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Title: Forest and Frontiers; Or, Adventures Among the Indians
Author: Gordon-Cumming, Roualeyn, 1820-1866 [Contributor]
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.

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FOREST AND FRONTIERS

OR, ADVENTURES AMONG THE INDIANS


By Roualeyn Gordon-Cumming



_PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED_



Chicago

M. A. Donohue & Company



Thrilling stories.



Mr. Cumming's attack on four lions


The most daring and adventurous of all hunters is Mr. Roualeyn Gordon
Cumming. Being an officer in the British service at the Cape of Good
Hope, his love of hunting adventures led him to resign his commission
in the army, and devote himself for five years to exploring the
interior of Africa, and hunting wild beasts. We shall quote his own
account of some of his adventures.

The first incident of his career, to which we invite the reader's
attention, is one which he calls an attack on four patriarchal lions.
It occurred in the interior of Africa, not far from the junction of
the rivers Mariqua and Limpopo. He thus describes it.

A few days after this, just as Swint had milked the cows, and was
driving them from the wooded peninsula in which we lay, athwart the
open ground, to graze with my other cattle in the forest beyond, he
beheld four majestic lions walking slowly across the valley, a few
hundred yards below my camp, and disappear over the river's bank, at a
favorite drinking place. These mighty monarchs of the waste had been
holding a prolonged repast over the carcases of some zebras killed by
Present, and had now come down the river to slake their thirst. This
being reported, I instantly saddled two horses, and, directing my boys
to lead after me as quickly as possible my small remaining pack of
sore-footed dogs, I rode forth, accompanied by Carey carrying a spare
gun, to give battle to the four grim lions. As I rode out of the
peninsula, they showed themselves on the banks of the river, and,
guessing that their first move would be a disgraceful retreat, I
determined to ride so as to make them think that I had not observed
them, until I should be able to cut off their retreat from the river,
across the open vley, to the endless forest beyond. That point being
gained, I knew that they, still doubtful of my having observed them,
would hold their ground on the river's bank until my dogs came up,
when I could more advantageously make the attack.

I cantered along, holding as if I meant to pass the lions at a
distance of a quarter of a mile, until I was opposite to them, when I
altered my course, and inclined a little nearer. The lions showed
symptoms of uneasiness; they rose to their feet, and, overhauling us
for half a minute, disappeared over the bank. They reappeared,
however, directly, a little farther down; and finding that their
present position was bare, they walked majestically along the top of
the bank to a spot a few hundred yards lower, where the bank was well
wooded. Here they seemed half inclined to await my attack; two
stretched out their massive arms, and lay down in the grass, and the
other two sat up like dogs upon their haunches. Deeming it probable
that when my dogs came up and I approached they would still retreat
and make a bolt across the vley, I directed Carey to canter forward
and take up the ground in the centre of the vley about four hundred
yards in advance; whereby the lions would be compelled either to give
us battle or swim the river, which, although narrow, I knew they would
be very reluctant to do.

I now sat in my saddle, anxiously waiting the arrival of my dogs; and
whilst thus momentarily disengaged, I was much struck with the
majestic and truly appalling appearance which these four noble lions
exhibited. They were all full-grown immense males; and I felt, I must
confess, a little nervous, and very uncertain as to what might be the
issue of the attack. When the dogs came up I rode right in towards the
lions. They sprang to their feet, and trotted slowly down along the
bank of the river, once or twice halting and facing about for half a
minute. Immediately below them their was a small determined bend in
the stream, forming a sort of peninsula. Into this bend they
disappeared, and next moment I was upon them with my dogs. They had
taken shelter in a dense angle of the peninsula, well sheltered by
high trees and reeds. Into this retreat the dogs at once boldly
followed them, making a loud barking, which was instantly followed by
the terrible voices of the lions, which turned about and charged to
the edge of the cover. Next moment, however, I heard them plunge into
the river, when I sprang from my horse, and, running to the top of the
bank, I saw three of them ascending the opposite bank, the dogs
following. One of them bounded away across the open plain at top
speed, but the other two, finding themselves followed by the dogs,
immediately turned to bay.

It was now my turn, so, taking them coolly right and left with my
little rifle, I made the most glorious double shot that a sportsman's
heart could desire, disabling them both in the shoulder before they
were even aware of my position. Then snatching up my other gun from
Carey, who that moment had ridden up to my assistance, I finished the
first lion with a shot about the heart, and brought the second to a
standstill by disabling him in his hind quarters. He quickly crept
into a dense, wide, dark green bush, in which for a long time it was
impossible to obtain a glimpse of him. At length, a clod of earth
falling near his hiding-place, he made a move which disclosed to me
his position, when I finished him with three more shots, all along the
middle of his back. Carey swam across the river to flog off the dogs;
and when these came through to me, I beat up the peninsula in quest of
the fourth lion, which had, however, made off. We then crossed the
river a little higher up, and proceeded to view the noble prizes I had
won. Both lions were well up in their years; I kept the skin and skull
of the finest specimen, and only the nails and tail of the other, one
of whose canine teeth was worn down to the socket with the caries,
which seemed to have affected his general condition.



Mr. Cumming Hunting Rhinoceroses.


Mr. Cumming thus describes his encounter with some rhinoceroses and an
eland, in the country of the Bechuanas.

It was on the 4th of June, 1844, that I beheld for the first time the
rhinoceros. Having taken some coffee, I rode out unattended, with my
rifle, and before proceeding far I fell in with a huge white
rhinoceros with a large calf, standing in a thorny grove. Getting my
wind she set off at top speed through thick thorny bushes, the calf,
as is invariably the case, taking the lead, the mother guiding its
course by placing her horn, generally about three feet in length,
against its ribs.

My horse shied very much at first, alarmed at the strange appearance
of "Chukuroo," but by a sharp application of spur and jambok I
prevailed upon him to follow, and presently, the ground improving, I
got alongside, and, firing at the gallop, sent a bullet through her
shoulder. She continued her pace with blood streaming from the wound,
and very soon reached an impracticable thorny jungle, where I could
not follow, and instantly lost her. In half an hour I fell in with the
second rhinoceros, being an old bull of the white variety.
Dismounting, I crept within twenty yards, and saluted him with both
barrels in the shoulder, upon which he made off, uttering a loud
blowing noise, and upsetting every thing that obstructed his progress.

Shortly after this I found myself on the banks of the stream, beside
which my wagons were outspanned. Following along its margin, I
presently beheld a bull of the borele, or black rhinoceros, standing
within a hundred yards of me. Dismounting from my horse, I secured him
to a tree, and then stalked within twenty yards of the huge beast
under cover of a large strong bush. Borele, hearing me advance, came
on to see what it was, and suddenly protruded his horny nose within a
few yards of me. Knowing well that a front shot would not prove
deadly, I sprang to my feet and ran behind the bush. Upon this the
villain charged, blowing loudly, and chased me round the bush. Had his
activity been equal to his ugliness, my wanderings would have
terminated here, but by my superior agility I had the advantage in the
turn.

After standing a short time eyeing me through the bush, he got a whiff
of my wind, which at once alarmed him. Uttering a blowing noise, and
erecting his insignificant yet saucy-looking tail, he wheeled about,
leaving me master of the field, when I sent a bullet through his ribs
to teach him manners. Of the rhinoceros there are four varieties in
South Africa, distinguished by the Bechuanas by the names of the
borele or black rhinoceros, the keitloa or two-horned rhinoceros, the
muchocho or common white rhinoceros, and the kobaoba or long-horned
white rhinoceros. Both varieties of the black rhinoceros are extremely
fierce and dangerous, and rush headlong and unprovoked at any object
which attracts their attention. They never attain much fat, and their
flesh is tough, and not much esteemed by the Bechuanas. Their food
consists almost entirely of the thorny branches of the wait-a-bit
thorns.

Finding that rhinoceros were abundant in the vicinity, I resolved to
halt a day for the purpose of hunting, and after an early breakfast,
on the 6th, I rode south-east with the two Baquaines. They led me
along the bases of the mountains, through woody dells and open glades,
and we eventually reached a grand forest grey with age. Here we found
abundance of spoor of a variety of game, and started several herds of
the more common varieties. At length I observed an old bull eland
standing under a tree. He was the first that I had seen, and was a
noble specimen, standing about six feet high at the shoulder.
Observing us, he made off at a gallop, springing over the trunks of
decayed trees which lay across his path; but very soon he reduced his
pace to a trot. Spurring my horse, another moment saw me riding hard
behind him. Twice in the thickets I lost sight of him, and he very
nearly escaped me; but at length, the ground improving, I came up with
him, and rode within a few yards behind him. Long streaks of foam now
streamed from his mouth, and a profuse perspiration had changed his
sleek grey coat to an ashy blue. Tears trickled from his large dark
eye, and it was plain that the eland's hours were numbered. Pitching
my rifle to my shoulder, I let fly at the gallop, and mortally wounded
him behind; then spurring my horse, I shot past him on his right side,
and discharged my other barrel behind his shoulder, when the eland
staggered for a moment and subsided in the dust. The two Baquaines
soon made their appearance, and seemed delighted at my success. Having
kindled a fire, they cut out steaks, which they roasted on the embers;
I also cooked a steak for myself, spitting it upon a forked branch,
the other end of which I sharpened with my knife and stuck into the
ground.

The eland is a magnificent animal, by far the largest of all the
antelope tribe, exceeding a large ox in size. It also attains an
extraordinary condition, being often burdened with a very large amount
of fat. Its flesh is most excellent, and is justly esteemed above all
others. It has a peculiar sweetness, and is tender and fit for use the
moment the animal is killed. Like the gemsbok, the eland is
independent of water, and frequents the borders of the great Kalahari
desert in herds varying from ten to a hundred. It is also generally
diffused throughout all the wooded districts of the interior where I
have hunted. Like other varieties of deer and and antelope, the old
males may often be found consorting together apart from the females,
and a troop of these, when in full condition, may be likened to a herd
of stall-fed oxen.

The eland has less speed than any other variety of antelope; and, by
judicious riding, they may be driven to camp from a great distance. In
this manner I have often ridden the best bull out of the herd, and
brought him within gunshot of my wagons, where I could more
conveniently cut up and preserve the flesh, without the trouble of
sending men and packoxen to fetch it. I have repeatedly seen an eland
drop down dead at the end of a severe chase, owing to his plethoric
habit. The skin of the eland I had just shot emitted, like most other
antelopes, the most delicious perfume of trees and grass.

Having eaten my steak, I rode to my wagon, where I partook of coffee,
and having mounted a fresh horse, I again set forth accompanied by
Carollus leading a packhorse, to bring home the head of the eland and
a supply of the flesh; I took all my dogs along with me to share in
the banquet. We had not proceeded far when the dogs went ahead on some
scent. Spurring my horse, I followed through some thorny bushes as
best I might, and emerging on an open glade, I beheld two huge white
rhinoceroses trotting along before me. The dogs attacked them with
fury, and a scene of intense excitement ensued. The Old Gray, on
observing them, pricked up his ears, and seemed only half inclined to
follow, but a sharp application of the spur reminded him of his duty,
and I was presently riding within ten yards of the stem of the
largest, and sent a bullet through her back. The Old Grey shied
considerably and became very unmanageable, and on one occasion, in
consequence, the rhinoceros, finding herself hemmed in by a bend in a
watercourse, turned round to charge, I had a very narrow escape.

Presently, galloping up on one side, I gave her a bad wound in the
shoulder, soon after which she came to bay in the dry bed of a river.
Dismounting from my horse, I commenced loading, but before this was
accomplished she was off once more. I followed her, putting on my caps
as I rode, and coming up alongside, I made a fine shot from the
saddle, firing at the gallop. The ball entered somewhere near her
heart. On receiving this shot she reeled about, while torrents of
blood flowed from her mouth and wounds, and presently she rolled over
and expired, uttering a shrill screaming sound as she died, which
rhinoceroses invariably do while in the agonies of death.

The chase had led me close in along the northern base of a lofty
detached mountain, the highest in all that country. The mountain is
called, by the Bechuanas, the Mountain of the Eagles. The eland which
I had shot in the morning lay somewhere to the southward of this
mountain, but far in the level forest. Having rounded the mountain, I
began to recognise the ground.

I had the satisfaction to behold a few vultures soaring over the
forest in advance, and, on proceeding a short distance farther, large
groups of these birds were seated on the grey and weather-beaten
branches of the loftiest old trees of the forest. This was a certain
sign that the eland was not far distant; and on raising my voice and
loudly calling on the name of Carollus, I was instantly answered by
that individual, who, heedless of his master's fate, was actively
employed in cooking for himself a choice steak from the dainty rump of
the eland. That night I slept beneath the blue and starry canopy of
heaven. My sleep was light and sweet, and no rude dreams or hankering
cares disturbed the equanimity of my repose.

One of Mr. Cumming's most perilous adventures was with a black
Rhinoceros, which gave chase to him, and nearly run turn down. He thus
describes this affair.

On the 22d, ordering my men to move on to the fountain of Bootlonamy,
I rode forth with Ruyter, [Footnote: This is the name of a favorite
servant of Mr. Cumming.] and held east through a grove of lofty and
wide-spreading mimosas, most of which were more or less damaged by the
gigantic strength of a troop of elephants, which had passed there
about twelve months before.

Having proceeded about two miles with large herds of game on every
side, I observed a crusty looking old bull borele, or black
rhinoceros, cocking his ears one hundred yards in advance. He had not
observed us; and soon after he walked slowly toward us, and stood
broadside to, eating some wait-a-bit thorns within fifty yards of me.
I fired from my saddle, and sent a bullet in behind his shoulder, upon
which he rushed forward about one hundred yards in tremendous
consternation, blowing like a grampus, and then stood looking about
him. Presently he made off. I followed, but found it hard to come up
with him. When I overtook him I found the blood running freely from
his wound.

The chase led through a large herd of blue wildebeests, zebras, and
springboks, which gazed at us in utter amazement. At length I fired my
second barrel, but my horse was fidgety, and I missed. I continued
riding alongside of him, expecting in my ignorance that at length he
would come to bay, which rhinoceroses never do; when suddenly he fell
flat on his broadside on the ground, but, recovering his feet, resumed
his course as if nothing had happened. Becoming at last annoyed at the
length of the chase, as I wished to keep my horses fresh for the
elephants, and being indifferent whether I got the rhinoceros or not,
as I observed that his horn was completely worn down by age, and the
violence of his disposition, I determined to bring matters to a
crisis; so, spurring my horse, I dashed ahead, and rode right in his
path.

Upon this the hideous monster instantly charged me in the most
resolute manner, blowing loudly through his nostrils; and although I
quickly wheeled about to my left, he followed me at such a furious
pace for several hundred yards, with his horrid horny snout within a
few yards of my horse's tail, that my little Bushman, who was looking
on in great alarm, thought his master's destruction inevitable. It was
certainly a very near thing; my horse was extremely afraid, and
exerted his utmost energies on the occasion. The rhinoceros, however,
wheeled about and continued his former course; and I being perfectly
satisfied with the interview which I had already enjoyed with him, had
no desire to cultivate his acquaintance any further, and accordingly
made for camp.

We left the fountain of Bootlonamy the same day, and marched about six
miles through an old grey forest of mimosas, when we halted for the
night. Large flocks of guinea-fowls roosted in the trees around our
encampment, several of which I shot for my supper.

On the 23d we inspanned by moonlight, and continued our march through
a thinly wooded level country. It was a lovely morning; the sun rose
in great splendor, and the sky was beautifully overcast with clouds.
Having proceeded about ten miles, the country became thickly covered
with detached forest trees and groves of wait-a-bit thorns. The guides
now informed us that the water, which is called by the Bechuanas,
"Lepeby," was only a short distance in advance; upon which I saddled
steeds, and rode ahead with the Bushman, intending to hunt for an hour
before breakfast. Presently we reached an open glade in the forest,
where I observed a herd of zebras in advance; and on my left stood a
troop of springboks, with two leopards watching them from behind a
bush. I rode on, and soon fell in with a troop of hartebeests, and, a
little after, with a large herd of blue wildebeests and pallahs. I
followed for some distance, when they were reinforced by two other
herds of pallahs and wildebeests. Three black rhinoceroses now trotted
across my path.

Presently I sprang from my horse, and fired right and left at a
princely bull blue wildebeest. He got both balls, but did not fall,
and I immediately lost sight of him in the dense ranks of his shaggy
companions. The game increased as we proceeded, until the whole forest
seemed alive with a variety of beautifully colored animals. On this
occasion I was very unfortunate; I might have killed any quantity of
game if venison had been my object; but I was trying to get a few very
superior heads of some of the master bucks of the pallahs. Of these I
wounded four select old bucks, but in the dust and confusion caused by
the innumerable quantity of the game I managed to lose them all.



Encounter with a Lioness.


When Mr. Cumming was in that part of the interior of South Africa
inhabited by the tribe called the Griquas, he had a remarkable and
fearful encounter with a lioness. He had been shooting some of the
various kinds of antelopes which abound in that country, under various
names, such as wildebeests, springboks, blesboks, and pallahs, when
the adventure occurred, which he thus describes.

Suddenly I observed a number of vultures seated on the plain about a
quarter of a mile ahead of us, and close beside them stood a huge
lioness, consuming a blesbok which she had killed. She was assisted in
her repast by about a dozen jackals, which were feasting along with
her in the most friendly manner.

Directing my followers' attention to the spot, I remarked, "I see the
lion;" to which they replied, "Whar? whar? Yah! Almagtig! dat is he;"
and instantly reining in their steeds and wheeling about they pressed
their heels to their horses' sides, and were preparing to betake
themselves to flight. I asked them what they were going to do. To
which they answered, "We have not yet placed caps on our rifles." This
was true; but while this short conversation was passing, the lioness
had observed us. Raising her full, round face, she overhauled us for a
few seconds, and then set off at a smart canter toward a range of
mountains some miles to the northward; the whole troop of jackals also
started off in another direction; there was, therefore, no time to
think of caps.

The first move was to bring her to bay, and not a second was to be
lost. Spurring my good and lively steed, and shouting to my men to
follow, I flew across the plain, and, being fortunately mounted on
Colesberg, the flower of my stud, I gained upon her at every stride.
This was to me a joyful moment, and I at once made up my mind that she
or I must die.

The lioness having had a long start of me, we went over a considerable
extent of ground before I came up with her. She was a large,
full-grown beast, and the bare and level nature of the plain added to
her imposing appearance. Finding that I gained upon her, she reduced her
pace from a canter to a trot, carrying her tail stuck out behind her,
and slewed a little to one side. I shouted loudly to her to halt, as I
wished to speak with her, upon which she suddenly pulled up, and sat
on her haunches like a dog, with her back toward me, not even deigning
to look round. She then appeared to say to herself, "Does this fellow
know who he is after?"

Having thus sat for half a minute, as if involved in thought, she
sprang to her feet, and, facing about, stood looking at me for a few
seconds, moving her tail slowly from side to side, showing her teeth,
and growling fiercely. She next made a short run forward, making a
loud, rumbling noise like thunder. This she did to intimidate me; but
finding that I did not flinch an inch nor seem to heed her hostile
demonstrations, she quietly stretched out her massive arms, and lay
down on the grass. My Hottentots now coming up, we all three
dismounted, and, drawing our rifles from their holsters, we looked to
see if the powder was up in the nipples, and put on our caps, While
this was doing the lioness sat up, and showed evident symptoms of
uneasiness. She looked first at us, and then behind her, as if to see
if the coast were clear; after which she made a short run toward us,
uttering her deep-drawn, murderous growls.

Having secured the three horses to one another by their reins, we led
them on as if we intended to pass her, in the hope of obtaining a
broadside. But this she carefully avoided to expose, presenting only
her full front. I had given Stofolus my rifle, with orders to shoot
her if she should spring upon me, but on no account to fire before me.
Kleinboy was to stand ready to hand me my Purdey rifle, in case the
two-grooved Dixon should not prove sufficient. My men as yet had been
steady, but they were in a precious stew, their faces having assumed a
ghastly paleness, and I had a painful feeling that I could place no
reliance on them.

Now then for it, neck or nothing! She is within sixty yards of us, and
she keeps advancing. We turned the horses' tails to her. I knelt on
one side, and, taking aim at her breast, let fly. The ball cracked
loudly on her tawny hide, and crippled her in the shoulder, upon which
she charged with an appalling roar, and in the twinkling of an eye she
was in the midst of us, At this moment Stofolus's rifle exploded in
his hand, and Kleinboy, whom I had ordered to stand ready by me,
danced about like a duck in a gale of wind.

