dye. The reader need not suppose that I have any personal feeling in this matter. It is true that my appearance and probable circumstances in life have been the subject of varied criticism and frequent remarks. I have had many trades, occupations, and missions in life attributed to me, all very wide of the mark, but none of them incompatible with a decent and honourable existence. Under these circumstances I have no ground of complaint, seeing that I have no faith in the novelist's theory of the indestructibility of a gentlemanlike appearance, but believe only in the saving qualities of a shirt collar; and hold that without that mystic ring, if you take a lot of men from different classes, mix them up, dress them in the same rough clothes, and see that they are all equally unkempt, unshaven, and unclean, you will find it very hard to separate them correctly again.

For the next three days we were busily engaged, in paying visits' during the first two, and in recuperating our shattered constitutions on the third. Then Christmas was close at hand, and we concluded to celebrate that festival in the fort, so that it was not until ten days or a fortnight after our arrival that we sallied out on a hunting expedition into the Black Hills. Game proved tolerably abundant, but the weather was awfully cold, too cold for pleasure. If I may here be allowed to offer one word of advice to hunters, I would say, Don't go out on the plains in the northern and middle territories and states in the depth of winter; the game is not worth the candle. Up to about Christmas you are safe enough; you will experience spells of cold weather, but nothing to hurt, up to that time; but after the end of December you may be caught at any moment in a cold snap, lasting several days, when the thermometer will go down very low, and the intense cold be accompanied by violent cruel gales of wind. Such storms are dangerous, and may result in loss of limb or even of life to the traveller whose camp is in an exposed position. Among the hills and in the forest you are right enough at all times, for it is your own fault, or the fault of the men with you, if you cannot make yourself comfortable in any weather where fuel and shelter can be obtained. Nothing worthy of note occurred during this expedition except a little misunderstanding which came near proving inconvenient to une of the party. As one of the officers from the fort and I were returning to camp one evening, making our way through a thick growth of brush and cotton-wood trees that fringed a little stream, we happened to start one of those huge prairie hares commonly called Jack-rabbits. We fired at him, as we were close to the camp and there was no danger of scaring better game, and then slid off our horses and commenced peering and poking about among the bushes to try and get another shot. We had fired two or three more unsuccessful shots, when we broke suddenly into a little open glade, in full view of a small log shanty. We were vastly astonished, for we did not know there was a human habitation within miles and miles of us, and to add to our dismay an excited German sprang up in the open door


He'd have gone

way and advanced to us, shouting and gesticulating in the wildest manner. • Mein Gott!' he cried, 'I am so glad I did not shoot. Oh, mein Gott, I am so glad. I thought the Indians were on me this time sure: what for you fire into mein house ? Three or four bullets come right slam into mein house, I tell you. I was lying down behind a flour-sack, and could see you peeping about in the bush like so many Indian thieves. I got a beautiful sight on that little fellow in the deer-skin shirt, and was shoost about to pull when you come out into the open, and I saw you were white men. up anyhow, I tell you. I had a sure thing on him.' It was no wonder the poor man was alarmed, for in fact some of our bullets had by bad luck gone right into his shanty through the open door. He had made all his preparations, had thrown down two sacks of flour across the doorway, and was lying down behind them, with his finger pressing the trigger of a sixteen-shooter repeating rifle when we burst out of the bush and revealed ourselves just in time. The consequences might have been serious, if not they would have been comical, for if he had fired we should have taken him for Indians, and should have got into cover and returned the fire; and our friends, hearing an unusual amount of shooting close to the camp, would have come to our assistance, and a little battle all about nothing would bave ensued.

We enjoyed pretty fair sport during this hunt, and got a good many deer and two sheep, but the latter were small young rams, and it was not until I had killed a large specimen some time later that I quite forgave the cut off' band of Sioux for disturbing us in the bluffs.

