Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

There is a grand old setter here, Guy is his name; he is over fourteen years old, a fine, dignified old gentleman, too old to hunt now, but he likes nothing better than to spin yarns into my willing ears about his retrieving days.

Then there is Taro, the Japanese spaniel, who has only been in this country three months; my mistress brought him home with her. At first he could not understand a

of the war bulletins, exclaimed: "My poor country, what more can I spare for thee!" Just then, so Taro said, he got up and trotted over to her, trying to show her how he loved her in her distress, and she, catching him up cried: "He has shown me my duty! I'll do it! I'll do it!" Taro couldn't imagine what she meant, but a day or two after a lady came into the shop, there was some conversation, he was called and then the

[graphic][merged small]

word we spoke, his education in the English language being sadly neglected. He was born in Yokohama and was a great pet in the home of an old Japanese merchant and his wife. They had lost their two sons in the war with China, and Taro said when war was declared against Russia the couple mourned because they had no sons to send to the great Mikado, and, alas! the old merchant was too old to go; so they gave the best of all they had. But the cruel war kept on and they could spare no more, for they were old and they could not starve.

One day the old lady, after reading one

lady gave his mistress some money, and after a final hug from his dear old mistress he was led away.

Such is the patriotism of the Japanese. I can hardly blame Taro for being so conceited over his people, as he calls them, and I sincerely hope they won; for if the women love their country so, how strong must be the feelings of her men.

Taro is perfectly reconciled to being away; he says he has a much better time here in America and he loves his new mistress devotedly. Before my mistress took him away from his home in Yokohama she asked

what his name meant and his old mistress said: "Taro means great man, a hero; in your country you call them George Washington."

He is a very handsome little fellow, with beautiful manners; he and I have been great friends from the first moment we met.

But the greatest happiness of my life came to me after I had been in this new home a few months. One day my mistress took me with her to call on a friend. This lady has a very fine fox terrier called Buttons. The lady is an army officer's wife, and named her dog after the brass buttons of the army, at least so she laughingly said, and I guess it is so. He has the cutest little sword that he has been taught to hold up when she tells him to "Present arms." He is larger than I am, but we are marked nearly the same.

That afternoon as our two mistresses were busy talking-my, but can't the ladies talk fast when they get together?-Buttons and I had a fine romp around the palms, and then we laid down in the shade to rest and visit a while. I asked him if he had always lived in California. He said:

"No, indeed. I was born in Seattle." "Why," I exclaimed, "so was I!" And then I told him when and where I was born, and we found we were brothers! He remembered well when he and the rest of them went to the bench show and I was left behind. I asked him if they got the ribbon, and he said: "Bet your life, there wasn't a thing there could touch us." He said he often wondered what had become of me. He was taken away a few weeks after the show and lived for some time at the Presidio at San Francisco, and then his master was sent south and he, of course, came too. He said he didn't like the army very well, there was too much moving around; by the time he got settled and had begun to feel at home he would have to trot. However, I think he is pretty proud of it all, for you see, he is a lieutenant; yes, Lieutenant Buttons is on his collar and on his sword.

I gave him, as briefly as I could, a history of my life from the time I left our mutual

home to date, and I was surprised to see what an interesting tale it made. So I resolved I would write my autobiography; for if Buttons was a lieutenant I was determined to be something, too. I think Pyx, B.A., would look well; most folks would think it meant Bachelor of Arts, but, of course, I know it means Bum Author; but I was determined not to be outdone by my stylish brother.

He seemed real glad to hear of our mother, and we parted that afternoon both much happier for our knowledge of each other. Since then, we are as much together as our respective mistresses will allow, but I live in daily dread of his being ordered away.

Now there is but little more to tell. My life is so quiet, so easy; each day brings me only added comfort and pleasure; my past with its many adventures, furnishes me thought food for many a dreamy hour.

Lately I have not been very well; that old cough has come back, and now I realize how kind was my master when he found me this good home, for I know I am infinitely better off here in sunny California than up on the Arctic seas. But I often think of that beautiful light in the sky-of its grandeur, its mystery, and of the strange feelings that vibrated through me as I gazed, and I wonder if I will ever see the like again.