The lioness sprang upon Colesberg, and fearfully lacerated his ribs
and haunches with her horrid teeth and claws; the worst wound was on
his haunch, which exhibited a sickening, yawning gash, more than
twelve inches long, almost laying bare the very bone. I was very cool
and steady, and did not feel in the least degree nervous, having
fortunately great confidence in my own shooting; but I must confess,
when the whole affair was over, I felt that it was a very awful
situation, and attended with extreme peril, as I had no friend with me
on whom I could rely.

When the lioness sprang on Colesberg, I stood out from the horses,
ready with my second barrel for the first chance she should give of a
clear shot. This she quickly did; for, seemingly satisfied with the
revenge She had now taken, she quitted Colesberg, and slewing her tail
to one side, trotted sulkily past within a few paces of me, taking one
step to the left. I pitched my rifle to my shoulder, and in another
second the lioness was stretched on the plain a lifeless corpse.

In the struggles of death she half turned on her back, and stretched
her neck and fore arms convulsively, when she fell back to her former
position; her mighty arms hung powerless by her side, her lower jaw
fell, blood streamed from her mouth, and she expired. At the moment I
fired my second shot, Stofolus, who hardly knew whether he was alive
or dead, allowed the three horses to escape. These galloped
frantically across the plain, on which he and Kleinboy instantly
started after them, leaving me standing alone, and unarmed, within a
few feet of the lioness, which they from their anxiety to be out of
the way, evidently considered quite capable of doing further mischief.



Hunting the Blauwbok and Buffalo.


Among the various kinds of antelopes which inhabit South Africa, the
blauwbok, or blue buck, called by Mr. Cumming, the blue antelope, is
one of the most remarkable. It is six feet in length, three feet and a
half high to the back, and very compactly made. The horns are more
than two feet in length, round, closely annulated to within six inches
of the tips, bent back in a uniform but moderate curve, and very sharp
at the points. The general color of the hair is gray, with the insides
of the ears, a streak before each eye, the insides of the legs, and a
few hairs along the ridge of the neck, white. The hair on the body
divides on the line of the back, and is rather coarse and open.

The skin under it on the upper part of the living animal is a black,
which shining through the grey, produces a sort of raven-blue tint. It
is the epidermis only and not the mucous tissue which has this black
color, otherwise the hair would have it; and it fades when the animal
is dead, as is the case with a highly-colored epidermis in almost all
animals.

This animal was frequently pursued and shot by Mr. Cumming, in his
African hunts, and his flesh was found to be excellent.

The Cape buffalo, or African buffalo, was a more troublesome object of
chase. This animal, has a most formidable front, and its general
aspect is shaggy and formidable. The horns are the most compact, and
in their substance the heaviest of all the ruminating animals,
excepting only some of those of the antelopes. This animal is
considerably lower than the Indian buffalo; but it is firmer, though
shorter in the legs, rounder in the body; and the beard and short mane
give it a rugged appearance. This is by far the most formidable animal
of the genus. It has never been tamed, and the males are dangerous to
come near.

Mr. Cumming thus describes one of his encounters with this animal, by
himself and Ruyter, a Bushman, a favorite servant.

On the forenoon of the 26th, I rode to hunt, accompanied by Ruyter; we
held west, skirting the wooded stony mountains. The natives had here
many years before waged successful war with elephants, four of whose
skulls I found. Presently I came across two sassaybies, one of which I
knocked over; but while I was loading he regained his legs and made
off. We crossed a level stretch of forest, holding a northerly course
for an opposite range of green, well wooded hills and valleys. Here I
came upon a troop of six fine old bull buffaloes, into which I
stalked, and wounded one princely fellow behind the shoulder, bringing
blood from nis mouth; he, however made off with his comrades, and the
ground being very rough we failed to overtake him. They held for the
Ngotwani. After following the spoor for a couple of miles, we dropped
it, as it led right away from camp.

Returning from this chase, we had an adventure with another old bull
buffalo, which shows the extreme danger of hunting buffaloes without
dogs. We started him in a green hollow among the hills, and his course
inclining for camp, I gave him chase. He crossed the level broad
strath and made for the opposite densely wooded range of mountains.
Along the base of these we followed him, sometimes in view, sometimes
on the spoor, keeping the old fellow at a pace which made him pant. At
length, finding himself much distressed, he had recourse to a singular
stratagem. Doubling round some thick bushes which obscured him from
our view, he found himself beside a small pool of rain water, just
deep enough to cover his body; into this he walked, and facing about,
lay gently down and awaited our on-coming, with nothing but his old
grey face and massive horns above the water, and these concealed from
our view by rank overhanging herbage.

Our attention was entirely engrossed with the spoor, and thus we rode
boldly on until within a few feet of him, when springing to his feet,
he made a desperate charge after Ruyter, uttering a low, stifling
roar, peculiar to buffaloes, (somewhat similar to the growl of a lion)
and hurled horse and rider to the ground with fearful violence. His
horns laid the poor horse's haunches open to the bone, making the most
fearful ragged wound.

In an instant Ruyter regained his feet and ran for his life, which the
buffalo observing, gave chase, but most fortunately came down with a
tremendous somersault in the mud, his feet slipping from under him;
thus the Bushman escaped certain destruction. The buffalo rose much
discomfited, and, the wounded horse first catching his eye, he went a
second time at him, but he got out of the way. At this moment I
managed to send one of my patent pacificating pills into his shoulder,
when he instantly quitted the scene of action, and sought shelter in a
dense cover on the mountain side, whither I deemed it imprudent to
follow him.



Adventures with snakes.


The following stories of fascination by snakes, is copied from
"Arthur's Home Gazette." It is no fiction; but is contributed by a
gentleman of Tennessee, who is willing to vouch for the truth of what
he relates.

It has been a thousand times affirmed, and as often denied, that
certain serpents possess the power--independent of the touch--of
paralyzing their proposed victims. And it seems to be generally
admitted that this is done, if done at all, by the eye; for those
theorists who ascribe it to poison inhaled through the nostrils of the
charmed ones, offer us no example to confirm their theory, or to make
it worthy of a second thought. In extended rambles, alone as well as
with society, I have made the study of serpents a matter of amusement,
and familiarized myself--at least I had done so ten years back--to
handle them without any flesh-shrinking. As I got older, and my nerves
become weakened by long exposure to the seasons and to midnight
studies, more debilitating than Texas "northers," I must confess that
I am more timid; but I can yet join a hunt, or project one in good
"snake weather," with considerable gusto. I have never met with a
snake that could charm me, look he never so keenly, although I have
_faced them_ till they got tired, uncoiled, and beat an inglorious
retreat. And I am sure that I never _smell_ anything about a snake,
calculated to excite any other emotions or _motions_ except _holding
the nose_. And finally I never found a snake or snakelet that I would
turn my heel upon to flee, and for the very good reason that the
animal in question always runs first.

So, ye manufacturers of snake stories horrific, amusive, or
instructive, put that against your tales of blacksnakes, copperheads,
cotton-mouths, horn-tails, water-mocassins, and the whole tribe else.

But as to the _fascination_, what of that?

Why, although I have never been fascinated, or seen a person in that
singular situation, yet I am a firm believer in the art, a believer
against my wishes--because evidence indisputable has been furnished
me, and in abundance. Now I leave out of the question, all the
influences of fright, surprise, etc., also all the humbug stories of
novel writers and romancers in private life, and yet there is a
remainder that I cannot cast out. One or two anecdotes, and then I
come to my principal proof.

A gentleman of my acquaintance, passing along a bridle path, observed
a mouse running backwards and forwards, upon a fallen log, as if in
great terror. Reining in this horse, he paused full ten minutes, and
until the mouse disappeared on the farther side of the log. Drawing
nearer, and peeping over, his suspicions of Lucifer's guile were
verified--for mousey was within three inches of his open jaw,
"irresistibly attracted," said the narrator, "although he was drawing
back with all his might." The latter part of the tale is fishy--for
the gentleman was twenty feet off, and could not nave seen that--but
he saw the mouse finally disappear in that cavernous gullet; and when
he killed the snake-a large black one--the mouse lay in its stomach,
_without a wound_. How will that do?

Another, well authenticated. A young man, of some twenty years,
passing along the road to school, on foot, was observed by some of his
companions in the rear to pause suddenly and look down. His fellows
intent on their conversation, were several minutes coming up; but when
they did so they witnessed a veritable case of fascination--for the
young man was looking intently into the eyes of a large rattlesnake,
coiled at his feet; nor could the voices of all his friends arouse
him. Being jerked back with some violence, he instantly recovered his
senses, but seemed to be puzzled to recall the circumstances connected
with his first view of the snake. After a mental effort he explained,
while the cold sweat poured from his face, and his limbs were flaccid
as an infant's, that the sound of a rattle had caused him to stop
short--that a pleasant halo danced before his eyes, and sweet sounds
met his ears--and that from that instant until the conclusion of the
trance, "he was as happy as he ever expected to be!"

But now for the hardest knock of conviction. I will give it in the
language of the original narrator--premising that opponents to the
theory of serpent attraction must knock under, or flatly contradict
my tale. In the latter event, I shall be compelled to settle the
question as Hodginson did his lawsuit, "by exhibiting the skin and
parading the witnesses."

"In the month of April, a few years back," commences the witness, "I
took my eldest chap, an eight year old boy, but stout and bold enough
for a twelve year old--and sauntered down to Beech river, to spend the
evening [Footnote:  Evening, in this place, signifies from noon until
dark; that's the Southern and Western notion always.] fishing. Finding
a large beech, whose spreading roots formed a natural easy chair, with
arms to it, I threw my line into the stream, and myself into the
cavity, to take the thing deliberately as I generally do on such
occasions. There had been a rise in Beech river sufficient to muddy
the water, and I knew the only chance was for cat (_bull-pouts_ the
Yankees call them,) so I chose a big hook and baited with a chunk of
bacon, big enough for an eight-pounder at least. That hook was a
Limerick, for which I had sent all the way to Porter, of 'The
Spirit'--that hook I was never more to behold.

"The boy chose for himself a steep place about ten yards below me, and
after sticking his pole in the mud, like a lazy fellow, as he is,
amused himself by counting the stamens in some sorrel-flowers that
grew thick thereabouts. I listened to his chatter for a while as he
vacillated in his numbers--eight--nine--ten--twelve--until my own
thoughts took an interesting turn, and I heard to more of him for
several minutes. Then the sound of his voice again struck one, but a
little distance further down stream, as he tailed out--'Oh, Pa, look!'

"Being well accustomed to his 'mares' nests,' I did not turn until he
had repeated several times the same words, and it was the singularity
of his tones at last that caused me to do it. His voice was
indescribably plaintive, clear, but low, and each vowel sound was
drawn out at great length, thus--'Oh-h-h-h, Pa-a-a-a,
loo-oo-oo-ook,'--with the diminuendo, soft as the ring of a glass vessel,
when struck. I have heard Kyle, the flutist, while executing some of his
thrilling touches, strike his low notes very much like it. Slewing myself
partly round in my seat, I observed the little fellow standing bent
forward, his hands stretched out before him as if shielding his face from
a bush, while his whole body worked to and fro like the subjects in
certain mesmeric experiments that I nave observed when first they are
brought under 'the influence' of the operator. His face was partly
turned from me, but the cheek, which I saw was pale as death, and his
cloth cap was trembling on the back part of his head, as if forced
there by the workings of the scalp.

"This was as much as I had time to observe in the first hasty glance.
Astonished at his actions, though not at all alarmed--or the first
thought that occurred to me as that he was trying to catch a young
rabbit--I called out in a half-jocular tone, well, bubby boy, what is
it?' He made no reply, but continued that strange murmur of '--Oh-h-h,
Pa-a-a, loo-oo-ook,' and took a couple of paces forward, not as though
he wished to advance, but more in the style of a person who has leaned
too far forward and moves his feet to recover the perpendicular. I
arose, rather slowly, for it was a mere prompting of curiosity, and
walking towards him, called out in a tone of some authority, 'John,
come here!' Now I can say, without boasting, that my domestic
government is thorough, and my children will promptly obey my commands
in every thing, from the taking of a dose of quinine to the springing
out of bed at daylight of a frosty morning. My surprise, therefore,
was great to observe that the lad only answered my order, twice
repeated, by the same melancholy cry, and another stumble forward.

"I was now thoroughly aroused. I hastened my own steps, for a horror
came over me as though I was in the presence of a demon. I advanced
directly behind the child, and looking over him, observed a thick bush
of the Early Honeysuckle, (_Azalea nudiflora_.) Into and through this
I glanced, but I observed no object to excite my notice. I had got
within a pace of him, and was in the act of putting my hand with some
force upon his shoulder, when following more precisely the direction
of his eyes, I looked at the foot of the bush, then about six feet
from me, and how shall I describe the sequel!

"Like an electric shock, a sensation pervaded my whole frame, which,
although I can never forget, I must most imperfectly describe. I was
in a trance--the blood overcharged my brain--a murmuring sound, as of
an Aeolian, filled my ears-drops, like rain, oozed from my face--my
hat, first elevated to the very tips of the hairs, worked backwards
and fell to the ground--in brief, I was regularly, and for the first
and last time in my life, in a state of fascination.

"No sensation of languor troubled me, for although I felt no
inclination to go forward, yet I seemed to myself perfectly able and
willing to stay where I was, so long as the world lasted. I was
perfectly happy in spite of my bodily excitement. A bright halo of
changeable colors, for all the world like the changeable lights I have
seen displayed in front of the American Museum, New York, filled all
my vision, in the very focus of which gleamed two keen points, like
sparks from the blacksmith's anvil, and they were so vivid that they
seemed to pierce me through and through.

"How long this continued I cannot say, but I suppose only for a
minute. So far as my own perception of time's flight is concerned,
however, it might have been an age.

"I was awakened by the harsh crackling of some dry sticks upon which
the boy had stepped as he continued to shuffle forward. The recovery
was as sudden as the attack. In an instant I was disenchanted. The
bush looked familiar, and I heard the fall of water in the stream, but
a thought of imminent danger now possessed my mind; so shouting with a
voice that made the woods ring, I seized the lad around the waist, and
heavy as he was, ran with him quite a quarter of a mile without
stopping. I confess it most frankly that I didn't stop until I fell
exhausted in the public road. To tell the cowardly truth, I should
have ran on until now if I had been able. So we fell down together and
lay for a good while panting.

"Then I got up and propping myself against a poplar, took little John
on my knee. His nervous system was unstrung. He was weeping bitterly,
and sobbing as if his heart would break. His flesh was cold and
clammy, his pulse was almost still, and he hadn't strength to raise
his hands to his mouth.

"I had some root ginger in my pocket--I always carry a piece with
me--which I chewed and made him swallow. This revived him. Then I rubbed
him briskly, pinched his skin in divers tender spots, and by these
means and cheerful conversation, got him so that he could stand alone
and answer my questions. I never saw such a fool thing as he was! He
was not at all alarmed, very willingly consented to return with me--for
I'd die but what I'd see it but--thought there ought to be a perch
on his hook by this time, thought it was Sunday, thought there was
snow somewhere, 'twas so cold,--and all such notions as that.

"Every few minutes he would burst into an uncontrollable flood of
tears, but he couldn't tell for what.

"You will want to know how I felt all this time. Well, when I got a
minute's leisure from attending to him and could notice my own
feelings, I found that I was snivelling too! that my pulse was small,
my nose had been profusely bleeding, and the blood had drenched me to
the very boot tops, and I felt altogether as exhausted as one does who
has had a month's spell of the chills.

"We were a precious pair, daddy and son, as we sat under that poplar.
I am sure I never felt so foolish in all my life. Well, back we
started, for my spunk was up; and, beside that, I had left my hat,
handkerchief, dinner, and memorandum book, and was bound to have them.
I felt the most burning curiosity to understand the puzzle while my
mental faculties were completely obfuscated by it.

"Neither of us said a word of the affair itself, for John didn't seem
to know that he had been frightened, and I was afraid to alarm him by
speaking of it. He asked no questions of any sort, although in general
he is a miniature Paul Pry, expressed no surprise that I was
bareheaded and bloody, or that we had come so far from the fishing
place and left our tackle behind. His face expressed confusion, such
as a child will exhibit when he is waked suddenly by falling out of
bed, and commences grasping around the bedpost preparatory to getting
in again. I knew that something frightful was there, and felt that we
had escaped some great peril, but what the object or what the peril I
had no idea whatever. I am sure, however, that the notion of a snake
never entered my mind, but if any thing tangible, if was of a wild
cat, for the recollection of Cooper's panther story in the Pioneers
occurred to me, and I cut a stout hickory sapling to be prepared. We
arrived with slow steps at the haunted spot, for both were exhausted,
and I felt the value of prudence. There lay my basket by the beech
root, more by token that the hogs had found it and were just devouring
the last morsel of bread and meat so carefully deposited therein.

"There was my fishing line, but the eight-pounder had become weary and
worn, and carried off my Limerick hook. There was my hat near the
honeysuckle bush, but the phantom itself, with its diamond eyes and
mystic powers, was gone. Frightened probably by the hogs, unromantic
objects in every point of view, he had fled; but I found him within
fifty yards in the form of a _rattlesnake_, full six feet from tip to
tip, and glorying in fourteen full rattles.

"I had my revenge in every possible form. I looked at him for ten
minutes at a time, but the power was gone, and I only saw two keen,
devilish-looking eyes. Then I punched him till he spent all his venom
on my stick. Then I made him drunk on tobacco juice, ingloriously and
brutally drunk.

"Getting tired at last, I gave him the _coup de grâce_, skinned him,
and returned home. He hangs now in loops over my family bed. Those
eyes that thrilled my heart so strangely are dim with dust. Those
fangs, which in a few minutes more would probably have sent death to
the heart's fountain of my boy, are now in Europe, a part of the
collection admired by countless crowds at the British Museum. The
subject is fast fading from my memory,'mid the cares of life, and had
you not asked me to write it out for you, I should have thought of it
but a little longer. Let it stand as another testimony, and a most
unwilling one, too, of the fascinating powers of serpents on the
human."

So far my correspondent tells his own tale in language sufficiently
plain and explicit. If any figure him out as a man of feeble frame and
low stature, let them change their fancy at once.

He is a strong, muscular man, an old bear hunter, one who has fought
Indians in the Florida swamps; a person withal, of unquestionable
veracity, and in all respects the last man to impose on others, or be
imposed upon by anything, fish, flesh, or fowl.



Contests with Large Snakes


The family of snakes called Boidae, including the Boas and Pythons are
huge snakes confined to the hotter regions of the globe, and
formidable from their vast strength and mode of attack. They lurk in
ambush and dart upon their victim, which in an instant is seized and
enveloped in their folds, and crushed to death or strangled. For their
predatory habits they are admirably adapted; their teeth are terrible,
and produce a dreadful wound; the neck is slender, the body increasing
gradually to about the middle in diameter, and then decreasing. The
tail is a grasping instrument, strongly prehensile, and aided by two
hooklike claws, sheathed with horn, externally visible on each side,
beneath, just anterior to the base of the tail. Though externally
nothing beyond these spurs appear, internally is found a series of
bones, representing those of the hinder limbs, but of course
imperfectly developed; yet they are acted upon by powerful muscles,
and can be so used as to form a sort of antagonist to the tail while
grasping any object; they thus become a fulcrum giving additional
force to the grasp, which secured thereby to a fixed point, giving
double power to the animal's energy.

The emperor boa, or boa constrictor as well as all the others to which
the name boa applies are, according to Cuvier, natives of America. The
engraving represents one of these terrible snakes in the act of
strangling a deer.

The Aboma (_Boa cenchrea_) has scaly plates on the muzzle, and pits or
dimples upon the plates of the jaws.

Endowed with powers which in a semicivilized state of society must
operate powerfully on the mind; at ease and freedom alike on the land,
in the water, or among the trees; at once wily, daring, and
irresistible in their attack, graceful in their movements, and
splendid in their coloring--that such creatures, to be both dreaded
and admired, should become the subject of superstitious reverence, is
scarcely to be wondered at. The ancient Mexicans regarded the boa as
sacred; they viewed its actions with religious horror; they crouched
beneath the fiery glances of its eyes; they trembled as they listened
to its long-drawn hiss, and from various signs and movements predicted
the fate of tribes or individuals, or drew conclusions of guilt or
innocence. The supreme idol was represented encircled and guarded by
sculptured serpents, before which were offered human sacrifices.


  "On a blue throne, with four huge silver snakes,
  As if the keepers of the sanctuary,
  Circled, with stretching necks and fangs display'd,
  Mexitli sate: another graven snake
  Belted with scales of gold his monster bulk."

