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Full text of "A book-lover's holidays in the open"

A BOOK-LOVER S 
HOLIDAYS IN THE OPEN 



BOOKS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT 
PUBLISHED BY CHARLES SCRIBNER S SONS 



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From a painting by Theodore B. Pitman in possession of Colonel Roosevelt. 

On the brink of the Grand Canvon. 



A BOOK-LOVER S 

HOLIDAYS IN THE OPEN 



BY 

THEODORE ROOSEVELT 



NEW YORK 

CHARLES SCRIBNER S SONS 
1916 



COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY 
CHARLES SCRIBNER S SONS 



Published March, 1916 




So 

ARCHIE AND QUENTIN 



333773 



FOREWORD 

THE man should have youth and strength 
who seeks adventure in the wide, waste spaces 
of the earth, in the marshes, and among the vast 
mountain masses, in the northern forests, amid 
the steaming jungles of the tropics, or on the 
deserts of sand or of snow. He must long 
greatly for the lonely winds that blow across 
the wilderness, and for sunrise and sunset over 
the rim of the empty world. His heart must 
thrill for the saddle and not for the hearthstone. 
He must be helmsman and chief, the cragsman, 
the rifleman, the boat steerer. He must be the 
wielder of axe and of paddle, the rider of fiery 
horses, the master of the craft that leaps through 
white w r ater. His eye must be true and quick, 
his hand steady and strong. His heart must 
never fail nor his head grow bewildered, whether 
he face brute and human foes, or the frowning 
strength of hostile nature, or the awful fear 
that grips those who are lost in trackless lands. 
Wearing toil and hardship shall be his; thirst 
and famine he shall face, and burning fever. 
Death shall come to greet him with poison-fang 



Vll 



viii FOREWORD 

or poison-arrow, in shape of charging beast or 
of scaly things that lurk in lake and river; it 
shall lie in wait for him among untrodden for 
ests, in the swirl of wild waters, and in the blast 
of snow blizzard or thunder-shattered hurricane. 

Not many men can with wisdom make such 
a life their permanent and serious occupation. 
Those whose tasks lie along other lines can lead 
it for but a few years. For them it must nor 
mally come in the hardy vigor of their youth, be 
fore the beat of the blood has grown sluggish 
in their veins. 

Nevertheless, older men also can find joy in 
such a life, although in their case it must be 
led only on the outskirts of adventure, and al 
though the part they play therein must be that 
of the onlooker rather than that of the doer. 
The feats of prowess are for others. It is for 
other men to face the peril of unknown lands, 
to master unbroken horses, and to hold their 
own among their fellows with bodies of supple 
strength. But much, very much, remains for 
the man who has "warmed both hands before 
the fire of life," and who, although he loves the 
great cities, loves even more the fenceless grass 
land, and the forest-clad hills. 

The grandest scenery of the world is his to 
look at if he chooses; and he can witness the 



FOREWORD ix 

strange ways of tribes who have survived into 
an alien age from an immemorial past, tribes 
whose priests dance in honor of the serpent and 
worship the spirits of the wolf and the bear. 
Far and wide, all the continents are open to 
him as they never were to any of his fore 
fathers; the Nile and the Paraguay are easy 
of access, and the borderland between savagery 
and civilization; and the veil of the past has 
been lifted so that he can dimly see how, in time 
immeasurably remote, his ancestors no less 
remote led furtive lives among uncouth and 
terrible beasts, whose kind has perished utterly 
from the face of the earth. He will take books 
with him as he journeys; for the keenest en 
joyment of the wilderness is reserved for him 
who enjoys also the garnered wisdom of the 
present and the past. He will take pleasure in 
the companionship of the men of the open; in 
South America, the daring and reckless horse 
men who guard the herds of the grazing country, 
and the dark-skinned paddlers who guide their 
clumsy dugouts down the dangerous equatorial 
rivers; the white and red and half-breed hunt 
ers of the Rockies, and of the Canadian wood 
land; and in Africa the faithful black gun- 
bearers who have stood steadily at his elbow 
when the lion came on with coughing grunts, or 



x FOREWORD 

when the huge mass of the charging elephant 
burst asunder the vine-tangled branches. 

The beauty and charm of the wilderness are 
his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness 
lie close beside the beaten roads of present 
travel. He can see the red splendor of desert 
sunsets, and the unearthly glory of the after 
glow on the battlements of desolate mountains. 
In sapphire gulfs of ocean he can visit islets, 
above which the wings of myriads of sea-fowl 
make a kind of shifting cuneiform script in the 
air. He can ride along the brink of the stu 
pendous cliff- walled canyon, where eagles soar 
below him, and cougars make their lairs on the 
ledges and harry the big-horned sheep. He can 
journey through the northern forests, the home 
of the giant moose, the forests of fragrant and 
murmuring life in summer, the iron-bound and 
melancholy forests of winter. 

The joy of living is his who has the heart to 
demand it. 

THEODORE ROOSEVELT. 

SAGAMORE HILL, January 1, 1916. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTEB PAGE 

I. A COUGAR HUNT ON THE RIM OF 

THE GRAND CANYON .... 1 

II. ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT . . 29 

III. THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE ... 63 

IV. THE RANCHLAND OF ARGENTINA 

AND SOUTHERN BRAZIL ... 98 

V. A CHILEAN RONDEO 117 

VI. ACROSS THE ANDES AND NORTHERN 

PATAGONIA 130 

VII. WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS . . 152 
VIII. PRIMITIVE MAN; AND THE HORSE, 

THE LlON, AND THE ELEPHANT 190 

IX. BOOKS FOR HOLIDAYS IN THE OPEN 259 

X. BIRD RESERVES AT THE MOUTH 

OF THE MISSISSIPPI .... 274 

XI. A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE . . . 318 
APPENDICES: 

A 359 

B . 366 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



On the brink of the Grand Canyon . . Frontispiece 

From a painting by Theodore B. Pitman, reproduced in 
color. 



Colonel Roosevelt and Arthur Lirette with antlers 

of moose shot September 19, 1915 . Facing page 348 
From a photograph by Alexander Lambert, M.D. 

Antlers of moose shot September 19, 1915, with 

Springfield rifle No. 6000, Model 1903 . . Page 356 



A BOOK-LOVER S 
HOLIDAYS IN THE OPEN 



COME away ! Come away ! There s a frost along the 

marshes, 
And a frozen wind that skims the shoal where it shakes 

the dead black water; 
There s a moan across the lowland and a wailing through 

the woodland 
Of a dirge that seeks to send us back to the arms of those 

that love us. 

Come away ! come away ! or the roving fiend will hold 

us, 
And make us all to dwell with him to the end of human 

faring. 

EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON. 



A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 
IN THE OPEN 

CHAPTER I 

A COUGAR HUNT ON THE RIM OF THE 
GRAND CANYON 

ON July 14, 1913, our party gathered at 
the comfortable El Tovar Hotel, on the 
edge of the Grand Canyon of the Colo 
rado, and therefore overlooking the most won 
derful scenery in the world. The moon was 
full. Dim, vast, mysterious, the canyon lay 
in the shimmering radiance. To all else that 
is strange and beautiful in nature the Canyon 
stands as Karnak and Baalbec, seen by moon 
light, stand to all other ruined temples and 
palaces of the bygone ages. 

With me were my two younger sons, Archie 
and Quentin, aged nineteen and fifteen respec 
tively, and a cousin of theirs, Nicholas, aged 
twenty. The cousin had driven our horses, and 
what outfit we did not ourselves carry, from 

southern Arizona to the north side of the can- 

i 



2 A :BOQK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

yon, and had then crossed the canyon to meet 
us. The youngest one of the three had not be 
fore been on such a trip as that we intended to 
take; but the two elder boys, for their good 
fortune, had formerly been at the Evans School 
in Mesa, Arizona, and among the by-products 
of their education was a practical and working 
familiarity with ranch life, with the round-up, 
and with travelling through the desert and on 
the mountains. Jesse Cummings, of Mesa, was 
along to act as cook, packer, and horse-wrangler, 
helped in all three branches by the two elder 
boys; he was a Kentuckian by birth, and a 
better man for our trip and a stancher friend 
could not have been found. 

On the 15th we went down to the bottom of 
the canyon. There we were to have been met 
by our outfit with two men whom we had en 
gaged; but they never turned up, and we 
should have been in a bad way had not Mr. 
Stevenson, of the Bar Z Cattle Company, come 
down the trail behind us, while the foreman of 
the Bar Z, Mr. Mansfield, appeared to meet 
him, on the opposite side of the rushing, muddy 
torrent of the Colorado. Mansfield worked us 
across on the trolley which spans the river; and 
then we joined in and worked Stevenson, and 
some friends he had with him, across. Among 



A COUGAR HUNT 3 

us all we had food enough for dinner and for 
a light breakfast, and we had our bedding. 
With characteristic cattleman s generosity, our 
new friends turned over to us two pack-mules, 
which could carry our bedding and the like, 
and two spare saddle-horses both the mules 
and the spare saddle-horses having been brought 
down by Mansfield because of a lucky mistake 
as to the number of men he was to meet. 

Mansfield was a representative of the best 
type of old-style ranch foreman. It is a hard 
climb out of the canyon on the north side, and 
Mansfield was bound that we should have an 
early start. He was up at half-past one in the 
morning; we breakfasted on a few spoonfuls 
of mush; packed the mules and saddled the 
horses; and then in the sultry darkness, which 
in spite of the moon filled the bottom of the 
stupendous gorge, we started up the Bright 
Angel trail. Cummings and the two elder boys 
walked; the rest of us were on horseback. The 
trail crossed and recrossed the rapid brook, and 
for rods at a time went up its bowlder-filled 
bed; groping and stumbling, we made our 
blind way along it; and over an hour passed 
before the first grayness of the dawn faintly 
lighted our footsteps. 

At last we left the stream bed, and the trail 



4 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

climbed the sheer slopes and zigzagged upward 
through the breaks in the cliff walls. At one 
place the Bar Z men showed us where one of 
their pack-animals had lost his footing and 
fallen down the mountainside a year previously. 
It was eight hours before we topped the rim 
and came out on the high, wooded, broken 
plateau which at this part of its course forms 
the northern barrier of the deep-sunk Colorado 
River. Three or four miles farther on we found 
the men who were to have met us; they were 
two days behindhand, so we told them we 
would not need them, and reclaimed what 
horses, provisions, and other outfit were ours. 
With Cummings and the two elder boys we 
were quite competent to take care of ourselves 
under all circumstances, and extra men, tents, 
and provisions merely represented a slight, and 
dispensable, increase in convenience and com 
fort. 

As it turned out, there was no loss even of 
comfort. We went straight to the cabin of the 
game warden, Uncle Jim Owens; and he in 
stantly accepted us as his guests, treated us as 
such, and accompanied us throughout our fort 
night s stay north of the river. A kinder host 
and better companion in a wild country could 
not be found. Through him we hired a very 



A COUGAR HUNT 5 

good fellow, a mining prospector, who stayed 
with us until we crossed the Colorado at Lee s 
Ferry. He was originally a New York State 
man, w r ho had grown up in Montana, and had 
prospected through the mountains from the 
Athabaska River to the Mexican boundary. 
Uncle Jim was a Texan, born at San Antonio, 
and raised in the Panhandle, on the Goodnight 
ranch. In his youth he had seen the thronging 
myriads of bison, and taken part in the rough 
life of the border, the life of the cow-men, the 
buffalo-hunters, and the Indian-fighters. He 
was by instinct a man of the right kind in all 
relations; and he early hailed with delight the 
growth of the movement among our people to 
put a stop to the senseless and wanton destruc 
tion of our wild life. Together with his and 
my friend Buffalo Jones he had worked for the 
preservation of the scattered bands of bison; he 
was keenly interested not only in the preserva 
tion of the forests but in the preservation of 
the game. He had been two years buffalo war 
den in the Yellowstone National Park. Then 
he had come to the Colorado National Forest 
Reserve and Game Reserve, where he had 
been game warden for over six years at the 
time of our trip. He has given zealous and 
efficient service to the people as a whole; for 



6 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

which, by the way, his salary has been an in 
adequate return. One important feature of his 
work is to keep down the larger beasts and birds 
of prey, the arch-enemies of the deer, mountain- 
sheep, and grouse; and the most formidable 
among these foes of the harmless wild life are 
the cougars. At the time of our visit he owned 
five hounds, which he had trained especially, 
as far as his manifold duties gave him the time, 
to the chase of cougars and bobcats. Coyotes 
were plentiful, and he shot these wherever the 
chance offered; but coyotes are best kept down 
by poison, and poison cannot be used where 
any man is keeping the hounds with which 
alone it is possible effectively to handle the 
cougars. 

At this point the Colorado, in its deep gulf, 
bends south, then west, then north, and in 
closes on three sides the high plateau which is 
the heart of the forest and game reserve. It 
was on this plateau, locally known as Buckskin 
Mountain, that we spent the next fortnight. 
The altitude is from eight thousand to nearly 
ten thousand feet, and the climate is that of 
the far north. Spring does not come until 
June; the snow lies deep for seven months. 
We were there in midsummer, but the ther 
mometer went down at night to 36, 34, and once 



A COUGAR HUNT 7 

to 33 degrees Fahrenheit; there was hoarfrost 
in the mornings. Sound was our sleep under 
our blankets, in the open, or under a shelf of 
rock, or beneath a tent, or most often under a 
thickly leaved tree. Throughout the day the 
air was cool and bracing. 

Although we reached the plateau in mid- 
July, the spring was but just coming to an end. 
Silver-voiced Rocky Mountain hermit-thrushes 
chanted divinely from the deep woods. There 
were multitudes of flowers, of which, alas ! I 
know only a very few, and these by their ver 
nacular names; for as yet there is no such hand 
book for the flowers of the southern Rocky 
Mountains as, thanks to Mrs. Frances Dana, 
we have for those of the Eastern States, and, 
thanks to Miss Mary Elizabeth Parsons, for 
those of California. The sego lilies, looking like 
very handsome Eastern trilliums, were as plen 
tiful as they were beautiful; and there were the 
striking Indian paint-brushes, fragrant purple 
locust blooms, the blossoms of that strange 
bush the plumed acacia, delicately beautiful 
white columbines, bluebells, great sheets of blue 
lupin, and the tall, crowded spikes of the bril 
liant red bell and innumerable others. The 
rainfall is light and the ground porous; springs 
are few, and brooks wanting; but the trees are 



8 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

handsome. In a few places the forest is dense; 
in most places it is sufficiently open to allow a 
mountain-horse to twist in and out among the 
tree trunks at a smart canter. The tall yellow 
pines are everywhere; the erect spires of the 
mountain-spruce and of the blue-tipped West 
ern balsam shoot up around their taller cousins, 
and the quaking asps, the aspens with their 
ever-quivering leaves and glimmering white boles, 
are scattered among and beneath the conifers, 
or stand in groves by themselves. Blue grouse 
were plentiful - - having increased greatly, partly 
because of the war waged by Uncle Jim against 
their foes the great horned owls; and among 
the numerous birds were long-crested, dark -blue 
jays, pinyon-jays, doves, band-tailed pigeons, 
golden-winged flickers, chickadees, juncos, 
mountain-bluebirds, thistle-finches, and Loui 
siana tanagers. A very handsome cock tanager, 
the orange yellow of its plumage dashed with 
red on the head and throat, flew familiarly 
round Uncle Jim s cabin, and spent most of its 
time foraging in the grass. Once three birds 
flew by which I am convinced were the strange 
and interesting evening grosbeaks. Chipmunks 
and white-footed mice lived in the cabin, the 
former very bold and friendly; in fact, the chip 
munks, of several species, were everywhere; 



A COUGAR HUNT 9 

and there were gophers or rock-squirrels, and 
small tree-squirrels, like the Eastern chickarees, 
and big tree-squirrels the handsomest squirrels 
I have ever seen -- with black bodies and bushy 
white tails. These last lived in the pines, were 
diurnal in their habits, and often foraged among 
the fallen cones on the ground; and they were 
strikingly conspicuous. 

We met, and were most favorably impressed 
by, the foresi supervisor, and some of his rangers. 
This forest and game reserve is thrown open to 
grazing, as with all similar reserves. Among the 
real settlers, the home-makers of sense and far 
sightedness, there is a growing belief in the wis 
dom of the policy of the preservation of the 
national resources by the National Government. 
On small, permanent farms, the owner, if reason 
ably intelligent, will himself preserve his own 
patrimony; but everywhere the uncontrolled use 
in common of the public domain has meant reck 
less, and usually wanton, destruction. All the 
public domain that is used should be used under 
strictly supervised governmental lease; that is, 
the lease system should be applied everywhere 
substantially as it is now applied in the forest. 
In every case the small neighboring settlers, the 
actual home-makers, should be given priority of 
chance to lease the land in reasonable sized 



10 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

tracts. Continual efforts are made by dema 
gogues and by unscrupulous agitators to excite 
hostility to the forest policy of the government; 
and needy men who are short-sighted and un 
scrupulous join in the cry, and play into the 
hands of the corrupt politicians who do the 
bidding of the big and selfish exploiters of the 
public domain. One device of these politicians 
is through their representatives in Congress to 
cut down the appropriation for the forest ser 
vice; and in consequence the administrative 
heads of the service, in the effort to be econom 
ical, are sometimes driven to the expedient of 
trying to replace the permanently employed 
experts by short-term men, picked up at hap 
hazard, and hired only for the summer season. 
This is all wrong: first, because the men thus 
hired give very inferior service; and, second, 
because the government should be a model em 
ployer, and should not set a vicious example in 
hiring men under conditions that tend to create 
a shifting class of laborers who suffer from all 
the evils of unsteady employment, varied by 
long seasons of idleness. At this time the best 
and most thoughtful farmers are endeavoring 
to devise means for doing away with the system 
of employing farm-hands in mass for a few 
months and then discharging them; and the 



A COUGAR HUNT 11 

government should not itself have recourse to 
this thoroughly pernicious system. 

The preservation of game and of wild life 
generally -- aside from the noxious species - 
on these reserves is of incalculable benefit to 
the people as a whole. As the game increases 
in these national refuges and nurseries it over 
flows into the surrounding country. Very 
wealthy men can have private game-preserves 
of their own. But the average man of small or 
moderate means can enjoy the vigorous pastime 
of the chase, and indeed can enjoy wild nature, 
only if there are good general laws, properly 
enforced, for the preservation of the game and 
wild life, and if, furthermore, there are big 
parks or reserves provided for the use of all 
our people, like those of the Yellowstone, the 
Yosemite, and the Colorado. 

A small herd of bison has been brought to 
the reserve; it is slowly increasing. It is pri 
vately owned, one-third of the ownership being 
in Uncle Jim, who handles the herd. The 
government should immediately buy this herd. 
Everything should be done to increase the 
number of bison on the public reservations. 

The chief game animal of the Colorado Can 
yon reserve is the Rocky Mountain blacktail, 
or mule, deer. The deer have increased greatly 



12 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

in numbers since the reserve was created, partly 
because of the stopping of hunting by men, 
and even more because of the killing off of the 
cougars. The high plateau is their summer 
range; in the winter the bitter cold and driving 
snow send them and the cattle, as well as the 
bands of wild horses, to the lower desert coun 
try. For some cause, perhaps the limestone 
soil, their antlers are unusually stout and large. 
We found the deer tame and plentiful, and as 
we rode or walked through the forest we con 
tinually came across them now a doe with 
her fawn, now a party of does and fawns, or a 
single buck, or a party of bucks. The antlers 
were still in the velvet. Does would stand and 
watch us go by within fifty or a hundred yards, 
their big ears thrown forward; while the fawns 
stayed hid near by. Sometimes we roused the 
pretty spotted fawns, and watched them dart 
away, the embodiments of delicate grace. One 
buck, when a hound chased it, refused to run 
and promptly stood at bay; another buck 
jumped and capered, and also refused to run, 
as we passed at but a few yards distance. One 
of the most beautiful sights I ever saw was on 
this trip. We were slowly riding through the 
open pine forest when we came on a party of 
seven bucks. Four were yearlings or two-year- 



A COUGAR HUNT 13 

olds; but three were mighty master bucks, and 
their velvet-clad antlers made them look as if 
they had rocking-chairs on their heads. Stately 
of port and bearing, they walked a few steps at 
a time, or stood at gaze on the carpet of brown 
needles strewn with cones; on their red coats 
the flecked and broken sun -rays played; and as 
we watched them, down the aisles of tall tree 
trunks the odorous breath of the pines blew in 
our faces. 

The deadly enemies of the deer are the cou 
gars. They had been very plentiful all over the 
table-land until Uncle Jim thinned them out, 
killing between two and three hundred. Usually 
their lairs are made in the well-nigh inacces 
sible ruggedness of the canyon itself. Those 
which dwelt in the open forest were soon killed 
off. Along the part of the canyon where we 
hunted there was usually an upper wall of 
sheer white cliffs; then came a very steep slope 
covered by a thick scrub of dwarf oak and 
locust, with an occasional piny on or pine; and 
then another and deeper wall of vermilion 
cliffs. It was along this intermediate slope 
that the cougars usually passed the day. At 
night they came up through some gorge or 
break in the cliff and rambled through the 
forests and along the rim after the deer. They 



14 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

are the most successful of all still-hunters, 
killing deer much more easily than a wolf can; 
and those we killed were very fat. 

Cougars are strange and interesting crea 
tures. They are among the most successful 
and to their prey the most formidable beasts 
of rapine in the world. Yet when themselves 
attacked they are the least dangerous of all 
beasts of prey, except hyenas. Their every 
movement is so lithe and stealthy, they move 
with such sinuous and noiseless caution, and 
are such past masters in the art of concealment, 
that they are hardly ever seen unless roused 
by dogs. In the wilds they occasionally kill 
wapiti, and often bighorn sheep and white 
goats; but their favorite prey is the deer. 

Among domestic animals, while they at times 
kill all, including, occasionally, horned cattle, 
they are especially destructive to horses. Among 
the first bands of horses brought to this plateau 
there were some of which the cougars killed 
every foal. The big males attacked full-grown 
horses. Uncle Jim had killed one big male 
wjiich had killed a large draft-horse, and 
another which had killed two saddle-horses and 
a pack-mule, although the mule had a bell on 
its neck, which it was mistakenly supposed 
would keep the cougar away. We saw the 



A COUGAR HUNT 15 

skeleton of one of the saddle-horses. It was 
killed when snow was on the ground, and when 
Uncle Jim first saw the carcass the marks of 
the struggle were plain. The cougar sprang on 
its neck, holding the face with the claws of one 
paw, while his fangs tore at the back of the 
neck, just at the base of the skull; the other 
fore paw was on the other side of the neck, and 
the hind claws tore the withers and one shoulder 
and flank. The horse struggled thirty yards or 
so before he fell, and never rose again. The 
draft-horse was seized in similar fashion. It 
went but twenty yards before falling; then in 
the snow could be seen the marks where it had 
struggled madly on its side, plunging in a 
circle, and the marks of the hind feet of the 
cougar in an outside circle, while the fangs and 
fore talons of the great cat never ceased tearing 
the prey. In this case the fore claws so ripped 
and tore the neck and throat that it was doubt 
ful whether they, and not the teeth, had not 
given the fatal wounds. 

We came across the bodies of a number of 
deer that had been killed by cougars. Gen 
erally the remains were in such condition that 
we could not see how the killing had been done. 
In one or two cases the carcasses were sufficiently 
fresh for us to examine them carefully. One 



16 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

doe had claw marks on her face, but no fang 
marks on the head or neck; apparently the 
neck had been broken by her own plunging 
fall; then the cougar had bitten a hole in the 
flank and eaten part of one haunch; but it had 
not disembowelled its prey, as an African lion 
would have done. Another deer, a buck, was 
seized in similar manner; but the death -wound 
was inflicted with the teeth, in singular fashion, 
a great hole being torn into the chest, where 
the neck joins the shoulder. Evidently there 
is no settled and invariable method of killing. 
We saw no signs of any cougar being injured 
in the struggle; the prey was always seized 
suddenly and by surprise, and in such fashion 
that it could make no counter-attack. 

Few African leopards would attack such 
quarry as the big male cougars do. Yet the 
leopard sometimes preys on man, and it is the 
boldest and most formidable of fighters when 
brought to bay. The cougar, on the contrary, 
is the least dangerous to man of all the big cats. 
There are authentic instances of its attacking 
man ; but they are not merely rare but so wholly 
exceptional that in practise they can be en 
tirely disregarded. There is no more need of 
being frightened when sleeping in, or wander 
ing after nightfall through, a forest infested by 



A COUGAR HUNT 17 

cougars than if they were so many tom-cats. 
Moreover, when itself assailed by either dogs or 
men the cougar makes no aggressive fight. It 
will stay in a tree for hours, kept there by a 
single dog which it could kill at once if it had 
the heart and this although if hungry it will 
itself attack and kill any dog, and on occasions 
even a big wolf. If the dogs or men - 
come within a few feet, it will inflict formidable 
wounds with its claws and teeth, the former 
being used to hold the assailant while the latter 
inflict the fatal bite. But it fights purely on 
the defensive, whereas the leopard readily as 
sumes the offensive and often charges, at head 
long, racing speed, from a distance of fifty or 
sixty yards. It is absolutely safe to walk up to 
within ten yards of a cougar at bay, whether 
wounded or unwounded, and to shoot it at 
leisure. 

Cougars are solitary beasts. When full-grown 
the females outnumber the males about three 
to one; and the sexes stay together for only a 
few days at mating-time. The female rears 
her kittens alone, usually in some cave; the 
male would be apt to kill them if he could get 
at them. The young are playful. Uncle Jim 
once brought back to his cabin a young cougar, 
two or three months old. At the time he had a 



18 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

hound puppy named Pot he was an old dog, 
the most dependable in the pack, when we 
made our hunt. Pot had lost his mother; Uncle 
Jim was raising him on canned milk, and, as it 
was winter, kept him at night in a German 
sock. The young cougar speedily accepted 
Pot as a playmate, to be enjoyed and tyran 
nized over. The two would lap out of the same 
dish; but when the milk was nearly lapped up, 
the cougar would put one paw on Pot s face, 
and hold him firmly while it finished the dish 
itself. Then it would seize Pot in its fore paws 
and toss him up, catching him again; while 
Pot would occasionally howl dismally, for the 
young cougar had sharp little claws. Finally 
the cougar would tire of the play, and then it 
would take Pot by the back of the neck, carry 
him off, and put him down in his box by the 
German sock. 

When we started on our cougar hunt there 
were seven of us, with six pack-animals. The 
latter included one mule, three donkeys two 
of them, Ted and Possum, very wise donkeys 
and two horses. The saddle-animals included 
two mules and five horses, one of which solemnly 
carried a cow-bell. It was a characteristic old- 
time Western outfit. We met with the cus 
tomary misadventures of such a trip, chiefly 



A COUGAR HUNT 19 

in connection with our animals. At night they 
were turned loose to feed, most of them with 
hobbles, some of them with bells. Before dawn, 
two or three of the party - - usually including 
one, and sometimes both, of the elder boys 
were off on foot, through the chilly dew, to 
bring them in. Usually this was a matter of 
an hour or two; but once it took a day, and 
twice it took a half-day. Both breaking camp 
and making camp, with a pack-outfit, take 
time; and in our case each of the packers, in 
cluding the two elder boys, used his own hitch 
single-diamond, squaw hitch, cow-man s hitch, 
miner s hitch, Navajo hitch, as the case might 
be. As for cooking and washing dishes why, 
I wish that the average tourist-sportsman, the 
city-hunter-with-a-guide, would once in a while 
have to cook and wash dishes for himself; it 
would enable him to grasp the reality of things. 
We were sometimes nearly drowned out by 
heavy rain-storms. We had good food; but 
the only fresh meat we had was the cougar 
meat. This was delicious; quite as good as 
venison. Yet men rarely eat cougar flesh. 

Cougars should be hunted when snow is on 
the ground. It is difficult for hounds to trail 
them in hot weather, when there is no water 
and the ground is dry and hard. However, we 



20 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

had to do the best we could; and the frequent 
rains helped us. On most of the hunting days 
we rode along the rim of the canyon and through 
the woods, hour after hour, until the dogs grew 
tired, or their feet sore, so that we deemed it 
best to turn toward camp ; having either struck 
no trail or else a trail so old that the hounds 
could not puzzle it out. I did not have a rifle, 
wishing the boys to do the shooting. The two 
elder boys had tossed up for the first shot, 
Nick winning. In cougar hunting the shot 
is usually much the least interesting and im 
portant part of the performance. The credit 
belongs to the hounds, and to the man who 
hunts the hounds. Uncle Jim hunted his 
hounds excellently. He had neither horn nor 
whip; instead, he threw pebbles, with much 
accuracy of aim, at any recalcitrant dog 
and several showed a tendency to hunt deer or 
coyote. "They think they know best and needn t 
obey me unless I have a nose-bag full of rocks," 
observed Uncle Jim. 

Twice we had lucky days. On the first oc 
casion we all seven left camp by sunrise with 
the hounds. We began with an hour s chase 
after a bobcat, which dodged back and forth 
over and under the rim rock, and finally es 
caped along a ledge in the cliff wall. At about 



A COUGAR HUNT 21 

eleven we struck a cougar trail of the night be 
fore. It was a fine sight to see the hounds run 
ning it through the woods in full cry, while 
we loped after them. After one or two checks, 
they finally roused the cougar, a big male, from 
a grove of aspens at the head of a great gorge 
which broke through the cliffs into the canyon. 
Down the gorge went the cougar, and then 
along the slope between the white cliffs and the 
red; and after some delay in taking the wrong 
trail, the hounds followed him. The gorge was 
impassable for horses, and we rode along the 
rim, looking down into the depths, from which 
rose the chiming of the hounds. At last a 
change in the sound showed that they had him 
treed; and after a while we saw them far below 
under a pine, across the gorge, and on the upper 
edge of the vermilion cliff wall. Down we went 
to them, scrambling and sliding; down a break 
in the cliffs, round the head of the gorge just 
before it broke off into a side-canyon, through 
the thorny scrub which tore our hands and 
faces, along the slope where, if a man started 
rolling, he never would stop until life had left 
his body. Before we reached him the cougar 
leaped from the tree and tore off, with his big 
tail stretched straight as a bar behind him; 
but a cougar is a short-winded beast, and a 



22 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

couple of hundred yards on, the hounds put 
him up another tree. Thither we went. 

It was a wild sight. The maddened hounds 
bayed at the foot of the pine. Above them, in 
the lower branches, stood the big horse-killing 
cat, the destroyer of the deer, the lord of stealthy 
murder, facing his doom with a heart both 
craven and cruel. Almost beneath him the 
vermilion cliffs fell sheer a thousand feet with 
out a break. Behind him lay the Grand Can 
yon in its awful and desolate majesty. 

Nicholas shot true. With his neck broken, 
the cougar fell from the tree, and the body was 
clutched by Uncle Jim and Archie before it could 
roll over the cliff - - while I experienced a mo 
ment s lively doubt as to whether all three might 
not waltz into the abyss together. Cautiously 
we dragged him along the rim to another tree, 
where we skinned him. Then, after a hard 
pull out of the canyon, we rejoined the horses; 
rain came on; and, while the storm pelted 
against our slickers and down-drawn slouch- 
hats, we rode back to our water-drenched 
camp. 

On our second day of success only three of 
us went out --Uncle Jim, Archie, and I. Un 
fortunately, Quentin s horse went lame that 
morning, and he had to stay with the pack-train. 



A COUGAR HUNT 23 

For two or three hours we rode through the 
woods and along the rim of the canyon. Then 
the hounds struck a cold trail and began to 
puzzle it out. They went slowly along to one 
of the deep, precipice-hemmed gorges which 
from time to time break the upper cliff wall of 
the canyon; and after some busy nose-work 
they plunged into its depths. We led our horses 
to the bottom, slipping, sliding, and pitching, 
and clambered, panting and gasping, up the 
other side. Then we galloped along the rim. 
Far below us we could at times hear the hounds. 
One of them was a bitch, with a squealing voice. 
The other dogs were under the first cliffs, work 
ing out a trail, which was evidently growing 
fresher. Much farther down we could hear the 
squealing of the bitch, apparently on another 
trail. However, the trails came together, and 
the shrill yelps of the bitch were drowned in 
the deeper-toned chorus of the other hounds, 
as the fierce intensity of the cry told that the 
game was at last roused. Soon they had the 
cougar treed. Like the first, it was in a pine 
at the foot of the steep slope, just above the ver 
milion cliff wall. We scrambled down to the 
beast, a big male, and Archie broke its neck; 
in such a position it was advisable to kill it 
outright, as, if it struggled at all, it was likely 



24 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

to slide over the edge of the cliff and fall a thou 
sand feet sheer. 

It was a long way down the slope, with its 
jungle of dwarf oak and locust, and the climb 
back, with the skin and flesh of the cougar, 
would be heart-breaking. So, as there was a 
break in the cliff line above, Uncle Jim suggested 
to Archie to try to lead down our riding animals 
while he, Uncle Jim, skinned the cougar. By the 
time the skin was off, Archie turned up with our 
two horses and Uncle Jim s mule an animal 
which galloped as freely as a horse. Then the 
skin and flesh were packed behind his and 
Uncle Jim s saddles, and we started to lead 
the three animals up the steep, nearly sheer 
mountainside. We had our hands full. The 
horses and mule could barely make it. Fi 
nally the saddles of both the laden animals 
slipped, and Archie s horse in his fright nearly 
went over the cliff it was a favorite horse of 
his, a black horse from the plains below, with 
good blood in it, but less at home climbing 
cliffs than were the mountain horses. On that 
slope anything that started rolling never stopped 
unless it went against one of the rare pine or 
piny on trees. The horse plunged and reared; 
Archie clung to its head for dear life, trying to 
prevent it from turning down-hill, while Uncle 



A COUGAR HUNT 25 

Jim sought to undo the saddle and I clutched 
the bridle of his mule and of my horse and kept 
them quiet. Finally the frightened black horse 
sank on his knees with his head on Archie s lap; 
the saddle was taken off and promptly rolled 
down-hill fifty or sixty yards before it fetched 
up against a piny on; we repacked, and finally 
reached the top of the rim. 

Meanwhile the hounds had again started, 
and we concluded that the bitch must have 
been on the trail of a different animal, after 
all. By the time we were ready to proceed 
they were out of hearing, and we completely 
lost track of them. So Uncle Jim started in 
the direction he deemed it probable they would 
take, and after a while we were joined by Pot. 
Evidently the dogs were tired and thirsty and 
had scattered. In about an hour, as we rode 
through the open pine forest across hills and 
valleys, Archie and I caught, very faintly, a 
far-off baying note. Uncle Jim could not hear 
it, but we rode toward the spot, and after a 
time caught the note again. Soon Pot heard 
it and trotted toward the sound. Then we 
came over a low hill crest, and when half-way 
down we saw a cougar crouched in a pine on 
the opposite slope, while one of the hounds, 
named Ranger, uttered at short intervals a 



26 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

husky bay as he kept his solitary vigil at the 
foot of the tree. Archie insisted that I should 
shoot, and thrust the rifle into my hand as we 
galloped down the incline. The cougar, a 
young and active female, leaped out of the 
tree and rushed off at a gait that for a moment 
left both dogs behind; and after her we tore 
at full speed through the woods and over rocks 
and logs. A few hundred yards farther on her 
bolt was shot, and the dogs, and we also, were 
at her heels. She went up a pine which had no 
branches for the lower thirty or forty feet. It 
was interesting to see her climb. Her two fore 
paws were placed on each side of the stem, and 
her hind paws against it, all the cla\vs digging 
into the wood ; her body was held as clear of the 
tree as if she had been walking on the ground, 
the legs being straight, and she walked or ran 
up the perpendicular stem w^ith as much day 
light between her body and the trunk as there 
was between her body and the earth when she 
was on the ground. As she faced us among the 
branches I could only get a clear shot into her 
chest where the neck joins the shoulder; down 
she came, but on the ground she jumped to her 
feet, ran fifty yards with the dogs at her heels, 
turned to bay in some fallen timber, and dropped 
dead. 



A COUGAR HUNT 27 

The last days before we left this beautiful 
holiday region we spent on the table-land called 
Greenland, which projects into the canyon east 
of Bright Angel. We were camped by the Drip 
ping Springs, in singular and striking surround 
ings. A long valley leads south through the 
table-land; and just as it breaks into a sheer 
walled chasm which opens into one of the side 
loops of the great canyon, the trail turns into 
a natural gallery along the face of the cliff. For 
a couple of hundred yards a rock shelf a dozen 
feet wide runs under a rock overhang which 
often projects beyond it. The gallery is in 
some places twenty feet high; in other places 
a man on horseback must stoop his head as he 
rides. Then, at a point where the shelf broadens, 
the clear spring pools of living water, fed by 
constant dripping from above, lie on the inner 
side next to and under the rock wall. A little 
beyond these pools, with the chasm at our feet, 
and its opposite wall towering immediately in 
front of us, we threw down our bedding and 
made camp. Darkness fell; the stars were 
brilliant overhead; the fire of pitchy pine 
stumps flared; and in the light of the wavering 
flames the cliff walls and jutting rocks mo 
mentarily shone with ghastly clearness, and 
as instantly vanished in utter gloom. 



28 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

From the southernmost point of this table 
land the view of the canyon left the beholder 
so^mn with the sense of awe. At high noon, 
under the unveiled sun, every tremendous de 
tail leaped in glory to the sight; yet in hue and 
shape the change was unceasing from moment 
to moment. When clouds swept the heavens, 
vast shadows were cast; but so vast was the 
canyon that these shadows seemed but patches 
of gray and purple and umber. The dawn and 
the evening twilight were brooding mysteries 
over the dusk of the abyss; night shrouded its 
immensity, but did not hide it; and to none of 
the sons of men is it given to tell of the wonder 
and splendor of sunrise and sunset in the Grand 
Canyon of the Colorado. 



CHAPTER II 
ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 

WE dropped down from Buckskin Moun 
tain, from the land of the pine and 
spruce and of cold, clear springs, into 
the grim desolation of the desert. We drove 
the pack-animals and loose horses, usually one 
of us taking the lead to keep the trail. The 
foreman of the Bar Z had lent us two horses 
for our trip, in true cattleman s spirit; another 
Bar Z man, who with his wife lived at Lee s 
Ferry, showed us every hospitality, and gave us 
fruit from his garden, and chickens; and two of 
the Bar Z riders helped Archie and Nick shoe 
one of our horses. It was a land of wide spaces 
and few people, but those few we met were so 
friendly and helpful that we shall not soon for 
get them. 

At noon of the first day we had come down the 
mountainside, from the tall northern forest trees 
at the summit, through the scattered, sprawling 
pinyons and cedars of the side slopes, to the 
barren, treeless plain of sand and sage-brush 

29 



30 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and greasewood. At the foot of the mountain 
we stopped for a few minutes at an outlying 
cow-ranch. There was not a tree, not a bush 
more than knee-high, on the whole plain round 
about. The bare little ranch-house, of stone 
and timber, lay in the full glare of the sun; 
through the open door w r e saw the cluttered 
cooking-utensils and the rolls of untidy bedding. 
The foreman, rough and kindly, greeted us 
from the door; spare and lean, his eyes blood 
shot and his face like roughened oak from the 
pitiless sun, wind, and sand of the desert. After 
we had dismounted, our shabby ponies moped 
at the hitching-post as we stood talking. In 
the big corral a mob of half-broken horses were 
gathered, and two dust-grimed, hard-faced cow- 
punchers, lithe as panthers, were engaged in 
breaking a couple of wild ones. All around, 
dotted with stunted sage-brush and greasewood, 
the desert stretched, blinding white in the sun 
light; across its surface the dust clouds moved 
in pillars, and in the distance the heat-waves 
danced and wavered. 

During the afternoon we shogged steadily 
across the plain. At one place, far off to one 
side, we saw a band of buffalo, and between 
them and us a herd of wild donkeys. Otherwise 
the only living things were snakes and lizards. 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 31 

On the other side of the plain, two or three miles 
from a high wall of vermilion cliffs, we stopped 
for the night at a little stone rest-house, built 
as a station by a cow outfit. Here there were 
big corrals, and a pool of water piped down by 
the cow-men from a spring many miles distant. 
On the sand grew the usual desert plants, and 
on some of the ridges a sparse growth of grass, 
sufficient for the night feed of the hardy horses. 
The little stone house and the corrals stood 
bare and desolate on the empty plain. Soon 
after we reached them a sand-storm rose and 
blew so violently that we took refuge inside the 
house. Then the wind died down; and as the 
sun sank toward the horizon we sauntered off 
through the hot, still evening. There were 
many sidewinder rattlesnakes. We killed several 
of the gray, flat-headed, venomous things; as 
we slept on the ground outside the house, un 
der the open sky, we were glad to kill as many 
as possible, for they sometimes crawl into a 
sleeper s blankets. Except this baleful life, there 
was little save the sand and the harsh, scanty 
vegetation. Across the lonely wastes the sun 
went down. The sharply channelled cliffs turned 
crimson in the dying light; all the heavens 
flamed ruby red, and faded to a hundred dim 
hues of opal, beryl and amber, pale turquoise 



32 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and delicate emerald; and then night fell and 
darkness shrouded the desert. 

Next morning the horse-wranglers, Nick and 
Quentin, were off before dawn to bring in the 
saddle and pack animals; the sun rose in burn 
ing glory, and through the breathless heat we 
drove the pack-train before us toward the 
crossing of the Colorado. Hour after hour we 
plodded ahead. The cliff line bent back at an 
angle, and we followed into the valley of the 
Colorado. The trail edged in toward the high 
cliffs as they gradually drew toward the river. 
At last it followed along the base of the frown 
ing rock masses. Far off on our right lay the 
Colorado; on its opposite side the broad river 
valley was hemmed in by another line of cliffs, 
at whose foot we were to travel for two days 
after crossing the river. 

The landscape had become one of incredible 
wildness, of tremendous and desolate majesty. 
No one could paint or describe it save one of 
the great masters of imaginative art or litera 
ture a Turner or Browning or Poe. The 
sullen rock walls towered hundreds of feet aloft, 
with something about their grim savagery that 
suggested both the terrible and the grotesque. 
All life was absent, both from them and from 
the fantastic barrenness of the bowlder-strewn 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 33 

land at their bases. The ground was burned 
out or washed bare. In one place a little stream 
trickled forth at the bottom of a ravine, but 
even here no grass grew - - only little clusters of 
a coarse weed with flaring white flowers that 
looked as if it throve on poisoned soil. In the 
still heat "we saw the silences move by and 
beckon." The cliffs were channelled into myriad 
forms battlements, spires, pillars, buttressed 
towers, flying arches ; they looked like the ruined 
castles and temples of the monstrous devil- 
deities of some vanished race. All were ruins 
ruins vaster than those of any structures ever 
reared by the hands of men as if some magic 
city, built by warlocks and sorcerers, had been 
wrecked by the wrath of the elder gods. Evil 
dwelt in the silent places; from battlement to 
lonely battlement fiends voices might have 
raved; in the utter desolation of each empty 
valley the squat blind tower might have stood, 
and giants lolled at length to see the death of a 
soul at bay. 

As the afternoon wore on, storm boded in 
the south. The day grew sombre; to the desola 
tion of the blinding light succeeded the desola 
tion of utter gloom. The echoes of the thunder 
rolled among the crags, and lightning jagged 
the darkness. The heavens burst, and the 



34 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

downpour drove in our faces; then through 
cloud rifts the sun s beams shone again and we 
looked on "the shining race of rain whose hair 
a great wind scattereth." 

At Lee s Ferry, once the home of the dark 
leader of the Danites, the cliffs, a medley of 
bold colors and striking forms, come close to 
the river s brink on either side; but at this one 
point there is a break in the canyon walls and 
a ferry can be run. A stream flow r s into the 
river from the north. By it there is a house, 
and the miracle of water has done its work. 
Under irrigation, there are fields of corn and 
alfalfa, groves of fruit-trees, and gardens; a 
splash of fresh, cool green in the harsh waste. 

South of the ferry we found two mule-wagons, 
sent for us by Mr. Hubbell, of Ganado, to whose 
thoughtful kindness we owed much. One was 
driven by a Mexican, Francisco Marquez; the 
other, the smaller one, by a Navajo Indian, 
Loko, who acted as cook; both were capital 
men, and we lived in much comfort while with 
them. A Navajo policeman accompanied us as 
guide, for we were now in the great Navajo 
reservation. A Navajo brought us a sheep for 
sale, and we held a feast. 

For two days we drove southward through the 
desert country, along the foot of a range of red 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 35 

cliffs. In places the sand was heavy; in others 
the ground was hard, and the teams made good 
progress. There were little water-holes, usually 
more or less alkaline, ten or fifteen miles apart. 
At these the Navajos were watering their big 
flocks of sheep and goats, their horses and don 
keys, and their few cattle. They are very inter 
esting Indians. They live scattered out, each 
family by itself, or two or three families together; 
not in villages, like their neighbors the Hopis. 
They are pastoral Indians, but they are agri 
culturists also, as far as the desert permits. 
Here and there, where there was a little seepage 
of water, we saw their meagre fields of corn, 
beans, squashes, and melons. All were mounted ; 
the men usually on horses, the women and chil 
dren often on donkeys. They were clad in white 
man s garb; at least the men wore shirts and 
trousers and the women bodices and skirts; but 
the shirts were often green or red or saffron or 
bright blue; their long hair was knotted at the 
back of the head, and they usually wore moc 
casins. The well-to-do carried much jewelry of 
their own make. They wore earrings and neck 
laces of turquoise; turquoises were set in their 
many silver ornaments; and they wore buttons 
and bangles of silver, for they are cunning 
silversmiths, as well as weavers of the famous 



36 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

Navajo blankets. Although they practise polyg 
amy, and divorce is easy, their women are 
usually well treated; and we saw evidences of 
courtesy and consideration not too common even 
among civilized people. At one halt a woman 
on a donkey, with a little boy behind her, rode 
up to the wagon. We gave her and the boy food. 
Later when a Navajo man came up, she quietly 
handed him a couple of delicacies. So far there 
was nothing of note; but the man equally 
quietly and with a slight smile of evident grati 
tude and appreciation stretched out his hand; 
and for a moment they stood with clasped 
hands, both pleased, one with the courtesy, and 
the other with the way the courtesy had been 
received. Both were tattered beings on don 
keys; but it made a pleasant picture. 

These are as a whole good Indians al 
though some are very bad, and should be han 
dled rigorously. Most of them work hard, and 
wring a reluctant living from the desert; often 
their houses are miles from water, and they use 
it sparingly. They live on a reservation in which 
many acres are necessary to support life; I do 
not believe that at present they ought to be 
allotted land in severalty, and their whole res 
ervation should be kept for them, if only they 
can be brought forward fast enough in stock- 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 37 

raising and agriculture to use it; for with In 
dians and white men alike it is use which should 
determine occupancy of the soil. The Navajos 
have made progress of a real type, and stand 
far above mere savagery ; and everything possi 
ble should be done to help them help them 
selves, to teach them English, and, above all, 
to teach them how to be better stock-raisers 
and food-growers as well as smiths and 
weavers in their desert home. The whites 
have treated these Indians well. They bene 
fited by the coming of the Spaniards; they have 
benefited more by the coming of our own people. 
For the last quarter of a century the lawless 
individuals among them have done much more 
wrong (including murder) to the whites than has 
been done to them by lawless whites. The law 
less Indians are the worst menace to the others 
among the Navajos and Utes; and very serious 
harm has been done by well-meaning Eastern 
philanthropists who have encouraged and pro 
tected these criminals. I have known some 
startling cases of this kind. 

During the second day of our southward 
journey the Painted Desert, in gaudy desola 
tion, lay far to our right; and we crossed tongues 
and patches of the queer formation, with its 
hard, bright colors. Red and purple, green 



38 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and bluish, orange and gray and umber brown, 
the streaked and splashed clays and marls had 
been carved by wind and weather into a thou 
sand outlandish forms. Funnel-shaped sand 
storms moved across the waste. We climbed 
gradually upward to the top of the mesa. The 
yellow sand grew heavier and deeper. There 
were occasional short streams from springs; 
but they ran in deep gullies, with nothing to 
tell of their presence; never a tree near by and 
hardly a bush or a tuft of grass, unless planted 
and tended by man. We passed the stone walls 
of an abandoned trading-post. The desert had 
claimed its own. The ruins lay close to a low 
range of cliffs; the white sand, dazzling under 
the sun, had drifted everywhere; there was not 
a plant, not a green thing in sight nothing 
but the parched and burning lifelessness of rock 
and sand. This northern Arizona desert was 
less attractive than the southern desert along 
the road to the Roosevelt Dam and near Mesa, 
for instance; for in the south the cactus growth 
is infinitely varied in size and in fantastic 
shape. 

In the late afternoon we reached Tuba, with 
its Indian school and its trader s store. Tuba 
was once a Mormon settlement, the Mormons 
having been invited thither by the people of a 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 39 

near-by Hopi village which we visited be 
cause the Hopis wished protection from hostile 
Indian foes. As usual, the Mormon settlers had 
planted and cared for many trees cotton- 
woods, poplars, almond-trees, and flowering 
acacias and the green shade was doubly at 
tractive in that sandy desert. We were most 
hospitably received, especially by the school 
superintendent, and also by the trader. They 
showed us every courtesy. Mentioning the 
abandoned trading-post in the desert to the 
wife of the trader, she told us that it was there 
she had gone as a bride. The women who live 
in the outposts of civilization have brave souls ! 
We rested the horses for a day, and then 
started northward, toward the trading-station 
of John Wetherill, near Navajo Mountain and 
the Natural Bridge. The first day s travel was 
through heavy sand and very tiring to the 
teams. Late in the afternoon we came to an 
outlying trader s store, on a sandy hillside. In 
the plain below, where not a blade of grass 
grew, were two or three permanent pools; and 
toward these the flocks of the Navajos were 
hurrying, from every quarter, with their herds 
men. The sight was curiously suggestive of 
the sights I so often saw in Africa, when the 
Masai and Samburu herdsmen brought their 



40 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

flocks to water. On we went, not halting until 
nine in the evening. 

All next day we travelled through a parched, 
monotonous landscape, now and then meeting 
Navajos with their flocks and herds, and pass 
ing by an occasional Navajo "hogan," or hovel- 
like house, with its rough corral near by. To 
ward evening we struck into Marsh Pass, and 
camped at the summit. Here we were again 
among the mountains; and the great gorge 
was wonderfully picturesque well worth a 
visit from any landscape-lover, were there not 
so many sights still more wonderful in the im 
mediate neighborhood. The lower rock masses 
were orange-hued, and above them rose red 
battlements of cliff; where the former broke 
into sheer sides there were old houses of the 
cliff-dwellers, carved in the living rock. The 
half -moon hung high overhead; the scene was 
wild and lovely, when we strolled away from 
the camp-fire among the scattered cedars and 
pinyons through the cool, still night. 

Next morning we journeyed on, and in the fore 
noon we reached Kayentay, where John Weth- 
erill, the guide and Indian trader, lives. We had 
been travelling over a bare table-land, through 
surroundings utterly desolate; and with star 
tling suddenness, as we dropped over the edge, 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 41 

we came on the group of houses --the store, 
the attractive house of Mr. and Mrs. Wetherill, 
and several other buildings. Our new friends 
were the kindest and most hospitable of hosts, 
and their house was a delight to every sense: 
clean, comfortable, with its bath and running 
water, its rugs and books, its desks, cupboards, 
couches and chairs, and the excellent taste of 
its Navajo ornamentation. Here we parted 
with our two wagons, and again took to pack- 
trains; we had already grown attached to 
Francisco and Loko, and felt sorry to say good- 
by to them. 

On August 10, under WetherilPs guidance, we 
started for the Natural Bridge, seven of us, all 
told, with five pack-horses. We travelled light, 
with no tentage, and when it rained at night we 
curled up in our bedding under our slickers. I 
was treated as "the Colonel," and did nothing 
but look after my own horse and bedding, and 
usually not even this much; but every one else 
in the outfit worked ! On the two days spent in 
actually getting into and out of the very difficult 
country around the Bridge itself we cut down our 
luggage still further, taking the necessary food 
in the most portable form, and, as regards bed 
ding, trusting, in cowboy fashion, to our slickers 
and horse blankets. But we were comfortable, 



42 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and the work was just hard enough to keep us 
in fine trim. 

