The Tim Bunker Papers: Or, Yankee Farming (Google Books)

No. 65.—TIM BUNKER ON SHEEP TRAPS.

“Wbat upon airth d’ye call that?” asked Uncle Jotham Sparrowgrass, as he hailed Seth Twiggs in the street, this morning. Seth had a gun over his shoulder, and held in his hand what might have been mistaken for game, at a short distance. On closer examination, the object revealed a pair of short ears, a prominent nose, a long, clean pair of jaws, well armed with sharp, bloody teeth. It was what is left of a dog after his tail has been cut off just behind his ears.

“That is what I call a sheep trap,” said Seth, as he flung the head upon the grass, pulled his pipe out of one pocket, and a match out of the other, and lighted.

“Why, that is Jake Frink’s dog!” exclaimed Uncle Jotham.

“Taint Jake’s any longer,” replied Seth. “Ye see, I

caught him in the act, this morning airly. He was gnawing away at a sheep he had run down, and that is sheep’s blood you see on his teeth now. I put that bullet between his eyes, and he hadn’t time to clean his teeth before he emigrated to t’other country. That trap has caught three sheep of mine this spring, besides lots of my neighbors’, to say nothing of the lambs; and I was so afraid the trap might be set again that I jest cut his head off after I shot him, to make sure work of it. That critter has destroyed a hundred dollars’ worth of property this spring, I haven’t a doubt. Sheep have been found dead, and badly maimed, and he has been seen chasing them. When compliiint has been made to Jake, he could not believe he was guilty of even chasing sheep. He did not allow him in such tricks. His dog was as innocent as a lamb. Children could play with him, and he wouldn’t even growl. To hear Jake talk, you would think the dog’s mother must have been a sheep. Waal, now, ye see, that talk didn’t go down with me. I can tell a sheep stealin dog as soon as I lay my eye on him. There is a kind of guilty look about the critter, that says mutton, as if it stuck in his jaws. Jake has never been able to raise sheep. If he tried, his lambs disappeared mysteriously when that dog was a puppy. He always laid it to other folks’ dogs. But Rover was the guilty wretch that drunk lambs’ blood. I have been watching him for about a week, and ye see this morning I got him jest where I wanted him. There was a piece of mutton in his mouth when I fired. It will take a smarter man than Jake Frink to get away from that fact.”

“I guess you’ll catch it when Jake hears of it.” “He won’t have to wait long, for I am going to take home Jake’s sheep trap this morning. I wouldn’t have you think that I’d shoot a man’s dog, and then not own it. That would be too much like a sheep stealing dog. I calculate to take the responsibility.”

This conversation of my neighbors shows the way the current is setting on the dog question, and the progress the reform is making, under the new laws, and especially under the high prices of wool and mutton. This last, I think, has more to do with dog killing, than all the laws that have been enacted. With wool at a dollar a pound or in that neighborhood, every body that owns land wants a few sheep. Even Jake Frink rubs his eyes and wakes up to the fact that sheep raising will be a profitable business. Sheep will live and do well on his poor pastures where his cows grow poor. He will bluster, of course, when he learns that his dog is killed, but he will be resigned and conclude that his sheep as well as his neighbors’ will be safer with that sheep trap out of the way. A large number of poor farmers, and rather poor citizens, who have the dog mania, will invest in sheep, and that will make them the natural enemies of dogs. I have noticed that it makes a mighty deal of difference whether it is your sheep or your neighbors’ that are bitten or killed. Resignation is a virtue easily practised when a pack of dogs get into your neighbor’s flock, and worry and slay. But when you go out some fine morning and find your fattest wether half eaten up, or your full blood merinos made into mutton prematurely, it stirs the blood at once against dogs. You owe the whole race a grudge. You think of steel traps, bullets, and small stout cords in close proximity to dogs’ necks. You talk fiercely and threaten vengeance. Men in such a humor are prepared to legislate rationally upon the dog question. They see very clearly that one vile cur, not worth a copper to any body, may easily destroy a hundred dollars’ worth of their property in a single night. With sheep at two or three times the old prices we shall not only have good dog laws, but we shall have men that will execute the laws, and the dogs at the same time. The old arguments on this question are just as good as any new ones that can be brought forward, but men see them a great deal better. A sheep is a creature of consequence, just about three times bigger than it was two years ago. The dogs have grown small, and a multitude of them have grown out of sight entirely.

There used to be a dog on about every corner of the streets in Hookertown. Some families kept a half dozen, and they had a tight match to get enough for their children to eat, too. Now they are getting scarce, and I am in hopes that the time is not distant when they will be confined to cages, and shown up as curiosities at Barn um’s. It does my eyes good to see children and lambs fat and happy, and dogs lean and miserable. Fat dogs indicate a low civilization like the Chinese, or a low state of morals like the White Oaks, where the dogs are more numerous than the people. .

I have hated dogs ever since I was a boy. My father kept sheep and was a lover of choice mutton, and chose to do his own butchering, in a humane and decent manner. I remember an old ewe with twin lambs, a cosset who came home with the cows to be petted and cared for as if she were a member of the family. One morning she was found dreadfully torn by the dogs, just alive, but unable to move and her lambs missing. I have hated the sight of a dog. ever since, and never pass one in the street without an apprehension of a bite, and a great longing to brain him on the spot. Seth Twiggs has given them the right name, ” Sheep Traps.”

And the morality of keeping a sheep-killing dog is on a par with that of a malicious neighbor who should set steel traps in the sheep walks of your pasture. I would much rather have steel traps than the dogs. The trap would be certain to dispose of only one sheep in a night, while the dog might kill or maim a dozen. The trap and the victim would be found together in the morning, and the mystery of the broken leg would be cleared up. But your cowardly, sneaking dog does his work by night and is miles away in the morning, with his chops all licked, and lying by his master’s door, as meek looking as if he never dreamed of mutton. The owner of a steel trap is a responsible being, but the owner of a dog seems to think that his brute is what Mr. Spooner would call a free moral agent, fit to do business on his own hook. He is not accountable for the deeds of his dog. I go in for trapping rats, skunks, foxes, weasels, and other vermin. If we must trap sheep and lambs, I prefer an article with steel springs and chain, to a pair of living jaws on four legs. The latter catches too much game.

Yours to command,

Timothy Bunker, Esq. Hookertown, May 10th, 1863.

Frank Leslie’s Sunday Magazine, Volume 9 (Google Books)

THE dog, in the esteem in which he is held by mankind, is a strange mixture of the estimable and despicable. A “faithful dog” is beloved by his master to the same extent that a “vile cur” is despised ; and yet the faithful and the vile are almost the same animal, with a little difference in the birth and bringing up. To call a man “a dog” as a term of reproach, is one of the worst insults that can be given ; surpassed only by saying that he is “a puppy.” But to modify the doggishness of the remark by saying that a company of festive young gentlemen, who amuse themselves by living a fast life, getting drunk, and making themselves nuisances, are “jolly dogs,” is considered as quite complimentary to these jovial disturbers of the public peace.’ o Of dog stories, setting forth the affectionate and confiding traits of character in this intelligent quadruped, there is no end. Around the social circle, whether of dinner party or evening company, if one member start a dog story, it is sure to be followed by another, and another, from each and every one present, until everybody has told a tale more marvelous than that which preceded it. The amount of intelligence possessed by the dog is at least equal to that of the monkey. Although demonstrated in a different manner, running more in the direction of gravity and depth of affection, while the monkey’s intelligence disports itself in mirthfulness and mischief, the emotional nature of the dog is none the less for its occasional apparent solemnity. The “Spitz” in the engraving is studying entomology as gravely as if he were a professor of natural history, engaged in preparation for meeting his class. The gravity and dignity of an elderly dog who feels the burden of years resting upon him, are enough almost for humankind. The amount of real brain power lying underneath the dog’s somewhat thick skull is wonderful. Could the dogs but express themselves in words, the result of their reasoning might be truly astonishing, and might put to shame the intellectual powers of many a biped, of whom better and greater things are expected. Some philosopher or other has remarked that the best use to which dogs can be put is to mix two of them with a Tharrel of lime and use the mixture as fertilizing material. While there are many dogs who seem to have been born into the world for no better purpose than this, it cannot be

denied that a general sentence of all the dogs to the manure-heap would cause much heart-rending on the part especially of the feminine and juvenile proprietors of the creatures. Grant that the pet dog of the household is not of much use, still he is a pet. The cat, too, may be a pet, but will seldom take such an abiding hold on the affections as the dog. Indeed, were the proposition recently made to levy a per capita tax of twenty-five dollars on each cat, the cat’s nine lives to be the penalty for non-payment, there would be less general discontent throughout the country than if similar prohibitory laws were carried into operation against the dogs. The dogs of Eastern countries, and especially Bible lands, must not be considered in the same category with the affectionate pet dogs of our households. They are for the most part ungainly curs, with their natural disposition to ugliness fostered by beatings, kickings and a chronic experience of semi-starvation. The dogs of Jerusalem are little better than fierce wolves, and woe to the unlucky traveler, who, venturing out in that city at night without a lantern, provokes their indignation 1 The dogs who officiated as nurses for the suffering beggar who sat at the gate of Dives, were lank, woe-begone-looking beasts, who found their natural affinity in sores and distress. The howls of the street dogs in Constantinople are as distressing to the ear as the appearance of the creatures themselves is unpleasant to the eye. There is no more relation between the much-abused “cur of low degree” whom the Mohammedans, though they will not take his life, kick, starve and Scald, and the pet “black-and-tan’” of a city belle, elegantly encompassed at the first attack of frost in his broidered cloak, than there is between an alligator and a canary-bird. In almost all large cities, there is sympathy enough for the dog, whatever his pedigree or advantages of education, to make the office of dog-catcher anything but a popular one. When a crowd of even the roughest street boys gathers round an official of this kind who is engaged in the pursuit of his duty and somebody’s dog, the sympathy is all with the dog and not with the dog-catcher. If there is the faintest sign of an opportunity for a rescue, boys who seem to be even the most depraved, and to have the least amount of natural affection visible in their grimy faces, are ready to wrest the unhappy victim from the hands of his persecuting captor. Sometimes, however, boys are found who are willing to act as “catchers,” though the cruel business is generally left in the hands of the most hard-hearted adults who can be found. In St. Louis, some years ago, the task of dog-catching was committed to the newsboys. They immediately went to work at it with such gusto that their efficiency was beyond a doubt. And indeed, it was found in a day or two that they so entirely overdid the matter, taking possession of dogs that they had no business to touch, that their discharge became a matter of necessity. But they were exceptional boys. The boy who fastens a tin can to a dog’s tail, or otherwise worries the creature, is, as a general thing, held in poor esteem by his companions, and it is commonly understood that the gallows is the probable end of the career of one who is so depraved. WE should not forget that personal preaching is the only sort that hits anybody, or that does anybody any good. Your dealing in glittering generalities will be little understood, and less cared for, by those who hear. There is no preaching that requires more wisdom, and it should always be uttered with the unction of holy love. IT is the greatest courage to be able to bear the imputation of a want of courage.—Henry Clay.

The Country Gentleman’s Magazine, Volume 5 (Google Books)

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NO. LIV.—TIM BUNKER ON SHEEP TRAPS.

WHAT upon airth d’ye call that?” asked Uncle Jotham Sparrowgrass, as he hailed Seth Twiggs in the road this morning. Seth had a gun over his shoulder, and held in his hand what might have been mistaken for game at a short distance. On closer examination, the object revealed a pair of short ears, a prominent nose, a long, clean pair of jaws, well armed with sharp bloody teeth. It was what is left of a dog after his tail has been cut off just behind his ears.

“That is what I call a sheep trap,” said Seth, as he flung the head upon the grass, pulled his pipe out of one pocket, and a match out of the other, and lighted.

“Why, that is Jake Frink’s dog!” exclaimed Uncle Jotham.

“Taint Jake’s any longer,” replied Seth. “Ye see, I caught him in the act this morning airly. He was gnawing away at a sheep he had run down, and that is sheep’s blood you see on his teeth now. I put that bullet between his eyes, and he hadn’t time to clean his teeth before he emigrated to t’other country. That trap has caught three sheep of mine this spring, besides lots of my neighbours’, to say nothing of the lambs; and I was so afraid the trap might be set again that I jest cut his head off after I shot him, to make sure work of it. That creature has destroyed ^20 worth of property this spring, I haven’t a doubt. Sheep have been found dead, and badly maimed, and he has been seen chasing them. When complaint has been made to Jake, he could not believe he was guilty of even chasing sheep. He did not allow him in such tricks. His dog was as innocent as a lamb. Children could play with him, and he wouldn’t even growl. To hear Jake talk, you would think the dog’s mother must have been a sheep. Well now,

ye see, that talk didn’t go down with me. I can tell a sheep-stealin’ dog as soon as I lay my eye on him. There is a kind of guilty look about the creature, that says mutton, as if it stuck in his jaws. Jake has never been able to raise sheep. If he tried, his lambs disappeared mysteriously when that dog was a puppy. He always laid it to other folk’s dogs. But Rover was the guilty wretch that drunk lambs’ blood. I have been watching him for about a week, and ye see this morning I got him jest where I wanted him. There was a piece of mutton in his mouth when I f1red. It will take a smarter man than Jake Frink to get away from that fact.”

