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A-

\
t'

IL

/!

^.

<

AT

HOJM V,
IN

^\\

THE WILDERNESS

v?i

I,OSI)OS

ANT. ruiNTKI) UY S.-OTTISWOODE


>B\V-S1'UKET SQUAIIB

CO.

.'.

V.

WZ^

If

-i

Tln'InnHfiifii

l.nS

DON

HOHERT llAUinVICKK,
IHIIT,

H):>,

IMCCADl

Ll.Y

AT

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS


WHAT
TO DO

THERE AND HOW TO DO

IT.

A HANDBOOK

for

TRAVELLERS

and

EMIGRANTS.

BY

JOHN KEAST LORD,


AUTHOR OF 'THE NATURALIST
IN

VAXCOUVER ISLAND'

ETC.

Cljirb

6bili0.

LONDON HARDWICKE & BOGUE,


1876.

192

PICCADILLY

'

-\- L-'O^')
S
I-

^ C:>

AUG

^ 1921

10
H. R. H.

THE DUKE OF CAMBKIDGE


FTRLD

MARSHAL IN THE ARMY

AXI>

GENERAT, COMA[ANDINa IN CHIEP,


K.O.,
K.r.,

O.C.B.,

&c.

&c.

(J^ljis

Xxiih

S(!Iork

IS,

BY rRRMlSSION, MOST EESPKCTFUl.l Y DEDICATKI) HY


HIS liOYAI. IIIGHNKSS'S

MOST

HUMHI.K

sr,

IJVANT,

JOTIN

KEAST LORD,

INTRODUCTION.
-<>

Where and when


manage a
train

to

camp

how

to

equip

and and

of pack-mules;

break, gear,

saddle wild horses; cross streams, build log shanties,


trenail a raft, dig out a

canoe or build

it

with bark

or hide,
slioes
;

manage

dog-sleighs,

and tramp on snowto leave at

what to carry and what


in a

home

or,

to

sum up

few words, the way to get through a

wild country as one ought, by adopting the better

means of doing that wliich has

to

be done, are matters


all

of no trhhng value to travellers of

denominations.

Tliere are details tliat a novice cannot possibly acquire,

save

it

be from the past experiences of other

travellers,

or,

faihug assistance such as this, he must learn his

lessons in the field


for himself,

and

forest

by

finding

them out

always a tedious, unsatisfactory, and very


Believe me, in travelhng, as in

oxpCw3ive process.

Tw
VUl

^
INTRODUCTION.
else,

everything

there

is

a right

way and

a wrong
ai

way

of going to work, and, for

some inexpHcable
in to

reason,

'young beginners' are strangely predisposed


d(

to follow the latter course.


ah

The experience
in

of twenty years passed as a rambler


su

various parts of the world, though principally as

trapper, hunter, and naturalist, East

and West of the


from actual

Rocky Mountains,
c>bservation, that a

enables
'

me

to state

g]

een hand,' to use a slang term,


!

on

his first visit to a wild country, in nine cases out

of ten arrives from the land of civilisation completely

hampered, entangled, and weighed doAvn, so

to speak,
lie

with a medley of utterly useless things, which

never would have purchased had he been guided or


directed

by any person who knew how

to travel.

Again and

again, friends
fitting

and strangers have sought


out to travel, either in the
to seek a fortune in I

my gnidance, when
pursiut of spoi-t
far-olT lands as
o^l^er

and pleasure or
emigrants.

Hence

am

induced to

few practical hints on the general details of

travelling, trusting the

rough suggestions I

shall offer

may prove
into a

of use to those

who are dis])osed

to

wnture

distant country wherein wheels, steam, iron

^
INTRODUCTION.
IX

and macadamised roads, are unknown luxmies; and


in which, as a

Yankee once
:

said to me, in reference

to Southern

Oregon

'

Stranger,

you bet your bottom

dollar a

man
his

has to keep his eyes skinned, his knife

sharp,

and

powder

diy, or he'll hav' his har ris'd,


if

sure as beaver medicine,

he travels thim

parts.'

John Keast Loed,

F.Z.S.
;

Late Naturalist to the British North American Boundary Commission Author of the 'Naturahst in Vancouver Island and British Columbia.

1]

CONTENTS.
-o-

CHAPTER
Home
the

I.

An Imaginary Journey AVhat in the Wilderness and Elsewhere word racking means Fitting out for a Journey Rules to be observed Geldings preferable to Mares Mules killed in the choice of Pack Animals by Magpie: and Blowing-flies Beware of Crupper Cuts What a Hoof Shooing advisable, if possible oiight not to be, and what it ought to be How to examine the Eyes Mules with Defective Vision dangerous to a The way to examine the Teeth degree Prevalence of Cataract Parrot-Mouthed Mules always lose condition Never work Pack Animals pack 1 Points of a good Pack Mule thin


'

'

'

'

....

II.

CHAPTER
Average worth of Pack Mules
effects of the Horse-tail

Cold Regions Poisonous Advantages of Sheds and IG Dryth The Bell-mare Value of a Horse's Tail Branding
in

Mortality

Rush

(cquisctum)

CHAPTER
Fur-Traders' System of Packing

III.

Journey

from Fort Colville to Fort


' '

Disadvantages of the Cross-tree Pack-saddle Crimean Pack Saddles radically bad Desirability of the Aparejo How to mak(> an Apart jo Its Weight Evidences of Suffering In search of Pack Saddles The Rigging .63
Hope
'

'

Xll

CONTENTS.
CIIAPTEU
IV.

preferable to RidiiiR Siiddlcs Stirrups 'Cabrosto'

an ordinary

bridle-

Tethering

CHAPTER V
Wagons and Teaming
97

CHAPTER
The more
desirable form of

VI.

TentThe Lodge of the Savage The Sibley The Guble-ended Tent The Miner s Tent HalfTout TIh' Bell Tent to pitch a Tent and make it f^helter Tent Poles and Pegs How
.

It

secure

BeddingBedding for Tents or Log-housesBedstead, how Wand.'rer make-Systems of Packing up Bedding Tools necessary for a split a Log Traps to be The way to fell your first Tree How to
to

Hunter's

avoided

.
CHAPTER
VIII.
.
. , .

CHAPTER

VII.

emergency Tea and CoflFeo Cooking Utensils A Fryingpan equal to any Water Canteens more ornamental than useful The versus Rum and Ovens Camp KettlesPlan for making your o.vn Camp Baskets Iron Powder. How to bake a LoafFixed Flour better than Bisciiit-Yeast
t\

Ovens

131

CHAPTER
What
to

IX.
Fabrics preferable to all others-

Hat MosqnitoBoots INlocassins How to manage with Snow-shoes .139 bagFishing Gear A good day's Sport
. .

wear Avoid LeatherWoollen

CHAPTER

X.

RiflosFirearms Muzzle-loaders Breech-loaders Guns vcrsus Pouch The better Plan for cleaning

Revolvers

Shot-bolt
.

149

CONTENTS.

Xlll

CHAPTER
I'acking
tlio

XI.

Train for a start

Aparojos and 'Saddling

Driving inHalteringPutting on tlio up' Synching-Packing on the LoadThe way

Roping and Covering Throwing the Riata to pack Barrels Slinging and fastening it Our March The abandoned Camp Entering the Timber 'Stringing out' and Counting Mules apt to lie down if halted page 158

.......

CHAPTER
XII.

Narrow
Passes

Trails Packmaster goes ahead of the Bell-mare Mountain Bridge-making Crossing SwampsDangerous Corners 173
.

CHAPTER
Ifow to cross Rivers

XIII.

The way

Swim Mules Make Rafts, Canoes, and a Bull-Boat a River with your Horse, and Raft your Gun, and Ammunition, without wetting them Camping Unsaddling End of the
to cross to
.
.

March

.181

CHAPTER
.Mustangs: their
first

XIV.

appearance in Mexico

Oregon, British Columbia, and Elsewhere

an Easy Task
to

A Wanderer should be his own


a Cabresto
.

Foimd Breaking
.

in

Texas, California,
a Wild Horse not

Manufacturer

Make a Lassoo and

Lassooing, Saddling, Mounting, Roping


.
.

The "Way
'205

Wild Cattle-An Exciting Adventure

CHAPTER
Winter and
'

XV.
Fights
use a Travaille

Sumnur Travelling with Dogs Idlers Free Dogs The Travaille' preferable How to make and
The Sleigh and Tobogan

Packing
.

Bone Rings and Toggles The Way to Harness your Team A long Whip desirable Precautions against Rheumatism Sure Bind Sure Find Feeding Dogs Sore Feet Merry -Bella 2'28

'

CHAPTER
The Wild Honey-bee
ofton a Profitable

XVI.
line a

Bee Hunting How to

Bee

Hoiioy Hunting

Employment Texan Islands A Hunter's Disgust

XIV
luliljlo

CONTEXTS.
Berries Hoots
oft.'ii

Poisonous and to bo Eaton with Caution devoured by the Red People .Substitute for Tobacco Insects which are Pemmacan Preserving Meat Extractum Carnis Morgan's systemCatching and Curing Preserving Beef and Mutton fresh Jerking Beef
:

White-fish and Sahnon

page 244

CHAPTER
A

XVII.

without Iron SplitPuzzle for a Carpenter To Build a Log-house the Roof Make a Door, Fireplace, and ChimneyShingles Put on Caution Quarters of the Bomidary Commission Effects of Cold

Log

procure a Light from two pieces of a Light with a Gun How to carry Luciforc Getting
to bo

remembered To

Wood

263

CHAPTER
Mosquitoes

X-^III.

JackThe Trumpet-flies Breeze-fly Stone-Wasps Rattle-Snake BitesA use for the Rattle Spaniards 27-i The Trap-door SpiderThe Deer-tick Leeches in the Mouth
.

Sand-flies The

CHAPTER
Pack the proceeds of the

XIX.

Hints on TaxidermyWhat Tools to carryTo

Hunt

The End

....
set

Fall-trap How to

305

Index

319
.

LIST

OF ILLUSTEATIONS.

Frontippikce

XVI

LIST

OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

L()(J

I'kdstead

.....
in

117

Thk way to fold Bkdding anu Cloths Baruel Chaiu

a wateupuoof wkai-i-eu

119
121

How

TO fell a Tree
.

121
127

LoGGixo rp A Tree
TuEE-Bninfii';
.

176
191

Cedar Canoe Bark Canoe Swimming a Horse


.

192
.

193

The Travaille Bone IIino and Togcjle DoQ Harness Snow Shoe Frame of a Log-hovse Splitting a Loo for Shingles Amongst the 'Punkies' The Breeze-fly and Lancets

230 232 233


242 2G4
2G;3

276
290

117

119
121

121
127

170
191

192

AT HOME
IN

193

230 232 233 242


2G4
20;')

THE WILDERNESS.
CHAPTER
Home
in the

270
290
I.

Wilderness and Elsewhere An Imaoinary Journev Word Packiiu; means Fitting out for a Journey Ifules to be ob.^erved in the choice of lack Animals (Jeldings
^y\u^t

the

prefcrable

to

flies Beware of Crupper

Mares Mules lulled by Magpies and Cuts What a Hoof ought

IJlowing-

not to be,

and what it ought to be Shoeing advisable, if possible How to examine the Eyes-Mules with JX^fective Vision dangerous to a

degree lrevalence of Cataract' The way to examine the Teeth I'arrot-Mouthed Mules always lose condition Never work
*

Pack Animals thin'


I

l^oints

'

of a good
is

Pack Mule.

SHOULD

like

to

know who
is

able to boast a

more

perfect independence than


art, for art it

he who has learned the most assuredly is, of being ' at home in the

What cares such a one for quarter-day; no flintj-hearted landlord threatens to sell him up if
wilderness.'

the rent is not paid

that terrible man, the tax-gatherer,

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


has no terrors for
his ug'ly
liim,

and never 'jnst looks in' with

book and an ink-bottle dangling from the coat


little

button, for his

account, which

it

is

not at

all

times convenient to pay.


were,
or ever will be,

All the collectors that ever

could

not in the wilderness


I quite

cut off your water supply or stop your light.

agree in ojjinion with that dweller in the wilds, who,

when the newly-arrived


Wa'al stranger, that ar
all

settler

boasted that the sun

never set u2)on England's possessions naively replied,


'

likely

enough, kase

'tis

low'd

by

as

cum from thim


sleep.'

parts that the tax bos never


in the wilderness in

camps down to

At home
live

right good earnest

you

rent free, ppy no taxes,


it,

get fuel for the trouble of cutting


light without

and water and you are

paying a rate
fish,

though surrounded with

an abundauce of

flesh,

and

fowl,

free

from meat hiUs, nothing

to

lock into your

house,

and no thieves to lock out: front door and latchkev


are useless

incumbrances
like,

you wear what you


like,

like,

do what you

go out when you

com? homo

when you
and care
mosquito.

like,

snap your fingers at 'Mrs. Grundy,'


her evil tongue than the bite of a

less for

To

feel

that one
is

is

at

home, though

it

be in the

wilderness,

always to

me

a great source of pleasure.


is

What
home
,i
t

household word
?

is

more cherished than


its

that of
it

How

delightful are all

associations, in
j

how many hopes and joys

arc hidden

the woods and

THE MAGIC OF HOME.

streams dear to us in childhood, the hoary hills and


flower-decked meadows, the old church spire grey with
lichens, the
softly

Sabbath

bells that

were wont to peal so

down the

valley, are

but a few of the links which


to be counted

unite us to home.
cling round about

Happy memories not


it

like

trailing

vines,

and

living

garlands

of brilliant

blossoms

encircle

the brown,

sombre, branchless trunks of tropical palms, adding to

them beauty and


to
their

usefulness, as prattling children cling

parents and
'

make

the

father's

right

arm

stronger.

No

tonerue shall tell

what bliss

o'erflows the

mother's tender heart while round her the offspring of

her love

lisp

her name.'

Or

to

employ a more homely


crumbling ruin and

simile, as the

ivy enwraps

the

entvviues its evergreen


like

arms round the sturdy oak, in


all

manner the remembrance of home with

its

treasures winds itself at all times round the heart of the


iin)sentee,

nor need there be ancest^'al mansions, broad


of

lawns,

acres

woodlands,

rich

pastures,

fertile

orchards, and gardens, to recall household joys, or to


1

lark the spot wherein they abide


is

not a bit of
is

it.

of u

]Iome

not shut within narrow limits,


scenes
of pleasure,

not con-

fined to

regal splendour, or the


are to

dwellings of the great.

Wherever warm hearts

be found together, with contentment and a hearty


desire at all times to do the best that can be
und(n' existing circumstances, health
will to

done

and strength, a

work, and an unwavering trust in


B 2

God who

m^
4

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.

cares even for the sparrows, there believe

me

exist the

primal elements, the magic of home.


'

Mankind, however fettered and benighted


Ilowe'er oppressed by penury and care
;

Have Kave

their existence
still

one bliss

by one beacon lighted, which all may freely share.'

A novice

finds travelling terribly perplexing, because

he has no idea of making himself at home, neither does he discover until stern necessity stares him in the face

how

absolutely requisite

it is

to cultivate a habit of

observing.

He must

train his

eyes until his sight

equals in delicacy of perception the to^cli of the blind.


Trifles

impercei3tible to the tyro are to the

practised

traveller pages of information, as easily read

and comHis tread

prehended as are those of a printed book.

should be light and stealthy, so as to avoid cracking


fallen

^ranches unnecessarily or rustling the bushes

nothing should escape his attention.


insects,

The disturbance
flajD

of

the switch of a

tail,

the

of an ear, the

gleam of an

eye, a displaced stone, or a

broken twig, are


educate

matters not to be passed lightly by.


his ears too.

He must

The

voices of birds, the calls denoting


different animals, the

love

and anger made by

hum and

buz of insects whether loud and angry, as evidencing

aimoyance and

irritability, or soft
;

and low as indicative

of peaceful security

the sough of the breeze and the

roar of the torrent must be to the cultivated heariiiL^


of the dweller in the wilderness as understandable as


WHAT WE HAVE TO
the
diiFerent musical notes are to tlie ears of a practised

DO.

musician

and to some extent he must be a musician

and ventriloquist of a certain kind himself.


acquire the art of imitating sounds
;

He must

the amorous bellow

of the lady moose-deer to attract her lord, the plaintive


'

bleat

'

of the

fawn

to lure the doe, the

call

"

of the

wild turkey, and the whistle of the beaver and marmot,


are a few examples selected from a goodly

number

to

show that
of game,

to be at

home

in the wilderness

demands

that the dweller therein, to be successful in the pursuit

must needs be a

skilful

imitator of forest

sounds.

Be

it

my

pleasant duty to act as guide and inall

structor to

who may

feel

disposed

to

wander
in

through far away lands.


imagination
'

Come then with me now,

To

cvftofpy

mountaing, where the hunter buildeth

in.s fragile dAvelling like

nu eagle's

lair

To southern climates, whore the sunlight gildoth The vine-clad hills -with colours ever fnir. To far otf lands, where the savage roameth, The untutored lord of many a scene sublime To groves and glens, to where the ocean foameth; To every country and to every clime.'
:

We

shall

have rough roads and narrow

trails to travel,

deep and swift-flowing streams to cross where boats

aud bridges are as yet unknown


build

we must

learn

to

own houses and meat, and how to cook it and


our

provide our larder with

provide the requisite

fuel.

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERXESS.

We

must wield the


'

axe, paddle our canoe, lassoo wild

horses and

gentle,'

and

ride

them when captured


able to
*

it is

necessary also that

we should be

pack

'

either

mules or horses, yoke and drive oxen and manage a

team of mules, tramp on snow shoes and harness dogs


to a sleigh
;

but we shall find out

all

we have

to do as

we jog on our way.


imaginary
yourself at

And
you

if

on the completion of our


have
learned
to

wanderings

make
will

home

in the wilderness, the

Wanderer

have

fulfilled all

he set out to accomplish as guide and

instructor.

I have introduced a short story here

and
are

there which will serve to illustrate the district


travelling through,

we

as well

as the character of the

savages

we

shall

have to

encounter

and

it

will,

perhaps, too, lighten the tedium of continuous telling

what

to

do and what to leave undone.


or pack

The general equipment of a mule-train,

and

saddle horses, if mules are not to be procured, forms

by

no means the least valuable part of the experience

which
possess.
j

it

is

absolutely requisite

traveller

should

Packing means putting anything and every-

thing, irrespective of shape or size


3001bs.,
it

up

to a weight of
it

on mule or horseback, and so fastening


nor sway from side to

that

shall neither rock

side, shift
fall off

backwards up-hill or forwards on a descent, or


if

the animal carrying the load stumbles or even rolls a


hill-side.

down

The

same

remarks

will

apply

whether the pack-train consists of four mules or one

OUR FIRST
hundred.
purposes

TRIP.
for
all
by-

Mules are
of

far preferable to horses

transport.

And
say

so
in

let

us

begm

supposing
'

that
'

we

are,

Upper

California,

fitting

out

for

a trip through Southern Oregon, to

cross the

Rocky Mountains.
if

First

and foremost, mules must be purchased


travel

we

mean

to

comfortably.

If our party

does not

exceed three, we shall require five pack-mules, two riding

mules for the packers, three riding mules for ourselves,

and a bell-mare to be ridden by the guide or the cook, or


any outsider attached to the party. In selecting mules,

when purchasing always choose


former are invariably
condition,

geldings or

'

machos,'

as they are usually styled, in preference to mares.

The

much

stronger, keep in better

and are

far less liable to those aberrations of

temper which lady mules are in the constant habit of


displaying,

comfiture.

much to the packer's annoyance and disBe sure to examine carefully the back, arch
eyes.

of the ribs, under surface of the tail close to the rump,


hoofs,

and

If you discover the evidences of pre-

vious sores on the back or sides, especially if the skin

covering the spot or

si)ots

looks shiny

and polished,

have nothing to do with the mule; the greatest care


will

not prevent regalliiig, and a sore-backed mule


all,

is

worse than none at


in pain

because the poor animal travels


day,
if

and misery

all

loaded, and gets no rest

or a chance to feed after the day's

work

is

done, in

consequence of the ceaseless persecution inflicted by

,1

AT HOME IN THE WILDERXESS.

swarms of

flies

and, what

is

far worse, magpies, if

any

are about, will be pretty sure to percli on the back of


||i

the chafed animal, and

eling-ing'

on by their sharp claws,

peck away at the sore with a sort of fiendish delight.

During our work,

w^lien

marking the Boundary

line,

we

had several mules and horses seriously injured by the


magpies, the packers having incautiously turned the
'

animals out with sores exposed.

I observed one of our

mules on the Sumass

prairie,

near the Fraser River,

British Columbia, rolling maxU}", but

was at a

loss to

imagine the cause.


he got on his
legs,

As

I stood quietly watching

him

but no sooner was he up than a


I

couple of magpies

which

had not previously noticed

issued from an adjoining bush, swooped


luckless mule,
clearly just left

down upon

the

and commenced again what they had


off,

literally,

and not in mere figure of


all

speech, to eat

him

alive.

Vain were

the tortured

beast's writhings, kickings,


tail to displace

and attempts by mouth and


;

the greedy birds

they hung on with a


Rolling

perseverance certainly worthy of a better cause.

was

his only chance, but

even then his persecutors


bide another o]3portunity.

simply hopped

off patiently to

Too much occupied


g'^^irmands permitted

to notice

my

approach, the two


:

me

to get within range

shrill

whistle sent
quet, for

them hurry-scurry from

their horrid banlives


;

which they paid the penalty of their

shot one with each barrel.

Their beaks, as I picked

them up, were recking with the blood of the mule, and

MAGPIES AXD BLOWING FLIES.


in one

was

still

grasi^ed a bit of quivering mnscle.

We

had

in our

employ a quaint specimen of the thorough'

bred woodsman; old

Pine-knot

'

we styled him, in com-

pliment to his toughness or powers of endurance; in


other words, he combined within himself the various
crafts of gold-washer,

axeman, hunter, packer, trapper,

and rowdy in general.

He

hated magpies nearly as


tried his best

much

as ho loved whisky,

and invariably
*

to destroy every one to exclaim,


that's
'

he saw.

Darned

cusses,'

he used

they'd as leve eat a Injun as a boss, and


do,

more nor a skunk ad


to

you may bet high on


These
several

it.'

To return

our subject.

causes
is

rapidly produce loss of condition,

and the probability


;

the mule will either have to be shot or abandoned

the

former being by far the more charitable course, and one


1 should always advise.

I have several times discovered

abandoned pack animals in a most pitiable condition.

Once

remember finding a mule on a small open patch


which had been
left

of prairie land in Oregon,

by

its

owners in consequence of a stake wound just above the


hoof having produced such excessive lameness as to
render further rapid progression impossible.
flies

Blowing

soon found out the sore, laid their eggs, which


larvcc,

were rapidly developed into


English, and these

or maggots in plain
in every direction,
is

had burrowed

betwixt the horny hoof and bone, consuming what


equivalent to that most
exquisitely
*

sensitive
nail,'

tissue,

commonly

called in

man

the quick of the

whilst

10

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.


It

the helpless animal lived.

makes

my heart ache even

now when

I recall its look of

agony as on three legs


In

the poor beast limping along said, in language quite as


intelligible as articulated

words could have been,

'

pity help me.'

On examining

the foot, I found the


its

hoof was almost detached from

union with the ad-

joining tissues, which were being rapidly devoured by

the maggots.

What was

to be done ?

No
'

system of

treatment which I could have adopted would have been


of the slightest avail.
ferings as speedily as
bullet

Charity whispered,

End

its suf\i

you

can,'

which I did by sending a

through

its

brain.

I could recount

many

other instances of finding de-

serted animals enduring horrible sufferinp-s, but this

one will

suffice

and I have related

it

with a view to

induce those

who read
it is

these lines (should they ever have


it

occasion to abandon an animal) to kill

at once.

As
an
de-

a general rale

far

more humane than

to give
it is
*

animal

a chance for

its life.'

You
tail ?

ask,

why

sirable to look

imderneath the

Because

crupper

cuts' are of
tail

common

occurrence, and when once a mule's

has been badly cut by the sawing motion of the


it

cripper

never properly heals, and although the

wound

may

be skinned over, so as to escape the eye of an inexstill

perienced buyer,

no person accustomed to packing


if

would purchase a mule


discoverable.

signs of

crupper-cut

'

were

If the hoofs are

worn very much, and the

sole

and

ADVANTAGE OF SHOEING.

11

f
frog

come

flat

upon the ground, or


if

if

old cracks are to

be seen about the coronets, or

a ridge or ridges of

bone encircle the coronet, commonly called -'ring-bone,'


have nothing to do with the mule
;

he will be sure to
over.

work lame the


horn, and

first

rough ground you drive him

Badly worn hoofs are usually composed of weak poor

when

the wear brings


its

down the lower edge of


sole,

the outer horn to

union with the horny


in,

small

fragments of gravel are apt to work


incurable lameness.
oval,

often causing an

good hoof should be black, very


Shoeing pack animals
is all

and hard as

flint.

very well, if you can find a shoeing smith, and afford to

pay him a dollar


seldom seen
horse
;

(4s.)

a shoe

hence shod animals are


favourite riding
if

now and then a

mule or
a rough

may be

indulged with a set of shoes,

country has to be travelled over.

The Commission mules and horses were always shod,


but then
could

we had our own soldier afford to do it. One thing

shoeing-smiths, and
I

am

quite sure of,

shod mules are capable of enduring greater fatigue,


carry a heavier weight, and travel

much

faster

than do

those which are without the iron protection to the feet.

A light

shoe, turned

up

at the heels, steeled at the toes,


nails, is the

and put on firmly with eight


I found to

kind of shoe

answer best

for general purposes.

Turning
steei?

up the heels prevents slipping when going down


trails,

and saves the

flat

part of the shoe from a great

deal of wear.

T
t(

12

AT HOME IN TITE WILDERXESS.

A rigid
necessity.

and most careful scrutiny of the eyes

is

first

To examine them, stand

at the mule's side,

shatle the eye to be

examined with your hand and look


si

throug-h

it

from corner to corner, then place yourself in

front,

and peer into the interior of the eye as yon would

into a well if seeking for truth at the

bottom of

it.

Should you discover any pearly-looking- specks, like tiny


white beads, at once reject him.
liable to
'

Mules are extremely


is

cataract,'

and a mule with defective vision


;

dangerous to a degree
life,

not only does he risk his


trails,

own

by shying on narrow
cliff

and perhaps

falling

over a

into a river, or

down

a vertical wall of rocks,

nobody knoAvs where, with the freight and packing gear


but by suddenly backing or halting, the mules followingclose
to

him

are stopped suddenly, trails being very

seldom wide enough for one mule to pass by another.

The hinder mules


htuit,

in the train, immediately there

is

as if actuated

by a vicious determination to push

each other over, crowd on iipon those that are obliged


to stop in consequence of the semi-blind

mule refusing to
object,

proceed, from dread of

some imaginary

produced
is,

by defective

vision.

The

result of all this usually

that two or three good mules

may

be either killed or

dangerously hurt, in consequence of your purchasing


a bad mule with unsound eyes.
Anotlier thing a dim-sighted mule

does

is

to

run

against the trees with his load, and

if

he happens to be
it

carrying a box, or anything breakable, smash

goes,

THE WAY TO EXAMINE MULES.


to a certainty.

1:3

In examining large bands of mules, in


for the

California

and elsewhere, when purchasing-

Government Boundary Commission transport, I was


astonished to find so

many had

'

cataract.'
is

Why this
inherited.

should be I cannot tell, excepting the disease

Old and worn-out mares are frequently, though unwisely,


thought good enough to
ridden
'

'

raise

'

a mule from

and over-

mustangs

'

are usually turned out to take their

chance in wet or cold, and from this cause are extremely


liable to
i'J

inflammatory affections of the eyes, which ge'

nerally ends in the formation of

cataract.'

Hence, I

am
in

disposed to attribute the frequency of the disease,

young mules, to inheritance

although blows from

the packers' whips, or ophthalmia produced by cold and

exposure to inclement weather,


sure often
is,

may

be,

and I

feel

the cause of the disease in older and hard-

worked animals.

We

complete our examination by taking a peep at


;

the teeth

it is

very seldom pack-mules will allow any

liberties to

be taken with their mouths, and they always

manifest a very decided objection to showing their


incisors.

If you
is

have a quiet horse

to

deal

with,

nothing
or tush,

easier

than to place a finger behind the tusk,


space betwixt the grinding and
lips
'

or in the
it

cutting teeth if

be a mare, then to raise the

with
'

the left hand, and by the wearing


find out the age
is
;

down

of the

marks

but with ill-disposed mules the case

altogether different, you might as reasonably expect

14

AT

HOME

LV THE WILDERNESS.

to pull your fiiigor from the

snap

of a

steel

trap

unscathed as for

it

to escape

from out a mule's mouth


old

i
if

without

bein<,r

bitten.

Tame

riding and team

m
hi

mules are often docile enough to permit any liberty to


be taken with them, but never trust one that
only for packing.
is

us.:d

The

safer

way

to

manage

the rascal,
is

so as to be enabled to

look into his mouth,

first

firmly to seize the near-side ear with the right hand,

and
all,

with the

left

hand grasp the

tipper lip, nose

and

then lean the hip against the mule's shoulder and bring
the nose toward you.

In this way one can generally

obtain a peep at the front or incisor teeth.

By keeping
fore feet, for

the hip

jammed
tell

tightly to the animal's


its

shoidder you avoid the risk of


let

striking jovl with the

me

you these pack animals are


fore lioofs as a prize-fighter
I

quite as
is

handy with their


fists.

with his
It is

not of any material

moment

mule

is

three or five years old, so

know whether a that you know he is


to

not very aged. For jiacking, I prefer mules between five

and seven years old to younger animals.


I -

There

is

yet

another reason, besides that appertaining to age, which


renders a scrutiny of the
are called
*

mouth
'

indispensable.

What

parrot-mouthed

mules are far from being upper cutting teeth over-

uncommon
lap,

in this case the

and instead of meeting, shut down outside the


This deformity
is

under ones.

most objectionable
is

experience has proved that wherever grass

short,

WHY MULES WORK

TIIIX.

15

or the g-eneral herbage scanty, parrot-mouthed mules


invariably lose condition.

Here
young
thin.'

will be as

good a place as any to caution


'

all

travellers against

working their pack animals

So long as mules retain their rotundity and


is

plumpness, the sure signs of good condition, there


very
little

fenr

of galling them, unless

it

happens or

arises

from the most reprehensible carelessness on the


;

part of the packers

but let your mules once get thin,

from over-driving, over-loading, or from either of the


causes
or at
j)reviously

pointed out
to

which and

faults

should,

any rate ought

have been discovered in the


all

examination prior to purchasing


skill

the care and

the most practised hands are able to adopt will not

prevent the occurrence of galled backs and chafed ribs.

Numbers of mules
their packers to
'

in large
thin,'

pack trains are found by


from some cause or other

work

not discoverable.

Such animals are always discarded,


jiasture

and when placed in

where the grass

is

long,

there, with i^lenty to eat


fatten,

and nothing to

do, they soon

and are

finally disposed of to the

unwary.

A
and

pack mule should be short upon the

legs, strong

rather arched along the back, tliick in the shoulders

and muscular about the

loins.

The hoofs should bo


is

small and black, and the hocks straight and fine, with-

out any tendency to bend inwards, or what


designated cow-hocked.'
'

technically

He should have bright full eyes,


tail,

sharp teeth, a good long swishy

and a sound

skin.

IH

IG

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.

CHAPTER
Average wortli of Pack Mules
ofl'ects

II.

of

tlie

Horse-tail Kusli {equisetinn)

Mortality in Cold Regions Poisonous Advantages of Sheds


Branding.

and DrN'th The Bell-mare Value of a Horse's Tail


rt

We

have fixed on the raules we intend to purchase,


f^eJler

and agreed with the

as to the price to be j)aid,

which, on a rough average, will amount to about 120


dollars
(25?.)

to 150 dollars (30?.) per head.

If mules

are purchased in Sonora or Texas, unbroken, or only


partially tamed,

and driven up into California

at the

buyer's risk, they

may be
I

obtained at a

much

less cost

than I have quoted as the average price current in

Upper

California,.

was sent from Vancouver's Island


band of eighty
cost,
all

into California especially to purchase a

mules for the Boundary Commission, which


with another, 120 dollars per head.
marketable matters, mules rise and
accordance with the

one

Like
fall

other

in value, in
tlie
is
i

demand and

supply, or in

ratio of successful gold-hunling.

Whenever mining
the miners are 'do-

prosperous mules are dear;

when

upon

their luck,' mules can be obtained at compuni-

tively small prices.

sasa

EFFECTS OF FOOD AND CLIMATE.


In cold regions the mortality
during the winter, an d in that
increased.
It
is

17

sometliing awful
the value
is

way

often

may be

interesting to mention as an

instance of this, and as an example


of food

how

differences

and climate

affect mules,

which are generally


(a

supposed to be hardy to a provei'b,


idea,

most erroneous

by the

w^ay) , that

during the time we were at work


of the Cascade mountains,
'

on the Boundary

line, y\rest

the gold discoveries on the Fraser River ' Bars

attracted

a vast concourse of miners,


trains,
for

and consequently mule


supjDlying

the

puii)ose

of
cold

the

diggers'

necessities.

When

the

weather came on

the
to

mule

trains were, nearly every one, driven


prairies,

down

the Sumass and Chilukweyuk

in order

to

winter the animals.


ance,

The

grass

was

in great
'

abund-

and small sheds were run up with

wickey and

mad,' (twined branches plastered with clay or mud), to


protect the

nudes, whilst the owners or packers in

charge built themselves log shanties; and thus provided,

no apprehePoions were entertained but that


a.3
*

all

would go on

merry as a marriage

bell.'
little

But the too sauguine Californians


what the winters were
rapidly coverrd
like in British

dreamed
;

Columbia

snow

up the grass away with

far

too deeply for the

mules to dig

it

their feet, in order to reach

the buried herbage.


to

No

dry fodder had been provided

meet

this contingency, so, in the absence of all other

kinds of foliage, the hungry mules began to devour

-7=

mmt

18

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.
horse-tail rush,
trees,

the lar^e

patches of equisetum, or

which covered many acres of grom :d under the

by the

river side,

and around the swampy edges of the


great measure protected by the trees,
six feet, it

bush

being in

and growing often to a height of


comeatable above the snow.

was

easily

The

effect of this plant

was perfectly astounding.


to

As soon

as the mules begar.

eat

it

they were seized with a disease precisely


c

resembling Asiatic

holera

the most violent purging

came
tion,
^

on,

accompanied with cramp, rigors, utter prostra-

and speedy death.

More than

five

hundred mules

died on these two prairies in less than a month.

What

the cause of this poisonous effect might have been I

am

puzzled to say.

My

impression at the time was,

that the animals' stomachs and intestines beinjr comparatively empty,

and at the same time the general

tolerance of the system being further

weakened by

the excessive cold and lack of requisite food rich in


carbon, the flinty covering of the rush acted mechanically as

a mineral irritant to the mucous lining of

the alimentary canal, producing dysentery of a most


violent character.

This

is

simply a tiieory, and must


I

be estimated only as such.

mention the fact

inci-

dentally as a warning to travellers,

who

nuiy perchance

be placed in a like disagreeable and ruinous portion.


I have often seen the

mules eat this

ho^'se-taii

ish

during the summer, when mixed with other food, and

then no

ill

effects

accrued from

it.

KJia

ADVANTAGES OF A DRY BED.


I wintered
all

19

the Commission mules and horses

during the following winter on the same prairies, and


!

with signal success

but I had grown wiser by having

witness c;d the misfortunes of others.


i!

So I took the

precaution to have a requisite suoply of the long grass

mowed and

converted into hay during the summer, and

likewise a supply of barley safely housed in a log store,

which grain was brought


Vancouver
Island,

all

the

way from
the

Chili to

and thence up

Eraser

and

Sumass

rivers,

by boat, to be
I

finally

landed on this

desert prairie.

had a large square enclosed with

open sheds, in which the animals were fed and kept,


being driven out only to ice-holes cut in the stream,
twice every day, to drink.

The grand
by
iys

secret of wintering animals successfully

h\ jj^ry cold districts is, I


a;'\
ti
1

am

convinced, to insure their


lie

having

a,

dry bed to

on,

and shelter from


Cold,

-iliing

falling

from

tlie

heavens.

however

intense, (I

have wintered mules, hoises, and cattle when


zp!':o),

the temperature has been 32 below

never does

them any hann,

so long as tlieir bodies are dry

and

they have plenty to eat.


air

Wet and

cm'rents of

fi'osty

do

all

the mischief, not the intensity of dry cold.

Every one of
healthier,

my

animals living in the open sheds were

and

less predisix)sed to colds

and lung

affec-

tions than

were those more closely shut up.


little

After this

digression,

we must go
a
'

in pursuit of

the next essential, and that


r*

is

bell mare.'

With a

1
20

AT

HOME

IX THE WILDERXESS.

train of mules, if the

number of animals composing


*

it

exceeds three or four, you must have a

bell mare.'

small band of mules can be either hobbled or tethered

when you
system
is

are

camj)ing';

with a large number this

imj); voticable.
.

Experience has taught the


follow a

packers that mul

ill

mare or gelding,
it

(the
bell
this,

former being always preferred), should


tied

have a

round

its

neck, wherever
all

it

goes

more than
to

at night,

when camping,

you have

do

is

to secure

the 'bell mare,' either by hobbling or tethering her,


,:

'i

and the mules

will very rarely graze further


bell,

away than
:

they can distinctly hear the


ling so long as the

which

is

always tink-

mare

is eating'

or wandering about.

When
'ii'

the bell ceases, in consequence of the mare's


lie

lying down, the mules also

down and take

their rest.

When
The
'

the mare gets up, and the bell begins to ring,


also
'

the mules
bell

arise

and again commence feeding.


is

mare

always precedes the mule train, and


rule.

ridden by the cook as a


of the train, and

Her pace

regulates that

must be most

carefully

watched by

whomsoevc

''

has the charge of the train.


is

Over-driving,

as I have before said,

most hurtful

to loaded animals.

From what
'

I have stated in reference to this said


clear

bell mare,' it is quite

we must be very
first

careful

in the selection of the lady to be

honoured with such


place
;

an unruly family.
perfectly gentle,

In the

she must be

and not very young


and very often

young mares are


amorous
fits.

given to ramble

get

THE BELL MARE.


Wliilst this lasts, all discipline
at
is

21

to a great extent
;

an end amongst the pack of mules


is,

they one and

all

(that

the geldings) become like Ingoldsby's abbot,

when
*

seated by the devil, disguised as a fair lady,

less pious

and more
by

polite.'

She must not be vicious


grey, if

or given to kicking.

A light

we can
is

get her of

that colour,

is

far the best, because she

much moro
and about
is

readily seen,

when browsing among


size.

tr^es;

fourteen hands, or fourteen hands two inches,

the

more preferable
her eyes sound,

a,rd,

Her back must be free from galls, what is of more value than you
can well imagine,
:

Avho have not earned experience

she must ha<ve a very long, thick, and bu^liy tail


short-tailed

mare

is

sure to wander, if she can, or keep


;

fidgeting all night long

if

tethered securely the bell


rest,

is

never
tailed

still,

and the mules do not


easily

whereas a longterribly
herself,

mare

whips

off the flies that so

torment animals night and day, and thus rests

and induces the mules to


shall

rest at the
'

same time.

have more to say about the

to camping, crossing streams,

when we come and packing. The price


bell
'

we

shall

have to pay for her will be about

fifty dollars

{101.),

or perhaps rather more.


tail,

In proof of the value of a horse's


infested with blood-sucking
flies,

in a country
state that I

may

once,

when

at Walla-Walla, a small steamer-landing

and town, situated at the head of navigation on the


Columbia Eiver, purchased a
*

Siskyoo horse,' which

T
22

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


its

means a horse with


terrier's,

ears

cropped short, like a

and the
or

tail

cut off close

up

to the

rump.

This

is,

once was, a
all

common custom
*

with the

Siskyoo Indians, and

horses so trimmed are deSiskyoo.'

signated by the generic term of

The

object

of this barbarous custom was to enable these Indians


easily

to recognise their

own

horses

if

stolen,

and

subsequently discovered
Horse-stealing
is

herding with

other

bands.

the primary cause of nearly every

Indian war and quarrel.

The poor
as any

'

Siskyoo

'

beast, although as perfect a cob

man need have

looked on, was nevertheless


:

utterly valueless during the

away
until

his tormentors,

summer unable to whip they worried him with impunity,


irritatior.

want of

rest

and continuous
a,

reduced

him well-nigh
note of
.'

to

skeleton.

When

found make a

Always look out

for long-tailed

mules

and horses in a fly-country.


I

happened

to stumble

upon the following strange

adventure during
*

my

stay at

New

Walla-Walla

Colonel, I guess thar's

two imigrants a waitin to and mighty near


to Colonel

see you, just a starvin, narry shoe on,

skeert to death.*
as

So said Sergeant

M
in

we

sat at mess,

on

.t

cold bleak

autumn evening,
*

the mess-room at
*

New

Walla-Walla.
inquired

Wliat

may
it

be their busmess, Sergeant ?

the Colonel.
*

Waal,

aint easy to

make out thar


;

Britishei-s,

and
*

talk tall about Injens, muder,

and

risin har,

and

aiiL

THE CAPTAINS STORY.


*Very
well,' said

23

the Colonel, 'bring

them

to

my

quarters after they have been rationed by the Quartermaster.'

I
of

may

as well briefly explain, for the enlightenment

my

readers,

where Walla- Walla


it

is

situated,

and by

what sequence of events


in so remote a place.

happened that I was located

The
on

clear swift-flowing stream, with its double

name

Walla- Walla, so called by a tribe of Eed Lidians living


its

banks, (the name, by the way, translated into

English,

means ever-bright and

sparkling), winds

in

crooked course through a vast sandy plain, to mingle


its

waters with those of the Columbia River, at

distance of quite 700 miles from the sea.

The steamer
to

lands all adventurous wanderers


peril

who may chance

themselves in so desolate a country at Old Wallais

Walla, which
bia,

the head of na\ igation on the Columfort,

and Old Walla-Walla was once a

not as

we
or

are prone to picture a fort, battlemented and bristling

with guns, but was simply a square enclosed by

mud

adobe walls, containing a few miserable hovels, which

were once tenanted by the fur-traders in the employ


of the Hudson's

Bay Company

but the

Red Skins

being by far too hostile to be trusted, or traded with,


the fur-traders were eventually driven from their fort,
the crumbling remains of which
o^vll to

now

only adds

its

that of the surrounding desolation.

The

tra-

veller is

turned out from the steamer to take his chance

24

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.

of getting

somehow

to

New Walla-Walla

as

best

he can, by a four-horse machine called a


distance
plain,
is

stage.

The
sandy
sage

thirty miles straight over a treeless

on which nothing grows save stunted

Avild

(or artemisia),

where there

is

no trace of a road, and the


heavily

mnd

always blows in one's face, and being

freighted with fine sand, together with small pebbles,

manages to discharge
nose, pockets,

its

cargo into the wayfarer's ears,

and

will penetrate his

watch

if

he

is

fortunate enough to possess one.


to close his

Let him but venture

mouth, and the meeting teeth grind away


flinty

upon a stratum of

sand, as though

one had

indulged in a scouring brick for luncheon.

The

stage,

tugged along by four horses,

is

so con-

structed with straps

and springs as to be in reality a most

ingenious contrivance for dislocating limbs and pitching

a passenger head

first

against the opposite side of the

unpadded

interior, or into

the stomach of a vis-a-vis,

should there be any such unfortunate individual to be


pitched into.

The probability

is,

however, that the com-

pliment
if

may

be returned at any unexpected


is

moment

a tight hold-fast

not maintained by your friend

opposite on the strong leather loops, which dangle in

every direction, like ropes for the drowning, ready for

any emergency.
If any one can endure this continued trapeze per-

formance for about four or

five

hours, the probabil:^ es are

in favour of his reaching

New

Walla- Walla in about

:dU

NEW WALLA-WALLA
the

CITY.

25

same condition as a person may be supposed to


a blanket for

arrive at after being vigorously tossed in

a short time by muscular rustics.

New Walla-Walla 'ci7i/' stands on a sandy shingly flat.


The small amount of grass visible looks as dry as hay, and excepting a clump of dwarfed and stunted-looking
trees,

which seem

so bent

and emaciated that one

is

led

to imagine the trees

must have been the victims of a


discoverable, as far as eye can

chronic rheumatism or a perpetual cramp, not a particle

of any other wood

is

scan the dismal extent of arid waste, in the very midst


of

which

this

city

'

is built.

Cities in this part of the


;

world are only such in


cents,
civic

name
not

squares, terraces, cres-

busy

streets,

and massive mansions crowded with


are

dignitaries

by any means

essential
city

requirements.

In this particular instance the

of

New

Walla- Walla consisted of not more than thirty


all

houses,

constructed of unplaned planks or

'

lumber,'

so called,

the

style of architecture,

being solely in
genius
of

accordance
the builder,

with the tastes


of

or

inventive

the

most varied

and

questionable

character, forcibly reminded one of booths on a race-

course wherein thirsty pleasure seekers regale themselves, rather

than of houses, a resemblance rendered the


riding, lounging,
'

more striking by the motley throng


and
sitting in groups,

amidst the houses in the

main

'

street,

a straight dusty thoroughfare, towards which


I enter a gaudy bar-room

most of the houses faced.

26
all aglitter

AT

HOME

IX THE WILDERNESS.

with tinselly finery, bright-coloured glass


fitted

bottles,

and small brigades of decanters

with

strange-looking stoppers which let out the contained


poison, disguised as whisky,

by a kind of machinery,
vessels stand

and near them arrays of smeary drinking

in quartets, together with jugs of cold water like sentries

ready by.

At the
;

shortest notice

drinks can be incity, if in

dulged in

for all classes in

Walla- Walla

possession of the all-powerful dollar, take drinks.

On
when

every occasion a

man

imbibes

when he

is

sorry,

he
I

is

joyful, wlien

swamped by disappointment

or floated

by prosperity.
cock-tails

Men cement
*

their friendships with gin

and juleps, and terminate acquaintances and

disagreements in a
drinks with those

Brandy Smash.'
grieve,

The mourner
and they drink
If the god-

who do not

simply because the mourner asks them.


dess of Liberty were

seen strolling

through Walla-

Walla

I feel sure

somebody would immediately ask her


Behind the bar-counter a gorall

to take an eye-opener.

geous individual

is

conspicuous at

times, radiant in

smiles, shirt front, studs


ii:

and

rings,

whose greatest ac-

complishment appears to consist in the ability to toss cold


drinks from one tin cup into another without spilling
any.

He

usually has an

immense cigar ' stowed


is

'

away

in the corner of his

mouth, one half of which


pufied slowly away.
'

chewed,

whilst the other

is

Leaving the

bar I see

'

billiard saloon

in letters which he

who

runs can read, and wonder as well I

may by what

di;

A QUEER MATCH.

27

means a billiard table could have been brought


still

here,

and

further,
it.

who the

individuals can be
*

who

are likely to

play on

peep in to the

billiard saloon,'

and the
from the

mystery at once ends.

Why, everybody

plays,

darky boy who polishes your boots, or the barber who


does the easy shaving, up to the colonel

commanding

the

'

military post,' and

it

is

just as likely as not, you

may

witness a match,
'

if

you
'

sit

and take a drink in the


*

saloon, betwixt a

bummer with narry

a cent

'

in his

pocket, or clothes on his back worth pillaging from off a

scarecrow, and a military officer in full uniform.

Stroll-

ing

still

further through the

city,

stores,

groceries,

'barbers' saloons,' livery stables, places alike all astir

with the bustle of business, are respectively passed.


This quaint little place, I
;

am

told,

owes

its

origin to two

causes, one the discovery of gold

on the Cold-water
Snake River, and

and Burnt

"Rivers, tributaries to the

both of which head from the slopes of the Blue mountains.

Like the magnetic mountain of Sinbad'a travels


nails out of ships,

which dragged

and a man,
its side,

if

he had

iron on his boots, straight

up against
wall, so

where he

was held
as potent,

like a fly

on a

with speed or power

the prospect of obtaining gold drew ad-

venturers to

New

Walla-Walla, from whence they pro-

cured the necessary articles for fitting out, to sink or

swim, in their struggles for fortune.


garrison,' or
*

The

American
from

military post,'

is

situate about a mile

the city on a patch of rising ground, close to a small creek

'

IF

I
28

AT HOME IX THE WILDERXESS.


*

or

crik,' as

Transatlantics usually pronounce the word.

troop of dragoons, and three, or sometimes four com-

panies of infantry, are usually stationed at this outpost,


their

duty being that of i^rotecting settlers against

Indian incursions.

The

soldiers are a great support to

the citizens, notwithstanding the very admirable system

adopted by the United States military authorities of

having a

sutler,
it is

or in other words, appointing a civilian,


to sujiply all requisites to officers

whose duty

and

men, up to a certain fixed amount, at a regular


for

tariff,

which he

is

paid at the pay-table of the regiment.

Should the

sutler,

however, trust any soldier to an

amount beyond

his

pay he must

lose

it,

the paymaster

being only responsible for goods supplied up to the regulation amount.

The

sutler's store is

always a great

lounging place, and as he

sells drinks, in

some measure

on the

sly, it

very materially lessens the crop of small


I

coin which would be otherwise reaped by the Walla-

Walla
the

citizens, as the sutler

being nearest to home gets

first

produce,

if

not the entire harvest.

The

Post

was neatly
centre

laid out, in
drill

shape a very large square, the

being the

ground
;

the sides Avere appro-

priated to officers' quarters

barracks for the men, and


All the houses were

the quartermaster's stores.

made

of planks planed, painted, and fitted with very capital

glazed windows.

I was staying there for a time, the

guest of the

officers,

awaiting means of transport to

reach the dalles en route to Portland.

I
THE EMIGRANTS STORY.
29

The Sergeant comes


story I

to the Colonel's

quarters and

says the two strangers are awaiting admittance, whose

am

all cm^iosity to listen to.


'

As we await
I'll

their

appearance, the Colonel said,


dollars those rascally

Captain

bet fifty

Snake Indians have been playing


If they have, as
.'

havoc again amongst the emigrants.


sure as I live, every loafer of

them

I catch shall

The door

just then opened, an(T

so

cut

short the

Colonel's threat.

Staggering from sheer weakness, and


feet,

with travel- worn


of age, tottered

two men, each about thirty years


I need

in,

marshalled by the Sergeant.


all

not be wearisome by relating, word for word,


said.

that was

Their sad story was briefly as follows.


all

Early in

the summer, a party consisting in


started from the

of forty souls,

Red River

district, their

purpose being
River, therein

to reach the rich valley of the to establish themselves,

Wilhamet

pre-empt farms, and reap the


all

harvest

its fertile

land usually yields to

who

indus-

triously develoije its agricultural capabilities.


hale, hearty,

All were

and in the springtime of

life,

most of the'm

being married couples and blessed with sturdy young


olive branches.

Their equipment was most comj^lete,

and

carried, as

were the

women and

children, in strong

wagons, drawn each by six or eight yoke of powerful


oxen.

For many weary weeks this band of hopeful

travellers

had found

their

way along

the barren route

leading across the great American desert.


successfully

Rivers were

swam

or forded, rocky passes tugged and

30

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


over;

toiled

an occasional

buffalo stalk

or

a tramp

after a wapiti, were the only incidents

which relieved the


to be

monotony of the journey. Indians were the enemies


cipated seeing these marauders none

dreaded, but on the plains where the travellers fully anti-

had been observed.

Hope,

like a cloud

with a golden lining, gleamed brightly

and

cheerily before them, as,

deeming danger well nigh

at an end, they
slopes west of the

wended

their

way down the craggy


to follow the course
it

Rocky Mountains,
very near to

of the Snake River, and ford


cable spot, which
is

at the only practiits

junction with the


'

Salmon River, a crossing known as the


Ford
place
'

Emigrants'

of the Snake River.


is

The long-desired fording


too
late

at

length

reachec\ but

to

risk

the somewhat dangerous task of crossing so swift a

stream until the morrow's light lends


emigrants encamp on the bank of the
j

its

aid.

TLo

river,

and chat

cheerfully by the flickering firelight of dangers sur-

mounted, and hopefully of the eas^ jor.mey before them.

Once across the

river they are safe, as the route is free

from any further obstacle of importance to Walla- Walla.


Their gossip
of several
'

is

suddenly interrupted by the appeararce

Snake Indians.'
alarmed, the poor emigrants

Not a

little

make
;

signs

of friendship, which the

Red Skins

readily return

they
little

smoke the pipe of good fellowship together, do a


barter for meat and
fiali,

giving in exchange tobacco and

beads, and then the Indians vanish into the darkness

FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE SAVAGES.

31

and are seen no more that night.


of an attack

As

there were only

a few savages, no great apprehension was entertained


;

still

additional pre^5autions were taken,


so as to avoid

and a sharp watch kept during the night,


any chance of a sudden
surprise.

The dreary hours of

the night one by one rolled by, until the grey light in

the east, tipping as with frosted silver every peak and


ridge, proclaimed the advent of another day.

Every-

thing was

still,

no sign of savages

visible,

nothing but

the mellow notes of some early songster, the weird wail of the loon, or the thrum of some benighted beetle,

hurrying

home

to hide ere the

coming

light betrayed

him, disturbed the stillness of surrounding nature.


sentries rouse the sleepers,

most of them
;

far

The away in

dreamland, amidst friends and parents

others in fancy

perhaps are wandering once more in the paths so often


trodden afore-time, amidst
it

fields

and

flowers, listening

may be

to the prattlings of infancy or the healthful

mellow voices of youth, scenes alike deeply engraven on

memory's

tablets,

and rendered dear

fco

the dreamer by

a thousand [.nd one pleasani; remembrances.


All are

up and busy, the men yoking the oxen and


;

preparing to ford the river


occupied packing the

the

women and

children are

camp and cooking equipment and preparing for the somewhat difficult process of ferrying the stream. The plan of crossing is to unload partly some
of the wagons, and to attach a double or treble

team of

oxen to

eac^i.

First of all the

women and

children are

^1


32

AT

HOME

IN THE WILDERNESS.
left

taken across the stream and

on

tlie oi^posite

bank

then the wagons, enth-ely emptied, are recrossed for the


rest of the freight.
].

So by slow and sure degrees,

all

hands, together with their worldly wealth, are safe on a


grassy plateau which stretches

away

before

them

for

about four miles, to reach the wooded slopes of a low


ranere of hills,

known

as the

'

Blue Mountains.' The sun

was high ere the oxen were again yoked up.

short

march only
timber,

is

contemplated, by

way

of reaching the

and crossing a low

divide, in order to arrive

at a rivulet of water

running through a narrow valley

on the other

side, in

which they intended camping


parties,

a favourite camping place for travelling

and

known

as the

Emigrant Camp.'

Not a

trace or sign of Indians

had been observed

during the morning, and in the buoyancy of their


spirits,

consequent on an imaginary safety, the

little

band of wanderers, forgetting to take even ordinary


precautions, were riding along on their wagons, singing, laughing, joking, carelessly

happy, dreading no-

thing.
yell, as

Suddenly, on nearing the th\ck pine forest, a

though numberless demons were shrieking in


momentarily preceded the rush of some
*

Avild delight,

eighty mounted

Snake Indians,' who, issuing

in detach-

ments from various openings in the

trees, completely

surrounded the wagon train, and fired a mixed volley


of aiTows and bullets in amongst the fright-strickon

emigrants before they well

knew what had befallen them.

ESCAPE OF THE TWO

AlEX.

33

Several dropped badly wounded, but the


fouylit bravely, so soon as they rallied

remainder

from the sudden


even the

panic into which they were thrown


fired

women
Slvins,

from out the wagons at the ruthless Red

but

all to

no purpose

one after another the

men were

shot

down and

scalped,

the children killed, and the

women dragged away


name.
wagons, despoiled of
steal,

to endure a fate too horrible to

The oxen were


all

speedily

set

at liberty, the
felt

the savages

disposed to

were

set

on

fire,

and reeking with their bloody


ford,

spoils the

band of murderers rode away to the

driving before

them every one of the bewildered bullocks.


related this harrowing story to the

The two men who


Colonel and myself

managed

to

''oep
f^aA\

in to the

bush

during the melee, and when they

the Indians de-

camp made
berries,

the best of their

way

to

Walla- Walla.

The

poor heart-broken fellows had subsisted entirely cm

gathered as they walked along shoeless. Coot-

sore, starving

and penny less


in

their
and

wives nmidered,
spirits.

childless,

and broken

heart

Their
s} n

terrible misfortunes

would have awakened the


his heart

d-

thies of

any n)an,

if

had been of adamantine

hardness.

Further questioning elicited


detail which, linked together,

many

small matters of
ii,

rendered
if

extremely

probable

that

there

were

women,

not men, sur-

viving this brutal cowjirdly massacre; and iliat there

was likewise a remote probability

tliey

might bo found

34
if

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


souo-ht after.

This decided on, the Colonel without a


;

moment's delay made known the story volunteers were not tardy in oifering their services. Indeed I may truly
sjiy

that the whole g-arrison to a


it

man would

have turned
fall

out if
the

could have been permitted, although the

of

first

snow was

daily expected

and the journey would

necessarily be not cold only bat

an extremely risky one.

A
to

chosen few were selected, and placed under

my

command.

small train of lightly packed mules were

accompany the mounted troopers, in order to carry

rations, clothing for the

women

if

any of them should

be found alive, and the doctor's requisites, to be ready in


i
'

case of need.

One

of the

men who had escaped was

also

mounted on a powerful horse, and placed under the


special charge of the

kind old Sergeant, who begged so

hard for leave to make one of the party, in order to help


as he said 'I
'

jist to

lynch up any darned skunk of a

(imagine a strong adjective)

Red Skin they could skeer


con-

up,' that the Colonel, though very reluctantly, at last

sented.

All these arrangements were soon completed in

the morning, and with hearty wislies for our safe return

and the deepest execrations human nature could devise


levelled against all icd skins,

we

trotted

riskly oiit of

the garrison square

and away over the sandy

phiin,

towards the Blue Mountains, dimly visible in the distance.

As we rode through a small encampment of

friendly Walla- Walla Indians

queer-looking old savage,

wc picked up a well known at the

guide, a
military
I

OLD AUGER-EYE.
post as a
fi^'st-rate

B5

hunter and tracker, but, having-

naturally a rather grotesque twist in his vision, the


familiar sobriquet by

which he was usually known was


Taking- his station at the head

that of Old Auger-eye.

of the cavalcade, and being mounted on a remarkably


fine

skew-balled horse, most conspicuous for

its distinct

markings of white and rich red-brown, the Red man


looked
Prairies

remarkably
'

like

the

Wild Hunter of the


sliows,"^"

as he

was once to be seen at monster

only that the real hunter wore a ragged old uniform


shell jacket

and the broadest brimmed

wide-awake

'

hat I ever saw, a costume which destroyed to some


extent the
similarity.
It
*

Circus

Wild Hunter

'

and Auger-eye's

was very nearly dark when we halted to encamp


tents, so each
fit

we had no
saddle,

had

to pillow his

head on

his

and

himself into inequalities of the groriid as

best he could.