It is probably of the boa constrictor, the emperor, the devin, that
Hernandez writes, under the name of Temacuilcahuilia, so called from
its powers, the word meaning a fighter with five men. It attacks, he
says, those it meets, and overpowers them with such force, that if it
once coils itself around their necks it strangles and kills them,
unless it bursts itself by the violence of its own efforts; and he
states that the only way of avoiding the attack is for the man to
manage in such a way as to oppose a tree to the animal's constriction,
so that while the serpent supposes itself to be crushing the man, it
may be torn asunder by its own act, and so die. We do not ask our
readers for their implicit faith in this. He adds, that he has himself
seen serpents as thick as a man's thigh, which had been taken young by
the Indians and tamed; they were provided with a cask strewn with
litter in the place of a cavern, where they lived, and were for the
most part quiescent, except at meal-times, when they came forth, and
amicably climbed about the couch or shoulders of their master, who
placidly bore the serpent's embrace. They often coiled tip in folds,
equalling a large sized cartwheel in size, and harmlessly received
their food.

In most accounts current respecting the mode in which boas and pythons
take their food, the snake, after crushing its prey, is described as
licking the body with its tongue and lubricating it with its saliva,
in order to facilitate the act of deglutition. It has been observed
with justice that few worse instruments for such a purpose than the
slender dark forked tongue of these snakes could have been contrived:
and that, in fact, the saliva does not begin to be poured out
abundantly till required to lubricate the jaws and throat of the
animal straining to engulph the carcass. We have seen these snakes
take their food, but they did not lubricate it, though the vibratory
tongue often touched it; we must, therefore, withhold our credence
from the common assertion.

The size attained by the boa is often very great, and larger
individuals than any now seen occurred formerly, before their ancient
haunts had been invaded by human colonization.

The Anaconda, (_Boa Scytale_), called by Linnaeus, Boa Murina, and by
Prince Maximilian, Boa Aquatica, is of an enormous size, from twenty
to thirty feet in length.

The boa cenchrea has scaly plates on the the muzzle; and dimples upon
the plates at the sides of the jaws. His color is yellowish, with a
row of large brown rings running the whole length of the back, and
variable spots on the sides. These are generally dark, often
containing a whitish semi-lunar mark. This species, according to Seba,
who describes it as Mexican, is the Temacuilcahuilia (or Tamacuilla
Huilia, as Seba writes the word) described by Hernandez. The species
here described, according to Cuvier, grow nearly to the same size, and
haunt the marshy parts of South America. There, adhering by the tail
to some aquatic tree, they suffer the anterior part of the body to
float upon the water, and patiently wait to seize upon the quadrupeds
which come to drink.

Our engraving represents him in the attitude of watching for a deer
which is seen, in the distance.

A specimen apparently of the boa scytale called in Venezuela "La
Culebra de Agua," or water serpent, and also "El Traga Venado," or
deer-swallower, which measures nineteen feet and a half in length, was
presented by Sir Robert Ker Porter to the United Service Museum. He
states that "The flesh of this serpent is white and abundant in fat.
The people of the plains never eat it, but make use of the fat as a
remedy for rheumatic pains, ruptures, strains, &c."

"This serpent," says Sir B. K. Porter, "is not venomous nor known to
injure man (at least not in this part of the New World;) however, the
natives stand in great fear of it, never bathing in waters where it is
known to exist. Its common haunt, or rather domicile, is invariably
near lakes, swamps, and rivers; likewise close wet ravines produced by
inundations of the periodical rains: hence, from its aquatic habits,
its first appellation. Fish and those animals which repair there to
drink, are the objects of its prey. The creature lurks watchfully
under cover of the water, and, whilst the unsuspecting animal is
drinking, suddenly makes a dash at the nose, and with a grip of its
back-raclining double range of teeth never fails to secure the
terrified beast beyond the power of escape."

It would appear that boas are apt to be carried out to sea by sudden
floods, and are sometimes drifted alive on distant coasts. The Rev.
Lansdown Guilding, writing in the Island of St. Vincent, says, "A
noble specimen of the boa constrictor was lately conveyed to us by the
currents, twisted round the trunk of a large sound cedar tree, which
had probably been washed out of the bank, by the floods of some great
South American river, while its huge folds hang on the branches as it
waited for its prey. The monster was fortunately destroyed after
killing a few sheep, and his skeleton now hangs before me in my study,
putting me in mind how much reason I might have had to fear in my
future rambles through St. Vincent, had this formidable animal been a
pregnant female and escaped to a safe retreat."

The pythons closely resemble the true boas, but have the subcaudal
plates double; the muzzle is sheathed with plates, and those covering
the mouth of the jaws have pits. These snakes, which equal or exceed
the boas in magnitude, are natives of India, Africa, and Australia.

Pliny speaks of snakes in India of such a size as to be capable of
swallowing stags and bulls; and Valerius Maximus, quoting a lost
portion of Pliny's work, narrates the alarm into which the troops
under Regulus were thrown by a serpent which had its lair on the banks
of the river Bagradas, between Utica and Carthage, and which
intercepted the passage to the river. It resisted ordinary weapons,
and killed many of the men; till at last it was destroyed by heavy
stones thrown from military engines used in battering walls; its
length is stated as a hundred and twenty feet. Regulus carried its
skin and jaws to Rome, and deposited them in one of the temples, where
they remained till the time of the Numantine war.

Diodorus Siculus relates the account of the capture of a serpent, not
without loss of life, in Egypt, which measured thirty cubits long; it
was taken to Alexandria. Suetonius speaks of a serpent exhibited at
Rome in front of the Comitium, fifty cubits in length.

Though we do not refuse credit to these narratives, it must be added
that in modern days we have not seen serpents of such magnitude; yet
they may exist. Bontius observes that some of the Indian pythons
exceed thirty-six feet in length, and says that they swallow wild
boars, adding, "there are those alive who partook with General Peter
Both, of a recently swallowed hog cut out of the belly of a serpent of
this kind."

These snakes, he observes, are not poisonous, but strangle a man or
other animal by powerful compression. The Ular Sawa, or great Python
of the Sunda Isles, is said to exceed when full-grown, thirty feet in
length; and it is narrated that a "Malay prow being anchored for the
night under the Island of Celebes, one of the crew went ashore, in
search of betel nut, and, as was supposed, fell asleep on the beach,
on his return. In the dead of night, his companions on board were
aroused by dreadful screams; they immediately went ashore, but they
came too late, the cries had ceased--the man had breathed his last in
the folds of an enormous serpent, which they killed. They cut off the
head of the snake and carried it, together with the lifeless body of
their comrade, to the vessel; the right wrists of the corpse bore the
marks of the serpent's teeth, and the disfigured body showed that the
man had been crushed by the constriction of the reptile round the
head, neck, breast, and thigh."

Mr. McLeod, in his voyage of H.M.S. Alceste, after describing the mode
in which a python on board, sixteen feet in length, crushed and gorged
a goat, the distressing cries of which on being introduced into the
serpent's cage, could not but excite compassion, goes on to say that
during a captivity of some months at Whidah, in the kingdom of
Dahomey, on the coast of Africa, he had opportunities of observing
pythons of more than double that size, and which were capable of
swallowing animals much larger that goats or sheep. "Governor Abson,"
he adds, "who had for thirty-seven years resided at Fort William, one
of the African Company's settlements there, describes some desperate
struggles which he had seen, or which had come to his knowledge,
between the snakes and wild beasts as well as the smaller cattle, in
which the former were always victorious. A negro herdsman belonging to
Mr. Abson, and who afterwards limped for many years about the fort,
had been seized by one of these monsters by the thigh; but from his
situation in a wood the serpent in attempting to throw himself around
him got entangled in a tree; and the man being thus preserved from a
state of compression, which would instantly have rendered him quite
powerless, had presence of mind enough to cut with a large knife which
he carried about with him, deep gashes in the neck and throat of his
antagonist, thereby killing him, and disengaging himself from his
frightful situation. He never afterwards, however, recovered the use
of his limb, which had sustained considerable injury from the fangs
and mere force of his jaws."

Ludolph states that enormous snakes exist in Ethiopia: and Bosman
informs us that entire men have been found in the gullet of serpents
on the Gold coast. In the "Oriental Annual" is the following
narrative, explanatory of a well-known picture by W. Daniell: "A few
years before our visit to Calcutta," says the writer, "the captain of
a country ship while passing the Sunderbunds sent a boat into one of
the creeks to obtain some fresh fruits, which are cultivated by the
few miserable inhabitants of this inhospitable region. Having reached
the shore the crew moored the boat under a bank, and left one of their
party to take care of her."

During their absence, the lascar who remained in charge of the boat,
overcome by heat, lay down under the seats and fell asleep. While he
was in this happy state of unconsciousness an enormous boa, python,
emerged from the jungle, reached the boat, had already coiled its huge
body round the sleeper, and was in the very act of crushing him to
death, when his companions fortunately returned at this auspicious
moment, and attacking the monster, severed a portion of its tail,
which so disabled it that it no longer retained the power of doing
mischief. The snake was then easily despatched, and was found to
measure, as stated, sixty-two feet and some inches in length. It is
hardly probable that the snake had fairly entwined round the man, for
the sudden compression of the chest, had the snake exerted its
strength, would have been instantly fatal.

In March, 1841, a singular circumstance occurred at the gardens of the
Zoological Society, which at the time caused no little surprise. A
python, eleven or twelve feet long, and one about nine feet long, were
kept together in a well-secured cage; both had been fed one evening,
the larger one with three guinea pigs and a rabbit; but, as it would
appear, his appetite was unsatiated. The next morning, when the keeper
came to look into the cage, the smaller python was missing--its escape
was impossible--and the question was what had become of it?

The truth was evident--its larger companion had swallowed it. There it
lay torpid, and bloated to double its ordinary dimensions. How it
accomplished the act is not known, but we may imagine a fearful
struggle to have taken place, as wreathing round each other they
battled for the mastery; unless, indeed, the victim was itself torpid
and incapable of resistance.

The Tiger Python, (_Python, tigris_), is a native of India and Java,
and is often brought over to England for exhibition. It was, we
believe, from one of these species that Mr. Cops, the keeper of the
lion office was in imminent danger, as narrated by Mr. Broderip.

The animal was near shedding its skin, and consequently nearly blind,
for the skin of the eye, which is shed with the rest of the slough,
becomes then opaque, when Mr. Cops, wishing it to feed, held a fowl to
its head. The snake darted at the bird, but missed it, seizing the
keeper by the left thumb, and coiled round his arm and neck in a
moment. Mr. Cops, who was alone, did not lose his presence of mind,
and immediately attempted to relieve himself of the powerful
constriction by getting at the snake's head. But the serpent had so
knotted himself on his own head, that Mr. Cops could not reach it, and
had thrown himself on the floor in order to grapple with a better
chance of success, when two other keepers coming in broke the teeth of
the serpent, and with some difficulty relieved Mr. Cops from his
perilous situation. Two broken teeth were extracted from the thumb,
which soon healed, and no material inconvenience was the result of
this frightful adventure.

Mr. Cumming, to whose exploits we have so frequently referred, gives
the following account of a day's adventures, one of which was an
amusing affair with a large python.

On the 26th, I rose at earliest dawn to inspect the heads of the three
old buffaloes, they were all enormous old bulls, and one of them
carried a most splendid head. The lions had cleaned out all his
entrails; their spoor [Footnote: Spoor, _i.e.,_ track] was immense.
Having taken some buffalo breast and liver for breakfast, I despatched
Ruyter to the wagons to call the natives to remove the carcasses,
while I and Kleinboy held through the hills to see what game might be
in the next glen which contained water. On my way thither, we started
a fine old buck koodoo, which I shot, putting both barrels into him at
one hundred yards. As I was examining the spoor of the game by the
fountain, I suddenly detected an enormous old rock-snake stealing in
beside a mass of rock beside me. He was truly an enormous snake, and,
having never before dealt with this species of game, I did not exactly
know how to set about capturing him. Being very anxious to preserve
his skin entire, and not wishing to have recourse to my rifle, I cut a
stout and tough stick about eight feet long, and having lightened
myself of my shooting-belt, I commenced the attack. Seizing him by the
tail, I tried to get him out of his place of refuge; but I hauled in
vain; he only drew his large folds firmer together; I could not move
him. At length I got a rheim round one of his folds about the middle
of his body, and Kleinboy and I commenced hauling away in good
earnest.

The snake, finding the ground too hot for him, relaxed his coils, and,
suddenly bringing round his head to the front, he sprang out at us
like an arrow, with his immense and hideous mouth opened to its
largest dimensions, and before I could get out of the way he was clean
out of his hole, and made a second spring, throwing himself forward
about eight or ten feet, and snapping his horrid fangs within a foot
of my legs. I sprang out of his way, and, getting hold of the green
bough I had cut, returned to the charge. The snake was now gliding
along at top speed: he knew the ground well, and was making for a mass
of broken rocks, where he would have been beyond my reach, but before
he could gain this place of refuge I caught him two or three
tremendous whacks on the head. He, however, held on, and gained a pool
of muddy water, which he was rapidly crossing, when I again belabored
him, and at length reduced his pace to a stand. We then hanged him by
the neck to a bough of a tree, and in about fifteen minutes he seemed
dead, but he again became very troublesome during the operation of
skinning, twisting his body in all manner of ways. This serpent
measured fourteen feet.



Adventure with Buffalo and Elephant.


The Cape Buffalo we have already described, and we now refer to him
again only for the purpose of quoting Mr. Cumming's account of a
spirited fight with one. He thus relates the affair.

On the evening of the next day I had a glorious row with an old bull
buffalo: he was the only large bull in a fine herd of cows. I found
their spoor while walking ahead of the wagon, and following it up, I
came upon a part of the herd feeding quietly in a dense part of the
forest. I fired my first shot at a cow, which I wounded. The other
half of the herd then came up right in my face, within six yards of
me. They would have trampled on me if I had not sung out in their
faces and turned them. I selected the old bull and sent a bullet into
his shoulder. The herd then crashed along through the jungle to my
right, but he at once broke away from them and took to my left. On
examining his spoor, I found it bloody. I then went to meet my wagons,
which I heard coming on, and, ordering the men to outspan, I took all
my dogs to the spoor. They ran it up in fine style, and in a few
minutes the silence of the forest was disturbed by a tremendous bay.
On running towards the sound I met the old fellow coming on towards
the wagons, with all my dogs after him. I saluted him with a second
ball in the shoulder; he held on and took up a position in the thicket
within forty yards of the wagons, where I finished him. He carried a
most splendid head.

In another part of his narrative, Mr. Cumming thus describes a
desperate battle with an elephant.

On the 27th I cast loose my horses at earliest dawn of day, and then I
lay half asleep for two hours, when I arose to consume coffee and
rhinoceros. Having breakfasted, I started with a party of natives to
search for elephants in a southerly direction. We held along the
gravelly bed of a periodical river, in which were abundance of holes
excavated by the elephants in quest of water. Here the spoor of
rhinoceros was extremely plentiful, and in every hole where they had
drunk the print of the horn was visible. We soon found the spoor of an
old bull elephant, which led us into a dense forest, where the ground
was particularly unfavorable for spooring; we, however, threaded it
out for a considerable distance, when it joined the spoor of other
bulls.

The natives now requested me to halt, while the men went off in
different directions to reconnoitre. In the mean time a tremendous
conflagration was roaring and crackling close to windward of us. It
was caused by the Bakalahari burning the old dry grass to enable the
young to spring up with greater facility, whereby they retained the
game in their dominions. The fire stretched away for many miles on
either side of us, darkening the forest far to leeward with a dense
and impenetrable canopy of smoke. Here we remained for about half an
hour, when one of the men returned, reporting that he had discovered
elephants. This I could scarcely credit, for I fancied that the
extensive fire which raged so fearfully must have driven, not only
elephants, but every living creature out of the district, The native,
however, pointed to his eye, repeating the word "Klow," and signed to
me to follow him.

My guide led me about a mile through dense forest, when we reached a
little wellwood hill, to whose summit we ascended, whence a view might
have been obtained of the surrounding country, had not volumes of
smoke obscured the scenery far and wide, as though issuing from the
funnels of a thousand steamboats. Here, to my astonishment, my guide
halted, and pointed to the thicket close beneath me, when I instantly
perceived the colossal backs of a herd of bull elephants. There they
stood quietly browsing on the lee side of the hill, while the fire in
its might was raging to windward within two hundred yards of them.

I directed Johannus to choose an elephant, and promised to reward him
should he prove successful. Galloping furiously down the hill, I
started the elephants with an unearthly yell, and instantly selected
the finest in the herd. Placing myself alongside, I fired both barrels
behind his shoulder, when he instantly turned upon me, and in his
impetuous career charged head foremost against a large bushy tree
which he sent flying before him high in the air with tremendous force,
coming down at the same moment violently on his knees. He then met the
raging fire, when, altering his course, he wheeled to the right-about
As I galloped after him I perceived another noble elephant meeting us
in an opposite direction, and presently the gallant Johannus hove in
sight, following his quarry at a respectful distance. Both elephants
held on together, so I shouted to Johannus, "I will give your elephant
a shot in the shoulder and you must try to finish him." Spurring my
horse, I rode close alongside, and gave the fresh elephant two balls
immediately behind the shoulder, when he parted from mine, Johannus
following; but before many minutes had elapsed that mighty Nimrod
reappeared, having fired one shot and lost his prey.

In the mean time I was loading and firing as fast as could be,
sometimes at the head, sometimes behind the shoulder, until my
elephant's fore-quarters were a mass of gore, notwithstanding which he
continued to hold stoutly on, leaving the grass and branches of the
forest scarlet in his wake.

On one occasion he endeavored to escape by charging desperately amid
the thickest of the flames; but this did not avail, and I was soon
once more alongside. I blazed away at this elephant, until I began to
think that he was proof against my weapons. Having fired thirty-five
rounds with my two-grooved rifle, I opened fire upon him with the
Dutch six-pounder; and when forty bullets had perforated his hide, he
began for the first time to evince signs of a dilapidated
constitution. He took up a position in a grove; and as the dogs kept
barking round him, he backed stern foremost amongst the trees, which
yielded before his gigantic strength. Poor old fellow! he had long
braved my deadly shafts, but I plainly saw that it was all over with
him; so I resolved to expend no further ammunition, but hold him in
view until he died. Throughout the chase this elephant repeatedly
cooled his person with large quantities of water, which he ejected
from his trunk over his back and sides; and just as the pangs of death
came over him, he stood trembling violently beside a thorny tree, and
kept pouring water into his bloody mouth until he died, when he
pitched heavily forward, with the whole weight of his fore-quarters
resting on the points of his tusks.

A most singular occurrence now took place. He lay in this posture for
several seconds, but the amazing pressure of the carcase was more than
the head was able to support. He had fallen with his head so short
under him that the tusks received little assistance from his legs.
Something must give way. The strain on the mighty tusks was fair; they
did not, therefore, yield; but the portion of his head in which his
trunk was imbedded, extending a long way above the eye, yielded and
burst with a muffled crash. The tusk was thus free, and turned right
round in his head, so that a man could draw it out, and the carcase
fell over and rested on its side. This was a very first-rate elephant,
and the tusks he carried were long and perfect.



Hunting the Orix and the Lion.


Mr. Cumming was extremely desirous to fall in with an oryx, and carry
off his fine head with its splendid long horns as a trophy. He thus
describes a long but successful chase for one.

At at early hour on the morning of the 16th, Paterson and I took the
field, accompanied by our three after-riders, and having ridden
several miles in a northerly direction, we started an oryx, to which
Paterson and his after-rider immediately gave chase. I then rode in an
easterly direction, and shortly fell in with a fine old cow oryx,
which we instantly charged. She stole away at a killing pace, her
black tail streaming in the wind, and her long, sharp horns laid well
back over her shoulders. Aware of her danger, and anxious to gain the
desert, she put forth her utmost speed and strained across the bushy
plain. She led us a tearing chase of upwards of five miles in a
northerly course, Cobus sticking well into her, and I falling far
behind. After a sharp burst of about three miles, Cobus and the grey
disappeared over a ridge about half a mile ahead of me. I mounted a
fresh horse, which had been led by Jacob, and followed. On gaming the
ridge, I perceived the grey disappearing over another ridge, a
fearfully long way ahead. When I reached this point I commanded an
extremely extensive prospect, but no living object was visible on the
desolate plain.

