullen,
intractable horse, and rode with Edd and George down into Horton
Thicket. At least I could not be cheated out of fresh air and
beautiful scenery.

We dismounted and tied our horses at the brook, and while Edd took
the hounds up into the dense thicket where the bears made their beds,
George and I followed a trail up the brook. In exactly ten minutes the
hounds gave tongue. They ran up the thicket, which was favorable for
us, and from their baying I judged the bear trail to be warm. In the
dense forest we could not see five rods ahead. George averred that he
did not care to have a big cinnamon or a grizzly come running down
that black thicket. And as for myself I did not want one so very
exceedingly much. I tried to keep from letting the hounds excite me,
which effort utterly failed. We kept even with the hounds until their
baying fell off, and finally grew desultory, and then ceased.
"Guess they had the wrong end of his trail," said George. With this
exasperating feature of bear and lion chases I was familiar. Most
hounds, when they struck a trail, could not tell in which direction
the bear was traveling. A really fine hound, however, like Buffalo
Jones' famous Don, or Scott Teague's Sampson or Haught's Old Dan,
would grow suspicious of a scent that gradually cooled, and would
eventually give it up. Young hounds would back-track game as far as

After waiting a while we returned to our horses, and presently Edd
came back with the pack. "Big bear, but cold trail. Called them off,"
was all he said. We mounted and rode across the mouth of Horton
Thicket round to the juniper slopes, which I had occasion to remember.
I even saw the pine tree which I had so ignominiously climbed. How we
ridicule and scorn some of our perfectly natural actions--afterwards!
Edd had brought three of the pups that day, two-year-olds as full of
mischief as pups could be. They jumped a bunch of deer and chased them
out on the hard red cedar covered ridges. We had a merry chase to head
them off. Edd gave them a tongue-lashing and thrashing at one and the
same time. I felt sorry for the pups. They had been so full of frolic
and fight. How crestfallen they appeared after Edd got through!
"Whaddaye mean," yelled Edd, in conclusion. "Chasin' deer!... Do you
think you're a lot of rabbit dogs?" From the way the pups eyed Edd
so sheepishly and adoringly, I made certain they understood him
perfectly, and humbly confessed their error.

Old Tom and Old Dan had not come down off the slopes with us after the
pups. And upon our return both the old hounds began to bay deep and
fast. With shrill ki-yi the pups bounded off, apparently frantic to
make up for misbehavior. Soon the whole pack was in full chorus.
Edd and George spurred into the brush, yelling encouragement to the
hounds. This day I managed to make my horse do a little of what I
wanted. To keep in sight of the Haught boys was indeed beyond me; but
I did not lose sound of them. This chase led us up slope and down
slope, through the brush and pine thickets, over bare ridges and into
gullies; and eventually out into the basin, where the hounds got
beyond hearing.

"One of them long, lean, hungry bears," remarked Edd. "He'd outrun any

Leisurely then we turned to the three-hour ride back to camp. Hot sun
in the open, cool wind in the shade, dry smells of the forest, green
and red and orange and purple of the foliage--these rendered the hours
pleasant for me. When I reached camp I found Romer in trouble. He had
cut his hand with a forbidden hunting knife. As he told me about it
his face was a study and his explanation was astounding. When he
finished I said: "You mean then that my hunting knife walked out of
its sheath on my belt and followed you around and cut you of its own

"Aw, I--I--it--" he floundered.

Whereupon I lectured him about forbidden things and untruthfulness.
His reply was: "But, Dad, it hurts like sixty. Won't you put somethin'
on it?"

I dressed and bandaged the trifling cut for him, telling him the while
how little Indian boys, when cut or kicked or bruised, never showed
that they were hurt. "Huh!" he grunted. "Guess there's no Indian in
me.... I must take after mother!"

That afternoon and night the hounds straggled in, Old Tom and Dan
first, and then the others, one by one, fagged-out and foot-sore. Next
morning, however, they appeared none the worse for their long chase.
We went again to Horton Thicket to rout out a bear.

This time I remained on top of the rim with R.C. and Nielsen; and we
took up a stand across the canyon, near where my first stand had
been. Here we idled the hours away waiting for the hounds to start
something. While walking along the rim I happened to look across the
big cove that cut into the promontory, and way on the other slope what
did I espy but a black bear. He appeared to be very small, or merely a
cub. Running back to R.C. and Nielsen I told them, and we all took up
our rifles. It occurred to me that the distance across this cove was
too far for accurate shooting, but it never occurred to me to jump on
my horse and ride around the head of the cove.

"He's not scared. Let's watch him," suggested R.C.

[Illustration: WILD TURKEYS]


We saw this bear walk along, poke around, dig into the ground, go behind
trees, come out again, and finally stand up on his hind feet and
apparently reach for berries or something on a bush. R.C. bethought
himself of his field-glass. After one look he exclaimed: "Say, fellows,
he's a whopper of a bear! He'll weigh five hundred pounds. Just take a
look at him!"

My turn with the glasses revealed to me that what I had imagined to be
a cub was indeed a big bear. After Nielsen looked he said: "Never saw
one so big in Norway."

"Well, look at that black scoundrel!" exclaimed R.C. "Standing up!
Looking around! Wagging his head!... Say, you saw him first. Suppose
you take some pegs at him."

"Wish Romer were here. I'd let him shoot at that bear," I replied.
Then I got down on my knee, and aiming as closely as possible I fired.
The report rang out in the stillness, making hollow echoes. We heard
the bullet pat somewhere. So did the bear hear it. Curiously he looked
around, as if something had struck near him. But scared he certainly
was not. Then I shot four times in quick succession.

"Well, I'll be darned!" ejaculated R.C. "He heard the bullets hit and
wonders what the dickens.... Say, now he hears the reports! Look at
him stand!"

"Boys, smoke him up," I said, after the manner of Haught's vernacular.
So while I reloaded R.C. and Nielsen began to shoot. We had more fun
out of it than the bear. Evidently he located us. Then he began to
run, choosing the open slope by which he had come. I got five more
shots at him as he crossed this space, and the last bullet puffed
up dust under him, making him take a header down the slope into
the thicket. Whereupon we all had a good laugh. Nielsen appeared
particularly pleased over his first shots at a real live bear.

"Say, why didn't you think to ride round there?" queried R.C.
thoughtfully. "He didn't see us. He wasn't scared. In a few minutes
you could have been on the rim of that slope right over him. Got him

"R.C. why didn't you think to tell me to do that?" I retorted. "Why
don't we ever think the right thing before it is too late?"

"That's our last chance this year--I feel it in my bones," declared
R.C. mournfully.

His premonition turned out to be correct. Upon our arrival at camp we
heard some very disquieting news. A neighbor of Haught's had taken the
trouble to ride up to inform us about the epidemic of influenza. The
strange disease was all over the country, in the cities, the villages,
the cow-camps, the mines--everywhere. At first I thought Haught's
informant was exaggerating a mere rumor. But when he told of the
Indians dying on the reservations, and that in Flagstaff eighty
people had succumbed in a few weeks--then I was thoroughly alarmed.
Imperative was it indeed for me to make a decision at once. I made it
instantly. We would break camp. So I told the men. Doyle was relieved
and glad. He wanted to get home to his family. The Haughts, naturally,
were sorry. My decision once arrived at, the next thing was to
consider which way to travel. The long ten-day trip down into the
basin, round by Payson, and up on the rim again, and so on to
Flagstaff was not to be considered at all. The roads by way of Winslow
and Holbrook were long and bad. Doyle wanted to attempt the old army
road along the rim made by General Crook when he moved the captured
Apaches to the reservation assigned to them. No travel over this road
for many years! Haught looked dubious, but finally said we could chop
our way through thickets, and haul the wagon empty up bad hills. The
matter of decision was left to me. Decisions of such nature were not
easy to make. The responsibility was great, but as the hunt had been
for me it seemed incumbent upon me to accept responsibility. What made
me hesitate at all was the fact that I had ridden five miles or more
along the old Crook road. I remembered. I told Lee and I told Nielsen
that we would find it tough going. Lee laughed like a cowboy: "We'll
go a-hummin'," he said. Nielsen shrugged his brawny shoulders. What
were obstacles to this man of the desert? I realized that his look had
decided me.

"All right, men, we'll try the old Crook road," I said. "Pack what you
can up to the wagon to-day, and to-morrow early we'll break camp."

I walked with the Haughts from our camp across the brook to theirs,
where we sat down in the warm sunshine. I made light of this hunting
trip in which it had turned out I had no gun, no horse, no blankets,
no rain-proof tent, no adequate amount of food supplies, and no good
luck, except the wonderful good luck of being well, of seeing a
magnificent country, of meeting some more fine westerners. But the
Haughts appeared a little slow to grasp, or at least to credit my
philosophy. We were just beginning to get acquainted. Their regret was
that they had been unable to see me get a bear, a deer, a lion, and
some turkeys. Their conviction, perhaps formed from association with
many sportsman hunters, was that owing to my bad luck I could not and
would not want to come again.

"See here, Haught," I said. "I've had a fine time. Now forget about
this hunt. It's past. We'll plan another. Will you save next fall for

"I shore will," he replied.

"Very well, then, it's settled. Say by August you and the boys cut
a trail or two in and out of Horton Thicket. I'll send you money in
advance to pay for this work, and get new hounds and outfit. I'll
leave Flagstaff on September fifteenth. Meet you here September
twenty-first, along about noon."

We shook hands upon the deal. It pleased me that the Haughts laughed
at me yet appeared both surprised and happy. As I left I heard Edd
remark: "Not a kick!... Meet him next year at noon! What do you know
about thet?" This remark proved that he had paid me a compliment in
eastern slang most likely assimilated from R.C. and Romer.

The rest of the afternoon our camp resembled a beehive, and next
morning it was more like a bedlam. The horses were fresh, spirited,
and they had tender backs; the burros stampeded because of some
surreptitious trick of Romer's. But by noon we had all the outfit
packed in the wagon. Considering the amount of stuff, and the long,
rough climb up to the wagon, this was a most auspicious start. I
hoped that it augured well for us, but while I hoped I had a gloomy
foreboding. We bade good-bye to Haught and his son George. Edd offered
to go with us as far as he knew the country, which distance was not
many miles. So we set out upon our doubtful journey, our saddle-horses
in front of the lumbering wagon.

We had five miles of fairly level road through open forest along the
rim, and then we struck such a rocky jumble of downhill grade that the
bundles fell off the wagon. They had to be tied on. When we came to a
long slow slant uphill, a road of loose rocks, we made about one mile
an hour. This slow travel worked havoc upon my mind. I wanted to
hurry. I wanted to get out of the wilds. That awful rumor about
influenza occupied my mind and struck cold fear into my heart. What
of my family? No making the best of this! Slowly we toiled on. Sunset
overtook us at a rocky ledge which had to be surmounted. With lassos
on saddle horses in front of the two teams, all pulling hard, we
overcame that obstacle. But at the next little hill, which we
encountered about twilight, one of the team horses balked. Urging him,
whipping him, served no purpose; and it had bad effect upon the other
horses. Darkness was upon us with the camp-site Edd knew of still
miles to the fore. No grass, no water for the horses! But we had to
camp there. All hands set to work. It really was fun--it should have
been fine for me--but my gloomy obsession to hurry obscured my mind.
I marveled at old Doyle, over seventy, after that long, hard day,
quickly and efficiently cooking a good hot supper. Romer had enjoyed
the day. He said he was tired, but would like to stay up beside the
mighty camp-fire Nielsen built. I had neither energy or spirit to
oppose him. The night was dark and cold and windy; the fire felt so
good that I almost went asleep beside it. We had no time to put up
tents. I made our bed, crawled into it, stretched out with infinite
relief; and the last thing I was aware of was Romer snuggling in
beside me.

Morning brought an early bestirring of every one. We had to stir to
get warm. The air nipped like cold pincers. All the horses were gone;
we could not hear a bell. But Lee did not appear worried. I groaned in
spirit. More delay! Gloom assailed me. Lee sallied out with his yellow
dog Pups. I had forgotten the good quality of Pups, but not my dislike
for him. He barked vociferously, and that annoyed me. R.C. and I
helped Edd and Nielsen pack the wagon. We worked quick and hard. Then
Doyle called us to breakfast. We had scarcely started to eat when we
heard a jangle of bells and the pound of hoofs. I could not believe
my ears. Our horses were lost. Nevertheless suddenly they appeared,
driven by Lee riding bareback, and Pups barking his head off. We all
jumped up with ropes and nose-bags to head off the horses, and soon
had them secured. Not one missing! I asked Lee how in the world he had
found that wild bunch in less than an hour. Lee laughed. "Pups. He
rounded them up in no time."

Then I wanted to go away and hide behind a thicket and kick myself,
but what I actually did was to give Pups part of my meat. I reproached
myself for my injustice to him. How often had I been deceived in
the surface appearance of people and things and dogs! Most of our
judgments are wrong. We do not see clearly.

By nine o'clock we were meeting our first obstacle--the little hill at
which the sorrel horse had balked. Lo! rested and full of grain, he
balked again! He ruined our start. He spoiled the teams. Lee had more
patience than I would have had. He unhitched the lead team and in
place of the sorrel put a saddle horse called Pacer. Then Doyle tried
again and surmounted the hill. Our saddle horses slowly worked ahead
over as rocky and rough a road as I ever traveled. Most of the time
we could see over the rim down into the basin. Along here the rim
appeared to wave in gentle swells, heavily timbered and thickly
rock-strewn, with heads of canyons opening down to our right. I saw
deer tracks and turkey tracks, neither of which occasioned me any
thrills now. About the middle of the afternoon Edd bade us farewell
and turned back. We were sorry to see him go, but as all the country
ahead of us was as unfamiliar to him as to us there seemed to be no
urgent need of him.

We encountered a long, steep hill up which the teams, and our saddle
horses combined, could not pull the wagon. We unpacked it, and each of
us, Romer included, loaded a bundle or box in front of his saddle, and
took it up the hill. Then the teams managed the wagon. This incident
happened four times in less than as many miles. The team horses,
having had a rest from hard labor, had softened, and this sudden
return to strenuous pulling had made their shoulders sore. They either
could not or would not pull. We covered less than ten miles that day,
a very discouraging circumstance. We camped in a pine grove close to
the rim, a splendid site that under favorable circumstances would have
been enjoyable. At sunset R.C. and Nielsen and Romer saw a black bear
down under the rim. The incident was so wonderful for Romer that it
brightened my spirits. "A bear! A big bear, Dad!... I saw him! He was
alive! He stood up--like this--wagging his head. Oh! I saw him!"

Our next day's progress was no less than a nightmare. Crawling along,
unpacking and carrying, and packing again, we toiled up and down the
interminable length of three almost impassable miles. When night
overtook us it was in a bad place to camp. No grass, no water! A cold
gale blew out of the west. It roared through the forest. It blew
everything loose away in the darkness. It almost blew us away in our
beds. The stars appeared radiantly coldly white up in the vast blue
windy vault of the sky. A full moon soared majestically. Shadows
crossed the weird moon-blanched forest glades.

At daylight we were all up, cramped, stiff, half frozen, mostly
silent. The water left in the buckets was solid ice. Suddenly some
one discovered that Nielsen was missing. The fact filled me with
consternation and alarm. He might have walked in his sleep and fallen
over the rim. What had become of him? All his outfit lay scattered
round in his bed. In my bewilderment I imagined many things, even to
the extreme that he might have left us in the lurch. But when I got to
that sad pass of mind I suddenly awakened as if out of an evil dream.
My worry, my hurry had obsessed me. High time indeed was it for me to
meet this situation as I had met other difficult ones. To this end I
went out away from camp, and forgot myself, my imagined possibilities,
and thought of my present responsibility, and the issue at hand. That
instant I realized my injustice toward Nielsen, and reproached myself.

Upon my return to camp Nielsen was there, warming one hand over the
camp-fire and holding a cup of coffee in the other.

"Nielsen, you gave us a scare. Please explain," I said.

"Yes, sir. Last night I was worried. I couldn't sleep. I got to
thinking we were practically lost. Some one ought to find out what was
ahead of us. So I got up and followed the road. Bright moonlight. I
walked all the rest of the night. And that's all, sir."

I liked Nielsen's looks then. He reminded me of Jim Emett, the
Mormon giant to whom difficulties and obstacles were but spurs to
achievement. Such men could not be defeated.

"Well, what did you find out?" I inquired.

"Change of conditions, sir," he replied, as a mate to his captain.
"Only one more steep hill so far as I went. But we'll have to cut
through thickets and logs. From here on the road is all grown over.
About ten miles west we turn off the rim down a ridge."

That about the turning-off place was indeed good news. I thanked
Nielsen. And Doyle appeared immensely relieved. The packing and
carrying had begun to tell on us. Pups ingratiated himself into my
affections. He found out that he could coax meat and biscuit from me.
We had three axes and a hatchet; and these we did not pack in the
wagon. When Doyle finally got the teams started Lee and Nielsen and
R.C. and I went ahead to clear the road. Soon we were halted by
thickets of pines, some of which were six inches in diameter at the
base. The road had ceased to be rocky, and that, no doubt, was the
reason pine thickets had grown up on it, The wagon kept right at our
heels, and many times had to wait. We cut a way through thickets, tore
rotten logs to pieces, threw stumps aside, and moved windfalls. Brawny
Nielsen seemed ten men in one! What a swath he hacked with his big
axe! When I rested, which circumstance grew oftener and oftener, I had
to watch Nielsen with his magnificent swing of the axe, or with his
mighty heave on a log. Time and again he lifted tree trunks out of the
road. He sweat till he was wringing wet. Neither that day nor the next
would we have ever gotten far along that stretch of thicketed and
obstructed road had it not been for Nielsen.

At sunset we found ourselves at the summit of a long slowly ascending
hill, deeply forested. It took all the horses together to pull the
wagon to the top. Thus when we started down a steep curve, horses and
men both were tired. I was ahead riding beside Romer. Nielsen and R.C.
were next, and Lee had fallen in behind the wagon. As I turned the
sharp curve I saw not fifty feet below me a huge log obstructing the

"Look out! Stop!" I yelled, looking back.

But I was too late. The horses could not hold back the heavily
laden wagon, and they broke into a gallop. I saw Doyle's face turn
white--heard him yell. Then I spurred my horse to the side. Romer was
slow or frightened. I screamed at him to get off the road. My heart
sank sick within me! Surely he would be run down. As his pony Rye
jumped out of the way the shoulder of the black horse, on the off
side, struck him a glancing blow. Then the big team hurdled the log,
the tongue struck with a crash, the wagon stopped with a lurch, and
Doyle was thrown from his seat.

Quick as a flash Nielsen was on the spot beside the team. The bay
horse was down. The black horse was trying to break away. Nielsen cut
and pulled the bay free of the harness, and Lee came tearing down to
grasp and hold the black.

Like a fool I ran around trying to help somehow, but I did not know
what to do. I smelled and then saw blood, which fact convinced me
of disaster. Only the black horse that had hurdled the log made
any effort to tear away. The other lay quiet. When finally it was
extricated we found that the horse had a bad cut in the breast made
by a snag on the log. We could find no damage done to the wagon. The
harness Nielsen had cut could be mended quickly. What a fortunate
outcome to what had seemed a very grave accident! I was thankful
indeed. But not soon would I forget sight of Romer in front of that
plunging wagon.

With the horses and a rope we hauled the log to one side of the road,
and hitching up again we proceeded on our way. Once I dropped back
and asked Doyle if he was all right. "Fine as a fiddle," he shouted.
"This's play to what we teamsters had in the early days." And verily
somehow I could see the truth of that. A mile farther on we made camp;
and all of us were hungry, weary, and quiet.

Doyle proved a remarkable example to us younger men. Next morning
he crawled out before any one else, and his call was cheery. I was
scarcely able to get out of my bed, but I was ashamed to lie there
an instant after I heard Doyle. Possibly my eyesight was dulled by
exhaustion when it caused me to see myself as a worn, unshaven,
wrinkled wretch. Romer-boy did not hop out with his usual alacrity.
R.C. had to roll over in his bed and get up on all fours.

We had scant rations for three more days. It behooved us to work and
waste not an hour. All morning, at the pace of a snail it seemed, we
chopped and lifted and hauled our way along that old Crook road. Not
since my trip down the Santa Rosa river in Mexico had I labored so

At noon we came to the turning-off junction, an old blazed road Doyle
had some vague knowledge of. "It must lead to Jones' ranch," Doyle
kept saying. "Anyway, we've got to take it." North was our direction.
And to our surprise, and exceeding gladness, the road down this ridge
proved to be a highway compared to what we had passed. In the open
forest we had to follow it altogether by the blazes on the trees. But
with all our eyes alert that was easy. The grade was down hill, so
that we traveled fast, covering four miles an hour. Occasionally a
log or thicket halted rapid progress. Toward the end of the afternoon
sheep and cattle trails joined the now well-defined road, and we knew
we were approaching a ranch. I walked, or rather limped the last mile,
for the very good reason that I could not longer bear the trot of
my horse. The forest grew more open, with smaller pines, and fewer
thickets. At sunset I came out upon the brow of a deep barren-looking
canyon, in the middle of which squatted some old ruined log-cabins.
Deserted! Alas for my visions of a cup of cold milk. For hours they
had haunted me. When Doyle saw the broken-down cabins and corrals he
yelled: "Boys, it's Jones' Ranch. I've been here. We're only three
miles from Long Valley and the main road!"

Elated we certainly were. And we rushed down the steep hill to look
for water. All our drinking water was gone, and the horses had not
slaked their thirst for two days. Separating we rode up and down the
canyon. R.C. and Romer found running water. Thereupon with immense
relief and joy we pitched camp near the cabins, forgetting our aches
and pains in the certainty of deliverance.

What a cold, dismal, bleak, stony, and lonesome place! We unpacked
only bedding, and our little store of food. And huddled around the
camp-fire we waited upon Doyle's cooking. The old pioneer talked while
he worked.

"Jones' ranch!--I knew Jones in the early days. And I've heard of him
lately. Thirty years ago he rode a prairie schooner down into this
canyon. He had his wife, a fine, strong girl, and he had a gun, an
axe, some chuck, a few horses and cattle, and not much else. He built
him that cabin there and began the real old pioneering of the early
days. He raised cattle. He freighted to the settlements twice a year.
In twenty-five years he had three strapping boys and a girl just as
strapping. And he had a fortune in cattle. Then he sold his stock and
left this ranch. He wanted to give his faithful wife and his children
some of the comforts and luxuries and advantages of civilization. The
war came. His sons did not wait for the draft. They entered the army.
I heard a story about Abe Jones, the old man's first boy. Abe was a
quiet sort of chap. When he got to the army training camp a sergeant
asked Abe if he could shoot. Abe said: 'Nope, not much.' So they gave
him a rifle and told him to shoot at the near target. Abe looked at
it sort of funny like and he picked out the farthest target at one
thousand yards. And he hit the bull's eye ten times straight running.
'Hey!' gasped the sergeant, 'you long, lanky galoot! You said you
couldn't shoot.' Abe sort of laughed. 'Reckon I was thinkin' about
what Dad called shootin'.'... Well, Abe and his brothers got to France
to the front. Abe was a sharpshooter. He was killed at Argonne. Both
his brothers were wounded. They're over there yet.... I met a man not
long ago who'd seen Jones recently. And the old pioneer said he and
his wife would like to be back home. And home to them means right
here--Jones' Ranch!"

Doyle's story affected me profoundly. What a theme for a novel! I
walked away from the camp-fire into the dark, lonely, melancholy
Arizona night. The ruined cabins, the broken-down corrals, the stone
fence, the wash where water ran at wet season--all had subtly changed
for me. Leaning in the doorway of the one-room cabin that had been
home for these Joneses I was stirred to my depths. Their spirits
abided in that lonely hut. At least I felt something there--something
strange, great, simple, inevitable, tragic as life itself. Yet what
could have been more beautiful, more splendid than the life of Jones,
and his wife, and daughter, and sons, especially Abe? Abe Jones! The
name haunted me. In one clear divining flash I saw the life of the
lad. I yearned with tremendous passion for the power to tell the
simplicity, the ruggedness, the pathos and the glory of his story.
The moan of wind in the pines seemed a requiem for the boy who had
prattled and romped and played under them, who had chopped and shot
and rode under them. Into his manhood had gone something of their
strength and nature.

We sought our beds early. The night down in that deep, open canyon was
the coldest we had experienced. I slept but little. At dawn all was
hoar-white with frost. It crackled under foot. The air had a stinging
bite. Yet how sweet, pure, cold to breathe!

Doyle's cheery: "Come and get it," was welcome call to breakfast. Lee
and Pups drove the horses into one of the old corrals. In an hour,
while the frost was yet hard and white, we were ready to start. Then
Doyle somewhat chilled our hopes: "Twenty years ago there was a bad
road out of here. Maybe one's been made since."

But one had not been made. And the old road had not been used for
years. Right at the outset we struck a long, steep, winding, rocky
road. We got stalled at the very foot of it. More toil! Unloading the
wagon we packed on our saddles the whole load more than a mile up this
last and crowning obstacle. Then it took all the horses together to
pull the empty wagon up to a level. By that time sunset had overtaken
us. Where had the hours gone? Nine hours to go one mile! But there had
to be an end to our agonies. By twilight we trotted down into Long
Valley, and crossed the main road to camp in a grove we remembered
well. We partook of a meagre supper, but we were happy. And bed that
night on a thick layer of soft pine needles, in a spot protected from
the cold wind, was immensely comfortable.

Lee woke the crowd next morning. "All rustle," he yelled. "Thirty-five
miles to Mormon Lake. Good road. We'll camp there to-night."

How strange that the eagerness to get home now could only be compared
to the wild desire for the woods a few weeks back! We made an early
start. The team horses knew that road. They knew they were now on the
way home. What difference that made! Jaded as they were they trotted
along with a briskness never seen before on that trip. It began to be
a job for us to keep up with Lee, who was on the wagon. Unless a rider
is accustomed to horseback almost all of the time a continuous trot on
a hard road will soon stove him up. My horse had an atrocious trot.
Time and again I had to fall behind to a walk and then lope ahead
to catch up. I welcomed the hills that necessitated Lee walking the

At noon we halted in a grassy grove for an hour's rest. That seemed
a precious hour, but to start again was painful. I noticed that
Romer-boy no longer rode out far in front, nor did he chase squirrels
with Pups. He sagged, twisted and turned, and lolled in his saddle.
Thereafter I tried to keep close to him. But that was not easy, for
he suspected me of seeing how tired he was, and kept away from me.
Thereafter I took to spying upon him from some distance behind. We
trotted and walked, trotted and walked the long miles. Arizona miles
were twice as long as ordinary properly measured miles. An event of
the afternoon was to meet some Mexican sheepherders, driving a flock
south. Nielsen got some fresh mutton from them. Toward sunset I caught
Romer hanging over his saddle. Then I rode up to him. "Son, are you
tired?" I asked. "Oh, Dad, I sure am, but I'm going to ride Rye to
Mormon Lake." I believed he would accomplish it. His saddle slipped,
letting him down. I saw him fall. When he made no effort to get up I
was frightened. Rye stood perfectly still over him. I leaped off and
ran to the lad. He had hit his head on a stone, drawing the blood, and
appeared to be stunned. I lifted him, holding him up, while somebody
got some water. We bathed his face and washed off the blood. Presently
he revived, and smiled at me, and staggered out of my hold.

"Helluva note that saddle slipped!" he complained. Manifestly he had
acquired some of Joe Isbel's strong language. Possibly he might have
acquired some other of the cowboy's traits, for he asked to have his
saddle straightened and to be put on his horse. I had misgivings, but
I could not resist him then. I lifted him upon Rye. Once more our
cavalcade got under way.

Sunset, twilight, night came as we trotted on and on. We faced a cold
wind. The forest was black, gloomy, full of shadows. Lee gave us all
we could do to keep up with him. At eight o'clock, two hours after
dark, we reached the southern end of Mormon Lake. A gale, cold as ice,
blew off the water from the north. Half a dozen huge pine trees stood
on the only level ground near at hand. "Nielsen, fire--pronto!" I
yelled. "Aye, sir," he shouted, in his deep voice. Then what with
hurry and bustle to get my bedding and packs, and to thresh my
tingling fingers, and press my frozen ears, I was selfishly busy a few
minutes before I thought of Romer.

Nielsen had started a fire, that blazed and roared with burning pine
needles. The blaze blew low, almost on a level with the ground, and a
stream of red sparks flew off into the woods. I was afraid of forest
fire. But what a welcome sight that golden flame! It lighted up a wide
space, showing the huge pines, gloom-encircled, and a pale glimmer of
the lake beyond. The fragrance of burning pine greeted my nostrils.

Dragging my bags I hurried toward the fire. Nielsen was building a
barricade of rocks to block the flying sparks. Suddenly I espied
Romer. He sat on a log close to the blaze. His position struck me as
singular, so I dropped my burdens and went to him. He had on a heavy
coat over sweater and under coat, which made him resemble a little old
man. His sombrero was slouched down sidewise, his gloved hands were
folded across his knees, his body sagged a little to one side, his
head drooped. He was asleep. I got around so I could see his face
in the firelight. Pale, weary, a little sad, very youthful and yet
determined! A bloody bruise showed over his temple. He had said he
would ride all the way to Mormon Lake and he had done it. Never, never
will that picture fade from my memory! Dear, brave, wild, little lad!
He had made for me a magnificent success of this fruitless hunting
trip. I hoped and prayed then that when he grew to man's estate, and
faced the long rides down the hard roads of life, he would meet them
and achieve them as he had the weary thirty-five Arizona miles from
Long Valley to Mormon Lake.


[Illustration: ON THE RIM]


Mutton tasted good that night around our camp-fire; and Romer ate a
generous portion. A ranger from the station near there visited us, and
two young ranchers, who told us that the influenza epidemic was waning.
This was news to be thankful for. Moreover, I hired the two ranchers to
hurry us by auto to Flagstaff on the morrow. So right there at Mormon
Lake ended our privations.

Under one of the huge pines I scraped up a pile of needles, made
Romer's bed in it, heated a blanket and wrapped him in it. Almost he
was asleep when he said: "Some ride, Dad--Good-night."

Later, beside him, I lay awake a while, watching the sparks fly, and
the shadows flit, feeling the cold wind on my face, listening to the
crackle of the fire and the roar of the gale.


Eventually R.C. and Romer and I arrived in Los Angeles to find all
well with our people, which fact was indeed something to rejoice over.
Hardly had this 1918 trip ended before I began to plan for that of
1919. But I did not realize how much in earnest I was until I received
word that both Lee Doyle in Flagstaff and Nielsen in San Pedro were
very ill with influenza. Lee all but died, and Nielsen, afterward,
told me he would rather die than have the "flu" again. To my great
relief, however, they recovered.

From that time then it pleased me to begin to plan for my 1919 hunting
trip. I can never do anything reasonably. I always overdo everything.
But what happiness I derive from anticipation! When I am not working
I live in dreams, partly of the past, but mostly of the future. A man
should live only in the present.

I gave Lee instructions to go about in his own way buying teams,
saddle horses, and wagons. For Christmas I sent him a .35 Remington
rifle. Mr. Haught got instructions to add some new dogs to his pack. I
sent Edd also a .35 Remington, and made Nielsen presents of two guns.
In January Nielsen and I went to Picacho, on the lower Colorado river,
and then north to Death Valley. So that I kept in touch with these men
and did not allow their enthusiasm to wane. For myself and R.C. I had
the fun of ordering tents and woolen blankets, and everything that we
did not have on our 1918 trip. But owing to the war it was difficult
to obtain goods of any description. To make sure of getting a .30
Gov't Winchester I ordered from four different firms, including the
Winchester Co. None of them had such a rifle in stock, but all would
try to find one. The upshot of this deal was that, when after months I
despaired of getting any, they all sent me a rifle at the same time.
So I found myself with four, all the same caliber of course, but of
different style and finish. When I saw them and thought of the
Haughts I had to laugh. One was beautifully engraved, and inlaid with
gold--the most elaborate .30 Gov't the Winchester people had ever
built. Another was a walnut-stocked, shot-gun butted, fancy checkered
take-down. This one I presented to R.C. The third was a plain ordinary
rifle with solid frame. And the last was a carbine model, which I gave
to Nielsen.