“I guess you’ll catch it when Jake hears of it.”

“He won’t have to wait long, for I am going to take home Jake’s sheep trap this morning. I wouldn’t have you think that I’d shoot a man’s dog, and then not own it. That would be too much like a sheep-stealing dog. I calculate to take the responsibility.”

This conversation of my neighbours shews the way the current is setting on the dog question, and the progress the reform is making, under the new laws, and especially under the high prices of wool and mutton. This last, I think, has more to do with dog killing than all the laws that have been enacted. Even Jake Frink rubs his eyes and wakes up to the fact that sheep raising is a profitable business. Sheep will live and do well on his poor pastures where his cows grow poor. He will bluster, of course, when he learns that his dog is killed; but he will be resigned, and conclude that his sheep as well as his neighbours’ will be safer with that sheep trap out of the way. A large number of poor farmers will invest in sheep, and that will make them the natural enemies of dogs. I have noticed that it makes a mighty deal of difference whether it is your sheep or your neighbours’ that are bitten or killed. Resignation is a virtue easily practised when a pack of dogs get into your neighbour’s flock, and worry and slay. But when you go out some fine morning and find your fattest wether half eaten up, or your full blood Southdown made into mutton prematurely, it stirs the blood at once against dogs. You owe the whole race a grudge. You think of steel traps, bullets, and small stout cords in close proximity to dogs’ necks. You talk fiercely and threaten vengeance. Men in such a humour are prepared to legislate rationallyupon the dog license question. They see very clearly that one vile cur, not worth a copper to anybody, may easily destroy ^20 worth of their property in a single night. With sheep at two or three times the old prices, we shall not only have good dog laws, but we shall have men that will execute the laws, and the dogs at the same time. The old arguments on this question are just as good as any new ones that can be brought forward, but men see them a great deal better. A sheep is a creature of consequence, just about three times bigger than it was two years ago. The dogs have grown small, and a multitude of them have grown out of sight entirely. There used to be a dog on about every corner of Hookertown. Some families kept a half-dozen, and they had a tight match to get enough for their children to eat, too. Now they are getting scarce in consequence of the dog license, and I am in hopes that the time is not distant when they will be confined to cages, and shewn up as curiosities.

I have hated dogs ever since I was a boy. My father kept sheep, and was a lover of choice mutton, and chose to do his own butchering in a humane and decent manner. I remember an old ewe with twin lambs, a cosset who came home with the cows to be petted, and cared for as if she were a member of the family. One morning she was found dreadfully torn by the dogs, just alive, but unable to move and her lambs missing. I have hated the sight of a dog ever since, and never pass one without an apprehension of a

bite, and a great longing to brain him on the spot. Seth Twiggs has given them the right name, “Sheep Traps.”

And the morality of keeping a sheep-killing dog is on a par with that of a malicious neighbour who should set steel traps in the sheep walks of your pasture. I would much rather have steel traps than the dogs. The trap would be certain to dispose of only one sheep in a night, while the dog might kill or maim a dozen. The trap and the victim would be found together in the morning, and the mystery of the broken leg would be cleared up. But your cowardly sneaking dog does his work by night and is miles away in the morning, with his chops all licked, and lying by his master’s door, as meek looking as if he never dreamed of mutton. The owner of a steel trap is a responsible being, but the owner of a dog seems to think that his brute is what Mr Spooner would call a free moral agent, fit to do business on his own hook. He is not accountable for the deeds of his dog. I go in for trapping rats, skunks, foxes, weasels, and other vermin. If we must trap sheep and lambs, I prefer an article with steel springs and chain to a pair of living jaws on four legs. The latter catches too much game.—Yours to command, T1mothy Bunker, Esq.

American Agriculturist, Volume 21 (Google Books)

17O Management of Sheep in Minnesota.

–To the Editor of the American Agriculturist. As stern necessity is forcing an increased interest to be taken by Northern States, in the business of wool growing, I propose to give you a few practical items from Minnesota. My neighbor Mr. Bennett, is the owner of about 2000 sheep, chiefly mixed blood, though a few are extraordinarily fine Spanish Merinos. He farms out about 1200, taking for his profits the fleece, and when the flock is returned, an equal number of young healthy sheep. The remaining 800 he feeds on his farm, and it is to the management of this home-flock that I would call attention, as I think that he has wintered them with unusual economy and success. Mr. B. raised a quantity of Indian corn, which was cut and cured in the usual way in the field, where it was left standing in stack for daily use during the Winter. The feeding season with us is almost invariably free from rains. The corn was drawn and scattered over a large pasture at the rate of about one and-a-half bushels of grain to a flock of 200 sheep. The little animals stripped the stalks and cobs absolutely clean; then after being watered they were enclosed in yards adjoining the sheds, and supplied with an abundance of fresh straw, in racks. Cost of Wintering.—Mr. B. estimates the cost as follows: In our neighborhood, unimproved land costs from five to ten dollars per acre. An acre of well cultivated and well cured corn, costing about $5 for labor, will support 15 sheep, at 33} cents per head. It is now the last of March, and he has still some weeks of provision left. How the Sheep Look.-Under this head it is unnecessary to multiply words. The sheep are fully as fat as desirable. They are healthy, fleece heavy, clean, and in excellent condition. Mr. B, estimates his clip will average four lbs. to the sheep, including the last year’s lambs. How Sheltered.—Our climate, I repeat, is unusually dry during the Winter; we have few or no rains, or heavy snows, therefore but very ordinary protection is required; nor need we confine the animals to close, heated, and unhealthy stables. Sheds of rough boards, or poles and straw are infinitely preferable to the most costly and closely built stables. Mr. B.’s sheds open to the south, and are well boarded against northeast and west winds. They have a depth of about 16 feet, which gives ample protection, affording a dry, airy, healthful, and all-sufficient shelter. The pens and sheds are daily spread with clean fresh litter—the straw which the sheep pull from the racks. In warm days which come suddenly upon us as Spring approaches, the animals are driven to the open ficlós, away from the fumes of the heated manure, until the approach of night-fall, and in this daily care for the health of his flock, lies fle true secret of Mr. B.’s success. So soon as grass appears, pasturage with us is not an item of cost. A sufficient range is so easily procured, that at most it can only cost the wages of a man, who with a good dog, will look after and care for from one to two thousand. The Profit.—According to present appearances Mr. Bennett’s profit item will stand as follows:

Sheep averaged when purchased………………. 2 2,000. Sheep at $220. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cost of keeping. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sheep worth without the fleece, say $5. 8,000 lbs. of wool, say 75c

Lambs, say… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …… 1,500 17,500 Deduct first cost. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………. 5,720

Balance in Profit”. . . . . . . . . . . . ……………. $11,780 You will observe that I have added a cost for

Summer keeping equal to the Winter, which is

of course an excess; but I have made no allowance for loss by disease or death, which for six months past has only amounted to about $10.

Having given you the above items I now solicit permission to propose a few inquiries to be answered by experienced sheep breeders.

1st. There is a prevailing opinion that the further north, wool and fur animals are grown within the limit of plentiful support, the finer and better is the growth of the animal’s covering: —Is this only a conceit, or demonstrated fact?

2d. Do fine blooded sheep of the Eastern countries, degenerate in flesh or fleece by removal to the colder climates of the American States? 3d. Have sheep growers determined the quality of sheep natural to the temperate and colder climate of the Northern States of America? The subject of wool growing is at this moment so pregnant with interest that it deserves much more than ordinary investigation. Thousands will be tempted to embark in the business, knowing little or nothing of the habits, the quality, or the wants of the animals. T. T. MANN. Washington Co., Minn. “Mr. Mann’s estimate of profits is too large. His figures put wool at $1 a pound, making the profits $11,780; we took the liberty to change the estimate for wool in Minnesota to 75c., and that is nearly double the usual price. The present quotation in New-York (May 6) is 70 to 90 cents, from which must be deducted freight, commissions, etc. Again, is not $5 a head for shorn sheep rather a high estimate for Minnesota. If one were to now embark in sheep growing, he would of course have to pay present rates for stock sheep, and not $2.20, the price paid by Mr. Bennett. We readily grant that wool growing is largely profitable, and likely to continue so, but add these remarks as a caution against too great expectations.—Ed.

Shall Sheep be Washed

Wool undoubtedly needs cleansing before it can be used in the manufactory, but it does not follow that it must be washed while on the sheep’s back. There are many reason why it should not be—few if any valid ones for a continuance of the practice. The best washing will only remove part of the foreign matter from the fleece. The manufacturer subjects all Wool to a cleansing process, whether it has been previously carefully washed, or only “soused ” in a slovenly manner. Sheep washing is violently unnatural. No animal dreads the water more, and with good reason; it requires days of warm weather to evaporate the moisture held in the meshes of a thick fleece of wool, and the animal not only suffers discomfort, but frequently positive injury. It is comparatively an easy process to remove the yolk and dirt from wool when sheared from the sheep, but

impossible to complete the work while upon

the back of the struggling animal. It would be just as wise, and little less humane, to give children an occasional plunge to remove stains and soils from their garments. But for the washing, the sheep might be sheared one or two weeks earlier in the season, which would promote heaviness of fleece, and add to the comfort and thrift of both sheep and lambs. The great objection urged against shearing unwashed sheep, is that an unwarrantable deduction in the price of the wool is made by manufaaturers. The remedy for this is with the producer. He has only to remain firm in a reasonable demand, and in time his terms must be acceded to. There is a very just cause of complaint in the practice pursued, of buying wool according to a general average of cleanliness, instead of fixing the price according to the actual condition of each lot. This has, in effect been, to offer a premium for neglect, and

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many clips of professedly washed wool have been little superior in cleanliness to unwashed fleeces from sheep properly cared for. Producers should, in every case, insist upon selling their wool according to its own merits, and this can as easily be done with the unwashed article as any other. To change the present practice will require general simultaneous effort, and this can scarcely be expected without considerable discussion. It is here intended only to indicate some of the leading points that seem to make the change desirable. Tim Bunker on Sheep Traps. –“What upon airth d’ye call that?” asked uncle Jotham Sparrowgrass, as he hailed Seth Twiggs in the street, this morning. Seth had a gun over his shoulder, and held in his hand what might have been mistaken for game, at a short distance. On closer examination, the object revealed a pair of short ears, a prominent nose, a long clean pair of jaws, well armed with sharp, bloody teeth. It was what is left of a dog after his tail has been cut off just behind his ears. “That is what I call a sheep trap,” said Seth, as he flung the head upon the grass, pulled his pipe out of one pocket, and a match out of the other, and lighted. “Why that is Jake Frink’s dog ” exclaimed Uncle Jotham. “Taint Jake’s any longer,” replied Seth. “Ye see I caught him in the act, this morning airly. He was gnawing away at a sheep he had run down, and that is sheep’s blood you see on his teeth now. I put that bullet between his eyes, and he hadn’t time to clean his teeth before he emigrated to t’other country. That trap has caught three sheep of mine this Spring, be. sides lots of my neighbors, to say nothing of the lambs, and I was so afraid the trap might be set again that I jest cut his head off after I shot him, to make sure work of it. That critter has destroyed a hundred dollars’ worth of property this Spring, I haven’t a doubt. Sheep have been found dead, and badly maimed, and he has been seen chasing them. When complaint has been made to Jake, he could not believe he was guilty of even chasing sheep. He did not allow him in such tricks. His dog was as innocent as a lamb. Children could play with him, and he wouldn’t even growl. To hear Jake talk, you would think the dog’s mother must have been a sheep. Waal, now, ye see, that talk didn’t go down with me. I can tell a sheep stealin dog as soon as I lay my eye on him. There is a kind of guilty look about the critter, that says mutton, as plainly as if it stuck in his jaws. Jake has never been able to raise sheep. If he tried, his lambs disappeared mysteriously when that dog was a puppy. He always laid it to other folks’ dogs. But Rover was the guilty wretch that drunk lamb’s blood. I have been watching him for about a week, and ye see this morning I got him jest where I wanted him. There was a piece of mutton in his mouth when I fired. It will take a smarter man than Jake Frink to get away from that fact.” “I guess you’ll catch it when Jake hears of it.” “He won’t have to wait long, for I’m going to take home Jake’s sheep trap this morning. I wouldn’t have you think that I’d shoot a man’s dog, and then not own it. That would be too much like a sheep stealing dog. I calculate to take the responsibility.” This conversation of my neighbors shows the way the current is setting in the dog question, and the progress the reform is making, under

