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the otter, when the cougar leaps among them, and the lawmakers have said that he who slays the yellow cat shall claim money for his head.
The brush is so thick in the forest that in many places the dog can not force his body through and man can only go by the trails. Quick-quick, hunter, when your dogs track the panther-quick, or he will be gone in the tree-top, whose branches are so thick they hide the long one, and you can no longer behold him with his eyes of fire!
What is that that has left its track, in the night, in the mud about your spring? Out, friend, with the dogs, and on the trail of the black bear grown fat on the acorns, the thimble, the salmon, and the sal-lal berries of autumn!
Maybe the hairy one will lead the dogs on a forty-mile run, and the hounds will creep into the master's door after two suns have set-wornout and sore of foot, while Bruin says, ha ha! in the next county!
But better luck next time, brother-a little run in the forest-a crackling of the brush as the big bear plows through a thicket-a growl from the dogs-a snarl from the shaggy one as he turns under the firs, to strike out at the bellowing hounds-a swift shot from your rifle-a mad whirl-the swift blow of an axe-and a bear's pelt is yours!
Countless smaller beasts there are in the woods-the swift-leaping wildcat-the clameating 'coon-the fearless polecat-the nestbuilding woodrat-the springing squirrel. The beaver used to build his dams across every river-but now he has fled before the sound of the footsteps of the white man, and is found only in the most hidden places.
Because of the moist air the dog can trail in the sunlight the tracks the 'coon has made in the moonlight, and great are the number of narrow faces that hide in one hole in the ground!
Do you like to hunt the fowls of the forest, my brother? There are pheasants, there are grouse and quail-there are hawks, there are them of the bald head and the mighty wing-they who soar in the eye of the sun in numbers like the bloom of the laurel in
Do you like to hunt the sea-bird, white hunter? Geese, as numberless as the sands, ducks, like the maple's bloom in spring, seagulls, loons, shags, cranes, float on the bay, ready for the aim of the gunner.
Stand on the edge of the bay, white hunter, and watch the big hair-seal come to the surface of the water. He will look at you without fear many minutes before he dives, but do not shoot him, brother-you can not reach his body, for he will sink like a stone and will not rise until his flesh is fit only for the fishes.
Look, white friend, from the beach where the breakers roll up a hundred feet and roar like the thunder-look out in the sea where
the rocks rear themselves half a hundred feet out of the water and see the yellow sealion and his fellows covering the rocks, to bask in the great sun's rays!
The lighthouse keeper has seen over the bar, that whose pelt is worth in the Great Father's coin a hundred dollars five times over. Then out, good hunter, for a perilous day and a night among the breakers, and behold at daybreak a white dot in the distance -the silver sea-otter, curled up asleep, with its head pillowed on the water, as calmly as the white man reposes on his pillow of goose feathers! Then be quick, good hunter, shoot with sure aim, and secure the prize before it sinks in the deep!
Come, white man, up the side of the mountain a hundred feet three times, above the level of the great waters, and behold the entire skeleton of a monster whale! Four cayuses it would need to draw the lower jawbone of the skeleton even on the flat earthhow, then, came the bones of the great creature entire, on the mountain side?
Listen and I will tell you. Half a century gone, when I, through age, leaned on my stick, an ocean water-spout lifted the mon ster and laid him down on the mountain When the water came down it washed a basin so deep that the whale lived in it many days. I saw the whale-I and my red brothers ate of his flesh.
Farewell! The spirits of my brothers are calling me back. I must go. Heed well the parting words of Io, mighty huntsman of the Umpquas, O hunter! When the red lust for hunting is upon you, come away to this region where the wild things live-away to the land next the setting sun beside the mighty stretch of restless waters!
BY MARTIN HUNTER
In these days wooden canoes, canvas canoes, tin canoes and other contrivances to transport one from place to place have replaced the once familiar birch-bark canoe of our early days, but they are yet in use in the far-back country.
As we have no country so far back but what RECREATION reaches it, I propose, through its pages, to enlighten the uneducated as to the proper way in which a bark canoe should be gummed, i. e., the preparation of the gum from the raw state, suitable for the heat of summer and the cold of late autumn.
A leaky bark canoe is the most miserable vessel one can be in; I mean a small touring or hunting canoe. As an old officer once said to me: "A small canoe with reasonable care and proper gumming should never have a drop of water in her."