During the summer at Avalon I used to take the solid frame rifle, and
climb the hills to practice on targets. At Clemente Island I used to
shoot at the ravens. I had a grudge against ravens there for picking
the eyes out of newly born lambs. At five hundred yards a raven was in
danger from me. I could make one jump at even a thousand yards. These
.30 Gov't 1906 rifles with 150-grain bullet are the most wonderful
shooting arms I ever tried. I became expert at inanimate targets.

From time to time I heard encouraging news from Lee about horses. Edd
wrote me about lion tracks in the snow, and lynx up cedar trees, and
gobblers four feet high, and that there was sure to be a good crop
of acorns, and therefore some bears. He told me about a big grizzly
cow-killer being chased and shot in Chevelon Canyon. News about
hounds, however, was slow in coming. Dogs were difficult to find.
At length Haught wrote me that he had secured two; and in this same
letter he said the boys were cutting trails down under the rim.

Everything pertaining to my cherished plans appeared to be turning
out well. But during this time I spent five months at hard work and
intense emotional strain, writing the longest novel I ever attempted;
and I over-taxed my endurance. By the middle of June, when I finished,
I was tired out. That would not have mattered if I had not hurt my
back in an eleven-hour fight with a giant broadbill swordfish. This
strain kept me from getting in my usual physical trim. I could not
climb the hills, or exert myself. Swimming hurt me more than anything.
So I had to be careful and wait until my back slowly got better. By
September it had improved, but not enough to make me feel any thrills
over horseback riding. It seemed to me that I would be compelled to
go ahead and actually work the pain out of my back, an ordeal through
which I had passed before, and surely dreaded.

During the summer I had purchased a famous chestnut sorrel horse named
Don Carlos. He was much in demand among the motion-picture companies
doing western plays; and was really too fine and splendid a horse to
be put to the risks common to the movies. I saw him first at Palm
Springs, down in southern California, where my book _Desert Gold_ was
being made into a motion-picture. Don would not have failed to strike
any one as being a wonderful horse. He was tremendously high and rangy
and powerful in build, yet graceful withal, a sleek, shiny chestnut
red in color, with fine legs, broad chest, and a magnificent head. I
rode him only once before I bought him, and that was before I hurt my
back. His stride was what one would expect from sight of him; his trot
seemed to tear me to pieces; his spirit was such that he wanted to
prance all the time. But in spite of his spirit he was a pet. And
how he could run! Nielsen took Don to Flagstaff by express. And when
Nielsen wrote me he said all of Flagstaff came down to the station to
see the famous Don Carlos. The car in which he had traveled was backed
alongside a platform. Don refused to step on the boards they placed
from platform to car. He did not trust them. Don's intelligence had
been sharpened by his experience with the movies. Nielsen tried to
lead, to coax, and to drive Don to step on the board walk. Don would
not go. But suddenly he snorted, and jumped the space clear, to plunge
and pound down upon the platform, scattering the crowd like quail.

The day before my departure from Los Angeles was almost as terrible an
ordeal as I anticipated would be my first day's ride on Don Carlos.
And this ordeal consisted of listening to Romer's passionate appeals
and importunities to let him go on the hunt. My only defence was that
he must not be taken from school. School forsooth! He was way ahead of
his class. If he got behind he could make it up. I talked and argued.
Once he lost his temper, a rare thing with him, and said he would run
away from school, ride on a freight train to Flagstaff, steal a horse
and track me to my camp. I could not say very much in reply to this
threat, because I remembered that I had made worse to my father, and
carried it out. I had to talk sense to Romer. Often we had spoken of
a wonderful hunt in Africa some day, when he was old enough; and I
happened upon a good argument. I said: "You'll miss a year out of
school then. It won't be so very long. Don't you think you ought to
stay in school faithfully now?" So in the end I got away from him,
victorious, though not wholly happy. The truth was I wanted him to go.

My Jap cook Takahashi met me in Flagstaff. He was a very short, very
broad, very muscular little fellow with a brown, strong face, more
pleasant than usually seen in Orientals. Secretly I had made sure that
in Takahashi I had discovered a treasure, but I was careful to conceal
this conviction from R.C., the Doyles, and Nielsen. They were glad to
see him with us, but they manifestly did not expect wonders.

How brief the span of a year! Here I was in Flagstaff again outfitting
for another hunt. It seemed incredible. It revived that old haunting
thought about the shortness of life. But in spite of that or perhaps
more because of it the pleasure was all the keener. In truth the only
drawback to this start was the absence of Romer, and my poor physical
condition. R.C. appeared to be in fine fettle.

But I was not well. In the mornings I could scarcely arise, and when
I did so I could hardly straighten myself. More than once I grew
doubtful of my strength to undertake such a hard trip. This doubt I
fought fiercely, for I knew that the right thing for me to do was
to go--to stand the pain and hardship--to toil along until my old
strength and elasticity returned. What an opportunity to try out my
favorite theory! For I believed that labor and pain were good for
mankind--that strenuous life in the open would cure any bodily ill.

On September fourteenth Edd and George drifted into Flagstaff to join
us, and their report of game and water and grass and acorns was so
favorable that I would have gone if I had been unable to ride on
anything but a wagon.

We got away on September fifteenth at two-thirty o'clock with such an
outfit as I had never had in all my many trips put together. We had a
string of saddle horses besides those the men rode. They were surely a
spirited bunch; and that first day it was indeed a job to keep them with
us. Out of sheer defiance with myself I started on Don Carlos. He was no
trouble, except that it took all my strength to hold him in. He tossed
his head, champed his bit, and pranced sideways along the streets of
Flagstaff, manifestly to show off his brand new black Mexican saddle,
with silver trappings and tapaderos. I was sure that he did not do that
to show me off. But Don liked to dance and prance along before a crowd,
a habit that he had acquired with the motion pictures.

Lee and Nielsen and George had their difficulties driving the free
horses. Takahashi rode a little buckskin Navajo mustang. An evidence of
how extremely short the Jap's legs were made itself plain in the fact
that stirrups could not be fixed so he could reach them with his feet.
When he used any support at all he stuck his feet through the straps
above the stirrups. How funny his squat, broad figure looked in a
saddle! Evidently he was not accustomed to horses. When I saw the
mustang roll the white of his eyes and glance back at Takahashi then I
knew something would happen sooner or later.

Nineteen miles on Don Carlos reduced me to a miserable aching specimen
of manhood. But what made me endure and go on and finish to camp was the
strange fact that the longer I rode the less my back pained. Other parts
of my anatomy, however, grew sorer as we progressed. Don Carlos pleased
me immensely, only I feared he was too much horse for me. A Mormon
friend of mine, an Indian trader, looked Don over in Flagstaff, and
pronounced him: "Shore one grand hoss!" This man had broken many wild
horses, and his compliment pleased me. All the same the nineteen miles
on Don hurt my vanity almost as much as my body.

We camped in a cedar pasture off the main road. This road was a new one
for us to take to our hunting grounds. I was too bunged up to help
Nielsen pitch our tent. In fact when I sat down I was anchored. Still I
could use my eyes, and that made life worth living. Sunset was a
gorgeous spectacle. The San Francisco Peaks were shrouded in purple
storm-clouds, and the west was all gold and silver, with low clouds
rimmed in red. This sunset ended in a great flare of dull magenta with a
background of purple.

That evening was the try-out of our new chuck-box and chef. I had
supplied the men with their own outfit and supplies, to do with as they
liked, an arrangement I found to be most satisfactory. Takahashi was to
take care of R.C. and me. In less than half an hour from the time the
Jap lighted a fire he served the best supper I ever had in camp
anywhere. R.C. lauded him to the skies. And I began to think I could
unburden myself of my conviction.

I did not awaken to the old zest and thrill of the open. Something was
wrong with me. The sunset, the camp-fire, the dark clear night with its
trains of stars, the distant yelp of coyotes--these seemed less to me
than what I had hoped for. My feelings were locked round my discomfort
and pain.

About noon next day we rode out of the cedars into the open desert--a
rolling, level land covered with fine grass, and yellow daisies, Indian
paint brush, and a golden flowering weed. This luxuriance attested to
the copious and recent rains. They had been a boon to dry Arizona. No
sage showed or greasewood, and very few rocks. The sun burned hot. I
gazed out at the desert, and the cloud pageant in the sky, trying hard
to forget myself, and to see what I knew was there for me. Rolling
columnar white and cream clouds, majestic and beautiful, formed storms
off on the horizon. Sunset on the open desert that afternoon was
singularly characteristic of Arizona--purple and gold and red, with long
lanes of blue between the colored cloud banks.

We made camp at Meteor Crater, one of the many wonders of this
wonderland. It was a huge hole in the earth over five hundred feet deep,
said to have been made by a meteor burying itself there. Seen from the
outside the slope was gradual up to the edges, which were scalloped and
irregular; on the inside the walls were precipitous. Our camp was on the
windy desert, a long sweeping range of grass, sloping down, dotted with
cattle, with buttes and mountains in the distance. Most of my sensations
of the day partook of the nature of woe.

September seventeenth bade fair to be my worst day--at least I did not
see how any other could ever be so bad. Glaring hot sun--reflected heat
from I the bare road--dust and sand and wind! Particularly hard on me
were what the Arizonians called dust-devils, whirlwinds of sand. On and
off I walked a good many miles, the latter of which I hobbled. Don
Carlos did not know what to make of this. He eyed me, and nosed me, and
tossed his head as if to say I was a strange rider for him. Like my
mustang, Night, he would not stand to be mounted. When I touched the
stirrup that was a signal to go. He had been trained to it. As he was
nearly seventeen hands high, and as I could not get my foot in the
stirrup from level ground, to mount him in my condition seemed little
less than terrible. I always held back out of sight when I attempted
this. Many times I failed. Once I fell flat and lay a moment in the
dust. Don Carlos looked down upon me in a way I imagined was
sympathetic. At least he bent his noble head and smelled at me. I
scrambled to my feet, led him round into a low place, and drawing a deep
breath, and nerving myself to endure the pain like a stab, I got into
the saddle again.

Two things sustained me in this ordeal, which was the crudest horseback
ride I ever had--first, the conviction that I could cure my ills by
enduring the agony of violent action, of hot sun, of hard bed; and
secondly, the knowledge that after it was all over the remembrance of
hardship and achievement would be singularly sweet. So it had been in
the case of the five days on the old Crook road in 1918, when extreme
worry and tremendous exertion had made the hours hideous. So it had been
with other arduous and poignant experiences. A poet said that the crown
of sorrow was in remembering happier times: I believed that there was a
great deal of happiness in remembering times of stress, of despair, of
extreme and hazardous effort. Anyway, without these two feelings in my
mind I would have given up riding Don Carlos that day, and have
abandoned the trip.

We covered twenty-two miles by sundown, a rather poor day's showing; and
camped on the bare flat desert, using water and wood we had packed with
us. The last thing I remembered, as my eyes closed heavily, was what a
blessing it was to rest and to sleep.

Next day we sheered off to the southward, heading toward Chevelon Butte,
a black cedared mountain, rising lone out of the desert, thirty miles
away. We crossed two streams bank full of water, a circumstance I never
before saw in Arizona. Everywhere too the grass was high. We climbed
gradually all day, everybody sunburned and weary, the horses settling
down to save themselves; and we camped high up on the desert plateau,
six thousand feet above sea level, where it was windy, cool, and
fragrant with sage and cedar. Except the first few, the hours of this
day each marked a little less torture for me; but at that I fell off
Don Carlos when we halted. And I was not able to do my share of the camp
work. R.C. was not as spry and chipper as I had seen him, a fact from
which I gathered infinite consolation. Misery loves company.

A storm threatened. All the west was purple under on-coming purple
clouds. At sight of this something strange and subtle, yet familiar,
revived in me. It made me feel a little more like the self I thought I
knew. So I watched the lightning flare and string along the horizon.
Some time in the night thunder awakened me. The imminence of a severe
storm forced us to roll out and look after the tent. What a pitch black
night! Down through the murky, weird blackness shot a wonderful zigzag
rope of lightning, blue-white, dazzling; and it disintegrated, leaving
segments of fire in the air. All this showed in a swift flash--then we
were absolutely blind. I could not see for several moments. It rained a
little. Only the edge of the storm touched us. Thunder rolled and boomed
along the battlements, deep and rumbling and detonating.

No dust or heat next morning! The desert floor appeared clean and damp,
with fresh gray sage and shining bunches of cedar. We climbed into the
high cedars, and then to the piñons, and then to the junipers and pines.
Climbing so out of desert to forestland was a gradual and accumulating
joy to me. What contrast in vegetation, in air, in color! Still the
forest consisted of small trees. Not until next day did we climb farther
to the deepening, darkening forest, and at last to the silver spruce.
That camp, the fifth night out, was beside a lake of surface water,
where we had our first big camp-fire.

September twenty-first and ten miles from Beaver Dam Canyon, where a
year before I had planned to meet Haught this day and date at noon! I
could make that appointment, saddle-sore and weary as I was, but I
doubted we could get the wagons there. The forest ground was soft. All
the little swales were full of water. How pleasant, how welcome, how
beautiful and lonely the wild forestland! We made advance slowly. It was
afternoon by the time we reached the rim road, and four o'clock when we
halted at the exact spot where we had left our wagon the year before.

Lee determined to drive the wagons down over the rocky benches into
Beaver Dam Canyon; and to that end he and the men began to cut pines,
drag logs, and roll stones.

R.C. and I rode down through the forest, crossing half a dozen swift
little streams of amber water, where a year before all had been dry as
tinder. We found Haught's camp in a grove of yellowing aspens. Haught
was there to meet us. He had not changed any more than the rugged pine
tree under which a year past we had made our agreement. He wore the same
blue shirt and the old black sombrero.

"Hello Haught," was my greeting, as I dismounted and pulled out my
watch. "I'm four hours and a quarter late. Sorry. I could have made it,
but didn't want to leave the wagons."

"Wal, wal, I shore am glad to see you," he replied, with a keen flash in
his hazel eyes and a smile on his craggy face. "I reckoned you'd make
it. How are you? Look sort of fagged."

"Just about all in, Haught," I replied, as we shook hands.

Then Copple appeared, swaggering out of the aspens. He was the man I met
in Payson and who so kindly had made me take his rifle. I had engaged
him also for this hunt. A brawny man he was, with powerful shoulders,
swarthy-skinned, and dark-eyed, looking indeed the Indian blood he

"Wouldn't have recognized you anywhere's else," he said.

These keen-eyed outdoor men at a glance saw the havoc work and pain had
played with me. They were solicitous, and when I explained my condition
they made light of that, and showed relief that I was not ill. "Saw wood
an' rustle around," said Haught. And Copple said: "He needs venison an'
bear meat."

They rode back with us up to the wagons. Copple had been a freighter. He
picked out a way to drive down into the canyon. So rough and steep it
was that I did not believe driving down would be possible. But with axes
and pick and shovel, and a heaving of rocks, they worked a road that Lee
drove down. Some places were almost straight down. But the ground was
soft, hoofs and wheels sank deeply, and though one wagon lurched almost
over, and the heavily laden chuck-wagon almost hurdled the team, Lee
made the bad places without accident. Two hours after our arrival, such
was the labor of many strong hands, we reached our old camp ground. One
thing was certain, however, and that was we would never get back up the
way we came down.

Except for a luxuriance of grass and ferns, and two babbling streams of
water, our old camp ground had not changed. I sat down with mingled
emotions. How familiarly beautiful and lonely this canyon glade! The
great pines and spruces looked down upon me with a benediction. How
serene, passionless, strong they seemed! It was only men who changed in
brief time. The long year of worry and dread and toil and pain had
passed. It was nothing. On the soft, fragrant, pine-scented breeze came
a whispering of welcome from the forestland: "You are here again. Live
now--in the present."

Takahashi beamed upon me: "More better place to camp," he said,
grinning. Already the Jap had won my admiration and liking. His ability
excited my interest, and I wanted to know more about him. As to this
camp-site being a joy compared to the ones stretched back along the road
he was assuredly right. That night we did no more than eat and unroll
our beds. But next day there set in the pleasant tasks of unpacking,
putting up tents and flies, cutting spruce for thick, soft beds, and a
hundred odd jobs dear to every camper. Takahashi would not have any one
help him. He dug a wide space for fires, erected a stone windbreak, and
made two ovens out of baked mud, the like of which, and the cleverness
of which I had never seen. He was a whirlwind for work.

The matter of firewood always concerned Nielsen and me more than any
one. Nielsen was a Norwegian, raised as a boy to use a crosscut saw; and
as for me I was a connoisseur in camp-fires and a lover of them. Hence
we had brought a crosscut saw--a long one with two handles. I remembered
from the former year a huge dead pine that had towered bleached and
white at the edge of the glade. It stood there still. The storms and
blasts of another winter had not changed it in the least. It was five
feet thick at the base and solid. Nielsen chopped a notch in it on the
lower side, and then he and Edd began to saw into it on the other. I saw
the first tremor of the lofty top. Then soon it shivered all the way
down, gave forth a loud crack, swayed slowly, and fell majestically, to
strike with a thundering crash. Only the top of this pine broke in the
fall, but there were splinters and knots and branches enough to fill a
wagon. These we carried up to our camp-fire.

Then the boys sawed off half a dozen four-foot sections, which served
as fine, solid, flat tables for comfort around camp. The method of using
a crosscut saw was for two men to take a stand opposite one another,
with the log between. The handles of the saw stood upright. Each man
should pull easily and steadily toward himself, but should not push back
nor bear down. It looked a rhythmic, manly exercise, and not arduous.
But what an illusion! Nielsen and Copple were the only ones that day who
could saw wholly through the thick log without resting. Later Takahashi
turned out to be as good, if not better, than either of them, but we had
that, as well as many other wonderful facts, to learn about the Jap.

"Come on," said R.C. to me, invitingly. "You've been talking about this
crosscut saw game. I'll bet you find it harder than pulling on a

Pride goes before a fall! I knew that in my condition I could do little
with the saw, but I had to try. R.C. was still fresh when I had to rest.
Perhaps no one except myself realized the weakness of my back, but the
truth was a couple of dozen pulls on that saw almost made me collapse.
Wherefore I grew furious with myself and swore I would do it or die. I
sawed till I fell over--then I rested and went back at it. Half an hour
of this kind of exercise gave me a stab in my left side infinitely
sharper than the pain in my back. Also it made me wringing wet, hot as
fire, and as breathless as if I had run a mile up hill. That experience
determined me to stick to crosscut sawing every day. Next morning I
approached it with enthusiasm, yet with misgivings. I could not keep my
breath. Pain I could and did bear without letting on. But to have to
stop was humiliating. If I tried to keep up with the sturdy Haught boys,
or with the brawny Copple or the giant Nielsen, soon I would be
compelled to keel over. In the sawing through a four-foot section of log
I had to rest eight times. They all had a great deal of fun out of it,
and I pretended to be good natured, but to me who had always been so
vigorous and active and enduring it was not fun. It was tragic. But all
was not gloom for me. This very afternoon Nielsen, the giant, showed
that a stiff climb out of the canyon, at that eight thousand feet
altitude, completely floored him. Yet I accomplished that with
comparative ease. I could climb, which seemed proof that I was gaining.
A man becomes used to certain labors and exercises. I thought the
crosscut saw a wonderful tool to train a man, but it must require time.
It harked back to pioneer days when men were men. Nielsen said he had
lived among Mexican boys who sawed logs for nineteen cents apiece and
earned seven dollars a day. Copple said three minutes was good time to
saw a four-foot log in two pieces. So much for physical condition! As
for firewood, for which our crosscut saw was intended, pitch pine and
yellow pine and spruce were all odorous and inflammable woods, but they
did not make good firewood. Dead aspen was good; dead oak the best. It
burned to red hot coals with little smoke. As for camp-fires, any kind
of dry wood pleased, smoke or no smoke. In fact I loved the smell and
color of wood-smoke, in spite of the fact that it made my eyes smart.

By October first, which was the opening day of the hunting season, I had
labored at various exercises until I felt fit to pack a rifle through
the woods. R.C. and I went out alone on foot. Not by any means was the
day auspicious. The sun tried to show through a steely haze, making only
a pale shift of sunshine. And the air was rather chilly. Enthusiasm,
however, knew no deterrents. We walked a mile down Beaver Dam Canyon,
then climbed the western slope. As long as the sun shone I knew the
country fairly well, or rather my direction. We slipped along through
the silent woods, satisfied with everything. Presently the sun broke
through the clouds, and shone fitfully, making intervals of shadow, and
others of golden-green verdure.

Along an edge of one of the grassy parks we came across fresh deer
tracks. Several deer had run out of the woods just ahead of us,
evidently having winded us. One track was that of a big buck. We trailed
these tracks across the park, then made a detour in hopes of heading the
deer off, but failed. A huge, dark cloud scudded out of the west and let
down a shower of fine rain. We kept dry under a spreading spruce. The
forest then was gloomy and cool with only a faint moan of wind and
pattering of raindrops to break the silence. The cloud passed by, the
sun shone again, the forest glittered in its dress of diamonds. There
had been but little frost, so that aspen and maple thickets had not yet
taken on their cloth of gold and blaze of red. Most of the leaves were
still on the trees, making these thickets impossible to see into. We
hunted along the edges of these, and across the wide, open ridge from
canyon to canyon, and saw nothing but old tracks. Black and white clouds
rolled up and brought a squall. We took to another spruce tent for
shelter. After this squall the sky became obscured by a field of gray
cloud through which the sun shone dimly. This matter worried me. I was
aware of my direction then, but if I lost the sun I would soon be in

Gradually we worked back along the ridge toward camp, and headed several
ravines that ran and widened down into the big canyon. All at once R.C.
held up a warning finger. "Listen!" With abatement of breath I listened,
but heard nothing except the mournful sough of the pines. "Thought I
heard a whistle," he said. We went on, all eyes and ears.

R.C. and I flattered ourselves that together we made rather a good
hunting team. We were fairly well versed in woodcraft and could slip
along stealthily. I possessed an Indian sense of direction that had
never yet failed me. To be sure we had much to learn about deer
stalking. But I had never hunted with any man whose ears were as quick
as R.C.'s. A naturally keen hearing, and many years of still hunting,
accounted for this faculty. As for myself, the one gift of which I was
especially proud was my eyesight. Almost invariably I could see game in
the woods before any one who was with me. This had applied to all my
guides except Indians. And I believed that five summers on the Pacific,
searching the wide expanse of ocean for swordfish fins, had made my eyes
all the keener for the woods. R.C. and I played at a game in which he
tried to hear the movement of some forest denizen before I saw it. This
fun for us dated back to boyhood days.

Suddenly R.C. stopped short, with his head turning to one side, and his
body stiffening. "I heard that whistle again," he said. We stood
perfectly motionless for a long moment. Then from far off in the forest
I heard a high, clear, melodious, bugling note. How thrilling, how
lonely a sound!

"It's a bull-elk," I replied. Then we sat down upon a log and listened.
R.C. had heard that whistle in Colorado, but had not recognized it. Just
as the mournful howl of a wolf is the wildest, most haunting sound of
the wilderness, so is the bugle of the elk the noblest, most melodious
and thrilling. With tingling nerves and strained ears we listened. We
heard elk bugling in different directions, hard to locate. One bull
appeared to be low down, another high up, another working away. R.C. and
I decided to stalk them. The law prohibited the killing of elk, but that
was no reason why we might not trail them, and have the sport of seeing
them in their native haunts. So we stole softly through the woods,
halting now and then to listen, pleased to note that every whistle we
heard appeared to be closer.

At last, apparently only a deep thicketed ravine separated us from the
ridge upon which the elk were bugling. Here our stalk began to become
really exciting. We did not make any noise threading that wet thicket,
and we ascended the opposite slope very cautiously. What little wind
there was blew from the elk toward us, so they could not scent us. Once
up on the edge of the ridge we halted to listen. After a long time we
heard a far-away bugle, then another at least half a mile distant. Had
we miscalculated? R.C. was for working down the ridge and I was for
waiting there a few moments. So we sat down again. The forest was almost
silent now. Somewhere a squirrel was barking. The sun peeped out of the
pale clouds, lighted the glades, rimmed the pines in brightness. I
opened my lips to speak to R.C. when I was rendered mute by a piercing
whistle, high-pitched and sweet and melodiously prolonged. It made my
ears tingle and my blood dance. "Right close," whispered R.C. "Come on."
We began to steal through the forest, keeping behind trees and thickets,
peeping out, and making no more sound than shadows. The ground was damp,
facilitating our noiseless stalk. In this way we became separated by
about thirty steps, but we walked on and halted in unison. Passing
through a thicket of little pines we came into an open forest full of
glades. Keenly I peered everywhere, as I slipped from tree to tree.
Finally we stooped along for a space, and then, at a bugle blast so
close that it made me jump, I began to crawl. My objective point was a
fallen pine the trunk of which appeared high enough to conceal me. R.C.
kept working a little farther to the right. Once he beckoned me, but I
kept on. Still I saw him drop down to crawl. Our stalk was getting
toward its climax. My state was one of quivering intensity of thrill, of
excitement, of pleasure. Reaching my log I peeped over it. I saw a
cow-elk and a yearling calf trotting across a glade about a hundred
yards distant. Wanting R.C. to see them I looked his way, and pointed.
But he was pointing also and vehemently beckoning for me to join him. I
ran on all fours over to where he knelt. He whispered pantingly:
"Grandest sight--ever saw!" I peeped out.

In a glade not seventy-five yards away stood a magnificent bull elk,
looking back over his shoulder. His tawny hind-quarters, then his dark
brown, almost black shaggy shoulders and head, then his enormous spread
of antlers, like the top of a dead cedar--these in turn fascinated my
gaze. How graceful, stately, lordly!

R.C. stepped out from behind the pine in full view. I crawled out, took
a kneeling position, and drew a bead on the elk. I had the fun of
imagining I could have hit him anywhere. I did not really want to kill
him, yet what was the meaning of the sharp, hot gush of my blood, the
fiery thrill along my nerves, the feeling of unsatisfied wildness? The
bull eyed us for a second, then laid his forest of antlers back over his
shoulders, and with singularly swift, level stride, sped like a tawny
flash into the green forest.

R.C. and I began to chatter like boys, and to walk toward the glade,
without any particular object in mind, when my roving eye caught sight
of a moving brown and checkered patch low down on the ground, vanishing
behind a thicket. I called R.C. and ran. I got to where I could see
beyond the thicket. An immense flock of turkeys! I yelled. As I tried to
get a bead on a running turkey R.C. joined me. "Chase 'em!" he yelled.
So we dashed through the forest with the turkeys running ahead of us.
Never did they come out clear in the open. I halted to shoot, but just
as I was about to press the trigger, my moving target vanished. This
happened again. No use to shoot at random! I had a third fleeting
chance, but absolutely could not grasp it. Then the big flock of turkeys
eluded us in an impenetrable, brushy ravine.

"By George!" exclaimed R.C. "Can you beat that? They run like streaks. I
couldn't aim. These wild turkeys are great."

I echoed his sentiments. We prowled around for an hour trying to locate
this flock again, but all in vain. "Well," said R.C. finally, as he
wiped his perspiring face, "it's good to see some game anyhow.... Where
are we?"

It developed that our whereabouts was a mystery to me. The sun had
become completely obliterated, a fine rain was falling, the forest had
grown wet and dismal. We had gotten turned around. The matter did not
look serious, however, until we had wandered around for another hour
without finding anything familiar. Then we realized we were lost. This
sort of experience had happened to R.C. and me often; nevertheless we
did not relish it, especially the first day out. As usual on such
occasions R.C. argued with me about direction, and then left the
responsibility with me. I found an open spot, somewhat sheltered on one
side from the misty rain, and there I stationed myself to study trees
and sky and clouds for some clue to help me decide what was north or
west. After a while I had the good fortune to see a momentary
brightening through the clouds. I located the sun, and was pleased to
discover that the instinct of direction I had been subtly prompted to
take, would have helped me as much as the sun.

We faced east and walked fast, and I took note of trees ahead so that
we should not get off a straight line. At last we came to a deep canyon.
In the gray misty rain I could not be sure I recognized it. "Well,
R.C.," I said, "this may be our canyon, and it may not. But to make sure
we'll follow it up to the rim. Then we can locate camp." R.C. replied
with weary disdain. "All right, my redskin brother, lead me to camp. As
Loren says, I'm starved to death." Loren is my three-year-old boy, who
bids fair to be like his brother Romer. He has an enormous appetite and
before meal times he complains bitterly: "I'm starv-ved to death!" How
strange to remember him while I was lost in the forest!

When we had descended into the canyon rain was falling more heavily. We
were in for it. But I determined we would not be kept out all night. So
I struck forward with long stride.

In half an hour we came to where the canyon forked. I deliberated a
moment. Not one familiar landmark could I descry, from which fact I
decided we had better take to the left-hand fork. Grass and leaves
appeared almost as wet as running water. Soon we were soaked to the
skin. After two miles the canyon narrowed and thickened, so that
traveling grew more and more laborsome. It must have been four miles
from its mouth to where it headed up near the rim. Once out of it we
found ourselves on familiar ground, about five miles from camp.
Exhausted and wet and nearly frozen we reached camp just before dark. If
I had taken the right-hand fork of the canyon, which was really Beaver
Dam Canyon, we would have gotten back to camp in short order. R.C. said
to the boys: "Well, Doc dragged me nine miles out of our way." Everybody
but the Jap enjoyed my discomfiture. Takahashi said in his imperfect
English: "Go get on more better dry clothes. Soon hot supper. Maybe good


It rained the following day, making a good excuse to stay in camp and
rest beside the little tent-stove. And the next morning I started out on
foot with Copple. We went down Beaver Dam Canyon intending to go up on
the ridge where R.C. and I had seen the flock of turkeys.

I considered Copple an addition to my long list of outdoor acquaintances
in the west, and believed him a worthy partner for Nielsen. Copple was
born near Oak Creek, some twenty miles south of Flagstaff, and was
one-fourth Indian. He had a good education. His whole life had been in
the open, which fact I did not need to be told. A cowboy when only a boy
he had also been sheepherder, miner, freighter, and everything
Arizonian. Eighteen years he had hunted game and prospected for gold in
Mexico. He had been a sailor and fireman on the Pacific, he had served
in the army in the Philippines. Altogether his had been an adventurous
life; and as Doyle had been a mine of memories for me so would Copple be
a mine of information. Such men have taught me the wonder, the violence,
the truth of the west.

Copple was inclined to be loquacious--a trait that ordinarily was rather
distasteful to me, but in his case would be an advantage. On our way
down the canyon not only did he give me an outline of the history of his
life, but he talked about how he had foretold the storm just ended. The
fresh diggings of gophers--little mounds of dirt thrown up--had
indicated the approach of the storm; so had the hooting of owls;
likewise the twittering of snowbirds at that season; also the feeding of
blackbirds near horses. Particularly a wind from the south meant storm.
From that he passed to a discussion of deer. During the light of the
moon deer feed at night; and in the day time they will lie in a thicket.
If a hunter came near the deer would lower their horns flat and remain
motionless, unless almost ridden over. In the dark of the moon deer feed
at early morning, lie down during the day, and feed again toward sunset,
always alert, trusting to nose more than eyes and ears.

Copple was so interesting that I must have passed the place where R.C.
and I had come down into the canyon; at any rate I missed it, and we
went on farther. Copple showed me old bear sign, an old wolf track, and
then fresh turkey tracks. The latter reminded me that we were out
hunting. I could carry a deadly rifle in my hands, yet dream dreams of
flower-decked Elysian fields. We climbed a wooded bench or low step of
the canyon slope, and though Copple and I were side by side I saw two
turkeys before he did. They were running swiftly up hill. I took a snap
shot at the lower one, but missed. My bullet struck low, upsetting him.
Both of them disappeared.

Then we climbed to the top of the ridge, and in scouting around along
the heavily timbered edges we came to a ravine deep enough to be classed
as a canyon. Here the forest was dark and still, with sunlight showing
down in rays and gleams. While hunting I always liked to sit down here
and there to listen and watch. Copple liked this too. So we sat down.
Opposite us the rocky edge of the other slope was about two hundred
yards. We listened to jays and squirrels. I made note of the significant
fact that as soon as we began to hunt Copple became silent.