Whilst deliberating in which direction to ride, I suddenly heard a
pistol-shot, some distance to my left, which I knew to be Cobus's
signal that the oryx was at bay. Having ridden half a mile, I
discovered Cobus dismounted in a hollow, and no oryx in view. He had
succeeded in riding the quarry to a stand, and, I not immediately
appearing, he very injudiciously had at once lost sight of the buck
and left it.

Having upbraided Cobus in no measured terms for his stupidity, I
sought to retrieve the fortunes of the day by riding in the direction
in which he had left the oryx. The ground here was uneven and
interspersed with low hillocks. We extended our front and rode on up
wind, and, having crossed two or three ridges, I discovered a troop of
bucks a long way ahead. Having made for these, they turned out to be
hartebeests. At this moment I perceived three magnificent oryx a short
distance to my left. On observing us, they cantered along the ridge
towards a fourth oryx, which I at once perceived to be "embossed with
foam and dark with soil," and knew to be the antelope sought for. Once
more we charged her. Our horses had now considerably recovered their
wind, but the poor oryx was much distressed; and after a chase of half
a mile I jumped off my horse and sent a bullet through her ribs, which
brought her to a stand, when I finished her with the other barrel. She
proved a fine old cow with very handsome horns; the spot on which she
fell being so sterile that we could not even obtain the smallest
bushes with which to conceal her from the vultures, we covered her
with my after-rider's saddle-cloth, which consisted of a large
blanket. The head, on which I placed great value, we cut off and bore
along with us.

On my way home I come across Pater-son's after-rider, "jaging" a troop
of gemsboks, but fearfully to leeward, his illustrious master being
nowhere in sight. An hour after I reached the camp Paterson came in,
in a towering rage, having been unlucky in both his chases. I now
despatched one of my wagons to bring home my oryx. It returned about
twelve o'clock that night, carrying the skin of my gemsbok and also a
magnificent old blue wildebeest (the brindled gnoo,) which the
Hottentots had obtained in an extraordinary manner. He was found with
one of his fore legs caught over his horn, so that he could not run,
and they hamstrung him and cut his throat. He had probably managed to
get himself into this awkward attitude while fighting with some of his
fellows. The vultures had consumed all the flesh of the oryx, and
likewise torn my blanket with which I had covered her.

Mr. Gumming thus describes an innumerable herd of blesboks which he
encountered in the plains of Africa.

The game became plentiful in about ten days after we left Colesberg,
but when we came to the Vet River I beheld with astonishment and
delight decidedly one of the most wonderful displays which I had
witnessed during my varied sporting career in Southern Africa. On my
right and left the plain exhibited one purple mass of graceful
blesboks, which extended without a break as far as my eyes could
strain: the depth of their vast legions covered a breadth of about six
hundred yards. On pressing upon them, they cantered along before me,
not exhibiting much alarm, taking care, however, not to allow me to
ride within six hundred yards of them. On, on I rode, intensely
excited with the wondrous scene before me, and hoped at length to get
to windward of at least some portion of the endless living mass which
darkened the plain, but in vain. Like squadrons of dragoons, the
entire breadth of this countless herd held on their forward course as
if aware of my intention, and resolved not to allow one to weather
them.

At length I determined to play upon their ranks, and, pressing my
horse to his utmost speed, I dashed forward, and, suddenly halting,
sprang from the saddle, and, giving my rifle at least two feet of
elevation, red right and left into one of their darkest masses. A
noble buck dropped to the right barrel, and the second shot told
loudly; no buck however, fell, and, after lying for half a minute the
prostrate blesbok rose, and was quickly lost sight of amongst the
retreating herd.

In half a minute I was again loaded, and after galloping a few hundred
yards let drive into them, but was still unsuccessful. Excited, and
annoyed at my want of luck, I resolved to follow them up, and blaze
away while a shot remained in the locker, which I did; until, after
riding about eight or ten miles, I found my ammunition expended, and
not a single blesbok bagged, although at least a dozen must have been
wounded. It was now high time to retrace my steps and seek my wagons.
I accordingly took a point, and rode across the trackless country in
the direction for which they were steering.

I very soon once more fell in with fresh herds of thousands of
blesboks. As it was late in the day, and I being on the right side for
the wind, the blesboks were very tame, and allowed me to ride along
within rifle-shot of them, and those which ran barged resolutely past
me up the wind in long-continued streams. I took a lucky course for
the wagons, and came right upon them, after they had outspanned on the
bank of the Vet River. I could willingly have devoted a month to
blesbok-shooting in this hunter's elysium.

The following is one of Mr. Cumming's most remarkable lion hunts.

We trecked up along the banks of the river for the Mariqua, and a
little before sundown fell in with two enormous herds of buffaloes,
one of which, consisting chiefly of bulls, stood under the shady trees
on one side of the bank, whilst the other, composed chiefly of cows
and calves, stood on the opposite side, a little higher up the river.
In all there were at least three hundred. Thinking it probable that if
I hunted them I might kill some old bull with a head perhaps worthy of
my collection, I ordered my men to outspan, and, having saddled
steeds, I gave chase to the herd of bulls, accompanied by Booi and my
dogs. After a short burst they took through the river, whereby I lost
sight of an old bull which carried the finest head in the herd. My
dogs, however, brought a cow to bay as they crossed the river, which I
shot standing in the water, but not before she had killed a
particularly favorite bull-dog, named Pompey.

I then continued the chase, and again came up with the herd, which was
now considerably scattered: and after a sharp chase, part of which was
through a wait-a-bit thorn cover, I brought eight or nine fine bulls
to bay in lofty reeds at the river's margin, exactly opposite to my
camp; of these I singled out the two best heads, one of which I shot
with five balls, and wounded the other badly, but he made off while I
was engaged with his comrade.

In the morning I instructed four of my people to cross the river, and
bring over a supply of buffalo meat. These men were very reluctant to
go, fearing a lion might have taken possession of the carcase. On
proceeding to reconnoitre from our side, they beheld the majestic
beast they dreaded walk slowly up the opposite bank from the dead
buffalo, and take up a position on the top of the bank under some
shady thorn-trees. I resolved to give him battle, and rode forth with
my double-barrelled Westly Richards rifle, followed by men leading the
dogs. Present, who was one of the party, carried his _roer_, no doubt
to perform wonders. The wind blew up the river; I accordingly held up
to seek a drift, and crossed a short distance above where the buffalo
lay. As we drew near the spot, I observed the lion sitting on the top
of the bank, exactly where he had been seen last by my people.

On my right and within two hundred yards of me, was a very extensive
troop of pallahs, which antelope invariably manage to be in the way
when it is not wanted. On this occasion, however, I succeeded in
preventing my dogs from observing them. When the lion saw us coming,
he overhauled us for a moment, and then slunk back for concealment;
being well to leeward of him I ordered the dogs to be slipped, and
galloped forward. On finding that he was attacked, the lion at first
made a most determined bolt for it, followed by all the dogs at a
racing pace; and when they came up with him he would not bay, but
continued his course down the bank of the river, keeping close in
beside the reeds, growling terribly at the dogs, which kept up an
incessant angry barking.

The bank of the river was intersected by deep watercourses, and the
ground being extremely slippery from the rain which had fallen during
the night, I was unable to overtake him until he came to bay in a
patch of lofty dense reeds which grew on the lower bank, immediately
adjacent to the river's margin. I had brought out eleven of my dogs,
and before I could come up three of them were killed. On reaching the
spot I found it impossible to obtain the slightest glimpse of the
lion, although the ground favored me, I having the upper bank to stand
upon; so, dismounting from my horse, I tried to guess, from his horrid
growling, his exact position, and fired several shots on chance, but
none of these hit him. I then commenced pelting him with lumps of
earth and sticks, there being no stones at hand. This had the effect
of making him change his position, but he still kept in the densest
part of the reeds, where I could do nothing with him.

Presently my followers came up, who, as a matter of course, at once
established themselves safely in the tops of thorn trees. After about
ten minutes' bullying, the lion seemed to consider his quarters too
hot for him, and suddenly made a rush to escape from his persecutors,
continuing his course down along the edge of the river. The dogs,
however, again gave him chase, and soon brought him to bay in another
dense patch of reeds, just as bad as the last.

Out of this in a few minutes I managed to start him, when he bolted up
the river, and came to bay in a narrow strip of reeds. Here he lay so
close that for a long time I could not ascertain his whereabouts; at
length, however, he made a charge among the dogs, and, coming forward,
took up a position near the outside of the reeds, where for the first
time I was enabled to give him a shot. My ball entered his body a
little behind the shoulder. On receiving it he charged growling after
the dogs, but not farther than the edge of the reeds, out of which he
was extremely reluctant to move I gave him a second shot, firing for
his head; my ball entered at the edge of his eye, and passed through
the back of the roof of his mouth.

The lion then sprang up, and, facing about, dashed through the reeds,
and plunged into the river, across he swam, dyeing the waters with his
blood; one black dog, named "Schwart," alone pursued him. A huge
crocodile, attracted by the blood, followed in their wake, but
fortunately did not take my dog, which I much feared he would do.
Present fired at the lion as he swam, and missed him; both my barrels
were empty. Before, however, the lion could reach the opposite bank, I
had one loaded without patch, and just as his feet gained the ground I
made a fine shot at him neck, and turned him over dead on the spot.
Present, Carollus, and Adonis then swam in and brought him through. We
landed him by an old hippopotamus footpath, and the day being damp and
cold, we kindled a fire, beside which we skinned him.

While this was going forward I had a painful duty to perform, viz. to
load one barrel, and blow out Rascality's brains, whom the lion had
utterly disabled in his after-quarters. Thus ended this protracted and
all but unsuccessful hunt; for when I at length managed to shoot him,
the dogs were quite tired of it, and, the reeds being green, I could
not have set them on fire to force him out.

The lion proved to be a first-rate one; he was in the prime of life,
and had an exquisitely beautiful coat of hair. His mane was not very
rank; his awful teeth were quite perfect, a thing which in lions of
his age is rather unusual; and he had the finest tuft of hair on the
end of his tail that I had ever seen in a lion.

In the chase, my after-rider, who fortunately did not carry my rifle,
got a tremendous capsize from bad riding, a common occurrence with
most after-riders who have been employed in my service. The afternoon
was spent in drying the mane of the wet lion, skinning out the feet,
and preserving the skin with alum and arsenical soap.



Hunting the Giraffe.


Mr. Cumming thus describes the giraffe. These gigantic and exquisitely
beautiful animals, which are admirably formed by nature to adorn the
fair forests that clothe the boundless plains of the interior, are
widely distributed throughout the interior of Southern Africa, but are
nowhere to be met with in great numbers. In countries unmolested by
the intrusive foot of man, the giraffe is found generally in herds
varying from twelve to sixteen; but I have not unfrequently met with
herds containing thirty individuals, and on one occasion I counted
forty together; this, however, was owing to chance, and about sixteen
may be reckoned as the average number of a herd. These herds are
composed of giraffes of various sizes, from the young giraffe of nine
or ten feet in height, to the dark chestnut-colored old bull of the
herd, whose exalted head towers above his companions, generally
attaining a height of upwards of eighteen feet. The females are of
lower stature and more delicately formed than the males, their height
averaging from sixteen to seventeen feet.

Some writers have discovered ugliness and a want of grace in the
giraffe, but I consider that he is one of the most strikingly
beautiful animals in the creation; and when a herd of them is seen
scattered through a grove of the picturesque parasol-topped acacias
which adorn their native plains, and on whose uppermost shoots they
are enabled to browse by the colossal height with which nature has so
admirably endowed them, he must indeed be slow of conception who fails
to discover both grace and dignity in all their movements.

On the 24th, at the dawn of day, we inspanned, and trekked about five
hours in a northeasterly course, through a boundless open country,
sparingly adorned with dwarfish old tree. In the distance the
long-sought mountains of Bamangwato at length loomed blue before me. We
halted beside a glorious fountain, which at once made me forget all
the cares and difficulties I had encountered in reaching it.

The name of this fountain was Massouey, but I at once christened it
"the Elephant's own Fountain." This was a very remarkable spot on the
southern borders of endless elephant forests, at which I had at length
arrived. The fountain was deep and strong, situated in a hollow at the
eastern extremity of an extensive vley, and its margin was surrounded
by a level stratum of solid old red sandstone. Here and there lay a
thick layer of soil upon a rock, and this was packed flat with the
fresh spoors of elephants. Around the water's edge the very rock was
worn down by the gigantic feet which for ages had trodden there.

The soil of the surrounding country was white and yellow sand, but
grass, trees, and bushes were abundant. From the borders of the
fountain a hundred well-trodden elephant foot-paths led away in every
direction, like the radii of a circle. The breadth of the paths was
about three feet; those leading to the northward and east was most
frequented, the country in those directions being well wooded.

We drew up the wagons on a hillock on the eastern side of the water.
This position commanded a good view of any game that might approach to
drink. I had just cooked my breakfast, and commenced to feed when I
heard my men exclaim, "Almatig keek de ghroote clomp cameel;" and
raising my eyes from my sassayby stew, I beheld a truly beautiful and
very unusual scene. From the margin of the fountain there extended an
open level vley, without tree or bush, that stretched away about a
mile to the northward, where it was bounded by extensive grooves of
wide-spreading mimosas. Up the middle of this vley stalked a troop of
ten colossal giraffes, flanked by two large herds of blue wildebeests
and zebras, with an advance guard of pallahs. They were all coming to
the fountain to drink, and would be within rifle-shot of the wagons
before I could finish my breakfast. I, however, continued to swallow
my food with the utmost expedition, having directed my men to catch
and saddle Colesberg.

In a few minutes the giraffes were slowly advancing within two hundred
yards, stretching their graceful necks, and gazing in wonder at the
unwonted wagons. Grasping my rifle, I now mounted Colesberg, and rode
slowly toward them. They continued gazing at the wagons until I was
within one hundred yards of them, when, whisking their long tails over
their rumps, they made off at an easy canter. As I pressed upon them
they increased their pace; but Colesberg had much the speed of them,
and before we had proceeded half a mile I was riding by the shoulder
of the dark chestnut old bull, whose head towered above the rest.
Letting fly at the gallop, I wounded him behind the shoulder; soon
after which I broke him from the herd, and presently going ahead of
him, he came to a stand. I then gave him a second bullet, somewhere
near the first. These two shots had taken effect, and he was now in my
power, but I would not lay him low so far from camp; so having waited
until he had regained his breath I drove him half way back toward the
wagons. Here he became obstreperous; so loading one barrel, and
pointing my rifle toward the clouds, I shot him in the throat, when,
rearing high, he fell backward and expired.

This was a magnificent specimen of the giraffe, measuring upwards of
eighteen feet in height. I stood for nearly half an hour engrossed in
the contemplation of his extreme beauty and gigantic proportions; and
if there had been no elephants, I could have exclaimed, like Duke
Alexander of Gordon, when he killed the famous old stag with seventeen
tine, "Now I can die happy." But I longed for an encounter with the
noble elephants, and I thought little more of the giraffe than if I
had killed a gemsbok or an eland.

There are various modes of capturing giraffes. The Americans, who seek
them for their menageries, have the Mexican lasso, a long cord which
is thrown over the animal's head; and by casting him to the ground and
surrounding him by a large force of hunters, he is then captured
without difficulty.

Mr. Cumming thus notices the pitfalls used by the natives of Africa
for taking the giraffe and other animals:--Starvation was written in
the faces of these inhabitants of the forest. In their miserable
villages were a few small gardens, containing watermelons and a little
corn. Occasionally they have the luck to capture some large animal in
a pitfall, when for a season they live in plenty. But as they do not
possess salt, the flesh soon spoils, when they are compelled once more
to roam the forests in quest of fruits and roots, on which, along with
locusts, they in a great measure subsist. In districts where game is
abundant, they often construct their pits on a large scale, and erect
hedges in the form of a crescent, extending to nearly a mile on either
side of the pit. By this means, the game may easily be driven into the
pitfalls which are easily covered over with thin sticks and dry grass;
and thus whole herds of zebras and wildebeests are massacred at once,
which capture is followed by the most disgusting banquets, the poor
starving savages gorging and surfeiting in a manner worthy only of the
vulture or hyæna. They possess no cattle, and, if they did, the
nearest chief would immediately rob them. All parts of the country
abounded with pitfalls made by these and others of the Bakalahari.
Many of these had been dug expressly for the giraffe, and were
generally three feet wide, and ten long; their depth was from nine to
ten feet. They were placed in the path of the giraffe, and in the
vicinity of several of these we detected the bones of giraffes,
indicating the success that had attended their formation.



M'Dougal and the Indian


Several years previous to the Revolution a Scotchman and his wife,
named M'Dougal, emigrated to America. Having but very little money, he
purchased land where it was then sold for almost nothing, in a country
thinly peopled, and on the extreme verge of civilization.

His first care was to construct a house and clear away some of the
trees around it This done, he spent his whole time, early and late, in
making a garden and cultivating a few fields. By unwearied industry
and with the occasional help of older settlers, he by degrees acquired
a stock of cattle, sheep, and pigs, and was in a rough way, possessed
of a comfortable independence. His greatest discomforts were, distance
from his neighbors, the church, market, and even the mill; but, above
all, the complete separation from his friends; and this he would have
felt still more had he been an idle man.

One day, Farmer M'Dougal, having a quantity of corn to grind, knowing
that the distance was considerable, and the road none of the
smoothest, set out in the morning at sunrise, hoping he should reach
home again before dark.

When the farmer was at home he always drove up the cows for his wife
to milk, morning and evening; but now this care devolved on her, and
the careful woman went out in quest of them. Not accustomed to go far
from the house, she found herself in an unknown country, and, with
neither pocket compass nor notched trees to guide, it is not to be
wondered that she wandered long and wearily to very little purpose.
Tall trees seemed to encompass her on every side, or where the view
was more open, she beheld the distant blue hills rising one behind
another; but no village spire or cottage chimney was there to cheer
her on her way, and fatigued with the search, and despairing of
finding the cattle, she resolved while it was yet light, to retrace
her steps homeward.

But this resolution was more easily formed than executed; she became
completely bewildered; she knew not in which direction to turn, and,
at length, with tears in her eyes, and her mind agitated almost to
distraction, she sunk on the ground. But she had not rested there many
minutes before she was startled by the sound of approaching footsteps,
and, on looking up, she beheld before her an Indian hunter.

Although Mrs. M'Dougal knew that there were Indians living in the
neighborhood, she had never yet seen one, and her terror was very
great. The Indian, however, knew her; he had seen her before, he knew
where she lived, and he instantly guessed the cause of her distress.
He could speak but a few words of English; but he made signs for her
to follow him. She did so, and after a few minutes' walk, they arrived
at the door of an Indian wigwam. He invited her to enter, but not
being able to persuade her to do so, he darted into the wigwam, and
spoke a few words to his wife, who instantly appeared, and by the
kindness of her manner induced the stranger to enter their humble
abode. Venison was prepared for supper, and Mrs. M'Dougal, though
still alarmed at the novelty of her situation, could not refuse to
partake of the savory meal.

Seeing that their guest was weary, the Indians removed from their
place two beautiful deer skins, and, by stretching and fixing them
across, divided the wigwam into two apartments. Mats were then spread
in both, and the stranger was made to understand that one division was
for her accommodation. But here again her courage failed her, and to
the most pressing entreaties she replied that she would sit and sleep
by the fire. This determination seemed to puzzle the Indian and his
squaw sadly. They looked at one another, and conversed softly in their
own language; and at length, the squaw taking her guest by the hand,
led her to her couch and became her bedfellow.

In the morning she awoke greatly refreshed, and anxious to depart
without further delay; but this her new friends would not permit,
until she had eaten of their corn cakes and venison. Then the Indian
accompanied his guest, and soon conducted her to the spot where the
cattle were grazing. These he drove from the wood, on the edge of
which Mrs. M'Dougal descried her husband, who was equally delighted at
seeing her, as her absence from home all night had caused him great
uneasiness. They invited their Indian benefactor to their house, and,
on his departure, presented him with a suit of clothes.

Three days after, he returned and endeavored, partly by signs, and
partly by broken English, to induce Farmer M'Dougal to follow him into
the forest; but he refused. Time was precious to him, who had to work
hard for every thing he possessed, and the Indian repeated his
entreaties in vain. The poor fellow looked grieved and disappointed;
but a moment after, a sudden thought struck him. He hit on an
expedient which none but an Indian hunter would have thought of.

