Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

ATTACK OF A MOOSE.

81

“all to pieces. But,” he added, "I never saw such pluck in a dog before. As soon as he found I was ready for a fight he was furious, bleeding as he was, to be after the bear. I told him we would have the rascal, if we died for it; and away he jumped, leaving his blood on the snow as he went. • Hold on,' said I, and he held on till I came up. I took aim at his head, meaning to put the ball in the centre of his brain ; but it struck below, and only tore his jaw to pieces. I loaded up again, and fired, but did not kill him, though the ball went through his head. The third time I fetched him, and he was a bouncer, I tell you."

“ But the dog, Cheney,” said I ; " what became of the poor, noble dog ?” “Oh, he was dreadfully mangled. I took him up, and carried him home, and nursed him. He got well, but was never good for much afterwards—that fight broke him down.I asked him if a moose would ever show fight. “ Yes,” he said, “a cow moose, with her calf; and so will any of them when wounded or hard pushed. I was once out hunting, when my dog started two. I heard a thrashing through the bushes, and in a minute more I saw both of them coming right towards me. As soon as they saw me they bent di wn their heads, and made at me at full speed The bushes and saplins snapped under them like pipe-stems. Just before they reached me, I stepped behind a tree, and fired as they jumped by The ball went clear through one, and lodged in the other.” Cheney kills about seventy deer per annum.

He has none of the roughness of the hunter; but is one of the mildest, most unassuming, pleasant men you will meet with anywhere. Among other things, he told me of once following a bear all day, and treeing him at night when it was so dark he could not see to shoot; then sitting down at the root, to wait till morning that he might kill him. But, after awhile, all being still, he fell asleep, and did not wake till daylight. Opening his eyes in astonishment, he looked up for the bear, but the cunning rascal had gone. Taking advantage of his enemy's slumbers, he had crawled down and waddled off. Cheney said he never felt so flat in his life, to be outwitted thus, and by a bear.

With one anecdote illustrating his coolness, I will bid his hunting adventures adieu. once hunting alone by a little lake, when his dogs brought a noble buck into the water. Cock

He was A HUNTER'S COOLNESS.

83

ing his gun, and laying it in the bottom of the boat, he pulled after the deer, which was swimming boldly for his life. In the eagerness of pursuit, he hit his rifle either with his paddle of foot, when it went off, sending the ball directly through one of his ankles. He stopped, and looking at his benumbed limb, saw where the bullet had come out of his boot. The first thought was, to return to the shore ; " the next was,” said he, “I may need that venison before I get out of these woods ;" so, without waiting to examine the wound, he pulled on after the deer. Coming up with him, he beat him to death with his paddles, and pulling him into the boat, rowed ashore. Cutting off his boot, he found his leg was badly mangled and useless. Bandaging it up, however, as well as he could, he cut a couple of crotched sticks for crutches, and with these walked fourteen miles to the nearest clearing. There he got help, and was carried slowly out of the woods. How a border-life sharpens a man's wits. Especially in an emergency does he show to what strict discipline he has subjected his mind. His resources are almost exhaustless, and his presence of mind equal to that of one who has been in a hundred battles. Wisunded, perhaps mortally, it nevertheless flashed on this hunter's thoughts, that he might be so crippled that he could not stir for days and weeks, but starve to death there in the woods. "I may need that venison before I get out,” said he ; and so, with a mangled bleeding limb, he pursued and killed a deer, on which he might feed in the last extremity.

GAME-MOOSE-CRUSTING MOOSE-A CATAMOUNT-CHASE

[blocks in formation]

GAME of all kinds swarm the forest; bears, wolves, panthers, deer, and moose. I was not aware that so many moose were to be found here : yet I do not believe there is an animal of the African desert with which our people are not more familiar than with it. In size, at least, he is worthy of attention, being much taller than the ox. You will sometimes find an old bull moose eight feet high. The body is about the size of a cow, while the legs are long and slender, giving to the huge bulk the appearance of being mounted on stilts.

The horns are broad, flat, and branching, shooting in a horizontal curve from the head. "I saw

« FöregåendeFortsätt »