Presently my roving eye caught sight of a moving object. It is movement
that always attracts my eye in the woods. I saw a plump, woolly beast
walk out upon the edge of the opposite slope and stand in the shade.

"Copple, is that a sheep?" I whispered, pointing. "Lion--no, big lynx,"
he replied. I aimed and shot just a little too swiftly. Judging by the
puff of dust my bullet barely missed the big cat. He leaped fully
fifteen feet. Copple fired, hitting right under his nose as he alighted.
That whirled him back. He bounced like a rubber ball. My second shot
went over him, and Copple's hit between his legs. Then with another
prodigious bound he disappeared in a thicket. "By golly! we missed him,"
declared Copple. "But you must have shaved him that first time. Biggest
lynx I ever saw."

We crossed the canyon and hunted for him, but without success. Then we
climbed an open grassy forest slope, up to a level ridge, and crossed
that to see down into a beautiful valley, with stately isolated pines,
and patches of aspens, and floor of luxuriant grass. A ravine led down
into this long park and the mouth of it held a thicket of small pines.
Just as we got half way out I saw bobbing black objects above the high
grass. I peered sharply. These objects were turkey heads. I got a shot
before Copple saw them. There was a bouncing, a whirring, a
thumping--and then turkeys appeared to be running every way.

Copple fired. "Turkey number one!" he called out. I missed a big gobbler
on the run. Copple shot again. "Turkey number two!" he called out. I
could not see what he had done, but of course I knew he had done
execution. It roused my ire as well as a desperate ambition. Turkeys
were running up hill everywhere. I aimed at this one, then at that.
Again I fired. Another miss! How that gobbler ran! He might just as well
have flown. Every turkey contrived to get a tree or bush between him and
me, just at the critical instant. In despair I tried to hold on the last
one, got a bead on it through my peep sight, moved it with him as we
moved, and holding tight, I fired. With a great flop and scattering of
bronze feathers he went down. I ran up the slope and secured him, a
fine gobbler of about fifteen pounds weight.

Upon my return to Copple I found he had collected his two turkeys, both
shot in the neck in the same place. He said: "If you hit them in the
body you spoil them for cooking. I used to hit all mine in the head. Let
me give you a hunch. Always pick out a turkey running straight away from
you or straight toward you. Never crossways. You can't hit them running
to the side."

Then he bluntly complimented me upon my eyesight. That at least was
consolation for my poor shooting. We rested there, and after a while
heard a turkey cluck. Copple had no turkey-caller, but he clucked
anyhow. We heard answers. The flock evidently was trying to get together
again, and some of them were approaching us. Copple continued to call.
Then I appreciated how fascinating R.C. had found this calling game.
Copple got answers from all around, growing closer. But presently the
answers ceased. "They're on to me," he whispered and did not call again.
At that moment a young gobbler ran swiftly down the slope and stopped to
peer around, his long neck stretching. It was not a very long shot, and
I, scorning to do less than Copple, tried to emulate him, and aimed at
the neck of the gobbler. All I got, however, was a few feathers. Like a
grouse he flew across the opening and was gone. We lingered there a
while, hoping to see or hear more of the flock, but did neither. Copple
tried to teach me how to tell the age of turkeys from their feet, a
lesson I did not think I would assimilate in one hunting season. He tied
their legs together and hung them over his shoulder, a net weight of
about fifty pounds.

All the way up that valley we saw elk tracks, and once from over the
ridge I heard a bugle. On our return toward camp we followed a rather
meandering course, over ridge and down dale, and through grassy parks
and stately forests, and along the slowly coloring maple-aspen thickets.
Copple claimed to hear deer running, but I did not. Many tired footsteps
I dragged along before we finally reached Beaver Dam Canyon. How welcome
the sight of camp! R.C. had ridden miles with Edd, and had seen one deer
that they said was still enjoying his freedom in the woods. Takahashi
hailed sight of the turkeys with: "That fine! That fine! Nice fat ones!"

But tired as I was that night I still had enthusiasm enough to visit
Haught's camp, and renew acquaintance with the hounds. Haught had not
been able to secure more than two new hounds, and these named Rock and
Buck were still unknown quantities.

Old Dan remembered me, and my heart warmed to the old gladiator. He was
a very big, large-boned hound, gray with age and wrinkled and lame, and
bleary-eyed. Dan was too old to be put on trails, or at least to be made
chase bear. He loved a camp-fire, and would almost sit in the flames.
This fact, and the way he would beg for a morsel to eat, had endeared
him to me.

Old Tom was somewhat smaller and leaner than Dan, yet resembled him
enough to deceive us at times. Tom was gray, too, and had crinkly ears,
and many other honorable battle-scars. Tom was not quite so friendly as
Dan; in fact he had more dignity. Still neither hound was ever
demonstrative except upon sight of his master. Haught told me that if
Dan and Tom saw him shoot at a deer they would chase it till they
dropped; accordingly he never shot at anything except bear and lion when
he had these hounds with him.

Sue was the best hound in the pack, as she still had, in spite of years
of service, a good deal of speed and fight left in her. She was a slim,
dark brown hound with fine and very long ears. Rock, one of the new
hounds from Kentucky, was white and black, and had remarkably large,
clear and beautiful eyes, almost human in expression. I could not
account for the fact that I suspected Rock was a deer chaser. Buck, the
other hound from Kentucky, was no longer young; he had a stump tail; his
color was a little yellow with dark spots, and he had a hang-dog head
and distrustful eye. I made certain that Buck had never had any friends,
for he did not understand kindness. Nor had he ever had enough to eat.
He stayed away from the rest of the pack and growled fiercely when a pup
came near him. I tried to make friends with him, but found that I would
not have an easy task.

Kaiser Bill was one of the pups, black in color, a long, lean,
hungry-looking dog, and crazy. He had not grown any in a year, either in
body or intelligence. I remembered how he would yelp just to hear
himself and run any kind of a trail--how he would be the first to quit
and come back. And if any one fired a gun near him he would run like a
scared deer.

To be fair to Kaiser Bill the other pups were not much better. Trailer
and Big Foot were young still, and about all they could do was to run
and howl.

If, however, they got off right on a bear trail, and no other trail
crossed it they would stick, and in fact lead the pack till' the bear
got away. Once Big Foot came whimpering into camp with porcupine quills
in his nose. Of all the whipped and funny pups!

Bobby was the dog I liked best. He was a curly black half-shepherd,
small in size; and he had a sharp, intelligent face, with the brightest
hazel eyes. His manner of wagging his tail seemed most comical yet
convincing. Bobby wagged only the nether end and that most emphatically.
He would stand up to me, holding out his forepaws, and beg. What an
appealing beggar he was! Bobby's value to Haught was not
inconsiderable. He was the only dog Haught ever had that would herd the
pigs. On a bear hunt Bobby lost his shepherd ways and his kindly
disposition, and yelped fiercely, and hung on a trail as long as any of
the pack. He had no fear of a bear, for which reason Haught did not like
to run him.

All told then we had a rather nondescript and poor pack of hounds; and
the fact discouraged me. I wanted to hunt the bad cinnamons and the
grizzly sheep-killers, with which this rim-rock country was infested. I
had nothing against the acorn-eating brown or black bears. And with this
pack of hounds I doubted that we could hold one of the vicious fighting
species. But there was now nothing to do but try. No one could tell. We
might kill a big grizzly. And the fact that the chances were against us
perhaps made for more determined effort. I regretted, however, that I
had not secured a pack of trained hounds somewhere.

Frost was late this fall. The acorns had hardly ripened, the leaves had
scarcely colored; and really good bear hunting seemed weeks off. A storm
and then a cold snap would help matters wonderfully, and for these we
hoped. Indeed the weather had not settled; hardly a day had been free of
clouds. But despite conditions we decided to start in bear hunting every
other day, feeling that at least we could train the pack, and get them
and ourselves in better shape for a favorable time when it arrived.

Accordingly next day we sallied forth for Horton Thicket, and I went
down with Edd and George. It was a fine day, sunny and windy at
intervals. The new trail the boys had made was boggy. From above Horton
Thicket looked dark, green, verdant, with scarcely any touch of autumn
colors; from below, once in it, all seemed a darker green, cool and
damp. Water lay in all low places. The creek roared bankfull of clear

The new trail led up and down over dark red rich earth, through
thickets of jack-pine and maple, and then across long slopes of
manzanita and juniper, mescal and oak. Junipers were not fruitful this
year as they were last, only a few having clusters of lavender-colored
berries. The manzanita brush appeared exceptionally beautiful with its
vivid contrasts of crimson and green leaves, orange-colored berries, and
smooth, shiny bark of a chocolate red. The mescal consisted of round
patches of cactus with spear-shaped leaves, low on the ground, with a
long dead stalk standing or broken down. This stalk grows fresh every
spring, when it is laden with beautiful yellow blossoms. The honey from
the flowers of mescal and mesquite is the best to be obtained in this
country of innumerable bees.

Presently the hounds opened up on some kind of a trail and they worked
on it around under the ledges toward the next canyon, called See Canyon.
After a while the country grew so rough that fast riding was impossible;
the thickets tore and clutched at us until they finally stopped the
horses. We got off. Edd climbed to a ridge-top. "Pack gone way round,"
he called. "I'll walk. Take my horse back." I decided to let George take
my horse also, and I hurried to catch up with Edd.

Following that long-legged Arizonian on foot was almost as strenuous as
keeping him in sight on horseback. I managed it. We climbed steep slopes
and the farther we climbed the thicker grew the brush. Often we would
halt to listen for hounds, at which welcome intervals I endeavored to
catch my breath. We kept the hounds in hearing, which fact incited us to
renewed endeavors. At length we got into a belt of live-oak and
scrub-pine brush, almost as difficult to penetrate as manzanita, and
here we had to bend and crawl. Bear and deer tracks led everywhere.
Small stones and large stones had been lifted and displaced by bears
searching for grubs. These slopes were dry; we found no water at the
heads of ravines, yet the red earth was rich in bearded, tufted grass,
yellow daisies and purple asters, and a wan blue flower. We climbed and
climbed, until my back began to give me trouble. "Reckon we--bit off--a
big hunk," remarked Edd once, and I thought he referred to the endless
steep and brushy slopes. By and bye the hounds came back to us one by
one, all footsore and weary. Manifestly the bear had outrun them. Our
best prospect then was to climb on to the rim and strike across the
forest to camp.

I noticed that tired as I was I had less trouble to keep up with Edd.
His boots wore very slippery on grass and pine-needles, so that he might
have been trying to climb on ice. I had nails in my boots and they
caught hold. Hotter and wetter I grew until I had a burning sensation
all over. My legs and arms ached; the rifle weighed a ton; my feet
seemed to take hold of the ground and stick. We could not go straight up
owing to the nature of that jumble of broken cliffs and matted scrub
forests. For hours we toiled onward, upward, downward, and then upward.
Only through such experience could I have gained an adequate knowledge
of the roughness and vastness of this rim-rock country.

At last we arrived at the base of the gray leaning crags, and there, on
a long slide of weathered rock the hounds jumped a bear. I saw the dust
he raised, as he piled into the thicket below the slide. What a wild
clamor from the hounds! We got out on the rocky slope where we could see
and kept sharp eyes roving, but the bear went straight down hill.
Amazing indeed was it the way the hounds drew away from us. In a few
moments they were at the foot of the slopes, tearing back over the
course we had been so many hours in coming. Then we set out to get on
the rim, so as to follow along it, and keep track of the chase. Edd
distanced me on the rocks. I had to stop often. My breast labored and I
could scarcely breathe. I sweat so freely that my rifle stock was wet.
My hardest battle was in fighting a tendency to utter weariness and
disgust. My old poignant feelings about my physical condition returned
to vex me. As a matter of fact I had already that very day accomplished
a climb not at all easy for the Arizonian, and I should have been happy.
But I had not been used to a lame back. When I reached the rim I fell
there, and lay there a few moments, until I could get up. Then I
followed along after Edd whose yells to the hounds I heard, and overtook
him upon the point of a promontory. Far below the hounds were baying.
"They're chasin' him all right," declared Edd, grimly. "He's headin' for
low country. I think Sue stopped him once. But the rest of the pack are

I had never been on the point of this promontory. Grand indeed was the
panorama. Under me yawned a dark-green, smoky-canyoned, rippling basin
of timber and red rocks leading away to the mountain ranges of the Four
Peaks and Mazatzals. Westward, toward the yellowing sunset stood out
long escarpments for miles, and long sloping lines of black ridges,
leading down to the basin where there seemed to be a ripple of the
earth, a vast upset region of canyon and ridge, wild and lonely and

I did not get to see the sunset from that wonderful point, a matter I
regretted. We were far from camp, and Edd was not sure of a bee-line
during daylight, let alone after dark. Deep in the forest the sunset
gold and red burned on grass and leaf. The aspens took most of the
color. Swift-flying wisps of cloud turned pink, and low along the
western horizon of the forest the light seemed golden and blue.

I was almost exhausted, and by the time we reached camp, just at dark, I
was wholly exhausted. My voice had sunk to a whisper, a fact that
occasioned R.C. some concern until I could explain. Undoubtedly this was
the hardest day's work I had done since my lion hunting with Buffalo
Jones. It did not surprise me that next day I had to forget my crosscut
saw exercise.

Late that afternoon the hounds came straggling into camp, lame and
starved. Sue was the last one in, arriving at supper-time.

Another day found me still sore, but able to ride, and R.C. and I went
off into the woods in search of any kind of adventure. This day was
cloudy and threatening, with spells of sunshine. We saw two bull elk, a
cow and a calf. The bulls appeared remarkably agile for so heavy an
animal. Neither of these, however, were of such magnificent proportions
as the one R.C. and I had stalked the first day out. A few minutes later
we scared out three more cows and three yearlings. I dismounted just for
fun, and sighted my rifle at four of them. Next we came to a canyon
where beaver had cut aspen trees. These animals must have chisel-like
teeth. They left chippings somewhat similar to those cut by an axe.
Aspen bark was their winter food. In this particular spot we could not
find a dam or slide. When we rode down into Turkey Canyon, however, we
found a place where beavers had dammed the brook. Many aspens were fresh
cut, one at least two feet thick, and all the small branches had been
cut off and dragged to the water, where I could find no further trace of
them. The grass was matted down, and on the bare bits of ground showed
beaver tracks.



Game appeared to be scarce. Haught had told us that deer, turkey and
bear had all gone to feed on the mast (fallen acorns); and if we could
locate the mast we would find the game. He said he had once seen a herd
of several hundred deer migrating from one section of country to
another. Apparently this was to find new feeding grounds.


While we were resting under a spruce I espied a white-breasted,
blue-headed, gray-backed little bird at work on a pine tree. He walked
head first down the bark, pecking here and there. I saw a moth or a
winged insect fly off the tree, and then another. Then I saw several
more fly away. The bird was feeding on winged insects that lived in the
bark. Some of them saw or heard him coming and escaped, but many of them
he caught. He went about this death-dealing business with a brisk and
cheerful manner. No doubt nature had developed him to help protect the
trees from bugs and worms and beetles.

Later that day, in an open grassy canyon, we came upon quite a large
bird, near the size of a pigeon, which I thought appeared to be a
species of jay or magpie. This bird had gray and black colors, a round
head, and a stout bill. At first I thought it was crippled, as it hopped
and fluttered about in the grass. I got down to catch it. Then I
discovered it was only tame. I could approach to within a foot of
reaching it. Once it perched upon a low snag, and peeped at me with
little bright dark eyes, very friendly, as if he liked my company. I sat
there within a few feet of him for quite a while. We resumed our ride.
Crossing a fresh buck track caused us to dismount, and tie our horses.
But that buck was too wary for us. We returned to camp as usual, empty
handed as far as game was concerned.

I forgot to say anything to Haught or Doyle about the black and gray
bird that had so interested me. Quite a coincidence was it then to see
another such bird and that one right in camp. He appeared to be as tame
as the other. He flew and hopped around camp in such a friendly manner
that I placed a piece of meat in a conspicuous place for him. Not long
was he in finding it. He alighted on it, and pecked and pulled at a
great rate. Doyle claimed it was a Clark crow, named after one of the
Lewis and Clark expedition. "It's a rare bird," said Doyle. "First one
I've seen in thirty years." As Doyle spent most of his time in the open
this statement seemed rather remarkable.

We had frost on two mornings, temperature as low as twenty-six degrees,
and then another change indicative of unsettled weather. It rained, and
sleeted, and then snowed, but the ground was too wet to hold the snow.

The wilderness began all at once, as if by magic, to take on autumn
colors. Then the forest became an enchanted region of white aspens,
golden-green aspens, purple spruces, dark green pines, maples a blaze of
vermilion, cerise, scarlet, magenta, rose--and slopes of dull red sumac.
These were the beginning of Indian summer days, the melancholy days,
with their color and silence and beauty and fragrance and mystery.

Hunting then became quite a dream for me, as if it called back to me dim
mystic days in the woods of some past weird world. One afternoon Copple,
R.C., and I went as far as the east side of Gentry Canyon and worked
down. Copple found fresh deer and turkey sign. We tied our horses, and
slipped back against the wind. R.C. took one side of a ridge, with
Copple and me on the other, and we worked down toward where we had seen
the sign. After half an hour of slow, stealthy glide through the forest
we sat down at the edge of a park, expecting R.C. to come along soon.
The white aspens were all bare, and oak leaves were rustling down. The
wind lulled a while, then softly roared in the pines. All at once both
of us heard a stick crack, and light steps of a walking deer on leaves.
Copple whispered: "Get ready to shoot." We waited, keen and tight,
expecting to see a deer walk out into the open. But none came. Leaving
our stand we slipped into the woods, careful not to make the slightest
sound. Such careful, slow steps were certainly not accountable for the
rapid beat of my heart. Something gray moved among the green and yellow
leaves. I halted, and held Copple back. Then not twenty paces away I
descried what I thought was a fawn. It glided toward us without the
slightest sound. Suddenly, half emerging from some maple saplings, it
saw us and seemed stricken to stone. Not ten steps from me! Soft gray
hue, slender graceful neck and body, sleek small head with long ears,
and great dark distended eyes, wilder than any wild eyes I had ever
beheld. I saw it quiver all over. I was quivering too, but with emotion.
Copple whispered: "Yearlin' buck. Shoot!"

His whisper, low as it was, made the deer leap like a gray flash. Also
it broke the spell for me. "Year old buck!" I exclaimed, quite loud.
"Thought he was a fawn. But I couldn't have shot----"

A crash of brush interrupted me. Thump of hoofs, crack of branches--then
a big buck deer bounded onward into the thicket. I got one snap shot at
his fleeting blurred image and missed him. We ran ahead, but to no

"Four-point buck," said Copple. "He must have been standin' behind that

"Did you see his horns?" I gasped, incredulously.

"Sure. But he was runnin' some. Let's go down this slope where he
jumped.... Now will you look at that! Here's where he started after you

A gentle slope, rather open, led down to the thicket where the buck had
vanished. We measured the first of his downhill jumps, and it amounted
to eighteen of my rather short steps. What a magnificent leap! It
reminded me of the story of Hart-leap Well.

As we retraced our steps R.C. met us, reporting that he had heard the
buck running, but could not see him. We scouted around together for an
hour, then R.C. and Copple started off on a wide detour, leaving me at a
stand in the hope they might drive some turkeys my way. I sat on a log
until almost sunset. All the pine tips turned gold and patches of gold
brightened the ground. Jays were squalling, gray squirrels were barking,
red squirrels were chattering, snowbirds were twittering, pine cones
were dropping, leaves were rustling. But there were no turkeys, and I
did not miss them. R.C. and Copple returned to tell me there were signs
of turkeys and deer all over the ridge. "We'll ride over here early
to-morrow," said Copple, "an' I'll bet my gun we pack some meat to

But the unsettled weather claimed the next day and the next, giving us
spells of rain and sleet, and periods of sunshine deceptive in their
promise. Camp, however, with our big camp-fire, and little tent-stoves,
and Takahashi, would have been delightful in almost any weather.
Takahashi was insulted, the boys told me, because I said he was born to
be a cook. It seemed the Jap looked down upon this culinary job.
"Cook--that woman joob!" he said, contemptuously.

As I became better acquainted with Takahashi I learned to think more of
the Japanese. I studied Takahashi very earnestly and I grew to like him.
The Orientals are mystics and hard to understand. But any one could see
that here was a Japanese who was a real man. I never saw him idle. He
resented being told what to do, and after my first offense in this
regard I never gave him another order. He was a wonderful cook. It
pleased his vanity to see how good an appetite I always had. When I
would hail him: "George, what you got to eat?" he would grin and reply:
"Aw, turkee!" Then I would let out a yell, for I never in my life tasted
anything so good as the roast wild turkey Takahashi served us. Or he
would say: "Pan-cakes--apple dumplings--rice puddings." No one but the
Japs know how to cook rice. I asked him how he cooked rice over an open
fire and he said: "I know how hot--when done." Takahashi must have
possessed an uncanny knowledge of the effects of heat. How swift, clean,
efficient and saving he was! He never wasted anything. In these days of
American prodigality a frugal cook like Takahashi was a revelation.
Seldom are the real producers of food ever wasters. Takahashi's ambition
was to be a rancher in California. I learned many things about him. In
summer he went to the Imperial Valley where he picked and packed
cantaloupes. He could stand the intense heat. He was an expert. He
commanded the highest wage. Then he was a raisin-picker, which for him
was another art. He had accumulated a little fortune and knew how to
save his money. He would have been a millionaire in Japan, but he
intended to live in the United States.

Takahashi had that best of traits--generosity. Whenever he made pie or
cake or doughnuts he always saved his share for me to have for my lunch
next day. No use to try to break him of this kindly habit! He was keen
too, and held in particular disfavor any one who picked out the best
portions of turkey or meat. "No like that," he would say; and I heartily
agreed with him. Life in the open brought out the little miserable
traits of human nature, of which no one was absolutely free.

I admired Takahashi's cooking, I admired the enormous pile of firewood
he always had chopped, I admired his generosity; but most of all I liked
his cheerfulness and good humor. He grew to be a joy to me. We had some
pop corn which we sometimes popped over the camp-fire. He was fond of it
and he said: "You eat all time--much pop corn--just so long you keep
mouth going all same like horse--you happy." We were troubled a good
deal by skunks. Now some skunks were not bad neighbors, but others were
disgusting and dangerous. The hog-nosed skunk, according to westerners,
very often had hydrophobia and would bite a sleeper. I knew of several
men dying of rabies from this bite. Copple said he had been awakened
twice at night by skunks biting the noses of his companions in camp.
Copple had to choke the skunks off. One of these men died. We were
really afraid of them. Doyle said one had visited him in his tent and he
had been forced to cover his head until he nearly smothered. Now
Takahashi slept in the tent with the store of supplies. One night a
skunk awakened him. In reporting this to me the Jap said: "See skunk all
black and white at tent door. I flash light. Skunk no 'fraid. He no run.
He act funny--then just walk off."

After that experience Takahashi set a box-trap for skunks. One morning
he said with a huge grin: "I catch skunk. Want you take picture for me
send my wife Sadayo."

So I got my camera, and being careful to take a safe position, as did
all the boys, I told Takahashi I was ready to photograph him and his
skunk. He got a pole that was too short to suit me, and he lifted up the
box-trap. A furry white and black cat appeared, with remarkably bushy
tail. What a beautiful little animal to bear such opprobrium! "All same
like cat," said Takahashi. "Kittee--kittee." It appeared that kitty was
not in the least afraid. On the contrary she surveyed the formidable Jap
with his pole, and her other enemies in a calm, dignified manner. Then
she turned away. Here I tried to photograph her and Takahashi together.
When she started off the Jap followed and poked her with the pole. "Take
'nother picture." But kitty suddenly whirled, with fur and tail erect, a
most surprising and brave and assured front, then ran at Takahashi. I
yelled: "Run George!" Pell-mell everybody fled from that beautiful
little beast. We were arrant cowards. But Takahashi grasped up another
and longer pole, and charged back at kitty. This time he chased her out
of camp. When he returned his face was a study: "Nashty thing! She make
awful stink! She no 'fraid a tall. Next time I kill her sure!"

The head of Gentry Canyon was about five miles from camp, and we reached
it the following morning while the frost was still white and sparkling.
We tied our horses. Copple said: "This is a deer day. I'll show you a
buck sure. Let's stick together an' walk easy."

So we made sure to work against the wind, which, however, was so light
as almost to be imperceptible, and stole along the dark ravine, taking
half a dozen steps or so at a time. How still the forest! When it was
like this I always felt as if I had discovered something new. The big
trees loomed stately and calm, stretching a rugged network of branches
over us. Fortunately no saucy squirrels or squalling jays appeared to be
abroad to warn game of our approach. Not only a tang, but a thrill,
seemed to come pervasively on the cool air. All the colors of autumn
were at their height, and gorgeous plots of maple thicket and sumac
burned against the brown and green. We slipped along, each of us strung
to be the first to hear or see some living creature of the wild. R.C.,
as might have been expected, halted us with a softly whispered:
"Listen." But neither Copple nor I heard what R.C. heard, and presently
we moved on as before. Presently again R.C. made us pause, with a like
result. Somehow the forest seemed unusually wild. It provoked a
tingling expectation. The pine-covered slope ahead of us, the thicketed
ridge to our left, the dark, widening ravine to our right, all seemed to
harbor listening, watching, soft-footed denizens of the wild. At length
we reached a level bench, beautifully forested, where the ridge ran down
in points to where the junction of several ravines formed the head of
Gentry Canyon.

How stealthily we stole on! Here Copple said was a place for deer to
graze. But the grass plots, golden with sunlight and white with frost
and black-barred by shadows of pines, showed no game.

Copple sat down on a log, and I took a seat beside him to the left. R.C.
stood just to my left. As I laid my rifle over my knees and opened my
lips to whisper I was suddenly struck mute. I saw R.C. stiffen, then
crouch a little. He leaned forward--his eyes had the look of a falcon.
Then I distinctly heard the soft crack of hoofs on stone and breaking of
tiny twigs. Quick as I whirled my head I still caught out of the tail of
my eye the jerk of R.C. as he threw up his rifle. I looked--I strained
my eyes--I flashed them along the rim of the ravine where R.C. had been
gazing. A gray form seemed to move into the field of my vision. That
instant it leaped, and R.C.'s rifle shocked me with its bursting crack.
I seemed stunned, so near was the report. But I saw the gray form pitch
headlong and I heard a solid thump.

"Buck, an' he's your meat!" called Copple, low and sharp. "Look for
another one."

No other deer appeared. R.C. ran toward the spot where the gray form had
plunged in a heap, and Copple and I followed. It was far enough to make
me pant for breath. We found R.C. beside a fine three-point buck that
had been shot square in the back of the head between and below the roots
of its antlers.

"Never knew what struck him!" exclaimed Copple, and he laid hold of the
deer and hauled it out of the edge of the thicket. "Fine an' fat.
Venison for camp, boys. One of you go after the horses an' the other
help me hang him up."


I had been riding eastward of Beaver Dam Canyon with Haught, and we had
parted up on the ridge, he to go down a ravine leading to his camp, and
I to linger a while longer up there in the Indian-summer woods, so full
of gold and silence and fragrance on that October afternoon.

The trail gradually drew me onward and downward, and at length I came
out into a narrow open park lined by spruce trees. Suddenly Don Carlos
shot up his ears. I had not ridden him for days and he appeared more
than usually spirited. He saw or heard something. I held him in, and
after a moment I dismounted and drew my rifle. A crashing in brush
somewhere near at hand excited me. Peering all around I tried to locate
cause for the sound. Again my ear caught a violent swishing of brush
accompanied by a snapping of twigs. This time I cocked my rifle. Don
Carlos snorted. After another circling swift gaze it dawned upon me that
the sound came from overhead.

I looked into this tree and that, suddenly to have my gaze arrested by a
threshing commotion in the very top of a lofty spruce. I saw a dark form
moving against a background of blue sky. Instantly I thought it must be
a lynx and was about to raise my rifle when a voice as from the very
clouds utterly astounded me. I gasped in my astonishment. Was I
dreaming? But violent threshings and whacks from the tree-top absolutely
assured me that I was neither dreaming nor out of my head. "I get
you--whee!" shouted the voice. There was a man up in the swaying top of
that spruce and he was no other than Takahashi. For a moment I could not
find my voice. Then I shouted:

"Hey up there, George! What in the world are you doing? I came near
shooting you."

"Aw hullo!--I come down now," replied Takahashi.

I had seen both lynx and lion climb down out of a tree, but nothing
except a squirrel could ever have beaten Takahashi. The spruce was fully
one hundred and fifty feet high; and unless I made a great mistake the
Jap descended in two minutes. He grinned from ear to ear.

"I no see you--no hear," he said. "You take me for big cat?"

"Yes, George, and I might have shot you. What were you doing up there?"

Takahashi brushed the needles and bark from his clothes. "I go out with
little gun you give me. I hunt, no see squirrel. Go out no gun--see
squirrel. I chase him up tree--I climb high--awful high. No good.
Squirrel he too quick. He run right over me--get away."

Takahashi laughed with me. I believed he was laughing at what he
considered the surprising agility of the squirrel, while I was laughing
at him. Here was another manifestation of the Jap's simplicity and
capacity. If all Japanese were like Takahashi they were a wonderful
people. Men are men because they do things. The Persians were trained to
sweat freely at least once every day of their lives. It seemed to me
that if a man did not sweat every day, which was to say--labor hard--he
very surely was degenerating physically. I could learn a great deal from
George Takahashi. Right there I told him that my father had been a
famous squirrel hunter in his day. He had such remarkable eyesight that
he could espy the ear of a squirrel projecting above the highest limb
of a tall white oak. And he was such a splendid shot that he had often
"barked" squirrels, as was a noted practice of the old pioneer. I had to
explain to Takahashi that this practice consisted of shooting a bullet
to hit the bark right under the squirrel, and the concussion would so
stun it that it would fall as if dead.

"Aw my goodnish--your daddy more better shot than you!" ejaculated

"Yes indeed he was," I replied, reflectively, as in a flash the
long-past boyhood days recurred in memory. Hunting days--playing days of
boyhood were the best of life. It seemed to me that one of the few
reasons I still had for clinging to hunting was this keen, thrilling
hark back to early days. Books first--then guns--then fishing poles--so
ran the list of material possessions dear to my heart as a lad.

That night was moonlight, cold, starry, with a silver sheen on the
spectral spruces. During the night there came a change; it rained--first
a drizzle, then a heavy downpour, and at five-thirty a roar of hail on
the tent. This music did not last long. At seven o'clock the thermometer
registered thirty-four degrees, but there was no frost. The morning was
somewhat cloudy or foggy, with promise of clearing.

We took the hounds over to See Canyon, and while Edd and Nielsen went
down with them, the rest of us waited above for developments. Scarcely
had they more than time enough to reach the gorge below when the pack
burst into full chorus. Haught led the way then around the rough rim for
better vantage points. I was mounted on one of the horses Lee had gotten
for me--a fine, spirited animal named Stockings. Probably he had been a
cavalry horse. He was a bay with white feet, well built and powerful,
though not over medium size. One splendid feature about him was that a
saddle appeared to fit him so snugly it never slipped. And another
feature, infinitely the most attractive to me, was his easy gait. His
trot and lope were so comfortable and swinging, like the motion of a
rocking-chair, that I could ride him all day with pleasure. But when it
came to chasing after hounds and bears along the rim Stockings gave me
trouble. Too eager, too spirited, he would not give me time to choose
the direction. He jumped ditches and gullies, plunged into bad jumbles
or rock, tried to hurdle logs too high for him, carried me under low
branches and through dense thickets, and in general showed he was
exceedingly willing to chase after the pack, but ignorant of rough
forest travel. Owing to this I fell behind, and got out of hearing of
both hounds and men, and eventually found myself lost somewhere on the
west side of See Canyon. To get out I had to turn my back to the sun,
travel west till I came to the rim above Horton Thicket, and from there
return to camp, arriving rather late in the afternoon.