Mrs. M'Dougal had a young child, which the Indian's quick eye had not
failed to notice; and, finding that his eloquence was completely
thrown away upon the parents, he approached the cradle, seized the
child, and darted out of the house with the speed of an antelope. The
father and mother instantly followed, calling loudly on him to return;
but he had no such intention. He led them on, now slower, now faster,
and occasionally turning towards them, laughing, and holding up the
child to their view.

It is needless to go into all the details of this singular journey,
further than to say that the Indian, instead of enticing them to his
own wigwam, as they expected, halted on the margin of a most beautiful
prairie, covered with the richest vegetation, and extending over
several thousand acres. In a moment the child was restored to its
parents, who, wondering what so strange a proceeding could mean, stood
awhile panting for breath, and looking at one another with silent
astonishment.

The Indian, on the other hand, seemed overjoyed at the success of his
manoeuvre, and never did a human being frisk about and gesticulate
with greater animation. We have heard of a professor of signs, and if
such a person were wanted, the selection would not be a matter of
difficulty, so long as any remnant exists in the aborigines of North
America. All travellers agree in describing their gestures as highly
dignified, and their countenances intelligent; and we have Mr.
M'Dougal's authority for stating that the hero of this tale proved
himself a perfect master of the art of eloquence his broken English
was nearly in these words:

"You think Indian treacherous; you think him wish steal the child. No,
no; Indian has child of his own. Indian knew you long ago; saw you
when you not see him; saw you hard working man. Some white men bad,
and hurt poor Indian. You not bad; you work hard for your wife and
child; but you choose bad place; you never make rich there. Indian see
your cattle go in forest; think you come and catch them; you not come;
your wife come. Indian find her faint and weary; take her home; wife
fear go in; think Indian kill her! No, no; Indian lead her back; meet
you very sad; then very glad to see her. You kind to Indian; give him
meat and drink, and better clothes than your own. Indian grateful;
wish you come here; not come; Indian very sorry; take the child; know
you follow child. If Indian farm, Indian farm here. Good ground; not
many trees; make road in less than half a moon; Indians help you;
Indians your friends; come, live here."

M'Dougal immediately saw the advantage that such a change would be to
him, and, taking the Indian's advice, the day was soon fixed for the
removal of the log-house, along with the rest of his goods and
chattels; and the Indian, true to his word, brought a party of his red
brethren to assist in one of the most romantic removals that ever took
place, either in the Old World, or the New.

In a few days a roomy log-house was raised, and garden marked out in
the most fertile and beautiful part of the prairie. The Indians
continued friendly and faithful, and the good understanding; between
them and the white settlers was a source of great comfort to both
parties.



Contests with Jaguars


Nature, ever provident, has scattered with a bounteous hand her gifts
in the country of the Orinoco, where the jaguar especially abounds.
The savannahs, which are covered with grasses and slender plants,
present a surprising luxuriance and diversity of vegetation; piles of
granite blocks lie here and there, and, at the margins of the plains,
occur deep valleys and ravines, the humid soil of which is covered
with arums, heliconias, llianas. The shelves of primitive rocks,
scarcely elevated above the plain, are partially covered with lichens
and mosses, together with succulent plants and tufts of evergreen
shrubs with shining leaves. The horizon is bounded with mountains
overgrown with forests of laurels, among which clusters of palms rise
to the height of more than a hundred feet, their slender stems
supporting tufts of feathery foliage. To the east of Atures other
mountains appear, the ridge of which is composed of pointed cliffs,
rising like huge pillars above the trees.

When these columnar masses are situated near the Orinoco, flamingoes,
herons, and other wading birds perch on their summits, and look like
sentinels. In the vicinity of cataracts, the moisture which is
diffused in the air, produces a perpetual verdure, and wherever soil
has accumulated on the plains, it is adorned by the beautiful shrubs
of the mountains.

Such is one view of the picture, but it has its dark side also; those
flowing waters, which fertilize the soil, abound with alligators:
those charming shrubs and flourishing plants, are the hiding places of
deadly serpents; those laurel forests, the favorite lurking spot of
the fierce jaguar; while the atmosphere, so clear and lovely, abounds
with musquitoes and zancudoes, to such a degree that in the missions
of Orinoco, the first questions in the morning when two people meet,
are, "How did you find the zancudoes during the night? How are we
to-day for the musquitoes?"

It is in the solitude of this wilderness, that the jaguar, stretched
out motionless and silent, upon one of the lower branches of the
ancient trees, watches for its passing prey; a deer, urged by thirst,
is making its way to the river, and approaches the tree where this
enemy lies in wait. The jaguar's eyes dilate, the ears are thrown
down, and the whole frame becomes flattened against the branch. The
deer, all unconscious of danger, draws near, every limb of the jaguar
quivers with excitement every fibre is stiffened for the spring; then,
with the force of a bow unbent, he darts with a terrific yell upon his
prey, seizes it by the back of the neck, a blow is given by his
powerful paw, and with broken spine the deer falls lifeless to the
earth. The blood is then sucked, and the prey dragged to some favorite
haunt, where it is devoured at leisure.

Humboldt surprised a jaguar in his retreat. It was near the Joval,
below the mouth of the Cano de la Tigrera, that in the midst of wild
and awful scenery, he saw an enormous jaguar stretched beneath the
shade of a large mimosa. He had just killed a chiguire, an animal
about the size of a pig, which he held with one of his paws, while the
vultures were assembled in flocks around. It was curious to observe
the mixture of boldness and timidity which these birds exhibited; for
although they advanced within two feet of the jaguar, they instantly
shrunk back at the least motion he made. In order to observe more
clearly their proceedings, the travellers went into their little boat,
when the tyrant of the forest withdrew behind the bushes, leaving his
victim, upon which the vultures attempted to devour it, but were soon
put to flight by the jaguar rushing into the midst of them.

The following night, Humboldt and his party were entertained by a
jaguar hunter, half-naked, and as brown as a Zambo, who prided himself
on being of the European race; and called his wife and daughter, who
were as slightly clothed as himself, Donna Isabella and Donna Manuela.
As this aspiring personage had neither home nor hut, he invited the
strangers to swing their hammocks near his own between two trees, but,
as ill-luck would have it, a thunder storm came on, which wetted them
to the skin; but their troubles did not end here, for Donna Isabella's
cat had perched on one of the trees, and frightened by the
thunderstorm, jumped down upon one of the travellers in his cot; he
naturally supposed that he was attacked by a wild beast, and as smart
a battle took place between the two, as that celebrated feline
engagement of Don Quixotte; the cat, who, perhaps had most reason to
consider himself an ill-used personage, at length bolted, but the
fears of the gentleman had been excited to such degree, that he could
hardly be quieted. The following night was not more propitious to
slumber. The party finding no tree convenient, had stuck their oars in
the sand, and suspended their hammocks upon them. About eleven, there
arose in the immediately adjoining wood, so terrific a noise, that it
was impossible to sleep. The Indians distinguished the cries of
sapagous, alouates, jaguars, cougars, peccaris, sloths, curassows,
paraquas, and other birds, so that there must have been as full a
forest chorus as Mr. Hullah himself could desire.

When the jaguars approached the edge of the forest, which they
frequently did, a dog belonging to the party began to howl, and seek
refuge under their cots. Sometimes, after a long silence, the cry of
the jaguars came from the tops of the trees, when it was followed by
an outcry among the monkeys. Humboldt supposes the noise thus made by
the inhabitants of the forest during the night, to be the effect of
some contest that had arisen among them.

On the pampas of Paraguay, great havoc is committed among the herds of
horses by the jaguars, whose strength is quite sufficient to enable
them to drag off one of these animals. Azara caused the body of a
horse, which had been recently killed by a jaguar, to be drawn within
musket-shot of a tree, in which he intended to pass the night,
anticipating that the jaguar would return in the course of it, to its
victim; but while he was gone to prepare for his adventure, behold the
animal swam across a large and deep river, and having seized the horse
with his teeth, dragged it full sixty paces to the river, swam across
again with his prey, and then dragged the carcass into a into a
neighboring wood: and all this in sight of a person, whom Azara had
placed to keep watch. But the jaguars have also an aldermanic gout for
turtles, which they gratify in a very systematic manner, as related by
Humboldt, who was shown large shells of turtles emptied by them.

They follow the turtles toward the beach, where the laying of eggs is
to take place, surprise them on the sand, and in order to devour them
at their ease, adroitly turn them on their backs; and as they turn
many more than they can devour in one night, the Indians often profit
by their cunning. The jaguar pursues the turtle quite into the water,
and when not very deep, digs up the eggs; they, with the alligator,
the heron, and the gallinago vulture ore the most formidable enemies
the little turtles have. Humboldt justly remarks, When we reflect on
the difficulty that the naturalist finds in getting out the body of
the turtle, without separating the upper and the under shell, we
cannot enough admire the suppleness of the jaguar's paw, which empties
the double armor of the _arraus_, as if the adhering parts of the
muscles had been cut by a surgical instrument.

The rivers of South America swarm with alligators, and these wage
perpetual war with the jaguars. It is said, that when the jaguar
surprises the alligator asleep on the hot sandbank, he attacks him in
a vulnerable part under the tail, and often kills him, but let the
alligator only get his antagonist into the water, and the tables are
turned, for the jaguar is held under the water until he is drowned.

The onset of the jaguar is always made from behind, partaking of the
stealthy treacherous character of his tribe; if a herd of animals, or
a party of men be passing, it is the last that is always the object of
his attack. When he has made choice of his victim, he springs upon the
neck, and placing one paw upon the back of the head, while he seizes
the muzzle with the other twists the head round with a sudden jerk
which dislocates the spine, and deprives it instantaneously of life:
sometimes, especially when satiated with food, he is indolent and
cowardly, skulking in the gloomiest depths of the forest, and scared
by the most trifling causes, but when urged by the cravings of hunger,
the largest quadrupeds, and man himself, are attacked with fury and
success.

Mr. Darwin has given an interesting account of the habits of the
jaguar: the wooded banks of the great South American rivers appear to
be their favorite haunt, but south of the Plata they frequent the
reeds bordering the lakes; wherever they are they seem to require
water. They are particularly abundant on the isles of the Payana,
their common prey being the carpincho, so that it is generally said,
that where carpinchos are plentiful, there is little fear of the
jaguar; possibly, however, a jaguar which has tasted human flesh, may
afterwards become dainty, and like the lions of South Africa, and the
tigers of India, acquire the dreadful character of maneaters, from
preferring that food to all others.

It is not many years ago since a very large jaguar found his way into
a church in Santa Fe; soon afterward a very corpulent padre entering,
was at once killed by him: His equally stout coadjutor, wondering what
had detained the padre, went to look after him, and also fell a victim
to the jaguar; a third priest, marveling greatly at the unaccountable
absence of the others, sought them, and the jaguar having by this time
acquired a strong clerical taste, made at him also, but he, being
fortunately of the slender order, dodged the animal from pillar to
post, and happily made his escape; the beast was destroyed by being
shot from a corner of the building, which was unroofed, and thus paid
the penalty of his sacrilegious propensities.

On the Parana, they have even entered vessels by night. One dark
evening the mate of a vessel, hearing a heavy but peculiar footstep on
deck, went up to see what it was, and was immediately met by a jaguar,
who had come on board, seeking what he could devour; a severe struggle
ensued, assistance arrived, and the brute was killed, but the man lost
the use of the arm which had been ground between his teeth.

The Gauchos say that the jaguar, when wandering about at night, is
much tormented by the foxes yelping as they follow him: this may
perhaps serve to alarm his prey, but must be as teasing to him as the
attentions of swallows are to an owl, who happens to be taking a
daylight promenade; and if owls ever swear, it is under these
circumstances.

Mr. Darwin, when hunting on the banks of the Uruguay, was shown three
well-known trees to which the jaguars constantly resort, for the
purpose, it is said, of sharpening their claws. Every one must be
familiar with the manner in which cats, with out-stretched legs and
extended claws, will card the legs of chairs and of men; so with the
jaguar; and of these trees the bark was worn quite smooth in front; on
each side there were deep grooves, extending in an oblique line nearly
a yard in length. The scars were of different ages, arid the
inhabitants could always tell when a jaguar was in the neighborhood,
by his recent autograph on one of these trees.



The Indian Parents.


Captain William Wells was a noted hunter and ranger in the western
country. He was captured by the Indians when but a child, and raised
among them. When the Indians defeated the United States troops, who
were under the command of Generals Harmer and St. Clair, Captain Wells
fought among the red men, and distinguished himself by his courage and
skill. But when General Wayne was placed at the head of the United
States forces in the west.

Captain Wells came over to the side of the whites, and received the
command of a company of rangers, or woodmen, who acted as spies and
scouts for General Wayne. The captain performed many daring exploits,
and caused the Indians to feel that in losing him they had gained a
terrible enemy.

Captain Wells was desperate in battle, but he often displayed much
kindness and generosity. On one of his excursions with a party of
rangers, through the Indian country, he came to the bank of the river
St. Mary, and discovered some Indians in canoes coming across the
stream. The captain dismounted, and concealed his men near the bank of
the river, while he went to the bank in open view, and called to the
Indians to come over. As he was dressed nearly in the Indian style,
and spoke to them in their own language, the Indians, without
suspicion of danger came across the river. The moment the first canoe
struck the shore, Wells heard the clicking of the locks of his
comrades' rifles, as they prepared to shoot the Indians. But who
should be in the canoe, but his Indian father, mother, and their
children! As his comrades were coming forward with their rifles
cocked, ready to pour in the deadly storm, Wells called upon them to
hold their hands. He then informed them who the Indians were, and
solemnly declared, that the man who would attempt to injure one of
them should receive a ball in his head. He continued, "That family fed
me when I was hungry, clothed me when I was naked, and kindly nursed
me when I was sick. In every respect they were as kind and
affectionate to me as they were to their own children. No one
belonging to them shall be hurt." But four men were with the Indian
party, and they did not attempt hostility. The short, pathetic speech
of Captain Wells found its way to the hearts of his comrades. They
entered into his feelings, threw down their rifles and tomahawks, went
to the canoe, and shook hands with the trembling Indians in the most
friendly manner.

Captain Wells assured the red men that they had nothing to fear from
him, and after talking with them to dispel their dread, he said, that
General Wayne was approaching with an overwhelming force; that the
best thing that the Indians could do was to make peace; that the white
men did not wish to continue the war. He urged his Indian father to
keep out of danger for the future. The Indians appeared very grateful
for his clemency. After the captain bade them farewell, they pushed
off their canoe, and went down the river as fast as they could paddle.

Wells's conduct on this occasion proved him to be as generous as he
was brave. This famous ranger was killed near Chicago, at the
commencement of the war of 1812, in an attempt to save an American
garrison. At that time sixty-four whites were attacked by four hundred
red men, and all killed or captured. The Indians were very glad to get
the scalp of Captain Wells. He was as wild a spirit as ever shouldered
a rifle or wielded a tomahawk.



Attack on Captain Ward's Boat


About 1784 and '85, boats ascending the Ohio river were often fired
upon by the Indians, and sometimes the crew were all killed or made
prisoners. A t that time, the whites had no settlements on either side
of the Ohio. But Kentucky contained several very important stations.
In 1785, Captain James Ward descended the river, under circumstances,
which rendered a meeting with the Indians peculiarly to be dreaded.

The captain with half a dozen others, one of them his nephew, embarked
in a crazy boat, about forty-five long, and eight feet wide, with no
other bulwark than a single pine plank, above each gunnel. The boat
was much encumbered with baggage, and seven horses were on board.
Having seen no enemy for several days, they had become secure and
careless, and permitted the boat to drift within fifty yards of the
Ohio shore. Suddenly several Indians showed themselves on the bank,
and opened heavy fire upon the boat. The astonishment of the crew may
be conceived. Captain Ward and his nephew were at the oars when the
enemy appeared, and the captain knowing that their safety depended
upon their ability to regain the middle of the river, kept his seat
firmly, and exerted his utmost powers at the oar, but his nephew
started up at the sight of the enemy, seized his rifle and was in the
act of levelling it, when he received a ball in the breast, and fell
dead in the bottom of the boat. Unfortunately, his oar fell into the
river, and the Captain having no one to pull against him, rather urged
the boat nearer to the hostile shore than otherwise. He quickly seized
a plank, however, and giving his own oar to another of the crew, he
took the station which his nephew had held, and unhurt by the bullets
which flew around him, continued to exert himself, until the boat had
reached a more respectable distance. He then, for the first time,
looked around him in order to observe the condition of the crew. His
nephew lay in his blood, perfectly lifeless,--the horses had been all
killed or mortally wounded. Some had fallen overboard--others were
struggling violently, and causing their frail bark to dip water so as
to excite the most serious apprehensions.

But the crew presented the most singular spectacle. A captain, who had
served with reputation in the continental army, seemed now totally
bereft of his faculties. He lay upon his back in the bottom of the
boat, with hands uplifted, and a countenance in which terror was
personified, exclaiming in a tone of despair, "Oh, Lord! Oh, Lord!" A
Dutchman, whose weight might amount at about three hundred pounds, was
busily engaged in endeavoring to find shelter for his bulky person,
which, from the lowness of the gunnels, was a very difficult
undertaking. In spite of his utmost efforts, a portion of his
posterial luxuriance, appeared above the gunnel, and afforded a mark
to the enemy, which brought a constant shower of balls around it. In
vain he shifted his position. The lump still appeared, and the balls
still flew around it, until the Dutchman, losing all patience, raised
his head above the gunnel, and in a tone of querulous remonstrance,
called out, "Oh, now I git tat nonsense, tere,--will you!" Not a shot
was fired from the boat.

At one time, after they had partly reined the current, Captain Ward
attempted to bring his rifle to bear upon them, but so violent was the
agitation of the boat, from the furious struggles of the horses, that
he could not steady his piece within twenty yards of the enemy, and
quickly laying it aside returned to the oar. The Indians followed them
down the river for more than an hour, but having no canoes, they did
not attempt to board; and as the boat was at length transferred to the
opposite side of the river, they finally abandoned the pursuit and
disappeared. None of the crew, save the young man already mentioned,
were hurt, although the Dutchman's seat of honor served as a target
for the space of an hour, and the continental captain was deeply
mortified at the sudden, and, as he said, "unaccountable" panic which
had seized him. Captain Ward himself was protected by a post, which
had been fastened to the gunnel, and behind which he sat while rowing.



Massy Herbeson and her Family


During the settlement of the interior of Pennsylvania, the Indians
were almost constantly hostile. Houses were burned, fields desolated,
and the poor, hard-working settlers were killed, or carried into a
dreadful captivity. The sufferings of some of these captives can
scarcely be described. The following narrative will give some idea of
savage nature.

On the 22nd of May, 1792, Massy Herbeson and her children were taken
from their house, within two hundred yards of Reed's blockhouse, and
about twenty-five miles from Pittsburg. Mr. Herbeson, being one of the
spies, was from home; two of the scouts lodged with her that night,
but had left her house about sunrise, in order to go to the
blockhouse, and had left the door standing wide open. Shortly after
the two scouts went away, a number of Indians came into the house, and
drew her out of bed by the feet; the two eldest children, who also lay
in another bed were drawn out in the same manner; a younger child,
about one year old slept with Mrs. Herbeson. The Indians then
scattered the articles about in the house.

Whilst they were at this work, Mrs. Herbeson went out of the house,
and hallooed to the people in the blockhouse; one of the Indians then
ran up and stopped her mouth, another ran up with his tomahawk drawn,
and a third ran and seized the tomahawk and called her his squaw; this
last Indian claimed her as his, and continued by her. About fifteen of
the Indians then ran down towards the blockhouse and fired their guns
at the block and store-house, in consequence of which one soldier was
killed and another wounded, one having been at the spring, and the
other in coming or looking out of the store-house. Mrs. Herbeson told
the Indians there were about forty men in the blockhouse, and each man
had two guns, the Indians then went to those that were firing at the
blockhouse, and brought them back.

They then began to drive Mrs. Herbeson and her children away; but a
boy, about three years old, being unwilling to leave the house, they
took it by the heels, and dashed it against the house, then stabbed
and scalped it. They then took Mrs. Herbeson and the two other
children to the top of the hill, where they stopped until they tied up
the plunder they had got. While they were busy about this, Mrs.
Herbeson counted them, and the number amounted to thirty-two,
including two white men, that were with them, painted like the
Indians. Several of the Indians could speak English, and she knew
several of them very well, having often seen them go up and down the
Alleghany river; two of them she knew to be Senecas, and two Munsees,
who had got their guns mended by her husband about two years ago.