There is some excuse for a large transport canoe which is loaded and unloaded, occasionally several times a day to make a
trifle of water, because she is racked considerably each time she grounds or the lading is shifted. But a big canoe, with careful gumming and due regard for her frailty, can be kept comparatively free from water.
The best gum to use, and for that matter the only proper gum, is from the white spruce tree. Some seem to think the only thing to do is melt the gum and smear it on the seams. As a result the action of the sun above board, and friction of the tepid water in under, will cause the gum to melt and run all over the bark in a most unsightly manner and leave the seams exposed in places, allowing the water to enter.
I had a canoe, comfortable size for three men and baggage, gummed on the twelfth of May, traveled eleven hundred miles; she was carried over eighty-three portages and we arrived back at the post without ever having occasion to even warm the gum. I admit the canoe was a well-made one in the first place, and I had two careful men, nevertheless without proper gum repairs would have been necessary and vexatious delays unavoidable.
Now, I must tell the secret of gum cooking ere I tire the reader or exasperate the searcher after knowledge.
Where a number of canoes are to be gummed or kept in commission it is the better plan to prepare a quantity of gum at
For summer use take ten (10) pounds of clean, hand-picked white spruce gum, put it into a kettle two-thirds too large for it and start to melt it over a gentle fire having a flat, paddle-shaped stick to stir it occasionally. When it gets to the boiling point constant care and watchfulness must be given, and almost a continual whirl of the paddle kept up, otherwise at this stage of the cooking it will boil over, ignite, and the whole kettle will be a mass of flames in a moment.
The process of making proper gum is lengthy and tedious, as it requires from six to ten hours' constant attention. Strange to say, during the boiling process it changes from the original yellow color of the gum to coal black. Another strange phenomenon is that about the time it gets deep black no matter how much fuel is added to the fire it is no longer possible to make the contents of the kettle boil.
Now, when you have arrived at this point of relief from the stirring process, add one (1) pound of pure rendered beef tallow, stir occasionally for another twenty minutes, keeping the same amount of fire going, and your gum is cooked.
The better way before it cools is to run it off into small receptacles for future use. Empty tomato cans, small kettles or other convenient vessels.
In applying the gum to a new canoe it is better to have the gum not too liquid. Have a little pallet of wood, dipping it into the
gum as required and spreading it carefully along the seams. After all the seams are served heat a flat piece of iron, the end of a poker or some other suitable thing, and pass it little by little on and along the gum to give it a polish and firm set. The Indians, when doing this, keep masticating a piece of gum or a twig to create saliva; then, as the hot iron has warmed a certain surface they expectorate some of the spittle into the palm of the hand, rubbing the hand back and forth over the heated surface until it cools, hardens and has a polished appearance.
Like everything else, to do a thing well requires time, but when it is well done it lasts. I have seen a canoe, gummed in the way I have described, placed out on an exposed beach and left all day in the heat of a July sun and at night, upon examination, the gum had not melted or moved an eighth of an inch. This canoe belonged to the man who taught me how to cook gum.
As the water and the air is getting cold about the twentieth of September, we take all this gum off our canoes in commission and replace it with gum of a more plastic consistency. It is made in this manner, when boiled to a deep coffee color (before it reaches the black hue), add two (2) pounds of pure rendered beef tallow to ten (10) pounds of gum. Such gum does not crack with the frost, or if accidentally coming in contact with a rock only shows a dinge, thereby leaving the canoe still watertight.
To take off the summer gum a tent or tarpaulin is stretched on the ground, the canoe placed upon it and each gummed portion gone over with a small flat stick. With this he gives the gum short, sharp, decisive blows and the gum crumbles and falls on the canvas placed to catch it. When the canoe is perfectly free of gum she is lifted on one side and the gum carefully gathered for next summer's use, by adding half a pound of tallow and boiling for half an hour.
Even in the country where birch bark canoes are in use it is not every one who knows how to cook gum properly.
BY ELMER RUSSELL GREGOR.