All the men had returned, and all the hounds except Buck. I was rather
surprised and disturbed to find the Haughts in a high state of dudgeon.
Edd looked pale and angry. Upon questioning Nielsen I learned that the
hounds had at once struck a fresh bear track in See Canyon. Nielsen and
Edd had not followed far before they heard a hound yelping in pain. They
found Buck caught in a bear trap. The rest of the hounds came upon a
little bear cub, caught in another trap, and killed it. Nielsen said it
had evidently been a prisoner for some days, being very poor and
emaciated. Fresh tracks of the mother bear were proof that she had been
around trying to save it or minister to it. There were trappers in See
Canyon; and between bear hunters and trappers manifestly there was no
love lost. Edd said they had as much right to trap as we had to hunt,
but that was not the question. There had been opportunity to tell the
Haughts about the big number four bear traps set in See Canyon. But they
did not tell it. Edd had brought the dead cub back to our camp. It was a
pretty little bear cub, about six months old, with a soft silky brown
coat. No one had to look at it twice to see how it had suffered.

This matter of trapping wild animals is singularly hateful to me. Bad
enough is it to stalk deer to shoot them for their meat, but at least
this is a game where the deer have all the advantage. Bad indeed it may
be to chase bear with hounds, but that is a hard, dangerous method of
hunting which gives it some semblance of fairness. Most of my bear hunts
proved to me that I ran more risks than the bears. To set traps,
however, to hide big iron-springed, spike-toothed traps to catch and
clutch wild animals alive, and hold them till they died or starved or
gnawed off their feet, or until the trapper chose to come with his gun
or club to end the miserable business--what indeed shall I call that?

It cannot be defended on moral grounds. But vast moneyed interests are
at stake. One of the greatest of American fortunes was built upon the
brutal, merciless trapping of wild animals for their furs. And in this
fall of 1919 the prices of fox, marten, beaver, raccoon, skunk, lynx,
muskrat, mink, otter, were higher by double than they had ever been.
Trappers were going to reap a rich harvest. Well, everybody must make a
living; but is this trapping business honest, is it manly? To my
knowledge trappers are hardened. Market fishermen are hardened, too, but
the public eat fish. They do not eat furs. Now in cold climates and
seasons furs are valuable to protect people who must battle with winter
winds and sleet and ice; and against their use by such I daresay there
is no justification for censure. But the vast number of furs go to deck
the persons of vain women. I appreciate the beautiful contrast of fair
skin against a background of sable fur, or silver fox, or rich, black,
velvety seal. But beautiful women would be just as beautiful, just as
warmly clothed in wool instead of fur. And infinitely better women! Not
long ago I met a young woman in one of New York's fashionable hotels,
and I remarked about the exquisite evening coat of fur she wore. She
said she loved furs. She certainly was handsome, and she appeared to be
refined, cultured, a girl of high class. And I said it was a pity women
did not know or care where furs came from. She seemed surprised. Then I
told her about the iron-jawed, spike-toothed traps hidden by the springs
or on the runways of game--about the fox or beaver or marten seeking its
food, training its young to fare for themselves--about the sudden
terrible clutch of the trap, and then the frantic fear, the instinctive
fury, the violent struggle--about the foot gnawed off by the beast that
was too fierce to die a captive--about the hours of agony, the horrible
thirst--the horrible days till death. And I concluded: "All because
women are luxurious and vain!" She shuddered underneath the beautiful
coat of furs, and seemed insulted.

Upon inquiry I learned from Nielsen that Buck was coming somewhere back
along the trail hopping along on three legs. I rode on down to my camp,
and procuring a bottle of iodine I walked back in the hope of doing Buck
a good turn. During my absence he had reached camp, and was lying under
an aspen, apart from the other hounds. Buck looked meaner and uglier and
more distrustful than ever. Evidently this injury to his leg was a trick
played upon him by his arch enemy man. I stood beside him, as he licked
the swollen, bloody leg, and talked to him, as kindly as I knew how. And
finally I sat down beside him. The trap-teeth had caught his right front
leg just above the first joint, and from the position of the teeth marks
and the way he moved his leg I had hopes that the bone was not broken.
Apparently the big teeth had gone through on each side of the bone. When
I tried gently to touch the swollen leg Buck growled ominously. He would
have bitten me. I patted his head with one hand, and watching my chance,
at length with the other I poured iodine over the open cuts. Then I kept
patting him and holding his head until the iodine had become absorbed.
Perhaps it was only my fancy, but it seemed that the ugly gleam in his
distrustful eyes had become sheepish, as if he was ashamed of something
he did not understand. That look more than ever determined me to try to
find some way to his affections.

A camp-fire council that night resulted in plans to take a pack outfit,
and ride west along the rim to a place Haught called Dude Creek. "Reckon
we'll shore smoke up some bars along Dude," said Haught. "Never was in
there but I jumped bars. Good deer an' turkey country, too."

Next day we rested the hounds, and got things into packing shape with
the intention of starting early the following morning. But it rained on
and off; and the day after that we could not find Haught's burros, and
not until the fourth morning could we start. It turned out that Buck did
not have a broken leg and had recovered surprisingly from the injury he
had received. Aloof as he held himself it appeared certain he did not
want to be left behind.

We rode all day along the old Crook road where the year before we had
encountered so many obstacles. I remembered most of the road, but how
strange it seemed to me, and what a proof of my mental condition on that
memorable trip, that I did not remember all. Usually forest or desert
ground I have traveled over I never forget. This ride, in the middle of
October, when all the colors of autumn vied with the sunlight to make
the forest a region of golden enchantment, was one of particular delight
to me. I had begun to work and wear out the pain in my back. Every night
I had suffered a little less and slept a little better, and every
morning I had less and less of a struggle to get up and straighten out.
Many a groan had I smothered. But now, when I got warmed up from riding
or walking or sawing wood, the pain left me altogether and I forgot it.
I had given myself heroic treatment, but my reward was in sight. My
theory that the outdoor life would cure almost any ill of body or mind
seemed to have earned another proof added to the long list.

At sunset we had covered about sixteen miles of rough road, and had
arrived at a point where we were to turn away from the rim, down into a
canyon named Barber Shop Canyon, where we were to camp.

[Illustration: Z.G.'S CINNAMON BEAR]

[Illustration: R.C.'S BIG BROWN BEAR]

Before turning aside I rode out to the rim for a look down at the
section of country we were to hunt. What a pleasure to recognize the
point from which Romer-boy had seen his first wild bear! It was a
wonderful section of rim-rock country. I appeared to be at the extreme
point of a vast ten-league promontory, rising high over the basin, where
the rim was cut into canyons as thick as teeth of a saw. They were
notched and v-shaped. Craggy russet-lichened cliffs, yellow and
gold-stained rocks, old crumbling ruins of pinnacles crowned by pine
thickets, ravines and gullies and canyons, choked with trees and brush
all green-gold, purple-red, scarlet-fire--these indeed were the heights
and depths, the wild, lonely ruggedness, the color and beauty of
Arizona land. There were long, steep slopes of oak thickets, where the
bears lived, long gray slides of weathered rocks, long slanting ridges
of pine, descending for miles out and down into the green basin, yet
always seeming to stand high above that rolling wilderness. The sun
stood crossed by thin clouds--a golden blaze in a golden sky--sinking to
meet a ragged horizon line of purple.

[Illustration: ANOTHER BEAR]

Here again was I confronted with the majesty and beauty of the earth,
and with another and more striking effect of this vast tilted rim of
mesa. I could see many miles to west and east. This rim was a huge wall
of splintered rock, a colossal cliff, towering so high above the black
basin below that ravines and canyons resembled ripples or dimples,
darker lines of shade. And on the other side from its very edge, where
the pine fringe began, it sloped gradually to the north, with heads of
canyons opening almost at the crest. I saw one ravine begin its start
not fifty feet from the rim.

Barber Shop Canyon had five heads, all running down like the fingers of
a hand, to form the main canyon, which was deep, narrow, forested by
giant pines. A round, level dell, watered by a murmuring brook, deep
down among the many slopes, was our camp ground, and never had I seen
one more desirable. The wind soughed in the lofty pine tops, but not a
breeze reached down to this sheltered nook. With sunset gold on the high
slopes our camp was shrouded in twilight shadows. R.C. and I stretched a
canvas fly over a rope from tree to tree, staked down the ends, and left
the sides open. Under this we unrolled our beds.

Night fell quickly down in that sequestered pit, and indeed it was black
night. A blazing camp-fire enhanced the circling gloom, and invested the
great brown pines with some weird aspect. The boys put up an old tent
for the hounds. Poor Buck was driven out of this shelter by his canine
rivals. I took pity upon him, and tied him at the foot of my bed. When
R.C. and I crawled into our blankets we discovered Buck snugly settled
between our beds, and wonderful to hear, he whined. "Well, Buck, old
dog, you keep the skunks away," said R.C. And Buck emitted some kind of
a queer sound, apparently meant to assure us that he would keep even a
lion away. From my bed I could see the tips of the black pines close to
the white stars. Before I dropped to sleep the night grew silent, except
for the faint moan of wind and low murmur of brook.

We crawled out early, keen to run from the cold wash in the brook to the
hot camp-fire. George and Edd had gone down the canyon after the horses,
which had been hobbled and turned loose. Lee had remained with his
father at Beaver Dam camp. For breakfast Takahashi had venison,
biscuits, griddle cakes with maple syrup, and hot cocoa. I certainly did
not begin on an empty stomach what augured to be a hard day. Buck hung
around me this morning, and I subdued my generous impulses long enough
to be convinced that he had undergone a subtle change. Then I fed him.
Old Dan and Old Tom were witnesses of this procedure, which they
regarded with extreme disfavor. And the pups tried to pick a fight with

By eight o'clock we were riding up the colored slopes, through the still
forest, with the sweet, fragrant, frosty air nipping at our noses. A
mile from camp we reached a notch in the rim that led down to Dude
Creek, and here Edd and Nielsen descended with the hounds. The rest of
us rode out to a point there to await developments. The sun had already
flooded the basin with golden light; the east slopes of canyon and rim
were dark in shade. I sat on a mat of pine needles near the rim, and
looked, and cared not for passage of time.

But I was not permitted to be left to sensorial dreams. Right under us
the hounds opened up, filling the canyon full of bellowing echoes. They
worked down. Slopes below us narrowed to promontories and along these we
kept our gaze. Suddenly Haught gave a jump, and rose, thumping to his
horse. "Saw a bar," he yelled. "Just got a glimpse of him crossin' an
open ridge. Come on." We mounted and chased Haught over the roughest
kind of rocky ground, to overtake him at the next point on the rim.
"Ride along, you fellars," he said, "an' each pick out a stand. Keep
ahead of the dogs an' look sharp."

Then it was in short order that I found myself alone, Copple, R.C. and
George Haught having got ahead of me. I kept to the rim. The hounds
could be heard plainly and also the encouraging yells of Nielsen and
Edd. Apparently the chase was working along under me, in the direction I
was going. The baying of the pack, the scent of pine, the ring of
iron-shod hoofs on stone, the sense of wild, broken, vast country, the
golden void beneath and the purple-ranged horizon--all these brought
vividly and thrillingly to mind my hunting days with Buffalo Jones along
the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I felt a pang, both for the past, and
for my friend and teacher, this last of the old plainsmen who had died
recently. In his last letter to me, written with a death-stricken hand,
he had talked of another hunt, of more adventure, of his cherished hope
to possess an island in the north Pacific, there to propagate wild
animals--he had dreamed again the dream that could never come true. I
was riding with my face to the keen, sweet winds of the wild, and he was
gone. No joy in life is ever perfect. I wondered if any grief was ever
wholly hopeless.

I came at length to a section of rim where huge timbered steps reached
out and down. Dismounting I tied Stockings, and descended to the craggy
points below, where I clambered here and there, looking, listening. No
longer could I locate the hounds; now the baying sounded clear and
sharp, close at hand, and then hollow and faint, and far away. I crawled
under gnarled cedars, over jumbles of rock, around leaning crags, until
I got out to a point where I had such command of slopes and capes, where
the scene was so grand that I was both thrilled and awed. Somewhere
below me to my left were the hounds still baying. The lower reaches of
the rim consisted of ridges and gorges, benches and ravines, canyons and
promontories--a country so wild and broken that it seemed impossible for
hounds to travel it, let alone men. Above me, to my right, stuck out a
yellow point of rim, and beyond that I knew there jutted out another
point, and more and more points on toward the west. George was yelling
from one of them, and I thought I heard a faint reply from R.C. or
Copple. I believed for the present they were too far westward along the
rim, and so I devoted my attention to the slopes under me toward my
left. But once my gaze wandered around, and suddenly I espied a shiny
black object moving along a bare slope, far below. A bear! So thrilled
and excited was I that I did not wonder why this bear walked along so
leisurely and calmly. Assuredly he had not even heard the hounds. I
began to shoot, and in five rapid shots I spattered dust all over him.
Not until I had two more shots, one of which struck close, did he begin
to run. Then he got out of my sight. I yelled and yelled to those ahead
of me along the rim. Somebody answered, and next somebody began to
shoot. How I climbed and crawled and scuffled to get back to my horse!
Stockings answered to the spirit of the occasion. Like a deer he ran
around the rough rim, and I had to perform with the agility of a
contortionist to avoid dead snags of trees and green branches. When I
got to the point from which I had calculated George had done his
shooting I found no one. My yells brought no answers. But I heard a
horse cracking the rocks behind me. Then up from far below rang the
sharp spangs of rifles in quick action. Nielsen and Edd were shooting. I
counted seven shots. How the echoes rang from wall to wall, to die
hollow and faint in the deep canyons!

I galloped ahead to the next point, finding only the tracks of R.C.'s
boots. Everywhere I peered for the bear I had sighted, and at intervals
I yelled. For all the answer I got I might as well have been alone on
the windy rim of the world. My voice seemed lost in immensity. Then I
rode westward, then back eastward, and to and fro until both Stockings
and I were weary. At last I gave up, and took a good, long rest under a
pine on the rim. Not a shot, not a yell, not a sound but wind and the
squall of a jay disrupted the peace of that hour. I profited by this
lull in the excitement by more means than one, particularly in sight of
a flock of wild pigeons. They alighted in the tops of pines below me, so
that I could study them through my field glass. They were considerably
larger than doves, dull purple color on the back, light on the breast,
with ringed or barred neck. Haught had assured me that birds of this
description were indeed the famous wild pigeons, now almost extinct in
the United States. I remembered my father telling me he had seen flocks
that darkened the skies. These pigeons appeared to have swift flight.

Another feature of this rest along the rim was a sight just as beautiful
as that of the pigeons, though not so rare; and it was the flying of
clouds of colored autumn leaves on the wind.

The westering of the sun advised me that the hours had fled, and it was
high time for me to bestir myself toward camp. On my way back I found
Haught, his son George, Copple and R.C. waiting for Edd and Nielsen to
come up over the rim, and for me to return. They asked for my story.
Then I learned theirs. Haught had kept even with the hounds, but had
seen only the brown bear that had crossed the ridge early in the day.
Copple had worked far westward, to no avail. R.C. had been close to
George and me, had heard our bullets pat, yet had been unable to locate
any bear. To my surprise it turned out that George had shot at a brown
bear when I had supposed it was my black one. Whereupon Haught said:
"Reckon Edd an' Nielsen smoked up some other bear."

One by one the hounds climbed over the rim and wearily lay down beside
us. Down the long, grassy, cedared aisle I saw Edd and Nielsen plodding
up. At length they reached us wet and dusty and thirsty. When Edd got
his breath he said: "Right off we struck a hot trail. Bear with
eleven-inch track. He'd come down to drink last night. Hounds worked up
thet yeller oak thicket, an' somewhere Sue an' Rock jumped him out of
his bed. He run down, an' he made some racket. Took to the low slopes
an' hit up lively all the way down Dude, then crossed, climbed around
under thet bare point of rock. Here some of the hounds caught up with
him. We heard a pup yelp, an' after a while Kaiser Bill come sneakin'
back. It was awful thick down in the canyon so we climbed the east side
high enough to see. An' we were workin' down when the pack bayed the
bear round thet bare point. It was up an' across from us. Nielsen an' I
climbed on a rock. There was an open rock-slide where we thought the
bear would show. It was five hundred yards. We ought to have gone across
an' got a stand higher up. Well, pretty soon we saw him come paddlin'
out of the brush--a big grizzly, almost black, with a frosty back. He
was a silvertip all right. Niels an' I began to shoot. An' thet bear
began to hump himself. He was mad, too. His fur stood up like a ruffle
on his neck. Niels got four shots an' I got three. Reckon one of us
stung him a little. Lordy, how he run! An' his last jump off the slide
was a header into the brush. He crossed the canyon, an' climbed thet
high east slope of Dude, goin' over the pass where father killed the big
cinnamon three years ago. The hounds stuck to his trail. It took us an
hour or more to climb up to thet pass. Broad bear trail goes over. We
heard the hounds 'way down in the canyon on the other side. Niels an' I
worked along the ridge, down an' around, an' back to Dude Creek. I kept
callin' the hounds till they all came back. They couldn't catch him. He
sure was a jack-rabbit for runnin'. Reckon thet's all.... Now who was
smokin' shells up on the rim?"

When all was told and talked over Haught said: "Wal, you can just bet we
put up two brown bears an' one black bear, an' thet old Jasper of a

How hungry and thirsty and tired I was when we got back to camp! The day
had been singularly rich in exciting thrills and sensorial perceptions.
I called to the Jap: "I'm starv-ved to death!" And Takahashi, who had
many times heard my little boy Loren yell that, grinned all over his
dusky face. "Aw, lots good things pretty soon!"

After supper we lounged around a cheerful, crackling camp-fire. The
blaze roared in the breeze, the red embers glowed white and opal, the
smoke swooped down and curled away into the night shadows. Old Dan, as
usual, tried to sit in the fire, and had to be rescued. Buck came to me
where I sat with my back to a pine, my feet to the warmth. He was lame
to-night, having run all day on that injured leg. The other dogs lay
scattered around in range of the heat. Natural indeed was it then, in
such an environment, after talking over the auspicious start of our hunt
at Dude Creek, that we should drift to the telling of stories.

Sensing this drift I opened the hour of reminiscence and told some of my
experiences in the jungle of southern Mexico. Copple immediately topped
my stories by more wonderful and hair-raising ones about his own
adventures in northern Mexico. These stirred Nielsen to talk about the
Seri Indians, and their cannibalistic traits; and from these he drifted
to the Yuma Indians. Speaking of their remarkable stature and strength
he finally got to the subject of giants of brawn and bone in Norway.

One young Norwegian was eight feet tall and broad in proportion. His
employer was a captain of a fishing boat. One time, on the way to their
home port, a quarrel arose about money due the young giant, and in his
anger he heaved the anchor overboard. That of course halted the boat,
and it stayed halted, because the captain and crew could not heave the
heavy anchor without the help of their brawny comrade. Finally the money
matter was adjusted, and the young giant heaved the anchor without
assistance. Nielsen went on to tell that this fisherman of such mighty
frame had a beautiful young wife whom he adored. She was not by any
means a small or frail girl--rather the contrary--but she appeared
diminutive beside her giant husband. One day he returned from a long
absence on the sea. When his wife, in her joy, ran into his arms, he
gave her such a tremendous hug that he crushed her chest, and she died.
In his grief the young husband went insane and did not survive her long.

Next Nielsen told a story about Norwegians sailing to the Arctic on a
scientific expedition. Just before the long polar night of darkness set
in there arose a necessity for the ship and crew to return to Norway.
Two men must be left in the Arctic to care for the supplies until the
ship came back. The captain called for volunteers. There were two young
men in the crew, and from childhood they had been playmates,
schoolmates, closer than brothers, and inseparable even in manhood. One
of these young men said to his friend: "I'll stay if you will." And the
other quickly agreed. After the ship sailed, and the land of the
midnight sun had become icy and black, one of these comrades fell ill,
and soon died. The living one placed the body in the room with the ship
supplies, where it froze stiff; and during all the long polar night of
solitude and ghastly gloom he lived next to this sepulchre that
contained his dead friend. When the ship returned the crew found the
living comrade an old man with hair as white as snow, and never in his
life afterward was he seen to smile.

These stories stirred my emotions like Doyle's tale about Jones' Ranch.
How wonderful, beautiful, terrible and tragical is human life! Again I
heard the still, sad music of humanity, the eternal beat and moan of the
waves upon a lonely shingle shore. Who would not be a teller of tales?

Copple followed Nielsen with a story about a prodigious feat of his
own--a story of incredible strength and endurance, which at first I took
to be a satire on Nielsen's remarkable narrative. But Copple seemed
deadly serious, and I began to see that he possessed a strange
simplicity of exaggeration. The boys thought Copple stretched the truth
a little, but I thought that he believed what he told.

Haught was a great teller of tales, and his first story of the evening
happened to be about his brother Bill. They had a long chase after a
bear and became separated. Bill was new at the game, and he was a
peculiar fellow anyhow. Much given to talking to himself! Haught finally
rode to the edge of a ridge and espied Bill under a pine in which the
hounds had treed a bear. Bill did not hear Haught's approach, and on the
moment he was stalking round the pine, swearing at the bear, which clung
to a branch about half way up. Then Haught discovered two more
full-grown bears up in the top of the pine, the presence of which Bill
had not the remotest suspicion. "Ahuh! you ole black Jasper!" Bill was
yelling. "I treed you an' in a minnit I'm agoin' to assassinate you.
Chased me about a hundred miles--! An' thought you'd fool me, didn't
you? Why, I've treed more bears than you ever saw--! You needn't look at
me like thet, 'cause I'm mad as a hornet. I'm agoin' to assassinate you
in a minnit an' skin your black har off, I am--"

"Bill," interrupted Haught, "what are you goin' to do about the other
two bears up in the top of the tree?"

Bill was amazed to hear and see his brother, and greatly astounded and
tremendously elated to discover the other two bears. He yelled and acted
as one demented. "Three black Jaspers! I've treed you all. An' I'm
agoin' to assassinate you all!"

"See here, Bill," said Haught, "before you begin that assassinatin' make
up your mind not to cripple any of them. You've got to shoot straight,
so they'll be dead when they fall. If they're only crippled, they'll
kill the hounds."

Bill was insulted at any suggestions as to his possible poor
marksmanship. But this happened to be his first experience with bears in
trees. He began to shoot and it took nine shots for him to dislodge the
bears. Worse than that they all tumbled out of the tree--apparently
unhurt. The hounds, of course, attacked them, and there arose a
terrible uproar. Haught had to run down to save his dogs. Bill was going
to shoot right into the melee, but Haught knocked the rifle up, and
forbid him to use it. Then Bill ran into the thick of the fray to beat
off the hounds. Haught became exceedingly busy himself, and finally
disposed of two of the bears. Then hearing angry bawls and terrific
yells he turned to see Bill climbing a tree with a big black bear
tearing the seat out of his pants. Haught disposed of this bear also.
Then he said: "Bill, I thought you was goin' to assassinate them." Bill
slid down out of the tree, very pale and disheveled. "By Golly, I'll
skin 'em anyhow!"

Haught had another brother named Henry, who had come to Arizona from
Texas, and had brought a half-hound with him. Henry offered to wager
this dog was the best bear chaser in the country. The general impression
Henry's hound gave was that he would not chase a rabbit. Finally Haught
took his brother Henry and some other men on a bear hunt. There were
wagers made as to the quality of Henry's half-hound. When at last
Haught's pack struck a hot scent, and were off with the men riding fast
behind, Henry's half-breed loped alongside his master, paying no
attention to the wild baying of the pack. He would look up at Henry as
if to say: "No hurry, boss. Wait a little. Then I'll show them!" He
loped along, wagging his tail, evidently enjoying this race with his
master. After a while the chase grew hotter. Then Henry's half-hound ran
ahead a little way, and came back to look up wisely, as if to say: "Not
time yet!" After a while, when the chase grew very hot indeed, Henry's
wonderful canine let out a wild yelp, darted ahead, overtook the pack
and took the lead in the chase, literally chewing the heels of the bear
till he treed. Haught and his friends lost all the wagers.

The most remarkable bears in this part of Arizona were what Haught
called blue bears, possibly some kind of a cross between brown and
black. This species was a long, slim, blue-furred bear with unusually
large teeth and very long claws. So different from ordinary bears that
it appeared another species. The blue bear could run like a greyhound,
and keep it up all day and all night. Its power of endurance was
incredible. In Haught's twenty years of hunting there he had seen a
number of blue bears and had killed two. Haught chased one all day with
young and fast hounds. He went to camp, but the hounds stuck to the
chase. Next day Haught followed the hounds and bear from Dude Creek over
into Verde Canyon, back to Dude Creek, and then back to Verde again.
Here Haught gave out, and was on his way home when he met the blue bear
padding along as lively as ever.

I never tired of listening to Haught. He had killed over a hundred
bears, many of them vicious grizzlies, and he had often escaped by a
breadth of a hair, but the killing stories were not the most interesting
to me. Haught had lived a singularly elemental life. He never knew what
to tell me, because I did not know what to ask for, so I just waited for
stories, experiences, woodcraft, natural history and the like, to come
when they would. Once he had owned an old bay horse named Moze. Under
any conditions of weather or country Moze could find his way back to
camp. Haught would let go the bridle, and Moze would stick up his ears,
look about him, and circle home. No matter if camp had been just where
Haught had last thrown a packsaddle!

When Haught first came to Arizona and began his hunting up over the rim
he used to get down in the cedar country, close to the desert. Here he
heard of a pure black antelope that was the leader of a herd of ordinary
color, which was a grayish white. The day came when Haught saw this
black antelope. It was a very large, beautiful stag, the most noble and
wild and sagacious animal Haught had ever seen. For years he tried to
stalk it and kill it, and so did other hunters. But no hunter ever got
even a shot at it. Finally this black antelope disappeared and was never
heard of again.

By this time Copple had been permitted a long breathing spell, and now
began a tale calculated to outdo the Arabian Nights. I envied his most
remarkable imagination. His story had to do with hunting meat for a
mining camp in Mexico. He got so expert with a rifle that he never aimed
at deer. Just threw his gun, as was a habit of gun-fighters! Once the
camp was out of meat, and also he was out of ammunition. Only one shell
left! He came upon a herd of deer licking salt at a deer lick. They were
small deer and he wanted several or all of them. So he manoeuvred around
and waited until five of the deer had lined up close together. Then, to
make sure, he aimed so as to send his one bullet through their necks.
Killed the whole five in one shot!

We were all reduced to a state of mute helplessness and completely at
Copple's mercy. Next he gave us one of his animal tales. He was hunting
along the gulf shore on the coast of Sonora, where big turtles come out
to bask in the sun and big jaguars come down to prowl for meat. One
morning he saw a jaguar jump on the back of a huge turtle, and begin to
paw at its neck. Promptly the turtle drew in head and flippers, and was
safe under its shell. The jaguar scratched and clawed at a great rate,
but to no avail. Then the big cat turned round and seized the tail of
the turtle and began to chew it. Whereupon the turtle stuck out its
head, opened its huge mouth and grasped the tail of the jaguar. First to
give in was the cat. He let go and let out a squall. But the turtle
started to crawl off, got going strong, and dragged the jaguar into the
sea and drowned him. With naive earnestness Copple assured his mute
listeners that he could show them the exact spot in Sonora where this

Retribution inevitably overtakes transgressors. Copple in his immense
loquaciousness was not transgressing much, for he really was no greater
dreamer than I, but the way he put things made us want to see the mighty
hunter have a fall.

We rested the hounds next day, and I was glad to rest myself. About
sunset Copple rode up to the rim to look for his mules. We all heard him
shoot eight times with his rifle and two with his revolver. Everybody
said: "Turkeys! Ten turkeys--maybe a dozen, if Copple got two in line!"
And we were all glad to think so. We watched eagerly for him, but he did
not return till dark. He seemed vastly sore at himself. What a
remarkable hard luck story he told! He had come upon a flock of turkeys,
and they were rather difficult to see. All of them were close, and
running fast. He shot eight times at eight turkeys and missed them all.
Too dark--brush--trees--running like deer. Copple had a dozen excuses.
Then he saw a turkey on a log ten feet away. He shot twice. The turkey
was a knot, and he had missed even that.

Thereupon I seized my opportunity and reminded all present how Copple
had called out: "Turkey number one! Turkey number two!" the day I had
missed so many. Then I said:

"Ben, you must have yelled out to-night like this." And I raised my
voice high.

"Turkey number one--Nix!... Turkey number two--missed, by Gosh!...
Turkey number three--never touched him!... Turkey number four--No!...
Turkey number five--Aw, I'm shootin' blank shells!... Turkey number
six on the log--BY THUNDER, I CAN'T SEE STRAIGHT!"

We all had our fun at Copple's expense. The old bear hunter, Haught,
rolled on the ground, over and over, and roared in his mirth.


Early next morning before the sun had tipped the pines with gold I went
down Barber Shop Canyon with Copple to look for our horses. During the
night our stock had been chased by a lion. We had all been awakened by
their snorting and stampeding. We found our horses scattered, the burros
gone, and Copple's mules still squared on guard, ready to fight. Copple
assured me that this formation of his mules on guard was an infallible
sign of lions prowling around. One of these mules he had owned for ten
years and it was indeed the most intelligent beast I ever saw in the

We found three beaver dams across the brook, one about fifty feet long,
and another fully two hundred. Fresh turkey tracks showed in places, and
on the top of the longer dam, fresh made in the mud, were lion tracks as
large as the crown of my hat. How sight of them made me tingle all over!
Here was absolute proof of the prowling of one of the great cats.

Beaver tracks were everywhere. They were rather singular looking tracks,
the front feet being five-toed, and the back three-toed, and webbed.
Near the slides on the bank the water was muddy, showing that the beaver
had been at work early. These animals worked mostly at night, but
sometimes at sunset and sunrise. They were indeed very cautious and
wary. These dams had just been completed and no aspens had yet been cut
for food. Beaver usually have two holes to their home, one under the
water, and the other out on the bank. We found one of these outside
burrows and it was nearly a foot wide.

Upon our return to camp with the horses Haught said he could put up that
lion for us, and from the size of its track he judged it to be a big
one. I did not want to hunt lions and R.C. preferred to keep after
bears. "Wal," said Haught, "I'll take an off day an' chase thet lion.
Had a burro killed here a couple of years ago."

So we rode out with the hounds on another bear hunt. Pyle's Canyon lay
to the east of Dude Creek, and we decided to run it that day. Edd and
Nielsen started down with the hounds. Copple and I followed shortly
afterward with the intention of descending mid-way, and then working
along the ridge crests and promontories. The other boys remained on the
rim to take up various stands as occasion called for.

I had never been on as steep slopes as these under the rim. They were
grassy, brushy, rocky, but it was their steepness that made them so hard
to travel. Right off, half way down, we started a herd of bucks. The
noise they made sounded like cattle. We found tracks of half a dozen.
"Lots of deer under the rim," declared Copple, his eyes gleaming.
"They're feedin' on acorns. Here's where you'll get your big buck."
After that I kept a sharp lookout, arguing with myself that a buck close
at hand was worth a lot of bears down in the brush.

Presently we changed a direct descent to work gradually along the slopes
toward a great level bench covered with pines. We had to cross gravel
patches and pits where avalanches had slid, and at last, gaining the
bench we went through the pine grove, out to a manzanita thicket, to a
rocky point where the ledges were toppling and dangerous. The stand here
afforded a magnificent view. We were now down in the thick of this
sloped and canyoned and timbered wildness; no longer above it, and aloof
from it. The dry smell of pine filled the air. When we finally halted to
listen we at once heard the baying of the hounds in the black notch
below us. We watched and listened. And presently across open patches we
saw the flash of deer, and then Rock and Buck following them. Thus were
my suspicions of Rock fully confirmed. Copple yelled down to Edd that
some of the hounds were running deer, but apparently Edd was too far
away to hear.

Still, after a while we heard the mellow tones of Edd's horn, calling in
the hounds. And then he blew the signal to acquaint all of us above that
he was going down around the point to drive the next canyon. Copple and
I had to choose between climbing back to the rim or trying to cross the
slopes and head the gorges, and ascend the huge ridge that separated
Pyle's Canyon from the next canyon. I left the question to Copple, with
the result that we stayed below.

We were still high up, though when we gazed aloft at the rim we felt so
far down, and the slopes were steep, stony, soft in places and slippery
in others, with deep cuts and patches of manzanita. No stranger was I to
this beautiful treacherous Spanish brush! I shared with Copple a dislike
of it almost equal to that inspired by cactus. We soon were hot, dusty,
dry, and had begun to sweat. The immense distances of the place were
what continually struck me. Distances that were deceptive--that looked
short and were interminable! That was Arizona. We covered miles in our
detours and we had to travel fast because we knew Edd could round the
base of the lower points in quick time.