Perhaps in the great Somewhere the Artist reproduces all the things he has made, making them more beautiful, far better, and surely my little dog mind is just as much His handiwork as are the Northern Lights. Maybe I, too, will live again, who knows? Pyx, B.A.

"Why not? In Heaven's inheritance
Space must be cheap where worldly light
In boundless, limitless expanse
Rolls grandly far from human sight.
He who has given such patient care,
Such constancy, such tender trust;
Such ardent zeal, such instincts rare,
And made you something more than dust,
May yet release the speechless thrall
At death-there's room enough for all."

[graphic][merged small]

The Forests

ILLUSTRATED FROM DRAWINGS BY ELOISE J. ROORBACH

[graphic]

HE redwood forests of the Coast Range are surely the abodes of beautybeauty of flower, fern, brook and tree.

These forests invite you, as it were, to walk in them. They fairly coax you away from the noisy

highways. There is nothing to frighten or disturb you here-nothing to overawe, but many, many things to soothe, to fill with joy, to quicken interest, to inspire love.

Small ferns, making soft your rocky resting place, delicate maidenhair ferns to weave tapestries for you to love, huge woodwardians for you to admire and wonder at, brooks for you to drink from or to bathe in, flowers for you to rejoice over, noble trees to shield you from the fierce sun, birds to sing to you. Everything seems to welcome you, uniting to make your visit a happy one. What is the spirit here which so charms?

When you walk in the dense parts you feel as if you were in a cathedral, but when you look out into a sunny opening, it seems as if one more step and the heart of fairyland will be reached!

Here is the fern-covered source of a brook. Is it the place where the queen of the fairies renews her youth each morning, or is it the baptismal font of a grand cathedral? Are these flowers dancing fairies or the decoration on Nature's altar? Do these tall trees form the walls of a fairy palace, or the aisles of a temple? Is fairyland flourishing in the midst of a cathedral? It seems so.

We are told that these redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) reach up so far into the sky that they may the better gather the moisture of the high regions to give it again to the profusion of growing things around them.

There is always a dense growth of moisture-loving plants and shrubs in a sequoia forest. One finds the sorrel, pyrola, wood

[ocr errors]

land flower of Bethlehem, orchids, brilliant clintonias, huckleberry, hazels, thimbleberry, ferns and many other flowers and shrubs, seeking the moisture gathered and conserved by these stately trees.

Delicacy is the chief characteristic of everything in Coast Range forests. How different is the beauty of the Sierra Nevada Range-the snowy range.

These forests do not seem to invite nor coax you to enter and enjoy, but rather do they almost dare you to trespass.

As you leave the lower country and press eastward and upward into the Sierra Range, you leave all familiar things behind. From the time you enter the first hills and see ridge after ridge of pine-covered, mist-weathered peaks, you feel as if you were entering, uninvited, a country where you are not wanted.

You are almost afraid to breathe. You do not so much notice the flowers now, for the most noble of all vegetation-the giant trees -make you forget all else.

Yellow pines, incense cedars, the Sequoia gigantea that you pass exceed in grandeur all other trees. Upward still you climb, among the giant spruces, firs and ridgeloving sugar-pines.

You no longer feel as if you were among the fairies, nor in temples where gods are worshiped, but you feel as if you were in the presence of the gods themselves. Such a noble company to be with! You walk reverently, as if among your superiors-yet who would choose to be with inferiors?

Snow-clad mountain-tops, tempestuous torrents, still nights, storms and mighty winds are to be found in this Sierra Range. Everything is rugged, strong, large. Strong shadows, strong lights, huge branches, immense trees-wildness, freedom, freshness, vigor, is the song of these forests.

The few flowers found in these high regions are generally highly-colored. As, for instance, the snow-plant, so often

[graphic][subsumed]

66

RIDGE AFTER RIDGE OF PINE-COVERED, MIST-WEATHERED PEAKS"

« AnteriorContinuar »