AccoMing

to our

!j;aiide's

statement,

we

could not possibly reach our destination in less tlinn


four days from this, our first

camp

and as the

rivers

were aflood,

it

might be that we should be detained an

additional day, or perhaps more, in order to raft them.

Thus sixteen or seventeeu days would have elapsed


from the time of the massacre
;

and

if

any of the
likely

women had

escaped,

it

was more than

they
arrive

must perish from starvation before we could


with the needful succour.

Still

the very sight of the

Circusofl.
i>
'J

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.

poor feeble man, shaken to the very centre with terror

and

grief,

seemed
felt

to rouse the soldiers into

ungovernable

fury,

and I
'

quite sure if by chance

any

Snake

Indians

fell

into their hands, but little time

would be

given them for explanation or repentance.

The orders

were positive that

all

Indians taken alive should be

brought back to the Post as pnsoners, an order I


well

knew the

soldiers

would never obey.

Just as Auger-eye had predicted, two, nay nearly three


days, were lost in rafting the horse

and mule gear over

the swollen streams

thus nearly a week had flown by

when darkness compelled us to camp very near the scene Each watched eagerly for the of this terrible murder.
first

ray of dawn, no one appeared disposed to sleep,


sit

but preferred to

moodily by the smouldering embers.


intense silence of the night

Few sounds disturbed the


snort of a horse

save the trampling of the tethered animals, the occasional


as something tickled its nose, the as they all greedily cropped

continued

munch-munch

the succulent herbage, the distant bay of the wolves,

and now and then the


owl as
^

startlino- shriek of the

niaht
silent

it

skimmed with mulHed wings over the


I'emember so long a night
;

group.

I never

began

to

think ir.orning had put off coming at


!l

all,

and really

envied old /Vuger-eye,


for all the

who was

coiled
Tlie

up and sleeping
wished
for light
fairly

world like a dog.

Ciime at last, and long ere the sun's rays

came

over fhe hills

we had

saddled up

'

and were cantering

A HORRIBLE SCENE.
rapidly
throiig-li tlie

87
tlie

timber, to

come out on

open

pliiteau leading to the ford at the

upper fork of the

Snake River.

As we neared the
race,

line

where the

forest

ended and

the prairie land began, the pace increased to almost a

each appearing to think he ought to be

first

to

discover a survivor, or reek vengeance on a

Red

Skin.
for

Hence

it

happened that every one selected a path

himself,

and the detachment dashed from amidst the pine


It

trees scattered like a flight of frightened birds.

was

iny fate, I cannot say good fortune, to

emerge on the very

spot whereon the terrible butchery had been perpetrated.

Once

in a lifetime

is

quite often
of.

enough to witness such

a scene as I was in the midst


both sexes,

Numbers of bodies

of

many

of

them those of

children, lay gr^^n


all sorts
its

and ghastly upon the bright green grass in


of positions.
Vitality flown, chemistry

had begun

work of destruction, and lenJing their aid as general


removers of nuisances were vultures, ravens, wolves, and
a
host of
lesser
flesh

feeders,

together

with their

diminutive yet powerful assistants belonging to the

scavenger brigade of the insect army.

All the adults

had been scnlped, and many


the wounded and disabled.
lingering here,
it

cleft skulls

showed that
or Jiatchct

the savages had brained with a

tomahawk
^^linful

I will

not sicken you by


to relate '^U ns

would be only

the terrible evidences of brutality

wc naw,

wandering

about amidst the dead bodies, cindered wjigona, and

38

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.

spoiled property useless to tlie savages,

we

realised to

the

full

what a scene of carnage the

fight

must have

been.

Whilst the men were occupied in digging a large


pit,

into

which the remains of the dead were to be


'

dej^osited, old
ii

Auger-eye

'

had been cautiously

circling

round the

spot,

and might be seen every now and then

down U2)on
last

his knees peering intently at the ground.


;

At

he appeared to have discovered something

beckon-

ing me, he at the same time pointed in the direction of


the upward course of the river. All hands were so eager
to learn

what discovery the old tracker had lighted on,

that persuasion and

command

failed alike to induce

them

to

continue at the work on which they were

engaged.

Dropping their

tools they

crowded round the

old man, and scarcely venturing to breathe, intently


listened to

what he was

saj'ing.

In the figurative style

common

to all Indian languages, the old savage stated

his opinion to be that three, if not four, white people

had crossed the plateau


appearance of their
trail

after the fight,

and by the
river.

were making for the

Children had accompanied them, but he could not say

whether two or three.

He

also stated that he

had

made
il

out,

from a careful reading of Nature's book,

that Indians had visited the i^lace since the fight,

nnd that

in

all

likelihood they too


it

had struck
Their

this
suftin

same
told

trail

and followed
luid not

up the

river.

him they

passed more than three suns ago

THE GUIDES READINGS.


further, if the Indians

39
fugitives,

had not discovered the

we should most

likely capture the ruffians

by dividing

our party, sending some of them across the ford, to scout

up the right bank of the stream, whilst others were to


keep close to
it

on the

side

we

were.

third party

was ordered to make a short and again


strike in

circuit
river

through the bush

upon the

a few miles farther


differ-

up

its course, at

which place of rendezvous the

ent parties would eventually meet.

The opinion being


was arranged

unanimous that no time should be


that some of

lost, it

the detachment should return on our

homeward

route, to complete the sad task so

summarily

abandoned.
Thirsting for a speedy revenge, the
divided.

men

at once

With Auger-eye as guide I took command of the detachment who had to search the river-bank the old Sergeant commanded the scouting party told
off to cross

the ford and scour the timber, on the right


;

side of the river

whilst the third

band was approcold,

priated to the Doctor.

The weather was


clouds,

and the
and

sky, thickly covered with fleecy

foreboded a

heavy

fall

of snow.
chill
it

The wind blew


blood with

in fitful gusts,
its icy

seemed to

one's

breath as

sweeping past
glen.

went whistling and sighing up the


grew fainter and

The

rattle of the horses' hoofs as the receding


fainter,

parties galloped over the turf

and when our

little

band halted on a sandy roach, about

a mile up the river, not a sound was audible save the

ii
\

40

AT
rliytliin

HOME
of
tlie

IX

THE WILDEllXESS.
horses and the

steady
fi

paiitiiij^

noisy

rattle of the stream, as tumbling- over the cragcry roeks


it

rippled on
;

its

course.

The

Tracker' was again


his

down

this time creeping- along

npon the sand, on

hands and knees, and deliberately and carefully ex-

amining the marks


l!

left

on

its

impressible surface, which


letters,

to his practised eye

were in reality

nay, even
this

readable words and sentences.

As we watched

tardy progress in impatient silence,

suddenly, as if

stung by some poisonous reptile, the Indian sprang

upon his legs and making eager signs

for

us to approach

pointed at the same time eagerly to something a short


dist-ance

beyond where he stood.

nearer api)roacli

revealed

a tiny hand and pai't of an arm, pushed

through the sand.

At

first

we imagined the

parent, whether male or

female,

had thus roughly buried the child

a consolatory
Scraping away

assumption Auger-eye soon destroyed.

the sand partially hiding the dead boy, he placed his


finger

on a deep
its

cleft

in the
tale.

skull,

which told at

once
r^

own miserable

This discovery clearly

proved that the old guide was connect in his readings


that the savages were following
survivors.

up the

trail

of

tli(3

The man who had escaped and brought us


was with
he could bo

the intelligence appeared so utterly terror stricken at


this discovery that it
ditficulty

supported on his horse by the strong troopers


beside lam.

who rode

We

tarried not for additional signs, but

THE FUGITIVE
pusliecl

GIRL.

41

on with

all i30ssible haste.


leclg-e

The

trail

was rough,

stony,

and over a

of basaltic rocks, rendering

j)rogTession not only tedious but difficult

and dangerous

a false step of the horse, and the result might have

proved fatal to the rider.

The guide spurs on his Indian

mustang, that like a goat scrambles over the craggy


track
;

for a

moment
;

or two he disappears, being hidden

by a jutting rock

we hear him we
too

yell a sort of

'

war-

whoop,' awakening the echoes in the encircling


reckless of falling,

hills

spur on, dash round the

splintered point,

and

slide rather

than canter down a


sand beach, over

shelving bank, to reach a second

which the guide

is

galloping and shouting.


girl,

We

can see

the fluttering garments of a


all

who

is
;

running with

her might towards the pine trees


foliage of

she disai^pears

amongst the thick

the underbrush ere the

guide can come up to her, but leaping from off his


horse he follows her closely, and notes the spot wherein

she has hidden herself amidst a tangle of creei^ing vines


I

and maple bushes.

He

awaited our coming, and, motioning us to surstill

round the place of concealment quickly, remained


as a statue whilst

we arranged our

little

detachment so

as to preclude any chance of an escape.


noiselessly as a reptile

Then

gliding

through the bushes, he was soon

hidden.

It

appeared a long time, although not more

than a
sight

few minutes had elajised


until

from
told

our

losing

of him,

shrill

cry

us something

42

AT nOA[E IX THE WILDERNESS.


discovere'^1..

was

Dashing

into the

midst of the underitself.

brush,
tr(

a strange scene presented

The hardy
less

o^ers seemed spell-bound, neither

was I the

astonished.

Huddled

closely

together,

and

partially

covered with branches, crouched two


little girl

women and

the

whose

flight

had

led to this unlooked for dis-

covery.

In a state barely removed from that of nudity, the

unhappy

trio strove to

hide themselves from the

many

staring eyes which were fixed

upon them, not

for the

purpose of gratifying an indecent curiosity, but simply


because no one had for the
dition in

moment

realised the conj)laced.

which the unfortunates were

Soon,

however, the fact was evident to the soldiers that the

women were nearly unclad, and all honour to their rugged


goodness, they stripped off their thick top coats, and

throwing them to the trembling females, turned every

one away and receded into the bush.


that the faces of the

It

was enough

men were

white which had pre-

sented

themselves

so

unexpectedly.

The

destitute
dis-

fugitives, assured that the savages

had not again

covered them, hastily wrapped themselves in the coats


of the soldiers, and, rushing

from out of their

lair,

knelt down, and clasping their

arms round

my

knees,

poured out thanks to the Almighty for their deliverance


with a fervency and earnestness terrible to witness.
I

saw, on looking round me, steaming droj)s trickling

over the sunburnt faces

of

many

of the men, whose

THE SAD DISCOVERY.


iron natures
it

43

was not easy to disturb under ordinary

circumstances.
It
safe,

was soon explained to the fugitives that they were

and as every hour's delay was a dangerous waste

of time, the rescued


fully

women and
and

child were as care-

clad in

the

garments of the
placed on

men

as

circum-

stances

permitted,

horses,

with a

trooper riding on either side to support them.


reinforced the cavalcade, headed by Auger-eye,

Thus

moved
I

slowly back to the place where


train

we had

left

the pack

encamped with

all

the necessary supplies.

lingered behind to

examine the place wherein the

women had

concealed themselves.

The boughs of the

vine-maple, together with other slender shrubs constituting the underbrush,


ther, forming, at best, but

had been rudely woven togea very


inefficient shelter

from

the wind which swept in freezing currents through the


valley.

Had it rained

they must soon have been drenched,


*

or

if

snow had

fallen heavily, the

wickey house and


'

its

occupants soon would have been buried.


existed?
to answer.

How

had they

This was a question I was somewhat puzzled

On

looking round I observed a man's coat, pushed

away under some branches, and on the few smouldering


sticks,

by which the women had been

sitting

when

the
tin

child rushed in

and

told of our coming,


it,

was a small

pot with a cover on

the only utensil visible.

Whilst

occupied in making the discoveries I was sickened by a

41

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.


tlie

noisome stench, whicli proceeded from


of a

dead bod}'
c^rass,

man, carefully hidden by branches,


little

and

moss, a short distance from the


bouy-hs.

cage of twisted

Gazin*^ on the

dead

man

a suspicion too

revolting to mention suddenly f^-ished

upon me.

Turn-

ing away saddened and horror-stricken 1 leturned to


the cage and removed the cover from the contents of which confirmed
quitting
nevt'r
liie
off"

the saucei'an,
fears.

my worst

Hastily
I trust

fearful scene, the like of

which

to witness

again,

mounted

my

horse

and

galloped after the

party, by this time

some

distaiuM?

ahead.

Two men and


to bring

the guide were desired to find the spot


otlwM*,

where the scouting parties were to meet each

and

them with

all

speed to the mule camp.

It

was

nearly dark
lo()ke(l

when we reached our


and small

destination, the sky

black and lowering, the wind appeared to be in''orce,

creasing in

particles of halt'-froz'-n

rain drove smartly against our f{.ces, telling in pretty

plain language of the

coming

snow-fall.

Warm

tc:,',

good substantial meal, and suitable


l)een sent in case of

clotlies, whit-li

had

need by

tlie officers'
in

wives stationed

at the

'

Post.-'

W(rked wonders
;

the way of restoring


i

bodily weakness

l)ut

the shock to the mental system


1

time alone could alleviate.

cannot say

slept

much
in,

during the nigld.

Anxiety

lest

we might be snowed
IVoni

and a
liatl

fate alinnst as t<MTibh' as that

which wc

rescued the pd.ir

women

sliould be the lot of all,

L.

MISSING LlXIvS IX THE NAllllATlVE


sat I

45

upon me

like a nig-litinare.

More

tliaii this,

the secret

lui'l

discovered seemed to

i)ail

every sense and sicken


silent

me

to the very heart,

and throuj^hout the

hours

of the dismal darkness I i)assed in review the ghostly

pageant of the fight and

all its

horrors, the

escape,

and

iiight of the

unhappy

survivors,

the finding the


all

murdered boy and starving women, and worse than

the secret

had rather even now draw a

veil over,

and

leave to the imagination.

Morning came with anything but a cheery aspect


every preparation

was made

for

an instant departure?

so soon as the scouting parties should

come
bit

in.

As wc
bit the

await cheir arrival, the

women

fill

up

by

missing links
escaped from

in the narrative,
tlie

which are

tliat

they
;

Indians by creeping into the bush


b}-

and accon)[)anied

the husband of one of the two


a little boy

women, badly woun<led, together with


jiirl,

and

ilu'v

made
;

their

wav

to the water after the sava<^es

had departed
uf'ter

and from that time struggled on day

day, subsisting entirely on berries.


in bopcvs

The boy had


but never

wandered away,
returned

of linding

i'oud,

his

fate

growing rapidly

we already know. The wounded man worse obliged them to abandon all
ISIaking the
'

hope of proceeding farther.


wherein we
\nu\

wickey

'

cage

found them, the

gaihi-red berries
until the

and brought the

women and child dying man wafer,


The
i-i'st

hand

ol'

death was laid upon him.

we are already cognisant of

The

secret

was never

M
40

AT

HOME

IX

THE WILDEKXESS.
to,

touched on nor in any way alluded

neither were the

men

ever

made acquainted with

it.

To

this
it

hour the
is

poor women, for aught I can


solely to themselves.

tell,

believe

known

The trampling of the approaching horses was a welcome sound. Emerging from the forest, the men
trotted

briskly towards us,

and as they came near

could

make

out three mounted savages in the midst of

the troopers; their hands were tied tightly behind their


backs, and their feet fastened

by long cords passed

underneath the

bellies of their horses.

The Sergeant reported having pounced upon tho


Indians unexpectedly in the bush
efl'ort
;

that

the}'-

made every
to stab a

to

escape

that one

of

them

tried

trooper, but only succeeded in inflicting a flesh


in the

wound

arm; that having secured them, not a word did


war was at once

they utter, neither could they be induced to taste food.

A
force

council of

held.

I tried to en;

my

orders to take the prison<n'S to head-qujirters

against this the


visions

men were

all

opposed.

They

said pro-

I
fij
t<

were short, snow might come on at any moment,

and
tliat

in that case the i>risoners wctuld very likely escape

taking them with us would only add to the risk

of delay, and weary the


over

them day and night.

men who had to keep gujird Summary judgment was d(;i)ositive

r(|

manded, and iinding that


follow
it

disobedience w(>nld
I

h
fj

my

detiM'mination to abide by ord'rs,

deemed

more expedient

to yield to the wishes of the

men

A STRANGE PLACE OF EXECUTION,

47

than endeavour to enforce what I


not possibly carr^ out.

felt

sure

coukl

A branch
the end
;

suited to their purpose

was soon found, and

from it three tether-ropes dangled, each with a noose at


the horses,
carrying
their terror-stricken

masters, the three Snake Indians, were

now

led under-

neath the moss-covered branches, which drooping to the

ground formed a kind of curtain round the

tree.

It

was a strange place of execution.


branches

Above the sturdy


a dim half-

resembled

natural arches; underfoot grew

moss, and grass soft as a velvet carpet;


light found its
leafage,

way

in varied quantities

through the

giving the scene a solemnity and grandeur


its

almost unearthly in
a,

character.

Each savage had

noose adjusted to his neck; their legs were unbound


bellies
* ;

from beneath the horses'

remh/ j^eeled the deep


'

voice of the Sergeant, then a smart cut administered


to

each of the horses caused them to spring from

beneath their riders,

who were

left

swinging from the

branch. The heavy jerk must have produced immediate


death, for a slight convulsive shudder alone shook the

frame of each savage as the soul quitted


to

its

tenement,
traveller

wing

its

way

to that bourne from

whence no

returns.
I

need not weary you by recounting the return to


;

heiid-(piarters
fell

we had a cold and perilous


it

trip,

snow

heavily and rendered


'

a ditHcult matter to follow

the trails, but old

Auger-eye,' true to his instincts,

48

AT 1I0.ME IX Tin: WlLDEliXESS.

guided US safely on our way, until we trotted into the


square of the cosy
*

Post,'

welcomed by the hearty conover and over ayain

f-ratulations of all, there to relate

this strang-e story.

So ended this romantic narrative, which I


nearly as

relate, as

memory

will permit

it,

in the

words of

my

kind-hearted host.
I

heard some

tinic

afterwards of the rescued

women
little girl

one of them had married a soldier who was present at the


discovery in the
'

wickey
settler

'

house, and that the


wife,

was adopted by a
other wonuin was
told

of her as though she


still

who were as fond had been their own child. The a servant to Captain D who
and his
,

me

the tale.

But

to return.
'

Let us suppose ourselves to have pro-

cured our
thing
it is
is

bell mare,' riding

and pack mules.

The next

branding, and obtaining the equipment, or, as

termed, in packer phraseology, 'the rigging.'


is

Branding

a small matter of detail a novice would

hardly think of very

much

importance, nevertheless

its

neglect may, and frequently does, prove the cause of


very
s(,'rious

annoyance, and not uncommonly results

in the

loss of the

mules or horses with which he

is

travelUng.
lose

To

explain clearly what I mean, let us supfor

you have paid

your [>ack-train, and to laive


the mules
are
til

taken a receipt only for the money;

branded M.C., which means,


a well-known packer, ih>m

for

example,

]\Iike (^istle,

whom you

have purchased


WIIAli'::^

YOUR BRAND?

49

the
V

them.

Yon

start,

and on reaching some outpost town,


district consbable,

con-

up walks the U.S.


like the

who, as a

rule,

ayaiii

Cornish Mayor of Tintagel, combines within


the varied
offices

his sacred person


ite,

of judge, mayor,

as

magistrate,

constable,

registrar-general of marriages
in general.

of

my

and

births,

and chin-shaver
as there are

I should have

written
lien

city,

no towns in the wilds of

America

log-shanty, hog-stye, and hen-house are

at the
;le L'irl

enough

in themselves to

warrant the

civic title.
*

The
war

functionary of

many

offices says to you,


'

Stranger,

IS

loud

did you git them mules ?


for them,' will
allov^r

Wliy, I bought and paid

The
,

you indignantly
you

reply,

and

if

your temper

who

so far to condescend, out

comes the

receipt,

which you imagine

will prove a stojiper to the


bit of it
;

ve prolie

impudent questioner.
reads
it

Not a

he deliberately

iiexl

through, and with a leer in his eye, says, as he


*

or, as

squirts out a small cataract of tobacco-juice,

Wliar's
iiarry
a jisi

your brand;
woiikl

tliar

ain't

none on the mule, nor


liar

counter-brand on this
stole

receipt; you

might

less its
aiise
ol'

'em from Mike's baud, or may-be the mules

hav(^

strayed, and y(>u

might a found 'em


you
get

I shall

emi)ound

results
li

'em,

stranger,

until

Mike's

counter-braud

he

is

receipt.'

So your mules are stopp^a until you can lind

us supto

means

to

communicate

Avith the seller,

and

in that

way

have
are

prove your right of ownership.

les

Now, what you ought

to have

done

is

this: vv^hen

Castle,

the purchase was complet(>d you should liave Inmghi

rchased

a brand, or have had one

made by the blacksmith.

50
Initials

AT
are as

IIOMI-:

IX

THE WILDERNESS.
;

good as anything'

our Commission

brand was B.C. and the broad an^ow.

The

letters

should have been burnt into the skin under the brand

mark

of

the

sillier,
:

and on his receipt

it

should
seller

have been written

branded M.C., brand of

counter-branded, B.S. (Bill Stubbs), brand of buyer.

The thigh on the near


more
'

side

of

the

animal
it

is

the

best place for the brand mark, because


readily seen
;

will be the

well nigh every operation, such as

girthing,

roping, mounting, or
side.

what

not, is

usually

done on the near

The branding-iron should be


lightly,

made

red-hot,

and

then applied
is

and

kept

against the skin after the hair

burnt off sufficiently


hair,

long to scald

it

and destroy the roots of the


is

but

not long enough to cause a sore, which


slough,

sure to
to

and in that case might be troublesome


Branding on the hoofs
is

manage.

of no use; the

mark

rapidly grows out,

and then your own and the counter;

brand are

lost
is

together

on the

bfick, so as to

be under

the saddle,

likewise a bad place, although


;

there to avoid disfigurement

the skin

many brand where the mark

has been made

is

of a spurious churacter, and readily rubs

into a sore in hot vireather, despite every care


I always refuse to purchase

henc(%
E

pack animals which have

been branded on

tlu;

back.

Numbers

of the mules

purchased

in California,

had been so tattooed with

dilfcr-

ent brand marks, that their thighs resembled trees I


liave been, in the

bark of which loungers invariably cut

I
,

VALUE OP COUNTER-BRANDING.
iission

51

their own,

and I suppose their sweethearts'

initials,

letters

until the letters

become so jumbled together as to defy

brand
should
seller

even the

skill

of the carvers to identify their

own

letters

from those of their neighbours.


This system of branding

and counter-branding

is

buyer.
is

extremely useful, and I

may

say actually necessary, in

tlio

countries wherein stealing mules and horses amounts to

be the

a profession.
safe

Animals in outpost places are not even


stable, if

uch as
usucally

from theft when shut up in a livery


;

un-

branded
thieves

but

if

the animals are plainly marked, the

)uld be
1

know

very well that they

may

be, as

you were,

kept

in the supposed strait, caught


aries

by the watchful function-

iciently
air,

who

are

ever on the look-out for chances to


;

but

pocket dollars in the shape of fees


preventive officers
are

one or two of these


stationed

sure to
3nie
le

generally

wherever
the

to

mining

is

going on, or where there are

facilities for

mark
under

disposal of riding

and

i)ack

animals.

There
is

is

no

ouutere

crime deserving a heavier punishment than


horse or n>ule stealing in a wild country.
or a hunter's
life is in

that of

traveller's

y brand
le

a great degree de2)endent on his

mark
rubs

means of transport.
his having

Deprive him of his horse, without


loss,

lily

any chance to replace the


kill bit,

and
at

in

most

hence,
L'h

cases
leave

it

would be more merciful to


to perish slowly, bit

him

once than

liave
[

him

by

and day by day,

mules
h

dilfertr(^es

from hungci', weariness, solitude, or the arrow of the savage, which in nine cases oat of ten must be his fate
it'

left

entirely to his

own

resources, far
is

away from
often

lielp

ably cut

or civilisation.

Hence, a horse thief


M 8

swung up

f
52

AT HOME IX THE

AVILDKllXE,<S.

to the branch of a tree

by the enraged packers withont

even allowing him the benefit of trial by jury, or the


prospect of escaping by any legal quibbling
;

they pro-

claim the all-powerful law of Judge Lynch, and as they


express
it,

'just

run him

i\\)

with a "lassoo,"' to stop


all

his further thieving,

and as a warning to
off' stock.

other

darned cnsses who 'rush

i
and swear by, the

In the choice of pack-saddles, oj^inions vary most


materially.

Some

persons, for example the Hudson's


stick
to,

Bay Company's

traders,

cross-tree pack-saddle,

from which they hang their

bales of fur-i)eltries by loops.

m
CROS.S-TUl-,K I'ACK-SADIH.l';

FL'U-TUADER'S
itliout

'

IIOMK IX THM WILDERXESS.'

53

or tho
}y
LS
,0

pro-

they
stop

other

4
y

CHAPTER
Fur-Traders' System of

III.
Colville to Fort

most

Packing Journey from Fort


of

Hope
idson's
jy,
^

Disadvantages

the

Cross-tree

I'ack-f^addle Crinioau
'

Pack Saddles radically


to

bad Desirability
Its
'

of tho

Aparejo

'

How
In

the

their

Weight Evidences search of Pack Saddles The Kigging.'


make an Aparejo
It
niiiy

of SullVring

prove

interesting; cu paftmnt^ to j^ive

a brief

outline of the plan adopted

by

all

the far inland fur-

irading posts, for the conveyance of the year's furs to


the place, at which either a steamer or a
'

batteau

'

un-

loads the annual supply of goods sent from


for

England

the use of the traders,

and in return takes the

peltries traded,

back to the central depot.

As a de-

scription of one will apply with equal force to all of

them,
is

I shall select for description

Fort Colville, which

situate

on the banks of the Upper Columbia, about


This quaint old place,

1,000 miles from the seaboard.

one of the Company's earliest trading stations west of


the Rocky Mountains,
as affording a
is

worthy of a passing

doscrii)ti()n
'

good example of the fur-trader's

Home
one

in the Wilderness.'
in shape,

The

trader's house

is

quadrangular

and

built of heavy trees squared


front, faces the

and

pile<l

upon another. The

Cohiudna River, whilst

^
54

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


is

reanvard

a <^ravelly plain which I shall presently have


visitor,

more to say about. The

on entering- the somewhat

ponderous portals of this primitive mansion, finds himself


in a large

room dimly lighted by two small windows, the


more
for use

furniture of which, designed


consists of a few

than ornament,
table, the

rough chairs and a large deal

latter occujjying the centre

of the room. Looking beneath

this table

one cannot

fail

to notice an

immense padlock,
if

which evidently fastens a trap-door, and

you happen

to be a guest of the chief trader, (and here I


I

must add

as the result of long* experience that the

Hudson's Bay

(Company's traders are the most hospitable kind-heai'ted


i'ellows I

ever

met with), the

probabilities are greatly in

favour of your discovering the secret of the trap-door,

very soon after you enter the room.

The

table

pushed

back, the trap-door is unfastened, and the trader descends


into a dark mysterious-looking cave, soon

however to

emerge with a jug of rum, or something equally toothill

some. Now,

if

you are of an inquisitive turn of mind, you

may

find out that in this

underground strong-room,

all

valuables are deposited

and secured.

This room, be-

neath which the cavern has been excavated, has some


person to occupy
sleeps in
it;

it

night and day, and the chief trader

hence

it is

next to impossible that the savages

could steal anything unless they forcibly sacked and pil-

laged the establishment.

An immense hearth-fire, both


Behind the dwelling
is

warms and

lights this dreary sitting-room, for at least

eight months of the year.

SYSTEM OF FUR-TRADIXO.
Y

have

large court enclosed by tall pickets, composed of trees

ewliat

sunk

in the

ground

side

by

side, (the

house

itself

was

imself
t^s,

believe once picketed in, but the Indians

proved so

tlie

friendly that

any protection of that description was


this court, all the furs traded at

iment,
e,

deemed unnecessary). In
the
fort,

the

are baled for conveyance

by the Brigade
store of goods

to

neath
dlock,

Fort Hope.

The trading shop, and

em-

ployed in bartering with the savages, adjoins the trader's


house, although not actually a part of
it
;

lappen
ist
I's

and the

fur-

add

trader stands therein behind a high counter, to bargains.


barterings,
separately,

make

his

Bay

The Indians have a curious custom


which
is,

in their

learted
latly in

to

demand payment
fifty

for

each skin
to

and

if

a savage had
sell

marten skins

p-door,

dispose

of,

he would only

or barter one at a time,

pushed
escends

and

insist

on being paid for them one by one.

Hence

it

often occupies the trader

many days

to purchase a large

ever to
^

bale of peltries from an Indian trapper.

toothis

The system of trading

at all the posts of the

nd, you
)oin, all

one entirely of barter.

In early days,

Company when I first

wandered over the fnr countries east of the Rocky


Momitains, money was unknown
;

)m, beis

but this medium of

some

exchange has since then gradually become familiar to

trader

most of the Indians.

savages

The standard of value throughout the


tho

territories of

md
re,

pil-

Company

is

the skin of the beaver, by which the


is

both

price of all other fur

regulated.
is

Any service rendered,


paid for in skins
;

at least
iig IS

or labour executed by Indians,

the

beaver skin being the unit of computation.

To explain

1
56

AT

U0\\7.

IS

THE AVILDERXESS.

this system, let us iissume that four bccavers, are equi-

valent in value to a silver-fox skin,

two martens

to

heaver, twenty nnisk rats to a marten,

and

so on.

For
to

example sake,

let

us

suppose an Indian wishes

purchase a blanket or a gun from the Hudson's Bay

Comj^any

he would have to give, say, three silver-foxes,

or twenty beaver skins, or

two hundred musk

rats, or

otlur furs, in accordance with their proper relative positions of

worth in the

tariff.

The Company

generally

issues to the Indians, such

goods as they need up to a


supplies arrive at the

certain amount,

when the summer

Posts

these advances
line,

to be paid for at the conclusion

of the hunting season.

In hiring Indians east of the

Cascade Mountains, whilst occupied in marking the

Boundary

our agreement was always to pay them

in beaver skins, say,

two or three

23er

day, in accordance

with the duty required; but this agreement did not

mean

actual

payment

in real skins

a matter that to us

would have been impossible

but that we were to give

the Indian, an order on the nearest trading post of the

Hudson's Bay Company, to supply him with any goods


he might
cilied

select,

up

to the value of the beaver skins spe-

on the order.

In
I

many

of the Posts the trade

room

is

cleverly con-

trived, so as to prevent a

sudden rush of Indians, the

approach from outside the pickets being through a long

narrow passage, only of

sufficient

width to admit one

Indian at a time, the passage being bent at an acute

\^

FORT COLVILLE.
eqiiis

57

ancrle

near the window, where the trader stands.


is

This

to

IL

precaution

rendered necessary, inasmuch as were the

For
;

l^assage straight, the savages

might

easily shoot

him.

to

Where

the savages are hostile, at the four angles of the

court bastions are placed, octagonal in shape, and pierced

with embrasures, to lead the Indians to believe in the


existence of cannon, intended to strike terror into all

red-skinned rebels daring to dispute the supremacy of the

Company.

Over the fur shop are large

lofts for

storing
this

and drying the

furs in as they are collected.

Beyond

a smith's shop, a few small log shanties, and an immense


'

corral,' for

keeping the horses


all

in,

whilst fitting out the

'

brigade,'

make up

that

is

noteworthy as far as the

buildings are concerned at Fort Colville.


staif stationed at this Post, consists

The regular

of the chief- trader,

a clerk, and about four half breeds, the remainder of the

hands needed are selected from the Indians. The houses


are by no

means uncomfortable, and


big

I can truthfully say,

many

of the happiest evenings of


*

my

life,

have been

l^assed in the

room

'

at Fort Colville.

Transport yourself, reader, to the banks of the Columbia,

a thousand miles from the seacoast


arrive, only try to

never mind by

what means you

suppose

we

are to-

gether, our head-quarters for the time being the Hudson's

Bay Company's trading


described.
If

post, Fort Colville, I have just


trail,

we ramble along the windi.^g

leading

over

tlie

sandy waste, on which this so-called

fort stands,

on our right hand (we must pass close to them) are several

4
i

6S

AT

lIO:.iK

rX

TIIK

WILDERNESS.

TiMliaii lodcros.

Tlioso conical uftains are


hid*',
th<'

made

of rush-

mats, and scnins of


sticks,

siqiported on a

framework of

with a hole at
little

top to let the

smoke

ont."*^

Din^y
side,
i

urchins by the dozen

may

be seen outju'ick-

rolling

and

fiolickin;^-

amidst a inxck of
stranj^^er's
iuatt(r,
le<;'s,

eared curs, ever ready to bite a


playmates, or each other for that
provociiti(>n.

their

on the

slijj^htest

l*Mabby stpiaws crouch at the entrancehole

'^

door

is

a misnomer

whilst a peep throu<i;h


On
still

the rapin^

seams reveals several half-naked savages, round a


f''w suioulderiuy;

idlinjjf

drowsily

endjcrs, i)laced in the centre

of this most S(jualid habitati<.>n.

our

left,

and be-

hind

us, the treeless plain

once clearly the bottom of a


is

lar<4V lake, for


e(lo-('s

the water-line

visil>le
}j^rav'lly

round the
surface
is

of the encirclin^j hills,

and the

bestrewn
stretchcf"
slo]>es of

with

boulders
for a <j^ood

and

water-worn

pebbh's

away
a

two miles, io meet the v/oodcd

rid<(e

of hills thai ascend in terraces coiu<^ravels, until i^Towiu^'

posed of ancieut
mist and ha/e
siniimits
c>f

obscure

in

the

distance they seem io mini^lc their

with the clouds.

A-hcad

a,

narrow slreaui

iwists like a silver cord from iliebase of the hills, to join


llu^ ('(ilumbia.
'JMiis

stream we cross on
contrivill;,^
it

a fallen tree,

brid^^ of Nature's

own

worn bare by the


th(

feet

of the

Red Skins

that traverse

by

hundred during

the salmon harvest.


rise

Now we

scrand>le up a steep shinn;|y

and stand on a

level plateau,

where
10l,

^^ij^niutic

pitch-

iVfA' illiiMlmtion,

pnp'

Tin-:

'

KKTTI.K FALLS.'
feet high,

69

])iiie

tivos,

many

of

them 250

and straight as

(lagstait's,
iifiil

grow

thickly.

I scarcely

know a more beau-

pine than this, the rinuH ponderomt, which to a

great extent rei)laces the Douglas ])ine [AhUs DoiajhtxHii),

everywlKTO east of the Cascadt' Alonntains.

The bark,

arranged in massive scales, not nnlike that peculiar to


Ihe cork tree, has between each of the shields ov
s<niles

deep

clefts

and

fissures, like

miniature valleys between


att'onliiig

$
V

njountains of bark, liollows

most admirable
all

lurking places and sheltered retreats for


sects.

sorts of in-

Far below us we ga/e


in
its

down on

a landscape,
;

matchlrHs

massive and sublime beauty


jiiid

a.

scene

wherein
in

forests, rocks,
tiiirly

surging cataract, 100 feet

width,
*

stagger one by their very innnensity.


'

'J'he

K(ttl<'

Falls

are not so remarkable for altitud( as


wiiter ihat

for the

enormous volume of

sweeps over the

jagged masses of basaltic rocks, through which the river


at this spot breaks its way.

Here too the

lake water

which once
dently ma<le

lill.'d

the hollow

we have

just crossed evi-

its

escape, whether A'i out by subsidence of

ihe rocky bai-rier or uihejival of the land below and


arouiul
it,

is

not very easy to determine.

About

a nile

a'" /e tlie Kettle


its

Falls the Na-hoi-la-pit-ka Jiiver joins

waters with those of the (Vluinl)ia, and when thus

reinforct'd the river rushes

on with increased velocitv to

reach the Falls.


is

Its

width at this distance from the sea


in

HlO

yanhi,

and
it

sunnner,
.|,()

when
U^(^{

flooded
its

by the

melting snows,

rises quite

above

autumn

^
(;o

AT

IIO.Mi:

IN

TFFH

wn-DKRXi:?;^.
its linal

and winter

level.
it

Before the river takes


is

plnnf^e

over the rocks


.oekj

split, so

to speak,
if

by an island,

and devoid of

vej^'etation,

we except a few
stru|4"^'le

l^niarled

and twisled pine trees thai

for an

existence amidst the clefts in the rocks.

This island

adds very materially to the charm of the scene. Standing*


in

mid

cliannel,

it

j^ives

one the idea that

it

is floatin{:^,

jnst as thon^h a small


river,

mountain had

fallen into the

and was hcimr rapidly carried over the Kails; and


il,

the more steadfastly one i^a/es at

the tlrnjer <^tows


starin^^ at the
it,
I

Ihe hclief in

its

i)ossessin^ motion.

Thus

island and the <'ddyin^- rapids that whirl past

have

often ^n'ovvn di//y, and fur a


ii
ijii

moment
Falls.

innij^aned thai ihe

rocks

sat on,

and

ilic

entire

river

bank wiih ihem,


this insular

were

fast moviniif

towards the

Helow

clump of rocks ihe waters


{'alls
;

a^'ain join

and dash over ihe

so

ijfreat is

the tone of the stn^ani ihat ihe water

looks like movin;^- snow,

and from

its S(.'ethini', l)ubltlin;j;,

and
the
injjf,
'

l)oilin;jf

a])]earance, the fur-traders


l''all.s.'

have mimed

it

Kettle

This spot
'

is

the 4rand de[>oi for lish-

duriii'^Mhe salmon

run,' whicli takes place in

June

and July.

More than

live

hundred Indians
lisli.

ilirn iissend)le

here, in order to trap this lonlly


lute necessity.
(

to

them an abso-

'ut

ihem

oil*

fr(tm

the salmon-harvest
duriii'i;'

and ihey
wiuter,

must

inevitably
uliKe
ot)>

perish
,tui\

the
I

bitter

starved

by cold

lMm;;'er,

have

myself seen above


till'

salmon
the

iaiwled in
tish
lea[>.

one day from

ha.skets

into

whieli

Once

ev<'ry

rilKI'AULVfJ

Foil TIIK
*

'

BRlGADi:.'
is

Gl

suiiiinor
flaiul,

the
startH

'

Brii^nile

(for

such

the paolv-traiii

siyh'(l)

from Fort Colville to reach Fort liope,

low
[)r
iiii

wliich
l)(ast

is

a Kiuall place even now, Imt at one time could

only a solitary house, used for the reception of


all

iHlaiicl
ii<lin<-

the furs broujj^ht by

the inland brigades for shipat Victoria,

ment

to the

main depot

Vancouver Island.
navi<;'ation

lltilinr,

Fort lIop(
the Fraser,

bein|jf
is

practically the

head of

on

lo

the

visited

now, as

in the olden days,

but once

a.

year by the C(unj)any\s steamer, freighted with g0(Kls


kinds, for bartering, t(>geiher
detail, all of

of various

with other

matters

o*'

which are carried back by the

brigades on their r<'turn to their diiferent trading posts.

This jonrney from Colvilh; to lIo2)e occupies nearly


tliiee ii!onths lor its

accomplishnuMit.

About the beginF*\)rt

ning of June preparations connnenceat


tlu^

(\)lvillefoi

Ih'igade.

The horses

(the

Hudson's Bay Compjiny


12( to ITjO,

never use mules),

in nind)er

about

are

Imamht

by the

'

Indian herders,'
a,

who have had charge of them


the
fort,

dnring the winter, to

spot called the 'Horse (Juard,'

about three miles from

where there

is

an
of

abundance! of succulent grass and a good stream


watei'.
Wi'vi'

the animals are taken rare of by the trustis

woi'tliy

Indians until their ecjuipment or 'rigginr'


is

ready, which jtrocess

at

tlu^

same time going on at

the
fu'en

fort.

Here some thirty or forty savages mav be


;

S(|uatting round the door of the fn r-room

some

of

tiiem

are

siitehing

[>a,ds

and cnshions into the

wooden

IVaines of the pack-saddles; (dhers are

mend-

62
iiig

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


the broken frames
;

a third ^oiip

is

cutting long

thongs of raw hide to serve as girths, or to act in lieu


of ropes for lashing and tying
:

and a fourth

is

making

the peltries up into bales, by the aid of a powerful


lever jn-css.

Each bale

is

to

weigh about sixty pounds,


from wet by a wrapper of
This package
is

and the contents

to be secured

buftalo-hide, the skin side outermost.

then provided with two very strong loops,

made from
from what

raw

hides, for the purpose of suspending


'

it

are called the


tliese bales
I

horns

'

of the pack-saddle.
side of a horse
is

Two

of

hung np each
is

a load, and

a horse so provided

said to be packed.

When

all

the preparations are completed the horses are driven


in

from the

'

guard

'

to the fort,

and the packing comlassoo

mences.

They use no halters, but simply throw a


iinimnl's neck,
;

round

tlie

with which

it is

held Avhilst

being packed
the horse
is

this finished, the lassoo is

removed, and

nguin turned loose into the 'corral,' or on


it

to the open plain, as

may

be.

Let us imagine a

horse lassooed up
I'Mrst
*rol)(>,'
a,

a wailing

the operation of packing.


pi<M*e
'

sheep or goat's skin, or a

of

l)nt!'al(>

failing either of the former, called an


its

api('liini(>,'

is

placed on

baek,

with the fur or hair next


is

1o

that of the hors(,

and

intended to prevent gallis

ing; next the pack-saddle


alVair v.ith its

put on.

This miserabh^

two

little

pillows or ])ads, tied into the


is

croHH-trees of

woodwork,

girthed with

a.

narrow strap

of

hid(,

whieli often,

from the swaying of the load.

THE START FROM FORT COLVILLE.


long
lieu

63

cuts a regular gash into the poor animal's belly.

Next
loosely

a bale

is

hung on

either side,

and the two are

king
erful inds,
)01'

fastened together underneath the horse by a strap of

raw

hide.

This completes the opcnititni of packing, and


is

the horse
all

set

fre(,

to await the general start.

When
who
are

of

the animals are packed, each of the hands

l<^0 IS

to

accompany

this cavalcade

mounts

lis steed; then

waving their lassoos round their heads, and vociferating


like

demons, they
lot

collect

tli<!

band of packed

aninnils,

and drive the


of sheep.
takes

before

them as shepherds do a WoAi


trader,

The

principal

as

a genera)

rule,

command
l)y

of the brigade, the journry being antitlic

cipated

lK>th

master and his


T<

men

as

a kin<l of
it

yearly recurring jubilee.


'

the ^^'d Skins

is

an

especial treat, fur duiing tlieir <tay at Fort

Hope

th'v

meet with three or Inur more brigades, ami


on
liberty <lays, get
at*

like sailois

drnnk as

tlu^y please,
of.

a privilege}

the Indians never


I

fail

to

make

the most

hiive

been

r.illier

tetUcais,

perhaps,

in thus

mi-

nutely descril)ing the system of packing in use by the

Hud.H>n's
will lielp

Bay

(*ornpa>ny,

but

ileal

as an I'xcuse that

it

my

read'-i- to
i

the clearer eompreluMision of


jrolessionaI

tjie

systems adopt.
fnr

by
a

packers,'

who

jiaek

money and
i)nictieal

living.

My own
is

ojiiniou,

deduced

from

ex]>eri<Mie<'.
<!'

that
is

(lie

ihulson's J3av
the very worst

t.-ju|iany'H

system

packing

about

ni'^

of conveying friught

in

the baeKs of smimals

whie.'.

by any possibility could be adopt (m1.

The

horscH,

64

AT llOMi: IX THE

AVILDi:ilNliSS.

as I saw tlieni at Fort Hope,

and as

have repeatedly

observed tliem at Colville on the return of the Bri^ade,

were nearly every one of them


baelvs, cut
sawin**-

gjalled

badly on their

under the

bellies

in

consequence of the

motion of the girth, as well as bein*^ terribly


I tried this form of packat

chafed with the cruppers.


saddle ^ on our the
first arrival

Vancouver Island, and as


for the

saddles were specially

made

Commission

work, the very best materials obtainable were used in


their construction,

the cross-trees were riveted,

the

pads stuffed with hair, and under each saddle, besides


ll

the cushion, T had three or four pieces of blanket placed,


so as to avoid every chance of
y-alliiij^^

the backs of the

mules.

But

all

to

no i)urpose

the loads will rock and

work
and
they

loose in sjutc of all the skill

you can

brin<'

to bear,

if

the pilh-ws or }>ads once arc saturated with wet


as hard as
stones,

j^et

and

in

that state gall to a

certainty.

More than

this,

with boxes, bales,

tents,

cooking-

gear, instnunents, axes, cross-cut and pii-saws, to carry


lip
liill

and down dale, as we had to do eveiy day


line*,

during the cutting of the Boundary

one might as

reasonably have hoped to bind up loose potatoes into

a transportable biuhlle

Avith a straw

band as

to ti'ans-

port onr heterogeneous freight


cross-tree

on mules' backs, with

pack-saddles.

had a good deal of expediffe-

riences in llie C^riniea,

J'iih'

during the war, in regard to


'Cmsa-troe
piick-.sadillc,'

ilhiHlnitiou,

pngo

/j2.

1
TRIM KA\ PACK-SADOLi:.
atedly
if^adi',
L

OS

rent patterns of pack-saddles.

One

in particular,

which

was sent out from Enj^land by Government, and was


said to be par
tijccv

their

Hence the very best thinj^ of

its
it,

kind
or to

of the
rribly

ever invent^'d.

It is

impossible to describe
its

convey very clearly a correct idea of

eonstructi<ui.

packniid as
iiissioii

The frame was

of w(Kd arched at the

cantle, l)()und with iron,

and

havin*^^

pummel and affixed to it numfound any one


after
a

bers of

rin^s,

and complicated hooks-and-eyes of the


(the uses of
it

"used in
h1,

same material

whieh

I never

the

able to explain), and


tlie

was padded, s<nuewhat

besides
placed,
i

fashion of an ordinary ridinjjf-saddle, only on

r(ai<,dier scale.

What

can say of
in

it is,

that

if it

were
])ack-

of the

<lesirable to

make anything

the form

of a

[)ck

and
wet
to a

saddle which, in every detail


b(;

oi' its

construction, should

to bear,
k^ith
Ljiill

worse than the cross-tree saddle, this invention, sent


to,
if
it

us whilst at the Crimea, came very near

did

not quite accomplish, the desired end.


I

assert,

and without

fear of <'ontradiction (from

anv

cookin*;'

who

are practically able to offer an opinion), that no


havinjjf in
its

to curry

pack-saddle

ccnstruction

any element of

ery

day

woodwork
saddle

is

worth

a,

straw.

ni<4hi as
ioes
(>

However

strong' the woodc n

framework of a packand clumsiness


^'et

into

may

be, so that \uidu<' wei^^ht


I

iransvvitli

are avinded,

say

it

will

sooner or later
freijjfht,

broken,

if

IvS,

used for conveyance of heavy


a|j;es

made up
;

(f pack-

of expetodiir.'-

which are of
as

all

shapes and sizes


meanin<,'

such, for in-

stance,

'dry

'^hmmIs,'

traus-atla-ntically,

drapery, hosiery, and

clothiii}^^

in <,'eneral, or,

what

lu

(id

AT IIOMK
II(m1
1i

I.V

THF-:

WFLDKRXKSS.

<'!l

k y V)iUMv(*rs,

Jcws

(V<>ii'lit.'

To a

cortjiiii

extent

tlic

cross-tivc Siiddlr serves

tliu

purposes of the lludtliiin

Hon's

Bay (Nnupiniy
I

helter perhaps

-wouM

tlie
;

form

of [afk-sa(MIe
liere
I

am
le

presently froinn^ to alvoeato

ami

wisli

it

to

clearly iin<lerstool that in statiim-

that the irudsou's jfay


not a
;4o<)(l

Company's system of

'

ia<'kiii^' is

one

for tlu;

transportation of heteroi^'enecnis
in the sli^ditest <le;4ree to reth'ct
I

freight,

do not mean

on

tlic

nianaL^'ement of that hononral)le (\)mi>any, but

said so oidy as
witli

comparinijf

tlie

eross-tree pacdc-saddle
paekinj^-,

the aparejo.
in

The (Nnnpany's system of


reference to the work to
1m'

when considered

dom>,

is

doubtless the very best that could be ado[>ted juuler the

[ecubar cir<'umstauces
fn'ii^ht bein<4'

in

which they are placed.


pacdcai^-es

Theii-

always made up into


it

of a(h'iinite

sh;ipe

and

wei;^ht,

needs no

skill,

or even [>ractice, to
it

hanu'

them on the saddles, anv more than


coat ui>on a
i>en'.

would

to

lian<4' a

Mence, the

'om|aiiy

have no
pack-

ni'ed of professional
s;i(ldles
IS |M
iii'e

packers; more than this,


all

tln

only used once a year, and

their transport

rinrint'd oii hoi-ses instead


if

of mules.
th' cross-tre<?

Hut

once the saildle-tree breaks,

packfall

Hiiddlc is actually useless,

and should an animal

or
a

rnW with

its

load, a

mishap of daily occurrence, then


is

broken saddle-tree
Mini
aj^H',

the usual result.


n*

fiash

it

with

and
in

splints, nail,

otherwise tiid<er up the breakini^-enuity


;

any manner your

may

sn^';L,^<'Ht,

it will

prove of no i>ractical

usi'

the fractiuv

is

certain to

rnuMSLKv
xtciit

rA('K.s.\i>r)i,f:.

work
so

loosi', tli(^ 1<ijm1

1<> sliif't,

jnid

il'

yon

rscjijn' witliniil
it

rui-

<4alliii;^'

the piick

iiiiinijil

as to rciHlcr

useless lor a

ionii
iiiitl

iiioutli, (r inor<',

you

may

eou^'ralulatc yourscH" on ios-

st'ssiun'

extronic pfood I'ortune.


transport,

In
Ijr

the

sorvico
is

of

tlic

riiitcd

Slates.

IS

(Jriujsley's

pack-saddle

very

IVetnienlly
exjd'ivat iou
a

euiployed,
pur{)oses.
of"

more

especially tor (mt]>ost


is

ami

This ])ack-sa<ldlc
old laslnom'il
sad<ll','
'

simply

iiindili<-a1 i^u

tlm

rid;^-c-tree [)ackis

which
iiiillei's

ev<'ii

H(sv
.!'

us<'d

hy

in

the west

Mun'land for
flour

tlie

eonvevaiice

ol

and

^'raiii

on horse or
I'rom their

donkey hack,
nulls.
(

to

and

aplani Marcey sjteaks

very

hij^'hly <t'the

oodd

([ualities

possessed hy this jiackti-a\'l.


I

saddle, in his admii'al)!e little hook on


a

never saw

pack-train
I

e(|ni|])ed

with the (irimsley's jiack-saddle,


in
it>

hence

am

unahle to say anythin;^'


ha\in<4'
lirst

praise; and
its

to dispara;4'c without

tested

(|U;ilities.

eood or had. Would he most unfair: nevei-lheless. the

same ohjection
pack-saddle
vi/.
I

(theoretically)

exists

in

the (irinisle\'

so coni[dain of in the cross-tree saddle.


a

the usine-

saddle-tree or frame

made from
I

W(M.d,

therehy incrcasiu;^' the risk of hreakai^'c.


poiuti'd

havealr'adv

out the dilliculties


pack-Haddlc-trcc
is

(ne

has to contend with


I

when

.smashed.

have

<4i\en

an
I

illustration of this United States i>ack-saddle. heeanse

m
am

AT llOMi: IX
(lis[M)se(l

TIN-:

WILDERNESS.
be found serviceable,
if

to think

it

iiuiy

used for mule trains iieconipanyin<if trooi)S on the niareh,

with

whom
one
is

there are nieehanies, and nuiterials for the

repair of dama;^'e, ready at the shortest notice.


If

travellinj^ alone, Avith

only a

sin^-le

horse

besides
lijjfht

the

horse

ridden,

and

(ni

which oidy a few

articles are to be

packed, then perha4>s a cross^"^Jiy


'

tree

or

Cirimsley's
;

saddh*
'

be found to answer
'

[)retty well
in

but

if

the

wanderer has learned to j>ack


'

the iro['r s<'nse of the word,

even then

slnmld

advise
self

him

to

do what

most assuredly should my-

use the oiKwrjo.


c(Miviction,

My own

deduced from

lon^

and extensive
is,

experience,

that the

aparejo c(unes nearer to

what
1'

conceive to be
in
I

'rfect ion

Mi k-

saddle, than

any other

form
Kill
'

(d*

]>ack-saddle yet
<r

invented,
M>liil'l'l- II

iierhaps

ArAHi;.lii

should have
T have yet

said, that

seen.

As neither

wood nor

irtm enters

into its com[>osition,

wherever there are animals from


obtained,
there
a.

which hides can


(ind
all

be

person

can

ihe materials he needs for makin;^' an aparejo,


for
sewin|jf

tools
befn'e

recjuired

of course excepted.
of
its

Hut

saying more in

j)raise

(jualities, it

may be

as well to

many admirable explain how this model

DKFINITIOX OF AN
|)le,

Al'ARK.IO.

CD

if

pack-saddle

is

constructed.

Any one
have
seen

Avho has ever


will

iiirt'li,

been in Mexico, Spain, or North-west America,


have been pretty sure
to

|>r

tlu'

niule-trniii,

loaded with ^^oods, packed on aparejos; but nidess the

horse
la

traveller has tried his

hand

at the

work of

'iackin^','

few

and taken

his place, first


off",

on the near side of the animal,


he couhl no more

eross^riswer

and next on the


throw
able
a,
'

Fll venture to say

riata

'

and rope on a
tij^'ht-rope
is

load,

than he would be
simi)ly
a

}>ack
sliould

to

walk on a

by

lookinif

iit

lilondin.

This pack-sad<lle
its

clearly

Spanish

in-

iiij-

vention, and thus found


(California,

way through Mexico


i)arts

into

and the north-western

of America.

ti'iiHivo lat

An
eith(r
inrass,

a])arejo

may

be

defined to be

two

ba<,^s

made

tlie

of dressed, or undressed hides, stuffed with dry

jiivr to

and

fastene(l too-ether at the top


to

take two bed-

to be
jiack'

pillows,

sew them

eaeh other

at the

one end,

han<;"

them across a

doj,''s-back,
a.

or a chair will servo every


rou^li r(presentatlon

other
yet
I

purpose, and you have

of an

(Ih:

aparejo without any


or
ba|:

'ri^-L'ino;.'

The

si/e of <'ach

cushion
tast(
is

lia])s
1,

varies

somewhat
iJie

in

accordance with the

that

or capric" of

packer by

whom

the aparejo

cut.

enters
H

In like nuiuiiej
l^ard to shape;
'\

ther<

are also ditferent fashions in re\

from
ean

Tor myself,

sluadd have each cushion


(I

feet

i\

inches in length, and 2 feet

inches in width

[)arejo,

tlu

two ends to be joined too(ther with a sharp ed^(\


leather.

But
I i

and not by means of an intermediatii piece of

ruble

When

j<nned according' to
th(.

my

jjlan,

the

pa \ -jo, if

iikkIcI

viewed endvva}s, has

exact shai)e of the gable end

<^,

"^f^X^
'-'

^%

IMAGE EVALUATION TEST TARGET (MT-3)

1.0
*ii

|2.5

1^
li

12.2 I:

f
14

12.0

I.I

11.25

11.6

Ta

^A

w
'/

Photographic Sciences Corporation

33 WIST MAIN STRUT WIHTH.N.Y. 14SI0

(71*)I73-S03

'

WJ,

;o

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.
by an
inter-

of a house'; wlicii the bags are united

mediate piece

<f

leather, the aparejo

becomes rounded

in form, or arched.^'

In other words,
o-iving the

my
is

reason for

gable-ended aparejo
this

the

preference,

when
be,
it

placed on the nude's back, however Aveight}^ the load

may

cannot be pressed down upon


Tlli'.

CAi'.I.K-KNMl.li

AlAi;:;.!!!.

it,

hence there

is

always a space
rid<>'e

inter t'^enini>'

betwixt the

of the aiiimars

back and the angle of the aparejo,


through,

sufficient to allow a current of air to pass freely

whicli will be found to exercise a nuiterial influence in

the prevention
clusion
of air,

()f

blistered backs

blistering

from exthe

and c(^ntinuous

pressure,

beiug

primary cause of nine sore-backs out of every ten.


the other case, wherein a piece of leather
is

In

used to
is

connect the ends, I contend that the principle

bad,

because this

ilat

band must necessarily come down on

the back of the mule, and the heavier the load the more
Hglitly will this strap be broug-lit to bear

on the ridge

of the spine, and, as


prtKluce sores be

a,

]natter of course, the liability to

much more imminent.


size I
J50 lbs.

The weight of an aparejo of the


tlie
i\

have given
;

preference to

is

somewhere about
.')0

if

wetted
o-rasa.

will

weigh

(luite

lbs.

It is stuffed

with dry

/V((V

'

IJouiul-topped aparejo,' pago 08.

A WARNING TO WANDERERS.
:er-

71

some small twigs being


keep them
stiff,

first

placed in the angles, to

led
for
ejo
leii

and obviate any chance of bending,


<^)f

or of their being indented from the pressure


*

the

riata.'

The

stuffing is accomplished

through a round hole,

w,it
X)ll

purposely cut from out the centre of the inner side (f


the cushion, just wh^'re
it

rests

on the arch of the


every 'wanderer
'

animars
sets

ribi,

and

let

me warn

avIio

ace
lii-e

up or

travels with a pack-train to exercise the

strictest vigilance

with respect to the stuffing of his


to

aparejos.
iniless

Never trust the packers

attend

to

it,

immediately under your own surveillance.

A
mi-

day's neglect
nutes'*
})rior

may

gall a

mule badly, whereas

five

time devoted to the investigation of the


to
'

stuffin*'-

saddling up

'

would have ju'evented so mistliese

chievous a result.

Hired i)ackers alwavs skulk

anything but
looked after.

trifling details, if

they are not strictly

The steam and damj) from the perspiring

mules condenses and collects amidst tbe grass composing the stuffing, which,
strange tendency to

when

in this condition, has a

felt itself into

various-sized nobs.

These, from the continued motion impnrted to the aparejo

by the regular pace of the nmle, become as hard as


I

cricket-balls, and, as

said before, if not

removed or
by

picked to pieces, soon

make

their presence kncjvvn

boring, or rubbing an ugly hole through the poor ani-

mars

skin.

When

once thoroughly up to

'

working

'

'

pack-

72
train,'

AT

HOME

IX

THE WILDERXESS.

yon

will notice in a

moment,
file

if

you have a

sharji

eye

as
'

the mules one by one

past you after the

\bell

if

one of them

is

'galling*.'