The forest fires which semi-annually rage through our forests, destroying all in their path and leaving behind desolation and barrenness, may indeed be called the scourge of the American wilderness. The havoc wrought by these destructive fires may be readily appreciated on traveling through the burnt lands over which these fires have swept. Nothing remains to gladden the eye or cheer the mind save blackened stumps and dead undergrowth. Not alone do forest fires destroy the beauty of the landscape and consume millions of feet of valuable timber, but live game of all descriptions suffer severely as well. Particularly is this true if
these fires occur early in the spring, for then do they destroy the nests containing the eggs or young of our game birds, while immature animals, unable to escape from their path, share a like fate. Forest fires are directly traceable to two causes. Carelessness, either intentional or unintentional, on the part of certain individuals, and the railroads whose tracks run through these forests are the chief causes of these fires. Thoughtlessness on the part of inexperienced hunters and campers in the woods starts many a destructive fire raging. The thoughtless knocking of embers from a pipe onto the dried leaves, or the careless throwing down of a lighted match, are quite sufficient to start a serious conflagration. Many of these fires are also started by some mean, low-minded people, to avenge a real or fancied wrong they have sustained at the hands of some neighboring timber owner. Thus they imagine that by firing the woods and destroying their neighbor's timber they have satisfactorily "squared accounts." It is a great pity that these despicable rascals cannot more frequently be caught in their treacherous act. The sparks from passing locomotives dropping into the forest bed of dried leaves and underbrush very frequently serve to start one of these fires. No matter from what cause, or how started, one of these fires once under headway in a country of large forests is indeed a serious affair to deal with. The flames, at first small, run rapidly over the ground, fed by the dry leaves and underbrush. Gradually growing larger, these flames reach up and ignite the low spreading branches of some bush. From this they gain headway and spread to other bushes, finally whipping around the second growths and larger trees, with a dull roar the flames mount higher and the forest fire is embarked on its mad career. Once started in a heavily forested country, one of these fires, with a good wind behind it, will sometimes burn fiercely for weeks at a time. Finally encountering the impassable barrier of some large river, it expends its force in vain endeavors to reach over to the brush on the opposite shore, and this failing, dies. Fighting a forest fire is indeed no small job and calls for much endurance, discomfort and exertion on the part of the fighters. I have helped fight many of these fires in the forests of northern Pennsylvania; oftentimes our exertions to check some particular fire continuing for several days at a time. The accompanying descriptions were taken by the writer, during a particularly fierce fire, which resisted our best efforts toward checking it, for three days and nights. It was one of those still, warm days of early spring; a haze hung about the horizon and everything seemed lazy and indifferent in the warm spring sunshine. Towards noon we detected a faint odor of burning pine, borne to us on the faint breeze. An hour or two
later dense clouds of black smoke could be seen rising up from behind a neighboring ridge of pine, while the atmosphere was now so smoke-laden as to smart one's eyes. The wind began to freshen and the fire was now headed in our direction. Hastily summoning all hands, and procuring water buckets, we started on our work of fire fighting. Following down a woodland road for about two miles, we were on a parallel line with the oncoming fire. Here we struck into the woods and strung out along a small wood road used by lumber teams. Our right wing rested on a small spring, which was quite essential in our operations. Each man, provided with a lighted pine knot, ran along this road, starting the brush along one side blazing, and afterwards, seeing to it that the fire was kept on that side and prevented from crossing the road. We started a line of fire all along one side of this road for a distance of about two miles until we came to a fair-sized stream. Thus we drove our own fire against the forest fire, which was now bearing down on us very rapidly, being helped along by a strong wind. By forcing our fire against the oncoming fire, we thus burned all combustibles in its path, and so hoped to check its further advance. This method of fire fighting is known as "back firing" and is usually effective in checking or stopping these destructive forest fires. Great care must be taken in "back firing," however, to prevent the back fire from getting away from you, thus making matters worse than the original fire could. Back fires should be started along one side of a road or stream, as they can then be controlled and prevented from spreading in any direction, save the one desired. We were now enveloped in a dense smoke with the wind against us, and it required constant vigilance on our part to prevent the flames of our own fire from being blown back in our faces and across the road behind us. As a precaution against this we sent two boys, with buckets of water, along our entire line of fire, constantly soaking the undergrowth on the side opposite the fire. The heat and smoke from both fires were now intense and our eyes were streaming water, while our heads throbbed. It was at this stage that one of my companions loomed up through the smoke and gasped out that the fire had succeeded in crossing the road further on, and was rapidly bearing down on our valuable timber land and buildings. No time was to be lost, and blindly rushing through dense clouds of smoke and whirling sparks, we succeeded in making our way back to our main road. Stationing some of our along this road to prevent, if possible, the fire from crossing at this point, the remainder of our party rushed on parallel with the fire, which was now raging through some valuable pine timber. The blinding smoke and suffocating heat from the fire at this