the new laws, and especially under the high prices of wool and mutton. This last, I think, has more to do with dog killing, than all the laws that have been enacted. With wool at a dollar a pound or in that neighborhood, every body that owns land wants a few sheep. Even Jake Frink rubs his eyes and wakes up to the fact that sheep raising will be a paying business. Sheep will live and do well on his poor pastures where his cows grow poor. He will bluster of course, when he learns that his dog is killed, but he will be resigned and conclude that his sheep as well as his neighbors’ will be safer with that sheep trap out of the way. A large number of poor farmers, and rather poor citizens, who have the dog mania will invest in sheep, and that will make them the natural enemies of dogs. I have noticed that it makes a mighty deal of difference whether it is your sheep or your neighbors’ that are bitten or killed. Resignation is a virtue easily practised, when a pack of dogs get into your neighbor’s flock and worry and slay. But when you go out some fine morning and find your fattest weather half eaten up, or your full blood Merinos made into mutton prematurely, it stirs the blood at once against dogs. You owe the whole race a grudge. You think of steel traps, bullets, and small stout cords in close proximity to dogs’ necks. You talk fiercely and threaten vengeance. Men in such a humor are prepared to legislate rationally upon the dog question. They see very clearly that one vile cur, not worth a copper to any body, may easily destroy a hundred dollars’ worth of their property in a single night. With sheep at two or three times the old prices we shall not only have good dog laws, but we shall have men that will execute the laws, and the dogs at the same time. The old arguments on this question are just as good as any new ones that can be brought forward, but men see them a great deal better. A sheep is a creature of consequence, just about three times bigger than it was two years ago. The dogs have grown small, and a multitude of them have grown out of sight entirely. There used to be a dog on about every corner of the streets in Hookertown. Some families kept a half dozen, and they had tight match to get enough for their children to eat, too. Now they are getting scarce, and I am in hopes that the time is not distant when they will be confined to cages, and shown up as curiosities at Barnum’s. It does my eyes good to see children and lambs fat and happy, and dogs lean and miserable. Fat dogs indicate a low civilization like the Chinese, or a low state of morals like the White Oaks, where the dogs are more numerous than the people. I have hated dogs ever since I was a boy. My father kept sheep and was a lover of choice mutton, and chose to do his own butchering, in a humane and decent manner. I remember an old ewe with twin lambs, a cosset who came home with the cows to be petted, and cared for as if she were a member of the family. One morning she was found dreadfully torn by the dogs, just alive, but unable to move and her lambs missing. I have hated the sight of a dog ever since, and never pass one in the street, without an apprehension of a bite, and a great longing to brain him on the spot. Seth Twiggs has given them the right name, “Sheep Traps.” And the morality of keeping a sheep-killing dog is on a par with that of a malicious neighbor, who should set steel traps in the sheep walks of your pasture. I would much rather

have steel traps than the dogs. The trap would

be certain to dispose of only one sheep in a night, while the dog might kill or maim a dozen. The trap and the victim would be found together in the morning, and the mystery of the broken leg would be cleared up. But your cowardly sneaking dog does his work by night and is miles away in the morning, with his chops all licked, and lying by his master’s door, as meek looking as if he never dreamed of mutton. The owner of a steel trap is a responsible being, but the owner of a dog seems to think that his brute is what Mr. Spooner would call a free moral agent, fit to do business on his own hook. He is not accountable for the deeds of his dog. I go in for trapping rats, skunks, foxes, weasels, and other vermin. If we must trap sheep and lambs, I prefer an article with steel-springs and chain, to a pair of living jaws on four legs. The latter catches too much game.

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It will be remembered that no little excitement was caused in England last year by the appearance of small pox among sheep. Active measures were soon instituted to meet the emergency, and we are happy to learn that they have been successful. An Association formed among the sheep breeders in Wiltshire, to prevent the spread of the malady and to afford compensation to those who might sustain loss by its attacks, has just closed its accounts, there being no present necessity for its continuance. The proceedings of the Association during the year are of general interest. When the disease first appeared it was recommended and practised to some extent, to inoculate exposed flocks, on the supposition that the malady would be less severe in its effects. This, however, proved not to be the case; inoculated flocks died off rapidly, and thus the proposed preventive only spread the infection. The Wiltshire Association instituted experiments to determine the efficacy of vaccine virus, which proved entirely satisfactory. Six healthy sheep were vaccinated and then confined with others that were diseased with small pox, and which subsequently died, but the vaccinated sheep resisted all contagion and remained perfectly sound. To put the experiment to the extreme test, the six sheep were afterward inoculated with small pox virus. Two of them died, two had the disease rather severely, the other two slightly, and the four fully recovered. The Association recommend instant isolation of an infected sheep, and the vaccination of those in the vicinity, as almost certain means of eradicating the disease.

The labors of the Association brought to light some startling facts concerning the introduction of diseases among stock by importations from infected districts. There remained no doubt that the small pox was thus brought in. According to Government reports, the cattle diseases of England rose in ten years from a yearly average of 13, to 5, 6, and 10 per cent. A Government commissioner stated that, in 1862 the loss from disease was at least three times the total amount of cattle imported, a large part of which was clearly traceable to the introduction of diseases from abroad. It is very justly considered a matter over which Government should exercise proper control, and it will not be amiss for American farmers to give the subject due attention in time. The Pleuro-pneumonia excitement, though somewhat exaggerated, shows how great the danger may be, and

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To the Editor of the American Agriculturist: I have repeatedly used the following treatment for foot-rot in sheep with complete success. Prepare a solution of blue vitrol as strong as it can be made, by pulverizing and dissolving in Warm soft water. Each hoof should then be examined, thoroughly cleansed with a knife, and if too long, cut to the proper dimensions. If no infection be found, let two men take the sheep with a leg in each hand and dip every foot into the solution of vitrol. When an infected hoof is found, carefully pare it until every particle of the infection is exposed—avoid bleeding the foot if possible. Then thoroughly saturate the foot with spirits of turpentine from a vial with a quill inserted in the cork; pour on as much fine powder as you can make adhere to the foot or the parts infected, and apply a lighted match to the same; after which dip the foot in the solution as above directed. The sheep should then run on a clean floor until the remedies have had sufficient time to take effect. I have cured an entire flock with a single course of the above treatment. But to be safe, the same should be repeated in five or seven days, and if any cases of infection be found, repeat again. Should an obstinate case be found Where the rot has penetrated into the center of the quick, the sheep should be put into a pen or small yard by itself, and subjected every second day to the prescribed treatment. Thoroughness is the great secret of success in treating the foot-rot. The knife is the principal remedy, if Sharp and skillfully handled. A SUBSCRIBER. Middlebury, Vt.

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To the Editor of the American Agriculturist: I found myself cheated to the amount of $50 by the purchase of a horse sold as “sound,” but which proved to be an inveterate cribber. Warious remedies were recommended and tried without success. Finally, I have found a preventive, if not a cure. I have arranged the stall So as to leave nothing against which he can press his teeth. He is fed from a low box which is pushed into the stall from a passage-way, and the box is withdrawn when not in use. (It is said that a horse can not crib with his head down.) The opening for air and light is placed too high for him to reach it, to crib against its sides. Since adopting the above arrangement, the horse has improved in condition and spirit, and his value is also much increased. X.

Salting Stock.

The Contemporary Review, Volume 48 (Google Books)

VII. TREES.

One thing must be said—if you are so fortunate as to possess a tree behind the house, do not let the local builder persuade you it is “unhealthy.” Whatever be the case in the country, we surely cannot have too many trees and bushes about us in the dry thin air of a city. All that transpires moisture in the air, and takes it from the ground, and absorbs bad gases is most precious, and the bare, proverbial “builder’s garden” is a mass of mistakes.

Value your privilege! Spare the tree, woodman, douche it well, and as often as you can. Moisture prevents caterpillars, so apt to swarin in London gardens through the drought of the atmosphere laden with heat of many fires and many lungs. Wash the trunk often—say as often as the windows are cleaned in dry weather. The tree will thank you, spring and summer, with great bursting rosy buds and broad leaves that attract thrushes, blackbirds, cherrychoppers, starlings, dainty finches, rooks with their dreamy caw, robins, occasional wood pigeons, and even tomtits—even nightingales, divinest songsters, abound in St. John’s Wood gardens, and have been heard of in Chelsea. All these sweet birds, besides the clever, merry sparrow, will build in a London tree.

VIII. FLOWERS.

Under its boughs you can easily have, not, indeed, very superfine turf, but plants that love shade, Solomon’s seal, foxgloves, musks, saxifrages, periwinkle, lilies of the valley, primroses, creeping Jenny, London pride, wild hyacinths, daffodils, hardy geraniums, calceolarias (acclimatized), all sorts of ferns and stonecrops, &c. &c. These can be grown in the very worst places, it appears to me.

Beyond where the sun falls, sunflowers of all sorts, poppies, pinks, chrysanthemums, wallflowers, daisies, hollyhocks, tall yellow and white lilies (nearly all bulbous things are suitable), nasturtiums, lupins, fritillaries, sweet William, honesty, thrift, Aaron’s rod (nice old names !), pyrethrum, lobelia, dahlias, sweet peas, evening primrose, and even mignonette and zinnias, with plenty more, are likely to thrive.

High-class roses, as I have said, will not thrive, and it is of no use to try them, even under glass; the velvet leaves cannot throw off the soot in the air, the pores are choked, and death is inevitable. The little old-fashioned white rose and the half-wild blush rose will do very well sometimes; and the exquisite moss rose can be cultivated—but not with ease, and only where there is plenty of air. Pansies, violets, variegated pelargoniums, forget-me-not, and laurustinns do not like London; nemophila and variegated grass thrive well, but are so besieged by cats that they are hopeless to grow. I will not enter upon the further merits and demerits of certain trees, shrubs, and flowers, but I may say that scented herbs, mint, rosemary, lavender, balsams, verbenas, marjoram, &c., are nice to have under one’s window, and they thrive capitally as a rule. A regular kitchen garden is quite come-at-able if there is space.

IX. TURF.

This is the crux of London gardening! mere green grass. What one goes through to get a plot of real, fine, springy turf in towns only the earnest gardener knows. But I have heard an ingenious, and successful amateur say that turf is a mere question of manure, even under trees, where the dripping from the boughs above and the suction of the roots beneath destroy the sustenance of the tender grass. He gets rich turf under London trees that nearly sweep the ground, of course providing for the free circulation of air beneath— without which turf has no chance at all—but it costs plenty in brain, nerve and muscle.

The right thing is to dig away all the old earth from the trees’ roots every year or so, manure cannily, and refresh the soil. Any amount of seed must be added to renew weak patches. Gardeners say, don’t manure trees; but most gardeners are pitifully ignorant, not to say prejudiced, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Trees are found by amateurs who have experimented con amore to thrive infinitely better if they are manured; the turf beneath thrives infinitely better too: argal, as Lancelot Gobbo would say, never mind the gardener and his assertions that this and that “won’t do.” Manure the trees; nurse the grass by lifting it and enriching the soil beneath. Plant under the foliage (if you wish) any half-grown hardy blossoming plants, which will do thoroughly well with occasional ” stopping,” although seeds will not come up to do you much credit, the plants are so drawn up in shade.

Personally, I don’t believe in top-dressing, except once in a way; it kills as much as it coaxes to grow, and nothing comes up but the new seed. Patch bare spots with seed, sprinkled over with fine soil to save it from the birds, mow constantly, roll, water heavily in dry weather, and for this the waste water from the dressing-rooms is more than useful. Turf is, however, better watered as little as possible after it is once thick enough. Sprinkling daily encourages the rootlets to come to the surface, instead of striking down for moisture, and then a single fierce day will burn up all your grass for good, may be.

Gardeners like top-dressing; some because it is very expensive, some because they have a hidden interest in particular seeds, some because it levels the ground nicely, and of course it is useful to correct the subsoil, or when the lawn is worn into holes and hillocks. But I advise it only occasionally.

If the plot of grass is small, it is perhaps no costlier—and certainly less trouble—to returf each year where the trees have killed the grass or little feet have worn it off. Five shillings will cover a large patch of bare earth.