When

suifering-

pain, a mule's lips have invariably a tremulous twitchy

motion,
every

tle

ears are slanted backwards,

and the teeth


producing

new and then


The

g-rind sharply tog-ether,

a singular grating noise, which once heard will never be


forg'otten.

silent evidences of suifering' are quite

as intelligible as articulate words,

when one only


telling"

finds

out

how
is

to interpret

them

a mule

you that

there
its

something ^vrong oug*ht to be stopped at once,


'

load removed, the aparejo ' unsynched and examined,


evil

and the cause of the


or
'

remedied.

An

inexperienced

green

'

hand would,

in all likelihood, neglect thus

regularly to watch his train, a want of care he might

have occasion to lament when unpacking at campingtime.

When
it

purchasing

'

aparejos,' if

you ask the price of

an aparejo only, the

seller will tell

you perhaps

15/.,

or

may

be

fifty d(>lhirs

each, as the price he wants.


on,

Supthat

posing* the terms


i<early as
will

are agreed

you

will

find
t>o

much

agiiin as

you have bargained

pay

be added on

for

'

rigging*,'

which should always


;

be specihed in
ten,
it

tlie

purchase of aparejos

if

forgot-

is

usually

made a handle

for subseque^^t unfair

extortion.

When

equipping the eighty mules T purchased in

(California for

Her Majesty's (\)mmission,

had immense

Mil i

ftr,

IX SEARCH OP APAREJOS.
difficulty to discover

73

any aparejos which were

for sale,

as packing
brisk.
I

happened just at that time to be unusually


at Stockton,

remember

when

casting*

about

amongst the more probable


ing-gear I was in search
dealt in

localities,

wherein I might

by good fortune possibly alight upon the kind of packof,

a Yankee merchant,

who
came

everything from

toothpicks upwards,

rushing after me, having scented


as a raven or a vulture
case.

my business
drawl

as readily

would have done a dead car-

He began

at once in nasal

'

Say, cap,

you are just a

foolin'

your time

bet your pants, thar

ain't narry aparejo


'

Well,' I replied,

'

down har, fit to pack squash on.' how can I tell that unless I inquire?'
you want
to buy,

'

Waal,

I raither guess

and

want to

sell,

so just let us

two take an eye-opener, cap, and then

make

tracks straight a-liead for


sich a lot of aparejos as
;

my

store,

war

can

show you

you

ain't ever seen

afore in these parts

I ain't

showed em to none of the

boys as yet, guess


slick
;

if I

did they'd have the store

down

give

me
all,

fifty

dollars a-piece for the aparejos,

rigging and
5
bluffs.'

and walk right along with 'em to the


'

Considering this rather good news,

I did

'

liquor

up

with
store,

my new

friend,

and

afterwar<ls adjourned to the


1

most anxious to secure what


prize.

imagined was

valufible

Picture

my

intense disgust when, on

being conducted into a


saddles,

cellar, I

saw a huge

pile of

pack-

such as had been sent to the Crimea and

74

AT

IIUM1-:

LN

THE WILDERNESS.
sj^eculative individual

retiu'iied,

and

Avliicli

this

had

picked up
I

cheaj)!}' as

a consig-nment from

Eughmd.

have ah-eady sliowu how utterly useless these trashy

and badly made saddles were in the Crimea, an opinion


l'ul]y
(.'(.ni

firmed by this somewhat singular discovery


'

that in the very centre of the busiest


try,

packing

'

coun-

perhaps

may
'

safely say in the world, not

an indi-

vidual packer could be found


as a
i

who would take them even


imagining he had for
^

gitt.

The
life

'cute

'

dealer,
cai

once in his

stumbled

sucker,"' tried to

palm

them
It

otf

on me as aparejos 'that couldn't be matched/

'took liim down,' though,

when

winked wdckedly,

and, inventing a slight fiction for the occasion, said,


'

Why, these

are the pack-saddles


I

we

sold off

when

the

Crimean war ended;


are not worth that.'

know

the lot right well; they

snapped iny fingers, turned on

my

heel,

and

left

my

friend astonished,

and two drinks

(50 cents.) out of pocket.


saddles.

So much

for

Crimean pack-

Two
I'igging

years afterwards I heard that the inistill

fortunate dealer

possessed them.
of

The
whicli

consists

sundry

articles,

each of
!

Avill

require a brief descri2)tion as

we pass them

in review

one by one.
'

The
11

"

I'iata

biuding, or lashing cord, should be from

fifty to sixty

yards in length, in one piece, the size of


trifle less will
is

which should be inch rope, or a


ffl

do.

The

more angular and clumsy the freight


packed the longer
will the riata

whicli has to be

be required.

The end^

A PACKED MULE.
lad

75

should be neatly secured with fine twine, and there

ought not to be any join or other inequality of surface;


Aij

if

there

is,

the rope will not

'

run

'

freely,

and at the same


]\

I'ACKl.l)

-AIILK.

Tlie load is
a, a,
h,
If,
/),

supposed to

reprosL'iit four oO-lb. sacks of flour.

lower edge of nparojo.

h,

showing wlioro the aparojo rests on the mule's back. showing where the riata is tightened upon the load.
' '

7,

the crupper.
tlu"

c,

corner of sweat cloth,


/, loose

c,

corona.

h 2, synch.

end of

tlie riata.

It is

sacks,
tlie

usual to pilo smaller packages that are not very heavy betwixt the upon the centre of the apar(;jo. This lias been puriiosely omitted in cut, in order to show how the riata acts in securing tlie load.

understanding of the adjustments of and sling-rope, if he will refer to this illustration when \\v are packing our imaginary mule, Ciiap. XI. p. 1<j8.
It will aid the reader to a clearer
riiita

the

time do a good deal of injury to the packer's hands


this will be the

more readily comprehended when we

come

to the system of securing the load.

The sUng-

76

AT
is
fi

HOME

IX

THE WILDERNESS.
is

rope

much

smaller and shorter cord than

the

riata;

its

length for ordinary freight should be from


feet,

twenty-five to thirty

and quarter-inch rope


This rope
is

is

usually sufficiently strong.


or suspend the load.

used to sling
is

With

these two ropes the load

so firmly secured as to defy


dis2)lace or

any ordinary casualty to


it,

otherwise disturb

and that without


of,

loop,

hook, buckle, or fastening of any kind


1-fi

or belonging

to the aparejo.

The aparejo
which

is

secured to the mule by the synch,

h 2,

consists of a piece of stout canvas doubled

and

sewn strongly together, from


long,

seven to twelve feet

and twelve inches wide.


is

At one end of
what

this

girth a leather strap

attached, whilst at the other


is

either an iron ring or,


better, a small piece

far

of hard

wood
shape,

naturally grown into a

bow

the two ends being sewn into the

canvas

an eye or concave space


in the centre

is

by
tlie

this plan left

for

leather strap, wdiich should be


it

kept well greased to make


SYNCH, SIIOWINO THK

run

SVOODKN KYK.

through

easily.

In 'synching up,'

two or three turns of the strap must


be taken round the eye, in order to avoid the risk of
slipping back,
fasten
i\,

its

when the
is

strain

is

taken

off in order to

it,

which

done by passing the free end through

loop purposely sewn to that part of the synch which

]
THE
1
'

RIGGING.'

77

comes underneath the load, and then passmg* the end


beneath the strap
itself.

If it were to be tied, nothing


it.

short of cutting the strap would ever loose


are
IS

Synches
they are

sometimes made from Mexican grass

always expensive, and in no respect superior to canvas. Placed on the mule's back, and answering the purpose
of the ordinary lining, fixed to English riding
saddles, are the hlcmlcets
[e),

to
op,

and pack(e).*

corona (c),and sweat-cloth

The

'

blankets

'

are four or five pieces of thick woollen


is

material.
soft carpet

Blanket

better than anything else, although


;

answers the purpose

the size of each piece


is

should be about three feet square, although this


very material;
if

not

more or

less, it will

not matter much.

The sweat-cloth goes next the


sist

skin,

and ought to con-

of good canvas, and should not be less than four

feet square.

The corona
'

'

(c) f

goes overall the cloths,

and under the aparejo. This


is

is

quite a fancy affair,

which

usually braided

and embroidered, and made of scarlet


cloth.

or

some other bright-coloured

Often the

initials

or the brand

mark

of the owner are emblazoned on the


This, however, answers

corners, like heraldic devices.

a purpose, and
'

is

not done merely for show.

By

the

corona

'

the packere

know

to which mule each aparejo

belongs, so that the right


saddle.

mule always wears the right

An

ordinary halter, of the same shape and


*

make

as

Vide lotteis in cut Vide cut.

'

Packed Mule.'

73

AT HOME

IN

TIIH

WILDERNESS.

we use
mule
;

for liorses in Eng-land,

mnst be

i)rovided for each

the halters are only Avorn whilst the mules are

travelling,

and are then indispensable, inasmuch as

that the packers could never catch a mule with a loose


or
sliiftino-

load if

it

had not a halter on

its

head

for

the

men

to seize.

No

one, excepting- from actual expe-

rience,

would believe how crafty old pack animals beif

come; they know in a moment

the packers want to

recover them, and scamper away, often shaking- the


freight clear of the ropes,

and

doing- incalculable

damage.

In the second place, halters are equally essential, for the


purpose of fastening
all

the mules tog-ether during- the

time they are waiting to be packed, as you will better

understand when we come to

'

pack our

train.'
is

The

last

portion of the rigging'

the blind, or

trqmjo.''

Each packer

carries one of

these subduers, and no schoolboys ever


lived in greater dread of cane or birch

than do the mules of the tapujo. Made


of leather,
its

length
its

is

about fifteen
six

or eighteen inches,
inches
lAl'lMd.
(ll{

width about

in

the

centre,
at
its

then taperingends to sharp

g-radually
111,1X1).

away

points,

which are fastened together

from each of the points dang-le sundry small twisted


leather thongs, like a
nine.
'

cat

'

of eighteen tails instead of


is

Exactly in the centre of the tapujo a loop

sewn,

through which the packer passes his fingers, and when

THE TAITJO

l'^l":s.

79

thus armed, woe betide the unlucky mule which


of any transgression.

is

guilty

This

is

one of the tapujo's uses,


the mules

but

it

is

principally employed to 'blind'


is

whilst anything
it

done to them.

Simply by dropping

behind the animars ears, and allowing the wider easily part to fall over the eyes, it at once and most
l^revents the to
;

as

mule from seeing what the packers are up and when this dreaded affair is fliirly on, you might well atfempt to make a log move as induce a blinded
to shift its position.

mule

So much

for the

complete
to

rivc,ino'

of a pack-mule.

The next thing we have


'

look to are saddles and bridles for the

riding nudes.'

Mll.K WITH

HI. INK

oN.

80

AT HOME \S THE WILDERNESS.

CHAPTER
IJiding

IV.
'

Sadillt's 8tirrups:

'

Cabvesto

preferable

to

rdinarv

bridle

Tethering.
all

KNOW how
'

very steadfastly

we Englishmen
and

believe

in the
it

Eng^lish hunting saddle,'

for all purposes, be

for the road, the hunting-field, the race-course, or

what

not, I for

one hold up

my hand

for the

English

riding-saddle in a civilised country.

But

in a district

where there are no saddlers' shops into which one can


pop at a short notice to get a breakage repaired, or a

new panel
or obtain

or lining put in,

buy a fresh pair of

girths,

new buckles

in lieu of old ones, I say, from

my own
word

experience, in this case have nothing to do


I

with an English riding saddle.


in its disparagement,

am

not saying a

and

will briefly state

my

reasons for giving the preference to the Californian, or


that Avhicli in reality
it is,

the Spanish saddle adapted to


first place,
it

a particular purpose.

In the

will be just

as well that I should briefly describe the

kind of riding-

saddle I

invariably use for ordinary travelling,


'

and

f<

breaking
that

mustangs

;'

but

let it

be clearly understood
'

my

remarks do not apply to

running

buffalo,' for

which

I use the Indian

pad

but of this anon.


i

THE CALIFORXIAX

SADDLi:.

81

The framework of a Californian riding saddle


of a
'

consists
far

saddle-tree,'

made much

in the
is

same way, as

as materials are concerned, as


saddles, but
in shape.

that of our English


it

widely differing

from

Ihe pommel and

caiitle

are cai-^ed very high, especially the


'i-dinary

former, whk'li terminates in a kind of

knob;
believe
Dses,

to

this

frame four

leather

straps
j)lace

and two rings

(that take the

CALIFORNIAN EIDIXG SADDLE.

be

of girth straps in an ordinary saddle) are fastened,

rse, or

not by sewing with a needle or awl, and thread, but

English
iistrict
lie

with strips of raw hide which are firmly and securely


tied.

The

stirrup leathers also


steel
'

hang from the frame

itself,

can

and not from and the

spring catches,' as in our saddles,


fastened together with

d, or a

leatliers, too, are further

girths,
T,

hide thongs.

The knob of the pommel and the edge of


bound with
leather, but the other parts of

from
to do

the cantle are

the frame have nothing fastened to them, excepting the


'

ying a
a,te

synch

'

straps

and stirrup

leathers.

wide piece of
or

my

leather,

ornamented

in accordance with the taste

lian, or

pocket of the owner, cut nearly square, and having a


hole in the front part for the

.pted to

pommel
is
'

to

come through,
is

be just
ridingg,

and a long

slit

behind for the cantle,

intended to
'

cover the frame


horse,

when

the saddle

synched on

to the

and

and

is for

the rider to

sit on.

Now,
it

if

I have

erstood
ilo,' for

made my
that there
'

description comprehensible,
is

will be seen

no sewing, no buckles, no lining or fixed


it,

panel,' as saddlers style

but in lieu of these, four or

82

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


small squares of blanket are employed, or a rug that
for sleeiDing in at night
;

five

may be used
The
'

in a word, any-

thing soft and foldable can be placed under the saddle.


synch,' or girth, should be
flat in

made
and

of horsehair,
'sennit,'

woven

the same manner sailors


is

make

10 inches wide (one girth only


to 3 feet in length; at each
less

used)

2 feet 6 inches
ring, not

end a strong iron

than two inches

in diameter, should

be woven in

with the hair.

I have already said that four straps


*

and

two rings, similar to the

synch

'

rings, are fastened to

the saddle frame, and from each of these saddle rings

a strong leather strap, about 4 feet in length and IJ


inch in width, dangles.
cutting a
slit

It is fastened to the ring


;

by
it

in one end of the strap

then putting
is

through the ring the other end of the leather


through the
slit,

passed

and hauled up

like a

running knot.
fast

To the

'

off

'

side strap the synch


'

is

made
its

by a
is

laiot,

known

as the

Mexican

knot,'

and

length

regu-

lated on the off side in accordance with the greater or


lesser rotundity of the
difficult to

animal to be ridden.

It

is

very
say,

describe a knot, and in this case, I

may

next to impossible.

Like everything

else, it
it,

is

very simple to anyone


five

accustomed to

tie

and a lesson of

minutes'

duration would serve to teach the


'

way

to fasten a
fail

synch,'

doing.
as
it

when a whole page The Mexican knot


*

of writing would
is

in so

'

a most useful fastening,


*

enables the rider to loose a

synch

'

by simply

'

now

TO

'

SADDLE

UP.'

83

giving the end of the strap a sharp tng, thus obviating


all

the bother of untying a knot which runs up tight.


rate, I will
*

At any
were,

endeavour to give an outline, as

it

of

synching up.'

The

saddle-cloths carefully

folded so as to have

no

crease,
is

and placed on the horse's


taken by the end of the
carefully

or mule's back, the saddle

pommel with the


the saddle-cloths
liorse, either
;

right

hand and placed

on

the

left

hand keeps firm hold on the


'

by the bridle or the


with the

riata

'

round

its

neck.
it

If you have a refractory animal to deal with,


fast to a tree
*

make

riata.'
it is

If
likely

an animal gets away from you,

more than
saddled so
to

you

will never see it again,


loss, for it is
it is

and

if

much

the greater

usually

more easy

replace a riding animal than


to see the saddle
fits

a saddle.
*

Be

careful

evenly on the

blankets,'

and bear
*

in

mind the cautions already given

relative to
left

sore

'

backs.

Now

run the

'

riata

'

through the
to

hand, so
n,nd
*

that you

may have both hands

work with,

with

that hand reach under the animal, and take the


"

synch

by

the ring,

and with the right hand pass the leather


you remember, hangs from the
*

strap, which, if
ring,'

saddle

through the

synch ring,' then back again through


tlie

the ring attached to


i

saddle,

and so on
all

for four or

five times.
if

Now

haul away with

your strength, and


the rings, and
lar gi'eater ease

the turns are properly


it

made through
will
slip

the strap well greased,

run with
back
if

than a buckle, and never

you stop pulling,

G 2

81

AT
is

HOME

IX THE WILDERNESS.

which

of iiicalcukible value

when

dealing- with wild

mustangs.
first

To

fasten, pass the


ring-

end of the leather strap


on the
left side,

underneath the synch


across

bring

it

and pass
ring-,

from

above,

again

under the

then double the strap,

and thrust the end of the loop under


the strap which crosses the fastening*,

and pull

it tig'lit.

You have
moment
if

then,

if

am
and
MKXICAN KNOT.

understandable, a 'Mexican knot,'


slips in a

which

pulled at,

lies flat

against the animaFs side,

thus preventing any annoyance to the


'

leg of the rider. Lastly, the

covering' leather

'

is

placed

over

all,

and the animal

is

'

saddled up.'

The
which
I

stirrups I prefer are


g-eneral

made
:

of wood.

There are

two patterns in
is

use

one a block of wood,

scooped out to form a hole only large enough


fit in,

for just the toe to

and a place

is

also cut
*

through
'

the top for the stirrup-leather.


arc

The

block-stirrups
it

made

of

all sorts

of shapes, just as

may
'

suit the
\

taste or caprice of the maker.

After the

blocks are

cut

'

they are boiled in tallow for six or eight hours.


splitting*.

This prevents their

The other

sort of stirrup,

and the one I

prefer, is

made

of a flat piece of

hard wood, bent by steaming into


the

the form of the

old-fashioned dragoon stirrup;


v^

bent-up ends are secured to a transverse plug


iron peg, which runs through its centre, and

Ji

an

is

then

STIRRUPS MADE OF WOOD.


fastened with a nut or rivet.

So

The

stirrup

is

suspended
This

by this

'

cross piece
is

'

from the stirrup leather.

kind of stirrup

much Ug-hter

than the

block stirrup,' and

enables the rider to put his


foot full in,

which those who


^#
SOLID HLOCK STIHRVP. NO. 1. STIRIIUP MAIJK OF NO. 2. RIVKTKI) TO ]iKXT WOOD,

are accustomed to pass long

days in the saddle well


is

know
TUANSVEKSE PlAG AT
TOP.

a wonderful rest to the leg,


size of the stirrup is

and the
of being
to
'

TllK

too great to afford any chance

hung by the

foot, if

one

is

unfortunate enough

get a cropper.'

Great numbers of saddles are made so that the leather covering is fast to the tree, a plan perhaps quite as good
as the one I have
for a real

spoken of for
trip,

all

ordinary work
'

but
'

rough-and-tumble

where mustangs

are

wild, rivers

deep and plentiful, and no chance of a


it

repair except you can do


o-ive

for yourself; then, I repeat,


'

me the

siiddle I

have called the Californian saddle.'


is

This pattern, in a very rude form,

adopted by

all

the

inland Indians in British Columbia,, Oregon, and

Washby

ington territory.
fastening

They construct

their saddle-trees

two

sticks together

which have grown natu-

rally into the desired shape,

and then stitching undressed

the

deer-hide over

them with

elk-tendon, as
ride

we

use thread.

The men more frequently


squaws or

on the 'pad,' but the

women

use a saddle, and always ride astride

66
like the

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.

men.

Most of the American


States

officers

belonging

to the United
'

Boundary Commission used the


all,

Maclellan saddle,' which, after

although a capital

'

dragoon saddle,'

is

only an elaborated form of the

Spanish saddle; but as we are not going to enter

upon a consideration of the merits and demerits of


various patterns of saddles, I shall not say

more about

the matter than that which


the Califomian, for
preferable to
all

is

requisite to explain

why
is

rough work in a wild country,

any other kind of saddle I have ever used.

In the

first place,
it

an English hunting saddle, howbe made, would stand no more


its

ever strongly

may

chance with a wild mustang, when, arching

back

and

stiffening its four legs, it


if

'

buck-jumps

'

than would

a packthrefid

employed to moor a boat in a tide-way

every girth-strap would be cracked in a

moment, and

the rider and his saddle sent flying over the mustang's

depressed head.
of sewing in
I

No

girth or strap that has any element

it

will stand the force a wild horse

can

exert

when

it

sets itself

up

to do mischief.

In the next
if it

place, a fixed lining is

most objectionable
rain,

gets wet,

as

it

must do from perspiration,


:

and swimming
it rots,

streams

the stuffing

felts,

the flannel containing

and use whatever care you may your saddle


worse than useless.

is

thus

In the third place, in riding

through

bush,' snags are almost sure to hitch in the

saddle-flaps,

and a rent not easy to mend

is

the con-

sequence.

A USEFUL GUN SLING.


Another advantage, and not a small one
sessed

87
either, posis

by the Californian over the English saddle

the

ease afforded in carrying a shot

gun or

rifle.

strap

of hide or leather, about two feet long and six inches


wide, having two holes cut in
slij)

it

sufficiently large to

easily over the

knob of the pommel, forms the best

means
)

I have

ever tried for carrying a gun, which

should be xjlaced with the muzzle

beyond the

foot

of the

rider,

on

the near side, and passed through the loop strap until prevented from

going further by the trigger-giuird

and hammers
is

in this

position

it

ready at a moment's notice, and


it

can be freed by either drawing

CtX

tJLIXff.

from out the loop or by slipping one end of the strap


from
off

the pommel.

Then

to the frame of the saddle

I always tie
will

numbers of long leather thongs.

These

be found most convenient assistants for carrying

game, or any odds and ends one


along with him.
I

may

pick up or tjike
off-side,

From

this

same knob, on the


*

hang a bag, or

in trapper's vernacular, a

possible
(if

sack,' in

which fishing-gear, pipe, tobacco, matches

there are any), string, strips of hide, a penknife, nails,

a couple of awls, some strong needles, and thread of


different kinds, a tailor's thimble

and pair of

scissors,

are

stowed away

for ready use.

The bag may be


*

either
'

leather or canvas,

I prefer an ordinary

game-bag

to


88

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.

any other, divided into several pockets.


of the kind I

With a
matters

saddle

recommend,

all

these

little

appaand dry

rent trifles to yon,

who

only

know

of

home
camp
it

travelling

can he easily arranged.


is

If wetted,

all

you have to do
fire

to spread your hlankets before the

them.
again,
rot

If the covering leather gets wet

readily dries
stitches

and there

is

no sewing wherein the

can

and break.

A blanket

torn can be easily replaced,

or a hide can be used in its stead.

We took

out with us an English saddle,

made
of the

esj)e-

cially for the w^ork, for

each of the

officers

Com-

mission, but

it

was only by using extreme


and most of

care, aided

by a servant to clean and attend to them, that these


saddles were preserved
;

us, after all,

gave

the preference to the Californian saddle. Therefore I

sum

up by saying that the saddle of the country

is

better

than ours, for travelling, breaking wild horses, hunting


(not

running buffaloes), and rough work in general.

I need not describe a bison, improperly called a buffalo;

everybody has seen the picture of one, and the greater

number of my readers

will, in all likelihood,

have made

the acquaintance of those which used to be in the


Zoological Gardens in the Regent's Park.
bull bisons will average eight feet

Full-grown

and more in length,

without the

tail,

and the weight may be assumed to be

from 1,500 to 1,800 pounds per animal as they stand.

The cows
in

are considerably less.


is

The principal

object

hunting bison

to obtain their hides,

which are

'

ADVANTAGES OF THE INDIAN PAD.


dressed and traded as
(I
'

89

buffalo robes.'
for

To run

'

buffalo
it

shall retain the

term

convenience sake),

is

essential that the hunter should be a practised horse-

man no
;

skill in shooting- is

needed, to pull the trigger

and load whilst galloping are the only requirements

wanted as regards the gun.


the double hitch in lieu of
bridle
;

The hair
by

'

cabresto,'^ with

bit, is

far the best

kind of

and the only kind of saddle


is

I should ever ven'

ture to use

that usually designated by hunters


fact,
is

the

Indian pad,' which, in point of


cushions or small pillows, fastened
together by stout pieces of leather,

simply two

and firmly

'

synched

'

on to the

horse according to the plan before


described

when speaking

of the
INDIAN PAD.

Californian saddle.

By

using this
injur}',
is

pad

all

risk

of

saddle

arising from sudden falling,

obviated,

for

smooth

and lawn-like as these vast

prairies, over

which the

panting herds are chased by the hunters,


to the eye, nevertheless

may

ajjpear

burrowing animals of several

kinds
grass
falls,
;

make

their

subterranean

homes beneath the


pit-

and as one races on, unconscious of such

unexpectedly in goes the horse's fore or hind

legs,

and the chances are greatly

in favour of both the

steed

and

its

rider getting a roll

on the

turf.

I have

Vide page Oo.

90

AT

HOME

L\

THE WILDERNESS.
and have no hesitation
'

had
in

scores of such tumbles,


'

saying that using the

pad

has saved

me

from

dangerous, perhaps

fatal, injuries.

By way
I
f.\

of illustration, I shall endeavour to describe

i
r

a buifalo run according to


relate

my own
it is

experiences,

and

what

befell

me on

that particular occasion.

As part of the equipment,

always advisable to

allow a long larriette (from the French Varret) to trail

upon the ground, the one end being fastened with a


running noose round the hoiae's neck.
generally be

This rope can

grasped
;

if

the rider

is

unhorsed and
larriette
its

misses his reins

then by holding on to the

he

can 'choke down his horse,' and prevent

escape.

But

for the

noose and slip-knot, even supposing you

had a hold

fast of the reins as

you

lie

upon the ground,

the horse could tug you along until you would be compelled to let

him

go,

and then

if

you ever saw either


fortune must

horse or

gearing ' any more,


is

why dame
most men.
is

be kinder to you than she

to

The scene of
the

my

adventure

on the broad plains in


:iun is just

Red River

settlement.

The

creeping

from behind the eastern

hills,

tinting with the rosy

hues of morning the splintered summits of


off peak,

many a

far-

and at the same time shedding a paler glow


;

over the grassy slopes

the different intensities of the

light give to the flat surface of the plains the appear-

ance of being an ocean of mist.

A band

of

Red Indians

with

whom

am

hunting and living are mounted and

WAITIXG FOR THE MIST.


;ation

01

ready for the hunt, and few have ever looked upon a

from
J

more picturesque

sight.

Their only garment, a piece of

skin tied round the waist,


of the savages look
real flesh

makes the muscular

figures

more

like exquisite carvings

than

and blood.

Thus, sitting their prancing half-

tamed

horib?s

with matchless ease and grace, their black

hair flowing in tangled locks

down

their backs, confined

only by a narrow band of ermine-skin, with an eagle's


feather sewn to
it,

they look as wild and fearless as

the beasts they are about to chase.


for the mist to
rise,

We
!

are waiting

which

it

will

do when the sun


there
it

comes

fairly

above the horizon.


veil.

Ah

goes, the

fog lifting like a

It

does not evaporate, so to

speak, and disperse, but rises en masse like a balloon,

and

at once

becomes

invisible

and now we can make

out the buffalos scattered over the plain; some are


busily cropping their

dewy

breakfast, others are

still

lying

down

in little

groups

but

all

are in

happy

ignorance of the dire enemies lurking behind the knoll

watching their every movement.

Craftily,

and with

extreme caution, we walk our horses to windward of the


herd,

and

as

we emerge from the


Concealment

cover o the ridge, the


tell

trumpet-like notes of the older bulls


are discovered.
is

us that

we

now

of no further use,

the beasts are


scared by a dog.

crowding together like sheep when

The Indians
after the

give a piercing whoop,

and we dash wildly


herd,
their tails

now

rapidly retreating

upheaved and their horns rattling

92

AT

HOME

IX THE WILDERNESS.

noisily against

one another.

The very plain seems

to

shake, clouds of blinding dust, raised by thousands of


hoofs, nearly hides the hunters

from each other, whilst

a rumbling noise, like subdued thunder, seems to absorb

and swallow up

all

other sounds.

I soon overtake the


\

rearmost animals, and singling out a young cow, drop


her in her tracks;
this

recharge

my

gun, and single out


roll rather

time a fine old bull.

He

seems to

than

gallop along, his nose nearly touching the grass,

and his

shaggj brown
horse,

mane

tossing wildly in the breeze.

My

though thoroughly up to his work, appears to


past experiences that
;

know by
to deal

it is

no mean foe he has

with

laying back his ears, and pushing out his

nose, as if to

make

the most of every breath of

air,

the

gallant

mustang thunders on

at such a pace that I find

myself side by side with the shaggy bull before I have

time to think of

my

position in reference to the other

stragglers of the herd.


lose
It

my

chance.

Now or never I must fire, or Lowering my gun I pull the trigger.

appeared to me that the cap had hardly exploded ere

my mustang
to retain

wheeled short about with such startling

velocity, that it

was with the utmost


;

difficulty I contrived

my

seat

but, as if the fates were against me,

two other buffalos were directly in the way, and for a


few seconds prevented the horse from galloping away

from the

bull,

which, turning nearly as rapidly as thu

horse, charged,

and striking the horse on the point of


I

the shoulder sent us both rolling on the plain.

was

A XAEROAr ESCAPE.
teiTibly frightened

93

and shaken, but adopting- Falstaff 's


is

maxim, 'that the better part of valour


I lay still to

discretion,'

await the issue of events.

The mustang
damaged

had by

this time

regained his legs, and was, with

evident difficulty, limping

away

as fast as his

shoulder permitted.
I coidd see

That the

bull

was badly wounded

by his rolling

gait,

heavy breathing, and


lips.

the bloody froth besmearing his nostrils and

do not think he saw me, for his glaring eyes were


directed towards the horse, which he

made a

vigorous
failure.

attempt to

follow

but

it

proved a signal

The wounded beast seemed


if

to be perfectly aware that


all

once he

fell

to the

ground

hope for him was

at

an end, so bracing his muscles


massive
legs

firmly,

and planting
animal

his

wide

apart,

the

powerful
last.
;

seemed determined to stand up to the


frightened as I was, I
all

Hurt and
took

felt

sorry for

him

the eyes lost


its

their

fire,

and a

saddened

expression

place.

He

tried to get glimpses of his comrades,


;

by

this time nearly lost in the distance

and I know that

dying buffalo was quite aware that he should never see

them

again.

His great chest was heaving convulsively,

and low plaintive sounds, more resembling sobs than


anj^hing
printed

know of, told in language plain as words how terrible were his sufferings. The
else

head dropped, until the nose was nearly touching the


grass,

the ponderous body rocked like a storm-tossed


side, a

was

shij)

from side to

gurgling sound replaced the

94

AT

HOME
;

IX

THE WILDERNESS.
siicldenly

stertorous breathing

then

the muscles seemed

to lose all further power,


I!
I

and with a heavy crash the

king" of the plain fell

dead amidst the grass and wild

flowers.

The Indians soon recovered


was so

my

lost steed, for

his shoulder

much

injured that he could only

contrive to limp slowly away.

I have stated the result of this tumble


falls

and worse
lie

even than this are of constant occurrence on the

plains

to show how useless


made of wood
it

is

any kind of sad

having

a frame

or other

breakable material.
;

Nothing could save


than
falls

from continually smashing

more

this,

the hunter having to encounter these heavy


all

would, beyond

doubt, receive dangerous hurts

from either the cantle or pommel of an ordinary saddle.

Hence the

'pad,' for running bison,

is

immeasurably

superior to any other description of saddle.

The

bridle

we

carried out with us

was designed

for

the purpose, and


sisted of

answered remarkably well.

It con-

an ordinary leather

head-stall, with a tether

rope attached to a ring under the throat, and then


I

buckled to the brow-band; the

bit,

ring-snaffle,'

was

fastened to the head-stall by a double spring-hook, so

!:

that bit and reins could be readily detached, and the


head-stall left on.

The Mexicans and

stock-men

'

all

use the barbarous Spanish bit, with a ring of iron like a curb-chain under the lower jaw.
bit

It is always a cruel

with the lightest hand, but murderous with a heavy

one.

now

TO DISPENSE WITH A

BIT.

95

My
and

advice

is

to dispense with the bridle altogether,


*

iTse

instead a light

lassoo

'

or

'

cabresto

'

made

of buffalo hair, about forty or


'

fifty feet

long

a double

clove hitch

'

placed round the under jaw, and under

the tongue, answers every pur-

pose of a

bit.

To put on

this

K^JBi^B>,^

v^i)

cabresto, first place a running

noose round the animal's neck,

then measure rope enough, com-

mencing from the loop of the


THE
CAIUJESTO.

noose, to reach from the cantle

of the saddle to the corner of the animal's

mouth
jaw^,

make

your

'

clove hitch

'

and put

it

round the

carry on

the rope and tie to the loose end, coil up the slack, and

hang

it

on the pommel as you would on a peg


if

you
'

have now,
'

am

clear in
'

my

explanation, two
If you

'

reins

and the clove hitch in


dismount and tether,
all

lieu of a bit.

want

to

you need do
'

is

to loose the tie

of the reins, slip out the

clove hitch,' then the noose


its

round the animal's neck prevents any chance of


escaping,

when

fastened to a tree or tether stake.

It is a very unsafe plan to tether

an animal, however
to a
'

quiet

it

may

be,

by a rope fastened only

leather

head-stall.'
liable to

The most gentle mules and horses are


what
not.

sudden alarms, either from wild beasts, Indians,

bush-fires, or

The

first

impulse

is
'

to escape,

and to do this mules and horses invariably

hang back,'

or in other words retreat from the point to which they

96

AT

HOME

IX

THE WILDERNESS.
upon the

are fastened; this brings the strain to bear

weakest part of the


i
'

'

head

stall,'

and

it

must be con-

structed of stronger materials than

any I have ever yet

met with,
cotton.

if it

does not break like a piece of sewing-

The

best plan,

and the

safest one,

is

to use a
;

rope

made from

hair, buffalo hair

being the best

to put

a noose round the animal's neck, and then to take a


single turn of the rope

round the noose to prevent

it

from running up too tight upon the windpipe, but drawn


sufficiently close to avoid
its

any

risk of the
'

animal slipping
;

head through

Never tether with a hide lassoo

'

if

you

do, the wolves, cayotees,


it

and woodrats are pretty


find the fag

sure to eat

in two,

and you

end of 3'our

tether line minus the animal wdiich 3'ou quite expected


to discover fast to
it.

In using the

'

hair rope,' or ca-

bresto, instead of a bridle, as previously

recommended,

your tether line


animal's neck.
tethering
is

is

always where

it

should be, round the


'bell,'

When

you are Avorking with a

not

ncccled.

The

easiest

and simplest

hobble

is

made by buckling a

strap or tieing a larriette


side, or tieing

round a fore and hind leg on the same

the fore legs above the fetlock'' with a strap not less

than two

feet loner.

MULES VERSUS OXEN.


on the
e con-

ver yet

sewmg"
)

use a
to -pni

CHAPTEE

V.

take a

Wagons and Teaming.


vent
t

it

drawn
; '

Wagons
struction.

cannot possibly be too simple in their con-

slipping-

They should be

built of thoroughly seasoned

300

if

timber, and this caution applies with most force to the


wheels, because where the air
is

pretty

hot and the atmosphere

of your
xpectetl
,'

very dry, unseasoned


splinters.

wood

cracks, shrinks,

and

readily

At Stockton and Red

Bluffs in California, the


divisions, so

or ca-

mule wagons are made in three or four


that a team of eight mules draws
level

nencled,

them

easily over

good

und
I

tlie

ground,

bufc

when

hills

have to be ascended, or wet

'beli;

ground got

over,

then the wagons are separated and

simplest
larriette
r

taken along one at a time.


It is

always a safe precaution to have a wagon pole


it

tieing

jointed where

goes between the


holes.
lb.

'

hounds

; '

it

saves
six

not less

Gripping off in

bumping over

good team of

mules ought to drag 2,000

in a light

wagon over
than oxen,

any ordinary

prairie land.
fitted to

Mules

travel faster

and are better

endure heat and want of water,


is

but for a very long march, where grass

not over

abundant, and no grain can be procured, then I think

oxen are preferable.

They are

better too at a dead

,,

-^

'*!

08

AT
i)ull,

HOME

IN

THE VVH^DEUNKSS.
slush.

steady
:;f
!i

tliroufrli

mud and

Besides, oxen are


are otherwise

cheaper, and you can eat

them when they

done with.
It
i

is

a novel sight and rather a picturesque one too.

in the

Eed River and Pembina

district, to

witness a
single

procession of carts, each one


liarnessed into shafts after the

drawn by a

ox

manner of

a dray-horse.

single

man, called a

'

bull-driver,' takes

charge of

eight or ten carts, and


wliix)

manages

his team, aided

by

(and,

by the way, a person requires a vast amount


'

of practice to be able to use

a bull-flogger

'

cleverly)

A
"W

young lacli

tree

is

usually selected for the haft,

which should be
rod; the thou g
is

six feet long

and

as pliant as a

salmon

made

of plaited green hide, and should


'

be two inches in diameter at the centre or


of the thong,
li

belly

'

tapering towards each end, and about


inches in length.

feet to 8 feet

The crack
'

of this
'

whip

in the

hands of an experienced
rifle.

bull-driver

is

like the report of a

Woe

betide the unfortunate


;

bullock that gets a real taste of the thong

it

takes

oft'

the hair like a hot iron and raises

a,

'

wale

'

as larire as

a sausage.
horses,

The oxen

are harnessed betwixt shafts like


its

and each ox and

cart will transport

a,

loa<l

of eight hundred or a thousand pounds wi'ight.


cart
is is

The
any

constructed mostly of wood, and very

little if

iron

used in

its

building.

Eegular trains of these

primitive ox-carts follow the buftalo liunterH for the pur-

pose of carting

home

the hides and meat for in-eserving.

.'

THE OVERLAND STAGE

LINE.

99

m are
Twise

The creaking of the wheels, the


and the continual
shouting- of the

erackin^if of
*

the whips,

bull drivers,"" cheeringf

and
e too,
less

abusing* their teams


a.re

by turns, may be heard when

they

miles away.
extract from a
ilie

The

followiiif^

work

entitled

'

Across

le

ox

horse.
ra'G
I

the Continent,' published in

United States, and in

London by Low
capitalist
is

I't

Co., gives such a capital account of

of
a

stage travelling' and of Mr.


' '

Ben Holladay, the

colossal

by

who runs the Overland Stage

Line, and

who

mount
verly)
3

certainly, according to the author

Mr. Bowles, the

tallest coach-proprietor that ever

worked a road on the


quite worth api)ending

haft,

earth's surface, that I thought

it

^ahiion

to the chapter on teaming.


'

should
'

The great Overland Stage Line, by which we are


was originated by Mr. William H. Russell,

belly

travelling,

about
of this

of New-York, and carried on for a year or two by himself

aud partners, under the name of Russell, Majors,

tSr

ver

'

is

Waddell.

They

failed,

however, and sonu> three years

rtuuate

ago

it

passed into the hands of their chief creditor, Mr.


energetic Missourian,

4
ikes
oft*

Ben Holladay, an

who

hiid

been a

arye as
ifts like
t
t.
a,

successful contractor for the (Joverumeut

and

for trvoat

corporations on the I'lains and the Pacilic.


since
'S

He has
and

load

continued the Hue,


it

iuiproviug, ext(Mding,

The
any

enlarging
ju'ise

until

it is

now, perhaps, the greatest enter-

c if

owned and
if

controlled by one

man which
His

exists in

af these

the country,

not in the world.

line of stages

the pursservinjj.

commences
n

at Atchison, on the Missouri River: its lirst

section extends across the great Plains to Denver, six


H 2

.:3=T-iT

..i

1.

I.
.

'^^tmmt

100

AT

HOME

IN
;

THE WILDERNESS.
from here
it

himdred and

fifty

miles

goes on six hun-

dred miles more to Salt Lake City, along the base of and

through the Rocky Mountains at Bridger's Pass.


there to

From

Nevada and

California, about seven


is

hundred

and

fifty

miles further, the stage line


is

owned by an
All this

eastern

company, and

under the management of


is

Wells, Fargo,
daily line,

&

Co., the express agents.

and the coaches used are of the best stage

pattern, well
coach.'

known

in

New England

as the

'

Concord

From

Salt Iiake Mr.

Holladayruns atri-weekly
fifty miles,

coach line north and west, nine hundred and

through Idaho to the Dalles on the Columbia River, in


northern Oregon, and branching off at Fort Hall,
tri-weekly line, to Virginia City,
in
iilso

Montana,

four

hundred miles more.


sidiary line into the

From Denver,

too,

he has a sub-

mountain centres of Central City


Over
all

and Nevada, about forty miles.


he carries the mail, and
of six
is

these routes

in the receipt for this service

hundred and

fifty

thousand dollars per annum

from the Government.


mail contracts
Wells, Fargo,

His whole extent of staging and


of
course, that

not
Co.,

counting,

under

&l

from Salt Lake west

is

two thou-

sand seven hundred and sixty miles, to conduct which

he owns some six thousand horses and mules and about

two hundred and sixty coaches.


he
lias built stations

All along the routes


I
;

at distances of ten to fifteen miles


his corn
to

has to draw

all

from the Missouri River


be transported hundreds of

h of

his

hay has also

COST OF WORKING THE STAGES.


miles
;

101

fuel for his stations

comes frequently

fifty

and

one hundred miles.

The Indians

last year destroyed or

stole full half-a-million dollars'

worth of his property;

barns, houses, animals, feed, &c.

he pays a general
;

superintendent ten thousand dollars a year


superintendents a quarter as

division

much

drivers

and stable;

keepers get seventy-five dollars a month and their living

he has to mend, and in some cases make, his owil roads,


so that, large

as

the

sum paid by

the Government,

and high as the prices

for passengers, there is

an im-

mense outlay and a great


prise.

risk in conducting the enter-

During the

last

year of unusually enormous prices


raids*,

for everything,

and extensive and repeated Indian


lost

Mr. HoUaday has probably

money by

his stages.

The previous year was one of prosperity, and the next is But with so immense a machine, exposed likely to be.
to so

many chances and


"^

uncertainties, the returns


"^

must

always be doubtful.
staores are

The passenger

fares

by his

now, from Atchison to Denver one hundred


dollars, to Salt
five

and seventy-five
fifty dollars,

Lake three hundred and


dollars, to Califor-

to

Nevada

hundred

nia five hundred dollars, to Idaho five hundred dollars,


to

Montana

five

hundred

dollars.

These are much

higher than they were two years ago, and will probably
11

be reduced during the season, as safety from the Indians

and lower prices

for food

and corn are assured, from


Mr. Holladay now resides
reported to be immensely

thu-ty-three to fifty per cent.


x

i
-V

in

New York

City,

and

is

102

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


five

wealthy say

millions.

He owns and

runs, also,

lines of steamships in the Pacific


cisco,
:

Ocean from San Franand

north to Oregon and British Columbia, and south

to Mazatlan, Mexico, with contracts for the mails

both routes from our Government or from Maximilian of


Mexico.
fully

He

conducts

all this

immense business

success-

by the choice of able and trusty mana^^ers, to whom he pays large salaries. * ^ Mr. HoUaday visits his overland line about twice a year, and
over
it

when he

does, passes

with a rapidity and a disregard of expense and

rules characteristic of his irrepressible nature.

A year
'

or

two ago,

after the disaster to the steamer

Golden

Gate,'

on the Pacific shore, by which the only partner he

ever had, Mr.

Edward Eust
life,

Flint, son of old Dr. Flint

of Springfield, lost his

and himself barely escaped a


it

watery grave, he made the quickest trip overland that


is

possible for one

man

to

make

before the distance

is

shortened by railway.

He

caused himself to be driven

from Salt Lake to Atchison, twelve hundred and twenty


miles, in six
(lays

and one-half days, and was only twelve


<

and two hours from San Francisco to Atchison.


trip probably cost

The

him twenty thousand


The only

dollars in

wear and tear of coaches and injury to and loss of horses


by the rapid driving.
all

ride over the Plains, at


1^

comparable with

this,

was that made by Mr. Aubrey,


But
was
k

on a wager, from Santa Fe to Independence, seven

hundred miles, in

six

and one-half days.

this

made on horseback, and when the

rider reached his

'

'

TALL TRAVELLING.'

lOiS

destination he was so exhausted that he


lifted

had to be
si:

from his horse.

How exciting the


open
fields

thought of

^h

rides as these across these

and through these

mountain gorges, that make up the half of our Continent


!

<i

I*

104

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.

CHAPTER
The more
Sibley
desirable form of Tent

VI.
Lodge of the Savage The
Miner's
pitch a Tent

The

Tent The
it

Bell

Tent The Gable-ended Tent The

Tent

Half-shelter
secure.

Tent

Poles and PegsHow to

and make

A TENT
it

of some kind should always form part of every


if

wanderer's equipment,

he can by any
'

possibilit}'^
'

carry

on

his

pack animals.
;

Camping out
'

is all

very well

in theory

sleeping with your head on your saddle, with

no other protection than the


heavens,'

blue

canopy

of

the

or

the

cloudless

expanse

gemmed with
'

twinkling
nises' the

stars,'

sounds remarkably sensational,


elicits

lio-

intrepid explorer,

delightful

little

scraps of sympathetic pity,


delicious
*

and at the same time coaxes


fair lips, to

compliments from

earn which the

lone hunter,' or he

who would be

such, thinks at the

time he would not mind sharing a cave with the tallest

kind of a grizzly to earn a tithe of the praise

but

when
lips,

far

away from

fair faces,

loving eyes, and rosy


of experience
if

no

man who had

single grain
air,

would voluntarily sleep in the open


covering of any kind were procurable.

a tent or

The form which

is

most desirable

for

n,

tent

is

THE SIBLEY TENT.


question on which opinions vary greatly.

105

For military

purposes the

'

bell-tent

'

seems to
circle

me

to be the

more

convenient pattern.
pole affords

The

round the supporting


than does any tent

more room

for sleeping

wherein there are necessarily angles.


Indians always adopt the circle
for

their lodges,

when moving about; but


a single slant

for

their large

permanent
it

residences they choose the square,


;

and roof

with

immense sheds are thus made from


For easy

rough cedar slabs by the Coast, Fraser, and Vancouver Island savages, for winter quarters.
transport,

bell-tent
it,

'

is

too heavy, requiring

two
an

men
over,

to pitch

and in

close timber its height is

objection, whilst in very


if

hard wind
'

it

is

easily

blown

not

secured by

guy

'

ropes.

The United
us on the

States

Commission, working jointly with

Boundary-line, used to a great extent


the Sibley tent, which
is

most com- ^^
In form
it
-f^

modious and comfortable.


is

conical,

and the apex

is

constructed
'

^^
^"

on the principle of the 'cowl or 'presbyterian of


'

frequently placed on the top


curative agent.
al-

smoky chimneys as a

This contrivance leaves an opening

ways in the course of the wind, which


ventilates the tent

sihlky ti;nt.

and allows the smoke to escape,


its

without any risk of


the interior.

being blown back again into

'

r
106

AT

HOME

IX

THE WILDERNESS.
it,

An
II

iron tripod with a short chain fixed to


'

and so
for the

constructed as to fold up with the

tent-gear,'

is

purpose of being placed over the


built

fire,

which should be
and warm.

on the ground in the centre of the tent during cold


if fine

or
*

wet weather, but outside


kettle
'

The

camp

hangs from the chain

contrivance
of

that considerably facilitates the process

cooking.
in-

The Bell and Sibley

tents, the latter of

American

vention, are both admirable, as aifording convenience in

height,

room

to
if

move

about,

and perfect

shelter from the


'

heaviest rain

well pitched.

By turning up the apron

encircling the bottom, so as to allow a current of air


to

blow through, they can be made cool and enjoyable in


If occupied

the hottest sunshine.


a
*

by

soldiers, I

think

Sibley-tent

'

will sleep twelve, or more,

arranged as

the spokes are in a wheel, the men's heads being towards


the
pole,

canvas,

and their

feet to the fire, or the centre

which stands on the top of the

tripod.

This

is

one great advantage the Sibley has over our ordinary


military
'

bell-tent
is

'

it

permits a

fire

in the centre of

the tent, which


is

impossible in ours, unless a small stove

used,

and the tent pitched on the edge of a hole

excavated for the purpose, so as to allow the stovepipe to pass through the ground beneath the canvas,

a system never available unless at a depot or a

camp
fire

intended for long occupation.


a tent
is

Not that I think a


of

in

so very desirable, unless it be in continuous


fall

wet weather, or during a heavy

snow then being


;

1
GOLD miner's tent.
able to sit by a
fire,

107

protected from the weather,

is

undeniably a great luxury.

Against these several advantages


as

must be placed

a counterpoise, the weight and cumbersome size

of the package, are rolled

when

either the Bell or Sibley tents

up

for transport.

Although the centre pole

may

be ferruled, and divided into two parts, neverthe length


'

m-

theless,

is

even then very obstructive to


'

convenience of

packing

on the backs of mules, and

they are further extremely liable to get broken.


tents themselves are particularly heavy

The

and bulky, and


is,

should

it

be

necessary,

as

it

constantly
is

when

travelling, to roll

them up wet, the weight

enormous.

For wagon or ambulance transport, where the addition


of a few pounds weight
is

of no material consequence,
all

these tents are admirable, indeed

the most fastidious

campaigner could desire

and

if

well

and judiciously

pitched, afford comfort and protection equal to log-houses.

The gold-diggers have a very simple plan of protecting


themselves from the weather whilst sleeping.

They pro-

vide themselves with a long strip of light cotton canvas,

which

is

easily carried even

on one's own back.

When camping, two sticks,


into the

each about four feet long, are

cut with a small fork at the ends.

These are driven


third and a

ground
is

six feet apart.

Then a

lighter pole

placed on the forked ends of the uprights

this
Over

one should be rather more than seven feet long.


the cotton awning
is

it

placed,

and then pegged

firmly to the ground.

One

end, that towards the wind,

I'l

108

AT

HOME

IX

THE WILDERNESS.

is

fastened together, either with pieces of string, or what

I prefer,
for the

wooden skewers.

The other end


at,

is left

open

occupant to creep in
is

and skewered together


ridge-stick rather

when he

in.

Bj making the

longer than the supports, the cotton covering can be


fastened so as to leave the forked sticks outside, a plan
that affords more room, and enables you to bring the

edges of the cover slightly to overlap.

very capital protection against heavy rain

may

be conveniently rigged

up by using the aparejo


if

covers,

a piece of canvas, or slabs of bark,


is

nothing better
is

procurable.

This half-shelter tent


useful

exceedingly
or

when on hunting

trapping excursions.
ditional

An
of

ad-

pound

weight upon
is

^^^
'^^'"^^iiV

these

occasions
;

crreat

:*^Hi^li^

consequence
liuuter

the

lighter

a
^:

HAi,K-suKi,TKR TENT.

cau uiakc his equip-

ment the

better for himself

and his horse, hence the


Ct

knowledge of any expedient by which he can add to


his comfort

and keep his


it

cloths dry, without carrying


^

&f

the

material to do

with,

is

sure to prove useful.

Bark and branches of wood are generally procurable


either of these materials laid first against the frame,

shown in the
or rushes, will
proof.

cut,

and then covered over with grass


slant nearly if not quite water-

make a

have frequently slept under a contrivance

erected in this fashion during a night of pouring rain,

and kept myself quite

dry.

It is

almost superfluous to

I
say, this
side.
'

GABLE-ENDED TENT.
half-shelter
'

109

should be always on the weather

I have tried these contrivances at the dio-o-ino^s


in a Sibley tent in

lived

North-

west America, in a Bell-tent

in the Crimea, in a

Turkish
sides
in

tent

with

eight

Asia Minor, in a Bedouin


Arab's tent, in Indian
wij^'-

wams

east and west of the


in
INDIAN UKF.D-MAT I.OIIOE. (From a photograph.)

Rocky Mountains, and


Palmetto shantees
tropical world,
in

the

and

I have

camped

in

the open

air,

much
'

oftener than I thought agreeable, at times


it,

when
is

I could not avoid

but after

all,

the tent I prefer

the

dog-kennel,'

or

'gable-ended tent;' the size a


poles' should be six feet, and

10-ell.

The 'upright
'

the

'

ridge-pole

seven feet long.


in the

Each of these three

poles

must be ferruled

centre with a strong ferrule of

galvanised iron.
the two uprights

The ends of
should be

made sharply conical, and then


shod with iron thimbles, forged
to
fit

GAHJ.E-KNDKI) OH ])0(i-KKNNKL

on to the conical ends,

TKNT.

and each thimble must be firmly fixed by two iron


pegs, passed through
riveted.
it

and the

pole,

and then securely


is

The usual plan adopted by tent-makers

to

drive a small iron wire

peg into the ends of the upriglits,

'

no

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


in the
*

which pegs pass through holes


canvas,

ridge poles
'

'

and
'

and

serve as a

means

for attaching the

guy

ropes to the outside of the tent.


it

But

in

packing

will be found that tiiese slender

pegs are continually


is

broken or bent, and added to

this, there

always

good deal of bother in finding the hole in the canvas

when pitching a
contend that
'

tent,
'

and

for

'

gable-ended tents

'

'

guy ropes are

perfectly non-essentials.
it

By using the
is

conical ends shod with iron,


is

matters
all

not which end of the pole

uppermost, and
is

that

required in the ridge-pole

a small cone-shaped
to
fit

hole for the end of the up.

iglit

into

the other

end

slightly penetrating the ground, holds firmly,

and

keeps the tent steady.


very
sir.all

One man unaided

can, with a

amount

of practice, pitch this three-pole

gable-ended tent in from eight to ten minutes.


I hear

some one exclaim,

Why

cany

poles at

all,

when

travelling through the very midst of a thickly

wooded country?
experience taught

Surely you can cut


'P
'

them whenever
I

and wheresoever you ca,mp

So I thought once, until

mo

lessons of wisdom,

and then

discovered that tent-poles were not so eaby to procure,

and

cut

at a

moment's notice

although

one

was

ti'avelling

through a

country densely
vriori
t(

timbered

as
*

most persons would a


I advise
all travellers

be disposed to believe.

carry their tent poles with


all

them

trusting to the mere diance of finding polos

a gnnving,' fitted for your purpose, and needing only


to be chopped

down,

is

a bad plan.

Supposing you

PRECAUTIONS NOT TO LE NEGLECTED.

Ill

and

are fortunate

enough to find what


necessitated
in
fit

suits

your purpose,
fitting,

long delay

is

cutting,

and

adapting the green poles to


is
it

the canvas, the tent

never steady, and you are in a perpetual fidget that

may

at

any moment
If,

fall

in

upon you whilst you

are

sleeping.

on the other hand, poles are not

procurable, and this, let


derers,' is

me

assure

all

young

'

wanand
not

by
is

far the
useless,

more probable contingency, then


and you may have
to
lie

your tent

moan
to

over your disappointed hopes,

cooled,

if

refreshed,

by a shower-bath of

rain,

which serves
;

alike

damp your courage and your

clothes

and begets
to

wise resolve, ere morning comes,

never

ven-

ture on

another march without carrying tent-poles

along with you.


the
at
'

Exactly the same advice applies to


it

tent-pegs

;
'

is

utter misery having to cut pegs

camping-time, and sticks cu+ green with a crook

at the

end never

'

drive

'

well, or hold

when

driven

old barrel staves form the best materials out of which


to

saw

'

tent-pegs

'

the pegs stow easily in the bag

with the tent, and do not, in any appreciable degree,


increase
its

bulk as a package.

Spare ones should

always be carried, when travelling, as tont-])egs, like


clothes-pegs used by laundry

women, or pins employed


difficult

by everybody, are from some cause


nation constantly

of expla-

diminishing in numbers.
driving the pegs
is

light

wooden mallet
essential,

for

also

another

which should be packed

in the

bag which

contains the tent and pegs.

112

AT homp: in the wilderness.

When we
sioner
used,

were equipping the Boundary Commission,

prior to oar leaving England, her Majesty's

Commis-

deemed

it

expedient to adopt the form of tent

and strongly recommended, by the Honourable


is

Hudson's Bay Company, which


tent I
at
so

the

'

gable-ended

strongly

advocate.
siz
,
;

We
'

had them made


and
8-ell,

Liniehouse of three

cU, 10-ell,

but the poles were not ferruled, and only fitted with

11

a wire peg in the end.

It

certainly at that

time

seemed to
iili

my mind
England

the height of folly to take tentto

poles from
finest

Vancouver Island, on which the


the world grows
I

pine timber in

in

prodigal

abundance, but from the experience


gleaned, I found
to
it

subsequently
;

was by

far the wiser pjan


else, 'v^*jro
2
in:^
(

and had

go out there, or anywhere


I

a tent was

desirable to-morrow,
comj^leted.

would i^

whole thing

In some measure to rep

what

I have

previously said, I should take a 10-ell tent, fitted

with

a seven-foot ferruled ridge-pole,

made

of good pine,

and two six-feet uprights also ferruled, and capped


with conical iron thimbles; three dozen tent-pegs,
of seasoned oak, and two
asli-mi!li.;ts.

made

Th(> tent-pegs

and

nuillets

to be

fitted into

intci

canvas bag,
tie like

made round

at t]io bottom,
t
>.

and finished to
the

corn-sack at the

by plaiting

canvas,

and
is

fastening the cord round the phiits.


*

When the
'

string
up,'

run

in,'

so that the

mouth may be drawn

an

orifice is gonenilly left sufficiently large to

allow the tent-

pegs to escape

at,

and when reaching the camjjing ground

TEXT POLES AND PEGS.


ssion,

Ji:^

one has to waste an hour foraging* for new pegs, which


are not worth a straw

nmisf

when compared
tent-poles
I

to those this

tent

stupid system of

I cannot say fastening tent bags has


The
we carried with us
say

arable

cause 1 one to

lose.

nded

from England

although
now
'

dare
it

many

of

my
use

made
8-ell,
1

readers will even

say

was vastly

like, to

an e very-day
very
little

simile,

taking coals to Newcastle,' made

with
time

difference to the weight or cubic

measurement
large

of baggage

necessitated for the

supply of so

tentcli

a party, and for accomplishing such a laborious under-

the

taking as was that of marking the forty-ninth parallel


of
latitude

rodigal
[iiently
i

tlie

'

Boundary-line

'

dividing
States.
all

British

Columbia from the lands of the United

had

On
at

landing our party, about seventy-five persons,


it

?nt

was

on Vancouver Island,
once go
'

was imperative that


Poles

should

thing'

under canvas.'
all

and pegs being


canvas
it

I have
3d with

ready,

the tents were


required,

pitched in no time, tools

were not
built

and

our

tiny

city

was

d i^ine,

and occupied in
fit

less

time than
jDoles.

would have

capped
s,

taken to cut and

a dozen

After commencing

made

our work of cutting the Boundary-line, to accomplish

ut-pegs
as bag,
)

which a corps of
it

fifty

American axemen
have
very

wa.*'

required,
larger

was found desirable to

nuich

like a

tents

made

for

the

chopping gangs than those we


sufficiently capacious to

lis,

and

brought from England, tents

string is
nj),'

accommodate twelve or

fifteen

axemen.