point was well-nigh unendurable, but still we were obliged to press on. At last we arrived where we must make another stand, and if possible turn the course of the fire. We sent the boys to a small lake about a quarter of a mile distant for water, while we began a line of back fire to turn the course of the forest fire from our possessions. The air was now filled with swirling sparks and cinders. Dense yellow smoke filled the road and the surrounding woods with a suffocating cloud, while the roar of the flames, the crashing of falling timber, the scorching heat and crackling underbrush, all combined to make a spectacle never to be forgotten. The smoke was so dense we were obliged to lie flat in the roadway, our faces but a few inches from the ground, to obtain air, while your companion but a few feet from you was entirely undiscernible. After checking this fire at various points, our exertions lasting until well on toward dawn, we at last succeeded in turning the course of the fire, thereby saving our property. When proceeding before a moderate gale I have frequently seen flames from one of these fires mount thirty feet or more into the air, while their roar can be heard for miles. On a dark night the effect of a forest fire seen burning along the top of some distant mountain range is indeed inspiring to behold. The red tongues of flame seem silhouetted against the crimson-tinted horizon, the dense clouds of illumined smoke mounting upward, the fragrant odor of burning pine on the night air and the distant roar of flames and crash of falling trees serve to nerve one to a high pitch of excitement. These forest fires, when burning against a fair wind, do not acquire such enormous proportions; though when burning slowly against the wind, their work is more thorough and deadly in its effect on the forest growth. Often after one of these fires has swept over a mountain range the twinkling glow of burning stumps left in the fire's wake may be seen for several nights, giving the appearance of tiny campfires shining in the distance. While these fires do not necessarily kill some of the larger trees at once, still they ruin the timber and kill the promising young growth, besides giving the wilderness a scar which takes many years to heal and disappear. Let us hope, therefore, that the thoughtless and unthinking camper and others will take heed, and be as careful in the dry woods of late autumn and early spring as one would be in a powder mill. A forest fire once started, often proves as disastrous in every way as an explosion in one of these mills would prove. Let us also hope that our forests will receive that same protection from state and government which is now so nobly extended to our game birds and animals. This done, and forest fires kept out, our great American wilderness will take on new life and blossom as the
A JAMAICA BAY FISH STORY Editor RECREATION:
Labor Day, 1904, while fishing for blackfish over the wreck, near Rockaway Inlet, in Jamaica Bay, I caught a few good-sized fish and a couple of small ones. I had a piece of an old woolen stocking, which I used to wipe off the fishing-pole and reel with, and I tore off a piece of this and wrapped it around the tail of one of the small blackfish, throwing him back into the water. A year later, it just happened to be Labor Day, I was fishing at the same old spot. The first fish I pulled up was a blackfish weighing about two pounds with a black woolen
Edwin Hauck, New York City.
In your October number, referring to the wonderful success of Beals C. Wright, the present American lawn tennis champion, you unintentionally made a mistake in speaking of Mr. Wright's playing in the National Championship Tournament at Newport. You should say: "He lost one set in the tournament-to Larned and this, "the first of the series, he followed by three easy wins." Knowing that you would not intentionally take credit from any player who deserves it, or, in other words, believing, as I am sure you do, that where credit is due it should be given, I take the liberty of calling your attention to the mistake referred to, and pointing out the fact that Mr. Wright lost two sets in the tournament. In his match against Wylie C. Grant, Wright lost the second set by a score of 4-6, as you can see by reference to the official scores of the tournament. The full score of his match against Mr. Grant being, as I now remember, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Although the mistake may seem of not much matter, yet, the reason that I call it to your attention is that in the article referred to in your October number the fact that Mr. Wright only lost one set in the tournament is particularly mentioned. I am quite sure, knowing Mr. Wright, as I do, to be a thorough sportsman, that he would be the first to suggest this correction, and I also think that in justice to Mr. Grant it should be made, because the winning of even one set from Beals C. Wright, considering the way that he was playing the past season, is a most creditable performance for any player. I am a constant reader of your paper, and feel sure that you will appreciate my calling your attention to the above-mentioned matter, and that you will correct the error in your next issue.