They sent two Indians with her, and the others took their course
towards Puckty. She, the children, and the two Indians had not gone
above two hundred yards, when the Indians caught two of her uncle's
horses, put her and the youngest child on one, and one of the Indians
and the other child on the other. The two Indians then took her and
the children to the Alleghany river, and took them over in bark
canoes, as they could not get the horses to swim the river. After they
had crossed the river, the oldest child, a boy about five years of
age, began to mourn for his brother, when one of the Indians
tomahawked and scalped him. They travelled all day very hard, and that
night arrived at a large camp, covered with bark, which, by
appearance, might hold fifty men. That night they took her about three
hundred yards from the camp, into a large dark bottom, bound her arms,
gave her some bed clothes, and lay down one on each side of her.

The next morning they took her into a thicket, on the hill side, and
one remained with her till the middle of the day, while the other went
to watch the path, lest some white people should follow them. They
then exchanged places during the remainder of the day. She got a piece
of dry venison, about the size of an egg, that day, and a piece about
the same size the day they were marching; that evening, (Wednesday,
23d) they moved her to a new place, and secured her as the night
before. During the day of the 23'd, she made several attempts to get
the Indian's gun or tomahawk, that was guarding her, and, had she
succeeded, she would have put him to death. She was nearly detected in
trying to get the tomahawk from his belt.

The next morning one of the Indians went out, as on the day before, to
watch the path. The other lay down and fell asleep. When she found he
was sleeping, she stole her short gown, handkerchief, a child's frock,
and then made her escape; the sun was then about half an hour
high--she took her course from the Alleghany, in order to deceive the
Indians, as they would naturally pursue her that way; that day she
travelled along Conequenessing creek. The next day she altered her
course, and, as she believes, fell upon the waters of Pine Creek,
which empties into the Alleghany. Thinking this not her best course,
she took over some dividing ridges,--lay on a dividing ridge on Friday
night, and on Saturday came to Squaw run--continued down the run until
an Indian, or some other person, shot a deer; she saw the person about
one hundred and fifty yards from her--the deer running and the dog
pursuing it, which, from the appearance, she supposed to be an Indian
dog.

She then altered her course, but again came to the same run, and
continued down until she got so tired that she was obliged to lie
down, it having rained on her all that day and the night before; she
lay there that night; it rained constantly. On Sunday morning, she
proceeded down the run until she came to the Alleghany river, and
continued down the river till she came opposite to Carter's house, on
the inhabited side, where she made a noise, and James Closier brought
her over the river to Carter's house.

Such outrages were frequent upon the frontier, in time of war with the
Indians. Many instances of the generosity and hospitality of the red
men are recorded. But when we remember that they made war and the
chase the business of their lives, and that they never would be
content to till the ground, as the neighbors of the whites we cannot
regret that they have disappeared from our vicinity.



A Nocturnal Adventure with Six Lions


Mr. Cumming, whose adventures we have already found so entertaining,
had a method of hunting for wild beasts, and especially lions, which
was quite curious. He dug holes near the fountains or streams, where
the animals were accustomed to resort at night for water, and
concealed himself and his companions in them, to wait for their
approach. The following is a specimen of this kind of adventure.

On the afternoon of the 4th I deepened my hole and watched the water.
As the sun went down two graceful springboks and a herd of pallah came
and drank, when I shot the best pallah in the troop. At night I
watched the water with Kleinboy: very soon a cow black rhinoceros came
and drank, and got off for the present with two balls in her. A little
afterwards two black rhinoceroses and two white ones came to the
waterside. We both fired together at the finest of the two black
rhinoceroses; she ran three hundred yards, and fell dead. Soon after
this the other black rhinoceros came up again and stood at the
waterside; I gave her one ball after the shoulder; she ran a hundred
yards and fell dead. In half an hour a third old borele appeared, and,
having inspected the two dead ones, he came up to the waterside. We
fired together; he ran two hundred yards and fell dead. I felt
satisfied with our success, and gave it up for the night.

By the following evening the natives had cleared away the greater part
of the two rhinoceroses which lay right in the way of the game
approaching the water; I, however, enforced their leaving the third
rhinoceros, which had fallen on the bare rising ground, almost
opposite to my hiding-place, in the hope of attracting a lion, as I
intended to watch the water at night. Soon after the twilight had died
away, I went down to my hole with Kleinboy and two natives, who lay
concealed in another hole, with Wolf and Boxer ready to slip, in the
event of wounding a lion.

On reaching the water I looked towards the carcase of the rhinoceros,
and, to my astonishment, I beheld the ground alive with large
creatures, as though a troop of zebras were approaching the fountain
to drink. Kleinboy remarked to me that a troop of zebras were standing
on the height. I answered, "Yes," but I knew very well that zebras
would not be capering around the carcase of a rhinoceros. I quickly
arranged my blankets, pillow, and guns, in the hole, and then lay down
to feast my eyes on the interesting sight before me. It was bright
moonlight, as clear as I need wish, and within one night of being full
moon. There were six large lions, about twelve or fifteen hyaenas, and
from twenty to thirty jackals, feasting on and around the carcases of
the three rhinoceroses. The lions feasted peacefully, but the hyenas
and jackals fought over every mouthful, and chased one another round
and round the carcases, growling, laughing, screeching, chattering,
and howling without any intermission. The hyaenas did not seem afraid
of the lions, although they always gave way before them; for I
observed that they followed them in the most disrespectful manner, and
stood laughing, one or two on either side, when any lions came after
their comrades to examine pieces of skin or bones which they were
dragging away. I had lain watching this banquet for about four hours,
in the strong hope that, when the lions had feasted, they would come
and drink. Two black and two white rhinoceroses had made their
appearance, but, scared by the smell of the blood, they soon made off.

At length the lions seemed satisfied. They all walked about with their
heads up, and seemed to be thinking about the water, and in two
minutes one of them turned his face towards me, and came on; he was
immediately followed by the second lion, and in half a minute by the
other four. It was a decided and general move, they were all coming to
drink right bang in my face, within fifteen yards of me.

I charged the unfortunate, pale, and panting Kleinboy to convert
himself into a stone, and knowing, from old spoor, exactly where they
would drink, I cocked my left barrel, and placed myself and gun in
position. The six lions came steadily on along the ridge, until within
sixty yards of me, when they halted for a minute to reconnoitre. One
of them stretched out his massive arms on the rock and lay down; the
others then came on, and he rose and brought up the rear. They walked,
as I had anticipated, to the old drinking place, and three of them had
put down their heads and were lapping the water loudly, when Kleinboy
thought it necessary to show his ugly head. I turned my head slowly to
rebuke him, and again taming to the lions I found myself discovered.

An old lioness, who seemed to take the lead, had detected me, and,
with her head high and her eyes fixed full upon me, she was coming
slowly round the corner of the little vley to cultivate further my
acquaintance! This unfortunate proceeding put a stop at once to all
further contemplation. I thought, in my haste, that it was perhaps
most prudent to shoot this lioness, especially as none of the others
had noticed me. I accordingly moved my arm and covered her: she saw me
move and halted, exposing a full broadside, I fired; the ball entered
one shoulder and passed out behind the other. She bounded forward with
repeated growls, and was followed by her five comrades all enveloped
in a cloud of dust; nor did they stop until they had reached the cover
behind me, except one old gentleman, who halted and looked back for a
few seconds, when I fired, but the ball went high. I listened
anxiously for some sound to denote the approaching end of the lioness;
nor listened in vain. I heard her growling and stationary, as if
dying. In one minute her comrades crossed the vley a little below me,
and made towards the rhinoceros. I then slipped Wolf and Boxer on her
scent, and, following them into the river, I found her lying dead
within twenty yards of where the old lion had lain two nights before.
This was a fine old lioness, with perfect teeth, and was certainly a
noble prize; but I felt dissatisfied at not having rather shot a lion,
which I had most certainly done if my Hottentot had not destroyed my
contemplation.



Attacks on Brookfield and Deerfield.


The early settlers of New England did not suffer much from the
hostility of the Indians, until the breaking out of King Philip's war,
in 1675. Philip was the son of Massasoit, who was the friend of the
English from the time of the landing of the pilgrims until the day of
his death. Offended at the manner in which the English behaved towards
his brother, Alexander, Philip resolved upon a war of extermination,
and, for this purpose, he united nearly all the New England tribes.
The war was very destructive to the whites, though it ended in the
total overthrow of the Indian power.

One of the first places attacked was the town of Brookfield,
Massachusetts. Upon receiving intelligence that Philip had begun
hostilities, the inhabitants all collected in one large house.
Captains Wheeler and Hutchinson went into the country of the Nipmucks,
to treat with them, but they, instigated by Philip, fired upon the
party of whites, killed eight men and mortally wounded Captain
Hutchinson. The rest fled to Brookfield, pursued by the Indians. The
inhabitants were now surrounded by a host of foes, who burned every
house in the place, except the one in which the people and soldiers
were collected. Here they directed their whole force. Upon this house
they poured a storm of musket balls for about two days. Countless
numbers pierced through the walls, yet only one person was killed.
Brands and rags dipped in brimstone were thrust against the house with
long poles. The Indians shot arrows, tipped with fire, upon the roof.
They loaded a cart with flax and tow, and with long poles fastened
together, pushed it against the house. Destruction seemed inevitable,
the house was kindling. The bold and resolute settlers were beginning
to give up all hope, when a sudden and providential fall of rain
quenched the flames.

The savages yelled with the fury of disappointment, and resorted to
other schemes for the destruction of the house and its inmates. In all
probability, they would have succeeded in effecting their object; but
on the 4th of August, Major Willard, with a party of troops, appeared,
and attacked the besiegers. The conflict was soon decided. The Indians
never could withstand an equal number of whites in a fair field. They
now gave way, after suffering a great loss. The people of Brookfield
were thus happily delivered from their savage foe. But their houses
were burned, and stock destroyed.

The next place attacked was Deerfield, upon the Connecticut river,
which experienced the horror of Indian atrocity several times during
the course of the war. The town was first attacked in September, 1675,
when most of the houses were burned, and some of the inhabitants
killed. At Deerfield, there were three thousand bushels of wheat in
stock, which it was resolved to bring to the general magazine at
Hadley. Captain Lathrop, with ninety men, guarded the teams employed
in this service. On the way, they were assaulted by about seven
hundred Indians. Few of the whites escaped. They fought bravely, and
killed a great many of the Indians, but were nearly all slain. Captain
Mosely marched from Deerfield to reinforce Captain Lathrop. Arriving
too late, he was compelled to sustain the onset of the whole force of
the enemy, until Major Treat came to his relief, and put the Indians
to flight.

In the early part of February, a large body of Indians attempted to
surprise Deerfield by night. But the inhabitants were alarmed and
prepared, and after a short conflict succeeded in driving off the
savages. Soon after a party of whites from Deerfield attacked a party
of Indians in a swamp, near that town, and killed one hundred and
twenty of them. But the whites, on their return, were waylaid, and as
they had expended all their ammunition they fell an easy prey. Fifty
were killed and eighty-four wounded. Such were the horrors of King
Philip's war.



Attack on Mrs. Scraggs's House.


On the night of the 11th of April, 1787, the house of the widow
Scraggs, in Bourbon county, Kentucky, was attacked by the Indians. The
widow occupied what is called double cabin, one room of which was
tenanted by the old lady herself, together with two grown sons and a
widowed daughter, who was at that time suckling an infant, while the
other was occupied by two unmarried daughters, from sixteen to twenty
years of age, together with a little girl, not more than half grown.

The hour was eleven o'clock at night. One of the unmarried daughters
was still busily engaged at the loom, but the other members of the
family, with the exception of one of the sons, had retired to rest.
Some symptoms of an alarming nature had engaged the attention of the
young man for an hour before any thing of a decided character took
place. The cry of owls was heard in the adjoining wood, answering each
other in rather an unusual manner. The horses which were enclosed as
usual in a pound near the house were more than commonly their excited,
and by repeated snorting and galloping, announced the presence of some
object of terror. The young man was often upon the point of awakening
his brother, but was as often restrained by the fear of incurring
ridicule and their reproach of timidity, at that time an unpardonable
blemish in the character of a Kentuckian. At length, hasty steps were
heard in the yard, and quickly afterwards several knocks at the door,
accompanied by the usual exclamation, "who keeps house?" in very good
English.

The young man, supposing from the language, that some benighted
settlers were at the door, hastily arose and advancing to withdraw the
bar which secured it, when his mother, who had long lived upon the
frontiers, and had probably detected the Indian tone in the demand for
admission, sprung out of bed, and ordered her son not to admit them,
declaring that they were Indians. She instantly awakened her other
son, and the two young men seizing their guns, which were always
charged, prepared to repel the enemy.

The Indians finding it impossible to enter under their assumed
characters, began to thunder at the door with great violence, but a
single shot from a loophole, compelled them to shift the attack to
some less exposed point; and, unfortunately, they discovered the door
of the other cabin, which contained the three daughters. The rifles of
the brothers could not be brought to bear upon this point, and by
means of several rails taken from the yard fence, the door was forced
from its hinges and the three girls were at the mercy of the savage.
One was immediately secured, but the eldest defended herself
desperately with a knife which she had been using in the loom, and
stabbed one of the Indians to the heart, before she was tomahawked.

In the meantime the little girl, who had been overlooked by the enemy
in their eagerness to secure the others, ran out into the yard, and
might have effected her escape had she taken advantage of the darkness
and fled, but instead of that the terrified little creature ran round
the house wringing her hands, and crying out that her sisters were
killed. The brothers, unwilling to hear her cries without risking
every thing for her rescue, rushed to the door and were preparing to
sally out to her assistance, when their mother threw herself before
them and calmly declared that the child must be abandoned to its
fate--that the sally would sacrifice the lives of the rest without the
slightest benefit to the little girl. Just then the child uttered a
loud scream, followed by a faint moan, and all was again silent.
Presently the crackling of flames was heard, accompanied by a
triumphant yell from the Indians, announcing that they had set fire to
that division of the house which had been occupied by the daughters,
and of which they had undisputed possession.

The fire was quickly communicated to part of the building, it became
necessary to abandon it or perish in the flames. In the one case,
there was a possibility that some might escape; in the other, their
fate would be equally certain and terrible. The rapid approach of the
flames cut short their momentary suspense. The door was thrown open,
just as some of the Indians began to enter the house through a breach
made by the fire. The old lady, supported by her eldest son, attempted
to cross the fence at one point, while the other son carried his
sister and her son in another direction.

The old lady was permitted to reach the stile unmolested, but in the
act of crossing, received several balls in the breast and fell dead.
Her son, providentially, remained unhurt, and by extraordinary agility
effected his escape. The other party succeeded also in reaching the
fence unhurt, but in the act of crossing, were vigorously assailed by
several Indians, who throwing down their guns, rushed upon them with
their tomahawks. The young man defended his sister gallantly, firing
upon the enemy as they approached, and then wielding the butt of his
rifle with a fury that drew the whole attention upon himself, and gave
his sister an opportunity of effecting her escape. He quickly fell,
however, under the tomahawk of his enemies, and was found at daylight,
scalped and mangled in a shocking manner. Of the whole family,
consisting of eight persons, when the attack commenced, only three
escaped. Four were killed upon the spot, and one, the second daughter,
carried off a prisoner.

The neighborhood was quickly alarmed, and by daylight about thirty men
were assembled under the command of Colonel Edwards. A slight snow had
fallen during the latter part of the night, and the Indian trail could
be pursued at a gallop. It led directly into the mountainous country
bordering on Licking, and afforded evidences of great hurry and
precipitation on the part of the fugitives. Unfortunately, a hound had
been permitted to accompany the whites, and as the trail became fresh
and the scent warm, she followed it with eagerness, baying loudly and
giving the alarm to the Indians.

The consequences of this imprudence were soon displayed. The enemy
finding the pursuit keen, and perceiving that the strength of the
prisoner began to fail, sunk their tomahawks in her head and left her,
still warm and bleeding upon the snow. As the whites came up, she
retained strength enough to wave her hand in token of recognition, and
appeared desirous of giving them some information, with regard to the
enemy, but her strength was too far gone. Her brother sprung from his
horse, and knelt by her side, endeavoring to stop the effusion of
blood, but in vain. She gave him her hand, muttering some inarticulate
words, and expired within two minutes after the arrival of the party.

The pursuit was renewed with additional ardor, and in twenty minutes
the enemy was within view. They had taken possession of a steep narrow
ridge and seemed desirous of magnifying their numbers in the eyes of
the whites, as they ran rapidly from tree to tree, and maintained a
steady yell in their most appalling tones. The pursuers, however, were
too experienced to be deceived by so common an artifice, and being
satisfied that the number of the enemy must be inferior to their own,
they dismounted, tied their horses, and flanking out in such a manner
as to enclose the enemy, ascended the ridge as rapidly as was
consistent with a due regard to the shelter of their persons. The
firing quickly commenced, and now for the first time they discovered
that only two Indians were opposed to them. They had voluntarily
sacrificed themselves for the safety of the main body, and had
succeeded in delaying pursuit until their friends had reached the
mountains. One of them was shot dead, and the other was badly wounded,
as was evident from the blood upon his blanket, as well as that which
filled his tracks in the snow for a considerable distance. The pursuit
was recommenced, and urged keenly until night, when the trail entered
a running stream and was lost. On the following morning the snow had
melted, and every trace of the enemy was obliterated.



Fearful Adventure with a man-eating lion.


The following is Mr. Cumming's account of a fearful adventure, in
which he lost one of his most valuable servants:

On the 29th we arrived at a small village of Bakalahari. These natives
told me that elephants were abundant on the opposite side of the
river. I accordingly resolved to halt here and hunt, and drew my
wagons up on the river's bank, within thirty yards of the water, and
about one hundred yards from the native village. Having outspanned, we
at once set about making for the cattle a kraal of the worst
description of thorn trees. Of this I had now become very particular,
since my severe loss by lions on the first of this month; and my
cattle were, at night, secured by a strong kraal, which enclosed my
two wagons, the horses being made fast to a trektow, stretched to the
two hind-wheels of the wagons. I had yet, however, a fearful lesson to
learn as to the nature and character of the lion, of which I had at
one time entertained so little fear; and on this night a horrible
tragedy was to be acted in my little lonely camp of so very awful and
appalling a nature as to make the blood curdle in our veins. I worked
till near sun down at one side of the kraal with Hendrick, my first
wagon driver--I cutting down the trees with my axe, and he dragging
them to the kraal. When the kraal for the cattle was finished, I
turned my attention to making a pot of barley broth, and lighted a
fire between the wagons and the water, close on the river's bank,
under a dense grove of shady trees, making a sort of kraal around our
sitting place for the evening.

The Hottentots, without any reason, made their fire about fifty yards
from mine; they according to their usual custom, being satisfied with
the shelter of a large dense bush. The evening passed away cheerfully.
Soon after it was dark we heard elephants breaking the trees in the
forest across the river; and once or twice I strode away into the
darkness some distance from the fireside, to stand and listen to them.
I little, at that moment, deemed of the imminent peril to which I was
exposing my life, nor thought that a blood-thirsty man-eater lion was
crouching near, and only watching his opportunity to spring into the
midst of us, and consign one of our number to a most horrible death.
About three hours after the sun went down I called to my men to come
and take their coffee and supper which was ready for them at my fire;
and after supper three of them returned before their comrades to their
own fireside, and lay down; these were John Stofolus, Hendrick, and
Ruyter. In a few minutes an ox came out by the gate of the kraal and
walked out by the back of it. Hendrick got up and drove him in again,
and then went back to his fireside and lay down. Hendrick and Ruyter
lay on one side of the fire under one blanket, and John Stofolus lay
on the other. At this moment I was sitting taking some barley-broth;
our fire was very small, and the night was pitch-dark and windy. Owing
to our proximity to the native village the wood was very scarce, the
Bakalahari having burnt it all in their fires.

Suddenly the appalling and murderous voice of an angry blood-thirsty
lion burst upon my ears within a few yards of us, followed by the
shrieking of the Hottentots. Again and again the murderous roar of
attack was repeated. We heard John and Ruyter shriek, "The lion, the
lion!" still, for a few moments, we thought he was chasing one of the
dogs round the kraal; but, the next instant, John Stofolus rushed into
the midst of us, almost speechless with fear and terror, his eyes
bursting from their sockets, and shrieked out, "The lion, the lion! He
has got Hendrick; he dragged him away from the fire beside me. I
struck him with the burning brands upon his head, but he would not let
go his hold. Hendrick is dead! Oh, God! Hendrick is dead! Let us take
fire and seek him!"