When

several

an

men were

workiii^ together, a large tent was easily

he tentr

pitched by their united labour, and as they did not

OTOlind

'

114
*

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.

shift

in

more frequently as a rule than once every twelve or fourteen days, one large tent was

camp

'

found to answer far better than three or four smaller


ones.

These

lar^^e tents

were generally slung;

the

poles in this case

have

io

be cut, as they were re;

quired to be

large

and strong

five

are needed for

one large

tent.

The 'ridge-pole'

rests

on the fork

made by the ends

of the other four poles.

Two

of the

lateral poles should

be cut with a natural fork; by


resting the ends

of the two
all

other poles in these,


of tieing
is

trouble

dispensed with, and


will

the tent
firmer
'

when pitched

be
if
:i

and steadier than

poles lashed at the top were

em -

AXKMANS

TKNT.

ployed.

More than

this, rope,

cord, or raw-hide, cannot always


notice.

be obtained at a minute's

The poles

so arranged are then placed at either

end of the

tent, the
it is

bottoms of the poles being pulled

as far apart as

desirable to get them.


is first

The canvas
and then
into

thrown over the ridgeit

pole thus kept up,


is

pegged

firmly

the

ground.
derstood,
this
MIl'T

If I
it

am

clearly un-

will be seen that in


'

mode

of

pitching a tent

DP FOB

'IHK NKJJIT.

the supporting poles are out

side the canvas, instead of inside,

where the poles must

always be,

if

only two uprights are used.

'

A HUNTERS
once
it

VISIT.

\\r,

was
the
re-

mailer
;

re

ed for

CHAPTER
A

VII.

e fork
of the
'k;
tie

by

Hunter's Bedding Bedding for Tents or T.og-hoi;?eg Bedstend, how to ninke Systems of Packing up liedding Tools necessary for a Wanderer The way to fell your first Tree How to split a

two and
be
if

Log

Traps to be avoided.
'

trouble
ith,

If you start either

hunting'

(I

use the word

'

hunter'

in its Transatlantic sense, as

meaning one who shoots,


and game),
'

will

traps, or otherwise destroys wild animals

than

trapping, prospecting, or in search of an eligible


tion,'
I;

loca-

^ereemis,

whereon to

'

squat,'

and

'

clear'

or

'

fence' in a

rope,

farm, you will require but few

if

any

superfluities.

In

ninute's
it

the shape of bedding, a couple of blankets carried under

either

the saddle, a
hide,
for a

'

butt'alo robe' rolled

up

in

a piece of stout

g pulled
3

and

tied behind the saddle cantle,


if

ought to

suffice

canvas
ridge-

week or two,

roughing

it

but when provided

le

with mules or other means of transport, then being


provided with proper bedding will be found a great

i
11

then
to

it

the

comfort

one mule ought to carry the


It will be as well

'

full kit'

or outht

arly un>ii

of two persons.
briefly

perhaps to describe

that in

a tent
are out

summer and winter systems for sleeping adopted by the Boundary Coirimission, as we found them
the
to

answer

peirfectly.

The men, consisting of about


flfty
1

>les

must

seventy sappers, and

axemen and packers, were


2

r
IIG

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.

wintered for two consecutive years at Colville, on the

upper Columbia, in log-houses, of which I shall say

something further on.

The temperature was often

as

low as 30 and 32 below zero, and an average depth of


18 inches

of snow covered the ground from the be-

ginning of November to the end of April.


I

The

sap-

pers

had a

requisite supply of blankets served out to

them, but the axemen and packers had to provide their


own. In the log-houses built for the

men

'

bunks' were

constructed round the sides just as they are arranged


in the forecastle of a ship, or in the best cabins for that

matter, and in these the


I

men

slept comfortably enough.


for sleeping

The

officers

had each a small log-house

and

sitting in, a general

mess-room being provided

for the

victualling department.

The bedstead

I used,

and prefer as best suited

to a

permanent camp, or

for general travelling, consists of

two side-poles, measuring from


about 7 to 8 feet in length,

made
ruled
.

of tough
in

wood and
centre

fer-

the

with a

.. ..---ji.

strong ferrule

made

of galva-

CA.Mr-UKDSTKAl).
A A
II

nised iron, supported on three


pairs of legs crossed like those

Fcrnilt'H.

II

Hctul-ropc.

; (;

Foot rope. u Pivot on which tho logs fohi. K Cross rope to keep tho legs from

of a tressil
is

a strip of canvas
to

xpauiling.

so

sewn as

allow the
is

two

lateral poles

to pass

through loops, or what

preferable,

a continuous hole from end to end.

This

AX EASY WAY TO BE COMFORTABLE.


affair,

117

common
is*

pattern of

camp

bedstead, minus the


oiitfitters,
is

ferrules,

sold

by most metropolitan

rapidly j)ut together,

and

is

very comfortable to sleep

on; but

if this

bedstead gets broken, as according to


it

my
the

experience

constantly does, then a capital sub-

stitute

can be j^rovided, by a judicious use of the axe,


the

canvas belonging to

broken bedstead, and

the timber growing roiuid about you.


to furnishing a log shanty.

My remarks apply
may
n,

Sleeping on the floor


it,

be well enough

if

one cannot help

but as a

rule,

few simple contrivances, which can be provided in an


hour, will nuike the
'

wanderer'

fifty

times more

'

at

home,' save him

many
his

a bad cold, rest him better

when

weary, and economise heat equal to that of two blankets,

by elevating

body above the draughts.


1,'irch,

Look out
in diameter,

for a straight pine or

about two

feet

chop

it

down, and
;

'

log off'

two junks, each

about

five feet in

length

then look out for two poles,


feet
ii

as straight as

you can find them, each about eight

length.

Roll your logs into the shanty, place one where


is

the head of your bed

to be, and the other for the foot

now measure three feet


six inches in the centre of

each log, and at

the end of the

mea""'
*'"

sure-marks chop a deep


notch, and

mind you

^-akkshikt

ni;i,.TioAi..

chop the inside piece

vertically, or leaning over at th<

118

AT IIOMK IN THE WILDERNESS.


I 'I

top a

little will

be

still

better

and slant the outermost


it

wall of the notch or that part of

which

will

be the

nearest to the end.

Then run your

poles through the

eyes or loops in the canvas, drop the ends of the poles


into the notches,

and you have a bedstead

fit

for
all

an

emperor to repose on.


have to do
it is

When

you move camp,

you

to slip out the poles from the canvas, roll


for

up,

and leave the logs and poles in readiness


if

your return, or the next comer

you never do go back.

small mattress, stuffed with horse-hair, the size of


feet,

which should not exceed three

or three feet six

inches in width, and six feet in length, will be found to

be an immense convenience

in winter

you can lay


it

it

over your canvas to sleep on at night, or use

for a

lounge during the idle hours of the day.

Two good
is

blankets during summer, and four during the winter, a


buffalo skin or
'

robe,' as

a dressed buffalo hide

styled,

and a good large waterproof wrapper or ground sheet,


to spread on the

ground when camj)ing during the sum-

mer, and to roll the bedding in

when

travelling, will

about complete the bedding arrangements.


impress upon the minds of
never onut seeing to the
'

Let

me
:

all travellers

a golden rule

rolling'

up of your bedding.

There

is

a right and a wrong


as
it

way

of doing

it

if

managed

should be, no wet can get into the


it

blankets, however hrid

may

j)Our

with rain, or

if

the

pack-animal carrying the tent-freight amuses

itself

by

rolling in erery stream it arrives at, a pastime

mules


KEEP YOUR BEDDING DRY
ost
JI9

aro very

much

predisposed to indulge in
after.

if

they are not


fine,

the the
oles

looked sharply

Should the weather be

pack

your
'

'

dressing gear' if you are going to shift camp,

strike "

your tent,

fold, roll,

and place
tie

it

in its bag,

an

with the pegs and mallet, and


together.

your poles tightly

you
roll

Now
it,

carefully

fold

your blankets to the

length, and a

trifle

narrower than the mattress, and lay


buff'alo
it.

for
)ack.
5e
fc

them on
and
"

double your
its

robe,

and place the

mattress and
roll the

contents upon

Begin at one end,

of
six

whole tightly, turning in the ends of the


rolling,
tie

robe' as

you progress in

having a stout cord or

id to

a small 'hide rope' ready to

round as tightly as you


this bundle can be
-<W\\<VKVW\v^<

ay
for

it

can haul

it.

The more compact


it will

made

the better
pack.

be found to

good

Then proof camp sheet, and

spread the waterlay the


it,

bundle on one side of

and

bring the edges of the waterproof over each end of the bedTIIK

ding,
it

and thus continue to

WAY

TO

I'OLl)

roll

CI-OTHK3

IN

A.

IIKDDINO ANM) WATEIlPROOl'

in the

camp sheet. By doing


The whole should,
*

WHAPPKU.

this it is next to

an impossibility

for

water to find an

entrance.

lastly,

be securely lashed

with a stout hide rope, or

lassoo.'

To

find all one's

bedding saturated with wet

a mistrusting

fortune I have often had happen, arising to

my

another with what I ought to have seen to myself

when camping

after a day's march,

would aggravate a

120 saint.
fitted

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.

II

Those painted canvas

'

bed envelopes,'
straps,

artistically

up with buckles and leather

made round at

each end, and bound with drab-coloured leather, containin<^

what

is

called

by

outfitters
gift, if

complete camp

bed,' I

would not accept as a

compelled to take
It

one abroad to be used for mule travelling.


.

may
is

jmswer very well for army purposes, where


conveyed in wagons
chase a
'

all

baggage

but take advice, and never puris

complete camp bed.' If you want what


useful, rather procure

really

and practically
cles I

each of the arti-

have recommended at the best shop, and of the

]>est quality.

A stout

India-rubber

camp
oil,

sheet,
will
'

'

or a

square of canvas soaked in boiled linseed


better to

answer
'

wrap round your bedding than any

case

or

envelope

made
if

for the purpose I

have as yet seen.


it,

With

a 'case,'
it,

a hole rubs through

or a snag tears

there arises the immediate necessity to repair the

damage, or the chances of a wet bed are before you.

With a wrapper
bilities
all

rolled

many

times round, the probU-

are ten to one against a hole being torn through


;

the enwraps
it

and

if

such a mishap should occur,

why,

is

only to alter the rolling, and the holes are

securely hid,

and hence

effectually stopped.

Another advantage a plain camp sheet has over a


'

bed case'

is,

that you can spread

it

on

the.

ground
;

when
rains,

sleeping in a tent to place your mattress on

for
it

in a tent a

bedstead
is

is

a useless encumbrance.

If

and there

any chance of the water draining

A CHEAP COSY CHAIR.


underneath the tent,
sides
all

121

that

is

necessary

is

to fold the
aftei*

and ends of the waterproof up over the bed


safely turned in,

you have

and

let

the water find

its

way

past and under you.

There can be no fear of

getting wet underneath so long as the edges are well

turned up.

I never use a pillow, as

it

increases the

size of the bundle,

and

I find

my

clothes

when

folded

up answer every purpose.

Moreover, this plan keeps

your garments from the chance of getting wet.


found this plan of sleeping on the ground,
'

We

and

rolling

the bedding,' to answer admirably whilst doing the

Commission work, and nearly


v/ith the
*

all

the ofiicers dispensed

bed case

'

altogether,

and the bedstead during

the

summer

field-work.
chair, or rather

A very useful
shift seat,

make-

can be easily contrived by

cutting a cask, as
tration,

shown

in the illus-

then

fisli^g

the under part

with dry grass or moss, and nailing a


strip

of

canvas or hide across the


It is far prelog,

bottom or seat part.


ferable to perching

on a

can be
H.VKUl'.l.-CHAIK.

made

in ten minutes,

and abandoned

when

shifting camp.
tools,

In regard to

a great deal must depend upon the


If

object of your journey.

you are bent upon any


due accomplishment
can be best

special mission, requiring for its

tools of a particular character, such tools

1-22

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.

selected by the person

who

is

going to use them, and no


;

advice I can offer will be of any practical value


for all ordinary travelling a skilled

but

wanderer needs only

an American axe, a

three-inch auger, a couple of

gimlets, a stout clasp-knife coujaining several blades,

and being besides a

sort of

'

omnium

gatherum'' of little

tools, as, for instance^,

a punch for leather, a lancet, a


pricker, together with
^ase -knife to

saw, a screw-driver, touch-ho^


others I need not enumerate
at the waist-belt,

be worn

and

for this I

have found the knife in


all

use by pork-butchers the best kind for

ordinary

purposes
riveted

it is

strong, usually

made
its

of good steel, has a


fits

box-wood handle, and

shape

it

for all

sorts of uses, either to flay


1
'

a buffalo, paunch a buck,


bird.

mend a pen,

or skin a

humming

The blade should

be fitted with a stout pig-skin case, and kept from falling


out by a small leather strap and buckle, fastened to the

sheath for the purpose of being buckled round the haft


of the knife.

When

the traveller

is

on horseback or
is

walking through dense timber, a knife from


its

apt to slip

sheath unless secured.


is

Losing a good case or


trifling

other kind of knife

by no means a

matter to

the dweller in the wilderness.

Thus equipped,
tools

if

the wanderer knows

how

to use the

he has, he can do nearly anything and everything


it,

build a log-cabin, split shingles to roof


I shall by-and-by

and make, as

show how, a

fire-place, door, latch,

hinges, and windows; rafts can be also constructed,

'

SKILL VERSUS STRKNGTH.


bridges made,
cano^'es.

1-23

and logs hollowed into safe and shapely hands of a Indeed, an axe and auger, in the

man
arts

skilled in all the thoroughly up to his work, and chest of carpenter^s of an axeman, are equal to a

tools,

employed by a novice or

inefficient

workman.
beUeve

No one from mere hearsay evidence how many things a back-woodsman can
with an axe.

would

accomplish

Trees measuring eight and ten feet in cut down by our diameter, counted by lumdreds, were corps of axemen, two men only

Boundary Commission
at

tree,

that no

trees with a rapidity utterly astonishing; were ordinary woodsman would fall in a day,
'
'

less upon the ground by their brawny arms in American wedgethan an hour. To use perfectly the

stretched

shaped axe (and here


for felling timber,

let

me

say, that

it is

the only axe

and doing everything with, which is degree of skill worth one stra;v), requires no ordinary something to do and practice. Strength, of course, has moderate muscular power still, a man of only
with
it
;

of himself, if the would beat a giant into being ashamed did not, know how weaker man did, and the stronger man
to wield

an

axe.

The axe

I prefer for all ordinary pur-

pounds, and it should poses ought to weigh about eight the term is, on a ' be carefully mounted, or hung,' as
handle. springy, rightly curved, hiccory

Now

for a

few brief instructions for

'

green hands
'

and should you think, most courteous

wanderers,'

superfluous, let that these hints are altogether

me

ask

124

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.

yon to try your hand on any log within yonr reach,


using an American axe, and
'

it

strikes

me you

will distoes, or

cover that
split

it is

far

moie easy to amputate your


it
is

your shin-bones, than

to cut the log into

jjroper lengths for splitting, the

ends of the severed


^\

portion to be left as smooth and true as wedges cut


purposely.
All our sappers were indignant when, on

landing at Vancouver Island, they were told they must


be taught

how

to

'

chop.'

Nevertheless, scarcely one

of them, after the experience of nearly four years, was,


to use a
staff of
I

Yankfeism, a 'patch
axemen.

'

upon one of our regular

Let us suppose you are going to


oe careful to discover

fell

your

first tree

how

the tree leans, and always


it

choose that side towards which

inclines to begin
tlie

on

by doing this you avoid the risk of falling


yourself.

tree

on

Stand off from the trunk, so that the edge of


it,

your p.xe-blade can touch the centre of

whilst both

your hands are grasping the handle before the knot


tj

at the e!id of
to prevent it

it,

purposely mnile
o\1

from slipping

of the grasp in the act of chop-

ping;
;r

fix

your eye on a spot


feet

/Ml'

L^:
llOAV

mm^

about

three

from

the

ground on the tree-trunk, pb.nt


your
feet firmly, look carefully

TO VKLL A TUKl/

behind you to make sure that there are no small twigs


or branches to intorcept the axe

have seen the omis-

THE RIGHT-SIZED

CHIP.

J25

sior of this little precaution lead to

most dangerous

accidents

then holding the handle by the extreme end,


it

not too firmly, or

will jar

your wrists, and whirling


it

the axe at arm's length round your head, bring

ob-

Uquely
If

down upon

the spot you have fixed your eye on.


slant, the

you bring the edge down at the proper

blade should be nearly buried in the bark and timber


if

you do not,
legs.

it

will

'

glance,'

and then look out


you can
;

for

your

Repeat

this cut if

an axeman

would, twice or three times following in the same place

should the tree be, for example four feet in diameter,

chop in the next cut you make three feet lower down
than where you made the
first cut,

but this time hori-

zontally, always bringing the axe

round at arm's length.


use a

This will give you the


*

'right-sized chip,' to

lumberer's

'

phrase

or

what he means, in other words,

is,

that the three-feet notch will enable the chopper to


of the tree break in the centre of

make the wedge end


the stu up;
of
tei*.

if

you took a smaller notch, as nine out

inexperienced

men would
'

do,

you would

find your

axe

jammed
;

before you cculd choj) half-way through

the trunk

hence, the

length of the chop

'

is

always

in proportion to the girth or

diameter of the tree to


tree,

be felled.

Cut half-way through the

always keepif

ing

the
;

lower surface horizontal and smooth, as

planed

then change, and begin on the opposite side to

that on which you have been chopping, precisely in

the same

way

as you

began the other cut

when you

126

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.
off,

are nearly tlirough, the tree will crack

and of
;

course
is

fall

in the direction to

which

it

leaned

that

away from you. To


split

a log never stand

it

on

its

end

lay

it flat

on

the ground,

commence
it,

at one end, chop the axe in as far


close to

as you can, free


line

and chop in again,

and in a

with the

first cut,

and so proceed along the length

of the log.

log eight feet in diameter

and twenty

long can be easily split by adopting this plan, without


the aid of wedges
;

two

skilled

axemen, by working one

axe in so as to free the other, and continuing alternately to bury their axes in the fallen tree along
length, can easily split an
end.
its

immense

tree

from end to
I

Wedges
it

are often used, and although


as a caution,
still
it

need

hardly niime
hint, to

may be

a useful

mention two cases of


fatally to
'

terrible suffering,
'

both of

which ended

lumberers

employed

in split-

ting heavy timber.

One

of the two was


'

wedging open a large pine which


driven three wedges, one
fissure
;

had been

felled.'

He had

after another,

and thus opened a considerable

the

first

two wedges were loose, so that one of them came

out easily, but the seccmd being rather more firmly fixed,
required to be knocked clear with the nnillet or
beetle.'
'

wedge
sud-

Holding the top of the wedge with one hand


it

and striking

with the mallet held in the other,

it

denly slipped, and the jerk threw

him

forwards.
left

Drop-

ping the wedge and instinctively pushing his

hand

CAUTIONS TO BE REMEMBERED.
forward to save himself from
nately pushed
it

li7

falling,

he most unfortu-

into the gaping crack, a matter that


if

would have been of no consequence

the third wedge


its

had not suddenly

'

sprung,' or slipped from out

place.

In an instant the crack closed, and firmer than any


steel trap ever held

a beaver the fissure shut upon and


the wrist and hand.
'

held the wretched

man by

Luckily

in this case there were other * lumberers

at work near by,

who hearing the shrieks

of their comrade ran to his aid

and wedges driven by muscular arms wielding masnive


mallets, soon released the sufferer from this novel trap

of his
metl

own making.
il

He was

taken to his cabin and

aid obtained, but although the luind

and

wrist,

crushed to a

mummy, were
t<>

togtther amputated,

still

the

shock was

i*)o ij^rcat

ev^n for so hardy a man's physical


bear up Mgainst
died.
;

endurance and system

the

wound

became gangrenous, and the axeman

The second misfortune


'

befell

an axeman who was

logging

'

up a very large
'

tree into four feet lengths

for splitting into

c<)r<^

wood.'
logs
it
it

To axe a
i
is

tree

into

necessary to

stand on

and chop between your

legs,

adopting exactly the same law


us

regards
'

the

size

of the
i.onniNo IT A
THi',i;.

notch, or

chop,' as explained
'

when speaking of
the right and

felling

'

a tree

only in this case both


obliquely, the ends of
i

left cuts

are

made

.i

128

AT
log",

HOME

IN
is

THE WILDERNESS.
divided, being wedge-shaj)ed.

each

when

the tree

Having cut half through, the axeman turns round and

commences on the opposite


of practice
cleverly.
is

side.

An immense amount
man
to
^

required to enable a
first place, it is

log

'

timber
!l

In the

extremely

difficult to

stand on a tree lying on the ground, and chop betwixt

your
place,

feet,

your legs being well apart

in

the next i

few but the most practised hands can make the


'

two
1

cuts

meet exactly

in the centre of the tree trunk.


l-"ng
'

have often seen a tree 250 feet

axed

'

into four-

feet lengths

without a log being moved or displaced

so accurately did all the notches meet, that division

was
not

accomplished without knocking one of the ends out of


the straight line.

In the third place,


it is

if

the axe

is

brought down as

swung round at the extreme end


it

of tlio handle, exactly true to the slant of the notch,


will

be certain to

'

glance,'

and then

if

you do not
why, you

require a

wooden

leg for the rest of your

life,

may

congratulate yourself upon possessing a greater


falls

share of luck than


(ihoppers.

to the

lot

of most

young

The man had


spj itting.
J

finished his logging, an<l

had conmienced

have said that the logs, after being chopped


'

ono from another, are seldom displaced, so that the


berman,'

lum-

when he
is

splits

them,

still

stands and works

upon the log he

going to divide with immense wooden

and iron wedges, to be driven by a ponderous nuiUet,


the

ixeman having

first

made a

place with his axe

A HORRIBLE ALTERNATIVE.
to insert a

129

wedge
I

into the oblique cut in the

loj[^'s

end.

The lumberer
tough
,f

am

speaking of began his task, wedge

followed wedge, and with

many

a creak and groan the

fibres yielded to the resistless force of the

wedges.

Soon a yawning crack opened along the


brief space
it

log,

and in a

would have been in two, but by some

mischance the

man

slipped, and, just as in the other

case of the hand, the

wedge

'

sprung,' and allowed the

crack to close upon his foot.


available

Having
in

tried every
;

means
hail,

to free himself, but

vain

shouting he

knew

to be useless, as there

was no one within

and night was coming on, and he was well aware that the
bitter cold of a northern winter

must end

his life long

before any help could be reasonably anticipated.

In this with

agony of mind and intensity of bodily

suffering,

mad despair the poor fellow seized the axe, and at a single
chop severed his leg from the imprisoned foot; with
wouv^jrful presence of
to
'I?

mind he

tied a ligature round

prevent

it

from bleeding, and then dragged him-

self

along in the direction of his cabin, some distance


It
is

away.

doubtful

if

he ever would have reached

it

had not some lumberers by mere chance passed within


hail.

I need merely add that all


sufferer that medical skill

was done

for the gallant


re-

and the care of anxious


all,

latives could do, but, spite of

he too died.

There
of
like

are

a great

many

very similar stories told

mishaps which have from time to time befallen the

'l

130

AT

HOME

IN THE WILDERNESS.

as but these two I relate Canadian backwoodBman, immediate observatxon. come under my own be careful to keep your mIi: When splitting always or you may be from out the cracks feet and hands

Ln.

trapped and caught

are, for the like four-footed beasts

jackets. sake of their furry

111:1

NEVER TEAVEL WITHOUT A FRYIXGPAX.


e

131

as

tion.

your
y
?

l^e

the

CHAPTER

VIII.

Cooking Utensils A Fryingpan equal to any emergencyTea and than Coflee versus Rum and Water Canteens more ornamental Camp Baskets Iron Ovens useful The Plan for making your own Camp KettlesFlour better than BiscuitYeast Powder. How
to bake a

LoriFixed

Ovens.

Cooking

utensils must, like everything else, entirely

depend, as regards number and variety, upon the means of transport at the * wanderer's ' disposal. When I
start alone

on a *hunt.ig' or

prospecting
tj

'

trip I
;

never carry more than a fryingpan and a


the former I strap behind

i pannikin

my

saddle already described,


to

the latter I wear attached

my
a.

waist-belt

by the

handle.
*

It is wonderful
it

what

man
and

can do with a
I have

fryingpan,'

is

equal to any emergency.

heard
in
*

lots of fellows talk about,


'

I invariably read

hunter's
*

stories, of

grilling

on the glowing em*

bers,'

roasting by the camp-fire,' anu


ashes.'

baking a damper

on the
all

Armed with my
*

fryingpan I look upon


I should like to

these contingencies as

utter bosh.'

see

any

i:)uffalo

cow-ribs or slice from a fat juicy moose,


it

smoked, scorched, dried, and peppered with ashes, as


always
is

when

grilled

upon the embers, at x2

least,

accord-

^mmt^tmtmdmbimm^

13-2

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.

ing to

my

experience, that could bear any comparison


'

to the artistic

honne-houche
it

'

I can turn out

from

my

fryingpan.

Why,

would make any

civic dignitary's

mouth

tingle with delight if his nose only sniffed the

rich appetising odour that exhales

from a moose steak

mind, I say fried in


bread in
'

its

my

frjingpan,

own fat. Then I can bake make and fry pancakes, or

slap-jacks,'

as trappers call them, roast

my
;

coffee,

boil the salt

out of

my

bacon before I fry

it

I can also

stew birds, or, putting a crust over, produce a pie few

would be disposed to turn away from.

Then, what do
fish,

you say to the trout, salmon, white and round


hooks out of the cold crystal streams
?

one

Where would
mess
your
a two-

you be without
*

fryingpan?

nice

embers

'

would make of a salmon


;

cutlet, or
'

pound trout

but properly provided with this

multum

in parvo,^ just a dust over

with flour and a bit of deer-

grease to keep the fish from sticking to the pan, and

you can turn out a brown delicious dainty, such as

would make any


'

man
all

wish for a throat as long as a


the

rope-walk, paved
If

way with

palate.'
will

you take

my

advice,

young wanderers, you


;

never travel without a fryingpan

the handle should be

constructed to detach, but ought to be of a good length.

The pannikin
raw

is

useful to boil your coffee in, that

is

if

you have any, and except you have a pack-train the


coffee berry is the only
*

form in which material

for

brewing the

cup that cheers but does not inebriate'

RUM AGAIXST TEA AND COFFEE.


can be conveniently carried.
ing
'

133

Still,

despite

all

the

'

cheer-

properties ascribed to tea and coffee

when camping

after a

hard day,

tired, cold, wet,

and

lonely, I say, give

me
the

a good horn of hot rum-and-water in preference to

much

loved Congou, or the fragrant decoction from

the berry of Mocha.

Many

will cry out,

'

What

a de-

praved taste

'
!

All I shall attempt to say in defence of

my

depravity

is,

that I have tried both during extreme

hardship, and rum-and-water sets

me
its

up,

warms me
if it

from my head to my heels, and under


into sleep as a hunter only can sleep.

influence I turn

Tea,

can be

procured, does not do this, and coffee

made from

berries,

tough and hard as bits of hiccory, roasted in a fryingpan, then pounded up betwixt two stones, tied into the
toe of a sock, and, lastly, boiled in the pannikin until

black and bitter, and in flavour remarkably like to


ter

j)or-

mixed with Epsom


all

salts, is, to

my
est

palate, not

mixture at

calculated to impart very lively emotions


;

to a tired traveller

but ^de gustihus non

disjmtandum.^

On

the other hand, where

we have a comfortable

pack-train, such as
Avanderers, then
tastes.

we

are supposed to possess, fellowafford to be luxurious in our


*

we can

do not believe in

canteens,' so called,

'

Avhich

contain everything necessary for a traveller's comfort

and convenience,' according to the advertisements.


go to an
the floor.
in it
outfitter's,

Just

and turn the contents of one upon


all

If

you are able to put

the things you find

buck again, you

may

venture to try your hand at a

'

134

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.
fair

Chinese puzzle with a very


five

chance of success. Not

things in

it

are of any possible use.

There

is

gridiron about the size and strength of the door of a

wire mouse-trap
the half of a

a fryingpan about big enough to fry


rat,

musk

and so thin that a week's work


it

burns

it

into holes,

and

needs the vigilance and eyes


fry

of Argus to keep

what you

from burning

tin cups

and saucers that are


slightest pressure,
else is

so thin that they

bend on the

and get so hot, when tea or aught


*

poured in them, that the

Fire
*

King

'

of Cre-

morne could not drink out of a


cooled.

canteen ' cup until

Then there

are knives, forks, spoons, plates,

and hosts of things


all

besides,

which I need not enumerate,

placed by a most ingenious arrangement

secret

by the way no one but the maker or


quires

seller ever ac-

in two galvanized iron or tin cans, covered with


when emptied
*

painted canvas, and which shut over one another, and


are intended to be used as buckets
their contents.

of

The

first

haul the packers give a riata

converts the shut tin cans into the shape of an hourglass,

and reduces the contents to much the same form


might be supposed
to appear in if put in at

as they

one end of a mangle and brought out at the other.

If

you are wise, have nothing to do with a canteen


an expenditure of
5/.

it is

or

61,

utterly

thrown away, and


lot

more than

this,

you encumber yourself with a

of useless things, that leak, bend, and spoil, in the


lieu of such as

would have lasted you until your ramble

CROCKERY, AND

HOW

TO CARRY

JT.

135

had ended.

My

advice

is,

use cups, saucers, plates, and

dishes, indeed

everything classed under the generic


iron.

head of 'crockery,' of enamelled

We

used this

material during the entire work of the Commission

everything

we took out with

us either for private use or

public mess property, in the crockery line,


iron enamelled with white on the inside.

was made of
I

was

foolish
it

enough, as well as others, to buy a


not stand a month's travelling.

canteen,' but

did

I should take as an equipment for one,

and that

will

equally apply to a hundred, a cup and saucer

made

of

the material I have

named

three plates, cheese, soup,


;

and dinner ; two drinking cups without handles

wash

basin,

and a

slop basin.

This I take to be an
knives, a
tea,

ample supply of crockery.


small one and a large one
dessert,
;

Then two good


four spoons,

two

one

and one table

little r^ffair
;

to hold salt in one

end and pepper in the other

a candlestick, made to

screw together like a tobacco box, and a few stout canisters to

contain tea, sugar, &c.

a fryingpan, of course,

and a tin teapot.


fancy
into

AU

these items, and any others your

may

dispose you to wish for, I should have packed


size.

two strong wicker baskets, of equal

You will

have to get them made on purpose, any basket-maker


will
in.

do

it,

with divisions inside for fastening the things


fastening woven into each of the bas-

Have an iron
is

kets to shut with a padlock.

The
*

best shape for the


'

baskets

that of an ordinary

fishing-basket

length-

136

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


laterally.

ened

paulin fixed to
cover,

Each basket should have a small tarit, larg-e enough to hang well over the

and a short distance down the basket, which

should also be lined firmly with the same material.

These baskets properly packed

should not have


foot six inches

them more than three

feet long

and one

ends,
wide
'

will contain
*

an immense quantity of odds and

possibles,' as

we

call

them. They can be packed


pi'easure

readily on a
riata
'

mule or horse, and no

from the

can do them any harm. The contents cannot get


rains for a month,

wet

if it

and should the pack-animal

indulge itself wit^; a roll in the stream, you have the


satisfaction to find

your mess requisites

all

dry.

know

of few things

more unsatisfactory than


is

to discover

on camping that your tobacco

in great flabby leaves,


it

your tea just as housemaids use


with, your sugar a

to sweep carpets

weak

syrup, your bread a poultice,

and everything besides, damp, sodden, and completely


spoiled ;
culate
if

and on this

state of affairs

you may generally calThere

you indulge in those trashy canteens.

are two

more things we found of incalculable

value,

and

which added very materially to the comforts of both


officers

and men during the Commission work, which I


all

should advise

them.
*

do not

who visit wild countries to take with deem them essential additions to the
them out with

kit,'

but as they can be easily carried on mule or horse-

back, there can be no objection to taking


you.

These two

articles are a

wrought-iron camp kettle

FLOUR PEEFERABLE TO
to hold

BISCUIT.

137

two

gallons,

and a small iron oven about eight


This turned over a loaf and
it

or ten inches in diameter.

buried in the hot ashes of the camp-fire bakes


better than any baker's oven.

even

We found these
I

small iron ovens of immense value

both in summer and winter, whilst marking the northwest Boundary-line.


Flour
is
'

very

much more
'

easily

conveyed on mule-back than


In other Avords,
it

hard bread

or biscuit.

is

less

liable to

become injured

from wet, and when issued as a daily ration can be


appropriated to the making of a variety of eatable
matters; whereas biscuit rapidly mildews
if

damped,

soon becomes the


legion,

home and

habitation of the weevil


biscuit,

and must be eaten as a

and that
list,

only.

In rationing men, a change in the diet


to

according

my

experience,

is

at all times desirable,


it

whenever

practicable.

Hence

was found very much more adto have flour

vantajreous for the

men

and a small ration


it

of

yeast powder

'

issued to

them than
;

would have

been to have given them biscuit

but to use flour to ad-

vantage a baking oven is quite essential, and these small


cast-iron ovens,

we found equal
record
'

to any ordinary requireto

ment.

The men soon learned


let

make
- f

capital loaves

and here

me

my unmeasured

praise of

Presis

ton and Merrill's

yeast powder,

liicli

I contend

equal, if not superior, to


bread,'

any material in use


*

for

rising

and
in
'

strongly advise
'

wanderers

'

and parties

engaged

field

work of any kind,

in a wild country,

138

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


flour,

never to travel without


small cast-iron ovens.
is

yeast powder, and a few


is

After the loaf

made,

all

that

requisite to do in regard to

baking

it is

to brush

away
and

the ashes of the

camp

fire,

in order to

make a clean spot


it,

to place the loaf on, then turn the iron oven over

bury up the whole with red-hot ashes.


the loaf
is

When
if it

you think

nearly baked, remove the oven, and then


;

thrust a peeled stick into the bread

comes out
;

doughy, replace the oven and heap on more ashes

if,

on the other hand, the rod comes out clean, your loaf
cooked, and
facture,
'

is

if

due

skill

has been exercised in

its

manuas the

you may bet your bottom


it
*

dollar,'

Yankees

say, that

will bear

comparison with bread


'

Doctor Dauglish or
his bakery.

any other man

can tuni out from

I have seen capital ovens

made

at the

Hudson's Bay Company's trading posts

fixtures,

be

it

remembered

by
;

covering an empty pork cask with


fire

thick clay, and then continuing a


its

in the cask until


like brick

staves

burn away and the clay hardens


indeed, there are

on

the ir(m lioops

numerous ways of

baking

in

a poriuanent camp or station, none of which

' are available for travellingg'-

WHAT TO WEAR

IIUXTIXG.

139

CHAPTER
What
to

IX.

others

wear Avoid LeatherWoollen Fabrics preferable to al Boots Mocassins How to manage with Snow-shoes Hat Mosquito-bng Fishing GearA good day's Sport.
to

What

wear

is

a matter of detail dependent, in a

great measure, on the tastes of the individual.

Most of

us have some fashion of oar own, and even in the very


wilderness trappers, hunters, and fur-traders assume
certain type patterns for hunting shirts and 'pants,'

which are considered the right


*

thing,'

and are valued


'

and worn by each and


*

in his respective calling, as

scarlet'

silk,' in

this country characterise

and represent

the field and the course.

Leather, or as
hide

it is

commonly

styled 'buckskin,' deer's


into

dressed by Indian
is

women

a soft

pliable

lenthor,

the material most hunters, trappers, and


for their suits of
if

traders,

whether white or red men, use


;

clothes
is

a red serge shirt next the skin,

such a luxury

procurable, adds very materially to the

warmth and
?n
'

comfort of the wearer.

The usual pattern

use

is

that of an ordinary shirt, for the jackets or


shirts,'

himting

and the

pants' are

made

shnilar to those usuilly

t
140

AT
ill

HOME

IX

THE AVILDERNESS.
Both trousers and jacket are
;

worn

civilised lands.

always elaborately fringed

long strips of leather are

sewn round the


dan<>'liiijr

collar so as to

hang over the back

also

from the shoulders to the wrists are other


entire length of the legs orna-

fringes,

and down the

menting the outer seam.

Sometimes bead- work and

stained porcupine quills are used to increase the orna-

mentation.
picturesque,

This style of dress

is

decidedly showy and


it,

and having said so much of


it is

I have

exhausted everything that


praise.

possible to say in its

know

of no
;

good quality belonging to a

leather hunting suit

but such as are objectionable I


It is disagreeably heavy,

could multiply ad infinltmn.

without sui^plying an equivalent of warmth.


the character of tripe or a

Assuming

saturated with wet,

it

damp chamois leather when becomes, when in that state, cold,


in drying the suit, a

clammy, and uncomfortable beyond description.

Then when you have succeeded


work of time even
if

aided by the sun or the camp-fire

or both, you have to robe yourself in garments


like a light

much

armour of lanthorn-horn

your

'

pants' in all

probability will have receded into the breeches pattern,

and the

sleeves of your jacket have modestly retired to


I care not

the region of the elbow.

how much tugging


suit of
'

and stretching you may bestow on your wet


leather, shrink
it will

tlR)Ugh you do your


it

darndest' to

prevent

it;

not only that, but

shrinks (without l)eing

wetted externally) day after day from perspiration.

One

LEATHER, AXD ITS DISADVANTAGES.


'e
e

141

observes his

pants' are creeping steadily

away from

off

the insteps

as the tide during its ebb leaves rock after

rock exposed, so the leather steals away from the hands

and

feet,

gradually uncovering at
;

first

wrists

and ankles,

then arms and legs


not resorted

and

if

some curative means were


the pants would become

to, I verily believe

like to those

worn by acrobats and tight-rope dancers,


sleeves dwindle into
in evening dress.
is

and the jacket


ladies

mere armlets, such as


If nothing better can
left

wear when

be obtained, there

no other course

open than that


*

of wearing leather or going a la sauvage,


thing.

sans

'

everyif

But adopt
it
;

my

advice,

and never wear leather

you can help

take out with you two suits of clothes,

made

of the best Scotch tweed you can procure.


it

My
life

remarks, be
visiting,

understood, only apply to bush


swell

or doing the
affiiir,

en route,

is

altogether
I have

another

with which I have nothing to do.

tried all kinds of material for

roughing

it

in,

and the

result of

tweed.

my experience is entirely in favour of Scotch I am quite convinced a thoroughly well-made


more wear and wet than any

piece of tweed will stand

other fabric produced from wool.

The Canadian

blanket-coats,'

so

commonly worn

during the winter in Canada, are admirable in a dry


frosty atmosphere, but white, except
fatal to Oiiy success in
is

on snow, would be

hunting

and furthc r, their shape

inconvenient, and the material out of which they are


is

made

easily torn,

and holds water

like a sponge.

The

142
il

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.


is

colour I prefer

dark grey

the waistcoat and jacket

should have as
for,

many

pockets as the tailor can find

room

and on each shoulder a piece of glazed leather


Flannel shirts and thick worsted socks

should be stitched, to prevent the gun from rubbing a hole


in the tweed.
will

be found to answer better than linen, only do not


-^'ith

encumber yourself

too large a stock.

Indeed I

should never think of taking a.ny article of clothing

with

me

except

it

was fabricated from the best wool,


I

and of the choicest quality money could purchase.


despise fur

and leather garments, and strongly recomwanderers never to use either


'

mend
help

all

'

if

they can

it.
; '

Boots are indispensable


well for Indians,

mocassins

'

are

all

very

who have
*

feet harder

than

sole leather,

and to

whom

socks or stockings are

unknown
'

articles

of clothing.

You may

sole a

mocassin with a piece of

green hide, keeping the hair outwards, and in that


contrive to walk with a moderate

way
until

amount of ease

the hair rubs

off,

which

it is

pretty sure to do in a few


;

hours, especially if the ground should be wet

the hair

removed, the hide becomes slippery as glass, rendering


progression under any circumstances extremely
difficult.

Indians have shorter toes than white men, and from continued practice the great toe in particular acquires a kind
of liolding power,
'

which enables a

savag<'

shod with

skin-shoes' or mocassins to ascend steep slopes

and

climb craggy mountains, with greater ease and celerity

A RECEIPT FOR EXSURING


tlian

WARM

FEET.

143
hill-

any white man, however well trained to

climbing, could accomplish with nailed boots on his feet.

Hence persons are disposed


the facility with which

to

ima^ne mocassins must


'

be the better foot armature, because they only observe


*

Red men walk and climb

in

them, without taking into consideration the


portant difference in the structure of the foot.
it,

all-im-

Reduce

however, to the test of experience, and you will soon

discover that your feet shod with mocassins

become

sore,

your ankles strained, and the joint of your great toe so


stiff

that walking grows positively painful if not im-

possible.

Hence

I always provide myself before leaving pairs of strong nailed boots of the

England with a few


pattern

known

as

ankle-jacks,'

made wide
is

in the sole

and laced up in
until

front,

and do not resort to mocassins


no means of

my

boots are worn out and there

replacing them.

In winter, however, when travelling with

'

dog sleighs
is

and walking on

snow-shoes,'

the

mocassin
to

the

only form of shoe practically useful;

wear boots
and not

during intense cold

is

to

risk

frost bite,'

unlikely the loss of your toes.

The
is

better plan for pro-

tecting the feet against frost


altogether.
I

to dispense with socks

make a

small bag of thick blanket, for

putting over
of the foot
;

my toes it

should reach only to the middle

then I have four long blanket bandages,

with A\hich I regularly enwrap

my

foot

and ankle, so

high up as the calf of the

leg.

Over these layers of

144

AT

HOME

IX

THE WILDERXESS.

flannel I jnit a large mocassin


tie
it

made from

moose-liide,

firmly,

and
all.

lastly,

bind the leg of the trouser


feet

securely over

The
of

thus protected are safe

from any

effect

cold,

and wet never penetrates

through the thick bandaging even after a long day's

march through

soft

snow.

When

camping just dry the


all

outer bandages and mocassins, and you are

right to

begin another tramp.

A wide-brimmed felt hat,


glare of the sun

soft

and

i
pliable, I prefer to

any other kind of head covering.

It shades

you from the

when

shooting, prevents the rain from


itself to

running down your back, accommodates

any

amount of folding and squeezing, and


immense comfort when camping out
'

will be
'

found an
I

to sleep in.
'

pass an old handkerchief or


the hat, and then tie
it

comfoi'ter

over the poll of

under

my

chin, bringing the

two sides of the brim of the hat over

my

ears.

This

plan prevents the head from galling, keeps the ears and
throat beautifully

warm, and

is

quite as serviceable as a
in shielding

canvas covering or umbrella

one

from

dew and

rain.

The brim being wide,


in
*

it will

also

add

materially to your comfort

mosquito time,' by

keeping the gauze net which covers the head, face, and

neck well away from the nose, mouth, and eyes, thus
facilitating

breathing and seeing.

gauze bag to

cover the head and face, without which I do not hesitate to say a

man

could not long exist where mosquitoes

are so plentiful as

we found them

to be

on the Fraser

CHOICE OF FISHING GEAR.


Biver and Suinass prairie, sliould be worn at
all

145

times
is

twisted round the hat durin^i; summer, because one

never sure of not falling,

when

least expected,

among

it

mosquitoes and sand

flies.

The choice
i>f

of

'

fishing gear'

may,
all

perhaj)s, be woi-thy
less

a few hints, although we are


'

more or
'em.'

wedded
howan open
by
it

to

some pet system of how to hook

I will,
it

ever, briefly give

my own
*

plan,
'

and leave

question for other


to follow their

wanderers

either to profit

or

own

particvdar hobby, whichever

may be
possible
silk,

the more

congenial to their taste.

In any

sack' I carry a few hooks of diflerent sizes, gut,


little

gold and silver thread, a dab of


coil

cobbler's wax,'

and a

of strong line, such as

we

usually employ for

salmon

fishing.

For obtaining

all

the other requisites

for fly-making I trust to chiince.

Feathers for making

hackles and wings I have always found to be readily

procurable

from the birds frequenting the


;

district

travelled through

fur for dubbing, the small rodents

supply.

The best trout


whilst
eastern

fishing I ever enjoyed

was obtained

we were marking the Boundary-line along the


slopes of the cascades

and western slopes of


on the
that had fallen

the

Rocky Mountains.

I observed whilst sitting


fly

banks of a stream a trout jump at a


into the water.

Immediately I overhauled

my

stock of

materials, selected thread, hooks, &c.,


ruffed grouse,

knocked over a
feathers,

made wings from


L

its frill

and a

14G

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


tail

hackle from the

coverts
all

picked out some red wool

from

my
'

shirt, tied

the lot together into what I

called a
it

fly/

which no more resembled an insect than


it

did a hippopotamus, fastened

to

a piece of fishing

line,

and the

line to the

end of a young larch-tree.

Thus equipped, I flogged away at the water as though [ had been whipping a horse, but nevertheless with the
most unquestionable success
monster, and seizing
it,
:

the trout rose readily at

my

disappeared with the enjoyable

sort of bubbling splash that anglers

know

so well indi-

cates feeding

and not play.

It

must

suffice to

say that

this rude imitation

and yet ruder rod was pre-eminently


wyuch,

successful,

and what more coald one say of the best


line, flies,

finished sabnon rod,

and

cast, that

money could procure ?

I never

hamper myself with a


can
find,

Pishing rod, but just cut the best stick I

and

trust to strength of tackle rather

than
it.

to skill in play-

ing a heavy fish in order to land

If

you do not
be

know how
with you
flies

to

'

tie

flie,'

in that case

it

may perhaps
to

advisable to take a small assortment of ready-made ones


;

but

it is

better to learn

how

make

artificial

than to bother yourself with

articles that in nine

cases

out of ten you never have at hand


I have

when vou

require to use them.

deemed

it

superfluous to
artificial flies,

append any instructions

for the

making

inasmuch as bcoks innumerable can be obtained, wherein

every minutia}
result of

is

clearly explained

and

illustrated.

Th

my own

experience

is,

however, that six

FISHING IN *WILD COUNTRIES.'


practical lessons, imparted
*fly making-,' will

147

by a master in the art of

aid a novice

more than

will the

perusal of an entire volume, together with a patient


following out of the instructions given for
fly-'
*

tying up a

I invariably

wear

my

line

and

flies
*

tied

round
'

my

hat, with a plain

hook or two simply whipped on to


if

strong gut
the
felt.

for

using live bait

need

be,

hooked into

Arriving at a likely-looking stream, cutting a


line to the

stick,

and tying the

end of

it,

is

all

the

delay required to commence.


fastening the line, winding

Sport or no sport, unit

round your hat, and


five

pitching

away the

stick, will

not occupy more than

minutes' time at the finish.


fish, in

good plan
is

for carrying

the absence of anything better,

to cut a long

twig with a crook at the end, and pass the point under
the
gill
it

cover of the fish and out at

its

mouth, then
it

push
ping
is

down

to the crook,

which prevents

from

slip-

off;

thus string up fish after fish until your stick

filled.

To sum

up, I say dispense with rod, wynch,


flies,

fishing-book, together with a host of


bait,

and

artificial

whenever you are

far

away from the streams of


rivers

civilisation.

That

fish

in

very
skill

much

fished

grow

shy,

and hence require great

and the most

delicate tackle to catch tlioni, all anglers well

know
fish

but this in no wise


tenanting
ticatod
tlieni

a[)p]ies

to waters

and the

in

wild

countries.'
fish

The

unsoi^his-

natures of

such

are

not familiar with

l2

148

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.

disciples of the the wiles and lures craftily prepared by seize upon < gentle art,' so they do not hesitate to

anything offered to them, however widely


in appearance

it

may
'

differ

from every known form of insect

life.

What

description of
is

gun

is

best suited for

hunting

purposes'

a question more easily asked than answered,


itself.

and must have a chapter to

THE GOOD OLD TIMES.


the

149

ffer

ed,

CHAPTER
Firearms-Muzzle-loaders
Shot-belt versus

X.

- Breecli-loaxiers -Rifles - rxevolvers better Plan for cleaning Gruns.

Pouch-The

It would

no useful purpose, nor in any way were I to attempt aid you in the choice of firearms, merits of breech and a dissertation on the respective
s

rve

muzzle loaders, or

rifle

versus shot gun.

'

A man who
still,'

the gives in against his will remains


says

same opinion
it
is

the

adage,

and true enough

too.

Few

much, if anything sportsmen nowadays would say very discarded muzzle-loader. at all, in praise of the poor
time, like stage coachmen, comfortable, landlady, rosy homely roadside inns, with the smiling
It

has had

its

barmaid,

civil waiter,

and

horse.'

am

and good accommodation for man not sure whether I do not even now
'

I do not care prefer those old times to the present. large fashionable places, and particularly dislike

ubout

hotels;

and somehow have an

instinctive

dread of

and lodging-house getting into the clutches of landladies


keepers,

who wear

rustling silk dresses, and 'sail' about

rather than walk as ordinary

women

if

by any mis-

chance I

am

driven to seek shelter in a monster inn or

II

150

AT

IIO.ME IN

THE WILDERNESS.

I
to bear

gorgeous

first-floor front, I

make up my mind

and to

suffer,

and

to leave, if not a wiser certainly a

poorer man.

Give

me

an old-fashioned road- side inn for comfort

and quietude.

What

do I want more, so that I get

my

meals with a decent amount of regularity, and that

they are good of their kind.

No

reasonable person

would desire
machinery, as

to
if

be hoisted up to his bedroom by

he were a trunk or a bale of goods

or prefer to be waited on

or, rather,

kept waiting

by

an army of pale-faced
loose shoes
(I

men

clad in seedy black and very

often w^onder where waiters at hotels get

their shoes), to

having wholesome food served by a

smart maid-of-all work, and a bedroom only a single


story high
;

if

there be such an one, he had better go

to fashionable places

where hotels are to be found, conliability system,


'
'

ducted on the un-limited


I

combining,'

quote from an advertisement,


all

the convenience of a

hotel with

the comforts of a home.'


of quietly putting in

The operation
shot,

my

powder and

and listening to the screech and weeze of the wad

as it glides

down the

barrel, j^ressed

on by the sturdy

ramrod, whilst surveymg

my

dogs crouching closely and


*

waiting in panting anxiety for the


dead,' affords

hold up

'

and seek
'

me more substantial pleasure than does


After
all,

the

rapid loading and firing of the

new and improved breechthis


is

loading shot guns.


of opinion.
I

only a matter

have never

tried

breech-loading

(
[ear

BREECH VERSUS MUZZLE LOADER.


shot

151

gun when away on a long hunting expedition,

hence I

am
to

not able to state from experience


answer, exposed as
effects
it

how

such a gun would

necessarily

must be
of

the

of wet, the grinding power

sand and dirt in the hinge or hinges, and the

continued rough usage a gun invariably suffers

when

one

is

riding all day long, and sleeping at night in the

open

air.

No

Oi)inion is

worth a straw on this matter

excei^t it be

deduced from the results of actual ex-

perience extending over a long period of time.


loader

A breech-

may be
and

fitted to

stand wear and tear quite as

well as a muzzle-loader, for anything I can say to the

contrary,
cartridges

it

may

be found from experiment that

can be quite as conveniently carried, and


as

replaced

when exhausted,

shot powdt^r and caps

can be conveyed in the ordinary fashion.


I

But

until

am

convinced either by the experience of others,


virtues of the breech-

or by practically testing the

loader myself,

when

far

removed from the aid of a gunless

smith and for a period of time extending over not

than

two

years,

that

the

modern breech-loading
all

double-shot gun
the

possesses
has,

the

advantages

that
in
I

muzzle-loader

added to greater

facility

charging and discharging, I shall be


trust
t'^

chary

how

a breech-loader oidy,

if I

start

again on a

hunting exi^edition to an uncivilised country.


Call
!>

it

prejudice

if

you

like, obstinacy, or

a stupid

adherence to old ways and customs, simply because

I.r2

AT IIOMK IX THE AVILDKRXRSS,


lins

one

been used to

tlieiii,

nevertheless if you beat

me by
1

iiro-uineiit, I

am

after all only a verification of

the ada{|e just quoted.

For

real forest

and

prairie life
('f

have thorou<;hly tested the muzzle-loader's powers


nearly

endurance and extreme usefulness for


purpose a hunter can require a g*un.

every

Excei)t for unusually heavy wild beasts, I contend


a

short

<.>'un

is

more

useful than a

riile

lon^ ran^-es

are seldom, I

may

say never, required,

and

for

any

distance witliin

ei<;'ht3"

yards a ^'ood muzzle-loadin|JC


rille,

shot-nun will carry a bullet as true as a


a
forc'(3

and with
^1^^
I'i'^^

of penetration quite equal to br(\ikin!4'

of a bull-buffalo, or those of the mueh-dreadcd o;rizzlybear,

and wluit more can you


<;rouse,

desire*^

Then ducks,
ad<l

^eese,

and other feathered

<4'am<'

very

7iiaterially to the Cimiforts of the

mess, to say nothiuL,^

of the lesser furry tenants of both forest

and open

land.
far

load

(if

shot I always find


in

is

much

better and

surer than a bullet

ol)tainin<jf

tlu^sc

pleasant adto ciirry

ditions to the st<)ek-])ot.


a,

It is quite as well

rifle

with you,

if

you have fhe means of transport


if it

at

your disposal; but

rested on choice, wliether ihe


on(

shot-<^'un or ilie rifle

should be taken,
I

of the two
hesitate

to be left behind, in that case

should not

moment;
Let

the

rifle
I

wouM
know

be

al)andon('d without a
is

twino'e of re^a'et, for

the other

e(|ual

to every

need.
ill

it

be distinctly understood that

my

remarka

no way apply to juny^le shooting in India, Africa, or

^.

MY OWX EQUIPMENT.
poat
In

153

elsewhere.

The

pniotieal hints I oifer are not intended

of

to assist sportsmen

and hunters who

wa^''e

war

ni)()n

life
I'S

lions, tij^ers, elephants, rhinoscei'i, t()<,'ether witli

other

of

leviathans of the plains and forests.

Hene3

have

:ory

purposely avoided alluding to any particular form of


rifle

or

jn'ojcctile,

or

to

travellinj^

with camels or

nid

elejdiants.

Natives only understand the mana^'ement and teini)ers


of tliese ha]f'-reasonin<jf eaprieious beasts, and (very in-

formation

tJie

most

])raetised

eamelor
<^^ood

elepiiant Iraveller
a,

couM

iiii[)art

would he of no
h<

wliatever to

wliite
a,

man, because

eould never turn sueli knowledo> to

profitable account.
ele[haiits,

Moreover, countries wlierein camels,


useful, with

and dromedaries are found so

an exception or lw(>
sation,

are

unsuited to European coloni(bt.

and with such we have nothing' to


in

To

the wanderer

search of an

eli<4ible

home

iu the

wilderness, such inl'oruiation would i)rove of no possible


service.

My own

ecjuipment wbeu

h'ave

Kn^land

for

America, North and South, cousihts of one

jjfood stronur

double-barreliel muz/le-loa<ler. No. 12 bore, a


rille

INirdv's

to

cany an

(tunce bidlet,

and a

Colt's revolver;
p'u^-

two

lai'|jfe-si'/ed

]owder Masks, covei'cd witli thick

skin, ami provided with several metal loops

toi* siin<!'in''

or fasten in;^'

it

to your buttons
<!d

oi*

waist-belt.
to juvfer the double
atul

Another of my
shot-lielt,
S.

lashions

is

made
..;

of

;L;'ood

lc:ither,
in

provided with

brass charyi

which fasten

witli a spring-.

These

154

AT

IIO.ArE

IN

THE WILDERNESS.

chargers are

litible

to get lost if tliey be not secured to

the belt by small brass chains.

I fancy shot carried

across the shoulders in a belt never wearies one so


as
it

much
a

does

"vvlien

dangling in a pouch, suspended by

narrow leather strap.


of shot
is

More than
;

this,

having two

sizes

a great convenience

I usually take duck-

shot in one side, and No. G or 8 in the other.

third

reason for giving the preference to the old pattern-

charger

is,

that you see what you i^onr into your barrel,

whereas a

man
it

loading in a hurr},

'tv

under the

influ-

ence of intense excitement, often


I

(I

say often, because

have done

myself

many

times,

and have witnessed

the like mishap befall others) pushes the end of the

patent

'

spring-charger,' usually iitlixed

to

all

shot-

pouches, into the end of the barrel, presses


spring,

down
to shut

the
oft'

which

is Ki(p))osed

at the

same time

the main supply and let out the charge of shot desired

then down goes his Avad, and

if

he does not happen to


lires,

notice his ramrod he by-and-by


!l

fondly imagining

he had put a charge of shot into his gun.

This

is

no

imaginary case, as any person who has had a great deal


of shooting will k;jnw.

The shot very

often

jams

in

some way, and does not run ihnn out the

chargtn-,
if

an

accident you are exceedingly likely to overlook


attention
is

your

directed to sonn* other object


old

when

loading.

By using the
happen
it
\
i

pattern

charger this can

never

if it
if

does take
'

n trifle

more time
'

to load than
.\

would

the

patent charger

were used, you have

TO CLEAN YOUR FIREAR.MS.


kl to

155

the satisfaction of knowing to a certainty that the shot


is in

Irried

the barrel, and the

ri^ht

qnantity too.

Inucli

In addition to shot, I usnally carry a few bnllets


in

by

ji

my

pocket, and a wire cartrid<^e or two,

if

I.

nm

sizes

fortunate enough to possess any.

word or two more,


firearms.
;

and

I have said

all

deem needful about


American
rille

The pea
the
that a

or small-bore
it

do not like

only advantage

can have over a large bore


is

is

much
I

less

weight of lead

carried

by the

hunter.

do not think the enormous thickness of

the barrel sui)plies any material advantage, or gives


greater accuracy to the course of the bullet, neither
liave

seen any of those wonderful feats performed


huuterr^ with the
all

by trappers and
one reads of in
life.

pea

rifle,

such as

stories [ibout
is,

American or Texan

My
'

o^vll

opinion

that wliere one of tlitse mar'

vellous

leather-stockings

shoots

ordinarily

well

dozen of them shoot badly, and miss as often as other


IH'rsons.

For cleaning firtarms

let

me

strongly rocomoil or

inend spirits of turpoitiiie, ai preti-rence to


of any kin<l.
I

grease

never

uh^-

water, but content myself

by wiping out
with
spirits
oi'

my gun

well with a
It at

hemp wad,
and
wliicli

saturated
all

turpentine.

once removes

the

powder and

'leading,'

})revents rust,

(hu-s
it

away

with any chance of

damp remuiuing,
better
jliiu

will do,

even in spite of every precaution after wjishing out a

gun with waler.