Above the head of the third gorge Copple and I ran across an enormous
bear track, fresh in the dust, leading along an old bear trail. This
track measured twelve inches. "He's an old Jasper, as Haught says,"
declared Copple. "Grizzly. An' you can bet he heard the dogs an' got
movin' away from here. But he ain't scared. He was walkin'."

I forgot the arduous toil. How tight and cool and prickling the feel of
my skin! The fresh track of a big grizzly would rouse the hunter in any
man. We made sure how fresh this track was by observing twigs and sprigs
of manzanita just broken. The wood was green, and wet with sap. Old
Bruin had not escaped our eyes any too soon. We followed this bear
trail, evidently one used for years. It made climbing easy for us. Trust
a big, heavy, old grizzly to pick out the best traveling over rough
country! This fellow, I concluded, had the eye of a surveyor. His trail
led gradually toward a wonderful crag-crowned ridge that rolled and
heaved down from the rim. It had a dip or saddle in the middle, and rose
from that to the lofty mesa, and then on the lower side, rose to a bare,
round point of gray rock, a landmark, a dome-shaped tower where the gods
of that wild region might have kept their vigil.

Long indeed did it take us to climb up the bear trail to where it
crossed the saddle and went down on the other side into a canyon so deep
and wild that it was purple. This saddle was really a remarkable
place--a natural trail and outlet and escape for bears traveling from
one canyon to another. Our bear tracks showed fresh, and we saw where
they led down a steep, long, dark aisle between pines and spruces to a
dense black thicket below. The saddle was about twenty feet wide, and on
each side of it rose steep rocks, affording most effective stands for a
hunter to wait and watch.

We rested then, and listened. There was only a little wind, and often
it fooled us. It sounded like the baying of hounds, and now like the
hallooing of men, and then like the distant peal of a horn. By and bye
Copple said he heard the hounds. I could not be sure. Soon we indeed
heard the deep-sounding, wild bay of Old Dan, the course, sharp, ringing
bay of Old Tom, and then, less clear, the chorus from the other hounds.
Edd had started them on a trail up this magnificent canyon at our feet.
After a while we heard Edd's yell, far away, but clear: "Hi! Hi!" We
could see a part of the thicket, shaggy and red and gold; and a mile or
more of the opposite wall of the canyon. No rougher, wilder place could
have been imagined than this steep slope of bluffs, ledges, benches, all
matted with brush, and spotted with pines. Holes and caves and cracks
showed, and yellow blank walls, and bronze points, and green slopes, and
weathered slides.

Soon the baying of the hounds appeared to pass below and beyond us, up
the canyon to our right, a circumstance that worried Copple. "Let's go
farther up," he kept saying. But I was loath to leave that splendid
stand. The baying of the hounds appeared to swing round closer under us;
to ring, to swell, to thicken until it was a continuous and melodious,
wild, echoing roar. The narrowing walls of the canyon threw the echoes
back and forth.

Presently I espied moving dots, one blue, one brown, on the opposite
slope. They were Haught and his son Edd slowly and laboriously climbing
up the steep bluff. How like snails they climbed! Theirs was indeed a
task. A yell pealed out now and then, and though it seemed to come from
an entirely different direction it surely must have come from the
Haughts. Presently some one high on the rim answered with like yells.
The chase was growing hotter.

"They've got a bear up somewhere," cried Copple, excitedly. And I
agreed with him.

Then we were startled by the sharp crack of a rifle from the rim.

"The ball's open! Get your pardners, boys," exclaimed Copple, with

"Ben, wasn't that a.30 Gov't?" I asked.

"Sure was," he replied. "Must have been R.C. openin' up. Now look

I gazed everywhere, growing more excited and thrilled. Another shot from
above, farther off and from a different rifle, augmented our stirring

Copple left our stand and ran up over the ridge, and then down under and
along the base of a rock wall. I had all I could do to keep up with him.
We got perhaps a hundred yards when we heard the spang of Haught's.30
Gov't. Following this his big, hoarse voice bawled out: "He's goin' to
the left--to the left!" That sent us right about face, to climbing,
scrambling, running and plunging back to our first stand at the saddle,
where we arrived breathless and eager.

Edd was climbing higher up, evidently to reach the level top of the
bluff above, and Haught was working farther up the canyon, climbing a
little. Copple yelled with all his might: "Where's the bear?"

"Bar everywhar!" pealed back Haught's stentorian voice. How the echoes

Just then Copple electrified me with a wild shout. "Wehow! I see
him.... What a whopper!" He threw up his rifle:

His aim was across the canyon. I heard his bullets strike. I strained my
eyes in flashing gaze everywhere. "Where? Where?" I cried, wildly.

"There!" shouted Copple, keenly, and he pointed across the canyon. "He's
goin' over the bench--above Edd.... Now he's out of sight. Watch just
over Edd. He'll cross that bench, go round the head of the little
canyon, an' come out on the other side, under the bare bluff.... Watch
sharp-right by that big spruce with the dead top.... He's a grizzly an'
as big as a horse".

I looked until my eyes hurt. All I said was: "Ben, you saw game first
to-day". Suddenly a large, dark brown object, furry and grizzled, huge
and round, moved out of the shadow under the spruce and turned to go
along the edge in the open sunlight.

"Oh! look at him!" I yelled. A strong, hot gust of blood ran all over me
and I thrilled till I shook. When I aimed at the bear I could see him
through the circle of my peep sight, but when I moved the bead of the
front sight upon him it almost covered him up. The distance was
far--more than a thousand yards--over half a mile--we calculated
afterward. But I tried to draw a bead on the big, wagging brown shape
and fired till my rifle was empty.

Meanwhile Copple had reloaded. "You watch while I shoot," he said. "Tell
me where I'm hittin'."

Wonderful was it to see how swiftly he could aim and shoot. I saw a puff
of dust. "Low, Ben!" Spang rang his rifle. "High!" Again he shot, wide
this time. He emptied his magazine. "Smoke him now!" he shouted,
gleefully. "I'll watch while you shoot."

"It's too far, Ben," I replied, as I jammed the last shell in the

"No--no. It's only we don't hold right. Aim a little coarse," said
Copple. "Gee, ain't he some bear! 'No scared tall' as the Jap says....
He's one of the old sheep-killers. He'll weigh half a ton. Smoke him

My excitement was intense. It seemed, however, I was most consumed with
admiration for that grizzly. Not in the least was he afraid. He walked
along the rough places, trotted along the ledges, and here and there he
halted to gaze below him. I waited for one of these halts, aimed a
trifle high, and fired. The grizzly made a quick, angry movement and
then jumped up on a ledge. He jumped like a rabbit.

"You hit close that time," yelled Ben. "Hold the same way--a little

My next bullet struck a puff from rock above the bear, and my third,
hitting just in front of him, as he was on a yellow ledge, covered him
with dust. He reared, and wheeling, sheered back and down the step he
had mounted, and disappeared in a clump of brush. I shot into that. We
heard my bullet crack the twigs. But it routed him out, and then my last
shot hit far under him.

Copple circled his mouth with his hands and bellowed to the Haughts:
"Climb! Climb! Hurry! Hurry! He's just above you--under that bluff."

The Haughts heard, and evidently tried to do all in their power, but
they moved like snails. Then Copple fired five more shots, quick, yet
deliberate, and he got through before I had reloaded; and as I began my
third magazine Copple was so swift in reloading that his first shot
mingled with my second. How we made the welkin ring! Wild yells pealed
down from the rim. Somewhere from the purple depths below Nielsen's
giant's voice rolled up. The Haughts opposite answered with their deep,
hoarse yells. Old Dan and Old Tom bayed like distant thunder. The young
hounds let out a string of sharp, keen yelps. Copple added his Indian
cry, high-pitched and wild, to the pandemonium. But I could not shoot
and screech at one and the same time.

"Hurry, Ben," I said, as I finished my third set of five shots, the
last shot of which was my best and knocked dirt in the face of the

Again he reared. This time he appeared to locate our direction. Above
the bedlam of yells and bays and yelps and echoes I imagined I heard the
grizzly roar. He was now getting farther along the base of the bluff,
and I saw that he would escape us. My rifle barrel was hot as fire. My
fingers were all thumbs. I jammed a shell into the receiver. My last
chance had fled! But Copple's big, brown, swift hands fed shells to his
magazine as ears of corn go to a grinder. He had a way of poking the
base of a shell straight down into the receiver and making it snap
forward and down. Then he fired five more shots as swiftly as he had
reloaded. Some of these hit close to our quarry. The old grizzly slowed
up, and looked across, and wagged his huge head.

"My gun's on fire all right," said Copple, grimly, as he loaded still
more rapidly. Carefully he aimed and pulled trigger. The grizzly gave a
spasmodic jerk as if stung and suddenly he made a prodigious leap off a
ledge, down into a patch of brush, where he threshed like a lassoed

"Ben, you hit him!" I yelled, excitedly.

"Only made him mad. He's not hurt.... See, he's up again.... Will you
look at that!"

The grizzly appeared to roll out of the brush, and like a huge furry
ball of brown, he bounced down the thicketed slope to an open slide
where he unrolled, and stretched into a run. Copple got two more shots
before he was out of sight.

"Gone!" ejaculated Copple. "An' we never fetched him!... He ain't hurt.
Did you see him pile down an' roll off that slope?... Let's see. I got
twenty-three shots at him. How many had you?"

"I had fifteen."

"Say, it was some fun, wasn't it--smokin' him along there? But we ought
to have fetched the old sheep-killer.... Wonder what's happened to the
other fellows."

We looked about us. Not improbably the exciting moments had been few in
number, yet they seemed long indeed. The Haughts had gotten to the top
of the bluff, and were tearing through the brush toward the point Copple
had designated. They reached it too late.

"Where is he?" yelled Edd.

"Gone!" boomed Copple. "Runnin' down the canyon. Call the dogs an' go
down after him."

When the Haughts came out into the open upon that bench one of the pups
and the spotted hound, Rock, were with them. Old Dan and old Tom were
baying up at the head of the canyon, and Sue could be heard yelping
somewhere else. Bear trails seemingly were abundant near our
whereabouts. Presently the Haughts disappeared at the back of the bench
where the old grizzly had gone down, and evidently they put the two
hounds on his trail.

"That grizzly will climb over round the lower end of this ridge,"
declared Copple. "We want to be there."

So we hurriedly left our stand, and taking to the South side of the
ridge, we ran and walked and climbed and plunged down along the slope.
Keeping up with Copple on foot was harder than riding after Edd and
George. When soon we reached a manzanita thicket I could no longer keep
Copple in sight. He was so powerful that he just crashed through, but I
had to worm my way, and walk over the tops of the bushes, like a
tight-rope performer. Of all strong, thick, spiky brush manzanita was
the worst.

In half an hour I joined Copple at the point under the dome-topped end
of the ridge, only to hear the hounds apparently working back up the
canyon. There was nothing for us to do but return to our stand at the
saddle. Copple hurried faster than ever. But I had begun to tire and I
could not keep up with him. But as I had no wild cravings to meet that
old grizzly face to face all by myself in a manzanita thicket I did
manage by desperate efforts to keep the Indian in sight. When I reached
our stand I was wet and exhausted. After the hot, stifling, dusty glare
of the yellow slope and the burning of the manzanita brush, the cool
shade was a welcome change.

Somewhere all the hounds were baying. Not for some time could we locate
the Haughts. Finally with the aid of my glass we discovered them perched
high upon the bluff above where our grizzly had gone round. It appeared
that Edd was pointing across the canyon and his father was manifesting a
keen interest. We did not need the glass then to tell that they saw a
bear. Both leveled their rifles and fired, apparently across the canyon.
Then they stood like statues.

"I'll go down into the thicket," said Copple. "Maybe I can get a shot.
An' anyway I want to see our grizzly's tracks." With that he started
down, and once on the steep bear trail he slid rather than walked, and
soon was out of my sight. After that I heard him crashing through
thicket and brush. Soon this sound ceased. The hounds, too, had quit
baying and the wind had lulled. Not a rustle of a leaf! All the hunters
were likewise silent. I enjoyed a lonely hour there watching and
listening, not however without apprehensions of a bear coming along.
Certain I was that this canyon, which I christened Bear Canyon, had been
full of bears.

At length I espied Copple down on the edge of the opposite slope. The
way he toiled along proved how rough was the going. I watched him
through my glasses, and was again impressed with the strange difference
between the semblance of distance and the reality. Every few steps
Copple would halt to rest. He had to hold on to the brush and in the
bare places where he could not reach a bush he had to dig his heels into
the earth to keep from sliding down. In time he ascended to the place
where our grizzly had rolled down, and from there he yelled up to the
Haughts, high above him. They answered, and soon disappeared on the far
side of the bluff. Copple also disappeared going round under the wall of
yellow rock. Perhaps in fifteen minutes I heard them yell, and then a
wild clamor of the hounds. Some of the pack had been put on the trail of
our grizzly; but gradually the sound grew farther away.

This was too much for me. I decided to go down into the canyon.
Forthwith I started. It was easy to go down! As a matter of fact it was
hard not to slide down like a streak. That long, dark, narrow aisle
between the spruces had no charm for me anyway. Suppose I should meet a
bear coming up as I was sliding down! I sheered off and left the trail,
and also Copple's tracks. This was a blunder. I came out into more open
slope, but steeper, and harder to cling on. Ledges cropped out, cliffs
and ravines obstructed my passage and trees were not close enough to
help me much. Some long slopes of dark, mossy, bare earth I actually ran
down, trusting to light swift steps rather than slow careful ones. It
was exhilarating, that descent under the shady spruces. The lower down I
got the smaller and more numerous the trees. I could see where they left
off to the dense thicket that choked the lower part of the v-shaped
canyon. And I was amazed at the size and density of that jungle of scrub
oaks, maples and aspens. From above the color was a blaze of scarlet and
gold and green, with bronze tinge.

Presently I crossed a fresh bear track, so fresh that I could see the
dampness of the dark earth, the rolling of little particles, the
springing erect of bent grasses. In some places big sections of earth, a
yard wide had slipped under the feet of this particular bear. He
appeared to be working down. Right then I wanted to go up! But I could
not climb out there. I had to go down. Soon I was under low-spreading,
dense spruces, and I had to hold on desperately to keep from sliding.
All the time naturally I kept a keen lookout for a bear. Every stone and
tree trunk resembled a bear. I decided if I met a grizzly that I would
not annoy him on that slope. I would say: "Nice bear, I won't hurt you!"
Still the situation had some kind of charm. But to claim I was not
frightened would not be strictly truthful. I slid over the trail of that
bear into the trail of another one, and under the last big spruce on
that part of the slope I found a hollow nest of pine needles and leaves,
and if that bed was not still warm then my imagination lent considerable
to the moment.

Beyond this began the edge of the thicket. It was small pine at first,
so close together that I had to squeeze through, and as dark as
twilight. The ground was a slant of brown pine needles, so slippery,
that if I could not have held on to trees and branches I never would
have kept my feet. In this dark strip I had more than apprehensions.
What a comfortable place to encounter an outraged or wounded grizzly
bear! The manzanita thicket was preferable. But as Providence would have
it I did not encounter one.

Soon I worked or wormed out of the pines into the thicket of scrub oaks,
maples and aspens. The change was welcome. Not only did the slope
lengthen out, but the light changed from gloom to gold. There was half a
foot of scarlet, gold, bronze, red and purple leaves on the ground, and
every step I made I kicked acorns about to rustle and roll. Bear sign
was everywhere, tracks and trails and beds and scratches. I kept going
down, and the farther down I got the lighter it grew, and more
approaching a level. One glade was strangely luminous and beautiful with
a blending of gold and purple light made by the sun shining through the
leaves overhead down upon the carpet of leaves on the ground. Then I
came into a glade that reminded me of Kipling's moonlight dance of the
wild elephants. Here the leaves and fern were rolled and matted flat,
smooth as if done by a huge roller. Bears and bears had lolled and slept
and played there. A little below this glade was a place, shady and cool,
where a seep of water came from under a bank. It looked like a herd of
cattle had stamped the earth, only the tracks were bear tracks. Little
ones no longer than a child's hand, and larger, up to huge tracks a foot
long and almost as wide. Many were old, but some were fresh. This little
spot smelled of bear so strongly that it reminded me of the bear pen in
the Bronx Park Zoological Garden. I had been keen for sight of bear
trails and scent of bear fur, but this was a little too much. I thought
it was too much because the place was lonely and dark and absolutely
silent. I went on down to the gully that ran down the middle of the
canyon. It was more open here. The sun got through, and there were some
big pines.

I could see the bluff that the Haughts had climbed so laboriously, and
now I understood why they had been so slow. It was straight up, brush
and jumbled rock, and two hundred feet over my head. Somewhere above
that bluff was the bluff where our bear had run along.

I rested and listened for the dogs. There was no wind to deceive me, but
I imagined I heard dogs everywhere. It seemed unwise for me to go on
down the canyon, for if I did not meet the men I would find myself lost.
As it was I would have my troubles climbing out.

I chose a part of the thicket some distance above where I had come down,
hoping to find it more open, if not less steep, and not so vastly
inhabited with bears. Lo and behold it was worse! It was thicker,
darker, wilder, steeper and there was, if possible, actually more bear
sign. I had to pull myself up by holding to the trees and branches. I
had to rest every few steps. I had to watch and listen all the time.
Half-way up the trunks of the aspens and oaks and maples were all bent
down-hill. They curved out and down before the rest of the tree stood
upright. And all the brush was flat, bending down hill, and absolutely
almost impassable. This feature of tree and brush was of course caused
by the weight of snow in winter. It would have been more interesting if
I had not been so anxious to get up. I grew hotter and wetter than I had
been in the manzanitas. Moreover, what with the labor and worry and
exhaustion, my apprehensions had increased. They increased until I had
to confess that I was scared. Once I heard a rustle and pad on the
leaves somewhere below. That made matters worse. Surely I would meet a
bear. I would meet him coming down-hill! And I must never shoot a bear
coming down-hill! Buffalo Jones had cautioned me on that score, so had
Scott Teague, the bear hunter of Colorado, and so had Haught. "Don't
never shoot no ole bar comin' down hill, 'cause if you do he'll just
roll up an' pile down on you!"

I climbed until my tongue hung out and my heart was likely to burst.
Then when I had to straddle a tree to keep from sliding down I got
desperate and mad and hoped an old grizzly would happen along to make an
end to my misery.

It took me an hour to climb up that part of the slope which constituted
the thicket of oak, maple and aspen. It was half-past three when finally
I reached the saddle where we had shot at the grizzly. I rested as long
as I dared. I had still a long way to go up that ridge to the rim, and
how did I know whether or not I could surmount it.

However, a good rest helped to revive strength and spirit. Then I
started. Once above the saddle I was out clear in the open, high above
the canyons, and the vast basin still farther below, yet far indeed
under the pine-fringed rim above. This climb was all over stone. The
ridge was narrow-crested, yellow, splintered rock, with a few dwarf
pines and spruces and an occasional bunch of manzanita. I did not hear a
sound that I did not make myself. Whatever had become of the hounds, and
the other hunters? The higher I climbed the more I liked it. After an
hour I was sure that I could reach the rim by this route, and of course
that stimulated me. To make sure, and allay doubt, I sat down on a high
backbone of bare rock and studied the heave and bulge of ridge above me.
Using my glasses I made sure that I could climb out. It would be a task
equal to those of lion-hunting days with Jones, and it made me happy to
realize that despite the intervening ten years I was still equal to the

Once assured of this I grew acute to the sensations of the hour. This
was one of my especial joys of the open--to be alone high on some
promontory, above wild and beautiful scenery. The sun was still an hour
from setting, and it had begun to soften, to grow intense, and more
golden. There were clouds and lights that promised a magnificent sunset.

So I climbed on. When I stopped to rest I would shove a stone loose and
watch it heave and slide, and leap out and hurtle down, to make the
dust fly, and crash into the thickets, and eventually start an avalanche
that would roar down into the canyon.

The Tonto Basin seemed a vast bowl of rolling, rough, black ridges and
canyons, green and dark and yellow, with the great mountain ranges
enclosing it to south and west. The black-fringed promontories of the
rim, bold and rugged, leagues apart, stood out over the void. The colors
of autumn gleamed under the cliffs, everywhere patches of gold and long
slants of green and spots of scarlet and clefts of purple.

The last benches of that ridge taxed my waning strength. I had to step
up, climb up, pull myself up, by hand and knee and body. My rifle grew
to weigh a ton. My cartridge belt was a burden of lead around my waist.
If I had been hot and wet below in the thicket I wondered what I grew on
the last steps of this ridge. Yet even the toil and the pain held a keen
pleasure. I did not analyze my feelings then, but it was good to be

The rim-rock came out to a point above me, seeming unscalable, all grown
over with brush and lichen, and stunted spruce. But by hauling myself
up, and crawling here, and winding under bridges of rock there, and
holding to the brush, at last, panting and spent, I reached the top.

I was ready to drop on the mats of pine needles and lie there,
unutterably grateful for rest, when I heard Old Tom baying, deep and
ringing and close. He seemed right under the rim on the side of the
ridge opposite to where I had climbed. I looked around. There was
George's horse tied to a pine, and farther on my own horse Stockings.

Then I walked to the rim and looked down into the gold and scarlet
thicket. Actually it seemed to me then, and always will seem, that the
first object I clearly distinguished was a big black bear standing in
an open aisle at the upper reach of the thicket close to the cliff. He
shone black as shiny coal. He was looking down into the thicket, as if
listening to the baying hound.

I could not repress an exclamation of surprise and thrilling excitement,
and I uttered it as I raised my rifle. Just the instant I saw his
shining fur through the circle of my rear sight he heard me and jumped,
and my bullet missed him. Like a black flash he was gone around a corner
of gray ledge.

"Well!" I ejaculated, suddenly weak. "After all this long day--to get a
chance like that--and miss!"

All that seemed left of that long day was the sunset, out of which I
could not be cheated by blunders or bad luck. Westward a glorious golden
ball blazed over the rim. Above that shone an intense belt of
color--Coleridge's yellow lightning--and it extended to a bank of cloud
that seemed transparent purple, and above all this flowed a sea of
purest blue sky with fleecy sails of pink and white and rose,
exquisitely flecked with gold.

Lost indeed was I to weariness and time until the gorgeous
transformation at last ended in dull gray. I walked along the rim, back
to where I had tied my horse. He saw me and whinnied before I located
the spot. I just about had strength enough left to straddle him. And
presently through the twilight shadows I caught a bright glimmer of our
camp-fire. Supper was ready; Takahashi grinned his concern away; all the
men were waiting for me; and like the Ancient Mariner I told my tale. As
I sat to a bountiful repast regaling myself, the talk of my companions
seemed absolutely satisfying.

George Haught, on a stand at the apex of the canyon, had heard and seen
a big brown bear climbing up through the thicket, and he had overshot
and missed. R.C. had espied a big black bear walking a slide some four
hundred yards down the canyon slope, and forgetting that he had a heavy
close-range shell in his rifle instead of one of high trajectory, he had
aimed accordingly, to undershoot half a foot and thus lose his
opportunity. Nielsen had been lost most of the day. It seemed everywhere
he heard yells and bays down in the canyon, and once he had heard a loud
rattling crash of a heavy bear tearing through the thicket. Edd told of
the fearful climb he and his father had made, how they had shot at the
grizzly a long way off, how funny another bear had rolled around in his
bed across the canyon. But the hounds got too tired to hold the trails
late in the day. And lastly Edd said: "When you an' Ben were smokin' the
grizzly I could hear the bullets hit close above us, an' I was sure
scared stiff for fear you'd roll him down on us. But father wasn't
scared. He said, 'let the old Jasper roll down! We'll assassinate him!'"

When the old bear hunter began to tell his part in the day's adventures
my pleasure was tinglingly keen and nothing was wanting on the moment
except that my boy Romer was not there to hear.

"Wal, shore it was an old bar day," said Haught, with quaint
satisfaction. His blue shirt, ragged and torn and black from brush,
surely attested to the truth of his words. "All told we seen five bars.
Two blacks, two browns an' the old Jasper. Some of them big fellars,
too. But we missed seein' the boss bar of this canyon. When Old Dan
opened up first off I wanted Edd to climb thet bluff. But Edd kept goin'
an' we lost our chance. Fer pretty soon we heard a bustin' of the brush.
My, but thet bar was rockin' her off. He knocked the brush like a wild
steer, an' he ran past us close--not a hundred yards. I never heard a
heavier bar. But we couldn't see him. Then Edd started up, an' thet
bluff was a wolf of a place. We was half up when I seen the grizzly thet
you an' Ben smoked afterward. He was far off, but Edd an' I lammed a
couple after him jest for luck. One of the pups was nippin' his heels.
Think it was Big Foot.... Wal, thet was all of thet. We plumb busted
ourselves gettin' on top of the bench to head off your bar. Only we
hadn't time. Then we worried along around to the top of thet higher
bluff an' there I was so played-out I thought my day had come. We kept
our eyes peeled, an' pretty soon I spied a big brown bar actin' queer in
an open spot across the canyon. Edd seen him too, an' we argued about
what thet bar was doin'. He lay in a small open place at the foot of a
spruce. He wagged his head slow an' he made as if to roll over, an' he
stretched his paws, an' acted shore queer. Edd said: 'Thet bar's
crippled. He's been shot by one of the boys, an' he's tryin' to get up.'
But I shore didn't exactly agree with Edd. So I was for watchin' him
some more. He looked like a sick bar--raisin' his head so slow an'
droppin' it so slow an' sort of twistin' his body. He looked like his
back had been broke an' he was tryin' to get up, but somehow I couldn't
believe thet. Then he lay still an' Edd swore he was dead. Shore I got
almost to believin' thet myself, when he waked up. An' then the old
scoundrel slid around lazy like a torn cat by the fire, and sort of
rolled on his back an' stretched. Next he slapped at himself with his
paws. If he wasn't sick he was shore actin' queer with thet canyon full
of crackin' guns an' bayin' hounds an' yellin' men. I begun to get
suspicious. Shore he must be a dyin' bear. So I said to Edd: 'Let's bast
him a couple just fer luck.' Wal, when we shot up jumped thet sick bar
quicker'n you could wink. An' he piled into the thicket while I was
goin' down after another shell.... It shore was funny. Thet old Jasper
never heard the racket, an' if he heard it he didn't care. He had a bed
in thet sunny spot an' he was foolin' around, playin' with himself like
a kitten. Playin'! An' Edd reckoned he was dyin' an' I come shore near
bein' fooled. The old Jasper! We'll assassinate him fer thet!"


Five more long arduous days we put in chasing bears under the rim from
Pyle's Canyon to Verde Canyon. In all we started over a dozen bears. But
I was inclined to think that we chased the same bears over and over from
one canyon to another. The boys got a good many long-range shots, which,
however, apparently did no damage. But as for me, the harder and farther
I tramped and the longer I watched and waited the less opportunity had I
to shoot a bear.

This circumstance weighed heavily upon the spirits of my comrades. They
wore their boots out, as well as the feet of the hounds, trying to chase
a bear somewhere near me. And wherever I stayed or went there was the
place the bears avoided. Edd and Neilsen lost flesh in this daily toil.
Haught had gloomy moments. But as for me the daily ten-or fifteen-mile
grind up and down the steep craggy slopes had at last trained me back to
my former vigorous condition, and I was happy. No one knew it, not even
R.C., but the fact was I really did not care in the least whether I shot
a bear or not. Bears were incidental to my hunting trip. I had not a
little secret glee over the praise accorded me by Copple and Haught and
Nielsen, who all thought that the way I persevered was remarkable. They
would have broken their necks to get me a bear. At times R.C. when he
was tired fell victim to discouragement and he would make some caustic
remark: "I don't know about you. I've a hunch you like to pack a rifle
because it's heavy. And you go dreaming along! Sometime a bear will rise
up and swipe you one!"

Takahashi passed from concern to grief over what he considered my bad
luck: "My goodnish! No see bear to-day?... Maybe more better luck
to-morrow." If I could have had some of Takahashi's luck I would
scarcely have needed to leave camp. He borrowed Nielsen's 30-40 rifle
and went hunting without ever having shot it. He rode the little
buckskin mustang, that, remarkable to state, had not yet thrown him or
kicked him. And on that occasion he led the mustang back to camp with a
fine two-point buck on the saddle. "Camp need fresh meat," said the Jap,
with his broad smile. "I go hunt. Ride along old road. Soon nice fat
deer walk out from bush. Twenty steps away--maybe. I get off. I no want
kill deer so close, so I walk on him. Deer he no scared. He jump off few
steps--stick up his ears--look at horse all same like he thought him
deer too. I no aim gun from shoulder. I just shoot. No good. Deer he
run. I aim then--way front of him--shoot--deer he drop right down
dead.... Aw, easy to get deer!"

I would have given a great deal to have been able to describe Haught's
face when the Jap finished his story of killing that deer. But such feat
was beyond human ingenuity. "Wal," ejaculated the hunter, "in all my
days raslin' round with fools packin' guns I never seen the likes of
thet. No wonder the Japs licked the Russians!" This achievement of
Takahashi's led me to suggest his hunting bear with us. "Aw sure--I kill
bear too," he said. Takahashi outwalked and outclimbed us all. He never
made detours. He climbed straight up or descended straight down. Copple
and Edd were compelled to see him take the lead and keep it. What a
wonderful climber! What a picture the sturdy little brown man made,
carrying a rifle longer than himself, agile and sure-footed as a goat,
perfectly at home in the depths or on the heights! I took occasion to
ask Takahashi if he had been used to mountain climbing in Japan. "Aw
sure. I have father own whole mountain more bigger here. I climb
high--saw wood. Leetle boy so big." And he held his hand about a foot
from the ground. Thus for me every day brought out some further
interesting or humorous or remarkable feature pertaining to Takahashi.

The next day added to the discouragement of my party. We drove Verde
Canyon and ran the dogs into a nest of steel-traps. Big Foot was caught
in one, and only the remarkable size and strength of his leg saved it
from being broken. Nielsen found a poor, miserable, little fox in a
trap, where it had been for days, and was nearly dead. Edd found a dead
skunk in another. He had to call the hounds in. We returned to camp.
That night was really the only cheerless one the men spent around the
fire. They did not know what to do. Manifestly with trappers in a
locality there could be no more bear chasing. Disappointment perched
upon the countenances of the Haughts and Copple and Nielsen. I let them
all have their say. Finally Haught spoke up: "Wal, fellars, I'm
figgerin' hard an' I reckon here's my stand. We jest naturally have to
get Doc an' his brother a bear apiece. Shore I expected we'd get 'em a
couple. Now, them traps we seen are all small. We didn't run across no
bear traps. An' I reckon we can risk the dogs. We'll shore go back an'
drive Verde Canyon. We can't do no worse than break a leg for a dog. I'd
hate to see thet happen to Old Dan or Tom. But we'll take a chance."

After that there fell a moment's silence. I could see from Edd's face
what a serious predicament this was. Nothing was plainer than his
fondness for the hounds. Finally he said: "Sure. We'll take a chance."
Their devotion to my interest, their simple earnestness, warmed me to
them. But not for all the bears under the rim would I have been
wittingly to blame for Old Dan or Old Tom breaking a leg.

"Men, I've got a better plan," I said. "We'll let the bears here rest
for a spell. Supplies are about gone. Let's go back to Beaver Dam camp
for a week or so. Rest up the hounds. Maybe we'll have a storm and a
cold snap that will improve conditions. Then we'll come back here. I'll
send Haught down to buy off the trappers. I'll pay them to spring their
traps and let us have our hunt without risk of the hounds."

Instantly the men brightened. The insurmountable obstacles seemed to
melt away. Only Haught demurred a little at additional and unreasonable
expense for me. But I cheered him over this hindrance, and the last part
of that evening round the camp-fire was very pleasant.

The following morning we broke camp, and all rode off, except Haught and
his son George, who remained to hunt a strayed burro. "Reckon thet lion
eat him. My best burro. He was the one your boy was always playin' with.
I'm goin' to assassinate thet lion."