We began by retracing our steps to the head 
of Marsh Pass and turning westward up Laguna 
Canyon. This was so named because it con 
tained pools of water when, half a century ago, 
Kit Carson, the type of all that was best among 
the old-style mountain man and plainsman, 
traversed it during one of his successful Indian 
campaigns. The story of the American ad 
vance through the Southwest is filled with 
feats of heroism. Yet, taking into account 
the means of doing the work, even greater 
dangers were fronted, even more severe hard 
ships endured, and even more striking triumphs 
achieved by the soldiers and priests who three 
centuries previously, during Spain s brief sun 
burst of glory, first broke through the portals 
of the thirst-guarded, Indian-haunted desert. 

At noon we halted in a side-canyon, at the 
foot of a mighty cliff, where there were ruins 
of a big village of cliff-dwellers. The cliff was 
of the form so common in this type of rock 
formation. It was not merely sheer, but re 
entrant, making a huge, arched, shallow cave, 
several hundred feet high, and at least a hun 
dred perhaps a hundred and fifty - - feet deep, 
the overhang being enormous. The stone houses 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 43 

of the village, which in all essentials was like 
a Hopi village of to-day, were plastered against 
the wall in stories, each resting on a narrow 
ledge. Long poles permitted one to climb from 
ledge to ledge, and gave access, through the 
roofs, to the more inaccessible houses. The im 
mense size of the cave or overhanging, re 
entrant cliff, whichever one chooses to call it - 
dwarfed the houses, so that they looked like 
toy houses. 

There were many similar, although smaller, 
villages and little clusters of houses among the 
cliffs of this tangle of canyons. Once the cliff- 
dwellers had lived in numbers in this neighbor 
hood, sleeping in their rock aeries, and ven 
turing into the valleys only to cultivate their 
small patches of irrigated land. Generations 
had passed since these old cliff-dwellers had been 
killed or expelled. Compared with the neigh 
boring Indians, they had already made a long 
stride in cultural advance when the Spaniards 
arrived; but they were shrinking back before 
the advance of the more savage tribes. Their 
history should teach the lesson - - taught by 
all history in thousands of cases, and now being 
taught before our eyes by the experience of 
China, but being taught to no purpose so far 
as concerns those ultra peace advocates whose 



44 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

heads are even softer than their hearts --that 
the industrious race of advanced culture and 
peaceful ideals is lost unless it retains the power 
not merely for defensive but for offensive ac 
tion, when itself menaced by vigorous and ag 
gressive foes. 

That night, having ridden only some twenty- 
five miles, we camped in Bubbling Spring Val 
ley. It would be hard to imagine a wilder or 
more beautiful spot; if in the Old World, the 
valley would surely be celebrated in song and 
story; here it is one among many others, all 
equally unknown. We camped by the bubbling 
spring of pure cold water from which it derives 
its name. The long, winding valley was carpeted 
with emerald green, varied by wide bands and rib 
bons of lilac, where the tall ranks of bee-blos 
soms, haunted by humming-birds, grew thickly, 
often for a quarter of a mile at a stretch. The 
valley was walled in by towering cliffs, a few of 
them sloping, most of them sheer-sided or with 
the tops overhanging; and there were isolated 
rock domes and pinnacles. As everywhere round 
about, the rocks were of many colors, and the 
colors varied from hour to hour, so that the 
hues of sunrise differed from those of noonday, 
and yet again from the long lights of sunset. 
The cliffs seemed orange and purple; and again 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 45 

they seemed vermilion and umber; or in the white 
glare they were white and yellow and light red. 

Our routine was that usual when travelling 
with a pack-train. By earliest dawn the men 
whose duties were to wrangle the horses and 
cook had scrambled out of their bedding; and 
the others soon followed suit. There is always 
much work with a pack-outfit, and there are 
almost always some animals which cause trouble 
when being packed. The sun was well up be 
fore we started; then we travelled until sunset, 
taking out a couple of hours to let the hobbled 
horses and mules rest and feed at noon. 

On the second day out we camped not far 
from the foot of Navajo Mountain. We came 
across several Indians, both Navajos and Utes, 
guarding their flocks and herds; and we passed 
by several of their flimsy branch-built summer 
houses, and their mud, stone, and log winter 
houses; and by their roughly fenced fields of 
corn and melons watered by irrigation ditches. 
Wetherill hired two Indians, a Ute and a Nav 
ajo, to go with us, chiefly to relieve us of the 
labor of looking after our horses at night. They 
were pleasant-faced, silent men. They wore 
broad hats, shirts and waistcoats, trousers, and 
red handkerchiefs loosely knotted round their 
necks; except for their moccasins, a feather in 



46 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

each hat, and two or three silver ornaments, 
they were dressed like cowboys, and both 
picturesquely and appropriately. Their orna 
mented saddles were of Navajo make. 

The second day s march \vas long. At one 
point we dropped into and climbed out of a 
sheer-sided canyon some tw r elve hundred feet 
deep. The trail, which zigzagged up and down 
the rocky walls, had been made by the Navajos. 
After we had led our horses down into the 
canyon, and were lunching by a spring, we 
were followed by several Indians driving large 
flocks of goats and sheep. They came down 
the trail at a good rate, many of them riding 
instead of leading their horses. One rather 
comely squaw attracted our attention. She 
was riding a weedy, limber-legged brood-mare, 
followed by a foal. The mare did not look as 
if it would be particularly strong even on the 
level; yet the well-dressed squaw, holding be 
fore her both her baby and her long sticks for 
blanket-weaving, and with behind her another 
child and a small roll of things which included a 
black umbrella, ambled down among the broken 
rocks with entire unconcern, and joked cheerily 
with us as she passed. 

The night was lovely, and the moon, nearly 
full, softened the dry harshness of the land, 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 47 

while Navajo Mountain loomed up under it. 
When we rose, we saw the pale dawn turn blood- 
red; and shortly after sunrise we started for 
our third and final day s journey to the Bridge. 
For some ten miles the track was an ordinary 
rough mountain trail. Then we left all our 
pack-animals except two little mules, and be 
gan the hard part of our trip. From this point 
on the trail was that followed by Wetherill on 
his various trips to the Bridge, and it can per 
haps fairly be called dangerous in two or three 
places, at least for horses. Wetherill has been 
with every party that has visited the Bridge 
from the time of its discovery by white men 
four years ago. On that occasion he was with 
two parties, their guide being the Ute who was 
at this time with us. Mrs. Wetherill has made 
an extraordinarily sympathetic study of the 
Navajos and to a less extent of the Utes; she 
knows, and feelingly understands, their tradi 
tions and ways of thought, and speaks their 
tongue fluently; and it was she who first got 
from the Indians full knowledge of the Bridge. 
The hard trail began with a twenty minutes 
crossing of a big mountain dome of bare sheet 
rock. Over this we led our horses, up, down, 
and along the sloping sides, which fell away 
into cliffs that were scores and even hundreds 



48 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

of feet deep. One spot was rather ticklish. 
We led the horses down the rounded slope to 
where a crack or shelf six or eight inches broad 
appeared and went off level to the right for some 
fifty feet. For half a dozen feet before we 
dropped down to this shelf the slope was steep 
enough to make it difficult for both horses and 
men to keep their footing on the smooth rock; 
there was nothing whatever to hold on to, and 
a precipice lay underneath. 

On we went, under the pitiless sun, through 
a contorted wilderness of scalped peaks and 
ranges, barren passes, and twisted valleys of 
sun-baked clay. We worked up and down 
steep hill slopes, and along tilted masses of 
sheet-rock ending in cliffs. At the foot of one 
of these lay the bleached skeleton of a horse. 
It was one which Wetherill had ridden on one 
of his trips to the Bridge. The horse lost his 
footing on the slippery slide rock, and went to 
his death over the cliff; Wetherill threw himself 
out of the saddle and just managed to escape. 
The last four miles were the worst of all for the 
horses. They led along the bottom of the 
Bridge canyon. It was covered with a torrent- 
strewn mass of smooth rocks, from pebbles to 
bowlders of a ton s weight. It was a marvel 
that the horses got down without breaking their 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 49 

legs; and the poor beasts were nearly worn 
out. 

Huge and bare the immense cliffs towered, 
on either hand, and in front and behind as the 
canyon turned right and left. They lifted 
straight above us for many hundreds of feet. 
The sunlight lingered on their tops; far below, 
we made our way like pygmies through the 
gloom of the great gorge. As we neared the 
Bridge the horse trail led up to one side, and 
along it the Indians drove the horses ; we walked 
at the bottom of the canyon so as to see the 
Bridge first from below and realize its true size; 
for from above it is dwarfed by the immense 
mountain masses surrounding it. 

At last we turned a corner, and the tremen 
dous arch of the Bridge rose in front of us. It 
is surely one of the wonders of the world. It 
is a triumphal arch rather than a bridge, and 
spans the torrent bed in a majesty never shared 
by any arch ever reared by the mightiest con 
querors among the nations of mankind. At 
this point there were deep pools in the rock bed 
of the canyon, with overhanging shelves under 
which grew beautiful ferns and hanging plants. 
Hot and tired, we greeted the chance for a bath, 
and as I floated on my back in the water the 
Bridge towered above me. Then we made 



50 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

camp. We built a blazing fire under one of 
the giant buttresses of the arch, and the leaping 
flame brought it momentarily into sudden re 
lief. We white men talked and laughed by the 
fire, and the two silent Indians sat by and lis 
tened to us. The night was cloudless. The 
round moon rose under the arch and flooded 
the cliffs behind us with her radiance. After 
she passed behind the mountains the heavens 
were still brilliant with starlight, and whenever 
I waked I turned and gazed at the loom of the 
mighty arch against the clear night sky. 

Next morning early we started on our toil 
some return trip. The pony trail led under 
the arch. Along this the Ute drove our pack- 
mules, and as I followed him I noticed that 
the Navajo rode around outside. His creed 
bade him never pass under an arch, for the arch 
is the sign of the rainbow, the sign of the sun s 
course over the earth, and to the Navajo it is 
sacred. This great natural bridge, so recently 
"discovered" by white men, has for ages been 
known to the Indians. Near it, against the 
rock walls of the canyon, we saw the crum 
bling remains of some cliff-dwellings, and almost 
under it there is what appears to be the ruin of 
a very ancient shrine. 

We travelled steadily at a good gait, and we 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 51 

feasted on a sheep we bought from a band of 
Utes. Early on the afternoon of the sixth day 
of our absence we again rode our weary horses 
over the hill slope down to the store at Kayentay, 
and glad we were to see the comfortable ranch 
buildings. 

Many Navajos were continually visiting the 
store. It seems a queer thing to say, but I 
really believe Kayentay would be an excellent 
place for a summer school of archaeology and 
ethnology. There are many old cliff-dwellings, 
some of large size and peculiar interest, in the 
neighborhood; and the Navajos of this region 
themselves, not to mention the village-dwelling 
Hopis, are Indians who will repay the most 
careful study, whether of language, religion, 
or ordinary customs and culture. As always 
when I have seen Indians in their homes, in 
mass, I was struck by the wide cultural and in 
tellectual difference among the different tribes, 
as well as among the different individuals of 
each tribe, and both by the great possibilities 
for their improvement and by the need of show 
ing common sense even more than good inten 
tions if this improvement is to be achieved. 
Some Indians can hardly be moved forward 
at all. Some can be moved forward both fast 
and far. To let them entirely alone usually 



52 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

means their ruin. To interfere with them fool 
ishly, with whatever good intentions, and to try 
to move all of them forward in a mass, with 
a jump, means their ruin. A few individuals 
in every tribe, and most of the individuals 
in some tribes, can move very far forward at 
once; the non-reservation schools do excellently 
for these. Most of them need to be advanced 
by degrees; there must be a half-way house at 
which they can halt, or they may never reach 
their final destination and stand on a level with 
the white man. 

The Navajos have made long strides in ad 
vance during the last fifty years, thanks to the 
presence of the white men in their neighborhood. 
Many decent men have helped them soldiers, 
agents, missionaries, traders; and the help has 
quite as often been given unconsciously as con 
sciously; and some of the most conscientious 
efforts to help them have flatly failed. The 
missionaries have made comparatively few con 
verts; but many of the missionaries have added 
much to the influences telling for the gradual 
uplift of the tribe. Outside benevolent societies 
have done some good work at times, but have 
been mischievous influences when guided by 
ignorance and sentimentality a notable in 
stance on this Navajo reservation is given by 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 53 

Mr. Leupp in his book "The Indian and His 
Problem." Agents and other government of 
ficials, when of the best type, have done most 
good, and when not of the right type have done 
most evil; and they have never done any good 
at all when they have been afraid of the Indians 
or have hesitated relentlessly to punish Indian 
wrong-doers, even if these wrong-doers were 
supported by some unwise missionaries or ill- 
advised Eastern benevolent societies. The trad 
ers of the right type have rendered genuine, 
and ill-appreciated, service, and their stores and 
houses are centres of civilizing influence. 

Good work can be done, and has been done, at 
the schools. Wherever the effort is to jump the 
ordinary Indian too far ahead and yet send 
him back to the reservation, the result is usually 
failure. To be useful the steps for the ordinary 
boy or girl, in any save the most advanced 
tribes, must normally be gradual. Enough 
English should be taught to enable such a boy 
or girl to read, write, and cipher so as not to 
be cheated in ordinary commercial transactions. 
Outside of this the training should be indus 
trial, and, among the Navajos, it should be 
the kind of industrial training which shall avail 
in the home cabins and in tending flocks and herds 
and irrigated fields. The Indian should be en- 



54 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

couraged to build a better house; but the 
house must not be too different from his pres 
ent dwelling, or he will, as a rule, neither build 
it nor live in it. The boy should be taught 
what will be of actual use to him among his 
fellows, and not what might be of use to a 
skilled mechanic in a big city, who can work 
only with first-class appliances; and the agency 
farmer should strive steadily to teach the young 
men out in the field how to better their stock 
and practically to increase the yield of their 
rough agriculture. The girl should be taught 
domestic science, not as it would be practised 
in a first-class hotel or a wealthy private home, 
but as she must practise it in a hut with no 
conveniences, and with intervals of sheep-herd 
ing. If the boy and girl are not so taught, their 
after lives will normally be worthless both to 
themselves and to others. If they are so taught, 
they will normally themselves rise and will be 
the most effective of home missionaries for 
their tribe. 

In Horace Greeley s " Overland Journey," 
published more than half a century ago, there 
are words of sound wisdom on this subject. 
Said Greeley (I condense): "In future efforts 
to improve the condition of the Indians the 
women should be specially regarded and ap- 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 55 

pealed to. A conscientious, humane, capable 
Christian trader, with a wife thoroughly skilled 
in household manufactures and handicrafts, 
each speaking the language of the tribe with 
whom they take up their residence, can do 
[incalculable] good. Let them keep and sell 
whatever articles are adapted to the Indians 
needs . . . and maintain an industrial school 
for Indian women and children, which, though 
primarily industrial, should impart intellectual 
and religious instruction also, wisely adapted 
in character and season to the needs of the 
pupils. . . . Such an enterprise would grad 
ually" [the italics here are mine] "mould a gen 
eration after its own spirit. . . . The Indian 
likes bread as well as the white; he must be 
taught to prefer the toil of producing it to the 
privation of lacking it." Mrs. Wetherill is do 
ing, and striving to do, much more than Horace 
Greeley held up as an ideal. One of her hopes 
is to establish a "model hogan," an Indian 
home, both advanced and possible for the Nav- 
ajos now to live up to a half-way house on 
the road to higher civilization, a house in which, 
for instance, the Indian girl will be taught to 
wash in a tub with a pail of water heated at 
the fire; it is utterly useless to teach her to 
wash in a laundry with steam and cement bath- 



56 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

tubs and expect her to apply this knowledge on 
a reservation. I wish some admirer of Horace 
Greeley and friend of the Indian would help 
Mrs. Wetherill establish her half-way house. 

Mrs. Wetherill was not only versed in 
archaeological lore concerning ruins and the 
like, she was also versed in the yet stranger 
and more interesting archaeology of the In 
dian s own mind and soul. There have of 
recent years been some admirable books pub 
lished on the phase of Indian life which is now, 
after so many tens of thousands of years, 
rapidly drawing to a close. There is the ex 
traordinary, the monumental work of Mr. E. 
S. Curtis, whose photographs are not merely 
photographs, but pictures of the highest value; 
the capital volume by Miss Natalie Curtis; and 
others. If Mrs. Wetherill could be persuaded 
to write on the mythology of the Navajos, and 
also on their present-day psychology - - by which 
somewhat magniloquent term I mean their pres 
ent ways and habits of thought she would 
render an invaluable service. She not only 
knows their language; she knows their minds; 
she has the keenest sympathy not only with 
their bodily needs, but with their mental and 
spiritual processes; and she is not in the least 
afraid of them or sentimental about them when 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 57 

they do wrong. They trust her so fully that 
they will speak to her without reserve about 
those intimate things of the soul which they 
will never even hint at if they suspect want of 
sympathy or fear ridicule. She has collected 
some absorbingly interesting reproductions of 
the Navajo sand drawings, picture representa 
tions of the old mythological tales; they would 
be almost worthless unless she wrote out the 
interpretation, told her by the medicine-man, 
for the hieroglyphics themselves would be 
meaningless without such translation. Accord 
ing to their own creed, the Navajos are very 
devout, and pray continually to the gods of 
their belief. Some of these prayers are very 
beautiful; others differ but little from forms of 
mere devil-worship, of propitiation of the pow 
ers of possible evil. Mrs. Wetherill was good 
enough to write out for me, in the original and 
in English translation, a prayer of each type - 
a prayer to the God of the Dawn and the God 
dess of Evening Light, and a prayer to the great 
Spirit Bear. They run as follows: 

PRAYER TO THE DAWN 

"Hi-yol-cank sil-kin Natany, 
Tee gee hozhone nas-shad, 
Sit-sigie hozhone nas-shad 
She-kayge hozhone nas-shad, 



58 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

She-yage hozhone nas-shad, 
She-kigee hozhone nas-shad, 
She-now also hozhone nas-shad. 

" San-naga, Toddetenie Huskie be-kay, 

hozhone nas-shad 
Na-da-cleas, gekin, Natany, 
Tes-gee hozhone nas-shad 
She-kayge hozhone nas-shad, 
She-kige hozhone nas-shad 
She-yage hozhone nas-shad 
She-now also hozhone nas-shad, 

"Hozhone nas clee, hozhone nas clee, 
Hozhone nas clee, hozhone nas clee." 

PRAYER TO THE DAWN (TRANSLATION) 

"Dawn, beautiful dawn, the Chief, 
This day, let it be well with me as I go; 
Let it be well before me as I go; 
Let it be well behind me as I go; 
Let it be well beneath me as I go; 
Let it be well above me as I go; 
Let all I see be well as I go. 

"Everlasting, like unto the Pollen Boy; 
Goddess of the Evening, the beautiful Chieftess, 
This day, let it be well with me as I go; 
Let it be well before me as I go; 
Let it be well behind me as I go; 
Let it be well beneath me as I go; 
Let it be well above me as I go; 
Let all I see be well as I go. 

"Now all is well, now all is well, 
Now all is well, now all is well." 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 59 

(The Navajos believe in repeating a prayer, 
both in anticipatory and in realized form, four 
times, being firm in the faith that an adjura 
tion four times repeated will bring the results 
they desire; the Pollen Boy is the God of Fer 
tilization of the Flowers.) 

PRAYER TO THE BIG BLACK BEAR 

" Shush-et-so-dilth-kilth 

Pash dilth-kilth ne-kay ba-she-che-un-de-de-talth ; 
Pash dilth-kilth ne-escla ba she chee un-de-de-talth; 
Pash dilth-kilth ne-ea ba she chee un-de-de-talth; 
Pash dilth-kilth ne-cha ba she chee un-de-de-talth; 
Ba ne un-ne-ga ut-sen-el-clish; net saw now-o-tilth a 
Sit saw now-o-tilth go-ud-dish-nilth; 
Ba sit saw ne-egay go-ud-dish-nilth; 
Ne change nis-salth dodo ne; 
Ne change nis-salth do-ut-saw-daw; 
Ne change nis-salth ta-de-tenie nus-cleango-ud-is-nilth; 
es-ze, es-ze, es-ze, es-ze." 

PRAYER TO THE BIG BLACK BEAR (TRANSLATION) 

"Big Black Bear, 

With your black moccasins, like unto a knife, stand be 
tween me and danger; 

With your black leggins, like unto a knife, stand be 
tween me and danger ; 

With your black shirt, like unto a knife, stand between 
me and danger, 

With your black hat, like unto a knife, stand between 
me and danger; 

With your charm send the lightning around you and 
around me; 



60 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

By my charm tell the evil dream to leave me; 
Let the evil dream not come true; 
Give me medicine to dispel the evil dream; 
The evil has missed me, the evil has missed me, the evil 
has missed me, the evil has missed me." 

(The fourfold repetition of "the evil has 
missed me" is held to insure the accomplish 
ment in the future of what the prayer asserts 
of the past. Instead of "hat" we could say 
"helmet," as the Navajos once wore a black 
buckskin helmet; and the knife was of black 
flint. Black was the war color. This prayer 
was to ward off the effect of a bad dream.) 

On August 17, we left Wetherill s with our 
pack-train, for a three days trip across the 
Black Mesa to Walpi, where we were to wit 
ness the snake-dance of the Hopis. The desert 
valley where Kayentay stands is bounded on 
the south by a high wall of cliffs, extending 
for scores of miles. Our first day s march took 
us up this; we led the saddle-horses and drove 
the pack-animals up a very rough Navajo trail 
which zigzagged to the top through a partial 
break in the continuous rock wall. From the 
summit we looked back over the desert, barren, 
desolate, and yet with a curious fascination of 
its own. In the middle distance rose a line of 



ACROSS THE NAVAJO DESERT 61 

low cliffs, deep red, well-nigh blood-red, in 
color. In the far distance isolated buttes lifted 
daringly against the horizon; prominent among 
them was the abrupt pinnacle known as El 
Capitan, a landmark for the whole region. 

On the summit we were once more among 
pines, and we saw again the beautiful wild 
flowers and birds we had left on Buckskin 
Mountain. There were redbells and bluebells 
and the showy Indian paint-brushes; delicate 
white flowers and beautiful purple ones; rabbit- 
brush tipped with pale yellow, and the brighter 
yellow of the Navajo gorse; and innumerable 
others. I saw a Louisiana tanager; the piny on 
jays were everywhere; ravens, true birds of 
the wilderness, croaked hoarsely. 

From the cliff crest we travelled south through 
a wild and picturesque pass. The table-land 
was rugged and mountainous; but it sloped 
gradually to the south, and the mountains 
changed to rounded hills. It was a dry region, 
but with plenty of grama-grass, and much of 
it covered with an open forest of pinyon and 
cedar. After eight hours steady jogging along 
Indian trails, and across country where there 
was no trail, we camped by some muddy pools 
of rain-water which lay at the bottom of a deep 
washout. Soon afterward a Navajo family 



62 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

passed camp; they were travelling in a wagon 
drawn by a mule and a horse, and the boys of 
the family were driving a big herd of sheep and 
goats. The incident merely illustrated the real 
progress the Indians are making, and how far 
they already are from pure savagery. 

Next morning the red dawn and the flushed 
clouds that heralded the sunrise were very 
lovely. Only those who live and sleep in the 
open fully realize the beauty of dawn and moon 
light and starlight. As we journeyed southward 
the land grew more arid; and the water was 
scarce and bad. In the afternoon we camped 
on a dry mud-flat, not far from a Navajo sheep- 
farmer, who soon visited us. Two Navajos 
were travelling with us; merry, pleasant fellows. 
One of them had a .22 Winchester rifle, with 
which he shot a couple of prairie-dogs which 
he and his friend roasted whole for their supper, 
having previously shared ours. 

Next day at noon we climbed the steep, 
narrow rock ridge on whose summit rise the 
three Hopi towns at one of which, Walpi, the 
snake-dance was to be held. The clustered 
rock villages stood in bold outline, on the cliff 
top, against the blue sky. In all America there 
is no more strikingly picturesque sight. 



CHAPTER III 
THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 

ON our trip we not only traversed the 
domains of two totally different and 
very interesting and advanced Indian 
tribes, but we also met all sorts and conditions 
of white men. One of the latter, by the way, 
related an anecdote which delighted me be 
cause of its unexpected racial implications. 
The narrator was a Mormon, the son of an 
English immigrant. He had visited Belgium 
as a missionary. While there he went to a 
theatre to hear an American Negro minstrel 
troupe; and, happening to meet one of the 
minstrels in the street, he hailed him with 
"Halloo, Sam!" to which the pleased and aston 
ished minstrel cordially responded: "Well, for 
de Lawd s sake ! Who d expect to see a white 
man in this country?" 

I did not happen to run across any Mormons 
at the snake-dance; but it seemed to me that 
almost every other class of Americans was rep 
resented -- tourists, traders, cattlemen, farmers, 

63 



64 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

government officials, politicians, cowboys, scien 
tists, philanthropists, all kinds of men and 
women. We were especially glad to meet the 
assistant commissioner of Indian affairs, Mr. 
Abbot, one of the most useful public servants 
in Uncle Sam s employ. Mr. Hubbell, whose 
courtesy toward us was unwearied, met us; 
and we owed our comfortable quarters to the 
kindness of the Indian agent and his assistant. 
As I rode in I was accosted by Miss Natalie 
Curtis, who has done so very much to give to In 
dian culture its proper position. Miss Curtis s 
purpose has been to preserve and perpetuate all 
the cultural development to which the Indian 
has already attained in art, music, poetry, 
or manufacture and, moreover, to endeavor 
to secure the further development and adapta 
tion of this Indian culture so as to make it, 
what it can undoubtedly be made, an im 
portant constituent element in our national 
cultural development. 

Among the others at the snake-dance was 
Geoffrey O Hara, whom Secretary of the In 
terior Lane has wisely appointed instructor 
of native Indian music. Mr. O Hara s pur 
pose is to perpetuate and develop the wealth 
of Indian music and poetry and ultimately 
the rhythmical dancing that goes with the music 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 65 

and poetry. The Indian children already know 
most of the poetry, with its peculiarly baffling 
rhythm. Mr. O Hara wishes to appoint special 
Indian instructors of this music, carefully cho 
sen, in the schools; as he said: "If the Navajo 
can bring with him into civilization the ability 
to preserve his striking and bewildering rhythm, 
he will have done in music what Thorpe, the 
Olympic champion, did in athletics." Miss 
Curtis and Mr. O Hara represent the effort to 
perpetuate Indian art in the life of the Indian 
to-day, not only for his sake, but for our own. 
This side of Indian life is entirely unrevealed 
to most white men; and there is urgent need 
from the standpoint of the white man himself 
of a proper appreciation of native art. Such 
appreciation may mean much toward helping 
the development of an original American art 
for our whole people. 

No white visitor to Walpi was quite as in 
teresting as an Indian visitor, a Navajo who 
was the owner and chauffeur of the motor in 
which Mr. Hubbell had driven to Walpi. He 
was an excellent example of the Indian who 
ought to be given the chance to go to a non- 
reservation school a class not perhaps as 
yet relatively very large, but which will grow 
steadily larger. He had gone to such a school; 



66 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and at the close of his course had entered the 
machine-shops of the Santa Fe and North 
eastern Railway - - 1 think that was the name 
of the road staying there four years, joining 
the local union, going out with the other men 
when they struck, and having in all ways pre 
cisely the experience of the average skilled me 
chanic. Then he returned to the reservation, 
where he is now a prosperous merchant, run 
ning two stores; and he purchased his auto 
mobile as a matter of convenience and of econ 
omy in time, so as to get quickly from one store 
to the other, as they are far apart. He is not a 
Christian, nor is his wife; but his children have 
been baptized in the Catholic Church. Of 
course, such a prosperous career is exceptional 
for an Indian, as it would be exceptional for a 
white man; but there were Hopi Indians whom 
we met at the dance, both storekeepers and 
farmers, whose success had been almost as great. 
Among both the Navajos and Hopis the prog 
ress has been marked during the last thirty or 
forty years, and is more rapid now than ever 
before, and careers such as those just mentioned 
will in their essence be repeated again and again 
by members of both tribes in the near future. 
The Hopis are so far advanced that most of 
them can now fully profit by non-reservation 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 67 

schools. For large sections of the Navajos the 
advance must be slower. For these the agency 
school is the best school, and their industrial 
training should primarily be such as will fit 
them for work in their own homes, and for 
making these homes cleaner and better. 

Of course, the advance in any given case is 
apt to be both fitful and one-sided - - the marvel 
is that it is not more so. Moreover, the advance 
is sometimes taking place when there seems dis- 
hearteningly little evidence of it. I have never 
respected any men or women more than some 
of the missionaries and their wives there 
were examples on the Navajo reservation who 
bravely and uncomplainingly labor for right 
eousness, although knowing that the visible 
fruits of their labor will probably be gathered 
by others in a later generation. These mis 
sionaries may fail to make many converts at 
the moment, and yet they may unconsciously 
produce such an effect that the men and women 
who themselves remain heathen are rather 
pleased to have their children become Chris 
tians. I have in mind, as illustrating just what 
I mean, one missionary family on the Navajo 
reservation whom it was an inspiration to meet; 
and, by the way, the Christian Navajo inter 
preter at their mission, with his pretty wife 



68 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and children, gave fine proof of what the right 
education can do for the Indian. 

Among those at the snake-dance was a Fran 
ciscan priest, who has done much good work on 
the Navajo reservation. He has attained great 
influence with the Navajos because of his work 
for their practical betterment. He doesn t try 
to convert the adults; but he has worked with 
much success among the children. Like every 
competent judge I met, he strongly protested 
against opening or cutting down the Navajo 
reservation. I heartily agree with him. Such 
an act would be a cruel wrong, and would bene 
fit only a few wealthy cattle and sheep men. 

There has apparently been more missionary 
success among the adult Hopis than among the 
adult Navajos; at any rate, I came across a 
Baptist congregation of some thirty members, 
and from information given me I am con 
vinced that these converts stood in all ways 
ahead of their heathen brethren. Exceptional 
qualities of courage, hard-headed common sense, 
sympathy, and understanding are needed by 
the missionary who is to do really first-class 
work; even more exceptional than are the 
qualities needed by the head of a white con 
gregation under present conditions. The most 
marked successes have been won by men, 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 69 

themselves of lofty and broad-minded spiritual 
ity, who have respected the advances already 
made by the Indian toward a higher spiritual 
life, and instead of condemning these advances 
have made use of them in bringing his soul to 
a loftier level. One very important service ren 
dered by the missionaries is their warfare on 
what is evil among the white men on the reser 
vations; they are most potent allies in warring 
against drink and sexual immorality, two of the 
greatest curses with which the Indian has to 
contend. The missionary is always the foe of 
the white man of loose life, and of the white man 
who sells whiskey. Many of the missionaries, 
including all who do most good, are active in 
protecting the rights of each Indian to his land. 
Like the rest of us, the missionary needs to keep 
in mind the fact that the Indian criminal is on 
the whole more dangerous to the well-meaning 
Indian than any outsider can at present be; 
for there are as wide differences of character 
and conduct among Indians as among whites, 
and there is the same need in the one case as in 
the other of treating each individual according 
to his conduct and of persuading the people 
of his own class and color thus to treat him. 

Several times we walked up the precipitous 
cliff trails to the mesa top, and visited the 



70 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

three villages thereon. We were received with 
friendly courtesy - - perhaps partly because we 
endeavored to show good manners ourselves, 
which, I am sorry to say, is not invariably the 
case with tourists. The houses were colored 
red or white; and the houses individually, and 
the villages as villages, compared favorably 
with the average dwelling or village in many 
of the southern portions of Mediterranean Eu 
rope. Contrary to what we had seen in the 
Hopi village near Tuba, most of the houses 
were scrupulously clean; although the condi 
tion of the streets -- while not worse than in 
the Mediterranean villages above referred to 
showed urgent need of a crusade for sanitation 
and elementary hygiene. The men and women 
were well dressed, in clothes quite as picturesque 
and quite as near our own garb as the dress 
of many European peasants of a good type; 
aside, of course, from the priests and young 
men who were preparing for the ceremonial 
dance, and who were clad, or unclad, accord 
ing to the ancient ritual. There were several 
rooms in each house; and the furniture included 
stoves, sewing-machines, chairs, window-panes 
of glass, and sometimes window-curtains. There 
were wagons in one or two of the squares, for 
a wagon road has been built to one end of the 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 71 

mesa; and we saw donkeys laden with fagots 
or water another south European analogy. 

Altogether, the predominant impression made 
by the sight of the ordinary life not the 
strange heathen ceremonies was that of a 
reasonably advanced, and still advancing, semi- 
civilization; not savagery at all. There is big 
room for improvement; but so there is among 
whites; and while the improvement should be 
along the lines of gradual assimilation to the 
life of the best whites, it should unquestionably 
be so shaped as to preserve and develop the 
very real element of native culture possessed 
by these Indians which, as I have already 
said, if thus preserved and developed, may in 
the end become an important contribution to 
American cultural life. Ultimately I hope the 
Indian will be absorbed into the white popula 
tion, on a full equality; as was true, for instance, 
of the Indians who served in my own regiment, 
the Rough Riders; as is true on the Navajo res 
ervation itself of two of the best men thereon, 
both in government employ, both partly of 
northern Indian blood, and both indistinguish 
able from the most upright and efficient of the 
men of pure white blood. 

A visiting clergyman from the Episcopal Ca 
thedral at Fond du Lac took me into one of 



72 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

the houses to look at the pottery. The grand 
mother of the house was the pottery-maker, and, 
entirely unhelped from without and with no in 
centive of material reward, but purely to gratify 
her own innate artistic feeling, she had developed 
the art of pottery-making to a very unusual de 
gree; it was really beautiful pottery. On the 
walls, as in most of the other houses, were pic 
ture-cards and photographs, including those of 
her children and grandchildren, singly and 
grouped with their schoolmates. Two of her 
daughters and half a dozen grandchildren were 
present, and it was evident that the family life 
was gentle and attractive. The grandfather 
was not a Christian, but "he is one of the best 
old men I ever knew, and I must say that I ad 
mire and owe him much, if I am a parson," said 
my companion. The Hopis are monogamous, 
and the women are well treated; the man tills 
the fields and weaves, and may often be seen 
bringing in fire-wood; and the fondness of both 
father and mother for their children is very 
evident. 

Many well-informed and well-meaning men 
are apt to protest against the effort to keep 
and develop what is best in the Indian s own 
historic life as incompatible with making him 
an American citizen, and speak of those of 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 73 

opposite views as wishing to preserve the In 
dians only as national bric-a-brac. This is 
not so. We believe in fitting him for citizen 
ship as rapidly as possible. But where he 
cannot be pushed ahead rapidly we believe in 
making progress slowly, and in all cases where it 
is possible we hope to keep for him and for us 
what was best in his old culture. As eminently 
practical men as Mr. Frissell, the head of Hamp 
ton Institute (an educational model for white, 
red, and black men alike), and Mr. Valentine, 
the late commissioner of Indian affairs, have 
agreed with Miss Curtis in drawing up a scheme 
for the payment from private sources of a num 
ber of high-grade, specially fitted educational 
experts, whose duty it should be to correlate 
all the agencies, public and private, that are 
working for Indian education, and also to make 
this education, not a mechanical impress from 
without, but a drawing out of the qualities that 
are within. The Indians themselves must be 
used in such education; many of their old men 
can speak as sincerely, as fervently, and as 
eloquently of duty as any white teacher, and 
these old men are the very teachers best fitted 
to perpetuate the Indian poetry and music. 
The effort should be to develop the existing art 
whether in silver-making, pottery-making, 



74 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

blanket and basket weaving, or lace-knitting 
and not to replace it by servile and mechanical 
copying. This is only to apply to the Indian a 
principle which ought to be recognized among 
all our people. A great art must be living, must 
spring from the soul of the people; if it rep 
resents merely a copying, an imitation, and if 
it is confined to a small caste, it cannot be 
great. 

Of course all Indians should not be forced 
into the same mould. Some can be made farm 
ers; others mechanics; yet others have the 
soul of the artist. Let us try to give each his 
chance to develop what is best in him. More 
over, let us be wary of interfering overmuch 
with either his work or his play. It is mere 
tyranny, for instance, to stop all Indian dances. 
Some which are obscene, or which are dangerous 
on other grounds, must be prohibited. Others 
should be permitted, and many of them en 
couraged. Nothing that tells for the joy of life, 
in any community, should be lightly touched. 

A few Indians may be able to turn them 
selves into ordinary citizens in a dozen years. 
Give these exceptional Indians every chance; 
but remember that the majority must change 
gradually, and that it will take generations to 
make the change complete. Help them to 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 75 

make it in such fashion that when the change 
is accomplished we shall find that the original 
and valuable elements in the Indian culture 
have been retained, so that the new citizens 
come with full hands into the great field of 
American life, and contribute to that life some 
thing of marked value to all of us, something 
which it would be a misfortune to all of us to 
have destroyed. 

As an example, take the case of these Hopi 
mesa towns, perched in such boldly picturesque 
fashion on high, sheer-walled rock ridges. Many 
good people wish to force the Hopis to desert 
these towns, and live in isolated families in nice 
tin-roofed houses on the plains below. I be 
lieve that this would be a mistake from the 
standpoint of the Indians not to mention de 
priving our country of something as notable and 
as attractive as the castles that have helped 
make the Rhine beautiful and famous. Let the 
effort be to insist on cleanliness and sanitation 
in the villages as they are, and especially to 
train the Indians themselves to insist thereon; 
and to make it easier for them to get water. 
In insisting on cleanliness, remember that we 
preach a realizable ideal; our own ancestors 
lived in villages as filthy not three centuries 
ago. The breezy coolness of the rocky mesa 



76 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

top and the magnificent outlook would make 
it to me personally a far more attractive dwell 
ing-place than the hot, dusty plains. More 
over, the present Hop! house, with its thick roof, 
is cooler and pleasanter than a tin-roofed house. 
I believe it would be far wiser gradually to 
develop the Hopi house itself, making it more 
commodious and convenient, rather than to 
abandon it and plant the Indian in a brand- 
new government-built house, precisely like some 
ten million other cheap houses. The Hopi 
architecture is a product of its own environ 
ment; it is as picturesque as anything of the kind 
which our art students travel to Spain in order 
to study. Therefore let us keep it. The Hopi 
architecture can be kept, adapted, and de 
veloped just as we have kept, adapted, and 
developed the Mission architecture of the South 
west with the results seen in beautiful Le- 
land Stanford University. The University of 
New Mexico is, most wisely, modelled on these 
pueblo buildings; and the architect^ has done 
admirable work of the kind by adapting Indian 
architectural ideas in some of his California 
houses. The Hopi is himself already thus de 
veloping his house; as I have said, he has put 
in glass windows and larger doors; he is fur 
nishing it; he is making it continually more 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 77 

livable. Give him a chance to utilize his own 
inherent sense of beauty in making over his 
own village for himself. Give him a chance to 
lead his own life as he ought to; and realize 
that he has something to teach us as well as 
to learn from us. The Hopi of the younger gen 
eration, at least in some of the towns, is chang 
ing rapidly; and it is safe to leave it to him 
to decide where he will build and keep his 
house. 

I cannot so much as touch on the absorb 
ingly interesting questions of the Hopi spiritual 
and religious life, and of the amount of def 
erence that can properly be paid to one side of 
this life. The snake-dance and antelope-dance, 
which we had come to see, are not only in 
teresting as relics of an almost inconceivably 
remote and savage past analogous to the 
past wherein our own ancestors once dwelt - 
but also represent a mystic symbolism which 
has in it elements that are ennobling and not 
debasing. These dances are prayers or invoca 
tions for rain, the crowning blessing in this dry 
land. The rain is adored and invoked both as 
male and female; the gentle steady downpour 
is the female, the storm with lightning the male. 
The lightning-stick is "strong medicine," and 
is used in all these religious ceremonies. The 



78 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

snakes, the brothers of men, as are all living 
things in the Hopi creed, are besought to tell 
the beings of the underworld man s need of 
water. 

As a former great chief at Washington I 
was admitted to the sacred room, or one- 
roomed house, the kiva, in which the chosen 
snake priests had for a fortnight been getting 
ready for the sacred dance. Very few white 
men have been thus admitted, and never un 
less it is known that they will treat with cour 
tesy and respect what the Indians revere. 
Entrance to the house, which was sunk in the 
rock, was through a hole in the roof, down a 
ladder across whose top hung a cord from which 
fluttered three eagle plumes and dangled three 
small animal skins. Below was a room perhaps 
fifteen feet by twenty-five. One end of it, oc 
cupying perhaps a third of its length, was 
raised a foot above the rest, and the ladder 
led down to this raised part. Against the rear 
wall of this raised part or dais lay thirty odd 
rattlesnakes, most of them in a twined heap in 
one corner, but a dozen by themselves scattered 
along the wall. There was also a pot containing 
several striped ribbon-snakes, too lively to be 
left at large. Eight or ten priests, some old, 
some young, sat on the floor in the lower and 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 79 

larger two-thirds of the room, and greeted me 
with grave courtesy; they spread a blanket on 
the edge of the dais, and I sat down, with my 
back to the snakes and about eight feet from 
them; a little behind and to one side of me sat 
a priest with a kind of fan or brush made of 
two or three wing-plumes of an eagle, who kept 
quiet guard over his serpent wards. At the 
farther end of the room was the altar; the 
rude picture of a coyote was painted on the 
floor, and on the four sides of this coyote pic 
ture were paintings of snakes; on three sides it 
was hemmed in by lightning-sticks, or thunder- 
sticks, standing upright in little clay cups, and 
on the fourth side by eagle plumes held similarly 
erect. Some of the priests were smoking 
for pleasure, not ceremonially and they were 
working at parts of the ceremonial dress. One 
had a cast rattlesnake skin which he was chew 
ing, to limber it up, just as Sioux squaws used 
to chew buckskin. Another was fixing a leather 
apron with pendent thongs; he stood up and 
tried it on. All were scantily clad, in breech- 
clouts or short kilts or loin flaps; their naked, 
copper-red bodies, lithe and sinewy, shone, and 
each had been splashed in two or three places 
with a blotch or streak of white paint. One 
spoke English and translated freely; I was care- 



80 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

ful not to betray too much curiosity or touch on 
any matter which they might be reluctant to 
discuss. The snakes behind me never rattled 
or showed any signs of anger; the translator 
volunteered the remark that they were peace 
able because they had been given medicine 
whatever that might mean, supposing the state 
ment to be true according to the sense in which 
the words are accepted by plainsmen. But 
several of them were active in the sluggish 
rattlesnake fashion. One glided sinuously to 
ward me; when he was a yard away, I pointed 
him out to the watcher with the eagle feathers; 
the watcher quietly extended the feathers and 
stroked and pushed the snake s head back, until 
it finally turned and crawled back to the wall. 
Half a dozen times different snakes thus crawled 
out toward me and were turned back, without 
their ever displaying a symptom of irritation. 
One snake got past the watcher and moved 
slowly past me about six inches away, where 
upon the priest on my left leaned across me and 
checked its advance by throwing pinches of dust 
in its face until the watcher turned round with 
his feather sceptre. Every move was made 
without hurry and with quiet unconcern; nei 
ther snake nor man, at any time, showed a trace 
of worry or anger; all, human beings and reptiles, 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 81 

were in an atmosphere of quiet peacefulness. 
When I rose to say good-by, I thanked my hosts 
for their courtesy; they were pleased, and two 
or three shook hands with me. 

On the afternoon of the following day, August 
20, the antelope priests the men of the an 
telope clan - - held their dance. The snake 
priests took part. It was held in the middle of 
Walpi village, round a big, rugged column of 
rock, a dozen feet high, which juts out of the 
smooth surface. The antelope-dancers came in 
first, clad in kilts, with fox skins behind; other 
wise naked, painted with white splashes and 
streaks, and their hair washed with the juice 
of the yucca root. Their leader s kilt was white; 
he wore a garland and anklets of cottonwood 
leaves, and sprinkled water from a sacred vessel 
to the four corners of heaven. Another leader 
carried the sacred bow and a bull-roarer, and 
they moved to its loud moaning sound. The 
snake priests were similarly clad, but their 
kirtles were of leather; eagle plumes were in 
their long hair, and under their knees they car 
ried rattles made of tortoise-shell. In two lines 
they danced opposite each other, keeping time 
to the rhythm of their monotonous chanting. 

On the top of the column were half a dozen 
Hopi young men, clad in ordinary white man s 



82 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

clothing. Archie joined these, and entered in 
to conversation with them. They spoke Eng 
lish; they had been at non-reservation schools; 
they were doing well as farmers and citizens. 
One and all they asserted that, in order to 
prosper in after life, it was necessary for the 
Indian to get away to a non-reservation school; 
that merely to go to an agency school was 
not enough in any community which was on 
the highroad of progress; and that they in 
tended to send their own children for a couple 
of years to an agency school and then to a non- 
reservation school. They looked at the cere 
monial religious dances of their fathers pre 
cisely as the whites did; they were in effect 
Christians, although not connected with any 
specific church. They represented substantial 
success in the effort to raise the Indian to the 
level of the white man. In their case it was 
not necessary to push them toward forgetful- 
ness of their past. They were travelling away 
from it naturally, and of their own accord. As 
their type becomes dominant the snake-dance 
and antelope -dance will disappear, the Hopi 
religious myths will become memories, and the 
Hopis will live in villages on the mesa tops, or 
scattered out on the plains, as their several in 
clinations point, just as if they were so many 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 83 

white men. It is to be hoped that the art, the 
music, the poetry of their elders will be pre 
served during the change coming over the 
younger generation. 

On my return from this dance I met two of 
the best Indian agents in the entire service. 
The first was Mr. Parquette, a Wisconsin man, 
himself part Indian by blood. The other was 
Mr. Shelton, who has done more for the Nava- 
jos than any other living man. He has sternly 
put down the criminal element exactly as he 
has toiled for and raised the decent Indians and 
protected them against criminal whites; more 
over, he has actually reformed these Indian 
criminals, so that they are now themselves 
decent people and his fast friends; while the 
mass of the Indians recognize him as their 
leader who has rendered them incalculable 
services. He has got the Indians themselves 
to put an absolute stop to gambling, whiskey- 
drinking, and sexual immorality. His annual 
agricultural fair is one of the features of Navajo 
life, and is of far-reaching educational value. 
Yet this exceptionally upright and efficient 
public servant, who has done such great and 
lasting good to the Indians, was for years the 
object of attack by certain Eastern philan 
thropic associations, simply because he warred 



84 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

against Indian criminals who were no more 
entitled to sympathy than the members of the 
Whyo gang in New York City. Messrs. Shelton 
and Parquette explained to me the cruel wrong 
that would be done to the Navajos if their res 
ervation was thrown open or cut down. It is 
desert country. It cannot be utilized in small 
tracts, for in many parts the w r ater is so scanty 
that hundreds, and in places even thousands, 
of acres must go to the support of any family. 
The Indians need it all; they are steadily im 
proving as agriculturists and stock-growers; 
few small settlers could come in even if the 
reservation were thrown open ; the movement to 
open it, and to ruin the Indians, is merely in 
the interest of a few needy adventurers and of 
a few wealthy men who wish to increase their 
already large fortunes, and who have much 
political influence. 

Mr. Robinson, the superintendent of irri 
gation, in protesting against opening the reser 
vation, dwelt upon the vital need of getting 
from Congress sufficient money to enable the 
engineers to develop water by digging wells, 
preserving springs, and making flood reservoirs. 
The lack of water is the curse of this desert 
reservation. The welfare of the Indians depends 
on the further development of the water-supply. 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 85 

That night fires flared from the villages on 
the top of the mesa. Before there was a hint 
of dawn we heard the voice of the crier sum 
moning the runners to get ready for the snake- 
dance; and we rose and made our way to the 
mesa top. The "yellow line," as the Hopis 
call it, was in the east, and dawn was beautiful, 
as we stood on the summit and watched the 
women and children in their ceremonial finery, 
looking from the housetops and cliff edges for 
the return of the racers. On this occasion they 
dropped their civilized clothes. The children 
were painted and naked save for kilts; and 
they wore feathers and green corn leaves in 
their hair. The women wore the old-style 
clothing; many of them were in their white 
bridal dresses, which in this queer tribe are 
woven by the bridegroom and his male kins 
folk for the bride s trousseau. The returning 
racers ran at speed up the precipitous paths to 
the mesa, although it was the close of a six- 
mile run. Most of them, including the winner, 
wore only a breech-clout and were decked with 
feathers. I should like to have entered that 
easy-breathing winner in a Marathon contest ! 
Many of the little boys ran the concluding mile 
or so with them; and the little girls made a 
pretty spectacle as they received the little boys 



86 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

much as the women and elder girls greeted the 
men. Then came the corn-scramble, or mock- 
fight over the corn; and then in each house a 
feast was set, especially for the children. 

At noon, thanks to Mr. Hubbell, and to the 
fact that I was an ex-President, we were ad 
mitted to the sacred kiva--the one-roomed 
temple-house which I had already visited - 
while the snake priests performed the cere 
mony of washing the snakes. Very few white 
men have ever seen this ceremony. The sight 
was the most interesting of our entire trip. 

There were twenty Indians in the kiva, all 
stripped to their breech-clouts; only about ten 
actually took part in handling the snakes, or 
in any of the ceremonies except the rhythmic 
chant, in which all joined. Eighty or a hun 
dred snakes, half of them rattlers, the others 
bull-snakes or ribbon-snakes, lay singly or in 
tangled groups against the wall at the raised end 
of the room. They were quiet and in no way 
nervous or excited. Two men stood at this end 
of the room. Two more stood at the other end, 
where the altar was ; there w^as some sand about 
the altar, and the eagle feathers we had pre 
viously seen there had been removed, but the 
upright thunder-sticks remained. The other 
Indians were squatted in the middle of the room, 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 87 

and half a dozen of them were in the immediate 
neighborhood of a very big, ornamented wooden 
bowl of water, placed on certain white-painted 
symbols on the floor. Two of these Indians held 
sacred rattles, and there was a small bowl of 
sacred meal beside them. There was some 
seemingly ceremonial pipe-smoking. 

After some minutes of silence, one of the 
squatting priests, who seemed to be the leader, 
and who had already puffed smoke toward the 
bowl, began a low prayer, at the same time hold 
ing and manipulating in his fingers a pinch of the 
sacred "meal. The others once and again during 
this prayer uttered in unison a single word or 
exclamation a kind of selah or amen. At 
the end he threw the meal into the bowl of 
water; he had already put some in at the out 
set of the prayer. Then he began a rhythmic 
chant, in which all the others joined, the rattles 
being shaken and the hands moved in harmony 
with the rhythm. The chant consisted seem 
ingly of a few words repeated over and over 
again. It was a strange scene, in the half- 
light of the ancient temple-room. The copper- 
red bodies of the priests swayed, and their 
strongly marked faces, hitherto changeless, 
gained a certain quiet intensity of emotion. 
The chanting grew in fervor; yet it remained 



88 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

curiously calm throughout (except for a moment 
at a time, about which I shall speak later). 
Then the two men who stood near the snakes 
stooped over, and each picked up a handful 
of them, these first handfuls being all rattle 
snakes. It was done in tranquil, matter-of-fact 
fashion, and the snakes behaved with equally 
tranquil unconcern. All was quiet save for 
the chanting. The snakes were handed to two 
of the men squatting round the bowl, who re 
ceived them as if they had been harmless, hold 
ing them by the middle of the body, or at least 
well away from the head. This was repeated un 
til half a dozen of the squatting priests held each 
three or four poisonous serpents in his hands. 
The chanting continued, in strongly accented 
but monotonous rhythm, while the rattles were 
shaken, and the snakes moved up and down 
or shaken, in unison with it. Then suddenly 
the chant quickened and rose to a scream, and 
the snakes were all plunged into the great bowl 
of water, a writhing tangle of snakes and hands. 
Immediately afterward they were withdrawn, 
as suddenly as they had been plunged in, and 
were hurled half across the room, to the floor, on 
and around the altar. They were hurled from 
a distance of a dozen feet, with sufficient violence 
to overturn the erect thunder-sticks. That the 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 89 

snakes should have been quiet and inoffensive 
under the influence of the slow movements and 
atmosphere of calm that had hitherto obtained 
was understandable; but the unexpected vio 
lence of the bathing, and then of the way in 
which they were hurled to the floor, together 
with the sudden screaming intensity of the 
chant, ought to have upset the nerves of every 
snake there. However, it did not. The snakes 
woke to an interest in life, it is true, writhed 
themselves free of one another and of the upset 
lightning-sticks, and began to glide rapidly in 
every direction. But only one showed symp 
toms of anger, and these were not marked. 
The two standing Indians at this end of the 
room herded the snakes with their eagle feathers, 
gently brushing and stroking them back as they 
squirmed toward us, or toward the singing, 
sitting priests. 