Is not this better than blackness and desolation, though small be the space and a little trouble to keep neat? And most of these things that will grow in the ground will grow also on leads in boxes or pots of earth renewable each spring. Pepys used to spend many happy evenings making music and “taking the ayre” on his leads. He probably had them swept and garnished with a few flowers. He did not sit singing on a muck heap like Nero on the wreck of Rome. He had the place kept tidy.

X. HARDENING.

A word to explain what I mean by acclimatized calceolarias and geraniums growing under trees. I have found that the common sorts of these flowers are very robust, but they take a year to harden so that they will bloom in the worst corners under London trees. The first summer the plants want a good deal of nursing; probably because they have been raised in the country and under glass; and, when bought off an itinerant barrow, they have already received a slight shock from exposure. Except in very sunny, well-soiled spots, they are apt to shoot up weak and spindly, with quantities of aphis, or ” green fly,” and consequently the blossoms miserable or none. By-the-by, fight the green fly: he is a terrible fellow. When he is young and has wings, he can be caught (with industry) and saved the trouble of breeding in the ordinary way. But when he is older, if allowed to live, he becomes viviparous, and emits young as he breathes, without any assistance from without. Prevention (the hose) is better than cure (tobacco and tar water). Anyhow, he is a deadly enemy, destroying all the young and juicy shoots of plants. Slugs eat the roots, and when the slug is sated, cats smash what he leaves behind, and if the plant is left to itself, it dies the death.

But, tended through its first summer, its roots examined and freed from grubs if it droops, gently sprinkled with the hose daily, kept dwarf by frequent “stopping,” and dead leaves removed, the plant will often do very fairly well till autumn. Then take a number of ” cuttings “—you don’t want a gardener for this, almost any strong shoots will serve—stick them iri earth, say five or six in a pot, and keep them indoors during the winter, for neither calceolarias nor geraniums will stand frost. These cuttings, rooted and grown bushy by the ensuing spring, will be ten times as hardy as the parent plant. They have become acclimatized to London air and soil. I have had such calceolarias thrive with almost savage strength in places where literally no seed would come up, without sun or soil to speak of, blooming all the summer through, and filling ugly gaps with golden bells and scarlet trusses that are a “sight good for sair een.”

XI. GLASS.

Persons whose London gardens, or leads, are too much overlooked would do well to glaze over the whole or a portion (no longer an expensive process). Wonderful effects can be attained in privacy thus, and a conservatory makes an airy tea-room in summer, and a charming outlet at all times. Otherwise little green-houses can be erected at a cost of from £2 10s. to £ 10, in which grapes soon repay the original outlay. Numerous cuttings can be preserved here during the winter, along with sufficient flowers in bloom to brighten the rooms for several months. A little heat is advisable (oil not gas stoves), but a good deal can be done without heat. The plants of which I have been speaking require none.

The roofs of London houses, as well as leads and backyards, might be utilized oftener than they are. Capital green-houses and cold frames for nursing purposes could be placed there to raise halfhardy plants for spring use. A great deal of sun’s heat is reflected from slate and cement, and I doubt not that whoever chose to devote some personal attention to fruit-growing aloft would find it pay.

XII. CATS AND CATS.

The worst enemies of London gardens are not so much caterpillars as cats. It is worse than disappointing to find the fresh lobelia, variegated grasses, and nemophila, the regular breakfast of a pack of mangy, howling cats—creatures that possess no homes, no principles, no remorse. Cats swarm at times, and make not only night but day hideous with their yells, growls, and miauling.

Seedlings have but little chance where cats abound. Half-grown plants resist their approaches better, but a stout lily is easily broken by a couple of strong Toms at war. Of course a little wire-netting, which is cheap at some stores, will prevent a good deal of ravage, and glazed frames are useful; but I am of opinion that the time has come to show the feline race that they are not our masters, and we kept for their convenience, as hitherto we have led them to suppose. Why are we to do without a garden because cats like salad in bloom? Why, after having got a garden, are we to see it daily dug up? Is the world made for cats? Do we permit other half-wild animals to parade our roofs, run in and out of our houses, fight, court, scratch up, devour, yelp, die as they please all about the place? Do we allow vagrant horses and cattle to wander through the streets, bellow at the house door, breed promiscuously in our cellars? Is not every dog, horse, goat, hen, donkey, monkey expected to have an owner, and those that have no owners, are they not regarded as vermin like rats and beetles, and destroyed by police? Why do not people rid themselves of a pest that is always disagreeable, and sometimes even dangerous—witness the recent Ashton case, in which a man and woman were consigned to the hospital for daring to dispute their own house with strange cats!

A cat which has no owner is legally destructible by gun, poison,, or hanging; but a cat which has an owner must not be destroyed without notice. As it is, however, actionable to impose a nuisance on neighbours, the owner of a cat which harms our garden may be sued for damages.

This is well, but sueing takes time and nerve-force, and the proper remedy for many evils would be the levying a tax—however small— on cats, as dogs are taxerl. Small it should be, for a kitten is one of the few amusements of the poor, to pet and to worry, but any nominal tax would ensure the early drowning of all kittens not pretty enough to be worth the license, and that means oh! how much nocturnal peace! Every one who values his cat, keeps it, or ought to keep it, indoors at night. High-bred cats—most beautiful and inoffensive of ornaments—are delicate, and subject to bronchitis and many ills, like high-bred dogs, through exposure. High-bred cats too, it is noteworthy, are not as a rule mischievous nor predatory. Well-fed, they have no need to steal. Small-boned and smallclawed, their gardening excavations bear no comparison in horror to those of the mere cur-cat, which, like the cur-dog, is mostly an illtempered, powerful brute, with something of a fiendish element in its shrewdness and tenacity, which aids it to survive the many hardships of its miserable lot.

By-the-by, if amateurs took half the pains to breed cats that they take to breed dogs, cats would afford us similar profit and pleasure. It is hardly generally known how large a sale there is for good cats, nor what high prices they fetch in the market. Persian, French blue, Siamese, Mans, and others, to say nothing of really good English breeds (pure), are lovely house pets, with their plush coats and jewel-like eyes, and by no means incompatible with a

garden. They are affectionate; they are silent (only the cur yelps, as ‘Arry whistles in the street); they can be taught nearly all that is taught to dogs; they will beg, fetch and carry, leap high through hoops, retrieve, and be otherwise amusing. High-bred cats can be chained or caged without suffering—what common cat would bear it? Their intelligence, though different in character to a dog’s, is nearly as high, and by breeding might be variously modified.

In fact, the high-bred cat is as different a beast from the yelling mongrel as a Bayard is different from the common burglar. Even the kitchen pet-cat differs from the drawing-room pet-cat. Neglect makes the nomad cat what he is: it would be kindness to anticipate his usually violent end, and any lover of animals will agree with me that the whole breed and social status of these useful and neglected creatures would be raised (and much woe would be spared us) were they recognized by the tax-gatherer. We all value what costs us something.

XIII. “WANTON WASTE.”

Thus a very little trouble, a few seeds, a few square feet of glass, a hose, and a cat-tax might be instrumental in increasing the beauty and orderliness of towns.

It is indeed matter for regretful notice, how seldom English people of any class make the most of anything except their grievances. They “muddle away” so much that is good—waste splendid material —lose opportunities! How few of our poor keep poultry and rabbits, though five shillings a month will support a dozen of either, and they can be made so profitable! Who keeps bees? though any slum within a mile of a park might be full of hives properly conducted, and that would cheapen honey.

In France and Holland every available slip of ground is utilized for some good purpose. Our suburbs, crowded with small houses, each with its would-be “garden,” are positive miracles of slovenliness. Passing in the train, we can take stock of the back premises of row after row, where a few beans, marrows, artichokes, and other vegetables (to say nothing of a fruit tree) might be a treat to the eye, a pleasure to father and children to tend, and a help to the pot. And what meets the indignant eye?

Nothing but half-washed clothes drying, broken barrels, broken victuals, broken pipes, bottles, and cans—lumber thrown into the waste space where the humble scarlet-runner and the window garden might soon become a vigorous rival to the public-house.

To rich and poor Londoners alike, I would recall the wisdom-words, both sacred and profane, “Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost,” and “waste not, want not.”

Scribner’s Magazine …, Volume 20 (Google Books)

By George W. Cable

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ilHE man of whom I am speaking was a tallish, slim, young fellow, shaped well enough, though a trifle limp for a Louisianian in the Mississippi cavalry. Some camp wag had fastened on him the nickname of “Crackedfiddle.” Our acquaintance began more than a year before Lee’s surrender; but Gregory came out of the war without any startling record, and the main thing I tell of him occurred” some years later.

I never saw him under arms or in uniform. I met him first at the house of a planter, where I was making the most of a flesh-wound, and was, myself, in uniform simply because I hadn’t any other clothes. There were pretty girls in the. house, and as his friends and fellow-visitors—except me—wore the gilt bars of commissioned rank on their gray collars, and he, as a private, had done nothing glorious, his appearance was always in civilian’s dress. Black he wore, from head to foot, in the cut fashionable in New Orleans when the war brought fashion to a stand: coat-waist short, skirt solemnly long; sleeves and trousers small at the hands and feet, and puffed out—phew! in the middle. The whole scheme was dandyish, dashing, zou-zou; and when he appeared in it, dark, good-looking, loose, languorous, slow to smile and slower to speak, it was—confusing.

One sunset hour as I sat alone on the planter’s veranda immersed in a romance, I noticed, too late to offer any serviceable warning, this impressive black suit and its ungenerously nicknamed contents coming in at the gate unprotected. Dogs, in the South, in those times, were not the caressed and harmless creatures now so common. A Mississippi planter’s watch-dogs were kept for their vigilant and ferocious hostility to the negro of the quarters Vol.. XX.—16

and to all strangers. One of these, a powerful, notorious, bloodthirsty brute, long-bodied, deer-legged—you may possibly know that big breed the planters called the “cur-dog” and prized so highly—darted out of hiding and silently sprang at the visitor’s throat. Gregory swerved, and the brute’s fangs, whirling by his face, closed in the sleeve and rent it from shoulder to elbow. At the same time another, one of the old “bear-dog” breed, was coming as fast as the light block and chain he had to drag would allow him. Gregory neither spoke nor moved to attack or retreat. At my outcry the dogs slunk away, and he asked me, diffidently, for a thing which was very precious in those days—pins.

But he was quickly surrounded by pitying eyes and emotional voices, and was coaxed into the house, where the young ladies took his coat away to mend it. While he waited for it in my room I spoke of the terror so many brave men had of these fierce homeguards. I knew one such beast that was sired of a wolf. He heard me with downcast eyes, at first with evident pleasure, but very soon quite gravely.

“They can afford to fear dogs,” he replied, “when they’ve got no other fear.” And when I would have it that he had shown a stout heart he smiled ruefully.

“I do everything through weakness,” he soliloquized, and, taking my book, opened it as if to dismiss our theme. But I bade him turn to the preface, where we read something like this:

That the seed of heroism is in all of us; else we should not forever relish, as we do, stories of peril, temptation, and exploit Their true zest is no mere ticklement of our curiosity or wonder, but comradeship with souls that have courage in danger, faithfulness under trial, or magnanimity in triumph or defeat. We have, moreover, it went on to say, a care for human excellence in general, by reason of which we want not alone our son, or cousin, or sister, but man everywhere, the norm, man, to be strong, sweet, and true; and reading stories of such, we feel this wish rebound upon us as duty sweetened by a new hope, and a new yearning for its fulfilment in ourselves.

“In short,” said I, closing the book, “those imaginative victories of soul over circumstance become essentially ours by sympathy and emulation, don’t they?”

“O yes,” he sighed, and added an indistinct word about “spasms of virtue.” But I claimed a special charm and use for unexpected and detached heroisms, be they fact or fiction. “If adventitious virtue,” I argued, ” can spring up from unsuspected seed and without the big roots of character”

“You think,” interrupted Gregory, “there’s a fresh chance for me.”

“For all the common run of us!” I cried. “Why not? And even if there isn’t, hasn’t it a beauty and a value? Isn’t a rose a rose, on the bush or off? Gold is gold wherever you find it, and the veriest spasm of time virtue, coined into action, is true virtue, and counts. It may not work my nature’s whole redemption, but it works that way, and is just that much solid help toward the whole world’s uplift” I was young enough then to talk in that high-flown manner, and he actually took comfort in my words, confessing that it had been his way to count a good act which was not in character with its doer as something like a dead loss to everybody.

“I’m glad it’s not,” he said, “for I reckon my ruling motive is always fear.”

“Was it fear this evening ?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied, “it was. It was fear of a coward’s name, and a sort of abject horror of being one.”