On the way back to Beaver Dam camp I happened to be near Takahashi when
he dismounted to shoot at a squirrel. Returning to get back in the
saddle the Jap forgot to approach the mustang from the proper side.
There was a scuffle between Takahashi and the mustang as to which of
them should possess the bridle. The Jap lost this argument. Edd had to
repair the broken bridle. I watched Takahashi and could see that he did
not like the mustang any better than the mustang liked him. Soon the
struggle for supremacy would take place between this ill assorted rider
and horse. I rather felt inclined to favor the latter; nevertheless it
was only fair to Takahashi to admit that his buckskin-colored mustang
had some mean traits.

In due time I arrived at our permanent camp, to be the last to get in.
Lee and his father welcomed us as familiar faces in a strange land. As I
dismounted I heard heavy thuds and cracks accompanied by fierce
utterances in a foreign tongue. These sounds issued from the corral.

"I'll bet the Jap got what was coming to him," declared Lee.

We all ran toward the corral. A bunch of horses obstructed our view, and
we could not see Takahashi until we ran round to the other side. The Jap
had the buckskin mustang up in a corner and was vigorously whacking him
with a huge pole. Not by any means was the mustang docile. Like a mule,
he kicked. "Hey George," yelled Lee, "don't kill him! What's the

Takahashi slammed the mustang one parting blow, which broke the club,
and then he turned to us. We could see from dust and dirt on his person
that he had lately been in close relation to the earth. Takahashi's face
was pale except for a great red lump on his jaw. The Jap was terribly
angry. He seemed hurt, too. With a shaking hand he pointed to the bruise
on his jaw.

"Look what he do!" exclaimed Takahashi. "He throw me off!... He kick me
awful hard! I kill him sure next time."

Lee and I managed to conceal our mirth until our irate cook had gotten
out of hearing. "Look--what--he--do!" choked Lee, imitating Takahashi.
Then Lee broke out and roared. I had to join him. I laughed till I
cried. My family and friends severely criticise this primitive trait of
mine, but I can not help it. Later I went to Takahashi and asked to
examine his jaw, fearing it might have been broken. This fear of mine,
however, was unfounded. Moreover the Jap had recovered from his pain and
anger. "More better now," he said, with a grin. "Maybe my fault anyhow."

Next day we rested, and the following morning was so fine and clear and
frosty that we decided to go hunting. We rode east on the way to See
Lake through beautiful deep forest.

I saw a deer trotting away into the woods. I jumped off, jerked out my
gun, and ran hard, hoping to see him in an opening. Lo! I jumped a herd
of six more deer, some of them bucks. They plunged everywhere. I tried
frantically to get my sights on one. All I could aim at was bobbing
ears. I shot twice, and of course missed. R.C. shot four times, once at
a running buck, and three at a small deer that he said was flying!

Here Copple and Haught caught up with us. We went on, and turned off the
road on the blazed trail to See Lake. It was pretty open forest, oaks
and scattered pines, and a few spruce. The first park we came to was a
flat grassy open, with places where deer licked the bare earth. Copple
left several pounds of salt in these spots. R.C. and I went up to the
upper end where he had seen deer before. No deer this day! But saw three
turkeys, one an old gobbler. We lost sight of them.

Then Copple and R.C. went one way and Haught and I another. We went
clear to the rim, and then circled around, and eventually met R.C. and
Copple. Together we started to return. Going down a little draw we found
water, and R.C. saw where a rock had been splashed with water and was
still wet. Then I saw a turkey track upon this rock. We slipped up the
slope, with me in the lead. As I came out on top, I saw five big
gobblers feeding. Strange how these game birds thrilled me! One saw me
and started to run. Like a streak! Another edged away into pines. Then I
espied one with his head and neck behind a tree and he was scratching
away in the pine needles. I could not see much of him, but that little
was not running, so I drew down upon him, tried to aim fine, and fired.
He leaped up with a roar of wings, sending the dust and needles flying.
Then he dropped back, and like a flash darted into a thicket.

Another flew straight out of the glade. Another ran like an ostrich in
the same direction. I tried to get the sights on him. In vain!

R.C. and Copple chased these two speeding turkeys, and Haught and I went
the other way. We could find no trace of ours. And we returned to our

Presently we heard shots. One--two--three--pause--then several more. And
finally more, to a total number of fifteen. I could not stand that and I
had to hurry back into the woods. I saw one old gobbler running wildly
around as if lost, but I did not shoot at him because he seemed to be in
line with the direction which R.C. and Copple had taken. I should have
run after him until he went some other way.

I could not find the hunters, and returned to our resting place, which
they had reached ahead of me. They had a turkey each, gobblers about two
years old Copple said.

R.C. told an interesting story of how he had run in the direction the
two turkeys had taken, and suddenly flushed thirty or forty more, some
big old gobblers, but mostly young. They scattered and ran. He followed
as fast as he could, shooting a few times. Copple could not keep up with
him, but evidently had a few shots himself. R.C. chased most of the
flock across several small canyons, till he came to a deep canyon. Here
he hoped to make a killing when the turkeys ran up the far slope. But
they flew across! And he heard them clucking over there. He crossed, and
went on cautiously. Once he saw three turkey heads sticking above a log.
Wise old gobblers! They protected their bodies while they watched for
him. He tried to get sidewise to them but they ran off. Then he followed
until once more he heard clucking.

Here he sat down, just beyond the edge of a canyon, and began to call
with his turkey wing. It thrilled him to hear his calls answered on all
sides. Here was a wonderful opportunity. He realized that the turkeys
were mostly young and scattered, and frightened, and wanted to come
together. He kept calling, and as they neared him on all sides he felt
something more than the zest of hunting. Suddenly Copple began to shoot.
Spang! Spang! Spang! R.C. saw the dust fly under one turkey. He heard
the bullet glance. The next shot killed a turkey. Then R.C. yelled that
he was no turkey! Then of that scattering flock he managed to knock over
one for himself.

Copple had been deceived by the call of an amateur. That flattered R.C.,
but he was keenly disappointed that Copple had spoiled the situation.

During the day the blue sky was covered by thin flying clouds that
gradually thickened and darkened. The wind grew keener and colder, and
veered to the southwest. We all said storm. There was no sunset Darker
clouds rolled up, obliterating the few stars.

We went to bed. Long after that I heard the swell and roar and crash and
lull of the wind in the pines, a sound I had learned to love in Buckskin
Forest with Buffalo Jones. At last I fell asleep.

Sometime in the night I awoke. A fine rain was pattering on the tent.
It grew stronger. After a while I went to sleep again. Upon awakening I
found that the storm had struck with a vengeance. It was dull gray
daylight, foggy, cold, windy, with rain and snow.

I got up, built a fire, puttered around the tents to loosen the ground
ropes, and found that it was nipping cold. My fingers ached. The storm
increased, and then we fully appreciated the tent with stove. The rain
roared on the tent roof, and all morning the wind increased, and the air
grew colder. I hoped it would turn to snow.

Soon indeed we were storm bound. On the third day the wind reached a
very high velocity. The roar in the pines was stupendous. Many times I
heard the dull crash of a falling tree. With the ground saturated by the
copious rain, and the fury of the storm blast, a great many trees were
felled. That night it rained all night, not so hard, but steadily, now
low, now vigorously. After morning snow began to fall. But it did not
lay long. After a while it changed to sleet. At times the dark,
lowering, scurrying clouds broke to emit a flare of sunshine and to show
a patch of blue. These last however were soon obscured by the scudding
gray pall. Every now and then a little shower of rain or sleet pattered
on the tents. We looked for a clearing up.

That night about eight o'clock the clouds vanished and stars shone. In
the night the wind rose and roared. In the morning all was dark, cloudy,
raw, cold. But the wind had died out, and there were spots of blue
showing. These spots enlarged as the morning advanced, and about nine
the sun, golden and dazzling, beautified the forest. "Bright sunny days
will soon come again!"

It was good to have hope and belief in that.

All the horses but Don Carlos weathered the storm in good shape. Don
lost considerable weight. He had never before been left with hobbled
feet to shift for himself in a prolonged storm of rain, sleet and snow.
He had cut himself upon brush, and altogether had fared poorly. He
showed plainly that he had been neglected. Don was the only horse I had
ever known of that did not welcome the wilderness and companionship with
his kind.

We rested the following day, and on the next we packed and started back
to Dude Creek. It was a cold, raw, bitter day, with a gale from the
north, such a day as I could never have endured had I not become
hardened. As it was I almost enjoyed wind and cold. What a
transformation in the woods! The little lakes were all frozen over;
pines, moss, grass were white with frost. The sear days had come. Not a
leaf showed in the aspen and maple thickets. The scrub oaks were shaggy
and ragged, gray as the rocks. From the rim the slopes looked steely and
dark, thinned out, showing the rocks and slides.

When we reached our old camp in Barber Shop Canyon we were all glad to
see Haught's lost burro waiting for us there. Not a scratch showed on
the shaggy lop-eared little beast. Haught for once unhobbled a burro and
set it free without a parting kick. Nielsen too had observed this
omission on Haught's part. Nielsen was a desert man and he knew burros.
He said prospectors were inclined to show affection for burros by sundry
cuffs and kicks. And Nielsen told me a story about Haught. It seemed the
bear hunter was noted for that habit of kicking burros. Sometimes he was
in fun and sometimes, when burros were obstinate, he was in earnest.
Upon one occasion a big burro stayed away from camp quite a long
time--long enough to incur Haught's displeasure. He needed the burro and
could not find it, and all he could do was to hunt for it. Upon
returning to camp there stood the big gray burro, lazy and fat, just as
if he had been perfectly well behaved. Haught put a halter on the burro,
using strong language the while, and then he proceeded to exercise his
habit of kicking burros. He kicked this one until its fat belly gave
forth sounds exceedingly like a bass drum. When Haught had ended his
exercise he tied up the burro. Presently a man came running into
Haught's camp. He appeared alarmed. He was wet and panting. Haught
recognized him as a miner from a mine nearby. "Hey Haught," panted the
miner, "hev you seen--your gray burro--thet big one--with white face?"

"Shore, there he is," replied Haught. "Son of a gun jest rustled home."

The miner appeared immensely relieved. He looked and looked at the gray
burro as if to make sure it was there, in the solid flesh, a really
tangible object. Then he said: "We was all afeared you'd kick the
stuffin's out of him!... Not an hour ago he was over at the mine, an' he
ate five sticks of dynamite! Five sticks! For Lord's sake handle him

Haught turned pale and suddenly sat down. "Ahuh!" was all he said. But
he had a strange hunted look. And not for a long time did he ever again
kick a burro!

       *       *       *       *       *

Hunting conditions at Dude Creek had changed greatly to our benefit. The
trappers had pulled up stakes and gone to some other section of the
country. There was not a hunting party within fifteen miles of our camp.
Leaves and acorns were all down; trails were soft and easy to travel; no
dust rose on the southern slopes; the days were cold and bright; in
every pocket and ravine there was water for the dogs; from any stand we
could see into the shaggy thickets where before all we could see was a
blaze of color.

In three days we drove Pyle's Canyon, Dude Creek, and the small
adjoining canyons, chasing in all nine bears, none of which ran anywhere
near R.C. or me. Old Dan gave out and had to rest every other day. So
the gloom again began to settle thick over the hopes of my faithful
friends. Long since, as in 1918, I had given up expectations of bagging
a bear or a buck. For R.C., however, my hopes still held good. At least
I did not give up for him. But he shared somewhat the feelings of the
men. Still he worked harder than ever, abandoning the idea of waiting on
one of the high stands, and took to the slopes under the rim where he
toiled down and up all day long. It pleased me to learn, presently, that
this activity, strenuous as it was, became a source of delight to him.
How different such toil was from waiting and watching on the rim!

On November first, a bitter cold morning, with ice in the bright air, we
went back to Pyle's Canyon, and four of us went down with Edd and the
hounds. We had several chases, and about the middle of the forenoon I
found myself alone, making tracks for the saddle over-looking Bear
Canyon. Along the south side of the slope, in the still air the sun was
warm, but when I got up onto the saddle, in an exposed place, the wind
soon chilled me through. I would keep my stand until I nearly froze,
then I had to go around to the sunny sheltered side and warm up. The
hounds finally got within hearing again, and eventually appeared to be
in Bear Canyon, toward the mouth. I decided I ought to go round the
ridge on the east side and see if I could hear better. Accordingly I set
off, and the hard going over the sunny slope was just what I needed.
When I reached the end of the ridge, under the great dome, I heard the
hounds below me, somewhat to my left. Running and plowing down through
the brush I gained the edge of the bluff, just in time to see some of
the hounds passing on. They had run a bear through that thicket, and if
I had been there sooner I would have been fortunate. But too late! I
worked around the head of this canyon and across a wide promontory.
Again I heard the hounds right under me. They came nearer, and soon I
heard rolling rocks and cracking brush, which sounds I believed were
made by a bear. After a while I espied Old Tom and Rock working up the
canyon on a trail. Then I was sure I would get a shot. Presently,
however, Old Tom left the trail and started back. Rock came on, climbed
the ridge, and hearing me call he came to me. I went over to the place
where he had climbed out and found an enormous bear track pointing in
the direction the hounds had come. They had back-trailed him. Rock went
back to join Old Tom. Some of the pack were baying at a great rate in
the mouth of the next canyon. But an impassable cliff prevented me from
working around to that point. So I had to address myself to the long
steep climb upward. I had not gone far when I crossed the huge bear
track that Rock and Old Tom had given up. This track was six inches wide
and ten inches long. The bear that had made it had come down this very
morning from over the ridge east of Bear Canyon. I trailed him up this
ridge, over the steepest and roughest and wildest part of it, marveling
at the enormous steps and jumps he made, and at the sagacity which
caused him to choose this route instead of the saddle trail where I had
waited so long. His track led up nearly to the rim and proved how he had
climbed over the most rugged break in the ridge. Indeed he was one of
the wise old scoundrels. When I reached camp I learned that Sue and
several more of the hounds had held a bear for some time in the box of
the canyon just beyond where I had to give up. Edd and Nielsen were
across this canyon, unable to go farther, and then yelled themselves
hoarse, trying to call some of us. I asked Edd if he saw the bear. "Sure
did," replied Edd. "One of them long, lean, hungry cinnamons." I had to
laugh, and told how near I had come to meeting a bear that was short,
fat, and heavy: "One of the old Jasper scoundrels!"

That night at dark the wind still blew a gale, and seemed more bitterly
cold. We hugged the camp-fire. My eyes smarted from the smoke and my
face grew black. Before I went to bed I toasted myself so thoroughly
that my clothes actually burned me as I lay down. But they heated the
blankets and that made my bed snug and soon I was in the land of dreams.
During the night I awoke. The wind had lulled. The canopy above was
clear, cold, starry, beautiful. When we rolled out the mercury showed
ten above zero. Perhaps looking at the thermometer made us feel colder,
but in any event we would have had to move about to keep warm. I built a
fire and my hands were blocks of ice when I got the blaze stirring.

That day, so keen and bright, so wonderful with its clarity of
atmosphere and the breath of winter through the pines, promised to be as
exciting as it was beautiful. Maybe this day R.C. would bag a bear!

When we reached the rim the sunrise was just flushing the purple basin,
flooding with exquisite gold and rose light the slumberous shadows. What
a glorious wilderness to greet the eye at sunrise! I suffered a pang to
realize what men missed--what I had to miss so many wonderful mornings.

We had made our plan. The hounds had left a bear in the second canyon
east of Dude. Edd started down. Copple and Takahashi followed to hug the
lower slopes. Nielsen and Haught and George held to the rim to ride east
in case the hounds chased a bear that way. And R.C. and I were to try to
climb out and down a thin rock-crested ridge which, so far as Haught
knew, no one had ever been on.

Looked at from above this ridge was indeed a beautiful and rugged
backbone of rock, sloping from the rim, extending far out and down--a
very narrow knife-edge extended promontory, green with cedar and pine,
yellow and gray with its crags and rocks. A craggy point comparable to
some of those in the Grand Canyon! We had to study a way to get across
the first deep fissures, and eventually descended far under the crest
and climbed back. It was desperately hard work, for we had so little
time. R.C. was to be at the middle of that ridge and I at the end in an
hour. Like Trojans we worked. Some slippery pine-needle slopes we had to
run across, for light quick steps were the only means of safe travel.
And that was not safe! When we surmounted to the crest we found a jumble
of weathered rocks ready to slide down on either side. Slabs, pyramids,
columns, shale, rocks of all shapes except round, lay toppling along the
heaved ridge. It seemed the whole ridge was ready to thunder down into
the abyss. Half a mile down and out from the rim we felt lost, marooned.
But there was something splendidly thrilling in our conquest of that
narrow upflung edge of mountain. Twice R.C. thought we would have to
abandon further progress, but I found ways to go on. How lonely and wild
out there! No foot save an Indian's had ever trod those gray rocks or
brown mats of pine needles.

Before we reached the dip or saddle where R.C. was to make his stand the
hounds opened up far below. The morning was perfectly still, an unusual
occurrence there along the rim. What wild music! Then Edd's horn pealed
out, ringing melody, a long blast keen and clear, telling us above that
he had started a bear. That made us hurry. We arrived at the head of an
incline leading down to R.C.'s stand. As luck would have it the place
was ideal for a bear, but risky for a hunter. A bear could come four
ways without being seen until he was close enough to kill a man. We
hurried on. At the saddle there was a broad bear trail with several
other trails leading into it. Suddenly R.C. halted me with a warning
finger. "Listen!"

I heard a faint clear rifle shot. Then another, and a fainter yell. We
stood there and counted eleven more shots. Then the bay of the hounds
seemed to grow closer. We had little time to pick and choose stands. I
had yet to reach the end of the ridge--a task requiring seven-league
boots. But I took time to choose the best possible stand for R.C. and
that was one where a bear approaching from only the east along under the
ridge could surprise him. In bad places like this we always tried to
have our minds made up what to do and where to get in case of being
charged by a wounded grizzly. In this instance there was not a rock or a
tree near at hand. "R.C. you'll have to stand your ground and kill him,
that's all," I declared, grimly. "But it's quiet. You can hear a bear
coming. If you do hear one--wait--and make sure your first shot lets him

"Don't worry. I could hear a squirrel coming over this ground," replied

Then I went on, not exactly at ease in mind, but stirred and thrilled to
the keen charged atmosphere. I had to go around under the base of a
rocky ledge, over rough ground. Presently I dropped into a bear trail,
well trodden. I followed it to a corner of cliff where it went down.
Then I kept on over loose rock and bare earth washed deep in ruts. I had
to leap these. Perhaps in ten minutes I had traveled a quarter of a mile
or less. Then spang! R.C.'s rifle-shot halted me. So clear and sharp,
so close, so startling! I was thrilled, delighted--he had gotten a
shot. I wanted to yell my pleasure. My blood warmed and my nerves
tingled. Swiftly my thoughts ran--bad luck was nothing--a man had only
to stick at a thing--what a fine, sharp, wonderful day for adventure!
How the hounds bayed! Had R.C. sighted a bear somewhere below? Suddenly
the still air split--spang! R.C.'s second shot gave me a shock. My
breast contracted. I started back. "Suppose it was a grizzly--on that
bad side!" I muttered. Spang!... I began to run. A great sweeping wave
of emotion charged over me, swelling all my veins to the bursting point.
Spang! My heart came to my throat. Leaping the ruts, bounding like a
sheep from rock to rock, I covered my back tracks. All inside me seemed
to flutter, yet I felt cold and hard--a sickening sense of reproach that
I had left my brother in a bad position. Spang! His fifth and last
shot followed swiftly after the fourth--too swift to be accurate. So
hurriedly a man would act in close quarters. R.C. now had an empty
rifle!... Like a flash I crossed that slope leading to the rocks, and
tore around the cliff at such speed that it was a wonder I did not pitch
down and break my neck. How long--how terribly long I seemed in reaching
the corner of cliff! Then I plunged to a halt with eyes darting

R.C. was not in sight. The steep curved neck of slope seemed all rocks,
all trees, all brush. Then I heard a wild hoarse bawl and a loud
crashing of brush. My gaze swerved to an open spot. A patch of manzanita
seemed to blur round a big bear, standing up, fighting the branches,
threshing and growling. But where was R.C.? Fearfully my gaze peered
near and all around this wounded bear. "Hey there!" I yelled with all my

R.C.'s answer was another spang. I heard the bullet hit the bear. It
must have gone clear through him for I saw bits of fur and manzanita
fly. The bear plunged out of the bushes--out of my sight. How he crashed
the brush--rolled the rocks! I listened. Down and down he crashed. Then
the sound changed somewhat. He was rolling. At last that thumping sound
ceased, and after it the roll of rocks.

"Are you--all right?" I shouted.

Then, after a moment that made me breathless, I heard R.C. laugh, a
little shakily. "Sure am.... Did you see him?"

"Yes. I think he's your bear."

"I'm afraid he's got away. The hounds took another bear down the canyon.
What'll we do?"

"Come on down," I said.

Fifty yards or more down the slope we met. I showed him a great splotch
of blood on a flat stone. "We'll find him not far down," I said. So we
slid and crawled, and held to brush and rocks, following that bloody
trail until we came to a ledge. From there I espied the bear lodged
against a manzanita bush. He lay on his back, all four paws extended,
and he was motionless. R.C. and I sat down right there on the ledge.

"Looks pretty big--black and brown--mostly brown," I said. "I'm glad,
old man, you stuck it out."

"Big!..." exclaimed R.C. with that same peculiar little laugh. "He
doesn't look big now. But up there he looked like a hill.... What do you
think? He came up that very way you told me to look out for. And if I
hadn't had ears he'd got right on me. As it was, when I heard little
rolling stones, and then saw him, he was almost on a level with me. My
nerve was all right. I knew I had him. And I made sure of my first shot.
I knocked him flat. But he got up--let out an awful snarl--and plunged
my way. I can't say I know he charged me. Only it was just the same as
if he had!... I knocked him down again and this time he began to kick
and jump down the slope. That was my best shot. Think I missed him the
next three. You see I had time to get shaky. If he had kept coming at
me--good night!... I had trouble loading. But when I got ready again I
ran down and saw him in that bush. Wasn't far from him then. When he let
out that bawl he saw me. I don't know much about bears, but I know he
wanted to get at me. And I'm sure of what he'd have done.... I didn't
miss my last shot."

We sat there a while longer, slowly calming down. Wonderful indeed had
been some of the moments of thrill, but there had been others not
conducive to happiness. Why do men yearn for adventure in wild moments
and regret the risks and spilled blood afterward?


The hounds enjoyed a well-earned rest the next day. R.C. and I, behind
Haught's back, fed them all they could eat. The old hunter had a fixed
idea that dogs should be kept lean and hungry so they would run bears
the better. Perhaps he was right. Only I could not withstand Old Dan and
Old Tom as they limped to me, begging and whining. Yet not even sore
feet and hunger could rob these grand old hounds of their dignity. For
an hour that morning I sat beside them in a sunny spot.

In the afternoon Copple took me on a last deer hunt for that trip. We
rode down the canyon a mile, and climbed out on the west slope. Haught
had described this country as a "wolf" to travel. He used that word to
designate anything particularly tough. We found the ridge covered with a
dense forest, in places a matted jungle of pine saplings. These thickets
were impenetrable. Heavy snows had bent the pines so that they grew at
an angle. We found it necessary to skirt these thickets, and at that,
sometimes had to cut our way through with our little axes. Hunting was
scarcely possible under such conditions. Still we did not see any deer

Eventually we crossed this ridge, or at least the jungle part of it, and
got lower down into hollows and swales full of aspens. Copple recognized
country he had hunted before. We made our way up a long shallow hollow
that ended in an open where lay the remains of an old log cabin, and
corrals. From under a bluff bubbled a clear beautiful spring. Copple
looked all around slowly, with strange expression, and at last,
dismounting he knelt to drink of the spring.

"Ah-h-good!" he exclaimed, after a deep draught. "Get down an' drink.
Snow water an' it never goes dry."

Indeed it was so cold it made my teeth ache, and so pure and sweet that
I drank until I could hold no more. Deer and cat and bear tracks showed
along the margin of clean sand. Lower down were fresh turkey tracks. A
lonely spring in the woods visited by wild game! This place was
singularly picturesque and beautiful. The purest drinking water is found
in wild forest or on mountains. Men, cities, civilization contaminate
waters that are not isolated.

Copple told me a man named Mitchell had lived in that lonely place
thirty years ago. Copple, as a boy, had worked for him--had ridden wild
bronchos and roped wild steers in that open, many and many a day.
Something of unconscious pathos showed in Copple's eyes as he gazed
around, and in his voice. We all hear the echoing footsteps of the past
years! In those days Copple said the ranch was overrun by wild game, and
wild horses too.

We rode on westward, to come out at length on the rim of a magnificent
canyon. It was the widest and deepest and wildest gorge I had come
across in this country. So deep that only a faint roar of running water
reached our ears! The slopes were too steep for man, let alone a horse;
and the huge cliffs and giant spruces gave it a singularly rugged
appearance. We saw deer on the opposite slope. Copple led along the
edge, searching for traces of an old trail where Mitchell used to drive
cattle across. We did not find a trail, but we found a place where
Copple said one used to be. I could see no signs of it. Here leading his
horse with one hand and wielding his little axe with the other Copple
started down. For my part I found going down remarkably easy. The only
trouble I had was to hold on, so I would not go down like a flash.
Stockings, my horse, had in a few weeks become a splendid traveler in
the forest. He had learned to restrain his spirit and use his
intelligence. Wherever I led he would go and that without any fear.
There is something fine in constant association with an intelligent
horse under such circumstances. In bad places Stockings braced his
forefeet, sat on his haunches, and slid, sometimes making me jump to get
out of his way. We found the canyon bed a narrow notch, darkly rich and
green, full of the melody of wild birds and murmuring brook, with huge
rocks all stained gold and russet, and grass as high as our knees. Frost
still lingered in the dark, cool, shady retreat; and where the sun
struck a narrow strip of the gorge there was warm, sweet, dry breath of
the forest. But for the most part, down here all was damp, dank, cool
shadow where sunshine never reached, and where the smells were of dead
leaves and wet moss and ferns and black rich earth.

Impossible we found it to ascend the other slope where we had seen the
deer, so we had to ride up the canyon, a matter greatly to my liking.
Copple thought I was hunting with him, but really, except to follow him,
I did not think of the meaning of his slow wary advance. Only a few more
days had I to roam the pine-scented forest. That ride up this deep gorge
was rich in sensation. Sun and sky and breeze and forest encompassed me.
The wilderness was all about me; and I regretted when the canyon lost
its splendid ruggedness, and became like the others I had traversed, and
at last grew to be a shallow grassy ravine, with patches of gray aspens
along the tiny brook.

As we climbed out once more, this time into an open, beautiful pine
forest, with little patches of green thicket, I seemed to have been
drugged by the fragrance and the color and the beauty of the wild. For
when Copple called low and sharp: "Hist!" I stared uncomprehendingly at

"Deer!" he whispered, pointing. "Get off an' smoke 'em up!"

Something shot through me--a different kind of thrill. Ahead in the open
I saw gray, graceful, wild forms trotting away. Like a flash I slid off
my horse and jerked out my rifle. I ran forward a few steps. The deer
had halted--were gazing at us with heads up and ears high. What a wild
beautiful picture! As I raised my rifle they seemed to move and vanish
in the green. The hunter in me, roused at last, anathematized my
miserable luck. I ran ahead another few steps, to be halted by Copple.
"Buck!" he called, sharply. "Hurry!" Then, farther on in the open, out
in the sunlight, I saw a noble stag, moving, trotting toward us. Keen,
hard, fierce in my intensity, I aligned the sights upon his breast and
fired. Straight forward and high he bounded, to fall with a heavy thud.

Copple's horse, startled by my shot, began to snort and plunge. "Good
shot," yelled Copple. "He's our meat."

What possessed me I knew not, but I ran ahead of Copple. My eyes
searched avidly the bush-dotted ground for my quarry. The rifle felt hot
in my tight grip. All inside me was a tumult--eager, keen, wild
excitement. The great pines, the green aisles leading away into the
woods, the shadows under the thickets, the pine-pitch tang of the air,
the loneliness of that lonely forest--all these seemed familiar, sweet,
beautiful, things mine alone, things seen and smelled and felt before,
things ... Then suddenly I ran right upon my deer, lying motionless,
dead I thought. He appeared fairly large, with three-point antlers. I
heard Copple's horse thudding the soft earth behind me, and I yelled: "I
got him, Ben." That was a moment of exultation.

It ended suddenly. Something halted me. My buck, now scarcely fifteen
feet from me, began to shake and struggle. He raised his head, uttering
a choking gasp. I heard the flutter of blood in his throat. He raised
himself on his front feet and lifted his head high, higher, until his
nose pointed skyward and his antlers lay back upon his shoulders. Then a
strong convulsion shook him. I heard the shuddering wrestle of his whole
body. I heard the gurgle and flow of blood. Saw the smoke of fresh blood
and smelled it! I saw a small red spot in his gray breast where my
bullet had struck. I saw a great bloody gaping hole on his rump where
the.30 Gov't expanding bullet had come out. From end to end that bullet
had torn! Yet he was not dead. Straining to rise again!

I saw, felt all this in one flashing instant. And as swiftly my spirit
changed. What I might have done I never knew, but most likely I would
have shot him through the brain. Only a sudden action of the stag
paralyzed all my force. He lowered his head. He saw me. And dying, with
lungs and heart and bowels shot to shreds, he edged his stiff front feet
toward me, he dragged his afterquarters, he slid, he flopped, he
skittered convulsively at me. No fear in the black, distended, wild

Only hate, only terrible, wild, unquenchable spirit to live long enough
to kill me! I saw it, He meant to kill me. How magnificent, how horrible
this wild courage! My eyes seemed riveted upon him, as he came closer,
closer. He gasped. Blood sputtered from his throat. But more terrible
than agony, than imminent death was the spirit of this wild beast to
slay its enemy. Inch by inch he skidded closer to me, with a convulsive
quivering awful to see. No veil of the past, no scale of civilization
between beast and man then! Enemies as old as the earth! I had shot him
to eat, and he would kill me before he died. For me the moment was
monstrous. No hunter was I then, but a man stricken by the spirit and
mystery of life, by the agony and terror of death, by the awful strange
sense that this stag would kill me.

But Copple galloped up, and drawing his revolver, he shot the deer
through the head. It fell in a heap.

"Don't ever go close to a crippled deer," admonished my comrade, as he
leaped off his horse. "I saw a fellow once that was near killed by a
buck he'd taken for dead.... Strange the way this buck half stood up.
Reckon he meant bad, but he was all in. You hit him plumb center."

"Yes, Ben, it was--strange," I replied, soberly. I caught Copple's keen
dark glance studying me. "When you open him up--see what my bullet did,
will you?"

"All right. Help me hang him to a snag here," returned Copple, as he
untied his lasso.

When we got the deer strung up I went off into the woods, and sat on a
log, and contended with a queer sort of sickness until it passed away.
But it left a state of mind that I knew would require me to probe into
myself, and try to understand once and for all time this bloodthirsy
tendency of man to kill. It would force me to try to analyze the
psychology of hunting. Upon my return to Copple I found he had the buck
ready to load upon his horse. His hands were bright red. He was wiping
his hunting-knife on a bunch of green pine needles.

"That 150-grain soft-nose bullet is some executioner," he declared,
forcefully. "Your bullet mushroomed just after it went into his breast.
It tore his lung to pieces, cut open his heart, made a mess of kidneys
an' paunch, an' broke his spine.... An' look at this hole where it came

I helped Copple heave the load on his saddle and tie it securely, and I
got my hands red at the job, but I did not really look at the buck
again. And upon our way back to camp I rode in the lead all the way. We
reached camp before sunset, where I had to endure the felicitations of
R.C. and my comrades, all of whom were delighted that at last I had
gotten a buck. Takahashi smiled all over his broad brown face. "My
goodnish! I awful glad! Nice fat deer!"

That night I lay awake a long time, and though aware of the moan of the
wind in the pines and the tinkle of the brook, and the melancholy hoot
of an owl, and later the still, sad, black silence of the midnight
hours, I really had no pleasure in them. My mind was active.