The process was repeated until all the snakes, 
venomous and non-venomous alike, had been 
suddenly bathed and then hurled on the floor, 
filling the other end of the room with a wrig 
gling, somewhat excited serpent population, 
which was actively, but not in any way ner 
vously, shepherded by the two Indians stationed 
for that purpose. These men were, like the 
others, clad only in a breech-clout, but they 



90 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

moved about among the snakes, barelegged 
and barefooted, with no touch of concern. 
One or two of the rattlers became vicious under 
the strain, and coiled and struck. I thought 
I saw one of the two shepherding watchers 
struck in the hand by a recalcitrant sidewinder 
which refused to be soothed by the feathers, and 
which he finally picked up; but, if so, the man 
gave no sign and his placidity remained un- 
rufHed. Most of the snakes showed no anger at 
all; it seemed to me extraordinary that they 
were not all of them maddened. 

When the snakes had all been washed, the 
leading priest again prayed. Afterward he once 
more scattered meal in the bowl, in lines east, 
west, north, and south, and twice diagonally. 
The chant was renewed; it grew slower; the 
rattles were rattled more slowly; then the sing 
ing stopped and all was over. 

At the end of the ceremony I thanked my 
hosts and asked if there was anything I could 
do to show my appreciation of the courtesy 
they had shown me. They asked if I could 
send them some cowry shells, which they use 
as decorations for the dance. I told them I 
would send them a sackful. They shook hands 
cordially with all of us, and we left. I have 
never seen a wilder or, in its way, more impres- 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 91 

sive spectacle than that of these chanting, 
swaying, red-skinned medicine-men, their lithe 
bodies naked, unconcernedly handling the death 
that glides and strikes, while they held their 
mystic worship in the gray twilight of the kiva. 
The ritual and the soul-needs it met, and the 
symbolism and the dark savagery, were all 
relics of an ages-vanished past, survivals of an 
elder world. 

The snake -dance itself took place in the 
afternoon at five o clock. There were many 
hundreds of onlookers, almost as many whites 
as Indians, and most of the Indian spectators 
were in white man s dress, in strong contrast 
to the dancers. The antelope priests entered 
first and ranged themselves by a tree-like bundle 
of cottonwood branches against the wall of 
buildings to one side of the open place where 
the dance takes place; the other side is the 
cliff edge. The snakes, in a bag, were stowed 
by the bundle of cottonwood branches. Young 
girls stood near the big pillar of stone with 
sacred meal to scatter at the foot of the pillar 
after the snakes had been thrown down there 
and taken away. Then the snake priests en 
tered in their fringed leather kilts and eagle- 
plume head-dresses ; fox skins hung at the backs 
of their girdles, their bodies were splashed and 



92 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

streaked with white, and on each of them the 
upper part of the face was painted black and 
the lower part white. Chanting, and stepping 
in rhythm to the chant, and on one particular 
stone slab stamping hard as a signal to the 
underworld, they circled the empty space and 
for some minutes danced opposite the line of 
antelope priests. Then, in couples, one of each 
couple seizing and carrying in his mouth a 
snake, they began to circle the space again. 
The leading couple consisted of one man who 
had his arm across the shoulder of another, 
while this second man held in his teeth, by the 
upper middle of its body, a rattlesnake four 
feet long, the flat, ace-of-clubs-shaped head 
and curving neck of the snake being almost 
against the man s face. Rattlesnakes, bull- 
snakes, ribbon-snakes, all were carried in the 
same way. One man carried at the same time 
two small sidewinder rattlesnakes in his mouth. 
After a while each snake was thrown on the 
rock and soon again picked up and held in the 
hand, while a new snake was held in the mouth. 
Finally, each man carried a bundle of snakes 
in his hand, all so held as to leave the head free, 
so that the snake could strike if it wished. 
Most of the snakes showed no anger or resent 
ment. But occasionally one, usually a small 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 93 

sidewinder, half coiled or rattled when thrown 
down; and in picking these up much caution 
was shown, the Indian stroking the snake with 
his eagle feathers and trying to soothe it and 
get it to straighten out; and if it refused to be 
soothed, he did his best to grasp it just back of 
the head; and when he had it in his hand, he 
continued to stroke the body with the feathers, 
obviously to quiet it. But whether it were 
angry or not, he always in the end grasped and 
lifted it besides keeping it from crawling 
among the spectators. Several times I saw the 
snakes strike at the men who were carrying 
them, and twice I was sure they struck home - 
once a man s wrist, once his finger. Neither 
man paid any attention or seemed to suffer in 
any way. I saw no man struck in the face; 
but several of my friends had at previous dances 
seen men so struck. In one case the man soon 
showed that he was in much pain, although he 
continued to dance, and he was badly sick for 
days; in the other cases no bad result what 
ever followed. 

At last all the snakes were in the hands of 
the dancers. Then all were thrown at the foot 
of the natural stone pillar, and immediately, 
with a yell, the dancers leaped in, seized, each 
of them, several snakes, and rushed away, east, 



94 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

west, north, and south, dashing over the edge 
of the cliff and jumping like goats down the 
precipitous trails. At the foot of the cliff, or 
on the plain, they dropped the snakes, and then 
returned to purify themselves by drinking and 
washing from pails of dark sacred water - 
medicine water brought by the women. It 
was a strange and most interesting ceremony 
all through. 

I do not think any adequate explanation of 
the immunity of the dancers has been ad 
vanced. Perhaps there are several explana 
tions. These desert rattlesnakes are not nearly 
as poisonous as the huge diamond-backs of 
Florida and Texas; their poison is rarely fatal. 
The dancers are sometimes bitten; usually 
they show no effects, but, as above said, in one 
instance the bitten man was very sick for 
several days. It has been said that the fangs 
are extracted; but even in this case the poison 
would be loose in the snake s mouth and might 
get in the skin through the wounds made by 
the other teeth; and I noticed that when any 
snake, usually a small sidewinder, showed anger 
and either rattled or coiled, much caution was 
shown in handling it, and every effort made to 
avoid being bitten. It is also asserted that the 
snakes show the quiet and placid indifference 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 95 

they do because they are drugged, and one 
priest told me they are given "medicine"; 
but I have no idea whether this is true. Nor 
do I know whether the priests themselves take 
medicine. I believe that one element in the 
matter is that the snake priests either naturally 
possess or develop the same calm power over 
these serpents that certain men have over bees; 
the latter power, the existence of which is so 
well known, has never received the attention 
and study it deserves. An occasional white 
man has such power with snakes. There was 
near my ranch on the Little Missouri, twenty- 
five years ago, a man who had this power. 
He was a rather shiftless, ignorant man, of a 
common frontier type, who failed at about 
everything, and I think he was himself surprised 
when he found that he could pick up and handle 
rattlesnakes with impunity. There was no de 
ception about it. I would take him off on horse 
back, and when I found a rattler he would 
quietly pick it up by the thick part of the body 
and put it in a sack. He sometimes made move 
ments with his hands before picking up a coiled 
rattler; but when he had several in a bag he 
would simply put his hand in, take hold of a 
snake anywhere, and draw it out. I can under 
stand the snakes being soothed and quieted by 



96 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

the matter-of-fact calm and fearlessness of the 
priests for most of the time ; but why the rattlers 
were not all maddened by the treatment they 
received at the washing in the kiva, and again 
when thrown on the dance rock, I cannot under 
stand. 

That night we motored across the desert 
with Mr. Hubbell to his house and store at 
Ganado, sixty miles away, and from Ganado 
we motored to Gallup, and our holiday was at 
an end. Mr. Hubbell is an Indian trader. His 
Ganado house, right out in the bare desert, is 
very comfortable and very attractive, and he 
treats all comers with an open-handed hos 
pitality inherited from pioneer days. He has 
great influence among the Navajos, and his 
services to them have been of much value. 
Every ounce of his influence has been success 
fully exerted to put a stop to gambling and 
drinking; his business has been so managed 
as to be an important factor in the material 
and moral betterment of the Indians with whom 
he has dealt. And he has been the able cham 
pion of their rights wherever these rights have 
been menaced from any outside source. 

Arizona and New Mexico hold a wealth of 
attraction for the archaeologist, the anthro 
pologist, and the lover of what is strange and 



THE HOPI SNAKE-DANCE 97 

striking and beautiful in nature. More and 
more they will attract visitors and students 
and holiday-makers. That part of northern 
Arizona which we traversed is of such extraor 
dinary interest that it should be made more 
accessible by means of a government-built 
motor road from Gallup to the Grand Canyon; 
a road from which branch roads, as good as 
those of Switzerland, would gradually be built 
to such points as the Hopi villages and the 
neighborhood of the Natural Bridge. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE RANCHLAND OF ARGENTINA AND 
SOUTHERN BRAZIL 

IN the fall of 1913 I enjoyed a glimpse of 
the ranch country of southern Brazil and 
of Argentina. It was only a glimpse; for 
I was bent on going northward into the vast 
wilderness of tropical South America. I had no 
time to halt in the grazing country of temperate 
South America, which is no longer a wilderness, 
but a land already feeling the sweep of the mod 
ern movement. It is a civilized land, already 
fairly well settled, which by leaps and bounds is 
becoming thickly settled; a region which at the 
present day is in essentials far more closely kin to 
the plains country, which in temperate North 
America stretches from Hudson Bay to the Gulf, 
than either land is kin to what each was even 
half a century ago. The main difference is that 
the great cow country, the plains country, of 
North America was peopled only by savages 
when the white pioneers entered it in the nine 
teenth century; whereas throughout temperate 

98 



RANCHLANDS 99 

South America there were here and there oases 
of thin settlement, including even small, stag 
nant cities, already two or three centuries old. 
In these oases people wholly or partly of Euro 
pean blood had gradually developed a peculiar 
and backward, but real, semicivilization of 
their own. This quaint, distinctive social cul 
ture has been, or is now being, engulfed by the 
rising tide of intensely modern internationalized 
material development. 

Among the many pleasant memories of my 
visit to Argentina, one of the most pleasant is 
that of a dinner at the house of the governor 
of the old provincial capital of Mendoza. Our 
distinguished host came of an old country family 
which for many centuries led the life of the 
great cattle-breeding ranch-owners, although 
his people were more and more turning their 
attention to agriculture, he himself being a 
successful farmer, as well as an invaluable 
public servant of advanced views. His father 
was at the dinner. He had retired as a general 
after forty-nine years service in the Argentine 
army. The fine old fellow represented what 
was best in the Argentine type before the days 
of modern industrialism. A very vigorous and 
manly best it was, too. He wore the old Ar 
gentine uniform, which for his rank was the 



100 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

same as the uniform once worn by Napoleon s 
officers. He had served in the bloody Para 
guayan War, when Argentina, Brazil, and Uru 
guay joined to overthrow the inconceivably 
murderous dictatorship of Lopez, and when the 
Paraguayans rallied with savage valor under 
the banner of the dictator, who tyrannized over 
them, but who nevertheless represented in their 
eyes the nation. This old general had served 
in many Indian wars, both in Patagonia and 
in the Grand Chaco, and had seen desperate 
fighting in the civil wars. He wore medals 
commemorating his services in the Paraguayan 
and Indian campaigns, but he would not wear 
any medals commemorating his services in the 
civil wars. Yet the only time he was wounded 
was in one of the battles in one of these civil 
wars. He was then shot twice and received a 
bayonet thrust, and was also stabbed with a 
h!nce. If he had not possessed a constitution of 
iron he would never have survived. Our people 
in the United States often speak of these South 
American wars with the same ignorant lack of 
appreciation that used to be shown by Euro 
pean military men in speaking of our own Civil 
War and other contests. This attitude is as 
foolish on our part in the one case as it was 
foolish on the part of the Europeans in question 



RANCHLANDS 1D1 

in the other case. The South American Indian 
fighting was of the same hazardous character, 
and the Indian campaigns were fraught with 
the same wearing fatigue, and marked by the 
same risk and wild adventure, as in the case of 
our own Indian campaigns. In the Argentine 
civil wars, and in the Paraguayan War, as in 
the wars which the Chileans have waged, the 
fighting was, on the whole, rather more des 
perate than in any contest between the civilized 
nations of Europe from the close of the Na 
poleonic struggles to the opening of the present 
gigantic contest. There is no more formidable 
fighting material in the world than is afforded 
by certain elements in the populations of some 
of these Latin-American countries. The gen 
eral of whom I am speaking was himself a most 
interesting example of a vanishing type. Lovers 
of good literature should read the sketches 
of old-time Argentine life in Hudson s "El 
Ombu." When they have done so, they will 
understand the strength and the ruthlessness 
which produced leaders of the stamp of the 
scarred and war-hardened veteran who in full 
general s uniform met us at dinner at the house 
of his son, the governor of Mendoza. 

The old-time conditions of gaucho civiliza 
tion that produced these wild and formidable 



102 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

fighting men, who fought as they lived, on the 
backs of their horses, have vanished as utterly 
as our own Far West of the days of Kit Carson. 
The Argentine country life has changed as com 
pletely as the Argentine city life. They are 
gone, those long years during which the gaucho 
rode over unfenced plains after gaunt cattle, 
and warred against the scarcely wilder Indians 
w r ith whom he vied in horsemanship and plains- 
craft and hardihood and from whom he bor 
rowed that strange weapon, the bolas. Even 
the southern Andes of what was once Patagonia 
are unexplored only in the sense that the Rockies 
of Alberta are not yet completely explored. 
Much of the former ranch country is now wheat- 
land, where the workmen of foreign, especially 
Italian, origin far outnumber the men of old 
Hispano-Indian stock. Great cattle-ranches re 
main; but they are handled substantially like 
great modern ranches in our own Southwest, 
and the blooded horses and high-grade cattle are 
kept in large, fenced pastures. In most places 
the gaucho has changed as our own cowboy has 
changed. He is as bold and good a horseman as 
ever; but it is only in out-of-the-way places that 
he retains all his old-time wild and individual 
picturesqueness. Elsewhere he is now merely 
an unusually capable ranch -hand. His em- 



RANCHLANDS 103 

ployer has changed even more. The big hand 
some ranch-houses are fitted with every modern 
comfort and luxury, and the owners belong in 
all ways to the internationalized upper class 
of the world of to-day. The interest attaching 
to a visit to one of these civilized ranches is 
that which attaches to a visit to a fine modern 
stock-farm anywhere, whether in Hungary or 
Kentucky or Victoria. 

But there is one vital point the vital point 
- in which the men and women of these ranch- 
houses, like those of the South America that I 
visited generally, are striking examples to us of 
the English-speaking countries both of North 
America and Australia. The families are large. 
The women, charming and attractive, are good 
and fertile mothers in all classes of society. 
There are no symptoms of that artificially self- 
produced dwindling of population which is by 
far the most threatening symptom in the social 
life of the United States, Canada, and the Aus 
tralian commonwealths. The nineteenth century 
saw a prodigious growth of the English-speak 
ing, relative to the Spanish-speaking, population 
of the new worlds west of the Atlantic and in 
the Southern Pacific. The end of the twentieth 
century will see this completely reversed unless 
the present ominous tendencies as regards the 



104 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

birth-rate are reversed. A race is worthless and 
contemptible if its men cease to be willing and 
able to work hard and, at need, to fight hard, 
and if its women cease to breed freely. I am 
not speaking of pauper families with excessive 
numbers of ill-nourished and badly brought up 
children; I am well aware that, like most wise 
and good principles, this which I advocate can 
be carried to a mischievous excess; but it 
nevertheless remains true that voluntary steril 
ity among married men and women of good 
life is, even more than military or physical 
cowardice in the ordinary man, the capital 
sin of civilization, whether in France or Scan 
dinavia, New England or New Zealand. If 
the best classes do not reproduce themselves 
the nation will of course go down; for the real 
question is encouraging the fit, and discouraging 
the unfit, to survive. When the ordinary decent 
man does not understand that to marry the 
woman he loves, as early as he can, is the most 
desirable of all goals, the most successful of all 
forms of life entitled to be called really success 
ful; when the ordinary woman does not under 
stand that all other forms of life are but make 
shift and starveling substitutes for the life of 
the happy wife, the mother of a fair-sized 
family of healthy children; then the state is 



RANCHLANDS 105 

rotten at heart. The loss of a healthy, vigorous,^! 
natural sexual instinct is fatal; and just as \ 
much so if the loss is by disuse and atrophy as 1 
if it is by abuse and perversion. Whether the 1 
man, in the exercise of one form of selfish-^"" 
ness, leads a life of easy self-indulgence and 
celibate profligacy; or whether in the exercise 
of a colder but no less repulsive selfishness, he 
sacrifices what is highest to some form of mere 
material achievement in accord with the base 
proverb that "he travels farthest who travels 
alone"; or whether the sacrifice is made in 
the name of the warped and diseased conscience 
of asceticism; the result is equally evil. So, 
likewise, with the woman. In many modern 
novels there is portrayed a type of cold, selfish, 
sexless woman who plumes herself on being 
"respectable," but who is really a rather less 
desirable member of society than a prostitute. 
Unfortunately the portrayal is true to life. 
The woman who shrinks from motherhood is 
as low a creature as a man of the professional 
pacificist, or poltroon, type, who shirks his 
duty as a soldier. The only full life for man or^ 
woman is led by those men and women who 
together, with hearts both gentle and valiant, 
face lives of love and duty, who see their chil 
dren rise up to call them blessed and who leave 



106 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

behind them their seed to inherit the earth. 
Dealing with averages, it is the bare truth to 
say that no celibate life approaches such a life 
in point of usefulness, no matter what the mo 
tive for the celibacy - - religious, philanthropic, 
political, or professional. The mother comes 
ahead of the nun and also of the settlement 
or hospital worker; and if either man or woman 
must treat a profession as a substitute for, in 
stead of as an addition to or basis for, marriage, 
then by all means the profession or other 
"career" should be abandoned. It is of course 
not possible to lay down universal rules. There 
must be exceptions. But the rule must be as 
above given. In a community which is at peace 
there may be a few women or a few men who 
for good reasons do not marry, and who do 
excellent work nevertheless; just as in a com 
munity which is at war, there may be a few 
men who for good reasons do not go out as 
soldiers. But if the average woman does not 
marry and become the mother of enough 
healthy children to permit the increase of the 
race; and if the average man does not, above 
all other things, wish to marry in time of peace, 
and to do his full duty in war if the need arises, 
then the race is decadent, and should be swept 
aside to make room for one that is better. Only 



RANCHLANDS 107 

that nation has a future whose sons and daugh 
ters recognize and obey the primary laws of 
their racial being. 

In these essentials Argentina, Chile, Uru 
guay, and Brazil have far more to teach than 
to learn from the English-speaking countries 
which are so proud of their abounding material 
prosperity and of their wide-spread, but super 
ficial, popular education and intelligence. In 
this same material prosperity, and in many 
other matters, Argentina much resembles our 
own country. Brazil is travelling a similar 
path, although much more slowly; and al 
though its climate is not so good, its natural 
resources are vaster and will in the present 
century undergo an extraordinary development. 
Very much of the Brazilian country from Sao 
Paulo to the Uruguayan frontier is essentially 
like Argentina. The city life and the ranch 
life are advancing in much the same fashion; 
although of course there are sharp differences 
in culture and habits of thought and life be 
tween the great Spanish-speaking and great 
Portuguese-speaking republics which are such 
close, and not wholly friendly, neighbors. 

One point of similarity is the number of im 
migrants in each country. In our journey 
southward from Sao Paulo we found both towns 



108 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and stretches of ranchland in which Germans, 
Italians, and Catholic, Orthodox, or Uniate 
Slavs, were important, and sometimes pre 
ponderant, elements of the population. There 
were German Lutheran churches and also con 
gregations of native Protestants started by 
American missionaries; for Brazil, like Ar 
gentina and the United States, enjoys genuine 
religious liberty. 

This rich and beautiful country of southern 
Brazil is part of the last great stretch of coun 
try south -temperate America which remains 
in either temperate zone open to white settle 
ment on a large scale; the last great stretch 
of scantily peopled land with a good climate 
and fertile soil to which white immigration can 
go in mass. 

Of part of tropical Brazil I have written 
elsewhere, and I allude to it elsewhere in this 
book. Here I am speaking not of the tropical 
but of the temperate country. 

Portions of temperate Brazil are open prairie, 
portions are forest. The climate is never very 
hot, nor is there ever severe cold. The colo 
nists with whom I conversed had not found the 
insects specially troublesome; not much more, 
and in places rather less, troublesome than in 
Louisiana and Texas. There was no more sick- 



RANCHLANDS 109 

ness than in the early days in the West. The 
general effect in the forest country, while of 
course the species of plants are entirely differ 
ent, reminds the observer of the Louisiana and 
Mississippi cane-brake lands and the country 
along the Nueces. The activities of the set 
tlers in the open country are substantially those 
with which I was familiar thirty years ago in 
the cattle country of the West. In the forests 
one is reminded more of early days on the 
Ohio, the Yazoo, and the Red River of the 
South. 

Certainly this is a country with a wonderful 
future. It offers fine opportunities for settlers 
who desire with the labor of their own hands 
to make homes for themselves and their chil 
dren. This does not mean that all people who 
go there will prosper, or that success will come 
save at the price of labor and effort, of risk and 
hardship. If any Americans have forgotten 
how our own West in the pioneer days appealed 
to an observer who was friendly, but who had 
not the faintest glimmering of the pioneer 
spirit, let them read "Martin Chuzzlewit." 
Dickens represented the numerous men who 
foolishly hope to enjoy pioneer triumphs and 
yet escape pioneer risks and hardships and the 
unlovely and wearing toil which is the essential 



110 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

prerequisite to the triumph; and every one 
should remember that in a new country, which 
opens a chance of success to the settler, there 
always goes with this the chance of heart-break 
ing failure. Brazil offers remarkable openings 
for settlers who have the toughness of the born 
pioneer, and for certain business men and en 
gineers who have the mixture of daring enter 
prise and sound common sense needed by those 
who push the industrial development of new 
countries. Both classes have great opportuni 
ties, and both need to be perpetually on their 
guard against the swindlers and the crack- 
brained enthusiasts who are always sure to turn 
up in connection with any country of large 
developmental possibilities. On the frontier, 
more than anywhere else, a man needs to be 
able to rely on himself and to remember that 
on every frontier there are innumerable failures. 
No man can be guaranteed success. Men 
who are not prepared for labor and effort and 
rough living, for persistence and self-denial, are 
out of place in a new country; and foolish peo 
ple who will probably fail anywhere are more 
certain to fail badly in a new country than any 
where else. During the whole period of the 
marvellous growth of the United States there 
has been a constant and uninterrupted stream 



RANCHLANDS 111 

of failure going side by side with the larger 
stream of success. Unless there is revolution 
ary disorder and anarchy, the future holds for 
southern Brazil much what half a century ago 
the future held for large portions of our country 
lying west of the Mississippi. 

In southern Brazil the forest landscape 
through which we passed was very beautiful. 
The most conspicuous tree in the forest was the 
flat-topped pine, the shaft of which rose like 
that of a royal palm. The branches spread 
out at the top just where the palm-leaves 
spread out on the palm, only instead of droop 
ing they curved upward like the branches of a 
candelabra. There were many other trees in 
the forests which I could not recognize or place. 
Some of them looked like our Southern live- 
oaks. Then there were palms, and multitudes 
of big tree-ferns. In places where these tree- 
ferns grew thickly among the tall, strange can 
delabra pines, with palms scattered here and 
there, and other queer ancient tropical plants, 
the landscape looked as if it had come out of 
the carboniferous period at least as the car 
boniferous period was represented in the at 
tractive popular geologies of my youth. There 
were flowers in the woods, of brilliant and 
varied hue, although we saw but few orchids; 



112 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and in the glades or spots of open prairie there 
were immense patches of lilac and blue blos 
soms. The flowering trees were wonderful. 
On some the blooms were blue, on others yel 
low. The most beautiful of all flamed brilliant 
scarlet. The trees that bore them, when scat 
tered over hillsides that sloped steeply to the 
brink of some rushing river, made splashes of 
burning red against the wet and vivid green 
of the subtropical foliage. As we got farther 
south I was told that there were occasional 
sharp frosts, but that the low temperature 
never lasted for more than an hour or so. In 
answer to a question as to how these rare, 
short frosts affected such plants as palms and 
tree-ferns, it was explained to me that the frosts 
prevented coffee being grown, but that they 
had no effect on the palms, and, rather curi 
ously, no effect on the tree-ferns if they were 
under big forest trees, but that if they were in 
the open the fronds were killed, the trees 
themselves not being injured, and new fronds 
taking the place of the old ones. 

In the open prairie country of the state of 
Parana we stopped at Morungava to visit the 
ranch of the Brazil Land, Cattle, and Packing 
Company. Our host, the head of this com 
pany, Murdo Mackenzie, for many years one of 



RANCHLANDS 113 

the best-known cattlemen in our own Western 
cow country, was an old friend of mine. Dur 
ing my term as President he was, on the whole, 
the most influential of the Western cattle- 
growers. He was a leader of the far-seeing 
and enlightened element. He was a most 
powerful supporter of the government in the 
fight for the conservation of our natural re 
sources, for the utilization without waste of our 
forests and pastures, for honest treatment of 
everybody, and for the shaping of governmental 
policy primarily in the interest of the small set 
tler, the home-maker. 

We rode first to Mackenzie s home ranch, 
about a mile from the railway, and then to an 
outlying set of ranch buildings ten miles off. 
At the home ranch were the American fore 
man and his American wife and their children. 
The buildings and the food and the whole life 
were typical of all that was best in the old- 
time "Far West," in the days when I knew it 
as a cattle country. We were given a most 
delicious and purely American lunch, including 
all the fresh milk we could drink; and the fore 
man himself piloted us over the immense 
stretches of rolling country, and in every ac 
tion showed himself the born cattleman, the 
born and trained stockman. Half of the em- 



114 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

ployees were men from the Western ranches, 
from Montana, Colorado, Texas, or elsewhere; 
and they and the stock and the vast, pleasant, 
open-air country were enough to make any 
man feel at home who had ever lived in the 
West. The children round the ranch-house 
were already speaking fluent Portuguese! 

There were Indians in the neighborhood; but 
we saw none, for they are very shy and dwell 
in the timber. Although nominally Christian, 
and somewhat under the influence of the priests, 
they are otherwise entirely outside of govern 
mental control. At first Mackenzie s cattle 
were sometimes killed by the wild, furtive crea 
tures; but he stopped this by a mixture of firm 
ness and fair treatment. 

It was a beautiful country, well watered, 
with good grass and much timber. I was as 
sured by both the men on the ranch and their 
wives that the climate was better than that of 
our own Western cattle country, for the heat 
is not as extreme as during summer in the 
southern part of our country, and the winters 
are mild, with only occasional touches of frost. 
Much care has to be shown in dealing with the 
ticks and certain other insect plagues, but not 
materially more than in some of our own South 
ern regions. While we were at the outlying 



RANCHLANDS 115 

ranch we saw the cattle being dipped in familiar 
ranch fashion. 

Cattle, horses, and hogs all thrive. All the 
native stock offers material on which to im 
prove. The company is carefully breeding up 
ward, following precisely the same course which 
in Texas, for instance, has effected a complete 
substitution of graded beef and dairy cattle for 
the old longhorns. The native cattle are very 
distinctly better than the old Texan cattle - 
the native Mexican cattle. The Durham and 
Hereford bulls introduced from the States will 
in a very few years completely change the 
character of the herds. Good cows are kept 
in sufficient numbers to insure a constant sup 
ply of the breeding bulls. In the same way 
Berkshire boars are being crossed with the na 
tive pigs, and blooded stallions with the native 
mares. In short, everything is being done ex 
actly as on our advanced and successful ranches 
at home. The country is still largely vacant, 
and opportunities for development will be al 
most limitless for at least another generation. 

Aside from the extreme interest of seeing the 
ranch itself, the twenty-mile ride was most en 
joyable. The country was like our own plains 
near the foothills of the Rockies, except that 
there was more water and a greater variety of 



116 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

timber. The most striking trees were the occa 
sional peculiar flat- top pines, and there were 
also other and very beautiful pines through 
which the wind sang mournfully; and there 
were many flowers. In one place we saw a 
small prairie deer, and in galloping we had to 
keep a lookout for armadillo burrows, just as 
we keep a lookout for prairie-dog holes in the 
West. The birds were strange and interesting, 
some of them with beautiful voices. Out on 
the plains were screamers, noisy birds, as big 
as African bustards. One sparrow sang loudly, 
at midday, round the corrals where we dis 
mounted for lunch. He was a confiding, pretty 
little fellow, with head markings somewhat like 
those of our white-crowned and white-throated 
sparrows. He sang better than the former, 
and not as well as the latter. 

The horses were good, and we thoroughly 
enjoyed our afternoon canter back to the home 
ranch, when the shadows had begun to lengthen. 
We loped across the rolling grass-land and by 
the groves of strange trees, through the brilliant 
weather. Under us the horses thrilled with life; 
it was a country of vast horizons; we felt the 
promise of the future of the land across which 
we rode. 



CHAPTER V 
A CHILEAN RONDEO 

ON November 21, 1913, we crossed the 
Andes into Chile by rail. The railway 
led up the pass which, used from time 
immemorial by the Indians, afterward marked 
the course of traffic for their Spanish successors, 
and was traversed by the army of San Martin in 
the hazardous march that enabled him to strike 
the decisive blows in the war for South Ameri 
can independence. The valleys were gray and 
barren, the sides of the towering mountains 
were bare, the landscape was one of desolate 
grandeur. To the north the stupendous peak 
of Aconquija rose in its snows. 

On the Chilean side, as we descended, we 
passed a lovely lake, and went through wonder 
ful narrow gorges; and farther down were trees, 
and huge cactus, and flowers of many colors. 
Then we reached the lower valleys and the 
plains; and the change was like magic. Sud 
denly we were in a rich fairy -land of teeming 
plenty and beauty, a land of fertile fields and 

117 



118 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

shady groves, a land of grain and, above all, 
of many kinds of luscious fruits. 

As in the Argentine and Brazil, every courtesy 
and hospitality was shown us in Chile. We 
enjoyed every experience throughout our stay. 
One of the pleasantest and most interesting 
days we passed was at a great ranch, a great 
cattle-farm and country place twenty-five or 
thirty miles from Santiago. It was some fifteen 
miles from the railway station. The road led 
through a rich, fertile country largely under 
tillage, but also largely consisting of great 
fenced pastures. 

The owners of the ranch, our kind and cour 
teous hosts, had summoned all the riders of 
the neighborhood to attend the rondeo (round 
up and sports), and several hundred, perhaps 
a thousand, came. With the growth of cul 
tivation of the soil and the introduction of im 
proved methods of stock-breeding in Chile, the 
old rude life of the wild cow-herders is passing 
rapidly away. But in many places it remains 
in modified form, and the country folk whose 
business is pastoral form a striking and dis 
tinctive class. These countrymen live their 
lives in the saddle. All these men, whose in 
dustries are connected with cattle, are known 
as huasos. They are kin to the Argentine 



A CHILEAN RONDEO 119 

gauchos 9 and more remotely to our own cow 
boys. 

As we neared the ranch, slipping down broad, 
dusty, tree-bordered roads beside which irri 
gation streams ran, we began to come across 
the huasos gathering for the sports. They rode 
singly and by twos and threes, or in parties of 
fifteen or twenty. They were on native Chilean 
horses stocky, well-built beasts, hardy and 
enduring, and on the whole docile. Almost all 
the men wore the light mania, less heavy than 
the serapi, but like it in shape, the head of the 
rider being thrust through a hole in the middle. 
It would seem as though it might interfere with 
the free use of their arms, but it does not, and 
at the subsequent cattle sports many of the 
participants never took off their manias. The 
riders wore straw hats of various types, but 
none of them with the sugar-loaf cones of the 
Mexicans. Their long spurs bore huge rowels. 
The manias were not only picturesque, but gave 
the company a look of diversified and gaudy 
brilliancy, for they were of all possible colors, 
green, red, brown, and blue, solid and patterned. 
The saddles were far forward, and the shoe- 
shaped wooden stirrups were elaborately carved. 

The men were fine-looking fellows, some with 
smooth faces or mustaches, some with beards, 



120 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

some of them light, most of them dark. They 
rode their horses with the utter ease found only 
in those who are born to the saddle. Now and 
then there were family parties, mother and 
children, all, down to the smallest, riding their 
own horses or perhaps all going in a wagon. 
Once or twice we passed horsemen who were 
coming out of the yards of their tumble-down 
houses, women and children crowding round. 
Generally the women had something in the 
dress that reminded one more or less of our 
Southwestern semicivilized Indians, and the 
strain of Indian blood in both men and women 
was evident. Some of the men were poorly 
clad, others had paid much attention to their 
get-up and looked like very efficient dandies; 
but in its essentials the dress was always the 
same. 

When we reached the ranch we first drove 
to a mass of buildings, which included the 
barns, branding-pens, corrals, and the like. 
It was here that the horsemen had gathered, 
and one of the pens was filled with an uneasy 
mass of cattle. Not far from this pen was a 
big hitching rail or bar, very stout, consisting 
of tree trunks at least a foot in diameter, the 
total length of the rail being forty or fifty feet. 
Beside it was a very large and stout corral. 



A CHILEAN RONDEO 121 

The inside of this corral was well padded with 
poles, making a somewhat springy wall, a 
feature I have never seen in any corrals in our 
own ranch country, but essential where the 
horses are trained to jam the cattle against the 
corral side. 

Most of the sports took place inside this 
big corral. Gates led into it from opposite 
ends. Some thirty or forty feet in front of 
one of the gates, and just about that distance 
from the middle of the corral, was a short, 
crescent-shaped fence which served to keep the 
stock that had yet to be worked separate 
from those that had been worked. Proceed 
ings were begun by some thirty riders and a 
mob of cattle coming through one of the doors 
of the corral. A glance at the cattle was enough 
to show that the old days of the wild ranches 
had passed. These were not longhorns, staring, 
vicious creatures, shy and fleet as deer; they 
were graded stock, domestic in their ways, 
and rather reluctant to run. Among the riders, 
however, there was not the slightest falling off 
from the old dash and skill, and their very air, 
as they rode quietly in, and the way they sat 
every sudden, quick move of their horses 
showed their complete ease and self-confidence. 

In addition to the huasos, the peasants-on- 



A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

horseback, the riders included several of the 
gentry, the great landed proprietors. These 
took part in the sports, precisely as in our own 
land men of the corresponding class follow the 
hounds or play polo. Two of the most skilful 
and daring riders, who always worked together, 
were a wealthy neighboring ranchman and his 
son. 

The first feat began by two of the horsemen, 
acting together, cutting out an animal from 
the bunch. This was done with skill and pre 
cision, but differed in no way from the work I 
used formerly to see and take part in on the 
Little Missouri. What followed, however, was 
totally different. The animal was raced by the 
two men out from the herd and from behind 
the little semicircular fence, and was taken 
at full speed round the edge of the great corral 
past the closed gate on the other side, and al 
most back to the starting-point. One horse 
man rode behind the animal, a little on its 
inner side. The other rode outside it, the 
horse s head abreast of the steer s flank. As 
they galloped the riders uttered strange, long- 
drawn cries, evidently of Indian origin. Round 
the corral rushed the steer, and, after it passed 
the door on the opposite side and began to 
return toward its starting-point and saw the 



A CHILEAN RONDEO 123 

other cattle ahead, it put on speed. Then the 
outside rider raced forward and at the same 
moment wheeled inward, pinning the steer be 
hind the horns and either by the neck or shoulder 
against the rough, yielding boughs with which 
the corral was lined. Instantly the other horse 
man pressed the steer s hind quarters outward, 
so that it found itself not only checked, but 
turned in the opposite direction. Again it was 
urged into a gallop, the calling horsemen fol 
lowing and repeating their performance. The 
steer was thus turned three times. After the 
third turning the gate which it had passed was 
opened and it trotted out. 

A dozen times different pairs of riders per 
formed the feat with different steers. It was a 
fine exhibition of daring prowess and of good 
training in both the horses and the riders. Of 
course, if it had not been for the lining of the 
inner fence with limber poles the steer would 
have been killed or crippled - - we saw one of 
them injured, as it was. The horse, which 
entered heartily into the spirit of the chase, 
had to crash straight into the fence, nailing the 
steer and bringing it to a standstill in the midst 
of its headlong gallop. Once or twice at the 
critical moment the rider was not able to charge 
quickly enough; and when the steer was caught 



124 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

too far back it usually made its escape and re 
joined the huddle of cattle from which it had 
been cut out. The men were riders of such 
skill that shaking them in their seats was 
impossible, no matter how quickly the horse 
turned or how violent the shocks were; nor 
was a single horse hurt in the rough play. It 
was a wild scene, and an exhibition of prowess 
well worth witnessing. 

Other exhibitions of horsemanship followed, 
including the old feat of riding a bull. The 
bull, a vicious one, was left alone in the ring, 
and his temper soon showed signs of extreme 
shortness as he pawed the dirt, tossing it above 
his shoulders. Watching the chance when the 
bull s attention was fixed elsewhere, a man ran 
in and got to the little fence before the bull 
could charge him. Then, while the bull was 
still angrily endeavoring to get at the man, the 
corral gate opposite was thrown open and six 
or eight horsemen entered, riding with quiet 
unconcern. The bull was obviously not in the 
least afraid of the footman, whereas he had a 
certain feeling of respect for the horsemen. 
Two of the latter approached him. One got 
his rope over the bull s horns, and the other 
then dexterously roped the hind legs. The 
footman rushed in and seized the tail, and the 



A CHILEAN RONDEO 

bull was speedily on his side. Then a lean, 
slab-sided, rather frowzy-looking man, out 
wardly differing in no essential respect from the 
professional bronco-buster of the Southwest, 
slipped from the spectators seats into the ring. 
A saddle was girthed tight on the bull, and a 
rope ring placed round his broad chest so as 
to give the rider something by which to hang. 
The lassos upon him were cast loose, and he 
rose, snorting with rage and terror. If he had 
thrown the man, the horsemen would have 
had to work with instantaneous swiftness to 
save his life. But all the bull s furious buck 
ing and jumping could not unseat the rider. 
The horsemen began to tease the animal, flap 
ping red blankets in his face, and luring him to 
charges which they easily evaded. Finally they 
threw him again, took off his saddle and turned 
him loose, and at the same time some steers 
were driven into the corral to serve as company 
for him. A couple of the horsemen took him 
out of the bunch and raced him round the 
corral, turning him when they wished by press 
ing him against the pole corral lining, thus 
repeating the game that had already been 
played with so many of the steers. In his case 
it was, of course, more dangerous. But they 
showed complete mastery, and the horses had 



126 A BOOK-LOVER S PIOLIDAYS 

not the slightest fear, nailing him flat against 
the wall with their chests, and spinning him 
round when they struck him on occasions when 
he was trying to make up his mind to resist. 

Meanwhile the bull- rider passed his hat among 
the spectators, who tossed silver pieces into it 
thus marking the fundamental difference be 
tween the life we were witnessing and our own 
Western ranch life. In Chile, with its aristo 
cratic social structure, there is a wide gulf be 
tween the gentry and the ranch-hands ; whereas 
in the democratic life of our own cow country 
the ranch-owner has, more often than not, at 
one time been himself a ranch-hand. 

After the sports in the corral were finished eight 
or ten of the huasos appeared on big horses at the 
bar of which I have spoken, and took part in 
a sport which was entirely new to me. Two 
champions would appear side by side or half- 
facing each other, at the bar. Each would turn 
his horse s head until it hung over the bar as they 
half -fronted each other, on the same side of the 
bar. The object was for each man to try to 
push his opponent away from the bar and 
then shove past him, usually carrying his op 
ponent with him. Sometimes it was a contest 
of man against man. Sometimes each would 
have two or three backers. No one could touch 



A CHILEAN RONDEO 127 

any other man s horse, and each drove his 
animal right against his opponent. The two 
men fronting each other at the bar kept their 
horses head-on against the bar; the others 
strove each to get his horse s head between the 
body of one of his opponents and the head of 
that opponent s horse. They then remained 
in a knot for some minutes, the riders cheering 
the horses with their strange, wild, Indian-like 
cries, while the horses pushed and strained. 
Usually there was almost no progress on either 
side at first. It would look as though not an 
inch was gained. Gradually, however, the 
horses on one side or the other got an inch or 
two or three inches advantage of position by 
straining and shoving. Suddenly the right 
vantage-point was attained. There was an 
outburst of furious shouting from the riders. 
The horses of one side with straining quar 
ters thrust their way through the press, whirl 
ing round or half upsetting their opponents, 
and rushed down alongside the bar. Why the 
men s legs were not broken I could not say. 
On this occasion all the men were good-natured. 
But it was a rough sport, and I could well 
credit the statement that, if there were bad 
blood to gratify, the chances were excellent for 
a fight. 



128 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

After the sports we motored down to a great 
pasture on one side of a lake, beyond which 
rose lofty mountains. Then we returned to 
the ranch-house itself a huge, white, single- 
storied house with a great courtyard in the 
middle and wings extending toward the stable, 
the saddle-rooms, and the like. It was a house 
of charm and distinction; the low building - 
or rather group of buildings, with galleries and 
colonnades connecting them being in the old 
native style, an outgrowth of the life and the 
land. After a siesta our hosts led us out across 
a wide garden brilliant and fragrant with 
flowers, to the deep, cool shade of a row of 
lofty trees, where stood a long table spread with 
white linen and laden with silver and glass; 
and here, we were served with a delicious and 
elaborate breakfast the Chilean breakfast, 
that of Latin Europe, for in most ways the life 
of South America is a development of that of 
Latin Europe, and much more closely kin to 
it than it is to the life of the English-speaking 
peoples north of the Rio Grande. 

In the afternoon we drove back to the rail 
road. At one point of our drive we were joined 
by a rider who had taken part in the morning s 
sports. He galloped at full speed beside the 
rushing motor-car, waving his hat to us and 



A CHILEAN RONDEO 129 

shouting good-by. He was a tall, powerfully 
built, middle-aged man, with fine, clean-cut 
features; his brightly colored mantle streamed 
in the wind, and he sat in the saddle with utter 
ease while his horse tore over the ground along 
side us. He was a noble figure, and his fare 
well to us was our last glimpse of the wild, old- 
time huaso life. 



CHAPTER VI 

ACROSS THE ANDES AND NORTHERN 
PATAGONIA 

A the great chain of the Andes stretches 
southward its altitude grows less, and 
the mountain wall is here and there 
broken by passes. When the time came for 
me to leave Chile I determined to cross the 
Andes by the easiest and most accessible and 
one of the most beautiful of these comparatively 
low passes. At the other end of the pass, on 
the Argentine or Patagonian side, we were to 
be met by motor-cars, sent thither by my con 
siderate hosts, the governmental authorities of 
Argentina. 

From Santiago we went south by rail to 
Puerto Varas. The railway passed through the 
wide, rolling agricultural country of central 
Chile, a country of farms and prosperous towns. 
As we went southward we found ourselves in a 
land which was new in the sense that our own 
West is new. Middle and southern Chile were 
in the hands of the Indians but a short while 
since. We were met by fine-looking represen- 

130 



ACROSS THE ANDES 131 

tatives of these Araucanian Indians, all of them 
now peaceable farmers and stock-growers, at 
a town of twenty or thirty thousand people 
where there was not a single white man to be 
found a quarter of a century ago. Our party 
included, among others, Major Shipton, U. S. A., 
the military aide to our legation at Buenos 
Ayres, my son Kermit, and several kind Chilean 
friends. 

We reached our destination, Puerto Varas, 
early in the morning. It stands on the shore 
of a lovely lake. There has been a consider 
able German settlement in middle and southern 
Chile, and, as everywhere, the Germans have 
made capital colonists. At Puerto Varas there 
are two villages, mainly of Germans, one Prot 
estant and the other Catholic. We were 
made welcome and given breakfast in an inn 
which, with its signs and pictures, might have 
come from the Fatherland. Among the guests 
at the breakfast, in addition to the native 
Chilean Intendente, were three or four normal- 
school teachers, all of them Germans and evi 
dently uncommonly good teachers, too. There 
were school-children, there were citizens of 
every kind. Many of the Germans born abroad 
could speak nothing but German. The chil 
dren, however, spoke Spanish, and in some cases 



132 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

nothing but Spanish. Here, as so often in the 
addresses made to me, special stress was laid 
upon the fact that my country represented the 
cause of civil and religious liberty, of the abso 
lute equality of treatment of all men without 
regard to creed, and of social and industrial 
justice; in short, the cause of orderly liberty 
in body, soul, and mind, in things intellectual 
and spiritual no less than in things industrial 
and political; the liberty that guarantees to 
each free, bold spirit the right to search for 
truth without any check from political or ec 
clesiastical tyranny, and that also guarantees 
to the weak their bodily rights as against any 
man who would exploit or oppress them. 

We left Puerto Varas by steamer on the lake 
to begin our four days trip across the Andes 
and through northern Patagonia, which was to 
end when we struck the Argentine Railway at 
Neuquen. This break in the Andes makes an 
easy road, for the pass at its summit is but 
three thousand feet high. The route followed 
leads between high mountains and across lake 
after lake, and the scenery is as beautiful as 
any in the world. 

The first lake was surrounded by a rugged, 
forest-clad mountain wilderness, broken here 
and there by settlers clearings. Wonderful 



ACROSS THE ANDES 133 

mountains rose near by; one was a snow-clad 
volcano with a broken cone which not many 
years ago was in violent eruption. Another, 
even more beautiful, was a lofty peak of vir 
ginal snow. At the farther end of the lake 
we lunched at a clean little hotel. Then we 
took horses and rode for a dozen miles to an 
other lake, called Esmeralda or Los Santos. 
Surely there can be no more beautiful lake any 
where than this! All around it are high moun 
tains, many of them volcanoes. One of these 
mountains to the north, Punti Agudo, rises in 
sheer cliffs to its soaring summit, so steep that 
snow will hardly lie on its sides. Another to 
the southwest, called Tronador, the Thunderer, 
is capped with vast fields of perpetual snow, 
from which the glaciers creep down to the 
valleys. It gains its name of thunderer from 
the tremendous roaring of the shattered ice 
masses when they fall. Out of a huge cave 
in one of its glaciers a river rushes, full grown 
at birth. At the eastern end of this lake stands 
a thoroughly comfortable hotel, which we 
reached at sunset. Behind us in the evening 
lights, against the sunset, under the still air, 
the lake was very beautiful. The peaks were 
golden in the dying sunlight, and over them 
hung the crescent moon. 



134 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

Next morning, before sunrise, we were riding 
eastward through the valley. For two or three 
miles the ride suggested that through the 
Yosemite, because of the abruptness with which 
the high mountain walls rose on either hand, 
while the valley was flat, with glades and woods 
alternating on its surface. Then we got into 
thick forest. The trees were for the most part 
giant beeches, but with some conifers, includ 
ing a rather small species of sequoia. Here and 
there, in the glades and open spaces, there were 
masses of many-hued wild flowers; conspicuous 
among them were the fuchsias. 

A dozen miles on we stopped at another little 
inn. Here we said good-by to the kind Chilean 
friends who had accompanied us thus far, 
and were greeted by no less kind Argentine 
friends, including Colonel Reybaud of the Ar 
gentine army, and Doctor Moreno, the noted 
Argentine scientist, explorer, and educator. 
Then we climbed through a wooded pass be 
tween two mountains. Its summit, near which 
lies the boundary-line between Chile and Argen 
tina, is somewhere in the neighborhood of three 
thousand feet high; and this is the extreme 
height over which at this point it is necessary 
to go in traversing what is elsewhere the mighty 
mountain wall of the Andes. Here we met a 



ACROSS THE ANDES 135 

tame guanaco (a kind of llama) in the road; 
it strolled up to us, smelled the noses of the 
horses, which were rather afraid of it, and then 
walked on by us. From the summit of the 
pass the ground fell rapidly to a wonderfully 
beautiful little lake of lovely green water. This 
little gem is hemmed in by sheer-sided moun 
tains, densely timbered save where the cliffs 
rise too boldly for even the hardiest trees to 
take root. As with all these lakes, there are 
many beautiful waterfalls. The rapid moun 
tain brooks fling themselves over precipices 
which are sometimes so high that the water 
reaches the foot in sheets of wavering mist. 
Everywhere in the background rise the snow 
peaks. 

We crossed this little lake in a steam-launch, 
and on the other side found the quaintest 
wooden railway, with a couple of rough hand 
cars, each dragged by an ox. In going down 
hill the ox is put behind the car, which he holds 
back with a rope tied to his horns. We piled 
our baggage on one car, three or four members 
of the party got on the other, and the rest of 
us walked for the two miles or so before we 
reached the last lake we were to traverse - 
Nahuel Huapi. Here there happened one of 
those incidents which show how the world is 



136 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

shrinking. Three travellers, evidently English 
men, were at the landing. One of them came 
up to me and introduced himself, saying: "You 
won t remember me; w^hen I last saw you, you 
were romping with little Prince Sigurd, in 
Buckingham Palace at the time of the King s 
funeral; I was in attendance on (naming an 
august lady); my name is Herschel, Lord Her- 
schel." I recalled the incident at once. On 
returning from my African trip I had passed 
through western Europe, and had been most 
courteously received. In one palace the son 
and heir whom I have called Sigurd, which 
was not his name was a dear little fellow, very 
manly and also very friendly; and he reminded 
me so of my own children when they were small 
that I was unable to resist the temptation of 
romping with him, just as I had romped with 
them. A month later, when as special ambas 
sador I was attending King Edward s funeral, 
I called at Buckingham Palace to pay my re 
spects, and was taken in to see the august lady 
above alluded to. The visit lasted nearly an 
hour, and toward the end I heard little squeaks 
and sounds in the hall outside, for which I 
could not account. Finally I was dismissed, and, 
on opening the door, there was little Sigurd, 
with his nurse, waiting for me. He had heard 



ACROSS THE ANDES 137 

that I was in the palace, and had refused to go 
down to dinner until he had had a play with 
me; and he was patiently and expectantly 
waiting outside the door for me to appear. I 
seized him, tossed him up, while he shouted 
gleefully, caught him, and rolled him on the 
floor, quite forgetting that any one was look 
ing on; and then, in the midst of the romp, 
happening to look up, I saw the lady on whom 
I had been calling, watching the play with 
much interest, with her equally interested two 
brothers, both of them sovereigns, and her 
lords-in-waiting; she had come out to see what 
the little boy s laughter meant. I straightened 
up, whereupon the little boy s face fell, and he 
anxiously inquired: "But you re not going to 
stop the play, are you?" Of all this my new 
found friend reminded me. If was a far cry 
in space and in surroundings, from where he 
and I had first met to the Andes that border 
Patagonia. He was a man of knowledge and 
experience, and the half-hour I spent with him 
was most pleasant. 

At Nahuel Huapi we were met by a little 
lake steamer, on which we spent the next four 
hours. The lake js of bold and irregular out 
line, with many deep bays, and with mountain 
walls standing as promontories between the 



138 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

bays. For a couple of hours the scenery was 
as beautiful as it had been during any part of 
the two days, especially when we looked back 
at the mass of snow-shrouded peaks. Then the 
lake opened, the shores became clear of woods, 
the mountains lower, and near the eastern end, 
where there were only low rolling hills, we came 
to the little village of Bariloche. 

Bariloche is a real frontier village. Forty years 
previously Doctor Moreno had been captured 
by Indians at this very spot, had escaped from 
them, and after days of extraordinary hardship 
had reached safety. He showed us a strange, 
giant pine-tree, of a kind different from any of 
our northern cone-bearers, near which the In 
dians had camped while he was prisoner with 
them. He had persuaded the settlers to have 
this tree preserved, and it is still protected, 
though slowly dying of old age. The town is 
nearly four hundred miles from a railway, and 
the people are of the vigorous, enterprising 
frontier type. It was like one of our frontier 
towns in the old-time West as regards the diver 
sity in ethnic type and nationality among the 
citizens. The little houses stood well away 
from one another on the broad, rough, faintly 
marked streets. In one we might see a Span 
ish family, in another blond Germans or Swiss, 



ACROSS THE ANDES 139 

in yet another a family of gaucho stock looking 
more Indian than white. All worked and lived 
on a footing of equality, and all showed the 
effect of the wide-spread educational effort of 
the Argentine Government; an effort as marked 
as in our own country, although in the Argen 
tine it is made by the nation instead of by the 
several states. We visited the little public 
school. The two women teachers were, one of 
Argentine descent, the other the daughter of 
an English father and an Argentine mother - 
the girl herself spoke English only with diffi 
culty. They told us that the Germans had a 
school of their own, but that the Swiss and the 
other immigrants sent their children to the gov 
ernment school with the children of the native 
Argentines. Afterward I visited the German 
school, where I was welcomed by a dozen of 
the German immigrants men of the same 
stamp as those whom I had so often seen, and 
whom I so much admired and liked, in our own 
Western country. I was rather amused to see 
in this school, together with a picture of the 
Kaiser, a very large picture of Martin Luther, 
although about a third of the Germans were 
Catholics; their feelings as Germans seemed 
in this instance to have overcome any religious 
differences, and Martin Luther was simply ac- 



140 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

cepted as one of the great Germans whose 
memory they wished to impress on the minds 
of their children. In this school there was a 
good little library, all the books being, of course, 
German; it was the only library in the town. 