“Too big a coward inside,” I laughed, “to be a good stout coward outside,” and he assented.

“Smith,” he said, and paused long, “if I were a hard drinker and should try to quit, it wouldn’t be courage that would carry me through, but fear; quaking fear of a drunkard’s life and a drunkard’s death.”

I began to reply, but kept my tongue. He read the warning accusation in my eye.

“I’m afraid so,” he responded. You can guess what we meant. “I had a strange experience once,” he presently added, abstractedly, as if reminded of it by what we had last said “I took a prisoner.”

“By the overwhelming power of fear?” I inquired.

“Partly, yes. I saw him before he saw me and I felt that if I didn’t take him he’d either take me or shoot me, so I covered him and he surrendered. We were in an old pine-clearing grown up with oak-bushes.”

“Would it have been less strange,” I inquired, “if you had been in an old oak-clearing grown up with pinebushes?”

“No, he’d have got away just the same.”

“What! you didn’t bring him in?”

“Only part of the way. Then he broke and ran.”

“And you had to shoot him?”

“No, I didn’t even shoot at him. I couldn’t, Smith; he looked so much like me. It was like seeing my own ghost. All the time I had him something kept saying to me, ‘You’re your own prisoner—you’re your own prisoner.’ And— do you know?—that thing comes back to me now every time I get into the least sort of a tight place!”

“I wish it would come to me,” I responded. A slave girl brought his coat and our talk remained unfinished until five years after the war.

II

Gregory had been brought up on the shore of Mississippi Sound, a beautiful region fruitful mainly in apathy of character. He was a skilled lover of sail-boats. When we all got back to New Orleans, paroled, and cast about for a living in the various channels “open to gentlemen,” he, largely, I think, owing to his timid notion of his worth, went into the rough business of owning and sailing a small, handsome schooner in the “Lake trade,” which, you know, includes Mississippi Sound. I married, and for some time he liked much to come and see us—on inclement evenings, when he knew we’d be

alone. He was in lore ret, as he had been when we were fellow – absentees from camp, and with the same girl. But his passion had never presumed to hope, and the girl was of too true a sort ever to thrust hope upon him. What his love lacked in courage it made up in constancy, however, and morning, noon, and night—sometimes midnight too. I venture to say—his all top patient heart bowed mutely down toward its holy city across the burning sands of his diffidence. “When another fellow stepped in and married her, he simply loved on, in the same innocent, dumb, harmless way as before. He gave himself some droll consolations. One of these was a pretty, sloop-rigged sail-boat trim and swift, on which he lavished the tendernesses he knew he should never bestow upon any living she. He named her Sweetheart; a general term; but he knew that we all knew it meant the mender of his coat By and by his visits fell off and I met him oftenest on the street Sometimes we stopped for a moment’s sidewalk chat, New Orleans fashion, and I still envied the clear bronze of his fine skin, which the rest of us had soon lost. But after a while certain changes began to show for the worse, until one day in the summer of the fifth year he tried to hurry by me, I stopped him, and was thinking what a handsome fellow he was even yet, with such a quiet, modest fineness about him, when he began, with a sudden agony of face, “My schooner’s sol 1 for debt! You know the reason; I’ve seen you read it all over me every time we have met, these twelve months—O don’t look at me!”

His slim, refined hands—he gave me both — were clammy and tremulous. “Yes,” he babbled on, “it’s a fixed fact, Smith; the cracked fiddle’s a smashed fiddle at last!”

I drew him out of the hot sun and into a secluded archway, he talking straight on with a speed and pitiful grandiloquence totally unlike him. “I’ve finished all the easy parts—the first ecstasies of pure license—the long down-hill plunge with all its mad exhilarations —the wild vanity of venturing and defying—that bigness of the soul’s experiences which makes even its anguish

seem finer than the old bitterness of tame propriety—they are all behind me, now—the valley of horrors is before! You can’t understand it, Smith. O you can’t understand”

But I did. Are we not, all, sinuers together? And, anyhow, one does not have to put himself through a whole criminal performance to apprehend its spiritual experiences. I understood all, and especially what he unwittingly betrayed even now; that deep thirst for the dramatic element in one’s own life, which, when social conformity fails to supply it becomes, to an eager soul, sin’s cunningest allurement.

I tried to talk to him. “Oregon-, that day the dogs jumped on you—you remember?—didn’t you say if ever you should reach this condition your fear might save you?”

He stared at me a moment “Do you “—a ray of humor lighted his eyes —” do you still believe in spasms of virtue?”

“Thank heaven, yes!” laughed I, and he said good-by and was gone.

I heard of him twice afterward that day. About noon some one coming into the office said: “I just now saw Crackedfiddle buying a great lot of powder and shot and fishing-tackle. Here’s a note. He says first read it and then seal it and send it to his aunt.” It read:

“Don’t look for me. You can’t find me. I’m not going to kill or hurt myself, and I’ll report again in a month.”

I delivered it in person on my way uptown, advising his kinswoman to trust him on his own terms and hope for the best. Privately, of course, I was distressed, and did not become less so when, on reaching home, my wife told me that he had been there and borrowed an arm-load of books, saying he might return some of them in a month, but would probably keep others for two. So he did ; and one evening, when he brought the last of them back, he told us fully, my wife and I—spiritual experiences and all — what had occurred to him in the interval.

The sale of the schooner had paid its debt and left him some cash over. Better yet, Sweetheart was still liiH. On the day of his disappearance she was lying at the head of the New Basin, distant but a few minutes’ walk from the spot where we met and talked. When he left me he went there. At the stores thereabout he bought a new hatchet and axe, an extra water-keg or two, and a month’s provisions. He filled all the kegs, stowed everything aboard, and by the time the afternoon had half waned was rippling down the New Canal under mule-tow with a strong lake breeze in his face.

At the lake (Pontchartrain), as the tow-line was cast off, he hoisted sail, and, skimming out by light-house and breakwater, tripped away toward Pointeaux-Herbes and the eastern skyline beyond, he and Sweetheart alone, his hand clasping hers—the tiller, that is— hour by hour, and the small waves tiptoeing to kiss her southern cheek as she leaned it away from the saucy north wind. In time the low land and then the light-house sank and vanished behind them; on the left the sun went down in the purple-black swamps of Manchac; the intervening waters turned crimson and bronze under the fairer changes of the sky, while in front of them Fort Pike Light began to glimmer through an opal haze, and by and by to draw near. It passed. From a large in-bound schooner gliding by in the twilight came, in friendly recognition, the drone of a conch-shell, the last happy salutation Sweetheart was ever to receive. Then the evening star silvered their wake through the deep Rigolets, and the rising moon met them, her and her lover, in Lake Borgne, passing the dark pines of Round Island, and hurrying on toward the white sand-keys of the Gulf.

The night was well advanced as they neared the pine-crested dunes of Cat Island, in whose lee a more cautious sailor would have dropped anchor till the morning. But to this pair every mile of these fickle waters, channel and mud-lump, snug lagoon, open sea and hidden bar, each and all, were known as the woods are known to a hunter, and, as he drew her hand closer to his side, she turned across the track of the moon and bounded into the wide south. A maze of marsh islands—huddling along that narrow, half-drowned mainland of

cypress swamp and trembling prairie which follows the Mississippi out to sea —slept, leagues away, below the western waters. In the east lay but one slender boundary between the voyager and the shoreless deep, and this was so near that from its farther edge came now and again its admonishing murmur, the surf-thunder of the open Gulf rolling forever down the prone but unshaken battle-front of the sandy Chandeleurs.

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So all night, lest wind or resolve should fail next day, he sailed. How to tell just where dawn found him I scarcely know. Somewhere in that blue wilderness, with no other shore in sight, yet not ovey three miles northeast of a “pass” between two long tide-covered sand-reefs, a ferment of delta silt—if science guesses right— had lifted higher than most of the islands behind it in the sunken west one mere islet in the shape of a broad crescent, with its outward curve to seaward and a deep, slender lagoon on the landward side filling the whole length of its bight. About half the island was flat and was covered with those strong marsh grasses for which you’ve seen cattle, on the mainland, venture so hungrily into the deep ooze. The rest, the southern half, rose in dazzling white dunes twenty feet or more in height and dappled green with patches of ragged sod and thin groups of dwarfed and wind-flattened shrubs. As the sun rose, Sweetheart and her sailor glided through a gap in the sand reef that closed the lagoon in, luffed, and as a great cloud of nesting pelicans rose from their dirty town on the flats, ran softly upon the inner sands, where a rillet, a mere thread of sweet liater, trickled across the white beach. Here he waded ashore with the utensils and provisions, made a fire, washed down a hot breakfast of bacon and pone with a pint of black coffee, returned to his boat and slept until afternoon. Wakened at length by the canting of the sloop with the fall of the tide, he rose, rekindled his fire, cooked and ate again, smoked two pipes, and then, idly shouldering his grin, made a long half-circuit of the beach to south and eastward, mounted the highest dune and gazed far and wide.

Nowhere on sand or sea under the illimitable dome was there sign of human presence on the earth. Nor would there likely be any. Except by misadventure no ship on any course ever showed more than a topmast above this horizon. Of the hunters and fishermen who roamed the islands nearer shore, with the Chandeleurs, the stormdrowned Grand Gosiers and the deepsea fishing grounds beyond, few knew the way hither, and fewer ever sailed it. At the sound of his gun the birds of the beach—sea-snipe, curlew, plover— showed the whites of their wings for an instant and fell to feeding again. Save when the swift Wilderness—you remember the revenue cutter—chanced this way on her devious patrol, only the steamer of the light-house inspection service, once a month, came up out of the southwest through yonder channel and passed within hail on her way from the stations of the Belize to those of Mississippi Sound; and he knew—had known before he left the New Basin— that she had just gone by here the day before.

But to Gregory this solitude brought no quick distress. “With a bird or two at his belt he turned again toward his dying fire. Once on the way he paused, as he came in sight of the sloop, and gazed upon it with a faintness of heart he had not known since his voyage began. However, it presently left him, and hurrying down to her side he began to unload her completely, and to make a permanent camp in the lee of a ridge of sand crested with dwarfed casino bushes, well up from the beach. The night did not stop him, and by the time he was tired enough for sleep he had lightened the boat of everything stowed into her the previous day. Before sunrise he was at work again, removing her sandbags, her sails, flags, cordage, even her spars. The mast would have been heavy for two men to handle, but he got it out whole, though not without hurting one hand so painfully that he had to lie off for over two hours. But by mid-day he was busy

again, and when at low water poor Sweetheart comfortably turned upon her side on the odorous, clean sand, it was never more to rise. The keen, new axe of her master ended her days.

“No! O no!” he said to me, “call it anything but courage! I felt—I don’t want to be sentimental — I*m sure I was not sentimental at the time, but — I felt as though I were a murderer. All I knew was that it had to’ be done. I trembled like a thief. I had to stoop twice before I could take up the axe, and I was so cold my teeth chattered. When I lifted the first blow I didn’t know where it was going to fall But it struck as true as a die, and then I flew at it. I never chopped so fast or clean in my life. I wasn’t fierce ; I was as full of self-delight as an overpraised child. And yet when something delayed me an instant I found I was still shaking. Courage,” said he, ” O no; I know what it was, and I knew then. But I had no choice; it was my last chance.”

I told him that any one might have thought him a madman chopping up his last chance.

“Maybe so,” he replied, “but I wasn’t; it was the one sane thing I could do ;” and he went on to tell me that when night fell the tallest fire that ever leapt from those sands blazed from Sweetheart’s piled ribs and keel.

It was proof to him of his having been shrewd, he said, that for many days he felt no repentance of the act nor was in the least lonely. There was an infinite relief merely in getting clean away from the huge world of men, with all its exactions and temptations and the myriad rebukes and rebuffs of its crass propriety and thrift. He had endured solitude enough in it; the secret lonelineHS of a spiritual bankruptcy- Here was life begun over, with none to make new debts to except nature and himself, and no besetments but his own circumvented propensities. What humble, happy masterhood! Each dawn he rose from dreamless sleep and leaped into the surf as into the embrace of a new existence. Every hour of day brought some unfrettin^ task or hale pastime. With sheath-knife and sail-needle lie made of his mainsail a handsome tent, using the maiuboom for his ridge-pole, and finishing it just in time for the first night of rain—when, nevertheless, he lost all his coffee!

He did not waste toil. He hoarded its opportunities as one might husband salt on the mountains or water in the desert, and loitering in well-calculated idleness between thoughts many and things of sea and shore innumerable, filled the intervals from labor to labor with gentle entertainment. Skyward ponderings by night, canny discoveries under foot by day, quickened his mind and sight to vast and to minute significances, until they declared an Author known to him hitherto only by tradition, and every acre of the barren islet grew fertile in beauties and mysteries, and a handful of sand at the door of his tent held him for hours guessing the titanic battles that had ground the invincible quartz to that crystal meal and fed it to the sea.