Boys are inherently cruel. The games they play, at least those they
invent, instinctively partake of some element of brute nature. They
chase, they capture, they imprison, they torture, and they kill. No
secret rendezvous of a boy's pirate gang ever failed to be soaked with
imaginary blood! And what group of boys have not played at being
pirates? The Indian games are worse--scalping, with red-hot cinders
thrown upon the bleeding head, and the terrible running of the gauntlet,
and burning at the stake.

What youngster has not made wooden knives to spill the blood of his
pretended enemies? Little girls play with dolls, and with toy houses,
and all the implements of making a home; but sweet and dear as the
little angels are they love a boy's game, and if they can through some
lucky accident participate in one it is to scream and shudder and fight,
indeed like the females of the species. No break here between these
little mothers of doll-babies and the bloody mothers of the French
Revolution, or of dusky, naked, barbarian children of a primitive day!

Boys love the chase. And that chase depends upon environment. For want
of wild game they will harry a poor miserable tom-cat with sticks and
stones. I belonged once to a gang of young ruffians who chased the
neighbor's chickens, killed them with clubs, and cooked them in tin
cans, over a hidden fire. Boys love nothing so much as to chase a
squirrel or a frightened little chipmunk back and forth along a rail
fence. They brandish their sticks, run and yell, dart to and fro, like
young Indians. They rob bird's nests, steal the eggs, pierce them and
blow them. They capture the young birds, and are not above killing the
parents that fly frantically to the rescue. I knew of boys who ground
captured birds to death on a grindstone. Who has not seen a boy fling
stones at a helpless hop-toad?

As boys grow older to the age of reading they select, or at least love
best, those stories of bloodshed and violence. Stevenson wrote that boys
read for some element of the brute instinct in them. His two wonderful
books Treasure Island and Kidnapped are full of fight and the
killing of men. Robinson Crusoe is the only great boy's book I ever
read that did not owe its charm to fighting. But still did not old
Crusoe fight to live on his lonely island? And this wonderful tale is
full of hunting, and has at the end the battle with cannibals.

When lads grow up they become hunters, almost without exception, at
least in spirit if not in deed. Early days and environment decide
whether or not a man becomes a hunter. In all my life I have met only
two grown men who did not care to go prowling and hunting in the woods
with a gun. An exception proves a great deal, but all the same most men,
whether they have a chance or not, love to hunt. Hunters, therefore,
there are of many degrees. Hunters of the lowly cotton-tail and the
woodland squirrel; hunters of quail, woodcock, and grouse; hunters of
wild ducks and geese; hunters of foxes--the red-coated English and the
homespun clad American; hunters--which is a kinder name for trappers--of
beaver, marten, otter, mink, all the furred animals; hunters of deer,
cat, wolf, bear, antelope, elk, moose, caribou; hunters of the barren
lands where the ice is king and where there are polar bears, white
foxes, musk-ox, walrus. Hunters of different animals of different
countries. African hunters for lion, rhinoceros, elephant, buffalo,
eland, hartebeest, giraffe, and a hundred species made known to all the
world by such classical sportsmen as Selous, Roosevelt, Stewart Edward

But they are all hunters and their game is the deadly chase in the open
or the wild. There are hunters who hate action, who hate to walk and
climb and toil and wear themselves out to get a shot. Such men are
hunters still, but still not men! There are hunters who have game driven
up to them. I heard a story told by an officer whom I believe. In the
early days of the war he found himself somewhere on the border between
Austria and Germany. He was invited to a hunt by personages of high
degree. They motored to a sequestered palace in the forest, and next day
motored to a shooting-lodge. At daylight he was called, and taken to the
edge of a forest and stationed in an open glade. His stand was an
upholstered divan placed high in the forks of a tree. His guide told him
that pretty soon a doe would come out of the forest. But he was not to
shoot it. In fifteen minutes a lame buck would come out. But he was not
to shoot that one either. In ten more minutes another buck would come
out, and this third deer he was to kill. My informant told me this was
all very seriously meant. The gun given him was large enough in calibre
to kill an elephant. He walked up the steps to the comfortable divan and
settled himself to await events. The doe trotted out exactly on schedule
time. So did the lame buck. They came from the woods and were not
frightened. The third deer, a large buck, was a few moments late--three
minutes to be exact. According to instructions the American killed this
buck--a matter that took some nerve he said, for the buck walked out
like a cow. That night a big supper was given in the guest's honor. He
had to eat certain parts of the buck he had killed, and drink flagons of
wine. This kind of hunting must be peculiarly German or Austrian, and
illustrates the peculiar hunting ways of men.

A celebrated bear hunter and guide of the northwest told me that for
twenty years he had been taking eastern ministers--preachers of the
gospel--on hunting trips into the wild. He assured me that of all the
bloody murderers--waders in gore, as he expressed it--these teachers of
the gospel were the worst. The moment they got out into the wild they
wanted to kill, kill, kill. He averred their natures seemed utterly to

In reading the books of hunters and in listening to their talks at
Camp-fire Club dinners I have always been struck with the expression of
what these hunters felt, what they thought they got out of hunting. The
change from city to the open wilderness; the difference between noise,
tumult, dirt, foul air, and the silence, the quiet, the cleanness and
purity; the sweet breath of God's country as so many called it; the
beauty of forest and mountain; the wildness of ridge and valley; the
wonder of wild animals in their native haunts; and the zest, the joy,
the excitement, the magnificent thrill of the stalk and the chase. No
one of them ever dwelt upon the kill! It was mentioned, as a result, an
end, a consummation. How strange that hunters believed these were the
attractions of the chase! They felt them, to be sure, in some degree, or
they would not remember them. But they never realized that these
sensations were only incidental to hunting.

Men take long rides, hundreds and thousands of miles, to hunt. They
endure hardships, live in camps with absolute joy. They stalk through
the forest, climb the craggy peaks, labor as giants in the building of
the pyramids, all with a tight clutch on a deadly rifle. They are keen,
intent, strained, quiveringly eager all with a tight clutch on a deadly
rifle. If hunters think while on a stalk--which matter I doubt
considerably--they think about the lay of the land, or the aspect of it,
of the habits and possibilities of their quarry, of their labor and
chances, and particularly of the vague unrealized sense of comfort,
pleasure, satisfaction in the moment. Tight muscles, alert eyes,
stealthy steps, stalk and run and crawl and climb, breathlessness, a hot
close-pressed chest, thrill on thrill, and sheer bursting riot of nerve
and vein--these are the ordinary sensations and actions of a hunter. No
ascent too lofty--no descent too perilous for him then, if he is a man
as well as a hunter!

Take the Brazilian hunter of the jungle. He is solitary. He is
sufficient to himself. He is a survival of the fittest. The number of
his tribe are few. Nature sees to that. But he must eat, and therefore
he hunts. He spears fish and he kills birds and beasts with a blow-gun.
He hunts to live. But the manner of his action, though more skilful, is
the same as any hunter's. Likewise his sensations, perhaps more vivid
because hunting for him is a matter of life or death. Take the Gaucho of
Patagonia--the silent lonely Indian hunter of the Pampas. He hunts with
a bola, a thin thong or string at each end of which is a heavy
leather-covered ball of stone or iron. This the Gaucho hurls through the
air at the neck or legs of his quarry. The balls fly round--the thong
binds tight--it is a deadly weapon. The user of it rides and stalks and
sees and throws and feels the same as any other hunter. Time and place,
weapon and game have little to do with any differences in hunters.

Up to this 1919 hunting trip in the wilds I had always marveled at the
fact that naturalists and biologists hate sportsmen. Not hunters like
the Yellow Knife Indians, or the snake-eating Bushmen of Australia, or
the Terra-del-Fuegians, or even the native country rabbit-hunters--but
the so-called sportsmen. Naturalists and biologists have simply learned
the truth why men hunt, and that when it is done in the name of sport,
or for sensation, it is a degenerate business. Stevenson wrote beautiful
words about "the hunter home from the hill," but so far as I can find
out he never killed anything himself. He was concerned with the romance
of the thought, with alliteration, and the singular charm of the
truth--sunset and the end of the day, the hunter's plod down the hill to
the cottage, to the home where wife and children awaited him. Indeed it
is a beautiful truth, and not altogether in the past, for there are
still farmers and pioneers.

Hunting is a savage primordial instinct inherited from our ancestors.
It goes back through all the ages of man, and farther still--to the age
when man was not man, but hairy ape, or some other beast from which we
are descended. To kill is in the very marrow of our bones. If man after
he developed into human state had taken to vegetable diet--which he
never did take--he yet would have inherited the flesh-eating instincts
of his animal forebears. And no instinct is ever wholly eradicated. But
man was a meat eater. By brute strength, by sagacity, by endurance he
killed in order to get the means of subsistence. If he did not kill he
starved. And it is a matter of record, even down to modern times, that
man has existed by cannibalism.

The cave-man stalked from his hole under a cliff, boldly forth with his
huge club or stone mace. Perhaps he stole his neighbor's woman, but if
so he had more reason to hunt than before--he had to feed her as well as
himself. This cave-man, savagely descended, savagely surrounded, must
have had to hunt all the daylight hours and surely had to fight to kill
his food, or to keep it after he killed it. Long, long ages was the
being called cave-man in developing; more long ages he lived on the
earth, in that dim dark mystic past; and just as long were his
descendants growing into another and higher type of barbarian. But they
and their children and grandchildren, and all their successive,
innumerable, and varying descendants had to hunt meat and eat meat to

The brain of barbarian man was small, as shown by the size and shape of
his skull, but there is no reason to believe its construction and use
were any different from the use of other organs--the eye to see
with--the ear to hear with--the palate to taste with. Whatever the brain
of primitive man was it held at birth unlimited and innumerable
instincts like those of its progenitors; and round and smooth in
babyhood, as it was, it surely gathered its sensations, one after
another in separate and habitual channels, until when manhood arrived it
had its convolutions, its folds and wrinkles. And if instinct and
tendency were born in the brain how truly must they be a part of bone,
tissue, blood.

We cannot escape our inheritance. Civilization is merely a veneer, a
thin-skinned polish over the savage and crude nature. Fear, anger, lust,
the three great primal instincts are restrained, but they live
powerfully in the breast of man. Self preservation is the first law of
human life, and is included in fear. Fear of death is the first
instinct. Then if for thousands, perhaps millions of years, man had to
hunt because of his fear of death, had to kill meat to survive--consider
the ineradicable and permanent nature of the instinct.

The secret now of the instinctive joy and thrill and wildness of the
chase lies clear.

Stealing through the forest or along the mountain slope, eyes roving,
ears sensitive to all vibrations of the air, nose as keen as that of a
hound, hands tight on a deadly rifle, we unconsciously go back. We go
back to the primitive, to the savage state of man. Therein lies the joy.
How sweet, vague, unreal those sensations of strange familiarity with
wild places we know we never saw before! But a million years before that
hour a hairy ancestor of ours felt the same way in the same kind of a
place, and in us that instinct survives. That is the secret of the
wonderful strange charm of wild places, of the barren rocks of the
desert wilderness, of the great-walled lonely canyons. Something now in
our blood, in our bones once danced in men who lived then in similar
places. And lived by hunting!

The child is father to the man. In the light of this instinct how easy
to understand his boyish cruelty. He is true to nature. Unlimited and
infinite in his imagination when he hunts--whether with his toys or
with real weapons. If he flings a stone and kills a toad he is
instinctively killing meat for his home in the cave. How little
difference between the lad and the man! For a man the most poignantly
exciting, the most thrillingly wild is the chase when he is weaponless,
when he runs and kills his quarry with a club. Here we have the essence
of the matter. The hunter is proudest of his achievement in which he has
not had the help of deadly weapons. Unconsciously he will brag and glow
over that conquest wherein lay greatest peril to him--when he had
nothing but his naked hands. What a hot gush of blood bursts over him!
He goes back to his barbarian state when a man only felt. The savage
lived in his sensations. He saw, heard, smelled, tasted, touched, but
seldom thought. The earthy, the elemental of eye and ear and skin
surrounded him. When the man goes into the wilderness to change into a
hunter that surviving kinship with the savage revives in his being, and
all unconsciously dominates him with driving passion. Passion it is
because for long he has been restrained in the public haunts of men. His
real nature has been hidden. The hunting of game inhibits his thoughts.
He feels only. He forgets himself. He sees the track, he hears the
stealthy step, he smells the wild scent; and his blood dances with the
dance of the ages. Then he is a killer. Then the ages roll back. Then he
is brother to the savage. Then all unconsciously he lives the chase, the
fight, the death-dealing moment as they were lived by all his ancestors
down through the misty past.

What then should be the attitude of a thoughtful man toward this
liberation of an instinct--that is to say, toward the game or sport or
habit of hunting to kill? Not easily could I decide this for myself.
After all life is a battle. Eternally we are compelled to fight. If we
do not fight, if we do not keep our bodies strong, supple, healthy, soon
we succumb to some germ or other that gets a hold in our blood or lungs
and fights for its life, its species, until it kills us. Fight therefore
is absolutely necessary to long life, and Alas! eventually that fight
must be lost. The savages, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks all
worshipped physical prowess in man. Manhood, strength--the symbols of
fight! To be physically strong and well a man must work hard, with
frequent intervals of change of exercise, and he must eat meat. I am not
a great meat eater, but I doubt if I could do much physical labor or any
brain work on a vegetable diet. Therefore I hold it fair and manly to go
once a year to the wilderness to hunt. Let that hunt be clean hard toil,
as hard as I can stand! Perhaps nature created the lower animals for the
use of man. If I had been the creator I think I would have made it
possible for the so-called higher animal man to live on air.

Somewhere I read a strange remarkable story about monkeys and priests in
the jungle of India. An old order of priests had from time out of mind
sent two of their comrades into the jungle to live with the monkeys, to
tame them, feed them, study them, love them. And these priests told an
incredible story, yet one that haunted with its possibilities of truth.
After a long term of years in which one certain priest had lived with
the monkeys and they had learned truly he meant them no harm and only
loved them, at rare moments an old monkey would come to him and weep and
weep in the most terrible and tragic manner. This monkey wanted to tell
something, but could not speak. But the priest knew that the monkey was
trying to tell him how once the monkey people had been human like him.
Only they had retrograded in the strange scale of evolution. And the
terrible weeping was for loss--loss of physical stature, of speech,
perhaps of soul.

What a profound and stunning idea! Does evolution work backward? Could
nature in its relentless inscrutable design for the unattainable
perfection have developed man only to start him backward toward the dim
ages whence he sprang? Who knows! But every man can love wild animals.
Every man can study and try to understand the intelligence of his horse,
the loyalty of his dog. And every hunter can hunt less with his
instinct, and more with an understanding of his needs, and a
consideration for the beasts only the creator knows.


The last day of everything always comes. Time, like the tide, waits for
no man. Anticipation is beautiful, but it is best and happiest to enjoy
the present. Live while we may!

On this last day of my hunt we were up almost before it was light enough
to see. The morning star shone radiant in the dark gray sky. All the
other stars seemed dimmed by its glory. Silent as a grave was the
forest. I started a fire, chopped wood so vigorously that I awakened
Nielsen who came forth like a burly cave-man; and I washed hands and
face in the icy cold brook. By the time breakfast was over the gold of
the rising sun was tipping the highest pines on the ridges.

We started on foot, leaving the horses hobbled near camp. All the hounds
appeared fit. Even Old Dan trotted along friskily. Pyle, a neighbor of
Haught's, had come to take a hunt with us, bringing two dogs with him.
For this last day I had formulated a plan. Edd and one of the boys were
to take the hounds down on the east side of the great ridge that made
the eastern wall of Dude Canyon. R.C. was to climb out on this ridge,
and take his position at the most advantageous point. We had already
chased half a dozen bears over this saddle, one of which was the big
frosty-coated grizzly that Edd and Nielsen had shot at. The rest of us
hurried to the head of Dude Canyon. Copple and I were to go down to the
first promontories under the rim. The others were to await developments
and go where Haught thought best to send them.

Copple and I started down over and around the crags, going carefully
until we reached the open slope under the rim-rock. It seemed this
morning that I was fresh, eager, agile like a goat on my feet. In my
consciousness of this I boasted to Copple that I would dislodge fewer
stones and so make less noise than he. The canyon sloped at an angle of
about forty-five degrees, and we slid, stepped, jumped and ran down
without starting an avalanche.

When we descended to the first bare cape of projecting rock the hour was
the earliest in which I had been down under the rim. All the canyon and
the great green gulf below were unusually fresh and beautiful. I heard
the lonely call of strange birds and the low murmur of running water. An
eagle soared in the sunlight. High above us to the east rose the
magnificent slope of Dude Canyon. I gazed up to the black and green and
silver ascent, up to the gold-tipped craggy crest where R.C. had his
stand. I knew he could see me, but I could not see him. Afterward he
told me that my red cap shone clearly out of green and gray, so he had
no difficulty in keeping track of my whereabouts. The thickets of aspens
and oaks seemed now to stand on end. How dark in the shade and steely
and cold they looked! That giant ridge still obstructed the sun, and
all on this side of it, under its frowning crest and slope was dark and
fresh and cool in shadow. The ravines were choked black with spruce
trees. Here along this gray shady slant of wall, in niches and cracks,
and under ledges, and on benches, were the beds of the bears. Even as I
gazed momentarily I expected to see a bear. It looked two hundred yards
across the canyon from where we stood, but Copple declared it was a
thousand. On our other side capes and benches and groves were bright in
sunshine, clear across the rough breaks to the west wall of Dude Canyon.
I saw a flock of wild pigeons below. Way out and beyond rolled the floor
of the basin, green and vast, like a ridged sea of pines, to the bold
black Mazatzals so hauntingly beckoning from the distance. Copple spoke
now and then, but I wanted to be silent. How wild and wonderful this
place in the early morning!

But I had not long to meditate and revel in beauty and wildness. Far
down across the mouth of the canyon, at the extreme southern end of that
vast oak thicket, the hounds gave tongue. Old Dan first! In the still
cool air how his great wolf-bay rang out the wildness of the time and
place! Already Edd and Pyle had rounded the end of the east ridge and
were coming up along the slope of Dude Canyon.

"Hounds workin' round," declared Copple. "Now I'll tell you what. Last
night a bear was feedin' along that end of the thicket. The hounds are
millin' round tryin' to straighten out his trail.... It's a dead cinch
they'll jump a bear an' we'll see him."

"Look everywhere!" I cautioned Copple, and my eyes roved and strained
over all that vast slope. Suddenly I espied the flash of something
black, far down the thicket, and tried to show it to my comrade.

"Let's go around an' down to that lower point of rock. It's a better
stand than this. Closer to the thicket an' commands those.... By Golly,
I see what you see! That's a bear, slippin' down. Stay with me now!"

Staying with Copple was a matter of utter disregard of clothes, limbs,
life. He plunged off that bare ledge, slid flat on his back, and wormed
feet first under manzanita, and gaining open slope got up to run and
jump into another thicket. By staying with him I saw that I would have a
way opened through the brush, and something to fall upon if I fell. He
rimmed the edge of a deep gorge that made me dizzy. He leaped cracks. He
let himself down over a ledge by holding to bushes. He found steps to
descend little bluffs, and he flew across the open slides of weathered
rock. I was afraid this short cut to the lower projecting cape of rock
would end suddenly on some impassable break or cliff, but though the
travel grew rough we still kept on. I wore only boots, trousers, and
shirt, and cap, with cartridge belt strapped tight around me. It was a
wonder I was not stripped. Some of my rags went to decorate the wake we
left down that succession of ledges. But we made it, with me at least,
bruised and ragged, dusty and choked, and absolutely breathless. My body
burned as with fire. Hot sweat ran in streams down my chest. At last we
reached the bare flat projecting cape of rock, and indeed it afforded an
exceedingly favorable outlook. I had to sink down on the rock; I could
not talk until I got my breath; but I used my eyes to every advantage.
Neither Copple nor I could locate the black moving object we had seen
from above. We were much closer to the hounds, though they still were
baying a tangled cross trail. Fortunate it was for me that I was given
these few moments to rest from my tremendous exertions.

My eyes searched the leaf-covered slope so brown and sear, and the
shaggy thickets, and tried to pierce the black tangle of spruce
patches. All at once, magically it seemed, my gaze held to a dark
shadow, a bit of dense shade, under a large spruce tree. Something
moved. Then a big bear rose right out of his bed of leaves, majestically
as if disturbed, and turned his head back toward the direction of the
baying hounds. Next he walked out. He stopped. I was quivering with
eagerness to tell Copple, but I waited. Then the bear walked behind a
tree and peeped out, only his head showing. After a moment again he
walked out.

"Ben, aren't you ever going to see him?" I cried at last.

"What?" ejaculated Copple, in surprise.

"Bear!" and I pointed. "This side of dead spruce."

"No!... Reckon you see a stump.... By Golly! I see him. He's a dandy.
Reddish color.... Doc, he's one of them mean old cinnamons."

"Watch! What will he do?--Ben, he hears the hounds."

How singularly thrilling to see him, how slowly he walked, how devoid of
fear, how stately!

"Sure he hears them. See him look back. The son-of-a-gun! I'll bet he's
given us the bear-laugh more than once."

"Ben, how far away is he?" I asked.

"Oh, that's eight hundred yards," declared Copple. "A long shot. Let's
wait. He may work down closer. But most likely he'll run up-hill."

"If he climbs he'll go right to R.C.'s stand," I said, gazing upward.

"Sure will. There's no other saddle."

Then I decided that I would not shoot at him unless he started down. My
excitement was difficult to control. I found it impossible to attend to
my sensations, to think about what I was feeling. But the moment was
full of suspense. The bear went into a small clump of spruces and
stayed there a little while. Tantalizing moments! The hounds were hot
upon his trail, still working to and fro in the oak thicket. I judged
scarcely a mile separated them from the bear. Again he disappeared
behind a little bush. Remembering that five pairs of sharp eyes could
see me from the points above I stood up and waved my red cap. I waved it
wildly as a man waves a red flag in moments of danger. Afterward R.C.
said he saw me plainly and understood my action. Again the bear had
showed, this time on an open slide, where he had halted. He was looking
across the canyon while I waved my cap.

"Ben, could he see us so far?" I asked.

"By Golly, I'll bet he does see us. You get to smokin' him up. An' if
you hit him don't be nervous if he starts for us. Cinnamons are bad
customers. Lay out five extra shells an' make up your mind to kill him."

I dropped upon one knee. The bear started down, coming towards us over
an open slide. "Aim a little coarse an' follow him," said Copple. I did
so, and tightening all my muscles into a ball, holding my breath, I
fired. The bear gave a savage kick backwards. He jerked back to bite at
his haunch. A growl, low, angry, vicious followed the echoes of my
rifle. Then it seemed he pointed his head toward us and began to run
down the slope, looking our way all the time.

"By Golly!" yelled Copple. "You stung him one an' he's comin'!... Now
you've got to shoot some. He can roll down-hill an' run up-hill like a
jack rabbit. Take your time--wait for open shots--an' make sure!"

Copple's advice brought home to me what could happen even with the
advantage on my side. Also it brought the cold tight prickle to my skin,
the shudder that was not a thrill, the pressure of blood running too
swiftly, I did not feel myself shake, but the rifle was unsteady. I
rested an elbow on my knee, yet still I had difficulty in keeping the
sight on him. I could get it on him, but could not keep it there. Again
he came out into the open, at the head of a yellow slide, that reached
to a thicket below. I must not hurry, yet I had to hurry. After all he
had not so far to come and most of the distance was under cover. Through
my mind flashed Haught's story of a cinnamon that kept coming with ten
bullets in him.

"Doc, he's paddin' along!" warned Copple. "Smoke some of them shells!"

Straining every nerve I aimed as before, only a little in advance, held
tight and pulled at the same instant. The bear doubled up in a ball and
began to roll down the slide. He scattered the leaves. Then into the
thicket he crashed, knocking the oaks, and cracking the brush.

"Some shot!" yelled Copple. "He's your bear!"

But my bear continued to crash through the brush. I shot again and yet
again, missing both times. Apparently he was coming, faster now--and
then he showed dark almost at the foot of our slope. Trees were thick
there. I could not see there, and I could not look for bear and reload
at the same moment. My fingers were not very nimble.

"Don't shoot," shouted Copple. "He's your bear. I never make any
mistakes when I see game hit."

"But I see him coming!"

"Where?... By Golly! that's another bear. He's black. Yours is red....
Look sharp. Next time he shows smoke him!"

I saw a flash of black across an open space--I heard a scattering of
gravel. But I had no chance to shoot. Then both of us heard a bear
running in thick leaves.

"He's gone down the canyon," said Copple. "Now look for your bear."

"Listen Ben. The hounds are coming fast. There's Rock.--There's Sue."

"I see them. Old Dan--what do you think of that old dog?... There!--your
red bear's still comin' ... He's bad hurt."

Though Copple tried hard to show me where, and I strained my eyes, I
could not see the bear. I could not locate the threshing of brush. I
knew it seemed close enough for me to be glad I was not down in that
thicket. How the hounds made the welkin ring! Rock was in the lead. Sue
was next. And Old Dan must have found the speed of his best days.
Strange he did not bay all down that slope! When Rock and Sue headed the
bear then I saw him. He sat up on his haunches ready to fight, but they
did not attack him. Instead they began to yelp wildly. I dared not shoot
again for fear of hitting one of them. Old Dan just beat the rest of the
pack to the bear. Up pealed a yelping chorus. I had never heard Old Dan
bay a bear at close range. With deep, hoarse, quick, wild roars he
dominated that medley. A box canyon took up the bays, cracking them back
in echo from wall to wall.

From the saddle of the great ridge above pealed down R.C.'s: "Waahoo!"

I saw him silhouetted dark against the sky line. He waved and I
answered. Then he disappeared.

Nielsen bellowed from the craggy cape above and behind us. From down the
canyon Edd sent up his piercing: "Ki Yi!" Then Takahashi appeared
opposite to us, like a goat on a promontory. How his: "Banzai!" rang
above the baying of the hounds!

"We'd better hurry down an' across," said Copple. "Reckon the hounds
will jump that bear or some one else will get there first. We got to

As before we fell into a manzanita thicket and had to crawl. Then we
came out upon the rim of a box canyon where the echoes made such a din.
It was too steep to descend. We had to head it, and Copple took chances.
Loose boulders tripped me and stout bushes saved me. We knocked streams
of rock and gravel down into this gorge, sending up a roar as of falling
water. But we got around. A steep slope lay below, all pine needles and
leaves. From this point I saw Edd on the opposite slope.

"I stopped one bear," I yelled. "Hurry. Look out for the dogs!"

Then, imitating Copple, I sat down and slid as on a toboggan for some
thirty thrilling yards. Some of my anatomy and more of my rags I left
behind me. But it was too exciting then to think of hurts. I managed to
protect at least my rifle. Copple was charging into the thicket below. I
followed him into the dark gorge, where huge boulders lay, and a swift
brook ran, and leaves two feet deep carpeted the shady canyon bed. It
was gloomy down into the lower part. I saw where bear had turned over
the leaves making a dark track.

"The hounds have quit," called Copple suddenly. "I told you he was your

We yelled. Somebody above us answered. Then we climbed up the opposite
slope, through a dense thicket, crossing a fresh bear track, a running
track, and soon came into an open rocky slide where my bear lay
surrounded by the hounds, with Old Dan on guard. The bear was red in
color, with silky fur, a long keen head, and fine limbs, and of goodly

"Cinnamon," declared Copple, and turning him over he pointed to a white
spot on his breast. "Fine bear. About four hundred pounds. Maybe not so
heavy. But he'll take some packin' up to the rim!"

Then I became aware of the other men. Takahashi had arrived on the
scene first, finding the bear dead. Edd came next, and after him Pyle.

I sat down for a much needed rest. Copple interested himself in
examining the bear, finding that my first shot had hit him in the flank,
and my second had gone through the middle of his body. Next Copple
amused himself by taking pictures of bear and hounds. Old Dan came to me
and lay beside me, and looked as if to say: "Well, we got him!"

Yells from both sides of the canyon were answered by Edd. R.C. was
rolling the rocks on his side at a great rate. But Nielsen on the other
side beat him to us. The Norwegian crashed the brush, sent the
avalanches roaring, and eventually reached us, all dirty, ragged,
bloody, with fire in his eye. He had come all the way from the rim in
short order. What a performance that must have been! He said he thought
he might be needed. R.C. guided by Edd's yells, came cracking the brush
down to us. Pale he was and wet with sweat, and there were black brush
marks across his face. His eyes were keen and sharp. He had started down
for the same reason as Nielsen's. But he had to descend a slope so steep
that he had to hold on to keep from sliding down. And he had jumped a
big bear out of a bed of leaves. The bed was still warm. R.C. said he
had smelled bear, and that his toboggan slide down that slope, with
bears all around for all he knew, had started the cold sweat on him.

Presently George Haught joined us, having come down the bed of the

"We knew you'd got a bear," said George. "Father heard the first two
bullets hit meat. An' I heard him rollin' down the slope."

"Well!" exclaimed R.C. "That's what made those first two shots sound so
strange to me. Different from the last two. Sounded like soft dead pats!
And it was lead hitting flesh. I heard it half a mile away!"

This matter of the sound of bullets hitting flesh and being heard at a
great distance seemed to me the most remarkable feature of our hunt.
Later I asked Haught. He said he heard my first two bullets strike and
believed from the peculiar sound that I had my bear. And his stand was
fully a mile away. But the morning was unusually still and sound carried

The men hung my bear from the forks of a maple. Then they decided to
give us time to climb up to our stands before putting the hounds on the
other fresh trail.

Nielsen, R.C., and I started to climb back up to the points. Only plenty
of time made it possible to scale those rugged bluffs. Nielsen distanced
us, and eventually we became separated. The sun grew warm. The bees
hummed. After a while we heard the baying of the hounds. They were
working westward under the bases of the bluffs. We rimmed the heads of
several gorges, climbed and crossed the west ridge of Dude Canyon, and
lost the hounds somewhere as we traveled.

R.C. did not seem to mind this misfortune any more than I. We were
content. Resting a while we chose the most accessible ridge and started
the long climb to the rim. Westward under us opened a great noble canyon
full of forests, thicketed slopes, cliffs and caves and crags. Next time
we rested we again heard the hounds, far away at first, but gradually
drawing closer. In half an hour they appeared right under us again.
Their baying, however, grew desultory, and lacked the stirring note.
Finally we heard Edd calling and whistling to them. After that for a
while all was still. Then pealed up the clear tuneful melody of Edd's
horn, calling off the chase for that day and season.

"All over," said R.C. "Are you glad?"

"For Old Dan's sake and Tom's and the bears--yes," I replied.

"Me, too! But I'd never get enough of this country."

We proceeded on our ascent over and up the broken masses of rock,
climbing slowly and easily, making frequent and long rests. We liked to
linger in the sun on the warm piny mossy benches. Every shady cedar or
juniper wooed us to tarry a moment. Old bear tracks and fresh deer
tracks held the same interest, though our hunt was over. Above us the
gray broken mass of rim towered and loomed, more formidable as we neared
it. Sometimes we talked a little, but mostly we were silent.

[Illustration: MEAT IN CAMP]

[Illustration: (2) MEAT IN CAMP]

Like an Indian, at every pause, I gazed out into the void. How sweeping
and grand the long sloping lines of ridges from the rim down! Away in
the east ragged spurs of peaks showed hazily, like uncertain mountains
on the desert. South ranged the upheaved and wild Mazatzals. Everywhere
beneath me, for leagues and leagues extended the timbered hills of
green, the gray outcroppings of rocks, the red bluffs, the golden
patches of grassy valleys, lost in the canyons. All these swept away in
a vast billowy ocean of wilderness to become dim in the purple of
distance. And the sun was setting in a blaze of gold. From the rim I
took a last lingering look and did not marvel that I loved this
wonderland of Arizona.





Of the five hundred and fifty-seven thousand square miles of desert-land
in the southwest Death Valley is the lowest below sea level, the most
arid and desolate. It derives its felicitous name from the earliest days
of the gold strike in California, when a caravan of Mormons, numbering
about seventy, struck out from Salt Lake, to cross the Mojave Desert and
make a short cut to the gold fields. All but two of these prospectors
perished in the deep, iron-walled, ghastly sink-holes, which from that
time became known as Death Valley.