That night we had a very pleasant dinner. 
Our host was a German. Of the two ladies 
who did the honors of the table, one was a Bel 
gian, the wife of the only doctor in Bariloche, 
and the other a Russian. In our own party, 
aside from the four of us from the United States, 
there were Colonel Reybaud, of the Argentine 
army, my aide, and a first-class soldier; Doctor 
Moreno, who was as devoted a friend as if he 
had been my aide; and three other Argentine 
gentlemen -- the head of the Interior Depart 
ment, the governor of Neuquen, and the head 
of the Indian Service. Among the other guests 
was a man originally from County Meath, and 
a tall, blond, red-bearded Venetian, a carpenter 
by trade. After a while we got talking of books, 
and it w r as fairly startling to see the way that 
polyglot assemblage brightened when the sub 
ject was introduced, and the extraordinary vari 
ety of its taste in good literature. The men 
began eagerly to speak about and quote from 
their favorite authors Cervantes, Lope de 
Vega, Camoens, Moliere, Shakespeare, Virgil, 



ACROSS THE ANDES 141 

and the Greek dramatists. Our host quoted 
from the " Nibelungenlied " and from Homer, 
and at least two-thirds of the men at the table 
seemed to have dozens of authors at their 
tongues ends. But it was the Italian carpenter 
who capped the climax, for when we touched on 
Dante he became almost inspired and repeated 
passage after passage, the majesty and sono 
rous cadence of the lines thrilling him so that his 
listeners were almost as much moved as he was. 
We sat thus for an hour an unexpected type 
of Kajfee Klatsch for such an outpost of civili 
zation. 

Next morning at five we were off for our four- 
hundred-mile drive across the Patagonian wastes 
to the railway at Neuquen. We had been 
through a stretch of scenery as lovely as can 
be found anywhere in the world a stretch 
that in parts suggested the Swiss lakes and 
mountains, and in other parts Yellowstone 
Park or the Yosemite or the mountains near 
Puget Sound. In a couple of years the Argen 
tines will have pushed their railway system to 
Bariloche, and then all tourists who come to 
South America should make a point of visiting 
this wonderfully beautiful region. Doubtless 
in the end it will be developed for . travellers 
much as other regions of great scenic attraction 



142 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

are developed. Thanks to Doctor Moreno, the 
Argentine end of it is already a national park; 
I trust the Chilean end soon will be. 

We left Bariloche in three motor-cars, know 
ing that we had a couple of hard days ahead of 
us. After skirting the lake for a mile or two 
we struck inland over flats and through valleys. 
We had to cross a rapid river at a riffle where 
the motor-cars were just able to make it. The 
road consisted only of the ruts made by the 
passage of the great bullock carts, and often we 
had to go alongside it, or leave it entirely where 
at some crossing of a small stream the ground 
looked too boggy for us to venture in with the 
motor-cars. Three times in making such a 
crossing one of the cars bogged down, and we 
had hard work in getting out. In one case it 
caused us two hours labor in building a stone 
causeway under and in front of the wheels - 
repeating what I had helped do not many 
months before in Arizona, when we struck a 
place where a cloudburst had taken away the 
bridge across a stream and a good part of the 
road that led up to it on either side. 

In another place the leading car got into 
heavy sand and was unable to move. A party 
of gauchos came loping up, and two of them 
tied their ropes to the car and pulled it back- 



ACROSS THE ANDES 143 

ward onto firm ground. These gauchos were 
a most picturesque set. They were riding 
good horses, strong and hardy and wild, and 
the men were consummate horsemen, utterly 
indifferent to the sudden leaps and twists of 
the nervous beasts they rode. Each wore a 
broad, silver-studded belt, with a long knife 
thrust into it. Some had their trousers in 
boots, others wore baggy breeches gathered in 
at the ankle. The saddles, unlike our cow 
saddles, had no horns, and the rope when in 
use was attached to the girth ring. The stir 
rups were the queerest of all. Often they were 
heavy flat disks, the terminal part of the stirrup- 
leather being represented by a narrow metal, or 
stiff leather, bar a foot in length. A slit was 
cut in the heavy flat disk big enough to admit 
the toe of the foot, and with this type of stir 
rup, which to me would have been almost as 
unsatisfactory as no stirrup at all, they sat 
their bucking or jumping horses with complete 
indifference. 

It was gaucho land through which we were 
travelling. Every man in it was born to the 
saddle. We saw tiny boys not only riding but 
performing all the duties of full-grown men in 
guiding loose herds or pack-animals. No less 
characteristic than these daredevil horsemen 



144 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

were the lines of great two-wheeled carts, each 
dragged by five mules, three in the lead, with 
two wheelers, or else perhaps drawn by four 
or six oxen. For the most part these carts 
were carrying wool or hides. Occasionally we 
came on great pastures surrounded by wire 
fences. Elsewhere the stony, desolate land lay 
as it had lain from time immemorial. We saw 
many flocks of sheep, and many herds of horses, 
among which piebald horses were unusually 
plentiful. There were a good many cattle, too, 
and on two or three occasions we saw flocks of 
goats. It was a wild, rough country, and in 
such a country life is hard for both man and 
beast. Everywhere along the trail were the 
skeletons and dried carcasses of cattle, and oc 
casionally horses. Yet there were almost no 
carrion birds, no ravens or crows, no small 
vultures, although once very high up in the air 
we saw a great condor. Indeed, wild life was 
not plentiful, although we saw ostriches the 
South American rhea and there was an oc 
casional guanaco, or wild llama. Foxes were 
certainly abundant, because at the squalid 
little country stores there were hundreds of 
their skins and also many skunk skins. 

Now and then we passed ranch-houses. 
There might be two or three fairly close to- 



ACROSS THE ANDES 145 

gether, then again we might travel for twenty 
miles without a sign of a habitation or a human 
being. In one place there was a cluster of build 
ings and a little schoolhouse. We stopped to 
shake hands with the teacher. Some of the 
ranch-houses were cleanly built and neatly kept, 
shade-trees being planted round about - - the 
only trees we saw during the entire motor 
journey. Other houses were slovenly huts of 
mud and thatch, with a brush corral near by. 
Around the houses of this type the bare dirt 
surface was filthy and unkempt, and covered 
with a litter of the skulls and bones of sheep 
and oxen, fragments of skin and hide, and odds 
and ends of all kinds, foul to every sense. 

Every now and then along the road we came 
to a solitary little store. If it was very poor 
and squalid, it was called a pulperia; if it was 
large, it was called an almacen. Inside there 
was a rough floor of dirt or boards, and a 
counter ran round it. At one end of the counter 
was the bar, at which drinks were sold. Over 
the rest of the counter the business of the 
store proper was done. Hats, blankets, horse- 
gear, rude articles of clothing, and the like were 
on the shelves or hung from rings in the ceiling. 
Sometimes we saw gauchos drinking at these 
bars rough, wild-looking men, some of them 



146 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

more than three parts Indian, others blond, 
hairy creatures with the northern blood showing 
obviously. Although they are dangerous men 
when angered, they are generally polite, and 
we, of course, had no trouble with them. Hides, 
fox skins, and the like are brought by them for 
sale or for barter. 

Order is kept by the mounted territorial police, 
an excellent body, much like the Canadian 
mounted police and the Pennsylvania constabu 
lary. These men are alert and soldierly, with 
fine horses, well-kept arms, and smart uniforms. 
Many of them were obviously mainly, and most 
of them were partly, of Indian blood. I think 
that Indian blood is on the whole a distinct 
addition to the race stock when the ancestral 
Indian tribe is of the right kind. The acting 
president of the Argentine during my visit, the 
vice-president, a very able and forceful man, 
wealthy, well educated, a thorough statesman 
and man of the world, and a delightful com 
panion, had a strong strain of Indian blood in 
him. 

The ordinary people we met used "Indian" 
and "Christian" as opposite terms, having cul 
tural rather than theological or racial signifi 
cance, this being customary in the border regions 
of temperate South America. In one place 



ACROSS THE ANDES 147 

where we stopped four Indians came in to see 
us. The chief or head man looked like a thor 
ough Indian. He might have been a Sioux or 
a Cornanche. One of his companions was ap 
parently a half-breed, showing strong Indian 
features, however. A third had a full beard, 
and, though he certainly did not look quite like 
a white man, no less certainly he did not look 
like an Indian. The fourth was considerably 
more white than Indian. He had a long beard, 
being dressed, as were the others, in shabby 
white man s garb. He looked much more like 
one of the poorer class of Boers than like any 
Indian I have ever seen. I noticed this man 
talking to two of the mounted police. They 
were smart, well-set-up men, thoroughly iden 
tified with the rest of the population, and re 
garding themselves and being regarded by 
others as on the same level with their fellow 
citizens. Yet they were obviously far more 
Indian in blood than was the unkempt, bearded 
white man to whom they were talking, and 
whom they and their fellows spoke of as an 
Indian, while they spoke of themselves, and 
were spoken of by others, as "Christians." 
"Indian" was the term reserved for the Indians 
who were still pagans and who still kept up a 
certain tribal relation. Whenever an Indian 



148 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

adopted Christianity in the excessively prim 
itive form known to the gauchos, came out to 
live with the whites, and followed the ordinary 
occupations, he seemed to be promptly ac 
cepted as a white man, no different from any 
one else. The Indians, by the way, now have 
property, and are well treated. Nevertheless, 
the pure stock is dying out, and those that sur 
vive are being absorbed in the rest of the popu 
lation. 

The various accidents we met with during 
the forenoon delayed us, and we did not take 
breakfast or, as we at home would call it, 
lunch until about three o clock in the after 
noon. We had then halted at a big group of 
buildings which included a store and a govern 
ment telegraph office. The store was a long, 
whitewashed, one-story house, the bedrooms in 
the rear, and all kinds of outbuildings round 
about. In some corrals near by a thousand 
sheep were being sheared. Breakfast had been 
long deferred, and we were hungry. But it 
was a feast when it did come, for two young 
sheep or big lambs were roasted whole before a 
fire in the open, and were then set before us; 
the open-air cook was evidently of almost pure 
Indian blood. 

On we went with the cars, with no further 



ACROSS THE ANDES 149 

accidents and no trouble except once in cross 
ing a sand belt. The landscape was parched 
and barren. Yet its look of almost inconceiv 
able desolation was not entirely warranted, for 
in the flats and valleys water could evidently 
be obtained a few feet below the surface, and 
where it was pumped up anything could be 
grown on the soil. 

But, unless thus artificially supplied, water 
was too scarce to permit any luxuriance of 
growth. Here and there were stretches of fairly 
good grass, but on the whole the country was 
covered with dry scrub a foot or two high, 
rising in clumps out of the earth or gravel or 
sand. The hills were stony and bare, some 
times with flat, sheer-sided tops, and the herds 
of half-wild horses and of cattle and sheep, and 
the even wilder riders we met, and the squalid 
little ranch-houses, all combined to give the 
landscape a peculiar touch. 

As evening drew on, the harsh, raw sun 
light softened. The hills assumed a myriad 
tints as the sun sank. The long gloaming fol 
lowed. The young moon hung overhead, well 
toward the west, and just on the edge of the 
horizon the Southern Cross stood upside down. 
Then clouds gathered, boding a storm. The 
night grew black, and on we went through the 



150 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

darkness, the motormen clutching the steering- 
wheels and peering anxiously forward as they 
strove to make out the ruts and faint road- 
marks in the shifting glare of the headlights. 
The play of the lightning and the rolling of the 
thunder came near and nearer. We were evi 
dently in for a storm, which would probably 
have brought us to a complete halt, and we 
looked out for a house to stop at. At 10.15 
we caught a glimpse of a long white building 
on one side of the road. It was one of the 
stores of which I have spoken. With some 
effort we roused the people, and after arrang 
ing the motor-cars we went inside. They were 
good people. They got us eggs and coffee, and, 
as we had a cold pig, we fared well. Then we 
lay down on the floor of the store and on the 
counters and slept for four hours. 

At three I waked the sleepers with the cry- 
that in bygone days on the Western cattle 
plains had so often roused me from the heavy 
slumber of the men of the round-up. It was 
the short November night of high southern lati 
tudes. Dawn came early. We started as soon 
as the faint gray enabled us to see the road. 
The stars paled and vanished. The sunrise 
was glorious. We came out from among the 
hills on to vast barren plains. Hour after hour, 



ACROSS THE ANDES 151 

all day long, we drove at speed over them. 
The sun set in red and angry splendor amid 
gathering clouds. When we reached the Rio 
Negro the light was dying from the sky, and a 
heavy storm was rolling toward us. The guard 
ians of the rope ferry feared to try the river, 
with the storm rising through the black night; 
but we forced them to put off, and we reached 
the other shore just before the wind smote us, 
and the rushing rain drove in our faces. 



CHAPTER VII 
WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 

IN the days when I lived and worked on a 
cattle-ranch, on the Little Missouri, I usu 
ally hunted alone; and, if not, my com 
panion was one of the cow-hands, unless I was 
taking out a guest from the East. On some 
of my regular hunting trips in the Rockies I 
went with one or more of my ranch-hands 
who were valued friends and fellow workers. 
On others of these trips I went w T ith men who 
were either temporarily, like John Willis, or per 
manently, like Tazewell Woody and John Goff, 
professional guides and hunters. In Africa I 
sometimes hunted with some of the settlers, and 
often alone or with my son Kermit; but even 
more frequently with either Cunningham or 
Tarlton, the former for many years a profes 
sional elephant hunter, and the latter by choice 
and preference a lion hunter. Both of them, 
I think I may say, became permanently my 
friends as the result of the trip. 

Often, however, my companions were not 
white men, but either half-breeds and people 

152 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 153 

of mixed blood or else wild natives of the wild 
lands over which the great game roamed. To 
some of these men I became really attached. 
Not a few of them showed a courage and loyalty 
and devotion to duty which would have put to 
shame very many civilized men. Almost all of 
them at times did or said things that were very 
interesting because of the glimpses they gave 
into souls that really belong to a totally different 
age from that in which I and my friends of 
civilized lands are living. 

December, 1913, and January, 1914, I spent 
in the remote interior of Brazil, on and near 
various rivers which form the headwaters of 
the mighty Paraguay. It is still a frontier 
country; the province is known as the Matto 
Grosso, the province of the great wooded wil 
derness. Yet it has a civilized and Christian 
history which runs back for over a century. It ^ 
is on the eve of striking material development, 
and, nevertheless, it is still primitive with a 
primitiveness half that of a belated Europe, 
half that of a savagery struggling over the 
border-line into an exceedingly simple civiliza 
tion. Out of these diverse and conflicting ele 
ments, and with a century of comparative isola 
tion behind it, the land has produced a far more 
distinctive and peculiar life than our own frontier 



154 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

communities ever had the chance to develop. 
It would be difficult to find in any country more 
charming and better-bred men than some of the 
gentlemen, the great ranchmen and the political 
and social leaders in city life, whose generous 
hospitality made me their debtor. But the 
ordinary folk, and especially the Caboclos, the 
peasantry, although with many sterling quali 
ties, were of a type wholly different from any 
thing to be found either in Europe or in tem 
perate North America. 

The land is largely composed of the pantanals, 
the flat, wide-stretching marshes through which 
the Paraguay and its affluents wind. Where the 
land is low it is covered with papyrus and 
water-grass; if a few feet higher, with open 
palm forest. It offers fine pasturage for the 
herds of cattle. In addition there are moun 
tains and belts of tropic jungle and forest, and 
to the north rises the sandy central table-land 
of Brazil. There are no railroads, and no high 
roads of any length for wheeled vehicles. The 
rivers are the highways. Native boats, with 
palm-thatch houses and cooking-ovens of red 
earth on the decks, drift down them and are 
poled or towed up them. A few light-draft 
steamers, running every week or fortnight, 
connect the widely scattered little cities. They 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 155 

are quaint, picturesque little cities, without a 
wheeled vehicle except the water-carts. The 
one-story houses enclose open courtyards. The 
walls are thick, and the windows and doors 
very high, so as to let whatever coolness the 
night air carries fan the sleepers in their ham 
mocks. In the bigger houses there are beds 
in the guest-chambers; but the hammock is 
really the bed; and in the inns the bedrooms 
have rings in the walls from which the traveller 
hangs the hammock he has brought with him. 
After nightfall the men sit at little tables under 
the trees in the public squares or outside the 
taverns, and through the open doors and win 
dows of the houses, in the mysterious darkness, 
are the half-seen figures of girls and women; 
and stringed instruments tinkle in the still 
tropic night. 

When Portugal still ruled Brazil, the first 
of these cities was founded, toward the end of 
the eighteenth century. At that time it could 
only be reached by a long voyage of peril and 
hardship up the Amazon and the Madeira, 
and then by mule back. No place in the world 
is now so remote from civilization as this little 
capital of the "Great Wilderness" then was; 
but its life was fervent under the torrid sky. 
Governors, generals, priests were there, slave- 



156 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

owners and gold seekers; killers of men and 
lovers of women. There was a palace and a 
cathedral and a fort, adorned with paintings 
and carvings. All are in ruins now; the rank 
vegetation of the tropics, beautiful and lethal, 
has covered them and twisted them asunder; 
for the strange little one-time capital city is 
dead, and those that dwelt therein have left 
it. 

The next comers followed a route that led 
from the opposite direction, the south. These 
were the Paolistas. At Sao Paulo, almost un 
der the Tropic of Cancer, the Portuguese con 
querors married with the women of the native 
Indians, and made, first slaves, and then sol 
diers, of men from many Indian tribes. They 
all became welded together into one people, 
speaking Portuguese, but largely, and probably 
mainly, Indian by blood; and being of various 
martial stocks, with the morals of the viking 
age, they grew into a community of freebooters 
whose raiding expeditions, carried on with the 
utmost energy, daring, and ruthlessness, spread 
terror far and wide. Early in the nineteenth 
century these hardy horsemen and boatmen, 
searching for gold, land, and slaves, penetrated 
to the headwaters of the Paraguay, and with 
their advent began the first rude change from 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 157 

mere savagery to that which held within it the 
germ of civilization. 

Two or three of the ranches at which we 
stopped were provided with elaborate and even 
handsome ranch-houses and other buildings. 
One of them was owned by a wealthy and cul 
tivated native proprietor. It was fitted with 
much stately luxury, and some comfort. Two 
others were owned by foreign corporations. 
Among the higher employees were men from 
Europe and the United States, and also "ori 
entals," as the men of Uruguay are always 
called -- Uruguay being the "banda oriental," 
or eastern shore, of the Plate. These orientals 
were as pure white as the Europeans and North 
Americans, and were of a high grade. The 
ordinary cow-hands on these two ranches were 
mostly Paraguayans, men of almost pure In 
dian blood, speaking the Guarani tongue, which 
is the real home language of the peculiar a 
interesting little republic which takes its 
name from the great river. These particular 
ranches were on the borders of the Bolivian 
country, and along this frontier the condi 
tions as regards order and international law are 
much what they were on the border between 
England and Scotland in the sixteenth century. 
The man who cannot protect his own life by 



158 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

his own fierce and wary prowess cannot exist 
under such conditions, and the cow -hands must 
be men recklessly ready to fight for their cattle. 
The Paraguayans of the class who sought em 
ployment in the western interior of Brazil bore 
a fighting, and somewhat murderous, reputation. 
They were a daredevil set, and under men of 
masterful type they did hard and dangerous 
work for their employers. 

The ordinary ranches where we stopped 
were of a different type. The houses were of 
one story, with thick, white walls. The few 
rooms were furnished only with rough tables 
and benches and rings for the hammocks. The 
unglazed windows were fitted with solid wooden 
shutters. Outbuildings stood near by; one per 
haps for a kitchen; sheds for skinning or for the 
few stores; cabins in which the ranch-hands 
lived with their families. Palm-trees, or bananas 
with huge, ragged leaves, or trees unlike any 
familiar to our experience, might stand near by, 
close to the big cow corrals. On the poorer 
ranches the houses were nothing but log skeletons 
thatched with palm-leaves. 

On these ranches the "camaradas," the cow 
hands, in whose company we hunted, were all 
native Brazilians, of the same type as the men 
whom subsequently we took with us on our 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 159 

voyage of exploration down the Rio da Duvida 
to the Amazon. It was a simple, primitive ex 
istence. All the industry was connected with 
the cattle or with cultivating the tropical vege 
tables and fruits of the garden. Two-wheeled 
ox-carts, each wheel taller than a man, carried 
hides and smoked flesh to the river landing 
where native boats, or now and then light- 
draft steamers, were moored. After sunset the 
life went on outdoors, unless it rained, until 
bedtime. As it grew dusk the doorways and 
the unglazed windows, standing open, showed 
only empty darkness within. The cooking was 
done in pots, at small fires outside. Now and 
then some one played a guitar or banjo; or sang 
strange songs, light-hearted songs of dances, 
melancholy songs of love or of death, songs 
about the feats of men and of bulls, and of 
famous horses; but always with something 
queer and barbaric as if they came from a time 
and a life immeasurably remote. Always the 
darkness shrouded from us the hot, furtive life 
we knew it held. 

These poor country folk were on the whole 
a kindly, courteous race; it was pleasant to 
have them known as "camaradas" by the men 
of the upper class. They represented every 
shade of mixture among the three strains of 



160 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

Portuguese, Indian, and negro, and no color- 
line was drawn by the pure bloods of any of the 
three races. Whatever their blood, they lived 
alike and dressed alike. There were very curious 
customs among many of them, customs which 
were probably dying out, but which must 
surely have been imported from utter savagery, 
although they were all Christians and all spoke 
Portuguese. As an instance, a number of them, 
from out-of-the-way places, but including at 
least one man who was of practically pure white 
blood, had the edges of their front teeth filed so 
as to make them semicircular. 

When we hunted we would leave our camp, 
or the ranch -house where we had slept, before 
dawn. The hot sun flamed red above the 
marshes or sent long shafts of crimson light be 
tween the palm trunks. It might be evening 
before we returned. The heat of the day would 
be spent in the shade near a pond, and often our 
dusky companions would then get into long con 
versations with us. These camaradas usually 
rode little stallions, but sometimes one would 
be mounted on a trotting ox, which was guided 
by a string through the nostrils. Half -starved 
dogs followed behind. The men carried spears, 
rarely firearms. Their hats and clothes, their 
saddles and bridles seemed on the point of fall- 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 161 

ing to pieces. On their bare feet they wore 
rusty spurs, and the stirrups were iron rings, in 
which they thrust the big toe, and the toe next 
it. But no antic of the half-broken horse and 
no difficulty in the jungle trail made the slight 
est impression on them. They were only fairly 
good hunters and trailers, and when in thick 
forest Kermit with his compass could find his 
way better than they could. A few of them 
hunted the jaguar and also the cashada, the big 
peccary which goes in herds and is aggressive 
and truculent; but most of them let the danger 
ous big cat and the dangerous little hogs severely 
alone, and hunted only the tapir, deer, and 
capybara. The rare jaguars that become man- 
eaters, the occasional giant anacondas, the 
deadly poisonous snakes, and the cashadas, 
were all the subjects of superstitious tales. 
They were shy about telling these stories to 
persons who might laugh, but if assured of sym 
pathy would occasionally unbend. Then they 
would describe how man-eating jaguars were 
warlocks, able to enslave the souls of those they 
slew; so that each murdered man thenceforth 
served the dreadful beast that had eaten him, 
guarded him from danger, and guided him to 
fresh victims; or they would tell a ghost-story 
I never quite understood, about a seemingly 



162 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

harmless ghost, white and without any arms, 
which in the night-time rode the biggest peccary 
of the herd. In these tales the giant ant-eater 
always appeared as a comic character, a figure 
of fun, although with a somewhat grim ability 
to take care of himself; it was he who would 
meet drunken men and embrace them with his 
unpleasant claws and then hurry them home. 

The camaradas whom we took with us on our 
exploring trip were mostly drawn from among 
these country folk of the ranches, although two 
or three came from the coast towns. The two 
best hunters were Antonio the Paregis, a full- 
blood Paregis Indian, and Antonio Correa, an 
intelligent, daredevil mulatto, probably with 
also a dash of Indian blood. The latter, like 
several other of our men, had lived among the 
wild Indians and had adopted some of their 
traits, including one exceedingly odd matter of 
dress. Antonio the Paregis, a kindly, faithful, 
stupid soul, had abandoned his tribe, come into 
the settlements, and married a dark mulattress 
- the queer result being that according to the 
custom of the country their children would be 
regarded as civilized and therefore white. An 
tonio Correa was one of the two best and most 
trustworthy men on the trip; uncomplaining, 
hardworking, and undaunted in time of peril. 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 163 

When, during our descent of the unknown 
river, we reached the first rubber man s house 
he expressed with curious eloquence the feel 
ing we all had at hearing around us again the 
voices of men and women, and knowing that 
the chance of utter disaster was over; instead 
of camping at night in the midst of dangerous 
rapids, while every hour of the day carried its 
menace, and there always loomed ahead the 
danger of death in any one of a dozen possible 
ways, from famine to fever and dysentery, and 
from drowning to battle with Indians. When 
we reached the first rubber-gatherer s store the 
delicacy which all our men most eagerly coveted 
was condensed milk, and to my amused horror 
they solemnly proceeded each to eat a canful 
of the sweet and sticky luxury. 

Of all my wilder hunting companions those 
to whom I became most attached although 
some of them were the wildest of all were those 
Kermit and I had \vith us in Africa for eleven 
months. Disregarding a very problematical 
Christian, these were either Mohammedans or 
heathens. However, after having been in our 
employ a little while, and after having adopted 
the fez, jersey, and short trousers and, as a 
matter of pure pride and symbolism, boots 
they all regarded themselves as of an elevated 



164 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

social status, and openly looked down on the 
unregenerated "shenzis" or natives who were 
still in the kirtle-of -banana-leaves cultural stage. 
They represented many different tribes. Some 
of them were file-toothed cannibals. Many of 
them had come from long distances; for as 
philanthropists will do well to note being even 
a porter in a white man s service in British East 
Africa or Uganda or the Soudan, meant an 
amount of pay and a comfort of living and 
(although this, I think, was subordinate in their 
minds) a justness of treatment which they 
could by no possibility achieve in their own 
homes under native conditions. As for the per 
sonal attendants, the gun-bearers, tent-boys, and 
saises, as well as the head men and askaris, or 
soldiers, they felt as far above the porters as 
the latter did above the shenzis. The common 
tongue was Swahili, a negro -Arab dialect, 
originally spoken by the descendants, mainly 
negro in blood, of the Arab conquerors, traders, 
and slave-raiders of Zanzibar. This is a lingo 
found over much of central Africa. But only a 
few of our men were Swahilis by blood. 

Of course, most of them were like children, 
with a grasshopper inability for continuity of 
thought and realization of the future. They 
would often act with an inconsequence that 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 165 

was really puzzling. Dog-like fidelity, persevered 
in for months, would be ended by a fit of re 
sentment at something unknown, or by a sheer 
volatility which made them abandon their jobs 
when it was even more to their detriment than 
to ours. But they had certain fixed standards 
of honor; the porter would not abandon his 
load, the gun-bearer would not abandon his 
master when in danger from a charging beast - 
although, unless a first-class man, he might at 
that critical moment need discipline to restrain 
his nervous excitability. They appreciated jus 
tice, but they were neither happy nor well be 
haved unless they were under authority; weak 
ness toward them was even more ruinous than 
harshness and overseverity. 

The personal attendants of Kermit and my 
self established a kind of "chief petty officers 
mess" in the caravan. Not only his own boys, 
but mine, really cared more for Kermit than 
they did for me. This was partly because he 
spoke Swahili; partly because he could see 
game, follow its tracks, and walk as I could not; 
and partly because he exercised more strict con 
trol over his men and yet more thought and care 
in giving them their pleasures and rewards. I 
was apt to become amused and therefore too 
lenient in dealing with grasshopper-like failings 



166 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

- which was bad for the grasshoppers them 
selves; and, moreover, I was apt to announce 
to a man who had deserved well that he should 
receive so many rupees at the end of the trip, 
which to him seemed a prophecy about the 
somewhat remote future, whereas Kermit gave 
less, but gave it in more immediate form, such 
as sugar or tea, and rupees to be expended in 
the first Indian or Swahili trader s store we 
met; on which occasions I would see Kermit 
head a solemn procession of both his followers 
and mine to the store, where he would super 
intend their purchases, not only helping them 
to make up vacillating minds but seeing that 
they were not cheated. 

An exception was my head tent-boy, Ali. He 
had a good deal of Arab blood in him, he 
spoke a little English, he was really intelligent, 
he was an innately loyal soul, and he was 
keenly alive to the honor of being the fore 
most attendant of the head of the expedition. 
He was distinctly an autocrat to the second 
tent-boy, whose tenure was apt to be short, and 
he regarded Somalis with professional rivalry 
and distrust. He always did his work excel 
lently, and during the eleven months he was 
with me I never had to correct or rebuke him, 
and whenever I had a bout of fever he was de- 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 167 

votion itself. Once, while at a friend s house, 
his Somali stole some silver from me, after 
which Ali always kept my silver himself with 
scrupulous honesty. I still now and then get 
a letter from him, but as the letters are sent 
through some professional Hindoo scribe they 
are of value chiefly as tokens of affection. The 
last one, written in acknowledgment of a gift 
sent him, contained a rather long letter in 
Swahili, a translation into Arabic, and then a 
would-be translation into English, which, how 
ever, went no further than the cumulative 
repetition of all the expressions of ceremonious 
regard known to the scribe. 

My head gun-bearer, named Hartebeest - 
Kongoni - - also did his work so well that I 
never had to reprove him; he was cool and 
game, a good tracker and tireless walker. But 
the second gun-bearer, Gouvimali, although a 
cheerful and willing soul, tended to get rattled 
when near dangerous animals. Unless his 
master is really in the grip of an animal, the 
worst sin a gun-bearer can commit, next to 
running away, is to shoot the gun he is carry 
ing; for, if the master is fit to hunt dangerous 
game at all, it is he who must do the killing, 
and, if in a tight place, he must be able to count 
with absolute certainty on the gun-bearer s 



168 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

handing him a loaded rifle when his own has 
been fired. On one occasion I was covering a 
rhino which Kermit was trying to photograph. 
The beast was very close and seemed about to 
begin hostilities. Gouvimali became very much 
excited and raised his rifle to shoot. I over 
heard Kongoni chide him, and I spoke to him 
sharply, but he still kept the rifle at his shoulder; 
whereupon I slapped his face just before shoot 
ing the rhino. This prevented his firing and 
brought him to his senses, but was not a suf 
ficient punishment. The really dreadful pun 
ishment would have been to send him back to 
the ranks of the porters. But I wished to give 
him another chance; so next morning I in 
structed Ali that he was to be my interpreter, 
and that Gouvimali was to be brought up for 
justice before my tent. To make it impressive, 
Kongoni and the second tent-boy were sum 
moned to attend, which they did with pleased 
anticipation. But they were not alone. All 
of Kermit s attendants rushed gleefully over, 
including his two first-class gun-bearers, his 
camera-bearer, the wild Nmwezi ex-cannibal 
whom he had turned into a devoted and ex 
cellent tent-boy, and the cheerful Kikuyu 
savage who had taken naturally to being sais 
for his and my little mules. The sympathies 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 169 

of all of them were ostentatiously against the 
culprit, and they were prepared for the virtuous 
enjoyment characteristic of the orthodox sure- 
of-their-salvation at a heresy trial. 

Court opened with me in my camp-chair in 
front of the tent. Ali stood beside me, erect 
with gratified horror, and eager to show that 
he was not merely an interpreter but a prose 
cutor and assistant judge. Abject Gouvimali 
stood in front, with head hanging. The others 
ranged themselves in a semicircle, and filled 
the function of a Greek chorus. The proceed 
ings were as follows: 

I (with frowning majesty): "Tell Gouvimali he knows 
that I have treated him very, very well; besides his wages, 
I have given him tea and sugar and tobacco and a red 
blanket." 

Ali translates with the thunderous eloquence of Cicero 
against Verres; Verres writhes. 

Chorus (with hands raised at the thought of such 
magnificent generosity): "Oh, what a good Bwana!" 

I (reproachfully): "Whenever I shot a lion or an ele 
phant I gave him some silver rupees." 

Ali translates this with a voice shaken by emotion over 
the human baseness that could forget such gifts. 

Chorus (in ecstatic contemplation of my virtue): "Oh, 
what a generous Bwana!" 

I (leaning forward toward the accused): "And yet he 
started to shoot at a rhinoceros the Bwana Merodadi 
[Dandy Master, the Master who was a dandy to shoot and 
ride and get game] was photographing." 



170 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

All fairly hisses this statement; malefactor shudders. 

Chorus (almost bereft of speech at the revelation of a 
depravity of which they had never hitherto dreamed) : 
"Hau! W-a-u!!" 

I (severe, but melancholy): "You didn t stop until I 
had to slap your face." 

Chorus (with unctuous relish): "The Bwana ought to 
have beaten you !" 

I: "Do you wish to become a porter again? There s 
a Kavirondo porter very anxious to get your job !" (De 
ceitfully concealing a vagueness of recollection about this 
aspirant, who had been pronounced worthless.) 

Malefactor (overcome by suggestion of the semimythical 
Kavirondo rival) : "Oh, Bwana, have me beaten, but keep 
me as gun-bearer ! " 

I (with regal beneficence): "Well, I ll fine you ten 
rupees; and if you make another break, out you go; 
and you re to do all Kongoni s gun-cleaning for a week." 
(Kongoni, endeavoring to look both austere and disin 
terested, pokes malefactor in back.) 

Chorus (disappointed of a tragedy, but fundamentally 
kind-hearted): "What a merciful Bwana! And now 
Gouvimali will always be careful! Good Gouvimali!" 

On another occasion, on the White Nile, I 
one day took with me, to show me game, two 
natives of a village near our camp. I shot a 
roan antelope. It was mortally wounded; one 
of the natives, the "shenzis," saw it fall but 
said nothing and slipped away to get the horns 
and meat for himself. Later, Kongoni became 
suspicious, and very acutely for he was not 
only a master of hunting craft but also pos- 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 171 

sessed a sympathetic insight into the shenzi 
inind led us to the spot and caught the of 
fender, and a party of the villagers, red-handed. 
Kongoni and Gouvimali pounced on the faithless 
guide, while the others scattered; and the sais, 
unable to resist having something to do with 
the fray, handed the led mule to a small naked 
boy, rushed forward, gave the captive a thump, 
and then returned to his mule. The offender 
was brought to camp and put under guard 
evidently horribly afraid we would eat him in 
stead of the now far-gone roan. Next day 
Kermit got home from his hunt before I did. 
When I reached camp I found Kermit sitting 
with a book and his pipe under a great tree, in 
his camp-chair. The captive was tied with a 
string to the huge tree trunk. He sat on the 
ground and uttered hollow groans whenever he 
thought they would be effective. At nightfall 
we released him, keeping his knife, which we 
required him to redeem with a chicken; and 
when he returned with the chicken we bade 
him give it to Kongoni, to whom we owed the 
discovery of the roan. 

In some of the wilder and more lonely camps 
these body-servants were my only companions, 
together with some shenzi porters; at others 
Kermit was with me, also with his tail of de- 



172 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

voted personal attendants. Where the game 
swarmed and no human beings existed for many 
leagues round about we built circular fences of 
thorns to keep out beasts of prey. The porters, 
chanting a monotonous refrain, brought in 
wood to keep the watch-fires going all night. 
Supper was cooked and eaten. Then we sat 
and listened to the fierce and eager life that 
went on in the darkness outside. Hoofs thun 
dered now and then, there were snortings and 
grun tings, occasional bello wings or roarings, or 
angry whinings, of fear or of cruel hunger or of 
savage love-making; ever there was a skipping 
and running of beasts unseen; for out there in 
the darkness a game as old as the world was 
being played, a game without any rules, where 
the forfeit was death. 

Generally the wild creatures were not so 
close even at these lonely camps, and we did 
not have to guard against attack, although 
there were always sentries and watch-fires, and 
we always slept with our loaded rifles beside 
us. After dinner the tent-boys and gun-bearers 
would talk and laugh, or tell stories, or listen 
while one of their number, Kermit s first gun- 
bearer, a huge, absolutely honest, coal-black 
negro from south of the Victorian Lake, 
strummed on an odd little native harp; and 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 173 

one of them might improvise a song. It was 
usually a very simple song; perhaps about some 
thing Kermit or I had done during the day, 
and of how we lived far away in an unknown 
land across vast oceans but had come to Africa 
with wonderful rifles to kill lions and elephants. 
Once the song was merely an expression of 
gratified approval of the quality of the meat 
of an eland I had shot during the day. Once we 
listened to a really humorous song describing 
the disapproval of the women about something 
their husbands had done, the shrill scolding of 
the women being mimicked with much effect. 
Some of the songs dealt with traditions and ex 
periences which I did not understand, and which 
were probably far more interesting than any 
that I did understand. 

My gun-bearers accompanied me whenever 
I visited the native villages of the different 
tribes. These tribes differed widely from one 
another in almost every respect. In Uganda 
my men stood behind me when some dignified 
and formally polite chief or great noble came to 
visit me; clothed in white, and perhaps dragged 
in a rickshaw or riding a mule with silver trap 
pings, while his drummer beat on the huge native 
drum the distinctive clan tune which, when he 
walked abroad, bade all take notice just who 



174 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

the noble was, distinguishing him from all the 
other great lords, each of whom also had his 
own especial tune. My men strode at my back 
when I approached the rest-houses that were 
made ready for me, as we walked from one to 
the other of the two Nyanzas; palm-thatched 
rest-houses before which the musicians of the 
local chiefs received me with drum-beat, and 
the hollow booming of bamboos, and rattling 
of gourds, and the clashing of metal on metal, 
and the twanging of instruments of many 
strings. They accompanied me to the rings of 
square huts, plastered with cow-dung, where the 
Masai herdsmen dwelt, guarding their cattle, 
goats, and wire-haired sheep; and to the no 
mad camps of the camel-owning Samburu, on 
thorn-covered flats from which we looked south 
ward toward the mighty equatorial snow peak 
of Kenia. They stood with me to gaze at the 
midnight dances of the Kikuyu. They followed 
me among the villages of beehive huts in the 
lands of the naked savages along the upper 
Nile. 

Ali always, no matter how untoward the sur 
roundings, had things ready and comfortable 
for me at night when I came in. My gun- 
bearers trudged behind me all day long over the 
plains where the heat haze danced, or through 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 175 

the marshes, or in the twilight of the tropic 
forests. After dark they always guided me 
back to camp if there were any landmarks; but, 
curiously enough, if we had to steer by the 
stars, I had to do the guiding. They were al 
ways alert for game. They were fine trackers. 
They never complained. They were always at 
my elbows when we had to deal with some 
dangerous beast. It is small wonder I became 
attached to them. All of Kermit s and my 
personal attendants went with us to Cairo, 
whence we shipped them back to Zanzibar. 
They earnestly besought us to take them to 
America. Cairo, of course, both enchanted and 
cowed them. What they most enjoyed while 
there was when Kermit took them all out in 
taxis to the zoo. They were children of the 
wilderness; their brains were in a whirl because 
of the big city; it made them feel at home to 
see the wild things they knew, and it interested 
them greatly to see the other wild things which 
were so different from what they knew. 

In the old days, on the great plains and in 
the Rockies, I went out occasionally with In 
dians or half-breeds; Kermit went after moun 
tain-sheep in the desert with a couple of Mexican 
packers; and Archie, Quentin, and I, while in 
Arizona, travelled on one occasion with a Mex- 



176 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

ican wagon-driver and a Navajo cook (both 
good men), and once or twice for a day or two 
at a time with Navajos or Utes to act as guides 
or horse-herders. On a hunting trip after white 
goat and deer in the Canadian Rockies Archie 
went with a guide who turned out to be from 
Arizona, and who almost fell on Archie s neck 
with joy at meeting a compatriot from the 
Southwest. He was the son of a Texas ranger 
and a Cherokee mother, was one of a family of 
twenty -four children all native American 
families are not dying out, thank heaven ! - 
and was a first-class rifle-shot and hunter. 

The Indians with whom I hunted were hardy, 
quick to see game, and good at approaching 
it, but were not good shots, and as trackers 
and readers of sign did not compare with the 
Ndorobo of the east African forests. I always 
became good friends with them, and when they 
became assured that I was sympathetic and 
would not laugh at them they finally grew to 
talk freely to me, and tell me stories and legends 
of goblins and ghost-beasts and of the ancient 
days when animals talked like men. Most of 
what they said I could not understand, for I 
did not speak their tongues; and they talked 
without restraint only when I sat quiet and 
did not interrupt them. Occasionally one who 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 177 

spoke English, or a half-breed, and in one case 
a French -Canadian who had lived long with 
them, translated the stories to me. They were 
fairy-tales and folk-tales - - 1 do not know the 
proper terminology. Where they dealt with the 
action of either men or gods they were as free 
from moral implication as if they came out of 
the Book of Judges; and throughout there was 
a certain inconsequence, an apparent absence 
of motive in what was done, and an equal 
absence of any feeling for the need of explana 
tion. They were people still in the hunting 
stage, to whom hunting lore meant much, and 
many of the tales were of supernatural beasts. 
On the actions of these unearthly creatures 
might depend the success of the chase of their 
earthly relatives; or it might be necessary to 
placate them to avoid evil; or their deeds 
might be either beneficent or menacing without 
reference to what men did, whether in praise or 
prayer. Such beings of the other world were 
the spirit-bear of the Navajos; and the ghost- 
wolf of the Pawnees, to whom one of my troop 
ers before Santiago, an educated, full-blood 
Pawnee, once suddenly alluded; and the spirit- 
buffaloes of whom the Sioux and the Mandans 
told endless stories, who came up from some 
where underground in the far north, who at 



178 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

night played games like those of human war 
riors in the daytime, who were malicious and 
might steal men and women, but who might 
also bring to the Indians the vast herds whose 
presence meant plenty and whose absence star 
vation. Almost everywhere the coyote ap 
peared as a sharp, tricky hero, in adventures 
having to do with beasts and men and magic 
things. He played the part of Br Rabbit in 
Uncle Remus. 

Now and then a ghost-tale would have in it 
an element of horror. The northern Indians 
dwell in or on the borders of the vast and mel 
ancholy boreal forests, where the winter-time al 
ways brings with it the threat of famine, where 
any accident to the solitary wanderer may mean 
his death, and may mean also that his body 
will never be found. In the awful loneliness of 
that forest there are stretches as wide as many 
a kingdom of Europe to which for decades at a 
time no man ever goes. In the summer there 
is sunlit life in the forest; flowers bloom, birds 
sing, and the wind sighs through the budding 
branches. In the winter there is iron desola 
tion; the bitter blasts sweep from the north, 
the driven ice dust sears the face, the snow lies 
far above a tall man s height, in their icy beds 
the rivers lie fixed like shining steel. It is 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 179 

a sombre land, where death ever lurks behind 
the traveller. To the Indian its recesses are 
haunted by dread beings malevolent to man. 
Around the camp-fires, when the frosts of fall 
were heavy, I have heard the Indians talk of the 
oncoming winter and of things seen at twilight 
and sensed after nightfall by the trapper or be 
lated wayfarer when the cold that gripped the 
body began also to grip the heart. They told 
of the windigoes which leaped and flew through 
the frozen air, and left huge footprints on the 
snow, and drove to madness and death men 
by lonely camp-fires. They told of the snow- 
walkers; how once a moose hunter, on webbed 
snow-shoes, bound campward in the late after 
noon saw a dim figure walking afar off on the 
crust of the snow parallel to him among the 
tree trunks; how as the afternoon waned the 
figure came gradually nearer, until he saw that 
it was shrouded in some garment which wrapped 
even its head; how in the gray dusk that fol 
lowed the sunset it came always closer, until he 
could see that what should have been its face 
was like the snout of a wolf, and that through a 
crack left bare by the shroud its eyes burned 
evil, baleful; how his heart was palsied with 
the awful terror of the unknown, of the dead 
that was not dead; and how suddenly he came 



180 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

on two other men, and the thing that had dogged 
him turned and vanished, and they could find 
no footprints on the snow. 

More often the story would be nothing but a 
story, perhaps about birds or beasts. Once I 
heard a Kootenai tell such a story; but he said 
he had heard it very far north, and that it was 
not a Kootenai story. It explained why the 
loon has small wings and why the partridges 
in the north turn white in winter. 

It happened very long ago. In those days 
there was no winter and the loon had ordinary 
wings and flew around like a raven. One mid 
day the partridges were having tea on a sand- 
point in a lake where there were small willows 
and blueberry bushes. The loon wished to 
take tea with them, but they crowed and 
chuckled and they would not let him. So he 
began to call in a very loud voice a long call, 
almost like the baying of a wolf; you can hear 
it now on the lakes. He called and he called, 
longer and louder. He was calling the spirit who 
dwells in the north, so far that no man has ever 
known where it is. The spirit was asleep. But 
the loon s medicine was very strong and he 
called until the spirit woke up. The spirit sent 
the North Wind down he was the North 
Wind and the snow came, and summer passed 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 181 

away. The partridges no longer crowed and 
chuckled. Some of them flew away south. 
The others turned white; you can see them now 
very far north, but in the south only on the 
mountains. Then the loon began to laugh, for 
he was very glad and proud. He laughed louder 
and louder; you can hear him now on the lakes. 
But the spirit was very angry because the loon 
had called him. He began to blow on the lake 
and he began to blow on the loon. The lake be 
gan to freeze and the loon began to dive, longer 
and longer. But his wings began to grow smaller. 
So with great difficulty, before his wings were 
too small, he rose and his wings beat very rapidly 
and he flew away south. That is why winter 
came and why the loon dives so well and does 
not fly if he can help it. 

In the cane-brakes on both sides of the lower 
Mississippi I have hunted bear in company 
with the hard-riding, straight-shooting planters 
of the country lying behind the levees and a 
gamer, more open-handedly hospitable set of 
men can nowhere be found. What would, 
abroad, be called the hunt servants were all 
negroes from the Black Belt, in which we were 
doing our hunting. These negroes of the Black 
Belt have never had the opportunity to develop 
beyond a low cultural stage. Most of those 



182 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

with us were kindly, hard-working men, expert 
in their profession. One, who handled the 
hounds of two Mississippi planters, was a man 
in many respects of really high and fine char 
acter; although in certain other respects his 
moral standards were too nearly those of some 
of the Old Testament patriarchs to be quite 
suitable for the present century. These black 
hunters possessed an extensive and on the 
whole accurate knowledge of the habits of the 
wild creatures, and yet mingled with this knowl 
edge was a mass of firmly held nonsense about 
hoop-snakes, snakes with poisonous stings in 
their tails, and the like. Most, although not 
all, of them were very superstitious and easily 
frightened if alone at night. Their ghost- 
stories were sometimes to me quite senseless; 
I did not know enough of the workings of their 
minds to understand what they meant. Those 
stories that were understandable usually had in 
them something of the grotesque and the inade 
quate. By daylight the black hunters would 
themselves laugh at their own fears; and even 
at night, when fully believing what they were 
telling, they would seriously insert details that 
struck us as too comic for grave acceptance. 
The story that most insistently lingers in my 
mind will explain my meaning. 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 183 

Back in the swamp among cypress ponds 
was an abandoned plantation which had the 
reputation of being haunted. The "big house," 
the planter s house, had been dismantled but 
was still standing in fair condition. In the 
neighborhood there was a powerful negro scape 
grace much given to boasting that he feared no 
ghost; and the local judge finally offered him 
five dollars if he would go alone after nightfall 
to the house in question and stay there until 
sunrise. The negro accepted with the stipula 
tion that he was to be allowed to light a lamp 
that had been left in the house. The story 
teller, who was as black as a shoe and a good 
man in the swamp after bear, told the tale as 
follows. I cannot pretend, however, to give his 
exact expressions. 

"Jake started after sunset. The moon was a 
little more than half full, and it was a sure- 
enough lonely walk through the cypress woods 
along the abandoned, overgrown road. The 
branches kept waving and the moonlight flick 
ered on the ground, and Jake couldn t see any 
thing clearly and yet could see a good deal, and 
strange noises came from the swamp on both 
sides. He was glad to get to the clearing, but 
it was overgrown, too. The house shone white 
in the moonlight, but the staring, open windows 



184 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

were black, and all inside was coal-black beyond 
the moonlight, and he didn t know whether it 
was empty or whether he most wished it was or 
wasn t empty. But he went inside and lit the 
lamp and put it on a table and sat down beside 
it. Nothing happened for a long time except 
that he kept hearing queer things in the swamp 
and sometimes something went across the clear 
ing. At last a clock struck twelve, but he knew 
there wasn t any clock in the house. Just as soon 
as it had finished striking, a monstrous big black 
cat walked into the room and jumped on the 
table and wropped his tail three times round 
the lamp-chimney and said: Nigger, you and I 
is the onliest things in this house! And Jake 
said: Mr. Black Cat, in one second you ll be 
the onliest thing in this house, and he went 
through the window. He run hard down the 
road, and pretty soon there was a crashing in 
the underbrush and a big buck, with horns on 
him like a rocking-chair, came up alongside and 
said: Well, nigger, you must be losing your 
wind/ and he answered mighty polite: Mr. 
Buck, I ain t even begun to catch my wind, and 
he sure left that buck behind. And he ran and 
he ran until he did lose his wind, and he sat 
down on a log. And there was a patter of foot 
steps behind and somebody came up the road 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 185 

and sat down on the log too. It was a white 
man, and he carried his head in his hand. The 
head spoke: Well, nigger, you surely can run! 
and Jake he answered: Mr. White Man, you 
ain t never seen me run/ and then he did run. 
And he came to the judge s and he beat on the 
door and called out: Judge, I se come back; 
and, Judge, I don t want that five dollars! 

The planter in connection with whose hounds 
the negro worked told me that this was a ghost- 
story that for a year had been told everywhere 
among the colored folk, but about all kinds of 
houses and people, and that the narrator didn t 
really believe it; but that, nevertheless, he be 
lieved enough of it to be afraid of empty houses 
after dark, and moreover that he had been fright 
ened into leaving a swamp planter s pigs en 
tirely alone by the planter s playing ghost and 
calling out to him at nightfall as he, the negro, 
was travelling a lonely road with possible in 
nocence of motive. 

Strongly contrasted with such more than half 
comic or grotesque ghost-stories was one told 
me once, not by a hunting companion but by a 
polished and cultivated Tahitian gentleman, a 
guest of Henry Adams in Washington. His 
creed was the creed of his present surroundings ; 
but back of the beyond in his mind lurked old 



186 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

tales, and old faiths glowed with a moment s 
flame at certain hours under certain conditions. 
One evening some of those present were talking 
of inexplicable things that had happened on 
the shifting borders between life and death, be 
tween the known and the unknown; and of 
vampires and werewolves and the ghosts of 
things long gone. Suddenly the Tahitian told 
of an experience of his mother s when she was an 
imperious queen in the far-off Polynesian island. 
She had directed her people to build a bridge 
across the mouth of a stream. After dark 
something came out of the water and killed one 
of the men, and the others returned to her, 
saying that the spirit which dwelt in the stream 
was evil and would kill all of them if they per 
severed in their work. She answered that her 
own family spirit, the familiar or ghost of the 
family, was very strong and would protect her 
people if she were present. Next day, accord 
ingly, she went down in person to superintend 
the building of the bridge. She took with her 
two little tame pigs pet pigs. All went well 
until evening came. Then suddenly a chill 
gust of wind blew from the river mouth, and in 
a moment the workmen fled, screaming that the 
spirit of the water was upon them. Almost 
immediately afterward there was a hubbub of a 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 187 

totally different kind; and after listening a 
moment the queen spoke, telling that her spirit 
had arrived, had overcome the other spirit, and 
was chasing him. In another moment one of 
her girls called out that the little pigs were 
dead. The queen put out her hand and touched 
them; they were quite cold. The defeated spirit 
was hiding in them! But as she felt them they 
began to grow warm and come to life. Her 
familiar had followed the evil ghost into his 
hiding-place in the pigs, had chased him out, and 
slew him as he fled to the water. There was 
no further interruption to the building of the 
bridge. 