The rest of my people rushed about shrieking and yelling as if they
were mad. I was at once angry with them for their folly, and told them
if they did not stand still and keep quiet the lion would have another
of us; and that very likely there was a troop of them. I ordered the
dogs, which were nearly all fast, to be made loose, and the fire to be
increased as far as could be. I then shouted Hendrick's name, but all
was still. I told my men that Hendrick was dead, and that a regiment
of soldiers could not now help him, and, hunting my dogs forward, I
had every thing brought within the cattle-kraal, when we lighted our
fire and closed the entrance as well as we could. My terrified people
sat round the fire with guns in their hand till the day broke, still
fancying that every moment the lion would return and spring again into
the midst of us.

When the dogs were first let go, the stupid brutes, as dogs often
prove when most required, instead of going at the lion, rushed
fiercely on one another, and fought desperately for some minutes.
After this, they got his wind, and going at him, disclosed to us his
position; they kept up a continual barking until the day dawned, the
lion occasionally springing after them and driving them in upon the
kraal. The horrible monster lay all night within forty yards of us,
consuming the wretched man whom he had chosen for his prey. He had
dragged him into a little hollow at the back of a thick bush, beside
which the fire was kindled, and there he remained till the day dawned,
careless of our proximity.

It appeared that when the unfortunate Hendrick rose to drive in the
ox, the lion had watched him to his fireside, and he had scarcely lain
down when the brute sprang upon him and Ruyter, for both lay under one
blanket, with his appalling murderous roar, and, roaring as he lay,
grappled him with his fearful claws, and kept biting him on his breast
and shoulder, all the while feeling for his neck; having got hold of
which, he dragged him away backwards round the bush into the dense
shade.

As the lion lay upon the unfortunate man he faintly cried, "Help me,
help me! Oh, God! men, help me!" After which the fearful beast got a
hold of his neck, and then all was still, except that his comrades
heard the bones of his neck cracking between the teeth of the lion.
John Stofolus had lain with his back to the fire on the opposite side,
and on hearing the lion he sprang up, and, seizing a large flaming
brand, he had belabored him on the head with the burning wood; but the
brute did not take any notice of him. The Bushman had a narrow escape;
he was not altogether scatheless, the lion having inflicted two gashes
in his seat with his claws.

The next morning, just as the day began to dawn, we heard the lion
dragging something up the river-side under cover of the bank. We drove
the cattle out of the kraal, and then proceeded to inspect the scene
of the night's awful tragedy. In the hollow, where the lion had lain
consuming his prey, we found one leg of the unfortunate Hendrick,
bitten off below the knee, the shoe still on his foot; the grass and
bushes were all stained with his blood, and fragments of his pea-coat
lay around.

Poor Hendrick! I knew the fragments of that old coat, and had often
marked them hanging in the dense covers where the elephant had charged
after my unfortunate after-rider. Hendrick was by far the best man I
had about my wagons, of a most cheerful disposition, first-rate wagon
driver, fearless in the field, ever active, willing, and obliging: his
loss to us all was very serious. I felt confounded and utterly sick in
my heart; I could not remain at the wagons, so I resolved to go after
elephants to divert my mind. I had this morning heard them breaking
the trees on the opposite side of the river. I accordingly told the
natives of the village my intentions; and having ordered my people to
devote the day to fortifying the kraal, I started with Piet and Ruyter
as my after-riders.

It was a very cold day. We crossed the river, and at once took up the
fresh spoor of a troop of bull elephants. These bulls unfortunately
joined a troop of cows, and the bulls were off in a moment, before we
could even see them. One remarkably fine old cow charged the dogs. I
hunted this cow and finished her with two shots from the saddle. Being
anxious to return to my people before night, I did not attempt to
follow the troop.

My followers were not a little gratified to see me returning, for
terror had taken hold of their minds, and they expected that the lion
would return, and, emboldened by the success of the preceding night,
would prove still more daring in his attack. The lion would most
certainly have returned, but fate had otherwise ordained. My health
had been better in the last three days: my fever was leaving me, but I
was, of course, still very weak. It would still be two hours before
the sun would set, and feeling refreshed by a little rest, and able
for further work, I ordered the steeds to be saddled, and went in
search of the lion.

I took John and Carey as after-riders, armed, and a party of the
natives followed up the spoor and led the dogs. The lion had dragged
the remains of poor Hendrick along a native footpath that led up the
river's side. We found fragments of his coat all along the spoor, and
at last the mangled coat itself. About six hundred yards from our camp
a dry river's course joined the Limpopo. At this spot was much cover,
and heaps of dry reeds and trees deposited by the Limpopo in some
great flood. The lion had left the footpath and entered this secluded
spot. I at once felt convinced that we were upon him, and ordered the
natives to make loose the dogs. These walked suspiciously forward on
the spoor, and next minute began to spring about, barking angrily,
with all their hair bristling on their backs: a crash upon the dry
reeds immediately followed--it was the lion bounding away.

Several of the dogs were extremely afraid of him, and kept rushing
continually backwards springing aloft to obtain a view. I now pressed
forward and urged them on; old Argyll and Bles took up his spoor in
gallant style and led on the other dogs. Then commenced a short but
lively and glorious chase, whose conclusion was the only small
satisfaction that I could obtain to answer for the horrors of the
preceding evening. The lion held up the river's bank for a short
distance and took away through some wait-a-bit thorn cover, the best
he could find, but nevertheless open. Here, in two minutes, the dogs
were up with him, and he turned and stood at bay. As I approached, he
stood, his horrid head right to me, with open jaws growling fiercely,
his tail waving from side to side.

On beholding him my blood boiled with rage. I wished that I could take
him alive and torture him, and setting my teeth, I dashed my steed
forward within thirty yards of him and shouted, "Your time is up, old
fellow." I halted my horse, and, placing my rifle to my shoulder, I
waited for a broadside. This, the next moment, he exposed, when I sent
a bullet through his shoulder and dropped him on the spot. He rose,
however, again, when I finished him with a second in the breast. The
Bakalahari now came up with wonder and delight. I ordered John to cut
off his head and forepaws and bring them to the wagons, and mounting
my horse I galloped home, having been absent about fifteen minutes.
When the Bakalahari women heard that the man-eater was dead, they all
commenced dancing about with joy, calling me _their father_.



Thrilling Adventures of Mr. Butler.


The early history of Kentucky is one continued series of daring and
romantic adventures. Had the founder of that state lived in the days
of chivalric yore, his exploits would have been sung in connection
with those of Arthur and Orlando; and his followers, in the same
region, would certainly have been knights of the Round Table.

The hero of our story was one of these. Those who desire to inspect
his adventure, by the light of romance, will not be displeased at
learning that his choice of a hunter's life was determined by a
disappointment in the object of his early love.

He was then only nineteen, yet he fearlessly left his native state,
and sought, amid the uncultivated wilds of Kentucky, the stirring
enjoyment of a western hunter. After rendering valuable service to the
Virginia colony, as a spy and pioneer, he undertook a voyage of
discovery to the country north of the Ohio. It was while thus engaged
that he was taken prisoner by the Indians.

He was, no doubt, known to the Indians as an active and dangerous
enemy; and they now prepared to avenge themselves upon him. They
condemned him to the fiery torture, painted his body black, and
marched him toward Chilicothe. By way of amusement on the road, he was
manacled hand and foot, tied to an unbridled and unbroken horse, and
driven off amid the shouts and whoops of the savages; poor Butler thus
played the part of an American Mazeppa. The horse, unable to shake
him off galloped with terrific speed toward the wood, jarring and
bruising the rider at every step; but at length, exhausted and
subdued, it returned to camp with its burden, amid the exulting shouts
of the savages. When within a mile of Chilicothe, they took Butler
from the horse, and tied him to a stake, where, for twenty-four hours,
he remained in one position. He was then untied to run the gauntlet.
Six hundred Indians, men, women, and children, armed with clubs and
switches, arranged themselves in two parallel lines, to strike him as
he passed. It was a mile to the council-house, which if he reached, he
was to be spared. A blow started him on this encouraging race; but he
soon broke through the files and had almost reached the council-house,
when he was brought to the ground by a club. In this position he was
severely beaten and again taken into custody.

These terrible sufferings, instead of satisfying the Indians, only
stimulated them to invent more ingenious tortures. Their cruelty was
not more astonishing than the fortitude of the victim. He ran the
gauntlet thirteen times; he was exposed to insult, privation, and
injury of every kind: sometimes he was tied, sometimes beaten. At
others, he was pinched, dragged on the ground, or deprived for long
periods of sleep. Then, amid jeers and yells, he was marched from
village to village, so that all might be entertained with his
sufferings. Yet, amid each torture, he never failed to improve an
opportunity favorable for escaping, and in one instance would have
effected it, but for some Indians whom he accidentally met returning
to the village. Finally it was resolved to burn him at Lower Sandusky.
The procession, bearing the victim to the stake, passed by the cabin
of Simon Girty, whose name is a counterpart to that of Brandt, in the
annals of Pennsylvania. This man had just returned from an
unsuccessful expedition to the frontier of that state, burning, of
course, with disappointment, and a thirst for revenge. Hearing that a
white prisoner was being carried to the torture, he rushed out, threw
Butler down, and began to beat him.

The reader will not be apt to imagine that this was in any way
favorable to Butler's escape; yet it was so. He instantly recognised
in the fierce assailant a companion of early days, and as such made
himself known. The heart of the savage relented. He raised up his old
friend, promised to use his influence for him, summoned a council, and
persuaded the Indians to resign Butler to him. Taking the unfortunate
man home, he fed and nursed him until he began to recover. But five
days had scarcely expired, when the Indians relented, seizing their
victim, and marched him to be burned at Lower Sandusky. By a
surprising coincidence, he here met the Indian agent from Detroit, who
interceded and saved him. He was taken to that town, paroled by the
governor, and subsequently escaped through the woods to Kentucky.



Robert and Samuel M'Afee.


Early in May, 1781, M'Afee's station, in the neighborhood of
Harrodsburg, Kentucky, was alarmed by the approach of Indians. On the
morning of the 9th, Samuel M'Afee, accompanied by another man, left
the fort in order to visit a small plantation in the neighborhood, and
at the distance of three hundred yards from the gate, they were fired
upon by a party of Indians in ambush. The man who, accompanied him
instantly fell.  An Indian rushed up, dropped his rifle, scalped the
man, and holding up the bleeding trophy, gave a yell of delight.

M'Afee attempted to regain the fort. While running for that purpose,
he found himself suddenly intercepted by an Indian, who, springing out
of the canebrake, placed himself directly in his path. Each glared
upon the other for an instant, in silence, and both raising their guns
at the moment, pulled the triggers together. The Indian's rifle
snapped, while M'Afee's ball passed directly through his brain. Having
no time to reload his gun, he sprung over the body of his antagonist,
and continued his flight to the fort. When within one hundred yards of
the gate, he was met by his two brothers, Robert and James, who at the
report of the guns, had hurried out to the assistance of their
brother. Samuel hastily informed them of their danger, and exhorted
them to return. James readily complied, but Robert, declared that he
must have a view of the dead Indian. He ran on for that purpose, and
having enjoyed the spectacle, was returning, when he saw five or six
Indians between him and the fort, evidently bent on taking him alive.
All his activity and presence of mind was put in request. He ran from
tree to tree, endeavoring to turn their flank, and reach one of the
gates, and after a variety of turns and doublings, he found himself
pressed by only one Indian. M'Afee turned upon his pursuer, and
compelled him to take shelter behind a tree. Both stood still for a
moment--M'Afee having his gun cocked, and the sight fixed where he
supposed the Indian would thrust out his head in order to have a view
of his antagonist. After waiting a few seconds, the Indian exposed a
part of his head to take sight, when M'Afee fired, and the Indian
fell. While turning, to continue the flight, he was fired on by a
party of six, which compelled him again to tree. But scarcely had he
done so, when he received the fire of three more enemies which made
the bark and dust fly about him. Finding his post dangerous, he ran
for the fort, which he reached in safety, to the inexpressible joy of
his brothers, who had despaired of his return.



A few days' Sport in Chinese Tartary.


Much may have been said, but little has been written, of the yet but
very partially explored part of the world between China and the
Himayla chain. Moorcroft and Gerard, some thirty years ago, visited
some parts bordering on the extreme north-west of the British
possessions in India. Fraser, a few years later, penetrated probably
those parts of it adjoining the central hill sanatoriums of Simla and
Almorah, and he, like his predecessors, was stopped by the jealous
government and its inhabitants. Previous to entering Chinese Tartary
from British India, the traveller has to cross certain of the passes
in the great snowy range, some of them varying in height from sixteen
to eighteen thousand feet above the level of the sea.

The Barinda, one of the most frequented and best known of these
passes, is variously estimated at from seventeen to eighteen thousand
feet. The months of June, July, and August are generally considered
the best months for crossing.

The scenery in and around these passes is of the most sublime
description. As I should assuredly fail, however, in describing it, I
must content myself with a narration of some personal adventures which
befel me in an attempt to carry into effect a long cherished
determination to make the acquaintance of the seeta bhaloo (white
bear) and the burul, (white sheep,) found only in these regions. By
the route I took, seventeen marches brought me to the snow. Here our
"roughing" commenced, the Peharrees, or hill men, of our side of the
snow, having a most religious horror of the great snowy range. The air
there they declare is charged with "bis" (poison,) and this is the
only way they can in their original way account for the painful and
distressing effects which the rarefied air in those elevations
produces on the human frame. The first intimation we have that we are
far above the altitude of comfort, is a dull, heavy pain on the
shoulders, as if you were carrying a load above your capacity; then a
very painful sensation on the forehead, as if it had been bandaged
unpleasantly tight, accompanied by a burning sensation of the eyes and
nose, followed by an involuntary bleeding of the latter.

This last symptom of the effects of high rarefaction, is, to an
Englishman, at least it was to us, always a great relief. It operates
differently upon the natives; they become only more alarmed and
helpless, and, unless hurried through the passes very expeditiously,
invariably perish. On my first trip, I left two unfortunate hill men
in the Sogla Pass. Two more would have perished, had not I taken one
wheelbarrow fashion, by the legs, and dragged him after me, although
very much distressed myself, until we had descended sufficiently to
rest with safety. My head man, Jye Sing, by my direction, took the
other man, and both were saved.

After getting through the pass, we came upon the inhabited tracks, and
made the acquaintance of the Bhootias. I found them very original,
very dirty, and very honest with regard to every thing except tobacco.
This, neither father nor mother, husband or wife, could help stealing,
whenever they had the opportunity; and the most amusing part of it
was, they never attempted to deny the theft, but stoutly maintained
their right to the article! Numerous were the thrashings inflicted by
Buctoo on them for tobacco thieving, but the thefts did not diminish.

As my object in coming into these dreary fastnesses was to get on
terms of familiarity with the quadrupedal rather than the bipedal
inhabitants, I will leave the Bhootias, and proceed to describe my
rencontres with the equally civilized four-footed denizens. I had in
my employ Shikarees (gameseekers) of no ordinary class, who, having
been many years with me, were well tutored; although, when first
caught, they were ignorance personified as far as sporting matters
went. Their original incapacity will be easily credited, when I inform
them that my second best man, Buctoo, had followed the sporting
occupation of a village fiddler, before he entered my service, and
knew as much of the capabilities of an English rifle as he did of the
"Pleiades." Jye Sing was a little better informed, for he told me
confidentially, one day, he had seen a gentleman at Subathoo actually
kill quail flying with small shot. His occupation had been that of
findal, or porter, to some families at Simla. Two months' training
turned him out, not only one of the most intelligent, but pluckiest
Shikaree I ever had.

Having, in my numerous excursions into the hills, obtained some very
vague information from the many villagers I came in contact with, that
they had often heard from parties residing near the snow that there
was an animal to be found there strongly resembling the famous sheep,
(_Ovid Burul_,) I determined upon despatching Jye Sing and Buctoo to
those regions, to obtain all the precise information that might be
available, cautioning them not to return without either having seen
the animal, or bringing me some proof of its existence, and further
promising them a handsome present, if they brought me satisfactory
information. They were absent two months, and returned with some most
marvellous stories about what they had seen and heard, and, as a proof
of the existence of the animal, brought me the horn of a wild sheep
they had picked up in one of the valleys in the snow, after an
avalanche had melted. This physical fragment at once removed all my
doubts, the horn being different from that of any tame sheep. I was
now wound up to the highest pitch of excitement; my marching
establishment was soon put in order, and we started on the following
day. Fifteen forced marches brought me to the foot of the snow, and
also to the last village, called "Ufsul." I found the inhabitants of
this village a most rude and demi-barbarous race, knowing little, and
wishing to know less, of Englishmen, of whom they seemed to have the
greatest dread. However, two days' soft sawdering with a plentiful
supply of hill "buckshee," (spirits,) made them more communicative;
and they at last informed me, if I would promise only to remain a
week, they would show me the wild sheep. This promise, of course, I
gave; and on the following morning at daybreak, (shivering cold it
was,) we started to ascend the snow-capped mountains and glaciers,
which the animal patronized. On the road up I was sorely tempted to
draw my ball and ram down shot, in order to bring down some of the
many woodcocks we were constantly flushing, and which were so
unaccustomed to be disturbed, that they only flew a few yards away;
but I resisted the temptation.

As we progressed in the region of eternal snow, we began to find
pedestrianism a difficult task. Some parts of the path were very
slippery and hard; others, soft and knee-deep in snow. An idea may be
formed of the height we had to ascend, and the nature of the ground
which we traversed, when I mention that we left our tents at seven
o'clock in the morning, and had not arrived at the "sheep-walk" before
one.

Now commenced the difficulty. The burrul, from its well-known and
secluded habits, is a most difficult animal to approach. I was at
last, however, rewarded for my labor. About two o'clock we came upon
the fresh marks of the flock; we followed them for some distance, but
coming near a hot spring where they had evidently been grazing, lost
of course all farther track. For the next hour I worked on one
glacier, around another, used my telescope, but could not discern any
object. Suddenly one of the villagers called my attention to something
above me. I looked up and beheld a pair of enormous horns bending
over. None of the body of the animal was then visible. I now
cautiously moved a short distance to the right, when I had the
satisfaction of seeing not only his horns, but a full broadside view
of the first wild sheep I ever saw. He was about one hundred and fifty
yards off. Having elevated the proper sight, I brought my rifle to
bear on the shoulder, took a steady and gradual draw of the trigger,
the rifle cracked, and dead came down the burrul of Thibet.

Perhaps, up to this time, the burrul had known no other mortal foe
than the white, or whitey-brown bear of the hills--the seeta bhaloo,
as he is called. And this brings me to another part of my sporting
excursion.

Whether from the scarcity of food, or the amiability of their
dispositions, the seeta bhaloo are to be met with constantly in small
bodies of from five to ten, differing in this respect from their sable
brethren, who are generally found alone, unless a matrimonial alliance
has been formed, when the intrusion of a third party, whether male or
female, ensures a fight.

The white bear is only carnivorous when pressed by hunger, and in that
state is very destructive to the numerous Tartar flocks of sheep, for
Bruin, with an empty larder is not to be deterred from his ravenous
attacks by men or dogs--a haunch of mutton he will have. His mode of
devouring it differs greatly from that of the tiger or leopard. He
tears the fleece off with his paws, and instead of gnawing and tearing
the flesh, as most carnivorous animals do, he commences sucking it,
and in this way draws off the flesh in shreds, thus occupying four or
five hours in doing what a tiger or leopard would effectually achieve
in half an hour. It is well known among the Tartars, (and I know it
also from experience,) that a bear, after feasting off flesh, is a
very dangerous customer, and will always show fight. If near the
carcass he has captured, he will give very little trouble in looking
for him, indeed, he will almost invariably attack the intruder.

One day while following up some wild sheep, I came upon two bears very
busily engaged in digging up the snow where an avalanche had fallen.
Being hid from their sight, I determined to wait some little time to
ascertain why they were digging. I accordingly placed myself behind a
rock, and allowed them to work away. In about an hour they had made a
very good opening; and on using my glass I found they had got hold of
something. I now pushed up to them. One immediately showed fight, and
came out to meet me. He made one charge at me, which I received with a
rifle ball, killing him the very first shot. The other bear got away.
On going up to the spot where they had been at work, I found the
exhumed bodies of three wild sheep. They had been carried away and
buried underneath the avalanche, probably as far back as the previous
year, considering the very compact and frozen state the snow was in.
The sheep were in excellent order. We skinned them, and took them to
our tents, and excellent mutton we all had for several days.