IMVO
tine
is

The

for

carrying turpenfitted

to have

a glass-stoppered bottle

into a

r
156

AT HOME L\ THE WILDERNESS.


cnse.
I
Jiin

wooden

quite convinced that

any person

who once
water and

tries turpentine for <>-un-cleiining ^vill discard


oil

for ever after.

It is a wise i)recaution to

have with you in reserve

a pair or two of spare niainsprin|^s, at hnist two sets of

ramrod

iittin<:]^s,

and not
'

k^ss

than three pairs of nipph^s

the hitter I prefer


nuni.

inverted,'

and bouclied

witli phiti-

Experience has cdearly proved to


nii)ples there is

my mind

that

with inverted

not neiirly so

j^reat

liability to miss-fires

from dnnip, neither are you ancurlin<jf

noyed with a small column of smolvc


each nipple

up from
fhid the

when you

fire.

Further than this,!

(trdinary shaped nipple rapidly wears,

and the hole soon


i'scape

becomes
<f',iH

sufficiently lar^-e

to

admit of an
l)aclv
a,

of

sufficient to

blow the hammer


likely to

to

half-cock
I

mishap very

break

maiuspriii<4-.

have never known this to occur wlien


pattern was empl(ye<l, hence
During'
I

the invert(Ml

invariably

use

them.
four

the
fii'e(l

Commissi(n

can safely say,


ltuu

for

years
fi^reat

mv

double-shot

on an
it

iiv(>rar<'

a
\l

many

times every day, caiTied


a,ls<>

on
in

iiorsc

and

mule-back, and
iuf^-,

used

it

constantly

boat-Hliootflif

but with the

excejttion

of rfphicino-

nipples
it

occasionally, and tlie

loss of a
(ti-

ramrod
-.

<r

two.

was

never onc< dama<4'<'d


miij^lit
it

disabled.
I

bre<M-|i-|iad<'r
jiiilc

have done as well, but


an
established fact unfil
tlnni
I

cannot

admit

as

have better evidence

adduced

am

in

possensiou of at ivresent.

Mifa

I
If

GET YOUR GUN-CASE MADE.


you use
ii

157

<j^un-caso,

by

all

meaus have

it

made of

stronjg'

leather,

such as

trunks

are constructed of;

wooden cases or such

as are covered

with black ena-

melled cloth or painted canvas are not worth a single

snap for conveyance on nuile back

the least neglect or

carelessness on the part of the packer in placing your

gun-case upon the


I

l(ad

may be

fatal to it in a

moment.

have more than once seen a mahogany gun-case,

although incased inaleatlier cover, broken by a sudden haid at the


It is

riata

'

into fragments.

of no use trusting to a

gunmaker

to get a ease

made him

for you.

Go

yourself to a respi'ctabh' trunknuiker,


desire

show him the pattern you


to

and approve, and

tell

nuiuufacture

you a case of the stoutest and

best leather he can procure.


likely to tbtain
least,

Then you
which

will

be most

an

article

will last until

your

return

at

and probably through many another

scramble

by flood

and

iiehl.

To
iles

olfer

any further

advice rehitive <o


the
various
Ik'

rifles,

or to attempt a descri[)tion of
pr()j(
<,'f

kinds of

at

presr'ut

in

use,

would
!/

worse than ridiculous

in

these narrow limits,

when

largo volumes have been wriften


subj<'ct.

and iid)lished

on the

Kvery sp<atsman
rifles,

is

sure to have hih

pet hobby, bctth as r(gar(ls


jectiles;
1,

shot-guns, .m.i pro-

too,

have mine.

Let

then each life

hii o"w n liobby,aiid, bi'(lher wanderers,

we

shall

do well

not to ride against or try to unhorse one another.

158

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.

CHAPTER
Packino: the Train for a start

XI.

tho Aparcjos and 'SaiUlling up'

The

way

to

pack

Jiarrels

We

Throwing tlie Hiata and donedCanip Entering tl>e Mules apt to lie down if halted.

Synchiiijr Packing on the Load Slinging Hoping and Covering fastening Our The ahanTimber 'Stringing out' and Counting
it

Driviiifr in nalterinf? Puttinj^ on


iNIarch

must now assume that the tents are struck and


;

packed

that the equipment


is

we have been
riata

gatherin^;^

together
line,

piled in properly adjusted loads in a straig-ht


*
'

each load being laid on a


;

stretched full

length upon the ground


in a crescent shape,
in

that the aparejos are arranged

and that the packers are away


are to be packed, or five only,
to be obsei'ved.

search of the hell-iiiare and her family of mules.

Whether a hundred mules


exactly the same routine
is

We

hear the

distant tinkle, tinkle, of the bell,


froui out the

and presently trotting

timber or scamjx'ring and plifying over the


S<)im follov, others pre-

grassy prairie come the muh^s.

cede the

bell,

but none

t)f

them are

allow* 'il to stray far


ifty anini;ils

away, for the packers know what cr


invariably are,
stagers, have

mules

and that some of the band, usually


slij)]iing

oM
in

an ugly habit of

nn<d)serv^e<l

amongst the

trees, there to skulk

and hide

until

hunger

ARRAXGEMKNTS FOR PACKIXG.


or thirst compels

159

them

to

show themselves.

I have very

frequently been delayed an entire day in consequence of

a mule or two being allowed to stray from the band


whilst being driven in.

On

reaching the aparejos the

bell-mare

is lirst

made

fast to the

end aparejo on the

extreme right, then two or more packers (dependent on


the

number

of mules constituting the train) stand in the

hollow of the crescent with a number of halters hanging

on their

left

arms

other packers drive the mules up to

be haltered by the
to

men who

are waiting for the animals

push their heads over the breastwork of aparejos.

Each mule, as soon


with a how knot to
its

as the halter

is

on

its

head,

is

tied

neighbour, the one next the bell

being fastened to the mare.


ing
is

Except

this plan of halterc^f fifty


;

adopted,

do not believe a train

mules

could be caught singly and haltered in a day

and to
its side

venture behind a pack


to put a halter on,
likely to
i'^

iflule,

or to creep

up by

to risk getting a taste of

hoof not

be readily forgotten, but the aparojo being

betwixt the

man and
is

the mule, prevents the latter from


If all the halters are used, of course
;

striking or kicking.

every mule

present

if

there are spare halters, then

nothing further can be done until the absentees are discovered and brought
in.
Ih'st

All present, then the


select the riding

thing the packers do


all

is

to

nudes from out the banl

haltered

together, then

cat'lj

man

saddles his

own animal, and


u(>ar by.

makes

it

fast to

any availaMo object

This

I
]0

AT UOyiK IX TIIH WILLKRNESS.


tlio lioad

done,

packer, or packinaster, takes his stand


oi*

upon the centre

the
'

ba^jfya^^-e,

so that he can look

down on
told

the

'

caronas

(yon will

remember what

you was the use of the carona), and guided by the

pattern, he directs the

two packers to take the nude


its

they have unfastened to


to confine our

own

aparejo.

It will sufhce

remarks to the saddlin^^ and packing of


led

one nmle.

The nude,
*

up to
which
is

its

aparejo,

is

first

blinded wdth the


its

tapnjo,'

slipped deftly over

ears

^'
;

then a packer goes on each side and exall

amines the mule's back, and combs out


dirt,

the sand,

or

matted

hair,

with a currycomb a precau-

tionary measure which I w^ould imi)ress upon your


it
is

mind

essential to look well after, if

you wish to avoid


unless yoiu'

sore backs.

Packers skulk doing


is

it,

own

or the packmaster's eye

overlooking them.

This finished, one i^acker takes up the ajiarejo, whilst


the other adjusts the cloths,
kets, lastly corona.
first is
;

sweat-cloth, then blan-

There

a right and wrong

way

to take hold of

an aparejo

it

must be grasped by the


it

two

{ingles, at

the up])er or that part of

where the
l)a(*k,

cushions are joined, lifted well above the mule's

and then allowed


(If-side

to

drop on the cloths.


it

When

on, the

man

pushes

towards fhe nude's

tail,

whilst

the near-side man, standing well awjiy from the nude,


lifts

the crupper, pushes his

arm imder

it,

seizes the

I'idc illiistmtiou,

pago 79.

i
SY.NTiiiXG
s

rr.

If)

stand

m\ilo's tail,

and qniekly

slips the

crnppor beneath

it.

an look
Avhiit
I

This

is

nearly always a service of dany^er,


if

demanding
is

nuieh care and caution, especially

a mule

sntfcring

by the

from a chafed
its

tail.

The aparejo
synch

is

next pushed back into

le ninle
1

proper place, care being taken that there are no folds

suliice

in the clothskin"" of
is

the

'^

is

lastly placed

on the aparejo

by the near-side man, the oif-sider passing the end back


to his

first

comrade under the mule's belly

and the

latter

tly

over
ex-

then passes the heather strap three or four times through


the synch ring (as previcmsly described

md

when speaking

e sand,

of sa<ldles), and hauls awav, the otl'-sider takini- care that the aparejo does not get pulled on one side.

precauiir

mind

Near-sider liaviug hauled the syncli as tight as his


strength will admit
tlie

o avoid

of, a

novice woidd begin lo fancy


its

ur

own

mule's ribs must be broken, or

stomach so comit

ja'cssed that nothing could pass through


,

if

greater

whilst

ju'cssure

was made.
;

Not

a bit

of

it,

the packers have

'n

blan-

not nearly done

round comes

offsider,

and they jointly


foot

nnr Avay

lay hold of the leatluu' strap,

and placing each a

bj the
ere the
s

against the mule to increase the purchase, pull


until
loctk

away

the mule resembles a wasi), or as a ladv would

back,

who was given


proceeding,

to tight-lacing, if

we could suppose
It

on, the
,

her to be
cruel

converted into a (piadruped.


nevertheh'ss
it

seenis

whilst

does

not

hurt the

mule,

nudes, precludes any chanc< of the load shift inn-, -nid prevents galls, which are sure to accrue
if

zes the

the aparejo

J'ith' cut, jiiigf

70.

r
162

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.


about.

rocks

The synch made


upon
its

fast,
its

the blind

is

re-

moved, and the mule tied with

halter to the load

we

are goin^^ to pack

back, a proceeding ncjver


'

commenced

until all the

mules are

saddled up.'
loose

Some
selves

of the

more refractory mules are turned

at first, because they kick, pluno-e,

and throw themI

on the gTOund with such determined violence that

tying them up would endanger the safety of the other


mules.
and, let
'

Saddling up
tell

'

completed,

we begin
it

to

pack

me

you, to pack a mule as


skill
is

ought to be
to

packed, requires an amount of


be easily acquired.

and practice not


first

Blinding

the

proceeding,

next a packer stands on


near-side

each side of the mule,

and the
it

man

doubles the sling rope and lays

across

the aparejo, the loop towards the off-side.

Each packer

now

takes up a package, selecting two as nearly equal in


it is

weight as
be heavy,

possible to get

them

should one alone

and

all

the rest light, lighter packages nnist

be tied together so as to counterpoise the heavier one.

The two men

lift

each one his package at the same


against the aparejo, and suppoit
;

firae,

then they rest

it

il

^vith

the shoulder whilst adjusting the sling-rope

the oft-side

man
loop,

flings the loop of the sling-rope to the near-side one,


it is

whose duty

to pass one
tie
is

end of the rope through the

and then to

the two ends together with a bow-

knot.

Much

care

needed to sling the two packages


too low, the load, to em[)loy a
*

the proper height;


l)acker's

if

expression,

swaggles,'

or,

in

other words,

CASKS SHOULD XOT BE TOO HEAVY.


IS
;

1G3

re-

sways about

if too

high,

it will

be very

likel}' to

topple

load
iKiver

over, either in ascendin<^ or descending- a steep hill-side.

The grand secret, however,


of the two packages
first

consists in getting; the weig'ht


rest

swung, to

on the arch of

loose

the mule's ribs


I

a second's reflection will


if

make

it

plain

tliomce that

to any one that

the sling-rope

is

tied too long the

weight

will in a great

measure hang from the rope, and

other
})iic'k
;

as a matter of course bear directly on the backbone of

the mule, but

if

the rope

is

knotted to the proper length,


ribs,

to be

then the weight conies on the convexity of the


relieving" the

thus
oft'

not to
eediii<4-,

back and taking

all

undue

strain

from

the rope.

iiid
:

the

When

barrels are packed a different


is

arrangement of

across

the sling-rope

required

the rope must be longer than

packer
?qual in
le

that ordinarily used, and be doubled four times instead

alone

es nnist
ier one.
iG tiviie,
-J

By right, a barrel ought not to weigh more than 150 lbs., two of these make a fair load for a sturdy mule. We had an immense number of barrels to convey during
of twice.

the Boundary Commission transport, containing ration

beef and pork

and

would strongly Jidvise any persons

iL

^vith

who may perchance


casks.

be engaged in similar tield-work,


lb.

ott-side

never to purchase ration meat, except i)acked in 100

ide one,
uj-h

Add

to the 100 lbs. of


it

meat the weight of the


found that two of these
if

the

brine and cask, and

will be

a bowackiiL>"es

packages are quite as much as a mule ought to carry,

you desire to keep him in good condition.


from experience that two 150
(i.e.
lb.

We

found

iiploy

casks were too heavy

words,

containing 150

lbs.

of meat exclusive of brine and

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(71) 173-4303

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ill

]u4

AT

HOME

IX

THE WILDERNESS.
it

cask) for the mules,

and
lift

was more than most of our

packers coukl do to

one of them on to the aparejo,

and keep
justed.

it

there whilst the sling-rope was being ad-

Packing" a single cask on the centre of a mule's

back, a plan I have frequently seen adopted

when two

casks were found to be an overload,


sible practice,

is

a most reprehen-

and one I should advise any owner of


;

mules never to permit


its

the mule must necessarily carry

load in pain, and the least slip

may produce

a cricked-

back, a mishap that renders a mule utterly useless for

ever after.

The

first

two packages we have properly slung, and


so to speak, the foundation

these form,

on which the

superstructure, consisting of the odds and ends,

which

make up the
only a
little

load, is to be built. This

performance needs
keep the weight

management
Over

in order to

cleverly balanced.

all,
'

the packers

now throw
is

painted canvas cover or

tarpaulin,'

which

for the

purpose of keeping the load dry in case of rain.

If

you

do not look sharply after the packers they

will invariably

put this cover under the aparejo rather than over the
load
;

the reason they give,

if

you ask tliem why they

do

it, is

that there

is

no chance of rain.
; '

Never believe

them,
is

it is

not the truth

roping

'

a load over a tarpaulin

rather more trouble, hence they would rather save

themselves extra labour and indulge their

own

idleness

than save your goods and chattels from getting saturated.

always adopt that good

maxim with my

Hf

A WISE MAXIM.
tarpaulins that the wise
I put

165

Quaker did with

his umbrella,

them on when the sun


;

shines, to be at all times

in readiness for the storm

thunder-showers have a dis-

ag'reeable habit of coining*

on when one

least expects

them, and should your tarpaulin be carefully stowed

away underneath, instead of


bao'Cfasre,

being*

sjDread

over the
ixets

the latter,
ci.re

as

a matter of course,

soaking; w4iat

the packers, so they get their

evening ration?

know

of

few misfortunes more

depressing to the spirits than to look on whilst your


rations

and camp equipment are being poured on as

if

Aquarius had capsized his watering-pot immediately


over the mule train.
rain

To

travesty an old conundrum,

and clouds, when the baggage covers have been

l)urposely stowed away, appear to aifect a wanderer's


hilarity as they

do his goods, the sun, and his boots


all

they effectually take the shine out of


The near-side man now
*

three.

throws the
'

riata.'

How

to

make

this

system of roping
*
;

on the load
I

intelligible is

somewhat a puzzling task


watching the process
self,
is

am

quite

certain
I

that

of no practical use.

have my-

when a

novice, narrowly scanned every

bend of the
it

rope.,

as the ready-handed packers twisted

in

mazy,

incomprehensible turns, round, over, and under the load,

and have

an- used

myself by observing other novices alike

uninitiated try the


art of
*

same expedient

in order to learn the

roping a load,' with a like unsuccessful result.


sentry day after day for a fortnight, or

You may keep

166

AT HOME IN THE WILDERXESS.


if

longer
lent

your patience holds out, and if some kind magi

you the eyes of Argus, even with these added to


tie
it,

your own, you would no more be able to adjust and


a riata
'

secundum artem,^ by simply seeing others do

than you could learn to play a sonata of Beethoven's on


the flute or violin, or rattle off difficult music at sight

on a pianoforte, by watching the fingers of an accomplished musician.

How much
I

more then impossible


affair

appears the task of making this complicated


prehensible by description.

comto do
lia.lf-

say complicated, but,

after all, it only appears to be so because the


it is

way
in

not understood.

I could teach

any person

an-hour with a rope, a chair for a mule, and an old


trunk for luggage, but

by writing

it

how I am to commence the lesson no more know than I should know the

Avay to picture the phosphorescence of a tropical sea, or

describe the
borealis.

ever-varying scintillations of the aurora


Avish

some simple plan would suggest

itself to extricate

me from
'

this difficulty

the puzzled

reporter,

who was suddenly


wrote
wlir.t

called

upon

to describe a
it

rocket, luistily
is all

a flash, a bang, a stink, and

over;'

could he say more?

But

am

afraid

what may answer


can do

as descriptive of fireworks will


'

not be similarly efficacious in regard to


all I
is

riatas.'

Well,

to try

my

best to

make

this roping

problem understandable

As the

'

riata
it,

'

lies

on the ground, the near-side

man

takes hold of

about 20 feet from the end of the rope,

i^-^

M
EOPING A LOAD.
agi
to
tie
it,

167

with his right hand; with his

left

he gathers
is
;

tip

the

remainder in

coils,

the

right-hand end

obvionsly

double, because the slack end hangs loose

this double

portion he throws over the load to the off-sider,


catches
it,

who
i

on
^lit

and quickly passes the loop back again under


Near-sider next passes the short end
it

the mule's belly.

lia-

through the loop, brings

up against the

aparejo,

ble

then twists the end three or four times round the rope
to prevent
it

from slipping.
;

The
it is

off-side

man now hauls

away upon the rope mind


is

double on his side, which

continuous with the long end.


clejirly

This process, you

will

see,

always supposing I

am

understood,

tightens the rope encircling the load as would a circingle


or the synch around the aparejo.

As

the off-side

man

hauls, the near-side gathers in the slackrope,

and preis

vents

it

from running back

the whole secret


is

to pull

this encircling rope as tight as it

practicable for
is

human

strength to accomplish.

There

not the slightest

additional pressure on the mule's belly,

because the

edges of the aparejo take

all

the strain, and keep the

rope clear away from touching the animal

fault I

complain so

much

of in the cross-tree pack-saddle, as

previously pointed out.

The

near-side man,

when everything
first

is

hauled tight,

passes the longer end of the rope

under the foremost


it

corner or angle of the aparejo, brings

along under-

neath

tlie

edge, then from under the hindermost angle,

and along the edge of the aparejo to the centre of the

rH

1G8

AT

HOME

IX THE WILDERNESS.

aiiinial's

back, or perhaps the centre of the load will be

the better coinprehended.'^

Here he passes

it

betwixt
it

the double rope

we have

just been tightenino*, brings

out towards himself, or, in other words, towards the mule's


it

tail,

and gives

it

to the off-side

man, who takes


j^i'ecisely

down the edge

of the aparejo, and follows


it

the same course witli

under the
it

ano-les

and lower

edge as did the near-sider, brings


aparejo and passes
it

up the front of the

through the double rope, but

brings
side

it

out towards the mule's head. again takes


it
;

Here the nearback and


to

man

now

off-sider goes

seizes the rope


first,

where

it

was passed over

him

at

at the hinder part of the load,


tuo's

and lading well


This

back

at it

with

all

his

mi^ht and main.

done, the near-side

man
is

performs a similar feat with

the end of the rope passed to


fast,

him

in front,

makes

it

and the packing

completed.

In this system of fastening, the double rope acts in


the
first

place similar to a girth, antl

it

is

rendered

immensely tight by the strain of the fore and hind


purchase, brought to act ujion
it

by the longer end of

the riata, acting directly from the angles and lower

edges of the aparejo (however tight the rope


it

is

hauled

can never in the smallest degree bear upon or injure

the mule), and in the second place the double portion


of rope
is

to

some extent spread open by the strain

upon

its

sides,

and thus
* Vide

serves to maintain the builtpage 7o.

cut, pucketl nuile,

'working' a pack traix. Up portion of the load


There
is

169

tlie

more firmly

in its place.

no knot or anything- to untie that can by postight,

sibility

draw

and thus hinder the packers when

unloading', the fastening at the finish being only that of

passing the end under the tightened portion of the


riata.

Do

not imagine that passing this long riata round and


it, is

over the load, as I have endeavoured to describe

slow and tedious process

not a bit of
is

it.

If skilful

packers are at their work, the rope

caught up, whirled

over to the near-sider, passed back under, hauled on

and slipped betwixt the double part almost


your eye can
the riata
folloAv

as rapidly as

the nimble-handed packers.


is

When

is finally

fastened the blind

removed, and the


description

loaded mule turned loose.


applies with equal force to
let us

As the above

numbers
all

as to a single animal,
for

suppose the train to be

packed and ready

start.

Oar march
the system of

shall not be along


*

an even

trail,

because

working

'

a pack train can be better ex-

plained by assuming our course to skirt rugged hillsides,


to

wind along gorges and


or

river valleys,

where streams

must be forded

swam by

the mules, and the goods,

men, and aparejos, crossed either by means of a canoe,


raft, or

temporary bridge, then to follow the

trail as it

twists in a serpentine
side to reach a pass

manner up a craggy mountain


its

whereby we can cross


its

serried

heights and safely descend

opposite slope.

This

is

170

AT

HOME

IX

THE WILDERNESS.

no imaginary picture, but one we had to encounter often


during the working" season when employed in making
the Boundary-line. All the difficulties enumerated might,

and indeed I may truly say often did, occur in a single


inarch,

but they cease to

be

difficulties

when the
and

wanderer knows the right way to surmount them, and


it

must be a very steep mountain,

swift torrent,

thick forest that a practised

hand could not work a


some out-

mule train over and through.

The cook, belonging


and slowly

to the pack-train, or

sider attached to the party, has

mounted the bell-mare,

rides

away

after the packmaster,

who has
march
the

already preceded

him

the tinkling bell grows fainter in

the distance, the mules, one

by one, in

single
all

file,

on

after its

sound

the packers are


'

mounted, and
after

flourishing their blinds, or

tapujos,'

ride,

manner of
very

field-officers

on a review day, up and down

by the side of the slowly-moving train.


is

Behind there

little to

be seen, save the smouldering heaps of

ashes marking the whereabouts of the camp-fires, trod-

den grass, and wild flowers crushed, broken, and despoiled of all their native loveliness.

Perhaps a prowling

wolf or cayote

may

be

visible,

creeping stealthily from

out the timber in hope of pilfering a bone or a discarded


piece of

meat from the whisky-jack (Canada jay),

al-

ready in possession, whilst over-head soar vultures,


impatiently waiting to pounce upon anything
suited to their filthy tastes.
left

behind


I
-en

DANGER OF
As the bell-mare and her

IIALTIXG.
rider enter the timber

171

ng
ht,

and

leave the open ground, on which


gle

we had our camp, the


him
he

packmaster reins in his mule, and carefully counts the


mules, as one after another they inarch past
bhe
-nd
until, as the packers'
;

never attempts to count the mules after they are packed

term

is,

'

they are strung out.' As

Lnd

he counts them, a second in command also reins up and


a
takes the tally likewise.
If,

on comparing notes, the

full

number

are present so

much

the better, if contrariwise


train,

some are missing, then never halt the


It is a very
111

but send

one or two packers to discover and drive on the truants.

bad plan ever to halt a mule train on the


to

march unless

unpack

for the purpose of

camping

or

to cross a stream.

When

loaded mules are stoj)ped they

are apt to

lie

down

directly they halt,

and should the

grass bo long or the halting-spot be near or amidst tim-

ber and thick

underbrush, mules
to find,

when once down

amongst it are most difficult


the result will

and if not discovered,

at any rate very probably may cost you


it.

a mule or two, and the loss of the loads added to

The

heavy weight, together with the pressure of the


prevents a mule,
its legs after it

'

synch,'

if at all feeble

or

stiff,

from getting on
the packers
fail

has lain down, hence


die they must,

if

to discover

them

and I have very often

been myself searching with a most skilled herder and


finder of mules, close
lain
jible

by the

side of a

mule which had

down with
to see
it

its load,

and yet we were neither of us


groan betrayed the

until a grunt or a

n
172

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.

(
it

animal's hiding-place.
fixed rule

For these reasons I make

when

travelling-

never to halt a train after


start, unless, as I

commencing my morning's
to ford, until
for the

have pretoo deep

viously said, a river has to be crossed

which

is

camping time
at

arrives,

and the mule's work

day

is

an end.

During the operation of counting, the packniaster


also takes particular note of every mule,

judging from

the evidences of pain exhibited by suffering mules, as

already pointed out, whether the load


or
if

is

evenly balanced

anything
if

is

galling, if the cruppers are too long or


if

too short,
is

the ropes are tight, in a v/ord


it

everything

ship-shape and as

ought to

be.

If he detect.^ ^iny-

thing wrong that needs altering, two packers at a signal


ride up, dismount, seize the
halter, drop
is

mule pointed out by the

on the

blind,

and rapidly adjust whatever

out of the way, the mule loosed trots after the train,
falls in to

and

the rearward place.


trail,

We

are entering on
face of a

a narrow rocky
cliff,

which leads along the

overlooking a stream surging on some two hundred

feet

below

us.

I
ENTERIXG A NARROW TRAIL.
173

CHAPTEE

XII.

Mountain Narrow Trails raclcni aster goes ahead of the Bell-mare Dangerous Corners. Passes Bridge-niakin<r Crossing Swamps

The packmaster now


because
it is

goes on a head of the bell-mare,

quite impossible to turn back on these very

narrow
rock.

trails,

often

little

better than

mere ledges of

Hence

it is

essential to the safety of the train that

steady there be no obstruction, to hinder or impede the progress of the mules ; so the packmaster rides some
distance in front to

warn any mounted Indians, or perto chance another pack-train, in time for them either up on or halt at the widest place discoverable, or get
into a siding.

The packers
carefully
trail,

all ride

up

close to the bell,


it

and

still

watch each mule as

enters on the narrow

in order to

make

sure that the ropes

and synches

^'

are tight, and that

none of the loads have shifted. Then train, keeping a one by one the packers file in with the other, one man distance of five mules betwixt each
bringing up the rear.

By adopting

this precaution the

which mules are prevented from halting, the danger of previously pointed out more in a narrow trail I have
;

than

this,

anything

slipping

is

at

once

seen and

iftl

174

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


I

remedied.

may mention

incidentally, that at one place

west of the Cascade mountains, the provisions and camp


eqnij^ments for a large detachment of
officers of

men and

several

the Boundary Commission had to be con-

veyed over a mountain with almost vertical slopes. One


of the surveying' officers pronounced
it

imjjossible to

construct a trail up which a loaded mule would be able


to walk.

This place

is

named now the Diamond-tree


enough

Pass.

One thing was


this pass, the

clear

if

the necessary

materials could not be transported to the level ground

beyond
line

work of marking the Boundaryfor a considerable distance.


It
lot to

must be abandoned
fell

of course

to

my

go and see the pass, and to


It certainly

decide the matter one

way

or another.

was

an awful place

iip

which to make a

trail

that should be
difficulty,

available for packed mules, and, to

add to the

a good-sized stream of water tumbled rather than ran

down the
summit
bered.

hill-side.

The distance from the base

to the

in a straight line
it

was not more than threewas the more complicated,

quarters of a mile, but

was rocky and densely tim-

The

difficulty too

inasmuch as the
tersected by

I
prairie leading to the pass

was

in-

several

streams,
crossed.

not fordable, and two

swamps that must be

I thought the matter carefully over, climbed

up and

down the
'

hill,

and recalling the Avords of Napoleon


le

Impossible, c^est

mot cVun fou^


describing

finally

made up my

mind

to do

it.

By

how

this apparent im-

BRIDGING A STREAM.
possibility

175

was overcome, I

shall give all the jDractical

hints

relating to

trail-making, bridge-building,

and

fording swamps, which a wanderer can require, after

which we

will

resume our m?n;ch where we

left off.

selected a trail-party of ten


visions for fourteen days

mou, packed up

tents, pro-

axes, augers, picks, shovels,

and plenty of spare


the
first
it.

rojje,

and camped on the bank of


to

stream too deep

be forded, in order to

bridge

There are many ways of making a bridge


can pass with their loads.
If
it

over which mules

happens that large trees grow on the bank of the stream


to be bridged, then all

you have

to

do

is

to look out for


is

one that leans towards the water, and which


cient length to reach to work, or do
it

of

suffi-

from side to
if

side.

Put the axeman

yourself

single-handed, always re-

membering

to

make the

first

notch very wide, and


not break in
across

facing the water.


falling,

If the tree-top does

your bridge, when the tree


is

lies

the

stream,

half made.
to do
is

The next thing


tree
river

to

walk along on the


fall

fallen

and axe

off all

the branches, which

into the

and are washed awa 7.


fir

Now

look out for a clumjD of

young

or cotton-wood trees, that in size run each


lot of

about four inches in diameter, chop down a good

them, trim and get them to the fallen

tree,

where they

must be axed
pieces will in

into regular lengths (the length of these

some degree dej)end upon the girth of the


from twelve to fourteen
feet

fallen tree), but as a rule

176

AT

HOME

IX

THE WILDERNESS.

for

each piece will be found to answer every purpose.


the centre of each length take off a good-sized

From

chip with the axe, and bore two holes through the place

you have chipped with a three-inch auger.


good.

So

far so
its

Cast round

now

for a
;

dead pine-tree, with

wood sound
and chop

in the grain

failing this, take a living one,

off a log three feet long, sj^lit it as I


first

have

before told you how",


sections
*
;

into two, then into smaller

round these with the axe, and you have your


'

trenails

made

in

no time.

Lastly, begin to
first

work on

the end of the tree nearest to you by


versely on the tree,

laying trans-

at its extreme end,

one of the

lengths you have chipped and bored.

Put the auger

again through the hole, and bore well down into the
substance of the tree, then drive

home

the trenail with

the axehead as hard as you

can

adopt

the same
2,

course
cross;

with hole No.


piece
is

this

then completed
lay

in like
after

manner
THKK-mjIDGK.

cross-piece

cross-piece until

you reach the

other side of the stream.

No

side rail is requisite to bridges of this primitive coustruction.


fearful
I

have worked our mule trains over the most


;

chasms on these tree-bridges


on them
;

mules never hesi-

tate to cross

and

need hardly say, with a

party of

men
is

skilled in

and accustomed to the work,

a bridge

made on

this plan in a very short space of

CRADLK-MAKINCJ.
time.

177

But the stream we have


it,

to cross on tlie prairie

has no timber near

excepting a belt of cotton-wood

trees [Popnlns tremnJoi'les),

and thus we are compelled

to resort to another scheme. to have

We

will suppose ourselves

measured or estimated the width of the stream


is

say

it

one hundred

feet,

found

its

depth with

plumb-line, and calculated the force of the

current.

The next
a

proceedinpf

is

tt>

examine the timber nearest

the place to be bridg-ed.


ijfreat de^ree'<4'uide

A
'

person's judg-ment

must

in

him

as to the necessar}^ streng-th


strino-ors,'

of the poles intended for

or side poles to

support the cross-pieces.


fair
size,

If the poles available are of

say from ten inches to a foot in diameter,


a

they can be used of


lenjxths

g'ood length

if

snuiller,

the

must be lessened.

Having-

made

this
'

mental
;'

estimate, you beg'in to construct two or three

cradles

the

number

ay ill
;

be dependent on the poles, whether


'

long or short

the long-er the

string'ers

'

the fewei'

cradles are needed.

These so-called

'cradles'' are roug'h sqnar< baskets,

made b^

trenailhig poles together, the si/e being* reg'u-

lated in accordance Avith the streng-th of the current; if


swift, v(ry large cradles will

be required.

When

these

cradles are completed, cut

down and

trim four

'string'ers,'
:

and gvt both these and the cradles down to the stream

make
to

fast a rope to

one of the cradles, and

if

no

trc^e is

near drive a picket into the j^round and fasten the


it.

rop(
I

This

is

a necessary precaution.

Onco or twice

ifll
.78

AT JIOME IN THE VVILDEHNESS.

liave lost
it.

my

'

cradle

''

in

ii

swift current by

ne<iectiiij4-

Now

launcli the cradle,

and when, hy the aid of


it floats

poles,

you have

^'uided
it

it,

as

to the spot

where

you intend to sink

(which should not be farther from

the bank of the stream than a

man

can conveniently
it),

pitch stones, or shovel earth and shinyle into


as
fast as

hll it

you can with stones, earth, or

anythinj^'

heavy

and let me impress upon young* wanderers


it is

how
I

necessary

to think of trifling- details if they in-

tend to bridg'e

stream as we are

now

doing-

it.

Make

sure, before

you

select a spot to cainp on, that

shingle or stones, or both, are within easy reach.

we have sunk our cradle No. 1, and havingtaken care to make it sufficiently capacious to hold
"Well,

rubble, the weight of


force of the current,

which

is
'^

equal to resisting- the


stringers
'

we

lay two

side

by side
over

from the bank to the cradle.

You can now walk


all
is

them

to reach the latter


;

next, see that


Avorking-

safe

and

the cradle firm


the one
shore.

if

you are

with ai)arty of men,

who

is

on the cradle need not return to the

Separate the stringers about six feet from each

other, trenail the ends securely to the cradle,

and fasten

those on the land by driving- in strong- stakes on either


side of them.

This done, trenail cross-pieces to the


;

stringers as close together as you can place fliem

sj)lit

poles answer best, the convex aide ui)permost

mules do

not

slip

on them.
1,

Now you
if it

can work from the shore to


in tlie

cradle

No.

and proceed exactly

same way with

cradles No. 2 and 'K

need so many.

4k*

C()KI)JN(;

.SWAMP.

179

These two systems of

brid<>e-uiakiii^- 1

have fo^md
are

to answer every useful purpose.

Whenever streams
t(/

too wide and too swift of current

render either of

these phins practicable, then I always raft or take the

bag*^age and

men

in canoes,
tirst

and swim the mules.

We
th<i

have crossed over the

stream by our

cradh.' brid<^e,

and two more are similarly manao-ed, and we reach

how

edge of the swamp, which

is

so soft that were a

mule
be-

to venture to cross over to the opposite side,

down

neath the

mud and weeds

it

would most assuredly go,

and be suitbcated
it
;

to a certainty.

There

is

no going round

the rocky hill prevents you on one side, and the


it
t(^>

river skirts

on the other;

no, over

it

the mules have


'

to go,

and

enable them to do so
if

we must

cord

'

it.

This

is

very easily accomplished

ytnikiiovv

how. Poles
along

about six or eight inches in diameter are

first laid

upon the swampy ground

six to eight feet apart,

and

trenailed firmly together at the ends, so as to form

two

<x)ntinuous poles, so to speak, reaching from one side of

the

swamp

to the other

have often conled two and

three miles of
pieces rather

swamp

in one place.

Next cut

cross-

more than seven

feet long, so that the

ends project beyond the poles on which they are to be


I
laid
;

cut also a set of lighter poles than those laid on

the swamp, but in

number

sufficient to be of equal

length with the others.


pieces
until

This done, place your cross-

on the under

poles, close together, side


;

by

side,

you reach across the swamp


\ 2

you can walk on

illl!

ISO

AT iroMH LV TKE WILDERXESS.


riskinj]^
'

them thou without


doing" this

mirin<]^

'

down.

Now

take

the lighter set of poles and lay them on the others


])y

yon save the labour of

trenailinj:^

each
the

cross-piece, becnnse the pieces are

jammed between
'

npper and nnder


together at
as a ladder

pf>les

these being* trenailed firmly

sliort distances,
;

keep the

cord-trail as firm
will cord a long-

two or more smart hands


in a day.
if it

piece of

swamp

Over

this

cordway the mules

walk as safely as

were macademised road.


the

All the impediments wdiich intervened betwixt


first

stream and the pass I have to get over being

surmounted, T make

and commence with

my camp at the some of my men

base of the
to cut

hill,

down the

timber as I 'blaze' the way before them.

All lines are

marked through
<o do Avith
fire,

tiitdjer
it

by 'blazing,' which has nothing


is
'

be

known, but

of kindred

meaning

to the Avord blazon in heraldry,


a.

to set to show.'

With
if

small belt-axe the i>erson marking the route to be

f'ollow(Kl

hy others cuts out a

fair-sized chip

from the

trees as he go(^s along, first

on the right hand and then

on the

left;

these marks being

made

into the Avliite

timber, are readily seen by contrast with the brown

bark of the
trail
I

trees.

My

only chance
;

is

to

'

zig-zag' the

iij)

the most accessible placr's

to accomplish this

have to cross and recross the stream seven times

on small bridges.
digging party, and
path about six
feet

The timber
witli picks

cleared, I next take a

and spades make a, regular


;

wide, on an average

but at short

AN UGLY COUXKR.
V take

181

distances I also

make

platforms,
hill-side

if

may

so

term them,

thers
^

by digging away the

and then shoring up the


use of these you
J

each

earth with fascines staked


will learn

downthe

en the
firmly
as

anon

also

where the earth was loose and

likely to give

way, or where a jutting point of rock had


I

firm
loiii;-

to be rounded, there also

constructed

artificial

ground

with fascines and poles covered with earth.

mules

There was one place near the summit which well-nigh


beat me.

The rocks ran out

to a sharp
;

craggy point,
awa}"^

xt

the

below which was a precipice

by breaking

rock

beinole hill,

and adding earth, wliich was kept from


by poles and bundles of wood,
point, but
it

slip^jing over

made a path round the


mule by
f

wn
lies

the
are

was

fearfully dangerous, for if a


its

I,

chance should strike

load against the jutting rock,


it

lothinj'' leaiiinn-

the chances were a hundred to one

would be knocked
risk

over and killed.

To obviate any make them of


t')

had ropes

With
to be
(m\ the
id

twisted together to

sufficient strength,

and then securely fastened


iliately

a tree growing imme-

over this point of rocks.

To

the

lo(jse

end of
;

then

the twisted ropes I had a wooden hook attached

the

white

bridging was next done, and so far


plete.

my work was comit,

brown
i^*"'

I tried a
all

mule with nothing on


next
;

at first;

up

it

the

went

right

I tried

one with an aparejo only,


t<j

sh this

with a similar success


tried a light load

then I bega n
it.

breathe and hope,


I

times
take a
'epfnlar
;

and did

Whilst

continued with

the

men making

the trail along the level ground, at


hill,

the summit of the

a messenger went back to the

short

<lep6t to report that the

way was

clear,

and to order

1S2

AT IIOMK l\ THH VVII.DKFIXRSS.


ii

oil

loaded train.

Tliey

came
'

in

due time over

tin?

hridg-es

and

aciT)Hs

the 'corded

swainps to the foot of


I

the pass, and

now for
a
li-jj-ht

faihire or success.

knew

i^ettin^'
sin<j;-le

up a train was
niule with a
pass,

verv different affair to drivmg' a


h)ad.

I )iad fifty loads to get over the


five

and

determined on workini*'
will see
.ms

mnles only at a

time.

You

we

get

np the mountain that to


by a
to go

have risked a grt^ater nund^er would have been fatal to

my

plans.

The hell-mare

had

led

man whom
on
slowly.

T
[

could trust to wait

when needed and


off.

made each packer [ took four


a.

to the five

mules carry
is

bag of

stones,

and now we are

As the mules reach the platforms the bell-mare


halted
;

here they can rest, recover their wind, and fur-

thermore afford the packers room to adjust the loads

and tighten the ropes.

By slow degrees we

get safely

along over the bridges ami past the shelving rocks and
ugly corners.
stomas forV

You ask what I make the pjickers carry Why, to throw at the mules when they atBetwixt the pjlatforms the nen cannot
;

tempt

to stop.

get near enougli to use a stick or the all-]>otent blind

lumce stones are invaluable assistants, and I know from


experience that stones are like policemen, you
find
ca,n

never

one when vou want

it.

As we near

oiir

dangerous
it

corner T halt the mules on the platform nearest to

below, then muffle the bell to prevent the resting mules

from hearing

it,

Inive the

mare

led

round iho corner,


Ixdiind, bring

and make two packers,

on(^ befon*

and one

L.

ClIRISTMAS-KVK.
a mule.
'

183

lip

I stand

by

in readiness, slip the

hook nnder

the

riata,'
is

which

without any strain upon

the mnle run up to the mare, mule to reach her waiting, so as to allow the the rope. I have to keep the

and then

let

rope clear of the rock by


passes the

a,

cross pole, then the

mule
soon

mare on the

siding-, is

unhocdced and

is

upon the

level; so, one

round, and with their

by one, I get the first five safely loads they are on the summit.

to feed, whilst the These are now unpacked and turned In this way, five. men and I ell-mare go down for other from carelessness-a mule save with one accident arising killed the fifty loads over at the corner and was
rolled

more a fortnight la.ter. were got to the top, and as many to bring all the camp gear I had just as difiicult a task Christwhich I did on the day preceding

down

again,

mas-day, spending

my

Christnms-eve at the foot of the


the best phiu for

Diamond-tree pass.

bit of I have related this little


it

trail-engineering because I thought

desirous to imsupplying such practical hints as I am resume wanderers. part for the benefit of younger the narrow tra-il. our march, having crept safely along this we A river four hundred yards wide is ahead of us

We
;

shall

have to

raft,

and swim our mules

a.cross.

\<f

r
184

AT IIOMK IN THE WU.DHUXKSH.

C^HAPTER
J

XIII.
and a
laft
J'ull-

low

to cross Rivers
to

Swim link's ^Fake Hafts, Canoes,


tlieni

lloatThe way

cross a Kiver with your Horse, and to

your

Gun, and Anuniinition, without wetting saddling End of tlie March.

Camping UnIioav

The

best plan I can think of to explain


is

a wide
bt;

swift river ninst be crossed

to su^jpose our train to

descending the

trail,

leading over the rug-ged


side.

blutftJ,

which shut

in the

Snake River on either


cliffs

So

steej)

and massive are the

of basaltic rock on each side

of this immense river that getting* at the water, exce^jt


at lateral valley junctions, or
enter,
is

where tributary streams


fifty

an utter impossibility; a distance of

miles and more will very often have to be travelled

along

its

banks before one single drop of water

is

ob-

tainable,

and

it is

not stating more than the truth to

say, that a traveller

might perish from

thirst

on the

banks of this
whole time.

river,

and yet be in sight of water the


is

The Snake River


yards.

a tributary to the
it

Columbia, and where we are going to cross


'width
is

the

quite 400

About a mile above the

crossing the Pelouse River joins the Snake, and below


I!

the junction the mingled waters dash on with a

territic

BARGAINING WITH RED


velocity.

iMEN.

\Ba

Four times

I have crossed this only available

place on the river with a lar<^e pack train

once with
inciden-

150 animals, so I shall state exactly how I managed


the transport over the river.
tally that a ferry bridge,

may mention
is

which

worked on a wire
crossing,

rope, has been established at this

and the

speculating

Yankee who
(4.s'.

built

it

charges the moderate

sum

of a dollar
it.

2d.)

per liead for packed animals to

cross on

For a width of rather more than a mile there


break in the
cliffs

is

of basalt on each side of the stream,

with a kind of shingly beach reaching from their bases


to the water,

and a

dians

have their
This

Eed men encampment close to


tribe of
T ride

the Pelouse Inthe junction of


train,

the two streams.

on ahead of

my

and bar-

gain with the savages for so

many

canoes and

men

to

work them.

is

always a tedious job, because the

Redskins try hard to get double the amount they pretty


Avell

know they

deserve.

A circle

is

formed
is

the pipe,

without which nothing can be done,

lighted and
all,

smoked.

I say pipe, because

one does for

and as

it

passes on from
say, whilst the

mouth

to

mouth each savage has

his

women, or squaws, stand round behind

the squatting men, and chatter incomprehensibly.

The
it

plan I adopt

is to

show them what


what
not,

mean

to pay, be

in goods, tobacco, or
offer
;

and stand firmly by


it.

my

as a rule, they seldom refuse to accept


it,

Depend

upon

the great element in successful bargaining with

i
186

AT IIO.MK IX THE WFLDHRXESS.

savag'es is to exhibit

what you intend

to g-ive thein.

Let
fi^et,

Indians see anything^ they desire or think they can

and there

is

scarcely finy labour too hard for them, so


it
;

they can obtain

but generally speaking", Redskins hate


stir

work, and would not

a single yard
it

if

you only pro-

mised a reward, and did not show

to them.

The barbeino-

gain concluded, the canoes are launched, and x^addled

down

to

where bv this time the mules are

un-

packed and unsaddled.


It is

always better to swim the mules over the stream

before the men,


in

camp

geti,r,

and pack saddles are


hair time

ferried

canoes.

It gives the animals'


;

to

dry

before resnddling

for if the aparejos are s^^nched

on

upon a wetback,

sore places are generally the result.

So we begin by swimming over the animals.

Reand

member, the stream


swift as a rapid.

is

four hundred yards wide,


bell -mare,

packer halters the

takes

the bell in his hand, and gets into one of the canoes,

which has been paddled up stream


will jiermit
;

as far as the rocks

above this the mules could not get into the

stream.

This, I

must again remind you,

gives a mile

distance clear of rocks on the opposite side.

The other

canoes are stationed further down, and form a line


across the current of water.

The mules

are driven by
is

the packers close to the mare, and as the canoe


dled

pad-

away from the


after

shore, the
it,

man

holds on to the halter


rino-inir

and tows her

at the

same time

the bell
see

continuously with

all his

might.

The poor mules

MULKS
their pet

SWIMMI-NTJ,

187

swimming away, and hear the


growing fainter
;

tinklino- of the

bell o-radually

behind and around them

are the packers waving their dreaded blinds,

and every

now and again giving any mule endeavouring to escape At last, in sheer despair, a taste of its many thongs.
in they dash,

and a curious sight


excepting

it

is

too, to

watch a

hundred mules swimming a wdde stream.


(>ach
n<jse,

Ncthing of
its

animal

is visible

its

long ears and

and as they rapidly separate, the weaker going


stream, and the stronger
is

down
ii,

making a

better passage,

heard of the most discordant snorts imagithrough nable, ranging from the wheezy treble of the old, trumpetevery variety of sounds, to the sharp, ringing,
chorus
like snort of the

young and healthy.

The canoes down stream are nc paddled at the mules orthat are swimming too much head doAvn stream, in der to keep them towards the side whereon they are to
but as some mules swim with ease and rapidity, others slower, and others, again, very slowly, why it haplund
;

pens they get ashore at


bank.

all sorts

of distances

down the

good mule will swim the Snake River, and land only a quarter of mile lower down on the opposite side

to that at
mile,

which

it

entered the stream, others a half


drift

but the greater part of them will

full

mile

in crossing four

hundred yards of swift running water.

The
mare
landed

bell is

kept ringing, and as the mnles land, the

is

led along the bank, so that those

which have

may

follow her,

and those swimming make

18S

AT HOME
tlie

IN

Till-:

WlLDERXli.SS.
It is not
it

towards

spot where they hear the bell.


thin<^ for a

an nn usual
liapi>en

mule to smk

have seen

many

times.

After the mules are over, the

aparejos are

first

crossed in the canoes, next the goods

and

chattels,

and lastly the packers, who then commence

to saddle up, pack,


*

and

start again.

To sum up, when the

wanderer

'

has to cross a wide, swift-running river, he


carefully note the kind of landing-place the

should

first

mules
side.

will

have to encounter on reaching the oj)posite


is

If the river

four hundred yards in width and

the current swift, a mile of landing ground clear from


all

obstruction

is

recpiisite.

If

you attempt crossing

with a shorter landing-place the probabilities are that

you will drown a immber of your animals.

You must

always calculate the chances of effecting a landing

when swimming mules,


the

b}^

estimating by the width of


the current
will

stream and

force

of

how

far

the

weaker mules and bad


<lrifted
;

swimmers

probably

be
is

shelving banks are always dangerous, and so

swampy ground. These remarks aj)i)ly to a wide river, when canoes are obtainable from Indians but to cross narrower streams when they are not, with mules
soft
;

or by yourself on horseback,
affair.

is

altogether a different

If with mules, a raft or a canoe

must be made,
loads.

on which to ferry over the aparejos, men, and

If

you

are

on horseback, you

must swim with your

horse, should the stream prove too deep to ford.

raft

is

the

easiest

thing imaginable to make,

RAFTIXfJ A STREAM.

189

always supposing you can find timber dry enoug-h to


float, wliicli in

a timbered country even


to iniag-ine.

is

not so easy

as one

would be disposed

The timber
it

should be tried in the water carefully before makin"^


into a raft.
raft,

Ten by twelve
it, all

feet is
is

a very good size for a


is

and

to ninke

that

needed

to lay three

laro-e loo-s,

not less than six

f'et

in circumference, side

by

side,

about eighteen inches apart, then other three


these.

across

The upper and under

logs

must

be

trenailed firmly together where they rest on

.nH'h

other,

a light rail added on each side to prevent the goods

from falling

off,

and the

raft is
is

ready to launch.

Before
to

doing- this, if the stream

at all rapid,

it is recpiisite

axe out a couple of rough paddles, and

clioj)

down

three

or four light poles to be put on board the raft.

coil

of

roi)e

(the

'riatas'

tied

tog-ether

answer

every

purpose) must also be taken on the raft, one end being


either held or otherwise

made

fast to the place from

whence you

y,re

to start.

These details completed, one

man
;

ventures

on the
all

raft after it is placed in the stream,

and paddles with

his strength for the opposite side

the rope of course


If he reaches

pays out as the raft

is

forced across.

the goal successfully, he makes fast the raft with a


'painter,' whilst

he adjusts the long rope, about half


to reach

of which, or

enough

from the one side of the


the raft, the end of
its

stream to the other, he

ties fast to

the other part he also fostens to the raft, but at

im r
wo
AT llOMi: IX
TIM-:

WILDKRNKSS.

<P2K'it<-' tMid.

He now

leaves the mft, goes ashore, and


si<le

;ays

out his part of the rope, whilst those on the


raft

from wliich he came haul the

back with their rope,


across, but

and load

it.

Then a second man comes


first

he

being greatly assisted by the

man
if

pulling the rope

does not run any risk of being washed

down stream

with the load, which he would do


the paddle or pole.

he trusted only to

Another system can be resorted to as a

last chance,

and that

is t

stretch a

'

buffalo robe,' or

raw

hide, ovei-

a wickerwork frame made of light


will

sticks; this plan,


is

which

do

in case of

an emergency,

called a bull-boat, so

named because

it is

constructed from bullocks' hides.


driving willows about one

one-hide boat

is

made by

inch in diameter into the ground in the form of an oval


the
loose

ends are brought

over

tied

and wattled

together, so as to

make a
stick
it fast

strong basket-work frame.


close to the

Next bind a strong


ground, and

round the basket


by lashings to
tlu3

make

willow rods

and over
sew
it

all

throw a green hide or buffalo robe, and


hoop.

fast to the encircling

Now

pull

up your

willows, turn over the frame, and

you have as sound


aiicient

and perfect a
or Briton.
sjime way,

coricle as ever

was used by
is

Dane

A
a.

two-hide boat

made somewhat

in the

only
keel.
is

that a long pole must be

first laid

down

as

Supposing you arrive nt

stream
fitting

where there

no dry timber or other material


canoe must be cliopped out.

for rafting, then a

Two

1^

("i:dar-wood caxok.

l!il

and
sidf'

of our axt'iiieu
ill

could

iiiiike

a canoe, with axes only,


;

three hours, hiro-e enough to carry ten persons


is

the

best tiniber
art
is

either cedar or white pine.


st)

The

great

to shape the sides of the canoe


I

that she will

Hoat evenly.

have often seen green hands make a


la}'^

canoe that,
side,

when launched,

completely over on one


stern.

and canted up either at the bow or

Nearly

all

the Indian tribes west of the

Kocky Mountains own


and
rivers,

canoes, but the inland canoes, used on lakes


d.^ffer

totally

from such as are used by the coast and


whether inha'"
-rCT'
I

Fraser River Indians, and each tribe,


biting-

the mainland

coast or
\i>"-^"

Vancouver

Island, has a fashion


itself.
'

ijk...t^^.pig^^?-y^^y m

of canoe peculiar to
tlio

All

c(>ast
'

Indians use
cedar.

dug-

outs

made from
canoes at

I have
ckdau
tAxoi;.

seen

Fort Rupert

that would carry thirty

men

easily in a

heavy

sea.

Just think of the labour these savages must have

bestowed upon each canoe, when they had nothing' but


rude stone tools to work with.

They exjjand the

sides

by

filling-

the canoe with w^ater, and pluiig-ing red hot


it,

stones into

then

prisinj^

open the heated wood


it

witli
it

cross-pieces,
cold.

and keepingKallispellem
'

so forced ojjen until

is

The

'

canoes,"^ used

by the Colum-

bia River Kootanie

and other inland Indians, are made


fir

of large

sheets

of bark, stripped from the spruce


*

Two

rule cut,

i)!igi'

102.

102

AT HOME IX THE WII.DERXESS.


(jiijantea).

or cedar tree {Thvja

These pieces are sewn


a,

together and sloped at both ends, to


the length of the canoe
is

conical point

usnally abont twelve feet, and

the width about seven between the o-unv/ales.

frameis

work of wood
stretched
;

is

neatly made, over which the bark

the seams, holes, and weak places are lastly


<^-um.

secured with a kind of


in one of these

When

an Indian paddles

canoes which, by the way, he can carry

on

his

back with perfect ease


;

he

squats at the ex-

treme end

his w^eig'ht sinks the conical point, wdiich

serves to steady the canoe, similar to the


steadies
itself

way a
is

fish

with

its tail;

t'te

other end
far

of course

>,.~^<-^=r..-.-rTr^:]~-T::s^^-ziEi^
-.

tilted

up

above the sur-

:-

^__ __
"o-j
'

\^-^.^5^j.._,^---

face of the water.


crait are

These

frail

more

easily capsized
T

%" than any other kind of canoe


t^^' was ever
"

in,

but the Indians

---s^^^- "^

AiJF-*'!ii

!'

contrive to convey heavy loads


in

them, shooting' rapids, and


without often

'poliny'
grief.

ag'aiiist

streams,

coming

to

To swim

stream with your horse requires great

coididence and
all

some knowledge of swimming.


a
rule, so

Horses

swim

well, as

soon as they get over the


afloat.

dread of losing their foothold, and are fairly

If

you have no gun or anything spoiiable, and you do not

mind wetting your

clothes, then ride straiglit into the

water, always taking the precaution to see that you can

SWIMMIXCJ A IIORSH.

]b:i

land on the opposite side bj taking- into calculation the


distance yourself

and horse

will probably be drifted.

Seize a good large lock of the

mane hair, and twist it firmly


hand
;

round the fingers of the

left

shut the hand close,


;

to prevent the risk of letting

it slip

free

both feet from

the stirrups, lean well forward, and the instant the

horse begins to float and strike out with

its

feet, lay

C'ltl).S!SIN(J

UIVi;i{.

your body horizontally, and kick back with your legs


as you do in

swimming hold
;

fast

with the

left

hand

the

horse will tow you, and with the right hand you nuist
s])lash

the water at the horse's head to keep him from

turning to swim with the current.


contrive to keep the horse's head

The more you

ciin

up stream the better

194
wilJ

AT llOMK IX
cross with yoii.

THE WILDERNESS.

it

On

reacliiiig

the side you are


its feet

swiimiiiiio- for, as
tlie |L?round

soon as the horse touches

on

drop again into the saddle, and ride your

niustano- out of the water.

Many
over
;

writers

advise

holding on by a horse's
it

tail

when swimming
I
;

a river, and thus letting


it

tow them

do not think
I

nearly so good a plan as the one

above

have tried both.

When

holding by the
it

tail

you

lose all
it

command
wishes
;

of your horse,

can swim in any

direction
legs,

you risk getting hit with the hind

and not uiifrequently you get towed under water.


too, is difticult
;

Landing,
it

when

the horse scrambles out

tugs

you after
are

it,

or throws
in

you down, and the


your losing your

cliances

greatly

favour of

mustang, saddle, and gear, altogether.

When swimming

above the horse and holding by the mane, none of these


risks are encountered,

and you can steer the animal as


river

you would a

boat.

400 yards wide can be safely


the current
is

crossed in this way, even


swift,

if
is

moderately

provided the horse

strong, in good health


is

and

condition, and that the rider


well up to his work.

an expert swimmer and

Supposhig

you

have biggage

in

the

shape

of

blankets, a gun and ammunition, and you dislike wet-

ting your clothes, you must find a dry log light enough
to float, or cut rushes,

and nuike them into two bundles


together in the middle, as you
;

or sheaves

tie these

would two sheaves of straw

place

some light

sticks

raftlxct baggage.
across

1C5

and

tie

thein

fast

to
tie

the

sheaves.

Failing'

sticks or rushes,

you must

up the things

in

the

buffalo skin

remember I told you never to travel withWith


raft

out one strapped to the back of the saddle.

No.

1, the log,
it,

you fasten

all

the things you have on the


'

top of
firmly,

rolled

up tightly in the

buffalo-robe
'
'

'

tie it

and then take the long hair cabresto


lieu of a
bridle, or

I advised

you to use in

the lassoo which

should always be hanging from your saddlebow, and


attach
it

to

the log, so that there

is

no fear of

irs

slipping
lassoo,

off,

then make the other end of the cabresto, or


saddlebow, and the horse will tow

fast to the

the

log-raft

as
is

it

swims across with you.

If

this

arrangement
ferried,

properly executed everything can be


it.

without a chance of wetting

Raft No.
if

2,

rush sheaves, I like even better than a log,

so be

rushes are obtainable; they float more evenly,


there
is

and
have

less

chance of their rolling over.

frequently seen Indians cross a river by sitting between

two large rush sheaves and paddling them


would a canoe.
'I

as they

With No.

3 contrivance, the bufllilo


is

robe, the only precaution

you can take against wet

tinnly to secure the buffalo robe round the things

you

are going to tow over

for in all three cases the

towing

system

is

alike adopted.

Horses free from the saddle


easily

or other
distance

incumbrance can swim


if

mile

in

there

is

anything

like

a swift current

nevertheless,

some mustangs are immeasurably better


a

lf)G

AT

HOME

L\

THE WILDERNESS.

swimmers than are others of equal bone and strength.


Tnnid, scary horses are always bad to swim streams
with.
I

had a very capital horse, and an admirable

swimmer, which sank suddenly in the middle of the


Kootanie River without any assignable reason
1

I dare

say horses get cramp as

we

do.