The touch about the defeated spirit hiding in 
the pet pigs, which thereupon grew cold, and 
being chased out by his antagonist was thor 
oughly Polynesian. It was most interesting to 
see the cultivated man of the world suddenly go 
back to superstitions that marked the child 
hood of the race; and then he told tales of the 
shark god, and of many other gods, and of 
devils and magicians. 

However, there is no lack of similar beliefs 
among our own people. Long ago I knew an old 
market gunner of eastern Long Island who shot 
ducks and bay-birds for a, living. There was a 
deserted farmhouse on the edge of the marsh, 



188 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

handy to the shooting-grounds, which he would 
not enter. He insisted that once he had gone 
there on a gray, bitter November afternoon to 
escape the rain which was driving in sheets. 
He lit a fire in the kitchen and started to dry 
his soaked clothes. Suddenly, out of the storm, 
somebody fumbled at the latch of the door. 
It opened and a little old woman in gray entered. 
She did not look at him, and yet a chill seemed 
to fall on him. Nevertheless he rose and fol 
lowed her as she went out into the hall. She 
went up the steep, narrow stairway. He went 
after her. She went up the still steeper little 
flight that went to the garret. But when he 
followed there was no one there. He came down 
stairs, put on his clothes, took up his heavy 
fowling-gun, and just as evening fell he started 
for the mainland along a road which at one 
point became a causeway. When he reached 
the causeway the light was dim; but a figure 
walked alongside the road on the reeds, not 
bending the tops; and it was a man with his 
throat cut from ear to ear. 

However, to tell of the crooked beliefs of the 
men of our own race, who dwell beside the 
great waters or journey across the world s waste 
spaces, is aside from what I have to say of the 
wild hunting companions whose world was peo- 



WILD HUNTING COMPANIONS 189 

pled by ghosts as real to their minds as the men 
and beasts with whom they were brought in 
touch during their daily lives. 



CHAPTER VIII 

PRIMEVAL MAN; AND THE HORSE, THE 
LION, AND THE ELEPHANT 

TO say that progress goes on and has 
gone on at unequal speed in different 
continents, so far as human society is 
concerned, is so self-evident as to be trite. Yet, 
after all, we hardly visualize even this fact to 
ourselves; and we laymen, at least, often either 
disregard or else frankly forget the further 
fact that this statement is equally true as re 
gards the prehistory of mankind and as re 
gards the paleontological history of the great 
beasts with which he has been associated on 
the different continents during the last two or 
three hundred thousand years. In history, a 
given century may on one continent mean 
what on another continent was meant by a 
century that came a thousand years before or 
a thousand years later. In prehistory and 
paleontology there is the same geographical dif 
ference as regards the rapidity of development 
in time. 

190 



PRIMEVAL MAN 191 

The Soudan under the Mahdi at the end of 
the nineteenth century was in religious, indus 
trial, and social life, in fact in everything except 
mere time, part of the evil Mohammedan world 
of the seventh century. It had no relation to 
the contemporary body politic of humanity ex 
cept that of being a plague-spot. The Tas- 
manians, Bushmen, and Esquimaux of the 
eighteenth century had nothing in common 
with the Europeans of their day. Their kin 
ship, physical and cultural, was with certain 
races of Palaeolithic Europeans and Asiatics 
fifty or a hundred thousand years back. 

In just the same way the fierce wild life of parts 
of Africa to-day has nothing in common with 
what we now see in Europe and the Americas. 
Yet in its general aspect, and in many of its 
most striking details, it reproduces the life that 
once was, in Europe and in both the Americas, 
in what paleontologists call the Pleistocene age. 
By Pleistocene is meant that period of in 
calculable length as we speak of historic time, 
but a mere moment if we speak of geologic 
time which witnessed in Europe and Asia 
the slow change of the brute-like and but 
partly human predecessors of man into beings 
who were culturally on a level with the lower 
forms of the savages that still exist, and some 



192 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

of whom were physically, as far as we can see, 
abreast of the more advanced races of to-day. 

Surely, this phase in the vast epic of life 
development on this planet offers a fascinating 
study. The history of man himself is by far 
the most absorbing of all histories, and it can 
not be understood without some knowledge of 
his prehistory. Moreover, the history of the 
rest of the animal world also yields a drama of 
intense and vivid interest to all scholars gifted 
with imagination. The two histories the pre 
history of humanity and the history of the cul 
minating phase of non-human mammalian life 
were interwoven during the dim ages when man 
was slowly groping upward from the bestial to 
the half-divine. 

It was my good fortune throughout one year 
of my life to roam, rifle in hand, over the empty, 
sunlit African wastes, and at night to camp by 
palm and thorn-tree on the banks of the African 
rivers. Day after day I watched the thronging 
herds of wild creatures and the sly, furtive 
human life of the wilderness. Often and often, 
as I so watched, my thoughts went back through 
measureless time to the ages when the western 
lands, where my people now dwell, and the 
northern lands of the eastern world, where their 
remote forefathers once dwelt, were filled with 



PRIMEVAL MAN 193 

just such a wild life. In those days these far- 
back ancestors of ours led the same lives of 
suspicion and vigilant cunning among the beasts 
of the forest and plain that are now led by the 
wildest African savages. In that immemorial 
past the beasts conditioned the lives of men, 
as they conditioned the lives of one another; for 
the chief factors in man s existence were then 
the living things upon which he preyed and 
the fearsome creatures which sometimes made 
prey of him. Ages were to pass before his mas 
tery grew to such a point that the fanged things 
he once had feared, and the hoofed things suc 
cess in the chase of which had once meant to 
him life or death, became negligible factors in 
his existence. 

Some of the naked or half skin-clad savages 
whom I met and with whom I hunted were still 
leading precisely the life of these ages-dead fore 
bears of ours. More than once I spent days in 
heavy forests at the foot of equatorial moun 
tains in company with small parties of Ndorobo 
hunters. They were men of the deep woods, 
as stealthy and wary as any of the woodland 
creatures. In each case they knew and trusted 
my companion - - who was in one instance a 
settler, a famous lion hunter, and in the other 
a noted professional elephant hunter. Yet 



194 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

even so their trust did not extend to letting a 
stranger like himself see their women and chil 
dren, who had retreated into some forest fast 
ness from which we were kept aloof. The men 
wore each a small fur cape over the shoulders. 
Otherwise they were absolutely naked. Each 
carried a pouch, and a spear. The spear head 
was of iron, obtained from some of the settled 
tribes. Except this iron spear head, not one of 
their few belongings differed from what it 
doubtless was long prior to the age of metals. 
They carried bows, strung with zebra gut, and 
arrows of which the wooden tips were poisoned. 
In one place Kermit found where a party of 
them had dwelt in a cave, evidently for many 
weeks; there were bones and scraps of skin 
without and within; and inside were beds of 
grass, and fire-sticks, and a walled-off enclosure 
of branches in which their dogs had been penned. 
Elsewhere we came on one or two camping- 
places with rude brush shelters. Each little 
party consisted of a family, or perhaps tem 
porarily of two or three families. They did not 
cultivate the earth; they owned a few dogs; 
and they lived on honey and game. They 
killed monkeys and hyraxes, occasionally forest 
hog and bongo a beautifully striped forest 
antelope as big as a Jersey cow and now and 



PRIMEVAL MAN 195 

then elephant, rhino, and buffalo, and, on the 
open plains at the edge of the forest, zebra. 
The zebra was a favorite food; but they could 
only get at it when it left the open plains and 
came among the bushes or to drink at the river. 
Two of these wild hunters showed me the bones 
of an elephant they had killed in a pit a long 
time previously; and the head man of those we 
had with us on another trip bore the scars of 
frightful wounds inflicted by an angered buffalo. 
Hyenas at times haunted the neighborhood, 
and after nightfall might attempt to carry off 
a child or even a sleeping man. Very rarely 
the hunters killed a leopard, and sometimes a 
leopard pounced on one of them. The lion 
they feared greatly, but it did not enter the 
woods, and they were in danger from it only 
if they ventured on the plain. The head man 
above mentioned told us that once, when des 
perate with hunger, his little tribe, or family 
group, had found a buffalo killed by a lion, and 
had attacked and slain the lion, and then feasted 
on both it and the buffalo. But on another oc 
casion a lion had turned the tables and killed 
two of their number. The father of one of my 
guides had been killed by baboons; he had at 
tacked a young one with a club, and the old 
males tore him to pieces with their huge dog 



196 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

teeth. Death to the head of a family in en 
counter with an elephant or rhino might mean 
literal starvation to the weaker members. They 
were able to exist at all only because they had 
developed their senses and powers to a degree 
that placed them level with the creatures they 
dreaded or preyed upon. They climbed the 
huge trees almost as well as the big black-and- 
white monkey. I had with me gun-bearers 
from the hunting tribes of the plains, men ac 
customed to the chase, but brought up in vil 
lages where there was tillage and where goats 
and cattle were raised. These gun-bearers of 
mine were good trackers and at home in the 
ordinary wilderness. But compared to these 
true wild men of the forest they might almost 
as well have been town-bred. The Ndorobo 
trackers would take me straight to some partic 
ular tree or spot of ground, through miles of 
dense, steaming woodland every rood of which 
looked like every other, returning with unerring 
precision to a goal which my gun-bearers would 
have been as helpless to find again as I was 
myself; and they interpreted trails and signs 
and footprint-scrapes which we either hardly 
saw or else misread. 

Doubtless the ancestors, or some of the 
ancestors, of these men had lived in the land, 



PRIMEVAL MAN 197 

just as they themselves now did, for untold 
generations before the soil-tillers and cattle- 
owners came into it. They had shrunk from 
the advent of the latter, and as a rule were 
found only in isolated tracts which were use 
less for tillage or pasturage, the dense forest 
forming their habitual dwelling-place and re 
treat of safety. From the best hunting-grounds, 
those where the great game teemed, they had 
been driven; yet these hunting-grounds were 
often untenanted by human beings for much 
of the year, being visited only at certain seasons 
by the cattle-owning nomads. 

Often these hunting-grounds offered sights 
of wonder and enchantment. Day after day I 
rode across them without seeing, from dawn 
to sundown, a human being save the faithful 
black followers, hawk-eyed and steel-thewed, 
who trudged behind me. Sometimes the plains 
were seas of wind-rippled grass. Sometimes 
they were dotted with clumps of low thorn- 
trees or broken by barren, boldly outlined hills. 
Our camp might be pitched by a muddy pool, 
with only stunted thorns near by; or on the 
edge of a shrunken river, under the dense shade 
of some great, brilliantly green fig-tree; or in 
a grove of huge, flat-topped acacias with yellow 
trunks and foliage like the most delicate lace; 



198 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

or where the long fronds of palins moved with 
a ceaseless, dry rustle in the evening breeze. 
At the drinking-holes, in pond or river, as the 
afternoon waned, or occasionally after night 
fall when the moon was bright, I sometimes 
lay to see the game filing down to drink. 

On these rides, I continually passed through, 
and while lying in ambush I often saw, a wealth 
of wild life, in numbers and variety such as the 
western world, and the cold-temperate regions 
of the Old World, have not seen for many, many 
thousands of years. How many kinds of beasts 
there were! Giraffes stared at us over the tops 
of the stunted thorn -trees. In the dawn we 
saw hyenas shambling homeward after their 
night s prowl. Wart-hogs as hideous as night 
mares ploughed along with their fore knees on 
the ground as they rooted it up. Sleek oryx 
with horns like rapiers galloped off with even, 
gliding gait. Shaggy wildebeests curvetted 
and plunged with a ferocity both ludicrous 
and sinister; elands as heavy as prize cattle 
trotted away with shaking dewlaps. Ungainly 
hartebeests, and topi whose skins had the 
sheen of satin, ran with smooth speed. The 
lyre-horned waterbucks had the stately port 
of wapiti bulls. Rhinoceros, foolish, mighty, 
and uncouth, stood half asleep in the bright 



PRIMEVAL MAN 199 

sunlight. Buffalo sought the shade of the 
thorn-trees, their bodies black and their great 
horn-bosses glinting white. Hippos snorted 
and gambolled in the water. Dominant always, 
wherever we saw them, were the lion and the 
elephant; and the favorite prey of the lion 
was the zebra, the striped wild horse of the 
African wastes. 

Of course, these many different creatures 
were not all to be seen at any one time or in any 
one place. But again and again there were so 
many of them that we felt as if we were passing 
through a gigantic zoological garden. Often 
the line of our burden-bearing carriers had to 
be shifted from its point of march, to avoid a 
rhinoceros which stared at us with dull and 
truculent curiosity; while the zebra herds filed 
off with barking cries across the sunlit plain, 
and delicate gazelles, dainty as wood-sprites, 
fled like shadows, and hartebeests gazed to 
ward us with long, homely faces; or we stopped 
to watch a herd of elephants, cows and calves, 
browsing among the thorns, their curling trunks 
raised now and then to test the wind, or per 
haps one big ear lifted and then slapped back 
against the body. 

One day at noon, in the Sotik country of 
East Africa, we stopped to skin a hyena which 



200 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

I had shot for the Smithsonian. As we skinned 
it the game of the neighborhood gathered to 
look on. The spectators included wildebeest, 
hartebeest, gazelle, topi, a zebra, and a rhinoc 
eros the hook-lipped kind. Late that after 
noon I shot a lioness; the successive reports of 
the rifle and the grunting roars of the lioness, 
put to flight a mixed herd of zebra and harte 
beest which had hitherto been unconcernedly 
grazing not far off to one side of the scene of 
action. 

On another day as I journeyed along the 
valley of the Guaso Nyero first at the head 
of the safari, as it travelled through the green 
forest of the river-bed, and then with only my 
gun-bearers, through the hot, waterless, sun- 
scorched country back from the river - - I saw 
rhino, giraffe, buffalo, eland, oryx, waterbuck, 
impalla, big gazelle, and gerenuk or giraffe- 
gazelle. After camping, toward evening, I 
walked up-stream, away from the tents, until 
I came to a spot where the river ran through a 
wild, rugged ravine. On the hither side I 
found the carcass - - little more than the skele 
ton of a zebra which had been killed by a 
couple of lions as it came to drink the previous 
night. It was evidently a favorite drinking- 
place, for broad game trails led down to the 



PRIMEVAL MAN 201 

river at this point from both banks. As I sat 
and watched, a herd of zebra approached 
cautiously from the opposite side. There were 
in it representatives of two species of these 
gaudily marked wild horses or wild asses, the 
common zebra and the much, bigger northern 
zebra with longer ears and more numerous 
and narrower stripes. The herd advanced, 
avoiding cover as much as possible, continually 
halting, once wheeling and galloping back, ever 
seeking with eye and nostril some token of the 
presence of their maned and tawny foe. At 
last the leader walked down through a break 
in the bank to the river. The others crowded 
close behind, jostling one another as they sank 
their muzzles in the water. For a moment 
fear left them, and they satisfied their thirst, 
and those that were through first then stood 
while the rearmost drank greedily. But as 
soon as one of them began to move back to 
the shore the others became uneasy and fol 
lowed, and the whole herd broke into a gallop 
and tore off for a couple of hundred yards. 
Looking at them it was easy enough to bring 
before one s eyes the tragedy of the preceding 
night; the herd nearing the water, wary, but not 
wary enough, the panic flight as the lion dashed 
among them, the struggling and the neighing 



202 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

screams of the victim before the great teeth found 
the life they sought. The herd I watched was 
not assailed; it cantered off; oryx and water- 
buck came down to drink and also cantered off. 
The carcass of the murdered zebra, little but 
bones and shreds of red sinew and scraps of skin, 
lay not far from me. Footprints showed where 
the lions had drunk after eating. As the long 
afternoon lights waned, a hyena, abroad earlier 
than usual, began to call somewhere in the dis 
tance. The lonely gorge was rather an eerie place 
as darkness fell, and I strode toward camp, alone, 
keeping a sharp lookout round about; and as I 
walked and watched in a present that might be 
dangerous, my thoughts went back through the 
immeasurable ages to a past that was always 
dangerous ; to the days when our hairy and low 
browed forefathers, under northern skies, fingered 
their stone-headed axes as they lay among the 
rocks in just such a ravine as that I had quitted, 
and gazed with mingled greed and terror as the 
cave-lion struck down his prey and scattered the 
herds of wild horses for whose flesh they them 
selves hungered. 

Once in East Africa I stalked a hook-lipped 
rhino, a big bull with good horns. I wished its 
skin and skeleton for the Smithsonian. When a 
hundred and fifty yards off I stopped for a mo- 



PRIMEVAL MAN 203 

ment by an ant-hill and looked around over the 
wide plain. There were in sight a couple of gi 
raffes, some solitary old wildebeest bulls, show 
ing black against the bleached yellow grass, and 
herds of hartebeest, topi, big and little gazelle, 
and zebra. On another occasion, when with Ker- 
mit, we inspected three rhinos at close quarters, 
came to the conclusion that none of them would 
make good specimens, and backed off cautiously 
a couple of hundred yards to a big ant-hill. 
From this point, there were in sight all the 
kinds of game mentioned above except the 
giraffe and little gazelle, and in addition there 
were ostrich and wart-hog. 

One night when we were camped on the 
western bank of the upper White Nile we heard 
a mighty chorus. Lions roared and elephants 
trumpeted, and in the papyrus beds, beneath 
the low bluff on which our tents stood, hip 
popotamus bellowed and blew like the exhaust- 
pipes of huge steam-engines. Next day I 
hunted the giant square-mouth rhinoceros, kill 
ing a cow and a bull, and taking their skins 
and the skeleton of one for the Smithsonian. 
On the walk out, and but a mile or two from 
camp, we had passed a small herd of elephants; 
and on our return we found them in the same 
place, still resting, with many white cow-herons 



204 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

perched on their backs. From where I stood 
looking at them hartebeest, kob, waterbuck, and 
oribi were also all in sight. 

I could mention day after day such as these, 
when we saw myriads of game, often of many 
kinds. One afternoon of heat and sunlight on 
the parched Kapiti plains, teeming with wild 
life, I followed a lion, on horseback. During 
the gallop he ran for several minutes almost in 
the middle of a mixed herd of hartebeest and 
zebra. When he came to bay, I walked in on 
him. In the background the barren hills, 
"like giants at a hunting lay." Bands of harte- 
beests and of showy zebras, joined by grotesquely 
capering wildebeests and by lovely, long-horned 
gazelles, stood round in a wide, irregular ring, 
to see their two foes fight to the death. Another 
day, at burning noon, in a waste of sparsely 
scattered, withered thorn-trees, west of Redjaf 
on the upper Nile, I killed a magnificent giant 
eland bull; and during the hunt I saw elephant, 
giraffe, buffalo, straw-colored Nile hartebeest, 
and roan antelope, as big as horses, with shining 
coats which melted in ghostly fashion into the 
shimmering heat haze of the dry landscape. 

In short, for months my companions and I 
travelled and hunted in the Pleistocene. Man 
and beasts alike were of types our own world 



PRIMEVAL MAN 205 

knew only in an incalculably remote past. My 
gun-bearers were really men such as those of 
later Palaeolithic times. Now and then I spent 
days with hunters whose lives were led under con 
ditions that the people of my race had not faced 
for ages; probably not since before, certainly 
not since immediately after, the close of the 
last glacial epoch. The number and variety 
of the great game, the terror inspired by some 
of the beasts of prey, the bulk and majesty of 
some of the beasts of the chase, were such as 
are unknown in the rest of the modern world; 
and nothing like them has been seen in the 
western and northern world since the Pleisto 
cene. 

Many of these great and beautiful beasts 
were of kinds which either have developed in 
Africa itself, and have never wandered to the 
other continents, or else had disappeared from 
these other continents before man appeared 
upon the earth. But three of the most char 
acteristic of these beasts, the lion, the ele 
phant, and the horse, were spread over almost 
the whole of this planet at the time when man 
as man had fairly begun his hunting. These 
three beasts then abounded in Europe and in 
Asia, in North America, and in South America. 
In each of these continents they were among 



206 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

the dominant types of a fauna as rich, varied, 
and impressive as only that of Africa is to-day. 
When I speak of "elephant," "lion," and 
"horse" I am speaking of the beasts themselves, 
not their names in our vernacular. As regards 
two of these three animals, the horse and the 
big horse-killing cat, we have no common names 
to include the various species; whereas in the 
remaining case we have such a common name 
to include the two widely separate existing 
species, although we use different names to des 
ignate two well-known fossil species. We speak 
of both the Indian and the African probos 
cidians as elephants, although we style "mam 
moth" the recently extinct hairy elephant of 
the north, which was more closely related to the 
Asiatic elephant than the latter is to its African 
cousin, and although we use the word "masto 
don" to denote a more primitive type of elephant 
also recently extinct in America. We have no 
such common term either for the various big 
cats or for the various horses. Yet the African 
and Asiatic elephants are far more widely sep 
arated from one another than the lion is from 
the tiger, or even from the jaguar. They are 
far more widely separated than horses, asses, 
and zebras are from one another. As regards 
both the horses and the big cats which have 



PRIMEVAL MAN 207 

always preyed so largely on horses, the differ 
ences are almost exclusively in color and in 
features of purely external anatomy. From the 
skull and skeleton it is not possible to deter 
mine with certainty the lion from the tiger, 
and both come very close to the big spotted 
cats; while the skulls of the horse, the ass, 
and the common zebra are with difficulty to be 
discriminated except by size although the 
skull of the big northernmost African zebra is 
totally distinct. 

In consequence, when we speak of extinct 
horses it is often impossible to guarantee that 
they were not asses or zebras; and when we 
speak of the great extinct cats of Europe and 
North America as lions, we know that it is 
possible that in life they may have looked more 
like tigers. Therefore it must be understood 
that I use the words horse and lion as terms of 
convenience and in a broad sense so as to avoid 
circumlocution. I use them in exactly the way 
in which "elephant" is always used to include 
the two totally distinct species now living in 
India and Africa. By "lion" I mean any one 
of the big extinct cats, true cats, which in their 
cranial and skeletal characters are almost or 
quite identical with living lions and tigers and 
closely related to living jaguars. By "horse" 



208 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

I mean any existing species of horse, ass, or 
zebra, and any one of the numerous similar ex 
tinct species which may have belonged to any 
one of these three types, or have been inter 
mediate between any two of them, or perhaps 
have been somewhat different from all of them. 
As thus used, the words horse, lion, and elephant 
are scientifically of nearly equivalent value. 

The only region in which these three animals 
were not found during Pleistocene times was 
Australia, which was given over wholly to a 
relatively insignificant and undeveloped fauna 
of marsupials and into which it is probable 
that man did not intrude until at a late period. 
Everywhere else, from Patagonia to the Cape of 
Good Hope, including regions now faunistically 
as utterly unlike as Peru, California, Alaska, 
Siberia, Asia Minor, France, and Algiers, they 
abounded, many different and peculiar species 
being found. The Pleistocene gradually be 
came part of the Age of Man; but at first it 
was emphatically the Age of the Horse, the 
Lion, and the Elephant, and the two ages over 
lapped for a very long period. The lion was 
primitive man s most deadly foe, as to this 
day is the case in parts of Africa. He feared 
the lion, and avoided him, and warred upon 
him, until gradually he got a little the upper 



PRIMEVAL MAN 209 

hand of him. The elephant greatly impressed 
the imagination of this primitive man, and it 
still greatly impresses it; as will be seen by any 
one who studies the carvings and pictures of 
our ancestors of the glacial and postglacial ep 
ochs, or who at the present day listens to the 
talk of his black gun-bearers round an African 
camp-fire. The horse was and is a quarry as 
eagerly followed by primitive man as by the 
lion himself. Ages elapsed before the horse, 
and finally even "my lord the elephant" were 
tamed by man, as man developed something 
that could properly be called a culture. The 
savages who, when England was merely a pen 
insula of continental Europe, dwelt by the banks 
of the mighty rivers which have since shrunk 
into the present Rhine and Seine, looked on the 
mammoth and the coarse-headed wild horse of 
their day as furnishing the flesh their stomachs 
craved, precisely as the savages of the Nile and 
the Zambesi now look on the African elephant 
and the zebra. 

This Age of Primitive Man, this Age of the 
Horse, the Lion, and the Elephant, like all 
other historical or geological "ages," lasted 
longer in some places than in others, and, in 
stead of having sharply defined limits, merged 
gradually into the preceding and succeeding 



210 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

ages. Moreover in exact analogy with other 
divisions of time, all of which, however useful, 
are essentially artificial we must constantly 
remember that the perspective changes utterly 
with the point of view. All paleontological terms 
of time are necessarily terms chiefly of con 
venience, which have and express a real in 
trinsic value, but which cannot be sharply 
defined. Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and 
Recent are such terms. They are arbitrarily 
chosen bits of terminology to express successive 
stages of the world s growth, and therefore 
successive and varying faunas. They are not 
equivalent in time to one another; the more 
remote the age from our own the greater is the 
length of time we include therein. "Recent" 
denotes a short period of time compared to 
"Pleistocene," and "Pleistocene" a short period 
compared to "Pliocene." If there are on this 
earth intelligent beings at a time in the future 
as remote from our day as our day is from the 
Pliocene, they will certainly consider "Recent" 
and "Pleistocene" as one short period. All the 
beast faunas and all the human cultures from 
the eras of the chinless Heidelberg and Pilt- 
down men to our own time will seem in that 
remote perspective practically contemporane 
ous. Similarly, when we try to grasp life as 



PRIMEVAL MAN 

lived even in such, geologically, near-by time as 
any portion of the Pleistocene, we cannot be 
sure of the exact time-parallelism of closely re 
lated faunas in different parts of the world, nor 
can we, in many cases, tell whether certain 
species were really contemporaneous or whether 
they were successive. Of the general paleon- 
tological facts, of the general aspects of the 
various faunas in various parts of the world, 
during some roughly indicated period of geo 
logic time, we may be reasonably sure. But 
when we speak with more minuteness, we speak 
doubtfully, and at any moment new discoveries 
may unsettle theories by upsetting what we 
have supposed to be facts. 

In considering what is in this chapter set forth 
these conditions must be kept in mind. When 
I speak of what I have myself seen or of the 
tools, carvings, and skeletons dug from the 
ground by competent observers, I speak of facts ; 
but as yet the explanations of these facts must 
be accepted only as hypotheses, at least in part. 
Just as the elephant, wild horse, and lion exist 
in Africa to-day, and have disappeared from 
Europe and the two Americas thousands or tens 
of thousands of years ago, so it may well be 
that they had died out in North America ages 
before they had disappeared from the other end 



A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

of the western hemisphere. Again, in North 
America, it is as yet quite impossible to be sure 
as to the exact succession, or contemporaneity 
of all of the many extinct species of horse and 
elephant. It is with our present knowledge 
equally impossible to be sure of the exact time 
relations between any given North American 
fauna and the Eurasiatic fauna most closely re 
sembling it. Moreover, as yet we have only the 
vaguest idea of the duration of even modern 
geologic time; good observers vary as to whether 
a given period covers hundreds of thousands or 
only tens of thousands of years. 

This does not impair the value of the general 
picture which we can make in our minds. It 
is not essentially different from what is the 
case in history. If we speak of the Grseco- 
Roman world from the days of Aristides to 
those of Marcus Aurelius, we outline a his 
torical period which has a real unity, and of 
which all the parts are bound together by real 
ties and real resemblances. Nevertheless, there 
were sharp differences in the successive cultures 
of this period; even the two centuries which 
intervened, say, between Miltiades and Deme 
trius Poliorketes, or between Marius and Trajan, 
showed such differences. Dealing roughly with 
the period as a whole, it would not be necessary 



PRIMEVAL MAN 213 

to try to draw all the distinctions and make 
all the qualifications that would be essential 
to minutely accurate treatment; such treat 
ment would merely mar the outlines of a gen 
eral sketch. The same thing is, of course, true 
of an outline sketch of what our present knowl 
edge shows of man s most wide-spread beast 
associates, when he had begun, in forms not 
very different from those of the lower savages 
to-day, to spread over the world s surface. 

Therefore it is necessary to remember that 
in dealing even with such a recent chapter of 
paleontological discovery as that concerned 
with early man and the great four-footed crea 
tures that were his contemporaries, our general 
picture can rarely pretend to more than general 
accuracy. It is only in prehistoric and proto- 
historic Europe that the early career of "homo 
sapiens" and his immediate predecessors has 
been worked out in sufficient detail to give 
even the roughest idea of its successive stages, 
and of the varying groups of great beasts with 
which at the different stages man was associated. 
This is because the record has been better pre 
served, and more closely studied in Europe than 
elsewhere; for it seems fairly certain that it is 
in Eurasia, in the palsearctic realm, that there 
took place the development of the more or less 



214 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

ape-like predecessors of man and then of man 
himself. It is in Eurasia that all of the remains 
of man s immediate predecessors have been 
found from the Javan pithecanthropus which 
can only doubtfully be called human, to the 
Piltdown and Heidelberg men, who were un 
doubtedly human, but who were so much closer 
than any existing savage to the beasts that 
(unless our present imperfect knowledge proves 
erroneous) they can hardly be deemed specif 
ically identical with modern homo sapiens. 
Even the more modern Neanderthal men are 
probably not ancestral to our own stock. It is 
in Europe, following on these predecessors of 
existing man, that we find the skeletons, the 
weapons and tools, and the carvings of existing 
man in his earliest stages; and mingled with 
his remains those of the strange and mighty 
beasts which dwelt beside him in the land. 
Probably these European forefathers of exist 
ing man came from a stock which had previously 
gone through its early human and prehuman 
stages in Asia. But we only know what hap 
pened in Europe. There was a slow, halting, 
and interrupted but on the whole steady de 
velopment in physical type sometimes the 
type itself gradually changing, while sometimes 
it was displaced by a wholly different type 



PRIMEVAL MAN 215 

of wholly different blood. Roughly parallel 
with this was a corresponding development in 
cultural type. Probably from the earliest times, 
and certainly in late times, development or 
change in physical type was often wholly un 
related to development or change in culture. 
Sometimes the cultural change was an autoch 
thonous development. Sometimes it was due 
to a more or less complete change in blood, 
owing to the immigration of a strong alien type 
of humanity. Sometimes it was due to the 
adoption of an alien culture. 

Many good observers nowadays, judging 
from the facts at present accessible, are in 
clined to think that the American Indian stocks 
were the first human stocks that peopled the 
western hemisphere, that they are by blood 
nearest of kin to certain race-elements still 
existing in northeastern Asia representing 
the only inhabitants of northeastern Asia when 
man first penetrated from there to north 
western America and that more remotely 
they may be kin to certain late Palaeolithic men 
of Europe. But much of the American Indian 
culture was essentially a Neolithic culture, 
seemingly from the beginning. In places - 
Peru, Maya-land, the Mexican plateau --it at 
times developed into a civilization equally 



216 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

extraordinary for its achievements and for its 
shortcomings and evanescence; but it never 
developed a metal epoch corresponding to, say, 
the bronze age of the Mediterranean, and al 
though the small camel, the llama, was tamed 
in South America, in North America, the ox, 
sheep, white goat, and reindeer were never made 
servants of man, as befell so many correspond 
ing beasts of Eurasia. 

In this last respect the American Indians 
stayed almost on the level of the African tribes, 
whose native civilization was otherwise far less 
advanced. The African buffalo is as readily 
tamed as its Asiatic brother; the zebra was as 
susceptible of taming as the early wild horse 
and ass; the eland is probably of all big rumi 
nants the one that most readily lends itself to 
domestication. But none of them was tamed 
until tribes owning animals which had been 
tamed for ages appeared in Africa; and then 
the already-tamed animals were accepted in 
their stead. The asses, cattle, sheep, and goats 
of Asia are now the domestic animals of the 
negroes and of the whites in Africa, merely be 
cause it is easier, more profitable, and more 
convenient to deal with animals already ac 
customed for ages to the yoke of domestic 
servitude than to again go through the labor in 
cident to changing a wild into a tame beast. 



PRIMEVAL MAN 217 

It is probable that during the immense 
stretch of time which in Europe covered the 
growth of the various successive Palseolithic, 
and finally Neolithic, cultures the "old-stone" 
ages during which man used stone implements 
which he merely chipped and flaked, and the 
"new-stone" age in which he ground and 
polished them - - there happened time and again 
what has happened in the history and pre 
history of man in Africa and North America. 
One of the incidents in this parallelism is the 
way in which the inhabitants accepted animals 
already trained and brought from elsewhere 
rather than attempt to train the similar beasts 
of their own forests. Doubtless the reason 
why the European bison is not a domestic 
animal is exactly the same as the reason why 
the American bison and African buffalo are 
not domestic animals. The northern European 
hunting savages were displaced or subjugated 
by, or received a higher culture from, tribes 
bringing from Asia or from the Mediterranean 
lands the cattle they had already tamed. The 
same things happened, in Africa south of the 
Sahara while it was still shrouded from civilized 
vision, and in America since the coming of the 
European. 

These hunting savages existed for ages, for 



218 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

hundreds of thousands of years, in Europe. 
During this period of time immense by his 
toric standards, yet geologically a mere mo 
ment many different human types succeeded 
one another. The climate swung to and from 
glacial to subtropical; fauna succeeded fauna. 
One group of species of big beasts succeeded 
another as the climate and plant life changed; 
and then itself gave place to a third; and per 
haps once more resumed its ancient place 
as the physical conditions again became what 
they once had been. At certain periods the 
musk-ox, the reindeer, the woolly rhinoceros, 
and the hairy mammoth, together with huge 
cave-bears, were found; at other periods south 
ern forms of elephant and rhinoceros, and 
such tropical creatures as the hippopotamus, 
replaced the beasts of the snow land. Horses 
of different species were sometimes present in 
incredible numbers. There were species of 
wild cattle, including the European bison, and 
the urus or aurochs spoken of by Caesar, 
and kin to, and doubtless partly ancestral to, 
the tame ox. The cave-lion, perhaps indis 
tinguishable from the modern African lion, was 
the most formidable beast of prey. I say "per 
haps" indistinguishable, for we cannot be quite 
certain. Some of the races of cave-dwelling 



PRIMEVAL MAN 219 

men were good artists, and carved spirited 
figures of mammoth, rhinoceros, bison, horse, 
reindeer, and bear on ivory, or on the walls of 
caves. The big lion-like cats appear only 
rarely in these pictures. 

In most cases the arctic and warm-temperate 
or near-tropical animals supplanted one another 
only incompletely as the waves of life advanced 
and receded when the climate changed. This 
seems a rather puzzling conjunction. The ex 
planation is twofold. When the climate changes, 
when it becomes warmer, for instance, northern 
creatures that once were at home in the low 
lands draw off into the neighboring highlands, 
leaving their old haunts to newcomers from the 
south, while nevertheless the two faunas may 
be only a few miles apart; just as in Montana 
and Alberta moose and caribou in certain places 
were found side by side with the prongbuck. 
Moreover, some species possess an adaptability 
which their close kin do not, and can thrive 
under widely different temperature conditions. 
A century ago the hippopotamus was found in 
the temperate Cape Colony, close to mountain 
ranges climatically fit for the typical beasts of 
north-temperate Eurasia. In Arizona at the 
present day mammals and birds of the Canadian 
fauna live on the mountain tops around the 



220 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

bases of which flourish animals characteristic of 
the tropical Mexican plateau ; the former having 
been left stranded on high mountain islands 
when, with the retreat of the glaciers, the cli 
mate of the United States grew warmer and 
the tide of southern life-forms swept northward 
over the lowlands. Under such conditions the 
same river deposits might show a combination 
of utterly different faunas. Moreover, some 
modern animals are found from the arctics to 
the tropics. The American lynx extends, in 
closely connected forms, from the torrid deserts 
of Mexico to arctic Alaska; so does the moun 
tain-sheep. The tiger flourishes in the steaming 
Malay forests and in snowy Manchuria. I have 
found the cougar breeding in the frozen, bitter 
midwinter among the high Rockies, in a coun 
try where snow covered the ground for six 
months, and where the caribou would be en 
tirely at home; and again in Brazil under the 
equator, in the atmosphere of a hot-house. 
There were periods, during the ages before his 
tory dawned, but when man had long dwelt in 
Europe, in which herds of reindeer may have 
roamed the French and English uplands within 
sight of rivers wherein the hippopotamus dwelt 
as comfortably as he recently did at the Cape 
of Good Hope. 



PRIMEVAL MAN 

Some of the more recent of these European 
hunting savages -- those who were perhaps in 
part our own forefathers, or who perhaps were 
of substantially the same ethnic type as the 
men of the older race strains in northeastern 
Asia, and even possibly of the American In 
dians and many of their more remote prede 
cessors were contemporaries of the lion, the 
horse, and the elephant. Different species of 
horse and elephant succeeded one another. The 
earlier ones were contemporaries of the hippo 
potamus and of not only the lion but the sabre- 
tooth. When the hairy elephant, the mammoth, 
was present, the fauna also often included 
the cave-lion, cave-hyena, cave-bear, wolf, boar, 
woolly rhinoceros, many species of deer (in 
cluding the moose and that huge fallow deer, 
the Irish elk), horses, and the bison and the 
aurochs. The mammoth and woolly rhinoceros 
died out so recently that their carcasses are dis 
covered preserved in the Siberian ice, and the 
undigested food in their stomachs shows that 
they ate northern plants of the kinds now com 
mon, and the twigs of the conifers and other 
trees which still flourish in the boreal realm of 
both hemispheres. 

The lion was doubtless the most dreaded foe 
of the ancient European, just as he is to this 



222 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

day of certain African tribes. The Palaeolithic 
hunters slaughtered myriads of wild horses, 
just as the ebony-hued hunters of Africa now 
slaughter the zebra and feast on its oily flesh. 
The spirited carvings and sketches of the hairy 
mammoth by the later Palaeolithic cave-dwellers 
show that the elephant of the cold northlands 
had impressed their imaginations precisely as 
the hairless elephant of the hot south now im 
presses the imaginations of the tribes that dwell 
under the vertical African sun. The rhinoceros 
and wild cattle of the pine forests played in 
their lives the part played in the lives of our 
contemporaries, the hunting tribes of Africa, by 
the rhinoceros and the buffalo the African 
wild ox which dwell among open forests of 
acacias and drink from palm-bordered rivers. 
They saw no animal like that strange creature, 
the African giraffe; and several kinds of deer 
took the place of the varied species of bovine 
ruminants which, in popular parlance, we group 
together as antelopes. 

Substantially the fauna of mighty beasts 
which furnished the means of livelihood, and 
also constantly offered the menace of death, to 
our European forefathers or to the predeces 
sors of our forefathers was like that magnifi 
cent fauna which we who have travelled among 



PRIMEVAL MAN 

the savages of present-day Africa count it one 
of our greatest pleasures to have seen. During 
the ages when the successive races of hunter- 
savages dwelt in Europe a similar magnificent 
fauna of huge and strange beasts flourished on 
all the continents of the globe except in Aus 
tralia. In Europe it vanished in prehistoric 
times, when man had long dwelt in the land. 
In Africa south of the Sahara, and partially 
in spots of Asia, it has persisted to this day. 
In North America it died out before, or per 
haps, as regards the last stragglers, immediately 
after, the coming of man; in South America it 
seems clear that it survived, at least in places, 
until he was well established. 

The three abundant and conspicuous beasts, 
all three typical of the great mammalian fauna 
which was contemporary with the prehistoric 
human hunters, and all three common to all 
the continents on which this great mammalian 
fauna was found, were the lion - - using the 
name to cover several species of huge horse- 
killing and man -killing cats; the elephant, in 
cluding several totally different species, among 
them the mammoth and mastodon; and the 
horse, including numerous widely different 
species. Together with these three universally 
distributed animals were many others belonging 



224 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

to types confined to certain of the continents. 
Rhinoceros were found in Europe, Asia, and 
Africa (they had once flourished in North 
America but had died out long before man ap 
peared on the globe). Camels were found in 
Asia, in South America, and especially in North 
America, which was their centre of abundance 
and the place where they had developed. Wild 
oxen were found in all the continents except 
South America; deer everywhere except in true 
Africa, zoogeographical Africa, Africa south of 
the Sahara. The pigs of the Old World were re 
placed by the entirely different peccaries of the 
New World. Sheep, goats, and goat-antelopes 
lived in Eurasia and North America. Most of 
the groups of big ruminants commonly called 
"antelopes" are now confined to Africa; but it 
appears that formerly various representatives 
of them reached America. The giraffe through 
this period was purely African; the hippo 
potamus has retreated to Africa, although in 
the period we are considering its range extended 
to Eurasia. In South America were many ex 
traordinary creatures totally different from one 
another, including ground-sloths as big as ele 
phants. Two or three outlying representatives 
of the ground-sloths had wandered into North 
America; but elsewhere there were no animals 



PRIMEVAL MAN 

in any way resembling them. The horse, the 
lion, and the elephant were the three striking 
representatives of this vast and varied fauna 
which were common to all five continents. 

The North American fauna of this type 
reached its height about the time extending 
over many scores of thousands of years - 
when successive ice ages alternated with long 
stretches of temperate or subtropical climate 
throughout the northern hemisphere. During 
the period when this great North American 
fauna flourished hunter-savages of archaic type 
lived amid, and partly on, the great game of 
Europe. But, as far as we know, men did not 
come to America until after, or at the very end 
of, the time when these huge grass-eaters and 
twig-eaters, and the huge flesh-eaters which 
preyed on them, vanished from the earth, owing 
to causes which in most cases we cannot as yet 
even guess. 

Much the most striking and interesting col 
lection of the remains of this wonderful fauna 
is to be found near one of our big cities. On 
the outskirts of Los Angeles, in southern Cali 
fornia, are asphalt deposits springing from 
petroleum beds in the shales below. The oil 
seeping up to the surface has formed shallow, 
spread-out pools and, occasionally, deep pits 



226 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

covered with water. In part of the area these 
pits and pools of tar have existed for scores of 
thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, 
since far back in the Pleistocene. They then 
acted as very dangerous and efficient mammal 
traps and bird traps and now continue so 
to act, for the small mammals and the birds 
of the neighborhood still wander into them, 
get caught in the sticky substance, and die, as 
I have myself seen. Moreover the tar serves 
as a preservative of the bones of the creatures 
that thus perish. In consequence some of the 
ancient pits and pools are filled with immense 
masses of the well-preserved bones of the strange 
creatures that were smothered in them ages 
ago. 

Nowhere else is there any such assemblage 
of remains giving such a nearly complete pic 
ture of the fauna of a given region at a given 
time. A striking peculiarity is that the skeletons 
of the flesh-eaters far surpass in number the 
skeletons of the plant-eaters. This is something 
almost unique, for of course predatory animals 
are of necessity much less numerous than the 
animals on which they prey. The reversal in 
this case of the usual proportions between the 
skeletal remains of herbivorous and carnivorous 
beasts and birds is due to the character of the 



PRIMEVAL MAN 227 

deposits. The tar round the edges of the pools 
or pits hardens, becomes covered with dust, and 
looks like solid earth; and water often stands 
in the tar pits after rain, while at night the 
shallow pools of fresh tar look like water. Evi 
dently the big grazing or browsing beasts now 
and then wandered out on the hard asphalt next 
the solid ground, and suddenly became mired 
in the soft tar beyond. Probably the pits in 
which water stood served as traps year after 
year as the thirsty herds sought drink. Then 
each dead or dying animal became itself a lure 
for all kinds of flesh-eating beasts and birds, 
which in their turn were entrapped in the sticky 
mass. In similar manner, thirty years ago on 
the Little Missouri, I have known a grizzly 
bear, a couple of timber-wolves, and several 
coyotes to be attracted to the carcass of a steer 
which had bogged down in the springtime be 
side an alkali pool. 

Another result of the peculiar conditions un 
der which the skeletons accumulated is that an 
unusually large number of very old, very young, 
and maimed or crippled creatures were en 
trapped. Doubtless animals in full vigor were 
more apt to work themselves free at the moment 
when they found they were caught in the tar; 
and, moreover, a wolf or sabretooth which was 



228 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

weakened by age or by wounds received in en 
counter with its rivals, or with some formidable 
quarry, and which therefore found its usual 
prey difficult to catch, would be apt to hang 
around places where carcasses, or living creatures 
still feebly struggling, offered themselves to rav 
enous appetites. 

The plant remains in these deposits show 
that the climate and vegetation were sub 
stantially those of California to-day, although 
in some respects indicating northern rather 
than southern California. There were cypress- 
trees of a kind still common farther north, 
manzanita, juniper, and oaks. Evidently the 
region was one of open, grassy plains varied 
with timber belts and groves. It has been said 
that to support such a fauna the vegetation 
must have been much more luxuriant than in 
this region at present. This is probably an 
error. The great game regions of Africa are 
those of scanty vegetation. Thick forest holds 
far less big animal life. Crossing the sunny 
Athi or Kapiti plains of East Africa, where the 
few trees are thorny, stunted acacias and the 
low grass is brown and brittle under the drought, 
the herds of zebra, hartebeest, wildebeest, and 
gazelle are a perpetual delight and wonder; 
and elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo abounded 



PRIMEVAL MAN 229 

on them in the days before the white man came. 
On the Guaso Nyero of the north, and in the 
Sotik, the country was even drier at the time 
of my visit, and the character of the vegeta 
tion showed how light the normal rainfall was. 
The land was open, grassy plain, or was thinly 
covered with thorn scrub, with here and there 
acacia groves and narrow belts of thicker timber 
growth along the watercourses, and in the Sotik 
gnarled gray olives. Yet the game swarmed. 
We watched the teeming masses come down 
to drink at the shrunken rivers or at the dwin 
dling ponds beside which our tents were pitched. 
As the line of the safari walked forward under 
the brazen sky, while we white men rode at 
the head with our rifles, the herds of strange 
and beautiful wild creatures watched us, with 
ears pricked forward, or stood heedless in the 
thin shade of the trees, their tails switching 
ceaselessly at the biting flies. In wealth of 
numbers, in rich variety and grandeur of spe 
cies, the magnificent fauna we then saw was not 
substantially inferior to that which an age be 
fore dwelt on the California plains. 

This Pleistocene California fauna included 
many beasts which persisted in the land until 
our own day. There were cougars, lynxes, 
timber-wolves, gray foxes, coyotes, bears, prong- 



230 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

horn antelopes and black-tail or white-tail deer 
nearly, or quite, identical with the modern 
forms. They were the same animals which I 
and my fellow ranchmen hunted when, in the 
early eighties of the last century, our branded 
cattle were first driven to the Little Missouri. 
They swarmed on the upper Missouri and the 
Yellowstone when Lewis and Clark found the 
bison and wapiti so tame that they would hardly 
move out of the way, while the grizzly bears 
slept on the open plains and fearlessly attacked 
the travellers. But in the Pleistocene, at the 
time we are considering, the day of these modern 
creatures had only begun. The contents of the 
tar-pits show that the animals named above 
were few in number, compared to the great 
beasts with which they were associated. 

The giant among these Pleistocene giants of 
California, probably the largest mammal that 
ever walked the earth, was the huge imperial 
elephant. This mighty beast stood at least 
two feet higher than the colossal African ele 
phant of to-day, which itself is bigger than the 
mammoth, and as big as any other extinct 
elephant. The curved tusks of the imperial 
elephant reached a length of sixteen feet. A 
herd of such mighty beasts must have been an 
awe-inspiring sight had there been human 



PRIMEVAL MAN 231 

eyes to see it. Nor were they the only represen 
tatives of their family. A much more archaic 
type of elephant, the mastodon, flourished be 
side its gigantic cousin. The mastodon was a 
relatively squat creature, standing certainly 
four feet shorter than the imperial elephant, 
with comparatively small and slightly curved 
tusks and a flatter head. Enormous numbers 
of mastodons ranged over what is now the 
United States, and the adjacent parts of Can 
ada and Mexico. The mastodons represented a 
stage farther back in the evolutionary line than 
the true elephants, and in the Old World they 
died out completely before the latter disap 
peared even from Europe and Siberia. But in 
North America, for unknown reasons, they 
outlasted their more highly developed kinsfolk 
and rivals, and there is some ground for be 
lieving that they did not completely disap 
pear until after the arrival of man on this con 
tinent. 

The elephant stock developed in the Old 
World, and it is probable that the true ele 
phants were geologically recent immigrants to 
America, coming across the land bridge which 
then connected Alaska and Siberia. In Cali 
fornia they encountered the big descendants of 
other big immigrants, which had reached North 



232 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

America by another temporary land bridge, 
but from another continent, South America. 
These were the ground-sloths, giant edentates, 
which reached an extraordinary development 
in the southern half of our hemisphere, where 
distant and diminutive relatives - - tree-sloths, 
ant-eaters, armadillos still live. The most 
plentiful of these California ground-sloths, the 
mylodon, was about the size of a rhinoceros; 
an unwieldy, slow-moving creature, feeding on 
plants, and in appearance utterly unlike any 
thing now living. 

Together with these great beasts belonging 
to stocks that in recent geologic time had im 
migrated hither from the Old World and from 
the southern half of the New World was an 
other huge beast of remote native ancestry. 
This was a giant camel, with a neck almost like 
that of a giraffe. Camels including llamas - 
developed in North America. Their evolu 
tionary history certainly stretched through a 
period of two or three million - - perhaps four 
or five million years on this continent, reach 
ing back to a little Eocene ancestor no bigger 
than a jack-rabbit. Yet after living and develop 
ing in the land through these untold ages, over 
a period inconceivably long to our apprehension, 
the camels completely died out on this continent 



PRIMEVAL MAN 233 

of their birth, although not until they had sent 
branches to Asia and South America, where 
their descendants still survive. 

Two other grass-eating beasts, of large size 
although smaller than the above were also 
plentiful. One, a bison, bigger, straighter- 
horned and less specialized than our modern 
bison, represented the cattle, which were among 
the animals that passed to America over the 
Alaskan land bridge in Pleistocene time. 

The other was a big, coarse-headed horse, 
much larger than any modern wild horse, and 
kin to the then existing giant horse of Texas, 
which was the size of a percheron. The horses, 
like the camels, had gone through their develop 
mental history on this continent, the earliest 
ancestor, the little four-toed "dawn horse" of 
the Eocene, being likewise the size of a jack- 
rabbit. Through millions of years, while myr 
iads of generations followed one another, the 
two families developed side by side, increasing 
in size and seemingly in adaptation to the envi 
ronment. Each stock branched into many dif 
ferent species and genera. They spread into the 
Old World and into South America. Then, sud 
denly, --that is, suddenly in zoologic sense 
both completely died out in their ancient home, 
and the horses in South America also, whereas 



234 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

half a dozen very distinct species are still found 
in Asia and Africa. 

All these great creatures wandered in herds 
to and fro across the grassy Californian plains 
and among the reaches of open forest. Prey 
ing upon them were certain carnivores grimmer 
and more terrible than any now existing. The 
most distinctive and seemingly the most plen 
tiful was the sabretooth. This was a huge, 
squat, short-tailed, heavily built cat with upper 
canines which had developed to an almost 
walrus-like length; only, instead of being round 
and blunt like walrus tusks, they were sharp-, 
with a thin, cutting edge, so that they really 
were entitled to be called sabres or daggers. 
Whether the creature was colored like a lion 
or like a tiger or like neither, we do not know, 
for it had no connection with either save its 
remote kinship with all the cats. The sabre- 
tooth cats, like the true cats, had gone through 
an immensely long period of developmental his 
tory in North America, although they did not 
appear here as early as the little camels and 
horses. Far back across the ages, at or just 
after the close of the Eocene -- the "dawn age" 
of mammalian life certain moderate-sized or 
small cat-like creatures existed on this continent, 
doubtless ancestral to the sabretooth, but so 



PRIMEVAL MAN 235 

generalized in type that they display close 
affinities with the true cats, and even on cer 
tain points with the primitive dog creatures of 
the time. Age followed age Oligocene, Mio 
cene, Pliocene. The continents rose and sank 
and were connected and disconnected. Vast 
lakes appeared and disappeared. Mountain 
chains wore down and other mountain chains 
were thrust upward. Periods of heat, during 
which rich forests flourished north of the arctic 
circle, were followed by periods of cold, when 
the glacial ice-cap crept down half-way across 
the present temperate zone. Slowly, slowly, 
while the surface of the world thus changed, 
and through innumerable reaches of time, the 
sabretooth cats and true cats developed along 
many different lines in both the Old World 
and the New. One form of sabretooth was in 
Europe with the bestial near-human things 
who were the immediate predecessors of the 
first low but entirely human savages. It was 
in the two Americas, however, that the sabre 
tooth line culminated, immediately before its 
final extinction, in its largest and most formi 
dable forms. This California sabretooth was 
not taller than a big cougar or leopard, but 
was probably as heavy as a fair-sized lion. Its 
skeletal build is such that it cannot have been 



236 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

an agile creature, apt at the pursuit of light and 
swift prey. By rugged strength and by the 
development of its terrible stabbing and cutting 
dagger teeth, that is, by sheer fighting ability, 
it was fitted for attack upon and battle with 
the massive herbivores then so plentiful. It 
must indeed have been a fearsome beast in 
close grapple. Doubtless with its sharp, re 
tractile claws it hung onto the huge bodies of 
elephant, camel, and ground-sloth, of horse and 
bison, while the sabres were driven again and 
again into the mortal parts of the prey and 
slashed the flesh as they withdrew. It seems 
possible that the mouth was opened wide and 
stabbing blows delivered, almost as a rattle 
snake strikes with raised fangs. Vast numbers 
of sabretooth skeletons have been found in 
the asphalt; evidently the strange, formidable 
creature haunted any region which held at 
traction for the various kinds of heavy game 
on which it preyed. 

