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limb, he watches the approach of his victim; then with a single bound lights upon its back, planting his claws deep in the quivering flesh. It requires a strong effort then to shake him off, or loosen his
His cry of hunger is very much like that of a child in distress, and is indescribably fearful when heard at night in the forest. It is seldom, however, that a traveler sees any of these animals of prey. They are more afraid of him, than he of them; and winding him at a long distance, flee to their hiding places. It is only in winter that they are dangerous. I have often, however, roused them up by my approach. I once heard a catamount scream in a thick clump of bushes not a hundred yards from me—it was just at twilight, and made me bound to my feet as if struck by a sudden blow, and sent the blood tingling to the ends of my toes and fingers. You have heard of electrical shocks, galvanic batteries, etc.—well, their effects are mere slight nervous stimulants compared to the wild, unearthly screech of a catamount at night in the wools. This fellow was not satisfied with one yell, but moving a little way off, coolly squatted down and gave another and another, as if enraged at our proximity; yet afraid to confront us. They will smell a human form an inconceivable distance.
On another occasion, if I had had a dog with me, I should have brought you home a bear skin as a trophy. I was passing through a heavy windfall, where berry bushes, &c., had grown up over the fallen timber, when I suddenly heard a hoarse “humph, humph," and then a crashing through the bushes. I had come upon a huge bear which was quietly picking berries. The fellow put off at a tremendous rate, and I after him. I should judge he was about three hundred yards distant at the outset, which he soon increased to four hundred. He made for a swamp which he probably crossed, and climbed up the steep mountain on the farther side to his den.
When he went down the bank to the swamp, he showed the size of his track, and he must have been a
With a dog I should have “treed” him, and then he could have been easily shot. The hunter with me caught one a short time before, in a trap, on this same mountain. Where two large trees had fallen across each other so as to make an acute angle, he placed a piece of meat, and a strong spiked steel trap directly in front of it, covered over with leaves
The bear of course could not get at the meat without first stepping over the trap, and as bad luck would have it, he stepped in. The trap was not fastened in its place, but attached by a chain to a long stick —the old fellow therefore traveled off till the clog caught against a tree. I would not have supposed it possible that a bear could make such rending work with his teeth as he did. For six feet upward from the root, the tree against which he was caught, was not only peeled of its bark, but the hard fibres were torn away in large splinters, while the clog itself was all chewed up, and the ground around furrowed, in his struggles and rage.
Beavers were once found in abundance here, and ('heney says he knows where there is a colony of them now.
Otter and sable are now and then taken, but trappers are fast exterminating the fur tribe. Yet for game and fish ther; is no region like it on the continent.
LAKE HENDERSON—A JULY DAY-A SUNSET, AND EVENING
MY DEAR H
I am just recovering from the exhaustion of the last few days' tramping, and, quiet and renovated, enjoy everything around me. On the banks of Lake Henderson—a charming sheet of waterI have been reclining for hours, drinking in the fresh breeze at every inspiration. It is a summer afternoon, and I know by the atmosphere that veils these mountain tops, and the force of the sun when I step out of the shade, that it is a hot July day. At this very moment, while I am stretched at my ease, watching the still lake, and those two deer that for the last hour have