The survivors of this fatal expedition brought news to the world that
the sombre valley of death was a treasure mine of minerals; and since
then hundreds of prospectors and wanderers have lost their lives there.
To seek gold and to live in the lonely waste places of the earth have
been and ever will be driving passions of men.

My companion on this trip was a Norwegian named Nielsen. On most of my
trips to lonely and wild places I have been fortunate as to comrades or
guides. The circumstances of my meeting Nielsen were so singular that I
think they will serve as an interesting introduction. Some years ago I
received a letter, brief, clear and well-written, in which the writer
stated that he had been a wanderer over the world, a sailor before the
mast, and was now a prospector for gold. He had taken four trips alone
down into the desert of Sonora, and in many other places of the
southwest, and knew the prospecting game. Somewhere he had run across my
story Desert Gold in which I told about a lost gold mine. And the
point of his letter was that if I could give him some idea as to where
the lost gold mine was located he would go find it and give me half. His
name was Sievert Nielsen. I wrote him that to my regret the lost gold
mine existed only in my imagination, but if he would come to Avalon to
see me perhaps we might both profit by such a meeting. To my surprise he
came. He was a man of about thirty-five, of magnificent physique,
weighing about one hundred and ninety, and he was so enormously broad
across the shoulders that he did not look his five feet ten. He had a
wonderful head, huge, round, solid, like a cannon-ball. And his bronzed
face, his regular features, square firm jaw, and clear gray eyes,
fearless and direct, were singularly attractive to me. Well educated,
with a strange calm poise, and a cool courtesy, not common in Americans,
he evidently was a man of good family, by his own choice a rolling stone
and adventurer.

Nielsen accompanied me on two trips into the wilderness of Arizona, on
one of which he saved my life, and on the other he rescued all our party
from a most uncomfortable and possibly hazardous situation--but these
are tales I may tell elsewhere. In January 1919 Nielsen and I traveled
around the desert of southern California from Palm Springs to Picacho,
and in March we went to Death Valley.

Nowadays a little railroad, the Tonapah and Tidewater Railroad, runs
northward from the Santa Fe over the barren Mojave, and it passes within
fifty miles of Death Valley.

It was sunset when we arrived at Death Valley Junction--a weird, strange
sunset in drooping curtains of transparent cloud, lighting up dark
mountain ranges, some peaks of which were clear-cut and black against
the sky, and others veiled in trailing storms, and still others white
with snow. That night in the dingy little store I heard prospectors talk
about float, which meant gold on the surface, and about high grade
ores, zinc, copper, silver, lead, manganese, and about how borax was
mined thirty years ago, and hauled out of Death Valley by teams of
twenty mules. Next morning, while Nielsen packed the outfit, I visited
the borax mill. It was the property of an English firm, and the work of
hauling, grinding, roasting borax ore went on day and night. Inside it
was as dusty and full of a powdery atmosphere as an old-fashioned flour
mill. The ore was hauled by train from some twenty miles over toward the
valley, and was dumped from a high trestle into shutes that fed the
grinders. For an hour I watched this constant stream of borax as it slid
down into the hungry crushers, and I listened to the chalk-faced
operator who yelled in my ear. Once he picked a piece of gypsum out of
the borax. He said the mill was getting out twenty-five hundred sacks a
day. The most significant thing he said was that men did not last long
at such labor, and in the mines six months appeared to be the limit of
human endurance. How soon I had enough of that choking air in the room
where the borax was ground! And the place where the borax was roasted in
huge round revolving furnaces--I found that intolerable. When I got out
into the cool clean desert air I felt an immeasurable relief. And that
relief made me thoughtful of the lives of men who labored, who were
chained by necessity, by duty or habit, or by love, to the hard tasks of
the world. It did not seem fair. These laborers of the borax mines and
mills, like the stokers of ships, and coal-diggers, and blast-furnace
hands--like thousands and millions of men, killed themselves outright or
impaired their strength, and when they were gone or rendered useless
others were found to take their places. Whenever I come in contact with
some phase of this problem of life I take the meaning or the lesson of
it to myself. And as the years go by my respect and reverence and
wonder increase for these men of elemental lives, these horny-handed
toilers with physical things, these uncomplaining users of brawn and
bone, these giants who breast the elements, who till the earth and
handle iron, who fight the natural forces with their bodies.

That day about noon I looked back down the long gravel and greasewood
slope which we had ascended and I saw the borax-mill now only a smoky
blot on the desert floor. When we reached the pass between the Black
Mountains and the Funeral Mountains we left the road, and were soon lost
to the works of man. How strange a gladness, a relief! Something dropped
away from me. I felt the same subtle change in Nielsen. For one thing he
stopped talking, except an occasional word to the mules.

The blunt end of the Funeral Range was as remarkable as its name. It
sheered up very high, a saw-toothed range with colored strata tilted at
an angle of forty-five degrees. Zigzag veins of black and red and
yellow, rather dull, ran through the great drab-gray mass. This end of
the range, an iron mountain, frowned down upon us with hard and
formidable aspect. The peak was draped in streaky veils of rain from
low-dropping clouds that appeared to have lodged there. All below lay
clear and cold in the sunlight.



Our direction lay to the westward, and at that altitude, about three
thousand feet, how pleasant to face the sun! For the wind was cold. The
narrow shallow wash leading down from the pass deepened, widened, almost
imperceptibly at first, and then gradually until its proportions were
striking. It was a gully where the gravel washed down during rains, and
where a scant vegetation, greasewood, and few low cacti and scrubby sage
struggled for existence. Not a bird or lizard or living creature in
sight! The trail was getting lonely. From time to time I looked back,
because as we could not see far ahead all the superb scene spread and
towered behind us. By and bye our wash grew to be a wide canyon, winding
away from under the massive, impondering wall of the Funeral Range. The
high side of this magnificent and impressive line of mountains faced
west--a succession of unscalable slopes of bare ragged rock, jagged and
jutted, dark drab, rusty iron, with gray and oblique strata running
through them far as eye could see. Clouds soared around the peaks.
Shadows sailed along the slopes.


Walking in loose gravel was as hard as trudging along in sand. After
about fifteen miles I began to have leaden feet. I did not mind hard
work, but I wanted to avoid over-exertion. When I am extremely wearied
my feelings are liable to be colored somewhat by depression or
melancholy. Then it always bothered me to get tired while Nielsen kept
on with his wonderful stride.

"Say, Nielsen, do you take me for a Yaqui?" I complained. "Slow up a

Then he obliged me, and to cheer me up he told me about a little
tramping experience he had in Baja California. Somewhere on the east
slope of the Sierra Madre his burros strayed or were killed by
mountain-lions, and he found it imperative to strike at once for the
nearest ranch below the border, a distance of one hundred and fifty
miles. He could carry only so much of his outfit, and as some of it was
valuable to him he discarded all his food except a few biscuits, and a
canteen of water. Resting only a few hours, without sleep at all, he
walked the hundred and fifty miles in three days and nights. I believed
that Nielsen, by telling me such incidents of his own wild experience,
inspired me to more endurance than I knew I possessed.

As we traveled on down the canyon its dimensions continued to grow. It
finally turned to the left, and opened out wide into a valley running
west. A low range of hills faced us, rising in a long sweeping slant of
earth, like the incline of a glacier, to rounded spurs. Half way up this
slope, where the brown earth lightened there showed an outcropping of
clay-amber and cream and cinnamon and green, all exquisitely vivid and
clear. This bright spot appeared to be isolated. Far above it rose other
clay slopes of variegated hues, red and russet and mauve and gray, and
colors indescribably merged, all running in veins through this range of
hills. We faced the west again, and descending this valley were soon
greeted by a region of clay hills, bare, cone-shaped, fantastic in
shade, slope, and ridge, with a high sharp peak dominating all. The
colors were mauve, taupe, pearl-gray, all stained by a descending band
of crimson, as if a higher slope had been stabbed to let its life blood
flow down. The softness, the richness and beauty of this texture of
earth amazed and delighted my eyes.

Quite unprepared, at time approaching sunset, we reached and rounded a
sharp curve, to see down and far away, and to be held mute in our
tracks. Between a white-mantled mountain range on the left and the
dark-striped lofty range on the right I could see far down into a gulf,
a hazy void, a vast stark valley that seemed streaked and ridged and
canyoned, an abyss into which veils of rain were dropping and over which
broken clouds hung, pierced by red and gold rays.

Death Valley! Far down and far away still, yet confounding at first
sight! I gazed spellbound. It oppressed my heart. Nielsen stood like a
statue, silent, absorbed for a moment, then he strode on. I followed,
and every second saw more and different aspects, that could not,
however, change the first stunning impression. Immense, unreal, weird! I
went on down the widening canyon, looking into that changing void. How
full of color! It smoked. The traceries of streams or shining white
washes brightened the floor of the long dark pit. Patches and plains of
white, borax flats or alkali, showed up like snow. A red haze, sinister
and sombre, hung over the eastern ramparts of this valley, and over the
western drooped gray veils of rain, like thinnest lacy clouds, through
which gleams of the sun shone.

Nielsen plodded on, mindful of our mules. But I lingered, and at last
checked my reluctant steps at an open high point with commanding and
magnificent view. As I did not attempt the impossible--to write down
thoughts and sensations--afterward I could remember only a few. How
desolate and grand! The far-away, lonely and terrible places of the
earth were the most beautiful and elevating. Life's little day seemed so
easy to understand, so pitiful. As the sun began to set and the
storm-clouds moved across it this wondrous scene darkened, changed every
moment, brightened, grew full of luminous red light and then streaked by
golden gleams. The tips of the Panamint Mountains came out silver above
the purple clouds. At sunset the moment was glorious--dark, forbidding,
dim, weird, dismal, yet still tinged with gold. Not like any other
scene! Dante's Inferno! Valley of Shadows! Canyon of Purple Veils!

When the sun had set and all that upheaved and furrowed world of rock
had received a mantle of gray, and a slumberous sulphurous ruddy haze
slowly darkened to purple and black, then I realized more fully that I
was looking down into Death Valley.

Twilight was stealing down when I caught up with Nielsen. He had
selected for our camp a protected nook near where the canyon floor bore
some patches of sage, the stalks and roots of which would serve for
firewood. We unpacked, fed the mules some grain, pitched our little
tent and made our bed all in short order. But it was dark long before
we had supper. During the meal we talked a little, but afterward, when
the chores were done, and the mules had become quiet, and the strange
thick silence had settled down upon us, we did not talk at all.

The night was black, with sky mostly obscured by clouds. A pale haze
marked the west where the after glow had faded; in the south one radiant
star crowned a mountain peak. I strolled away in the darkness and sat
down upon a stone. How intense the silence! Dead, vast, sepulchre-like,
dreaming, waiting, a silence of ages, burdened with the history of the
past, awful! I strained my ears for sound of insect or rustle of sage or
drop of weathered rock. The soft cool desert wind was soundless. This
silence had something terrifying in it, making me a man alone on the
earth. The great spaces, the wild places as they had been millions of
years before! I seemed to divine how through them man might develop from
savage to a god, and how alas! he might go back again.

When I returned to camp Nielsen had gone to bed and the fire had burned
low. I threw on some branches of sage. The fire blazed up. But it seemed
different from other camp-fires. No cheer, no glow, no sparkle! Perhaps
it was owing to scant and poor wood. Still I thought it was owing as
much to the place. The sadness, the loneliness, the desolateness of this
place weighed upon the camp-fire the same as it did upon my heart.

We got up at five-thirty. At dawn the sky was a cold leaden gray, with a
dull gold and rose in the east. A hard wind, eager and nipping, blew up
the canyon. At six o'clock the sky brightened somewhat and the day did
not promise so threatening.

An hour later we broke camp. Traveling in the early morning was
pleasant and we made good time down the winding canyon, arriving at
Furnace Creek about noon, where we halted to rest. This stream of warm
water flowed down from a gully that headed up in the Funeral Mountains.
It had a disagreeable taste, somewhat acrid and soapy. A green thicket
of brush was indeed welcome to the eye. It consisted of a rank coarse
kind of grass, and arrowweed, mesquite, and tamarack. The last named
bore a pink fuzzy blossom, not unlike pussy-willow, which was quite
fragrant. Here the deadness of the region seemed further enlivened by
several small birds, speckled and gray, two ravens, and a hawk. They all
appeared to be hunting food. On a ridge above Furnace Creek we came upon
a spring of poison water. It was clear, sparkling, with a greenish cast,
and it deposited a white crust on the margins. Nielsen, kicking around
in the sand, unearthed a skull, bleached and yellow, yet evidently not
so very old. Some thirsty wanderer had taken his last drink at that
deceiving spring. The gruesome and the beautiful, the tragic and the
sublime, go hand in hand down the naked shingle of this desolate desert.

While tramping around in the neighborhood of Furnace Creek I happened
upon an old almost obliterated trail. It led toward the ridges of clay,
and when I had climbed it a little ways I began to get an impression
that the slopes on the other side must run down into a basin or canyon.
So I climbed to the top.

The magnificent scenes of desert and mountain, like the splendid things
of life, must be climbed for. In this instance I was suddenly and
stunningly confronted by a yellow gulf of cone-shaped and fan-shaped
ridges, all bare crinkly clay, of gold, of amber, of pink, of bronze, of
cream, all tapering down to round-knobbed lower ridges, bleak and
barren, yet wonderfully beautiful in their stark purity of denudation;
until at last far down between two widely separated hills shone, dim and
blue and ghastly, with shining white streaks like silver streams--the
Valley of Death. Then beyond it climbed the league-long red slope,
merging into the iron-buttressed base of the Panamint Range, and here
line on line, and bulge on bulge rose the bold benches, and on up the
unscalable outcroppings of rock, like colossal ribs of the earth, on and
up the steep slopes to where their density of blue black color began to
thin out with streaks of white, and thence upward to the last noble
height, where the cold pure snow gleamed against the sky.

I descended into this yellow maze, this world of gullies and ridges
where I found it difficult to keep from getting lost. I did lose my
bearings, but as my boots made deep imprints in the soft clay I knew it
would be easy to back-track my trail. After a while this labyrinthine
series of channels and dunes opened into a wide space enclosed on three
sides by denuded slopes, mostly yellow. These slopes were smooth,
graceful, symmetrical, with tiny tracery of erosion, and each appeared
to retain its own color, yellow or cinnamon or mauve. But they were
always dominated by a higher one of a different color. And this mystic
region sloped and slanted to a great amphitheater that was walled on the
opposite side by a mountain of bare earth, of every hue, and of a
thousand ribbed and scalloped surfaces. At its base the golds and
russets and yellows were strongest, but ascending its slopes were
changing colors--a dark beautiful mouse color on one side and a strange
pearly cream on the other. Between these great corners of the curve
climbed ridges of gray and heliotrope and amber, to meet wonderful veins
of green--green as the sea in sunlight--and tracery of white--and on the
bold face of this amphitheater, high up, stood out a zigzag belt of dull
red, the stain of which had run down to tinge the other hues. Above all
this wondrous coloration upheaved the bare breast of the mountain,
growing darker with earthy browns, up to the gray old rock ramparts.

This place affected me so strangely, so irresistibly that I remained
there a long time. Something terrible had happened there to men. I felt
that. Something tragic was going on right then--the wearing down, the
devastation of the old earth. How plainly that could be seen!
Geologically it was more remarkable to me than the Grand Canyon. But it
was the appalling meaning, the absolutely indescribable beauty that
overcame me. I thought of those who had been inspiration to me in my
work, and I suffered a pang that they could not be there to see and feel
with me.

On my way out of this amphitheater a hard wind swooped down over the
slopes, tearing up the colored dust in sheets and clouds. It seemed to
me each gully had its mystic pall of color. I lost no time climbing out.
What a hot choking ordeal! But I never would have missed it even had I
known I would get lost. Looking down again the scene was vastly changed.
A smoky weird murky hell with the dull sun gleaming magenta-hued through
the shifting pall of dust!

In the afternoon we proceeded leisurely, through an atmosphere growing
warmer and denser, down to the valley, reaching it at dusk. We followed
the course of Furnace Creek and made camp under some cottonwood trees,
on the west slope of the valley.

The wind blew a warm gale all night. I lay awake a while and slept with
very little covering. Toward dawn the gale died away. I was up at
five-thirty. The morning broke fine, clear, balmy. A flare of pale
gleaming light over the Funeral Range heralded the sunrise. The tips of
the higher snow-capped Panamints were rose colored, and below them the
slopes were red. The bulk of the range showed dark. All these features
gradually brightened until the sun came up. How blazing and intense! The
wind began to blow again. Under the cottonwoods with their rustling
leaves, and green so soothing to the eye, it was very pleasant.

Beyond our camp stood green and pink thickets of tamarack, and some dark
velvety green alfalfa fields, made possible by the spreading of Furnace
Creek over the valley slope. A man lived there, and raised this alfalfa
for the mules of the borax miners. He lived there alone and his was
indeed a lonely, wonderful, and terrible life. At this season a few
Shoshone Indians were camped near, helping him in his labors. This lone
rancher's name was Denton, and he turned out to be a brother of a
Denton, hunter and guide, whom I had met in Lower California.

[Illustration: DESERT GRAVES]


Like all desert men, used to silence, Denton talked with difficulty, but
the content of his speech made up for its brevity. He told us about the
wanderers and prospectors he had rescued from death by starvation and
thirst; he told us about the terrific noonday heat of summer; and about
the incredible and horrible midnight furnace gales that swept down the
valley. With the mercury at one hundred and twenty-five degrees at
midnight, below the level of the sea, when these furnace blasts bore
down upon him, it was just all he could do to live. No man could spend
many summers there. As for white women--Death Valley was fatal to them.
The Indians spent the summers up on the mountains. Denton said heat
affected men differently. Those who were meat eaters or alcohol
drinkers, could not survive. Perfect heart and lungs were necessary to
stand the heat and density of atmosphere below sea level. He told of a
man who had visited his cabin, and had left early in the day,
vigorous and strong. A few hours later he was found near the oasis
unable to walk, crawling on his hands and knees, dragging a full canteen
of water. He never knew what ailed him. It might have been heat, for the
thermometer registered one hundred and thirty-five, and it might have
been poison gas. Another man, young, of heavy and powerful build, lost
seventy pounds weight in less than two days, and was nearly dead when
found. The heat of Death Valley quickly dried up blood, tissue, bone.
Denton told of a prospector who started out at dawn strong and rational,
to return at sunset so crazy that he had to be tied to keep him out of
the water. To have drunk his fill then would have killed him! He had to
be fed water by spoonful. Another wanderer came staggering into the
oasis, blind, with horrible face, and black swollen tongue protruding.
He could not make a sound. He also had to be roped, as if he were a mad


I met only one prospector during my stay in Death Valley. He camped with
us. A rather undersized man he was, yet muscular, with brown wrinkled
face and narrow dim eyes. He seemed to be smiling to himself most of the
time. He liked to talk to his burros. He was exceedingly interesting.
Once he nearly died of thirst, having gone from noon one day till next
morning without water. He said he fell down often during this ordeal,
but did not lose his senses. Finally the burros saved his life. This old
fellow had been across Death Valley every month in the year. July was
the worst. In that month crossing should not be attempted during the
middle of the day.

I made the acquaintance of the Shoshone Indians, or rather through
Nielsen I met them. Nielsen had a kindly, friendly way with Indians.
There were half a dozen families, living in squalid tents. The braves
worked in the fields for Denton and the squaws kept to the shade with
their numerous children. They appeared to be poor. Certainly they were a
ragged unpicturesque group. Nielsen and I visited them, taking an
armload of canned fruit, and boxes of sweet crackers, which they
received with evident joy. Through this overture I got a peep into one
of the tents. The simplicity and frugality of the desert Piute or Navajo
were here wanting. These children of the open wore white men's apparel
and ate white men's food; and they even had a cook stove and a sewing
machine in their tent. With all that they were trying to live like
Indians. For me the spectacle was melancholy. Another manifestation
added to my long list of degeneration of the Indians by the whites! The
tent was a buzzing beehive of flies. I never before saw so many. In a
corner I saw a naked Indian baby asleep on a goat skin, all his brown
warm-tinted skin spotted black with flies.

Later in the day one of the Indian men called upon us at our camp. I was
surprised to hear him use good English. He said he had been educated in
a government school in California. From him I learned considerable about
Death Valley. As he was about to depart, on the way to his labor in the
fields, he put his hand in his ragged pocket and drew forth an old
beaded hat band, and with calm dignity, worthy of any gift, he made me a
present of it. Then he went on his way. The incident touched me. I had
been kind. The Indian was not to be outdone. How that reminded me of the
many instances of pride in Indians! Who yet has ever told the story of
the Indian--the truth, the spirit, the soul of his tragedy?

Nielsen and I climbed high up the west slope to the top of a gravel
ridge swept clean and packed hard by the winds. Here I sat down while my
companion tramped curiously around. At my feet I found a tiny flower, so
tiny as to almost defy detection. The color resembled sage-gray and it
had the fragrance of sage. Hard to find and wonderful to see--was its
tiny blossom! The small leaves were perfectly formed, very soft, veined
and scalloped, with a fine fuzz and a glistening sparkle. That desert
flower of a day, in its isolation and fragility, yet its unquenchable
spirit to live, was as great to me as the tremendous reddening bulk of
the Funeral Mountains looming so sinisterly over me.

Then I saw some large bats with white heads flitting around in zigzag
flights--assuredly new and strange creatures to me.

I had come up there to this high ridge to take advantage of the bleak
lonely spot commanding a view of valley and mountains. Before I could
compose myself to watch the valley I made the discovery that near me
were six low gravelly mounds. Graves! One had two stones at head and
foot. Another had no mark at all. The one nearest me had for the head a
flat piece of board, with lettering so effaced by weather that I could
not decipher the inscription. The bones of a horse lay littered about
between the graves. What a lonely place for graves! Death Valley seemed
to be one vast sepulchre. What had been the lives and deaths of these
people buried here? Lonely, melancholy, nameless graves upon the windy
desert slope!

By this time the long shadows had begun to fall. Sunset over Death
Valley! A golden flare burned over the Panamints--long tapering notched
mountains with all their rugged conformation showing. Above floated gold
and gray and silver-edged clouds--below shone a whorl of dusky, ruddy
bronze haze, gradually thickening. Dim veils of heat still rose from the
pale desert valley. As I watched all before me seemed to change and be
shrouded in purple. How bold and desolate a scene! What vast scale and
tremendous dimension! The clouds paled, turned rosy for a moment with
the afterglow, then deepened into purple gloom. A sombre smoky sunset,
as if this Death Valley was the gateway of hell, and its sinister shades
were upflung from fire.

The desert day was done and now the desert twilight descended. Twilight
of hazy purple fell over the valley of shadows. The black bold lines of
mountains ran across the sky and down into the valley and up on the
other side. A buzzard sailed low in the foreground--fitting emblem of
life in all that wilderness of suggested death. This fleeting hour was
tranquil and sad. What little had it to do with the destiny of man!
Death Valley was only a ragged rent of the old earth, from which men in
their folly and passion, had sought to dig forth golden treasure. The
air held a solemn stillness. Peace! How it rested my troubled soul! I
felt that I was myself here, far different from my habitual self. Why
had I longed to see Death Valley? What did I want of the desert that was
naked, red, sinister, sombre, forbidding, ghastly, stark, dim and dark
and dismal, the abode of silence and loneliness, the proof of death,
decay, devastation and destruction, the majestic sublimity of
desolation? The answer was that I sought the awful, the appalling and
terrible because they harked me back to a primitive day where my blood
and bones were bequeathed their heritage of the elements. That was the
secret of the eternal fascination the desert exerted upon all men. It
carried them back. It inhibited thought. It brought up the age-old
sensations, so that I could feel, though I did not know it then, once
again the all-satisfying state of the savage in nature.

When I returned to camp night had fallen. The evening star stood high in
the pale sky, all alone and difficult to see, yet the more beautiful for
that. The night appeared to be warmer or perhaps it was because no wind
blew. Nielsen got supper, and ate most of it, for I was not hungry. As I
sat by the camp-fire a flock of little bats, the smallest I had ever
seen, darted from the wood-pile nearby and flew right in my face. They
had no fear of man or fire. Their wings made a soft swishing sound.
Later I heard the trill of frogs, which was the last sound I might have
expected to hear in Death Valley. A sweet high-pitched melodious trill
it reminded me of the music made by frogs in the Tamaulipas Jungle of
Mexico. Every time I awakened that night, and it was often, I heard this
trill. Once, too, sometime late, my listening ear caught faint mournful
notes of a killdeer. How strange, and still sweeter than the trill! What
a touch to the infinite silence and loneliness! A killdeer--bird of the
swamps and marshes--what could he be doing in arid and barren Death
Valley? Nature is mysterious and inscrutable.

Next morning the marvel of nature was exemplified even more strikingly.
Out on the hard gravel-strewn slope I found some more tiny flowers of a
day. One was a white daisy, very frail and delicate on long thin stem
with scarcely any leaves. Another was a yellow flower, with four petals,
a pale miniature California poppy. Still another was a purple-red
flower, almost as large as a buttercup, with dark green leaves. Last and
tiniest of all were infinitely fragile pink and white blossoms, on very
flat plants, smiling wanly up from the desolate earth.

Nielsen and I made known to Denton our purpose to walk across the
valley. He advised against it. Not that the heat was intense at this
season, he explained, but there were other dangers, particularly the
brittle salty crust of the sink-hole. Nevertheless we were not deterred
from our purpose.

So with plenty of water in canteens and a few biscuits in our pockets
we set out. I saw the heat veils rising from the valley floor, at that
point one hundred and seventy-eight feet below sea level. The heat
lifted in veils, like thin smoke. Denton had told us that in summer the
heat came in currents, in waves. It blasted leaves, burned trees to
death as well as men. Prospectors watched for the leaden haze that
thickened over the mountains, knowing then no man could dare the
terrible sun. That day would be a hazed and glaring hell, leaden,
copper, with sun blazing a sky of molten iron.

A long sandy slope of mesquite extended down to the bare crinkly floor
of the valley, and here the descent to a lower level was scarcely
perceptible. The walking was bad. Little mounds in the salty crust made
it hard to place a foot on the level. This crust appeared fairly strong.
But when it rang hollow under our boots, then I stepped very cautiously.
The color was a dirty gray and yellow. Far ahead I could see a dazzling
white plain that looked like frost or a frozen river. The atmosphere was
deceptive, making this plain seem far away and then close at hand.

The excessively difficult walking and the thickness of the air tired me,
so I plumped myself down to rest, and used my note-book as a means to
conceal from the tireless Nielsen that I was fatigued. Always I found
this a very efficient excuse, and for that matter it was profitable for
me. I have forgotten more than I have ever written.

Rather overpowering, indeed, was it to sit on the floor of Death Valley,
miles from the slopes that appeared so far away. It was flat, salty,
alkali or borax ground, crusted and cracked. The glare hurt my eyes. I
felt moist, hot, oppressed, in spite of a rather stiff wind. A dry odor
pervaded the air, slightly like salty dust. Thin dust devils whirled on
the bare flats. A valley-wide mirage shone clear as a mirror along the
desert floor to the west, strange, deceiving, a thing both unreal and
beautiful. The Panamints towered a wrinkled red grisly mass, broken by
rough canyons, with long declines of talus like brown glaciers. Seamed
and scarred! Indestructible by past ages, yet surely wearing to ruin!
From this point I could not see the snow on the peaks. The whole
mountain range seemed an immense red barrier of beetling rock. The
Funeral Range was farther away and therefore more impressive. Its effect
was stupendous. Leagues of brown chocolate slopes, scarred by slashes of
yellow and cream, and shadowed black by sailing clouds, led up to the
magnificently peaked and jutted summits.

Splendid as this was and reluctant as I felt to leave I soon joined
Nielsen, and we proceeded onward. At last we reached the white winding
plain, that had resembled a frozen river, and which from afar had looked
so ghastly and stark. We found it to be a perfectly smooth stratum of
salt glistening as if powdered. It was not solid, not stable. At
pressure of a boot it shook like jelly. Under the white crust lay a
yellow substance that was wet. Here appeared an obstacle we had not
calculated upon. Nielsen ventured out on it and his feet sank in several
inches. I did not like the wave of the crust. It resembled thin ice
under a weight. Presently I ventured to take a few steps, and did not
sink in so deeply or make such depression in the crust as Nielsen. We
returned to the solid edge and deliberated. Nielsen said that by
stepping quickly we could cross without any great risk, though it
appeared reasonable that by standing still a person would sink into the

"Well, Nielsen, you go ahead," I said, with an attempt at lightness.
"You weigh one hundred and ninety. If you go through I'll turn back!"

Nielsen started with a laugh. The man courted peril. The bright face of
danger must have been beautiful and alluring to him. I started after
him--caught up with him--and stayed beside him. I could not have walked
behind him over that strip of treacherous sink-hole. If I could have
done so the whole adventure would have been meaningless to me.
Nevertheless I was frightened. I felt the prickle of my skin, the
stiffening of my hair, as well as the cold tingling thrills along my

This place was the lowest point of the valley, in that particular
location, and must have been upwards of two hundred feet below sea
level. The lowest spot, called the Sink Hole, lay some miles distant,
and was the terminus of this river of salty white.

We crossed it in safety. On the other side extended a long flat of
upheaved crusts of salt and mud, full of holes and pitfalls, an
exceedingly toilsome and painful place to travel, and for all we could
tell, dangerous too. I had all I could do to watch my feet and find
surfaces to hold my steps. Eventually we crossed this broken field,
reaching the edge of the gravel slope, where we were very glad indeed to

Denton had informed us that the distance was seven miles across the
valley at the mouth of Furnace Creek. I had thought it seemed much less
than that. But after I had toiled across it I was convinced that it was
much more. It had taken us hours. How the time had sped! For this reason
we did not tarry long on that side.

Facing the sun we found the return trip more formidable. Hot indeed it
was--hot enough for me to imagine how terrible Death Valley would be in
July or August. On all sides the mountains stood up dim and obscure and
distant in haze. The heat veils lifted in ripples, and any object not
near at hand seemed illusive. Nielsen set a pace for me on this return
trip. I was quicker and surer of foot than he, but he had more
endurance. I lost strength while he kept his unimpaired. So often he had
to wait for me. Once when I broke through the crust he happened to be
close at hand and quickly hauled me out. I got one foot wet with some
acid fluid. We peered down into the murky hole. Nielsen quoted a
prospector's saying: "Forty feet from hell!" That broken sharp crust of
salt afforded the meanest traveling I had ever experienced. Slopes of
weathered rock that slip and slide are bad; cacti, and especially choya
cacti, are worse: the jagged and corrugated surfaces of lava are still
more hazardous and painful. But this cracked floor of Death Valley, with
its salt crusts standing on end, like pickets of a fence, beat any place
for hard going that either Nielsen or I ever had encountered. I ruined
my boots, skinned my shins, cut my hands. How those salt cuts stung! We
crossed the upheaved plain, then the strip of white, and reached the
crinkly floor of yellow salt. The last hour taxed my endurance almost to
the limit. When we reached the edge of the sand and the beginning of the
slope I was hotter and thirstier than I had ever been in my life. It
pleased me to see Nielsen wringing wet and panting. He drank a quart of
water apparently in one gulp. And it was significant that I took the
longest and deepest drink of water that I had ever had.

We reached camp at the end of this still hot summer day. Never had a
camp seemed so welcome! What a wonderful thing it was to earn and
appreciate and realize rest! The cottonwood leaves were rustling; bees
were humming in the tamarack blossoms. I lay in the shade, resting my
burning feet and achiag bones, and I watched Nielsen as he whistled
over the camp chores. Then I heard the sweet song of a meadow lark, and
after that the melodious deep note of a swamp blackbird. These birds
evidently were traveling north and had tarried at the oasis.

Lying there I realized that I had come to love the silence, the
loneliness, the serenity, even the tragedy of this valley of shadows.
Death Valley was one place that could never be popular with men. It had
been set apart for the hardy diggers for earthen treasure, and for the
wanderers of the wastelands--men who go forth to seek and to find and to
face their souls. Perhaps most of them found death. But there was a
death in life. Desert travelers learned the secret that men lived too
much in the world--that in silence and loneliness and desolation there
was something infinite, something hidden from the crowd.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tales of lonely trails" ***

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