The only other carnivore as abundant as the 
sabretooth was a giant wolf. This was heavier 
than any existing wolf, with head and teeth 
still larger in proportion. The legs were com 
paratively light. Evidently, like the sabre 
tooth, this giant wolf had become specialized as 
a beast of battle, fitted to attack and master 



PRIMEVAL MAN 237 

the bulky browsers and grazers, but not to over 
take those that were smaller and swifter. The 
massive jaws and teeth could smash heavy 
bones and tear the toughest hide; and a hungry 
pack of these monsters, able to assail in open 1 
fight any quarry no matter how fierce or power 
ful, must have spread dire havoc and dismay 
among all things that could not escape by flight. 

There were two still larger predatory species, 
which were much less plentiful than either the 
wolf or the sabretooth. One was a short-faced 
cave-bear, far larger than even the huge Alaskan 
bear of to-day. Doubtless it took toll of the 
herds; but bears are omnivorous beasts, and 
not purely predatory in the sense that is true of 
those finished killers, the wolves and big cats. 
Unlike the wolves and cats, bears were geolog 
ically recent immigrants to America. 

The other was a true cat, a mighty beast; 
bigger than the African lion of to-day; indeed, 
perhaps the biggest and most powerful lion-like 
or tiger-like cat that ever existed. Seemingly 
it was much rarer than the sabretooth; but it 
is possible that this seeming rarity was due to 
its not lurking in the neighborhood of pools and 
licks but travelling more freely over the wastes, 
being of a build fit not only for combat but for 
an active and wandering life. It is usually 



238 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

spoken of as kin to the African lion, a decidedly 
smaller beast. It is possible that its real kin 
ship lies with the tiger. The Manchurian form 
of the tiger is an enormous beast, and a careful 
comparison of the skulls and skeletons may show 
that it equals in size the huge western American 
cat of Pleistocene times. I have already spoken 
of the fact that in many cases it is almost im 
possible to distinguish the lion and tiger apart 
by the bones alone; and it may be that the 
exact affinities of these recently extinct species 
with living forms cannot be definitely deter 
mined. But during historic and prehistoric 
times the lion has been a beast of western Eurasia 
and of Africa. The tiger, on the contrary, is and 
has been a beast of eastern Asia, and apparently 
has been spreading westward and perhaps south 
ward - - that it was not as ancient an inhabi 
tant of jungle-covered southern India as the 
elephant and leopard seems probable from the 
fact that it is not found in Ceylon, which island 
in all likelihood preserves most of the southern 
Indian fauna that existed prior to its separation 
from the mainland. Moreover, the finest form 
of tiger exists in cold northeastern Asia. In 
Pleistocene times this portion of Asia was con 
nected by a broad land bridge with western 
America, where the mighty American cat then 



PRIMEVAL MAN 239 

roved and preyed on the herds of huge plant- 
eating beasts. We know that many Asiatic 
beasts crossed over this land bridge -- the bears, 
bison, mountain-sheep, moose, caribou, and 
wapiti, which still live both in Asia and North 
America, and the mammoth and cave-bears, 
which have died out on both continents. It is 
at least possible -- further investigation may or 
may not show it to be more than possible - - that 
the huge Pleistocene cat of western America 
was the collateral ancestor of the Manchurian 
tiger. Whether it was another immigrant from 
Asia, or a developed form of some big American 
Pliocene cat, cannot with our present knowledge 
be determined. 

Surely the thought of this vast and teeming, 
and utterly vanished wild life, must strongly 
appeal to every man of knowledge and love of 
nature, who is gifted with the imaginative power 
to visualize the past and to feel the keen delight 
known only to those who care intensely both for 
thought and for action, both for the rich ex 
perience acquired by toil and adventure, and 
for the rich experience obtained through books 
recording the studies of others. 

Doubtless such capacity of imaginative ap 
preciation is of no practical help to the hunter 
of big game to-day, any more than the power to 



240 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

visualize the long-vanished past in history helps 
a practical politican to do his ordinary work in 
the present workaday world. The governor of 
Gibraltar or of Aden, who cares merely to do 
his own intensely practical work, need know 
nothing whatever about any history more an 
cient than that of the last generation. But this 
is not true of the traveller. It is not even true 
of the politician who wishes to get full enjoy 
ment out of life without shirking its duties. He 
certainly must not become a mere dreamer, or 
believe that his dreams will help him in prac 
tical action. But joy, just for joy s sake, has 
its place too, and need in no way interfere with 
work; and, of course, this is as true of the joy 
of the mind as of the joy of the body. As a 
man steams into the Mediterranean between the 
African coast and the "purple, painted head 
lands" of Spain, it is well for him if he can 
bring before his vision the galleys of the Greek 
and Carthaginian mercantile adventurers, and 
of the conquering Romans; the boats of the 
wolf -hearted Arabs; the long "snakes" of the 
Norse pirates, Odin s darlings; the stately and 
gorgeous war craft of Don John, the square- 
sailed ships of the fighting D4itch admirals, and 
the lofty three-deckers of Nelson, the greatest 
of all the masters of the sea. Aden is like a 



PRIMEVAL MAN 241 

furnace between the hot sea and the hot sand; 
but at the sight of the old rock cisterns, carved 
by forgotten hands, one realizes why on that 
coast of barren desolation every maritime peo 
ple in turn, from the mists that shroud an im 
memorial antiquity to our own day of fevered 
materialistic civilization, has seized Aden Bay 
- Egyptian, Sabean, Byzantine, Turk, Persian, 
Portuguese, Englishman; and always, a few 
miles distant, in the thirsty sands, the changeless 
desert folk have waited until pride spent itself 
and failed, and the new power passed, as each 
old power had passed, and then the merciless 
men of the waste once more claimed their own. 
Gibraltar and Aden cannot mean to the un 
imaginative what they mean to the men of 
vision, to the men stirred by the hero tales of 
the past, by the dim records of half -forgotten 
peoples. These men may or may not do their 
work as well as others, but their gifts count in 
the joy of living. Enjoyment the same in kind 
comes to the man who can clothe with flesh the 
dry bones of bygone ages, and can see before 
his eyes the great beasts, hunters and hunted, 
the beasts so long dead, which thronged the 
Californian land at a time when in all its phys 
ical features it had already become essentially 
what it still continues to be. 



242 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

The beast life of this prehistoric California 
must be called ancient by a standard which 
would adjudge the Egyptian pyramids and the 
Mesopotamian palace mounds and the Maya 
forest temples to be modern. Yet w r hen ex 
pressed in geologic terms it was but of yester 
day. When it flourished the Eurasian hunting 
savages were in substantially the same stage 
of progress as the African hunting savages who 
now live surrounded by a similar fauna. On 
the whole, taking into account the number, 
variety, and size of the great beasts, the fauna 
which surrounded Palaeolithic man in Europe 
was inferior to that amid which dwell the black- 
skinned savages of equatorial Africa. Even 
Africa, however, although unmatched in its 
wealth of antelopes, cannot quite parallel, with 
its lion, elephant, and zebras, the lordlier ele 
phant, the great horse, and the huge cat of the 
earlier Calif ornian fauna; and the giraffe, the 
hyena, the rhinoceros, and the hippopotamus 
do not quite offset the sabretooth, the giant 
wolf, the mastodon, the various species of enor 
mous ground-sloths, and the huge camel; the 
bison and buffalo about balance each other. 

There were no human eyes to see nor human 
ears to hear what went on in southern Cali 
fornia when it held an animal life as fierce and 



PRIMEVAL MAN 243 

strange and formidable as mid-Africa to-day. 
The towering imperial elephants and the burly 
mastodons trumpeted their approach one to 
the other. The great camels, striding noise 
lessly on their padded feet, passed the clumsy 
ground-sloths on their way to water. The 
herds of huge horses and bison drank together 
in pools where the edges were trodden into 
mire- by innumerable hoofs. All these creatures 
grew alertly on guard when the shadows length 
ened and the long-drawn baying of the wolf 
pack heralded the night of slaughter and of 
fear; and the dusk thrilled with the ominous 
questing yawns of sabretooth and giant tiger, 
as the beasts of havoc prowled abroad from 
their day lairs among the manzanitas, or under 
cypress and live-oak. 

The tar-pools caught birds as well as beasts. 
Most of these birds were modern - - vultures, 
eagles, geese, herons. But there were condor- 
like birds twice the size of any living condor, 
the biggest birds, so far as we know, that ever 
flew. There were also, instead of wild turkeys, 
great quantities of wild peacocks at least 
they have been identified as peacocks or similar 
big, pheasant-like birds. If the identification is 
correct, this is an unexpected discovery and a 
fresh proof of how this extinct American fauna at 



244 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

so many points resembled that of Asia. It was 
natural that a collateral ancestor of the present 
Asiatic pheasant-like birds should dwell beside 
a collateral ancestor of the present Asiatic 
tiger. 1 

Moreover, the tar-pools hold human bones. 
These, however, are probably of much later 
date than the magnificent fauna above de 
scribed, perhaps only a few thousand years old. 
They belong to a rather advanced type of man. 
It is probable that before man came to Amer 
ica at all, the earlier types had died out in 
Eurasia, or had been absorbed and developed, 
or else had been thrust southward into Africa, 
Tasmania, Australia, and remote forest tracts 
of Indo-Malaysia, where, being such back 
ward savages, they never developed anything 
remotely resembling a civilization. It was 
probably people kin to some of the later cave- 



1 Professor J. C. Merriam, of the University of California, first studied 
this fauna. The excavations are now being carried on by Director 
Frank S. Daggett, of the capital Museum of Los Angeles County. I 
have spoken above of the vast herds of game encountered over a cen 
tury ago by Lewis and Clark on the upper Missouri. The journals of 
these two explorers form an American classic, and they have found a 
worthy editor in Reuben Gold Thwaites; there could not be an edition 
more satisfactory from every standpoint including that of good taste. 
In anthropology I follow the views of Fairfield Osborne and Ales 
Hfdlicka; I am not competent to decide as to the points where they 
differ; and they would be the first to say that some of the hypotheses 
they advance must be accepted as provisional until our knowledge is 
greater. 



PRIMEVAL MAN 245 

dwellers who furnished the first (and perhaps 
until the advent of the white man the only im 
portant) immigration to America. These im 
migrants, the ancestors of all the tribes of In 
dians, spread from Alaska to Terra del Fuego. 
Over most of the territory in both Americas 
they remained at the hunting stage of savage 
life, although they generally supplemented their 
hunting by a certain amount of cultivation of 
the soil, and although in places they developed 
into advanced and very peculiar culture com 
munities. 

When these savages reached North America 
it is likely, from our present knowledge, that 
the terrible and magnificent Pleistocene fauna 
had vanished, although in places the last sur 
vivors of the mastodon, and perhaps of one or 
two other forms, may still have lingered. What 
were the causes of this wide-spread, and com 
plete, and geologically speaking sudden ex 
termination of so many and so varied types of 
great herbivorous creatures, we cannot say. It 
may be we can never do more than guess at 
them. It is certainly an extraordinary thing 
that complete destruction should have suddenly 
fallen on all, literally all, of the species. Camels 
and horses, after they had dwelt on this conti 
nent for millions of years, since almost the dawn 



246 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

of mammalian life, developing from little beasts 
the size of woodchucks into the largest and 
most stately creatures of their kind that ever 
trod the earth s surface, all at once disappeared 
to the very last individual. Ground-sloths and 
elephants vanished likewise. The bigger forms 
of bison also died out, although one species 
remained. Many causes of extinction have 
been suggested. Perhaps all of them were more 
or less operative. Perhaps others of which we 
know nothing were operative. We cannot say. 
But as regards certain of the formidable, 
but heavy rather than active, beasts of prey 
it is possible to hazard a guess. Compared to 
agile destroyers like the cougar and the timber- 
wolf, the sabretooth and the big-headed, small- 
legged giant wolf were strong, heavy, rather 
clumsy creatures. Predatory animals of their 
kind were beasts of battle rather than beasts 
of the chase. They were fitted to overcome 
by downright fighting strength a big, slow, 
self-confident quarry, rather than to run down 
a swift and timid quarry by speed or creep up 
to a wary and timid quarry by sinuous stealth. 
So long as the heavy herbivores were the most 
numerous these fighting carnivores were dom 
inant over their sly, swift, slinking brethren. 
But when the great mass of plant-eaters grew 



PRIMEVAL MAN 247 

to trust to speed and vigilance for their safety 
there was no longer room for preying beasts 
of mere prowess. 

In South America it is probable that the 
heavy fauna died out much later than in North 
America and northern Eurasia; that is, it died 
out much later than in what zoogeographers call 
the holarctic realm. During most of the Ter 
tiary period or age of mammals, the period in 
tervening between the close of the age of great 
reptiles and the time when man in human form 
appeared on the planet, South America was an 
island, and its faunal history was as distinct 
and peculiar as that of Australia. Aside from 
marsupials and New World monkeys, its most 
characteristic animals were edentates and very 
queer ungulates with no resemblance to those 
of any other continent. Toward the close of 
the Tertiary land bridges connected the two 
Americas, and an interchange of faunas followed. 
The South American fauna was immensely en 
riched by the incoming of elephants, horses, 
sabretooth cats, true cats, camels, bears, tapirs, 
peccaries, deer, and dogs, all of which developed 
along new and individual lines. A few of these 
species, llamas and tapirs for instance, still 
persist in South America although they have 
died out in the land from which they came. 



248 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

But in the end, and also for unknown causes, 
this great fauna died out in South America 
likewise, leaving a continent faunistically even 
more impoverished than North America. The 
great autochthonous forms shared the extinction 
of the big creatures of the immigrant fauna; 
for under stress of competition with the new 
comers, the ancient ungulates and edentates 
had developed giants of their own. 

Recent discoveries have shown that the ex 
tinction was not complete when the ancestors 
of the Indians of to-day reached the southern 
Andes and the Argentine plains. An age pre 
viously the forefathers of these newcomers had 
lived in a land with the wild horse, the wild 
elephant, and the lion; and now, at the opposite 
end of the world, they had themselves reached 
such a land. The elephants were mastodons of 
peculiar type; the horses were of several kinds, 
some resembling modern horses, others differ 
ing from them in leg and skull formation more 
than any of the existing species of ass, horse, 
or zebra differ from one another; the huge 
cats probably resembled some other big mod 
ern feline more than they did the lion. As 
sociated with them were many great beasts, 
whose like does not now exist on earth. The 
sabretooth was there, as formidable as his 



PRIMEVAL MAN 249 

brother of the north, and, like this brother, big 
ger and more specialized than any of his Old 
World kin, which were probably already extinct. 
Among the ungulates of native origin was 
the long-necked, high-standing macrauchenia, 
shaped something like a huge, humpless camel 
or giraffe, and with a short proboscis. This 
animal doubtless browsed among the trees. 
Another native ungulate, the toxodon, as big 
and heavily made as a rhinoceros, was probably 
amphibious, and had teeth superficially resem 
bling those of a rodent. The edentates not only 
included various ground-sloths, among them the 
megatherium, which was the size of an elephant, 
and the somewhat smaller mylodon, but also 
creatures as fantastic as those of a nightmare. 
These were the glyptodons, which were bulkier 
than oxen and were clad in defensive plate- 
armor more complete than that of an armadillo; 
in one species the long, armored tail terminated 
in a huge spiked knob, like that of some forms 
of mediseval mace. 

The glyptodons doubtless trusted for pro 
tection to their mailed coats. The ground- 
sloths had no armor. Like the terrestrial ant- 
bear of Brazil they walked slowly on the outer 
edges of their fore feet, which were armed with 
long and powerful digging claws. They could 



250 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

neither flee nor hide; and it seems a marvel 
that they could have held their own in the 
land against the big cats and sabretooth. Yet 
they persisted for ages, and spread northward 
from South America. It is hard to account for 
this. But it is just as hard to account for cer 
tain phenomena that are occurring before our 
very eyes. While journeying through the in 
terior of Brazil I not infrequently came across 
the big tamandua, the ant-bear or ant-eater. 
We found it not only in the forests but out on 
the marshes and prairies. It is almost as big 
as a small black bear. In its native haunts it 
is very conspicuous, both because of its size 
and its coloration, and as it never attempts to 
hide it is always easily seen. It is so slow that 
a man can run it down on foot. It has no teeth, 
and its long, curved snout gives its small head 
an almost bird-like look. Its fore paws, armed 
with long, digging claws, are turned in, and it 
walks on their sides. It is long-haired and 
thick-hided, colored black and white, and with 
a long, bushy tail held aloft; and as it retreats 
at a wabbly canter, its brush shaking above 
its back, it looks anything but formidable. 
Yet it is a gallant fighter, and can inflict severe 
wounds with its claws, as well as hugging with 
its powerful fore legs; and if menaced it will 



PRIMEVAL MAN 251 

itself fearlessly assail man or dog. When 
chased by hounds, in the open, I have seen one 
instantly throw itself on its back, in which 
position it was much more dangerous to the 
hounds than they were to it. Doubtless if at 
tacked by a jaguar and we killed jaguars in 
the immediate neighborhood - - it would, if 
given a moment s warning, have defended it 
self in the same fashion. I suppose that this 
defense would be successful; for otherwise it 
seems incredible that such a conspicuous, slow- 
moving beast can exist at all in exactly the 
places where jaguars, able to kill a cow or 
horse, are plentiful. But, even so, it is difficult 
to understand how it has been able to persist 
for ages in company with the great spotted 
cat, the tyrant of the Brazilian wilderness. 
At any rate, with this example before us, we 
need not wonder overmuch at the ability of 
megatherium and mylodon to hold their own 
in the presence of the sab re tooth. 

In the late fall of 1913, as previously de- 
cribed, I motored north from the beautiful 
Andean lake, Nahuel Huapi, through the stony 
Patagonian plains to the Rio Negro. The only 
wild things of any size that we saw were the 
rheas, or South American ostriches, and a 
couple of guanacos, or wild llamas, small, swift, 



A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

humpless camels, of which the ancestral forms 
were abundant in the North American Miocene. 
But one of my companions, the distinguished 
Argentine explorer, educator, and man of 
science, Francisco Moreno, had some years pre 
viously made a discovery which showed that 
not many thousand years back, when the In 
dians had already come into the land, the huge 
and varied fauna of the Pleistocene still lingered 
at the foot of the Andes. He had found a cave 
in which savage men had dwelt ; and in the cave 
were the remains of the animals which they 
had killed, or which had entered the cave at 
times when its human tenants were absent. Be 
sides the weapons and utensils of the savages, 
he had found the grass which they had used for 
beds, and enclosures walled with stones for pur 
poses of which he could not be sure. It will 
be remembered that in the cave-home of the 
Ndorobo which Kermit found there were beds 
of grass, and enclosures walled with brush, in 
which their dogs were kept. Whether these 
early Patagonian Indians had dogs I do not 
know; but many African tribes build low stone 
walls as foundations for sheds used for different 
purposes; and sometimes, among savages, it is 
absolutely impossible to guess the use to which 
a given structure is put unless it is actually seen 



PRIMEVAL MAN 253 

in use exactly as sometimes it is wholly im 
possible to divine what a particular specimen of 
savage pictorial art indicates unless the savage 
is there to explain it to his civilized brother. 

Among the signs of human occupation Doc 
tor Moreno found, well preserved in the cold 
cave, not only the almost fresh bones, but even 
pieces of the skin, of certain extinct animals. 
Among the species whose bones were found 
were the macrauchenia, tiger, horse, and my- 
lodon. When Doctor Moreno said tiger, I 
asked if he did not mean jaguar; but he said 
no, that he meant a huge cat like an Old World 
lion or tiger; I do not know with what modern 
feline its affinities were closest. The discovery 
of the comparatively fresh remains of the horse 
gave rise in some quarters to the belief that it 
was possible this species of horse survived to 
the day the Spaniards came to the Argentine 
and was partly ancestral to the modern Argen 
tine horse; but the supposition is untenable, for 
the horse in question represents a very archaic 
and peculiar type, with specialized legs and an 
extraordinary skull, and could not possibly 
have had anything to do with the production 
of the wild, or rather feral, horses of the pam 
pas and the Patagonian plains. Of the my- 
lodon Doctor Moreno found not only com- 



254 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

paratively fresh bones, with bits of sinew, but 
dried dung almost as large as that of an 
elephant -- and some big pieces of skin. The 
skin was clothed with long, coarse hair, and 
small ossicles were set into it, making minute 
bony plates. Doctor Moreno gave me a frag 
ment of the skin, and also bones and dung; 
they are now in the American Museum of Nat 
ural History. The discovery gave rise to much 
fanciful conjecture; it was even said that the 
mylodon had been domesticated and kept tame 
in the caves; but Doctor Moreno laughed at 
the supposition and said that it lacked any 
foundation in fact. He also said that, con 
trary to what has sometimes been asserted, 
the age of the remains must be estimated in 
thousands, possibly ten thousands, and cer 
tainly not hundreds, of years. 

There is no need of fanciful guesswork in 
order to enhance the startling character of the 
discovery. It seems to show beyond question 
that the early hunting savages of southernmost 
South America lived among the representatives 
of a huge fauna, now wholly extinct, just as 
was true of the earlier, and far more primitive, 
hunting savages of Europe. 

Save in tropical Africa and in portions of 
hither and farther India this giant fauna has 



PRIMEVAL MAN 255 

now everywhere died out. In most regions, 
and in the earlier stages, man had little or 
nothing to do with its destruction. But during 
the last few thousand years he has been the 
chief factor in the extermination of the great 
creatures wherever he has established an in 
dustrial or agricultural civilization or semi- 
civilization. The big cat he has warred against 
in self-defense. The elephant in India has been 
kept tame or half tame. The Old World horse 
has been tamed and transplanted to every por 
tion of the temperate zones, and to the dry or 
treeless portions of the torrid zone. 

Around the Mediterranean, the cradle of the 
ancient culture of our race, we have historic 
record of the process. Over three thousand 
years ago the Egyptian and Mesopotamian 
kings hunted the elephant in Syria. A thou 
sand years later the elephant was a beast of 
war in the armies of the Greeks, the Carthagin 
ians, and the Romans. Twenty-five hundred 
years ago the lion was a dreaded beast of ravin 
in the Balkan Peninsula and Palestine, as he 
was a hundred years ago in North Africa; now 
he is to be found south of the Atlas, or, nearing 
extinction, east of the Euphrates. Seemingly 
the horse was tamed long after the more homely 
beasts, the cattle, swine, goats, and sheep. He 



256 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

was not a beast for peaceful uses; he was the 
war-horse, whose neck was clothed with thun 
der, who pawed the earth when he heard the 
shouting of the captains. At first he was used 
not for riding, but to draw the war chariots. 
Rameses and the Hittites decided their great 
battles by chariot charges; the mighty and 
cruel Assyrian kings rode to war and hunting 
in chariots; the Homeric Greeks fought in 
chariots ; Sisera ruled the land with his chariots 
of iron ; and long after they had been abandoned 
elsewhere war chariots were used by the cham 
pions of Erin. Cavalry did not begin to super 
sede them until less than a thousand years before 
our era; and from that time until gunpowder 
marked the beginning of the modern era the 
horse decided half the great battles of history. 

But with this process primitive man had 
nothing to do. He was and, in the few remote 
spots where he still exists unchanged, he is 
wholly unable even to conceive of systematic 
war against the lion, or of trying to tame the 
horse or elephant. These three, alone among 
the big beasts of the giant fauna in which the 
age of mammals had culminated, once throve 
in vast numbers from the Cape of Good Hope 
and the valley of the Nile northward to the 
Rhone and the Danube, eastward across India 



PRIMEVAL MAN 257 

and Siberia, and from Hudson Bay to the 
Straits of Magellan. They were dominant 
figures in the life of all the five continents when 
primitive man had struggled upward from the 
plane of his ape-like ancestors and had become 
clearly human. For ages he was too feeble to 
be as much of a factor in their lives as they were 
in the lives of one another; and in North Amer 
ica he never became such a factor. The great 
man-killing cat was his dreaded enemy, to be 
fought only under the strain of direst need. 
The horse became a favorite prey when he 
grew cunning enough to devise snares and 
weapons. The elephant he feared and respected 
for its power and occasional truculence, and 
endeavored to destroy on the infrequent oc 
casions when chance gave an opening to his 
own crafty ferocity. 

All this is true, at the present day, in por 
tions of mid-Africa. I have been with tribes 
whom only fear or imminent starvation could 
drive to attack the lion; and I have seen the 
naked warriors of the Nandi kill the great, 
maned manslayer with their spears. Again 
and again, as an offering of peace and good 
will, I have shot zebras for natives who greed 
ily longed for its flesh. My son and I killed a 
rogue elephant bull at the earnest petition of a 



258 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

small Uganda tribe whose crops he had de 
stroyed, whose field watchers he had killed, 
and whose village he menaced with destruction. 
Of all the wonderful great beasts with which 
primitive man in his most primitive forms has 
been associated, the three with which on the 
whole this association was most wide-spread in 
time and space, were the horse, the lion, and the 
elephant. 



CHAPTER IX 
BOOKS FOR HOLIDAYS IN THE OPEN 

I AM sometimes asked what books I advise 
men or women to take on holidays in the 
open. With the reservation of long trips, 
where bulk is of prime consequence, I can only 
answer: The same books one would read at 
home. Such an answer generally invites the 
further question as to what books I read when 
at home. To this question I am afraid my 
answer cannot be so instructive as it ought to 
be, for I have never followed any plan in read 
ing which would apply to all persons under all 
circumstances; and indeed it seems to me that 
no plan can be laid down that will be generally 
applicable. If a man is not fond of books, to 
him reading of any kind will be drudgery. I 
most sincerely commiserate such a person, but 
I do not know how to help him. If a man or a 
woman is fond of books he or she will naturally 
seek the books that the mind and soul demand. 
Suggestions of a possibly helpful character can 
be made by outsiders, but only suggestions; 

259 



260 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and they will probably be helpful about in pro 
portion to the outsider s knowledge of the mind 
and soul of the person to be helped. 

Of course, if any one finds that he never reads 
serious literature, if all his reading is frothy and 
trashy, he would do well to try to train him 
self to like books that the general agreement 
of cultivated and sound-thinking persons has 
placed among the classics. It is as discreditable 
to the mind to be unfit for sustained mental 
effort as it is to the body of a young man to be 
unfit for sustained physical effort. Let man or 
woman, young man or girl, read some good 
author, say Gibbon or Macaulay, until sus 
tained mental effort brings power to enjoy the 
books worth enjoying. When this has been 
achieved the man can soon trust himself to 
pick out for himself the particular good books 
which appeal to him. 

The equation of personal taste is as powerful 
in reading as in eating; and within certain 
broad limits the matter is merely one of individ 
ual preference, having nothing to do with the 
quality either of the book or of the reader s 
mind. I like apples, pears, oranges, pineapples, 
and peaches. I dislike bananas, alligator-pears, 
and prunes. The first fact is certainly not to 
my credit, although it is to my advantage; 



BOOKS FOR HOLIDAYS 

and the second at least does not show moral 
turpitude. At times in the tropics I have been 
exceedingly sorry I could not learn to like 
bananas, and on round-ups, in the cow country 
in the old days, it was even more unfortunate 
not to like prunes; but I simply could not make 
myself like either, and that was all there was 
to it. 

In the same way I read over and over again 
"Guy Mannering," "The Antiquary," "Pen- 
dennis," "Vanity Fair," "Our Mutual Friend," 
and the "Pickwick Papers"; whereas I make 
heavy weather of most parts of the "Fortunes 
of Nigel," "Esmond," and the "Old Curiosity 
Shop" - to mention only books I have tried to 
read during the last month. I have no question 
that the latter three books are as good as the 
first six; doubtless for some people they are 
better; but I do not like them, any more than 
I like prunes or bananas. 

In the same way I read and reread "Mac 
beth" and "Othello"; but not "King Lear" 
nor "Hamlet." I know perfectly well that the 
latter are as wonderful as the former I 
wouldn t venture to admit my shortcomings 
regarding them if I couldn t proudly express 
my appreciation of the other two! But at my 
age I might as well own up, at least to myself, 



A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

to my limitations, and read the books I thor 
oughly enjoy. 

But this does not mean permitting oneself to 
like what is vicious or even simply worthless. 
If any man finds that he cares to read "Bel 
Ami," he will do well to keep a watch on the 
reflex centres of his moral nature, and to brace 
himself with a course of Eugene Brieux or 
Henry Bordeaux. If he does not care for 
"Anna Karenina," "War and Peace," "Sebas- 
topol," and "The Cossacks" he misses much; 
but if he cares for the "Kreutzer Sonata" he 
had better make up his mind that for patho 
logical reasons he will be wise thereafter to 
avoid Tolstoy entirely. Tolstoy is an interest 
ing and stimulating writer, but an exceedingly 
unsafe moral adviser. 

It is clear that the reading of vicious books 
for pleasure should be eliminated. It is no less 
clear that trivial and vulgar books do more 
damage than can possibly be offset by any 
entertainment they yield. There remain enor 
mous masses of books, of which no one man 
can read more than a limited number, and 
among which each reader should choose those 
which meet his own particular needs. There 
is no such thing as a list of "the hundred best 
books," or the "best five-foot library." 



BOOKS FOR HOLIDAYS 263 

Dozens of series of excellent books, one hun 
dred to each series, can be named, all of reason 
ably equal merit and each better for many 
readers than any of the others; and probably 
not more than half a dozen books would appear 
in all these lists. As for a "five-foot library," 
scores can readily be devised, each of which at 
some given time, for some given man, under 
certain conditions, will be best. But to at 
tempt to create such a library that shall be of 
universal value is foreordained to futility. 

Within broad limits, therefore, the reader s 
personal and individual taste must be the guid 
ing factor. I like hunting books and books of 
exploration and adventure. I do not ask any 
one else to like them. I distinctly do not hold 
my own preferences as anything whatever but 
individual preferences; and this chapter is to be 
accepted as confessional rather than didactic. 
With this understanding I admit a liking for 
novels where something happens; and even 
among these novels I can neither explain nor 
justify why I like some and do not like others; 
why, among the novels of Sienkiewicz, I can 
not stand "Quo Vadis," and never tire of "With 
Fire and Sword," "Pan Michael," the "Del 
uge" and the "Knights of the Cross." 

Of course, I know that the best critics scorn 



264 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

the demand among novel readers for "the 
happy ending." Now, in really great books in 
an epic like Milton s, in dramas like those of 
^Eschylus and Sophocles I am entirely willing 
to accept and even demand tragedy, and also 
in some poetry that cannot be called great, but 
not in good, readable novels, of sufficient length 
to enable me to get interested in the hero and 
heroine ! 

There is enough of horror and grimness and 
sordid squalor in real life with which an active 
man has to grapple; and when I turn to the 
world of literature of books considered as 
books, and not as instruments of my profession 
- 1 do not care to study suffering unless for 
some sufficient purpose. It is only a very ex 
ceptional novel which I will read if He does not 
marry Her; and even in exceptional novels I 
much prefer this consummation. I am not de 
fending my attitude. I am merely stating it. 

Therefore it would be quite useless for me to 
try to explain why I read certain books. As to 
how and when, my answers must be only less 
vague. I almost always read a good deal in the 
evening; and if the rest of the evening is oc 
cupied I can at least get half an hour before 
going to bed. But all kinds of odd moments 
turn up during even a busy day, in which it is 



BOOKS FOR HOLIDAYS 265 

possible to enjoy a book; and then there are 
rainy afternoons in the country in autumn, and 
stormy days in winter, when one s work out 
doors is finished and after wet clothes have 
been changed for dry, the rocking-chair in front 
of the open wood-fire simply demands an ac 
companying book. 

Railway and steamboat journeys were, of 
course, predestined through the ages as aids to 
the enjoyment of reading. I have always taken 
books with me when on hunting and exploring 
trips. In such cases the literature should be 
reasonably heavy, in order that it may last. 
You can under these conditions read Herbert 
Spencer, for example, or the writings of Turgot, 
or a German study of the Mongols, or even a 
German edition of Aristophanes, with erudite 
explanations of the jokes, as you never would 
if surrounded by less formidable authors in 
your own library; and when you do reach the 
journey s end you grasp with eager appetite at 
old magazines, or at the lightest of literature. 

Then, if one is worried by all kinds of men 
and events during critical periods in adminis 
trative office, or at national conventions, or 
during congressional investigations, or in hard- 
fought political campaigns -- it is the greatest 
relief and unalloyed delight to take up some 



266 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

really good, some really enthralling book 
Tacitus, Thucydides, Herodotus, Polybius, or 
Goethe, Keats, Gray, or Lowell and lose all 
memory of everything grimy, and of the base 
ness that must be parried or conquered. 

Like every one else, I am apt to read in 
streaks. If I get interested in any subject I 
read different books connected with it, and 
probably also read books on subjects suggested 
by it. Having read Carlyle s "Frederick the 
Great" - with its splendid description of the bat 
tles, and of the unyielding courage and thrifty 
resourcefulness of the iron-tempered King; and 
with its screaming deification of able brutality 
in the name of morality, and its practise of the 
suppression and falsification of the truth under 
the pretense of preaching veracity I turned 
to Macaulay s essay on this subject, and found 
that the historian whom it has been the fashion 
of the intellectuals to patronize or deride 
showed a much sounder philosophy , and an in 
finitely greater appreciation of and devotion 
to truth than was shown by the loquacious 
apostle of the doctrine of reticence. 

Then I took up Waddington s "Guerre de 
Sept Ans"; then I read all I could about Gus- 
tavus Adolphus; and, gradually dropping every 
thing but the military side, I got hold of quaint 



BOOKS FOR HOLIDAYS 267 

little old histories of Eugene of Savoy and 
Turenne. In similar fashion my study of and 
delight in Mahan sent me further afield, to read 
queer old volumes about De Ruyter and the dar 
ing warrior-merchants of the Hansa, and to 
study, as well as I could, the feats of Suffren 
and Tegethoff. I did not need to study Farra- 
gut. 

Mahaffy s books started me to reread in 
translation, alas! --the post-Athenian Greek 
authors. After Ferrero I did the same thing as 
regards the Latin authors, and then industri 
ously read all kinds of modern writers on the 
same period, finishing with Oman s capital es 
say on "Seven Roman Statesmen." Gilbert 
Murray brought me back from Greek history to 
Greek literature, and thence by a natural sug 
gestion to parts of the Old Testament, to the 
Nibelungenlied, to the Roland lay and the 
chansons de gestes, to Beowulf, and finally to 
the great Japanese hero-tale, the story of the 
Forty-Nine Ronins. 

I read Burroughs too often to have him sug 
gest anything save himself; but I am exceed 
ingly glad that Charles Sheldon has arisen to 
show what a hunter-naturalist, who adds the 
ability of the writer to the ability of the trained 
observer and outdoor adventurer, can do for 



268 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

our last great wilderness, Alaska. From Shel 
don I turned to Stewart Edward White, and 
then began to wander afar, with Herbert Ward s 
" Voice from the Congo," and Mary Kingsley s 
writings, and Hudson s "El Ornbu," and Cun 
ningham Grahame s sketches of South America. 
A re-reading of The Federalist led me to Burke, 
to Trevelyan s history of Fox and of our own 
Revolution, to Lecky; and finally by way of 
Malthus and Adam Smith and Lord Acton and 
Bagehot to my own contemporaries, to Ross 
and George Alger. 

Even in pure literature, having nothing to do 
with history, philosophy, sociology, or economy, 
one book will often suggest another, so that one 
finds one has unconsciously followed a regular 
course of reading. Once I travelled steadily 
from Montaigne through Addison, Swift, Steele, 
Lamb, Irving, and Lowell to Crothers and 
Kenneth Grahame and if it be objected that 
some of these could not have suggested the others 
I can only answer that they did suggest them. 

I suppose that every one passes through 
periods during which he reads no poetry; and 
some people, of whom I am one, also pass 
through periods during which they voraciously 
devour poets of widely different kinds. Now 
it will be Horace and Pope; now Schiller, Scott, 



BOOKS FOR HOLIDAYS 269 

Longfellow, Korner; now Bret Harte or Kip 
ling; now Shelley or Herrick or Tennyson; 
now Poe and Coleridge; and again Emerson or 
Browning or Whitman. Sometimes one wishes 
to read for the sake of contrast. To me Owen 
Wister is the writer I wish when I am hungry 
with the memories of lonely mountains, of vast 
sunny plains with seas of wind-rippled grass, of 
springing wild creatures, and lithe, sun-tanned 
men who ride with utter ease on ungroomed, 
half-broken horses. But when I lived much 
in cow camps I often carried a volume of Swin 
burne, as a kind of antiseptic to alkali dust, 
tepid, muddy water, frying-pan bread, sow-belly 
bacon, and the too-infrequent washing of sweat- 
drenched clothing. 

Fathers and mothers who are wise can train 
their children first to practise, and soon to like, 
the sustained mental application necessary to 
enjoy good books. They will do well also to 
give each boy or girl the mastery of at least 
some one foreign language, so that at least one 
other great literature, in addition to our own 
noble English literature, shall be open to him 
or her. Modern languages are taught so easily 
and readily that whoever really desires to learn 
one of them can soon achieve sufficient com 
mand of it to read ordinary books with reason- 



270 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

able ease; and then it is a mere matter of prac 
tise for any one to become able thoroughly to 
enjoy the beauty and wisdom which knowledge 
of the new tongue brings. 

Now and then one s soul thirsts for laughter. 
I cannot imagine any one s taking a course in 
humorous writers, but just as little can I sym 
pathize with the man who does not enjoy them 
at times from Sydney Smith to John Phoenix 
and Artemus Ward, and from these to Stephen 
Leacock. Mark Twain at his best stands a 
little apart, almost as much so as Joel Chandler 
Harris. Oliver Wendell Holmes, of course, is 
the laughing philosopher, the humorist at his 
very highest, even if we use the word "humor" 
only in its most modern and narrow sense. 

A man with a real fondness for books of 
various kinds will find that his varying moods 
determine which of these books he at the mo 
ment needs. On the afternoon when Stevenson 
represents the luxury of enjoyment it may 
safely be assumed that Gibbon will not. The 
mood that is met by Napier s " Peninsular 
War," or Marbot s memoirs, will certainly not 
be met by Hawthorne or Jane Austen. Park- 
man s "Montcalm and Wolfe," Motley s his 
tories of the Dutch Republic, will hardly fill 
the soul on a day when one turns naturally to 



BOOKS FOR HOLIDAYS 271 

the " Heimskringla " ; and there is a sense of 
disconnection if after the "Heimskringla" one 
takes up the "Oxford Book of French Verse." 

Another matter which within certain rather 
wide limits each reader must settle for himself 
is the dividing line between (1) not knowing 
anything about current books, and (2) swamp 
ing one s soul in the sea of vapidity which over 
whelms him who reads only "the last new 
books." To me the heading employed by some 
reviewers when they speak of "books of the 
week" comprehensively damns both the books 
themselves and the reviewer who is willing to 
notice them. I would much rather see the 
heading "books of the year before last." A 
book of the year before last which is still worth 
noticing would probably be worth reading; 
but one only entitled to be called a book of the 
week had better be tossed into the waste- 
basket at once. Still, there are plenty of new 
books which are not of permanent value but 
which nevertheless are worth more or less care 
ful reading; partly because it is well to know 
something of what especially interests the mass 
of our fellows, and partly because these books, 
although of ephemeral worth, may really set 
forth something genuine in a fashion which for 
the moment stirs the hearts of all of us. 



A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

Books of more permanent value may, be 
cause of the very fact that they possess literary 
interest, also yield consolation of a non-literary 
kind. If any executive grows exasperated over 
the shortcomings of the legislative body with 
which he deals, let him study Macaulay s ac 
count of the way William was treated by his 
parliaments as soon as the latter found that, 
thanks to his efforts, they were no longer in 
immediate danger from foreign foes; it is il 
luminating. If any man feels too gloomy about 
the degeneracy of our people from the stand 
ards of their forefathers, let him read "Martin 
Chuzzlewit"; it will be consoling. 

If the attitude of this nation toward foreign 
affairs and military preparedness at the present 
day seems disheartening, a study of the first 
fifteen years of the nineteenth century will at 
any rate give us whatever comfort we can ex 
tract from the fact that our great-grandfathers 
were no less foolish than we are. 

Nor need any one confine himself solely to 
the affairs of the United States. If he becomes 
tempted to idealize the past, if sentimentalists 
seek to persuade him that the "ages of faith," 
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, for in 
stance, were better than our own, let him read 
any trustworthy book on the subject Lea s 



BOOKS FOR HOLIDAYS 273 

"History of the Inquisition," for instance, or 
Coulton s abridgment of Salimbene s mem 
oirs. He will be undeceived and will be de 
voutly thankful that his lot has been cast in 
the present age, in spite of all its faults. 

It would be hopeless to try to enumerate all 
the books I read, or even all the kinds. The 
foregoing is a very imperfect answer to a ques 
tion which admits of only such an answer. 



CHAPTER X 

BIRD RESERVES AT THE MOUTH OF THE 
MISSISSIPPI 

ON June 7, 1915, I was the guest of my 
friend John M. Parker, of New Orleans, 
at his house at Pass Christian, Missis 
sippi. For many miles west, and especially 
east, of Pass Christian, there are small towns 
where the low, comfortable, singularly pic 
turesque and attractive houses are owned, 
some by Mississippi planters, some by city 
folk who come hither from the great Southern 
cities, and more and more in winter-time from 
the great Northern cities also, to pass a few 
months. The houses, those that are isolated 
and those in the little towns, stand in what 
is really one long row; a row broken by va 
cant reaches, but as a whole stretching for 
sixty miles, with the bright waters of the Gulf 
lapping the beach in front of them, and behind 
them leagues of pine forest. Between the Gulf 
and the waters lies a low ridge or beach of white 
sand. It is hard to make anything grow in this 

274 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 275 

sand; but the owners of the houses have suc 
ceeded, using dead leaves and what manure is 
available; and in this leaf -mould the trees and 
grasses and flowers grow in profusion. Long, 
flimsy wooden docks stretch out into the waters 
of the Gulf; there is not much bad weather, as 
a rule, but every few years there comes a terrible 
storm which wrecks buildings and bridges, de 
stroys human lives by the thousand, washes 
the small Gulf sailing craft ashore, and sweeps 
away all the docks. 

Our host s house was cool and airy, with 
broad, covered verandas, and mosquito screens 
on the doors and the big windows. The trees 
in front were live-oaks, and others of his own 
planting magnolias, pecans, palms, and a 
beautiful mimosa. The blooming oleanders 
and hydrangeas were a delight to the eye. Be 
hind, the place stretched like a long ribbon to 
the edge of the fragrant pine forest, where the 
long-leaved and loblolly pines rose like tall 
columns out of the needle-covered sand. Five 
pairs of mocking-birds and one pair of thrashers 
had just finished nesting; at dawn, when the 
crescent of the dying moon had risen above the 
growing light in the east, the mockers sang 
wonderfully, and after a while the thrasher 
chimed in. Only the singing of nightingales 



276 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

where they are plentiful, as in some Italian 
woods, can compare in strength and ecstasy 
and passion, in volume and intricate change 
and continuity, with the challenging love-songs 
of many mockers, rivalling one another, as they 
perch and balance and spring upward and float 
downward through the branches of live-oak or 
magnolia, after sunset and before sunrise, and 
in the warm, still, brilliant moonlight of spring 
and early summer. 

There were other birds. The soldierly look 
ing red-headed woodpeckers, in their strik 
ing black, red, and white uniform, were much 
in evidence. Gaudy painted finches, or "non 
pareils," were less conspicuous only because of 
their small size. Blue jays had raised their 
young in front of the house, and, as I was in 
formed, had been successfully beaten off by the 
mockers and thrashers when they attempted 
assaults on the eggs and nestlings of the latter. 
Purple martins darted through the air. King 
birds chased the big grackles and the numerous 
small fish-crows not so very much bigger than 
the grackles which uttered queer, hoarse 
croakings. A pair of crested flycatchers had 
their nest in a hollow in a tree; the five boldly 
marked eggs rested, as usual, partly on a shed 
snake skin. How, I wonder, through the im- 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 277 

memorial ages, and why, did this particular 
bird develop its strange determination always, 
where possible, to use a snake s cast-off skin in 
building its nest? Every season, I was told, 
this flycatcher nested in the same hollow; and 
every season the hollow was previously nested 
in by a tufted titmouse. Loggerhead shrikes 
were plentiful. Insects were their usual food, 
but they also pounced on small birds, mice, 
and lizards, and once on a little chicken. They 
empale their prey on locust thorns and on the 
spines of other trees and bushes; and I have 
known a barbed-wire fence to be decorated 
with the remains of their victims. There were 
red cardinal-birds ; and we saw another red bird 
also, a summer tanager. 

But the most interesting birds on the place 
were not wild, being nothing more nor less than 
ordinary fowls engaged in what to me were most 
unordinary occupations. Parker had several 
hundred fowls, and had by trial discovered the 
truth of the statement that capons make far 
better mothers than do hens, especially for very 
young chicks. We saw dozens of broods of 
chickens, and one or two of young guinea- 
fowl, being taken care of by caponized ban 
tams, game-cocks, and cochin-chinas. These 
improvised mothers looked almost precisely as 



278 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

they did before being caponized, the differences, 
chiefly in the color of the comb, being insignif 
icant, for they were full-grown birds when 
operated on. But their natures had suffered 
the most extraordinary change, for they had 
developed not only the habits but the voices 
of unusually exemplary mother hens. They 
never crowed; they clucked precisely like hens; 
and they protected, covered, fed, and led about 
their broods just like hens. They were timid, 
except in defense of the chicks; but on their 
behalf they were really formidable fighters. 
The change in habits takes place with extraor 
dinary rapidity. In a few hours the cock has 
completely changed and can be placed with a 
brood which he promptly adopts. In perhaps 
one case in ten he does not take readily to his 
duties as an ex-qfficio hen; and in such case the 
further measure adopted seems as incredible as 
the rest of the performance, for he is made 
drunk with whiskey, acts as if he were in 
toxicated, and then promptly develops maternal 
feelings, and zealously enters on his new career. 
We saw game-cocks clucking and calling to 
their broods of little chicks, to get them to the 
crumbs we tossed to them, and then sitting 
with the chicks not only under their wings but 
on their backs. They kept the broods with 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 279 

them until the young were nearly as large as 
they were; in one case the brood consisted of 
guinea-fowl. Moreover, they welcomed any 
brood, no matter how large. One big rooster 
was leading around so many chickens all, 
by what seemed a sardonic jest, his own prog 
eny, the progeny of the days when he was a 
mere unregenerate father --that when they 
took shelter under him he had to spread his 
wings; "like a buzzard," said my host, to whom 
soaring buzzards were familiar sights. Of course, 
the extraordinary part of all this was not the 
loss of the male qualities but the immediate 
and complete acquirement of those of the 
female. It was as if steers invariably took to 
mothering calves, or geldings to adopting foals. 
These capon-mothers, with their weight and 
long spurs, fought formidably for their chicks. 
In one case a Cooper s hawk swooped on a 
half-grown chick, whereupon the game-cock 
who was officiating as hen flew at the aggressor, 
striking it so hard as to injure the top of the 
wing. The hawk was unable to fly, and the 
cock pressed it too close to let it escape. Al 
though the rooster could not kill the hawk, for 
the latter threw itself on its back with ex 
tended talons, he had rendered it unable to 
escape, and one of the men about the place 



280 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

came up and killed it, having been attracted 
by the noise of the fight. Another cock killed 
a big blacksnake which tried to carry off one 
of the chicks. The cock darted to and fro over 
the snake, striking it continually until it suc 
cumbed. 

Pass Christian is an ideal place for a man to 
go who wishes to get away from the Northern 
cold for a few weeks, and be where climate, 
people, and surroundings are all delightful, and 
the fishing and shooting excellent. There is a 
good chance, too, that the fish and game will 
be preserved for use, instead of recklessly ex 
terminated; for during the last dozen years 
Louisiana and Mississippi, like the rest of the 
Union, have waked to the criminality of mar 
ring and ruining a beautiful heritage which 
should be left, and through wise use (not non- 
use) can be left, undiminished, to the genera 
tions that are to come after us. As yet the 
Gulf in front of the houses swarms with fish of 
many kinds up to the great tarpon, the mailed 
and leaping giant of the warm seas; and with 
the rapid growth of wisdom in dealing with 
nature we may hope that there will soon be 
action looking toward the regulation of seining 
and to protection of the fish at certain seasons. 
On land the quail have increased in the neigh- 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 281 

borhood of Pass Christian during the last few 
years. This is largely due to the activity of 
my host and his two sons as hunters. They 
have a pack of beagles, trained to night work, 
and this pack has to its credit nearly four hun 
dred coons and possums together with an oc 
casional skunk! -- and, moreover, has chivied 
the gray foxes almost out of the country; and 
all these animals are the inveterate enemies of 
all small game, and especially of ground-nest 
ing birds. To save interesting creatures, it is 
often necessary not merely to refrain from 
killing them but also to war on their enemies. 
One of the sons runs the Parker stock-farm 
in upper Louisiana, beside the Mississippi. 
There are about four thousand acres, half of 
it highland, the other half subject to flood if 
the levees break. Five years ago such a break 
absolutely destroyed the Parker plantations, 
then exclusively on low land. Now, in event of 
flood, the stock can be driven, and the human 
beings escape, to the higher ground. Young 
Parker, now twenty-two years old, has run the 
plantation since he was sixteen. The horses, 
cattle, and sheep are all of the highest grade; 
the improvement in the stock of Louisiana and 
Mississippi during the last two decades has 
been really noteworthy. Game, and wild things 



282 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

generally, have increased in numbers on this 
big stock-farm. There is no wanton molesta 
tion of any animal permitted, no plundering 
of nests, no shooting save within strictly defined 
limits, and so far as possible all rare things are 
given every chance to increase. As an example, 
when, in clearing a tract of swamp land, a 
heron s nest was discovered, the bushes round 
about were left undisturbed, and the heron 
family was reared in safety. Wild turkeys 
have somewhat, and quail very markedly, in 
creased. The great horned owls, which de 
stroyed the ducks, have to be warred against, 
and the beasts of prey likewise. Surely it will 
ultimately again be recognized in our country 
that life on a plantation, on a great stock-farm 
or ranch, is one of the most interesting, and, 
from the standpoint of both body and soul, 
one of the most healthy, of all ways of earning 
a living. 

At four on the morning of the 8th our party 
started from the wharf in front of Pass Christian. 
We were in two boats. One, good-sized and 
comfortable, under the command of Captain 
Lewis Young, was the property of the State 
Conservation Commission of Louisiana, the 
commission having most courteously placed 
it at our disposal. On this boat were my host, 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 283 

his two sons, John, Jr., and Toin, myself, and 
a photographer, Mr. Coquille, of New Orleans. 
The other boat, named the Royal Tern, was the 
property of the Audubon Society, being allotted 
to the work of cruising among and protecting 
the bird colonies on those islands set apart as 
bird refuges by the National and State Govern 
ments. On this boat which had a wretched 
engine, almost worthless -- went Mr. Herbert 
K. Job and Mr. Frank M. Miller. Mr. Miller 
was at one time president of the Louisiana Con 
servation Commission, and the founder of the 
Louisiana State Audubon Society, and is one 
of the group of men to whom she owes it that 
she, the home state of Audubon, of our first 
great naturalist, is now thoroughly awake to 
the danger of reckless waste and destruction 
of all the natural resources of the State, includ 
ing the birds. Mr. Herbert K. Job is known 
to all who care for bird study and bird preserva 
tion. He is a naturalist who has made of bird- 
photography a sport, a science, and an art. 
His pictures, and his books in which these pic 
tures appear, are fascinating both to the scien 
tific ornithologist and to all lovers of the wild 
creatures of the open. Like the other field 
naturalists I have known, like the men who 
were with me in Africa and South America, 



284 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

Mr. Job is an exceptionally hardy, resolute, 
and resourceful man, following his wilderness 
work with single-minded devotion, and con 
tinually, and in matter-of-fact manner, facing 
and overcoming hardship, wearing toil, and risk 
which worthy stay-at-home people have no 
means whatever of even gauging. I owed the 
pleasure of Mr. Job s company to Mr. Frank 
M. Chapman, at whose suggestion he was sent 
with me by the National Audubon Society. 