I may be more rhetorical than he was, but he made all the more of these conditions while experiencing them, because he knew they could not last out the thirty days, nor half the thirty, and took modest comfort in a will strong enough to meet all present demands, well knowing there was one exigency yet to arise, one old usurer still to be settled with who had not yet brought in his dun.

IV

It came — began to come — in the middle of the second week. At its familiar approach he felt no dismay, save a certain inert dismay that it brought none. Three, four, five times he went bravely to the rill, drowned his thirst and called himself satisfied; but the second day was worse than the first; the craving was better than the rill’s brief cure of it, and once he rose straight from drinking of the stream and climbed the dune to look for a sail.

He strove in vain to labor. The pleasures of toil were as stale as those of idleness. His books were put aside with a shudder, and he walked abroad with a changed gait; the old extortioner was levying on his nerves. And

on his brain. He dreamed that night of war-times; found himself commander of a whole battery of heavy guns, and lo, they were all quaker-cannon. When he would have fled monstrous terrors met him at every turn, till he woke and could sleep no more. Dawn widened over sky and sea, but its vast beauty only mocked the castaway. All day long he wandered up and down and along and across his glittering prison, no tiniest speck of canvas, no faintest wreath of smoke, on any water’s edge; the horror of his isolation growing—growing—like the monsters of his dream, and his whole nature wild with a desire which was no longer a mere physical drought, but a passion of the soul, that gave the will an unnatural energy and set at naught every true interest of earth and heaven. Again and again he would have shrieked its anguish, but the first note of his voice rebuked him to silence as if he had espied himself in a glass. He fell on his face voiceless, writhing, and promised himself, nay, pledged creation and its Creator, that on the day of his return to the walks of men he would drink the cup of madness and would drink it thenceforth till he died.

When night came again he paced the sands for hours and then fell to work to drag by long and toiling obliques to a favorable point on the southern end of the island the mast he had saved, and to raise there a flag of distress. In the shortness of his resources he dared not choose the boldest exposures, where the first high wind would cast it down; but where he placed it it could be seen from every quarter except the north, and any sail approaching from that direction was virtually sure to come within hail even of the voice.

Day had come again as he left the finished task, and once more from the highest wind-built ridge his hungering eyes swept the round sea’s edge. But he saw no sail. Nerveless and exhausted he descended to the southeastern beach and watched the morning brighten. The breezes, that for some time had slept, fitfully revived, and the sun leaped from the sea and burned its way through a low bank of dark and ruddy clouds with so unusual a splendor that the beholder was in some degree both quickened and tranquillized. He could even play at self-command, and in child fashion bound himself not to mount the dunes strain for a northern look within an hour. This southern half-circle must suffice. Indeed, unless these idle zephyrs should amend, no sail could in that time draw near enough to notice any signal he could offer.

Playing at self-command gave him some earnest of it In a whim of the better man he put off his clothes and sprang into the breakers. He had grown chill, but a long wrestle with the surf warmed his blood, and as he reclothed himself and with a better step took his way along the beach toward his tent a returning zest of manhood refreshed his spirit. The hour was up, but in a kind of equilibrium of impulses and with much emptiness of mind, he let it lengthen on, made a tire, and for the first time in two days cooked food. He ate and still tarried. A brand in his camp fire, a piece from the remnant of his boat, made beautiful names. He idly cast in another and was pleased to find himself sitting there instead of gazing his eyes out for sails that never rose into view. He watched a third brand smoke and blaze. And then, as tamely as if the new impulse were only another part of a continued abstraction, he arose and once more climbed the sandy hills. The highest was some distance from his camp. At one point near its top a brief northeastward glimpse of the marsh’s outer edge and the blue waters beyond showed at least that nothing had come near enough to raise the pelicans. But the instant his sight cleared the crown of the ridge he rushed forward, threw up his arms, and lifted his voice in a long, imploring yell. Hardly two miles away, her shapely canvas leaning and stiffening in the augmented breeze, a small yacht had just gone about, and with twice the speed at which she must have approached was hurrying back straight into the north.

The frantic man dashed back and forth along the crest, tossing his arms, waving his Madras handkerchief, curs

ing himself for leaving his gun so far behind, and again and again repeating his vain ahoys in wilder and wilder alternations of beseeching and rage. The lessening craft flew straight on. no ear in her skilled enouirh to catch the distant cry. and no eye alert enough to scan the dwindling sand-hills. He ceased to call, but still, with heavynotes of distress to himself, waved and waved, now here, now there, while the sail grew smaller and smaller. At length he stopped this also and only stood gazing. Almost on first sight of the craft he had guessed that the men in her had taken alarm at the signs of changing weather, and seeing the freshening smoke of his fire hail also inferred that earlier sportsmen were already on the island. Oh, if he could have tired one shot when she was nearest! But already she was as hopelessly gone as though she were even now below the horizon. Suddenly he turned and ran down to his camp. Not for the gun; not in any new hope of signalling the yacht. No, no; a raft! a raft! Deliverance or destruction, it should be at his own hand and should wait no longer!

A raft forthwith he set about to make. Some stout portions of his boat were still left Tough shrubs of the sandhills furnished treunels and suppler parts. Of ropes there was no lack. The mast was easily dragged down again to the beach to be once more a mast, and in nervous haste, yet with skill and thoroughness, the tent was ripped up and remade into a sail, and even a rude centreboard was rigged in order that one might tack against unfavorable winds.

Winds, at nightfall, when the thing began to be near completion, there were none. The day’s sky had steadily withdrawn its favor. The sun shone as it sank into the waves, but in the northwest and southeast dazzling thunderheads swelled from the sea’s line high into the heavens, and in the early dusk began with silent kindlings to challenge each other to battle. As night swiftly closed down the air grew unnaturally still. From the toiler’s brow, worse than nt noon, the sweat rolled off, as at last ho brought his work to a close by the glare of his leaping camp-tire. Now, unless

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he meant only to perish, he must once more eat and sleep while he might. Then let the storm fall; the moment it was safely over and the wind in the right quarter he would saiL As for the thirst which had been such torture while thwarted, now that it ruled unchallenged, it was purely a wild, glad zeal as full of method as of diligence. But first he must make his diminished provisions and his powder safe against the elements; and this he did, covering them with a water-proof stuff and burying them in a northern slope of sand.

He awoke in the small hours of the night. The stars of the zenith were quenched. Blackness walled and roofed him in close about his crumbled fire, save when at shorter and shorter intervals and with more and more deafening thunders the huge clouds lit up their own forms, writhing one upon another, and revealed the awe-struck sea and ghostly sands waiting breathlessly below. He rose to lay on more fuel, and while he was in the act the tornado broke upon him. The wind, as he had forecast, came out of the southeast In an instant it was roaring and hurtling against the farther side of his island rampart like the charge of a hundred thousand horse and tossing the sand of the dunes like blown hair into the northwest, while the rain in one wild deluge lashed the frantic sea and weltering lagoon as with the whips of the Furies.

He had kept the sail on the beach for a protection from the storm, but before he could crawl under it he was as wet as though he had been tossed up by the deep, and yet was glad to gain its cover from the blinding floods and stinging sand. Here he lay for more than an hour, the rage of the tempest continually growing, the heavens in a constant pulsing glare of lightnings, their terrific thunders smiting and bellowing round and round its echoing vault, and the very island seeming at times to stagger back and recover again as it braced itself against the fearful onsets of the wind. Snuggling in his sail-cloth burrow, he complacently recalled an earlier storm like this, which he and Sweetheart, the only other time they ever were here, had tranquilly weath

ered in this same lagoon. On the mainland, in that storm, cane- and rice-fields had been laid low and half destroyed, houses had been unroofed, men had been killed. A woman and a boy, under a pecan-tree, were struck by lightning; and three men who had covered themselves with a tarpaulin on one of the wharves in New Orleans were blown with it into the Mississippi, poor fellows, and were drowned ; a fact worthy of second consideration in the present juncture.

This second thought had hardly been given it before he crept hastily from his refuge and confronted the gale in quick alarm. The hurricane was veering to southward. Let it shift but a point or two more, and its entire force would sweep the lagoon and its beach. Before long the change came. The mass of canvas at his feet leapt clear of the ground and fell two or three yards away. He sprang to seize it, but in the same instant the whole storm — rain, wind, and sand—whirled like a troop of fiends round the southern end of the island, the ceaseless lightnings showing the way, and came tearing and howling up its hither side. The white sail lifted, bellied, rolled, fell, vaulted into the air, fell again, tumbled on, and at the foot of a dune stopped until its wind-buffeted pursuer had almost overtaken it. Then it fled again, faster, faster, higher, higher up the sandy slope to its top, caught and clung an instant on some unseen bush, and then with one mad bound into the black sky, unrolled, widened like a phantom, and vanished forever.

Gregory turned in desperation, and in the glare of the lightning looked back toward his raft Great waves were rolling along and across the slender reef in wide obliques and beating themselves to death in the lagoon, or sweeping out of it again seaward at its more northern end. On the dishevelled crest of one he saw his raft, and on another its mast. He could not look a second time. The flying sand blinded him and cut the blood from his face. He could only cover his eyes and crawl under the bushes in such poor lee as he could find; and there, with the first lull of the storm, heavy with exhaustion and despair, he fell asleep and slept on til far into the day. When he awoke the tempest was over.

Even more completely the tumult within him was quieted. He rose and stool forth mute in spirit as in speech; humbled, yet content, in the consciousness that having miserably failed first to save himself and then to rue himself back to destruction, the hurricane had been his deliverer. It had spared his supplies, his ammunition, his weapons, only hiding them deeper under the dune sands; but scarce a vestige of his camp remained and of his raft nothing, and as once more from the highest sand-ridge he looked down upon the sea weltering in the majestic after-heavings of its passion, at the eastern beach booming under the shock of its lofty rollers, and then into the sky still gray with the endless flight of southward-hurrying scud, he felt the stir of a new attachment to them and his wild prison, and pledged alliance with them thenceforth.

Hebe, in giving me his account, Gregory asked me if that sounded sentimental. I said no, and thereupon he actually tried to apologize to me as a professional story-teller, for having had so few deep feelings in the moments where the romancists are supposed to place them. I told him what I had once seen a mechanic do on a steep, slated roof nearly a hundred feet from the pavement. He had faced around from his work, which was close to the ridge-tiles, probably to kick off the shabby shoes he had on, when some hold failed him and he began to slide toward the eaves. We people in the street below fairly moaned our horror, but he didn’t utter a sound. He held back with all his skill, one leg thrust out in front, the other drawn up with the knee to his breast, and his hands flattened beside him on the slates, but he came steadily on down till his forward foot passed over the eaves and his heel caught on the tin gutter. Then he stopped. We held our breath below. He slowly and cautiously threw off one

shoe, then the other, and then turned, clinibed back up the roof and resumed his work. And we two or three witnesses down in the street didn’t think any less of him because he did so without anv show of our glad emotion.

‘O.’if I’d hail that fellows nerve,” said Gregorv, ■• that would be another thing!”

My wife and I smiled at each other. “How would it be ‘another thing ?” we asked. ‘• Did you not quietly get up and begin life over again as if nothing had occurred?”

‘■ There wasn’t anything else to do,” he replied, with a smile. “The f ings came later, too, in an easy soi■: gradual way. I never could quite:.:. ke out how men get such clear notion ■ >’ what they call * Providence,’ but, just the same. I know by experience there’s all the difference of peace and misery, or life and death, whether you’re in partnership with the things that help the world on, or with those that hold it back.”

“But with that feeling,” my wife asked, “did not your longing for our human world coutinue?”

“No,” he replied, “but I got a new liking for it—although, you understand, / never had anything against it, of course. It’s too big and strong for me, that’s all; and that’s my fault. Your man on that slippery roof kicking his shoes off is a sort of parable to me. If your hand or your foot offend you and you have to cut it off. that’s a physical disablement, and bad enough. But when your gloves and your shoes are too much for you, and you have to pluck them off and cast them from you, you find each one is a great big piece of the civilized world, and you hardly know how much you did like it, till you’ve lost it And still, it’s no use longing, when you know your limitations, and I saw I’d got to keep my world trimmed down to where I could run barefooted on the sand.”