The
for

three grand requisites

we have been looking out


called,

grass, wood, and waterare reached, a halt


mules allowed to cool before unsaddling
;

the loads are taken off and placed on the riatas, and
the
if

you
in

expose their backs suddenly to the air whilst the skin


heti-ted,

the skin rapidly gets covered with large lumps.


this waiting, fires are lighted, tents pitched,

During

and

supper set agoing.

The
fires is

cardinal point to be observed in


'

making camp

never be in a hurry.'

The most unpromising


the
;t

material, such as the twigs

and boughs of green willow


;

bushes,

may be made
<if

to

burn even during rain

if

traveller lias been sufficiently provident to lay

away

small parcel

well-dried or resinous
is

wood from a pre-

vious camp, this


tion
;

to be carefully used in tlie founda-

ui)on

it

the smallest ends of twigs are to be placed,

frayed out at the ends in order to hold the flame.


these are kindled,

When
added,

somewhat

larger twigs

may be

but in

all

cases proceed carefully, bearing in


its

mind that
more than

green wood even in


half
its

driest state contains

weight of water, and that a very large pro-

portion of the heating effect, of the previously kindled

BUSII-FIRES.

15)7

evaporating off water, brands, has to be expended in


It is, therefore, ignited. before the fresh fuel can be labour to fell trees for fires in ahnost all cases a work of as dead sticks, which can as is sometimes recommended, labour, usually make a generally be collected with less

much
In

better fuel.
all cases,

imthe traveller cannot be too strongly of always expressed, with the absolute necessity before breaking tinguishing tbe fire to the last embers,

upcamp.

Neglect of this precaution has

led, in

many

tracts of forestinstances, to the devastation of vast

redolent with animal country, which was formerly land lands, destitute of into the so-called 'barren'
life,

almost

all

the necessaries of

life,

and which can only be and


privation.
^

travelled through with great suffering

Bush and

prairie fires are

sometimes attended witli


life vind

terrible results as affecting

both

property.

saw the ravages a bush


river,

fire

had made along the

Frasei-

inland, I am and that extended its devastations burning for unable to say how far-which fire had been

nearly four years.

Where

it

vestige of vegetation
I)ines,

was to

had passed not a single be seen, and the massive

resemblance to black and cindered, bore no inapt Once or twice during our forest of charcoal trees.
fire,

Commission work the bush got on


accident or from Indian malice
discover.
it

whether by
to

was impossible

At any

rate, it

rendered

many

of the trails

accumulations impassable for a loiig time, and the vast

198

AT IIO^FE IX THE VriLDERXESS.

of smoke frequently obstructed the astronomers,

when

taking observations.

No

one would believe, except he

saw

it,

how

terribly fast fire runs throug-h a forest of


;

growing trees

it

seems to consume them as though


Moss, dried leaves and twigs,
fire.

they were dead and dry.

are the active agents in carrying on a brisk

The

fire

creeps along, fed by these combustibles, until

it

reaches

the stump of a tree

then leaping from bark to branch,


rapidly devours all but the solid

and branch to

leaf,

substance of the tree, and even this very often succumbs


to fire's insatiable appetite,

and the burnt tree comes

crushing to the ground, like a gigantic rocket sending


off

myriads of brilliant sparks in


for the evil
is

its

downward

course.

The only remedy


you desire to

to cut a road, or line in

other words, betwixt the burning forest and the portion


save,

and

to

stamp

out, or

by beating with

bushes extinguish, the


underbrush.

fire

running along in the moss and


this plan,

By adopting

we succeeded once

or twice in checking the progress of a bush-fire.

prairie fire is altogether a different affair.

Settlers

are in the constant habit of setting the prairies on fire

purposely, in order to clear off and get rid of the old and
coarse grass ; by doing this a

young sweet herbage springs


Indeed, I

up in

its place,

better suited to grazing stock.

am

inclined to think vast tracts of forest have in the

course
prairie,

of

ages,
tJie

been converted

into

what

is

now
the

by

Red-men, who
;

regularly burn

grass from off the prairies

in

most cases

to ensure a

rRAlRlH-FlKI':8.

199

bison, and in later years supply of young grass for the they not unfrequently fire for their horses ; although

out an enemy. the dry grass in order to burn halt at the edges of the Fire s^o kindled does not

ravages into the timber, prairie land, but extends its

and

in this
I

way gradually

increases the

size

of the

prairie.

Western

on the have invariably noticed, when living ground, say prairies, that wherever a space of

in for any length of 300 acres or more, has been fenced the effects of fire, that time, and carefully guarded from
it

and

Tree;^ of a forest. has rapidly assumed the character grass nnderbrush soon gain a mastery over the

and

flowers,

which give place in their turn


in
easily kept

to a vege-

tation,

more adapted to thrive


Fire
is

damp and shady

situations.

from injuring a fence,

furrows in width by ploughing a space four or five There are stringent laws in the entirely round it. it can firing prairies States and Territories relating to and all settlers, I be done legally at a given date,
;

only

believe,

are expected to

'

fire

'

at the

same time,

in.

cattle, horses, and hogs, order to insure the removal of whole.' that might otherwise be roasted
'

Grand
exceeds

as a
it

bush

fire

is,

I think a blazing prairie

in magnificence,

the

dense

columns

of

mighty waves wreathv smoke, as they curl up resemble


against rolling on, to hurl themselves
coast, whilst just

some storm- lashed


line of flame ex-

ahead of them, a red

can pierce the distance. tends right and left as far as eye

'JOO

AT JIOME IN THE WILDERXP:SS.


fire

As you watch the progress of the


travels varies in aeeorclaiiee

(the rate a fire

with

tlie

force of the

wind

and

lenf-th

and dryth of the

grass).

sullen kind
for

of roar seems to
a

come from everywhere, having

refrain a continuous sharp crackling,

made by

the

tongues of flame in their furious onward course, licking


lip
i

the loose inflammable materials.

Every living

thing-

dashes on lieedless of direction before a praiiie

fire.

The

lamb might run side by side with the hungriest wolf


without any risk
laid aside, the
;

all

enmity seems for the time to be

one grand absorbing instinct self-pre-

servation obliterating all others.


Is
it

to be

wondered at that emigrants, and even

bands of savages, have been from time to time burnt to


cinders in these fires ?

What
and
if

chance would there be

if

one was enveloped in burning grass or reeds seven feet

high?

No man

on

foot,

the wind

is

hard not even

on horseback, can travel so rapidly as the flames pursuing him.


that I

What can
of,

be done?
is

Why,
if

only one thing

know
it

and that

to fire the grass before you,


it
;

and

as

burns walk close after

you have

sufticient

time and presence of mind, by this expedient you


be far enough
fire

may

away

to avoid any serious


I once

harm from the


ride to

coming on upon you.

had a hard

escape being burnt in a prairie

fii^e,

and only escaped

by plunging horse and


a river.

all

down

over a steep bank into

The

fire

was

close at

my heels,

and rushing on

(juite as fiist as

my

poor terrified horse could carry me.

A ridp: for life.


I felt the gallant

201

mustang was getting winded, and I fall headlong with expected every moment tliat it would mere chance I me. My lile hung, so to say, upon a
;

knew

not, cared not,

what was before me, neither did

feel at all

frightened
gallop,

when

the horse, without even halt-

ing in

dashed over a bank, and we together dread of being plunged into the stream. The horrible in no other burnt overcame every other feeling of fear any amount of case could I have forced the horse, by
its
;

high bank punishment, to jump from the top of such a


into a deep river.
this

''

In this case its instincts told

it

that

one chance of escape alone remained. during the At night these fires are more terrible than
;

1.^

day

of flame. the whole horizon looks to be one sheet kindThe best material I have ever met with for in north-west ling a fire, is known to the fur-traders tribe emAmerica as gum-stick nearly every Indian
;

ploys

it.

When

hunting or scouting, they carry small

its name in bundles of gum-stick with them, which, as impregnated some degree explains, is pinewood densely

burns with a with a highly inflammable substance, that gum-stick is bright clear flame and when a piece of
;

lighted

forms an admirable torch. Why, in a London weight in silver. You fog, gum-stick would be worth its whisk and whirl about your torch to your heart's
it

may

content,

and never

risk putting

it

out

I once accom-

some missing panied a party of Eed Indians in search of each one of persons the night was intensely dark, but
;

f
201

AT

HOME

IX THE WILDERNESS.

the Indians, carried


affixed to the

a bundle of flaming
pole.

<T^uni-sticlv

end of a

The

light so obtained

was

almost as bright as the magnesium light, and rendered


u

the minutest objects perfectly conspicuous.

if

Gum-stick
trees
;

is

obtained from dead, not decayed, pine-

it is

a most singular looking material in appear-

ance, not unlike a piece of deal that has been soaking


for

a long time in

oil

it is

immensely heavy, and quite

translucent at the edges.


I

have often been tempted to think, when examining a

piece of gum-stick, the

wood itself has been transmuted


what has become gumif

into a kind of paraffin; perhaps


stick,

would have grow^n into a branch,

nature had

carried out her original design.

The sap destined to form


changed

buds, leaves, and seeds, has been hindered at this spot in


its

upward or downwanl

course, concentrated,

into an inflammable

compound, and by some process

impossible to explain, pressed into the

woody

fibre, to

become

in the

end

<>"um-stick.
if

It is not

by any means a scarce material,


find it
;

you know

where and how to

a practised hand learns, by a

kind of instinct, how to pitch upon the right tree for


gum-stick, although to explain the
impossibility.

way

to do

it

is

an

Indians are particularly skilful in dis-

covering
Colville,

it,

and during the winters we passed at Fort

they used to bring bundles of gum-stick daily,

to trade for tobacco or anything else they required.

few shavings sliced

off

with your knife, and lighted,

GUM-STICK.
will

203

kindle

a fire even during


its

x^elting-

rain,

to
life

say
to a

nothing of

potency and power to give new

dying flame.

Another kind of resinons material exudes from the pine-trees in great quantities, more especially if the bark
has been partly removed, or a chop has been made on the
trunk.
is
it

It

is

yellowish-white in colour,
its

its

consistence
i

that of thick gum,

smell decidedly turpentiny as

ii

exudes, runs

down

the tree,

and hardens

into large
it

drops.

An

inexperienced hand on finding that

lights
'

disvery readily, and blazes up like naphtha, Avould be soon, to employ it for fire-lighting ; he would

posed

however, discover that as the resin flamed away it at wood the same time densely coated the siu-fiice of the

with a coating of lamp-black, or some other analagous form of carbon ; and when pinewood is thus coated one

might as well try to burn granite


coated timber does
it

hence this resin;

is

utterly useless for firewood

not only

render

itself

incombustible, but has a like effect


fire,

upon

all

the sticks in the


fire,

and

is

nearly as effectual
'

in extinguishing your
tinctuer.'

as would be the famed

I'ex-

I frequently used to

amuse myself by

setting fire to

There was the resin encrusting the side of a pine-tree. the not the slightest risk of kindling the tree itself;
coated material blazed up furiously for a short time,
the tree with out
;

its

sooty deposit, and then went suddenly

the flame would not even char the bark.

r
'204

AT
If

HOME

LN

THE WILDERNESS.
never collect chips or timber

you want a

fire,

coated with resin.

Now

to

unsaddle

one packer

stands where the


the other packers

aparojos are to

be placed, whi^.^t

catch the mules by the halters, loose the synch, and


lead

them up
it

to him.

He now

takes off the aparejo

ind phices

on the ground, next the cloths on the top


the corona on the top of
if lie finds it all
all.

)f it,

and

lastly,

Then he
he inevil at

'xamines the back, and


off the

right he jerks
if not,

halter

and

lets

the mule go;


tries to

vestigates the aparejo

and

remedy the

once.

It is the

duty of another packer to clean and


all

tlioroughlv grease

the cruppers, coil up the sling


cover the aparejos
(placed,

ropes and

carefully

re-

member, in a
herders drive

semicircle), with the canvas covers.


tlie

The

band awav, make

fast the bell-mare

and return
bid them

to enjoy their suppers, their pipes,

and the
Let us
I

sleep needed to recruit them for the


'

coming day.
is

Good Night

'
!

our march

at

an end.

have

some hints
horses,

to giv^e about building log houses,

breaking

and

collecting specimens of Natural History,

and then

I shall

have

fulfilled

my

mission;

how

well I

must leave other wanderers

to decide.

WILD MUSTANGS.

205

CHAPTER
^Fastano-s:

XIV.
Mexico^ Found
in

their

lirst

appoaraiicc

ia

Tomh,
(
i

and Elsewhere lireakinoCalifornia, Oretjon, r.ritisli Columbia, A Wanderer should he his own a Wild Horse not an I'^asy Task AVav to ]Make a Lassoo and a Cahresto Lns-

Manufacturer The
Adventure.

sooing, Saddling, Moun'ting-

Hoping Wild Cuttle-An Exciting

Mustangs,

as

wild

horses

are

usually

styled

(and

broken ones as well, for that


snrall

ma,tter),

are, as a rule,

horses,

rarely

exceedino- fourteen

hands high.

They

whicli are descended from Spanish stock,


orio-inally

must
the

have been
ori-'iiial

brouoht

into

Mexico

by

conquerors of that beautiful but unfortunate

country

now

somethhioperiod

like

three

centuries

ag-o.

Dur^ag- this

niustang-s

have increased to an

so to extraordinary extent, and they have radiated, now roam over the speak, in every direction. Vast herds

and Texan prairies; and throughout Mexico to California, territories, and from thence over Oregon, Washington Columbia, to the head waters of the Columbia
British

Rocky Mountains), an abundance of somet with. Crossing the called wild horses are to be descending to its summit of the Rocky Mountains and
(west of the

mmmmm
'f
:oG

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.

eastern side plains, thei'e again

we

find nearly every

Indian tribe possesses


lassoo, saddle, bridle,

itL^^

bands of wild horses.

To

and mount a perfectly wild musfeat


its

tang

is

by no means an easy
is

for

a person to

perform who
is

thoroughly up to

vicious tricks,

who

at the

same time an accomplished horseman, and


and a^ain bestridden wild
lassoo ?
horti* \
'""lien

who has

a<j:ain

what chance would a novice stand who did not even

know how

to

throw a

*^

'

or,

supposing him

sufficiently expert to catch a wild

mustang, who was


it

ignonint as to the proj^er

way

to saddle
it

or to get
I

upon

its

back and

sit

there

when

was saddled.

have a few Avords to say, in the

first place,

concerning

this instrument, Aveapon, rope, or

by whatever name we

niay be disposed to designate the lassoo, notwithstand-

ing

it

has been so frequently described by almost

uil

writers on sporting in the far West.

In the

first piact.,
;

these writers never

tell

you how to make a lassoo

at

any
I

rate, I

have never stumbled upon any work conThis I consider of the


first

taining such instructions.


importiince.
to be
[ible,

All persons, in

my humble opinion,

ought
'o

that

is, if

they choose to be wanderer^',

make
giicli

for themselves everything they need, exceptinL*


articles as require for their ])roduction

machinery

and

skilled labour.

lassoo

is

made from raw hide


mean animals

the hide of a

domesticated bull or cow furnishes the best material


(by domesticated I
really wild,

which are

TIIK
ivery

WAY TO

:irAKE

A LASSOO.

207

nevertheless descended from a domesticated stock)

To

red bullock's hide

is

considered preferable to either a


I

black, white, or spotted one.

am

not able to give a

reason for

it

still

I feel convinced a red bullock's hide lassoo than does a hide

makes a tougher and stronger


of

any other

colour.
is

If neither

a wild nor a tame

bullock's hide

procurable, then buffalo, deer, or horse


its

hide must be substitnted in


tined to

stead.

The hide

des-

make

a lassoo, stripped from off the animal (and

great care must be exercised in skinning, that not a


single false cut be

made, so as to weaken the


cv

fibre), is

to be

soaked in a river or
;

pool, in order to
a,

remove
ground

the hair

then staked out upon

level piece of

and well stretched, during which


constantly

o]3eration

it

must be

wetted; two days


out.

will

be long enough to

keep

it

pegged

Now you must


make a

determine whefour strand

ther you are going to


lassoo
;

three or a

it

will require

two large hides to make a three


hided, or four small ones, to

strand,

and three lur^e

make
to

a four strander.

Eear in mind your object

is

manufacture a rope thirty feet long, Avithout a knot

or a join, from two or three hides.


sideration
will

moment's con-

make

it

plain

to

any person that


sti*ip

there can be but one


shall
ivay

way

of obtaining a

which

measure thirty
is

feet in length,

and that the only

to

begin at the edge of the hide, and to cut


is

round and round until the centre

reached, in the

same manner

as shoemakers cut a

boot-lace from a

-,-"ii.inKm

r
1

208

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.


i^iece

small circular

of leather, as Dido did

when

she

claimed the land whereon to build Carthag-e, and the

Mansfeldt of

old,

by a similar

trick, got

both estate
strip
suffiit in
;

and name from the Emperor.


shot.
cient
'
'

The width of the


If tl.e hide
is

exceed half an inch.

of

sj

to furnish a strip sixty feet long, cut

two, and procure the third strip from another hide


short of that length, cut two
hides,

if

more

strips

from other

and make your lassoo as


of.

long* as

the pieces will

admit

Each

strip

must be well wetted and wound


I

round a small

stick.
is

The next
patience.

process

plaiting,

which requires care and

uniform circumference and exactitude in

the tightness of the twist are absolutely essential to


insure

a good lassoo
flexibility,
it.

neglect of due caution begets


fatal

luiequal

a fault

to

accuracy when

throwing
tree,
I

The three

strips should be fastened to a

and as the twister proceeds with his work, the


platted portion

strips an<l

must be kept

Avet

this

is

best done by filling the

mouth with water, and then

squirting
lass<X)

it

slowly over the work and materials.

The

must be thoroughly stretched

after completion

and then well greased.

One end may be ornamentally


;

finished off with a hair tassel

in

the other (nid a loop


strips,

must be woven by twisting together the three


and then
finally
it

covered wdth a piece of hide sewn

tightly round

with tendtni.

This will be perhaps the

best

place

to advise

wanderers to procure the back

TO xMAKE A CABKESTO. en she


[id

209

tendon of a wapiti, or moose deer, to dry


divide
it

it,

and then
It is

the

into threads fine or thick, as required.


is

estate
e strip f suffiit it ill

stronger than any twisted fabric, and


curable,

easily pro-

and as
it

easily carried.

For sewing leather or

raw hides

w^U be found
*

invaluable.

To make a
lassoo

cabrass,' or cabresto, as a hair rope or

lide
1

if

is styled,

the hair must be

first

spun into a yarn.

other
will

This

is

easily

done by trenailing two sticks in the form


the
centre,
it
;

es

of a cross, cutting a hole through

and

wound
I
Lire

passing a round stick

made smooth

into

a peg

driven through the end will prevent the cross from


slipping
oif.

and

This long stick must be driven into a

tilde in
iitial

hole bored in a tree, or in the absence of an auger

to

wedged betwixt
to the cross

heav}' rocks or logs.

A.

tuft of hair

bef^ets
y

suHicient to form the yarn to be spun

must be fastened
in

when
a

and brought through a notch

one of the
cross wlih

ed to
)rlv,

arms

then, after
it

making a few turns of the


spins,

tho
is

the hand, keep

twisting round and round by swinging


it

this

the yarn, add hair as

walk backwards unt'l

id
s.

then

the string becomes too long to turn the cross, then

The

ipletioii

wind the spun hair round the arms and commence ih novo. If 30U want a practical lesson, watch a rope-

iientall\

maker

at

work

in

a ropewalk.
will be found equally use-

d a loop
e strips,

The same primitive machine


ful for

spinning several yarns into a rope. Eiatas

made

le

sewn

with strips of raw hide can be easily twisted with a like


contrivance
if

Imps the

consiriKted on a somewhat larger scale.

he back

To

acquire a sulHciency of skill to throw a lassoo with p

il

'

'J

10

AT IICiME IX THE WILDERNESS.

force

and accuracy

iioocls

a long and tedious

scliooling-;

skilled performers Avitli the lassoo

commence
all

to use

it

during* cliildliood,

and every day and


it.

day long

tlie

boys practise throwing

Hence, wanderers, you

must be content to spend several hours eveiy day, on


foot,

throwing at a stake to begin with.


a quiet mustang.
horseback, but
if

Next prac-

tise lassooing

Now

you may venture

to try

it

on

you can succeed in


'

gaining an amount of proficiency equal to


a mustang round
its

lassooing

neck in a

corral,' or

a bullock

over

its

horns,
If

it

will be quite as

able to do.

you

for

much as you will be one moment imagine that by


will be able to
legs, whilst

any moderate amount of practice you

throw a lassoo round an animal's

going at

a raking gallop, or rope a buii >ck or a mustang on the

open

prairie,

permit

me

to

say you will be terribly


to
lassoo, in-

mistaken.

I can

tell

you the right way

saddle, bridle,

and mount a wild nmstang; but to


it is

sure your doing


I

quite another question.


is

have already told you the length of a lassoo

ordinarily thirty feet,


('t)ntinual greasing.

and

it

must be kept
the lassoo

flexible
is

by

One end of

fastened

to a ring provided for the purpose, or to the

horn of

the

saddle
is,

the other end, which forms a running

noose,
coiled

together with the remainder of the lassoo,

carefully

and held

in

the right hand.

Thus

e(piipped, I ride in

pursiut of a band of mustangs.


I

Having espied the animals

seek browsiug peacefully

'

I.ASSOOIXG A
ooliiig;

WILD MUSTANG,
trees, or

211

beneath the shadows of the


prairie, I craftily

on the grassy
;

use
11 fj

it

manccuvre to get to windward of them

the
yoii

neglect this precaution and their keen sense of smell


will betray j^our approach,

fs,

and then you may make


for

day, on
[t

up your mind
that day.

to wish the

band of horses good-bye

prac-

Slowly, and by riding in an angular course,

ventnre
ceed
in

I get as near to

them

as possible.

As soon

as I find

myself within about forty feet of the herd I dash

my

isooing"

spurs sharply into the horse, whirl the lassoo three or


four times round

bullock
will be

my head

to steady

my aim and
it

to

keep

the circle of coils clear, then I fling

over the head and

that by
able to
i'oinu'
r

round the neck of the animal


OAvii

have selected, turn


press

my
the

horse sharply round,

sit firmly,
iiiy

home

at

spurs,

and gallop on, dragging

prisoner after me.

on the
terribly

The powerful
prevents

pressure of the noose u2)on the windpipe

the frightened mustang


;

from offering any


falls

>

lassoo,

lengthened resistance
itself
all

it

soon either

or tlirows

it

to in-

upon the ground,

breathless, motionless,

and to
is

appearance nearly
I

lifeless.

When

the

horse

^assoo is

down

dismount and carefully gather

my way

along

xible

by

the lassoo until I can get close to the terrified beast, then
I slip the blind over its eyes, slack the noose,

fastened

and quietly
it

horn of
runniiij^'
3

await

its

recovery.

am
*

going to mount
cabresto
'

at once,

so I take the saddle and

from

off

my tame
it

lassoo,

mustang, hobble
to feed.

its

fore-legs firmly,

and turn

loose
its

1.

TllUB

13y this

time

my

captive has recovered


it

uistaii|j;s.

breath, a sharp

slap
its

on the haunches induces

to

eacefiilly

scramble upon

legs,

but the blind prevents any


!

'

'212

AT
to

IIOMl!]

IX

THE WILDERNESS.
little

jittempt

escape.
tlie

Now, by a
lialf-liitch'^

patience and
is

nianauvring
slipped
i i

double

already described

on

to the
'

under jaw beneath the tongue, and


'

the ends of the

cabresto

tied for reins.

I next softly

put on the s^veat-cloth, then the blankets, and lastly


the saddle, (be at
all

times careful to cross the stirrups


lifting*

and

'

synch

'

over the seat of the saddle, and


it

the

saddle well above the back let


anini[d).

drop gently upon the

This done, I give the saddle a gootl slap,


;

and hold on tight to the lassoo

this

sometimes be-

gets a vicious plunge or two, but as a rule the horse

stands shaking and sulky.


the
'

I have to be

wary in getting
'

synch

'

under the

belly, or I

may

get a

cow

kick,'

in other words, a

blow from the hind leg in a direction

forwards.
is

I have

managed

it safely,

the leather strap

passed through and through the ring, and, placing


foot firndy

my
is

upon the lassoo

I haul

up the synch
'

as

tight as I possibly can,

and make

it fast.

Synching

always a risky performance, because the wild animal

usually lashes out its hhid legs, plunges, and not unfi'cquently

throws

itself heavily
is

upon the

turf,

but so

long as the blind

on

it

never attempts to get away.

This paroxysm of rage over, I place


stirrup, give the horse at the

my

foot in the

same time a slap on the

haunch, and rest


stirrup.

my

weight for a minute or two in the


is

If the horse

moderately quiet, I next rest

my stomach on

the saddle, jerk about and


*

smack

its

Vida paj^o 95.

'

LEVrARE OF BUCK-JUMnXG.
e

21.
it is

and
is

sides

with

my

open hand

if,

on the other hand,


still

LLed
le,

very bad tempered and vicions horse, I


until
it

keep on

mid

softly
lastly

irrups
I

me to rest on the saddle. Now I slowly and cautiously get my leg over the saddle, settle myself firmly in my seat, place my toes in the stirrups, coil up my lassoo in my left hand, lean forward and jerk off the
j)ermits

ig'

the

blind,
It

and the

battle begins in earnest.

on the
:l

would be only wasting time to describe the pranks


its rider
it
..;

slap,

a wild mustang resorts to in order to unseat


the worst thing, however,
is

les
)

be-

buck-jumping, which

horse

does with such vicious violence as to require every effort

^etting"
r

on the

])art of

the rider to avoid being shot out of the


I
sit

kick/

saddle like a shell from a mortar.

tight, yell at

rection
r strap

the top of

my

voice, spur

with

all

my

might, and try


to start

by

all

and every means

to induce the
is

mustang

placing' ncli as
Lching-

at a gallop.

If he does this he
if he lies

mine, and I

am
off

his

master for ever;

down,

rolls or gets

me

by

any other means, I turn him away and look

for another.

animal
lot

A wild horse never


its rider at

forgets

it

if

successful in throwino-

nn-

the

first

mounting.

After the

first

gallop
If the

but so
b

there

is

not

much

further trouble needed.


I

away.
in the

mustang turns out sound and strong,


few more lessons
sufiice

brand
it

it,

and a
is

to convert

into

what

on the
in the

known

in

hunter parlance as a tame or gentled horse.


dread of the lassoo
'

It is rather singular that a

is

always

xt rest
Lick
its

retained by a horse that has been

choked down,'
act of
T

saddled and broken on the prairie. putting


it

The mere

round the neck ensures instant obedience.

214

AT no^iE \s
slitike

Tin-:

wildekxess.

have seen horses

with terror when a lassoo was

laid across their shouhlers.

Of

course, this system of

breaking applies with equal force to horses taken from


out of a
prairie.
*

coiTal,' as it

does to those lassooed on the

The

lassoo

is

used for catching wild

cattle,

just in the

same manner

as it is for mustang-s or mules,


*

oidy that bullocks are usually


It

roped

'

round the horns.

may

prove of interest to mention incidentally, as a

caution to the novice, an adventure which befel myself

and a Mexican while


fiuddenly

lassooing- wild cattle.

We

came

upon a wild Spanish bullock grazing some

distance
it

away from the herd.


olf

Perceiving our approach,

dashed

with

all

speed for the timber.

rather

exciting race ensued, but the

Mexican being the lighter


first

weight, and having a better start, was the


the bullock.

to

head

He

sent his lassoo over


his

its

horns, and

attempted
i

to

wheel

horse

ro\ind

in

order

to

tighten the noose, but quicker than either he or his

horse could move away the maddened beast charged


full tilt,
its

caught the poor horse broadside on, and sent


its side.

long taper horn to the root into

The horse

dropped dead, and the Mexican rolled over and lay by


its

side.

The

bullock, finding itself fast to the saddle

of the dead horse, charged in

upon the man, and would


it

have seiTed him the same as


ounce of lead had not thwarted
merely relate this
affair to

had the horse

if

an
I

its

savage intentions.
is

show that lassooing

often

a dangerous pastime.

AT A RODEO.

215

wns

As

I have previously said, those

who have never

seen

cm
1

of

a lassoo used by a thoroughly skilled hand can form

from
the

no idea of the accuracy with which they learn to throw


it
;

311

indeed,
it

on the large

cattle runs in

Texas and South


for the herders

cattle,

America
to

would be quite impossible

mnlcs,
horns.
fs\

manage

either the bullocks or horses, unless they

were most expert performers with the lassoo.

To

wit-

as a

ness lassooing in perfection, and the systems adopted for


driving, corraling,

myself
)

and branding where

cattle

run wild
is

came
some

over large districts of country, the best plan

to visit

'

rodeo,'

which takes place sometimes every year, at


or

broach,

others longer intervals elapse betwixt the drives


rodeos.

rather
lighter
to
IS,

At these
is built,

affairs all

the stockowners from far and

near assemble at a given place, where a large enclosure


or corral

head

and into

it all

the cattle which ca-n be

and
to

collected are driven, to be

owned and branded.


T relate

These
it

der

drives are always


will be the

most

festive meetings,
if

but perhaps

or his

more interesting

my own
it is.

ex-

diarged
id sent

periences of a rodeo than to simpiy say

what

Many

years have passed


at rodeo.
;

away

since I

was induced

to

e horse

make one

I need not go into a tedious desit will suffice

lay
!

by

cription of locality

to say that

my

three

saddle

companions were old stock-men, who now and then took


a turn at gold washing or trapping, more by way of a

would
if

an
I

change than

for love of gain.


to^vll,

We

met by accident

at a

ons.
s

small frontier

was seized uj)on immediately, and

often

nolens volens, hustled into a bar-room.


*

Now

Cap,' said

Mose

(one of the three),

it

aint no

'

-ilG

AT HOME IN THE AVILDERXESS.


of nse for

manner

you to try back and


that's

tracks,

we

ar' just all

^wine to tlie roda,

your hand, bet your pants,

so we'll fire-up.

I feels a kinder hot, like a cinder as

wants quinchin.'

We

did several drinks, which,

together with

my
and

friend's persuasions,

overcame
finally

all

my

objections,

arrangements were
early
place.

made

that

we should

dei)art

on the following morning

for the general trysting

We
corral,

started at sun up, our destination ine

'

rodeo

about twenty-four miles distant.

pleasant

breeze blew over the hazy plain, just sufficient to rustle

the oak leaves as


gallop.

we

swe^^t past the trees at a rattling


trail led

Leaving the plain, the


'

through groves
several

of oaks, then up a winding

canon,'

and across
faint

deep ravines, to strike


ing towards the
hills,

off at last

upon a

path leadI

following which for some distance,

we ascend
side of
it

a steep ridge, and pause to look

down

into a
either

grassy valley, through which winds a river.


level plains stretch

On

away

as far as eye can scan

the distance, and immediately below us tents are visible


dotted irregularly about.
reverie

Mose
Our

i)uts

an end to

my

by saying,

We've made the ranch,


tents,

boys, thar's

the con-al for the roda.'

simply strips of

canvas stretched over a ridge pole, were very soon adjusted and pegged down.

These preliminaries arranged,

and the mustangs


round.

safely tethered,
it fall

we had time

to look

Seldom does

to one's lot to witness such

WHAT CHEER HOUSE.


a singular assemblage as were
tranquil valley

217

now camped

in this

there were Americans, French, English,


trees, as

Sonorans, Texans, Kanakas, from the Sandwich Islands,

and even Chinamen.


Beneath the shadows of the
along,

we

strolled

were groups of gamblers busy at their work,

and the jingling coin and rattle of the dice-box sounded


in strang-e contrast
vith the song's of birds

and the

hum
tent,

of insects.

There was actually an

hotel, if a large

with

What

Cheer House

'

written in large black

letters over the entrance, could

be so designated, and

like travelling caravans are usually

managed, the most

attractive part of the establishment

was

clearly

on the

outside.

Long planks arranged on

stakes driven into

the turf

served as dining-tables, or for feeding in

general, whilst across the door, or rather entrance into

the tent, was a shorter plank, and, lest there should exist

any doubt as to the purpose for which


BAR, in big writing, surmounted
dirty decanters, together with
it

it

was designed,

like a banner.

A few
and

some sardine

tins

cigar-boxes,
of,

unless

made the only garniture the bar could boast we include as part of the furniture a par-

ticularly

cadaverous-looking individual,

who seemed,
half,

for one could only

judge of the whole by the upper

to be

made up

entirely of shirt front

and

studs, his face,

head, and hands, being merely accidental aj^pendages.

About a mile further up the


large
space,

valley

was the

corral,

enclosing several

acres,

made

of felled

^fl
I
!

218

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


one on another, jnst like
tlie

trees, placed

walls of a

loy shanty are constructed, but further strengthened

by lighter

trees,

sunk on each side the log fence, the


of raw

tops being lashed firmly together with strips

hide, the height of this fence being about nine feet.

Strong poles, each end of whicli traversed in a groove,


served for a gateway
;

and from each side of this gate

was a long wattle

fence, carried out for

some distance

and gradually widened from the entrance

an arrangewas a
trees
on(^

ment which greatly


cattle

facilitates

the

gettin^r the wild

into the

corral.

Near

to this corral

much

smaller enclosure,

made by sinking

tall

deepl} into the

ground, instead of piling them

upon another.

The upper

ends, as in the corral, wore

lashed together with raw hide.

Eound

the outside,

about
I

five feet

from the top, was a stage, standing on


easily look

which one could


going on inside.

over and see what was

At

either

end was a small den, com-

municating with the Interior by a trap-door, which


could be hauled up by a rope by a person standing

upon the platform.


plained anon.

The use of

this arena will be ex-

We

adjoirned to the

hotel' to supper, after our


visitors at the
*

tour of inspection

most of the

rodeo

'

boarded at this primitive house of entertainment, finding


it

cheaper and more convenient than providing

provisions and pack trains for themselves.

Do not imagine

that

we had

to

chew jerked beef and

M^jk-

"
;

OLD EPIIR AIM'S HOME.


of a
lened
',

219

tlriecl

salmon, or feed on rancid ration


it,

pork

not

bit of

we had such

living'

provided by mine host as

tlie

would have cheered the heart of the most fastidious


epicure.

f raw
feet.

Here, far away in the mountains, we feasted


beef, quail,

on venison, wild turkey, antelope,


green corn, butter, milk,
coffee,

and hare,

roove,
g'ato

and corn dodgers.


all

The

first

two days were occupied by


corral,

hands in
arrivals

stance

repairing

the

and awaiting fresh

whilst the evenings passed pleasantly

away

tales
*

of

adventure, songs, jokes, and monte, easily beguiled the


time.
*

On

the third day the drive commenced,

Cap, you bet your bottom dollar,' said Mose,


tall

we're

gwine to have a pretty


quantity
o'

time of
sign

it.

I see

any
1

iDainters

(panther)

round
is

camp;

guess old Bull, a powerful dog he had,

about the

smartest bit of stuff ever you see wrapped in dogskin


for

making a catamount smell thunder.


a'

Only three
painters;
at 'em, to

weeks agone the old dog skeered up a pair "


the varmint treed, and the
let
*

way ho howled
was a
'

me know

he wa

all thar,

caution.'

Well,' joined in a stranger,

I kalkilate

me and

old

buck-horn know wliar to drop on to the biggest kind


of a
h<n'.

We

struck his trac as


it cleai'

we come

over the

divide,

and run

t-huin,

whar old Epluuim camps,

you may bet your

last cent.'

On making
me

a subsequent inquiiy

why

this bear trail

was deemed such a grand discovery, Mose informed


in his quaint

manner that

the yreat feature at

tiie

220
'roclti'

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.

was the
bull,

fig'lit

between a grizzly and a wild


always
took place, provided a

Spnnisli

wliicli

grizzly could be procured.

Herd
until
it

after

herd were rapidly driven into the


filled

coiTal,
;

was nearly

with cattle of

all

ages

wild

and maddened by driving, they fought furiously with


each other, bellowed, and strove by every expedient to

break from the enclosure.


plainly

Lassooing such as were not

marked, bringing them out one at a time,

throwing and rebranding, demanded great courage and


skill.

The

lassoo

was

in

most cases thrown with un-

erring accuracy over the horns of any beast selected

from amidst the herd

then setting spurs to his horse,

the herdsman dragged the struggling bullock from the


corral.

Other lassoos were then thrown

round

its

hind legs, and the horsemen riding in opposite directions, the beast

was quickly thrown and branded, the


and the infuhorses were

hissoos quickly loosed, the course cleared,


I'iated

animal allowed to go at large.

Many

badly, others fatally gored,

and several stock-men and

herders were likewise seriously hurt.

The

right of ownership established, and the


'

cattle

once more at liberty,

OldEpliraim' (the trapper's usual

sobriquet for a grizzly bear), was next to be lassooed,

and brought to the smaller enclosure,


bull

a.

fine

young

having been selected from the herd to face


barely found
still

Mm.
hills,

The sun had

its

way above the

and the valley was

enveloped in mist and shad(>w,

iUi

AX EXCITIXG SCEXE.

221

wlien our cavalcade selected to drag- out the grizzly

from

his

sleepiug

quarters

cantered

briskly

up by

the side of the stream.

Following- its windinj^s for


off to

a mile or two, we struck

reach the timber, on

entering which our g'uide led us up the hill-side to a


larg-e pile

of rocks which were supposed to be Ephraim's


if

home
fact,

and

the old hunter's theory was based upon

the bear should be at that very time sleeping* off

his supper in

some deep

cleft or crevice.

large kind

of drag,

made of

stout poles,

had been sent ahead, drawn

by a team of oxen

this conveyance was for Bruin.


lair,

On

nearing'

the
ov'

the hunters dismounted, and

very soon

made
dog's

that the bear

had recently passed,


rocks.

and was certainly concealed amidst the two other


were
loost*!,

Bull and

and dashing furiously into


let

the openings amid the stones, soon


*

Eidmiim was
'

at

home, sure enough.


several

know that With lassoos


us

coiled

in

readiness,

hor^'iueu sat
his

on

their

trembling- mustangs, anxiously awaiting

appear-

ance.

An
his

an<^ry grunt

announced

h'*^

coming-,

and as

he scrambled clear of the rocks, champing and growling-,

hair

erect,

his

cold hard eyes shining- like

burnished metal, he looked the very incarnation of


savage ferocity.

As thus he faced

his foes, debating

within himself whether he should run or hg-ht, six of


the riders spurred towards him,

and the scene was


;

changed

to

one of wild confusion

horses snorted and

plunged, the lassoos whistled round the heads of the

r
AT llOMK IX THE WILDERNESS.

o-))

riders,

and shouts of

'

now

roj)e

liiiii,

boys, give

liiin

thundor,'
several

made the

forest rino- again.


;

As

if

by magic,

lassoos

were round his neck

the horsemen

foriniag a circle, pinned


lassoos noosed his hind

him
and

in the centre, whilst other


fore legs
;

thus hampered,

spite of every effort to escape.

Bruin was secured to


conveyed to the

the drag, and in grand procession


small corral, to be

made a

prisoner in the den already

prepared

for

liiin,

the bull having been previously

secured in a similar contrivance on the opposite side of


the enclosure.
I

Heavy
friends,

bets were laid, and drinks ad Uhitum, freely

indulged in during the evening.

The bear had


size

his

who were
tell
;

very confident that his

and

strength must

whilst others Avere equally sure

that the condition and horns of the bull would

make
N

the latter the conqueror.


1

was too anxious

to sleep nuicli, pondering


;

on the

respective chances of the two coniljatunts


a.

there was

strange fascination in the idea of witnessing a light

between two powerful beasts, which in habits


niodeo of defence were so
oj'i^osite.

and

At the

iirst

blush of nmrning 1 turned out, and as

others were quite as anxious as myself for the event,

bivakfast was speedily despatched, {ind a general run

made

for the platform.


ip,

All being ready, the trap-doors

were slowly drawn


1

and out rushed the condjalants.

must

say,

on making their api>earance,

my

syni-

THE COMBATANTS.
liiiii

223

patliies
iiiucli

were with the

bull, wliicli

seemed to

me

to be

the nobler animal of the two, lithe and wiry, yet

withal ^vonderfnlly massive about the shoulders, he gave

one the idea of a splendid combination of strength and

symmetry.

For a brief period he stood

glaring- at the

pickets and people, his head erect, his eyes flashing,


his nostrils distended,

and

his

whole form fixed and

rigid as if carved
J

from marble.

The

bear,

on the

other hand, was the more conspicuous for i^onderous

weight and gigantic strength, rendered more formidable


I

by his terrible teeth and claws.

sharp cut from the

end of a lassoo roused the bull from his reverie, and


as

though attributing the insult to his enemy, he


horns,

lowered his

gave

a deep grumbling bellow,

scraped with his fore-feet, sending the dust and grass


clean

over his back, and then charged.

The bear
as

evinced no sign of wavering, but standing erect on his

hind legs received

'le

bull

much

in the

same way

he

might have done


prize-fighter.

if

he had been a trained and gigantic

and

Though somewhat unwieldy, Bruiu was quick and


wary.

No

sooner was the bull within reach than both

horns were clasped in his powerful grasp, and the


bulFs head pressed to the ground by main strength, ho
bit savagely at the nose of his antagonist,

and raked

strips of ilesh

IVom the

bnll's slu>uldei\s,

with his hind


back.

claws, just as a cat tights


position Avas

when on

its

This

maintained for some seconds, the bull

AT
strng-g-liiig
ing-

HOME

IN

THE WILDEILXESS.
;

furiously to free his head

the bear strain-

every muscle to pin

him

to the ground;

no ap-

parent advantage was gained on either side, and loud


cheers and bravoes were indulged iu by the backers of
each.

To my mind the

result of the battle clearly

depended on the merest accident.

As

if

by mutual consent, both animals gradually

ceased to struggle, and several minutes passed

away

whilst the combatants, locked in this deadly embrace,


lay
still,

but panting as

if

at the last gasp.

Suddenly

the bull, by a desperate jerk, wrenched his head from

the grasp of his adversary, and retreated a short distance r'


;

the bear also got up and stood on the defensive


All

ready to receive him.


breathless
interest.

watched

for the issue

with

Rendered furious by pain and

passion, the bull again dashed at the bear with such

impetuous force that, despite the blows Bruin dealt


with his huge
feet,

he was rolled over and over in the

dust; endeavouring, as best he could, to defend himself against the thrusts of the bull.

Either

b}'

chance

or design, both horns were pushed underneath the bear,

and, by a sudden jerk of the head,

its

side

was

laid

open as
It

if

cut by a knife.
tluit

was now very evident


;

Ephraim must soon

give up

both were grievously wounded, yet maimed


fcMight

and gory they

on with the desperate


bear, prostrate

certjiinty
turf,
r

of speedy death.

The

upon the torn

vainly struck out witii his feet to avoid the horns of

THE EXD OF THE BATTLE.


strain-

225

the bull.
bull

Clearly determined to end the conflict, the

no

lip-

drew back and, lowering his head, made a tremen;

id loud
^kei'S

dous charge

but, blinded

by the blood streaming over


fell

of

his forehead, missed his

aim and

headlong to the

clearly

ground.

The bear

in an instant rallied

and scrambled
in this terribull's

upon him, and twice they rolled over locked


adually
ble death struofo-le.
fate

few minutes more and the


settled
;

d away
mbraco,

would have been very soon


all

when, to the

astonishment of
his
efforts

hands, the bear suddenly relaxed

uddenly

and

rolled

from

off the

body of

his foe.

ad from
ort dis-

Feebly dragging himself on the turf a few yards, a


convulsive shudder shook his massive frame, there was

efensivo

a clutching motion of the claws, followed by a heavy

mo
iin
til
\Ln

with

sobbing sigh,

aiici

poor

'

Ephraim was dead.


'

and
sueli

The

bull

managed

to

get on his L

again

and

raising his mutilated head,


it

made a weak

effort to

shake

dealb

in triumph, as loud shouts of praise proclaimed his

r in tho
lid liiniY

victory.

Could the poor bull have understood and


it

appreciated these plaudits


brief

Avould have been only a

clianeo

and

fleeting

pleasure.

The blood streamed

in

lie

bear,
laid

countless rivulets from his wounds, ho tried to stand


to the last, his legs were gradually stretched wider

was

and

wider apart, his breathing grew short and convulsive,


list

soon

his

head sk>wly drooi)ed.

Then dropping on

his hindlie

iiiainied

quarters smd stretching himself on the grass,

died

cert u inly
orii turf,

without a struggk\
victor to
its

bo ended the bfittk


laurels
;

there was no

crown with

the bloody encounter, with

horns of

somewhat unexpected termination, saddened even


Q

nn

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.

226

those wild and liardy men, intense as the excitement

was during the struggle.


care to look on again.
tl

Such a sight

I should never

As they

died, so were their

bodies

left

to the wolves

and vultures.

Tents were

struck, the hotel demolished, or in the

words of Mose

the boss landlord liad hauled

down

his shingle,

and the
was

valley that but a few hours before resembled a fair


left to

the birds and beasts that in their turn would

wage war over the dead bodies of the combatants.


ended

So

my

first

experience of a

'

rodeo.'
all,

I have been

present at

many

since then, but in

the j^rogramme

of events was pretty nearly alike.


I

must ask the reader

to refer

if

so be he does not

remember what
ter rV.
I

I said about riding saddles

to Chapfully the

He

will

now be

able to

comprehend
all

advantages the Mexican saddle has over


I

others for

breaking wild horses and lassooing.

I do not hesitate

to say that the strongest English riding saddle


skill

man's

could produce,

made

as

at present for

hunting

l)urposes,

would not remain upon a wild mustang's


five

back for

minutes

no buckle, strap, or sewing

would stand any more chance than darning-cotton.


If
to

you go on a
use a

visit to

the prairies, by
practise
j^our

all

means learn
bridling,

lassoo,

and

saddling,
horse.
If

tethering,
practically

and hobbling

own

you know

how

to

do these things yourself, you can

always direct others, and at the same time see that they

perform

their

work properly.

Details,

which

may

IP

WINTER TRAVELLING.
ement
.

227
civilised country,

appear
will be
tlie

trifling

and insignificant in a

never
their

found of far greater consequence and value to


is

wanderer or emigrant, than either perhaps


of,

at all

were

aware

when he

finds himself cast

upon

his

own

^ose
Liid tlie
biir

resoiuces amidst the wilds of a far-away country.

As
shoes

travelling in

summer

is

usually performed with

was

pack animals, so in the winter dog-sleighs and snoware the

would
ts.

means resorted to

for

every kind of

So

transport.

re

been

rramme
not

Loes

o Chap-

uUy

the

hers for
hesitate
ie

man's
^

huntiug
Lustang's
r

sewing

Q'-cotton.
Lins

learn

bridling,
TOM

know

you can
that they
lich

may
y
2

228

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.

CHAPTER XV. "Winter and Summer Travelling with Dogs Idlers Free Fights Packing Dogs Tlie '^Trtavaille preferable How to make and u^e
'

a Travaille The Sleigh and Tobogan

Bone Kings

and Toggles
'

The "Way
Dogs

to

Harness your

Team A
'

long "Whip desirable

cautions against Ilheumatism

Sure J3ind Sure Find

Sore

Feet

Merry-Bells.
j^ads
;

Feeding

Pre-

In
;

summer, dogs carry their loads on their backs


in winter they are harnessed to

packed on small
f

light sleighs

then the wanderer must protect his feet


snow-shoes, and
plains,
It is a

as

already pointed out, tie on his


rivers

tramp over the frozen

and snow-covered

either ahead of or beside his

team of dogs.

pretty and a cheery sight in summer-time,


hills are

when the

hidden beneath the leafy

trees,

and the valleys

are decked with wild flowers, to watch a


trottiug briskly along, each with
its little

team of docs
load.

Now

and then one presumes


with a good
sniff at

to stop, in order to regale itself


attractive perfume, or to lap,

some

perchance, from out a tempting pool.


these
frequently get
in the

Idlers such as
;

rear of their comrades

the sharp crack of the whip quickly recalls them


frightened, they scamper along to regain the train.
If,
)

however, the loads arr not securely fastened on, the


galloping usually results in scattering

them along the

PACKING DOGS.
trail.

2'.?0

If you are angry, perhaps the misbehavingit.

dog

gets a taste of the thong before you repack


is

A row
but
all

of constant recurrence
;

when you
two begin

are travelling with


tell,
;

dogs

what they quarrel about no one can

at once, reckless of loads,

to fight

tlien the

remainder, seeming to have each one an individual


interest in the riot,
snarl,
join, until the

whole team

roll,

and snap a very heap of dogs.

The whip must

be used freely in order to restore peace and order. This sort of thing happens just as frequently
is

when one
two begin

driving a team of dogs in a sleigh.


fit>-ht O
*-

If any
it.

to

the rest are certain to take part in

There are two systems of employing dogs for purposes of transjjort during the
just referred to, that of
'

summer
'

the
'

one I have

packing
is

the loads upon the


the travaille.'
;

animals' backs
' '

the other plan


is

called

To pack dogs

not by any means a good plan

they

cannot carry heavy weights, neither are they able to


bear tight girthing.
continually

The

'

pack pads

'

are consequently

slipping back
is

over the dog's rump, and

much time

wasted in readjusting the pad and the


it.

load tied to

The pad
guide to

is

simply a kind of leather


;

cushion stuffed with horse or deer hair


laid

no rule can be

down

as a

its

right size, because that

must

entirely

depend upon the build and character of


is

the doo' which

to

wear it.

The load nmst be fastened

on precisely in the same way as loads are fastened to


aparejos.

ff
I-

230

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.


'

For summer work with dogs I prefer the


\vliich is
:

travaille,'

made in this way two hght sticks about an inch


and a quarter in circumference

f
)

must be procured, the


;

straighter the better

measure

from the dog's shoukler, and


cut the sticks so that about
four feet shall trail
TUli
'

upon the
less
"^he

TUAVAIIXK.'

ground behind the dog, or


;

than this
shoulders

if

the dogs are small or weak

the ends

r+

must be fastened

to a leather strap
like a collar.

which

should

iit

round the animal's neck

The
These

portion of the sticks intended to trail

upon the ground

must be spread open by tying

in cross-pieces.

pieces should vary in length, the shorter stick nearest

the dog, the longer at the ends of the side i^oles

when

completed, of course the


shape.

'

travaille

'

is

triangular in

The

load
;

is first

fastened on with hide straps to


is

the

''

travaille

'

the dog

then brought up,

its

head

slipped through the collar, and, with a stick on either


side like the shafts of a cart, it tugs along the load
far greater ease
'

with
This

than

it

could have carried

it.

travaille

'

will

be found very useful applied to horses


are obtainable. I need hardly

when no pack-saddles
if

say that dogs should never be enqiloyed in the


horses are procurable.

summer

For winter transport dogs are absolutely

essential

they trot over the snow without breaking the crust (the

f
DOG
SLEIGIIIXG,
231

frozen top of the snow), that a heavier animal with

hoofs would
sleig-h
is

g'O

through at every

step.
;

First, of the

two patterns are usually employed one of these


'

made with two runners,' the other is simj^ly a flat With a good firm piece of wood turned uj) at each end.
'

crust

'

on the snow I prefer


;

to use the
is soft,

sleigh with

runners
flat

if,

however, the snow


styled a

then I like the

sleigh, usually

*tobogan,' the better of

the two.

The

size

of a dog-sleigh must, of course,

be

entirel}^

regulated by the quantity of goods, or other


it,

things the wanderer has to i^ut on


of dogs he has to haul
consistent with a due
it
;

and the number


it

the lighter

can be

built,

amount of

strength, the better.

To

give detailed directions as to the

way
a

to

make a
axe, a

sleigh
is

would be only a waste of time

little

ingenuity

what the wanderer needs, having which, an


and some
strips of hide

knife,

are the only things he


M

will require (if sticks are to be got) to build a sleigh

of any size and pattern. require practice.

To harness dogs

well,

you

will

Let us suppose a sleigh to be packed,

and awaiting the team.


exactly

piece of hide
fcrepart of the

is

fastened
;

midway betwixt the

runners

to

this loop the harness is attached.


fair

Six dogs

make

ui>

average team, and before I go farther with

my

directions for harnessing, let


for sleighing to

me

advise

all

who use dogs

saw

off forty or

more rings from marrow-

bones (the shin-bones of either moose or wapiti deer

answer best) during the summer ;

(if

you have no saw,

r
'232

AT IIOMK IX THE WILDERNESS.


good
;

note] I a knife,) also, during- your leisure, cut out a

quantity of
'

'

toggles,'

from

eitlier rilj

or leg-bones

by

to'i-ii'les

'

mean round

pieces

of bone,
;

made

small

enough to

slip

through the bone ring

the length of
;

each toggle should exceed the diameter of the ring


notch should be cut round the centre of the
to prevent the hide strap,
slipping off
;

'

toggle,'
it,

when

fastened to
^

from

carry these rings and


;

toggles

'

with you

alwtivs duriu"- the Aviiiter travelling

you

will

hnd them
the

invjluable for
Inirness.

fastening

81eigh-gear put tosimple con-

gether with this


trivance can
l)e
"r

tiikento pieces,

lengthened
HON'K
KI.NT,

<

shortened, with-

ANM) "lOi

i(il,K.

out the slightest trouble; knots


gets wet, and

are

a[)t
it

to

sli[>

when the hide

when

dry
I

is

impossible to untie them.


in

To

liarness seven

dogs abreast

Esquimaux

fashion, (ne strap, say eight

feet in length, sliould extend

from the sleigh-runners


second
loop of liide

to the

end of
(in

Ihis

strap
lii<le

is

alHxed

cutting

stri[>s

for Inirness

adopt the
to

plan already explained for making lassoos)

which

each dog"
\

is

se]>arately

made
It
it

fast

a.

single trace suiHces


its

for each

dog; the centre dog

sliould
is

have

trace rather

longer than the others.


plenty of trace length, as
pulling.

always best to give dogs

cualtles

them

to spread

when

collar of hide,

which should be bomidroinid


;

with

soft I)ark

or cloth, litsroundeach dog's neck

a.

trace

DOG

IIARXESS.

233

collar, two other straps, comes from either side of the ami belly band, keep known respectively as the back slipping up or falling down. these lateral traces from two traces are jomed Immediately behind the dog the When ready to start, all and one strap only is used. fasten, in the first place, the the traveller has to do is to
lon<.-

the six traces to the loop strap to the sleigh, next care that the longest trace is at the end of it, taking the Spread out all the collars, and as in the centre.
dogs, one

by

one, are

fli^^__^^pi

led up, slip a collar over

:^^^"'"^^^^^
-

-^^

the head of each and


fasten the
belly

"

'^^^

strap

t^
(it

does not take six


to luirness seven dogs)
;

iiiiinites

the largest and strong-

est tniimals nuist

work
ilanks.

in the centre, the smallest

and

weakest on

tlie

Some

travellers i)refer to use

their dogs, side

by

side, in pnirs,
iis

but

do not think
:

they

work nearly so well

they do abreast

the
it is

leading dogs get crafty and skulk their work, and


not easy to see,

when dogs

are pulling in pairs,

if

each
all

>

is

doinu' its fair shave of the work.

When

abreast

the traces

are visible

a,

slack out} at once detected


for l)eing

and the skulker gets a touch of the whip


idler.

an

A
k'n-s

very lon"' whii)

is

handy, because down

hill

or

on

sliplM'ry ice the irayeller

may

feel (lisp>sed to rest his

by sitting on the sleigh. To reach the dogs a thong

Ill

234

AT IIOMK IX THE WILDERNESS.

of hide will bo required not less than twenty-five feet

lonf^,

a handle about two feet in length


i>ractiee will

is

all-sufficient

little

enable you to strike either of the

dopes

with
ciiuip
;

unerrin<je certainty.

Be very

careful

when

you

to tether your dog'S securely with a short

hair-rope

fasten

them
Never
it

to trees if
;

you can,

if

there are

uo trees drive in pickets


in

a hide rope would be chewed a dog' more rope at night


to

two

directly.

<'ive

than will enable

to

lie

down, and do not forget

have a

s(piare piece of Imffalo or deer hide for

each dog

to sleep

on

this hel[)s to prevent rheuuiatism, a malad}''

that too

frequently

disables

sliMgli-dogs

these

hide

mats add nothing of any consequence to the weight of


the load, and very

much

to the

comfort of the dogs.

However
trust
'

(piiet

and

ftiithful
;

my

dogs

may

be, I never

them

at night

lliev are often

induced to follow
either to wait
alto!>'etlier.

lady wolves or coyotes, nnd you


\:

may have
oi*

diivs
'

for

ihe prodiy-ars return


lind
'

lose

him

Sure bind sure

ii[)[>lies

most

])ertinently to sleigh
in
<!-re!it

doL>-s.

Feeding your

doijs inust
if

mciisure be

reguliited by

chance;

giinu^

is
is

pleniiful there is
obtaiuiilde.

no

dillieulty, or if lish of

any kind

They do

their

work

well
it

u[)on m r;Mi(n per day,


;

and soon learn


ideii

to devour

greelily

l)ut if

the trnveller has iuiy


tliii.t

when he
lie

stiirts

upon
m,

jouruey

game

will

be

sciirce,

must

tiike

sup[>ly of either dried llesh or frozen


1

fish,

^iy rule, nud


is

am

sure from long practice

it is

a
;

good oue,

only to feed

my dogs

at night

when

camp

DOG
feet
fient

MOCASSINS.
let

23,3

then

if I

have enough I
it
is fatal

them

eat as

much

as they

l^lease,

but

to

good travelling to allow them

any food
lie

in the

morning

they work

lazily,

and often

down.
Do^s travellinof on

snow which has been frozen


;

after

a thaw frequently become very sore-footed plan in this dilemma


their feet
;

the best

is

to put leather mocassins

upon

these are easily kept on by tying


'

them round
put on

the leg above the false or

dew

claw.'

I always

the dog's mocassins (merely bags


stout hide)
if

made

of leather or

anticipate rough travelling,


is

on the

principle that prevention

far better

than a cure.
is

string of bells to go round each dog's neck

a great

addition, although of no particular use; the jingling

music of the

bells is

always a welcome sound, a merry

peal that seems to cheer alike the faithful dogs


their solitary master.

and

To

protect the eyes against the blinding effects of

the sun-rays, which are reflected from the snow


travelling over
it, is

when
[

a difficulty no plan with which


surnutunt.
I

am
my

familiar will

entirely

have twice
to this

suffered terribly from


left

snow blindness, and

hour

eve has never recovered


liirg(}

its diimiiiiiny:

effects.

Tlie Es(piimMUx use


spectiK'les

goggles, and there are

snow
for

made, of various kinds and patterns,


;

arctic travellers

but
a.

[)refer,

to all other expedient?,

(and
veil,

have tried

great many), wearing a green gauze

(which can be twisted round the hat when not

'i

236

AT

IIOMI']

IN

THE WILDERNESS.
and

required),
all

and

tlioronglily blackening the forehead

round the eyes with charcoal or soot


to absorb, or in

befca'e starting.