On the melting of the snows, the golden eagle of the Himalaya--a
magnificent bird, often measuring thirteen feet from the tip of one
wing to the other--is one of the best of pointers a sportsman can
follow, to ascertain where any animal has been carried away in an
avalanche. He hovers over the spot, constantly alighting, and then
taking wing again; but if once you observe him pecking with his beak
you may proceed to the spot, and be certain of finding, a very short
distance below the snow, the carcass of a wild sheep, as fresh as it
was on the day on which it was carried away. Many a haunch of good
mutton have I obtained in this way.

The Himalayan golden eagle is a very carrion crow, never destroying
its own game, and feeding on any dead carcass it may find.

Many an eagle have I shot feeding on the carcass of an unfortunate
hill bullock, which, either through stupidity or fright, had tumbled
over a precipice; and never, during the many years I shot over all
parts of these hills, do I remember seeing a golden eagle pounce on or
carry away a living prey.

The Tartar shepherds near the snow informed me that during the lambing
season the eagles were very troublesome. If a ewe dropped a sickly
lamb, and left it, the eagle would attack it, but never attempted to
stoop to carry away a live one, or one that followed its mother. The
Indian golden eagle is identical with the Lammergeyer of the Alps, but
wants the courage of the latter bird.

A companion and myself had been working hard in the "Sogla," one of
the passes in the snowy range conducting into Chinese Tartary, after
the wild sheep, and found them this day wilder and more wary than on
any previous occasion. It is not generally known that there are two
species of wild sheep--one called the dairuk, and the other (an
enormous animal, at least as far as its horns are concerned) known to
naturalists as the _ovis ammon_. The horns and head of the latter are
as much as a hill man can lift, and singular enough the body is small
indeed, out of all proportion to the horns borne by a full-grown ram.
My companion and self espied on an opposite hill what we at first
(through our telescopes) thought was an enormous pair of horns moving
without any ostensible carriage. At last we observed the body, and I,
in delight, exclaimed, "By Jove, there is the ovis ammon at last."

After considerable trouble and precious hard work, we worked up to
within the range, when a shot from my rifle brought the ram tumbling
down over the snow. I hoped and believed he was dead, but he was only
wounded. He got up again, and, in spite of the wound, made a very good
gallop over the deep snow. Finding he was too fast for us, we slipped
our dogs, and among them my poor "Karchia." The poor dog, as usual,
was first up with the ram, and seized him. The ram, having still a
good deal in him, broke the hold, and down he went to the bottom of
the ravine, where ran the Tonse river, a tributary of the Jumna here
in the snow.

The river was covered over in many places by avalanches, and was also
partly frozen; but in many places there were large holes. The ram
bounded over these until my poor dog Karchia again closed with and
seized him behind. With a vigorous effort the ovis ammon shook him
off. A few yards before the steep was a large hole in the Tonse, the
water foaming up through it; into this ovis ammon threw himself, and
was carried under the snow. Heaven knows where. On arriving at the
spot I found my dog baying most piteously, and trying to bite away the
frozen sides, but to no purpose, and I was obliged immediately to get
him chained up, fearing he would have plunged in after the game, when
I should have lost him, and most probably my own life. Having thus
introduced the wild sheep and white bear of Tartary, a few sentences
may not unprofitably be spent in describing the genus homo of the
Snowy Range. The Tartars, as may be imagined, are a very original
race, and in those parts visited by me I found them very primitive and
intensive, always barring the petty larceny propensities. Depending
principally on the sale of their wool for their support, and being
Bhuddhists by religion, they dared not destroy animal life; but when
nature had deprived one of their bullocks or sheep of existence,
either by accident or old age, economy forbids their wasting the
carcass, and it is eagerly devoured by them. Some of the ancient rams
I saw would require a considerable deal of mastication and powerful
digestive organs when summoned to their forefathers and committed to a
Tartar's jaws.

I cannot say that the hill people thrive on the diet, for in
appearance they are a miserable-looking, stunted race, very filthy in
their habits, seldom changing their coarse woollen clothing, and
entertaining a religious horror of cold water.

They have no objection to the good things brought from our side of the
snow, and I have seen them devour salt beef and pork with great gusto.
But what they must delight in, when they can get it, is English brandy
and tobacco. The former they will drink in great quantities, and for
men unaccustomed to liquor it is astonishing how well they resist its
intoxicating properties. I saw one man, a "Siana," the head of a
village, drink off two bottles of pure brandy without apparently
feeling any ill effects from the potation. On questioning him about
his sensations, he said that the only difference he found between the
brandy and water was, that it made his inside comfortably warm, and
his tongue very slippery, of which he gave us proof by chattering and
singing in a most uncouth way. Of all the horrible noises I ever
heard, those which a half-drunken Tartar makes are the most
discordant. The deep nasal and guttural noises he emits would beat
Welsh and Gaelic by a long chalk.

Although petty thefts are common among the Thibetans, valuable
articles may with with safety be left among them--even money they will
never touch. Many an hour have I whiled away among them watching
Buctoo and Jye Sing showing them many articles of my property, the use
or value of which they could not comprehend. Of my guns and rifles, in
particular, they stood in great awe, and for a long time none of them
could be induced to touch one. Our telescopes also caused great
terror, and many were the learned arguments they had as to what
possibly could be the use of the latter. I invariably carried a
favorite "Dolland" across my shoulder, and Buctoo was provided with a
similar instrument, of which he was very proud, and in the use of
which he became very expert.

One day, after a good day's sport, we had all sat down near a
beautiful spring, and I was enjoying a luncheon, when I found that
Buctoo had collected some fifty Tartars about him, who sat in a
circle, listening to his explanation of the use of his telescope. None
of his hearers could for some time be induced to touch it; they were
afraid of its either exploding or metamorphosing them into wild sheep.
The large village Tehong Si was about four miles below our bivouac,
and several of the head men had come up to have a look at us. The
village was just discernible to the naked eye, and Buctoo politely
inquired of one of the chiefs, if he would like to be informed what
was going on in the village below? The chief told him he should, when
Buctoo drew out the glass, on which all the Tartars moved off to a
respectful distance.

After looking at the village, Buctoo persuaded them to come close to
him once more, and duly informed them what he could see in the
village, describing certain parts of it so correctly that they were
astounded. (I must here mention that neither myself nor any of my
servants had been allowed to enter the village.) The Tartars at first
could hardly credit it; but after sundry questions as to the
description of houses on the north side, and again on the southern,
which Buctoo, on carefully examining, correctly described, they became
sadly perplexed. Buctoo once more endeavored to persuade them to take
a look themselves, and, after much coaxing and a little brandy, one of
the head men was induced to take the telescope into his hand.

The figure he cut in doing so, I shall not easily forget. He held it
out at arm's length, grinned at it most horribly, and chattered some
abominable gibberish in Tartaree, that no one understood, appearing to
expect every moment that the glass would bite him. After some minutes
spent in this way, he drew it near him, and by degrees became more
confident. Buctoo then approached him and set it, telling him how to
look through it. He then appeared very suspicious about this movement,
evidently fancying the glass was going to explode. At length he threw
it down, for which Buctoo boxed his ears. He then took it up again,
and it was brought to bear on the village. But the Tartar did us
again; for he shut both eyes. However, after a good deal of
persuasion, he was induced to open one and shut the other, and to peep
through the glass. For a second or two he trembled violently, and then
groaned heavily--threw down the glass, and commenced rolling down the
hill, head over heels, at a most awful pace. The whole batch, some
forty, were seized with the same complaint, and down they went after
their chief, roaring out, "Hi! ha!" at the top of their voice. Break
their necks they could not very easily; but how many of them escaped
serious injury I did not stop to ascertain. Upon seeing them all off,
I fell down heavily, fracturing my sides with laughter. Buctoo was in
the same state, and so were all my servants. We at last saw them, on
reaching a piece of level ground, get on their legs, the chief still
leading, and bolting for the village, at a pace that nothing would
warrant but a tin kettle at their heels.

In about ten minutes we heard the gongs and bells beating and tolling
at a great pace, with frightful shouting from men and women, and this
lasted for two hours, when all became quiet.

Not a Tartar could be got hold of for two days after this. At last, by
sending a small party rather near the village, several men showed
themselves, offering us any thing we wanted, if we would only return
to our proper side of the snow. This they were told we would do, if
they would only show us three or four more days' good sport; but if
not we would remain there six months, and turn them all into wild
sheep. Upon this they had a consultation, when it was decided that
they would show us excellent comfort provided we promised to take our
departure in four days, and never come there again. This was duly
agreed to, and after some very cautious approaches we got them once
more up to our tents. They certainly got their promise, for I had
excellent sport, and was therefore bound to fulfil my part of the
agreement.

On the fourth day arriving, they were invited to come once more to the
tent, and to receive a few trifling rewards for the sport they had
shown. Brandy was first served out, and this soon restored confidence,
when the distribution of a few knives, looking-glasses, beads, etc.,
etc., and sundry pieces of red cloth, brought them into good humor.
Every thing was going on as well as could be desired, when some
unfortunate dispute arose among some of my guides, (not my own
servants, but men taken from the last village on our side of the
snow,) and Tartars. They knew each other well, having, at a fair held
at the foot of the pass, a year's intercourse. These men, I have no
doubt, assisted by one of my own men, (and I strongly suspected
Buctoo, although he most solemnly denied it,) played them a sad trick.
I may here note that almost every Tartar carries a pipe, rudely made
of wrought iron, of about the size and shape of the common clay pipe.
Being inveterate smokers, a pipe full of good tobacco is one of the
most convincing arguments you can employ. While I was at dinner, I
ordered some tobacco to be given to them, and it was proposed they
should put that in their pouches, and allow some of my men to charge
their pipes with their own tobacco, of which they begged their
acceptance.

The Tartars, nothing loth, assented, and each man gave his iron pipe
to be charged, which was duly done and returned to each owner. Smoking
then commenced, and on finishing my dinner and coming outside the
tent, I found the Tartars all in a circle, smoking away, and my men,
some ten yards from them, and above them, and talking to them. They
were also smoking. Thinking nothing of this at the time, I took no
notice, and had my chair brought outside, and smoked my segar. In less
than five minutes I was considerably astonished on hearing a salvo as
of a volley of musketry, and iron pipes flying up and down in all
directions. Then a general shout, and off went the Tartars, as if Old
Nick was at their heels, halloing most fearfully. They did not run
far, but brought up about three hundred yards from where they started,
and demanded their pipes back. I asked them what was the matter; when
they said they would never smoke English tobacco again, for we smoked
with tobacco, and shot with tobacco, and _Sheitzan_ must have been the
manufacturer.



Kangaroo Hunting.


Kangarooing in Tasman's Peninsula is essentially a pedestrian sport. I
am aware that in an open country, and especially in New South Wales,
where the chase is followed on horseback, my assertion may seem like
rank heresy.

I have pursued the sport both mounted and on foot, and if a horse
enables you occasionally, on comparatively unincumbered ground, to see
something more of the run, you must still have pedestrians to hunt the
dogs. After all, decide this point as you will, we esteem it the
poorest variety of the chase. Some excitement must necessarily attend
it, but too much is left to the imagination, and too little of either
the game or the dogs is given to the eye.

It is rarely, except when on horseback, that one has the good fortune
to be in at the death, or to see the kangaroo pulled down.

The ground is usually hilly, the scrub thick, and the grass high. It
is needless to say that on the present occasion we were all on foot.
Forestier's Peninsula is no place for a horse, except the traveller be
jogging along the rugged and little frequented track which leads to
Hobart Town, by a most circuitous route.

Away then we strode, skirting the shore pretty closely, until we came
to a valley which had been partially cleared by one of those extensive
bush conflagrations which are of annual occurrence.

The forest is fired in several places every summer, with a view to
keeping down the scrub, and giving a chance of growth to the grass and
the larger forest trees. These burn for several consecutive days, and
at night the glare from them, lighting up the adjacent horizon, and
the wind at one time whirling along vast clouds of smoke, and again
throwing up sheets of flame and myriads of burning particles, produce
an effect as grand as can be imagined. Here, then, in the glade, we
paused, disposed ourselves in an extended line, slipped four dogs, and
gave the word, "go seek."

Away they trotted with nose to the ground, cautiously hunting,
crossing and recrossing, but occasionally getting not only out of
sight in the long grass, but out of hearing and command. Presently a
sharp bark gave the signal of game started, and the next moment we
catch a glimpse of the kangaroo in mid air, as he bounds down the
declivity in a succession of leaps such as the kangaroos only can
accomplish.

There he goes, his tiny ears laid back along his small deer-like head,
his forefeet gathered up like a penguin's flappers, and his long stout
tail erect in the air. Now bounding aloft, now vanishing as he leaps
into the waving grass.

Two more of the dogs have sighted him, and are silently tearing along
on his track. Every bound increases his distance from his pursuers, he
winds round the base of the hill, to avoid the ascent, but up he must
go; this is the only chance for the dogs, for running up hill is the
kangaroo's weak point. But now we lose sight of both dogs and
kangaroo; a burst of three minutes has sufficed to exhaust our first
wind, and to break one of our shins; for tearing through grass as high
as one's middle and stumbling over charred stumps and fallen trees,
soon reduces one to the "dead beat" predicament. Jerry, alone, thanks
to his hard condition, follows the chase.

All the party are now scattered, and after while reassemble by dint of
continuous "cooees." Whilst swabbing the perspiration off our brow,
one of the dogs makes his appearance, and, trotting slowly back with
panting flanks and lolling tongue, throws himself on his side
exhausted. His mouth is now carefully examined, and two fingers being
inserted, scoop round the fauces. The test is successful; there are
traces of blood and fluff. "Bravo! Rattler! Show him--good dog. Show
him!" Rattler rises with an effort, and lazily strikes into the bush,
to the right. We follow in Indian file, and at about half a mile
distant we come upon the kangaroo lying dead, with the second dog, old
"Ugly," stretched at its side.

The kangaroo usually found in the Peninsula is not the largest
description commonly known in these colonies as the "boomer," or a
"forester," but the brush kangaroo, which rarely exceeds seventy
pounds in weight; forty is more common. There is a still smaller
variety, known as the "wallaby." The brush kangaroo is easily killed
by the dogs; a grip in the throat or loins usually suffices. The
boomer is a more awkward customer, and, if he can take to the water,
he shows fight, and availing himself of his superior height, he
endeavors to drown the dogs as they approach him. The kangaroo is a
graceful animal, but appears to most advantage when only the upper
part of his body is seen. His head is small and deer-shaped, his eyes
soft and lustrous, but his tapering superior extremities rise almost
pyramidally from a heavy and disproportioned base of hind legs and
tail.

The kangaroo dog never mangles his prey although fond of the blood,
with a portion of which he is always rewarded.

Jerry now threw himself on the ground beside the game, and, drawing
his _couteau de chasse_, commenced the operation of disemboweling.
After ripping up the belly, he thrust in his arm, and drawing out the
liver and a handful of coagulated blood, he invited the dogs to
partake of it. The carcass being gutted, some dry fern is thrust in,
the tail is drawn through the fore legs, and secured with a bit of
whipcord, and then the game is suspended over the shoulder--no
insignificant weight either. If the kangaroo be very heavy, the hind
quarters only are carried, but the skin being of some value, it is not
needlessly destroyed.

There is a peculiarity in the stomach of the kangaroo, which I have
not seen noticed in descriptions of that animal, but of which I have
assured myself by frequent personal observation. On opening the
stomach, even while still warm, the grass found in it is swarming with
small white worms, about a quarter of an inch in length, and not
thicker than a fine thread.

The entire contents of the stomach, even the most recently masticated
grass, and grass seems to be its only food, are equally pervaded with
these worms, which swarm in myriads, even where no signs of
decomposition are perceptible.

Resuming our progress, we presently heard a baying from the dogs, who
had again dispersed to hunt. On nearing the spot whence the noise
proceeded, we found them assembled round the trunk of a large tree, in
the hollow of which was a large wombat, a most unsightly brute, in
appearance partaking somewhat of the bear, the pig, and the badger. An
average sized one weighs sixty pounds. The head is flat, neck thick,
body large, legs short, eyes and ears small: the feet provided with
sharp claws for burrowing, three on the hind foot, and an additional
one on the fore foot. They make deep excavations in the ground, and
live chiefly on roots. The hide is very tough and covered with a
coarse wiry hair, and with this defensive armor, and his formidable
teeth and claws, the wombat is a customer not much relished by the
dogs. It was not till we had stunned our new acquaintance, as he stood
at bay in his den, by repeated blows of our sticks on his head, that
we were able to drag him out, and cut his throat.

The flesh is eatable, and I have heard that the hams are held in some
esteem, but cannot speak from personal experience. On the present
occasion none of our party was ambitious of the honor of carrying our
defunct friend during the day's march that we had before us; so I
contented myself with pocketing his four paws, and leaving the rest of
the carcass for formic epicures.

Our destination for the evening was Eagle Hawk Neck, or rather our
dining quarters were there fixed, for I proposed to be home some time
during the night; and, as we had some twelve miles of fatiguing
walking before us, we now circled round towards Flinders' Bay, whence
we were to follow the foot track to the "Neck."

It may readily be imagined that bush travelling in the Australian
colonies is often an intricate affair; long practice alone can give
one assurance and confidence. Few _habitues_ in the Peninsula think of
entering it without a pocket compass, flint, and steel, and even the
best bushmen have in their day been reduced to the greatest
extremities.

For our own part, our ambition never inclined to the adventurous task
of exploring the bush, content with the subordinate part of trusting
to the superior sagacity of the more experienced; and often have our
wonder and admiration been excited by the unerring judgment of our
guide, when there was neither sun to direct, nor any opening above or
around whereby to obtain a view of the surrounding country.

As we were approaching Flinders' Bay on our return, a kangaroo was
started some distance ahead of us; presently I observed an old dog,
who was wont to "run cunning," suddenly stop close in front of me. The
next moment the game, closely pursued, dropped in a bound, not six
yards from where I stood, and before he could rise again, old "Ugly"
had his prize by the throat. This proved to be a doe, and on examining
her pouch a foetus was found in it, perfectly detached as usual, and
about three inches and a half long. The generation, growth, and
alimentation of the foetus of the kangaroo and other marsupial animals
(ultra interine and detached from the parent, as it appears to be at
all stages,) is a mystery in physiology which has yet to be
unravelled.

A "medico" who was of our party, did not neglect this opportunity for
research. With a view to the investigation of the subject at leisure,
he dropped the foetus into his glove for conveyance home.

Outside the station of Flinders' Bay, we came upon a small limpid
stream, brawling over a rocky bed, which seemed a suitable place to
refresh the inner man with a sandwich, and a thimble full of Cognac.
Segars were then lighted, and, shouldering our game, we resumed our
route.

The sun was low, when we descended the steep hill whence we opened a
view of Eagle Hawk Neck and the Pacific, and after a long and toilsome
ascent of the "Saddle," by a path which abounded more in loose sharp
stones than any which it has been my misfortune to fall in with.
However, refreshment was at hand, which we were quite in condition to
appreciate, for we will back a day's kangarooing against any other
sport, for giving a zest both to victuals and drink.

Our host, C--, was famous for his kangaroo soup; this is made of the
tail of the animal, and when well prepared may vie with any oxtail,
if, indeed, it be not superior, having the advantage of a game flavor.
The flesh of the kangaroo resembles in taste and appearance that of
the hare, though drier and inferior in flavor when roasted. The only
part thus cooked is the hind quarter, which should be boned, stuffed,
and larded, and after all, the play is not worth the candle. Not so,
"kangaroo steamer." To prepare this savory dish, portions of the hind
quarter, after hanging for a week, should be cut into small cubical
pieces; about a third portion of the fat of bacon should be similarly
prepared, and these, together with salt, pepper, and some spice, must
simmer gently in a stewpan for three or four hours. No water must
enter into the composition, but a little mushroom ketchup added, which
served, is an improvement.

Although averse to the diet of bush vermin, so often extolled in these
colonies, and although carefully eschewing all parrot pies, red-bill
ragouts, black swans, kangaroo rats, porcupines, and such vaunted
nastinesses, we strongly contend for the excellence of "kangaroo
steamer," as a most savory and appetizing dish. We cannot reproach it
with a fault, save its tendency to lead one to excess; the only
difficulty is to know when you have had enough.

We were able to do ample justice to the the Alexander Selkirk of his
post, reigning in solitary grandeur, for he had not a single associate
within ten miles, could always boast of a well-stocked larder and
cellar. What with his garden, poultry-yard, and dairy, hunting and
sea-fishing, he was tolerably independent of the tri-weekly visits of
the boat which brought the commissariat supplies.





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