He told us that now he began for the first time since coming to the island, to find his books his host source, of interest and diversion. He learned, he said, a way of reading by which sea, sky, book, island, and absent humanity, all seemed parts of one whole, and all to speak together in one harmony, while they toiled together for one harmony some day to be perfected. Not all books, nor even all good books, were equally good for that effect, he thought, and the best

“You might not think it,” he said, “but the best was a Bible I’d chanced to carry along;” he didn’t know precisely what kind, but “just one of these ordinary Bibles you see lying around in people’s houses.” He extolled the psalms and asked my wife if she’d ever noticed the beauty of the twenty-third. She smiled and said she believed she had.

“Then there was one,” he went on, “beginning, ‘Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too wonderful for me;’ and by and by it says, ‘Surely, I have quieted myself as a child that is weaned: my soul is even as a weaned child.'”

One day, after a most marvellous-sunset, he had been reading, he said, “that long psalm with twenty-two parts in it— a hundred and seventy-six verses.” He had intended to read “Lord, my heart is not haughty” after it, though the light was fast failing, but at the hundred and seventy-sixth verse he closed the book. Thus he sat in the nearly motionless air, gazing on the ripples of the lagoon as, now singly, and now by twos or threes, they glided up the beach tinged with the colors of parting day as with a grace of resignation, and sank into the grateful sands like the lines of this last verse sinking into his heart; now singly—” I have gone astray like a lost sheep;” and now by twos— “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; save thy servant;” or by threes—”I have gone astray like a lost sheep; save thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.”

“I shouldn’t tell that,” he said to us, “if I didn’t know so well how little it counts for. But I knew at the time that when the next day but one should bring the light-house Bteamer I shouldn’t be any more fit to go ashore, to stay, than a jelly-fish.” We agreed, he and I (my wife dissenting) that there can be as wide a distance between fine feelings and faithful doing as, he said, ” be

tween listening to the band and charging a battery.”

‘On the islet the night deepened. The moon had not risen, and the stars only glorified the dark, as it, in turn, revealed the unearthly beauties of a phosphorescent sea. It was one of those rare hours in which the deep confessed the amazing numbers of its own living and swarming constellations. Not a fish could leap or dart, not a sinuous thing could turn, but it became an animate torch. Every quick movement was a gleam of green fire. No drifting, flaccid life could pulse so softly along but it betrayed itself in lambent outlines. Each throb of the water became a beam of light, and every ripple that widened over the strand—still whispering, “I have gone astray “—was edged with luminous pearls.

In an agreeable weariness of frame, untroubled in mind, and counting the night too beautiful for slumber he reclined on the dry sands with an arm thrown over a small pile of fagots which he had spent the day in gathering from every part of the island to serve his need for the brief remainder of his stay. In this search he had found but one piece of his boat, a pine board. This he had been glad to rive into long splinters and bind together again as a brand, with which to signal the steamer if—contrary to her practice, I think he said—she should pass in the night. And so, without a premonition of drowsiness, he was presently asleep, with the hours radiantly folding and expiring one upon another like the ripples on the beach.

When he came to himself he was on his feet. The moon was high, his fire was smouldering; his heart was beating madly and his eyes were fixed on the steamer, looming large, moving at full speed, her red light showing, her green light hid, and her long wake glowing with comet fire. In a moment she would be passing. It was too late for beacon-flame or torch. He sprang for his gun, and mounting the first low rise fired into the air, once !—twice !— and shouted, “Help !—help!”

She kept straight on. She was passing, she was passing! In trembling haste he loaded and fired again, again wailed oat his ay for help, and still she kept her speed. He had loaded for the third discharge, still frantically calling the while, and was lifting his sun to fire when he saw the white Light at her foremast-head becin to draw nearer to the red light at her waist and knew she wa% turning. He fired, shouted, and tried to load again; but as her green light brightened into riew beside the red. he dropped his gun and leaped and crouched and laughed and wept for joy.

“Whr, Gregory!” the naval lieutenant cried, as the castaway climbed from the steamers boat to her deck. “Why. you blasted old cracked fiddle! what in”

•• Right, the first guess!” laughed Gregory. “there’s where I’ve been!” and in the cabin he explained alL

‘•The fiddle’s mended.” he concluded. “You can play a tune on it—by being careful”

•• But what’s your tune ?” asked his hearer: “you cannot go back to that island”

“Yes, 111 be on it in a week—with a schooner-load of cattle. I can get them on credit. Going to raise cattle there as a regular business. They’ll fatten in that marsh like blackbirds.”

True enough, before the week -was up the mended fiddle was playine its tune. It was not until Gregory’s second return from his island that he came to see us and told us his simple story. We asked him how it was that the steamer, that first time, had come so much earlier than she generally did.

“She didn’t,” he replied. “I had miscounted one day.”

“Don’t you,” asked my wife, who woidd have liked a more religious tone in Gregory’s recital, “don’t you have

trouble to keep run of your Sabbaths away out there alone ? *

“Why *” — he smiled — *• it’s always Sunday there. Here almost everybody feels duty bound to work harder than somebody else, or else make somebody else work harder than he, and you need a day every now and then for Sunday— or Sabbath, at least. Oh. I suppose it’s all one in the end, isn’t it? You take yours in a pill. I take mine in a powder. Not that it’s the least bit like a dose, however, except for the good it does.”

“And you’re really prospering, even in a material way!” I said.

“Yes.” he answered. “0 yes; the island’s already too small for us.”

“It’s certainly very dangerously exposed.” said my wife, and I guessed her thought was on Last Island, which, you remember, though very large and populous, had been, within our recollection, totally submerged, with dreadful loss of life.

•■Oyes,” he responded, “there’s always something, wherever you are. One of these days souie storm’s going to roll the sea clean over the whole thing.”

“Then, why don’t you move to a bigger island closer inshore?” she asked.

“I’m afraid,” said Gregory, and smiled.

“Afraid!’ said my wife, incredulously.

“Yes,” he responded. “I’m afraid my prisoner!! get away fro in me.”

As his hand closed over hers in goodby I saw, what he could not, that she had half a notion to kiss it. I told her so when he was gone, and kissed hers —for him.

“I don’t care,” she said, dreamily, as it lingered in mine, “I’m glad I mended his coat for him that time.”

The Living Age, Volume 39 (Google Books)

DUCK-SHOOTING ADVENTURE UPON THE CHESAPEAKE.

Of the two dozen species of American wild-ducks, none has a wider celebrity than that known as the canvas-back; even the eider-duck is less thought of, as the Americans care little for beds of down. But the juicy, fine-flavored flesh of the canvas-back is esteemed by all classes of people; and epicures prize it above that of all other winged creatures, with the exception, perhaps, of the reed-bird or rice-bunting, and the prairiehen. These last enjoy a celebrity almost, if not altogether equal. The prairie-hen, however, is the bon tnorceau of western epicures; while the canvas-back is only to be found in the great cities of the Atlantic. The reedbird — the American representative of the ortolan — is also found in the same markets with the canvas-back. The flesh of all three of these birds — although the birds themselves are of widely different families — is really of the most delicious kind: it would be hard to say which of them is the greatest favorite. The canvas-back is not a large duck, rarely exceeding three pounds in weight. Its color is very similar to the pochard of Europe; its head is a uniform deep chestnut, its breast black; while the back and upper part of the wings present a surface of bluishgray, so lined and mottled as to resemble — though very slightly, I think — the texture of canvas: hence the trivial name of the bird.

Like most of the water-birds of America, the canvas-back is migratory. It proceeds in spring to the cold countries of the Hudson’s Bay territory, and returns southward in October, appearing in immense flocks along the Atlantic shores. It does not spread over the freeli-water lakes of the United States, but confines itself to three or four well-known haunts, the principal of which is the great Chesapeake Bay. This preference for the Chesapeake Bay is easily accounted for, as here its favorite food is found in the greatest abundance. Hound the mouths of the rivers that run into this bay, there are extensive shoals of brackish water; these favor the growth of a certain plant of the genus vallisneria — a grass-like plant, standing several feet out of the water, with deep green leaves, and stemless, and having a white and tender root. On this root, which is of such a char-acter as has given the plant the trivial name of wild celery, the canvas-back feeds exclusively; for wherever it is not to be found, neither does the bird make its appearance. Diving fur it, and bringing it up in its bill, the canvas-back readily breaks off the long tanceolato leaves, which float off, either to be

eaten by another species — the pochard or

to form immense banks of wrack, that are thrown up against the adjacent shores. It is to the roots of the wild celery that the flesh of the canvas-back owes its esteemed Savor, causing it to be in such demand that very often a pair of these ducks will bring three dollars in the markets ot New York and Philadelphia. When the finest turkey can be had for less than a third of that sum, some idea may be formed of the superior estimation in which the web-footed favorites are held.

Of course, shooting the canvas-back duck is extensively practised, not only as an amusement, but as a professional occupation. Various means are employed to slaughter these birds: decoys by means of dogs, duck-boats armed with guns that resemble infernalmachines, and disguises of every possible kind. The birds themselves are extremely shy; and a shot at them is only obtained by great ingenuity and after considerable dodging. They are excellent divers; and when only wounded, almost always make good their escape. Their shyness is overcome by their curiosity. A dog placed upon the shore, near where they happen to be, and trained to run backwards and forwards, will almost always seduce them within shot. Should the dog himself not succeed, a red rag wrapped around bis body, or tied to his tail, will generally bring about the desired result. There are times, however, when the ducks have been much shot at, that even this decoy fails of success.

On account of the high price the canvasbacks bring in the market, they are pursued by the hunters with great assiduity, and are looked upon as a source of much profit. So important has this been considered, that in the international treaties between the states bordering upon the Chesapeake, there are several clauses or articles relating to them that limit the right of shooting to certain parties. An infringement of this right, some three or flfcir years ago, led to serious collisions between the gunners of Philadelphia and Baltimore. So far was the dispute carried, that schooners armed, and filled with armed men, cruised for some time on the waters of the Chesapeake, and all the initiatory steps of a little war were taken by both parties. The interference of the general government prevented what would have proved, had it been left to itself, a very sanguinary affair.

Staying for some days at the house of a planter near the mouth of a small river that runs into the Chesapeake, I felt inclined to have a shot at the far-famed canvas-backs. I had often eaten of these birds, but had never shot one, or even seen them in their natural habitat. 1 was, therefore, anxious to try my hand upon them, and I accordingly set out one morning for that purpose. My friend lived upon the bank of the river, some distance above tide-water. As the wild celery grows only in brackish water — that is, neither in the salt sea itself nor yet in the freshwater rivers — I had to pass down the little stream a mile or more before I came to the proper place for finding the ducks. I wCDt in a small skiff, with no other companion than an ill-favored cur-dog, with which I had been furnished, and which was represented to me as one of the best duck-dogs in the country. My friend, having business elsewhere, unfortunately could not upon that day give me his company; but I knew something of the place, and being au fait in most of the dodges of duck-hunting, I fancied I was quite able to take care of myself.

Floating and rowing by turns, I soon came in sight of the bay and the wild-celery fields, and also of flocks of water-fowl of different species, among which I could recognize the pochards, the canvas-backs, and the common American widgeon (Anas Americana). Seeking a convenient place near the mouth of the stream, I landed; and, tying the skiff to some weeds, proceeded in search of a cover. This was soon found — some bushes favored me; and, having taken my position, I set the dog to his work. The brute, however, took but little notice of my words and gestures of encouragement. I fancied that lie had a wild and frightened look, but I attributed this to my being partially a stranger to him; and was in hopes that, as soon as we became- better acquainted, he would work in a different manner. 1 was disappointed, however, as, do what I might, he would not go near the water, nor would he perform the trick of running to and fro which I had been assured by my friend he would be certain to do. On the contrary, he cowered among the bushes, near where I had stationed myself, and seemed unwilling to move out of them. Two or three times, when I dragged him forward, and motioned him toward the water, he rushed back again, and ran under the brushwood.

I was exceedingly provoked with this conduct of the dog, the more so that a flock of canvas-backs, consisting of several thousands, was seated upon the water not more than half a mile from the shore. -Had my dog done his duty, I have no doubt they might hare been brought within range; and, calculating upon thin, I had made sure of a noble shot. My expectations, however, were defeated by the waywardness of the dog, and I saw there was no hope of doing anything with him. Having arrived at this conclusion, after some hours spent to no purpose, I rose from my cover, mi marched back to the skiff. I did not even motion the wretched cur to follow me;

I should have rowed off without him, risking the chances of my friend’s displeasure, but it pleased the animal himself to trot after

me without invitation, and, on arriving at the boat, to leap voluntarily into it. I was really so provoked with the brute, that I felt much inclined to pitch him out again. My vexation, however, gradually left me; and I stood up in the skiff, turning over in my mind what course I should pursue next.