The black seems

some way temper, the


endure very long

glare of light, that no person can

without growing temporarily blind, or suffering from


intense inHammation of the eyes. Goggles
of all descriptions rapidly

and spectacles
over,

become frosted and

from the
in

condensing of the vapour exiiaied in respiring, and


this state, of course, are opaque,

recpiire cleaning

before further progress can be attempted.

Though
to be

to a casual observer a

team of dogs appear

huddled together without any regard to order ur


nevertheless

reguhirity,

a skilled

trav(,*ller

pnys very

mtirked attention to the disposjil of his dogs.


inti'

The

lead-

doo' is the
;

one by wliich

all

the others are <>ui<led

and directed

sometimes they diverge, spread out and

quarrel; but a gentle touch

ortwo

ot'tlie

whip soon brings

them

all

t(>gether

again.

Many

untrained dogs are

constantly getting entangled by dartino- under the traces


of the others, in order to avoid the whip.

AVilh a good

leading dog there

is

not the slightest ditliculty in keej)is

ing

ti'ack;

if

there

the faintest
the

mark

of a sleighhis

runner or snow-shoe

visible,

dog keeps

nose

down
scent;

to the snow,
it'

and goes as trne as a honnd upon


no track, and you are
is

there

is

ridini**

on the

sleigh,

some caution

reqnisiteto drive

tin*

dogs in the

direction you intend travelling.

When
; '

you desire to
but
if

halt

you

call out,

'Ah! woa; ah! woa

home-

'

A NECESSARY rRECAUTION.

237

and

ward bound,
both your

tlio

dogs often

exliibit

a disaoTOoable
stop.
;

spirit of rebellion,
lieels

and obstinately refuse to

Then
forced

must be employed

as breaks

into tlie snow, tliey soon bring the


still;

team

to a stand-

but remember one

thino-,

never get out of the

sleig-h unless

you keep one or both legs lirndy planted


rail

against the front bar or

of the sleigh.

Sleigh

dogs arc

the

most crafty animals

imaginable, and
If once

escape. are ever on the watch for a chance to

will have to b(^ they get clear with the sleigh, you they reach light of heel if you catch them until

pretty

camp.
if

When

yom- leg or legs are before the front bar,

they should

make

a-

you have simply to

fall

sudden and unanticipated bolt, upon the sleigh, and then you

Tf senses. can soon bring the refractory team to their down at the dogs are proi)erly trained they ought to lie

word of command, and when you lighilyupon the head of each dog

halt
as

lay the

whip
it

you order
training
is

by

name
them
is

t(.

lie

(l<wn.
tlie

very

little

sntli-

cient to

make

dogs miderstand wliat yon


sleighing,

re(inire
'

to do.

With good

when the
will

crnst

hard and smooth, seven good dogs

easily

draw

,.ight

Imndred weight,

at the rate

(f

seven

miles an
Avitli

honr,

and

this

for

live

honrs
will

at a stretch;

verv

lig'ht load,

good dogs

accomplish ten

miles

an honr.
In

Canada, the system of working dogs


is

in

sleighs,

or tuboyans,

invariably to h.-u-ness

them

in pairs side

238

AT HOME IX TIIK WILDERNESS.


side,

by

although for very light loads single dogs are

often employed.

By

this simple

mode

of conveyance,

all

the mails,

parcels,

and dispatches

ai'e

transported over the ice in

Canada, during the winter, from Montreal to the head of


II

Lake Superior.

Some person who understands

the

worlv, nuvkes a contract

with the Government for the

transmission of the mails, during the winter, through-

out

all

the Lake districts.


is

On Lakes Huron and Superior


sub-let
to Indians

the actual transport


breeds,

and

half-

who

travel

on snow shoes and pack the mail


are

bags upon light sleighs, which sleighs


;

usually
side,

,1
I

tugged along by six dogs, worked in pairs side by


(

providing relays, and, at the same time, being perfect


li)

asters in the art of travel, these mail carriers

manage

to transport the letters at the average rate of about sixty miles a day.
1

once passed a biiterly cold winter at the Bruce

mines

co2)per

mines situated on the


to

iiorth shore

oi

Lake Huron, nearly opposite Winter begins

San Joseph's Islnnd.


about the begijining

in this icy region


is

of ()ctol)er, and after the ice


all

fairly 'set'

on the lakes,
is

communication

will) the

I'esi <f'1h('

world

entirely

cut otf (excepting dog sleighs and

snow shoes are used


ibllowinii".

by the traveller) until

Mav

in

the vcar

All
an<l

the carcases of sheoj), pigs, and bullocks, killed


stored for
tlu^

support of the miners and their families


air until Iro/en as

during the winter, are exposed to the

NIGHT ox A FROZEX LAKE.


hard as marble, then they are hung" up in
built for the purpose, to be

239

larg'e sheds,
;

consumed
;

as required

the
if

freezinj^ is a jjerfect preservative

meat, so prepared,

prevented from thawing', will keep sound and sweet for


years.

To be

eaten, a joint

is

chopped

off

with an axe,

soaked in tepid water until thawed, and then cooked in

any manner best suited to the tastes of those who


intend to consume
it.

It is hardly possible to picture a

more weird scene of

desolation than a wide expanse of frozen lake, covered

with snow, presents to the eye, more especially when,

journeying
lowed,
if

dui'ing

the night,

a course

usually fol-

there hii])pens to
;

be a sufHciency of light
it is
it

to discover the track


to

because

nmch

less

trying

the eyes

by night than

is

during the day,


very c<)nsideral)ly

and the risk of snow blindness


diminished.
reality as

is

Nothing seems

to

retain

any sign of

one tram2>s along over the snowy waste, the


bells.

dogs trotting after jingling their

The

silvery

moon pours her streams


in

of pale light U[)()n the snow,

and the rays, instead of being absorbed or retlected, seem


a mysterious

manner

to accumulate*,

until one

is

tempted to fancy hinisclf splashing' through a shallow


lak(*

of light.

Every

visible object a[priirs iransfoi'med

into

something

intangibl

and unreal

the tracks upon


trees along the

the snow grow into huge proi)ortions

lake sIkh'O line resemble giants in diihlren's fairy tales;

a hillock of drift takes on the fonn of

mountain

now

'

fl

-,

240

AT HOME IX TIIK WILDERXESS.


is

one fancies rippling water

just ahead,

which turns

out on a nearer approach to be snow, ridg-ed by the


breeze, reflecting light from off the polished facets of its

myriad crystals
in the way, the

now you

feel positive

a deep ravine
wdll

is

gloomy depths of which


all

have to be

traversed

but the heart beats

the more lightly,

when
spirit,
fails

the imaginary cleft resolves itself into the heavy


cloud.
Silence, like a guardian
all,

shadow of a passing

hovers Avith mufiied pinions over

and the ear


steady

to

catch the faintest sounds, save the

rhythm of the panting dogs, the cheery


shoes splinter the icy crust.
I

tinkle of their

tiny belfry, and the steady crunch, crunch, as the snowtil

'I
!(

Many and many


Tt

a night have I travelled through

scenes like these on the frozen surface of Lake Huron.

was always a kind of holiday with everybody


the
'

when
I

mail

'

was descried, a mere speck at

first,

coming over the snow towards the mine.


left

The men

their work,

the

women and

children their

warm
where

stoves, to group together uj)on the binding-place

the sleigh tracks led otf across the lake, there to await
the

advent of go<d or
be.

evil

]iews

from home, as

it

might

To harness dogs

to

woik
a

in pairs
its

it

is

advisable to
;

provide each dog with

trace of

own

the collar,
is

back and belly straps,

th<'

harness, in other words,


;

the

same

as that used for driving dogs abreast

a single trace
'

should extend from each dog to the loop or

tug strap

'

SNOW
afKxed to the runner.
li

siioi:s.

241

It is a

bad

phm

to fasten the

turns
tlio

traces of the

two

leadino- dog-s to the harness of the


Doj^'s pullin*^-

by

next pair, and so on to the hinderniost.


directly
if

2ts

of

its
is

from the sleiyh can draw a


;

g-reater

weight than

ravine

attached to one another


less

they also work more g-ood-

Hve to bo
lio-htly,
le

temperedly, and are

disposed to quarrel.
is

To tramp

wx'll

on snow shoes
;

by no means a very
tell

heavy

easy art to accpiire

it is

one thing- to

a novice the
feet,

guardian
.

proper way to walk with snow shoes on his

and
is

the ear

another to enable him to do


learned.

it

when the

rig-lit

way

steady
of their
lie

The snow-shoe

{vuJii

cut)"^ I usually
leng-th,

employ

is

about three feet ten inches in


in width, but the size

and eleven inches


in

snow-

must be g-overned

a g-reat

degree by the hardness or softness of the snow; the softer


throng-h
the snow, of course the larger

must be the surface of

Huron,
very body
at
first,

the snow-shoe to prevent sinking.

The outer frame


p-art
is

is

made
the

of bent hardwood

the centre

that rests on
placed,
is

snow, and upon which the foot

rhe
nr

men warm

lattice

work made of thongs or

strips of

raw
his

hide.

skilled perfoi-nier never stoops to strap

on

snow

CO wliere
to await
le,

shoes with his hands, but simply twists his feet into the loops of the shoes, and trudges away.
tion of the illustration will

An

inspecto

as

show a small hole nearer


;

it

the too than the heel of the snow-shoe


i

in this liole the

sable to
eolhir,

toes of the traveller play a very important part in th(i

performance of snow-shoe walking.

When

the foot

is

10

'ds, is tlie
ij^'K'

advanced the snow-shoe

is

carried on resting upon the

l'iij.a'il'2.

traee
11

ig strap

242

AT HOME IX

Till']

AVILDEKXESS.
tire

trout of the foot just

where the toes

articuhited,

when

the advanced foot

is
;

planted on the (Tonnd in order to


is

briny up the other

the siioe

slipped from off the toes,


lattice

and the

foot stands firmly

upon the

work.

In

order thus to catch up and drop the shoes quickly,


practice
is

<>-reai

needed.

The shoe
;

is

never carried entirely

clear of the
like a line

gTound

the heel

trails,

and leaves a mark


tell

upon the snow.

One can

at a g-lance

the snow-shoe track of a novice from that of a skilled

performer

the prints upon the snoAV

made by the former


is

are irreg'idar, and not equidistant; the heel trace

wavy,
barely

sometimes cut deeply into the snow, at others


touchin;.^- it, wdiilst

every here and there a jumble


fall.

of tracks clearly evidence a scramble, perhaps a

A
oi*

favourite pattern of snow-shoe with the Indians etist

the Rocky Mountains


is

is

what
fcot

termed the
a

'bear's

]nLttern,
-'

snr.iU

snow-shoe
form, but

nearly circular in

sxow-siKu;.

made
if

precisely

on the same
;

plan as the lony-er ones

they

answer very well,


jind

the crust

is

hard, for short journeys,

they are quickly and easily made.

snow-shoe

walker can cover a great

many

miles of <,n*ound in a

day when he
it

(nice acquires

the habit or art, wJiicliever

be, of swin<4-iny

one foot well clear of the other, and

taking long striding steps.

Beware of dogs following


;

you

if

walking on snow shoes

if

they step on the

^
FROST BITES.
lie el

245

of your shoe the chances are you go head


;

first

upon

rdor to
le toes,
L-k.

the

snow

and

let

me

tell

you

it is

by no means an easy

feat to regain

your perpendicular when you have large


to

Ill

snow shoes fastened

your

feet.

r,

gTcut

I have previously given

tlie

requisite instructions for

entirely

protecting the feet against frost-bite, which, by the

iiiiirl-;

way,

is

best cured by briskly rubbing the frosted part

o-laucc

with snow.

skilled
_'

Four times in
seen

my

experience of cold regions I have


effects of frost,
J

former
is

men
1

lose

both their feet from the


lose his

:raee
b

and

saw a man

nose,

and several times

others
jiniible

have known fingers and thumbs, from the same cause,


require amputating, to save the
life

of the individual.

fall.
s

A
oi'

east

is

wliat
fcot

's

OAV-slioe
nil,
lie

but

same
;

es

tliey

ouriieys,

low-slioe
iiul
ill

'liieliever
Llier, in 1(1

followinij;'
)

on the

244

AT IIOMK IX THE AVILDHRXESS.

Tlie

Wild

CHAPTER XVI. IItn('y-bot' lioo Iluntinjjr How to


oftt'U

line

n Px'o

IIuntin<r
Jliinter's

l.'rolitii])l('

iMnployinent

'I't'xan

I.slands

ITonoy A
and

I)iso:iist

lldiblo
:

IVrrie.s

Koots

ol'ton

I'oisonoiis,

to be

l']ateii

with Caution

Substitute

for Toliaceo

are

Devoured bv the Ked People Peniniacnn Preservinj^ Meat Extvactum Carnin ^loriran's .system I'reservinfr Peef and Muttiii fresh Jerking" I>eef Catching and Curing White-tish and Sahnoii.

Insects which

The

streiini

and the lake


is

will yield the traveller

who
an

knows

his

work and

at

home

in the wilderness

inexhaustible snjiply of fish on the plains and prairies

he can procure beef whilst in the woods, and aniono-st


the open timber, venison, and lesser g-niue, feathered
{ind

furred, are

at

all

times obtainable

but there
Althouo-h

yet remains one more luxury to mention.

a knowledge of

how

to liud this so-called luxury


still

may

often save a wanderer from starving",


rule
Ji

as a general
I

hunter would not consider wild honey a necesit

sary article of diet, but woiUd look upon

simply as

a pleasant addition to his daily meal.


I
is
a.

am
'

quite safe in saying that the art of bee-hunting*

only to be acquired by long years of practice.

To

'

line

bee

home

to its

honey

tree or

'

bee-gum needs an
'

eye traijied specially to the work and at the same

1
.

AMERICAN WILD BEK.


time a tliorongli aecjuaintance

245

witli the insect's habits.


is

Wliether or not the wikl-bee of America


specifically as

the same
is

our ordinary honey-bee [Apis meUifwa)

a question entomologists are by no


ITonoy
tids

means decided about.


and a

and

The busy

insect has in all ages been a riddle to the

learned, a source
faithful servant to

of

wonder to the
matters

scientific,

us,

s Avhic'h

man.
it

Meat Mutton
Salmon.

To the honey-hunter
the bee he
'

little to

what

species

lines

'

belongs, or wliether imported from


h(^

other countries or a native of the plains on which


}r

who
an

searches for

it.

So that

it

makes honey and wax and


details in

ess

stores thein in the hollows of the trees, the bee-liner

dairies
111011 <4'st

cares not to trouble his

head about any other

the insect's history.

itliered
b

Wherever wood, water, and wide-spreading*

plains

tliorc

covered with grass and wild flowers are to be met with


ill

tlioii<:^-li

the southern parts of America, there wild bees are

ry niiiy
^eneriil
nocc'siiiply

pretty sure to be found.


trees,

They take possession


is

of hollow

and
it,

if

the hollow space

of sufficient si/e to

contain

often a good honey tree will yield as

much

as

us

eight gallons of honey.

The summers
there
is

are very long,

and the winters, the


miitiiio"

little

of them, are not by

any means
all

cold, so that the bees

can work very nearly


for beesuliliur,
filled
sai<l,

ro

'

lino

the year round.


is

The only equipment needed

3cds an
LC

hunting

an axe, a small quantity of powdered

same

a bucket, a couple of tin saucers, and a small bottle

with honey, or sugar will do.

Then,

have already

no wise person would ever venture abroad

in the wilder-

--

'f

240

AT IIOMK IX THE wiLDKnxr:si=5.


williOTit liis
oui'Sclvt'S

iioss

ixmi

niid bi^H-kinfc.
l)e
Si'iU'cliiii;^'

And now
Avilcl

]ct

ii,--;

suppose'
ii

to

for

beos on

southern pruirie, or prn-a-a as

ilie

linntcrs

prononnco
a flower

l]ii'

word.

Tlavin*^-

marked

boo

down upon

we

lurn the pail bottom upwards, and having" poured some

honey or plaeed some


to have, in

sup;ar,

whiehever we
it

may chance
pail,
it

one of the saucers, we rest

upon fhe

and standings some short distance awav from


Ihe bees.

watch
it

Tfau}' are very near (andtheii* jiresence be


\v(

rcMucMnbered

have made sure

of,

by

first

niarkin;^'

one or two down) they will come lo the saucer, and


iifter a sli;;-ht
!Hl

investii^'at ion

i^-reeilily hel[)

themselves to
[)la!'e

its

eontenis.

With

li^'ht

cautions hand

Ihe

ol Iicr

sanc(r over Ihe bee or bts's, nexi dusl ihe cap! ives

well
\vhiii>

with sid[diur, and

tie a

small

l)i<

ol'

any kind of
lly.

hbre to the

le^^

of ea(di, and

K>!

llieni
ke('[)

Now
(\ye

comes the
Ihesi' bees,

i^'rand diilimlty,

which

is
II'

to

an

on

and

lim'

them homo.

you arc
a

nol sure of

Ihe free into wliich the bee wcid, Iry

second capture

some distance
the
Hies
first

to the ri^lit or

left
;

of the spot on which


if

bees

were trapped

then

fhe

second

lot

to

the

same

point

as did

the others,
is

you

art;

pretty sale in assuming' that the lMM-tr((

!iccui"atdy

marked or
takes
a

aiiii'lecb''

A
it

bee loaded ov scared alwavs


if

straight I'mr for

home; but
would be

any doubt remained


once dispelled by

as to the exact tree,

at

the bees themselves, for not iikian" theii' sulphur-dusted


IViends tle-y

swarm

out and

make such

a bu/zinL:'

that

ciiornxcj
V

down a

iioxhy

TRi:r,.

'J

47

lot lis
Oil

thoir wlioroabouts
tlio ro(juirod

is

at oiico rcvealod.

Hiiviiii;*

iiiado

VCH

discovory, provido ploiity of dry sticks


li<j^lit

and

iimiiioo

moss, ready to

at a short notice,

and then chop

wcr we
<1

down the
in;4'

tree.
;

Stand clear when the tree conies crashb(j

some
lunicc

down
more

the distnrhod colony are not to

played,

with any
too,

lon<j:er,
fi-ocly

they liavo

stiiij4's

and

will use

them
if

than

is

at all times af;Te(*ahl<%

ihe

WJlicll

sticks are not speedily li^'hiod

and moss to make a smoke

CO

1)0 it

ihrown npoii

theiii

whilst

l)nriiin;j;\

A
Ilo<;'

jjfood-sized

bunch

uirkiii;;'

of leafy branches

is

also useful to

olf the infuriated

or,

ill 1(1

insects from your head

and bands.

The bees

killed

and

<>lV('S

lo

driven

olf, ilie

contents of the store, ihe product of these


clioj>po<l

uoo

llio

busy -workers' industry, must be


tree,

from out the

'ii[)livos

and placed
is

in

the bucket.
for

If a ])rof('ssional beolivoiiliood, of

kind
.

ol'

huntcr

lioiiey-sei'kiuL^^

course ho

Now
oyr
siiro
oil
(i'

would

prcjvide vessels a.de<juate incapacity tocontain all

the hoiu^y an<l wa,x ho mi;^'ht be fortunate' enou^'li to


discoV(U';
MiiiiL;"

and very many men do malce


liuiil iuL;'

a-

very ca])iial

CJipiiiro
1

of

bees and
(li(> si

selliiii^-

tlie

lioiiey

and wax
williiii

vvliicli
lof

to settlers

and

to

i)reke(>p(U\s in

small towns
p.sek

Olid
oil

reach of

ll>i>

prairies,

whether by canoe or

animal.

;iro

To obtain the bees-wax, the


up small, and
bollecl
if

lioiu'ycond* should be

broken

'iiraioly
;ii\v;i

in

a.

small (|uantily of water, ibr


a.

ys

some time; then


llie

^u|uee/(>d tiL;li(ly in

coarse

clol

li,

iiiiiinod
11..
1

wax runs
any

tliroUL;'li

and can be collected and

eoitled
is

l.y

in

moulds of any desired shape.


as
thiuL;"
I

tin

pannikin

as

-diislcd
ILI'

^uod

know

of for bees-wax to liar.leu in.

11 lilt

'I'lie

isolated

^i'ouj)s oi'

trees scattcj'ed tverlhe prairies

fl

i>4

AT IIOMH l\ TIIK WILDKRXEPS5.


ii

jirc

iiiiiikcMl ])('cn1i;irliy (rT('\';ni s(m>ii<*vv.


l)<'('ii

Tlioso palclios
is

liii\('

jiplly

(mIKmI
is, tlial

"

islands,'

and what

cMpially
Ji
!L;"i"(MLt

Avorlliy

<!'

remark
siiiL;l('

oach island consists to


(aie island Avill
(l

cxlcni of a
P<s(m1

kind of tree;

bo com-

cxclnsivcly of oaks, anctilicr


of*

'pcccim

irt'cs,

and

(liii'd

plnnis, whilst the vine ('(tninion ('verywli'Tc


<tV('i'

li

trails

its

Icndrillcd liramda's alike

all.

Tlicrc

is

liaj'dly a

trace of undcrhrusli to

Ix'

seen, bnl as tlw


'

j^-rass
<

fjfrows close to

the

vei'v trees in

these

islands'

u
I

wild

bees have

their
lo
a

Intai'ds

in

{^'reat

abundance.

once
in

remarked
Texas, that

an

old

hnnter
c>t'

who had been much

iVicnd

mine was once nearly starved


man, 'hadn't

on the Texan

ju'airies.

'Why,
lie
<''ot

thundei" and bars,' said the old

narry evesV
I

'Yes,'

said,

'

he conld see M'Vy

AVell.'

'Than, why on airlh coiddiri the


skiiuied
;

snck-eitli;ir

keep 'em

aint thar

"'

islands," and ainl

" bee o-nins,"


liLrhtin

and

aini thar bees

lly-iii

abniil in the ar

and

on
Ihe

the [>ra-a-a flowers?


eritturs

May
bin*

he he'd a
a '

S(>eii

'em

if

had been as
Thini

as

wild j^-obbler "


self

oi- a

bine

chickin.
^'ot

I'ellei's

^^-reen

from the

ilmints aint

no more cnleness nor


a

a bMll-froM-.'
fh(tn<4'hi

'|'he old

trapper

e'ave

<leep sin'h

as

he
;;

of the

dei^-enerate

in<lividnal
pi'aii'ie.
^I'hei-e

who

cindd

hnn;j;-ry

to .sleep on

a Texan

are

\-.\^i

number
vei'v

of 'bei-ries' which are not


nufrifious into the bariiMin

onlv verv palatable but

now
to
1)0

TO MAKK I'KMMACAX.
IIk^

24f)

(>li;iinod

round most of

prairies

of

ilie

Soutliorn ^States, as wi'U as on


INIoimtains.
('

lotli

sides of ihe Roclvy

Of

tlicse tlu?

Service berry [AhicJuiirhirr C<i-

comjind

')i(tilcHsis)

and

tlie

Sallal berry {(^((iill/tcrid slialhrn)

may
Bay

s,

be spcfified as bein^' really most useful.

The former

ywlicrt'
K'lv is
('

berries di-icd in the sun are used by the Iludsou's


fur-lradci's to

mix with the pemmaean.


for those
it

l^'l'ilSS

remmaean
ailanti<'ally,
eari'v,

who

ean, as

they say Traus-

\,i'

svilil

worry

down,

is a

very eapital material to


it

OHCO
ill

on

a loni;*
tlie

march;
trai)per

inih'cd

often constitutes
It

tin;

ucli

only diet of

and

fiu'-trader.

may

be

hImtvimI

made

as

f(

Hows

Cut

either deer or buffalo flesh into


in
tlie

thin shreds, and dry


luuliTl

it Avell

sun

next pound

it

into a pulp

between two stones, and as you poend

it

throw
AVheii

it

into a ba^
bai;'
is

made
nearly

of hi(h' pr(n'iously prepared.


filled

the

]tour in

midted {grease
then S(w
it u[)

nearly
^MllllS,""

boilin<4'

hoi, until the

l>a^' is filled,
it

firmly.
slices,

i\Iany prel'ei

to eat

as
\

it

is

eut off in thin


Mftt

hi

ill

on
llic

others

1k;I

it

with

floiU".

do

like

it

any

if

way, and strips of m.-al ^imply sun-diM'


a

(r

di'ied <ver

ii

hliic
iiiiii

slow

fire

can easily be carried

lon^'

distances without

lis

underi^'oiiiLj' deconi[tosit Ion.


l*]dil>le

i';i;p('i'

ro(ts

too are in
t(

i^a'cat vai'iety,

and serve as
bnt

i']i('iiil(

vahiidtle addition
dir'cied

an
1

rndKin's

dietary,

unless

Tc.NiiH

by <he

sa\a;4'eH

should not udvise


ni;iy

a traveller
I

I
iir^'.uii

to venl'ire upon eiitin;4'any he

find

foi*

liimself.

knew

casein which three men were jioisoned


on the
|H'airie

junl

all

three died too

where thev

du<jf u|

some

r-'

250
l)ull)s

AT IIOMR IN TITR AVILDKRXK.^S.


they funciocl wore wliolosoiiio.
is

Tlio iniior bark of


for

the willow
tobacco,
<lried

by no means a dospisablo substitute


dried
;

when scraped from a twi^ and


bein^,'

it is best

by

scraped up in
fire,

frills

round the stick and


in

held before the


the pipe-bowl.

then crumbled off and plac(vl

The

leaves of the Urn itrsa are also dried

and

sniok(^d in jj^reat quantities

by the
it

sava^^os west of
1

the liocky IVFountains,

who
(uther

call
tlu^

kini-kin-ick.

cannot say that T


then
if

lik(^

one or the other, bui

we cannot
r;])ecies

^'et

what we

like

we must have whai

w( can.

IMany

of insects are

consumed by the Indians,

who devour them


in

with

^TcMit {usto.

The

diij'i'-er

Indians
crickeis

Calilornia eai
d'kji'ii)
;

immense nund)era of

field

{Arli('f((

the savaq-es brush these

insiH'ts, wliicli
a

sometimes
into

lit(^rally

cover the 4Tound in

lliick layer,
<r

])its du^jf

for the purpose, in the

bottoms

which
tin*

damp wood

is

smoulderini;'
th(

the smoke siiiloeates


to

crickets and helps at

same time

pnserve their

bodies from decom[)Osit ion.


is

Further south the Cicada


into
a

also dried

and

eatc^i,

made

Kind of enke.
])ass

Tht larva' of

many

lar;,'e

beetles that

the larval
ddiciifit

condition
ci(*s

in

decayed wood are


lied
jieople,

este nied

i^n'cat

by the
w<'

who

relish

their

whitt

bodies as

should a lark or an ortolan.


(!'

As

a[)pertaininp^ to the subject

food,

it

may

])rove

sei*\iceable to the

wanderer, to

I'oint

out en ixixsmit Ww'

systems

at

present so laryi'ly pi:H'tised in South America.

MORriAN s
to
]irosoTvo

I'Korns.^.

2.01

vast

fjimiitiiics
in
orl('i'

of Hcsli in
to ivndi'i'
it

llio

sluipo of
for

bi'of iind
ir;insi)(>i't
in4-

mutton,

iivaihiblo

to oilier countries.

In Iho countries Lordm*-

the River Piute there


eattle

arc

said to be 22,<lOO,(MM)
in

head of

and

;5:),(l(M),0{UI

sheep valuable
and

South

Anii'rica <>idy for their hides, horns,


'i'lie

ileeees.

fnllowin;^-

three processes are found to answer tin*

best

]\ror<jcan's

]>rocess of salting-

animals by hydrostatic;
ii

pressure*

is

as follows.

The

proee.:s is
ii

very rapid
tin'

one*.

The animal
then laid on

is (ii'st (tf all


;i

stunned by
1

blow on

head,

frame and

lie

breast cut open; the ri;;hl

ventricle of the heart punctured,

and as much blood exthe


Ji,

tracled as ]>ossible.
ventricle
is

This

o|)iTati<ui coniiiletcd,

left;

opcncMl,

and a tube coiMiected with

reser-

voir twenty feet above, passed throujj;h the heart into


tin'

aorta,

round which
<tf

li<4ature is tif^'htly

bound to

]revent
rii;*ht

any rellux
is

the

llui<l,

and at the same time the


powerful
sj

ventricle

clos<'d

with

rin^-clip.

By

(unJir^ a cocl: thtbrine flows for

one minute and


is

a half,

at the end of which time

if

the tip of the ear

cat

<fl"

a clear stream of
brine will
1111

bi'in(

exudes.

About two

"'allons of

nil tin'

em[tied art(M'ies, and the j.ressure

employed

is

'2

lbs. to

the sfpiare inch.

Thr

c.ircases ar*'

lastly skinned, cut into quarters, and, aided with


i'ld

powcrnot

i>re,-;sui-e,
is

]>acked into casks,

lly

tliis

])roeess

inlv
(n'.'.it

(lie llc^h
is

preserved but the skins are also


(f

saltetl.
f<.r

car*'

'H'odcd in the pi'ejarai ion

the brine,

2r,2

AT TIOMK IX Tin: WILDKKXKSS.


suit

ir

imy midissolvod

were

left in it tlio piirtieli^s

would

sl(>[> tlio siuiillcr

vessels,

and conseqiicntlj somo portion


oi*

of the Hesli would not receive its proper proportion


brine.

In order to obviate this,

it is

sidijeeted to three

difl'erent slniinin^^-s.

ISIetlutd

of

inanuriK'turin<- the
is

Extraetnni
larj^-e

LiebeLi-

Carnis.

This

carrii'd

on

iit

saladero, most
a

charniin^'ly
IVoui a

and conveniently situated about

mile or so
'^

town, on the banks of the Uruguay.


is

The

es-

tablishment, which
|]n;;lish

very

lar;j;e,

is

conducted by an
it

comi)any, and that l)rancli of


is

whi(di includes

the extra(.'tum
Jlerr
Iv'eller,

superintended by a (lerman i^vntlenian,


kindly showed us over
the process.
In
this
thc^

who mosi
eNphiliii'd

pre-

mises, and

case

the

animals arc shiui;'htered the day


Itein^* cut
off,

l)efore,

and the meat

is

huiiL;'
it

up
is

for twenty-Coiu- hours.

Tbe
then

following'

iii(rninj4'
is

put

into

dilferent cylinders,
it

where

it

pi-oj^-ressivelv
a
larj^'e

maslicd ton Jtulp;


it

is

thrown

inl(

cauldron, whei'e

is

boiled for a

specified time with a ceitain quantity of water,


|art

and

this

of the

]>r()C<'ss

(xtracts all tlx' nutritious ([uaiities


is

iVom
vat,

tlie jlcsli.

Tile li(|nid

next

let

olf into
all

an

a>npl<*
^^'reaso

where

boilino* is still
it

continued nntil
is

the

rises to the top, wlien

poured

off throu^-li
it,

pi]>e
bi'tli
It

into tlie receptacles placeil to receive


(if
I

and the

nia\'
jtut

so term
into

it

is

di'ained IVoni the b.tltom.

is

then

lonj^',

shallow vats, heated by steam-ji[ies

]>assin^-

round them, and IVom one extremity of these vats

KXTUACTL'M L'AUMS.
II

iJJ

stroiiL*'

l>l;ist

of cold air

is

[x'rpi'tuully kt^pt ])lowiiiLf

over the surface, to assist the evaporation.

Tlie li(iuor,

would
xivtioii

of

Ji

deep brown,

is

next very carefnlly strained, and

passed into another shallow vat at boiling heat, wh're


it is

ion of
lliroo

ke[)t stirred
ii

by a man who,
hir^'e cap^e
all

toL;-ether

with this vat,


nettin;4',

is

enel(sed in

of close wire

which

eifectually

excludes

Hies or other extraneous snbis,


[

stances.
,

The

stirrin^^

[)resuine, lcei)t u[) to

[>ri'V('n(.

iiiosi

the

li(juid

from burning' during- this

last sta^^-e.

It

Is

('

or so
(>S;iii

now
to

finished,

and ready to be transferred io the


it is

tin

can-

Mio

isters in

which

exj^trted.

It

takes

-1:5

lbs.

of beef
llci'r
1

bj

make

lib. of the extractum.


its retail

I for<4<t

whether

K'llull'S

Keller told us that


francs
ra[idiy
j)er

price

was

I'J

francs or
it

li'Mum,
i('

pound, but he assured us that

is

most

prcilic

sold,

and that

its

use
lil<lcs

is

becoming" very ex-

se

tensive in (jiermany.

'J'hc

anil
us(>

bones of

tht;

ani-

mals whose
;.

tlcsh

is

thus m;id(

of arc of course
I'l.'

Tlic

turned to the same account as those of


the sahnh'ros.
is

n'st killed

m,

iiulcrs,
is
1

The

busini'ss cai-ried on at this saladcio

llicn

very (>xtensive, an<l as

many

as

loo

(r .*0(l

oxen are
of these

lor

Ji

lVe([uently slaui^'htered in (ne <lay.


is

The

llesh

11(1

tills

[trincipally converte<l into chaniui, or dried beef,


liir

on

iialii it's
i!in])l<'
;^T('iis

which account b\
kille<l

the

;^-reater

number of animals are


eilectnally perin

in

those months

when the sun


it

ibrms this process after


<;'ree.
It

has been salted

some dethi

:i

pijM'
l.rolli
It

is

extensivelv used in Ura/il and amon-i-st


the

n'4'roes

in

West

Indies, but

it
^'

certainly does not


Ki^*ht

is

lot>k

tempting- to an

Mn^^lishman."
(

small
P.iiii',

til IS

i)-|i|i('s

Tri^) loSouili Aiiiriicii

l,;i,ii(l

aiid

Walt

r), ly Ili^fdiil

Ivxj,

'sc v;its

2.-A

AT
contain

IIU.MI':

IX Tin: WILDKllNESS.
iin I'ntire

Avill
;i

tlic

eoncentvatod nialtor of

ox

at

cost of altout -V.

This essence will nuike over

l,(Ml()

basins of sonp,
toiispoonful in
Ji

stronL,^

and nutritious
cup
full

in

quality.

bivakfiist

of water forms no

despicable breakfast.

Saladeros are used for various purposes of slauyhler,


but the

manner

in

which ihey
is

kill

an ox

for domestic

use in South Anu'rica

very remarkable
is

when comout from

pared with ours.

"

The animal

sinfrled

the herd and lassooed rt)und the neck, and has some-

times a second lassoo round one

le^'

he

is

thus brought

up

to a convenient distance

from the house, when a


their
lon<^'

peon,

armed with one

(f

knives,

comes

behind, and hamstrini^s him, when, of course, the poor

animal

I'alls

to the ^round.

In this helpless coiulition

the peon thrusts the knife into his chest, just as a


lli;;hlander stabs a stay-;

and he very soon

blet'ds to

death.

"

The skin
tlie

is

quickly detached, but not removed from

beneath

carcase, but serves to keep the ]neat from


soil.

coming" in contact with the


the llesh
(o be
is

In

a,

very short time


all

cut

off,

the joints separated, and


;

that

is

used carried away

the hide

is

then stretched out

to dry,
I>s.
()(/.

and

its

value

is

about three Bolivian dollars, or


live

Enn-lisli

money; the

beast

may
if

be valued at
ol'

1/.

Os.

\Vhat would he not be worth

in these days

rinderpest he were but within a conveuieut distance uf " our island


'?

A new

])r()cess

has been recently patented by

l\lessrs.

JKIlKIXCi

IJKKl'.

t>J3

Slopor

tiiul

raiis, which, us

tiir

as T have bt'on iiblo to

leiini, is

soiiK'what as follows.
is

FiL'sh luoat

cut into joints or junks, and


it is

tlio

bone

removed;

in this condition
in

placed
;

in tin canisteivj,

haviny a hole
hole water
fdled,
is

the

to})

and bottom

I'nmi the
is

lower

forced in until the canister


all

completely

thus driving- out


is

the air through the upper hole.

This water
it

in its turn forced out,

and as

it

escapes

is

r<'placed

by some

<>-as,

the nature of whicli tho

patentees will not reveal.


1

have eaten meat that was ju-epared by this process America, and brought from thence to En;^land,
it

in 8(uth

and can truthfully say

was

as pure

and

free

from taint

oraiiy unpleasant ilavour, as beef purchased fresh from

the shambles in Newyate Market.


Jerkin<4'
dryiiiL;' in
iiiL;-

beef

is

simply

cuttinjj;"
fii-.'s

it

into thin strips

and

the sun; small


di*yiii<j;'

shoull be kept sinoulder-

under the
I'at

llesh, to kee[)

away the

Hies.

All

the

and

l>one should be
;

removed, when the strips are


is

pre[)ared
((ui' in

foi'dryin-:;'

this sun-dried nu'at


in

called

'

(diar-

South America, 'jerked meat'


cured
it

North
lon-^-

Aini-rica.

If pr(i)erly
in this

will

keep

j^'ood

for a

time, and

condition
it

is

easy of transport.

It can be

cooked

or eaten as

is,

or in accordance with the tastes of

the consumers.
Fish of various d'scri[)tious cured without salt, form
very

important items

in

the
I

wintci-

dietary

of the

dwellers in the wilderness.

need only

brieJly refer to

n
2^6

AT
(tt'tlie

IIO.Mi:

1\

TUH
lisli

WII.DKUXIvSS.
iisiuilly
I

two

most

iinportiiiit

so cured.
ii

Were
'

T to spiH'iiy

etic'li

one so used,

should requir*'

1)1,l;-

book

'

in

earnest.

The

directions for
will iipply

ciitchiny

iiud

euriu<4'
all

one or two species

with

e(|ual force to

others.

East of the Kockj ^Mountains, -white


cured, or frozen, for the purpose of
hn'i^ely

tish,

either

di'v,

[>reserviii|4'

them, arc

consiuned h(jth
so

l)y tlie

Fudians and fur-traih'rs.


scieutilically,
C<n'c<ii>iiii.'<

Th!

lish

eaten

is

named
In

iillnis;

to the traders

it is

knowMi as the Attihawme;^- or

lieindeer of the sea. traps and nets of

summer
;

these lish are taken in

all s(.>rts

durinj^-

winter in

<^'ill-nels

set \uiderneath the ice.

^-ill-net
;

nuiy he

made any

length, from ten fathoms

to sixty

lioles are du^- tliron^h

the ice at short distances


tliest;

from eacli otlier; the net suspenth.'d from


ke[t
tl;4'htly

holes

is

stretched hy heavy sinkers; the


;.';et

lish

swim

a<4-ainst it

and

entani^led hy the head andi^-ills in the

meshes.

The

fish frec/e

immediately on their removal

from the net, and are


as
lon<r'

tlius stored
lasts.

away

for gencrai use

as tlie cold

weather

West
As
i'ar

of the

Rocky Mountains salmon


while.' lish.

In

reat

measnre take the place of the


south as 8an
runnin<4"

f^'rancisco

salmon are

tolei-ahly

nmnerous,
otlu'r
lar;;-e

up the Sacramento,
proceedin;^-

K'lijmath,
w'

and

streams; hut

noi'th,

reach

the

mouth

of the Columbia, river, and from this [oint

throuf^h the Straits of

Juau de

i'uca to I'urt

Simpson

ii

Were
(l)evoii(l
'j;

sauiox-sim:ari\(i.
the north mh1 of Vancoiivor Island, on

257
tlio

)i

aii<l

niaiiilan<l), tlic

salmon form one of the m>st

proniin'iit

rc'c

to

wonders

(tf

this rey-ion.
numlt'i"s
jNIjiv,
:ii

Salmon

iiri-ive in ^-rciit

(he

month

of the

T
111,

(Irv,
jrrc

('oliiml)ia iihoiit

the

si

of

and

ii

litilc lati'i" at

the

Frascr and streams further north.


<

a(l('i>.
('<l(tll
!(.<

)n

the Xaniino river the iialians have

most

in;n''ii

nioiis

eontrivanee for
th*'

tiikini^'

sulmoii.

They construct
]l;icino'

ih'l;'

or
in

weii' across

stream, iind, inslend of

hnskel
linlit-

Ivcii

traps, they pave the river


<'oloiired

bottom with white, or


is

ll-iiols

stones; this pavement


Aveir,

iilways miide on
mii

the

lower side of the


itlionis
still let 's

and

leads to

<ii)enino- in

the

wicker;
ways, so
instiint
pavin;^'.

a staLi'c is
thiit
if a

erected Ix'tween, or lu-ar these paved


sta;^n'

Indians lyin^" on the


atteniits to

eiin Nce in

an

lolcs is
I

salmon

ascend
the end,

oveiis

the white

swim
in tlic

lony" sin'ar, l)!irhed at

held poised,

in

rciidiness,

and woe hetide the ;i<lventnrons salmon


<^-anntlet

L'lnoval

tliiit

runs the

of this
I

pv'i'ilons pass;iLi'e.

Hut the
is

nil use

most

iiiLieiiious
iit

system

hiive

ever seen practised

emjl(yed
-iviiL

Johnson's

Narrows, near the

Nimkish
Tlu'
in

river.

Salmon

ivadily take a hait in salt water.


a

Ximkisli
l<Min"th,
l('ral)lv
li,

Indians jirovide

spear ahout seventv feet


a

to;4-etlier

with

shorter one havin;;leet

harhed

and
li

trih'nt (Mid,

about twenty

in

length; two Indians


(n

n'a(
1

[Kiddle
lH'i'ound

aloii;4' in a

canoe, and
'JMu'

when

favourable lishinn'

[oint
lll[>SOll

moor

it.

one

liavin;^' tlie louj^' sjiear is like-

wise provided witli a small hollow cone of wood, trinime<l

round

its

;^nvater

circumference with
H

feathers

lik.

//
<!

.*>^

y.

IMAGE EVALUATION TEST TARGET (MT-3)

128

|Z5
12.2 I' i

1.0

^
Hf

^
li

12.0
i;

I.I

11-25

1.4

1.6

Photographic Sciences Corporation

33 WIST MAIN STMIT

WIMTM.N.V.

M5M

(716)I73-4S03

258

AT
;

HOME

IX

THE WILDERNESS.

shuttlecock
spear,

this cone
it
;

he places on the end of the long

and depresses

under water until down the


skilful jerk

full

length of the spear


feathered cone, and

then a
it

detaches this

wriggles up through the water

like a struggling fish.

The savage with the short spear

intently watches the deceiver

a salmon rushes
it
'

at

it,

when,

like

magic, he transfixes

with the spear.

In June and July the great

run

'

begins, and the


is

numbers of salmon that ascend the various streams,


beyond belief to any one who has never seen them.

In

some

of

the
is

tributaries

to

the

Eraser river, the

Chilukweyuk
rent

an instance

perfect

mountain

torit is

the salmon throng

up

in such myriads, that

next to impossible to throw in a stone without hitting a


fish.

The spring salmon keep


sea

to the larger streams,

and seldom enter the

tributaries until they get a long

way up from the


the sea.
Rich,

these spring fish reach the salmon

falls at Colville, in

June, distant about 1,000 miles from


is

This salmon
;

the Salmo Quinnat of Sir J.


^tylie,
; '

F.B.A.

in
'

Chinook,

or chief salmon;'

Oolville Indian,

Se-met-loek
Indian,

Yakima

Indian,
It
is

'

kwin-

na-to;'

Nisqually
finest

'

satsup.'

beyond and
in-

doubt the
lets

salmon obtained

in the rivers

of British Columbia.

The colour of the

fiesh is

the most delicate pink, the general api)eariince bright


silvery

and

metallic, the dorsjil region

having a tinge of

greenish-blue.

Commercially,

it is,

too,

by

iir

the most

valuable salmon, and very large quantities are salted

SI

SALMOX-FISHING OX STAGES.

?59

and barrelled by the Hudson's Bay Company


Langley upon the
Fraser.

at Fort

During the season the


all

Indians on the Columbia, Fraser, and, indeed, on

the principal streams, take immense quantities of these


ear
it,

salmon, and prefer them to any other species for drying and winter use.

At the cascades on the Columbia,


river, the

and on the Fraser


le is

method of taking salmon


close

with scoop-nets.

The salmon keep


more rapid
current,

to

the

shore, to avoid the

and

to take

advantage of the eddies to rest in during their upward


run.

The Indian

builds,

or rather hangs, a kind of


lies

stage over the water, and


like a

upon

it,

armed with a net


net down the

shrimping net, about four feet diameter, fastened

to the end of a long pole.


current, and allows
it

He
it

j^asses this

to be swept

on as

far as his
it

arms

can reach, then he hauls


\\\)

out and plunges

in again

stream as far as possible.

In this way I have seen a

savage take thirty-five to forty salmon an hour.

They

usually fish immediately after sunrise, or late in the

evening.

At the north of the Fraser river

a)id

on Puget

Sound, the Indians employ long poles, with shari) gaff-

hooks at the end of them, then, paddling about in canoes,


thus hook in large numbers of salmon.
streams, at the salmon
falls

Higher up the

or leaps, the Indians use

huLre wicker baskets, flat on one side

and

bellied out on

the other

these they

hang
;

in places

where they well

know

the salmon leap

usually against the face of w

rock, the fiat side of the basket being towards the rock.
8 2

r AT
IX TIIK WILDEKXESS.

;2G0

IIOMi:

Tlies(i

baskets arc liuiig before the river begins to flood


iiieltin<'

from the

snow, for the Cohimbia rises at least

thirty-live feet above its

autumn and winter

level.

As
fish
fall

soon as the water has risen sufficiently for the


to leap the falls, at
it

they go, and in leaping" often


I

back into the baskets.

have seen from 250 to

'500

salmon taken from out one basket two or three times a


day.
air at I

have likewise seen over a hundred salmon in the


a,

one time, and often six or oight tumble into

basket together.

Two

Indians go naked into this huge

pannier, each carrying in his hand a heavy

wooden

club,

and, utterly reckless of the water dashing over them,

and scrambling ab(mt amongst the struggling


seize
craclv

fish,

they

one after another by the

gills,

give each salmon a


fling it out
;

on the head with the

club,

then

upon

the rocks, whereon the sc[uaws are waiting

the

women
off

pounce upon the stunned


their heads, split

fish,

lug

them away, cut

them open, take out the backbones,

and then hang them upon long poles to dry, keeping


a small
fire

always smouldering underneath the poles

to partially snuoke the drying fish. Sjilmon cured in this

way

have known to keep two years perfectly sound.


Columbia, salmon never take a bait
fialt

It is curious the

after they leave the

Avater.

have tried every expe-

dient I could think of to tempt them, but always with-

out success

and from careful

inciuiries

made

of the

difl'erent tribes

of Indians on both sides of the cascades,


officers of

and from the

the Hudson's
E

Bay Company

at

the various trading posts,

am

quite sure salmon are

^p

TROLLlXli FOR SAl.MOX.


30 d
tl8t

2tjl

never taken with bait after they leave the sea.

But in

the sea, before entering- the rivers, I have seen this


species of sahnon {Sahuo Qnlnnat) cano-htbj the Indians

As
(i.sli

with the

o-reatest ease

by trolling"

for

them.

The

line is

made
i

of seaweed,

smoked and then knotted together

a large pebble about 4 oz. in weight, slung- about six feet

from the hook, acts as a

sinker.

The savages

at one

time used a wooden hook with a bone barb, but


get supplied with steel fish-hooks by the

now they Hudson's Bay


fish,

Company.

The

bait

employed

is

a small

usually a

herring or anchovy.

The

line is

made

fast to the

canoe

paddle, just above the hand-grip, and the act of paddling


gives to the bait the necessary jerking motion.

The

time chosen for trolling

is

about two hours after the


it

sun

rises,

or two hours before


is

sets.

Water
without,

an essential neither
it is

man

nor beast can do


in

and although

generully procurable

great abundance in the Avilderness, to which wanderers


in

search of a

home mostly bend


localities

their steps, never-

theless there

are

in

every country, where


traveller,

want of water may sadly inconvenience the

hence a brief description of a few of the systems resorted


to

by the inhabitants of different countries, for the ob-

tainment and conveyance of water,

may

be acceptable,

and

let

us hope useful.

Explorers inform us, in some parts of South Africa the


Natives are frequently compelled to drink the fluid contained in the paunches of animals, to
nlliiy

their thirst.

Mr. Darwin

tells

us of a people, who, catching turtles,

2G2

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.

draiik the water that

was found in the pericardia, or


sweet.'

heart sacks,

'

and which was quite pure and

The Arabs
flask,
'

in crossing the deserts use a large leathern

Zemsemmere,' which they convey, hung on the


South Africa employ ostrich eggfill

shady side of a camel.

The Bushmen
shells,

in

which they

with water, and bury at con-

venient distances for the return route.

For packing water on mule or horse-back, strong kegs


are very convenient, holding about fifty pounds each.

Stagnant water should always be


before
it is

filtered

and boiled

drank, otherwise fever and dysentery are very

likely to be produced.
shift filter

very good temporary or make-

may

be constructed by pouring the


tuft of grass,

muddy

water through a

bound together

tightly.

The tracks of animals and the course of


good signs to note when the wanderer
water.
I believe
lives,
is

birds are

in search of

I once saved

my

own, and several

men's

by following the tracks of Prongbuck to

their drinking places.


for

We

had been searching


all

in vain

water on a sandy desert, until we were


thirst,

nearly

famished with

and had almost abandoned every


I struck the

hope of finding a stream to camp by, w^hen

antelope tracks, which led directly to a small brook

completely hidden in a rocky ravine.

Animals when
file,

going to drink almost invariably proceed in single

hence

trails

leading to water are usually well beaten

and very narrow.

TO BUILD A LOG-HOUSE.
or

263

rn

he

CHAPTER
A
Puzzle for a Carpenter

XVII.

To

Build a Log'-house without Iron

Split-Shingles Put on the lioof

make

Door, I'ireplace, and

Make Door and Fireplace To Chimney liOg Quarters of the

Boundary Commission Eftects of Cold A Caution to be reraemhored To procure a I^ight from two pieces of Wood Getting a I low to carry Lucifers. Li":ht with a Gun

Direct a carpenter
as tools an axe,

to build a house; he
;

is

only to have
is

an auger, and a knife

he

not to use

nail,
is

hinge, screw, or iron of any kind, and yet the


to

door

open and shut,


is

latch,

and accomplish
;

all

that

an ordinary door

expected to do

he

is

to let in light,

and
glass

at the
;

same time keep out wet, without the aid of

he must roof the house, and make a fireplace and


fire

chimney entirely with wood, so as not to catch


allow the

or

smoke

to

come

into the

room

the onl}'

building materials at his disporsal are to be trees grow-

ing near the

site

of the intended house.


it

Do you

not

think he would pronounce

an impossible task ? Never-

theless, lumberers, settlers,

and practised wanderers have


it is

to

manage
I

it.

Like most other things,

easy of

accomplishment when once you know how to go to


work.

presume the

i^revious directions as to

how an
First

axe

is

to be used

have been put into practice.

stake out the square or other shape you intend

making

2G4

AT

HOME

IX

THE WILDERNESS.

YOiir house, having" previously satisfied yom-self that the

trees

round about are suited to your purpose and that


is

constant supply of water

near by, a precaution

the ancient
Ijy

Romans never lost

sig-ht of.

Then

calculate,

taking" the average circumference of the trees,


will require to fell so as to

how

many you
feet

make a

wall seven

high when the trunks are laid upon one another.

Ply your axe, chop down the required number of trees,


trim them and lop off the tops, leaving" the trunks the
length you Avant thein
rolJir.g
;

the next process

is

that of

these logs to the site of the shanty, which can


if

be accomplished easily

a long handspike

is

employed.

This done, lay four of the largest logs into a square, (we
will

suppose this to be the shape of the house), then by


using" long"

sticks placed
'

slantwise, as

skeds

'

are

adjusted to wagons, get


four other logs

upon the
It Avill

foundation logs.
I'KAMi:

OK A

i.<(;-iroisK.

be necessary, in order to

roll

up the

logs, as the height of the wall increases to


less

have them of a
the

circumference, in order to diminish

weight;

this,

however, must

depend upon the


if

number and strength


one
is

of the builders, or builder,

only

at

work

it

is

better to cut notches in the lower

logs for those above

them

to drop into

it

nnikes the

building firm, and leaves less space open betwixt the logs.

Now

stand upon the topmost

log",

and chop out

SHINGLE -SrLITTIXd.
a piece from
log',

t>G5

it

ft.

G in.

long-,
is

and so
;

on, log after

until the

bottom one

reached

this
split

one mnst
out
;

be only cut half-through, and the half


done,
roll
;

this
is

up one more

log,

and your doorway

finished

if

you did not axe out the entrance at this


it

stage of the building, you could not do

at

all.

In

one end of the house chop out another opening precisely in the

same way, only three

feet

wide

this

is

for

the fireplace.
laborious part

Having got the


is
;

w^alls
is

up, the hard and

over.

Roofing

the second stage in

the proceeding

rafters

must be

trenailed together

and

arranged precisely as they are in a stone house, which


is

to be either tiled or

slated,

but in lieu of

tiles or

slates shingles are

used in wild countries. Shingles vary

in size, but fourteen inclves by

eight inches will be found to

answer
a

well.

To make them,

cedar tree nuist be felled and

axed into lengths of fourteen ^^


inches
;

to get a shingle eight


SI'].

IT

!,((;

I'OIt

inches wide the tree ought to

MAKING SHIMiLHS.

measure forty-eight inches in circumference.


your lengths into four pieces of equal
size,
Ji

Split

remove the

bark, and then, by employing the axe as

wedge and

driving

it

with a log of wood,


til

it

becomes an easy job

to split off

in slabs

from the faces of the four pieces of


if projierly

cedar.

These slabs are called shingles, and


if it

put on form a roof quite as secure as

was made of

2r6

AT IIOMK IN THE WILDERXESS,


it

slates (parenthetically

will be as well to

say that

shingles are usually split with a tool


called a
'

made on

purpose,

frau,'

which in

shaj)e nearly resembles the knife


;

used for cutting hay into bundles

commercially, and

where there
I!

is

a large demand for shingles, they are

made by machinery and sold by the thousand). To shingle a house when you have no nails, begin at the
bottom of the
rafters,

and

let half the shingle project

over, in order to carry the rain-water clear of the wall,

exactly in the

same way

as

an ordinary house

is

tiled.

Fasten this row by trenailing a light piece of wood at

each end, so that

it

rests firmly
let

on the row of shingles.

Following up this plan,


ridge of the rafters
is

row follow row until the you are

attained, finish the opposite side


if

and ends in the same way, and your house,

anything of a carpenter, has a waterproof roof.

The door can be


from
off

easily constructed of rough plank, split

a cedar log in the same manner as the shingles

were, only the log


require.

must be

as long as the plank

you

These planks are then to be trenailed together


;

by means of cross-pieces
lialf-split

one hole must be bored in the

lowermost log, and another in the uppermost


easily in,

log, for

two pegs to work

which

i)egs are to

be

fastened to the top and bottom of the door.


.

This plan

make sac apital substitute for an iron liin ge Any ordinary amount of ingenuity will be equal to designing a latch.

A fireplace
well
is

I have always found to answer remarkably


in this way.

made

Measure about

five feet

from

MAKIXG A FIREPLACE.

267

the logs forming the end in which you have axed out the place for your
fire
;

cut as

many

light poles as

you

think you
taller

may

require, each pole to be considerably


is

than the ridge of the house when one end


five feet

placed on the line

from the logs and the other

slanted against the log-house.

Commence by

placing

one of these poles close to the lower log of the house on


one side of the opening.

Of

course, the first pole will

be vertical, and as the distance from the house increases


slant the poles as

you place them towards the point or


Continue this arrangement along

angle of the gable.

the measured line, and finish at the log on the opposite


side to that at

which you commenced.

You have now

enclosed your fireplace, and by fastening the upper

ends of the

jjoles first firmly

together, and then to the

apex of the gable, you will find a capital chimney has

been constructed.

About

six inches

from the bottom

ot

this semicircle of poles,

on the inside drive in several

pickets, the height of which, clear of the ground, should

be quite four
rights
sticks,

feet.

Next wreath

in betwixt these up-

a 'wickey' or basketwork of light twigs and

and

it

should be woven close and firm.

This

operation completed, you will have to turn mudlark for

a short time, and mix well together a good thick muck,

composed of

clay, sand, small shingle,

and water.

It

must be

so thick as not to run through the basketwork,


to settle

and yet thin enough


next
fill

and pack well together

in the space

between the basketwork and the

2()8

AT

1I0MI-]

]X TIIH WII.DHRNHSS.

poles with
tciiii2>iiif^

this conipo,

and work

it

well doAVii with

ii

stick, so

that no cracks or hollow spaces are

left

then

let it settle until

you have completed the

otlier

parts of your house,

which may be

floored with roug-h


left

plank

if

you are of a luxurious turn, or

only with

the bare earth.


the house,
if

<^ood trench should be tools to

made' round
;

you have the

do

it

with

a small

bench

will

be found convenient as a table, and for seats


taste.

chop logs the length best suited to your

When

have no glass I admit light by raising one or two


shingles in the roof, working

them up and down by


like the

means of a
needed

bit of hide

pegged on,

hinge boys
all

usually employ for rabbit hutches.


is

If

it i-ains,
;

that
is

is

to nearly close the shingles


oft'

the slant

then suHicient to run


LiO

the wet.

do not think I need

into iniv further detail, because there are numberless


left to

minor matters which can, and indeed must be


ingenuity of the wanderer.

the
for

One who has a turn


o-ifted.

carpentering

will,

as a matter of course, construct a

better house than

another not so

The work
first

of building completed, light ycur

fire,

by

placing

two logs at a short distance from each other, and a


third
log at the
it

back; build in your wood between


;

them, and light


after day, the

as

you keep your

fire

burning day

compo gradually drys and hardens, but


by and by, how^ever,
begins to burn,

the wet for some time will keep the basketwork from

catching

fire

it

and when consumed leaves you a regular concrete back

QUARTERS Or
til
ti

TIIK
if

COMMISSION.
well

260

to

yonr

fireplace, wliieli,

made and

properly

are
itlier
>UQ-ll

packed, becomes as hard and durable as fire-brick.

This
poles

kind

f)f

fireplace

answers admirably, and

if tlie
liii^li

are properly slantod,

and carried

sntficiently

above

the honse, the

s)ii;>ke is

carried up
briskly,

by a draug-ht that
g-ets

keeps the

fire

burning"

and

rid
it

of the

nuisance wood smoke always causes


into
I

when

escapes

an enclosed space.
need hardly say, that wdiere
log'

tools

and proper labour


cpiite

are to be obtained,
to those

houses can be built

equal
are
it

made

of stone or bricks, but as these

matters which do not apply directly to the wanderer,

would only occupy time unprotitably to give instructions


as to the S3'stems of building these
fices.

more elaborate
(for

edi-

The Counnission were

all

winterec

two winters)

in log-houses built

on the banks of the Upper Columbia

River.

In the construction of these log'-houses we


for

employed sun-dried bricks

making the
perfectl}',

fireplaces
Ave

and chimneys,
lime to

Avliich

answered

and

burnt

make mortar
and
nails,

for building

and

for filling in the

spaces between the logs of the houses.