Justice, New York City.
THE TRAGEDY OF JONAH
BY IRENE POMEROY SHIELDS
"Oh, mother, come quick! Come quick!" shouted a shrill, childish treble. "Here's a big snake with horns on."
The mother rushed out to the assistance of the terrified child, and sure enough, there was a snake of a species entirely unknown to her. Not very long but of an immense girth and with a pair of crooked horns extending back over his repulsive head. Greatly alarmed and surprised, as no snakes aside from an occasional water snake or a harmless garter had ever been seen in this northern region, she summoned her husband from the nearby potato patch. He came, incredulously scoffing, but speedily alive to the exigencies of the case, on catching sight of the repulsive reptile.
A few vigorous blows with the hoe and the mystery was solved.
His snakeship was a common garter that had swallowed no less than three toads and was then vainly endeavoring to engulf the fourth victim. His capacity being unequal to his appetite he had but partially succeeded in the effort, and the hind legs of the last captive extended back over his head in the exact similitude of a pair of horns.
On being released this modern Jonah seemed none the worse for his experience, and calmly hopped away to contemplate his miraculous deliverance.
As he sat beside a sheltering stump, blinking at Fate and the world, some doubt was expressed as to his survival, and the mother suggested putting a dab of paint on his back. Thenceforth Jonah became a marked character.
He lived for years in the garden, making his home in the old, hollow stump, and when that disappeared before the march of time and civilization he took up his abode beneath a large stone, screened by a grape vine, in one corner of the garden, and there lived as contentedly as before.
As years passed on he grew to such an immense size that the boys became proud of their pet toad, and began to aid him in procuring a varied and abundant diet.
It soon became his custom to hop up on the porch steps in the warm summer evenings and sit placidly awaiting the flies, bugs, spiders and other insects they caught for him. He took them at first from the end of a long, sharp stick and afterward from a toothpick.
After ten years of this halcyon existence the family built and moved into a new house some twenty rods from the first.
A few days after the flitting old Jonah was seen, laboriously hopping along down the path toward the new house. Some one compassionately carried him the remainder of the distance and he thereupon took up his residence under one of the porches until
the next year, when a drive well was put down in the yard.
Soon after that event he disappeared and was seen no more for several months. Considerable speculation was indulged in regarding his probable fate. During the summer it became necessary to make some changes in the connection of the pipes at the well and the cavity at the top was opened. There, serenely winking at the sun, sat Mr. Jonah, apparently as cheerful as ever and little regarding the fact of his release.
The cavity was about ten feet deep and six or eight in diameter, and walls and floor covered with cement. It looked like a most undesirable home, and whether he had deliberately chosen it or fallen in while exploring under the loose planks covering the top was an open question.
Suffice to say that he soon again disappeared, and was again found in the same place, and so on for a period of about fifteen years. When, for any reason, the space was uncovered there would be seen old Jonah, looking as though he had just awakened from a refreshing nap, though one period of imprisonment lasted nearly two years.
He certainly did diminish considerably in size, however, doubtless owing to a less abundant diet.
Last summer the elements of a probable tragedy were disclosed. When the well was opened at that time the family gathered about to greet the old fellow, but no trace of him was to be seen. There was, however, the skeleton of a large snake lying coiled in one corner, and the conclusion was obvious. Poor Jonah had doubtless fallen a victim to his ancient foe.
A gifted pen might weave a romance from a far less tragic ending.
BAD CREE HUNTERS Editor RECREATION:
Have been noticing various criticisms in RECREATION and I wish to register a complaint. The Cree Indians of Canada are spoiling our best hunting grounds. I saw, in a two weeks' hunt this fall, six black-tail deer, where two years ago I saw nearly one hundred in a four days' hunt. This year the Indians have hunted the country to a finish. They move as far south as the Missouri River brakes and go into camp there. Then they hunt the country surrounding with dogs. If you could bring these facts before some one in power I would be ever so much obliged. If there is anything I can do, I'll be glad to assist.
W. H. Kitts, Lewistown, Mont.
THE CAT PROBLEM Editor RECREATION:
For more than two years past Dr. C. F. Hodge, of Clark University, Worcester,