Page images
[ocr errors]

an Indian catching trout with a troll line. your canteens large and full, you had better We tried fishing with hooks, and although stay out of it. there were plenty of steel-heads paddling Hunting for deer in this part of the counabout in the lake, our success was poor. try is pursued in a peculiar way. It is useThe Indian, however, was making a killing. less to move over the ground after them. He took a fish on almost every hook he You must let the deer do that while you lifted and his small boat was half full. Evi- keep still. Go to the top of some high dently he had a bait which was a bonne bouche rock, conceal yourself amongst the thick to the fish. We tried to discover what it buck brush, and keep still. The silence of was, but were unable to discern; then we the vast and blighted area is so intense that asked him about it and he answered with you may hear even the cracking of a twig, "Ugh!” He understood us, but he refused I should say two hundred yards away. to tell.

Maintain silence, and if game is moving, About the edge of this lake in the green you will be able to locate it; then you have grass there were thousands of young grouse. only to watch your chance for a shot. If They were eating huckleberries and salmon- you have well trained dogs, they will get to berries, which grew abundantly. We gath- the far side of it and move it toward you. ered quantities of these fruit and indulged Following these tactics, Mr. Beck and Docthe luxury of berry pies. But the mosqui- tor Patterson both killed bucks. toes here were exceedingly severe. There Bear are plentiful in this district, and it had been ample source of complaint on this would seem that they would be inimical to score at other waters we had visited, but deer, but they are not. A bear would here seemed to be their metropolis, and rather have vegetable than animal food, though we rubbed the horses with a “dope” He has a sweet tooth and likes berries and we had bought at Ashland, they were driven the honey of wild bees. Some times he will nearly frantic. We broke camp and went go down to the lake and catch fish; but his on a deer hunt. It was not a region espe- especial provender is mast, and in autumn, cially inviting to this kind of sport. It was when this begins to fall from the scrub oak a trackless wilderness of dark and broken trees, bruin begins to fatten. In this sealava as solid as cement under your feet, son they were poor and thin. Mr. Beck, punctured here and there by gaunt pines strolling upward along a rise, jumped a which have squeezed their juvenile way brown bear who had been lying down, doubtthrough a crevice from the soil below and less in a doze. He scurried up the rise, as they were nurtured into trees, burst with leaping forward in long leaps, his tail to their broad bases the pavement which con- Mr. Beck. He had not gone far when he fined them. It is impossible to make a trail shook up a buck, which started in a lively upon this substance, for it is hard and bar- scamper toward the summit. Beck drew a ren; but someone traveling before us, bead on the bear, which went “catch-r-r” had blazed the trees on the route to Fish as the bullet took him, but he doubled the lake, and we were able to keep our course, rise, dashed down on the other side, and though, owing to the intensely broken char- disappeared, the buck already having hid acter of the way, an entire day was con- among the pines. sumed in covering the distance of seven The party next moved past Mount Pitt, miles.

that dried and dead old cone, from whose It is dangerous territory to hunt over, summit, ten thousand feet in the white air, too, this lava region, for when you get rolled out most of the lava which now away from the lakes there is no water any spreads over these plains. We stopped at where in sight. The creeks are all dry, the Butte creek to catch seventy-five steel-head rains all percolate through the porous sub- trout in two hours, being this time more stance and are lost below. Put your ear to fortunate in our choice of bait than before. the ground and you may hear water run- Then we went up Seven Mile creek to Crater ning in a rapid stream beneath your feet, lake, a body of water at the top of a rise but it is covered by a crust as hard as flint which lies in the basin of an old crater. and so thick it would be folly to attempt to The flies and mosquitos here were unendurpick through it. Unless you have your able, so we returned to Fort Klamath, landmarks well fixed to locate the lakes and where we caught quantities of Dolly Varden

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

to meet a party headed by Aleck Ireland old hollow pine which the wild bees had and Mr. Toleman, two hunters of the old stored nearly full of honey. The saddleschool, who had been upon the line between bags were filled with this, about one hunWashington and Idaho hunting elk, but had dred and fifty pounds being secured, and seen nothing but carriboo. They had come about two gallons of beautiful strained back to take us into a country where a honey going to waste in getting it out. party had taken out six hundred deer from We covered our heads with mosquito netJanuary to July, carrying off only the ting and were thus able to get at the hides, leaving the carcasses to rot where sweets regardless of the insects. It was they had fallen, in the old time buffalo amusing to observe Herman Fick, one of style.

the old party and a long-time mountaineer, We had already been out a month, but in his work of getting this honey out of we were glad to go to such a place, so, add- the trunk. Regardless of the presence of ing the new outfit to our own, with their bees, he simply reached his long arm up the four horses and eight bear dogs, we started hollow and pulled out the honey by handwest across the railroad, bound along the fuls. When a bee stung his hand he would Illinois river, ninety miles to Game lake, a pull it out, withdraw the stinger, fling it little splotch of water lying twenty-five away, and turn again to work as if nothing miles from the ocean.