I looked toward the flock of canvas-backs. It was a tantalizing sight. They sat upon the water as light as cork, and as close together as sportsman could desire for a shot. A well-aimed discharge could not have failed to kill a score of them at least. Was there no way of approaching them? This question I had put to myself for the twentieth time at least, without being able to answer it to my satisfaction.

An idea at length flitted across my brain. I had often approached common mallards by concealing my boat under branches or furze, and then floating down upon them, impelled either by the wind or the current of a stream. Might not this also succeed with the canvasbacks? I resolved upon making the experiment. The flock was in a position to enable me to do so. They were to the leeward of a sedge of the vallisneria. The wind would carry my skiff through this; and the green bushes with which I intended to disguise it would not be distinguished from the sedge, which was also green. The thing was feasible. I deemed it so. I set about cutting some leafy branches that grew near, and tying them along the gunwales of my little craft. In less than half an hour, I pushed her from the shore; and no one at a distance would have taken her for aught else than a floating raft of brushwood.

I now pulled quietly out until I had got exactly to windward of the ducks, at about half a mile’s distance from the edge of the flock. I then took in the paddles, and permitted the skiff to glide before the wind. I took the precaution to place myself in such a manner that I was completely hidden, while through the branches I commanded a view of the surface on any side I might wish to look. The bushes acted as a sail, and I was soon drifted down among the plants of the wild celery. I feared that this might stay my progress, as the breeze was light, and might not carry me through. But the sward, contrary to what is usual, was thin at the place whore the skiff had entered, and I felt, to my satisfaction, that I was moving, though slowly, in the right direction. I remember that the heat annoyed me at the time. It was the month of November; but it was that peculiar season known in America as ” Indian sumuter,” and the heat was excessive — not under 90 degrees, I am certain. The shrubbery that encircled me prevented a breath of air from reaching my body; and the rays of the noonday sun fell almost vertically in that southern latitude, scorching me as I lay along the bottom of the bout. Under other circumstances, I should not have liked to undergo such a rousting; but, with the prospect of a splendid shot before me, I endured it as best I could.

The skiff was nearly an hour in pushing its way through the field of vallisnerio, and once or twice it remained for a considerable time motionless. A stronger breeze, however, would spring up, and then the sound of the reeds rubbing the sides of the boat would gratefully admonish me that I was again moving ahead. I saw, at length, to my great gratification, that I was approaching the selvage of the sedge, and, moreover, that the flock itself was moving, as it were, to meet me! Many of the birds were diving and feeding in the direction of the skiff. I lay watching them with interest. I saw that the canvas-backs were accompanied by another species of a very different color from themselves: this was the Amerioan widgeon. It was a curious sight to witness the constant warfare that was carried on between these two species of birds. The widgeon is but a poor diver, while the canvas-back is one of the very l)est. The widgeon, however, is equally fond of the roots of the wild celery with his congener; but he has no means of obtaining them except by robbing the latter. Being a smaller and less powerful bird, he is not able to do this openly; and it was curious to observe the means by which he effected his purpose. It was as follows: When the Canvas-back descends, he must perforce remain some moments under water. It requires time to seize hold of the plant, and pluck it up by the roots. In consequence of this, he usually reaches tho Biirface in a state of half-blindness, holding the luscious morsel in his bill. The widgeon has observed him going down, and, calculating to a nicety the spot where ho will reappear, seats himself in readiness. The moment the other emerges, and before he can fully recover his sight or his senses, the active spoliator makes a dash, seizes the celery in his horny mandibles, and makes off with it as fast us his webbed feet can propel him. The canvas-back, although chagrined at being plundered in this impudent manner, knows that pursuit would be idle, and, setting the root down as lost, draws a fresh breath, and dives for another. I noticed in the flock the continual occurrence of such scenes.

A third species of birds drew my attention: these were the pochards, or, as they are termed by the gunners of tho Chesapeake, redheads (Fuligula erythroccphalus). Those creatures bear a very great resemblance to the oanvas-backs, and can hardly be distinguished except by their bills; those of the former being concave along the upper surface, while the bills of the canvas-backs exhibit a nearly ■ ‘I-li^’.it lino. I saw that the pochards did

not interfere with cither of the other species, contenting themselves with feeding upon wli.it neither of the others c.ired for — the green leaves of the vallisneria, which, after bein^ stripped of their roots, were floating in quantities on the surface of the water. Yet thess pochards are almost as much prized for the table as their cousins, the canvas-backs; and, indeed, they are often put off for the latter by the poulterers of Xiw York and Philadelphia. Those who would buy a real canvas-back should know something of natural history. The form and color of the bill would serve as a criterion to prevent their being deceived. In the pochard, the bill is of a bluish color; that of the canvas-buck is dark-green: moreover, the eye of the pochard is yellow, while that of its congener is fiery red.

These thoughts were banished from my mind, on perceiving that I had at last drifted within range of a thick clump of the ducks. Nothing now remained hut to poke my gun noiselessly through the bushes, set the cocks of both barrels, take aim, and fire. It was my intention to follow the usual plan — that is, fire one barrel at the birds while sitting, and give them the second us they rose upon the wing. This intention was carried out the moment after; and I had the gratification of seeing some fifteen or twenty ducks strewed over the water, at my service. The rest of the flock rose into the heavens, and the clapping of their wings filled the air with a noise that resembled thunder. I say that there appeared to have been fifteen or twenty killed; how many I never knew: I never laid my hands upon a single bird of them. I became differently occupied, and with a matter that soon drove canvas-backs, and widgeons, and pochards, as clean out of my head as if no such creatures had ever existed.

While drifting through the sedge, my attention had several times been .ttracted by what appeared to be strange conduct on the part of my canine companion. He lay cowering in the bottom of the boat near the l>ow, and half covered by the bushes: but every now and then he would start to his feet, look wildly around, utter a strange whimpering, and then resume his crouching attitude. I noticed, moreover, that at intervals he trembled as if he was about to shake out his teeth. All this had caused me wonder — nothing more. I was too much occupied in watching the game, to speculate upon causes ; I believed, if I formed any belief on the subject, that these manoeuvres were caused by fear; that the cur had never been to sea, and that he was now either sea-sick or sea-seared. This explanation had hitherto satisfied me, and I had thought no more upon the matter. I had scarcely delivered my second barrel, however, when my attention was anew attracted to the dog; and this timo was so arrested, that in ■ •tie half-second I thought of nothing else. ‘He animal had arisen, and stood within three feet of me, whining hideously. His eyes glared upon me with a wild and unnatural expression, his tongue lolled out, and saliva fell copiously from his lips. The dog was mad!

I saw that the dog was mad, as certainly as I saw the dog. I had seen mad dogs before, and knew the symptoms well. It was hydrophobia of the most dangerous character. Fear, quick and sudden, came over me. Fear is a tame word; horror, I should call it; and the phrase would not be too strong to express my sensations at that moment. 1 knew myself to be in a situation of extreme peril, and I saw not the way out of it. Death — death painful and horrid — appeared to be nigh, appeared to confront me, glaring from out the eyes of the hideous brute.

Instinct had caused me to put myself in an attitude of defence. My first instinct was a false one. I raised my gun, at the same moment manipulating the lock, with the design of cocking her. In the confusion of terror, I had even forgotten that both barrels were empty, that I had just scattered their contents in the sea. I thought of reloading; but a movement of the dog towards me showed that that would be a dangerous experiment; and a third thought or instinct directed me to turn the piece in my hand, and defend myself, if necessary, with the butt. This instinct was instantly obeyed, and in a second’s time I held the piece clubbed and ready to strike. I had retreated backward until I stood in the stern of the skiff. The dog had hitherto lain close up to the bow, but, after the shots, he had sprung up and taken a position nearer the centre of the boat. In fact, he had been within biting distance of me before I had noticed his madness. The position, into which I had thus half-involuntarily thrown myself, offered me but a trifling security.

Any one who has ever rowed an American stiff will remember that these little vessels are ” crank ” to an extreme degree. Although boat-shaped above, they are without keels, and a rude step will turn them bottom upward in an instant. Even to stand upright in them requires careful balancing; but to fight a mad doginone, without being oitten, would require the skill and adroitness of an acrobat. With all my caution, as I half-stood, half-crouched in the stern, the skiff rocked from side to side, and I was in danger of being pitched out. Should the dog spring at me, Iknew that any violent exertion to fend him off would either cause me to be precipitated into the water or would upset the boat—a still more dreadful alternative. These thoughts did not occupy half the time I have taken to describe them. Short, however, as that time was. in actual duration, to me it seemed long enough, for

the dog still held a threatening attitude, his forepaws resting upon one of the seats, while bis eyes continued to glare upon me with a wild and uncertain expression.

I remained for some moments in fearful suspense. I was half-paralyzed with terror, and uncertain what action it would be best to take. I feared that any movement would attract the fierce animal, and be the signal for him to spring upon me. I thought of jumping out of the skiff into the water. I could not wade in it. It was shallow enough — not over five feet in depth, but the bottom appeared to be of soft mud. I might sink another foot in the mud. No; I could not have waded. The idea was dismissed. To swim to the shore! I glanced sideways in that direction: it was nearly half a mile distant. I could never reach it, cumbered with ray clothes. To have stripped these off, would have tempted the attack. Even could I have done so, might not the dog follow, and seize me in the water! A horrible thought!

I abandoned all hope of escape, at least that might arise from any active measures on my part. I could do nothing to save myself; my only hope lay in passively awaiting the result. Impressed with this idea, I remained motionless as a statue; I moved neither hand nor foot from the attitude I had first assumed; I scarcely permitted myself to breathe, so much did I dread attracting the further attention of my terrible companion, and interrupting the neutrality that existed.

For some minutes — they seemed hours — this state of affairs continued. The dog still stood up, with his forepaws raised upon the bench; the oars were among his feet. In this position he remained, gazing wildly, though it did not appear to me steadily, in my nice. Several times I thought he was about to spring on me; and, although I carefully avoided making any movement, I instinctively grasped my gun with a firmer hold. To add to my embarrassment, I saw that I was fast drifting seaward! The wind was from the shore; it was impelling the boat with considerable velocity, in consequence of the mass of bushes acting as sails. Already it hod cleared the sedge, and was floating out in open water. To my dismay, at less than :i mile’s distance, / descried a line of breakers ‘. A side-glance was sufficient to convince me, that, unless the skiff was checked, she would drift upon these in the space of ten minutes. A fearful alternative now presented itself: I must either drive the dog from tho oars, or allow the skiff to be swamped among the breakers. The latter would bo certain death, the former offered a chance for life; and, nerving myself with the palpable necessity for action, I instantly resolved to make tlio attack.

Whether the dog had read my intention iu my eyes, or observed my fingers taking a firmer clutch of my gun, I know not, but at this moment he seemed to evince sudden fear, and, dropping down from the seat, he ran backward to the bow, and cowered down as before. My first impulse was to get hold of the oars, for the roar of the breakers already filled my ears. A better idea suggested itself immediately after, and that was to load my gun. This was a delicate business, but I set about it with all the caution I could command. I kept my eyes fixed upon the animal, and felt the powder, the wadding, and the snot, into the muzzle. I succeeded in loading one barrel, and fixing the cap. As I had now something upon which I could rely, I proceeded with more confidence, and loaded the second barrel with greater care, the dog eying me all the while. Had madness not obscured his intelligence, he would no doubt have interrupted my manipulations; as it was, he remained still until both barrels were loaded, capped, and cocked. I had no time to spare; the breakers were nigh; their hoarse ” sough” warned me of their perilous proximity: a minute more, and the little skis’ would be dancing among them like a shell, or sunk forsver. Not a moment was to bo lost, and yet I had to proceed with caution. I dared not raiso the gun to my shoulder — I dared not glance along the barrels: the manoeuvre might rouse the dangerous brute. I held the piece low, slanting along my thighs, I guided the barrels with my mind, and, feeling the direction to be true, I fired. I scarcely heard the report, on account of the roaring of the sea; but I saw the dog roll over, kicking violently. I saw a livid patch over his ribs, where the shot had entered in a clump. This would no doubt have proved sufficient; but, to make sure, I raised the gun to my shoulder, took aim, and sent the contents of the second barrel through the ribs of the miserable brute. His kicking ended almost instantly, and he lay dead in the bottom of the boat.

I dropped my gun and Sew to the oars: it was a close ” shave;” the skiff was already in white water, and dancing like a feather; but with a few strokes I succeeded in backing her out, and, then heading her away from the breakers, I pulled in a direct line for the shore. I thought not of my canvas-backs — they had floated, by this time, I neither knew nor cared whither: the sharks might have them for me. My only care was to get away from the scene as quickly as possible, determined never again to go duck-shooting with a cur for my companion.