The State Conservation Commission owes 
its existence to the wise public spirit and far 
sightedness of the Louisiana Legislature. The 
Audubon Society, which has done far more 
than any other single agency in creating and 
fostering an enlightened public sentiment for 
the preservation of our useful and attractive 
birds, is a purely voluntary organization, con 
sisting of men and women who in these matters 
look further ahead than their fellows, and who 
have the precious gift of sympathetic imagina 
tion, so that they are able to see, and to wish 
to preserve for their children s children, the 
beauty and wonder of nature. (During the year 
preceding this trip, by the way, the society en 
rolled one hundred and fifty-one thousand boys 
and girls in its junior bird clubs, all of which 
give systematic instruction in the value of bird 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 285 

life.) It was the Audubon Society which 
started the movement for the establishment of 
bird refuges. The society now protects and 
polices about one hundred of these refuges, 
which, of course, are worthless unless thus 
protected. 

The Royal Tern is commanded by Captain 
William Sprinkle, born and bred on this Gulf 
coast, who knows the sea-fowl, and the islands 
where they breed and dwell, as he knows the 
winds and the lovely, smiling, treacherous Gulf 
waters. He is game warden, and he and the 
Royal Tern are the police force for over five 
hundred square miles of sand-bars, shallow 
waters, and intricate channels. The man and 
the boat are two of the chief obstacles in the 
way of the poachers, the plume-hunters, and 
eggers, who always threaten these bird sanc 
tuaries. 

Many of these poachers are at heart good 
men, who follow their fathers business, just as 
respectable men on the seacoast once followed 
the business of wrecking. But when times 
change and a once acknowledged trade conies 
under the ban of the law the character of those 
following it also changes for the worse. Wreck 
ers are no longer respectable, and plume-hunters 
and eggers are sinking to the same level. The 



286 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

illegal business of killing breeding birds, of 
leaving nestlings to starve wholesale, and of 
general ruthless extermination, more and more 
tends to attract men of the same moral cate 
gory as those who sell whiskey to Indians and 
combine the running of "blind pigs" with high 
way robbery and murder for hire. 

In Florida one of the best game wardens of 
the Audubon Society was killed by these sordid 
bird-butchers. A fearless man and a good boat 
are needed to keep such gentry in awe. Captain 
Sprinkle meets the first requirement, the hull 
of the Royal Tern the second. But the engines 
of the Tern are worthless ; she can catch no free 
booter; she is safe only in the mildest weather. 
Is there not some bird-lover of means and imagi 
nation who will put a good engine in her? Such 
a service would be very real. As for Captain 
Sprinkle, his services are, of course, underpaid, 
his salary bearing no relation to their value. 
The Biological Survey does its best with its 
limited means; the Audubon Society adds 
something extra; but this very efficient and dis 
interested laborer is worth a good deal more 
than the hire he receives. The government 
pays many of its servants, usually those with 
rather easy jobs, too much; but the best men, 
who do the hardest work, the men in the life-sav- 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 287 

ing and lighthouse service, the forest-rangers, 
and those who patrol and protect the reserves 
of wild life, are almost always underpaid. 

Yet, in spite of all the disadvantages, much 
has been accomplished. This particular reser 
vation was set apart by presidential proclama 
tion in 1905. Captain Sprinkle was at once put 
in charge. Of the five chief birds, the royal 
terns, Caspian terns, Cabot s terns, laughing 
gulls, and skimmers, there were that season 
about one thousand nests. This season, ten 
years later, there are about thirty-five thousand 
nests. The brown pelicans and Louisiana 
herons also show a marked increase. The least 
tern, which had been completely exterminated 
or driven away, has returned and is breeding 
in fair numbers. 

As we steamed away from the Pass Chris 
tian dock dawn was turning to daylight under 
the still brilliant crescent moon. Soon we saw 
the red disk of the sun rising behind the pine 
forest. We left Mississippi Sound, and then 
were on the Gulf itself. The Gulf was calm, 
and the still water teemed with life. Each 
school of mullets or sardines could be told by 
the queer effect on the water, as of a cloud 
shadow. Continually we caught glimpses of 
other fish; and always they were fleeing from 



288 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

death or ravenously seeking to inflict death on 
the weak. Nature is ruthless, and where her 
sway is uncontested there is no peace save the 
peace of death; and the fecund stream of life, 
especially of life on the lower levels, flows like 
an immense torrent out of non-existence for but 
the briefest moment before the enormous ma 
jority of the beings composing it are engulfed in 
the jaws of death, and again go out into the 
shadow. 

Huge rays sprang out of the water and fell 
back with a resounding splash. Devil-fish, 
which made the rays look like dwarfs, swam 
slowly near the surface; some had their mouths 
wide open as they followed their prey. Globular 
jellyfish, as big as pumpkins, with translucent 
bodies, pulsed through the waters; little fishes 
and crabs swam among their short, thick ten 
tacles and in between the waving walls into 
which the body was divided. Once we saw the 
head of a turtle above water; it was a logger 
head turtle, and the head was as large as 
the head of a man; when I first saw it, above 
the still water, I had no idea what it was. 

By noon we were among the islands of the 
reservation. We had already passed other and 
larger islands, for the most part well wooded. 
On these there were great numbers of coons 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 289 

and minks, and therefore none of the sea-birds 
which rest on the ground or in low bushes. 
The coons are more common than the minks 
and muskrats. In the inundations they are 
continually being carried out to sea on logs; 
a planter informed me that on one occasion in 
a flood he met a log sailing down the swollen 
Mississippi with no less than eleven coons 
aboard. Sooner or later castaway coons land 
on every considerable island off the coast, and 
if there is fresh water, and even sometimes if 
there is none, they thrive; and where there are 
many coons, the gulls, terns, skimmers, and 
other such birds have very little chance to 
bring up their young. Coons are fond of ram 
bling along beaches; at low tide they devour 
shell-fish; and they explore the grass tufts and 
bushes, and eat nestlings, eggs, and even the 
sitting birds. If on any island we found numer 
ous coon tracks there were usually few nesting 
sea-fowl, save possibly on some isolated point. 
The birds breed most plentifully in the number 
less smaller islands some of considerable size 
where there is no water, and usually not a 
tree. Some of these islands are nothing but 
sand, with banks and ramparts of shells, while 
others are fringed with marsh -grass and covered 
with scrub mangrove. But the occasional fierce 



290 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

tropical storms not only change the channels 
and alter the shape of many of the islands, but 
may even break up some very big island. In 
such case an island with trees and water may 
for years be entirely uninhabited by coons, and 
the birds may form huge rookeries thereon. 
The government should exterminate the coons 
and minks on all the large islands, so as to en 
able the birds to breed on them; for on the 
small islands the storms and tides work huge 
havoc with the nests. 

Captain Young proved himself not only a 
first-class captain but a first-class pilot through 
the shifting and tangled maze of channels and 
islands. The Royal Tern, her engines breaking 
down intermittently, fell so far in the rear that 
in the early afternoon we anchored, to wait 
for her, off an island to which a band of pelicans 
resorted - - they had nested, earlier in the year, 
on another island some leagues distant. The 
big birds, forty or thereabouts in number, were 
sitting on a sand-spit which projected into the 
water, enjoying a noontide rest. As we ap 
proached they rose and flapped lazily out to 
sea for a few hundred yards before again light 
ing. Later in the afternoon they began to fly 
to the fishing-grounds, and back and forth, 
singly and in small groups. In flying they 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 291 

usually gave a dozen rapid wing-beats, and 
then sailed for a few seconds. If several were 
together the leader gave the "time" to the 
others; they all flapped together, and then all 
glided together. The neck was carried in a 
curve, like a heron s; it was only stretched out 
straight like a stork s or bustard s when the 
bird was diving. Some of the fishing was done, 
singly or in parties, in the water, the pelicans 
surrounding shoals of sardines and shrimps, 
and scooping them up in their capacious bags. 
But, although such a large, heavy bird, the 
brown pelican is an expert wing-fisherman also. 
A pair would soar round in circles, the bill per 
haps pointing downward, instead of, as usual, 
being held horizontally. Then, when the fish 
was spied the bird plunged down, almost per 
pendicularly, the neck stretched straight and 
rigid, and disappeared below the surface of the 
water with a thump and splash, and in a couple 
of seconds emerged, rose with some labor, and 
flew off with its prey. At this point the pelicans 
had finished breeding before my arrival al 
though a fortnight later Mr. Job found thou 
sands of fresh eggs in their great rookeries west 
of the mouth of the Mississippi. The herons 
had well-grown nestlings, whereas the terns 
and gulls were in the midst of the breeding, 



A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and the skimmers had only just begun. The 
pelicans often flew only a few yards, or even 
feet, above the water, but also at times soared 
or wheeled twenty or thirty rods in the air, or 
higher. They are handsome, interesting birds, 
and add immensely, by their presence, to the 
pleasure of being out on these waters; they 
should be completely protected everywhere 
as, indeed, should most of these sea-birds. 

The two Parker boys the elder of whom had 
for years been doing a man s work in the best 
fashion, and the younger of whom had just 
received an appointment to Annapolis kept 
us supplied with fish, caught with the hook 
and rod, except the flounders, which were har 
pooned. The two boys were untiring; nothing 
impaired their energy, and no chance of fatigue 
and exertion, at any time of the day or night, 
appealed to them save as an exhilarating piece 
of good fortune. At a time when so large a 
section of our people, including especially those 
who claim in a special sense to be the guardians 
of cultivation, philanthropy, and religion, de 
liberately make a cult of pacifism, poltroonery, 
sentimentality, and neurotic emotionalism, it 
was refreshing to see the fine, healthy, manly 
young fellows who were emphatically neither 
"too proud to fight" nor too proud to work, 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 293 

and with whom hard work, and gentle regard 
for the rights of others, and the joy of life, all 
went hand in hand. 

Toward evening of our first day the weather 
changed for the worse; the fishers among the 
party were recalled, and just before nightfall 
we ran off, and after much groping in the dark 
we made a reasonably safe anchorage. By 
midnight the wind fell, dense swarms of mos 
quitoes came aboard, and, as our mosquito- 
nets were not well up (thanks partly to our 
own improvidence, and partly to the violence 
of the wind, for we were sleeping on deck be 
cause of the great heat), we lived in torment 
until morning. On the subsequent nights we 
fixed our mosquito-bars so carefully that there 
was no trouble. Mosquitoes and huge, green- 
headed horse-flies swarm on most of the islands. 
I witnessed one curious incident in connection 
with one of these big, biting horse-flies. A kind 
of wasp preys on them, and is locally known as 
the " horse-guard," or "sheriff-fly," accordingly. 
These horse-guards are formidable-looking things 
and at first rather alarm strangers, hovering 
round them and their horses; but they never 
assail beast or man unless themselves molested, 
when they are ready enough to use their power 
ful sting. The horses and cattle speedily recog- 



294 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

nize these big, humming, hornet-like horse- 
guards as the foes of their tormentors. As we 
walked over the islands, and the green-headed 
flies followed us, horse-guards also joined us; 
and many greenheads and some horse-guards 
came on board. Usually when the horse-guard 
secured the greenhead it was pounced on from 
behind, and there was practically no struggle - 
the absence of struggle being usual in the world 
of invertebrates, where the automaton-like ac 
tions of both preyer and prey tend to make 
each case resemble all others in its details. But 
on one occasion the greenhead managed to 
turn, so that he fronted his assailant and 
promptly grappled with him, sinking his evil 
lancet into the wasp s body and holding the 
wasp so tight that the latter could not thrust 
with its sting. They grappled thus for several 
minutes. The horse-guard at last succeeded in 
stabbing its antagonist, and promptly dropped 
the dead body. Evidently it had suffered much, 
for it vigorously rubbed the wounded spot with 
its third pair of legs, walked hunched up, and 
was altogether a very sick creature. 

On the following day we visited two or three 
islands which the man-of-war birds were using 
as roosts. These birds are the most wonderful 
fliers in the world. No other bird has such an 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 295 

expanse of wing in proportion to the body 
weight. No other bird of its size seems so abso 
lutely at home in the air. Frigate-birds as 
they are also called hardly ever light on the 
water, yet they are sometimes seen in mid- 
ocean. But they like to live in companies, 
near some coast. They have very long tails, 
usually carried closed, looking like a marlin- 
spike, but at times open, like a great pair of 
scissors, in the course of their indescribably 
graceful aerial evolutions. We saw them soar 
ing for hours at a time, sometimes to all seeming 
absolutely motionless as they faced the wind. 
They sometimes caught fish for themselves, 
just rippling the water to seize surface swimmers, 
or pouncing with startling speed on any fish 
which for a moment leaped into the air to avoid 
another shape of ravenous death below. If 
the frigate-bird caught the fish transversely, it 
rose, dropped its prey, and seized it again by 
the head before it struck the water. But it 
also obtained its food in less honorable fashion 
by robbing other birds. The pelicans were 
plundered by all their fish-eating neighbors, 
even the big terns; but the man-of-war bird 
robbed the robbers. We saw three chase a 
royal tern, a very strong flier; the tern towered, 
ascending so high we could hardly see it, but 



96 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

in great spirals its pursuers rose still faster, 
until one was above it; and then the tern 
dropped the fish, which was snatched in mid 
air by one of the bandits. Captain Sprinkle 
had found these frigate-birds breeding on one 
of the islands the previous year, each nest being 
placed in a bush and containing two eggs. We 
visited the island; the big birds the old 
males jet black, the females with white breasts, 
the young males with white heads were there 
in numbers, perched on the bushes, and rising 
at our approach. But there were no nests, and, 
although we found one fresh egg, it was evi 
dently a case of sporadic laying, having nothing 
to do with home-building. 

On another island, where we also found a 
big colony of frigate-birds roosting on the man 
grove and Gulf tamarisk scrub, there was a 
small heronry of the Louisiana heron. The 
characteristic flimsy heron nests were placed in 
the thick brush, which was rather taller than a 
man s head. The young ones had left the 
nests, but were still too young for anything in 
the nature of sustained flight. They were, like 
all young herons, the pictures of forlorn and 
unlovely inefficiency, as they flapped a few feet 
away and strove with ungainly awkwardness 
to balance themselves on the yielding bush 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 297 

tops. The small birds we found on the islands 
were red-winged blackbirds, Louisiana seaside 
sparrows, and long-billed marsh-wrens which 
last had built their domed houses among the 
bushes, in default of tall reeds. On one island 
Job discovered a night-hawk on her nest. She 
fluttered off, doing the wounded-bird trick, 
leaving behind her an egg and a newly hatched 
chick. He went off to get his umbrella-house, 
and when he returned the other egg was hatch 
ing, and another little chick, much distressed 
by the heat, appeared. He stood up a clam 
shell to give it shade, and then, after patient 
waiting, the mother returned, and he secured 
motion-pictures of her and her little family. 
These birds offer very striking examples of real 
protective coloration. 

The warm shallows, of course, teem with mol- 
lusks as well as with fish not to mention the 
shrimps, which go in immense silver schools, 
and which we found delicious eating. The oc 
casional violent storms, when they do not de 
stroy islands, throw up on them huge dikes or 
ramparts of shells, which makes the walking 
hard on the feet. 

There are more formidable things than shells 
in the warm shallows. The fishermen as they 
waded near shore had to be careful lest they 



298 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

should step on a sting-ray. When a swim was 
proposed as our boat swung at anchor in mid- 
channel, under the burning midday sun, Captain 
Sprinkle warned us against it because he had 
just seen a large shark. He said that sharks 
rarely attacked men, but that he had known of 
two instances of their doing so in Mississippi 
Sound, one ending fatally. In this case the man 
was loading a sand schooner. He was standing 
on a scaffolding, the water half-way up his 
thighs, and the shark seized him and carried 
him into deep water. Boats went to his as 
sistance at once, scaring off the shark; but the 
man s leg had been bitten nearly in two; he 
sank, and was dead when he was finally found. 
The following two days we continued our 
cruise. We steamed across vast reaches of 
open Gulf, the water changing from blue to 
yellow as it shoaled. Now and then we sighted 
or passed low islands of bare sand and scrub. 
The sky was sapphire, the sun splendid and 
pitiless, the heat sweltering. W 7 e came across 
only too plain evidence of the disasters always 
hanging over the wilderness folk. A fortnight 
previously a high tide and a heavy blow had 
occurred coinciden tally. On the islands where 
the royal terns especially loved to nest the high 
water spelled destruction. The terns nest close 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 299 

together, in bird cities, so to speak, and gen 
erally rather low on the beaches. On island 
after island the waves had washed over the 
nests and destroyed them by the ten thousand. 
The beautiful royal terns were the chief sufferers. 
On one island there was a space perhaps nearly 
an acre in extent where the ground was covered 
with their eggs, which had been washed thither 
by the tide; most of them had then been eaten 
by those smart-looking highwaymen, the trim, 
slate-headed laughing gulls. The terns had 
completely deserted the island and had gone 
in their thousands to another; but some skim 
mers remained and were nesting. The western 
most island, we visited was outside the national 
reservation, and that very morning it had been 
visited and plundered by a party of eggers. 
The eggs had been completely cleared from 
most of the island, gulls and terns had been 
shot, and the survivors were in a frantic state 
of excitement. It was a good object-lesson in 
the need of having reserves, and laws protecting 
wild life, and a sufficient number of efficient 
officers to enforce the laws and protect the re 
serves. Defenders of the short-sighted men 
who in their greed and selfishness will, if per 
mitted, rob our country of half its charm by 
their reckless extermination of all useful and 



300 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

beautiful wild things sometimes seek to cham 
pion them by saying that "the game belongs 
to the people." So it does; and not merely 
to the people now alive, but to the unborn 
people. The "greatest good of the greatest 
number" applies to the number within the 
womb of time, compared to which those now 
alive form but an insignificant fraction. Our 
duty to the whole, including the unborn gen 
erations, bids us restrain an unprincipled pres 
ent-day minority from wasting the heritage of 
these unborn generations. The movement for 
the conservation of wild life, and the larger 
movement for the conservation of all our natural 
resources, are essentially democratic in spirit, 
purpose, and method. 

On some of the islands we found where green 
turtles had crawled up the beaches to bury 
their eggs in the sand. We came across two 
such nests. One of them I dug up myself. 
The eggs we took to the boat, where they were 
used in making delicious pancakes, which went 
well with fresh shrimp, flounder, weakfish, 
mackerel, and mullet. 

The laughing gulls and the black skimmers 
were often found with their nests intermingled, 
and they hovered over our heads with the same 
noisy protest against our presence. Although 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 301 

they of ten --not always nested so close to 
gether, the nests were in no way alike. The 
gulls dark-green eggs, heavily blotched with 
brown, two or three in number, lay on a rude 
platform of marsh-grass, which was usually 
partially sheltered by some bush or tuft of reeds, 
or, if on wet ground, was on a low pile of drift 
wood. The skimmers eggs, light whitish green 
and less heavily marked with brown, were, 
when the clutch was full, four to six in number. 
There was no nest at all, nothing but a slight 
hollow in the sand, or gravel or shell debris. 
In the gravel or among the shell debris it was 
at first hard to pick out the eggs; but as our 
eyes grew accustomed to them we found them 
without difficulty. Sometimes we found the 
nests of gull and skimmer within a couple of 
feet of one another, one often under or in a 
bush, the other always out on the absolutely 
bare open. Considering the fact that the gull 
stood ready, with cannibal cheerfulness, to eat 
the skimmer s eggs if opportunity offered, I 
should have thought that to the latter bird 
such association would have seemed rather 
grewsome; but, as a matter of fact, there seemed 
to be no feeling of constraint whatever on either 
side, and the only fighting I saw, and this of a 
very mild type, was among the gulls themselves. 



302 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

As we approached their nesting-places all these 
birds rose, and clamored loudly as they hovered 
over us, lighting not far off, and returning to 
their nests as we moved away. 

The skimmers are odd, interesting birds, and 
on the whole were, if anything, rather tamer 
even than the royal terns and laughing gulls, 
their constant associates. They came close be 
hind these two in point of abundance. They 
flew round and round us, and to and fro, con 
tinually uttering their loud single note, the bill 
being held half open as they did so. The lower 
mandible, so much longer than the upper, gives 
them a curious look. Ordinarily the bill is 
held horizontally and closed; but when after 
the small fish on which they feed the lower 
mandible is dropped to an angle of forty-five 
degrees, ploughing lightly the surface of the 
water and scooping up the prey. They fly 
easily, with at ordinary times rather deliberate 
strokes of their long wings, wheeling and cir 
cling, and continually crying if roused from their 
nests. When flying the white of their plumage 
is very conspicuous, and as they flapped around 
every detail of form and coloration, of bill and 
plumage, could be observed. 

When sitting they appear almost black, and, 
in consequence, when on their nests, on the 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 303 

beaches or on the white-shell dikes, they are 
visible half a mile off, and stand out as distinctly 
as a crow on a snow-bank. 1 They are perfectly 
aware of this, and make no attempt to elude 
observation, any more than the gulls and terns 
do. The fledglings are concealingly colored, 
and crouch motionless, so as to escape notice 
from possible enemies; and the eggs, while 
they do not in color harmonize with the sur 
roundings to the extent that they might arti 
ficially be made to do, yet easily escape the 
eye when laid on a beach composed of broken 
sea-shells. But the coloration of the adults is 
of a strikingly advertising character, under all 
circumstances, and especially when they are 
sitting on their nests. Among all the vagaries 
of the fetichistic school of concealing-colora- 
tionists none is more amusing than the belief 
that the coloration of the adult skimmer is 
ever, under any conditions, of a concealing 
quality. Sometimes the brooding skimmer at 
tempted to draw us away from the nest by 
fluttering off across the sand like a wounded 
bird. Like the gulls, the skimmers moved about 
much more freely on the ground than did the 
terns. 

1 An expression borrowed from Stewart Edward White s capital "Re 
discovered Country." 



304 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

The handsome little laughing gull was found 
everywhere, and often in numerous colonies, 
although these colonies were not larger than 
those of the skimmer, and in no way approached 
the great breeding assemblages of the royal 
terns on the two or three islands where the 
latter especially congregated. They were noisy 
birds, continually uttering a single loud note, 
but only occasionally the queer laughter which 
gives them their name. They looked very trim 
and handsome, both on the wing and when 
swimming or walking; and their white breasts 
and dark heads made them very conspicuous 
on their nests, no matter whether these were 
on open ground or partially concealed in a bush 
or reed cluster. Like the skimmers, although 
perhaps not quite so markedly, their coloration 
was strongly advertising at all times, including 
when on their nests. Their relations with their 
two constant associates and victims, the skim 
mer and the royal tern the three being about 
the same size seemed to me very curious. 
The gull never molested the eggs of either of 
the other birds if the parents were sitting on 
them or were close by. But gulls continually 
broke and devoured eggs, especially terns 
eggs, which had been temporarily abandoned. 
Nor was this all. When a colony of nesting 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 305 

royal terns flew off at our approach, the hesitat 
ing advent of the returning parents was always 
accompanied by the presence of a few gulls. 
Commonly the birds lit a few yards away from 
the eggs, on the opposite side from the observer, 
and then by degrees moved forward among the 
temporarily forsaken eggs. The gulls were 
usually among the foremost ranks, and each, 
as it walked or ran to and fro, would now and 
then break or carry off an egg; yet I never 
saw a tern interfere or seem either alarmed or 
angered. These big terns are swifter and better 
fliers than the gulls, and the depredations take 
place all the time before their eyes. Yet they 
pay no attention that I could discern to the 
depredation. Compare this with the conduct 
of king-birds to those other egg-robbers, the 
crows. Imagine a king-bird, or, for that matter, 
a mocking-bird or thrasher, submitting with 
weak good humor to such treatment! If these 
big terns had even a fraction of the intelligence 
and spirit of king-birds, no gull would venture 
within a half-mile of their nesting-grounds. 

It is one of the innumerable puzzles of biol 
ogy that the number of eggs a bird lays seems 
to have such small influence on the abundance 
of the species. A royal tern lays one egg, rarely 
two; a gull three; a skimmer four to six. The 



306 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

gull eats the eggs of the other two, especially 
of the tern; as far as we know, all have the 
same foes; yet the abundance of the birds is 
in inverse ratio to the number of their eggs. 
Of course, there is an explanation; but we 
cannot even guess at it as yet. With this, as 
with so many other scientific questions, all we 
can say is, with Huxley, that we are not afraid 
to announce that we do not know. 

The beautiful royal terns were common 
enough, flying in the air and diving boldly 
after little fish. We listened with interest to 
their cry, which was a kind of creaking bleat. 
We admired the silver of their plumage as they 
flew overhead. But we did not come across 
vast numbers of them assembled for breeding 
until the fourth day. Then we found them on 
an island on which Captain Sprinkle told us 
he had never before found them, although both 
skimmers and gulls had always nested on it. 
The previous fall he had waged war with traps 
against the coons, which, although there was 
no fresh water, had begun to be plentiful on 
the island. He had caught a number, two escap 
ing, one with the loss of a hind foot, and one 
with the loss of a fore foot. The island was 
seven miles long, curved, with occasional 
stretches of salt marsh, and with reaches of 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 307 

scrub, but no trees. Most of it was bare sand. 
We saw three coon tracks, two being those of 
the three-footed animals; evidently the damaged 
leg was now completely healed and was used 
like the others, punching a round hole in the 
sand. We saw one coon, at dusk, hunting for 
oysters at the water s edge. 

The gulls and skimmers were nesting on this 
island in great numbers, but the terns were many 
times more plentiful. There were thousands 
upon thousands of them. Their breeding-places 
were strung in a nearly straight line for a couple 
of miles along the sand flats. A mile off, from our 
boat, we were attracted by their myriad forms, 
glittering in the brilliant sunlight as they rose 
and fell and crossed and circled over the nest 
ing-places. The day was bright and hot, and 
the sight was one of real fascination. As we 
approached a breeding colony the birds would 
fly up, hover about, and resettle when we drew 
back a sufficient distance. The eggs, singly, or 
rarely in pairs, were placed on the bare sand, 
with no attempt at a nest, the brooding bird 
being sometimes but a few inches, sometimes 
two or three feet, from the nearest of its sur 
rounding neighbors. The colonies of breeders 
were scattered along the shore for a couple of 
miles, each one being one or two hundred yards, 



308 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

or over, from the next. In one such breeding 
colony I counted a little over a thousand eggs; 
there were several of smaller size, and a few 
that were larger, one having perhaps three 
times as many. A number of the eggs, perhaps 
ten per cent, had been destroyed by the gulls; 
the coons had ravaged some of the gulls nests, 
which were in or beside the scrub. The eggs of 
the terns, being so close together and on the 
bare sand, were very conspicuous; they were 
visible to a casual inspection at a distance of 
two or three hundred yards, and it was quite 
impossible for any bird or beast to overlook 
them near by. These gregarious nesters, whose 
eggs are gathered in a big nursery, cannot profit 
by any concealing coloration of the eggs. The 
eggs of the royal and Cabot s terns were per 
haps a shade less conspicuous than the darker 
eggs of the Caspian tern, all of them lying to 
gether; but on that sand, and crowded into such 
a regular nursery, none of them could have 
escaped the vision of any foe with eyes. As I 
have said, the eggs of the skimmer, as the 
clutches were more scattered, were much more 
difficult to make out, on the shell beaches. 
Concealing coloration has been a survival fac 
tor only as regards a minority, and is respon 
sible for the precise coloration of only a small 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 309 

minority, of adult birds and mammals; how 
much and what part it plays, and in what 
percentage of cases, in producing the colora 
tion of eggs, is a subject which is well worth 
serious study. As regards most of these sea- 
birds which nest gregariously, their one instinct 
for safety at nesting time seems to be to choose 
a lonely island. This is their only, and suf 
ficient, method of outwitting their foes at the 
crucial period of their lives. 

We found only eggs in the nurseries, not 
young birds. In each nursery there were al 
ways a number of terns brooding their eggs, 
and the air above was filled with a ceaseless 
flutter and flashing of birds leaving their nests 
and returning to them or eggs, rather, for, 
speaking accurately, there were no nests. The 
sky above was alive with the graceful, long- 
winged things. As we approached the nurseries 
the birds would begin to leave. If we halted 
before the alarm became universal, those that 
stayed always served as lures to bring back 
those that had left. If we came too near, the 
whole party rose in a tumult of flapping wings; 
and when all had thus left it was some time be 
fore any returned. With patience it was quite 
possible to get close to the sitting birds; I 
noticed that in the heat many had their bills 



310 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

open. Those that were on the wing flew round 
and round us, creaking and bleating, and often 
so near that every detail of form and color was 
vivid in our eyes. The immense majority were 
royal terns, big birds with orange beaks. With 
them were a very few Caspian terns, still bigger, 
and with bright-red beaks, and quite a number 
of Cabot s terns, smaller birds with yellow- 
tipped black beaks. These were all nesting 
together, in the same nurseries. 

It has been said on excellent authority that 
terns can always be told from gulls because, 
whereas the latter carry their beaks horizontally, 
the terns carry their bills pointing downward, 
"like a mosquito." My own observations do 
not agree with this statement. When hovering 
over water where there are fish, and while 
watching for their prey, terns point the bill 
downward, just as pelicans do in similar cir 
cumstances; just as gulls often do when they 
are seeking to spy food below them. But 
normally, on the great majority of the occasions 
when I saw them, the terns, like the gulls, 
carried the bill in the same plane as the body. 

On another island we found a small colony 
of Forster s tern; and we saw sooty terns, and 
a few of the diminutive least terns. But I 
was much more surprised to find on, or rather 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 311 

over, one island a party of black terns. As 
these are inland birds, most of which at this 
season are breeding around the lakes of our 
Northwestern country, I was puzzled by their 
presence. Still more puzzling was it to come 
across a party of turnstones, with males in full, 
brightly varied nuptial dress, for turnstones 
during the breeding season live north of the 
arctic circle, in the perpetual sunlight of the 
long polar day. On the other hand, a couple 
of big oyster-catchers seemed, and were, en 
tirely in place; they are striking birds and 
attract attention at a great distance. We saw 
dainty Wilson s plover with their chicks, and 
also semipalmated sandpipers. 

On the morning of the 12th we returned to 
Pass Christian. I was very glad to have seen 
this bird refuge. With care and protection the 
birds will increase and grow tamer and tamer, 
until it will be possible for any one to make 
trips among these reserves and refuges, and to 
see as much as we saw, at even closer quarters. 
No sight more beautiful and more interesting 
could be imagined. 

I am far from disparaging the work of the 
collector who is also a field naturalist. On the 
contrary, I fully agree with Mr. Joseph Grin- 
nell s recent plea for him. His work is indis- 



312 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

pensable. It is far more important to protect 
his rights than to protect those of the sports 
man; for the serious work of the collector is 
necessary in order to prevent the scientific 
study of ornithology from lapsing into mere 
dilettanteism indulged in as a hobby by men 
and women with opera-glasses. Moreover, 
sportsmen also have their rights, and it is folly 
to sacrifice these rights to mere sentimentality 
for, of course, sentimentality is as much the 
antithesis and bane of healthy sentiment as 
bathos is of pathos. If thoroughly protected, 
any bird or mammal would speedily increase 
in numbers to such a degree as to drive man 
from the planet; and of recent years this has 
been signally proved by actual experience as 
regards certain creatures, notably as regards 
the wapiti in the Yellowstone (where the prime 
need now is to provide for the annual killing 
of at least five thousand), and to a less extent 
as regards deer in Vermont. 

But as yet these cases are rare exceptions. 
As yet with the great majority of our most in 
teresting and important wild birds and beasts 
the prime need is to protect them, not only by 
laws limiting the open season and the size of 
the individual bag, but especially by the crea 
tion of sanctuaries and refuges. And, while 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 313 

the work of the collector is still necessary, the 
work of the trained faunal naturalist, who is 
primarily an observer of the life histories of 
the wild things, is even more necessary. The 
progress made in the United States, of recent 
years, in creating and policing bird refuges, 1 
has been of capital importance. 

At nightfall of the third day of our trip, 
when we were within sight of Fort Jackson 
and of the brush and low trees which here grow 
alongside the Mississippi, we were joined by 
Mr. M. L. Alexander, the president of the Con 
servation Commission, on the commission s boat 
Louisiana. He was more than kind and cour 
teous, as were all my Louisiana friends. He 
and Mr. Miller told me much of the work of 
the commission; work not only of the utmost 
use to Louisiana, but of almost equal conse 
quence to the rest of the country, if only for 
the example set. 

The commission was not founded until 1912, 
yet it has already accomplished a remarkable 
amount along many different lines. The work 
of reforestation of great stretches of denuded, 
and at present worthless, pine land has begun; 
work which will turn lumbering into a perma 
nent Louisiana industry by making lumber a 

1 See Appendix B. 



314 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

permanent crop asset, like corn or wheat, only 
taking longer to mature an asset which it 
is equally important not to destroy. In taking 
care of the mineral resources a stop has been 
put to waste as foolish as it was criminal; for 
example, a gas-well which had flowed to waste 
until six million dollars worth of gas had been 
lost was stopped and stored at the cost of five 
thousand one hundred dollars. The oysters are 
now farmed and husbanded, the beds being 
leased in such fashion that there is a steady im 
provement of the product. Louisiana is pecu 
liarly rich in fish, and a policy has been inau 
gurated which, if persevered in, w T ill make the 
paddle-fish industry as important as the stur 
geon fishery is in Russia. Not only do the 
waters of Louisiana now belong to the State, 
but also the land under the water, this last 
proving in practise an admirable provision. 
Some three hundred thousand acres of game 
reserves and wild-life refuges (mostly unin 
habitable by man) have now been established. 
These have largely been gifts to the State by 
wise and generous private individuals and cor 
porations, the chief donors being Messrs. Ed 
ward A. Mcllhenny and Charles Willis Ward, 
Mrs. Russell Sage, and the Rockefeller Founda 
tion. The Conservation Commission has ac- 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 315 

cepted the gifts, and is taking care of the re 
serves and refuges through its State wardens, 
with the result that wild birds of many kinds, 
including even the wary geese, which come 
down as winter visitants by the hundred thou 
sand, have become very tame, and many beauti 
ful birds which were on the verge of extinction 
are now re-established and increasing in num 
bers. These reserves, which lie for the most 
part in the low country along the coast, are 
west of the Mississippi. 

Job had just come from a visit to the private 
reserve of Edward A. Mcllhenny on Avery 
Island. It is the most noteworthy reserve in 
the country. It includes four thousand acres, 
and is near the Ward-Mcllhenny reserve, which 
they have given to the State a king s gift! 
Avery s Island is very beautiful. A great, 
shallow, artificial lake, surrounded by dwellings, 
fields, lawns, a railroad, and ox-wagon road, does 
not seem an ideal home for herons; but it has 
proved such under the care of Mr. Mcllhenny. 
He started the reserve twenty years ago with 
eight snowy herons. Now it contains about 
forty thousand herons of several species. Com 
plete freedom from molestation has rendered 
the birds extraordinarily tame. The beautiful 
snow-white lesser egret, which had been almost 



316 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

exterminated by the plume-hunters, nourishes 
by the thousand; the greater egret has been 
bothered so by the smaller one that it has retired 
before it; its heronries are now to be found 
mainly in other parts of the protected region. 
Many other kinds of heron, and many water 
fowl, literally throng the place. Ducks winter 
by the thousand, and, most unexpectedly, some 
even of the northern kinds, like the gadwall, 
now stay to breed. Most of these birds are so 
tame that there is little difficulty in taking 
photographs of them. 

The Audubon societies, and all similar or 
ganizations, are doing a great work for the 
future of our country. Birds should be saved 
because of utilitarian reasons; and, moreover, 
they should be saved because of reasons uncon 
nected with any return in dollars and cents. 
A grove of giant redwoods or sequoias should 
be kept just as we keep a great and beautiful 
cathedral. The extermination of the passenger- 
pigeon meant that mankind was just so much 
poorer; exactly as in the case of the destruction 
of the cathedral at Rheims. And to lose the 
chance to see frigate-birds soaring in circles 
above the storm, or a file of pelicans winging 
their way homeward across the crimson after 
glow of the sunset, or a myriad terns flashing 



THE MISSISSIPPI RESERVES 317 

in the bright light of midday as they hover in 
a shifting maze above the beach --why, the 
loss is like the loss of a gallery of the master 
pieces of the artists of old time. 



CHAPTER XI 
A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 

IN 1915 I spent a little over a fortnight on 
a private game reserve in the province of 
Quebec. I had expected to enjoy the great 
northern woods, and the sight of beaver, moose, 
and caribou; but I had not expected any hunt 
ing experience worth mentioning. Neverthe 
less, toward the end of my trip, there befell 
me one of the most curious and interesting ad 
ventures with big game that have ever befallen 
me during the forty years since I first began to 
know the life of the wilderness. 

In both Canada and the United States the 
theory and indeed the practise of preserving 
wild life on protected areas of land have made 
astonishing headway since the closing years of 
the nineteenth century. These protected areas, 
some of very large size, come in two classes. 
First, there are those which are public property, 
where the protection is given by the State. 
Secondly, there are those where the ownership 
and the protection are private. 

By far the most important, of course, are the 

318 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 319 

public preserves. These by their very exist 
ence afford a certain measure of the extent to 
which democratic government can justify it 
self. If in a given community unchecked pop 
ular rule means unlimited waste and destruction 
of the natural resources soil, fertility, water- 
power, forests, game, wild-life generally which 
by right belong as much to subsequent genera 
tions as to the present generation, then it is 
sure proof that the present generatiqn is not 
yet really fit for self-control, that it is not yet 
really fit to exercise the high and responsible 
privilege of a rule which shall be both by the 
people and for the people. The term "for the 
people" must always include the people unborn 
as well as the people now alive, or the demo 
cratic ideal is not realized. The only way to 
secure the chance for hunting, for the enjoy 
ment of vigorous field-sports, to the average 
man of small means, is to secure such enforced 
game laws as will prevent anybody and every 
body from killing game to a point which means 
its diminution and therefore ultimate extinction. 
Only in this way will the average man be able 
to secure for himself and his children the op 
portunity of occasionally spending his yearly 
holiday in that school of hardihood and self- 
reliance the chase. New Brunswick, Maine, 



320 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

and Vermont during the last generation have 
waked up to this fact. Moose and deer in New 
Brunswick and Maine, deer in Vermont, are so 
much more plentiful than they were a generation 
ago that young men of sufficient address and 
skill can at small cost spend a holiday in the 
woods, or on the edge of the rough backwoods 
farm land, and be reasonably sure of a moose 
or a deer. To all three commonwealths the 
game is now a real asset because each moose 
or deer alive in the woods brings in, from the 
outside, men who spend among the inhabitants 
much more than the money value of the dead 
animal; and to the lover of nature the presence 
of these embodiments of the wild vigor of life 
adds immensely to the vast majesty of the 
forests. 

In Canada there are many great national 
reserves; and much --by no means all of 
the wilderness wherein shooting is allowed, is 
intelligently and faithfully protected, so that 
the game does not diminish. In the summer of 
1915 we caught a glimpse of one of these great 
reserves, that including the wonderful moun 
tains on the line of the Canadian Pacific, from 
Banff to Lake Louise, and for many leagues 
around them. The naked or snow-clad peaks, 
the lakes, the glaciers, the evergreen forest 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 321 

shrouding the mountainsides and valleys, the 
clear brooks, the wealth of wild flowers, make up 
a landscape as lovely as it is varied. Here the 
game bighorn and white goat-antelope, moose, 
wapiti, and black- tail deer and white-tail deer - 
flourish unmolested. The flora and fauna are 
boreal, but boreal in the sense that the Rocky 
Mountains are boreal as far south as Arizona; 
the crimson paint-brush that colors the hill 
sides, the water-ousel in the rapid torrents - 
these and most of the trees and flowers and birds 
suggest those of the mountains which are riven 
asunder by the profound gorges of the Colorado 
rather than those which dwell among the lower 
and more rounded Eastern hill-masses from 
which the springs find their way into the rivers 
that flow down to the North Atlantic. Around 
these and similar great nurseries of game, the 
hunting is still good in places; although there 
has been a mistaken lenity shown in permitting 
the Indians to butcher mountain-sheep and 
deer to the point of local extermination, and 
although, as is probably inevitable in all new 
communities, the game laws are enforced chiefly 
at the expense of visiting sportsmen, rather 
than at the expense of the real enemies of the 
game, the professional meat and hide hunters 
who slaughter for the profit. 



A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

In Eastern Canada, as in the Eastern United 
States, there has been far less chance than in 
the West to create huge governmental game re 
serves. But there has been a positive increase of 
the big game during the last two or three decades. 
This is partly due to the creation and enforce 
ment of wise game laws although here also 
it must be admitted that in some of the Prov 
inces, as in some of the States, the alien sports 
man is judged with Rhadamanthine severity, 
while the home offenders, and even the home In 
dians, are but little interfered with. It would be 
well if in this matter other communities copied 
the excellent example of Maine and New Bruns 
wick. In addition to the game laws, a large 
part is played in Canadian game preservation 
by the hunting and fishing clubs. These clubs 
have policed, and now police many thousands 
of square miles of wooded wilderness, worth 
less for agriculture; and in consequence of this 
policing the wild creatures of the wilderness 
have thriven, and in some cases have multi 
plied to an extraordinary degree, on these club 
lands. 

In September, 1915, I visited the Tourilli 
Club, as the guest of an old friend, Doctor 
Alexander Lambert, a companion of previous 
hunting trips in the Louisiana cane-brakes, in 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 323 

the Rockies, on the plains bordering the Red 
River of the south, and among the Bad Lands 
through which the Little Missouri flows. The 
Tourilli Club is an association of Canadian 
and American sportsmen and lovers of the 
wilderness. The land, leased from the govern 
ment by the club, lies northwest of the at 
tractive Old World city of Quebec --the most 
distinctive city north of the Mexican border, 
now that the Creole element in New Orleans 
has been almost swamped. The club holds 
about two hundred and fifty square miles along 
the main branches and the small tributaries of 
the Saint Anne River, just north of the line that 
separates the last bleak farming land from the 
forest. It is a hilly, almost mountainous region, 
studded with numerous lakes, threaded by rapid, 
brawling brooks, and covered with an unbroken 
forest growth of spruce, balsam, birch and 
maple. 

On the evening of the day I left Quebec I 
camped in a neat log cabin by the edge of a 
little lake. I had come in on foot over a rough 
forest trail with my two guides or porters. 
They were strapping, good-humored French 
Canadians, self-respecting and courteous, whose 
attitude toward their employer was so much 
like that of Old World guides as to be rather in- 



324 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

teresting to a man accustomed to the absolute 
and unconscious democracy of the Western cow 
camps and hunting trails. One vital fact im 
pressed me in connection with them as in con 
nection with my Spanish-speaking and Portu 
guese-speaking friends in South America. They 
were always fathers of big families as well as 
sons of parents with big families; the big family 
was normal to their kind, just as it was normal 
among the men and women I met in Brazil, 
Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay, to a 
degree far surpassing what is true of native 
Americans, Australians, and English-speaking 
Canadians. If the tendencies thus made evi 
dent continue to work unchanged, the end of 
the twentieth century will witness a reversal 
in the present positions of relative dominance, 
in the new and newest worlds, held respectively 
by the people who speak English, and the 
people who speak the three Latin tongues. 
Darwin, in the account of his famous voyage, 
in speaking of the backwardness of the coun 
tries bordering the Plate River, dwells on the 
way they lag behind, in population and material 
development, compared to the English settlers 
in Australia and North America. Were he 
alive now, the development of the countries 
around Buenos Ayres and Montevideo would 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 325 

make him revise his judgment. And, whatever 
may be the case in the future, so far this material 
development has not, as in the English-speak 
ing world and in old France, been accompanied 
by a moral change which threatens complete 
loss of race supremacy because of sheer dwin 
dling in the birth-rate. The men and women of 
Quebec, Brazil, and Argentina are still primarily 
fathers and mothers; and unless this is true of 
a race it neither can nor ought to permanently 
prosper. The atrophy of the healthy sexual 
instinct is in its effects equally destructive 
whether it be due to licentiousness, asceticism, 
coldness, or timidity; whether it be due to cal 
culated self-indulgence, love of ease and com 
fort, or absorption in worldly success on the 
part of the man, or, on the part of the woman, 
to that kind of shrieking "feminism," the an 
tithesis of all worth calling womanly, which 
gives fine names to shirking of duty, and to 
the fear of danger and discomfort, and actually 
exalts as praiseworthy the abandonment or 
subordination by women of the most sacred 
and vitally important of the functions of woman 
hood. It is not enough that a race shall be com 
posed of good fighters, good workers, and good 
breeders; but, unless the qualities thus in 
dicated are present in the race foundation, then 



326 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

the superstructure, however seemingly imposing, 
will topple. As I watched my French guides 
prepare supper I felt that they offered fine stuff 
out of which to make a nation. 

Beside the lake an eagle-owl was hooting from 
the depths of the spruce forest; hoohoo- 
h-o-o-o hoohoo. From the lake itself a loon, 
floating high on the water, greeted me with 
eerie laughter. A sweetheart-sparrow sang a 
few plaintive bars among the alders. I felt 
as if again among old friends. 

Next day we tramped to the comfortable camp 
of the president of the club, Mr. Glen Ford 
McKinney. Half-way there Lambert met me; 
and for most of the distance he, or one of the 
guides, carried a canoe, as the route consisted 
of lakes connected by portages, sometimes a 
couple of miles long. When we reached the 
roomy comfortable log houses on Lake McKin 
ney, at nightfall, we were quite ready for our 
supper of delicious moose venison. Lambert, 
while fishing in his canoe, a couple of days 
previously, had killed a young bull as it stood 
feeding in a lake, and for some days moose 
meat was our staple food. After that it was 
replaced by messes of freshly caught trout, 
and once or twice by a birch-partridge. Mrs. 
Lambert was at the camp, and Mr. and Mrs. 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 327 

McKinney joined us there. A club reserve 
such as this, with weather-proof cabins scat 
tered here and there beside the lakes, offers 
the chance for women of the outdoors type, 
no less than for men no longer in their first 
youth, to enjoy the life of the wonderful north 
ern wilderness, and yet to enjoy also such sub 
stantial comforts as warmth, dry clothes, and 
good food at night, after a hard day in the 
open. 

Such a reserve offers a fine field for observa 
tion of the life histories of the more shy and 
rare wild creatures practically unaffected by 
man. Many persons do not realize how com 
pletely on these reserves the wild life is led under 
natural conditions, wholly unlike those on small 
artificial reserves. Most wild beasts in the true 
wilderness lead lives that are artificial in so 
far as they are primarily conditioned by fear 
of man. In wilderness reserves like this, on 
the contrary, there is so much less dread of 
human persecution that the lives led by such 
beasts as the moose, caribou, and beaver more 
closely resemble life in the woods before the 
appearance of man. As an example, on the 
Tourilli game reserve wolves, which did not 
appear until within a decade, have been much 
more destructive since then than men, and have 



328 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

more profoundly influenced for evil the lives 
of the other wild creatures. 

The beavers are among the most interesting 
of all woodland beasts. They had been so 
trapped out that fifteen years ago there were 
probably not a dozen individuals left on the 
reserve. Then they were rigidly protected. 
After ten years they had increased literally a 
hundredfold. At the end of that time trapping 
was permitted for a year; hundreds of skins 
were taken, and then trapping was again pro 
hibited. 

The beaver on the reserve at present number 
between one and two thousand. We saw their 
houses and dams everywhere. One dam was 
six feet high; another dam was built to the 
height of about a foot and a half, near one of 
our camping places, in a week s time. The 
architects were a family of beavers; some of 
the branches bore the big marks of the teeth 
of the parent beavers, some the marks of the 
small teeth of the young ones. It was interest 
ing to see the dams grow, stones being heaped 
on the up-current side to keep the branches in 
place. Frequently we came across the animals 
themselves, swimming a stream or lake, and 
not much bothered by our presence. When 
left unmolested they are quite as much diurnal 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 329 

as nocturnal. Again and again, as I sat hidden 
on the lake banks, beaver swam to and fro close 
beside me, even at high noon. One, which was 
swimming across a lake at sunset, would not 
dive until we paddled the canoe straight for 
it as hard as we could; whereupon it finally 
disappeared with a slap of its tail. Once at 
evening Lambert pulled his canoe across the 
approach to a house, barring the way to the 
owner a very big beaver. It did not like to 
dive under the canoe, and swam close up on 
the surface, literally gritting its teeth, and now 
and then it would slap the water with its tail, 
whereupon the heads of other beaver would 
pop up above the waters of the lake. 

By damming the outlets of some of the lakes 
and killing the trees and young stuff around the 
edges, the beaver on this reserve had destroyed 
some of the favorite haunts of the moose. We 
saw the old and new houses on the shores of the 
lakes and beside the streams; some of them 
were very large, taller than a man, and twice 
as much across. Some of the old dams, at the 
pond outlets and across the streams, had be 
come firm causeways, grown-up with trees. 
The beaver is a fecund animal, its habits are 
such that few of the beasts of ravin can kill 
it more than occasionally, and when not too 



330 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

murderously persecuted by man it increases 
with extraordinary rapidity. 

This is primarily due to the character of its 
food. The forest trees themselves furnish 
what it eats. This means that its food supply 
is practically limitless. It has very few food 
rivals. The trunks of full-grown trees offer 
what is edible to a most narrowly limited num 
ber of vertebrates, and therefore a fact 
often lost sight of until man appears on the 
scene forests do not support anything like the 
same number and variety of large beasts as 
open, grassy plains. There are tree-browsing 
creatures, but these can only get at the young 
growth; the great majority of beasts prefer 
prairies or open scrub to thick forest. The 
open plains of central North America were 
thronged with big game to a degree that was 
never true of the vast American forests, whether 
subarctic, temperate, or tropical. The great 
game regions of Africa were the endless dry 
plains of South and East Africa, and not the 
steaming West African forests. There are, of 
course, some big mammals that live exclusively 
on low plants and bushes that only grow in 
the forest, and some trees at certain seasons 
yield fruits and nuts which fall to the ground; 
but, speaking generally, an ordinary full-grown 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 331 

tree of average size yields food only to beasts 
of exceptional type, of which the most con 
spicuous in North America are the tree-porcu 
pine and the beaver. Even these eat only the 
bark; no vertebrate, so far as I know, eats the 
actual wood of the trunk. 

These bark-eaters, therefore, have almost no 
food rivals, and the forest furnishes them food 
in limitless quantities. The beaver has de 
veloped habits more interesting and extraor 
dinary than those of any other rodent in 
deed as interesting as those of any other beast 
- and its ways of life are such as to enable it 
to protect itself from its enemies, and to insure 
itself against failure of food, to a degree very 
unusual among animals. It is no wonder that, 
when protected against man, it literally swarms 
in its native forests. Its dams, houses, and 
canals are all wonderful, and on the Tourilli 
they were easily studied. The height at which 
many of the tree trunks had been severed showed 
that the cutting must have been done in winter 
when the snow was deep and crusted. One 
tree which had not fallen showed a deep spiral 
groove going twice round the trunk. Evi 
dently the snow had melted faster than the 
beavers worked; they were never able to make 
a complete ring, although they had gnawed 



332 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

twice around the tree, and finally the rising 
temperature beat the teeth, and the task was 
perforce abandoned. 