Indians are a great nuisance, more especially the Sioux, who roam over the whole breadth of the interior of the continent as far west as the Rocky Mountains, and eastward to the territories of their hereditary enemies, the Chippewas. How these two tribes can ever have fought together much I don't know, for a Sioux is entirely out of his element off the plains, knows little of canoes, and hates to trust himself in the woods or among the mountains; while the Chippewa is a fish out of water when away from his swamps, rivers, lakes, and woods. They are a fine tribe, the Chippewas, as far as my experience of them goes, and much to be preferred in every way to their roving, marauding, troublesome neighbours on the plains. I think it is Washington Irving who has somewhere (I forget where) unfavourably contrasted the Indian, half-breed, or French voyageur, 'cowering in his canoe,' with the bold adventurous hunters and trappers who career on their high-mettled steeds over the boundless prairie. With all deference to Washington Irving, I do not think he could have had much actual experience in canoes, or he would not have found it necessary to cower,' nor would he have found travelling in a canoe conducive to a mean, melancholy, dispirited frame of mind, as is evidenced by the fact that Canadian Indians and the Hudson Bay Company voyageurs VOL. X.-No. 57.

3 A

and other half-breeds are about the most joyous, light-hearted people on the face of the earth.

I made a very extensive acquaintance among mountain sheep afterwards in Estes Park in Colorado, and on one occasion caught a young one alive. I left the ranche just before grey dawn to take a solitary stroll round the margin of St. Mary's Lake, and on the slopes and spurs of sheep mountain, and to enjoy that most glorious spectacle, a sunrise among the mountains. I had also some hopes of picking up a sheep or deer. It is hard to imagine anything more beautiful than a summer sunrise in those regions. There is a curious effect in nature just before the break of day that is impossible to describe, but that I think all who have passed many nights under the stars will recognise. There comes a sort of strange uneasy feeling through the atmosphere, a faint tremor as of cold air moves over the earth, as if Nature shivered in her sleep, grew restless, and half awoke.

That sensation will be the first token of the great change at hand. Then the morning star shines out bright and strong, and the other constellations begin to fade. The highest peaks seem to approach one quickly, commence to look nearer, to stand out clearer and whiter than before. A faint, a very faint, light steals over them, a radiance deepening quickly into the beautiful colour of a fresh rose, deepening still, flushing, glowing, and spreading downwards, colouring the snow a most delicate pink, gilding with bright gold the yellow grass, burnishing and shining like silver on ice and rock. Mists creep up the hillsides, grey in the valleys, pink on the tops, brooding sluggishly in heavy clouds among the lower masses of timber, gauzy, thin, transparent, and hanging in long wisps and shreds from the higher summits of the range. Of a sudden a bare naked crag, piercing the heavens, blazes into dazzling light, like a fiery beacon. Peak after peak answers the signal. The light flows down. The mists float up. Black darkness still reigns in the valleys, the eastern slopes are still wrapped in sleep, but the western hillsides are sparkling with the brightness of a white frost or dewdrops under a dazzling sun, and all the fells and peaks above them are bathed in light. There is nothing so beautiful as beautiful scenery, and it is never seen to better advantage than in the first hour of the dawn.

It is not difficult, after several days' hard work hunting, to spend an idle day or two in such a scene, watching the face of nature ever changing under cloud and sunshine, calm and tempest. The eye never aches at the sight of lovely scenery, nor does the soul sadden. It is the one thing that never palls, with which neither mind nor body is ever weary.

The love of hunting is a passion that leads a man into scenes of most picturesque beauty. The speckled trout allures him to lake and stream ; in pursuit of deer, he wanders through many a secluded valley, amid scenes of soft beauty, which otherwise he might never see. To

find the big-horn’he scales giddy precipices, and climbs to soaring peaks, and confronts nature face to face in her grandest, most terrific moods. He is with nature always, whether on foot, on horseback, or in his birch-bark canoe.

Walking in the midst of such lovely scenery, and watching the day break in such infinite splendour, I must confess that I became somewhat careless as to my hunting, and stumbled right on top of a little band of sheep, feeding on the level ground, before I was aware of their presence.

In fact I did not see them until they started. I fired, but without any effect, and set the hound, poor old Plunk, after them.