had occurred. This region was hilly, thick with pines, The old hunters had pursued the killing here and there a clearing covered with of game so long that their sense of sport in berry bushes heavy with their clusters of such activities had been dulled, and they ripe fruit. Fairly into the country Toleman did not hunt much, but stayed mostly in and Ireland started to find elk. They could camp, attending to things there. They see signs of none, so they turned their at- skinned the deer, spread the hides to the tention to deer, with the result that they sun, stripped the venison and dried it. This killed fifteen the first day. The next day latter was done by laying the meat upon a Doctor Patterson, an excellent shot and old wire netting suspended between two stumps time hunter, his brother, and Messrs. Tole- and building a fire under it. In this manner man and Beck, killed nineteen does and we dried four hundred pounds of meat, which

bucks. The deer were in exceedingly fine we carried back with us to Ashland. As a • condition, fat and plump, brimming with result of our hunt we had also one hundred

spirit, which threw plenty of excitement deer skins, that being the killing of the eninto the sport.

tire party, besides four bear skins, skulls, All hands rested a day in camp, then and horns. started in for another breezy hunt. At We lived in this camp, consuming bear dusk of that day we had seventeen new steaks, venison, grouse, and fish from the deer. The party divided up into three com- lake, for a month, until the cooling of the panies; that of Mr. Beck went down along air and occasional rains told us the season a backbone of hills into a fine country. As was drawing to a close and we had better the photographer moved along, three fat get out. So we set a day for a final grand bucks jumped at intervals ahead of his hunt. This was a failure, however, for rain horses. Two does appeared later. Mr. set in, catching our party of three detached Beck had five when camp was pitched that from the main party, and we nearly died. afternoon, and Mr. Toleman and Doctor For thirty-six hours we were huddled toPatterson had eleven, sixteen in all, to be gether under little breadths of canvas strung strung up at night by the fetlocks and beneath a great pine, our bedding wet, ourhave their pictures taken early next morn- selves wet to the skin and miserable. When ing.

it lighted up sufficiently to get back to the On the following day the company started main camp, we needed no second invitation back to the main camp; the horses, heavily to quit the country. On our way back Docladen with deer, pulled up at dusk in the tor Patterson killed a dear browsing in a grove amongst the grand old pines where clearing among one hundred and fifty acres was fixed the rendezvous for the main body of huckleberry bushes. of the company. The party had stopped on We reached the railroad station of Ashthe way to cut down a honey tree; it was an land without serious mishap, though some

[graphic][merged small]

looked upon.

of the passes were dangerous paths. A himself when he saw the edge of the precihorse slid down the side of one and went pice and the hundred and fifty feet of perrolling over the rocks for forty feet below. pendicular rock which it overhung, but it Happily he was loaded with skins, which was impossible to stop, and over he went defended him from the sharp rocks, and and down the chasm he crashed, the most with much difficulty he was got out unin- mashed up mass of mule the human eye ever jured. Further on Ireland showed us where he had lost a pack mule. The animal had a habit of wandering out of the trail, and After three months of hunting we pulled when he did his dog would snap at his heels into Ashland. There we sold our meat for and move him back into it again, the mule twenty cents per pound, realizing a sum picking up his gait as he did so. It hap- which well paid the professionals for their pened that this occurred just before they attendance upon us, while the hides brought reached a V in the trail which lapped around a dollar each. The horns could find no mara projection of the mountain. A sharp turn ket, so we abandoned these, while, with a is necessary at the apex of the V and this few mementoes of the season's sport, we the mule, owing to the inertia of his gait, took leave of our mountain friends and was unable to make. He tried to brace boarded the train for California.


[blocks in formation]



[ocr errors]

U'PPOSE we name it,” said the man, let you kill yourself for me by inches in any

his voice breaking in the mid- other place, but I draw the line at this." dle of a short laugh, "Last The woman stepped through the mud on Chance Cabin.”

the floor of her new home to her husband's His wife looked beyond him side. She did not look at the moist red to the great red cliff, seven stains on her delicate feet. hundred feet of perpendicular “I can stay anywhere with you," she said,

rock, on the east, then toward "and I cannot stay anywhere without you." the broken foot-hills on the west. Her ears All the romantic love of a Southern girl were full of the sound of the swift river. was in her face. The steady look in her “I want to go in,” she said.

brown eyes contrasted strangely with the They left their horse in the narrow road restless gray light in his. Only the tightand picked their way down to the one- ening of her lips betrayed the suffering storied house, crouching close to the slop- caused by smoke and dirt. ing river bank. Ragged weeds grew by the Her husband stooped and kissed her. door and pressed against the broken window- “But, O Harold!" she cried, not seeing panes. A snake lay curled upon the sill. the working of his face, “what will become Inside the rough board floor was red with of Langdon? I do not mind for myself, mud that had oozed down from higher really I do not, but think of the baby in this ground. With the mud were mingled old Rocky Mountain wilderness!” shoes, discarded garments, and bits of plaster from the smoke-blackened walls.

"Come here, you heir-apparent to the “You can never stand this, Mary,” said throne of rattle-snakes, you prince of the man vehemently. “Come away. I'll prairie-dogs!”

« PreviousContinue »