Of course we
kinds, besides

had

glass

and

tools

of

all

having

men who were

regidar carpenters.

We

had

also

blacksmiths and workers in every description of handicraft.

Hence we were enabled


The

to build ver)

complete

houses, for stores,


for mapping".

dwelling places, and large rooms


cost of this log-camp

was very heavy,

because labour was dear, and rations most costlv, in

270

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.

consequence of the distance provisions had to be brought

by pack animals, from the nearest water communication.

The men and

officers

enjoyed admirable health during

the winters, although the temperature was often


to 32 deg. below zero
;

down

the ink froze so quickly in the


.

pens that writing was next to an impossibility, and T

have frequently seen the contents of a pail which was


filled

with watel* and placed close to the


ice in a

fire

in

my

shanty become solid


the air was calm

few hours
it

yet as long as

and no wind blew


I

did not appear to

the senses unusually cold.

may mention

one

little

matter as a caution to be remembered in very cold

weather

never
in the

put an iron bit into a horse's mouth


it
;

without previously warming


acts

very cold iron or steel


as
it

much

same way on animal tissues


;

would

do

if at

a white heat

the bit takes the skin off the

toimae of the horse in an instant.


T told the

wanderer just now


This
is

to light his fire


all

when he
matches

had

built
it

it.

not at

times quite so easy a


lucifer

job as

appears to be to us,

who have
still

at \d. a box.

The savage has no


flint
;

steel or iron to strike

sparks from by using a a


fire

he manages to light
I

with the same material he burns.

had again

and

[igain read

about the savage procuring a light by


life

rubbing two sticks together, but for the


could not
tell

of
it

me

how

it

was

possible until I

saw

done.

You might continue

to rub

two pieces of dry wood one

against the other, without kindling them, until your hair

JhM

TO KINDLE A FIRE.
turned grey, or you froze to death.
;

271

It is not in this

way the Indian manages he takes a round piece of wood and a flat piece the former he tapers to a conical
;

shaped point, in the latter he scoops out a hollow place


a
trifle

larger than the cone 5 laying the

flat

piece
it,

on the

ground, and, placing his feet firmly upon

with his
in

hand he rapidly

rotates the
it

end of the

stick

the

hollow place, by rubbing


the same time pressing
it

between his palms, and at

firmly down.

Very soon the

dust thus rubbed off begins to smoulder, and at last


ignites.

This

burning dust

is

next placed in dry


I

bark or moss, and carefully blown by the breath into


a flame.

Cedar wood

is

best,

but

it

must be very
thus

dry, sound,

and

free
if

from knots.
is

Any one can

procure a light,

wood

to be obtained fitted for the

purpose, but you will find

it

takes some practice to give

the stick a rapid rotation, and to

make

at the

same time

a due amount of pressure.


obtain a light,
if

It is

at all times easy to

you have a gun, gunpowder, and caps,

or a flint lock does as well.

The

best plan of proceed-

ing
fir

is

to tear

up a small quantity of the inner bark of a


in the

or cedar tree into fine threads, place a small quantity

of

gunpowder

palm of the hand,

slightly

damp
this

the bark, or whatever the material


to employ,

may be you

are going

and then rub

it

well in the powder.


little

Ram

very lightly into the gun, build a

heap of the driest

material you can find (dry material for kindling can be


generally procured from the under sides of fallen trees, if

272
it is raiiiv

AT HOME IX

TIIli:

WILDERNESS.
if

weather, or take the inside bark). Then

the

weather

is

wet, cover your heap with a shib of bark.


off,

Now
heap

stand a few yards


;

and

fire

yonr gun into the


find

you

will
;

in

all
it

likelihood

the bark-wad

smouldering*

blow

carefully into a flame,

and then

the rest

is

easy.

Flint and steel are very good in their


is

way, but the grand difficulty

to keep your tinder dry.

If I can possibly procure lucifer

matches I invariably
else,
it

use

them

in preference to
little

anything

and by exeris

cising a

care

and

strict

economy
box

wonderful
of matches

how long you can make


last.

a large metal

full
is

The best plan of carrying them


;

in a tin, or

metal box of any kind

this

box shcmld be always rolled

up

in a long strip of dressed hide

and tied firmly; packed

in this

way you could not make the matches wet, even


in a river.

by soaking the package

As a

rule, I

am

not

favourably disposed towards any of the machines


their nauKj
is

and

legion

for procuring instantaneous light


;

they are pretty sure to get broken, or escaping that


contingency, the material composing them soon wears
out,

and of course cannot be replaced

my

advice

is,

have nothing to do with such useless toys.

INSECT PESTS.

273

CHAPTER
Mofsquitoos

XVIII.

vSpaniarcls

Stone-Wasps Kattle-Siiake Bites A use for IJattle The Trap-door Spider The Deer-tick Leeches in
^louth.

Sand-tiiesThe

Breoze-fly

The

Tninipot-flies .Tack-

the
the

The

tiny insect called by the French, marliujouin, or

cousin,

by the Germans Stcchschnache, or Gohe, by the


(little fly), its

Americans Fimhies and mosquito


sentative in our

repre-

own country being the

knat, belongs

to the order Diptera (having*

two wings).

Individuals

of this species, so numerous as to be scattered over both

hemispheres, from pole to pole, are


thirsty.

all

vicious

and blood-

To

those

who have never

visited

the

home and
all

haunts of these pests I say,


about insect persecution
;

you know

nothing at

neither can you form

the

faintest idea of the terrible suffering foes so seemingly

insignificant are capable of inflicting.

Whether amid the regions of


these tormentors are

eternal snow, or betieath


it

the scorching heat of an eastern sun, strange as

seems,

met with, always

lively,

invariably

hungry.

certainly
as

was vain enough


in

to

imagine

had endured

much misery

the course of

.iiy

'"T"

274

AT

HOME
it

IN

THE WILDERNESS.
for

wanderings as

was possible

mosquitoes to
will show.

inflict

how

sadly I

was mistaken the sequel

In the summer of 1858 we were engaged in cutting


the Boundary-line along the low and comparatively
land, that lies between the seaboard
flat

and spurs of the

Cascade mountains
prairie,

our camp was on the Sumass

which

in reality is simply

an

oj)en

patch of

grassy land, through which numerous streams wind,

emptying themselves into the Fraser


swift stream

river,

by a short

named the Sumass river. Any settler who might chance to visit

this spot in

the spring, would never dream that in July the prairie


is

completely under water, and in ignorance, might ply

his axe, run

up

his log shanty,

and quietly

settle
all

down

to

establish his

home in the wilderness where


fertile acres.

gave cheer-

ing promise of
be,

How

astonished he would

on awakening some morning, to find that his land

of promise?

was changing rajudly into a navigable


a
raft, floating
it

lake,

and

his shanty, like


fate
;

away

ijiit

such

would be his

and thus

comes about.

When
its

the snow melts upon the


great rapidity,
course, so that
out of
it, fills it

hills,

the Fraser rises with


Sumjiss,

dams back the


it

reversing

flows ivto the

Sumass lake instead of


fill

up as you would
it

a basin.

Overflow-

ing the banks

floods the prairies, converting into

an

innnense lake what was a few days before a grassy


expanse.

On

the

subsidence of the waters our tents were

^.m

m
275
its

UNPLEASAXT SUSPICIONS.
pitched on the edge of a
little

stream, threading-

way through

this prairie.

Towering np from one bank

of the streamlet rose the Cascade mountains, densely

Avooded with pines and cedars


tranquil lake
;

to the right lay the


front, for

to the

left,

and in

about two
river,

miles, the green prairie,

bounded by the Sumass

that Avound like a silver cord round the base of a distant


hill.

Wild fowl were


with
fish,

in abundance, the streaius

were

alive

the

forest stocked

with deer, whilst

the mules and horses were knee deep in luxuriant


grass.

The

first

week passed pleasantly away, then the


In

mosquitoes began to get troublesome.

my own

mind, I must confess to entertaining a suspicion that


they were more to be dreaded than
w^ere willing to believe,

my

companions

inasmuch as the crafty Redstages,

skins

had erected rude

by driving stout poles

into the bottom of the lake,

and then fastening other


on the

poles to
first

them

to these platforms they all retired

appearance of the mosquitoes.

My

susjiicions

were confirmed

in

about
belief,

five

days the increase was


really terrible

something beyond

and

as tliey

hovered over and about us in dense clouds.

Night and

day the
sant;

hum

of these blood-thirsty tyrants was inces-

we

ate them,

drank them, breathed them; the

thickest leather clothing scarcely pro.V^cted one against


their lancets.
ankle,

With

trousers

tied tightly

round the

and coat

sleeves

round the wrist, the head


r 2

'""T"

27 a

AT IIO.MK IX THE WILDERNESS.


bag-,

enveloped in a <^auze
^

hands in

g-loves,

and and

feet in
slept,

sliooting'-boots,

we

lived

or rather tried to do so.

Lighting'

Imge

fires,

fumigating* our tents, try-

ing every expedient


of,

we could think
mosquitoes

was

all

in vain, the

seemed happy in a smoke that would


have
AMOXG.ST THK

stifled
;

anything

else that

was

mortal
riNKKlW.'

and, what was worse, they

increased in

number

daily.

Eating or drinking, attired as we


were, required an

immense amomit of ingenuity,

first

dexterously to raise

the net, and then deftly throw

the wished-for morsel into the

mouth

the slightest

bungle or delay in restoring the covering, and a torrent


of mosquitoes gained admittance, causing insufferable
agonies.

Human

endurance has

its

limits

the most patient


It

get rebellious at being flayed alive.


inqwssiblo to work or write, one's
occuijied in

was utterly

entire time being

slapping, stamping,

grumbling, and sa-

vagely

slaughtering

mosquitoes.

The human
beauty

face

divine rapidly assumed an irregularity of outline, far

from consonant with the

strict lines of

each

one looked as though he had gone in for a fight and


lost
it.

The unfortunate mules and horses, driven mad,

raced about wildly, dashing into the lake, out again,

then trying the shelter of the willow-trees, and roUirig

VANQUISHED BY FLIES.
on the grass in very agony go
;

277
avail

but

all

was of no

where they would,


stuck
to

do what they
in

would, their

persecutors

them

swarms.

The

dogs,

howling piteously, wandered up and down restless and wretched, until, guided by a Avise instinct, they dug
holes in the earth as a dernier ressort
in,
;

then, backing

lay with their heads at the entrance, shaking their

ears,

and snapping angrily at the ravening legions,


ceaseless persecution

anxious and ready for an immediate assault.

To endure any longer such


impossible
;

was

officers

and men began to show symptoms

of fever, the result of

want of

sleep,

and

irritation

arising from mosquito bites.

To

v/ithdraw into the hills

and abandon the work


native.

until winter

was the only

alter-

We

were

fairly

vanquished

the

labour of a

hundred men and as many mules and horses put an


end to by tiny
flies.

Tents Avere struck, the mules packed, the survey suspended, and a general exodus effected.

The only thing

that in any degree quelled the mosquitoes was a breeze,

a relief

we seldom

enjoyed, a temporary respite Avhen

it

did come;

the enemy, seeking shelter in the grass, the wind


lulled,

returned

when

more

hungry and

importunate than ever.

The specimens brought hoine turn out


species
{Cidc.i' piiKJu-it^), its

to be a

new

specific

name being

given in

honour of

its

obesity.

Why

the
its

Sumass mosquito

should be fatter than any of

known brethren

278
*

AT HOME IX THE WILDERNESS.


'

ken

not

and

it is

equally a puzzle to discover wliat

they feed on when there are no

men
ai*e

or animals.

The habits

of Ctdex iiincjids

very nearly like to

those of other well-known species.

The female, hover-

ing over a pool, deposits her eg'gs in the water.


eg'g's

The

are long-,

oval,

and buoyant, and each female

produces about three hundred in number.

hind legs she manipulates the eggs so as to


side

With her get them

by

side,

in

a vertical position

then, with an

adhesive excretion, with which nature has supplied her,


glues

them together;

in this for:ta they are just like a


surface.

raft floating

and drifting on the

At

first

the

colour

is wdiite,

changing in a few hours to green, and


If the sun is hot the

subsequently to a dull grey.


larva)

come out

in about four days,

swimming, on their

emergence from the q^^, with great ease and rapidity,


often diving to the bottom, but rapidly returning to

the surface to breathe.

The

respiratory or breathing

organs are situated near the

tail,

on the eighth segment


is

of the abdomen; hence their position in the water


invariably head downwards,
j^.fter

shifting the
is

skin

three or four times, the pupte form

assumed, during
actively, assisted

which

state they still


tail

move about very

by the

and two strangely


it.

fiishioned organs, similar

to paddles attached to
istence they never feed

In this stage of their exalmost be tempted

(one woid.d

to wish this condition a permanency),


still

and although
it is

maintaining a vertical position in the water,

THE TRAXSFOKMATIOX.
reversed, the

279

head

being-

uppermost, as the breathing

organs are transferred to the chest.

In about a week the


stage of
its

final

change into the winged

existence takes pkice, a process clearly


obviate the risk
its

evidencing a wise provision to

of
life

drowning

for the

element in whic}\

previous

was passed would be at once

fatal to it

with wings, and fitted for an aerial

when endowed The pupa sojourn.


from end to

case, as it floats near the surface, splits

end, and, looking

being so closely
floats

somewhat moist and crumpled, from packed, the tiny fly creeps out and
suddenly trans-

on

its

previous wrapper, thus

formed into an exquisite canoe of nature's own contriving.

breeze rippling the water ever so slightly

may now

cause instant shipwreck, suddenly terminating

an existence scarcely commenced.

Should

it

be sunny

and hot, the wings rapidly dry, and, bidding a long and lasting good-bye to its frail barque, the mosquito
flies

to the land, to

commence and carry on the war


instinct of self-preservation,

of

persecution.

Endowed with an

mos-

quitoes seldom venture far over the water after once

quitting their raft a fact the wily savage

ti

ms

to his

advantage.

Earely can an Indian be tempted ashore


;

from his stage during mosquito time

and when he

is,

he takes good care to whip out every intruder from his canoe before reaching the platform. These quaintlooking scaftbldings, scattered over the lake, each with

280

AT HOME IS THE WILDERNESS.


colony of Indians, have a most picturesque apFleets of canoes are

its little

pearance.

moored to the

poles,

and

the platform reached by a ladder

made

of twisted bark.

To avoid being devoured, and


hospitality of the savages,

to procure the sleep

requisite for health, I used very frequently to seek the

and pass the night with them

on their novel place of residence.


very

Not that one gained

much by

the exchange;

if

uneasy dreams or indi-

gestion begat a restless desire to roll about whilst sleeping, the chances

were that a sudden souse in the lake


consequence.

would be the

Perfumes pungent and


olfactory organs
;

varied, constantly regaled

the

not

such as the night breeze wafts over the Bosphorus or


bears on
its

wings from tropic

isles.

Dogs, the sharers

of the Indian's bed and board, are also tenants of the

platform

favourites not

exempt from persecutors, that


blood of the pale face,

have a decided

i:>enc1mnt for the

though unseen and unheard, soon make their proximity


painfully apparent;

these

annoyances, together with

groans and nasal music, render a night on an Indian


stage anything but
*

sleeping on a bed of roses.'

I have tried every expedient

my ingenuity suggested
;

mixtures, lotions, washes, ointments

but nothing I

have ever used will cure mosquito punctures.

There are

few expedients, which come under the head of palliatives,

worth trying
is

but

all

that one can hope to accomplish

in

some degree

to allay the fiery itching, that fairly

scorches the skin, as the knobs surrounding the punc-

PALLIATIVES

WORTH

TRYING.

2bl

tures swell into miniature mole-liills.


I discovered

The best thing

bear it;

was water, used as hot as it was i)ossible to plun<,nnf,r the hands into it, and applying

saturated cloths to the face and head, afforded very delightful, though only temporary, relief: but a minute's
respite

from misery

is

worth obtaining, when

it

can be

had

at the cost of a little trouble.

The Indians

believe in the efficacy of vermillion, a

material they trade from the Hudson's

Bay Company.

An

belonging to the Boundary Commission, during the work, was one day en route to an outpost camp, having for a guide an Indian lad the mosquiofficer
' ' ;

toes were in legions,

and

my

friend's

hands and face

commenced
kindly took
ings
;

to swell rapidly.

The Eed-skin guide very


and pointed out his
suffer-

him

to a lodge

the squaws at once set to work, and painted every


;

knob with vermillion

he told

me
;

that
it

it

afforded

him

indescribable comfort and ease

but

most assuredly

the did not improve his personal appearance; he was singular sight I ever beheld, and I cannot think

most

of anything to which I can compare

him except

to

Zamiel or a clown in plain clothes. Rubbing in soft fat is also a good plan to allay the
terrible ceaseless itching.

The

British

Columbian mosquitoes one would be

the disposed to think must be very closely allied to mosquito family The Ranger ' (Captain Flack) speaks
'

of in his

Texan hunting experiences.

282
*

AT HOME IX TIIK WILDERNESS. Arkansas


is

a state without a

fault,' said

a native.

'

Excepting mosquitoes,' exclaimed one from another

state.
'

Wall stranger, except

for

them

for it ar' a fact they

are e-normous,

and do push themselves

in rather trouble-

some.

But they never


fair

stick twice in the

same place

and give them a


will get as

chance for a few months, and you


noticing

much above
is

them

as an alligator.

But mosquitoes
her.

natur',

and

I never find fault with


is

If they ar' large Arkansas

large, her varmints


ar' large
;

ar' large,

her trees

ar' large,

her rivers

and

a small mosquito would be of no more use than preaching in a cane-brake.'

More diminutive, neverthel


in its sanguinary onslaughts,
is

^s

quite as formidable

the burning-fly, brulot,

or sand-fly of the trappers and fur-traders.


sand-fly is not a blood-sucker, but lives

The male
on
;

flowers,

sipping the

nectar in indolent enjoyment

whereas

what should have been the gentler sex

are, like the

Da-

homean amazons, the sanguinary


The
sand-fly
is

spirits of the tribe.

very

much

smaller than the mosquito,

and, instead of being a genteel hlonde,


is

Madame

Brulot

black as an African negress, with a short

dumpy

body, and wings,

lady herself.

when folded, twice the length of the Her mouth is not attractive, being a
is

bundle of sharp blades, the sheaths forming tubes

through which the blood


stilettoes

sucked.
is

As

the barbed

do their work, there

instilled into

the

SAND-FLIES.

283

puncture an icliorous
irritation.

fluid,

causing the most intense


is

Where

the sand-fly lays her eggs

rather

it is more than likely they a doubtful matter, although water plants, as the larva are attached to the stems of on to them, just helow the is easily discovered holding grub, It is a long, ugly-looking surface of the water. the second pair divided into twelve: rings or segments ; used for holding on to of feet, being prehensile, are

the plants.

When
it

undisturbed
;

it is

somewhat
it

active,

and

moves about briskly

but,

touch

ever

^o
feet

slightly,

and

stiffens

itself,

hanging by the

like a bit of
full

dead rush.

The
itself
;

larva having attained its

growth, spins for


it

a delicate silken bag, in


the bag
is

which

changes to a pupa

invariably spun

the long

way

of the stalk to which

it is affixed,

and the

top

left

position,

upright open, so that the pupa, being in an bag. pushes its head a little way out of the

From
horns
;

this

head four hair-like filaments project "r^e the end of these are breathing organs. About
fly,

June the pupa changes into the little from its sarcophagus and starts on its

which bursts
differing

aerial flight.

Here we

shall

find a contrivance

totally

from the mosquito boat, yet equally

effective in aiding

drowning. The the newly liberated captive to escape easily creeps end of the silken bag being open, the fly

dragging with it a minute out, not into the water, but lining to the pupa silken baUoon a sort of inner
case.

In this

little

balloon the

fly

ascends through the

ir^!^^

284

AT

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.
its

water to the surface, then, bursting


spreads
its

slender walls,

wings, and, with a

hum

of delight, goes

away

to revel in the sunshine amidst

the trees and

flowers.

But one never thinks of these wonders when


in the strongholds of the sand-fly.

fairly

To

illustrate the

torments they are capable of

inflicting, I shall briefly

describe a journey the misery of which will never be


forgotten.

Our route lay along the banks of the Upper Columbia to reach the S23okan river.

Flowers in profusion
;

peeped up from amongst the grass

birds were busily


air

employed in every tree and bush.


with perfume
;

The

was heavy

whilst the insects, as they tumbled from

flower to flower, buzzed a continuous song of satisfaction.

Nothing could have been more enjoyable, had


filled

not clouds of sand-flies


feet of the

the

air, stirred

up by the

mules and horses as they tramped through

the grass.

They pounced upon us

at once,

and covered

the animals so thickly that they looked quite black.

Plunging, kicking, and rolling on the grass


loads,

\t^ith

their

was of no

avail.

Unlike the bite of a mosquito,

that

left

only a lump, blood trickled from e\ery punc-

ture of the sand-flies' lancets.

They whirled round our

heads like angry bees, savagely attacking every available spot.

We

picked large bunches of twigs, and by

lashing and slapping, tried, though vainly, to drive

away our

assailants.

My

heart was really grieved at

^
MULE KILLED BY
r

SAND-FLIES.

285

walls,

t,

goes

obliged to endure, the sufferings the poor animals were of their pests. spite of every effort to rid themselves

es

and

One mule grew fagged and weary


dition neither force nor persuasion

and in that conof the slightest

is

fairly

use to induce
is

it

to move.

The only thing you can do

ate the
briefly

to

unpack him, and

either leave the load in the trail

?ver be

amongst the other with the tired animal, or distribute it and, with his mules. The tired mule was unpacked,
load, left

on the

trail

camping very soon

after,

two

Columofiision

Short, after him. packers and a spare mule were sent it was only however, as the time and distance were,

busily
?

heavy

3d

from

atisfacle,

managed to get him with immense trouble the packers the poor beast back to camp. A sight so pitiable as covered, from head presented I never beheld he was The little harpies looked to hoofs, with sand-flies.
;

had

by the
hror.gh

distended as to reveal quite pink, their skins being so gorged with. No one the colour of the fluid they were recognised the animal as a mide, so fearcould have
fully

covered
black,

was

it

swollen from the poisoned punctures.

We

bathed, smoked, and greased


ings,

him

to relieve his suffer-

h their
)squito,
f

but

to

no

purpose:

about

two

hours after

reaching the

camp poor mulo was no more!


'P

Who

piinc-

iiid
r

our

pigmies would have could have dreamed that such or three hours killed a powerful mule in two
'

avail-

With

and by
3

Things Experience often shows us to be

caution judge of possibility thought unlikely, e'en impossible,


;

true.'

drive

sved at

One mode

of protection

is

to light large smoiddering

;53P

286

AT

IIO^tE IX

THE WILDERNESS.
smoke
;

fires, so as

to produce clouds of

this the hrulotx

dislilve

the animals

Vnow

it,

and, crowding round the


shall
;

smoking

logs, struggle

and quarrel as to which


is

be nearest.

This method

adopted by Indians

and

one

may

ahvays

know where Indian

horses are grazing

by the clouds of smoke ascending from the burning


logs.

During night

sand-flies

trouble

but

little

like

sensible insects, they sleep like the rest of the world.


Brnlot, or hurninfj
fly, is

a most appropriate

name
and

for

this insect, as the puncture it

makes

is

as if a red-hot
soil,

needle was thrust into one's

flesh.

Sandy

lots

of water, bein<^ essential to their multiplication, they


are necessarily confined to particular districts.

Bad

as

these

flies

are, I still

maintain mosquitoes are worse.


;

The

brulots do indulge in a short re2)ose

but mos-

quitoes never

wink

their eyes,

and are ever on the

move.
Bruce, in his
small two-winged
*

Travels
fly,

in

Abyssinia,' describes

called the ziinb, or tsaltsalya,

unquestionably belonging to the Tabanida), or breeze


flies,

that drives every living thing from the districts

it

infests.

He

says

'

Small as this insect

is,

we must
and tiger

acknowledge the elephant, rhinoceros,


vastly its inferiors.

lion,

Their very sound occasions more

trepidation and disorder, both in the


creation, than
beasts.

human and

brute

whole herds of the most ferocious wild


as their buzzincc
is

As soon

heard the cattle

TUE ZIMB.
hrnlotx

'287

forsake their food and run wildly about the plain until

and

tlie

they die, worn out with fatigue, fright, and hunger.

ih shall
is;

No remedy
of Albara
;

remains for the residents on such spots but

and

to leave the hlach earth,

and hasten down to the sands


last.

grazing
turning

and there they remain while the rains

Camels, and even elephants and rhinoceroses, though


the two last coat themse.'ves with an armour of mud,

e
;

like

are attacked

by

this

winged assassin and


All

afflicted

with

world,

numerous tumours.

the

inhabitants,

from the

line for

mountains of Abyssinia to the confluence of the Nile

red-hot
iiid lots
)n,

and Astaboras, are once a year obliged

to

change their
;

abode and seek protection on the sands of Beja


there any alternative or

nor

is

they
as

means of avoiding

this,

though

Bad
I

a hostile band were in the way, capable of spoiling

worse.
nios-

them of

all

their substance.'

Lit

From
in the
'

this description, says the

Marquess de bpineto,
'

011

the

Philosophical Magazine,'

it

seems evident that


fly

this terrible insect

must have been the

that formed

ribes

the fourth plague of the Egyptians, and which, in the

bltsalya,

language of Scripture, " would put a division between

breeze
tricts it
'0

them and the


Egypt.'

Israelites,"

and

sever

the

land

of

Goschen, where the cattle dwelt, from the land of

iiinst

d tiger
ls

This land, the possession of the Israelites, was a


land of pasture, neither tilled nor sown, because not
overflown by the Nile
river
;

more

d brute
us wild
i

but the

liiiid

inundated by that

was the hiach

e<()ih

of the valley of Egypt; and,


it

cattle

as the ziuib never leaves the black earth,

followed

288

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


fly

that no

could be seen De
soil

land of Goschen, because the kind of

had ever

been the refuge of the

cattle,

emigrating from the black

earth round the Nile to the lower region of Astara.

The prophet Isaiah


of this insect and
its

(vii.

18, 19) has given


:

an account
'

manner of operation

The Lord
of

shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the
rivers of Egypt
I

and they

shall
;

come, and shall rest


'

all

them

in the desolate valleys

or, in

other words, the

fly shall

cut off from the cattle their usual retreat, by

taking possession of those places of refuge to whi(;h


they resorted.

There are invariably found two hiero-

glyphics at the top of the cartouche which incloses the

mystic

title

of the Pharaohs, a crooked line and the


;

figure of

an insect

and

it is

more than probable that


to
it,

this fly, or

some species near akin


form of a

was the proto-

type of the Philistine idol, the god of Ekron, wor-

shipped in the

fly,

under the name of


fly

Baahehuh, which means

literally the

of Baal, or,

according to the Hebrew, lord fly.

small

sand-fly,

Slmulla ColnmhamhenHU^

pliiys

fearful

havoc amongst the people and their four-footed


the

companions in
Servia.
all

neighbourhood

of Columbaz,
flies

in

They have a tradition there that the

are

bred in caves near the ancient castles of Columbaz,

and at certain periods they issue from the mouths of


these caves like a thick smoke.
so
It

was

in these caverns,

say the Wallachians, that

St.

George killed the


TIU: TSETSE.
3
'J8'J

of the

dragon,

iind
still

these insects, they

sissert,
;

are

hatched

lad ever

from

its

inidecomposed
is

remains

whereas the
simply retire

he black

real fact of the matter

that the
rain.

flies

Astara.

into the caves to avoid

wind or

account
he Lord
ft

Dr. Livinj^-stone gives an account of a


tsetse {Glossina norsitam), not larger

fly

called the

than a house-fly,

of the

brown,

like the honey-bee,


is

but banded with yellow, a

est all of
>rds,

puncture of which

as fatal to the ua; horse,


'

and dog,

the

as the bite of a deadly serpent.


says,
'

In one journey,' he

;reat,
3

by

though we were not aware of any great number


cattle,
v>^e

whi(ni

having at any time alighted on our


three oxen by
fully,
its bite.

lost forty-

hierooses the

We

watched the aninnils carewere ever

and

believe that not a score of flies

and the
ble that
le

upon them.'
arising from

Man

seems quite exempt from any harm

its sting,

and calves that are Huckimj enjoy

proto-

a like immunity.
gad-fly

It does not startle the ox, as the

)n,

wor-

does;

but,

once stung,

it

swells

under the

lame of
Jaal,

throat, profuse discharges

run from nose and eyes,

or,

followed by rapid wasting of the flesh, until the poor

beast eventually dies from sheer exhaustion.


.s,

It is also

plays

a curious fact that the antelope and zebra are not


injured by
its

ir-footed
ibaz,
flies

puncture, whereas the ox and horse

m
are

invariably die.

There

lives

no greater pest to the wanderer and his


;

Innibaz,
3utlis of

horses and mules tlian the breeze-fly

by

hreezc-Jii/

mean

flies

belonging to the genus

Tahanas

(order,

caverns,
lied the

Dlptem, or two-winged), not those of the genus GiJdrus,


with which
it
is

frequently confounded.

The

latter

^'~;sam'

290

AT IfO.MK [X THE AVILDERXESS.


e;illod bot-fly,

cormnonly
jilike

which

is

also a terrible pest,

avoided by both horse and ruminant

deposits

its

eg'gs

sometimes on the
;

hair,

and sometimes underneath

the skin

hence animals, g'uided by a natural instinct,

or liavino'
(^x^ierience,

been the
all,

victims

of a past

and painful

at the

sound of his dreaded trumpet,


t(3

make the

best of their Avay


plun<4'e.

the nearest water, iuto

which they

Viu.

1,

Fio.

L>.

On

the contrary,

in the breeze-fly

we have

to do

with a veritable

hJood-.vicl'er,

more ravenous than would


species,
all

be any wing-ed leech.


three

There are three

by

far too plentiful for

the comfort of either

man

or beast, and widely distributed in North-west

America.

These insects have an apparent ubiquity,


everywhere.

and are

literallv

Ascend

to the reoions of

eternal snow, there are

huno-ry breeze-flies

awaiting*

your arrival
tlie

by the rushing toiTent, on the shores of

placid lake, under the deep

damp

slia<lows of the
prairie, there

pine-trees, or

on the open flower-decked

are sure to be breeze-flies.

One barely hears the sound

of

its

'

clarion shrill

'

and

hum

of the rapidly vibrating

BREI]ZE FLIES.

291

)le

pest,

wings, ere one feels a sharp prick, as though a red-hot blade had been thrust into the
in
flesh.

(osits its

Stab follows stab

lerneatli instinct,

quick succession,

and unless active measures of

defence be resorted to the skin speedily assumes the

painful

form of wire-gauze.

trumpet,
ter, into

Your horses and mules,


their

if

you have any,

g-ive

im-

mediate notice of the enemy, by viciously throwing up

heads and heels,

snorting-,

and very possibly,

indeed I

may

say generally,

summarily discharging

their loads, be they

human

or baggage, over tbeir heads.

Whether
in

success attends this disagreeable hahit or not,


is

any case a hasty retreat

water,
fly

made for the where both man and beast well know the
folloAvs.

nearest
breeze-

seldom or never
of

I have frequently

had a

ti-ain

pack-mules

completely scattered

by these

formidable pests.
ve to do

an would
:'cies,

The

largest

and

fiercest

is

the

black

breeze-fly

[Tahanm
all

atratus).

Its

body

is

like glossy black velvet,

frosted over with a delicate white bloom, like a freshly)f

either

gathered Orleans plum

it is

about an inch in length

3rtli-west

the wings, like pale blue gauze,


ubiquity,

when

at rest are always

kept in a horizontal position


eg'ions of

the alulets are large

and

strong.
awaiting'

The eyes are

exquisitely

beautiful, in colour

dark-blue, but glittering with the lustre

of

highly-

shores of
vvs

polished gems, and nearly covering the entire head.

of the

The next
irie,

in size

is

the belted breeze-fly


its

{TdlxinvH

there
cindu,^),

about one-third smaller than

sable relative.
stripes

the soiind
It is clad in bright

orange

livery,

banded with

vibrating
u 2

iJ9-2

AT
black
;

HOME

IN

THE WILDERNESS.
being*

iiliiiost

and has a most sliowj appearance,


fly

decidedly the best dressed

of the family.

The

eyes

are emerald green, and, when viewed in the bright sunlight,


facets.

have the appearance of being cut into numerous

The

third or smallest
;

is

the Lined Breeze-fly [Tn-

hanus Uneafus)

of a bluish colour, and only conspicuous


line along the top of the head.

from having a white

In

this fly the eyes are of bluish-green,


tiful

and quite as beau-

as in the

two preceding.

The lady
to be

breeze-fly, I

am

grieved to say,

is I'ar

more

dreaded than her

lord.

These insects can never,

one would suppose, enjoy the luxury and delight, or

whatever

may be

the proper term applicable to such a

universal habit as lii3sing.


I should like to knoAv,

How

could a winged lady,

be kissed by a winged wooer, when

her lips are a bundle of lancets, six in number, and as

sharp as a surgeon's?
like instruments

True the male has four bladeit is

arming the mouth, but

questionable

whether he uses them for other purposes, than that of


sucking nectar from flowers.
female
is

The apparatus of the


through the sheath of
It

beautifully adapted for puncturing the skin,


fluid

and then pumping up the

the lancets, that acts as a tube or canula.


of trifling interest to advert

would be
minute

more

'n detail to the

anatomy of these

insects.

opportunity to investigate

The rambler alone has an the haunts ard watch the

habits of strange beasts, birds, and insects.

To the

LARVAL CONDITION OF BRERZE-FLY.


I,

2r,3

being-

anatomist

n.t

home, in cosy

closet,

belon-s the task

he eyes
ht sun-

of developing, Avith scalpel


plicated machinery by

and microscope, the comlife's

which

varied duties

are

merous

carried on.

The
ly

{Ta-

the moist prairie

dug up in larva lives in the earth, a gvuh easily of an elongated sub-cylindrical lands
;

picuous
id.
,s

In

its colour a form, tapering off towards each extremity ; divided yellow destitute of feet having a body

dingy

beaii-

into twelve segments, each

segment being banded with


contrivance,

a row of minute horny


ir
1

hooks an admirable

more
never,

enabling

it

to

drag

itself

along through the earth.

The
also

head

is

horny, and brownish-yellow in colour,


to aid in progression.

g'ht,

or

armed with hooks


Tahanus bovmus
'

The pupa

such a
id
ir,

I have never seen, but


is

De Geer

tells

us the pupa of

lady,

when

and as
.'

naked, incomplete, elongated, subthe body, the cylindrical, with six spines at the end of the margins of the abdominal segments ciliated, and
forehead bi-tubercled.'
the eggs of the Tahanun are deposited
it is

blade

:ionable

Where
is

or

when

that of

not generally known, but

more than probable on

of the
le skin,

fastened by a the stems of plants, to which they are on glutinous secretion the grub when hatched, ftilling
;

leath of
^ould be
1

the oTound, at once buries

itself.

Neither

is it

known
it

how long a time


I

the larva remains in the earth, ere

minute
has an

changes to the pupa form.

remember once, being busily occupied


and other
insects, in the

all

day, col-

.tell

the

lecting beetles

dense, shady

To the

pine-forests, close to a small stream called the

Mooyee,

204

AT

IIO.AIK

L\

THE WILDERNESS.

that flows
tains
:

down

the western slope of the

Rocky Moun-

boxes, bottles, bags, even

my

hat, indeed every

available locality about

my

j)erson,

was appropriated to

the stowage and transport of the proceeds of

my

hunt.

My
flies

horse, rather a wild mustang,

had been tethered

close to the water,

and thus kept clear of the breeze-

during

my

absence; soon, however, after mounting

him

to return,

emerging from the

forest, I

came on a

small patch of open ]3rairie land, but no sooner was I clear


of the timber than the pests were at us.

My

beast
leap

commenced
that
of
it

practising every species of


for

jump and

was possible

a horse to execute, and several

them

of a nature so extraordinary that one would

have thought no animal that ever went on four legs


could accomplish
;

he pranced, shied, kicked, leaped


sideways

forward, backward,

in

a word, performed

such demoniacal pranks that, although

a practised

horseman, I found
seat.

it

a most

difficult

matter to keep

my

As a

finale, off
all

he went

like a

mad
him
;

creature,

caring nothing for


if

my

efforts to stop

then, as

from sheer madness caused by the punctures of the


that followed like a

flies,

swarm of enraged

bees,

he

stopped suddenly short, viciously threw his head between


his forelegs,

and at the same time elevated his hind ones


;

into

the air

the whole being performed with such

sudden and savage violence, that I was pitched clean out


of the saddle
:

boxes, bottles, bags, together with


;

all

my

insect treasures, lay scattered over the prairie

and ere I

KICKED OFF.
Loun-

'295

could

regam my

feet I

had the

satisfuction of seeing
it

him

every
Itecl

put his legs into the bridle-reins, drag

clean off his

to

head, and, with a snort that sounded mightily like a


derisive horse laugh, he galloped off leaving

hunt.
Itliered

me

to

my

own

devices.

I mention this little adventure to

show

)reeze-

hntinff

how terribly these pests can madden an animal. From an intimacy by no means sought, or on my part
cultivated,

on a
I clear

with the Tahanidce, or


fly

breeze-flies, I

am

dis-

posed to think the

called Zimh^

and described by

beast

Bruce, belonged to this family, and was not an Oisirus,


as

leaj)

many have

supposed.

Sj^eaking again of the Zimh,

leveral

in reference to the camel


first

and elephant
its

'

When

the

would
ir

of these animals are attacked,

body, head, and


swell, burst,

legs

legs break out into large bosses,

which

and

leaped

putrify, to its certain destruction.'

Just such effects

formed
ictised
sep

have I again and again seen amongst horses and mules.

One mule we had


returned for

to

abandon on the

prairie (a disabled

my

foot preventing its travelling


it,

any

further) was,

when we
truly

mature,
len, as

so stung by the breeze-flies as to be a


;

mass of small ichorous ulcers from head to hoofs


pitiable

of the
es,

was the poor


all

beast's plight, its injured limb

he

having precluded

chance of escape from the


it

flies,

stween
i

and, as a mere matter of humanity,

was at once

shot.

ones

I have also frequently seen tethered horses so injured

such

by the punctures of the breeze-fly as to be rendered


useless for

m
ill
I

out

many months.

Their favourite places for

my

puncturing are on the front of the chest


saddle goes

where

the

ere I

and

inside the thighs.

If a

man were

29G
1

AT IIO^rE IX THE WILDERNESS.


otherwise disabled, so that
all

tied, or
off,

chance of beating*

or escapin<^ from the breeze-flies was out of his

power, I have no hesitation in asserting*


viction that they

my

firm con-

wonld rapidly
(fig*.

kill

him.
a good idea of the

The

illnstration

1)^ will

g*ive

Belted Breeze-fly

a lady charmingly dressed in orange


when yon
see her
j^etals

flormced Avith black, very attractive

snnning herself amid the

of some prairie flower,

bnt a closer acqnaintance destroys the charm, as she


soon lets yon
Fig*.

feel

her power of wonnding.

exhibits the proboscis

and

its

armature of

six

lancets,

terminated by two

large

fleshy lip-like

lobes, fnrther protected at the sides


palpi.

by the maxillary

Travelling' in Oreg'on one constantlv finds himself

on

the banks of a wide glassy lake

gazing* over its un-

rippled s-rface, the eye suddenly rests on what, to the

inexperienced in hunter's

craft,

ap2)oars

to be small
leafless tree;

clum])s of tAvisted branches, or dead


tops, the trunks of

and

which are hidden in the water


'

but

the Indian or

'

trapper

discerns in a second that the


a

apparent branches are the antlers of

herd of Wapiti

that have been driven into the water by breeze-flies.

Wild

cattle seek a like

means of

protecting* themselves

against such terrible foes.

A. perfect forest of

horns

may

frequently be Avitnessed in a pool, but not a vestige of

the bullocks, save their noses, kept above water for the

Page 290.

r
THE
jiiirpose

(PJSTRID.E.

207

of breathing.

Virgil clearly alluded to thf*


writing-

])reeze-flies,

and not to the (FAriihv^ when


:

about the As i Ins


Throufi'li

Sflc/s'

waving' prrovps, -wIkto

tornnt flows.

And

wliere, Alborno, tJiy frreon Ilfx grows.


tlio

^[yriads of insects flntter in

gluoni

(ClCstrus in (Ireece, Asilxs in llonie),

Fierce and of cruel hum.

Ijv the dire soiuul

Priven from the woods and shady glens around

The

miiversal herd in terror Hy.

The some
l>iincture

thing- goes

on now as of old

breeze-flie.-^
in.

the tonghest hides for blood, and as


it

the
a'Oi)><

days of Greece and Rome, and,


before that,
tlie
'

may be,
in

ages and
flew

universal her<l

terror

'

on

hearing the

shrill blast of
flies

the breeze-fly's trumpet.

Two more

deserve a passing notice, as being

troubles(^me to the wanderer's horses and herds, should

he possess either or both.


CEstrido]
;

These belong to the family


is terribly

one of the two

dreaded by horned

beasts of all kinds, especially bullocks

and deer

if

they only hear the sound of

its

buzzing, off the entire

herd scamjier, and make their way to the nearest


water, into which they j)lunge
fly's

up to

their necks.

The
this
in

aim

is

to deposit its larva} in the skin of the animals


^{^(^

back, by puncturing a hole and placing an

in

it

egg rapidly hatches, and the grub feeds and fattens


a kind of abscess underneath the skin.

small hole

is

always

left for

the purpose of admit-

tinof air for

the

worm

to breathe,

and

as

a.

means of

298

AT

HOME
to

IX

THE WILDERNESS.
;

escape,

when about

assume the pupa condition


it

the

time for this change having arrived,


out, drops

forces its

way

upon the ground, buries

itself,

by-and-bye to

appear as a 'trumpet-fly,' so called from the peculiar


note
it

continually

makes whilst pursuing


over with

its

victims.

I have

sometimes killed deer and wild


all
'

cattle, their

backs covered
call the

worm
'

holes,' as

hunters

the larva) knobs of the


is

trumpet-fly.'

Of course

the skin

valueless

when

so punctured.

The second

species, also called a trumpet-fly, does not


itself

puncture a hole in the animal's skin, but contents


by glueing the eggs to the ends of the hairs
;

the animal

m
its

licking itself of course conveys these eggs first into

mouth, and thence into

its

stomach.

Once

in the

stomach, the eggs are soon hatched, and a yellowish

white grub

is

produced, encircled with several rings or

bands of minute recurved spines, and further armed


with a hook for holding on with to the coats of the
stomacli, thus anchored they feed

and

flourish until the

period arrives for


larviu to pupoD
I

them

to

undergo the change from

then they loose their hold, and aided by

the recurved hooks, which prevent any retrograde motion, pass

on through the intestinal canal,

arid finally

reach the ground with the excrementitious matter, bury


themselves, to appear in due course a winged pest.
I

have thought
I

it

best to mention

th^se

flies,

as the
in the

wanderer

will the

more

readily recognise

them

Avilderness.

need hardly say there are two closely

WASPS aXD hornets.


the
;s

2<)9

way

allied species of (Estridae {GJstris hovls

and

(E. cqiii)

com-

mon

to England.
to the punctures of blood-sucking- insects, stings
;

|bje to

Next
!culiar

from wasps and hornets are most to be dreaded


:ms.

there

are
tlieir

two species belonging

to this spiteful
of,

community, the

wanderer has to be wary


luiiters

when

travelling with mules.


'

One a hornet,
jcourse

called

by the packers a

Jack-Spaniard,'

that builds a circular paper nest, about the size of a half-

quartern
)es

loaf,

and suspends

it

from the extreme point of

not

a branch, and as the trails afford nice open avenues for

itself

jack-spaniards to cruise up and

down

in,

they usually

iniinal

suspend their nests from the boughs of the trees that


st

into

hang about

six feet

from the ground along the

trails

of

in the

course the mules brush against

them

as they travel on,

lowish

an act of rudeness the jack-spaniards invariably resent,

ngs or

and

in revenge

swarm out to make a snvage attack upon


;

armed
of the
til

the eutire train

away go the mules

helter-skelter

when

the hornets sting them, and as the packers pass the angry
insects in pursuit of the scattered train, they in their

the

from
led
3

turn, get a taste of the stings.

The best remedy when


is

by

jack-spaniards' nests

are plentiful,

for

one to ride

mo-,

ahead of the

train,

and

to light sitiouldering fires betlieia,

inally

neath the hornet's nests as he passes

the smoke

bury
3t.

from which keeps the insects away.

Tobacco leaf laid


relief,

upon

SI

stung part will alibrd immediate

or fat

the the

well rubbed in will answer, if nothing better can be

procured.

08(ily

The other torment

is

a wasp that builds a small paper

!^

.'U)0

AT JIOMK IX THE WILDERNESS.

nost,

seldom larger than a tennis-ball, underneath stones

or shelving roclfs, in loose stony trails, particularly on


iiill

sides

these small wasps prove very troublesome.


is

If

pack train

travelling

up a

slope,

the mules by

displacing the stones constantly destroy these co''.cealed


nests,

and the insects usually resent the damage done to


in
11) >

them by stinging the animals


(ften causing a

flanks, thereby very


i*
,

mule

to kick ofi '

1.

On

the other

hand,
'

if

one
'

is

riding over stony ground where these

stone wasps

are j^lentiful, every

now and then you find


which you discover
wasps, stinging
well rubbed into

your horse commence to plunge ar.d kick and become


perfectly ungovernable, the cause of

on

examination to be enraged

little

the animal's flanks.

Bacon, or other

fat,

the stung flanks, affords relief and prevents swelling.


Bites from poisonous reptiles are at
gerous, and too frequently fatal in
are few
if
tliei;

r-'

limes dan\Ji>?.
.'

There

any remedies of much service

thr poison

has been absorbed into the circulation, but excision of


the bitten part, and severe cauterization, may,
to
if

resorted
I.

immediately the woUiid

is

made by

the

serpent's

poison-fangs, be attended with success, by removing the

empoisoned

flesh before the vessels cnr- absorb the virus

and convey

it

into the blood.

Whisky

h\

Mid by hunters
U;

and tmppers to be a
snake.

specific against the bite of


tlu^ spirit

raitlo-

The stronger
and

the better

is it
it

suited to
2>i'oduces

effect the cure,

it

must be drank

until
a

stupor.

myself kiiew a

man

drink

pint and a half

UATTI.E SXAKHS.

;}0l

stones
rly
fie.

of strong whisky before

it

produced any

visible effect,

on
If

after being- bitten in the leg

by a rattle-snake, and he
tried a

perfectly recovered. I

knew another man who

lies

by

similar experiment and died, whether from the whisky or

ealed

the bite of the rattle-snake I


quite a
i

am

unable to say.

It

is

one to
|3y very

listake to

imagine

rattle -snakes ever


if

jump

at or

attack a

man

they turn and bite

they are trodden on,


if

other
these

or a female wdth

young

will

sometimes strike at you

you pass near

her,

but according to

my

expei'ience, the
is

on find
3econie

paramount desire on the part of the


its

reptile

to inak'

escape
I

if possible,

when

surprised by num.

iscover
bingin^>ed into
lino-.
.'s

have tried again and again to tease a rattle-snake


aL

into jumj)ing

me, but never in a single instance


it
;

succeeded in inducing one to attempt

they have no
coils,

power to jump beyond the straitening out of the


into
in

diin-

which they usually

fold themselves

when basking
rattle-

There
poison
ision of

the sun.

West

of the

Rocky Mountains
I

snakes are in wonderful abundance.


seen
ii

have sometimes

t'unny slope completely covered with them, coiled


si)ot.

esorted

up upon every h:dge, stone, and bare

rpent's
s
ino- tlie
10

The
here,

rattle, too
is

well

known

to require

any description

employed by Indian women and medicine men


"

virus

in cases of

labour

;
'

it

appears to exert a specific

effect

innters
raltlolitod to

similar to that of ergot of rye.

In Southern Oregon, California, and Texas, animals


whilst grazing, are often bitten in the nose by a lu,rge

odiicos
II

spider that nuikes a trap-door nest in the ground.

The
<r

hiilf

spider either excavates a kind of cave in the earth,

.')02

AT

HOME

TX

Tin-:

WILDERXES.S.
it

takes possession of a hole already made, lines

with

i\

thick coating of silky web, and then constructs a trapI


ll

door or

lid,

by mixing earth, web, and some adhesive


fit

material together, to accurately

the entrance to the


architect
it

den

not only does the skilful

make

this

wondrous door, but further adds to


cords, so that the spider can

a hinge of silken
its

open and shut

door, as

best betits its fancy.

When

hungry the spider pushes

open the door, tmd

w^ith its

head only protruiling, awaits

the npproach of insects.


i

Woe

betide the luilucky

grasshopper, beetle, or lield-cricket, that ventures near


to this ogre's den
;

seized

by the
fast,

spider,
all

it is

dragged into
ii

ihe hole

the door shut


(jff.

and

chance of escape

utterly cut

As animals browse the herbage, they


lips

often put their

and noses

clo'^^e

to,

or

upon

this spider's den,

which
its

the spider resents by giving the intruder a nip with

poison fangs.
nostrils

This jn-oduces swelling at

first

of the
.re

and

li})s,

accompanied with a copious

discli

from the eyes.

This swelling rapidly increases, extends

over the face and head, and soon involves the throiit

and larynx, thus causing death by suffocation.


of no remedy for the
fatal
;

know

l)ite

it

alwsiys, or nearly so, proves

the (udy remedy


is

is

to fire the pasture vrhen the

grass

dry enongh to bnru, and in that manner roast

the spiders in ovens of their

own

contriving.
West/t'rn prairies,
is

The hunter and enn'grant on the


often terribly bothered

in the fall of

the year, by a

DMER
with a
traptiesivo

TICKS.

30.'}

troublesome

Uttle

pest,

called

rJeer-tick.

have

myself suffered a great deal of annoyance from these


plag'ues
;

if

by chance you

sit

down

to rest, or walk

to the
this

anion g'st the fallen leaves in the autumn, you will most

probably feel wlien you arrive at your camp, sundry


spots

silken
oor, as

upon your body commence to

itch

scratching- only

aggravates the mischief.


cause
;

One

naturally searclies for the


a

rushes

then you will observe at every itching place


little

awaits
iihicky

small black speck a


is

larger than a pin's head.

This

a ' deer-tick 'with

all its

anterior parts buried in your

,\s

near

skin.

novice would be disposed there and then to


intruder
if

fed into

pinch
!i

the

out. did,

An
that

experienced wand<'rer
the

escape

would know,

he

head of the tick

would be
ut their
'

left

behind, and cause a nasty irritable wound.

What would

he do ?

'

Why,

tnke
it,

a leaf or two
it

I,

which
its

of tobacco from off his plug, wet


fully

and lay

care-

with

over the tick, and in about half an hour rc^move


thi^ Result
,

of the
sch
if

the covering to discover


the blood-sucker

avLIc?:

would
its

be, that

:re

had wriggled

chnir

from

hold,

and

extends

was either dead, or remarkably

sick

and

stupid.

By

throat
I

adopting this simple expedient, no


]>uncture
I

ill ell'ects

follow the

know

made

in the skin.
(liscr)vered bl<"od

proves

have very frequently

and frothy

hen the
er roast

material issuing from the mouths of mules and horses,

the animals so affected, clearly showing by constantly

'hamping and twisthig about the


liries, is
lv,

li])s,

that something

was wrong in their mouths; on (waniining into the


matter I generallv find one and sometime:^ more leeches.

hv

\a,--'-

;304

AT

llOi^lE

IN TIIH WILDERNESS.

sticking-

on to the lining membrane of the cheeks,

or underneath the tongue.

The blood-suckers
iinimal

fasten

on
if

t<:>

the

mouth of the
and

whilst drinking,

and

not discovered

removed, cause very serious and often dangerous


It is

results.

by no means an easy matter

to pull the leeches off dislike to

their bodies are slippery, their

and animals

have
a

mouths meddled with, even

if it is

to do

them

service.

The

best thing
;

is

a handful of salt placed on

the horse's tongue

it

rapidly dissolves over the mouth,


leech to loose
its

and at once comj)e]s


out.

tlie

hold and

fall

II

THE AMATEUR TAXIDEKMIST.


L'lieeks,

305

[i

of the

red

and

s results.

3clies off
!

CHAPTER
li

XIX.
carryA Fall-trap How
End.
to

to

have
Hints on

thein
jlaced
Le
1

Taxidermy What
Pack

tools to

the-proceeds of the

HuntThe

on

mouth,

Many

wanderers

may

perchance

have

a ta^ie for

and

tall

natural history, and to those

who have

only the tiniest

spark of inclination pointing in that direction I say by


all

and by every means cherish and cultivate

it;

you

cannot imagine
profitably wiled

how many hours may be


away by

pleasantly and

collecting the living things,

and

i)lants too, if

you are botanically disposed, met with


Preserving birds' and animals' skins
is

from day to day.

a most simple process, and to dry, pack, and either bring or send home insects, reptiles, and the various tenants
of the salt and fresh waters, needs only a
skill,

little

care

and

when

the right way of doing

it is

put into practice.

I shall

first

describe the pi -in I always follow

when

fitting out,

and then endeavour to give a few simple

directions,

which

I think

will enable

any person to
skilled,

become

an amatein* taxidermist,

sufficiently

however, to preserve and transmit whatever


collected safely to

may bo

England or elsewhere.

For

tools,

go to a saddler, and get him to make

i"T

.306

AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.


is best,

a leather case, pig-skin


long-

two

feet six inches

and eight inches wide.

pocket

must

be

made

at one end, four inches in depth

and the width

of the case, and two flaps of thinner leather should

be sewn dow^n each


the centre of the

side, to fold over

the contents in
to

case,

and extending from end

end; a leather strap 1^ inch wide must be sewn at


intervals,

so as to form loops

of different widths

surgeon's pocket-case will be a capital pattern to copy

from

this case is of course intended to roll up.

Your
and

case completed, go to a surgical instrument maker,

purchase two pairs of scissors, a four-bladed penknife,

a strong scalpel to shut like a pocketknife, a pair of

bone nippers, a few bent needles, and two pairs of strong


forceps

made

to close with a slide


in skinning.

these will be found


will not require

of

immense use

You

any

other instruments.

Add

to these things a cou25le of

camel's hair brushes and a glass syringe, and your

skinning gear
tin,
fit

is

completed.
to

Go next

to a

worker in

and get him

make a

shallow tin box, wliich must

the pocket in the leafier case.

This box must be

divided into three compartments, one large and two


smaller ones
;

the larger

fill

with powdered arsenic, the

two smaller

fill,

one with camphor and the other with

bichloride of mercurj^,
limate.

commonly known as corrosive subin

A thin cake of common soap should be carried


contain! 'ig

the division

the arsenic, and a stock of cotton

wool and tow packed in a box must not be forgotten.

FITTING OUT FOR COLLECTING


six inches

307

From

the chemist purchase a two-ounce bottle, stoi^pered


it filled

must be
.

and 'capped,' and get

with chloroform; also

the width should

another bottle with a wide mouth, not too large, say a


pint size,

tier

and have a good bung

fitted to

it,

the

bung to

3ontents in

m
)e

be tightly covered with leather, tied to form a knob to

end to

catch hold

of.

Procure also ten or a dozen small sponges,

sewn
;

at

a gross or two of nested pillboxes, and as


sublimate,
or

much camphor,
;

widths
!rn to

and

arsenic, as

you think requisite


for labelling,

a pound

copy

two of parchment shavings

and a few

up.

Your

gallons of methylated spirit, put

up

in gallon tins with

maker, and
I
3,
:'S

screw stoppers.

If you are disposed to go to

work

penknife,

on a large

scale,

you

will find

a dozen quart wide-

a pair of
of strong*

mouthed stoppered
divisions,

bottles

packed in cases with wooden

each case to contain four bottles, very handy,


all

II

be found

but of course

those are matters which must be re-

require
I

any

gulated by the requirements of the collector.


Collecting boxes, arseiiical soap,

couple of

and cork

for

pinning
If
in

and your
worker in

out insects on, I look upon as useless incumbrances.


there
is

compound

to be found

more unchemical

which must
ox must be
^e

composition, more useless and less adapted to serve the

purposes for which


another, surely that

and two
the

made and employed than compound is arsenical soap. Why


it

is

[irsenic,

persons in books on taxidermy invariably advise others


to use this abomination I cannot imagine.

other with
rrosive sube

Let us suppose ourselves in the wilds, and to be


occupied
captures.
in

carried in

preserving the i^roceeds of our various

ck of cotton
}

We

begin with a bird

when you shoot

it

forgotten.

carefully look for the shot-holes,


X 2

and plug them with

308

AT HOME IX THE AVILDERNESS.

bits of cotton wool, at the

same time place a piece of


it

wool

in the bird's

mouth, and with a twig push

down

the throat.
spoiled

Birds of delicate plumage are constantly


this precaution.

by neglect of

I never, if I can
it is cold.

help

it,

skin a bird or an animal until


first

To

skin a bird,

break the wing-bones close to the body,

the wings then drop out of your

way

divide the skin

down the breast to the vent


the bone at the thigh-joint
the

skin out both legs and divide


;

turn the skin carefully over


little

rump and

sever the backbone a


;

beyond the ends

of the tail feathers

strip the skin

along the back to the

wings, divide the bones of these close to the body, and

turn the skin inside out, drawing


to expose the skull
;

it

over the head so as

divide the neck from the base of

the skull, and remove the brain.

The bones of the

legs

and wings must next be cleaned, dusted over with arsenic, bound round with cotton wool, and drawn
back into the
skin, the
^\it

must be cleaned from

off

the

rump and
arsenic

skin, the skin

brushed over with j)owdered


its

and turned back again into


I always

proper form.
placiiig
fill

The eye

remove from the outside, by


it,

a needle through

and jerking

it

out, then I

the orbit with wool dusted with arsenic, and adjust the
lid.

My own

experience tells me, that learning to skin


is

a bird by following printed directions

at all times a

most unsatisfactory proceeding


you

hence I say, although

I have given these brief rules, go to a bird-stuffer before


start tvamlGving,

and get a few lessons

it will

help

SKINNING BIRDS AND ANIMALS.

309

]>iece of

sli it

down
I can

The eyes finished, you more than a month's reading. with wool, but on no account fdl the skin moderately Place it head downwards in a paper cone
stretch
it.

constantly
)Y,

and

let it dry, tie

if

cold.
)

To

inscribed with

a bit of parchment to one of the legs your the sex, and a reference number to

the body,

journal and notes.

the skin

and divide
efnlly over

Animals are skinned much the same remove the way as birds, only in the latter be sure to bone of the tail, and replace it with a stick.

and thigh Carefully remove all the flesh from the leg
bones, scrape every particle of fat clean
skin,

away from the

id the ends

)ack to the

body, and

head so as
;he

fill the and use every care not to stretch or over animals dry moss skin with cotton wool for very large wool or hemp. The or grass answers quite as wel