They had got too good a start, and he could not come near them, but after a while I noticed a little sheep lagging behind. Thinking Plunk might overtake it, I started off best pace after him. It is no joke running over rough ground at an elevation of some 8,000 feet on a blazing hot July morning in Colorado, and I puffed and blew and • larded the lean earth’in the most generous manner.

When I came up I found the sheep perched on a little pinnacle of rock, and the hound baying furiously below. Poor little beast, I pitied it. It was only about three months old, and it looked very forlorn ; it was very slightly wounded also, a fact which I did not know before. I went up to it and patted it, and the poor little creature did not seem much frightened, and did not mind my touching it a bit; but it would not follow me. It was too much afraid of the dog, I fancy. I did not know what to do. I wanted to keep it alive, for a tame sheep is somewhat of a rarity. I was afraid to leave it alone while I went for a wagon, and I was afraid of leaving the hound to watch it, lest he should run in upon it and kill it during my absence. So I concluded to pack it into the ranche on my back. A nice job I had of it. The little animal was as strong as a donkey, and kicked and walloped about all the time. It was as much as I could do to keep it on my shoulders. By that time the forenoon was far spent, and the sun was pouring down with tropical strength. I don't know which of us was most exhausted by the time we got to the house. However, I was none the worse, but the poor little sheep never recovered. He drank lots of milk, and seemed all right for the first day, but after that he pined away and died in three or four days.

Running sheep with hounds is a good deal practised in some places. I don't like it. It is a reprehensible habit, and scares all the game out of the country. It is a very sure and easy way of killing sheep if you have a first-rate dog and the ground is suitable to the sport, but unless those two conditions are fulfilled the chance of success is small. Your hound must be very speedy and staunch, and accustomed to the business; and the sheep must be found near some isolated pinnacle or crags of cliff. You creep up as near as you possibly can to the game, and then start the dog at them, yelling and ballooing, to scare them as much as possible, as soon as you perceive that they have caught sight of the hound. The sheep will run straight up the mountain, and will beat any dog in a short time; but if the hound has got a good start, and if the ground has been pretty level at first, he will press them so hard that one or perhaps two or three of them will take refuge on the first precipitous cliff or crag they can find. If that happens to be an isolated rock so small that the dog can keep guard round the base of it, he will keep the sheep at bay-treed,' as they say in Colorado—until his master comes up. But for one successful run you may make many unsuccessful ones. Nothing scares game so much as running them with dogs, and consequently it is a pastime that ought never to be pursued, or at any rate hardly ever, and then only when you can be quite certain of success. The place where I caught the little sheep was very favourable for running them.

The water of St. Mary's Lake is strongly impregnated with alkali, and leaves a deposit of that substance round the edge. The spot is in consequence much frequented by sheep, who, in common with all kinds of deer and cattle, are intensely fond of salt. In former days sheep used to come down nearly every morning to lick the alkali on the little plains surrounding the lake. The ground in the neighbourhood is level, with three or four quite detached rocks jutting out of it, and on one side you can get down pretty close to the plain without showing yourself. I remember one day that same summer we passed the lake, a party of four of us with a string of packhorses, on our way to pitch camp for a few days high up on Long's Peak for the purpose of hunting wapiti on the highest fells. I was riding behind when I heard Plunk barking furiously, and on galloping up found the cavalcade halted at a little distance, Plunk halfway up one of the masses of detached rock, barking vigorously, and every now and then making plunges towards a fine old patriarchal ram who stood on the top of the rock, and who, with feet placed closed together and head stooped, followed every movement of the dog, presenting his massive horns to him at every point of attack. It was a very pretty sight. In front lay a green grass-covered plain bounded by the little lake, vividly blue and sparkling under a summer breeze and the bright sun that shone on the white alkali that fringed its shores. On the far side of it the mountain rose, covered to the right with a thick growth of green young pine timber, but on the left burned and bare, and terminating in the great crags and cliffs of sheep mountain. In the foreground, piercing the green plain, rose a mass of red sandstone crowned with the massive and stately form of the defiant ram, while the huge dun-coloured hound, bristling with rage, furiously bayed and rushed at him from below. The people at the ranche had roast mutton for dinner that night, and we had mutton chops for tea on Long's Peak. That was the only time I ever killed

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