I was surprised at the complete absence from 
the Tourilli of the other northern tree-eater - 
bark-eater -- the porcupine. Inquiry developed 
the fact that porcupines had been exceedingly 
numerous until within a score of years or less. 
Then a mysterious disease smote the slow, 
clumsy, sluggish creatures, and in the course 
of two or three years they were absolutely ex 
terminated. In similar fashion from some 
mysterious disease (or aggregation of diseases, 
which sometimes all work with virulence when 
animals become too crowded) almost all the 
rabbits in the reserve died off some six years 
ago. In each case it was a universally, or well- 
nigh universally, fatal epidemic, following a 
period during which the smitten animals had 
possessed good health and had flourished and 
increased greatly in spite of the flesh-eaters 
that preyed on them. In some vital details 
the cases differed. Hares, compared to por 
cupines, are far more prolific, far more active, 
and with far more numerous foes; and they 
also seem to be much more liable to these 
epidemics, although this may be merely be 
cause they so much more quickly increase to 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 333 

the point that seems to invite the disease. The 
porcupines are rather unsocial, and are so le 
thargic in their movements that the infection 
took longer to do its full work. But this work 
was done so thoroughly that evidently the entire 
race of porcupines over a large tract of country 
was exterminated. Porcupines have few foes 
that habitually prey on them, although it is 
said that there is an exception in the shape of the 
pekan - - the big, savage sable, inappropriately 
called fisher by the English-speaking woods 
men. But they breed so slowly (for rodents) 
and move about so little that when exter 
minated from a district many years elapse be 
fore they again begin to spread throughout it. 
The rabbits, on the contrary, move about so 
much that infectious diseases spread with ex 
traordinary rapidity and they are the habitual 
food of every fair-sized bird and beast of 
prey, but their extraordinary fecundity enables 
them rapidly to recover lost ground. As re 
gards these northern wood-rabbits, and doubt 
less other species of hares, it is evident that their 
beast and bird foes, who prey so freely on their 
helplessness, nevertheless are incompetent to 
restrain the overdevelopment of the species. 
Their real foes, their only real foes, are the 
minute organisms that produce the diseases 



334 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

which at intervals sweep off their swarming num 
bers. The devastation of these diseases, whether 
the agents spreading them are insects or still 
smaller, microscopic creatures, is clearly proved 
in the case of these North American rabbits 
and porcupines; probably it explains the tem 
porary and local extermination of the Labra 
dor meadow-mice after they have risen to the 
culminating crest of one of those "waves of 
life" described by Doctor Cabot. It has 
ravaged among big African ruminants on an 
even more extensive scale than among these 
North American rodents. Doubtless such dis 
ease-devastation has been responsible for the 
extinction of many, many species in the past; 
and where for any cause species and individuals 
became crowded together, or there was an in 
crease in moisture and change in temperature, 
so that the insect carriers of disease became 
more numerous, the extinction might easily 
befall more than one species. 

Of course, such epidemic disease is only one 
of many causes that may produce such exter 
mination or reduction in numbers. More effi 
cient food rivals may be a factor; just as sheep 
drive out cattle from the same pasturage, and 
as, in Australia, rabbits drive out sheep. Or 
animal foes may be a cause. Fifteen years 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 335 

ago, in the Tourilli, caribou were far more 
plentiful than moose. Moose have steadily 
increased in numbers. But some seven years 
ago wolves, of which none had been seen in 
these woods for half a century, made their ap 
pearance. They did not seriously molest the 
full-grown moose (nor the black bears), although 
they occasionally killed moose calves, and very 
rarely, when in a pack, an adult, but they warred 
on all the other animals, including the lucivees 
when they could catch them on the ice in winter. 
They followed the caribou unceasingly, killing 
many, and in consequence the caribou are now 
far less common. Barthelmy Lirette, the most 
experienced hunter and best observer among 
the guides even better than his brother 
Arthur told me that the wolves usually made 
no effort to assail the moose, and that never 
but once had he heard of their killing a grown 
moose. But they followed any caribou they 
came across, big or little. Once on snow-shoes 
he had tracked such a chase all day long. A 
single wolf had followed a caribou for twenty- 
five miles before killing it. Evidently the 
wolf deliberately set about tiring his victim 
so that it could not resist. In the snow the 
caribou sank deep. The wolf ran lightly. His 
tracks showed that he had galloped whenever 



336 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

the caribou had galloped, and walked behind 
it when it became too tired to run, and then 
galloped again when under the terror of his 
approach the hunted thing once more flailed 
its fading strength into flight. Its strength 
was utterly gone when its grim follower at last 
sprang on it and tore out its life. 

An arctic explorer once told me that on a part 
of the eastern coast of Greenland he found on 
one visit plenty of caribou and arctic foxes. 
A few years later he returned. Musk-oxen 
had just come into the district, and wolves fol 
lowed them. The musk-ox is helpless in the 
presence of human hunters, much more help 
less than caribou, and can exist only in the ap 
palling solitudes where even arctic man can 
not live; but against wolves, its only other foes, 
its habits of gregarious and truculent self-de 
fense enable it to hold its own as the caribou 
cannot. The wolves which were hangers-on 
of the musk-ox herds speedily killed or drove 
out both the foxes and the caribou on this 
stretch of Greenland coast, and as a result two 
once plentiful species were completely replaced 
by two other species, which change also doubt 
less resulted in other changes in the smaller 
wild life. 

Here we can explain the reason for the change 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 337 

as regards three of the animals, inasmuch as 
this change was ultimately conditioned by the 
movements of the fourth, the musk-ox. But 
we know nothing of the cause which produced 
the musk-ox migration, which migration re 
sulted in such unsettling of life conditions for 
the wolves, caribous, and foxes of this one 
locality. Neither can we with our present 
knowledge explain the causes which in Maine 
and New Brunswick during the last thirty or 
forty years have brought about a diminution 
of the caribou, although there has been an in 
crease in the number of moose and deer; wolves 
cannot have produced this change, for they kill 
the deer easier than the caribou. Field natural 
ists have in such questions an ample opportunity 
for work of the utmost interest. Doubtless 
they can in the future give us complete or par 
tial explanations of many of these problems 
which are at present insoluble. In any event 
these continuous shiftings of faunas at the 
present day enable us to form some idea of the 
changes which must have occurred on in 
numerable occasions during man s history on 
this planet. Beyond question many of the 
faunas which seem to us contemporary when 
their remains are found associated with those 
of prehistoric man were really successive and 



338 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

may have alternated again and again before 
one or both finally disappeared. Life is rarely 
static, rarely in a state of stable equilibrium. 
Often it is in a condition of unstable equilib 
rium, with continual oscillations one way and 
the other. More often still, while there are 
many shifts to and fro, the general tendency 
of change is with slow steadiness in one di 
rection. 

After a few days the Lamberts and I shifted 
to Lambert s home camp; an easy two days 
journey, tramping along the portage trails and 
paddling across the many lakes. It was a very 
comfortable camp, by a beautiful lake. There 
were four log cabins, each water-tight and with 
a stove; and the largest was in effect a sitting- 
room, with comfortable chairs and shelves of 
books. They stood in a sunny clearing. The 
wet, dense forest was all around, the deep mossy 
ground spangled with bright-red partridge-ber 
ries. Behind the cabins was a small potato 
patch. Wild raspberries were always encroach 
ing on this patch, and attracted the birds of the 
neighborhood, including hermit and olive-back 
thrushes, both now silent. Chickadees were in 
the woods, and woodpeckers the arctic, the 
hairy, and the big log-cock drummed on the 
dead trees. One mid-afternoon a great gray 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 339 

owl called repeatedly, uttering a short loud 
sound like that of some big wild beast. In 
front of the main cabin were four graceful 
mountain ashes, brilliant with scarlet berry 
clusters. On a neighboring lake Coleman Dray- 
ton had a camp; the view from it across the 
lake was very beautiful. He killed a moose 
on the lake next to his and came over to dinner 
with us the same evening. 

On the way to Lambert s camp I went off 
by myself for twenty-four hours, with my two 
guides, Arthur Lirette, one of the game wardens 
of the club, and Odilon Genest. Arthur was 
an experienced woodsman, intelligent and re 
sponsible, and with the really charming manners 
that are so much more common among men of 
French or Spanish blood than among ourselves. 
Odilon was a strong young fellow, a good pad- 
dler and willing worker. I wished to visit a 
lake which moose were said to frequent. We 
carried our canoe thither. 

After circling the lake in the canoe without 
seeing anything, we drew it ashore among some 
bushes and sat down under a clump of big 
spruces to watch. Although only partially con 
cealed, we were quiet; and it is movement that 
attracts the eyes of wild things. A beaver 
house was near by and the inmates swam about 



340 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

not thirty feet from us; and scaup-ducks and 
once a grown brood of dusky mallard drifted 
and swam by only a little farther off. The 
beaver kept slapping the water with their 
broad trowel-tails, evidently in play; where 
they are wary they often dive without slapping 
the water. No bull appeared, but a cow moose 
with two calves came down to the lake, di 
rectly opposite us, at one in the afternoon and 
spent two hours in the water. Near where the 
three of them entered the lake was a bed of 
tall, coarse reed-grass standing well above the 
water. Earlier in the season this had been 
grazed by moose, but these three did not touch 
it. The cow, having entered the water, did not 
leave. She fed exclusively with her head under 
water. Wading out until only the ridge of her 
back was above the surface, and at times find 
ing that the mud bothered even her long legs, 
she plunged her huge homely head to the bot 
tom, coming up with between her jaws big 
tufts of dripping bottom-grass - - the moose 
grass or the roots and stems of other plants. 
After a time she decided to change her station, 
and, striking off into deep water, she swam half 
a mile farther down the lake. She swam well 
and powerfully, but sunk rather deep in the 
water, only her head and the ridge of her withers 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 341 

above it. She continued to feed, usually broad 
side to me, some three hundred and fifty yards 
off; her big ears flopped forward and back, and 
her long snout, with the protuberant nostrils, 
was thrust out as she turned from time to time 
to look or smell for her calves. The latter had 
separated at once from the mother, and spent 
only a little time in the water, appearing and 
disappearing among the alders, and among the 
berry-bushes on a yielding bog of pink and 
gray moss. Once they played together for a 
moment, and then one of them cantered off 
for a few rods. 

When moose calves go at speed they usually 
canter. By the time they are yearlings, how 
ever, they have adopted the trot as their usual 
gait. When grown they walk, trot when at 
speed, and sometimes pace; but they gallop so 
rarely that many good observers say that they 
never gallop or canter. This is too sweeping, 
however. I have myself, as will be related, 
seen a heavy old bull gallop for fifty yards 
when excited, and I have seen the tracks where 
a full-grown cow or young bull galloped for a 
longer distance. Lambert came on one close 
up in a shallow lake, and in its fright it gal 
loped ashore, churning through the mud and 
water. In very deep snow one will sometimes 



342 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

gallop or bound for a dozen leaps, and under 
sudden fright from an enemy near by even the 
biggest moose will sometimes break into a gal 
lop which may last for several rods. More 
often, even under such circumstances, the 
animal trots off; and the trot is its habitual, 
and, save in exceptional circumstances, its only, 
rapid gait, even when charging. 

As the cow and her young ones stood in the 
water or on the bank it was impossible not to 
be struck by the conspicuously advertising char 
acter of the coloration. The moose is one of 
the few animals of which the body is inversely 
countershaded, being black save for the brown 
ish or grayish of the back. The huge black 
mass at once attracts the eye, and the whitish 
or grayish legs are also strikingly visible. The 
bright-red summer coat of the white-tail deer 
is, if anything, of even more advertising quality; 
but the huge bulk of a moose, added to its black 
ness, makes it the most conspicuous of all our 
beasts. 

Moose are naturally just as much diurnal as 
nocturnal. We found them visiting the lakes 
at every hour of the day. They are so fond of 
water as to be almost amphibious. In the 
winter they feed on the buds and twig tips of 
young spruce and birch and swamp-maple; and 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 343 

when there is no snow they feed freely on 
various ground plants in the forest; but for 
over half the year they prefer to eat the grasses 
and other plants which grow either above or 
under the water in the lakes. They easily wade 
through mud not more than four feet deep, 
and take delight in swimming. But until this 
trip I did not know that moose, while swim 
ming, dived to get grass from the bottom. Mr. 
McKinney told me of having seen this feat 
himself. The moose was swimming to and 
fro in a small lake. He plunged his head 
beneath water, and then at once raised it, look 
ing around, evidently to see if any enemy were 
taking advantage of his head being concealed 
to approach him. Then he plunged his head 
down again, threw his rump above water, and 
dived completely below the surface, coming up 
with tufts of bottom-grass in his mouth. He 
repeated this several times, once staying down 
and out of sight for nearly half a minute. 

After the cow moose left the water she spent 
an hour close to the bank, near the inlet. We 
came quite near to her in the canoe before she 
fled; her calves were farther in the woods. It 
was late when we started to make our last 
portage; a heavy rain-storm beat on us, speed 
ily drenching us, and the darkness and the 



344 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

driving downpour made our walk over the 
rough forest trail one of no small difficulty. 
Next day we went to Lambert s camp. 

Some ten miles northeast of Lambert s camp 
lies a stretch of wild and mountainous coun 
try, containing many lakes, which has been 
but seldom visited. A good cabin has been 
built on one of the lakes. A couple of years 
ago Lambert went thither, but saw nothing, 
and Coleman Drayton was there the same 
summer; Arthur, my guide, visited the cabin 
last spring to see if it was in repair; otherwise 
the country had been wholly undisturbed. I 
determined to make a three days trip to it, 
with Arthur and Odilon. We were out of meat 
and I desired to shoot something for the table. 
My license permitted me to kill one bull moose. 
It also permitted me to kill two caribou, of 
either sex; but Lambert felt, and I heartily 
agreed with him, that no cow ought to be shot. 

We left after breakfast one morning. Be 
fore we had been gone twenty-five minutes I 
was able to obtain the wished-for fresh meat. 
Our course, as usual, lay along a succession of 
lakes connected by carries, or portages. We 
were almost at the end of the first portage 
when we caught a glimpse of a caribou feeding 
in the thick woods some fifty yards to the 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 345 

right of our trail. It was eating the streamers 
of gray-green moss which hung from the dead 
lower branches of the spruces. It was a year 
ling bull. At first I could merely make out a 
small patch of its flank between two tree trunks, 
and I missed it fortunately, for, if wounded, 
it would probably have escaped. At the re 
port, instead of running, the foolish young bull 
shifted his position to look at us; and with the 
next shot I killed him. While Arthur dressed 
him Odilon returned to camp and brought out 
a couple of men. We took a shoulder with us 
for our provision and sent the rest back to 
camp. Hour after hour we went forward. We 
paddled across the lakes. Between them the 
trails sometimes led up to and down from high 
divides; at other times they followed the 
courses of rapid brooks which brawled over 
smooth stones under the swaying, bending 
branches of the alders. Off the trail fallen 
logs and bowlders covered the ground, and the 
moss covered everything ankle-deep or knee- 
deep. 

Early in the afternoon we reached the cabin. 
The lake, like most of the lakes thereabouts, 
was surrounded by low, steep mountains, 
shrouded in unbroken forest. The light-green 
domes of the birches rose among the sombre 



346 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

spruce spires; on the mountain crests the 
pointed spruces made a serrated line against 
the sky. Arthur and I paddled off across the 
lake in the light canoe we had been carrying. 
We had hardly shoved off from shore before 
we saw a caribou swimming in the middle of 
the lake. It was a young cow, and doubtless 
had never before seen a man. The canoe much 
excited its curiosity. A caribou, thanks prob 
ably to its peculiar pelage, is a very buoyant 
swimmer. Unlike the moose, this caribou had 
its whole back, and especially its rump, well 
out of water; the short tail was held erect, 
and the white under-surface glinted whenever 
the swimmer turned away from us. At first, 
however, it did not swim away, being too much 
absorbed in the spectacle of the canoe. It kept 
gazing toward us with its ears thrown forward, 
wheeling to look at us as lightly and readily 
as a duck. We passed it at a distance of some 
seventy-five yards, whereupon it took fright 
and made off, leaving a wake like a paddle- 
wheel steamer and, when it landed, bouncing 
up the bank with a great splashing of water 
and cracking of bushes. A caribou swims even 
better than a moose, but whereas a moose not 
only feeds by preference in the water, but half 
the time has its head under water, the caribou 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 347 

feeds on land, although occasionally cropping 
water-grass that stands above the surface. 

We portaged beside a swampy little stream 
to the next lake and circled it in the canoe. 
Silently we went round every point, alert to 
find what the bay beyond might hold. But we 
saw nothing; it was night when we returned. 
As we paddled across the lake the stars were 
glorious overhead and the mysterious land 
scape shimmered in the white radiance of the 
moonlight. Loons called to one another, not 
only uttering their goblin laughter, but also 
those long-drawn, wailing cries, which seem to 
hold all the fierce and mournful loneliness of 
the northern wastes. Then we reached camp, 
and feasted on caribou venison, and slept 
soundly on our beds of fragrant balsam boughs. 

Next morning, on September 19, we started 
eastward, across a short portage, perhaps a 
quarter of a mile long, beside which ran a 
stream, a little shallow river. At the farther 
end of the portage we launched the canoe in a 
large lake hemmed in by mountains. The 
lake twisted and turned, and was indented by 
many bays. A strong breeze was blowing. 
Arthur was steersman, Odilon bowsman, while 
I sat in the middle with my Springfield rifle. 
We skirted the shores, examining each bay. 



348 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

Half an hour after starting, as we rounded a 
point, we saw the huge black body and white 
shovel antlers of a bull moose. He was close 
to the alders, wading in the shallow water and 
deep mud and grazing on a patch of fairly tall 
water-grass. So absorbed was he that he did 
not notice us until Arthur had skilfully brought 
the canoe to within eighty yards of him. Then 
he saw us, tossed his great an tiered head aloft, 
and for a moment stared at us, a picture of 
burly majesty. He stood broadside on, and a 
splendid creature he was, of towering stature, 
the lord of all the deer tribe, as stately a beast 
of the chase as walks the round world. 

The waves were high, and the canoe danced 
so on the ripple that my first bullet went 
wild, but with the second I slew the mighty 
bull. 

We had our work cut out to get the bull out 
of the mud and on the edge of the dry land. 
The antlers spread fifty-two inches. Some 
hours were spent in fixing the head, taking off 
the hide, and cutting up the carcass. Our 
canoe was loaded to its full capacity with 
moose meat when we started toward the be 
ginning of the portage leading from the south 
eastern corner of the lake toward the Lamberts 
camp. Here we landed the meat, putting cool 







From a photograph by Alexander Lambert, M.D. 

Colonel Roosevelt and Arthur Lirette with antlers of 
moose shot September 19, 1915. 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 349 

inoss over it, and left it to be called for on our 
way back, on the morrow. 

It was shortly after three when we again 
pushed off in the canoe, and headed for the 
western end of the lake, for the landing from 
which the portage led to our cabin. It had 
been a red-letter day, of the ordinary hunting 
red-letter type. I had no conception that the 
real adventure still lay in front of us. 

When half a mile from the landing we saw 
another big bull moose on the edge of the shore 
ahead of us. It looked and was if anything 
even bigger-bodied than the one I had shot in 
the morning, with antlers almost as large and 
rather more palmated. We paddled up to with 
in a hundred yards of it, laughing and talking, 
and remarking how eager we would have been 
if we had not already got our moose. At first 
it did not seem to notice us. Then it looked at 
us but paid us no further heed. We were 
rather surprised at this but paddled on past 
it, and it then walked along the shore after us. 
We still supposed that it did not realize what 
we were. But another hundred yards put us 
to windward of it. Instead of turning into the 
forest when it got our wind, it merely bristled 
up the hair on its withers, shook its head, and 
continued to walk after the canoe, along the 



350 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

shore. I had heard of bull moose, during the 
rut, attacking men unprovoked, if the men 
were close up, but never of anything as wanton 
and deliberate as this action, and I could hardly 
believe the moose meant mischief, but Arthur 
said it did; and obviously we could not land 
with the big, evil-looking beast coming for us 
and, of course, I was most anxious not to 
have to shoot it. So we turned the canoe 
round and paddled on our back track. But the 
moose promptly turned and followed us along 
the shore. We yelled at him, and Odilon struck 
the canoe with his paddle, but with no effect. 
After going a few hundred yards we again 
turned and resumed our former course; and as 
promptly the moose turned and followed us, 
shaking his head and threatening us. He 
seemed to be getting more angry, and evidently 
meant mischief. We now continued our course 
until we were opposite the portage landing, 
and about a hundred yards away from it; the 
water was shallow and we did not wish to ven 
ture closer, lest the moose might catch us if 
he charged. When he came to the portage 
trail he turned up it, sniffing at our footsteps 
of the morning, and walked along it into the 
woods; and we hoped that now he would be 
come uneasy and go off. After waiting a few 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 351 

minutes we paddled slowly toward the land 
ing, but before reaching it we caught his loom 
in the shadow, as he stood facing us some dis 
tance down the trail. As soon as we stopped 
he rushed down the trail toward us, coming 
in to the lake; and we backed hastily into deep 
water. He vented his rage on a small tree, 
which he wrecked with his antlers. We con 
tinued to paddle round the head of the bay, 
and he followed us; we still hoped we might 
get him away from the portage, and that he 
would go into the woods. But when we turned 
he followed us back, and thus went to and fro 
with us. Where the water was deep near shore 
we pushed the canoe close in to him, and he 
promptly rushed down to the water s edge, 
shaking his head, and striking the earth with 
his fore hoofs. We shouted at him, but with 
no effect. As he paraded along the shore he 
opened his mouth, lolling out his tongue; and 
now and then when he faced us he ran out his 
tongue and licked the end of his muzzle with 
it. Once, with head down, he bounded or gal 
loped round in a half circle; and from time to 
time he grunted or uttered a low, menacing 
roar. Altogether the huge black beast looked 
like a formidable customer, and was evidently 
in a most evil rage and bent on man-killing. 



352 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

For over an hour he thus kept us from the 
shore, running to meet us wherever we tried 
to go. The afternoon was waning, a cold 
wind began to blow, shifting as it blew. He 
was not a pleasant-looking beast to meet in 
the woods in the dusk. We were at our wits 
ends what to do. At last he turned, shook his 
head, and with a flourish of his heels galloped 
- not trotted for fifty yards up beside the 
little river which paralleled the portage trail. 
I called Arthur s attention to this, as he had 
been telling me that a big bull never galloped. 
Then the moose disappeared at a trot round 
the bend. We waited a few minutes, cautiously 
landed, and started along the trail, watching 
to see if the bull was lying in wait for us; Ar 
thur telling me that if he now attacked us I 
must shoot him at once or he would kill some 
body. 

A couple of hundred yards on the trail led 
within a few yards of the little river. As we 
reached this point a smashing in the brush be 
yond the opposite bank caused us to wheel; 
and the great bull came headlong for us, while 
Arthur called to me to shoot. With a last hope 
of frightening him I fired over his head, with 
out the slightest effect. At a slashing trot he 
crossed the river, shaking his head, his ears 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 353 

back, the hair on his withers bristling. "Tirez, 
m sieu, tirez; vite, vite!" called Arthur, and 
when the bull was not thirty feet off I put a 
bullet into his chest, in the sticking point. It 
was a mortal wound, and stopped him short; 
I fired into his chest again, and this wound, too, 
would by itself have been fatal. He turned 
and recrossed the stream, falling to a third 
shot, but as we approached he struggled to 
his feet, grunting savagely, and I killed him as 
he came toward us. 

I was sorry to have to kill him, but there 
was no alternative. As it was, I only stopped 
him in the nick of time, and had I not shot 
straight at least one of us would have paid 
forfeit with his life in another second. Even 
in Africa I have never known anything but a 
rogue elephant or buffalo, or an occasional 
rhinoceros, to attack so viciously or with such 
premeditation when itself neither wounded nor 
threatened. 

Gentle-voiced Arthur, in his delightful habi 
tant s French, said that the incident was "pas 
mal curieux." He used "pas mal" as a super 
lative. The first time he used it I was com 
pletely bewildered. It was hot and sultry, and 
Arthur remarked that the day was "pas mal 
mort." How the day could be "not badly 



354 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

dead" I could not imagine, but the proper 
translation turned out to be "a very lifeless 
day," which was true. 

On reaching Lambert s camp, Arthur and 
Odilon made affidavit to the facts as above set 
forth, and this affidavit I submitted to the sec 
retary of mines and fisheries of Quebec, who 
approved what I had done. 

On the day following that on which we killed 
the two bulls we went back to Lambert s home 
camp. While crossing one lake, about the 
middle of the forenoon, a bull moose chal 
lenged twice from the forest-clad mountain on 
our right. We found a pawing-place, a pit 
where one possibly more than one bull 
had pawed up the earth and thrashed the 
saplings roundabout with its antlers. The place 
smelled strongly of urine. The whole of the 
next day was spent in getting in the meat, 
skins, and antlers. 

I do not believe that this vicious bull moose 
had ever seen a man. I have never heard of 
another moose acting with the same determina 
tion and perseverance in ferocious malice; it 
behaved, as I have said, like some of the rare vi 
cious rogues among African elephants, buffaloes, 
and rhinoceroses. Bull moose during the rut 
are fierce animals, however, and, although there 



A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE 355 

is ordinarily no danger whatever in shooting 
them, several of my friends have been resolutely 
charged by wounded moose, and I know of, 
and have elsewhere described, one authentic 
case where the hunter was killed. A boy carry 
ing mail through the woods to the camp of a 
friend of mine was forced to climb a tree by a 
bull which threatened him. My friend Pride, 
of Island Falls, Maine, was charged while in a 
canoe at night, by a bull moose which he had 
incautiously approached too near, and the 
canoe was upset. If followed on snow-shoes in 
the deep snow, or too closely approached in its 
winter yard, it is not uncommon for a moose 
to charge when its pursuer is within a few yards. 
Once Arthur was charged by a bull which was 
in company with a cow. He was in a canoe, 
at dusk, in a stream, and the bull rushed into 
the water after him, while he paddled hard 
to get away; but the cow left, and the bull 
promptly followed her. In none of these cases, 
however, did the bull act with the malice and 
cold-blooded purposefulness shown by the bull 
I was forced to kill. 

Two or three days later I left the woods. 
The weather had grown colder. The loons had 
begun to gather on the larger lakes in prepara 
tion for their southward flight. The nights 



356 A BOOK-LOVER S HOLIDAYS 

were frosty. Fall was in the air. Once there 
was a flurry of snow. Birch and maple were 
donning the bravery with which they greet the 
oncoming north; crimson and gold their ban 
ners flaunted in the eyes of the dying year. 




Antlers of moose shot September 19, 1915, with Springfield 
rifle No. 6000, Model 1903. 

This rifle, now a retired veteran, is not heavy enough for steady use on heavy game; 
but it is so handy and accurate, has such penetration, and keeps in such good order 
that it has been my chief hunting-rifle for the last dozen years on three continents, and 
has repeatedly killed heavy game. With it I have shot some three hundred head of all 
kinds, including the following: 

Lion, hyena, elephant, rhinoceros (square-mouthed and hook-nosed), hippopotamus, 
zebras of two kinds, wart-hog, giraffe, giant eland, common eland, roan antelope, oryx, 
wildebeest, topi, white-withered lech we, waterbucks, hartebeests, kobs, impalla, gerenuk, 
gazelles, reedbucks, bushbucks, klipspringer, oribis, duikers, steinbok, dikdik, monkeys. 

Jaguar, tapir, big peccary, giant ant-eater, capybara, wood-deer, monkey. 

Cougar, black bear, moose, caribou, white-tail deer. 

Crocodile, cayman, python. 

Ostrich, bustard, wild turkey, crane, pelican, maribou, ibis, whale-head stork, jabiru 
stork, guinea-fowl, francolin. 



APPENDICES 



APPENDIX A 

The frontispiece I owe to the courtesy of Mr. Theodore 
Pitman, a fellow Harvard student of Archie s, whom we 
met on Buckskin Mountain; being both a hunter and a 
lover of the picturesque, he was as much impressed as 
we were by the scene when a cougar stood in a pine, 
with the Grand Canyon as a background. The photo 
graph at the end of the book is by Doctor Alexander 
Lambert, and the tail-piece is from a photograph by him. 

I had been told by old hunters that black bears would 
sometimes attack moose calves, and in one instance, in 
the Rockies, my informant described to me how a big 
grizzly, but a few weeks out of its den in spring, attacked 
and slew full-grown moose. I was not surprised at the 
latter statement, having myself come across cattle- 
killing grizzlies; but I wondered at a black bear, which 
is not much of a beast of prey, venturing to meddle with 
the young of so formidable a fighter as a moose. How 
ever, it is true. Recently my nephew Hall Roosevelt, 
who was working at Dawson City, went on a moose hunt 
in the valley of the Yukon. One night a moose cow 
passed by the camp, having first swum a stream in front 
of the camp. She was followed at some little distance 
by a calf. The latter halted near the camp. Suddenly 
a black bear, with a tremendous crashing of branches, 
came with a rush through the bushes, and seized the 
calf; although it was driven off, it had with its teeth so 
injured the spine of the calf that they were obliged to 
shoot the latter. 

On a hunt in the Northern Rockies, Archie met a man 
who had two dogs, an ordinary track-hound and a Rus- 

359 



360 APPENDIX A 

sian wolfhound. One day they came across a white 
goat, and before the slow creature could reach the prec 
ipice the dogs overtook and bayed it. The track-hound 
merely jumped to and fro, baying; but the wolfhound 
rushed straight in and caught the goat by the neck on 
one side; whereupon the track-hound seized the other 
side of the neck. Immediately, with two wicked back 
ward thrusts of its horns, first to one side, then to the 
other, the goat killed both its assailants; the stiletto-like 
horns were driven to the hilt with a single jab. 

The attack by the moose upon us, mentioned in the 
final chapter, was so unusual that I give the deposi 
tion of the two guides who were with me, and also the 
report of the senior of the two, the game warden, in 
reference to the occurrence. They are as follows: 

CANADA 

PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, 
DISTRICT OF QUEBEC, 

I, Theodore Roosevelt, residing at Oyster-Bay in the 
United States of America, do solemnly declare as follows : 

That I have just returned from a trip in the Tourilli 
Club limits as a Guest of Dr. Alexander Lambert, I had 
the ordinary game license No. 25 issued to me on the 
6th day of September instant. On September the nine 
teenth, on Lake Croche, having with me as guides, Arthur 
Lirette and Odilon Genest, I killed an old bull moose as 
authorized by the license, which only permitted to me 
to kill one moose. That afternoon, shortly after three 
o clock, we were returning in our canoe to the West end 
of the Lake, where a portage trail led to our camp; a 
small stream runs besides the portage trail; when half 
a mile from our proposed landing place, we saw an old 
bull moose on the shore. We paddled up to within a 



APPENDIX A 361 

hundred yards of it. We supposed that when it saw us, 
it would take to the woods. It however walked along 
the edge of the water parallel to our canoe, looking at 
us. We passed it, and gave it our wind, thinking this 
would surely cause it to run. But it merely raised its 
hair on its withers and shook its horns and followed after 
the canoe. We shouted, but it paid no heed to us; we 
then reversed our canoe and paddled in the opposite di 
rection; but following us and threatening us, the bull 
moose turned and walked the same way we did, we re 
newed our former course, and thereupon so did the moose, 
where the water was shallow, we did not venture near it, 
but where the water was deep, we went within fifty yards; 
and it then thrashed the branches of a young tree with 
its antlers, and pawed the earth and advanced a little 
way into the water towards us, walking parallel to our 
canoe, it reached the portage trail, it turned and walked 
up this trail and sniffed at our morning s tracks, and we 
supposed it had fled; but on nearing the landing place, 
we saw it standing in the trail, and it rushed down to 
wards us and we had to back quickly into deep water; 
we paddled on round the shore, hoping it would get tired 
and go; we shouted and tried to frighten it, but it merely 
shook its head and stamped on the ground and bounded 
in a circle; then it swaggered along grunting, it kept 
its mouth open, and lolled out its tongue and when it 
turned towards us, it ran its tongue over its muzzle, 
thus it accompanied us to and for an hour, cutting us off 
whenever we tried to land; then it turned, and went up 
the little stream, shaking its head, and galloping or 
bounding not trotting, for fifty yards, it disappeared 
around a bend of a stream, we waited a few minutes, 
and landed, and started along the portage trail for camp, 
after about ten minutes, the trail approached the little 
stream; then the moose suddenly appeared rushing 



362 APPENDIX A 

towards us at a slashing trot, its hair ruffled and tossing 
his head. 

Arthur Lirette, who is one of the game wardens of the 
Tourilli Club, called out to me to shoot, or the moose 
would do us mischief, in a last effort to frighten it, I fired 
over its head, but it paid no heed to this and rushed over 
the stream at us; Arthur again called: "Tirez, monsieur, 
tirez, vite, vite, vite," and I fired into the moose s chest, 
when he was less than twenty feet away, coming full 
tilt at us, grunting, shaking his head, his ears back and 
his hair brindled; the shot stopped him; I fired into him 
again; both shots were fatal; he recrossed the little 
stream and fell to a third shot; but when we approached, 
he rose, grunting and started towards us. I killed him. 
If I had not stopped him, he would have certainly killed 
one or more of our party; and at twenty feet I had to 
shoot as straight as I knew how, or he would have reached 
us. I had done everything possible in my power to scare 
him away for an hour and a quarter, and I solemnly de 
clare that I killed him only when it was imperatively 
necessary, in order to prevent the loss of one or more of 
our own lives, and I make this solemn declaration con 
scientiously, believing it to be true, and knowing that 
it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath, 
and by virtue of the Canada EVIDENCE ACT, 1893. 
(Signed) THEODORE ROOSEVELT, 

Declared before me, this 24th day of September 1915. 
(Signed) E. A. PANET, N. P. & J. P. 

TRUE COPY, 

S. DlJFAULT 

Deputy-Minister, Department Colonization, 
Mines and Fisheries, Quebec. 



APPENDIX A 363 

CANADA, 

PROVINCE DE QUEBEC, 
DISTRICT DE QUEBEC. 

Je, Arthur Lirette, du village de St-Raymond, gardien 
du Club de Peche et de Chasse Tourilli, et Je, Odilon, 
Genest, du meme lieu, en ma qualite de guide, declare 
sollennellement que les faits relates ci-hauts par la de 
claration de M. Theodore Roosevelt, laquelle nous a etc 
lue et traduite en francais par le Notaire E. A. Panet, 
de St-Raymond, que cette declaration contient la verite 
dans toute son etendue, et que si le dit Th. Roosevelt 
n avait pas tue 1 orignal mentionne par lui, que nos vies 
etaient en danger. 

Et je fais cette declaration solennelle consciencieuse- 
ment la croyant vraie, et sachant qu elle a la meme force 
et 1 effet, comme si elle avait ete faite sous serment, en 
vertu de "The CANADA EVIDENCE ACT, 1893. 

Declare devant moi, a St-Raymond, ce 24 erne jour 
de septembre, 1915. 

(Signe) "ARTHUR LIRETTE" 
"ODILON GENEST," 
"E. A. PANET, N. P. & J. Paix. 

VRAIE COPIE, 

S. DUFAULT 

Sous-Ministre, Departement de la Colonisation, 
des Mines et des Pecheries, Quebec. 

COPY 

ST. RAYMOND, 7 Octobre 1915 
Cher Messieur 

Rapport 

Le 19 Septembre 1915 Mons. Col. Teodore Rosevelt 
partant pour faire la chasse a Torignal dans le club Tourilli 



364 APPENDIX A 

accompagne d Arthur Lirette et Odilion Genest comme 
guides vers 9 heures du matin au lac Croche du Bras du 
Nord le Col Rosevelt tua un original dans 1 apres midi 
voulant sen revenir du camp du lac a Tile avec la tete 
et le panage dans le canot vers les 3 heures ^ nous aper- 
cumes un autre original sur le bord du lac nous avons 
arreter notre canot nous 1 avons regarder et 1 orignal nous 
regardait bien ferocement nous etions a peu pres un 
arpent de distance Ton se mit a ramer pour aller au por 
tage du lac a Tile et 1 animal se mis a suive sur la meme 
directions de nous nous avons retourner sur nos pas une 
couple d arpent et 1 orignal fit la meme chose et Ton 
pouvait voir qu il etait bien enrager alors Ton se mit a crier 
et frapper sur le canot avec les avirons afin de pouvoir 
1 effayer au contraire il se mit a corne les arbres du bord 
du lac avec le poil bien droit sur le dos et il grattait avec 
ses pattes dans la terre ensuite il a pris le portage nous 
avons rester pour 10 minute ensuit nous avon ramer pour 
se rendre au portage le pensant disparu mais Ton ne pu 
se rendre que 1 animal revenait de nouveau sur nous avons 
reculer de nouveau sur le lac et 1 orignal est rendu dans 
Peau jusquau genoux ensuite se mit de galopper et sauter 
et a traverser la petite Riviere et se mit a piocher et 
Beugler et se battre avec les arbres il a rester 5 minutes 
a peu pres et nous avons essayer a rapprocher encore sur 
terre mais imposible car l animal est revenus de nouveau 
sur le bord du lac faire la meme chose ensuite il pris la 
petite Riviere en trottant a peu pres 200 pieds et il disparu 
nous avons laisser faire pour quelques instant ensuite 
nous avons approcher sur terre au petit portage cela 
faisait que n on avait ete garde par cet animal pour une 
heure a une heure 2/ ensuite j ai dis a Monsier et Odilion 
que Ton faisait mieux de se suivre et mener autant de 
bruit possible afin de 1 effrayer mais 1 orseque n on eut 
fait deux arpents dans le portage j ai apercus 1 animal 



APPENDIX A 365 

qui semblait nous attendre dans le petit ruisseau et la 
voyant qu il y avait bien du danger pour nous tous nous 
etions a une distance le 30 verges de lui j ai avertit Mon- 
sier de tirer et Mons. a pris sa carabine et a tirer en 1 air 
afin de lui faire bien peur et de pouvoir le chasser mais 
au contraire en entendant le coup du fusil il fonce sur 
nous j ai dit a Monsieur Col. tirer bien vite et il a tire 
de nouveau I aninial qui etait a 18 pieds de nous a peu pres 
et il la blesse a mort il a fait deux sault en s eloignant de 
nous mais il s est retourner encore sur nous et j ai dis au 
Colonel de tire afin de le mettre a terre cela faisait une 
heure et demi que cet animal nous gardait. 

ABTHUB LIRETTE, 

Gardien. 



APPENDIX B 

On the initiative of the Audubon Society the National 
Government, when I was President, began the work of 
creating and policing bird refuges by establishing the fol 
lowing refuges: 

March 14, 1903. Pelican Island Reservation. Pelican 
Island in Indian River, Florida. 

October 4, 1904. Breton Island Reservation. Breton, 
Old Harbor, and Free Mason Islands, Louisiana. 

March 9, 1905. Stump Lake Reservation. Stump 
Lake in North Dakota. 

October 10, 1905. Siskiwit Islands Reservation. Un- 
surveyed islands of the Siskiwit group on the south side 
of Isle Royal in Lake Superior, Michigan. 

October 10, 1905. Huron Islands Reservation. Un- 
surveyed islands of the Huron Islands group, Lake Su 
perior, Michigan. 

October 10, 1905. Passage Key Reservation. An is 
land near the mouth of Tampa Bay, Florida. 

February 10, 1906. Indian Key Reservation. An is 
land in Tampa Bay, Florida. 

August 8, 1907. Tern Islands Reservation. All the 
small islets commonly called mud lumps in or near the 
mouths of the Mississippi River, Louisiana. 

August 17, 1907. Shell Keys Reservation. Unsur- 
veyed islets in the Gulf of Mexico about three and one- 
half miles south of Marsh Island, Louisiana. 

October 14, 1907. Three Arch Rocks Reservation. 
Unsurveyed islands known as Three Arch Rocks in the 
Pacific Ocean off the coast of Oregon. 



APPENDIX B 367 

October 23, 1907. Flattery Rocks Reservation. Is 
lands lying off the coast of Washington. 

October 23, 1907. Copalis Rock Reservation. Islands 
lying off the coast of the State of Washington in the 
Pacific Ocean. 

October 23, 1907. Quillayute Needles Reservation. 
Islands lying off the coast of Washington in the Pacific 
Ocean. 

December 7, 1907. East Timbalier Island Reserva 
tion. Small, marshy islands commonly known as East 
Timbalier Island in the Gulf of Mexico, south of Louisi 
ana. 

February 24, 1908. Mosquito Inlet Reservation. 
Small mangrove and salt-grass islets, shoals, sand-bars, 
and sand-spits in and near the mouths of the Halifax 
and Hillsboro Rivers, Florida. 

April 6, 1908. Tortugas Keys Reservation. Group 
known as Dry Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico, south 
of Florida. 

August 8, 1908. Key West Reservation. Keys and 
islands of the Florida Keys group near Key West, Florida. 

August 8, 1908. Klamath Lake Reservation. Islands 
situated in Lower Klamath Lake and the marsh and 
swamp lands unsuitable for agricultural purposes in 
townships thirty-nine, forty, and forty-one south, Oregon, 
and in townships forty-seven and forty-eight north, 
California. 

August 18, 1908. Lake Malheur Reservation. Shore 
lines of Lakes Malheur and Harney and the streams and 
waters connecting these lakes, Oregon. 

August 28, 1908. Chase Lake Reservation. Public 
lands about Chase Lake, North Dakota. 

September 15, 1908. Pine Island Reservation. Bird 
Island and Middle Island in Pine Island Sound on the 
west coast of Florida. 



368 APPENDIX B 

September 26, 1908. Matlacha Pass Reservation. 
Three small islands located in Matlacha Pass, west coast 
of Florida. 

September 26, 1908. Palma Sola Reservation. Small, 
unsurveyed island in Palma Bay, Florida. 

October 23, 1908. Island Bay Reservation. Unsur 
veyed mangrove and other islands in township forty- 
two south, west coast of Florida. 

October 26, 1908. Loch-Katrine Reservation. Lands 
about reservoir site in Oregon Basin, Wyoming. 

January 26, 1909. Pelican Island Reservation. En 
larged to include several other adjacent islands. 

February 3, 1909. Hawaiian Islands Reservation. 
Islets and reefs situated in the Pacific Ocean, near the 
western extension of the Hawaiian archipelago. 

February 25, 1909. Salt River Reservation. Parts 
of townships four and five north, Gila and Salt River 
Meridian, Arizona. 

February 25, 1909. East Park Reservation. Parts of 
townships seventeen and eighteen north in California. 

February 25, 1909. Deer Flat Reservation. Em 
bracing parts of townships two and three, Boise Meridian, 
Idaho. 

February 25, 1909. Willow Creek Reservation. Em 
bracing part of township twenty-one, Montana Me 
ridian, Montana. 

February 25, 1909. Carlsbad Reservation. Em 
bracing two reservoir sites along Pecos River in town 
ships eighteen, nineteen, twenty, and twenty-one south, 
New Mexico. 

February 25, 1909. Rio Grande Reservation. Em 
bracing parts of townships seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, 
twelve, and thirteen south, Principal Meridian, New 
Mexico. 

February 25, 1909. Cold Springs Reservation. Em- 



APPENDIX B 369 

bracing parts of townships four and five north, Wil 
lamette Meridian, Oregon. 

February 25, 1909. Belle Fourche Reservation. Em 
bracing parts of townships eight, nine, and ten north, 
Black Hills Meridian, South Dakota. 

February 25, 1909. Strawberry Valley Reservation. 
Embracing parts of townships three and four south, 
Uinta Meridian, Utah. 

February 25, 1909. Keechelus Reservation. Embracing 
parts of townships twenty-one and twenty-two north, 
Willamette Meridian, Washington. 

February 25, 1909. Kachess Reservation. Embrac 
ing Kachess Lakes reservoir site, Washington. 

February 25, 1909. Clealum Reservation. Embrac 
ing parts of townships twenty, twenty-one, and twenty- 
two north, Willamette Meridian, Washington. 

February 25, 1909. Bumping Lake Reservation. Em 
bracing the Bumping Lake reservoir site, Washington. 

February 25, 1909. Conconully Reservation. Embrac 
ing part of township thirty-five north, Willamette Me 
ridian, Washington. 

February 25, 1909. Pathfinder Reservation. Em 
bracing parts of townships twenty-six, twenty-seven, 
twenty-eight, twenty-nine, and thirty north, Wyoming. 

February 25, 1909. Shoshone Reservation. Embrac 
ing part of township fifty-two north, Wyoming. 

February 25, 1909. Minidoka Reservation. Em 
bracing parts of townships eight and nine south, Boise 
Meridian, Idaho. 

February 27, 1909. Tuxedni Reservation. Embrac 
ing Chisik Island and Egg Island entrance to Tuxedni 
Harbor in Cook Inlet, Alaska. 

February 27, 1909. Saint Lazaria Reservation. Em 
bracing the Island of Saint Lazaria, entrance to Sitka 
Sound, Alaska. 



370 APPENDIX B 

February 27, 1909. Yukon Delta Reservation. Em 
bracing all the treeless tundra of the delta of the Yukon 
River west of longitude one hundred and sixty-two de 
grees and twenty minutes west from Greenwich and 
south of the Yukon River, Alaska. 

February 27, 1909. Culebra Reservation. Embrac 
ing the islands of the Culebra group, Porto Rico, except 
ing Culebra Island, which is a naval and lighthouse reser 
vation. 

February 27, 1909. Farallon Reservation. Em 
bracing the middle and north Farallon Islands and other 
rocks northwest of the same, located on the coast of 
California near San Francisco. 

February 27, 1909. Behring Sea Reservation. Em 
bracing Saint Matthew Island, Hall Island, and Pin 
nacle Islet, approximately in latitude sixty degrees and 
thirty minutes north, longitude one hundred and seventy- 
two degrees and thirty minutes west, in Behring Sea, 
Alaska. 

February 27, 1909. Pribilof Reservation. Embracing 
Walrus Island and Otter Island of the Pribilof group, in 
Behring Sea, Alaska. 

March 2, 1909. Bogoslof Reservation. Embracing 
volcanic islands commonly known as the Bogoslof group, 
approximately in latitude fifty-three degrees and fifty- 
eight minutes north, longitude one hundred and sixty- 
seven degrees and fifty-three minutes west from Green 
wich, Behring Sea, Alaska. 

Since then these have been added: 

April 11, 1911. Clear Lake Reservation. Embracing 
the Clear Lake reservoir site, California. Modified by 
executive order of January 13, 1912, by eliminating, for 
administrative purposes, three hundred and twenty acres 
surrounding the Reclamation dam. 



APPENDIX B 371 

January 11, 1912. Hazy Islands Reservation. Em 
bracing Hazy Island group, approximately in latitude 
fifty-five degrees and fifty-four minutes north, longitude 
one hundred and thirty-four degrees and thirty-six min 
utes west from Greenwich, Alaska. 

January 11, 1912. Forrester Island Reservation. 
Embracing Forrester Island and Wolf Rock, approxi 
mately in latitude fifty-four degrees and forty-eight 
minutes north, longitude one hundred and thirty-three 
degrees and thirty-two minutes west from Greenwich, 
Alaska. 

January 11, 1912. Niobrara Reservation. Embracing 
parts of townships thirty-three and thirty-four north, 
ranges twenty-six and twenty -seven west, Sixth Principal 
Meridian, Nebraska, the same being a part of the aban 
doned Fort Niobrara Military Reservation. This reser 
vation was enlarged by executive order of November 14, 
1912, adding approximately nine hundred acres, which 
included the building and old parade-grounds of the 
military reservation. 

February 21, 1912. Green Bay Reservation. Em 
braces Hog Island at the entrance to Green Bay, within 
township thirty-three north, range thirty east, of the 
Fourth Principal Meridian, Wisconsin. 

December 7, 1912. Chamisso Island Reservation. 
Embraces Chamisso Island and Puffin and other rocky 
islets in its vicinity, approximately in latitude sixty-six 
degrees and thirteen minutes north, longitude one hun 
dred and sixty-one degrees and fifty-two minutes west 
from Greenwich, at the eastern end of Kotzebue Sound, 
Alaska. 

December 17, 1912. Pishkin Reservation. Em 
braces Pishkin reservoir site in townships twenty-two 
and twenty-three north, range seven west, Montana 
Principal Meridian, Montana. 



372 APPENDIX B 

December 19, 1912. Desecheo Island Reservation. 
Embraces Desecheo Island in Mona Passage, Porto Rico, 
but is subject to naval and lighthouse purposes. 

January 9, 1913. Gravel Island Reservation. Em 
braces Gravel Island and Spider Island, approximately 
in latitude forty-five degrees and fifteen minutes north, 
longitude eighty-six degrees and fifty-eight minutes 
west from Greenwich, in Lake Michigan, Wisconsin. 

March 3, 1913. Aleutian Islands Reservation. Em 
braces all of the islands of the Aleutian chain, Alaska, 
including Unimak and Sannak Islands on the east and 
Otter Island on the west, reserved for preserve and breed 
ing-ground for native birds, and in addition thereto for 
the propagation of reindeer and fur-bearing animals and 
encouragement and development of the fisheries. 

April 21, 1913. Walker Lake Reservation. Embraces 
9.68 acres of land in section one, township fifteen north, 
range twelve east, and five acres in township sixteen 
north, range twelve east, of the Fifth Principal Meridian, 
Arkansas. 

May 6, 1913. Petit Bois Island Reservation. Em 
braces all of the public land upon Petit Bois Island located 
in the Gulf of Mexico about ten miles off the coast of 
Alabama and Mississippi, in townships nine and ten south, 
ranges three and four west of Saint Stephens Meridian. 

September 4, 1913. Anaho Island Reservation. Em 
braces Anaho Island in Pyramid Lake, Nevada. 

June 6, 1914. Smith Island Reservation. Embraces 
Smith and Minor Islands, situated in the Straits of Juan 
de Fuca, about fourteen miles north by west from Port 
Townsend, Washington. 

January 20, 1915. Ediz Hook Reservation. Embraces 
an arm of land extending into the Straits of Juan de Fuca, 
in township thirty -one north, range six west of Willamette 
Meridian, Washington. 



APPENDIX B 373 

January 20, 1915. Dungeness Spit Reservation. Em 
braces an arm of land extending into the Straits of Juan 
de Fuca, in township thirty-one north, ranges three and 
four west of Willamette Meridian, Washington. 

By executive order of March 19, 1913, the protection 
of native birds within the Panama Canal Zone was estab 
lished, the jurisdiction over same to lie with the Isthmian 
Canal Commission and its successor, the governor of the 
Canal Zone, and on January 27, 1914, an amendatory 
executive order was issued prohibiting night hunting, the 
use of spring-guns and traps, etc., with additional penal 
ties therefor. 



LIFE-HISTORIES OF 
AFRICAN GAME ANIMALS 

By 
THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

AND 

EDMUND HELLER 

With over 125 illustrations from drawings by 
Philip R. Goodwin and from photographs, 
and with 40 faunal maps. Two volumes. 
Royal 8vo, 798 pp. Price $10.00 net. 

The " Life-Histories of African Game Animals " repre 
sents the first attempt to deal with the giant animals of 
Africa substantially along the lines of Dr. Hart Merriam s 
volume on the mammals of the Adirondacks and of Mr. 
Thompson Seton s two volumes on the mammals of Mani 
toba. It is the first attempt that has ever been made in 
the field of productive scientific scholarship as regards the 
big animals of any continent; and Africa is the continent 
which in variety, numbers, and interest of the great game 
on the whole surpasses even Asia and vastly surpasses any 
other continent. The book is of interest to the profes 
sional scientist, to the scientific layman, and to the intelli 
gent sportsman. 

No book of this kind could be written unless by a man 
who is not only a trained scientist but an accomplished 
field-naturalist and observer and a successful big-game 
hunter and wanderer in the wilderness. In addition to 
all these qualifications the writer should be a man of let 
ters, able to write with interest of that which he has seen. 
No single man combining these qualities and with the 
necessary experience to deal with the big game of a conti- 



nent has yet appeared, and no book like the present one 
has ever been written. There are plenty of compilations 
by closet naturalists about the large animals of different 
regions, and a multitude of books on hunting and travel; 
but in the present case two men have joined to do what 
neither could have done separately, and the result is a 
book which is a model of what should be done for all 
other continents and also for the great West African forest 
and the North African desert, neither of which is covered 
by the present work. 

The volume contains photographs of almost every 
species described; maps showing the distribution of each 
species; photographs of the distinctive vegetation; and 
also maps of the faunal areas and life-zones of east equa 
torial Africa. There are also drawings to illustrate the 
wild life as it could not be illustrated by photographs. 

The life-histories of game animals offer an almost 
virgin field for investigation and study. The present 
treatise is a faithful account of what Messrs. Roosevelt 
and Heller have themselves observed. It is a fuller ac 
count than has ever before been submitted on the subject. 
But the authors themselves emphatically state that its 
greatest value must lie in its being treated primarily as a 
suggestion of what is still open for discovery in the vast 
field that treats not only of the physical traits but of the 
queer psychology of mammals and of the way in which 
their life-habits are modified by their surroundings. Big- 
game hunters who are more than illiterate game-butchers, 
and faunal naturalists who realise that outdoor work is 
at least as important to the scientist as work in the labora 
tory, and all intelligent men who, without being scientists, 
are interested in scientific matters as well as in the most 
interesting, the hugest, and the most terrible of the beasts 
of the chase will find in this book what cannot anywhere 
else be found. 

CHARLES SCRIBNER S SONS - New York 



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